Thursday, 19 September 2013

Unspoken (Woodlands, #2) by Jen Frederick

I received a free e-copy of this book from the author with the condition that I post an honest review.

When I finished the first book in this series, I knew it was going to become one of those series that I don't want to wait for.

I have to say it was worth the wait even though it wasn't a long one. Bo and AM make a great couple, even with their flaws. I love the way that they bring the best out of each other, the fact that they can't keep their hands of each other when they finally get together, they are extremely likable and their flaws and troubles only make them a strong pairing.

AM is very studious and only wants to get through college, get her degree and have no-one notice her. She is aware of the names that the other students call her, it's one of the reasons that she only goes on campus for classes. Due to the lacrosse team spreading nasty rumours about her, she has taken to avoiding campus life and campus parties.

Bo is a marine who doesn't know what he wants to do with his life now that he's not in the Corp. He followed his friend, Noah and enrolled in college to buy himself some time to decide what he wants to do.

When they get partnered together in class sparks fly. Bo is taken with AM as soon as he meets her and although she finds him very attractive, AM tries to fight her feelings. As she gets to know him, she stops fighting it and soon finds herself in love with him. Both have their own demons but they get through them together.

This is a well-written story with great characters and some of the subject matter is very traumatizing but handled delicately and not glossed over or trivialized.

I look forward to the long epilogue and the next book in the series.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Last Chance Summer: A Short Story by Hope Ramsay.

I was provided with a free e-copy by netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I found this to be a very enjoyable read, a quick glimpse into the life of a single woman with a young son and a grandma who is slowly losing her mind.

Amanda is going to the county fair, taking her young son and her grandma. She lost her husband to the war and her grandfather died six months ago, now her grandma is slowly losing her mind and she is finding it hard to take care of them both.

Whilst at the fair, her grandma wanders off and then while she is searching for her, her son goes missing too.

I know the review doesn't sound like much but the book is well-written and the author has handled a very delicate subject extremely well. I'm definitely hooked and shall be looking for more of Hope Ramsay's books.

Monday, 26 August 2013

A Bad Boy is Good to Find by Jennifer Lewis.

I received a free e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I'm in two minds about this book. The way that every thing is described is very detailed and brings the scenes to life. The characters, however, are another thing altogether.

The fact that Lizzie assumed everything about Conroy just shows how naive she is and how Conroy just let her believe it speaks volumes about a serious lack of trust. The fact that he thought he could marry her and not tell her about himself, just goes to show that he was only interested in one thing. He may say that he could marry her and make her happy but when the money is taken off the table, he quickly changes his mind.

When she does a runner, he tracks her down and tries to help her get back on her feet but she is only interested in making him pay for using her. She decides to get even and talks him into marrying her but only for show, or in this case, a tv show.

She decides to sell their story to a tv network that her cousin works for, getting them to foot the bill and also pay her $50,000. He agrees but doesn't realise that she's going to make him pay in the worst way. She insists that they go back to the small town on the Bayou where he grew up. Somewhere he hasn't been to since he ran away from at the age of 14.

What is supposed to be a show about their wedding soon turns into the Conroy Beale show as he finds out about his family and his past. The network decides to follow up on his story and Lizzie gets pushed to one side.

When I was reading this book my feelings towards the characters kept changing. I found them both to be both likable but also really annoying. They both needed a boot up the backside and a good shake at times. They both had their own agenda but if they had just been honest with each other, they would have been able to resolve their problems and avoid all the pain they put themselves through.

The rest of the characters are funny and the story is interesting but I don't know that I would buy this book if I was browsing in my local bookstore

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Ice Games by Jessica Clare

I found this to be a well-written, funny and entertaining book. I didn't realize that it was part of a series but it made no difference. It definitely stands on its own.

Sparks fly when Ty and Zara meet on the show Ice Dancing With The Stars and not the good kind, at least not to begin with. He describes her as "a stick with a mouth". And no-one is interested in Zara as she's just a replacement skater, a has-been.

After she covers for him after he head-butted her and broke her nose, he agrees to buckle down and train hard. With the audience behind them they get through the first round but realize that the choreographer isn't going to help, they sack her and Zara does the choreography for their next dance.

As they get to know each other they see that they are alike as they both have screwed up in their careers and are using the show to get back into the public's good graces and hopefully win the show.

Zara soon starts to fall for Ty and as luck would have it, he seems to like her too. Both decide that nothing can happen while they are still in the show but when they get voted off that changes. The next morning Zara is told by the shows management that she is no longer needed and that a car will be sent to take her home. She can't bring herself to say goodbye to him, as she's falling for him so she just leaves.

Trying to get over Ty, she's back to teaching kids at the mall how to skate when she gets a call asking her to go back on the show for the finale. She agrees but says she will only go back for the last day, refusing to go back to train with Ty as she thinks it will be too painful.

When she gets there, Ty is angry with her and ends up making her cry. They eventually talk and both admit how they feel and we get a happy ending.

Both Ty and Zara are extremely likable and the story is very detailed, I could see and hear their skating routine in my head. The sex scenes were very detailed and graphic but not in a bad way. Some authors over-do the description in sex scenes but these were just graphic enough to be entertaining and not pornographic.

I will be looking for more books by Jessica in the future.

The Monsters in your Neighbourhood by Jesse Peterson.

I received a free e-copy of this book from the publisher with the condition that I post an honest review.
I found this to be a well-written, funny story.  The characters are extremely like-able and interesting.  The idea of monsters in group therapy is a brilliant concept.  The fact that the humans are more monstrous is also a stroke of genius.
Being hunted down by the Van Helsings' and having one of their own turned against them only makes them pull together, well eventually, after they get over the shock of it.
Led by Natalie, one of Frankenstein's creations and with the help of her boyfriend, Alex the Wolf Man, the monsters unite and together they stop the Van Helsings and Hyde from outing them to the public against their will.
They also have to do something about the chip's that some of them have had put in their heads without their knowledge.  (This part of the plot reminds me of The Initiative in Joss Whedon's Buffy the Vampire Slayer.)
This is a fun read and I shall certainly be looking for more of Jesse Peterson's work.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Broken Angels by Harambee K. Grey-Sun

I received a free copy of this e-book from the publishers with the intention of giving an honest review.

What to say? I tried, several times, to read this book but I couldn't finish it. It was too convoluted and mixed up. I kept losing track of which characters were doing what and where they were. I kept having to back-track over and over again trying to understand what was going on.

I eventually gave up reading it as it kept giving me a headache. I will not be on the lookout for the next book.

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Found (Penny Black) by Stacey Wallace Benefiel.

I received a free e-copy of this book from the publisher with the intention of leaving an honest review.

Although I haven't read any other books by Stacey Wallace Benefiel, I found this book to be quite interesting. I thought the concept of being able to pause and rewind the people and surroundings very intriguing.

What I didn't like was the ending. I know that the book is the first in a trilogy but I was a bit shocked at the way the book finished.

Penny Black is able to pause and rewind her surroundings but she isn't aware of it, she thinks that she's asleep. When she is found, collapsed at the side of the freeway after she has diverted an accident, she is taken to the hospital and held there until her uncle arrives to take her home. However the man isn't her uncle but he has been searching for her for a long time. He takes her to a school with other teens her age with similar abilities.

There she learns that she's not alone and that she's got a cousin. She finds herself falling for Wyatt, he's been assigned as her Lookout. Wyatt is a normal guy unlike the other teens, he's also related to the staff that run the school.

Penny has a vision and with the help of her new friends, tries to rescue someone who is being kidnapped. They get stopped by the staff and problems arise when the staff go to do the rescue.

Someone who Penny knows is to blame and it's all about him getting even with the staff from the school. He used her abilities to get in to the school and he wants to make them all suffer.

I liked the characters and the language was very interesting.

I really hope that the next book is as good but I really hope that the ending is better.

Monday, 29 July 2013

Concealed by Sang Kromah.

I received a free e-copy of this book from the publisher with the intention of leaving an honest review.

I'm not going to break the book down and try to explain what it's about because I really don't know how to.

First of all, I couldn't get past some of the spelling and grammar mistakes, some of the sentences were repeated. Then the idea that as a coping mechanism Bijou shuffles a deck of cards constantly and without looking is a little ridiculous.

The final reason that I couldn't finish the book is because although the synopsis reads like a great story the book doesn't deliver. It's almost as if the story got away from the author as she was writing it, she kept adding extra ideas that didn't gel well. The story didn't flow and the ideas were also a bit far-fetched.

I shall not be looking for the next book in this series.

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Stonefly by Scott J. Holliday

I received a free e-copy from the publisher with the intention of writing an honest review.

This book was so good that I didn't stop reading it until I had finished it.

Jacob Duke has spent the six years in a mental institute because he had no control of his curse. He was 10 years old when he killed the local bully because a girl in his class wished that he was dead. Jacob then spent two years being dragged from one psychiatrist to another. It wasn't his fault that he killed the bully but he couldn't tell them why he did it, he couldn't explain how his blood boiled and his hands trembled and he couldn't stop thinking of ways to kill him.

When he was in the institute he worked out what the rules were regarding his curse and also what the consequences were if he didn't manage to fulfil the wish. Because of this he stole a pencil from the nursing station and poked them into his ears and deafened himself so he would never be able to hear a wish and be forced to grant it.

When he is released on his eighteenth birthday, his mother tells him about his father and gives him a totem that he had left for Jacob. When his mother tells him about his father he is understandably upset, as far as he is concerned he was abandoned. He had no clue who he was but over the years he tracked down details and finally worked out who his father was but he never went to find him.

With the help of his mother he set up a tattoo shop and met Lori who he has been in love with ever since but she doesn't return his feelings.

When he was in the institute he made a promise to himself that when he was released he would return to the area for a vacation and that is where the book starts. He is stood in the river, fly-fishing, when he sees a young boy crying. Without realising it, the boy makes a wish for his father to be dead and triggers the curse. Now Jacob has six days to save Frankie's life or get him to change his wish.

The wish sets into motion a series of events that hold the readers interest all the way through the tale and you are definitely left wanting more. Luckily, it would seem that this is the first in a series featuring Jacob Duke, Lori and his dog Russ.

Charming by Elliot James

I received a free e-copy of this book from the publisher with the intention of leaving an honest review.

This is a great story with an interesting twist on the Knights Templar, Valkyries, Werewolves, Vampires and Psychics. Throw in an Episcopalian priest, a bug exterminator, a cop and a Naga and you've got a great story. This isn't a fairy tale even though the main character is called John Charming, as in Prince Charming. The Charming name was given to all the brave men in fairy tales even if they weren't Princes.

John Charming is a Knight, a monster hunter and according to the Knights Templar, he's an abomination.

When his mother was in her last month of pregnancy, she was bitten by a werewolf. Although she gave birth to John, she died whilst shifting as a lot of people do. Because of this the Knights have kept a close eye on John, waiting for him to turn into a werewolf which he never has done, the only thing that is different with John is the fact that he has heightened senses and strength. If it wasn't for the fact that he almost died when he was in his early twenties, he would most likely have been killed. Instead the Knights relaxed their watch on him and he ran away. Now he's being hunted by the Knights.

Whilst staying ahead of the Knights he still feels the need to hunt the monsters himself, due to the geas that all Knights have placed on them.

Whilst working as a bartender he meets Sig, who is hunting a Vampire. He scares the vampire off but knows it will be back later that night. When he's fighting the vampire and his hive mates, Sig turns up and saves his life.

From that point on, he knows he's going to leave town but he knows he's going to help Sig take out the other vampires because the geas will not let him leave before then.

With feelings running high between John and Sig and Sig already having a partner, well things go to hell in a handbasket very quickly.

This is a very well-written story with excellent attention to detail. It has a great cast of characters and the action is practically none-stop. I really hope that this is the start of a new series.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

The Big, Not-So-Small, Curvy Girls, BBW Romance, Dating Agency by Ava Catori

I received a free e-copy of this book from the publisher with the intention of leaving an honest review.

Becky Holgate is fed up with her job, she wants to be her own boss and decides to set up a dating site for the fuller figured ladies that are out there, she knows what it's like to be overlooked because of her size so she wants to help others who have the same problem, only it's not as easy as she thought. It doesn't help matters when she meets Reed Amwell, he's a photographer who helps her set up her website.

Besides being drop dead gorgeous, he's also engaged to be married. Every time she's around him she seems to have a habit of making a fool of herself. Reed doesn't make it easier either as he seems to be drawn to her too, despite the fact that he's engaged and she's not the type of girl he usually falls for.

The scenes were she ends up embarrassing herself are hilarious and the fact that it makes him laugh with her and ends up embarrassing himself are a total riot.

With the help of her crazy best friend, Becky tries not to get involved with Reed and get her business off the ground but she just can't seem to help it. When Reed finally breaks off his engagement she is the first person he tells, as he's as drawn to her as she is to him.

With her business starting to take off, she finds herself spending more time with Reed but she keeps letting her own insecurities about her weight get in the way and almost allows Reed 's ex-fiancee to drive a wedge between them.

I found this to be a fun read but at times it seemed as if the author was holding back especially during the sex scenes. It was as if she didn't want to write anything too graphic, it was all "naughty bits" and "intimate" but she didn't hold back on the embarrassing scenes. I nearly wet myself laughing at the coffee shop scenes.

If you're looking for a fun, light read then this is the book for you.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Dancing With The Devil by Keri Arthur.

I received a free e-copy of this book from the publishers on agreement that I would give an honest review.

I found this to be a different take on the usual vampire tale, for a start, we have a vampire who doesn't feed off humans and we have a very strong psychic who can't trust people or let anyone close.

When Nikki is employed by Trevgard to find his daughter, little does she realise that she is being led into a trap. Not by Trevgard but by his daughter, Monica. She is being used as bait for a vampire named Jasper who is after Nikki's powers.

Jasper is also being hunted by another vampire named Michael. Michael has been hunting Jasper for over seventy five years, from before he was turned. He was a murderer when he was human and became worse after he was turned.

Between Nikki being stubborn and unwilling to let anyone in and Michael being stubborn and also refusing to let anyone get close, this story doesn't rush to get to the end. Nikki gets taken by Jasper and tormented by him and though she escapes, she still can't let Michael close. When her boss is taken in a bid to lure Nikki back to him, she still struggles with her feelings for Michael and letting him in. Although they work together to get him back she still can't trust him. She's been used by others in her past and lost others too. She doesn't want to feel that vulnerable again or be used again either.

At the end of the book I was left wondering what was going on. I thought I had several pages left but it was all a ruse, there was a sneak peek of the next book. That's not a bad thing though as I shall be now getting the next book as soon as possible.

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Whistling Past The Graveyard by Susan Crandall.

I received a free copy of this e-book from the publishers in exchange for an honest review.

I loved this story, I was transported to the early sixties, to a time when segregation and racial hatred was at a high point
The story of nine year old Starla, who feels so put out by her Mamie that she runs away from home with the intention of going to Nashville to be with her Momma is very touching.  On the way she meets Eula, a coloured woman travelling with a white baby.  When Eula takes her back to her house for the night, well, that's when things take a turn for the worse.

Starla learns the hard way that life isn't as easy for everyone, herself included but she soon learns how hard it is for a coloured person to get about.

The way this book has been written is so touching and handles difficult and delicate subjects with a very caring approach that it had me in tears at times.

I loved the dynamics between Starla and Eula.  How Eula taught her about how people have different gifts and how to find out what her own gifts are.

Mrs Cyrena is a wonderful character, the way she cared for Eula and Starla when no-one else would, how she helped Eula to earn money when she couldn't go out on the streets after her run-in with the Jenkins boys and letting them stay in her house.  When she paid for the tickets and explained to Starla that she and Eula would have to act as though they were strangers on the bus taught Starla that racism works both ways.
Starla learnt that what she had been taught by her Mamie wasn't how the world worked.  Mamie told her that everyone was happy with the segregation but she learned on her journey that that wasn't true.

From the very first page, I had vivid images and voices in my head.  I could picture Starla with her bright red hair and Eula with her grip in hand and baby James strapped to her chest.  I saw her parents and friends, her Mamie telling her off and putting her on restriction for no good reason.  I could even smell the pies that Eula baked.  I could quite easily see this being made into a movie.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Spider's Bite by Jennifer Estep

I recently read Deadly Sting not realising it was one of a series, I enjoyed it so much that it became a goal of mine to read the first set of the series.

I started reading Spider's Bite as soon as I got it and I barely put it down. It's a fantastic introduction to Gin Blanco A.K.A The Spider, waitress by day at the Pork Pit and deadly Assassin at night.

When she is contracted to kill someone and gets double-crossed she would have let it slide, but the person who contracted her killed her handler, the closest thing to a father she has. So with the help of his son and a detective who is also targeted to be killed, she tracks down the elemental who is responsible and exacts her own retribution.

From start to finish this is a gripping tale with non-stop action, elemental magic and dead bodies galore. I can't wait to get Web of Deceit.

Jennifer's characters are well-written, very complex and very likeable. I can highly recommend this book to anyone no matter what their preference. There's plenty of violence, sex and action for everyone to enjoy.

Friday, 28 June 2013

Giveaway is now a no-go.

Unfortunately I will not be running the Mist giveaway. There is a few reasons which I shall not bore you with. I hope that in the future I shall be able to run another giveaway.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Weird Detectives: Recent Investigations

This is a strange little mix of stories but an interesting one. There is a wide variety of genre's covered in this book. The stories aren't all about magic or ghosts.

I did find it a little slow going with some of the tales but others I just flew through, namely Jim Butcher and Charlaine Harris. In fact after reading this book, I now have a list of new authors whose books I need to check out.

If you're looking for something that can be read in short individual sittings then this is definitely one to get. I read one of the stories as I waited for an appointment, I even read another tale as I was travelling on the bus.

I would say don't discard it just because it's a book of short's. It should be thought of as an appetizer to new authors and new tales with a different spin.

I highly recommend it.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Mist giveaway and blog tour.

I'm doing a giveaway, you can find it here

I'll be doing an interview with Susan Krinard and posting the interview and my review of her book, Mist on the 24th of July.

Winners of the giveaway will be chosen on the 8th of July.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Blackbrooke II: The Guardian.

The Guardian continues the tale of Liberty Connor and the town of Blackbrooke.  We pick up where we left off with Liberty surviving her encounter with the Queens and being taken to the Institute.  Whilst there she is tormented by Mr Jones, constantly being questioned about what went on that night when she handed over Cassius.  Everyone is desperate to know how four of the Queens ended up dead and how she and Cassius survived.
I'm not going to over-do the review, I don't want to give away too much about the story as that is one thing I dislike myself.... Nothing worse than spoilers.
What I will say is Emma needs to be punished for torturing me.  I didn't know if I was coming or going, in fact I felt as though I was in the Institute with Liberty.  I would think I knew what was going to happen next and then the rug was pulled out from under my feet and I would end up on my butt, trying to get my bearings again.
I was in tears, I laughed my head off, I was in shock and I wanted to commit murder all at the same time.  I found this book to be just as much of a roller-coaster as the first book.
I was disgusted by the actions of Mr Jones to his daughter, Gemma.  He's a heartless bastard and deserves everything that he gets coming to him.  I love Liberty's interactions with Denzil, he is such a brilliant character and helps to keep her grounded.  His love for Marie is very touching and the pain that he was obviously in when he thinks he is hallucinating had me in tears.  I do tend to get attached to character's and he is one of my favourites.  Please don't kill him off, Emma.
I found that this book has a lot more drama and horror than the first book but it doesn't detract from the story, if anything it enhances it.  It gives the story just the right amount of creepiness that it needs too.
I thoroughly enjoyed all the twist and turns, including the ones I didn't expect and I cannot wait for the third book to come out.

Blackbrooke Blog Tour

Tomorrow is my day to post my review for Blackbrooke II: The Guardian by Emma Silver.  

So I hope you can take a little time out of your day tomorrow and pop over for a visit, maybe tell your friends too :-)

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Undeclared by Jen Frederick

To be perfectly honest with you all, I found this story to be drawn out and long-winded. The idea was good, the characters were ok, although I think if more was explained about what Noah went through before he came back for Grace, it might have made it more interesting. The same could be said for Grace, although there was the occasional mention of how devastated she was to receive the Dear Jane letter, I think more could have been said about what she went through.

I did find the ending more enjoyable but it was more along the lines of "about time". I just thought it took too long for them to get together and then the split was a bit contrived, it was also glossed over with a quick apologetic fix at the end.

Overall, interesting idea but fell short on delivery, I hope the next book is better.

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Omens by Kelley Armstrong

This is a book that I won, it is the first time I've won anything so I was over the moon, especially as it is by one of my favourite authors.  I will post a more detailed review nearer to the release date.

Without giving too much away, Kelley has done it again. This book has great characters, a brilliant storyline, it moves along at a good pace (not too fast, not too slow), it doesn't bog you down with over descriptive scenes and it's got easter eggs. I don't mean the chocolate eggs, although that would be cool. I mean secret little words and phrases that you can look up and try to work out what's happening before Olivia does. I was tempted but decided not to, I went along for the ride with Olivia and I'm glad that I did.

Now the downside..... I've got to wait for the next book and I don't know when it will be available. What will I do?

For all the fans of Kelley Armstrong, of New Adult and a twist of paranormal this book is a must, whether you like one or all of the above.

Sunday, 26 May 2013

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

I received a free copy of this book from the publishers with the agreement that I would give an honest review.

This is a book that took some getting into, it took me three goes before I got really engrossed.  It starts out quite slowly and then builds to quite an explosive ending.

Life for Cassie changes not when the mother-ship appears and not when her mother dies.  It changes the day her little brother is put on a yellow school bus by the soldiers and her father is murdered by the same soldiers.  When the camp they have been living in with other survivors of the first four waves is wiped out by one bomb.  Sure she's felt all the changes before that, when the power went out, when people died and when the scourge wiped out billions of people but she hasn't changed until then.  Or so she keeps telling herself.  She also thinks she's the only one who it's happening to, that's the thing with teens.  It's all about her.  When she gets shot on her way to get Sammy back she thinks she's going to die and that's when she has a re-think.  

When she wakes up in a cabin, hooked up to an IV drip she has more questions than she knows what to do with and Evan, her rescuer is not the chatty type.  When she is finally health enough to go for Sammy, Evan goes with her.  And for me, this is where the book really gets going.

Rick Yancey has written a brilliant book with strong characters who are challenged and tested and show just how resilient people, kids especially, can be.

Friday, 10 May 2013

Spirit (Elemental) #3 by Brigid Kemmerer

I received a free e-copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

This is the third in a great series, I've only read a short novella and this book and I can say it's not necessary to read the first two. It would probably make it easier to understand who is who but it isn't really necessary. I found it quite easy to follow the story.

Poor Hunter, he's lost his dad and uncle, his mother is swamped with grief and his grandparents don't seem to like him. He's gone out of his way to help, doing chores without being asked and making sure he cleans up after himself. But it makes no difference.

It doesn't help that in the previous book he was taken in for questioning about some fires and then released. Something he had nothing to do with, he was just helping to rescue some kids.

Now he's had to put up with being hit by his grandfather and then thrown out of the house. He's been warned at school to stay away from Calla, the girl responsible for all the trouble, and even though he does as he's told, she doesn't make it easy. Turning up and causing trouble, ending with him being warned by the principle that he's going to get suspended.

When he finds himself having to avoid more people than Calla, he doesn't know what to do. He has had run-ins with Gabriel Merrick despite helping him to rescue the kids from the fires. Now there's a new girl in school named Kate and he's not sure of her agenda either.

Finding himself sleeping in his truck, he's feeling lost and alone. Michael Merrick, Gabriel's older brother, comes to his rescue. He gets him to help with his job and then takes him home with him. When he finds out what's happened to Hunter he tells him he can stay.

Overhearing a conversation that he thinks is about himself, he makes a mistake and trusts the wrong person. When it turns out Kate is working with the wrong person, he is unsure about what to do. When he discovers that she was sent to town with Silver to take out the Merrick's and the other Elementals that are causing trouble, he knows he needs to stop Silver.

With the death of Calla at the hands of Silver, he waits to see if the others that were helping her will stop what they were doing. Realising that nothings changed, he decides to stop them himself. With Kate's help he tries to work out what's going on.

When he works out what he's going to do, it's non-stop action until almost the end. I'm being a little wary here as I don't want to give anything away but I'm looking forward to the next book and I'm going to get the first two books as well.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

The Collector by Victoria Scott

I received a free e-copy of this book from the publishers with the intent to write and honest review.

Dante Walker is the Schizz... He's good-looking, has money, does whatever he feels like doing whenever he wants, the only down side is,, he's a Collector. He works for the Devil, A.K.A. The Boss Man. He's a Soul Collector. And he's got a new mission. He's been hand-picked by The Boss Man to get the soul of one Charlie Cooper. If he does, he gets the big promotion. No more going to hell to deliver souls, he carries on training new collectors but gets to stay on Earth permanently. Sounds like a doddle.

What he didn't expect was to find himself starting to fall for Charlie. When he starts to notice some of the people who he's already tagged a seal onto start to acquire Pink seals, he thinks it's Charlie. He thinks that somehow she is tagging people and she doesn't know she's doing it. Because the thing about Charlie is that she does everything she can to help others. She set up a volunteer program and the people who get help don't pay a thing, they just volunteer to do something for somebody else.

When Dante works out that he's being followed by another collector, he starts to wonder if the Boss Man is keeping tabs on him. He thinks that it's his best friend Max, who is also a collector, following him. But when he finds Max laid out in the stairs after being hit over the head with a fire extinguisher he realises it's someone else. There is another collector out there and they are after him and Charlie.

The Big Guy A.K.A God also has people who work for him, they are called Liberators and do the same job as Dante but the souls they collect go to Heaven. When Dante realises there's a Liberator looking out for Charlie, he realises that he needs to work fast. After lying to Charlie about who he works for, he gets her to sign a Soul Contract and talks her into changing how she looks. When he first met her, he thought she was ugly but as he gets to know her, he changes his mind but it's already too late as she's signed the contract. With each wish that Charlie makes, a little piece of her soul is tagged and the more that she changes, the more he wishes she hadn't signed. He even starts to care for Charlie's Grandma and friends. She has two friends who would do anything for her. And a Grandma who is ill.

When he finds out who the collector is who is trying to jeopardize his mission, he realises he needs help to protect Charlie and gets the Liberator to help him. What he doesn't know is that the Liberator used to be his friend Max's fiancée. So there is a great scene when they finally meet and realise who they are to each other. On top of Elizabeth Taylor no less. :-)

At the start of this book, Dante is very selfish and vain. After meeting Charlie and gradually falling in love with her and deciding he would rather die than let The Boss Man have her soul, he goes through a radical change, he's still vain, why wouldn't he be with his good looks but he's learnt to care for others, not just Charlie. At the end of the book he is a completely different person.

I'm fairly certain we will be hearing more about Dante and Charlie in the future and I look forward to it.

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Breathless (Elemental series) #2.5 by Brigid Kemmerer

I received a free e-copy of this book from the publishers with the intent to give an honest review.

Although this is only a short story, it really draws you in very quickly and makes you want finish it in one sitting, which is exactly what I did.

Nick appears to be a normal guy, he's got his problems at home as every teenager does, he's got a girlfriend and he helps his eldest brother with the family business. He's also unsure about going to college. He's received a letter but hasn't got round to opening it yet.

When his girlfriend, Quinn, asks if he can pick her up from the studio, he goes and whilst there he meets her friend Adam. What he doesn't expect is to feel like his world has been tipped upside down. He's never really felt comfortable with girls and he can't be sure if he's gay, that is until he meets Adam. He's still not sure and he can't tell his brothers either. He doesn't think they will understand.

After he's dropped Quinn off at home and had after a fight with her, she's stormed into her house and got into an argument with her mum, who then throws her out. She ends up getting on the back of a motorbike and going to the beach with a couple of guys and getting drunk. Luckily one of the guys calls Adam and asks if he can come get her as she has passed out. Adam calls Nick and together they go to pick her up, after a quick discussion and a fight with one of the bikers they take her back to Adam's.

At this point I'm not saying anything more apart from this is a must read in this very interesting series. If you like your romance with a dash of paranormal then this is a series for you.

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Jack Templar, Monster Hunter by Jeff Gunhus

I received a free copy of this book from the publishers in exchange for an honest review.

Jack Smith thinks he's like any other thirteen year old boy, it's the day before his fourteenth birthday and he's noticed some changes. He's stronger than he was the day before, he's faster too. He has fast reflexes too.

When he stops the school bully from picking on his friend, he gets called into the principles office. Thinking he's going to get told off, he gets a shock when she turns into something else. He gets sent home and on the way there he meets someone who tells him that he is really Jack Templar, the last of an old family of monster hunters and that at dusk on his fourteenth birthday he will become fair game to all the monsters that live in his town.

From there it's a non-stop ride as Jack and Eva, a monster hunter who has come to town to help him train, must get home safe and survive the night.

This is a good, quick read that is a great start to a new series. If the next book is as funny and witty and action-packed as this I shall definitely be reading it.

Friday, 3 May 2013

Influential Magic by Deanna Chase

** spoiler alert ** I received a copy of this book free from the publishers with the intent to give an honest review.

This is a great start to a new series, fairies, vampires and witches, oh my.

Willow is a fairy who can make plants grow and enhances all the goodies that she bakes for her store. She's also an agent for the Void, a group that monitor and control the supernatural's in New Orleans. Besides being a fairy and being able to make goodies with a little bit extra in them, she can also sense vampires when they are around and has used this ability to help other agents stay safe.

She has just got back from looking after her mother when she is called into the head office, there she is given a new partner and sent on a mission to find out what is going on with the local vampires. Apparently there is an order out for her to be kidnapped. Finding out that her new partner is her old boyfriend, who broke up with her by text is bad enough news but finding out that he has been turned into a vampire is even worse. The fact that it was his choice doesn't make it any better for her.

Working with Davidson is hard and painful too if he touches her. For some reason, when a vampire touches her it causes great pain. Probably because she draws her power from life and vampires are dead. As she tries to find out who is trying to kidnap her, she must also wade through a ton of lies and misdirection. When she finds out that her best-friend Phoebe has already been working with Davidson she feels like she's being kept in the dark and starts to get angry, after all, it's her life on the line.

Dealing with a Master Vampire who doesn't quite tell the truth and a Director of the Void, who is trying to keep her locked up and experimented on, she is kept on the go and constantly looking over her shoulder. To make it worse, the Director is her aunt.

As if all that wasn't bad enough, she then gets told the real reason why her twin brother Beau was murdered four years ago.

With the help of her friend Phoebe and her pet dog who can turn into a wolf, she will find out more about herself and her family than she ever thought possible.

I'm really looking forward to the next in this series, it's well-written with great characters and storyline. It's a slightly different take on fairies and vampires and witches too.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

The S-Word by Chelsea Pitcher

I received a free copy of this book from the publishers in exchange for an honest review.

I really did want to like this book but found myself putting it down and wandering away. The topic is a delicate one, bullying, sexual confusion and suicide but it's handled in a very odd way.

Lizzie killed herself because everyone turned on her but no-body knew the full story, well one person did but that's getting ahead of myself. Angie is her best-friend and when she returns to the room they've rented for prom and finds Lizzie in a compromising situation with her boyfriend Drake, she is devastated. "How could Lizzie do that to her?".

When they return to school on the following Monday and someone has written slut on Lizzie's locker, that seems to be the beginning of a campaign against her, her car is vandalised, her dress for the school production is destroyed and people keep knocking into her accidentally on purpose. When her father finds out that she is supposed to be in a production of A Midsummers Night Dream, he forbids her from appearing in it. Thinking that the whole world is against her, she takes her own life.

But after it has happened the vandalism continues but with a slight change, suicide slut is now being written everywhere. Then there's the issue of pages of her diary being left in certain peoples lockers. Angie goes on a campaign to find out who is doing this, along the way she gets her eyes opened to what is really going on at the school.

She finds out about the other kids that are being bullied and also finds herself drawn to Jesse, a Mexican boy who everyone thinks is gay because he wears girls clothing on occasion. She learns about Lizzies' father, a vicar, who abused another friend when she was little. She finds out who drew a picture of Lizzie naked and e-mailed it to everyone, she finds out who Lizzie really loved and finally she finds out exactly what happened at prom.

Everyone wants to know if it's a ghost that is writing on lockers and leaving diary pages but it's not.

Without giving away the ending, Angie knows more than anyone else and sets about getting revenge on everyone who she thinks slighted Lizzie.

Although it is a difficult subject, the writing style is quite disjointed and rambling. But it does get the point across very well.

I look forward to reading more by Chelsea Pitcher.

Friday, 26 April 2013

Hot Blooded by Amanda Carlson

I received a free copy of this e-book from the publishers with the intent to read and leave an honest review.

This book starts were the first book finished. Jessica is getting ready to go and get her mate back from Selene, who just happens to be a wicked powerful goddess. She just has to wait for two vampires to arrive who are on loan from the Vampire Queen who had her kidnapped in the first book.

Before she even gets to set off, she has to contend with Ray Hart, a local police detective who has been harassing her and trying to pin anything he can on her. He just knows there's something off about Jessica. And he's about to find out just what that is. When Jessica gets home from talking to her father and persuading him not to kill Ray, she finds out that her building supervisor was a were-weasel and he had been caught breaking in to her apartment by one of her were-wolf friends. He had had to change and ended up killing him but the detective had seen it happen so he ended up stuffed in her wardrobe. Now he's going on a trip with Jessica, her brother Tyler, friend Daniel, the two vampires on loan from the Vampire Queen to get back her mate, if not he's going to end up dead.

Setting off in the bright yellow hummer that her brother has bought, they head north to Canada. On the way she realises that they will have a problem with Ray at border patrol so she has the vampires fly him over the border, hoping it will make him change his mind and realise that in order for him to stay alive he will have to comply with the Alpha's demands.

As they get nearer to Selene's lair they have to leave the hummer behind and start to hike. This is were I started to get annoyed again.

Whilst the book has a great story line and clips along at a good rate, it's spoiled again by the constant conversation, argument or telepathic conversation when danger is imminent or they are in the midst of a fight. It ruins the flow of the tale for me.

This was a fault that I found in the first book and I was disappointed to see it had continued on in the second book. I also found it annoying that no matter what they came across, after the argument, discussion, whatever, it would turn out to be her blood or only her power that could fix whatever was wrong. I understand that she is the main character and that she is something more than a were-wolf, she is turning into the True Lycan but I really hope that the third book doesn't follow in the same lines or that it's not constantly brought up.

That said I will definitely be reading the third in the series.

Full Blooded by Amanda Carlson

I received a free e-copy of this book from the publishers with the intent to read and give an honest review.

We start this story with Jessica changing into a wolf for the first time. To say she is shocked is an understatement, she never expected to change as there are no female werewolves, at all. She is only alive because her father is Alpha and her mother died giving birth to Jessica and her twin brother Tyler.

Having changed though, she now needs to keep this information secret as she will surely have the other wolves out for her blood due to a prophecy that states that a female werewolf will bring about the downfall of the wolves.

You would think it would be easy to keep a secret as she has been living under an alias for seven years but you would be wrong. Not only does someone know, they want her dead. It could be anyone too. Not just the wolves but the other sects out there, vampires, witches, warlocks, demons, you name it, they are gunning for her. Not only having to contend with that she also realises she's not quite a werewolf, she is a Lycan.

After returning home after visiting her father to try and work out what's going on with her, she's attacked in her apartment by a rogue werewolf, this just after using a cover story of a break in for the damage she did herself during her change. Now she's being dogged by a police detective who knows there's something different about Jessica but he's not sure what but he's determined to find out what it is.

It all sounds like a great story and it is, kind of. It canters along at a good pace with interesting characters and backstories but the one thing that spoilt it for me was the action scenes. Just as a fight was getting started or something dangerous was happening, Jessica would start to have an argument or conversation or start to talk telepathically with some one and it would stall the flow of the story. Even when she calls on the use of her wolf, she starts to talk to her and it distracts from what is going on.

Other than that I really liked the book and I shall be following the tale of Jessica McClain in the next book in the series.

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Wait For You by J. Lynn

I received this book from the publishers with the intent to give an honest review.

First of all, I have to say I found the characters to be quite believable and likeable. I thought the subject matter was handled with care and was very well-written.

I liked the fact that Cam was a decent guy who admitted to having a few faults, well, eventually. He was quite charming and the Sunday morning breakfast routine was hilarious. I loved his pet tortoise, he should have had a bigger role. Lol.

Avery was a very sweet and shy girl, she had gone through a very difficult period and although she moved away from home, she didn't really move on with her life. Her past had a very strong hold on her.

Jacob and Brit were like a breath of fresh air. Jacob with his wonderful comebacks and Brit with her totally random comments. They made the perfect friends for Avery.

I found the story to be slow at first, it took a while to get engaged with Avery and once the story got going I found that it seemed to flow better.

I liked how she went home and confronted her parents and I totally understand the need to talk to Molly, although the blame lay firmly at Blaine's feet, along with his parents and Avery's.

Now I'm probably going to get shot for this but my one fault that I could find with this book was the fact that there was no mention of safe-sex. Yes, Avery was a virgin but Cam wasn't and he admitted to hooking up with Steph and he was supposedly a bit of a man-whore in high school so why wasn't there any mention of using condoms. I'm not saying that the sex scenes were bad, they definitely weren't but it doesn't exactly promote healthy sex.

I look forward to book two in this series and I would certainly encourage any one else to give it a try. :-)

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Blood and Magick by James R. Tuck

I received an e-copy of this book from the publishers on the condition that I write an honest review.

First things first, I haven't read the first two in this series but I'm now on a mission to find them.

I found Deacon to be just the right side of Alpha without coming across as a total Tarzan, "me say you do this, so you do this" type. I found him refreshing and also at times a little vulnerable, especially when he's remembering the family he lost.

I wasn't sure at first as to what was going on, I mean who starts out a story in a restaurant but from the first paragraph, I was hooked. From the very first scene, where he isn't happy about wearing a suit that doesn't fit to describing Tiff. That was it for me, hook, line and sinker. Then we get the explosion and that's when the action really takes off. It's a non-stop rollercoaster of action with barely a moment to breath, well except from a quick little shower sex scene but that just added to the story.

I loved his priest, a chain-smoking, alcohol-drinking holy-roller. As is mentioned in the story by one of the characters "Best. Priest. Ever". Which is saying something as I don't believe in religion, no matter what form it comes in. But that's just me. I loved all the references to all the different types of Were's he knows or has killed. My favourite mention of all is the shout out to Laurel K. Hamilton's Anita Blake and Jean-Claude, as if they are his shooting or monster hunting buddies. That just made me smile, it's not often another authors creation gets a little mention.

I loved the triplets, they sound so cute calling him "Unca Deacon" and constantly changing from one form to another, never all the same. The whole book is full of wonderful characters that I could picture in my head which to me, makes a book. If I can picture them as they are portrayed it makes it seem more real. There's a better connection.

I felt his pain at Kat's demise and he was right, it was all Larson's fault, he brought the whole shebang down on their heads by messing with things he didn't understand. Although I think leaving Larson as he did is probably going to bite him in the ass at a later date. I did actually laugh at him describing the Cockatrice, just picturing it in my head was mental.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys urban fantasy and paranormal. I would rank Mr James R. Tuck up there with Jim Butcher, Kim Harrison, Laurel K. Hamilton and Patricia Briggs.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Ink (Paper Gods, #1) by Amanda Sun

I received a copy of Ink from the publisher with the intent that I give an honest review.

I'm going to try to write this review without giving away too much of the plot, which is going to be difficult so bare with me.

To say this is a good book would be an understatement. Yes, we have the pre-requisite young girl, uprooted and dropped off in a country that is as complex and dictated by manners as Japan and we have the leading guy, who everyone thinks is bad but deep down he's really good, just misunderstood.

When I started to read this book, I felt a little at sea myself. I could connect with Katie on this level as she tries to find herself and make a home with her aunt. She has to learn a strange language just so she can fit in at school and learn what is the right thing to do and say in certain situations. When she's a witness to a break-up between a couple she tries to hide and not be noticed by them and that's really when the story gets on a roll.

When a drawing that she is doodling starts to move, she starts to panic and then her pen explodes and the ink goes everywhere. When she looks up, she notices Tomo and realises that he's seen what happened and she starts to think it's his fault, especially the pen exploding.

After that she starts to follow him and gradually they get to know each other. When they start to see each other, they realise that there is something more going on. With Yakuza and Kami trying to get Tomo onto their side, Katie tries to keep this from happening and to save them both from anything bad happening.

I look forward to the next book in this series, I can't wait to see what happens with Katie and Tomo, how the Yakuza and the Kami decide to deal with them and if they get to have their Happy Ever After.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

True by Erin McCarthy

"I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Rory is a shy girl, but not so shy that she has no friends. On a night at her friends boyfriends' house she is rescued by Tyler from a dangerous situation. Tyler is a couple of years older and training to be an EMT.

When Tyler starts to call her and try to get her to hang out with him she's unsure how to act. Eventually she gives in and starts to spend more time with him. After a Halloween party, he asks her to stay the night at his but things happen and she ends up back in her dorm. To her horror, she finds out that her friends paid him to take her virginity. But because she isn't like other girls, she tries to work out why he didn't make a move on her and comes to the conclusion that he likes her.

Despite their different lifestyles, they seem to fit well together. Rory is from a well-to-do family while Tyler is from a bad part of town, has three brothers and a mother who is a drug addict.

When Tyler breaks up with her at Christmas, Rory is devastated and doesn't quite know how to handle it. She partly blames her father as he has looked down on him and tried to forbid her from seeing him.

Rory's other friends are more outgoing than her and try to get her to open up more, but they come over as quite pushy at times.

Erin writes her characters so well that they come to life, I found myself reading until late into the night just so I could find out what would happen next and how they would cope with the next obstacle in their way."

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Loving an Ugly Beast by Danielle Monsch

I found this to be a quick enjoyable read, I read it in one sitting whilst wasting time at the hospital. I found Nissa to be funny, loyal and very likable and Benton to be what any leading male should be. I thought it was funny that when his wish was done, he changed from being a huge, strong male to being smaller and almost feminine. The catch at the end with Nissa also having had a wish was an interesting turn. I liked that Benton wanted to protect her even from her past.

I think Danielle has written all the characters really well and even though it's set in the past, I like that the language was more modern. She also doesn't bog you down with a lot of unneeded details and she doesn't gush and go over-board when describing how everyone looks.

I found it to be a well-written re-write of the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale, I shall be on the look out for more of Danielle's books.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Dare You To by Katie McGarry

I received this book free from the publisher on the condition that I give an honest review.

First of all I think I should make it clear that I haven't read the first book in this series, in fact I was unaware that this was the second in the set. I have to say that, having not read the first book in no way detracts or undermines this story. I wasn't already familiar with the characters in the book so I didn't have any preconceived ideas about who should be with who.

I will state now that this book caused me many sleepless nights, as I had to know what was going to happen next. I had the worst case of O.M.C, ( one more chapter ). I had to have the kindle taken out of my hands as I fell asleep reading on more than one occasion.

I loved the fact that its written from both Beth and Ryan's prospective. I instantly fell in love with both of them. Beth is one tough cookie or so she would have you believe and the longer she stays with her uncle and dates Ryan the softer she seems, to Ryan anyway.

Ryan is the quintessential good guy, he's practically perfect, he's captain of the school baseball team, a good student and loyal to his friends. That's just on the surface though, he is a good guy but his life isn't perfect, his parents have kicked his older brother out after he announced that he was gay but no-one can know, they'll go to great lengths to hide that fact and they expect Ryan to do the same. They insist that he's got to go pro when he finishes school, they refuse to entertain the idea of him going to college and furthering his education and they insist that he doesn't date Beth.

When Ryan accepts a dare to ask Beth out he doesn't think he's going to fall for her but he does...hard! There's nothing he cares more for, he even forfeits the dare. He's such a good guy he tells her about the dare and that he forfeited it because he likes her. After she gets done yelling at him, she admits that she likes him too. As they iron out the kinks, she gradually tells him about her life before moving to her uncles but not why and not what she's planning to do.

To be fair, she does put herself through an emotional wringer, as well as her uncle, Ryan and her best friend, Isaiah. Especially when Ryan's ex-girlfriend spreads rumours about her, which triggers her into running away but first trying to rescue her alcoholic, drug-addicted mother from her abusive boyfriend. Ryan turns up and saves her from being beaten up by her mothers boyfriend but they both end up in hospital though.

When Ryan's parents find out that he's seeing her and try to forbid him from dating her he ignores them. He finally stands up for himself and for his choices in life which include Beth.

I cried on more than one occasion and laughed as well and just basically went on an emotional roller coaster with them.

I would recommend this book to anyone, no matter what their favourite genre maybe. And I'm going to be buying the first book and the next book too.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Broken Butterflies by Shadow Stehens

When I read the synopsis I was rather pleased, I thought I had received something a bit different from the norm. I thought the idea that everyone has a guardian angel and that they could turn into butterflies was definitely a new take.

Unfortunately for me that was all I liked about this book. All the way through, no matter what happened and how terrible things got, Ilisha wasn't fazed by anything, not the death of her grandma, not the train wreck she was in on the way home for the funeral nor finding out about Angels. When she does find out its like water of a ducks back. Finding out that Bram has lied to her and tricked her into believing he's her soulmate, that she's being stalked by a Death Maker, that she's really married to Damon and she used to be an Angel, I still got nothing from her. She's just so blasé about everything. And the fact that this all took place within a short period of time was also rather far-fetched.

When Damon tells her the whole truth about who and what she is, she still doesn't get upset. When he tells her she can become a full Angel again just by drinking his blood, she takes a second to think about it and then does it. It doesn't take long for her to sleep with Bram when she meets him and she thinks she's in love with him until she meets Damon and then realises that she's in love with him instead. She gets angry for a few minutes when she realises what Bram did and when she's told demons are trying to kill her and then she's fine. Again!

I really did want to like this book but found that instead of not wanting to put it down, I just wanted it to end

Monday, 25 March 2013

Silencing Breath by Joanne Brothwell.

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I was really looking forward to this book despite my slight problem with Stealing Breath. I was hoping for a cleaner, sharper read.

This book continues with Sarah and Evans' story. It's now four years since they got away from Stefano, their life has changed drastically. Sarah is doing great at school and Evan has just proposed. Life is good. Then it's not.

And this is where my problem starts again, the story is great. We know who the good guys are. We know who the bad guys are, we've a good idea as to what's going to happen. What we get is Sarah not calling the police when Evan goes missing, leading her friends and a few guys they know into a dangerous situation and not telling them until the last minute. She then gallops from one dire situation to another, costing the lives of two people who were there to help her in the process.

I found myself starting to dislike her, she was annoying to the point of distraction. When she had the opportunity to escape, she didn't take it.

Now, she's in hiding again with Stefano, but they've got Evan and his mother Gina trapped in the basement, waiting for her to heal them.

It was the same again, the book starts of good then when the action starts, it's too much crammed together and doesn't flow. I had to reread several sections just to get my bearings.

I would give this three moons, it would be four if it flowed smoothly.

Saying that, I still want to read the next book, just because I'm now invested in Sarah and needing to know what's going to happen.

Friday, 22 March 2013

Stealing Breath by Joanne Brothwell

I received this book free from the author with the intention to read and give an honest review of this book.

This seemed to me to be a tale of two halves.

To begin with I was intrigued by the story, I thought Sarah and her abilities were fascinating. I liked Evan right from the get-go, he seemed perfect for Sarah but I could have done without all the references to him looking sculpted and resembling a Greek God. Amber and Kate were a strange pair, it was as if they knew what she could do better than Sarah herself, even though they had no clue what she could do.

I loved the Native American Indians, Paulette, Noreen and Ernie. I thought they brought more to the story than Amber and Kate. I was rather tearful at the end. No spoilers, hate it when others do that.

Now the bad thing, and I really didn't want a bad thing. The plot is great, it runs along at quite a good pace, the story starts to build and then..... Car wreck. There was so much information thrown at Sarah and she just absorbs it, isn't fazed by it at all.

Then there's the final sequence, so many things happen in such a short space of time, she's attacked and ends up in hospital, attacked at the hospital and manages to escape, only to be attacked again, within minutes of getting to Evans house. It seems like the ending was rushed and not in the "it's so good, I can't wait to see how it ends" way.

But I am curious to see what happens next in Sarah and Evans' story and I'll be reading Silencing Breath very soon.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Nearly Departed in Deadwood by Ann Charles

This book made me chuckle, Violets kids are both endearing and frustrating, but that is what you get with twins. Violet herself is a bit of a ditz but she does try really hard at everything she does.

Her relationships are non-existent and when she does start to date someone, well she picks the wrong guy. He seems ideal to begin with, good-looking, self-employed and needing to sell his house, which she's hoping to do for him. What she doesn't realise is that he's a kidnapper and murderer.

As she tries to find out who keeps sending her flowers and keeping her kids, especially her daughter safe, she's also trying to find out who took the other girls and what happened to them. Her list of suspects are dwindling and it's not until near the end of the book that she finds out who the real criminal is.

With the help of a few of her realty clients, she finds out who's the culprit is, they also end up saving her from him.

Onto book two, I hope it's as good as the first.

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Trickster by Jeff Somers

What to say about this book.  I loved the characters and the story line, I thought the method of creating magic by using blood, or gassing as Jeff wrote it, was clever.  It made a change to have a different method to create the magic. 

I was shocked at the lengths some people would go to to live forever, all those girls that had been marked and snatched and prepared for a big ritual.  The idea that over the centuries, wars and sacrifice's had been done to create major magic.  

The friendship between Lem and Mags is....unique.  I don't know many guys that would take care of each other as they do.  Lem's morals are kind of strict too.  The way he refuses to do any magic that has been gassed by someone else's blood, only taking what he thought was reasonable when he and Mags' worked a charm.  Then falling for a girl who has been marked for a ritual and doing everything he can to save her.  Even though he says he's not a nice guy, he really is.

I don't want to say too much about the plot of this book, I'm very tempted but I will bite my tongue, or in this case not type anything.  I don't want to spoil it for anyone who is looking for something a bit different.

I'm fairly certain that this is the first in a series and I shall be buying the next as soon as it becomes available.


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Saturday, 9 March 2013

Three Graves Full by Jamie Mason

** spoiler alert ** What can I say about Three Graves Full. It's an unusual take on a murder/crime book, that's for sure.

Jason Getty has lived for nearly two years with a dead body in his back garden, one he planted there himself. Living with that knowledge isn't easy for Jason as he is, in a word, a Wimp. He is the epitome of the word Wimp. He's got no back-bone, he doesn't know how to stand up for himself and the one time that he really does lose it, he kills someone. To be fair he was pushed and bullied but murder is murder and now he has to live with it.

After planting the body he tries to get on with life but there's that voice at the back of his head that keeps nattering at him. It wakes him up at night, gasping for air. It has him looking in the mirror to see if he's changed. But he hasn't, he's still a Wimp.

Deciding that he should at least tidy up the front garden so the neighbours don't complain, well it's been nearly two years since he did anything, seems like an easy task especially as he gets a contractor to do it. The knock on the door and the conversation with the gardener telling him they've found something isn't. Neither is the phone call and the following interviews with Detective Bayard. It would seem that Jason wasn't the only person to commit murder in the property. There's two graves at the front of the property and he had been none the wiser.

Leah knew that Reid was a cheat, she always knew and he always came back. When he ran away a few weeks before their wedding, three years ago, she knew something had happened but not what. Now she has been told where he's been all these years, she just wants to see, to get some closure. What she gets is nearly killed. Some things should be left alone.

Boyd just wants to get away, now that the bodies of his wife and her lover have been discovered. After pretending to be his dead twin Bart for a couple of years he thought he'd just get a slap on the wrist for cashing his welfare cheques so when the police try to arrest him he does a runner. His first stop is his old house to see if his old neighbour can help him.

The three of them converge on Jason's back garden that night and a strange evening of events occur. Jason's trying to dig up his body in the back yard before Bayard can get the cadaver dogs, Leah is drawn to the lights that he's using and ends up getting her head bashed with a shovel when all she wanted to do was say goodbye to Reid and Bart was drawn to the mewling sound coming from the rotten smelling tarp.

From there its a mad, crazy night for all of them. Poor Jason hasn't got a clue what to do now, his window for moving the body and making a getaway are closing, Bart thinks he's killed a police officer who has shown up to make sure Leah is ok and Leah is just joining the dots and getting Jason to help her to save the police office.

Jamie Mason has written Jason Getty so well that you can just picture a bland and boring human being with doormat written all over him. His efforts to stand up for himself and the ensuing chaos are morbidly funny and the fact that Leah helps him out at the end, by tying up all the loose ends into a conceivable story, are just as much a part of his inability to think for himself and to stand up for himself.

I shall definitely be on the look-out for more of Jamie Mason's books and I would definitely recommend it to anyone, no matter what genre they like to read.

Thursday, 28 February 2013

Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble by H.P. Mallory

So I read this on the recommendation of a friend and I've got to say that to begin with I thought it was good but the more I read the more found Jolie to be ridiculous and silly. Not only is she constantly getting into trouble that could easily be avoided but she has to keep describing the men in the book. How all the good guys seem to be handsome and she can't get enough of how gorgeous they are, not that she does anything about it even when she's dating one of them and that the one bad male character is described as ugly is really annoying.

The way that the magic works is a bit simplistic too, just focus and it will happen. Nothing else, just basically imagine it. Maybe that's just me, I always think that there should be more to it than, you just have to want it, see it and it will happen.

I think this is one series that I'm not going to buy, I may get it out of the library but only if I can't find something else to read.

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Deadly Sting by Jennifer Estep

I received this book free from the publishers for the purpose of reading, reviewing and leaving an honest opinion. This has in no way affected my opinion.

Although this is book eight of a series that I haven't read, it in no way detracted from the story. I wasn't wondering what the characters were talking about or why this was happening or that. It certainly stands well on its own and I shall be on the look out for the rest of this series.

Gin Blanco, A.K.A. The Spider is a strong lead character who knows what she's doing and how to go about doing it. No muss, no fuss. Sure there's the fact that she's one of the most deadliest assassins alive but don't let a little thing like that dissuade you from liking her. When she's not out doing her night job then she can usually be found at the Pork-Pit, a local diner which she also owns. She is also proficient in Elemental Magic, mainly Stone and Ice and it's come in handy on more than one occasion.

She's persuaded to go to a museum event, showing the collection of Mab Monroe, mega-rich Fire Elemental and one of Gin's victims. To be fair, she had tried to kill Gin on a few occasions but obviously failed.

Unbeknownst to everyone attending the gala, there's about to be a serious problem in the form of a robbery. All the guards are Giants and one of them has masterminded the heist of the century, unfortunately she hadn't factored Gin into the equation.

When a guest is killed by one of the Giants due to a simple case of mistaken identity, Gin is free to set about scuppering the Giants plans and making sure all the guest are safe. Meanwhile the Giant in charge, Clementine, thinks she's killed The Spider as well as pulling the heist off.

Needless to say things don't turnout how Clementine pictured and with a high body count and everyone else safe, Gin is victorious. She realises that Clementine was working for somebody and not the great mastermind she wanted everyone to think she was and with the help of her friend Finn, Gin finds out who is pulling the strings and the book ends with a great lead into the next.

As I said, I shall now be on the look-out for the first set of books and I would highly recommend this book and series to anyone who loves urban/paranormal fantasy. With a touch of murder thrown in too.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

A Shimmer of Angels by Lisa M. Basso

What a crazy life!!! Having to be locked up for three years because you're hallucinating Angels and then when you're finally released to find out that actually, no you're not crazy, you really can see Angels. Now that's a trip.

Poor Rayna has worked so hard the last few years to try and fit in, to be normal and not end up back at the SS Crazy. Now it's all going to pot because she's seeing them again. At the diner where she's got a job and at school, in some of her classes. His name is Cam and all he will tell her is he's there to keep another student safe.

After finding a school friend in a closet at school with her wrists slit and another kills himself, It's a downward spiral from there.

Her dad ships her back to the SS Crazy but it's not safe there either. With another patient dead, she escapes with the help of Kade, one of the Fallen. He explains that another Fallen named Azriel who is influencing these teens to take their own lives. And it seems like he's after Rayna because she can see both the Fallen and Angels.

With a deal made to save the lives of her family and friends, Rayna is being dragged to hell to be used by Lucifer but Cam and Kade join together to stop Azriel from taking her.

With Az in hell, Cam must return to heaven and Rayna is left with no where to go except to stay with Kade. Something she's not entirely comfortable with but there's nothing else she can do if she doesn't want to go back to the nuthouse. Oh yeah, and to cap it all off, she's got wings.!!!!

The torment that she goes through, thinking she's going crazy again then finding out she's not makes her into a very likeable, strong-willed girl. Even when she's scared witless, all she thinks about is keeping her friends and family safe.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Into The Woods by Kim Harrison

Absolutely wonderful. Great little short stories that give a bit more insight into some of the characters in the Hollows series and in to the wonderful and creative mind of Kim Harrison.

I loved the story of Al and his snatching of Ceri. All the stories are great but that's one of my favourites in this book.
The other tales were all unique and interesting, putting a different spin on the tales of Dryads.

And now we wait for the next in the series.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Carved In Darkness by Maegan Beaumont

I really enjoyed this book. I suffered from O.M.C (one more chapter) until I'd finished it. It was one of those books that kept me guessing the whole way through.

Seventeen year old Melissa is snatched off the street and kept for 83 days, during that time she was raped and tortured. She had her eyes sewn shut and was kept in a basement until he finally went too far, killed her and dumped her in a prayer garden.

Moving forward fifteen years and Sabrina is a police officer with a big secret. She's Melissa and no-one knows she survived apart from her Gran, her room-mate Val and her younger brother and sister.

When the man who took her finds out she's alive he will do anything to get her back. He has continued to kill girls but none of them are Melissa and that's who he wants.

The story is gruesome in parts, the torture scenes are very descriptive. With the help of Michael, whose sister was taken the year before, Sabrina must go back and find the man who kept her all those years ago and who has killed again to flush her out into the open.

She's also got to stay out of the reach of her own police precinct as she is wanted on suspicion of murder, which she's being framed for.

Throw in a cop who hates her, one who is in love with her, a murderer who wants her back and Michael, she's not short of men in her life but she doesn't want any. She's built up walls to keep everyone away but finds that with Michael she doesn't need them but Michael isn't good boyfriend material, he's a mercenary.

He's also falling for her but knows nothing can come of it. He will do anything to keep her safe and get his sisters killer though.

I definitely recommend this book but not if you're squeamish. It's well-written, has a good arc and keeps you up reading one more chapter.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

The Devil You Know by K.H. Koehler

This is a really good book with a different take on angels, daemons, demons, the devil and god. Nick is the son of the devil and therefore has to watch his back as angels are always gunning for him, even though he isn't evil or bad. Well no more bad than the next guy, he likes to smoke and have sex, nothing wrong with that.

When he meets Vivian, he finds himself falling fast for her but there is a small problem, she's like him. She's also running from Malach, an angel that is known for killing daemons. There's also the case of the missing little girl from a local, well to do family.

When Nick is called in to help, he stumbles on something much more sinister than a child gone missing. Not only is the child suffering from Tay-Sachs disease but her mother is trying to take over the Throne (in heaven) by ascending to the level of God. She's doing this by trapping and eating parts of angels and also her daughter.

The mother turns out to be Vivian's friend from child-hood, who ran away and then re-invented herself as someone else and married her father, who had sexually abused her as a child. It's totally twisted and beyond evil. It's also a little confusing at first until you get your brain around it.

I think there could have been more in the story about Nick's room-mate, Morgana and his relationship with her but I'm hoping that will be covered in the next book.

This story ticks along at a good pace and has a fantastic ending. I would recommend this to any of my friends.

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Blackbrooke by Emma Silver

Absolutely brilliant book. I was totally blown away by it. I loved the story and the way it was written. I was in tears several times throughout the book, I was angry, shocked at times and laughed at some of the interactions of the characters in the story.

I found Liberty to be a really likeable person and her friends were a good mix. I didn't like how her friends acted towards Cassius but that's generally what kids and teens do.

The Rules and the division of boys and girls were a little perplexing to begin with, throw in the Crits and you've got a great backdrop to the story.

I was disgusted by the pact that the parents had with the Queens and hope that in the next book some of the parents get what they deserve. I couldn't believe that the Government didn't do anything to get rid of the Crits. And I was really shocked at the end of the book. Cassius being alive, just about, Liberty being made to work for the government instead of going free as was promised and Gabriel being alive.

I really can't wait for book two. I highly recommend this to anyone.

Monday, 28 January 2013

Ever After by Kim Harrison

Wow!!!! Wish there were more stars to give. I think this is the best in the series so far. I laughed, cried and shouted at my book. I also grieved when I finished it as I now have a long wait for the next book.

I love how much Rachel has grown and changed, she thinks before acting, well most of the Her friendship with Trent is still prickly but so good for both of them.

When Nick turned up it was obvious that he was up to no good but stealing babies was just plain wrong. I felt terrible for Jenks when he caught Jax and ripped his wings.

I laughed when Rachel told Étude off (Bis's dad). But the way that Kim described how Rachel felt when she was flying on the gargoyle was so descriptive. I now want a gargoyle, a pixy, a fairy, an elf and a demon all of my own, and yes I know I'm a grown woman but I don't care. I want!!!!!

I'm liking how Jenks is with Belle and how Ivy is trying to save Nina but I don't know if she will be able to. I hope so.

Lucy and Ray are both adorable and my heart broke for them and Quen when Ceri was killed but at the end when Al turned up drunk and grieving for her as well was just so touching, I couldn't help but laugh and cry.

I love Rachel's interactions with Newt, she's got just the right amount of fear that makes her stand up to her and protect those around her from Newts insanity.

I think I'm going to have to re-read the series over again just to stop the withdrawal symptoms.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Automatic Woman by Nathan L. Yocum

As the saying goes "third times the charm" and that's how many attempts it took for me to get into this book.

The first 50 pages I kept having to re-read because the words just weren't sinking in.  Finally, after Jolly had been released from the holding cells, the story got going.  It got a bit silly though, what with all the famous people popping up, Darwin, Rasputin and Stoker to name a few.

Once he finds out what's going on and who all the players are and what he means to them, that's when it gets better.  There's some great fight scenes and he shows that he can work a case as well as the next guy, he's not just a bruiser but I found it all a bit predictable.

I liked his scenes with Mary and found myself hoping he managed to sort everything out just because Mary deserved a happy ending.

I would recommend this to anyone who was just getting interested in this genre but it wouldn't be at the top of my list for recommendations.

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion

This has to be in my top ten favourite reads, I loved it. It's beautifully written, carefully tempting you with the choicest of words to describe a love story with a twist or even a Zombie story with a twist.

R isn't like all the other Zombies to start off with, he's got a name, he's a hoarder and a thinker, such fantastic thoughts in his head, he can also speak, it's unfortunate that he's limited to two or three words. His friend and hunting buddy is "M", he's also got a limited vocabulary. Whilst hunting one day, R kills a human male but something makes him save the girl that's with him. He takes her back to his place, keeps her safe from all the other Zombies and gradually falls in love with her.

Julie soon realises R is different and as she spends time with him, he becomes more Alive. She teaches him to drive a car that he's kept and eventually, when he realises he needs to let her go, they escape in his car.

When she tricks him and drives off, leaving him on his own, he sets out to see her again. His friend M helps him trick the guards at the stadium were she lives into letting him in. Whilst he's with her he keeps changing but it turns out he's not the only one. M manages to get in touch and tells him more Zombies are becoming Alive.

There's just two blips on the highway to true love, one is Julie's father and the other is the Boney's from the airport were R lived. They are extremely old and seem to know what's happening and will go to great lengths to stop it, including charging the stadium en-masse.

Julie's father is a soldier and lost his wife to the curse that has caused the Dead to come to life but it seems like he lost more than that. He can't see that R isn't a monster and when she kisses R and she changes into something else, he can't see her either. He's no better than the Boney's.

With the happy ending that all good love stories need, Warm Bodies is a fabulous tale of love conquering all, including Death.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Siegfried Vol 1

Normally I love Graphic Novels but I just couldn't get into this one. I've tried several times to read this and it just isn't getting any better for me.

The artwork is fantastic with a brilliant array of colours and shades but that's the only thing I did like. And that's a difficult thing for me to say as I love to read.

Dresden Files: Fool Moon Vol 2

This is the second part of the graphic novel, Fool Moon. Although it's a different medium for the story, it loses nothing in its telling. In fact, it's enhanced by the brilliant artwork. As usual Harry is up to his neck in trouble and has to save not only his own arse but quite a few others, including Gentleman Johnny Marcone. That must really stick in the throat.

I would recommend any of the Dresden Files in either book or graphic novel medium to anyone interested in reading an urban fantasy.

I received this book free from the publisher with the intent to review but this has in no way influenced my review.

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Lover Enshrined by J.R. Ward

This was another in the series that I wasn't as thrilled about. Don't get me wrong, I like Phury and was glad that the series had moved on to his story but damn, it didn't half drag on, or seemed to as this was one of the shorter books.

I think it seemed to take longer because there was too much being put into it. We have the situation with John and co, we've got Rhev and the blackmail, we've got Lash and the Omega, all the drama about Phury's drug problem, being the Primale and his dealings with the Chosen and it just seemed too much for the book.

I really hope book 7 is better.

Monday, 7 January 2013

Lover Unbound by J.R. Ward

Glad to say this series is back on track. Vishous finds his mate, his mother and gets his visions back, well not all at the same time and not without some trauma in between.

First he's told who his mother is and how he came into being (such a terrible childhood and pretrans period), what a total bastard his father his, then he gets told what his destiny is. To become the Primale and basically be nothing more than a stallion at stud, his role to get the Chosen pregnant.

Whilst out hunting for lessers, he gets shot and ends up in a human hospital. There he meets Jane, who is a surgeon and he realises that she's his mate. When the Brotherhood arrive and take him back home, he insists the Brothers take her too.

Over four days, as he heals and she also works on Phury, who got jumped by lessers, they fall in love. V finds himself not wanting to wipe her memory but knows he's going to have to do it.

Whilst all this is going on John finally hits his transition but still has problems coping emotionally, luckily Z is there for him as he understands what he's gone through.

We meet Cormia who has been chosen to be the Primales first Chosen, but she's terrified about what will happen as she has never seen a male before.

After quite a roller coaster of a story were Phury agrees to take V's place as Primale, V goes to Janes and undoes the wipe. She agrees to bond with him, but when she runs outside with his coat late one night, she gets shot by a lesser and dies.

V is devastated and tries to resurrect her but his mother (the Scribe Virgin) steps in and stops him. As a way of making up for all the bad things that had happened to V at the hands of his father, she makes a sacrifice of her own and brings Jane back as a ghost, but she will be solid if V is touching her.

We also see what a nasty bitch the Directrix is, scaring Cormia with what would happen to her when she was with the Primale, threatening Layla when she tried to calm Cormia and the icing on the cake, she's the one who shot V. Phury found out after he took up the Primale mantle and dealt with her accordingly.

Next stop book 6. :-)

Friday, 4 January 2013

Lover Revealed by JR Ward

What to say about this book, well for one thing, it wasn't my favourite, another was it seemed to take a long time to get going.

All the "I'm not worthy, I'm not good enough" from both Butch and Marissa was frustrating. When they finally get sorted and then for her to try laying down the law made her no better than her brother.

I like the way things are between Butch and V, I was so upset when V realised that Butch was his best friend and that he also had feelings for him. I thought it was written with great care.

I had already worked out what was going on with the Scribe Virgin and the Omega and I've a good idea as to what's going to happen with them later in the series.

I'm hoping book 5 gets back on track.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Lover Awakened by JR Ward

I thoroughly enjoyed this book in the series, I was all over the place emotionally with what happened to Zhadist ,what he was going through and putting everyone around him through.

I liked the fact that the story didn't gloss over Bella's time with the lesser or hide the emotional damage and what she needed after to feel safe. I wanted to slap Z silly (yes, I know he's just a character who lives in books) for his responses to her and his twin.

I can honestly say I cried at what happened to Wellsie, (I know it's a sad bit but I'm also clinically depressed). And poor John, how frustrating to not have a voice at all.

I wasn't surprised to find out that Rhev turned out to be who he was, there's a few things that are going on that I thought might happen but that's not a bad thing. I still found the writing to be all over the place, one persons POV, then another persons.

I can honestly say I'm a Black Dagger fan for life now,