14 August 2018

Bite Sized Books // A Look At Some Kindle Unlimited Books I’ve Read Recently

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This week's Bite Sized Books edition features two books I have mixed feelings about and both are Kindle Unlimited borrows. I still don’t know how I feel about Kindle Unlimited but I’m willing to try it for another month and see how things go.

73. Borrowed SoulsBorrowed Souls (Soul Charmer #1) – Chelsea Mueller
Published: 2nd May 2017

Source: Kindle Unlimited

Genre: Urban Fantasy

My Rating:
Callie Delgado always puts family first, and unfortunately her brother knows it. She’s emptied her savings, lost work, and spilled countless tears trying to keep him out of trouble, but now he’s in deeper than ever, and his debt is on Callie’s head. She’s given a choice: do some dirty work for the mob, or have her brother returned to her in tiny pieces.

Renting souls is big business for the religious population of Gem City. Those looking to take part in immoral—or even illegal—activity can borrow someone else’s soul, for a price, and sin without consequence.
To save her brother, Callie needs a borrowed soul, but she doesn’t have anywhere near the money to pay for it. The slimy Soul Charmer is willing to barter, but accepting his offer will force Callie into a dangerous world of magic she isn’t ready for.

With the help of the guarded but undeniably attractive Derek—whose allegiance to the Charmer wavers as his connection to Callie grows—she’ll have to walk a tight line, avoid pissing off the bad guys, all while struggling to determine what her loyalty to her family’s really worth.

Losing her brother isn’t an option. Losing her soul? Maybe.
This was put on my radar by Danya and it was a decent read. I was interested to find out how the story was going to progress but it didn’t quite click for me. I think I went in with my expectations too high. I didn't love this as much I'd hoped.

It’s not all bad, it had its fun moments, I laughed along at parts but something about the characters and the story just didn’t work to make me love it. I don’t think it helped that I spent at least a third of the book being confused about the whole church element of the book. The church plays a major role in shaping the progression of the story. The church supports the renting of souls to prevent folks from truly sinning but instead allows them to keep their soul clean with their indiscretions… but it also makes committing crimes easier as souls muddy up the whole evidence thing (or something). It was weird and it wasn’t explained at the start so I sat there questioning if I missed something and I think that really threw me out of the book.

Callie was a fun character, though, and you want an MC who is easy to like with these things. It's easy to like a character when they're hard done by their family and stuck once more rescuing her brother doing some morally questionable and legally debatable things. My biggest problem was her entire family being selfish dicks I did not have time for and I didn’t get how Callie hadn’t cut them out already. I get blood’s thicker than water and all that but I just didn't get it and that made me not care as much about Callie’s struggles as they were all self-made.

Then there was Derek whose connection with Callie felt awfully rushed. It was like he was male and convenient to make the love interest. I'm not saying there wasn't some spark there but not enough for me to ship them before they even got it on. I am intrigued by his backstory though because there was definitely a lot more to him than you see in this book.

I think my biggest struggle was I spent so much time confused in the book. I didn't understand the dynamics of Gem City, why the church was so huge and who on earth Ford was. I didn't get enough set up. I don't want an info dump but some info would have helped me get into the story at the start instead of stumbling along blind questioning everything. The humour was perfect, definitely my kind of humour, but unfortunately, other things brought this one down a touch for me so I’ll be dithering over reading the next book.
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Published: 20th March 2018
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Genre: Romance, Fantasy, Paranormal
My Rating:
They came to earth—Pestilence, War, Famine, Death—four horsemen riding their screaming steeds, racing to the corners of the world. Four horsemen with the power to destroy all of humanity. They came to earth, and they came to end us all.

When Pestilence comes for Sara Burn’s town, one thing is certain: everyone she knows and loves is marked for death. Unless, of course, the angelic-looking horseman is stopped, which is exactly what Sara has in mind when she shoots the unholy beast off his steed.

Too bad no one told her Pestilence can’t be killed.

Now the horseman, very much alive and very pissed off, has taken her prisoner, and he’s eager to make her suffer. Only, the longer she’s with him, the more uncertain she is about his true feelings towards her … and hers towards him.

And now, well, Sara might still be able to save the world, but in order to do so, she'll have to sacrifice her heart in the process.
This book was ridiculous and I really enjoyed it. Like, I know I haven’t rated it all that high and there are complaints to be had, but I honestly really enjoyed reading and wanted to get to the end and see how it would all get resolved. I also don't want to claim it as amazing because I did question why I kept reading a few times, I'm not gonna lie. It was good and bad all rolled into one but I was fully committed to getting to the end because I wanted to know what would happen so even if it was bad it was the good kind of bad.

Let’s start off with the premise and it might explain why I needed to see how it was all going to work out. The basic premise is simple: this is the world after the four horsemen of the apocalypse have arrived. No, I do not know who all the four horsemen are either but isn’t that what Google is for? The first one to arrive is Pestilence, though (hence the book's title). The four horsemen arrived signalling the start of the apocalypse and made electricity go a bit wonky (but only sometimes) and meant the world didn't work as it used to. Currently, the other horsemen are resting up and it's just Pestilence riding around the globe spreading a new plague and killing folks off and that is where our story begins.

The characters were interesting. Our MC is Sara Burns (I seriously only learnt what her name was about a third of the way in if it was mentioned before I did not retain it). She is living in a world after the four horsemen arrived and she's struggling through. She worked at the fire station and she is the last of a small group of people in a town that's evacuated as the horseman was coming. She ends up being the unlucky person who gets to complete their plan of killing Pestilence and ending the whole plague/apocalypse thing. She does it and ends up getting taken prisoner and that's basically the story. Seriously, that’s all you need to know really, the rest is just filler.

Sara is obviously a reluctant prisoner but the more time she's stuck with cheery old Pestilence (because he is a bit of a miserable git) the more she grows to appreciate some of his complexities. And he is the absolute worst, at the start with the way he treated her I really wanted to take him down and teach him a thing or two about not being a dick (that’s my philosophy in life: don’t be a dick). Another factor which helps in Sara softening towards Pestilence is he is mighty easy on the eyes. Like, she is totally down for a bit of hate sex from the start because he is like that dudebro you hate but you can’t help lusting after every so often when you’re weak and up for making bad decisions. The longer they spend together the closer they grow. They both struggle with their gradually growing connection. I mean, Sara is liking the guy there to literally wipe out the human race, you can get her struggle. And Pestilence? Well, he is feeling some human hate because honestly, we can be total dicks. Sometimes I think we all need a lesson in not being dicks because otherwise why would the world be in the state it is? But whatever, the pair are struggling is my point and I could appreciate the struggle. I think because I just couldn't believe the resolution to this major central problem of them being opposite sides is what made me rate this lower. It was too clean and I was sat there thinking ‘really?’ because I expected it to be more dragged out. I know, the only time I want to be dragged out!

So yeah, like it wasn’t bad. Hell, I enjoyed it but I just couldn’t with the ending, I needed more. I don’t know, I’ll still read the next one (if I remember about it). It was a ridiculous and fun book. I adored the hate banter between Sara and Pestilence and the miscommunication was fun in this one because they both had such different perspectives. It was great in that way like the characters were on point! The story needed a touch more refining though. I mean, a book with a horse named Trixie Skillz is kind of awesome. And I mean Pestilence is a virgin hero and you know there aren’t enough of those out in the romance world! But, like, the other horsemen are barely even mentioned. And the whole electricity working and not working bothered me because there was no continuity. Little things niggled. So yeah, it was good and bad but I do recommend reading.

And there are my reviews, have you read either of these books? Do you find yourself enjoyed and disliking a book so you’re all kinds of confused about your feelings?

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