Just a Kiss by Ally Broadfield is a spectacular historical romance novella that is perfectly written and features two beguiling characters whose chemistry sky-rockets off the pages. This story was breathtaking!
Can I just say how much I loved this novella? Seriously. I don't think I've ever rated a novella five stars before, but I'd be kidding myself if I didn't give Just a Kiss that perfect rating--it thoroughly deserves it! The amount of wit, humor and sass Ally Broadfield manages to pack into this 80 pages of romance is incredible.
Though I'd be honest and admit I wished this story was longer--simply because I was in love the the characters and their story and wasn't ready for it to end--I feel like Broadfield did a tremendous job making this story feel real, authentic and yet not rushed. The setting of this story is lush, vivid and perfectly depicts life of those in high society during 19th Century London. Glorious balls and debutantes mingle and help whisk you into a addictive story.
Told in dual POV, Just a Kiss follows Sebastian Wilkinson, the Earl of Marley and a charismatic young man born into high society and Charlotte Lightwood, a simple but stubborn and striking young woman whose lives are about to intertwine. With his grandmothers health deteriorating, Sebastian needs to find a bride and he's hoping to find one this season. Ideally she'll be someone of sophistication and high class who will compliment his status. Charlotte, who has one season to find a husband or who must otherwise marry her sister-in-law's horrid brother in law unexpectedly catches Sebastian's eye and with her small stature but sharp tongue and opinions, he knows that though she appeals to him, he can't have her. And yet he can't get her off his mind, so proposes a bargain to her....he'll help find someone to court her if she helps him find a suitable bride.
The story moves in an obviously expected direction with the two slowly realizing over time that the person they truly want is the other, but I was in no was daunted by how Ally Broadfield wrote their story. The two main characters in Just a Kiss took my breath away! Both as individuals and together. Charlotte is smart, witty and quick thinking. She stands up for herself and has her own opinions and though she is a 19th century lady she is in no way unable to handle herself! Sebastian on the other hand is a real charmer and is charismatic, but he wasn't overly cocky and I appreciated that.
As soon as Charlotte and Sebastian meet these two ooze chemistry, and the witty banter shared between them was exciting to read. They were perfectly matched in their personalities and complimented each other very well. Due to the fact this is a novella, Ally Broadfield builds their relationship fast, but given the time and setting, this didn't seem like it was forced. Charlotte and Sebastian were tantalizing to read about together and the sensuality to their relationship was enjoyable in this historical romance.
A sharp and witty historical romance, Just a Kiss is a perfectly paced and sensual historic read! Short, but oh so sweet, Just a Kiss is perfect for YA/NA readers looking for a historical romance that isn't over the top. I'm very much looking to see what Ally Broadfield does next! (less)
The Dark World is the first novel in the demonic new series by Cara Lynn Shultz that sees a strapping teenage girl discover a dark but seductive alternate world that lies parallel to our own in this smart and sassy start to a promising new series!
Heading into this novel, The Dark World held such promise for me. And while I certainly enjoyed this novel and found it a very enjoyable read, I don’t think it exactly met my expectations either. It got close, although there was just that something extra that was missing in my eyes during certain parts of the book.
Set in New York City and following Paige Kelly, a smart mouthed and sassy teenager who happens to see the dead and has a tenancy to talk to them, thus earning herself a bit of a reputation for having a few screws loose, The Dark World was richly written and depicted. Personally, I think it was a nice introduction to a new series and find myself eager for more after this installment.
The Dark World sees Paige discover a dark and alluring alternate world that exists on another dimension to ours. This world tends to mirror ours, but is also home to a vast array of horrendous creatures and powerful demons who want nothing more than to take control over our world and will stop at nothing to find a portal into our world, even if it means using Paige.
Blending the evils of men with otherworldly politics, Shultz introduces us to many different characters including ghosts, warlocks and demons that mingle with humans in The Dark World. Leading lady Paige is sharp and daring but isolated due to her social pariah status and finds an unexpected ally in new boy Logan who is as mysterious as he is shy and alluring. Shultz includes some bubbly and personable characters in the form of Dottie, Paige’s best friend who died in the 1950’s and Ajax, a arrogant and sarcastic demon who I’m dying to know more about!
The plotline of The Dark World seemed a bit odd to me, although not necessarily in a bad way. Don’t get me wrong, there was plenty of action and excitement and the story has a wonderful overall pace, but I didn’t feel like a lot was happening in terms of story movement at times. There was plenty going on, and the story certainly kept me entertained as our heroine began to learn of this world behind hers, but it wasn’t until almost the end of the book that Shultz began to heavily evolve the storyline.
The Dark World explores an interesting concept and I was really pleased with some of the twists Shultz included that I wasn’t expectibng, but find extremely interesting. I have a lot of hope for the next book and feel this was a satisfying start to a promising new series by Cara Lynn Shultz. The Dark World races to a climactic ending that has me ready to read the next book pronto! (less)
Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira is an emotional and moving debut novel that explores the devastating effects of grief and the impact it can have on a young person who is just trying to determine who they are and where they fit in life.
In all honesty, I’m not sure if I can completely wrap my head around this book. I certainly enjoyed it—it was an interesting read and kept me entranced, but at the same time now that it’s finished I’m not exactly sure what to think. Ava Dellaira made me think and really feel at times with her unique and unusual story.
Love Letters to the Dead was actually a very awkward book to read. And I don’t necessary mean that in a bad way. Love Letters to the Dead is written as a series of letters written by our protagonist Laurel to late stars that shone bright and died too soon. What starts out as an assignment for a class at school soon becomes an ongoing obsession for Laurel as she writes to the famous names we all know and love like Kurt Coban, Jim Morrison, Amelia Earhart, Judy Garland, Janis Joplan, River Phoenix, and Heath Ledger amongst others.
Having just begun high school, Love Letters to the Dead depicts a time in Laurel’s life where she’s just trying to figure out who she is, as an individual and a person. She’s in a position I think we can all sympathize with and understand, as peer pressure, pain and uncertainty mingle. Laurel’s voice comes across as naïve, lost and alone, although I don’t necessary think she is innocent. Even prior to the loss of her older sister May, Laurel experienced harsh truths and betrayals at the hands of those around her and she’s really quite frayed at the seams.
Throughout the novel it becomes clear that Laurel harbors a lot of anger, guilt and betrayal where her sister is concerned. Laurel held May to such high esteems and the hero-worship attitude she had towards her was something that was shattered over time by the realization that May wasn’t as perfect as Laurel always believed her to be.
Laurel’s voice comes across very young and through her writing she almost seems younger than she is, although as she tells her story through the various letters it becomes abundantly clear that Laurel is moving fast towards a future she doesn’t have complete control of.
With those around her facing their own demons, Love Letters to the Dead is a mix of Saving June by Hannah Harrington and The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. Laurel’s friends Hannah and Natalie are conflicted and messy, and coming from a broken home means Laurel doesn’t have anyone to turn to with her dad doing the best he can and her mother half-way across the country.
As Laurel deals with her inner demons, falling in love for the first time and slowly making mistakes as she bends to peer pressure and expectations, she manages to put herself in some dangerous situations, something that was really hard at times to understand as the reader. I kind of just wanted Laurel to grow up and get over simple things, but the journey she is on won’t allow that until she faces some harsh truths.
Ava Dellaira explores the self-destruction that can be brought on by grief and anger as her heroine continues to struggle in Love Letters to the Dead. Deep, meaningful and infinitely painful Love Letters to the Dead is as well written as it is difficult to read, but so, so worth it.
Fire & Flood is an absolutely sensational story by Victoria Scott that will entrance you from the get go and sweep you away with it's face-paced storyline, riveting stakes and dashing originality. Danger, excitement and even romance blend in this gripping story that will leave you begging for more!
Can I just start by saying how incredibly much I loved this book--I mean, I adored it! And would dive straight into the sequel if it was already released. It simply was that good! Honestly, I'm having difficulty wrapping my head around this novel, because there's so much I wanna say, but I want to make sure it makes sense.
Heading into Fire & Flood, I wasn't really sure what to expect. I'd never read a book by Victoria Scott, though I know she's written another series previously. It really was a surprise to receive a copy of this for review as I'd never heard of it before and the back cover doesn't give too much away. And in saying that, imagine my surprise when I began the story and was instantly caught up in it's riveting storyline.
Fire & Flood follows sixteen year old Tella Holloway whose older brother Cody is suffering from a terminal illness and is slowly dying. Tella is faced with the heartbreaking reality of watching her brother die and knowing there is nothing anyone can do, when a mysterious box is left on her bed, and the device inside promises a cure to his illness if she wins a contest known as the Brimstone Bleed. Despite its mysterious origins and its vague instructions, Tella jumps at the chance to possibly save her sibling and soon finds herself following the directions of the devices makers to enter the race.
Fire & Flood is a really beguiling book to read. In some ways Fire & Flood is reminiscent of The Hunger Games and yet it has it's own unique storyline that sets it apart. Beginning the story, I almost had my mind made up that this would be a dystopian read of sorts, so imagine my surprise when I quickly discover Fire & Flood is set in the modern world. Victoria Scott does a fantastic job drawing her readers in while managing to maintain the highest level of mystery throughout the novel.
Something I found really powerful in Fire & Flood is that the contenders within the Brimstone Bleed really know next to nothing about the actual race they're participating in, and the thing that drives them is the possibility of a cure to the ailments effecting those they love. There's really no proof that this cure exists or that the race is actually legit and yet they're driven onwards just by the possibility that they can potentially cure someone they love.
Each with the help of their own animal companion known as a Pandora, the Brimstone Bleed contestants must make their way through different legs of the race, two of which we witnesses in Fire & Flood in order to win. Different elements at different destinations ensure the Brimstone Bleed is a really horrific and dangerous race. It's very grueling; both emotionally and physically and puts all the contenders through their paces. Personally, I never knew what would happen next and loved that Victoria Scott managed to keep me on my toes!
Scott introduces us to a really fantastic cast of characters in Fire & Flood, starting with, but not ending with our main character Tella. In the beginning of the story, Tella starts out as almost self centered and vain, and yet she's driven by the base love she has for her brother. Participating in the Brimstone Bleed forces Tella to grow up fast and to re-evaluate what's important.
I think the growth Tella undertakes in this first novel is nothing short of amazing. Scott has penned a really interesting character in Tella; one that I truly enjoyed following! Tella has her faults, as everyone does but at her base is a really good individual. The strength she displays throughout the novel is admirable and the kindness and love she exhibits to her those around her, both human and Pandora was lovely to witness. I loved the relationship Tella builds with the other characters including her adorable fox Madox. Tella sees Madox differently than the other contenders see their Pandoras and I found them so adorable to behold at times.
Tella meets a multitude of characters in Fire & Flood and Victoria Scott does an amazing job in writing her supporting characters. They compliment the fantastic storyline and I fell in love with each and everyone of them. The group of contenders Tella travels with including Guy, Harper, Caroline, Dink, Levi, Ransom, Jaxon, Olivia were all great editions to the story. The complexity of the story is driven home by the fact that there can only be one winner, but at the same time each individual is a human being with feelings and emotions, something we come to learn as the story progresses.
Victoria Scott pleased me to no each with all these individuals and appealed to the romantic in me by including a love interest for Tella, whose relationship with her continued to develop and rock my socks off! No spoilers here from me, but I just adored these two and hope they continue to shine throughout the rest of the series!
The inclusion of the Pandora's within the story was something I found absolutely sensational to be honest! Each contender has their own Pandora meant to assist them during the race and I was very impressed that Scott managed to make them each different and unique from the other. They themselves were really another bunch of characters with their own drives and differences and I loved seeing them within then story--especially Madox! He was just the most cutest thing on four legs in this novel!
There a lot of unexpected humor and wit in this novel with the inner monologue Tella keeps making for some fantastic reading. And yet Victoria Scott blends so much danger and violence in the story with more than one of the characters not making it through the first two legs of the race.
High on excitement and mystery, Fire & Flood is a captivating read that will easily have you ready for more. Racing towards a climactic ending with unexpected revelations, Victoria Scott has quickly won a fan in me, and has ensured I'll be reading the next installment as soon as I can get my greedy little hands on it!
Thrall by Jennifer Quintez is a fresh and exciting look at demons with personable characters and an intriguing storyline.
I was pleasantly surprised with Thrall. Thrall follows Braedyn Murphy, a sixteen year old girl who thinks she’s just like every other teenager until she learns that she’s actually a Lilitu- a demon that is descended from Lillith. As daughters of Lilith, Lilitu have the ability to control men and feed on their life essence to survive.
I was very impressed with this book. Thrall is well written and deeply enjoyable. Quintez's writing is solid and supports the book well; her main character's voice strong and easy to follow. Honestly, Thrall is just a good read and I found myself liking it a lot more than I expected.
Quintez jumps straight into the story once Braedyn learns what she is and picks up pace from then on. The story is well written and I was impressed with Quintez's mythology. I thought she did a good job building on the biblical tale of Lilith, and though demons decended from Lilith is something I'd seen before, I liked how she made it relevant to her story and weaved these demonic aspects into her tale.
I thought all the characters supported the story well; from main character Braedyn, to her father Murphy, to her friends Cassie, Royal and of course her love interest Lucas. The inclusion of demon hunters known as the Guard was fitting and the story wouldn't have been the same without them. Gretchen, Hale and especially Thane added some complexity to the story for Braedyn and helped shape her into the person she became by the end of the book.
Braedyn stars out as a very normal teenager, but when she learns of her true heritage Braedyn is quickly forced to adapt to face the consequences. Understandably Braedyn has some skepticism about what she has learnt and what she is being told, but must rapidly accept and come to terms with things once she witnesses the evil destruction caused by the Lilitu with her own eyes.
I liked Braedyn, I did. Her voice was smart and easy to follow. I'm anticipating a lot more growth from her throughout the series and expect to see her strengthen as a character even more in future books. Quintez has made it obvious that Braedyn walks a dangerous path and considering the abilities she expresses, but are yet to master, I don't doubt that Braedyn's journey is going to be a difficult one.
Over all I was really happy with this book. I liked the fast paced tone to it and thought Braedyn and her love interest had a good connection. I look forward to more from this series! (less)
Skylark by Meagan Spooner is a surprising and at times difficult read that gets off to a slow start but then steadily progresses into a fast-paced and thrilling tale that is a mix of fantasy, sci-fi, dystopian and steampunk and will leave you well and truly ready for more!
In all honesty I don’t think I’ve ever had a reading experience like I’ve just experienced with Skylark. I mean, it took almost 200 pages for the book to capture my attention and to be honest I almost gave up and didn’t finish it. Granted some books do take a while to pick up, but to get almost halfway through a novel and still struggle to find something to really capture your attention is a long time.
I almost felt like Skylark was two different books. While the beginning really lagged, the second half was simply incredible and if the whole book was this good I may have given it 5 stars. Following Lark Ainsley, a sixteen year old girl who has spent her whole life never seeing the sky and never journeying past the Wall that surrounds her city and protects it from the dangerous elements that exist on the other side, Skylark is a real mixture of genres.
There’s a bit of fantasy, sci-fi, dystopian and steampunk all woven together; with horrendous monsters mingling with magic, machines and mystery. Spooner’s writing is deeply descriptive and I quite enjoyed the world she has created. It was very unique and unlike anything I’d seen before, with so much still unknown and a mystery to both our heroine and us as the reader.
Skylark depicts a dystopian-styled society where wars waged a hundred years prior have left the outside world twisted and uninhabitable. With the Wall that encompasses the city the only thing protecting it from the outside elements and the monsters that call it home, magic is “harvested” from the younger members of the city and is used to power not only the Wall but the technology and machines that keep the city running.
Again, the novel started out quite slow, but once it picked up, I very much enjoyed the journey I found myself on with main character Lark, a young woman who begins to exhibit powerful magic, after a lifetime of feeling like a dud in the beginning of Skylark and who finds herself an unwitting pawn in plans held by her city’s leaders.
Lark’s journey is a long and difficult one that sees Lark travel across vast plains, through iron forests and magical pockets; hiding from tremendously dangerous monsters and creatures as she goes. Hers really is a tale of survival, as she tries to discover what makes her different from all the other individuals of her world.
I foresee a lot of growth in Lark throughout this series. She has already come such a long way in just only one installment; quickly becoming the kind of heroine who is a joy to follow and who you truly cheer for. There’s still a lot of mystery surrounding what Lark is that makes her different from everyone else, and I’m really excited to see what Spooner does with Lark. From the beginning of Skylark to it’s end, Lark transitions a lot and I was happy to see her find something to fight for. She’s slowly learning to survive on her own and even though she was scared and unsure, she still did what she had to do.
Lark meets a number of different individuals during the story including those of the Iron Wood, but the two that I adored the most were Nix, the copper “pixie” who becomes Larks shadow and constant companion and Oren, the wild boy whose true nature will be a shock to readers.
I’m very much looking forward to seeing more of these two characters and their relationships with Lark—Nix as a friend for Lark and Oren as a potential love interest. Spooner has me intrigued with what she’ll do with these two characters; considering some unexpected revelations that left me surprised during Skylark but that promises some interesting future reads.
Rich in description and setting, Skylark starts out slow but that rises into a promising start to a magical series. Ending just when its getting good, Skylark guarantee’s I’ll be racing out to get the next book as soon as humanly possible. (less)
Ten Tiny Breaths by K.A. Tucker is a beautifully written and gorgeous story of life, love and loss. With magnetic characters and a strong storyline, this is a stunning debut about the power of forgiveness and the healing possibilities that moving on can bring.
As someone beginning to develop a real love for New Adult fiction, I'm always on the lookout for brilliant new NA tales to devour and while I was uncertain about what this story would bring, I have to say I was very much blown away by Ten Tiny Breaths! And in saying that, having now read this story, I can see why K.A. Tucker is making a name for herself in the NA genre. Her storytelling is wonderful; her writing strong but beautiful. Tucker took a very emotional situation and explored the effects it had on the life of her main character and those around her.
Following twenty year old Kacey Cleary, a young woman still haunted by the tragic loss of her parents, best friend and boyfriend at the hands of a drunk driver, Ten Tiny Breath explores the difficulty Kacey and her fifteen year old sister Livie still face four years later. Fleeing with her sister and escaping from a dangerous family situation to Miami, Kacey is still understandably haunted by the loss of those she loved in an accident she managed to survive herself but that left her tremendiously scarred, both physically and mentally.
Kacey is a very strong character to follow. She's very down to earth and normal, with a lot of sass and spunk, and is without a doubt wonderful to follow, but she's also very fractured. Something more evident with the turn of every page. Kacey has trust issues by the truckload and keeps a shield up around herself to keep from getting hurt. Though deep down Kacey cares strongly and loves deeply, she projects a tough girl exterior to the rest of the world and fights to keep people out. Kacey has a lot of hard truths to face in this book, especially when she slowly begins to come back to life thanks to the help of an egnigmatic young man and a surprising bunch of people who help to want her live again.
There wasn't a single character that I didn't fall in love with during this book! Obviously Kacey shines as our main character, as well as Trent as our male lead and love interest, but K.A. Tucker does a fantastic job giving her supporting characters real substance and life in Ten Tiny Breaths. Everyone from Kacey's sweet younger sister Livie, to their strong and surprising next-door neighbour Storm and her darling daughter Mia to adult club owner Cain and bouncers Ben and Nate managed to worm their way into my heart. Even minor, minor characters such a Officer Dan, landlord Tanner and Dr. Stayner impressed me; bringing so much life and colour to the book with their character dymanics and beautiful bonds.
Now, I refuse to give away spoilers, but the storyline Tucker explores with Kacey and Trent was the icing on the cake in this book, and so very well done. Honestly Trent is sexy as hell and he and Kacey have a wonderful chemistry. As a NA tale, you expect there to be a sexual aspect to the story and there is, but Tucker instead focus more on the romance and the connection between Kacey and Trent--something I found very refreshing. Obviously, these two are together physically within the story, but the way Tucker writes it allows us as the reader to explore the more connecting parts of their relationship than just the sex. Trent and Kacey were very sensual and they sizzle up the pages--the sexual tension is perfect, but the deeper connection they share and the way in which they help the other heal is what stole me.
Sexy, sensual and deeply moving Ten Tiny Breath is a brilliant read. Wit and sassy dialogue blend perfectly with beautiful characters you'll be sure to want more of. K.A Tucker has impressed me with her debut novel and has me ready to being the next book ASAP! (less)
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! (less)
Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George is a lush and lyrical re-telling of the classic fairytale Beauty and the Beast that is uniquely it’s own tale mixing Nordic mythology with romance and magic in this romantic read.
Sun and Moon, Ice and Show is the first book written by Jessica Day George that I have read, although a couple of her novels have been floating around on my to-be-read list for a while now. And in saying that, I have to say I was quite impressed with this story. Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow was very beautifully written and was an unparalleled retelling of a classic fairytale. I found myself caught by the romance and feeling of adventure within it’s pages.
Rejected by her mother at birth, Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow follows a young girl known only as "the lass" and the bizarre journey she finds herself on when a bear whisks her away to an ice palace. The lass is told she is to reside at this ice palace for one year and a day in exchange for wealth and riches for her family. Having the ability to speak to and understand animals, the lass is a kind hearted and daring young woman who is accompanied on her journey by her pet wolf Rollo. As the lass explores to palace and begins to understand the bears situation, what ensues is a magical adventure of friendship and love that sees the lass brave harsh dangers and evil foes.
It’s obvious when reading this story that Jessica Day George has put a lot of effort into this magical tale and I think she should be very happy with the results. I’m a big fan of fairytale retellings and love their overall tone, but I especially liked that Day George has put extra effort into twisting this already excellent tale and adding in different elements and different creatures to make it one of a kind.
Personally I found Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow to be exactly what I needed at the point in time that I read it; magical and fun, light and easy. I enjoyed reading about our main character and I loved the dynamic she had with her brother Hans Peter. I thought the characters were typical of this kind of book but still lovely to read about.
Rich in adventure with an undertone of mystery and romance, Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow is a lovely fairytale retelling that will sweep you away to another place and time.
Being Jamie Baker by Kelly Oram is an extremely entertaining and kick-ass superhero read. Oram blends plenty of humor and wit with an electric storyline and tangible characters to create a fun, cute and romantic tale that will leave you begging for more!
Can I just say how much I adore Kelly Oram’s work! Whether she’s writing contemporary stories or those with a supernatural/paranormal twist, Oram knows how to write likable personable characters who have a really engaging presence and fantastic dynamic with each other. And Being Jamie Baker is a fantastic example of this!
Told through the eyes of Jamie Baker, a seventeen year old loner who obtained superpowers when she was involved in a tragic accident that saw her lose someone she loved, Being Jamie Baker follows Jamie more than a year later as she attempts to go on with her life. Now known as an "ice queen" by the student population at her school, Jamie knows the only way to protect her secret is to keep everyone at a distance. Something she wholeheartedly succeeds at…..until one pesky, but albeit determined, teenage boy by the name of Ryan Millers sets out to do the one thing no one at their school has ever attempted—get to know Jamie Baker! What ensues is a lot of fun and laughter as the two dance around their attraction to each other and Ryan attempts to win over the reluctant Jamie!
As our heroine and protagonist, I seriously liked Jamie Baker. Those around her may view her as someone with a heart of ice but personally I think she had a heart of gold. And boy did the girl know how to get into my heart! Jamie is a guarded individual. As someone possessing super powers, Jamie still hasn’t mastered them. They rule her to a degree and because of this Jamie shies away from unnecessary interactions with those around her, leaving her friendless and on her own. This may be by choice and she may like it that way, but when Ryan enters her life, Jamie slowly begins to feel all the loneliness and sadness she’d managed to hide from herself.
I thought Jamie was a really sweet girl. She was normal and likable, and I thought her voice was fabulous to follow. I liked the vulnerability Oram explores within her during Being Jamie Baker as Jamie slowly allows people in again, but I also adored the fact that Jamie was saucy and quick thinking. And that this didn’t change. She had a quick temper and still struggles at times with her moral compass over her abilities, but I think it was natural for Jamie to be protective and defensively of those she loved; it made sense for her to react that way.
The catalyst for all the changes Jamie undergoes is without a doubt the introduction of Ryan Miller to her life. With his vast array of charm and smiles, Ryan reminds Jamie of what it’s like to have friends and someone who cares about her….and I just love him for that! Ryan is popular, enigmatic and everyone adores him. He manages to make all the girls swoon with his golden boy status and his cheeky nature, but he’s also just a really nice guy; something that becomes endlessly evident as Being Jamie Baker progresses. After their initial meeting, Ryan really comes to care for Jamie as he sets out to uncover the mystery that is Jamie Baker. Ryan makes it impossible not to smile with his constant cheerful attitude and dedication to Jamie—the guy's just awesome!
Throughout the novel as Jamie struggles to let Ryan in and he refuses to let her push him away, they come to develop a really sweet relationship. Jamie’s reluctance to admit to her feelings, and Ryan’s reluctance to accept that make for some really hilarious dialogue and great chemistry between the two. I love the back and forth banter between them and the fact they always have a witty comeback for the other. Ryan keeps Jamie on her toes and is relentless in trying to win her over; he knows she wants him, even if she’s not ready to admit it. These two are great together and I’m looking forward to more of them.
The storyline within Being Jamie Baker is simple but extremely enjoyable. Oram’s writing is spot on and as we learn how Jamie received her abilities and watch her learn to control them whilst she falls for Ryan, the story becomes really addictive. Luckily Being Jamie Baker does not end on a massive cliffhanger, but I’m still desperately looking forward to reading the sequel! (less)
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! (less)
Cursed is Trakena Prevost’s debut novel, and the first in her new Guardian Chronicles. Detailing a magical world of action and danger, Cursed explores succubae and witch magic in a fast paced and gripping storyline that is a great start to a new series!
Personally I found Cursed to be an enjoyable read. I enjoyed Prevost’s concept, and considering I haven’t read many books where succubae feature, I enjoyed having the chance to explore them in this book. Adequately written and deeply action based, Cursed features a bunch of great fight sequences and follows heroine Jasmine "Jazz" Watkins and her battle against the evil succubae known as Suecai who prey on humans and absorb their energy. As a Dorgai—a non-lethal succubae, Jazz it one of the only things that stands between the Suecai and the innocents they prey on.
Having spent her life learning to train, hunt and kill Suecai, Jazz is lethal and has a personal vendetta against the Suecai; something that does manage to get her in trouble from time to time, but with the help of her best friend and comrade Khan, Jazz manages to thrive. Until a Suecai leader decides to turn Jazz into the one thing she despises…. one of them, and Jazz’s only chance is to branch out on her own and hunt down the person who cursed her to begin with.
Reading the story through Jazz’s eyes was an exciting experience. Jazz is a stong capable young woman and is really quite deadly. She has a sharp tongue and attitude and uses this as a blade. I really enjoyed the diversity in Cursed and liked that our heroine is a coloured woman. Honestly I don’t think there enough main characters with this kind of heritage and have to applaud Prevost for not shying away from this
I felt this story continued to move forward well and that Prevost showed enough of her world to keep me entertained, but I really feel like this is only the tip of the iceberg and that there’s still a lot more to see. As Jazz and her best friend/love interest Kahn delve into the magician’s world and that of the Suecai, Prevost ensures her readers will want to know more.
Overall Cursed is a good introduction to a promising new series and I look forward to reading more! (less)
Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer by Katie Alender was a lush and at times unsuspecting ghost tale set in the beguiling city of love and is awash in history and French culture.
Receiving a copy of Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer was a bit of a surprise for me. I’d never heard of it before, but once I read the premise I was really excited to read it; I mean the ghost of Marie Antoinette killing people in Paris? Yes, please!
Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer follows Colette Islan, an American teenager on the journey of a lifetime to Paris, France who finds her sightseeing plans thwarted when some of the wealthy elite, and who’s who of Paris start being murdered in what can only be described as a grisly manner; bye-bye heads. Unexpectedly Colette finds she might have a connection to the murders and soon discovers more about her family’s history than she could have ever imagined, including their connection to the famous Marie Antoinette, dead queen of France.
Katie Alender does a really fantastic job with the setting and overall atmosphere of Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer. From the moment our main character Colette steps off the plane in Paris you can practically smell the croissants and baguettes. The atmosphere is brilliant and this is something that transpires throughout the entire novel with Alender maintaining the authenticity of the book from beginning to end. Katie Alender’s attention to detail enhances the reading experience and as Colette races to learn just what is happening, Alender’s descriptions and inclusion of some famous French monuments….Versailles, the Champs Elysees, the Louvre and of course the Eiffel Tower only make it more addictive; I felt like I was living vicariously through Colette.
For the most part I liked Colette, but she did irritate me at times. I felt she was shallow, and though I understand the purpose of this within the story, witnessing how much importance Colette put on money, social status and popularity was a bit much at times. I couldn’t believe how Colette let those around her, most notably her "friend" Hannah, treat her; Hannah was manipulative, selfish and cruel and Colette was so desperate to be her friend that she allowed material things to be more important that friendship and kindness. Colette was so driven to be popular that she was willing to be whatever Hannah wanted her to be, even if she didn’t feel the same way.
Luckily over the course of the book, with the help of the enigmatic Jules and confidant Aubrey, Colette does grow, learning what it really important and learning to stand up for herself against the likes of Hannah. Alender blends together sweet romance with chilling danger as the ghost of Marie Antoinette runs rampant in Paris.
Featuring a unique and fresh premise, Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer is a good all-round read, that will make you feel like you're literally in Paris as main heroine Colette races to stop the ghost of Marie Antoinette from taking any more lives. (less)
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. (less)
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! (less)
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! (less)
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!
Black Amaranth is the first book in the Vulcan Legacies series by Sasha Hibb and weaves together danger, darkness and the power of love and friendship in this unique twist on the traditional angelic tale.
I have to say, Black Amaranth was a real roller-coaster of information and mythology for me. Author Sasha Hibb’s impressed me with her different take on vampires, angels and werewolves in this book. I honestly feel like Hibb’s has made a very real attempt to take something we’ve all seen so many times and shake them up. And she does a decent job in doing so.
In Black Amaranth we are presented with a number of different beings: Seraphs; angels, Blaxxmiths; the result of Seraph’s breeding with mortals, Nosferatu: vampires, and werewolves. We also have gypsies making an appearance too. Weaving them all together, Hibb’s introduces us to Ally, a seventeen year old teenage girl who shockingly learns she is actually a Seraph, an angelic being, and more importantly is one that was long ago prophesized to either save the world or destroy it.
Hibbs also goes to great length to detail the history of the beings within her world, and while I appreciate this, it also left me very, very confused at times. So much sits on our heroine’s shoulders and as we learn just who, and what, she is, the way in which Hibbs explains her heritage and role within the prophecy had me very confused at times. I think its brilliant how everything is interconnected, and Hibb’s reveals things exactly when she should for maximum effect, but even as the first few chapters of the story ended, there are still a few parts where I don’t think I completely comprehended what is going on.
That being said, I did enjoy the story. Ally is a decent main character and the story progresses nicely. It felt a bit rushed in the beginning and towards the end, but Sasha Hibb’s managed to hold my attention regardless. I like the supernatural elements mixed together with the strong themes of love and friendship in the book. Ally has some true friendships and I loved the romantic elements Hibb’s has added in. Personally I didn’t quite feel the connection between Ally and her love interest Michael, but her best friend Jessica’s love/hate relationship with warrior Eli, as well as the connection shared by their siblings Dave and Lucy has me all excited to see where they would go.
Overall Black Amaranth is a worthy read. Hibb’s mixes all the elements for a good supernatural read together with some unique lore. Plenty of shocks and twists will keep you on your toes, as well as the discovery that no one is as they seem. Black Amaranth ends on a cliffhanger that shakes everything up that has me eager to read the next book! (less)
Reflection Pond by Kacey Vanderkarr is a lush and deeply magical tale where slight hints at violence and politics weave together with magic and glamour to create an alluring, riveting and at times romantic read that found me easily losing myself within its story!
Following seventeen year old Callie, I must admit I found myself very taken by Reflection Pond. The cover is stunning and the excitement within the story starts from the opening chapter when our heroine quite literally falls through into another world. Personally I’m a big lover of faerie stories but heading into Reflection Pond, though I adored the cover, I wasn’t sure what to expect from the book. Diving straight into the story when Callie falls through a seemingly normal pond and into the stunning faerie city of Eirensae, I found Reflection Pond to be a beautiful and beguiling read!
The world Kacey Vanderkarr details in Reflection Pond was colorful and vivid and I was pleased by the character dynamic Vanderkarr incorporates between Callie that those she meets within Eirensae. Admittedly the chemistry and dynamic Callie shared with Rowen was the highlight of the book for me, but I was also entranced by the other aspects of the story and the characters Callie meets as she begins to find her place within Eirensae, and in life.
Told both in Callie and Rowen’s POV’s, I really appreciated being able to see things unfold through both their eyes. I loved having the chance to experience both their thoughts and feelings. Callie was a very interesting heroine to follow; it becomes quite obviously from early on in the story that she is a haunted individual and has had something very traumatic done to her in the past. I liked that Vanderkarr gave her some substance instead of having a heroine who has never experienced a difficult day in their life. Though we don’t yet know exactly what happened to Callie, I can certainly make a good guess, and it’s clear it still has a deep effect on her.
I really liked Callie; she was feisty and genuinely had a good heart and I found her lovely to follow. Callie comes a long way in the small space of one book as she comes to accept Eirensae as somewhere she belongs. With the powerful abilities she has and the importance she has in the future of Eirensae, I can’t wait to see how Vanderkarr develops her further.
Callie finds a wonderful match in Rowen, the male lead of Reflection Pond and Callie’s constant pain in the butt. Rowen is sharp, sarcastic and extremely guarded. He’s arrogant, brooding and has a shield up around himself to keep people from getting close. He fights people off with snarky comments and biting attitude. Though he’s a fierce fighter and brave warrior, his attitude has him coming across was a bit of an ass to all those around him. Just the way he likes, and needs. it. However Kacey Vanderkarr leaves us readers with no doubt in our minds that Rowen is honorable, courageous and an amazing person.
Scorned by those around him and treated as an outsider even though he does everything in his power to fit in, I found it no wonder that Rowen acted as he did. His actions relayed a troublesome young man who didn’t care about anything at all and preferred to be a loner when in reality being inside his mind showcased how deeply he wanted to be a part of Eirensae, and how much he yearned for people to accept him for what he was.
All the minor characters in this book were wonderful, but as I previously mentioned Callie and Rowen stole the show for me, as they were no doubt meant to. Interesting individually, together they took it to a whole other level. These two had great chemistry and energy together and I loved the dynamic Vanderkarr explores between them. They give the story that extra spark that makes every interaction between them thrilling and addicting!
Reflection Pond was wonderfully written with Kacey Vanderkarr detailing a very riveting world with sensational characters. Racing towards an exciting ending that opens up a brand new chapter to the story; I’m beyond excitedly looking forward to the next book to continue Callie and Rowen’s journey! (less)
Swimming with unique and different mythology and ripe with romance, Uncovering Cobbogoth will be perfect for those who love a good adventure!
In all honesty, Uncovering Cobbogoth was a bit of a mixed bucket for me. Heading into the story the archaeological aspect really appealed to me as did the sense of adventure the description promised. Unfortunately I don’t think Uncovering Cobbogoth completely lived up to my expectations. It was a good read, it was. Something was just missing for me; that special extra something that takes a good storyline and decent characters and makes it so much more.
I was impressed with author Hannah L. Clark’s ability to think outside the square in Uncovering Cobbogoth. It was very obvious she had a strong desire to create something unique and different, something she marginally does well, but there were times when this story fell flat for me. That being said, there were times where this book really shone. Clark’s writing was beautifully detailed, especially her careful descriptions of Cobbogoth, the magical and ancient world our heroine finds herself discovering throughout the story and the lush mythology she uses to support the storyline.
Told through the eyes of Norah Lukens, Uncovering Cobbogoth sees Norah delve into the magical and ancient world of the Cobbogothians. After the shocking and brutal murder of her uncle Jack, her only family, Norah finds herself piecing together the clues of her uncle’s past whilst learning the secrets of Cobbogoth; her uncle’s lifelong obsession.
Norah was a likable heroine; basic but easy to follow. She was brave where need be, asked questions, queried things and fought when she had to. I liked her, I did, but I felt like she was missing that extra something to take her from being a good heroine to one that knocks you off your feet. Still. She got the job done.
Norah has plenty of secrets to uncover in this story and I liked how Hannah L. Clark kept me on my toes as we uncovered things. I enjoyed being able to piece things together as Norah did and figure out who was friend and who was foe. I admit, with the complicated lore I was confused a couple of times as everything was difficult to wrap my head around at times. The motivations of some characters and their true natures were intriguing to uncover and I liked that Clark managed to surprise me when certain loyalties were revealed.
There’s a sweet underlining tone of romance between Norah and her best friend James that compliments the story. Norah and James are good friends have a sweet romance, something Clark builds on and gives importance within the story.
Featuring a fast paced storyline that kept me marginally entertained, Uncovering Cobbogoth is rife with secrets and action. I may be persuaded to pick up the second book!
Jessica Shirvington's latest release Disruption is a phenomenal tale of corrupted leaders and shocking secrets; exploring the destruction that relying on technology can bring in this science fiction thriller that weaves high stakes danger and riveting suspense with passionate love and unexpected friendship!
I have to say.....Disruption is a sensational read! Honestly. I almost have no words to adequately describe how much I loved this book. This may be the first Jessica Shirvington novel I've read to date, but her sensational writing and suburb character development so early on had me sucked in and incredibly addicted to this story! Disruption was perfectly paced and detailed, with plenty of shocking twists and turns that I didn't see coming. Jessica Shirvinton pens a brilliant heroine that made reading this story a brilliant experience and I was extremely impressed with the originality of Disruption and it's engaging storyline.
Following eighteen year old Maggie Stevens, Shirvington details a riveting society within Disruption where every individual is fitted with an M-band; an electronic wristband that monitors everything from time to heart rate, and allows people to access money as well as communicate. In a world so reliant on this one piece of technology, their most important use is to determine everyone's "match". In Disruption, we learn that when an individual reaches the age of eighteen, their M-band is upgraded to include Phera-tech; technology that allows the wearer to "rate" with those they come into contact with using pheromones produced in order to determine whether they are compatible or not. Those that rate high--70% or over, are deemed to be good matches, while those who rate lower are not. This is how people determine who they have relationships with, all the while hoping they will come across their "true match", the one person in the world with whom they rate 100% and are meant to be with. Though not everyone ever finds their true match, instead choosing to be content with someone they rate highly with, everyone hopes to find the one person they're meant to be with.
I was so very impressed with Jessica Shirvinton's concept within this story. It's so brilliantly explored, and very original. It was fresh and explosive and I thought she did an endlessly brilliant job exploring the corruption and devastating relying on technology had on the free will of those within Disruption. In this world where everyone relies so much on their M-band, there is a darker side to this society, a fact Shirvinton deliciously explores. With M-bands monitored by the government and the company that created them, the Mercer Corporation, there are cases where individuals rate negative with at three people in a month long period. These individuals known as negs are seem to be a drain on society and are severely dealt with, taken away into rehabilitation camps"
Featuring a fresh and creative concept, Disruption wouldn't have been as half as good as it was without an amazing main character to compliment the storyline and we certainly found that in Maggie. I adored Maggie from the moment I met her in this book and fell in love with her even more with the turn of every page.She's such a strong character and her voice so easy to follow. I found Maggie to stubborn and daring and incredibly brave. Smart, but calculating, Maggie is in no way perfect and she knows it. Willing to do whatever it takes to save those she loves, Maggie can be selfish and brash, but as you come to learn her story, you can't help but respect her. The thing I loved most about the character Jessica Shirvington has written in Maggie is that even though she's tough as nails, the act and tough exterior she puts on really is just that, an act. Maggie is haunted by her choices and though she makes them, struggles more and more throughout the course of the book.
Personally effected by the darker sides of the society she lives in, Maggie is on a mission. A mission to save someone who was taken from her and she's not about to let anything get in her way. That is until the key to her years long plan manages to worm his way under her skin and slowly into her heart......In order to rescue the person she loves, Maggie must rely on Quentin Mercer, heir to the M-Corp empire, and unwitting pawn in Maggie's schemes. What starts out as a way to extract Intel soon turns into something unexpected and deeper, as Maggie and Quentin form a grudging alliance, that sees Maggie open Quentin's eyes to the dark underground and true going ons of his family's company.
As Maggie expertly manipulates Quentin, the relationship that develops between the two is sensational to read about. Sweet, but passionate, their relationship is a slow simmering flame that burns brighter and brighter as they slowly test one another and come to rely on the other in a way neither expected. As different as they are, Maggie and Quentin compliment each other perfectly and as they work toward different goals, the chemistry that sizzles makes for some exciting dialogue and believable romance.
Excellent world building and pace make Disruption an addictive and beguiling read. You'll find Disruption hard to put down and Jessica Shirvington skillfully builds on every moment in this layered and surprising story to leave you breathlessly wanting more. Starring a kick-ass heroine and an electrifying storyline, Disruption shapes up to be one of the must-reads of the year and is a brilliant start to what promises to be a sensational new series from Shirvington! Mark this on your to-be-read lists, ladies and gentlemen--you won't regret it!
Stop Dragon My Heart Around by Susannah Scott is fun and tantalizing PNR that weaves together romance and sensuality in this dragon-shifter read that is quite fun!
As the second book in Susannah Scott’s series set in Las Vegas and featuring dragon shifters, Stop Dragon My Heart Around was a really fun and enjoyable read. The title may have been cheesy, but Stop Dragon My Heart Around is a well written and excellently paced story. The characters were likable and have a fantastic chemistry and I’m already ready to read the next installment.
I will admit, heading into this book I wasn’t actually aware that it was a second book in a series, but having said that, I think this can easily be read as a standalone novel. Stop Dragon My Heart Around really does stand on it’s own merit, and Scott does a good job explaining her world for those who might not have previously experienced it.
Featuring a bunch of Dragon Shifters who own and operate the extravagant and lush Crown Jewel Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, I’m already a big fan of Scott’s characters. The main characters in this book were wonderful to read about and had all the connection and chemistry I could ask for, but the minor characters also stood on their own and already have me eager to read their stories.
Told through the eyes of casino operator and fire dragon Leo Ryan and casino hostess to high rollers and Native American firecracker, Tallulah "Tee", Stop Dragon My Heart Around focuses on Leo’s perusal of Tee, the human employee he is strongly attracted too, but who he knows he shouldn’t want because she isn’t his fated dragon mate and the woman who has secretly loved him for years. When the fate of Tee’s tribe is threatened, events lead Leo and Tee to finally give in to the sizzling connection that simmers between them and soon their relationship shines.
Leo and Tee were wonderful to read about. Their relationship was built on years of friendship that simmered with attraction and sees the two give into the desire they share for one another. Leo was strong and sexy and really a good guy. He was fierce and daring and deeply cared for Tee. Tee on the other hand was stubborn, sweet and finally went after what she wanted. Basically, I just really liked these two and together they were excellent.
Susannah Scott introduces us to a bunch of different characters in this series and perfectly explores Tee’s Paiute Native American heritage amongst the story. I was impressed with how she wove the big lights of a Las Vegas casino in with the Las Vegas desert and Tee’s people; it was a really great setting that complimented the characters well.
High in romance and featuring a very charismatic set of characters, Stop Dragon My Heart Around is a fantastic PNR that will leave you wanting to dive right back into this riveting world! (less)
Hopeless by Colleen Hoover is a heart wrenching and riveting New Adult novel whose tantalizing romance, unexpected depth and soul shattering storyline will leave you entranced and captivated, even after you've turned the final page!
I have to say......this has to be one of the best NA novels I've ever read, plain and simple! And considering it's taken me so very long to actually dive into this book, that is really saying something. Colleen Hoover has penned something very special with Hopeless, and with it's intense romance and unexpected content, has me wondering why in the world I waited so long to finally read it. This book is a NA must read for fans of the genre, and considering Colleen Hoover's name in the industry, Hopeless is Hoover at her best!
Colleen Hoover's writing is perfect and fitting within Hopeless; flowing nicely with a perfect pace, and is descriptive where need be and vivid when suitable. Hoover weaves a lot of powerful emotion into the pages of Hopeless, and this is something that endlessly compliment's the storyline; enhancing the experience and making it impossible not to be completely blown away by the strength displayed by our main character Sky as she confronts some very painful revelations, and memories from her past.
Linden Sky Davis, known by those who know her as Sky, is a very normal, well adjusted teenager.....or is she? When we first begin Hopeless, Sky comes across as a typical teenage girl, abet one that struggles to feel connected where guys are concerned, but this isn't really cause for concern. It's not until the introduction of Dean Holder to her life does Sky realize just what kind of connection she has been missing and what that means for her.
Can I just say how much I LOVED Sky. I mean, how can you not? Sky is strong and sweet and kind and very likable. She seems like a normal teenager; someone who loves her best friend Six and her mother Karen and despite the cruel attitude of some peers, is strong enough to hold her head up against their vicious attacks on her character. Hopeless really broke my heart. Sky is such a great girl and when we come to learn about the atrocious things done to her at the hands of the one person who should have protected her, it's hard not to be affected. And yet, I just adore Sky all the more for not allowing it to break her. It may have been a difficult situation and a battle, but Sky is a survivor and that's a very powerful thing.
And a lot of Sky's strength wouldn't be possible without the help and love of Dean Holder. Holder is intense and mysterious and all kinds of sexy. He's brooding and has a real way with words. He really does walk into Sky's life and turn it upside down; causing a chain reaction that leads to a difficult, and heartbreaking journey...on both sides. I really loved Holder. I liked that he appeared to be a bad boy, but actually isn't anything like the rumors that surround him. His faith and devotion to Sky is nothing short of beautiful.
Sky and Holder have a really intense and riveting romance. Hoover couldn't have written their relationship better in my mind. There's an intense attraction between them from the very beginning, and the connection that develops, and that we learn previously existed, made for a very sweet, deep and electric romance. I thought the foundation Hoover gave them, though I don't want to give away spoilers, allowed their relationship to be so much stronger. Together these two were electric; the dialogue shared and the physical aspect of their relationship was sizzling, but I thought the fact they were friends first and foremost made it just them just that more perfect as a couple!
Colleen Hoover addresses some really strong issues in this book; exploring sexual abuse at the hands of a parent and the effect it can have on a person in such a painful and beautiful way. Featuring two great characters, a sensual romance and a powerful storyline, Hopeless has helped Hoover secure a fan in me and guarantees I'll be seeking out more of her stories! (less)
Resist is both the sequel and the conclusion to Sarah Crossan’s thrilling and at times shocking, Breathe duology and is an electrifying end to this dystopian read that will leave you breathless!
I must admit it’s taken me a little while to actually read this series, and now having finished it, I can’t for the life of my figure out why it took me so long! Breathe has been a thoroughly enjoyable series to read. With only two installments in the series, it’s gone fast, but both books have been well written, well thought out and deeply intriguing. I can’t think of a moment where the characters, the story and the pace haven’t been to my liking and not enough to keep me entertained.
Resist picks up exactly where Breathe left off, with The Grove destroyed by Ministry forces and Quinn and Bea on the run for their lives in the pod. The Resistance has been almost eradicated and those who’ve survived have been displaced, with nowhere to go. Resist sees Alina, Silas, Maude, Bruce and other Resistance members heading off in search of sanctuary from another group of rebels, discovering along the way that not everyone supports their way of thinking and may have even more dangerous plans in motion for those who live in the pod.
In the meantime, Bea and Quinn are attempting to find them and instead find others from the pod who surprisingly share their feelings on the assisting the remaining Resistance members. New friends and surprising allies arise, with the mayor's son Ronan taking on a leading role in Resist, and Quinn’s dad making different decisions from the previous book.
Now told through the POV’s of Alina, Bea, Quinn AND Ronan, Resist is very fast paced. This whole book is about our characters fight for survival and a better life, and sees the characters struggle to survive not only from the elements (i.e lack of oxygen) but those who want to shut down everything they’ve worked for (the Ministry). There were tonnes of twists and turns to keep me entertained and some startling shocks including the unexpected loss of one of our main characters at the very end of the book that blew me away. I don’t want to give away spoilers, but it’s a massive loss.
The inclusion of Ronan was interesting to the character dynamic and was a great addition to the story. I worried about a potential love triangle between him, Bea and Quinn, but Crossan handles this all well. Bea, Quinn and Alina are all the fantastic characters they were from the first book, even if the stakes are dire and see them do things they wouldn’t otherwise do. Minor characters, such as Maude Blue add that special something to the book to give it life, and just manage to make me smile time and time again.
Huge stakes and surprising developments keep Resist moving forward. The ending is explosive and hopeful, if not bittersweet, and leaves me feeling mostly satisfied, even if I wasn’t ready for the series to end. Featuring a fast paced storyline and likable characters, Breathe is a series you’ll not want to miss! (less)
Breathe by Sarah Crossan is a very vivid and enjoyable dystopian novel that has the all the elements to keep you entertained and wanting more. Danger, excitement, romance and friendship all weave together to create a tale that will have you early turning pages, lost amongst the riveting story and dire stakes.
Featuring a world where the lack of oxygen, caused by the destruction of all the trees across the earth has left the atmosphere seemingly inhabitable, the world’s population reside in pods and people have to pay for oxygen to simply survive. Individuals live categorized as either Premiums--those of wealth and power, or Auxilaries--people of lower importance who struggle live under the restraints of the government and the ministers who oversee their society; even if they’re not really aware of it.
Personally, I really enjoyed Breathe. It’s taken me a little while to read it, considering the sequel Resist is out already, but I honestly found it to be a good, honest read and I was impressed with what Sarah Crossan has brought to the table with this book. Crossan explores the vivid possibility of what would happen to the world with the loss of oxygen in this futuristic story where a small band of rebels fight to restore some semblance of normality.
To begin with, the setting Crossan has created with Breathe is perfect! She hits every nail on the head in detailing this dangerous, deceptive world where politicians and army generals manipulate to suit their own agendas and normal people have no idea of what is going on right under their noses.
Breathe follows three individuals; Alina, a Resistance member and one of the few people who fight for freedom and a better future, Quinn, a Premium and young man of social standing who has no idea of what’s going on and Bea, a Auxilaries and Quinn’s best friend, who is secretly in love with him and who wants nothing more than to better herself and the lives of her family.
Told through the varying POV’s of Alina, Bea and Quinn, I really liked what Sarah Crossan has done with her main characters in this book. All three are very different and definitely bring different elements to the story, but all are easy to follow and quite likable. It was so easy to read a chapter from, say, Alina’s POV and then have the next one be in Bea’s, then go to Quinn’s and then back to Bea’s for a little while. Crossan has written it so it just flowed perfectly and allowed the story to really showcase all aspects.
The minor characters also complimented the story well; Crossan adds various small characters to the story that I just loved meeting and seeing—I’m taking about you Maude Blue! Sarah Crossan also pleased me by adding the prospect of a love triangle, something I’ve very, very over, but then resolving the issue very quickly; in a different way then I first expected too, but in which I was thrilled about seeing though.
Honestly, I think Sarah Crossan has penned a great start to her new duology with Breathe. It follows a great cast of characters, in an engaging setting and leaves me ready for more! As far as dystopians go this was an enjoyable read and I’m ready for more! (less)
Waiting For Prince Harry by Aven Ellis is a very fun and flirty novel that entertain from beginning to end and will have you wanting to find your own Prince Harry!
Waiting For Prince Harry was a downright fantastic read read. Flirty, fun and addictive, this book was very much a good rom-com; the kind of novel that would make a fabulous chick flick! Introducing us to Kylie Reed, a twenty-four year old designer, Waiting For Prince Harry follows Kylie’s journey to love when she quite literally falls into the lap of her very own ginger-haired hunk. As someone who secretly crushes on Prince Harry, Kylie is surprised when this mystery man manages to give the Prince a run for his money in the looks, attitude and charm department and soon finds herself realising the right person can bring out the best in her.
Eeeep! When I first heard about the premise for Waiting For Prince Harry I knew I had to read it. As someone who simply adores this particular royal (forget William; I’ve always wanted Harry!) Waiting For Prince Harry sounded right up my alley…..and I have to say Aven Ellis has done a great job with this story! Personally, I sped through this book, and could hardly put it down. Basically I wanted to keep reading and reading until the very end.
Though the writing may be basic, the characters and the chemistry they share in Waiting For Prince Harry shine from the very beginning! Main character Kylie Reed is a very normal young woman with a heart of gold. She’s a bit of a homebody and would prefer sewing and baking and watching movies at home over partying and clubbing any day. Kylie is happy to file all her dreams away "for the future" until she meets oh, so sexy Harrison Flynn, famous hockey player, redhead and dreamboat. Sparks fly and soon the two find themselves diving headfirst into L.O.V.E
Kylie was a great main character; she was likable and nice and so down to earth. It was easy to relate to her and put yourself in her shoes. She was the kind of girl you couldn’t help but like and end up vying for. Harrison on the other hand….what a character! This guy has me all weak in the knees and swoony. Harrison Flynn was an honest to goodness, good guy. He had money, fame and status but the things that mattered to him were the smaller things in life. He was funny and charming and endlessly sexy. As a hot-as-hell ginger and star athlete, Harrison has it all physically, but it’s his attitude and personality that won me over in this book. He really was a perfect all-round gentleman; certainly giving Prince Harry a run for his money as the most alluring redhead out there!
As soon as Kylie and Harrison meet, sparks life. I adore these two together, I really do! They have so much chemistry that every interaction between them is rife in attraction and tension. The dialogue between Kylie and Harrison smart and flirty, and Ellis keeps them witty and sassy together. They build such a strong relationship, and even though things move fast it never seems forced or rushed. They have their ups and downs, but as a couple they manage to better each other and it's so beautiful to witness. They have a magical relationship that is so beautiful and sweet--a girls dream!
Featuring a sexy romance, delectable dialogue and an addictive story, Waiting For Prince Harry is a brilliant contemporary read! (less)
**spoiler alert** Thank you to YA Bound Book Tours and author Rebekah L. Purdy for providing me with a copy of this in exchange for an honest review!...more**spoiler alert** Thank you to YA Bound Book Tours and author Rebekah L. Purdy for providing me with a copy of this in exchange for an honest review!
The Romeo Club by Rebekah Purdy is a really cute and easy read, full of endearing friendships, humor and romance.
The premise of The Romeo Club is really quite simple; pretty, popular sixteen year old Delyla Denson has it all; awesome friends, hot-as boyfriend and is quite happy with her life....until she gives her geeky older brother a makeover to help him catch the girl of his dreams and then quickly gets roped into making over his friends as well. Welcome to "The Romeo Club" where Delyla teaches the guys how to act, talk, and be cool around girls. What entails is a lot of fun, laughs and disaster as this teen girl who harbors a secret "nerdy" side finds herself falling for her brothers best friend Trey, a guy who is also currently using his new found self to win over the beautiful girl of his dreams.
The idea may be simple, but there's no denying The Romeo Club is extremely catchy! The writing is basic but fitting and as a closet nerd, Delyla is a real nice heroine to read about; easy to like and follow. I may not have always appreciated her methods--hello sabotage--but I certainly appreciated Delyla's desire to admit her feelings and then fight for the guy she loves. I like the idea that the popular girl fell for the geek.
The guys in this book are just so sweet and geeky that you can't help but love them--from Delyla's sweet older brother Drake to nerds Kevin, C.C and of course Trey; all will make you smile with their "geekiness" and just want to give them a hug. The romance between Delyla and Trey is lovely and sweet, and I did feel their chemistry with their friendship a solid foundation that Purdy perfectly builds on.
Overall The Romeo Club is just a good wholesome read. The book isn't necessary long and once you start you be hard pressed to stop before you reach the end; quickly racing through this really fun and cute tale. (less)
From popular bestselling author Jamie McGuire comes Red Hill, a post apocalyptic thriller that will excite fans of The Walking Dead. Red Hill is a beautifully told story that mixes together excitement and danger against the pitfalls of love and surviving in the midst of tremendous odds!
Told through the eyes of Scarlet, a divorced mother of two, Nathan a man in a loveless marriage and Miranda, a college girl on her way home for the summer with her sister and their boyfriends, Red Hill depicts the events that follow when a deadly virus finds its way into the population; infecting those bitten and turning them into mindless zombies. In the tradition of The Walking Dead, Red Hill is a very realistic and chilling novel. A far cry from other zombie novels where futuristic elements play a part, Red Hill explores what would happen if a zombie apocalypse happened in today’s society.
Personally I don’t think this book is going to appeal to everyone. Though McGuire’s pertinent to detail is spot on and her writing solid, Red Hill lacks some of the excitement and over dramatization that I would hope to see in this kind of novel. Red Hill is in no way a romantic zombie story. McGuire doesn’t romanticize her zombies; this isn’t a story about a bunch of capable and kick-butt people taking on the zombies. This is a story about a group of very real, very authentic, very frightened people who are just trying to survive when the world as they know it ends.
I found it really interesting seeing Jamie McGuire weave together the lives of her characters without them even knowing it. Until the moment they all meet at Red Hill, Scarlet, Nathan and Miranda are put in the vicinity of each other numerous times, even interacting with the same individuals, be it at different points in time and don’t even know it.
Throughout Red Hill, McGuire explores the complexity of human emotion and an individual’s capacity to love in the face of tremendous odds, where survival is far from a sure thing. It’s impossible not to question certain idealisms and notions when reading this book. I mean, what is stronger than a mother’s love for her children, or a father’s love for his child? The power of love between two people sure they want to spend the rest of their lives together? How can we judge people as conceited and selfish when the selfishness seen is as simple as the lengths at which a mother is willing to go to to protect her child? How can you judge someone for putting the life of the one they love over a complete stranger?
It may seem cruel, but in a world gone wrong, what happens to a person’s capacity to care when everyone is out for themselves and do cruel things? It’s a chilling thought, and through out Red Hill, amidst the danger and entertaining story it’s hard not to think of this. At least, I know I did.
Filled to the brim with high stakes, violence and danger, Red Hill mixes friendship and love with bittersweet happiness and sadness. Though it might not be for everyone, Red Hill is a nicely written, and in my opinion, a great read! (less)