Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Book I Covet: Beware the Wild by Natalie C. Parker

Wednesday, April 30, 2014 with
The cover is gorgeous. The title is intriguing. The description really gets my imagination going and I want to know more. So, so, so excited for Beware the Wild!!

[I actually just downloaded Beware the Wild on Edelweiss yesterday. If you use Edelweiss try and get it, let me know and let's buddy read it. I've always wanted to buddy read with someone.]

It's an oppressively hot and sticky morning in June when Sterling and her brother, Phin, have an argument that compels him to run into the town swamp -- the one that strikes fear in all the residents of Sticks, Louisiana. Phin doesn't return. Instead, a girl named Lenora May climbs out, and now Sterling is the only person in Sticks who remembers her brother ever existed.

Sterling needs to figure out what the swamp's done with her beloved brother and how Lenora May is connected to his disappearance -- and loner boy Heath Durham might be the only one who can help her.

This debut novel is full of atmosphere, twists and turns, and a swoon-worthy romance.

Beware the Wild
will be released on October 21, 2014. Click on the cover to go to the book's Goodreads page.

What book(s) do you "covet" this week?
Leave us 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 on Wednesdays. 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. 

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Hello everyone,
Today, I have a romantic suspense to share with you all. It's called The Broken by Shelley Coriell. If you're a YA reader, you might recognize Shelley Coriell's name because she wrote Welcome, Caller, This Is Chloe and Good Bye, Rebel Blue.

Here's the description of The Broken.

Format: ARC from publisher Forever (Hatchette)
Pages: 416 pages
Series: The Apostles #1
Synopsis (from Goodreads)

He took her life, but left her alive.

Three years ago, reporter Kate Johnson was the first victim—and only survivor—of the Broadcast Butcher. Scarred both physically and psychologically by the brutal serial killer, Kate lives life on the run, knowing that one day, he will find her and finish what he started.

In the pursuit of justice, you sometimes have to step outside the law.

Agent Hayden Reed spends his life chasing monsters. The only way to stay sane is to detach, but the second the Broadcast Butcher case crosses his desk, Hayden knows this is the case that might just cost him his soul. To catch this vicious murderer before he strikes again, Hayden must find Kate and earn her trust. For it's her darkest secrets that hold the key to stopping this madman once and for all...

Scroll on to read an excerpt and enter to win a copy of The Broken. But first my thoughts.

What I liked--

The suspense!
Oh man! This book kept me guessing throughout. I am usually good at guessing who the killer is but this one... Omigod, there were so many twists and turn and I didn't know where it was going to go. The Broken has the best mystery plot I've read in a romantic suspense in a long time.

The writing
The Broken is very well-written. Coriell introduces a lot of characters (I especially love Smokey Joe, the blind elderly veteran Kate looks after) and the story is told in multiple POVs, including the killer's. This book could've been very violent if those scenes weren't "fade to black." There was just this heightened sense of danger and tension that leaves you at the edge throughout the book and that made it a really exciting, hard to put down read.

Hayden and Kate
I liked them both. Hayden Reed, FBI profiler, was different from many brooding, alpha male romantic suspense heroes that I've read because while he's a hard man, he was also a genuinely nice smart guy who used his brain to catch the killer. I liked Kate's character as well. She distrust the justice system and who wouldn't after all she's been through. She's tough and a survivor but she also had her vulnerable side. There was a connection between them right from the start but I wished we saw more of that.

My issues--

The romance (or the lack of it)
Okay, so I like my romantic suspense equal parts romantic and suspenseful. The Broken definitely had the suspense part in spades. But the romance really took a back seat on this one. Kate and Hayden's relationship did grow and develop but I just wanted them to hook up already! I like my romances to be steamy and hot--if you're like me, you're not going to get your romance fix here. 

Overall reaction--

I really enjoy reading romantic suspense and my favorite author is Laura Griffin. I'm always on the look out for an author who can blend an interesting/unique/exciting/twisty mystery WITH a scorching hot romance just like Griffin can. While The Broken does have an interesting/unique/exciting/twisty well-written mystery (which I really enjoyed!), sadly, it lacked the romance I was looking for. If you like your romantic suspense heavy on the suspense and mystery but light and subtle on the romance, The Broken is perfect for you.

Here's an excerpt from The Broken to give you a little taste.
A glacial cold, like the waters of the lake outside her window, washed over her. “The Butcher’s still on the loose.”

“And he won’t stop until he—”

As Hayden’s voice broke off, something hovered at the far edges of her mind. For nearly a week she’d lived and breathed this case with Hayden, who now stood before her, his face twisted in anger and something more unsettling: fear.

“Kills me,” she said with a gasp. “He has to break all the mirrors. He has to finish the job.” Her finger slid along the scar on her neck to the scar on her breast. “I’m the job he never finished. He has to kill me.”

Hayden didn’t argue. He couldn’t. He intimately knew the Butcher.

Adrenaline shot through her legs. After a few hours of precious peace, it was time tohead back to the shadowy back roads where the Butcher couldn’t find her.

Before she could make a run for the door, Hayden reached for her.

Her feet tensed. Her hands fisted. Ready to fight. Ready to flee.

She expected the jingle of cuffs. Instead, skin brushed against skin as he slipped his arms around her. Every muscle in her body tightened. It would be so easy to smack away his arms, to head-butt him in the chin, to duck and run. She pulled back her arm.

His lips brushed against the top of her head, and his arms dropped to his side.

The unexpected freedom left her off balance. She grabbed the bedpost. This was one of his head games. He was giving her a choice, giving her power. Right now she could walk away, duck into the shadows.

She shifted from one bare foot to the other. But that wouldn’t stop the Butcher. He would continue to kill, continue to hunt for her because she was the one who got away.

She took a single step, not toward the door but toward Hayden, and rested her cheek against the crisp coolness of his shirt, his heart beating calm and steady.

Click. His arms locked about her. Then came his words, delivered with a heat that surprised her. “This is one job he’s not going to finish.”
Intrigued? You can learn more about The Broken and the author Shelley Coriell with other readers tonight!
Click on the image above or click here to join the Spreecast chat.

Now for the giveaway (which is created by the publisher--we do not own the Rafflecopter below)! 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy reading,

P.S. If you want more chances to win, Shelley Coriell is hosting a big giveaway to celebrate the release to The Broken on her blog. Go forth and enter!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Hello bookish friends,
I am so excited to be part of the blog tour for Burn Out by Kristi Helvig. Check out my thoughts about this novel below and enter to win a copy of your own.

If you haven't heard what this book is about, here ya go.

Format: E-ARC from publisher Egmont USA
Pages: 272 pages
Series: Burn Out #1
Synopsis (from Goodreads)
A futuristic blend of Beth Revis's Across the Universe and Lenore Appelhans's Level 2, Burn Out will satisfy the growing desire for science fiction with a thrilling story of survival, intrigue, and adventure.

Most people want to save the world; seventeen-year-old Tora Reynolds just wants to get the hell off of it. One of the last survivors in Earth's final years, Tora yearns to escape the wasteland her planet has become after the sun turns "red giant," but discovers her fellow survivors are even more deadly than the hostile environment.

Holed up in an underground shelter, Tora is alone--her brilliant scientist father murdered, her mother and sister burned to death. She dreams of living on a planet with oceans, plants, and animals. Unfortunately, the oceans dried out ages ago, the only plants are giant cacti with deadly spines, and her pet, Trigger, is a gun--one of the bio-energetic weapons her father created for the government before his conscience kicked in.

When family friend, Markus, arrives with mercenaries to take the weapons by force, Tora's fury turns to fear when government ships descend in an attempt to kill them all. She forges an unlikely alliance with Markus and his rag-tag group of raiders, including a smart but quiet soldier named James.

She is shocked when James accidentally fires one of her father's bio-weapons--weapons designed to work only for her. She'd felt a strange pull to James from the start, but the odds of someone sharing her energy vibration are statistically miniscule. Tora must quickly figure out who she can trust, as she must choose between saving herself by giving up the guns or honoring her father's request to save humanity from the most lethal weapons in existence.

Scroll to the end of this post for a chance to win a copy of Burn Out. But first my thoughts.

What I Liked--

She was likable. She's strong and feisty. She doesn't trust easily or give in easily--as she should be, being practically the last girl on a burned out Earth. She did have her flaws though (like her refusal to accept help, her mooning over the hot boy) and sometimes she crosses the line between snarky and bitchy. But she's a bad-ass and I want her on my side in a survival situation.

The Plot:
It moved quickly, there was plenty of action and drama, and I kept wanting to know what's going to happen next. It was entertaining.

The Ending:
I did not see it coming. It surprised me. It ended in kind of a cliffhanger but it doesn't leave you feeling cheated. It does make you want the next book right away.

My issues--

Suspending of my disbelief:
Many of the pseudo-science and tech explanations and reasoning didn't sit well with me. I'm just not convinced that it all made sense (like the surviving in oven hot temperatures with just one cup of water a day, among other things) and I had to make myself not think too hard.

The insta-lust:
Tora was too easily distracted by the James. It wasn't insta-love but her mooning and giddiness over how hot he was, his muscles, his sweat, etc. when her attention should've been on more pressing things (like her survival) got kind of annoying. And James was just blah to me.


While I did have my issues with it, it was a fairly quick, easy read for me. The romance and science part of it wasn't my favorite but it had an exciting plot that was well-paced and entertaining. Pick it up at your library (or, enter to win a copy below!).


About the Author

Kristi Helvig is a Ph.D. clinical psychologist turned sci-fi/fantasy author. She muses about Star Trek, space monkeys, and other assorted topics on her blog. Kristi resides in sunny Colorado with her hubby, two kiddos, and behaviorally-challenged dogs.

Stop by Kristi's website for more info about Burn Out and her future books.

Alrighty! Here's your chance to score a copy of Burn Out. Just fill out the Rafflecopter below. 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck and happy reading,

P.S. Visit the next stop Jenna Does Books in the blog tour, which includes a Q&A with the author and another chance to win a copy of Burn Out.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Book I Covet: Princess of Thorns by Stacey Jay

Wednesday, April 23, 2014 with
A warrior princess who disguises herself as a boy? I'm sold!

Game of Thrones meets the Grimm's fairy tales in this twisted, fast-paced romantic fantasy-adventure about Sleeping Beauty's daughter, a warrior princess who must fight to reclaim her throne.

Though she looks like a mere mortal, Princess Aurora is a fairy blessed with enhanced strength, bravery, and mercy yet cursed to destroy the free will of any male who kisses her. Disguised as a boy, she enlists the help of the handsome but also cursed Prince Niklaas to fight legions of evil and free her brother from the ogre queen who stole Aurora's throne ten years ago.

Will Aurora triumph over evil and reach her brother before it's too late? Can Aurora and Niklaas break the curses that will otherwise forever keep them from finding their one true love?

Princess of Thorns
will be released on December 9, 2014. Click on the cover to go to the book's Goodreads page.

What book(s) do you "covet" this week?
Leave us 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 on Wednesdays. 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, April 21, 2014

Format: ARC
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Pages: 323 pages
Release Date: April 1, 2014
Source of my copy: publisher
Synopsis (from Goodreads)
It begins as an assignment for English class: Write a letter to a dead person. Laurel chooses Kurt Cobain because her sister, May, loved him. And he died young, just like May did. Soon, Laurel has a notebook full of letters to people like Janis Joplin, Amy Winehouse, Amelia Earhart, Heath Ledger, and more; though she never gives a single one of them to her teacher. She writes about starting high school, navigating new friendships, falling in love for the first time, learning to live with her splintering family. And, finally, about the abuse she suffered while May was supposed to be looking out for her. Only then, once Laurel has written down the truth about what happened to herself, can she truly begin to accept what happened to May. And only when Laurel has begun to see her sister as the person she was; lovely and amazing and deeply flawed; can she begin to discover her own path.

As my sister can confirm very few books move me to tears. I'm one of those robotic, heart-of-stone kind of readers who may feel moved by a book or even movie but rarely enough to be moved to actual tears running down my face. And I think this is because I never really allow a story's characters, setting, and/or message to settle on my mind and my heart for me to really feel; to be honest, I'd rather not feel too much when reading because strong emotions drain me. 

Having said all that, when I read Love Letters to the Dead, from the first page, its words found a way to crawl into my stone heart and I had rivers of tears pouring down my face. This story--Laurel's story--will stay with me forever. It was that amazing.

As I read Love Letters to the Dead, I felt as if my life fell away and I was walking with Laurel as she recounted her experiences and her thoughts through her letters. I grew to love Laurel as she described to me all the ways she loved, admired, and missed her sister May. Her descriptions were both heartbreaking and loving. I loved her strong, fragile voice, and to this day, its beat echoes in my heart and mind. Many times throughout my walk with Laurel did I want to reach out and hug her.

All the details that made up Laurel's story--her family, her friends, her enemies, her home, nightmares, hopes, and dreams--fantastically came to life. All I can say is that they helped Laurel weave what sadness, grief, anger, and frustration she felt into something so beautiful, if it was a physical gift, you wouldn't have suspected that it was made up of things that are considered broken and dark.

Surprisingly, Love Letters to the Dead is a debut novel by Ava Dellaira. I say surprising because it doesn't read like a debut novel. Dellaira was able to take what small, hopeful lights there are in life's most pitiful emotions and craft them into something that is Love Letters to the Dead. It was beautiful. Love Letters to the Dead was beautiful.

I highly recommend anyone and everyone to read this book. I, myself, plan to re-read it soon.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

New Books + Weekly Wrap-Up

Sunday, April 20, 2014 with
Hello everyone,
It's been two weeks since I posted one of these so this will be two weeks worth of links (but we are experiencing a bit of a blogging slump so it's not as many as you'd think) and new books.

In case you missed any of our posts, here they are.

Entertaining romantic suspense with an awesome hero who lets the kick-ass heroine do her thing without losing his alpha-ness.

A thief and a knight team up to get vengeance on murderous Demon Riders!

Includes books and reading (of course!), Meryl & Charlie, If I Stay movie trailer reaction, ALA conference...

It's by Marie Lu. 'Nuff said.

The books!

Finally gave in and bought Throne of Glass (book 1) and Crown of Midnight (book 2) by Sarah J. Maas. If I like these, I'll pre-order Heir of Fire (book 3).

I also bought an e-book: Tessa Bailey's new adult title Unfixable for 99 cents.

Physical Books For Review
Love and Other Foreign Words by Erin McCahan
The Lost by Sarah Beth Durst

When We Met by Susan Mallery
The Broken by Shelley Coriell

Stormy Persuasion by Johanna Lindsey (unsolicited review copy)
Hearts Afire by Sara Luck (unsolicited review copy)
The Windflower by Laura London (unsolicited review copy)

What new books did you guys get? I wanna see! Leave your STS* link so I can come gush over them.

Happy reading,
Michelle (& Leslie)

*Stacking the Shelves, or STS, is hosted by Tynga's Reviews

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Book I Covet: The Young Elites by Marie Lu

Wednesday, April 16, 2014 with
It's Marie Lu's follow-up series to her excellent/fantastic/well-written series Legend series. This time she's doing high fantasy and it's gonna be awesome!

"Some hate us, think us criminals to hang at the gallows. Some fear us, think us demons to burn at the stake. Some worship us, think us divine children of the gods.

But all know us."

Adelina Amouteru is a survivor of the blood plague: marked by a jagged scar, snow-white hair and lashes. Cast out by her family, Adelina has finally found a place to belong within the secret society of Young Elites. To some, the Elites are heroes, here to save innocents in desperate situations. But to the Inquisition Axis, the white-robed soldiers of Kenettra, they are monsters with demonic powers who must be brought to justice. As Adelina learns more about this perilous world where politics and magic clash, she soon realizes that her own powers may be in danger of bringing on an era of panic such as the world has never seen.

The new series, set in what Putnam described as a “Renaissance-like world,” is called The Young Elites. It follows three rival societies with supernatural powers battling for supremacy.

The Young Elites
will be released on October 7, 2014. Click on the cover to go to the book's Goodreads page.

What book(s) do you "covet" this week?
Leave us 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 on Wednesdays. 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. 
Hello bookish peeps,
Today marks one week that I haven't posted on this here blog. I don't know what's going on with me blog-wise. It's not a slump exactly because I do want to post stuff but I just don't have the energy to do it by the time I come home from work. During the weekends all I want to do is read and not be bothered with anything else, including blogging.

But you guys I've been READING and it's great! I've been reading so much that according to Goodreads, I am 9 books ahead for my 100-book challenge. (Speaking of Goodreads, if you have a account, let's be friends!)

In the last two weeks I've been reading whatever I want. Whatever I'm in the mood for I pick up and I'm not picking up review books. It's LIBERATING! But at the same time, in the back of my mind, I'm thinking about all those review books I have yet to touch and that puts a damper on things. Sigh. Oh well.

I'm finally READING all the books I've had on my shelf for a year though so I don't feel too bad about abandoning my review stack. For now.

Besides books, I've been watching a TV show I'd never thought I'd watch just a few months ago. And it's all because of these guys
via Meryl Davis' Instagram
I fell in love with them during the Winter Olympics and I've been 'shipping for them to become a real life couple ever since even though Charlie has a long-time girlfriend. If I was the fan fiction writer type I'd totally be writing stories about them in which they fall in love on and off the ice. Anywho, the TV show I'm talking about is Dancing With the Stars. Unfortunately, they're competing against each other on the show but I'll watch any show that has Meryl and Charlie in it.

Btw, have you guys seen the movie trailer for If I Stay? I've been stalking the interwebs for the trailer since that article that showed that movie still of Mia and Adam taking a selfie (you know, that article where Chloe Moretz dissed the YA genre? Grrrr...) and it's finally here! 

After watching the trailer (multiple times) I'm still not convinced I want to see the movie. I loved the novel A LOT and I saw it differently in my head when I was reading it. I don't want the movie to change how I visualized the novel, especially when what I had in my mind was better than what the trailer [so far] had showed me. We'll see. We'll see.

Oh, and I'm going to this
It's not official official yet because I haven't bought my plane tickets but I'm 80% sure it's going to happen! I'm so excited because 1) I get to see and hang out with my library school friends again, 2) it'll be my first time in Vegas and I want to do all the Vegas things, 3) it'll be my first BIG conference, and 4) ALL THE AUTHORS, BOOKS, SIGNINGS, ALL THE BOOKISH THINGS that I never ever get to do [since I live in the middle of the Pacific Ocean] I can finally do!! You guys, I'm beyond excited!!!!

This post was all over the place. I'll end it with another reading gif just because. 

I will be posting some book-related posts soonish and this blog doesn't feel so abandoned. Also, we are part of a bunch of blog tours and I'll be posting those too in the next few weeks.

For now... 

Happy reading,

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Book I Covet: Midnight Thief by Livia Blackburne

Wednesday, April 9, 2014 with
It sounds epic.

Growing up on Forge’s streets has taught Kyra how to stretch a coin. And when that’s not enough, her uncanny ability to scale walls and bypass guards helps her take what she needs.

But when the leader of the Assassins Guild offers Kyra a lucrative job, she hesitates. She knows how to get by on her own, and she’s not sure she wants to play by his rules. But he’s persistent—and darkly attractive—and Kyra can’t quite resist his pull.

Tristam of Brancel is a young Palace knight on a mission. After his best friend is brutally murdered by Demon Riders, a clan of vicious warriors who ride bloodthirsty wildcats, Tristam vows to take them down. But as his investigation deepens, he finds his efforts thwarted by a talented thief, one who sneaks past Palace defenses with uncanny ease.

When a fateful raid throws Kyra and Tristam together, the two enemies realize that their best chance at survival—and vengeance—might be to join forces. And as their loyalties are tested to the breaking point, they learn a startling secret about Kyra’s past that threatens to reshape both their lives.

In her arresting debut novel, Livia Blackburne creates a captivating world where intrigue prowls around every corner—and danger is a way of life.

Midnight Thief will be released on July 8, 2014. Click on the cover to go to the book's Goodreads page.

What book(s) do you "covet" this week?
Leave us 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 on Wednesdays. 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, April 7, 2014

Format: Mass Market
Publisher: HQN
Pages: 475 pages
Release Date: March 25, 2014
Source of my copy: publisher
Series: Love Undercover #4
Synopsis (from Goodreads)
A no-nonsense female cop reluctantly teams up with the one man who makes her lose control in a deliciously sensual new novel from New York Times bestselling author Lori Foster...
To bring down a sleazy abduction ring, Lieutenant Margaret "Margo" Peterson has set herself up as bait. But recruiting Dashiel Riske as her unofficial partner is a whole other kind of danger. Dash is 6'4" of laid-back masculine charm, a man who loves life—and women—to the limit. Until Margo is threatened, and he reveals a dark side that may just match her own.
Beneath Margo's tough facade is a slow-burning sexiness that drives Dash crazy. The only way to finish this case is to work together side by side…skin to skin. And as their mission takes a lethal turn, he'll have to prove he's all the man she needs—in all the ways that matter.

Dash of Peril was a long book at 475 pages but I liked it a whole lot and I flew through it relatively quickly in one weekend. This novel is only my second by Lori Foster (my first was Getting Rowdy--you can read my review here) and, so far, both books I've read by her I liked a lot.

In Dash of Peril our heroine is Margaret "Margo" Petersen, the lieutenant in the local police force. She was an independent, tough, no-nonsense woman who can hold her own in the male-dominated force. She was very good at her job and she took pride in cleaning up the corruption when she made lieutenant. 

Dash, our hero, had been attracted to Margo for a while. Margo returned the attraction but she outwardly denied it because she felt, as a woman, she had to be tougher, work harder and be stronger to gain the respect and deference of the men who worked under her. Since Dash was the younger brother of one of her detectives, she thought he was too close to her work. Margo also didn't believe that Dash could give her what she needed sexually--because the demands of her job Margo preferred a more submissive role when it came to sex.

She was working undercover on a case in which local women were being kidnapped, raped and forced into pornography. When Margo was targeted by the criminals, Dash Riske stepped in and became Margo unofficial partner. When she got hurt, Dash moved in to help her and for the first time, someone was there for her, caring for her.

Like I said, I quite enjoyed Dash of Peril. Margo and Dash were both very likable and I liked them separately and together. Dash was so sweet! I'm a sucker for heroes who cook for the heroine and that was what he did. I liked that Dash wasn't intimidated by Margo's ball-busting work persona and he respected her for it. While he was an Alpha and had Alpha protective urges, he knew that Margo was really good at her job and he didn't stand in her way. Margo had a harder time fighting her growing attraction to Dash and it turned out he can more than meet her sexual needs. The author only touched a little on a D/s relationship and the love scenes were hot--there was a lot of foreplay on Dash's part as he courted her.

Margo had more issues to work through than Dash. Throughout the novel, it was great seeing her relationships with the people close to her evolve, especially with detectives Logan Riske and Reese Bareden. I wanted to shake her dad, though. No matter how much Margo tried, it seemed nothing she ever did was good enough. Her dad was one of those "do not show any weakness" types and... URGH. I dislike characters like that, but it did explain why Margo was the way she was.

Dash of Peril was an entertaining romantic suspense read. It was well written with great characters and thoroughly enjoyed it. While I cannot speak for the first two books in the series since I haven't read them, I do recommend this book and Getting Rowdy

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Weekly Wrap-up + New Books

Saturday, April 5, 2014 with
Hello fellow bookaholics,
I hope you all had a great week! Just in case you missed them, here are our posts in the last week.

I share my thoughts about Emma Chase's "not your mother's romance novel" romance novels and included an excerpts of a pivotal scene from Twisted.

An upcoming YA release that promises a romance between a witch and a sailor.

In which I ramble about that one book that many readers raved about. Sadly, I was not raving about it.

Now for the books!
The Darkest Minds: Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken (bought)

Via Netgalley
Dangerous Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
Burn Out by Kristi Helvig

Torn Away by Jennifer Brown
Secrets and Lies by Jacqueline Green
While We Run by Karen Healey

Suddenly Last Summer by Sarah Morgan
The Dog Park by Laura Caldwell
Blind Faith by Rebecca Zanetti

What new books did you guys get? I wanna see! Leave your STS* link so I can come gush over them.

Happy reading,
Michelle (& Leslie)

*Stacking the Shelves, or STS, is hosted by Tynga's Reviews

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Hi everyone,
I read The Immortal Rules in October last year and I've been meaning to review it, but I hesitate to call this post a review because it's not.

This isn't so much a review than just a rambling of my thoughts about the novel. If you're unsure whether to pick up The Immortal Rules or not, look elsewhere because I'm not going to be helpful at all.

Here are all the info. Scroll down for all my ramblings. Happy reading! :)

Format: E-book/Audiobook
Publisher: HarlequinTeen
Pages: 485 pages
Release Date: April 24, 2012
Source of my copy: bought
Series: Blood of Eden #1
Synopsis (from Goodreads)
To survive in a ruined world, she must embrace the darkness…
Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a walled-in city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten. Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of them—the vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself dies and becomes one of the monsters.
Forced to flee her city, Allie must pass for human as she joins a ragged group of pilgrims seeking a legend—a place that might have a cure for the disease that killed off most of civilization and created the rabids, the bloodthirsty creatures who threaten human and vampire alike. And soon Allie will have to decide what and who is worth dying for… again.
Enter Julie Kagawa's dark and twisted world as an unforgettable journey begins.

I picked up The Immortal Rules as my "book talk" assignment for one of my library school classes. I did my book talk without reading the entire thing (which we weren't supposed to do to) but I had two weeks to read it and it was really hard for me to get into it. After my book talk I did eventually finish the novel but it took me a month to finish the entire thing.

Maybe it's because I haven't been that into paranormal YA for a while now? And I was never attracted to vampire YA books (it's different with paranormal romance because I cannot get enough of Nalini Singh's books).

I don't know. Sigh.

But it's NOT because The Immortal Rules wasn't good. It's not your typical YA paranormal novel with the standard milquetoast heroine and a love triangle a la Twilight. It's an interesting story overall--very dark and very atmospheric. There was a lot of action and fight scenes, a kick-ass heroine and great world building.

The problem was that I just couldn't get into it.

After I put it down I didn't have the strong desire to pick it back up. I couldn't connect with Allison (which is not good because it is told in Allison's first person POV) or any of the other characters. I thought the plot moved too slow despite the many (often with blood and gore) action scenes.

The Immortal Rules wasn't a bad book. Like I said, I thought the plot was interesting. It actually kept me guessing of where it was going to go. It just wasn't my kind of book--this was me trying to read outside my typical romantic contemporary YA and I dragged myself in reading it.

While I have no desire to pick up book 2, I cannot say I'll never pick it up. I think if I was in the right mood (like, if I was craving a paranormal YA read--which sometimes it happens!), I would've enjoyed The Immortal Rules a lot more.

I have to mention, though, that I purchased The Immortal Rules in both the Kindle e-book and Audible audiobook combination and synced them. The narrator for the audiobook, Therese Plummer, was EXCELLENT. She really took on the persona of Allison, which was great because of the first person POV. She also did a great job with the voices of the different characters and overall brought the story to life. Her narration definitely helped drive me into finishing the novel. 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Book I Covet: Salt and Storm by Kendall Kulper

Wednesday, April 2, 2014 with
I haven't read a historical YA in forever and Salt & Storm sounds terribly romantic and epic.

A sweeping historical romance about a witch who foresees her own murder--and the one boy who can help change her future.

Sixteen-year-old Avery Roe wants only to take her rightful place as the witch of Prince Island, making the charms that keep the island's whalers safe at sea, but her mother has forced her into a magic-free world of proper manners and respectability. When Avery dreams she's to be murdered, she knows time is running out to unlock her magic and save herself.

Avery finds an unexpected ally in a tattooed harpoon boy named Tane--a sailor with magic of his own, who moves Avery in ways she never expected. Becoming a witch might stop her murder and save her island from ruin, but Avery discovers her magic requires a sacrifice she never prepared for.

Salt & Storm will be released on September 23, 2014. Click on the cover to go to the book's Goodreads page.

What book(s) do you "covet" this week?
Leave us 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 on Wednesdays. 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. 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Hello everyone,
I am going to be sharing my thoughts about Emma Chase's Tangled and its sequel Twisted, which is set two years after the end of Tangled

So, I've seen Tangled around for a while but I hesitated picking it up (despite the high ratings and rave reviews) because it was expensive. $7.99 for an e-book? No thank you! But then I got Twisted in the mail last week for (unsolicited) review and I can't read read Twisted without reading Tangled... sigh... I caved. I bought Tangled, read it in a day and then picked up Twisted and read it in a day. 

Here are the super sexy covers.

Guys, these books are so ADDICTING! They're like sour cream flavored potato chips. Once you start you have to finish the bag, or in this case finish the book. You cannot just read one chapter. You have to FINISH THE BOOK!

You can read the full description of Tangled here and the full description of Twisted here. But basically in Tangled Drew Evans tells us how he went from an investment banker who made multi-million deals from his clients and seducing the women of New York to a depressed, miserable slug who refused to leave his apartment. He said he has the flu but really it's Kate that hit him. The one woman who gave him as good as he gave. Twisted is two years after Tangled. If you thought Drew and Kate lived happily ever and it's all rainbows and puppies for them after Tangled. Nope. 

Okay, so my thoughts about Tangled and Twisted.

If my comparison to Tangled and Twisted and sour cream potato chips didn't say it already, here it is: these books are awesome with a capital A-W-E-S-O-M-E. They are so much fun and entertaining and funny and romantic and cute and... just a delight to read.

The thing that stood out to me the most when I first began Tangled was Drew's voice. He told the entire story in first person in a very conversational way. There was a lot of second-person in his telling and at first I was uncomfortable with it because it wasn't something I was used to but then the more I read the more it grew on me. It worked!

Drew is also not your typical romantic hero. He was arrogant, crude, extremely cocky and a downright prick at times but you cannot help but like him anyway. He personifies the "lovable scoundrel." And when Kate came into the picture and didn't back down from anything Drew threw at her, it was great! I loved their conversations and banter. Their chemistry was great and they made some very steamy scenes. They were perfect together.

Tangled flowed, it was snappy and it was just a very easy read.

Coming from the high that was Tangled my expectation for Twisted was up there. Like I mentioned, it was set two years after the ending of Tangled. This time we see things from Kate's perspective.

Drew and Kate were happy but a terrible misunderstanding tore them apart. Kate went back to Greenville, Ohio where she grew up while Drew stayed in New York.

What Drew did was TOTALLY messed up. I was worried that I'll be unable to forgive him for what he did. He needed to do some MAJOR grovelling for me (and Kate) to forgive him. I don't know, you guys. I thought Kate didn't make him work too hard for it... I thought he should've grovelled a bit more. But, but in the end I was okay that Kate took him back because I was pulling for them to be together.

Also, through the mess Kate did gain inner strength she didn't know she had and was able to reflect on her relationship with Drew. And Drew realized just how important Kate was in his life. It made them face and work through issues that both didn't know were there and they became a stronger couple for it.

It was great seeing things from Kate's perspective. I liked visiting Greenville and Kate's old haunts. Twisted gave us a better picture of who Kate was and where she came from. We also see a different side of Billy Warren (outside of Drew's gray colored glasses) and he's actually a sweet guy.

My one other big complaint in Twisted (besides Kate taking Drew back too quickly) was that Kate's voice sounded a lot like Drew's very distinctive voice--it was explained that since they lived together for two years that she picked up on his way of talking but still... I don't know if I fully buy that. Drew's voice was just so distinctive, you know? Her voice could've been a bit more... Kate.

Overall, Tangled and Twisted was freakin' AWESOME. Yes, I had some issues with Twisted but really they're minor and didn't take away from my enjoyment of the novel. Do no let these books pass you by. If you're a romance reader, NA reader or enjoy contemporary romance, Tangled and Twisted are a MUST-read. If you want a break from your typical contemporary romances, then give Tangled and Twisted a try. You won't be sorry. 

And for those of you who loved Tangled and are scared of picking up Twisted. I hear ya. I was all, Drew, how could you?! too. But in the end, I was okay because there was growth there for both Kate and Drew and their relationship.

I am very much looking forward to reading Tamed.

Oh, and here is a pivotal scene from Twisted. Enjoy!