Review: Hanami (#1) and Hazakura (#2) by V.C. Buckley (plus a $10 Giveaway!)

Hanami by VC Buckley Review Tour

Today we’re featuring Hanami and Hazakura (the sequel!) by author V.C. Buckley! This is a series in a genre that I don’t usually review, but lately I’ve been trying to be more open to contemporary fiction (you know, young adult, new adult, etc.) so I jumped at the chance to join this blog tour. I’m also pretty psyched because the author is from Manila! Gotta support my fellow Filipina, you know. :)

Read more about the books below and check out my review. Then enter the blog tour giveaway for a chance to win a $10 gift card to Amazon or B&N. Yay!

Hanami by VC BuckleyHanami by V.C. Buckley

“I am no princess… I am Yakuza,”

SAKURA SHINTANI is the heir to the Dragon Clan—Japan’s most notorious crime dynasty. But can she keep this fact a secret from the annoying brats of Oniyuri Academy?

She must try to master her demons while trying not to hurt anyone. But having the face of an angel puts her on everyone’s radar… including the arrogant heir to Asia’s most powerful tycoon, KENJIN KIYOHARA. He senses the danger, but Sakura is too interesting to be left alone.

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An easy read, interesting characters, fun and exciting story

Holy cow, I finished this book in less than a day! The prose is descriptive and flows easily, the characters intriguing and the story exciting, so this book was such an easy read.

I like the main character, Sakura. She’s definitely a strong heroine, but also imperfect and has a vulnerability that is reasonable and even relatable. Her love interest, Jin, is also interesting in his own way, but it’s Sakura who really captures your attention. I like how their love story evolves throughout the book.

The plot twists are great. I just think that the reveals or resolutions to some of the crucial points in the story are too easy or simplified. Like some are a little bit glossed over, then sort of explained later on. Maybe I just wanted more intrigue and action. They are some pretty interesting twists though and I truly enjoyed them.

Lastly, I love all the Asian elements in this – the setting, the culture and traditions, the sport (kendo), the food. Made me hungry, tbh. Haha.

Overall, I enjoyed reading this one and couldn’t wait to get to the next book (review below!).

Hazakura VC BuckleyHazakura (Hanami #2) by V.C. Buckley

Can love last for a mafia princess?

find out in this riveting sequel to HANAMI…

KENJIN KIYOHARA, the son of Asia’s most powerful tycoon has finally won the heart of SAKURA SHINTANI, the heir to Japan’s most notorious crime dynasty. But their new love is threatened as Sakura’s trigger-happy oppositions see Kenjin as her ultimate weakness, making her rethink the decision to be with him. But Kenjin is determined to stay by her side, even if it might cost him his life.

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Another easy read, with interesting plot twists, still a fun and exciting story

This was as easy to read as the first book. The writing is also descriptive and flows easily. The characters are even more (or have grown more) interesting than in the first book. However, though the story is still as exciting as the first one, for some reason, it felt slower. I’m not sure why, maybe it was just my mood while reading it.

Anyway, Sakura is still a badass. And Jin is well, still Jin. He’s a little unreasonably (in my opinion) jealous in this one though so I didn’t like him as much, but he redeems himself so it’s fine.

The plot twists are also great, but, like in the first book, I think the reveals and resolutions are way too easy and convenient. There’s a tad bit more action though, so that was fun.

Overall, I still enjoyed reading this one and I’m still interested to read more about Sakura’s story.

Note: I received review copies of these books as part of my participation in the tour. All opinions and views expressed here are my own.

About the Author

VC Buckley authorV.C. Buckley was born in an isolated government facility and shipped off to an Island in Southeast Asia where she grew up braving tropical thunderstorms and warding off evil villains. At sixteen she was discovered by an agent and jetted off all over the world. Her stories come from gritty moments of her childhood to the glitz of her travels. She now lives in Manila with her husband, two kids and an herb garden that has hijacked her balcony.

Connect with the author: WebsiteTwitterFacebookInstagramGoodreadsBookbub

Watch the Book Trailer

Read an Excerpt from Hanami

Jin rolled his eyes, settling his gaze back on the girl. He wasn’t surprised with their reaction.

The new girl was hot, but so what? It took more than a pretty face to get his attention. He wasn’t that easy to impress, and he was certain she’d be throwing herself at him anyway. Just like everybody else. He was sure this girl wasn’t any different from the love-crazed hyenas that stalked him.

Jin pushed back his shoulders, seeing her start towards him with her eyes still trailing on the ground.

Already? Jin thought, suppressing a laugh. He crossed his arms, waiting for her to get closer, and sure enough she stopped right in front of him. She was even prettier up close. Asian but with a hint of Caucasian mixed in.

“What?” he asked, smirking. He already knew what she might say: whether he was Kenjin Kiyohara, the sole heir to Kiyohara Industries? The questions were all the same. He thought she would have at least waited until class was over like the rest of them.

“Move your feet. You’re blocking my way,” the girl said in a sharp tone. She shifted her gaze up at him like a threatening knife. Her topaz-colored eyes darkened, sending icy tremors down his back. He felt as if he’d been hit by a curse as his mind turned blank.

When she finally looked away, Jin was able to regain his senses. He tucked his legs out of her way, and she passed, leaving goosebumps in her wake. His eyes followed her, waiting to see if she’d look back, but she never did. Jin’s hands were trembling. His thoughts became jumbled while he struggled not to look anymore.

What was that? What just happened? This was a first for him. He couldn’t contain himself. His presence had no impact whatsoever. Instead she looked like she wanted to kill him!

Jin took a deep breath, replaying the moment in his head. Who was this girl? She sure got his attention, all right—and it left him in pieces. He fought the urge to look back again.

This girl…Jin thought. There was something about her. He couldn’t shake off the feeling. She seemed dangerous.

Giveaway

V.C. Buckley will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the rest of the tour and comment on the tour stops for more chances of winning: http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2019/08/review-tour-hanami-by-vc-buckley.html

Cover Reveal: Circle of Ashes (Wish Quartet #2) by Elise Kova and Lynn Larsh

Wish Quartet_Circle-of-Ashes-Cover-Reveal

Here I am again with a post about the latest book by authors Elise Kova and Lynn Larsh! I’m participating in the cover reveal of Circle of Ashes, book two in the Wish Quartet series. Yayyy. I posted about the first book, Society of Wishes a while back and I’m just as happy to help spread the word about book two!

Read more about the book, see the pre-order links and check out the read-along deets for book one! Check it out, baes! ;)

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Cover Reveal: Society of Wishes by Elise Kova and Lynn Larsh

society of wishes

Hey, guys! Yep, here I am again with another one from author Elise Kova! This time it’s for the cover reveal of the first book in her new new adult, urban fantasy series, Wish Quartet, which she co-wrote with Lynn Larsh. Pretty cool stuff, I tell you.

So, check out the gorgeous cover, read more about the book, Society of Wishes, and check out the cover reveal giveaway!

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Review of Insidious by Victoria Evers (Blog Tour and Giveaway)

Today we’re featuring Insidious, Book 1 of The Marked Mage Chronicles by Victoria Evers! I don’t usually feature romance on this blog but when I read the blurb for Insidious I thought it was intriguing.

Read on to know more about the book and check out my review! You can also read an excerpt if you’re curious! Of course, don’t forget to enter the giveaway for a chance to win an Amazon gift card!

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Books to Movies: Must Love Dogs

Must Love Dogs

Must Love DogsBasic info. Must Love Dogs by Claire Cook was published in 2000. A movie of the same title came out in 2005 with Diane Lane, John Cusack, Dermot Mulroney, and a bunch of other great actors.

What’s the story? It’s about a new thirty-something divorcee named Sarah and her dating adventures. Sarah’s family is very supportive and keeps encouraging her to start dating. Her two sisters sign her up on an online dating site and she meets several men, including John Cusack’s character, also a recently divorced man.

Which one did I experience first? I saw the movie first some time after it came out. I didn’t even realize it was based on a book. I read the book in December of 2012. The Kindle version was free on Amazon for a time and I decided to get it. If it wasn’t free, I don’t think I would’ve downloaded it. Hah.

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Books to Movies: Safe Haven

31 Days Books to Movies Safe Haven

Safe Haven bookFirst, the basic info. The book Safe Haven was written by author Nicholas Sparks. The movie came out in 2013 and starred Josh Duhamel, Julianne Hough, Cobie Smulders, and David Lyons.

What’s the story? A woman on the run finds herself in a small town and decides to stay a while. She finds a place to stay, gets a job as a waitress, and meets some of the townsfolk – including a tall handsome store owner and his two kids. Things seem to go pretty well until her past catches up with her.

Which one did I experience first? The movie, which I watched in the cinema with my sister. I didn’t even bother asking Carpet Head if he wanted to watch it with me. When I told him I was going out with my sister to watch it, he was just like, “Meh, okay. Have fun.” LOL.

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Blog Tour & Giveaway: Replacing Gentry by Julie N. Ford

Today we have a Top 10 list by Julie N. Ford, author of Replacing Gentry, a modern take on classic gothic romance novels Rebecca and Jane Eyre. I asked her to list down her Top 10 books that would be great as movies. Check out her list and read more about the book below. Don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for a chance to win a $50 gift card. :)

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Blog Tour & Giveaway: Byzantine Gold by Chris Karlsen

Yay another blog tour with a giveaway for yah! Read about Byzantine Gold, a new book by author Chris Karlsen. Last year I posted a review of her book Golden Chariot, which was about sunken treasure. In Byzantine Gold, the main characters from Golden Chariot–Charlotte and Atakan–find themselves in another exciting and dangerous situation involving treasure (what else?), terrorists, and a contract killer looking for revenge! Read more about the book and find out how you can win an ebook copy of Golden Chariot and a $50 Amazon GC! Arrr!! (Wait, are we finally going to see some pirates?!?)

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