Review: Pacifica by Kristen Simmons

When was the last time you finished a book and immediately sat down and wrote out a list of people who MUST read this book? When I finished this, that’s exactly what I did. The first, my kids, then my homeschool co-op teens, then some moms of those teens, then a few scattered friends who I know would get a kick out of this. And then I pretty much went on IG and FB and shouted it from the rooftops there. THIS BOOK IS EVERYTHING!!! Thought provoking and exciting and I can’t wait for everyone to read this.

When I first got Pacifica, I almost skipped the author’s note and went right to the story. I’m so glad I didn’t. The author’s note is where the magic begins. It’s where the background story comes from. It’s the first time your heart is squeezed. And it’s definitely not the last.

When you read dystopians, part of you thinks, “This could never happen. We won’t let it happen.” But when I was reading this book, I kept thinking, “Crap. This could totally happen. And that would be horrific.” Basically climate change and the affects it has on our planet. But that’s not the hardest part of this story. The people, and what’s happening right under their noses, that’s the hardest part. They thought the government knew what was best for them and they just went along with it. But when the story is uncovered, they realize it’s far from anything they’ve ever heard of.

I think the best part of this book was the friendships. I was cheering everyone on. Marin, who was a pirate’s daughter and Ross, the president’s son, set out to rescue Ross’ friend, Adam, the vice president’s son, and it is non stop action. Like stomach twisting action. I couldn’t stop reading, for fear of something happening and I miss it. 🙂 Silly, I know, but I was so invested in these characters, I wouldn’t stop until they found their way back to safety. Now there is a little bit of love brewing on the high seas, but can you blame them? People who’ve gone through traumatic experiences tend to react that way. But it’s teen friendly, so no worries.

I have never read a Kristen Simmons book, but if they’re anything like this one, she’s found a new fan and I’ve found a new autobuy author. This story is now added to my ever growing “You need to read these YA books!” list. And all those people who are on my list above, better act surprised when they all get copies for Christmas.


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Review: Ashes on the Moor by Sarah M. Eden

Oh, my sweets, this book was so lovely!! Positively lovely.

Evangeline lived a life of luxury, but after the death of her parents and brothers, her younger sister and her are at the mercy of relatives. They make all the decisions for them and they must adhere to it. Women don’t have a lot of choices. If she wants to have access to her small inheritance she must do everything she is ordered to do, and do it perfectly. So she is separated from her sister and forced to be a teacher, even though she has zero experience. She is alone and sad but is determined to do a good job, to get in the good graces of her grandfather, so she can be reunited with her sister. I can’t even imagine how strong she must’ve been.

The part I love most about this was Dermot and Ronan. Dermot was this outsider, trying to make a living so he can care for his boy. Ronan was special. Autistic really. And I loved him. I loved the way he changed little by little under the care and love from Evangeline. She was learning right along with her students and she learned what he needed and how he needed it. I got chocked up at how those changes manifested themselves. Back in those days they didn’t know what autism was and I can only imagine what those poor children went through.

While she still struggled daily, her relationship with Dermot helped ease the loneliness. What started out as neighborly, turned into friendship, which then turned into more. And I loved it!! They had their moments of distress but that’s nothing compared to the love that shown through. He helped her grow and was with her as she got stronger and more independent, took control of her life, and that of her sister’s. They were so sweet to watch. We get both of their points of view, so it was lovely to see his thoughts about her. He wasn’t looking for a woman, but life likes to throw us curve balls every now and then.

As I’ve said before, I love these Proper Romance books. I love the sweetness and romance of it all. They tend to stay with me long after I’m done reading them. And Ashes on the Moor is no exception.


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Quick Review: City Under Siege by R.J. Prescott

I’ve read R.J.Prescott’s Hurricane series so I figured I’d read this one as well. Even though I have a hard time reading suspense books, I knew it was going to be good, so I would just have to hold on. And I was right. City under Siege had my heart racing and swooning. Perfect balance of suspense and romance.

Sarah has been put in charge of her family’s company, due to the unexpected loss of her father and brother. But as she’s learning the ropes, some secrets come forward that put her in a very dangerous position. She seeks the help of the SAS to get them straightened out and discovers that help comes in the form of a super hot Tom Harper. And as he’s helping protect her, they both realize that love can creep up in the most unexpected moments.

I think the reason I enjoyed this book so much was the romance aspect. Even in the midst of a very dangerous situation, and all the military actions, a slow burn relationship happens. Those are so fun to read honestly. It’s the last thing that Sarah and Tom want or need, but sometimes you can’t help who you fall for.

I’ll admit I got tripped up a bit with all the military lingo, but I learned quickly and was able to move on and enjoy this book. With all those hot military guys running around, how could I not? I’m holding out hope that they get a story also. The whole dynamic was fun to read.


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Review: Blood and Sand by C.V. Wyk

They were shadow and light. Death in two forms. Together, they killed ten, twenty, forty men before the sun rose.

This is a debut novel?! No freaking way. That blows my mind. For those who like the kick a$$ heroines, this is a book for you. The epicness of Rome and all it’s death and beauty will keep you turning those pages. I couldn’t put it down.

Attia’s entire world was detroyed and was taken into slavery and given to the Champion of Rome, a gladiator named Xanthus. Now that sounds brutal, and it is, but there is way more to their stories, that you’ll have to read yourself. These two slaves want more than the life they have now, but they need to be patient and find the right moment to take control of their destinies.

“Rome has taken everything from me-my family, my home, my freedom. I won’t let it have Xanthus.”

Of course, in the midst of battles that surround them, they realize that they can be of use to each other. They learn each other’s secrets, which then makes them form a bond that will help forge a rebellion right under the Roman’s noses, all the while bringing the legend of Spartacus to life. I was cheering in my seat, when that was brought to light.

Xanthus was the kind of man who asked rather than took, who begged the gods to forgive his sins with whispered breath. He was the man who’d fallen to his knees before her, who had help her close until the night was over, who would give anything to keep her whole.

Of course there’s romance, but that is so secondary. It fits the story perfectly without being forced. Slow burn, in fact. I wasn’t expecting it, if I’m being honest, so it was a pleasant surprise. These two just want to get by to they get their revenge on those who’ve taken their world away. But they realize they’re better together and start to plan.

But then the world turns upside down. And I’m not even exaggerating. Hence the reason I need book two immediately. But I gotta wait til next year!! AHH!!!

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Quick Review: Rough Ride by Kristen Ashley

Loved this novella. It had all the action and emotions as a full length book. I was completely sucked in and never wanted it to end.

This book started out INTENSE. I mean gut twisting, deep breathing kind of intense. Horrific. But there’s always a light at the end of every tunnel, if you can just hold on and keep moving forward. That’s exactly what Rosie did. She made a bad call, but for the best reason, and it about cost her everything. I’m so glad Snapper took it upon himself to keep an eye out and help her.

This was a quick romance that was brewing for a while. I liked that. She wasn’t quick to accept it and I think that was the right thing for her. She had a lot of healing to get through before she could move on to find her happiness.

And of course Chaos isn’t always the calmest of people, so there’s always drama and excitement happening. Which is probably why I’m gonna need the next book pretty darn fast.

This novella is a continuation of the Chaos books and if you like MC books as much as I do, then you’ll definitely want to start from the beginning. Kristen Ashley knows how to write series that you don’t mind getting sucked into. They’re addicting and very exciting.

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Review: The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell

Exciting and magical and characters you can’t help but root for.

What a wild ride!! I decided to listen to this instead of reading it and I wish I read it first, then listened to it. While loved the narrator and how she made the voices come alive, I wasn’t able to highlight all my quotes, like I usually do. So flipping back and forth, if I got tripped up in all the excitement, wasn’t possible. But I will say that this book was very exciting and kept my attention. I wanted to sit in my room and do nothing but listen. The story had me on the edge of my seat.

Time travel and magic…I never knew how much I would love it. It was so fascinated with all the characters. They all had their secrets and personal missions. I had no idea who to trust!

Esta and Harte were super fun to get to know. The banter between these two, was super fun. Esta reminded me of my daughter, with all her sassiness. I really want her to succeed in her mission. And I look forward to what happens to her in the next book.

I had my teen son read this book when I finished. He’s a very reluctant reader, so I was hoping he would enjoy it. Well, I gave it to him one evening and two days later he handed it back and sorta teased that he can’t handle the stress of endings like that. And then he immediately asked for the next one. That’s a sign of a good book right there.

I had no idea this book was a duology, so by the end, my nerves were shot. I was on the edge of my seat hoping and praying for an ending that didn’t have me crying. What a wild last chapter!! I had to shush my kids as they talked around me. Epic. I may even tensed up for a moment. I need the next book!!


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Review: The Smallest Part by Amy Harmon

“Sometimes it’s the smallest part that steals the show.”

Emotional, devastating, healing, and magical. This book will bring all the feels. So go find a quiet place to read and react.

From the prologue, I knew this was going to put my heart through the ringer. I was right. Good grief, did it hurt. So bad. But it was a healing hurt. I was sucked in a felt everything. I won’t tell you too much, you must just go into this blind.

We met Dr. Noah Andelin in The Law of Moses. To be honest, it’s been so long since I read that, that I forgot who he was. But then it clicked and I was super happy to get his story.

This book is about family. Family isn’t always blood. In fact the best type of family is the one you choose. Blood doesn’t matter. Only the heart does. Cora, Noah and Mercedes were the three Musketeers. No matter what happens in life, they will always be there for each other.

Mercedes was the glue to her family. She would do everything and anything for them. Even stepping away from her true love, so her best friend could find happiness. She isn’t a martyr though. She genuinely wants everyone to be happy and is willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish that. I loved her. She was so real to me, that as I’m typing this out, I have tears in my eyes. The sacrifices she made for her family will shock you. But her heart is so big, she can’t help but to help.

I love Noah. He could do anything as long as he knew his best friend was there for him. And let me tell you, life sure tested this. Him and Mercedes were always close, and this book shows that. From a young age, through life’s ups and downs, they were always there. And when life decided to toss them a few curveballs, they stood strong and held on tight. To have a friend like that is inspiring.

“You may not be where you want to be in your life, Mer. But I’m so glad you’re in my life. Your birthday is one of my favorite days, because it means you exist, and I’m so grateful for that.”

I will say no more, except that you just need to read this. I don’t wanna say anything spoilerish, so I’ll leave you with this. The Smallest Part is a story that will break your heart and mend it at the same time.

Love can be found in the craziest of places if you only open your eyes, and heart, to it.


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