Sunday, September 30, 2012

Winner!

And the winner of the Naughty or Nice Giveaway Hop is...
Wanda L!

Congratulations to you, Wanda. I will be sending you an e-mail about your prize soon, so keep a lookout.

To everyone else, thank you for participating in the Naughty or Nice Giveaway!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Too Dangerous to Desire (Lords of Midnight #3) by Cara Elliott

Too Dangerous to Desire (Lords of Midnight, #3)
Can a Flame from the Past be Rekindled? Long ago, Sophie Lawrance chose prudence over passion, rejecting a rebellious young rogue for the sake of her family-no matter the ache it left in her heart. But after a specter from her father's past resurfaces, threatening to destroy all she holds dear, the desperate beauty knows there is only one man whose shadowy skills can save her. Or Is It Too Dangerous to Play with Fire? Cameron Daggett is a man of many secrets . . . and many sins. He's never forgotten the pain of losing Sophie. But now, with a chance to win her back, Cameron sets aside his anger and agrees to help Sophie save her father's honor. Together they embark on a perilous masquerade, leading them to a remote country estate near the sea. There, they must battle a cunning adversary-and their own burning desires. Will they be consumed by the flames? Or can they prove that true love conquers all?


Too Dangerous to Desire was a lovely book. It had sweet and sexy romance, secrets, surprises, and an adorable ending. Everything you need to have a brilliant book.

I've always been fond of the idea of two past lovers finding each other again, so I was excited about reading a book that featured it. And, I'm happy to say that this book didn't disappoint at all.

Sophie is practical. That's what she's always considered herself, and that is how she's always acted, even when it meant betraying her heart. I really liked her. She was sensible, but knew when to follow her heart. I  admired that she gave up what she wanted in order to take care of her family. It takes a selfless person to do that. And, throughout the story, she proved herself to be brave in the face of all the adversity. Sophie was an admirable character, one that anyone can like.

Cameron is hot and dangerous,as the title suggests. I dare anyone to read this book and not lust after Cameron. His past is shadowed at best. He's done some, let's say morally questionable things. But he's definitely not a bad man. He's still in love with Sophie, despite the rejection, and he's determined to protect her when a blackmailer threatens her and her family. He's very sweet and caring to her. The romance between them is a perfect mix and sweet and spicy. They are truly in love and that translates into a very hot scene in the bedroom :) The two of them were the perfect couple.

The story never gets dull and throws in a few surprises that kept me engaged right through to the end. The end was sweet and made me smile. Don't you love it when love conquers all?

Too Dangerous to Desire was a lovely book, one I would recommend to any historical romance lover.

5/5

Thanks to Netgalley for a copy!

NOTE: If you haven't entered my giveaway, it's open until midnight on September 29

Friday, September 21, 2012

Naughty or Nice Giveaway Hop

 

nautghy or nice

The Naughty or Nice Giveaway Hop was organized by Nat @ Reading Romances!

Hello Romance lovers! I'm so excited for this giveaway hop. So, without further ado, let's get to the choosing of sides. Naughty or Nice? I love both. But which one do I love more? I have to admit, I have a preference for naughty ;). Nice is sweet and cute. But Naughty is hot and passionate. I like having some nice to make me smile. But it's naughty that adds some spice to a book. And let's be honest. Sometimes, you just want some spice. So, what's your side?

What you can win: Thief of Shadows by Elizabeth Hoyt

Number of winners:1 Grand Prize Winner

Open to US residents only-sorry international romance lovers :(

How to enter: Fill out the Rafflecoter entries (If for some reason, it doesn't work for you, just leave a comment) a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hop and enter the other giveaways!

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Golden Leopard by Lynn Kerstan

The Golden Leopard
It's the adventure of a lifetime when the notorious scoundrel, Lord Duran, is reunited with Lady Jessica, the woman he betrayed. Together they track down the whereabouts of a stolen Indian artifact in London. And it isn't long before they succumb to the reigning passion of a love long thought extinguished


I was hoping for so much with The Golden Leopard. It sounded like a mix of thrilling treasure hunt and passionate romance. But it only delivered on one of the two.

The treasure hunt aspect was brilliant, very well done. The Indian culture associated with the treasure was well incorporated into the story. The hunt was thrilling and kept me on the edge of my seat. Unfortunately, that was the only positive aspect of the book.

Really, my problem with this book is one thing. I didn't connect with the characters at all. A good story line can only get you so far in a book. I have to be able to like the characters that are playing out that story if I'm going to like the book. And that didn't happen for me.

Jessie was the more tolerable of the two. But just barely. She was mean-spirited. I could understand why she wouldn't necessarily trust Duran since he left her without a word after their affair. But she took that a little too far. He's pleading for help, trying to save himself from an Indian leader's wrath, and she thinks the whole thing is a joke. Apparently, she though that whole journey was a made up excuse for his absence. I thought she was really stupid for thinking that. I understood her mistrust. But the way she held on to it, refusing to consider that perhaps that desperation on the man's face is real, really irritated me. She would literally joke about it, while Duran was frantic to find the leopard and save himself from an untimely death. You know when she finally believes him? When he is attacked by other people after the leopard. Then she finally wakes up and realizes how dumb she was being. After that, she was somewhat likable, but I was still chafing from her previous behavior and I couldn't like her.

Duran wasn't any better. How could I like a man who just leaves his lover without a word and doesn't feel even a twinge of regret. He spends a few years doing his best to forget her and the fact that he can't was apparently supposed to make me feel for him. But, that didn't happen for me. I still thought he was a jerk. And the nerve of him to ask for help from that woman he left was ridiculous. He was very charming but I couldn't forget that he just left the woman and never felt any guilt over it. Or the fact that he fully intended to do it again once he got the leopard. Again, towards the end, he got better. Once he got his head out of his butt and saw how much of a jerk he was being.

The ending was okay. It was happy, but, once again, I couldn't connect with the characters, or even particularly like them, so the happy ending didn't leave me with that sense of satisfaction. The Golden Leopard wasn't horrible, but it wasn't good for me at all. It was just okay.

To end this on a good note so I don't seem too mean, the writing was well done. This author is a talented writer. She was especially good at setting up the scenes with rich detail. So kudos to her.

But, 2/5

Thanks to Netgalley for a copy!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Of Blood and Bone by Courtney Cole-Release Note

Big News! Of Blood and Bone by the fabulous Courtney Cole comes out today!

As a little boy, Luca Minaldi was told he was a monster.

As an adult, he knows it is true.
He lives in Malta, a fairytale-like place filled with sunshine and sea, beauty and secrets. And Luca’s darkest of secrets is the best kept of them all.
Eva Talbot arrives in Malta for the summer to finish up her doctoral dissertation. When she meets Luca, a mysterious and handsome shipping tycoon, there is an instant attraction, a disturbing and beautiful energy that she has never felt before. But she senses the darkness that lives within him. Eva is hired to care for his mother, who suffers from dementia, but it is Luca who Eva will eventually risk everything to save. Her life becomes a swirling chaos of darkness and romance, of secrets and mystery. And the question that emerges will become the most important answer of all.
Can she save Luca from the darkness that plagues him without losing herself?
The answer is a matter of life or death.


I had the fortune of reading this book already, and, let me tell you, it's a definite winner :) If you already read on of Courtney's many amazing books, you know that anything this woman writes is amazing.
 If you don't know her, let me introduce you.


About the author:

Courtney Cole is a novelist who would eat mythology for breakfast if she could.She has a degree in Business, but has since discovered that corporate America is not nearly as fun to live in as fictional worlds. Every Last Kiss is her debut novel and she followed it with the rest of The Bloodstone Saga (Every Last Kiss, Fated, With My Last Breath and My Tattered Bonds).Courtney lives in quiet suburbia, close to Lake Michigan, with her real-life Prince Charming, her ornery kids (there is a small chance that they get their orneriness from their mother) and a small domestic zoo.


 Go forth to Barnes and Noble, Amazon, or wherever you like to book shop and get yourself a copy of this book.
If you want a taste first, here's a little sneak preview:


“Evangeline,” he says softly, his dark eyes glued to mine. “I’m so sorry about the other
night.  I wish I could remember.  I wish I could take it back.”

“I don’t,” I tell him honestly.  “I really don’t.”

He gazes out the window for a scant moment more, seemingly deep in thought, before
he crosses the room to me.  He kneels in front of me and looks into my eyes.  In this
moment, he is as vulnerable as I’ve ever seen him, as I’ve ever seen anyone. He’s
completely open to me, hiding nothing.

I want so desperately to kiss him.

“I can’t,” I tell his dark eyes, praying that I don’t fall into them.  “I want to kiss you right
now.  But I can’t. You’re my patient.  There are ethics…”

Luca shakes his head, his hands on my knees and his gaze upon mine.  “You aren’t my
doctor, Evangeline.  You’re my friend.  I’m simply talking to a friend who wants to help
me tonight.  You’re not licensed to practice medicine in Malta, remember?  So where
does that leave your ethics?”

He smiles wolfishly and waits without moving.  He’s offering himself to me.  I know that. 
And it is against his better judgment. He has told me that, as well.  Yet here he is, on his
knees in front of me.

I suck in a breath and inhale the air that is so charged with everything that Luca is.

Whatever that is.

It is dangerous on many levels.  I know that.

I reach out unsure fingers and trace the top of his shoulders, moving over the contours. 
They are so broad, yet so slender at once.  He’s perfectly built.  Strong, lithe and
powerful.  I drop my head.  I know that I don’t want to resist him anymore.  For the first
time in my life, I’m going to do something that my heart wants to do, not what my head
tells me to do.

I grip him tighter with my fingers and pull him to me.  He folds in between my knees,
pressing me to his chest.  I can hear his heart thumping rhythmically against mine as
my fingers linger on his warm back.

He dips his head and presses his forehead to mine, staring into my eyes.  His are a
smoldering and stormy black.

“I’m afraid to get close to you,” he tells me.  “I’m afraid for you.”

“I’m not,” I whisper.  “I’m not afraid of you.  Kiss me, Luca.”

Even I can hear the thick desire in my voice and Luca hears it too.

He groans and covers my mouth with his own, muffling the sound with my lips.  He is
pressed so close that he seems to absorb me.  Every plane of his body is against every
plane of mine.  I don’t know where he stops and where I start, but it doesn’t matter.  All
that matters is him and me and this.



Friday, September 14, 2012

Romeo Redeemed (Juliet Immortal #2) by Stacey Jay

Romeo Redeemed (Juliet Immortal #2)
All will be revealed for fans who have breathlessly awaited the sizzling sequel to Juliet Immortal. This time Romeo takes center stage and gets one chance, and one chance only, to redeem himself.

Cursed to live out eternity in his rotted corpse, Romeo, known for his ruthless, cutthroat ways, is given the chance to redeem himself by traveling back in time to save the life of Ariel Dragland. Unbeknownst to her, Ariel is important to both the evil Mercenaries and the love-promoting Ambassadors and holds the fate of the world in her hands. Romeo must win her heart and make her believe in love, turning her away from her darker potential before his work is discovered by the Mercenaries. While his seduction begins as yet another lie, it soon becomes his only truth. Romeo vows to protect Ariel from harm, and do whatever it takes to win her heart and soul. But when Ariel is led to believe his love is a deception, she becomes vulnerable to Mercenary manipulation, and her own inner darkness may ultimately rip them apart.



I liked that a lot more than I thought I would...

First, let me say that the cover is gorgeous. The couple’s embrace is HOT…as is the guy ;)

Romeo Redeemed was a pleasant surprise for me. I liked Juliet Immortal but I didn’t love it (I gave it a 3/5). This book really impressed me.
So, one of the reasons I didn’t like JI was because I was a little uncomfortable with the thought of Romeo and Juliet being split up. What made it worse is that they weren’t just split up. They hated each other. It bothered me. In RR, things are smoothed over. Obviously, they didn’t go back to being eternal lovers, but they didn’t hate each other anymore. That took away the issue of splitting up the most famous pair of lovers (though I still feel iffy about that).

Romeo Redeemed is a very appropriate title for this book. Romeo basically gets a second chance at everything. He’s given the chance to redeem himself for his mistakes. I really liked getting into Romeo’s head. In JI, I didn’t understand why Romeo would do such terrible things. I mean, it didn’t fit his characterization in the play. I know that this is a retelling and the characters aren’t going to be the same, but it felt like there was no way any semblance of the play’s Romeo would do what this Romeo had done. In this book, you find out why he did all of those terrible things. I understood why he would do them, why he made the decisions he made. It made more sense to me after I found out his reasoning. He more than made up for all of his wrongdoings in this book. I actually grew very fond of this new Romeo.

Ariel was a strange character. She was literally insane at some points. It became quickly obvious why the Ambassadors were so intent on not letting the Mercenaries have her; she has some serious violent tendencies. She was more sensible than you would expect someone with insane tendencies to be, though, but also more trusting than I would ever be in her situation. She believed Romeo when he told her the truth faster than what seemed reasonable. But, at least that’s better than her being infuriatingly stubborn and refusing to believe him, so I didn’t mind that much. She is an interesting character and I actually liked her by the end. She’s strong and determined and will fight for what she believes, even if what she believes isn’t right. And when she does realize she’s wrong, she’ll admit it and apologize. She and Romeo really are a great match. Both of them are tormented, one by his past and one by dark influences. Despite my belief that famous love matches shouldn’t be spit up, Stacy Jay managed to get me to warm up to Ariel and to her relationship with Romeo. Quite a feat, I assure you.

Juliet comes back in RR. I was kind of confused. Didn’t she meet with Ben (Benvolio) in an alternate dimension and live happily ever after? That doesn’t quite happen in RR. She is back in her tomb, alive, and unable to get out. Her story continues, though not at the forefront of the book. We find out what happens to her when she and Romeo end up in the same dimension again. While the whole mix up confused me, I managed to get past it and enjoy the rest of the story.

There are an incredible amount of twists and turns in RR. I swear, the plot twisted every time I thought I knew what was going to happen. After the last twist, I was able to predict the ending, but until then I was on a roller coaster of plot twists. It was totally awesome
That brings us to the ending. The ending is perfect. I loved it; it was a magnificent way to end a unique story. Romeo Redeemed was even better than JI, even though it was a sequel. It’s rare to see that happen so I was both surprised and happy to find that I actually loved it. If you at least like Juliet Immortal, you’ll love Romeo Redeemed.

Definitely 5/5

Thanks to Netgalley for a copy!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Entangled by Nikki Jefford

Entangled (Spellbound #1)
Two months after dying, seventeen-year-old witch Graylee Perez wakes up in her twin sister Charlene’s body.

Until Gray finds a way back inside her own body, she’s stuck being Charlene every twenty-hour hours. Her sister has left precise instructions on how Gray should dress and behave. Looking like a prep isn’t half as bad as hanging out with Charlene’s snotty friends and gropey boyfriend.

The “normals” of McKinley High might be quick to write her behavior off as post-traumatic stress, but warlock Raj McKenna is the only person who suspects Gray has returned from the dead.

Now Gray has to solve the mystery of her death and resurrection and disentangle herself from Charlene’s body before she disappears for good.


A pleasant surprise...
I liked the idea of Entangled when I saw it. It reminded me of [book:Auracle|11362198] and, since I loved that book, I decided to give it a try. And I'm glad I did.

You'd think it would get confusing with two people sharing the same body. But it was well done, explained clearly. 

Graylee is the nice twin. Her sister Charlene is, excuse my language, a psycho bitch. I'm not even sure how they share the same DNA. But, because of this, it's very easy to root for Gray. She's nice, smart, and determined. Though she's in a horrible situation, through no fault of her own, she stays strong and does her best to fix it. She's not an outstanding heroine, but she is likable. 

Raj was amazing. I must say, it is nice seeing multi-ethnicity in a YA (Raj is half-Indian, if you didn't catch that from he name). He has a bad rep because of a situation that happened a few years back and he hasn't been able to fix it. But he's not a stereotypical bad boy. He doesn't push Gray away "for her own safety." Yes, I'm talking about you, Edward. 
Raj was so sweet. Once he realized his feelings for Gray, he did everything he could to help her. He was absolutely determined to help her find a way out of the mess she was embroiled in. Raj was handsome, protective, adorable, endearing. What isn't there to love about such a fantastic guy?

The plot was interesting. It was well drawn out and kept me interested the whole time. The ending was sweet. There are two more books after this one, but Entangled could act as a stand alone. All the loose ends are tied up. I had only one small complaint-that there wasn't an explanation of where the witches got their power from. It was made clear that the ability was genetic, but I would have liked to see some more elaboration. It wasn't a big deal, but it did bother me a little.

Otherwise, Entangled in a lovely book.

5/5

Thanks to Netgalley for a copy!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Ever by Jessa Russo

Ever
Seventeen-year-old Ever’s love life has been on hold for the past two years. She’s secretly in love with her best friend Frankie, and he’s completely oblivious.

Of course, it doesn't help that he’s dead, and waking up to his ghost every day has made moving on nearly impossible.

Frustrated and desperate for something real, Ever finds herself falling for her hot new neighbor Toby. His relaxed confidence is irresistible, and not just Ever knows it. But falling for Toby comes with a price that throws Ever’s life into a whirlwind of chaos and drama. More than hearts are on the line, and more than Ever will suffer.

Some girls lose their hearts to love.

Some girls lose their minds.

Ever Van Ruysdael could lose her soul



Unexpected...but in a good way. Ever was a different book from the YA you normally see, and I think it worked out great.

First, let me say that the cover is SO gorgeous. It's beautiful and ethereal and haunting. It matches up with the book so well. I had a major case of cover lust with this book. With this, it's totally okay to judge the book by its cover.

But moving on...

The idea this book is based off of-ghosts and souls-isn't new, but it is a new take, one that was well done. There isn't a cliche in sight where Ever is concerned. 

Ever was a very realistic character. She messed up, she made mistakes, she embarrassed herself. But that all made me like her more. I really started to feel for her, as if she was a real person. The author did a magnificent job bringing this character to life. Ever is flawed, but it didn't make me frustrated. Yes, her mistakes made me want to shake some sense into her a few times. But she would address them and try to make them right. And all of that contributed to shaping up her character. She was well drawn out, a character you can really like.

The romance was...a whirlwind. This is one of the few times when I really don't know who to root for. Usually I know exactly who I think the heroine should end up with, but with Ever, I'm not so sure. 

Frankie is so ridiculously sweet and endearing. But, he's dead. Ever is in love with him, but she know that nothing could ever come of it because...he's dead. But he's still there, albeit in ghost form, so he still presents a challenge. Ever still sees him all the time, and her feelings never fade. Even as she's dating Toby, she feels as if she's betraying her love for Frankie. And then, at the end, it only gets more complicated when an unexpected occurrence shakes everything up. Seeing what I mean by a whirlwind?  And I still haven't even talked about Toby.

Toby was a as enchanting as Frankie, but in the opposite way. Whereas Frankie is a golden boy, sweet and charming, Toby is a bad boy, passionate and dangerous. Of course, Toby was still a sweetheart. He truly loved Ever and wanted to be with her, despite complications that I won't reveal. He was a roller coaster. He knows that he isn't supposed to get close to Ever, so he tends to push her away, only to come back. You'd think that would get annoying, and it did at first. But, when you find out the reason for all of it, it suddenly seems understandable. Where Frankie's relationship with Ever is soft and sweet, full of long-time love, Toby's relationship with Ever is a whirlwind, full of passion. Both had a lot of merit to me. And I still can't figure out which one I like best.

The story was very interesting. There are twists along the way that you never see coming. The plot was original and fun. The ending was a total shock. I was completely floored. Now, I'm dying to find out what happens next.

Loved Ever. It was spectacular.

5/5

Thanks to Negalley for a copy!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Fade (The Ragnarök Prophesies #1) by A.K. Morgen

Fade (The Ragnarök Prophesies, #1)
What do you do when you realize nothing in your life is what you’ve believed it to be?

When Arionna Jacobs loses her mother in a tragic accident, her world is turned upside down. She’s forced to leave her old life behind and move in with her father. Dace Matthews, a teaching assistant at her new college, is torn in two, unable to communicate with the feral wolf caged inside him.

When they meet, everything they thought they knew about life unravels. Dace has intimate access to Arionna’s mind, and something deep within her fights to rise to the surface. They don't understand what's happening to them or why, and they're running out of time to sort out the strange occurrences around them.

Their meeting sets an ancient Norse prophesy of destruction in motion, and what destiny has in store for them is bigger than either could have ever imagined. Unless they learn to trust themselves and one another, they may never resolve the mystery surrounding who they are to one another, and what that means for the world



Wow, that blew my mind! It was't what I expected and I couldn't be more pleased with this loveliness. Fade was unique and utterly fantastic.

Fade is based on Norse mythology, so it already has an element that hasn't been used in too many YA books. It took the myths and reshaped them into something that will be sure to hook quite a few fans.

Arionna was a fun lead. She was very real, she felt like an actual person. She'd just lost her mom, so she spends much of the book dealing with that loss in addition to all the crazy stuff happening around her. She deals well with Dace and his wolf. Let me explain that before I confuse anyone. Dace is a shapeshifter-he turns into a wolf. But, he hasn't been able to communicate with the wolf side of him and so he has to constantly struggle to keep the beast locked inside. But sometimes the wolf still gets a bit of a hold and he acts...primal, for lack of better term. But Arionna always knew how to deal with all that. She would be understanding when that was needed and she would put him in his place when that was needed. It was fun to see, especially the times when she made Dace grovel for forgiveness. Arionna was strong, clever, and a great heroine.

Dace is complicated, as you could probably tell from my brief explanation of his wolf issue. The wolf in him isn't bad, it's just primal. The wolf loves Arionna just as much as Dace's human side loves her. But, once again, he's more primal. That leads him to make Dace's human side do some stupid things. I think some people might be annoyed, because when the wolf does gain some hold, it makes Dace do something that might be qualified as sexist. I understood it as the wolf hierarchy that Dace's wolf is tapped into. But others might not be as understanding. Just a warning to those who are sensitive. 

But, moving on. Dace was very sweet. He was protective of Arionna and would literally lay down his life for her. Was there insta-love? Yes, but this was very justified once you find out how deep the connection goes. I don't think anyone will be bothered by it. I loved their relationship. It was deep and profound and it find made me smile wistfully. I thought Dace was simply adorable.

The story is  never what you expect. You think you've figured out what's going on when, suddenly, a plot twist comes out of nowhere and shakes everything up. It kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time. The use of mythology was brilliant. I adored it; it was original and thrilling. The plot moved quickly, and the ending was sweet with a nice lead into the next book. Which I'm very excited for. I can't wait to find out how this plays out for the characters. Does anyone know when the second book will be released, or how long the series will be? 

Anyhow, Fade was magnificent. Anyone who likes myth based books, or just paranormal romance will love it.

5/5

Thanks to Netgalley and Curiosity Quills Press for a copy!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Silver (Bandia #1) by Talia Vance

Silver (Bandia, #1)
Brianna has always felt invisible. People stare right past her, including the one boy she can't resist, Blake Williams. But everything changes at a house party where Brianna's charm bracelet slips off and time stands still. In that one frozen, silver moment, Blake not only sees her, he recognizes something deep inside her she's been hiding even from herself.

Discovering she is descended from Danu, the legendary Bandia of Celtic myth, Brianna finds herself questioning the truth of who she is. And when she accidentally binds her soul to Blake, their mutual attraction becomes undeniable.

But Blake has his own secret, one that could prove deadly for them both.

Bound together by forbidden magic, Brianna and Blake find themselves at the heart of an ancient feud that threatens to destroy their lives and their love



Oh my goodness, this book was fantastic! Loved it!
When I read the summary, I knew it had to be amazing. But, it still managed to surprise me with how truly excellent it was.

Celtic myths haven't been looked into very much. We have a plethora of Greek myths and a handful of Egyptian myths, and even some Native American myths. But I haven't seen Celtic myths too often, so I was really looking forward to a new theme to explore. And it didn't disappoint.

Brianna is a different heroine. She's not technically a good guy. Her kind is supposed to be...sinful, bad, you get the idea. But, that doesn't define her. She's still a brave, kind girl who is struggling to make do with what she's been given in the best way she can. She's an admirable character. And I liked how she didn't just believe what she was told about the whole situation. She reserved judgment until she found out all the facts, a trait that some heroines really should take up. She was great; I really liked her.

Blade was quite the conundrum. When I first heard about the character, I thought he would be fairly standard. But he turned out to be a lot harder to pin down than I thought. For a while, I wasn't quite sure what was going on with him, what side he was on. He always seemed to surprise me, him and Brianna both. Their relationship was one hell of a whirlwind, a total roller coaster. I think some people might get frustrated with that, but I liked it. They were never over-dramatic. Their break-ups and make-ups felt reasonable and realistic, not just a plot tool to just have something happen. And when they weren't in that tumultuous ride, they were a very sweet couple. Blake was positively adorable. After finally pinning him down, it didn't take long for me to get a soft-spot for the Celtic warrior. 

The plot was a crazy ride. It moved fast and had so many twists and turns, it's all you can do to keep up. The story was original and the ending was satisfying with a nice lead into the next book, which I absolutely can't wait for.

Loved this book so much!

5/5


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Captured Heart by Heather McCollum

Captured Heart
Fleeing with only her bow, horse, enormous pet wolf, and the cryptic clues hidden in her mother’s medicine journal, healer Meg Boswell gallops north towards freedom, running from the man who falsely accused her mother of witchcraft. Cursed with magical healing abilities, Meg knows that if she’s captured, she will die like her mother—atop a blazing witch’s pyre. 

Winter winds rip across the Highlands, pressing Chief Caden Macbain forward in his desperate plan to save his clan. He’s not above using an innocent woman to bargain for peace if it keeps his clan from starving. But Meg isn’t who Caden thinks she is, and when she kills a man to save the clan, he must choose between duty and her life. For although he captured her to force a peace, Meg's strength and courage have captured Caden's heart.



So, so good!
I loved this book!
Captured Heart is a delightful historical romance with a hint of paranormal, a mix that works out beautifully.

The story is interesting. Meg runs away to Scotland to escape her father, a man who had her mother tried and burned for witchcraft and could be planning the same for her. On the way, she meets Caden and a lovely partnership arises. But, of course, there are secrets involved, political minefields to maneuver, and a decades old feud to settle. Intriguing, yes? And it didn't disappoint.

Meg was a fairly average character. She's not remarkably memorable, but she is likable. She's a strong woman, she would have to be to survive all that she goes through. And she could call a man out and leaving him crying for his mommy without breaking a sweat. She was fun. 

Caden was HOT. He's the kind of guy that girls would wolf-whistle over. He was strong, determined, and incredibly handsome, with a soft side that will make you melt. He was really the perfect hero, not just a fixture of some eye-candy, but also a strong leader who will sacrifice anything for those he loves. The relationship between Caden and Meg was both sweet and spicy, if you get my meaning. They were adorable together, a couple you can really root for.

The other characters that feature in this book were all well drawn out. Even the antagonists were dynamic.

The plot is quite a whirlwind. There were some surprises along the way that I never saw coming. The story is fast-paced and the ending was nicely wrapped up, perfectly sweet.

Captured Heart is a wonderful book. If you like historical romance, you'll love this. And even if historical romance isn't your regular, you should still give this book a try. It's totally worth it.

5/5

Thanks to Netgalley for a copy!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Temptation in a Kilt by Victoria Roberts

Temptation in a Kilt (Bad Boys of the Highlands, #1)
This hot new series follows a trio of Highland lairds, who are driving King James crazy with their constant clan battles and uproarious way of life. 

Laird Ciaran MacGregor discovers the beautiful, wounded Lady Rosalia Armstrong while journeying to the king's court. Already burdened with the task of maintaining the peace in his lands, Ciaran has very little patience for this headstrong woman. She's as fearsome as the men trying to kill him for his lands, and their verbal sparring leaves him burning for a more intimate relationship. And if Rosalia's not careful, she'll soon discover his prowess...on and off the battlefield.


Temptation in a Kilt is an incredibly sweet love story. With political intrigue and land conflicts thrown into the mix, this book was fantastic.

Rosalia was an admirable character. Her strength in dealing with her life with her horrible parents was incredible. Her mother is abusive and her father is indifferent. The story really begins when Rosalia gathers up her courage and runs from her parents and the arranged marriage that they've set up. The fact that she did that already made me like her. She still has emotional scars to deal with after leaving her parents and the way she dealt with them was commendable. Long story short, Rosalia is a strong, worthy heroine.

Ciaran was a man bound by duty. And I liked that about him. He puts his clan first, doing whatever he can to keep them safe. His father asked him to look after his youngest brother, Declan, after  his death and Ciaran took those  words to heart and had vowed to keep his life on hold until Declan found the right path, the one devoid of getting drunk and getting laid, to say it in modern language. But that also meant postponing marriage. How long do you think that lasts after he meets Rosalia? You'll have to read this book yourself to find out. For those who want to know, Temptation in a Kilt is  a clean romance. While their are a few hot kissing scenes, there was no sex. I found that it  made the entire story even sweeter. But,  moving on, Ciaran is not only strong and hot, but he's also very clever. Yes, we have a winning combination of beauty and brains...for the most part. 

The story was wonderful. Never a dull moment in this plot. The story started up quickly and didn't stop for one second through the rest of the book. There was romance, suspense, action, and drama. Top it off with a perfect ending and you've got yourself a winner. 

Temptation in a Kilt is a wonderful book, absolutely delightful: 5/5

Thanks to Netgalley for a copy!

Broken by A.E. Rought

Broken
Imagine a modern spin on Mary Shelley's Frankenstein where a young couple's undying love and the grief of a father pushed beyond sanity could spell the destruction of them all. 

A string of suspicious deaths near a small Michigan town ends with a fall that claims the life of Emma Gentry's boyfriend, Daniel. Emma is broken, a hollow shell mechanically moving through her days. She and Daniel had been made for each other, complete only when they were together. Now she restlessly wanders the town in the late Fall gloom, haunting the cemetery and its white-marbled tombs, feeling Daniel everywhere, his spectre in the moonlight and the fog.

When she encounters newcomer Alex Franks, only son of a renowned widowed surgeon, she's intrigued despite herself. He's an enigma, melting into shadows, preferring to keep to himself. But he is as drawn to her as she is to him. He is strangely... familiar. From the way he knows how to open her locker when it sticks, to the nickname she shared only with Daniel, even his hazel eyes with brown flecks are just like Daniel's.

The closer they become, though, the more something inside her screams there's something very wrong with Alex Franks. And when Emma stumbles across a grotesque and terrifying menagerie of mangled but living animals within the walls of the Franks' estate, creatures she surely knows must have died from their injuries, she knows.



Wow...I'm just a little bit speechless. Broken was magnificent!
This book was so good, I'm in awe of it.

Frankenstein is a story that hasn't had any retellings yet, so, when I heard about Broken, I was definitely willing to give it a chance. And I'm so glad I did. You'd think that a story as horrific as Frankenstein would be difficult to do, but this author not only did it, but hit it right out of the ball park.

The title is very appropriate for this book. Both of the main character really are broken. And you can really feel it. But, worry not. Just because they are broken, doesn't mean they can't be fixed.

Emma was a character that you can really connect to, really sympathize for. Her boyfriend recently died and her grief is palpable. But she doesn't just throw up her hands and give up on life. She sucks it up and does her best to continue on and try to move past such a horrible loss. She's remarkably strong. She's also very clever. There are little hints along the way of what is going on with Alex and the craziness that his father is up to. She's smart enough to actually pick up on those hints, unlike some other heroines. When she does find out the truth, she reacts in an understandable way, but she's not hateful about it. She's not only strong and clever, but she's also nice. See? A heroine anyone can like.

Alex was swoon-worthy. I don't just mean by his good looks, which are very good despite the scarring all over him. I also mean that he is SO incredibly sweet it made be jealous of Emma. He's very protective of her and just adorable to her. Their relationship, despite the obstacles, is as sweet a sugar. He's not part of what his father is doing and he's really the biggest victim in it. It would be kind of upsetting to find out some of your body parts aren't yours. Seeing what he goes through because of his father's madness really gave me a soft-spot for him. I adored Alex. He's made it to my list of favorite heroes.

The story was amazing. Their was a dark undercurrent of horror throughout the book, one that will give you goosebumps. But there is still enough lighter emotions and events that keep Broken from becoming too heavy. A perfect balance, I would say. The plot moves quickly and the ending was perfect.

I ADORED Broken. Absolutely adored it. It was honestly one of the best books I've read this year.

5/5

Thanks to Netgalley for a copy!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Inbetween by Tara A. Fuller

Inbetween (Kissed by Death, #1)
Since the car crash that took her father’s life three years ago, Emma’s life has been a freaky — and unending — lesson in caution. Surviving “accidents” has taken priority over being a normal seventeen-year-old, so Emma spends her days taking pictures of life instead of living it. Falling in love with a boy was never part of the plan. Falling for a reaper who makes her chest ache and her head spin? Not an option.

It’s not easy being dead, especially for a reaper in love with a girl fate has put on his list not once, but twice. Finn’s fellow reapers give him hell about spending time with Emma, but Finn couldn’t let her die before, and he’s not about to let her die now. He will protect the girl he loves from the evil he accidentally unleashed, even if it means sacrificing the only thing he has left…his soul.



So, amazingly, heart-warmingly sweet!
Inbetween was a book that would make anyone smile, a work of magnificence.

The idea itself is interesting, but it could easily have been ruined. But Inbetween was well done, sweet, and a treat for all readers.

Emma was a great character. She hasn't had the easiest time, with all the near death experiences she's been having. But, she still stays strong through it all. She was lovely, but she was a little...unmemorable. She was nice, brave, nothing to complain about. But she wasn't particularly outstanding. I'm not saying that's a terrible thing, but it was a little underwhelming. Don't get me wrong, I still liked her character. But I wish she had a little more fire.

Finn was definitely memorable. When I say he would do anything for Emma, I mean he would do literally anything. Even if it meant defying his boss in the afterlife, even if it meant going to hell. It was so admirable and adorable. He was so heart-achingly sweet, it was utterly impossible not to like him. The relationship between him and Emma was the most perfect relationship. But, I wish there had been more development there. I know that they loved each other before, but I wish I had seen more development of their current relationship. I would have made the book better.

The other relationships in this book don't have that problem. Emma's relationship with her best friend, Cash, was fun. He's the best guy friend every girl wants to have. He might be a womanizer, but he's just so lovable, you have to get a soft spot for him. Finn's friends were all fun as well. I believe the next book is about Cash and Anaya, if I remember correctly. I could just be making that up, so don't take my word for it.

The story was fast-moving. The plot was so sweet, a show of just how true a love can be. The ending was so perfect, I literally smiled like an idiot as I was reading it.

Inbetween was a remarkable book. Besides the lack of relationship development, it was perfect.

Loved it: 4/5

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Unspoken (The Lynburn Legacy #1) by Sarah Rees Brennan


Unspoken (The Lynburn Legacy, #1)
Kami Glass loves someone she’s never met . . . a boy she’s talked to in her head ever since she was born. She wasn’t silent about her imaginary friend during her childhood, and is thus a bit of an outsider in her sleepy English town of Sorry-in-the-Vale. Still, Kami hasn’t suffered too much from not fitting in. She has a best friend, runs the school newspaper, and is only occasionally caught talking to herself. Her life is in order, just the way she likes it, despite the voice in her head.

But all that changes when the Lynburns return.

The Lynburn family has owned the spectacular and sinister manor that overlooks Sorry-in-the-Vale for centuries. The mysterious twin sisters who abandoned their ancestral home a generation ago are back, along with their teenage sons, Jared and Ash, one of whom is eerily familiar to Kami. Kami is not one to shy away from the unknown—in fact, she’s determined to find answers for all the questions Sorry-in-the-Vale is suddenly posing. Who is responsible for the bloody deeds in the depths of the woods? What is her own mother hiding? And now that her imaginary friend has become a real boy, does she still love him? Does she hate him? Can she trust him?


So, I thought I would like Unspoken more than I did. I mean, the summary sounded so interesting. A girl hears a voice in her head her entire life and finally meets the guy-definitely worth taking a look at. But, it fell flat for me.

Let me start with the good. The characters were dynamic. The last couple of chapters were action-packed and thrilling. The writing wasn’t bad.

And now for what I didn’t like. For one, it took so long to even find out what was going on with the Lynburns. It wasn’t until about 2/3 of the way through that we actually find out what they are and what Kami has to do with it. During that first part of the book, not much happened. A couple of important events occurred but the rest seemed kind of pointless. I had a hard time getting through all of that.

The other thing that really bothered me-this is probably the most frustrating part of the book-was the romance-or, rather, lack of it. In the summary, it makes it seem like it was going to be romance heavy and that was what I had prepared myself for. First, it says that she was in love with the guy who spoke to her….she wasn’t. She thought she was crazy at first for hearing a voice in her head. Then, when Jared came into the picture, she was understandably confused. The voice she thought was a hallucination turned out to be a real person. Who wouldn’t be thrown off?

But that lasted just about the entire book. She kept insisting that they would never be more than friends, though Jared very obviously wanted more. A semi-love triangle appeared with Jared’s cousin, Ash-but it wasn’t truly a triangle because she never looked at Jared that way. Or, at least, she thought she never did. It got very frustrating. Jared clearly clung to their relationship more because he had no one else, while Kami just pushed the poor guy away only to ask for his help two pages later and he would drop everything and come running because Kami meant more to him than anything else. (Yes, he was kind of obsessive but in this case I’ll have to let it slide because I understood why he acted that way.) That was really aggravating to me because I felt like Kami was taking advantage of Jared and how much he cared about her.

So why did this get 3 stars after all of that? The ending.
The ending was action packed and for those last few chapters, everything happened. There are so many twists and turns and surprises in the mystery of who was the murderer, that by the time we find out exactly who committed them, my head was spinning. Then, there was a huge shock in Kami and Jared’s relationship. When I found out, I was stunned beyond belief.

Really, that was the saving grace of the book. Had the ending not been so good, I wouldn’t have like Unspoken at all. Now, I’ll most likely read the next book because I’m curious to find out what happens. Hopefully the next book will be better.

So, overall, Unspoken wasn’t fantastic. It was just barely good. The ending, however, makes up for all of the slow and boring in the beginning. If you have the patience to wait out the less than great part of the book (basically the first 2/3), then definitely go for it because the ending makes the whole book worthwhile. If you don’t have the patience to wait for the action to start, then this might not be the book for you.

3/5

Thanks to Netgalley for a copy!