Book Review- Belle: A Retelling Of Beauty And The Beast by Cameron Dokey

synopsis 2

Belle is convinced she has the wrong name, as she lacks her sisters’ awe-inspiring beauty. So she withdraws from society, devoting her time to wood carving. Secretly, Belle longs to find the fabled Heartwood Tree. If carved by the right hands, the Heartwood will reveal the face of one’s true love. 

During a fierce storm, Belle’s father stumbles upon the mysterious Heartwood — and encounters a terrifying and lonely Beast. Now Belle must carve the Heartwood to save her father, and learn to see not with the eyes of her mind, but with the eyes of her heart.


 

My Thoughts 2

 

Charming. Enchanting. Easy for the mind. 

 

It was the beautiful cover that got me interested in this book. That, and the fact that I was on vacation and didn´t really want to read a book with 350+ pages. Instead, I picked this 204 page novel with the stunning cover.

As for the story….

Belle` by author Cameron Dokey is a simple and uncomplicated retelling of `Beauty And The Beast`. There´s nothing heavy or highly emotional about this retell. Belle

I would guess that adding overly dramatic scenes would have demanded more pages… so it´s no surprise that this book wasn´t the full-blown romance we´ve all come to love.

While the story was good ( as one would expect it to be. It´s Belle and the Beast! ) it still differed from the versions we have branded into our brains.

Belle´s life is different. The whole story has been worked on, giving us readers an altered Belle with 2 living parents and kind siblings.

The added family theme was a nice change of wallpaper. The details were ( to a certain point ) perfect. All was okay about this retelling version except for the subtle / not so subtle issues.

I´m a fan of details. In `Belle` I received a well-balanced flow of character development and details, which I fully appreciated. As I enjoyed the great story-build-up I also felt the amount of pages I had left to read. A little spooky when knowing there´s actually SO MUCH MORE to the story. I was a little over 100 pages in to the book and I was still reading about everything except for the Beast.

But I had faith. The book might be only 204 pages thin but there was still enough room to add the Hero. And that´s where I began to be bothered. The Hero is usually introduced after the first few pages, if not, then surely after the second chapter. From the point where Hero and Heroine meet there´s some sort of connection development from there on. In `Belle`there was nothing of the sort.

And when Belle and Beasts golden moment arrived I was slightly disappointed. Because it wasn´t as drawn out as I had thought it would be. It was actually short-lived and questionable, to say the least.

Even the big end scene wasn´t drawn out, as it should have been. In fact- The moment of moments was cut short. Belle and her family received lots of limelight and the Beast received a few pages. Correct me if I´m wrong- Doesn´t it add to the dramatic scene when drama is included? Thoughts on this, anyone?

The author has one thing going for her: Her writing style. It´s simple but romantic. It´s colorful and soft. Actually fitting for fairy tales. I found myself falling for her words and enjoying the way she wields them in her story.

What´s missing is balance and pace. Those two aspects drove me bonkers while reading `Belle`.

This is a complicated review to write because on the one side I experienced wonderful characters and great details. Character development plays a huge role in books as it gives a story life. Crappy characters = crappy story ( no matter if it´s a retelling or not ).

But on the other hand, the imbalance and slow pace – turned – fast pace were confusing and made my reading experience odd.

Would I recommend this book? I would. But only if readers approach this read without expecting anything major.

Would I reread this book? Probably not. I´ll stick with the other versions I´ve read.

 

The Cover – 5 stars ( Stunning )

The Story – 3 stars ( It´s basically Beauty and the Beast fanfic. I appreciated some parts while I didn´t appreciate the technical sides )

The Characters – 4 stars ( I can´t stress this out enough: character development is everything. It´s what a reader gets in this read.)

My emotional state after finishing this read – Meeh.

3 stars

This book is available on Amazon.com

 

Morgana´s Book Box Instagram Book Feature for `Belle` by Cameron Dokey

 

 

Book Review: Then There Was You – Claire Contreras

book review

 

Synopsis

Love and the right timing were two things I didn’t believe in. 

Love is about walking to the edge of the cliff and taking the leap together.
Timing was never on our side.
My first mistake was hooking up with my best friend.
My second came years later, when we met again, and I fell for her. 
My third was letting her go, because I had to. Because a love like this wasn’t built to withstand the winds coming in our direction.

Love and timing.
I didn’t believe in either. 
Then there was you . . 

My Thoughts

So, basically, this is a hard case of “It´s not the book. It´s me.” I´ve become a nitpicking reader. I can´t explain why… but when I read a romance that´s been highly recommended by the mass then I expect the highly recommended to highly entertain me from start to finish.

There was angst. Lots and lots of angst – In the end.

Will they? Will they not? When will they? Will they ever? What if they don´t? What´s going to happen if they don´t?

These are the questions that should pop up while reading a romance. And with this read, they do – But only in the end.

`Then There Was You` ( Second Chances Duet #1 ) by Claire Contreras is one of those second chance stories that have you saying “What a good read.” after reading, even though the story isn´t even finished. The keywords are: good read.

I admit, I had a few troubles getting into the story. In the very beginning I felt no connection between the characters. Not even with the help of the dual POVs could I understand / the characters.  But somewhere halfway through the story I felt what they had. It was subtle but I felt it.

Something else that slightly bugged me was that I couldn´t relate to the characters. I need to feel that connection with a fictional figure. I couldn´t, though.

I like to feel the feels. I don´t want to wait 200+ pages to feel something. That´s not how I prefer to read.

But…. I do love the cover. And I definitely adore the title. Book cover and title, together, fit beautifully… But the story doesn´t quite match that beauty.

Alas, I still see why others would enjoy this book. It´s romantic, just not my type of romantic. The characters are smart and pretty and successful and wealthy… They deal with issues I could only dream of having…

Is it selfish of me to want to read about characters who have flaws? Not to be mistaken with characters being emotionally damaged. I don´t mean that. Lord knows the book world has it´s fill on broken book boyfriends. I mean flaws as in: Being middle class? How about someone not jogging? Meeh * wave off *

As I´ve said before, this book isn´t quite what I was looking for. I put all the blame on myself. It´s my fault. I´m picky.

Would I recommend this book? Yes. I would. But only because I know a lot of people who would swoon over this type of read. If you happen to be a nitpicker, like myself, then don´t bother.

Would I re – read this book? Probably not.

Will I read book #2 ? I´m afraid I won´t.

 

The Cover – 5 stars ( Love the cover. Wonderful image and great title )

The Story – 2 – 3 stars ( The book and I? We weren´t meant to be.)

The Characters – 3 stars ( They were okay. )

My emotional state after finishing this read –  I wasn´t tickled.

3 stars

 

 

 

 

Purchase Links   Amazon.com    Amazon.co.uk    Amazon.de  then there was you

Book Review: Say You´ll Stay – Corinne Michaels

Synopsis

One word. 
Stay. 

It was all he had to do. Instead, he got on that bus and took my heart with him. 

That was seventeen years ago. 

I moved on. Marriage. Kids. White picket fence. Everything I ever wanted, but my husband betrayed me and I was left once again. 

Alone, penniless, and with two boys, I had no choice but to return to Tennessee. He wasn’t supposed to be there. I should’ve been safe. However, fate has a way of stepping in.

This time around, the tables are turned. It’s my decision. Second chances do exist, but I don’t know if we can repair what’s already been broken . . .

 

My Thoughts

`Say You´ll Stay` ( Return To Me #1 ) by Corinne Michaels… A second chance romance that didn´t quite knock me completely out of my socks.

While talking to a blogger friend the other week I was, once again, aware that I was missing out on all the goody authors. We started recommending authors to each other. That´s where Corinne Michaels name fell.

I had no clue who Corinne Michaels was so I fired up Goodreads and checked out some of her books.

I decided to give her Return To Me series a try. Say you´ll stay

`Say You´ll Stay` was a cute read. Cute and sweet and for a romance… light. Did it blow my mind? Well, not in the way I hoped it would.  Nothing moved me. Not even the event that forced the Heroine to return to her hometown… the one place she avoided at all costs.

Second chance romances are my thing. My specialty, if you will. I live for the awkward encounters between had – been couples and I crave the familiar intimacy characters go through until love smacks them hard again. There´s a whole lot of angst and excitement in second chance romances.

Sadly enough, I didn´t feel any angsty moments, nor did I feel the need to get my pompoms out and root for the characters. And if I may say so… The characters didn´t do anything for me.

Life gave the Heroine hell and sent her back to her family´s farm that´s located smack in the middle of nowhere. There, she´s confronted with her past while dealing with 2 children and….

This is where I´m going to stop giving my own view of the story because there are a few things that raised some worthy questions.

The Heroine had two children. Once she went back to her family´s ranch a reader hardly sees those kids. And when they did pop up then only when they were with someone besides their mother. I want a 24 hour babysitter, too.

Then there was the thing with her ´past´. I didn´t buy it. I didn´t understand it ( I did but I didn´t think the reasons for the breakup were real reasons ).

No sparks. No flames. No fireworks ( for me).

`Say You´ll Stay` belongs to a series but can be read as a standalone.

Would I recommend this book? That depends. If you´re looking for a heavily loaded second chance romance with all the gut wrenching feels and pain and ugly cries… then, perhaps this book isn´t for you. If you´re looking for a quick light read for in between then this is a great choice.

Would I re-read this book? No. I wouldn´t. I also don´t think I´ll be giving the rest of the books in the Return To Me series a go.

 

The Cover – 3 stars ( Not my cup of tea.)

The Story – 2 – 3 stars ( Not bad but not powerful enough for me. I need more when reading second chance romances.)

The Characters – 3 stars ( The Heroine was okay. The Hero? He needed more depth. The Hero´s brother? Now, that guy has a bright future!)

My emotional state after finishing this read – Indifferent.

3 stars

Purchase Links   Amazon.com    Amazon.co.uk    Amazon.de

Say you´ll stay

Review- The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

Book Description

Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself. 

 

My Thoughts

I said I would get out of my genre comfort-zone and that´s exactly what I did.

I saw the book cover for `The Cruel Prince` by New York Times bestselling author Holly Black and I knew I this was going to be my first 2018 fairytale read. The Cruel Prince

The fact that this book went way beyond my safe-bookish-place would be an understatement, yet I still enjoyed it.

I´d say it was a great experience filled with firsts. This was the first time I´d read anything from Holly Black. I´m a fan now. Her writing is engaging and her storytelling ability is fab. It was also the first time I had read anything like this book.

`The Cuel Prince` started out really cool with a day-to-day scene but with a dark twist. A game changer I didn´t see coming. And what a nice change of wallpaper it was to read about humans living in a world of magic and liking it.

A very colorful and adventurous tale.

What I loved most was the dedication and the map ( God, that map is just so cute ). The map was super helpful while reading because I find it difficult to imagine newly created worlds.

But still, there was something missing for me. I can´t really put my finger on it but it bugged me a bit.

I won´t say that this wasn´t my cup of tea because the story was actually good and I had a great time while reading but I just didn´t spend days afterwards thinking about the story. I didn´t have a bookhanger nor did I feel the need to hit up one of my book besties and rave about the story. Stuff I would usually do after reading a book.

Perhaps that´ll happen with book #2? Let´s keep our fingers crossed. Rumor has it that the next book will come out sometime around 2019. Until then it´s going to be a keep-eyes-open year for news.

All in all I´d say `The Cruel Prince` (The Folk Of The Air #1) was a decent out-of-my-genre-comfort-zone read. ( If that makes any sense)

Would I reread this book? I´m not sure. Let´s wait for book #2 and decide then.

Would I recommend this book? Sure! It´s a great story.

The Cover – 5 stars ( Absolutely gorgeous. I love it. A total eye-catcher.)

The Story – 3 stars ( Although I liked it I felt that a few key points were missing. Maybe that can be blamed on me comparing the book to a contemporary romance. Remember, I´m expanding my horizon! )

The Characters – 3 stars ( They were good. I liked them.)

My emotional state after finishing this read– Satisfied.

I´m giving `The Cruel Prince` by Holly Black 3 out of 5 positive stars.

stars-16

Purchase Links

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.de

Instagram Book Box Feature

Hey Instapeople! 🤓 Hope everyone is having a great day! Now I officially belong to the "I read the Cruel Prince" gang🤜🤛. It was an okay read! Totally not what I expected but then again… I never read anything by Holly Black before so… this is sort of a double celebration moment for me😂 I've gotta say though- the cover is something GORGEOUS! 🤓💕💗💕💗 ☆BOOK BOX FEATURE☆ for The Cruel Prince by @blackholly . Review will follow shortly. Hope you all enjoy what's left of today! Have a good one.💗 and don't forget to share the 📖💜 . . . . . #thecruelprince #fairytale #hollyblack #fantasy #bookish #feature #bookphotography #bookpic #hardcover #books #bookstagram #libraryofinstagram #instabook #bookwhore #booklove #prettycover #newrelease #youngadultbooks #bookworm #bookworld #read #readersofinstagram #igreads #instablog #series

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Better Love ( Wingmen #4 ) – Daisy Prescott

Book Description

Maybe that old song got it right.

Maybe love can be better the second time around.

When one of my wingmen needs help, I’ll do anything for him, including calling in a favor with the one person I swore I’d never speak to again.

Not after I walked away from that life five years ago and ditched the trappings of my success. The keyword being trap.

I left it all behind.

Including her.

Now the ambitious, brilliant, talented, and undeniably beautiful Roslyn Porter is back in my life. I’m not the same person she knew. I’m trying to be a better man.

***

No man is an island, but Dan Ashland comes close. He’s content with his quiet life on Whidbey, a world away from the rat race on the other side of the ferry. 

Dan has three great loves in his life: solitude, pizza, and Roslyn Porter. 

**Better Love is a standalone second chance romance featuring Dan Ashland and the fourth book in the Wingmen series.**

My Thoughts

I´m a sucker for Lumberjacks and / or any man who lives off on an Island away from the busy busy world. And after reading and adoring the first 2 books in the Wingmen series I thought Daisy Prescott was going to deliver once again with `Better Love`.

This is the 4th installment in the Wingmen series but can easily be read as a standalone ( Hence the reason why I completely ignored book #3 and went straight for the 4th).

It was okay. Not what I expected but still enjoyable. To be perfectly honest- I had no clue what the main issue of the story was.

Dan ( Hero ) once had it all until he had enough and dropped everything to start new. Money, fame, the woman he loved… all traded in for a secluded life on an Island.

Years later, Dan decides to call the one person he left behind to help with an urgent issue. He calls Roslyn. Despite the heartache Dan caused back in the day she helps him and they slowly start anew.

Seriously- there wasn´t much of an issue because the characters were so friendly with one another. I, personally, didn´t feel Ros try to resist Dan much ( if at all ), nor did I see Dan fight with any inner demons Heros usually have. I mean, he obviously had a problem when he left fame, fortune and woman behind. There wasn´t much of a struggle.

I know time can change a person´s perspective towards life, etc. but this felt like a
„Oh, hey! There you are. Long time, no see. Wanna catch a beer? Talk a little about the past? How about we try over again and see what happens? If not we´ll get more drinks or pizza.“ story.

Or ( !!! ) Maybe it´s just me who´s weird and doesn´t understand this supposedly perfect romance. *shoulder shrug* Who knows.

The Hero and Heroine were actually great. Dan´s character is totally my type, with his mature looks and his easy going-ness. He was sweet, caring and so down to earth. Maybe that was why I didn´t feel him. * g *  There was a certain edge missing. And then there was Roslyn. Again- a great character but she lacked something I still can´t point my finger on.

A huge plus point was the ending. I do love myself some lovey dovey happily ever afters.

All in all not a bad read. `Better Love` was funny, sweet and as a whole, enjoyable.

The Cover – 3 stars ( It gets mentioned more than enough what a silver fox the Hero is. No need to make another statement on the cover. I liked the title, though. Very catchy. )

The Story – 3 stars ( Yeah, it was okay. A really lighthearted read with little action in it.)

The Characters – 3 stars ( MC were cool but nothing that would knock me out of my socks.)

My emotional state after finishing this read Not overly thrilled, not disappointed.

stars-16

I´m giving `Better Love` ( Wingmen #4 ), by Daisy Prescott, 3 out of 5 stars.

This book can be purchased on Amazon.com