Quick & Dirty: Vanilla is a realistically raw look into a damaged and flawed mind. This is not your typical haReview courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales
Quick & Dirty: Vanilla is a realistically raw look into a damaged and flawed mind. This is not your typical happy love story. I loved Megan Hart’s stellar writing style, I just couldn’t get into this relationship.
Opening Sentence: The hum and the sting.
Vanilla is not your typical love story and it definitely was not what I was expecting. If you go into this novel thinking that you will be surprised. Vanilla is a realistically raw look into a damaged and flawed mind. Elise has suffered from a past relationship. A relationship that she compares everything to yet she never really discloses what happened to make her the way she is. Elise doesn’t hide the fact that she likes to dominate men in the bedroom. She even likes to model for pictures doing what she loves, something that her mother really hates. Elise has a lover that she meets once a month satisfying both of their fetishes. Her love life does take an abrupt turn when her lover gets clingy. Then almost, a third of the way through the novel we finally glimpse Niall, the man she is going to fall in like/lust/love with. I have a really hard time trying to define their relationship.
The bulk of the novel was Elise dealing with her relationship issues and hoping to have a real loving relationship with a man instead of just having sex. Elise loves to dominate during sex but she does believe that if she finds the right guy then maybe things could change. All she is asking for is a little give and take with both parties as willing participants.
Elise is damaged and flawed. Vanilla is also about her working through her issues and coming to peace with her life. Her character does change and evolve over the course of the story. I had more of a like/hate relationship with her as the novel progressed. I liked how she acted as the voice of reason at times, especially with her family but she really frustrated me with her clinginess and stubbornness. She would keep things in instead of talking it out, she would rather be mad. Although, there is one scene where I totally agreed with her anger so I will forgive her for that. Elise is also not ashamed of the choices that she makes in life. She stands by what she believes in and doesn’t make excuses for it.
One thing that I really loved about Vanilla. It felt very realistic in the issues that Elise faced. Her conversations were spot on about everyday life and how people deal with their issues and talk to one another. I really did enjoy her interactions with her family and friends. I felt like there was a lot of depth to everyone. It is the little things that really make a story. It almost felt like a real life story, because no one person or family is perfect.
I had two really huge beefs with this story. One of them was Elise’s obsessive/stalkery personality. As soon as she began sending messages to the guy who hurt her, I wanted to drop out of the story but I kept going. She would also obsessively check to see if he saw her messages or was even online. My other issue was the frustration with her relationship with Niall. I just didn’t get it. I would get so upset by their interactions that I wanted to throw my Kindle just because their arguments would make me mad.
Vanilla is told in the first person. It has a bit of a gloomy air to the story, because this world isn’t all sunshine and happiness, but there are some really funny scenes especially the ones that involve her boss.
I would recommend Vanilla for those who like a more realistic story. Vanilla wasn’t wrapped up with a happy little bow, more of a happy “for now” ending.
“It’s a big responsibility, you know. Keeping me happy,” I said against his mouth. My fingers toyed with the length of his hair in the back, and when he shivered, I grinned. “I can be very particular.”
“I know, I know,” Niall said. “Lime in the iced tea, not lemon.”
I’d been dreamy, teasing, but at this I pushed away from him then so I could turn and keep my face from him. Not because I was mad or sad, but because in all my life, there’d never been a man who’d bothered to pay attention to such a small detail…or who got it right.
And then he hit a home run.
“You were left-handed as a kid,” he continued in a low voice from behind me. “But someone must’ve made you switch, huh?”
Slowly, I turned, my heart pounding so hard it’s a wonder it didn’t block out the sound of anything but its beating. “Yes. My mother. Evan was right-handed, and she thought I should be, too. The kindergarten teacher said nobody forced lefties to switch any longer, but my mom insisted anyway. I learned to write right-handed, but yeah…I’m a leftie. I’ve never told anyone that.”
“You didn’t have to tell me. You automatically reach with your left hand,” he said. “I’ve watched you do it with just about everything. I figured.”
That was it, then. The moment I knew. Despite how strangely it had begun, the time I’d so far spent with him still so short it was hardly time at all, when I stood in front of him and knew that Niall Black knew me, really fucking knew me, that was it. I was done.
I was in love.
FTC Advisory: Harlequin Mira provided me with a copy of Vanilla. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review....more
Quick & Dirty: A woman who loves to take risks meets a man whose life is all about order in this erotic romancReview courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales
Quick & Dirty: A woman who loves to take risks meets a man whose life is all about order in this erotic romance. While it had a promising beginning, my interest quickly declined as the book went on.
Opening Sentence: The window air-conditioning unit clicked twice, then whirred to life.
The past year has been a whirlwind for Daniel and Tilda. In that timeframe, they met, fell in love, and got married. Now, they’re on the verge of divorce. Daniel can’t figure out what went wrong and why Tilda is now so set on ending things. The only thing he can think of is that he needs to go back over their time together and see if there are any clues pointing to what’s really going on. He’ll start from the moment they met and continue through the whole year. Will he be able to find what he seeks? Will Tilda be able to let go of her past in order to ensure a future for herself and Daniel?
I thought the beginning of the book was promising. I liked how it started off at a counseling session, showing that all is not well in Daniel and Tilda’s marriage. It served the purpose of immediately making me interested in finding out what happened to bring them to this point. Unfortunately, it all went downhill from there. I found myself reluctant to continue the book, only doing so because I needed to write a review. The last 10 percent of the book hooked me again, but it was too little too late.
As much as I liked the beginning, I think a big part of the problem was the pacing. Every chapter took place at a different point in time throughout the year. While it did go in order, it still felt really choppy, almost as if I was reading vignettes rather than something that was supposed to be a cohesive whole. This also served to make me feel really distant from the characters, Tilda especially. The majority of the book is from her point of view, but we don’t really get to see what makes her tick until the last 10 to 15 percent of the book. The fact that the reader isn’t clued in to Tilda’s past until the last portion of the book really hurts the character development. We may have clues as to what happened to make her the way she is, but without really knowing, we can’t feel connected to her. For most of the book, she just comes off as being very cold and unfeeling, only warming up when it comes to sex.
And there we come to another problem: often, it felt like there was a whole lot more sex than plot, which if you’ve read any of my reviews, you know that is an issue for me. I get bored quickly when reading sex scene after sex scene. I need something else to happen to keep me interested. That’s not to say the scenes weren’t well written; they were good and full of heat and chemistry, but I just got tired of them after a while.
All in all, while I did like the beginning and end of the book, the bulk of it left me bored. I’m guessing if you’ve read and enjoyed the previous books in the series, you’ll probably like this one as well. It just unfortunately didn’t end up being my cup of tea.
“After watching Angie get married, I have no interest in a big wedding.”
“Neither do I,” she said from the closet. She slid her arms into a long-sleeved wrap dress of garnet wool, tied the belt, then zipped up black leather boots. He snagged her on her way out the door to drop a kiss on her nape. The strength of his arm contrasted with the tender touch of his mouth sent a shiver down her spine.
“I’ll meet you at the courthouse. You know where it is?”
“Yes,” she said.
So she walked to the shop under a low, threatening gray sky, and worked. She helped customers, fielded email requests, sorted orders, talked to Edith about the upcoming show for Sheba. The day had an aura of unreality about it, humid air and a cold breeze that boded of a coming storm, mirroring the mix of secretive joy and utter terror inside her.
Married. The one thing she’d never thought she’d do. She didn’t put her own desires on her list, much less think about a wedding day, or a lifelong commitment. No wonder the gathering darkness of the winter solstice made her feel like she’d slipped down the rabbit hole.
FTC Advisory: Berkley/Penguin provided me with a copy of The List. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review....more
Quick & Dirty: A madman is planning something big for the people of the Cauldron, and it’s up to Kate ProsperoReview courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales
Quick & Dirty: A madman is planning something big for the people of the Cauldron, and it’s up to Kate Prospero and the agents of the MEA to stop him in this thrilling second book in the Prospero’s War series.
Opening Sentence: If you want to know your future, the last person to ask is a fortune-teller.
Kate Prospero has been fighting a lot of personal demons since closing her first big case with the MEA. Only one other person knows that she cooked the potion that saved her brother’s life. As far as the rest of the world is concerned, she’s still clean. Keeping the secret is beginning to take its toll. Friends are thinking she’s drinking too much, her brother Danny thinks she’s working too much, and her temper is wearing pretty thin. Amidst all this personal turmoil, she has yet another big case. One of the most powerful people in the Cauldron has been robbed, and the theft makes Kate realize that someone is planning to cause a lot of chaos in the city. With the Blue Moon approaching, the countdown is on. Will Kate and the rest of the MEA be able to track down the thief before he unleashes his new weapon on the world?
I really enjoyed the first book in this series, so I was really excited to have the chance to read and review this one. Thankfully, this book was just as enjoyable as the first one. It was fast paced and full of the humor that I loved in the first book. I think my only complaint would be that it took me a little bit of time to get my bearings and remember how the world worked since it had been a while since I had read the first book. There was a bit of recapping, but this is definitely a series that needs to be read in order.
One of my favorite things about this series is how Jaye Wells is able to make a world full of magic seem so realistic. This comes through especially in the relationships Kate has with the secondary characters. Her relationship with Danny continues to make me feel very emotional as I read certain scenes. I get so wrapped up in the book that I feel like I’m Kate, so the problems she’s having with Danny feel like they’re my problems as well.
Another aspect of the book that feels very real is how Kate handles her relapse and how it affects her relationships. There were many times I found myself feeling very frustrated with Kate and how she responded to certain situations, but even through my frustration, I felt that how she was acting was very true to life. Because of that, I found myself feeling even more connected to her despite my frustration.
For those looking for a bit of romance, they’ll be disappointed with this installment. There are developments on the romance front, but they’re very slight, and it’s much more of a detective story than a romance. As someone who loves romance, I honestly didn’t miss it. I was so wrapped up in everything else that was going on that I really didn’t care. That more than anything should show how much I enjoyed this book. I’m very much looking forward to book three!
His costume–too short for his five-foot-and-spare-change frame–was a green double-breasted blazer, matching tights, and two black shoes with shiny silver buckles. A bowler hat on his head tipped jauntily forward over greasy brown hair. And on each cheek, he’d painted a jagged black lightning bolt.
He turned to face us, and a small plume of glittery golden powder spilled from the cauldron’s wide mouth.
I had my weapon in my hand before you could say Erin go Bragh. “Stand down!” I shouted in my best or-I’ll-shoot tone.
A single black brow disappeared under the brim of the hat. His gaze went to the salt flare gun in my hand. Every criminal in the Cauldron knew that the rock salt’s purpose was as much about inflicting pain as it was neutralizing magic.
Beside me, Morales aimed his Glock at the guy. “Put down the cauldron!”
As it turned out, fake leprechauns are surprisingly fast runners. One second he was staring down the barrels of our guns, and the next the bastard took off. The tails of his jacket flapped in the breeze, and it was a miracle of physics that he managed to keep his hat attached to his head. Morales and I exchanged shocked looks and took after the little shit.
“We need EMS at Pioneer Square,” I yelled into my phone. “Two officers down and several civilians hexed.”
“Ten-four, Detective Prospero,” the dispatcher replied. “On their way.”
“Stay with him,” Morales snapped. “I’ll cut through the alley and head him off at the intersection.”
He veered off to the left. I dug in and ignored the burning in my thighs. My gaze locked in on the sequined clover mocking me from the back of the leprechaun’s coat.
A high-pitched, potion-mad giggle taunted me. “Ye can’t catch the Leprechaun Man!”
I considered shooting the asshole in his pot of gold.
FTC Advisory: Orbit provided me with a copy of Cursed Moon. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review....more
Quick & Dirty: This story was disappointingly underwhelming.
Opening Sentence: “Who died?”
Keira’s liReview courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales
Quick & Dirty: This story was disappointingly underwhelming.
Opening Sentence: “Who died?”
Keira’s life isn’t exactly normal. For one, she has the ability to read tarot cards and she keeps feeling the spirit of her dead grandmother close by. And secondly, the newest development, Keira is clairvoyant and can see ghosts: specifically, the most popular athlete in the school, Jimmy. When he shows up in her room bleeding from a massive head gash and not remembering his death, she doesn’t know what to do, but as a friendship develops with him she feels obligated to find his killer. It’s not easy, though, with his brother Dan (whom she’s been crushing on like crazy since she made a huge mistake years before), his girlfriend Aimee, and the police chief, Charlie, suspicious. Can Keira solve Jimmy’s death and bring him peacefully to the other side?
Keira was a decent character, a little cookie cutter in my opinion. She was pretty simple. She had compassion, empathy, bravery, blah blah blah, a very basic character within the throngs of YA female protagonists. I had one problem with her I’m going to nitpick at. It’s probably the stupidest issue I could have but I could not let it go: her eyes always “teared up”. The amount of times her eyes would get wet but she wouldn’t actually start crying was substantial. In the first couple chapters, I feel like it happened five times. Obviously this isn’t something that you need to not read the book because of, this is just something that caught my attention, and you can easily ignore it if you don’t focus too hard.
Dan was an okay love interest. He was at least a more interesting character than Keira, with his artist skills and humor. Ever since Becky’s Closet, Keira’s relationship with him has been strained, to say the least. When they got chosen together for seven minutes in heaven, Keira made the mistake of letting slip she was hoping to be paired with his brother Jimmy. As soon as he got upset and left, she realized oh no! It’s been him I wanted all along! Obviously that was awkward, and Keira definitely longs for the easy chatter and friendship they had BC (before closet). Eventually they regain that and though Keira makes a couple more dumb mistakes, they forgive each other.
The mystery in this book had two parts. One was where Jimmy was supposed to end up. Would he be stuck to roam the earth with Keira as his guide, without moving on, forever and ever? Or would he go to heaven, or the afterlife, or whatever really exists after death? If so, how will they get him their? This was resolved pretty cleanly and I didn’t have problems with how it turned out. The other part of the mystery, however, I wasn’t a huge fan of. Basically they want to find Jimmy’s killer. There isn’t a trail of clues. It’s basically Keira testing who she finds suspicious and hoping she ends up with the right person. She stumbled along in the dark ignoring what was in front of her all along. My suspicion was correct all along, it was pretty obvious, although I was annoyed that her/his real motives weren’t reveled until the person was.
In the end, I found this book disappointingly underwhelming. It was enjoyable enough, I guess. It was paced well and the plot was solid. But the book didn’t add anything unique to the genre at all. It was cookie cutter characters, cookie cutter plotline, simple writing style. Nothing really special. There was humor, and I liked that. It was nice to get the chance to laugh during the story. I think that this book will be more enjoyable to others, but I just wasn’t feeling it.
Jimmy had everything – looks, brains, popularity. Those were the things that drew people to him. Those were also the things that made people insanely jealous.
And if that’s the case, everyone’s a suspect in Jimmy’s death.
FTC Advisory: Bloomsbury Spark provided me with a copy of This is Your Afterlife. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review....more
Quick & Dirty: Terrifyingly authentic, this book is raw, gripping, and devastating.
Opening Sentence: Twenty-seReview courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales
Quick & Dirty: Terrifyingly authentic, this book is raw, gripping, and devastating.
Opening Sentence: Twenty-seven days to freedom, and I am caged.
Stevie is trapped. Her life has became hell as she descends closer and closer to death. Every day she mourns the loss of her brother, the brother whom she grieves for and carries guilt for. She counts calories as a desperate way to grasp control on her life, but now even that is slipping away, in the treatment center where girls like her with eating disorders go to heal. Stevie doesn’t think she needs healing — in fact, she doesn’t want it. Because the anniversary of her brother’s death is approaching and she has a plan for that day. She plans for it to be her last. Stevie’s journey towards recovery is raw and gritty in this novel about forgiveness and regret.
I didn’t know much going into Paperweight. I knew vaguely that it was about a girl with a bad eating disorder who is faced with a treatment center, but I didn’t realize just how painful this book would be. It’s very hard reading from Stevie’s perspective. She’s in so, so much pain and is teetering on the edge of a cliff. There are so many different interconnecting things that took a part in this pain — her guilt, her anger towards her mother, her confused feelings towards her “best friend”. Sometimes I would have to stop reading, take a deep breath, and remember that happy things existed.
The development of Stevie was the most important element of the story. She starts off super bitter and angry all the time. She sets up a wall of hatred, for herself and others, in order to block out the brunt of her guilt. She could be kind of bitchy, forgive my language. She mocked the girls that were healing and looked down on them. She only respected the ones that fought getting better — she felt that they were the strongest. That was hard to watch. As the story goes on, very slowly she regains herself. She begins to forge friendships with other girls and is able to consider the possibility of not killing herself. There were a few roadblocks. She was furious at herself for, at one point, eating more than her usual measly amount, and she thought she was showing weakness. For a long time, she truly was hopeless, and it was frightening. Thankfully she grew to be a whole new Stevie after coaxing herself there.
There were some side characters as well that I enjoyed. One was the therapist for Stevie, Anna, whom was called Shrink in Stevie’s head. Her approach was gentle and she didn’t push too hard, but I think she played a good part in showing Stevie that there was a possibility for a better future. I also liked watching the other girls in the house grow. They each had individual stories and problems, and each was fighting a different battle. Watching Stevie group together with the others was heartwarming, especially in a book that was so dark and depressing.
This book dealt with a very sensitive subject in eating disorders. It really helps you to understand what those who go through it feel. I think that the author executed the painful subject matter with expertise and wasn’t afraid to add lots of raw emotion. If you are looking for a cute contemporary than this is not it; there is no fluff in this book. There wasn’t a romance either. It was about a character’s journey towards forgiving herself and moving on. There was so much grit in this book, it kind of reminds me of Bleed Like Me. Go ahead, read it, it’s wonderfully done. But be prepared to shed more than a few tears!
I imagine myself dead. Cold. Perfect and unbreathing with a still, stone heart. The weight of my useless body rotting in the ground. My soul lighter than paper and drifting far from its fleshy prison.
I allow myself a small smile. Death won’t desert me. It’s waiting for me, beckoning. And I’m ready, taking sure steps towards my final act. An intricately choreographed scene that will amaze. I will face the audience: my mother, Eden. My father, Shrink. And with a glittering cloud of smoke – poof!
I will disappear.
FTC Advisory: HarperTeen provided me with a copy of Paperweight. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review....more
Quick & Dirty: Six teenagers discover that freedom comes with a huge price.
Opening Sentence: It happened likeReview courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales
Quick & Dirty: Six teenagers discover that freedom comes with a huge price.
Opening Sentence: It happened like this: Candace needed to leave home and Grace found the solution.
If you’ve watched Pretty Little Liars (yes, I’m guilty), then you’ll have an inkling of the kind of feeling I got when I read this book. There’s lots of drama, teenagers with dangerous secrets and suspense. In Emancipated, six teenagers move to LA to live under the same roof, most are emancipated of their own free will but others aren’t as lucky. At first it feels like a massive holiday, all the freedom they could want without the nagging parents, but soon enough they realise that emancipation / moving out isn’t all it was cut out to be.
Underneath their teenage lives are secrets, lies, hidden identities and a lot of twists! None of the characters of the house are who they seem. Lovely, innocent Grace is scheming to get her father out of prison, sweet, smart Maya turns out to be a spy (!) And John-Michael is anything but a cliche gay guy.
Maya said, “If he bought him H and gave it to his dad, knowing that he was gonna kill himself, that’s a crime. I don’t know what level of crime it is, but I’m pretty sure that’s illegal.” Grace could barely conceal her scorn. “Of course that’s illegal! It’s assisted suicide. Second-degree murder. You do prison time for that.” “That’s insane,” Candace said. “No way should you do time for assisted suicide.” “Are you kidding?” Grace countered angrily. “What if I come round and ‘assist’ you to death, huh? Or your little ol’ grammy? That okay by you?”
The story is deliberately confusing, with the intermittent conversations between Ariana and Charlie separating the actual events taking place at the house, which starts to have a ‘big-brother’ type feel to it. The reader knows that Charlie isn’t a real name but is left guessing who it is and why Ariana is so involved in ‘Charlie’s’ life.
I felt like Paolo was a bit of a waste; he was a pretty boy who falls in love with a girl that won’t look at him twice and is left pinning for her. The author tried to make his character more interesting with the Darius-related events but I still felt that his entire character lacked spark.
“No, but really.” He managed to bring his chuckles under control. “Look, you guys must have an opinion: Does Lucy like me?” A little too quickly, Grace answered, “No.” He sighed. “I was afraid of that.” Candace said, “Did she ever act like she likes you?” “No. Kind of the opposite.” Grace rolled her eyes. “There’s your clue.” “I guess.” She continued. “I hope you don’t want to be a detective when you graduate.” “It wouldn’t be my first choice.”
John-Michael on the other hand was such an awesome guy to read about. I could feel the pain, guilt and relief his father’s death had on him, and it was clear from his past that he has seen some dreadful things. I loved his dependable character, and the struggle he’s gone through for being gay made him even more loveable.
She placed a hand on his. “I’m sorry.” Candace chimed in, “Yeah, John-Michael, me too. Not everyone gets along with their parents, but it’s got to be hard to lose one.” “Then I must be pretty careless,” he replied with a bitter chuckle. “Because I’ve lost two.”
Lucy was kind of frustrating, I mean if you know that a man is on death row for murder, and you have insider knowledge that the murder was committed by a woman, surely you would speak up about it? I can imagine it’s difficult for her trudging up memories of a past she’s tried to forget but seriously, someone’s going to die because of her silence! She acts like she’s so tough, but it’s clear that it’s just a facade and underneath it all she’s scared.
The ending has a cliffhanger but I think emancipated is a series I would like to continue reading, just to find out what/who actually killed Tyson (I have a hunch) and what happens about John-Michael’s court issue. I do hope that Paolo gets a more interesting role though because right now, he doesn’t seem to be adding much.
So far, life kept handing him the fuzzy end of the lollipop. Tonight had been John-Michael’s chance to change that. His father’s exact words had been, “You’re a screwup, son. For once, I want to see something different. Prove to me that you inherited some balls.”
Now John-Michael would finally have the opportunity, maybe even the upper hand. Freedom had come at last. The price had been high.
But then, wasn’t it always.
FTC Advisory: Katherine Tegen/HarperTeen provided me with a copy of Emancipated. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
Quick & Dirty: Seeing the children explore such the strange but wonderful Omega City was deliciously satisfyinReview courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales
Quick & Dirty: Seeing the children explore such the strange but wonderful Omega City was deliciously satisfying.
Opening Sentence: It started with a fire.
Gillian’s father has been ruined. He’s been a popular author and historian for years, but when his primary source for his newest book was destroyed by the water pipes flooding, he had no evidence to back himself up when people started calling his theories a fraud. But Gillian is starting to think that it wasn’t a water pipe that ruined the famous war scientist Dr. Underburg’s diary. And when a series of clues planted by him lead them to a huge discovery, they get more than they bargained for. What started as an attempt to restore their father’s reputation creates a race against the clock and some gun-hefting adults as they explore the dangerous but wonderful Omega City.
I’ll admit, I am mostly a YA reader. Sure, there are certain middle grade books that I absolutely adore and have reread countless times, but only a select few that are close to my heart. So when I got a middle grade book to review I wasn’t sure how to feel. Would the writing be juvenile? Would the characters be immature? The last middle grade I reviewed put a sour taste over the idea of a middle grade, but I knew that I couldn’t judge this book by my previous reads, so I jumped right in and hoped for the best. I’m happy to say it exceeded all my expectations and more! I finished this novel within a day and I was gripped by the action and ever-twisting plotline. The characters were obviously younger than the usual ones I read from, but I found myself adoring them all the same.
Our main character, Gillian, or “Gills” to some, was a lot of fun to read from. She was passionate, loyal, and believed strongly in her values. It was sometimes funny just how strongly she held on to her beliefs — there were tons of random conspiracy theories she agreed with and tons that she scoffed, and the other characters teased her about it relentlessly. Well, until one of her most outrageous ideas turned out to be correct. The other characters were just as rich and complex. Savanna was the popular girl at school, dumbing herself down to seem good to her peers, with an insane and hilarious crush on a three year older pizza guy. Howard was the resident nerd, and I liked how his complete lack of social skills developed into someone who could make a couple jokes every once and a while. Eric was Gillian’s brother, and I loved their relationship so much and how their family bond was so prominent.
The mystery was completely filled with twists, turns, and plot twists. Right from the get-go we are launched into an adventure that was nonstop and action-packed. The clues weren’t easy, but they weren’t too difficult either, and watching the characters decipher their meaning was awesome. One of my favorite parts about this novel was how we were taught about the Cold War as our characters immersed in its history. Hearing about all the cool inventions by Underburg and his beliefs made me want to research him — too bad my English research paper was just due. His best invention was the Omega City. Seeing the children explore such the strange but wonderful Omega City was deliciously satisfying. I was so excited to see the next thing that would happen in this book that I could hardly put it down!
Altogether this book was a worldwind of action, humor, and fun. There were lots of surprises and the middle grade dialogue flowed very realistically. I have a brother the same age who is a gamer same as Eric and what Eric said I could very well imagine coming out of my brother’s mouth. There wasn’t a romance is this novel, but there didn’t need to be. The relationships between friends and family was more than enough. Thinking and writing about this book right now is making me want to dive in again and reread. Ugh, the horror though — it’s not a standalone. I have to wait a whole year for the final resolution! It didn’t even leave with a cliffhanger, I just want more of Omega City! This novel was super fun!
Some secrets are small- the size of a battery, or a button, or a scrap of paper. Other secrets are so big they can bury a man alive, or tear apart a family . . . or even destroy the world.
Omega City was both.
FTC Advisory: Balzar + Bray/HarperTeen provided me with a copy of Omega City. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review....more
Quick & Dirty: Boys, cars, dreams, and Blue, really what more does one have to say! This book is for anyone thReview courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales
Quick & Dirty: Boys, cars, dreams, and Blue, really what more does one have to say! This book is for anyone that loves cars, magic and adventures.
Opening Sentence: “A secret is a strange thing”
This is the second book in The Raven Cycle series. What a follow up. This book focuses a little more on Ronan instead of Blue like in the first book. It picks up shortly after the events of book one. What can I say, this book is so good and we begin to get to know Ronan even better, in the first book we learned that his father was murdered, but we really don’t know why he was killed. Right from the start Maggie Stiefvater begins reeling you in. First we learn this is a mystery about where Ronan’s father got his money, and what bars them from going home. Then we learn something about Ronan that is central to this whole book…*spoilers*. Sorry, I always think of River Song and just say spoilers instead of spilling anything.
Ronan’s brother Declan is attacked and thus begins the race to find the greywaren! While the Raven boys are searching for Glendower, it appears that the Grey man and others are searching for the mysterious item called a greywaren. This “item” is central to the story and many questions get answered in the course of the book. What is the greywaren, who killed Ronan’s father, what is Ronan’s secret? Those are just some of the questions answered in The Dream Thieves!
Those aren’t the only things going on; finally Blue admits she has a crush on Gansey — like we all didn’t see that coming after the first book. Sadly though it means she also has to admit that she isn’t feeling Adam at all. But it all spins full circle because we know that Blue can’t kiss him or he will die!!! No, talking about the feels of this book, it isn’t really a romance on any level but the build-up and dance between Blue and Gansey is serious in this book! Sigh, I could go on and on but I won’t. Suffice to say that if you like magic, fantasy, boys, cars and one badass girl then this book should be on your to read list! So get the series and start reading this fantastic fantasy filled with all a person can ask for out of a good book! Great characters, feels, mystery and adventure!
Notable Scenes: “A welsh king from the fifteenth century”
“One hundred white Mitsubishis”
“It’s not going to be you and me”
FTC Advisory: I borrowed a copy from the library, thus was not bribed to give a good review on this book....more
Quick & Dirty: Amazing sequel that delivered everything I wanted and more! Brimming with adventure, mystery, bReview courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales
Quick & Dirty: Amazing sequel that delivered everything I wanted and more! Brimming with adventure, mystery, betrayal, and romance this is sure to be a hit with all young adult fantasy fans!
Opening Sentence: My voice faded into silence, though the memory of it seemed to haunt the theatre as I slumped gracefully, trusting that Julian would catch me, however much he might not want to.
Cécile barely escaped the city of Trollus with her life, just two short months ago. She was kidnapped and forced to marry the crown prince, Tristan, and surprisingly she managed to fall in love during her stay in the city. Trollus is home to the Trolls and they have been stuck in their city under the mountain for 500 long years. The witch, Anushka, cursed them and the only way for them to break the curse is to find Anushka and kill her, but they aren’t allowed to leave the mountain so they have to find others to do it for them. Cécile had to flee Trollus, but she left behind some of the people she cares about most. The tyrant that rules Trollus is very cunning and the fact that he holds Tristan prisoner is a huge motivation for Cécile to help find the witch.
Cécile is now in the city of Trianon with her mother performing at the opera, but whenever she has a spare moment she is searching for Anushka. But people have been searching for years for the witch and no one has ever succeeded before. If Cécile wants any hope of ever finding Anushka she will have to delve into some very dark magic that will come at a price. What price is too high and how far will she go to save the man that she loves? If she does manage to find and kill Anushka, the trolls will be free and that may be far worse for the world then the situation Cécile finds herself in now!
I fell in love with Cécile’s character in the first book and it took no time at all to reconnect with her character. She is such a strong heroine that can really hold her own in a world where she would be considered weak. Yes, she has the ability to perform magic, but she has no training and for the most part she doesn’t know how to use magic. Given the impossible task of finding the 500 year old witch, Anushka, is a very daunting task but Cécile doesn’t ever consider giving up. She uses what assets she posses to get things done and I really respected that about her. I love how smart and witty she is, it makes being in her mind very entertaining. Another great quality is how big her heart is. She will do anything for the people she loves and she proves it time and time again. She has quickly become one of my favorite heroines and I seriously can’t wait to see how her story ends.
Tristan is such a swoon worthy guy that I managed to fall even more in love with. From the first moment I met him his broody attitude and mysterious persona instantly captured my attention. But as his true character surfaced, I ended up falling head over heels for him. Trollus is a very dangerous city and being that hated traitorous prince made Tristan’s situation pretty dire, and for a while I was a little worried that things were just going to go from bad to worse. But I should have never feared because Tristan is one of those people that were born to get through tough situations. He is extremely smart and cunning when it comes to figuring out politics and he has played the games of his kind for a long time. Sure he has made plenty of mistakes, but giving up isn’t something he would ever consider doing. The relationship between Cécile and Tristan is so adorable. They are both so stubborn, but they really bring out the best in each other. I love that they make each other stronger and no matter what they don’t ever give up on each other. Tristan has so many amazing qualities that just make him the perfect swoon worthy book boy.
Hidden Huntress was everything and more that I wanted in a sequel! I can’t even begin to tell you how much I loved Stolen Songbird, so I had some pretty high expectations for this book and it totally delivered. The pages are full of action, mystery, romance, and a very intriguing plot! To be perfectly honest, when I picked up my kindle and saw that the book was over 400 pages I was a little nervous that I would struggle getting through the whole book, but trust me when I say I could not put this down. From the very first page I was instantly drawn back into the world and there was never a dull moment. The pacing was spot on and I was so engrossed in what was going on the pages just flew by. The world that Jensen created is so captivating and I love that the mystical creatures she decided to feature are trolls. There are not that many books out there that have gorgeous trolls in them and can I tell you I wish there were more! I love the entire cast of characters in this story and each one of them is written so perfectly. Like the first book the ending is pretty heart wrenching, but it set things up perfectly for the next book! Suffice to say I really enjoyed this book and the final book in the series is one of my most anticipated reads for next year! I would highly recommend this series to anyone looking for a great fantasy story!
As if I didn’t know. For months I’d felt Tristan’s agony as he was subjected punishment at his father’s order. Had watched the silver marks on my knuckles tarnish as his strength was sapped in ways my mind too easily imagined. But none of it prepared me for the sight of him being dragged barefoot and shirtless between armed guards, who flung him at his father’s feet.
A sob tore from my lips as my eyes took in his gaunt frame, filthy and covered with dried blood. Three sets of manacles encircled his arms, manacles designed to hold in place iron spikes skewered through flesh and bone. Fresh blood oozed around the mental, falling crimson droplets to soak the sand beneath him. The King reached down and pulled the hood off his head. Tristan remained unmoving, slumped against the barrier. A breeze rose off the sea, gusting by me to tug at his grime-caked hair.
Very slowly, he raised his face, eyes focusing on me. “Cécile,” he croaked. “I told you never to come back.”
FTC Advisory: Angry Robot provided me with a copy of Hidden Huntress. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review....more
Quick & Dirty: While certainly steamy and well written, this story just didn’t have enough plot to keep me entReview courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales
Quick & Dirty: While certainly steamy and well written, this story just didn’t have enough plot to keep me entertained.
Opening Sentence: “Haven’s in trouble.”
Haven hasn’t been the same since her dad died. She has what she always thought was her dream as a sports reporter, but she just can’t get herself motivated to work. Her mother sees this happening, and contacts Trevor, an old friend who is now a famous baseball and football star. Haven’s mother asks him if there is anything he could possibly do to help. Trevor contacts Haven’s boss, saying that he wants her to do a piece on him. Even in her grief, Haven can’t pass up this opportunity. So, she agrees to follow Trevor around during the end of the baseball season and beginning of the football season. As Haven and Trevor begin working together, it’s obvious there are sparks between them. Haven wants to keep their relationship professional, but she just can’t resist Trevor’s charms. As their relationship evolves, they both want to keep an emotional distance for their own reasons. Love, however, might have a different plan for them.
I was hesitant starting this book. I wasn’t thrilled with the last Jaci Burton novel I read, and I was worried that this book might go the same way. Unfortunately, I was right. There just wasn’t a whole lot of plot here for me to sink my teeth into. It seemed like once Haven and Trevor admitted their attraction, all that was left was a bunch of sex, with some other scenes thrown in here and there. I have no problem with sex scenes in general, but when that appears to be the only basis for a relationship, it makes it very hard for me to suspend my disbelief when the “I love yous” are finally shared. Sure, Haven and Trevor knew each other in college, but not on a really personal basis, so I couldn’t even use that as an excuse for why there wasn’t much relationship building going on.
The next thing that annoyed me is really just a personal quirk of my own and no real fault of the book’s. I kept getting yanked out of the story every time Trevor’s baseball team was mentioned because it’s not an actual professional team. Again, just a personal quirk of mine. Living where I do, I’m very familiar with both Chicago and St. Louis sports, so hearing the St. Louis team referred to as the Rivers just served to remind me that I was just reading a story. I couldn’t let myself get caught up in what was going on. I am fully aware that this probably won’t bother most readers. It was such a big source of frustration for me though that I had to mention it.
I also couldn’t help but feel that Trevor’s big secret was just thrown in to add some last minute drama. He literally mentions nothing about it until maybe the 70 percent mark, and then it’s suddenly such a big deal that it’s the reason he feels he can’t be in a serious relationship. It just felt very random and once again yanked me out of the story.
On the good side, the book is well written, and the sex scenes are certainly steamy. There’s no denying Trevor and Haven have chemistry. While light on plot, I was interested enough in what was going on that I feel I have to give the book more than two stars. I just wish there had been a little more to it than what there was.
“You take the game seriously.”
He shot her a look. “Hell, yes, I do. This is my career. I love this game. Every guy on the team does. We hate losing, especially when getting into the postseason was within our grasp.”
“There were some tough calls out there, and every game was close.”
“And we made a lot of mistakes. I made a lot of mistakes. I struck out with the bases loaded. That right there was the potential to turn that game around.”
“So you take personal responsibility for losing tonight’s game.”
“I do.” He looked around. “Talk to any guy on the team tonight and every one of them will say the same thing.” He paused to take a breath. “Look, I know I tout myself as some kind of superstar. That I play two sports and I like to think I do both of them well. But at the end of the day, we’re a team. We win as a team and we lose as a team. And right now we the team think this sucks. And we’re going to continue to think it sucks until the start of next season, when we get together again, bound and determined to take the team all the way to the postseason again.”
FTC Advisory: Berkley/Penguin provided me with a copy of Straddling the Line. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review....more
Quick & Dirty: A contemporary romance based in NYC and told from the perspective of three roommates.
Opening SeReview courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales
Quick & Dirty: A contemporary romance based in NYC and told from the perspective of three roommates.
Opening Sentence: The enormity of the situation hits me at the most random time.
The story is told from each of the three roommates perspectives, which was interesting because not only did it allow me to see what the girls thought of each other, I was able to understand why they behaved the way they did. It was apparent that each girl has a secret that was always in the back of their minds, some darker than others but to each their secret weighs deeply.
I knew almost immediately that Sadie’s love story was too good to be true. It was far too perfect, and Austin matched the soul mate description like it was made for him. Love like that is too good to be true so I was just waiting for the bomb to explode. Sadie irritated me with her cheesiness and her romanticism, her soppiness was so over the top and the ‘right around the corner’ sign that she went on and on about took the biscuit! When Austin hesitated to take Sadie to Jersey City, then started giving evasive answers, I had a gut feeling that his secret would mess everything up. And it did.
“Are you saying that anyone who’s been married for a long time is vulnerable to falling in love with someone else?” Rosanna asks. “Anyone is vulnerable to falling in love with someone else, married or not. You can’t choose who you fall in love with.”
Rosanna’s idealistic character was adorable, it’s clear that her past haunts her and she wants so much to believe the best in others but the darkness is always there, threatening to seep in. I’m glad she met D and although their love story wasn’t as picture perfect as Sadie and Austin’s, I still can’t see it working long term. Rosanna has such strong beliefs and D pretty much goes against everything she believes in, especially since they are from two completely different worlds. D is insanely rich, whilst Rosanna survives on bagel dinners; I don’t think their attraction is strong enough to overcome their differences.
The final roommate appears to be the feistiest and the biggest cynic when it comes to love. Darcy wants to enjoy summer without any of the attachments that will inevitably break her heart. Without a doubt, Darcy was my favourite of the three, probably because I’m just as much of a cynic when it comes to love as she is. Her carefree attitude only worked for so long though because the love bug had hit their house and it wasn’t going to leave without infecting all three!
“Once you start considering a boy as BF material, all bets are off.” Darcy says. “He could be the worst possible boy for you and you don’t even see it.” “You can’t see any red flags when you’re in it,” I say. “It doesn’t matter how many friends tell you he’s bad for you. They could point out his problems a thousand times and it wouldn’t matter. All you can see are the good parts. “Love is blind,” Rosanna says. “Love is crap,” Darcy declares.
I enjoy reading series, especially for paranormal fantasies but I didn’t expect there to be a part 2 of City Love, especially at such a crucial point in each of their stories. I found that rather off putting to be honest, because I wasn’t aware of it from the start, and I hate being left unprepared. Despite that, I am intrigued about their future and what happens to each of the roommates in their adventures of love, although I could do without the cheesiness!
“Do you know that soul mates are real?”
Austin laughs. “I love how you framed the question. People would usually ask something like, ‘Do you believe in soul mates?’”
“But soul mates are real. It’s not a matter of belief.”
“Like global warming.”
“Exactly. Asking someone if they believe in global warming is like asking if they’re smart. Only idiots refuse to believe in reality.”
“So if I don’t believe in soul mates…sorry, if I don’t know they’re real, then I’m an idiot?”
“No. You would just be uninformed, which is a completely different thing. Then I would school you and you’d know.”
FTC Advisory: Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins provided me with a copy of City Love. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review....more
Quick & Dirty: A woman cursed to be a jinni for 1,000 years is finally close to the end of her sentence. ThenReview courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales
Quick & Dirty: A woman cursed to be a jinni for 1,000 years is finally close to the end of her sentence. Then a Magi has to show up and ruin everything. A fun tale full of humor and action, this book definitely should not be missed!
Opening Sentence: The chubby little human was doing his damndest to hump my leg, but the palm I’d placed on his forehead kept him at arm’s length.
It’s been a very long thousand years for Lyla. Born human but cursed to be a jinni, she’s waited for this day for a very long time. The rules of her curse state that if she is unBound exactly one thousand years after being cursed, she will become human again. Well, she is only a week away. Her freedom is so close she can actually taste it. Then, Oz shows up. Oz, a Magi, has the power to Bind Lyla, and that is exactly what he does. He needs help finding the daughter of friends of his, and he won’t release Lyla until the daughter is found. Lyla has no choice but to follow his every command and hope that he’s telling the truth when he says he will release her once her task is complete. It soon becomes obvious, however, that this is no simple rescue mission. Things are starting to go terribly wrong in Pittsburgh, and it’s becoming more and more clear that this girl is at the heart of it. Will Lyla and Oz be able to find this girl before Lyla’s time is up?
I’m still in the middle of Nicole Peeler’s Jane True series, about which I have mixed feelings (hated the first 2 books, but the third was entertaining), so I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to react to this new series. Thankfully, I needn’t have worried. I was pretty much hooked from page one and had a hard time putting the book down. It’s full of humor, but the humor doesn’t feel forced, which makes it very enjoyable.
It did take me a little bit to warm up to Lyla, mainly because it is so obvious that Oz is a good guy, so the way she treats him at first made me not like her, even though her attitude is justified based on her prior experience with Magi. Once I let my initial feelings go, I really began to like her. She has the makings of a very tough heroine, and I’m curious to see where she goes from here.
One complaint I have is that, while Oz is supposed to be the leading man, he felt more like a side character. I never really got a good feel for him, other than knowing that he was a good guy. I’m hoping there will be more added to his character in future books because there is definitely potential there. It just didn’t come to fruition in this book.
Lyla’s friends really make up the heart of this book. I easily felt the most connected to them, I think because it so apparent from the very start how much they care about her, and their actions throughout the book only served to further deepen my affection for them. I especially loved Rachel. Her personality just leaped off the page. I would love to get a chapter or short story from her point of view.
All in all, this was a very entertaining first book in a series. There were times that exposition bogged the story down a bit, but it really didn’t affect my enjoyment too terribly. I would say everyone should definitely give this one a try, even if they didn’t love the Jane True series. You might just find yourself pleasantly surprised, as I was.
Recognizing a true, Initiated Magi, my crazy inner she-bear emerged, gibbering about never being taken alive. If I had any thought at all it was that my sense of self-preservation would give me an edge. I was fighting for my life, after all, while this guy was just a jerk trying to Bind a jinni.
Unfortunately he didn’t fight like a jerk; he fought like a cornered wolverine. He fought as if he were the one who’d be enslaved if he lost this match. He fought like his life depended on it. Which, considering I was intent on killing him, I guess it did.
He fought better than me.
I was hitting him, hard, but I’d lost my talons shifting to a bigger size. Being unBound meant I was far less powerful, even with my unusual access to all of Pittsburgh’s corrupted magic swirling at my feet. And now that I was unarmed, he wasn’t hitting back, just using his big body to deflect the majority of my blows. Until I overextended a kick.
His own booted foot lashed out, knocking my leg out from under me. I was on the ground again and this time he didn’t underestimate my abilities.
He pinned me down with all his weight, his knees pressing painfully into my thighs and his chest blanketing mine, his hands holding down my wrists. His face was inches from mine, but his features were entirely obscured by the bright glow of his Flaring eyes.
Not me, my brain howled. Not when I’m so close to being free. I started to shift again in a last, desperate attempt. But before I could change, he’d spoken.
It was the second part of the spell that was the real bitch. And I was too late to stop him.
“Te vash anuk a si,”he chanted over and over. I Call you.His pronunciation grew more confident with every repetition. The harsh sibilance of the language of the jinn reached toward me, wrapping around my soul. I cried out, but the spell blanketed me, muting my powers. I stopped mid-shift, my power whoomping out, leaving me beneath him in my own small form.
My wide brown eyes stared up at him, begging him silently to stop, not to say the last bit. The bit that made me his; that made me do his bidding; that made me a slave until he either let me go or died.
He spoke the words.
FTC Advisory: Orbit provided me with a copy of Jinn and Juice. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review....more
Quick & Dirty: Another unfortunately disinteresting read about the end of the world, which completely lacked hReview courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales
Quick & Dirty: Another unfortunately disinteresting read about the end of the world, which completely lacked humour.
Opening Sentence: I write things on the sand so I won’t forget them.
I tried to enjoy Drowned, I really did. But a book based on the apocalypse, with everyone counting down the tides until they drown to death, and in a world where everyone fights for themselves and there is no hope, is a leeeetle difficult to enjoy! The problem with such books is that the world-building isn’t believable or that it’s too realistic, and in this case the latter meant that I was beginning to feel anxious about my own upcoming doom! I could imagine the four hundred odd people scrambling around in their formation and huddling together when the tide got too close, unfortunately I could just as easily believe that some people would prey on the weak, making it survival of the fittest.
When someone disappears, we all assume the worst. Because the worst is usual.
There was absolutely no humour in the entire story, something I did not think was possible. I have no idea how so many characters manage to stay sane given the dire circumstances, I know for sure I wouldn’t have the strength. Coe is an odd heroine, in that she is not pretty, or skilled (she is the ‘Craphouse Keeper’ of the island) and has lost her arm in a ‘scribbler’ attack, but what sets her apart is her ability to love, something the people of Drowned have long forgotten.
The job of Craphouse Keeper, Ana told me when I assumed it when I was five, “always falls to the youngest person in the world.” But Tiam never had to shovel crap, and neither did Memory, the next youngest person in the world. And Fern is now the youngest, but when I pointed that out, Ana just shook her head and barked, “Be grateful.” It seems that either I am the greatest Craphouse Keeper in the world or they think shoveling crap is the best job a one-handed nobody should be entitled to.
Tiam added a teency bit of romance to the story, as well as the adventure and the spark that was definitely missing beforehand (he was probably the reason I gave this read a star at all). However, Coe and Tiam’s friendship needed much developing especially to make the romance believable. It was hard to contemplate why Tiam would go to such lengths for Coe when he hadn’t been speaking to her properly in recent years, but then why hadn’t they been speaking for years when their allocated spaces were within feet of each other? It just didn’t make sense…
I back away, grinding my teeth together so violently my jaw aches. Then without another word, I head away from him, down the shore. I know that what I need to do is stop myself from caring about Tiam. Just stay as far away as possible. Because if it hurts this much to lose a person you love, I don’t think I can live through it twice.
I found that the concept of Drowned was interesting, especially the addition of the diary that Coe reads. The problem was that my attention drifted too much whilst reading this book, there wasn’t enough to interest me to begin with so it was hard work to continue reading. If the first third of the book was more captivating and there had been some element of comedy, even if it was dry humour, I think it would have made a big difference!
I nod. My father never went anywhere without that blue kerchief. He’d tie it around his neck and use it to wipe the sweat from his forehead. Or he’d pull it over his forehead to keep the hair out of his eyes. “Where did they find it?”
“It washed ashore today.” He takes my hand and gently pools the fabric into it. It, like everything, is damp. “I thought you should have it.”
“Oh, Thanks,” I say calmly, even though the world’s crashing around me. And to think only a heartbeat ago I’d been having stupid, stupid daydreams that Tiam had asked me to go off with him because I was special to him. When, really, all he wanted to tell me was that everyone who ever cared about me is dead.
FTC Advisory: Harlequin Teen provided me with a copy of Drowned. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review....more
Quick & Dirty: This thrilling, gripping novel kept me engaged and on the edge of my seat.
Opening Sentence: AsReview courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales
Quick & Dirty: This thrilling, gripping novel kept me engaged and on the edge of my seat.
Opening Sentence: As far as I could tell, my history teacher had three passions in life: quoting Shakespeare, identifying historical inaccuracies in cable TV shows, and berating Ryan Washburn.
Lately it’s been finals weeks for me as I wrapped up school this year, so I haven’t been reading much other than before I go to bed at night. When I opened this novel, I didn’t expect to get so gripped and sucked into the story that I stayed up way past what was appropriate considering my approaching geometry final. Tess and her sister have had a complicated relationship ever since her sister stopped contacting her years ago. But now she’s back, and dragging Tess along to live with her in her DC house. Soon Tess learns from her classmates that her sister is considered a “fixer”- she fixes things like permanent records, arrests, and other bad situations using her pleathera of contacts and secrets to get things going. Tess doesn’t admire her sister’s career, but she feels herself falling into the role of the high school fixer, until the secrets get deeper and more dangerous than she bargained for.
Tess is a tough character. She’s built up walls to protect herself from pain over the years and has learned to push aside emotion and play a poker face. She sometimes thinks rashly and does things better not done, but she always does them with cunning and craftiness that makes her a formidable enemy. I enjoyed her powerful nature and how she had such a fighting spirit. Not only did she have a relentless curiosity and amazing instincts, she stands up for those who need the help. By the end of the book she has developed and relinquished the walls, but she regained and grew in her stronger aspects. She becomes a force in the Washington politics and it was lots of fun watching her maneuver it. Barnes created such an amazing, rich world in D. C. It was easy falling into the politics and understanding what was going on once you were a few chapters in and had gotten the tons of names down.
Tess didn’t even have a love interest in this story, because if there is anything that Tess doesn’t need, it’s a man. Of course, that could change in the second book, and it might. There were a couple male friends that might develop into something more. (I thought this book was a standalone until I finished it. Still really angry I’ll have to wait a whole other year.) This story was focused solely on the bond between Tess and Ivy, her different friendships, and most of all the thrilling mystery aspect. Some mysteries get either too complex to follow or are shockingly obvious from the beginning, but I’m pleased to report that this was neither to me. Every time I thought that there was no way Barnes could shock me again, she’d throw in another twist to mess with my head. There were a few twists that really screwed with me and then turned out to be false alarms.
The thing about this book is that it starts out pretty mellow. Yes, there are some looming problems and definitely stuff to hook you in, there isn’t the thriller aspect until Tess arrives in D.C. From there it’s a nonstop thrill ride. Here’s an example of a conversation I had with my brother whilst reading:
Brother: So did you hear…
Me: Don’t talk to me. Good part.
Brother: You’ve said that the last four times I’ve tried to talk to you the past two hours.
Me: Every time is a good part!
This book was amazing, so incredible and breathtaking and action-packed. I couldn’t help but fall into it. Yes, there were problems with the book. There are things that I definitely could nitpick at. But this was one of those stories that makes you forget all the little things you don’t like because you love everything else so much that it overpowers it. I’m annoyed that I have to wait an entire year for the second book and I’m going to have a Fixer hangover for the next week. The best thing about this novel was that it was so original. Never have I read anything so rich in mystery and politics with the same high school air that defined it as YA.
“Diet coke?” Asher had two cans. He politely offered me one.
“Mentos?” he held out a roll.
“Don’t Diet Coke and Mentos -“
“-explode?” Asher supplied. He opened one of the sodas. “I have a passing fondness for explosions.”
That was concerning on so many levels.
FTC Advisory: Bloomsbury USA Childrens provided me with a copy of The Fixer. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review....more
Quick & Dirty: A woman terrified of vampyres is forced by circumstances to become attendant to one in this capReview courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales
Quick & Dirty: A woman terrified of vampyres is forced by circumstances to become attendant to one in this captivating story in the Elder Races series.
Opening Sentence: Cautiously, Tess peered at the crowd through a side stage door.
Tess is in a very difficult situation. She’s managed to find herself on the bad side of a powerful pariah Djinn, who will stop at nothing to find and kill her. She needs to find protection, and fast. Even though she has an overwhelming fear of Vampyres, Tess figures her only chance is to become a human attendant to one, as even a Djinn wouldn’t risk ticking off the Vampyre nation by attacking an attendant. Thus, Tess finds herself in the presence of Xavier Del Toro, one of the most powerful Vampyres in the world. Despite her fear, Tess begins to realize that maybe not all Vampyres are bad. She finds herself slowly growing closer to Xavier and actually begins to feel at home. Malphas the Djinn is still out there though, as is a threat to Xavier’s happy home. Will Tess and Xavier both be able to survive long enough to figure out just what kind of relationship they would like to have?
I’m always a little hesitant when going into an Elder Races novel, as they’ve been kind of hit and miss for me. I was also a little hesitant because this installment didn’t deal with any characters we’d met prevoiusly. Thankfully, my fears were unfounded because I thought this book was awesome. It was so good that I started reading one night at the 30 percent mark, and stayed up late to finish it because I simply couldn’t put it down. Considering I have an 8-month-old who sometimes sees 4am as a decent time to start the day, that is definitely saying something!
I think my favorite thing about this book was the slow build up to the romance. Harrison obvoiusly took Tess’ fear of vampyres into account when writing the book, as she doesn’t just jump into the romance. Instead, we get to see Xavier slowly break down Tess’ defenses, not even realizing himself that his interest is more than friendly. When they finally do get together, it’s full of heat and chemistry, and is everything I could have hoped for.On the downside, because of the slow build up, when they finally do get together, the rest of the romance sometimes feels a little rushed as the book pushes towards the end. This wasn’t a huge deal for me because I was so invested in the story and the characters, but I thought it worth mentioning.
All in all, this was a wonderful addition to the Elder Races series. I didn’t find myself missing the regular characters at all and really enjoyed the inside look at the Vampyre government. In fact, while the book doesn’t quite measure up to my feelings for book one, it is still definitely a five star read for me. I think fans of the series will not be disappointed and even newcomers to the series may enjoy this one as well. I’m definitely looking forward to the next one now!
Galvanized into action, she yanked out the keyboard tray and toggled the screen on, as she muttered under her breath, “Ten minutes? Excuse me, but you’re fucking nuts. It takes time to look for this kind of thing.”
“Nine minutes now.” He didn’t sound in the least perturbed by her agitation or her swearing.
Her mind raced through various possibilities. She had one potential rabbit in her hat that she might be able to use on such ridiculously short notice – she would bet everything in her inaccessible bank accounts that he was on the inside of the Evenfall security network. That would mean the network firewall would be configured to recognize his IP address and his email program.
Maybe she could get lucky. The quickest way to bypass firewall security was from the inside, through a client-side attack. If she could hack his email, she could send a rough, simple malware program to exploit the breach. He said he wanted her to “break through” the firewall. He didn’t say how, or what she should do when she did, or that it had to be an elegant job.
“Shut up,” she hissed. Her fingers flew across the keyboard.
She hadn’t hacked in a while. It felt good, running hot against the clock. It felt crazy, and she wanted to laugh like a lunatic, except she had already sworn at one of the scariest men she had ever met, and she thought she should keep her mouth shut for a few minutes.
He said, “Time.”
She sat back. “You’ve got mail.”
Sleek as a panther, he moved up behind her. She was intensely aware of his closeness as he leaned over to look at the screen. As he did so, the cell phone he held in one hand buzzed. He thumbed it on. “Yes, Gavin?”
On the other end, she could clearly hear a strange male voice demanding, “Did you leave your email program running while you set her to hack into the network?”
“Of course I didn’t,” said Xavier. “I locked it down.”
“Well, I want to fucking know how she fucking sent a blast email to fucking everybody from your email address.”
She pulled back so Xavier could take control of the desktop, open his email account and click on his new mail.
In big red letters, the body of the email said: YOU SUCK.
FTC Advisory: Berkley/Penguin provided me with a copy of Night’s Honor. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
Quick & Dirty: One hot dark and dangerous DEA Agent and a cartel princess!
Opening Sentence: “After two years bReview courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales
Quick & Dirty: One hot dark and dangerous DEA Agent and a cartel princess!
Opening Sentence: “After two years building his rep as the “Widow Maker,” an independent contractor who killed not only for the government but for the everyday working stiff when justice failed to deliver, undercover DEA Agent Matthew Kane, known on the street as Mateo Juraez, had his next target in sight.”
Let me start off by saying that I have not read any of the other books in the series. Having said that, this series is definitely one you can jump into without having to read the others. That of course is super good for me as a reviewer! Okay, if it had been one that you had to read the others, I am the type of reader that would stop and go read the previous books first. Now to get down to business, Sworn to Love focuses on hot cop Matthew Kane, aka Mateo Juarez. Mateo’s first order of business is to take down Javier Bertram. We find out rather quickly that he fakes Javier’s death and takes him into custody despite a desperate need for revenge. Javier murdered Mateo’s brother in cold blood, and he is also engaged to Sophia Dumas, the cartel princess!
Now we have the beginning set up. Mateo gets to work taking Javier’s place and initiates a meeting between him and Sophia. There is an instant connection between the two of them. From there this is a fairly typical romance novel, except this one has murder attempts, dangerous drugs and one bad ass girl saving the boy! I really did enjoy this book, it was super easy to read and a quick one too, almost feeling more like a novella instead of a book.
It was action packed and fast paced, with plenty of sexy time thrown in there. Despite its length, I really didn’t feel like there was more sex than action. There really was a good balance of plot, danger and sex. I am intrigued enough to go back and read the first four novels! Unlike other cop novels or police procedurals this book wasn’t bogged down in endless detail and descriptions, the author was not trying to make a legit case. I do enjoy those books too, but sometimes if the author isn’t careful you can lose a reader if it gets too boring. Karen Tabke clearly doesn’t have that problem, she did throw in evidence and details, but she didn’t get overwhelming with them.
I also enjoyed Sophia, and by that I mean as a character in a novel this short you would almost think that you can’t quite connect with the character. She rocks though, you really get to know her, the love she has for her father, the disgust she has for his business. The sense of hopelessness she has with her life, her fears and even the hopes she has for the future if she could have a future. Sophia really made the book enjoyable. I know we are supposed to be hung up on the hot cop, but Sophia was the real star of this book. So get out there and check it out!
“Mateo was a firm believer in sticking close to the same lie with everyone so when they compared notes there were no discrepancies.”
“He was blindfolded and tied at the wrists and ankles to a chair.”
FTC Advisory: Simon & Schuster provided me with a copy of Sworn to Love. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review....more
Quick & Dirty: A young woman bogged down by her responsibilities sets out for an adventure and ends up with waReview courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales
Quick & Dirty: A young woman bogged down by her responsibilities sets out for an adventure and ends up with way more than she bargained for.
Opening Sentence: “Freedom ticks its way around the face of the old clock above the door-so close, so close, so close- when Justin comes into the market and I die a tiny, unnoticeable death.”
Where to start….wow! I have seen some less than strong reviews critiquing her writing and issues with the book, so here is my disclaimer: If a book grabs me and pulls me in for the ride, I am more about the feels than how well it is written. So I can’t tell you if there are issues with the writing. I didn’t notice them. I was so into this story. Arcadia Wells is miserable because of her mother’s death a few years earlier and having to give up so much because her dad is lost in his grief. So for once, instead of being the good girl and doing what is right she is going to have some fun again. She is invited to a party at the campground and decides to attend even though she hasn’t been since the breakup with Justin. Once she gets there she sees a cute boy and on impulse invites him to the party.
Matt is the boy she invites and the first of two strangers! He does show up at the party but quickly ends up flirting with another girl, Lindsay. Arcadia, feeling a little jealous and out of place takes off and by chance meets Noah, the other stranger. She is instantly attracted to him and they hang out. They both end up back at the party with her friends. Arcadia ends up in a situation with Jason, Justin’s twin where he humiliates her. The next morning while walking with Matt, they find Jason tied to a tree and his mouth duct taped shut. He has been tortured a little and completely humiliated. At this point, I was a little amazed by how it’s only like a footnote. It bothers her but doesn’t send huge red flags up for her.
From there Arcadia continues on her adventures with the two handsome strangers and Lindsay, until Lindsay disappears, sending Arcadia a cryptic text saying she went home. It isn’t until two days later when Arcadia talks to her dad that she realizes everyone still thinks Lindsay is with her. Well, if I tell you more I would just spoil it and we all know I don’t like spoilers! This book was creepy and had me on edge wondering what was going to happen next. Arcadia is plucky and strong, one can totally see given all that she has been through why she didn’t pick up on what was going on sooner.
I admit to being slightly miffed that this is a stand-alone book, because I totally want more Arcadia! There is a minor love story but it’s so secondary to the thriller that I really didn’t care. I am not saying it was worth it or that there was no connection, just that I wanted to know who was behind all the creepy violence happening in the book. Arcadia was a hell of a main character, broken in all the right ways, strong and fearless when she needed to be. Someone almost any girl/young woman would want to relate to. I cannot rave enough about it. In fact, I am thinking a re-read might just be in order!
“I might be able to forgive Noah’s past, but not respecting my right to say no is a deal breaker.”
“The stroke of midnight, when the veil between worlds is thin enough for the devil to send a message.”
“It’s just-yesterday, the psychic’s premonition she a tattoo and a gun.”
“I am alone at the end of Florida with a boy who plans to kill me.”
FTC Advisory: Bloomsbury USA Childrens provided me with a copy of The Devil You Know. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review....more