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Sweet Sorrow by Tricia Drammeh

Click here to buy the book

Click here to buy the book

“Rowan achieves her greatest desire when she earns the part of Juliet in the school play, but it’s impossible to concentrate on her lines when her secret crush is cast as Romeo. Eddie is a fallen football hero and the subject of widespread gossip. Not only has he lost the respect of his peers, he’s also earned the open animosity of Rowan’s father, the high school’s football coach. Eddie isn’t the only one with a tarnished past—Rowan has secrets of her own. When the truth is revealed, will Rowan replace Eddie as the most hated student in school, or will Rowan and Eddie share the stage together?

Note from the author: This book deals with subject matter that might be upsetting to some readers. Though it is NOT graphic or descriptive, sexual assault is discussed in this book. Please be aware before reading.” (Blurb by Tricia Drammeh)
Sweet Sorrow has been in the works for a while now, and I have to say that I am so glad that Tricia has finished it. Rowan, the main character, is a damaged young woman. Daughter of the head football coach at her school, she hides a dark secret about her ex, who happens to be the former star of the team in her dad’s eyes. After a summer of hiding under her covers as a result of her tragedy, Rowan decides that she has to attempt to go back to some kind of routine in her life. This comes in the form of auditioning for the senior play. She finds out that her new crush is also auditioning, she worries that she’ll not be able to concentrate enough to land the part.

Eddie is a troubled player that gets kicked off of the football team after some property damage at a party lands him and a few other players in jail. With all hopes of his sports scholarship dashed, Eddie turns to his secret talent of acting in an attempt to earn a scholarship that way.

The two form an instant connection after being cast in the roles of Romeo and Juliet. Their love builds quickly, but Rowan continues to hide her secret. It’s only a matter of time before Eddie finds out.

Tricia Drammeh has a knack for contemporary fiction. She understands people on a level that seems to fail so many authors. There is a sort of honesty behind how each character speaks and behaves within her stories, it seems like the cast of her novels are just plucked off of the street. Sweet Sorrow touches on victim mentality in a way that very few have been able to honestly capture. The way that she coveys Rowan is wonderful. I don’t think that I have ever personally that was actively dealing with PTSD, but the way she has written it makes it very believable without being over the top. I wouldn’t say Rowan is my favorite character that she’s ever written, but definitely top 5. The way that Rowan’s growing strength and inner turmoil are presented drew me in. I will say that the subject of rape is covered in this book and if you’re easily offended by it, or are concerned about a “trigger,” this book might not be for you. Otherwise, an absolutely stunning novel by Tricia Drammeh that you have to read.

Thank you, Tricia, for moving forward with this book. You are truly amazing.

 

5 star

Clash of Legends (Amaranthine Book #7) by Joleene Naylor

Click here for buy link

Click here for buy link

“After the battle in Indonesia. Katelina wakes in Samael’s domain. Though her memories are tattered, she knows someone is missing: Jorick.

Her vampire lover gathers an army to save her from the ancient, but his master Malick interferes. For five hundred years Malick has manipulated and ruined Jorick’s life. When he leaves Katelina broken and bleeding in the bowels of his oasis, it’s the final straw.

While Malick sets up his glorious war with a living legend, Jorick plans the ultimate taboo: to kill his master. He’s tried before and failed. Will this be different, or will he and Katelina be crushed in the carnage of a greater battle, between two whose blood goes back millennia?” (Blurb by Joleene Naylor)

 

Everything comes to a head in this action packed 7th novel of the Amaranthine series. After being kidnapped by the ancient vampire Samael, Katelina finds herself unable to remember anyone or anything. Elsewhere, while Jorick searches for his lost love, a battle is brewing. Malick’s determination to take over the world is as strong as ever. Can Jorick save Katelina and end his master’s reign of terror?

Clash of Legends is the seventh installment in the Amaranthine series and this has got to be Joleene’s best work yet. Where most series struggle to remain consistent and attention grabbing, Joleene has continued this series effortlessly. I am having a hard time trying to properly write this review because there were so many amazing things that happened in this book and I don’t want to spoil them for anyone.

I enjoy Katelina’s strength in this book. She has to deal with some very dramatic things very suddenly, and while she initially struggles, she is able to conquer her hesitation with grace and become the most kick ass she’s been thus far.

Another masterpiece and I cannot wait for more. You have simply got to read this book!

 

5 star

Better than Perfect by Tricia Drammeh- Book Review Thursday

Beware of Love in Technicolor by Kristie Collins Brote- Book Review Thursday

Beware of Love in TechnicolorBeware of Love in Technicolor by Kirstie Collins Brote

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Greer Bennett wants college to be a fresh starts for her. Having been a bit of a chubby, overlooked girl in high school, she sees it as an opportunity to be a whole new person. After meeting John Cunningham, her straight edge, naive out look on like is thrown for a loop.

There is a lot needed to be said about this book. I wanted to like this book more than I can actually say, and I read all the way through hoping it out get better, which it didn’t. I kept waiting for something to actually happen , I don’t know how to explain that. I mean, the book seemed to be written as an attempt at one of those Friday night teen dramas that used to air on Fox or something, but it didn’t work in the book setting. Perhaps with the right background music and pretty actors, this story, exactly as it is, would have worked. It felt like an attempt to cross Freaks and Geeks and Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist , and it didn’t succeed. A big part of what drew me into the book was the mention of pop culture in the synopsis. A few mentions of popular books and movies, and a few musical artist doesn’t really hit the “pop culture” nail on the head.

Greer, as a character, was completely unlikable to me. She was overly shallow and skanky. I mean, the whole book was laced with her essentially being attached to John and making out with other guys, plus, she would get mad at him for even getting a phone call from his ex-girlfriend. I mean, that is a bad thing, but her guilt over the situations she got herself into was almost non existent. I get that when you’re in college you want to explore the world and yourself and, you know, the whole self-discovery thing, but you don’t get attached to someone right off the bat if you want to do that. Plus her attitude towards her dorm mate, Molly, was completely unnecessary. She would refer to Molly as a “nightmare” and a bad roommate, but it really sounded like Greer was in need of a reality check. The dorm mate didn’t do a damn thing to anybody.

There was a big emphasis made on the dorm mate at the beginning and she was mentioned here and there, but I felt like with the lack of the dorm mate in the actually bulk of the story, it wasn’t worth building up who she was, or really even having scenes with her. She felt more like a filler than anything else.

The relationship between John and Greer was forced, at best. It wasn’t believable in the slightest. Yes, she thinks he’s “cute” but they had so little in common. I understand that he was her first boyfriend but the back and forth, the mistrust, and all of that seemed more like something to fill 200 pages than to make an actual story. This is where the feeling of Freaks and Geeks comes in. It felt like the author was attempting for a very “Lindsay and Nick” type of relationship, but it fell flat.

The other side of that is Greer’s inability to have an orgasm, a la Nick and Norah . While every woman experiences this at some point, and it is mentioned in the blurb, it didn’t make sense. I mean, not in the way Greer handled it. There was a big to-do about it after her and John’s first time, but then it was a forced mention through out the story.

The editing and formatting issues were the icing on the cake. As a self-published author, I understand that it’s hard to find someone to help you edit, or beta read, but friends could have gotten involved or something. Heck reading back to yourself helps a lot. There are free formatting programs out there as well. I don’t like leaning on “oh they’re self published” as an excuse to not take the time with your book that it needs. I did that, and my book suffered, so I recently had to re-release my book because it was just bad. So I don’t think that any self-published author should let their book lack in the editing and formatting department. We have to work 10 times harder to make a book readable and well put together because we do it all ourselves.

All in all, I picked up this book because I wanted to read it, but I was extremely disappointed.

Click here for the buy link

 

1 star

Authors to Watch giving some love to Becoming Jason

Becoming Harper getting some love from ATW

Check out this amazingly kind review from the wonderful Tricia Drammeh at Authors to Watch.

Switched (A Trylle Novel) by Amanda Hocking

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At six, Wendy Everly’s mother tried to kill her. Convinced that she was a monster pt in place of a son she knew she’d had. At 17, a new school and a strange guy forces Wendy to learn that maybe her mother didn’t have it all wrong. She has always known that she was different, but thanks to Finn Holmes, she’s about to learn exactly how different.

This book was okay. It is definitely not your typical New Adult Fantasy, which I can appreciate. I mean, in a market saturated with vampires and shifters, trolls are very unique. Wendy isn’t completely useless, she does want to stand up for herself and she doesn’t rely on all of the men around her for everything all of the time. The action scenes and scenery were very well described and I actually could picture this book as a movie.

Unfortunately, that doesn’t completely out weigh the bad to me. This was yet another misfit high school girl who doesn’t think she’s attractive but the incredibly handsome boy she thinks she has no chance with is wildly attracted to her. Not only that, but there are other hot guys who are into her as well. It was full of cliches, and what’s worse is that Amanda Hocking went out of her way to point out that they were cliches. I think that maybe she was trying to be witty by writing that it was a cliched moment, but it didn’t come off that way to me. There was even a nod to Twilight with the very hot boy watching her sleep through her window. Switched reminded me a lot of The Princess Diaries, if Julie Andrews had been a huge bitch. A lot of sarcasm and intermediary scenes seemed force, almost as if Hocking was watching old teen movies to get her scenes.

In all honesty, I felt like it ended well, and I might read the other books in the trilogy, but I wasn’t overly impressed.

3 star

Celine (The Night Touched Chronicle) – Maegan Provan

Celine got some love from the amazing author, Joleene Naylor

Jo's Random Book Reviews

Admittedly, it’s been awhile since I picked up a vampire book. Twilight had it’s good points, but how many copy-cats does a person want to read? Thank goodness, Celine is NOT just another Twilight clone. The vampires hearken back to the old days, when they were still creatures of the night who unapologetic-ally drank blood and kicked butt – when they need to.

Harper is a Night Touch, a special breed of vampire, and she’s the only one – or so she thought. When she starts to have visions of a second Night Touched named Celine, she immediately wants to find her, but here’s only one problem: Celine has been taken prisoner by the Slayers, a group of humans whose sole purpose is to wipe vampires from the face of the Earth.

They can’t just go rushing in. Though vampires may be immortal, they can die, and if there are…

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Children of Shadows, Amaranthine Book 6 by Joleene Naylor

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War is waged on the vampire guilds. Locations across the globe are being attacked by a mythical vampire cult called “Children of Shadows.” When a video is released by the group to human and vampire outlets alike, Katelina and the others learn that the cult is being led by Cyprus. Katelina, Jorick and their coven have to escape Munich to put a stop to their evil plan. While on their trip they meet Ume, a vampiress with insight to Verchiel’s past, and uncover more mysteries than they can solve.

I regret that I read this book so fast because now I am chomping at the bit for Clash of Legends. Every single book is better than the last and Children of Shadows is no exception. We see a different side to some of the “tougher” characters and what came out of some of the scenes was completely unexpected. Katelina is becoming this stronger, more aware character and I really like that she is not taking the whole “humans are the lesser” quietly. However, she is also learns a valuable lesson about how fragile humans really are in the world of vampires.

I really didn’t know what I was going to do with myself once I finished, but fortunately, Joleene Naylor has taken the time to write other books based in the Amaranthine Universe. I will be reading those while I wait not so patiently for Book 7!

 

5 star

Heart of the Raven, Amaranthine Book 5 by Joleene Naylor

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The Citadel is still recovering from the attack by Malick and his followers. Everyone is working to establish normalcy and get back to work, and Jorick is no exception. Katelina just wants to take some time to relax and deal with what happened. Unfortunately, there is no time. She, Jorick and their band of merry vampires head to Munick to testify against Malick for his betrayal. The trip gets diverted when Jorick figures out what Malick is after; the Heart of the Raven.

This series keeps getting better and better. I do appreciate the fact that we get to see real jealousy out of Jorick when it comes to Verchiel and I felt that it really has added another demision to Jorick as a character. I truly enjoyed the change of scenery and the fact that they are traveling the world. The new characters we got to meet and some of the surprising relations to our cast of well known heroes was very awesome! I would say that thus far, this book had the most action, mystery and intrigue. I was hanging on to every page in a bigger and better way.

 

5 star

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