Monday 30 September 2013

Saving Rain by Karen-Anne Stewart

Saving Rain (Rain Trilogy, #1)Saving Rain by Karen-Anne Stewart
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Saving Rain is such a great story. Raina was abused as a child and now as a young adult, despite careful choices and the determination not to be a victim ever again, has fallen into the same pattern with the same type of guy as her father. Through one of her college classes, Raina has the opportunity to work with the FBI, where she meets Kas, the first guy in her life who does not try to hurt her. Kas will do anything to help Raina, but he quickly realizes he is way out of his league. He does his best, but it is not always enough.

I think one of the things I loved most about this book was Raina and Kas' relationship. They felt an instant attraction to one another, but there was no insta-love (I actually hate that term, but I see it used a lot). Their relationship was given time to simmer and develop slowly. Raina does not fall immediately in love with Kas and trust him with everything she has. If it had happened that way, the story would have been ruined. Raina was abused and, as such, she has a hard time trusting anyone, including herself. She is not weak or a victim, though she has been made to see herself in that way, and it is going to take more than one man, no matter how patient and caring he is, to change that.

While there are dark issues in the story, it is well written and the violent scenes/topics are handled carefully. The issues of abuse, rape, and human trafficking are very real, and the author does not pretty them up, nor does she give explicit descriptions that would be a turn off to many people. I have read many books where the characters were abused, and I believe (in my humble opinion) that this is one of my favorites, just because of the way the characters dealt with their issues. Rather than turning to drugs, alcohol, or aimless sex, Raina tried to make herself a better person, someone worthy of love.

My only issue with this book was that there were many times in Saving Rain where the thoughts would switch from one person to another without any transition or warning, and it was very confusing.  I found myself re-reading sentences or paragraphs after realizing the POV had changed suddenly.  Overall, though, I really enjoyed the story and am looking forward to reading the next book in the series.  Thank you to the author for providing me with a copy of her book.

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Sunday 29 September 2013

Ignite by Kaitlyn Davis

Ignite (Midnight Fire, #1)Ignite by Kaitlyn Davis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The word I would use to describe this book is Awesome! The author does an excellent job of developing the characters and the plot. This story hooked my attention and never let it go.

Kira just move to South Carolina from New York where she was attending a boarding school there. First day at her new school she meets Luke who shows her around and introduces her to his friends. They are all relatively new to the school so they know the struggles she will face fitting in. Kira and Luke instantly bond and as the story unfolds that bond grows stronger. Kira is also introduced to Tristan who belongs to a group that seems dark and dangerous. There is something about Tristan that attracts her. Will she choose Luke or Tristan?

I would definitely recommend this book! It is not only the love triangle which I already mentioned but also the almost indestructible vampires and the introduction to conduits who channel the suns energy to protect the world from those vampires that will keep you interested. Davis gives us an excerpt of the next installment and I can't wait!!

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Daughter of Nothing by Eric Edstrom

Daughter of NothingDaughter of Nothing by Eric Edstrom
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

WOW! Just WOW! This book blew me away! Daughter of Nothing has everything needed for an excellent read. It has an unique and captivating premise. A well thought out and executed story line full of compelling characters and twists and turns that will keep you guessing till the end. What more could you ask for? The only thing I will ask for is more great reads from this author. I would definitely recommend this book and look forward to see what other adventures Eric Edstrom has in store for me.

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Wolf's Bane by Judith Post

Wolf's BaneWolf's Bane by Judith Post
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Wolf's Bane is an enjoyable read with action, suspense and a little romance. It has the usual cast of characters for a paranormal romance, witches and werewolves, but with an interesting twist, a gargoyle. Who knew a gargoyle could be so yummy? This is my first time reading a story with a gargoyle as the main character but it won't be my last.

Reece is a martial arts teacher who is constantly called by her younger brother and sister to rescue them from their abusive father. On one such mission, Reece encounters a young man who changes into a werewolf before her eyes. Before she can comprehend what is happening, the werewolf has attacked her. A mysterious winged man comes to her rescue, but Reece's life will never be the same. Damian, a gargoyle, will open Reece's eyes to a world she didn't know existed much less a part of. They will have to learn to work together to save the city from rogue werewolves.

I enjoy Judith Post's style of writing, and this was no exception. She does a great job of developing each character. Reece is a strong character, who was thrown into a difficult and dangerous situation, but didn't let it change who she is. Damian is a guardian. His mission is to save others. I like how they learned to work together. I enjoyed this read and look forward to the next installment.

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Daughter of NothingDaughter of Nothing by Eric Edstrom

Daughter of NothingDaughter of Nothing by Eric Edstrom
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have to start by saying this book was not at all what I was expecting, in a most delightful way. First off, I always worry a little bit when there is a male author writing a female character, a main character no less, because they many times end up falling short. It's happened quite often in books I've read…but, Jacey is done so well. Mr. Edstrom got inside Jacey's head and created a great character out of her. She was super easy to like, naive but not stupid, and had strong morals. She was trusting to a fault and, always seeing the good in people, never believed there was true evil in the world.

Secondly, the whole concept of this story was so unique, I actually did not see the twists and turns coming. More than once I found myself gasping out loud or saying 'oh my God, that did not just happen!'. Seriously though, the story is very well written and engrossing. You will want to keep reading to find out what happens next. I promise.

And last, the world Mr. Edstrom created for this story was beautiful and fascinating but at the same time a little bit chilling. He created this magnificent sanctuary peacefully tucked away safe from the rest of the world. He made us, and his characters, trust and believe in the power of kindness, honesty, and virtue, and then he slowly stripped it all away, leaving us with no one to believe in or trust. No one is as they seemed to be, or are they?

Though this book is just released, I am already looking for more from these characters. Thank you to the author for providing me with a copy of his book.

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Friday 27 September 2013

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle, #2)The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have been looking forward to this book for months, mainly because I was so enthralled with Ronan in The Raven Boys. He was so enigmatic in the first book and shrouded in mystery I could not wait to be unveiled. I just knew he had to have some sort of crazy story behind his dark, cryptic exterior, and I was so not disappointed.

One of my favorite things about this series is the fantasy world the author created within our own world. There are just things that cannot be explained, but you do not question them. They just are, and they work. I really enjoyed getting to know the characters better in this book, Gansey, Adam, Blue, Noah, and of course Ronan, all feel like old friends now. After reading this book, I definitely want more of Adam. He is such a lost soul, and I cannot wait to see where the author takes him.

My other favorite thing about this series has to do with the author's writing. She manages to put together her words into sentences into paragraphs into this entire story in such a beautiful and graceful way. I think if anyone else was trying to lay out prose like her, it would come across forced and insincere. But somehow Maggie Stiefvater pulls it off with amazing ease. It makes me wonder if she really sees the world this way and thinks like this in everyday life…what a strange place her head must be.

I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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Tuesday 24 September 2013

Crimson Dawn by Amos Cassidy - Cover Reveal!

Coming October 25

All I can say!

Tragicallly Flawed by A.M. Hargrove + Giveaway

Tragically Flawed
by A.M. Hargrove

Book Description:  
Riviera Benson has a she discovered by accident. She’s a painter, but canvas isn’t her medium. She creates her lovely masterpieces on walls and ceilings of million dollar homes as murals and faux finishes. Her art is in high demand now, but life wasn’t always that way. Riviera has secrets from her past she intends to keep tightly locked away...terrifying secrets that keep her awake at night...that prevent her from getting close to anyone...anyone that is, until she meets Shan.

Benjamin Shandon, owner of Shandon Homes, works like a thousand demons are chasing him...because perhaps they are. His business has boomed, ever since the forest fire swept through the canyon and destroyed hundreds of million dollar homes. He demands excellence in everything...from his employees to his women. He slows down for nothing, keeping a schedule that no sane person would want. But Riviera interrupts everything, twisting his guts inside out, and wedging her way into his heart, destroying a promise he made to himself.

Will they let their pasts control their future, or will they decide to let go and allow their hearts to discover each other’s?


This book contains mature content and is not intended for younger readers.

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Tragically Flawed by A.M. Hargrove 
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Tragically Flawed is another great novel from one of my favorite authors. Full of action, romance, tragedy, and incredibly steamy scenes, this book will toy with your emotions and make you fall in love with the characters.

Riviera's story is heartbreaking and tragic. After leaving an abusive relationship, Riviera (love that name!) moves away to start a new life for herself. Landing her dream job, things are beginning to look up. Through the story Riviera is vulnerable and scared, but definitely not weak or naive. She knows first-hand there is evil in the world, but she never once stops to feel sorry for herself for what she has gone through. She just picks up and moves on, doing what she has to in order to survive another day. I loved watching her transformation from a scared, anxious young woman into someone who is able to stand up for herself and for what she believes.

After Riviera comes to realize that first impressions aren't always what they seem, Shan, the incredibly sexy, incredibly single, incredibly intimidating owner of Shandon Homes, becomes someone she thinks she can learn to trust, but taking into consideration the men in her past she finds trusting might be too difficult. At the same time all of these exhilarating but terrifying changes are going on in her life, Riviera realizes that her new boss might actually be the devil incarnate.

Fast paced and fabulously sexy, this story has a dark side but also has its laugh out loud moments as well. The characters are great, and I hope the author decides to turn this book into a series. I would love, love, love to know more about Drexel (hint, hint), and I sense a story in Amie and Gray as well. Thank you to A.M. Hargrove for providing me with an ARC of your book!

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About the Author:
One day, on her way home from work as a sales manager, A. M. Hargrove, realized her life was on fast forward and if she didn't do something soon, it would quickly be too late to write that work of fiction she had been dreaming of her whole life. So, she rolled down the passenger window of her fabulous (not) company car and tossed out her leather briefcase. Luckily, the pedestrian in the direct line of fire was a dodge ball pro and had ├╝ber quick reflexes enabling him to avoid getting bashed in the head. Feeling a tad guilty about the near miss, A. M. made a speedy turn down a deserted side street before tossing her crummy, outdated piece-of-you-know-what laptop out the window. She breathed a liberating sigh of relief, picked up her cell phone, called her boss and quit her job. Grinning, she made another call to her hubs and told him of her new adventure (after making sure his heart was beating properly again).

So began A. M. Hargrove's career as a YA/NA and Adult Romance writer. Her books include the following: Edge of Disaster, Shattered Edge and Kissing Fire (The Edge Series); The Guardians of Vesturon series (Survival, Resurrection, Determinant, reEmergent and Beginnings); Dark Waltz and Tragically Flawed.

Other than being in love with writing about being in love, she loves chocolate, ice cream and coffee and is positive they should be added as part of the USDA food groups.

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Sunday 22 September 2013

Wake Up Call by Victoria Ashley

Wake Up CallWake Up Call by Victoria Ashley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Avery is a barely 19-year-old on her own and struggling day by day just to get by. Unable to find a job due to lack of experience, she has resorted to stripping to keep herself off the street. When she finds herself in a situation she cannot figure out how to get out of on her own, she relies on enigmatic and sexy Jace – though only because she really has no other choice. Avery does not trust easily, or at all, but Jace is determined to help her and will push until she cannot take it anymore.

As for the characters, Avery was really hard to like at first. Sure she had had a hard life, but when reading a book you want the character to have overcome the odds, to be different, to be kind and caring despite her past, but Avery was not like that. After the first couple of chapters I really did not like her much at all, and I was worried that her personality would bring the whole story down for me. However, she did grow on me. She was still hard and determined not to let anyone close, but she had her reasons, and she did try.

Jace was pretty awesome, though pushy at times, but I guess that's an admirable quality in an alpha male, which he definitely is. He's just really an overall nice guy, the kind of guy who when he sees someone in need he reaches out to them. This obsession with helping people has gotten him hurt in the past, but it does not stop him from helping Avery.

Overall the story was good and the writing was good, but there were many grammatical errors throughout the book, which I would not even mention if they were few and far between, but they were frequent, and having my eye catch on them and cause me to stop reading really took away from the story. There were also a couple of eye rolling moments for me in the story where I just thought, like that would really happen, and loose ends tied up too quickly or too neatly, but overall I enjoyed the story. Thank you to the author for providing me with a copy of her book.

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The Last Strand by Van Krishna

The Last StrandThe Last Strand by Van Krishna
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a really good story. The plot was different and fully of mystery and suspense, and I think it definitely has the potential to be great.

Overall, the characters were good. Nick was well developed and overall a likeable guy, not to mention downright sexy. We were able to get to know him well throughout the story, and I enjoyed the chapters told from his point of view the most. Liz's character was good, and I mostly liked what we saw of her. The one thing that I really did not like about her was her indecisiveness. She would tell Nick one thing, but then do another. Bipolar much? Though, there was some definite chemistry between Liz and Nick, and we love chemistry. Additionally their banter was quite fun. The only character I really did not like was Stacy. She was a horrible friend to Liz, though Liz just laughed it off like it was funny.

While I enjoyed the story, there were a couple of things that I have to mention that brought the rating down from a 4 to a 3 for me. First of all, there were too many grammatical errors not to mention them. One or two errors throughout the book I could overlook, but there were many consistently throughout. They were little things, 'I'm' instead of 'I am' (those two words cannot exclusively be used in place of one another), comma misuse or lack of commas, and semicolon misuse, but as I said it was enough to be noticeable, and that distracted my reading and ultimately detracted from the story. Additionally, the thought processes seemed very disjointed to me, especially in the beginning, to the point where I stopped at one point to check and see if the author was a native English speaker. It wasn't necessarily bad, per se, just…flighty, and I had the constant feeling that I was missing parts of the story. Plus, I kept wondering why everything was in italics? That was a bit distracting. Every page had some random thoughts thrown into italics without any rhyme or reason to it that I could discern.

The second thing that brought the rating down I had mentioned above – Liz's indecisiveness. This inconsistency in her personality was a major character flaw for her. For example, one second she was ignoring Nick and telling him she was 'not that kind of girl,' and the next second (literally) she was half naked with him in the front seat of his car. There was no in-between and no transition from one Liz to the next. In another scene she had not been speaking to him for a few days and the next thing you knew they were having sex like nothing had been wrong. Again like mentioned above, I just felt like something was missing from those scenes, possibly some inner dialogue that explained why she went from one extreme to the next.

Overall, the story was entertaining and could be really great with an editor with an eye for detail.

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