Review- The Precious Ruby ( The Precious Trilogy, #1) by C. Renee

Book Description

At twenty-five, Louise Carter has lived a life beyond her years; she has endured emotional and physical abuse and has now found the courage to leave her biker ex-boyfriend.

When Louise moves back into town and in with her best friend, all aspects of her life start to fall into place until something unexpected happens … she meets Alex, a rich playboy and known womanizer.

Alex wonders whether he has met Louise previously as she piques his interest in ways no other woman has before… 

Will Louise fall for his fake personality, or will she have time to fall for the real one?

*Copy kindly provided by the author in exchange for a Book Box Feature & review*

My Thoughts

I admit, I have never heard from author C. Renee before, nor have I heard of her novel The Precious Ruby`The Precious Ruby`. It was only when the author contacted me on Instagram did I notice the stunning cover and eye-catching title.

`The Precious Ruby` ( The Precious Trilogy, #1) is the author´s debut novel and for that reason I will not be too critical or harsh on the author or her work. Normally, I don´t read debut novels because they´re hard to judge. There are so many things a reader should consider when being honest about a book. And I´m not here to bring down someone´s „baby“. This book, however, was easy to judge.

I really liked the book. Despite a few editorial hiccups, questionable sentence structure ( some words are just too non-american) and a few chaotic scenes, I thought the story was enjoyable. It was certainly entertaining and the story DOES get you interested in more.

The idea of the story isn´t new but it is told in a unique fashion and that´s basically why I liked it.

What `The Precious Ruby` has is alot of drama and it´s also packed with emotions. Although I liked the story I felt that certain scenes were a bit over dramatized / over exaggerated.

The reading experience was also a tad bumpy, which interrupted a nice reading flow but that can be worked on. Let´s blame all that on the fact that this is a debut novel. No one has ever written a masterpiece from the get-go.

All in all, not a bad pick. I´m ready for the story to continue and that´s always a good sign.

C. Renee is on a great path and I can see great things happening for her in this ruthless book world.

The Cover- 4 stars ( I like the simplicity of it. Black with one object on it. It´s definitely an eye catcher.)

The Story – 3 stars ( As stated above- it´s not new but the writing style gives the old a nice unique touch to it. )

The Characters -3 stars ( Matt was a brilliant villain. Alex was a great Hero. The only problem I had was with Louise. Her character was too bipolar. The key is normally to let a character gradually grow and letting them go from one state of mind into another. A slow progress.)

My emotional state after finishing this read– Positively surprised and I can´t wait to continue the story.

From all the debut novels I´ve read in my career, `The Precious Ruby` has proven to be one of the good one´s. That is why I will encourage C. Renee with 4 out of 5 stars.

You can purchase this book by clicking here.

 

Enjoy. xxx

Book Spotlight – Hopeless, Losing Hope, Finding Cinderella ( Hopeless 1,2 & 2.5) by Colleen Hoover

Hopeless  ( Hopeless #1 )

Book Descriptionhopeless-1

Sometimes discovering the truth can leave you more hopeless than believing the lies…

That’s what seventeen-year-old Sky realizes after she meets Dean Holder. A guy with a reputation that rivals her own and an uncanny ability to invoke feelings in her she’s never had before. He terrifies her and captivates her all in the span of just one encounter, and something about the way he makes her feel sparks buried memories from a past that she wishes could just stay buried.

Sky struggles to keep him at a distance knowing he’s nothing but trouble, but Holder insists on learning everything about her. After finally caving to his unwavering pursuit, Sky soon finds that Holder isn’t at all who he’s been claiming to be. When the secrets he’s been keeping are finally revealed, every single facet of Sky’s life will change forever.

** WARNING- REVIEW IS OF A PERSONAL NATURE**

My Thoughts

`Hopeless`. My first Colleen Hoover book.

It all started years ago, New Year´s Eve 2012 to be exact, when I suffered from unhappiness ( not depression. Just plain and simple unhappiness). I was pregnant, my marriage wasn´t going as I had hoped it would, I had a million bills to pay and didn´t know how to pay them with being unemployed at the time ( I wasn´t allowed to work as a chemnist during my pregnancy )… Life was in general one truck load of horse shit. On that New Year´s Eve I had a fight with my husband and he left the house before it turned midnight and I was too proud to sit and cry over him. So, what did I do? I downloaded the Kindle app and bought my first ebook- `Hopeless`.

I was thinking, „Title sounds fitting.“ and started reading. During those hours of reading I felt the words written by Colleen Hoover sooth me. I was a mess and the author was able to let me forget about everything. I was sharing a world with Holder and Sky, accompanying the two main characters on their own heartfelt journey.

And the story was beyond anything I had expected it to be. The story felt realistic. The characters felt real, their words / Colleen Hoover´s written words carried meaning and gave me hope. But hope for what exactly, I didn´t know. I just felt it and it felt wonderful but at the same time, I was scared shitless because a book / a story never made such an impact on me before. My life is nothing like the characters life so I can´t relate to anything that has happened in Hopeless. Except for the words. In an odd way, they felt like… me.

You see, my pride from before… when I refused to cry over my own miserable life ( incl. the fight with my husband )… that pride was knocked down and I was a sobbing mess at 4:00 a.m. To this day, I have no idea how it was possible for one person, I didn´t know personally, to make that happen. Me? Cry? Yeah, right. I had better things to do. Life is short- better not waste it on crying.

I cried and recovered only to start crying again. When I thought I was losing my marbles I called my mom at 5 a.m. and scared the living daylights out of her because she couldn´t understand a word I was saying. I remember her asking if my water broke, asking for my husband and wanting to know who the hell Holder was. She also kept repeating that the „Sky“ was still dark and she was coming over. Bless the best mom on earth because she came by and made us a hot chocolate at the ass crack of dawn and we both talked about `Hopeless` until the sun came up.

It took me a full week to completely recover from my book funk. It took my husband and I a day to become best friends again ( because that´s what we also are.). But that book….. bah. Brutal for my well kept hidden emotional household.

Now that I´ve bored you to death with my personal experience with `Hopeless`I´ll put you out of your misery and talk about the story.

I loved it. It doesn´t get any simpler than that. Reading the story felt like sitting out on the grass at night, waiting for fireworks to go off and when they did they lit the sky and blinded me with their pretty lights for hours.

`Hopeless`is a story about a 17 year old named Sky who wants nothing more than to live a normal life. But for her to do so she needs to go to a public school and make some friends, amoungst other things.

Sky meets Holder, a guy with a questionable reputation, and before Sky knows what´s happening..her little sheltered world gets shaken up. Unknown secrets surface and threaten to reveal the truth about Sky and the world around her, including Harder.

This is a perfect example for a well written Young Adult book. There are bits of romance, bits of heartbreak, bits of how screwed up life can be…. `Hopeless` is the poster child for the complete package, including an ending that will most definitely tug at your heartstrings. What more can a reader want?

`Hopeless` is a stunning story that will haunt readers in the most beautiful way, for a very long time.

It´s been 5 years since I first read `Hopeless` and the author has written many more books since then but this one will stick with me for the rest of my life.

Would I recommend this book?

Yes. I would. I tried to recommend it to my mother, though, but to this day she refuses to read the story. She thinks the book is plain evil for making her ( back then ) 29 year old baby cry.

Would I reread this book?

To be honest- I´d love to but I´m terrified. As beautiful as the story was I don´t think I could handle another round of emotional damage. ( I´m fine now, though. * smiles * )

The Cover – 4 stars ( It´s nice. Definitely nothing compared to what´s been roaming around the book world )

The Story 5+ stars ( A brilliant story about 2 young people discovering the truth )

The Characters 5 stars ( I have so much love for those fictional characters. )

My emotional state after finishing this read – Well, it´s been 5 years since I last read `Hopeless`, but I still remember the devastation, the love and the relief I felt afterwards.

I´m giving `Hopeless`, by Colleen Hoover, 5 out of 5 stars

To purchase this book just click here here and begin reading. I guarantee you´ll love the story. 

Losing Hope ( Hopeless #2 )

Book Description

In the follow-up to Colleen Hoover’s #1 New York Times bestseller Hopeless, the charming and irresistible Dean Holder tells the passionate story that has melted thousands of hearts.losing-hope-1

In Hopeless, Sky left no secret unearthed, no feeling unshared, and no memory forgotten, but Holder’s past remained a mystery.

Still haunted by the little girl he let walk away, Holder has spent his entire life searching for her in an attempt to finally rid himself of the crushing guilt he has felt for years. But he could not have anticipated that the moment they reconnect, even greater remorse would overwhelm him…

Sometimes in life, if we wish to move forward, we must first dig deep into our past and make amends. In Losing Hope, bestselling author Colleen Hoover reveals what was going on inside Holder’s head during all those hopeless moments—and whether he can gain the peace he desperately needs.

My Thoughts

After my heart shattering experience with `Hopeless` ( Hopeless #1 ) I thought I could never go near that story ever again. I mean- That story did unfamiliar things to my cold heart. Was I really up for the same thing, only from the Hero´s point of view? Was Holder´s side of the story necessary?

If I´m honest- Besides not wanting to do another 24 hour cry session I also don´t like to read the same story told from a different perspective. I´m fine with a story being over the first time, if that makes any sense.

Anyways- we´re talking about Colleen Hoover here. I kinda felt the pull to give `Losing Hope` ( Hopeless #2 ) a chance.

I used the „rip off the band-aid“ technique and looked away while I clicked the 1-click button on Amazon. To make a long story short- I liked `Losing Hope`. My reading experience with the switched POV was good. Did I go through another emotional meltdown? Surprisingly, no.

Not being as much in love with this story doesn´t mean I didn´t like it. `Losing Hope` was an enjoyable read. Holder´s point of view was good but his side of the story, including the few additional parts, didn´t feel as powerful for me. The big surprise was already out.

And this brings me back to my question: Was reading Holder´s POV necessary?  In my humble opinion- No. The reason for that is because Holder was always available in the first book. He was there all the time so I didn´t have a chance to miss him, nor did I have the feeling that I needed to know more about him. His character was pretty vocal, honest and completely fulfilling. 

A reader does get a few additional scenes that made this story a little more different and not a 1:1 copy of the first book, which I found absolutely fab.

I would totally recommend Holder´s version to anyone who has already read `Hopeless`. It´s a great story that shouldn´t be left out of a Colleen Hoover book collection.

The Cover – 4 stars ( The cover is pretty, though I wouldn´t go nuts over it.)


The Story – 3 stars ( A re-tell of `Hopeless` only from Holder´s POV with great additional scenes.)

The Characters – 4 stars ( Holder was a bit of a handful with his emotions but my love was still strong for him and the rest of the Hopless gang.)

My emotional state after finishing this read– Happy and content.

I´m giving `Losing Hope` ( Hopeless #2 ), by Colleen Hoover, 4 out of 5 stars.

This book is available in paperback and ebook format. 

Finding Cinderella ( Hopeless # 2.5 )

Book Description

This novella is a companion novel to the Hopeless series, but can be read as a standalone. finding-cinderella-1

A chance encounter in the dark leads eighteen-year-old Daniel and the girl who stumbles across him to profess their love for each other. But this love comes with conditions: they agree it will only last one hour and it will only be make-believe.

When their hour is up and the girl rushes off like Cinderella, Daniel tries to convince himself that what happened between them only seemed perfect because they were pretending it was perfect. Moments like that with girls like her don’t happen outside of fairytales.

One year and one bad relationship later, his disbelief in insta-love is stripped away the day he meets Six: a girl with a strange name and an even stranger personality. Daniel soon realizes the way he pretended to feel about Cinderella and the way he really feels about Six may not be so different after all. Especially when the two loves of his life end up being one in the same.

Unfortunately for Daniel, finding Cinderella doesn’t guarantee their happily ever after…it only further threatens it.

My Thoughts

I have three words for `Finding Cinderella` ( Hopeless #2.5 )- Short, cute and emotional.

A Young Adult reader´s dream come true!

I love Colleen Hoover´s ability to make me feel so many different emotions with her words. One minute I´m just a happy camper, loving the easy-going writing style and great storytelling, and the next minute I´m fighting back the lump in my throat.

I´m not going to bother explaining the story because then you wouldn´t feel the need to read it. We wouldn´t want that, now, would we?

I remember thinking halfways through the novella of how predictable this short story was. The idea of a young guy hiding in a dark maintance room who get´s surprised by a mystery girl is fabulous and as the story progressed I thought I figured it all out. Let´s just say my fortune telling abilities suck.

The twist of the story had me holding my breath. I didn´t like it, yet I loved it at the same time. Think of being punched in the gut and enjoying the feeling. Weird, right? Yes. Beyond weird.

As for the characters- I was hoping Daniel would get his own story and I´m glad he did in `Finding Cinderella`. I loved him in `Hopeless` & `Losing Hope`. The only character I didn´t love was Six.

First- Six was not as odd as she was made out to be. She was a normal teenager with a tiny reputation, if one could call what she had a „reputation“ at all. I honestly didn´t understand the fuss about her. Her name was Seven but she called herself Six. Fine by me. But I didn´´t see her as the ultimate bombshell she was seen as.

I don´t have any complaints besides the fact that this story was short. I would have loved to have read more. More maintance room scenes, for example. I found the moments the characters had in the dark really interesting and entertaining. Or, a more stretched out ending. But that´s just me being picky. 🙂

Would I recommend this book? To any Colleen Hoover fan, definitely. To Young Adult readers, yes. I´d even say it´s important for readers age 16+ to read this book as the ending is a little like a reality punch. I know this is just a story but the end has a message and a fine one, too. It makes a reader think and that can only be a good thing for teenagers and a few young adults, right?

The Cover – 3 stars ( It´s sweet. )

The Story – 4 stars ( My kind of read only a tad too short for my taste. )

The Characters – 3 stars ( Six wasn´t my cup of tea. But I guess if she would have been different then the story would have turned out completely different too. )

My emotional state after finishing this read?  Remember the feeling I described above about being punched in the gut and enjoying the feeling? Think of a slap in the face and saying „Thank You“. That´s how I felt. It´s a wonderful, confusing feeling.

I´m giving `Finding Cinderella` ( Hopeless # 2.5 ), by Colleen Hoover, 3 out of 5 stars.

This book is available on Amazon.com in paperback and ebook format.

 

I hope you enjoyed Monday´s Book Spotlight. Have a great day! xx

Review-Grievous ( Scarlet Scars #2 ) by J. M. Darhower

Book Description

Once upon a time, there was a girl who stopped believing in fairy tales after her innocence was stolen.

Morgan Myers is tired. So damn tired. Most people either push her around or brush her off, and she’s not putting up with it anymore. Determined to reclaim the life that had been stolen from her, she puts her trust in the last person she ever expected to: the notorious they call Scar. Morgan sees a side of him that few people seem to know—the man, not the myth. Lorenzo. And what she sees, she likes, a lot more than she thought she would.

But fairy tales aren’t real, as life likes to remind her. Some dragons, you just can’t slay, no matter how hard you fight them. And when hers comes back around, breathing fire, she’s forced to face some unimaginable horrors. But there’s a white knight in combat boots out there that isn’t afraid of monsters.

You see, it’s impossible to be afraid of something you see every day in the mirror.

My Thoughts

** ARC kindly provided by the author in exchange for an honest review **

And God said, „ Thou shalt not fall in love with a fictional criminal, especially with one who´s lost all his fucking marbles.“

But, hot damn!! I´m already so truly, madly, deeply in love with Lorenzo „ Scar“. I can´t help myself. He´s probably the worst and deadliest passionate nutcase I´ve ever encountered in a book, yet here I am, a 34 year old woman, desperately wanting to become apart of Lorenzo´s world. * ugly cry* ( I definitely have to think about what went wrong in my life…* cracking up* )

The story of Lorenzo and Morgan continues. * pulling hair * And just why did everything have to end? I mean- it sure as Hell felt like the end. I´m a mess. I don´t want to be a mess. I´m supposed to be happy but I´m not. I feel like the author gave me a gift and ripped it away again with the final words of the story. Damn it. That woman better keep on writing or I´ll turn into an even greater mess, suffering from an odd book hangover for only God knows how long.

( Need to get back to the story )

Where were we? Aah, yes. The story continues with Morgan still trying to get her child back from Kassian, the head of the russian mafia. And much to Lorenzo´s delight he helps Morgan. But one does not simply walk onto russian mafia territory and kidnap the prize. No. Getting back Morgan´s child proves to be a difficult matter and it takes a whole lot of craziness to get the job done.

When two mafia bosses collide… shit´s about to get ugly.

The story was intense, ruthless and so damn awesome.

Lorenzo was his logical / illogical self, doing unpredictable stunts at every turn… all while looking like a sexy, imperfect God. I shit you not- you never knew when he was going to kill someone or not or when he was going to be civilized. The important thing to know was- never fuck with him, especially when he was in his library ( I´m going to miss reading about that room.). So, his previous boredom from the first book ( Menace ) has vanished and he was happily occupied with half blindly swinging his gun at people.

`Grievous` is packed with action, tension, betrayal, sex ( which is mighty fine, if you ask me), death, suspense, forgiveness and above all- love.

The romance between Lorenzo and Morgan is not what you´d expect. No typical knight in shining armor, not damsel in distress story. What we´ve got here is a „ You´re fucking nuts, I´m not that crispy either but we got something good going.“ type of romance. AWESOME! So different from all the other love stories I´ve read so far.

There was one line, one moment in the story where I completely lost it.

„ Morgan,“ he says, his voice quiet as he whispers my name….. „Open your eyes, baby.“

You might think that those few words aren´t really special but when you read the story and get to know these people and read what they went through together you understand the significance of those words. And when you do I dare you not to let out a little noise of disbelief. * sigh * So touching and just….$/()(/%&$%§“§$§%$&%/& Everything after that just clicks into place and you KNOW. You just know.

And the end….Holy Heaven! I loved it. I can´t say anything about it without giving the story away so you´ll just have to take my word for it. It´s so satisfying.

I might be a little over enthusiastic about this story but I don´t care. I´m in love and that might never change. This is my favoite story written by my new favorite author.

I recommend this story to everyone who wants some adventure in their romance.

The Cover – 3 stars ( Meeh, not feeling this cover much.)

The Story – 5+ stars ( I´d need to write an extra review for another round of love gushing. Great read. I´ll have to get myself the paperbacks for my sacred bookshelf )

The Characters – 5+ stars ( I love how crazy these folks acted and how normal they thought their lives were. Lorenzo is a brilliant character. )

My emotional state after finishing this read – I want to high five the author for writing such a brilliant story.

I´m giving `Grievous` ( Scarlet Scars #2 ), by the awesome J. M. Darhower, 5 out of 5 stars

Check out my review for  Menace ( Scarlet Scars #1 )

grievous To purchase this book all you need to do is go on over to Amazon.com ( or just click here ) and buy the book. Seriously. You´ll love it.  Trust me.