Hidden: Rapunzel's Story Review (Destined #2)

Hidden: Rapunzel's Story (Destined, #2)

Zel is a mage with the Touch. If she touches someone, she can drain the life out of them. She has been under the control of an evil witch for years, and she can’t leave because the witch holds her True Name. Anything her mistress tells her to do, she has to do it. Every time she tries to escape she is caught and punished for it. When she isn’t trapped in her Tower, she is forced to murder people at her mistress’ demands.

When a man randomly climbs up to her tower, Zel knows she will be punished when he is found. But she just can’t force him to go away when he is willing to help her. No one has shown her kindness in years, but he wants to help her escape.

I have to be honest, I never felt much towards the Rapunzel story as a child. It was one of my least favorite tales, some girl up in a castle all her life and then BAM prince to take her away. I didn’t even like Tangled when it came out! But I definitely gained a fondness for the story after reading this retelling of the book.

Zel can take care of herself, and she would leave the castle if her mistress ever gave the chance. She has tried to escape multiple times, but she just can’t break free of her true name being used. The man who comes into her castle can help her create a plan to escape, but she still has to be the one to do it herself. She has to be able to build up the strength to fight back. She has to think of herself as worthy of being saved before she can save herself. Eventually, the man isn’t even helping her to escape much, but instead he is more like the princess in the castle, waiting for Zel to return from another one of her expeditions.

This book also explains a lot of the things that made Zel act the way she did in Fated. I never really understood why Zel was so scared of being caught at the bakery, but once you see her body count in Hidden, you know the danger. There are entire clans after Zel who would want to do to her family what she did to theirs, they do not care that Zel wasn’t even in control of her body as she killed people.

This book moved smoothly, and I was excited to keep reading as I was in the thick of it. I couldn’t wait to see what would happen to Zel next, and I finished both books 2 and 3 in the same day while commuting to work! This Destined series will draw you in and will not let you go until you hear the stories of all these girls.

I would recommend this series to anyone looking for a new fairytale retelling series.

Overall Rating: 6 out of 5 books

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Kind of Love Webtoon Review

I’ve started reading Webtoons again during my latest reading slump, and I stumbled across this random comic. It isn’t all created by the same person, but instead one artist draws a three-part short story that is included in the overall collection.

Kind of Love is about love, but not just the romantic kind of love. So far, my favorite story has been one that focused on an elderly woman reminiscing about the love she had for her wife, who has since passed away. She has been lonely ever since, but in the story she finds love in an unexpected place.

The fact that these comics are drawn by different artists just adds to the beauty of the collection. Each artist has their own style for the specific type of love that they are showcasing in their short story. These styles tend to fit the theme. One story about children was drawn in a very cute way with more chibi-style characters while one about a broken adult relationship was drawn in the style of the more adult drama Webtoons. The style always fit the story, which I appreciated. These stories are not all happy stories about love, but they do show all sides of love, both the heartbreak and the happiness.

There’s literally no story that I haven’t enjoyed so far in this Webtoon, and I am excited to see which ones are coming next. I came across this comic at almost midnight, and I still had to stay up to catch up with all the stories. I hope you all enjoy this comic as much as I did if you get the chance to read it!

I would recommend this Webtoon to anyone looking for an animated series about all kinds of love.

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 Paintbrushes

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Freya Snow #13: Pandora Review

Pandora (Freya Snow Book 13)

Freya knew she was going to be the Queen of the Underworld because her father was the king, but she knew she had time until her father would die and she would have to take that position. When her father gets sick and reveals that he is dying, Freya is distraught. Not only does she have to deal with her father being gone, she has to deal with maintaining order in the Underworld as she transitions from Princess to Queen. On top of all that, Freya’s mother is back in her life and Pandora’s Box has to be closed, and Alex is back in her life after several years of being with the Enhanced.

This book truly shows how Freya has grown throughout the series. At first she was a teenaged foster child, unsure of herself but eventually sure that she had a crush on her friend Damon. Then, she was in her late teens and gaining her powers as an Angel, and falling for an Enhanced human named Alex. Now she is in her 20s, happily married to Damon, and preparing to name her fiancée Alex as her heartbond. She thought that everything was going well with her life, but now her father dies and her mother is back as a ghost. When she was a teenager, she hated her mother for leaving her on Earth as a baby and not helping bring her back to her father, the King. Now, she is a Queen, older than her mother who is frozen as a 19 y/o ghost, and she has lost both of her parents. I am unsure of how close we are to the end of the Freya Snow series, but this book seems like a perfect setup for the end. Freya is finally reaching the peak of her powers, and she even has all of her true loves by her side. It is truly a beautiful thing to read.

I also enjoyed how Alex was woven into the story. Damon and Freya are both autistic, but Alex is not. There are some things that Alex picks up on that Damon and Freya would not. There are some connections that Damon and Freya have that Alex is not a part of, whether it be magical or just emotional. But she still manages to fit into their dynamic. I’m unsure if Damon and Alex are ever going to have a romantic relationship or if they will always just be connected through Freya, but I am happy either way. The only thing I was confused about was how Jan would weave into this story. She is technically still with Alex, but Alex is living with Freya in the Demon World. I hope this is cleared up in the next few Freya Snow or Engineered Rebel books!

I finished this book quickly as I couldn’t wait to see what would happen next with some of my favorite characters. This book didn’t end off on the best note though, and I can’t wait to find out what happens to Freya and her friends/family/lovers in the next installment of this series. Everything is at the point where all the side series are crossing over with the main Freya Snow novels, and it is really unique to be able to see what the side characters are also doing while Freya is going through this time in her life. I would definitely suggest to check out the Engineered Rebel and Royal Cleaners series if you are enjoying this series!

I would recommend this book to anyone looking for an adult LGBT+ romance novel.

I received a copy of this book and this is my voluntary review.

Overall Rating: 6 out of 5 books

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The Angel Eyes #0: Jake’s Redemption Review

Jake's Redemption (The Angel Eyes #0)

In this universe, there was a war of men vs. women many years prior. The women won and can enslave the men, and most women show the men no mercy. Marriage is outlawed, and women are meant to just make use of the many male slaves that are around. Jake has been tortured for years under Darla and doesn’t think that he will ever be able to be happy again. When a woman named Monica offers him a job on her ranch, he is worried that he might be going to a fate worse than Darla. When Monica treats him like a human instead of a slave, Jake doesn’t know how to react. Soon, he finds himself falling for her, but he doesn’t know if he can love again.

Wow, I have never read a book quite like this one. So often have I seen a book with female slave/damsel in distress being saved by the male protagonist, but never the reverse. Monica doesn’t believe in slavery, but many women at the time did. Jake had resigned himself to his fate with Darla, but Monica shows him that life could be happy again. He cannot be fully free from Darla because she is constantly keeping tabs on him, but he will be somewhat free on Monica’s ranch until his contract is up.

I also loved how this book shows that both men and women can be traumatized. In many books, men go through trauma and automatically want to go back to having people all over them. Jake doesn’t even want to be hugged by a woman after the horrors he has gone through with Darla, and Monica respects that. When others on the ranch do not respect his wishes, Monica speaks out against it. He has to heal just like anyone else, he isn’t some sort of emotionless being who bounces back after years of torture after seeing a pretty woman or something. Jake needed a time and place to heal, and Monica’s ranch gave him this space.

The romance wasn’t the main focus of this book in my opinion. Jake’s healing was the main focus, which I truly appreciated. Even though the cover looked very sensual, nothing happened until Jake was truly ready to move to that stage of a relationship. When the romance did occur, it was very slow. The characters weren’t just having sex like in some adult romance novels, they truly loved one another and worshipped each other.

To think that this book is a prequel to the rest of the series that hasn’t even come out yet is astonishing. I can’t wait to read the rest of the Angel Eyes series. I would recommend this to anyone looking for a new NA dystopian romance novel.

I received a copy of this book and this is my voluntary review.

Overall Rating: 6 out of 5 books.

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Those Who Knew Review

From the award-winning author of Ways to Disappear, a taut, timely novel about what a powerful politician thinks he can get away with and the group of misfits who finally bring him down.

On an unnamed island country ten years after the collapse of a U.S.-supported regime, Lena suspects the powerful senator she was involved with back in her student activist days is taking advantage of a young woman who’s been introducing him at rallies. When the young woman ends up dead, Lena revisits her own fraught history with the senator and the violent incident that ended their relationship.

Why didn’t Lena speak up then, and will her family’s support of the former regime still impact her credibility? What if her hunch about this young woman’s death is wrong?

What follows is a riveting exploration of the cost of staying silent and the mixed rewards of speaking up in a profoundly divided country. Those Who Knew confirms Novey’s place as an essential new voice in American fiction.

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I had such high hopes for this book. A political thriller that seemed to mirror some parts of the world around us? Sign me up! I was gifted this ARC, so I was so excited to even get the chance to read it before it came out. But unfortunately, sometimes things aren’t as great as they might seem.

This book is told in an extremely strange fashion. There are a bunch of different characters whose stories are all happening simultaneously, and each chapter focuses on a different one. It wasn’t even until I reached the end of the book that I realized that Freddy was Victor’s younger brother, and I am only half sure about that! Then, the book also included a few TV-show or play script chapters where the author would jump back into the past and talk about things that were happening. These were the most confusing, as they would often end on a really strange note and just “fade to black.” There were also chapters told in a chronological order, with timestamps by the hour. But without knowing which characters were which, these chapters also made no sense. Characters in the play and time-stamp chapters were just referred to as “Future Senator” or “Future Senator’s Brother” and so forth, to make the story more “cryptic.”

The main plot of the book was supposed to be about Maria P’s death and Lena trying to figure out who killed her. Then it turned into a story about Lena and her former boyfriend the politician Victor, who she thought could have killed Maria. Then it was about Olga and her dead boyfriend/true love S and her marijuana business. Then, it was about Victor and his wife. Then it was about Victor and his brother. Then it was about Lena and her new boyfriend. Then it was about Lena and Olga. I literally could not keep up with everything that was going on, and it got to the point where I just stopped trying.

The ending of the book felt like some sort of fever dream. Dead bodies, but were they dead bodies? A lot of sexual scenes, for what reason, I don’t know. And then the end of the book didn’t seem to tie anything up. I was more confused than I was when I started reading.

This book started off as some sort of political thriller, but it ended as a sort of abstract novel about humanity, love, and politics. Definitely not my kind of read, and I probably wouldn’t have picked it up if I had known that it was going to be written in this fashion. At the beginning I wanted to learn about what happened to Maria P. I never figured out what happened to her, and I didn’t find out what happened to the other characters either.

I received a copy of this book and this my voluntary review.

Overall Rating: 1 out of 5 books

A Creation of Tomorrow Review

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\A Creation of Tomorrow (The Creation Series, #1)Alice’s daughter now missing, Cami was without a mother, and the one person that protected her from her father’s anger. Now Cami continuously wore new bruises.

Having no doubt Cami’s father Tom was responsible for the bruises Alice turned to the police again and again, but just like when Patsy went missing, they repeatedly turned their backs on her.

Alice was desperate to find help. With nowhere left to turn, she turned to the most dangerous men she’d ever laid eyes on.

Rumour had it that they were drug traffickers. The leader was thought to be the devil himself, and his men his demon disciples; but what choice did Alice have? She needed someone that could protect Cami.

***
They didn’t wear patches on their leather, and they weren’t called by any name, but they were brothers.

For Rick running a drug ring was challenge enough. Having each other’s back was all that mattered – until Alice approached him. Taken with Alice, and drawn in the moment he looked at Cami’s picture Rick ordered Jonathan and Swan to tail the little girl, and find out what they could about her situation.

What they found was that she abused and needed their help. What they discovered was an innocence they forgot existed in the world, and a strength no child should ever have.

Her sweetness drew them in. Her strength tore at their hearts. They would do anything to keep her was safe.

This is a creation of tomorrow..

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Cami was in trouble, and her grandmother knew. No one believed that Cami was being abused by her father Tom, and the police reports that Alice had been filing were fruitless. Tom was going to really hurt Cami if Alice didn’t do something, so she decided to turn to a local gang for protection. She was expecting to have to pay but little did she know, the gang’s leader Rick had a soft spot for her and little girls in need of his help. The gang decides to watch this girl in order to find out what her father is really doing to her. They don’t mean to become attached to young Cami and Alice, but they do. Now, they have to worry about protecting the two from Tom and from the gang’s enemies.

This was the longest book that I’ve read in a while. It actually took me 2-3 days of on and off reading to finish it! But I kept on reading because I just loved the characters so much. I was reading in a lot of different spare moments that I had, just to get a chapter or two in. And even through all of this, I still had that moment at the end of the novel where I thought “that’s it?” I didn’t want these characters to ever stop talking to me.

This book has a nice balance between shocking/sad and cute/relaxing scenes. You would have a scene with Rick’s gang fighting or killing members of another gang, and then you would have a scene with the same guys playing with Cami. The author makes sure that her readers know that just because the men are gangsters doesn’t mean that they are cruel to everyone that they meet. They can treat a young girl like a princess, and still kill anyone who dares to put her in danger. Some scenes might get a little gory for those faint of heart, but it still was an amazing novel.

This was also a semi-realistic portrayal of child abuse. Everyone knew that something wasn’t quite right with Cami’s relationship with her father, but they couldn’t get her to say anything. Bruises aren’t uncommon on children, and police reports might not go anywhere for quite a long time. The only way for the gang to find out what was wrong was to see it firsthand. Cami didn’t even show signs of being abused emotionally, she had gotten good at hiding things. The gang had to get really close to Cami to get her to say a word about her father.

After the father story arc is set to the side, you get to see Cami’s life with the gang around her. They became a sort of messed up family, with the gang using the money that they received from their other activities to give Cami elaborate gifts. I was so sad when they worried about Cami’s safety from themselves.

The romance in this book was also sweet. Rick definitely had a soft spot for Alice, and slowly Alice started to warm up to him as well. I had wished that it had gone further than it had, but it had to end for safety reasons. Such a tragic love story! Then, there is a romance that was introduced at the end of the novel. A bit of a triangle even. I don’t know how this will work out, but I will just have to wait until book 2 and see!

Overall, this was an amazing thriller. I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for an adult mystery/thriller novel with a side storyline about family.

I received a copy of this book and this is my voluntary review.

Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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