Mini Reviews: M/M books #3

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Hello, guys!!! Good Sunday to you and cheers to free time, at last! ❤ Today’s edition of mini reviews are more gay romances, as I do read those quite a lot, but this lot have all something in common (you know, besides all books being gay romances an all): I have received ARC copies of all books in exchange for honest reviews at Amazon! That was done ages ago, so now I’m properly reviewing the books over here too =) Thank you for all the authors and ARC programs once again for my ebook copies ❤

Just remembering that the mini reviews deal is a combination of inspirations from Cait, of The Paper Fury, and from Lindsey, of @thepagemistress, and that I do those with books that: a) I really liked, but the book didn’t change my life; b) were too short for a complete review; c) were good, but weren’t unforgettable.

In this post, you’ll find mini reviews for:

  • Casey Cameron – More than Luck (Legendary Pairs #2)

  • Harper Logan – Something New

  • Harper Logan – My Leading Man (The Neeson Boys #1)

  • Stella Starling – Be True (At Last, The Beloved Series #1)

  • Stella Starling – Be Loved (At Last, The Beloved Series #3)

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ECHO Campaign, from Taylor Brooke (Isolation #2)

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Hello, there! Welcome to my review for the second book in the Isolation series, from Taylor Brooke: ECHO Campaign! I’ve received my copy from Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for na honest review. Thank you guys sooo much! The time is now ❤

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Brooklyn Harper’s worst nightmare has become her reality. She has been captured by Isolation…

Trapped in a white-walled labyrinth by Juneau Malloy, Brooklyn is faced with the horrors of Isolation’s finest training yet. The skills she learned as an Omen Operative in Camp Number Eleven are put to the test in the form of brutal assessments of her strength, skills, and fortitude. Confused and disheartened, Brooklyn and the group of renegade Omens prepare for whatever trials Isolation has in store for them.

Juneau has caged her once again, but Brooklyn is far from broken…

When Brooklyn finds out her best friend Gabriel is alive, she goes on a violent rampage in search of her, but instead earns herself a stint in solitary confinement. Juneau attempts to tame Brooklyn through grueling exercises before offering her one radical choice. Brooklyn must hand over her freedom in order to spare her friends. She’ll become a showpiece Juneau will auction off to the highest bidder for her skills in assassination, defense, and combat.

There must be a way out, and the renegade Omens have to find it…

Brooklyn has no intention of becoming Juneau’s latest achievement. During a mind-warping training simulation, Brooklyn uncovers Isolation’s greatest secret and their darkest mistake. Juneau Malloy has created something far more sinister than the Omens, and it’s ready to eat the world alive.

As the battle with Isolation intensifies, Brooklyn is faced with her most dangerous choice yet…

Save her friends—or save humanity.

Me after finishing the book:

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The Rakehell’s Seduction, from Lauren Smith (Seduction #2)

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Good morning! Am I a productive panda or what? Welcome to, believe it or not, ANOTHER REVIEW! =D #feelthepandaboss

This time, our subject is the second book in the Seduction series, from Lauren Smith: The Rakehell’s Seduction! I have received my copy from Barclay Publicity in exchange for an honest review and here we go! Thank you, guys!

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HE’S MADE A DANGEROUS WAGER

Ambrose Worthing is no gentleman. He’s a proud cold-hearted rake who’s determined to stay a bachelor forever. He enjoys bedding a different woman every night without the risk of falling in love. When he hears about a wager over the seduction and ruination of the daughter of his father’s best friend, he knows he must intervene. Committing himself to the bet, he agrees to seduce Lady Alexandra Rockford—for her own good. He never expected the lady in question to be a beautiful, fiery creature who has passions of her own that call to his guarded heart.

SHE’S VOWED NEVER TO FALL IN LOVE AGAIN

Alexandra Rockford has sworn off men, her heart still broken from the false promises of a childhood sweetheart who left her to marry an heiress. When she stumbles into Ambrose outside of a country ball, she knows the rake is trouble. His smile, his touch, his forbidden kiss are all too tempting but being with him would ruin her. Determined to enjoy herself without falling in love, Alex can’t help but let her defenses down with the too charming rake. But when she discovers Ambrose is seducing her to win a bet, it will take everything Ambrose has to prove to her that he is worthy to love her.

Me after finishing this book:

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Guarding Mr. Fine, by HelenKay Dimon (Tough Love #3)

(alternative title: Mr. Fine INDEED, where do I find myself one of those to keep guarded in my room? *–*)

Good night, everyone! Welcome to a very special moment in the form of my review for the third book in the Tough Love series, by goddess HelenKay Dimon: Guarding Mr. Fine! ❤

You see, this book holds a special place in my heart because the first volume of the series was my first ever spies gay romance ❤ I looooove action/adventure books and sadly is still hard to find good ones in the diverse shelves, aka my favorites, so it was a huuuge moment for me to have virtually met HelenKay’s work *–* I’ve read and reviewed all books so far and since I had finished The Talented Mr. Rivers I knew I just had to have Guarding Mr. Fine ❤

Now that I’m done with all the raving, let’s go to the particulars: I have received this book from Loveswept, the publisher, in exchange for an honest review and this is the moment of truth! [haha]

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As an agent with the CIA’s special activities division, Seth Lang lives for risk—and yet he’s stuck playing bodyguard to the U.S. consul general in Munich. Although Seth’s last assignment nearly killed him, babysitting some desk jockey in a suit sounds way too easy. But when he lays eyes on the new top man, tactical expert Rick Fine, Seth’s thrilled to see just how hard this job is going to get. Mr. Tall, Dark, and Quiet has a body worth guarding—and he requires hands-on attention day and night.

Dispatched to a German consulate to expose the murder of his predecessor, Rick finds himself in an extremely vulnerable position. He needs a man like Seth—in so many ways. This mission will inevitably plunge them both into jeopardy, but each new threat only brings them closer. Rick just hopes that he can keep his deepest, darkest secret hidden—or else risk imperiling a relationship they’re both fighting for their lives to protect.

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Me after finishing this book:

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Any Boy But You, from Julie Hammerle (North Pole, Minnesota #1)

Hellooooo, world! Good Monday to you and, for a change, I do have a review up on the blog! Miracles do happen here and there, haha! ;D Today I’ll ravish talk about the first book in the North Pole, Minnesota series, from Julie Hammerle: Any Boy But You! ❤ I received this book from Chapter by Chapter in exchange for an honest review and this is the moment. Thanks so much, guys!

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Elena Chestnut has been chatting with an anonymous boy late into the night. It’s a very You’ve Got Mail situation, and she has no idea who he is. He can’t be Oliver Prince, hot-and-bashful son of the family running the rival sporting goods store. Their fancy sales strategies are driving Elena’s family out of business. Elena’s mystery boy has teamed up with her in their latest sales strategy, an augmented reality game, to help her win the grand-prize plane tickets. Money’s so tight Elena’s going to miss senior year spring break with her friends if she can’t win this game.

The girl Oliver’s fallen head-over-heels for online had better not be Elena Chestnut. She’s his angry, vindictive Latin tutor, the daughter of his dad’s business rival, and the one girl he’d never even think of kissing. She’s definitely not his online crush, because that girl is funny, sweet, and perfect.

When Oliver asks to reveal their names at the Valentine’s Day dance, their IRL relationship will either ruin what they have online, or they’ll discover just how thin the line between love and hate really is.

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Me after finishing this book:

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Boy Band, from Jacqueline E. Smith (Boy Band #1)

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(alternative title: SOMEONE PLEASE TELL ME I HAVE BOOK 2 ON MY EREADER ALREADY, I’M DYING WITH THAT END)

Hello, turkey-stuffed friends! Or at least I hope I am not the only panda around that won, like 3074389302 tons since Christmas eve? Hahaha! But it’s okay if I am, I’ll soon go back to eating only bamboo and I’ll lose the hotness all over again #what

But don’t worry, we aren’t here today to discuss my diet or lack of one! I actually want to scream and fangirl talk about Boy Band, first book in the homonymous series by AWESOMETASTIC Jacqueline E. Smith! I have received a copy of this book and its sequel, Backstage, in exchange for an honest review and the moment is way over late here! Thanks so much again, Jackie! I’m a big fan, but I’m afraid you’ll have to put up with some ranting as well, haha!

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Melissa Parker and Sam Morneau have been best friends forever. The kind of friends that have sleepovers, share food, drinks, their families… Whatever the other part needs or wants. No matter how big is their circle of friends, Mel and Sam always end up glued to each other and everybody is used to their twin deal and bizarre relationship.

Unfortunately, Mel’s tale has some glitches: first, Sam is one of the five guys that form The Kind of September, a. k. a. the world’s current greatest boy band. It’s been two and a half years of song recording, shows, tours, interviews and loving fans. SO. MANY. FANS. While Mel isn’t on the spotlight – she is just the band’s photographer, after all – she has been following the guys around since they started the band and witnesses all the wonders and craziness of the VIP world.

If you still think Mel’s life is a paradise, here’s glitch number two: Mel has been in love with Sam since always. How do you confess to someone who can have anyone he wishes? How to show Sam that her feelings were there even before the fame?

How to live without her other half if Sam doesn’t loves her back?

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Me after finishing this book:

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Last Wish, from Helen Harper (Highland Magic #4)

(alternative title: INTEGRITY, I’LL BE GOOD, BUT PLEASE DON’T LEAVE MEEEEE)

Good night, lovelies! I know you all are too gracious to have ever noticed, but I can be slightly crazy sometimes – for example, I was sure that Last Wish, the fourth and last book in the Highland Magic series (#tears), from my goddess Helen Harper, would only be published on Dec. 6th. Guess what? THE DEAL IS TODAY!

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I don’t even know why I thought it was on the 6th! Honestly, I wonder what goes on inside my mind most of the time, ugh. Point is, you all get to see my opinion on this wonderful (spoiler?) conclusion sooner! Helen sent me a copy of Last Wish in exchange for an honest review and here we go!

Oh, no, scratch that, please. First, in case you aren’t living on the same world as I haven’t checked out my reviews for the previous books in the series, you can do it first:

Gifted Thief (Highland Magic #1) | Honour Bound (Highland Magic #2)

Veiled Threat (Highland Magic #3)

Now we’re good =) Let’s start!

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the story

When Integrity Aidar decided to play dead for the sake of her master plan to bring down her sworn enemy, Aifric Moncrieffe, no one told her the deed would be so. Annoying. Do you know how hard it is to run a reform without being able to be seen by pretty much anyone outside your clan? Integrity can tell you: a pain in the ass.

And let’s not forget the damn prophecy that dictates she’ll save the world. Or the fact that her crush, Byron, seems to be already arranging a weeding despite just watching Integrity ‘die’. Talk about a turn off in the relationship.

Among so many uncertainties and pressure, there is only one thing Integrity knows for sure: she is so screwed.

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Me after finishing the book:

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Junior Jolt, from Elaine Ashford (Straight College Guys #3)

(Alternative title: Oh boy, how do I love fake relationships!!)

Hello, my precious people! Just like the goddess Kelly Clarkson, piece by piece I’m slowly getting back to a nice posting pace =) I know you are all too proud of me, but please, hold your horses. I’ll accept the congratulations and all when we go back to 1-3 posts per day, haha!

We’re here gathered today to witness my first book review for one of Elaine Ashford’s romances after months of blind fangirling! A big moment, my people! As I told you yesterday on the biggest bookish news post of my history as a blogger, I ended up on Elaine’s ARC mailing list somehow and received a copy of the third book in the Straight College Guys series, released on this Monday, Nov. 21th, in exchange for an honest review: Junior Jolt! Thanks so much once again to Elaine and her team for selecting mee!! I still don’t understand why it happened, but OMG THANK YOU! I don’t need to understand, I’ll settle for just being insanely happy, haha!

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the story

Parker Gagner is one of those guys who knows exactly what he wants and where he’s going. As the captain of the college’s Hockey team, Parker knows his priorities and lives by the code of honor inside and out of the ice rings. That’s why he steps up in the middle of Eli’s fight with his ex-lover and promptly sends the guy off by telling him that Parker and Eli are together. Not because Parker can’t stop thinking about Eli those last weeks and how good a kisser he might be. Nope, definitely not – after all, Parker is straight… Isn’t he?

Eli Martin still doesn’t understand what’s happening on his life. Since Parker meddled on his fight with his ex, the Hockey captain came in crashing Eli’s world. How can it be so easy to pretend to date a man with so many responsibilities and so incredibly popular with pretty much everyone? And how can a fake boyfriend put up such an effort to make Eli feel cherished when none of his real previous dates did so?

On one thing, Parker and Eli can agree on: their lives won’t ever be the same.

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Me after finishing the book

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

THIS WAS EVERYTHING I’VE BEEN HOPING FOR ON AN ELAINE ASHFORD’S BOOK AND MORE! #discretion #youwontfindhere This book was really short, with only 23k words, but I made a point of taking my time reading it, to savor all the cuteness, the romance and the really funny quotes. It was exactly what my heart called for and it would have made to the big five stars if Elaine hadn’t used the oh-so-famous-line “I released a breath that I didn’t even realize I was holding” not once, but twice (with slightly different wording, but still sounding too similar to the deal-breaker for my tastes). All in all, four beautiful stars ❤

The narrative was first person styled, with switching points of views between Parker and Eli. If you have been around for a review or two and, as I’m really discreet about my tastes, it just may ring you a bell when I say I first person isn’t my usual go-to kind of narrative – you know, it leaves too much space for hate for the characters on my head, haha! Junior Jolt was another delicious exception for this concept of mine and I loved getting inside Parker and Eli’s heads. I admit, Eli and I had our tough moments, as the guy screws up a little on some part during the story I’m so precise, I know, but nothing too serious for me to roll up my eyes and hate him ❤ Also, the fact that this is a short book helped as well. I would have loved to see more of Eli and Parker’s world, but the story had the perfect size, truly.

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I have to say that I fell in love with the lightness and cuteness that flows through Ashford’s writing style. She managed to build real, strong and funny characters without needing many pages and deep intense thoughts on their parts – come on, that’s just fabulous. And I didn’t even get to tell you yet about all the pop culture references inside the book!!

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The plot was simple and fluffy, with all the cuteness my heart had been craving from my latest gay reads. Don’t get me wrong, I love deep and complex stories (I actually have an offline friend that likes to say I “breathe complexity”, haha!), but sometimes I miss the harmony between sad/tense/intense/rough moments with fluffy/cute/funny/light moments. After all, isn’t this what makes a real relationship? Ups and downs? A rollercoaster that never allows you to get down and vomit in peace? #what #gross

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Sorry, that metaphor didn’t quite go as expected, haha! My point is, despite the lack of real depth in Junior Jolt, I do prefer reading them to the completely dramatic ones. Offline life itself is already full of drama, so I don’t feel like absorbing a hit to my guts that was meant for someone fictional that I really care about. I need to stay strong for my friends, for my family, but books are supposed to be strong for me. Otherwise, how am I going to keep sane?

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However, of course, I stray from my original path. Nothing new, but I’m sorry nevertheless! Let’s discuss our characters, right? 🙂 As this is the third book of the series, despite the tranquility of reading it as a standalone, I don’t feel safe to say much about sidekicks, sorry! This time, exceptionally, I’ll just talk about the main couple.

Parker is your dream gentleman hidden beneath his hockey player captain status. He always puts his friends and the people he cares about before himself and go really out of his way to make them happy. I loved how he protected and wooed Eli without Eli even realizing it all before it was too late, haha! I really loved that Ashford was able to build such a male and gentle guy at the same time, burling the stereotypes like a boss ❤

Regardless of my feelings for Eli’s life decisions or panics, he was also very well constructed. He was funny and charismatic without pulling the effort and charmed his way into any social group, which is mildly fantastic! Especially if you, like me, prefer to walk always with the same people, haha! (Don’t get me wrong, I swear I have plenty of friends, but my coolest parties are always with the same girls, oops! I’d totally include Eli on my parties from now on, tho!)

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Also, I feel like is my duty to inform this book has steamy hot scenes and it’s not for those faint of heart. Parker and Eli go good at each other and I really like their chemistry pretty much all the time, haha!

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Now, how about some quotes? Of course we have cool quotes! How else would I woo you guys into fangirling about it with me?? =O Here we go!!

“I’m a fucking catch, thank you very much. Except I remember that Parker just insinuated he’s my boyfriend, and wait, what?” – Eli’s thoughts

~*~

“It takes a little while for my brain to get back online, distracted by Parker’s…everything.” – Eli’s thoughts

~*~

“I’m full of excellent decisions, what can I say?” – Eli’s thoughts

~*~

“Opening the door, I motion for him [Eli] to go in first. He fake curtsies, and I laugh. Just force of habit, I guess – I open the doors for everyone, male or female.” – Parker’s thoughts

~*~

“You just said you needed a diagram to fully explain it. That sounds pretty complicated, Parker.” – Eli

~*~

“I still don’t know what I’m doing, but a little bravery never hurt anyone, right?” – Parker’s thoughts

~*~

To wrap things up: if you are a gay romance lover, a fake relationships lover, a fluffly books lover and you’re ready for that quick and delicious read to relax you all over, you MUST read Junior Jolt ❤

5star

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Thank you for reaching the bottom of this review! It always means a lot to me to know you came all the way down ❤ Also, thanks so much again to Elaine Ashford and to her team for selecting me for this ARC, I was made a very happy and satisfied girl!

Love you all and see you around!

assinatura

Nobody’s Pawn, from Amy McNulty (Never Veil #3)

Hello, lovelies! I’m here today to end this sense of eternal déjà vu from your minds as you come across the blog and similar covers hunt you: welcome to the review for the last volume of the Never Veil series, from brilliant Amy McNulty: Nobody’s Pawn! =D

One would think I would already have run out of comments over the series at this point, but one may not really know how much of a pain in the ass I can be ❤ With love, of course! #Always

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All right, let’s knock protocol down so we can move on to the review. First of all, I received Nobody’s Pawn from Amy herself in exchange for an honest review – thanks so much, from the bottom of my heart! I’ll be forever grateful for having met you and your work ❤ Also, if you didn’t get a chance to take a look at my reviews for books one and two and wish to do so before continuing your journey here with me, be our guest ❤

Nobody’s Goddess (Never Veil #1) | Nobody’s Lady (Never Veil #2)

Ready, set… GO!

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the story

If Noll thought things were bad with the curse, she had to admit that without the curse, they downward tragic. With Jaron’s poor leadership, the men in the village were completely rebellious and deep into existential crisis. Now that the parties slowed down and they realized that being free wasn’t just about the good stuff, most men were feeling lost and helpless. How did you manage freedom if you never knew it in the first place? Noll’s friends were going crazy.

The women weren’t doing much better. Without their other halves helping, the village started to falter and nerves got shattered. Most of them had been left as soon as Ailill suspended marriage contracts and didn’t know how to woo their loved ones back home. Some, like Rosalyn, never would – her man had found love with another man, after all. And it was all Noll’s fault.

At least, she was given one last chance to right at least one wrong: Ailill. Against all odds, the lord is back for yet another life… But has no memories from the time he spent with Noll on his previous life. As things get trickier with the village and Jaron tries to make Jurij the new lord, Noll and Ailill are forced to travel beyond the Never Veil. No matter how great the danger, Noll will be dead and buried before anyone messes up her home – you know, more than herself.

Three people crossed the veil… how many will the kings and queens allow coming back?

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the analysis

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

As I reached the last page of Nobody’s Pawn, I blinked once. Twice. Like, is this for real? No more Never Veil series for me? How am I supposed to keep breathing? Once again, Amy petted me in the head on one moment as I successfully predicted a twist and kicked me in the stomach right after with another twist I would never even dream of – all metaphorically, please! Hahahaha! Seriously, this definitely is one of the best series I’ve had the pleasure of reading this year and it changed my life in levels I can’t even begin to explain. All I have left to say to Amy for now is thanks for the memories and I hope I get to fight with see Noll and Ailill again sometime! Four proud and shiny stars ❤

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Ok, maybe I have some more things to say, haha! Like, talking about the narrative, again in first person style from Noll’s point of view. Also, I have to start by point out how much Noll grows as a narrator in this book – she slowly learned how to recognize the problems around her and to weight sufferings. It may sound stupid to say so, but it made all the difference for the reader: her own problems weren’t oh-so-big anymore, so she gave us a much better picture of what happened in the village. Unfortunately, I was turned really down to see the line “I released a breath I didn’t even realize I was holding” used twice with slight wording change and another time applied to tension on the muscles. I just can’t with this line =( Along other minor problems that will be mentioned later, this is one of the reasons why this book isn’t a full five stars.

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The other minor issues are on the plot – they are three in fact. Let’s start with those, shall we? =)

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To start, I felt like Noll’s sentiments for Ailill evolved too fast without a good explanation – actually, this is a problem present on the last book already, I forgot to point it among all my late-teen angst, sorry! I felt she hated him with the force on the moment and then snap your fingers, suddenly Ailill is the dream man. I understand that some key things did happen rather suddenly, but I think someone as Noll would have been more confused and less prompted to instalove… Oh well, what do I know about feelings? Haha! Moving on.

The second aspect is Noll’s powers. I felt her magical powers were kind of left aside during the series and suddenly poof, she is indeed a goddess in the better sense of the word. I’m not a regular fan of over power characters without a good background behind them, but again, it’s a personal pet peeve. But now that I think of it, all reviews are about pointing how many pet peeves of ours that books can ruse and our rating goes higher the less our feathers are disturbed. Interesting.

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Right, third aspect, back to track! The end itself was too open for my tastes. I felt as if there was a chapter missing, as I still had so many questions and McNulty had already started the acknowledgements. Another personal trace, of course, as there isn’t any rule saying ends need to tie up all strings, but I felt many important answers were missing. Oh, well, I can’t have it all, right? =)

Now, to the part of the plot I really liked: the pace. Once again McNulty’s brilliant writing style made us float from a moment to the other without ever wanting to release the book, no matter how hungry you are or how many messages your boss sends you during your lunchtime #truestory. At the same time, I loved how slowly McNulty eased us through the whole truth about the village and Noll’s world, as having everything dropped out so suddenly isn’t nice at all. As I commented on the first book’s review, this is where we understand how badly gender wars can be to a society – despite the heavy fantasy, all characters are still human and act the part. The choices made are poor and result in an unwelcoming world for both sides. As they learn to unite and ignore what’s between each other’s legs, things start to work and harmony slowly ascends.

Risking sounding repetitive, this is what the Never Veil series is truly all about: choices. Kinship. Loyalty. Responsibility. Maturity. The gender question is necessary and important, the romance is amusing, the adventure is thrilling, but they are all flourishes to McNulty’s true message: your happiness is in your hands alone. You make your own path, no matter if you are aware of it or not. As much as people try to keep you in or out of paths, it’s still your decision to follow their advice and orders. It’s all about the power of our beliefs and what we choose to do with what is given to us.

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Or maybe McNulty just wanted to write a badass book and I got so drunk in Diet Coke I’m already down a really high and wasted path of thinking and saw too much into the small things. It wouldn’t be the first time, haha!

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I’ll spare you all from more of my teen angst and talk about the characters =) To resume it all on one sentence: OH BOY HOW THEY GREW! As I apparently was born without the ability to stick with only one sentence to do anything on life, I’ll just keep going now, ok? Haha! Of course, Noll has the most important and notorious personal growth of the whole series, but many characters reached an important maturity level on this book, especially among the men, and this maturity is the key for them to move on. I mean, the whole village – Noll included – had their asses kicked with Noll’s interventions, but how you deal with it afterwards show your true colors.

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All right, that was cheesy even for my standards, so let’s just peek at some cool quotes from Nobody’s Pawn and be done with this, haha!

 “Because I was always outside, even when I thought I was in.” – Noll

~*~

“Being alone for any period of time can be a torment.” – Ailill

~*~

“Freedom can be a difficult burden.” – Ailill

~*~

“My name sounds so lovely on your tongue. Like it belongs to this special woman who isn’t me, but whom you [Ailill] believe me to be.” – Noll

~*~

“I didn’t realize I could almost faint from embarrassment without even looking at something.” – Noll

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To wrap up this kick ass series, if you like dystopian, fantasy, young adult, gender equality discussions and mind-blowing books, you need to have the Never Veil series in your life ❤

4star

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Thanks so much for reading my review and coming to pay us a visit here on the blog! Also, thanks a million to Amy for sending me this book and for simply being the awesome person she is ❤ I must leave you now for the day, but I’ll be around and, most importantly, I’ve got MANY reviews and posts to read, write and discuss with you all ❤ A round of applause for this beautiful community that book blogging is!

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Until some other time and love you all,

assinatura

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 =(

nobody is perfect except for beyonce

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