[ARC] Surreal Estate by Jesi Lea Ryan

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4stars

“I don’t care where I sleep as long as I get to wake up with you.”

Title: Surreal Estate
Author: Jesi Lea Ryan
Release date: November 5th 2018
Number of pages: 271 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: There is a psychic character who can sense the spirit of houses!
Bad things about this book: Nothing of relevance, it depends on you.
Do I recommend it? Yes, it’s a very nice story.
Rate: 4/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

PLOT —
Homeless musician, who is also a house psychic, is called by an abandon house to live inside of it. Creepy? Not much really. Besides a few paranormal episodes with houses, the story is more focused on Sasha’s issues with his mom and his past, and Nick’s financial problems. The fact the Sasha could sense what houses wanted and felt, was really helpful for Nick and also for himself. It was a nice touch.

CHARACTERS —
The characters were likable and not annoying. I had a couple of tiny issues with Nick, thinking unnecessary things, but I can forgive him because he was figuring a huge thing about himself out. I liked Sasha and I liked how he was very optimistic even if everything seemed to go wrong in his life. I like them separately and I loved them together. That was some attraction at first sight and I liked it.

THOUGHTS —
I loved the lack of real drama. There was something weighting on them, with Sasha having his addict mom taking really bad decisions, and Nick having a loan shark waiting for him to fail just to punish him hard. I liked how things evolved between the two men. It felt natural even if quick. Nothing bad, just feelings and real life. It was a really nice read.

CONCLUSION —
This little book was so entertaining, and I was intrigued, I needed to know what was going to happen. Having real life mixed with just a tiny bit of paranormal, psychic powers, was just perfect. I missed reading about psychics and this is my first time reading about someone who can sense the feelings of places, houses to be precise. If you like paranormal books, easy to read, with nice characters, steamy and explicit scenes, and a nice ending, then this is a book for you.

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[ARC] The Academy by Quinn Anderson

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3stars

Earlier, when the party was in full swing, I looked around and thought to myself that something was missing. From the party. From my apartment. From my life. I couldn’t figure out what it was. But now, as I lay here, I think I finally know. It’s you.

Title: The Academy
Author: Quinn Anderson
Release date: September 17th 2018
Good things about this book: The characters are really nice and the feelings super sweet.
Bad things about this book: It could’ve been shorter, imo.
Do I recommend it? Yes, it’s a sweet love story.
Rate: 3/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

PLOT —
It dragged a little with the inner monologues and the Academy, the college they were in, and the title of this book, was soon forgotten. I would have loved to see more things happening in the Academy, but it was still nice to experience the college life through Nick’s eyes.

CHARACTERS —
Nick was a bit too overdramatic. Everything was this big guilt trip for him and also for Sebastian. Everything. They couldn’t enjoy anything with pages and pages of inner monologues why they shouldn’t be enjoying said thing. I wanted to slap some sense into both of them. There were really cute scenes, though. Some borderline cheesy as hell. I love those. Sebastian is a cutie!

THOUGHTS —
I liked the idea of a playboy finding real love for the first time and leaving his playboy days behind. It’s one of the many tropes I love, so I was completely okay with how the story unfolded. It had its ups and downs, being a little slow, but in the end, it was a cute and sweet story. And we had a couple of steamy scenes and wow, I liked those a lot.

CONCLUSION —
I liked the ending, the epilogue was really nice and all the on-page characters, mains and sides, were all interesting. I will certainly keep reading books by this author. They are both romantic and emotional.

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Sometime After Midnight by L. Philips

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5stars

“I like romance.”
Victor merely shakes his head. “No, you don’t. You like structure, and stability, and a good dose of all those things practical.”

Title: Sometime After Midnight
Author: L. Philips
Number of pages: 352 (hardcover edition)
Good things about this book: The music, it’s written but you feel it.
Bad things about this book: Nothing.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

PLOT —
As much as it was introduced as a sort of Cinderella retelling, this had only the fact that they met, connected, and then one left leaving behind only the picture of his shoes. The rest was so far from being similar to Cinderella that I forgot about it. Nate and Cameron’s story about how they met, how Nate starts avoiding Cameron after learning who he is, and with Cameron having a dream and knowing that Nate is the key of it coming true, is well written and I thought it had a lot of great elements that didn’t drag the story and delivered what it promised.

CHARACTERS —
Nate was a little bit overdramatic and didn’t allow his reason to see what was right in front of him. I could forgive that because all the scenes where we had him and Cameron making music, were so sweet, deep and emotional that I forgot he was been unreasonable the scene before. Cameron from his part is an adorable young man; fresh out of high school, he is supposed to take over the family business, but he has dreams of his own and the fateful meeting with Nate will allow him to wish for more out of his life.

It’s like he planned this to torture me.
And damned if it won’t be the best kind of torture ever.

THOUGHTS —
While I was certain they were going to be okay in the end, the process of this love story, mixed with music and so many feelings, brought goosebumps to my skin. I learned about some bands and musicians I hadn’t heard before, so I put their songs as a background music and kept reading the book. The emotions I felt from that point on, reading the songs the boys were writing, it took me there with them, a little of a fifth wheel of a situation. This is the kind of book about music, in which music is just another character, as important as the main ones. Music raw, true, deep: the description of the music, the darkness of it, its sweetness, its power, brought tears to my eyes and my heart doubled in size.

CONCLUSION —
This book was the type of sweet that gets your eyes a little teary while being a tad sad but also incredibly romantic, all without being too corny. The right amount of sappy. I just loved it and was afraid for my heart, fearing drama incoming that luckily wasn’t as I expected.
I had a gigantic smile when I finished the book. And that’s how I love finishing books, plenty satisfied, full of joy

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Here to Stay by Sara Farizan

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5stars

I was going to live my life. I was going to spend time with people who cared about me and whom I cared about. I was going to be comfortable in my own skin even when some people wanted to make that impossible for me.

Title: Here to Stay
Author: Sara Farizan
Number of pages: 304 (hardcover edition)
Good things about this book: The writing style, how the feelings of the main character could be felt.
Bad things about this book: Nothing.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

Important, frustrating, emotional, and funny! I didn’t get much of the sport’s terminology, but I still was on edge when they were playing.

PLOT —-
The story follows Bijan’s life in high school; he’s part of the basketball team, is shy and has a crush on a beautiful girl. People, based solely on ignorance and jealousy, feeling threaten by his newly found success in the team, start hating on him, photoshopping his face on a terrorist body. Just because of the colour of his skin. The book follows him during the days after the photo went viral at school, his feelings, the reality of things hitting him hard, and the eye-opening fact of what fear, however irrational, can do to people. It’s terrifying.

CHARACTERS —-
The characters were nicely written; you hated who you were supposed to hate, and cheer for the ones you were supposed to cheer on. There wasn’t the usual case of loving the antagonist. Here the antagonist is so hateful you can’t do anything but despise everything he is and everything he stands for.
I liked Bijan a lot. Trying to be strong, telling people he is okay when he’s everything but okay. Trying to be a high school boy, with a crush, with friends he trusts, playing a sport he loves. Trying to be a hero in his own story when the world wants to paint him as the bad guy.

“Your mom raised you to be an upstanding young chap, you’re smart, you’re tall, and you can put together a mean bowl of cereal. You’re a catch!”

THOUGHTS —-
I was furious. I’m always furious when I read about ignorant people making someone’s life a living hell because of their own ignorance, misinformation, and fake patriotism. Like they know generic stuff because they read a few article titles, so they feel entitled to hate, because they are right, they read it somewhere even if out of context. These people should disappear like poof, you racist you gone! You bigot you gone poof!!!

“Most people aren’t worth knowing, It’s the Age of the Asshole, man. It’s their time to shine. Doesn’t matter what race, religion, orientation, or gender. If you’re a jerk, the world is yours for the taking.”

CONCLUSION —-
The book is short, it’s easy to read and you’ll find yourself finishing it in just an afternoon. Its themes are important, but the book is not heavy or dark. It’s the reality of high schoolers who just happen not to be white, and the ignorant people that put all of them in the category of their choice. Until it’s still something that happens, books like this one, are going to be needed. And as mad as they make me feel, I will keep reading them and spreading the love.

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Darius the Great Is Not Okay by Adib Khorram ☆

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5starsplus

“You’re okay,” he murmured.
“No, I’m not.”
“I know.” He rubbed my back up and down. “It’s okay not to be okay.”

Title: Darius the Great Is Not Okay
Author: Adib Khorram
Number of pages: 320 (hardcover edition)
Good things about this book: I loved how calm and sweet this was, so very real!
Bad things about this book: Nothing.
Do I recommend it? Yes, I can’t recommend it enough.
Rate: 5+++/5 (it’s a favourite!)

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

I have never read a more relatable character than Darius. I loved this book with all my little heart. Feelings are overflowing. This is not an excessively sad book, it has sad parts but it’s a hopeful journey, and we get to see it through a very sweet boy’s eyes.

This story filled my heart with a bittersweet joy. I’m so glad I’ve read it. I’m happy, a sort of calm and quiet happiness.

I loved the quiet. Even if it sometimes made me think of sad things. Like whether anyone would miss me if I was dead.

Darius is bullied at school and it made me furious, not only because of the bullies but because of his dad telling him that if he was just more normal he wouldn’t have these kinds of problems. What kind of father tells that to a son? To a bullied son? To a bullied son who has also depression? He has a lot on his plate and he’s trying his best, he doesn’t need a father not being on his side.

Normally, I was thrilled to get pizza – it was pretty much the best dietary indiscretion ever – but I could feel Dad watching me at every bite, flaring his nostrils.

His dad infuriated me because he is exactly like my mother. Ever since I remember my mom has been obsessed with weight. I’m overweight, I have been this way, more or less, since I got my period at 9 years old. Pretty early, I know. Ever since that day I started getting curves and everything I ate stayed there with me. I have been thinner in the past, but it didn’t last, surely because I’m not supposed to be that way. I’m happy with how I am. I do care about my health and take care of myself, but this is my shape and people shouldn’t see that as bad or wrong.

Darius gained weight because of his medication, he really doesn’t have a problem with it. He has a problem with his father having a problem with it. Take that and add that he is going to Iran, her mother’s birth place, for the first time to meet his grandparents and relatives. Everything is overwhelming and different. Luckily, he meets Sohrab, a friend of his grandparents and they immediately click. They are destined to be friends. Great friends!

I liked that I could be silent with Sohrab.
That’s how I knew we really were going to be friends.

I love Darius and Sohrab together; they don’t get along all the time, they had a rough first outing together, but the nice thing about friends is that they can forgive you. Darius really needed someone like Sohrab, and I’m happy he got to meet him and bond with him. It helped him a lot. The subtlety of the LGBT theme was just right; I wasn’t disappointed it wasn’t more present, more told on page, because that’s just another way Darius was dealing with everything that’s been going on in his life. I liked how he just wasn’t ready to tell anyone, not even us, the readers.

Darius’ story was one of growth, family, friendship and understanding that is okay not be okay, but trying their best every single day. I loved this book, the way it built slowly, telling different stories that came together in the end. I loved it. I hope there are more books like this one out there, because as I needed this one, other people might need them in the future. I recommend it with all my heart.

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Single Malt by Layla Reyne

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4stars

Title: Single Malt
Author: Layla Reyne
Series: Agents Irish and Whiskey #1

Number of pages: 194 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: I just like a good crime book, and this is good.
Bad things about this book: Nothing.
Do I recommend it? Yes, I do!
Rate: 4/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

Leaving the fact that it was hot as hell, also heartbreaking as hell, everything as hell, the action in this book was excellent!! The mysteries, the investigations, the twists, you don’t know who is involved in crimes until it may be too late!

I enjoyed it a lot. Like a crime show episode with a sort of cliffhanger ending. What is going to happen now??? Who knows! I sense pains of the heart but also a happy ending that I know I’m going to get because I read the synopsis of the last book of the series. So even if I’m going to suffer I know it’ll be worth it.

Aidan “Irish” Talley lost his husband and his FBI partner in a car accident 8 months ago; he is grieving, which is understandable, he feels guilty, and is stuck in this loop when he needs to start thinking about moving on. Because moving on doesn’t mean forgetting people who we loved but lost too soon, is getting a grip on our lives because we deserve living and being happy. Aidan isn’t at that point yet, even if he shows a lot of interested in his new partner, a lot of interest!

Here comes Jameson “Whiskey” Walker, tall and beautiful with a smile that gets him everything he wants. He has wanted Aidan for three years, but he was happily taken; now he gets to partner with him and maybe finally get a chance at taking things to a more pleasant level. But Aidan doesn’t seem ready to let go of his late husband, and Jamie is crushing harder and harder. Things are going to get difficult.

The case is super interesting; a facility storing very dangerous pathogens has been hacked and our agents need to stop further attacks to avoid a bioterrorist attack. But, as usual, things aren’t as they seem: possible moles, danger, accidents that aren’t accidents, the agents being domestic cuties, and a lot of not so subtle flirting. Aidan, though, is still afraid, but we see a different side of him and it’s both heartwrenching and hopeful.

I’ll read the sequel as soon as I can. I already miss Jamie; he worked his magic on me, too. And Aidan isn’t bad, either. On the contrary, those two are going to get a lot of love from me, I know that!

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Cloaked in Shadow by Ben Alderson

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3stars

Title: Cloaked in Shadow
Author: Ben Alderson
Series: The Dragori #1

Number of pages: 350 (paperback edition)
Good things about this book: Elves with magic and shapeshifting abilities!
Bad things about this book: There were a lot of grammar errors.
Do I recommend it? Yes, it’s a nice story!

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

I’m unsure. While I liked it, and enjoyed it, I felt that something was amiss. I’ll give this book 3.5 stars, a good rating, for a book full of potential, with a main character that was a tad melodramatic and emo, an ex that was forced to play a role that I felt unnecessary, and a prince that was sweet and adorable (Hadrian has flaws but he is a cutie).

Some scenes felt a bit random, like wth is going on, why is Zacriah acting like a child? He was at times annoying, I could picture him in my head whining. The ex-boyfriend thing still bothers me: it just didn’t make any sense and it ruined a nice situation with a pointless scene played by our drama queen Zac!

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the book, even with the many grammar errors I found (then instead of than, lots of your instead of you’re and more), and I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen to Hadrian and the ever so theatrical Zac!

Things left unexplained that I hope are going to be explained in the next two books, because, yes, this is a trilogy and it sounds promising. I have the second book ready, but I never binge read a series; it will have to wait. I just hope the boys are going to be okay in the end, and I hope that Zac will start acting less childish and get a grip! Things are more difficult now and he is needed!

Elves, shapeshifters, druids, magic, there’s a little bit of everything and I will be there to see how the story unfolds, no matter what. The cover made me read the book, it’s beautiful, and the story made me stay. I’ll be here until the end, fingers crossed it’s not going to be the end of the happiness the boys clearly deserve!

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