ARC Review: Guarded Desire By Christi Snow

ARC Review: Guarded Desire By Christi Snow

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Title: Guarded Desire
Author: Christi Snow
Series: NM Protectors #1
Genres: New Adult, Romance
Release Date: June 21, 2018
Available: Amazon/B&N/Indie Bookstore
Add to Goodreads

**Disclaimer – I received this via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my review whatsoever.**

Synopsis

Kidnapped and terrorized, I refuse to let anyone break me. I can stand on my own, no matter what it costs…even if that cost is my life.

Elle…
I was living the life of an ordinary college coed, but that existence was blown wide open when I was kidnapped while visiting my very famous mother, rock-star, ViviAnna.

Now I’m back at college, pretending life is normal while dodging paparazzi and dealing with my face showing up regularly on the nightly news. Trying to find a new balance isn’t happening and the effort to not jump at every shadow or bump in the night is messing with my head more than I ever expected.

Jonah…
I’m a highly trained bodyguard, but that doesn’t mean I want to deal with some spoiled pop princess’s daughter, especially if she’s anything like her handsy mother.

But when I met Elle, she shocked the hell out of me. She’s nice and thoughtful with an incredible inner strength. Even more surprising…she doesn’t want me anywhere near her. But every once in a while I see a flash of fear and vulnerability that make all my protective instincts flare.

I have to protect her.

Because they never caught her kidnapper…

About the Author

Christi Snow

As an avid reader her entire life, Christi Snow always dreamed of writing books that brought to others the kind of joy she felt when she read. But…she never did anything about it besides jot down a few ideas and sparse scenes.

When her husband retired from the Air Force, Christi decided it was time to chase her dream and she started writing. She hasn’t stopped since. With twenty-two published books in various romance genres, she’s found her passion. Now she spends her days with her laptop writing about sexy, alpha heroes and the loves of their lives.

Writing both as Christi Snow and one-half of the writing duo, KB Jacobs, Christi has fulfilled her dream… filling the world with more romance and suspense.

Her tagline is… Passion and adventure on the road to Happily Ever After. She loves this adventure and has truly found her tribe!

Contact

Blog/Goodreads/Twitter/Website

 

My Review

Want to talk about the perfect model for a book cover? All I’m saying is if I needed a guard, I’d definitely pick him. Since he’s supposed to be the character Jonah in this book and after reading it, I can absolutely see him in that role.

The great thing about this series, I must say, is that each is a standalone despite it being a series. You can read any of them out of order, but you do not need the rest. Even though this is the first one in the series, it’s a pretty good start.

Jonah, a former soldier, is placed in charge of guarding a well-known artist’s daughter after being she is rescued from a hostage situation. Elle is still recovering after being held captive. Her nightmares frighten her while her captor’s voice haunts her throughout the day. He was never caught by the police, bringing her to constantly look over her shoulder.

Her mother, ViviAnna, hires Jonah despite Elle’s protests. As a result, Jonah takes the guise of Elle’s “boyfriend” in order to protect her as she tries to complete her college degree. However, what begins as a mere act slowly transforms into attraction between the bodyguard and his ward.

The story is short, sweet, and keeps your attention due to the mystery aspect of where the captor is. I enjoyed the budding romance between Elle and Jonah. I had a little trouble with the ending. It felt rushed and needed to be drawn out a little longer. Other than that, its was a delightful read.

Rating 8

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

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Blog Tour, ARC Review, & Excerpt: From the Earth to the Shadows By Amanda Hocking

Blog Tour, ARC Review, & Excerpt: From the Earth to the Shadows By Amanda Hocking

From the Earth to the Shadows Cover

Title: From the Earth to the Shadows
Series: Valkyrie Bk. 2
Author: Amanda Hocking
Available
Amazon/B&N/Books-a-Million/IndieBound/Powells

*Disclaimer – I received an ARC Copy via NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press. This does not effect my review whatsoever.

 

inn - about the book

The epic conclusion to the thrilling Valkyrie duology by New York Times bestselling YA author Amanda Hocking, From the Earth to the Shadows.

While dealing with dark revelations about her life and her world, Malin finds herself with new allies–and new enemies. Her quest for the truth leads her to places she never thought possible, and she’s never been one to shy away from a fight. But for all her strength and determination, will it be enough to save the world before it’s too late?

inn- about the author

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Amanda Hocking is a lifelong Minnesotan obsessed with Batman and Jim Henson. In between watching cooking shows, taking care of her menagerie of pets, and drinking too much Red Bull Zero, she writes young adult urban fantasy and paranormal romance.

Several of her books have made the New York Times Bestsellers list, including the Trylle trilogy and Kanin Chronicles. Her zombie series, The Hollows, has been adapted into a graphic novel by Dynamite. She has published over fifteen novels, including the Watersong quartetand My Blood Approves series. FrostfireIce Kissed, and Crystal Kingdom – all three books in her bestselling trilogy, The Kanin Chronicles– are out now.

Available

Website/Facebook/Twitter/Blog

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ONE

The air that fogged around me was thick enough that I could taste it—earthy and wet, with a trace of salt. It stuck to my skin, which was already slick with sweat, and that only seemed to attract more insects. They buzzed around me, leaving burning little bites in my flesh. I wanted to swat them off, but I couldn’t. I had to stay perfectly still, or the Kalanoro would spot me too soon.

The oversaturation of green in the jungles of Panama had been a strange adjustment from the smog and bright lights of the city. Out here, it was an endless emerald sea: the plants and trees, the rivers, were all varying shades of green—even the sky was blotted out by a thick canopy of leaves.

This wasn’t where I wanted to be, crouched motionless in the mud with a giant millipede crawling over my foot. Not when Asher was still gone, held captive in Kurnugia by the underworld goddess Ereshkigal and her mad centaur boyfriend, Gugalanna. Not when the fate of the world felt heavy on my shoulders, with Ereshkigal attempting an uprising that would unleash the underworld on earth.

It had only been three days since I’d gone to the Gates of Kurnugia, along with Oona, Quinn, Asher, and Atlas to aid me. I’d wanted to avenge my mother—and I had killed the draugr that had killed her—but all of that may have set off a chain of events that would bring about the end of days.

And I had lost the guy I … well, not loved. Not yet. But I cared about him. All I wanted to do was rescue him. But I couldn’t. There was too much at stake. I couldn’t let my heart get the best of me. I had to hold it together, and follow my orders.

After Gugalanna had pulled Asher down into the underworld where I could not follow, the rest of us had gone to Caana City in Belize. It was the safest city near the Gates of Kurnugia, and Oona needed medical intervention to survive. She was on the mend now, and that’s why I had left her behind, with Quinn and Atlas.

I didn’t want to risk losing them the way I had Asher, and I was on a special assignment, coming directly from the Valkyries’ highest authority—Odin.

Odin had found me outside of the hospital where Oona was being treated. I had never met him before, and, like most of the Vanir gods, he changed his appearance to suit his needs, so I hadn’t recognized him.

He towered over me in his tailored suit, with his left eyelid withered shut. He had a deep rumble of a voice, with a softly lilting accent, and a grim expression. His large raven, Muninn, had been watching over me, but when I tried to press him for a reason why, he had told me that there wasn’t time to explain.

“I need you to go deep into the heart of the jungle, where no man dares to live,” Odin explained, as we had stood in the eerily silent parking lot in Caana City. “You must retrieve something for me.”

“Why can’t you retrieve it yourself?” I asked bluntly. I wasn’t being rude, but the reality was that Odin was a powerful god, and I was just a young mortal Valkyrie-in-training. He had far more knowledge and power than I could ever hope to have.

“I’m not allowed to meddle in the affairs of humans or any of the other earthly beings,” Odin clarified.

“But…” I trailed off, gathering the courage to ask, “What is this you’re doing now, then? Isn’t directing me to get something for you the same as meddling?”

A sly smile played on his lips, and he replied, “There are a few loopholes, and I think it’s best if I take advantage of one now. If you want to save your friend, and everyone else that matters to you, you need to act quickly.”

“What is it that you need me to get?” I asked, since I didn’t seem to have a choice.

“The Valhallan cloak,” he explained. “It was stolen centuries ago by a trickster god—I honestly can’t remember which one anymore—and he hid it with the Kalanoro of Panama.”

“The Kalanoro?” I groaned reflexively. Having dealt with them before, I already knew how horrible they were.

If piranhas lived on land, they would behave a lot like the Kalanoro. They were small primate-like creatures, standing no more than two feet tall, and they vaguely resembled the aye-aye lemur. The biggest differences were that the Kalanoro were tailless, since they lived mostly on the ground, and they had razor-sharp claws on their elongated fingers and a mouth of jagged teeth they used to tear apart the flesh of their prey.

“What is the Valhallan cloak, and how will I find it?” I asked Odin.

“You’ll know when you see it. It’s an oversized cloak, but the fabric looks like the heavens. The rumors are that the Kalanoro were attracted to the magic of the cloak, though they didn’t understand it, so they took it back to their cave,” Odin elaborated. “They apparently have been guarding it like a treasure.”

“So I have to go into the treacherous jungle, find the man-eating Kalanoro, and steal their favorite possession?” I asked dryly. “No problem.”

Which was how I ended up in the jungle, alone, in the heart of Kalanoro country—at least, that’s what the nearest locals had purported. In front of me, on the other side of a very shallow but rapidly moving stream, was the mouth of a cave. The cave I hoped was the home of the Kalanoro, but I was waiting to see one for official confirmation.

Sweat slid down my temples, and a large dragonfly flew overhead. The trees around me were a cacophony of sounds—monkeys and frogs and birds and insects of all kinds, talking to one another, warning of danger, and shouting out mating calls.

Back in the city, beings and creatures of all kinds lived among each other, but there were rules. The jungle was not bound by any laws. I was not welcome, and I was not safe here.

I heard the crunch of a branch—too loud and too close to be another insect. I turned my head slowly toward the sound, and I saw movement in the bushes right beside me. Tall dark quills, poking out above the leaves, and I tried to remember if the Kalanoro had any quill-like fur.

I didn’t have to wonder for very long because a head poked out of the bushes, appearing to grin at me through a mouthful of jagged fangs and a face like an alien hyena. The leathery green skin, mottled with darker speckles, blended in perfectly with the surroundings, with a mohawk-like row of sharp quills running down its back.

It wasn’t a Kalanoro—it was something much worse. I found myself face-to-face with a Chupacabra.

inn- my review

If you’d like to check out my review of the first book, you can check it out here!

Firstly, thank you Amanda and the team for allowing me to be apart of this blog tour for this wonderful duology! Also, Happy Release Day! This series has been a joy to read, and I can’t wait to read more in the future!

The story turns up the action and places the relationship aspects on the back burner with Malin going off on a mission from Odin in order to retrieve his sword from the Underworld as well as rescuing Asher from the Underworld. Once the sword is retrieved, the balance between immortals and mortals would be complete.

I will be perfectly honest, this sequel wasn’t as strong as the previous installment. The plot wasn’t as thoroughly planned out and was over simplified compared to the first book. I loved the action, but love triangles are over with and need to be taken out of YA literature for good.

Instead, this book needed more complex scenes, problems, etc.. It just needed…..more. Get rid of the triangle, add more mythology based issues, betrayal – things like that. Push the limits, give the readers something to munch on even after the final page is turned.

If you are an Amanda Hocking fan or into mythology, be sure to check this series out.

Rating 6

 

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

C.H.B. ARC Review: Just One Look By Deb Julienne

C.H.B. ARC Review: Just One Look By Deb Julienne

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Title: Just One Look
Series: Launching Love #1
Author: Deb Julienne
Published: September 20th, 2017
Available: Amazon
Add to Goodreads

*Disclaimer: I received an ARC copy via NetGalley and Kindred Ink Press LLC in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my review whatsoever.*

Synopsis

On a secret mission for her entrepreneur father, Diana Tolliver (aka Diana Clay) finds herself unexpectedly alone on a singles cruise. She befriends another solo female passenger, and they play a game to make their would-be-boring cruise a bit more fun. Each woman must pick out a single male for the other to date for the duration of the cruise.

JJ Westbrook is working his final gig as band manager for his best friend, country singer Hunter Cross, leaving to pursue a new job. While on the deck of the cruise ship, JJ spots a blonde goddess and is captivated.

When mutual friends reconnect, Diana and JJ are set up and quickly become enamored with each other, but only have a few chances to sneak away together during their time on the ship. Will they be able go their separate ways after the cruise, or will romance—and careers—bring them together again?

My Review

Short, Sweet, and Oh so tantalizing! Despite being a little over ninety pages or so, this short story will leave you clambering for the sequel especially if you are into romances. It’s a hilarious yet loving romp about two unsuspecting people who have a limited amount of time to fall in love, but who will cave first?

Diana Tolliver is abandoned by her friend and assistant Liv on board a singles cruise. Originally, she was sent there on a mission by her father to scope out whether it was worth purchasing by her father. It was supposed to be an innocent business venture alongside Liv. That is, until Liv decided to skip out on her own rendezvous and leave Diana stranded to figure what she’ll do next.

Diana quickly rebounds and teams up with another solo girl on the ship and they both go on a mission. They both set up one another with a random male passenger. What could go wrong, right?

Loved the set up, execution, plus all of the characters in this story! Fell in love immediately and could not put it down. If you’re looking for a short romantic novel to dive into – pick this one!

Rating 9

Happy Reading,

~C.C.

C.B.H. ARC Reviews: Wicked Charm By Amber Hart

C.B.H. ARC Reviews: Wicked Charm By Amber Hart

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Title: Wicked Charm
Author: Amber Hart
Release Date: January 30th, 2018
Available: Amazon/B&N/Goodreads

**Disclaimer: I received an ARC Copy via NetGalley and Entangled Teen in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my views whatsoever.**

Synopsis

Nothing good comes from living in the Devil’s swamp.

Willow Bell thinks moving to the Okefenokee area isn’t half bad, but nothing prepares her for what awaits in the shadows of the bog.

Girls are showing up dead in the swamp. And she could be next.

Everyone warns Willow to stay away from Beau Cadwell—the bad boy at the top of their suspect list as the serial killer tormenting the small town.

But beneath his wicked, depthless eyes, there’s something else that draws Willow to him.

When yet another girl he knew dies, though, Willow questions whether she can trust her instincts…or if they’re leading to her own death.

My Review

I’m not going to lie, I had a rough time reading this book. Willow could not stop thinking about Beau. Not even when people were dying around her did she even stop to think, “Hm, all of these girls were involved with this guy. This is clearly not a good idea to be around him.” But obviously romance was more on her mind than intellectual thinking.

This was pitched to be a contemporary suspenseful romance novel….was. Willow is warned by her grandmother in the beginning of the book to steer clear of Beau and his family, that they are of the devil. Kids at school warn her to stay away from him since he is a notorious player who goes through girls like water. Instead, she heads straight toward the snake and believes she will not get bitten.

The trope of the player falling for the new girl because she is “not like other girls” runs rampant through the novel while Beau and Willow grow closer together. I could not get into them. I couldn’t, no matter how hard I tried and believe me, I tried. But when a guy’s ex-girlfriends seem to be popping up dead in the swamp by his home, I’d run to the hills.

The book leans to more on the romance side than the suspense/mystery aspects. The writing style was alright, the descriptions were fantastic, but the execution of the mystery was lacking. If she would have focused more on it, I think it would have been a solid 10/10 for me. Now, however, I’ll be sure to steer clear of the swamps in Georgia. You never know what or whom may be lurking in the shadows.

Rating 5

Happy Reading,

~C.C.

Blog Tour, Giveaway, Guest Post, & ARC Review: Busted By Gina Ciocca

Blog Tour, Giveaway, Guest Post, & ARC Review: Busted By Gina Ciocca

Title: Busted
Author: Gina Ciocca
Available: Amazon/B&N/Books-A-Million/Chapters/iBooks/Kobo
Add to Goodreads

*Disclaimer: I received an ARC copy via NetGalley and Sourcebooks in exchange for a review. This does not effect my review.

hs- about the author

Catching cheaters and liars is a lucrative hobby—until you fall for one of the suspects. Perfect for fans of Veronica Mars, this new novel from the author of Last Year’s Mistake will steal your heart!

Marisa never planned to be a snoop for hire. It wasn’t like she wanted to catch her best friend’s boyfriend making out with another girl. But as her reputation for sniffing out cheaters spreads all over school, Marisa finds herself the reluctant queen of busting two-timing boys.

And her next case? It’s for ex-frenemy Kendall. She’s convinced her boyfriend, TJ, has feelings for someone else and persuades Marissa to start spying on him. But the more Marisa gets to know sincere and artistic TJ, the more she starts to fall for him. Worse yet, the feelings seem to be mutual. Marisa knows she needs to give up her investigation— and the spoken-for guy who may just be the love of her life. Then she uncovers new secrets about Kendall and TJ, secrets that take cheater to a whole new level…

hs- about the author

Contact: Blog/Instagram/Twitter

Gina Cioccagraduated from the University of Connecticut with a degree in English, but in her mind, she never left high school. She relocated from Connecticut to Georgia, where she lives with her husband and son. When she’s not reading or writing, you can find her taking long walks around the lake in her neighborhood.

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hs- my review

Firstly, thank you Sourcebooks for inviting me to participate in this blog tour! I absolutely loved this novel! It was never ending fun that kept me on my toes.

Marissa is this creative teenager with a heart for helping out her friends and sticking up for them. Little did she know the impact she had after catching her friend Charlie’s date cheating on her and capturing it for the world to see. News of her investigative skills reached her school and into the ears of her former childhood friend Kendall, sparking a chain of events that I did not see coming.

The story starts out innocent then spirals into a mystery and reminded me like a hit CW show, in a fantastic way! Marissa begins her case for Kendall by following her friend’s boyfriend, T.J.. As she begins to follow him, she begins to get to know him on the side, discovering they both have a similar love for creating things for others like paintings, bracelets, pins, and belts. Although there may be those similarities, they are linked by a deep mystery that rocks both of their worlds.

Marissa’s best friend, Charlie, is accused to stealing test answers and selling them throughout her high school which risks her scholarship and future. The more Marisa investigates Charlie’s case, the more she realizes T.J. may possibly be involved….or is he?

I could not get enough of this book! The pacing was quite fast and there was never a dull moment amongst these characters. The chemistry is off the charts, the dialogue is informative and very hilarious at times, and the premise of the book is merely scratching the surface.

Oh, and the banter between Nick, Charlie, and Marissa is PERFECT! They are officially my current favorite YA literary group. I could never get enough of their interactions together. If there would ever be a sequel – please let it be about Nick and Charlie!

hs- giveaway

Enter for a chance to win a copy of Busted!

Enter Here!

Marisa’s Top 5 Tips For Sleuthing

Hey there. Marisa Palmera, Private Eye here. Okay, so I don’t actually call myself that, and neither does anyone else. In fact, I never meant to become a sleuth-for-hire. But spend one night scaling your best-friend’s boyfriend’s house to take incriminating pictures, and suddenly everyone wants you to be something you’re not…and when they ’re willing to line your sadly lacking pockets for it, it doesn’t sound like such a bad idea. So, should you find yourself an unwitting Girl Friday (or even a witting one… Is “witting” a thing?) like I did, here are some tips that just may save your butt:

  1. Always have a camera handy. Whether it’s your cell phone, or the fancy camera you borrowed from your school’s yearbook club, you never know when you’ll need to snap an evidence shot. Just, um, make sure you turn off the flash if said camera is aimed through a window into a dark living room. I may have learned this the hard way.
  2. Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer. Sounds ominous and dramatic, I know. But if someone gives you the vibe that they shouldn’t be let out of your sight? GO WITH IT.
  3. Think fast. Suck at lying? Me too. Get over it, because you’ll be fudging the truth a lot.

  4. But know when to say no. Weave enough white lies, and suddenly they’re a sticky, tangled web with you trapped inside. Know when it’s time to run, and do it like the flames of hell are licking your feet.

  5. Don’t fall for the person you’re investigating. Yeah. You’re just gonna have to do as I say and not as I do on this one. Oops…

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Rating 10

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

C.B.H. Reviews: Let Astray By Kelley Armstrong

C.B.H. Reviews: Let Astray By Kelley Armstrong

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If you’re new to my blog, welcome to the Charmed Book Haven! I remember when I started this blog almost three years ago, I embarked on a journey with one of my first reviews of Kelly Armstrong’s Bitten (Women of the Otherworld Book 1). The same year, I joined Net Galley and received the opportunity to read and review Kelly’s compilation of her best short stories in Let Astray. 

Each one of these short stories are from her hit OtherworldCainsville, Age of Legends, and Darkest Powers/Darkness Rising series or original short stories. Here are my ratings the short stories:

Original Short Stories

Rakhashi: I needed more information on the Rakhashi! I wish Kelley would write more on them.

6 out of 10 Book Charms 

A Haunted House of Her Own: 

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We meet married couple Tanya and Nathan, who are seeking out a haunted house in order to transform into a B&B. The more the story unfolds, we find that the story nor the actions of the house are what they seem. Is it truly haunted or a matter of madness?

8 out of 10 Book Charms

Last Stand: Different twist on a zombie story. What happens when the monsters become aware and go after the humans that attacked them?

6 out of 10 Book Charms

The Door: This story made my cry! A father and mother will do anything to protect their family – even if it means risking their own lives.

8 out of 10 Book Charms

Dead Flowers By a Roadside: I could not stop crying with this one. No matter how short it is, you can feel the father’s grief over losing his daughter and wife. My only question is did he turn into a ghost in the end?

7 out of 10 Book Charms

Suffer the Children: The idea was there, but the resolution fell flat.

6.5 out of 10 Book Charms

The Collector: Now I want to track down the Hellraiser short story collection! Great adaption of the Hellraiser lore.

10 out of 10 Book Charms

Harbinger: If dead people are trying to give you a warning, listen and don’t yell at them.

8.5 out of 10 Book Charms

Plan B: Hell Hath no fury than the “Other Woman’s” scorn.

7.5 out of 10 Book Charms

Dead to Me: Was not expecting how this story went.

7 out of 10 Book Charms

Age of Legends

The Kitsune’s Nine Tales: The Katsune’s Nine Tales: 9 Tales = 9 Lies. Beware of the Katsune’s tricks. You may end up with a knife in your back.

7 out of 10 Book Charms

Cainsville Series Stories

The Screams of Dragons: Wow, I’m ready to start reading the Cainsville series! A strange town filled with magnificent beings who only want to help the misunderstood and gifted. Unfortunately, they couldn’t help Bobby. Even though someone may come from a dark past, it is up to them to give into the darkness. The ending was completely unexpected!

10 out of 10 Book Charms

Gabriel’s Gargoyles: Wasn’t really needed….

6 out of 10 Book Charms

The Hunt: Sometimes it’s not the animal you’re hunting, but yourself.

6 out of 10 Book Charms

Devil May Care: Prequel to Gabriel’s Gargoyles, Love the fae lore aspect!

Darkest Powers/Darkness Rising

Kat: I haven’t read the Darkness Rising series since I was in high school and it looks like I may need to pick them up and refresh. We’re reminded of the genetic experiments operations of the Edison Group as they are seeking to retrieve the escaped experiment, Kat. Quick, Simple, but good story from that world.

9 out of 10 Book Charms

Branded: It was missing something, I don’t know what, but something…

5 out of 10 Book Charms

Otherworld Universe

Learning Curve: Welcome back to the Otherworld. If you’re going to try to stake a vampire, make sure you don’t run into Zoe and are better prepared, kids.

6 out of 10 Book Charms

Bamboozled: The story as ok. Imagine a heist involving supernaturals that goes wrong.

6 out of 10 Book Charms

The List: More like Learning Curve Prt. 2

6 out of 10 Book Charms

Young Bloods: Wasn’t anything too special.

5 out of 10 Book Charms

V Plates: Play on “V-Card”! I missed Nick from this series!

8 out of 10 Book Charms

Life Sentence: A bit slow, but love the ending!

7 out of 10 Book Charms

 

Rating 8

 

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

C.B.H. ARC Review: Pretty Dead Girls By Monica Murphy

C.B.H. ARC Review: Pretty Dead Girls By Monica Murphy

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Title: Pretty Dead Girls
Author: Monica Murphy
Release Date: January 2nd, 2018
Available: Amazon/B&N/Goodreads

*Disclaimer – I received an ARC copy courtesy of Entangled Publishing & NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*

Synopsis

Beautiful. Perfect. Dead.

In the peaceful seaside town of Cape Bonita, wicked secrets and lies are hidden just beneath the surface. But all it takes is one tragedy for them to be exposed.

The most popular girls in school are turning up dead, and Penelope Malone is terrified she’s next. All the victims so far have been linked to Penelope—and to a boy from her physics class. The one she’s never really noticed before, with the rumored dark past and a brooding stare that cuts right through her.

There’s something he isn’t telling her. But there’s something she’s not telling him, either.

Everyone has secrets, and theirs might get them killed.

My Review

We are told throughout the novel that nothing happens in the small Northern Californian town of Cape Bonita. MURDER doesn’t happen in Cape Bonita. For a society of popular high school girls called “The Larks”, their world is about to be rocked by the senior Larks being killed off one by one. By who, you may ask? Penelope, President of the Larks, is searching for answers.

This story is told from the perspective of Penelope and the killer. The gender reveal of the killer happened quite early in the novel to my dismay. I wished this detail remained anonymous due to it narrowing down my personal list of suspects.

These group of girls, specifically the seniors, are not what you would call role models….oh what am I even doing, these girls are savage. Well, except for Dani and Penelope. Gretchen, Courtney, and Lexi are another incarnation of the original Mean Girls themselves minus being-

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I flew through the book rather quickly. My main problems with this book was the dialogue, the extremely strange information dumping sessions, and, I hate to say it, but underwhelming reveal at the end. The motivations behind the killer’s actions reminded me of the classic horror movie Prom Night.

Penelope’s dialogue is strange and I had a hard time staying connected with her. I don’t know if it’s because I’m an adult or what, but there were times where I rolled my eyes and longed to tell her to get over herself. The information dumping sessions she would throw at you made no sense. It’s like “ok, what is the point of you talking about this? It has nothing to do with this current situation.” This didn’t happen on one occasion either, this was a continuous loop.

Mind you, this was the unreleased draft. These problems are probably fixed, but they constantly bothered me. Other than these issues, it’s worth the read.

 

Rating 6

 

Happy Reading!

~C.C.