I'm going to warn you in advance that this isn't going to be a proper review - it's going to be a rant about all the reasons why I think this is the wI'm going to warn you in advance that this isn't going to be a proper review - it's going to be a rant about all the reasons why I think this is the worst book I've attempted to read this year. This will include swearing and it'll probably include spoilers but since I only managed to force myself to read the first 91 pages I can't see that I'll be able to give away anything major. Either way you continue reading this at your own risk!
Let's start with the main characters. When I pick up a book told from a female point of view I want to read about a strong, independent girl who knows how to stand on her own two feet. I don't mind if she makes mistakes as long as she learns from them but I do need her to have a brain and be prepared to use it. Unfortunately Britt is everything I hate in a main character. She is spoilt, selfish and incredibly stupid (I'll get to my reasoning for those statements later). She talks about how well independent she is but she won't even fill up her own car at the garage because she doesn't want her hands to smell of petrol. Perhaps petrol pumps are different in America but I've been filling up my own car for about 15 years now and I've never once found that my hands smell of petrol afterwards. What the hell is she doing? Does she shower in the stuff?
Then you have her best friend Korbie. This really is a case of dumb meet dumber and I was ready to strangle the pair of them by about page 40! I love reading about supportive friendships in my novels, best friends who have each others backs and who look out for each other. Let's get something perfectly clear, if your best friend is constantly putting you down to make themselves feel better, if your best friend lies to you and doesn't tell you when she knows your boyfriend is cheating on you (I don't care if your boyfriend happens to be her brother), if your best friend does all of these things then you know what? She is NOT your friend. In fact, you'd be better off considering her an enemy and finding someone new to hang out with. If, after all that, you decide to stick with her then I hate to say it but you deserve everything you get! Britt herself makes all these observations about her friendship with Korbie and yet she still chooses to follow along in her friend's shadow for lord only knows what reasons. If possible Korbie is even more shallow, spoilt and stupid than Britt and trust me that really is saying something.
Britt has been planning a back packing week with Korbie for months (although how spending a week in an expensive cabin and going on daily hikes counts as back packing I'll never know!) and says she is prepared for anything but as they are driving up the mountain they are caught in an unexpected storm that reduces visibility and makes driving dangerous. Does our heroine pull over and stop like a sensible person? No, she lets Korbie goad her into continuing to drive in dangerous conditions, on a fucking mountain no less, when she can't see more than two feet in front of her. This was the point when I really started to hope that she'd drive the car off the edge of a cliff and the book would unexpectedly end after 40 pages. When the torrential rain turns to snow and they are eventually forced to stop at the side of the road they just start making even stupider decisions. What do you do when you're trapped in your car in a major snow storm? Bear in mind that you have a car full of camping equipment, clothes and food that will keep you warm and fed until the storm has passed or help arrives. You have also driven hours into an isolated mountain range and have no clue where you are or if there are any cabins nearby. You can't see any lights in the distance, the snow is already deep and you have no compass or way of getting back to the car if you get lost. So which option do you choose - stay in the semi warm, and definitely dry, car or head out into the great unknown with no idea if you'll be able to find help or just end up turning into a human snowman? Yes, I think it's fair to say that our moronic main characters choose to wander aimlessly just in case they can find help. Yes, my eyeballs did hurt from rolling around inside my head by this point.
Miracle of miracles they actually manage to find a cabin after walking through the snow for over an hour. The cabin is occupied by two hot guys (because obviously our plucky heroines wouldn't trust them if they were ugly!) so no matter what kind of creepy vibes they are giving off Britt and Korbie not only waltz straight in like they own the place, they also start bickering over who gets to call dibs on each guy. Trust me if the author had had "bad guys in here" in skywriting across the top of the cabin it still couldn't have been more obvious that something terrible was about to happen! I'm not even going to pretend to forgive Korbie for wanting to cheat on the boyfriend who is supposed to be spending the week with them - especially when she justifies it by saying:
"So we aren't forever. What's the point of being completely loyal when I know our relationship is going to end?"
My response to that is what's the point in being in a relationship when you're happy to cheat on your partner?
The part that REALLY got me though was Britt's thoughts on finding the cabin and meeting the guys:
"I tapped my cup to his, grateful to have found Shaun, because for a minute there, I'd thought I was going to have to save myself. Instead, I'd wandered into the protective care of a sexy older man..
You know what? Fuck you Britt. Fuck you and your reliance on a man to rescue you. Fuck you for not being capable of looking out for yourself and for putting yourself into this situation in the first place.
I could go on and on about why I hated this book but I think I've already made it clear enough. This is without a doubt the worst book I've attempted to read in 2014 (in fact I'd probably go so far as to say it's the worst book I've picked up since I started blogging at the beginning of 2010 and considering I've read over 1,000 books in that time that really says it all....more
I have been a huge fan of the Crossfire series ever since I first read Bared to You so it feels like I had to wait forever for Entwined with You to fiI have been a huge fan of the Crossfire series ever since I first read Bared to You so it feels like I had to wait forever for Entwined with You to finally be released. Gideon and Eva are my favourite dysfunctional couple and I have to admit to having a huge crush on Gideon so I was excited to spend more time with them both. I was a bit nervous when I discovered that the series had been extended from the trilogy originally planned into a five book series though, I was worried that there wouldn't be enough story to fill that many books and that we'd end up with a couple of filler books. It remains to be seen how much there is to learn in the next two books but I enjoyed this latest instalment and will be at the front of the queue for Captivated by You when it is released.
In the previous book we saw exactly how far Gideon is prepared to go to keep Eva safe but now he is facing the fallout. Not only does he have to try and come to terms with what he did but he also has to make sure nothing can be pinned on him and he can only hope that it doesn't change the way Eva looks at him. He is pushed into taking extreme measures to keep his secret and it shows just how far his and Eva's relationship has progressed when she is able to trust him no matter how bad things look. Their relationship still isn't perfect by a long shot but things are better than they ever have been. I really want to see the pair of them talk to each other more rather than constantly using sex as a way of communicating but it was good to see them start to get a handle on their jealousy issues and have a little faith in each other.
One thing I think I missed was the conflict that was so prevalent in previous books, there are things that happen that could have added more drama to the story but on the whole they were handled much more quickly and with a lot less stress than before. This is partly because of the growth that both Gideon and Eva have gone through but it does make for a less dramatic read and lets face it one of the reasons we love this couple so much is because of the drama! I never thought I'd hear myself say this (especially about an erotic romance novel) but I actually reached the point where I started to get bored of the constant sex scenes. As you'd expect from Sylvia Day the scenes were all well written and incredibly hot but there are only so many ways to describe inserting tab A into slot B before it starts to get a little repetitive. Gideon is still one of the sexiest literary heroes I've come across so I don't want to lose the sex scenes completely but I'm hoping to see a little less of them in the next book and I'd love more focus to be on the couple spending time together outside of the bedroom.
I was really pleased that we have finally started to learn a little more about Gideon's past, we are still left with plenty of questions about what happened to cause his nightmares but it was nice to get a few answers. I found myself getting incredibly annoyed with his mother in this book which surprised me because she has always seemed so nice before. Her attitude and behaviour was completely out of order this time around so it was nice to see Eva stand up for her man. I'm hoping for some kind of showdown with Eva's mother in the future too because she is driving me crazy with the way she stalks Eva, the way that everyone just panders to her only makes her behaviour worse. Then you have the side story with Cary that shocked me and made me want to shake some sense into him! I still can't quite believe what he's got himself mixed up in this time and I'm really hoping that he sorts himself out soon.
Although Entwined with You wasn't my favourite book in the series it was still a great book and I'm happy to have had my much needed Gideon fix. I'm glad that the story didn't end with a huge cliffhanger so as much as I'm looking forward to the next instalment I'm not quite as desperate to get my hands on it as I was this one. It will be interesting to see what the future holds for Gideon and Eva and I find myself feeling happy that we have another 2 books to look forward to. ________________________________________________________
UPDATE: 22nd Feb Another email from Amazon today & the release date has changed to JUNE!! I want to cry :o( If they change the date again I will hit something!!
UPDATE: November 2012 Amazon just emailed me to say the release date for this has been pushed back from December to May 2013!!!!!!!!
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO I can't wait that long for my next Gideon fix :o(...more
Sometimes you stumble across a book that is so good it just blows your mind.Red Rising is one of those books and I wanBuddy read with Ange & Jenny
Sometimes you stumble across a book that is so good it just blows your mind. Red Rising is one of those books and I want to grab a stack of copies and walk around the streets handing them to everyone I come across telling people that they NEED to read this book! I know it's only January but I would be incredibly surprised if this book isn't at the top of my list for best books in 2014. I've been putting off writing this review for days because there is no way I can do it justice but I'm going to try, I can't put it any more simply than "BUY THIS BOOK NOW" but we'll see if I can come up with something a bit more meaningful.
Darrow is from a family of pioneers and for generations his people, known as the reds, have worked in the mines on Mars digging for the Helium 3 needed to terraform the planet and make it hospitable for humans to live on the surface. They live hard and die young but they do it for the greater good of humanity knowing that their sacrifices will create a home that is desperately needed for future generations. Things may be tough but Darrow is generally happy with his lot, he loves his wife and lives for her and his family, they don't have much but they find joy in the small things and that's what makes life bearable. That is until he discovers the extent of the betrayal against his people and discovers that the higher echelons of society have been living on the surface in luxury for centuries. The Golds look down on the reds seeing them as nothing more than slave labour and everything that Darrow has ever been told about his role is a lie. With the help of a group of rebels Darrow is given the chance to fight back against the oppression of his people but in order to do that he will have to give up all that he cares about, he will have to turn himself into the one of the people he hates most and if he fails it will cost him everything.
I can't even begin to tell you what an emotional roller coaster Red Rising is, this book completely tore my heart out and ripped it into tiny little pieces - I don't think I've ever cried so hard less than 50 pages into a book before! It's incredible that Pierce Brown had me invested in his characters so quickly but that's a strong testament to how powerful his writing is. I was hooked into this story from the very first page and with an opening like "I would have lived in peace. But my enemies brought me war." who can blame me? Darrow has to be one of the most memorable characters I've come across in a long time. He isn't a natural leader, he was happy with his life as he knew it and didn't go looking to change things but when his hand is forced his need for vengeance takes him to places he never could have imagined. I loved the fact that Darrow isn't perfect, he is fallible and he makes a lot of mistakes along the way but he is constantly learning from them and doing his best to improve. He is the kind of guy who is prepared to fight for what he believes in even if the battle was brought to him rather than one that he went searching for. He is forced into a world that his upbringing could never have prepared him for but his will to live, his strength and his need for revenge pull him through.
Along with Darrow we are treated to a whole host of memorable side characters, I don't want to tell you too much about what happens during the rest of the book because I really think you'll get more enjoyment out of it if you go in blind but trust me it will be a memorable journey. This is a dark story, Darrow finds himself in a violent world where things are cut-throat and kill or be killed. He is forced into situations where there is no safe or easy outcome and that means he has to do terrible things to survive, he takes no pleasure in it but he will gorydamn do whatever it takes to make it. He can't survive alone though and that means putting his trust into people who are his natural enemies. He has to battle with himself as he starts to see some of the people he should hate as his friends but nothing is ever quite what it seems and it is impossible to know who he can really trust or who will stab him in the back at the first opportunity.
Red Rising is an impressive debut and the start of what is sure to be an incredibly popular trilogy. I don't say that lightly and I honestly believe that we will see big things from Pierce Brown in the future. If you are only going to take my recommendation for one book this year then please let it be for this one - this really is a book that I definitely want everyone to read. Whether you are a fan of dystopian stories or if it's a genre you're sick to death of you will love this book. It has none of the typical YA clichés and will surprise you at every turn. My only complaint is that I've got to wait to get my hands on the sequels but I guarantee that I'll be rereading this story to tide me over until they're published....more
I've said it before but I'll say it again - I'm an Ilona & Gordon Andrews fan girl, in fact, I'm a total addict of this series and Kate & CurrI've said it before but I'll say it again - I'm an Ilona & Gordon Andrews fan girl, in fact, I'm a total addict of this series and Kate & Curran are one of my favourite fictional couples ever. So it would be fair to say that I was excited to get my hands on an advanced copy of Magic Breaks. In fact I was so excited about it that I actually read it twice before the release date - that's how fantastic this book is. So, you're probably wondering why it has taken me so long to write this review and my answer is that I've been feeling intimidated. How can I possibly describe the level of awesome that this book (in fact, this entire series!) has reached? I'm afraid to say that this review will probably involve a lot of gushing but I've decided that I just have to share my feelings about it and hope you'll forgive me for lack the of sensible insight.
Fans of the series will already know that this book is the cumulation of the long running story arc with Kate's father Roland, that doesn't mean this is the end of the series, just that Magic Breaks is a game changer. This confrontation has been a long time coming and it's fair to say expectations were high for Kate and Roland's first face to face meeting. I've spent a lot of time throughout the books wondering what would happen when they met but I don't think I could ever have been fully prepared for what actually happens. The showdown is nothing like I was expecting but it has totally set things up for exciting things in the future. That ending was epic and I can't wait to see where things go from here.
I love how much Kate has grown as a person throughout this series, she has come such a long way but she still has a lot to learn about her abilities and she doesn't have full control over her powers yet. The most special thing about these books has been seeing her go from a lonely young woman who felt she had to keep everyone at a distance to someone who has close friends and a self-made little family that she would give her life to protect. She has worked hard to find her place in the Pack and she comes into her own even more in this book when she has to take charge while Curran is absent. I love how her relationship with Curran has developed too, they have become such a strong couple and no matter what happens they never lose faith in each other. I adore them both and find myself wanting to reread every single moment they spend together.
I don't want to say too much about the plot of Magic Breaks because I would hate to give spoilers but I will mention a few other highlights. I loved the bickering between Derek and Ascanio who had me laughing out loud numerous times with their antics. Kate's confrontation with Jennifer was a long time coming but so worth the wait - that really was the best smack down EVER. I enjoyed getting to learn a bit more about Gastek and his background and I'm actually kind of starting to like the guy. Andrea is awesome and she always has Kate's back no matter how dangerous the situation, how fantastic is it to have more than one strong female character in a series! Magic Breaks is everything I want from a book in this series, it is humorous and has some fantastic one liners, it is action packed and full of unexpected surprises and most of all it has the best characters, the strongest friendships and a wonderful relationship between the main characters. There is so much to love about these books and it's quite unusual to find a series that is still this fresh and exciting seven books down the line, I never want it to end. ________________________________
10th April 2014 (my response to getting the ARC!): OMG OMG OMG OMG I HAVE IT!!! I have an ARC of Magic Breaks!!!!!!!!!!!!
*dies of excitement*
11th-14th April 2014 (first read): Loved it, love Kate & Curran, love the humour & just generally love the whole series. Full review to come closer to the release date.
1st July 2014 (2nd read in progress): I decided to reread the book before I write my review...more
I'm a massive fan of Ilona and Gordon Andrews's Kate Daniels series, in fact I'd put it right up there as one of my favourites, so of course I couldn'I'm a massive fan of Ilona and Gordon Andrews's Kate Daniels series, in fact I'd put it right up there as one of my favourites, so of course I couldn't wait to dive into their newest novel and explore another world they've created in Burn for Me. When I pick up a story from a favourite author I always go into it with high expectations and sometimes that can work against me but this husband and wife team have never let me down and with each new book they consistently hit the ball out of the park. They excel at excellent world building, creating strong female lead characters, sexy heroes and fantastic casts of side characters and that is exactly what they've done again in Burn for Me. I wanted to climb into the book and live there, Nevada would make a great friend although I don't think she'd appreciate me having such a big crush on Rogan LOL.
Nevada is a private investigator in charge of running her family business, they're a small operation and money is tight so Nevada is under a lot of pressure to keep her family stable financially. She has a close relationship with her mother, grandmother and younger cousins and siblings but as the main breadwinner she has a lot on her shoulders. When she is asked to take on a case against a Prime magic user she knows she has very little chance of succeeding but the money she could earn would make a huge difference to her entire family and it's not like she has much choice other than to accept. As if going up against a Prime wasn't bad enough the case also brings her to the attention of Mad Rogan, an eccentric billionaire and powerful magic user in his own right. Rogan doesn't play by the rules and he will do whatever it takes to get what he wants, for now it is in his best interests to work alongside Nevada but she knows she can't trust him to have her back if their goals change which makes him trouble.
I absolutely loved the world that Ilona Andrews has created, the magical system is well explained and thought out and the idea of the powerful magical families having mob like control over certain areas was a brilliant one. These families do whatever it takes to protect their interests and to keep their bloodlines pure and it is safer to stay under their radar, something Nevada and her family have always tried to do in the past. Her latest case drags her right into the middle of things though and she's now stuck in an impossible situation. She isn't powerful enough to tackle the case on her own but accepting help from one family could set the others against her. Nevada is a great lead, she is strong and intelligent, she knows her own mind and she doesn't let anyone get away with pushing her around. She cares about her family and is willing to risk everything to keep them safe but as much as she would prefer to go it alone she is willing to accept help when she needs it. I loved the relationships she has with her various family members, in fact, the whole family was just so much fun to spend time with. There are some quite eccentric characters amongst them but I mean that in the best possible way and I can't wait to see more of them as the series continues.
Then you have Mad Rogan. What can I say about Rogan apart from that I have the biggest crush on him? Nevada and Rogan don't get off to the best start and considering that Rogan kidnaps her trying to get information that isn't too surprising. Technically I shouldn't like Rogan for that incident alone but oh boy do they have some fabulous chemistry going on between them. I loved the fact that Nevada didn't instantly forgive Rogan and act on her attraction to him, in fact she is fighting it all the way because she is still annoyed at his behaviour but he's definitely wearing her down and I can't even blame her for that. Rogan is dangerous with a capital D. He isn't the kind of guy who lets anyone close easily and if you're not part of his family then he really has very little interest in what happens to you. He doesn't have standard morals so if you're not an ally you're automatically a potential enemy and he'll have no reservation about doing whatever it takes to make sure you give him what he wants. However, once he has given someone his loyalty they can trust him to have their backs no matter what. Nevada starts to see that but it's going to take a lot before she accepts that they are anything beyond convenient, and temporary, allies for the length of their current case. I'm incredibly excited about seeing them spending more time together and I'm also looking forward to seeing Nevada start to get more control over her abilities.
I could rave on and on about Burn for Me but if I haven't already convinced you to give this series a try then I don't think anything else I could say will make a difference. This is a fantastic start to the Hidden Legacy series and any future books will be going immediately to the top of my to read pile.
28th Feb 2014:
Want. Desperately. I mean NOW!!
6th May 2014:
OMG I HAVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Burn for Me is up on Edelweiss for review right now guys!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'M SOOOOOOOOO EXCITED!!!!!!!!!!!!...more
I hate to say it but this is going to end up being more of a rant than a review, I just can't talk about this book without going into detail about theI hate to say it but this is going to end up being more of a rant than a review, I just can't talk about this book without going into detail about the main character's completely unacceptable behaviour and I have a whole heap of quotes I'll be using to back that up. I really hate this trend that female characters have to act like a complete bitch to be seen as a strong woman, the trend that says it is OK for a girl to beat up on a guy because she has had a bad experience in the past. Domestic violence is WRONG, I don't care if the perpetrator is male or female - the ONLY time it is acceptable to resort to violence is when you are defending yourself from a physical assault. If you are beating people up for any other reason then you need to seek help.
My Favourite Mistake starts with the main character Taylor making the following statement:
The first time I met Hunter Zaccadelli, I punched him in the face. Granted, he completely and totally deserved it. He also asked for it, in so many ways.
I was initially prepared to give her the benefit of the doubt because we don't know what he did to get that reaction from her but when the scene plays out I was shocked at her behaviour. Taylor has just moved into a new coed dorm at her college along with her friends Renee and Darah and they are waiting for their fourth room mate to arrive. In walks Hunter and Taylor is horrified to discover that she will be sharing her room with a guy. I can kind of understand that reaction but it's not exactly Hunter's fault that he was assigned to their room. (On a side note would a college really place a guy in a room with three girls? I'm not sure I believe that!). Hunter is a good looking guy with tattoos, a guitar and a cocky, flirty attitude so Taylor immediately pegs him as a douche without even spending five minutes getting to know him. He makes the terrible mistake of flirting with her and stepping into her personal space but does Taylor react like a normal person and ask him to back off? No she punches him in the face (hard enough to leave a bruise) and knees him in the nuts before storming out of the apartment. Her friends don't seem particularly surprised by her reaction which just confused me - if one of my friends acted like that I'd want to know what the hell was wrong with them! The only person who questions her behaviour is her sister and this is the conversation they have about it:
"Aw, Kid, why did you do that?" "He cornered me, what was I supposed to do?" My hand was red and starting to turn a lovely purple shade. "You could have told him to back off. That would have been the logical thing to do." "You know I'm not a logical person."
Well no Taylor quite obviously isn't a logical person - she's actually a violent head case. From this point onwards Taylor is consistently rude to Hunter, she calls him names, snaps at him and does everything she can to get him out of her life. For his part Hunter is patient with her, he cooks for her, he buys her jewellery, he goes out of his way to make sure she is safe and happy and he continues to banter with her while all this time she continues to call him a douche for absolutely no reason! I can't for the life of me understand what such a nice guy sees in her. There is just nothing likeable about Taylor, even when we eventually find out what she went through in her past it couldn't excuse her current behaviour. I felt bad about what had happened to her and could understand her being wary around men and finding it difficult to trust people but that is still no excuse for her getting violent.
I kept hoping we'd see her get some kind of anger management but she refuses to accept any kind of help and that wasn't the only time she hit Hunter either. She threatens him constantly and the second time she attacks him was when he committed the terrible crime of trying to wrap her in a blanket because she was shivering. Here is part of her attack against him:
“Stop it!” I thrashed, but he wouldn't let go of me. He tried to pick me up, but I was ready for him, landing punches and kicks right and left. His face was blank. Somehow he got me to my feet, and the blanket fell away. It was like I’d unleashed something dark and violent that had been stirring inside me since that night eight years ago. “Stop it! Stop it! Stop it!” I pounded on his chest. I slapped his face and I kicked him. I kept going until my lungs were heaving and my arms were sore and a strangled sob had escaped my mouth. He stood with his arms at his sides. His face was red from me slapping him.
and this is her sad attempt at an apology:
"I’m still sorry I beat you," I said, touching his perfect face. "How’s my face looking?" I glanced up. He was going to look quite pretty tomorrow. "A little battered." "That’s okay. I’ll just tell everyone I was in a bar fight." "What, you’re ashamed to say you were hit by a girl?" "No, but I’m worried you’ll get hauled in for domestic violence," he said with a smile. "Okay, fine."
I think that was one of the most disturbing conversations in the whole book. He is making excuses to cover for her and protect her which is classic victim behaviour in domestic violence situations. The fact that she ribs him for being embarrassed to have been hit by a girl rather than worrying about her own actions was just completely disgraceful. She had kicked, punched and slapped him like a mad thing while he just stood there and took it. If that scene was written so that Hunter had been the one attacking Taylor can you imagine the public reaction? People would have been rightly horrified so why is it acceptable for Taylor to be the one doing the attacking? I'll answer that question for you - IT ISN'T!!! There is no way in a million years you'll ever convince me that she is anything other than a violent bully with anger management issues who should be in therapy. I might have been able to forgive her over time if she'd owned up to her problems and taken steps to resolve them but she doesn't and Hunter doesn't help with this either when he says things like this:
"I’m not coping with it, according to my therapists. There have been many." "Fuck them. If breaking things and punching people every now and then helps you, I’ll be your punching bag and we can get you some stuff to throw off the roof. Deal?"
He's offering to be her punching bag if that makes her feel better? No, just NO. That isn't the right way to go about things! He should be offering to help her find a decent therapist or he should be telling her he isn't prepared to put up with the way she treats him and then running a million miles away from her. Taylor's behaviour isn't right, it isn't acceptable and it's only going to get worse if she doesn't deal with her issues. I'm disturbed that this story is considered a romance and that not one of her friends or family members try to put a stop to her actions. I'm also annoyed with Hunter for letting her treat him the way she does, he doesn't just let her get away with it he actually encourages her to carry on.
I think this is the first time I've ever given a book that I actually finished reading 1 star (I usually save that rating for books I didn't finish) but I can't bring myself to give it a 2 star "it was OK" rating because that feels too much like I'm saying domestic violence is OK. I've seen the results of domestic violence first hand and it is NEVER OK.
Please note that although this review won't contain spoilers for Cursed by Destiny it will include spoilers for previous books in the series.
Celia isPlease note that although this review won't contain spoilers for Cursed by Destiny it will include spoilers for previous books in the series.
Celia is devastated after Aric left her and his fast approaching wedding to another pureblood were isn't making her feel any happier. She can't stay living at home with her sisters surrounded by Aric's warriors but she can't be on her own thanks to the demons who are constantly trying to take her out so she has no other option but to accept Misha's offer of sanctuary. To take her mind off her broken heart Celia is focusing on learning better control of her powers and training to become as fast and strong as possible. For some reason the Tribe seem to be gunning for her and she is going to need every skill she can gain if she wants to have a chance of winning against them. Luckily she will always have her sisters at her back, they may not be living with her but they'd never leave her unprotected.
I have become a massive fan of the Weird Girls series since I first started reading it so have been eagerly waiting for this instalment, especially after Aric's actions during the last book! I still don't think I've fully recovered from the emotional roller coaster A Cursed Embrace took me on and Cecy Robson wasn't done with me yet! Cursed by Destiny was just as action packed as the previous books, in fact I think things have moved up a gear when it comes to the Tribe and the battles that Celia and her sisters are facing. Nobody is safe but Celia seems to be their main target and they are sending all the big guns in her direction. She doesn't have time to sit and cry over her broken heart, she's far too busy trying to stay alive!
I've never been a huge fan of Misha, I always felt he was creepy and I never really believed that he cared about Celia but I have to say he really grew on me in this book. We see a more protective side of him and it was nice that Celia had someone to rely on to help her. I still don't see them as a couple though so I'm happy to say I'm still on Team Aric! I do enjoy watching Celia spend time with the vampires though, the Catholic Schoolgirls always make me laugh with the outrageous things they come out with and I appreciate the way Misha pushes Celia when it comes to her training.
It's no secret that Aric's actions shocked and horrified me in the last book, he broke my heart right alongside Celia's and I still haven't forgiven him for that. I do feel like I have a better understanding for his actions after this book though, I do wish he'd done things differently and I'm still waiting for him to completely redeem himself but I've never once wanted Celia to give up on him. I just have to believe that they will find a way to be together, that after everything they've been through things will turn out right in the long run. It seems like a happy ending is a long way off though so I guess I'm going to have to learn some patience. There were times when I wanted to give Aric a good kick and tell him to buck his ideas up but he does make some steps in the right direction, let's just hope this continues in the next book.
There are so many things I want to talk about but I can't because I don't want to give spoilers. If you're already a fan of the series you're going to love Cursed by Destiny, it has all the humour, action and romance you'd expect plus so much more. I have really come to care about these characters and after the way things ended I can't wait for the next book! This is an auto-buy series for me and one I can't recommend highly enough. _________________________________________ My thoughts before I read the book:
I love this series but the blurb for this book has me more than a little nervous!
I have to confess that I wasn't really too sure what to expect from Trial by Fire, I hadn't heard a great deal about it before I sBuddy read with Ange
I have to confess that I wasn't really too sure what to expect from Trial by Fire, I hadn't heard a great deal about it before I started reading but the shiny foil cover caught my eye and when I realised it was about witches and alternate realities I couldn't resist. I'm so glad I took a chance because this turned out to be one of my favourite YA reads of the year. There is just so much to love about this book and once I'd started reading I didn't want to stop.
Lily is such a fantastic main character. She isn't one of the popular crowd at school, in fact her allergies to pretty much everything have made her a bit of an outcast but no matter how tough things are she just gets on with it. She knows that it won't be long before her increasing allergies leave her housebound and she's determined to make the most of attending school while she still can. I loved her automatically for having so much courage but what tipped me over the edge into complete girl crush mode was the way she reacted when a potential love interest broke her heart. Lily isn't a simpering fool who will forgive a guy any asshat behaviour just because he is hot, no Lily is the kind of heroine who knows exactly how she deserves to be treated and who would rather be alone than let a boy walk all over her. Do you know how rare a heroine like that is in YA these days? It's so hard to find positive female role models and I could have jumped for job at Lily's response to the boy in question!
All that was before we'd made it beyond the first couple of chapters and I could already tell I was going to love this book. Now take this fabulous heroine and drop her unexpectedly into an alternate reality, one where magic is real and where witches rule. Lily suddenly has an explanation for her allergies and finds herself in a place where she isn't an outcast, in fact she is incredibly powerful. She is completely out of her depth and has no idea who she can trust so it's understandable that she quickly bonds with the people she recognises from her own reality but even then she doesn't blindly trust them or expect them to act the way they would in her world. Lily is sensible, she thinks things through and trusts her instincts rather than go along with what other people want her to do, even in an alternate universe Lily is my kind of heroine!
There are two other characters who I really want to talk about and the first is Lillian, Lily's alternate self, who happens to be the witch in charge of the whole of Salem and all of the other covens around the new world. Lillian is a fascinating character, she does some horrific things and you can't help but hate her for them but the more you learn about her the more you start to wonder about her motives. I'm not saying her actions are justifiable but she does have reasons and I think we've only started to uncover them. There is so much more to Lillian than a cardboard cut-out villain and the choices she makes raise some really interesting questions. Can you ever justify doing terrible things? Is it worth losing the life of a few people if you can potentially save thousands? What if the cost is more than a few - how much life are you willing to sacrifice?
The other character who deserves an honourable mention and a round of applause is love interest Rowan. He really is the kind of guy that we all wish we could meet, he's strong, protective, caring, intelligent and brave but best of all he can admit when he's made a mistake and he can actually apologise for it! Imagine that - a guy who will say sorry! It's a rare and beautiful thing indeed, especially in YA. There is no alpha asshat behaviour here, yes he's wary of Lily in the beginning but considering he thinks she is is mortal enemy Lillian (because they do look identical after all!) that was completely understandable. To be fair, considering the things that Lillian has done to him I actually thought he reacted quite reasonably to Lily's arrival. I absolutely loved seeing their relationship develop over time, there is no insta-love here and the couple spend time getting to know each other and learning to trust. Lily isn't afraid to call Rowan out when he is unreasonable and he is equally willing to push her when she needs it which makes them very well matched.
I don't want to say too much about the alternate world that Lily ends up in because I think it is somewhere that you should have fun exploring for yourself by reading the book. What I will say is that I loved the way magic works, the way it is based on scientific principles and has been so cleverly set up that it comes across as completely believable. I don't have much difficulty thinking there is an alternate universe out there somewhere where magic is real! I think it's quite obvious that I loved this book, I could spend hours writing this review trying to give you more reasons to read it but to be honest if I haven't already sold it to you then probably nothing else I could say will either. If you're only going to take one young adult recommendation from me this year then make it Trial by Fire, this book is such a refreshing change, it breaks so many of the current YA trends and is well worth the money it costs....more
Before You by Jenna Bennett is part of the Sex on the Beach multi-author series, the stories are linked by three main characters who have all gone onBefore You by Jenna Bennett is part of the Sex on the Beach multi-author series, the stories are linked by three main characters who have all gone on holiday together for spring break and who are looking for a little romance to go along with their sun, sand and cocktails. The characters spend most of their time apart going off and having their own adventures but they do meet up occasionally so you'll get glimpses of all three of them in each story. The books can be read in any order and they each work fine as a stand alone story so you can choose whether you want to read one, two or all three of them.
I'm someone who hates to write negative reviews but sometimes there is just no other option and I'm afraid that is the case with Before You. It's hard to explain why without giving spoilers but to put it briefly I was annoyed by the complete and utter stupidity of the two main characters, Ty acts like a complete ass, Cassie lets him walk all over her and I didn't feel like there was even a tiny amount of chemistry between the two of them. It's bad enough when I don't respect the main characters but top that off with the instant love after they'd spoken three (yes THREE) times probably for less than an hour in total and the fact that the mystery was so obvious that I think my cat figured it out before the main characters did and you've got a book that I was seriously disappointed with. That's all I can say without spoilers so if you don't want to know more about the plot look away now - if you like spoilers or have already read the story then feel free to carry on reading for a more in depth review.
SPOILERS BEGIN HERE:
(view spoiler)[Okay, so you've been warned and decided to carry on reading - I'll apologise in advance for the rant this is bound to turn into! Let's talk about our two main characters. First you have Cassie who if I'm honest is a bit of a wet blanket, she's utterly clueless about a lot of things and so naive that I struggled to believe that she was older than 15. I know her father is a preacher but she's supposed to be 21 and she's been living away from home attending college so you'd think she would have grown up just a tiny bit. She meets Ty and pretty much falls in love with him from first glance. He walks her back to her hotel on 3 occasions and leaves her at the door without so much as a goodbye kiss and she's already telling herself she has fallen for him. I should probably add that he told her he has a girlfriend but she is still daydreaming about kissing him - not particularly something that makes me likely to admire her character.
Then you have Ty. Now I'd figured out at their first meeting that he was an undercover cop (it later turns out he's an undercover FBI Agent but I was close enough). He is at Key West to investigate a serial rapist and he walks Cassie back to the hotel to make sure she doesn't become another victim (it's a pity not all of the girls on the Keys have a police escort home!). Over the course of the next few days they bump into each other a few times and each time he walks her back to the hotel safely but although she is with him when they discover one of the victims he never admits his involvement in the investigation. Fair enough, I can get on board with the fact that he shouldn't disclose his identity to just anyone when he's undercover so I'm not going to hold that against him.
What I couldn't understand is his actions when Cassie nearly ends up one of the rapist's victims. He goes to find her one evening to walk her home and finds her drugged out of her mind, barely able to walk and obviously not aware of her surroundings so what does he do? You'd think that a police officer (I didn't know he was FBI at that point but finding that out makes his actions seem even worse!) would immediately take her to hospital to get her checked out wouldn't you? Surely, that is the only course of action, right? I'm afraid not - Ty is obviously from a different planet from the rest of us because he takes her back to her hotel room, half undresses her and lets her sleep it off for TWELVE hours! Are you shocked yet? I would think that ANYONE (let alone a trained police officer!) would worry that she's been drugged & he has no idea what is in her system. What if she has an adverse reaction to the drugs and ends up dead? What if she was given an overdose? What makes him qualified to decide it's safe to let her sleep? She should have been admitted to the hospital IMMEDIATELY!
Now forget about the drugs for a minute and jump forward to the following morning. When she finally wakes up (dressed in just her underwear and a t-shirt) he tells her what happened and says she needs to go to the hospital straight away so they can take blood samples to check what drugs she was given & that if she doesn't hurry they'll all be out of her system (well that wouldn't be a problem if you took her to the hospital TWELVE hours ago now, would it?!). I also have to point out here that while some date rape drugs can stay in your system for up to 72 hours others - GHD for example - are gone in LESS than twelve hours. It took me less than 5 minutes and a single google search to confirm that (click here for more info)! I really hate it when authors fail to do their research.
He also tells her she needs a pelvic exam just in case she was raped even though he doesn't think she was. WHAT??? You mean to tell me that there was even the teeniest, tiniest little possibility that she was RAPED and you didn't TAKE HER TO THE HOSPITAL??? Are you fucking kidding me? He makes her dress in the clothes she'd been wearing the night before because the police will want them as evidence (no shit Sherlock and I'm sure the fact that you've contaminated them by undressing her yourself wouldn't be an issue *insert eye roll here*) and then it's off to hospital they go. They are driven by a police car because Ty finally thought to call for back up but he tries to just drop her off at the door to the hospital telling her a detective will be there soon. Again, I know he's trying to stay undercover but he hasn't called any of her friends, she's just woken up out of a drug haze and is disoriented because she has no idea what happened to her, she's terrified because she was possibly the victim of a rapist and he STILL doesn't offer to go in and hold her hand while she waits for the doctor? She has to actually ask him to stay with her. Well those sure are the actions of a wonderful hero aren't they? Are you swooning yet?
The book actually has some good messages about not accepting drinks from strangers, not leaving your drink unattended and even not getting so drunk that you aren't in full control of your actions but as far as I'm concerned that is all completely negated by the message it sends about what to do if your friend is drugged. Date rape drugs can be lethal, this quote comes directly from the NHS website: Date rape drugs are particularly dangerous when mixed with alcohol because they combine to have a very powerful anaesthetic effect. In extreme cases, it can lead to a coma or even death. If an FBI Agent just puts Cassie to bed and lets her sleep it off what do you think teenagers are going to do if it happens to their friend? They're going to do exactly the same thing. Is this really a safe message we want to be passing along to teenagers (or anyone else for that matter)?
This review is already a heck of a lot longer than I planned it to be but there are a couple of other things I have to mention so please bear with me. I think that Ty was using the "I have a girlfriend" card as a way to stop getting involved with her because he was working but that little point is never clarified. Even after he admits he was lying to her and comes clean about who he really is she doesn't bother to ask if he actually has a girlfriend or not. The final chapter is one of the most ridiculous sex scenes I've ever read about - her begging him to take her virginity was just embarrassing, both for her and for me as a reader. It's even more cringeworthy considering how close she'd come to being raped the night before (this is a 2nd rape attempt not the one already mentioned previously). Cap that with the fact that she wakes up the next morning and he's vanished without even leaving a note and I just wanted to punch Ty in the face for being a complete asshole!
For the epilogue we skip forward several months. Cassie is back at school in Chicago and hasn't seen or spoken to Ty since he took her virginity and walked away without a backward glance yet she's still pining over him and wishing he'd get in contact (it's not like she can call him - he didn't bother to give her his number). He turns up after all that time with a sheepish grin on his face and she just walks into his arms happy to see him. I'm supposed to believe in this romance? I'm supposed to accept that this asshole is a worthy hero that I should be swooning over? I shouldn't be waiting for Cassie to punch him in the face and tell him to get stuffed? I'm sorry but ROMANCE FAIL.
In case you don't believe me here are the final few sentences of the book, remember this is the FIRST time she sees him after he walked out on her over 2 months ago:
He stopped in front of me. “Hi.” He looked a little nervous, like maybe he wasn't entirely sure of his reception. I smiled. “Nice shirt.” He glanced down at it, and back up at me. “Thanks.” “Wanna inspect my body?” “Yeah,” Ty said, and reached for me.
Yup, that's it - the end. The "Wanna inspect my body" comment makes more sense if I point out that he's wearing a t-shirt that says "FBI - Female Body Inspector" on it. (hide spoiler)]
Sam is a grad student who is working hard to get her masters degree in wildlife biology, she specialises in birds of prey and she loves her studies anSam is a grad student who is working hard to get her masters degree in wildlife biology, she specialises in birds of prey and she loves her studies and her job working with rescued birds at her university. When she is invited to dinner with a Duchess from Lilaria she assumes it is something to do with the program she helps run and hopes to secure a donation. The last thing she expects is to find out that her family not only came from Lilaria but that she is the heir to a title and the queen wants her to return and take up her inheritance. The one thing that tempts her to visit is the fact that they have superior medical treatment that could offer a cure for her sick father but it also has the advantage of allowing her to spend time with the gorgeous prince yummy. Alex is the crown prince of Lilaria and has had his heart broken too many times by women who are only interested in his title and his money. He is trying to keep his head down and stay out of the limelight for a change and the last thing he wants is to get entangled with a woman that the press is desperate to get a glimpse of. That was before he met Sam though, she isn't like most of the women he knows, she doesn't care about money or the latest fashions and is reluctant to accept her own title let alone start dating a prince. He promises to be by her side every step of the way if she returns to Lilaria with him but can he win her heart and get her to stay there with him?
My friend loved this book so much that she convinced pretty much everyone she knows to join in a massive group read of it (there were 16 of us in total!). She had told us that Suddenly Royal was a fun, light hearted read with a Princess Diaries feel to it and no unnecessary relationship angst and I couldn't agree more with that assessment. I picked this up when I was in the mood for something light, something that would make me laugh out loud and leave me smiling and that's exactly what I got. In fact I think the smile was pretty much glued to my face the whole time I was reading. Yes, I'll admit that the story was a little predictable in places but how many romances have you read that aren't? I for one would be most disappointed if I picked up a romance and didn't get a happy ever after (or at least a happy for now) at the end of it! I started the story planning on reading a couple of chapters but before I knew it I was over 200 pages in and that to me is a sign of a good story.
Sam was a likeable heroine, a normal every day girl and the kind of person any of us would be friends with. She had good friends, a loving father and she cared about people and animals. She was thrown into the public spotlight when she found out about her title and inheritance in Lilaria but she never let it go to her head, in fact she tried really hard to carry on with her life as normal. Not that she had much of a chance at doing that when she was being hounded by the press every five minutes and couldn't even open her front door without having her picture taken by photographers but she didn't let that stop her carrying on with her everyday routine at college. Her life does change rather dramatically when she agrees to visit Lilaria but rather than sit around complaining she does her best to get on with things. I loved the fact that her reaction to everything going on around her was so normal, her behaviour felt realistic and that just made me like her even more.
Alex was a fabulous hero, he was cool, confident, compassionate and caring. He went out of his way to make things as easy for Sam as possible and he respected her opinion on things. He never once tried to force her into anything she wasn't comfortable with and he took the time to make sure she was OK with everything that was happening. It didn't hurt that he was sexy as hell and happened to be a prince too - don't all little girls have a prince charming fantasy at some point in their lives? I know I did! Sam is determined to resist Alex's advances because she doesn't think she could possibly be a queen and she assumes he is only interested in a temporary affair. She knows it would be too easy to get her heart broken if she gave in to temptation but she can't deny the chemistry between them forever, especially as Alex keeps proving to her over and over again that he will always be there for her.
Suddenly Royal is such a fun book to read with a fantastic couple at the centre and some wonderful side characters who never failed to entertain me. If you're in the mood for something light and fluffy then you can't go far wrong with this and I'm definitely going to be on the look out for more from Nichole Chase in the future - especially now I've found out this is going to be the first book in a series!
Summer Read Along - 14th June 2013
After reading Cory's fab review this ended up turning into a massive group read. Links to the reviews of other participants are listed below:
I was really looking forward to reading Heart of Stone, I haven't come across many paranormal romances where gargoylesBuddy read with Ange & Cory
I was really looking forward to reading Heart of Stone, I haven't come across many paranormal romances where gargoyles are the main supernatural character but I've enjoyed the ones I have read so I had high hopes for this one. Unfortunately there were so many inconsistencies and things that bugged me about the story that I struggled just to finish it and I'm not sure it's a series I will be continuing with. It's hard to explain what I didn't like about the story without talking about what happens so, although I'll try to keep the spoilers to a minimum, you might not want to continue reading this review if you haven't read the book yet unless you don't mind being told part of the plot.
I thought I was going to like Ella at first, she is shy and keeps herself to herself but she was amusing and I was looking forward to seeing her come into her own as the story progressed. Unfortunately fairly early on she is attacked by a real creep who seems quite determined to rape her and her reaction really annoyed me. After passively accepting what is happening for ages Ella finally slaps her attacker and I started to think that she was going to stand up for herself (hooray!) but it isn't long before she starts to feel guilty and regret the fact that she might have hurt him (what?!). I was further irritated when her boss interrupts them, it is quite obvious that something untoward is going on but they all agree that it's probably best not to discuss what happened and agree to go on their merry way. At this point Ella starts wishing that someone had been there to protect her - even though she apparently has these special abilities that she could have used to defend herself but for some unknown reason she would rather be raped than use them!
While Ella is standing around complaining to the gargoyle statue that he didn't rescue her she is so oblivious to her surroundings that a second attacker is able to sneak up behind her with a knife. Luckily this time the gargoyle decides it's time to step in and he comes to life and saves her. OK, I get that it would be a shock if a statue came to life in front of you but considering he just saved her life you might think that Ella would be grateful. Well, unfortunately you'd be wrong - in fact she starts screaming, calls him a monster and uses her super special ability to attack him. So she can't use her power to defend herself from the guy who is trying to rape her but she can use it to go after the gargoyle that just saved her from a knife attack? I'm sorry but I'm struggling to see the logic there!
Gargoyle, Kees, is actually surprisingly patient with her. He lets her get away with attacking him and he waits for her to calm down before questioning her to find out what has woken him up. I have to warn you there are quite a few plot holes when it comes to the gargoyles, they are supposed to be defenders of humanity who can only be woken up by their guardians when they are needed to protect the world from demons but unfortunately someone has been killing off the guardians and now most of the gargoyles have been lost. When Kees is in his statue form he is aware enough of his surroundings to keep fairly up to date with the latest technology and fashions, he even talks in a modern way in spite of the fact that he's been asleep for centuries, but he isn't aware of his current location and why he is no longer with his guardian. That just didn't make sense to me - either he's watching what is going on around him or he isn't, why would his knowledge be so selective? Surely he would at least have been aware of his location change even if he hadn't been able to wake himself up to do anything about it?
I'm not even going to keep writing about the things that didn't make sense because I'd be here all day so let's move on to the romance between Kees and Ella. You've probably already guessed by this point that I wasn't the biggest fan of Ella but for some reason I still had high hopes for Kees. I mean, here you have this protective alpha gargoyle who can not only fly but who can also transform into an incredibly sexy human - what's not to like about him? Well, his attitude for a start and unfortunately that was a major turn off for me. He is so determined to not show any emotions that he acts like, well, for want of a better word, stone. He is cold and hard and if I was Ella I'd have punched him on multiple occasions. They quickly give in to their attraction for each other and sleep together but since Kees is too scared to have any kind of feelings he then proceeds to pretty much ignore Ella and treat her like crap for the rest of the week. While he's busy being cold towards her she is for some strange reason busy falling in love with him - don't ask me why because I sure as hell couldn't figure it out. After a week of tension Kees finally decides that he really does want to be with her so they end up back in bed together, afterwards Ella confesses that she loves him and he doesn't respond which has her feeling like he's going to go back to giving her the cold shoulder and leaves her feeling devastated. So the next morning Ella leaves for work without before Kees wakes up and he has the gall to be annoyed with her because she left without saying goodbye. Seriously, are you kidding me?
You'd hope that since I didn't like either of the main characters and I didn't believe in the romance that at least there might be some decent fight scenes? After all, the gargoyles are supposed to protect the world from demons so that should lead to some pretty scary bad guys right? Unfortunately you'd be wrong again and not only are the bad guys pretty pathetic (and easy to guess!) but our hero and heroine are pretty damn stupid too. I'm not even sure how they survived to the end of the book if I'm honest. Does this series have potential? I'd have to say possibly, the fact that the next book features a different main couple does automatically makes me more interested in reading it. If there weren't so many holes in the world building then I would have loved the mythology but after being so disappointed with the first instalment I'm not sure I'll be able to bring myself to carry on reading this series....more
I've been curious about Bowen ever since we first met him in His Risk to Take so of course I was excited to finally get my hands on his story. Tessa BI've been curious about Bowen ever since we first met him in His Risk to Take so of course I was excited to finally get my hands on his story. Tessa Bailey excels at writing dirty talking alpha heroes and Bowen is no exception to that, in fact I think he might just be her hottest one yet! What I love most about him is how complicated he is. Bowen would be the first person to tell you he's not a good man, in fact, he was raised to be as bad as they come. His father used to be the boss of the criminal underworld in South Boston and ever since he was sent to prison Bowen has taken over his role. Bowen has done a lot of terrible things but he's living a life he never asked for an doesn't really want and as much as he has that dark side he also has a good side to him too. He's always been very protective of his younger sister Ruby, to the point where he has now pushed her away from him to keep her safe, and he has his own code of honour that he sticks to. When undercover cop Sera gets in too deep police officers use Bowen's connection to Ruby and Troy to put pressure on him to go to her rescue. The last thing Bown needs is the added complication of a rookie cop but he can't leave her alone and unprotected so reluctantly agrees to play bodyguard.
Sera couldn't be more different to Bowen, she's a good girl who initially trained as a nurse but changed her career path after her police officer brother was murdered. All Sera wants is to put her brother's murderer behind bars but even though they know who was behind Colin's death the police haven't been able to prove it. Sera isn't willing to leave things at that though so she takes it upon herself to go undercover to find the proof she needs to get Hogan locked up for good. I ended up having mixed feelings about Sera, in some ways I really liked her but there were times when I found her incredibly frustrating. I could completely understand her need to get revenge but I struggled to believe that she'd had any kind of police training. I think I would have found it more realistic if she'd just quit her job as a nurse and gone in completely unprepared - that's certainly how she acted. Overall I was able to forgive her naivety though and I did love the slow build relationship between her and Bowen.
Risking it All is one of Tessa Bailey's hottest books yet and the fact that it was longer than most of her other stories really allowed readers the chance to connect with both of the characters. The way things ended have left me very excited to continue reading this series and I'm already hoping that Connor's story will be up next. If you love Tessa's Line of Duty series I have a feeling you're going to enjoy this one even more!...more
I had seen so many rave reviews for Obsidian that I have to admit I was a bit nervous to start reading it. My expectations had been raised so high that I was worried the book wouldn't live up to them and I have to admit in the beginning I didn't think it was going to. There were quite a few similarities with another popular YA series which made the storyline feel familiar and some events were quite predictable. However, despite my initial reservations Obsidian really grew on me and the further you read the less familiar it becomes as it starts to move off in it's own direction.
I loved Katy from the beginning, she is the kind of character that any book blogger will be able to relate to because she shares our love of books, blogging and her online community. I loved her comments about her blog and the way she was so excited to gain new followers or receive books in the post and I could totally understand her joy at finally getting internet access at their new home! Along with being a bit of a nerdy book lover Katy is also an intelligent girl and a good friend. She is immediately drawn to the hot boy next door but she isn't going to let anyone talk to her the way Daemon does without telling them exactly what she thinks of them. I was so pleased that she called him out whenever he was acting like a jerk (which unfortunately was quite regularly!). Daemon isn't the only one she stands up to though and there was a particular scene in the school cafeteria that practically had me jumping up and down and waving pompoms to cheer her on.
Now let's talk some more about Daemon. He totally has the hot body and good looks going for him but his attitude stinks. I think Katy said it best: "Beautiful face. Beautiful body. Horrible attitude. It was the holy trinity of hot boys." He was such a complete jerk for the majority of the book and there were times I wanted to reach into the book and shake some sense into him. But no matter how badly he acts he has something about him that draws you in so I could completely understand Katy's attraction. The only word to describe the chemistry between these two is intense. They scorch the pages in every scene and you can never quite tell if they're going to tear each others heads off or start ripping their clothes off! I haven't come across so much heat in a YA book in a long time and that alone makes it worth reading the book. The more you get to know Daemon the more you start to see a sweeter side to him, he keeps that side well hidden but just those glimpses leave you wanting to get to know him better.
I have to mention how much I loved the fact that this series is about aliens rather than the usual vampires, shapeshifters, angels or demons. I don't think I've actually come across any other YA paranormal romance or urban fantasy books about aliens (but if you know of any good ones please let me know because I'd love to read them!) so that made a really nice change. I'm not going to say much about Jennifer L Armentrout's alien mythology because I think it's something you want to discover yourself as you read the book but I did find it really interesting and well thought out. I'm looking forward to learning more about the Luxen as the series continues.
So I have to say that Obsidian surprised me, after a shaky start it did manage to live up to the hype that has surrounded it and it has made me want to check out more books by Jennifer L. Armentrout. I will definitely be picking up a copy of the next book Onyx when it is released in August. One last thing I want to mention is that if you're a fan of this series then make sure you check out the extra scenes she has written and posted on her website. You'll get to see some of the important scenes from the book but told from Daemon's perspective and I promise they'll just make you love him even more! The Kindle version of the book even had a couple of extra scenes included at the end that aren't on her website (and I don't believe they're included in the paperback either so I'm glad I purchased the kindle edition).
I can't tell you which short stories these merged reviews refer to because Goodreads didn't bother to fucking tell me. I'm getting more than a little pissed off with them today!!!!
As if this scene wasn't hot enough when told from Kat's point of view - oh boy I need a cold shower after reading it from Daemon's!
I do love reading bits of the story from Daemon's POV!! This is a great little extra from Jennifer Armentrout
Another fun freebie from Daemon's POV. Doesn't really give us any extra info to the story but it's always good to get into Daemon's head!...more
Once Loved is the second book in Cecy Robson's new adult Shattered Past series and it's a real emotional roller coaster of a story. The serie4.5 stars
Once Loved is the second book in Cecy Robson's new adult Shattered Past series and it's a real emotional roller coaster of a story. The series is just getting better and better and I absolutely loved both of these characters, Lety and Brody have been through so much but they're survivors who refuse to let their pasts define them.
If you've read Once Perfect you'll already have met both characters, Lety is Mateo's sister so we've already seen some of her horrific family history. Her father is a drunk and a bully who regularly beats on his wife and his children. Lety has suffered verbal and physical abuse for the majority of her life and even though she's now moved out of the family home to go to college she still can't quite escape from her father's clutches. It's heartbreaking to see everything that Lety goes through but I was so proud of her for the way she copes with everything that happens. She is brave enough to make a stand even when her mother won't and I was cheering her along from the sidelines. Lety has worked hard to get her scholarship to study nursing but she also works as a carer to earn enough money to pay her bills. You have to admire her determination to make something of her life and the way she tries so hard to stand on her own two feet.
On the surface Brody's life looks perfect, he's the son of a wealthy family so he has plenty of money and the freedom to do whatever he wants and he's also one of the popular guys at the college. What most people don't see is that he is still damaged from a major event in his childhood. He keeps his emotional scars well hidden but they're definitely there and Lety is the only person who he feels understands him. I think what I loved most about Brody is that he's such a great guy, he's sweet, kind and doesn't have a mean bone in his body. I've started to get a little bored of the bad boys and players so coming across a guy like Brody makes a really nice change. Lety and Brody were a couple when we first met them but after an incident with her father Lety pushed Brody away to protect him. Brody cares deeply for Lety though, he knows they had something special and he is determined to win her back and show her that together they can survive anything.
I don't want to say too much more about the plot but I have to tell you what an adorable couple they are. I loved seeing the two of them together, they have a great relationship and they're both surrounded by supportive friends which was great. I liked how protective they are of each other and I was glad that their relationship is so solid with very little angst between the two of them. Both of their family situations were heartbreaking but there were some really sweet moments both with Brody's family and with Lety's siblings. We get to see some incredibly sweet moments between Mateo and Evelyn which made me smile and we are given a further glimpse at the next couple Sophia and Killian. Once Loved is a fantastic story and I'm already desperate to get my hands on the final book Once Pure, I've had a feeling from the beginning that Sophia and Killian will be my favourite couple but it's going to be hard for them to knock Lety and Brody off the top spot....more
I want to point out that I don't write proper reviews for books I don't finish reading but since I made so many notes during the first 50% of this booI want to point out that I don't write proper reviews for books I don't finish reading but since I made so many notes during the first 50% of this book (before I gave up) I thought I'd share them here.
I have to say that I'm in the minority when it comes to this book though, most of my GRs friends enjoyed the story and rated it quite highly. So don't just go on my review if you're trying to decide whether to read it or not - this one obviously just wasn't for me.
There were so many things about the story that didn't make sense and that ruined the book for me. I've hidden my notes saying exactly what bothered me behind a spoiler tag so don't continue further if you've not read the book and don't wish to have the first half spoiled for you.
Beware: Rant ahead!
(view spoiler)[- Mila's mother is a scientist who is capable of creating the most sophisticated android the military has and now she's in hiding working as a vet who specialises in horses - just how many degrees does this woman have?
- They're on the run from the military, MILA (which stands for Mobile Intel Lifelike Android) is a stolen robot and her "mother" is trying to protect her. Why then does her mother a) send her to school in the first place (especially when her implanted memories are of being home schooled) and b) not change her daughters name to anything other than Mila? Seriously, how hard would it be for the military to search school registers for 16 year old girls called Mila??
- Her best friend Kaylee literally tries to kill her. I know teenage girls can be bitches (I saw that first hand at school!) but would someone really be stupid enough to make you sit in the back of their truck & then drive at high speeds until you go flying out to what should be your death? All this because the boy Kaylee likes (Hunter) seems more interested in Mila than in her.
- On the subject of Hunter what is it with YA and instalove? I'm sick to death of it, they talk to each other about twice & go on one date before Mila makes the discovery that she is an android and has to run for her life. Now you'd think with the shock of that she would be more interested in finding out about her past but no she's too busy mooning over the fact that she had to leave Hunter behind & will never see him again. FFS!
- When they go on the run we discover that dear old "Mum" happens to have ready made passports for both of them in fake names. Since she happens to have these false identities to hand I ask again - why did she enrol Mila at school without changing her name first? Just to make it easier for the military to find them??
- Speaking of the military how did they track them down (apart from the obvious stupidity with her name!)? It's a little convenient that they turn up within days of Mila finding out the truth.
- What was the point of giving Mila false memories of a fire that supposedly killed her father when he never existed in the first place? Why traumatise her with something like that when you could just say he left them when she was a baby?
- When Mila's android abilities start kicking in a lot of them just don't make sense. She's able to project data into the air like some kind of projector. Where does the light come from? Surely if she has magical light up eyeballs it would be noticeable! There was no explanation for how it worked.
- I also had trouble believing that her program updates itself wirelessly from the military's technology but there is supposed to be no way for them to track her.
- When the bad guys track them to the hotel they are staying in rather than just storm the room in the middle of the night they decide to knock on the door and announce themselves. OK so they pretend to be hotel maintenance needing access to the hotel fuse box but how many hotels have their fuse boxes hiding in a guest's room rather than somewhere they have access to 24/7? What kind of maintenance guys knock on your door after 2am anyway? Seriously are these the most stupid bad guys in history or have I missed the point somewhere?
- I didn't understand how Mila was able to signal the security computers at the airport so that the scans show a normal person walking through them not an android. That just becomes even more ridiculous when she then sets off the alarms because she has a balled up gum wrapper in her pocket. Come on, since when does paper set of airport security?
- Why does the airport dog sense something about her and start barking? We've never had any evidence to show animals don't like her until that point - she's able to ride the horses her mum looks after without a problem and horses tend to be quite skittish.
- This then leads onto the most ridiculous and pointless chase scene in history - seriously I don't think I've ever read anything so stupid in my entire life (& I've read over 1000 books just in the last 3 years!). Airport security try to stop Mila and her mother yet they manage to run past all 9 guards who are at check in plus the security dog?! If airport security is really that rubbish I don't think I'm ever getting on a plane again! They make it into the duty free area and military expert android Mila decides that the best way to slow down security is by throwing ice cream on the floor "hoping the slickness would slow our pursuers". You really are too stupid to survive this book aren't you Mila!
- Mother and android proceed to make it through an empty gate, survive the fall from the gate down to the ground, steal a luggage truck and end up being chased around the airport by security. Mila starts throwing suitcases at the chasing cars smashing one of their windscreens so the car ends up being hit by a plane and then she thinks "Hopefully we'd managed to buy ourselves some time without really seriously injuring anyone". WTF??? Come on, you just risked the lives of half the airport security and every single innocent passenger on the plane and you're hopeful you didn't hurt anyone. Are you kidding me?
- So after that completely crazy, unrealistic and utterly pointless chase scene guess what happens? They get caught. Surprise f*cking surprise! What was the point of all that apart from to cause me eye strain from all the eye rolling I was doing?
- What makes it even worse is that I couldn't understand why they were even running. All they needed to do was let security search them for drugs and see that they didn't have anything dodgy with them and they'd have let them go. Instead they end up caught and in a whole shit load of extra trouble - running from security, stealing, criminal damage, endangering lives, entering restricted areas and actually driving across a runway in front of a plane that is trying to take off. I'm pretty sure there are other charges that could be held against them but I'm beyond caring at this point.
I just couldn't bring myself to read another page, the book had pushed me way beyond the realms of believability and right into I couldn't give a crap (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I'm taking part in a huge group read of the Lumatere Chronicles series, if you want to join us (or just chat about the series if you've already read iI'm taking part in a huge group read of the Lumatere Chronicles series, if you want to join us (or just chat about the series if you've already read it) you can find us in the Buddy Read Group HERE
I have heard so many people rave about Melina Marchetta's writing and so many of my friends love the Lumatere Chronicles that I jumped at the chance of joining a mass group read of the series on Goodreads. I'm so glad I did because I absolutely loved Finnikin of the Rock and I was completely hooked on this story right from the first couple of pages.
When the Lumatere Royal family was brutally murdered and the imposter king stole the throne a curse was placed upon the kingdom that sealed the boarders and separated a whole nation. Those who escaped have been forced to spend the last 10 years living as exiles desperately searching for a way to return home, while nobody knows what happened to the people who were left behind. Finnikin is one of those exiles and he has pretty much given up hope of returning to Lumatere, instead choosing to focus on finding a place where his people can be together and start afresh. Until he meets Evanjalin, a young woman who claims to have visions and who tells Finnikin that the prince Balthazar survived the slaughter and is ready to bring his people home. Finnikin is sceptical but Balthazar was like a brother to him and if there is any chance that he is still alive then he has no choice but to go with Evanjalin to find him. But can Finnikin and Evanjalin break the curse and get their people safely home so that Lumatere can be reunited once more?
I think the thing I loved most about Finnikin of the Rock are the characters, Evanjalin and Finnikin are both very complex and multifaceted, they have strengths and weaknesses and they both make mistakes which make them much more human. Finnikin has spent years travelling the lands trying to make a list of all the surviving refugees, he has seen so much suffering and is desperate to find a way to bring his people back together even if it means giving up on his dream of taking them home. Evanjalin has more complicated motives, she does a lot of things that I don't necessarily agree with but everything she does she does for a reason. She's almost like a puppet master, the only one who sees the bigger picture and the one who is pulling on everyone's strings to control the outcome of the play. At times I was shocked by the things she did but I was always fascinated to see what she would do next and how things would tie together. I think she's one of the most fascinating YA heroines I've come across in a long time and I had so much fun speculating about the secrets she was keeping and what her long term goals were. I loved the way the relationship between Evanjalin and Finnikin builds, they start as reluctant allies but slowly grow to respect and trust each other and gradually become so much more. Their relationship was completely believable and I loved every minute of it.
It isn't just Evanjalin and Finnikin who are brilliant though, and so many of the side characters are incredibly well drawn out too. I loved seeing Finnikin and his father reunited after such a long time apart, the father/son bond was so well written and it was fantastic to see them find hope in each other. I'm also completely invested in the story of Trevanion and Lady Beatrice, I loved the wisdom of Sir Topher, I enjoyed the banter of the King's guard and I can't wait to see more of Lucian and Tessadora. Not all of the characters are easy to like though and Froi in particular did something that I find completely unforgivable towards the beginning of the story. It's a testament to Melina Marchetta's ability to create such fantastic characters that I found myself warming to Froi just a fraction towards the end of the book though. I still hate what he did and don't think I'll ever be able to completely look past that but I like the changes we've seen in him so far and he's definitely come a long way from the boy he once was. I'm intrigued to see how my opinion of him will change when I read the next book.
Finnikin of the Rock is a fantastic story, it's complex, action packed, heart breaking and beautiful all at the same time. It's the kind of story that makes you think and one that stays with you for a long time after you finish reading it. I'm dying to carry on and read the rest of the series but I'm already thinking about how much fun it will be to reread this story, especially now that I know what is coming and will be able to spot more of the clues that Melina Marchetta scattered throughout the novel. This is a must read book for YA fantasy fans and one I know I'll be recommending for a long time to come!...more
February 2015 OMG OMG OMG OMG HOLY SHIT I HAVE END OF DAYS!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you Hodder & Thank you Netgalley - I'm DYING of excitement here!! I knFebruary 2015 OMG OMG OMG OMG HOLY SHIT I HAVE END OF DAYS!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you Hodder & Thank you Netgalley - I'm DYING of excitement here!! I know I'm supposed to be taking part in a huge group buddy read of the whole series closer to the release date but guys I just can't. You can't make me wait that long - it would KILL me!
I'm reading the first two books ASAP and then End of Days is MINE!
November 2013 This book is right at the top of my wish list! The second I get hold of a copy I'm dropping EVERYTHING to read it :-)...more
Buddy read with Aly, Ange, Annie & Anzu (Although I think only Aly, Anzu and I actually ended up reading it LOL)
Daughter of the Blood is a reallyBuddy read with Aly, Ange, Annie & Anzu (Although I think only Aly, Anzu and I actually ended up reading it LOL)
Daughter of the Blood is a really difficult book to review and I think that's partly due to how uncomfortable it made me feel when I was reading it. This is a DARK fantasy story, if you're looking for an easy read then that's not what you're going to get here. However, if you're looking for a story that is as compelling as it is disturbing then this may be just what you're after. If I'd known the kind of things this story included (everything from child molestation, rape, incest, abuse, torture and much much more) then I would have been wary about picking it up but no matter how squeamish reading it made me feel there was never a point where I wanted to put the book down and walk away. I was so engrossed in this world and the characters that I just had to know what was going to happen next!
Anne Bishop has created a fascinating but brutal world, one where power has completely corrupted the people in charge. Society is ruled by those of the Blood, men and women with magic whose abilities are defined by the colour of jewel they receive at birth. It is a matriarchal society where territories are ruled by the Queens who have the strongest magic and they are served by their male counterparts the Warlords. There was peace and happiness for centuries until they fell under the power of a dark and twisted High Queen, Dorothea, a woman who thinks nothing of terrorising the people under her command. In fact she has encouraged the other Queens to treat men as worse than nothing, they are often little more than sex slaves who are under complete control of Dorothea and the other Queens that she allows to rule over smaller territories. The world is split into three different realms - Terreille, Kaeleer and Hell - but most of this story takes place in Terreille and Hell (I have to admit I'm a little confused about how Kaeleer fits into the picture but I'm assuming that will become more clear as the series continues). The realms have been divided and under Dorothea's reign Terreille has become a dark and terrifying place. There is only one hope for the realms to be reunited and prophecy has long since told of Witch, the most powerful Queen to be born in centuries, one who will either heal or destroy the world.
For centuries Saetan, the overlord of Hell, has awaited the birth of Witch and finally she is here. Jaenelle is just seven years old when she finds her way to Hell and befriends him and he instantly recognises her for who and what she is. It will take years of training before she is ready to fulfil the prophecy but that is only if he manages to keep her safe from those that seek to harm her. Jaenelle is already capable of incredible and terrifying things but she doesn't have proper control of her magic and desperately needs the lessons he can give her. Saetan is a father figure to Jaenelle and he would do anything to help her but that isn't easy when she is so determined to follow her own path, she is a wanderer who has friends throughout all three realms and in her own way she is just as determined to protect those she cares about. She refuses to stay safe in Hell when her friends need her help and she keeps secrets about things that happen because she tries to spare Saetan the pain of knowing the kind of trouble she is in.
Jaenelle also befriends Saetan's two sons Daemon and and Lucivar although her relationship with them is very different to the one she has with Saetan. Daemon and Lucivar are both slaves who are under control of Dorothea, they have spent centuries being abused and tortured biding their time until Witch comes into her power and can free them. We don't see a great deal of Lucivar here but whenever we do get his point of view he is either suffering the worst kind of torture or watching it happen to someone else. I'm actually glad we don't see more of him because his scenes were incredibly difficult to read about, I just wish I could say they were the worst in the book and unfortunately they weren't! Daemon is a pleasure slave who has spent centuries forced to do the bidding of Dorothea, but in spite of that he actually has a kind of innocence to him, one that Jaenelle brings to the surface through their friendship. Daemon would do anything to keep Jaenelle safe, he would go through any kind of pain or suffering himself if it meant she didn't have to but even he isn't powerful enough to protect her the entire time. Scenes towards the end of the book absolutely broke my heart and I have no idea how Jaenelle is going to come back from what happened to her. Thankfully the abuse she suffers is one of the few scenes that isn't detailed graphically in the story but the aftermath is more than enough to show just how badly she suffered and it makes for difficult reading.
Daughter of the Blood is a fascinating but brutal story, it is graphic and unflinching when it comes to showing the darkest that the world has to offer. This is a compelling book that hits you where it hurts and makes it hard to keep breathing but one that you can't look away from. As much as I'm kind of terrified to see where Anne Bishop will take us next I'm in it for the long haul and there is no way I can stop reading this series. The world building is absolutely fascinating and I am so invested in these characters that I want to see them get the happy ending that they deserve. Apart from Dorothea and a few others who are evil to the core - them I want to see suffer in the most brutal ways imaginable!...more
I'm the biggest fan of the Beyond series, I'm a little obsessed with the world but most of all with the characters and I can't get enough of them. I tI'm the biggest fan of the Beyond series, I'm a little obsessed with the world but most of all with the characters and I can't get enough of them. I think it's great that Donna and Bree (the ladies behind the Kit Rocha name) write these little novellas to give us more about some of the minor characters, the ones we see on the sidelines but who don't necessarily have a major role to play in the ongoing storyline. Although the novellas give us a glimpse on the world and often let us catch up with some of the other characters we're crazy about they are also more tightly focused on the main couple and the romance so while they're shorter they're most definitely not lacking in heat.
Beyond Possession is the story of Tatiana and Zan, we've met both of these characters previously but didn't know a huge amount about them so I was excited to get to know them better. Tatiana's father used to be the leader of Sector Four but unlike Dallas O'Kane he was neither liked or respected, he was a thug who ruled by fear and even though he is long gone he left quite a mark on the sector. Tatiana is a skilled craftswoman but she is stuck between the people who hated her father and love Dallas and those who resent the O'Kane way of life and want to see a return to the old days. Tatiana has spent years trying to protect herself and her sister Catalina, she doesn't want trouble and she knows the best way to avoid it is to keep her head down and remain neutral but that isn't easy when Catalina has started dating a guy who is very outspoken about his hatred of the O'Kanes. Tatiana has tried to keep Catalina away from Wallace but that just pushed the two of them together and now Wallace is attempting to use his connection to the Stone sisters to push his agenda.
Zan is loyal to Dallas but feels he let his boss down when he was injured in an ambush. He will do anything to make up for his failure and right now that means keeping on top of the unrest amongst the market traders and trying to smooth things over. He has always wanted Tatiana but understands her need to remain under the radar and has respected her wishes but now is the perfect opportunity for him to get closer and show her just how important she is to him. Can Tatiana continue to resist Zan's charms or will he finally get past her defences?
I loved this couple, I love how Tatiana is so independent and so protective over her sister. She has worked so hard for everything she has achieved and she isn't going to give it up easily. Zan admires her for her spirit and the last thing he wants to do is crush her dreams, he knows she needs to be able to stand on her own two feet and would never do anything to jeopardise that. Zan really is a great guy, one who may want to protect Tatiana but who would never try to stifle her and who has a tight leash on his caveman tendencies. They fit together really well and I enjoyed seeing them realise how special they could be together. Beyond Possession is a fabulous addition to the series and Tatiana and Zan are another new favourite couple. I don't know how I'm going to survive the wait for the next book - I just wish we could have a new book every month!
Initial thoughts when I first received the book:
OMG OMG OMG I just got approved for this on Netgalley!!!!!!!!!!!
I'm taking part in the mass group read in the Fantasy Buddy Reads group organised by Armina in case anyone else wants to join us. We'll be starting Golden Son soon too!
Thoughts after my second read: Red Rising was my favourite book of 2014 and it more than lived up to a reread, in fact I think I loved it even more the second time around because I was able to pick up on little hints that I missed the first time! I can't wait to start Golden Son!!...more
I'm a huge fan of Zoe Marriott, I absolutely love her writing style and have been waiting to get my hands on The Night Itself since I first heard abouI'm a huge fan of Zoe Marriott, I absolutely love her writing style and have been waiting to get my hands on The Night Itself since I first heard about it over a year ago. As you can imagine I had high expectations for this novel and I'm happy to say Zoe that absolutely smashed them! This is a fabulous start to her first urban fantasy series - you have strong, independent characters, great supportive friendships, a hot boy, lots of action and sword fights, wonderful use of Japanese mythology and it's set in London! What more can you ask for? My only disappointment is that I've got to wait another year for the next instalment.
Before he died Mio's grandfather showed her an ancient katana (Japanese sword) that has been protected by members of her family for over 500 years. He promised her that on her 16th birthday the sword would belong to her but warned her that she must always keep its existence a secret and told her to keep it hidden and protected. In the years since Mio hasn't been able to stop thinking about the sword but she has stuck to her grandfather's rules and hasn't touched it. Days before her birthday she comes up with the perfect excuse to bring out the sword though - it would be the ideal accessory for her fancy dress costume! She justifies her actions by telling herself that it will be hers in a matter of days anyway and with her parents away who is to know that she took it a couple of days early? But she has forgotten her grandfather's warning and removing the sword from its hiding place has consequences she never could have imagined. Now with demons roaming the streets of London it is up to Mio to find a way to stop them and her first task is learning just what the sword is capable of.
I have to say I loved Mio, she is such a strong character who is more than capable of defending herself when she needs to. She has a fantastic friend in Jack and the two girls are inseparable and always supportive of each other. Neither of them has had it easy but they have each other to rely on and their friendship has seen them through the difficult times. Jack added a lot of humour to the story and I really enjoyed the interactions between them. Mysterious Japanese warrior Shinobu was another great character and the relationship between him and Mio was great, they do develop feelings for each other quite quickly but it is a testament to Zoe Marriott's skills that I didn't even notice that until I sat back to reflect on the book after I finished reading it. I'm not usually a fan of insta-love but in this case it was done so well that it felt completely natural and believable and left me looking forward to spending more time with them both as the series continues.
I've already mentioned that the story was action packed and full of mythology but I have to tell you how much I loved the addition of the Kitsune characters, Hikaru in particular was a favourite and he stole nearly every scene he appeared in. I don't want to spoil the story by telling you much about them so you'll just have to read the book for yourself to learn more! If you've ever wanted to see demons on the loose in London then you're going to love The Night Itself. There are some truly creepy moments along with fantastic fight scenes full of magic, kendo moves and sword fighting. I was gripped from the first page and I can't wait to get my hands on the next instalment!...more
I'm taking part in a huge group read of the Lumatere Chronicles series, if you want to join us (or just chat about the series if you've already read iI'm taking part in a huge group read of the Lumatere Chronicles series, if you want to join us (or just chat about the series if you've already read it) you can find us in the Buddy Read Group HERE. We're starting Froi of the Exiles on the 15th of December....more
I'm going to apologise in advance for this review because I just don't think I have the words to do Golden Son justice, I've been trying for days to wI'm going to apologise in advance for this review because I just don't think I have the words to do Golden Son justice, I've been trying for days to write this and I can't seem to express myself in any sensible way so you'll just have to put up with my fan girl raving. Red Rising was without a doubt my favourite book of 2014, it was one of my first reads of the year and even though I read over 200 books after it none of them managed to knock it off the top spot. So as you can imagine my excitement levels for Golden Son were off the charts. I was a little nervous at the same time though, so many times you find the second book in a trilogy is a disappointing filler that doesn't really add to the story and I would have been gutted if that had happened here. I needn't have worried though because Golden Son is incredible, in fact I think it blows Red Rising out of the water which is quite an achievement!
To put it simply Golden Son is epic. It is a book that will grip you from the very first page. It will take you on a roller coaster of intense emotions - you will laugh, cry, cheer and scream in frustration. There are shocking plot twists, new friendships are built while old ones end in betrayal, your heart will be ripped out when characters you love are destroyed but you'll find yourself rooting for others to survive. The story is fast paced, the plot is intricate and has so many layers that I'm sure there are things I won't fully understand until I reread the book and the character development is fantastic. We get to experience epic battles but we also get to learn more about the society as we see Darrow working hard to bring it down from the inside. The world building is just incredible, it's already so detailed yet I feel like we've hardly begun to touch the surface and I can't wait to see where things go from here.
It's so hard to write a review when you don't want to give away any of the plot so I'm just going to talk about a couple of the main characters. Darrow has changed so much from the boy we first met, he has become quite cold in some ways and the only thing he really cares about is destroying the Golds who betrayed him and his people. He pushes his friends away and has become a bit of a loner but at the same time he manages to draw people to him, his allies would willingly walk into hell by his side and we see this happen time and time again. One of the things I've always loved about Darrow is that he isn't perfect, he makes so many mistakes but he is smart enough to recognise that and he tries hard to learn from them. There are times when it can be frustrating watching him push people away but it is easy to understand where he is coming from. I can't help but love him and I desperately want to see him find some kind of happiness even as he brings the system down around him.
Without a doubt my favourite character is Sevro though, he steals every single scene he appears in and I love him more than words can say. I've lost count of the number of times that Sevro and the Howlers have saved the day, the war would truly have been lost without them. I absolutely adore the friendship between Sevro and Darrow too. Sevro is often the voice of reason, the one who calls Darrow out when he isn't thinking clearly but at the same time Sevro can often be the more bloodthirsty of the two and he's brilliant at plotting against their enemies. Other highlights include meeting Pax's family, finally discovering who Ares is (I would never have guessed in a million years!) and meeting new character Ragnor who I hope we see a lot more of.
To be honest there are too many highlights to mention, Golden Son is so tightly plotted that there isn't a single wasted sentence. Every line is important, every single chapter is full of suspense, emotional anguish and shocking reveals. This is an exhausting read but in the best possible way and once again I feel confident in naming my book of the year even though it's only January. I think I'd be willing to sell my soul to the devil if I could get my hands on a copy of the final book, Morning Star, right now but in the meantime I'll just have to console myself with multiple rereads of the first two books while I wait.
Previous thoughts: I got approved on netgalley. I got approved on netgalley.
I GOT APPROVED ON NETGALLEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh happy days!!
I've been a huge fan of the Lunar Chronicles ever since I first read Cinder so I couldn't wait to get my handsBuddy read with Ange, Erica & Jenny
I've been a huge fan of the Lunar Chronicles ever since I first read Cinder so I couldn't wait to get my hands on Cress, I pre-ordered this book as soon as it was available and I dropped everything to read it the minute my copy arrived. I love the way Marissa Meyer manages to weave fairytale characters into her stories, she has created such a fascinating world and it's full of characters I've come to love throughout the series. Each book adds a new main character, in this case we have Cress (a take on Rapunzel), but we still get the chance to catch up with previous characters and see how their journey is continuing.
Cress has been held prisoner on a tiny satellite orbiting earth for seven years now and she has been forced to help Queen Levana by hiding the Lunar ships full of soldiers that are currently in orbit. All she has ever wanted is to find a way to escape her prison and she hopes that by reaching out to Levana's enemy Cinder she might find herself an ally. Cinder is currently in hiding with Scarlet, Wolf and Thorne but she is determined to find a way to prevent Levana from marrying Emperor Kai and continuing her attempt to take over earth. Cress has insider information that could be vital but it isn't going to be easy to rescue her and still have time to stop the wedding from taking place.
From the minute I started this book I couldn't put it down, I just loved being back in this world and catching up with all of my favourite characters. It's not often an author can pull me back in to a series so easily when I've had to wait a year between instalments, this is a particular problem since I no longer have time to reread the previous books each time but thankfully that wasn't an issue here. Within a few pages I was fully immersed in Marissa Meyer's world and desperate to see how things played out. Cress is a book that has a lot of important revelations that are going to have major impact on how things play out in the final instalment, Winter. As such there were times when I found it a little slower than the previous books but that didn't mean I was any less hooked on the story - I stayed up until 5am to finish reading it so that's got to tell you something about how much I loved it!
Cress is very different to our previous heroines, she is much more innocent and naive but I found that completely understandable considering her circumstances. She has spent seven years trapped on a tiny satellite which is probably smaller than most studio apartments, the only person she has had any contact with has been one of Levana's trusted aides and that has only been for very short periods of time. It's actually quite surprising that Cress is still sane considering everything she's been through! I thought she was such a sweet character and I loved seeing her grow in confidence once she'd been rescued. She starts off as a damsel in distress but by the end of the book she is doing a much better job of standing on her own two feet. I loved Thorne in the previous book but he grew on me even more here, he is still that cheeky guy we came to love but he has a much nicer side that he keeps well hidden. Cress is the only one who sees through his witty banter to the hero hidden deep inside and even though she sees more good in his actions than were really there she ends up making him want to be a better man so he can live up to her expectations.
Cress is immediately besotted with Thorne because he is not only the person who comes to her rescue but as he rightly points out to her he is also the first man she's ever met. I'm glad that he calls her on her childish infatuation and doesn't take advantage of her affection. I would have liked a little more time spent seeing them get to know each other so that I could have had more faith in their relationship but I still enjoyed spending time with the two of them, especially once Cress started to grow up a little as she got used to the outside world. One other thing I missed in this instalment was Scarlet, she doesn't have such a major role in this story and she is separated from the others for the majority of the time which made my heart break for Wolf a little. I can understand why it had to happen that way though and I'm sure it's going to be very different in the next book.
We also get a glimpse at the next heroine, Winter, and I can't wait to find out more about her. She is a lunar princess but because she has refused to use her powers for so long she is starting to lose her sanity. Winter is definitely an interesting character and I'm sure she's going to cause all sorts of chaos in the next book. I've been following this series since the very beginning so it's going to be a long wait until Winter is released in 2015 but I'm sure it will be worth it - I'm absolutely desperate to know how things turn out for Cinder and the gang!...more
Whisper of Sin was previously published in the Burning Up anthology and is also available as a separate ebook. The story is set beBuddy read with Ange
Whisper of Sin was previously published in the Burning Up anthology and is also available as a separate ebook. The story is set before events in Slave to Sensation but to be honest I think you'll probably have more appreciation for the characters if you've already familiar with the world building so I would recommend reading at least one book first. Although I've read the whole series now I don't actually remember much about either Emmett or Ria, their names were vaguely familiar but they definitely haven't been major players in the series so it's a testament to Nalini Singh's writing that she was able to make me care so much about both of them in less than 90 pages!
Events take place at a time when the DarkRiver leopards are only just solidifying their claim over San Francisco, the Psy still think they are in charge but the leopards are definitely claiming territory and part of that claim comes a duty to protect the citizens who live within their boarders. Unfortunately a gang of human thugs seem determined to muscle in, something that DarkRiver will not stand for, not if they don't want to lose face and risk a territory dispute with other packs of predatory changelings. When human Ria is attacked on her way home she is rescued by Dorian and Emmett and the pack take her whole family under their protection. Emmett has more than Ria's safety on his mind though, he immediately recognises Ria as his mate and he will do whatever it takes to convince her to take a chance on him.
I thoroughly enjoyed this novella, Ria and Emmett's courtship is so sweet but I also love the fact that Ria is strong enough to stand up to Emmett and won't let him push her around even though he's obviously so much stronger than her. The banter between them was great but Ria's grandmother was absolutely hilarious and she made me giggle out loud more than once. The rest of Ria's family aren't so keen on Emmett to start with but he isn't the kind of guy to give up without a fight and it doesn't take him too long to win them around. This is a lovely little edition to the Psy-Changeling series and I'm sure fans will devour it....more
I am such a huge fan girl of Kit Rocha's Beyond series and I have been impatiently waiting for Ace's book since the mHoly shit this book was AMAZING!
I am such a huge fan girl of Kit Rocha's Beyond series and I have been impatiently waiting for Ace's book since the moment we first met him in Beyond Shame so to say I had high expectations for this book is a complete understatement. Usually my high expectations would make me nervous about picking up a book but in this case I had no doubt that the authors would blow me away and I'm happy to say that they definitely delivered. Beyond Jealousy is my new favourite book in the series, I'm still Ace's biggest fan but I'm now also just as big a fan of Cruz!! Rachel is one lucky, lucky girl - what I wouldn't give to swap places with her!
Rachel has been in love with Ace for a long time but he kept on pushing her away until she was convinced that he didn't care about her at all. She may have been heart broken but Cruz was always there on the sidelines ready to take care of her and we'd already seen her start to fall more than a little in love with him too. The trouble is that she's never forgotten Ace and he still holds a huge piece of her heart and when she finds out that Cruz and Ace are happily sharing women but that neither of them have invited her to join them she is hurt but equally determined to make them realise that she is more than capable of handling them both.
Cruz was an elite soldier from Eden and was raised very conservatively, it goes against everything he was brought up to believe in to be attracted to another man but that doesn't stop him being drawn to Ace. He loves Rachel but he needs Ace too and he is the kind of guy who will fight to the death to get what he wants. Cruz knows that Ace and Rachel are wary of starting a relationship, especially one involving three people, but that isn't going to stop him - especially since he knows how good they could be together. I loved how determined he was to fight for what he wanted and the way he is able to read both Rachel and Ace so well. He is the perfect guy to help them both to work through their issues and he is smart enough to realise that there is nothing wrong with the way he feels for the two of them. I was actually surprised at how dominant Cruz was, I'd kind of expected Ace to be the one who took most of the control but it was a pleasant surprise to see Cruz was able to shake things up a bit.
For all the show that Ace puts on he is actually the most messed up one of them all, he was trained from a young age in the art of pleasure and spent years using his body to earn his living. It left him feeling dirty and with incredibly low self esteem. Ace just doesn't see himself worthy of love and is convinced that he isn't good enough for either Rachel or Cruz. He wants them so much that it terrifies him because if they rejected him it would break his heart so he tries to keep them at a distance. He convinces himself that he is just in the relationship for the short term and that it is his job to get Rachel and Cruz together and then walk away so they can be happy without him. His lack of self worth absolutely broke my heart and I was so pleased that both Rachel and Cruz could see through his defensive layers and understand what was going on with him. Ace makes a few incredibly stupid decisions but that doesn't stop the others from loving him and they both fight for him with all their hearts.
Beyond Jealousy was probably the most emotionally wrenching book in the series, there is a lot of self doubt and difficulty on all sides as the three of them try to figure out how to make their relationship work. That's not to say it's all difficult between them because in a lot of ways they fit together perfectly from the very beginning. They certainly know how to make things work in the bedroom and HOT DAMN this was the sexiest book yet (which is saying something if you've read any of the others!). I don't think there are going to be many people who wouldn't want to be in Rachel's place after reading this book, she has not just one but two incredibly sexy guys who want to give her the world and I'm more than a little jealous of her!
There is also plenty going on in the rest of the O'Kane world, Dallas is hot on the heels of the people who are creating bootlegged O'Kane liquor and the whole gang are in danger as they work together to put a stop to them. The O'Kane women get a chance to shine when they fight their own battle and OMG the ending has made me absolutely desperate to get my hands on Trix's story - I really, really need it NOW! If you haven't started this series yet then I really don't know what you're waiting for - it is an absolutely fantastic one that pushes boundaries in all the best ways and I can't recommend ALL of the books highly enough. I would recommend reading them in order so start at Beyond Shame and work your way forward - I promise you won't regret it....more
I'm a HUGE fan of Sarah Alderson, she writes such incredibly hot YA boys so the second I found out that she was writing her first NA book under the naI'm a HUGE fan of Sarah Alderson, she writes such incredibly hot YA boys so the second I found out that she was writing her first NA book under the name of Mila Gray it went to the top of my wish list! When Sarah sent me a very early copy of Come Back to Me I can't tell you how excited I was to read it, I had high expectations for the story and she utterly smashed them.
Just reading the prologue gave me goosebumps and put a knot of fear in my stomach. You know that something terrible is going to happen but you're not sure exactly what or even who it will happen to. The story then skips back in time to 3 months previously to when Jessa's brother Riley and his best friend Kit have just returned home from their latest detachment with the marines. Jessa has had a crush on Kit for years but she never even dreamed he would be interested in her. It's not long before the sparks start to fly between them though and as they spend more time together they slowly start to fall in love. What I loved most about this book was that Jessa and Kit spend time actually getting to know each other outside of the bedroom, they have fantastic chemistry but they don't feel the need to rush things. In fact because they have known each other for such a long time they have a strong bond of friendship that they are both wary of losing each other if things don't work out between them.
They have to keep their relationship a secret in the beginning partly because they are worried about what Riley's reaction would be but mainly because of Jessa's father. He used to be a marine sniper and is now Kit's Colonel and he isn't the kind of guy you want to get on the wrong side of. Jessa is under a lot of pressure at home, her father is quite obviously suffering with some kind of PTSD and his mood swings make him nearly impossible to live with. Jessa and her mother live in fear of doing something that will upset him or set him off and they spend their whole lives walking on egg shells. Living that way has really started to knock Jessa's confidence so I loved seeing Kit help her rediscover her dreams and learn to stand up for herself. Kit is hot as hell but he's also incredibly thoughtful, sweet and romantic and he is constantly thinking of little ways to cheer Jessa up. He treats her like she is special and she starts to believe that he is right. The chemistry between them is utterly fantastic and they are scorching hot together but the sex scenes are never crude and they're always just as emotional as they are sexy.
Come Back to Me is intense, passionate, romantic and totally swoon worthy. It made me laugh one minute and sob my heart out the next, broke my heart but helped put it back together again and it made me fall in love. Mila Gray captures the intensity of first relationships, that feeling of being head over heels "I can't live without you" in love and she makes you go through it right alongside Jessa and Kit. This isn't just a romance though, it's also a story about family and friendship, about loss and grief but also about finding hope in the darkest times and realising that no matter how hard it gets life goes on. In case I haven't made it obvious enough I absolutely LOVED Come Back to Me and I can't wait to get my hands on anything else that Mila Gray / Sarah Alderson writes in the future! ___________________________________________
My initial thoughts when I first received the book: I just got sent a super early review copy from the author!!!!!!! Squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
*Sings "I'm sooooo excited" & happy dances around the room* ...more
When Regan fell in love with Richard she had no idea that it would cost her everything, she didn't even know he was alreBuddy read with Aly & Maru
When Regan fell in love with Richard she had no idea that it would cost her everything, she didn't even know he was already married until she was five months pregnant with his child. When Richard vanished Regan was left broken hearted and alone to raise their daughter. At least his wife Abby had her family to support her and when Abby's brothers were unable to find the cheating husband they were happy to take out their anger on his mistress. For the last 6 years the DeLuca men have made Regan's life miserable costing her countless jobs and ruining her reputation in the wine industry. But this Christmas things are finally looking up for Regan and she has been offered her dream job and the chance to start over in a new town where she can build a life for herself and her daughter Holly. What she doesn't realise is that her new boss will be Gabe, the oldest of the DeLuca clan and the man behind everything that has happened to her. Gabe wants nothing more than to protect his sister Abby and that means getting Regan away from their home town fast. He isn't going to let anything get in the way of that goal - especially not an unwanted attraction to his family's enemy.
Every so often a book comes along that sucks me in from the very first page and makes it impossible for me to do anything else until I've finished reading it and Kissing Under the Mistletoe was one of those books. I picked it up planning on reading just one chapter before making myself some dinner but several hours later I was still reading. In fact I only managed to put the book down very briefly to grab a quick snack before I jumped back in to devour the rest of the story. I have now added Marina Adair to my list of must read authors and I can't tell you how pleased I was to discover that this is the first book in a new series.
I found it easy to connect with Regan from the moment I met her, she was young and innocent and completely betrayed by the man she loved and I had nothing but sympathy for her. I was so angry at the way the DeLuca clan had made life so difficult for her - especially considering she'd had no idea that Richard was married. She was as much his victim as Abby was and had spent a further six years being victimised for something that she had no control over. To say I was livid at Gabe and his family is an understatement and to be honest I didn't think he had a chance in hell at redeeming himself in my eyes. You have to admire Regan because although she has been through hell she has never given up, she never took the easy option of giving up her career and walking away from the wine industry and she never, ever let her daughter suffer because of what had happened. Holly was her world and Regan would do anything to protect her and make her happy. There were times that Regan's story brought tears to my eyes but more than anything I admired her strength and wanted to see her find happiness.
I've already mentioned how much I hated Gabe in the beginning so I was incredibly surprised that Marina Adair managed to make me fall for him. As you get to know him you see that he ended up responsible for his four younger siblings from a young age after their parents died and all he has ever done is try to protect them. He was convinced that Regan knew that Richard was married but went ahead and had an affair with him anyway and he had no idea that she had a young child to care for. None of that makes what he did to her acceptable but it did make it easier to understand. The fact that we get to see things from his perspective was what helped me fall for him though - you get to see first hand how guilty he feels when he realises that Regan was another innocent victim and when he sees first hand how hard life has been for her since then. I enjoyed watching Gabe discover his conscience and try to make up for what had happened but I enjoyed seeing Regan tell him where to go even more. The banter between them was one of the highlights of the book for me, the chemistry between them was off the charts hot but while their eyes were stripping each other naked their words were cutting them to the core. I knew from their heated looks that they'd be good together but boy were the sexy times worth the wait!
Other highlights included Holly who was utterly adorable - I dare anyone not to fall in love with her - and Gabe's grandmother ChiChi and her friends who Regan had nicknamed the Mrs. Clauses. There were a lot of laugh out loud moments at their antics and they really helped lighten the tone of the story. Kissing Under the Mistletoe is definitely my favourite Christmas read of the year, funny, cute, romantic and hot, it was the perfect book to get me in the mood for the holidays and I know it is a book I'll be re-reading in the future. Fans of small town romance series like Jill Shalvis's Lucky Harbor books will love this one - it has the same feel good factor and great cast of characters who I am looking forward to spending more time with....more
I have spent the last 3 days trying to get my thoughts straight about this book and I'm still struggling so I fear that this may end up being more ofI have spent the last 3 days trying to get my thoughts straight about this book and I'm still struggling so I fear that this may end up being more of a rambling discussion than an actual review - hopefully you'll bear with me though. I have to admit that I had reservations about Fifty Shades of Grey before I even picked it up, everything I'd heard about it left me with the impression that I would either completely love it or absolutely hate it and I just couldn't tell which way it would go.
For the few people that haven't heard of this book Fifty Shades of Grey was originally posted online as free Twilight fan fiction under the name Masters of the Universe. I understand there are some minor differences between the free story and the version that is now on sale but I can't compare the two as I have only read it in it's latest incarnation. I have to admit that I was irritated by the similarities with Twilight and I think I would have liked the story a lot more if I hadn't constantly been comparing the characters to Bella and Edward (we also see the author's version of Jacob along with some of the Cullens). Now this may be based on the characters from Twilight but the story itself is definitely adult in nature and not one I would recommend for anyone who is under age! There are no vampires in sight but the story contains a lot of sex along with BDSM elements so isn't going to be to everyone's taste.
As anyone who read my status updates on Goodreads will already know for the first half of the book my feelings were pretty negative - I could write a list as long of my arm about things that I didn't like. The writing could have been so much better if some of the constantly repeated phrases had been deleted and I was sick to death of hearing about Ana biting her lip and the way Christian's trousers hung off his hips. I was also frustrated by the way Ana changed from being ridiculously innocent to a complete sex goddess after just one night with Christian because it was completely unrealistic. While we're talking of unrealistic Christian has the stamina of multiple duracell bunnies (if only all men were like that *sigh* lol) and if all women orgasmed as easily and often as Ana does then I doubt we'd ever leave the house! The sheer number of things that irritated me should have been more than enough to make me give up on the book but for some reason Fifty Shades of Grey is just so compelling I couldn't put it down.
Ana is 21 and just about to graduate from college but in my opinion she comes across as much younger, particularly at the beginning of the book. I couldn't stand the constant arguments she had with her subconscious and her inner goddess (yes she really does have not one but three distinct personalities in her head and they all frequently talk to each other!) so I wanted to scream every time they cropped up. She meets Christian when she stands in for her roommate to interview him for the student newspaper and the fact that she is so shy and innocent leads him to think she will be the perfect submissive. Ana may not be my favourite fictional heroine (in fact she is way down on the list) but I was pleased that she isn't quite the doormat that she first appears to be. She gives into more of Christian's demands than I would have done but she also holds her ground about the things that are really important to her. I enjoyed seeing her banter with him and I loved the email exchanges between the couple.
Christian is all the things that should send a woman running for the hills. Despite the fact that he is a rich and successful business man he is also a domineering control freak with some major stalker tendencies going on. He describes himself as fifty shades of fucked-up and that phrase fits him perfectly. Not exactly my idea of a dream man so you can imagine my surprise when I realised that I've actually become more than a little obsessed with him. Like a lot of women I have a bit of an obsession with bad boys - I really don't know why we always have that compulsion to fix people but Christian is an ideal candidate. He shows just enough vulnerability to make you feel that Ana can help him and to make you believe that he does genuinely care for her. We still don't know the full details of his past but we know enough to understand how he ended up the way he is and for our hearts to break for the little boy he could have been. I didn't want to fall for Christian but I just couldn't help myself!
Although I read erotic books I've read hardly any that contain BDSM elements so that was something I was a bit unsure of when I first picked up the book. I have to admit that the idea of Christian's playroom scared the crap out of me when we saw it for the first time but that side of the story isn't as heavy as I expected it to be and wasn't enough to make me uncomfortable. The relationship is incredibly hot and the vanilla sessions show real tenderness and a softer side to Christian that I really liked.
I'm not quite sure how E.L. James did it but despite the problems I had with Fifty Shades of Grey she has still created a story that I have become obsessed with. By the second half of the book you'd have had to pry my kindle from my cold dead hands to get me to stop reading and I haven't stopped thinking about the characters since I finished it. My fingers were literally twitching to press the buy button for the rest of the trilogy and if it wasn't for the fact that I have other books that I promised to read first I would have devoured all three books one after the other. I have a feeling that this whole series is one that is going to stay with me for a long time to come....more
Buddy read with Ange, we're working our way through the whole series.
I already reviewed this book HERE so I'm not writing another proper review but IBuddy read with Ange, we're working our way through the whole series.
I already reviewed this book HERE so I'm not writing another proper review but I have to say I loved it even more the second time around. This is one of those series that just gets better and better the more invested you are in the characters and I can't wait to carry on reading :o)...more