Book Review: Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma

forbidden

PLEASE NOTE: This book deals with the topic of incest and as such may be difficult for some readers.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Seventeen-year-old Lochan and sixteen-year-old Maya have always felt more like friends than siblings. Together they have stepped in for their alcoholic, wayward mother to take care of their three younger siblings. As de facto parents to the little ones, Lochan and Maya have had to grow up fast. And the stress of their lives and the way they understand each other so completely has also brought them closer than two siblings would ordinarily be. So close, in fact, that they have fallen in love. Their clandestine romance quickly blooms into deep, desperate love. They know their relationship is wrong and cannot possibly continue. And yet, they cannot stop what feels so incredibly right. As the novel careens toward an explosive and shocking finale, only one thing is certain: A love this devastating has no happy ending.

Forbidden is the type of book that it takes balls to write and extraordinary skill to write well. When I first heard the hype surrounding the book I kind of shrugged it off, but my interest was piqued due to the topic. Once I picked up this book though, nothing else mattered, it had all of my attention.

Forbidden is the story of the Whitely family, a family in a situation that too many families face. However, one thing is different, Lochlan and Maya even knowing the possible consequences are in love. The dynamic between the siblings and the situation they are in, it all makes you feel for them.

The entire book is these two teenagers giving everything they have to make sure that their younger siblings have a roof over their head, food in their tummies, and all the things they could need to have as good a life as possible. They deal with all the many facets of parenthood, forgoing their own lives essentially to be the protectors, a role that someone had to step into for their mother. That may not sound like much, but on top of that, Lochlan and Maya are dealing with a whole other beast. Love, for each other.

They know it’s wrong, and they know that there are a thousand horrible things that could happen to the family if anyone found out, but in the end they care for each other and need the support of one another. Then, boom, the end of this book is smacking you in the face and there are FEELS and TEARS. I think I sobbed into this book for a straight 15 to 20 minutes. It was ridiculous. But it was also powerful and it stuck with me and I couldn’t process it or even talk about it for days, because there are no words.

This book is amazing, but so is Tabitha Suzuma. She takes on the topic of this book, heavy duty as it is, and weaves an amazing, unputdownable story. This one could have gone either way, but she brought an eloquence to the table that I haven’t seen in some time. I truly believe that she was brave as all hell to write this story and I am so glad she did. Absolutely pick it up, I know I’ll be looking for more from this author! 5/5 Stars!

ALSO, PLEASE make yourself available for discussion for the young reader in your life who picks this one up!

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Book Review: Recklessly Royal by Nichole Chase

recklesslyroyalSynopsis from Goodreads:

Catherine has spent her life being the perfect princess. She’s kept her hands clean, her head down, and most importantly—men at arm’s length. After all, most men are after only one thing, and for Cathy there’s a lot more at stake than her bed; she has to worry about the fate of an entire nation. But at the rate she’s going, Cathy is afraid she’ll give the Virgin Queen a run for her money. She is tired of waiting for someone good enough to come along. She has a plan, and it all hinges on seducing the one man who seems utterly unimpressed by all things royal. The one man she is tempted by more than any other . . .
When David arrives at the royal wedding of his friend, the newly ordained Duchess Samantha Rousseau, he expected to feel uncomfortable and out of his element, but he wasn’t prepared to be targeted by Prince Alex’s gorgeous younger sister. With Cathy’s giant blue eyes, killer figure, and sense of humor, it won’t take long before he gives in. But when he finds out just how innocent the crown princess really is, will he play the part of knight in shining armor or the dashing rogue?

Recklessly Royal is the second installment in Nichole Chase’s Royal trilogy and I have to say, I’m loving it. Whereas I had some struggles at the beginning of the first book, there was none of that with the second book. This was just a fun read from cover to cover.

This book shines the spotlight on Princess Catherine the sister of Alex from book one and David who is a friend of Samantha’s, also from book one. I loved these two characters together simply because of how different they are and the background that they bring to the relationship. Together the two really complement each other, and even though things get rough, they don’t let anything get in their way. There’s no real drama to get in the way of enjoying the romance, so to speak.

The story itself is straightforward. It’s very much a contemporary romance, and while the author tried to throw a curveball in the story, it ended up being insanely predictable. That said, my enjoyment of the overall story wasn’t affected by it. I just sort of went with it and then gave a fist pump when I was able to move on past the ‘revelation.’

Bottom line, Recklessly Royal was another win from Nichole Chase. It was a quick, fun, and fairly brainless read which is just what I wanted while I was on vacation. I’m looking forward to the last installment of the trilogy. 4/5 Stars.

Royal trilogy:

1. Suddenly Royal
2. Recklessly Royal
3. Reluctantly Royal

Book Review: Suddenly Royal by Nichole Chase

suddenlyroyalSynopsis from Goodreads:

Samantha Rousseau is used to getting her hands dirty. Working toward a master’s degree in wildlife biology while helping take care of her sick father, she has no time for celebrity gossip, designer clothes, or lazy vacations. So when a duchess from the small country of Lilaria invites her to dinner, Samantha assumes it’s to discuss a donation for the program. The truth will change the course of her life in ways she never dreamed.
Alex D’Lynsal is trying to keep his name clean. As crown prince of Lilaria, he’s had his share of scandalous headlines, but the latest pictures have sent him packing to America and forced him to swear off women—especially women in the public eye. That is, until he meets Samantha Rousseau. She’s stubborn, feisty, and incredibly sexy. Not to mention heiress to an estate in his country, which makes her everyone’s front-page news.
While Sam tries to navigate the new world of politics and wealth, she will also have to dodge her growing feelings for Alex. Giving in to them means more than just falling in love; it would mean accepting the weight of an entire country on her shoulders.

Suddenly Royal is a contemporary romance reminiscent of The Princess Diaries. I will admit that in the beginning of the book I struggled because it felt TOO much like someone just really wanted to write a new adult or “grown-up version” of The Princess Diaries. However, once I got through a few chapters I was able to block out my worries and just enjoy the book. What really helped make that happen were the characters.

The last thing Samantha expected when she went to dinner with someone she believed to be a royal benefactor was to be told that she herself was royal. But, that’s exactly what happened. Now she has to decide whether she wants to accept the title, or continue to live the life she is used too. I loved how she handled everything and the fact that we would get reminders throughout the story that even though she’s talking all the changes quite well, she’s still kind of winging it. Alex, on the other hand knows well and good what his lifestyle entails, yet Samantha still seems to knock him on his ass at times and it’s fun to read if I might say so myself.

Suddenly Royal is a really great contemporary romance that takes us from one end of the spectrum of fame to the other. I very much enjoyed the read. Also, I really love how the author worked the bird specialties of the characters into the story. It’s a very real concern worked into an otherwise fun, fictional read, so I feel it’s worth mentioning.

All in all, once I got past my issues at the beginning I was able to just read and enjoy this book. It really ran the gamut of emotions and sucked me in. Things were a bit predictable but I still wanted to keep reading to be sure that things ended up how I wanted.  I very much plan on continuing the series. 4/5 stars.

Royal trilogy:

1. Suddenly Royal
2. Recklessly Royal
3. Reluctantly Royal

Book Review: Nash by Jay Crownover

nashSynopsis from Goodreads:

Will their past determine their future?
Saint Ford has worked hard to achieve her childhood dream of becoming of nurse. Focused on her work and devoted to her patients, there’s no room for love. She doesn’t need a guy making waves in her calm, serene life—especially when he’s the unforgettable hottie who nearly destroyed her in high school. Dark, brooding Nash Donovan might not remember her or the terrible pain he caused. But he turned her world upside down… and now he’s trying to do it again.
Saint has no idea that Nash isn’t the cocky player he once was. Uncovering a devastating family secret has rocked his world, and now he’s struggling to figure out his future. He can’t be distracted by the pretty nurse he seems to meet everywhere. Still, he can’t ignore the sparks that fly between them —or how she seems so desperate to get away from him. But the funny, sweet, and drop-dead gorgeous Saint is far too amazing to give up on—especially since she’s the only thing in his life that seems to make sense.
When Nash discovers the truth about their past, he realizes he may have lost her heart before he could even fight for it. Now, Saint has to decide: is Nash worth risking herself for all over again?

Nash is the fourth installment in the Marked Men series and oh man, did Ms. Crownover take this book (and likely, this series) to a whole new level. I loved the first three books even with their slightly unbelievable bits and awful editing, but reading Nash was literally like a breath of fresh air. I’m so glad I got hooked on this series.

Nash was introduced in the first book and I’ve been curious about him ever since. He seemed to be a bit of a mysterious character and it wasn’t until book three that we start catching glimpses of who he really is. In this book Nash’s character has become so well developed, and even though he isn’t perfect, I can’t help but love him. Saint, too is just a totally loveable character. She’s so real and down to earth and it’s impossible not to relate to her in one way or another.

Nash and Saint’s story truly sucked me in. Between their separate backstories, their high school history, and the redevelopment of their relationship as adults I could not stop reading this book – it literally kept me up until 5 in the morning. Every bit of this story was just done brilliantly.

I don’t know how many ways I can say it, but Nash was phenomenal. It is a character driven story, which is something that I love personally, and it is at the same time a very emotional story that just grabs you by the (lady)balls and doesn’t let go. The writing, the story, and the editing is all just at a whole new level and I can’t stop fangirling about it all once I start.

Bottom line, Nash is amazing! I absolutely adored this book and I have a feeling I’ll be rereading it many a time. The characters, the feels, the story – it’s got it all. 5/5 stars.

The Marked Men series:

1. Rule
2. Jet
3. Rome
4. Nash
5. Rowdy
6. Asa (Expected Release April 14, 2014)