Sunday 30 September 2012

Revamp by Beck Sherman

RevampRevamp by Beck Sherman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The dark had brought us visitors.

That line right there is pretty creepy, and it sets the story up well. Revamp is the story of Emma and how she deals when the world goes to hell around her…or rather, goes to the vampires. I really liked Emma. She was a tough character. Even though she wanted to sometimes curl up in a ball and cry, she picked herself up and did what she had to in order to survive. Her sarcasm and dry humor kept the book entertaining. The supporting characters were well written, too. They grew on you as you learned more about them.

Sherman is an excellent storyteller. In this book, the present was broken up by flashbacks to how it all began in order to help you understand things better. This is a tricky thing for authors to do, because it can so easily backfire, but it worked with this book. I enjoyed the author's writing style, and the plot was fast and engaging. I would most definitely recommend this book to fans of Stephen King.

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Saturday 29 September 2012

Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Graceling (Graceling Realm, #1)Graceling by Kristin Cashore
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Let me tell you, if you love a kick-ass heroin, Katsa is your girl. Katsa learned at an early age she was gifted with the Grace of killing. This is how she has seen herself her whole life—as a monster, a killer—and this is how everyone around her sees her. However, as we find out, there is a whole lot more to Katsa than just killing.

I really enjoyed the characters in Graceling. Katsa is so much fun. She's pretty much straightforward in her way of thinking. Po was a lot of fun, too. I fell in love with his character immediately. I like how we got to see both grow and mature throughout the story, and though there was a lot of action in this book, it was balanced out with the romance between Katsa and Po, which was sweet and spicy. Bitterblue was a great character, too. I am looking forward to reading more about her.

I loved the world Graceling was created into and the descriptiveness of the author as she described the settings. I was able to easily picture in my head the different scenes. I also enjoyed the author's writing style, which was simple and flowed easily.

My only real complaint about this book was that the second half was a bit slow. There was a lot of traveling going on during this point in the book, which of course by horseback takes weeks, even months, and there just was not a lot going on in the story. It was not boring, just not up to the standards the first half of the book set. Oh, I guess one more complaint…I hear that the sequel is not actually a sequel and the third book's focus is on Bitterblue, which I am looking forward to, but what I really want is more of Katsa and Po. I want to know what happens to them after Graceling. The way the book ended there are so many possibilities.

I listened to the audio of Graceling. It was the best audio I have ever listened to. Rather than a single narrator, it has a full cast, complete with music, so you got the whole effect of the story. It was really neat.

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Summer Knight by Jim Butcher

Summer Knight (The Dresden Files, #4)Summer Knight by Jim Butcher
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden is my very favorite wizard/private eye ever. In Summer Knight, Harry is mourning Susan and having a rough time of it. He's also got other things to deal with, faeries namely. It seems that Harry just cannot catch a break. He has some people on his side, though, like the werewolves who I have grown to love, and Murphy who I also love, but ultimately it comes down to him.

What I really love about this book (and the series in general) is the emotional and personal development we see in Harry. Harry is just a great guy, and Butcher did an excellent job of making his character a real person for us. I also love the worlds Butcher creates. How does he come up with this stuff? Each supernatural creature has its own world and set of rules. It is completely complicated but yet drawn together to make all the pieces fit so wonderfully and completely together.

Another thing I love about this series is that the plot is constantly evolving and growing. Of course, with 14+ books in the series you have to keep changing things up to keep it fresh, but Butcher is great at throwing in surprises. He ties up the storyline from the current book but leaves you with enough questions that there is no question whether or not you are going to read the next one. I know I've said this in previous reviews, but this is officially one of my favorite series, and I am dreading coming to the end. Luckily, I am only on book #5!

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Once Burned by Jeaniene Frost

Once Burned (Night Prince, #1)Once Burned by Jeaniene Frost
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ok, so I admit it…I have not read the Night Huntress series. I know. I've been meaning to, and I even own the first three, but I have just never gotten around to reading them. But, I have been hearing so much about Cat and Bones and Vlad…how yummy and sexy he is, you know? So, when Once Burned came out, a story about Vlad, of course I had to check it out…

Leila has lived her life pretty much a freak of nature. She has basically been forced to live a life of solitude. Vlad is the sexiest vampire in the world (that's my opinion, not necessarily Leila's). He is also one of the oldest and most feared vampires in the world. When Leila and Vlad cross paths, sparks fly…literally.

Leila was a strong character. Even though she had been shunned her whole life, she was still proud, stubborn, and stood up for herself rather than just letting the big, strong, sexy vampire come to her rescue. Vlad was…Vlad. Really not much else to say. Mysterious, sexy, dangerous.

The story was great, fast-paced and action packed with just the right amount of steamy romance. The writing style was great, with touches of humor thrown in to keep you chuckling. And yes, I will now be reading the Night Huntress series. Bring on more Vlad!

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Wednesday 26 September 2012

Waiting on Wednesday #5: Dark Triumph by R.L. LaFevers

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.


 My next eagerly anticipated book is:


Title: Dark Triumph
Series:  His Fair Assassin


Publication Date:  April 2, 2013

 Genre: YA Historical Fiction

 Sybella arrives at the convent’s doorstep half mad with grief and despair. Those that serve Death are only too happy to offer her refuge—but at a price. Naturally skilled in both the arts of death and seduction, the convent views Sybella as one of their most dangerous weapons.

But those assassin’s skills are little comfort when the convent returns her to a life that nearly drove her mad. Her father’s rage and brutality are terrifying, and her brother’s love is equally monstrous. And while Sybella is a weapon of justice wrought by the god of Death himself, He must give her a reason to live. When she discovers an unexpected ally imprisoned in the dungeons, will a daughter of Death find something other than vengeance to live for?

This heart-pounding sequel to Grave Mercy serves betrayal, treachery, and danger in equal measure, bringing readers back to fifteenth century Brittany and will keep them on the edge of their seats

What's your "waiting on" pick this week? Find out how you can participate

Teaser Tuesday #5


Author:  Kristin Cashore

Title:  Graceling

Genre:  YA Fantasy

Published:  October 2008

Available From: Amazon, Barnes & Noble


"How absurd it was that in all seven kingdoms, the weakest and most vulnerable of people - girls, women - went unarmed and were taught nothing of fighting, while the strong were trained to the highest reaches of their skill."


Teaser Tuesday is a weekly Meme hosted by Should Be Reading! where you share two (2) “teaser” sentences from your current read to try to entice others to want to seek it out.  Find out how you can participate Here!

Monday 24 September 2012

Think Out Loud #6

What is Think Out Loud?

Think Out Loud is a weekly meme created by

Thinks Books to break out of the blogging bubble. Consider your Think Out Loud posts a time to do WHATEVER YOU WANT!

You can find more information and how to participate on your blog

So, here is my Think Out Loud for this week!
This has been one of my favorite songs for a long time, but I just watched the video for the first time recently.  Oh my God, I almost cried.  Watch it if you've never seen it...
Thanks for stopping by!!

Sunday 23 September 2012

The Omega Option: Rise of Draconis by Rick T. Hodges

The Omega Option: Rise of DraconisThe Omega Option: Rise of Draconis by Rick T. Hodges
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Omega Option is action packed from beginning to end. I really enjoyed the world created in this book. The author let his imagination run wild and brought it all together for an amazing effect. The attention to detail and descriptive writing style allows the reader to easily paint a picture in their head as they read.

The characters are completely solid and well-developed. I really enjoyed getting to know each of the team members individually before they were brought together for the expedition. I think that added a lot of personality to the story and makes the reader feel more connected to each individual character. I also love the team dynamics and how the individual team members were able to fit together. Sometimes I think it's hard for an author to bring so many characters together closely as a group and still keep their individuality, but it is done quite well in this book.

As I said, this book is action packed and full of adventure and suspense. The author has a knack for keeping you guessing right up until the end. I will definitely be reading more of this series. Thank you to Rick Hodges for letting me read your book!

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Lover Reborn by J.R. Ward

Lover Reborn (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #10)Lover Reborn by J.R. Ward
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

While I had been looking forward to this book since last year, once it came out I put off reading it. The last book in the series was a bit of a disappointment to me, so I was, quite honestly, a little scared to read this one. I was afraid it would be a continuation of the last book and I would be let down by my BDB…

I had nothing to worry about. This book was great. There was so much going on, and the many side stories were written in rather well. The pace was quick and made it a quick read even though it is quite long at close to 600 pages. Part of the reason I loved this book is that, although Tohr is the main focus, there are other stories intertwined that, woven together, make up the whole book.

Now, Tohr has never been my favorite brother. I actually hated him for running off after Wellsie died and leaving John alone when he needed him the most, and I cannot believe I'm the only one who felt that way. I wondered how Ward was going to be able to pull off making him dear to my heart again…but she did it. Tohr and No'one's story was a tragic one, full of emotion and heartbreak, maybe even more so than any of the other Brothers'.

I know that the next book is Quinn and Blay (YAY!), and I'm really hoping we'll get to see a book in the future for the shadows, Trez and IAm…and also Lassiter. He's really growing on me.

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Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful, #1)Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

First off, although this book has somehow been labeled YA, I would only recommend it for mature YA, 17+, for violence, language, and sexual situations.

That being said, I love this book. I love the characters. Abby and Travis are great. Travis is the kind of guy you know you should not like, and yet you cannot help but fall for him. He is possessive, jealous, and impulsive with stalker tendencies, and yet he is so sweet and caring at the same time. In real life, Abby and any other girl should have been running away fast. Abby is strong willed and willing to stand up for herself and what she believes. The supporting characters, America, Shep, and Parker, are great as well. I love the dimension they bring to the story.

I love the dynamics of the relationship between Abby and Travis. They really are a disaster, but that's what made them so interesting. The whole time you're reading you're thinking maybe they would just be better off if they left each other alone, and yet they cannot seem to stay away from each other. However, besides the romance between Abby and Travis, this book also gives you an interesting storyline. There is so much more to it than just the fighting and getting back together of those two. There are also many twists that keep you wondering until the end.

The way the author wrote the book made the story flow so well. I liked that she did not give us stupid filler just to take up space, but rather only wrote what was necessary. Her writing was straightforward, and yet you do not feel like you're missing anything without the excessive descriptions. I really enjoy her writing style and hope we will get more of her writing in the future.

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Saturday 22 September 2012

Read It & Read #95

Title:   All That We See Or Seem

Series:  The Dreamer Trilogy #1

Author:   Gwynneth White

Genre:   YA Paranormal Romance

Published:  January 2012

Lily Bryg is a seventeen year old witch. She doesn't always know what that means, or how to control it, but she does know that to most, it paints a pretty little target over her forehead. If that's not bad enough, Ronan an evil king who believes she's his soul mate has been stalking her in her dreams. Should she fight Ronan and risk everything, or give up her freedom to possibly save her friends?

And what about Larkin, the attractive shape shifter who sparks a strong sense of deja vu within her? He claims they knew each other in her past life, but how could she trust something she can't remember? Dodging witches, demons, faeries, dragons, and much, much more, the Four are just beginning to realize that having power comes with a lot of responsibility. And sacrifice. But one question stands out among the rest, haunting Lily through out the nights and days. Should she fight Ronan and risk everything, or should she give up her freedom to the gorgeous, yet wicked, king in order to possibly save her friends?

Find out more about this book on Goodreads!

Thursday 20 September 2012

Author Interview with Malika Gandhi

Title:  Freedom of the Monsoon

Author:  Malika Gandhi

Pages:  356

Genre:  Historical Fiction

Published:  January 2012

A storm is coming our way; I feel the change. The heart is hardening. Gandhi has come and has made his decision.
I see Rakesh, my dear friend, ready and willing. Dev’s life will never be the same after this; I worry – there is fire in this eyes. Amit and Sunil, it’s not fair they get caught in this fight and I, Pooja, never dreamt what became of my life…

Death and sacrifice is knocking on India’s doors. The British Raj needs to go and the Indians must have their country back. Re-live the determination that dwelled in the hearts of the natives as they fought hard and long. Follow the five individuals as they face fear, love, sacrifice and hate.

Purchase Links:



Welcome to the Shut Up & Read blog Malika!

When did you first know you wanted to write?
When I read my first Roald Dahl book, although I don't quite remember which one! :0)

Where did the idea come from for Freedom of the Monsoon?
The idea came to me when I was watching a briliant Bollywood movie called 1942 A Love Story, which was a blockbuster hit! It surrounded the theme of Indian Independence and the Quit India Movement and was very thought provoking.

How has your environment/upbringing colored your writing?
In my family, only accountants, businessmen and bankers exsist, so no one has influenced me into writing. I have always loved to read and my mother told me she always read to me as a child. Reading the books made me aware of the love to write and back then, I always told myself that I wanted to be an author.

Have you learned anything from writing your book?
In terms of writing, I have learnt the correct way to write - punctuation, formatting, sentences that make sense and which don't.

I wrote a few drafts and edited many times until I was satisfied. 

I also learnt more about the Independence Era 1942-1947 and before, the British Raj, the lifestyle, the misery and the joy. 

I learnt how to express myself and make the page come to life with the power of distinct writing.

What do you do to unwind and relax?
I listen to music, meditate and perform Yoga. It is very beneficial the state to mind and for the soul.

Do you have any hidden talents?
I have always loved painting and dabble in oils, acrylics and watercoulours. I sketch as well.

Do you have any advice for budding writers?
My advice is to always be patient. A book is an art form and cannot be rushed. Be creative and vigilant and always look forward, not backwards.

Where do you hope to see yourself in the next five years?
I hope to have written several books which have gained success! I also hope to catch the eye of a film director - I would love to see Freedom of the Monsoon turned into a Bollywood film!


About the Author:
Malika Gandhi lives with her husband and two sons in the East Midlands, UK. She is a homemaker and in between caring for her family, she writes her books and dabbles in a little painting too. She loves to experiment with different mediums, such as oils, acrylic and watercolour.

Malika was born in India but moved to London when she was two, where her father was already settled. She travelled with her mother and brother.
Malika has lived in London, studied in Southampton and moved to Leicester after her marriage, which is where her husband and his family live. A girl moves in with her in-laws after marriage, at least for a short time.

Malika loves to watch movies, visits art and history museums and is curious about the universe.

Author Links:





Tuesday 18 September 2012

Read It & Reap #94

Title:   Pledged


Genre:   YA Fantasy

Page Count:  503

Published:  June 2012

Everyone has a soul mate. But what do you do when your soul mate would rather give his soul to the demons than be with you?

Seventeen-year-old Erin has a problem. Seth has been hers forever, but now an ancient curse is tearing him away. And the demons who invoked it will stop at nothing – even murder – to claim him as their own.

How can she win against a curse so binding that it has damned countless others to this same fate – an eternity alone?

The answer lies in the past. To find it, Erin and Seth must risk all, travelling back in time to a dangerous world where love is forbidden, and life – and death – hang on a pledge.

Follow Erin and Seth as they travel to ancient Shenaya and confront the curse that has plagued their families for millennia. Caught in a war between the Angelic Guardians and the Gefallen, the disembodied dead, they must fight to keep their souls in tact and their love untainted.

See Pledged on Goodreads!

Monday 17 September 2012

Read It & Reap #93

Title:  Dreams of Darkness

Author:  Barry James

Genre:  Horror/Urban Fantasy

Page Count:  430

Published:  February 2012

Jordan Hanson was having a bad day. His girlfriend was acting distant, his cat had run off, his car was leaking oil, there was something screwy with the electrical system in his new house, and to top it all off he got caught in a storm. By the end of the day, though, Jordan would have given anything to get his old life back. Or any life at all, for that matter. Even an undead existence in which he was not about to be used as a tool to end the world would have been better than nothing....

See Dreams of Darkness on Goodreads!

Sunday 16 September 2012

Envy by J.R. Ward

Envy (The Fallen Angels, #3)Envy by J.R. Ward
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The third book in the Fallen Angel series was just as good as the first two. I love how the author is able to take the characters and make them into people for you. I think she does a good job at making likeable characters. I have absolutely loved Jim Heron from the beginning. He has a very dark past but has a very large heart.

In this book I loved Veck and Reilly and their intense but rocky relationship. Veck makes an interesting and lovable character, being haunted by the history of his father, with so much to overcome in order to make himself a separate identity, which is obviously hard for him to do when his father's deeds follow him everywhere.

The only thing I did not like about this book was all the slang writing. I know that is the author's style (I am a fan and have read all of her other books as well), but it seemed to be especially thick in this book, like she was just trying way too hard at it. I hope she is able to balance it better in the next book to make the reading smoother and more natural.

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Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine #1)Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The thing that drew me to this book in the first place was the picture on the cover...and I'm so glad it did! I loved this book!

When I first started reading I was expecting a thriller, something scary, but was pleasantly surprised with a fantasy land with a daydreaming quality. It was an easy read with an easy plot to follow, but the pictures added a fabulous effect! They actually gave the book a creepy feeling, making it seem much darker than it actually was without taking it too far into the scary range.

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Shadowland by Alyson Noel

Shadowland (The Immortals, #3)Shadowland by Alyson Noel
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I came across the audio for Shadowland, so I thought I would give it another try. However, I didn't find it any better the second time around. I thought the narrator did a good job; I just didn't find the story engaging or entertaining. The narrator was actually a good choice for this book. She had a young-sounding voice, playing up Ever's immaturity.

Original review September 8, 2011 -
I had read the first two books in this series and thought they were pretty good…this one I could hardly even finish. I had to force myself to get through to the end to make sure I wasn't missing anything, and nope…I wasn't.

Shadowland continued the story from the first two books, but the story did not really go anywhere. It was pretty much the same thing all over again.  In a series I look for development of the storyline and the characters, and I was very disappointed with Shadowland since the series had started out so good.

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Silver Borne by Patricia Briggs

Silver Borne (Mercedes Thompson, #5)Silver Borne by Patricia Briggs
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What can I say? I LOVE Mercy and the world created by Briggs. I've enjoyed watching Mercy and Adam's relationship evolve and grow. I love the werewolves, and I love Stefan (who I really missed in this book).

That said, this book brings us more of the Mercy/Adam relationship, which is growing beautifully, and more of Samuel, who I love. His is a heartbreaking story that finds a resolve in this book. If I was disappointed in anything about this book, is that it didn't give us more of him. He tagged along with Mercy throughout the book, but he was just kind of there, not really showing much of himself or his character. Overall, though, I loved the book and can't wait to get started on the next one in the series!

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Bone Crossed by Patricia Briggs

Bone Crossed (Mercedes Thompson, #4)Bone Crossed by Patricia Briggs
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love this series! Mercy and Adam's relationship is moving along nicely, and Adam is so sweet and caring. The character development is fabulous. I love where the story is going and cannot wait for the next installment!

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My Horizontal Life: A Collection of One-Night Stands by Chelsea Handler

My Horizontal Life: A Collection of One-Night StandsMy Horizontal Life: A Collection of One-Night Stands by Chelsea Handler
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book was seriously laugh-out-loud funny! As the title portrays, it is a collection of Chelsea Handler's one-night stands, but she is such a fantastic story teller that I could not put it down! I picked it up after I started watching her show on E!. I was just hoping she was as funny in the book as she is on the show. I think the book might have even been better! I cannot wait to read her other books.

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Under the Dome by Stephen King

Under the DomeUnder the Dome by Stephen King
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have been a fan of Stephen King's for years. I have loved almost everything that he has put out, and this was no exception. In fact, I think this may be my favorite yet.

I loved the pace of the book, the many different characters, and the way you get to see this disaster played out in each of their lives. This book looks into the life of a small town where you will see some good and some bad and all struggling to survive. I think the thing I really liked about this book is that in the face of a natural disaster separating a small town from its resources (think maybe tornado instead of dome), a lot of this book could really happen.

The only think I really did not like (and yet it really is what made the book so very interesting) is the sheer number of names and people you had to remember. I found myself flipping back to the front of the book where there was a list of people and how they relate to the town (thank you for this list, without it I would have been completely lost). There was just so much going on that sometimes it was hard to follow. But again, that's also what made the book so great.

I found this book hard to put down and stayed up way too late to finish it!

Oh, and I really didn't like how the ending played out, but I won't go into detail and spoil it for you...

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The Mating by Nicky Charles

The Mating (Law of the Lycans, #1)The Mating by Nicky Charles
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I found this book available in Goodreads free ebooks. I found myself pleasantly surprised by the book.

I enjoyed the concept of the arranged mating and reading about the struggles that the couple went through in trying to make the mating work, and the plot itself was good, if not a bit far-fetched. The only thing I really didn't like was Elise, the main character. Her character was so mind-numbingly stupid that I wished, more than once, that I could reach into the book and slap her.

Other than that, if you are looking for a quick, interesting read over an afternoon, I would definitely recommend this book, and I am looking forward to reading the next two in the series.

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Iron Kissed by Patricia Briggs

Iron Kissed (Mercedes Thompson, #3)Iron Kissed by Patricia Briggs
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In the third book of the Mercedes Thompson series, Mercy's friend and apprentice, Zee, is arrested for a series of murders on the Fae reservation, and Mercy gets involved with the Fae in a way that does not make them happy.

This book delved deeper into the Fae world and showed us their way of life. I love the different worlds the author has created in this book series. From the Fae to the werewolves to the vampires, each group has its own set of rules/laws to govern them, and they each interact more or less independently from one another, but yet they all make up the world of Mercy Thompson. This book was expertly written and executed and able to keep the reader's attention through all its twists and turns.

One thing I really liked about this book was it pretty much put an end to Sam/Mercy/Adam situation. I'm always game for a good love triangle, but sometimes they get drawn out too long and get boring. I liked that we got to see through Mercy's eyes and hear her think through her decisions so we knew why she chose the way she did. Mercy has proved again and again to be a great friend and ally, but in the end, Mercy is always true to herself.

I thought the author also did a great job with the rape scene, which can be a very touchy subject to write about. She went through this, and the aftermath, with great care. After the rape Mercy did not just go back to "normal," but took some time to get over it. I liked that we got to watch her do that and be inside her head to see her way of thinking things through.

In this book we also got to go deeper into the wolf pack and also into some of the individual wolves, which helps to make them seem more real.

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Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs

Blood Bound (Mercedes Thompson, #2)Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have to start off by saying I love, love, love Mercy Thompson. I like the fact that she has an everyday life, struggling with her business, friends, and potential boyfriends. It is these things that make her seem real.

I also love the character of Stefan, and was glad to get to know him better in this book. The author does a really good job of making appealing characters, and that is one reason I like her books so much. When you like the characters you are reading about, it makes you want to keep reading.

In this book Mercy learns a little more about herself and her past that has always been sort of a mystery to her. She finds herself in a struggle with the vampires and the werewolves, but she is always true to herself. This book also finds her in the midst of a "love triangle" between Samuel and Adam. I cannot wait to read more about the three of them!

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Moon Called by Patricia Briggs

Moon Called (Mercedes Thompson, #1)Moon Called by Patricia Briggs
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I absolutely love Mercy Thompson! She is a strong female lead, able to hold her own in the male-dominated werewolf world.

In this book we find Mercy caught in the middle of a power struggle created by the werewolves. I really like the pack dynamics in this book and how Mercy is an integral part of the pack, and yet still does not quite fit in. She is her own person and is not afraid to be herself.

I think the author created a wonderful fantasy world in these books, and I'm looking forward to reading the rest of this series.

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When We Were Friends by Elizabeth Joy Arnold

When We Were Friends: A NovelWhen We Were Friends: A Novel by Elizabeth Joy Arnold
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this book for a quick, easy read. The main character, Lainey, was likeable, if not a bit naive-going-on-stupid, and Sydney was the girl you love to hate. Lainey's mother, too, was a likeable character. I really liked how Lainey helped take care of her mother and loved her so much despite her flaws, and I loved the evolving relationship between Lainey and Alex. The book was captivating enough to keep me turning the page to find out what happens next. Although I had pretty much figured everything out three-fourths of the way through, I had to keep reading to make sure I was right.

The only thing I really did not like about the book was the completely unbelievable choices Lainey kept making. 1) Completely uprooting your life and going "on the run" with the child of a "friend" you had not seen in years. If it was real life (I know, it would not be fiction if it was real), she would have simply gone to the police and told her side of the story when Sydney claimed the baby had been kidnapped. 2) Meeting a stranger in the middle of the street and basically moving in with him…with a child? Really? 3) Moving your mother in with you and said stranger…enough said.

So although I did enjoy the book, I do not think I would have been missing out on anything if I had skipped over it.

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The Calling by Jennifer Ashley

The Calling (Immortals, #1)The Calling by Jennifer Ashley
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Amber is a witch in a world where magic and magical creatures are common knowledge. She is trying to find out who killed her sister when she is attacked by a demon and is saved by Adrain, the sexy immortal warrior, and of course, sparks fly. Adrian is on a search for his brother, missing for 700 years. The two must team up with other magical creatures, including a dragon, a werewolf, and a vampire, to solve the murder of Amber's sister and to find Adrian's brother.

I've never really liked books where the magic is "out," much preferring the secretive aspect, but I enjoyed this book a lot. The characters were well created and very likable. The author was able to give each of them their own personalities, which I enjoyed. I really liked the array of magical creatures and the characteristics given to each of them.

I've never read a series where the books were written by different people, and I look forward to seeing how the different writing styles change the story.

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Crave by J.R. Ward

Crave (The Fallen Angels, #2)Crave by J.R. Ward
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The second book in the Fallen Angels series continues with Jim Heron, the fallen angel from Covet, as he tries to save his second soul.

Isaac Rothe is an XOps soldier trying to get out and start a new life. When he finds himself in jail, he meets Grier Childe, his public defender. Grier goes out of her way to help her new client, and their attraction grows into something hot and heavy.

Although I liked this book as much as the first in the series, I did not really buy into Isaac and Grier's relationship. It was very superficial, and very, very quick. It was more physical than anything else, and yet somehow they still managed to fall in love. I did not feel that any of the characters were developed in this book as well as in the first, but we did get to see more of Jim, Adrian, and Eddie, who I adore.

I loved that Ward gave us the twist at the end, making the reader and characters in the story realize that everything is not always as it seems. Just when you thought you had everything figured out, you realize you were wrong.

I really enjoyed this book and look forward to the next in the series!

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River Marked by Patricia Briggs

River Marked (Mercedes Thompson, #6)River Marked by Patricia Briggs
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Many times while reading a book series, after the fourth or fifth book I will need to find something fresh to read for a while before going back to finish the series. This is not one of those! I love how the Mercy Thompson series, even after reading the sixth book, still leaves me wanting more.

The things I enjoyed most about this book were reading about Mercy and Adam (I love Adam!) and their ever-growing relationship and also finding out more about Mercy's background. And, Stefan was back in this book! The thing I really missed in this book was more of the pack. I love the pack life and dynamics, conflicts, and ties, and even though I know we needed to see Mercy and Adam on their own for a while (their honeymoon, in fact), I still missed it. We got glimpses here and there, but the overall feeling was gone.

Briggs has made in Mercy a heroine who so easy to like. She is strong and independent. She can hold her own around the wolf pack, the vampires, and the fae. I can't wait for the next book…but sadly, I'm going to have to.

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Covet by J.R. Ward

Covet (The Fallen Angels, #1)Covet by J.R. Ward
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Jim Heron has a top-secret military background, from which he is taking a leave of absence and trying for a normal life, and then he dies. He is given the opportunity of a lifetime: Being sent back. The catch? He is to be in charge of saving the souls of seven people from the seven deadly sins. The war now is between good and evil, and failure is not an option.

Vin DiPietro is an extremely wealthy businessman who only cares for the most expensive, most beautiful things in life. He is thrown for a loop by Marie-Terese, a working girl who has had to make many hard decisions in her life, but is always trying to do the right thing for her son.

I loved the development of the characters in this book. You get inside of their heads and their lives, and you really like them. They each have such a detailed background that you feel like you know them and you find yourself cheering them on throughout the book.

For those who are already fans of Ward, she throws some crossovers from her Black Dagger Brotherhood series into the mix, but don't worry if you have not read the BDB series (which you should, by the way), this is a completely separate stand-alone series.

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The Pact by Jodi Picoult

The PactThe Pact by Jodi Picoult
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Pact is a story about Chris and Emily, childhood friends whose relationship grows into something more as they get into their teen years. They are best friends, soul mates. The story actually begins on the horrible night that their parents got the call…Emily is dead and Chris is in the hospital. Chris describes a suicide pact gone wrong but is subsequently arrested for Emily’s murder.

The story unfolds through both a series of flashbacks and present day events. I really loved the flashbacks to give us a deeper look into the lives of the characters involved.

I really liked the different points of view that we got throughout the book. It was really neat to be able to see the story playing out through the eyes of so many people. I thought the author did a great job of doing this without making the story confusing.

This is one of the sweetest books I have ever read. I don’t usually get emotional over books, but this book had me in tears almost the whole way through.

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The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1)The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Katniss lives in a world where teens between the ages of 12-18 are all possible candidates for the Hunger Games, a contest to the death. The stated purpose of this contest is to remind them and their families of the rebellion against the Capital that had been lost many years before. The real purpose of the contest is for the entertainment of the people of the Capital.

When her younger sister's name is chosen for the Games, Katniss volunteers to go in her place. With her superior hunting skills and fiery temper, Katniss quickly becomes a favorite of the Games and of the people. As the story unfolds we are able to watch Katniss grow emotionally as she learns of friendship, heartache, loss, and possible love. Katniss is young and confused as to what she wants and needs. She is a very likeable character, and it is hard to watch her struggle to find her way.

I loved the humor in the book, and it was well written. I found it hard to put down!

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Cell by Stephen King

CellCell by Stephen King
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Do not answer your phone! In Cell, the world gets a phone call, and everyone who answers is turned into a mindless zombie, leaving only aggressive and destructive impulses behind. People who do not have cell phones or who did not answer the call must fight for survival or be killed by the zombies.

This book follows Clayton, who happens to not be a zombie, as he watches almost everyone around being turned into a zombie, fights for his life, and searches for his son with the hope that he might still be alive (and not a zombie).

I really enjoyed Cell, but then I have enjoyed everything King has ever written. This is the first actual zombie book I have read, and I like how King plays them out in the story. As always, I enjoyed the character development and resolution of the story.

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I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore

I Am Number Four (Lorien Legacies, #1)I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I absolutely loved this book. I have seen some very bad reviews, and I have to wonder if they are actually about the book, or more about the author…

I am Number Four is a story about John Smith, a.k.a. Number Four, a 15-year-old boy who is trying to fit into the typical teenage world. He and his father move around a lot, and he constantly has to start new schools, make new friends, etc. The catch? John is an alien who, along with eight others of his kind and their guardians, escaped the destruction of their planet to hide on Earth from the Mogadorian (bad aliens). John and the other eight (three of whom have already been caught and killed) have extraordinary, paranormal skills that, once developed, will help them to fight against the Mogadorian. When the story begins John is just starting to come into his powers, and as the book evolves we watch him mature and his powers mature along with him. Besides the aliens hunting him, learning to control his new abilities, and starting a new school, John is also dealing with his first love.

I did think the book as a little slow, but it is in the young adult genre, and I was able to pass it to my 11-year-old son when I was finished with it, who loved it just as much as I did.

This is the first in the Lorien Legacies series, and I am looking forward to the next book to see how the story plays out!

P.S. Although I enjoyed the movie, the book was better, but isn't that always the case?

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Hour of the Beast by C. Michael Forsyth

Hour of the BeastHour of the Beast by C. Michael Forsyth
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

This book started off good with an action-filled first chapter where we are introduced to Elaine on her wedding day. After that first chapter we do not see much more of Elaine until the very end of the book. The book centers around her two sons, Jason and Joshua, who are a result of her interactions with a werewolf on her wedding night.

Jason and Joshua are twins who are as different as night and day. Joshua is muscular, athletic, and has a bad temper. Jason is mild, weak, and always getting Joshua out of trouble.

Although I did like the story, I pretty much had everything figured out by about chapter 4. After getting off to a good start, the book slowed down quite a bit until the last few chapters. Overall, it was a good read.

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The Keeping by Nicky Charles

The Keeping (Law of the Lycans, #2)The Keeping by Nicky Charles
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I downloaded this book for free at

Although I liked the first book in this series, The Mating, I enjoyed the second book even more! After The Mating I was left wondering what would happen to Ryne and the other two males who left with him. A big "thank you" to the author for carrying on the story.

I thought the author did a better job at putting this story together. The overall writing was better, and the characters were better developed.

Melody was a very likable character, and I enjoyed reading the book from her point of view, and I was very, very pleased in this book to get Ryne's point of view as well. I love being inside both of their heads to know what each is thinking throughout the story. That was one thing I really missed with the first book, not getting to see things from Kane's point of view as well.

Only two things I didn't like about this book...
1)I was pretty sure about what was going to happen and how it was going to end pretty early on in the story. Although the author did throw in a couple of little twists, it was pretty predictable. Still, though, a very good read. I found myself staying up a little too late to try to get an extra chapter or two in each night! I cannot wait to read the third book, The Finding (Bryan's story).

(view spoiler)[Why did Lucy have to die?? I really liked her!! In all reality, she could have stayed behind in Stump River instead of going to Chigaco with Melody, and the story would have been exactly the same, minus the few lines about her being killed. It didn't change anything else about the story, and I really liked her!! (hide spoiler)]

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Wolf Tales by Kate Douglas

Wolf Tales (Wolf Tales #1)Wolf Tales by Kate Douglas
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I was really looking forward to the Wolf Tales series. The books have had so many good reviews, so I was very disappointed when I read this one.

I found the characters to be very superficial and hard to connect with, and even their conversations lacked any real substance. The idea behind the plot is really interesting, but most of said plot was hidden behind all the sex...lots of sex, but just sex alone doesn't make a story.

I do love that cover, though!

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Saturday 15 September 2012

A Demon Made Me Do It by Penelope King

A Demon Made Me Do It (Demonblood #1)A Demon Made Me Do It by Penelope King
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A demon Made Me Do It was an engaging read that I found hard to put down. The story starts with Liora. During the day Liora is a high school senior, a loner with only one real friend. During the night, while Liora is sleeping, Lucky comes out to play. Lucky is a rough and tumble demon who lives for hunting and killing other demons, especially the ones who killed her best friends. Liora and Lucky share a body but are two completely separate individuals. Then Kieron shows up and falls for Liora…or is it Lucky?

The author did a wonderful job with the characters. They are very well written and have such unique personalities, especially Liora and Lucky. Liora is a human, and the author did a great job showing her humanity, innocence, and her desire to be "normal." Lucky is red hot and shows a tough exterior, but inside she is hurting just as much as Liora. Bones, Lucky's best friend, is funny and loyal to her. Lucky and Bones' relationship is heartbreaking, as they both want to be so much more than friends, but it seems like that is something that just cannot be. Kieron comes into the picture and falls for both Liora and Lucky. His character is a little more mysterious at first, and you have to wonder what he is hiding, but at the same time, you cannot help but like him, too.

The way you are drawn into these two separate worlds is amazing. Liora's world is a lonely place where she's just trying to get through high school. Lucky's world is full of demons, hell-hounds and vampires. The author created two very in-depth worlds in this book and did a great job of connecting them.

I loved that we got to see through both Liora's and Lucky's eyes, and the author did an amazing job of this without making things complicated or hard to follow. Throughout the book they were almost two separate people with two separate lives, even though they shared one body.

The only thing I really did not like about the book was the ending…it came way too soon! I was not ready to stop reading yet, so of course I have already picked up the next book. I cannot wait to find out what happens with Liora, Lucky, Bones and Kieron.

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Holiday Matinee by Elizabeth Lister

Holiday MatineeHoliday Matinee by Elizabeth Lister
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Holiday Matinee is a short story that continues the relationship of Jack and Michael, who we met in The Crush.

Holiday Matinee follows Jack and Michael on a date night. This story is very short, and only took me about 20 minutes to read. It was a quick, fun read. I enjoyed seeing Jack and Michael again as they move forward in their relationship, and I hope there will be more stories about them!

Interview with author Elizabeth Lister:

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Blood Warrior by H.D. Gordon

Blood Warrior (The Alexa Montgomery Saga, #1)Blood Warrior by H.D. Gordon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Blood Warrior is the story of Alexa, a 17-year-old girl struggling to fit into her life. She has a seemingly crazy mother, a sister she would kill for, and a best friend who she knows will always be there for her.

Alexa’s life takes a crazy turn the night her home is attacked and she’s forced to run with her sister and friend Jackson, leaving her mother behind. Along the many twists and turns, Alexa comes to the realization that nothing is as it seems, even herself. Through this book we watch her inner struggle with herself as she comes to term with who she really is, as well as the outer struggles among the people who are supposed to be allies.

Blood Warrior is a captivating book. The characters are so well drawn, you cannot help but want to be happy for them, cry for them, and be upset when they are wronged. Alexa is a teenage girl who has always been a loner, never seeming to fit in, and she ends up with more attention then she ever wanted. Watching her character struggle throughout this book is heart wrenching. You cannot help but lover her and cheer her on. Nelly is such a sweet sister, and the strong bond between Alexa and Nelly is evident. Jackson…well, I love Jackson! He wears his heart on his sleeve and is so good to Alexa you cannot help but love him, too. As for Kayden…there is definitely a strong bond between Alexa and Kayden, but at this point she’s not sure she can trust him.

This book is the best .99 I have ever spent! I would have gladly paid more for it and felt it worth the money. I love the author’s writing easy writing style, the plot, and the characters. Blood Warrior was a page turner that left me wanting more. I’m looking forward to the next book in the series to see where it takes Alexa and her friends.

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Masquerade by Cambria Hebert

MasqueradeMasquerade by Cambria Hebert
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Before you read Masquerade, you need to read the short story prequel "Before" to see what Heven's life was like "Before." It is free for download from Smashwords and Amazon.

Masquerade is the story of Heven. Heven had the perfect life; she was pretty and popular, and everything was going her way. Then something happens, and her world is shattered. The Heven who once was is gone and what is left is a scared girl who is hiding from the world. She sees herself as a freak and lives an empty life.

Then Sam appears.

Sam comes into Heven’s life and changes everything for her. He makes her see that everything she thought was important is not. What Heven does not know is that Sam has been there all along, even Before. He has deep, dark secrets, the least of which is that he has been in love with Heven for a very long time.

I loved the characters in this story. They were very well written; you could not help but falling in love with them. It’s so easy to feel that you know them, and you hate to watch them go through their struggles, only being able to hope it will work out for them in the end.

I loved having the different points of view throughout the book. Seeing the story through both Heven’s and Sam’s eyes brought completely different perspectives to the story.

This story was well developed and easy to read. There were twists and turns to keep you want to keep reading and guessing. In fact, once I picked it up I did not want to stop reading! The world the author created in this book was fascinating, and I was left wanting more. I’m looking forward to the next book in the series!

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The Crush by Elizabeth Lister

The CrushThe Crush by Elizabeth Lister
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Crush is the story of Jack and Michael. Jack is just looking to have some fun, not a serious relationship. Michael is a college professor and Jack's sister's crush. Jack and Michael are introduced by Amy, Jack's sister, and are instantly attracted to one another. But Amy has plans for seducing Michael herself. Ultimately, Jack and Michael decide to conceal their relationship from Amy, but when she finds out that they have been seeing each other behind her back, Jack must find away to repair his relationship with his sister.

I really liked the relationship between Jack and Michael. It started as just a fling but evolved into something so much more than they had ever expected. Their relationship was intense both physically and emotionally.

I was impressed that the author was able to pull out so many emotions in such a short story. The dynamics in Jack and Michael's relationship and Jack and Amy's relationship were amazing, and the characters were so much fun.

Interview with author Elizabeth Lister:

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Before by Cambria Hebert

Before (Heven and Hell, #0.5)Before by Cambria Hebert
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Before is a short story, the prequel to Masquerade. In Before we are introduced to Heven and Sam. Heven has the perfect life, looks, friends, guys…everything a girl could want.

Sam is in some kind of trouble, but we do not get to know enough about him to understand what kind of trouble it is. What we do know is that he is in love with Heven…but he should have stayed away.

This book is the perfect teaser to make you want to read Masquerade to find out what happens:

Instead of being a separate book, this would have worked great added on to Masquerade as a prologue.

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Hotblood by Juliann Whicker

Hotblood (House of Slide, #1)Hotblood by Juliann Whicker
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Hotblood is the story of seventeen-year-old Dariana. Dariana's brother, Devlin, had stolen her soul from her 10 years earlier. She had no idea of what had happened, of course, and thought he was the greatest brother for being so caring towards her, although the truth was he was barely keeping her alive. Dariana had gone through much of her life an empty shell. The story opens up on Devlin's funeral, and with him now gone, Dariana's existence was also going to be coming to an end.

Lewis, a Hotblood, watches Devlin's funeral from afar, for reasons unknown to him, and is inexplicably drawn to Dariana. He continues to watch her after the funeral, and they have an unexpected run-in in the woods. Neither of them knew this moment would change their lives forever.

The beginning of the story was filled with so much information and not enough explanation, although things eventually become clearer later on in the story. At first I was not sure what to think about this, but the more I thought about it, I realized we were seeing the world the way Dariana would see it. She had been living as a soulless shell of a person, almost unaware of her surroundings, and all of the sudden things were clear. She was confused, scared, and trying to make sense of things.

The characters in this book were fabulous! They were all very well developed. Dariana's life before was void of any emotion, and now it was fun to watch and get to know her as she was experiencing everything new. I really liked Lewis. He was such a complex character, and there was more to him than we initially thought. I loved Grim and Satan! Maybe we will get to see them more in a later book?

The author did a great job building the complex world in Hotblood. It was unique from anything I have ever read, which is very refreshing, and it was very entertaining.

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