A Girl Walks Into a Bar

A Girl Walks Into a Bar by Helena S. Paige

Rating: 3 Stars

 

A Girl Walks Into a Bar is a choose your own adventure for adults. I found this book when searching for something for the prompt “choose your own adventure” in the 2019 PopSugar Reading Challenge.

My only real experience with choose your own adventure books was when I was younger with some of the Goosebumps books. I never was really into them, because what if I chose wrong? This book kind of felt like that. You can select what the character does. Sometimes when you select, the book basically tells you no and sends you back to select something else. I would skim through some of the different scenarios, but ended up seeing one fully through, and it was weird.

The book itself wasn’t horrible, it just didn’t blow me away either. I could go back and see through some of the other scenarios the rest of the way, but they seemed to lead to a disappointing night, at least in the one I went with, my character got laid by a rock star with drawn on fake tattoos who wanted her to pee on him (don’t worry, the book basically makes the character ghost the rocker after that). It could be worse. One scenario had her teaching a hot, young bartender all about the birds and the bees with his own private lesson and him failing miserably. There was also a scenario where she was invited to a photo exhibit that was vaginas that looked like flowers. So…up to you really and what you are in the mood for.

This book has adult content, so if that is not what you want, I wouldn’t suggest it. But if you are looking to rekindle your childhood nostalgia and give a choose your own adventure a try as an adult, this one isn’t horrible, depending on which adventure you want to go on.

Dead Over Heels

Dead Over Heels by Theresa Braun

Rating: 5 stars

 

I received this book from the author in exchange for my honest review. 

 

Dead Over Heels is a short story, roughly 30-40 pages long. Unlike most short stories I have read and reviewed, this story had a start, middle, and end. It set the stage of the story, had a climax, and then ended leaving me with a “What the?” feeling. It is mind boggling how much information was packed into this story! The flow was smooth and easy to read. You root for the main characters because you want them to be a success, but also know, because of the type of book and the title, something bad is coming their way. All you can do is hope for the best.

Dead Over Heels is about Veronica and her journey to find love. She lights a hoodoo candle that is supposed to bring her true love…shortly after, here comes Sebastian, poor guy, I feel really bad for the end of the stick he got in this story. I feel if I give any further description, it will be spoilers, and this book is worth the read. That ending though!

Earl of Sunderland

Earl of Sunderland by Aubrey Wynne.

Rating: 5 stars

I received a copy of this book by the author in exchange for my honest review.

Earl of Sunderland is book 4 in the Wicked Earls Club series. It is not necessary to have read any of the other books to read this one. Each book is written by a different author. At the moment there appear to be 12 books in the series.

This story is initially about Carson, the heir to the Falsbury estate. He does not wish to be the Earl and tries to get his twin brother to trade him places on his own wedding day. Carson did not want to be married and felt he was not fit to be Earl, but that his brother Christopher “Kit” was. Carson married Eliza, cousin of Grace. The story takes place between the perspectives of Kit and Grace.

During a night of debauchery, Carson is killed in an accident, leaving Eliza to be sent back to her abusive father. During the decision of sending her back, it was discovered she was pregnant with Carson’s child, deciding that Eliza would stay with the Falsbury family, who loved her as their own daughter. Kit was now the new heir until the gender of the child was known.

Grace had met Kit at Eliza’s wedding but had not seen him for many months since that time. Eliza wrote to Grace in need of family to visit, and Grace uprooted the estate she was caring for since her mother’s death to be there for her. At the Falsbury estate, she was reintroduced to Kit, and the magic kept the story going.

Earl of Sunderland is a sweet, historical romance to brighten any heart. By the end, I was teary-eyed and touched by the story. I look forward to the next installment and am happy there will be another featuring this family. It makes me interested in reading about the other Earls in the series as well.

The pace starts out a little slow, but once Grace, her father, and her brother arrived at the Falsbury’s it picks up. I have hopes maybe Lord Boldon will have a story with the Lady Rafferton, as there seemed to be a hint of possibility there.

I did not take stars away for this next part, because it did not take away from the story, but there were a couple of typos in the book.

I highly suggest giving this book a read. I don’t read sweet romances very often so it was a nice little break. I read 70% of the book in one sitting because I simply could not put it down. All of the characters were great. I loved little Sammy especially. His antics always made me laugh.

One Good Knight

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One Good Knight by Mercedes Lackey, Narrated by Gabra Zackman

Goodreads Rating: 5 stars

Actual Rating: 4.5 

Narrator Rating: 5

 

One Good Knight is a retelling loosely following the Greek myth of Andromeda. Where Greek Lore indicates Andromeda to be beautiful, One Good Knight indicates she is “lesser” than most females and more homely than beautiful. One Good Knight is also loosely based from St. George and the Dragon, however, it is really in name only as this does not end in an entire town going through religious conversion.

In One Good Knight, Andromeda (Andi) is very book smart and she starts to notice some magical irregularities in her research for the Queen. During this time, the Queen had her consort conjure a dragon to wreck havoc on the villages. Andi is tasked to find out how to “rid” the kingdom of the dragon and discovers meaningful sacrifice would do so. A lottery is set up for virginal women, and each week a new name is drawn. After a while, the reader discovers prior to the cast, that this lottery is not by chance, but whenever a family displeases the Queen or speaks out against the Queen, their daughter is “selected” in the lottery and sent to die. During one such lottery, Princess Andi’s name is drawn and she is sent to be sacrificed, and so the adventure begins.

I really enjoyed the twists and turns this particular story had. As a reader, it is often times easy to get bored when books do as you expect. One Good Knight keeps readers entranced. Without giving away spoilers, the ending has been one of the best I have enjoyed. Much like in The Fairy Godmother, the Tradition had a mind of it’s own, only in One Good Knight I really enjoyed the way the Tradition worked for the characters.  I feel Andi was well written. She is portrayed as a confused, homely, child not to be taken seriously for most of time leading up to her being sacrificed. Queen Cassiopia is one to be despised. She is heartless and offers up her daughter happily to be killed.

The reason the actual rating is 4.5 stars is mainly because it was soooo slow to start out. Once the excitement of Princess Andi being sacrificed to the dragon occurs, things really start to speed up.

I really can’t say there is a particular character I didn’t like, aside from the villains of course, but I even enjoyed them. I thought each character in the book gave the book it’s personality it took on. Oh but the twists!!! It would be too many spoilers to explain the twists, and I want any potential reader to be as shocked as I was when I first came to the twists.

I am really glad I started this series, and I look forward to more Virgin chasing unicorns, fairy godmothers, and all of the other Traditional tales yet to be discovered.

Taint

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Taint by S.L. Jennings

Goodreads Rating: 3 Stars

I had high hopes for this book. I believe it held a lot of promise. I can tell you, I didn’t quite see that ending coming!

When I first received this book at the RT Booklovers Book Convention in May, I was pretty excited. The cover was absolutely delish, the story line looked pretty interesting and it became one of the first books from the convention that I cracked open, aching to get into it!

Let’s get to the first point, and this may have been wrong of me…okay it was wrong of me….but I compared it sort of with the School for Submissives Brie attended in Red Phoenix’s Brie Learns the Art of Submission. Let’s face it, based on the description, a bunch of women that are not good lovers, are sent away to a secluded area where they learn to become AMAZING lovers that their hubbys can’t get enough of, sounds like it could be somewhat similar, am I right? So I feel that it was a legitimate jump…well, it wasn’t. So if you have read Brie, don’t make that connection. Because it is not.

Second point, I am still trying to figure out the obsession Justice had with Ally. Maybe I missed it completely. I feel like her character wasn’t fully built up to the amazingness that Justice was seeing. As a reader, it is important that comes across. Based on the little doozy at the end…if that is the reason he is obsessed with her, that is a bunch of crap and I will remove a star. Which, I am sure that has a FRACTION, because he does know who everyone’s husbands are, but if that is the SOLE reason, done…star is gone. I want to think that there was something spectacular about Ally that just wasn’t translating. I know she was pretty “real” based on the little bit of information that was given, but the author never really fully dove into Ally, or Justice for that matter. Justice was all “mysterious” and “brooding” and you didn’t really learn who he was until the end, and then you just felt sorry for him, but he was still sexy and his backstory  wasn’t any different than what happens OFTEN within that community. I wanted to tell him to put his big girl panties on and deal with it! It could have been worse. Get a therapist.

The final point I want to make about this story is that it just took way too long to get to the point. By the time anything significant happened, there was about 50 pages left to the story. And I believe I am being generous and significantly rounding up. That might have been when they first had sex. (Spoiler!) I normally stop reading a book by the 4th chapter if nothing significant has happened yet. I have read books where in the first 10 pages there were at least 3 deaths! (Not GoT either!) So, when a book is 219 pages and it takes almost 170 pages to actually get anywhere in the story? I am not sure why I kept trucking through! I guess because I knew at SOME point, it was going to hit the fan, and I HAD to be a part of it! And it HIT the fan hard! I didn’t quite see that ending, but I guess it was expected.