**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.
Ignited is the first book in the young adult fantasy and mythology seri**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Ignited is the first book in the young adult fantasy and mythology series of the same name by Desni Dantone. This book was written in 2013 and there are 4 books out in the series so far. Actually, the fourth book comes out next month (March 2016) so now is the perfect time to read the first three and get ready. I don't often get a chance to go back and start a series this late in the game, unless it is one that has been on my radar for a very long time. I just found out about the Ignited series this year, and because I love mythology so much, I couldn't pass it up. And now I am obsessed with it. I am so freakin' happy that there are 3 more books already out that I can read because I really want to keep reading. There is a bit of a love triangle, but I am shipping one side of hard and I really, really want to see if it is going to work out for them or not. (it better work out!)
It is hard to explain the plot of Ignited without giving too much away, because the summary on goodreads is very cryptic. I wouldn't have even known it was mythology if I didn't see that so many people had shelved it as that. (but if you would like to spoil it for yourself, books 3 and 4 have spoilers as to what exactly the mythological elements are, so read at your own risk.) I don't want to spoil it for too many people, but you do know that there is some paranormal or magical element at play in the story, and you do know that there are the "good side" and the "bad side". Being the astute readers that you are, I also know that you know one side of the love triangle falls on the good side and one falls on the bad side. But both of the guys are great. I just happen to like Nathan a lot more than Alec. I may change my mind later on, but I doubt it at this point. (though it has been known to happen) Team Nathan all the way!
Ignited was action packed and the overall story was extremely well done. This book will suck you in and hold you captive for the entire time. I really like Desni Dantone's writing, and I really like her mixture of adventure and romance. I hope there is more of that to come in the future books.
Bottom line: If you love action adventure fantasy books, and you are a sucker for a good mythology romance like I am, the Ignited series is the perfect read for you. Grab book one. I dare you not to get sucked in and immediately want to read books 2, 3, and 4. I know I am itching to get my hands on them.
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.