Review: Jack of Spades by Joyce Carol Oates

23281515Well, well, well….I asked a friend about this author as I was reading this book. Of course I’ve heard of Joyce Carol Oates, but this is the first I’ve read. I asked him if her writing was always so weird. After finishing the last page, I am completely flummoxed. I am also wondering if her writing is always so…well….weird.

It’s just from the very start this had a feeling of a sort of Stephen King short story feel to it. Then lo and behold, SK is mentioned over and over in the book. Again, it was weird. It reminded me of something Richard Bachman would write. So it got even weirder. As this book was *written* in the voice of a famous author that was using a pseudonym that no one was aware of. The weirdness just got weirder for me.

It’s like once the little seed had been planted the entire book was glaring at me with the whole SK/RB/pseudonym thing….Was this intentional? Yes, i think it was….Intentional I mean, well…..okay… have to read the book to understand what I mean….but I reckon the best way I can explain it is that I don’t think another JCO would read this way…That’s why I really enjoyed this book. It’s amazing that an author could change a writing style so much just to suit a book. I mean, seriously, how often have you read a book and knew that it read just like a XY&Z book? Authors have a certain style to their writing, but throughout this entire book, I kept thinking, she’s writing like this on purpose! Just to weird me out. So now I have to wonder about all of JCO’s other books.

Of course…if it wasn’t intentional, I am soooo going to be disappointed! But never mind….I shall just pretend it was! Hahahaha

I really enjoyed the ending….this is a short, quick read….go on and give it a try….I’m glad I’ve read it…even though….still……weird…..

Until next time…

Urania xx

ARC provided by Edelweiss for an honest review

Buy it now Jack of Spades by Joyce Carol Oates

Cover reveal: The Offer, by Karina Halle

Check out this cover!!!! I fell in love with The Pact, and this is the next book.

The Offer KINDLE


She thinks he’s an arrogant playboy.
He thinks she’s an uptight prude.
But he’s about to make her an offer she can’t refuse.

Nicola Price used to have it all – a great career, the perfect boyfriend, an excessive shoe collection and an apartment in one of San Francisco’s best neighborhoods. But when she gets knocked up and her asshat boyfriend leaves her high and dry, Nicola’s perfectly crafted world comes tumbling down. And stays that way.

Now, Nicola is the proud single mom to a five-year old daughter and living a giant lie. She can barely afford their ghetto apartment and all the men she dates run when they hear she comes with a child. She’s struggling and scared – and nowhere near where she thought she’d be at age thirty-one.

Her saving grace comes in the form of a tall, handsome and wealthy Scotsman Bram McGregor, the older brother of her friend Linden. Bram understands a thing or two about pride, so when tragic circumstances place Nicola at rock bottom, he offers them a place to live in the apartment complex he owns. It’s pretty much the perfect deal, so as long as she doesn’t mind living beside Bram, a man that, despite his generosity, seems to antagonize her at every turn.

But nothing in life is free and as Nicola gets her feet back on the ground, she discovers that the enigmatic playboy may end up costing her more than she thought.

She might just lose her heart.

Those McGregor brothers are nothing but trouble…


Add The Offer to your Goodreads shelf HERE

With her USA Today Bestselling The Artists Trilogy published by Grand Central Publishing, numerous foreign publication deals, and self-publishing success with her Experiment in Terror series, Vancouver-born Karina Halle is a true example of the term “Hybrid Author.” Though her books showcase her love of all things dark, sexy and edgy, she’s a closet romantic at heart and strives to give her characters a HEA…whenever possible.

Karina holds a screenwriting degree from Vancouver Film School and a Bachelor of Journalism from TRU. Her travel writing, music reviews/interviews and photography have appeared in publications such as Consequence of Sound, Mxdwn and GoNomad Travel Guides. She currently lives on an island on the coast of British Columbia where she’s preparing for the zombie apocalypse with her fiancé and rescue pup.


Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

01court How does one put into words all these feelings I have? This book was epic. This book was fantastical. This book was magical. This book was beautiful. There are not enough stars to rate this story.

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.

This book most definitely had the Beauty and the Beast feel, mixed with faeries. It worked perfectly. It had the feel of a Young Adult book, but it was definitely New Adult. Anyone familiar with the fae know that they are not G-rated. But that isn’t what this story was about. Was there love? Oh yes. But this story was about more than that. It was about friendship and loyalty. It was about curses and evil. It was about looking deep inside yourself and finding the courage to stand up and against the evil that’s surrounds you.

Feyre has grown up with a very hard life. She has done so much for her loved ones, but none of them do things for her. When she’s forced to live with Tamlin, she is thrust into a fight that she had no idea was going on. She has to make tough decisions that will forever change her. But she will be strong.

The men in this book were amazing!! Lucien was the BEST!! He’s the best friend and the comic relief. But he will do his job and help anyway he can. Rhysand was a mixed bag of tricks. I loved to hate him. But in the end, I find myself a bit taken with him. The verdict is still out though. Now, Tamlin was perfect. He is a protector of his people and land. He would anything for them, including dying, if only to save those he loves. The connection between him and Feyre was amazing. Swoon worthy actions and words, which made me fall for him.

“You’re exactly how I dreamed you to be, too.”

If you like fairy tales, you will love this book. I am kicking myself for not reading Sarah’s books sooner. But I plan on rectifying this soon. If her first series is half this magical, I will be a very happy muse.

Well done, Sarah!!


Buy A Court of Thorns and Roses

Review: Sweet, by Tammara Webber

01 sweet “Once upon a time, an undeserving boy pulled a little half-drowned, wannabe mermaid out of the ocean. He laid her on the sand, thinking his heart would break if she didn’t wake up. The moment she opened her big dark eyes and looked up at him, his heart wasn’t his anymore…”

He’s the love of her life, but he doesn’t know it.
She’s his one moment of sacrifice in a lifetime of survival.

He was damaged and wild, but resilient.
She’s always been obedient. Now she’s restless.

Home for the summer between college and med school, Pearl Torres Frank knows two things: Boyce Wynn is the embodiment of everything she should run from, and everything she wants to run to. Rebellious and loud. Unconcerned with society’s opinion of him. Passionate. Strong. Dangerous.

And one more trait he hides from everyone but her:

Boyce and Pearl met when she was 5 and him 7. From that moment on, Boyce was her protector, even if she never knew it.

I’m so glad Boyce got his own book. I loved his character in Breakable. He seemed like this rough and tough kid, but deep down, he had more hurt and hardness than you’d even expect. But you could tell, with his subtle interactions with Pearl, in Breakable, that there was more to their relationship than they were telling.

“I was a man who loved this girl from the moment she’d come back to life and saw no one but me.”

I loved the back and forth POVs and all the background history we got, of these two. We see them meet. We see them subtly flirt and then we see then reconnect and give in to feelings that were dormant for so long.

For most of my life, Boyce Wynn’s smile had been three things to me: safety, warmth, and home, even as that same smile made my heart throb with longing for some shadowed unreachable thing.

My favorite part of this story was Boyce’s POV. His feelings and emotions were so real. My heart was breaking for the boy who just wanted to be loved, and never found it until his one act of greatness brings him face to face with his savior.

“I’ll love you straight on through eternity.”


Buy Sweet (Contours of the Heart Book 3)

Review: Broken Juliet by Leisa Rayven

01 bro What an emotional and heart mending conclusion. I loved loved loved Bad Romeo. I was rooting for Cassie and Ethan the entire time. But with so much hurt in the past, can they move one and find forgiveness and move on to the future?

How do you fix a love that’s been broken beyond repair?

For years, Cassie Taylor tried to forget about Ethan Holt. He was the one great love of her life, and when he failed to return her love, a part of her died forever. Or so she thought. Now she and Ethan are sharing a Broadway stage, and he’s determined to win her back. Claiming to be a changed man, he’s finally able to say all the things she needed to hear years ago, but can she believe him? What makes this time different from all his other broken promises?

Ethan knows he can’t change their tumultuous past, but if he’s going to have any chance of being with the woman he loves, he’ll need to convince Cassie that her future belongs with him.

In Bad Romeo, we were totally focused on Ethan and why he was so scared to love and be loved, by Cassie. In Broken Juliet, the focus is on Cassie. Ethan has destroyed her. She is beyond broken. But Ethan has come back and is determined to fix them. He has never stopped loving her. But sometimes love may not be enough.

This is very different from the first book. In Bad Romeo, you were laughing quite often. It was a fun story, with the hurt just under the surface. In Juliet, the hurt was overflowing and there was barely any laughter. My heart was in knots. This was more difficult to get through, but very rewarding at the end.

I also enjoyed the back and forth timelines. You get a glimpse into the workings of their demise. Frankly, it was hard to read. You wanted to reach in and smack Ethan, and them hug him. His abandonment issues were leaking all over and drowning Cassie with him. After three years, she has a lot of hurt that she needs to work through before she’ll even attempt to move on with him. But she’s willing to try, for him.

“You want to hold on to something?” he says. “Hold on to me.”

The chemistry, in this story, was off the charts. The tension was thick. The emotions were all over the place. You wanted them to find their peace, but yet, you did enjoy the suffering and the journey it took them to get to that final place.


Buy Broken Juliet (Bad Romeo)

Check out my Bad Romeo review HERE
Buy Bad Romeo