Book 4/80 - 'Knowledge is power, and the person who understands every word in the room holds the most power.' ~ The High King's Golden Tongue by Megan Derr
Prince Allen was chosen to become the High Consort of High King Sarrica of the Harken Empire. But on his arrival, Sarrica made it clear that he wanted a soldier who can help him fight wars and not a silver-tongued diplomat. Allen was determined to show the High King that he is more than a pretty songbird and when an opportunity arose to prove his worth, Allen grabbed it without hesitation even if it meant putting his life in danger.
This is such a delightful read. Allen seemed like a useless pretty boy at first, but he quickly proved to be smart, determined and with enough courage for 10 men. Sarrica is a bull-headed idiot at first, but he was adorable once he turned into a lovestruck High King. It was cute to witness. Lesto, Rene, Tara and the Three-Headed Dragons are great supporting characters, adding some laughs to the story. Particularly interesting and intriguing is Allen's skill as a silver tongue or master of languages. I love all the scenes where he sorts out misunderstandings and miscommunications and roots out problems using his knowledge of 14 languages. (14 languages! It boggles the mind.) I docked half a star because I felt that this is a bit uneven, with more Sarrica/Lesto bromance and not enough Sarrica/Allen interactions in the first half. I love Lesto, but I think there was too much focus on him in the first half. Other than that, I thoroughly enjoyed all this story has to offer: the romance, the court intrigue, the politics, the nuances of languages and communication. Highly recommended. My rating: .5/5
Book 3/80 - 'The thing to remember--what I really want you to remember--is that it doesn't matter whether I actually live in the North Pole or whether I'm the one who brings you presents every Christmas Eve. People like Tanner are going to tell you I'm pretend, and then when you get older, people like Tanner are going to tell you other things are pretend. But you know what to say to that? So what. That's what you tell them. Because at the end of the day, it doesn't matter whether the story's true or not. What matters is the care that's been put into the story. The love. If something is pretend, that usually means someone has taken the time to build a story for you to live in. And building stories take a lot of work. And, yes, there will come a time when you'll see the story isn't true. But the intentions behind it? Completely true. The love behind it? Also true.' ~ Twelve Days of Dash and Lily by David Levithan & Rachel Cohn
This sequel failed to replicate the magic of the first book. Dash and Lily's Book of Dares was whimsical, magical, full of the holiday spirit. In contrast, Twelve Days of Dash & Lily had a sad and gloomy tone. Dash was awesome! He had somehow transformed into the perfect boyfriend. But Lily. Lily was such a downer in this book. I think this is why this didn't quite work for me. Another thing is that the plot felt so random! The first book had the excuse of the red moleskin notebook so randomness was kind of a given. But here...the random hijinks just felt...random. What I really liked was Dash and Langston's banter and Boomer the tree whisperer. Overall, this wasn't terrible but it's not as good as the first book. My rating: .5/5
The last 2016 read in my posting backlog. Another variation of the jock (well, in this case, cowboy) meets nerd trope. I enjoyed this one very much. Cort is such a charmer and Paul is a prickly nerd of the sort that I want to hug and coo over haha. They're great together. I also liked the side story of Paul's relationship with his dad. A great read overall. My rating: .5/5
Book 2/80 for 2017 - The Summer Palace is a Captive Prince short set after Kings Rising. So much fluff! This is the ending I wanted for Kings Rising. There's so much I loved:
This softer and happier Laurent
Damen and Laurent's flirty banter (with flowers even!)
Laurent and Nikandros as BFFs being almost canon haha (watch out, Damen!)
Damen's continued shyness at anyone walking in on them
that poor soldier at the end haha
the general fluffiness and adorableness of it all
My only nitpick is where the hell is Jord?? Or any mention of Jord? I want Jord! Aside from that, this was everything I wanted. Thank you for this, Ms. Pacat. (If you can be persuaded to write more shorts in this universe, I most definitely won't say no. My rating: .5/5
Book 1/80 - Still loving this series! The heist part was great but the romance took a backseat in this one and lacked a bit of sizzle so I knocked off half a star. I wish there was a bit more focus on Greg and Dixie like there was on Karl and Trick in the first book. I did love the expansion on the worldbuilding. There's more on how people got powers and why the Order was established. Just what exactly Dixie can do was finally revealed and it wasn't what I was expecting. The big takedown in the end was awesome but I felt like the ending was a bit abrupt. Overall tho, Turncoat is a solid installment in the series and I can't wait to read the next book. I hope it's gonna be Byron's story. My rating: .5/5
Yohan spent New Year's Day swimming at Balay Dionisia. He jumped from the inflatable boat he was riding. It was a good thing Papa was right there to catch him. Kids are so fearless. I swear, having a kid is like signing up for mini heart attacks. I'm sure all parents can relate.