Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Review: Truth or Beard by Penny Reid

Title: Truth or Beard
Author: Penny Reid
Reviewed by: Cassie
Genre: new adult, contemporary, romance
Summary (from goodreads.com)

Beards, brothers, and bikers! Oh my!
Identical twins Beau and Duane Winston might share the same devastatingly handsome face, but where Beau is outgoing and sociable, Duane is broody and reserved. This is why Jessica James, recent college graduate and perpetual level headed good girl, has been in naive and unhealthy infatuation with Beau Winston for most of her life. His friendly smiles make her tongue-tied and weak-kneed, and she's never been able to move beyond her childhood crush. Whereas Duane and Jessica have always been adversaries. She can't stand him, and she's pretty sure he can't stand the sight of her . . .
But after a case of mistaken identity, Jessica finds herself in a massive confusion kerfuffle, Jessica James has spent her whole life paralyzed by the fantasy of Beau and her assumptions of Duane's disdain; therefore she's unprepared for the reality that is Duane's insatiable interest, as well as his hot hands hot mouth and hotter looks. Not helping Jessica's muddled mind and good girl sensibilities, Duane seems to have gotten himself in trouble with the local biker gang, the Iron Order.
Certainly, Beau's magic spell is broken. Yet when Jessica finds herself drawn to the man who was always her adversary, now more dangerous than ever, how much of her level-headed heart is she willing to risk?

Hello there! Thanks for stopping by Fiction Fairies- hopefully you don't get scared off by our blunt nature and ever present sarcasm.

Before we get started, I have a confession to make.

I have issues with redheaded men.
There. I said it.
I can't put my finger on why I don't find them attractive, but I just don't! I find redheaded women beautiful, but the men? 


So when the love interest of any story, even Penny Reid's, is a redhead, I encounter problems.

The Characters:

As aforementioned, Duane is a bearded, redheaded Southern gentleman who checks all the boxes of an ISTP. Basically that means he's introverted, reserved, sweet, likes danger, and is kind of moody and rebellious. Oh, and broody.
Yeah, if that's your thing, you'll eat him up. Unfortunately, it's not mine.

Jessica was also a problem. I expected quirky (because, hello! Penny Reid wrote this) and kind of awkward or maybe adorable. Instead I got mainstream heroine

 I like unconventional, slightly strange characters (who doesn't?), so when you give me someone who self identifies as nutty and weird, but is thoroughly not kooky . . . Well, I get upset and annoyed. It's not to say Jessica isn't enjoyable- certainly, there were aspects I liked and scenes she made me laugh at.
But she was like diet ice cream. It has so much potential to blow your mind, and instead is limited by low-fat and "healthy" ingredients.

Ah, but Cletus. One of Duane's older brothers.
You see, Cletus was my man. He's strange and confusing, and he likes to feed people his sausage. Literally. He spear-hunts wild boar with Native Americans, and makes bacon and sausage out of it! Why? Because hiding and using firemarms would be unfair and deceptive to the boar he's hunting.
He makes moments awkward and he's unrepentant of his odd ways.
Go Cletus!

As for the plot, it wasn't my cup of tea. I think it works, but I'm kind of sick of biker stories or drama. Plus there was the whole hot and cold relationship drama- where Duane was moody and couldn't make a decision regarding Jessica. So that bugged me.
I don't know . . . I think it's a well-written book but it just wasn't for me. And that makes me sad because I haven't truly devoured a book in WEEKS.


P.S. - be on the lookout! Rafia and I are launching a new blog on called "The Caterwauls" sometime soon. We plan on blogging about casual, day-to-day things. Things like TV episode reviews, college application strugs, people/clothes/songs/things that catch our attention; you get what I mean. 

We'll love you unconditionally for eternity if you check it out. (Not that we don't already . . .)

Review: The Ground Rules by Roya Carmen

Title: The Ground Rules
Author: Roya Carmen
Reviewed by: Cassie
Genre: romance
Summary (from Goodreads.com)

1. Don't sleep around.
2. Don't kiss and tell.
3. Be nice.
4. Don't text or call.
5. Don't fall in love.

The rules are simple . . . until they aren't.

I have everything I ever thought I could want: a nice home, a job I love, two beautiful girls, and my husband, Gabe - my high school sweetheart who still rocks my world. If you ask anyone to describe me they would say, "Oh, Mirella? She's such a nice girl." And I was . . . until a mysterious, peculiar man and his beautiful wife enter our lives.

Weston and Bridget Hanson are no ordinary couple - they're stunning, enigmatic, and sexy as hell. During the course of one unexpected evening, my ordinary world is turned upside down. How could it not be when Weston and Bridget propose the unthinkable? And when the unthinkable is so very tempting, giving in becomes inevitable.

It sounds so logical and simple. Just five rules and we can all have what we desire. But the heart doesn't follow rules, and now passion, jealousy, and confusion threaten to tear everything apart.

Two beautiful couples. Five simple rules. One hot mess.

Hello there! Thanks for stopping by Fiction Fairies- hopefully you don't get scared off by our blunt nature and ever present sarcasm.

I was a bit hesitant to try this. Don't get me wrong - I love controversial topics and I think when done right, it can make for a fabulous book. But something about extramarital affairs (even whilst consensual) makes me really, REALLY wary.
But like many others, I was tempted. Forbidden pleasures galore, scandalous escapades, the works . . . It was too much to resist!
Tangent aside, let's get down to it.

The biggest draw, personally, was the anticipation. You know, that sort of morbid fascination? The one where you can't tear your eyes from something horrible, even though you know you should.
That's what it was like for me to read this book.
And to be honest, I wanted that train wreck to happen. Goodness, I couldn't stand the characters and I hoped something incredibly horrible slapped some reality into them.

Ella (or Mirella) is our main character.
I didn't like her.
She annoyed me to no end . . . She's a people-pleaser, whiny, neurotic, obsessive, indecisive, and uptight- though she claims to be extremely laid back. Say what???

She knew from the start she wouldn't be able to close off her heart (because she's a romantic . . . Really???) yet still continued her extramarital affair. Multiple times she wonders if what she's doing is wrong, and will ruin her marriage and wreck her kids' lives, then shrugs and says to herself, "what the heck!"

Let's not forget our romantic interest. You know, the one who's not her husband. Ah, Weston. See, I really wanted to like him. But then the story progressed, and he got more and more boring. He wasn't horrible, but he was just so AVERAGE. There was absolutely nothing about him that made me go "wow" or swoon or anything! He was quiet, "deep", and model hot. He's also somewhat shy, a genius, and very methodical. Yawn.

Gabe, Ella's dear hubby, is woefully underrepresented. He's got the bad boy image nailed down, but is secretly a teddy bear. The type of guy who loves his wife and spoils his daughters rotten. Unfortunately, he gets sidelined and is painted as kind of a jerk at times, and insensitive.

Bridget is Weston's wife, and the stereotypical blonde super model wifey that powerful men have. (Besides her lawyer boss lady status) Personally, I thought she was super chill, but Ella seemed to consistently view her as a threat and remained bitter towards her to the end. 

As far as plot goes, it's not much. It's really just focused on the romance (though I hesitate to use that word) and never really delves into the psychological aspects of the situation. It never twisted to become dark, never inspired lighthearted laughter, and never made my mind race with questions.

The romance felt flat. I didn't enjoy it, nor did I feel like there was a spark between Ella and Weston. From my point of view, it seemed like they were identical almost- Ella was the female version of Weston (though less logical, rich, and organized) and they bonded over their shared quirky nature (though really, I didn't find them quirky. Seriously. I know quirky and weird, and they didn't even come close to it.).

I can't really put into words their romance because I didn't get it.

As for the ending.

MAJOR CLIFFHANGER. And it was so not cool.