Review: Ice Cream Castle by Clarke Collins

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When uptight Eli crosses paths with world-weary Naomi, culture clash ensues. After a strained encounter, the pair later discovers that what they share in common outweighs their differences. ICE CREAM CASTLES is a May-December romance that explores grief, understanding, and acceptance, with a passionate twist. It will leave you wanting more.

An engaging short read that can be read in one sitting, Ice Cream Castles is a powerful yet subtle read. The author should be commended for the ease at which she weaves a tale and makes it real. Her characters are so lifelike, that the reader feels they personally know them and they come off as old friends.

The story itself begins inconspicuously enough. It almost doesn’t even come off as a romance, which works in its favor. Most romances glamorize every situation, even if it’s negative. In Ice Cream Castles, Eli and Naomi definitely do not meet under ideal circumstances and the author doesn’t try to glamorize it. Instead, their adult behavior and communication ultimately brings them together. While their relationship isn’t perfect, it is just as touching and brings as much heat.

Overall, Ice Cream Castles is a well written interracial romance with a mature feel and depth both of story and characters. Those searching for different kind of a romance should add this to their TBR list.

 

Review: Spellbinding His Ranger by Shannon Pemrick

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When Mercedes isn’t turning wrenches for her family’s classic car restoration business, she’s logging into her favorite MMO and losing herself in adventures with friends. With no luck on the dating scene thanks to a cybernetic enhancement, she’s ready to throw in the towel and focus on her passions.

But her closest friend, Takashi, keeps her from quitting on love just yet. Could he be the one to look past her artificial flaw and show her what it means to be cared for?

Family and the most popular MMO in existence are Takashi’s life. He’s found his business calling in the in-game economics that seamlessly meshes with the real world. But after meeting a fiery blonde named Mercedes through a guildmate, he found his interests slowly broadening.

Can he convince her he can look past her cybernetic and see the real her, or will he lose her for good when life tries to sabotage his efforts at every turn?

A beautifully developed LitRPG, Spellbinding His Ranger is everything you didn’t know you needed. It is a novel headed by a strong female lead, accompanied by an eclectic cast of secondary characters, with a romance with real chemistry, and enough culture references to please any nerd.

First and foremost, Mercedes is a powerful female lead. It is difficult not to like her. Not only is she intelligent, independent, and loving, she is flawed. To some, she would be considered disabled with her bionic arm. While she doesn’t let this ruin her life, it does give her some trouble, particularly with how others perceive her. That doesn’t stop the hero from loving her. The hero himself is a perfect match for his heroine with his intelligent, open mind, and a big heart and should be commended for encapsulating nontoxic masculinity.

The rest of the cast is equally as dynamic as the heroine. The inclusion and representation of multiple subjects are weaved in subtly rather than throwing it in the reader’s face. The characters are racially, sexually, and abley diverse but it flows seamlessly with the story.

The nerdy aspect completes this novel perfectly. For those who know and understand all the jargon specific to the nerd culture may find the author’s explanation of said jargon can be long winded and tedious and unnecessary but others may appreciate the education.
Overall, Spellbinding His Ranger is the powerfully perfect LitRPG romance that we all have been waiting for.

New bookmarks

Finally received my bookmarks from Medusa Dollmaker all the way from France. My post office hates me so they screwed up the delivery. This meant they were returned all the to France and the owner had to resend them! Bless her…

They were definitely worth the wait and look gorgeous! Pictures don’t do them justice. The owner also sent a couple pieces of candy not found in the US and wrapped the bookmarks so lovely. I definitely plan on buying more!

When you just want to be petty…

I do a lot of beta and ARC reading. Based on my history and education, it’s one of the few things I feel like I can do to help authors out. That being said, I have no problem not finishing books, even if it is an ARC, if I am not enjoying for any reason.

however

 

I stumbled across a book that I genuinely read out of pure spite, hoping the heroine would get what was coming to her.

Canva - Picture of Crying WomanNever in my life have I read a worse heroine. I think the author was trying to have her come off as a spunky yet whimsical dreamer searching for adventure. What we got was a spoiled brat who literally could not say anything unless it was snotty, snide, or sarcastic. Not only that but she spent the entire novel hating the hero over something that happened almost a decade ago when they were children.

This heroine was such a terrible person she made the book agony to read. I have read difficult heroines before but they typically either have some redeeming qualities or redeem themselves somewhere down the line.

This heroine did not. The best way I can describe her is a selfish spoiled brat so preoccupied with herself and her dreams of adventure and a dashing hero sweeping her off of her feet that she doesn’t even realize what childish and terrible person she truly was. She had absolutely no redeeming qualities and made each page a chore to read.

 

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The novel was an ARC I received. However, I loathed the heroine so much she ruined the entire novel for more. The writing was pretty solid for the most part and none of the other characters was horrible. But considering she was the focus of the story, it made it difficult to enjoy. I am still not sure why the hero still loved her after how terrible she treated him.

Ugh rant over. Sorry, but I just had to get it out.

❧ Arec

 

 

Tour/Review: Tempted by the Viscount by Sofie Darling

Tempted by the Viscount
by Sofie Darling
Genre: Historical Romance
Pub Date: June 27th, 2018
Follow the tour HERE
for exclusive excerpts and a giveaway!

London, April 1825
Lord Jakob Radclyffe left his past behind in the Far East. Or so he thinks until a ruthless thief surfaces in London, threatening to ruin his daughter’s reputation. With the clock ticking, Jake needs the scandalous Lady Olivia Montfort’s connections in the art world to protect his daughter’s future.
Olivia, too, has a past she’d like to escape. By purchasing her very own Mayfair townhouse, she’ll be able to start a new life independent from all men. There’s one problem: she needs a powerful man’s name to do so. The Viscount St. Alban is the perfect name.
A bargain is struck.
What Olivia doesn’t anticipate is the temptation of the viscount. The undeniable spark of awareness that races between them undermines her vow to leave love behind. Soon, she has no choice but to rid her system of Jake by surrendering to her craving for a single scorching encounter.
But is once enough? Sometimes once only stokes the flame of desire higher and hotter. And sometimes once is all the heart needs to risk all and follow a mad passion wherever it may lead.

Sofie spent much of her twenties raising two boys and reading every book she could get her hands on. Once she realized that she was no longer satisfied with simply reading the books she loved, that she must write them, too, she decided to finish her degree and embark on a writing career. Mr. Darling and the boys gave her their wholehearted blessing.
When she’s not writing heroes who make her swoon, she runs a marathon in a different state every year, visits crumbling medieval castles
whenever she gets a chance, and enjoys a slightly codependent relationship with her beagle, Bosco.

 

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