ARC Book Review: Dangerous Exes (Liars, Inc. #2) by Rachel Van Dyken

*I’d like to thank the Publisher for providing an ARC of this book through Netgalley*

 

In #1 New York Times bestselling author Rachel van Dyken’s scorching series, revenge is a justified pleasure…

Isla made one teeny little mistake. Now she and her PI company, Dirty Exes, are being targeted by one seriously angry and furiously sexy ex-quarterback. Jessie freakin’ Beckett. But there’s no way some NFL superhunk is going to take her business away. If only he didn’t make her so hot—and bothered.

Jessie wants payback for a ruined reputation. His plan? Top secret. His hard-to-hide arousal for Isla? Not so much. Especially when they let down their guards and sneak a kiss. Like any juicy scandal, it goes so viral, so fast, that only a good lie can combat the bad press. Mortal enemies in a fling? No way. Um…this is love!

Actually…could it be?

Isla’s not faking it. Jessie can’t. As the game of let’s pretend gets real, Jessie forgets all about revenge. That’s the problem. His plan is already out of his control. Now it could undo everything they’ve been trying to build. Coming clean may be the only thing that can save it.


 

My first mistake going into the book was that I hadn’t read the previous book in the series and hadn’t thought it necessary.

Although, this book features a different couple at its center, these characters were a significant part of the previous book. Also, the plot here takes off based on events from the first one. Thankfully, I did catch on quickly enough. But the number of references and mentions to the first book made me regret having skipped it.

This book had a combination of enemies-to-lovers and fake-relationship, two tropes I tend to enjoy. Both Isla and Jessie used to be friends until Isla’s one mistake cost Jessie his reputation. Now Jessie is out for blood.

But they both have one thing in common – having been burned by their respective ‘exes’. And a fake relationship might just be what they needed to move on. The love-hate dynamic to their relationship was really entertaining.

There were hilarity and craziness abound. Jessie and Isla were both fun characters. I also liked the parts about Isla’s Chinese heritage and her Go-Pooh. It made for some refreshing comic moments.

This was one of those books which are not meant to be taken too seriously. Sure, it might not be the most original plot out there, but I still had a lot of fun reading it.


My Rating: ★★★☆☆


 

Publication Date: 30th October, 2018.
Source: ARC from Publisher (via Netgalley)
You can find this book on – Goodreads | Amazon

ARC Book Review: Emma And The City by Amy Hilliges

*I’d like to thank the Publisher for providing an ARC of this book through Netgalley*


WHEN ARROWS FLY, CUPID BETTER GET OUT OF THE WAY . . . OR RISK BEING SHOT
~~~

It-girl and blogger Emma Worth appears to have it all: beauty, brains, connections and a fabulous Manhattan apartment. Emma makes it her business to tell others what to wear and who to date because she knows best. Obviously.

Despite her designer outfits and glitzy New York lifestyle, something’s missing . . . If she only knew what it was. That is, until a hot A-lister swoops into her life and sends Emma’s pulse racing and fills her head with red-carpet fantasies.

Emma’s neighbor Adam Knightley is disapproving, telling her she needs to fix her priorities and stop chasing celebrity pipe dreams. The man would look hot on a red carpet himself if only he’d stop frowning for more than five seconds.

When Emma’s matchmaking backfires and her meddling causes mischief, what’s a girl to do? Try to lie her way out of it, of course. Anyway, who cares, right? Because Emma’s finally getting the kind of attention she deserves. Except in her fantasies, things looked a lot different. And it didn’t feel this heartrendingly painful . . .

Love her or hate her, Emma is back––with a sexy makeover, 21st-century problems, and another chance to redeem herself in this grippingly entertaining, thoroughly original retelling of the Jane Austen classic.


Jane Austen’s Emma is one of my all-time favorites. In fact, she even might be my favorite Austen heroine, despite all her flaws and imperfections.

Suffice it to say, I was excited about reading this retelling.

I’ll just say this before anything else – Emma and the city doesn’t even come close to living up to the original. And I didn’t even expect it to. That’s simply impossible. And no author should even aim for that. All I wanted was the author to give her own fresh twist to the old story. And she sorta did. But I couldn’t bring myself to like it or even find it fresh.

I won’t even bother comparing this retelling with the original. Even on its merit, Emma and the city felt weak to me. Okay, here goes my rant. (And a few Clueless gifs)

I’ll start with what I found unbelievable. You can’t just have a dynamic like Emma-Harriet in a modern age setting without bringing changes to it. For those who haven’t read the original, there Emma takes Harriet – a girl from an unremarkable background – under her wings and guides her in navigating the high society.

In this retelling, Emma helps her old nanny’s niece Haley settle down in New York after she moves there. And that’s all fine and dandy. But Emma also takes dating decisions for Haley and feeds her a false narratives about her neighbor Zak’s interest in him, based on her own assumptions. That felt like an unbelievable for me in this setting.

Hilliges’s Emma comes across as a delusional and obnoxious busybody with no sense of boundaries and not a single apologetic bone in this book. At least Austen’s Emma was written as an unassuming and well-intentioned lady but this Emma was too haughty for my liking.

Although I did like some of the modern twists – having Knightley divorced, Emma’s issues with her father, inserting a celebrity spin to Churchill-Fairfax’s story. But, most of it felt too mechanical to me, as if they were engineered just for the sake of following the trajectory of the original.

In other words? Execution left a lot to be desired.

I have to be honest here. Even disregarding any comparisons with the original, I couldn’t but compare this with other retelling I’ve read this year and how much more I enjoyed them. Emma and the city falls far behind on that mark too.


My Rating: ★★★☆☆


 

Publication Date: 18th September, 2018.
Source: ARC from Publisher (via Netgalley)
You can find this book on – Goodreads | Kobo