New BFF: Umut Reviews

BFF

Hi, I hope you’re having a wonderful day! I’m quite excited because it’s time to present a  a new blog friend, yay! This month I have Umut stopping by on the blog. Let me tell you, at some point this year my lovely friend stumbled upon my little blog and I’m so happy she did. Even though she loves historical reads, she’s read so many novels that are on my wishlist too. She loves booktube so if you want to explore and need help she’ll be able to answer all your questions about who to follow, and she has her own youtube channel too where she creates the most amazing bookmarks (and other things)! Oh and finally, she also has the most adorable cat called Boncuk. I’d love to give her a cuddle 😍 (the cat obvs 😊).

So pop on over to her wonderful blog Umut Reviews if you don’t know her and show her a little love yeah? OK let’s move on to our *ahum* in depth interview!

QandA

Name: Umut Rados

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[syll. u-mut, um-ut] The baby girl name Umut is also used as a boy name. It is pronounced AHMAHT. Umut’s language of origin is Turkish and it is also predominantly used in Turkish. The meaning of Umut is ‘hope’.

Age: 37

Birthday: 27 July

What did you study or do you study now / what is your current job?
I’m a Marketing Director. I studied Economics and Business Administration at university.

Do you have any other hobbies?
Yes. I’m a mixed media artist at the same time. I have a YouTube Channel, where I do video tutorials 🙂 Here is the link if you want:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5ABzemQp8p9ydPEOwIX7YQ?view_as=subscriber

Your favourite color? Blue

Do you collect anything (besides books)? Art supplies, colouring books, I’m a hoarder of acrylic paints.

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What’s the name of the book that you’ve had the longest? Have you read it? 
The oldest book I’ve had is a book by Edmondo De Amicis. I couldn’t find the book in English, but it’s called ’The Heart of a Child’. I read it when I was very little, and I still remember it was very good.

Have you ever regretted a book you purchased? A book that sounded so promising but you wished you’d have spent your money on another book after reading it?
LOL! There are lots of them. I guess I should tell the most popular ones to have fun. Last purchase I regretted massively was Vicious by V.E. Schwab with that beautiful new UK hard cover. I am so disappointed, but it happens all the time 🙂

Vicious

Do you listen to audio books?

Yes, a lot. When I’m creating art, there’s always a book open, so I can do both my hobbies 😉 Also, I would recommend everyone a shower mic, I even listen to books in shower now, lol!

Do you have a favorite genre?
Historical fiction by far. I love traveling to different time zones and places with books. I also love learning historical facts in a fiction format, makes it so much more fun than a history book.

What is the book highest on your wishlist right now?
I can’t wait for 2 books to come out: Liane Moriarty’s Nine Perfect Strangers and Lucinda Riley’s Moon Sister (which is the 5th book in a 7 book historical fiction series).

The Moon Sister is the fifth epic story in the Seven Sisters series by Lucinda Riley.

After the death of her father – Pa Salt, an elusive billionaire who adopted his six daughters from around the globe – Tiggy D’Aplièse , trusting her instincts, moves to the remote wilds of Scotland. There she takes a job doing what she loves; caring for animals on the vast and isolated Kinnaird estate, employed by the enigmatic and troubled Laird, Charlie Kinnaird.

Her decision alters her future irrevocably when Chilly, an ancient gipsy who has lived for years on the estate, tells her that not only does she possess a sixth sense, passed down from her ancestors, but it was foretold long ago that he would be the one to send her back home to Granada in Spain …
In the shadow of the magnificent Alhambra, Tiggy discovers her connection to the fabled gypsy community of Sacromonte, who were forced to flee their homes during the civil war, and to ‘La Candela’ the greatest flamenco dancer of her generation.

From the Scottish Highlands and Spain, to South America and New York, Tiggy follows the trail back to her own exotic but complex past. And under the watchful eye of a gifted gypsy bruja she begins to embrace her own talent for healing.

But when fate takes a hand, Tiggy must decide whether to stay with her new-found family or return to Kinnaird, and Charlie . . .

How is your library organized?
By color and by genre when I can. Otherwise, the rule is just to fit it where there’s a bit of place 🙂

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Do you read more ebooks or physical books?
I love holding a hardcover book in my hands when I’m at home. But, at nights I find it easier to read a Kindle with its light. I also carry it around with me on commute.

Do you have a favorite book?
Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. I can’t forget about it.

What’s the cover in your collection that you’re most proud of?
Rebecca by Daphe Du Maurier. It’s a Folio Society edition that I adore. I also attached a picture.

Do you have any idea how many books you own? <100, >100, >200, >300 …?
I have an app called My Library to keep track of my books and my reading. Would recommend everyone. It says I have around 1300 books! My husband is a rare book collector too, so it’s all together. And I think I have about 300 books on my Kindle.

MyLibrary

What’s the title of the last book you purchased?
Snap. It’s one of the Man Booker long listers.

What was your favorite author when you were a child?
Jose Mauro de Vasconcelos. I read many books of him when I was a child.

José Mauro de Vasconcelos (1920-84) was a Brazilian writer who worked as a sparring partner for boxers, a labourer on a banana farm, and a fisherman before he started writing at the age of 22. He is most famous for his autobiographical novel My Sweet Orange Tree, which tells the story of his own childhood in Rio de Janeiro.

From which author do you have most books?
I’m not very much of an author collector, but probably it will be classics authors as I would have them in my collection. It will be Charles Dickens and Jane Austen.

Are there books you’ve read 2 or 3 times?
I used to read my favourite books more than once when I was younger, but now I’m not a fan of re-reads. I always think there are so many books I didn’t read that I don’t want to lose time with one I read.

How many books are there on your Goodreads challenge this year and how many have you read already?
I keep increasing my challenge as it seems like I’m reading more than I anticipated. I have read 115 books this year and have reached my already updated goal of 100 books.

Can you spell your name with the first letters of titles in your book case?
It was difficult for my first name as it’s Umut, and there are not many books starting with U. So, I’m doing my surname Rados:

Roses by Leila Meacham
(The) Awkward Age by Francesca Segal
Dracula by Bram Stoker
(The) Overstory by Richard Powers
Swan Song by Kelleigh Greenberg Jephcott

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In case you missed it, here are a few of the BFF’s (Blog Friends Forever) I posted about before :

Liis – Cover to Cover
Danielle – Books, Vertigo and Tea
Betty – Bookish Regards
Anais – Zeezee with Books
Nicki – Secret Library
Donna – Chocolatenwaffles’ Blog
Chitra – Books & Strips
Annie – The Misstery
Dee – Novel Deelights
Tina – Reading Between the Pages
Delphine – Delphine’s Babble on Some Good Reads
Lisa – Rambling Lisa’s Book Reviews
Diana – A Haven for Book Lovers
Norrie – Reading Under The Blankie
Lynne – Fictionophile
Lorna – On The Shelf Reviews
Vera – Unfiltered Tales
Kelly – Another Book In The Wall
Zoë – What’s Better Than Books

I don’t want my BFF club to be complete just yet! There’s still room for plenty more so give me a shout if you want to be added! 

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Day of the Accident by Nuala Ellwood #BookReview

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They say you killed…BUT WHAT IF THEY’RE WRONG?

Sixty seconds after she wakes from a coma, Maggie’s world is torn apart

The police tell her that her daughter Elspeth is dead. That she drowned when the car Maggie had been driving plunged into the river. Maggie remembers nothing.

When Maggie begs to see her husband Sean, the police tell her that he has disappeared. He was last seen on the day of her daughter’s funeral.

What really happened that day at the river?
Where is Maggie’s husband?
And why can’t she shake the suspicion that somewhere, somehow, her daughter is still alive?

amazon uk amazon com

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An excellent novel! This is the second novel I read by Nuala Ellwood, the first being the absolutely amazing My Sister’s Bones. It’s so tricky to write a great sequel after such a debut but she pulled it off with great ease it seems, I wanted to keep on reading. The prologue alone is enough to draw you in, it opens with Maggie (Margaret) in court taking the stand and she’s determined to make things right now…

The story then cuts back to Maggie waking up in the hospital and being told her daughter is dead. She locked her car condemning her daughter to die! How could she? It doesn’t make sense because the love for her little girl is spilling from the pages. Her husband disappears quite literally out of the picture and she is left on her own devices – without a home even – with nothing but the tiniest snippets of flashbacks.

The mystery was really well developed and Maggie was a very likeable character. Is she reliable though? I felt sorry for her and rooted for her to find some answers. There are fragments of her memory that come to her and help piece together what happened on that day but there are also letters written by a little girl who misses her mother enormously and pleads for her mother to take her home. The emotional letters tugged at my heart but did not make it easier to work out what happened. They only created more doubt and confusion actually because enthralled as I was by them, it remained a mystery who the author was. I didn’t want to jump to any conclusions but if it wasn’t Elspeth, then who would it be? Maggie is convinced her daughter is alive and there are a few strange events that could be a sign she just could be right…

The Day of the Accident had a tantalising plot with great twists and turns making it even unpredictable for me to figure out where to search for answers or know who held them. It was difficult to know who to trust, Ellwood kept me guessing throughout and it all built up to a devastating finale.

The story ends in court the way it begun, making it a full circle. Knowing the story though, you’ll look at it with a whole new set of eyes. Brilliant conclusion.

Even though My Sister’s Bones is still my number one novel, I thoroughly enjoyed The Day of The Accident and I look forward to her next novel already!

I received a free copy of this novel from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion.

WWW Wednesday (07-11-2018)

WWW Wednesdays

WWW Wednesday is a book list hosted by Taking on a World of Words, and I’m happy to participate today, after a two-month www-hiatus.

The three W’s are:
What did you recently finish reading?
What are you currently reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

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What I finished reading:

I read and reviewed My Sister’s Bones in November 2016 and if you click on the link you’ll see that I loved it. I also told we’d be hearing from the author again et voilà, here we are with Ellwood’s second novel. It’s different from her debut but she is indeed talented and her debut was no one hit wonder. Day of the Accident has a great plotline, making you wonder continually if her daughter is alive or dead. I really enjoyed her new novel.

Day of the Accident by Nuala Ellwood

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What I’m reading now:

You just have to say it’s a book for fans of Agatha Christie and I’m in. The author actually wrote several episodes of Poirot so there’s no way this novel can be disappointing, can it? I have no idea who killed divorce lawyer Richard Pryce (what’s in a name) so far so I’m still very entertained. It’s kind of a special novel too when you think about it: the author plays himself in the novel. It’s ridiculously funny really.. in the novel he – Anthony (or Tony) – is following a PI who’s supposed to be smarter than he is, and he doesn’t really have a clue, he only hopes to solve it before the other one does.. but he’s the author so he knows who did it from the very beginning :-)!

The Sentence is Death by Anthony Horowitz

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What I’ll (probably) read soon:

I read The Fear earlier this year, it was my first read by C.L. Taylor and I loved how twisted it was so when I saw her new novel Sleep I wanted to read it right away. I was first declined on Netgalley but I was on the blog tour for The Fear so I picked up all my courage and contacted the publisher and it seemed they declined me by mistake ;-). That’s how I got my hands on this beauty after all. I have high expectations now though, that’s always a bit dangerous.

Sleep by C.L. Taylor 

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All Anna wants is to be able to sleep. But crushing insomnia, terrifying night terrors and memories of that terrible night are making it impossible. If only she didn’t feel so guilty…

To escape her past, Anna takes a job at a hotel on the remote Scottish island of Rum, but when seven guests join her, what started as a retreat from the world turns into a deadly nightmare.

Each of the guests have a secret, but one of them is lying – about who they are and why they’re on the island. There’s a murderer staying in the Bay View hotel. And they’ve set their sights on Anna.

Seven strangers. Seven secrets. One deadly lie.

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So that’s it, what are you reading this week? Share your link in the comments below so that I can come and take a look !

The Last by Hanna Jameson #BookReview

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BREAKING: Nuclear weapon detonates over Washington
BREAKING: London hit, thousands feared dead.
BREAKING: Munich and Scotland hit. World leaders call for calm.

Jon Keller was on a trip to Switzerland when the world ended. More than anything he wishes he hadn’t ignored his wife Nadia’s last message.

Twenty people remain in Jon’s hotel. Far from the nearest city, they wait, they survive.

Then one day, the body of a girl is found. It’s clear she has been murdered. Which means that someone in the hotel is a killer…

As paranoia descends, Jon decides to investigate. But how far is he willing to go in pursuit of justice? And what happens if the killer doesn’t want to be found?

amazon uk amazon com

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This is definitely a case of it’s not you, it’s me. Honestly, I’m probably not the best reader for this type of novel.. I didn’t even see any episode of The Walking Dead so safe to say that my interest in learning how to survive after a world apocalypse was rather small to start with. I really thought I was getting a locked-in murder mystery which was the reason I was excited to read The Last but that isn’t really what this book is about. The so-called investigation is actually near to non-existent and between all the other stuff that’s happening it’s only mentioned now and again until an amazing new revelation at the very end of the novel shines a light on who it might be.

What it actually is about is the survival of 20 individuals after they become isolated from the rest of the world. They’re a diverse bunch of people, coming from different countries, with different ages, families and single people too, everyone is pretty much represented. Existential questions like death, God etc were examined which was interesting and I thought it would be fascinating to see how people would react to the news they were probably the last people on earth. Sadly though, that extra fresh touch that I thought I would find here wasn’t really there, it all felt kind of predictable… some people are cowards and most of them are selfish, threatening and turning on each other, what else is new?

It wasn’t all that imaginative for me but I can’t really tell you what would be satisfying. I think I would have preferred it more if the novel had more of a The Last Man on Earth feel to it. Every society, and definitely a new one like this is of course prone to conflict and a difference of opinion. But even then and with the remote setting as an extra incentive I didn’t feel as much intensity as I wanted to.

I just want to finish by saying that I sincerely hope the world doesn’t come to an end because it doesn’t look good if you survive ;-). If you don’t believe me, you should read the novel :-).

I received a free copy of this novel from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion.

The Lingering by SJI Holliday #BlogTour #BookReview

The Lingering

Welcome to my blog stop on the book tour for The Lingering by SJI Holliday. My thanks to the author and to Anne Cater and publisher Orenda Books for the opportunity to be part of the tour. I can’t wait to tell you more so let’s go!

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Married couple Jack and Ali Gardiner move to a self-sufficient commune in the English Fens, desperate for fresh start. The local village is known for the witches who once resided there and Rosalind House, where the commune has been established, is a former psychiatric home, with a disturbing history.

When Jack and Ali arrive, a chain of unexpected and unexplained events is set off, and it becomes clear that they are not all that they seem. As the residents become twitchy, and the villagers suspicious, events from the past come back to haunt them, and someone is seeking retribution…

amazon uk amazon com

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The Lingering is a ghost story but also a story about manipulation and control. I usually stay far from novels that even just hint at something paranormal, ghost stories are simply too unbelievable for me but there are exceptions for everything and this novel is definitely one I’m happy to have made. This is one novel that hooks you right away and impossible to put down. I was completely engrossed from the beginning thanks to Holliday’s amazingly suggestive writing. I never quite knew what was going on exactly.. she introduces a ghost – or two, three – into the story, unless they are hallucinations of course, who’s to say ;-)? It was a thrill to find out is all I can say.

The story was oh so creepy and unnerving! Should this story ever be made into a movie then I’m not sure I’ll watch it because it’s the kind of movie I’m usually too afraid to watch. Holliday brings so many terrific gothic/horror-elements together in this novel that you really can’t escape that ominous feeling of foreboding. Something is amiss and you don’t know what it is and where it will lead but it made me very nervous.

Rosalind House is an old building – a former asylum – and if the walls could speak they’d undoubtedly have many disturbing stories to tell. Some of what happened in the 1950s is told by reports that a doctor made in the past, when he was sent to evaluate how patients were treated and what methods were used. Even further in the past the village had witches to deal with as well, so as for setting, it counts as unbelievably atmospheric.

Add to this a community with their own rulebook, quite reminiscent of a sort of cult, and residents you don’t know anything about and you have the perfect ingredients for this scary story. To top it all off, one of the residents, Angela, strongly believes in ghosts and spirits and she’s determined to prove it. Two newcomers Ali and Jack also join the commune and Angela jumps at the chance to make friends but Ali is closing herself off from contact. There’s definitely something going on with Ali and Jack as well and the reasons for leaving everything behind in such a hurry is shrouded in a big mystery and take their time to unfold.

The story builds up tension and Ali, a firm non-believer, experiences some unsettling and strange events that left me doubtful. Is someone playing tricks, is she mental or are there really spirits from the past trying to make contact? It’s definitely one of the former but Holliday kept me in the dark until my nerves were frayed and my nails almost bitten to the quick. The only regret I have is that I would have liked perhaps more insight and backstory into some of the other characters too, like Rose. It’s just a small niggle though, because I couldn’t get enough and they all intrigued me.

The Lingering is one helluva page-turner that you better not read in the late hours of the night if you still want to have some sleep. If you enjoy scary reads then I can very recommend this one!

I received a free ecopy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion.

*** Don’t forget to check the other blog tour stops too ***

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Would You Rather…? The Spooky Edition, and 10 Scary Books To Spook You

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It’s been ages since I did a tag but my wonderful blog buddie Norrie @Reading Under The Blankie tagged me for an easy one (yay and thank you Norrie!) so here goes:

Thrillers or Supernatural(s)?

Are all of these questions going to be so easy? Thrillers of course, have you seen me review a supernatural novel yet, I think not (actually there was one, I didn’t know it would turn out to be such a story, and I didn’t like it one bit that the whole mystery was resolved by a ghost).

Ghosts or Zombies?

You mean Casper versus those stinking uglies? I’m from a generation raised with the movie Ghost, not The Walking Dead, so of course I choose ghosts, I’m a romantic like that :-).

Vampires or Werewolves?

I’m not sure… don’t werewolves break out of their own skin, isn’t that painful? I’m going to go with vampires.. I think they sleep a lot too so that suits me fine, I like them already. Also all that devouring and stuff seems so manly, I like the subtle way by going to the neck. Yep I’m giving this a lot of thought and will probably continue to think about this topic for the rest of the afternoon. Good thing nobody can hear my thoughts :-).

Witches or Demons?

Ah I think I’d make a cool witch. It makes me think of that tv series Charmed, they could stop time and stuff.. oh there are so many cool possibilities!

Would you rather read a book with 13 chapters or a book with a black cat on the cover?

I actually have a novel with a black cat on the cover to read 🙂 so yes, the second option, no doubt about it. What’s so alluring about a book with 13 chapters anyway?

A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares

Would you rather read a spooky book in the dark with only a candle for light or by yourself in a locked brightly lit room?

Let’s keep that light on please! I love a candle-lit room but absolutely not when I’m reading a spooky novel. I’m a wuss and not afraid to admit it ;-).

Would you rather face your worst fears or be trapped in the mind of a killer?

I don’t want to face my fears and I don’t even need to be offered a choice, it’s no no no.. I heard about those people who like to overcome their fears and feel on top of the world when they succeed but I’m not one of them. Let me be trapped in the mind of a killer, it’ll probably all be over sooner.

Would you rather watch a scary movie or read a scary book?

I don’t like scary movies… the few I saw (because guys don’t care about your wellbeing on that front at all) were spent hiding behind a pillow for more than half of the movie. I don’t mind reading a scary book though, it’s easier to tamp down my imagination when reading, when I’m watching there’s no escape.

Would you rather read spooky books during the fall time or all year?

Eh. You mean that one spooky book every year right? Well if I’m going to read one then I choose during fall.

Would you rather read 10 spooky books in October or 10 spooky books all year?

Pff these questions are getting harder by the minute. Difficult choice between getting it over and done with and probably become desensitized with the overdose or take it in slow doses. Hmm, I think I’ll spread those reads after all.

For those of you who can, here are ten (+3 because I’m on a roll) spooky and scary books. Have you read any of them yet?

Melmoth by Sarah Perry
Ward Zero: The Dead Ward by Linda Huber
The Lingering by SJI Holliday (review coming up)
Resthaven by Erik Therme
It by Stephen King
The Visitors by Catherine Burns
While You Sleep by Stephanie Merritt
Dracul by J.D. Barker
Paranormal Intruder and The Silent Twin by Caroline Mitchell
A Most Haunted House by GL Davies
Fear Dreams by J.A. Schneider
Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand

LineI tag the following 10 most awesome bloggers. Don’t feel obliged to do the tag though if you don’t feel like it!

Eleni @LaFemmeReaders
Jonetta @BlueMoodCafe
Liis @CoverToCover
Ova @ExcuseMyReading
Danielle @Danielle’sReadingNook
Alexandra@ReaderWitch
Nina @TheCozyPages
Jennifer @TarHeelReader
Lashaan @bookidote
YOU if you want to join!

Did I Mention I Love You? (DIMILY trilogy, book 1) #BookReview

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When sixteen-year-old Eden Munro agrees to spend the summer with her estranged father in the beachfront city of Santa Monica, California, she has no idea what she’s letting herself in for. Eden’s parents are divorced and have gone their separate ways, and now her father has a brand new family. For Eden, this means she’s about to meet three new step-brothers. The eldest of the three is Tyler Bruce, a troubled teenager with a short temper and a huge ego.

Complete polar opposites, Eden quickly finds herself thrust into a world full of new experiences as Tyler’s group of friends take her under their wing. But the one thing she just can’t understand is Tyler, and the more she presses to figure out the truth about him, the more she finds herself falling for the one person she shouldn’t her step-brother.

Throw in Tyler’s clingy girlfriend and a guy who has his eyes set on Eden, and there’s secrets, lies and a whole lot of drama. But how can Eden keep her feelings under control? And can she ever work out the truth about Tyler? Did I Mention I Love You is the first book in the phenomenal DIMILY trilogy, following the lives of Eden Munro and Tyler Bruce as they try to find their way in an increasingly confusing world.

amazon uk amazon com

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star three and a half

I know that reading young adult novels is not related to age but there was at least one time I couldn’t escape the thought of ‘I’m too old for this’ flashing through my mind.

Would you feel attracted to a moody teenager who can’t say a single nice word to you? Me neither but when Eden arrives at her father’s new place and meets his new family she can’t help being very interested in Tyler. Too much for her own good btw as he’s a) already taken and b) euhm.. family. She must have seen something in his eyes that I obviously didn’t share because I couldn’t immediately see past his arrogant, egotistical attitude. I had my eyes on another guy right away, someone who was more of a gentleman but of course Eden has a penchant for a bad boy type of guy.

I get it though, Tyler’s mysterious ways are a serious X-factor and of course he’s not the incredible badass that he claims to be. I did enjoy the story in the end and my own feelings towards Tyler started thawing when he finally gave some insight into his behaviour. The last part has a few twists in what was otherwise quite a straightforward storyline of slow burning attraction between Eden and Tyler, and made me race through it to know how they would handle their ‘situation’. Would they end up together or not?

If you enjoy dark brooding guys, a somewhat taboo relationship and a good dose of instalove then this is definitely a read you don’t want to miss. Even though I didn’t really fall in love with this read, the guy was too wishywashy for my taste, I am actually a little curious about the sequel, so you never know that I give it a chance in the future anyway.

I won a free paperback copy of this novel via a giveaway. This is my honest opinion.