Because of Miss Bridgerton (Rokesbys, #1)

Because of Miss Bridgerton (Rokesbys, #1)

First Lines: It wasn’t that Billie Bridgerton was lacking in common sense. On the contrary, she was quite sure that she was one of the most sensible people of her acquaintance. But like any thoughtful individual, she occasionally chose to ignore the little voice of reason that whispered through her mind.

It’s not until I start writing these reviews sometimes that I realize just how all over the place my reading habits are sometimes. Ok, so obviously this was written by the same author of all the Bridgerton books. I thought it would be cool to dive into this series since I like her writing style and it relates to the Bridgertons. (Billie is an aunt to all the Bridgerton children we met in that famous series.)

Everyone expects Billie Bridgerton to marry one of the Rokesby brothers. The families have lived next to each other centuries and Billie has been friends with the boys for her whole life. She was a tomboy, running wild with Edward and Andrew. Either one could be her husband someday, and Billie knows that’s likely to happen. Of course, there’s one Rokesby Billie just can’t tolerate. George, the eldest brother and heir to the earldom. She finds him to be arrogant, stiff, annoying, and he absolutely detests her. But when Billie and George are forced together through a quirk of fate, a new kind of spark flies between them. Soon, they might just discover that the person they can’t live with is the one they can’t live without…

Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t dislike this book. In fact, it was fun to see the previous generation of Bridgertons.

But there was just nothing wow about this one either.

I did rather like Billie. She’s fiery and a tomboy, more capable of running the estate than she is navigating a ballroom. She’s not about to back down from a dare or let anyone put her down. She was fun.

But there wasn’t anything that really made me sit up and take notice of George. He was pretty stereotypical, really. I literally just finished the book and I’m not sure I could tell you any defining trait of his except “future earl.” Pretty much everything about him was how he’s eventually going to have the title. All of his personality revolved around that. So when I see someone as lively as Billie and someone as blah as George…I don’t feel the chemistry.

There were funny moments to the story that I enjoyed. I did have fun reading the weird (absurd) situations Billie kept finding herself in, but so much of the story just seemed disjointed outside of that. There are some subplots that get resolved at the end, but I had to wonder why they were included at all when they only happened over the course of a chapter or two.

Not a bad book, but definitely not the same level of love I had for a few books in the Bridgerton series.

Phoenix Flame (Havenfall, #2)

Phoenix Flame (Havenfall #2)

First Lines: Havenfall is my home. I test the words out, whispering them to myself as I walk slowly down the grand staircase toward the ballroom.

Earlier this year, I picked up the first book in this duology semi-randomly at the library. I’d seen it before and thought it looked interesting, but it wasn’t high on my to-read list. And I didn’t exactly love it, but I thought it was worth seeing how the series wrapped up since it was so short. So I wanted to give this a chance.

*Potential Series Spoilers Ahead*

Maddie thought she’d saved her home and her friends. She defeated the Silver Prince and protected the Inn from a coup. Her uncle is recovering from the mysterious spell that made him not quite human. And there are still a few weeks left of summer for her to enjoy with her best-friend-turned-maybe-boyfriend Brekken. But it’s not over. The black-market trading of magical objects is still going strong and in order to shut it down for good, Maddie might have to go through the Inn’s doors into the once feared land of shapeshifters. Secrets abound, a few of them that could change everything…

Overall, I found this entire series to be somewhat lackluster and predictable. This book was especially hard for me to get through for some reason.

What I struggled with a lot at the beginning was that I just didn’t care about the plot or the characters. It picks up pretty much right where we left off in the previous book, but there were just so many moving parts and nothing was being accomplished for so long. Everyone was acting weird and it just wasn’t what I was expecting.

I did start finally getting more into the story about halfway through with the convenient introduction of a new character. (Everything in this series is either wildly predictable or very convenient.) So I wasn’t surprised by what happened, but it added a nice amount of spice to the otherwise boring story.

The end of this book (and thus the end of this duology) was pretty lackluster as well. One of the major plot lines doesn’t even get fully resolved. Actually, a lot of stuff doesn’t really get resolved, now that I think about it. It was somewhat satisfying as far as just finishing the book went but that was about it.

On the Way to the Wedding (Bridgertons, #8)

On the Way to the Wedding (Bridgertons, #8)

First Lines: His lungs were on fire. Gregory Bridgerton was running. Through the streets of London, oblivious to the curious stares of onlookers, he was running.

And with this book, we have finally reached the end of the Bridgerton series! I now feel much better qualified to judge/pick apart the Netflix series, now that I know all the characters better. Lol.

Unlike most men of his age, Gregory Bridgerton believes in true love. He’s seen it many times within his own family. And he’s now convinced that when he sees the right woman, he will fall in love at first sight. And that’s just what happens. Except, well, she’s not actually the right one. Miss Hermione Watson is actually in love with someone else. Her best friend, the ever-practical Lady Lucinda Abernathy, wants to save Hermione from this horrid alliance, so she offers to help Gregory win her over. But in the process, Lucy falls for Gregory. And Lucy’s already engaged to someone else, in a betrothal she can’t get out of even when Gregory comes to his senses. So now, on the way to a wedding, Gregory will have to lay everything on the line in the hopes of becoming the only man at the altar for her.

Another solid book in the Bridgerton series. Gregory is the last of the siblings to find love and it was kind of fun to watch that happen to him.

However, I daresay Lucy is a better character than Gregory. There was nothing wrong with Gregory, but I felt like Lucy was more fleshed-out, more well-rounded, more interesting. She’s got a pretty best friend that everyone falls for and she’s left to just watch guy after guy fling himself at Hermione–and never at her. I felt like that really showed us a lot about who she is based on how she reacted to that. I mean, she was just a fantastic person and character for this story. Gregory seems shallow and fickle by comparison.

The story is interesting and perhaps one of the more dangerous books in the series. There are pretty high stakes and things are constantly twisting in different and semi-unexpected ways. It was a fun little adventure, even if it did stretch credulity a bit.

It’s In His Kiss (Bridgertons, #7)

It's in His Kiss (Bridgertons, #7)

First Lines: There were four principles governing Gareth St. Clair’s relationship with his father that he relied upon to maintain his good humor and general sanity. One: They did not converse unless absolutely necessary. Two: All absolutely necessary conversations were to be kept as brief as possible.

Hey everyone! School’s started back up, but I’m still backlogged on reviews I need to get out, so I’m going to try to pop out a few here. This one is, obviously, a continuation of the Bridgerton series. Seemed like a good place to start, considering I seem to do this after almost every weird hiatus.

Hyacinth Bridgerton is…different. Intelligent, witty, outspoken, but probably best in small doses, according to Gareth St. Clair. But even so, there’s something charming and vexing about her that just captures his attention. Gareth and Hyacinth cross paths at the annual Smythe-Smith musicale and, between trading barbs, Hyacinth agrees to help Gareth with a tricky inheritance issue. However, the more they deep in St. Clair history, the more they discover the answers aren’t in the past, but in each other… (oh my God, that was so cheesy, I apologize.)

I liked this one, but as I’ve said with others in this series, I’ve just enjoyed others more. Hyacinth was interesting in her own way. Much like Eloise, she’s outgoing and opinionated–two characteristics frowned upon for women at this time especially. So it was fun watching her get into trouble and speak her mind.

I thought she and Gareth went pretty well together, though I didn’t feel the chemistry as much as I did in some of the previous books. It was still a good fit, though.

This was really just another good installment in this series, but I also don’t think it stands out incredibly either. Proof? It’s been a couple of months now since I actually read this and I literally remember the very beginning of the book and the very end. I completely blanked on the middle. I honestly don’t even remember what the inheritance issue is. It’s just really forgettable, clearly.

But apparently I rather liked it when I read it.

Torrent (River of Time, #3)

Torrent (River of Time, #3)

First Lines: We’d shaken the dust from the gowns the guys had left the three of us and slipped on our “medieval disguises,” as I called them, but there wasn’t a whole lot we could do for Dad.

This is a series I discovered a few months back and just absolutely fell in love with. And after reading the second book, I desperately needed to know what happened in this book.

*Series Spoilers Ahead. For real.*

Gabi and Lia were just two normal American teenagers until the day they accidentally found themselves in 14th century Italy. They returned to the present with their mother to try to save their father from a tragic death, and now the family needs to head back to the 14th century, where the girls have left their hearts behind with some gallant, chivalrous knights. But remaining in that time puts them at risk as battles wage over territory and the Black Plague looms over them. Will the family really be willing to put themselves at so much risk? Or will they discover how life is truly supposed to be lived?

I love this series, I do. I think Gabi and Lia are stellar characters and I think this story is well written with other interesting characters and a ton of action.

I just didn’t love this book as much as I did the previous two.

I think part of the reason is that it’s starting to feel the same. Like, every book is about how somebody wants to kill Gabi and Lia and then there are battles. I love the action of it all, don’t get me wrong, and the way it unfolds is always different, but it is kind of formulaic. And also, I just didn’t feel as gripped by this book as the others. I’ve always had this weird feeling about Gabi and Marcello together (I’ve never felt the chemistry), but this book really reinforced that.

That said, I thought Gabi was a MUCH more interesting character than ever in this book. She’s always been physically strong and this total warrior queen, but this book threw curveballs at her that she wasn’t always strong enough to fight off. And that struggle made her so much more interesting. I really liked seeing her try to deal with it all. It made her a more conflicted, intriguing character.

The plot of this still includes a ton of action. We still have battles and fight scenes, which always rock. We still have constant action in one respect or another so the story keeps moving forward. I just didn’t enjoy it quite as much as before is all. Still a good book though.

Good Girl, Bad Blood (A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder, #2)

Good Girl, Bad Blood (A Good Girl's Guide to Murder, #2)

First Lines: You think you’d know what a killer sounds like. That their lies would have a different texture, some barely perceptible shift. A voice that thickens, grows sharp and uneven as the truth slips between the jagged edges. You’d think that, wouldn’t you?

I was very excited to get my hands on this book, to say the least. After how much I enjoyed the first book, I thought this would be amazing, especially as more and different challenges get thrown Pip’s way. So I just couldn’t wait to dive in.

*Potential Series Spoilers Ahead*

Pip’s investigative days are over. After solving the town’s cold case with the help of Ravi Singh, Pip is content to post what happened as a true crime podcast and move on with her life. But when Jamie Reynolds, the older brother of one of her best friends, goes missing on the same night as the memorial for Andrea Bell and Sal Singh, Pip has to dive back in and break the promises she made to her family to never do this again. The police won’t look for Jamie, so Pip will. But this time, everyone’s listening to what Pip has to say…and watching her every move. Can Pip find Jamie before it’s too late?

First of all, this book was a delight. There’s no doubt about that. It’s as twisty and awesome as the first in terms of the mystery. I didn’t have it pegged down until near the end. I adored that it could keep me on my toes and keep me invested in it until I got to the very end.

I still adore Pip and I think it’s cool that this time around, people are listening to her and helping her. It was cool to see a new side of her and a new side of the town through that and the aftermath of her podcast, revealing everything that happened in the previous mystery.

However. Here’s where my 4 stars comes from. What I loved so much about the last book was the danger, the murder maps, the struggle, the getting-to-know Ravi. This time around, Pip saves all her stuff online and…it’s just not the same as reading all these police transcripts, discovering journals, making maps, etc. Also, the first book surprised me with how good it was, so I was expecting things this time around. And the book did live up to my expectations–it just didn’t exceed them.

It’s still a fabulous book, don’t get me wrong. I know things were changed to keep this book fresh, but this book just kind of lacked the stuff that I thought sparkled about the previous book.