The Prince Review

Do you love travel, mysteries, intrigue, cute guys, and spies? Then you will LOVE The Prince by Jillian Dodd!

the-prince

 

Summary:

 

Raised as an adept assassin at an elite, top secret academy for spies in training, X is at the top of her class. Determined to be the best in order to someday exact revenge against the shadowy man who murdered her mother, X will stop at nothing to make him pay. She pushes herself harder, and forces herself to be tougher, since nothing can get in the way of her ultimate personal goal- kill the bastard.

 

Shortly before graduation, the Dean of Blackwood Academy calls her into his study and offers her a mysterious envelope with a black x seal – a mission by the clandestine organization, Black X, an operation so covert that even the president of the United States does not really know of its existence.

 

Her challenge, should she choose to accept it, is to protect the Prince of Montrovia, and to ferret out where the threat on his life originated. And boy, is X up for the challenge! Finally, an opportunity presents itself to join the group that might finally allow her to hunt down her mother’s killer and make him pay.

 

To achieve her mission, she must first get close to the prince. An entire new identity is created for her- she now becomes the sexy and stylish Huntley Von Allister, a girl who recently found out that her “real” father was a billionaire, and that in addition to inheriting a boatload of money, she inherited a brother as well. “Ari” is actually her partner on this case, and the recently dead recluse as their unknown father is their perfect cover story.

 

The partners launch themselves into D.C. high society, with the hopes of forming friendships that will give them access to the prince. Their plan works, both of them sleeping their way a little bit closer to the royal they are charged to protect. Tumbling into the bed of an Olympic athlete/vice president’s son wasn’t exactly a chore, and if it gets Huntley nearer to her mark, then so be it.

 

With her wits and beauty, Huntley catches Prince Lorenzo’s attention nearly as soon as they arrive in the wealthy coastal country of Montrovia. As the two get closer, it becomes alarmingly difficult to remain emotionally unattached, as her training demands. Still, her swirling feelings don’t cloud her judgement badly enough to prevent her from stopping multiple assassination attempts on the prince’s life.

 

There’s no room on this mission for romantic nonsense, but all the expert training in the world couldn’t have prepared her for the emotions she’s feeling towards both the prince and the vice president’s son. As she hops from fast race cars to vast yachts, she fights to protect both the prince and her true identity as she desperately tries to uncover the truth before it’s too late.

 

Rating:

Four out of five chickadees singing!

 

Bonus Points For:

Global politics done well

Kick ass female heroine who refreshingly thinks she’s beautiful and talented (we all know I love this type of heroine after my review of The Vampire Academy)

Believable shadowy government (non-government?) agency

Fast cars, yuppy yachts, gorgeous clothes and glittering jewels, and fancy-pants techy spy gadgets that I wish were real life (or are they already real life?!)

Settings that felt so real I wanted to reach out and touch fabrics or grip guns

 

Downers:

Love triangle (sorry, not sorry, 98% of the time this kind of romantic trope bugs the crap out of me)

Less than fully developed secondary characters (X/Calliope/Huntley is the only character that I felt was fully fleshed out)

Maybe TOO much mystery behind the agency Huntley works for? I’m not sure if I’m annoyed because it is JUST the right amount, or because I can’t figure it out. It’s hard to say.

Unrealistic casual sex- I love me some sexy times, but in the beginning, it made Huntley sound like she enjoyed a varied sex life, and then she randomly wouldn’t (*spoiler!*) sleep with the prince even though she wanted to? Suddenly I felt like the author was forcing Huntley to do (or in this case, not do) something that felt inauthentic for her character.

 

Notes for Folks:

Story contains sexy times, violence, under-age drinking, gambling, etc. It would probably be best enjoyed by those 16 and older.

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Audiobooks – Thank You Audible!

Image Credit : Audible
Image Credit : Audible

 

Do you listen to audio books?

 

I’m a visual learner. I have to actually read words on a page in order for the content to stick with me. That being said, I have LOVED listening to audio books during my commute, or while filing at work. What previously felt like a waste of time now seems more productive, thanks to Audible!

 

Audible is the largest provider of audio books out there, and the app makes it super easy to download and listen to books on my wish list. From fiction to self-help, Audible makes it possible to read even when my hands and eyes are occupied.

 

I receive one credit (equal to one book) per month with my monthly Audible membership, but I also get a discount on the books Audible offers. I’ve noticed, however, that the best way to save money on Audible typically involves buying the kindle version of the book, and simply adding the Audible narration to it. If the Kindle book is $6.99, and adding Audible is $3.99, that’s a lot better deal than the Audible price of $23! (I love learning ways to work the system and save money!)

 

Of course, splurging on the Audible narration of the book can sometimes be a complete waste of money. If the narrator is awful, I simply CANNOT KEEP LISTENING. No matter the content, if the performer stinks, I just cannot stick with it.

 

The flip side can also be true, though. Sometimes the story itself is just so-so, but the narrator is AWESOME! Sometimes I just like listening to the performer’s voice.

 

There are a couple of Audible books I find myself pushing on everyone I meet- Mindy Kaling’s Why Not Me? and Colleen Gleason’s The Clockwork Scarab. Both are SUPERB! If you are looking for a good pick for your first foray into audiobooks, both of these will get you off on the right foot!

 

Are you a fan of audiobooks? What are some of your favorites? Let us know in the comments below!

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The Clockwork Scarab Review

Image Credit: Amazon
Image Credit: Amazon

Lovers of mysteries, vampires, time travel, and steampunk will LOVE this novel by Colleen Gleason!

 

First off, LOOK at that cover! Isn’t it mesmerizing?! I love the intricate details and jewel tone colors. It immediately makes you want to open it up and devour ALL OF THE WORDS!

 

Once you dive into the story, you are swept into an alternative Victorian England where young girls of station are being mysteriously murdered. FASCINATING!

 

Enter on stage left Evaline Stoker, descendant of a long line of vampire hunters, and the sister of Bram Stoker, author of Dracula. Enter stage right Mina Holmes, the niece of the famous detective, Sherlock Holmes. The two girls cannot be more different. And yet, because of their family legacies and their own unique abilities, they are charged to put their lives on the line for the sake of the Crown- to catch a killer.

 

Throw in a time travelling hunk, a red headed detective, a swoony bad boy, and you’ve got yourself the perfect novel!

 

You guys, I can’t gush enough about how wonderful this book is! I listened to it on Audible, and the narrator, Jayne Entwistle, is PHENOMENAL. If you’re an audio book person, I highly recommend giving this book a try!

 

It is the perfect blend of mystery, romance, paranormal, and steampunk… Don’t miss out on this story! Download a copy today!

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The Language of Flowers

Image Credit : Amazon
Image Credit : Amazon

 

I read The Language of Flowers when I was in a really weird place in my life.

 

It was around three months ago, not long after losing my papa to a sudden heart attack, and then two weeks later starting a completely new job. I was not in a good emotional place. I was depressed, filled with anxiety, unable to sleep well, and just generally distant from everyone around me. Maybe that’s why I enjoyed this book so much, and why the main character, Victoria, resonated with me so well.

 

Back in Victorian times, flowers were used to convey messages- friendship, distrust, passion, hope, etc. For this woman who grew up in a series of foster homes, the language of flowers becomes her undoing and then her redemption.

 

This is not a book for the weak of heart, nor is it a novel for the fast pace, action lover. If you enjoy beautifully written settings, excellent dialogue, superb character arches, and deep emotions, then this tale is perfect for you.

 

It made me want to pick up an encyclopedia on flower meanings. It made me want to go back and right wrongs from my past. And most of all, it made me want to become a foster parent and possibly adopt a beautiful, tragic, suspicious, bright, and flawed little kid. I’m not lying when I say that while reading this book, I turned to my husband and asked him if we could someday foster. I don’t know what God has in store for my life, but I DO know that this book is moving.

 

Go out and read this lesser known novel. Bring a box ofKleenex. And prepare to have your heart changed. Five out of five chickadees singing.

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Why Not Me?

Image Credit : Amazon
Image Credit : Amazon

 

Recently, I made the excellent life choice to download Mindy Kaling’s latest book, Why Not Me?, using my free Audible trial.

 

Most of my tasks at work are simple, making much of my day an excellent opportunity for “reading” books through my ear buds while working on other projects. The only problem being, I look like a psycho as I laugh hysterically at what looks like nothing from my empty cubicle.

 

I was in stitches over this newest memoir from the funny, awkward Indian gal we all know and love from the hit television show, The Office. Mindy herself narrated the book, making her unique and honest take on various life topics that much more refreshing.

 

Interesting factoids include how Kaling studied Latin extensively. I’m not sure why I can’t reconcile this uber nerdy interest with the fun, bubbly character I “know” in my head, but it’s true! Also, her given first name is Vera. Forserious.

 

Other especially boisterous laugh out loud moments included: her short lived experience belonging to a sorority at Dartmouth, her coworker not remembering if she was a good kisser after a staged smooch, and her description of an L.A. Wholefoods on Sundays.

 

A few of her points really made me stop to think. I LOVED her confession to a teenaged Indian girl from one of her open mic Q & A sessions. The nervous girl asked her, “How are you so confident?” and a tired Kaling completely B.S.’ed her answer with, “Oh, I have great parents and a good sense of self,” rather than give a REAL response. She’s felt guilty ever since, and decided to set the record straight with the truth. Kaling says the key to confidence is to work you’re a$$ off. Know your stuff, be prepared, and keep at your dreams. Be entitled; at least in the sense that you feel like your best effort deserves to be recognized and appreciated. What an important message for all young people to learn!

 

Another part of her book that made me smile ridiculously from my squeaky office chair was Mindy’s account of her alternative self. She imagines a smart, snarky Latin teacher at a prestigious prep school in Manhattan, her friends and foibles, and her interactions with an older, grumpy, male American history teacher at her school. Basically, this tale needs to be expanded and made into a television series PRONTO! I’d watch it!

 

If you are looking for a hilarious book that is surprisingly insightful at times, then you need to download Why Not Me? ! Five out of five chickadees singing for this one!

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