A Book (not-)so Dark and Lovely | ARC Review: A Curse so Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

Looking for a thriller recommendation? | ARC Review: The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley

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Looking for a thriller recommendation? | ARC Review: The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley
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SYNOPSIS

Fall in love, break the curse. 

It once seemed so easy to Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall. Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over, he knew he could be saved if a girl fell for him. But that was before he learned that at the end of each autumn, he would turn into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. That was before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper Lacy. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother barely holding their family together while constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, she learned to be tough enough to survive. But when she tries to save someone else on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s instead somehow sucked into Rhen’s cursed world.

Break the curse, save the kingdom. 

A prince? A monster? A curse? Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. But as she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what’s at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.

Should You read A Curse so Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer?

I am always surprised to discover that when the world seems darkest, there exists the greatest opportunity for light.

― Brigid Kemmerer, A Curse So Dark and Lonely

Retellings are such a popular genre in the bookish industry right now that if you love reading them, you will be spoilt for choice. I love retellings because I see badass, unsure but still fierce(badass) heroines as the protagonists, even better if they’re a person of color and/or a neurodiverse rep or an LGBTQ+ rep..In A Curse so dark and Lonely, I saw a badass heroine named Harper Lacy, who has cerebral palsy and she OWNS the show..well, the story.

This book is described as a modern Beauty and Beast retelling minus the awesome library. WHY ? *cries* I wanted another fantasy library to dream about. Anyway…Harper and Prince Rhen are the protagonists and the story is told from both of their POVs. This is my first Brigid Kemmerer novel and I was amazed by the way she took “a tale as old as time” that portrays an abusive relationship and turned it into something beautiful..something I’d like everyone to read and re-read.

The story starts in Emberfall. Prince Rhen is wiping blood from his hands and there’s his Guard Commander Grey who is apparently Commander only by name as there’re no men to command anymore. Rhen also asks his Grey of the whereabouts of a girl and he replies that she’s gone. Gone where? Apparently it doesn’t matter to either of them as Grey sets off to find another girl for Rhen..This is not the only thing that creepy here in Emberfall. Rhen remarks that he doesn’t care about what kind of girl begins or how much blood is shed as this season will repeat itself again and thus, he will be eighteen for the three hundred twenty-seventh time.

Then, we’ll move on to Washington DC where we see Harper acting as the look out while her brother’s out on a dangerous job. Harper catches Grey carrying a girl and Harper attacks him which ultimately leads her(and Grey) to Emberfall.

In Emberfall, Harper is horrified to discover that she isn’t in DC anymore and Rhen expresses his “regrets” and tells her that he can’t let her until after the season is over. When Harper manages to escape from the castle, she discovers the plight of Emberfall. A kingdom where a curse has managed to wreak havoc on the people and Harper is Rhen’s and Emberfall’s only hope to save it. 

“This early in the season, the other girls would sit by the hearth and gaze at me over crystal goblets, while I’d pour wine and tell stories with just enough devilishness to make them blush. If I put a crystal goblet in this one’s hand, she’d likely smash it and use the shards to cut me.” 

You’d think that since it’s a Beast retelling, you’ll only see the Beast as the villain but you’d be so wrong. As I’ve said before, Harper is almost everything I love to see in a female protagonist. She has cerebral palsy but she doesn’t let anyone see her as uncapable and weak, instead she educates the people and Rhen on celebral palsy. However she isn’t a character without flaws and neither is Rhen or Grey.

Rhen was a spoiled prince before the curse but for hundred years, he suffered abuse for the sake of his people. I loved that he didn’t make a big deal out of Harper’s physical restrictions and acknowledged his mistake in underestimating her strengths. Grey is loyal to Rhen and even it breaks him, he will continue to stand by Rhen because he has vowed to do so.

I loved the pacing of the book and the flawed characters. It was incredible to see such relatable mental health representation. I loved the friendship between Harper and Grey and Rhen. I loved the slow-burn romance between Rhen and Harper. It was not the focus of the story and there were other stakes like saving Emberfall and Rhen from the curse and foreign invaders, protecting the people from the Beast, and saving Harper’s family. The ending was perfect which leads me to confess that I’m now addicted to Brigid Kemmerer’s writing and eagerly waiting for the sequel to this fantasy and her upcoming titles.

Overall, I highly recommend this book if you’re a Brigid Kemmerer fan, love retellings, strong but flawed characters, neurodiverse rep, beautiful friendship, and slow-burn romance.

Thanks to the publisher for providing me an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

VERDICT:

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Do you think you’ll read A Curse so Dark and Lonely? Have you already read it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!


ARC Review: The Day We Met by Roxie Cooper

ARC Review: The Day We Met by Roxie Cooper

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ARC Review: The Day We Met by Roxie Cooper
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SYNOPSIS

The Day We Met by Roxie Cooper

Stephanie and Jamie are meant to be. The problem is they’re both with other people…

Stephanie doesn’t believe in fate, true love or living happily ever after. She’s content enough being engaged to Matt. But then she meets Jamie, who understands her more than anyone else ever has.

Jamie is happily married to his childhood sweetheart Helen and believes in everything Stephanie doesn’t. So why does he have such a strong connection with Stephanie?

When Stephanie and Jamie meet one fateful weekend in 2006 it will change everything…

Ten years. Two people. One epic love story.


Why should you read The Day We Met by Roxie Cooper? 

You don’t take enough risks, that’s your problem. Put everything you have out there. Your problem isn’t that you’ve failed … your problem is that you’re afraid to fail.

– The Day We Met, Roxie cooper

THIS REVIEW MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS.

The Day We Met by Roxie Cooper is not an H-E-A romance as I had expected. Stephanie and Jamie meet at an art workshop. When Stephanie and Jamie meet over drinks and get to talking, they discover that they have an instant chemistry. What’s the problem? The problem is that Jamie is happily married to his childhood sweetheart and Stephanie is engaged.

They agree to remain as friends and meet again after a year and so forth, but they can’t help but think of each other every now and then. At this point, I was thinking that Jamie and Stephanie are clearly not happy with their partners. So why not divorce? Because life is rarely as simple as it was asking this question. A year later after that fateful meeting at the art workshop, Stephanie is now married and Jamie is well, still married and slightly frustrated but eager to see Stephanie.

Question is, do they cheat? No, they don’t cheat i.e. if you want to be technical, they don’t have sex.

Years go by as Jamie and his partner have a baby and so does Stephanie. Fate, it seems, intervenes again when Jamie moves near Stephanie’s home because of his partner’s work. At this point, it starts to get more difficult for the two of them to resist each other. What happens next ? You’ll have to find out for yourself.

What I didn’t love : Keeping in mind that I was reading an ARC, I felt some of the dialogues were unnecessary. I don’t like books where characters cheat on one another so this was extremely hard to read. I constantly fretted over the fact that they couldn’t divorce their spouses sooner and lied to them whenever they met.

What I loved: However, as the story progressed almost to the 75 or 80% mark, I started to understand them – their story – slowly. The author’s goal was to write about characters that are so unflinchingly broken and human that it’s difficult to remind myself that what I was reading was fiction or was it? Maybe it’s someone else’s story somewhere. When I finally got to read what I wanted, the story turned around and smacked me right in the face. The twist was brutal and I kept rooting for the couple as tears ran through my eyes.

Overall, I highly recommend this book If you’re looking for imperfect humans, character with depression, broken but beautiful romance “Nicholas Sparks” style, then I highly recommend you read The Day We Met by Roxie Cooper.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Verdict: 4 out of 5 glowing stars.

Author: Connect with Author Roxie Cooper here .

  • Publisher: Ebury Press(Fiction)
  • Publication Date(Paperback): 07 March 2019
  • Paperback(ARC): 464 Pages
ARC Review: The Day We Met by Roxie Cooper

Do you think you’ll read The Day We Met? Have you read any similar books? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Book Review:​ Lake Effect by Nicole Tone

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Synopsis: After the death of her fiance, Sophie Daniels is struggling to keep herself together. Painting is the only way she’s able to clear her head and stay grounded. For her art isn’t a hobby—it’s her religion. With a semester away from finishing graduate school, she knows that, despite her loss, things are going to get better. In fact, her thesis advisor has even taken a special interest in her. Sophie’s convinced that she’s found the mentor that she’s been looking for. When he shows he’s interested in her in more than just a student/teacher way, she obliges him. Until his wife leaves him.
Sophie learns the hard way what happens when a man cannot take responsibility for his own actions.
Now she’s back to square one in pulling herself back together. She hasn’t just lost her fiancé anymore: she’s lost parts of herself she’s not sure she’ll ever get back.

Like her ability to create.

Lake Effect is a raw exploration of human emotion and what it takes to save your own life.

Continue reading “Book Review:​ Lake Effect by Nicole Tone”

There are Monsters in the sea | Review:​ Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

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Synopsis:  Her story is a phenomenon. Her life is a disaster.

In the real world, Eliza Mirk is shy, weird, and friendless. Online, she’s LadyConstellation, the anonymous creator of the wildly popular webcomic Monstrous Sea. Eliza can’t imagine enjoying the real world as much as she loves the online one, and she has no desire to try.

Then Wallace Warland, Monstrous Sea’s biggest fanfiction writer, transfers to her school. Wallace thinks Eliza is just another fan, and as he draws her out of her shell, she begins to wonder if a life offline might be worthwhile.

But when Eliza’s secret is accidentally shared with the world, everything she’s built—her story, her relationship with Wallace, and even her sanity—begins to fall apart.

Continue reading “There are Monsters in the sea | Review:​ Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia”

Review: Finding Your G-Spot by Geetika Saigal

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Synopsis: The Probability of your parents’ meeting: one in a million. The Chance that they had you and not another genetic version of you: one in 4 million billion. (yeah, that’s a number too!) The Number of moments you have lived (knowing that any of us could pop-off any moment): ~9.4 million in our lifetime.

You, Yes YOU, are a miracle.

Do you not then deserve to lead a miraculous life?

A life that you know is meaningful to you, that doesn’t leave you feeling like you are simply running, not knowing where to and why so. So go on, give yourself and your life the best shot.
How?

By ceasing this race to ‘somewhere’ for just a few hours; Re-discovering Your Real Self, Re-aligning Your Thoughts, Revamping Your Life – All in (nothing worthwhile is simple!) 4 STEPS + 15 Do-it-for-Yourself EXERCISES.
This book is written for all of us, whether you’re just starting out your life or wishing to change it.

Continue reading “Review: Finding Your G-Spot by Geetika Saigal”

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