4 stars! So I need to start off this review by saying I was totally prepared to dislike this book. I thought the cover was a little cheesy and sometim...more4 stars! So I need to start off this review by saying I was totally prepared to dislike this book. I thought the cover was a little cheesy and sometimes, I admit, I'm superficial and it influences my literary selection, primarily because the cover speaks to the author's style and taste. I know, I know...never judge a book by its cover, but we all do it, right? It wasn't just the cover though, I was a little leery of the title and topic as well; I wasn't sure a romance novel about modeling would interest me. I'm happy to admit that I was wrong!
I was surprised by the depth of knowledge the author has regarding the modeling industry. This story presented the modeling industry in an intelligent, and I found, really interesting way with a well-developed, sweet romance woven in. I liked Balerie and her ambitious, but fun loving nature and of course, the complicated, powerful Tommy as her ideal counterpart. I thought the workout scene and the tango session were smoldering and steamy and built a lot of tension between the two of them. It's refreshing to see a romance where there is true relationship building, as well as the fiery passion. Yet I must say, this book wasn't over the top, in fact it was quite tame compared to the pornographic onslaught that is popular today, which is just one of the reasons I really enjoyed it. Models and Lovers really has it all in the category of contemporary romance; it has that believable feel, while still being a fairy tale like, sigh worthy story. (less)
Apocalypse: An Anthology by Authors and Readers was gifted to me in exchange for an honest review. I am a huge fan of apocalyptic novels and I enjoy a...moreApocalypse: An Anthology by Authors and Readers was gifted to me in exchange for an honest review. I am a huge fan of apocalyptic novels and I enjoy an anthology now and again, so I was eager to read this collection of macabre stories. Vampires, werewolves, zombies, aliens, well pretty much every horror your heart desires can be found in this anthology. One thing I appreciate about short stories is that the reader starts off with limited knowledge and has to construct the clues to glean exactly what the heck is going on and by the time you think you've got it all figured out, the ending knocks you on your head, I found these stories to be clever with just enough of the creep factor to make each apocalypse equally horrifyingly unique. This anthology will not disappoint PA and horror lovers alike, but be warned...it's not for the faint of heart. It's truly gruesome! (less)
Lauren Taylor has managed to achieve the seemingly impossible...every sequel in The Woodlands series somehow exceeds the others! In a literary world w...moreLauren Taylor has managed to achieve the seemingly impossible...every sequel in The Woodlands series somehow exceeds the others! In a literary world where YA post-apocalyptic and dystopia sequels frequently disappoint, Lauren Taylor has hit this one out of the ballpark. To say that I'm totally infatuated with this series is a gross understatement and I was beyond giddy with excitement to receive an ARC copy of The Wounded. With that being said, if this book had failed me in any way, I would have been the first to boo it. I'm happy to report, there isn't a trace of disappointment for this reader. Instead, I'm just feeling that warm, satisfied glow of having savored the best fiction has to offer.
So why did I love the Wounded? I've said it before and I'll say it again, Lauren writes with such poetic imagery without being pompous or leaving the reader feeling like they are trudging through an adjective polluted indecipherable mess. Her writing is flawless, poignant and just so completely beautiful. The post-apocalyptic world she created took my breath away in its savagery and waste as it continues to ruin lives hundreds of years later. I could taste the bitter ash, feel the ravaging hunger and despair of the survivors, the wounded.
The one thing that I value above all else is strong leading and supporting characters that are complicated and flawed. You know the ones you want to throw your arms around one minute and then slap them across the face in the next? Whether it's Rosa and Joseph or the villainous Este, these characters, their relationships and the depth of their feelings are as real to me as a best friend or that childhood bully you still loathe. Now if all of that praise isn't enough, the plot surely stopped my heart a dozen times and the turn of a page became my life line, a defibrillator that shocked me back to life as I was frequently too stunned to continue. Yes, this book is that good! The best part of all, this series does not stop at book three (yay for Lauren Taylor being an original) and I for one can't wait to read what comes next! (less)
So this book is a little tricky for me to review because I'm kind of over the whole vampire, werewolf, witch, warlock, wizard thing, although it remai...moreSo this book is a little tricky for me to review because I'm kind of over the whole vampire, werewolf, witch, warlock, wizard thing, although it remains a popular theme for YA novels. In regards to Dare to Bleed's supernatural plot, I'd rate this book 3 stars, but I found the main character Emily to be a lot of fun and very believable. The dialogue is natural, witty and often just plain hilarious. I love a well developed, strong heroine, so I have to go with 4 stars in that regard. Lusting after multiple boys was pretty meh to me and cheapened the true romance between Emily and Ezra. I was given this book by the author, not for a review of this book, but to Beta read for the third book in this series. I'm looking forward to following this story further. (less)
4 1/2 Stars! Kate is a sixteen year old girl living in an isolated matriarchal tribe that has survived the apocalyptic "fall." The survival of the vil...more4 1/2 Stars! Kate is a sixteen year old girl living in an isolated matriarchal tribe that has survived the apocalyptic "fall." The survival of the village is ruled by fate and the alignment of the stars. Kate has been deemed a "breeder" and therefore must enter "the pit" a prison filled with male breeding stock in order to conceive. The only problem is, Kate has a rebellious nature and refuses her role as a breeder; she does not believe in fate and desires a life of free agency, the ability to choose her path. Mona, the village leader and tyrant, uses physical force and fear to manipulate Kate and the women of the village. When Kate enters the pit for the first time and meets her mate, she discovers a whole new way to see the world and it is contrary to the beliefs she has been raised by. These revelations cause a cascade of events in the village with Kate constantly at the epicenter.
I received this book from the author in exchange for a honest review. I read a ton and I primarily read YA apocalyptic and dystopian novels, so I have a wealth of background in these genres. Breeder, although it has many of the themes I frequently find in these books, is a true gem! This story is uniquely told with rich, poignant relationship building that takes this story to a new level. I actually cried when a tertiary character was killed...no not a primary or secondary character, but a character with a minuscule role. That alone speaks volumes to Casey Hay's talent.
Ian, Kate's assigned mate, is incorrigible and flawed, which I like (with the exception of that one slap...I know, I know, he lashed out as a caged animal, but I still don't like it!) The romance between Kate and Ian was not as important as their real friendship and I respect that greatly because it's real life and lasting. Despite Kate's initial naïveté, she has a ferocity and desire for change that drives the story and she's the kind of heroine you want to give a standing ovation to. I'm looking forward to reading the sequel as there is definitely some major foreshadowing hinted at and I'm sure an amazing adventure on the horizon. (less)
In the every changing world of young adult literature, it is truly refreshing to read a book that is meant for the YA audience in content being clean,...moreIn the every changing world of young adult literature, it is truly refreshing to read a book that is meant for the YA audience in content being clean, appropriate and highly entertaining, yet it is a fantastic read for adults as well. So often I read a so called YA book and I exclude it from my own children's shelf (ages 17, 15 and 12), but with The Key and Red, there was no need for censorship. Jennifer Anne Davis creates a chivalrous world of intrigue, deception and a rebellious uprising surrounding a tumultuous monarchy ensconced on an island. If that wasn't enough, the mountainous rebel "complex" is the kind of literary landscape I wish were real so I could put it on my travel intinerary.
The story of Rema and Darmick continues right where The Key left off; in other words, my heart was pounding out of my chest with the conclusion to the dramatic cliff hanger I've been waiting for. I love the relationship between Rema and Darmick, but I also liked the complexity of Savenick and I think he adds a lot to the story, certainly he adds some excitement. I must say, the drama didn't end with the opening scene, but continues with a page turning thrill ride until the conclusion...another cliffhanger? Yes! I. for one, love them and Davis is a master at leaving the reader grinning with satisfaction one second and gasping in shock the next. A pretty perfection combination, I think, which is why I'll be first in line to buy book three AND I'll be recommending this series to all of my friends, young and old alike. (less)
4 1/2 stars: The Key (True Reign #1) is the story of Rema, the lost princess hidden as a commoner and the face of a revolution against the evil King....more4 1/2 stars: The Key (True Reign #1) is the story of Rema, the lost princess hidden as a commoner and the face of a revolution against the evil King. Only problem, Rema does not know her royal status and she is in love with the King's son Prince Darmick and engaged, against her will, to the King's wicked eldest son Prince Lennek. This story is a tangled web of secrets hidden in royal tattoos and anagrams. It is an easy, clean read that I would highly recommend to all ages and it is totally appropriate for young teens. The Key is a breath of fresh air in the YA genre that is often polluted with sexuality, vulgarity and violence. The ending leaves readers hanging in anticipation for the next book and I for one appreciate a good cliffhanger. (less)
With so many series disappointing me nowadays, I'm thrilled to say that every single star is highly deserved in Andrew Fukuda's third installment of T...moreWith so many series disappointing me nowadays, I'm thrilled to say that every single star is highly deserved in Andrew Fukuda's third installment of The Hunt series. Okay so here is the real deal: I really liked The Hunt, despite all of the mindless vampire stories, it was original and fresh; I loved The Prey and I thought Fukuda really stepped it up; but I am telling everyone The Trap was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! This is a prime example of an author's work going from good to better to absolute best!
The Trap continues the journey of Gene and Sissy as they make their way trapped on the train on route to be a heper feast for the Ruler. What transpires from the moment they arrive is an unimaginable horror filled thrill ride of immense proportions. Original and innovative, Fukuda blows me away with his superior ingenuity. I loved this book!(less)
Dreama's Destiny starts with an outrageous dare; a dare by Dreama's friends to go up to a handsome stranger in a bar and kiss him. Dreama takes that d...moreDreama's Destiny starts with an outrageous dare; a dare by Dreama's friends to go up to a handsome stranger in a bar and kiss him. Dreama takes that dare and in the process gets more than she bargained for in the form of the smoldering Zane, a vampire. A series of fated encounters find Dreama and Zane crossing paths again and again. These paths lead to only one destination...sex, sex and more paranormal sex!
As far as writing goes, the authors definitely know how to build serious sexual tension between Dreama and Zane, but I guess I'm a romantic at heart and would have preferred a little less moaning and thrusting and a lot more relationship and character building. It seems to me, Dreama and Zane's relationship is built on three things: sex, fate and a paranormal connection, but it might as well just be sex, sex and more sex because the word porn overshadows the story. The otherworldly aspect of the book was more interesting to me than the insatiable, redundant sex. This book has a descent plot outside the bedroom, but as it stands it's kind of like Twilight on Viagra.
When it comes to characterization, I thought Dreama had a strong background story: family outcast, abusive ex boyfriend, a little shy and wary, but I never felt like I knew Zane outside of being a jealous real estate mogul and vampire. If I'm going to buy the real connection between these two, especially with declarations of love, I need to know who the heck they are. Fifty Shades of Grey wasn't just about the sex, there is a strong relationship and love story too and that point was weak in Dreama's Destiny. One more thing that irked me, I really hated the scene with Dreama and Jake in the bathroom...really? He's a crazy ex and a stalker, but he knows how to push all of Dreama's buttons...yuck!
Putting aside the bombardment of sex, banality and profanity, I need to rate this book outside of my personal taste and judge it on technical merit, so it deserves four stars undoubtably. If you like paranormal erotica, I'd say you have yourself a winner with Dreama's Destiny. (less)