Never Never (part 3) by Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher

never neverSynopsis: Together, Silas Nash and Charlize Wynwood must look deeper into the past to find out who they were and who they want to be. With time ticking down, the couple are in a race to find the answers they need before they lose everything. Can they regain what they once had? And will it restore who they once were?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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4 Stars

I am kinda disappointed with the ending honestly.  I was hoping for a more tangible, maybe slightly more nefarious reason that was given for their memory loss. And the epilogue!  Come on, now I have that on my brain.  What if its a vicious cycle?  How do they stop it from happening again?  I could go on but I don’t want to get too spoilery.

I love the way their feelings were described after they ‘woke’ up.  I would have felt the same way if I couldn’t remember who I was.  Charlie was a bit of a bitch in this one, at least, that’s how I felt as I read it.  Silas is such a romantic and I gobbled his words up. I would melt if someone said the things he said to me.

Bottom line, great novellas all around.  For a quick, fun read, I would recommend these.

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#Junkie by Cambria Hebert

Synopsis:
27824473Drew Forrester is a total adrenaline junkie.
His high of choice?
Cars.
The faster, the better.
He’s been making waves in Maryland’s underground racing circuit since he crossed the state line, and after speaking with him, we know he’s not hitting the brakes anytime soon.
So what exactly does it take to burn rubber and make a name for yourself in a world where the only rule is there are no rules?
You gotta be hungry…
You gotta have balls…
And you can never back down.
What’ve we learned here at GearShark?
Drew is all of the above.
We also know he’s got some secrets buried under his hood.
Secrets we think are loaded with octane and just might set the world of cars on fire.

Check out the full feature article inside…

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My Review:
5 stars — WOW.  I mean, I had high expectations being a recent HUGE # series fan, but this just blew those out of the water.  Here comes a book hangover, I can just FEEL it.  I actually feel sorry for the book that has to follow this up, b/c this hit me right in all the feels, and I have NO IDEA how I’m going to wait for the next one.

This one had me by the balls (you know, if I had those) right from the prologue…  Well, frankly, who am I kidding, I was hooked in deep from the first hint of friendship between Trent and Drew in the Hashtag (Pound) series.  But seriously yo, that prologue just grabbed a hold of my imagination and didn’t let go til the last page.  All those conflicting feelings….GAH!  It was a heartbreaking way to start!

And from that start came a truly beautiful story of romance.  And I really mean beautiful.  I loved their friendship, and that ease of being together just extended to the more relationship that slowly developed between these two.  It was hopeful, and sweet, and adorable, and agonizing, and heartwrenching.  And when I started seeing the end come closer and closer just as things ramped up, I just knew we were in for a crazy ending.  Luckily this author does not leave her fans hanging for long, otherwise I’d be even more devastated over that finish….

And can I just say that the steam factor was amazeballs?  *ahem* *fans self*

Aside from the romance, we had a fantastic look into the sport of racing as well as brief glimpses of the characters we’ve grown to love from past books.  I appreciated that while they had brief cameos, it really was the Trent and Drew show.  I just loved those boys so much, I wanted all the time we got to spend with them.  I did enjoy the introduction of Joey — she added a great dynamic and I hope we see more of her in the next book.

Sometimes with a book like this I wish I could better explain what it was that had me so over the top fangirling…  As usual, it all comes down to characters for me — and I loved these characters.  They were real, vulnerable, honest, sassy (is that strictly a female thing?  well whatever the equivalent), and I just want their relationship to succeed despite the obstacles thrown in their way.  I guess that’s the other part that got to me — the story and the challenges they met while navigating these new feelings and this new world was just so poignant.  I cannot imagine how startling it would be to realize a bit later in life that you might be gay (or bi), and that you found out because you’re in love with your best friend.  The fear was so real, and I have no idea how they’re going to manage that and stay together.  It’s got my heart all in a kerfuffle.

And that’s where I’m going to leave it.  I don’t know what magic surrounds Ms. Hebert, but I’m wrapped up in it and can’t wait for my next dose.

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Call Me, Maybe by Ellie Cahill

Synopsis:
index“Ellie Cahill is definitely one to watch!” raves bestselling author Cora Carmack, and this steamy, upbeat modern romance about connecting in all the best ways proves it once again.
 
Clementine Daly knows she’s the black sheep. Her wealthy, powerful family has watched her very closely since she almost got caught in an embarrassing scandal a few years ago. So when Clementine’s sent on a mission to live up to the Daly name, politely declining isn’t an option. Of course, the last thing she does before boarding the plane is to grab a stranger’s phone by mistake—leaving the hunky journalist with her phone. Soon his sexy voice is on the line, but he doesn’t know her real name, or her famous pedigree—which is just the way Clementine likes it.

Despite all the hassles, Justin Mueller is intrigued to realize that the beautiful brown-eyed girl he met at the airport is suddenly at his fingertips. They agree to exchange phones when they’re both back in town, but after a week of flirty texts and wonderfully intimate conversations, Justin doesn’t want to let her go. The only problem? It turns out that Clemetine has been lying to him about, well, everything. Except for the one thing two people can’t fake, the only thing that matters: The heat between them is for real.

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My Review:
4 stars — I received an eARC of this book from NetGalley!

Another book where I was epically sucked in for the first half (or more) of the book, and just did NOT want to put it down until I was finally falling asleep, and then somehow in the last 40% it just did not live up to the 5 star start.  Again, like the previous 2 books I’ve read, these are compelling reads that I truly liked, I was just caught off guard when it ended and I only felt 4 star feelings for it, when it had a 5 star start.

So what had me clamouring for more in the beginning?  OMG Clementine was soooooo me!!  Seriously, she spoke to me so much as a character.  She’s going to speak to a lot of readers too, b/c she’s an avid reader who is PASSIONATE about her reading, reads voraciously, has a book blog, loves the whole community surrounding reading, etc…  Basically she’s a fangirl.  And I absolutely loved watching her preemptively defend reading romances — I was like “GO GIRL!”  But it wasn’t just this obvious similarity that sucked me in.  She was also a girl who didn’t know her place in the world and what she wanted to do with her life, but felt so much pressure to contribute to the world in some way.  I can totally vibe.  I’m lucky enough to be a “trophy wife” who gets to spend my time reading and doing all of the fangirl things I love to do, but I still feel that invisible pressure that I’m not living up to some expectation.  Some of us just live a quiet life and are satisfied with that.  So I truly felt for her and what she was going through.  I almost would have liked to see more on that aspect of the story…but it was kind of pushed to the side in favour of the romance.  Which is normally the part that intrigues me the most, but I guess I just missed a little bit of the resolution in that part of her life…b/c it started off being so important, and I just wanted more in the end.

And then there’s Justin….  OMG, what a swoony guy.   He could be so unbelievably sweet, and I just loved the freshness of their romance with each other.  It was very honeymoon-esque, but I loved that about it.  But truthfully?  I wanted more from him too.  I honestly would have loved to have both POVs in this story, b/c I wanted to know so much more about him, and I really felt like that was missing.  What sucked him in about Clementine?  What made her different?  What was he feeling?

In the end I think it was Clementine’s insecurities that turned me off a bit.  I sort of got where she was coming from, but at the same time I just wanted to smack her.  I know you’re supposed to feel that way, but it just made me lose a bit of faith in her as a character…maybe b/c I was vibing so much with her in the beginning that it was harder to take in the end?  Even as insecure as I am, I don’t think I would have behaved in the same way.  And I guess their resolution as a couple didn’t completely work for me.  It was so strange and volatile.  I don’t know.  Something.  Something something something.

So yeah, as usual I look back at my review, and it feels more negative than the experience really warrants.  This is HONESTLY a solid 4 star book for me.  I truly laughed and smiled and swooned and even cried.  I guess I just keep feeling the need to explain where things went wrong, even in books I enjoyed.  I think I need to work on that….

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I Wish You Were Mine by Lauren Layne

Synopsis:
RomancePerfect for fans of Alice Clayton and Emma Chase, Lauren Layne’s Oxford series heats up in this story of forbidden desire as a brooding jock hoping for a comeback falls for a woman who’s strictly off-limits.

A year ago, Jackson Burke was married to the love of his life and playing quarterback for the Texas Redhawks. Now he’s retired, courtesy of the car accident that ruined his career—and single, after a nasty scandal torpedoed his marriage. Just as he’s starting to get used to his new life as a health and fitness columnist for Oxford magazine, his unpredictable ex shows up on his doorstep in Manhattan. Jackson should be thrilled. But he can’t stop thinking about the one person who’s always been there for him, the one girl he could never have: her younger sister.

Mollie Carrington can’t say no to Madison. After all, her older sister practically raised her. So when Madison begs for help in winning her ex-husband back, Mollie’s just glad she got over her own crush on Jackson ages ago—or so she thought. Because as Mollie reconnects with Jackson, she quickly forgets all her reasons to stay loyal to her sister. Tempted by Jackson’s mellow drawl and cowboy good looks, Mollie is sick and tired of coming in second place. But she can’t win if she doesn’t play the game.

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My Review:
4 stars — I received an eARC of this book through NetGalley!

This book started off fantastically!  I was sucked right in, and there was just something about Mollie in particular that spoke to me.  She was just so forthright and funny with a tiny side of sassy, that I immediately fell in love.  And I can honestly say I was enthralled for the first half.

And then I went to bed exhausted after a long day of travel (well mostly the previous day), and when I started it up again today, it had lost a little of the shine.  It went from a solid 4.5 – 5 star read to more of a 4 (which is where it’s obviously ended up for me).  Now I’m not sure if it’s just me, and a mood I’m in…but I think I had expectations of where the story was going, and it just didn’t reach those places fast enough for me.  Or maybe it’s that Jackson as a male lead was just a wee bit confusing…he was so reticent, and so private, that even I was unsure about his feelings about Mollie and Madison and everything.  I mean, he’d say he was over Madison and I would wholeheartedly believe him, but then his behavior and attitude would give a bit of a different impression.  And I know that that was mostly in Mollie’s POV, and maybe she was seeing it one way, but I just couldn’t figure out what was going on in his head to make him appear that way.  So I was missing a bit of depth there or something.

And maybe in the end I just wasn’t that thrilled with Madison, and how Mollie couldn’t see her for who she was.  I know, I know, she’s family…but holy cow, she was such a witch with a b!  So I just ended up feeling conflicted over the characters more than I was expecting to.

So perhaps this is more of a 3.5 star book, but I really did love Mollie from the beginning, and I truly was enjoying it in a 5 star way for the first half, so I’m giving it an extra bump for all that.  Plus, you really can’t go wrong with all the cameos of the Stiletto and Oxford folks.  I LOVE those secondary characters, and would have gladly loved even more from them (though that would have taken away from the Mollie and Jackson story probably).  And in the end I’m even more excited for Lincoln’s book…it’s gonna be hell waiting for it.  🙂

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Riven (book 3) by Alivia Anders

rivenSynopsis: The third installment of The Illumine Series.

Captured, imprisoned, and left to burn.
You know what they say- where there’s smoke there’s fire…

For the last two weeks, Essallie Hanley has been a prisoner, in more ways than one. Held hostage by the Queen, she is forced to endure the mind-numbing pain tearing her body- and soul -apart, killing her with every tick of the clock. It seems all hope is lost, until one chance moment gives Essallie a name, Rinae Decante, the final person needed for the Queen to unveil her master plan to end Essallie. Armed with this name, and with the help of Ari and Kayden, Essallie breaks free from her captivity and launches in a search for this mystery girl.

But their search doesn’t go as smoothly as planned, and the three soon find themselves fighting against an impenetrable course of fate aimed to destroy them all from the inside out. When Essallie falls victim to her altering soul, they all begin to wonder of there’s any chance at all to save themselves from the burning effects of their actions.

Love, lies, and betrayal.
No one is safe from the undoing of secrets surrounding Essallie.

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Not rated

I DNF’d this book at 30 percent.  I just couldn’t get into it.  It felt like work and this is my pleasure activity so I gave up.  I might try to go back and read it again because after the first two I had certain expectations for this book.  I want to try and let those go before returning to this one.  Might is the key word in that sentence.

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Top Ten Books I’ve Recently Added To My TBR

Top Ten Tuesday
(Images link to Goodreads, Titles link to Amazon)

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish in which you make a list of ten to do with a certain topic.  This week’s topic is “Books I’ve Recently Added To My TBR.”

Curly Carla’s Top Ten:

(I should thank The Broke and the Bookish because I cleaned up quite a bit of books off this list)

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1.  Confess by Colleen Hoover . I’ve been hearing so much about this book that I had to finally add it to my TBR list.
2.  The Secrets We Kept  by Lily Velez.  Pretty sure I got this one from a blog I follow.  I love the cover and the title and once I read the Synopsis I was hooked.
3.  Max Colton’s Road to Wonderland by H.A. Robinson.  I know I got this one from a blog I follow.  I want to read all these books!
4.  A Court of Rose and Thorns by Sarah J. Maas.  Again, blogger rec’d, cover and title called to me.
5.  Izzy Moffat’s Road to Wonderland by Victoria L. James.  Again, got this one from a blogger.
6.  The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey.  We are supposed to be reading and reviewing this this month in a book blog group that I belong too. But it’s too expensive for the e-copy so I TBR’d it.
7.  Urchin by S.K. Munt.  It looked good.  ::shrugs::
8.  Oppressed in the Butt by my Inclusive Holiday Coffee Cups by Chuck Tingle.  Blame Jude over at Platypire Reviews.
9.  Sell Out by Tammy L. Gray.
10.  Scattered Ashes by Annie Anderson.

Lenoreo’s Top Ten:

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1.  The Darkest Flame and The Deepest Blue by Christina Lee — I think it was in November that I participated in a Facebook party that featured a favourite author of mine, Riley Hart (Nyrae Dawn).  It was there I was introduced to Christina Lee and her books just sounded too good to pass up!
2.  Anywhere by Jen Meyers — recommended by my author friend Jolene Perry
3.  Shadows on Snow and The Stillness of the Sky by Starla Huchton — I initially discovered this author at UtopYa 2015 and immediately put her books on my wishlist.  I was then lucky enough to read an arc of book 3 in her Flipped Fairy Tales series, so I knew I had to go back and read the first 2 books.  I was lucky enough to receive these books as part of the Jingle Bell Book Exchange put on by Indie Authors and Book Blogs.
4.  Beacon by Angela Brown — won it in the 24 Days of Giveaways hosted by Anna Katmore and Cassie Mae.
5.  Water So Deep by Nichole Giles — the other book I won in the 24 Days of Giveaways hosted by Anna Katmore and Cassie Mae.
6.  Becoming Us by Amy Daws — I believe I discovered this series after reading a review by Platypire Moxxley for a later book in the series, and decided I should check it out.
7.  What You Left Behind by Jessica Verdi — Because of our other weekly feature, Review Roundup (Bloggers Helping Bloggers), I read a review by Platypire Sofia for this book, and having loved another book by Jessica Verdi, I jumped all over it when it went on sale!
8.  Dethroning Crown by Lila Felix — I won a copy of this book at a Facebook party I was attending…course, now do you think I can remember which party it was?
9.  I Wish You Were Mine by Lauren Layne — I requested this book from NetGalley, b/c I adore this author and this series is da bomb!  I actually *just* started it and am already in love…
10.  Tall, Tatted & Tempting by Tammy Falkner — last but not least, a book recommended by my fabulous partner in crime, Curly Carla!

Troublemaker by Melissa Pearl

Synopsis:
Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000446_00063]Kelly DeMarco is out of Marcus Chapman’s league. When they met in high school he was besotted with the blue-eyed goddess, but she never gave him the time of day.

High school is now over and the tide is turning.

Five years later, Kelly is job-hunting and the best she can find happens to be Marcus Chapman’s personal assistant. He is thrilled by this second chance and determined to win the beauty’s affections, but Kelly has no intention of falling for the “class clown.”

What you’re looking for can be hiding right in front of you.

In spite of her resolve, Marcus’s playful charm begins to chip away at Kelly’s protective veneer, and she starts to realize that tall, dark, and mysterious isn’t a requirement, and sometimes Mr. I Don’t Think So can actually be Mr. Perfect.

Will Kelly’s obsession with keeping up appearances push Marcus away, or will he have enough drawing power to convince his favorite girl that honest love can outclass anything?

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My Review:
4 stars — I received an ARC of this book from the author for my honest review!!

I was totally unsure of this book for the first little bit…technically I’m not sure how much of the book, b/c I read it while waiting at the airport….which I guess means I was totally sucked into the story, b/c I finished it in honestly just a few hours.  I was totally sucked in by sweet Marcus, but I couldn’t always understand his infatuation with Kelly.  I was NOT sold on her until later on in the book, and I’m not sure if I ever was 100% sold on her.  I’m not saying she’s not an interesting character, and doesn’t have her own sympathetic plights, but I guess I just loved Marcus so much that she never seemed good enough for him, you know?

So after all that, how did I still come up with 4 stars??  Well, a lot of that was with Marcus.  While his judgment sometimes came under question, he just never failed to make me smile (and occasionally cringe) at his antics and just fantastic outlook in life.  Reading about his history and infatuation with Kelly really was cringeworthy, but I liked the man he became.  It was nice to read about a guy who’s a little bit dorky and unsure of himself, and not the usual 100% unattainable hunk.  And I guess in the end, despite my reservations about certain parts of the story (the steam scenes were up and down for me, parts great, parts meh), the good parts just outshone the rest.  I guess part of me is still waffling about making it a 3.5 stars, but I just had such a big smile on my face for good parts of it that I say screw it!  It’s my review, I’ll do what I want!  😛

I still need to go back and read books 2-4 of this series, but I enjoyed getting a little bit of Chaos cameo in there, and catching a glimpse of Jimmy (and hearing about Nessa).  And let me tell you, if you’re a fan of Chaos, there was some fantastic news at the end of the book about that…

Ms. Pearl just knows how to write an easy to read story with likable characters.  And if you’ve ever been a fan of the underdog guy, then this is truly the story for you.  I even liked that he was a little bit on the shorter side, b/c I married me a shortie and they are underrated.

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Obrumbrate (book 2) by Alivia Anders

obumbrateSynopsis: The second book to The Illumine Series.

Essallie Hanley just wishes her life could go back to normal. But what’s normal when you carry the burden of knowing you’re a half-angel created for war, that the only person who can help you is a demon still waiting to kill you, and that your only chance for salvation lied in a boy who died in front of you?

If Essallie had turned her back on everything she’d learned, she could have made the most of her fractured life. That is, until Kayden told her that she’s a ticking time-bomb; that at any given moment her blood could betray her, her veins burning her alive from the inside out until nothing but ash remains.

Desperate to find answers, and possibly find her only chance for survival, Essallie heads back for New York City, back to the place where it all began. With every answer comes a price, and with every price the risks and rewards become greater. But when Essallie soon finds herself the target of an unknown hunter determined to kill her, she’s at wits’ end. That is, until a fellow Nephilim named Ari steps in. But is Ari a piece of the puzzle to her salvation, or the promise of her demise?

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2 Stars

Well, absence does not make the heart grow fonder in this instance.  I  purchased the newest e-version I could find, and somehow the errors were worse in this one!  I don’t understand.  Is it me? Is this book suffering from emotional transfer I carried over from the first book?  No, I don’t think so.  For one thing, we still don’t get the major loose end tied up till the very end of this book.

The romantic aspect of this story was,  ::shakes head:: just plain bad IMO.  It went back and forth so fast and honestly hindered the story for me. It could have been left out and it wouldn’t have changed the plot.  It was fluff in my opinion.  I’m being kind of a hard-ass on this one because I just couldn’t keep my beta hat off once I started reading it.

This book needs an editor! Preferably an developmental editor.  I found timeline issues and plot holes, not big ones mind you.  But they kept adding up till I just couldn’t read it open minded anymore.  And that’s when the beta reader came out.

Her emotions aren’t cohesive.  They scatter about. The plot is good but the writing doesn’t go into enough detail, it skips around with no transitional sentences.  It was a bit hard to follow. It almost seems like the author is trying for bad-ass female lead but without the follow through of depth of character.  There is emotions but no reason why she is feeling them, this caused a big disconnect for me.  She was very angry for no reason, and she didn’t seem to want to find out why everyone was after her.  She took strangers advice and trusted them for no reason.  It all just seemed very wishy washy to me.

Again, I’m going to TRY to read the next one, but truth be told I’m pretty pissed about this one.

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Illumine by Alivia Anders

Illumine.jpgSynopsis: For the past five months Essallie Hanley has been trying to forget about the frightening murder of her boyfriend. Haunted by vivid nightmares and hallucinations of the event she does anything she can to pretend she’s like every other normal girl in High School.

Only Essallie is far from normal. Able to conjure blue fire and a shimmering silhouette of wings from her body, she seeks the only known solace left to her name; her first home in Belfast, Maine.

But she soon realizes that her return home is only the beginning of a long and twisted road taking her as far from her humanity as possible, with Kayden, the demon originally summoned to slaughter her, leading the way. Unable to touch her but oddly curious, he joins Essallie in her search to find out just what she is. But neither of them were prepared for the secrets they’ve begun to unravel, secrets that will change Essallie and everyone around her forever.

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3 Stars

This book is free!!!!!  This was one of the series that I had deemed part of my “Year of the Finale” for 2016.  Its a series that I had been meaning to finish and this year seemed like the year to do it.  On my second time around however, I realized that this book didn’t tickle my fancy like it did the first time around.

For one thing, (and I’m sure that this is an older ecopy) there were so many typos that it kept pulling me out of the story.  I’m one of those people that hears the book as I read it to myself. Some people don’t do that, but I do.  And too  many errors just kill it for me.  Also, the story line didn’t add up for me as cohesively as I remember. I kept getting confused as to why the characters were doing what they were doing when an easier way was clear to me.  (like how I didn’t give anything away)

And to top it off, no loose ends were tied up.  I mean, I get it if it’s a cliffhanger, but usually some get tied up by the end of the book. It just left me wanting, and not in an excited way.  I am going to read the second book because I’m hopeful that it gets better and I am all about the redemption.  Everyone is redeemable. Everyone.

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Revolution by Shelly Crane

Synopsis:
13564272.jpgIn the fourth and final installment, everything is on the line. Merrick’s life is in the balance and Lily is their only hope. Ellie and her new powers are miraculous, but also problematic; if she’s with the bunker family, they won’t be able to sense when the Lighters are there. There are many new members to the bunker and sparks will fly, and with the food shortage, they will all have plenty to deal with. Miguel is intrigued with Rylee, her past and her spunk. Ryan and Elli are barely scratching the surface of their relationship. Cain and Lillian will have to deal with Daniel, who has no qualms about showing his true feelings for her. And Sherry and Merrick…what will happen to this happenstance family who have worked so hard to come together? Can they all survive? Can they all withstand the new enemy that is right outside their door? Can they beat the Lighters, once and for all…

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My Review:
4 stars — OK, this review is going to be a little lackluster, as all my reviews seem to be when I go on a vacation in the middle of a book.  I really have to stop doing that, b/c I just end up forgetting what I was feeling for the beginning of the book.  And the middle.  🙂  My husband suggested I just reread it, but I’m not that ambitious.

OK, enough talk.  So all in all I thought this was a pretty solid conclusion to the series.  It maintained the feel of all the rest of the books having a bunch of mini climaxes instead of one big one.  I think that was one part that kind of disappointed me in the end…for some reason I was still expecting some big battle at the end, and so it was kind of anti-climactic for me.  I mean, I knew they kept saying Lily was the key, but it just felt like a bit of a cop out easy ending.  Not enough strife or something.  Maybe it’s because there’s little strife all along.  So yeah, I enjoyed the series as a whole, but I’m not sure the format is necessarily my favourite.  Apparently I just can’t get past the normal flow of stories.

Now with that being said, I did thoroughly enjoy the earlier mini climaxes.  Holy crap, the needs warehouse section was crazy!!  That seriously had me on pins and needles, and I loved the little developments there.

I also loved getting into Ryan’s head in this book!  I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for him, so that was pretty sweet…and it added a little something different to the Keeper storyline…  (course now that I’m thinking about it, I can’t remember if that was new to this book, or if we got into his head in book 3…it’s hard to keep it straight when you read them all in a row like this)

And I really enjoyed the introduction of Chesser as a character.  I thought that little bit of plot was really intriguing.

So there was lots of goodness, I was just a bit let down with the way the big fight played out.  I did really appreciate that we got some bits of epilogue, b/c I was going to have a ton of questions otherwise and would have felt unfulfilled.  Course then it made my brain start going with questions of what this all looked like in the rest of the world, but I decided that suspension of disbelief was the way to go.  Initially I remember this being my favourite series of Ms. Crane’s, but I think Significance has it beat now that I’ve reread and finally finished it.

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