Book Reviews

The Heiress Effect

the heiress effect

The Heiress Effect (Brothers Sinister #2) By: Courtney Milan

Plot:

Miss Jane Fairfield can’t do anything right. When she’s in company, she always says the wrong thing—and rather too much of it. No matter how costly they are, her gowns fall on the unfortunate side of fashion. Even her immense dowry can’t save her from being an object of derision.

And that’s precisely what she wants. She’ll do anything, even risk humiliation, if it means she can stay unmarried and keep her sister safe.

Mr. Oliver Marshall has to do everything right. He’s the bastard son of a duke, raised in humble circumstances—and he intends to give voice and power to the common people. If he makes one false step, he’ll never get the chance to accomplish anything. He doesn’t need to come to the rescue of the wrong woman. He certainly doesn’t need to fall in love with her. But there’s something about the lovely, courageous Jane that he can’t resist… even though it could mean the ruin of them both.

Review:

Jane Fairfield is too much of everything. She’s too loud, too opinionated, too bright and colorful, and just too fucking amazing in the process. I loved her. I loved when she very nicely said things that you never say in polite society. I loved her and just wanted to be her friend and make all the mean people go away, but she handled herself beautifully.

Oliver is a good man that has let his ambitions cloud his judgement. I wanted to shake him a couple times but his “awakening” was worth the wait.

They were such a good couple, but Jane definitely stole my heart more than he did. I cried, again, while reading about her life and how she was treated. I worried about her and her sister, but they were both able to handle themselves.

The Heiress Effect wasn’t just about Jane and Oliver, though, it was also about her sister Emily and her love story. I loved the inclusion of a person of color, I do think the issues the couple will face were glossed over and racism was barely mentioned, but then this isn’t that kind of romance so I don’t really fault it.

I stayed up super late to finish this book because I just couldn’t put it down. I loved the characters, the story, the intimate scenes, just everything. Excited to read the following books and happy to have found a new author that I love.

5/5

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The Duchess War

duchess war

The Duchess War (Brothers Sinister #1) By: Courtney Milan

Plot:

Miss Minerva Lane is a quiet, bespectacled wallflower, and she wants to keep it that way. After all, the last time she was the center of attention, it ended badly–so badly that she changed her name to escape her scandalous past. Wallflowers may not be the prettiest of blooms, but at least they don’t get trampled. So when a handsome duke comes to town, the last thing she wants is his attention.

But that is precisely what she gets.

Because Robert Blaisdell, the Duke of Clermont, is not fooled. When Minnie figures out what he’s up to, he realizes there is more to her than her spectacles and her quiet ways. And he’s determined to lay her every secret bare before she can discover his. But this time, one shy miss may prove to be more than his match…

Review:

I follow a lot of writer’s on Twitter, Courtney Milan is not one of them, however one of her tweets came up in my feed and it described how the couple in this book met. I was immediately intrigued and when my library had her book through e-loan I downloaded it, then before I started downloaded the prequel, because that’s just what I do.

I don’t write reviews for novellas, usually, and I’m not going to here, but so far I’ve read the one before Duchess War and the one after and they were both excellent.

Anyway, Minerva Lane, or Willamina since she’s in hiding and changed her name, is an incredible interesting character. She is playing a role, trying to appear dull and unassuming so that she doesn’t attract attention, lest anyone find out that she is the famed chess master that dressed as a boy when she was a child. It’s all a bit complicated, but so very interesting.

Robert is the son of a duke that was a horrible person in so many ways and he desperately doesn’t want to be like him. I cried several times when he talked about his childhood, it was sad and depressing and you just wanted to hold him and tell him everything was going to be alright.

The sex scenes…omg. So very well written, so realistic without being unromantic. I loved them for their honesty as much as for their heat.

The conclusion to the story is properly climactic and very well done and had me IMMEDIATELY downloading the following novella and devouring it because I want to spend more time in this world. I love historical romances that don’t necessarily embrace everything from the period and I have no idea how accurate this is, but I seriously do not care. It’s wonderful.

5/5

Future Shock

future shock

Future Shock (Future Shock #1) By: Elizabeth Briggs

Plot:

What do you do when the future is too late, and the present is counting down to an inevitable moment?

Elena Martinez has street smarts, the ability for perfect recall, and a deadline: if she doesn’t find a job before she turns eighteen, she’ll be homeless. But then she gets an unexpected offer from Aether Corporation, the powerful Los Angeles tech giant. Along with four other recruits—Adam, Chris, Trent, and Zoe—Elena is being sent on a secret mission to bring back data from the future. All they have to do is get Aether the information they need, and the five of them will be set for life. It’s an offer Elena can’t refuse.

But something goes wrong when the time travelers arrive in the future. And they are forced to break the only rule they were given—not to look into their own fates. Now they have twenty-four hours to get back to the present and find a way to stop a seemingly inevitable future—and a murder—from happening. But changing the timeline has deadly consequences too. Who can Elena trust as she fights to save her life?

The first book in an unforgettable series about rewriting your destiny in the city of dreams.

Review:

Elena is a protective foster kid that’s about to age out of the system. She’s incredibly smart with an eidetic memory, but has a tendency to lash out violently while protecting weaker people. Stressed and running out of options when a big tech company offers her an undisclosed, but apparently massive sum of money, she accepts and ends up traveling to the future.

I liked Elena a lot. She was a teenager, so she had her annoying moments, but she was smart and well fleshed out. Her “romance” with Adam was weird, and Future Adam’s attempts at giving them a “moment” went into creepy territory. It didn’t make sense and I wasn’t a fan. The characters by themselves were fine, but the romance felt forced and way too fast, especially since she spent so much time not trusting him.

The other characters were less interesting, though, they grew on me by the end.

The ending…*sigh* I was not a fan. I like a happy ending, but I don’t require one. This one felt, rushed and anticlimactic and Elena who had been mostly smart up until that point just kept making stupid decisions. They all did, actually, except Adam. It was frustrating and left me unsure if I wanted to continue with the series.

I love time travel, I thought Elena was a great character, I also really enjoyed the future tech that was shown, but all of that wasn’t enough to overcome the parts of the book I disliked.

3/5

Attack of the 50 Foot Wallflower

attack of the 50 foot wallflower

Attack of the 50 Foot Wallflower By: Christian McKay Heidicker

Plot:

Phoebe Lane is a lightning rod for monsters.

She and her mom are forced to flee flesh-eating plants, radioactive ants, and blobs from outer space. They survive thanks to Phoebe’s dad—an invisible titan, whose giant eyes warn them where the next monster attack will take place.

All Phoebe wants is to stop running from motel to motel and start living a monster-free life in New York or Paris. But when her mom mysteriously vanishes, Phoebe is left to fend for herself in small-town Pennybrooke.

That’s when Phoebe starts to transform…

Christian McKay Heidicker, author of Cure for the Common Universe, returns with a book unlike any other, challenging perceived notions of beauty, identity, and what it means to be a monster.

Review:

I don’t watch B movies but they’re so a part of our lexicon that it would be impossible for you to not be aware of what they are. So, for those of you who aren’t familiar with them as well, I did not feel lost or like I was missing something, though, I probably did.

Phoebe was not a particularly interesting person. She had an interesting backstory and parents, but her response to everything was to cry. She was world weary and in the beginning came off spoiled, but she also just wanted to find her mom, except when she was distracted. She was easily lied too, but then she was young, except, again, when she wasn’t.

I found the world more interesting than her character, until I realized it wasn’t going to change. I spent most of the time I was reading wishing she’d do something instead of just going about her life trying to stay below the radar. I felt constricted while reading, I just kept on waiting for her to force the world to stop being so horrible. She knew the way people were acting was bad, but she was not a hero, and not trying to change anything.

By far the most intriguing part of the story was Phoebe’s father, but you get no real explanation about him or his world or how hers came to be or much of anything. The ending was very underwhelming. I was hoping for answers or a happily ever after, but there were still questions unanswered and Phoebe’s life was back to what it had been originally, with a small change.

The cover on this book is phenomenal, and I thought the concept was fun, but I don’t feel like the book delivered. It was underwhelming.

3/5

Alien in the House

Alien in the House

Alien in the House (Katherine “Kitty” Katt #7) By: Gini Koch

Plot:

Jeff and Kitty Katt-Martini have learned the ins and outs of Washington politics, not to mention how to prevail in intergalactic war and foil dangerous plots. But, in the aftermath of Operation Destruction, the Gower girls’ powers are burned out, the entire A-C population has been “outed” as the aliens living on Earth that they are, and, worst of all, ACE is nowhere to be found.

Then murder and mayhem are served up at an important dinner party at the American Centaurion Embassy, and when the dust settles Alpha Team and the Diplomatic Corps have more problems than just a dead Congressman.

Is there a single criminal mastermind—or multiple enemies—behind all the conspiracies that want Kitty dead and the A-Cs gone or co-opted to become the War Division?

The return of the best assassins in the business, the reappearance of two individuals long-presumed dead, Agent Malcolm Buchanan felled by something no one can identify or cure, and new technology that can block even the most powerful empath on Earth … all of this means the game’s officially afoot.

Then Vance Beaumont comes to Kitty with a wild theory that someone is systematically killing off the House of Representatives…

It’s up to Kitty and the rest of the gang to find out what’s really going on and why. But will they be able to stop the killer or killers before the rest of the U.S. House of Representatives become casualties? And will the replacement Representative for New Mexico’s 2nd District, who happens to be Jeff Martini, be the next to die?

Review:

First, I just want to say that I love the titles and the covers for these books. They’re always so perfect.

On to the review, I started this book two years ago, maybe? I got to 65% and for some reason stopped reading. I’m honestly not sure why, the book is fine, well within expectations of the series, so who knows. Jumping back in I did have a bit of confusion, the cast of characters is massive at this point, but they’re all so memorable that it didn’t take too long to remember what was going on.

What I love about this series is that Kitty is going to figure out what’s going on, no matter what. It is the ultimate wish fulfillment self-insert story. It’s like old sci-fi pulp fiction. Only instead of a dude getting to bang all the chicks and solve all the problems we’ve got a woman that gets to solve all the problems, boss everyone around, and bang her hot husband while all of her friends end up pairing up with hot smart people. It’s perfect.

There’s nothing too deep about this series, but it is complicated. There’s a mass of characters that almost always make an appearance and more are added each book. There’s multiple worlds, though, the this book only takes place on Earth. There are several government agencies and conspiracies and just a whole hell of a lot going on.

Like I said, though, Kitty and her crew will always figure it out in time and the core group of people will survive. It’s comforting junk food that I’m glad I returned too.

3.5/5