Watcha Reading Wednesday

Watcha Reading Wednesday

Another week, another Wednesday! This week I’ve slowed down a bit and am only reading one book!

My CR is Sinner’s Playground (The Harlequin Crew #1) by Caroline Peckham and Susanne Valenti.

I had been seeing this book everywhere and added it to my TBR. Instead of picking up one of the many physical books on my TBR, I decided to buy the kindle version of this and dive right in. I can’t stop reading it…I’m enthralled by the story and characters. This Dark Gang Romance has had me turning pages faster than ever before, I’m that interested in what’s happening.

Rogue is back from the dead and here to haunt her past. She’s on a mission and will stop at nothing to get what she wants…enter the Harlequin Boys rom her childhood.

This book has the POV of Rogue, Maverick, Fox, JJ, and Chase and I am living for each of them. I’m about 400 pages in and I may or may not be obsessed with Rogue and am slightly in love with Fox and his overprotective tendencies, as well as JJ’s personality. The sexual tension is *chef’s kiss* and I am waiting for the other shoe to drop. I believe this is a RH, so I’m (im)patiently waiting for Rogue to make her rounds. Le Sigh.

I have a feeling I’ll be on book two by the end of the day!

Synopsis

Here’s the synopsis from amazon…see trigger warnings at the end!

Dead girls don’t feel pain.

But they like the taste of vengeance.

Maybe that’s why I came back to my hometown. Because it sure as hell wasn’t for the surf. But what else was I supposed to do when I found myself in Sunset Cove with twenty bucks to my name, the key to my enemies’ secrets hanging around my neck and a mouth full of grave dirt that wouldn’t wash clean?

I hate the Harlequin boys.

But this is the perfect opportunity to take what they owe me. Because once upon a time, they broke my heart, stole my life and sent me away from everything I’d ever known.

Fox, JJ, Chase and Maverick.

The four names tattooed onto my heart more permanently than any of the ink on my skin. They don’t just live in this town anymore, they rule it. And the view here may be beautiful, but the sun, sea and sand hide dark secrets.

The gangs.
The lies.
The violence.

It all lurks beneath a veil so thin that once you’ve seen through it, you can never close your eyes to the truth again.

But I don’t plan on closing my eyes. I have four devils set in my sights. And this dead girl no longer has anything to lose.

This is an enemies to lovers contemporary series where the girl will end up with multiple love interests and all of the characters are in their late twenties. Trigger warning: this series features gangs, violence, dark romance and jealous/possessive themes.

Wrap-Ups

June 2021 Wrap-Up

June has been a busy, busy month, but I had a great reading month! School ended on the 22nd of June and because of hybrid learning, I had a lot of time to read at work the last few weeks of school. I’ve found that my routine has been work, home, read, nap, read, eat, read, bed. I try to fill all of my free time with reading or crafting…it’s going great so far! I also found out today that I can read while I’m on the bike or treadmill at the gym; or I can listen to an audiobook – another win!

Monthly Stats

  • Books: 18
  • Authors: 5: Jennifer L Armentrout, Katee Robert, Tessa Bailey, Harley Laroux, and Kelly Garrett
  • ReReads: none (I did start a reread but won’t be done by the time June is over)
  • Genres: YA Fantasy, Adult Fantasy, Dark Romance, Mystery
  • Pages Read: about 6,848 give or take a few (kindle books and goodreads have varying pages and I don’t trust the accuracy)
  • Star Break Down: 5 star reads: 6 ; 4 star reads: 11 ; 3 star reads: 1

Books, Ratings, and Brief Thoughts!

5 stars
This book is the last in the Titan series and I loved every second of it. I highly rec reading Covenant series (YA series that this is the spinoff of) and then reading this one!
5 stars
This was a highly anticipated release for me and it did not disappoint. I loved the modern day Hades Persephone retelling and the smut in this was *chef’s kiss*.
4 stars
This was a unintentional read. I needed a quick read to cleanse my pallette and I stumbled across this. This was an interesting read, but I somehow enjoyed it. Please check out trigger warnings before reading!
4 stars each
I kept seeing great things about this series on the JLA FB groups I’m in and decided to finally pick it up. Once again, JLA did not disappoint. This is an adult fantasy with Fae (as the enemies!!!) and a fantastic character named Tink! I fell in love with Ren as soon as we met him, but because of the Passionflix movie, all I can see is a young John Travolta…not that it’s a bad thing. I appreciated the story line of this series and sped through it in a few days. Highly recommend!
4 stars each
I was on a JLA streak this month, clearly. I had to dive into this series next because the same FB groups kept mentioning Roth and I was intrigued. I am proud to say I am 100% team Roth and NOT team Zayne. I’m always one for the bad boy with a heart, and in this case, he’s a DEMON! This was a fun, magic filled YA fantasy that I wish was adult…can Roth have his own adult series like Seth or… the sexual tension between Roth and Layla is amazing and I would literally die for Bambi the snake. I want my own familiar…sigh.
Books 1-3: 4 stars, books 4-5: 5 stars
I am beyond obsessed with this series. I am currently rereading book 4 and will probably end up continuing into book 5. I don’t think I can choose which of JLA’s series are my favorite, but Daemon Black is high on my list of book boyfriends (as is Seth, Cas, Roth, Ren…). Again, I wish this series had an adult spinoff, but my imagination is enough. I live for the sexual tension between Kat and Daemon. I want to punch Ash and Andrew in the face; I want to be BFFs with Archer and Dee, and I want some sexy aliens in my life (good or bad…I’m not picky). This series will have you feeling every single emotion possible and may make you lose your sanity in the best way.
5 stars
This is the first three books of the Lux series in Daemon’s POV and I LOVED IT. This isn’t in print because it was almost 1,000 pages, so you can only find his POV in Obsidian in stores. Seeing inside Daemon’s head gave me so much insight to why he was a douche canoe to Kat at the start and it really opened my eyes and made me love him even more (as if that was possible).
5 stars
This is an adult spin-off of the Lux series with a character named Hunter. When I say this book will make you swoon and sweat, I mean it in the best way. Hunter is an Arum, enemy to Daemon’s kind (Luxen) and seeing in his head as the “enemy” was fascinating. JLA really did an amazing job with this one. I so wish this wasn’t a standalone!
4 stars
HOLY MOLY! This book is H O T. Tessa Bailey does a phenomenal job with this story and I loved every steamy minute of it. I am in love with Bowen and need more of him. Again…bad boys with hearts do it for me… 😉
3 stars This was a fun YA Mystery to read. I didn’t love the main character’s attitude/personality, but I enjoyed the plot enough that I continued reading. I recommend this for YA readers that haven’t tried any mystery’s yet. It has a good plot twist at the end and is a great intro to the genre!

Well folks, that was an intense month of reading! I’m going on vacation in July so I doubt it will be as prosperous as June, but never say never!

What was your favorite read of the month?

Personal

Blog Update!

Hi all! I am SO sorry that I’ve been MIA! Work and life has sucked up all of my extra attention. I have been reading, A LOT, but haven’t had time or motivation to blog or do reviews.

I’m currently reading Jennifer L Armentrout’s Lux Series and the main character is a book lover and has her own blog! This character has inspired me to make time for blogging! One of Katy’s videos that she makes is called “My Mailbox Monday” and I am totally going to start doing that, but in written form! I plan to make a post on Mondays about the books I’ve gotten throughout the week (via mail, Little Free Libraries, other means). I also want to start posting more blog posts!

We’re going to Las Vegas and San Diego in July and I looked at the Little Free Library map and there are TONS of them in those places! I may need to bring an empty suitcase just for books. I also want to hit up bookstores in San Diego. I can’t visit a new place and not go to the book places!

I have also almost hit my 75 book goal on GoodReads! I’m two books away!!!!! I’m so excited!

This was short and sweet, but I just wanted you to know that I’m alive and well and will be returning soon!

Have a fabulous day!

❤ Allison

Book Reviews

The Fae Chronicles Review

He’s my drug of choice, and I don’t think there’s a rehab for it.”

Amelia Hutchins

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Short Synopsis of Overall Series

This series follows Synthia, an Enforcer of the Guild, as she navigates the human world and Faery. Her path crosses with Ryder, a sexy and powerful Fae male, as they work to solve a mystery. Throughout the seven books they have to constantly solve problems, work together, and save the world. There’s TONS of sexy times and lots of other action too! Through the fight for life, plot twists galore, and lots of magic, Synthis and Ryder do their best to fight for what they believe in, even if it’s two separate things.

My Thoughts

I’m going to format this review like I format my GoodReads reviews. Since I’m doing all seven books at once, and they’ve all jumbled in my brain, I’m just going to list things I loved and things I didn’t love. Easy enough!

Things I loved about this series:

  • If you ever need to read some good smut…this series is it for you. It starts with some serious sexual tension and it just gets more delicious as the books progress.
  • I was introduced to Fae in ACOTAR by Sarah J Maas, and this book just made my Fae expectations even higher. I love Rhysand from ACOTAR so much, but for me, Ryder just stole the limelight in my heart. What a creature he is. Oof.
  • I enjoyed the aspect of mystery in this series. There was plot that kept me interested when there wasn’t smut ensuing. I was invested in the storyline and the relationships and characters.
  • Ristan…I love this Demon so damn much. He is such a great character. He brings a sense of comic relief and definitely balances Ryder and Synthia.
  • The world Faery: I enjoyed how this world panned out. We start in Washington State and find out about this place called Faery which is where all the magical creatures live. The way AH builds this world caught my attention. In the first book, we only get glimpses of this world, usually through other POVs, but as we become more familiar with it in later books, it’s a very fascinating place.
  • I really enjoyed the plot twists that AH threw in throughout the series (even though some made me cry forever). It’s always nice to spice things up, especially when you have a long series like this one.
  • I highly appreciate that AH has in depth content warnings in the front of each book. Her books have some risky and uncomfortable topics that could definitley trigger some people. I wish more authors did this so that we didn’t have to search far and wide to figure out if the book is going to be okay for our mental health. So kudos for that.
  • Eliran…what a saint. I love this character. He’s Ryder’s trusted healer and he really just puts his heart into his work.
  • The Transition…wow. This was a fun twist I didn’t expect. I love how Fae start off as “human” looking and then hit puberty at around 21 and then turn into true Fae. It’s fascinating. The whole feeding thing that they have going on is very erotic also, and I’m here for it!

Things I didn’t like:

  • I didn’t know that there were companion series that went with this one, so when I got to book six I thought I missed a whole book. There’s some things that weren’t resolved at the end of chapter 5, that are magically okay at the beginning of book 6 and I was really confused. Apparently things get fixed in these companion books that I didn’t know existed.
  • Some of the writing isn’t great. There’s a lot of repetitive phrases that are used and could have easily been replaced with other words. There are also some chunks that the character says something and then repeats almost the same thing. I feel like some of these scenes could have been removed.
  • Occasionally, the POV changes to Ryders and the way he’s written in his own head is really cringey to me. He sounded very abrasive and it made me uncomfortable being inside of his head. Maybe that’s how it’s supposed to be, but I wasn’t a fan of some of his chapters (there aren’t many).
  • There’s also one random chapter in one of the books in Adam’s perspective. This threw me off. I remember being pissed because I don’t like when the perspective changes a lot in a book…especially randomly. But then, we never got another chapter in his POV…I didn’t think it was necessary.
  • I noticed A LOT of similarities between this and ACOTAR (the Fae courts, names/characters, etc). I looked it up and this came out first. So I wonder if SJM was inspired by this at all. I don’t dislike that, but when things are really similar (Ryder and Rhysand, Morrigan, Eris, Fyre, Court of nightmares, winter/spring/summer/autumn courts) it’s interesting and I need more information.
  • Some of the names that were choses are SO similar to other names already in the book. Example: Ristan and Dristan….Ryder and Spyder. I think these name similarities irked me the most. Sometimes when I’m reading, I’d read Dristan as Ristan and then have to reread a chunk. Spyder also reminded me of the hyper kid at the end of the movie Holes.

Even with the things I didn’t like, I was so intrigued and engulfed emotionally into this series, I had to give each book 5 stars. They had everything I love: Fae, Smut, Mystery, so I couldn’t resist. I’m currently rereading chunks of each books so I’ll continue to add to this post as I go! Enjoy what I have so far…for now!

Tags

R.I.P It or Ship It Book Tag

I found this book tag on Dreamland Book Blog and just had to try it!

The Rules

  1. Write down a list of book characters. I wrote down 14.
  2. Put into a container of your choice: I chose a cup…it’s what I had closest to me!
  3. Pick two names at a time.
  4. Decide if you ship the relationship or if you want the relationship to cease existence! Easy enough!

Round One: Ship it!

Couple number 1 is: Castiel from From Blood and Ash and Morana from The Darkverse Series. Honestly…I think I ship this one! Both are badass and would challenge each other in the best ways possible. Morana kind of reminds me of a mob version of Poppy anyway, so I think it would work (at least for a bit anyway!)

Round Two: RIP it!

Couple number two is: Poppy from From Blood and Ash and Aren from The Bridge Kingdom. I can’t see Poppy with anyone but Castiel…I loved Aren, but I don’t know if it would work with them. Aren’s land is kind of secluded and Poppy has been secluded her whole life. I don’t see it being a thing…thank you, NEXT.

Round Three: Ship It!

Couple number three is: Bryce from Crescent City and Dex Foray from the Experiment in Terror Series. What personalities these two have! They would give each other a run for their money and the spice in the sheets would be *chef’s kiss*. Both like to have fun and do risky things, so they’re perfect!

Round Four: RIP It!

Couple number four is: Katniss from the Hunger Games and Perry from the Experiment in Terror Series. I don’t know how I feel about Katniss and Perry being together. I love Perry to death, and Katniss is great, but I don’t think they’d make a rockin’ couple. I don’t even know if they would be friends. I think Katniss would annoy Perry and it would get old real fast. Perry is also a lot like me and I don’t think I would enjoy being in a relationship with Katniss so…I’m gonna have to go with NO on this one.

Round Five: RIP It!

Couple number five is: River from Fables and Other Lies and Wrath from Kingdom of the Wicked. River has his own charm, but Wrath is the embodiment of sin (literally…look at his name). There would be a huge power struggle in this relationship, but I think Wrath would end up killing River in the end..so it probably wouldn’t work out. I wouldn’t mind watching them try though…I’ll make the popcorn!

Round Six: I Ship It…but it’s complicated

Couple number six is: Aelin from the Throne of Glass Series and Ryder from the Fae Chronicles. Holy crap. I would LOVE to see this happen. However, Ryder is super dominant and would try to get Aelin to submit and she would take absolutely none of his shit! She’d probably try to get him to submit, which isn’t in his vocabulary, so it would probably a hot mess (emphasis on hot). I think it would be a constant back and forth for power and Aelin would somehow end up on top, as she always does. Ryder would turn into a beast and it would get messy…but it would probably be worth it. Maybe…

Round Seven: Ship It…;)

Couple Number Seven is: Ristan the Demon from the Fae Chronicles and Rhysand from A Court of Thorns and Roses. OH.MY.GOD. What a pairing! These two have such snarky personalities…I would LOVE to see them attempt a relationship. I can’t imagine how funny it would be to be friends with the both of them together. I need it to happen. High Lord of the Night Court and his Demon…we love to see it. Yes, please. The trouble they would get into together…I see lots of sexy adventures that they include all their friends in for…YAS.

That was more fun than I anticipated. I would love to do this with different characters too! I’m glad I stumbled across this tag!

Book Reviews

Fables and Other Lies Book Review

I pity those who can’t get lost in fictional worlds.”

Rating: 4/5 Cups of Tea (Stars)

Back of the Book Synopsis

Do you believe in curses?

I never did.

Not until that fated night, six years ago, when I sat in The Devil’s Chair and made a wish.

Not until it came true.

Not until I met River Caliban himself, heir to a fortune of curses. My fated sworn enemy.

I knew I should have stayed away from him. I should have run the other way when he called out my name, when he flashed that sinful smile of his, but instead, I walked toward him, leaving the light behind. Instead, I go against all reason, against all warning, and attended the gala of the year at his dark, allegedly haunted home at the top of the hill.

The moment I step foot inside I know I’m in trouble, but there’s something about River that magnetizes me, reels me in, and when he asks for the impossible, I find it impossible to turn him away.

My Thoughts

This was one of the last books I bought in 2020 and it was the first book I read of 2021. I was intrigued by the title, the cover, and the length of the book. I hadn’t intended to make it my first read of the year, but I’m glad that I did!

I loved the main character, Penelope (Penny for short). She told the story well and I was interested in the story she had to tell from the beginning of the prologue! Her friends were a fun add to the plot as well, as was the main male character, River Caliban.

The gothic storytelling and use of fables (and other lies) is something I don’t usually dive into. I really enjoyed how two feuding families, a curse, and everything in between played out. We just watched Holes, and it reminded me of the curse and families in the movie…which was ironic and funny. The supernatural aspect of the story was done well also. It wasn’t overwhelming but held enough of the plot to keep us moving through and engaged in the story.

The island that Penny grew up on celebrates Carnival once a year, for a whole week, and that’s when most of the book takes place. I would have liked to have more description of different activities that were happening because it was fun and interesting, but also because Carnival was a large part of the plot. The way the costumes and festivities were described was done very well and I had very vivid images of what was going on in my head.

The main part that left me unfulfilled in this book is the lack of romance. There is some, but it’s slow burn and pretty brief. With the book being a little over 200 pages long, the slow burn doesn’t really work and by the end, I was invested in the relationship and wanted MORE. The romance had so much potential because it was unique, but I was sad when it ended and I didn’t have all the sexy times I anticipated.

Later in the story there are a few chapters that switch POV. However, this switch also changes the writing from first to third person and that was quite jarring for me. The chapters were very short during these switches and I don’t know why the change from first to third happened. I didn’t necessarily feel like anything was gained by doing so, so I’d be interested to find out the author’s reasoning.

Overall, the plot and characters were fabulous. I have never read anything by this author and will definitely be checking out more! It’s an easy and quick read and was worth picking up. I’m happy to be starting 2021 on a high note!

Wrap-Ups

2020 Reading Wrap-Up

A book is a dream that you hold in your hands”.

Overview!

This year has been quite the reading year for me! I have ended 2020 with 108 books added to my “read” list! Technically it’s 97 different books with 11 being rereads (some are multiple). Never did I imagine that I would read 20 books this year…let alone over 100! Quarantine has been good for something!

I also started a book inventory the other day so I can keep track of all the books I own. I finished the two shelves in my craft room/ library room and am just over 300 books…I still have about 100 more scattered throughout the house to log (plus ones I have pre-ordered/yet to come in the mail). Before quarantine, I didn’t own enough books to fill a full row on my bookshelf….needless to say, I’ve spent A LOT of money on books and I don’t regret any of it!

Subscription Boxes

A lot of my money has also gone to book themed subscription boxes. I do the YA version of each and am obsessed. However…I think I may need to cancel some of the subscriptions (I already cancelled two). Below are the ones I’ve tried/still do.

  • Owlcrate: I love OC so much. They usually have great books/dust jackets and the authors write notes and sign the books. I haven’t loved all the merch that OC chooses, but most of the time they’re okay. I would like to see more small business support in their bookish goodies.
  • Bookish Box: This was the first one I subscribed to. It’s very similar to Owlcrate. I enjoy it a lot, but when compared with some of the other boxes, I don’t know if it’s worth the money.
  • Once Upon a Book Club Box: I only got two of these books. They’re formatted so that the goodies you get are hidden and tell you to open them when you get to certain pages. I am not patient enough for that…I also didn’t enjoy a majority of the items in these boxes and ended up cancelling.
  • Fae Crate: I only got one Fae Crate before cancelling. It wasn’t really my style. I’m glad I tried it out though.
  • Illumicrate: I’ve gotten two so far (I just got off the waitlist!). I LOVE Illumicrate! They have great items and great books. I’m a sucker for sprayed edges and they do them often! Highly recommend.
  • Fairyloot: I haven’t gotten one yet because I just got off the waitlist. My first box will be coming in January and I am SO excited. I have heard AMAZING things about FL and can’t wait to see what the first box I get is like. Their books are GORGEOUS and I know they do a lot of sprayed edges as well!

Overall, I think Fairyloot and Illumicrate may kick Owlcrate, Bookishbox, or both out of the running. I really shouldn’t be spending all that money for four subscription boxes a month anyway…oops…don’t tell my husband!

Favorite Books of the Year!

I have had quite a lot of five star reads. I’m going to list all of them and then figure it out from there!

  • Getting Down by Helena Hunting
  • Handle with Care by Helena Hunting
  • Shacking Up by Helena Hunting
  • Lingus by Mariana Zapata
  • House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J Maas
  • Empire of Storms by Sarah J Maas
  • Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J Maas
  • A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson
  • Smut by Karina Halle
  • A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas
  • Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco
  • A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J Maas
  • With This Heart by R.S. Grey
  • A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas
  • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  • Regretting You by Colleen Hoover
  • The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta
  • Beach Read by Emily Henry
  • Home Before Dark by Riley Sager
  • A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire by Jennifer L. Armentrout
  • Gifting Me to His Best Friend by Katee Robert
  • The Mindfuck Series by S.T. Abby
  • Book 2-10 of the Experiment in Terror Series by Karina Halle

I obviously love each of these books for many different reasons! My top three are actually entire series and I hold each of them dear to my heart.

In third place for the year (and maybe ever) I have the From Blood and Ash Series. AKOFAF threw me into a rough reading slump after I finished it. I was so drawn into this world that JLA created and was in love with the characters, that when I finished I couldn’t pick up another book without wanting to read about Poppy and Cas. I am so excited for the new book coming in 2021!

In second place is the Experiment in Terror Series. I have never read nine books so fast in my life. I read a book a day and couldn’t stop until I devoured all of Karina Halle’s words. I became obsessed with this series in November and was SO stoked to hear that a new book was coming out December 11…well it came out a day early and you bet your booty that I bought it and read it that day! I was struggling in November with picking up books and this series sucked me out of that slump and threw me head first into an amazing paranormal realm with beautiful and enticing characters. I am so happy I came across this series!

In first place we have the ACOTAR series. My dear friend Sophie recommended me these books in January and I ended up finding them on clearance in Target. I tried the first chapter of ACOTAR and wasn’t feeling it. Fast forward a few month and add a bored, quarantined Allison, and I picked up the book again. This time I was intrigued. I got passed chapter one and was really vibing with the feeling of the book. I then became enamoured by Tamlin (ugh, ew) and couldn’t put the book down. Once I finished the first one I just had to dive into book two (which is my favorite of the series…I read it 5 times so far). I finished the series and all I wanted to do was read more SJM books….no, all I wanted to do was read. This series made me fall in love with reading again and I am so thankful that Sophie recommended them to me almost a year ago! I have my SJM shrine on my bookshelf and currently own 54 SJM books (a lot of duplicates and special editions….don’t judge).

2021 Reading Goals

For 2021 I plan to go with the flow and read whatever my heart desires. I don’t want to stress over my ever growing TBR list. I do have a handful of books that I will read when they’re released, but other than that, I want to freely roam my shelves and enjoy each page I read. I also want to become more comfortable with DNFing books. I struggle with this because I feel like if I paid for a book, I should read it. But…why read something I’m not enjoying? I plan to keep up with blogging and booktube more but we’ll see about that. Overall, I want reading to be fun and not a job (which some people I follow make it seem like one…). I read for me and no one else and that’s that!

So, thanks Sophie and SJM for helping me find something I’m passionate about this year! I’ve really gotten to visit some amazing realms and worlds through books and can’t wait to see where 2021 takes me!

Book Reviews

Experiment in Terror Book Series Review

“You’re the light in all this madness. You’re my light. “

So this review is going to be a smidge different than my normal format because it’s based on a whole series. I’m going to do my overall thoughts on the whole series and then do snippets from each of the main books. I’m not going to touch on the novella’s because this review may then become its own novella, but maybe in a different post I will! Buckle up…this fangirl is about to take you on a lust filled ride.

Overall Thoughts

When I say that I am OBSESSED with this series, I mean that I eat, sleep, and breathe the pages. I haven’t read anything else since finishing it and I am (im)patiently waiting for December 11th to roll around because that’s when book 10 comes out! I’ve never been more excited for a series to continue than I am for this one…I need more Dex and Perry!

Anyway, I bought the kindle version of Darkhouse because it was recommended on FB group I’m in. I’ve read one other Karina Halle book, Smut, and loved it entirely too much, so I figured I would give it a try. Though Darkhouse, and the first few books of the series, doesn’t have any smut in it, there is A LOT of sexual tension and I am 100% here for it! I also love that it’s a paranormal series and that I was legit scared so many times while reading. If you’re a smut lover like I am, don’t fret…once the smut starts later in the series, it does not disappoint!

Perry is curvy, plus sized woman and I vibe with that because I too, am a curvy plus sized woman! I was very excited to read a book with a plus sized main character that I could relate to. Perry’s thoughts often mirrored thoughts I’ve had about myself and I appreciated being able to have a main character that I could see myself as. I also love Dex Foray and I may or may not have already married him…who’s to say? He’s 32 years old and full of sex appeal and sarcasm, all while being a douchecanoe. At first he creeped me out and I wasn’t convinced of him, but he grew on me and now I will love him forever.

As for the plot of the series, I am obsessed. The whole paranormal aspect had me hooked. I love the premise of the stories and how each one built off of the others. I also liked that book 7 was in Dex’s POV…I don’t often read books with male main characters/narrators, but his book was just…wow. As I said above, I was truly creeped out in many parts of the series and I cannot wait to see what the 10th book is going to bring!

I think my favorite part about this series is that Darkhouse was the first book that Karina ever wrote, back in 2011. I thoroughly enjoyed watching her writing progress as the series went on and can’t wait to dive into more of her stories. Oh, Karina may also be my favorite smut writing author. I decided that after reading her book Smut, but these books just solidified that for me. Seriously…the smut in these books is to die for…the waiting and sexual tension/frustration is completely worth it!

Now, before I completely ruin the series….let’s get into some thoughts of each of the books! I’ll do my best not to spoil anything!

Thoughts on the Books!

4/5 Stars

Darkhouse, being the first book in the series (and the first book that KH ever wrote) had some progress to make. It did a great job at building Perry and Dex, but I wasn’t hooked into the story until I was about 80% done the book. I was tempted to DNF it until a later date but I am SO glad that I didn’t.

5/5 Stars

As KH’s writing progressed, my intrigue in the characters and plot did as well. I enjoyed the paranormal topic of this book and liked the addition of Maximus. The sexual tension is to die for and it only gets worse in the latter books! This book had a great trope too…pretending to be married! It only added to the tension!

5/5 Stars

This book genuinely terrified me…sweet baby Jesus! D’Arcy Island was scary and I was not a fan (in the best of ways). Per usual, the sexual tension between Dex and Perry was reaching astronomical levels and I literally wanted to reach into the book and write my own scenes so I could calm down. I’m not sure how Perry controls herself around Dex because I know I couldn’t…especially sharing a tent with him…oof. Can we also all agree that we hate Jennifer?

5/5 Stars

This book had my emotions all over the place. I finally got what I was waiting for and then had my heart ripped to shreds and was left with a cliffhanger. This one took us to an insane asylum and it was scary in itself…not to mention Abby…yikes. My favorite line from this book that may have killed me is “You’re not the only one who knows how to lie, Dex”…if you know you know. Sigh. I did enjoy seeing more into the lives of Dex and Perry though, outside of their show! Rebecca may be my third favorite character…I want her to be my friend. My hate for Jennifer also hit an all time high in this book. She is the nastiest skank bitch I’ve ever met.

5/5 Stars

This book was so well done I have no words. This book deals with demonic possession and it’s written in such a compelling and convincing way. I truly felt like I was in the character’s head seeing/feeling what they were feeling while watching themselves be possessed. I couldn’t put this book down. There’s also so steamy scenes, but I won’t say with whom! It’s action packed, heart wrenching, and scary all in one book! This is one of my top favorites of the series solely for the possession writing.

5/5 Stars

This book is just *chef’s kiss*. My love for Dex Foray skyrocketed (I didn’t know it could go any further but it did). I vibed with drunk Perry, big time, and really enjoyed the llama named Twatwaffle. Even though this book takes place in the freezing mountains, you won’t need a jacket because there’s enough tension between Dex and Perry to keep you warm…just how I like it. The ending of this book also warmed my heart and I may or may not have died a little when it ended. I had to start book 7 ASAP!

5/5 Stars

This book is in Dex’s perspective and sweet lord it will make you need a cold shower. That man is just a sexual force to be bargained with. This may be my favorite book in the series. It had the highest of highs and the lowest of lows, all while exploring New Orleans. I would love to see into Perry’s mind for some of the scenes in this book, but Dex’s filthy mind will do. I may have cried A LOT reading this book (again…IYKYK) and was close to throwing hands. Karina outdid herself with Dex Foray…ugh.

5/5 Stars

Ashes to Ashes is back in Perry’s POV and is spooky in all the best ways. The way KH continuously builds the characters and makes them feel like real people is amazing. Perry’s mind is a beautiful place and I love every part of it. I find myself feeling like I am Perry in these stories. I personally think this book had some of the scariest scenes in it (it involves creepy children so of course it’s terrifying), but it also has some really awesome other scenes…just saying! This book ended on a HUGE cliffhanger and I am so thankful that I didn’t have to wait for book 9 to come out (coming late to the party has its perks!).

5/5 Stars

Book nine flip-flops from Perry and Dex’s POVs and I am extremely glad that it did. There is so much going on in this book and I love that we got to see into both of their heads. Traveling, possession (again, so well done), haunting pasts, plot twists, and more, KH really threw the punches with this book. Dust to Dust was a phenomenal way to end the series…OH WAIT! It’s not done (HALLELUJAH!). I loved this book so much and really appreciated seeing how far Dex, Perry, and their stories came from the first book. The character and plot building was so well done.

So…those are my thoughts on the Experiment in Terror Series. I would LOVE to fangirl with you over Dex Foray…and the books themselves, so please find me on Instagram (@the_crafty_reader) or Twitter (@thecraftyreader) and chat with me!

Huge shoutout to Karina Halle for writing this phenomenal series. I already have some tattoo ideas in my head that I want to get. I loved this series so much I need it permanently on my being. Also if you haven’t read up on KH, her story is ADORABLE. She found her own Dex Foray when shooting book trailers for the series and they fell in love and got married…HOW CUTE IS THAT!!?

Came Back Haunted comes out December 11th! Dex and Perry’s story continues and I am living for it! Ghosted (EIT 9.5) is a preview novella for the new book, so read that if you’ve read everything else…Book 10 is going to be amazing, I can already tell! Ada, Perry’s sister, also has her own series and it’s just as wonderful! Book one is called Veiled and book 2 will be out soon! Look it up and give it a read, it doesn’t disappoint!

Thanks for hanging in there through my review! I know it wasn’t 100% fabulous (I’m not a writer, after all), but it’s real and it’s me! See you soon!

Personal

Riding the Struggle Bus – Life Update!

Hi all! I know I’ve been slacking with reviews…but that’s because I’ve been slacking with reading! I thought that once the wedding was done that I’d be ready to read again, but I’ve found that I’m in a new slump. October was a great reading month, even with the wedding! We’re now 16 days into November and I’ve read one book and am working on a second. I just don’t have time or energy. Being a teacher in a virtual setting is exhausting. Once work is done for the day (3PM) I’ve been taking 2 hour naps and then I don’t want to do anything once I wake up. I try to read, but my eyes are just so tired from staring at a computer all day. I know, I know, I’m throwing myself a pity party….we’re allowed to do that once in a while!

While I may not be reading a lot, I have taken up a new crafting hobby. I’m hoping to add my new things to my Etsy shop in the new year! I’ve been working with resin and molds and designing some pretty cool things! My craft room (which is also my library) looks like a bomb went off in it! I’ve spent entirely too much money on resin supplies, but I needed some other outlet to focus on since reading isn’t working. I’m going to make a butt ton (that’s an accurate measurement right?) of Christmas gifts to nonchalantly use people as guinea pigs for my projects! Below are just a small fraction of the things I can make! I really love working with resin because the customization options are endless!

Some cute self-defense keychains!

Round and square coasters!

Trinket Trays

Some Misc things! I am in love with the cat ear ring (next the the green tree).

As I said, these are just a few things I can make! I’m waiting on a lot of molds to come in the mail, but will be making guitar pics, pendants, animals, ornaments, and whatever else I can get my hands on!

What have you been doing with your time? I’m hoping that once my Grad school semester is over I’ll be a little less stressed out. My goal is to read at least two more books by the end of the month…I think I can do it (especially with Thanksgiving break coming!).

Thanks for hanging in there with me as I ride the struggle bus to the end of 2020! Hopefully I’ll be more active soon!

xoxo Allison xoxo

Wrap-Ups

October Reading Wrap-Up

October was a much better reading month than September was (I read three books in September and didn’t even do a wrap-up). I was in a reading slump because life hit me full force for a bit, but October did me well. I was happy to have been able to read any books, so to have read what I did made me really grateful! So, without any more wasted time, let’s see what I read this month!

Stats:

  • Number of Books: 12
  • Genres: Fantasy, Romance/Contemporary/Erotica, Mystery/Thriller/Romance
  • Pages Read: 2,851
  • Authors Read: 5

What Did She Read?

All the books AND authors were new to me this month, so I was excited to dive into that. None of these books were on my TBR (oops) and all were read in the Kindle format. I tried picking up physical books to read and couldn’t do it for some reason. Below you will find the 12 books I read, their ratings, and a few thoughts (since I didn’t do many book review this month). Let’s get to it!

4/5 Stars

This book was an eARC that I read and I fell in love with it instantly. The characters and plot were intriguing and it was very well written. I ended up getting a signed copy in my October Bookish Box, which I was SO happy for! I can’t wait to read more by this author!

5/5 Stars for all 5 books. These books are super quick reads (literally…each is a little over 100 pages) and had my attention from the first page. They’re gruesome, dark, and disturbing, while adding a twisted love in the mix. I couldn’t put these down!
Each of these books earned 4/5 stars. I really enjoyed Callie and Des as well as their plots. Some of the fantasy themed aspects were familiar from other stories, but I was so invested I didn’t really mind. Book one and three were my favorites. I enjoyed the second one, but that one reminded me a lot of SJM books (some parts too similar…but I still liked the book). The steam in these books is also *chef’s kiss*.
4/5 Stars This is a novella to the Rhapsodic series that falls between books one and two. The beginning dragged, but I enjoyed the different POV and the second half enough to bump it to 4 stars.
5/5 Stars I don’t usually read straight erotica, but this was something else. Usually sex scenes make me giggle but I was so invested in the “plot” (ha!) that I didn’t have time to giggle.
4/5 Stars. This book was amazing. Some of the writing was iffy, but the characters, plot, and romance was amazing. I read the sequel in one sitting. Highly recommend if you like sexy, blue-eyed, mob men..I didn’t know I did until I met Tristan Caine!

It was a great month! All my books were four or five stars and I enjoyed each of them for different reasons. I flew threw some series, read some stand-alones, and even dipped into my first full erotica book (I regret nothing). To say it was a successful October is an understatement!

I like to end by sharing some other accomplishments from the month, so here it goes!

  • I got married! We had to revise our plans because of covid, but it happened and it was beautiful!
  • I researched resin and am thinking about expanding my Etsy shop.
  • I started Christmas shopping (oops).
  • I’m surviving…that’s what’s most important in these crazy times!

Thanks for hanging in there with me. I hope you’re well wherever you are in the world. I’d love to hear your thoughts on any of these books! Find me on instagram: @the_crafty_reader or Twitter @thecraftyreader to chat! Hopefully I’ll be more active in November!