[Review] PRINCESSA by Joslyn Westbrook, 5 out of 5 stars

About the Book

Title: Princessa
Author: Joslyn Westbrook
Publisher: Fifth Avenue Publications (November 2019)
Find it on: Goodreads | Amazon | Book Bub | Book Depository

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Official Book Playlist

Check out the Princessa soundtrack on Spotify, created by Joslyn Westbrook herself.

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Review

Joslyn Westbrook’s Princessa is a much-needed light-read rom-com in these anxious times. Prince Grayson of Andorra hides like a fugitive on the run. He has recently turned thirty-five and is still without a girl to marry. As per the Andorra Royal Decree, he is now left with only two choices — marry his betrothed or someone approved by the king and queen. But Grayson’s not the type of royalty to marry for power or money; that’s why he has left. Arabella Princessa Royale, the ‘Princess of Savannah’ and heiress to the Royale Resort hotels, gets dumped by her long-time boyfriend. Seeing her agony, her father sends her to Royale Resort France to get her mind off the devastating break-up and asks her to oversee the hotel’s events. In one embarrassing moment, the two meet and it’s love (or lust?) at first sight. But Grayson knows he can never hide for long. How can he escape his destiny while Arabella is making him fall head over heels?

The cover is alluring and the chapter headings are cute. Told in multiple POVs, this book is hard to put down as it takes you on a royal adventure. While the premise is not so original, the narrative develops into something cheesy and squeal-worthy. Although the ending feels forced, in general, it is still a great slow-burn romance. It is also feminist and is highly recommended to all the bad-ass women (and men) out there. Trigger warnings include profanity, sex, homosexuality, and panic attacks.

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This book was reviewed for Readers’ Favorite. Check my sidebar; follow me here and on the rest of my social media accounts for more bookish content and honest reviews!

[Review] WAKE OF DECEPTION by Sasha DeVore, 4 out of 5 stars

About the Book

Title: Wake of Deception
Author: Sasha DeVore
Publisher: Red Pendulum Press (January 2020; first published on November 2016)
Find it on: Amazon | Goodreads | Google Books | B&N

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Review

Sasha DeVore’s Wake of Deception is the first installment in The Wake trilogy. This dystopian thriller is a satirical take on how power-hungry authorities manipulate the thoughts and feelings of the public to support their selfish cause. Hanu is a fourteen-year-old boy with schizophrenia who has spent half of his years in The Flush — a facility that “cures” children showing symptoms of difference and resistance. After all these years, Hanu is already sick of all the medications they are giving him and is convinced that they are only feeding them lies. He finds a way to subtly trick the staff, but his tricks do not hold for too long. He and a few other kids are then sent to The District for some kind of punishment. Little did they know that this punishment is nothing less than death itself.

Wake of Deception shows that being different is not always a bad thing and that it can be an amazing feat, because nobody else can think or act like you. You can either choose to believe what others are saying or you can look deeper inside you, embrace your uniqueness, and use it to rise up and help others. The cold and dry imagery adds to the overall eerie feeling of this dystopian fic. Fans of The Hunger Games, Divergent, and The Maze Runner series will surely enjoy this trilogy. Other than the ones explicitly stated or implied above, trigger warnings also include violence and death of a friend.

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This book was reviewed for Readers’ Favorite. Check my sidebar; follow me here and on the rest of my social media accounts for more bookish content and honest reviews!

[Review] WAVERLY by Amy Bellamy, 5 out of 5 stars

About the Book

Title: Waverly
Author: Amy Bellamy
Publisher: Independently published (February 27, 2019)
Find it on: Amazon | Goodreads | Google Books

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Review

Amy Bellamy’s Waverly is about the tragic fate of Daniel Porter, a person of color, in the summer of 1936. Sarah Harper is a struggling attorney assistant and graduate student. She works her way out as she balances her job, her research paper, and her efforts to conceive. One day, she relays her scholarly struggles to her grandfather, James. Wanting to help his beloved Sarah, he then suggests taking a look at Daniel Porter’s case, which also happens to be the last public hanging in the US. As soon as Sarah digs into this case, she knows something is definitely not right. But will she be able to right the wrongs once she finds out the truth?

By using multiple points of view, this narrative is able to provide depth to each of the characters. It seamlessly jumps from present to past, and vice versa, as it tells a story based on true events. Complex is the best word to describe this suspense; it gives hints here and there; it shows a lot of possibilities to ponder on, but the ending still remains unexpected. Blood-boiling and frustrating, this book will make you question morals and societal standards. It will haunt you with questions like: What is right? What is accepted? What do people deserve? It provokes not only the heart but also the mind. Typo errors are present, but they are not that distracting. Trigger warnings include a public hanging, pregnancy issues, death of a loved one (including a baby), domestic abuse, alcohol and gambling problems, rape, murder, theft, racial discrimination, dementia, and social injustice.

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This book was reviewed for Readers’ Favorite. Check my sidebar; follow me here and on the rest of my social media accounts for more bookish stuff and honest reviews!

[Review] WINTER OF THE WOLF by Martha Hunt Handler, 5 out of 5 stars

About the Book

Title: WINTER OF THE WOLF
Author: Martha Hunt Handler
Publisher: Greenleaf Book Group (July 2020)
Find it on: Amazon | Book Depository | Goodreads

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Review

Sam Hanes is found hanging by his neck in their room. To say that his family, particularly his sister, Bean, is devastated is an understatement. Sam was fascinated by the Inuit, shared their beliefs, and was just simply in love with nature. His quirks and enthusiasm make it harder to believe that he chose to end his own life. No matter what Bean feels, the detective and coroner say it’s suicide. Sam’s family accepts this, and his friends are quick to pass on their judgment. But Bean knows her brother best and shares an unexplainable bond with him. She is sure that there is more to his death than suicide, and she’s not going to stop until she finds out everything.

Martha Hunt Handler’s Winter of the Wolf is a touching story of how Bean turns her grief into gratitude as she, with the help of her best friend, discovers what really happened to her brother. The book starts with a haunting mystery that engages the attention and does not let it slip away. The emotional depth and great imagery reflect Handler’s unquestionable skill and patience, as she worked on this project for eighteen years. Bean is a strong and smart kid, and these traits only intensify as she blooms into a woman. Her character is as complex as her growth is amazing. Winter of the Wolf is a wonderful mix of sleuthing and spirituality; it’s a great read for those trying to reconnect with themselves and the people close to them. Trigger warnings include a car accident, death of a loved one, bullying, suicide, mental health problems, shamanism, reincarnation, and Autoerotic Asphyxiation (AEA).

This book was reviewed for Readers’ Favorite. Check my sidebar, follow me here and on the rest of my social media accounts for more bookish stuff and honest reviews!

[Review] THE VALENTINE DINE OR DIE by JB Michaels, 4 out of 5 stars

JB Michaels’ The Valentine Dine or Die is the second Mac and Millie Mysteries book. Mac is a former cop who is supposed to be moving on and writing a memoir, but the cop life looks like it isn’t done with him just yet. Millie is a regular banker, or at least that’s what she wants others to believe. She and her family practice witchcraft, and while this is not a secret to Mac, she reserves her witchy side on more important things such as some of Mac’s cases. This romantic mystery book is all about their first Valentine’s as a couple. But the theatrical show where they go to turns into a suicide case. Or is it murder? With Mac’s background and Millie’s supernatural powers, they once again sleuth together to find the culprit.

The Valentine Dine or Die is a short read that can be finished in one sitting. The story and writing style may be simple, but the book is fast-paced and exciting. It can be read as a standalone, although the first book is a must-read for a few details which Michaels does not choose to elaborate on this one. Mac and Millie make a great team; they are one adorable couple who treats each other as equals. The book cover is just as cute as the story. Just imagine what science and witchcraft can bring when these two are around. There are some spelling and grammatical errors, but they are not disruptive in general. Trigger warnings include leg injury, bombing, murder, adultery, Seasonal Affective Disorder (i.e., winter depression), and a homosexual relationship.

This book was reviewed for Readers’ Favorite. Check my sidebar, follow me here and on the rest of my social media accounts for more bookish stuff and honest reviews!

[Review] HAPPILY EVER HIS by Delancey Stewart, 4⚝

QOTD: Are you the type who revels in the spotlight or would you rather be a helping hand in the background?⁣

Ryan McDonnell’s acting career is falling apart. He’s not a bad actor, just a victim of badly-written films. Juliet Manchester is dubbed as America’s sweetheart, the hottest actress in Hollywood today. But she’s having a rough time after divorcing her husband who is also blackmailing her. Ryan and Juliet’s agents find a solution and they agree to be in a win-win fake relationship. With this game of pretend, Ryan can have another shot at fame with Juliet by his side, and the press won’t bombard Juliet with too many questions regarding her divorce. They cause a hot scene at LAX before flying to Maryland, Juliet’s hometown, to celebrate her grandma’s 90th birthday. Ryan is true to his promise not only to save his career but also to be able to send his dad in a suitable nursing home. But when Ryan lays his eyes on Juliet’s sister, Tess, he swears it was love at first sight.

⁣Delancey Stewart’s Happily Ever His is cheesy, hot, angsty, and funny. This book is a good choice if you’re looking for a quick rom-com read. The story unfolds with Ryan and Tess’ alternating points of view. It’s pretty amazing that the readers get to know both sides of every scene. I like Gran’s audacity, Juliet’s passion, Ryan’s sincerity, and Tess’ relatability. Tess is the perfect fangirl but I’m just sad that she’s always talking herself down. The romance is adorable; it happened pretty fast but it did not feel forced. The ending is appropriate and wonderful. Trigger warnings include profanity and sex.⁣

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[Review] THE WINTER SISTERS by Tim Westover, 4⚝

It was spring of 1822 and Doctor Aubrey Waycross was hailed to Lawrenceville, Georgia. The mayor personally wrote to him about a case of rabies and was afraid that it might spread in his town. Waycross spends most of his money just to get there, only to find out that he was tricked. There wasn’t a case of rabies, at least not yet. Aside from this fraud, he gets more upset when he finds out that the people of Lawrenceville believe more in the Winter Sisters, who allegedly practice witchcraft, than in his scientific methods when it comes to curing their ailments. The Winter Sisters by Tim Westover may have been set in the 1800s but with the themes it tackled, I’d say it’s still relevant today.

I liked that the book showed us that healing can come in many forms. And what matters most is that people believe in whichever source it came from. I learned from this book that ignorance and laziness are a deadly combination. While it’s true that people are resistant to change, this resistance shouldn’t stop them from going forward in life. My favorite character is Waycross because instead of keeping on hating on the Winter sisters, he made an effort to confront them and understand their ways. I liked how the author kept Effie’s and their mother’s characters a mystery but I wish there was some big revelation about them. Until the end, they both remained unsolved puzzles. I also liked that this book is argumentative in nature because it makes you think if it’s really your responsibility to cure people when you can or choose to lead a simple life that is far from nosy followers. Trigger warnings include blind following, death by fire, and a surgery mistake. The Winter Sisters by Tim Westover is highly recommended to fans of literary fiction.

This book was reviewed for Readers’ Favorite. For more honest reviews and other bookish stuff, check my sidebar and follow me on the rest of my social media accounts: InstagramGoodreads, and Twitter.