Author: Soulfire

Girl Gone Viral (Modern Love #2)

Girl Gone Viral

Girl Gone Viral (Modern Love #2)

By: Alisha Rai

Blurb:

OMG! Wouldn’t it be adorable if he’s her soulmate???

I don’t see any wedding rings [eyes emoji]

Breaking: #CafeBae and #CuteCafeGirl went to the bathroom AT THE SAME TIME!!!

One minute, Katrina King’s enjoying an innocent conversation with a hot guy at a coffee shop; the next, a stranger has live-tweeted the entire episode with a romantic meet-cute spin and #CafeBae is the new hashtag-du-jour. The problem? Katrina craves a low-profile life, and going viral threatens the peaceful world she’s painstakingly built. Besides, #CafeBae isn’t the man she’s hungry for…

He’s got a [peach emoji] to die for.

With the internet on the hunt for the identity of #CuteCafeGirl, Jas Singh, bodyguard, friend, and possessor of the most beautiful eyebrows Katrina’s ever seen, comes to the rescue and whisks her away to his family’s home. Alone in a remote setting with the object of her affections? It’s a recipe for romance. But after a long dating dry spell, Katrina isn’t sure she can trust her instincts when it comes to love—even if Jas’ every look says he wants to be more than just her bodyguard…

Review:

I enjoyed most of this book, but the ending left me a bit disappointed. The plot was something new and made me think about the people behind viral moments and how it affects them. I found that part of the book very fascinating.

I also enjoyed the characters. Katrina had panic attacks and was scared a lot. While Jas had PTSD that he didn’t want to treat. They had both been in love with each other for a while but hadn’t talked about it. Lack of communication is a big romance trope. It usually mildly annoys me, but because of their issues, it made sense and was probably the healthier route for them.

There was a ton of buildup in the book. It wasn’t romantic suspense, but it had some aspects to it. Which is possibly why the ending disappointed me? All that buildup and the payoff was lacking. The couple never really had a big sit down and discussed their future; it was sort of rushed at the end and spread out a bit. Also, you didn’t get to see the “villains” get their due. I realize Katrina was a very positive forgiving person, but she actually paid her father’s blackmail. Yes, she got him on tape admitting to doing stuff, but come on! That was it?? She made a statement about the people who took advantage of her with the viral moment, but you didn’t see anything about them afterward either.

I was disappointed. Unlike with Get a Life, Chloe Brown I don’t feel like I’m missing out on revenge, though, maybe I am. I want the bad people to get told off. Something! Maybe it’s a me problem…

3.5/5

Humans: A Brief History of How We F*cked It All Up

Humans A Brief History of How We Fucked It All Up

Humans: A Brief History of How We F*cked It All Up

By: Tom Phillips

Blurb:

Modern humans have come a long way in the seventy thousand years they’ve walked the earth. Art, science, culture, trade—on the evolutionary food chain, we’re true winners. But it hasn’t always been smooth sailing, and sometimes—just occasionally—we’ve managed to truly f*ck things up.

Weaving together history, science, politics and pop culture, Humans offers a panoramic exploration of humankind in all its glory, or lack thereof. From Lucy, our first ancestor, who fell out of a tree and died, to General Zhou Shou of China, who stored gunpowder in his palace before a lantern festival, to the Austrian army attacking itself one drunken night, to the most spectacular fails of the present day, Humans reveals how even the most mundane mistakes can shift the course of civilization as we know it. Lively, wry and brimming with brilliant insight, this unique compendium offers a fresh take on world history and is one of the most entertaining reads of the year.

Review:

A depressing subject matter that was made entertaining and not as dark as it could have been. While I didn’t learn much new, I did enjoy reading this book and look forward to reading more by the author. Maybe Phillips will write a book about the times we accidently didn’t fuck shit up?

4/5

The Oracle Code

The Oracle Code

The Oracle Code

By: Marieke Nijkamp

Ilustrated By: Manuel Preitano

Blurb:

After a gunshot leaves her paralyzed, Barbara Gordon enters the Arkham Center for Independence, where Gotham’s teens undergo physical and mental rehabilitation. Now using a wheelchair, Barbara must adapt to a new normal, but she cannot shake the feeling that something is dangerously amiss. Within these walls, strange sounds escape at night; patients go missing; and Barbara begins to put together pieces of what she believes to be a larger puzzle.

But is this suspicion simply a result of her trauma? Fellow patients try to connect with Barbara, but she pushes them away, and she’d rather spend time with ghost stories than participate in her daily exercises. Even Barbara’s own judgment is in question.

In The Oracle Code, universal truths cannot be escaped, and Barbara Gordon must battle the phantoms of her past before they swarm her future.

Review:

I’m a fan of the entire Bat family, but Barbra is one of my favorites. The story reminded me some of Gwenda Bond’s Lois Lane stories, in that Babs is strong and modern and all around badass.

Babs has just had her accident putting her in a wheelchair. In this version she isn’t Batgirl yet, or possibly ever, but also isn’t yet Oracle. She’s a hacker. Her strong desire to help those in need is there as well. Still, she’s dealing with the aftermath of her accident and trying to figure out if she’s still the same person.

I thought the super creepy bedtime stories paired with the equally creepy art was fun. Which is odd cause I am not a fan of horror at all.

What I loved most about the story was that the girls were able to take down the bad guys on their own. They weren’t defeated by their disability, they were just as capable as before.

4/5

Get a Life, Chloe Brown

Get a Life Chloe Brown

Get a Life, Chloe Brown (The Brown Sisters #1)

By: Talia Hibbert

Blurb:

Chloe Brown is a chronically ill computer geek with a goal, a plan, and a list. After almost—but not quite—dying, she’s come up with seven directives to help her “Get a Life”, and she’s already completed the first: finally moving out of her glamorous family’s mansion. The next items?

• Enjoy a drunken night out.
• Ride a motorcycle.
• Go camping.
• Have meaningless but thoroughly enjoyable sex.
• Travel the world with nothing but hand luggage.
• And… do something bad.

But it’s not easy being bad, even when you’ve written step-by-step guidelines on how to do it correctly. What Chloe needs is a teacher, and she knows just the man for the job.

Redford ‘Red’ Morgan is a handyman with tattoos, a motorcycle, and more sex appeal than ten-thousand Hollywood heartthrobs. He’s also an artist who paints at night and hides his work in the light of day, which Chloe knows because she spies on him occasionally. Just the teeniest, tiniest bit.

But when she enlists Red in her mission to rebel, she learns things about him that no spy session could teach her. Like why he clearly resents Chloe’s wealthy background. And why he never shows his art to anyone. And what really lies beneath his rough exterior…

Review:

Chloe has chronic pain and has been abandoned by all but her family. Redford was in an abusive relationship that has left him mentally and physically scarred. She has a dry, sarcastic wit that you need to know her to understand fully, while he is usually nice to everyone and has a smile on his face. It’s not an opposites-attract romance, it’s closer to an instant attraction. Only, they both react poorly to it.

Chloe’s humor reminded me of my own, but it didn’t always come off like I assume the author wanted. A couple of times, the only indication I had that she’d said something hilarious was Red laughing at it. Maybe it was a British thing? Apart from that, I enjoyed her as a character. I don’t know anything about fibromyalgia, so I can’t judge the accuracy there, but it did read like someone who was familiar with the subject.

I liked Red. He was a big hulking redhead with long hair that wore fake leather clothes. He loved his mom and, as previously mentioned, was super nice—basically, the appearance of an alpha male with the personality of a cinnamon roll consumed with lust.

I enjoyed the story, though, I do wish there had been some vengeance in it. There was no confrontation with exes, which was a bit of a letdown for my bloodthirst. However, I didn’t expect there to be. Everyone was very mature, and seeing shrinks and using all the words you use when you’re doing that. Promoting good mental health is good and very underrepresented in romance, while vengeance not so much. I understand the choices made, even if I would have liked something more than brief moments of seething from each of the characters.

3.5/5

The Carhart Series by Courtney Milan

The Carhart Series

The Carhart Series by Courtney Milan

Blurb:

This Wicked Gift: Lavinia Spencer is too poor to be anything but practical. But when her younger brother lands himself in trouble, she has no choice but to do the unthinkable. She accepts the help of the dishonorable man that she’s always wanted, even knowing that it might mean her ruination…

Proof by Seduction: When Gareth Carhart discovers that his vulnerable young cousin is seeing a fortune teller, he vows to prove her a fraud. But he soon discovers that Jenny Keeble is far more than she appears to be, and before he knows it, he’s caught in her spell…

Trial by Desire: Lady Kate Carhart has no use for the husband who left her years ago. But when he returns, disrupting her carefully-laid plans, she has no choice but to distract him…any way she can.

Review:

I hate to say it but this is easily my least favorite Courtney Milan series. Two full length books and a novella, they each had a strong heroine very accepting of their flawed men, and they each had men I couldn’t really stand.

The Wicked Gift had the “hero” pressuring the heroine into sex and while you learn later that he didn’t actually, it still didn’t sit well with me. It ended up being the story I liked the most.

Proof by Seduction once again had a strong heroine, that knew her mind, and was completely capable of taking care of herself. This time the hero was an ass that knew that he was better than everyone and made it very obvious. He didn’t listen to the heroine and ended up annoying the shit out of me.

Trial by Desire was the book I was looking forward to the most. The hero had been in the previous book and he seemed lovable and the fact that he had depression just endeared him to me further. Unfortunately, this book takes place three years after the last which was apparently enough time for the hero to become his own unique ass. I liked that the couple were already married and learning to live with each other, and once again the heroine was great, but I couldn’t get over how much I disliked the hero.

3/5