S. C. Stephens is a #1 bestselling author who spends her every free moment creating stories that are packed with emotion and heavy on romance. In addition to writing, she enjoys spending lazy afternoons in the sun reading, listening to music, watching movies, and spending time with her friends and family. She and her two children reside in the Pacific Northwest.
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Wednesday, August 24, 2016
Tuesday, August 23, 2016
My Fair Princess is the first of Vanessa Kelly’s Improper Princess series which is a spin-off of sorts of her Renegade Royals. Even if you haven’t read that series this is a great place to start. If you have then the notorious Griffin Steele has a sister, well half-sister. I love Gillian, she is a force to be reckoned with. Now if you are expecting a prim and proper princess then the series title “Improper” Princesses should be a good hint that this is not the series you are looking for. But if you are looking for a headstrong, outspoken, nobody talks bad about my mother, I’m going to do what I think is right, hoyden of a princess then yes, this is the story you are looking for.
Lady Julia was seduced by the Duke of Cumberland even more scandalous was she kept the baby that was the result of said affair, a little baby girl. Shunned by society Lady Lucy is forced to move to Italy where she meet and fell in love with Count Paterini. Gillian loved her step-father he doted on her and never made her feel unwanted. She also blames herself for his death, murdered by bandits and no one making an effort to seek justice she takes matters into her own hands and over the years she trains and one by one kills the bandits that killed her step-father. When it was finally over Gillian’s mother and Grandmother know they must go back to England. Hopefully they can reign in her wild ways enough for her to find a husband. They seek the help of the most qualified person they know, Duke of Leverton.
Charles Valentine Penley, also known as Perfect Penley, is distantly related to Gillian and as the Duke is technically head of the family. Charles takes on the task of installing social graces and civility into Gillian. Gillian does not care, she doesn’t care what people say about her or what they think, she can manage a civil tongue when talking to people even when they insult her; it’s another matter entirely when they insult her mother. Everything is going fine until Charles’ ex-fiancé decides to cause trouble and spreads a vicious new nickname for Gillian. Everyone thinks the best thing to do is escape to the country for a while. On the way to Charles’ country estate they are robbed, and the trouble really begins. Gillian is determined to get back the jewels they stole even though Charles has repeatedly told her to let him handle it.
It really was inevitable that they fell in love, opposites attract. Charles needed someone to challenge him and knock the Perfect off of Perfect Penley. Gillian needed someone to love her even though she never thought she was good enough, or worthy of love. She never cared what people thought of her because that’s what she thought of herself, she needed someone to prove her wrong. I loved seeing Griffin and Justine again they had a nice little part. I really hope the other princess are as improper as this one. I really adored Gillian and even Charles after he stopped being so priggish. Overall, great story and a great build up to the climatic ending and just the right amount of angst to play at the heart strings a bit.
**ARC provided by Publisher**
First, Vanessa Kelly brought readers The Renegade Royals. Now, in a delightfully witty new series, she introduces The Improper Princesses—three young women descended from royalty, each bound for her own thrilling adventure . . .Despite being the illegitimate daughter of a prince, Gillian Dryden is happily ignorant of all social graces. After growing up wild in Italy, Gillian has been ordered home to England to find a suitable husband. And Charles Valentine Penley, the excessively proper, distractingly handsome Duke of Leverton, has agreed to help transform her from a willful tomboy to a blushing debutante.Powerful and sophisticated, Charles can make or break reputations with a well-placed word. But his new protégée, with her habit of hunting bandits and punching earls, is a walking scandal. The ton is aghast . . . but Charles is thoroughly intrigued. Tasked with taking the hoyden in hand, he longs to take her in his arms instead. Can such an outrageous attraction possibly lead to a fairytale ending?
Monday, August 22, 2016
Daring the Bad Boy by Monica Murphy is a standalone story in the Endless Summer Series. I have to admit that I have struggled with young adult stories lately, but I am a fan of Monica Murphy's and this cover was absolutely adorable. I knew I wanted to give this one a shot when I first saw it, but unfortunately this one didn't work for me at all.
Annie is looking to break out of being the shy girl, and summer camp is exactly the way for her to do it. She sets her sights on hottie Kyle, but with her fear of water, she has no way to get close to him since that is where he likes to hang out. When a game of truth or dare ropes counselor Jacob into teaching Annie how to swim, he knows that he has to be careful since the camp has a strict no fraternization policy for campers and counselors. But soon Annie wants to learn more than just how to swim and Jacob and Annie find themselves doing more than just swimming together. But if they are caught, Jake could find himself in trouble, ruining everything between them.
I have to admit that a lot of my issues here were the characters. Annie was sweet at first, and while I didn't love her I did like her. But then it seemed like she had a massive personality swap and she suddenly became this brat that I couldn't stand. She seemed to go crazy, and I just didn't understand what had happened to her. It felt forced, as though the author was trying to inject drama into the story that would have already been there anyways. It just felt unnecessary and I couldn't get behind it at all. Jake was okay. He wasn't bad, but he wasn't great. I was just not invested in them, and while they had a cute romance it wasn't anything unique or special.
I also felt like the story itself had a lot of issues. Besides things feeling forced at times, the story was choppy. Things seemed to skip around a lot, with time seeming off. There were times that I didn't know how much time had passed and it seems like we were missing things. There was also way more tell than show here, and I wanted to see things happen rather than just have the author tell us. It wasn't a naturally flowing story, and the whole thing just came off as contrived. Unfortunately as much as I wanted to like this one, it just never got there for me and when Annie's personality suddenly became so out of character I was just skimming to finish at that point. I have read and loved YA stories and stories from Monica Murphy, but this wasn't one of them and isn't one that I would recommend.
**ARC Provided by Publisher**
This book is a continuation of the first installment. They are so short that they really aren’t separate books but I’m not even going to get into one of my rants about that. Jack is still helping Danielle to learn about sex so that she can be an effective sex therapy professor or whatever. Danielle is still a virgin and remains that way throughout the book (more on that later).
Of course, as this book goes on Jack feels increasingly more towards Danielle than the teacher student relationship and vice versa. Jack in particular gets all cave man-ey when other guys are looking at Danielle and begins internally referring to her as “mine.” We also meet Jack’s brothers who tease him mercilessly and set him up to take things with Danielle to the next level. That was cute in a frat boy sort of way. For her part, Danielle also realizes that she feels more for Jack than just wanting him to be her teacher. Danielle likes Jack and keeps telling him that she would not want to be on this sexual journey with anyone but him.
I wanted to know what other people were saying about this book so I looked at some of the other reviews. Other readers are quite happy with this installment so take what I’m about to tell you with a grain of salt. If I had to describe my primary feeling when reading this book, it would be “annoyed.” I just didn’t understand the connection between Jack and Danielle. I don’t get where it came from or how it got so serious so quickly. I also totally do NOT understand why Jack and Danielle have gone through another installment in this series without getting it on. Their ENTIRE relationship is about sex but they don’t have it….I’m lost. At the same time, they are doing things that are level 10 for the highly sexual active. Like they go to a BDSM club and Danielle let’s Jack tie her up. But no actual sex….there is watching sex, talking about sex (in explicit detail) and performing various sexual acts, but no you know what in the you know where. WHY? WHY? To make things even more confusing (annoying) Jack is obsessed with getting it on with Danielle and talks about it and thinks about it constantly….but doesn’t do it. Whatever. I’m tired just reliving this experience.
I don’t know. I like this author and the book is ok. I just found it aggravating. Don’t count this one out but don’t be mad at me if you find yourself irritated while reading it, I warned you.
**ARC provided by Publisher**