Review: Love in the Time of Serial Killers by Alicia Thompson

Love in the Time of Serial KillersLove in the Time of Serial Killers by Alicia Thompson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Ph.D. candidate, Phoebe Walsh, has always been obsessed with True Crime. It’s a great way to focus her attention and avoid thinking about her own life for too long.

Phoebe and her younger brother, Connor’s, parents divorced when the two were kids. After that, Phoebe went to live with Mom and Connor stayed with Dad in their childhood home in Florida. Needless to say, it is a complicated family history.

After their father passes away, Phoebe agrees to live in his home and help prepare it for sale. It will be nice for her to have some privacy to continue working towards her degree; she has a lot of writing to do. She’s also looking forward to reconnecting with her brother.

They don’t know each other as well as you would assume siblings do, just due to the circumstances of their upbringing. Additionally, it can definitely be hard for Phoebe to let down her defenses to connect with people. At this point, she is willing to give it her best shot.

Truth be told, most people make her a little uncomfortable.

She arrives at her Dad’s late at night and is just deciding how much she wants to unpack in the dark, when a strange man pops up out of nowhere and offers his assistance.

A serial killer. That’s where Phoebe’s mind goes first.

This story begins there and then follows Phoebe as she grapples with her feelings involving her family, being reunited with an old friend and her quest to discover the truth about the mysterious neighbor, Sam.

There’s a lot of exploration of Phoebe as a character and why she views the world the way she does. I actually really enjoyed Phoebe. I liked her dry sense of humor and sort of cynical way of viewing life and love.

I also enjoyed Sam as a character. He would be the perfect golden boy of any romance. I mean, if he wasn’t a serial killer that is.

Even though I liked the characters individually, I wasn’t super sold on the two of them together. My interest waxed and waned over the course of the story and I wound up just being underwhelmed.

I liked it. It’s a good story. I did like Phoebe’s general sensibilities, but for me it just lacked like…I don’t know, heart, maybe?

It’s like when someone sings something technically very well, but there is zero emotion in it. That’s how I felt about this book.

It even took me two tries to get all the way through. The first time I stopped around 30%, deciding I just wasn’t in the mood and I would wait for an audiobook copy to come through from my library.

When the audiobook hold came through, Spooky Season was officially over, so I figured I would give it another shot. I’m glad I finished it, but it definitely wasn’t a memorable experience for me.

With this being said, just because this story didn’t work for me, doesn’t mean it won’t work for you. If the premise sounds intriguing, you should definitely give it a go. You could end up absolutely loving it. I know many Readers did.

Thank you to the publisher, Berkley Books, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I appreciate it!

View all my reviews

Review: Never Ever Getting Back Together by Sophie Gonzales

Never Ever Getting Back TogetherNever Ever Getting Back Together by Sophie Gonzales
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My confession of the day is that I have never watched a full episode of either The Bachelor, or The Bachelorette.

Of course I have watched clips and understand the general idea, I’m not a savage. I also recognize it is an absolute sensation and many people love it.

After having so much fun with this book, I think I may need to binge some!

The set-up of Never Ever Getting Back Together feels very ode’ to The Bachelor and frankly I was living for it.

We follow rich, related-to-royalty, arguably-charming playboy, Jordy, getting his own reality television show, Second-Chance Romance.

For the show, ex-girlfriends of Jordy’s will be living together in a mansion, interacting with him and each other, participating in challenges and generally biding for his attention. Week-by-week, Jordy sends one girl packing, until the time comes for his final selection.

Maya dated Jordy two-years ago and the break-up was rough. He cheated on her for months before ultimately calling it quits suddenly when she called him out on his behavior.

Skye dated Jordy directly after Maya. In fact, Maya’s reputation precedes her. Jordy warned Skye how jealous and crazy Maya got after he broke up with her.

Skye can’t believe Maya is joining the show too. Isn’t she like a security risk or something?

When Maya learns Skye, the girl who stole Jordy from her, is going to be participating on the show as well, she’s furious. This girl knowingly dated Jordy behind her back for months. Who does that? Filthy liars, that’s who.

Arriving at the mansion the two girls learn an even more horrible truth, they’re being forced to room together. They’re quite literally bunk-mates.

They try to muscle through it, they might even be contractually-obligated to, but it ain’t gonna be easy. Along with four other girls, Maya and Skye start to settle into their new normal and compete for the ultimate prize: Jordy.

Maya’s no fool though. She knows Jordy too well to fall for any of this smoke in mirrors. Jordy hasn’t changed and that’s fine by her. Maya isn’t dreaming of becoming Jordy’s one-true love, she’s dreaming of revenge.

I had a lot of fun with this. Particularly the set-up, it was adorable. The narrative alternates between Skye and Maya, beginning a little before they even agree to be on the show.

The backdrop of the mansion, filming the reality show, it was great. I felt like I was getting a real glimpse behind the scenes of an actual show. It felt very realistic.

I also liked the mix of personalities that the contestants had. They all had their own motivations for being there and few of those actually revolved around Jordy, or love.

Skye and Maya’s interactions, as they got to know one another, as they battled and then began to drop their defenses; I thought that was really well done too.

My only slight issues with this story would be that I feel like it may have worked better if the story was actually written as New Adult, or Adult. It could have gone farther in the exploration of the relationships.

Also, I didn’t feel the chemistry between the characters. I didn’t find the romance that ultimately transpires believable.

These are tiny critiques though and both of these things are simply my personal opinion. Overall, this book is adorable as heck and I really enjoyed following the concept through to the end.

I was lucky enough to listen to an audio copy and definitely recommend that medium. The narrators did an incredible job bringing this story to life.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Wednesday Books and Macmillan Audio, for providing me with copies to read and review. I am absolutely looking forward to more from Sophie Gonzales!!


Never Ever Getting Back Together
releases next Tuesday, November 29th. Preorder your copy now. You don’t want to miss out. Get it while it’s hot!!

View all my reviews

Review: Love on the Brain by Ali Hazelwood

**4.5-stars rounded up**

The Queen of Steamy-STEM is back and she’s done it again!!

Without putting too fine a point on it, I’ll just say that Hazelwood’s stories are the romances of my dreams. I loved this one even more than [book:The Love Hypothesis|56732449].

In Love on the Brain the Reader is introduced to Bee Königswasser, a neuroscientist, who has just been offered the opportunity to work on the project of her dreams for none other than NASA.

Moving to Houston, Bee gets to bring along her dark-ray of moonshine assistant, Rocío, who I absolutely adored. The project is set to run for 3-months. This could be the greatest 3-months of her career thus far. Bee is pumped.

Then she discovers her co-lead on the project is Levi Ward. Ughhhh, way to ruin an entire vibe. Levi is a huge jerk her spurned her at every turn in grad school.

Bee never really understood what his deal was with her, but she knows she doesn’t want to repeat any of it at this point in her life.

Unsurprisingly, as Bee and Rocío attempt to settle in at their new office and get to work, it seems that someone is sabotaging them.

Honestly, it’s like Levi isn’t even trying to hide it, but the longer they’re around each other, Bee begins to see a different side to him. Is Levi softening towards her, or was she possibly misreading him all along? Also, if it isn’t Levi sabotaging her, who is it?

Y’all, I adored this story. From the very first moments in Bee’s perspective, I knew I was going to become so connected to her. I adored the way her brain worked, her passions, her backstory, her insecurities, it was all so solidly developed.

Then there is Levi, the epitome of a leading man. He’s handsome, smart, industrious, athletic, motivated, charming, sweet and a Star Wars fan. I mean, sign me up.

I love an Enemies-to-Lovers trope, so I wasn’t surprised that I enjoyed this plot. One thing I really appreciated was that most of the miscommunication between the couple is cleared up earlier in the book than is generally the case.

This allowed a better building of their relationship in my opinion. Usually you spend so much time just trying to have characters actually communicate with one another, it can get frustrating. I didn’t really feel that here. It felt like just the right amount to build tension without causing annoyance.

I also really loved the side characters, particularly Rocío, Bee’s assistant, and Levi’s cat, Schrodinger, because who doesn’t love the cats who star in romance stories!?

I will say towards the end, there was some silly drama that felt very eye-rolly for me, hence the 4.5-stars rounded up, versus a full-5. With that being said though, that’s a pretty minor thing and it was the only time where I was sort of shaken out of the hypnotic trance this story put me in.

I have read all of Hazelwood’s currently published works and I have enjoyed them all. I love that she is writing women in STEM characters and that her characters are all so well-rounded and likable.

As with many Romance stories, there is a formula to them, but hey, they work. You know what you are getting into when you pick up a Hazelwood book and I’m here for it all the way.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Berkley, for providing me with a copy to read and review.

This is my favorite Hazelwood yet and I cannot wait to see what she has in store for us next!!

Review: Mistakes Were Made by Meryl Wilsner

Mistakes Were MadeMistakes Were Made by Meryl Wilsner
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Following her divorce, Erin Bennett feels like she and her ex-husband are in a competition for their daughter, Parker’s, attention. So, when Family Weekend rolls around at Parker’s college, Erin and her ex decide to split the nights.

On a night when Parker is having dinner with her Dad, Erin heads to an off-campus bar by herself. She’s looking for nothing more than a cold drink.

For Cassie Klein, Family Weekend is the perfect time to avoid campus like the plague. All those happy families, gross.

Thus, she decides to hit up an off-campus bar as a means of escape. She’s not looking for anything, but when she spots a beautiful woman sitting alone at the bar, she offers to buy her a drink.

Little did Cassie know that harmless gesture was going to lead to the most enticing one night stand of her life.

The next morning, Cassie’s friend Parker convinces her to go to breakfast with her to meet her Mom. She’s not super pumped about it, but Cassie tags along anyway.

Imagine her surprise when she walks into the restaurant and discovers Parker’s Mom is her steamy hook-up from the night before.

Erin is equally taken aback when her daughter walks in with the sexy girl from the night before. Erin had no idea Cassie was a college student, let alone a friend of her daughters.

Both women cover it up well, but their mutual attraction burns through every moment they are together. More unsettling than this though, is the fact that they can’t stop thinking about one another when they’re apart.

Cassie and Erin cannot stay apart. It’s like it’s against the laws of physics. They are drawn together like opposite poles of a magnet. Having no choice, they begin sneaking around.

It’s risky as heck, but it’s more than just great sex. Although neither wants to admit it at first, it’s complicated, they grow to really care for each other, but how the heck are they going to make this work? Is it even possible?

Meryl Wilsner’s debut novel, Something to Talk About was the first F/F romance published by Berkley. I was so stoked about it for months, but at the end, it left me underwhelmed.

I enjoyed the writing and the characters, but the pace was quite slow and it was lacking the steam I was looking for. Y’all, at 5% into Mistakes Were Made we had steam; a lot of it.

The pace of this one was night and day compared to that first book. I feel like Wilsner listened, because man oh man, did they deliver with this story.

The characters were still fantastic, there were some serious issues being explored, but the forbidden romance trope brought the fun. There were moments that I was a little uncomfortable for Parker, but at the end of the day, they are all adults and I liked how Wilsner wrapped it up.

Overall, I found this one to be highly entertaining. A huge success of a sophomore novel. I am definitely looking forward to more from Wilsner in the future.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Berkley and Macmillan Audio, for providing me with copies to read and review. This is a perfect example of why I never give up on an author after only one book.

View all my reviews

Review: Well, That Was Unexpected by Jesse Q. Sutanto

Well, That Was UnexpectedWell, That Was Unexpected by Jesse Q. Sutanto
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

💜🧡💛❤️💜🧡💛❤️💜🧡💛❤️💜🧡💛❤️💜🧡💛❤️💜

After Sharlot Citra’s mother walks in on her clumsily exploring her sexuality, her mother freaks out. Things are going to change around here!

After George Clooney Tanuwijaya’s father walks in on him clumsily exploring his sexuality, his father freaks out. Things are going to change around here!

For Sharlot, this change includes leaving her life in California behind, getting dragged onto an international flight, and flying to her mother’s native Indonesia where they will remain for the rest of the Summer.

For George, the change isn’t quite as shocking to the system. As a member of one of the wealthiest and most prominent families in Indonesia, George isn’t going anywhere, but he will have his family meddling a lot more into his social life.

Unbeknownst to both teens, Sharlot’s mom and George’s dad have begun quests to find appropriate romantic partners for their children. They cannot sit by and let their teens deviant behaviors progress any further.

Thus, they do what any good parent would do and they both begin cat-fishing potential love interests via social media.

And that’s how Sharlot and George ultimately end up on the most uncomfortable date ever, in one of the most beautiful coffee shops ever, struggling to live up to whatever ridiculous things their parents invented about them.

For example, Sharlot’s fake hobbies include cooking strong bone broth and hopefully one day being a good wife, while George’s hobbies include math and someday taking over the family empire.

As the teens are forced to continue the charade for a number of different reasons, they begin to get to know one other on their own terms.

Will they like what they find? And if so, how will they ever clear the air about the truth behind their meeting in the first place? What other terrible things could go wrong?!

With these two families, literally anything and everything.

Y’all, I loved this with my whole heart and soul. I was so invested in these characters. Sharlot and George have to be two of my favorite characters ever.

Well, That Was Unexpected got unexpectedly under my skin. While the humor kept me giggling throughout, certain emotional aspects got me deep in my feels. It was everything I wanted and more.

I knew going into this that Sutanto’s sense of humor meshes really well with my own. I love how realistically she writes her characters thoughts, which are always so darn on point and witty.

This story is told via alternating perspectives from Sharlot and George. It was so fun seeing both of their sides to this unbelievable situation they found themselves in. I also liked being able to see both of their thoughts involving the evolution of their feelings towards one another.

100% satisfying start-to-finish!!

This is definitely my favorite Romantic Comedy of the year and in fact, is one of my favorites ever.

I would fall on a sword for it. I would shout from a rooftop for it. I would fly to Jakarta to defend its honor…and might as well get some delicious coffee whilst I’m there… 😋☕️

Thank you so much to the publisher, Delacorte Press, for providing me a copy to read and review.

I am a Jesse Q. Sutanto stan and this novel is the perfect example as to why. I can’t wait to pick up whatever she serves up next!!

View all my reviews

Review: Drunk on Love by Jasmine Guillory

Drunk on LoveDrunk on Love by Jasmine Guillory
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

**3.5-stars rounded up**

Margot has been busy the past 3-years co-running Noble Family Vineyards with her brother, Elliott. The brother-sister duo inherited the Napa Valley vineyard and corresponding business when their dear Uncle passed away.

Margot has always felt like her brother was displeased that she was included in the bequeathment. Because of this, she has continuously worked extra hard to prove herself to him.

It’s put a strain on their relationship. Nevertheless, they both show up to work every day and bust their humps.

Sometimes after a stressful day, Margot likes to go to her best friend, Sydney’s restaurant, The Barrel, sit at the bar, chat with her friend, have some drinks and food, it’s her go-to for unwinding.

On one particular night, a very handsome man ends up sitting right beside her. After some friendly prodding from Sydney, Margot ends up taking a chance and striking up a conversation with him.

He’s quite charming and the two end up hitting it off, keeping each other company for the next few hours. Before they know it, it’s time to go, but neither really wants the night to end.

Luckily, they both live close by, so it doesn’t have to. One thing leads to another and the next morning, Luke, is dropping Margot off at her apartment before work. Whoops, that might have gone too far, but boy, was it fun.

Margot’s happy. She needed that. A fun little release. She fully expects and is prepared to never see Luke again.

Then she gets to work and that very morning is introduced to their new hire. Imagine her surprise when Luke walks into her office, just as sexy as the night before.

The two have to pretend they’ve never met, all while keeping their insane chemistry in check. The sparks traveling between them have to be snuffed out and ASAP.

How are these one-time lovers going to make this work? Can they hide their feelings from everyone, even themselves?

Drunk on Love is the 7th-book that I have read from Ms. Jasmine Guillory. I love her writing and will continue to pick up all her new releases.

While I will say this one felt a bit more subtle and serious than her other works, I still really enjoyed it. The characters were well-developed, believable and relatable. I was invested in their journeys, both together and individually.

I always like how Guillory’s characters are working through things in their careers, or family lives, that warrants equal attention to the romance involved in the story. For me, I need more substance than a strictly romantic plot to stay invested and Guillory always delivers that.

This is no exception. Both Margot and Luke are at sort of pivotal points in their lives, with their careers and in making decisions for their futures; where they want to be and what they want to be doing.

I liked the way that Guillory was able to explore them individually so deeply, without giving preference really to one over the other. The dual POV narrative definitely helped with that.

This is a sweet story. Luke is a dreamy leading man, so focused on Margot, on making her feel safe, happy and appreciated.

Margot was strong, independent and goal-oriented. I loved that about her. She didn’t need a man to make her life complete, but was willing to open her heart if the right one came along, even though it scared her to let down her defenses.

I had fun with this. I loved the setting in Napa Valley and the vineyard angle will set it apart for me, as I haven’t read any other romances taking place with that as a backdrop. It was a lovely change of pace. A perfect Autumnal romance!

Thank you so much to the publisher, Berkley Books, for providing me with a copy to read and review.

Drunk on Love is available tomorrow, Tuesday, September 20th!!

View all my reviews

Review: Love Radio by Ebony LaDelle

Love RadioLove Radio by Ebony LaDelle
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Love Radio is a hard-hitting, heart-warming, YA-Romance following two teens in Detroit approaching the end of their high school years.

Prince Jones, our male lead, has an Uncle who is a popular radio-DJ. Prince, being raised with his Uncle as a strong influence in his life, loves all things music. He also loves helping people.

So, when his Uncle offers him a segment on his popular hip-hop show, Love Radio, Prince graciously accepts. His mission, to give romantic advice to those seeking it. He is dishing advice and good music. It’s perfect.

Dani Ford, our female lead, dreams of moving to NYC and going to college to become a writer. She has always dreamed of becoming a writer. The only thing standing in her way at this point is the dreaded college essay.

You would think that would be an easy task for an aspiring author, but Dani had something happen to her a while back, a traumatic event, that has ended up having an lasting impact on many different facets of her life.

Dani has started to withdraw a bit from her peers, a fact her loving parents definitely recognize, yet they’ve been unable to get Dani to open up to them about what’s going on.

When Dani and Prince meet, he’s smitten. He’s actually been noticing her for a while, but has never had the courage to speak to her, but how can he give out serious love advice if he can’t even follow it himself.

While their first real encounter isn’t perfect, the two definitely make an impression on one another.

From there, we follow the two as they get to know one another and Prince vows to win Dani’s heart over just three dates. The Reader gets a front row seat not just to the exquisitely-adorable dates, but also to what’s going on behind the scenes in both Prince and Dani’s home lives.

Will the self-proclaimed teen love doctor be able to get the girl, or is all his love talk just hot air?

I absolutely adored this story. From the very start I was enamored with these two characters. Both of them were very well-developed and likable. It was so easy to get behind them and cheer them on.

For me, one of the highlights was all the incredible heart-felt details that LaDelle put into both of their backstories. Both Prince and Dani were very committed to their families and the scenes involving their family members were indeed some of my favorites.

And even though there are a lot of heavy-hitting topics explored, there was also a lot of fun and humor in this as well. The banter between Dani and Prince, as they got more comfortable with one another, had me laughing out loud and, at times, blushing a little.

I loved how mature these two characters were. Even though they were teens, that didn’t mean they couldn’t have their heads on straight. They both had goals, and in spite of outside influences, they both were steadily working towards achieving the things they wanted.

Additionally, I liked how they learned to support each other and help one another work through their difficulties.

I did listen to the audiobook and one thousand percent recommend that format. The narration was so spot on. The narrators absolutely brought these characters to life.

I went through it over the course of this story, feeling pretty much every emotion under the sun. I learned from these characters and was inspired by them. It melted my heart.

Overall, as you can tell, I loved this. It had so many strengths as a story and I feel like it is so underrated at this point. I really hope more people discover this wonderful book and give it a go.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I cannot wait to read more from Ebony LaDelle!!!

View all my reviews

Review: Stuck with You (The STEMinist Novellas #2) by Ali Hazelwood

Stuck with You (The STEMinist Novellas, #2)Stuck with You by Ali Hazelwood
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

**4.5-stars rounded up**

After the elevator grinds to a halt, Sadie cannot believe her luck. The worst luck in the world!

She’s stuck in the smallest elevator known to man with one of the largest men she’s ever met, who just so happens to also be the man who broke her heart just weeks ago.

For his part, Erik barely seems phased. It’s like he goes around getting stuck in elevators all the time. The close quarters force the two to talk, really talk, for the first time since everything went so wrong.

Through flashbacks that begin on the day they first met, with a meet cute over a barely edible croissant, the Reader gets filled in on their quick and passionate relationship.

Stuck with You is the second of Ali Hazelwood’s adorable STEMinist Novellas. Even though it is technically the second, it’s actually the third one that I have read. My trilogy experience is complete. I loved them all.

I listened to all three on audio and definitely recommend that format for these sweet and sexy stories. Unless it makes you uncomfortable listening to a narrator read fairly graphic sex scenes, then you may want to read it with the privacy of your eyeballs.

I love the idea behind Hazelwood’s stories, showcasing women in STEM seems like a simple idea, but I haven’t seen anyone do it like her. Highlighting smart, sexy women will never get old.

Science is cool, y’all, and Hazelwood proves it in her books. I take this as scientific proof. The evidence is right in front of you. Go ahead, pick them up. You’ll see.

View all my reviews

Review: The Dead Romantics by Ashley Poston

The Dead RomanticsThe Dead Romantics by Ashley Poston
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Florence Day, a ghostwriter for a prolific romance author, has a deadline looming over her like a storm cloud.

Unfortunately, after a break-up that left her heart shattered, Florence no longer believes in love. It’s hard for her to write what she doesn’t believe.

When her new editor, the tall and handsome Benji Andor, refuses to give her the extension she needs to wrap up her latest novel, Florence’s back is against a wall. She needs to finish this book. She cannot fail.

But just when Florence thinks things are at rock bottom, they get so much worse. After Florence receives a late night phone call from her mother, her entire world grinds to a halt. Her beloved father has passed away.

She needs to get to her small South Carolina hometown as soon as possible. It’s the first time in a decade that Florence has been back to Mairmont and as far as she can tell, not much has changed.

Her mother, brother and sister are there and the family funeral parlor is still running like a well-oiled machine. The only thing missing is her father’s presence. It’s a loss Florence feels through her entire being.

Florence and her father shared a very special gift: they see ghosts. This isn’t something Florence necessarily wants, it actually ruined her teenaged years, but she’s made a certain peace with it.

But when she sees a ghost waiting for her on the steps of the funeral home, she’s shocked and he seems equally confused to be there.

There must be unfinished business between them, something she can help him with. The more they get to know one another, the more Florence’s feelings towards love begin to change.

Y’all, The Dead Romantics took me completely by surprise. I put off reading this for a few months, because I just wasn’t sure I would be in the mood for this ‘type’ of story.

I was so wrong. I would always be in the mood for this type of story, because it’s Ashley Poston that gets me every time. I just absolutely adore her characters, writing style and smart, sarcastic sense of humor.

It’s like she sees me, and I see her too.

I cannot express enough how much I loved everything about this book. From the very start, I felt attached to Florence and getting to go on her journey with her, I felt it.

At times it was like a gut-punch, at other times it was like being tickled by butterfly wings, but I was with her every step of the way.

While there is romance in this story, to me, that aspect wasn’t the shining star. To me, the thing that stood out the most was Florence’s path of self-discovery and her relationships with her family members and her past.

I loved the exploration of love and the many facets where love can be found in the world around us. Love isn’t just mutual attraction and sex with a partner, it’s so much more than that, surrounding us from the first day we make an appearance on this earth, and following us long after.

I went on a roller coaster ride with The Dead Romantics. It was a ride I never wanted to end, but I was left with such a sense of hope at the conclusion.

Ashley Poston, you have absolutely filled my heart. This is a special story, one that will stay in my heart for a long time to come. My ghost-loving heart sings!

Thank you so much to the publisher, Berkley, for providing me with a copy to read and review. Poston knocked this out of the park, to the moon and back!

View all my reviews

Review: The Stars Between Us by Cristin Terrill

The Stars Between UsThe Stars Between Us by Cristin Terrill
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Vika Hale lives on a struggling planet with her parents and little sister. She works as a barmaid even though she doesn’t necessarily need to.

You see, there’s a secret-side to Vika’s life, a mysterious benefactor who has been watching her since she was a child and providing in certain ways for her and her sister.

As she nears adulthood, Vika suddenly gets summoned to the wealthy nearby planet of Ploutos. It’s requested she attend the reading of the will of her benefactor, who as it turns out was a billionaire.

Lucky Miss Vika is included in his will. We love an inheritance story!

It’s at the reading of the will that Vika first learns that she had been hand-picked by the dead billionaire to marry his son, Leo Chapin, the largest beneficiary of the will. I can hear the wedding bells now!

But then in an incredibly ill-timed twist of fate, Leo Chapin is killed in a spaceship explosion, cause unknown. Can you even believe that terrible luck?

Vika is allowed to stay on Ploutos thanks to the kindness of Leo’s one-time caregivers. They have been loyal employees to the Chapin family for years and now it seems their loyalty has paid off. They’ve inherited a huge sum of money.

Mira and Hal, the couple in question, take Vika in, provide her with a healthy allowance and allow her to ingratiate herself into the upper echelons of Ploutos society.

Perhaps she can find a suitable ((read: rich)) husband, thus ensuring that her family will continue to be cared for. With a little sparkle and glamour, she’s sure she’ll be able to do it.

There are still questions surrounding Leo’s death though, especially after another ship carrying Chapin heirs is attacked. Vika vows to get to the bottom of it.

This book was a lot of fun. I really enjoyed Terrill’s writing and like the world she created here. I found the tone of the novel especially interesting.

I read in another review that this felt like a retelling, original source material unspecified, and I absolutely agree with that. It does feel like a retelling. It carries similar themes to a lot of Victorian literature. I was personally channeling a bit of futuristic Great Expectations, or Vanity Fair vibes.

The whole idea of a have-not plucked from their dire existence and place into the sphere of the wealthiest families in their society; that entire dynamic is fascinating and watching Vika navigate it, the choices she made and the motivations behind her choices, I found to be completely engaging.

This novel is told as a dual-POV. You mainly follow Vika, but you also get the perspective of Sky Foster, a rather mysterious young man who she met just prior to leaving her home planet. He actually is a lodger at her parent’s home.

Sky does work on Ploutos though, for Hal, the man who has taken Vika in. The pair have a relationship fraught with tension, but when Vika fears her life may be in danger by whoever is coming after the Chapin heirs, she turns to Sky for help.

I really liked the relationship between Vika and Sky. Make no mistake, Vika is not a perfect character. She struggles with making choices that feel right to her.

After moving to Ploutos, she sort of cuts herself off from her family. She feels like she is doing things for them, but to them, it doesn’t seem that way. It’s a really tough position for her to be in.

I felt for her, I really did. Some may see her as selfish, but I felt like she was doing the best she could. She’s young, torn between two worlds, trying to figure out what would be best for her future. There were a lot of people willing to take advantage of her, but she had to learn how to be cunning enough to prevent that from happening.

It’s all a game. It’s chess pieces moving around a board. Eat or be eaten; extremely engaging content.

With this being said, I’m not sure how long this one will stay in my memory, but I’m happy for the time I spent with this story. I loved the futuristic world with the classic themes woven throughout.

Thank you to the publisher, Wednesday Books and Macmillan Audio, for providing me with copies to read and review.

I am definitely interested in reading more from Cristin Terrill!!

View all my reviews