Monday, September 30, 2013

Darkness Rises (Immortal Guardians #4) by Dianne Duvall

Series: Immortal Guardians #4
Publisher: Zebra
Published: 10/1/13
Source: From author for review
Krysta is used to getting the drop on vampires. Her "special abilities" aren't much, but the plan is simple -- she plays helpless pretty young thing to lure them in. Then her shoto swords come out and it's bye-bye, bloodsucker. Until one night she finds herself with an unexpected ally. He's a vampire, all right, but different. Mysterious. Handsome. And more interested in saving her skin than draining it. 
Étienne has been an Immortal Guardian for two hundred years -- long enough to know that Krysta is special. He can't stop thinking about her long legs, even more than her short swords. Then he discovers the vamps she's exterminating have friends in high places, and the Guardians are in danger, too. He'll have to accept Krysta's help to save them. The stakes for a mortal are high. But the cost to his heart might be higher...
This series has become one of my favorites. It is one of those PNR/UF mixes I do enjoy. In this one it is Étienne's turn at love and he finds it quite unexpectedly with a human female who has the unique ability to fight vampires and still live. She is a strong willed woman who is full of vengeance. Her brother is also unique but does not possess the ability to help her with vampire hunting. Still, he puts his life on the line every night with Krysta. Étienne and Krysta come together while fighting vampires and stumble upon an even greater threat. One that they thought they had recently eradicated.

If you have followed by reviews and posts of this series then you know I've been a fan since the first book. Oh and I think they keep getting better and better. Within this book you not only get the main story of Étienne and Krysta, but you also get hints of another pairing. You also get more of the arc of Ami's story. Plus, another arc of a mysterious group out to bring the immortals down. Although this seems like a lot, the author skillfully ties them all together as well as gives you different POVs that do not confuse, but really gather information. So in the end, despite it being 400+ pages you are left wanting the next book without any cliffies. Yes, the arcs are unfinished, but there is no cliffie in the main story. *sigh of relief*

What I also love about this series besides all the great characters is the humor. There were several times I snorted and disturbed others around me. I loved it. All the books have a dose of humor and I'm so glad this one went right along with it. Oh I am giving this one 5 stars. I was so ready for a book like this at this time. If you enjoy PNR with a good dose of UF, then do try this series. It's so much fun.

Bloggy note: Come back tomorrow for the book's birthday and read a post by the author and get a chance to win a book by the author (Predatory) and swag!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Throwback Thursday: Three Little Words

Meme hosted by Melissa My World in Words and Pages. It's about books that are already on the shelves and are waiting to be read. Go to her website to join in!

My submission this week:

Three Little Words 
Fools Gold #12
by Susan Mallery
Narrator: Tanya Eby
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Can first love turn into the real deal in a sizzling Fool's Gold story from New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery? Isabel Carlisle thinks she's cursed in the romance department. Her teenage crush, Ford Hendrix, ignored all her letters. Her husband left her for So Isabel has come home to dust off her passion for fashion and run the family bridal shop until her parents are ready to sell it. Then she'll pursue her real dreams. At least, that's the plan, until sexy, charming Ford returns and leaves her feeling fourteen all over again.... Seeing Isabel all grown up hits bodyguard trainer Ford like a sucker punch. Back when heartbreak made him join the military, her sweet letters kept him sane. Now he can't take his eyes - or his lips - off her. The man who gave up on love has a reason to stay in Fool's Gold forever - if three little words can convince Isabel to do the same....
Oh I won this one at:
and no, I haven't read the other 11. However, since they focus on one couple at a time, I don't think I'll have much problem. Plus, it is highly recommended by Felicia. If she says it's good, I'm not going to argue... she is always right. :D Plus, she just rocks.

Any good romances on your tbr?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Wild Cards (Wild Cards #1) by Simone Elkeles

Series: Wild Cards #1
Publisher: Walker Books for Young Readers
Published: Oct. 1, 2013
Source: NetGalley and Publisher for review
After getting kicked out of boarding school, bad boy Derek Fitzpatrick has no choice but to live with his ditzy stepmother while his military dad is deployed. Things quickly go from bad to worse when he finds out she plans to move them back to her childhood home in Illinois. Derek’s counting the days before he can be on his own, and the last thing he needs is to get involved with someone else’s family drama. 
Ashtyn Parker knows one thing for certain--people you care about leave without a backward glance. A football scholarship would finally give her the chance to leave. So she pours everything into winning a state championship, until her boyfriend and star quarterback betrays them all by joining their rival team. Ashtyn needs a new game plan, but it requires trusting Derek—someone she barely knows, someone born to break the rules. Is she willing to put her heart on the line to try and win it all?

My thoughts:

I had heard so much about Simone Elkeles's other series that I knew I had to read this author. I had a chance to read Wild Cards so I couldn't wait to pick it up. I was thrilled with Ashtyn's character since she is a girl who plays football. She had a terrible home life and no support there. She still is able to find a way to move forward and find her own support in the form of her teammates. She was a character I wish you could find more in YA.

Derek was also a fun character but it was more obvious that he was sabotaging himself in his life and education. The truth of why this happens actually is revealed in the last part of the book. Despite the late reveal, you still find that you like the guy and have sympathy for him. Despite his annoying ways, you can tell there was a heart of gold underneath.

I have to say that the plot was predictable and some of the same ol' tropes were used within the book. I didn't feel like the romance read real nor was their progression toward each other. I'm sure you are now thinking I disliked the book. I actually enjoyed it quite a bit. Despite those problems it was a feel good book. Even through the frustrating parts you knew that it was going to give you that HEA you crave. Plus, when I end with a smile on my face after reading the last paragraph, I can't help but like it. So, if you want something totally original, you may not like this one. However, if you just enjoy a fun story that gives you a good HEA at the end, then pick this one up. I think you'll have fun with it. I give this book 3 1/2 stars.

bloggy PS...  why do publishers keep moving those publishing dates? Stop messing up my schedule! LOL

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Top Off Tuesday: Darkness Rises

"Every once in awhile there are covers that just make you say Oh My! Sometimes it is good, sometimes it is bad, and sometimes it is head scratching. The point of Top Off Tuesday is to show you the ones with their Tops Off! Seriously y’all hunting out Top Off Tuesday covers is one of my favorite pastimes and you should join the fun!" ~from the Geeky Blogger

I have been enjoying this meme on Felicia's The Geeky Blogger's blog and have finally found some time to join in. The other players are Amanda from On a Book Bender, Christi from Smitten with Reading. Button made by Missie at The Unread Reader

My submission:
Darkness Rises
Immortal Guardians #4
by Dianne Duvall
Krysta is used to getting the drop on vampires. Her "special abilities" aren't much, but the plan is simple -- she plays helpless pretty young thing to lure them in. Then her shoto swords come out and it's bye-bye, bloodsucker. Until one night she finds herself with an unexpected ally. He's a vampire, all right, but different. Mysterious. Handsome. And more interested in saving her skin than draining it. 
Étienne has been an Immortal Guardian for two hundred years -- long enough to know that Krysta is special. He can't stop thinking about her long legs, even more than her short swords. Then he discovers the vamps she's exterminating have friends in high places, and the Guardians are in danger, too. He'll have to accept Krysta's help to save them. The stakes for a mortal are high. But the cost to his heart might be higher...
 I will have a review and an author post/giveaway next week with a book by the author, but thought I'd feature it today since I won't be able to do that next week. Oh I do like it when the shirt accommodates and opens up for our shirtless pleasure. ;)

So, what is on your ToT?

Friday, September 20, 2013

Found me! :D

Ahh... here is the post that I wrote! Found it... and without a map ;)

Also, don't forget to check out the other posts and giveaways at AimeeKay's blog. The schedule is HERE! Some pretty good giveaways!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Throwback Thursday: Third Grave Dead Ahead

Meme hosted by Melissa My World in Words and Pages. It's about books that are already on the shelves and are waiting to be read. Go to her website to join in!

My submission this week:

Third Grave Dead Ahead
by Darynda Jones
Narration: Lorelei King
Series: Charley Davidson #3
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Published: Jan. 31, 12
Paranormal private eye. Grim reaper extraordinaire. Whatever. Charley Davidson is back in Darynda Jones' Third Grave Dead Ahead! And she’s drinking copious amounts of caffeine to stay awake because, every time she closes her eyes, she sees him: Reyes Farrow, the part human, part supermodel son of Satan. Yes, she did imprison him for all eternity, but come on. How is she supposed to solve a missing persons case, deal with an ego-driven doctor, calm her curmudgeonly dad, and take on a motorcycle gang hellbent on murder when the devil’s son just won’t give up?
Love this series but I'm behind on it. I won the next one that I need and it is in audio! Love Lorelei's narration in the previous two so I know I'll love this one. 

Hands off Reyes, but you can tell me if you have any other hotties on your tbr? :)

Btw, don't forget to goto AimeeKay's Blog for a blog post by me and a giveaway sponsored by AimeeKay! :D I think it will be up later today...
Where's me parrot and rum???

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Talk Like a Pirate! Arrr!

My review partner, AimeeKay is involved in a bloggy event surrounding the Talk Like A Pirate Day on the 19th! Go HERE to get the schedule and find fun posts and giveaways for the week. Have fun and don't let the parrots bite (Johnny Depp is another matter... *wink*)!

Monday, September 16, 2013

The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle #2) by Maggie Stiefvater

Series: The Raven Cycle #2
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Published: Sept. 17, 13
Source: NetGalley and Publisher for review
Now that the ley lines around Cabeswater have been woken, nothing for Ronan, Gansey, Blue, and Adam will be the same. Ronan, for one, is falling more and more deeply into his dreams, and his dreams are intruding more and more into waking life. Meanwhile, some very sinister people are looking for some of the same pieces of the Cabeswater puzzle that Gansey is after...
My thoughts:
 I have to say that I enjoyed this one much more than the first. It seemed a lot more cohesive to me and it actually featured Ronan more than the rest of the boys. I was thrilled since even though I didn't warm to him in the first book, he did interest me. You knew his attitude was masking a lot underneath and in this book shows some of his soft underbelly. Not too much, he is still enough of an enigma for those worried he would be too exposed. Still the bad boy of the bunch.

We also have the introduction to the grey man who comes in and stirs trouble. I was skeptical at first about the introduction of this character, but as time went on, he really seemed to fit in with the bunch. I ended up really enjoying this character and seeing where he will take us.

I give this book 4 stars. I think it is better than the first book and I am really wanting the next. I need it now since we were given a bit of a twist in the end. Yes, I did curse the ending. :D

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1) by Maggie Stiefvater

 Series: The Raven Cycle #1
Published: Sept. 18, 12
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Source: Library
“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.” 
It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive. 
Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her. 
His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble. 
But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little. 
For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

My thoughts:
I have to admit it took me a while to really get involved in this book. The beginning was a bit slow, but I did enjoy Blue the psychic's daughter. The only non-psychic in the family but gives them a boost in their powers. I did like the raven boys in the tale, even Ronan the one that would have been hardest to like. I didn't fall for Gansey for quite a while as it seemed as if he was disconnected with everyone and everything even though he cares so much for his friends. It was this caring that finally drew me to him.

There are confusing parts to the story, but although I believe this was entirely intentional, it felt that it was unintentional at times. Some of the plot holes seemed to be reasonable since the world of the psychic is filled with 'maybe' and 'might happen' and is rarely specific. Still, sometimes it felt as though some of the characters fell through that plot. Despite this I did find myself engaged in the characters and what is going to happen to them. While the ending of the book isn't a cliffie, per se... it does end with an enigma. I think why these things didn't bother me as much as it might with other books because I've read Maggie's writing and I tend to trust more that answers will come in further books.

There is one issue I did have problem. I admit it is small, but it did bother me because it should have been better researched. It was the issue of Gansey's EpiPen. First, why did he only have one EpiPen? He was rich and those come in packets of 2. His parents weren't terribly involved, but involved enough that they would have made sure that he would have several around him. It is also recommended to have 2 because many people need 2 doses. It is NOT a solution for his allergy. It is only for emergency use to give him time to get to the ER. That is the ONLY purpose for the EpiPen. At one time Blue thought it was something that would restart his heart after exposure to his allergy. That is something entirely different that is injected into the heart. If you are using the EpiPen for that reason, call the undertaker. You are dead. Yes, I know this is a small issue in the book, but since it was repeated several times, I would like to have had better and more accurate information about it. It would have benefitted other people in his position. Gansey would have been informed by his doctor even if he didn't take the doctor's advice.

In the end I do give this book 3 1/2 stars. Despite my problems with this book, I'm actually quite excited in starting the next.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Kitty in the Underworld (Kitty Noville #12) by Carrie Vaughn

Series: Kitty Noville #12
Publisher: Tor
Available: Now
Source: From Tor for review

 As Denver adjusts to a new master vampire, Kitty gets word of an intruder in the Denver werewolf pack’s territory, and she investigates the challenge to her authority. She follows the scent of the lycanthrope through the mountains where she is lured into a trap, tranquilized, and captured. When she wakes up, she finds herself in a defunct silver mine: the perfect cage for a werewolf. Her captors are a mysterious cult seeking to induct Kitty into their ranks in a ritual they hope will put an end to Dux Bellorum. Though skeptical of their power, even Kitty finds herself struggling to resist joining their cause. Whatever she decides, they expect Kitty to join them in their plot... willingly or otherwise.

My thoughts:
Usually I enjoy Kitty stumbling around trying to figure the best way out of a situation thrust upon her. This time, however, I was quite frustrated with her. She became stuck in a situation in where she was the one with the greatest amount of knowledge but with the least amount of influence. I don't see Kitty actually choosing that situation. She did and so my frustration with her rose.

The action was quite good and engaging, but I had a hard time with the players in this situation. I just didn't quite buy Kumbaris as a sage vampire. In fact, he seemed quite juvenile in his behavior. I also had a hard time believing the other weres in the story we so willing to follow him into the unknown. Perhaps there is a backstory there that would explain that fully. However, despite my unusual frustration with this character and the characters surrounding her, I did otherwise enjoy my time back in this world.

I did enjoy the information Kitty did gather about the "Long Game" arc in the story. Information we sorely need to defeat this undefeatable baddie. :) Especially for that information, this book should not be missed with this series. I am looking forward to the next book and I can't wait to see how that Long Game arc plays out. I give this book 3 stars.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Thowback Thursday: Chasing Victory

Meme hosted by Melissa My World in Words and Pages. It's about books that are already on the shelves and are waiting to be read. Go to her website to join in!

My submission this week:

Chasing Victory
The Winter's Sisters #1
by Joanne Jaytanie
Published: CreateSpace
Available Now
Doctor Doolittle in female form creates X-Men on steroids. Murder, kidnapping, and blackmail follow as world-renowned geneticist Victory Winters is forced to pursue her research on canine DNA. 
Victory possesses an unusual innate sense of communication, boarding on telepathic when relating to animals. This unique ability has elevated her status to world renowned genetic research specialist. She is kidnapped and blackmailed with threats to her family, forcing her to work for a rival corporation, Biotec and run by a madman CEO. 
Naval officer Tristan Farraday is sent undercover to track Biotec’s experiments. These experiments involve implanting genus canis DNA into humans thereby manipulating their genetic makeup, in hopes to create the perfect soldier. 
First suspecting Victory as being associated with Biotec, Tristan later realizes that she has been pulled into this world against her wishes. Victory refuses to divulge the genetic answers Biotec demands. She believes Biotec is looking to exploit her findings, by using them in a destructive manner. Will Tristan be able to rescue her from this madman’s grip and save her family? Can he keep the research Victory discovers away from enemy hands?
I got this one when it was a freebie. I admit I got it mostly because of the puppy on the cover. DOBIE! Must have... and it sounds interesting as well. I'm just hoping the puppy is okay. :)

So, added any to your tbr because of a puppy on the cover? :D 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Angel Stone (Fairwick Chronicles #3) by Juliet Dark

Series: Fairwick Chronicles #3
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Published: Sept. 3, 2013
Source: NetGalley and Library Thing Early Reviewers for review
For Callie McFay, a half-witch/half-fey professor of folklore and Gothic literature, the fight to save the enchanted town of Fairwick, New York, is far from over. After a hostile takeover by the Grove—a sinister group of witches and their cohorts—many of the local fey have been banished or killed, including Callie’s one true love. And in place of the spirit of tolerance and harmony, the new administration at Fairwick College has fostered an air of danger and distrust.

With her unique magical abilities, Callie is the only one who can rescue her friends from exile and restore order to the school—a task that requires her to find the Angel Stone, a legendary talisman of immense power. Propelled on an extraordinary quest back to seventeenth-century Scotland, Callie risks her life to obtain the stone. Yet when she encounters a sexy incarnation of her lost love, she finds the greater risk is to her heart. As the fate of Fairwick hangs in the balance, Callie must make a wrenching choice: reclaim a chance for eternal passion or save everything she holds dear.
My thoughts:
I read the second book, The Water Witch but not the first. I did enjoy the second book and didn't feel too lost, so I decided to instead of reading that first book (which I still want to do...) but read the third when it came my way. The last book left me with a few questions so I don't mind going forward in this case instead of going backward. :)

I feel that the last 2 covers, while beautiful, are misleading. I was thinking each time that it was a big flowery PNR book, or even magical realism, but it really reads more UF to me. I mean there are those other elements to the book, but it still is filled with enough action I can safely say UF. Probably why I was complaining in the other review in this series that I should have read the first book. Most UF should be read in order.

I liked this installment much better than the last book. Didn't feel like it had a lot of plot holes of the last and the story felt much tighter. I enjoyed Callie's adventure much more than the romance, but I still did enjoy the romance. It felt like it came full circle despite my lack of knowledge of the first book (yes, I will get to it!). In the end I give this book 4 stars. I recommend it to those that enjoy PNR with a huge dose of UF as well.

LibraryThing Early Reviewers

Monday, September 2, 2013

Conjured by Sarah Beth Durst

by Sarah Beth Durst
Publisher: Walker Childrens
Published: Sept. 3, 2013
Source: NetGalley and author for review
Eve has a new home, a new face, and a new name—but no memories of her past. She’s been told that she's in a witness protection program. That she escaped a dangerous magic-wielding serial killer who still hunts her. The only thing she knows for sure is that there is something horrifying in her memories the people hiding her want to access—and there is nothing they won’t say—or do—to her to get her to remember. 
At night she dreams of a tattered carnival tent and buttons being sewn into her skin. But during the day, she shelves books at the local library, trying to not let anyone know that she can do things—things like change the color of her eyes or walk through walls. When she does use her strange powers, she blacks out and is drawn into terrifying visions, returning to find that days or weeks have passed—and she’s lost all short-term memories. Eve must find out who and what she really is before the killer finds her—but the truth may be more dangerous than anyone could have ever imagined.
 My thoughts:
This book is frustrating. Now before I go further, let me explain that it is a good thing. :) You are supposed to be frustrated and a bit confused. You are following the protagonist, Eve and she is frustrated and confused. She has memory loss and is trying to feel her way, trying to figure out who she really is and why she is being protected by the witness protection program. Yes, those answers come, but it is only revealed when it is revealed to Eve.

There is also a surreal dreamlike quality to most of the book. Eve slips into dreams or visions and we aren't quite sure if it is real and pieces to a puzzle or just her fantasy. It does provide clues, but you are just uncertain as to exactly what those clues are.

In the end you are rewarded with answers and a clear understanding as to what is going on within this universe. Even a twist I didn't expect. It is odd, strange, and a bit convoluted as a paranormal carnival might be. It's dreamlike in it's ability and if you like these things, you won't be disappointed in this book. I give it 4 stars.