Review: Space by Penny Reid

Space by Penny Reid
Series: Laws of Physics #2 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: March 11th 2019
Links: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
Source: I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review

One week.
Private cabin.
Famous physicist.
Still an unrepentant slacker.
What’s the worst that could happen?

Mona’s meticulously planned allotment of relaxation is thrown into chaos by the unscheduled appearance of her older brother’s band of friends, including the one person she’d hoped to never face again. Abram still makes her feel entirely too much, which is one of the reasons she disappeared after their one week together. But now, trapped on a mountain of snow and things unspoken, Mona will have to find a way to coexist with Abram, chaos and all.

What can I say about this book that doesn’t spoil besides that I wholeheartedly and completely loved it? I had so many questions when I got to the end of Motion. I was hoping that Space would provide the answers, and Penny Reid did not let me down. In Space, the truth is finally revealed, and we also get the answers to the mystery that was Abram in Elements of Chemistry.

It has been two and a half years since the fallout that ended book 1. Mona left Abram, Lisa replaced Mona, and both Mona and Abram are left wrecked from their one week together. Both move on with their lives, Mona with her academics and Abram with his music. It’s only when Mona’s brother, who is also Abram’s best friend, unknowingly invites the two of them to a cabin in the mountains with their friends that they come face to face for the first time in years – and Abram is out for revenge. But can he hurt the girl that hurt him like no other – but also the one girl his heart has never been able to let go?

I stared at her, and stared at her, and stared at her. I stared at her and I worked to keep my balance, because the floor and the earth moved beneath my feet. The cavern opened and stretched in front of me. I stared at her and I was afraid, because I knew.
My whole life, from this point forward, I would be a fool for Mona DaVinci.

As soon as I picked this book up, I couldn’t put it down. I loved Space even more than Motion – it was everything I wanted and more in the second installment of the Laws if Physics series. Mona and Abram have never been more real than they are in Space, and despite all that’s between them, this is a couple you know is meant to be together. You can feel the pain and anguish the two of them experience during their time apart, but also the hope and love that never disappeared when they reunite. I love that we get Abram’s POV in Space. I felt so much more connected with his character through his POV, and it doesn’t hurt that his POV just screams of his longing for Mona. Mona is able to be herself in all her awkward glory for the first time in front of Abram, and how can you not fall for her real self, who is caring, intelligent, dorky, and flawed? I am DYING to get my hands on the final book now – I absolutely need to know how Mona and Abram’s story concludes.

“I need someone to listen to my heart.” His face inched closer. “And it only wants to beat for you.”


lacey


Reading Order: Laws of Physics series

  

#1 ~ Motion: ReviewEbook • Paperback • Goodreads
#2 ~ Space: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#3 ~ Time: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads (April 15, 2019)

The Laws of Physics series is a spinoff of the Elements of Chemistry series!
You don’t have to read one to read the other, however.

Reading Order: Elements of Chemistry series

Attraction by Penny Reid Heat by Penny Reid Capture by Penny Reid Elements of Chemistry by Penny Reid

#1 ~ Attraction: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#2 ~ Heat: My Review • EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#3 ~ Capture: My Review • EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#1-3 ~ Elements of Chemistry Bundle: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads


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Release Day Review: Soul in Darkness by Wendy Higgins

Soul in Darkness by Wendy Higgins
Series: Standalone
Publication Date: February 12th 2019
Links: Ebook • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review

People travel from afar to the small isle in the Aegean Sea hoping for a single glimpse of Princess Psyche. Their adoration for the mortal woman is so all-consuming that citizens begin to shower her with the very gifts and offerings they once left at the alter of Venus, goddess of love and beauty.

But gods are known for their jealousy.

Cupid, the god of love, takes pleasure in causing strife and mischief in the lives of humans. He uses love as a weapon, humoring in the weakness of people at the whims of their feelings. When his mother Venus approaches him about punishing the human girl who dares to steal her offerings and affections from the people, Cupid gladly accepts.

Psyche’s punishment is to be given to a mysterious creature who only comes to her in the dark of night under the pact that she will never lay eyes on him. She is terrified of this stranger, who the oracle described as a serpent. Her mate, however, is masterful in his dealings with his bride. He takes his time, morphing her fears into different sensations completely.

Based on the Roman/Greek mythology of Cupid and Psyche from Lucius Apuleius, New York Times bestseller Wendy Higgins brings the tale to life, weaving layers that show exactly how a sacrificial lamb can be enchanted by an unseen monster.

Y’all, I loved this book something fierce. It is SO, so good, and definitely up there as one of my favorite reads of the year. I love mythology retellings, especially Greek/Roman ones, and this Cupid/Psyche retelling was brilliant and beautifully written. I fell so hard for the story and felt for the struggle Psyche faces with her unknown husband. It’s a pure, romantic read I highly recommend!

“It has been decided. Hers will be a funeral wedding to a dar-deeded winged serpent. Many call him a monster. Your dear Psyche will call him Husband.”

Psyche is the princess of her small island and is considered to be the most beautiful woman to exist. Unfortunately, this angers Venus, the goddess of love and beauty, as her worshippers have turned to worship Psyche instead. To appease Venus and to save her people, Psyche is forced to marry a monster. The rules are simple: the monster will be her husband, she will spend her nights with him, and she must never lay eyes on him or touch him.

“You can have my body, creature of the night, but you will never have my soul.”

I knew the basics of Psyche and Cupid going into this book, so I appreciated even more the author’s unique take on that story. Wendy transports you to this wondrous, ethereal world of gods and monsters, and she makes you fall in love with Psyche and her mysterious husband. Psyche may have been forced into her marriage, but she doesn’t take it lying down. She uses the little power she has to make a life for herself in the new house she lives in with her husband, and takes any bit of independence he gives her. The husband is not so much a monster after all. He is kind, thoughtful, generous – the kind of husband Psyche never dreamed he would be. But who exactly is he? And why was she chosen to be his bride? There’s more at play than what she knows, and slowly, as she starts to fall for her mysterious husband, the truth starts to unravel.

The chemistry between Psyche and Cupid is intense. I was afraid going in that it would lie more on the YA side of steam, with fade-to-black moments, but rest assured this is not the case in Soul in Darkness! I lived for the sexy moments between these two fascinating characters. They both are placed in impossible situations but manage to make something beautiful and lasting out of it.

“Your beauty will never fade in my eyes, Psyche.” His words and voice rolled over me, sweet and heady. “My wife. My princess. The one who shot me with her love.”

I’m incredibly happy with this retelling and I hope Wendy Higgins decides to do more in the future. Her writing captivates you and makes you believe in the love between her characters. I swooned for Cupid and cheered for Psyche – my heart ached at how romantic their love story was. If you love any type of retelling, you absolutely must read Soul in Darkness!


lacey

Quotes are taken from the arc and are subject to change in the final version.


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Release Day Review: Motion by Penny Reid

Motion by Penny Reid
Series: Laws of Physics #1 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: February 11th 2019
Links: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
Source: I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review

One week.
Home alone.
Girl genius.
Unrepentant slacker.
Big lie.
What’s the worst that could happen?

Mona is a smart girl and figured everything out a long time ago. She had to. She didn’t have a choice. When your parents are uber-celebrities and you graduate from high school at fifteen, finish college at eighteen, and start your PhD program at nineteen, you don’t have time for distractions outside of your foci. Even fun is scheduled. Which is why Abram, her brother’s best friend, is such an irritant.

Abram is a talented guy, a supremely gifted musician, and has absolutely nothing figured out, nor does he seem to care. He does what he feels, when he feels, and—in Mona’s opinion—he makes her feel entirely too much.

Elements of Chemistry is one of my FAVORITE new adult romances, so to say I was excited for Penny Reid’s next NA trilogy would be an understatement. We met Abram previously in Capture, part 3 of EoC, and I have to admit I was fascinated with him. He carried so much depth and emotion that I had to know his story, and now we finally have it! At least the first part of it. Motion is a fantastic beginning to Mona and Abram’s slow (slooow) burn romance and I’m unashamedly greedy for more of them already. If you’re in the mood for something different, with unique, weird, unforgettable characters, you need to read this book (and basically all of Penny’s books).

Mona is not your average girl. She’s wicked smart and at nineteen, has already started her PhD program. But for being such a smart girl, she can’t rope her way out of the big mess her estranged, identical twin sister throws her into. Lisa is in jail but she needs Mona to pretend to be her until she gets out so that their parents don’t find out and cut her off. And not only that, Mona needs to convince Abram, their brother’s best friend, that she is her wild sister, someone who is Mona’s complete opposite. Things become even more complicated when Mona realizes she way, wayyy attracted to Abram.

Did he move? Or were we always standing this close? And why wasn’t I cringing away? Goodness, his face would be nice to sit on.
AAHHHH!

Mona as Lisa and Abram are stuck in a house together for a week, and this forced proximity allows these two to get to know one another on a deeper level. Even when Mona tries her hardest to be Lisa, little Mona-isms still manage to reach the surface, which is what Abram falls for. And once Mona knows there’s more than meets the eye with this supposed slacker, she starts to develop feelings for him too. The blazing chemistry that’s always between them certainly doesn’t hurt. But with Mona lying about who she is, can anything real last between them when the truth comes out?

“You have to tell me what you want,” he whispered gruffly. “If you don’t want me, tell me. But you have to know, you must know, I only want to make you happy.”

I love Penny Reid’s kind of humor, which is intelligent yet awkward. This is the very definition of Mona, in fact. At first, she comes across as very standoff-ish and doesn’t seem to connect with anyone. But as we get to know her, her love for Moby Dick, and her ridiculous yet hilarious phrases, her quirks become endearing and you just want to give this girl a hug. Abram himself is just SWOON. How can you not love a guy who reads and loves romance, and Lisa Kleypas books at that?

As you may know, Motion ends of a cliffhanger. As brutal as it is, it is the kind of cliffhanger that you expect, and it’s juicy enough that you want the next book ASAP. Luckily, we don’t need to wait too long for Space, as it’s only a month away. I can’t wait to dive deeper into these characters with the next installment – March needs to get here sooner!


lacey


Reading Order: Laws of Physics series

  

#1 ~ Motion: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#2 ~ Space: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads (March 11, 2019)
#3 ~ Time: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads (April 15, 2019)

The Laws of Physics series is a spinoff of the Elements of Chemistry series!
You don’t have to read one to read the other, however.

Reading Order: Elements of Chemistry series

Attraction by Penny Reid Heat by Penny Reid Capture by Penny ReidElements of Chemistry by Penny Reid

#1 ~ Attraction: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#2 ~ Heat: My Review • EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#3 ~ Capture: My Review • EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#1-3 ~ Elements of Chemistry Bundle: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads


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Blog Tour // Review + Excerpt: The Kiss Thief by L.J. Shen

The Kiss Thief by L.J. Shen
Series: Standalone
Publication Date: January 7th 2019
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From USA Today and Washington Post bestselling author L.J. Shen comes an enemies-to-lovers romance with a twist…

They say your first kiss should be earned.

Mine was stolen by a devil in a masquerade mask under the black Chicago sky.

They say the vows you take on your wedding day are sacred.

Mine were broken before we left church.

They say your heart only beats for one man.

Mine split and bled for two rivals who fought for it until the bitter end.

I was promised to Angelo Bandini, the heir to one of the most powerful families in the Chicago Outfit.

Then taken by Senator Wolfe Keaton, who held my father’s sins over his head to force me into marriage.

They say that all great love stories have a happy ending.

I, Francesca Rossi, found myself erasing and rewriting mine until the very last chapter.

One kiss.
Two men.
Three lives.
Entwined together.

And somewhere between these two men, I had to find my forever.

Buy Links:
Amazon US • Amazon UKAmazon CAAmazon AU
PaperbackAudible

review button

The Kiss Thief is my first read of 2019 and it’s already going on my favorites list for the year! TKT is deliciously hot, intense, and angsty, which is exactly what I expect from L.J. Shen. She blew me away with this arranged marriage romance, which a filthy, crude older hero and a younger heroine who finds independence and empowerment within herself. The story reminded me a bit of Kiss an Angel by Susan Elizabeth Phillips (one of my all time favorite romances) in terms of the forced marriage and the hero’s pride, but it’s different from it as well. There’s a bit of mafia, politics, and even gardening in this fantastic read, which I highly recommend everyone try. TKT had me hooked and I never wanted it to let me go.

I sucked in a breath, realizing for the first time what we were.
A story of a Nemesis and a Villain with no chance at a happy ending.
Where the prince doesn’t save the princess.
He tortures her.
And the beauty doesn’t sleep.
She’s stuck.
In a nightmare.

Nineteen-year-old Francesca Rossi is the beloved daughter of a powerful mafia man of The Outfit, and she’s always known how her future would be spelled out: to marry Angelo Bandini, the love of her life and heir to another powerful mafia family. But the future that she’s always thought was set in stone is turned upside down when her father arranges her instead to marry Senator Wolfe Keaton, a powerful political man who holds all the cards. Francesca refuses to make things easy for her fiancé, as she knows Angelo is the one meant for her… even when Wolfe is the one who awakens her mind and body.

Wolfe Keaton was a kiss thief, but it wasn’t only a kiss that he stole. He stole my heart, too. Ripped it from my chest and put it in his pocket.

Wolfe has an agenda: to take down The Outfit, starting with Francesca’s father. He’s determined to exact his revenge, and that includes taking Francesca as his wife and collateral damage. He expects a good, subservient girl of a wife, but instead gets a woman who grows and learns to stand up for herself and doesn’t take his shit lying down. Wolfe is cruel and ruthless at times, but it’s in these moments we get to see Francesca shine with her strength and independence. And it’s obvious that no one brings him to his knees like Francesca.

“It is you that I love. It is you whom I want. It is you whom makes living a spectacular thing I want to experience, rather than participate in reluctantly, every day.”

I always say I hate the asshole heroes, but man, there is just something about L.J. Shen’s heroes that I cannot resist. Maybe it’s their passion. Maybe it’s their growing obsession for their heroines. It most definitely has to do with the epic groveling Leigh makes her heroes do to win the heroines’ hearts. I adored Francesca, and while it took me a bit to warm up to Wolfe (when I say he’s a jerk, I mean he’s a JERK), I eventually fell in love with him as well. I was addicted to their romance, their push and pull, their passion. If you’re worried about the love triangle aspect, you don’t need to. It is very clear who the hero is (if my review hasn’t already said it). And if you love angst, age gaps, and arranged marriages, you definitely need TKT in your life.


lacey

Quotes are taken from the arc and are subject to change in the final version.

Now here’s an excerpt from The Kiss Thief! ❤

excerpt button

“Are you sure you’re on my card?” I turned to the man with a polite yet distant smile. I was still disoriented from the exchange with Angelo when the stranger pulled me against his hard body and pressed a possessive hand lower than socially acceptable on my back, a second from groping my butt.

“Answer me,” I hissed.

“My bid on your card was the highest,” he replied dryly.

“The bids are undisclosed. You don’t know how much other people have paid,” I kept my lips pursed to keep myself from yelling.

“I know it’s nowhere near the realm of what this dance is worth.”

Un-freaking-believable.

We began to waltz around the room as other couples were not only spinning and mingling but also stealing envious glances at us. Naked, raw ogles that told me that whomever the blonde he’d come to the masquerade with was, she wasn’t his wife. And that I might have been all the rage in The Outfit, but the rude man was in high demand, too.

I was stiff and cold in his arms, but he didn’t seem to notice—or mind. He knew how to waltz better than most men, but he was technical, and lacked warmth and Angelo’s playfulness.

“Nemesis.” He took me by surprise, his rapacious gaze stripping me bare. “Distributing glee and dealing misery. Seems at odds with the submissive girl who entertained Bishop and his horsey wife at the table.”

I choked on my own saliva. Did he just call the governor’s wife horsey? And me submissive? I looked away, ignoring the addictive scent of his cologne, and the way his marble body felt against mine.

“Nemesis is my spirit animal. She was the one to lure Narcissus to a pool where he saw his own reflection and died of vanity. Pride is a terrible illness.” I flashed him a taunting smirk.

“Some of us could use catching it.” He bared his straight white teeth.

“Arrogance is a disease. Compassion is the cure. Most gods didn’t like Nemesis, but that’s because she had a backbone.”

“Do you?” He arched a dark eyebrow.

“Do I…?” I blinked, the courteous grin on my face crumpling. He was even ruder when we were alone.

“Have a backbone,” he provided. He stared at me so boldly and intimately, it felt like he breathed fire into my soul. I wanted to step out of his touch and jump into a pool full of ice.

“Of course, I do,” I responded, my spine stiffening. “What’s with the manners? Were you raised by wild coyotes?”

“Give me an example,” he said, ignoring my quip. I was beginning to draw away from him, but he jerked me back into his arms. The glitzy ballroom distorted into a backdrop, and even though I was starting to notice that the man behind the demi-mask was unusually beautiful, the ugliness of his behavior was the only thing that stood out.

I am a warrior and a lady…and a sane person who can deal with this horrid man.

“I really like Angelo Bandini.” I dropped my voice, slicing my gaze from his eyes and toward the table where Angelo’s family had been seated. My father was sitting a few seats away, staring at us coldly, surrounded by Made Men who chatted away.

“And see, in my family, we have a tradition dating back ten generations. Prior to her wedding, a Rossi bride is to open a wooden chest—carved and made by a witch who lived in my ancestors’ Italian village—and read three notes written to her by the last Rossi girl to marry. It’s kind of a good luck charm mixed with a talisman and a bit of fortunetelling. I stole the chest tonight and opened one of the notes, all so I could rush fate. It said that tonight I was going to be kissed by the love of my life, and well…” I drew my lower lip into my mouth and sucked it, peering under my eyelashes at Angelo’s empty seat. The man stared at me stoically, as though I was a foreign film he couldn’t understand. “I’m going to kiss him tonight.”

“That’s your backbone?”

“When I have an ambition, I go for it.”

A conceited frown crinkled his mask, as if to say I was a complete and utter moron. I looked him straight in the eye. My father taught me that the best way to deal with men like him was to confront, not run. Because, this man? He’d chase.

about the author button

L.J. Shen is an International #1 best-selling author of Contemporary Romance and New Adult novels. She lives in Northern California with her husband, young son and chubby cat.

Before she’d settled down, L.J. (who thinks referring to herself in the third person is really silly, by the way) traveled the world, and collected friends from all across the globe. Friends who’d be happy to report that she is a rubbish companion, always forgets peoples’ birthdays and never sends Christmas cards.

She enjoys the simple things in life, like spending time with her family and friends, reading, HBO, Netflix and internet-stalking Stephen James. She reads between three to five books a week and firmly believes Crocs shoes and mullets should be outlawed.

Website • Twitter • Facebook • InstragramGoodreads


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Review: The Chase by Elle Kennedy

The Chase by Elle Kennedy
Series: Briar U #1 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: August 6th 2018
Links: Ebook • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review

Everyone says opposites attract. And they must be right, because there’s no logical reason why I’m so drawn to Colin Fitzgerald. I don’t usually go for tattoo-covered, video-gaming, hockey-playing nerd-jocks who think I’m flighty and superficial. His narrow view of me is the first strike against him. It doesn’t help that he’s buddy-buddy with my brother.

And that his best friend has a crush on me.

And that I just moved in with them.

Oh, did I not mention we’re roommates?

I suppose it doesn’t matter. Fitzy has made it clear he’s not interested in me, even though the sparks between us are liable to burn our house down. I’m not the kind of girl who chases after a man, though, and I’m not about to start. I’ve got my hands full dealing with a new school, a sleazy professor, and an uncertain future. So if my sexy brooding roomie wises up and realizes what he’s missing?

He knows where to find me.

OHHH MY GOD. I loooved The Chase!! Elle Kennedy’s Off-Campus series is one of my favorite college/new adult/sports romance series ever, so the anticipation for its spinoff series was REAL. I’m so happy to say that Elle Kennedy did not disappoint with The Chase (though does she ever!?). I adored Summer and Fitzy’s story. I literally had a smile on my face the whole time I was reading them. And these new hockey boys Elle introduced had me cracking up like crazy – though I did love seeing some old, beloved characters too 😉 If you loved the Off-Campus series, you definitely need this spin-off series in your life!

I want a man with clear intentions. A man who makes an effort and is excited to spend time with me. A man who actually wants to want me.
If he has to fight himself to be with me, then chances are he’d never fight for me if it came down to it.
What woman would ever choose somebody like that?

I adore a good opposites-attract romance, and you can’t get more opposite than with Summer and Fitzy. Summer is your privileged, dramatic, outgoing, fashion-loving girl, while Fitzy is a drama-hating, introverted, game-playing/-making nerd and hockey player. One’s all light and the other is pretty gloomy. But despite their differences, these two have wanted each other from the very start – but they get off to a rough start when Summer overhears Fitzy judging Summer as an airhead. And… they also become roommates (awkward). Can he make her believe that he sees her for who she really is: his sunshine?

… I never felt truly alive until Summer.
I don’t want to be with a woman who hides in the shadows with me, because that enables me to keep hiding. And that’s what I’ve done for years—hidden pieces of myself from my parents, my friends, chicks, the world. I want someone who encourages me to step out of my comfort zone, and Summer is that someone.

I had the BEST time reading The Chase. It’s funny, smart, relatable, sexy – everything I wanted in a college sports romance and more. Do I believe that the Briar U series has the potential to live up to its predecessor? Absolutely. I fell in love with Fitzy and Summer, their sweet, hilarious, slightly angsty romance, and can’t wait to read more of the new characters. I am dying to get my hands on the next book. I can’t get enough of Elle Kennedy’s fantastic storytelling!


lacey

Quotes are taken from the arc and are subject to change in the final version.


Reading Order: Briar U series

#1 ~ The Chase: Ebook • Goodreads
#2 ~ The Risk: EbookGoodreads (Feb. 18, 2019)

Reading Order: Off-Campus series

The Deal by Elle Kennedy The Mistake by Elle Kennedy The Score by Elle Kennedy 

#1 ~ The Deal: My Review • EbookPaperback • Audible • Goodreads
#2 ~ The Mistake: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#3 ~ The Score: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#4 ~ The Goal: My Review • Ebook • PaperbackAudible • Goodreads


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