Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Length: 435 pages

Series: Stalking Jack the Ripper, Book 2

Genres: Historical Fiction, Young Adult, Mystery, Historical, Horror

Publication date: September 19, 2017

Blank line!

We were all here to learn. He was the one who had a problem, not I. Perhaps it was time for fathers to teach their sons how to behave around young women. They were not born superior, no matter how society falsely conditioned them. We were all equals here.

(Ch 7, p. 69)

Following the revelation of Jack the Ripper’s true identity, Audrey Rose has no choice but to flee London and its memories. Together with the charmingly arrogant Thomas Cresswell, Audrey journeys to Romania to join one of Europe’s best schools on forensic medicine.

When blood soaked discoveries start being made in the school’s foreboding castle, Audrey’s once again compelled to investigate. The investigation isn’t all fun and games, though, as Audrey learns she must also face her past and her fears in order to solve the case.

One of the things I love most about this series is how strong of a personality Audrey is. It couldn’t have been easy being a feminist in Victorian era Europe but that never stopped her from doing what she felt strongly about. Her father has finally seem the error of his ways in trying to lock her up and has let her attend this school for forensic medicine, but even he isn’t as progressive as Audrey needs him to be. Thankfully he’s not around to see what kind of mayhem Audrey gets herself into.

I really do enjoy the fact that Thomas is there for her whenever she’s going through things. While his attempts to be helpful are often misguided, he’s doing everything in his power to try to be there for her. Of course, he’s very out of his depths while doing so, causing his efforts to have adverse effects on his relationship with her. But of course, what’s a good YA romance without a little conflict here and there?

As with Stalking Jack the Ripper, Maniscalco does a fantastic job at pulling the reader into the world she’s created. It’s almost as if you’re there with Audrey as she explores the castle and tries to solve this latest case in Bran Castle. Who wouldn’t want to face hidden tunnels and dark secrets deep in the earth? To face their fears in the most visceral sense? No, just me? Cool.

More than anything, I really enjoyed being fully immersed in this tale with all of its twists and turns. Sure some of the twists were obvious but it was still fun to join the ride. The clues are laid out wonderfully in this story, making it that much sweeter when the truth is revealed. Reading a book with a writing style I adore always makes the read that much more enjoyable.

Overall, if you’re looking for a fun and mostly lighthearted mystery – with a touch of the gruesome thrown in there – you should check out this series. YA mysteries might not be your favourite cup of tea, but Maniscalco write this series in a way that transcends the typical YA tropes and brings light to this dark story.

*Spoilers ahead*

Thomas nearly broke my heart as he kept misunderstanding Audrey’s intentions. He kept trying to help her out since he could see how much pain she was in after the Jack the Ripper case, but instead of helping he kept hurting their relationship. Audrey was already rebelling against the idea of needing a man to help her get through life, of being this fragile little flower that should be seen and not heard. It makes sense that he was trying to help her the only way he knew how, but it was hard to watch how wrong his “help” was going.

In a similar strain to this, Thomas pretending to be dead in the castle’s morgue – and thereby playing a prank on Audrey – certainly didn’t end up the way he’d hoped it would. I’m sure that if he’d done this before Audrey found out that her brother was Jack the Ripper she would’ve reacted the same way that he expected her to. Alas, in her inability to face her grief head on or even put a name to it, she wasn’t acting the way she normally would have.

As much as their relationship was on rocky ground in this book, it truly made them a stronger couple. It proved that even through their very deepest lows they were going to be there for each other. Thomas was willing to climb the roof to get to Audrey and continue their investigation. If that doesn’t say commitment, I don’t know what does.

Their little confession session at the end of the book was a really sweet way to show their connection and how strong their bond was, too.

Moving away from their relationship, the other relationships in the story were extremely interesting as well. While I saw the major twist coming – that Anastasia was going to be the “Prince Dracula” that Audrey and Thomas were hunting – I still really enjoyed the way that this was all written. The missing girl that looked extraordinarily like her, how obviously she was keeping secrets from Audrey, and her disappearing into the night were all prime clues for the reader to suss out her identity. Yet my favourite was the clue that she was a descendant of Countess Elizabeth Báthory de Ecsed, or the Countess Dracula.

It must suck for Audrey, investigating two separate crimes that end up being committed by people she was close to. Yes, discovering her brother was Jack the Ripper had to hit harder than her new friend being a killer with a plot to take over Romania with Thomas, but neither could have been easy. Audrey was just learning to open her heart again, to let someone into her world, and then Anastasia goes ahead and hurts her. It’s amazing that Audrey decided to let Thomas get closer to her and didn’t end up freezing him out completely.

Meeting Thomas’ sister and Ileana must have helped mitigate the sorrow that Audrey felt with Anastasia’s betrayal – especially when Anastasia admitted to thinking about killing Audrey. However, Daciana and Ileana prove that it’s possible for Audrey to make real female friends – apart from her cousin, of course – and have them not end up being psychopaths. They might not have played the most prominently visible part in the story, but they certainly played a large part behind the scenes of things.

And, of course, their relationship was a great thing to witness. For Victorian era Europe it couldn’t have been easy to be in a same sex relationship – even if you worked exceptionally hard to keep it a secret from those around you. Yet neither female let the pressures of society get to them or force them apart. Being part of a secret society must also have been fun. Well, minus all the death that seems to come with the territory…

All of that being said, I look forward to continuing on with this series. Maniscalco has done a fantastic job at creating a world I’d happily visit… as long as I stay far away from the killers that Audrey seems to find herself following. Who knows what misadventures she’s going to get herself into next?

Other reviews for this series:

  1. Stalking Jack the Ripper (Book 1)

Hope(less) by Melissa Haag

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Pages: 315

Series: Judgement of the Six, Book 1

Genres: Paranormal, Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult, Urban Fantasy, Shapeshifter, Supernatural

Publication date: November 18, 2013

“It won’t be safe,” Sam said, interrupting my thoughts. He looked up from his half-empty cup. “You know it won’t be safe.”

“Sam, I’ll get a dog.” I could see by his expression that he was gearing up for another round in an old debate. Why couldn’t he understand that I’d rather get a dog than be Mated to a werewolf? I hurried around him for the bathroom down the hall.

Chapter 3

Gabby’s brain works like a human fish finder – useful when she wants to avoid people, but not without its own challenges. Like her unnaturally strong pull to men. In her search for answers as to why she’s so special, Gabby discovers a hidden community of werewolves. She immerses herself in their culture and world, until she meets Clay. Unkempt and prone to mood swings, he thinks Gabby is his. It’s up to Gabby to use every trick in her book to convince Clay to go away – and every ounce of willpower to not fall in love with the man underneath the rough exterior.

Judgement has begun…

This was most certainly not my first time reading this story, and it won’t be my last. It might be because I have a thing for werewolves, and it might be because I have an extra soft spot for werewolves named Clay – I’m looking at you, Clayton Danvers, from the mind of the amazing Kelley Armstrong – but I find myself coming back to this story every so often. While the story as a whole isn’t my favourite, I adore Gabby and Clay’s part in it. While I plan to reread the entire series to make reviews on the individual books, I oftentimes find myself just rereading this book or Clay’s companion story.

It also doesn’t hurt that parts of this series take place in Canada and I’m a sucker for stories that take place close to home. While the location of the Compound isn’t explicitly said, I like to think that it’s in Southern Ontario. Living here myself and adoring the pockets of nature that can be found, I love imagining that the compound isn’t too far away from me.

While my first thought is that werewolves can exist closely in fiction but stay away in reality, I wouldn’t mind if these werewolves were the ones that I ran into in real life. In general, these werewolves are compassionate and gentle. They understand that humans can be vicious and cruel, but that’s not all they are. But most importantly, they don’t go around terrorizing or hurting us pesky humans.

Looking at the meat of this story itself, I really enjoyed getting to know Gabby and Clay. Both can be quiet and reserved but also know how to stand their ground to get what they want. I can understand why Gabby didn’t want to Mate with a werewolf, to not want to be tied down when she finally feels free. I can also understand why Clay is willing to do anything – and I do mean anything – in order to keep the hope he sees in Gabby.

As much as I adored reading about Gabby and Clay, I really do like the way this series is written. Each novel follows a different protagonist. While the stories might feel a little disjointed at first, when they come together things fall into place. Each character is unique and stands on their own to the point where the male perspective novels – telling the same story just from a different perspective – read differently and can exist alone.

It also makes it that much more interesting to learn about the world. As the reader you get to explore the world as each person learns more about it and the unique situations going on. Gabby’s fish finder brain allows for a unique look at those around her, but can only take you so far. If you end up picking this story up, look forward to learning more about each female and their uniqueness.

If you’re looking for a cute and mostly lighthearted romance read, and don’t mind a fascinating werewolf spin to it, you might enjoy this story. Whether you feel like just picking up Gabby’s tale – which I’ve gone a couple of times since discovering it – or reading the entire series, it’s a fun read in a well developed world.

Continue reading “Hope(less) by Melissa Haag”

2020 July Wrap Up

If the days haven’t started running together for you, I’m jealous. I can’t believe that it’s been such a long time since I’ve posted anything to this blog. I’ve certainly been reading slower than usual these last couple of months, but that’s no excuse to completely ignore things the way I have. Here’s my promise to you to get the reviews of the books I have read out sometime in the near future. I’ll find the motivation to actually sit down and write them instead of letting the words swim in my head.

As a thank you for coming back after such an extended absence, here are some pictures of my pup, Yzma. She had a great weekend at the cottage and discovered a love for water she’d never previously showed any signs of having. (Shameless plug for her adorable PupStagram account @YzmaTheHound):

Without further ado, here’s my reading stats for this month:

For reference: Physical books, eBooks, and AudioBooks. Library books.

Total books completed: 17

Total pages: 3805 pages (avg. 224 pages per book)

Completed Books:

  1. Wolf’s Curse by Kelley Armstrong (Otherworld: Kate and Logan, Book 2)[5 stars]
  2. Sea Glass by Maria V Snyder (Glass, Book 2; The Chronicles of Ixia, Book 5)[3.5 stars]
  3. Hope(less) by Melissa Haag (Judgement of the Six, Book 1)[4 stars]
  4. Clay’s Hope by Melissa Haag (Judgement of the Six Companion Series, Book 1)[4 stars]
  5. Nosatsu Junkie by Ry Ryoko Fukuyama (Charming Junkie, Vol 1 – 13)[Avg. 4 stars]

Dedicated Blog Posts:

None during the month of July, check out my June Wrap Up for my most recent reviews.

Continue reading “2020 July Wrap Up”

2020 June Wrap Up

I know I’m not the only one, but the way things are in the world right now I’m finding it difficult to enjoy sitting down and reading as much as I used to. Of course I still enjoy immersing myself in stories, but it used to be such a relief to take a break from the world and dive into a world of mystery and intrigue. Now that I’m stuck at home most of the time it’s just not the same.

Plus the fact that my adorable little pup (who turned 1 this month!!!! Shameless plug for her adorable PupStagram account @YzmaTheHound) is with me almost all the time makes it harder to sit with a book. Sure she loves cuddling, but she also likes licking books… a habit I’m not quite to encourage. I’d much rather cuddle or play with my darling “little” girl than jump into a world I may or may not enjoy as much.

As always, here’s how adorable she was this month:

Without further ado, here’s my reading stats for this month:

For reference: Physical books, eBooks, and AudioBooks. Library books.

Total books completed: 7

Total pages: 2,291 pages (avg. 327 pages per book)

Completed Books:

  1. Beautifully Cruel by J.T. Geissinger (Goodreads)[4.5 stars]
  2. Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng (Goodreads)[3 stars]
  3. The Princess and the Fangirl by Ashley Poston (Once Upon a Con, Book 2)[3.5 stars]
  4. Return Addresses by Michael A McLellan (Goodreads)[4 stars]
  5. Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco (Stalking Jack the Ripper, Book 1)[4.5 stars]
  6. Dangerous Beauty by J.T. Geissinger (Dangerous Beauty, Book 1)[2.5 stars]
  7. Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco (Stalking Jack the Ripper, Book 2)[4.5 stars]

Dedicated Blog Posts:

  1. Shadow Frost by Coco Ma
  2. Beautifully Cruel by J.T. Geissinger
  3. Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
  4. The Princess and the Fangirl by Ashley Poston
  5. Return Addresses by Michael A McLellan
  6. Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco
  7. Dangerous Beauty by J.T. Geissinger

Continue reading “2020 June Wrap Up”

Dangerous Beauty by J.T. Geissinger

Rating: 2.5/5 stars Dangerous Beauty

Length: 264 pages

Series: Dangerous Beauty, Book 1

Genres: Romance, Contemporary, Suspense, Adult

Publication date: March 26, 2019


“It’ll be simple,” they said. “Just observe and report,” they said. Your first op, Naz, will be a walk in the park. Get a tan while you’re down there. Drink some beer. Make some easy money by spying on a Russian oligarch’s spoiled runaway wife.

Easy. Sure. Except apparently everyone, including her husband, underestimated this broad to a laughable fucking degree.

(Ch. 2, Naz)

Former Special Ops military man and bodyguard Nasir starts his new job thinking that it’s going to be a piece of cake. All he needs to do is trail a Russian mobster’s runaway wife in Mexico, enjoying the sun while observing and reporting back. The job comes with only one simple rule: don’t get too close. Yet it’s all Naz can do to not watch her every move. 

Evalina, on the other hand, believes she’s escaped her tormentor to live an untraceable life. Yet Eva knows there’s something that can’t be ignored about the dark, muscled stud who rescues her from a drug gang. Especially when they run into each other time and time again. Eva might have been spurned in the past but the mystery man might just show her that it’s okay to trust someone. 


Continue reading “Dangerous Beauty by J.T. Geissinger”

Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

Rating: 4.5/5 stars Stalking Jack the Ripper

Length: 337 pages

Series: Stalking Jack the Ripper, Book 1

Genres: Historical Fiction, Young Adult, Mystery, Historical, Horror

Publication date: September 20, 2016


 Without lifting his head from his own journal, he said, “Not having any luck figuring me out, then? Don’t worry, you’ll get better with practice. And, yes” – he grinned wickedly, eyes fixed on his paper – “You’ll still fancy me tomorrow no matter how much you wish otherwise. I’m unpredictable, and you adore it. Just as I cannot wrap my massive brain around the equation of you and yet adore it.” 

(Ch. , p. 66)

Audrey Rose, seventeen years old, was born the daughter of a lord into the life of luxury. Yet between the tea servings and silk dress fittings she hides a dark secret: she often slips away to her Uncle’s lab to practice the gruesome forensic sciences.

When her work on savagely murdered corpses sets her on the path of a serial killer, Audrey find herself searching for clues close to her own sheltered world.



The first time I read this book, it had just come out. I adored it right away. Years passed and I picked up the second and third books in the series – Hunting Prince Dracula and Escaping From Houdini. Yet enough time had passed that I felt the need to reread Stalking Jack the Ripper before I continued on with the series.

For some reason, I thought that each story followed a different main character as they solved some of the biggest mysteries of all time. Thankfully I read the synopsis of Hunting Prince Dracula and realized my mistake. I wasn’t ready to give up Miss Audrey Rose just yet. Now knowing that she remains the main character throughout the series, I look forward to reading more about her and the mayhem she surrounds herself with.

One of the things that I loved the most about this story is how Audrey Rose isn’t afraid to be herself. Knowing that society looks down on women in general – let alone one that’s intent on learning forensic sciences – I’m glad to see that she never let society break her spirit. Especially since it seemed quite intent to do so at times. Instead, Audrey Rose continues to be true to herself and is willing to face any consequences of her actions.

As someone who’s not the biggest fan of Historical Fiction novels, I’m glad that I love this world as much as I do. Victorian England is a time in history that I’ve always been fascinated by and I do love seeing a strong female lead in this time period. The fact that this strong female lead was trying to solve the crime of the century – one I’ve been intrigued by for years – was just an added bonus.

Maniscalco does an amazing job at setting up a vibrant world with extraordinary characters. Her characters feel real; their emotions and motivations clear from the very beginning. Even when things are happening behind the scenes to characters, it’s clear that things aren’t always as calm and clear cut as they might seem.

Add to the list the real period photos interspersed in the story, and this novel becomes a well rounded piece of media. I found the pictures to be a great way to situate myself in the world of this book, to get myself as close to Audrey Rose’s head space as possible. I’m not always the biggest fan of photos being thrown into a story at random times, but Maniscalco did an amazing job at placing the photos at the most opportune time.

If you’re interested in Young Adult Mysteries, I’d highly recommend checking this story out if you haven’t done so already. I truly believe that this is a strong first book to the series. Knowing that it was Maniscalco’s debut novel impresses me all the more.


Continue reading “Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco”

Return Addresses by Michael A McLellan

ReturnAddresses2 copy

Welcome to the blog tour for Return Addresses by Michael A. McLellan! This book is getting loads of 5 star reviews! Find out why! Read on for an excerpt and a chance to win a $20 Amazon gift card!

New Final FINAL 4

Rating: 4/5 stars

Length: 278 pages

Series: N/A

Genres: Contemporary Fiction

Publication date: April 13, 2020

Publisher: Mountain Press

“This ain’t your world. You don’t have any friends out here. Not real ones. No one out here cares about nothin’ but where their next drink or fix is comin’ from. That, or they were born too messed up in the head to even understand what friendship is. Remember that. You can’t trust anybody. You can’t rely on no one but yourself.”

Fourteen-year-old Sean Pennington never thought he’d find himself riding on an open train car in the middle of the night. He never thought he’d find himself alone. He never thought he’d be running for his life.

In the spring of 2015 Sean Pennington’s world of comfort and privilege is shattered and he becomes a ward of the state. Thrust into a broken foster care system, he discovers the harsh realities of orphanhood. Lonely, confused, and tormented by his peers, he runs away, intending to locate his only living relative; a grandfather he’s never met, who his only connection with is a return address on a crumpled envelope. Enter Andrea, a modern day hobo Sean meets at a California homeless encampment. Andrea travels the country by rail, stowing away on shipping container cars with other transients calling themselves traveling kids. Though battling her own demons, road-savvy Andrea promises to help Sean on his quest, but can she protect him from the unpredictable and often violent world she lives in?

Add to Goodreads

Now Available on Amazon!

Continue reading “Return Addresses by Michael A McLellan”

The Princess and the Fangirl by Ashley Poston

Rating: 3.5/5 stars The Princess and the Fangirl

Length: 320 pages

Series: Once Upon a Con, Book 2

Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, LGBT, Retelling

Publication date: April 2, 2019


Minerva cracks open an eye when she hears us approach. “Ah, so my prodigious progeny returns,” she purrs, although there’s only one prodigious child between us, and it’s not me. “Did you save the world or did you get lost?”

“Both?” I glance at Milo.

“Both,” he agrees.

“Both is good,” we say together.

(Ch. 4 (Imogen), p. 43)

Imogen Lovelace is your typical fangirl on a mission to save her favourite character from being killed off. The problem is the actress playing her doesn’t want to reprise her role. If this year’s ExcelsiCon isn’t her last, Jessica Stone will consider her career derailed.

When a case of mistaken identity throws Imogen and Jess together, they quickly become enemies. Yet when the script for the Starfield sequel gets leaked, all signs point to Jess and she must turn to Imogen to find the person responsible. As these “princesses” race to find the script leaker, they need to learn how to rescue themselves from their own expectations and learn what it means to live happily ever after.



My first thought when I started reading this book was that Geekerella could have lived forever as a standalone and I would’ve been happy. I’m more than happy to say that Poston changed my mind on this and I found myself enjoying this read. Sure I didn’t love it as much as I adored Geekerella when it first came out, but I’m always happy to fangirl with others. Since Anime North – the convention in Toronto, Ontario I go to every year with my best friend – was cancelled this year due to quarantine, I gladly jumped into this fantastical convention in its place.

I knew I was going into this read with a favourite retelling of The Prince and the Pauper so I tried not to judge this read too harshly. (If you’re curious, yes Barbie as the Princess and the Pauper is still the best retelling of this story to be made.) I’ll be the first to admit that I couldn’t help but compare the two retellings from time to time, though I tried not to let this taint my experience in this story.

Overall I found The Princess and the Fangirl to be an enjoyable read. It’s not the most poetic or scholarly read I’ve ever read, but it doesn’t try to be. This book promises a fun read with a lot of nerdy stuff thrown into the mix and that’s exactly what it delivers. If you go into this read expecting a fun, nerdy read you won’t be disappointed.

This book covers a wide variety of fandoms and I was excited to see one of – if not my top – favourite fandoms represented throughout this story. If you’ve read the story and are wondering who that character with the umbrella is that’s mentioned, I would highly recommend you check out The Adventure Zone by the McElroy family. This is my favourite podcast of all time (but all of their podcasts are great) and so far two graphic novels have been released based on the events of this story – Here There Be Gerblins (review here) and Murder on the Rockport Limited (review here). I was absolutely thrilled to find all the hidden nods to this series thrown in.

In fact, my favourite nods to fandoms were the ones that Poston threw in subtly. While most of the fandoms were simply mentioned – Harry Potter, Yu Gi Oh!, etc – it was nice to see more subtle nods in the story. That being said, I would have loved a list of fandoms to be at the end of the book. The nerd in me would love to have seen the list and given the chance to go through the book as a sort of scavenger hunt of nerdom.

I could continue to gush forever about the fandoms mentioned in this story, but that’s not the main point of this story. If you know the story of The Prince and the Pauper then you know the bare bones of this story. The characters and the meat of the story are what make it unique.

I believe that Poston did a great job at making this story its own. It stands apart from the other retellings of this story I’ve read – not only because it’s a modern retelling or because it’s got a nerdy twist to it, either. Poston put life into this story and made it her own.


Continue reading “The Princess and the Fangirl by Ashley Poston”

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

Rating: 3/5 stars Little Fires Everywhere

Length: 338 pages

Series: N/A

Genres: Contemporary, Fiction

Publication date: September 12, 2017


“… She knew she couldn’t handle things.” Mia scribbled a hasty note in the corner of her drawing. “The question is whether things are still the same. Whether she should get another chance.”

“And do you think she should?”

Mia did not answer for a moment. Then she said, “Most of the time, everyone deserves more than one chance. We all do things we regret now and then, you just have to carry them with you.”

(Ch. 15)

Elena Richardson embodies the rule following nature of Shaker Heights, a progressive suburb of Cleveland. When Mia Warren – enigmatic artist and single mother to a teenage girl – rents a house from the Richardsons, all four Richardson children are drawn to the mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past and a disregard for the status quo. When an old family friend attempts to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that drastically devised the town and leaves Elena and Mia on opposite sides of the divide.



Asian Readathon Challenges Met:

1. Read a book written by an Asian author: Ng is of Chinese decent.

4. Read a book recommended by an Asian: as this was the group book of the Readathon, it was suggested by Cindy in her 2020 Asian Readathon announcement video. 

5. *OPTIONAL* Read “Little Fires Everywhere” by Celeste Ng and participate in the 7#LittleFiresReadalong and #LittleFiresWatchalong (more information below)



First and foremost, I learned that this book was not for me. I can understand its merit, but it is not the kind of book that I find myself falling into. It might be because Contemporary books aren’t my usual go to that I had a harder time connecting with this story, but I find myself pulling away from this idea as I’ve read Contemporary books that I’ve fallen in love with.

The characters felt real enough and the problems they faced were serious, yet I still didn’t find myself falling in love with the world or the story. I could empathize with the events going on but I never felt pulled into the drama or a real tug on my heart strings.

That being said, I can completely understand why some people might love this story. While I easily fall head first into lands of magic and dragons, others find comfort in things more realistic. Closer to what they expect from real life. This story held notes of realism and dealt with issues that still exist today, roughly 20-30 years after the time this book was written in.

I find it hard to explain why I felt so detached from this story without going into spoilers, so I’ll leave the spoiler free section here. If you want to read my in depth feelings about the story, continue on to the spoiler section below.


Continue reading “Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng”

Beautifully Cruel by J.T. Geissinger

Rating: 4.5/5 stars Beautifully Cruel

Length: 319 pages

Series: N/A

Genres: Romance, Contemporary, Fiction, Adult, New Adult, Dark

Publication date: May 15, 2020


“Why, bless your heart, Mr. Driver. But you don’t have to worry about me. I’m only helpless when my nail polish is wet, and even then I can still pull a trigger.”

(Tru, Ch. 6)

Truvy Sullivan thought she was living a pretty normal life – going to law school, working as a waitress to make ends meet, and living with her good friend who didn’t have the best taste in guys. That is, until one rainy night a stranger saves her from a vicious attack. Not even knowing his name, Tru realized that the only place she felt safe was in his arms. But safety is an illusion and sooner than she’d realize Tru was going to learn that this mysterious alpha wanted something in return.

The characters are what brought this world together for me. Geissinger almost made them feel real, each with their own secrets, desires, and faults. The personal conflicts in this story, such as unrequited love, are things that could happen in real life. While the characters might go above and beyond in their reactions to these conflicts, I have to admit it made for a great read. Besides, what’s fiction for if not to have the reader suspend disbelief and experience something that they wouldn’t otherwise in their life?

While I wouldn’t ever want to find myself connected with a “bad boy” such as the likes found in this novel, I absolutely adore reading about them. The bad boy trope exists for a reason and it’s certainly one of my favourites to read about in romance novels.

I also really enjoyed the way that Geissinger used mundane activities – such as working a shift in a diner – throughout the story. Life it’s always fast paced, but it’s sometimes in these calmer moments that the most intense things happen. By having the contrast between the mundane and the extraordinary sprinkled throughout the novel, Geissinger managed to make this a fast paced read that caught and held my attention from the beginning.

The explicit content in this book wasn’t too bad either. While some people might prefer a tamer romance read, I really enjoyed the way that Geissinger wrote the more explicit scenes. They were hot and steamy and never felt out of place. If you’re interested in this kind of romance novel, look no further.

One thing this book showed me is that I seem to really enjoy romance books about the mafia. The Kiss Thief by L.J. Shen was the last book in this subgenre that I read (and greatly enjoyed) so if you also enjoy reading romance books like this one I’d recommend giving that one a try as well. That being said, Geissinger did a fantastic job in Beautifully Cruel and this novel deserves a read on its own. I would highly recommend picking this book up if you’re looking for a great new romance read.


Continue reading “Beautifully Cruel by J.T. Geissinger”