Quickie Reviews V: Series of Unfortunate Reads

Dirty Souls by Karina Halle

Black Hearts must be read first.
Release Date: March 20, 2017
Rating: 3/5
I volunteered to review an ARC.
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Violet McQueen has always been a sensitive soul. Troubled and misunderstood, she never realized her place in the world, nor her true potential…until she met Vicente Bernal.

From birth, Vicente Bernal has always known his place in the world – he’s been groomed to be a ruthless king. Yet for a man whose soul has become morally bankrupt, it’s only through Violet he’s realizing the worth of someone’s heart.

But at what cost?

With a deadly game set in motion taking them from the stark deserts of California to the steamy jungles of Mexico, Violet and Vicente’s forbidden relationship will be put to the test. Boundaries will be pushed, lines will be crossed and souls will get very, very dirty.

Because how do you choose between blood and love when both might get you killed?

NOTE: Dirty Souls is the second and FINAL book in the Sins Duet. You MUST read book #1, BLACK HEARTS, first before this one!

This is the continuation of the heart-stopping first book, Black Hearts when Javier, Vicente’s dad, decided to take things into his own hands like he planned all along. The stakes are much much higher now this time because Violet is now under the mercy of Javier. And he used every opportunity at his own advantage. The scenes were intensified to the next level to the point that Violet was very much hurt in ways I never expected it to be, making Javier the devil of all devils. It was very brutal that even Vicente had to do his own thing against his father to rescue Violet. And while this book was marketed to be Violet and Vicente’s story, it didn’t feel like it. On top of my head, the central plot wasn’t solely focused on the couple. Thanks but no thanks to the outside forces that were Vicente’s father and Violet’s mother that it felt like it’s more of their story than it was of Violet and Vicente’s. Had the author concentrated on our main couple, I would’ve liked it better.

Twist by Kylie Scott

Series: Dive Bar #2
Release Date: April 11, 2017
Rating: 2/5
I volunteered to review an ARC.
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When his younger brother loses interest in online dating, hot bearded bartender Joe Collins only intends to log into his account and shut it down. Until he reads about her.

Alex Parks is funny, fascinating, and pretty much everything he’s been looking for in a woman—except that she lives across the country. Soon they’re emailing up a storm and telling each other their deepest, darkest secrets…except the one that really matters.

When Alex pays Joe a surprise visit, however, they both discover that when it comes to love, it’s always better with a twist.

My first Kylie Scott book and I don’t think I was completely hooked.

The first part of the book was very strong that I couldn’t stop reading. I was even laughing and totally on board with the whole fake identity dating setup because I’ve been there. I wasn’t expecting anything grand at all but I wasn’t expecting to be underwhelmed either.

The characters especially Alex, I understood. But Joe/Eric? I don’t think I got to know the real him at all. I am not sure if it’s because the story was told in Alex’s POV but even a single POV would’ve worked to learn more about the hero, but it didn’t work here. I felt nothing about Joe/Eric. It’s disappointing because I would’ve really loved a character like him.

I don’t think there’s enough chemistry between the two characters to last them forever. I don’t think they’re the perfect fit for each other. Joe turned out to be a huge d-bag and Alex turned out to be a walking, living naive woman. I swear the side-eye and eye-roll emojis game was so on point during that later part of the book, where she came off desperate.

I didn’t like Joe, Alex did a 180 to me and for a story that has potential, this was a total letdown. I think I would pick up the first book but only because my friend, Danielle, over at The Book Queen’s Palace, has recommended it to me.

Walk of Shame by Lauren Layne

Series: Love Unexpectedly #4
Release Date: April 18, 2017
Rating: 2/5
I volunteered to review an ARC.
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Pampered heiress Georgianna Watkins has a party-girl image to maintain, but all the shopping and clubbing is starting to feel a little bit hollow—and a whole lot lonely. Though Georgie would never admit it, the highlights of her week are the mornings when she comes home at the same time as her uptight, workaholic neighbor is leaving to hit the gym and put in a long day at the office. Teasing him is the most fun Georgie’s had in years—and the fuel for all her naughtiest daydreams.

Celebrity divorce attorney Andrew Mulroney doesn’t have much time for women, especially spoiled tabloid princesses who spend more time on Page Six than at an actual job. Although Georgie’s drop-dead gorgeous, she’s also everything Andrew resents: the type of girl who inherited her penthouse instead of earning it. But after Andrew caps one of their predawn sparring sessions with a surprise kiss—a kiss that’s caught on camera—all of Manhattan is gossiping about whether they’re a real couple. And nobody’s more surprised than Andrew to find that the answer just might be yes.

Mostly, I loved LL’s books so it’s really painful for me to say that this one’s another miss.

The blurb was really catchy and so was the premise of the story–I mean enemies to lovers? Sign. Me. Up! While the whole trope was interesting enough for me to finish the book, I felt like the characters did not do justice to one of my fave tropes.

I didn’t really connect to Georgiana. She seemed too flat to me, no real depth, and the epitome of a socialite. At some point, I did cheer for her but she kind of lost me when she didn’t even make Andrew grovel enough after what he’s done to her. It’s like just because she loved Andrew so much even when he called her some demeaning things, he could get away with it easily. I hated how she made it easy for him.

And don’t even get me started on Andrew. I knew the man was supposed to act like some cold-hearted asshat but for a love interest/hero, I don’t think he should be calling the main character/heroine an idiot, whatever the reasons are. Yes, given he’s clueless on the fact that he doesn’t know how to act properly around Georgina, sure as shit won’t excuse his behavior of calling her brainless. It’s degrading. For someone as intelligent as him (as Georgiana would always mention), it’s not really showing. I would’ve thought it would get better, that I can forgive him for what he did but surprise–I still couldn’t! Aside from him being a douchebag of the highest level, Andrew was such a closed-off character. I didn’t feel like I know him at all (apart from what I knew of him in the beginning). He just happened to forget (he didn’t) to disclose a very important thing to Georgiana and his reason for doing so was plain bullshit in all levels.

It didn’t help that most chapters were written in Georgiana’s POV, which was just airy, sometimes fun but mostly tiring and boring.

I had high hopes on the grand gesture after the plot twist that’s kind of uhhh is that it??? but it ended too quickly for my liking. I don’t think Georgiana and Andrew are compatible. If anything, the chemistry was forced. For me, them together is a HFN kind of thing. They’re not a couple that I see in my HEA list. Though the book was a light read, the banter was fine, I wasn’t as satisfied as I would’ve expected.

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