Savage Ax is a split POV that follows both Savage and Nikki Arelle, vampires from rival covens. They're sent out on a mission together, which is really a race against all the other rival covens to retrieve someone deemed important enough to actually team them up.
Both Savage and Nikki have reputations for being.. well.. disreputable. Savage for brutality and Nikki for losing control. Neither of them are exactly people persons, so it's no surprise that they don't hit it off well.
Overall, the story isn't that substantial, but of course that's not what I read it for and I'm assuming the same for the average reader who'd pick up this book from its blurb. It does still make steady progress over the course of the few days the pair are out in the human world together. The fight scenes are perhaps a little overdone, making them somewhat difficult to conceive. Probably what seemed really clear in the author's mind, just doesn't transfer to page as well.. and that's not uncommon.. but it's also not super important here
The character development is good enough considering the type of book it is. Neither character is exactly deep, but they do both have a nice (if brief) backstory. Savage's is the kind of backstory that could really dig into the reader with some time spent on it and he IS hot. All the little things are there in his nature and in the way he interacts with Nikki.
Spicy scenes are well-placed and sprinkled throughout the book, they do not take up all the space leaving no room for story. Personally, I found the beginnings of them to be the best.. the lead-ups were great.. his darker tastes on full display, but then they'd sort of plateau. Again, not uncommon. I find most authors in the genre don't want to go too far, or don't quite know how to. Either way, it's more than enough to pacify the general smut fan.
All in all, it was a quick, easy read. Savage was a lot of fun, even when dealing with enemies and Nikki wasn't bad either. Better than the average MC.
PURCHASE LINK: AMAZON
Nothing quite feeds the soul like a good Faustian bargain tale.
I know I'm very late getting to read 'The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue' by V.E. Schwab, but last year was a wild ride and though it remained top of the 'things I want to do' list.. it just didn't happen.
Nonetheless, I'm glad I kept working toward having time for this read.
You know.. it's funny, as a rule.. I'm not a fan of 'historical fiction,' but Schwab doesn't rely on the language of old to set the time period. She creates that through vivid imagery of the world around Addie.. both the visuals of those small towns and big cities.. and the textures of life within them.
Deep down, I think Addie speaks to most of us. Whether we want to admit it or not, we know that path is short.. and often by circumstance, it's more limited in where it might take us than we would want it to be. I understand making hard decisions that lead to deeper struggle in order to step off those given paths and start creating one of your own. I understand the desire for legacy and all the ways one can mean that.
Throughout this story, Schwab does a beautiful job of dancing between eras. Shifting the narrative timeline effortlessly, she never loses the reader's interest or leaves you in a position where you need to go back and re-read to understand something. She leads you expertly along, developing every inch of her literary space. From Addie, to Luc and Henry, to Henry's friends and beyond.. the relationships are like the surface of a lake.. rippling ever outward from the core of her tale. All connected, all consistent, all consuming.
This was my first V.E. Schwab read, but it most certainly will not be my last. While the book felt dense, every few pages leaving me kind of exhausted.. it wasn't because it was slow. The pacing was perfect actually. There was simply so much emotional content to process, that it really took me to the mat.. so to speak.
I'm not sure I fell for the character that I was supposed to, but maybe I'm not alone out here. Addie was lovely in the way she constantly strived for more.. in the way she refused to back down.. and fought for what she wanted. Henry.. oh Henry was indeed a bit of a heartbreaker.. and those of you who have read the story know why. But Luc.. I am most sad and weary over Luc.. is that wrong?
Anyway, this beautiful book was worth every moment. It makes me glad I invested in.. oh I don't know.. probably 8-10 copies or so? Gallant.. here I come.
'Unorthodox' by K.V. Rose is a story about Addison.. a girl born into a crime family, raised by the worst kinds of men, and valued only by what she can do for them.
When her father makes a mistake that costs Max millions, her life becomes forfeit and he decides she's the payment he wants. Not for himself, no. Not directly. Initially, he intends to sell her off, but then a deal he can't say no to comes up and no amount of money is worth letting her go to anyone else.
Max likes to play mind games. In fact, as much as he likes to do physical damage, it's the emotional damage that does it for him. He wants her to want what he does and he knows exactly how to make that happen. He's methodical and dangerous.. and even though she fights him, from the start.. she's in over her head.
They both have histories to tell, reasons for who they've become and the author does a pretty good job of developing the characters and their relationship. I enjoyed the fact that there's a level of unpredictability as to characters being safe and storytelling direction.
Also, though books are often labeled 'dark romance,' I find little 'dark' about them. That isn't the case here and there is a lot of potential, especially toward the end of the book, but Rose does still pull her punches a bit and that's unfortunate. Still, it's a worthwhile read and I didn't want to put it down.
As this was released back in 2020, I do hope there's a second book on the way to deal with the cliffhanger. Especially considering the situation at that point, I'd love to see the gloves come off here. In any case, I'm eager to continue and see where the path leads.
I feel like we waited forever to get our hands on the second Crescent City book, House of Sky and Breath, by Sarah J. Maas. I know it wasn't actually that long, but I'd become so attached to the characters and so much was left hanging in the balance that it was definitely my most eagerly awaited sequel this year.
She certainly didn't disappoint in regards to content, the book is chock full of action and drama.. in fact, a lot happens within the scope of just one book.. and all my favorite characters make an appearance. Well, the surviving ones thus far. Plus, I got to know some really intriguing new ones.. and not all of them are pleasant.
As I said, Maas really covered a lot of ground from a plot perspective. I don't feel like anything left from book one was really tied up, but this is a middle book and I'm fine with that. In fact, I almost feel like too much happened because there were scenes I think could have and should have played out in more detail. Scenes which could have really impacted me emotionally like the first book did, but instead.. I had one moment of dread toward the end and then it was over.
It's important to remember that it's really difficult to balance such a huge cast of characters and a story with so many diverging plotlines. Honestly, I'm impressed Maas can keep it all straight. I feel like even with a pinboard of note cards looking like I was on an FBI taskforce, I'd still miss things.
That being said, I think book two could have benefitted from maybe being spread into the next book. I know we all love Ruhn and wanted more of him, but I also feel like he got a bit short-changed by starting to get some focus in the middle of what's all happening here. Maas is still trying to give the fans a lot of Hunt and Bryce, which is fair.. while introducing us to Ruhn's life a bit more, but there are a lot of side stories going on at the same time.. a lot of seeds being planted for the next book.
In fact, it feels like there's so much going on and so many things being set-up, that almost nothing gets proper focus EXCEPT Hunt and Bryce. It was great to get steamy with them, but I don't know that three scenes were really necessary when so many other things didn't play out in as much detail. There were scenes that could have been so impactful if given enough time and care.
Highlights for me definitely included getting a better look at the familial structures and the ripple effect that Sandriel left behind. I loved the direction Maas went regarding the afterlife, it may have been my favorite aspect of HoSaB.. and the reveals about the Asteri, also fantastic.
Baxian and Pollux are fascinating for different reasons, same with the rest of the 'newcomers.' I am hopeful that Maas will really let some of the characters out to play in the next book, as it felt like she was holding back a bit here. Lots of mention of their histories and reputations, but no real opportunity to see them at work. I feel like I would have a better chance to connect with them.. for better or worse.. if those characters were truly present in who they're painted as being, but even moments where they act out.. feel very half-hearted.
The one problem that I felt was an issue in House of Earth and Blood, does rear its head here too. The big scene near the end is basically a complete download of information during a conversation.. and with all the other great writing.. it just ends up feeling very lazy. But, at least there's some very interesting implications in the final pages..
Regardless, I did love the book and I can't wait for the next one. Here we go again.. the countdown begins.
'How to Love Your Neighbor' by Sophie Sullivan is a pretty straight-forward grumpy sunshine romance.
Still in interior design school, Grace inheirits a house from the grandparents she never knew. Estranged from her mom, she sees the little beach house as a perfect opportunity to find a way to connect with her familial roots.
Intending to move in and fix it up, her plans become complicated when the hot guy from the dogwalking incident turns out to be her wealthy neighbor. A pushy real estate developer who's used to getting what he wants, this time he wants her property. With the idea anything can be had for the right price and determined to expand his own place.. netting him coverage in a big magazine and the fresh start he craves, she's the only thing standing in his way.
While they're obviously attracted to each other, the two neighbors clash constantly. They have extremely different backgrounds and approaches to life, even if there are hidden commonalities under all that.
As much as Noah comes across sometimes like an all out jerk, very similar things are motivating them both. Despite the fact he can be a bit unaware of those around him, deep down.. he's actually kind of lovely. Not to mention hot and charismatic.
Grace.. herself.. is relatable and down to earth. Her struggles are reasonable, he frustrations are understandable, and ultimately she's a warm person who sort of blossoms around Noah.
The banter between them is great and often feels very realistic. I've had some of the same types of conversations I witnessed between them and I love that genuine, easy dialogue. Since my opinion is that dialogue is the hardest part to write well in any form of media, I applaud Sullivan for getting it so right.
Though I read romance only occasionally, I can't wait to see more work from this author. It's a light, fun read.. that still manages to have substance.
Be sure to follow this link - [TOUR SCHEDULE] to check out the rest of the stops on the 'BELLADONNA' blog tour brought to you by TBR & BEYOND TOURS, LITTLE BROWN BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS, and ADALYN GRACE!
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Pub Date: Aug. 30th, 2022
Genres: Young Adult Fantasy Romance
New York Times bestselling author Adalyn Grace brings to life a highly romantic, Gothic-infused world of wealth, desire, and betrayal.
Orphaned as a baby, nineteen-year-old Signa has been raised by a string of guardians, each more interested in her wealth than her well-being—and each has met an untimely end. Her remaining relatives are the elusive Hawthornes, an eccentric family living at Thorn Grove, an estate both glittering and gloomy. Its patriarch mourns his late wife through wild parties, while his son grapples for control of the family’s waning reputation and his daughter suffers from a mysterious illness. But when their mother’s restless spirit appears claiming she was poisoned, Signa realizes that the family she depends on could be in grave danger and enlists the help of a surly stable boy to hunt down the killer.
However, Signa’s best chance of uncovering the murderer is an alliance with Death himself, a fascinating, dangerous shadow who has never been far from her side. Though he’s made her life a living hell, Death shows Signa that their growing connection may be more powerful—and more irresistible—than she ever dared imagine.
About the Author:
Adalyn Grace is a New York Times bestselling author of All the Stars and Teeth, which was named “2020’s biggest YA fantasy” by Entertainment Weekly.
Prior to becoming an author, Adalyn spent four years working in live theatre, acted as the managing editor of a nonprofit newspaper, and studied storytelling as an intern on Nickelodeon Animation’s popular series The Legend of Korra.
Local to San Diego, Adalyn spends her non-writing days by watching too much anime, and by playing video games with her dorky dog.