The Saint ARC Review

The post I’ve been waiting to….well, post….

via Goodreads

The Saint (The Original Sinners: White Years #1)
Author: Tiffany Reisz
Publisher: Harlequin MIRA
Release Date: May 27, 2014
Pages: 420 pages, paperback
Received Copy: Electronic NetGalley Advanced Copy
Available for Purchase via Amazon

(Warning, this book is highly adult. It’s erotica and if that isn’t really your cup of tea, I’d suggest skipping reading up on this review. If you DO enjoy it or find it intriguing, please by all means continue to read on)

 

I was so SO lucky enough to be given access to to one of my favorite series, The Original Sinners by the lovely and brilliant Tiffany Reisz. I cannot express how much Harlequin rules in my book for giving me access through NetGalley–especially since I haven’t been blogging for long or have much luck scoring the awesome ARCs I usually look forward to getting my hands on!!!

 

ANYWAY….a little briefing:

For those of you who have no idea who Tiffany Reisz is or what The Original Sinners novels are, you MUST go and check them out before you read this review or novel! The Original Sinners is a fantastic story told through a series of erotic novels and novellas about the underworld of doms and submissives with a twist, but oh so good of a twist. Nora Sutherlin was a catholic school girl who then grew up and turned submissive, turned dominatrix, turned erotica novelist. PHEW haha, is this making you intrigued or uncomfortable? 😉

The Original Sinner series consists of four novels, starting with The Siren, where Nora completes and promotes her novels to later touching on the backstory of her life and the relationships she’s grown to fiercely love and respect. The cast of characters include, king of the BDSM underworld himself, Kingsley, Søren, bff to Kingsley as well as Nora’s everything: mind, body, and soul are owned by him….oh yeah and he’s a Catholic priest. I know, it’s a pretty crazy storyline, LOTS of sexual encounters to make you need to cross your legs or take a cold shower but I promise it’s SOOOO worth it!!

The newest series is a continuation of The Original Sinners called The White Years. The Original Sinners storyline takes place most in present time, with added reflection in days of past, but The White Years go back to the start. Søren as a freshly pressed priest at a small parish in Connecticut home to the sassiest and badass teen you’ll ever meet: Eleanor Schreiber. Eleanor is a free thinker, has a sassy mouth, bluntly speaks her mind, and does not mind being a sinner, not one bit. In The Saint you find out her moves and decisions made for the path she chose in life that you read in the stories before. You have insight to all of this and never mind a younger Søren: yes. please. It’s actually the ORIGINAL story of how the Original Sinners got their name, haha, or at least Nora. You travel from mid high school until mid college ending where her old life will cease to exist and she moves on into a world she never could have expected to exist.

Synopsis via Goodreads:

In the beginning, there was him. 

Gutsy, green-eyed Eleanor never met a rule she didn’t want to break. She’s sick of her mother’s zealotry and the confines of Catholic school, and declares she’ll never go to church again. But her first glimpse of beautiful, magnetic Father Søren Stearns and his lust-worthy Italian motorcycle is an epiphany. Suddenly, daily Mass seems like a reward, and her punishment is the ache she feels when they’re apart. He is intelligent and insightful and he seems to know her intimately at her very core. Eleanor is consumed—and even she knows that can’t be right.

But when one desperate mistake nearly costs Eleanor everything, it is Søren who steps in to save her. She vows to repay him with complete obedience…and a whole world opens before her as he reveals to her his deepest secrets. 

Danger can be managed—pain, welcomed. Everything is about to begin.

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Things I Liked:

the Characters…
I was so happy to read teen Nora/Eleanor. She has such a mouth on her but that’s to be expected because of reading the first series. She goes through much more than I expected. When you’ve read The Original Sinners series, much of her story has been told but a good portion has been left out. It was very interesting to get this new perspective. I also really appreciated the flow of Tiffany’s characters. Never did I once think the story lost it’s purpose or the characters lose their voices. Everything flowed beautifully.

Tipsy Søren…
I mean honestly, I’m not going to say anymore on this, but this scene was BY FAR my favoritest (yes, it’s a word) of the book!!! This scene also involves might involve the official meeting of Kingsley. With this, you already see the dynamics there for the three of them to be the ultimate trifecta. UNF!!

the Storyline…
Once again Nora keeps up with the present timeline but also finds a way to explain her days of past. The flow is refreshing and I never was confused. It is a heavy recalling of her youthful days but there are some lovely, intimate times in the present for Nora Sutherlin.

the Continuation…
After flying through the ARC I had to make sure I emailed Tiffany my thoughts. I wanted to gush about this book but didn’t have a bunch of people I could tell so I went straight to discuss it with the source herself. I cannot express how excited and thrilled I am that Nora/Søren/Kingsley’s storyline continues!! I find these days erotica is hard to find: GOOD erotica. Not something cheap. Not something written for a paycheck. These characters have been given life and I’ve read it through all of Tiffany’s work. I thank her for that…so much!

the Lovin’…
Oh dear god. The passion is back! You feel it all and then some. The heat between Søren and Nora is there from Day 1. You understand it. It’s already been ingrained into your brain that these two have quite the history but The Saint certainly explains the beginning of it all and you’re the lucky reader to gets to happily enjoy the ride.
Things I Didn’t Like:

Present Time…
I will need to go back to re-reading the end of The Mistress to remember a certain character’s involvement, but said character is back and I’m not sure where this will all fit in. It’s not really something I *disliked* about the story but more light could’ve been shed on how connect they are with Nora. But I know Tiffany’s stories and I began to realize that throughout the The White Years series, this subject/character will be explained entirely. We’ll see the big picture eventually but this is only a little sliver of the storyline.

 

Other than that I don’t have much else to gush about other than if you’re a fan of BDSM, any fantastically, well-written erotica you will have to own this!! If you haven’t read the first series, The Original Sinners, I highly recommend starting it!! The novellas Tiffany has available are also great purchases to get as well as free treats on her website! YES. FREE!!!

If you’re just starting the series, I’d suggest you start with a novella called The Gift. I originally knew it as Seven Day Loan but this short story is a nice insight into Nora’s world. It’s a perfect mix of introduction and sexiness that you’re looking for. It’s a good glimpse that will leave you seriously wanting more! Then dive into The Siren, first of The Original Sinners series!!

Later sinners….

Linz aka The Kid xx

Don’t Look Back Review

Hi Everyone!!

I’m super excited to talk about this book–so let’s get to it!

Don’t Look Back
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Publisher: Hyperion, imprint of Disney Book Group
Release Date: April 15, 2014
Pages: 368 pages, hardcover
Received Copy: Personal copy


I’m going to start off by saying, I think this was an ARC I could’ve gotten at ALA Midwinter but clearly I’m not sure what happened because I missed out. No worries because I ended up buying it. The cover is what caught my attention the most. It looked creepy, eerie, and it did not disappoint!

Main character Sammy comes out of a horrific accident with memory loss forgetting who she used to be. All around Queen Bee, and the Bee most definitely stands for Bitch, because this chick’s character had major attitude problems pre-memory loss. Throughout the novel the pieces of the tragic night when best friend Cassie went missing, slowly creep back into her psyche and she realizes the horrifying truth of what really happened.

Synopsis (via Goodreads):

Samantha is a stranger in her own life. Until the night she disappeared with her best friend, Cassie, everyone said Sam had it all-popularity, wealth, and a dream boyfriend.

Sam has resurfaced, but she has no recollection of who she was or what happened to her that night. As she tries to piece together her life from before, she realizes it’s one she no longer wants any part of. The old Sam took “mean girl” to a whole new level, and it’s clear she and Cassie were more like best enemies. Sam is pretty sure that losing her memories is like winning the lottery. She’s getting a second chance at being a better daughter, sister, and friend, and she’s falling hard for Carson Ortiz, a boy who has always looked out for her-even if the old Sam treated him like trash.

But Cassie is still missing, and the facts about what happened to her that night isn’t just buried deep inside of Sam’s memory-someone else knows, someone who wants to make sure Sam stays quiet. All Sam wants is the truth, and if she can unlock her clouded memories of that fateful night, she can finally move on. But what if not remembering is the only thing keeping Sam alive?

Things I Liked:

the Cover…
Obviously I’m going to start here because I mentioned earlier that this cover is pretty cool looking. It also gives great significance throughout the book but appearance-wise, it’s downright interesting! The creepy vibe and the haunting look of it really captures a new reader–for myself, anyway. I was drawn to it and while looking at the cover I thought “Oooh! Now that’s a book I gotta know how it ends!

the Story…
From page one, actually from cover page haha, I was hooked! I’m a person that’s pretty good at keeping the suspense at bay–my sister on the other hand needs to spoil herself in order for her to continue. WHICH ANNOYS ME TO NO END, but I digress 😉 Definitely kept up throughout the story!

the Theories…
Oh god, if you knew the theories I came up with on who did what to whom in this book I could go on forever. Everyone was guilty. Everyone wasn’t. I thought of a million different scenarios on Sammy returning and what happened to Cassie. And if you’ve read the book, one of my theories is just so very wrong lol! (Shhh! But I didn’t know ha)

oh Hello Sir…
One word: Carson. Mmmm… yes and PLEASE!

the Movement…
I thought the story progressed very timely. Nothing seemed quite rushed. Elements weren’t out of place from where they needed to be. I liked the flow of it all.

Things I Didn’t Like:

the Backstory…
Possibly a bit more backstory or flashbacks on how cruel Sammy and Cassie used to be. Also a bit more detail on her father and mother’s background, enough was given but maybe better roots? This element didn’t make or break my opinion of the book, it could’ve been an added bonus. I read the characters just as they were supposed to be contrived as but maybe future readers would like that!

 

Overall I definitely think you should give this book a try! Time and time again I usually forget how awesome suspense is! I’m big on “I have to keep watching/reading to find out what’s going on!” which makes the stories fly by, haha!

If you’ve read it I’d love to hear your thoughts! Did it end like you had thought it would? Were the characters guilty you pegged from the beginning or was your head swarming with theories like mine?

Linz aka The Kid xx

Summertime Series

Hi All!!

FInishing this past weekend in the US as Memorial Day which is usually dubbed the unofficial, official start to summer, I’m going to try something brand-spankin’ new!

That’s right! It’ll be beach weather soon…well beach weather that lasts, vacation time, sunny days, and lazy afternoons; and what perfect way to spend this gorgeous time than to crack open that book for some fun, summer-y reads!

I’ve received and purchased a few copies of highly anticipated books and I decided to avoid the spoils and savor them on days I can enjoy them. Altogether I’ve chosen seven books (four paperback; three hardcover) and will spotlight them for the three big summer months: June, July, and August. Tentatively right now I’ll be completing two per month, depends on which month I decide to read the extra 🙂 Without further ado, I give you the picks for Summer 2014!

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Just Like the Movies by Kelly Fiore
Wish Your Were Italian by Kristin Rae
Let’s Get Lost by Adi Alsaid
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
Everything Leads To You by Nina LaCour
What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick
Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson

Now a I know a bunch come HIGHLY recommended so I’m very excited to start them and cannot wait to share my comments after I’ve read! If you’ve already read some or all please share your thoughts in the comment section! I’d love to hear because I’m not sure which to start with 🙂

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Alsooooooo I’m so so excited that on Saturday (5/31) I’ll be going to BOOKCON aka Power Reader day for BEA!!! I can’t swing it the whole time but I’m going to get a little taste–perhaps I can get more time next year but I’m very stoked to be able to go! Looking forward to networking, meeting up with some awesome bloggers–finally in person!–and score all the books I can!

Linz aka The Kid xx

Bout of Books Review Roundup

Bout of Books Roundup

Hi Guys! Lordy, I am SOOO behind on everything. I find I have this new aversion to using my computer for anything—I’m addicted to my phone. But if I want to post anything or email, I get tired of my small screen and want my laptop. So alas, sorry I just watched Pirates of the Caribbean and I’m channeling Jack Sparrow’s ole English, I have not posted in forever. And weirdly enough, the Bout of Books got me into a reading mood and since it ended, I’ve gone and finished reading the book I was midway through the readathon along with two others.

I had so much fun doing it! I felt like I had a purpose to read. I think because I had a deadline I wanted to try and reach my goal. Sadly I just didn’t update my blog as much as I could.

Final tally:
Books Read: 4 Novellas; 1.5 books
Pages Read: 604

I was actually really happy with my picks because they were great stories I had finally decided to read! After it’s all said and done, I most definitely will be on the lookout for the when the next one starts up again. I’ll be ready and will try to keep that lofty goal I had like this time. Practice makes perfect 🙂

 

My Thoughts on Bout of Books I Read:

The Last Good Knight: novellas 2-5

Tiffany Reisz once again tastefully tells the tales of the hidden world of the BDSM underground, yes people, this is a mega adult book, and no matter what Tiffany writes, she will own my soul because I’m so heavily invested in her characters and the world she’s created I might have to make a kickstarter to fund her if she ever gets tired of writing them!! Each novella’s part reminded us how torn Nora’s life can be, she wants her normal life but at the same time, the rough and hard world she’s now grown up with is where she feels most comfortable. It’s difficult for her to find a happy medium and Lance, new character in Nora’s life, has a real chance of giving her what she’s wanted. Of course there’s a catch, there usually is, so she gets the distraction and tries to work out what’s best for herself and her lifestyle. The lovin’ is always OH SO good and the mystery of who the perpetrator is throughout the Kinglsey’s underground once again keeps the reader on edge.

Maybe Someday:

I apparently I read a description of a different book than what was on the jacket cover of Maybe Someday because I thought this had to deal with a pilot. LOL! It definitely didn’t but that wasn’t a big deal at all, I just was too busy confusing myself, but this book was really good! Colleen did a fantastic job with this story–it’s unique because the MC’s friend and neighbor happens to have a hearing disability. The idea that you read books with perfectly healthy people gets old and finding new and creative ways for your characters to interact like when they’re deaf, in Ridge’s case the story becomes so refreshing. The fact that we as humans can take for granted things that we don’t even have to think about because they’re so natural is really cool. Another part of the story I liked was the chemistry between main character Sydney and Ridge. Their passion for music and lyric writing was a great bond and that bond grew into something more, something desirable and lovable.

Two Boys Kissing:

My favorite of the bunch that I had read. David Levithan is easily my favorite male author. He writes so incredibly. So beautifully. He makes being different seem so normal–which is ironic because we’re a society that needs normality. We need to be alike because when you stray from the norm, there’s clearly got to be something wrong with you. David’s idea to have the story told from the eyes and minds of generations of gays past who were persecuted and struggled with the world’s views. The narrators were so inspiring, to read them watch from afar as current gays struggle to be accepted and live life to their fullest. The story lines that intersect with the two boys who are trying to record the world’s longest kiss are so similar yet so unique and I love how David writes them. I laughed. I cried. I was devastated reading how people’s behavior can be so awful and hateful. I wanted to weep for characters that don’t exist but I know very well that these people exist in others that are living right now, I just don’t know their names. I don’t know their stories. But the fact that David brings to the table yet another book on a person trying to be themselves and dealing with the struggles is such a treat to read.

 

I have a few more reviews I want to post soon so they’re coming along but I’m so happy Bout of Books is over and that it kickstarted my reading again!

Linz xx

Rainbow Book Challenge

So excited to post some of my library titles/covers in rainbow form!

A photo challenge for the Bout of Books readathon, hosted by Neon Yeti Reads 🙂 This challenge was posted on Friday, originally, but I finally had some time this weekend to organize and post. Better late than never I suppose!

I couldn’t decide between my photos, so voilá!

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Less artsy this time

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And look! A real rainbow that just happened a few weeks ago:

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Its been an awesome challenge so far! Thanks everyone & hope you’re all reading as much as you can!

Linz xx

Bout of Books read-a-thon Challenge

So I’ve seen the buzz all on my Twitter feed and last year I was intrigued to sign up but this year, I’m up to the challenge!


The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 12th and runs through Sunday, May 18th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 10 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

Now that I’ve provided with the blurb about the challenge I’ve gladly accepted, I’d like to introduce the VERY insane number of books I’m aiming to read. A total of 4 novellas and 4 novels. Oh dear God, I’m not quite sure why I’m making the numbers so steep, but I’ll try it out. And if I’m being honest, the novellas will fly by when I read because it’s a fantastic naughty storyline that I won’t begrudgingly trudge through reading.

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Novellas 1-4:
All titles by Tiffany Reisz… I also previously read The Last Good Knight Part 1. Now these novellas are on my Kindle and if you can’t tell from the cover art you should know these books are of the adult nature aka erotica. PS, they’re so good! I’m in the midst of writing up a post on her latest release so stay tuned to read more about the series’ she writes soon!

Part Two: Sore Spots
Part Three: The Games Destiny Plays
Part Four: Fit to Be Tied
Part Five: The Last Good Night

Novels 1-4:
Typical YA/New Adult reads. I’m leaving the last as UTNS. It’s part of a series and I do not own the second installment so I’m saving it for last, should I become addicted I need time to purchase it, haha!

Every Day by David Levithan
Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan
Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover
Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

Bout of Books Goals:
º The novellas will be a breeze to read through but I would like to get caught up in Tiffany Reisz’s world! It’s so much fun to read. In the inappropriate appropriate way 😉
º Dusting some books off my shelves that I have been wanting to read but never make time for
º Recent purchase that I’ve been excited to dive into
º Another dystopian series…I’ve been skeptical on series lately, but this comes extremely recommended, so I’ll give it a go
º Also trying to keep up with updating my progress and using Twitter to discuss all the bookish things that come along with the challenge!

The book choices I’m confident in. My standard is around 2 books per week, so this is definitely going to stretch my limits!

Are you ready Bout of Books challenge?! Because it’s ON!

**Also thank you to Sharon of The Book Barbies for helping out a Bout of Books newbie like myself 🙂 She’s super awesome! Check out her blog too!

Linz xx

Updates

Monday, 5/12
Books Read Today: 0
Completed: none
In-Progress: none
Challenge: 4 novellas 4 novels
Total Books Read: none
Total Pages Read: none

Tuesday, 5/13
Books Read Today:
Completed: 4
In-Progress: 1
Challenge: 4 novellas to read
Total Books Read: 4
Total Pages Read: …ummm idk, they’re kindle novellas. A bunch 😉 maybe 120 pages? around 30 pages each…guessing

Wednesday, 5/14
Books Read Today:
Completed: 0
In-Progress: 1
Challenge: Read at least half
Total Books Read: 4 novellas
Total Pages Read: 229

Thursday, 5/15
Books Read Today:
Completed: 1 book
In-Progress: 1
Challenge: halfway to book 2
Total Books Read: 4 novellas, 1 book
Total Pages Read: 329

Friday, 5/16
Books Read Today:
Completed: 59 pages
In-Progress: 1 book
Challenge: halfway thru book 1
Total Books Read: 4 novellas, 1 book
Total Pages Read: 388

Saturday, 5/17
Books Read Today: …
Completed: 101 pages
In-Progress: 1 book
Challenge: 100 pages
Total Books Read: 4 novellas, 1 book
Total Pages Read: 489

Sunday, 5/18
Books Read Today: .5
Completed: halfway thru book 2
In-Progress: 115 pages on second book
Challenge: finish book 2
Total Books Read: 1.5, 4 novellas
Total Pages Read: 604

The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider

Once again I’m a little behind the times with the YA releases, but when I catch up it’s never a disappointment.

The Beginning of Everything
Author: Robyn Schneider
Publisher: HarperCollins – Katherine Tegen Books
Release Date: August 27, 2013
Pages: 335, Hardcover
Received Copy: Personal Library (purchased from EpicReads Story Crush Tour at B&N)

Synopsis (via Goodreads)

Golden boy Ezra Faulkner believes everyone has a tragedy waiting for them—a single encounter after which everything that really matters will happen. His particular tragedy waited until he was primed to lose it all: in one spectacular night, a reckless driver shatters Ezra’s knee, his athletic career, and his social life.

No longer a front-runner for Homecoming King, Ezra finds himself at the table of misfits, where he encounters new girl Cassidy Thorpe. Cassidy is unlike anyone Ezra’s ever met, achingly effortless, fiercely intelligent, and determined to bring Ezra along on her endless adventures.

But as Ezra dives into his new studies, new friendships, and new love, he learns that some people, like books, are easy to misread. And now he must consider: if one’s singular tragedy has already hit and everything after it has mattered quite a bit, what happens when more misfortune strikes?

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When the Story Crush tour made it’s way to my area, I went going into this to grab some great reads that I was finally ready to buy even though they’d been released for a while. In edition to getting a new book haul I was able to listen to the authors discuss a Q/A and their process through writing their novels promoted as well as writing in general. I paid attention to the advice and answers and remembered hearing Schneider mention severed heads, a silent dance party, and The Great Gatsby. That was all I knew going in but I walked away with much more.

Once I started reading I couldn’t really put it down. I enjoyed Ezra’s story and the twist in plot–what was refreshing is this felt like a really original story. Time after time I feel like the more I read, the typical similarities I notice in the books I choose. I really didn’t see the ending coming, maybe I just was being a naive reader, which I tend to be–getting mixed up in the story and the characters, swept away before I step back to see the big picture. I also could relate to the feelings Ezra was feeling throughout this time in his life. While our situations are different, Ezra feels stuck between his old life and his lack of new one and I found myself sympathizing with him in my real life now.

Things I liked:

the Characters…
Ezra was refreshing because he was honest. He saw bullshit for what it was and ended up finding his way. I loved that his character wasn’t typical. Recently there’s been discussion on Twitter about having more diversity in books and I couldn’t agree more. While Ezra was white, he was in an accident that set him a part from the norm he was used to. Think about the last time you read a book with a character that had a disability, a disease, a missing limb, blind, or deaf. Ezra’s accident left him at a disadvantage physically and that was nice to see. You read stories about perfect people all the time and you think nothing of it. While there was still a bunch that he could do, other simple tasks he could not. I also enjoyed his re-emergence into a great group of friends and remember who he was instead of who he used to be. Cassidy was unique and I liked her a lot. She was smart and a true individual, definitely enjoyable to read.

the Plot…
Again, while the storyline did have the usual character was cool now uncool and needs to find themselves, The Beginning of Everything put a different spin on things and taught us (well one of the fun things anyway) that never underestimate just how cool the dorky people seem. FYI the debate team tournament was epic and I clearly felt like I missed out on the fun when I was in high school by not joining. (Although I’m not very good at arguing so I would’ve been at a loss, but still!)

the Cover…
Oh my gosh guys, it’s so pretty! It’s more noticeable with the hard cover version after you remove the cover, just FYI. The roller coaster is the defining moment that helps Ezra rise in the ranks at school all for it to come down later in life but it was the moment that helped break apart a friendship that shouldn’t have disintegrated in the first place. I made an awesome discovery and was able to tweet to author Robyn Schneider about how the cover seems to be symbolic to where Gatsby is all throughout the novel. The roller coaster (see pic above) loops remind me of T.J. Eckleburg’s glasses that see all and are looming in The Great Gatsby story. Pretty cool, huh? Schneider seemed to see the symbolism too so I’m thinking this might not have been done on purpose, but it’s a really cool notion for the book!

the Adult-ness…
There are some situations in the story that slightly creep past PG-13 and I loved that. The fade to black’s are so lame, BUT sometimes the graphic is not for everyone. While not graphic at all, the reader never truly experiences a fade to black without a healthy build up to the point. Another thing is the language. I went through a period in high school where I hated swearing but all my friends did. Now I curse like a sailor, but the language was authentic and I also loved the voice of Ezra. Written by a woman, I hardly noticed a difference, just that I was reading from a male POV. I’ve read a few stories where details are noted like type of shoes a female character is wearing or other name dropping that a guy just would not pay attention to even though as the author, you want to supply those details. Just another nice observation I had from the book 🙂

 

Overall the book is great and I’d definitely recommend it to to either own or borrow from a friend. I’d rather own it, personally, but I could see myself taking this book off my shelf and cracking it back open in a few months–a re-read novel definitely!

Later gators….and happy May, everyone–time just flies by these days!

Linz xx