Monday, April 25, 2016

Ringmaster (Magic Carnival 1)

The magical Jolly Carnival is the only life Rilla knows--and it's falling apart around her. Just as she's thrust into the role of Ringmaster after her father's unexpected death, an old family friend turns up to challenge her birthright.

Her rival's sexy son Jack isn't helping, either. Despite being a greenhorn and an outsider, he's intent on charming everyone, convincing them all that Rilla isn't up to the task of leading them through these tough times.

But Rilla must also contend with another threat - the ongoing sabotage that has been disturbing their delicate magical balance and threatening to destroy the Carnival. All signs are pointing to an insider, making it impossible to know who to trust.

To save her beloved Carnival, Rilla must do everything she can to find the saboteur before they attack again. But if she takes her eye off the battle for Ringmaster- even for a second -she risks losing everything she's trained for her entire life.


*****STARS: 5*****

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I am literally obsessed with this book right now. Every page and point and scene was so mind-blowing amazing like holy shitballs Batman. I have a fascination for carnies and anytime I stumble upon an author's work, my inner bookwyrm gets giddy with excitement. A few times I've been let down for different reasons, but I was not disappointed with this.

My #1 love so far is RS Black's Night series (she combines carnies with demons HELLZ YEAH) and I love Jaye's Magic Carnival series about as much as I love Pandora and her naughty, horrid shenanigans. If anything this is like the sunny version of what perverse love Black has got me addicted to. But I'm totally rambling about another book so I'm going to stop right now.

Amaryllis - Rilla - Jolly is a young woman who just lost her father, and suddenly she's given all these difficult tasks to tackle. She's a strong woman suffering through loss, so it's not like she's incompetent, but the fact that her own family were already thinking of hearing out a competitor for her birthright as Ringmaster was just-

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I just couldn't, with them. How dare they betray her like that??? They were supposed to be a tight family, yet there they were, saying she wasn't strong enough? Like, shit! She just lost her dad! Ya'll are scared and we get it, but sticking your head in the sand wasn't the way to go.

*sighs* But at the same time, they had some merit. Rilla was so concentrated on The Gift and was kinda spazzing around that, well, they did need a strong leader. They needed someone to bring them all back together from the loss of a Ringmaster and see that they did have hope. The people of Carnival needed someone to lift them, and for that I can forgive them their brash way of throwing her under the bus. I'm totally fine.

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The plot was interesting, mostly because it wasn't easy to figure out. At times I thought I had it down with the way some people were acting, but towards the end, a few tale-tell signs were there. It was equally as heartbreaking.

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Jaye wrote this fan-fucking-tastically. I was involved in Rilla and Jack's day-to-day, and I totally cried whenever the loss of her father came up. :( Her low self-esteem and constant battle with relinquishing her hold on being Ringmaster was a bit of a strain and half the time I wish it'd been cut to keep down the depression and headaches, but I just skimmed it if it got too much. Cause seriously. There's only so much depression I can take before I'm clawing my own eyes out, wishing she'd grow a better vulva and woman up.

But it worked with her situation, showing that she was in a real pickle. The time couldn't have been worse for her to take over the carnival, so it made sense to see her come across all these road blocks. Didn't make it any easier, but it worked out in the end.

Now... Jack Knight.

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A++ for the sex Jackanapes

Jackanapes - Jack - Knight. His introduction was perfection. He's an outsider who wants nothing to do with the freaks his dad has yearned to return to, but I think my favorite part was falling for him because Rilla did. Through her eyes, I saw him get hotter by the chapter and- wow. haha. Seeing his disposition go through such change was just as entertaining as the plot, if not more (I'm a hopeless romantic). I loved how he fell for the Carnival as much as I love it, but most of all I just loved watching him change towards the carnies and Rilla. XD

He was a total sneaky little prick, turning the others against Rilla to gain his father a lead in the competition, but then we see that he's just uptight and horny (sorry haha) and mainly looking out for his dad and then it's like, "Can you blame the dude?" So of course it then becomes a tennis match because I can't tell whose side to choose but at the same time it morphs into something more than a mere 'who can piss longer' and it's like-

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Intense. Alluring. Pure entertainment. Magical. There aren't enough words to describe what this book is, or what it did to me. The writing was great in delivering the carny love, and the POVs of Jack and Rilly were a great way to get the whole experience. I loved seeing both sides to the story. Jaye gave the feeling that I'd always belonged, and at the same time, I got introduced to the crew right along with Jack. It really was like the best of both worlds.

The carnies all had their own personalities and got under my skin more than once, but it gave them depth. I certainly suspected a few of them as the saboteur. Christoph, Garth, Alf, Viktor, Tami, they were all parts of Carnival that really made things feel more real. But seriously, on top of the romance and the heartache and fear and anticipation, Jaye did the BEST at creating Carnival, the spirit of the carnies' home. It was one creative thing after another, making things more uniquely beautiful and magical and I just turned into a kid every time they put on a show. I fucking loved it.

This is a definite recommend. If you love carnies and fantasy and some good detective work, this book is fucking BAE. You will regret not reading it. The author's writing was great, I think I only found two technical errors (trust me, that's great right now) and the story kept me intrigued. My emotions were all over the place, but in the end, I was always left feeling like a punter. I did more than read a book. I was treated to a show, and I left the big tent with memories I'll not be forgetting in the near future.

Or ever.

bert reaction bed sesame street frown

Happy Reading =^-^=

Monday, April 11, 2016

Highland Barbarian (Highlander 1)

Death and Deception...

Meredith MacAlpin, Scottish noblewoman, is kidnapped at the altar by infamous Highland Barbarian, Brice Campbell, and spirited away to his fortress in the Highlands. It is rumored that he is the one who has killed her people in a series of raids.

Brice Campbell is desperate to prove his innocence and bring peace to his people but when he kills the wrong man, his enemy vows revenge.

Can enemies become lovers? Is love strong enough to defy even death?


****STARS: 4****

This wasn't bad. I love anything with highlanders, and this story was really enticing with the whole kidnapping ordeal turning into something more elaborate. Her time with him hooked me in because they come from such different backgrounds, but essentially, they're the same inside and that's why they feel so drawn to the other. I also loved their interaction with the rest of his people in the keep. The queen was a saucy thing, especially when it came to her games. I've got to say, that's one of my favorite things about this story. Her mischievous ways really made it more interesting between Meredith and Brice, at all parts of the book.

The flow was pretty good and kept my interest peeked,  but a few times the character's gullibility brought up bouts of frustration. It'd ruin my overall satisfaction with everything else, mostly because she's such a smart and strong woman; for Meredith to not understand what a halfwit prick is up to, makes me feel like I didn't connect with her like I thought I had. Their romance was sweet and thrilling because I didn't know where it was going to go, what with them both being leaders with their own weight in responsibilities.

One scene bugs me, and it's when the bad guy comes in one last time. It just didn't seem very realistic because he, a hunted man all over the country by order of the queen, somehow manages to sneak into the queen's own guest quarters....? How is that even possible? The only excuse I can think to dismiss this is that the queen isn't as heavily guarded as I assumed. Or he's sneakier than I thought...? O.o

Her adventure with the 'barbarians' in their home was great to read and it's an overall recommend.

Happy Reading =^-^=

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

The Game (The Game is Life 1)

The Game...

A virtual reality simulation.

Played by over a billion children
around the world.

The best players are celebrities.

Adored and worshiped by countless fans.

Zack is a superstar among players.

His final play may change the world...



*****STARS: 5!*****

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This thing is freaking amazing. Once I started, I couldn't put it down and, chapter after chapter, I kept thinking about how crazy it was that everything fed to me felt so... true.

Makes me wonder if we really are in a game.

Zack is a top gamer, and in his world, kids don't go to school. They play games. The first few years are free like public school, but once you flunk out, you don't get a do-over. Instead, you get sent to the government schools, one of the worse things you could sentence yourself to, if not an eternity in hell via la cuchilla. As his times nears, Zack goes in for one last game before he graduates: as a 'well-rounded citizen' or a dropout, no one knows. Except for maybe one person...

This whole concept of us (the readers) being in a simulation makes for an interesting conversation. According to Zack's sponsor, we're all gamers under the age of eighteen playing Life and learning skills to better ourselves for the real world. Why play castle crashers when we could live a life that we ourselves can make for our own? When we're working and finding ways to better ourselves, why wouldn't it be worth it, when we can transfer all our earnings into cash once we 'wake up'? For Zack, he's ready to do that one last run a little differently. He doesn't want to just go all in anymore, he wants to make a difference. We wants to wake everyone up.

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It's a bunch of comparisons you can't help but make as you read this, learning of the glitches and betas and figuring out that they're ghosts and angels, demons and those little voices in your head that tell you what to do. What you shouldn't do. Or what you really want to do but can't.

This was a well written book. The flow was great, and although it was a steady pace, the anticipation was intense enough to make things interesting. What would've been a boring read captivated me to know more about this virtual reality, this game that we all seem to be living in without realizing. And who doesn't love a good conspiracy?

It's suspenseful. It's romantic. It'll definitely make you think. Definite recommend.

Happy Reading =^-^=

Monday, April 4, 2016

When I Hurt (Russian Stepbrother Romance #2)

When I get mad, I say all sorts of things, even secrets that I'm supposed to keep.

When I get frightened, I find myself lying, doing and saying anything just so I won't give him a reason to leave me.

But when I get hurt, oh when I really get hurt -

It's not because I'm crying and hurting over him.


The gorgeous Russian celebrity who's also my stepbrother-
And now, he's the man I've blackmailed into being my lover.

When I get hurt, it's only because I was the one who caused him pain.

I was the one who broke his heart.

I did it because I love him, and for that I don't mind if i keep getting hurt.


*received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review*

*****STARS: 4.5*****

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Holy shit. Like, holy shit, this is a shit ton better than the first! I didn't think it could get better, but somehow it did! The plot turned more elaborate with a new variable (grr) involved, some shit went down, and- ugh. This time, Ms. Tee gives no mercy.

It started with two of the brothers at a public event, showing face and playing the good role of what they front as a strong and solid family with their heads screwed on right. Vassi and Misha have a little heart to heart, but it's utterly frightening because Misha....  dot dot dot.....


anime what scared confused shocked

NNOOO!!! He can't know it already, the fucking book didn't even start yet! But does he really know, or is Vassi just being paranoid? Am I wishfully thinking that he knows nothing???? Ugh. T_T Fast-forward to the first chapter, and we get the forbidden hotness that Ms. Tee just does so deliciously! Vassi and Seri are in class, okay? Class. And what happens? She gives him a fucking handjob under the desk!!!! And he comes with the lights ON!!! I won't go into detail about the rest of their fucking-hot-as-hell shenanigans, but HOLY SHIT BATMAN.

Seri's new problem just got a lot bigger, dealing with her secret being discovered and her "plan" to keep it hidden from everyone else. She and Vassi had enough problems as it was, but add on even more confusion and miscommunication, and you get a horribly heart-twisting story about a girl too stubborn to let go, and a man who will do anything to keep from getting hurt.

It started off a bit rocky for me but quickly smoothed out to something romantically thrilling, one filled with drama and horrible chest pains that just won't stop, even after the book's finished. And speaking of endings-

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OH MY GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD. The ending completely tore my heart out. And impressed me. And slightly made me sick. But at the same time made me think, "Dayuuum, girl!" So many emotions with this T_T The most that lingers, however, is the one of being extremely impressed because I didn't see it coming, but at the same time, it's exactly the type of thing I crave to read about! Like, how many women do you even come across playing that role?!?!? None for me so far so- BAM! BOOYAH!

Seri's seriously one of Ms. Tee's more hardcore chicks BEFORE the bad shit goes down. I like her immensely for her aggressive attitude; many of this author's women fight for the love they want, but with Seri, she's more crass than some of the others. XD Best part about her is that she's still pleasantly naive in some ways. haha

It's taboo romance filled with miscommunication (aren't they all?) that drives you to believe all will be well. With scenes to make you weep and scream in more ways than one, When I Hurt is definitely a book to check out. Definitely a book to check out...

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Definitely one to check out...

Happy Reading =^-^=