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A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. MaasA Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses #3
on May 3rd, 2017
Genres: Fantasy, New Adult
Pages: 705 pages
Goodreads

Looming war threatens all Feyre holds dear in the third volume of the #1 New York Times bestselling A Court of Thorns and Roses series.

Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin's maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit-and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.

As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords-and hunt for allies in unexpected places.

In this thrilling third book in the #1 New York Times bestselling series from Sarah J. Maas, the earth will be painted red as mighty armies grapple for power over the one thing that could destroy them all.

2 Stars

As always, people, this is a review of a book and its content, not the personality of its author. My criticism of the book is not meant as an offence to SJM’s person. If you cannot stomach criticism of your favourite author’s work, please just walk on as though you never saw this 2-star rating flash up in your feed, as I don’t care for fangirls shitting all over my opinion – thank you (I used the magic words, so be nice).

Beware: Minor spoilers.

So, after the two previous instalments had kept me reasonably interested in the story, A Court of Wings and Ruin fell utterly flat for me. A Court of Mist and Fury had been a guilty pleasure read whereas A Court of Wings and Ruin was just guilty pleasure. This was mainly due to a lack of a lot of things I had liked about the sequel. Gone were the grounds for new character development, gone were the exciting political twists, gone was the romantic tension between Feyre and Rhys. I think this instalment could have been a lot shorter, more compact, and more interesting. Though I am by no means a fan of SJM’s work, I expected more from this finale.

“You do not fear. You do not falter. You do not yield.
Remember that you are a wolf. And you cannot be caged.”

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A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. MaasA Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses #2
on May 3rd, 2016
Genres: New Adult, Fantasy
Pages: 640
Goodreads

Feyre survived Amarantha's clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can't forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin's people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.

With more than a million copies sold of her beloved Throne of Glass series, Sarah J. Maas's masterful storytelling brings this second book in her seductive and action-packed series to new heights.

3.5 Stars

I initially rated A Court of Mist and Fury 4 stars but have since reached the conclusion that my rating was too generous. Albeit entertaining, this book just presents me with too many other aspects I struggle with. I’m hesitant with this review, as SJM – meaning her books, her marketing (Young Adult? You shitting me?), and her fandom – is probably a name that has sparked the most epic controversies in the book reviewer community in recent times. Please do not interpret my critique of her work as an attack against her as an author and a person, as this is in no way the purpose of a book review.

A Court of Mist and Fury is the much-anticipated sequel to A Court of Thorns and Roses. For me, this series is complete and utter guilty pleasure material which I don’t take overly serious, I must say. However, I am happy to report, that this sequel holds some positive surprises. A Court of Thorns and Roses didn’t impress me that much, so my reasons for reading this were 1) Rhysand, 2) Rhysand, 3) Rhysand. As always, beware of minor spoilers (for this one as well as the earlier instalment).

As I write this, I am now perfectly calm. Though I have to tell you, that ending fucked with me in a very infuriating way. I wanted to throw my poor kindle across the room, not because the ending was bad (which might also have been a reason to harm one of my favourite electronic devices), but because it wrecked me.

Picture the following scenario earlier:
Mother enters room: “Nina, are you angry?”
Me: “What no why the fuck would I be angry I’M PERFECTLY FINE CAN’T YOU SEE”
*stomps off sputtering vile curses at stupid characters* (No Feyre, for once, it wasn’t you!)

Ok, now let’s do this. Last chance to back out before I spill my thoughts and feels.

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Kings Rising by C.S. Pacat

Kings Rising by C.S. PacatKings Rising by C.S. Pacat
Series: Captive Prince #3
Published by Berkley on February 2nd, 2016
Genres: New Adult, Fantasy, LGBTQ+
Pages: 352
Goodreads

Damianos of Akielos has returned.

His identity now revealed, Damen must face his master Prince Laurent as Damianos of Akielos, the man Laurent has sworn to kill.

On the brink of a momentous battle, the future of both their countries hangs in the balance. In the south, Kastor’s forces are massing. In the north, the Regent’s armies are mobilising for war. Damen’s only hope of reclaiming his throne is to fight together with Laurent against their usurpers.

Forced into an uneasy alliance the two princes journey deep into Akielos, where they face their most dangerous opposition yet. But even if the fragile trust they have built survives the revelation of Damen’s identity—can it stand against the Regents final, deadly play for the throne?

4 Stars

WHAT THE SUGAR-GLAZED FUCK WAS THAT ENDING.
I DEMAND AN EPILOGUE.
YOU CAN’T JUST–
AHHH.
Somebody send help.

This is one of the hardest reviews I’ve had to write in quite some time. Kings Rising destroyed, mended, destroyed, and mended me over and over again. Hence, I’m an utter and complete wreck. The Captive Prince series is one of the most addictive series I’ve ever read. I binge-read the sequels without pausing to catch a breath. Regarding this review, I was torn between revealing as little as possible and throwing every epic quote in your lovely faces. Moreover, after racing through this epic m/m fantasy romance, I now feel heartbroken over how fast it ended. I need more.

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Prince’s Gambit by C.S. Pacat

Prince’s Gambit by C.S. PacatPrince's Gambit by C.S. Pacat
Series: Captive Prince #2
Published by Berkley on July 7h, 2015
Genres: New Adult, Fantasy, LGBTQ+
Pages: 404
Goodreads

The second novel in the critically acclaimed trilogy from global phenomenon C. S. Pacat—with an all-new chapter exclusive to the print edition.

With their countries on the brink of war, Damen and his new master, Prince Laurent, must exchange the intrigues of the palace for the sweeping might of the battlefield as they travel to the border to avert a lethal plot.

Forced to hide his identity, Damen finds himself increasingly drawn to the dangerous, charismatic Laurent. But as the fledgling trust between the two men deepens, the truth of secrets from both their pasts is poised to deal them the crowning death blow…

5 Stars

Laurent fought like he talked. The danger lay in the way he used his mind: there was not one thing he did that was not planned in advance. Yet he was not predictable, because in this, as with everything he did, there were layers of intent, moments when expected patterns would suddenly dissolve into something else.

As unexpected as Laurent’s sword fight skills was my enjoyment of this book. To be frank, I would have adored this series from the start if it had commenced with Prince’s Gambit instead of Captive Prince. Because God almighty, this book was glooorious.

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Captive Prince by C.S. Pacat

Captive Prince by C.S. PacatCaptive Prince by C.S. Pacat
Series: Captive Prince #1
Published by Berkley on April 7th, 2015
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
Pages: 289
Goodreads

From global phenomenon C. S. Pacat comes the first in her critically acclaimed trilogy—with a bonus story.

Damen is a warrior hero to his people, and the rightful heir to the throne of Akielos. But when his half brother seizes power, Damen is captured, stripped of his identity, and sent to serve the prince of an enemy nation as a pleasure slave.

Beautiful, manipulative, and deadly, his new master, Prince Laurent, epitomizes the worst of the court at Vere. But in the lethal political web of the Veretian court, nothing is as it seems, and when Damen finds himself caught up in a play for the throne, he must work together with Laurent to survive and save his country.

For Damen, there is just one rule: never, ever reveal his true identity. Because the one man Damen needs is the one man who has more reason to hate him than anyone else…

Captive Prince was first published in 2012 as an ebook.

3.5 Stars

“Is there anyone at this court who isn’t my enemy?”
“Not if I can help it,” Laurent said.

Captive Prince is dark, gritty, brutal, and utterly addictive. This is no bedtime reading material, especially if you have a vivid imagination that likes to lead a life of its own, like mine. There’s predominantly rape followed closely by mistreatment, torture and sadism, nicely underpinned by a stinging form of psychological degradation. I’d certainly recommend this to a mature audience only.

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Addicted to You by Krista & Becca Ritchie

Addicted to You by Krista & Becca RitchieAddicted to You by Krista Ritchie, Becca Ritchie
Series: Addicted #1
Published by K.B. Ritchie on July 1st 2013
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult
Pages: 324
Goodreads

No one would suspect shy Lily Calloway’s biggest secret. While everyone is dancing at college bars, Lily stays in the bathroom. To get laid. Her compulsion leads her to one-night stands, steamy hookups and events she shamefully regrets. The only person who knows her secret happens to have one of his own.

Loren Hale’s best friend is his bottle of bourbon. Lily comes at a close second. For three years, they’ve pretended to be in a real relationship, hiding their addictions from their families. They’ve mastered the art of concealing flasks and random guys that filter in and out of their apartment.

But when they go on a family boat trip, surrounded by open seas and limited male bodies in sight, Lily’s confronted with a big fear. Only one guy onboard can fill her addiction, and she’s sworn off going there with Loren Hale ever again.

Now the only person who can truly help her can barely help himself.

**This is a New Adult book recommended for readers 18 and up**

3 Stars

Here’s the thing about this book: Under normal circumstances, I’m not sure if I would have finished it. But then, under normal circumstances I wouldn’t even have picked it up. I read this book because university has been swallowing my soul whole and reading has been feeling like more of a chore. So I needed a book that would just absorb my attention without me having to do much thinking, a book that I wouldn’t want to put down. Addicted to You is that book. It is indeed, addicting.

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Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma

Forbidden by Tabitha SuzumaForbidden by Tabitha Suzuma
Published by Definitions on May 27th 2010
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult
Pages: 432
Goodreads

She is pretty and talented - sweet sixteen and never been kissed. He is seventeen; gorgeous and on the brink of a bright future. And now they have fallen in love. But... they are brother and sister.

Seventeen-year-old Lochan and sixteen-year-old Maya have always felt more like friends than siblings. Together they have stepped in for their alcoholic, wayward mother to take care of their three younger siblings. As defacto parents to the little ones, Lochan and Maya have had to grow up fast. And the stress of their lives—and the way they understand each other so completely—has also brought them closer than two siblings would ordinarily be. So close, in fact, that they have fallen in love. Their clandestine romance quickly blooms into deep, desperate love. They know their relationship is wrong and cannot possibly continue. And yet, they cannot stop what feels so incredibly right. As the novel careens toward an explosive and shocking finale, only one thing is certain: a love this devastating has no happy ending.

4 Stars

I’ve had to do a lot of thinking and self-reflecting to write this review. It is rare for a book to evoke such strong emotions in me. It left me speechless and heartbroken, and my thoughts wandered back to the story for a quite a while after I had finished it. Without a doubt this book could have been a train wreck, but instead I found a beautiful tale about two people that fell in love with each other in the worst circumstances imaginable. What hit me hardest about Forbidden was how well Tabitha Suzuma depicted the complete hopelessness of Lochan and Maya’s situation and the utter desperation they had to face. It isn’t a book that glamourizes or romanticises incest. It isn’t an angst filled novel about star-crossed lovers. The way I see it, it is a story about family, the danger of neglect, the weight of responsibility. It is a sad story for sure and one that will leave you thinking about taboo issues. On top of everything else and despite the parts that may be tough to get through, I found the novel addicting and impossible to put down.

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Chinese Cooking for Diamond Thieves by Dave Lowry

Chinese Cooking for Diamond Thieves by Dave LowryChinese Cooking for Diamond Thieves by Dave Lowry
Published by Mariner Books on July 8th 2014
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Mystery/Thriller
Pages: 288
Goodreads

Driving home after being kicked out of college, Tucker meets and picks up the mysterious Corinne Chang at a rest stop. Infatuated, and with nothing better to do, he ends up with her in St. Louis, where he gets a job as a chef in a Chinese restaurant. Even though he’s a gwai lo—a foreign devil—his cooking skills impress the Chinese patrons of the restaurant, and his wooing skills impress Corinne when she joins him there as a waitress. But when Chinese gangsters show up demanding diamonds they believe Tucker’s kind-of, sort-of, don’t-call-her-a-girlfriend stole, he and his friends—which luckily include a couple of FBI agents—have to figure out just who is gunning for Corinne and how to stop them. Good thing Tucker is a Mandarin-speaking martial arts master who isn’t afraid to throw the first punch. With its one-of-a-kind hero, Chinese Cooking for Diamond Thieves is perfect for anyone who loves cooking, Chinese culture, bad jokes, and young love. Diamonds are forever . . . unless Chinese mobsters decide they want them back.

3.5 Stars

Chinese Cooking for Diamond Thieves is a book I had never heard of and would never have picked up if not for a personal recommendation from one of my friends. The way she talked about this book intrigued me, it sounded like something so completely different to all my usual reads that I found myself drawn to it. Also, that title sure didn’t hurt either.

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