Monday, June 30, 2014

Reckoning (Silver Blackthorn #1) by Kerry Wilkinson

Series: Silver Blackthorn #1
Published: July 1, 2014
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Source: ARC from publisher for review
One girl. One chance. One destiny. 
In the village of Martindale, hundreds of miles north of the new English capital of Windsor, sixteen-year-old Silver Blackthorn takes the Reckoning. This coming-of- age test not only decides her place in society – Elite, Member, Inter or Trog – but also determines that Silver is to become an Offering for King Victor.But these are uncertain times and no one really knows what happens to the teenagers who disappear into Windsor Castle. Is being an Offering the privilege everyone assumes it to be, or do the walls of the castle have something to hide?Trapped in a maze of ancient corridors, Silver finds herself in a warped world of suspicion where it is difficult to know who to trust and who to fear. The one thing Silver does know is that she must find a way out . . .The heart-stopping first book in a new trilogy by UK author Kerry Wilkinson, Reckoning is the story of one girl's determination to escape the whims of a cruel king, and what she must do to survive against all odds.
My thoughts:
The story to me was a mash other other YA dystopians especially in the beginning. You can easily see a mix of The Hunger Games paired with Divergent. The rest of the story, while engaging, was not surprising. I'm sure with that opening you think I didn't like the book. Even though it was quite predictable and seemed more like a retelling of popular dystopians, I still became engaged and rooted for the kids in this story.

I think my favorite parts of the books were the characters. I did like Silver because she questioned things constantly despite being brought up to think the king and his rule was infallible. I've always liked a character like that and there is always room for growth. I also did like some of the world building. Often you don't quite get the feel of how impossible questioning dystopian authority could be, but in this book you are able to really see and understand the impossibility of it. I think these are the reasons I became so engaged in this book.

I give this story 4 stars. While it may not be original, the writing of the characters and the world seem to really help pull this story together. I recommend it to those that enjoy YA dystopians.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Smexy Reads: Eternity and a Day by Aline Hunter

Series: Desires of the Otherworld
Available Now
Source: From author for review
Dreading the one night per tide he’s forced to travel between the realms, Draigen Eric Locke has only one desire on Samhain – to retrieve the fae transporting daemon relics through the realms and escort her to the Dark Court to face the sidhe king. When he mistakenly recovers the wrong fae, the dragon under his skin responds in a way he never could have predicted, and he discovers he’s found the woman destined to him by the Fates – his Chosen. 
Runa Charon is an anomaly among her kind, the mortal offspring of a human and a fae. Unlike other sidhe, she longs to experience pleasure instead of pain, love instead of lust. Immortally strong but mortally fragile, she’s been sheltered all of her life. When the opportunity to meet a Draigen from the Otherworld arises, she can’t resist the temptation and travels to meet the man who will change her destiny. 
Unlike other netherworld creatures, Draigen mate for life, choosing to follow the path of their beloved mate in this reality or the next. Knowing a future can only span one lifetime, will they settle for less than an eternity? Or will they be grateful for the gift of each day?
My thoughts:
This series is considered erotic, but there is much more here. To me this was more UF and fantasy with a side of erotica. So, I enjoyed it more than I usually do with this kind of genre. I often want more plot, more world building and not just the smexy and you get it with this book.

 I did enjoy Eric (dragon shifter!) but there were times when I wanted to kick his arse. Yea, a common problem with a lot of alpha males, but he does recognize when he is an arse and he does try his best to rectify it by giving Runa control of the relationship until she is comfortable. They also have a lot of smexy times but it doesn't run over the story.

My fave characters are actually the secondary characters. In fact Runa's brother and best friend seem to have a bigger role than expected. I would love to read their stories. Still, in some ways they outshined our couple in this book but not so much I didn't enjoy Runa and Eric's romance.

I enjoyed this first book in the series and I give this book 3 1/2 stars. I recommend it to those who enjoy fantasy with a side of smexy. :)

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Author Interview: Sarah Beth Durst

I enjoyed the book, The Lost (my review) recently and had an opportunity to interview the author. Hope you enjoy!

The Lost
Series: Lost #1
by Sarah Beth Durst
Publisher: Harlequin MIRA
Available Now
It was only meant to be a brief detour. But then Lauren finds herself trapped in a town called Lost on the edge of a desert, filled with things abandoned, broken and thrown away. And when she tries to escape, impassible dust storms and something unexplainable lead her back to Lost again and again. The residents she meets there tell her she's going to have to figure out just what she's missing, and what she's running from, before she can leave. So now Lauren's on a new search for a purpose and a destiny. And maybe, just maybe, she'll be found. 
Against the backdrop of this desolate and mystical town, Sarah Beth Durst writes an arresting, fantastical novel of one woman's impossible journey and her quest to find her fate.
1. I felt that the book was a retelling, or had some aspects of several beloved stories. Could you tell me which ones you intentionally put in the Lost?

Lost is a town full of only lost things and lost people.  Lost socks, shoes, umbrellas, library books, keys, dogs, dreams, minds, lives, innocence, childhoods...  It's made up of leftover bits and forgotten moments.

THE LOST not a retelling, but I did deliberately reference familiar and beloved childhood touchstones: Wonderland, Peter Pan, Wizard of Oz -- yanking them out of their comfortable childhood corners and infusing them into this rundown desert town, in order to create an off-kilter, disoriented feeling.

The feel of Lost was also inspired by the feel of T.S. Eliot's "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock," the Eagles' "Hotel California," various Yeats poems, and the terrible creepiness of the Island of Misfit Toys from that old Rudolph Christmas special.  I used to have nightmares about that place.  *shudder*

2. What kind of research did you do for this book?

Mostly random Google searches: abandoned towns, top 10 most frequently lost items, strangest items ever left behind in a train station... etc.  I then spent a lot of time carefully building the town of Lost.  It's as much a character in the book as Lauren, Peter, and Claire.

3. Peter, Lauren and Lauren's mother are all readers. What books would they recommend?

Great question!  Peter loves poetry.  He's read and memorized tons of Yeats, T.S. Eliot, Emily Dickinson, Shakespeare, etc.  He loves the way words can both capture and obscure -- and he uses poetry as both a way to cope and a way to hide.  So he'd recommend books of poetry.

Lauren treasures art books that she's had since she was a kid, but lately, she's been reading travel memoirs, like Under the Tuscan Sun and Eat, Pray, Love and North of Ithaka.

At the start of the novel, Lauren's mother is into self-help books.  She likes to pass them on to her daughter, though Lauren never reads them.

4. Is there anything you can tell us about the up coming book, The Missing? 

You'll get some answers.  A lot of answers, actually.  But more questions.  (I know, I know, I'm being vague, but I'm trying not to give spoilers!)  I can tell you that it takes Lauren to places that she never imagined existed.  And that she must find light in even the darkest of places.

And you will find out what's in room twelve.

5. Anything you would like the readers to know about The Lost?

Writing THE LOST was a wonderful experience.  I felt like I was discovering Lost alongside Lauren, and I fell in love with her town.  It feels as real to me now as any town I've visited.  And I feel lucky that I'm able to live there for three books.  THE LOST will be followed by THE MISSING in December and then the final book in the trilogy, THE FOUND, in April.

Thanks so much for interviewing me!

Bio (from Sarah's website):
Sarah Beth Durst is the author of eight fantasy novels for teens and adults. Her YA titles includeConjuredVesselDrink Slay Love,Enchanted IvyIceOut of the Wild, and Into the Wild. Her first book for adults, The Lost, came out in June 2014 from Harlequin/Mira and will soon be followed by The Missing, in December 2014, and The Found, in April 2015. Sarah's next book for teens, Chasing Power, comes out in October 2014 from Bloomsbury. She was awarded the 2013 Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children's Literature and has been a finalist for SFWA's Andre Norton Award three times.

Sarah was born in Northboro, Massachusetts, a small town that later became the setting for her debut novel. At the age of ten, she decided she wanted to be a writer. (Before that, she wanted to be Wonder Woman, except with real flying ability instead of an invisible jet. She also would have accepted a career as a unicorn princess.) And she began writing fantasy stories. She attended Princeton University, where she spent four years studying English, writing about dragons, and wondering what the campus gargoyles would say if they could talk. Sarah lives in Stony Brook, New York, with her husband, her two children, and her ill-mannered cat.

Thanks for coming on the blog and answering a few questions! I enjoyed this book and I think others will as well. :)

Monday, June 23, 2014

Evening Stars (Blackberry Island #3) by Susan Mallery

Series: Blackberry Island #3
Publisher: Harlequin MIRA
Available Now
Source: ARC from publisher for review
Small-town nurse Nina Wentworth has made a career out of being a caretaker. More "Mom" than their mother ever was, she sacrificed medical school—and her first love—so her sister could break free. Which is why she isn't exactly thrilled to see Averil back on Blackberry Island, especially when Nina's life has suddenly become…complicated.

Nina unexpectedly finds herself juggling two men—her high school sweetheart and a younger maverick pilot who also wants to claim her heart. But as fun as all this romance is, Nina has real life to deal with. Averil doesn't seem to want the great guy she's married to, and doesn't seem to be making headway writing her first book; their mom is living life just as recklessly as she always has; and Nina's starting to realize that the control she once had is slipping out of her fingers. Her hopes of getting off the island seem to be stretching further away…until her mother makes a discovery that could change everything forever.

But before Nina and Averil can reach for the stars, they have to decide what they want. Will Averil stay? Will Nina leave? And what about the men who claim to love them? Does love heal, or will finding their happy ending mean giving up all they've ever wanted?
My thoughts:
 I had not read the other books in the series, but there was no problem as it can be read as a standalone. Each book is about different characters on the island. In this book we follow 2 sisters and a mother with a Peter Pan complex. Each sister has her own issues stemming from the way they grew up. All in all this is a story about finding what you truly want in your life and then taking the steps to achieve the new goal.

In this story we do get a love triangle, but in the story it is used more as a way to break one kind of habit and really putting a magnifying glass to the life Nina was living. So, in this book it works because it has a purpose. I did enjoy the characters in this book and did root for them, but I didn't feel as connected as I really wanted. I had a better connection to Nina who took on more than her fair share of the responsibility despite the life lessons it costed those around her. Her sister seemed more bratty to me, but toward the end of the story, when she really started to find herself, is where I started connecting to her. I never really connected to the mother, but she was more of a side character so it worked out fine.

I give this book 3 stars. It is a nice chick lit kind of read where epiphanies reign and romance is found. I recommend it to those who enjoy small town stories.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

A Barricade in Hell by Jaime Lee Moyer with Giveaway!

Series: Delia Martin #2
Publisher: Tor Books
Available Now
Source: From publisher for review
Delia Martin has been gifted (or some would say cursed) with the ability to peer across to the other side. Since childhood, her constant companions have been ghosts. She used her powers and the help of those ghosts to defeat a twisted serial killer terrorizing her beloved San Francisco. Now it's 1917—the threshold of a modern age—and Delia lives a peaceful life with Police Captain Gabe Ryan. 
That peace shatters when a strange young girl starts haunting their lives and threatens Gabe. Delia tries to discover what this ghost wants as she becomes entangled in the mystery surrounding a charismatic evangelist who preaches pacifism and an end to war. But as young people begin to disappear, and audiences display a loyalty and fervor not attributable to simple persuasion, that message of peace reveals a hidden dark side.

As Delia discovers the truth, she faces a choice—take a terrible risk to save her city, or chance losing everything?
My thoughts:
I enjoyed the first book, Delia's Shadow, and I think that this book surpasses the first. While you could probably skip the first and dive into this book, I wouldn't suggest it. The first introduces you to these characters and besides you would miss a pretty great story. So, in this case, I would suggest that you read them in order.

The same kind of twisty ghost mystery is the plot of this book as well. We catch up with Delia a short time after the last book ended. We easily discover what has happened in her life and that discovery helps to bring us back into this world with Delia. The mystery also keeps Dora, their psychic friend and Delia's mentor, quite involved in this story. I was pleased as I wanted to know more about her after the first book. We don't really get much in the way of her friends closely involved, but we get a new side character in Mr. Sung as well as Delia's new kitten, Mai. Yes, I'm counting the kitten as a character because I have a feeling she will become more involved as the series goes on.

I don't want to reveal too much as it is a mystery and I need to let it reveal itself. If you haven't read this series I highly suggest you put this on your list. I give this second book 4 1/2 stars. I am looking forward to the next installment of Delia Martin!

I enjoyed this book so much I thought I'd pass one on to you! This is such a good series and I do think you will enjoy it. Since I'm footing the shipping, it is US only.
To enter just fill out the rafflecopter form below:

Monday, June 16, 2014

Girls on Fire: Intrinsical by Lani Woodland

by Lani Woodland
Series: The Yara Silva Trilogy #1
Available now
Source: Girls on Fire Box set from publicity for review
Sixteen-year-old Yara Silva has always known that ghosts walk alongside the living. Her grandma, like the other females in her family, is a Waker, someone who can see and communicate with ghosts. Yara grew up watching her grandmother taunted and scorned for this unusual ability and doesn't want that to be her future. She has been dreading the day when she too would see ghosts, and is relieved that the usually dominant Waker gene seems to have skipped her, letting her live a normal teenage life. However, all that changes for Yara on her first day at her elite boarding school when she discovers the gene was only lying dormant. She witnesses a dark mist attack Brent, a handsome fellow student, and rushes to his rescue. Her act of heroism draws the mist's attention, and the dark spirit begins stalking her. Yara finds herself entrenched in a sixty-year-old curse that haunts the school, threatening not only her life, but the lives of her closest friends as well. Yara soon realizes that the past she was trying to put behind her isn't going to go quietly.

My thoughts:
I've been wanting to read this one for a while now. This is one of the full stories included in this box set. There are others, but I thought I'd pick the last one in this group to see if I would like this one or not.

I did enjoy this story. I liked Yara, one who suddenly finds she is like her grandmother and can communicate with ghosts. Her family is also mysteriously tied into the school she is attending with her ghost hunting bestie. The "curse" of the school turns it's eyes toward Yara after a life saving incident and her awakened ability. Her abilities and what she learns about life and death may save or condemn more people.

I did like the characters. In fact, my fave character didn't even make an appearance physically in the book. Yara's grandmother is an integral part of her past and becomes the key in figuring things out. I do hope she makes an appearance in the other 2 books in this trilogy. I sympathized with Yara, but would have liked to seen more of her personality come through. Brent was frustrating to me at times because I just wanted him to be more genuine of his feelings, but I still liked him and rooted for him in the end.

I give this book 3 1/2 stars. I did enjoy the book and despite this being a trilogy, it can be read as a standalone. It is a complete book! I so enjoy that. I am looking forward to seeing a bit more of these characters in the next book.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Wide Open Trilogy Winner!

The winner for the Wide Open Trilogy by Deborah Coates is...
Congraties Heidi!

If you are looking for some good audiobook giveaways, Felicia from The Geeky Blogger is doing a RIPI (read it and pass it) for audiobook month. Click on the banner below to to check her giveaways out (they are listed on the rt. hand side)!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Blog Tour: The Given (Celestial Blues #3) by Vicky Pettersson with Giveaway!

Harper Voyager is thrilled to publish the final novel in New York Times bestselling author Vicki Pettersson’s acclaimed Celestial Blues series. Readers have been eagerly awaiting this dramatic conclusion, and THE GIVEN (Harper Voyager Trade Paperback Original; May, 2014; 9780062066206; $14.99), delivers on Pettersson’s renowned creative hallmarks: innovative world building and darkly sexy supernatural intrigue.

Series: Celestial Blues #3
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Published: 5/27/14
Source: From edelweiss and publisher for review
THE GIVEN resumes the thrilling saga of fallen angel/private eye Griffin Shaw, and the spirited, rockabilly reporter Kit Craig as they battle long odds in Sin City. Incredibly imaginative, THE GIVEN spotlights Vegas’s Rat Pack glory days, its flinty present-day turmoil, and the immortal realm of the Everlast, where Centurions (mortals turned angels) and Pure angels co-exist on the celestial plane. What results is a perfect mix of classic noir mystery, urban fantasy, and paranormal romance—and just the right amount of crime scene grit and drama to intrigue readers until the very last page.

After learning that his wife survived the attack that killed him fifty years earlier, angel/PI Griffin Shaw is determined to find Evie—no matter the cost. But his obsession has come at a price. Grif has been forced to give up his strong, burgeoning love for reporter Katherine “Kit” Craig – the woman who made life worth living again – while dedicating himself to finding a woman he may no longer know.

Yet when Kit is attacked for a second time, it’s clear that there are forces in both the mortal and heavenly realm determined to protect secrets long buried in the past. In order to survive his second go-round on the Surface, Grif must convince Kit to reunite with him professionally and help uncover decades of deceit from dangerous enemies both old and new. Yet a prophecy also looms, threatening to upend Grif’s every sacrifice, testing his limits as an angel, his dedication to Evie … and his love for Kit. Gritty scenes and heartfelt emotion propel the dramatic finale to the Celestial Blues trilogy, finally giving readers the answer to the one deadly question that they’ve been dying to know: Who killed Griffin Shaw?
My thoughts:
This was probably my favorite book in the whole series. That is odd for me to say since usually the ending book is often my least favorite. In this book we finally get the conclusion to Grif's quest and get those answers we have been seeking since the first book. The book's flow was even and there was no competing mystery to solve.

There are several twists and turns that happen with Grif's mystery. You find that it is even more twisty than even Grif could guess. Several of the twists were not surprises to me, but some of the details were. I was happy for those details since they gave weight to the twists within the story. The end had our HEA that we crave and it was satisfying. This is the book I was waiting for in the series.

I give this book 4 stars and I recommend this one to those that like PI mysteries mixed with the paranormal. It is perfect ending for a series.

Vicki Pettersson is the New York Times bestselling author of the Signs of the Zodiac novels, a six-book urban fantasy series set in her hometown of Las Vegas. Though she'll always consider that glittering dustbowl home, she now divides her time between Vegas and Dallas, where she's learning to like good Tex-Mex (easy) and the Dallas Cowboys (easier than you'd think). THE GIVEN is the third novel in her supernatural noir trilogy, Celestial Blues.

 Blog Tour Giveaway!
The winner will win the first book in this series to get started! Not only does it fit my blog, but I bet the series will fit your bookcase. ;) The giveaway is US only and is sponsored and held by the blog tour. I am not directly involved in the giveaway.
Fill out the rafflecopter form below to enter:

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Florence Review: One Hour Cheese by Claudia Lucero

Having a few cooking reviews that I thought I'd never have... I thought I better make a cooking graphic. Who would have thought? Not me. :D

This is a review from my mom. I keep trying to get her to do one, but to no avail... until now. Got her with a book that she was just too curious to not at least look at. Yea, she cooks and apparently it skips a generation... So, deal was that I would get it if she reviewed it. Here are the results of her labor:

Publisher: Workman Publishing
Available Now
Source: From NetGalley for review
It's a DIY cook's dream come true: It's pizza night, and you've made not only the crust and sauce but the mozzarella, too. Or you're whipping up quesadillas for a snack, using your homemade Triple Pepper Hack. Or the dinner party's in high gear and out comes the cheese plate-and yes, you've made all the cheeses on it. Even better-you made them all earlier that day. In a cookbook whose results seem like magic but whose recipes and instructions are specific, easy-to-follow, and foolproof, Claudia Lucero shows step by step-with every step photographed-exactly how to make sixteen fresh cheeses at home, using easily available ingredients and tools, in an hour or less. The approach is basic and based on thousands of years of cheesemaking wisdom: Heat milk, add coagulant, drain, salt, and press. Simple variations produce delicious results across three categories-Creamy and Spreadable, Firm and Chewy, and Melty and Gooey. And just as delicious, the author shows the best ways to serve them, recipes included: Squeaky "Pasta" Primavera, Mozzarella Kebab Party, and Curry in a Hurry Lettuce Wraps.
Florence's Thoughts:

One Hour Cheese makes you want to jump in and start making cheese. Getting everything you will need to make the cheese may not be so easy or fast, depending where you live. I could not find rennet a needed ingredient locally. The nearest place I could get it was 45 miles away. Even so the recipes are simple and easy to follow. The step by step pictures shows what your cheese should look like during the process. You don't have to second guess if what it should look like and if you are doing it right. The pluses in the book are all the recipes, making crackers from vegetables for your homemade cheese spreads, and making butter and yogurt. If you only make cheese only one time, this book would be worth the money.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Cover Reveal: Girls on Fire Box Set

About the GIRLS ON FIRE boxed set: 
WITCH FALL – Amber Argyle
High Fantasy
Supreme in their dominion over seasons, storms, and sea, the witches have forgotten the unmatched destructiveness of mankind. And among the weapons men seek are the magical songs of the witches. Born of witches but raised among their enemies, Lilette searches for a way to heal the rift between mankind and the witches. But it may be too late to save either. For if there is one thing Lilette has come to know for certain, it’s that all things fall.

Paranormal Romance
For centuries, Alex Night and Emil Stone have yearned for Evie Starling. When both men claim to be her soul mate and tell her about an unbelievable past, Evie learns that she’s not the person she thought she was, and her soul is about to become the rope in an eternal tug-of-war.

AWAKENING – Christy Dorrity
When an ancient curse threatens McKayla McCleery's family, she must decide what in her life is real and what is fantasy. Based in Celtic mythology, Awakening is a gripping young adult fantasy that is rife with magic, romance, and mystery.

INEVITABLE – Tamara Hart Heiner
Visions of death plague Jayne, who thinks watching her sister die is the worst that could happen to her. But when she witnesses a murder, Jayne realizes that the next death she sees might be her own.

WATCHED – Cindy M. Hogan
Romantic Suspense
Change. She longed for it.
A murder. She will never be the same.


Futuristic Fantasy
Sixteen-year-old Gabriella Kilpatrick can shoot fire from her hands, which would be great if she didn’t get blamed for a blazing inferno that kills 17 schoolmates. Gabby will have to learn who she can trust, how to control her own power, and most of all, how to lead a Council of Elementals, most of whom have more control over their power than she does. If she can’t, she’ll find herself just like those 17 schoolmates: burned and six feet under.

Kickbutt faerie Violet is about to graduate as the top guardian trainee of her class, but when an assignment goes wrong and the human boy she’s meant to be protecting follows her back into the fae realm, a dangerous plot is set in motion.

PERCEPTION – Lee Strauss
Eternal Life is to Die For.
A spoiled genetically altered girl needs the help of a jaded “natural” boy to find her missing brother.

INTRINSICAL – Lani Woodland
The gene that allows the women in Yara’s family to see and communicate with spirits seems to have passed her over. Until the night she rescues a local hottie from an attacking ghost. Her act of heroism attracts the attention of the evil spirit, and she finds herself entrenched in the middle of a sixty-year-old curse that haunts the school, threatening her own life as well as that of her friends.

Publication date: June 16, 2014
Price: 99 cents for 10 amazing YA novels!

Buy links coming soon! 

About the Authors: 
Follow each author’s link to learn more about them and their books.

Friday, June 6, 2014

AimeeKay Review: Alice Close Your Eyes by Averil Dean

Publisher: Harlequin MIRA
Available Now
Source: ARC from publisher for review
With haunting prose and deft psychological insight, Averil Dean spins a chilling story that explores the dark corners of obsession–love, pain and revenge. 
Ten years ago, someone ruined Alice Croft's life. Now she has a chance to right that wrong–and she thinks she's found the perfect man to carry out her plan. After watching him for weeks, she breaks into Jack Calabrese's house to collect the evidence that will confirm her hopes. When Jack comes home unexpectedly, Alice hides in the closet, fearing for her life. But upon finding her, Jack is strangely calm, solicitous . . . and intrigued. 
That night is the start of a dark and intense attraction, and soon Alice finds herself drawn into a labyrinth of terrifying surrender to a man who is more dangerous than she could have ever imagined. As their relationship spirals toward a breaking point, Alice begins to see just how deep Jack's secrets run–and how deadly they could be.
AimeeKay's Thoughts:

Alice Close Your Eyes is a mystery, but at the same time it is an in depth look into two very broken people and the twisted relationship that they create between them.

I had a hard time getting close to any of the characters. The book is told from Alice's point of view, which did help me get to know her better. But the more I got to know her the more I just felt like pulling away. I don't know. Maybe it was her penchant for self abuse, or getting others to abuse her. It's not that I didn't understand her, I just didn't like her. The only character I liked at all, was Alice's child hood friend Molly. She was entertaining in her own way. Maybe because she saw more of Alice then Alice did, even though she was blind.

The story itself is interesting. If anything, the story kept me pulled in when the characters made me want to put the book down. There are some intriguing turns as the book progresses and the ending was expected, but at the same time unexpected. I'm not going into detail because I don't want to spoil it for anyone.

The book overall is dark and twisting. There are moments of violence, inflicted by both the characters on each other as well as on themselves. I wouldn't recommend Alice to anyone under 18. There are some very adult issues portrayed. I'm giving it 3 out of 3 stars. I think I would have liked the story more if I could have liked the characters more. Maybe it's just me. If you've already read Alice Close Your Eyes I'd love to know what you think.

'Til next time!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Strange Country by Deborah Coates review and Trilogy Giveaway!

Series: Wide Open #3
Publisher: Tor Books
Available Now
Source: From publisher for review
After facing Death himself and banishing a reaper bent on the destruction of Sheriff's deputy Boyd Davies, Hallie Michaels had hoped things would finally settle down; that she and Boyd would find more time to spend together, and that the ghosts she attracts would stay in the cemeteries where they belong. 
But on a wintry night in mid-December, a woman is murdered with a high-powered rifle. Not long after, another of West Prairie City’s citizens is killed in exactly the same way, drawing the attention of state investigators. But the connection between the victims is not easily uncovered. 
Meanwhile, Hallie finds a note tied to post outside her home. "What do you fear most?" it asks, accompanied by a set of map coordinates. Over the next few days she receives an anonymous phone call, and a letter left for Hallie at the local ag supply. All pose the same question and offer the same set of coordinates. The mystery deepens, and Hallie must solve it before the body count rises again, inStrange Country by Deborah Coates.
My thoughts:
I've read the other 2 books in the trilogy and I was so happy when I got this one for review. I've enjoyed the other books and I needed the conclusion that would wrap up everything. I did get that in this installment.

My favorite aspects of this trilogy are the paranormal aspects. The author is very descriptive which will enthrall some and for others it will slow the book down. When the paranormal aspects are in play, you will praise the author for bringing it so visually to you. For the more "mudane" aspects, it is up to your tastes really. I do tend to like more descriptive language as long as it doesn't bog too much down and although I felt it slowed things down considerably here, I still found myself flying through the pages.

This book is also less paranormal than the last book. The paranormal aspects seem to be inserted with the mystery surrounding the small community. While the solution was paranormal in nature, it also seemed to fit within a contemporary theme. In other words, it was paranormal and yet taking the paranormal out, it would fit in a contemporary murder mystery.

I give this book 4 stars. I feel it was a good ending to the trilogy. I even gave the first 2 to my mother (who likes mysteries) and she enjoyed these as well. I recommend it to those that like something different and for those that like paranormal mixed with their mystery.

Tor is allowing me to give away the whole trilogy! If you want to know what I thought about the other books just click HERE. The giveaway is open to those with US/CAN snail mail addys. The books will be shipped by Tor.
To enter, just fill out the rafflecopter form below:
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Monday, June 2, 2014

Forged (The World of the Nightwalkers #4) by Jacquelyn Frank

Series: The World of Nightwalkers #4
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Source: From LibraryThing's Early Reviewer
From New York Times bestselling author Jacquelyn Frank comes a seductive new paranormal romance set in the World of the Nightwalkers, as a battle-scarred bodyguard and a sensitive beauty risk their lives—and their hearts—in the face of evil.

When Katrina Haynes discovers a large man lying wounded in the snow, she fears he is at death’s door. But as Kat tends to his injuries, she quickly realizes that they’re the least of her worries. With an irresistible Scottish brogue and a strange ability to harden his chiseled body like a statue, the stranger awakens a desire she is unable to resist—and a fascination about the intriguing world he exists in. 
As a proud Gargoyle, Ahnvil must safeguard the Nightwalker to whom he’s sworn fealty. But as this bewitching woman nurses him back to health, arousing an almost uncontrollable hunger within him, he is possessed with the fierce impulse to protect her as well. And he will have to shield her—for by coming to his rescue, Kat has placed herself in the middle of a supernatural war . . . and exposed herself to dark, powerful magic. As human and Gargoyle forge an unbreakable bond, Kat will discover that despite his intimidating strength and size, one thing Ahnvil does not possess is a heart of stone.
My thoughts:
 Yes, I did it again. I started a series in the middle. I did read the blurb which said a new paranormal so I really thought I was starting at the beginning. However, like a lot of PNR, I was not lost and any background information was provided that I needed.

I have to say that at first I didn't like either character. In fact taking the book as a whole the characterization felt very uneven. At first, Ahnvil was abusive and a jerk to Kat who was trying to save his life. Kat, in turn, kept instantly forgiving him without cause and actually was instantly attracted to him. Later there was an excuse for his behavior (the healing process kicked in some nasty behavior) and she finally told him where to take his attitude. He also started treating her with respect and she starting getting an attitude (which was a good thing). However, both behaviors seemed to come out of the blue. Even so, I did start to enjoy the story when this started happening.

The part about Kat learning about herself and the adventure that came with it was very interesting. Unfortunately we don't get too much of it. I would have almost like it to start at the point where she was learning about herself (well, with a little background or it wouldn't have made sense) and then continue with the story arc that is going throughout the series.

I was torn between giving the book a 2 1/2 or a 3, but I do think I'll give it a 3 since I do think that the series might be better on the whole and I'm and ending girl. Despite the ending feeling "short" (like it was just getting started and then it ended) I did like it better than the beginning. I do recommend this series for those that like PNR. I have a feeling those that are attracted to PNR much more than I am will really enjoy this series.

LibraryThing Early Reviewers