Thursday, October 1

Priest by Sierra Simone

There are many rules a priest can't break. 
A priest cannot marry. A priest cannot abandon his flock. A priest cannot forsake his God.

I've always been good at following rules. 
Until she came. 
My name is Tyler Anselm Bell. I'm twenty-nine years old. Six months ago, I broke my vow of celibacy on the altar of my own church, and God help me, I would do it again. 
I am a priest and this is my confession.

I haven't reviewed books in MONTHS! I got so busy with work and I had to do a quite complicated project at work and it just about took all of my time--ohmygod, my overtime was doing overtime of their own. Thankfully, I still found time to read. It's just the reviewing and the blogging part that I found difficult to find time to do. But I was still reading and keeping up to date with the newly released stuff. Otherwise, I would've gone insane-o.

Soooooo...what better way to start the 're-birth' of Bookabulary than to review Priest? Consider this re-birth baptized! I've actually had this book for quite sometime. But being the Catholic that I am, despite not being devout, I couldn't bring myself to even start reading this. It was just sitting in my TBR pile, looking neglected but pretty (c'mon, that cover?!).

But now I'm extra glad that I finally gave in because no matter how many times I had to put it down and take a deep breath before going on reading it, it was really a good read. Aside from the fact that I always cringe everytime I remember how many times they did it at the altar (holy guacamole, of all places!) or any religious place, it cannot be denied that the chemistry between Poppy and Tyler was off the roof.

It was a romance that I usually don't come across very often because there's really very few options on how to resolve the big issue in the room. It was as simple as black and white. But I was really surprised at how the story ended. In the interest of not giving away anything to those who haven't read it, let me just say that whatever second thoughts you'd have at the beginning at the thought of reading something like this will be worth the all the time overcoming them. Stop the overthinking and the overanalyzing...and just enjoy this good book. It was human and grounded and proof that you can serve your God in more ways than one. This was definitely a good choice for a standalone.

Final verdict: 8/10. Good read.

Thursday, March 26

New Year In Manhattan by Louise Bay

Anna and Ethan are separated by the Atlantic Ocean. Their previous rules no longer apply.

In order to make things work, Anna needs to let go of her past and take a risk with Ethan. Ethan needs to learn how to deal with the ambiguity of a relationship.

Long-distance relationships are never easy and their situation is fragile. For how long can it survive under the pressure of separation? Are either of them prepared to give up what they have for the other?

But distance isn’t the only obstacle Anna and Ethan face. Ultimately they have to decide whether they want to share a future together.

This last book in this series just proved just how much I have fallen in love with LB's writing. I had sexy to funny to romantic to quirky to heartbreaking in a snap. This review may have been long time coming but I had the best time reading this series. 

Ethan and Anna always had the most amazing chemistry to read. That was never more so than in this book. If I had never said in my reviews for the other parts of this series how real this story was, then let me say it now. A love story doesn't have to have all the extreme scenarios and plots and conflicts for it to be memorable. Sometimes it's the little things that matter. And that was how LB made this series extra special--she wove simpler situations together into this series and came up with a story that anyone can easily relate to.

I may be biased because Anna was a girl that was after my heart--I myself don't want to get married, in general. But I know that in the back of my mind, when the right one comes along and makes me want to overcome the apprehensions I have regarding the institution, I will undoubtedly say yes.

And what can I say about Ethan? Seriously, I love this guy. Even when his heart was breaking, he put on a brave front and still tried his very best to make Anna happy. Do guys like him even exist in real life anymore? I hope so. I really hope so.

Final verdict: 10/10. Great unforgettable read.

Empire State Trilogy series reviews:
A Week In New York
Autumn In London

Wednesday, February 11

Beautiful Beloved by Christina Lauren

In Beautiful Stranger , finance whiz Sara Dillon met the irresistibly sexy Brit, Max Stella, at a New York City club. Through the series we’ve watched them learn to balance commitment with their less than private brand of playfulness. In Beautiful Beloved, Max and Sara take it to the next step. But the question is: Will they be able to find a balance between the wild sexcapades they aren’t ready to retire, and the demands of parenthood that come along with their new Beautiful bundle of joy? Parenthood: it’s not for the weak of heart.

I never new I needed another Max Stella read until I came across this novella. Then suddenly I was all giggles and butterflies-in-my-stomach.

This was what I just needed during a stressful week at work (and it's only even Tuesday!). The situation was a far cry from the Max and Sara that we were used to reading--both workaholics and not too shy about their PDAs...and beyond. It was so much fun reading about a couple that was new to the family set-up with their first baby. There was too much adorableness line after line after line. (I cannot imagine my feels when CL comes around to writing a new Will and Hanna book. I would just faint in happiness! I love me some Will, is all.)

So just about everything about being new parents you can read in this fast read. Whether it was about a couple getting back on to their sex life or even simply going on date nights or wanting to go back to work. This was just an all-around funny read (that picture "accident" with Will though) that ended too quickly for me. I just couldn't get enough. 

Also take note that we get introduced to Max's brother Niall here. Another character with a British accent. Seriously, how are we surviving this series again? Ahhh, I'm all melty waiting to read his book!

Final verdict: 9/10. Great funny read.

Beautiful Bastard series reviews:
Beautiful Bastard
Beautiful Bitch
Beautiful Stranger
Beautiful Bombshell
Beautiful Player
Beautiful Beginning

Saturday, February 7

Kaleidoscope Hearts by Claire Contreras

He was my older brother's best friend. 
He was never supposed to be mine. 
I thought we would get it out of our system and move on. 

One of us did. 
One of us left. 

Now he’s back, looking at me like he wants to devour me. And all those feelings I’d turned into anger are brewing into something else, something that terrifies me. 
He broke my heart last time. 
This time he'll obliterate it.

How do I review this book without going over-the-top gushy? Yes, from the blurb to that pretty, pretty, pretty cover to just an all-around great read, I just can't stop loving this book. The idea of the story alone already made me want to melt into a puddle.

This was a great read. This was an awesome read. I always love it when the main characters have a long history together and this was a great take on that angle. It was kind of tough reading about how they had to grow up before they could have their time, especially Elle. Oliver was sometimes not the best hero but he had his moments and those were the best ones.

This was my total feel-good of the week. I loved CC's trope--it wasn't hard to read and made for some really comfortable storytelling. I loved how the POV was put together--the main story was Elle's while the past was in Oliver's. It showed just what their story was all through the years, without any bias. The only reason why I am not giving this book a perfect ten was because of that one missing important part--what did Oliver, Elle's brother Victor, and her dad talk about after they were found out? I know later on in the book that Oliver mentioned that they managed to hash things out...but how?! I want to know everything. Tell meee. Hahaha!

To top it off, this book also had some interesting secondary characters. Victor, Elle's bestfriend Mia, and Victor and Oliver's friend Jenson made their mark as well. I know this is a standalone but it wouldn't hurt if those three also get books of their own.

Final verdict: 9/10. Great read.

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