Sunday, March 31, 2013

Hero of My Heart Blog Hop

Sunday, March 31, 2013 with
Dear friends,
Random House is having a blog hop and we thought we'd join in on the fun!

Want free books? Check it out...

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

book cover ARC: 399 pages 
Publisher: Random House
Release Date: March 12, 2013
ISBN: 9780307975983

Source of my copy: publisher
Series: Strands of Bronze and Gold #1
Synopsis (from Goodreads)

The Bluebeard fairy tale retold. . . .
When seventeen-year-old Sophia Petheram’s beloved father dies, she receives an unexpected letter. An invitation—on fine ivory paper, in bold black handwriting—from the mysterious Monsieur Bernard de Cressac, her godfather. With no money and fewer options, Sophie accepts, leaving her humble childhood home for the astonishingly lavish Wyndriven Abbey, in the heart of Mississippi. Sophie has always longed for a comfortable life, and she finds herself both attracted to and shocked by the charm and easy manners of her overgenerous guardian. But as she begins to piece together the mystery of his past, it’s as if, thread by thread, a silken net is tightening around her. And as she gathers stories and catches whispers of his former wives—all with hair as red as her own—in the forgotten corners of the abbey, Sophie knows she’s trapped in the passion and danger of de Cressac’s intoxicating world.
Glowing strands of romance, mystery, and suspense are woven into this breathtaking debut—a thrilling retelling of the “Bluebeard” fairy tale.

Leslie's Review:
I love fairytale retellings and it had been awhile since I read one so when my sister and I were chosen to be Ambuzzadors, I eagerly picked up Jane Nickerson's debut Strands of Bronze and Gold. I'm wasn't familiar with the fairytale Bluebeard that the novel is based on, so I began reading not knowing what to expect.

I have to admit that the beginning was slow for me. I felt like it dragged as the mystery was trying to build up, and if it was suppose to be there, I didn't feel the excitement. However, the plot eventually picked up when Sophia learned of some really shocking secrets and characteristics of Monsieur Bernard. After that, the novel piqued my interest and drove me to race to the very end.

I really loved the characters in this novel; they really surprised me. I'm quite naive, so maybe this was just me, but I never saw the hidden agendas of the various characters in the book. Some were just obvious than others--such as M. Bernard, with his scandalous history--but there was an element of surprise in each of the characters what made them so much more for me. And I especially liked Sophia. She grew a lot as a character, and she became a very strong and courageous heroine. I rooted for her all throughout the book.

Nickerson's writing style was just lovely. Her writing was very simple and straight forward, and her tone made the story sound as if it came right out of a child's storytelling book, even though the novel itself isn't for young children. Many of the fairytale retellings that I've read were set in a more contemporary time, written with a contemporary voice so I found the writing in Strands of Bronze and Gold refreshing.

I really enjoyed Strands and I'll definitely check out the companion books The Mirk and Midnight Hour and A Place of Stone and Shadow or other future books by Jane Nickerson. If you love fariytale retellings as much as I do and have an inclination toward the darker tales, then I recommend you read Strands of Bronze and Gold

Friday, March 22, 2013

Dear friends,
I am on a contemporary new adult kick lately and when I got an email from one of the book publicist I frequently work with that Forever is releasing a bunch of new adult books that were previously self-published, I got really excited.

Confession: I'm a self-published snob. I know, I know--I'm not proud of it but it is what it is. I've been disappointed by the quality of self-pubbed books. But I figured if they're picked up by a big traditional publisher, they'll may get "cleaned up" a bit and I'm less likely to be disappointed.

As for new adult books, well, they put me in mind of these teen contemps that my friends and I devoured one after the other back in high school. Anyone read or remember these?
Who Do You Love? by Janet Quin-Harkin was a favorite of mine.
So, first the Forever/Forever Yours new adult books...

I plan to feature each of these books on their own from June-August (to coincide with their trade paperback release) and will be giving away a copy of each.

Tabitha Allen grew up in the thick of Chaos—the Chaos Motorcycle Club, that is. Her father is Chaos' leader, and the club has always had her back. But one rider was different from the start. When Tabby indicates she wants more—much more—Shy feels like the luckiest man alive. But even lucky men can crash and burn…
Okay, I have my doubts about a guy named Shy but I'm loving the motorcycles bit. I'll be giving away a copy of this book in June.

After a wild night Camryn Bennett boards a Greyhound bus ready to find herself. Instead, she finds Andrew Parrish. Soon he becomes the center of her daring new life, pulling love and lust and emotion out of her in ways she never imagined possible.
I'm hearing a lot of great reviews about this one. I'll be giving away a copy of this book in July.

Luck was on Kayden’s side when Callie coincidentally is in the right place at the right time and saves him. Kayden does everything he can to try to get to know her, but the more he tries to be part of her life, the more he realizes Callie might need to be saved.
I'm currently reading Jessica Sorensen's other novel The Secret of Ella and Micha and I am planning to read this one too.  I'll be giving away a copy of this book in August.

I'll be reading these three in the summer. So, mark your calendars and get excited! Come back here to win a paperback copy of Own the Wind in June, The Edge of Never in July and The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden in August.

As for my recent new adult splurges, I recently bought and plan to read the following during spring break (which starts officially in one day! whoo-hoo!!)...

Rescued by a stranger.
Haunted by a secret
Sometimes, love isn’t easy…
There were so many raves about Easy that I just had to read it for myself.

The new Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn’t drink or swear, and she has the appropriate number of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance from the darkness of her past, but when she arrives at college with her best friend, her path to a new beginning is quickly challenged by Eastern University’s Walking One-Night Stand.
I keep seeing this book described as "addicting" and I'm a sucker for the good girl/bad boy pairing so I bought it.

Four years ago, Jocelyn left her tragic past behind in the States and started over in Scotland, burying her grief, ignoring her demons, and forging ahead without attachments. Her solitary life is working well—until she moves into a new apartment on Dublin Street where she meets a man who shakes her carefully guarded world to its core.

Is On Dublin Street marketed as a new adult, or is it an erotic romance? Whatever it is, there's innumerable raving reviews about it--many from bloggers and reviewers on Goodreads whose opinions I trust.

What new adult novels have you read? Are you a self-pub snob like myself? Tell me about your spring break plans!

Happy reading,

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

book coverARC: 231 pages 
Publisher: Aladdin M!X
Release Date: March 19, 2013
ISBN: 9781442452480
Source of my copy: author
Series: standalone
Synopsis (from Goodreads)

Popularity has its pitfalls, and Polly is discovering them firsthand in this middle-grade M!X novel.
Polly Pierce likes being the second-most popular girl at Winston Academy, right after her BFF, Kelsy. Popularity comes with special privileges, like a seat at the best table in the cafeteria and a coveted spot on the planning committee for the school’s big talent show competition, Groove It Up! And since all Polly has to do is agree with whatever Kelsy says, being popular is easy—even if kids do call her “Plastic Polly” behind her back.
But when a freak accident takes Kelsy out of the picture, Polly is suddenly in charge of the Groove It Up! committee. She’s not prepared for her new status—and neither is anyone else. Backstabbing friends, an intimidating crush, and diva demands from an injured Kelsy all threaten to derail Polly’s plans. Can she prove to everyone—and herself—that she has a personality of her own?

Michelle's Review:
Plastic Polly surprised me in a good way--I was expecting a fluff kind of read but it turned out to be so much more.

I read Plastic Polly in one sitting. It was really, really good! As Polly got herself in sticky situations, I wanted to see how everything will work out in the end. Plastic Polly had more meat, more substance than some of the middle grade novels I've read in the same vein.

Polly's voice felt authentic and I saw middle grade myself in her. There was one part where Polly said "I wasn't trying to be totally fake... but I've noticed that people sometimes get upset when you disagree with them... So, in my opinion it's just easier to agree with people." And that perfectly described me at thirteen.

Plastic Polly explored themes of friendship, popularity, a mother-daughter relationship, family relationships, standing and speaking up for yourself and stepping out of your shell. I'm sure most middle grade girls will find something in the story they can relate to.

I don't have any complaints about it. I really enjoyed Plastic Polly--the whole time I was reading it, it played like a Disney Channel movie in my head so I want the Disney Channel to adapt into a movie. That being said, I am passing this book on to my little sister who is starting middle school in the fall. Don't let the fluffy cover deter you, this book is so much more. Plastic Polly was a delightful, highly engaging, kick-back-and-relax kind of read. 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Hello everyone,
I don't know about you but I am really looking forward to Tina Fey and Paul Rudd's new movie Admission, which comes out this coming Friday. I love Tina Fey!

Did you know Admission is based on a novel by Jean Hanff Korelitz? Yep, it is. And today we are giving away a copy of the movie-tie-in edition of the novel to celebrate the upcoming release of the movie!
book cover
"Admissions. Admission. Aren't there two sides to the word? And two opposing sides... It's what we let in, but it's also what we let out."

For years, 38-year-old Portia Nathan has avoided the past, hiding behind her busy (and sometimes punishing) career as a PrincetonUniversity admissions officer and her dependable domestic life. Her reluctance to confront the truth is suddenly overwhelmed by the resurfacing of a life-altering decision, and Portia is faced with an extraordinary test. Just as thousands of the nation's brightest students await her decision regarding their academic admission, so too must Portia decide whether to make her own ultimate admission.

Admission is at once a fascinating look at the complex college admissions process and an emotional examination of what happens when the secrets of the past return and shake a woman's life to its core.
So, if you're planning to see the movie (or not) don't forget to check out the novel as well. Enter below for a chance to win a copy. Ends March 31st and open to U.S. only. Come back and enter everyday to increase your chance of winning.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck and happy reading,

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Our New Shelf Additions (22)

Sunday, March 17, 2013 with
Hello everyone,
Happy St. Patrick's Day!! 

We're going to play catch up with this "new shelf addition" post--these are the books and bookish stuff we accumulated in the last three weeks.
By the Blood of Heroes by Joseph Nassise, Overbite by Meg Cabot, Angel's Ink by Jocelynn Drake, Viscount Breckenridge to the Rescue by Stephanie Laurens, Holly Lane by Toni Blake, A Night Like This by Julia Quinn, Dragon Keeper by Robin Hobb, Between the Duke and the Deep Blue Sea by Sophia Nash, The Art of Duke Hunting by Sophia Nash, In Pursuit of Miss Eliza Cynster by Stephanie Laurens, A Scandalous Scot by Karen Ranney 

From Erica of The Book Cellar

Virtuosity by Jessica Martinez, Slide by Jill Hathaway, Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys, Beautiful Lies by Jessica Warman, Summer and Bird by Katherine Catmull, Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins, Uses for Boys by Erica Lorraine Scheidt, The Sweet Revenge of Celia Door by Karen Finneyfrock, Blessed by Tonya Hurley

Bought (pre-orders finally came!!)
Wild Invitation by Nalini Singh, The Best Man by Kristan Higgins, Let the Sky Fall by Shannon Messenger, High Risk by Vivian Arend 

For Review
The Secret of Ella and Micha by Jessica Sorensen, Dead Silence by Kimberley Derting, If I Were You by Lisa Renee Jones unsolicited), Firebrand by Gillian Philip

Under Shifting Glass by Nicky Singer, Absent by Katie Williams, The Fourth Stall: Part III by Chris Rylander, If You Give a Rake a Ruby by Shana Galen, Fox Forever by Mary E. Pearson, Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool

The Complete Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Dating & Sex by by David Borgenicht

Bought (another pre-order)
Deep Betrayal by Anne Greenwood Brown

For Review
Caged Warrior by Lindsey Piper (unsolicited), postcard

Won for author Shana Galen
Downton Abbey seasons I and II, CD, Downton Abbey book, swag
That's all we got. Let us know if you have any questions about these books. Also, let us know if you posted a "new addition" post--we'd love to check it out your book haul.

Michelle & Leslie

Saturday, March 16, 2013

FYI: Daughter of Smoke and Bone Movie News

Saturday, March 16, 2013 with
Dear friends,
We don't know about you, but we are beyond excited for all of the YA novels being adapted into movies! Divergent, If I Stay, Legend and Daughter of Smoke and Bone are ones we are especially looking forward to.

So, a couple of days ago we received an email from a publicist with the latest news from Universal Pictures about the Daughter of Smoke and Bone movie. Now, we don't usually post these kind but we thought we'd make an exception for this one because this is exciting stuff!

book cover
Stuart Beattie will adapt the screenplay to the celebrated young adult fantasy novel, Daughter of Smoke & Bone, written by New York Times bestselling author and National Book Award Finalist Laini Taylor. The highly sought after property was acquired by Universal Pictures in December 2011.

Beattie previously wrote the screenplay for
G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra for Paramount and Collateral for DreamWorks. Beattie wrote and directed the Australian hit feature Tomorrow When The War Began and is currently awaiting release on I, Frankenstein, which he also wrote and directed.

“I’m thrilled to have Stuart Beattie adapting ‘
Daughter of Smoke & Bone’; it’s been fantastic to delve into the world of the book with a screenwriter of such insight and experience,” said Taylor. “Between Stuart, Joe Roth, and Universal Pictures, we’ve got a team with massive epic flair, and I can’t wait to see what unfolds as we move toward bringing Karou, Akiva, Brimstone, and the world of ‘Daughter of Smoke & Bone’ to the screen.”

Joe Roth will produce alongside executive producer Palek Patel. Roth produced the epic action-adventure,
Snow White and the Huntsman for Universal which was one of Universal’s highest grossing films of 2012. Roth’s Oz: The Great and Powerful starring James Franco and Mila Kunis was the number one film in North America last weekend, and Maleficent starring Angelina Jolie will be released in the summer of 2014.
And for those of you not familiar with Daughter of Smoke and Bone, here's the synopsis:
Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky. In a dark and dusty shop, a devil's supply of human teeth grown dangerously low. And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war. Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she's prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages--not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she's about to find out. When one of the strangers--beautiful, haunted Akiva--fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?
Are you guys just as excited as we are about the DoSaB movie and the other upcoming YA movie adaptations as we are? Let us know.

Happy reading,
Michelle & Leslie

Friday, March 15, 2013

Hello friends,
We don't usually post books that are non-YA or non-romance but we thought we'd make an exception for Dondinsky's In the Garden of Thoughts.

We couldn't resist that cover and also theme of the blog tour to highlight the book: March of Positivity. We've been a little down on the positivity--school have been dragging us down lately--and we'd love to find some. 

So, going with the theme, here's an inspirational quote for Dondinsky.

We really like that quote. A lot. 

About Dondinsky
His intent was simply to share his reflections about life in order to help heal the wounds inflicted by life’s troubles. At the time, the man known by his readers as Dodinsky had no idea that within months of starting his blog In the Garden of Thoughts, thousands of readers would find healing through the modest words he planted.

The focus of Dodinsky’s short writings–love, compassion, growth, tolerance, and self-worth–clearly resonate with his readers, whom Dodinsky calls “gardeners.” His page has become a community in which people from all walks of life share their own stories.

For more positivity, visit Dodinsky's website and Facebook page.

Enter for your chance to win a Dondinsky poster and a signed bookmark. Ends March 28th (U.S. only).

May your day be full of positivity... and good books (of course!).

-Michelle & Leslie
Hello friends,
We kicked the week off with an excerpt from Emblaze by Jessica Shirvington (enter to win a copy here).

Today, we have another treat for you...

A character interview with Devon from Escape Theory by Margaux Froley. If you're not familiar with Escape Theory here's the synopsis.
book cover
Sixteen-year-old Devon Mackintosh has always felt like an outsider at Keaton, the prestigious California boarding school perched above the Pacific. As long as she’s not fitting in, Devon figures she might as well pad her application to Stanford’s psych program. So junior year, she decides to become a peer counselor, a de facto therapist for students in crisis. At first, it seems like it will be an easy fly-on-the-wall gig, but her expectations are turned upside down when Jason Hutchins (a.k.a. “Hutch”), one of the Keaton’s most popular students, commits suicide.

Devon dives into her new role providing support for Hutch’s friends, but she’s haunted by her own attachment to him. The two shared an extraordinary night during their first week freshman year; it was the only time at Keaton when she felt like someone else really understood her. As the secrets and confessions pile up in her sessions, Devon comes to a startling conclusion: Hutch couldn't have taken his own life. Bound by her oath of confidentiality—and tortured by her unrequited love—Devon embarks on a solitary mission to get to the bottom of Hutch's death, and the stakes are higher than she ever could have imagined.

Character Interview

Hi Devon! Welcome to our blog. Tell us, do you have a celebrity doppelgänger? Who is it?
Hmmm... maybe on a good day when I know what to do with my hair, I can kind of look like Nina Dobrev. I think my face is round like hers, plus I love The Vampire Diaries.

If you can travel anywhere in the world someday, where would you go, who will you take with you and why?
I’ve always wanted to go to Prague. From the pictures I’ve seen it looks so romantic, like a Grimm’s fairy tale.

What is the hardest thing about working as a Peer Counselor?
It’s the hardest thing, and it’s the one rule we have to follow as a Peer Counselor...don’t give advice. It seems like maybe you should be able to make suggestions like you would if you were talking to a friend, but you can’t. You just have to help the subject find their own answers...and that can be really tough.

Author Margaux Froley
Book: Matilda, Roald Dahl.

Movie: Cruel Intentions, such a classic.

Music/Band: Wilco.

Food: Sushi.

Dessert: Nutter Butter cookies.

Thanks to Devon for answering our questions. Escape Theory is now available in stores and in your local library (if not, tell your librarian to get it).

Learn more about and connect with author Margaux Froley on Twitter, Facebook and her blog.

Happy reading everyone!

-Michelle & Leslie

Monday, March 11, 2013

Hello everyone,
It feels like forever since I've blogged. But the last week, school and my internship just took over my life. There was no time to blog and even read--the one book I did finish (Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage) was an audiobook that I read in my morning and afternoon commute.

But this coming week should be better. And to start the week off I have an excerpt of Emblaze to share with you. For those that don't know, Emblaze is the third book in the Violet Eden Chapters by Jessica Shirvington.

This scene with Violet, Griffin and Spence happened early on in Emblaze (there's **no spoilers**).

book cover
"Stronger and braver, yes, but years of experience count for something. I just spent the last hour sizing you up, picking your routine. You change it up, but everyone is predictable in the end. If you see the chance to kick, you take it."

He put his hand out and I moved my right arm to take it, but winced in pain as I did, working hard to hold back a cry. My head went back to the ground again.

"Broken?" Griffin asked casually.

I turned my face to the side, angry with myself. "I think so." That was the other crack I'd heard. Damn it.

"Perfect," Griffin said, as if it were all part of the plan. "This will help."

I glared at him. If he thought I was going to ask Lincoln to heal me tonight, he had another thing coming.

"Whatever it is, it'll have to wait. I have dinner tonight with Dad," I snarled, pushing myself up with my good arm. Spence was behind me and helped me to stand. My head was spinning out of control.

"Easy girl," he said, as if he was talking to a racehorse. I pulled my good arm out of his hold to stand on my own. Then desperately wished I hadn't.

While my stomach churned and I fought the urge to throw up, I took a few calming breaths and tried to center myself and control the pain.

That was when I felt it.

The invisible tendril that linked us sizzled. I could feel his heart beating, steadily at first, and then as if recognizing me, it picked up.

So, that is a little taste of Emblaze for you all--look for my review of it later this week.

As a special treat, we have a copy of Emblaze to give away to one lucky reader. Open to U.S. and Canadian residents only and it ends on March 30th. Come back everyday to earn more entries! Good luck.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy reading,

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Why we covet this book: Boarding school. Murder. Mystery. Secrets. A cute boy. All of the stuff we love to read about.

Also, it reminds us of the Liar Society series by the Roecker sisters, which we really enjoyed so we think we will like PSC too.

book cover
Meet Anne Dowling – a fresh, original, and funny new YA heroine whose knowing, irreverent voice will remind readers of Pretty Little Liars and Private.

Anne practically runs her exclusive prep school on New York’s Upper East Side—that is, until she burns part of it down. Accidentally. Her lawyer father decides to send his not-quite-so-innocent only daughter to a prestigious boarding school outside of Boston. Determined to reform her bad girl ways and make it back to New York, making friends at the Wheatley School is the last thing Anne cares about. There is one girl Anne is able to stand, though—her roommate Isabella. That is, until Isabella’s body is found in the woods behind the school.

Anne is convinced someone knows what happened to Isabella the night she was viciously murdered—but no one is talking. That’s when Anne starts to notice how old and creepy the Wheatley School really is. When she meets Isabella’s twin brother and learns he also thinks the school might be covering up the truth about Isabella’s death, Anne can’t help it…she starts poking around. Utilizing her lock-picking skills, unmistakable charm, and the help of a cute classmate named Brent, Anne discovers that Isabella wasn’t quite the innocent nerdy girl she pretended to be. But someone will do anything to stop Anne’s snooping around in this fast-paced, unputdownable read—even if it means framing her for Isabella’s murder.
Prep School Confidential will be released on July 30, 2013 from St. Martin's Griffin. For more info and news about the novel, visit check out the author's website. Click on the cover to go to the book's Goodreads page.

What book(s) do you "covet" this week?
Leave a comment with a link so we can check your WoW of the week too.

"Books I Covet" is a weekly or bi-weekly blog post series we do here every Wednesday. It will feature books we are very excited about reading and plan on buying/borrowing in the near future. It is basically the "Waiting On" meme hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine, but we just like the title "books we covet" better. We will include the books' blurb, cover art, and/or release date if they're available. 

Monday, March 4, 2013

Good morning everyone,
Today we are spotlighting Legacy of the Clockwork Key by Kristin Bailey. Here's the synopsis:

book cover
A teen girl unravels the mysteries of a secret society and their most dangerous invention in this adventure-swept romance set in Victorian London.

When a fire consumes Meg’s home, killing her parents and destroying both her fortune and her future, all she has left is the tarnished pocket watch she rescued from the ashes. But this is no ordinary timepiece. The clock turns out to be a mechanical key—a key that only Meg can use—that unlocks a series of deadly secrets and intricate clues that Meg is compelled to follow.

Meg has uncovered evidence of an elite secret society and a dangerous invention that some will stop at nothing to protect—and that Meg alone can destroy. Together with the handsome stable hand she barely knows but hopes she can trust, Meg is swept into a hidden world of deception, betrayal, and revenge. The clockwork key has unlocked her destiny in this captivating start to a trilogy.
If you are curious about Legacy of the Clockwork Key, here is a short scene that happened early on in the novel. This is the first time Meg and Will open Meg's grandfather's timepiece that may not be an ordinary timepiece after all...

"I don't think this is a watch."

"What else could it be?" I reached forward to grab it then pulled my hand back. My fingertips came to rest on his, but he didn't look up. Instead we both stared at the strange mechanism unfolding in his hands.

Like an odd shining blossom, three silver structures rose up on a short brass stem as Will opened the cover. Each petal's edge had a different pattern of irregularly shaped teeth. The shape resembled the flower embossed on the back, but with sharper edges and minuscule gears. "What is it?" I had never seen anything like it before in my father's shop.

"I don't know." Will delicately flipped the device over. "Look at this."

The round nub had protruded out of the back, lifting the image of the three-petal flower out from the casing to create what looked like a button.

"Press it," I urged. My shock had dissipated in favor of raw excitement. I had no idea what would happen, but I felt like a child waiting for the jack to spring from the box. Will pushed the button, and with a click, the gears began to move. They twisted and spun as the mechanism turned to a slow circle.

Music, the clear tones of tiny bells, reached out to me. Though the tune was delicate, it was as if I could hear my grandfather's rumbling voice singing to me and only me.
Read Legacy of the Clockwork Key and find out what exactly this strange device is. My review of Legacy of the Clockwork Key is here.

Enter to win a copy of Legacy of the Clockwork Key here:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck everyone and happy reading,
book coverE-ARC: 402 pages 
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: 3/5/2013
ISBN: 9781442440265
Source of my copy: publisher
Series: Secret Order #1
Synopsis (from Goodreads)

A teen girl unravels the mysteries of a secret society and their most dangerous invention in this adventure-swept romance set in Victorian London.
When a fire consumes Meg’s home, killing her parents and destroying both her fortune and her future, all she has left is the tarnished pocket watch she rescued from the ashes. But this is no ordinary timepiece. The clock turns out to be a mechanical key—a key that only Meg can use—that unlocks a series of deadly secrets and intricate clues that Meg is compelled to follow.
Meg has uncovered evidence of an elite secret society and a dangerous invention that some will stop at nothing to protect—and that Meg alone can destroy. Together with the handsome stable hand she barely knows but hopes she can trust, Meg is swept into a hidden world of deception, betrayal, and revenge. The clockwork key has unlocked her destiny in this captivating start to a trilogy.

Michelle's Review:
I was intrigued by the synopsis of Legacy of the Clockwork Key and I was excited to read it. But in the end, it was just an okay read. It is one of those books where I don't hate it but I don't have any strong feelings for it either.

Basically, it is about Meg who lost her parents in a devastating fire and became an orphan. The only thing she had left of her parents was her father's pocket watch. Lord Rathford, who was supposedly an old family friend, took her in to work as a maid in his house. Meg was not having a easy time, with everything she went through and when she found out that her grandfather may still be alive, she enlisted the help of Lord Rathford's groom, Will, to help her. Soon Meg found out that her grandfather, her parents and Lord Rathford were all part of a secret society and that her parents' death may not be an accident after all. As Meg follows the clues and secrets about her family and the secret society were exposed, she finds out that someone was murdering the members and she may be next.

I like reading about secret societies and mystery stories. Put them together and I'm in reading heaven. I did like the mystery aspect of this novel. Meg was smart at finding and figuring out the clues and I liked how she was resourceful and wasn't above asking help from Will. The plot was a bit cliche and predictable at times, but well-paced. Unfortunately, I couldn't really bring myself to care for Meg and any of the characters. They were just okay. Also, the romance between Meg and Will were lukewarm at best. I didn't really feel any spark between them.

Legacy of the Clockwork Key failed to really grabbed me. But if you like reading mysteries involving a secret society set in a historical period, you might want to check out this novel.