Mini Reviews: Disappointing Reads & A New-To-Me Author




“There is no length to love; it’s infinite. It lives in you always. Hold onto it.”

A Thousand Letters is a contemporary romance inspired by Jane Austen’s Persuasion and I am an absolute sucker for anything Austen inspired so I was excited to snatch this new release up. I adored Hart’s previous Austen-inspired novel, Wasted Words, and I was hoping I would enjoy this book as well. Unfortunately, the cover ended up being my only favorite thing about this book.

The last time Elliot Marie Kelly saw Wade Winters was seven years. They were once young and so in love, but when Wade decided to change their plans, Elliot was not on board. So he left for the army and never looked back. Now seven years later, Wade has finally returned home due to a family emergency and he and Elliot are brought together again. The old flame reignites between the pair and these two will have to decide if their love is worth a second shot.

I really, really wanted to love Staci Hart’s newest release. I fell completely in love with the cover and second-chance romances are my kryptonite so my expectations were set high for this one. But once I actually started this book, I immediately knew I was not going to like it. My first major issue with this book: THE WRITING. Now, I love a book with beautiful writing, similes and metaphors, lyrical words to make my heart burst, but there are times when authors DO TOO MUCH and the beautiful writing makes the story way too fluffy and that it is actually a turn-off for me. I wanted raw, emotional moments that would make me cry, but I didn’t get that here. Everything was just so damn pretty, like WHY??

My next issue was with THE CHARACTERS. I loathe Elliot and Wade so much. Sorry, not sorry, but Wade is an asshole. I understand that he went through shit and his feelings were hurt and he was also dealing with a lot of loss, but that is still no reason for him to be an asshole to Elliot and pull the shit he did. As for Elliot, I was so annoyed by her character because she is perfectly okay with people walking all over her. She addresses this issue twice in the book and literally says she’s okay with her family treating her like crap. I just could not with that. The lack of communication between these two didn’t help either. They literally don’t even start having a decent conversation until like 75% of the book. And then all their issues are quickly resolved and BAM HEA! So freakin’ perfect. Overall, A Thousand Letters was not my cup of tea and I think it may be a very long time until I decide to read another Staci Hart book.




“Thieves can become saints. Saints can become thieves. Most of us deserve a second chance.”

Pepper Winters is a romance author who has been on my must-read list for quite some time. She’s known for her dark and erotic romance novels and once I saw the cover reveal for Crown of Lies, I knew that this would be the perfect book to satisfy my curiosity. Let me tell y’all, Pepper Winters books are NOT FOR THE FAINT-OF-HEART! Just a fair warning if you do decide to pick this book up.

Noelle Charlston is the heiress to Belle Elle empire and lives quite the privileged life. She was taught at a young age about all the ins-and-outs of Belle Elle and has spent majority of her life preparing for the day for when finally takes over the company. But a small part of her wishes that just for a moment, she could experience what it would be like to live with no care at all, so she sneaks off for one night of fun and that one night inevitably changes her life. Fast forward three years later, and Noelle is now the head of Belle Elle, but she still can’t shake the memories from that night three years ago. But when a new man comes into her life, the past and the present will collide and that one night from three years ago will come back to haunt her.

HOLY FUCKING SHIT, WHAT A BOOK! I knew Pepper Winters was good, but I honestly was not expecting this book to be SO DAMN GOOD! I was hooked from the first page as this dark and thrilling tale sucked me in and had me glued to my eReader for hours. I loved, loved, loved Winters’ writing. It’s dark, gritty and gave me chills. The suspense kept me on my toes because I was sitting there trying to piece together this mystery and who Nameless could possible be and when I thought I had things figured out, Winters took the story in a different direction and all my theories fell apart. I literally dropped my eReader after finishing this book and then picked it back up and re-read the last chapter to try and figure out where this story could possibly go next. DAMMIT TO HELL, I HATE CLIFFHANGERS!

I loved Elle. She’s such a BOSS and loved how her presence just demands the attention of everyone in the room. But I also feel like there’s this vulnerable side to her and we did catch glimpses of it here and there and I’m hoping that side of her is explored more in the sequel. As for Penn Everett, I hate him, but at the same time I find him so damn intriguing. The man is hiding something, something big and I am dying to know what his secret is. I want to know WHY ELLE?! Of all the women in NYC, WHY HER?! The sexy times between these two were no joke, LIKE DON’T READ THESE SCENES IN PUBLIC! Shits about to hit the fan in Throne of Truth, and I can’t wait to see what happens next and to finally get some answers! I’m pretty sure I may need tequila for this sequel.




“I’ve decided that I want to live like this, my mouth attached to hers, forever.”

Bright Side and Gus are two of my ALLTIME FAVORITE books, so when I heard that Kim Holden was gifting us with yet another book in the Bright Side series, I could not contain my excitement. Even better, it was going to Franco’s book! Sweet and funny Franco, the drummer of Rook and a guy after my own heart.

Franco Genovese is living the rockstar life, touring from city to city and jamming the night away with his best friends. But as the tour comes to an end, he and the boys go out for a night of fun where he meets Gemma Hendricks and his life is forever changed. They end up spending the week together, getting to know each other and when their time is up, Gemma heads back home to the U.K. But not wanting to end things just yet, Franco and Gemma decide to maintain a long-distance friendship. But things become complicated and when Franco offers to help Gemma achieve one of her goals, risking their friendship and possibly something so much more. 

My expectations for Franco were set high, like HIGH TO THE SKY because Bright Side and Gus had both shattered my heart and I was prepared to be in that same state once I finished Franco. But I don’t know what happened with this book, what went wrong because I just didn’t love this one as much as the previous two installments. One thing I didn’t like about this book was that it was only told from Franco’s POV. Both Bright Side and Gus were told from multiple POVs and that’s one of the things I loved most about those books. I just felt like there was more to these stories because of the multiple POVs, more depth and we got so many more emotions that I didn’t get to experience when I was reading Franco. The writing itself is just very ‘sweet’, almost ‘cookie-cutter’ like and a bit ‘too perfect’ for my liking. I didn’t even feel like the ‘conflict’ was much of a conflict at all and that mainly has to do with the fact that this book is incredibly short. I finished it in one sitting and I wish this romance was fleshed out more because this story truly could’ve been so much better.

I adored Franco and he is what saved this book for me. He’s so funny and caring and sweet and just an all-around good person, LIKE HOW CAN YOU NOT LOVE HIM?! I loved how willing he was to help Gemma but to be quite honest, the insta-love between these two was a bit much. I don’t know how many guys in real life would be throwing out these types of proposition for a girl they only knew for a week, but the thought in and of itself is still very sweet. Gemma was okay, but I didn’t connect with her. I really hate that we didn’t get to read this story from her POV too because I probably would’ve been able to connect with her better if it was. All in all, Franco was an okay read, but it just missed the mark and I’m honestly disappointed that it did. Franco deserved a better story and that is all I have left to say.



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I'm Ari, a local NYC bibliophile and a forever daydreamer. You can usually find me with my nose buried in a book and my head up in the clouds. I am also a coffee addict and a chocolate connoisseur. I fell in love with the romance genre about three years ago and I haven't been able to stop reading about happily-ever-afters, which is ironic because I'm a bit of a cynical romantic in real life, haha. I hope you all enjoy my blog and fangirling with me about all the smutty reads!

18 thoughts on “Mini Reviews: Disappointing Reads & A New-To-Me Author

  1. Ouch, a trail of bad reads eh? Sorry. I actually loved a thousand letters, but completely agree with you on why you didn’t like it. Hope your luck gets better. I think my jackpot has been shot, so I know how miserable it feels🙈

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think I’m in the clear when it comes to reading crappy books and hopefully it stays that way. I tend to fall into reading slumps around this time of the year and I’m trying to avoid that as much as possible. Hopefully your luck changes soon and you find a book that gets you out of that reading rutt.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I know at least two from my blogger group who didn’t like it;-) one couldn’t even finish it 😂 you are NOT alone!! Hope you’ll love Throne of Truth – I thought the author did a great job tying everything together and answering all of my questions.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve read one book by Staci Hart but her writing was not for me. I’m with you on pretty writing. Like I appreciate it, but I need it in a small doses. Too much and it kills the story for me and I just can’t connect. Both Elliot and Wade sound like real pieces of work. I love anything Austen inspired too so it sucks that this one wasn’t so good. 😦 Have you read For Darkness Shows the Stars?? It’s an amazing Persuasion retelling. Also, Again the Magic by Lisa Kleypas if you are into historical romance is very reminiscent of Persuasion.

    Haha that Pepper Winter book sounds like a willld read. I don’t read dark books, but I *could* be persuaded? I’ve heard a lot about the author too. I’m especially curious about those sexy times (LMAO – I’m a perv, what can I say!

    I haven’t heard of that third author, but aww the guy sounds amazing! I’ll cehck out her other books. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve been seeing your reviews about Lisa Kleypas’ books and I don’t even like historical romance, but I totally want to check them out now. The covers are so pretty too, I can’t resist a pretty cover.

      Pepper Winters definitely lives up to the reputation she has earned as an erotica romance author. If you do check out her books, just go into them slowly because they are up there when it comes to dark reads.


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