Kissing Frogs by Alisha Sevigny is an incredibly fun and adorable debut novel that is perfect for fans of Stephanie Perkins, Kelly Oram and Morgan Matson! Fresh, flirty and addictive from the beginning, Kissing Frogs is a great contemporary twist on the frog prince that will have you jumping for joy.
Following sixteen year old Jessica Scott, a pretty and popular teenage girl who finds her perfect plans for the summer turned upside down when the discovery that she is failing Biology sees her head to Panama with the science club to help protect some endangered frogs from extinction, Kissing Frogs is light and fun from it’s opening chapter. As a series of unexpected events lead Jess to question just what she wants for her future, this former nerd turned party princess see the inclusion of the boy who used to tease her constantly as a girl change a lot more than her attitude as Jess discovers she’s more than a pretty face….
Honestly, Kissing Frogs was just a really fun, enjoyable book to read. The storyline is fairly basic, and nothing too overly dramatic happens, but author Alisha Sevigny does a great job of keeping her reader entertained with plenty of sweet moments, blossoming friendships and budding romances.
Main character Jess was great to follow with her down to earth, likable nature and willingness to change. Jess had been caught up in being popular after reinventing herself and as her trip to Panama opens her eyes, she begins to see what is really important. I liked Jess and I liked seeing her make new friends and learn a lot.
Travis was sweet as a love interest for Jess, but she had another fighters for her attention in the form Enrique, the sexy Panamanian and briefly Miles, her boyfriend. Personally I thought Travis was the cute one, and it’s understandable that Jess finds her prince where she does. Light and quite addictive, Kissing Frogs will entertain you from beginning to end and is a perfect summer read!
Expertly written and sensationally paced, The Book of Ivy by Amy Engel is a fantastic dystopian novel that proves to be one of my favorite books of the year! This debut novel is impossible to put down and even more impossible to forget as Engel introduces readers to an enticing new world with characters you can’t help but fall in love with!
Set in a futuristic dystopian world that was once torn apart by war and is continuously plagued by disease and social differences, The Book if Ivy introduces readers to a world where young men and women from two different sides of the social divide are paired up and married off at the age of sixteen in an attempt to increase population and maintain the fragile peace that has existed since one side of the war triumphed over the other and took control of the government and law enforcement.
Told though the eyes of Ivy Westfall, Amy Engel tells an addictive tale of romance and personal grown. As the youngest daughter of a man wanting to overthrow the president of their nation, Ivy has a lot expected of her, the least of which being that she is expected to kill Bishop Lattimer, the son of the president and Ivy’s new husband. In a world where woman find themselves married off to perfect strangers and expected to be a "wives" straight away, Bishop surprises Ivy when he doesn’t expect anything of her; instead choosing to treat her with kindness and respect. Always told the Lattimer’s were monsters, Ivy faces tough choice after tough choice when she must choose between acting out her families wishes or being true to the young man who is slowly worming his way into her heart…..
I have to say I really liked Ivy in this novel. She’s a young woman who has been taught and treated a certain way her whole life. Those who love her and those she love have ingrained certain ideas and beliefs into her that it’s not until she marries Bishop and is out on her own that she slowly begins to see a different side of things. Ivy is sweet and innocent, but brave in her thoughts and hopes. She has her own opinions and isn’t afraid to show them. She wants to make the world a better place and even if she’s misguided in the beginning I genuinely enjoyed seeing her eyes opened by knowing Bishop and spending time with him.
Bishop won me over in The Book of Ivy with his quiet, thinking nature and his ability to look at the bigger picture. There is something so incredibly sexy and appealing about a man who is kind and considerate and has honor, something Bishop has in spades. He’s not at all what Ivy expected and I really appreciated how Engel has written their relationship. In all honesty, the slowly developing relationship between Ivy and Bishop is a highlight of the novel; perfectly explored and developed.
Ivy and Bishop are different in many ways but both think and feel very similar at times too. They come from different sides of the social spectrum and are both influenced by their family. Forced to marry without really having a say, it would be no surprise if they hated each other. Instead Bishop’s straightforward and sincere nature win Ivy over as he encourages her to think for herself and treats her with nothing but kindness and respect. Ivy and Bishop have great chemistry that Amy Engel explores perfectly as Ivy slowly finds herself falling for Bishop. He’s a perfect gentleman and it’s understandable that he manages to get past her defenses.
As Ivy learns some hard truths and life lessons throughout the story, Amy Engel will utterly captivate her readers with her intense new world and wonderful characters. Ivy makes a difficult choice at the end of The Book of Ivy that sees her torn from everyone she loves and I cannot wait to see what Engel plans next! ...more
Cambria Hebert's latest release #Nerd is an extremely addictive and fun novel that weaves together a beautiful tale of romance between two characters you can't help but love!
Told through the dual POV's of collage students, Rimmel and Romeo, #Nerd follows two very different individuals who find themselves falling for someone on the other side of the social track as Cambria Hebert writes an adorable story of friendship, romance and unexpected love. When nerd and self proclaimed loner Rimmel is selected to tutor Romeo, a popular and womanizing jock who is failing many of his subjects, the last thing either expects to find is a kindred spirit in the other.
And yet, when a challenge to get into a fraternity sees Romeo set out to win Rimmel over, the two of them find themselves in the middle of an unexpected romance as Rimmel surprises Romeo with her quiet and unpretentious nature--a far cry from the woman he usually spends his time with. Soon, what started out as a way to get into a fraternity becomes so much more as this charming and charismatic young man finds himself falling in love with a nerd.....
#Nerd truly was a fun book to read. Both Rimmel and Romeo are great characters to follow and although they're both so different, Cambria Hebert manages to have them compliment each other so perfectly. The storyline was simple, but so addictive. From the moment we are introduced to Rimmel and Romeo, I found myself absorbed in their romance. Obviously, you know what's going to happen to an extent, but that didn't make it any less exciting seeing these two people stumble through falling for each other.
Rimmel is awkward and clumsy and so very endearing. Reserved and quietly intelligent, she's such a sweet girl and it's impossible not to love her. Romeo on the other hand is cocky and self assured, completely aware of his looks and what he does to people. They see like polar opposites and in a lot of ways they are, but their relationship just works. Romeo manages to bring out another side to Rimmel; helping her become more confidant and comfortable in who she is, and Rimmel accepts Romeo for who he is without wanting anything from him, something he's not quite used to.
Their romance is sweet and endearing with plenty of chemistry. Hebert knows exactly how to explore their relationship at a perfect pace; giving readers exactly what they want without going too fast or holding too much back. I liked that Rimmel and Romeo got to know each other as they fell in love and Cambria Hebert chose to wait to explore their physical relationship until later in the novel.
High in romance and rich delectable chemistry, #Nerd is a great start to a promising new NA series and I'm looking forward to seeing it continue in the next novel. Cambria Hebert has made me fall in love with Rimmel and Romeo; now I'm ready for more!
Cinder & Ella is the sensational latest release from Kelly Oram and is an extremely entertaining and addictive contemporary read that blends tonnes of adorable moments with friendship, humor and romance. Oram introduces readers to a fun and sometimes emotional twist on Cinderella that will have you giggling, smiling and falling in love with the characters and their story a little bit more with the turn of every page!
Wow! Can I just start by saying what an amazing read Cinder and Ella was! Honestly, one of the best books I’ve read lately. Loosely set in Oram’s V is for Virgin world, Cinder & Ella is a deliciously fun twist on the Cinderella fairytale and features Kelly Oram’s trademark wit and humor woven together with a delectable romance and adorable friendship.
Cinder & Ella is told through the dual POV’s of teenager Ellamara "Ella" Rodriguez and her best friend and internet buddy, Cinder. A blogger and book lover, Ella is still managing to re-establish her life after a terrible accident left her horrendously scarred and took the life of her mother. Now living with the father who abandoned her years before, new stepmother and two "evil" stepsisters, Ella is struggling to adjust to life at a new school and new town, where she is bullied and ridiculed. Her only solace is reconnecting with Cinder, a boy she has spoken to online for years but has never actually met, not knowing that Cinder is actually heart-throb and acting sensation, Brian Oliver, the lead actor in her favorite book-turned-movie series.
I always seem to enjoy Kelly Oram’s novels and Cinder & Ella was no exception—in fact it may be my new favourite! As a reader and blogger I found it so easy to connect with and relate to Ella. Obviously I couldn’t understand exactly what she was going through, but it was easy to emphasise with Ella. Smart, witty and passionate about books, Ella was so very likable and I truly found myself rooting for her. Oram explores Ella’s Cinderella like life beautifully, but also manages to give it a fresh and fun twist that sees some of the "villain’s’ become friends. Honestly, it was just so much fun to read and I really didn’t want to put it down.
I adored the relationship Kelly Oram depicts between Ella and Cinder. From the moment Oram writes their first online interaction readers see in the book, it’s obvious they’ve got chemistry, and their quick, sharp banter makes for some really excellent scenes. I feel like Oram did a fantastic job with their relationship and I never once doubted the depth and authenticity of their feelings for one another. Perhaps it may have come across as strange that two people who had never met could love each other under different circumstances, but here are two people with a legitimate friendship that has developed over three years of connecting and communicating online. It had nothing to do with looks or status or fame—just the opposite actually, but Ella and Cinder honestly cared about each other and I was just dying for them to finally meet in person.
Kelly Oram creates a great dynamic with not only Ella and Cinder, who are just too cute for words, but the other characters as well. As a fairytale retelling, you kind of expect the dynamics of Cinderella to be present, but I also appreciated seeing Ella bond with the family she is forced to live with as well as the friends she slowly makes in the book. Brian Oliver is a thrilling and cheeky leading man who truly adores Ella, and is willing to put her above his career as long as she’ll be with him. He loves her, and knows her and at the end of the day I found it beautiful that he loves her regardless of her scars.
Entrancing from beginning to end, Cinder & Ella was just a plain awesome read. Rich in friendship that develops into romance and non-stop wit, banter and sass, this novel is one you won’t want to miss and is perfect for fairytale fans and contemporary lovers alike!
Inevitable Detour is a fast paced and dangerous story that features dark themes and plenty of romance in S.R. Grey’s debut novel!
Inevitable Detour is told through the eyes of Essalin Brant a twenty-two year old college student whose boring and predictable life takes a drastic turn when her best friend Haven is kidnapped and the only person who believes Haven didn’t willingly leave on her own is Havens older brother and ex-military man Farren Shaw. When Farren decides to track down his sister using his connections, Essa invites herself along on the cross country journey and soon finds herself beginning to fall for Farren, the mysterious man she’s crushed on through photographs of Haven’s for years, but who she has only just met.
What starts out as a journey to rescue her best friend, soon drags Essa into the dangerous world of human trafficking and sex slavery as it becomes evidently clear that Farren’s secret life and work are possibly the reason behind his sister’s abduction, and getting to know Farren may put Essa in more danger than she can handle......
I’m going to be honest here; I’m at two minds when it comes to Inevitable Detour. To begin with the premise blew me away and I was very excited to read the story but I don’t think the novel quite lived up to expectations. And I also had a couple of issue’s with the storyline and characters that kept me from ever really becoming blown away by the story.
Essa is for the most part a likable main character and Farren is sexy and appealing as a military man who is trying to rescue his sister, but I think the author tried too hard to have Essa and Farren’s relationship start straight away. Rather than have these two connect and have a great chemistry that develops into something more, Essa is basically obsessed with Farren before she even meets him; completely blown away by his smouldering good looks and sexiness. I just felt like the story would have been better if their initial relationship developed more naturally.
And yet, Essa and Farren have a really good chemistry. There were some great tender moments shared between them during their journey that are obvious pinnacle points where Farren’s feelings for Essa are beginning to deepen and become something real. I liked these moments and interactions; they were some of my favourites during the story.
My other big issue was Haven and her response to what she had been though. Now I don’t want to give away too many spoilers, but this young woman had been kidnapped, raped and shared by different men. She’d been abused and assaulted and I just feel like she reacted too easily about the whole situation. Even if someone goes along with an assault and multiple instances of forced sex to avoid being hurt too much, surely they’re going to be traumatised and effected—Haven wasn’t as much as I would have expected and seemed ready to move on and be happy too soon. This just didn’t seem realistic in my eyes.
Problems aside, Inevitable Detour weaves together a harrowing kidnapping with a cross country journey that sees two people fall in love. Despite its quirks, the novel was fast paced and exciting at times—I may possibly pick up the sequel after that killer cliff-hanger ending!
In the tradition of an Abbi Glines novel, Emma James debut tale A Little Faith is an emotional and driven story of friendship, loss and the potential moving on can bring. Featuring five luscious male specimens and a likable heroine, A Little Faith is a great start to a promising new NA series!
I have to be honest here, A Little Faith is a hard book to review for me, predominately because I know the author personally through blogging and the world of books. I went into this novel hopeful, but also wanted to keep an open and unbiased mind. So in saying that, I was really liked A Little Faith and I was impressed with the amount of emotion author Emma James managed to convey in her debut. The opening chapter tugged on my heart strings and made me feel, as we witness the loss of an individual who was young and living their life in a horrendous event. As the novel progresses you come to understand the impact such a loss and the event that caused it had on the lives of a group of young people.
A Little Faith is told through varying POV’s, including that of main character Faith and see’s Faith head to Ocean Beach, a beach side suburb to visit the best friends of her brother Chance. Now I don’t want to give away spoilers, but Faith is still reeling from a devastating loss years prior and hopes this visit will give her what she needs to be able to move on and come to terms with her grief.
While the book does centre predominately around Faith, A Little Faith also introduces us to Harley, Text, Retro, Keanu and Levi, the best friends of Faith’s brother Chance, men whose lives were tremendously impacted when tragedy struck. Personally I really liked all the guys and found them to have their own unique personalities and traits. A Little Faith focusing solely around the lives of these characters and seeing them live is actually quite interesting—they’ve made a lot of themselves and I enjoyed seeing how James works the dynamics of their relationships together.
There’s a lot of possibility for future books, with each main character deserving of their own tale as well as some of the minor characters like Retro’s sister Phoenix and bartender Slade. I’m really interested to see each character fall in love with Retro the first with his Birdie and the others soon to follow if the first book is any indication of what James has planned.
A Little Faith is a fun and flirty start to a new NA series as well as a great debut. While the characters are already very well rounded, they have even more potential for future storylines and as author Emma James leaves this novel with readers beginning to find themselves invested in the lives of her characters, I for one look forward to seeing what happens next! ...more
Anna Soliveres’s debut novel, Violet Storm is a rich and descriptive forward moving dystopian novel that is deeply entertaining and blends together elements of sci-fi with danger, intrigue and betrayal.
Told through the eyes of Aeva Storm, a tough as nails athlete, Violet Storm is a futuristic dystopian that sees Aeva’s world turned upside down when her village is destroyed and she is kidnapped and modified into something more than human. Now struggling with her newfound abilities and the loss of time between when she was playing a Fila game to when she woke up drastically altered with her family presumed dead, Aeva finds herself at the centre of diabolical plan to overthrow her kingdom’s Monarch. Forced to play the role of someone she is not in order to get close to those in power, Aeva slowly discovers that she is the perfect weapon to bring about a new era where everyone are transformed into Modi’s (modified human beings) and only by making hard decisions will Aeva been able to save her people.
I’ll be honest here; I went into this novel not sure what to expect. The premise sounded promising, but at the same time didn’t give too much away. I had hopes I would enjoy it, but didn’t expect too much. I was ecstatic to discover from the opening chapter of the novel that the story was completely captivating.
Violet Storm was a rich dystopian read that follows a strong heroine and has an exciting storyline. I was entertained by its fast moving storyline and really enjoyed the character dynamic seen throughout the story. There were plenty of surprises and developments that altered the storyline from time to time and kept things moving in unpredictable directions.
As the main character, I very much liked Aeva. She’s clever and daring and has a lot of fight in her. That being said, Aeva really finds herself caught between a rock and a hard place in this novel; an unwilling pawn in a horrible plan to over throw her nations monarch. With those she loves threatened, Aeva doesn’t have a lot of choice, except to go along with a plan to assassinate her king. An athlete through and through, Aeva has a lot of fire in her and her modified body combines perfectly with her brave heart to see her fight to make the right choices, so matter how badly she wishes she didn’t have to.
Author Anna Soliveres introduces Aeva to two very different possible love interests over the course of the book although there isn’t any real romance within the story at this point in time. Personally I think there’s possibility with both guys and like them both, although I think the one Aeva meets first may just have a nose on the other guy in my mind.
Lush and exciting, Violet Storm races towards a thrilling ending that sees out heroine make a startling choice and surprises be revealed. Featuring a great ending that opens up a world of possibilities for Soliveres to develop the story further, I’m super excited to read the next book as soon as it’s released!
The Accidental Kiss by Nicole Simone is a well written story that weaves unique voodoo mythology together with romance and danger.
Following teenager Sky Noel, The Accidental Kiss sees Sky move to the small town of Caster in Louisiana and slowly begin to learn the surprising truth about her heritage when a chance encounter with an alluring boy at her new school named Daemon shakes her hold on reality. As Sky learns the truth behind her DNA, a powerful voodoo priest will stop at nothing to sacrifice Sky for his own nefarious purposes and Daemon takes it upon himself to protect Sky, even though he’s more connected to the voodoo priest and Sky’s past than he’s willing to admit.
I have to be honest; I’m at a real mixed mind when it comes to this book. To begin with the concept was very promising and I loved the idea of the unique voodoo mythology hinted at within the story, but I don’t feel like there was enough of it to satisfy me. The premise held such possibility but personally I would have enjoyed exploring the heart of voodoo a tad more.
I did find that Simone had an excellent writing technique however. Her writing was flowing and detailed, with plenty of entertaining dialogue shared between her characters. The story was fast paced and forward moving, but my biggest issue was that I felt the relationship between Sky and Daemon was too much too soon. It seemed rushed, and rather than allowing something to unfold over time and develop between them, they seemed to feel so deeply out of the blue.
Unfortunately I just didn’t believe it, nor did I feel it, although I really wanted to. There was no build up to their "epic love" and I couldn’t believe that two people could love each other the way Sky and Daemon supposedly did after only a few days of knowing one another. After all, the entire book took place in around a week and at that point in time the two of them are so deeply "in love" that I felt it was being shoved down my throat.
I liked Sky and thought she had a lot of attitude. She was someone I could have really adored as a protagonist if not for the obsession she had over Daemon, something that became a bit grating after a while. Still, she was decent enough to follow and had a lot of interesting dialogue within the story.
Overall, The Accidental Kiss was a bit of a mixed bucket for me. It was readable, however with a lot of promise that fell short. Whether I’ll continue on with the series remains to be seen, however if you enjoy paranormal romance you may just enjoy this! ...more
Crystal Magic by Madeline Freeman is a bewitching and magical story that will easily entertain and leave the reader ready for more with its fun storyline, romance and friendship!
I have to say, Crystal Magic was a really fun book to read. It was light and entertaining and easily kept me reading along; it was just an all-round good book to read. Madeline Freeman’s writing was flowing and detailed and easy to read. The story was well plotted and weaves friendship perfectly with the magical element that encompasses the story.
Following sixteen year old Kristyl Barnette a young woman who has spent the last few years of her life as an outcast and social pariah thanks to the things she can do and the strange occurrences that seem to happen in her presence, Crystal Magic sees Kristyl move to the small town of Clearwater when a tragedy forces to move in with her estranged aunt. Still reeling from her loss, Kristyl finds unexpected friendship and understanding at her new home and as Kristyl learns the truth about what she can do, the possibilities seem bigger than ever before.
I really enjoyed following Kristyl, also known as Krissa in this book. She was a likable heroine and Freeman tells her story well. Freeman weaves many different magical elements into Crystal Magic and I found it to be well thought out and plotted. Centering on Kristyl and this new stage of her life, Crystal Magic expectedly features the traditional teen drama and focuses a lot on Kristyl’s day to day life. Yet I didn’t find this in any way boring, and instead enjoyed the languid, but still entertaining, pace Freeman has set.
Kristyl finds herself faced with two very different groups of people in this novel and I thought their differences we notable, but also very minor. Owen, Lexie, Bria, Felix and West are the first to accept Krissa and welcome her into their circle of friends. Own proves to be an adorable romantic interest of Krissa and I like seeing her experience her first crush. Crystal, Brigit, Fox, Griffin and the others on the other hand appeal to Krissa’s magical side and can understand her in a way others can’t and yet there’s something about them that doesn’t sit well with me—I feel Freeman has a lot in story for Krissa and her acquaintances.
My only issue with this book is that despite it’s many surprises towards the end and the shocking ending, Crystal Magic didn’t answer some of the questions I had in the beginning of the book. Freeman sets things up well for the next installment, but still leaves me not completely satisfied, and yet ready for more!
Tortured Souls is the first novel in Kimber Leigh Wheaton’s The Orion Circle series and kicks off this ghostly new series where spirits mingle with demons and ghostly hauntings.
Following Kacie Ramsey, a seventeen year old girl who possesses the bewitching ability to see ghosts, Tortured Souls sees Kacie begin to accept and gain control over her abilities when she is saved by her crush Logan from a spirit at a party. When Logan helps initiate her into the Orion Circle, a group for people with supernatural abilities and ghost hunters alike, Kacie slowly begins to take control of her life. And yet when she embarks on her first investigation for the Orion Circle, Kacie discovers a demon hell-bent on using her physic abilities for his own gain and only if she manages to beat him will Kacie ever be safe.
Having previously loved and absolutely adored Kimber Leigh Wheaton’s debut novel Shadow Fire, I had such high hopes for Tortured Souls. And while it didn’t quite live up to my expectations, I still found it to be an entertaining read. Personally, I found that Tortured Souls read younger than Wheaton’s previous book. While the story was enjoyable, I didn’t quite find the depth I was looking for and though I adored the detailed manner of the story, I felt the characters seemed a bit dense at times and the story moved in a predictable manner.
For the most part I liked Kacie as the main character, but I felt that she acted a little too emotional and immature at times. I wanted to follow a strong character, and while Wheaton allowed for a lot of growth within Kacie, her actions and reactions seemed a bit much at times.
Wheaton introduces us to quite a few characters within Tortured Souls, including numerous Orion Circle members. I liked that they were all different and had their own qualities to bring to the Circle. Rebecca, Raven, Carl and Daniel were awesome, as well as Logan who is Kacie’s love interest.
Although I wasn’t blown away, Tortured Souls is worth a read. If you enjoy ghostly tales with tones of supernatural themes then you’re bound to enjoy this! ...more
Luck of the Dragon in the first novel in Susannah Scott’s debut series that follows a bunch of dragon-shifters who own and operate the luxurious Crown Jewel Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas and sees king of the dragons Alec meet the human who is set to steal his heart and become his destined mate.
I’ll be the first to admit that I haven’t exactly gone the traditional route where this series is concerned; considering I read the second book, Stop Dragon My Heart Around prior to reading this first installment. In my defense, I didn’t know Stop Dragon My Heart Around was a sequel before I read it. I quickly realized I had missed a book though and set out to read Luck of the Dragon as soon as possible. I’ve finally had the chance to read Luck of the Dragon, and I have to say I’m thrilled to admit both books are as good as each other!
As a fan of PNR I’ve read lots of shifter tales, although this is one of the few dragon-shifter series I’ve read. I am however quite impressed with the world and characters Scott has written. They’re fresh and unique and endlessly likable. I’m already very invested in the lives of some of the minor characters and eager to hear their tales.
As far as characters go I really liked Lucy and Alec. Lucy is feisty and brave; willing to put herself in difficult situations to help out the brother she loves, but who continues to get himself in strife. Alec was bold, fierce and so, so sexy. As a leader he oozes confidence and goes after what he wants, which in this instance is Lucy.
I thought as individuals they were strong characters and I really enjoyed the romance Scott wrote where they were concerned. They had lovely chemistry and a great connection. I liked that they kept each other on their toes and that despite the struggles they faced and the mistakes made by one of them (not naming names here!) they managed to find their own happily ever after.
Having already read the second book featuring Leo and Tee, I’m already really excited to dive into the third book. Thanks to a little birdie (Susannah Scott!), I know what the third book will most likely feature Mei and Darius and I’m so ecstatic to read their tale! ...more
Threats of Sky and Sea by Jennifer Ellison is a vividly written fantasy novel that weaves different elements of magic together with danger and forbidden romance in a well told story that will leave you eager for more!
I’ll be honest; it did take me a little while to find myself truly absorbed by Threats of Sky and Sea. That’s not to say there was anything wrong with the story or that it started out slow, because it didn’t; it just took a little while for me to become comfortable with the setting and the main character. Once I reached about a quarter way through, I did find myself beginning to become very invested in our heroines story and her plight; reading along eagerly.
Perfect for fans of Maria V. Snyder and Sarah J. Maas, Threats of Sky and Sea was a richly written and depicted book. Author Jennifer Ellison pays great attention to detail and doesn’t disappoint in describing and vividly depicting her world. Ellison’s writing is very beautiful and she does a good job with her world building. I think the reason I was a bit put off in the building is that Ellison does jump straight into the story and at first I was unsure of the individuals she features who wield and have control over different elements.
Threats of Sky and Sea follows sixteen year old Breena Rose, a young village girl who lives in a land ruled by a harsh and controlling king. Bree thinks herself a humble barmaid, living and running a bar with her father, but when three of the kings soldiers come looking for her father, Bree realises that everything she knew about herself isn’t exactly truth. Taken prisoner by the king, Breena soon begins to learn the truth as she becomes involved in politics and the kings sinister plans for their neighbouring country.
I must say I liked that our protagonist and heroine, Breena Rose was different. Bree was feisty and free-thinking and an outside the square character compared to all the others that accepted the king’s rule and didn’t fight out against all the horrid things he chose to do.
I thought Jennifer Ellison did a great job with her supporting characters also. I enjoyed their different dynamics and the different elements they brought to the storyline. Aleta and Caden were standouts as well as Tregle and our reigning villans, the King and Lady Katherine.
Threats of Sky and Sea has plenty of revelations to keep you entertained as the story steadily progresses, including a shocking ending that will change the very course of our heroines life. With Threats of Sky and Sea a rich fantasy tale and the first book in what looks to be an exciting series, I’m ready to head into the next instalment. ...more
Rules of Survival is a fun and flirty story by Jus Accardo that features an exciting story woven together with danger and mystery and topped off with characters who have a delectable chemistry!
This is my second novel by Jus Accardo (I’ve previously read Touch) and I have to say I enjoyed it immensely. The concept is catchy and I really liked the characters and the chemistry they displayed. Their dynamic is my favourite kind to read about and I thought Accardo did a good job with the story; mixing mystery with excitement and danger. The situations our main characters kept finding themselves in were really entertaining to read unfold.
Rules of Survival follows Mikayla “Kayla” Morgan, an eighteen year old girl who is on the run and wanted for murder but whose life takes an interesting turn when she is caught by an arrogant and cocky, albeit attractive, bounty hunter named Shaun Denver and in order to keep her from escaping, handcuffs them together. As those really responsible for the murder attempt to silence Kayla once and for all from ever attempting to clear her name, Shaun and Kayla must form an uneasy truce as the gunmen hot on their tail close in when Shaun does the one thing Kayla might actually kill him for…..loses the key.
I will say I really liked Kayla in this book. The entire story is told from her point of view and I found her to be nice to follow. Kayla is quite street wise and the years spent living, and running, from the law with her mother have taught Kayla how to evade and escape, giving Kayla some serious survival skills. This is a girl who knows how to survive and how to plan ahead, using situations to her advantage. And yet it’s been a hard life, and now without her mother Kayla is lonely and ready to go on the straight and narrow; something that makes you feel for Kayla when you think of how hard her life would have been.
She may be capable, but Kayla certainly meets her match in Shaun. The cocky and arrogantly sexy bad-boy turned bounty hunter is a lot more than he appears and despite their differences the two bond as they attempt to solve the difficult circumstance they find themselves in. As Kayla and Shaun get to know each other, their truce of circumstance soon blossoms into something more; with grudging respect and tolerance soon paving the way for understanding and friendship and soon it becomes harder and harder for them to deny their mounting feelings for one another.
Jus Accardo does a great job keeping the tension between Kayla and Shaun intensely high throughout the entire novel! The attraction is there from the beginning, but as the story slowly unravels, things between Kayla and Shaun only get hotter; with the chemistry and dynamic making for some excellent dialogue and tension filled moments between them. This novel has some NA aspects, where Kayla and Shaun’s physical relationship is concerned, but Accardo, again, does a good job here.
Rules of Survival is fast-paced and mysterious, and just a really good read. You’ll find it hard not to become invested in seeing Kayla and Shaun learn the truth, and find it impossible not to be thrilled with how Jus Accardo writes this entire novel. Definitely worth a read! ...more
Shadow Fire is author Kimber Leigh Wheaton’s superbly addictive debut novel and is an incredibly romantic tale that blends elements of fantasy and magic together with wit, humor and danger.
Let me just begin by saying just how much I enjoyed this book. From the very opening chapter it really was a joy to read with its fun, light storyline that held all the aspects of danger and discovery I could ask for! High on the romance and featuring characters with a fantastic dynamic, Shadow Fire was very well written and told. Kimber Leigh Wheaton has created such an alluring world within it’s pages weaving together different elements of magic with mages, sorcerers and various creatures, some we’ve seen before and others created specifically for this series.
Shadow Fire is told through the eyes of Ashlyn, a simple but brave village girl who is chosen by her village to undertake a quest to find a sculpture of high importance that was stolen years ago and is thought to be hidden in dangerous ruins across the lands. As one of many maidens who have undertaken the quest to retrieve the sculpture over the years, none of whom have been successful nor have returned, Ashlyn faces the daunting task of braving horrendous monsters and dangerous lands if she hopes have even the slightest chance at succeeding.
Thankfully for Ashlyn, she has the mysterious and enigmatic mercenary Zane to accompany her on her quest, someone who sets Ashlyn’s blood on fire and appeals to her like no other. With her loyal wolf Shadow by her side, Ashlyn and Zane journey afar to find the sculpture, stumbling across numerous dangers as they do and various individuals and creatures who help, rather than hinder their expedition.
Honestly, I loved Ashlyn! I thought she was a great character to follow and loved how Wheaton wrote her. The growth she undertook during this novel while managing to retain her base personality was excellent. I thought Ashlyn was very natural and kind, but also brave when she needed to be. She connected well with those around her and made for a great heroine.
Ashlyn’s love interest in Shadow Fire comes in the form of Zane and boy do I love Zane. He’s such an alluring character and very, very sexy. He’s fierce and capable and willing to be naughty at times too. The romance between Ashlyn and Zane is a constant from the beginning and so much of this is due to Zane’s utter dedication to Ashlyn and his promise to protect her. Zane would do anything for Ashlyn, and although their romance develops quickly, it’s believable and very, very enjoyable. Wheaton keeps things progressing well, and Ashlyn and Zane’s relationship is always front and center amongst the already addictive storyline; making it impossible not to love these two!
Shadow Fire has a stunning main couple, but I was also swept away by pirate rouge Taranis and would have personally loved a story featuring him, although I was happy that Wheaton decided to give him his own happiness at the end of the book.
As an addictive story with plenty of unexpected character development, Shadow Fire will catch from its opening chapter and leave you wanting more. Wheaton weaves a beguiling story that has me ready to devour it’s companion novel upon its release. Definitely worth a read! ...more
Black Abaddon is the second book in the Vulcan Legacies series by Sasha Hibbs and is in my opinion even better than the first! Rife in danger and darkness, Black Abaddon is an addictive and heart pounding story with more shocking twists than you’ll know what to do with!
I have to say, Black Abaddon blew me away and I thoroughly enjoyed this book; more so than even the first instalment! Black Amaranth was a lot about learning about the world and meeting the characters. Hibbs focused a lot about introducing her beings and the histories of the characters, whereas in Black Abaddon, we’re forced to witness the evolution of some of the characters as the storyline steadily progressed.
At this point in time I really feel like I know the characters and Hibbs only enhances this as she writes some big developments into her storyline involving our main character Ally and those around her. Personally I really like all the characters in this book, admittedly some more than others, but regardless I think each brings something very different but intense to the character dynamic within the story.
The differences between all the characters, from their species to their personalities, to their relationships, are something I find very interesting in this series. Everyone from our main character Ally to Jessica, Dave, Eli, Lucy, Brandi, Uncle Argyle, Parthenia, Elizabeth, the gypsies, the Nashoba and especially Marik in Black Abaddon all managed to have an effect on me; I’m invested in all their relationships and lives. Even those we’re just meeting, like Mariah and the Nosforatu Nation intrigue me and those who aren’t what we first thought like Marik have me needing to know more.
At the end of Black Amaranth, Ally suffered a tremendous loss and is still reeling from this in Black Abaddon. She’s in pain and we see a great deal of agony from Ally in this book. Heartbroken and struggling to go on, Ally really struggles with her self belief in this book. Hibbs still continues to keep us on our toes, as Ally’s destiny is still unknown and revelation after revelation changing what we know about her and what she’s meant to do.
Relationships between some characters change, including the one between Ally and Marik. He may have been the big evil in the previous book, but Sasha Hibbs pulls a rabbit out of her hat with him and manages to explore him with some shocking revelations that will change the way Ally, and we see him in Black Abaddon. Honestly, this guy just breaks my heart! I’m so head over heels for him and completely absorbed in his own story. Marik is a very layered character. He’s made mistakes, but everything he ever did was for his family and those he loves; he was used by a great evil, and is now unable to move on.
I’m going to be honest here…I never felt Ally and Michael’s relationship in the first book. I wanted to, but I didn’t. I feel for Marik though and the way he feels for Ally. He truly cares about her and it saddens me that she doesn’t quite feel the same. She loves him, but not as deeply as he cares for her. I do wonder what Hibbs has in store for their relationship. I’m not really a fan of any love triangles, especially when a heroine seems set on one person, but I do actually love Marik. I think he deserves some happiness!
Black Abaddon races towards a jaw-dropping conclusion that is in no way expected. Honestly, I’m shell shocked by how the novel has concluded. Hibbs throws in some unexpected developments, but none more so than the final chapter! Believe me—Black Abaddon will have you begging for more!
Son of Set is the second instalment in Kelsey Ketch’s rich Descendants of Isis series and picks up almost instantly where the first book left off, again drawing the reader into a story where romance and attraction blend together with Ancient Egyptian gods and their ways to create a tantalizing and fast paced story you’re sure to love!
The Descendants of Isis series has been really fun to read so far. Personally, I really loved the first book and found I enjoyed Son of Set as equally as much. As a lover of all things Ancient Egyptian, Ketch appeals to this side of me that adores exploring their ancient myths and ideology; managing to take something so lush and weave it together in a modern setting with likable characters.
Son of Set is told in the third person, with the both Natti and Seth our focal points. Seeing the story unfold through both their eyes is an enlightening experience at times. We see both their individual struggles and fears, and I found it really interesting to see the others perception of certain events. Ketch does a good job writing conflicting characters that are deeply layered; especially where Seth is concerned and I loved struggling with my own perception of Seth and his actions.
Natti is a very likable character and she’s always been a strong one to follow. I truly like her as she is, but it was interesting seeing a different side of her in Son of Set. The abuse she suffered in her short time at the hands of Seth’s father Sean has had quite an impact on her physique and she is a very fragile young woman at the beginning of the book. Obviously this changes over the course of the story, but Natti struggles with whether or not she can truly trust Seth. Her questioning over his intensions and his ability to control her emotionally are something that are quite a focal issue for her. And really it’s quite understandable; Natti has strong feelings for Seth, physically and emotionally, but how much is actually her as opposed to what he makes, and sometimes forces her to feel?
The conundrum that is Seth O’Keefe continues to intrigue me in this book. Seth is one of those characters where it would be so easy to dislike him based on some of the things he does to get his way; either by force or coercion, but at the same time, the internal struggle he puts himself through make it really hard to do so. Seth has grown up his whole life holding himself in higher regards than the mere mortals around him. Those of influence in his life, especially his father, are cruel and manipulative; uncaring about others and constantly taking their free will away from them in the name of their god Set. And Seth’s always been told this is alright. Is it any wonder he continues to struggle as he does, at times giving in to his darker nature?
It’s not until Seth began to care about Natti as more than a mere sexual conquest in the first book that he began to question the world around him and go against what he’s been taught his whole life. Seth’s still making mistakes and still seems to fall into his old patterns at times, but I honestly feel like he’s trying. And it’s this attempt to better himself that tends to win my good graces—I just really like that Seth is so complex. It makes reading about him more powerful and exciting. I feel like I struggle along with Seth and sometimes want to scream at him when he makes a wrong choice, but as Seth’s decisions are becoming more and more for Natti’s benefit, I’m loving Seth more.
It goes without saying that Natra and Seth have a romantic relationship throughout the series, but this is something they struggle with a lot. Natti’s internal battle over whether or not she can trust Seth makes it difficult for her to accept Seth’s constant advances. Seth knows what he wants---Natti—and doesn’t shy away from trying to win her affections. Granted sometimes he doesn’t go about things the right way, but Seth truly cares deeply for Natti and may already be in love with her. Natti on the other can cares for Seth, but spends a lot of her time afraid what she feels isn’t real.
Personally, I love the tension and attraction these two exhibit together and I honestly feel when you strip everything all back and take away all the unnecessary issues they face they’re a great couple. Ketch likes to keep us on our toes with this will-they-or-won’t-they thing they have going on, but I can’t wait to see this resolved indefinitely.
The sexual aspect and tone of Son of Set is a much darker aspect to the story than anything else and I’m not sure if I like it. I understand it’s inclusion by Ketch and think it is clever to have her characters feature such a sexual nature but at the same time the dark attitude of some of the characters doesn’t sit well with me. Many of the male characters, mostly the Sons of Set have so little regard for women; they’re cruel and merciless; turning women senseless and using them for their own sexual gratification. This is rape in so many ways and I can’t get over the unease I feel when reading about it.
Sexual issues aside, Son of Set is a fantastic read. The characters are likable and the storylines endlessly intriguing. Kelsey Ketch’s ending of Son of Set was just plain cruel though. I mean, really?!?! How can it end like that?!? Seriously! I’m not going to give any spoilers away, but to race through a heart stopping and tension filled story just to have it end in the manner in which it did is so very cheeky. I’m very much looking forward to the next instalment and if you’re a fan of Ancient Egyptian tales or want something different then I highly recommend this series! ...more
Forgiven is a lovely short, but well written, introduction to Rachel Morgan’s new Trouble series and a perfect taste that will leave you ready to read more of this new adult contemporary series!
Having already read Rachel Morgan’s Creepy Hollow series it’s suffice to say that I’m a fan, but I was still impressed by this quick read that was so very different from what I’ve read by her before. Introducing us to her new series, as a novella Forgiven is short but sweet, yet Morgan manages to pack a lot of emotion and longing into its short 80 pages.
Told through the eyes of Julia and following her return to her home town of Durban in South Africa, Forgiven is a story of love and life, as Julia returns to the town she fled from almost a year ago with no notice, no reason. Julia had it all; she was popular, she had a wonderful boyfriend and a family that loved her dearly, and yet she ran away from it for reasons unknown. Even though the story is told through Julia’s eyes, we as the reader don’t know what past event triggered Julia’s flight response, and it’s not until towards the end of the story do you learn the startling event that made her run.
Personally I liked Julia. She was nice to follow and the kind of person whom you can’t help but like. I liked Julia’s sisters Sarah and Sophie and am excited knowing they’ll be featuring in two of the Trouble books as the main characters. We only get to meet them momentarily in Forgiven, but thanks to this short novella I’m already looking forward to reading their tales.
A short but sweet story, Forgiven is a tale you will breeze through! Rachel Morgan starts her series off excellently with this clean, but tempting introduction and has me ready and waiting for the rest of the series! Definitely worth a read! ...more
The Trouble with Flying is the first book in Rachel Morgan’s new Trouble series and is a delightfully fun and entertaining contemporary read that introduces a promising new series and leaves me easily ready to read more.
In the interest of full disclosure I have to admit that not only have I had the pleasure of reading all of Rachel Morgan’s stories to date but I’m actually a real fan of the gal and love devouring her novels. Personally I found The Trouble with Flying to be wonderfully written; simple but flowing and I was very impressed by our main character and her relationship with the characters around her.
Having read both books, I can draw similarities between The Trouble with Flying and The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith with the concept being practically the same. I can honestly say that I think Morgan wrote the story better. Morgan managed to nail the whimsical feelings and giddiness that comes with meeting a stranger and feeling an instant connection; of having someone you barely know just get you perfectly.
The Trouble with Flying follows nineteen year old introvert Sarah, a shy and reserved young woman who finds herself seated next to an appealing young man by the name of Aiden on a return flight from Britain and who despite her fears of strangers quickly finds herself connecting with the young Brit who seems to get her like no other.
I really enjoyed The Trouble with Flying. It was a nice clean romance and Morgan managed to weave plenty of romance and humor into its pages. Sarah was a realistic character to follow and I found her genuinely easy to relate to. She was very down to earth and I loved her vivid imagination. As someone passionate about books and reading, I appreciated seeing Sarah’s dreams and passions come into play.
Rachel Morgan wrote a really cute romance between Sarah and Aiden. Aiden was very down to earth and charming and I can easily imagine why Sarah found herself drawn to him. Morgan manages to add plenty of natural conflict to their situation and I liked how she explored their relationship while allowing Sarah to remain faithful to her boyfriend for the most part.
A fun and flirty novel, The Trouble with Flying is the perfect story if you’re looking to an enjoyable, wholesome read to get through an afternoon with. A great kick-off to a new series, Rachel Morgan has me ready to explore the minor characters that will be featured in the rest of the series. ...more
A well depicted steampunk novel set in the Wild West during the California gold rush, Steam and Sensibility by Kirsten Weiss is a detailed and authentic feeling steampunk tale that blends murder and mystery with excitement and just the perfect hint of romance!
Steam and Sensibility is described as steampunk with paranormal suspense, and although the paranormal aspect wasn’t overly there and prominent like I expected, I still enjoyed this story. Personally I wouldn’t head into the novel expecting a focal paranormal aspect; because it’s rather a small, minimal undertone to the rest of the story. And yet I feel this small hint instead complimented the book and allowed other aspects to shine.
Following nineteen year old Englishwoman Sensibility Grey, who moves to San Francisco after the death of her father to live with her estranged uncle, I will be the first to admit that it took a while for me to truly become absorbed in Steam and Sensibility. There wasn’t anything wrong with the story; it just took a while until my attention caught. That being said, I breezed through this well depicted story and by halfway, I was thoroughly caught up in the mysterious goings on our heroine found herself in involved in.
I found the setting for Steam and Sensibility to be a perfect blend of Wild West and British high class. Cowboys mixed with English noblemen and women in a setting right out of the old west that featured lovely hints of steampunk amongst the story. The plotline within Steam and Sensibility was very mysterious and exciting once we got into the very heart of things.
As we’re introduced to a bunch of different characters, all with their own plans and agendas, I found that following Sensibility was quite a nice experience. Obviously she is a typical young English woman; cultured and a bit sheltered but Sensibility is also extremely intelligent and this is something that sets her apart from others. With an inventor for a father, a love of tinkering with things is something she appears to have inherited and as the novel progresses this becomes more evident with the way she approaches things. Personally, I really like this about Sensibility and thought she was a nice heroine; the perfect blend of fragility and innocence with bravery and unexpected strength. Sensibility grows quite a lot throughout the novel, although she still has a long way to go.
Throughout Steam and Sensibility we are introduced to a range of unique and different characters, including the rash and biting Miss Jane Algrave; a government officer who doesn’t play by anyone’s rule and the enigmatic and proud Mr. Night; a young lawyer who after a disastrous initial meeting, manages to set Sensibility’s heart a flutter, although not without a few difficult moments. As Sensibility learns who she can trust and who is out to deceive her, I really liked determining who was lying and out for themselves as apposed to noble and good.
Steam and Sensibility introduces us to an intriguing steampunk world that I honestly believe author Kirsten Weiss has big plans for. The introduction we have is sufficient for this story but I foresee a lot of world building and development in future stories.
Rich and proper, but with a western twist, Steam and Sensibility is an entertaining read that has me ready to read the next instalment! ...more