Book Review: “Ruthless” by Carolyn Lee Adams

Ruthless is a contemporary thriller that reads fast and packs one hell of a punch. It’s definitely not a book for younger children because of the violent and dark nature of Ruth’s abduction.

Ruth, a.k.a. “Ruthless,” is a complicated character. Her family’s ranch has been in danger of running aground for as long as Ruth can remember. The constant financial woes have strained Ruth’s parents’ marriage. When Ruth was 12 she won her first horse show, which came with a whopping $40,000 cash prize. After that moment, Ruth changed. She gave away what she deemed toys, determined to be the one who could keep the farm and family in working order. Ruth grew up way too fast.

Then you have Jerry, an ex-farmhand who’s addicted to kidnapping and “teaching” what he believes are insolent young girls. Jerry is extremely volatile and twisted, yet I still felt a sliver of pity for him at points. This book gives us snapshots into Jerry’s childhood, which unsurprisingly included an abusive parent.

Like the description says, at one point in story, Ruth turns the table on Jerry. She begins calling the shots. However, even though the roles change, Ruth endures a lot before, and definitely after, she gets her chance at making Jerry suffer. Ruth is a force to be reckoned with, but Jerry is larger, stronger, and has been doing this for a lot longer…

Throughout this book, as Ruth experiences hellish experience after hellish experience, she comes to terms with how she’s been living her life. Ruth realizes the mistakes she’s made as well as, if given a future, the changes she wants to make. Her self-evaluation throughout the story is incredible and captivating.

Ruthless isn’t just a dark thriller. It’s also a story about discovering who you are, what in life means the most to you, and how far you’re willing to go for the ones you care about. 

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3 Stakes!

Book Review: “Bright Blaze of Magic (Black Blade #3)” by Jennifer Estep

Bright Blaze of Magic is the third book in the Black Blade trilogy by Jennifer Estep. All the events in books one, two and three take place in the span of one summer in the magical tourist trap known as Cloudburst Falls.


Lila Merriweather is sassy, clever, strong, sneaky, and hilarious. Honestly, Lila is everything you could want and hope for in a book’s heroine. She’s a go-getter. You need something done? Lila’s got the bad-ass stealth and fighting skills to get the job done.

Lila is the star of the series not just because she is the heroine or that she has an awesome supernatural ability, but rather because of whom she is as a person. She’s kind, caring and brave. Lila’s fiercely protective of those she cares about.

The town Lila lives in isn’t just oozing with magical creatures like; tree trolls, copper crushers and the lochness monster, it’s also chock-full of mobsters. Since birth, Lila’s mother taught Lila to respect the local monsters and distance herself from the mobsters. In Cloudburst Falls, there’s humans that are even more “monster” than the monsters.

Since book one Cold Burn of Magic, the main plot of the series has been building towards Victor Draconis (head of the Draconis family mob) attacking Claudia Sinclair (head of the Sinclair family mob), as well as any other families that side with the Sinclairs. This attack actually happens in the first couple chapters of Bright Blaze of Magic. I loved how we were able to jump right into the action however, the middle part of the book, which occurred in about a 24 hour span was very long and dare I say lackluster. Claudia, Mo and the majority of the Sinclairs are kidnapped by Victor, while the rest of the gang, Lila, Felix and Devon are working to get them back. A lot of the middle section felt like filler. I think Bright Blaze of Magic could have been just as a compelling story if a quarter or so of the book had been shaved off.

The last section of the book however was great! It was full of action and shocking twists. I had chills of excitement during the final showdown between the Draconis’ and Sinclairs.

I really enjoyed the Black Blade series but I don’t love it like I did Estep’s Mythos Academy series. I’m sad to say goodbye to Lila, but I feel like her character arc peaked. I don’t think I want to read another book in her POV but I’d definitely be into another character taking over, say Deah, who still has a lot of emotions to work through. A magical place like Cloudburst Falls filled with monsters, mobsters, and mayhem definitely has more stories to tell that I’d be interested in!

If you like snarky heroines that kick ass, a lot of action, slow budding romance and of course the lochness monster, you should checkout this series. It’s so easy to jump into these books and have a great time! 

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4 Stakes!

Book Review: “Dark Heart of Magic (Black Blade #2)” by Jennifer Estep

Last March I devoured Jennifer Estep’s Cold Burn of Magic, the first, in what I knew then, would be an awesome new series. I have to admit though, I was pretty confident that Lila Merriweather and her adventures would become a new favorite of mine due to the fact that I’m a huge fan of Estep’s Mythos Academy series. Estep knows how to write smooth storylines with kick-ass heroines that you can’t get enough of therefore, book two, Dark Heart of Magic was on the top of my to-read list. When I got my hands on a copy I stopped reading my current book (sorry – Scorpion Rules) so I could see what zany feats Lila was up to in the latest installment. I was not disappointed!

Lila lives in a magical tourist trap. Her town is inhabited by all kinds of magical creatures including trolls, pixies, and the lochness monster. A few powerful magic-wielding families(read: mobs) run and make profit from the various attractions. In Cold Burn of Magic we learned that Lila’s mother Serena was killed by Victor Draconis, the head of most feared family in town. Victor, who for a while has been trying to eradicate the other families so he could reign supreme, feared Serena and her strong magical abilities. In Dark Heart of Magic we see Lila continue to work towards her ultimate goal of making Victor pay for what he did to her mother. But Dark Heart of Magic isn’t all about revenge. There’s also some romance…

Lila’s feelings for Devon, which developed in book one, continue to intensify in book two. Lila sees how good, strong and kind Devon is, yet she’s torn because she has plans to ditch town once the Draconis problem has been removed and she doesn’t want to get too attached to Devon. I applauded Lila for sticking to her guns but I also felt sorry for her. There’s so many people in her life now who care about her like Oscar, Devon, Mo, and Felix, but she still keeps them at an arm’s length. In this latest installment Lila really comes to realize how important family is and that the possibility of losing someone doesn’t mean you should have never been close to them in the first place. You’ve got to live life to the fullest while you can because you never know how short it will be, especially in Lila’s town.

Although Victor Draconis is the overall problem in this series, Estep doesn’t rely on just him to be the villain. There’s other dangers lurking in town and it’s up to Lila to figure out what’s going on before the body count begins to rise.

I love this series. It reads quick and keeps you hooked. This is the first book in a long time that had me staying up late to finish. I just didn’t want to put it down because the ending was smashing! Figuratively and literally. Hah! 

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4 Stakes!

Book Review: “Cold Burn of Magic (Black Blade #1)” by Jennifer Estep

I’ve never been a huge fan of mobsters, but trade swords for guns, and add a dash of magic, and I can get on board. Cloudburst Falls is open and proud of their pixies, ogres, and yes, even the lochness monster. A handful of powerful families have turned the town into a magical tourist attraction, and sure, a tourist might disappear occasionally, but business still booms.

Lila, our main character, is a spitfire. Sharp, resourceful, and sarcastically hilarious, Lila really holds her own when it comes to dealing with the local monsters and mobsters. She’s an accomplished thief with the skills to get out of the stickiest situations. Being an orphan, Lila knows the consequences that come from being involved in mob business.

Cold Burn of Magic is dark – and funny. Murder isn’t taboo; it’s a way of life in Lila’s world.

I loved how magic in this book was limited. In fact, the “magic” in this series was closer to X-Men in the sense that some individuals had just one, maybe two, extraordinary abilities.

The monsters/mythical creatures were also a fun and creative addition to the story.

If you like contemporary fantasies, and sassy heroines, grab Cold Burn of Magic. Jennifer Estep, author of multiple series, including Mythos Academy, is skilled when it comes to spinning unique and addicting stories.

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4 Stakes!!
crown of midnight final cover

Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2) by Sarah J. Maas

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Pages: 418
Release date: August 27, 2013
Genre: YA, High Fantasy
[Goodreads]

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***Some how this review got lost in my blogging queue because I actually read Crown of Midnight months ago, and then wrote this review. I got a kick out of reading this review when I found it because I just finished book 5 and so many things have changed since book 2!! Anyways, here’s my review of book 2 in the Throne of Glass series…

Yep. I’m officially and incredibly addicted to this series. I’m not going to beat myself up for not starting it sooner anymore because I’ve officially hopped on the bandwagon and I’m invested in Celaena’s journey.

Crown of Midnight isn’t one of those books that succumbs to the dreaded second book slump, in fact, I’d say that Crown of Midnight was even better than Throne of Glass. Everything was just so heightened in Crown of Midnight. This book was darker, deeper and more devastating.

We see Calaena unlike we’ve ever seen her before. In her grief and rage shes becomes a deadly creature with no sense of restraint. She’s unstoppable. It was actually quite scary to see how powerful she truly is able to become. Her emotions flip off and she’s lost in blood lust.

Enough of the dark and gloomy! There was some light in this book…mainly Celaena and Chaol my current favorite ship. Celaena, since book one, has been see-sawing between Chaol and Dorian.  However, after pulling away from Dorian she fully leans toward Chaol in Crown of Midnight. I just love these two together so damn much. He’s uniform and logical and she’s reckless and unpredictable, together they just fit wonderfully. They help each other grow in ways they didn’t think possible.

A lot of reveals were made in Crown of Midnigh regarding the king’s agenda, Celaena’s past and where her future lies.

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5 whopping stakes of course! This series excels at many things especially when it comes to creating compelling characters like Celaena. She has so many layers and it’s been such a treat to peel them back.

5stakes