Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Waiting on Wednesday (#68)


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme originally created by Jill @ Breaking The Spine
in which we have the opportunity to spotlight upcoming releases we're eagerly anticipating.

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This week's pick: BRING ME THEIR HEARTS by Sara Wolf
Expected publication: June 5th, 2018 by Entangled Teen

A lush, unique new fantasy trilogy about a girl tasked with stealing the prince’s heart…literally, from the New York Times bestselling author of the Lovely Vicious series.

Zera is a Heartless—the immortal, unageing soldier of a witch. Bound to the witch Nightsinger ever since she saved her from the bandits who murdered her family, Zera longs for freedom from the woods they hide in. With her heart in a jar under Nightsinger’s control, she serves the witch unquestioningly.

Until Nightsinger asks Zera for a Prince’s heart in exchange for her own, with one addendum; if she’s discovered infiltrating the court, Nightsinger will destroy her heart rather than see her tortured by the witch-hating nobles.

Crown Prince Lucien d’Malvane hates the royal court as much as it loves him—every tutor too afraid to correct him and every girl jockeying for a place at his darkly handsome side. No one can challenge him—until the arrival of Lady Zera. She’s inelegant, smart-mouthed, carefree, and out for his blood. The Prince’s honor has him quickly aiming for her throat.

So begins a game of cat and mouse between a girl with nothing to lose and a boy who has it all.

Winner takes the loser’s heart.

Literally.

What do you think? And what are you waiting for?
Leave a comment with a link to your WoW so I can stop by and get excited, too! ;)

Friday, May 11, 2018

"Passion Rising" by J.A. Huss and Johnathan McClain



PASSION RISING BY J.A. HUSS AND JOHNATHAN MCCLAIN

SERIES: Original Sin #4
PUBLISHER: Science Future Press
GENRE: Romantic Suspense
SOURCE: Authors
LINKS: Goodreads

SUMMARY
Old demons are back. Maddie’s dealing with the fallout of her choices. Safety and happiness are relative, elusive things she’s desperate to have. But they will forever remain out of reach until the demons of her past are laid to rest. Tyler’s mistakes resurface to haunt him and he’s just beginning to understand that money can’t fix a broken relationship. He must open his heart and search for answers he’d rather not find. She wants peace in a world made of chaos. He wants to rid himself of a lifetime of guilt. They’re soul mates, but that’s no guarantee. They’ll need to rely on each other to find their happily ever after. Because the fight never ends—it just gets easier with someone at your side.

MY REVIEW

The moment to say goodbye to this couple has come, but the good news is that we don't have to say farewell to Huss and McClain as a writing duo. In fact, they appear to have more in store for us in the future, yay!

"Passion Rising" wraps things up pretty well, giving an ending to a series that has been promising from the very beginning. While I had some reservations when I started the read—the first few chapters were a bit slow for me—I found myself pleasantly surprised when I saw the story taking an unexpected path. If action and extreme danger were running strong in the previous instalments, in this final book there's a healing process both Maddie and Tyler have to go through, which also helps the reader connect with them on a better level. These two surely have been through hell for quite a few years, but now that they are together they seem to have found the light, and finally realise there are things they need to face in order to really move forward. Can they put their demons at rest and reach their personal heaven?

I'm not just happy to have given this series a shot, I'm also glad I discovered two authors who know how to keep their readers engaged and on edge. I don't know about you, but I'm keeping an eye on their works!

RATING: 4/5

Monday, May 07, 2018

"Hearts in Darkness" by Laura Kaye



HEARTS IN DARKNESS BY LAURA KAYE

SERIES: Hearts in Darkness Duet #1
PUBLISHER: Laura Kaye
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
SOURCE: Purchased

SUMMARY
Makenna James thinks her day can’t get any worse, until she finds herself stranded in a pitch-black elevator with a complete stranger. Distracted by a phone call, the pin-striped accountant catches only a glimpse of a dragon tattoo on his hand before the lights go out. Caden Grayson is amused when a harried redhead dashes into his elevator fumbling her bags and cell phone. His amusement turns to panic when the power fails. Despite his piercings, tats, and vicious scar, he’s terrified of the dark and confined spaces. Now, he’s trapped in his own worst nightmare. To fight fear, they must reach out and open up. With no preconceived notions based on looks to hold them back, they discover just how much they have in common. In the warming darkness, attraction grows and sparks fly, but will they feel the same when the lights come back on?

MY REVIEW

This one was the first Laura Kaye's book I spotted and, although I really wanted to put my hands on that back it, I never—for absolute no reason whatsoever—grabbed it. How the hell I managed to refrain myself from reading it right away, and actually let YEARS pass, it's beyond my comprehension.

"Hearts in Darkness" is a fast read that feels anything but rushed. The pace is just right and the characters feel real to the point you think it's a plausible episode. Accident. Stroke of luck? I mean, I never liked the idea of getting stucked in an elevator, but if Caden Grayson was the one keeping me company, I would probably have a better chance with not hyperventilating—over the dark confined spaces, that is. A bit ironic considering how much he's terrified by them, isn't it? The reason behind this will warm your heart, though, and when you see these two strangers finding a common ground, you'll have no other choice but root for them. However, is it all an illusion created by the forced circumstance, or has Caden found a real spark of light in the darkness?

An enrapturing, alluring story I should have read a long time ago. If you are looking for something different, warming, enticing but also sweet, I'd suggest you to grab this book and, why not, the second as well. I did!

RATING: 4/5

Wednesday, May 02, 2018

Me Before Darkest Sins . . .

Wait, it's May 2nd? 2018? Already?? Guys, it's Darkest Sins' Seventh Blogoversary!!!!!!! :D

Saying time flies is an understatement, isn't it? And yet, oh my, who would have ever thought I'd reach such an achievement?

Now, what can I do to properly celebrate? I believe it would make my blog very happy if I'd say something about how this amazing journey started and what path it has taken, but I also think you wouldn't mind a surprise or two at the end of it, huh? So let me tell you a story I'm gonna call ME BEFORE DARKEST SINS . . .

Who was I? Why, Silvia, of course! :P Alright, I'll (try to) be serious . . . I was a 20-year-something struggling with life in London, living in a flat that didn't even have a TV, looking for a(ny) job and exhausted of hearing: "You're too qualified for this". Oh, didn't you know? You are either still inexperienced for the job you dream of, or you are too well educated to do something 'below' your qualification. Thanks, that is surely a line of thought to appreciate (NOT) when someone is basically broke.

Feeling truly down and on the verge of crying every day, I would either grab a book or a manga and drown my sadness in my precious reads, until it hit me! What if I started a book blog? Could there be someone out there appreciating it? Would anyone even notice it? Oh well, what did I have to lose, right?

I kid you not, the whole process went like this in my mind:
  • STEP 1. Research blogging platforms and find the right one for you.
  • STEP 2. Come up with a name for your blog. *a few minutes pass* Do not panic, you can do this, you are so very creative after all! *hours tick by* Oh, what about tha— Nah. *the day after* That's it, I love this one and I don't care if no one will like it. -> Oh-oh, someone is already in denial.
  • STEP 3. Give your blog a personal touch.
  • STEP 4. Write your first post and schedule it.
  • STEP 5. What are you waiting for? Click on publish.
  • STEP 6. OMG, just do it already!
  • STEP 7. Chew on your nails waiting for your first follower/comment to show up . . . Will they ever?

Phew, see? In the end there was nothing to worry about, it's aaaall good! Then why am I still chewing my damn nails? Let me reveal a secret, even those who have been around for years never stop stressing, or getting a bit anxious. It's your baby we're talking about after all, you cherish it with your whole heart, and of course you want others to like it, too. Well, at least you hope they will.

Note to newbies: there is no real formula to follow, just be kind and always be yourself. Fear not, as long as you have a big passion driving you, it's going to be fine, and you'll mostly want to fight anxiousness with contentedness.

As you can see, Darkest Sins didn't just save me from a bad time in my life, it actually changed it. Thanks to this (still going) adventure, I became more confident and expanded my skills. I managed a book tour company for three years which offered marketing services for authors, I DO graphic designs and video editing works, and now I'm on Society6 as well. Oops, I haven't told you that last part before, have I? Still growing but please, check it out! Now, why wouldn't I want to add some fun in all this? And so I threw fan-videos in the mix! Believe it or not, I used to be a vidder back when YouTube wasn’t even born. I actually never stopped making that kind of videos, I just didn't post them until my sister asked me if she could upload a few of our collaborations on her channel. Fun fact, if you really love your lil sister, you can't say no to her. And good thing I love her so much because one of our videos has already 22k visits! How crazy is that?

To (hopefully) your joy, I finally uploaded a fan-video on my own channel. I'm pretty sure the title of this post and the animated gifs accompanying my words have given you a pretty big clue on what it is about, hehe. I'm a bookworm at heart, could I have picked something non-related to our beloved world to start with? ;) The video is right below, click on it and enjoy it! Also, if you feel like it, subscribe to my channel, where you can go through my playlists for more, different videos. Thank you!


Oh please, like I would EVER leave you with no International Giveaway. Don't you know me better than that? I've been around for seven years after all! :P To enter, use the widget below, in a week's time I'll draft the winner. Just know that after you have been contacted, you have 48 hours to reply and claim the Me Before You Trilogy I'll purchase for you through Book Depository. IF you guys already have the books and you win, you can then email me a friend's address and I'll send the gift their way instead :)

GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!!

Me Before Darkest Sins

P.S. My readers and fellow bloggers are amazing, I appreciate each and everyone of you a lot, and I can't thank you enough for all the love and support you keep showing to me and my blog! Nevertheless, THANK YOU ALL <3

Friday, April 27, 2018

"Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku" by Fujita



WOTAKOI: LOVE IS HARD FOR OTAKU BY FUJITA

SERIES: Vol. 1 & 2
PUBLISHER: Kodansha Comics
GENRE: Rom-Com, Slice of Life, Josei
SOURCE: NetGalley
LINKS: Goodreads

SUMMARY
Narumi Momose has had it rough: Every boyfriend she’s had dumped her once they found out she was an otaku, so she’s gone to great lengths to hide it. When a chance meeting at her new job with childhood friend, fellow otaku, and now coworker Hirotaka Nifuji almost gets her secret outed at work, she comes up with a plan to make sure he never speaks up. But he comes up with a counter-proposal: Why doesn’t she just date him instead? In love, there are no save points.

MY REVIEW

Are you obsessed with aspects of popular culture (video games, anime, manga, etc.) to the point you are socially awkward? Congrats, you are an otaku. How does this affect your love life?

"Wotakoi" main point is to show how love is hard for otaku, especially considering they feel misunderstood or, better yet, not understood by the rest of society at all. Chances to find your soulmate would increase exponentially if you'd date another otaku, don't you think? And if the right one is very close to you, then you should definitely give love a shot. This is an extra-long book that includes two Japanese volumes—YES!and while I like the concept a lot and I think the artwork is well executed, I had some issues with the layout. In my opinion, the panels were confusing and following the sequences/making actual sense of them was tricky... However, this improved a bit in the second volume, where the bonus scenes were quite funny, and I developed some sort of fascination for Koyanagi and Kabakura—they are truly something else! I wish I could say the same about the main couple, but I'm afraid I'm not much into it because I couldn't see the chemistry, since there's not a proper relationship development.

Overall, I liked it and I particularly loved how Fujita framed things in terms of video-games, and the references to various manga and anime, some of which are impossible to not know—at least by name—even for those not particularly into them. Guess what? Now I wanna watch the anime!

RATING: 3/5

Monday, April 23, 2018

"The Elite" by Kiera Cass



THE ELITE BY KIERA CASS

SERIES: The Selection #1
PUBLISHER: HarperCollins
GENRE: Dystopian
SOURCE: Borrowed

SUMMARY
America Singer is one of THE ELITE and Prince Maxon only has eyes for her. If she wins the competition for his heart, she will leave her pre-destined life for a world of luxury. But the outcome is less than certain; the threat of rebel violence just beyond the palace walls is escalating into war and bitter rivals are ready to take her down. And as America's feelings for Maxon grow stronger, ex-lover Aspen waits for her in the shadows. Where do her loyalties truly lie?

MY REVIEW

After the good time I had with the first instalment, I was really looking forward to another exciting book, so imagine my disappointment when things suddenly—all too soonescalated quite badly...

I'm sorry to say this, but the whole book felt rushed, so much that it almost seemed like certain events were taking place just to fill the plot, which also strongly wants to gravitate around a love triangle that doesn't even really exists in my opinion. It honestly appears forced and it makes America Singer look like anything but the strong girl we met in the first book. In fact, she is quite naive and hypocrite. From someone who comes from a lower class and knows how hard life is, she has no problem acting like a spoiled girl who wants the Prince's attention all for herself—knowing all too well where she is and why—and if that doesn't happen, why not fool around with Aspen? After all, she doesn't have to say a word about this to Maxon, BUT the Prince better explains his actions—motives, thoughts, himself, and everything in between—or this thing is over. Sorry to break it to you, but trust goes both ways, America.

To me, it felt like Kiera Cass destroyed the characters in this instalment, and that is what truly put me down... However, as crazy as it may sound, I think I'll finish reading this story. If any of you read and loved the first book, then you probably get this pull, frustrating or not.

RATING: 2/5
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