Monday, February 8, 2016

Revenge and the Wild by Michelle Modesto

Standalone
384 p.
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Published: 2/2/16
Source: Edelweiss and Publisher for review
The two-bit town of Rogue City is a lawless place, full of dark magic and saloon brawls, monsters and six-shooters. But it’s perfect for seventeen-year-old Westie, the notorious adopted daughter of local inventor Nigel Butler. 
Westie was only a child when she lost her arm and her family to cannibals on the wagon trail. Nine years later, Westie may seem fearsome with her foul-mouthed tough exterior and the powerful mechanical arm built for her by Nigel, but the memory of her past still haunts her. She’s determined to make the killers pay for their crimes—and there’s nothing to stop her except her own reckless ways. 
But Westie’s search ceases when a wealthy family comes to town looking to invest in Nigel’s latest invention, a machine that can harvest magic from gold—which Rogue City desperately needs as the magic wards that surround the city start to fail. There’s only one problem: the investors look exactly like the family who murdered Westie’s kin. With the help of Nigel’s handsome but scarred young assistant, Alistair, Westie sets out to prove their guilt. But if she’s not careful, her desire for revenge could cost her the family she has now.
My thoughts:

I had fun with this mash up of western, magic, paranormal, and steampunk. It seems like a lot to thrown in together but here it works. In this one we follow Westie who is a wild girl that lost her family to cannibals. She has a new home now with wildly different kind of people and a mechanical arm. She also has a mouth on her so you know I liked this character. She does cause a lot of problems because she is impulsive, but at least she does try to take responsibility for what damage she wrought.

The mystery was interesting but I didn't like how her new family reacted to some revelations on her part. I don't want to go into what they were because it would be too spoilerish but it just didn't quite jive with me in how otherwise supportive her family was about everything else. I did like the romance between Westie and Alistair. I loved Alley and how he helped Westie and how he loved her. There was a aw moment for them in there for romance lovers. ;) The ending was not as surprising as I think it meant to be but was still enjoyable. I didn't love how it ended but I didn't hate it either. There were also small things that I thought were important which were left out. Like who was spying on Westie and Alistair? I only mention this one specifically since it really doesn't give anything away. This was mentioned as if it was important but yet just didn't give us any clues or answers to what was going on. There was also another incident which I cannot go into but had the same problems. Nothing big but it bothered me a bit. I'm guessing it was the same person, but no answers for those small niggles.

I give this book 3 1/2 stars. I did enjoy it and I liked Westie. I think this could have been developed into a series and I think it would have been even better as such. I think then not having small questions go unanswered (not the ones I mentioned, but a few others... small but possibly important) wouldn't have bothered me as much. I do recommend it to those that love mash ups of genres with a good dose of fun.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Book Blogger Craft Circle

This is the meme I had mentioned in a previous post. If you are a crafter and want to do something more on your blog, then join us! I'd love to see what people make.


From Briane from Talk Supe: Welcome to Books & Crafts, a craft circle composed of book bloggers, a sporadic meme where we share our other creative pursuits aside from reading and blogging. Everyone is welcome to join, just add your tag/label links below and you're good to go!



You can see previous craft posts I've done and posted in this blog by clicking HERE. Most are at the end of the post.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Resolution by J. S. Cooper

Series: Swept Away #3
240 p.
Publisher: Gallery Books
Published: 12/1/15
Source: From publisher for review
When Bianca and Jakob first awoke on a sandy shore in the middle of nowhere, their thoughts were only concerned with survival. But as they explored their surroundings and tried to find out who left them stranded on the island, electricity surged between them. Soon after, Bianca uncovered clues to her abduction, but was left with even more unanswered questions, especially about Jakob’s true motives… 
Now, Bianca just wants the truth. Nothing was as it seemed, especially with Jakob. As she discovers cross upon double cross, all she can trust is her instinct, her connection with him. So they decide to return to the island in hopes of finally learning the truth. Bianca and Jakob have been thrown together and torn apart by their secrets—but can she trust him enough to rescue her at last?When Bianca and Jakob first awoke on a sandy shore in the middle of nowhere, their thoughts were only concerned with survival. But as they explored their surroundings and tried to find out who left them stranded on the island, electricity surged between them. Soon after, Bianca uncovered clues to her abduction, but was left with even more unanswered questions, especially about Jakob’s true motives… 
Now, Bianca just wants the truth. Nothing was as it seemed, especially with Jakob. As she discovers cross upon double cross, all she can trust is her instinct, her connection with him. So they decide to return to the island in hopes of finally learning the truth. Bianca and Jakob have been thrown together and torn apart by their secrets—but can she trust him enough to rescue her at last?
My thoughts:

I'll make this review short especially since the book was so short. I think that is one of the reasons I didn't mind going on with the series when I wasn't enamored with the first one.

This one was a bit better in the mystery department. Although it was the strongest part of the trilogy, it seemed to lag in the other installments, especially the second book. In this one we go back and forth in the past and in the present and it did help move things along. I still didn't like the romance in the book. I did like Bianca better but not Jakob. Ugh. He could be such a jerk. There was a epilogue with the couple and I actually liked them in it! I just wished the romance was the same in the rest of the book.

I give this book 2 stars.  The mystery was solved for the most part. In fact I was thinking back and realized that the main mystery we started out with (I don't want to spoil so I won't say what) was sorta solved. The characters were satisfied with what they thought happened but no definitive evidence or arrest for that particular crime. Still, I had to think about it before I realized that nugget. :) Otherwise the rest of the twists you did get with the mystery did seem to be resolved.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Audiobook Review with Crafts: Disillusioned by J. S. Cooper


Series: Swept Away #2
Narrated: Carly Robins
6 hrs. 35 min.
Publisher: Tantor Media
Unabridged
Published: 3/31/15
Source: Hoopla/Library
Following on the heels of Illusion, indie sensation and New York Times bestselling author J.S. Cooper brings us the second novel in the Swept Away series, a trilogy of dark and sexy romances about a woman marooned on a desert island with a sexy stranger—but is he friend or foe? 
When Bianca and Jakob awake on a sandy shore in the middle of nowhere, their first thoughts are of survival. But as they explore their surroundings and try to discover who stranded them on the island, they can’t deny the electricity surging between them. Soon it’s more than just a campfire keeping them warm… 
But just as Bianca is starting to trust Jakob, she uncovers a clue to their abduction—and he may know more than he’s letting on. Was Jakob just as surprised as she to find himself alone with her…or could the man she’s fallen for be her captor?
My thoughts:

Well, I thought I'd try this one as well since it was only 6 hrs and I thought that was doable. I am sorry to say that I didn't find the romance or relationship any better than I did in the first book. Same problems and the same issues. Pretty much it goes like this: Bianca trusts Jakob, Bianca and Jakob have a hot time, Bianca gets thrown by something and distrusts Jakob, neither seem to have a clue to trust the other but each demands it from the other, add the mystery and repeat... often. A small progress was done on the mystery and I found that putting it on the fast speed really helped this one for me. It was my friend.

Yea, it is a mission now with me to find out what the heck happened since I have the last book and I'm determined to find out who is pulling their strings when they aren't demanding trust from the other. I give this audio 1 1/2 stars. I did enjoy Carly's narration, however and would listen to another audio by her. Also don't let me dissuade you from these books. A lot of people really enjoyed them so I would check out their reviews or check it out at the library and see if it is for you.

The Crafts!
This was a last minute Christmas gift I was determined to get done. I was sewing on Christmas day! :) This is for our veterinarian who does a lot for my pets and has a wonderful family. He noticed my zombie leash and liked it and so the seed of what was to come was born. :D  The embroidery says (in white) "Zombie Outbreak Response Team" and in red "K9 Unit". I hope he and his family liked it. 

Friday, January 29, 2016

Tough Justice 7-8 (ending!)

Betrayed
by Tyler Anne Snell
Series: Tough Justice #7
Publisher: Harlequin Special Releases
Published: 1/12/16
Source: Kistmet Book Tours, Publisher and NetGalley for review
Keep your friends close. Your enemies closer. And your colleagues? 
Trust has never been easy for Special Agent Lara Grant. Life taught her a hard lesson as a child, one she's never forgotten. But now, when the betrayal is so close to home, Lara is pushed to the very limit. 
As the players finally move into position, it's time to go all in, or go home. It doesn't matter that fear is shaking her very core, it doesn't matter that everything she has…her team, her new family…is on the line. 
What does matter is that there has always been one truth about Lara Grant: when her back's against the wall, she comes out guns blazing. And at last her target is in her sights…
My thoughts:

This really is the book that wraps up everything in the story arc. We find out all the answers to our questions and it really felt like the ending book. I even finally started liking the romance a bit more (still not sold, but it is one of those things that will grow on you as a series goes on). Then a small thing... *can't say* happens and we are back on the edge of our seat needing the next book!


Hunted
by Carla Cassidy
Series: Tough Justice #8 (ending)
Publisher: Harlequin Special Releases
Published: 1/12/16
Source: Kistmet Book Tours, Publisher and NetGalley for review
Live or die. Her or Moretti. The time is now. 
The worst has happened: her mark is on the run. But Special Agent Lara Grant has no clues. No destination. Just fear for those she loves and bone-deep belief that he's coming straight for her. But she knows Moretti …just as he knows her. And when the final clue clicks into place, the hunt is on. 
Lara will do anything it takes to catch this evil man who has caused the deaths of countless innocent people. With emotions on a knife edge, Lara is running on instinct, on the desperation of unconditional love. With adrenaline pumping, this is it for Lara…flight is not an option; all she can do is fight to the end…
My Thoughts:

NO! Okay, I wanted something else to happen... um... can't say (I'm trying to not spoil anything but it is SO HARD right now). Let me just say it would have been an alternate ending to one aspect of the arc (not an important part) but we now know that under no uncertain terms will it happen. :'( However, despite my disappointment that I had a feeling wouldn't happen anyway, the story line still gripped me. Although this was more of an addendum to the story arc, it is still filled with the same action that you got from the other books. It was a good addition to the story.

The serial wrap up:

I give this whole series 4 stars. I really recommend it to those that love thrillers especially. It was fun and kept you on the edge of your seat. For those wondering how all the authors worked out, I think it worked out fine. In a way it was like I was binging on a serial tv show and we just ended the first season. I would read another serial in this world again but I would need all the books at the same time like I did this one. Each episode is priced reasonably well and it is better than some thrillers out there now.


Don't forget that the blog tour is going on now for these books w/ international giveaway:
Just click on the pic above to go to the post here!