Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Review: Wicked Appetite


Wicked Appetite
Wicked Appetite by Janet Evanovich

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



GoodReads Synopsis: Life in Marblehead has had a pleasant predictability, until Diesel arrives. Rumor has it that a collection of priceless ancient relics representing the Seven Deadly Sins have made their way to Boston’s North Shore. Partnered with pastry chef Lizzie Tucker, Diesel bullies and charms his way through historic Salem to track them down—and his criminal mastermind cousin Gerewulf Grimorie. The black-haired, black-hearted Wulf is on the hunt for the relic representing gluttony. Caught in a race against time, Diesel and Lizzie soon find out that more isn’t always better, as they battle Wulf and the first of the deadly sins. With delectable characters and non-stop thrills that have made Janet Evanovich a household name, Wicked Appetite will leave you hungry for more

My Thoughts: Oh My Word, this was a cute, funny, quick read.

I’ve seen some reviews where it is said this is just Stephanie Plum with a few alterations. I disagree. Yes it is written in her same quirky, funny style. What I liked about this story and characters over Stephanie Plum is that this is a bit softer and it has an element of paranormal. Plum is grittier and more “in your face” and after a while she turned me off.

I loved Diesel right from the start. He’s funny and very flirtatious. Izzie has a hard time dealing with all his pushy charm. She’s intimidated by him in so many ways. As much as she tries to be disgusted by all his macho-ness…she is turned on. And it’s so much fun to read how flustered she gets by him!

Izzie is sweet and is funny in a kind of bumbling way. She is kind of the straight man in this comedy team where Diesel is concerned, but the comedian when she is with her friends. There is also a monkey in the story, I assume to provide comic relief, but am not real clear on why he is there.

Now on the flip side there is Wulf. The obvious “bad guy”. He is described as “eerily handsome” which makes me wonder if there maybe another love triangle in future installments.

This series is based on the Seven Deadly Sins so there could conceivably be 7 or possibly 8 books in total. I hope they are all as fun and funny as the first one is. The second book was recently released and it’s synopsis is what prompted me to read Wicked Appetite. This is the consummate “beach read” for the summer!




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Review: Slave


Slave
Slave by Sherri Hayes

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



Review to come



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Friday, June 22, 2012

Review: Wife 22


Wife 22
Wife 22 by Melanie Gideon

My rating: 5 of 5 stars



6 Stars! And a new FAVORITE!
GoodReads Synopsis: Maybe it was those extra five pounds I’d gained. Maybe it was because I was about to turn the same age my mother was when I lost her. Maybe it was because after almost twenty years of marriage my husband and I seemed to be running out of things to say to each other.

But when the anonymous online study called “Marriage in the 21st Century” showed up in my inbox, I had no idea how profoundly it would change my life. It wasn’t long before I was assigned both a pseudonym (Wife 22) and a caseworker (Researcher 101).

And, just like that, I found myself answering questions.
Before the study, my life was an endless blur of school lunches and doctor’s appointments, family dinners, budgets, and trying to discern the fastest-moving line at the grocery store. I was Alice Buckle: spouse of William and mother to Zoe and Peter, drama teacher and Facebook chatter, downloader of memories and Googler of solutions.

But these days, I’m also Wife 22. And somehow, my anonymous correspondence with Researcher 101 has taken an unexpectedly personal turn. Soon, I’ll have to make a decision—one that will affect my family, my marriage, my whole life. But at the moment, I’m too busy answering questions.

As it turns out, confession can be a very powerful aphrodisiac.
My Thoughts: WOW, I could relate to this book! You see I am 44 and have just celebrated my 20th wedding anniversary. I only have one child, a son, who is slightly older than Alice’s son. My husband and I have recently hit some potholes in our marriage. I felt like Melanie Gideon was spying on my circumstances!
I loved how the author used the internet, google, facebook, etc to emphasize where Alice was coming from. I could relate so totally to Alice on just about every level…and I suspect I am not alone. Technology is an amazing thing and it can bring people together but this story reiterates that it can also have an opposite effect. Alice and her husband William have drifted apart and the technology initially used to communicate has become a shield to hide behind. Something I find myself doing as well. And their marriage is suffering from a breakdown in communication.
William is mostly, only seen through Alice’s eyes, which isn’t great to start out with. But through the survey questions (in the kindle version, I didn’t realize the questions were listed at the very end of the book, just before the acknowledgements), we see how the relationship started, grew, and changed…all through Alice’s memories. I only read the answers to the questions, which was part of the fun…trying to figure out what the questions were Alice was answering. Some were obvious, others not so obvious. I’m going to have to reread her answers with the questions in front of me.
This book was a wake-up call for me, in that I saw a lot of myself in Melanie. Gave me a lot to think about in terms of my relationships with those around me.
Just loved “Wife 22”, Gideon has an engaging and imaginative story telling style that completely captured me. The writing was laugh out loud funny, without being mean or snarky. She can turn a witty phrase I tell ya! I am so looking forward to more from Melanie Gideon.





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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Review: I Hunt Killers


I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga

359 pages
Published on 3 April 2012
Published by Little Brown Books for Young Readers

Synopsis:
What if the world's worst serial killer...was your dad?

Jasper (Jazz) Dent is a likable teenager. A charmer, one might say.

But he's also the son of the world's most infamous serial killer, and for Dear Old Dad, Take Your Son to Work Day was year-round. Jazz has witnessed crime scenes the way cops wish they could--from the criminal's point of view.

And now bodies are piling up in Lobo's Nod.

In an effort to clear his name, Jazz joins the police in a hunt for a new serial killer. But Jazz has a secret--could he be more like his father than anyone knows?

My Review: 4 Jazz Stars!
Are you a fan Dexter? Criminal Minds? CSI? If you are you HAVE to read this book! If you are not, let me convince you right now.

Jazz has an unfortunate set of circumstances, he is the son of a notorious serial killer, living in the same town in which his dad was caught, and taking care of his dementia ridden grandmother. Every time he looks in the mirror he has to convince himself he is NOT a killer like his father. Jazz fears he will become just like Dear Old Dad and take over the family business. We are in the mind of Jazz through his whole journey and we see how off kilter he is. How can you be normal when your dad has basically groomed you into the perfect serial killer since you could walk and talk? 

Jazz has insight into the mind of a serial killer...a good one at that as his father evaded capture for many years. It is that second sense, that ingrained nature that allows him to see more to the surprisingly murder and body dump of a youngster in little Lobo's Nod. Jazz knows that this one murder will become two, then three and so on. Now all he has to do is convince the police to let him help and try to stop a serial killer before he wrecks havoc in Lobo's Nod or worse disappears before being caught.

For a serious and dark subject matter, the book was not at all gruesome. It is suspenseful and intense, but in the ''I can't put this book down!" way. I found the grandmother so loony she was comical to the point of sadness. Jazz's best friend was the much needed comic relief to add some lightness to the otherwise heavy story. Jazz even has a spit-fire of a girlfriend to keep him in line.  

Although I found the whole 'serial killer on the loose' story line to be captivating. My favorite parts of the book were the internal dialogue Jazz has with himself. The internal fight within to stay on the side of good. To use what he has been taught to catch killers. To always remember his dad's victims even though he is not responsible, he needs that link to feel human and compassionate. That all he really wants is to know what happened to his mother. All he desires is a chance at a normal life. I Hunt Killers is by far one of the best young adult books I've read this year.

Review: My Merlin Awakening


My Merlin Awakening
My Merlin Awakening by Priya Ardis

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



4.5 Stars!!!!!

GoodReads Synopsis: If you haven't broken the rules, have you really lived?


Excalibur has been pulled from the stone, but what does it mean? Arriane (aka Ryan) DuLac doesn’t really care. She's got bigger problems—as student president, she's got to put on the Prom. While the Wizard Council debates their next move, she leaves the craziness behind and heads home. But she can’t hide forever. Sooner than she’d like Merlin (aka Matt) has her chasing mermaids on the trail of the Fisher King. The wounded King, defeated by Merlin’s brother, Vane, in the past holds the key to save the future.


On the journey, Ryan begins to realize the friends she thought she knew, she may not know at all. At a time of shifting alliances, she must decide whose side she’s on—the brother who struggles to do right or the brother who dares to break the rules? And Ryan must decide who she is—a regular or a champion?


One wrong decision and her family falls apart. One wrong decision and the world falls apart. No pressure.

My Thoughts: I am still LOVING this series. The first book dealt with Arthurian legend…this one has lots of Greek mythology as well as some HUGE surprises!!!

Let’s start with the love triangle! WOW…hot, hot, hot, hot, hot…well maybe that better describes Vane. For all his dark and foreboding nature, it kills me he is the blonde brother. He really should have dark hair and piercing green (not hazel) eyes. But I will take him anyway I can get him. Yep, color me “Team Vane”…he’s just so passionate about everything, especially Ryan. Merlin has too much of a hero complex for me…he is the guy that will always be ditching you to go save some damsel in distress. I’d much rather be at the top of my guy’s priority list!

We learn a lot about the Gargoyles, which added some interesting tension. The Gargoyles and Wizards are forced to work together to try and find out why Excalibur has shown up. Lots of interesting secrets are revealed! This was a non-stop thrill ride into undiscovered territory…and Priya Ardis knows how to create a new and exciting world! I’m so anxious to read the final installment…I’m betting it will be even better, and I’m holding out hope that Vane gets the girl!




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Review: The Fiend and the Forge


The Fiend and the Forge
The Fiend and the Forge by Henry H. Neff

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



GoodReads Synopsis: The Fiend and the Forge, is an unforgettable dystopian adventure across a landscape overrun with goblins and trolls. The world has changed almost beyond recognition, for with the Book of Origins firmly in his possession, the villainous Astaroth now has the power to reshape history at will. Plucking pivotal discoveries from mankind’s past, he has reduced the world to a preindustrial nightmare.

But while most humans toil as slaves within four demonic kingdoms, Astaroth allows those at Rowan to thrive in peaceful isolation. Theirs is a land where magic and nature flourish . . . so long as none dare oppose the new order.

That proves too steep a price for Max McDaniels. Unsure of his place at Rowan, Max sets out to explore the shifting landscape of the world beyond. In the course of his travels, he will become many things: Prisoner. Gladiator. Assassin. But can he become the hero that mankind so desperately needs?

My Thoughts: I am stunned at how this series has changed since the first book! The tone of the story as well as the plot points are growing and changing as the main character, Max, is growing and changing. In this installment, he’s about 17, has gone through a lot, and the challenges he faces now are well beyond his years. Quite a change from the first book which was reminiscent of the first Harry Potter book.

In book 2, The Second Siege, the bad guy “won” the war…not what I was expecting! In this installment, the story delves into the dystopian world the bad guy created as a result. Neff is not afraid to remove beloved characters…something that really adds a new level of emotion and interest in the story. You can bet that whatever happens it will be unexpected. This is also the first series I’ve read where we get to watch our current society change into the dystopian society that the story shifts into. Once again adding yet another level of interest.

This series is huge in terms of size and scope! Neff is keeping it very fresh. While I initially thought this series would be pointed to the middle school reader, I am finding that it would appeal to all ages. If you are at all curious as to what the world would have been like had Voldemort won the battle, you should read The Tapestry series.




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Review: Zero


Zero by Tom Leveen

304 pages
Published 24 April 2012
Published by Random House Books for Young Readers

Synopsis:
For aspiring artist Amanda Walsh, who only half-jokingly goes by the nickname Zero, the summer before college was supposed to be fun—plain and simple. Hanging out with her best friend Jenn, going to clubs, painting, and counting down the days until her escape. But when must-have scholarship money doesn't materialize, and she has a falling out with Jenn that can only be described as majorly awkward, and Zero's parents relationship goes from tense to relentless fighting, her prospects start looking as bleak and surreal as a painting by her idol Salvador Dali. Will life truly imitate art? Will her new, unexpected relationship with a punk skater boy who seems too good to be real and support from the unlikeliest of sources show Zero that she's so much more than a name.

My Review: 4 Gothic Rainbow Stars!
At the beginning of Zero we are introduced to Amanda, or Zero. It seems everything she hoped for herself has taken a down turn and she feel her life and dreams are pulling further away from her.  Zero wants to be an artist and hoped to attend a college on scholarship but she is turned down and cannot afford to attend without it. For her it is all or nothing. No scholarship, not art classes or school...EVER. Friend makes a pass at you? Instead of talking it through, just IGNORE her. Mom is desperate to connect with you and discuss dear old dad and his drinking? Be mean to her and leave the house until late at night...oh and take dad's side. To say Zero is a bit irrational and immature is an understatement. But then....enter Mike. Drummer for the band Gothic Rainbows. The voice of reason. A guy who has been abandoned by his mother and caring for a washed-up musician father. A guy who should be just as bitter and upset with life as Zero, but instead is....zen? Yes! It is because of Mike's persistence and faith in Zero and her talent that she starts to take small steps toward her dreams. 

It is not often that while reading a book I actually don't much care for the main protagonist. I actually liked Mike and felt that without him I would not have been as interested in this book. That said, I loved this book! Why? Because it is not a happy-g0-lucky, happily-ever-after seeking generic read! We are not supposed to like Zero much. That is how we know she finally gets her epiphany moment and starts to grow -up, take a few risks and put herself out there in the world. To take control of her life instead of just meandering through the garbage thrown at her. I also loved that this book has a satisfying ending for Zero, but not the true-love drop everything and be with the guy ending! Can we give a hellyeah to Tom Leveen for that?! Why, yes, yes we can. I liked this book because it was quirky, interesting, different, outside the box, sad, awkward, happy, sarcastic and funny...what could be better?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Cover Reveal: All the Broken Pieces


What if your life wasn't your own?

Liv comes out of a coma with no memory of her past and two distinct, warring voices inside her head. Nothing, not even her reflection, seems familiar. As she stumbles through her junior year, the voices get louder, insisting she please the popular group while simultaneously despising them. But when Liv starts hanging around with Spencer, whose own mysterious past also has him on the fringe, life feels complete for the first time in, well, as long as she can remember.

Liv knows the details of the car accident that put her in the coma, but as the voices invade her dreams, and her dreams start feeling like memories, she and Spencer seek out answers. Yet the deeper they dig, the less things make sense. Can Liv rebuild the pieces of her broken past, when it means questioning not just who she is, but what she is?

                             Now for the BIG REVEAL!!

                             ALL THE BROKEN PIECES 
                                             by Cindi Madsen


Imprint: Entangled Teen; Audience: Young Adult; Novel length: 304 pages; Format: Trade paperback and eBook; Publication Date: December, 2012. All the Broken Pieces, by Cindi Madsen is available for pre-order on: Amazon | Barnes & Noble Be sure to add it to your TBR pile on Goodreads

Entangled Publishing and Cindi Madsen were kind enough to give us this exclusive excerpt from All the Broken Pieces! SQUEE! We couldn't be more excited here at Novel Goddess, definitely a much anticipated release so this will hold us over (barely) until December.

Olivia reached up, feeling the tender spots on her head. Her fingers brushed across a row of—were those little ridges made of metal? 
“Careful. The staples are almost ready to come out, but it’s still going to be sore for a while.”
Staples?!Her stomach rolled. I have staples in my head? She lowered her now-shaking hand. “Can I get a mirror?”
Mom looked at Dad, then back at her. “I don’t think that’s a good idea. Not until you’ve healed a little more.”
Mom patted Olivia’s leg. “You just relax. We’ll be back in a few minutes.”
The two of them left the room, but when Mom swung the door closed, it didn’t latch. Olivia could hear their voices in the hall. 
“I still think we should…” She couldn’t make out the rest of Dad’s muffled words. “…know if I can do this.”
“…late for that,” Mom said. “We’d lose everything, including…” Her voice faded as they got farther away. “…have to move.”
Olivia could tell the conversation was tense, but the words were impossible to decipher now. Holding a hand in front of her face, she turned it back and forth. A plastic tube ran from her arm to a machine next to her bed. She peeked into her nightgown and stared in horror at the long red stripe running down her chest. 
Sick.
You’re alive. You shouldn’t be thinking about looks.
Lowering her hand, she scanned the room. I wonder how my face looks. From the way Dad stared at me, plus the fact Mom won’t let me see a mirror, it must be bad. 
Brains are more important than looks.
That’s what ugly people say.
Olivia put her hands on her head and squeezed. “Stop it,” she whispered to her arguing thoughts, hysteria bubbling up and squeezing the air from her lungs. What was happening to her? Why didn’t she recognize her parents or know where she was? Who she was? Tears ran warm trails down her cheeks. “Just make it all stop.”















Be sure to connect with Cindi at:



Monday, June 18, 2012

Review: Wilde's Army


Wilde's Army
Wilde's Army by Krystal Wade

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



GoodReads Synopsis: “Hello, Katriona.”

Those two words spark fear in Katriona Wilde and give way to an unlikely partnership with Perth, the man she’s been traded to marry for a favor. Saving her true love and protector Arland, her family, and their soldiers keeps her motivated, but the at-odds duo soon realizes trust is something that comes and goes with each breath of Encardia’s rotting, stagnant air. The moment when concern for her missing sister spirals out of control, all thoughts of trust are pushed aside and she finds herself trapped by the daemon tricks Perth warned her of.

However, rescuing those she loves is only half the problem.

Kate still must get to Willow Falls, unite her clashing people, and form an army prepared to fight in order to defeat Darkness. When so many she’s grown fond of die along the journey, her ability to play by the gods’ rules is tested.

How will she make allies when the world appears stacked against her? And will she still be Katriona Wilde, the girl with fire?

My Thoughts: I’m still loving this series!! Kat is growing and maturing. We’ve learned more about everyone’s prophecies as well as some well hidden secrets.

When this installment opens Kat is coming out of her “dream” discussion with the Gods. Perth is the only one still around and they have to rely on each other. Talk about a reluctant alliance. We get to know Perth much better…we also learn of his prophecy.

Kat’s Mom is still one I am having trouble with. By keeping so much from her girls I think she has made their lives much harder than necessary…but on the flipside, she has a great line in the book about there being no manual for raising your kids in another world to keep them safe…or something along those lines. Kat’s Mom is in an untenable position, all the way around, and we learn it will probably cost her her life.

There is a huge build-up leading into the third and final book of this trilogy and I can’t wait to see how it ends. We get possible glimpses of the outcome from Kat’s prophetic dreams. Now I just have to wait for the last book to see how it all comes together!




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Review: Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone


Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone
Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone by Kat Rosenfield

My rating: 2 of 5 stars



GoodReads Synopsis: Becca has always longed to break free from her small, backwater hometown. But the discovery of an unidentified dead girl on the side of a dirt road sends the town--and Becca--into a tailspin. Unable to make sense of the violence of the outside world creeping into her backyard, Becca finds herself retreating inward, paralyzed from moving forward for the first time in her life.

Short chapters detailing the last days of Amelia Anne Richardson's life are intercut with Becca's own summer as the parallel stories of two young women struggling with self-identity and relationships on the edge twist the reader closer and closer to the truth about Amelia's death.

My Thoughts: I loved the author’s voice and writing style…but not so much the story. While the premise was interesting…the story was a bit gruesome for me. Unpleasant images stuck with me long after I finished the book.

I also did not care for Becca or James…I felt no kinship or ever really cared what happened to them. The part of the story that appealed to me the most and wanted to read more of was the story of Amelia Ann, and it was the drive to read her story that kept me reading.

Sorry, just not my kind of book…and according to GoodReads, I appear to be in the minority.




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Review: The Second Siege


The Second Siege
The Second Siege by Henry H. Neff

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



GoodReads Synopsis: GRAVE FORCES ARE converging to seize control of the Book of Thoth, a hidden artifact whose pages hold the key to creating—or unraveling—the very threads of existence. Under the care and tutelage of Cooper, Rowan’s most lethal Agent, Max McDaniels and David Menlo embark on a quest to protect the book from the demon Astaroth, who would exploit its secrets with dire consequence. And with Astaroth free after centuries of imprisonment, the world outside Rowan’s gates has already become hostile.

Far from home, cut off behind enemy lines, Max and his allies must journey across Europe, descend into the fabled Frankfurt Workshop, brave the tangled corners of the Black Forest . . . and cross beyond the veils of our very world.

My Thoughts: This story starts out a very short time after “The Hound of Rowan” leaves off. Our heroes are a year old but seem more than a year wiser. The challenges they face in Second Siege are much darker and scarier.

While Siege seemed to start kind of slowly for me, it did speed up. Taking me along on a journey to find the Book of Thoth before Asteroth can get his hands on it. I was very impressed with the tone of this installment. Initially I thought this series was going to be geared toward the Jr. High set…and I think the first book really is. Second Siege, takes a decidedly darker and more adult tone. Also Neff is the rare author that doesn’t feel the need to tie up all the loose strings into pretty little bows! The ending is anything but a pretty little bow and Max and David have had to learn some really hard lessons.

I love the direction this series is taking and can’t wait to dive into the third book, “The Fiend and the Forge”.




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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Review: What a Boy Needs


What a Boy Needs by Nyrae Dawn




Indie published June 2012
ebook

My Review: 4 Cherry Pepsi STARS!
What a Boy Needs is a companion novel to What a Boy Wants published in April 2012. That is where we first get to know Jaden and his friends, Sebastian, Aspen and Priscilla. I loved Sebastian's book and when I found out Nyrae Dawn was writing a book for Jaden I knew I would move mountains to read that book!

I love it when an author will tackle a hard issue that can affect teens today. Jaden's book is what I would call a bit heavier because it deals with one of those hard issues. Jaden is emotionally abused my his father. After years of constantly hearing that he is nothing and worthless, he totally believes it to be true. It has trickled down into his everyday dealings with his friends and his outlook on life. He cannot see how talented he is or how valued he is. That is the heavy part and although it is a major issue for Jaden, it doesn't dominate the book. He is still lovable, fun and has a sense of humor. There are many laugh out loud moments between Jaden and his friends: the Explorer door; dancing to I'm Sexy and I know It; Cheetos causing near accidents and Cherry Pepsi.

Thankfully Jaden's friends will not give up on him and insist he continue their summer plan of the Epic Adventure (road trip YO!) to New York to find their apartments for college. Along the way Jaden must learn to trust his friends and open up and share what has happened to him. He must discover who he is what he wants and what he needs. He is worthy of love and happiness. He needs Priscilla and his friends in his life. He is talented and will go far in life. Will Jaden open up his eyes, mind and heart to accept what he deserves. Are you willing to take the trip with Jaden and discover with him what a boy needs? It is one trip you don't want to miss.

Support an Indie author and buy What a Boy Needs and What a Boy Wants by Nyrae Dawn. The stories will grab hold and not let go until you've read the final word.

Just a note on these covers. It is very rare that the cover of a book really captures the character within the pages. These covers do just that! That is Sebastian and Jaden down to the piercings. I could sit and stare at these beautiful covers all day long!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Review: Sunfire


Sunfire
Sunfire by Lynne Connolly

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



GoodReads Synopsis: Rock meets classical. Paranormal meets mortal. Will anybody get out alive? The members of rock band Pure Wildfire are firebird shape-shifters. Manager John Westfall will sacrifice anything for the power they wield, even his daughter Corinne.

Corinne attracts Aidan in a way he's never known before. He'll do anything to release her from Westfall's trap. He offers her marriage, but Aidan wants more from Corinne — he wants her heart. And he'll give her his in return.

Classical guitarist Corinne is desperate to escape her father's control. She loves Aidan but craves her freedom — can she trust him to give it to her? Can she trust the wild man of rock with her heart? There's only one way to find out. Dive into the wildfire!

My Thoughts: This is published by Ellora’s Cave and like all the Ellora’s books I’ve read, this one falls under the heading of “Erotica”. But this book have a very engaging storyline. Most erotica I’ve read in the past are really lacking on plot…not this one!

And while I joke about so much of the erotica out there has to do with shape-shifters, this one does have a shape-shifting storyline. Connoly at least took the time to build her shape-shifting world, which makes the story so much better.

This series of four books revolves around a rock band, however they are much tamer than the fictional band in Olivia Cunning’s “Sinners on Tour” series, lol! Connolly’s “Pure Wildfire” guys seem like monks in comparison, but the story is just as engaging and the characters just as endearing.

I’m looking forward to the rest of the series and will have to be on the lookout for more Lynne Connolly books!




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Friday, June 1, 2012

Review: Eden


Eden
Eden by Jamie McGuire

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



GoodReads Synopsis: She had seen the unspeakable.
She would learn the unknowable.
Now, she would fight the invincible.

In the third and final installment of the Providence series, Nina Grey will marry the wrong man, carry the child that was never supposed to be born, and fight a war she can't win.

Faced with the impossible task of protecting his new wife and unborn child against the throes of Hell, Jared Ryel is allowed no mistakes. Pressured to return the Naissance de Demoniac to Jerusalem, he revisits St. Ann's to learn the answers were in front of him all along.

Together, they must survive long enough to let their child save them - and the world

My Thoughts: Picking up right where Requiem left off…Nina and Jared and planning their wedding.

Because there was such a long gap between Requiem and Eden…I couldn’t remember who was who or anything leading up to Eden. I found it necessary to go back and reread the last quarter of Requiem to refresh my memory. GoodReads says Requiem was published in 2011 but it sure felt longer ago than that.

Anyway…I just love Jamie McGuire’s writing! I still need to read Beautiful Disaster, but that’s another story…literally. McGuire brought this series to a beautiful and fitting end. Everything had been building to an earth shattering conclusion and the tension just keeps building and building trying to get to the Jerusalem…this would have made for an epic Summer Blockbuster in the movie theater! But such a let-down once they arrive…all this hurry-up and wait was killing me. Several times I would have thrown the book, had it not been my kindle.

But Nina didn’t let me down. I’d noted in a previous “review” that Nina just couldn’t “see the forest for the trees” and once again, she made a monumentally stupid choice which no one could talk her out of…her one main flaw. Seriously, this flaw should have killed her so many times in the past! OY! I get that she had to do it otherwise what Eli told Jared would not have come to fruition…but couldn’t it have happened in a way that didn’t make Nina look like such a bonehead??? Can you tell I really like Nina except for when she has to make a decision! That would be my only gripe about the series.

It’s hard to say goodbye to characters we enjoy and I did enjoy Nina and Jared. I am certain I will be revisiting them again in the future!




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Review: Awakened


Awakened
Awakened by Ednah Walters

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



GoodReads Synopsis: Most teens turn sixteen and get the license to drive, but Lil Falcon gets the license to kill demons. Orphaned as a child and raised by an eccentric grandfather, Lil is concerned with surviving high school and is unaware that she's a Guardian-a being with super powers charged with killing demons and protecting humanity. When she meets Bran, a mysterious boy with amazing abilities, his psi energy unlocks her latent powers. But Bran has a secret that can ruin their growing relationship, and the truth she discovers may destroy everything she believes in unless she finds the right balance between love and sacrifice.

My Thoughts: Interesting take on mythology with some elemental magic and a little angel thrown in to weave a very intricate plot. GoodReads calls this book a prequel…I saw the guy with wings on the front and knew it was for me.

Since this book’s purpose was to tell the reader the backstory…it did what it set out to do. We learned about Lil who didn’t come into her powers until around her 16th birthday. Her Grandfather, and only family member, didn’t tell her the truth about her ancestry because it was possible she may not have any powers. But Lil did and is seemingly more powerful than her peers and possibly her Grandfather. Lil did not take the powers and the responsibilities that accompany them very well at first. But with most main characters, she rethought her initial convictions and accepted her responsibilities.

This was also a story of redemption. Bran, couldn’t help the circumstances of his birth or his parents and is trying to make up for his past mistakes. I appreciated that the older council members were able to put Brans misdeeds aside and allow him to prove himself.

Looking like a good old-fashioned story of good vs. evil. I look forward to reading the rest of this series and will definitely be rooting for the good guys.




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Review: Bloodlust, Initiation, and Ritual


Bloodlust

"Vampire Beach" Series by Alex Duval

My rating: 3 of 5 stars



I’ve read the first three books (out of 6) available in the “Vampire Beach” series. And while they do have continuity from one book to the next…they are relatively short and no one book seems to stand apart from any of the others, thus far.

The story centers around a family from the suburbs of Detroit who has moved to a small, gated community in Malibu, CA. The main character, Jason, befriends the police chief’s son, Adam, in addition to some of the “in” crowd. While at a party given by one of the popular kids, a classmate washes up on the beach, drained of blood. This is what points Jason and Adam to the vampires. This is the premise of the first book and the subsequent books all center around a mystery of some kind as well.

The pacing is pretty quick and the story reads and moves fairly fast. There isn’t a ton of character development…it’s more that we are dumped in on Jason’s first day at his new school and we learn as he learns. We do learn more about Jason’s past live in Detroit, when his BFF shows up on the doorstep during the second book.

One thing that just bothers me is the fact that there is a group of Vampires living on the beach…just seems counter to everything Stoker ever wrote. Yes, I know, that’s the beauty of creating a book, you can do what you want in your world! It just seems weird to me, that’s all.

If you like a little mystery with your vampires…this series is for you. If you like a quick, easy, fun beach read, then this is for you!



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May Recap

Can't believe it is the first of June already!  To date I have read 124 books...yikes! At this rate I will blow the number of books read in 2011 out of the water! I wonder how the rest of the year will shape up, reading-wise that is.  I know there are a ton of sequels due throughout the rest of the year...many I am trying desperately to be patient for!

In the meantime, here is what I read in May:

Review: Lies Beneath


Lies Beneath
Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown

My rating: 3 of 5 stars



3.5 Stars!

Calder White is part of a murderous mermaid family. Calder is the youngest, and only male, of four siblings. Mermaids survive off the life force of humans. Mermaids can lie, but they can never break a promise and it’s a promise that brings the White clan to Lake Superior. Calder’s Mom was promised the son of Tom Hancock. But rather than honor that promise, Tom packed up his family and ran…which led to the death of Calder’s Mom. Now the siblings have found Tom’s grown son, Jason, and they plan to kill him and fulfill the promise Tom made all those years ago. It’s Calder’s job to get close to Jason’s daughter, Lily and ultimately lure Jason into the water where his sisters can even the score.

Never before have I disliked a main character so much right from the beginning. Calder makes no bones about the fact that he is a monster. He feels tremendous guilt toward his murderous tendencies, but he is a monster, pure and simple. I really wasn’t sure if this book was going to be for me, but the writing grabbed hold of me long enough to be able to see that Calder was a worthy character. I also enjoyed the male point of view…so many YA novels are told from a female pov so this was refreshing.

Being a merman, Calder oozes good looks and persuasive charm that Lily is able to resist, which bewilders Calder no end. It’s not until he drops the act that Lily, even remotely, starts to be intrigued by him. Lily puts up an amusing fight against Calder’s charms.

Calder, unlike his sisters, was made a merman, where his sisters were born mermaids. It’s through his short human life that I believe he is able to see what he does, and how monstrous merfolk are, without blinders. As much as I disliked Calder in the beginning, I did start rooting for him and my feelings toward him softened.

My only real complaint would be a lack of backstory on the Mer culture. Here was an opportunity for the writer to come up with some “mermaid rules for life”, and have fun with a subject there hasn’t had much written about (unlike vampires and werewolves), but she only gave us enough to get through the story.

I thought “Lies Beneath” was great as a stand-alone story. But I see it’s going to be a series. I’m not sure what more there is to experience with Calder and Lily, beyond my clich├ęd predictions...I was happy with everyone riding off into the sunset and letting the reader decide if and what the “happily ever after” was. That’s not to say I wouldn’t read a sequel, I’m just afraid it won’t be able to stand up to “Lies Beneath”.




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