Black Diamond. (Stark Springs Academy: Book 1) By Ali Dean

Oh, Hi. ūüėČ

Listen (look?) I know that it seems like all my books have a hot guy on the cover and a majority of them do, but sometimes you have to judge a book by its cover, am I right? Well, to each their own.

I was lucky enough to finish “Black Diamond” last night before my kindle took a dump. When I say last night, I definitely mean this morning and that I stayed up until 5am trying to finish before I had to get up for work at 9am. I’m still trying to decide whether it was worth it or not. I have very mixed feelings about this one.

I really don’t know how to even begin this. On one hand, I liked that this was a “sports” book. I haven’t read very many sporty books. On the other hand, it is the super cliche YA “douche bag guy VS sassy girl” theme.
Let me jump into this right quick. Roxie Slade is our leading lady, she is a competitive skier. She gets a scholarship to Stark Springs Academy, a super elite winter sports training facility. Ryker Black (The Douchebag) is the powerful popular kid, he runs with an equally douchey crowd nicknamed “The Posse.” Obviously, the Posse hates Roxie. They see her as socially unworthy, but competitively they view her as a threat. They don’t want anyone coming in and ruining what they have. Ryker doesn’t exactly feel the same. He has a thing for Roxie and it turns into a battle of wills. Who can hold out through all the drama and will their story have a happy ending?! I don’t know. You don’t know. Nobody knows. In all reality, we probably do know. It seems like it will be that cliche. I hope it isn’t, it has the potential to be a really good book.

I liked the book enough to keep reading the series. I have a real hard time abandoning book series. It has to be really bad for me to not finish. At this point in time, I am going to have to give it 3 out of 5 stars. It is too YA Cliche. A few more plot twists would have been nice, but it was all just too predictable.

Have you read this book? If you have, how did you feel about it? Do you think you would give it a shot? Let me know, I’d love to hear from you.

Goldfish brain out.
C.

Kindles

Warning: Tragic Story Ahead.

I went to work this morning just like every Sunday. I close the bar Saturday night and open it on Sunday, which is enough to drive anyone crazy. So, I stumble into work half asleep, barely functioning, and my hair still wet from showering when I got home last night. (Yes, 4 hours of sleep later my hair is still wet. I have A LOT of hair. Its a blessing and a curse.) I finish my morning tasks, sit down for brunch, and take out my kindle to get started on my next book because we wont have any customers until at least 3pm. ITS DEAD. TOTALLY UNRESPONSIVE. Not just “It needs to be charged” dead but, like, not functioning dead. ūüėź

I’m trying to hold it together and not ugly cry at work because this new book I bought off of Facebook had Stephen James on it and I was instantly sold. Didnt even read the excerpt, didnt need to because well, Stephen James. (If you dont know who he is, I’ll add a pic of him at the end. You can thank me later. Listen, I’m not just going all fan girl here, this guy is extremely symmetrical and aesthetically pleasing. Just wait, you’ll see. ūüėė) I’ve been craving a really attractive male character lately and well, he is.

So, anyways, I’m upset. Not only because of the Stephen thing, but because I’ve had my kindle since I was like 16. So, 10 years of bordem, heartbreak, depression, passion, and every other emotion under the sun. I’m dealing with this in the most positive way I can. I got a really great tip at work tonight for making a man the best margarita he has ever had, or so he says. $33 tip on a $7 dollars margarita. Straight into the kindle fund. Working all those extra hours the past 2 weeks was a blessing in disguise. I’m thankful. For now, I’ll just have to read on the phone app or my tablet. No biggie.

I’m thinking about a Kindle Paperwhite. It has pretty good reviews. I dont want a tablet. I definitely want just an e-reader. I’ve been comparing the Paperwhite, the original, and the oasis. If any of you have one, tell me what you think about it. I’d love your input.

Thank you for reading my sob story. Without further ado, Stephen James

You’re welcome.

XO Courtney.

A brief delay.

I‚Äôm so so sorry guys, I had to pick up some extra hours at work this week and it has really thrown a wrench in my reading. I have 2 book reviews due by Sunday and I haven‚Äôt even started reading. ūüė≥ Bad news for me, but the good news for you is I will have 2 reviews out by Monday. Tuesday at the latest.

In the meantime, let me know if you want me to read any books and review them, or if you wanna have a chat about books we’ve both read. I would really love that.

Follow my blog to stay up to date on all my goldfish brained thoughts and reviews.

Have a beautiful and safe weekend.

Xoxo. Courtney

The Exiled Prince by Jeana Mann.

This is a book sent to me by HiddenGems ARC reading program in exchange for my honest review. This review may contain spoilers but as usual, I will let you know before and after they are done. 

The Exiled Prince is your typical steamy fairytale romance. It does get a little hot and heavy, but its not cringeworthy. Jeana Mann did a nice job with this book, it has a wonderful balance of intrigue, humor, romance, and quick wit. It was a quick read for me, I finished it in about 4 hours total and was left wanting more, which is a good thing since this is a series.

Spoilers ahead.
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Rourke Donahue is a P.A. for the daughter of the former Vice President of The United States, Everly. (Can’t remember her last name, whoops. I blame the goldfish brain.) Everly and Rourke attend the masquerade party of the year as their last hoorah before Everly gets married. Hosted by a mysterious Russian prince exiled from his own country who never attends his own parties, that is, until he sees Rourke from the security cameras. A masked stand-off occurs between Roman (The Exiled Prince) and Nikky, his little brother, over Rourke. Rourke is drawn to Roman and their masked relationship goes from 0 to 100 real quick. He takes her to his secret sex club and things get steamy between the two of them. Afterward, she quickly runs away in a very Cinderella type of way.
Flash Forward a few weeks later, Everly is married off to her new husband and Rourke is back in New York, looking for a new job. Rourke sends her resume to Blue Sapphire company, as they are looking for a new PA for their foul-tempered founder who goes through PAs like crazy. She is hired and surprise, (but not really) her new boss is Roman. Drama ensues and so does the romance.
This book does have the fairytale happy and all ends well with a wonderful cliff hanger that leaves you aching for more.

End of Spoilers.
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Roman and Rourke’s story continues in The Dirty Princess. I will definitely be purchasing that. I am excited to read more.

One thing you’ll soon learn about me is I am a sucker for Russians. If it has Russians in it, I will read it. I basically have a hard-on for Russian men. (Sorry, not sorry) So, if you notice a theme here, now you know why. lol.

Anyways, I give this 4 out of 5 stars. There are a few small errors in editing, which is no big deal, but it did cause me to have to reread a couple of spots to figure out what I was reading. It was fast-paced and fun. A nice, quick read.

Thank you for reading my thoughts on The Exiled Prince by Jeana Mann.
Follow my blog to stay up to date on all my reviews.
If you have any books you’d like me to review, just let me know. I’d love to do that for you.

Have a wonderful day!
Courtney.

V Games: Fresh From The Grave.

This is less of a review and more of a discussion.
I know I said that I wouldn’t have anything up for you until Sunday or Monday, but, surprise!

“Fresh From The Grave” by Caroline Peckham was a literal breath of fresh air. I know I said that “V Games” just wasn’t for me, but I have changed my mind after reading the second book. This one is action-packed, more romance, deception, violence, and loyalty. I actually couldn’t put this one down. I was trying to read at work, which is super hard when you’re bartending on a Friday night. I got home at 2:30am and ate some dinner (breakfast?) and then went straight to work on finishing this book. I stayed up till the sun was rising to finish and it was well worth it.

I guess there are some spoilers here if you havent finished the first book.
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Selena Grey is back in action, determined to get back to The Helsings and Varick on the island. After winning the V Games and being saved by Varick, Selena is found by Ulvic, the master of a werewolf pack, and he vows to help her return the island and find Varick because the Helsings have something that belongs to him as well. Little does Selena know, the Helsings have starved Varick to use him in the next and updated version of The V Games. She must reenter the V Games in order to save Varick and what’s left of his humanity. We also get to meet the wolf responsible for helping Selena in the last round of the games and it turns out that he is a very important being in more than one aspect.

No more spoilers.
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I definitely recommend this book. Obviously, you have to read the first one. These are not stand alone books, they must be read together and in order. “Fresh From The Grave” is the mature older sibling, it has grown up and is a bit more daring. It touches a bit more in some romance, nothing hot and heavy still very PG, which makes the book more appealing, at least to me.
I will be taking a small break from this series because I have a new book to review from HiddenGems ARC program, so that might be my next review if it is good enough for me to finish. If not, the next post will be about the 3rd installment of this series.
Check back in on Monday for an update on what’s to come next.
Also, consider following my blog so you never miss a post.

Thanks for reading my goldfish brain thoughts.
Have a beautiful weekend,
Courtney

Currently Reading.

I just started the second book of the “V Games” series, I will be working about 35 hours in the next 4 days, so I probably won’t have much time for reading. I will probably have the review up for you late Sunday night or sometime on Monday. I am not an early riser, so don’t expect anything from me until at least noon.

Have a wonderful weekend and be safe,
Courtney.

V Games by Caroline Peckham.

There shouldn’t be any spoilers in this review.

I have never had a problem reviewing a book before, my thoughts usually just flow right onto the page. “V Games,” however, has thrown me for a loop. Stick with me here as I try to organize my goldfish brain.

The book opens with us meeting Selena Grey, our main character and strong female lead after she has been sentenced to 25 years in a max security prison for killing her step-father. She quickly learns the ins and outs of the prison and makes an ally and an enemy along the way. A mysterious man shows up at the prison to “inspect” the women. Afterward, Selena wakes not in the prison, but on her way to an Island where she discovers she is in for the fight of her life, literally. Selena, her bunkmate, her enemy, and a couple dozen other girls are sent off on an island where the must fight for their lives against blood starved “V’s.”

The entire book has a very “Hunger Games” type of feeling to it, but instead of killing each other they must kill vampires. They are put on display for a bunch of wealthy people to make bets on whatnot, there are interviews and a pampering portion. It was just a little too similar for me.
It’s not a bad book, but it’s also not a great book. I can’t put my finger on what I dislike about it. It was well written and exciting, I did read it in about 2.5 hours. It wasn’t that I didn’t enjoy it, because I did, I just wouldn’t read it again. I will continue reading the series, yes it is a part of a series. I’m not good at not knowing what happens next, ya know? It’ll haunt me until I finish.

I would give “V Games” by Caroline Peckham 3.5 out of 5 stars.
Maybe it was just too YA for me. I would recommend it. Like I said there isn’t anything bad about the book, it just didn’t tickle my fancy.

XO,
Courtney