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tjlovestoread

TJlovestoread. Romance Reviews & More

There are many things we have in common, every day very real things like the fact we are wives, mothers, some of us have a job or several. We are friends who enjoy each other’s company while having coffee or playing cards. But what brought us together here is our passion for books, our weakness for hot alpha males and our love for a good story that we’ll take with us for a long, long time, especially when it makes us cry.

This blog was an inevitable, unavoidable, natural evolution to our book buddy friendship. We are still having hard time figure things out like what happens when we read the same book and have very distinct opinions about it (we’re just posting one review, first one who finishes has dibs). Our schedules are at ends and we do this because we need an outlet for our book infatuation, but it’s also done during our “free” time. So please bare with us and hopefully we’ll have a great blog for you to love to visit.

We’re Ceci, Dali and Ingri (sorry chickie, I needed to make that rhyme), and this is us.

Ceci (a.k.a. Ces BookGeek)

I am a hyperactive wife, mother, lawyer, teacher, daughter, sister and friend. My passion for reading started at an early age; it was fed by an unforgettable literature teacher in junior high and high school, and then it remained somewhat dormant during my new adult years (yeah!book lingo and all). Maybe having to read so much in law school made me lazy; I also got bored of all the “intellectual” books that were pushed down my throat by friends. Anyway, I grew up reading 80’s young adult novels like the Heartbreak Café and Sweet Valley High. Then one day, in my late twenties a book called Twilight was published, and just like that, my curiosity and my love for books was revived! Reading that book was a trigger and it helped me find great treasures and new friends.

My first reads were entirely based on Paranormal Romance, either YA or Adult. Of course, after finding the “adult” books, I now stay away from YA unless it is a recommendation from someone I know or, it’s a book with high ratings. Nowadays I read contemporary romance, new adult books, erotica with a plot and I’m still faithful to PNR.

What I don’t like in a book: Unnecessary drama. Stupid heroes/heroines who make harsh decisions without asking first. Porn on paper. Unbelievable insta-love (this always takes one star away from my ratings. I only believe in insta-love in paranormal or fantasy. Real life not so much, the author has to sell it really good for me to buy). Incessant self-loading and insecurities from a character. Horrible editing. Cliffhangers when the next book is going to take more than six months to come out (if that is the case, I wait for the whole series to be published). A book with no HEA (which never happens in romance so…. Any other genre I don’t mind). First person POV’s have to be real, if I am diving into the head of “regular” person, then such person should think like a real person; people don’t think in metaphors and analogies all the time, if writers want to be overly lyrical they should stay away from first person POV.

Aside from the above, I am very easy to please. I love alpha male heroes, but you can throw a sweet beta male my way and won’t complain. I love books that make you swoon and forget about real life drama and real life relationships (aka real men).  Moreover, if you want my heart forever, throw me a book with spy/assassins/conspiracy/action/forbidden romance. I will dive into it right away. Why? Well if you want to know, I am a hard-core fan of La Femme Nikita, for me there is no other couple that equals Michael Samuel and Nikita, even if they never got their real HEA; therefore I’m a sucker for these plots.

oh and did I mention I am a Video Game geek ohh yeaahh!! RPG’s rule

Dali (a.k.a. The Star Wars and Star Trek Geek)

A friend suggested that instead of using my name I should call myself something “mean and scary” like the book bitch. He’s obviously never read my reviews because if he had, he would know I’m fairly easy to please. As long as I get my happy ending and there are no incessant inner whiny monologues from ANY character and we can avoid the wishy-washy heroines and steer clear of dumb decision making, you know the kind where the worst assumptions are made, no one asks what really happened, no one considers intervening to clear up misunderstandings a causing the heroes endless pain, then I’m good.

Ok, so I may be a bit demanding, but I do try to be as honest with the books I read as possible. I love to include quotes to state my case and sometimes just because they’re so swoony they make my insides go all gooey.

I will also take advantage and push eco-friendly advice. Shhh, the gals don’t know about this yet, but I’ll try to sneak those in once in a while.

You can stalk me on Goodreads:
https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/2209138-dali-from-tjlovestoread

REQUESTS

If you want to request reviews, we will gladly accept, we are not very picky.  Just abstain to request them if your book has more than two of our don’ts. We promise to be objective and to never, ever be mean or disrespect your work. If we don’t like your book for any reason we will, review and provide feedback for such reasons. If for any reason, it becomes a DNF we will not rate, because I truly believe that you cannot rate something you didn’t finish….

RATING SYSTEM

Same as GoodReads

SOME TERMINOLOGY

DNF = Did Not Finish

HEA = Happily Ever After (endings)

HFN = Happy For Now (endings)

POV = Point Of View

PNR = Paranormal Romance books

TBR = To Be Read

YA = Young Adult (books about 15 to 18 year olds, no explicit or descriptive sex scenes. Although some portray teen sexual activity)

NA = New Adult (Books about 18 to 25 year olds, usually in College. Books about your very firsts screw ups and achievements as an adult)

SOME EROTICA TERMINOLOGY

BDSM = an acronym used to describe a variety of kinky activities. BD stands for bondage & discipline. DS stands for dominance and submission and SM stands for sadism and masochism.

Dom = shortened version of the word Dominant

Domme = dominatrix or female dominant

Dominant = term for the person who takes control in BDSM play

Limits = these can be hard or soft. A hard limit is a sexual act that a player will absolutely not consider and a soft limit is something they may consider but are unsure of.

Masochism = deriving sexual pleasure from receiving pain

M/F = a male/female heterosexual pairing

PWP = Porn without plot

Safeword = very important in D/s play. A word the submissive can use to slow down or stop a scene if it is becoming too much for them. Can also be used by the top.

S/m = sadomasochism

Sub = shortened form of the word submissive

Submissive = the person giving up control to the dominant

Topping from the Bottom = an expression used to describe the practice of a sub attempting to control the dom and the scene.

The Iron King (Harlequin Teen)

The Iron King - Julie Kagawa Solid 3.5 Stars

First of all I need to state claim as to why I am not giving this book a higher rating (explained altogether further below):

1.- I found too many similarities to other stories/characters out there: Alice in Wonderland, Labyrinth, Peter Pan, etc.

2.- This book is not a YA Romance.. For me it was just a fantasy/adventure book.

3.- I found no relationship build-up between Ash and Meghan. I did not buy the instant-love... like when did it happen?

4.- Very, very, very predictable.

5.- Not a very intelligent heroine. Low self-esteem, doesn't feel pretty cliché.

6.- Bad blood between Ash and Puck totally cliché.

7.- Way too much creatures and lore shoved down your head, that the book makes you dizzy at times.

Why I gave it the 3.5 stars:

1.- The folklore was solid! I liked how the author worked everything and made her own faery world.

2.- The Iron Fey idea was excellent and logically explained. Though it would have been more interesting to understand the motivations and actions of Machina more in-depth.

3.- Grimalkin (even if I believe to be a carbon copy of the Cheshire Cat). I loved the character you never get a clear view of the motivations behind the actions and I'm intrigued.

Now I will explain as best as I can why I did not give a higher rating, point by point:

1.- I totally understand if an author finds inspiration in other stories, and classic's; even movies and songs, etc... but when you do that it has to be done in such a way that you can create something new. I f by any chance your creation is similar to what inspired you then you have to "quote" it. The author did this with Puck, so I think you get where I am coming from. Grimalkin was a hoot! And I loved the character, but since it was described for the first time and until the end I couldn't get the Cheshire Cat out of my mind. Also, when Puck is described upon entering Nevernever.. I mean really??? Green clothes, leather booties??? Sooooo Peter Pan that Puck just went from BFF cute hottie to gay-ish looking kid peter pan-ish fey. If the author wants the reader not to think of tinker bell the why do that?.

Labyrinth: I understand we have a whole new generation reading these books BUT: Moms read too you know...! so when I was reading I started having these weird thoughts, like, where did I read this? Where did I see this?.. this story feels familiar...... OH yes! Then I remembered David Bowie and a movie I loved when I was a kid and still recommend to new generations and I know my son will see in a few years.... Labyrinth: where a girl goes to new weird world to save her kidnapped brother from a crazy King who in the end actually wanted to marry her???? And the Pack Rats.... if you want to know.. watch the movie in Netflix :)

2.- Not much to say here... everyone told me this was a romantic YA novel... but Nope it is not; This is a fantasy/adventure book with a bit of romance... I know this becomes major (the romance) in the next installments so I will comment more about it then.

3.- The relationship build up was non-existent.... I really think the Ash/Meg romance storyline should have been moved on to book 2. I did not buy him falling for her so fast and also I did not buy her infatuation with him either... There was no time for romance as they were in and out of a bad situation like.... all the time.

4.- 80% of the book was completely predictable, except for the Iron Fey plotline.

5.- As always we were presented with a teenage heroine stereotype: the self-conscious, low self-esteem, feels ordinary and boring and I don't have an interesting life girl... when s**t hits the fan she has lots of undiscovered power, and has no idea how to use it the whole length of the book, never tries to learn and understand what it means and in the end it all comes out of the blue during a dire situation.... I understand she is a teen and on the road to self discovery and growing up, etc etc... but it is just such a cliche... and she got in my nerves with all her impulsive "bargaining", they tell her not to do it like a thousand times and she keeps going and going and going..

6.- The bad blood between Ash and Puck just seemed to be forced in order to insert a love triangle... also a cliché in teen books.
7.- I can say the way the author described everything was brilliant and not overdone.. I pictured everything in my head perfectly.... and I loved the Steampunk feel of the Iron realm too... but.. the creatures and all were just to many that I lost count so... sometimes less is best.

Overall this is what bothered me... Oh!!! And also all the sexual innuendos with the creatures I mean... this is a YA/young novel and i know the romance part is very very mild and on the contrary the way some acts and references are depicted during the book were kind of crude, so.... I feel some contradictory writing there... also there are a few inconsistencies during the book and I dare you to find them... :) there like directing mistakes in movies.. here just the same :)