eARC Book Review: A Bit(e) of Discretion, Please by T.A. Miles

A Bit(e) of Discretion, Please (Dreamer #1)

Goodreads Synopsis

Caught in the act of being a supernatural creature, Stuart, a former Prince of the Dreaming has been brought into mortal custody. As part of his sentence, he’s required to perform public service duties, assisting other supernaturals and gifted mortals in solving cases of an other worldly nature. Armed with only a fraction of his faerie glamour, and an intense passion for tea, Stuart partners with a young spiritualist to resolve a case of missing souls.

A lighthearted and humorous approach to the varying fantastic and supernatural realms and beings as they intersect with a not so defenseless or unsuspecting mortal world. This is the first in a series of short stories/novellas.

I received this book from the author on Instafreebie in exchange for an honest review.

A Bit(e) of Discretion, Please tells the story of Stuart who was revoked of his fairyism and sentenced to help other supernatural creatures. As the story progressed it felt like Stuart’s punishment was basically making him a cop…or a criminal informant.

I don’t always reread the synopsis of a book just before I start it because I like the element of surprise but with this book I had to go back and read it since I was quite confused. I’m not entirely sure if that was because I forgot what the book was about or because of how the book started. The synopsis gives you the introduction, and it’s not repeated again in the book. And that’s where I got lost.

As I continued reading, my interests were piqued enough for me to want to continue this story. As it was only about 30 pages, I was wondering how much the author would reveal. Would it read like a full novel and would I get a good feel of the author’s writing style? All my questions seems to have been answered. This did not read like a full-length novel but enough information was given that it filled in some holes.

I wondered about Stuart’s name. I’m used to fantasy characters having these weird and sometimes complicated names and here we get Stuart. I thought that maybe he was unlucky in that regard but it turns out that it was part of his cover, among other things to help hide that he was a Dreamer/Fairy-this wasn’t fully explained. I was a few pages in and I still didn’t know much about Stuart. All I knew was that he loved tea and didn’t like this punishment.

I found the concept of an empty town that wasn’t empty extremely fascinating. It was described as being hollow but it was obvious that there were dark forces in the area. I was confused by what a night angel was. I’m still confused. Is it an angel? A vampire? They mentioned the fallen, actual angels and some vampires made an appearance. I would’ve appreciated a more detailed explanation though.

I rather liked Daniel. I found him to be quite cunning and devious and while I know now what his story was, him jumping like some macho man brandishing that gun was grounds for heart eyes. Mei Lin was awesome and I easily forgot that she was a child.

The story showed a lot of potential and I liked what the author was trying to say. I thoroughly enjoyed the writing style and found it to be easy to read.

I’ll admit that were some confusing bits but they didn’t take away from the enjoyment. I do wish the book was slightly longer though. I’m very interested in seeing what happens next.

Read: 6 March 2017
Rating: ★★★.5

Publication Date: 12 August 2011
Publisher: Raventide Books
Link to Author’s Goodreads Page: T.A. Miles

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eARC Book Review: The Beast That Never Was by Caren J. Werlinger

The Beast That Never WasWhat if Beauty was the Beast?

Lise’s father is dead, and the life of plenty and freedom that she has known as the daughter of the King’s Huntsman is gone. She must now live a life of duty to her mother and sisters, helping them to cope in their altered circumstances. But where her mother would have her wed a childhood friend to secure their future, Lise knows that is not what she longs for.

When she meets a mysterious woman in the forest, Lise feels the stirrings of emotions she cannot give voice to, but with this woman, she doesn’t have to say anything—Senna knows.

Cursed, hunted, and feared, Senna has been forced to wander from place to place for more years than she cares to remember. She gave up hope long ago that there could ever be an end to her isolation.

Odd sightings in the forest—monsters of legend come to life, old enemies back from the past, fearsome beasts on the prowl—begin to frighten the people of Lise’s village. Somehow, all of these things are connected to Senna. As the villagers’ fear grows, so does their hatred.

Senna prepares to flee, accepting what has become her fate, but Lise isn’t ready to give up her one chance for happiness. Soon, only Lise stands between the villagers and the woman she has grown to love.

I received this book from the publisher on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This is a version of Beauty and the Beast that is even more twisted than the retellings usually are. If it weren’t for the Beauty/Beast aspect of the book, one would think it was its own story, which in a way, it was.

What was different about this retelling apart from the girlxgirl part- which is the first I’ve seen of this particular tale- is the fact that the Beauty was the Beast. That alone is what made me want to read the book. I wanted to see how exactly the author went through with that idea.

Characters: Lise is such a relatable character even in this fantasy novel because she goes through what so many people in real life do. She’s the responsible one, so everyone expects her to do things even when they’re clearly capable of doing it themselves. There’s this huge stigma surrounding the town and the people therein that makes Lise unable to be who she really is, love who she wants to.

I liked Senna the second she was introduced. She had this air of mystery and I, much like Lise, wanted to know who this beautiful woman in the forest was. Where she came from and what her story was. She was so isolated but not so much that she didn’t draw people to her. The fact that she had her own POV really helped with understanding her and her curse better.

Likes: The characterisation in this book was amazing. From their introductions to the way their developments were shown. Some of the characters started out at such a low point and rose above everyone else’s opinion while some that refused to get down from their high horses were knocked down.

I loved the plot line, truly. The way the author turned an idea that could’ve remained just that, into something so worth reading.

The pacing in this book was excellent as well. Nothing was rushed and everything fell into place like a perfect puzzle. Things happened so seamlessly that even if there was a flaw, it wasn’t noticeable.

Dislikes: There wasn’t really anything I disliked about this book. A character here and there I could’ve done without but I guess they helped with the story.

Overall Thoughts: I’ve read a book by Caren J. Werlinger before and I fell in love with her writing style and the way she manages to suck you into the story. I jumped at the opportunity to read the story and this has only solidified my love for her writing even more. I look forward to reading a lot more.

Read: 4 August 2016
Rating: ★★★★★

Publication Date: 1 June 2016
Publisher: Corgyn Publishing, LLC
Link to Author’s Goodreads Page: Caren J. Werlinger

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eARC Book Review: In the Hope of Memories by Olivia Rivers

In the Hope of Memories

Goodreads Synopsis

Hope is dying.

Hope Jackson has lived her short life to the fullest, but her four closest friends are dangling on the brink of disaster. Right before dying of a rare heart condition, Hope sets up a scavenger hunt across New York City using her graffiti art. The directions she leaves her friends are simple: Solve the clues hidden in her art, and they’ll solve the problems haunting their lives.

Hope is dead.

Two days after her heart fails, Hope’s friends are thrown together:

Aiden, her best friend, whose plans to attend college have been scattered by his OCD.
Kali, her foster sister, whose last ties to sanity are as razor-thin as her anorexic waistline.
Erik, her high school crush, whose success as an athlete is based on a lie with no end in sight.
And Sam, her online pen-pal, whose perfect life exploded into chaos in the aftermath of a school bombing.

Together, the four teens take to the streets of New York to complete Hope’s scavenger hunt and fulfill her dying wishes. But in order to unravel the clues hidden in Hope’s graffiti, her friends will need to confront their personal demons head on.

Hope is within reach.

I received this book from the publisher on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

There are five people in this book who the story is focused on. Even if one of them is dead.

Erik sees an invitation outside his house to Hope’s birthday party with an address on it but he ends up at Aiden’s -Hope’s OCD friend- house instead. Aiden tells Erick that Hope died two days ago. After words -not many of them nice- are exchange, Aiden convinces Erik that Hope left them clues to complete a scavenger hunt and so the main event of the story starts.

When I found out about Hope leaving behind clues and Erik, Aiden, Kali and Sam had to figure out what they were and in turn this would help them in their life, I scoffed. I thought this was mean of Hope to do because I felt that these people needed time to grieve, to get over the loss of their friend but I soon got with the program. Hope wasn’t forcing them to ‘remember’ her, she didn’t need to. All she wanted to do was take care of them and make sure they knew that life would go on. It wasn’t the end.

Characters: As I said, I thought Hope was a bit mean for expecting her friends to ‘keep her alive’ so to speak. I ended up finding her quite endearing as the book wore on. Her main concern was that now that she was dead, her friends would go on living. She really seemed to be a rock to all of them and I think that was clearer after she wasn’t there anymore.

Erik could be a bit of a jerk but I thought that was both a coping and a defence mechanism. He was losing what seemed to be the most important thing to him so it was understandable that he’d lash out.

Is it mean that I was sometimes annoyed by Aiden? Not because of his OCD, or his knowledge. I actually admired his smartness. He annoyed be at times because the others would be looking off in the distance and randomly he’d be like: ‘Hope is dead.’ I get that he was grieving, and yes, maybe it does make me mean to expect him not to point it out every five minutes.

I loved Sam so much. They were awesome and excuse me? Major geek alert. All those Supernatural and Sherlock and Doctor Who references gave me life. I loved when Erik was asking about something burning to the ground and Sam replied: ‘I’m sure the Supernatural fandom will get to it sometime.’

I thought Kali was…full of herself. She was easily offended and always thought she was the target. I think she needed the most help and this was picked up on in the book, which I’m glad about.

Likes: I like that this book involved a bit of everything. There were mental illnesses, trauma, sexual identity, loss of something important. This book was about helping people carry on and I think it was the perfect way to show people that life does in fact go on. When people say ‘it’s not the end of the world’ they mean it.

Overall Thoughts: I loved the writing style and I thought that this was amazing and fast paced. The synopsis was very clever. Letting us know what’s inside but not telling us what it was exactly. Just like a synopsis is supposed to be. Once I actually got into this book, I finished it pretty quick. I can’t wait to read more by this author. I think this is one of those books that stays with you and I loved every moment.

Read: 18 July 2016
Rating: ★★★★.5

Publication Date: 21 March 2016
Publisher: Red Sparrow Press
Link to Author’s Goodreads Page: Olivia Rivers

eARC Book Review: What Remains by Garrett Leigh

What RemainsGoodreads Synopsis

Web designer Jodi Peters is a solitary creature. Lunch twice a week with his ex-girlfriend-turned-BFF and the occasional messy venture to a dodgy gay bar is all the company he needs, right?

Then one night he stumbles across newly divorced firefighter Rupert O’Neil. Rupert is lost and lonely, but just about the sweetest bloke Jodi has ever known. Add in the heady current between them, and Jodi can’t help falling hard in love. He offers Rupert a home within the walls of his cosy Tottenham flat—a sanctuary to nurture their own brand of family—and for four blissful years, life is never sweeter.

Until a cruel twist of fate snatches it all away. A moment of distraction leaves Jodi fighting for a life he can’t remember and shatters Rupert’s heart. Jodi doesn’t know him—or want to. With little left of the man he adores, Rupert must cling to what remains of his shaky faith and pray that Jodi can learn to love him again.

I received this book from the publisher on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

What Remains is about Rupert O’Neil and Jodi Peters and how love conquers all. Sounds cheesy, I know but this is honestly a beautiful story and I was hoping and praying for a happy ending because these characters deserved it.

The book starts with time jumps from the present back to when Jodi and Rupert first met and then it all molds into one and the story continues on.

After being hit by a stolen car and basically catapulted into the air, Jodi ends up in a coma for months and when he finally wakes up, he’s missing five years of his life. He has no idea who Rupert is and has a major sexual identity crisis.

Characters: Rupert was an adorable sweetheart. Also, are all firefighters automatically hot? I mean, he had the looks- Jodi described his skin as being beautiful- and he made Nutella on toast as a cheer up snack. He was an amazing dad, a great boyfriend…not such a good cook though. His constant vigilance gave me life.

Jodi was a bit of an a-hole but he was adorable. He could be mean but that made the moments when he tried to be nice even more obvious. I loved this pairing and everything they did made me smile. Seriously, two grown men shouldn’t be as cute as this. My heart almost leapt out of my chest.

Thank God for Sophie. If it weren’t for her, both Jodi and Rupert would’ve called it quits ages ago. She was the perfect addition to this book. She’s also not such a great cook but that’s okay.


Dislikes: Not. A. Thing.

Overall Thoughts: I loved every moment of this book. Garrett Leigh gave me what I never thought I need in my life. I’m am definitely going to check out the rest of her work.

Read this people! This book is a treasure.

Read: 18 May 2016
Rating: ★★★★★

Publication Date: 4 July 2016
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Link to Author’s Goodreads Page: Garrett Leigh

eARC Book Review: No Place Like Somewhere Else by Caesar J.M. Kauftheil

No Place Like Somewhere ElseGoodreads Synopsis

Josie has a passion for running away—or, as her girlfriend Marjorie would say, a fear of commitment. She runs away from home, from making decisions, and most recently, from having a serious discussion about her crumbling relationship.

Upon discovering a pair of tennis shoes outside a Chinese restaurant, Josie feels a sense of lightness on her feet, but each time she wears them, she finds herself running into trouble—in the form of a strange man named Jay, who might just be what she needs to break her own bad habits.

I received this book from the publisher on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

No Place Like Somewhere Else is about Josie, a woman who who’d literally talk about anything else except her emotions and problems. Keeping that in mind, I think that this book was aptly named.

After finding these shoes which she jokes could possibly be magical because she finds Jesus whenever she wears them, she runs into happiness, so to speak.

Characters: Josie was an extremely likeable character and what I liked about her was that she didn’t have a sudden change of heart. She stayed in character the entire book. She always ran away from her problems but there were times when she couldn’t run. No one likes being alone, yea? She was quirky and witty and I found her narration to be very entertaining.

Jay: A ‘handsome Jesus’ in Josie’s opinion. I honestly thought that he was exactly what Josie needed at the time. He was such a lovable A-hole.

Marjorie…what a –

Likes: I liked what this book stood for. Don’t run, but sometimes running is the right thing to do. It was like when people say, maybe the problem isn’t you…remove those weeds from your life and things will start looking right for you. I thought that Josie and Jay really complimented each other. They could’ve ended up as literally anything and I would’ve been happy. This have all kinds of chemistry.

Overall Thoughts: I liked what Jay said about dogs: “Dogs run away from home. Doesn’t mean they’re not loyal”. This was a novella but I don’t think anything more need to be said. This story was the perfect length to get the message across. I found this to be quick as well as interesting and entertaining.

Read: 27 May 2016
Rating: ★★★★

Publication Date: 15 June 2016
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Link to Author’s Goodreads Page: Caesar J.M. Kauftheil

eARC Book Review: The Space Between by Michelle L. Teichman

28932275Goodreads Review

Everything’s great for Harper Isabelle, the most popular girl in grade nine. That is, until she meets Sarah Jamieson. Sarah is a reclusive artist, a loner who wears black makeup and doesn’t have any friends, but for some reason, Harper can’t stop thinking about her.
Sarah isn’t used to people looking her way, especially popular girls like Harper Isabelle. Scared, religious, and unsure of herself, when Sarah begins to realize that her feelings for Harper might go beyond friendship, she is afraid to take the plunge and tell Harper how she feels.
Emotions build between these young women until they both reach their breaking points, and they need to make a choice about coming to terms with who they really are, and what they can and cannot live without.

Words: 92,000

I received this book from the publisher on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Space Between focuses on finding love and discovering who you are and even though you’re young, you can still be sure that this is the person you are. It’s sticking to it that’s the tough part. People might try to decide for you but this book shows us that that choice is totally up to you and you don’t have to follow others to keep up the trend. Be true to who you are.

The characters in the book are fairly young, which was new for me. Usually when I read about people owning up to and embracing their sexuality the characters are older. I loved that the author wrote them so young because many people out there find it hard to believe that a person can be sure, even then. After all, it’s not a choice if you were born that way.

Characters: I liked Sarah, but I didn’t ‘love’ her. She was the cliche shy type that was totally awesome once you got to know her. She was religious so it was extremely hard for her to accept who she was. The word ‘unnatural’ came up often. She got annoying at times but I could overlook it. Sarah was a loner so didn’t have a lot of friends and the fact that her twin brother was popular didn’t make things any easier for her.

Harper was a more likeable character in my opinion. She was popular and beautiful and kind all the same. She noticed Sarah and actually tried at being friends with her. Harper’s life was planned for her because her sister was like the queen of the school or something. She- Harper- was dating Sarah’s brother, so of course it’d be a bit of a shock if she suddenly started developing feelings her his sister.

Bronte and Tyler both made for amazing side characters. They added that extra drama and ‘you are what?’ moments.

“If we only get one chance at happiness, you have to decide what you’re willing to live with, and what you can live without.”

Likes: I’m not generally a fan of multiple POV’s so much anymore but it was nice to see what was going on in each of the main characters’ heads. I liked that this focused on a younger couple and that there were the what seems to be the ‘expected’ reactions. It’s 2016 yes, and people will mostly just accept you, but there are those that will be reluctant and refuse. *Random: I kind of dislike it when the character just has it easy. Once again, I know times have changed but for everyone to suddenly just accept everything is just mind boggling to me.

Dislikes: These 15 year olds acted more like 18 years olds. There was no adult supervision. There was a lot of sneaking around which was understandable but the underage drinking? The encouraging of smoking? I wasn’t a fan. The beginning of the book made me think that it was going to be slow.

“We all think our mistakes are the worst, but they’re just mistakes, and everyone makes them.”

Overall Thoughts: My ‘craving’ for contemporary reads went away as I was reading this so I took long to finish it. I found this book to be more or less average. They never specified what happened with Sarah’s parents so I felt that that was a bit of a plot hole.

Warning: Underage drinking, smoking, sex.

Read: 28 April 2016
Rating: ★★★.75

Publication Date: 2 March 2016
Publisher: Ylva Publishing
Link to Author’s Goodreads Page: Michelle L. Teichman

Book Review: Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan

17208924Goodreads Synopsis

Will Grayson meets Will Grayson. One cold night, in a most unlikely corner of Chicago, two strangers are about to cross paths. From that moment on, their world will collide and lives intertwine.

It’s not that far from Evanston to Naperville, but Chicago suburbanites Will Grayson and Will Grayson might as well live on different planets. When fate delivers them both to the same surprising crossroads, the Will Graysons find their lives overlapping and hurtling in new and unexpected directions. With a push from friends new and old – including the massive, and massively fabulous, Tiny Cooper, offensive lineman and musical theater auteur extraordinaire – Will and Will begin building toward respective romantic turns-of-heart and the epic production of history’s most awesome high school musical.

I’ve been putting off this book for 2 years now and I finally decided to read it as part of a buddy read. Will Grayson, best friends with Tiny Cooper hates attention but unfortunately Tiny is attention personified. It’s not easy being in Tiny’s shadow especially when he seems to push Will into doing things that he doesn’t want to do. Emphasis on ‘seems to’.

Will Grayson (Will 2) has to take medication in order to feel some semblance of okay (actually suffers from depression). He says they’re mood altering pills. He makes it a mission not to care but I think he cared too much and this is why he got hurt.

Will 1 meets Will 2 and so their life starts intertwining. This book was fast, as in, I finished it in a day. I don’t know how, I wasn’t even reading fast but I just noticed that it was nearing the ending quicker than I thought it would.

There are many great aspects about this book, the fact that there can ever be a friendship so profound that a guy would pick his drunken best friend’s nose (gross!) or where you really dislike said best friend but you love him at the same time. Never mind the fact that you meet someone else with the same name as you.

I didn’t like this book much. It was ‘okay’ at best. There weren’t any particulars that I hated, I just feel that this book wasn’t for me. To me, the best part of this book was the musical. I liked that part. I didn’t relate to any of the characters and I didn’t feel myself being drawn to the story. All in all, I’d say it was ‘just another read’ for me.

This was my initiation into the writing of David Levithan and honestly, I could spot certain John Green parts. I mean, I have read 6 of his other works (7 now- I will not be reading the sequel to Zombicorns) so I think I have some knowledge on that front.

I don’t regret reading this book at all since there were parts that I liked but this was nothing to write home about.

“The things you hope for the most are the things that destroy you in the end.”

Read: 28 February 2016
Rating: ★★★1/2

Publication Date: 10 May 2012
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Link to Authors’ Goodreads Pages: John Green | David Levithan