**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net** French Kiss for Hire is a new kind of series. One that I have never see**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net** French Kiss for Hire is a new kind of series. One that I have never seen before, and seems like a very cool idea. Each installment, or serial for this series is written by a different author. But when you put all of the serial installments together it forms a complete story. I have only read the first episode, and they are not divulging yet which author wrote it, so it will be interesting to see if there are big writing style differences between the episodes. I can't wait to see what the finished product will look like.
I am really not sure who the first episode was written by but it was a cute start to a promising series. I really liked how adorably head over heels Luc is for Serena. The jury is still out on her, by the way. I actually like the girl that finds Luc through Serena more than Serena herself. But what I like most is that he seems to be the main character of the series. I hope the focus stays on him.
Though the characters are new adult aged, the writing and depth of story so far seems to be on the younger end of the new adult spectrum. That could entirely be because we are just getting started. Episode one could be gearing up a whole number of new things and directions for the characters and plot, and I can't wait to see what is going to happen next.
Bottom line: French Kiss for Hire is a quick, fun read that has a lot of promise. And I love the idea that different authors will be writing each serial. I can't wait to see how Luc's story is going to turn out.
Beyond the Stars is a new adult contemporary romance from Entagled Embr**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Beyond the Stars is a new adult contemporary romance from Entagled Embrace and debut author Stacy Wise. I think Embrace might be my very favorite imprint line from Entangled. All of their books just make me feel all the warm and fuzzies. Beyond the Stars was such a wonderful book. I really really loved it. It was the kind of book that not only made you lose track of time, but also being away from it makes you kind of jittery and distracted. (True story example: I had been reading Beyond the Stars for about 3 hours straight, and I was about 75% done with the book. My boyfriend called to chat and say goodnight, and I couldn't even concentrate on anything he was saying. I was more than a little rude when I rushed him off the phone because I wanted to get back to reading. I felt like I was going through Beyond the Stars withdrawal for the 10-15 minutes I spent on the phone with him! That is crazy. But that is how much I adored this book.)
Beyond the Stars is told entirely from Jessica's point of view, with the exception of the epilogue being Jack's POV. Although I thoroughly enjoyed Jessica's narrative, I would have loved to get some peeks into Jack's head throughout. I am a suck for a dual narrative in romances. I don't read a ton of celebrity/Hollywood type romances, but I am starting to think that needs to change because I enjoyed this one so much. I think what I loved most about this story was that it was a very slow burn romance. It gave us tons of time to get to know each of the characters and for them to get to know each other, without rushing into anything. It was perfection.
Even though the romance took place late in the book, the chemistry between Jessica and Jack was present throughout the entire story. It jumped off the pages. I want to read more about these two. I just love them to pieces. Jessica is spunky and a totally capable woman and Jack is so guarded and secretly vulnerable that you can't help but fall for him. The two of them together gave me all the feels. I cannot believe that this was author Stacy Wise's first book. I will be reading more from her. Of that, I am certain. I can't wait to see what she has in store for us next.
Bottom line: Beyond the Stars has everything I love about contemporary romances: a realistic, slow burn romance, great characters, even better chemistry and dialogue, hints of jealousy and a satisfying romance that is sure to put you in a better mood than when you started the book. Beyond the Stars is a blockbuster hit in my book! Go read it now.
Dancing in the Athenian Rain is a new adult time travel roma**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net** My Thoughts
Dancing in the Athenian Rain is a new adult time travel romance by Katie Hamstead. Even though the book is marked as new adult, I feel like it read more like a young adult novel. The main character is 18 years old, so she is borderline between the two genres but the maturity level of the characters pushed it, in my opinion anyway, towards the younger young adult side of the spectrum. Speaking of immature characters, I almost put this book down (DNF) three times within the first 30%. One time at only 6%, which would make it the quickest I had ever put a book down and didn't pick it up again. But I decided to give it another chance, and then I decided to give it another chance. And the third time I stuck with it. And while Dancing in the Athenian Rain was no where close to my favorite book ever, it did make an impressive recovery in my opinion. Dancing in the Athenian Rain is a book that gets so, so much better as it goes on. The second half of the book is very good, so good that it made up for the less than impressive beginning. What I am trying to say is, if you are like me, and you find yourself not enjoying the first part of the book (and I will tell you my problem with the beginning) push through it if the premise interests you, because once Donna gets to Greece, the book completely changes. In a great way.
I love the idea behind Dancing in the Athenian Rain. A girl that is not understood in her time, goes back to ancient Greece and she is able to come into her true self. Watching Donna gain confidence and start to love herself was my favorite part of the story. She starts the book out with no self appreciation at all. It was sad really. The people around her were so unbelievably awful (no, really, they were unbelievable) that they had convinced her that she was totally worthless. Part of the problem was herself. She shouldn't have allowed them to influence her opinion of herself that drastically, but it has to be hard with such negativity around you all the time. She should have ditched them one page one. Her so called best friend and boyfriend were so awful. They were the reason that I wanted to DNF. They didn't even seem like plausible real people to me because they were so beyond horrible. Why on earth was she friends with those people? But that is besides the point, because they are not in a majority of the book. (which is why I encourage you to continue on with the story if they are what annoys you.)
Once Donna gets to Greece the whole mood and tempo of the story changes. Even the writing seemed to change. There was a sophistication and maturity in Donna in Greece that was not present in the modern day Donna. I liked her a whole lot more. She did take a while to grow on me, but my fondest for her got there as the book went on. I loved author Katie Hamstead's depiction of Ancient Greece. She wove bits of history throughout the story and they worked well. There were lots of twists up her sleeve too that took me by surprise. Some were more surprising than others, that's for sure.
Bottom line: if you are a fan of time young adult travel romances and of stories of ancient Greece, Dancing in the Athenian Rain is a book you should consider checking out. I had some major problems with the beginning, but once I pushed through them and the setting changed to Ancient Greece, I liked the story a whole lot more. Donna has some truly awful friends, but if you are able to push past them and write them off as terrible people, you will enjoy the story a lot more.
The Asset is the first book in the adult thriller romance series, calle**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
The Asset is the first book in the adult thriller romance series, called the Wounded Warrior series by Anna del Mar. This is one of those books that is not my normal read. But there was something about the summary that was mysterious enough for me to really want to give it a try. The whole Lia hiding aspect intrigued me enough that made me want to see what was going to happen. And I am very pleased that I did. This book had so much more action in it than I was expecting. Yes it is a very nice love story as well, but this book would make a kick ass, high budget, let's blow things up action thriller.
Lia is living in a cabin in the middle of no where. Ash shows up to this cabin looking to be her roommate with a dog, and oh yea he is very very hurt and very very defensive about it. It was a very bizarre start to the story. I didn't know what to make of either of the characters. Lia was frazzled to the extreme and I thought Ash was going to die in the first chapter. Talk about a bumpy start between the two of them. But soon Lia proved herself to me to be a ballsy lady that deserved respect. And Ash wormed his way into my heart very quickly after. I really, really liked the combination of them when they are together. Ash is gruff and very regimented, but he is just so darn observant that he seems to always know exactly what is going on, and what Lia needs. And Lia is such a sweetheart, but oh my goodness, the girl is a crazy runner. She bolts from everything, even if it is the dumbest thing she can possibly do.
The plot of The Asset veers a lot throughout the story and the way it all comes together is pretty cool. I don't want to ruin any of author Anna Del Mar's plot twists, but know that this book had strong enough characters to appeal to character driven readers and a very strong plot as well. Something for everyone.
The one thing that irked me about the book is a very strange thing. In fact, I think it might be my weirdest complaint I have penned in a review. Are you ready for it? I don't like the placement of the Carina Press "C" on the cover. It makes it look like Ash has a strange man earring. What? I told you it was weird, but for the life of me, that is all I think about every time I see the cover.
Bottom line: Whether you are a character driven reader, or a plot driven reader- the Asset will appeal to you. This is a kick butt book with a strong romance, strong characters and action galore. Check it out.
**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**The Morrigna is the first book in the Maurin Kincaide series by Rachel**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**The Morrigna is the first book in the Maurin Kincaide series by Rachel Rawlings. the Maurin Kincaide series is an adult urban fantasy series that reminded me of Desires of Demons by Debra Dunbar, in the fact that there were lots of paranormals coming together. I had some issues with the world building in this one, but once I got into the swing of the book it was a nice read. Nothing earth shattering, and it wasn't my favorite book that I have ever read, but it was good. And hardcore fans of urban fantasy and paranormals should check out this series, because there are already 4 or 5 books out, so you can get your instant gratification fix.
The redeeming thing abut The Morrigna was the main character, Maurin Kincaide. I really enjoyed her, and if I do continue on with this series, it will be because of her. I also really enjoyed the romance aspect of this story. It wasn't who I initially pegged that it would be with, which was a fun surprise for me. Although, as soon as we were introduced to the real love interest, it made perfect sense to me.
The hard part for me was that we were dumped into this world rather abrubtly, right in the middle of the characters day. It seemed like were were coming into the middle of this investigation without any real development of the who or the why. We were left to figure those things out on the fly. It felt like I was reading a second or third book in the series. I wanted a little more backstory up front. A little more on the lay of the land and who the big players were. But I stuck with it, and once I pushed past my initial confusion (and I was pretty confused for the first 1/3 of the story) the plot starts to gain some real momentum, which was nice. Once that happened, and I was able to get into the plot, I started enjoying the story more.
The Morrigna is packed with action and tons of paranormal creatures. Psychics, witches, demons, vampires and all the typical sorts are out to play, with a special interest in the witches. This was a good first book, but I still felt like the world was lacking up front.
Bottom line: if you can't get enough urban fantasy and paranormal romances, this is a series to add to your TBR list. You will be able to read the books back to back and they have a strong main character. If you are picky about your world building, this book gets off to a slow start on that front.
Happily Ever Ninja is the fifth book in the Knitting in the City series**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Happily Ever Ninja is the fifth book in the Knitting in the City series by Penny Reid, but it can be read as a standalone. I myself have not read any of the other books in the Knitting in the City series, but my love for Penny Reid runs so deep that I couldn't pass up any of her books. I also wanted to read Happily Ever Ninja for another reason- it is a book about a married couple. I hardly ever read a book where the couple starts out married. And I knew that if I was going to start with one, it was going to be by Penny Reid. She just has a way with romance and with humor. I have loved every single one of the books I have read by her, and this one is no different.
While I just told you that this book works as a standalone from the other books in the Knitting in the City series, I would recommend that you read the free prequel to the story, Ninja At First Sight (click here to get it for FREE) but in the ebook that I read, Penny had very nicely put the prequel story right before the start of Happily ever Ninja, which I think is a really great idea for ebooks. I loved having both the prequel/origin story in the same place as the full length book.
Greg and Fiona were college sweethearts (read Ninja at First sight to see how they met in college) and Happily Ever Ninja takes place after they have been married for several years. But if you are thinking this is about to be your average contemporary romance, you would be completely and totally 100% wrong. Let me set the stage. Greg is overseas for work when he gets taken and Fiona has to come rescue him. She is a total bada**. Seriously. I didn't read the previous books, but if you did you would know more about Fiona and her past in the CIA, but her she completly kicks some major butt to get Greg. I loved her so much.
And the only thing I loved more than Fiona herself was her and Greg's bantering back and forth. It worked perfectly in with Penny's witty writing style that I love so much. Happily ever Ninja was an awesome read. I don't know what I was expecting, but it certainly wasn't this. I don't know how she does it, but Penny Reid continually surprises me. In the best ways.
Bottom line: Read this book. That is all.
P.S. This book also has another super cute touch. Before each chapter Penny Reid posted excerpts of letters from real life married couples (and some to their future spouses.) They were all different, but all a real treat to read. It was a very cool idea.
My Thoughts Anatomy of a Player by Cindi Madsen, is the second book in t**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
My Thoughts Anatomy of a Player by Cindi Madsen, is the second book in the new adult Taking Shots series, but it can be read as a standalone novel. The first book in the series was Getting Lucky Number Seven. I really enjoyed Getting Lucky Number Seven, so I was really excited to check out Anatomy of a Player. I remember great romance and wit from Cindi Madsen, and I am happy to say that Anatomy of a Player had both of those in spades. I knew I was going to love Anatomy of a Player from the very first page, when Whitney said that she was doomed because she was missing "playdar" (like gaydar for players.) It just cracked me up.
Whitney and Hudson really entertained me. Whitney is sick of always falling for the player guys, and Hudson is a player to the extreme. Both figuratively and literally (he is a hockey player) Whitney is a journalist, trying to get the scoop on student athletes. While her story was pretty predictable, that didn't make it any less enjoyable. Although, people that get really irked with predictable books, should take note that this one. That is something that doesn't really bother me if the writing is good, the characters are developed and the romance is enticing. And all of those things are true here.
Even though both Whitney and Hudson were trying to accomplish different things, it was clear that they were not going to be able deny that they had chemistry. And that is my favorite thing to see in contemporary romances. Cindi Madsen has shown that she is solid in her romance game. Both books I have read from her have shown to be witty and quippy and the romance has put me in a good mood, which is all that I really ask of my contemporary romances.
Bottom line: if you are a fan of romances with witty quips and banter galore, Anatomy of a Player is the book for you. Though a little predictable, this will be a romance that you will get a kick out of. And do be sure to read the first book in the series. (You don't need to, to understand this one, but you will really enjoy it!) I am a fan of the Taking Shots series. I think you will be too.
**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net** No Promises is a stand alone, new adult romance by N. Raines. I really**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net** No Promises is a stand alone, new adult romance by N. Raines. I really enjoyed No Promises. I found it to be a fun read that was sweet, but at the same time each of the characters had enough of their own demons to give their story some grit as well. (but let's call it light grit, because overall I would call this a lighter, feel good read.)
No Promises is told in dual narrative between Sam and Rick. Sam feels like she is constantly in the shadow of her prettier cousin. She feels a little plain jane herself, but she has the kindest heart ever. (and she is super cute!) What I immediately loved about Sam is that she is surrounded by great people. Her dad was so awesome. I just loved him to pieces. And her cousin and Sam have a really wonderful bond. I enjoyed the two of them together too. It was no wonder that when Rick came into her life he was taken with her as well. She is just a good person. You can't help but like her. She actually reminded me of my best friend. (who is an amazing person!) Her big heart with animals and her work with feral cats and shelter animals was a wonderful addition to her personality. I really admired what she was doing.
Rick starts off the book carrying a big secret of his own. It was crazy, but you could actually physically feel this dark cloud looming over him. We don't find out what it is for a while but right from the start you can tell that it is pulling him down with the weight of it. I just wanted to hug him. I also loved that Sam has had a crush on Rick since high school, when he was dating Sam's cousin. It was so cute to watch her all grown up with the same crush. Their romance developed wonderfully. I thought N. Raines did a good job with letting things progress naturally between the two of them.
Bottom line: if you are a fan of new adult romances with a sweet heart, No Promises is a good book for you. You will love Sam and Rick and the secondary relationships in the book will put a smile on your face.
**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**YA ReviewMy ThoughtsHave you ever picked up a book and by the time you**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**YA ReviewMy ThoughtsHave you ever picked up a book and by the time you were finished, you were convinced that the author crafted the book just for you? That was what happened to be with The Conspiracy of Us by Maggie Hall. It was like the author poked around in my head, and pulled out a bunch of winning elements for me, mashed them all together and popped out a story that was sure to make me fall in love with it. Everyone is comparing The Conspiracy of Us to The DaVinci Code, and I get that comparison, but I feel like it was even more than that. It felt like The DaVinci Code mixed with Tomb Raider mixed with the biggest international secret society of all. Plus the focus was on Alexander the Great, who I think is a fascinating historical figure. (and yes, I do know that a ton of "facts" surrounding Alexander have been fictionalized and sensationalized throughout history, but that just makes him all the more interesting in my opinion.) The Conspiracy of Us will leave you wanting more.
I was immediately swept up in the Circle of Twelve and everything that has to do with them. Personally, I really enjoyed a majority of the characters in this book. I know some readers biggest complaint was that they didn't feel a connection to Avery, but I did. I got that she so badly wanted to know more about her father, because she thought it would fill something in her. She was constantly on the move, and constantly stuck in surface level relationships. She wanted something more, something deeper. I think that was her driving motivation throughout the whole story. Avery's mom was my only annoyance in The Conspiracy of Us. I don't like the whole Parents keeping their kids in the dark about some huge part of them or their lives. (but it does happen a lot.) However, as Avery was brought into the mystery and intrigue of the Circle of Twelve, I soon forgot about that roadblock, and I was quickly swept up in the Mandate. I couldn't read this book fast enough. I kept wanting to get to more clues.
There is a dash of romance thrown in, to satisfy that romantic sweet tooth, and I think there will be even more to come. Honestly, I just can't wait to get my hands on the next book. Maggie Hall does such a great job making you want more, that while I am kicking myself for waiting so long to read The Conspiracy of Us, I am also happy that I did wait, because book two- The Map of Fates comes out in only 2 months. The Conspiracy of Us ends on a cliffhanger, so if you are smart, you will grab books 1 and 2 at the same time and start on a wonderful binge read. You will thank me.
Bottom line: If you are a fan of The Davinci Code, of secret societies, of history and of tomb raider this book is a match made in heaven for you. There isn't much to NOT love. I loved this book so much. It is a favorite of mine for sure.
It's All Your Fault by Paul Rudnick is a young adult contemporary novel**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
It's All Your Fault by Paul Rudnick is a young adult contemporary novel that will have you laughing your butt off. Leave all of your political agendas, and social views behind and sit back for a couple of hours of really witty dialogue, and pure irreverent hilarity. I thoroughly enjoyed Caitlin and her cousin Heller's whirlwind weekend. The end was surprisingly sweet too. It's All Your Fault is a very fun book. You have to put your sensitivities aside, and just let yourself go with it. If you do, I think you will have a blast with It's All Your Fault. Paul Rudnick is one funny dude.
It's All Your Fault is the story of what happens when you mix a very sheltered, very religious "good girl" with her very famous, very do as you please, try everything once cousin. Caitlin and Heller used to be close when they were younger but they had a falling out over a big (and mysterious) event in their past. You eventually find out just what happened between them. I'm not sure what I thought the event was going to be, but I certainly didn't think it was going to be what it actually was. Paul, you surprised the heck out of me with that one.
Heller and Caitlin get into a lot of, let's just say mischief, in one weekend. Caitlin is put in charge of making sure her cousin doesn't get into any trouble before her big movie premiere, and Caitlin has it in her head to cure Heller of her sins. Heller has other ideas. And the result is a whole lotta fun. That being said, are there going to be things in this book that offend you. I feel pretty confident in saying, yes. Paul Rudnick holds no punches, and nothing is off limits. Which is what I think makes a great comedian. You can't be scared of offending people. But if you just put all of that aside and choose not to take this book too seriously, you will have a great time with the story. I know you will laugh out loud on multiple occasions.
Bottom line: It's All Your Fault is one heck of a hilarious journey. The one liners had me laughing out loud almost every other page. I am not joking. And the ending put a big smile on my face. This is a great book to grab when you are in the mood for something not too serious, but something seriously funny. A word of warning though: Maybe pass on this book if you are easily offended.
**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**Not Okay, Cupid is the first book in the High School Heartbreakers seri**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**Not Okay, Cupid is the first book in the High School Heartbreakers series by Heidi R. Kling. Not Okay, Cupid is a young adult contemporary romance that I think would be fitting for a younger, young adult audience. The end of the book ended up being pretty cute, but it was a rough start for me. The book is told in dual narrative between Hazel and Felix. I really liked the dual narrative, and I really enjoyed Hazel and Felix. They were both good people and good characters, their voices just seemed so young and impulsive. (which I guess they are.)
I think a lot of people will enjoy this cute story of wanting to get revenge on your friend and ex, and ending up falling for the guy helping you enact said revenge. (I bet you can guess why revenge was needed...her best friend and ex boyfriend got together behind Hazel's back.) But to set the scene, we were 4 percent into the book when Hazel and Felix walk into the school cafeteria and she sees her best friend (her best friend people!) and her current boyfriend all over each other. When she confronts them, the boyfriend couldn't care less and just breaks up with her. I mean, who does that?? How could her best friend just think it is ok to blindside her freakin' best friend by announcing to the whole school at lunch that she was with her boyfriend. And not even seem to care about it. The whole scene rubbed me the wrong way. Those two were not going to be the characters for me, no matter what they did to redeem themselves later on. They were just too immature and frankly, mean.
I read on because even though Hazel and Felix's voices bugged me a bit, I wanted to see where the story was going to go. I liked Felix and I wanted him to get the girl. Honestly Felix was my favorite part about the story. Even though his narrative sometimes irked me, he was pretty adorable in how much he has always liked Hazel. And I do have to say, Not Okay, Cupid is a book that builds as the story goes on. In a positive way. The story did get better and better, but the immature voices and choppy start made it hard for me to recover from and really fall in love with the story. I still think that a lot of people will enjoy this story. It makes for a cute romance.
Bottom line: If you like your romances with a side of light and fluffy revenge, this might be the book for you. But be warned, the characters show their age. They are pretty immature, but if you stick with it, Not Okay, Cupid makes for a quick read that turns out cute in the end. I'm just not sure it was the book for me. I think a lot of readers will enjoy Not Okay, Cupid.
Love So Perfect is the 5th book in the Lawson Brothers series by Marqui**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Love So Perfect is the 5th book in the Lawson Brothers series by Marquita Valentine, but each of the books can be read as a standalone. They each focus on, you guessed it, a different Lawson Brother. Love So Perfect is Austin's story. Austin is the first Lawson brother that I have had the pleasure of meeting and I have to say that I fell head over heels in love with him. (Well, him and Harper, I guess. But mostly him.) Love So Perfect is a classic contemporary sports romance. Not to mention very current with the older woman, young man thing going for it.
Austin is back in town trying to play PR control while he cleans up his image after a recent scandal in the media. Insert "good girl" Harper Bell, and Austin think she is just what he needs to reinvent himself. I found Love So Perfect to be a really cute read. I loved the characters. Harper is such a sweet girl, with just a side of sass. And Austin is clearly taken with her. Austin started off with his own selfish agenda, but I soon found myself completely swept up in how genuine he seemed. It was clear to me that this was the real deal for him. And I couldn't help love him for that. Their romance was a bit predictable, but in a very satisfying way. It was just what I wanted.
The small town setting really added to the charm of Love So Perfect. I want to go back and read about all of the other Lawson Brothers now. Marquita Valentine does such a great job with her books. I know that the romance is always going to be great. I always walk away from her stories happy, content and feeling just a bit sappy.
Bottom line: If you like your romances on the sweet side, and you need your dose of cute "cheese", this is the book for you. People that love small town settings will eat up Harper and Austin in Love So Perfect.
This Raging Light is author, Estelle Laure's debut novel. It is a young**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
This Raging Light is author, Estelle Laure's debut novel. It is a young adult standalone contemporary romance, and it is a very moving read. Lucille is the main character, and after some issues with her parents, she is left to care for her younger sister Wren. It is a lot to dump on anyone, let alone a teenager.
Lucille made a bad romantic decision right off the bat. One that had me cringing, because it is one of those things that you know is not going to end well for someone. She fell hard for her friend's twin brother. And oh yeah, he had a girlfriend. I wasn't sure how everything was going to play out, but Estelle Laure made me believe. She made me believe in the characters and most importantly, she made me believe in the romance between Lucille and Digby. Estelle Laure's writing had a very lyrical feel to it, which helped made me fall into a reading rhythm easily. This kind of writing is very hit or miss for me, but it worked well in This Raging Light.
What I really enjoyed about This Raging Light was how flawed and messy the situations in the plot were. I know that may sound kind of strange, but I found myself getting closer and closer to the characters because of their flaws and because of the imperfectness of this first love story. It was all very true to teenage dramatics. (which, by the way is another element that is very hit or miss with me. ) I sometimes feel the drama to be over the top and annoying, but if it is well done and plays an appropriate role in advancing the story, I don't mind it. I don't like drama just for drama's sake. And I don't feel like that was the case in this book.
Bottom line: If you are a fan of angsty teenage contemporary romances, with beautiful writing, This Raging Light is a great book for you. If you are not one of angst and drama in your young adult, maybe look for a different read. I enjoyed This Raging Light. I found it to be a very moving read.
Shade Me is the first book in the young adult mystery and suspense thri**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Shade Me is the first book in the young adult mystery and suspense thriller, Nikki Kill series. Nikki sees emotions as different colors. It is a phenomenon known as synesthesia, and I find it completely fascinating. I have read a few magical books where witches or the like have an ability that is similar to synesthesia, but it was really very interesting to see Nikki in a more contemporary/mystery suspense setting with this ability. I found Shade Me to be a really fun ride of a read. The mystery was kept me interested and engaged until the very end. I didn't always love the characters, but I did like them, and with as action packed of a plot, liking them was more than enough for me.
Nikki is the main character, and I can see where she would feel completely overwhelmed by her synesthesia. That has to be like sensory overload. Which could account for why I sometimes found Nikki to be a bit too brash. Even so, I was really into her using and interpreting all the colors and emotions around her as clues. It made for a very interesting detective hunt, while she tried to piece together what happened with Peyton.
What I dug most of all about Shade Me was the creepy atmosphere. It reminded me of Sin city. (That was how I pictured it anyway.) All black and white with pops of color. Very crime noir. Jennifer Brown did a great job creating a suspenseful atmosphere. There were a few bumps that I had, but without spoiling anything, I will just leave it at that. Nothing major though, and nothing that took away from my overall enjoyment of the story too much. I still very much would like to continue the Nikki Kill series. Now that I know some of the secrets of the story, I am even more interested to see where Jennifer Brown is going to take us in the next book.
Bottom line: if you like suspense/mysteries and you love the flair of seeing emotions, this is a really interesting and pretty well done mystery.
**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**Thief of Lies is the first book in the young adult Library Jumpers seri**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**Thief of Lies is the first book in the young adult Library Jumpers series by Brenda Drake. I mean, the name says it all! A series called Library Jumpers. How can any book lover pass that up?? They can't and they shouldn't! This book was amazing. So amazing that I have been staring at this page and writing and deleting paragraph after paragraph. I just cannot seem to write a proper review that 1) does this book justice and 2) is not over the top crazy gushy. I just loved this book so freakin' much. So here goes my shot at a mini review, without being too spoilery or gushy.
The main character, Gia follows a guy in a library as he jumps into a book, and her adventure begins. I f I could trade places with one book character, it would be Gia! Umm, hello its a no brianer for me. She can jump from library to library in an instant. To be able to visit libraries all around the world makes me more excited than I care to admit. Not to mention, the plot is original, the characters are wonderfully developed, the magic and fantasy elements are on point and the romance is 5 star worthy.
Bottom line: this is a book, and a series that YOU DO NOT WANT TO MISS. I know it is only January, but I am calling it now- Thief of Lies is going to be one of my favorite books of 2016!
**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**Forbidden is the first in a new, new adult serial romance. Set at Cambr**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**Forbidden is the first in a new, new adult serial romance. Set at Cambridge university, I was first drawn to this series, before I even knew the name of the series. I am normally not one for future brother/stepsister trope books, but the main character completely won me over. So when I realized the series was called Her British Stepbrother, I was already knee deep in the story and totally engrossed. No way was I backing out. And boy am I ever glad that I didn't. I really enjoyed this story, and cannot wait to continue on with the serial.
Forbidden, and I presuming the entire series, is told in dual narrative between our two main characters, Kat and Tristan. Kat stole the show for me. I loved her personality. Forbidden is a decadent story, but through it all Kat shone through. Even though this was completely out of her normal persona, Author Lauren Smith did an excellent job placing Kat in this new situation and both making her seem completely like herself, and not out of place at all. That is not something easily accomplished. And then there is Tristan. What, oh what should I do with you Tristan? I had to respect his driven in his pursuit of Kat. He was certainly single minded, but he was also extremely thoughtful. He actually surprised me how much thought he put into wooing Kat in a way that she would appreciate. (That is always a big thumbs up from me.)
I probably will wait until the next two parts comes out so I can read them back to back, as that is my preferred method with serials, but I am really glad that I read this first book now because I am not sure that I would have picked up the series once they were all released and I saw that this was a new brother/stepbrother trope. And that would have been a shame, because I would have been missing out on a well written, and deliciously fun read.
Bottom line: if you love new adult romances set in college with smart characters and great writing, this is a good serial for you to check out. And if you are fans of hot British men, you will not be able to resist Tristan. Forbidden is a great read.
**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**The Girlfriend Request by Jodie Andrefski is a really cute young adult**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**The Girlfriend Request by Jodie Andrefski is a really cute young adult standalone that will take you by surprise. When I first started reading, I thought this was going to be a catfish type story. (You know, that show on MTV where people "meet" people online, that end up not being who they said they were. Shocker...) But it totally is not that kind of story at all. I loved the way Jodie Andrefski morphed The Girlfriend Request multiple times. She blew my preconceived notions out of the water. And she kept me on my toes. More than once, I thought I knew what was going to happen next only to be wrong. Almost every time! That made reading this story a whole lotta fun.
The Girlfriend Request centers on the theme of Friends-to-more. It is the story of Emma and Eli. Emma has a had a crush on her best friend Eli for as long as she can remember, and she has a plan (though totally convoluted!) that she is sure will finally make him see her in a whole new light. Sounds pretty predictable, right? Well, that is where the predictability ends. This book was super cute, and a really fun ride.
I loved Emma. Even though she sometimes did some stupid things, she was still adorable and a really kind person. And Eli is a sweetheart as well. Both of them totally melted my heart.What I liked most about them, is that they have such a friend friendship. Eli can read Emma like a book. He gets her 100% And he likes her 100% for who she is. It was really adorable to read the scenes where they were hanging out.
Bottom line: If you love young adult romantic comedies, and you are looking for an afternoon of light, fun reading, The Girlfriend Request is a great book for you to pick up. It fits in wonderfully with Entangled's Crush line.
**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**Grave Attraction is the fourth book in the Grave series by Lori Sjoberg**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**Grave Attraction is the fourth book in the Grave series by Lori Sjoberg. The Grave series is an adult paranormal romance series, and this is the first book that I have had the pleasure of reading. I find the idea of reapers fascinating, and if you have read many of my other paranormal and urban fantasy reviews, you know that I love it when lots of magical creatures come out to play together in one world. And that is exactly what is going on in Grave Attraction. Witches, and shifters and reapers...oh my! (sorry, I couldn't help it.)
In Grave Attraction we meet Adam, a new reaper and Marlena, a shifter. Adam rescues Marlena from a serial killer that is more than he appears to be. The rest of the story spirals from there as the group of reapers team up with some witches to solve two sub mysteries. I loved the mix of paranormal creatures and I love the side story line that Marlena introduced for how she is connected to Adam. I thought that was a great addition to the story and one that I have not seen done in quite this way. Their romance was the highlight of the story for me.
Whether you are an old fan to this series, or completely new to it like I was, I think you will enjoy Grave Attraction. The characters are great, the plot is riveting, and I had a particularly good time reading this book because I know the setting so well. (Grave Attraction is set in Orlando, FL) I loved pointing out the sights and the restaurants that I have eaten at. (and yes, Lori- that is the best Polish restaurant!) I also really enjoyed the mystery of who was tamping down death's powers. I thought it was a fun, scavenger hunt meets detective style journey. I feel like this series would make a great tv show.
Bottom line: if you are a paranormal romance junkie, this is a must read series. Whether you start with book1, 2, 3, or 4 doesn't matter. They each stand alone, but do start this series. I really enjoyed it and I need to go get the other books ASAP.
Revenge and the Wild is a standalone novel by Michelle Modesto. Notice**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Revenge and the Wild is a standalone novel by Michelle Modesto. Notice that I did not put a genre in the previous sentence. That is because I think it is impossible to sum up Revenge and the Wild with a single genre. This book is delightfully different. I know words like unique and different get thrown around a lot in review, but in this case it is absolutely 100% true. Revenge and the Wild is like a fantasy and magic novel, mixed with a western, and blended with a steampunk. And of course there is a kick butt romance as well. I know! How on earth did Michelle Modesto do it? I have no idea, and I honestly don't think it can be replicated. This book was just so well done. I loved the mash up of genres, and I really, really loved the finished result.
Revenge and the Wild is set in a small town in western America. A town with a dome of magic that keeps the creatures out. Creatures like trolls and ogres and, oh yea, cannibals. (And trust me, you will not be able to forget the cannibals.) Westie is the main character and I just adored this girl. I loved her brash and unfinished attitude. She is no delicate flower, and I would not have had her any other way.
Westie is on the hunt to track down and get revenge on the cannibals that killed her parents. There is a lot going on in the world that Michelle Modesto created and her world building is why I believe her mash up of genres is so successful. She really takes the time at the start of the book to set the scene and immerse you in this very, very different world. If she didn't, I don't think the reader would fully appreciate just how different the town of Rogue City is.
I also really, really loved the steampunk elements of the story. It made me want to go on a steampunk reading binge. ( I really don't read enough of it.) I don't want to give too much more away about the plot and some of the more magical elements of the story because they were a lot of fun for me to discover along the way. But I will say this. I don't think too many people will be able to see the end coming. Whether you love it or hate it, I think it will be a surprise. I loved Revenge and the Wild. In a sea of books that can sometimes mash together, Revenge and the Wild stands completely out!
Bottom line: I am not going to say this book is perfect for fans of X or fans of Y. Revenge and the Wild is a book you need to read if you like reading. Period.
Crimson Cove is a standalone paranormal (in a supernatural subgenre) by**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Crimson Cove is a standalone paranormal (in a supernatural subgenre) by Eden Butler. I would classify the book as new adult. It starts off with the two main characters in high school and the story line continues to 10 years later. (almost my age, and I would like to consider myself in the new adult age range- though maybe the upper end...) The first few chapters were a bit of a jumble for me, but once I got past those and into the meat of the storyline, I flew through the book. I ended up really enjoying it.
Crimson Cove is full of witches and shifters and wizards, and the town knows nothing about it. That is, until someone steals something that causes magic to go haywire in town. It was this event that brought our main characters together. Bane is this huge mystery to me. I would have loved to have gotten inside his head throughout the story, because he is so annoyingly hard to read. He is all brooding stares, and not much talk. But I loved him anyway. Jani is the main heroine, and her special ability is tracking, or finding lost objects. She is brought back into her small town, after being gone for ten years, to find the missing Elam.
Jani is carrying around a big secret. One that even Bane doesn't know about. I wanted this secret to come out in the open pretty much the entire time I was reading, because let's face it- in this case that would have been so much more fun. I really liked the characters that Edent Butler created in Crimson Cove, and I love that it was a standalone. I thought it came together and ended in a very nice place. But I do wish there was a little bit more world building on the front end. I got a good picture of what was going on, but only after I got past the first few chapters. Those confused me. They jumped all over the place in time and there wasn't enough time spent in the past before we jumped ahead 10 years, in my opinion. But I would encourage you to get past the first few chapters because once we are in the present day setting, the book really picks up.
Bottom Line: if you are a fan of elemental type magic and witch books, this is a good standalone for you to check out. The take on magic and the lines in nature was wonderful and the characters make the story.
Touch by Natalia Jaster is a standalone young adult novel which feature**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Touch by Natalia Jaster is a standalone young adult novel which features a different take on Eros. In touch, Eros is a girl and is a class of goddesses called the archers. Here all of the emotions have a representative god or goddess and they all wield arrows to help maintain the balance of their emotion in the world. In Touch, Eros is sent to balance out the love in a small town. I liked the idea that other gods and goddesses also used arrows to maintain order, and the arrows themselves were more complicated than I have seen in other stories. It added an interesting element to the story of cupid.
Love is such a lonely girl. (or I should say Goddess) she is unable to touch any human, and she longs for that kind of contact and companionship more than anything. I loved, loved loved that the human that grabs her attention is one that is so overlooked by his peers. He has a leg injury and is often the the prime target for bullies, but he has a heart of gold and he doesn't put up with any of Love's annoyingly superior tendencies. (Don't get me wrong- she is nice, but she is also vain. I mean, come on- she is the goddess of love.) Watching Love and Andrew, it was impossible not to root for them. Although there was just something about Anger that almost made me wish it would turn out a different way! (it was never really explored in the story, so it was mostly just my wishful thinking)
Though there were a few aspects of the story that I found a little hinky- the author did explain them, so I can't really fault anyone for it, they just didn't sit 100% with me. Like the fact that Love was essentially living in this one small town in the middle of nowhere matching people. But she is the only love goddess, so what about the billions of other people. The gods and goddesses rotate their location, but it seemed weird to me for them to stay in any one location for such an extended period of time. (like I said, it was explained in the story as to why. Author Natalia Jaster left no stone unturned with explanations of the arrows, gods and goddesses and their whole world.)
Bottom Line- if you are a fanatic about mythology books like I am, you will enjoy this different take on a cupid tale. I really enjoyed it, and the love story and character growth is really great. An all around fun read.
**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**With Every Breath is first book in the new adult series, called the Wan**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**With Every Breath is first book in the new adult series, called the Wanderlust series. It takes place at the Torres del Paine National Park in Patagonia, Chile. I love to hike, so a hiking romance novel is right up my alley. With Every Breath is the story of Auden and Rhys. I absolutely loved the romance and the setting of this story. I could not put this book down. In fact, it was one of my favorite reads of the year.
Auden and Rhys each have different reasons for their hike in Patagonia. Auden just landed a writing internship with an outdoors magazine and she wants to interview hikers to upgrade her internship to a paying job. Rhys has a big secret that has been haunting him. More and more of his story unfolds as With Every Breath unfolds and his story really gripped my heart. I felt for him so much, because his past was consuming him. Auden sees him and sees what his past is doing to who he is, and I loved that about her. The two of them were like magic on paper. I could not get enough of their interactions, their experiences, and their road to romance. With Every Breath is the kind of book that made me ignore everything going on around me. I was so ensconced in their world, and the magic of Patagonia.
I cannot wait to see what is going to come next in the wanderlust series. I really hope the next book also focuses on Auden and Rhys. It seemed like their story stopped at a good place for them, but I am not done with these two. I want more, more, MORE. There are plenty more adventures for them to go on. (yes, I am begging you Lia Riley) Sometimes a book just speaks to you so completely that you fall in love with it. That happened to me with With Every Breath. I fell in love with the characters, with the setting and with the story. With Every Breath releases tomorrow and I recommend everyone grab a copy. I don't care whether you are a hiker or not, and I don't care if you are burnt out on new adult. This is one story that you do not want to miss. Trust me. With Every Breath is one of my favorite reads of 2015.
**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net** Romancing the Running Back is the fourth book in the Santa Fe Bobcats s**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net** Romancing the Running Back is the fourth book in the Santa Fe Bobcats series. The Santa Fe Bobcats series is an adult sports romance series about a professional football team. I have not read the first three books in the series, but I thought this one was the perfect one for me to jump into the series with, because it was the wedding (planning) for the couple from the first book, Cassie and Trey. We get to see the couple from the first three stories, and it let me decide which ones I wanted to read, but the main focus was on Josiah and Anya, making it totally seamless for a new fan to the series to be able to jump right in and start with their story.
I loved how opposite, at first glance, Josiah and Anya seemed. He is an eco friendly to the extreme conservationist, and she is a purely aesthetic (at least on the surface) person. There is a lot more to Anya, but we don't learn just what that is until later in the story. Anya and Josiah butt heads with each other early on, making for one of my favorite tropes- the bickering and bantering. It was so much freakin' fun just to watch the two of them go at it. Even knowing they were going to end up together, it was fun to watch them forced together to help Cassie and Trey with their wedding. Eventually, the magic started heating up between them and they started to enjoy each others company. It was a slow transition, and it was really well done.
Bottom line: Romancing the Running Back, while being the fourth book in the Santa Fe Bobcats series, it is easy for a new reader to the series to pick up with their story first. It was flirty fun, and a really great story. Whether you start with book 1 or book 4, check out this series if you love sports romances.
The Marriage Contract is the first in a new contemporary romance series**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
The Marriage Contract is the first in a new contemporary romance series, called The O'Malleys by author Katee Robert. I have read one of Katee's books in the past and really enjoyed the steamy romance, so I couldn't wait to try out her new series. I enjoyed getting to know some of the O'Malleys, and this is a series that I will be keeping my eye on. This series follows the three powerful Boston families- the O'Malleys, the Hallorans, and the Sheridans.
Politics is a main focus on the story in The O'Malleys book one- The Marriage Contract. And as you can guess, when politics are involved, things can get a little intense. And they certainly did in this book. But the intensity was paired really well with a kick ass romance, so no complaints here. The Marriage Contract focuses on a couple from two of the three families. Callie Sheridan and Teague O'Malley. And as you might have guessed, this powerful "marriage" leaves the third family out in the dust. I loved watching the power plays between the members of the families. It was like watching a drama filled movie or tv series.
Both Teague and Callie are intense and strong in their own way. I liked both of them, but my heart melted a little bit more for Teague. Protective guys just make me melt. I can't help it. And Teague has protectiveness in spades. yum. The Marriage Contract also shows us a good amount of other family members. I can't wait to hear more about them and their stories in the next book.
Bottom Line: The Marriage Contract is great for fans of steamy political/mafia-esque romances. If you like family dynamics and drama galore, with great characters this is the book for you. Plus the romance is really excellent!
**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**Annabeth Neverending is a debut young adult novel by Leyla Kader Dahm.**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**Annabeth Neverending is a debut young adult novel by Leyla Kader Dahm. This book really hit all the right points with me. I love books that focus on different historical societies, and Egypt is one of my favorite. Instead of a traditional review, I am going to give you a list of reasons why I enjoyed this book. If you are like me, and these are selling points for you, check out Annabeth Neverending.
Egypt setting- As I just said, I love all things Egypt. I loved how the author Leyla Kader Dahm integrated historically accurate facts into her story. I thought it added a layer of depth to a great young adult romance. Reincarnation- I don't get to read too many young adult books that focus on the concept of reincarnation. (In fact, I think the last book I read about the subject was Michelle Madow's Remembrance)The main character is the reincarnation of an Egyptian Princess and the two guys I am going to mention in my next reason, are the reincarnation of Annabeth's bodyguard and the other is the evil ruler Kha. Oh the intrigue! (I really mean that- I ate it all up.) Hot twin brothers- C.J. and Gabriel are along for this adventure with Annabeth and I loved them. (even when I hated them, I loved to hate them.) A great adventure through ancient Egypt! The plot of Annabeth Neverending moved right along and the adventure the three charcters went on was a ton of fun and completely riveting to me. The cover- Yes, yes I know this should technically be a reason to read a book, but I do. I just love how pretty the cover is. I think it also does a great job depicting the story. I think the reincarnation image was beautifully done.
Bottom line: Annabeth Neverending is a really great book for fans of reincarnation romances and of Ancient Egypt and the time of Pharoahs. Author Leyla Kader Dahm does a great with her debut novel. It is a lot of fun to read.
**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net** Come Back to Me is the first in a new adult contemporary romance series**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net** Come Back to Me is the first in a new adult contemporary romance series, called (you guessed it)-Come Back to Me by Mila Gray. Mila Gray is the pen name for Sarah Alderson's new adult and adult books. I have read and really enjoyed some of Sarah's other books and I have to say this author is immensely talented. I have read a side splitting-funny book (The Extraordinary Life of Lara Craft (not Croft)) as well as a mystery/thriller (The Sound). And now she brings us a heart wrenching love story in Come Back To Me. I love how talented and versatile both Mila and Sarah are. ;) Even though all of her books are very very different, they are each so wonderfully well done.
When I first found Come Back to Me, I read the summary and filed it away in my brain as a tear jerker, and to only read when I was in the right mindset. (Is that strange that I like to be prepared for potentially sad books?) But then I put it on my review calendar and promptly forgot all my warnings. So yes, even though the summary clearly states that at the beginning of the book, the main character- Jessa, finds out that either her brother or boyfriend have died in the line of duty, when the book started out with that humdinger of a chapter, it shook me. I was in for a rough journey. Because they don't tell you who it is then! In fact, right after that crazy first chapter, they go back in time and tell the story of Jessa and Kit and their romance.
I absolutely loved their story. Mila Gray has such a way with words. But in the back of my mind I just kept thinking- Riley or Kit? Just like Jessa was in the first chapter. I was always ready for the other shoe to drop. Eventually I forgot the worrying in the back of my mind and fell into the romance of the story. I can't say enough good things. The characters come to life before your eyes and you feel every single emotion they do. I ran the emotional marathon in this story. I was all over the place. If you love great romances- this is a great romance. Jessa and Kit will steal your heart. But Come Back to Me may also break it. (and put it back together. And break it again, etc.) Come Back to Me is an emotional read- but one that is so worth it! I wholeheartedly recommend it.
The Keeper is the second book in the Vega Jane series by Dav**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
The Keeper is the second book in the Vega Jane series by David Baldacci. I'm going to be honest, I had no idea that David Baldacci even wrote young adult books. I have read, and really enjoyed a few of his adult action thrillers, so I was pretty pumped when I saw there was a new young adult series out. The Keeper is the second book in the series, but it is promoted as being able to stand on its' own. And I think it does. That being said, I do still wish that I had read the first book, The Finisher, first. I wasn't really lost at all while reading the keeper, but I think I would have gotten a fuller picture of the characters had I read the books in their intended order.
The Finisher and the Keeper both follow the same main character- a girl named Vega Jane. I loved the atmosphere of the story. It was very intense, and had me flipping pages quickly. There is an air of desperation, as the main characters try and outwit the Quag and escape the village. I loved the world that David Baldacci created, which is why I am kicking myself even more for not reading The Finisher. I loved the magic and the creepy feeling of the Quag. It all made The Keeper seem much more fast paced and intense. I can easily see this turning into a blockbuster movie hit. I think it was written to be shown on a big screen.
These characters have a lot thrown at them, and this book is pretty lengthy. The kindle edition comes in at almost 500 pages, so there is plenty of time for multiple plot twists and road blocks. Personally, I am really into longer length books- especially when they are high stakes- like this one, because I love seeing the heroine overcome something big, just to be hit in the face with something else. (does that make me weird?) and I feel like there just isn't enough time for that to happen repeatedly in shorter books. I enjoyed my time spent reading The Keeper, and I can't wait to read The first book now. But don't be like me- read this series in order. I think you will appreciate it more that way.
The Last Faerie Queen by Chelsea Pitcher, is the sequel to The Last Cha**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
The Last Faerie Queen by Chelsea Pitcher, is the sequel to The Last Changeling. In fact, I believe that this is a duology, which means it is the sequel and conclusion to the Last Changeling series. I believe the series name for this one has changed. Last year I had the series marked down as The Faerie Revolution, but now when I check goodreads it comes up as The Last Changeling series. I absolutely loved The Last Changeling, so I was super super excited for The Last Faerie Queen to come out. I loved The Last Changeling a little more, but it was a close battle.
The Last Faerie Queen picks up with where the last book leaves off and you absolutely must read them together. I,. myself was a little lost because a year had been between my reading of books 1 and 2. If possible, read these two book back to back for maximum enjoyment. ;) Chelsea Pitcher certainly kept me on the edge of my seat while reading. I had no idea which direction she was going to take the story in. At the start, so much was open ended that it could have gone in any number of different plot paths, and I loved that. It made reading The Last Faerie Queen very exciting.
Elora and Taylor and the whole gang are back to wrap up the battle that was started in the first book. The Last Faerie Queen is full of action, intrigue, romance and adventure. Elora is trapped in the middle of a war, both a prisoner and an active participant. She is an enigma, and I loved watching her grow as a faerie and person, and watching her wage war within herself. Being around Taylor and his friends was a great aid to her personal growth, just like it was in the first book. She came even more into her own in this novel.
This series is a pleasure to read. I don't know how else to say it. The pacing of this book is great and the words just seem to flow from the pages.If you like Fae stories and are a fan of paranormal romance, The Last Changeling Duology is a great one for you to check out. I thought the ending did a great job wrapping things up but I would be more than happy to see the characters come back for a book 3. At this time, however, I do believe it is slated to be a duololgy.
**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net** The Concealed is the first book in the young adult fantasy series, call**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net** The Concealed is the first book in the young adult fantasy series, called The Lakewood Series, by Sarah Kleck. I loved The Concealed. I knew from the summary that it was going to be magical and mysterious and it totally delivered! Now, of course, the mysterious part completely blew my mind and excited me even more than I thought. I loved the direction that author Sarah Kleck took this story in, but it would be a completely spoiler for me to tell you. I will say this- it is one of my favorite sub-genres of fantasy & magic, and it was such a pleasant and unexpected surprise. (ok, heck- just click the spoiler box if you want to know more about the secret society alluded to in the summary) (view spoiler)[The Concealed- and the entire Lakewood series is about Merlin and the Lady of the Lake! It is their romance story. I was super excited to see that the society had to do with protecting the descendants of Merlin, Arthur and others. What a cool idea! (hide spoiler)]
Poor Evelyn starts the story out by losing her sister- her last remaining family member. And then only a scene or two later she is packing up all of her belongings and leaving her home town to go away to school at Oxford completely alone. My heart broke for her. I could feel her despair and loneliness. But soon she meets up with her own friends- Felix and Sally. Felix rubbed me the wrong way from the get-go. He was always in Evelyn's space. I just wanted to tell him to back off. But I was never too worried because Evelyn was completely taken with the mysterious Jared.
I thought The Concealed did an excellent job of giving you enough answers so you would never be frustrated, but keeping enough information out of the readers reach to keep you desperate for more. (at least I was.) I could not put this book down. I need the second book asap! And, as an aside- the romance was great too. It wasn't rushed, but when we finally did get to it it was super cute and wonderful. The Concealed put a big smile on my face. I can't wait for more from Author, Sarah Kleck.
A Reluctant Assassin is the first book in the Order of the MoonSto**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
A Reluctant Assassin is the first book in the Order of the MoonStone series by J.C. Morrows. It is a young adult fantasy romance, that is light on the action/adventure and heavy on the romance. Perfect for fans that love a good love story in the background of a high fantasy universe. This is also a clean book, so it would be appropriate for young young adult readers as well as older readers. I really enjoyed A Reluctant Assassin. I had a bit of a snafu with the Prince early on, but overall this was a good read.
The Prince has to marry as soon as possible, "for his kingdom". He was very much against the idea of marrying for the wrong reasons. I really liked that about him. I admired that he wanted to get to know girls. And actually get to know them. What irked me was that from the moment he saw Kayden, he knew she "different" and "real" and the one. And I just didn't see how he could go from wanting to get to know which ladies had substance and which didn't, to being totally taken with just one of them.
That being said, after the somewhat shaky first meeting, I really liked watching Kayden and Dvarius interact. If you are looking for a high speed action and adventure fantasy, this might not be the book for you, but if you love the castle setting and you are looking for a sweet and clean romance, this is the perfect series for you to check out. There is a bit of action excitement at the end, and I think there will be more to come in the next installment, but for this first book, author JC Morrows does a great job of setting the stage and letting us get to know the characters really well. I thought this was a solid first book in a new series, and I think the next one will be even better.
p.s. I also have to say that I just love the cover! Her assassin's outfit is on point! ;)