How has your weekend been? Mine has been good. I’m actually surprisingly on top of all my course work for once so I had pretty relaxed weekend in comparison to the past few. Anyway, Today is a review Sunday with an actual review for once! I know, I’m shocked too haha. I was very kindly sent this book by the author. If you read my blog a lot you will know that Christine Zolendz is the author of my favourite book series of all time – the Mad World Series. So when I saw she was giving away some E-Arc’s I knew I had to try and get one so I could review it for you guys. It actually comes out today so HAPPY RELEASE DAY! I’ve interviewed Christine before so I knew she was going to be a sweet-heart before even receiving my copy but as always all the thoughts are my own and I haven’t been swayed in any way by receiving the book or because she was nice to me. Enough babble from me – let’s get reviewing.
** Content Warning: This book has a lot of sexual content and explicit language so it is probably an 18+ read.
Title: Enemies & Lovers
Author: Christine Zolendz
Genres: New Adult, Romance, Thriller/Suspense
Publisher: Independently Published
Publication Date: November 22nd 2020
Pages: 300 pages
When I Read It: 3rd October 2020
Goodreads Rating: 4.63 Stars
And that was the easy part.
Picking up the pieces of my mother’s affair and her lies,
That is all I have ever done and known.
I gave up everything,
I gave up him,
To find my place in this world.
And now, I am back in the middle of it all again,
And he sees me as nothing more than a carbon copy of her,
A tramp just looking to get my claws into him,
And his money.
This is so much more than that,
This is my life, my dignity, and my future,
All rolled into one big scandal.
This time, my life is on the line,
My future hangs in the balance,
And he’s my only hope.
That’s all she is,
All she’s ever been.
And now, she comes barreling into my life
Like an avalanche,
But I refuse to get buried by her lies, her actions, her scandal.
She’s cold and cunning,
Like the blizzard that trapped us here.
I’m no fool though, I won’t be tempted by her warmth, her body, her touch.
I can’t forget,
Refuse to forget,
She’s just like her mother,
And we’re enemies,
My Goodreads Review: *aka my initial thoughts, straight after (and during) reading
Wow. This was so great I feel like I cannot find the words. Christine never disappoints! The tension, the drama, the romance. My heart is so happy right now!!
Her writing always blows me away and this is no different. I love Claire, she is everything you want from a protagonist – independent, determined and closed off to the world. But Vaughn, that’s where I fell in love. Funny, romantic, strong-willed. (I mean he’s not Shane 😉 ) but he gets pretty darn close! Their chemistry was amazing. The plot of this book had me on the edge of my seat the whole way through. The multiple POV’s carried the story perfectly without giving too much away too early. The pacing was incredible which is something I often have an issue with in romances. I didn’t know that there was going to be the thriller type side plot but it fit perfectly and I adored it. Going into this book I knew I was going to like it – I love Christine’s writing and enemies to lovers is my favourite trope – but I was blown away with how incredible it was. I cannot recommend enough! 4.5/5 Stars!
Characters: I loved Claire. She was a great protagonist. I love that she was so strong willed and stuck to her guns. She didn’t care what other people thought of her, she just wanted to live her life. I love independent MC’s and she was definitely that.
Now Vaughn…he was incredible! But I am very unsurprised by this because Christine always writes the best book boys. I mean Vaughn is no Shane but he is pretty darn close!
I loved all the secondary characters – especially Vaughn’s mum – omg she had me dying with laughter because she was so horrible (in a good way). This is a spoiler-free review so all I’m going to say on the antagonist of the book is just that he is incredible in the most evil and disgusting way. It genuinely made me feel sick which is exactly what you want from the bad guy. It was just so well done!
Characters = 9/10
Humour: Like I just mentioned, Vaughn’s mum was so despicable I was genuinely laughing out loud at her. But also the banter and rapport between Vaughn and Claire had it’s funny moments. It definitely wasn’t as funny as Mad World, but it was definitely humourous.
Humour = 8/10
Atmosphere: I am always a fan of enclosed settings in a book, it just makes everything far more dramatic! The fact they are trapped together is such a brilliant plot devise to work through issues but also create more problems. On top of that, it’s set in a snowy wintery setting which is really the vibe I have been in the mood for recently.
Atmosphere = 9/10
Writing Style: I knew going into this that I would adore the writing, so when I loved it I definitely was not surprised. The best way I can think to describe it is personal and conversational. It makes you fall in love with the characters instantly. But then also, it has a very dramatic undertone that really helps carry the brilliant plots. I loved the multiple POV’s, it meant you got a really great perception of everything that was happening but also how all the characters were feeling. They also carried the story perfectly without giving too much away too early which can happen sometimes with multiple POV’s.
Writing Style = 10/10
Plot: The plot had me on the edge of my seat the whole way through. I read it in one sitting because I could not put it down. I went into it thinking it was just a romance and I didn’t know that there was going to be the thriller type side plot but it fit perfectly and I adored it. Like I also just said, the trapped in a house element only added to the plot. I just loved everything about it. The plot was easily my favourite part of the story which is unusual for me as it’s normally the characters or the romance that I love the most but the plot was just mind-blowing.
Plot = 10/10
Intrigue: Like I just said, I could not put this down. I read well into the night to get this done because I could not sleep without finishing it. It was so exciting, both in the romance and also because of the thriller/mystery side plot. But also, there was an element of predicableness to some of the actions of the characters. I read a lot of mysteries, so I did guess who the antagonist was. However, despite this I still could not put it down and I didn’t find it any less exciting because of it.
Intrigue = 9/10
Logic: For such a dramatic plot, I found it scarily accurate. The slight miscommunications that lead to so much drama and how first perceptions are everything and people don’t look deeper into a situation. It was so well done because as a reader fall into these false perceptions because of the way she writes it and it just makes it incredible. The actions of the characters are all logical in my opinion which lead to the predictableness I mentioned above, but like I said that didn’t bother me because it did make it more logical.
Logic = 9/10
Enjoyment: If you couldn’t tell already, I adored this. I loved everything about it. The plot made my heart beyond happy. I have been drowning in university work but this book is exactly what I needed to cheer me up. It goes down as one of my favourite reads of the year easily!
Enjoyment = 10/10
Relationships: Vaughn and Claire’s relationship can only be described as heart-warming. They were go good together and reading them made me feel all warm and fussy because it was just too cute. I mean, there was definitely some very charged sexy scenes too (that were very tastefully done) and they balanced very well with the cute scenes.
Relationships = 9/10
Overall Score = 83/90 or 9.2/10
Star Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
That’s all for today’s review folks. Again a big thanks to Christine for sending me a copy because it is definitely in my top 5 reads of the year! I will keep this short and just leave you with today’s Questions. I hope you enjoyed this and I will see you guys again tomorrow ❤