I’m a huge fan of Lyla Payne… and for good reason. She writes stories that are captivating, fun, and sexy! This is the second in the Low Country serieI’m a huge fan of Lyla Payne… and for good reason. She writes stories that are captivating, fun, and sexy! This is the second in the Low Country series and just like the first, I absolutely loved it.
Gracie, our heroine, is still seeing ghosts and it seems to be causing more trouble for her than anything else going on in her life. She had hoped that once Anne Bonny’s ghost had moved on, she would be able to start fixing her own problems instead of everyone else’s. Like working on her relationships with her childhood friends, or helping her cousin Amelia come to terms with the things she has had to deal with or maybe… just maybe, take the next step with the handsome and charming mayor Beauregard Drayton.
Unfortunately, ghosts have horrible timing and the appearance of Glinda Davis’ ghost in Gracie’s life creates more issues than simply finding out who killed her.
Once again, Payne gives us a well-written, wonderfully paced story, and I for one couldn’t put it down. Her characters are so well developed… even the not so alive ones. And I absolutely love Gracie. She’s a little bit lost personally, but underneath that you can see that she’s independent and stubborn, loyal and an amazing friend and she’s funny! And Beau… *swoon*. As much as Gracie tries to get him to see that she just isn’t who he should be pursuing a relationship with, he pushes back and shows her why he is.
But at the heart of this story, we have another mystery. Who killed Glinda, and why… and what secrets was she hiding, and while you definitely get hints along the way, the story unravels at a perfect pace. And where she leaves you with this installment will have you begging for the next in the series, that’s for sure.
I can’t wait to see what we get next from Lyla Payne, and this series has so much on the horizon, from our mystery ghost, to Mrs. LaBadie, to Beau and even Gracie’s own issues, I’m excited for more.
I can count on Payne for an amazing story, wonderful characters and yes, some sexy swoon and romance. If you haven’t picked up this series yet, definitely give it a try! ...more
Unfortunately, for as gorgeous as this cover is and as promising as the summary was, this story just fell flat for me.
The summary says fans of KristinUnfortunately, for as gorgeous as this cover is and as promising as the summary was, this story just fell flat for me.
The summary says fans of Kristin Cashore and Maggie Stiefvater will love this… I’m a HUGE fan of both, but the story telling here really didn’t measure up to those two authors.
I struggled to connect with our protagonist in this story. Salome had something happen when she was younger which has affected her life greatly and has fostered a fear of winter. This year… the year before she turns 18 finds her forced to deal with this fear.
But she soon finds she isn’t alone and she isn’t sure what to make of everything. Colton, the guy she’s crushed on forever suddenly is interested in her… Nevin, a strange boy who suddenly shows up in her grandmother’s backyard and keeps her company… and Gareth, a boy who has sworn to protect her all have her spinning in circles and trying to come to terms with her feelings.
You all probably know that I love my heroines and I really can’t tell you one thing that I liked about this one. She did dumb things, she was naïve and as much as I hate to say it, she was kind of stupid.
There is nothing I dislike more than when a heroine admits she’s thinking that the thing she is considering doing is stupid and could harm her… and does it anyway. And Salome seems to do that a lot in this story. And I found my eyes rolling each and every time.
Then you add in the love square and I just found it all very blah.
I know I said I struggled to connect with our main character, but I also felt this way about all the secondary characters as well. From Salome’s best friend (I can’t even remember her name) to her mom to her grandmother I just didn’t enjoy any of them and felt they all were one dimensional.
The story itself is a bit predictable. The actions of the characters I saw from miles away, and I struggled to understand the reason for the family ‘secrets’. Her grandmother basically puts Salome in harms way by leaving her to care for her home without giving her all the information she needed to protect herself. And to be honest, I really didn’t understand her mother and father and their need to be a part of the story… especially her father.
Anyway – like I said, this wasn’t for me… while I didn’t care for it, Purdy’s writing was still well-done and I found her story-telling easy to follow – hence the two stars not one. BUT if you go in expecting something to match the likes of Cashore or Stiefvater, you may feel like me once you turn the last page.
Thank you to Entangled & netgalley for the advanced copy in exchange for my honest thoughts. ...more
New Adult from Jeaniene Frost!! Count me in! Yes, that was my initial reaction when I heard about this new series. I’m a huge fan of her Night HuntresNew Adult from Jeaniene Frost!! Count me in! Yes, that was my initial reaction when I heard about this new series. I’m a huge fan of her Night Huntress series so I knew I was going to give this a try, and I’m glad I did.
Ivy has always had strange visions… she never thought they were anything but hallucinations. But when her sister goes missing, she finds that everything she thought was true, really isn’t, and now her sister is trapped in a parallel demon realm and she will do anything to save her.
Even learn to trust the one person who actually believes her … and just happens to be bound the one person who is destined to betray her. Adrian certainly doesn’t support the people who raised and trained him, but he’s convinced that the past will repeat itself with him betraying Ivy in a devastating way. But for now, they have to work together to find a relic that will save her sister. But along the way, feelings become entwined and the fight to stay away from each other becomes even harder.
Plus… Ivy has her own destiny and eventually it will have them on opposite sides of a war that could doom the world as we know it. I have to say that while I enjoyed this first book, I didn’t love it for a couple of reasons. That’s not to say that won’t read on… in fact, I’m actually looking forward to book 2 a bit more now because most of the groundwork is laid here in the first, and I think (I hope!) that many of the issues between Adrian and Ivy are now out in the open and we’ll see them work through them going forward.
So my hangups… I really, really struggled with the information withholding on Adrian’s part. He knew the full story, but refuses to answer Ivy’s questions or give her any clue as to the full picture of what is really happening. The best example I can give is the mirrors, and when you read this, you’ll know why. And yes, I get that that is part of moving the plot along, but I think it really just frustrated me. That’s not to say that the pacing on the plot is off… On the contrary, I thought the storyline was paced really well, and I never really felt a lag while reading. Instead, I think it was used in a way that made me feel as lost as Ivy, and I don’t think it was necessary, mostly because I had guessed what happened with the mirrors along the way.
The worldbuilding was a little flimsy for me too. I felt like from the very beginning of the story, we’re thrust into the action of the story, without much to build on and the small details we get along the way really weren’t sufficient. The head Angel who comes and goes never really felt like much of a character to me and I never really connected with our main characters either. I liked Ivy and Adrian… but I didn’t love them. I didn’t get that connection that pulls me into their story and makes me cheer and cringe and cry for them and for the most part when I read, I need that.
My review makes this sound like it was all bad, but you can see by my rating that it wasn’t. The story itself is filled with action and the story itself is interesting to me… and yes, we even get a bit of steam here in book 1. I am definitely going to be reading book 2 when it arrives so definitely check this one out and let me know what you thought once you’re done!
Thank you to Harlequin for the advanced copy in exchange for my honest thoughts. ...more
I’ve been waiting patiently for this book for what seems like forever. When I saw it at BEA I flailed and then found myself waiting in a line I wasn’tI’ve been waiting patiently for this book for what seems like forever. When I saw it at BEA I flailed and then found myself waiting in a line I wasn’t expecting to be in just so I could get it into my greedy hands.
This is the final book in the All Souls Trilogy and ultimately when I turned the last page I was happy with the story Deb Harkness gave us readers and fans.
There is very little I can tell you about this installment without spoiling this for you, so I’m going to keep this short and sweet and slightly vague – no details – sorry!
Let me just tell you up front what I took a star away for… I felt like there was a lot in this book that could have been omitted. I’m not going to get into specifics, and I guess the more I think about it, the previous books were probably similar so It’s not a horrible surprise that it was here as well, but I felt that there were just some things that really slowed the pace of the story for me.
Aside from that, one of my other major complaints over the entire series has been the vast number of characters in this story and I find it hard to keep straight who is who, especially if they are peripheral characters. While for the most part this book didn’t introduce us to anyone new, I still struggled a bit in remembering who was who.
Since there was such a big break between the release of book 2 and book 3 I struggled a bit to remember where I we had been left, so my biggest recommendation would be to go back and read the last few chapters of Shadow of Night before starting this one... Then dive in!!
Let me just tell you though, once I did get sucked back into Matthew and Diana’s lives I was completely entranced with the story again. Harkness weaves an amazing and captivating story filled with action and adventure, love and romance and memorable characters that will have you wishing this wasn’t really the end.
If you’re looking for something that will have you turning pages as fast as you can, wondering if these amazing characters will get their HEA and yet swooning at the love story being shared, this series is for you. *flail for every single time Matthew calls Diana ‘Mon Coeur’*
Thank you so much to Penguin for the advanced copy in exchange for my honest thoughts. ...more
“The biggest favor Richard Walker ever did for anyone else was die.”
Richard Walker has just died leaving behind a house filled with memories and sec“The biggest favor Richard Walker ever did for anyone else was die.”
Richard Walker has just died leaving behind a house filled with memories and secrets. When his estranged family arrives at the house, the resident ghosts Alice & Sandra watch and reminisce about the past… but not all the memories are pleasant ones and as the story unravels so do the secrets hidden within the rooms of the old country house.
I was intrigued by the premise of Rooms by Lauren Oliver. I’m a big fan of her young adult books, so I jumped at the chance to get my hands on a copy of her the upcoming Rooms, her first adult fiction book.
This was completely different than anything I’d read by Lauren and I was pleasantly surprised. The thing that stood out the most for me in this story is the writing itself. It was just gorgeous and I found myself rereading passages just to soak up the words.
Rooms is told in 11 parts and from several different points of view, and to be honest, at first I thought this would be hard to follow because of that, but the flow and pacing of the story worked perfectly for me. While the story isn’t filled with action, the way it is weaved together definitely kept me interested in what was happening.
There is such a unique mix of characters here and I have to admit that I kind of like Sandra the best I think. She was the kind of woman I would have been friends with and I just connected with her thoughts and comments. That said, while I found some of the characters and their actions frustrating, I still understood them and I think it’s okay to not like everyone in a book like this!
This is essentially a ghost story, but it’s not your typical kind of ghost story that’s for sure. Oliver weaves both the normal and paranormal in this seamlessly to create a haunting story filled with layered characters and a riveting story.
Overall, definitely impressed with Lauren Oliver’s masterful writing here. This story has a bit of everything… drama, angst, humor and sadness. If you’re looking for well-written, wonderfully constructed adult fiction, look no further. You’ll definitely find it in Rooms.
Thank you to HarperCollins for the advance copy in exchange for my honest thoughts. ...more
Are you looking for a new paranormal/sci-fi series to sink your teeth into? Look no further because Trisha Leigh has the perfect start to one!
Gypsy hAre you looking for a new paranormal/sci-fi series to sink your teeth into? Look no further because Trisha Leigh has the perfect start to one!
Gypsy has grown up as an orphan in a private sanctuary… one where she is among others of her kind … kids with genetic mutations that can affect them in many different ways. Those in charge have labeled them “The Cavies.” Her talent is what puts her into a category that those same people refer to as “inconsequential”. Her talent you ask? When she touches someone she can see the age they will be when they die. While a useful tool, it’s definitely not as significant as the talents of her friends who can be invisible, or have super speed, or could even kill you if they wanted to. But she feels at home amongst the others even if she doesn’t have as much power as some of them.
Suddenly, her world is rocked when the home she grew up in is found and secrets are revealed. Suddenly her and her friends are pushed into the real world to meet families they never knew, and adjust to a new life where no one knows about the powers they have... yet. But Gypsy has dreamed for as long as she can remember about experiencing a normal life … one where she isn’t tested and poked and prodded on a daily basis. One where she gets to attend a real high school and make normal friends, and among her small group, she’s the one most likely to succeed … she just has to make sure she doesn’t touch anyone and no one finds out what they can do.
Of course things don’t necessarily go that smoothly.
Someone knows all about them, and what they can do, and after each of them is attacked and injected with something their powers begin to change … some in ways they can’t seem to control.
When the cavies decide they need to know more… more about their origins, more about their history and more about the place they grew up, they find themselves in a web of lies and deceit not knowing who they can trust to help them unravel the truth, and then one of their own goes missing and it’s a race against time to rescue them that will have you on the edge of your seat!
I’ve been waiting patiently … (maybe not so patiently) for a new YA series from Trisha Leigh since the last page of her The Last Year Series. So when I begged her to let me read this one I was so excited when she said yes! Let me start by saying that this book has a definite X-Men feel to it, especially at the very beginning and I loved it. Our protagonist Gypsy, was so easy to like… she values her friendships and the relationships she grew up with, but you can feel her yearning for more with every page. When she finally gets her wish, she doesn’t just bail on those who have been such a big part of her life. She still treasures those connections and while she ends up making new friends, she never bails on those who are struggling to fit in.
I really loved both the old friendships that Gypsy has and the new ones she ends up making … And her relationship with her father was so wonderful! I loved watching them both kind of acclimate to this new position in their lives, forming that bond and learning to trust each other.
My only complaint… and I’m going to just get it out of the way, the first fourth of this book is a bit slow moving. Unfortunately I don’t think that there would be any way around this. Trisha Leigh does a wonderful job of building and creating the background and providing the information you need for the story, but I feel like that is what slowed the pace of the story. That said, once the action & suspense kicks in, it doesn’t really stop and it will have you turning pages as quick as you can.
There is a tiny bit of a romance that pops up in this story and even a bit of what MAY end up being a love triangle, but I say a bit of a romance because it’s just little teases here and there. Nothing full-fledged. But can I confide in you all… I wanted more kissing!! I know I know… part of the issue is Gypsy’s talent, which doesn’t really help with the romance. But I truly loved seeing her navigate and try to understand her feelings for both of the guys involved.
With a fun and interesting story, engaging, layered characters, and a mystery that will have you trying to figure out which team to be cheering for, Trisha Leigh has the start of an amazing new series that I can’t wait for more of. This one ends on a bit of a cliffhanger my friends, so consider that your warning, but you must pick this one up as soon as you can… I think you’ll love the amazing story that you’ll find! ...more
Initially what drew me to Dark Metropolis was the gorgeous cover – it really sets the tone for the time period of this story wonderfully well3.5 stars
Initially what drew me to Dark Metropolis was the gorgeous cover – it really sets the tone for the time period of this story wonderfully well. Dark Metropolis is set in an alternate Germany in the 1920’s and I think I might consider this paranormal in some respects simply because there are aspects of magic in this alternate world but if you know me I suck at categorizing books – The author has stated that she considers it “alt-world historical fantasy” so go with that! But there are also zombies.
Our main character Thea is sixteen and working in the glamorous Telephone Club trying to keep her life afloat while also dealing with her mother who is suffering from a magical sickness because she was bound to her husband and he has been missing for eight years. At her job she gets to meet the rich and famous but for some reason she has a strange connection to a boy named Freddy who, with his guardian sits at her table one evening.
When her friend Nan suddenly disappears, Nan is determined to find out what happened to her and despite only just getting to know Thea, Freddy is determined to help her get the answers she needs.
I will say that I really enjoyed the picture of 1920’s Germany that Dolamore created. It was for the most part creepy and spooky and the story itself felt a bit heavier than I expected. In all honesty, I didn’t even realize that this was set in an alternate past when I started but some of the hints to that fact can be scattered throughout.
The writing itself was well done and Dolamore does a great job pulling readers in with an easy style of writing that I think anyone will appreciate. She adds just enough suspense and drama to keep you wanting to turn the pages. We also get several different points of view with this story… and my only complaint about that is that there was no rhyme or reason to how it happened. I understand the need for it, I just wish that the chapters had flowed a bit more seamlessly for me.
The plot itself was a bit predictable, and maybe this is my fault for reading this right after I read another book that had me guessing on every page, but I was able to figure out most of the plot pretty early on. However… that didn’t detract from my enjoying the story.
Dolamore creates some intriguing characters in Dark Metropolis and while they aren’t all completely fleshed out as much as I would have liked to see, I still quite enjoyed them. Thea and Freddy, Nan and Siga I’m interested in learning more about them with the final book, and it will definitely be interesting to see what kind of impact Thea’s mother has as well.
If you’re looking for a book that offers a bit of fantasy, a bit of suspense and a bit of romance, then definitely pick up Dark Metropolis in June.
Thank you to Shanna @ A Book Vacation Blog for the giveaway!...more
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I picked up Jackaby, I just knew that I had to read it. The cover was what drew me in if I’m perfectly honest with yI wasn’t sure what to expect when I picked up Jackaby, I just knew that I had to read it. The cover was what drew me in if I’m perfectly honest with you, but then I read Doctor Who meets Sherlock and I was honestly sold. While I don’t watch either of these shows on a regular basis, I was intrigued by the idea of a story that encompassed both.
Jackaby didn’t disappoint.
The setting is New Fiddleham, New England, 1892 and Abigail is just off a boat and looking for employment. She is turned away over and over until she meets R. F. Jackaby and investigator in dire need of an assistant. What Abigail quickly learns is that Jackaby investigates the strange and paranormal… not exactly what she was expecting!
The best part of this story for me were the characters. Jackaby is endearing in an awkward, to the point, eccentric kind of way and Abigail Rook is his perfect complement.
With a stinky toad, a ghost as a roommate and a former assistant who is now a duck, Jackaby is used to dealing with the weird stuff that normal people don’t notice. He’s got a keen eye for the supernatural and he’s a straight to the point kind of guy and he’s such an interesting and intriguing character and so fun to read about.
Abigail on the other hand is practical and on the run from her mundane life and looking for adventure. And she’s found it in working with Jackaby. Immediately she’s swept into Jackaby’s latest case… a serial murder is what the police think, but of course Jackaby has other suspicions and so the mystery begins.
While the mystery itself was a little predictable for me, it was still a fun and fast-paced read. There was plenty of action and I absolutely fell in love with the interactions between Abigail and Jackaby!
"Why don't you have a little notebook?" I asked.
"What? A notebook?"
"Yes, for jotting down clues and leads and things. Terribly handy for a detective, I should think. Marlowe's got one. It has a leather cover and flips up top-wise. I wouldn't mind a notebook like that, myself. We should each have one. We'd look more like proper detectives, then."
"Firstly," Jackaby said with a sigh, "a 'proper detective' is about the last thing a good detective wants to look like, most of the time. Secondly, it isn't a bad idea on the whole, but I've used notebooks and I found them entirely useless. I've give them to my assistants to type up, and none of them could ever decipher my handwriting. One of them rather rudely suggested it looked like the scribblings of a chimp."
"Well then, you could always read it out for me to copy - or not copy it at all, just use it for your own reference."
"Well, that's no good."
"Because 'chimp' was generous. I can scarcely read a word I've written. I find it's far simpler to skip the exercise entirely. I can dictate my findings to you at the end of the day in the comfort of the office."
"Well, I should still like one, myself, someday. I think I would look quite sharp with a leather notebook. Oh, and a magnifying glass. I would feel much more like a detective with a magnifying glass."
Those of you looking for some romance here might be disappointed. While there are some subtle hints of romance, it isn’t a big part of the story. Instead I loved the focus on the platonic friendship that was building between Abigail and Jackaby. I also really loved the secondary characters that Ritter introduces us to in Jenny, Charlie & Chief Inspector Marlowe.
While there are no additional books listed right now, I can’t help but think that this book is the perfect set-up to a series revolving around these characters and the paranormal. I’m absolutely hoping that is the case!
Fans of quirky, fun characters definitely need to pick this one up… I can absolutely see fans of Sherlock & Dr. Who enjoying this as stated in the summary and if you’re looking for something a bit different in the paranormal genre this definitely fits the bill!
Thank you to Algonquin books for the advanced copy in exchange for my honest thoughts! ...more
Not Quite Dead isn’t my typical type of read… you say ‘Ghosts’ to me and I kind of think ‘Meh’. But Lyla Payne is an author whose stories I happen toNot Quite Dead isn’t my typical type of read… you say ‘Ghosts’ to me and I kind of think ‘Meh’. But Lyla Payne is an author whose stories I happen to love, so I knew I had to give this a try.
I think what I love most about Payne’s stories are her characters. Don’t get me wrong, I love her writing style and she has an amazing way of telling a story and everything she comes up with is unique and really well done, but for me, her characters are what seal the deal.
In Not Quite Dead we meet Gracie… she’s had a shit couple of weeks. She’s caught her cheating ex and left him. Heron Creek, the only place she considers home, is the only place she considers going to lick her wounds but that isn’t the only reason she’s back home. After losing her grandmother only months ago, her grandfather’s health is seriously declining and she’s there to spend his last days with him.
But the place where she spent her summers isn’t exactly the same. Her cousin hasn’t spoken to her since they had a falling out years ago, and her ex-boyfriend who she broke up with, is now married to her other best friend. Add in the fact that the new Mayor, Beauregard Drayton, is seriously interested in her, and the ghost of Anne Bonny won’t leave her alone and Gracie has some major issues to work through.
This story isn’t completely about ghosts, though the paranormal element is strong here, Payne’s focuses part of this story on the relationships of her characters. Gracie is foul mouthed, sometimes drunk, definitely clumsy, and her life is a bit of a mess. Despite all of that, she is genuine and loved by the people around her, even if things are a bit strained at the moment. Her old friendships, though not what they once were are getting there and I really enjoyed her relationship with her grandfather the most.
Now let’s talk about the ghost story here. The intricacies of the story keep me from telling you a lot about Anne Bonny our resident ghost, but the story that Payne weaves is done really well. The suspense of finding out the ties between some of the residents of Heron Creek and Anne kept me turning pages and I really enjoyed the way Payne pulls all the threads of the story together.
Of course there is a bit of a romance … Mayor Beau is smitten with Gracie from the first time they literally run into each other on the streets of Heron Creek and I love the slow burn that Payne gives us. While Beau has his eyes set on Gracie, she is determined to set him in a different direction, convinced she just isn’t the right girl for the up and coming Mayor. He happens to see things a bit different and despite all her protests is there when she needs the support and he even manages to make her (and me) swoon a bit.
“I think you are terribly interesting Graciela Harper. I’d be honored to keep an eye on you.”
If you’re looking for something different, something with a unique story and wonderfully developed characters look no further. You’re definitely going to want to pick up Not Quite Dead when it arrives in April. I'm absolutely waiting patiently (not really) for the next book in this series!
Thank you to the author for an advance copy in exchange for my honest thoughts. ...more
I have to tell you guys... I don't even know what to say about this book and every single time I think about what I want to write (which is often) I sI have to tell you guys... I don't even know what to say about this book and every single time I think about what I want to write (which is often) I start singing this damn song. *shakes fist at Kate Karyus Quinn).
But in all seriousness I'm not sure what I can or should tell you about this. You will be confused, you will think it's a strange read and the story itself is so bizarre... But you won't be able to stop, and when everything is pieced together at the end you will be amazed at how much you enjoyed it.
You will find the characters here unique and interesting and so so layered, you will find the plot and pacing of the story so wonderfully done and the twists and turns will have you turning pages as fast as you can.
If you're looking for something original and fascinating... A story filled with creativity and imagination... yet just a tiny bit disturbing - look no further. This one is on bookshelves now so go get it! ...more