Mini Reviews: Disappointing Reads & A New-To-Me Author

A THOUSAND LETTERS by STACI HART

★★

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“There is no length to love; it’s infinite. It lives in you always. Hold onto it.”

A Thousand Letters is a contemporary romance inspired by Jane Austen’s Persuasion and I am an absolute sucker for anything Austen inspired so I was excited to snatch this new release up. I adored Hart’s previous Austen-inspired novel, Wasted Words, and I was hoping I would enjoy this book as well. Unfortunately, the cover ended up being my only favorite thing about this book.

The last time Elliot Marie Kelly saw Wade Winters was seven years. They were once young and so in love, but when Wade decided to change their plans, Elliot was not on board. So he left for the army and never looked back. Now seven years later, Wade has finally returned home due to a family emergency and he and Elliot are brought together again. The old flame reignites between the pair and these two will have to decide if their love is worth a second shot.

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So Much More by Kim Holden

“Life blooms in second chances.”- Faith, So Much More

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Title: So Much More
Author: Kim Holden
Publication Date: March 29, 2016
Publisher: Self-published

Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble 

Synopsis via Goodreads: Love is strange. It comes out of nowhere. There’s no logic to it. It’s not methodical. It’s not scientific. It’s pure emotion and passion. And emotion and passion can be dangerous because they fuel love…and hate.

I’m now a reluctant connoisseur of both—an expert through immersion. I know them intimately.

When I fell in love with Miranda, it was swift and blind. She was the person I’d elevated to mythical status in my head, in my dreams.

Here’s the thing about dreams, they’re smoke.

They’re spun as thoughts until they become something we think we want. Something we think we need.

That was Miranda. She was smoke.

I thought I wanted her. I thought I needed her.

Over time reality crept in and slowly dissected and disemboweled my dreams like a predator, leaving behind a rotting carcass.

Reality can be a fierce bitch.

So can Miranda.

And I can be a fool…

who believes in dreams.

And people.

And love.

Note from the author: Due to strong language and sexual content, this book is recommended for mature audiences only.

End of book reaction- (31)2

The Brightside duology by Kim Holden was on my list of top reads for 2015, so when I found out about her newest release, I FANGIRLED my heart out! I was SO EXCITED to read more of Holden’s work since I know they are guaranteed to make me FEEL ALL THE FEELS. However, this book was a bit of a let down and I am a little upset because I hate it when my auto-buy authors disappoint. I had such a hard time deciding what to rate this book, but I eventually just went with my gut. Let’s get into this review.

1

After his wife, Miranda McIntyre, files for divorce and runs off with her boss, Seamus McIntyre moves to a new apartment with his three children in tow to start a new life. But starting over not going to be so simple, especially after Miranda shows up and takes the only thing Seamus has left, his children. Seamus now has to fight like hell to get them back and with a little Faith on his side, he may just find himself ending up with more than he bargained for, which may turn out to be a good thing.

2

THIS DAMN BOOK AND MY DAMN FEELS! I was NOT expecting this book from Holden and I had to stop while I was reading to check that the author’s name was right. So Much More is A LOT different from Holden’s Brightside duology as it is more dark and ugly and at times, it even made my skin crawl. I give Holden props for stepping up her writing and going in the opposite direction, but I did have some MAJOR issues with this book.

 This story is told from the POVs of our three main characters: Miranda, Seamus, and Faith. The POVs also take place throughout the past, present and the future. Let’s first tackle what I didn’t like.

Miranda: I HATE HER AND I WANTED HER TO DIE! Miranda is NOT and unlikable character. She is so much worse. She is cruel and malicious. She is selfish and only cares about being successful. She does whatever she needs to do in order to help herself advance, even if it means hurting her family and I honestly had such a hard time reading her POVs. I can’t believe she would treat her kids like that. I had a major problem with Miranda’s character development because throughout the first half of the book, she is painted to be a COLD-HEARTED, RUTHLESS B!TCH and then everything flips and she all of a sudden wants to be a mom and hopes that her family can forgive her. I wasn’t buying her act. In my opinion, Miranda does not deserve redemption, not after all the sick SH!T she pulled and the whole ‘turning over a new leaf’ rubbed me the wrong way.

There is not necessarily a love triangle in this book since Miranda and Seamus are divorced, but there is an instant connection between Faith and Seamus and I wished that things between these two hadn’t happened so fast because I felt that the relationship was a bit shallow. I mean, they get together at the beginning of the book, but then they are separated and they only reunite when we get closer to the end. It just didn’t feel right to me and I wanted something deeper, something SO MUCH MORE.

3

Despite my issues, there were some things that I really enjoyed. First off, THE KIDS! OMG, I LOVED Kai, Rory and Kira. Kids in novels are my weakness. They are so hilarious and adorable. I could not! I loved the relationship Seamus had with his children. It broke me apart when they were separated. Those kids didn’t deserve to be put through any of that and it made me RAGE!

I swear, the saving grace for me in this book was Faith. Faith is a bit of a mystery throughout most of the book. The only thing we know about her is that she used to be in foster care and has spent the last few years looking for her birth mom. Faith’s story BROKE ME DOWN! The last 20% of the book focuses on her and her finding out about her past and what happened to her while in foster care. We also find out who her biological mom is and HOLY CRAP, I DIDN’T even see that! I fell down when I read that plot twist, I kid you not! This was the ugliest and darkest part of the book. It was the hardest to read and I couldn’t even breathe at one point because it was SO ROUGH! Once again, I am sobbing ALL THE TEARS over another Holden book.

And of course, I could not forget Holden’s writing. It was beautiful and lyrical and there were so many quotable quotes. I really felt that I would’ve enjoyed this book more if Miranda’s POV wouldn’t have been included and instead was only told from Faith and Seamus’s POV. I get that Holden is trying to show us all the sides of love, even the uglier side, but I just COULD NOT stand Miranda. But it was beautifully written nonetheless and  I enjoyed the ending.

4

Although So Much More will either be a hit or miss for readers, I GUARANTEE you that this book will make you FEEL. From anger to happiness, to rage and heartbreak, this book will make you shed some tears. I’m hoping that Holden’s next book will be more of a hit because I really hate when my auto-buy authors disappoint. IT HURTS MY SOUL!

153

Gus (Bright Side #2) – Kim Holden

“Bright Side wasn’t only my best friend; she was like my other half…the other half of my brain, the other half of my conscience, the other half of my sense of humor, the other half of my creativity, the other half of my heart. How do you go back to doing what you did before, when half of you is gone forever?” -Gus, Bright Side

Title: Gus 
Series: Bright Side
Author: Kim Holden

My Thoughts: This book is the second book in the Bright Side series (so if you haven’t read the first book…go read it!) It follows Gus as he goes through the stages of grief and mourns the loss of his best friend Kate a.k.a Bright Side. 

When I started this book, I made sure to grab a box of Kleenex because I knew the waterworks were going to start. The book starts with Gus drowning his sorrows in alcohol as he tries to cope with losing Bright Side. A few days later, the band leaves for their European tour and Gus continues to drown his sorrows with alcohol and soon adds cocaine into the mix. One of my favorite parts of this book was reading about the night before Kate left for Minnesota. I felt that this scene completed Bright Side for me because we never really knew what exactly went down that night, in details, and I loved it. I cried while reading this scene, it was just beautiful being able to see the love between Gus and Kate.

So the band comes back from Europe and Gus is still depressed; he’s still having a hard time coping with Kate’s death. During this time, the US tour has started and it is decided that Gus will have a personal assistant a.k.a his personal babysitter. In comes Scout MacKenzie a.k.a Impatient. At first, we don’t really get a clear picture of who Scout is. The only thing we can hint at is that she has gone through some type of trauma because of the scarring on her cheek. During this their time together, Gus actually starts to become his old self again. They have little moments they share and the use of post-it notes was completely adorable. They were bonding. What I really liked about Gus and Scout’s relationship was how it was formed and that they were friends and not “lovers”. There was no “insta-love”, but rather it was just two character’s trying to work through their own issues and their issues brought them together and in turn they were able to overcome their struggles together.

That’s all I’m going to say about this book because I don’t want to give too much away (so go read it if you want to know how Gus and Scout’s story ends). But all in all, I LOVED this book. I loved this series in general. It had a beautiful ending and I was crying tears of happiness (rather than tears of sadness like at the end of Bright Side). Once again Holden has done what she does best, which is EPIC

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars!

See you between the pages