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Showing posts from August, 2012

Captive in the Dark by C.J. Roberts

Captive in the Dark by CJ Roberts My rating: 5 of 5 stars I'm not sure anything I write in this review will explain how much I loved this book and why. To say that this story is complex is a massive understatement. If you're looking for a light easy afternoon read, a book with love, hope, and a happily ever after, keep looking. If you want raw emotion, pain, dark terror, a page turner that will captivate you from the first word to the last and then leave you wanting more, this is the book for you. Caleb is a slave trainer, and Caleb wants revenge. When he sets his sight on Olivia he thinks she is the means to the end. His goal is to kidnap her and train her to be a pleasure slave so he can sell her and ultimately use her as a tool for his revenge. However, Olivia turns out to be not quite what he had expected. Olivia is a high school senior just trying to get through her last year so she can get out of her life and start new. She has no one at home she can turn to f

Writings From the Heart by Beth Ann Masarik

Writings from the Heart: Stories and Poetry From Around the World by Beth Ann Masarik My rating: 4 of 5 stars I find it hard writing a review for anthologies, as there are so many components to the book. Some of the stories/poems I loved, some I thought were just okay. So, I'll do my best to give you an overview of the book as a whole. This anthology will have something for everyone. The short stories range widely in topic and are heartwarming and full of emotion, playful and funny. Reading through the stories and poems in this collection, I found them interesting and unique. If you're a fan of poetry, or you're just curious to find out more, you'll definitely need to pick this one up! One of my favorite stories was "Hiding in Plain Sight," though there were a few others I really enjoyed as well, and though I'm not normally a huge fan of poetry, I really enjoyed the poems in this anthology. A couple of my favorites were "Invisible Scars"

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake My rating: 5 of 5 stars Cas is a ghost hunter. He hunts down and kills ghosts that don't realize that they are dead. He inherited this ability from his father, and it has been passed down for generations. Cas moves with his mother, a white witch, to Canada to track down rumors of a ghost names Anna. When he finds Anna, she is anything but what he was expecting. Cas is a very likable guy. He's a nice guy with a good sense of humor. I found myself laughing at his wittiness more than once. He's never really had many friends, moving around too often to really have the chance to make any, but when he does make friends he turns out to be a great one. He is caring and loyal and overall jus a good guy. Anna turns out to be pretty likable too. I loved the two different sides of her that the author was able to convey. And her story once it was told was so sad! I never would have expected it to play out the way it did. All of the

Seduced by Three by Sylvia Ryan

Seduced by Three by Sylvia Ryan My rating: 4 of 5 stars If you love a story full of alpha males, this is the book for you. The world as we know it is coming to an end after a major cataclysmic event. Sarge has been preparing for this day for years, even though he never really expected it to come. He knows what he must do to survive, and at the request of a friend, goes after Grace to help her survive too. Grace is the (adult) daughter of a man who taught her how to survive. She is tough and knows how to take care of herself. When Sarge comes in insisting she go with him, she does so reluctantly and only because her father had sent him. Hiding out and trying to survive in a world of chaos, they team up with a couple more allies. I liked all of the characters in this story. Each is unique and has his or her own personality. I really would have loved to see what all of their lives were like "before." Sarge is the strong sexy type. If there ever was an alpha male,

Bitter Harvest by Kim Knox

Bitter Harvest by Kim Knox My rating: 3 of 5 stars Bitter Harvest is a great story, flirty, sexy and fun. Rider is pretty much your poster boy for Playboy. He is sexy and irresistible, and knows it. Sutton is a Lieutenant is serious and focused. When the two meet, sparks fly. This story is set in an apocalyptic world where a manmade virus is infecting people and turning them basically into human machines. Sutton lives in a human community of uninfected people that is, as far as they know, one of the last human communities around. Their goal is to protect themselves from the infected for as long as they can. The evolving relationship between Rider and Sutton was fun, and the sexual tension made the story fun to read, though at the end I was still confused by the whole 'cure' thing. I wish that would have been explained better. View all my reviews

Solstice by Bryan W. Dull

Solstice by Bryan W. Dull My rating: 4 of 5 stars I received this book as an ARC from the author. Gavin is a vampire hunter. He hunts humans who have been 'infected' and kills them before they fully turn. Gavin, like any good main character hero sort, has a past that continually haunts him. Gavin's past has made him a bit cynical, but he is overall a good guy. When he meets Solstice, he can't just turn her out on her own, no matter how much he would like to. Gavin is the sort of guy that makes a great main character, and he might just be getting his second chance at life. Solstice is a half vampire, half human. She is alone in the world, and all she really wants is to be normal. She appears sweet and innocent, but there is a danger lurking underneath the surface that we only get a very small glimpse of in this book. I love the mystery surrounding Solstice. Even though she is the book's namesake, we really don't know very much about her, but just en

One Less Warlock by Judith Post

One Less Warlock by Judith Post My rating: 4 of 5 stars I think it's hard in a short story to create a unique setting, characters, etc., and still get some sort of story line in. In One Less Warlock, Judith did an excellent job of molding the story in such a way that we got a taste of a distinct world and character personalities, and a complete story to go with it. In this short story Judith was able to pack in witches, vampires, a sexy Were, succubus, voodoo, murder, and mystery, all in only about 20 pages. Pretty amazing. I enjoyed the story and Babet, the main character, and am looking forward to more of her in the future. View all my reviews

The Sun Never Rises in the Big City by Jeremy C. Shipp

The Sun Never Rises in the Big City by Jeremy C. Shipp My rating: 4 of 5 stars This was a great short story, one I would love to read as a full length novel. It is basically about a 'detective' trying to find a murderer, but the setting in which the characters lived was pretty unique. There were quite distinct social classes that the story isn't quite long enough for you to grasp the whole concept of, but we got an overview of the almost dystopian setting, just enough to tantalize. There are so many places this story could be taken, and I will be looking for more from this author. View all my reviews

Dirty Little Angels by Chris Tusa

Dirty Little Angels by Chris Tusa My rating: 4 of 5 stars After reading the blurb for this book you might be led to believe it is about God or religion. Really it is a coming-of-age story of a young impressionable girl looking for answers and something to believe in. Hailey is a 16-year-old girl living in the slums of New Orleans trying to find a way to fix her broken family. In this process, she questions religion and tries to make sense of all of the different views on the subject. Basically, she is a confused young girl trying to figure out why things are the way they are. With parents who are too busy with their own problems to even begin to think about hers, having no real positive role model and left on her own to find answers, Hailey turns to her older brother and his friends for support. This book follows Hailey as she maneuvers through life looking for something or someone to help her make sense of things. This story is told basically through a stream of consciousnes

Crimson Midnight by Amos Cassidy

Crimson Midnight by Amos Cassidy My rating: 5 of 5 stars Crimson Midnight has it all…sexy werewolves (my personal favorite), vamps, demons, warlocks, and crazy fairies. Oh, and I forgot to mention the action, drama, mystery, magic, humor, and romance…What more could you ask for in a book? Rose moved to the big city of London to get a fresh start, and with a new job, a city to explore, and old friends to keep her company, everything should be perfect…insert scary laugh here. Rose moves in with a family friend, Flo, and Flo's two sons, and before long she comes to realize that not everyone is who, or what, they seem. I LOVE the characters in this book. Rose is tough and sassy. She is a fighter and stands up for herself. I am so over the female leads who sit around helpless waiting for the big strong man to save the day. Rose is very much not one of those. But, don't get me wrong…there's absolutely nothing wrong with having a big strong man (or two) waiting on you

Second Time Around by H.A. Caine

Second Time Around by H.A. Caine My rating: 3 of 5 stars This was an enjoyable short story. Jamie is about to open his own bakery and has a chance to meet some of his new neighbors. Matthew and Jamie seem to hit it off, but Jamie is unsure of Matthew's sexual orientation or if he is interested in him. The characters and the setting in the story were fun, and it was an entertaining story. View all my reviews

Lure by Brian Rathbone

Lure by Brian Rathbone My rating: 3 of 5 stars Overall, this book was good. Sam and Shells pretty much partied all the time and were pretty funny together, always getting into some sort of trouble. Sam is a strong female lead who doesn't take crap from anyone and doesn't back down from a challenge. Sam is an ex-cop turned paranormal investigator, together with her friend Shells. They are called to Lake Lure to investigate some paranormal activity and jump at the chance to get out of town for a while. This story started off good, but ultimately never went anywhere. We saw a lot of Sam and Shells partying, and that's about it. The buildup to the ending was a bit slow, though entertaining, but once we got there it was very anticlimactic. It seemed that throughout the whole book I was waiting for something that never came, and I was left wanting something more out of the book. That being said, if you're looking for a quick, humorous story about two friends on a

The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa My rating: 5 of 5 stars Allie is a human living in post apocalyptic America after a plague wipes out over half of the population and vampires take control. She and her gang of friends struggle every day just to not starve to death on the streets. Allie hates the vampires with everything that she is, until she is attacked and forced to make the choice between life and death. Choosing life, she then has to learn to come to terms with what she has become and try to figure out how to keep her humanity. I loved this book for many reasons…First, I really liked Allie. She was a tough street girl who knew what it took to survive, yet she had a soft side to her, always helping out those around her. In a world where even humans had lost their humanity, Allie was struggling to try to keep hers. I loved the descriptiveness of the book. The author really does a great job weaving Allie's tale and painting a picture of the world she lives in. I reall

Fallen by Lauren Kate

Fallen by Lauren Kate My rating: 3 of 5 stars I listened to the audio book of Fallen. Fallen is the story of Luce, a 17-year-old girl sent to a boarding school for troubled teens. Her first day at the school she meets her fellow students, some who she seems to hit it off with immediately, and then there's Daniel. Luce is instantly inexplicably drawn to Daniel, but he very obviously wants nothing to do with her. The story follows Luce through her days at Sword & Cross as she learns the ropes and tries to figure out how to fit in and stay out of trouble. She makes a couple of friends, Arriane and Penn, to help her out, and of course an enemy to set the balance. Though Luce is fascinated by Daniel and her unexplained attraction to him, she is adequately distracted by Cam, the "other" hot guy at the school. The characters in this book are fun and each has their own personality. I liked the setting the author was able to create and the effect portrayed through h

Deadly Addiction by Kristine Cayne

Deadly Addiction by Kristine Cayne My rating: 5 of 5 stars Deadly Addiction has everything you could want in a great book – suspense, romance, an oh so sexy alpha male, a kick-ass female lead…and so much more! I'm not even quite sure where to start with this because I just loved everything about this book. The characters were written exceptionally well. The author has a way of getting inside of the heads of her characters that is nothing short of amazing. I loved the relationship between Alyssa and Remi from their very first meeting. The flirting was fun, the chemistry was hot, and the sexual tension was done in a way that left you always on the edge waiting for what was going to happen next! Alyssa is a cop trying to salvage her career after questionable tactics while working undercover. She is sent to the Iroquois reserve on an "easy" assignment to help set up a group of native officers to police the reservation. Alyssa is trying to put her past behind her but

ReVamped by Ada Adams

ReVamped by Ada Adams My rating: 4 of 5 stars Sent to the small town of Angel Creek to train four new vampires to become guardians of the town, Dawn thinks she has been given a pretty easy assignment. Her assignment, however, turns out to be not so simple when she meets her trainees, and the longer Dawn is in Angel Creek, the more she realizes she is in for more than she bargained for. Revamped gives us a different take on vampires from the usual. I enjoyed the way they were portrayed in this book and loved the humor throughout the story. The descriptiveness of the story was wonderful and imaginative, and the characters were well written. The author did an excellent job of creating her characters and getting inside their heads. Dawn was a great character and easy to connect with. The only thing I really did not like about her is that I found her character to be inconsistent at times. She was trained to be this great warrior, the greatest in fact, but at any sign of trouble

Blood Debt by Nancy Straight

Blood Debt by Nancy Straight My rating: 5 of 5 stars I have been a fan of Nancy Straight ever since I read the first book of her Destiny series. After I finished it, I immediately went to Amazon and purchased the next two books. I would have done that with Blood Debt as well but, sadly, the rest of the series isn't out yet. However, I look forward to the rest of the series with great anticipation. Here's why I love it… First is the story itself. I think the thing I love the most is the uniqueness of it. The mythology woven into the story is creative and original. I really enjoyed the author's new perspective on the centaurs and gods. Second is the characters. Camille is a great lead. She is independent, funny and strong. We are introduced to her and given some background on her, and then her world is turned upsidedown. The story follows her as she learns about who and what she really is and what that means for her. The rest of the characters, from her new fa

Not That Type of Guy by Sara York

Not That Type of Guy by Sara York My rating: 3 of 5 stars Not That Type of Guy is the sweet and sexy story of Aiden and Trace. Aiden is a CIA agent with a tough job. He keeps people at a distance, especially woman, thinking he really can't get into a serious relationship. After an unexpected sexual encounter with another man, Aiden has to face the reality of his feelings and what he's been hiding from himself. Aiden's character was written in a way that we were able to feel his conflicts and emotions. He had had it drilled into him his whole life that being gay was wrong and bad, and he was terrified of his own true feelings. He had kept them hidden for so long that he was a wreck when those feelings finally made their way out. Trace is a doctor who changes Aiden's whole way of thinking and, ultimately, his life. I liked Trace. He knew what he wanted and wasn't afraid to go after it. The attraction between Aiden and Trace is intense, and they were fun t

What I Didn't Say by Keary Taylor

What I Didn't Say by Keary Taylor My rating: 4 of 5 stars What I Didn't Say is a captivating, emotional story. We follow the story through Jake's point of view as he comes to term with the consequences of his actions. After getting drunk with some friends one night and getting into a car accident, Jake's life is changed forever. No longer able to speak, he must learn how to come to terms with his disability and communicate again, not only with his family but with the rest of the world as well. Through the story we watch Jake grow, although he does have setbacks, and he also learns that he's not the only one with problems. Enter Sam. Jake had been crushing on Samantha since she first moved to their town. As the two become closer, Jake learns that, although she appears perfect on the outside, she is struggling with her own troubles. I enjoyed watching the changing dynamics of Jake's life and his relationship with Sam. I think this story was all the mor

Determinant by A.M. Hargrove

Determinant by A.M. Hargrove My rating: 4 of 5 stars The third book in The Guardians of Vesturon series was my favorite, although I loved the first two books as well. Determinant is fast paced and full of adventure and surprises that will be sure to keep you guessing. Plus, it is packed full of hot guys…who can resist? January is a great character. She has had a tough life but despite her past, or maybe because of it, she is a strong lead and knows how to take care of herself. She is easily likable and fun to be reading about. I really love Rykerian. I loved having his point of view in the story. He's sweet, smart, funny, and obviously cares very much for January. My favorite new character in the story was Jurek. He was mysterious and complex. If he were real, I'd marry him. That's all I'm going to say :) Although this is the third of the series and the characters from the first two books make an appearance, Determinant could be a standalone book. However

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor My rating: 5 of 5 stars Daughter of Smoke and Bone is the kind of book you don't want to end. You know it's going to have to, you know it's getting close, but when it finally gets there, you're still upset because you want the story to continue…you have so much invested in the characters that you just have to know what happens next! Karou is such a great character. She's fun, caring, and loyal to her family…just don't piss her off because she knows how to fight. She is definitely the kind of girl you want on your side in a battle. I quickly became intrigued by Karou. At first she seems so innocent, but then you find out she has this whole other life. She is obviously lonely, and I found myself feeling empathy for her and her situation. It would be hard not to be able to have 'real' friends, and even with her 'family' she was pretty much left in the dark about everything. I loved her even more

Five by Christie Rich

Five by Christie Rich My rating: 4 of 5 stars Rayla is pursuing her dreams by going away to college rather than staying close to home. Despite her aunt's protests, she sneaks off with her best friend, and that's when the fun begins. The whole story line of Five was different, and I appreciated that very much. The history of the Elementals and the Fae Lords was an interesting one. I really enjoyed the whole fantasy world that was created for this story. The book was action packed and fun to read. I mean really, who wouldn't want five hot Lords fighting over you? Rayla was a great character. She was funny and sassy. The story follows Rayla as she learns of her heritage and what that means for her. I like that she didn't fall into a heap and cry after learning about the Elementals, but really, with all those yummy guys following her around, what's to cry about? I loved the twists and turns the story took and am looking forward to where the author is going

Bared to You by Sylvia Day

Bared to You by Sylvia Day My rating: 4 of 5 stars This story was pretty hot. The sex scenes were hot and steamy, and the setting was a perfect fantasy. Who wouldn't love the dream of running into Mr. Hot and Sexy at work and having him come right out and tell you like it is? The characters were done well for the most part. Cross was, well, Cross. I don't really know what to say about him except YUM. I guess that's really enough. Eva was, well…for the most part I liked her. She was strong and independent, knowing what she wanted and not afraid to go after it. I didn't, however, like the way she reacted to things…Yes, I know she was traumatized and running was her way of dealing, but really, it got old. Example: At one point she says (or thinks) she can't stand the thought of being the next in a line of many, and yet that's exactly what she agreed to with Cross. He laid out pretty clearly how it was going to be for him, and she accepted his deal,

Fool Moon by Jim Butcher

Fool Moon by Jim Butcher My rating: 5 of 5 stars I love Harry!! I love his sarcasm, his self-depreciating humor, his smarts, his Macgyver-like ability to get out of any situation with the scantest of resources. Fool Moon, as you might guess by the title, is about werewolves. I really enjoyed that author's take on the wolves and the many different kinds of wolves…how inventive! My favorite part of this book, though, was that we got to see a softer side of Harry. The scene towards the end with him and Susan was just a peek, barely even a chapter, but it was enough to show a side of him that we don't normally get. I mean, he's always nice and gentlemany, but this was a sweet side and it was my favorite scene in the whole book. It humanized Harry in a way that nothing else could. I am so very much looking forward to finishing this series. Oh yeah, and I listened to the audio book of this one, which, by the way, is awesome! James Marsters has the perfect "Harry&

Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma

Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma My rating: 5 of 5 stars “How can something so wrong feel so right?” What do you say about a book that leaves you speechless? I actually have a lot to say. First off, my hats off to the author on this one, not only for the excellent read, but also because this couldn't have been an easy story to write. I somehow managed not to bawl like a baby, but I did, especially during the last two chapters, sound like *gasp, oh no, oh my God*…until my husband finally told me (not very politely) to go in to the other room to read because he was trying to watch TV. I'm also still thinking about the story and the characters over a week after I finished the book, which says a lot. So, I'm going to try to keep this short, but I really doubt that's happening. Forbidden is like an emotional train wreck. You know what's coming but you also know you can't stop it…all you can do was sit back and watch and wait for the inevitable. I thought th

Dark Light of Mine by John Corwin

Dark Light of Mine by John Corwin My rating: 5 of 5 stars The second installment in Corwin's Overworld Chronicles series is full of action, adventure, romance (but not the mushy kind), and humor. Picking up where book one left off, the action starts in the first chapter and doesn't let up. We follow Justin and his friends (Elyssa) as they strike out on new adventures. I love that story is written from a male point of view. That's not something you see often enough, and it is a nice change. The story itself is unique and fun. The world Corwin created in this series is incomparable. Justin, our main character, is so much fun. I absolutely love being in his head. I love that, although we watch him grow and mature throughout the story, he always stays true to who he is and what he believes. I am a huge fan of Corwin's writing. His electrifying plot twists and fast pacing are sure to keep the reader turning the pages. Warning: This series is addicting. Vie

Improper Relations by Juliana Ross

Improper Relations by Juliana Ross My rating: 4 of 5 stars This was a fun short story featuring Hannah and Leo. Hannah had been taught that a wife's duty was basically to just tolerate her husband. She had never experienced any personal pleasure from sex and didn't even know it was possible. When Leo offers to teach her a thing or two, she realizes she wants to know everything. This was a quick, easy read told from Hannah's point of view. The story flowed smoothly, the characters were likable, and the sex scenes were sensual. I think the author did a great job with the setting descriptions and the vocabulary of the characters, making them seem real to the time era. I also liked the timeframe of the story. Rather than having everything happen in a few short days, it was drawn out so their relationship was able to develop over time; not an easy thing to do in a novella. Overall, I enjoyed this story and will be looking for more from this author. View all my revi

Afterlife by Eric Edstrom

Afterlife by Eric Edstrom My rating: 4 of 5 stars The second book in The Undermountain Saga was just as captivating as the first. Afterlife continues the story of all of our favorite characters from Undermountain, beginning about six months after the first book, as well as the return of our favorite bigfeet. The story begins with a bang and continues with fast-paced adventure throughout. I can't give enough praise to the author's descriptive writing style. He really knows how to manipulate words to bring the story to life and bring emotion and personality to the story. The characters are fun and unique. Even the villains in the story are so alive that you want to read more about them. I absolutely love the world these books are set in. The creativeness and complexity of the society is so much fun to read about, and the myths and legends are blended in nicely. I am very much looking forward to the next book in Undermountain series to see where the characters are take

Deadlocked by Charlaine Harris

Deadlocked by Charlaine Harris My rating: 3 of 5 stars Although I enjoyed reading this book, because I love the Sookie saga, I was a bit disappointed with this one. There seemed to be a lot going on, but nothing really happened (except for one scene at the end). There was a lot of filler in this book, a lot of loose ends to tie up. I believe the whole series could have been wrapped up with this book with just another chapter or two added. As I said, I love Sookie and would love the series to continue, but there comes a point when a story needs to end, hopefully while it is still ahead. That being said, Sookie had a lot to deal with in this book. She had a lot of time to think about her relationship with Eric and a lot of time to think about her humanity and what she wants out of life. She also had to deal with betrayal from ones she loved and trusted. All in all, even without all of the action and excitement of the previous books, I think this book was a good setup for the en

What Kills Me by Wynne Channing

What Kills Me by Wynne Channing My rating: 5 of 5 stars What Kills Me is not just another vampire story…I promise. The story is unique, fast paced, action packed, suspenseful in all the right places, and laugh out loud funny. Axelia (Zee) is a 17-year-old girl studying abroad for a few months. She takes a chance on a guy who she figures she'll probably never see again, and it ends badly. Now thrown into the world of the paranormal, Zee must figure out how to survive as a vampire; not an easy task when just about everyone you meet is trying to kill you. I love the characters, especially Zee and Lucas. I really loved their relationship and how it evolved over time. There was no love at first sight, no instant attraction. The way the author brought them together slowly made everything seem more realistic, and the back and forth between Zee and Lucas was hilarious. I loved Zee's personality. She was a great character and easily likable. I am looking forward to the

September Book of the Month Contest

Here it is folks!  I thought we'd have a little fun with this month's challenge :) Here's what you do: 1.  Find the answers to the crossword puzzle.  You can't actually do it here on this page, but you can write your answers down.  2.  Message me the answers (1-8) on Goodreads.  Follow this link here to be taken to my profile. Easy peasy, right?  Oh yeah, to make it easier, all the answers are words from the book titles of September's BotM picks: City of Glass Beautiful Disaster The Moon Dwellers The Immortal Rules I think that's enough hints.  Good luck!  Don't forget to enter part 2 for an extra chance to win!  Follow this link to go to the contest page on Goodreads. ------------ WHAT YOU WIN: The winner of this contest will win a copy of one of Shut Up & Read's October books of the month in the format of your choice (ebook, paperback, hardcover).  I will pick one winner using on September 30!  Good luck!! OTHER RUL