Monday, December 29, 2014

Review: Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

Title: Cruel Beauty
Author: Rosamund Hodge
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Fantasy, Retellings
Reviewed by Cassie
Summary (from

Graceling meets Beauty and the Beast in this sweeping fantasy about one girl's journey to fulfill her destiny and the monster who gets in her way-by stealing her heart.

Based on the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, Cruel Beauty is a dazzling love story about our deepest desires and their power to change our destiny.

Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom-all because of a foolish bargain struck by her father. And since birth, she has been in training to kill him.

With no choice but to fulfill her duty, Nyx resents her family for never trying to save her and hates herself for wanting to escape her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, Nyx abandons everything she's ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, destroy his enchanted castle, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.

But Ignifex is not at all what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiles her, and his castle-a shifting maze of magical rooms-enthralls her.

As Nyx searches for a way to free her homeland by uncovering Ignifex's secrets, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him. Even if she could bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him? With time running out, Nyx must decide what is more important: the future of her kingdom, or the man she was never supposed to love.

For some reason, I was INSANELY CONFUSED the majority of the book. Like, my mind was being molested and I tried to comprehend what the heck was going on . . . But I COULDN'T.

UGHHHHHHHH I can't describe my dissatisfaction and grumpiness and crankiness and general unhappiness with you right now. I read conflicting reviews- some loved it, some hated it, BUT NO ONE WAS AS CONFUSED AS I AM.

I think it takes a lot for me to be muddled whilst reading a story, and perhaps even a certain kind of writing style, so I don't know what that says about Cruel Beauty. Unique writing? I . . . I DON'T KNOW!
I wanted to like this. I DID!! I just couldn't. It was like eating ice cream and being assaulted (yes, ASSAULTED) by so many different flavors, leading to you being lost in the midst and mix and you are so unsettled and unhappy that you can't enjoy the ice cream before you.
Are you confused right now? Because that was me, THE ENTIRE BOOK.
Sigh. Let's move on.

The characters?
Besides being confusing . . . I found them all annoying and conflicting. They didn't make sense, and a lot of the romance felt forced and artificial.

The plot?
ANNOYED ME TO NO END. I'm keeping it tame and refraining from swearing because I'm trying to stay appropriate, but.
You know how readers are promised Graceling mixed with Beauty and the Beast? Henceforth implying that not only will there be adorable slow-build romance, but ALSO badass female strength (and ninja-assassin action).
We get neither.
Instead, we are presented with insta-lust/ insta-lurrrv and NO BADASS FEMALES.

The world: CONFUSING
The ending: BAFFLING (just kidding. it was really only melodramatic and completely understandable)

This book has thrown me off my A-game I'm sad to say, so if I go all crazy during the next reviews, BLAME CRUEL BEAUTY.

Hugs and kisses~~~

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Review: Debt by Nina G. Jones

Title: Debt
Author: Nina G. Jones
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Dark, Contemporary, Sociology
Reviewed by: Cassie
Summary (from

I don't know what I was thinking when I hired someone to attack me. Maybe I was bored, or lonely, or there was a void so deep inside of me that I needed something explosive to fill it.

It was supposed to be safe. A thrill. A way to break through the monotony of everyday life. It was an illusion of danger that I could walk away from as soon as it was over.

Except that it wasn't. Because I had been in danger long before I ever invited it into my life.
My mission is almost complete. The bubbling boil of vengeance that heats my blood might finally simmer.

She is the last piece of the puzzle. Once I destroy her, everyone who ever hurt me will have paid their debt.

It was supposed to be quick and easy, but as soon as I met her it got complicated.

Very complicated.

Well, I'll say this: not my usual.
And with that in mind, I must also say I could NOT put this down. Did I want to? Um, YEAH. I felt hella dirty reading this, like I was actively committing some sin or corrupting my (somewhat questionable) innocence by continuing this beast of a story.

The plot?
Sinfully delicious. I don't even know if delicious is the right word, but it's captivating. You can see it's going down a dark, dark road . . . And you just can't help wanting to see it through the end.

The characters?
Oooooh, perfectly messed up. Maybe they didn't mesh quite right and I questioned whether or not their chemistry/romance would work--but alas, I came to the conclusion that they were meant to be. One problem I just couldn't let go of though: TAX IS NOT A SEXY NAME. NO. ABSOLUTELY NOT.
I saw it and I laughed and I wondered if this was seriously happening. And it was.

My thoughts?
A mixture of disgust, morbid curiosity, disbelief, and dirtiness accompanied me throughout the entirety of the read.
Did I question Mia's sanity?
Yes. Yes I did. This girl was not right in the head.
Did I enjoy Tax's insanity?
In general, yes. 
Did I have my doubts about their romance?
A man attacks a woman, yet she finds it acceptable and somehow excusable? And she then finds him HOT and strangely MAGNETIC? And the way he treats her--like a cheap ho who deserves degradation?
Um. Normally I'd slap them both silly, and then the author once or twice for making me experience such stupidity.
But . . . Somehow Nina G. Jones weaves her magic and made me think,
Because, obviously, Nina G Jones shows us readers the TRUTH: the aforementioned scenario is NOT crazy, and if it is, IT IS A DELECTABLE CRAZY.
Reckless. Irresponsible. Dirty. Dangerous. Exhilarating. Erotic. Wild. Euphoric. How can one thing be all of those? How can peering into the gutter of my soul feel like I just touched heaven? 

It's raw. Gritty. Disturbing. Dark. Dirty. And utterly, utterly captivating.

Don't fucking act like you don't like this shit, Mia. I know you want someone to dirty you up. I'll make you fucking filthy.
Not a book for everyone; it's a dark, dark read.  But if you're feeling adventurous one day . . . Perhaps.

Hugs and kisses, everyone!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Review: The Golden Dynasty by Kristen Ashley

Title: The Golden Dynasty
Author: Kristen Ashley
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Adult
Reviewed by: Cassie
Summary (from

Circe Quinn goes to sleep at home and wakes up in a corral filled with women wearing sacrificial virgin attire - and she is one of them. She soon finds out that she's not having a wild dream, she's living a frightening nightmare where she's been transported to a barren land populated by primitive people and in short order, she's installed very unwillingly on her white throne of horns as their Queen.

Dax Lahn is the king of Suh Tunak, The Horde of the nation of Korwahk and with one look at Circe, he knows she will be his bride and together they will start The Golden Dynasty of legend.

Circe and Lahn are separated by language, culture and the small fact she's from a parallel universe and has no idea how she got there or how to get home. But facing challenge after challenge, Circe finds her footing as Queen of the brutal Korwahk Horde and wife to its King, then she makes friends then she finds herself falling in love with this primitive land, its people and especially their savage leader.

So. Basically, I'm in fantasy rut right now; like, I honestly can't read something that's not fantasy, unless it's freaking fabulous. Dunno why, it just is.
Sooooo, I know that cover isn't that pretty. But when I read the summary of this baby, I knew I had to have it. NOT TO MENTION the fact that I saw Game of Throne gifs in reviews, comparing Circe to Daenerys Targaryen. Similar situation, similar characteristics, etc.
And then I knew.
I ABSOLUTELY had to have it.
Well, I freaking love Dany. She's my fave from Game of Thrones, in both the TV series and the books.

Yeah, I pretty much treated this as an alternative story for Dany. I honestly imagined her and Khal Drogo as the characters in this book. SUE ME.


Did I enjoy it? Yes.

Did I like the characters? Yes. 
But it's questionable as to whether or not I would still enjoy them,had I not imagined Dany/Khal Drogo as the pairing. 
Why? Uh . . . I don't know. I just found the characters a bit bland, and somewhat lacking. So I made up for it by blotting out the parts I didn't like and pretending they were from GOT.

. . . And then I was satisfied. BECAUSE LOOK AT THAT, AND TELL ME THAT AIN'T ADORBS.

Did I like the world?
Hmmmmmmm. Yes. I did. It was a bit underdeveloped for my liking, but it was still interesting. Reminded me a lot of the Dothraki world, but no complaints there.

Did I like the plot?
Difficult question to answer. I want to say yes, but when I think back to it, I have a hard time saying there even was one. Drama? Plenty!!! Storyline? Not so much . . .

Should you read it?
If you like fantasy romance, yes! If you like Dany from GOT, YES! If you're bored and found the summary interesting, yes! If you like Kristen Ashley, sure!! Give it a shot, even if none of the above applies. I liked it.

Look forward to some more fantasy reviews, blogettes (OOOOO RAFY STOLE YOUR TERM)
Up next is probably Shielder by Catherine Spangler (if it's good), something by Kele Moon perhaps, or mayhap something new I find and like. Suggestions are welcome!

Kisses and hugs,

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Review: Storm Siren by Mary Weber

Title: Storm Siren
Author: Mary Weber
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Reviewed by: Cassie
Summary (from

"I raise my chin as the buyers stare. Yes. Look. You don't want me. Because, eventually, accidentally, I will destroy you." 

In a world at war, a slave girl's lethal curse could become one kingdom's weapon of salvation. If the curse- and the girl- can be controlled.

As a slave in the war-weary kingdom of Faelen, seventeen-year-old Nym isn't merely devoid of rights, her Elemental kind are only born male and always killed at birth - meaning, she shouldn't even exist.

Standing on the auction block beneath smoke-drenched mountains, Nym faces her fifteenth sell. But when her hood is removed and her storm-summoning killing curse revealed, Nym is snatched up by a court advisor and given a choice: be trained as the weapon Faelen needs to win the war, or be killed. 

Choosing the former, Nym is unleashed into a world of politics, bizarre parties, and rumors of an evil more sinister than she's been prepared to fight . . . not to mention the handsome trainer whose dark secrets lie behind a mysterious ability to calm every lightning strike she summons.

But what if she doesn't want to be the weapon they've all been waiting for?

Set in a beautifully eclectic world of suspicion, super abilities, and monsters, Storm Siren is a story of power. And whoever controls that power will win.

Let's just take a moment to admire that cover.
And that title.

Because, WOW. It's so purty that I couldn't help myself.

. . . Buuuuuuuuuuuuut.

It was a bad decision.

The regret.

(hollah for Game of Thrones, anyone?)

Well, it wasn't that bad. Almost. Not quite.

Let us begin.

The world:
I liked it. I thought Weber is a great story-teller and she has a knack for fantastical worlds/kingdoms/etc. Was it creative? Eh . . . Not REALLY. But it was nice.

The plot:

The characters:
Fear me.

Guhhhh. Shudder.

Nym, our tragic heroine, what shall we do with you?!? You're such a poor girl who is so admirable because she manages to stay strong!!! The determination and inner-battle is just-- I can't even---I just want to smother you . . . with kisses of course!!
No. Imma smother this hooker for realz.
I can understand some self-doubt here and there, even some pity-partying and "oh poor me" moments.

Oh. This is awkward. I can't recall this guy's name, even though I literally finished it five minutes ago. Huh.
I'll let that speak for itself.
On another note, I'd like to say how UNAPPEALING AND BLEGH-WORTHY this guy was.
He was boring. He did not make me like him. I found nothing good about him, except perhaps that he was an evil gangsta in his early years, but the fact that he repented and became 'good' (which I have my doubts about) ruins all of his possible appeal.
While we're at it, let's just cram all possible romance cliches into this one boring guy. Oh, so all the women around love you? That's nice. Oh, so you have a special and mysterious talent that is never fully explained? Even sweeter. Oh, so you soothe the storm in the heroine's mind/soul? Interesting. And, what's that? You also manage to overcome your emotion-less default nature, because of love?
That's hilarious.

Anyways, I'd like to say I liked ONE of the characters, but I fear-
I liked Lord Myles or whatever his name was. Yeah, apparently he's uber handsome and shit, AND he's demented/power-obsessed, so he was actually interesting. (Though somewhat stereotypically evil, and never explored in-depth)
Whoa. Now that I think about it, yeah. Everyone's either good or evil. No fine lines or anything cool.

Storm Siren started out entertaining, but ended with me eager to get it over with.
Sigh. Oh well.

Hugs and kisses!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Daily Post: What's On My Bedside Table?

Ahh, take a deep breathe in.

Can you smell that?

Peppermint, Christmas, and procrastination at its finest.

Rafia, your #1 source on the Upper East Side here.


Yes, I should be studying for my Calculus test and doing that thirty page history reading on Lincoln, but I am a proud member of the procrastination nation. And this week, I decided to share the books currently piling up on my bedside table. I have some goodies here, but I haven't finished all of them yet, so here's how its going so far!

This 700 hundred page monstrosity about a young lady in Industrial Era Britain will haunt me forever, but because Jennifer Donnelly is one of my all time favorite historical fiction authors, (Revolution, A Northern Light), I decided to persevere. AND it takes place during my favorite historical era (late 1800s anyone?).

History geek alert!

But I'm a hundred pages in and I think its perfect for the 14 hour drive to South Carolina. Definitely going to enjoy this one.

Ahh, cancer books. We love to hate them. But Side Effects May Vary is not really a cancer book. Its about a girl with terminal cancer who gets revenge on the people who wronged her, but is forced to pay the consequences when she goes into remission.

I love the idea, I really do, but about fifty pages in, and I'm not really a fan of the writing, and the characters are kinda iffy. I'm sticking it out because of the potential, and I'm hoping it doesn't fall into every cliche pothole, because it can easily.

I AM A DIE HARD PERCY JACKSON FAN. He was my second book character crush (first being Alex Rider), and I could not wait to read the final book in this series. After successfully stealing it from my eleven year old sister, I powered through it.

And I loved it.

Rick Riordan, my man, you never disappoint, and I'll be waiting for the next brilliance you publish.

**Disclaimer** If you are a pragmatic reader who despises cliches and seeing their characters happy and unrealistic expectations in love, you'll hate this book.

But I'm not *squeals* and I totally reveled in the sappiness of this book. It was about two people with an "undeniable connection and true love", but it was kinda a feel good paranormal book, that gave me warm fuzzies.

Those warm fuzzies, however, disappeared by the third book. *shudders* More on that later bloggettes.

All I have to say is blah.

Blah blah blah.

I got twenty pages into this and felt nothing. It would have been a bestseller five years ago, but now this sci-fi paranormal stuff has to be extraordinary to hold my attention. And this was kind of mediocre.

But 14 hour car ride may lead me to succumbing to its mediocrity, so who knows what will happen?

If it's any good, I'll post a review. If it's not, you won't see one. :)

After the author coming to visit our school and a friend constantly extolling it's virtues, I decided to give it a shot.

But I haven't started it yet. Oops...

BUT the idea seems fascinating and I love suspenseful books (not movies), and I think I'll like it.

As for the summary...the title kind of says it all.

 And that, ladies and gents, damas y caballeros, are the wonderful books about to break my bedside table, but eagerly awaiting winter break.  I hope you all have wonderful two hells weeks before we all drown in snow and sand for break.

If you have any interesting books on your bedside table/in your backpack/in your Hermione bewitched handbag, comment below and we may just review it. ;)

And with that note...

Adios blogettes.