I Read Ugly Love, Here’s What I Think

The Book:

Title: Ugly Love

Author: Colleen Hoover

Published August 5th 2014 by Atria Books

Genre: Romance, New Adult

Pages: 324

“When Tate Collins meets airline pilot Miles Archer, she doesn’t think it’s love at first sight. They wouldn’t even go so far as to consider themselves friends. The only thing Tate and Miles have in common is an undeniable mutual attraction. Once their desires are out in the open, they realize they have the perfect set-up. He doesn’t want love, she doesn’t have time for love, so that just leaves the sex. Their arrangement could be surprisingly seamless, as long as Tate can stick to the only two rules Miles has for her.

Never ask about the past.
Don’t expect a future.

They think they can handle it, but realize almost immediately they can’t handle it at all.

Hearts get infiltrated.
Promises get broken.
Rules get shattered.
Love gets ugly.” -Goodreads

My Review:

Halfway through this book, I thought I would be giving it a so-so review. It did not have a hold of me. I thought it was a nice, quick read. The love story was interesting and had some spice to it, but I did not love it.

Until the end.

This book got me with a right hook and kick to the groin in the last half.

I did not expect what happened at all. It was thrilling and almost made up for its average beginnings…

Almost.

Yes, the end was thrilling and the premise of the story was interesting. The severe lack of depth in the female characters or action in the first half of the book brought it down a notch.

The main female character, Tate was kind of boring. All her struggles were about the love interest. Tate’s struggles with hooking up with someone emotionally unavailable is relatable, but not unique.

I thought the story could use a bit more development for her and maybe focus a couple of times on her work or her schooling.

The guy, Miles, had depth and development. His story was heartbreaking, albeit a little incestuous, (actually a lot incestuous.) What is with everyone writing about incest?

Rachel, the step-sister, was 2-D and only viewed from Miles perspective (until later). I do not like when a woman is not thoroughly defined through literature. Hoover usually does a good job, but this book was a bit lacking.

The last half of the book was gut-wrenching and I cried. It is a real tearjerker, so do not let the sexy scenes fool you, BUT the first half was dull. Yes, it held me captive with the flashback to Miles dating his step-sister. The flashbacks were the only interesting parts though.

Still, despite the lack of anything in the first half, this book was good. The ending was unexpected and heartbreaking. If you like Colleen Hoover this book would be great to check out.

As always, thanks for reading,

A Bookie

Stare Rating: 3.5

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Once Upon a Broken Heart: A Cute Novel with Surprising Adventure

The Book:

Title: Once Upon a Broken Heart

Author: Stephanie Garber

Series: Once Upon a Broken Heart #1

Published September 28th 2021 by Flatiron Books

Genre: Fantasy, YA

Pages: 408

“For as long as she can remember, Evangeline Fox has believed in true love and happy endings…until she learns that the love of her life will marry another.

Desperate to stop the wedding and to heal her wounded heart, Evangeline strikes a deal with the charismatic but wicked Prince of Hearts. In exchange for his help, he asks for three kisses, to be given at the time and place of his choosing.

But after Evangeline’s first promised kiss, she learns that bargaining with an immortal is a dangerous game—and that the Prince of Hearts wants far more from her than she’d pledged. He has plans for Evangeline, plans that will either end in the greatest happily ever after or the most exquisite tragedy….” -Goodreads

My Review:

Once again, Stephanie Garber has one my heart. The Caraval series was beautiful and then this book, in the same universe and my favorite character, was magical.

Garber’s writing is significantly improved in this book. Caraval was a little choppy and less descriptive. This book had amazing descriptions and was less choppy.

The main character in this book was stunning. I want to dye my hair rose gold to match Ms. Evageline Fox. I think we are very similar in character. We try to do the right thing and are hopeless romantics. She believes in fairytales and wants to be the hero. I adore her.

Jacks, oh my Jacks, has been a naughty little boy, but how can you blame the Prince of Hearts. I wished the ending was a bit different for him, but we will see how it plays out in the sequel.

Since this takes place in an empire previously described in the Caraval series, we do not need a lot of world-building upfront which was nice to get the right pacing in the book. When we do have a change of scenery, we get the world-building while still being able to keep up with the story.

This book makes this Caraval universe become three-dimensional. Caraval and the others would have half-explained government systems, landmarks, and just general setting ideas. This book exceeded the last book, explaining the Meridian Empire and the Northern Empire so much more.

This book was honestly magical. My last thing to say is to Stephanie Garber. Please, please, and please finish and publish the next one already. I want more of Jacks!

As always, thanks for reading,

A Bookie

Star Rating: 4

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Finally Reading the Mortal Instruments

Let me just say, the early 2000’s YA books were wild.

The Book

Title: The City of Bones

Author: Cassandra Clare

Series: The Mortal Instruments #1

Published September 1st 2015 by Margaret K. McElderry Books (first published May 27th 2007)

Genre: YA, Fantasy

Pages: 486

“When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder― much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It’s hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing―not even a smear of blood―to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary’s first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It’s also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace’s world with a vengeance when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know…” -Goodreads

My Review

The Mortal Instruments has been out for ages and was one of the original YA fantasy books. I am going back in time to read them because I never did as a kid.

I am shocked, disgusted, but also… happy?

You got Clary, who is a total “I am not like other girls” girl learning she has a crazy dark and mysterious history. She find this out because she met…you guessed it, a boy.

This book series is going to ruin me, and I mean this in a bad way.

The whole thing is gross. It has racist jokes, gay stereotypes, and politically incorrect words up the wazoo. Not to mention the (spoiler) incest plotline???

The negatives aside, the book was pretty good. If I had read this book back in 2010, I would definitely would have liked it.

By the end of the book, I found myself rooting for Clary. I hated her the whole book and now I am ready to read the second to see how it all plays out.

I think that is all I have to say for this book. I can’t compare it to anything recent because writing has evolved so much over the past ten or so years, which I am thankful for.

As always, thank for reading,

A Bookie

Star Rating: 3.0 (It would have had four, but I dont stand for the bigotry scattered throughout this.)

Rating: 3 out of 5.

A Veil of Truth and Poor Writing

I would never lie to my readers, so I will not be giving this book a good review. I wish that I could.

The Book:

Title: A Veil of Truth and Trickery

Author: Analeigh Ford

Published July 31st 2021

Genre: Fantasy

Pages: 308

“Delphine has been fae-marked from birth, treated as a curse despite the fact the once treacherous fae haven’t been sighted in decades—in fact, no one in Delph’s village has so much as laid eyes on one of the folk in nearly a century.

Right up until a fae turns up on her doorstep, demanding Delph as down payment.

No sooner has she set foot in the fae realm, however, then she learns she’s no mere collateral in a deal made with the lord that owns her family lands. She was selected for a reason, hunted down for a single purpose.

The fae courts are fading. The folk disappearing.

Only four courts remain. Four princes determined to save their crumbling kingdoms.

And Delph … Delph may just hold the key to save them all.

But even as Delph learns to see past the feared glamour of the fae realm, she quickly learns the impossible position she’s found herself in. The fae may not be the monsters she was led to believe, but in order to save them … she may have to become a monster herself.” -Goodreads

My Review:

*I just read the synopsis and that is even written poorly.

Negative reviews are literally my least favorite to write. But I have to for this book.

First, I feel like I was promised a lot from the author on TikTok. I was excited and so I purchased the book.

There was supposed to be spicy romance that beat out the ACOTAR series.

Let’s just say that it was not true.

This book started and instantly I knew it was not going to be great. In my creative writing classes for college, there is a saying thrown around A LOT and I hate to repeat it here, but I must. A writer should show not tell.

This writer did a lot of telling. Many places where there could have been descriptions and details.

This book regarded the Fae. I love Fae books, but I think Ford just tried to use the basic outline of Fae from a Sarah J. Maas world. I read the book like that because there seemed to be no focus on who they were.

The world building in this story in general was a bit lacking. I felt like the village the main character starts off in was okay. It was bland and I did not get the relationship with the family.

The fae realm was even more lack luster than the village. When the main character enters the realm, her body is unable to adjust and she describes feeling sick. But the way the realm is described feels like an acid trip…that never stops.

We get little snippets of the world, but I feel like it was not enough for me to stop imagining that first drop into the world.

I might just be being picky though.

Each chapter ended with like a resolution to the issue presented in the beginning. I dislike that kind of narration. I believe the author was trying to make each chapter end in a cliff hanger. It just wasn’t for me.

There were so many plot holes or things that didn’t add up. I kept expecting to find answers, but I was left with more questions.

The characters were static and one dimensional. No one learned anything or changed. I got more intriguing characters in the Ice Planet Barbarians series than this.

The premise of the story was good. I don’t think it was super unique as it clearly copied a lot of ACOTAR, but it had some interesting aspects that *almost* make me want to read the second book when it comes out.

Except I probably won’t.

As always, thanks for reading,

A Bookie

Star Rating: 2

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Blackout: A Must Read

Title: Blackout

Authors: Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk, and Nicola Yoon

Published June 22nd, 2021 by Quill Tree Books

Genre: Contemporary YA, Romance

“A summer heatwave blankets New York City in darkness. But as the city is thrown into confusion, a different kind of electricity sparks…

A first meeting. 

Long-time friends. 

Bitter exes. 

And maybe the beginning of something new.

When the lights go out, people reveal hidden truths. Love blossoms, friendship transforms, and new possibilities take flight.” –Goodreads

My Review:

This is going to be short, I am just trying to catch up!

I read this book in the summer. And clearly, I am posting this review in the fall. I am sorry. I have been doing a whole lot of reading and not a lot of blogging. Blame it on the various ways I am able to read books these days. Audiobooks have made it so I can literally read without my eyes open.

That is how I read this glorious book.

Let me tell you, I love these short story books by multiple authors. This is similar to the winter My True Love Gave to Me book. Except it is even better.

It is about black teens of all different sexualities in New York City. It has representation and New York City. What more can I ask for?

I don’t have a lot to say about this book other than it is really good. I think that everyone should read it. If you like romance and short stories that you definitely should read this book.

As always, thanks for reading,

A Bookie

Rating: 4 out of 5.

An ACOTAR Christmas Special

Title: A Court of Frost and Starlight

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses #3.1

Published May 1st 2018 by Bloomsbury YA

Genre: Fantasy, YA, Romance, Novella

Pages: 229

Hope warms the coldest night.

Feyre, Rhys, and their close-knit circle of friends are still busy rebuilding the Night Court and the vastly changed world beyond. But Winter Solstice is finally near, and, with it, a hard-earned reprieve.

Yet even the festive atmosphere can’t keep the shadows of the past from looming. As Feyre navigates her first Winter Solstice as High Lady, she finds that those dearest to her have more wounds than she anticipated—scars that will have a far-reaching impact on the future of their court.

Narrated by Feyre and Rhysand, this wondrous tale of hope and promise picks up after A Court of Wings and Ruin and sets the stage for the thrilling events in the future books.” -Goodreads

My Review:

So did anyone else reading this read it as a Christmas special?

This book basically picks up after the third book. And it was basically a Christmas special but in book form.

In the novella of the Throne of Glass series, Maas wrote back stories for Aelin and Celeana. This novella was a Christmas special. I guess you could say I was just quite a bit surprised. It was a different change. I guess I do not know what I expected.

It was a cute little story though. I have been on a romance kick, if you have been seeing my Goodreads shelves updating or reading my reviews. So this is just one of many romance books I will be reviewing. I finished it in one day. It was a cute little book to read and to get me back in the physical book reading mood (before this I did a lot of Kindle and audiobook reading).

It started to introduce the new little love triangle between Elain and Azriel. I know the Gwen is not introduced in this book, but this is the start of Az and Elain’s little romance. I am not sure how I feel about it just yet. I know that a lot of BookTok and BookTwit don’t like them. I am really not sure how I feel. I do really like the fanart for Gwen and Azriel I have seen though. I have yet to purchase ACOSF, so the wait for my opinions on the remaining canon plot is yet to be had.

Feyre and Rhysand seem to be recovering after the War. Obviously they are not healed but they do seem to help work through that. So far, Rhysand has helped her through so much. You can see Feyre’s healing in the end of this. She is returning to herself pre-Under the Mountain. This series is really cool because you can see how far she has come from the beginning of the series.

One thing that bothers me a bit about this series is how Feyre is seemingly becoming a housewife. I understand that, yes, in this book there is not fight to be had and she does have to rule her Court. I feel as though she does sit out of a lot of fights. She is less of a bad*ss (not offense).

This is a contrast to Aelin in Throne of Glass. It is hard for me to love Feyre and this series as much as I loved Throne of Glass. I loved Throne of Glass because it shattered those gender stereotypes for me. The MC could still be an assassin, ruthless in everyway, and still love to wear fancy clothes and get dressed up. I thought it was an important lesson. Also, Throne of Glass emphasizes that Aelin can save herself most of the time. ACOTAR seems like she needed a man to save her in every bad living situation.

I hate to bash on it, but it is true.

I did enjoy getting to see the other character’s POVs. I hope to see more of them in other books. (Again, still haven’t read ACOSF so I don’t know if it has them or not.) I liked Cassian’s POVs the best probably. I think he is my favorite side character so far. He just is such a fun and loyal guy.

Nesta in this book made me mad. But I understand why she acts the way she acts, mostly. She is traumatized and in pain. I feel like her being with her sister, at least Elain for the solstice would help her. But hey, I am not a licensed therapist so I have no real authority over others emotions.

Overall, I enjoyed this book. I can not wait to read the other books. I chuckled all day over this book because it felt like a Christmas special. Out of everything, I have never read a Christmas special to a book series before. Is this a real thing?

As always, thanks for reading,

A Bookie

Star Rating: 3.8

TTT: My Favorite Places to Read

“Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.” -That Artsy Reader Girl

This week’s theme:

Favorite Places to Read

Currently I do not go a lot of places to read. I do a lot of listening on my phone as I play video games on my computer. Or I sit on my couch. But here is my list:

  1. My Room
  2. Around my school’s campus
  3. A park next to my friend’s old apartment
  4. The trunk of my car
  5. The infamous hill in my college town
  6. My grandma’s old work (a library)
  7. Any library really!
  8. While driving home (audiobooks, do not read and drive)
  9. My school’s Lit building
  10. On late night coffee runs while I sit passenger

Thanks for reading my list!

Link your posts down below or let me know of any places you relate to on here.

As always, thanks for reading,

A Bookie

The Vine Witch Series: Trilogy Mini-Reviews

Title: The Vine Witch

Author: Luanne G. Smith

Series: The Vine Witch #1

Published October 1st 2019 by 47North

Genre: Fantasy, Witches, Romance

Pages: 263

“A young witch emerges from a curse to find her world upended in this gripping fantasy of betrayal, vengeance, and self-discovery set in turn-of-the-century France.

For centuries, the vineyards at Château Renard have depended on the talent of their vine witches, whose spells help create the world-renowned wine of the Chanceaux Valley. Then the skill of divining harvests fell into ruin when sorcière Elena Boureanu was blindsided by a curse. Now, after breaking the spell that confined her to the shallows of a marshland and weakened her magic, Elena is struggling to return to her former life. And the vineyard she was destined to inherit is now in the possession of a handsome stranger.

Vigneron Jean-Paul Martel naively favors science over superstition, and he certainly doesn’t endorse the locals’ belief in witches. But Elena knows a hex when she sees one, and the vineyard is covered in them. To stay on and help the vines recover, she’ll have to hide her true identity, along with her plans for revenge against whoever stole seven winters of her life. And she won’t rest until she can defy the evil powers that are still a threat to herself, Jean-Paul, and the ancient vine-witch legacy in the rolling hills of the Chanceaux Valley.” -Goodreads

My Review:

As the first book in this series, I saw it as I scrolled through Kindle. I took as chance and began reading it. I was immediately intrigued and pulled into this book series. I had never heard of it but I was looking for something different to read than my normal smutty books.

I was first intrigued by the details. It was incredibly detailed. I always could see everything that was happening around me. The smells and tastes of everything was so vivid, I felt as though I was Elena.

Meeting Elena was a magical moment. She was a cunning and relatable character to read about. I think there was little character development on her throughout the series, which was a little disappointing. I do love a good character shift but she stays pretty stagnant. She is very likeable. She always does the right thing and is always there to lend her friends a helping hand.

Elena and Jean-Paul do give this book a bit of romance that gives it a push into the romance genre. It is not a lot, however, and is kind of in the background. I almost didn’t even notice.

I would say this book was a little slow to start and the romance was a little lack luster but the ending was thrilling and made up for my dislike of the beginning.

Star Rating: 3.0

Then came the next book…

Title: The Glamourist

Author: Luanne G. Smith

Series: The Vine Witch #2

Published June 9th 2020 by 47North

Genre: Fantasy, Witches

Pages: 282

“Abandoned as a child in turn-of-the-century Paris, Yvette Lenoir has longed to uncover the secrets of her magical heritage and tap her suppressed powers. But what brave and resourceful Yvette has done to survive the streets has made her a fugitive. With a price on her head, she clings to a memento from her past—what she believes to be a grimoire inherited from the mother she never knew. To unlock the secrets of her past, Yvette trusts in one woman to help solve the arcane riddles among its charmed pages.

Elena Boureanu is the vine witch of Château Renard, noted for its renowned wines. Even as she struggles with her own bloodline—and its poisonous threat to her future—Elena can’t ignore a friend on the run. Joined by a cunning thief, the proprietor of an enchanted-curio shop, and a bewitching black cat, Elena and Yvette are determined to decode Yvette’s mysterious keepsake. But what restless magic will be unleashed? And what are Yvette and Elena willing to risk to become the witches they were destined to be?” -Goodreads

My Review:

The Glamourist was everything the first book was not. It had suspense. It had multiple POVs of our main characters of the series, Yvette, Elena, and Sidra. This book mainly focused on Yvette’s story with Elena to back up the story with side plot.

Yvette was awesome. I liked her a lot. I believe there was a bit of development in this story with her character. The whole story centers around her finding her true identity.

Smith wrote this story even better then The Vine Witch. The senses were even more stimulated. I now really want to go to Paris to try some of the food and smells they talked about in the book.

This book was definitely my favorite in the series. It was just so much action and struggle. I felt so connected with the characters.

Star Rating: 3.1

Title: The Conjurer

Author: Luanne G. Smith

Series: The Vine Witch #3

Published January 12th 2021 by 47North

Genre: Fantasy, Witches

Pages: 241

“Sidra didn’t murder her husband. Yet even a jinni can’t wish away a wrongful imprisonment. Determined to prove her innocence, she returns to her adopted home—a French village renowned for its perfume witches—with her friends Elena and Yvette by her side. Here is where Sidra’s true destiny awaits, but danger also lurks in the village’s narrow lanes.

On her trail is Jamra, another jinni, who’s after more than revenge for the murder of his brother. He also seeks vengeance for the indignities inflicted on jinn by mortals over the centuries. When he learns of an ancient relic capable of unleashing chaos on the world, and that the weapon is in the hands of his murderous sister-in-law, he vows to destroy Sidra to get it.

Relying on a sisterhood of magic, a mysteriously faithful dog, and a second-rate sorcerer, Sidra defends herself using the village’s greatest asset: its perfume. It’s as beguiling a lure as it is a formidable shield. But is it enough for Sidra to protect herself and those she loves from powers yet to be released?” -Goodreads

My Review:

I really enjoyed this book like the others. But there were some downfalls.

Like the first, Sidra did not have a lot of character development. Smith also had Sidra hide a lot of things from the reader even in the third person limited she wrote in. I feel like we could have had a little more insight with out spoiling too much in the grand scheme of things.

Also, the plot up until the end was not as flushed out as I thought it could be. At times it was confusing and just seemed like they were passing time till they were leading up to their final battle.

But, the ending, like the first book, made it all worth it. I was tearing up at the end of the last line. It was a pretty good ending.

Star Rating: 2.8

Anyways, I hope you all enjoyed my mini-reviews of the series. I am pretty backed up on my reviews so I wanted to flush some out as fast as I could. I am doing a lot of reading but not a lot of writing. So this post was to make it a bit easier on myself. I would definitely go check this series out. I thought it was really good and well written.

As always, thanks for reading,

A Bookie

Regretting You: A Book You Won’t Regret Reading

Title: Regretting You

Author: Colleen Hoover

Published December 10th 2019 by Montlake Romance

Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Fiction, YA, New Adult

“Morgan Grant and her sixteen-year-old daughter, Clara, would like nothing more than to be nothing alike.

Morgan is determined to prevent her daughter from making the same mistakes she did. By getting pregnant and married way too young, Morgan put her own dreams on hold. Clara doesn’t want to follow in her mother’s footsteps. Her predictable mother doesn’t have a spontaneous bone in her body.

With warring personalities and conflicting goals, Morgan and Clara find it increasingly difficult to coexist. The only person who can bring peace to the household is Chris—Morgan’s husband, Clara’s father, and the family anchor. But that peace is shattered when Chris is involved in a tragic and questionable accident. The heartbreaking and long-lasting consequences will reach far beyond just Morgan and Clara.

While struggling to rebuild everything that crashed around them, Morgan finds comfort in the last person she expects to, and Clara turns to the one boy she’s been forbidden to see. With each passing day, new secrets, resentment, and misunderstandings make mother and daughter fall further apart. So far apart, it might be impossible for them to ever fall back together.”-Goodreads

My Review:

Colleen Hoover is never going to disappoint.

I have read a few of her books before and saved a few more after this book and they are always great.

This books takes two POVs, a daughter and her mom’s, and navigates their life after the deaths of the their husband/father and sister/aunt. I am notorious for not reading synopsis of books, so I was totally thrown at the fact that two of the main side characters in the story died.

And than the juicy stuff started to reveal itself. There was so much tea being spilled in this book, I felt like I was in high school all over again.

I love the story and how it was a plot that could have actually taken place. Seeing the humanity written out in the character was exciting. Most books always write the characters making the best decisions they can. This book had the characters f*cking up all over the place.

Clara was as unlikeable as she was relatable. I loved the YA romance with her. I loved her counterpart Miller. But she was one stupid mofo. I am sorry to bash on the girl like that. but, seriously, some of her decisions were S-T-U-P-I-D (and obviously relatable af to younger girls like myself). She took out her anger on everyone else other than the person she was really angry at most of the time. She just was really unlikeable no matter how hard I tried to like her.

But there has to be some characters I hate.

Morgan and her counterpart were extremely mature…NOT. A food fight in the kitchen is their peak maturity, but hey, what else are you supposed to do when your world is falling apart. All jokes aside, I honestly loved them. They were rocky in the beginning with the whole baby and not admitting feelings, but by the end they had me swooning. Morgan sacraficed her good mother face for her daughters emotional state (no matter how bad that kind of ended up on the daughter’s side also). I loved Morgan, no matter how many times I wanted her to throttle her to tell her daughter the truth.

I cried more time than I would like to admit to this book. But it is important to cry during a book. If a book doesn’t make you tear up at least once, it probably wasn’t that good (or that sad, which honestly are the same thing).

That being said it did leave me with this warm, ooey, gooey feeling all over that made me text the guy I am talking to and tell him some weird, mushy stuff.

It was good to read a book that was so warm and fuzzy and also so gut-wrenching at the same time. If you have not yet, check it out. Colleen Hoover will never be a disappointment. I finished the book in a day or two, so it is a quick and easy read.

As always, thanks for reading,

A Bookie

Star Rating: 3.9

Book Review: The Foxhole Court

Title: The Foxhole Court

Author: Nora Sakavic

Series: All for the Game #1

Published January 15th 2013 by Nora Sakavic

Genre: Contemporary, LGBTQ, Sports

Pages: 237

“Neil Josten is the newest addition to the Palmetto State University Exy team. He’s short, he’s fast, he’s got a ton of potential—and he’s the runaway son of the murderous crime lord known as The Butcher.

Signing a contract with the PSU Foxes is the last thing a guy like Neil should do. The team is high profile and he doesn’t need sports crews broadcasting pictures of his face around the nation. His lies will hold up only so long under this kind of scrutiny and the truth will get him killed.

But Neil’s not the only one with secrets on the team. One of Neil’s new teammates is a friend from his old life, and Neil can’t walk away from him a second time. Neil has survived the last eight years by running. Maybe he’s finally found someone and something worth fighting for.” -Goodreads

My Review:

AGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

Hello my fellow bloggers,

Please please please ignore my screaming a second ago, but I just cant help it. This book is just too good.

I have not read a lot of self-published books. The lack of hype and marketing around them make it hard to be aware in my opinion. But there was an insane amount of TikTok hype for this book so I had to pick it up.

And I am so glad I did.

Neil’s story is such a good story. To intrigue you, there is the mafia, gay romance, and morally grey (like dark dark grey) characters. He is placed on an Exy (it’s basically lacrosse but whatever) team with these ragtag bunch of teens who act more like gang members than college sports athletes.

It reads like a fanfiction but is full of OCs. The writing is a bit bland at times but it makes the story really easy to follow. With the writing, there is a certain lack of details but it is still a decent book. Some important details about characters are glanced over. A lot of actions are easily forgiven or the drama that ensues after them seems a bit dramatic.

I have not read any of the other books, but I have seen fanart for the pairing in the books. If that pairing is canon, this is a SLOOOOOOOW burn enemies to lovers for Neil. So far I am just seeing a man way to overprotective about someone he seems not to care about. But that is what we love, am I right?

It is kind of a triggering book and has a lot of drug abuse and violence in it. It does have dark undertones of the story. There are so many secrets to find out. The end leaves on a huge cliff hanger.

Even with some of the negatives, it is still a really good book. It is kind of a nice side book to have when you feel bored reading your main book.

I highly recommend people go check this out. When you are finished, go check out the fanarts for it too. They really are fantastic.

As always, thanks for reading,

A Bookie

Star Rating: 3.5