Monday, May 31, 2010

Giveaway: Knight of Passion by Margaret Mallory

Monday, May 31, 2010 with
Labels:
On the spotlight today is...

The Author: Margaret Mallory

Bio: (taken from the Hachette website)

Margaret Mallory surprised her friends and family by abandoning her legal career—and her steady job—to write novels. At long last, she can satisfy her passion for justice by punishing the bad and rewarding the worthy—in the pages of her novels, of course. She lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her husband and their two college-age children. She would dearly love to hear from readers.

For more on Margaret Mallory follow her on Twitter and her website.

The Book: Knight of Passion

Book Blurb
: (taken from the Hachette website)
HOW CAN THIS PASSIONATE KNIGHT...
Renowned beauty Lady Linnet is torn between two desires: revenge on those who destroyed her family or marriage to her childhood sweetheart Sir James Rayburn. One fateful night, she makes a misguided choice: she sacrifices Jamie's love for a chance at vengeance.

TRUST A BEAUTY WITH A PAST?
Jamie Rayburn returns to England in search of a virtuous wife-only to find the lovely Linnet as bewitching as ever. Their reckless affair ignites anew, even hotter than before, although Jamie vows to never again trust her with his heart. Then just as Linnet begins to make amends, she's tempted by one last opportunity to settle old scores. But a final retribution could cost her Jamie's love - this time forever.
Do you want to win your very own copy of Knight of Passion?
Thanks to Anna and Hachette, I have 3 copies to giveaway.

To Enter:
Be a visible follower (mandatory) and fill out the form below.

Rules:
1. Only residents of the U.S. or Canada are eligible to win. No P.O. Boxes.
2. This giveaway will end on June 14 and the winners will be selected using random.org. The winners will be announced here on the blog soon after.
3. The winners are responsible for emailing me with their shipping address within 72 hours of the winner announcement post. I will select new winners if they fail to do so. There will be NO EXCEPTIONS.

Disclaimers: VERY IMPORTANT! Please read before entering!
1. This giveaway is being sponsored by Hachette Book Group and NOT Michelle and Leslie's Book Picks. If you win, you'll receive your book directly from Hachette.
2. Michelle and Leslie's Book Picks is in NO way for responsible for prizes that are not honored by the sponsor, dispersed in a timely manner, stolen, lost and/or damaged during transit.
3. Michelle & Leslie's Book Picks have the right to change or cancel this giveaway at any time without a prior notice.
4. Please make sure you understand the above disclaimers before entering. Thank you for entering and good luck!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

The "In My Mailbox" meme is hosted by Kristi of The Story Siren blog.


"It's Monday! What are you reading?" is hosted by the awesome Sheila of Book Journey. It is a weekly event to celebrate what we are reading for the week as well as books completed the previous week. Click on the image above to join in on the fun this week!




Last week Michelle read:
cphillips


Amidst the last day of school craziness I only read one book but it was goood! Check out my review of The Devlin Diary HERE!




This week Michelle is reading:

jpearcemmalloryjtorressjbone jtorressjbone







Next week Michelle plans to read:

ngideonrdehartrdehart

Saturday, May 29, 2010

cphillips Paperback: 464 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Language: English
ISBN:
9781416527404
Source of my copy: From Simon & Schuster for review
Synopsis (from the author's website)

London, 1672. The past twelve years have brought momentous changes: the restoration of the monarchy, a devastating plague and fire. Yet the city remains a teeming, thriving metropolis, energized by the lusty decadence of Charles II’s court and burgeoning scientific inquiry. Although women enjoy greater freedom, they are not allowed to practice medicine, a restriction that physician Hannah Devlin evades by treating patients that most other doctors shun: the city’s poor.
But Hannah has a special knowledge that Secretary of State Lord Arlington desperately needs. At the king’s Machiavellian court, Hannah attracts the attention of two men, charming courtier Ralph Montagu and anatomist Dr. Edward Strathern, as well as the attention of the powerful College of Physicians, which views her work as criminal. When two influential courtiers are found brutally murdered, their bodies inscribed with arcane symbols, Hannah is drawn into a dangerous investigation by Dr. Strathern, who believes the murders conceal a far-reaching conspiracy that may include Hannah’s late father and the king himself.
Cambridge, 2008. Teaching history at Trinity College is Claire Donovan’s dream come true–until one of her colleagues is found dead on the banks of the River Cam. The only key to the professor’s unsolved murder is a seventeenth century diary kept by his last research subject, Hannah Devlin, physician to the king’s mistress. With help from the eclectic collections of Cambridge’s renowned libraries, Claire and historian Andrew Kent follow the clues Devlin left behind, uncovering secrets of London’s dark past and Cambridge’s equally murky present, and discovering that events of three hundred years ago may still have consequences today…


Michelle's Review:
The Devlin Diary is essentially the story of two women. This is one of those books that despite its length, I read the last sentence wishing it went on even though the end is quite satisfying without loose ends. Seamlessly told through parallel story lines, the author takes the reader to Restoration-era London where Hannah Devlin, a female physician, is called upon by Lord Arlington to treat the king's mistress of the clap (aka gonorrhea). She soon finds herself in the middle of court intrigue and investigating a string of gruesome murders. In present day Cambridge, American Claire Donovan is excited to be teaching history at Trinity College until one of her colleagues was found murdered. A clue that was discovered in the pocket of the murdered victim was a page from a diary written by Hannah Devlin. Both Hannah and Claire are strong, likable and well-developed female leads and with both women basically trying to make it in a male dominated world in their respective time period, there is an inherent theme of feminism in the book.

The novel was very well-written and I thought the author did a great job melding fictional characters and real figures from history. The author did provide a page that listed primary historical characters and included a short description of who they were but there were so many secondary characters to keep up with in both story lines that more than once I had to go back and re-read as to who is who again. However, I thought the book well-researched and the author did a good job of keeping the history facts in context to the plot and gave just enough information to keep things interesting (no unnecessary history lessons here!). Actually, after I finished the book, I wanted to find out more about Restoration-era London and spent a bit of time today Google-ing and Wikipedia-ing all the real historical figures mentioned in the book. But despite all that, The Devlin Diary is a murder mystery book more than anything else--the two murder cases that had to be solved (one from the past and the other in the present) kept me guessing until the last few chapters. I highly recommend this very entertaining book as it had pretty much everything: two compelling mysteries, rich historical detail, a little romance (enough to satisfy my romantic heart but it's just a side plot) and great lead characters. 4.75 out of 5 stars

Other book by the author:
bfitzpatrick
FYI: Claire Donovan and Andrew Kent were first introduced in The Rossetti Letter and recurring characters in The Devlin Diaries. Both novels are standalone.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

IT'S SUMMER!! Okay, not officially because there is still a teacher's work day tomorrow but after that it's two months of... well, I don't know as I only have one plan right now: READ. Here are the books that I want to get through in the next two months:
Romances

Young Adults
Two months to read all these books. I'm a bit intimidated because I'm not the fastest reader. But while this might sound like a "challenge," I'm not going to call it that. No siree, I'm not jinxing it by labeling it that because all the challenges I took on this year were all big, fat failures. Instead, I'm going to call it my summer reading GOAL: I am going to read all the books pictured above plus review books plus the books I ordered last week. Whew!! If anything, I want to read all the YA books. To help me with my goal, I listed the titles on the sidebar so that I can see my progress easily.

Also, another summer goal is NO BUYING BOOKS UNTIL SEPTEMBER. Yep, I decided this afternoon to put myself on another book buying ban and I hope this time around will turn out better than last time. The reason for this ban is my realizing I already have a ton of awesome books waiting for me and I don't need to add more just yet. I should be okay though because before today I had already pre-ordered the books coming out in the next couple of months that I desperately want so I won't be deprived of new releases. Wish me luck!!
Why I covet this book: I love reading reunion and second chance love stories especially when the hero and heroine already married. I've also enjoyed all the Jenna Petersen books I've read in the past--I don't think this book will be an exception.

jpetersen Blurb (from the author's website)
After a lifetime of unrequited love with her arranged fiancé, Anne Danvers has finally become the Duchess of Waverly. But just a few days into her marriage, her husband vanishes. Rhys Carlisle, Duke of Waverly has spent his life knowing he was better than everyone else because of his impeccable bloodline.

But when he finds out everything he was told was a lie and he is in actually a bastard son of the late Duke of Billingham, his world is destroyed. He never expects his new wife to chase after him or demand she not be written out of his life. Nor does he expect the passion he feels for her to transform into love. But even as the two grow closer, Rhys’s dark secret looms in the distance, along with a blackmailer who could destroy any future Rhys and Anne have dared to dream.
This book comes out on August 31, 2010. Read the excerpt go HERE.

"Books I Covet" will feature books I am very excited about reading and plan on buying/borrowing in the near future. It's more like a "book from my wish list" sort of thing but it is similar to the "Waiting On" meme hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine because some of the books may still be in pre-order (but may already be published). I will include the books' blurb, cover art, and/or release date if they're available. Click on the WoW image on the left to join in!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

My discovery of the week is not book related but I'm getting a kick out it every time I open my Facebook account. Did you know that Facebook has an English Pirate (and also an English Upside Down) language option?! Here's a screen shot of my "home port":
blog button
(click on the picture to see it better)

I only found out about this the other day so I'm still relishing its pirate awesomeness. Also, check out our new background and layout! We are really excited because we've been wanting three columns for a while but figuring out the html codes was too hard. But thanks to StephTheBookworm, who was kind enough to tell us about Blogger's new layout tool thingie, I was able to configure the new layout for the blog with no sweat and frustration (*hugs* thanks so much Steph!). We personally love it because the blog is now much cleaner and looks more professional. What do you all think? Is it loading alright?

Sunday, May 23, 2010

mduran Paperback: 402 pages
Publisher: Pocket
Language: English
ISBN:
978-1416593126
Source of my copy: from Simon & Schuster for review
Synopsis (from Goodreads)
She’s been burned not once but twice by London’s so-called gentlemen...
Gwen Maudsley is pretty enough to be popular, and plenty wealthy, too. But what she’s best known and loved for is being so very, very nice. When a cad jilts her at the altar—again—the scandal has her outraged friends calling for blood. Only Gwen has a different plan. If nice no longer works for her, then it’s time to learn to be naughty. Happily, she knows the perfect tutor—Alexander Ramsey, her late brother’s best friend and a notorious rogue.
So why won’t a confirmed scoundrel let her be as bad as she wants to be?

Unbeknownst to Gwen, Alex’s aloof demeanor veils his deepest unspoken desire. He has no wish to see her change, nor to tempt himself with her presence when his own secrets make any future between them impossible. But on a wild romp from Paris to the Riviera, their friendship gives way to something hotter, darker, and altogether more dangerous. With Alex’s past and Gwen’s newly unleashed wildness on a collision course, Gwen must convince Alex that his wickedest intentions are exactly what she needs.

Michelle's Review:
First, I let me just say how much I love the cover of this book! When I got it, I spent a moment just admiring its cover--the lush purple color of her gown is so pretty and they even got Gwen's red hair right (getting small details like that correct on covers is always a plus). But pretty cover aside, I absolutely loved Wicked Becomes You (WBY)! This is only the second book I've read by Ms. Duran (the first being her debut book Duke of Shadows [DoS] which I also really enjoyed) and now I want to read her other books. She has a talent for penning romances set in exotic places with interesting, multidimensional leads who makes you root for their happy ending.

Our heroine is Gwen Maudsley, the nicest debutante and also the richest with a fortune of three million pounds--both of which almost makes everyone forget that her family is of the merchant class. After Gwen's second fiance jilts her at the altar (the first fiance having done the same), she decided she is done with being nice and wants to experience life without the silly rules and restrictions of the ton. And who better to guide her than her late brother's best friend Alex, a younger brother of an earl and a businessman with a wicked reputation. Both Gwen and Alex were really likable characters and as the story goes on you begin to see that beneath the surface there is more to them than being "the nice girl" and "the rake," which makes this book an engaging read. On the other hand, the secondary characters weren't as strong as the leads but I can forgive the book that because I love Gwen and Alex so much. Their adventures takes them from London to Paris and Nice and even to Monte Carlo. I appreciate the varied settings of the book as it's not often I read a historical romance not set in London.

WBY is one of the best historical romances I've read this year and I highly recommend this book. Whereas DoS is dark and emotional read, WBY is much lighter (there were a couple of laugh out loud moments in this book) yet it doesn't lack the emotion. If you're looking for a well-written, lighter historical romance with a great hero and heroine, this is your book. 5 out 5 stars
The "In My Mailbox" meme is hosted by Kristi of The Story Siren blog. Here are the books that arrived last week:


We only received a couple of books this week but Sister's Red by Jackson Pearce (ARC for review) more than makes up for it! We also got an extra copy of the Alison Dare: Little Miss Adventures and Alison Dare: The Heart of a Maiden by J. Torres & J. Bone graphic novel (and that means there may be a giveaway for those two books during the Alison Dare book tour in June!).






"It's Monday! What are you reading?" is hosted by the awesome Sheila of Book Journey. It is a weekly event to celebrate what we are reading for the week as well as books completed the previous week. Click on the image above to join in on the fun this week!





Last week Michelle read:

mduran

I'm going to write my review for this book after this post but suffice to say it's one of the best historical romances I've read this year!

Check out my review of Wicked Becomes You HERE!




This week Michelle is reading:

cphillipsjpearce








Next week Michelle plans to read:

Knight of Passion by Margaret Mallory
Alison Dare: Little Miss Adventures and Alison Dare: The Heart of a Maiden by J. Torres & J. Bone

Thursday, May 20, 2010

"Odd Book Out" reviews will feature books that are neither romance nor young adult fiction but instead will [most likely] be reference type non-fiction books that we think interesting nonetheless. Enjoy!

jbuchan Hardcover: 176 pages
Publisher: Readers Digest
Language: English
ISBN:
9781606521342
Source of my copy: from FSB Media
Synopsis

Have you ever stopped to think how many countless ways we use numbers? From the ring of the alarm clock in the morning to the numbers triggering our cell phones, our world is designed with numbers in mind. With Easy as Pi, you'll get the 4-1-1 on the fascinating origin of many of the numbers we use or read about every day.
  • What makes "cloud nine" and "seventh heaven" so blissful?
  • Why is number 7 so lucky and 13 so unlucky?
  • Is "fourth-dimensional thinking" really out of this world?
  • What prompted Ray Bradbury to call his novel Fahrenheit 451?
  • How did 007 become James Bond's number?
For the math averse: Be not afraid. Easy as Pi is not a textbook but rather a lively look at the derivation of numerical expressions and their inescapable influence on our culture -- from book titles to bus schedules. To sum it up, Easy as Pi equals one clever and often hilarious collection.


Leslie's Review
:
One of my favorite subjects at school is Math so Easy As Pi was great to read. I really learned a lot of new stuff about numbers and not just in relation to math but also in fiction, culture and religion (the book dedicates a chapter for each of these and all nicely organized) that I heard in passing but don't really know the meaning of. For example, I now know the meaning behind the movie title 8 Mile (it's a road in Detroit that provides a socio-economic divide between rich and the poor of the city). But my favorite part of this book will have to be the "Numbers in Mythology and Religion" section. In particular, I really enjoyed trying out numerology thing. The author explains how numerology is used to make ideas and theorize numbers and he tells how you to assign each letter in the alphabet with the numbers 1-9. Then, you match the letters in your name to the numbers and keep adding them up until you come up with a single digit number. That number's meaning supposedly tells you your personality. I tried this out with my name and I got the number 2 which means "duality, division, cooperation." Hmm... this is true, I guess, because there are times I'm torn between two things and I act in different ways around different sets of people. Anyway, I also really like when the book talks about the different zodiacs--again, zodiacs were something I've heard about but never really understood and now I know more about it!

I thought the book was organized well with a table of contents for the different sections and with the page number for each separate topic that falls under the section. Everything was really easy to find and I didn't have to flip pages. There were these cute little illustrations too and I really like that a few were there to provide a nice visual and explain a topic clearer. To sum it up, I really liked this book. It has a lot of interesting information, all explained well (though a couple were a little confusing) and I learned a lot. And though I know this, it all the more made me realize that there are more to numbers than the math we learn in school. This is a book I'm going to come back to once in a while just to flip through and re-read a few of my favorite sections. 4.5 out of 5 stars

Review Extra:
Author Bio
: Jamie Buchan was educated at Westminster School and is completing a Master of Arts degree in Architectural Studies at the University of Edinburgh. Many of his family members are involved in books: his great-grandfather John Buchan is the prolific novelist famous for The Thirty-Nine Steps; his grandfather D.J. Enright is a well-known Movement poet; and his uncle James Buchan is an award-winning novelist and historical writer. Both of his parents work in publishing.
For more info on the book and to read an article about the book written by the author, click here.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

ccoulterThe romance genre have been my number one love ever since I discovered my mom's stash of Johanna Lindseys and Catherine Coulters at the tender age of fourteen. After my first romance novel, I never looked back. Sure, I strayed once in a while with a lit fiction or a YA novel but I knew romance is my genre of choice and I would read ten romances to one lit fiction on a good month. But you know? I think the romance genre no longer have a reign over my bookish heart.

scollinsLately no other genre appeals to me more than young adult--not even romance. There is something very exciting about young adult books that I can't explain and can't enough of. I am in the midst of a YA fever and I don't think I want to be cured for a while. Wanna know how high this fever is? I pre-ordered (and not just one YA book but three)! I never pre-order because I figured I can just as easily get a book from the store when it comes out. But this time, I just couldn't help myself and pre-ordered the following: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins, Shadow Hills by Anastasia Hopcus and Raised by Wolves by Jennifer Barnes.

Of course, I still love romance. That's not going to change and I'm not going to abandon it anytime soon. However, I think this summer will be a YA reading fest for me and I cannot wait!!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

rherron Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Forever
Language: English
ISBN:
978-0446199490
Source of my copy: from Hachette for review
Synopsis (from Goodreads)

SHE SEES HIM IN HER DREAMS...
Fueled by her family's murder years ago, Dr. Marlena Bender has devoted her life to understanding violent criminals. But when a serial killer in this small Southern town starts taking the lives of women in diabolical ways--leaving trophies of his kills on Marlena's doorstep--it all hits too close to home. Terrified, Marlena turns to the only man she can trust...the man who saved her life.
BUT HIS SECRET IS HER WORST NIGHTMARE.
Sheriff Dante Valtrez would move heaven and earth to keep Marlena safe, but he's not the savior she thinks he is. A dark legacy runs through his blood and a dangerous secret lies within him. Now a fierce, hot, ruthless desire draws Dante and Marlena together--as a demonic force from his past threatens to rip them apart, destroying everything they hold dear.


Michelle's Review:
The story began with a 13 year old part-demon Dante being ordered by his demon leader to kill young Marlena as the final part of his initiation to become a full member of their group. Instead of killing Marlena, however, Dante saved her. Fast forward years later, both have just come back to the town where it all began with Marlena now a doctor trying to find a cure for violent behavior and Dante is the new sheriff. When a serial killer emerges and starts killing women in sadistic ways and leaving something of the dead women on Marlena's doorstep, Dante's main concern is keeping Marlena safe. He suspects a demon are responsible for the murders. This book is the last book in the Demonborn trilogy about three half-demon brothers. I haven't read the first two books in the series but it doesn't matter because this book is a standalone.

I'm actually on the fence about this book--it was an okay read but it was just missing something. Maybe more chemistry between Dante and Marlena? I just didn't feel that much spark between the two. Also, I question some of Marlena's actions--if a serial killer on the loose knows where I live and is leaving me "presents" from his kills on my doorstep, I wouldn't keep sleeping at home by myself (especially if my house is isolated and I live alone). And yet Marlena does because she's an independent woman who can take care of herself and, yes, she actually said that too. As for Dante, he was okay. I liked his character better than Marlena's. More world building perhaps? I may have missed something (not having read the first two books) but the underground caves the demons live in seem really interesting and I wish the author wrote about it more. Or maybe if the book was less "busy"? There was a lot going on here: building a believable romance between the hero and heroine, scientific experiments with violent criminals, a serial killer with the police investigating, demonic uprising, long lost brothers, a pregnancy, someone dying and coming back to life, daddy issues, etc. If there was less stuff, maybe the story would've been more been more engaging and I might have enjoyed it more. The premise was good and I like the author's voice but overall the book was just okay. 2.75 out of 5

Other books in the series:
rherron rherron

Monday, May 17, 2010

Guys, "Discovery of the Week" is back because check out what I just discovered:



I first found this on Just Your Typical Book Blog and I just have to share it here too just in case you haven't seen it yet. I agree with JYTBB, this is just pure author awesomeness by Jackson Pearce (author of Sister's Red and As You Wish).

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Before I get to what I'm reading this week, I'm going to announce the winner of Something About You by Julie James. We had 69 readers enter the giveaway altogether and 214 entries total! WOW!! Thank you all for entering and making this giveaway one of our most successful.

And now, with the help of random.org, the winner of lrhieber is... #156 Nancy Taylor!

Congratulations! I'll be emailing you in a bit or if you want you can email at bookmakeupreview @ gmail . com [no spaces] with your shipping address in the next couple of days so I can send you the book ASAP.

!!Giveaway Alert!!
For those who didn't win this time around, not to worry as you may still have a chance to win this awesome book! If you head over to author Julie James's blog, she is having a fun giveaway where one winner will win a $25 giftcard to a bookstore of their choice and two others will each win a copy of one of her books. Head on over HERE for more details.




"It's Monday! What are you reading?" is hosted by the awesome Sheila of Book Journey. It is a weekly event to celebrate what we are reading for the week as well as books completed the previous week. Click on the image above to join in on the fun this week!





Last week I read:

lrhieber
ritaherron
My review for Darkly Luminous is here and my review for Forbidden Passion will be posted sometime this week.






This week I'm reading:

mduran

It's going to be a five day work week for me and that means not a lot of reading time, so I'll probably be reading Wicked Becomes You all week long. I'm only on page 20 but I'm liking is so far!





Next week I plan to read:

cphillips
Anyone read The Devlin Diary? I heard it's really good so I'm very excited to get to it. :)

Saturday, May 15, 2010

In My Mailbox: May 10-15, 2010

Saturday, May 15, 2010 with
I've been meaning to join "In My Mailbox" (hosted by Kristi of The Story Siren) because I love seeing everyone else's book loot and I want to show off the cool books I sometimes get too. But I've always been kinda lazy with taking pictures and uploading them. But this is a special week as I have never before received as many books as I did in the last six days!



Books I won
Incarceron by Cathrine Fisher (from Book Obsession blog)
The Beautiful Between by Alyssa B. Sheinmel (from Random Buzzers)






Books I Bought
(from Book Depository)
Beastly by Alex Flinn
A Match Made in High School by Kristin Walker
Seduce Me by Robyn DeHart
Marked by Elisabeth Naughton




Books for Review
Wicked Becomes You by Meredith Duran
The Devlin Diary by Christi Phillips
Knight of Passion by Margaret Mallory
Desire Me by Robyn DeHart
School of Possibilities by Seita Parkkola
Alison Dare, Little Miss Adventures by J. Torres & J. Bone
Alison Dare, The Heart of a Maiden by J. Torres & J. Bone
Easy as Pi: The Countless Ways We Use Numbers Everyday by Jamie Buchan (not pictured)


What did you get this week?

Friday, May 14, 2010

lrhieber Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Leisure Books
Language: English
ISBN:
9780843962970
Source of my copy: from the author for review
Synopsis (from Goodreads)
With radiant, snow white skin and hair, Percy Parker was a beacon for Fate. True love had found her, in the tempestuous form of Professor Alexi Rychman. But her mythic destiny was not complete. Accompanying the ghosts with which she alone could converse, new and terrifying omens loomed. A war was coming, a desperate ploy of a spectral host. Victorian London would be overrun. Yet, Percy kept faith. Within the mighty bastion of Athens Academy, alongside The Guard whose magic shielded mortals from the agents of the Underworld, she counted herself among friends. Wreathed in hallowed fire, they would stand together, no matter what dreams or nightmares—may come.


Michelle's Review:
The Darkly Luminous Fight for Persephone Parker begins a little bit before the final battle scene in the first book of the series and recounts where the feather that Percy eventually follows to save the Guard originated. After Percy saved the Guard from the evil Lucy Linden and the chimera, Percy and Alexi finally marry and everyone were able to breathe easy for a while. But there is still that prophesied final battle with Darkness himself and Percy is the key to his downfall--something that angers and frustrates Alexi to no end. Reading the first book (The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker) is a must as this book is not standalone.

I think this book is just as well-written as the first. I love the wonderful cast of secondary characters and we get to learn more about them as individuals in this book. My favorites are still Elijah and Josephine and I was really happy to see them have their happy ending at the conclusion of the book. However, the most fascinating member of the guard in this book is Jane because she was basically a mystery in the first book. Her story is heartbreaking but her character touched my heart and despite her bittersweet end, I was happy for her. Having said all that, I admit that when I read the first book I wasn't sold on either of the two main characters, Percy and Alexi. Percy was too much of a timid, wilting flower and Alexi a prowling, brooding hero that I didn't find that likable. I was hoping Percy would grow as a character in this book and I'm happy to say I'm not disappointed. Though the change in Percy happened gradually, the Percy at the end of the book is no longer the submissive, apologetic girl she was but instead the brave, self-confident heroine I like reading about but she's still Percy. Reading about Percy's growth is one of my favorite part of the book and a joy to read. I can't say the same for Alexi because he was a brooding, over-protective, jealous husband for most of the book so I'm still on the fence with his character.

The final battle in this book was big, dramatic and exciting. I really appreciated the epilogue and though there's a window there for a possible spin off, it's satisfying nevertheless. Overall, I liked this book better than the first one. Although it's being marketed as an adult romance, it book can be read by young adults. There's some sensuality but it's fade to black and it's a PG book. If you're in the mood for an emotional dark, classic Gothic read with ghosts, magic, friendship and romance, give this series a try. 4.5 out of 5

Other books in the series:
lrhieber
See my review of this book here.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Theis hosted by Alyssa of The Shady Glade. I was assigned to judge bracket #9:
kderting versus bfitzpatrick

I have already posted my review for The Body Finder and Hush, Hush and for those who had a chance to check them out, I think it's pretty clear which book I'm going to choose. But if you haven't, my pick is... The Body Finder!

In the end, it all came down to the romance between the two main characters, which was a big theme in both books. Violet and Jay made me go "awww" many times and these two characters were a joy to read about. I was disturbed in all the right places in TBF--the villain really creeped me out. While with Nora, well, it was her inexplicable attraction to Patch and their overall relationship that was creepy and disturbing (see my review of HH for reasons why). In some parts I even wanted to scream at Nora for all her silly actions and decisions.

Anyway, I had a lot of fun and enjoyed being a judge in this battle. Do let me know if you agree or disagree with my decision below if you're read the books above. I do love reading comments! :)