Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake | Book Review

ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD BY KENDARE BLAKE

Genre: Young Adult, Horror, Paranormal

Series: Anna Duology
Girl of Nightmares (Anna #2)

“I’ve seen most of what
there is to be afraid of in this world, and to tell you the truth,
the worst of them are the ones that make you afraid in the
light. The things that your eyes see plainly and can’t forget
are worse than huddled black figures left to the imagination.
Imagination has a poor memory; it       slinks away and goes
blurry. Eyes remember for much longer.”
― Kendare Blake, Anna Dressed in Blood

Synopsis:
Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.

So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father’s mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. They follow legends and local lore, destroy the murderous dead, and keep pesky things like the future and friends at bay.

Searching for a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas expects the usual: track, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he’s never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, now stained red and dripping with blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.

Yet she spares Cas’s life.

Goodreads | Amazon 

So I am trying to go back through some of the books I have read and write reviews, I read this back in Oct. and figured it was time.

Kendare Blake managed to write a unique story that was dark and gory, but yet still had me rooting for character you shouldn’t. I enjoyed that this books has unexpected twists and had some deeper and more moving moments. ‘

This was my first time reading a book with a ghost that was done well. Blake did not sugar coat the death and horror. It had me yelled at the book like I do when I watch horror movies. It was so interesting to learn about Cas’s back story and the world of hunting that he lives in. I would have loved to learn more because it was fun to learn about different ghost he had hunted. I did think the way the book began was absolutely perfect and really set the stage for the rest of the book.

Cas was a very likable character and much like any cocky teenage boy. He is the lonely boy that rides into a different town all the time and sometimes makes some silly decisions. Cas’s mom was my favorite character, she was that kooky witchy type. Then of course there is Anna, who is the ghost that Cas heads into Thunder Bay to kill, only it would not be that easy for him. I thought her story really made this book, she is such a complex character and one you cant help, but cheer for.

Overall this book was dark, gory but ultimate a phenomenal original story. It is the first real horror YA book I have read that I actually enjoyed. The atmosphere was perfect and definitely had that spooky, cabin in the middle of the woods vibe. It deals with some deep issues, love, family and friends! This  book is so suspenseful and pulls you right in, its such a quick read and I could not put it down. It completely surprised me and I liked the book a lot more than I thought I would. It deals with some deep issues, love, family and friends. I am excited to see what happens in the following books.

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By A Charm And A Curse by Jamie Questell | ARC Review

BY A CHARM AND A CURSE BY JAMIE QUESTELL

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Publication Date: February 6th 2018

Synopsis:
Le Grand’s Carnival Fantastic isn’t like other traveling circuses. It’s bound by a charm, held together by a centuries-old curse, that protects its members from ever growing older or getting hurt. Emmaline King is drawn to the circus like a moth to a flame…and unwittingly recruited into its folds by a mysterious teen boy whose kiss is as cold as ice.

Forced to travel through Texas as the new Girl in the Box, Emmaline is completely trapped. Breaking the curse seems like her only chance at freedom, but with no curse, there’s no charm, either—dooming everyone who calls the Carnival Fantastic home. Including the boy she’s afraid she’s falling for.

Everything—including his life—could end with just one kiss.

Goodreads | Amazon

 *I would like to thank Entangled Publishing greatly for the amazing package they sent me and for the opportunity to read this book!*

It seems like the past year carnival books have been all the rage. I find them absolutely intriguing and think they are filled with so much magic. But for some reason this was the first carnival book I read in completion. I am beyond happy that I was given the chance to review this book because I needed it in my life! This book was the perfect combination of magic, mystery, characters filled with personality and childhood vibes!

At the beginning I thought this might be inspired from Pinocchio and was getting some major flashbacks to the movie BIG. By A Charm And A Curse was so much different then I expected and found the mystery behind the charm and the curse to be so interesting. Questell really painted a detailed picture of carnival life and the ties that bind so to speak of those individuals who make up the unique performers of the carnival. The characters were full of personality and their own little quirks. I found the whole love aspect a little too fairy tale for me with the whole curse, but enjoyed the story behind the charm and curse associated with Le Grand’s Carnival Fantastic.

I enjoyed that this books was driven by the characters and their personal development and growth. Sometimes when there is the background of a carnival or something like it, I feel like it is sometimes easy for the author to focus on that event or element too heavily. Not that I do not enjoy world building or magic around things such as a carnival, but I absolutely hate when the characters are flat and stagnant. I have to admit at the beginning I was annoyed with Emma as a character, yeah a lot of horrible stuff happened but she was so whiney. I loved seeing her evolve throughout the story and was her biggest fan at the end of the book. I was a fan of Ben from the beginning and adored him all the way through. He was perfect and what every girl dreams of when in search of a love interest. It was nice to see that despite what happens to Emma he doesn’t see her as different and fights like crazy for her. There were some other characters that I quite enjoyed, but really wish more time was spent on some of them. I wanted to know more and learn more about them and their background.

Overall, Le Grand’s Carnival Fantastic is a carnival I would want to runaway to a be a part of! They were such a family, they cared and defended one another. It was unique and magical. There were some issue with the story, I would have loved more details about the carnival instead of such a heavy focus on the romance. Because of that the plot fell flat at time, but I still found it to be an enjoyable read and has made me want to pick up more carnival focused books!

Haven by Mary Lindsey | Book Review

HAVEN BY MARY LINDSEY

Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal

Publication Date: Nov. 7th 2017

“We all hold a monster inside. The only difference is what form it takes when freed.”
― Mary Lindsey, Haven

Synopsis:
Rain Ryland has never belonged anywhere, He’s used to people judging him for his rough background, his intimidating size, and now, his orphan status. He’s always been on the outside, looking in, and he’s fine with that. Until he moves to New Wurzburg and meets Friederike Burkhart.

Freddie isn’t like normal teen girls, though. And someone wants her dead for it. Freddie warns he’d better stay far away if he wants to stay alive, but Rain’s never been good at running from trouble. For the first time, Rain has something worth fighting for, worth living for. Worth dying for.

Goodreads | Amazon 

 *I would like to thank Entangled Publishing greatly for the amazing package they sent me and for the opportunity to read this book!*

A small town, an outsider and a secret that could get one killed.

This unique dark paranormal read brought to light a gender role reversal spin to the Beauty and the Beast story. I am not quite sure if this book had any inspiration from the B&B story, but there were some parallels and loosely based similarities. I was completely blown away with this story and quickly flew through it! It was layered with an air of mystery and full of secrets, some of which could be deadly.

I think Lindsey did an amazing job with the character development. All of the characters had unique personalities and really added to the overall story. With the introduction of some paranormal elements, I felt like the world building and fleshing out the overall aspects of what was going on in this town were just quickly covered. I wanted more explanation and to learn more about the background and history of what was taking place in New Wurzburg. It was definitely driven by wanting to know the fate of the characters.

Although most times I am not such a huge fan of romance and try to stay away from it, with the dark secrets and weird occurrences in this little creepy town it happened to work well for me. The relationship between Rain and Freddie was one I was rooting for from the beginning. Coming from a rough past, I wanted to see it all work out for Rain, but that is easier said then done. Freddie was the perfect female lead. She was feisty and strongly independent! Freddie did not let herself get placed into the confounds of the role of a female and proved that she is quite a badass. She has quickly become one of my female crushes and on my list of kickass fictional females. The rest of the cast of characters added to the overall story and had each of their own unique qualities that contributed to the feel and creepiness that carried the book. I had a deep love for Petra and her quirkiness!

I enjoyed the paranormal elements of this book a lot and really enjoyed what Lindsey created with these two groups that live in this town. The different abilities and powers were so intriguing and the kookiness and quirks of the characters was a lot of fun. I definitely loved the horror movie feel even though this is not a horror novel. It reminded me of the beginning of those horror movies when the characters role into this small town on the way to their destination because they needed gas or got lost. They soon find the town is strange and has a secret that everyone is in on but you. That was very much how it was when Rain rolled into New Wurzburg, the outsider to a town with its own things to hide!

The almost 400 page book just seemed to go way too fast. I felt like a lot more could have been fleshed out and explanation on certain aspects done. The end of the book finished too quickly for my liking. I had about 70 pages left and there was still so much that need to be solved and figured out. Lindsey tied up the lose ends and answered the questions I had while ending the book with a real ending, but it was too fast. Other than that the rest of the pacing was pretty well done.

Overall I absolutely adored this story and need more. It has quickly moved up on my list of favorite books. It was much more than I expected from it. The mythology was unique and it added classic aspects with new and fun modern aspects. It had hints of older stories like Beauty and the Beast and Twilight, but the story was completely its own. It was filled with fun and quirky characters in a small and interesting town. It also had some pretty awesome quote worthy moments! I highly recommend this read if you enjoy paranormal elements, mystery or romance. It has a little bit of everything!

Never Apart by Romily Bernard | Book Review

NEVER APART BY ROMILY BERNARD

Genre: Young Adult, Mystery/Thriller

“Sometimes people come into your life and change everything. You become someone you would never have been without them. They crack you open, split you apart, let light into places that have only seen darkness, but it always comes with a price: you cannot go back to who you were before.”
― Romily Bernard, Never Apart

Publication Date : October 3rd 2017

Synopsis:
How many times would you die for love?

What if you had to relive the same five days over and over?

And what if at the end of it, your boyfriend is killed…

And you have to watch. Every time.

You don’t know why you’re stuck in this nightmare.

But you do know that these are the rules you now live by:

Wake Up.

Run.

Die.

Repeat.

Now, the only way to escape this loop is to attempt something crazy. Something dangerous. Something completely unexpected. This time…you’re not going to run.

Combining heart-pounding romance and a thrilling mystery Never Apart is a stunning story you won’t soon forget.

Goodreads | Amazon 

*I would like to thank Entangled Teen and Romily Bernard for the copy of this book in return for an honest review*

When I read the last page in the book I closed it and sat there bewildered with how I felt. This book caught me by surprise. It was much different than I thought it would be and the ending completely caught me off guard. It is labeled from what I have seen as a Mystery/Thriller, but I think it also falls into another category as well. Even as I write this review I am going back and forth with how I feel about this book.

I was completely gripped from the beginning of the book. It started off pretty vague and it worked because you needed to know more. I wanted to know what the heck was going on and where the story would go. It definitely had a mysterious vibe and left you questioning. The story was well paced and went back and forth between the present and the past. I was not completely sure how I felt about the back and forth, but it gave the story a slow reveal and increased the mystery and kept a fast pace to the read. There were aspects to the story that I felt went too fast or not into enough details. Trying to think back on the story about the characters its hard to remember the entirety of the characters.I thought there was some lacking in the characterization. There was definitely character development with the main character, Grace, but it fell short for the others. There is a love triangley vibe to the story. But thankfully it was not full on in your face. I liked that you learn about the characters through Grace and how they play a role in her life and finding herself.

Overall I thought this was an enjoyable read. I would say go into it without really reading the synopsis or focusing on what it is about. It surprised me and went a totally different way than I was expecting. It was a gripping mystery that at the end tied up all the loose ends, which is very important in my opinion. It was also quite nice that at the end there was some bonus material of a few chapters written from the other characters perspective, it added a little something to those characters. This book is raw, intense and very true to what happens in ones life without trying to sugar coat the events that shape us.

Black Bird of the Gallows by Meg Kassel | ARC Review

BLACK BIRD OF THE GALLOWS BY MEG KASSEL

Genre: YA, Paranormal

Publication Date: Sept. 5, 2017

Source: Entangled Publishing in return for an honest review

Synopsis:
A simple but forgotten truth: Where harbingers of death appear, the morgues will soon be full.

Angie Dovage can tell there’s more to Reece Fernandez than just the tall, brooding athlete who has her classmates swooning, but she can’t imagine his presence signals a tragedy that will devastate her small town. When something supernatural tries to attack her, Angie is thrown into a battle between good and evil she never saw coming. Right in the center of it is Reece—and he’s not human.

What’s more, she knows something most don’t. That the secrets her town holds could kill them all. But that’s only half as dangerous as falling in love with a harbinger of death.

Goodreads | Amazon 


*I would like to thank Entangled Publishing and the author for the copy of this book in return for an honest review*

A love story in the midst of mass chaos. A interesting and creative YA paranormal read that presents unique mythology and characters. It dove into the world of Harbingers of Death, beekeepers, and the hidden magic within.Angie is no stranger to traumatic events, but life has been going so much better for her, that was until a hunky boy moved in next door.

I enjoyed Kassel’s writing a lot. She uses great details and paints a beautiful picture. The way the story unfolds was a great pace although I feel like the ending was a little rushed. With 20 pages left I was unsure how she was going to wrap everything up. I liked what Kassel did with the characters and mythology. It was a unique curse that I haven’t read about before in a YA novel.

I did find Angie a little annoying at times. She carried on this whole “woe is me” a little too much. I understand everything she went though and she did have a right to some of her actions and feelings, but she really hid herself too much because of this suppose title of “freak“.I thought Reece was a great character and was really complex. Kassel did a good job at filling out his character and giving him those emotions and feelings that should be associated with someone with his curse. I also found the romance to be very typical of a YA novel. It was too fast and unrealistic. It went from a crush to madly in love in 0 to 60 seconds. The romance felt very Twilight to me. One of the notes I made multiple times while reading was this reminded me of Twilight. It just has the same vibe and a similar type of storyline.

Overall I found this to be an enjoyable and fast read. The unique mythology really intrigued me and was what sold me on the story. I loved the cast of characters and the friendships throughout the book. The reason it did not get a 5 star rating for me was because of the unrealistic romance and Twilight vibes. Although the story was different then Edward and Bella’s I could not stop comparing them and thinking about it throughout the book. The mass chaos and effects of the curse were fantastic additions that added to the overall atmosphere of the story. I recommend this to those who enjoy dark paranormals with mythology and romance.

You might also like:

Twilight Saga by Stephanie Meyer

The Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

RoseBlood by A.G Howard

 

Open Road Summer by Emery Lord | Book Review

OPEN ROAD SUMMER BY EMERY LORD 

Genre: YA Contemporary

“You are the only person who can build emotional barriers, but you’re also the only person who can topple them. Other people can’t knock down the walls you’ve built, no matter how much they love you. You have to tear them down yourself because there’s something worth seeing on the other side.”
Emery Lord, Open Road Summer

Synopsis:
After breaking up with her bad-news boyfriend, Reagan O’Neill is ready to leave her rebellious ways behind. . . and her best friend, country superstar Lilah Montgomery, is nursing a broken heart of her own.

Fortunately, Lilah’s 24-city tour is about to kick off, offering a perfect opportunity for a girls-only summer of break-up ballads and healing hearts. But when Matt Finch joins the tour as its opening act, his boy-next-door charm proves difficult for Reagan to resist, despite her vow to live a drama-free existence.

This summer, Reagan and Lilah will navigate the ups and downs of fame and friendship as they come to see that giving your heart to the right person is always a risk worth taking.

A fresh new voice in contemporary romance, Emery Lord’s gorgeous writing hits all the right notes.

Goodreads | Amazon 

I am never drawn to contemporary books, but it is a thing to do in the summer and I am happy I picked this one up. It is based on two friends during the summer time and gave me exactly what I needed. This is a fun summer road trip following Dee’s music tour as Dee and Reagan work though situations in their lives while enjoying the time together.

I could not put this book down, it was a fast read and so much fun. I loved the friendship between the two girls and how much they were there for each other. They each had such different personalities and different ghost they were dealing with in their past. I really found a connection to Reagan and some of the things she was going through. She had developed so much throughout the story and it was really nice to see. Of course there is a love interest and at times it took away a little from the two girls,  but it added a deeper layer to the book as well.

The music aspect was so intriguing and nice to read about. I sometimes think that music isn’t used enough in books. Or is a focus in many books. I like that it showed some real realities that accompany the entertainment world and made Dee an actual human with flaws and a past.

Overall I thought this was a great and fun read. It is perfect for the summer time and included so many fun summertime things. The relationships were really well done and it showed all sides of those relationships, the good, bad and the ugly. I also really appreciated that there was a guardian figure present because in so many YA novels these kids run around all on their own. The characters were complex and the storyline was sometimes a little deeper than just a fluffy contemporary, but it was such a fast gripping read.

You might also like:

Kissing in America by Margo Rabb

Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson

Lover Eternal by J.R. Ward | Book Review


LOVER ETERNAL
 BY J.R. WARD

Genre: Adult Paranormal Romance

“How can you stand to have me near you?” “The only thing I can’t handle is your leaving.”
J.R. Ward, Lover Eternal

Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood
#1 Dark Lover

Synopsis:
Within the brotherhood, Rhage is the vampire with the strongest appetites. He’s the best fighter, the quickest to act on his impulses, and the most voracious lover-for inside him burns a ferocious curse cast by the Scribe Virgin. Owned by this dark side, Rhage fears the time when his inner dragon is unleashed, making him a danger to everyone around him.

Mary Luce, a survivor of many hardships is unwittingly thrown into the vampire world and reliant on Rhage’s protection. With a life-threatening curse of her own, Mary is not looking for love. She lost her faith in miracles years ago. But when Rhage’s intense animal attraction turns into something more emotional, he knows that he must make Mary his alone. And while their enemies close in, Mary fights desperately to gain life eternal with the one she loves…

Goodreads | Amazon 

review

These books. There are parts that are so cheesy and unrealistic, but J.R Ward is an amazing writer. Only the second book in the series and I am so hooked. I am not a huge fan of romance novels at all, but Ward does so well with character and plot development. Although each book focuses on a relationship they all each continue with the war between the brotherhood and the lessers and the situations going on with all of the brothers. The books are such fast reads as it has an engaging plot and the switch between POV each chapter keeps you wanting more.

I love Rhage as a character and his relationship with Mary was so beautiful. He showed such dedication and really did everything for Mary. There were times I just wanted to smack Mary, but could understand where she was coming from. I was extremely happy with how this romance played out and thought it was perfect.  We get to learn so much more about each brother in this book and really start to get to know them.

So much is going on with the brotherhood and the plot thickens as more of the background is laid for the brotherhood and the lessers. I am definitely pulled in by the plot and liked how in this book there was more of a focus on what is going on rather than the romance.

Overall I think these books are really great guilty pleasure reads. There is a good storyline, lots of action and smoking hot vampires. There is also a lot of depth the the romances and they are not easy and perfect ones. These characters are damaged and flawed and I love that.

Garden of Thorns by Amber Mitchell | ARC Review

GARDEN OF THORNS BY AMBER MITCHELL

Genre: YA Fantasy

Source: Entangled Teen in return for an honest review

Publication Date: March 7, 2017

Synopsis:
After seven grueling years of captivity in the Garden—a burlesque troupe of slave girls—sixteen-year-old Rose finds an opportunity to escape during a performance for the emperor. But the hostage she randomly chose from the crowd to aid her isn’t one of the emperor’s men—not anymore. He’s the former heir to the throne, who is now leading a rebellion against it.

Rayce is a wanted man and dangerously charismatic, the worst person for Rose to get involved with, no matter what his smile promises. But he assumes Rose’s attempt to take him hostage is part of a plot to crush the rebellion, so he takes her as his hostage. Now Rose must prove where her loyalties lie, and she offers Rayce a deal—if he helps her rescue the other girls, she’ll tell him all the Garden’s secrets.

Except the one secret she’s kept for seven years that she’ll take to her grave if she must.

Goodreads| Amazon

*I would like to thank Entangled Teen for the copy of this book in return for an honest review*

From the very beginning this book dives right in and takes off with thrilling intensity. The concept of the Garden and all that these captured girls go through in this traveling burlesque troupe was so captivating and made me want to continue from the very start. There are secrets, intrigue and kingdoms at war.

I thought Mitchell did a wonderful job with the opening of the book. I was so drawn in from the first page. She was able to maintain my attention and keep me on the edge of my seat until the end, although I did think it faltered a little in the middle. The character development of the main character Rose was so well executed. She had issues and unlike so many YA novels she actually had to work through her issues and face her own demons which was refreshing. I find that in so many novels the issues are presented and then quickly are dissolved. Rose was a strong female heroine and definitely makes the whole female independence a strong motto.

The other characters were really well developed and so well described that I could picture them perfectly. The thing with such great character development is I feel like Mitchell fell a little short on the world building. There was so much room for great world development being a fantasy novel and even more about the Garden. I was really intrigued by the concept of the Garden and wanted more from it.

I had just a few other issues with this book and without giving too much away, I thought the romance at times was too much. I really liked the way it ended but at the beginning it came on too strong and didn’t follow Roses beliefs but Mitchell managed to straighten it out and actually make me really happy that it was in the story and added a great component. The last problem I found was with how quickly they threw Rose out on missions and how she was trusted with little to no training.

Overall, I found this story to be very unique and nothing I have read before. It did not shy away from the gruesome details and wasn’t afraid to not let a strong female overcome obstacles and shine. Garden of Thorns was a fast read and kept me on the edge of my seat, never knowing what was going to happen the whole time. It made me experience a wide range of emotions and actually had an ending I cannot complain about. I really recommend YA fantasy readers who enjoy strong female leads and times of war and unrest to pick this book up!

You might also like:

The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst

Alanna by Tamora Pierce

After Alice by Gregory Maguire | Book Review

24331115AFTER ALICE BY GREGORY MAGUIRE

Genre: Adult Fiction

“All of life hinges on what one does next, until finally one makes the wrong choice.”
― Gregory Maguire, After Alice

Synopsis:
When Alice toppled down the rabbit-hole 150 years ago, she found a Wonderland as rife with inconsistent rules and abrasive egos as the world she left behind. But what of that world? How did 1860s Oxford react to Alice’s disappearance?

In this brilliant new work of fiction, Gregory Maguire turns his dazzling imagination to the question of underworlds, undergrounds, underpinnings — and understandings old and new, offering an inventive spin on Carroll’s enduring tale. Ada, a friend of Alice’s mentioned briefly in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, is off to visit her friend, but arrives a moment too late — and tumbles down the rabbit hole herself.

Ada brings to Wonderland her own imperfect apprehension of cause and effect as she embarks on an odyssey to find Alice and see her safely home from this surreal world below the world. If Euridyce can ever be returned to the arms of Orpheus, or Lazarus can be raised from the tomb, perhaps Alice can be returned to life. Either way, everything that happens next is After Alice.

Goodreads | Amazon

review

I was extremely disappointed in this book. It was almost a DNF book. I finished this book over a month ago and even as I sit here and try to write this review I am struggling to bring myself to do it. Writing this review is like reading the book. If you did not know I absolutely adore Alice in Wonderland so I was so excited and was anticipating reading this book for so long. It was the hugest let down I have ever read.

The story was suppose to follow Ada, Alice’s friend after Alice wandered down the rabbit hole. It was based in the same setting just following different characters including Alice’s sister (family). The idea seemed like it would make for a great story, but I feel like Maguire failed me.

The language at the beginning of the book made it really hard for me to understand and follow. Just getting past the first 20 pages was a struggle. As the book went on it got easier to understand, but I felt like it was taking a lot of the original story when it was talking about Wonderland. It lacked originality and really did not reach the full potential that I think this story could have.

My other main issue with this story was that it was extremely disturbing and a little offensive. I have no problem with darker books but this took a strange turn and was offensive to people with disabilities and or color. I just did not agree with a lot of how Maguire was saying things and handled certain situations.

Overall I do think the concept of tell the story of Alice through her friend was a interesting twist. It was showing the story of what happened After Alice went down the rabbit hole.  How it affected everyone else around her. It used a lot of the same imagery and nonsensical whimsy that was found in the original story. I think Maguire was trying to do too much by not only attempting a retelling, but trying to make a statement about Victorian Oxford as well. It was a mess and just not what I wanted or expected it to be. There was just a lot that I was not comfortable with and found it boring and a drag to read.

RATING-7

Built by Jay Crownover | Book Review

25197119BUILT BY JAY CROWNOVER 

Genre: New Adult, Romance

“After everything the past has tried to bury us under, we owe it to ourselves to be brave, to do more than float.”
― Jay Crownover, Built

Series: Saints of Denver
Leveled (#0.5 Saints of Denver)

Synopsis:
Sayer Cole and Zeb Fuller couldn’t be more different. She’s country club and fine-dining, he’s cell-block and sawdust. Sayer spends her days in litigation, while Zeb spends his working with his hands. She’s French silk, he’s all denim and flannel.

Zeb’s wanted the stunning blonde since the moment he laid eyes on her. It doesn’t matter how many smooth moves he makes, the reserved lawyer seems determinedly oblivious to his interest—either that or she doesn’t return it. Sayer is certain the rough, hard, hot-as-hell Zeb could never want someone as closed off and restrained as she is, which is a shame because something tells her he might be the guy to finally melt her icy exterior.

But just as things start to heat up, Zeb is blindsided by a life altering moment from his past. He needs Sayer’s professional help to right a wrong and to save more than himself. He can’t risk what’s at stake just because his attraction to Sayer feels all consuming. But as these opposites dig in for the fight of their lives, battling together to save a family, the steam created when fire and ice collide can no longer be ignored.Sayer Cole and Zeb Fuller are as different as two people can be. She’s country club and fine-dining, he’s cell-block and kill it and grill it. Sayer spends her days in litigation, while Zeb spends his working with his hands. She’s French silk while he’s denim and flannel.
The differences between the two of them don’t stop Zeb from dropping every hint he can think of that he would like to get to know her on a more personal level, but Sayer seems oblivious to his interest or is just too nice to tell him to take a hike. To Sayer, a guy like Zeb could never be interested in someone as reserved and boring as she is. She’s never been with anyone that was hot enough to melt the icy exterior she’s had wrapped around hera since her awful childhood. But what if Zeb is the one who might finally thaw her out…?

Goodreads| Amazon

review

I was a little nervous starting this book because I have yet to finish the Marked Men Series, but the Saints of Denver series can be read completely separate of the other although it does mention people from the other series. I highly recommend reading the novella Leveled before starting Built.

I found Built a little harder to get into then the start of the Marked Men series, Rule. Zeb is trying to work on making up for a dark past and making a better life for himself. Sayer is dealing with the knowledge of a new found brother, Rowdy and picking up her life to move to Denver for him. She is also dealing with ghosts from the past by putting up the icy walls.

I thought that the romance was a little weird at the beginning. It is hard for my to explain, but I just found it to be insta-y and forced. Eventually  the romance caught me and I feel in love with Sayer and Zeb, it just took a majority of the book until I got there and the relationship felt real and natural. I definitely think that the relationship that stole the show was Hyde and Zeb! I was completely gushing over the two of them together and feel so in love with the little guy! I had a harder time falling in love with Sayer and I think that is the point. She is the “ice queen” and won’t let anyone in or get to close. I found her to be slightly relatable, but there were times her decisions made me so mad. I absolutely feel head over heels for Zeb! I think he is making his way to the top of my fictional crush list. He had served some time in jail, but the reason he did was admirable (at least in my eyes). Also all the things he is doing know to put his life right is amazing. He is filled with passion and is so caring. He had me swoonying every time he talked about second chances.

I love how although this is a story focused on Zeb and Sayer, you still get to see the other characters and how their lives are going. The secondary characters in this book were amazing and even with all their problems they added great complexity and issues to the story. I did find a lot of the story to be repetitive and it dragged. There were some issues that got brought up multiple times and I just did not think it was necessary because we already were told what was happening.

Overall I found this to be a heart warming, swoony and steamy novel. Crownover does a great job writing characters that contain all different problems and personalities. Her stories are filled with emotions and definitely sexy bad boys! I couldn’t help but fall for the boys in this book. I loved seeing the development of Sayer. I highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys bad boys and great new adult novels!

RATING

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Make sure to also check out Samantha’s review of Built by Jay Crownover!