I’m back (sort of)! Viruses felled me and I didn’t get as much as I wanted done last week, but at least gave me time to savor some great books.
Two of those books happen to be perfect for Valentine’s Day. The best part? They’re connected to each other!
Ines B. Yao published “Only a Kiss” in 2014, and its prequel “When Sparks Fly” came out in 2016. I was psyched to find copies of these on nearly the same day. I love reading stories set in the same universe, so being able to read them back-to-back was bliss for me.
I had the luxury of reading these chronologically, story-wise. It really worked for me, though you don’t really need to do that to enjoy either book. But I really recommend that you guys read these back-to-back for Valentine’s because the characters just suck you in.
“When Sparks Fly” is about Regina and Ben, who felt an instant connection when they first met. Unfortunately, Regina’s insecurities plus Ben’s…interesting track record with women make the road to their happily ever after bumpy.
“Only a Kiss”, on the other hand, follows Regina’s little cousin Katie and the long and complicated road to romance she and her best friend Chris took. I can still help but compare it to “Saving Sally”, minus the abuse storyline.
My only real complaint over these books is that they should have been longer. There were so many interesting characters and plot points that I felt could have been explored a bit more. And the inclusion of all those made parts of the story feel rushed in light of the length. Those bits didn’t get to breathe.
Apart from that, though, you get complex characters with complicated emotional journeys, grand romantic moments (I want that restaurant in “Sparks” to exist), and great humor. Those more than made up for the hiccups.
Seriously. Read these for Valentine’s Day.
You can find Ines Yao’s books in National Bookstore – I think her newest release there is “All That Glitters” – and on Amazon.
Tara Frejas is a magical writer and everyone should read her work. Seriously.
I struggled with writing this review, not just because a bunch of life stuff (and laziness) happened but also because it’s hard to find the words to describe the experience of reading Frejas’ work. I was so very tempted to just keep my review along the lines of “For the love of god, just read it!” because it’s literally the best way to understand why her stories are amazing, but I knew that wouldn’t work for a lot of people looking for their next read.
Which is why I’m here. I’m just a fan, standing in front of other readers, begging them to read Paper Planes Back Home.
I highly recommend this to people who need to feel happy again. Wanna find out why?
You gotta admit—sex and food go well together in romance stories. Both satisfy some kind of hunger, and both can be very visceral experiences given the right situation. I’m a big fan of steamy stories that involve food, and that’s why I picked up “The Kitchen When It Sizzles”.
Oh, man. This book gets pretty yummy at certain parts. It’s a fairly fun read…which is why I’m reviewing it this week!
I have to admit: it’s been days since I finished reading “Skin Game“, and I’m still feeling a little bit devastated by the fact that the next Dresden Files book doesn’t really exist yet. Thankfully, “The Magician’s Land” by Lev Grossman is helping me through it (although reading its ending will inevitably devastate me too, given that it’s the final book of a trilogy; but you know, bridges, crossing, getting there). But that still doesn’t change the fact that I’ll have to wait and find out what happens next to one of my absolute favorite wizards.
Before I begin this review, I feel compelled to remind you of a rather obvious little detail: I am a huge fanof the Dresden Files series of books. What this means is that this review will not be objective at all. This book is also the FIFTEENTH in the series (excluding that collection of short stories that have been previously published in anthologies) about the wizard/private eye who gets into all sorts of supernatural trouble thanks to his heightened sense of right and wrong, which means that you probably will have trouble relating to all the spazzing that I’ll be doing later in this post.
If you haven’t read the series and are a fan of fun/geeky urban fantasy, then I encourage you to pick up this series. The first book or so admittedly has some clunkiness in the writing style, but I promise that it becomes AMAZING the longer you stick with it. And that’s because *non-spoilery spoiler* Jim Butcher plays one freaking long narrative game – there are things that he sets up in, say, book 7 that pays off in book 15. As my father had put it, Mr. Butcher has one hell of a poker face when it comes to narrative developments.
If you HAVE read the series and want to come spazz with me (because I’m serious – this is a review in blog post title only), then click the button to the next page.
But just to reiterate: this is the most fucked up thing I’ve ever read, especially in the context of relationships. The reason why I had so much trouble writing this review is because I my mind naturally tries to skitter away from this book even if I do try to think about it. Which is strange, considering the fact that I had trouble putting the dang thing down when I started reading it.
I can’t say much more without spoiling it–and I really can’t spoil it for those who haven’t read it, because that would be a humdinger of a twist that I’d be letting you in on. It’s comparable to The Sixth Sense.
That said, I’m still going to tell you to read this because DEAR GOD EVERYONE ABOVE THE AGE OF TWENTY SHOULD READ THIS.
There still might be some spoilers after the jump.