SUMMER GAMES…

SUMMER GAMES REVIEW BY DUCHESS READING

 

Ladies, can we all just take a minute… or five to gawk, drool, and swoon at Lance Parker and his abs?

Drooling for Lance Parker

 

Okay, another gawk-drool-swoon for Freddie Archibald… let it all out, ladies.

Drool for FreddieBefore I begin to rave about this book, I’d say get yourself a copy of Scoring Wilder… it just makes this sports romance sweeter. Um… because Liam Wilder!

Settling the Score…

…has it all. A touch of fairy-tale? Yes! A dose of real life? Uh, yeah! A helluva of Romance? Yesss! One or two modern day monsters? Yep! Hot guys? Imagine Calvin Klein male models. Yeah, a continent full of those fine specimen. Okay, close your mouth, girl. 😉

I went into this book thinking: Playboy meets a nice girl with great ambitions and falls hard, add a few hurdles and speed bumps and viola happy ever after. But, nope. Rachel (R.S. Grey) had other things on her mind. Forbidden love. At least for a while.

I thought I’d had my fill of forbidden love stories. That I can only take it in small doses. But this forbidden love story, which really wasn’t forbidden at all- semantics were, I wanted it all. I devoured it.  It took me longer to finish, but not because of lack of good content, but because I knew if I devoured it all in one go, it will be over way too soon. And Greed has never looked good on anyone.

I loved that Rachel took us through a journey, and didn’t just thrust us into a whirlwind romance. I loved that, from the beginning, we got a taste of Brazil. We also got a taste of the Olympics village. I found myself wondering why I wasn’t ever committed to sports. I found myself wanting to join a team so that in four years time I’d be going to the Summer Games too.

This whole novel, for me- when I truly think about, it felt like Andie and Freddie were telling me their story, especially Andie. Instead of me watching from the outside. I really don’t want to say more, because I know this will be filled with spoilers if I write more. This book was that good. I will say this, though, the primary supporting characters were ah-mah-zing. Can they be my friends? Pretty please? Because, squad goals. I never say that but really, they all are squad goals.

Freddie was anything but a playboy or even a bad boy. He’s kind of the guy every mother wants for her daughter. His character was simply amazing and humbling. I think that’s why I sort of fell for him #BookBoyfriend. He was unexpected and I’m being honest. Again, I don’t know how to write this review without spoiling it for those who haven’t read it. Everything I want to write, right now, will be giving out way too many key elements of the story. Especially if I talk about F-F-Freddie.

Andie, as well, was unexpected. Like going to McDonalds for chicken nuggets and getting served real chicken nuggets, instead of dried cardboard unexpected. That was Andie- a real chicken nugget. If you’ve read, Scoring Wilder, all I can say is what Kingsley went through with the media Andie went through that and more. To endure that kind of hostility from teammates and harshness from strangers you have to so strong. And Andie was exactly that. I wanted to be her when her confidence rose. It was beautiful. When everyone expected her to accept defeat, she rose like a phoenix from proverbial flames. To be honest I wanted to be her all the time. Because…Freddie.But mostly, I wanted to have the drive she had. The confidence she had in herself, her body, her ability.

One thing I didn’t like, was that this book was slightly similar to Scoring Wilder, but after mulling over the idea I think Rachel did so purposefully. Kingsley and Andie are different in their own right. I think the characters from Scoring Wilder crossed over because of the kind of support only those characters can give.

I’m looking forward to the next book in the Summer Games. Rachel, if it is not too much to ask for, can that  hot soccer guy with bad English get his own book or happy ever after too? Guys, they way this guy was speaking English was adorable. Really cute.

I give this book four stars, but because the epilogue and the epilogue of the epilogue satiated me, I give it one extra star. Go big or go home, right?

I’ve read about four or five R.S. Grey books so far, started this year and I’ve loved them all. I will probably review some. Having said that, I recommend this book and much more to come. I also recommend the author. Her writing style is captivating.

Hope you enjoyed this review, and I know I didn’t make sense half the time but… F-Freddie. Blame him for my incoherence.

Like or share. If you’ve read the book, want to know more or you just want to sign a petition to join Becca, Kingsley and Andie’s squad comment.

Currently working on my abs, legs, arm, and overall physique,

Duchess♥

 

 

 

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Red Hill

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Have read anything by Jamie McGuire? If you have not, get any book by her and be addicted. If you have then you know the next three words mean the world to bibliophiles. TRAVIS F*^KING MADDOX. Though, I think, MADDOX will suffice. Don’t you think? As you can tell, Red Hill is not the first book I have read by Jamie McGuire, nor will it be the last. The genre, however, is new (by Jamie, for me). Thriller! At night…

See what I did there? Hahahahaha!

 Thriller

Probably should warn you that when I say thriller it means there’s romance too. But Thriller is the main main genre, and romance is a very close second.

First, the book is told from three different people, all from different walks of life. Second, it is set in our time. Lastly, a zombie apocalypse is real in this fiction time of ours.

With that said, at first, I struggled to get started because I don’t like zombies. At all. Somehow I knew when Scarlet, one of the narrators, said “…the world ended on Friday” she meant zombies. I just knew. Moving from that page to the last was a struggle. I mean a three to five weeks of struggle. I eventually decided to just read it because I got the book from the library and I kept renewing it online. I also didn’t want to waste petrol (gas) by going back and forth to the library and not actually reading the book. Once, I pushed myself to read more, I was not disappointed.

The first two or so chapters went at a leisurely pace and the book took the time to reveal how it all started, at least, I think it took time. So, I was not suddenly thrust in the mayhem of the apocalypse. We got to know Scarlet a bit, which is important in order to understand her obsession in the last few chapters. The way Jamie McGuire reveals the cause of zombies it’s fascinating because you get to see it from the doctors’ perspective. The curiosity is there. You can almost feel their reaction when they learn about the bite, the effects and the diagnosis. It’s was like watching Grey’s Anatomy.

The way hell broke loose was chaotic. Apocalyptic. And so real. As a reader, I loved it. I found myself laughing at some graphics. What can I say, I am a bad person.

The lovely Scarlet took us on a thought-provoking parental journey. One I cannot begin to fathom. 

Nathan took us on another parental journey that was challenging. It was not the parental aspect that stood out for me, even though it was touching. It was humanity aspect that made my head run with thoughts of ‘what if I was there.’ Back to Nathan. People, whether you read or did not read this book, you love Nathan. He was it. I loved that his character was honest and human. He was not macho. If you’re macho, you probably would have died in this book. As I said, Nathan was not the kind. He is the type of guy you want in your corner. I’m not doing him justice.

Miranda added a ‘me’ perspective, you can even say a selfish perspective. As a reader, you got to see the event through a college student who just wanted things to go according to plan. At least for once. We have all went through that at some point in our lives, some of us, on a weekly basis. So, no matter what, I got Miranda.

For every character, life as they knew it changed. Scarlet was no longer a nurse and Nathan was no longer thinking about his wife-by-law and his miserable job. It was survival of the fittest. Miranda was going through some sort of a love triangle. Yes, a love triangle during a zombie apocalypse. This love triangle raised a few questions: should she follow her heart; should she stay with the guy she has learned to love and who loves her or should she give herself to the zombies? That last question was mine.

The most interesting thing about Red Hill was how the characters coincidentally passed each other until they all got to Red Hill. It struck me how in life we go through the same thing. We just miss meeting the right people. Imagine if they all met each other at one place and made it to Red Hill together? I digress.

Romance. I think Nathan and Scarlet were made in the stars. Pardon, my romanticism. However, the romance in apocalyptic times was just the right dose to give a read the hope needed. Jamie did not play with our hearts, she made the whole thing real.

Like, share and comment. Even if it is to gush about the Maddox brothers. 😉

Yours Truly,

Duchess♥

P.S. I mean no disrespect to the Muslim people. #Love

Her Backup Boyfriend

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New Author! There are so many authors out there. I get excited when I find a new author on my favourite genre. You guessed it, romance. Her Backup Boyfriend, as you can tell is as cliche as The Bold And The Beautiful. You can roll eyes, sometimes I read romantic cliches like nobody’s beezneez. Especially fake boyfriend types, the fake husband is at the top, though.

Sidenote: Romantic cliches are good for the soul, sometimes.

I have had an eye on this book for quite some time and when I finally got it, you can imagine what I did. I dropped everything of course. And I loved it.

Kate was a delight but typical for this kind of romance. Aside from the romantic stance of: he-broke-up-with-me-but-I-want-him-back  and this-one-makes-my-heart-skip-a-beat, Kate was truly a well-rounded character. I liked that at the end she was true to herself. I loved, yes loved, that she was not a one-dimensional character. I usually don’t like red heads in books but she was one of my favourites. And that list is short. No offense to red heads, brunettes rule.

Dominic was an interesting fellow. He was not what I initially thought he was going to be. So, that was refreshing. I don’t like that he was jaded, I think it would have made the book more interesting if he was not. Two people who are jaded on love is not my thing. Unless there’s a perfectly good reason why. I believe one character has to be in broken pieces while the other has to believe in roses and rainbow love. Too much?

The supporting characters were amazing. They took us out of Kate and Dominic romance bubble and showed us that they are actually fully functioning adults. I’ve observed that authors tend to forget about supporting characters and they leave them in a cliffhanger. And then, bam, supporting character pops out of the thin air… Or ink.

I’ve been obsessed with the ending of books. And pretty much the ending of everything. I believe how you end says more about you than how you begin. As you can imagine, when it comes to romance books, I want a cliche ending. Happy ducking ever ducking after, people. With that said, the ending of this book was satisfactory. I liked the ending because it echoed my thoughts. “No regrets.”

I don’t know if I will read the next book in the Sorensen Family Books, but I am teeny weeny bit interested on how the whole family finds love.

Have you read any of Ashlee Mallory books or Entangled: Bliss books? What’s favourite Cliche romance book?

Like, share and comment. I don’t bite. I’m actually nice. 🙂

Yours Truly,

Duchess♥

Beneath Him

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Oh my Lordy, beneath him was everywhere in this book. And get your mind out of the gutter. It’s not beneath him, beneath him. This book is my first from Komal Kant. I’ve sampled a couple of her books but this is my first read. It was not what I was expecting. I’m not even sure what I was expecting. But it was not this.

Beneath Him was such a pleasure to read. A callous rich housewife, a compassionate father and sister and friends that are friends. The collision of Nick and Sky’s world is an absolute delight. It had a nice edge, the banter was amusing and the Matt situation did not go down like I thought it would. Think the Graysons from Revenge. Season 1, Episode 1. With a kid, and Danny having an interest in Emily; but Emily is the nanny.

I loved the Prologue. I’m a fan of any thing unconventional, so this floored me:

-Someone once told me that we are only as good as we believe ourselves to be. I've let myself forget for too long.-

I had to read this three or four times before I actually proceeded to read the book. And at some point I found myself going back to it. Nick also refers to it somewhere in the middle. Now, please read it again. Wait for five seconds to let the words sink in and hover in your brain. Now think about it. How true is that? How often do we forget that? I could write an essay based on this quote. (Cue *eye roll*)

Nick was as callous as his mother. A total jerkface. My favorite was when he kept saying this is not who he is. And saying he was hiding his true self. He buried the old him in copious amount of night stands. He was so tortured and so lonely that my heart cried for him. Of course that was after I realized that he was not exactly who he was acting out to be. Of which, every chapter you see public Nick chipping the exterior giving way to real Nick. Once the façade came off, Nick was definitely worth the fuss. Worth the drama. And man this guy had baggage. The kind I’m not sure I could help carry.

Family played such a big role here. And when I say big, it doesn’t necessarily mean good. It just played a big role. And I liked that. I also like the fact that Komal made Nick have friends from early childhood and they were not stuck-up rich kid. It was proof that Nick was not a stereotype. Hate stereotypes in books.

Sky, dearest Sky, best line from Nick about Sky.

-My Sky was different from your sky. My Sky was the earth- gentle, full of life.-.png

Can be all be like Sky? Not for Nick or for any guy. For you. I already said I want to be like Helena, but if can’t reach Helena be Sky. Or better yet, be you. The great you.

Sky didn’t have much of a family but she had a best friend. Those one’s you wonder why you even friends with them, let alone best friend. But then they make feel so good, they make remember why you’re best friends. And probably will be forever. Ever had that friend?

Oh, Sky knew how to bake. This part was torturing. The need to eat a cupcake or cookies while reading the parts that had cupcakes and cookies was high. Very high.

Okay back to Sky. Sky had a backbone. And she was passionate and so kind. Love that girl. She had so much to offer, but I feel like she was swallowed by the banter and I didn’t see her grow. She was constant throughout. Nick, however, dealt with some demons.

Nick’s aristocratic mother was scary. I would’ve quit day one after meeting her. But what she said to Sky was so demeaning and horrible she was practically oozing blue blood every time she said anything to Sky.  This woman takes the black out of everyone. She got me so riled that my thoughts were along the lines of, ‘Uh, uh, she ain’t talking to my girl like that, is she? Sky, hold my weave, my earrings and my fake Chanel bag, oh-kay, gurl? I’mma show this blue blood how we red bloods fights.’ Insert appropriate hand gestures and body language. Seriously, though.

There are two things that bugged me:

  1. I needed more Nick. I needed more of his thoughts. I felt like he was still hiding.
  2. I was not happy with that epilogue. I literally would’ve been happy with: They got married, had a child and live down the street. They still drive each other but nothing that ol’ BK can’t fix. I was unsatisfied with that epilogue.

I give three crowns to this book = to three stars. And I recommend it.

Thanks for reading! Now, feel free to send the rolling eyes emoji. Tell me what you thought of the post and if you’ve read Beneath Him, what did you think. Just drop me a comment, I swear I’ll be nice. Don’t forget to like, reblog and whatever cool things you can do here.

Yours Truly,

Duchess♥

#F*CKLOVE

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Where do I start? Gush over F*ck Love or Tarryn Fisher first? As you can imagine that this is my first Tarryn Fisher book. And I hear this book is very different from her previous books. But oh my goodness, this book was epic. I’m going to gush about a few things or a lot of things. But first, let me take a selfie. Title it: Gushing over F*ck Love.

**Side Note: As I was reading this book, I kept asking myself if the story was a love triangle. I don’t think it was. What constitutes a love triangle?

I recommend this book and give it four crowns and another crown for Tarryn. So that’s Five crowns. The crowns are equivalent to stars. Get it and read it. And I’m telling you right now, a Tarryn Fisher weekend is in the horizon. I’m thinking the Love Me With Lies books. Yes?


The Gushing

First of all I liked, no loved, how this book started. With a dream and good ol’ fashioned WTF. That dream changed everything, as a dream should. Now, lets proceed to the things I loved about this book. Or what I’d like to call gushing. Helena is unconventional, quirky and weird. Possible twin sister, separated at birth. Can I get a hola for that? Her obsession with socks. Uh, this girl gets me. No, I don’t have an obsession with socks, I just have a sock problem. So, we’re practically twins. Tarryn, the selfie concept? Genius. Including the hashtags. Bloody freaking ge-nuis! Brilliant! A conceited and insecure best friend? Check! Can this be any more real and relatable? Oh and my favorite line “Thank you, Jesus; thank you, Harry.” (Cue in the laughing out loud emoji.) The selflessness. The muggle waiting to be magical. And how can I forget, #BeigeBitch. Oh, I forgot Kit. Kit. Cue in mega swooning. Not for his body or something shallow like that. No, mega swoon for Kit because he can cook. He writes. Books and music. Tarryn, I think you forgot a chapter. Chapter …: #megaswooning, dedicated to swooning over Kit’s traits.

Side question: What kind name is Kit anyway? Is it Irish?


This book reeked unique. Originality. Class. Humanity.


THE REVIEW (Translation: incoherent thoughts, but thoughts nonetheless)

Before I read this book, I read reviews. Tons of them. And there were solely focused on the love story or a girl guide modus. But I saw this story in a different light. When I put this book down, my first thought was: What a selfless person. Ladies, if there’s one character I wish to be at the end of the year or end of my lifetime is to be a selfless beige bitch. Because to do what Helena did for her selfish, self-centered, conceited, insecure and definitely a bad friend best friend takes a special person. One who has a beautiful soul.

I loved the idea of the dream and how Helena forged her new path based on it. Because that’s what we do. Whether it’s a goal, an ambition or a resolution. A concept, an idea, a quote. Whatever it is, we too, forge our life based on it, we constrain and box ourselves based it. We don’t allow ourselves to grow beyond it. Like Helena we lose sight of the dream. In Helena case, her dream was to show her that her capabilities are beyond being the numbers girl. She had more potential than numbers. It was to open her eyes to see the real Neil, to be open to adventures and such. But she was so focused on wanting the dream to unfold itself as is in real life that she got more hurt than she would have. I mean moving in with Kit’s ex? No. Luckily for her it worked out really well with the Fairy. Get the book and you will get that reference. But, like I said, we are just like Helena. We want a cut and paste version of whatever it (dream, idea, resolution). We forget to spread our wings and soar. No, we just want to fly. Ladies, we can soar. We want to be a muggle, instead of being magical. Be magical, ladies. (I feel like Helena is writing here. Not me.)

The introduction of Muslim was interesting. That dream involving him was heart racing. Serious thumping. And various questions of ‘what it is going on’ were roaming in my head. I found myself being pro-Muslim. Just for a few pages. Don’t judge me. Oh, how I wish you knew what I was talking about. Get the book, so you can gush with me.

 Let’s talk friendship before I finish this review. 

Ladies, any friend that says they are prettier than you, chuck them. You do not need that kind of toxic in your life. You already have McDonald for that. Chocolate and ice-cream. Seriously, Della, that’s Helena’s best friend’s name, was that kind. She was the type of friend that sucks the living out of you. Sucks being the operative word. Yoh, Yoh, Yoh. I found myself wishing for the worst…

I repeat, I recommend this book. There’s something for everyone.

If you want gush with me and want me to spoil this book for you, feel free to comment. And if you have anything to say, to call bullshit or whatever, feel free to comment. I’m all ears. And don’t forget to like this post. To show some love. You can reblog, because you know I’m a beige bitch. 😉

Yours Truly,

Duchess♥

Celaena Sardothien

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Where do I begin? Throne of Glass is an adventure in so many ways. Every page takes you deeper into the continent of Erilea; and deeper and deeper into Celaena’s life. The first page tells you that this is no mediocre story. The first line and first chapter promises an adventure. Everything about the book heralds something beyond expectation.

Sarah J. Maas created an engrossing world that seems so real, you ache to read the next book.

The characters are the story and the story is the characters. Does that make sense? Hope it does. Let me explain.

The blurb and the book cover tell you that Celaena is no ordinary eighteen-year-old girl. I personally like how the book cover introduces Celaena: A heart of ice. A will of Steel. Meet the assassin. First I want to say the introduction itself creates one of heck of an expectation. And Celaena does not disappoint. She’s more than the expectation. The girl cannot be boxed. She is dynamic. Every node planted into our heads before reading the book, as we read the book from her perspective and the perspective of others weave the story that is the Throne of Glass. Her will of steel is seen in every little thing she does. The assassin is seen in ways you wouldn’t expect. Her heart of ice tells a story of its own. And proves to be more than what people think the heart of an assassin would be. The reasons she is the way she is tells the story. It tells you the why and the how of Celaena Sardothien, the assassin and of Celaena Sardothien, the girl.

Dorian, the Crown Prince of Adarlan, is also dynamic. When we first meet him via the eyes of Celaena we know he has the potential to be more. He only shows what he wants you to see. We first see him as your typical spoiled prince, one who is gifted in looks and is not afraid to use them. But as the story journeys you see that he’s more than what meets the eye. He’s compassionate. He has an understanding that many of his caliber don’t.The inner struggles that he goes through nicely twines into the story, making it one with Celaena’s. His character contributes to the meaning of Throne of  Glass, what it is and why it is the title of the book. Its significance.

Captain Chaol Westfall is my dream. Forever dressed in black. The way his character knits into the story breaks my heart. I think he is the presentation of both reality and fantasy. He hides his feelings well, he’s handsome and has unwavering loyalty to his continent. And he’s more. I don’t want to say more because I might just tell you the whole story…with spoilers.

The other characters make your heart sing because of their role in the story. At the end of the book, they make you want jump from wherever you are in a beatific manner. And for me personally, they make me wish I was one of them. And there are the villains of the story, they equally makes this book the adventure it is.

There are themes that explored that ordinarily will make me put the book down. But that’s where the story is the characters. The story of a girl with a destiny so great and skills so deadly tells you something stupendous about Celaena and the prominent female characters. The story of a prince trying to find his place in the glass throne and doing his best to lead from the heart tells you the prince is remarkable. And it shows he’s more than just a prince. The story of a Captain of the Guard is the story after my own heart. The story indicates a valiant character. Chaol will you be mine? For now? *Bats eyelashes like Celaena*

What truly stood out for me, above everything else, is how each character grew as the story develops. This includes the antagonists as well. All the changes that took place made this story relatable. And understandable. It was not just a great story to read. It was a great story to understand.

And there’s something I want to say that is a spoiler but I won’t say it. Instead I’m going to throw in my favorite lines to satisfy my heart.

“She’d survived Endovier, yet she could still laugh.” -Chaol

“I give you this name to use with honour, to use when other names grow too heavy. I name you Elentiya, ‘Spirit That Could Not Be Broken.” – Princess Nehemia

“Arobynn told me that second place was just a nice title for the first loser” – Celaena

-Sarah J. Maas, Throne of Glass

Before I recommend this book I just want to say because of the hype I thought it was going to be disappointing. However, I can personally attest to its bewitching magic, its  transfixing story and its mesmerizing characters.

With that said, I completely, wholly give my recommendation to read Throne of Glass and its sequels, why? Because it’s a portal to untold magic. It is an entrance to a whole new world, a promise of an adventure.

I loved it…and you’re going to love it if you don’t already.

Like and share. And let me know your thoughts on Throne of Glass. I know I’m a little late but bare with me.

Yours Truly,

Duchess♥

Live, don’t exist!

“I watched the way our fingers intertwined, and I thought, what are hands made for but this? For holding. For holding on.” – James Patterson, First Love

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First Love by James Patterson and Emily Raymond… Where do I begin? Let’s see, I read the sample from my kindle and decided that it was worth reading on paperback. So I went to look for it and it was not at my favorite book store. A total UHRG! moment. But I was not discouraged. I looked around a lot. In fact I did not only look around, I went on a daily forage. To all book stores. And then I found it….a year later. Yes, a year later. *Insert intensive nodding*

As you can imagine, I was so happy that I never bothered checking the price. Who cares about price anyway? I do! Student budget.

After paying this was me… Well, there no actual fireworks and a glass of apple juice white wine champagne  whatever that is.giphy (2)

Okay, back to the novel!

The novel was REAL, RAW and HEART-WRENCHING.

I felt all these after finishing the novel as the story line was gripping. I mean, you honestly forget to react because you are so taken by the story. Taken by the adventure. The tragedy. And I loved every letter, every word and every paragraph. It is a James Patterson novel after all. Hello! I, especially, loved when Robinson tells Axi to tell their story and she says  “And I did it; I told our story. You hold it in your hands.”

I dare ask… What’s better than that?

The story follows Axi’s road trip with Robinson, her best friend whom she’s secretly in love with. The road trip for Axi is more than rebelling; it’s escaping her grief and getting out of her comfort zone. It’s exploring life and expanding life’s horizons. And boy, don’t they explore and expand. From the Harley, Vegas, camping to Hollywood and more, what’s not to explore and expand? I was secretly jealous.

The story was from Axi’s perspective, at first I was not happy about that. But as I read more, I got why she told the story. Because it felt like she was telling me face to face and I was listening, instead of reading her (their) story. I could feel the emotions, the surprise, the happiness, the sadness. She made the words come alive.

I loved that it was not predictable. I didn’t read the first two chapters and immediately know the ending. You had to follow what Axi was saying in order guess the plot twists. I say guess because I did a lot of guessing. And many were wrong as I had myriad preconceived ideas. But the realness of the story flushed those ideas down the drain.

What I extremely and tremendously appreciated was you never lost what both Authors had to say. The subject of the novel was perspicuous…absolutely crystal clear! Because Axi Moore was no cliche character on a teenage quest for first love. She was an ordinary young woman, a human being, who had to learn to accept life’s tragedies and live. To love and lose it. And continue to live instead of existing. Live to inspire, to tell her story and to share her wisdom.

I could say that I wished for more. Extra pages. But, I think the story would’ve gotten lost in unnecessary words. It was perfect the way it was. And I recommend it to everyone. Worth five crowns for ratings.

The title may be first love but this novel, in my eyes, was Axi first living. And, of course living results in love. Pshh! Duh!

So, what you can take from this is: Live, don’t exist! Life’s too short.

Yours Truly,

Duchess♥

P.S.: Like, share and comment. I would love to hear your thoughts.