Monday, February 12, 2024

Review: The Fine Print by Lauren Asher (Dreamland billionaires #1)

The Fine Print (Dreamland Billionaires, #1)The Fine Print by Lauren Asher
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is my first Lauren Asher book. The Fine Print and dreamland billionaire series is set in a pseudo like setting of a disneyworld empire in Orlando. I don’t want to give the plot away but the stakes are high in terms of whose gonna manage the dreamland name and parks. But much more than that you have a story centered around two broken characters that have to fight past trauma, a guarded heart and the pursuit of love over money.

The main characters are Rowan and Zahra in the 1st series of the dreamland billionaires. First off, I think it’s great that the author chose a interracial couple and gave each character a rich and in depth background. While Zahra is the more empathetic, kind and humanitarian type of heroine… Rowan is the more stoic handsome rich boy who struggles with identity and self acceptance. And boy do they complement each other well because they are opposites.

The winning factor in this book is that the protagonists, while seemingly broken, help each other out to balance what’s lacking in each other in order to achieve fulfillment and self realization. So, ultimately, this is a story of healing, with many steamy scenes in the mix. Also, if you like the sunshine and grumpy trope, with a shorter girl and very tall sexy male lead trope, this is the book for you. The story is also told in both of their point of views and the writing is very fluid and easy to get into. 5 out of 5 rating for me.

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Friday, October 19, 2018

Review: Hard Trigger by S.L. Hannah

Hard Trigger: A Rogue RomanceHard Trigger: A Rogue Romance by S L Hannah
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

First of all, I have to say that this book was such a surprise and completely explosive. There is an underlying raw energy throughout the story that refuses to be ignored.

The writing! I seriously don't understand how Hannah does it, but her writing just sucks you in. It is so easy to get lost in her stories. There isn't any rereading of the first paragraph, due to awkwardness. You are automatically pulled in from the first sentence with effortless writing that is straight to the point, but sophisticated. I also love that this book is not lengthy at all but manages to take on a lot of complex themes, from revenge to corrupt business practices, to murder plots and the most difficult, yet universal sentiment of all, which is love. To be specific, romantic love.

Now moving on to the characters. Victoria, the female lead, and Diego, the male lead in this story, are incredibly strong and unapologetic characters. Victoria is like a young female James Bond who will stop at nothing to achieve her goals. She had a mysterious air to her. I like that she was interested in aviation and that she was a woman who did not deny herself any romantic passion. She had a layered background in terms of her nationality and family life. And Diego, Victoria's love interest, just oozed power and intelligence and had an insatiable passion for Victoria, making them the perfect match.

What makes this book special is that Victoria, the main character in this book, is not the typical heroine with a heart of gold. She does things that are shocking and that to some might even seem unforgivable, but still manages to make the reader root for her success. And despite some of the untraditional things she does compared to most female leads, she doesn't wallow in self pity or remorse or waits to be rescued. She goes for what she wants with an unwavering determination.

Besides the characters, I love the international settings that this book takes place in. The reader literally feels like they are on a risky ride around the world that has constant action and danger lurking around the corner. Victoria is originally from South Africa, while Diego, her love interest, came from a prominent family in Mexico. Together they make a very fiery and complicated and passionate couple. And if you add a certain underlying rivalry between their families, you have a really strong and intricate dynamic between them.

Any reader of Hannah can tell you, that as an author she doesn't shy away from taboo or strong topics. This book is intense from start to finish and the romance is fire! The energy is raw and sensous and insatiable between Victoria and Diego. So, I feel like this book is for anyone who likes an intense and untraditional romance.

The background and subplots in this book were like a mix of the series, Queen of the South/Reina del Sur and James Bond with a mix of Mr and Mrs Smith energy. I honestly felt like I could imagine everything I was reading as a film in my head.

Huge Kudos to Hannah, who really did her research in terms of the countries and nationalities that were mentioned. The hint of Spanish phrases in the book was a really nice touch. And as a Latina myself, I felt an authenticity to the characters and places and situations I was reading.

If you are not faint of heart and want to dive into a little danger and a passionate story, this book is perfect for you. I'd recommend it to people who like action films, strong female characters, and intense and complex romances like that of J.A. Redmerski's 'In the Company of Killers' to name an example.

My Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

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Saturday, October 13, 2018

Guest Post: Melissa Chan from Literary Book Gifts

Unique Gifts for Book Lovers! With an exclusive discount!

When is the last time you saw a lesser known or obscure novel on a t-shirt? How often do see literature based designs at your local mall? Literary Book Gifts is a brand new online store that specializes in making quality gifts for book lovers. There are so many shirts and tote bags to choose from in the collection.

Not every book is popular enough to be produced on shirts or stocked on shelves. This means that there are so many titles that fans will never see designs of. Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice may have many fans even today, but what about Jacob Grimm and Wilhelm Grimm's The Grimms' Fairy Tales? Literary Book Gifts has both of these and many more titles from your favorite authors and maybe some authors you've never heard of whose books you might like to try.

Each product is curated and designed specially for the collection. All design-work is done in house and each item is printed professionally to ensure that it is high quality. Although two individuals may be fans of the same literary work, they do not necessarily share the same color pallette. This is why each shirt comes in a multitude of colors and sizes to choose from. Take for example The Hunchback of Notre Dame T-Shirt in the men's or unisex style. The most obvious color choice would be to select this shirt in black. But if you select the shirt in light blue, purple, or even red it gives off a completely different vibe.

The tote bags come in three different sizes and in a wide range of colors to choose from as well. The Little Women Tote Bag in particular is a in a pink mauve color with black handles that are made of 100% cotton.

For readers of Dream Reads there is a special 20% discount code for you! Use the code DREAMREADS20 at checkout to receive 20% off your entire order! There is no expiry date for this coupon.

Written by Melissa Chan founder Literary Book Gifts and lover of all things: reading, writing, and literature.

Monday, September 3, 2018

Review: Roomies by Christina Lauren

RoomiesRoomies by Christina Lauren
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Roomies is an incredibly easy book to get into. The writing is good, it's engaging and very modern. You almost feel like this book is an on going conversation you are having with a friend about events in your life. It is relatable and realistic.

The main character, Holland, is a struggling writer who develops a crush on a busker. She grows a lot within the book, it takes her a lot to realize what she needs to do in life and whom she loves but she slowly gets there. The male lead in this book, Calvin, is a busker/musician, struggling to hit it big in NYC despite having immense talent.

This book is basically a story of a marriage of convenience where the main characters go from strangers, to friends, to lovers. There's a lot of highs and lows in their journey but they manage to fall in love.

The aspects of this book that I loved the most is that it was an NA contemporary romance where the female lead had a strong presence of family in her life. She wasn't isolated and figuring things out alone, her uncle and his husband were strong and supportive figures in her life with a lot of dimension to them.

I also liked that there wasn't Insta love in this book where the main characters just had this irresistible pull to each other out of the blue. Because Insta love is a cheap way to write a romance and a bit unrealistic.

I felt that this book ran on the theme of having to learn to be brutally honest with yourself in order to find your happiness. Also to not let anyone put you second place in your life and to be the protagonist of your own life journey and not let others influence you.

And last but not least, I liked that this book touched on having toxic friendships. Where you think the person is nice, but you realize that they're not, that they're envious and not truly as supportiveas they should be. And the need to cut that off.

The only reason this book doesn't get a perfect rating is that there were times where instead of being endeared to Holland's struggle to find her identity, you get annoyed because shes pushing it in the naiveté department. Also, at times where the language between both characters should have been more romantic, they chose to make it more crass for the sake of making the book realistic and modern.

The other thing that I didn't like were some dream sequences that were awkwardly written in to add steam to the story but actually felt like they were happening and like the tension between the characters was broken into before it needed to be broken into. not a fan.

but overall, this is a good book. I liked it.

I give it a 3.5/5 rating.

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Thursday, November 24, 2016

Anti Stepbrother by Tijan

Anti-StepbrotherAnti-Stepbrother by Tijan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I havent read a good New Adult book in ages. Most people turn to this genre because YA books limit the way authors can write mature situations. BUT sometimes authors take advantage of this and take it too far with the sex scenes in the sense that they use them for shock value and ignore the character and emotional development needed for a balanced book.

But WE have a winner here. Because Summer and Caden are a reflection of their age. College students. They have steam and chemistry but there is depth. No Insta love here. There is a lot of development here because I went from being skeptical about Summer to "You go, girl!" With her realness. And Caden, Caden!!! He was sexy, strong and mysterious but had a really sweet nature underneath and a lot of emotional turmoil.

So did Summer. She starts off with thinking she likes someone else to a slow development of friends to lovers with Caden. And that's what I loved. At the beginning you had no idea where things were heading but slowly you see this connection growing between Summer and Caden!

Loved the secondary characters. I need books about Cadens brothers please! And Tijan surprised me with some backstories. Shes my new autobuy author.


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Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

Isla and the Happily Ever After (Anna and the French Kiss, #3)Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

"If you keep playing it safe, you’ll never know who you are. I know who you are, and I love who you are. Why don’t you trust me?"

This is a perfect book. Even if it's YA and it has cuteness, there is so much depth and sensibility in this book.

Isla is the shy type of girl whose had a crush on Josh for ages. He's an artist who seems a bit disconnected and whom she is fascinated with. She can tell there is more to him and viceversa.

This book is all about appreciating who you are in the midst of uncertainty. Sometimes others can see you better than you see yourself. This book is all about that. Sometimes we're so stuck on our perceived faults and insecurities that we don't realize others don't see that.

This book is about getting out of that rut and following your passion. May it be a hobby, a craft, a person. You name it.

Perkins' writes magical books. If you haven't read the previous two companion novels in this series, what are you waiting for?

Also, Isla and Josh have so much more passion than other YA characters. It's not lust, it's honest to goodness love and craving and aching for another person. That is also, oh so sweet.

A huge surprise at the end connected all books in this series. It was awesome. You also can't beat the settings of Manhattan, Paris and Barcelona.

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