BOOK REVIEW : HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS

I’ve spent eight years wishing I’d fall out of love with Derek Knightley. Blowing out birthday candles, chasing after shooting stars, making it rain spare change into mall fountains—every time it’s the same wish: forget about Derek.

But the day he walks back into my life, I realize there are two things time has yet to soften: my feelings for him and his chiseled jawline.

It’s infuriating that my heart still races when he walks into a room. I refuse to fall prey to old unrequited love, so I decide the less I’m around him, the better. Avoidance is key.

Unfortunately, Derek isn’t going to make it easy. As a teenager, I would have crawled on my hands and knees to attract his attention. Now I can’t seem to escape it.

I’m not sure why he’s bothering. He’s not just out of my league—he’s out of my tax bracket. As the sole heir to the Knightley Company, he’s as close to American royalty as you can get. As for me, I’m just a part-time princess at Knightley’s flagship magical theme park.

I spend my days playing make-believe, but Derek has no use for fairytales. His unwavering confidence makes it clear he thinks I’ll surrender in the end.

He’s just biding his time.
Making me sweat.

His Royal Highness always gets what he wants.
And he wants me.


review

Nope. I just couldn’t get on board with this one. And it’s extra sad because I actually like the author!

Look, if I ever had a crush on a guy ten years older than me when I was just out of high school – which I’m sure I had – I would be super creeped out if that guy actually showed an interest in me.

But the heroine here is still holding out on her crush from 8 years ago. On a guy who was 10 years older than her and happened to be her mentor in a professional mentoring program. In the blurb, this crush is referred  to as love. It gave me the mistaken impression that these two must have had a strong connection. But no. They had only a few coffee meetings, and one long meeting where she unloaded her problems on him. And then she decided to e-mail her 28-year old mentor when she was merely 18, that they should get to know each other.

And guess what he did? He didn’t reply. The gall!

So she not only blames him for not returning her affections 8 years later, she also blames him for not having replied to her mail. The ridiculousness of it all! If I were in her place, I’d be gladder than ever that nobody replied to my mail, because I’d send such a dumb email only when I was drunk or high.

And that’s not even it. The heroine actually tells him all this when they meet in the present time and holds him responsible for breaking her heart a lifetime ago. First of all, who does that?! Second of all, who does that?! Her entitled behavior is not only immature but also delusional. This is just not normal. And I hate that the author normalized it. I even found the hero annoying for letting her get away with it.

As if this absolutely immature and ridiculously entitled behavior wasn’t enough, the heroine is also happy playing a fake princess in a theme park. The owner, who happens to be the grandfather of the hero – repeatedly offers her a better position. But she keeps refusing. Again, who does that?!

The whole theme park setting was another thing that just left me baffled. Maybe it’s because I have very little knowledge about how things work in these places, that I found it all very ridiculous how playing a prince and princess was given so much importance. I’d also expected the title of the book ‘His Royal Highness’ to be a little more literal. If not a real royal prince, then maybe a figurative royal figure of a city? I don’t know. I’d expected anything except what the story offered. And I’d probably have found the intentional misleading title cuter, if the story had meat in it.


 

ratings

★☆☆☆☆

BOOK REVIEW : COLDHEARTED BOSS

I’m desperate and destitute when Lockwood Construction rolls into my small town with an offer too good to pass up: high wages to any able-bodied man willing to join their crew.

Say no more. I throw on baggy clothes, tuck my long hair under a baseball hat, and apply for a job. Unfortunately, my half-baked idea of disguising myself as a guy is flawed from the beginning. As Shakira says, these hips don’t lie.

Still, I like to think I might have pulled the whole thing off save for one thing:

I know my boss.

Last month, we met at a bar, and after a fiery first encounter, it seems we’re destined to be sworn enemies.

Ethan Stone is ruthless and arrogant, a man I never would have crossed had I known how much he likes to toy with his prey.

He should just fire me and be done with it. Instead, he decides to make me his personal slave. Oh right, I think they’re calling it personal “assistant” these days.

It’s torture, all of it—his bad attitude, his ruggedly chiseled face, his desire to grind me into dust.

Every one of our friction-filled battles burns hotter than the last.

A girl can only hold out for so long. Soon, I’m bound to go up in flames.

My objective? Survive the heat long enough to send home a paycheck.

My real objective? Stop having X-rated fantasies about my coldhearted boss.


review

Coldhearted Boss left me with lukewarm feelings.

Why?

The beginning did not grab me
The heroine Taylor leads a tough life. She is poor, supports her family, has a deadbeat job and needs money. One night, she is sitting in a bar and drowning in her sorrows, when she notices the hero Ethan noticing her. She thinks he wants a one night stand. She’s interested even though she’s never had one. Turns out, he wasn’t looking for a one night stand, and was just worried after seeing her. But, then she kisses him and they’re about to have a one night stand when she decides to steal his wallet instead. After stealing it, she changes her mind in the last minute and leaves the wallet with the bartender who steals the money, and returns an empty wallet to Ethan who thinks that it was Taylor who did it.

I found this whole scenario to be bizarre.

I did not feel the chemistry
When the hero joins her in the washroom to check if she’s fine (That was just ridiculous, by the way. Who even does that?) the first night they meet, the heroine decides to distract herself from her problems by impulsively seducing him. The moment the hero joined her, I found myself looking forward the chemistry and the sparks. But I did not feel any of it. I did not find the chemistry convincing for the rest of the book, too.

Not funny
The rom-com did not make me laugh. R S Grey’s books usually make me laugh. This one did not. The part where Taylor tries to look like a man to get a job did not amuse me as I thought it would.

Heroine was all high and mighty
I don’t like heroines who are in the wrong but still act all high and mighty. Taylor, instead of trying to misunderstandings and make things better with Ethan, instead goes on butting heads with him. Okay, you might have decided to not steal his money in the end, but you did steal his wallet! I felt like we were supposed to feel sorry for her but she just annoyed me more times than not.

What’s with all the misunderstandings?
At one point, these two start to live in the same tent and still continue to harbor all kinds of misunderstandings and miscommunicate with each other. That annoyed me to no end!

The romance wasn’t developed
These two feel hatred and attraction towards each other for no proper reason for a long time, until Ethan out of nowhere realizes he loves her and the have sex and then she shares all her problems with her and then everything is all sunshine. Meh.

Dejavu
My favorite R. S. Grey book is “Arrogant Devil”. I was reminded of that book a lot while reading this one. I felt that this was a weaker version of that book.

This is not the first book by the author which unimpressed me, and it probably won’t be the last. But I always look forward to her books because they always make me laugh. And that’s probably another reason I didn’t like this book because I felt she just wasn’t in her element here. I’m hoping that she will find her groove back with her next release!


ratings

★★★☆☆

 

TOP TEN TUESDAY : FIRST 10 BOOKS I REVIEWED FOR MY BLOG

Happy Tuesday, people! Top Ten Tuesday is hosted over at That Artsy Reader Girl. And the topic this week is the first 10 books I reviewed. I’ve never really reviewed seriously before starting this blog. So here are the first 10 books I reviewed for this blog –

ttt

Transcend

The first of a duology with a reincarnation twist. There were 3 primary characters who all made my heart all achy.

My Rating : ★★★★★

 (Goodreads)

 

– – – – – – – – – – –

Not So Nice Guy

A friends-to-lovers romance with enough fluff and sweetness to give you diabetes. If you’re in mood for a light and cute romance, this is it for you.

My rating: ★★★☆☆

(Goodreads)

 

– – – – – – – – – – –

The Simple Wild

An atmospheric book that made me feel part of the world. At the center of it is a girl’s journey of self-discovery and the theme of family.

My rating: ★★★★★

(Goodreads)

 

– – – – – – – – – – –

Magic Triumphs (Kate Daniels #10)

The finale to my favorite Urban Fantasy series. Kate Daniels remains at the top of my list of favorite badass heroines.

My Rating: ★★★★☆

(Goodreads)

 

 

– – – – – – – – – – –

 

Epoch (Transcend #2)

An emotional conclusion to the beautiful story we saw start in Transcend. The 3 characters in this book are very close to my heart.
Interesting fact – The covers photos of both the books actually have a role to play in the book.

My Rating: ★★★★☆

(Goodreads)

 

– – – – – – – – – – –

Letters to the Lost

A heavy read on two characters who are dealing with grief in different ways and connect through letters left on a graveyard. I feel that the depth of this book was plagued by some cliches. The romance was minimal too. But it’s got a beautiful message about how first impressions can be wrong.

My Rating: ★★★☆☆

(Goodreads)

– – – – – – – – – – –

Good Luck With That

A beautiful read about friendship, addiction, self harm, obesity, mental illness and the importance of self-love.

It is not an easy read. But it has some meaningful messages that I feel we all need in our lives.

My Rating: ★★★★☆

(Goodreads)

 

– – – – – – – – – – –

Josh & Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating

One of my all-time favorite friends-to-lovers romances. It’s got an amazingly quirky heroine who is not afraid to be herself. It’s also got a Korean hero. *Swoon*

Worth a read if you like friends-to-lovers trope.

My Rating: ★★★★☆

(Goodreads)

– – – – – – – – – – –

The Girl Made of Clay

A woman who has always had to look after herself is now now has an added responsibility to look after her estranged musician father after he is injured. Things are not all good with her pilot husband flying away frequently too. The father-daughter relationship was my favorite part of this book.

My Rating: ★★★☆☆

(Goodreads)

– – – – – – – – – – –

Sadie

Perhaps my favorite crime-suspense-mystery of last year. A very difficult read about a teenager on the run to find the man behind her younger sister’s death.

My Rating: ★★★★★

(Goodreads)

 


It was great revisiting the books I reviewed at the beginning of my blogging journey! ^_^

BOOK REVIEW : MAKE ME BAD

As Clifton Cove’s resident “king”, he thinks he’s entitled to anyone and anything.

The trouble is, I’ve spent my whole life following the rules and playing it safe. I know what it feels like to be the good girl. I’m the police chief’s daughter and a librarian—for adorable children, no less. My wardrobe consists of colorful sundresses and baggy jeans. I might as well have a Post-it stuck to my forehead that reads: Yup, she’s a virgin.

An all-nighter with a fictional hunk is about as exciting as my life gets, until one day, fate decides to take pity on me and shove me straight into the path of Mr. Off-Limits himself.

Oof.

Just as I suspected, every inch of him promises to be my demise. Up close, he’s tall, menacing, dangerously handsome—the type of man who’s never spent a single moment worrying about the opinions of others. A well-behaved girl would do as she’s told and avoid him at all costs, but I’m overdue for a little rebellion.
No more Friday nights sprawled out on the couch in my comfiest pajamas. No more wishing I had the courage to misbehave.
Everyone thinks Ben is going to ruin me.
They think he’ll chew me up and spit me out.

Well, Ben…go ahead.
Tempt me. Taunt me.
Make me bad.


My favorite kind of romance – slow burn! And burn it did.

Ben and Madison were just too cute. Their growing friendship, flirting, banter, and just that overall chemistry they had going was simply irresistible. I adored Madison. She is my favorite kind of sweet, bubbly, down-to-earth heroine. And Ben was my favorite kind of ‘not-so-nice-guy’. Get my not-so-subtle-reference? You won’t if you aren’t a R.S. Grey fan like me!

I loved the forbidden aspect to Ben and Madison’s romance, with them coming from two different corners of the town, with her father and brother bearing disdain towards anything to do with Ben and his riches. But what I loved the most was the slow and simmering chemistry and tension between the two. The jealousy, the ache, the playing with fire – it was exactly everything I want in my romance reads!

This book might not have been perfect, but it was perfect for my taste. Five fluttering stars from me!


★★★★★


 

BOOK REVIEW : HOTSHOT DOC

Dr. Russell has a bad reputation around our hospital. The scrub techs say he’s cold-blooded, the nurses say he’s too cocky for his own good, and the residents say he’s the best surgeon in the world—really, just a swell guy!—on the off chance he’s within earshot.

I try to avoid him and his temper at all costs. It’s just as easy to admire his sexy, grip-it-while-he’s ravishing-you hair and chiseled jaw from a healthy distance, preferably from the other end of the hallway half-hidden behind a plant.

Unfortunately, my plan crumbles when my trusty ol’ boss decides to swap his white coat for a Hawaiian shirt. His retirement leaves me with two terrible options: switch specialties and spend months retraining, or take an open position as Dr. Russell’s surgical assistant.

That means I have to stand near him in the OR for hours on end and anticipate his every need without letting his biting words and bad attitude intimidate me. Oh, and as if that’s not difficult enough, my silly crush on him—the one I’ve tried to stomp on until it disappears—might just be reciprocated.

It’s fine.
I’m fine.

I take my job seriously. There will be no smoldering bedroom eyes across the operating table, no angry almost-kisses in the storage closet. (Well, no more of those.)

What’s the phrase? An apple a day keeps the doctor away?
Maybe I should go for a whole damn bushel.


I’d expected more from R. S. Grey. Hotshot Doc promised everything that I normally enjoy –  workplace romance and enemies-to-lovers trope. But it failed to live up to its promise.

I’ll start with the negatives. For one, I’d expected a more layered exploration of Matt’s character. We are told at the beginning that he is an asshole of epic proportions. And then he just suddenly starts being nice to Bailey. I was hoping for a slower transformation of his character.

There was one part that really irked me. Matt’s brother happens to meet Bailey at a club and  he finds out that she’s Matt’s surgical assistant during a conversation with him. And apparently, based on a small conversation, without ever even seeing Matt and Bailey interact, the brother decides that Matt has a thing for Bailey. And that’s all dandy and fine. God knows I’ve teased my friends about their presumed crushes. But the brother doesn’t stop there. He continues texting with Bailey and even goes on to invite her to a family wedding. Why? Just to see his brother’s reaction! All this based on one conversation with Matt?!

I think I’m at that stage of my life where – a couple of interactions between the main couple of a romance where the heroine happens to be the first one to challenge the hero is enough to soften him up – just doesn’t do it for me anymore. It was just too rushed for me.

Now, don’t think that I didn’t find Matt and Bailey sweet together. They had their cute and funny moments. But they could just not engage me. I think that’s the reason I am feeling even more annoyed about the romance feeling too rushed.

There was so much to like about the book. Matt is like the amalgamation of McDreamy and pre-accident Dr. Strange. Ain’t that the perfect idea for a hero? And a heroine raising her sister all by herself after her parents’ untimely death? Who would say no to that? Even that conflict at the end was compelling, but only for a couple that’s been together for a year, or even a few months – not a couple as new as Matt and Bailey.  It wasn’t even a bad book by any stretch. But I’ve come to expect so much better from R. S. Grey. So when I complain about this book, I do it because it had so much potential! I wouldn’t mind a do-over of this one for sure.


My Rating: ★★★☆☆

Book Review: Not So Nice Guy by R S Grey

Okay. I like a nice rom-com book like any other person. I mean, what’s life without a little fluff? But too much of anything is not to my liking either.

Not So Nice Guy was a like a candy that I enjoy while eating but forget about it the moment after.

Ian and Sam are colleagues and best friends who know everything each other. There was attraction from the first meeting but the timing was wrong because of them never being single at the same time, for a long time. Then there were misunderstandings that each of them were not the other’s type. I found that to be very relatable and was sold on that.

But the instance that forces Ian to decide to act on his feelings felt like a cop-out to me. And the way they went ahead with it felt too ………mundane? I wished for more from their courting phase. But it was still entertaining. Until a mistake by Sam makes Ian decide on an entirely preposterous solution. It took me some time to get over how ridiculous that plot point was.

I still enjoyed the book. A lot. The one liners were funny. And I liked Sam a lot. She’s a bit like me. Clumsy, awkward, lazy, anti-change. I loved her quirks. And I could see how anyone would fall for her. But again, some of her antics felt over the top to me.

Ian was great too. A nice dependable guy. But, a tad bit boring, might I say?

I’m a big fan of friends-to-lovers trope but I need more of a proper plot for me to be engaged, you know?

Anyways, I liked the book. It was funny. Made me laugh. But am I gonna read this again? I don’t think so.

My rating: ★★★☆☆