Review: I Am Watching You by Teresa Driscoll

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Title: I Am Watching You

Author: Teresa Driscoll

Published: 1st October 2017

Source: Library

Rating: 2/5

Goodreads summary

When Ella Longfield overhears two attractive young men flirting with teenage girls on a train, she thinks nothing of it—until she realises they are fresh out of prison and her maternal instinct is put on high alert. But just as she’s decided to call for help, something stops her. The next day, she wakes up to the news that one of the girls—beautiful, green-eyed Anna Ballard—has disappeared.

A year later, Anna is still missing. Ella is wracked with guilt over what she failed to do, and she’s not the only one who can’t forget. Someone is sending her threatening letters—letters that make her fear for her life.

Then an anniversary appeal reveals that Anna’s friends and family might have something to hide. Anna’s best friend, Sarah, hasn’t been telling the whole truth about what really happened that night—and her parents have been keeping secrets of their own.

Someone knows where Anna is—and they’re not telling. But they are watching Ella.

Review

It’s no wonder that my reading slump is just getting prolonged. I have been reading sub-par books after sub-par books that just slowly eat away at my enthusiasm and passion for reading as this year comes to an end.

As you guessed it, this book is also a sub-par book for me. The premise seemed interesting but what hooked me in was the cover, it’s so in your face and just reels your attention it that I decided to give this book a go and soon after regretted it.

The first problem for me was that the book had far too many POV’s. Far too many. You have ‘The Witness’ (Ella Longfield), ‘The Friend’ (Sarah bestfriend of Anna Ballard), ‘The Father’ (Anna’s dad), ‘The Private Investigator’ and ‘The Watcher’ (I can’t really remember the title given in the book) and because there were so many perspectives that you don’t have enough time to connect with them all which disables my feelings to empathize with what they’re going through making me not caring as to what is happening in their lives.

Also, it is annoying how there are a lot of POV’s yet they are almost indistinguishable from each other. They are all slow and dreary and utterly boring and what’s worse, repetitive. Each chapter always has a cliffhanger of what a character is hiding and it is repeated again and again and again yet the author prolongs the reveal that by the time it is actually revealed you are far too annoyed to even care.

Another point that annoyed me about this book is the pacing and the reveal of the antagonist. The pacing of this book is so slow which I am assuming supposed to be a slow burn or something yet towards the end suddenly the pacing went from a 2 to a 10 immediately that the reveal of the antagonist feels extremely rushed and not explained properly. What their motives were, why they had done so and so.

Plus, the reveal of the antagonist came completely out of nowhere that it is just mind boggling and leaves you confused as to how did the author even get this antagonist anyway? There were no clues, no nothing and suddenly I am expected to believe that this is the true antagonist and the reason for their motive was obsession? Where tell me where did it show?

Long story short this book was a dud and I am disappointed.

Review: Lethal White by Robert Gailbraith (Part 1)

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Title: Lethal White

Author: Robert Gailbraith

Published: 18 September 2018

Publisher: Sphere

Rating: 2/5

Goodreads summary

“I seen a kid killed…He strangled it, up by the horse.”

When Billy, a troubled young man, comes to private eye Cormoran Strike’s office to ask for his help investigating a crime he thinks he witnessed as a child, Strike is left deeply unsettled. While Billy is obviously mentally distressed, and cannot remember many concrete details, there is something sincere about him and his story. But before Strike can question him further, Billy bolts from his office in a panic.

Trying to get to the bottom of Billy’s story, Strike and Robin Ellacott—once his assistant, now a partner in the agency—set off on a twisting trail that leads them through the backstreets of London, into a secretive inner sanctum within Parliament, and to a beautiful but sinister manor house deep in the countryside.

And during this labyrinthine investigation, Strike’s own life is far from straightforward: his newfound fame as a private eye means he can no longer operate behind the scenes as he once did. Plus, his relationship with his former assistant is more fraught than it ever has been—Robin is now invaluable to Strike in the business, but their personal relationship is much, much trickier than that.

Review

Huh…

My review for this book will be split into two parts and with that let us just get started.

Lethal White is far too long clocking in at 656 pages (hardcover) and 590 pages (Kindle) and it didn’t have any reason whatsoever to be this long. It should have gone through another round of editing before being published because there are so many plot points that did not add anything of value to the overall plot and in my opinion is only there as filler.

Another reason why I could not get into this book was the lack of clues leading to the perpetrator, I enjoyed the first book because I felt like I was putting all the clues together and is together with Strike in solving the mystery but in this book the plot was just too confusing for me to follow. Confusing not because it was intricate but because it had too many inconsequential characters along with plot points like stated above did not do the overall plot any justice.

The ending of the book also felt like it came out of left field and I was dumped with a load of info explaining the motive of the perpetrator and how they did what they did which is a shame because had the ending been executed well and clues peppered throughout the whole book, it would have been more impactful especially if the author had also fleshed out the characterization of the perpetrator so they would seem to be an empathetic villain.

This is me being nit picky but in my honest opinion don’t include characters from the LGBTQ+ community if you’re not going to do them justice. The author just put snippets of LGBTQ+ characters in the book to show faux diversity which is just tacky especially since its all stereotypes and why aren’t there more characters that are POC? Did I skip far too many pages that I missed them or something?

But the biggest point of contention for me was how Strike and Robin’s relationship portrayed in this book and how Robin finally, SWEET JESUS, FINALLY left Matthew. I want these two to be together but not how it was written in this book, I was hoping that they would be ala Scully and Mulder from X-files or better yet Joan Watson and Sherlock Holmes from Elementary where they have deep respect and love for each other. Instead what I got (I don’t know about other readers) was a pile of horseshit. I can’t delve in too deep with this as I will explain/rant in part 2.

After surviving this book, I am seriously debating as to whether this series is even worth continuing anymore. It is that bad. Now if all ya’ll want to hear me rant the fuck away kindly go to my next post because holy shit do I have A LOT TO SAY ON THIS BOOK.

 

 

 

Review: Not The Duke’s Darling by Elizabeth Hoyt

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Title: Not The Duke’s Darling

Author: Elizabeth Hoyt

Publisher: Forever

Published: 18 December 2018

Source: Netgalley

Rating: 3/5

Summary

Freya de Moray is many things: a member of the secret order of Wise Women, the daughter of disgraced nobility, and a chaperone living under an assumed name. What she is not is forgiving. So when the Duke of Harlowe–the man who destroyed her brother and led to the downfall of her family–appears at the country house party she’s attending, she does what any Wise Woman would do: she starts planning her revenge.

Christopher Renshaw, the Duke of Harlowe, is being blackmailed. Intent on keeping his secrets safe, he agrees to attend a house party where he will put an end to this coercion once and for all. Until he recognizes Freya, masquerading amongst the party revelers, and realizes his troubles have just begun. Freya knows all about his sins. Sins he’d much rather forget. But she’s also fiery, bold, and sensuous-a temptation he can’t resist. When it becomes clear Freya is in grave danger, he’ll risk everything to keep her safe. But first, Harlowe will have to earn Freya’s trust-by whatever means necessary.

Review

This book left me shook and not in a good way….

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If you have been following my blog for awhile you may by now know that I just LOVE Elizabeth Hoyt with a burning passion! I have read three of her books (thank you Netgalley) and all of them has a rating no lower than a 4.

Don’t believe me.. here is a list of the books I read by her.

So, I had full expectations to love this book too and imagine my utter shock and disbelief that I did not like nor enjoy this book. How? How even? How did this happen? Did I read it wrong? This shouldn’t be happening… I legit had an identity crisis when I realized this book was just not doing it for me. I mean how? HOW.COULD.THIS.EVEN.HAPPEN???????

The main reason why I didn’t like the book was because the heroine was so unlikable for me. I felt that she was just so full of herself and I just wanted her to get off her high horse and get back down to Earth. Why I felt this way I myself am unsure.

The heroine, Freya de Moray, is the Macha in the secret society called the Wise Woman whereby the post essentially makes her a spy for them. At first, I was really into it because strong female characters are what I live for but the more I read the more I saw that nothing happened. At least no spying happened. Like at all. Elizabeth didn’t show us Freya’s past achievements or whatever for her to attain such a posting. She didn’t show how competent Freya was in being a Macha. I wanted to see and read and live and go through what Freya did in her espionage business but all I got was redundancy which I will explain below.

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The redundancy came in the interaction between Christopher and Freya. They keep playing tug of war with their feelings for each other and after awhile the interaction just bored me out of my mind. They keep going over the same argument of her unable to forgive him for what he did in the past and her fear of losing her independence by being committed to him. These fears are legitimate but how it was written honestly was so tedious to read.

SPOILER CENTRAL!!!

Now to the plot. The plot for me had too many things going on which distracted me from the main plot which was the Wise Woman plot and obviously the romance between Christopher and Freya. I mean you have the sub-plot of having Christopher being blackmailed, the Wise Woman vs the Dunkelders (attempted murder sub-plot), Wise Woman vs parliament (some act that allows witch hunting), mysterious death of the wife of the next door neighbor and what not. For me it felt like so many things are happening at once and you would expect a lot of action but there was just a lot of talk… so much talking.

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Indeed do tell me why I am not enjoying this book

Last but not least was the Wise Woman itself. Again, it felt like all talk no action with them. Maybe because it is just the first book that I felt like I had no idea who these people were and how they worked. It wasn’t fleshed out as much as I had hoped for.

The book for me wanted to be so many things at once yet were none of them at the same time. I am unsure had I read this at a later date I would have enjoyed it more, I don’t know. This book just wasn’t for me. Would I recommend it yeah definitely, Elizabeth is still a talented writer and would I read more books from this series? Absolutely! I need to know that this was just a fluke and will not be a usual occurrence.

But all hope is not lost. I did like one part of the book very very much and that was when Freya proposed to Christopher AFTER she had initially turned him down. I also liked how Christopher gave her space when she needed it to make up her mind about him. I thought that was nice.

*The book was given to me by the publishers via Netgalley in return for an honest review

Review: The Duke With The Dragon Tattoo

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Title: The Duke With The Dragon Tattoo

Author: Kerrigan Byrne

Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks

Published: 28 August 2018

Rating: 3/5

Goodreads Summary

The bravest of heroes. The brashest of rebels. The boldest of lovers. These are the men who risk their hearts and their souls—for the passionate women who dare to love them…

He is known only as The Rook. A man with no name, no past, no memories. He awakens in a mass grave, a magnificent dragon tattoo on his muscled forearm the sole clue to his mysterious origins. His only hope for survival—and salvation—lies in the deep, fiery eyes of the beautiful stranger who finds him. Who nurses him back to health. And who calms the restless demons in his soul…

A LEGENDARY LOVE

Lorelei will never forget the night she rescued the broken dark angel in the woods, a devilishly handsome man who haunts her dreams to this day. Crippled as a child, she devoted herself to healing the poor tortured man. And when he left, he took a piece of her heart with him. Now, after all these years, The Rook has returned. Like a phantom, he sweeps back into her life and avenges those who wronged her. But can she trust a man who’s been branded a rebel, a thief, and a killer? And can she trust herself to resist him when he takes her in his arms?

Review

I have been busy with work and chatting up this guy from work although on this front it seems more like I am cornering myself into the dreaded friendzone which is such a shame because I would like to do the Devil’s tango with him if you get my drift so anyways back to the point, the point is that I just have been living life too much to be bothered to even read anything but when I received an email from a publisher asking me if I was interested in reading the next book from Kerrigan Byrne I was like…

“BITCH! You ain’t even gonna ask! It’s always YES to Kerrigan!”

Because girl, the last two books I read by her was just so bomb! I waited months to get the next book so as you can see my expectations are pretty high… pretttyyyy high so when I read it I was just so so confused by how disappointed I was.

The writing for this book felt so sub-par for me and the plot itself was flimsy AT BEST. Don’t even get me started on the atrocious dialogue present in this book. It

The first half of the book was great and I enjoyed the puppy love between Lorelai and Ash as it was so cute and innocent but towards the latter end of the book, the plot was borderline on non-existent and the dialogue/conversation happening between the two main characters were so repetitive and had no meaning nor resolution in sight.

Also, there were a lot of plot points in the book that in my opinion was written purely just for plot progression because honestly said plot point had no bearing whatsoever on the overall plot of the book one wonders why did the author even include it in the first place? One example for this is when Lorelai for some God damned reason fainted in a make out sesh with Ash and miraculously she never fainted again after that even though it was said that she does this FREQUENTLY as a way her body handles stress.

Another thing that annoyed me was how the author doesn’t show what happened to any of the characters and instead just tells us what happened as if that will satisfy our curiosity. By doing so, the author strips the readers empathy for the characters because I swear to God I could not give a shit about the characters whatsoever. I mean I can’t relate to Lorelai and her being a victim of abuse neither can I understand why Ash is so God damned pissed all the God damned time. Like bro, take a chill pill man. Jesus.

I think I was highly disappointed by the book because I waited months for it. MONTHS! Her other books were that good that I waited MONTHS! Will I continue to support the author, yeah definitely one disappointing book might just be a fluke because she is definitely talented.

* Book was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in return for an honest review

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I was supposed to upload this review on the 21st but my internet was down and I had to go for TBOSIET training and completely forgot so here it is hahahaha.

We Were One… A Review

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Title: We Were One (Looking Glass)

Author: Elizabeth Reyes

Publisher: January 2018

Rating: 3/5

Goodreads summary

The mystery of love is greater than the mystery of death.
~Oscar Wilde~

Adoration is not profound enough a word to express the depth of my love for her. From the moment she walked into my life and set my heart and soul on fire, not a day’s gone by that she hasn’t plagued my every thought.

We were each other’s completion. She was everything I wasn’t–the sigh to my roar, the virtue to my sin, the cure to my wounds.

We Were One.

Until the unthinkable happened.

That I’ve survived such a tragedy without having completely lost it, is a mystery in itself. But as my mind starts to blur the lines between reality and my delusional heart, I begin to question everything, including my sanity.

And then the real mystery begins . . . 

Review

Well how do I start this review? It feels like forever since my last one… Do I still know how to even review a book anymore? Lol okay I am just kidding I just usually spout whatever BS is in my mind anyway so here it goes.

I was given this ARC copy by the author herself and I said yes to reviewing this book mostly because I was sold by the cover. It looked professionally done, the fonts matched and it looked nice and legit, you know and then I was told the synopsis and my interest was piqued. So, I gave it a go.

I didn’t know what to expect going into this book because I am not a huge fan of contemporary romance (I read anything and everything okay doesn’t mean I have to like them all) maybe because the probability for it to be relatable to my present life is too high and I was not surprised when I didn’t enjoy this book as I hoped I would be.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good book and I did somewhat enjoyed it but not up to the standard I was hoping it would and my reasons are as follows…

First, I felt that the writing was too cliche for my taste. Everything was just ‘I love you this’, ‘I love you that’, ‘You are my world’, ‘I can’t live without you’ etc etc etc and for a girl (more like woman I have got to own up to my real age by now) who has been single for so god damned long these words just don’t fly with me anymore which again links back to being relatable to my the present day issue. I just can’t imagine a guy saying this to me and me taking him seriously. Maybe it is just me and my commitment issues, who knows.

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Next, is that I couldn’t relate to the main characters, Nico and Maddie. There was no emotional connection between me and these characters. I felt like I was reading about them and their love story and whatnot but not actually getting to know them at all. There was legit no emotional investment on my part in regards to the characters which in turn lead to no emotional investment to the plot of the book itself. Like I couldn’t care less for the characters. I didn’t care whether they were happy or sad or whatever. My mind was just okay let’s just get this chapter over with.

It did not help that the first half of the book started when the main characters were really young; Nico was 19 and Maddie was 16. With this age gap between me and the characters (I am 25 btw) I just found the petty drama surrounding their relationship just that, petty teenage drama whilst I understood why they acted that way (I was a teenager once too) but I couldn’t relate to it anymore because I felt that all this petty drama didn’t even need to happen had they just have an open communication in their relationship.

For example, there was this one scene where Maddie saw Nico meet up with his Image result for girl calm down gifold fling who was obviously pregnant and she assumed the worst and went completely ballistic. I can relate if she found them in bed together but just talking and doing nothing. Like really? Then she went home cried her eyes out and took some sleeping meds and I find this whole fiasco to be so immature and just plain old stupid.

Another example that made me roll my eyes was this. When the book started Nico was 19 but in the book he talks about how he is a MAN and whatnot and Image result for ugh whatever gifkept bringing it up all the time it started to annoy the shit out of me. Grown ass man MY FAT ASS. Like that’s so cute Nico how you think you’re a man and an adult, now why don’t you go back to the playground where you came from and drink you milkshake like a good little boy. You don’t need to shove it in my face every few pages insisting you are an adult. This doesn’t affect my review of the book either way but I really wanted the description of Nico’s tattoos.

Now, plot wise I felt that it was okay; predictable, had its funny moments, cute moments and the like but there was one problem I had with it in this aspect which was I felt that the drama in the plot was too superficial. Superficial in a way that all the drama was settled easily. Far too easily if you ask me. Nico, gets all hot and bothered by all these (unnecessary?) drama what with the old fling, the meeting of Maddie’s mom and whatnot but the payoff for all that worrying isn’t there. So, whenever I am starting to feel some sort of connection with the characters the lack of payoff throws me off and I am back to square one.

Okay moving on to things I liked about the book.

I really liked how some characters were really open to going to a therapist to help them with their issues especially if they are male characters as I felt that this is a great way to help people see that seeking help isn’t a bad thing and it is better in the long run.

Another thing I really respected was how Nico was a gentleman with Maddie. Yes, he did the dirty on the down low with her but he made sure he didn’t coerce her and that she was of age because if he did the nasty with her when she definitely underage I would so label him as a pedophile regardless of how mature Maddie looked.

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Overall, this book was an okay book for me. I didn’t enjoy it as much as I hoped but I didn’t hate it either. It was more of okay cool type of feeling but if you are a fan of contemporary romance with a dash of sex scenes in the mix I would recommend this book for you to give it a go.

On a side note, I am interested in the next book of which the main character is Nolan. Not because I like Nolan or anything but because I read the excerpt and it opened with a homicide and the true crime fanatic in me was like…. ‘oh…. what is this?’

It Should Have Been Me… Review

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Title: It Should Have Been Me

Author: Phillipa Ashley

Source: Public Library

Rating: 3/5

Goodreads summary

‘This wonderfully romantic and funny novel manages to fulfill all the best fantasies, including a gorgeous, humanitarian hero and a camper van!’ Katie Fforde

When Carrie’s fiancee’ Huw suddenly calls off their wedding, and she finds out he’s marrying another woman, she’s devastated. Desperate to get away, Carrie jumps at her best friend Rowena’s suggestion of a road trip in her VW camper van. But when Rowena has to pull out and Matt Landor, an old friend of Huw’s, ends up filling the breach, she’s not so sure. Will fate take the pair on an altogether different journey?

Review

I chose this book because I just wanted something light to read and doesn’t have a lot of page count to rev me up from my reading slump so I didn’t have much expectations for this book and it was good actually because it allowed me to just enjoy the book. Surprisingly I really did enjoy the book, I couldn’t put it down but now thinking in retrospect I am not too sure why I initially thought the book was great (think: 4-5 stars great) in the first place.

The book was very predictable and was filled with a lot of romance tropes but then again it is from Little Black Dress publishing company so I am not surprised. I couldn’t relate to the main characters because whilst I was reading it at the back of my mind I am thinking like ‘wow they sure sleep around a lot… is this normal for Brits?’.

Honestly, I do not have any idea how to write my review because all I feel was that it was an enjoyable book and that is it. I didn’t relate to the main characters, some plot points which were supposed to make me empathize to them just made me feel like they were an over dramatic child or on the flip side not dramatic enough, it was full of the usual romance tropes so I already knew the ending from a mile away but I knew this anyway.

The one thing that did stand out for me for which I did like was how Carrie took a year off before getting together with Matt this is because I am a firm believer of that after a break-up you should under any circumstances have some time for yourself before you get into any type of relationship be it man or woman to really figure out what you want from life. So, when she eventually did become an item with Matt we all know this is what she truly wants and she isn’t doing this because she is lonely or is hurting or whatever (I don’t know man I have been out of this dating game for close to 7 years now).

And thus that is my review in a nutshell.