Mini Reviews #2

A Magic Dark & Bright by Jenny Adams Perinovic
Series: The Asylum Saga #1
Genres: Young Adult, Romance, Fantasy
Date of Publishing: April 28th, 2015
Links: | Goodreads |
 My Rating: ★

 She meant to help a ghost…not unleash a curse.

Amelia Dupree hasn’t seen the Woman in White since the night her brother died.

The ghost seems to have disappeared from the woods surrounding Asylum, Pennsylvania—that is, until Charlie Blue moves into the creepy old MacAllister House next door. Amelia can’t help liking him, even though she spent her childhood thinking his grandmother was a witch. And she definitely can’t ignore the connection between his arrival and the Woman in White’s return.

Then Amelia learns that the Woman in White is a prisoner, trapped between the worlds of the living and the dead. Devastated by the idea that her brother could be suffering a similar fate, Amelia decides to do whatever it takes to help the Woman in White find peace–and Charlie agrees to help her.

But when Amelia’s classmates start to drown in the Susquehanna River, one right after another, rumors swirl as people begin to connect the timing of Charlie’s arrival with the unexplained deaths. As Charlie and Amelia uncover the dark history of Asylum, they realize they may have unleashed an unspeakable evil. One they have to stop before everything they love is destroyed.

REVIEW

This book reminds me a lot of a minibar. You know those overpriced mini-refrigerators with an inventory from hell and prices so high, you might want to break down and put your life on hold. Anyway, you know how these minibars have everything from Michael Jackson’s frozen nose to Farrah Abraham’s frozen chin but lack essentials like freaking chocolate ice-cream? Yeah. This book kind of follows that same track.

A Magic Dark & Bright has everything that would make up the quintessential ghost book—it has a creepy forest, a haunted mansion, an over-eager protagonist, a curse, mysterious disappearances and subsequent deaths. But you know what essential item it lacks? Substance.

Star #1 is for the cover and the font. It is truly a treat to look it, this book, and I can only imagine how the gold scripted front cover would feel in my hands. Okay, I don’t completely understand the cover and find it kind of irrelevant to the happenings of the book but please feel free to correct me. Chances are I skimmed over some parts of the book that might have explained why the cover is what it is.

Star #2 is for the concept. While I wasn’t the greatest fan of the execution and the writing was nothing over-the-top, I do feel like the concept had a lot of potential. The whole Marie Antoinette angle could have been worked upon beautifully and I kept hoping for something to happen and it didn’t. Again, I adored the White Witch concept. It kind of killed me a little that this didn’t work out, considering the book was creepy af in the beginning.

Once it became a romance novel, it became more romance than anything else. Also, the romance was very insta-love and that Sucked but I was willing to look beyond that to the concept. None of the characters really made me want to care or cheer for them and I’m not even going to talk about the secondary characters that were paper thin. All in all, if it works for you, then it works but this book really didn’t live up to the hype for me.

Play Me: The Whole Story by Tracy Wolff
Series: Play Me 1 – 5
Genres: Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Date of Publishing: June 16th, 2015
Links: | Goodreads |
 My Rating: ★

 My name is Aria Winston. I’ve fought desperately to escape the seedy underbelly of Las Vegas. Now I’m on my own, in control of my own life and my own destiny . . . just the way I like it. Until Sebastian Caine changes everything.

Working as a cocktail waitress at one of Vegas’s hottest five-star casinos means putting up with a ton of bad behavior from the big spenders. But it pays the bills—and that’s all that matters to Aria, who needs every last dollar to escape from her father’s destructive grasp and the brutal man he expects her to marry. But when she lashes out against a billionaire who won’t take no for an answer, she nearly loses everything—until Sebastian steps in. The owner’s son and handpicked successor, Sebastian is dark, sexy, and kinder than any rich man should be. And when he apologizes and offers to keep her job safe, Aria can’t help the way her body reacts to his. Suddenly her job, and the security it brings her, isn’t the only thing Aria wants.

REVIEW

Note: Although I read the Play Me series as a, well, series, this review is for the complete story and is absolutely devoid of spoilers.

I have to admit, I would have never picked up this book on my own. The Play Me Series is a part of the Ethan Frost series (although it can be read as a standalone) and while I was debating with myself about what exactly I should do about these books, I saw some spectacular reviews for the Ethan Frost books over at Goodreads. And so, I’ve read Play Me only and only because of (Goodreads) peer pressure.

And I’m so glad I decided to read these because I would have been seriously missing out on some quality goodness. MISSING OUT. Because, these books are tons of awesome.

Aria Winston was my favourite of the two main characters. She was brave and strong and stood up for what was right at the cost of losing her job…especially when she was living hand-to-mouth as it was. But what was more fantastic to see about her is that she was fiercely independent and it was almost like her thought processes were often in sync with my own! It was awesome and awesome!

Sebastian Caine was, in my opinion, the perfect counterpart to Aria. Where she was batshit when there was something she wanted, he was level-headed. Where she often thought with her heart, he showed her reason. And might I say, this guy had a real heart of gold. No matter the philanthropist side of him, he was a genuinely good guy who made everyone’s problems his own and went out of his way to support people.

In a literary BDSM world (sadly) dominated by the likes of FSoG, Play Me manages to bring all the kinky and hot that makes BDSM exciting, and show readers just how sexy it can be when done right. The book is written tastefully and contrary to my early expectations from the book, it wasn’t all sex. There is a story, and two fantastic characters, and trust you me, there is are many surprising twists and turns in the series.

The end is entirely dependent on you. The series ends well, (albeit a bit anticlimactically) but if you really want to continue reading Aria and Sebastian’s story, and whether or not the bad guys are brought to justice, then I’d suggest you pick up the Ethan Frost books ASAP, especially for the Aria-Sebastian cameo in Exposed (Ethan Frost #4). I know I will.

 

I WAS PROVIDED A FREE EARC OF THIS BOOK IN EXCHANGE OF AN HONEST REVIEW. THIS DID NOT IN ANY WAY, HOWEVER, INFLUENCE THE CONTENT OF THIS REVIEW.
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