Plot Twist – Bethany Turner

57229420._SY475_Plot Twist by Bethany Turner
Publishing Date: June 14, 2021

February 4, 2003, is just another day for Olivia Ross—a greeting card writer whose passion project is a screenplay of her own. After she and a handsome, struggling actor have a near-magic encounter in a coffee shop, they make a spontaneous pact: in ten years, after they’ve found the success they’re just sure they’re going to achieve, they’ll return to the coffeehouse to partner up and make a film together. The only problem? Olivia neglected to get the stranger’s name. But she doesn’t forget the date.

For the next ten years, every February 4, Olivia has an exceptional day, full of coincidences and ironies. As men come and go and return to her life, and as she continues to write her screenplay, she still wonders about the guy from the coffee shop—the nameless actor she’s almost certain was Hamish McDougal, now a famous member of the Hollywood elite.

But a lot can happen in ten years, and while waiting for the curtain to rise on her fate, the true story of Olivia’s life is being written—and if she’s not careful, she’ll completely miss the epic romance playing out right before her eyes. 

I received an ARC of this title via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

Ok, so I used to very much be a fantasy only reader, but then I started dipping my toes into a bit more romance, and I won’t lie the more “Rom-Com” type of books are one of my favorites in the Romance genre. I was so excited when I got approved for this ARC via NetGalley, because this SCREAMED Rom-Com, and it delivered for the most part.

So I’d like to start with talking about Olivia. I think she’s a phenomenal character…at times. As a thirty year old woman who has self esteem issues and issues in pursuing life goals that seem like a pipe dream, she really resonated with me. But she seemed to stay that way over the course of ten years, which first off, I hope that those life hurdles don’t stay with me that long but I feel like we didn’t get enough outside of just February 4th of each year to really see her in any other light, so I feel like she had trouble developing as a person until towards the end of the book. But at the same time I understand the choice to really hone in on just February 4th.

Even though we got one date over the span on ten years to take a peek into Olivia, Fiona, and Liam’s life, I feel like it did a great job of keeping the plot moving and being a very unique way to setup a book. I don’t think I ever read a book the centered on one day a year for a span of ten years.

Now let me take a minute to talk about well…the romance or love journey. I figured Olivia was going to go on a twisty journey from the beginning (title of the book giving that a way a bit) but I didn’t expect there to be this weird love triangle. Don’t get me wrong, I literally felt my heart pounding when the whole coming back from Italy and THE DINNER, oh my god, I felt it. It was terrible, but it just felt a bit that the whole love triangle kind of went on for a really really long time, which I felt like was a tad much.

I found the ending to be a bit predictable, especially towards the end, I figured the man she met wasn’t going to be Hamish but props for making him someone I really didn’t expect, and it totally bummed me out that even HE wasn’t the final, but I could tell who was Olivia’s OTP by like half way through the book, and it made sense, and just seeing that journey, for me was pretty enjoyable.

I had a really good time with this read, although one would probably call it a very slow burn, it’s a clean and fun romance, that I actually flew through. Would I call it an all time fave? Not necessarily but if I was looking for something to entertain me and really just give me an enjoyable quick read, yes, yes, a thousand times yes!

3/5 Stars

Rhapsodic – Lauren Thalassa

32731881._SY475_Rhapsodic by Lauren Thalassa
Published November 15, 2016

Callypso Lillis is a siren with a very big problem, one that stretches up her arm and far into her past. For the last seven years she’s been collecting a bracelet of black beads up her wrist, magical IOUs for favors she’s received. Only death or repayment will fulfill the obligations. Only then will the beads disappear.

Everyone knows that if you need a favor, you go to the Bargainer to make it happen. He’s a man who can get you anything you want … at a price. And everyone knows that sooner or later he always collects.

But for one of his clients, he’s never asked for repayment. Not until now. When Callie finds the fae king of the night in her room, a grin on his lips and a twinkle in his eye, she knows things are about to change. At first it’s just a chaste kiss—a single bead’s worth—and a promise for more.

For the Bargainer, it’s more than just a matter of rekindling an old romance. Something is happening in the Otherworld. Fae warriors are going missing one by one. Only the women are returned, each in a glass casket, a child clutched to their breast. And then there are the whispers among the slaves, whispers of an evil that’s been awoken.

If the Bargainer has any hope to save his people, he’ll need the help of the siren he spurned long ago. Only, his foe has a taste for exotic creatures, and Callie just happens to be one.

So, i’m not sure if a lot of you know, but I’m a twitch streamer, and I started a bookclub for my community. This was our read for March.

This book had so much potential and it really missed the mark for me. I read through a good few Goodreads reviews and I feel like I understand why others enjoy this book, and I would say for what it is, it’s a pretty OK book, but there were a few things that really just kept just bringing down the rating of this book for me.

I felt like these characters where vastly underdeveloped. There was no character development and it was kind of annoying because I felt like Callie could have a good amount of potential to be this really great character. Especially since she’s supposed to be this female supernatural P.I. if you know me, you know I LOVE The Dresden Files. And when I found out Callie was a P.I. I was like OMG YAS A FEMALE DRESDEN….but no dice. 

Also, I felt so distracted by all the flashbacks. Every chapter for most of the book had a flashback and it didn’t feel like they helped the flow of the book at all. I actually found it extremely disruptive and there were better ways to bring those moments or memories, or at least the information from those flashbacks into the plot in a less disruptive way.

The way Callie and Des’ romance just kind of randomly happened was just frustrating to me. Yes, you understand she’s got this crush on Des, and he doesn’t reciprocate but never in the flashbacks does he seem remotely interested until right before he leaves her for seven years. Like WHAT!? And how I do believe there was a moment where he mentioned he started loving her when he met her which was when she was like a pre-teen, which felt kind of weird for me. Again, I just felt like the romance was wayyy underdeveloped. 

I think that’s just the best way to sum up this book for me “underdeveloped” I really REALLY wanted to like this, I swear. But with all the fantasy and romance I read, it really just didn’t make it for me. I give it credit for becoming a really popular book lately in the book community but, I just feel like if this book was worked on a bit longer, and really dove deep into more plot and development, it would have been unstoppable. 

1.5/5 Stars

Lore – Alexandra Bracken

Lore byAlexandra Bracken
Published January 5, 2021

Every seven years, the Agon begins. As punishment for a past rebellion, nine Greek gods are forced to walk the earth as mortals, hunted by the descendants of ancient bloodlines, all eager to kill a god and seize their divine power and immortality.
Long ago, Lore Perseous fled that brutal world in the wake of her family’s sadistic murder by a rival line, turning her back on the hunt’s promises of eternal glory. For years she’s pushed away any thought of revenge against the man–now a god–responsible for their deaths.

Yet as the next hunt dawns over New York City, two participants seek out her help: Castor, a childhood friend of Lore believed long dead, and a gravely wounded Athena, among the last of the original gods.

The goddess offers an alliance against their mutual enemy and, at last, a way for Lore to leave the Agon behind forever. But Lore’s decision to bind her fate to Athena’s and rejoin the hunt will come at a deadly cost–and still may not be enough to stop the rise of a new god with the power to bring humanity to its knees.

Other than Percy Jackson, I don’t think I’ve taken the plunge into Greek mythology based books. Being Greek I find myself to be hyper-critical but I got this in my first OwlCrate of 2021 and I loved everything that came with it so I decided to take the leap. This book was a really cool concept. And I think I enjoyed it because it didn’t go too deep into the Gods and Goddesses which is where I find that mythology books could fall short for me. But the idea of mortals taking God’s powers is so interesting to me.

So the Agon happens every seven years, where Gods and Goddesses walk the earth as mortals, and if they get killed the mortal who killed them obtain the God/Goddess’ powers and then becomes the New God. Melora (Lore) is the last of the Perseous line and has kind of left the world of Gods and Goddesses behind. She kept a low profile and hid for years until she comes face to face with an old friend, Castor. And if that wasn’t enough, when Lore heads home from her encounter with Castor who warns her that Ares is looking for her in hopes to jump start his plan to end the Agon and rule everything, she finds and almost dead Athena at her doorstep, binding their fates together, their journey to bring down Ares.

So I love the premise of this book and I even loved a lot of the plot but it fell flat a bit for me in terms of this just dragging every now and then, I found some of the flashback chapters mostly filler and not really useful to the progression of the story. Especially towards the end of the book, things were really cranking and BAM a flashback. I think I actually said “OH COME ON!” one time. I felt like there was a lot in there that was just info dumps and made the book feel a bit more dense than it had to be.

Other than that, this was great. I loved the portrayal of the God’s and Goddesses. Lore’s inner conflict and just general growth was great. And I really liked the action and the plot twitsts that were in here. Were they like INSANE PLOT TWIST no, but they fit really well into the story. I did feel a little let down by the ending but for it being a stand alone (which I surprisingly don’t read enough of) I think it got wrapped up as best as it could.

I would seriously recommend this book if you’re looking for a cool twist on mythology.

3.5/5 Stars