Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Law Man ~ Kristen Ashley

Law Man (Dream Man, #3)Law Man by Kristen Ashley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

3.5 Stars.

Considering it's Christmas time, and this wasn't my favorite KA book, I will keep this review short and sweet.

I can pretty much sum up what i loved about this book in one word:

I loved him to pieces and was super excited to read his book.

Unfortunately, with as much as I loved Mitch, I really didn't like Mara. At all. I realize she had a lot of issues she was dealing with, but her wishy-washy personality and constant "uh...","um..."'s Her nearly paralyzing emotional problems -which Mitch kindly calls 'shyness' - was OTT, and yes she had a wacky family, but with the exception of Billy & Billie (loved them, despite the names), they didn't feel like the kind of real, three-dimensional characters that are one of KA's trademarks. Also the repeated references to her ridiculous 'rating' system was the thing that forced me to do something I have never done before while reading a KA book; roll my eyes.

So, this one was slightly disappointing for least in the realm of the usual KA-awesomeness.

IMO, Mitch deserved a much better leading lady.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

600 Hours Of Edward ~ Craig Lancaster

600 Hours of Edward600 Hours of Edward by Craig Lancaster
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

5+++ stars.

A beautifully written story about a 39 yr old man suffering from both OCD and Aspergers syndrome. I have so many emotions about this book, and I really need a few days to process them all before writing a proper review. I will say right now that this was one of the best books I have ever read, and that Edward is by far one of the most endearing characters I have ever been introduced to.


I am going to keep this short and sweet, since it has been a few weeks since i finished this book and I am still having trouble putting my thoughts into words about it.

I find it amazing that Lancaster was so successful in keeping the perfect balance between a sweet and touching story about an isolated man very much facing life as a misunderstood outsider, to a silly comedy about a misfit who lacks the people skills needed to navigate through day to day life. And that in a book of less than 300 pages he was able to get both sides of that man's story across so well.

Edward is all about routine. He starts his day by recording the time he opened his eyes and the weather forecast in a notebook he keeps beside the bed. He eats the same food week after week. He watches one episode of Dragnet (only from the last season) at 10pm every night. He writes a daily "Letter of Complaint" to people who anger him (a suggestion by his therapist, who also encourages him to never mail the letters but file them away instead) and is in bed each night by 12am. His life is on a continuous loop until his new neighbors arrive across the street. The way that Edward ends up dealing with that curve ball being thrown into his life is both touching and believable.

The way the author deals with Edward as a character is also damn close to perfect. His obsessive behavior never comes off as pathetic or makes the reader feel uncomfortable. Instead the author makes us fall in love with this flawed and troubled man in a way that makes his quirks only part of his charm.

I am so glad I decided to take a chance on this book, because this was a reading experience that will remain with me for a long time. And Edward is most definitely someone I will never forget.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Holly and Her Naughty eReader ~ Julianne Spencer

Holly and Her Naughty eReaderHolly and Her Naughty eReader by Julianne Spencer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

6 stars!

What an unexpected surprise this turned out to be!

I had spent the last month reading six Kristen Ashley books back to back. And while I adore her writing, I decided I should change things up a bit in order not burn myself out on her writing. So, I was looking around on Amazon for a quick, fun read and stumbled upon this freebie. I will freely admit to initially only being interested because the main character had my name (silly, i know), but once I read the synopsis, I knew this sounded like a book I would enjoy. And I definitely wasn't wrong.

You know that feeling you get when you're reading a really awesome book and you wish you could just transport yourself inside the story? To experience it as if you were one of the main characters? Well, thanks to a series of hilarious events, our intrepid protagonist Holly gets to do just that. Every time she picks up her beloved Kindle Fire, she literally finds herself inside the books she reads. Talk about a book nerd's dream come true!

Among the adventures we get to experience along with Holly: While diving into Breaking Dawn, Holly inhabits the body of Edward Cullen long enough to nix Bella's plans to name their baby Reneesme. In the gothic world of Wuthering Heights and in the body of Catherine, she steals away for a much needed night of passion with Heathcliff. But the one story Holly finds herself returning to again and again, is called His Golden Shackles. A Fifty Shades knockoff about a BDSM-loving billionaire wizard (yes...he's a wizard. And I really, really, really wish HGS was real because that's a combo I would LOVE to read about). And as with most things that seems too good to be true...there is a dark side to this book lover's paradise. Suddenly the lines between reality and fantasy begin to blur, and some mighty famous (and infamous) fictional characters decide that they want to come out and play in the real world.

One of the best aspects to this book, was the humor. I read the majority of the story with a huge, goofy grin on my face. Obviously from the subject matter the author has a wicked sense of humor and she comes up with some incredibly well done, yet wacky scenarios. The following was one of the highlights of the entire book for me.

At the end of the hall stood a slim man wearing a dark purple robe. He carried a long stick in his hand. "Hello little Muggles," he said.
"Muggles?" I said
The man had an oddly shaped head and was missing a nose.
"Is that...Voldemort?"
And then, I kid you not, the elevator door opened and Yoda stepped out.
"Oh dear, the little green elf has come back for more." said Voldemort.
"Lacking humility you are," Yoda responded before firing up his lightsaber and leaping out of the elevator like a spastic, acrobatic monkey.

Now there's an image that I won't soon forget.

While this book might not be for everyone, i found it to be completely charming and I can honestly say I had more fun reading this book than any other I have tackled in 2012.

If you're going to read something, then read it with gusto. Bring the world to life in your mind with all the vitality, nuance and adventure you can. Those characters are counting on you to make their world an interesting place to live.

This book is a hidden gem. Perfect for anyone who ever read a book and wanted to BE the characters. Which is just about everyone who comes on GR! It's FREE on Amazon. Grab it and read it...thank me later.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Quickie Reviews #5

Ten Shades of SexyTen Shades of Sexy by Shelly Thacker
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

A great premise....take some hot and steamy scenes from a few romance novels and put them all together in an anthology. Unfortunately, with the exception of the first excerpt (by Shelly Thacker) all the love scenes fell flat and ca me off as quite over the top and cheesy. Maybe the scenes need to be read in the scope of the actual book in order to work, but irregardless, this Kindle freebie ended up being very disappointing.

Down To YouDown To You by M. Leighton

*shakes head*


Why do i keep reading these books that so many people are going crazy over? Lately it seems like whenever I do, I end up feeling like I am reading a completely different book than everyone else. Once again, I went into a book with high expectations based on my friends reviews (about both the book and the author) and ended up being extremely disappointed.

I am not going to try and cover the plot, as so many others have already. What I will say is that i pretty much had deja vu reading this book. Despite the fact that most people claim that this book was unique and that the ending was a huge surprise, i feel like I have read different versions of the basic story many times before. It reminded me a lot of On Dublin Street (another book that everyone else seems to love that I did not enjoy at all), in that both books shared the common bond of having truly insufferable heroines. In this book we have Olivia, who has the power to make every man she runs into want her desperately. The whole twin thing with Cash and Nash (hate the names...gah!) wasn't very intriguing to me.

One of these days I will pick up a book that everyone is raving about and be able to share in the excitement. Unfortunately, today is not that day.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Breathe ~ Kristen Ashley

Breathe (Colorado Mountain, #4)Breathe by Kristen Ashley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Another 6 star book from Kristen Ashley!!

This book was probably the most emotional reading experience I have had all year. So beautiful, so heartbreaking, so uplifting. My emotions have run the gamut, and after reading this book I am completely convinced that Kristen Ashley is a Goddess among women, and has now rocketed up to the top of my favorite author list.

I have to admit, the previous book in this series Lady Luck was my least favorite. Not that I didn't end up enjoying that book, because I definitely did. My main problem was the fact that I wasn't able to connect to the hero Ty, in the way that I had with the leading men from the first two books in the series. But having said that - one of my favorite things about Lady Luck was the glimpse we got to see of police officer Chace Keaton. In fact, one of the best scenes in that book was towards the end when Lexie is having lunch with Chace and notices the way he looks at the shy, quiet, librarian Faye. The level of emotion and longing that KA managed to covey in such a short scene with a secondary character was so moving to me. I absolutely could not wait to dive into Chace & Faye's story.

This may sound silly, but literally from the first chapter I could tell Breathe was something special. So much so that I attempted to read this book slowly in order to truly enjoy the story and the characters. While I am a newbie to the KA universe (this is the 4th book I have read by her) this was without question the best of the bunch so far and I could easily sit here and gush about every little detail that I loved about the book, but I will attempt to keep myself under control. Now, having said that...


Soooo much to fangirl over, so little time....let's start with a girl after my own heart...Faye. KA has a habit of writing amazing female protagonists and I have to say, she outdid herself here. Faye is a librarian by profession, and a book nerd and geek at heart. She constantly has her nose in a book, she adores Battlestar Galactica, Psych & Firefly, has a crazy family and is a 29 year old virgin. And she has been carrying a torch for troubled police officer Chace Keaton for 13 years. I immediately felt connected to Faye for many reasons, especially because of her love for books and all things geeky. She was just a fantastic heroine and I loved her to pieces.

And then there's Chace. *SWOOOOOOOOOOON*

He has a troubled past and many demons. And thankfully KA didn't decide to make us read through hundreds of pages of angst while Chace battled his desire to have something good in his life. Almost from the beginning Chace decides he's not going to let anything or anyone stand in the way of what he wants. And what he wants is Faye.

The love story is pretty much perfect and Chace and Faye's chemistry is off the charts. She's goofy to his serious, and they make the perfect couple you can't help but root for. There are many things standing in the way of their happiness. But once again, I was so happy with the way KA handled the obstacles. All of the ups and downs of their relationship were handled in a believable way, and instead of needlessly ripping the two of them apart again and again just to add drama to the story, Chace & Faye handled everything thrown at them intelligently and most importantly, they handled the problems together.

As always, KA's knack of bringing us a cast of wonderful secondary characters holds true. It was wonderful seeing appearances by the main characters from the previous 3 books in the series (as well as a surprise appearance from a few favorites from another KA series).

I have to make special mention of the character of Miah. He was responsible for a lot of the tears I shed throughout reading this book. The story line involving him and his sister Becky were one of the things I loved most about an already beautiful book. But my gosh...the anguish I felt reading certain parts.

Some of my fave quotes:

"You're beautiful, a good kisser, this is our first date, my bed is in the room, I'm nervous as all heck and I just thought I was going to die after spitting out gum so no, I'm not all right."

He loved her calling him Chace.
But, her calling him honey was something else. Something pure. Something magical. Like the first snow of the season falling at night....
It was a little common miracle but even common, that made it no less miraculous.

"All mine", he muttered. "Christ, finally, all mine."

"You do not sleep without me" he paused then finished, "Ever."

The best heroes always have scars.

Now that i have finished this book, I definitely look at it as a gift. I have stated this in other reviews of KA's books, but she is absolutely responsible for bringing back my love of reading. I am so grateful to have discovered her books, and if there is one downside to it all...I am now a full fledged KA Addict and I know there is no cure in sight. But honestly, this is one addiction I can be proud of. :)

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Roadkill ~ Rob Thurman

Roadkill (Cal Leandros, #5)Roadkill by Rob Thurman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Rating: 6 stars
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Depth of the Characters: 6 stars. Rob Thurman is a master at this.
Where it ranks in the series thus far: #1 - hands down the best and most emotionally engaging book of an already fantastic series.

This book made me cry. Not one or two random tears...this book made me sob like a baby that just had her favorite blanket stolen from her. Not because this was the end of the series (which it thankfully isn't) and not because we ended up losing one of the main characters (which i spent a good deal of the book believing we would, but thankfully once again didn't happen), I cried because this book was

Okay, so crying myself into a massive headache sounds like a strange reaction to a good book. Lord knows it has only happened to me once or twice before. I guess the real reason i cried was due to the characters.I felt the pain and frustration of these characters...for the impossible choices they had to make. The characters of Niko, Cal and Robin have always been some of my favorites in any type of fiction, but with Roadkill we had the added bonus of Rafferty and Catcher. and they were the ones I was most drawn to here. I'm not really going to say anything about them (to avoid another weeping fit) other than to just let anyone reading this know that their relationship was so spot on perfect. And it mirrored the relationship between Cal & Niko...which was part of the reason their story destroyed me on such a deep level.

Rob Thurman has long been one of my favorite authors, but with Roadkill she had vaulted to the top of the pack.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Beautiful Bastard ~ Christina Lauren

Beautiful Bastard (Beautiful Bastard, #1)Beautiful Bastard by Christina Lauren
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

*ARC provided by edelweiss & Gallery Books*

*deeep, cleansing breath*

My first thought after finishing this was...

Honestly, I had heard some...shall we say...interesting things about this book, so I didn't exactly go into it thinking it was going to be much more than a fun read. What I ended up with was a hot mess the likes of which I have come across very rarely in my life as a book nerd.

Let me just say, I have nothing against fan fiction. In fact, I have written my fair share of it in the past. So, it's not like I had a problem with this book starting out as Twilight fanfic. But, this book was just beyond ridiculous. I know some people enjoyed it for the mere fact that some of the scenes and dialogue were funny (and obviously not intentionally so), but for me...the enjoyment ended at around the 25% mark. By that point I was so sick of the angry (and not at all erotic) sex scenes and inane dialogue that I had to start skimming in order to make it to the end.

The dialogue....oh sweet muppets in space, the dialogue was horrible. I know this sounds harsh, but I swear sometimes it came off as being written by a demented 5 year old. I mean, in comparison Fifty Shades was eloquent & heartfelt. And I am all for a good smutty read, but I do like a bit of a story line to go along with the sex. The attempt at a 'plot' here was half-hearted at best, and ended up as nothing more than filler to break up what would have otherwise been just one incredibly long and drawn out sex scene.

There is nothing new here. Nothing interesting. Arrogant, rich & impossibly gorgeous businessman finds himself drawn to his beguiling and sassy employee. Both parties half-heartedly try to resist the temptation to hump like bunnies and hold off for all of about 30 seconds. Rinse and repeat.

And a review for this book would not be complete without mentioning Bennett's obsession with panties. He keeps a drawer full of all the ones he's ripped off of Chloe during their angry sex sessions.

I wish i could have embraced this book the way some people have. Maybe the fact that I have burned myself out on all the Fifty Shades clones out there and it clouded my judgement. But this book was just one long, painful fail for me.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Under The Mistletoe ~ Jill Shalvis

Under the Mistletoe (Lucky Harbor, #6.5)Under the Mistletoe by Jill Shalvis
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

First off, this is a novella...a really short novella, which is disappointing since the story felt totally rushed, and just when I felt like I was starting to like the hero, the story ended (color me shocked when this already short novella ended abruptly at 55% - the remaining 45% consisted of previews for other books in the series. I really hate when publishers do that. Grrr).

My second problem was that I was extremely disappointed to realize that Mia's HEA didn't involve her Lucky Harbor boyfriend, Carlos. I thought the two of them made such a sweet couple, and when i saw this was about Mia, I just assumed that this was their story. But no...she has moved away and fallen for another man, and Carlos has another girlfriend. *sniffle* So...I guess because of that, and due once again to the shortness of the story, I wasn't really happy with who she ended up with. Nick may have grown on me over the course of a full length novel, but he didn't make that great of an impression on me in this super quick holiday story.

On the bright side, it was great to see Jax & Maddie. Chloe & Sawyer and Tara & Ford (Mia's parents) once again. I do love the residents of Lucky Harbor and while I have enjoyed the last couple of books in the series quite a bit, it was wonderful to see the original 3 couples once again.

So, this may have fallen a bit flat for me, but I am still a huge fan of the series and beyond excited that there are more adventures in Lucky Harbor on the horizon.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Lady Luck ~ Kristen Ashley

Lady Luck (Colorado Mountain, #3)Lady Luck by Kristen Ashley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was definitely my least favorite of the series so far, but overall I still really enjoyed it even though the story line and leading man didn't completely capture my heart.

This book definitely had a different feel to it from the previous two books in the series, The Gamble and Sweet Dreams. The story line was much grittier and a lot darker. We find out pretty early on that our hero is a completely different breed of leading man. Ty is much quieter, and far more serious than either Max or Tate. And his past was far from pretty. He had a horrible childhood (both main characters did), and than this horrible injustice was done to him resulting in his spending 5 years in jail for something he didn't do. So...the man has a reason to be angry. However....he occasionally steps over the line and crosses over into asshat territory more than once. And this was the reason I had a hard time falling under the spell he seems to have cast on many fans of this series. There were 2 instances where he did or said something to the heroine, Lexi, that left me completely speechless by their cruelty. Yes, I realize that he had his reasons, but still...he crossed a line both times and i found it very hard to forgive him.

Having said that, I can say I did end up warming up a little to him towards the end of the book, and was happy with the way that Ty & Lexi's HEA played out.

"My Ty."
Christ. Fuck.
Two words. Just two words. Walker had no clue that two words could mean so fucking much. He'd never belonged to anyone. He'd never belonged anywhere. Never thought he wanted to.
Until he heard those two words.

Because if you don't know how good something can be, you don't how bad you'll miss it when it's gone.

The two best aspects of this book were definitely LEXI (she was beyond awesome in just about every way) & I also loved getting to see Tate, Laurie and some of the other citizens of Carnal that we were introduced to in Sweet Dreams. We even had a bit of Nina & a passing mention of my beloved Max (swoooooon).

So, let me just make it clear. I enjoyed this book. KA's writing style is so engaging and addictive that even when I have issues with the story i still keep turning the pages because I can't wait to find out what happens next. So, even though it didn't rock my socks off as much as the other books in the series did, it was still a good read.

And finally...even though I wasn't the biggest fan of Ty, I did have a certain image of him in my mind, and even though this is probably far away from how KA imagined him....especially considering the hair...this was MY version of Ty Walker.

"Never had light in my life, never, not once. I lived wild but didn't burn bright until you shined your light on me."

Friday, November 30, 2012

Sweet Dreams ~ Kristen Ashley

Sweet Dreams (Colorado Mountain, #2)Sweet Dreams by Kristen Ashley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

6 stars!

My second KA read turned out to be nearly as enjoyable as my first!

My Tate

So, going into this book I knew it would be almost impossible to surpass the love I had for the first book in the series, The Gamble. And while I had some issues with Tate in the beginning, and never quite warmed up to Lauren the way I did to Nina, this book still ended up blowing me away.

Let me just put this out there :

Technically The Gamble is slightly longer, but I have to admit Sweet Dreams felt like a much longer book. Not because I found it to be boring in any way...just because there was just so much going on. In fact about half way through I literally had to take a break from the book for a few hours just because I felt like I was trying to process too much information at one time and needed to give my poor brain a rest!

Tate is a much different breed of Alpha then my beloved Max was in The Gamble. First of all - Tate is an all out, balls-to-the-wall badass biker mofo. He was also much moodier and more dangerous. And in the beginning he said something about the heroine that I honestly didn't think I would be able to forgive him for. But thankfully I did manage to get past it (as did Lauren), and came to discover that with all his faults, Tate was indeed a wonderfully complex, if slightly cranky Alpha who I definitely ended up falling for in the end.

As I have already said, I was never able to quite warm up to Lauren completely. There were several little things that annoyed me about her personality, and I am never fond of the heroine that every male within a 100 mile radius falls in love with. But having said that, Lauren and Tate's romance was a beautiful thing to watch unfold. I also loved her interactions with Tate's son, Jonas (who completely stole my heart).

The secondary characters were wonderful (I especially loved Shambles and Sunny) and the suspense element in the book worked very well, even though the actual conclusion of that part of the plot seemed a teeny bit rushed. Although considering this book was nearly 600 pages long nothing about it was too rushed. :P

Unlike many other reviewers, the fact that KA is so detail oriented in her stories (descriptions of what the characters are wearing etc) doesn't really bother me. The constant repetitiveness of certain phrases ("sorry?" "Come again?" etc) was a little bit bothersome, but again, KA's story was just so damn engaging that I was gladly able to look past the imperfections and just embrace my love for the characters and their world.

Once again I find myself sooo glad that I decided to give KA's books another try because I haven't enjoyed reading this much in far too long. I can't wait to dive into Lady Luck next!

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Gamble ~ Kristen Ashley

The Gamble (Colorado Mountain, #1)The Gamble by Kristen Ashley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

6 stars!!!

It's rare that I finish a book and can't wait to write a review for it but at the same time I haven't a clue what I should say about something that touched me as deeply as this book touched me. Many others have given incredibly eloquent reviews for this book, so I will bypass trying to sound like I know what I'm talking about as far as story line and world building goes, and instead focus on talking about the many things I loved about this book and these characters.

Shortly after finishing this book tonight a song popped up on my iPod that pretty much captured my version of Max & Nina and their amazingly beautiful relationship.

I walked, through the thickness of your heart
Straight through the middle of your deepest, darkest dream
I wrote the melody that brought you back to life, love
Come hear it for yourself

Who says we're wrong for opening the wrong doors?
Lock up, swallow the key
You'll never replace me.
'Cause back then I told you, if you fall I'll fall too
Wake up and feel the breeze
You'll never replace me

~Replace Me by Andrew Belle

That's always been one of my favorite songs, but now it will forever have even deeper meaning for me.

Things I loved About The Gamble:

First and foremost?

"Yes, I was right. Max was becoming more wonderful and I was in trouble."

You and me both, sister! Holy....cow.
I recently wrote a review for another book where I mentioned that there was a difference between being a strong Alpha Male and being a bully. In my opinion...Max is the epitome of the perfect Alpha Male. Dominant? yes. Possessive? Hell yes. But mean and cruel? Never. Max literally adores Nina practically from the moment he first sees her, and he doesn't have any problem showing how he feels. Be it the fact that he is always touching her in some way, even in front of both their families. Or the way he remembers the small things, like how she likes her coffee, or if she drinks in the evening she'll be passed out dead asleep within a couple of hours. Or, most tellingly...and this comes at the very beginning of their relationship...the way he takes care of Nina when she is delirious with a fever. I mean, could there be a more perfect man?

"Found somethin' I want, don't tend to fuck around when that happens, Duchess. Ever."

"You think to slide back, settle for something that made you run away because you think it's safe, because it's familiar, because you're scared of taking a gamble on me. I'm warnin' you now, Duchess, I'm not gonna allow that." I said...he's pretty much perfect. <3


"Only Holden Maxwell would think my neurotic was cute."

God, I loved this woman! And I think part of the reason I did was because I could somewhat relate to her. We have similar insecurities and I understood why she warred with herself over letting herself get close to Max, expecting that she would always be 'second best' to him. Which made their HEA that much sweeter. <3

And speaking of that HEA...

**The Epilogue
Without giving anything away, all I can say is Swooooooooon!!!
It wrapped up Nina & Max's story perfectly and I have to say I adored getting a glimpse inside the mind of Max at the very end of the book. It just capped off what had already been one of the most enjoyable reading experiences I have had in a really long time.

Funny thing is, several months ago I attempted to read this book and gave up without even making it to the end of the first chapter. I'm not sure if i was just not in the mood for a romance, or hell...maybe i was just in a crappy mood that day. Whatever the case may be, I am so glad...that i decided to give this book another shot. Because I absolutely loved every minute of the ride this time. And I can't wait to dive into more books by this author!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Bittersweet Seraphim Blog Tour!!

Bittersweet Seraphim has been released from Hell.

Satan Jack invites you to come…and indulge yourself in his journey to save the angel he loves. After running Hell for over a thousand years one foul-mouthed Seraph has changed his end game.
Even if it means destroying the universe, Jack refuses to give up on Emma. He didn’t know what love was until Emma’s skin pressed against his, the addiction to any of his other vices paling in comparison. Jack has never been a fearful man, but he gets it now. Fear comes when you have something to lose. Or someone.

Suffering is worst when you’re doing it alone. But Emma’s taking Hell like an angel—even though her languishing began with having her seraph wings torn from her back. Now her worst enemy lords his body and his evil desires over her while she tries desperately to remember the words to her favorite prayer. As Devil, Jack used to have Hell and its women humming like well-oiled machines. Too bad he’s nowhere near the place now. Stuck on Earth as a human, he must work with a ragtag team of exiled minions and half-breeds to save the angel who’s become all that matters. Rescuing a seraph is the plan, but breaking into Hell means letting evil things out. Once they collide, minions and angels converge in the battle of the ages: good versus evil. But which side is which? Will Jack destroy the world as he fights to save Emma, his true and timeless love, from a damnation he designed? An action-packed sequel to Crushed Seraphim, this tale reveals—time and again—what happens when the heart’s deepest desires break free. With a story both sizzling and sensual, emotional and enigmatic, Debra Anastasia invites readers to join a battle with nothing less than love on the line.

2 lucky winners will each receive an eBook copy of Bittersweet Seraphim.

It's pretty simple. There are only two requirements to enter.
1. You must subscribe to this blog.
2. Leave a comment on this blog post with your email address and tell us who your number one Book Boyfriend is and why.
That's it!

A HUGE thank you to the amazing Debra Anastasia & OmniFic Publishing for making this giveaway possible!

Good luck everyone!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

This Man ~ Jodi Ellen Malpas

This Man (This Man, #1)This Man by Jodi Ellen Malpas
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Attempting to write a review for this book without allowing myself to go off on a rant about everything that bothered me about the story would be next to impossible. So, consider yourself warned.

I am a fan of the Alpha Male character in books. Hell, gimme an Uber-Alpha Male and I'm an even happier girl. But...there is a difference between being an Alpha Male and being an obnoxious bully. Sometimes the lines blur, but in the case of this book...there is no question that the character of Jesse Ward is a first class asshat.

Let me make this clear: There is nothing sexy about Jesse's behavior in this book. Nothing. He becomes obsessed with and begins systematically stalking Ava after their first encounter. Calling her phone dozens of times and when she refuses to answer he goes out and gets a new cell phone so he can trick her by calling her from another phone number. Showing up at her house in the middle of the night, banging on her door and screaming like a madman until she lets him in. Calling and blowing up at her for not calling him as soon as she got home after spending the night with him (oh, and did I mention the fact that she wanted to return home the night before but he physically restrained her from leaving?). I'm sorry, but if someone acted like that in real life, his ass would get arrested pretty damn quick.

As far as the sex scenes go...I am far from a prude. In fact a large portion of the books I have read in 2012 have been erotica & BDSM related. Having said that, in my opinion there is nothing sexy about basically forcing a particular sex act on someone regardless of the fact that the woman 'ended up liking it'. After that scene it became increasingly difficult for me to continue on to the end of this book.

Oh, and did i mention how Malpas described Jesse as being twitchy, having clammy hands and having a habit of heavy breathing on Ava?!

As others have mentioned, this book is by an independent British author who continually uses many British terms that are unfamiliar. I can pretty much ignore that most of the time and something like that very rarely makes me enjoy a good book less. However, here I found myself downright confused at times. Ava repeatedly describes Jesse's eyes as being "sludgy". Now, I am assuming that the author meant this in a positive way (considering she uses the term when Ava is waxing poetic about how impossibly perfect Jesse is), but it just didn't compute with me. Maybe's it's some obscure British-ism, but it was especially distracting given how many times the author used the term.

Speaking of which...and I feel like I'm having a Fifty Shades of Grey flashback here, but this author was extremely repetitive. Jesse was continually yelling at Ava about cursing ("Watch your mouth, lady!") even while cursing himself. And dear Lord in heaven I think I speak for everyone who read this book when I ask the following question:


I really wish the author had cleared that up because I was so damn sick of Ava pontificating about it throughout the book. In the beginning, Ava comments that Jesse looks to be in his early 30's, but at other times she acts like he is a dirty old man and must be in his 40's or 50's because she constantly comments about how much older he is than her (even though she is in her mid 20's). That was just one more aspect of the story line that I found maddening.

Despite what it might sound like given the tone of this review, I did go into this book with an open mind, wanting to like it. Unfortunately it was 100% not for me.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Quickie Reviews #4

The Darkest Fire (Lords of the Underworld, #0.5 Prequel)The Darkest Fire by Gena Showalter
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

When the wall separating Hell from mankind begins to crack and fall apart, a Goddess and a smitten demon go on a quest to save the world.

Granted it has literally been YEARS since I read a LOTU book (and I have actually only ever read the first one), but this prequel novella doesn't really inspire me to dive into the series any further. The writing seemed very over the top and corny at times. Especially when the demon is waxing poetic about how much he loves the Goddess, but how she will never love him back blah blah blah. I don't know, I guess I was just hoping for a lot more. Something to really catch my interest and make me want to continue on with a series that has been sitting on my TBR shelf for a looooong time. Unfortunately, this story didn't do it for me.

On Dublin StreetOn Dublin Street by Samantha Young
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Unpopular Opinion Time:
I didn't love this book. I didn't even like it that much.

Dodges rotten tomatoes

I keep reading books that so many of my friends are going nuts over (Beautiful Disaster,Divergent , Captive in the Dark) and I feel like I am reading a completely different book than they are, because I have just not been impressed with any of them.

I'm not sure what my problem was with this book. Other than I felt like I had read this story so many times before. Troubled/damaged/insecure woman trying to make a new life for herself becomes the object of affection/obsession for a wealthy uber-alpha dog male. Been there. Done that.

I didn't like Joss and Braden as characters. I can't exactly put my finger on why exactly. But, i didn't feel the insane chemistry so many people said they got out of their story. I think I may have just read too many books with this theme and I am just burned out. Either way, I was disappointed. I wanted to be excited over this, but just wasn't. :(

Eternal Hunter (Night Watch, #1)Eternal Hunter by Cynthia Eden
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Oh Cynthia Eden, you do have a knack for creating some yummy heroes. They have just the right mix of Alpha Male & Protectiveness without coming off as either a bully or a stalker. The writing style can seem a bit...fluffy at times, but what the heck? I like that every once in a while.

This was a very quick read. As I have said in the past, the majority of Paranormal Romances are all about enjoyment...going on a fun, sexy ride (Unless of course your name happens to be J. R. Ward and then it's a COMPLETELY different emotional ballgame, but I digress...). And this book definitely fits that description to a tee.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Head Over Heels ~ Jill Shalvis

Head Over Heels (Lucky Harbor, #3)Head Over Heels by Jill Shalvis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The third book in the Lucky Harbor series lacks a bit of the emotional punch that the previous two books had, but it was still a wonderfully romantic charmer.

This is book focuses on Chloe, the free-spirited wild child of the family. She is having to deal with overcoming both her at times crippling asthma and her past as someone who prefers to run away from her problems, and is enjoying life in Lucky Harbor working with her sisters at the families B&B. But she especially enjoys playing cat & mouse with the local Sheriff Sawyer Thompson, a seemingly no-nonsense man who is constantly frustrated by Chloe's antics.

The chemistry between Chloe and Sawyer has been on a slow burn since the first book in the series, and Shalvis definitely delivers on all the buildup. The two characters are a perfect match for each other, and it was always entertaining watching Sawyer go running to the rescue after another one of Chloe's mis-adventures. Where the story stumbles a bit is when the two decide that they want to be together. I felt some of the stumbling blocks in their way were a bit of filler to prolong the book, and then the actual ending was sort of flat. But, that is just in comparison to the previous two books...which were perfection in my opinion, so I am holding these books up to an exceedingly high standard.

This was still a very enjoyable story and a great addition to the Lucky Harbor series.

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Monday, October 29, 2012

Quickie Reviews #3

Fifty Shames of Earl GreyFifty Shames of Earl Grey by Fanny Merkin
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I was all for reading a book that poked fun at the Fifty Shades craze (even though I did like that series), and while the beginning of this book was somewhat enjoyable, the jokes fell flat pretty quickly.

All i can say is, it was a good idea that the author chose to make this a short book because the juvenile humor was definitely grating on my nerves after a while. I actually had a hard time finishing this because I felt like the author kept making the same joke over and over again.

Not much else to say about this really. Fifty Shades is the perfect candidate for a spoof, but this book definitely fell short of the mark in my opinion.

Anything He Wants (Dominated by the Billionaire, #1)Anything He Wants by Sara Fawkes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Hard to believe I actually feel the need to write a review for a novella that is only 25 pages long, but here goes.

The highlight of Lucy's day is riding in the elevator each morning on her way to work. There she gets to sneak glances at a businessman who is the embodiment of all of her fantasies. One day, the two are alone in the elevator, and the businessman lets Lucy know that she hasn't been the only one doing a little fantasizing.

The comparisons to Fifty Shades of Grey are obvious. But, that doesn't detract from the sheer steamy goodness of this quickie. I would have preferred the author to publish the entire story as a novel, instead of in serial installments, but you can't have everything. Having said that, this was a very enjoyable first course. ;)

BloodmanBloodman by Robert Pobi
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I am always looking for a good scary read, and I had high hopes for this one. But unfortunately, this was a huge disappointment.

FBI agent Jake Cole comes back to his hometown after his ailing father has an accident. He soon gets caught up investigating a series of extremely grizzly murders, and finds himself questioning what is what isn't reality.

This book is very dark and brooding, which works for the premise. However the author not only went overboard on the minute details, but the characters tended to ramble on to the point where I found myself skimming ahead several times. It is hard for me to lose myself in a book if i find myself getting annoyed by how much the story is dragging. Bloodman could have done with some heavy editing, and probably about 100 less pages.

Several people have mentioned how shocking the ending was. I went into this book knowing absolutely nothing about the plot, but I still managed to figure out where the story was going, and what the supposed "twist" would end up being within the first 20-30 pages. That probably had a lot to do with why I didn't end up enjoying this as much as some other reviewers have.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Quickie Reviews #2

One Breath AwayOne Breath Away by Heather Gudenkauf
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A man walks into a school in a small town, taking a class hostage. Outside, as a huge snowstorm approaches the townspeople struggle to not only figure out who the man is, but also the motive behind the attack.

This book knocked my socks off. It has been a long time since I picked up a book and wanted to stay firmly planted on the couch until I had reached the end, but this was definitely one of those books. The author kept me guessing as to the identity of the gunman until *almost* the very end, which is always a joy for me, since I tend to figure out who the bad guy is pretty early on (i did figure out who it was slightly before the big reveal). The story is told in alternating POV's which i really enjoyed, ad it added to the tension of the story. The end of each chapter felt like it's own little cliffhanger, which was awesome.

I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a great whodunit and for those just looking for a good 'can't-put-it-down-for-a-second' type story.

Dark Citadel (Masters of the Shadowlands, #2)Dark Citadel by Cherise Sinclair
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Cherise Sinclair has a knack for writing a great story that manages to stay firmly planted in the lighter side of the sometimes dark depths of BDSM fiction.

Kari is brought to Club Shadowlands by her over-bearing boyfriend for Beginner's Night. Kari quickly decides that while she is intrigued by the BDSM lifestyle, she has had enough of her boyfriend's bullying ways and decides to dump the SOB shortly after arriving at the club. But, before she can leave, she is intercepted by Master Dan who offers to take her under his gorgeously sculpted wing and show her the ropes.

Dan has not allowed himself to form any kind of attachment to a woman since the death of his wife, so he believes that this will be a one time thing. Of course things don't go according to plan and Kari and Master Dan form a bond and lots of steaminess ensue.

This is a quick fun read and Sinclair definitely knows how to write about this lifestyle without overwhelming anyone. I'm a big fan of this series.

Cut & Run (Cut & Run #1)Cut & Run by Abigail Roux
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

FBI agents Ty & Zane are less than thrilled to be partnered up to investigate a possible serial killer. They are both considered somewhat troubled by the bureau, so on the surface is seems like a partnership made in hell. But, before long the two men have grown incredibly attached to each other, and learn that they work very well as a team.

It has been a long time since i read a M/M romance, and I am so glad I stumbled upon this series. I loved just about every aspect of this story, and Ty and Zane are a couple to be reckoned with. They are both intensely Alpha so it is always entertaining to see their interactions in and out of the bedroom.

The fact that I could spot who the killer was almost right off the bat, didn't really detract from my enjoyment of the story, because the mystery element was definitely second fiddle to the romantic aspect of Ty and Zane getting to know each other and developing the chemistry that by the end is absolutely blisteringly hot.

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Last Policeman ~ Ben H Winters

The Last PolicemanThe Last Policeman by Ben H. Winters
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Detective Hank Palace is dedicated to his job. So dedicated in fact that even as the world is counting down the days until the end of the world, he's still committed to solving his case. A case that no one else believes needs solving.

A huge meteor is barreling towards earth and there is seemingly no way to stop it. So, people all over the world have decided to stop going to work, stop paying their bills...stop living every-day, normal lives. They have pretty much given up all hope in the face of what seems to be a definite end date to the human race. The death by hanging that Palace is investigating is just considered another suicide, but Palace is determined to prove everyone wrong and isn't going to let a little thing like the end of the world stand in the way of getting to the truth.

What a truly wonderful & original Ben H Winters has created. In Detective Palace, Winters has created a truly likable and relate-able character. He is a simple man who chooses to deal with the impending apocalypse by throwing himself into his job. By fighting for the memory of a man that most people considered forgettable.

This book exceeded all of my expectations and I am anxious to see where Winters takes the story in the next installment.  

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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Devoured ~ Emily Snow

Devoured (Devoured, #1)Devoured by Emily Snow
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

4.5 stars

A few thoughts after finishing Devoured.

1. Lucas. Holy Hotness Batman, that man was my favorite kind of uber-alpha hero. He was beyond yummy and definitely the reason I read this one so quickly.

2. This book was shorter than I expected, and in many ways certain parts of the story felt a bit rushed while other times i found myself thinking 'okay, let's get on with it.' In fact, i would have to say that 75% of this book was build-up...which is fine, but I would be lying if I didn't admit that i kinda wished we had more (a lot more) Si/Lucas time and less of the cat & mouse game. Having said that, when Si finally does decide to give herself completely to Lucas their love scene was well done...if a little short and less descriptive than I would have liked. I mean come on...considering this book is about a man obsessed with the idea of this woman being his submissive, I was expecting a LOT more in the sex scene dept. Not exactly Fifty Shades kind of descriptive, but...just more. In all honesty it felt a little like Snow wanted to gloss over the actual love scene and focus instead on the unconventional love story she was building up to. Which is totally fine. Just being honest with what my expectations were going into this.

3. There were several typos, but nothing out of the ordinary for a self-published book.

4. Okay, one thing that really did bug me? WHY is it that every time I read a book like this (i.e. alpha male Dom tries to get a hesitant woman to be his submissive) there is ALWAYS a psycho ex girlfriend/wife/lover etc in the man's past?!? I mean it is in every freaking one of these books I have read. GAH!!!

5. But in the end....none of my little nit-picky problems with this book really matter because I truly loved this story overall, and I have 2 words for you...THE. ENDING. Probably one of my favorite endings I have read all year. It was sooo well done and perfect. And even though I am thrilled that Si & Lucas' story is going to continue, I would have been okay with this being a standalone, simply because of the beautiful ending.

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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Easy ~ Tammara Webber

EasyEasy by Tammara Webber
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

After finishing this book, I can describe it perfectly in two words.

Swoon Worthy.

If ever there was a book that could be labeled as Swoon Worthy, it is most definitely Easy by Tammara Webber.

Jacqueline is on her way home from a frat party one night when she is attacked by one of her ex-boyfriend's friends. She ends up being rescued by mysterious, fellow college student Lucas. Jacqueline doesn't remember seeing Lucas around campus before, but Lucas has definitely noticed her. The two embark on a friendship and a romance that is truly wonderful to experience as a reader. Webber writes the story in such a way that you feel like you are experiencing everything right along with the characters.

Jacqueline is one of the most endearing and memorable female leads I have come across in quite some time. Even though she struggles to deal with what happened to her at the party, she is by no means a victim. She is a fighter. And thank heavens she didn't turn out to be one of those female characters who goes through a traumatic experience and ends up pushing everyone around her away. She wants to be with Lucas. She wants to be close to him, and with the exception of some mild trepidation in the beginning, she embraces that fact. She realizes that Lucas enables her to be even stronger, and they end up helping each other in so many different ways through the course of this book.

And that leads me to Lucas. I have basically had the same list of my Top 5 Favorite Male characters for a looooong time. It never changes. Well, someone is getting bumped, because Lucas has shot to the top of that list. He is pretty much my idea of the perfect guy. He's sweet, Caring, Empathetic, intelligent, artistic. He loves with every fiber of his being and he doesn't care what anyone else thinks of him. Yes, he has his demons. But, unlike many other characters i could name (*COUGHjacewaylandCOUGH*) he doesn't deal with them by being a complete asshole to the people in his life (for the most part anyway). The way that he cares for Jacqueline he is constantly pushing her to be able to defend take care of HERSELF, not just trying to swoop in and be the hero...oh my GAWD! That is swoon-worthy right there! And did I mention that the boy is all kinds of insanely hot? Tall and lanky, dark hair...tattoos. A lip ring....he even makes a lip ring sexy.

Okay, Full Disclosure time: The whole Lucas/Landon aspect...was a bit silly. I could see how that was going to play out from the beginning. However, i LOVED the text/email banter, so it kind of made the distracting plot twist worth it in the end.

Also, this book is listed as YA, but it would definitely have to be considered MATURE YA. Not only because it deals with the subject of rape & attempted rape, but also because the love scenes between Jacqueline/Lucas are...beyond steamy. Like off the steam meter. So just keep that in mind.

One of the main things that kept running through my head while reading this book was why i had never read anything by Tammara Webber before. This may have been my first book by her, but it definitely won't be my last.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Sweetest Thing ~ Jill Shalvis

The Sweetest Thing (Lucky Harbor, #2)The Sweetest Thing by Jill Shalvis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ah Lucky I wish I could somehow find a way to make you a real place so I could move there and find myself a hunky man to call my own.

This is the second book in the series, and I do believe my personal favorite to date. This time around the focus is on Tara, the unflappable, straight-laced sister to wild-child Chloe and slightly wacky and wonderful Maddie. Tara has decided to stay on in Lucky Harbor to try and help her sisters get their Mother's old B&B back up and running, serving as the resident chef and Mother Hen. But staying in town means seeing ex-boyfriend Ford on a daily basis. And things are complicated further by the arrival of both Tara's estranged husband - intent on winning her back, and the long lost daughter that Tara and Ford gave up for adoption years before.

Yes, the story line sounds a bit convoluted, but trust works on every single level. This is not just a cliche' romance. This book has heart and will win over even the most jaded soul. It definitely won me over. I loved reading about the citizens of Lucky Harbor, and Tara and Ford's story was especially affecting due to the added element of first love, and the fact that they had a daughter together at such an early age.

I loved seeing Maddie & Jax again. And I will always enjoy spending time with all of the crazy residents of this quirky town. This book also happens to feature what was probably my favorite HEA moment of any romance I have read in recent memory (the ending had me more than a little teary-eyed).

This series is just flawless in my opinion, and Jill Shalvis is now at the top of my must-read authors list.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Enclave ~ Ann Aguirre

Enclave (Razorland, #1)Enclave by Ann Aguirre
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Deuce is a teenage girl living in one of many self-contained Enclaves located in the sewer-system in a post-apocalyptic version of NYC. She has just become a Hunter (someone who patrols the tunnels, protecting their home from the zombie-like creatures they call Freaks) and has been teamed up with another Hunter named Fade. One day, Deuce pulls a Katniss and decides to sacrifice herself in place of one of her friends and is banished from her Enclave and forced to venture into the city above. This is basically considered a death sentence, since NYC is considered an uninhabitable wasteland. So Fade chooses to go with her having spent part of his childhood above-ground before making his way down into the tunnels.

This book felt a little like 2 seperate stories. There was Deuce's life at the Enclave, and then there was her life Top-Side. There were many dangers in the tunnels, but once she and Fade venture into the actual city above, they have even more things to worry about.

Enclave was an incredibly dark book. Especially after the story moves into the city. The people that Deuce and Fade encounter there are even more terrifying then the Freaks, which is saying a lot.

My one and only problem with this book was when the author felt the need to introduce a love triangle into the mix. Not only was it an unnecessary plot element, but it was also completely unbelievable considering the actions of the third party when the character was introduced to the reader. The idea that Deuce would be able to develop feelings for someone so cruel and barbaric was just completely ridiculous to me. The romantic angst towards the end of the book was a bit off-putting to be honest.

But, overall this was a terrific and original take on a dystopian world, and I look forward to reading book two Outpost.

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Monday, September 17, 2012

Envy ~ JR Ward

Envy (The Fallen Angels, #3)Envy by J.R. Ward
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Police Detective Thomas DelVecchio has been living in the shadow of his infamous serial killer father for his entire life and is considered something of a loose cannon at his new job in Caldwell NY. Finding himself alone at the scene of a vicious attack on a suspected murderer, "Veck" has no memory of what happened and finds himself beginning to lose his precarious grip on reality. One of the only people who believes in Veck's innocence is Internal Affairs officer Reilly, the person ordered to keep tabs on him.

This series started out so promising with the first book, Covet which I absolutely loved, but then fell apart in spectacular fashion with the second book Crave. This third book sort of falls somewhere in the middle.

The character of Thomas DelVecchio was first introduced in Ward's other (and far superior) series The Black Dagger Brotherhood, when he showed up in Lover Unleashed. To be honest, I was not a fan of him there. He came off as cocky and snide, and when i found out he was due to be the focus of this book, I was less than thrilled. However, I found myself being surprisingly drawn to his character in this setting. Although you could argue he was just another one of Ward's signature tortured heroes, I found myself liking him more and more as I read the book.

Reilly was another story altogether. She came across as very two dimensional and her constant flip-flop decision making was totally unbelievable especially given her profession working in Internal Affairs. Ward usually writes her heroines as strong no-nonsense woman, but with Reilly (as with the heroine in Crave, Grier) she has delivered a very forgettable wishy-washy female.

The main reason I keep sticking with this series is because of the character of Jim, the Fallen Angel and the heart of each story. His passion and determination to make things right has kept me coming back to these books even when I feel like walking away for good. I honestly wish that the focus of the series would be more on Jim and his band of Rebel Fallen Angels, than on the sometimes boring humans he spends so much time trying to save.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Such Wicked Intent ~ Kenneth Oppel

Such Wicked Intent (The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein, #2)Such Wicked Intent by Kenneth Oppel
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I was a HUGE fan of the first book of The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein series, This Dark Endeavor. That book was chock full of genuinely creepy surprises, and I loved the whole Gothic, claustrophobic feel of the story.

Unfortunately, this book seems to suffer from "2nd Book Syndrome". Which is what I call the annoying trend of sequels never living up to the awesomeness of the first book in a series. I have been running into this quite a bit lately, and it's more than a little depressing.

While the overall story was enjoyable, there were several times that I did find myself rolling my eyes while reading about the adventures of Victor, Henry and Elizabeth. While the first book did have it's intense moments, I feel like Such Wicked Intent went more for the gross-out factor, then for the much more satisfying uber-creepiness that was found in TDE.

Victor was a cocky SOB from the beginning, but his un-likability level went up a bit in this book, and I found it hard to root for someone so hell-bent on self-destruction.

But, even though i did have several issues with the book...this series is still quite entertaining, and one that I hope the author decides to continue.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Simply Irresistible ~ Jill Shalvis

Simply Irresistible (Lucky Harbor, #1)Simply Irresistible by Jill Shalvis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Needing a fresh start after a nasty break up and losing her job, Maddie decides to move to picturesque Lucky Harbor and attempt to start a new life running her mom's B&B with her estranged sisters Tara and Chloe. There she meets bar owner/contracter Jax (sparks fly immediately between them of course) as well as the rest of the cast of truly quirky, wonderful townspeople.

I have never been a big fan of contemporary romance novels, but once in a great while I will stumble across a book and an author that just completely win me over. This was that book, and Jill Shalvis is definitely that author.

The characters in this series absolutely jump off the page and are so full of life, that I found myself wishing I could pack up my car and move to Lucky Harbor myself (of course the fact that the town seems to be jammed packed with hot, available men doesn't hurt either LOL). The story is a simple one, but told so beautifully that it made reading this book a complete joy. The humor was genuine, the romance never felt forced or rushed in any way. And the chemistry between Jax and Maddie? Off. The. Charts. Jill Shalvis has a way of writing a story that is both sweet, and scorching hot at the same time. After reading all the books in this series to date, I am truly in awe of her awesomeness.

This is definitely one of my favorite book series now, and if I can't live there myself...then I at least hope I have many more Lucky Harbor books to look forward to in the future.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

This Dark Endeavor ~ Kenneth Oppel

This Dark Endeavor (The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein, #1)This Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Oppel
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Being a huge fan of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, I was beyond excited to find out there was going to be a series detailing the life of a teenage Victor Frankenstein. So, I had enormous expectations going into reading this book, and I am happy to say that Kenneth Oppel did not let me down at all.

Victor and his twin brother Konrad are 16 and staying at the family house in Geneva along with their cousin Elizabeth and close friend Henry. One day, they discover a hidden passage way that leads down to a secret room that the friends dub The Dark Library. Shortly afterward, Konrad falls mysteriously ill and Victor becomes obsessed with creating The Elixir of Life, a potion found in a book from the Dark Library, and sets out on a quest with Elizabeth and Henry to track down it's ingredients.

From the beginning, the 4 friends are pretty much isolated from everyone other than Victor and Konrad's parents, so they only have each other to rely on. And Victor uses a tiny cell in the basement of the family's chateau as his first laboratory. The Dark Library itself is completely underground and cut off from the rest of the house, and all of these things combined create this wonderfully creepy, claustrophobic feel.

Content Warning
Even though this book deals with teenagers, and has been lumped into the YA genre, in my opinion it is much more of an adult read. Some of the scenes, especially towards the end are quite intense, and I also feel the need to point out, Victor ends up being portrayed as quite the horny teenager (something that only intensifies in the sequel Such Wicked Intent). So you know...just keep that in mind. ;)

My one complaint...and it truly is a bit nit-picky on my part: The love..quadrangle. I could understand having the conflict of Victor and Konrad both being in love with Elizabeth (though if I'm being honest, the fact that she was their cousin skeeved me out. Yes, I know it was much more common back in those days, but still...), but the addition of Henry also being smitten? Not really necessary.

The actual ending of the book was a bit of a surprise, though it probably shouldn't have been, but it still packed an emotional punch.

This was a truly wonderful, and atmospheric gem that is definitely deserving of a spot on my keeper shelf.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Big Girls Do It Better ~ Jasinda Wilder

Big Girls Do It BetterBig Girls Do It Better by Jasinda Wilder
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Considering this story was only 35 pages long, I will keep this review short and to the point.

For such a short novella, this book packed quite an emotional punch. It is so refreshing to read an erotic story that features a heroine who is not a stick figure, and a hero who adores her just as she is. This story actually made me a little teary eyed, with how sweet Chase was in trying to get Anna to see just how beautiful she really is.

This is the first 'episode' in a series, and I for one can not wait for the next installment!

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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

City Of Fallen Angels ~ Cassandra Clare

City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments, #4)City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

*deeeeeep, cleansing breath*

Unpopular opinion:
I would have been happier if Cassandra Clare had left the Mortal Instruments series at a trilogy.

There. I said it.

In my opinion, City of Glass was a perfect ending to Jace and Clary's story. Yes, there were a few loose ends left dangling, but I found the ending to be a sweet glimpse of the HEA I envisioned for two of my all time favorite fictional characters.

And then I read COFA. And boy did my happy little bubble burst in spectacular fashion.

The characters from the first three books that I loved and rooted for, here became whiny, miserable brats. Chief among them being Jace. My beautiful, messed up, cranky-pants Jace. Yes, his character has never been a ray of sunshine in the series, but in COFA he turned positively bipolar.

Yes, I realize that Jace was dealing with a lot of issues in this book. But the constant flip-flopping with Clary was just annoying as hell. One minute he's saying all these sweet things and telling her how he's afraid of losing her, and the next he blurts out "I can't be with you. I can't even look at you." Say what?! There were several instances where Jace was sweet one minute and a d*ck the next. No wonder Clary was such an emotional basket case in this book.

But, it wasn't just Jace's mood swings that bothered me. Simon who has seemed to annoy every other fan of the series apart from me up until this book...even he was a miserable shell of his former self. Again, yes I know he was also dealing with some major changes in his life, but the amount of whining done in this book by Simon (and Jace. And Clary.) was just overwhelming.

Gah. I hate having to say things like this about a Cassandra Clare book. But, this has been the only one out of the 6 books I have read by her that I truly wanted to rip to shreds upon finishing.

Hopefully things get back on track in City of Lost Souls.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Nevermore ~ Kelly Creagh

Nevermore (Nevermore, #1)Nevermore by Kelly Creagh
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I don't even have words right now to express all the emotions i have after finishing Nevermore.

It has been so long since I was this excited about a book. Since I was so caught up in a story that all I wanted to do was read. All I wanted to do was be in that world, as creepy and unsettling as it may have been. I wanted to be there....and Creagh totally made me feel like I was right in the middle of all the nightmarish beauty that was Nevermore.

There have been countless reviews detailing the plot (which is beyond brilliant and original, especially in the YA genre), so i will settle on just giving you a quick rundown of what I thought of the book as a whole.

The world building was perfectly done, and Creagh's gorgeous, almost lyrical writing style is perfectly suited to this gothicly nightmarish fairy tale.

As for the characters. Holy hell. Where do I even start? I went into this almost expecting Isobel to be this perfectly blonde Barbie doll, and was just hoping I would be able to read the book without her annoying me too much. Imagine my surprise when I realized within the first few pages, that Isobel was so much more than just a pretty face. She was a strong, kick ass character that I ended up loving deeply. And Varen...well, I am not exactly sure what it is about him that made me fall under his spell, but he also ended up capturing my heart.

One of the BEST aspects of Nevermore, were the shadowy Dreamworld characters. I will freely admit to my unexplanable love for Pinfeathers. He has to be one of the most memorable and strangely endearing (???!!!) villains I have ever come across. I don't understand why I ended up loving his creepy character so much...but there it is. Also, I will own up to a slight fangirly crush on Reynolds. He's a badass who has a lot to answer for...but a badass nonetheless.

Bottom line, this was one of the most incredibly imaginative, and obsessively readable books I have found in ages. Definitely one of the best books I have read all year, and in fact one of my all time favorites as well.

It is fitting that Nevermore, much like the characters of Isobel and Varen, ended up being so much more than I expected. I can't wait for the sequel!

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