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.

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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♥

I’m back? Oh, and Feb TBR

I’M BACK?

So hi, everyone! Or should I say, Happy New Year, everyone! Is that still applicable even 40 DAYS into the new year? I think it is. Maybe after three months is not applicable. That’s usually when you forget about the new year resolutions. Speaking of resolutions? What are yours? And are you keeping up with them? I don’t have any resolutions this year, thanks for asking. 🙂 No for real, I really don’t have any resolutions, even weird and quirky ones I usually have like not eating chocolate for a year. I kept that resolution till end, if you were wondering. The other one was no eating junk food for a year, it lasted for three months, um, because DORITOS, Mac D and BK. Oh, one year I tried being a vegetarian but that lasted for a month… or less. I wasn’t ready to say good-bye to chicken and chicken wings. Some steak. This year though, I’ve decided to take one day a time. How’s that going, you ask? It’s simply going, with it’s peaks and troughs of course.

So by now you’re probably wondering about the question mark. The mark that poses a question is to simply say I don’t know how long I’m back for because Uni starts next week and I don’t know how’s that going to turn out, in terms of work load and stuff. Plus there are some personal things I’d like to try this year, and they are going to take time. However, if everything goes as I wish it to go, I’ll be here more often and with a schedule. I need routine. I’m chaos without a semblance of routine. I’m finally accepting that fact.

Now, I have to apologize for my leave of absence. Probably should have started with an apology, I have such bad manners. I just went phew out of blog-sphere. So, I’d like to apologize from vanishing into thin air. All I can say is exams, holiday and family. Did I mention exams? Oh and a ton of books that I’m never going to review because I forgot them. I really do not know what I was reading. Do not judge. I have holiday brain syndrome. I am looking forward to catching up with everyone and doing some tags. Don’t forget to tag me.

What to expect from Duchess? Well, this year I’m trying out new authors, to me their new, and non-romance genres. Some may have romance in it but the main genre won’t be. My menu is going to change. I don’t know when but I know it is. Mainly because it’s currently a mess. I’m going to add a new feature called Book Confessions. This year I’m also participating in the PopSugar Book Challenge. Unlike last year, when I said I will but didn’t. This it is happening. And there’ll be more videos as well, and majority are mostly not going to be book-related because YouTube- does that explain it? Okay, let me be clear, because there are so many funny things I’ve recently watched and would like to share them with you.

FEBRUARY TBR

My February TBR list is not long at all. I just wanted light reads to last me till end of this week. Plus as I mentioned above that this year I’m trying new authors and genres, I didn’t want to overwhelm myself with too many books. And because, I don’t have money. Broke. When am I not ever broke? My currency is weak against the dollar so you can imagine how much I pay. And I’m not working so, I’m practically taking a big chunk out of my allowance. And something should be said regarding the fact that I forfeit clothes, underwear and socks for books. And, people, I really need new socks. My socks have holes. All of them. I’m okay with it though, because I believe at some point in the future books are going to be an investment. And to me, right now, they are an investment.

TBR LIST

  1. F*ck Love – Tarryn Fisher (Review Coming Soon)
  2. Her Back-up Boyfriend – Ashley Mallory (Review Coming Soon)
  3. Beneath Him – Komal Kant (Review Coming Soon)
  4. Unfamiliar – Erica Cope and Komal Kant (Review Coming Soon)
  5. Red Hill – Jamie McGuire (Review Coming Soon)
  6. The G File – Hakan Nesser (Currently Reading)

The rest of the TBR list consists of my textbooks.

Tell me about your book resolutions, new year resolutions and your TBR list. Or you can tell me of the most bizarre resolutions or goals you’ve had. Let’s be weird and quirky together.

Don’t forget to like this post. And comment to tell me what a bad blogger I am. Or how awesome I am.

Yours Truly,

Duchess♥

New Adult (NA)

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At the beginning of this year I started reading a few New Adult books here and there. And to be honest, it was a nice change from Young Adult, especially since I was entering the New Adult world myself. I liked New Adult books.  I loved New Adult books because they explored a lot of issues often faced by new adults. The heartbrokeness (is that a word? spell check says it’s not. But whatever!), guilt, sex (though to be honest, these days sixteen is the right age to discuss sex thoroughly, not just in bio class or Sex Ed class), change, university, disappointment, working, working and studying, relationships (family, friends and romance), and many more issues. I truly loved how these issues were out there for new adults to just read and hopefully learn a thing or two. You know?

However, about six months in, I started noticing a pattern and not a good one. This pattern was/is irksome at times but other times it was/is welcome. Because who doesn’t like predictability now and then. But this kept happening as I read more and more NA books. There were repetitions of the same story line, themes and plot twists by a couple of authors. Novelty and originality was/is lacking in some books. There are books that have left me truly desensitized about certain BIG issues that happen to people out there. And this is due to some issues being discussed way too often and not thoroughly analysed. There are NA books that have handled bullying and sex abuse in a flippant manner. Some books have portrayed women as objects and things, and planted nodes that sex equal love, boundaries mean a woman is a prude, etc. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy some of these books, particularly when there is a STORY. And often there’s no story, there’s just major plot twists and sex scenes that appeal to ID and make us loose focus from the fact that there was NO story.

Where’s the moral of the story, NA? Why don’t I remember something vital after finishing the book, NA?

As I said before, they have been books that have left me stunned, in a good way. Because I was able to reflect on the book and my life. I was able to draw something paramount from the book. I still read NA books but not as often as I would like.

I thought I was alone but after reading a few reviews of some newly released books and a few blogs, I discovered that there are people that have the same problem. Megan from  Reading Books Like A Boss beautifully put into words what I’ve been feeling. Dear New Adult: An Amost-Breakup Letter is my letter and many others too. Megan just had the balls big enough for all to make it public. And I thank her for it.

To NA,

Please keep it simple. Be novel. Be original. I don’t need you to be a duplicate of ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ. I just need you to be more than amazing.

From me.

Check out my review on Throne of Glass here: Celaena Sardothien. Probably one of the best reviews I’ve written. Promise, I’m not that egotistic. Or full of it, I just really enjoyed writing the review.

Don’t forget to like and share. And, of course, let me know if you agree, disagree or both both by commenting.

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♥

Forgiveness and Second Chances

“Happy people are those that forgive.” -Duchess

I was wrecking my brain thinking about what book to read with the right kind of theme to make you think really hard about what you know or think you know about life. Or simply give a lesson or two about subjects we’re often oblivious to. I mean, I’ve read plenty of books with great thought provoking themes, my bookshelf, desk, kindle and suitcase can vouch for me. With issues explored by the likes of Katie McGarryTijan and James Patterson, to name a few, it should have been an easy pick. Hello, we’re talking about Tijan here.

After a lot of thinking, and reading, one word kept dancing in my head screaming ‘Pick Me’. That one word, which is I think is a paramount key of life, was FORGIVENESS.

What is forgiveness, you ask?

Forgiveness is the intentional and voluntary process by which a victim undergoes a change in feelings and attitude regarding an offence, lets go of negative emotions such as vengefulness with an increased ability to wish the offender well (Wikipedia).

In my own understanding, forgiveness is a breathe of fresh air after spending a week in a stuffy, hot room and ice cold water after completing a ten mile run. Forgiveness is liberating and it gives you this new perspective on life.

And, seriously, who doesn’t want a second (maybe a third or a fourth) chance in life? As I went down memory lane and read There’s Only Been YouAll My Life and Stubborn Love I realized how forgiving changed my life and gave me a second chance to enjoy this adventure called life. So, I decided why not, might as well blog about, the Duchess way, of course.

The books are free on Kindle and for paperback on Amazon they are $10.52 ,$5.99  and $8.35, respectively.

Mini reviews:

There's Only Been You was an amazing read with just the right amount of suspense and thrill. Donna Marie Rogers flawlessly demonstrated the miracle of forgiveness through the characters. I loved how Ethan forgave his mom and uncle for lying. And I even more so loved it when Sara gave Mike a second chance. On another note, I think Rogers should have fully dissected the relationship between forgiveness and second chances more deeply.

There’s Only Been You was a good read with just the right amount of suspense and thrill. Donna Marie Rogers flawlessly demonstrated the miracle of forgiveness through the characters. I’m talking the kind of forgiveness that happens so quick, that you start to think all the bad was just a bad dream. The characters had their own personalities that contributed to making it a good family romance novel. I loved how Ethan forgave his mom and uncle for lying as if that’s not an offence. You got to love little children and their forgiving hearts. And I even more so loved it when Sara gave Mike a second chance. What can I say, I’m a sap for romance. On another note, I think Rogers should have dissected the relationship between forgiveness and second chances more deeply.

What stood out for me was Ethan, that kid was cute- in my head he was. Don’t judge.

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It took me a while to get into this book but the more I read the more engrossed I got. This book, in my view, was all about forgiving yourself and simply learning to forgive. In All My Life, Kari was tied down from living life like a college student should due to a sex tape that Eddie (we royally dislike Eddie) holds like a noose around her neck. Kari went through her “very own personal hell” for at least a year and half. She had a hard time forgiving herself and she let the whole thing weigh her down.

I loved the courage she had to finally open up and actually take away the stigma that she did something wrong and ultimately forgive herself. The book had awesome secondary characters who never failed to make you laugh and ease some of the emotive and sensitive subjects. And I loved how Ban nicely linked forgiving oneself and taking a leap into second chances.

Can I just say I was so proud of Kari when she said this:

“This scar that rips me apart. I’m not going to hide it.”

Me liked the book!

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I don’t even know where to begin with Stubborn Love. Wendy Owens explored pregnant, fraught subjects that my pretty little head didn’t understand their magnitude and I’m afraid for some, I haven’t really wrapped my head around. I think you have to experience them to understand them. Emmie went through hell and stayed there for a couple of years and came back. Yes, she stayed there, not by choice.

I often wish I could be characters in books but in Emmie’s case, at least not until the happy ending, I never wanted to be her. Emmie went from getting the boy every girl wanted in school to being trapped in a tumultuous marriage to being a widow at 23. I also think this book was about learning to forgive yourself of the mistakes and bad decisions you made, among other themes.

I loved how Owen made the story real and raw. You can tell that even though Emmie is moving on with the hottie next door, BTW, his name is Colin, she’s still tied down by Ashton (he’s the douche guy that ruined Emmie’s life).

More importantly, I loved the character development of Emmie from the first chapter to the last chapter. Her journey from been hopeless, distraught and sad to hopeful, alive and happy was a great illustration of letting go. Of self-forgiveness.

Please don’t think this was a novel where Colin showed up and Emmie had her second chance on a silver platter, as if all she had to do was take it and run with it. It’s was not. Noooo…Emmie had to deal with big fat merde before letting go and forgiving, slowly but surely.

Paige and Christian were a supercalifragilisticexpialidocious addition to Emmie and Colin’s relationship and story. Yep, that’s a polysyllabic word I’m using to describe supporting characters. Read the book and you’ll understand.

What I learnt while reading these books and from experience was:

  1. It takes a helluva of courage and strength to forgive, either someone or yourself.
  2. It takes forgiveness to have a second chance at life.

From the greatest book ever, that I’m still reading…

“Forgive, and you will be forgiven.”

That is my challenge to you, royal readers.

Please do share with friends and family. Like and let me know your thoughts by commenting.

Yours Truly,

Duchess

Laugh, learn and love…and laugh some more

Imperfect Chemistry -Lucy Frame

“You know there is an evolutional explanation behind the social patterns Cameron is exhibiting. Biologically, our urges are based on the continuance of the species. With this in mind, logically, the male can inseminate multiple females with hardly any responsibility or time constraints, while females are required to endure a nine-month gestation period followed by nearly eighteen years of preparing their offspring to be self-sufficient. From a purely scientific standpoint, this explains both male and female behavior: why males feel it necessary to ‘sleep around’ like Cameron is doing, and why females are typically selective. Women want someone who will take care of them and their progeny, hence the attraction to men with money and power. They also want someone with healthy genetic features that will pass onto their offspring, which explains physical attraction.” -Lucy London (Mary Frame, Imperfect Chemistry)

That pretty much sums up Imperfect Chemistry…and that one biology lesson you missed in high school. Can I just say that I absolutely laughed my ass behind off. I would love to have Lucy on my dinner table, the girl is the definition of candid. I love her!

Forget the character development and the build up of the story, for a minute or…six. Let’s just take a moment to appreciate Lucy London for being who she is. A bad ass chick. Oops, I mean a brainy wordsmith who has no time for awkwardness…and please expect and appreciate the awkward situations Lucy, the genius, puts herself in. They make this book what it is.

Imperfect Chemistry is about Lucy London doing what Lucy does best, writing a thesis studying human emotions. Yes, emotions as in the cause of the eye waterfalls and the trigger of swoon-activation when a hot guys passes by. Of course, it wouldn’t be such hit if Lucy doesn’t experience her study- experiencing emotions a.k.a fall in love. SWOON! The book is sweet, amazing and explores the title in a sagacious manner. It is able to make us see Lucy for who she is and understand her character; and see what makes her different from her peers. It is most definitely NOT a typical romantic novel (in your face, realists!), as much as it has a happy ending and the predictable ‘hurdle’ that Lucy and Jensen face. Imperfect Chemistry is as much about friendship between Lucy, Freya, Ted and Bethany as it is about the relationship between Lucy and Jensen. Many reviews explore the relationship but I really loved the friendship that took place. From Lucy’s first atrocious meet up with Freya and to a little B&E together they defined the imperfect chemistry of their friendship. I probably raved about this book the moment I first read the sample. And I truly think that every girl needs a friend like Lucy. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you better get book. You won’t be disappointed, but you will laugh. A lot.

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Imperfect Chemistry is imperfectly perfect (don’t roll your eyes) for anyone. Yes, I said the forbidden word. This book is fun, funny, geeky and you get learn new words such as cunnilingus. Don’t google it, if you know what’s best for you. Trust me!

Get the book for $8.09 on Amazon or get the free eBook here: Imperfect Chemistry

Yours Truly,

Duchess

P.S.: Like and share, don’t forget to let me know what you think.