In a Gilded Cage, from Mia Kerick

Good morning, beauties! Welcome to my review for In a Gilded Cage, a lovely Rapunzel M/M retelling from Mia Kerick *–* I received my copy from Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review to be posted during their book tour for this title. Thank you so much, guys! It was an amazing experience =D

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Prin is a boy with a mission: to succeed in life. After a childhood with barely enough food to eat, Prin is ready to the next step of life: college, working, getting famous and getting rich. Not necessarily in that order, as he really needs the money as soon as possible.

To make sure he’ll have the necessary funds to move to Boston once he graduates and that he won’t be a burden to his awesome loving parents, Prin arranges a job as the gardener of Damien Gothan’s ridiculously large Estate. With soccer practice, his college classes and assignments and a world of lawn to mow, one would expect Prin to have his head completely focused on his life goals.

Well, Prin had managed to accomplish that until he lays eyes on Lucci, Damien’s heavily guarded son. What began with a giggling and playful race across Gothan’s gardens soon becomes an obsession to Prin. Who is Lucci and why no one seems to know him? Why does Damien guard him so fiercely?

More importantly: How will Prin manage to see Lucci again?

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Me after finishing this book:

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Nobody’s Lady, from Amy McNulty (Never Veil #2)

Hello, again! Aren’t you all proud of me for popping up again on your mailbox on such short notice? I knew you would, haha! #what Hope everyone survived Monday – I was barely conscious myself until a few minutes ago, being a creature of the night and darkness – and hope everyone has a great week ahead. Keep calm, Christmas is coming ❤

But I babble, as always. I’m here for much better reasons, I promise: let’s talk about the second book of the Never Veil series, from Amy McNulty: Nobody’s Lady! =D

Annelise, dear, haven’t we already seen a review for this book on this post?

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Yes, my darlings, it’s true. However, I was too awestruck on the first time I’ve read this series to have a coherent and constructive review for this book, so now I’ll present you with a 2.0 one to try to do justice to such a wonderful series! =D Also, if you are experiencing a double sense of déjà vu, I must admit I just posted the review for the first book below, haha! Oops? Sorry not sorry?

Anyway, I have received this book from Chapter by Chapter’s team in exchange for an honest review for their blog tour in April and here I am again to fulfill this duty with extreme pleasure. Thanks so much again, guys! Also, if you didn’t got the memo of the review of the first volume in the series, you may want to read that before we start the second o/

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Nobody’s Goodess – Never Veil #1

Now, let’s go ahead, shall we? =)

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the story

Noll finally got what she wanted: everyone on her village was free to love whomever their hearts truly desire. The men didn’t live to worship their goddesses anymore and women could see beyond their respective men. However, things aren’t going as Noll expected and that’s an understatement.

After so many bad blood between her and Ailill, he politely tossed her away from the castle and after her father and Jurij left her mother and sister, Noll felt politely tossed out from there as well. Now living on her own at an isolate area of the village and woodcarving her own pieces to make a living, all Noll wants is to be forgotten and, perhaps with a bit of luck, forgiven by her people and Ailill.

As she should have guessed, Noll hadn’t luck. Her peaceful days were short-lived as her old childhood friends made way into her heart once again and begged her for help. This time, Noll was sure she could fix things and help people rather than destroy their lives and beliefs. She knew she would do everything in her power to make things right, even if it meant her own demise.

But is Noll prepared to expose others to a danger even bigger than she knows?

the analysis

Just remembering those were my impressions and opinion as a reader 🙂

If I had to use only one adjective to describe the Never Veil series, it would be ‘mind-blowing’. Like in scrambled-eggs-made-out-of-what-is-left-from-our-brains blowing. I was already in awe with the first book, but the second took things to the next level. My feelings for Noll got more clear, my love for Ailill only increased and I felt Amy pulling my blood thirst as I got to know the real personalities of some of the men of the village. This book just didn’t make for a full five stars because I was absolutely unable to care for any of the characters 98% of the time (not even Ailill) and because the line “I let out a breath I didn’t realize I was holding” was used. It was a huge turn off =( All in all, four proud stars just like the last time I’ve read it ❤

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The narrative keeps its style from the last volume: first person from Noll’s perspective. Honestly, at first I was making so many concessions to Noll, but now I just hate her. As I read Nobody’s Lady, I remembered the wisdom of my good old friend Jenny regarding Red Queen. She told me at the time, when I stopped to breathe between rants, that no one would ever read the book because of the main character what’s-her-name. We read it because the girl was trapped into a very interesting situation with even more interesting people and the sad part was that we only got to glimpse at those marvels through what’s-her-name’s eyes. Unfortunately for Victoria Aveyard and luckily for McNulty, I was able to cut Noll much more slack than I did with what’s-her-name in Red Queen and I enjoyed the Never Veil series to the core.

but i have a sweet and forgiving nature endora bewitched

Also, McNulty has the upper hand with me: her writing style is so involving and beautiful. For real. I’ve read four books and a short story by her so far and the writing always sweeps me off my feet and waltzes around with me on its arms.

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me and the Never Veil series, haha!

The plot was, once more, wonderfully done. I have to admit I saw some of the shit hitting the fan before it did, but that was more due people’s skills than a brilliant trail of thinking into this particular story. Since elementary school, I have a special knitted group of friends and those four amazing girls were responsible for my education in predicting shit hitting the fan. Especially as, most of the time, I was the one with the bucket of water to do damage control in the afterwards. However, Noll wasn’t so fortunate: her friends left her before she got a good grip on how to recognize the signs of something foul in the air. I don’t hold her innocence against her as I would have with other characters.

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I was indeed bothered with the pace of the story. Despite the incredible personal growth that Noll experiences, she keeps extremely self-absorbed and really selfish, just too happy about being the village’s martyr when they needed clear leaders and she was one of the two people that knew what was happening to everyone. Also, this volume made me realize I didn’t have a correct idea of the size of the village – while I imagined a place with like, 200 people, we get to know it was about 500 people or so. It’s something minor, but it was quite a shock, haha!

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I didn’t really want to enter more in the character’s merit, but I must. You see, it’s not that they aren’t interesting people, it’s just that I’m mildly a bitch and am hard to woo into liking someone, real or fictional. Ask my cousin’s girlfriend: the girl has been trying to woo me for five years in all ways she can to make me like her because my cousin is like my twin brother, but she still isn’t going anywhere in my good sides.

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I had a fling with Ailill, I admit, but he wasn’t a strong enough male for me to admire and I’m afraid I didn’t fall for the whole amorous triangle thing between Ailill, Noll and Jurij because guess what: I never liked Jurij! #bigsurprise I did like to meet Rosalyn, but her part was too small for my tastes, just like Alvilda’s. As to all the other characters, I just didn’t connect with anyone =(

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As I fleetingly mentioned on the last review, the greatest catch of the Never Veil series is the questioning of society roles and the chaos that comes every time we change something on it. Of course, the happenings on the book are immediate and brutal, but it’s a perfect lesson on definitive gender equality: women and men have to learn they can’t live without each other, that no gender is superior and that everyone is screwed as long as they fight with each other. McNulty’s message is clear: we have to stick together, to unite. Then, we succeed.

oh i'll be polite right up until i'm rude

As much as I allow my skeptical side to guide me through life, I like to hope for a society in which labels won’t define us or confine us to anything. A world where it won’t matter if you are men or women, if we are white or black, hetero or homosexual, tall or short, slim or fat. I honestly hope that someday the people who really have the power to bring significant change on a world level wake up to face the facts and help us build a free and less hypocrite society and series like Never Veil help me to feed my hopes even when all facts point to a continued downfall of the whole human society. Maybe someday the right person will come across it and make the difference, who knows?

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All right, things got intense here too fast. I do need a therapist after this post, wow! Sorry, guys! Maybe I should stop listening to all my emo songs from the 2000’s, haha!

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what I have been singing in the shower, oops!

Anyway, let’s just wrap this up with some cool quotes from Noll =)

“So much for convincing him [Jurij] to join the ever-growing list of people who hate me.”

~*~

“I wasn’t so sure happy drinking was anything more than painful drinking under the mask of laughter.”

Also, this volume also won a new cover for the release of the third book, Nobody’s Pawn:

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As it happened with the first, I already liked the first version, but the second nailed it even more! ❤ This model is so beautiful I could cry *–*

Overall, if you like awesome fantasy books with dystopian touches, you have to get your hands on this series ❤ It seriously changed my life.

4star

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Thanks so much once again to everyone who was brave enough to read this review until the very end, as I do realize this IS LONG. Who knew George R. R. Martin syndrome is contagious? Also, once again I’d like to thank the team of Chapter by Chapter for my review copy and Amy herself for all the endless patience with me ❤ You rock, Amy!

Until other time and love you all,

assinatura

The Deeper He Hurts, from Lynda Aicher (Kick #2)

(Alternative title: the book in which I would gladly wave goodbye to half of the sex scenes as BSDM is so not my cup of tea)

Hello, again! YES, I DECIDED TO BREAK RECORDS AND WRITE TWO REVIEWS ON THE SAME DAY. HOW ABOUT THAT?!

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I would like to thank my mom and my dad for this special moment, along with my lack of a social life and sense of needing to get things done for this winner moment. Now shall we start talking about the book in question? Hahaha!

I received The Deeper He Hurts, second book in the Kick series from Lynda Aicher, from Loveswept in exchange for an honest review, as I had previously reviewed the first volume of the series 🙂 You may want to check it out:

The Harder He Falls (Kick #1)

Thanks a lot to Loveswept, truly! Now, let’s go:

the deeper he hurts

summary

Asher Ruggiero, a partner at Adrenaline Kick Adventures, is living a lie. As a control freak whose big Italian family thinks he’s straight, Asher likes his encounters concise, dirty, and discreet—until his company’s new rafting guide walks into work, dripping with brooding, intense sexuality. Sawyer Stevens is a mystery man with secrets and rough edges, and he makes Asher want to get to know him inside and out.

Ever since the tragic death of his parents, Sawyer has dedicated himself to the rush of adrenaline that comes from pleasure and pain. Moving from one guy to another, hiding when life gets too complicated—that’s all he can handle. So why does Asher make him long for something lasting and honest, when the gorgeous geek can’t even be true to himself? Sawyer wants to give Asher his heart, but he just doesn’t know how. After all, a life without integrity is a life without passion—and that’s the one thing Sawyer craves.

the analysis

Just remembering that those were my impressions and opinion as a reader 🙂

Sooooo, this is a really good romance between two fellows who seriously need to move on – each on his own way – with a huge quality stain to it. This is a heavy BSDM book and, while I totally respect adepts and lovers, this is very out of my league. I knew this when I accepted the book, but as I had read and loved the first volume of the Kick series, I decided to give it a chance. Lucky me, as everything else made up to me for all the kink play that I had to endure, haha! Four stars with BDSM and all 🙂

The narrative is third person style, switching between Ash and Swayer’s points of view. As you all may be tired of hearing, this is my favorite style, so no complains here, haha! Also, I felt substantial improvement on Aicher’s writing since the first book, especially on the humor. Ash and Swayer are so damaged as Grady and Micah, but they laugh a lot more – THANK ALL HEAVENS for that, haha!

The plot was very simple, as it tends to happen with pure romances: the characters must overcome their shit in order to be together and that’s easier said than done. Don’t expect anything out of this world or big twists, because that’s not gonna happen, haha!

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I take my hat off to Aicher’s characters, by the way. They are really well developed, even the side ones, and you can feel that they could be your neighbors – in this particular case, I really hope they are not, as Ash and Swayer are really loud on their sex, HAHAHAHA! However, I miss the point: as you worry about your neighbor, you will worry for her characters. You feel their struggles, you know they deserve to be happy and you want to scream at their faces to make they see what is right in front of their noses. This kind of connection is really awesome ❤

On a more deep point, however, I felt like Aicher repeated the recipe quite literally. I felt a pattern repeating so clearly before my eyes that I could predict many of the character’s reactions and actions. The most sad thing about this is that she doesn’t use regular stereotypes! I mean, Aicher made her own recipe to have a good gay romance going and she used it again on the second book, element by element. Family loss, mental disturbs, the dominant bottom and the passive top, the hiding information and fear being the protagonists on the problems list. I felt like I was reading an improved version of The Harder He Falls and that’s why I liked The Deeper He Hurts best. Honestly, being a journalist sucks on those moments, haha! I wish I could be blind to this type of thing.

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And I also feel forced to talk about the BSDM side of the book. People, it isn’t something that I enjoy and I haven’t on this book, but I have to say something: Lynda Aicher knows what she is doing here. I was wide-eyed with some of the scenes between Asher and Swayer =O This was all too professional! No labels are used lightly. If Aicher says the guy is a sadist or a pain slut, JUST BELIEVE HER.

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Anyway, back to the good stuff. Have you seen this winner cover?? I really like the models that Loveswept chooses for their covers ❤ If you like gay romance and BSDM, you totally should give this book a chance 🙂

4star

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Thanks for reading a bitchy review and thanks again to Loveswept for sending me this copy 😀

Xoxoxo and see you next time,

assinatura

27 Days to Midnight, from Kristine Kruppa

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Hi, there! I’m back with a review for a book that destroyed me. Seriously, this book just grabbed my heart, squeezed, stomped on it and left me. Just like that. I’m talking about the painful standalone 27 Days to Midnight, from Kristinne Kruppa!

I’ve received my copy from YA Bound Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.

27 days to midnight

summary

Everyone in Dahlia’s world knows when they’re going to die. Except her.

Her father has never shown her the pocket watch counting down the days she has left to live. When he sacrifices himself to save her from her scheduled death, Dahlia abandons her comfortable home and sets off after his murderer to uncover the secrets her father died to protect…and the time research that could bring him back to life.

Then she meets Farren Reed. She should hate him. He’s an enemy soldier, a cowardly deserter, and the most insufferable man Dahlia’s ever met. Still, she needs all the help she can get, and Farren is the only chance she has to find the man who murdered her father. But Farren has only twenty-seven days left on his watch.

In that time, Dahlia must recover her father’s time research, foil a psychotic general’s plot, and learn to survive in a world that will never be the same. But the research holds secrets more dangerous than she had ever imagined. She will have to choose what is most important: revenge, Farren’s life, or her own. And time is running out.

the analysis

Just remembering that those were my impressions and opinion as a reader 🙂

Did I mentioned that this book destroyed me? Seriously, it did. The notion of having your exact lifetime engraved in a watch was so romantic and so creative! I loved the world building, the characters, the narrative style, the humor, the drama, the steampunk element, EVERYTHING! I fell in love with both Dahlia and Farren and I couldn’t get enough of them. The end was so perfect that led me to tears in my second confirmed case of tears due over-perfection. Five stars is not even close to watch this book really deserves: A MILLION INFINITE STARS!

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The narrative style was third person with switching points of view. We follow Dahlia and Farren most of the time, but we can also see the story from the POV of other characters whose identifies will be kept a secret due spoilers. Despite being a mystery book, the switching is very well done and helps the reader to have all the pieces to put together. However, Kruppa waits until the very last moment to give us the glue, haha! You saw what I did there.

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Kruppa’s writing also was wonderful, as the book had a good pace, was packed with feelings, a lot of humorous moments to break the dramatic and desperate scenario of both Dahlia and Farren, and a fluid language that made the reader fly through the pages without noticing it.

The plot was BRILLIANT AND A WORK OF ART! Ahem, ok, I’m controlled. I think. Maybe not. Let’s move on? Hahaha!

I loved how Kruppa slowly eases the reader into her world, without rushes or endless pages of explanations. Each time that she switches POVs, the author manages to bring her own world in a new way, on the way in which that particular character sees it, giving more importance to some elements over others. For example, when we follow Farren’s mind, the nature and the freedom are the main themes, because those are the things that matter for him. Isn’t this magical?

As I already ran myself over, let’s get deep on characters, haha! Talking about Farren: he is one of the sweetest boys ALL TIME and made it to my bookish boyfriends list with ease since his first scene. I love smooth talkers, oops! Also, come on: the guy is gorgeous. You have to give me a break, haha!

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I loved how Kruppa portrayed his struggle to accept his eminent death and how not okay he was about it despite the brave face he put on. Farren gives value to every breath that he has and he honestly loves to be alive, so it makes us think. Would he be like that if he didn’t know how much time he had?

Oh the other hand, we have Dahlia. She didn’t know how much time she had until the incident with her father and she lives as if life isn’t a present, but a granted deal. A scene that really dug on my heart was right on the beginning, when a street lady freaks out because her watch is about to stop and asks Dahlia for help. Dahlia has a very immature and selfish behavior towards the woman and never gave her a second thought. I was so shocked then that I swore I’d hate Dahlia. Well, I didn’t know how much she would grow as a person during her adventure or how much Farren would change her for good. I just wished Dahlia had remembered that woman at some point after her change, to seal it, but I guess she doesn’t need closure as I do, haha!

Also, I thought it amazing of Kruppa to come up with a heroine that wasn’t white. YA books are notoriously in need of more diversity of gender and race without the big drama behind being anything other than straight and white. Double round of applause for Kruppa, that managed to have a non-white heroine and not make a big deal about minorities at the same time!! ❤

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I fell hard for the villain, as he was crazy, sexy and murderous at the same time, haha! Oh, and beautiful. I love beautiful, crazy and very fictional men on those circumstances ;D And he took the final steps into the madness hole for love. I find this so romantic, in a dramatic and gothic way! I may need therapy.

wee i guess i can't hide my crazy

Everything has been wonderful, everybody is happy, the book is perfect and made me cry and I need more. Cool, nice. HOWEVER, I did have some problems with it. As I mentioned above, I’m one of those people that need closure in life, of any sort. It just needs to close, seriously. And there were many loose ends on this book AND THE END SHOT ME IN THE HEART AND KICKED ME IN THE BACK WHEN I FELL ON THE FLOOR. As it is a standalone book, I got really angry and cried more, as I’ll never see this characters again in new situations. I may re-read and find new bits, it’s true, but nothing major. Not straight forward answers. I DON’T KNOW HOW TO LIVE WITH THIS.

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Also, I didn’t like the fact that the chapters had titles. THEY WERE HUGE SPOILERS D: Sometimes, this works in books. This isn’t one of those cases.

but i have a sweet and forgiving nature endora bewitched

Okay, I’m good now. Let’s go back to the place where this book is all perfect and move to the cover, because I decided to always make a meaningful comment on the covers now. (#what) The cover was what drawn me to this book in the first place. Then I read the summary and was done for, haha! I usually am not a fan of illustrations, but this one was so delicate and romantic and mysterios AND BEAUTIFUL that I couldn’t bring myself to be a bore about it. I just want to hug it, haha! Also, the golden details really matched the blue shades. This one made it to my personal list of beautiful covers ❤ (Yes, I have lists for EVERYTHING. Judge me)

However, despite the dramatic and brilliant title, this book may be misjudged for a children’s book easily, especially the ebook version in which you can’t see how long it is. Just saying.

Now, I took the liberty of selecting some of the most awesome quotes in the book for you to understand how cool it is 🙂

“Dahlia tried to ignore him (as much as anyone could ignore an eight-foot-tall cyborg). She was too busy putting together a few choice phrases to use in her argument once he [the cyborg] quieted down.”

~*~

“The physical wounds were infinitely more manageable than the emotional ones.”

~*~

“He was back at the beginning, more alone than he’d been before he knew what it was like to not be lonely.”

~*~

And this killer dialogue:

Farrren: You okay, sweetheart?

Dahlia: Yes. I was just thinking.

Farren: Ah. Dangerous stuff.

Dahlia: Dangerous, yes, but necessary. It’s a pastime you might want to consider.

Farren: Ouch.

~*~

If you ask me, the strongest points on this book are the steampunk element, the characters construction and the humor behind it 🙂

Overall, this book had some flaws, but nothing that shadowed its perfection. Kruppa made a hell of a job here and I find it hard to believe that this is her debut novel. If you like steampunk, adventure and heart shattering books, you need 27 Days to Midnight in your life. NOW.

5star

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Thanks for reading my review and thanks so much to YA Bound Book Tours for my review copy and spot on this tour!

assinatura

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