I had never heard of Kristen Granata, but through fellow ACR’ers I was told that ‘you NEED to read this book’. Since there was nothing, but praise given I decided to give this book a chance and I was so extremely happy that I did. What starts out as a ‘Real Housewives of Orange County’ episode, soon morphed into an episode of SVU. Since meeting Paul in college nine years ago, Callie has had to work to make her marriage work. Sure, Paul and Callie have had some massive issues thrown their way forcing them to adapt and grow together or fail.
“When someone pushes you away, you need to find the strength to hold on tighter.”
I sat on writing this release for too long, because I was so overwhelmed with situations, the twists and turns that they went through, along with some massive speed bumps or detours to Cole and Callie’s storyline. What’s Left of Me was ridiculously incredible and amazing. It is heart and gut-wrenching, super emotional (have tissue ready), has themes of knowing your self-worth along with discovery, forgiveness, and above all, love. Honestly as I read, I had this feeling that Kristen was going to rip the rug out from underneath me and I only had seconds to get my life in order. She had me completely connected and invested to characters/situations.
Callie. I love Callie. Despite going through issues with her husband, she still had an inner fire that was temporarily dimmed, not wanting to rock the boat/outward appearances of ‘everything’s fine’. Now, in doing this, she started to develop anxiety/panic attacks. The following is a list to remind Callie of everything happy/fortunate to have (giving to her by her therapist).
“Maverick, California King Bed, Walk-in closet, Dream Kitchen,
Yard with a pool, Mercedes”
Cole is a giant teddy bear with layers of self-hate, a heart encrusted within concrete, and a cape of tragedy that gets heavier and heavier as days go by. Despite his gruffness, anguish, and growly nature, I really liked Cole. Personally, you can feel the hate he has to himself, but what he did not expect was the blonde bombshell from across the street, thinking he was the landscaper. From this moment on, life was changing for him and he was unsure if he liked it.
“It’s clear now; I lost control the second she walked into Josie’s backyard.”
Count me in as a fan, Kristen. I loved everything that this book entails. She tackled some heavy topics in a safe way as to not offend anyone. There is one thing that I still feel little unanswered, so it is 4.5 stars. Otherwise, What’s Left of Me would be a solid 5.0+.
“I’m finally the person I want to be. I say what I feel, I do what makes me happy, and I’m surrounded by loving and supportive people. I no longer live in fear. I’m free.”
I have always been intrigued with historical ‘cold case’ files. For instance, the Black Dahlia and in this scenario, The Romanov empire and Anastasia. Going along those lines, Cora wrote a book that was accurate and researched yet gave it her own spin.
Overall, I loved the concept of this book and the seamless way that Ms. Kenborn weaved the true Romanov’s, Angel, and the final surprise. She wasn’t afraid to make this one her own. The added twists, turns, and whoa’s, will leave you second guessing everything.
Now, unfortunately, I do have something to mention that may be less popular. The pacing of the book felt off. The pace continued to flow even with the twists and turns. However, some of the early sections felt to drag for me. I read every single word of this book but found myself ‘speed reading’ in these couple of sections. Despite this, I would whole-heartedly read another book of hers. She seems like my kind of author.
5 🦋🦋🦋🦋🦋 Stars
Tijan is one of my ‘unicorn’ authors. I want to inhale every word that she puts in front of me. Her ‘Fallen Crest series’ is one of my ultimate favorites. Now, Rich Prick is about Blaise and Aspen, but there are ties back to Fallen Crest and her ‘Crew’ series. Blaise is Cross’ half-brother and Aspen is the little sister to Nate (remember ‘that’ Nate whose BF’s with Mason, but lives with Logan? Yep, that Nate). It is amazing how she seamlessly melds these different stories together.
For different reasons, Aspen and Blaise both have familial issues and they handle this ‘home’ situation differently. Aspen is the quiet, almost unforgettable character. All she wanted to do was finish her senior year the way she started it, quiet and invisible. She is secretly counting down to graduation, so she can move into the next phase of her life.
Now, the problem with wanting to remain invisible, is that someone, somewhere will see past that wallflower status and see the person. Aspen’s person was Blaise. He was able to look past her invisibility and see the real Aspen. The girl who did not want to say much, but internally had a worlds worth of feelings, thoughts, and emotions just waiting to get out.
For a high school senior, Blaise was a powerful and present character. He also had familial issues, but for completely different reasons. His form of communication and expressing himself is through his fists which have an incredibly short and easy to start wick. He is angry, for many different reasons, but notices early on that the one person who can calm his temper is Aspen. Like a flower growing towards the sunlight, Blaise finds himself gravitating to Aspen and wanting to spend his time with her.
I was completely invested into the three main relationships going on in this story. 1) Aspen’s personal story, 2) Blaise’ personal story, and finally, 3) their story together. Rich Prick makes me feel ALL the feels. From the multiple and sometimes sudden twists and turns, shocking jaw dropping moments, angst and drama, and hidden secrets that are slithering through the main characters like a 20-foot anaconda.
As I mentioned before, the Fallen Crest/Crew series were brilliant, but there is only one book that is semi equivalent to Rich Prick and that is Ryan’s Bed. I was ruined after finishing it with the hardest and heaviest book hangover to date. Well, Rich Prick, is right up that alley. When ‘the end’ was in sight I was panicked and scared. I did not want this beautiful story to end. The story with main characters who were so realistic I had to keep in mind, that they were pen and paper characters, not a true to life story. My heart is sad that it’s ending, but happy/ecstatic with the chance to have gotten to know them.
A young adult/new adult standalone from Tijan!
Title: Rich Prick
Release date: June 15th, 2020
He walked into school on his first day and owned it.
I guess that’s what happens when you’re a prick, rich, and you’re best friends with the ruling school’s king.
Also didn’t hurt he’s drop dead gorgeous.
That’s all fine.
I mean, I have nothing to do with them.
I’m a loner, invisible, and that’s how I wanted it to be.
I was even proud of it, until I wasn’t.
Until I saw a girl kneel before him.
Until I couldn’t look away.
Until he caught me watching.
His name is Blaise Devroe. My name is Aspen Monson.
He only knew how to get, command, and demand attention. I knew how to do everything but that.
And this is our story.
*Rich Prick is a full 100k standalone.
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“You get off on watching? Is that your thing, or is it just my cock you like?”
I was heading to my car after school when I heard him.
My heart stopped, almost literally. If I looked down, it was likely the entire contents of my stomach would be at my feet.
He’d found me.
I looked up, and Blaise DeVroe stepped out from behind the truck parked next to Maisie. His hand was on her back end, and he waited there, in the shadows (thank God), his head tilted to the side.
He looked so good, so delicious. All hard edges and angles. That jawline. It could give me razor burn between my legs, and I’d climax just by breathing hard.
I saw the flare in his gaze and felt his edge. I had to rein in a bit of my inner weirdo.
I’d heard about what happened that morning. Hell, I’d witnessed it myself, but then I’d also heard all the whispering about it afterward. It spread through the school like wildfire. And what they were saying hadn’t been kind. Most bets were that Blaise was going to be kicked out of school. Others said Zeke was going to have him beat up. Still others thought Zeke could have him arrested. How that even made sense, I had no clue.
But I also saw those guys interact through the rest of the day as if nothing had happened. Zeke still smiled at Blaise, even if he seemed more cautious. Some people said there was a rift forming in school. But again, why did that even matter? We had a week and four days left to be here. Then it was summer.
“You talk?” His head cocked forward. There was a slight bark to his words.
I jumped, then gathered myself. “Oh. Um…”
Shoot. I bit down on my lip. What did I say here? Okay. I had nothing, so I guess honesty was the best policy. Besides this guy playing a major role in my schoolgirl fantasies, I couldn’t deny that I was a little scared of him right now. I’d always felt there was something more in him, a wild edge, but no one ever said anything. There’d been no rumors about it, until today.
Today, everyone had seen. Today, everyone was talking about it.
“I, uh…” Screw it. I shrugged. “It was live porn. What did you expect?”