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message 1: by Sheri, Bookworm (last edited Feb 17, 2012 10:30AM) (new)

Sheri | 6192 comments Mod
Survival, YA Paranormal Romance (Book 1 of The Guardians of Vesturon) by A.M. Hargrove

This book was so full of emotion. I laughed, I cried (yep, really did), and then laughed some more!

The characters were well thought out, each with their own personality and each easily identified, which was important in the last chapters where we get different points of view all thrown in together. Surprisingly, the author did a terrific job with that, and it was not confusing at all. You always knew who was speaking all the time; that's sometimes hard to do.

The main character, Maddie, was fun and seemingly carefree, but she had some hurts to get past, namely losing her mom and dad, and really kept her emotions and feelings bottled up. She was so easy to like and so easy to relate to. I felt there were inconsistencies with Maddie's character, though, in that at times she seemed so strong and fiery, able to stand up for herself, and other times it was like she was the one from another planet and too immature for the character that had being built.

Rayn was sweet and caring, definitely a guy you could fall in love with. I loved reading from his point of view the best. He loves Maddie so much but is so conflicted over his feelings for her. In the end, you know that he would do anything for her.

I love having different points of view in a story, and Survival did not disappoint. The author did a great job of transitioning from one point of view to the next without being confusing. The only thing I really did not like was when we switched from Maddie's to Rayn's point of view for the first time we went back and had to re-read everything that had already happened all over again, this time from a different perspective. While that is not always a bad thing, I think that in this book it did not really change anything about the story or give us any new information, other than maybe show us Rayn's feelings for Maddie, which could have been done without going back so far.

One thing that was absolutely amazing in this book was the imagery. The descriptions of the scenery, the mountains, etc., was so beautiful, I wished I was there. The author did a great job creating this world, and even though I'm not a hiker, I could picture the mountains and trails in my head as I was reading.

I really enjoyed the author's writing style. It was simple and easy, which went well with the flow of the story. My only real complaint about this book would be…the end! I cannot believe we were left hanging! Good thing the next book in the series is now out!!

4 Stars!

message 2: by Sheri, Bookworm (last edited Feb 17, 2012 10:31AM) (new)

Sheri | 6192 comments Mod
Holiday Matinee by Elizabeth Lister

Holiday Matinee is a short story that continues the relationship of Jack and Michael, who we met in The Crush.

Holiday Matinee follows Jack and Michael on a date night. This story is very short, and only took me about 20 minutes to read. It was a quick, fun read. I enjoyed seeing Jack and Michael again as they move forward in their relationship, and I hope there will be more stories about them!

4 Stars!

message 3: by Sheri, Bookworm (last edited Feb 17, 2012 10:31AM) (new)

Sheri | 6192 comments Mod
The Very Thought of Him by Jessa Callaver

This short, steamy story is incredibly well written. Short stories, I think, are often so hard to write because it's hard to develop personalities and back stories that are necessary to hold a reader's interest in so few words.

The author did an excellent job in this story building the scene that we read and using descriptive language that helps you to imagine clearly what's happening. Dara's character is very well developed and fun.

There was also a nice little twist at the end that I was not expecting. I'm looking forward to reading more from this author.

5 Stars!

message 4: by Sheri, Bookworm (last edited Feb 17, 2012 10:32AM) (new)

Sheri | 6192 comments Mod
The Crush by Elizabeth Lister

The Crush is the story of Jack and Michael. Jack is just looking to have some fun, not a serious relationship. Michael is a college professor and Jack's sister's crush. Jack and Michael are introduced by Amy, Jack's sister, and are instantly attracted to one another. But Amy has plans for seducing Michael herself. Ultimately, Jack and Michael decide to conceal their relationship from Amy, but when she finds out that they have been seeing each other behind her back, Jack must find away to repair his relationship with his sister.

I really liked the relationship between Jack and Michael. It started as just a fling but evolved into something so much more than they had ever expected. Their relationship was intense both physically and emotionally.

I was impressed that the author was able to pull out so many emotions in such a short story. The dynamics in Jack and Michael's relationship and Jack and Amy's relationship were amazing, and the characters were so much fun.

4 Stars!

message 5: by Sheri, Bookworm (last edited Feb 17, 2012 10:32AM) (new)

Sheri | 6192 comments Mod
A Bite's Tale (A Furry Fable) ebook by Veronica Blade

This book is absolutely the best twist on a fairy tale I have read! The story was fun, quick read. It was the Cinderella story being retold with enough twists and originality that it kept me entertained. The characters in this short story were so very well developed, each with their own unique personality.

Cydney is a young werewolf struggling to keep herself under control. Her biggest fear is hurting someone she loves. She knows how much this hurts, as it has happened before.

Remy is a prince who happens to be a vampire. He is longing for his one true love, who seemingly is lost forever. When his father tries to force him to marry, Remy is determined once and for all to find his lost love.

I love the author's take on the different supernatural creatures. Even in this short story each of the creatures are given distinct characteristics. I love that the author gave us details like these rather than just skimming over them. I also enjoyed reading the story from the points of view of both Cydney and Remy. Both are likeable characters, and it is fun knowing what both of them are thinking and feeling throughout the story.

This was a novella, and the ending was almost wrapped up and resolved too quickly. I would have loved to see this as a longer book and have more play to the reunion and the fight scene. Overall, I immensely enjoyed this story and would recommend it to everyone!

5 Stars!

message 6: by Amanda (new)

Amanda The Book Slayer (amanda_the_book_slayer) I just wanted to say your Husky is adorable. I have two of my own and just love them. They are so soft and cuddly!

message 7: by Sheri, Bookworm (new)

Sheri | 6192 comments Mod
Thanks! She's 60 pounds of slobbery kisses and thinks she's a lap dog :)

message 8: by Amanda (new)

Amanda The Book Slayer (amanda_the_book_slayer) OMG My red and white is exactly that way. She is scared of everything and the dog is huge! My other one is blind and thinks that she can take on the world. lol They are full of personality. I have yet to meet a husky that I don't like.

message 9: by Sheri, Bookworm (new)

Sheri | 6192 comments Mod
Undermountain by Eric Edstrom

Undermountain had me hooked from the first page. The story begins with the journey of six kids and one adult who were on a hike in the Canadian Rockies. Their group is being chased by an unknown creature, and they are rescued by…bigfoot. Undermountain tells the adventures of Danny, Breyona, Em, Wa, and Shiv as they discover that sometimes myths and legends are true, and sometimes they are scarier than they ever imagined.

I really enjoyed the author's writing style. The book was well written, descriptive, and imaginative, and it kept me captivated from page to page. The story itself was quite original.

The characters in this story are very well written and seem so realistic. Each one is a unique individual with his or her own personality. I love that each of them was given a background story. It made me as a reader feel like I knew each one personally, which made them easy to relate to and added to the emotion of the story. Even Bronson, who is the guy you love to hate, had his own story. I kind of felt sorry for him at the end…sort of. I really enjoyed having the different points of views. Sometimes it can be difficult to transition from one person to the next with so many changes, but the author did an excellent job with this.

I fell in love with the bigfeet. Their society was so complex with many different levels. The author did such a great job of individualizing each bigfoot so each had his own individual personality. I liked that the author made their societal problems part of the story as well. In the end, even though they felt they were above the humans, it turned out that their society was just as corrupt as the human's was.

The book was long, but it never got dull or tedious. Each page brought something new, making you want to keep reading. The world building in this story was amazing, and I love the complexity of the plot with both the bigfoot and the tangoga. From one page to the next, you never quite knew whom you should be trusting, and the minute you think you know what is going on, another curve is thrown in to keep you on your toes. I am definitely looking forward to more novels from Eric Edstrom!

4 Stars!

message 10: by Sheri, Bookworm (new)

Sheri | 6192 comments Mod
The Goat and the Heathen (2nd ed.) by Jessa Callaver

This is the second book I've read by Jessa Callaver, and I loved it as much as the first! She has such a way with words; her descriptions are absolutely amazing.

The Goat and the Heathen is a short story about two roommates who agree to have a threesome, so the more bold of the two finds a guy and sets it up. Needless to say, things get hot and steamy and deliciously romantic.

As I said, the author uses amazing descriptions. It's so easy to picture what you're reading in your head. The writing is clean and very well developed. In writing short stories it's often hard to bring out personalities and get a complete story, but this author does an amazing job. I love the characters she creates. Aja is a little unsure of herself but willing to try new things, Olivia is obviously outgoing and fun loving, and Hayden is sweet and sexy.

I had always wondered about the title of this book…it seems rather odd. But, at the end of the book we get to find out the meaning!

I really hope Jessa will someday write a longer novel, or at least keep writing short stories! I will read everything she writes!

5 Stars!

message 11: by Sheri, Bookworm (new)

Sheri | 6192 comments Mod
Meeting Destiny (Destiny, #1) by Nancy Straight

Meeting Destiny is full of action, romance and suspense. I guarantee it will leave you on the edge of your seat wanting more!

The book starts out with Lauren, the main character, getting shot during an attempted robbery at her job. One of the paramedics who respond to the call is Max. Lauren and Max feel an instant connection, but there are some complications that come in between them.

I loved, loved, loved the characters in this story. The author did such a great job etching them out and making them seem real. None of them are one dimensional, even the seemingly background characters. The author gives them expression that makes them easy to connect to. And, wow!, she has a way with dialogue. The conversations in the story never felt forced or fake.

Lauren is tough, smart, sarcastic, caring and loyal. She doesn't take crap from anyone while at the same time always standing up for what she knows is right, even when others may not agree with her. She has a deep concern for her friends and will stand behind them or stand up for them in any situation.

Seth is your typical boy next door and Lauren's long-time "boyfriend." He is so sweet to Lauren, and she loves him, but not like she knows she should. The author does a great job framing out their relationship and their feelings towards one another.

I'm completely in love with Max….I don't know what else to say about him. I love that the author didn't make him so perfect that he was not realistic. Max has his faults, but those things just make him all the more loveable. I really like the fact that even though Lauren and Max felt an instant connection they did not hook up right away. Their relationship was given time to develop, and they were given time to get to know each other.

So, that brings me to the end of the story…and seriously, you'll be running over to Amazon or wherever you buy your books for the next in the series! I'm already looking forward to find out what happens!

5 Stars!

message 12: by Sheri, Bookworm (new)

Sheri | 6192 comments Mod
The Perfect Game (The Perfect Game, #1) by John Hansen

The Perfect Game is a new reality show (and who doesn't love reality TV), but in this particular show, the game is murder. Viewers can live vicariously through George, the show's star, and watch him live as he stalks his next victim.

This short story was very interesting and unique. The author did a great job in just these few pages of setting up creepy, suspenseful imagery of the TV show and of the people watching it, and there is a twist at the end that you might not expect.

The author has indicated that there will be more in the future based on this short story, and I am looking forward to reading that to see where The Perfect Game is going to be taken.

5 Stars!

message 13: by Sheri, Bookworm (new)

Sheri | 6192 comments Mod
Angel Evolution (The Evolution Trilogy, #1) by David Estes

Taylor is off to her first year of college where she meets Gabriel. Gabriel is a mystery to Taylor from the very first time she sets eyes on him, and she's immediately drawn to him and his mysteriousness. Gabriel is not what he seems though, and Taylor ultimately has to decide if she can trust him or not.

I love the characters. Taylor and Samantha had such contrasting characters but despite that, or maybe because of that, they were best friends. Gabriel and Christopher thought they were completely different, as different as angels and demons, but in fact they were actually trying to achieve the same goal. Throughout the book I never quite knew how to feel about Gabriel. His and Taylor's entire relationship was based on lies, and he told her so many lies that toward the end of the book he was not even sure what was a lie and what was the truth anymore. He seemed to be at war with himself about what he wanted and what he thought he should want.

I guarantee this book will keep you guessing to the end. Throughout the story you never know who you are supposed to be trusting. I love the different play on the angels/demons and am definitely going to be reading the next two books in the trilogy!

4 Stars!

message 14: by Sheri, Bookworm (last edited Mar 25, 2012 02:47PM) (new)

Sheri | 6192 comments Mod
Family Care (2nd ed.) by Jessa Callaver

Josie is spending her spring break babysitting for the Sharps, a new family in town. While by all outward appearances the Sharps seem to be the perfect family, up close Josie finds herself in the midst of a cold and distant home. Eventually, Josie finds herself in a difficult situation when she comes between husband and wife.

Family Care lived up to my expectations from this author. The story was steamy, hot, and definitely sexy. The author has such a talent for words. Her writing is vivid and descriptive. She is able to get inside the heads of her characters and she does such a great job of bringing life to her characters.

Family Care is the longest story the author has out to date, and as a result, it is more in depth and more developed than the others. I really enjoyed Family Care and am looking forward to more from Jessa Callaver.

5 Stars!

message 15: by Sheri, Bookworm (last edited Apr 03, 2012 03:13PM) (new)

Sheri | 6192 comments Mod
Resurrection (The Guardians of Vesturon, #2) by A.M. Hargrove

Resurrection is the second book of The Guardians of Vesturon series. I actually enjoyed the second book in this series even more than the first. The development of the story and the characters came together well, and I loved the progression of the story.

Resurrection picked up right where the first book, Survival, left off. Maddie was seriously injured and needed immediate help. The only way to help her and keep her alive was to break all the rules (again) and bring her to Vesturon to be healed.

I love the world building in this story, as we got to see more about Rayn's home, Vesturon. The author did a great job creating this world for us and describing it in such a way that it could really be a real place. I also love the descriptiveness of the book overall.

I love the character development from the first book to the second. The characters we were introduced to and loved in Survival are back again. I love that we got to watch them grow and mature as they go through their struggles and learn more about themselves. I really liked reading about the romance between Rayn and Maddie. It was not forced or rushed, and you could feel the connection between them.

Resurrection has plenty of action to keep you entertained and enough mystery to keep you reading to find out what happens next!

4 Stars!

message 16: by Sheri, Bookworm (last edited Apr 09, 2012 08:37AM) (new)

Sheri | 6192 comments Mod
Dreams of Darkness by Barry James

To say that Jordan is having a bad day is a bit of an understatement, I think. Jordan is having an epically bad day to top all others. Without going into detail and giving anything exciting away, he loses his girlfriend, his cat, his house, oh yeah, and his life, all in one evening. Jordan is about to discover that his life (or death as the case may be) has much more purpose than he ever imagined.

I have been a fan of the horror genre for many years, and this book did not disappoint. The writing style was amazing with such attention to detail that it was easy to picture in your head what was going on. The descriptive language used by the author was equally amazing, describing in detail the creatures, surroundings, etc, and the dialogue was wonderfully written and not forced as can so often be the case.

The characters in the story were very well developed, from Jordan, who is the underdog but stronger than he ever realized, and an overall likeable guy, to Lord Ackerman who is the kind of guy you love to hate. Of course throughout the whole story you're rooting for Jordan not only because of the unimaginable that would happen if he lost, but also because he's exactly the kind of hero everyone wants in a story.

There was so much going on in this book with the plot, which, by the way, was different from anything I've read lately, and the author did a great job leaving you wondering what was going to happen next. I kept imaging I knew what was going to happen as I read, but it turned out I was always wrong, and the author's version was way better than anything I had come up with!

I would recommend this book for anyone who loves horror, and would even go so far as to recommend this book to any fans of Stephen King. I will be eagerly watching for more from this author.

5 Stars!

message 17: by Judith (new)

Judith Post | 391 comments Good review. I haven't read horror for a few years now, got hooked on urban fantasy along with my love of mysteries, but this one sounds like a contender.

message 18: by Sheri, Bookworm (new)

Sheri | 6192 comments Mod
Stephen King was my first love, but I rarely read horror anymore. I've gotten into more of the paranormal and urban fantasy lately, so this book was a nice break for me :)

message 19: by Sheri, Bookworm (new)

Sheri | 6192 comments Mod
Believe Like a Child by Paige Dearth

Believe Like a Child is the story of Alessa, a young girl who has been sexually, physically, and emotionally abused her whole life. The story starts out right in the first paragraph when Alessa was 7 years old and is being raped by her uncle. We get to watch her over the next few years as she grows up so we understand her background and where she's coming from so that later in the story we can maybe empathize and understand some of the decisions she makes throughout her life.

I'm not quite sure where to even start with this book. I knew just from the book description that this would not be a light, easy read, and boy was I right. It was an emotional rollercoaster, going through each and every emotion you could possibly think of with such rapid succession at times it made my mind spin. At times this book had me laughing out loud, and the next chapter over I would be in tears. It was an engrossing read that I found hard to put down. I just had to know what was going to happen next.

The characters were amazingly written. Alessa was so easy to love as a person. There were times I just wanted to be able to reach into the book and hug her or help her or just tell her it was going to be okay. Watching her go through her struggles and making the decisions she did sometimes based her low self-worth was heart wrenching, and the ending…wow! Definitely not what I thought was going to happen. I won't say anything else about it here because there's nothing I can say that won't give too much away…I'll just leave it at wow!

The third person narrative really worked in that we got to see so many different perspectives, some just for a short time, but those were times where there were things that we really needed to see from a different perspective. As I was reading the book, I was pretty sure I was going to give it a four-star rating rather than five-star, simply because the dialogue did not flow as nicely as I would have liked it to. It seemed just choppy and not realistic, but the more I read the easier it got to read and I did not notice it as much. It also seemed to fit it well with the overall feeling of the story.

The only thing that I was questioning is the time setting of the story. I would love to know what year this is supposed to be set in. Most of the time I thought it was pretty current, as the characters had cell phones and there were other things to make me think that it was a contemporary setting, but at the same time minimum wage was only $3.35, which confused me.

The topics in this book are not things that are usually written about openly and candidly. I think that is one of the things I enjoyed so much about Believe Like a Child, the frank and genuine openness of it. Overall, I enjoyed this story very, very much and am glad I had the opportunity to read it.

5 Stars!

message 20: by Laura (new)

Laura Thomas (laurathomas) | 258 comments Thanks for the informative review. I just recently bought this one and now I am glad I did.

message 21: by Sheri, Bookworm (new)

Sheri | 6192 comments Mod
It was excellent, but be prepared for all the emotions that go with it :)

message 22: by Sheri, Bookworm (last edited Apr 17, 2012 06:58PM) (new)

Sheri | 6192 comments Mod
Love Hurts The Killing of Rose (Love Hurts, #1) by Holly Hood

Love Hurts is the story of Sam and Frankie, brothers who happen to be incubus. In the traditional role of the incubus, their purpose in life is to find women to have sex with and feed off of their essence…and then kill them. When Sam falls in love, he tries to fight his true nature so he can be with the woman he loves.

I'm really not sure if we are supposed to like Sam and Frankie, since they're the bad guys in this book, but I loved everything about them. I felt both characters were written well. Sam feels like he is a monster for what he does, and it is easy to feel sorry for him. He hates Frankie's carefree attitude, but Frankie just wants to have fun. I loved the dynamics of their relationship, and although Frankie seemed completely carefree, I think he was caught off guard by Dylan and maybe even had feelings for her, although he doesn't want to admit it. I really liked Dylan's character and hope we get to see more of her and Frankie's relationship in the next book.

As for Rose and Delaney, I found them harder to connect with, and as such, I didn't really like their characters much. Since Rose is the title character, I expected her to play a larger role in the story. I would have loved to know more about her, maybe have some background information written in for her. I was left with so many questions about her that I was a bit disappointed by the end of the book. I wanted to know why she did what she did, i.e., not telling about Sam, why she didn't like change, settling for a mundane life she was not happy in. I started out liking Delaney, but by the end of the book I had changed my mind about her. Again more information would have been helpful, such as why she forgave Sam went back to him. I assume it's because he is an incubus and females are just automatically attracted to him, but we're never told. It could be that she's just a stupid female character, and that's what I left with at the end of the book.

As for the plot and the book in general, I really loved the story. I thought it was well thought out and well written. The version of the book that I read was in bad need of editing, mostly grammatical errors, but I'm assuming that will be fixed in the next edition, and if you are able to overlook that, this is definitely a story you want to read. It's not really your typical happily ever after love story, which was a nice change. I will most definitely be looking forward to the next book in the series, especially after the way we were left hanging at the end!

4 Stars!

message 23: by Judith (new)

Judith Post | 391 comments Love your reviews, even when I'm unsure this is my type of book. But if anyone could sell me on it, it's you.

message 24: by Sheri, Bookworm (new)

Sheri | 6192 comments Mod
Thanks so much! That makes me happy because a lot of thought goes into my reviews. When I'm reading a book with a lot going on, I actually take notes sometimes while I'm reading so I don't leave something out.

message 25: by Judith (new)

Judith Post | 391 comments It shows. You respect novels.

message 26: by Sheri, Bookworm (new)

Sheri | 6192 comments Mod
Ink (Ink, #1) by Holly Hood

Hope moves out to California with her father and brothers after her parents' divorce. Having a hard time making friends and fitting into the rich and snooty town, Hope meets Slade and Tucker, two guys from completely different worlds. After she starts spending time with both Slade and Tucker, Hope's life takes a dangerous turn, and she has to decide which one of them she can trust…possibly with her life.

I loved the characters in this story. They were very well written, and you felt like you got to know each one personally. Hope is an overall likeable person. I thought the author did an excellent job getting inside her head and describing her hopes, feelings, desires, and reasonings for doing the things she did. Slade was dark, mysterious, and sexy…an excellent combination. I would have loved to have his tats described in detail so I could imagine better what he looks like. Tucker is…well confusing. Throughout the whole book you are not sure if you are supposed to love him or hate him. Obviously, Hope felt the same way. I like how the author was able to make him so open and friendly and yet so mysterious at the same time.

I really loved the storyline. It was very different from the usual boy meets girl sort of thing. I really hope in the second book we get to see more of Oz, Kidd, and the rest of Slade's family. They seemed really interesting. The only thing that really disappointed me about this book was the ending. While I enjoyed how the story played out, I thought it was wrapped up maybe a little too nicely. I know the next book in the series is coming out in a few months (and I can't wait!), but really the way this book ended it could be a stand-alone. It would have been nice to have a bit more of a cliffhanger to keep the reader on the edge.

Ink is the second book I've read written by Holly Hood, and she has quickly made it to my favorite authors list. I love her writing style and the stories she brings to life.

5 Stars!

message 27: by Judith (new)

Judith Post | 391 comments Great review! I love it when you guys find a really good author.

message 28: by Sheri, Bookworm (new)

Sheri | 6192 comments Mod
Thanks! I do too, and I've found some great ones in this group :)

message 29: by Judith (new)

Judith Post | 391 comments It's a great group--readers and writers.

message 30: by Sheri, Bookworm (last edited Apr 21, 2012 06:03PM) (new)

Sheri | 6192 comments Mod
Brave Fish Identity, Love, Faith by Vincent H. Chough

"For anyone who seeks courage despite their frailty... there is Brave Fish."

Brave Fish is the personal story of the author, Vincent Chough. As the title suggests, it is a story of finding one's identity, love and faith. The story goes through Vincent's teenage years and the struggles that are associated with that, then his early career as a physician, and eventually as he leaves his career to try to find his real purpose in life.

I enjoyed Vincent's story. His writing style was open and honest. The book was engrossing, and the use of descriptive language was wonderfully done.

Brave Fish is a story of encouragement and overcoming life's difficulties. I'm glad that the author felt the need to share his story and that I had the chance to read it. I really enjoyed reading about Vincent's struggles and the outcome as he overcame his past and discovered where he wanted to be in life.

4 Stars!

message 31: by Sheri, Bookworm (new)

Sheri | 6192 comments Mod
Shades of Grey by Michael Cargill

Shades of Grey is a collection of three short stories, each dark and unique.

The first story in the collection, Shades of Grey, is told from the perspective of John, a UK government agent. The story takes place in John's mind as he is tied to a chair, and we get to see where his thoughts take him as he waits to be questioned by an unknown captor. The author did an excellent job getting into his character's mind, and I found myself really liking John. The humor sprinkle throughout the story was great and had me laughing out loud a in a few places.

There and Back Again is the story of James, a young man in the British Army during WWII. The story was well written and very detailed. I loved the emotion the author was able to evoke through this short story.

Down the Rabbit Hole, the third story, was by far my favorite. Tom is a young boy with a loving mother, an abusive father, and a dark secret. This story was much darker than the first two, and I loved the way it was played out.

4 Stars!

message 32: by Judith (new)

Judith Post | 391 comments Two good reviews. Both books sound like serious reads, and you explained them really well. Thanks.

message 33: by Sheri, Bookworm (last edited Apr 30, 2012 07:23AM) (new)

Sheri | 6192 comments Mod
I usually only post my reviews from books in this group, but I loved this one so much I'm adding it here, too!!

Children of Steel by John Van Stry

Raj is a genetically engineered leopard-man created to work for large corporations and do their dirty work, the kind of stuff that humans typically don't want to do. He works on a ship in space, trying to pay of his 'debts' of creation. Yep, you heard me. At the time of their graduation from an extensive training program (typically at 15 years), the engineered "animen" are charged with the cost of their creation, upbringing, education, training, and pretty much anything else that the humans can think of.

This story is told through Raj, who I absolutely loved. The author did such a great job creating his characters. He was able to put so much depth and feeling into each of them that you felt like you really knew them. Raj is the kind of guy you definitely want on your side and definitely do not want to piss off. He was a really good guy, friendly, playful, loyal, and caring, but also had a very bad temper that he was trying to fight throughout the whole book, on top of the fact that he was in the large cat family, who are typically not known for their peaceful nature. I thought the author did an excellent job of bringing these two sides of Raj together and balancing them effectively so that we got to distinctly see each side of his personality.

I loved that this story was told through a male point of view (Raj's), as you don't really see this too often, and the story was told really well. The writing was smooth and easy to read, and the conversations flowed well.

The descriptiveness and world building of the book was amazing. The author did such a great job of describing each of the planets that Raj visited in amazing detail, from their people, to the climate, to the rules governing each planet; it was as if each of these places were real. The technical descriptions of the ship and day to day operations were done equally well.

About halfway through the story, I was really curious as to what Raj looked like, so I got on Google and found a picture that could be similar to him, although I believe Raj is supposed to be black and I couldn't find any pictures of black leopard men. (By the way, I don't suggest you Google 'leopard man;' some of the pictures that come up are a bit…disturbing!)

Long story short, I loved this book and the author's writing style, so thank you to John Van Stry for offering me your book!

On a final note, and I debated on whether or not to bring this up in my review but decided that it was warranted, the book does need some editing for grammatical issues (apostrophes, commas, etc.). While it wasn't enough to really detract from the story, it did recur enough that I felt it should be mentioned.

5 Stars!

message 34: by Judith (new)

Judith Post | 391 comments No review posted, but I know it would be fantastic!

message 35: by Elryxe (new)

Elryxe Detristeange | 38 comments Sheri wrote: "I usually only post my reviews from books in this group, but I loved this one so much I'm adding it here, too!!

Children of Steel by John Van Stry

Raj is a genetically engineered leopard-man created t..."

this looks so interesting =P

message 36: by Judith (new)

Judith Post | 391 comments Hooray! Found the review. Good, as always. And sounds like a good book, but a bum rap for the leopard man.

message 37: by Sheri, Bookworm (new)

Sheri | 6192 comments Mod
Elryxe wrote: "this looks so interesting =P

It was very good :)

message 38: by Sheri, Bookworm (new)

Sheri | 6192 comments Mod
Judith wrote: "Hooray! Found the review. Good, as always. And sounds like a good book, but a bum rap for the leopard man."


message 39: by Sheri, Bookworm (new)

Sheri | 6192 comments Mod
Black Oil, Red Blood by Diane Castle

Chloe Taylor is a small-town lawyer who is in the middle of a lawsuit with Big Oil. When her expert witness turns up dead a day before the trial, Chloe begins to realize there may be more to the case than she originally thought. Enlisting the help of detective Nash and her paralegal, Miles, to help her with the case, Chloe quickly realizes that is in over her head.

The first thing that drew me into this book right away was the author's writing style. It is neat and clean, and the story flows smoothly. The second thing that drew me in was the characters. I loved Chloe's sarcastically funny personality, which made it really fun to be in her head. I also enjoyed Nash (the strong and silent type, *swoon*) and Chloe's reactions to him and Miles…Oh, how I love Miles!

Though this book was about a serious topic, the author did such a great job at making it fun to read. There was, of course, a lot of legal information in the story, but the author did an excellent job of making it understandable to the average person. I also liked that we got some inside information on the case in the form of other key player's points of view once in a while. It made the plot that much more interesting.

This book was an edge-of-your-seat type of read, and it had everything you could want from a great mystery/thriller, including greed, corruption, murder, conspiracy, coverups, and of course the sexy good-guy detective and a heroine who fights for justice, all sprinkled with wit and humor.

5 stars!

message 40: by Judith (new)

Judith Post | 391 comments What a great summary of the main points of the book. Also, the feel of the book--the voice. Thanks.

message 41: by Sheri, Bookworm (new)

Sheri | 6192 comments Mod
Deadly Addiction (Deadly Vices, Book 2) by Kristine Cayne

Deadly Addiction has everything you could want in a great book – suspense, romance, an oh so sexy alpha male, a kick-ass female lead…and so much more! I'm not even quite sure where to start with this because I just loved everything about this book.

The characters were written exceptionally well. The author has a way of getting inside of the heads of her characters that is nothing short of amazing. I loved the relationship between Alyssa and Remi from their very first meeting. The flirting was fun, the chemistry was hot, and the sexual tension was done in a way that left you always on the edge waiting for what was going to happen next!

Alyssa is a cop trying to salvage her career after questionable tactics while working undercover. She is sent to the Iroquois reserve on an "easy" assignment to help set up a group of native officers to police the reservation. Alyssa is trying to put her past behind her but is finding out that it is not such an easy task. Remi is half white/half Indian. He has struggled his whole life to try to fit in and has had to overcome many hardships from his childhood. He fights for what he knows is right while at the same time fighting for freedom for his family and his race. The crazy thing about this story is that everyone was doing what they thought was the right thing for the greater good. Even Chaz was doing what he thought was best to help his people.

There was so much conflict and complexity to the story. The humor laced through was great, and the sex scenes were hot!! Deadly Addictions is one of those books where after you've read a few chapters you're hitting your forehead and asking yourself why the hell you hadn't picked it up sooner!

5 Stars!

message 42: by Judith (new)

Judith Post | 391 comments Great review! And it sounds like a great book. It has it all. I think it's hard to write strong villains, but even harder to have the conflict be good versus good, where everyone's trying to do the right thing, but they're coming at it from different angles.

message 43: by Sheri, Bookworm (new)

Sheri | 6192 comments Mod
I would agree with that Judith. I'm not a writer, but I think it would be easy create a villain who is so obviously out for his own. It's got to be harder to write one who is doing the wrong things for the right reasons and get it across that way to the readers.

message 44: by Judith (new)

Judith Post | 391 comments Do you have a favorite villain? One who stands out? I think that's partly why Harry Potter novels were so popular. Voldemort was a really interesting villain. And formidable. Same with Silence of the Lambs.

message 45: by Sheri, Bookworm (new)

Sheri | 6192 comments Mod
I've been thinking about this question, and I really can't come up with a favorite villain, unless you count Darth Vader, but I've never read the books, just saw the movies over and over. I've also never read Harry Potter.

I think a good villain has to have depth, though, and it's always nice to know the reasoning behind his actions. You're right about Silence of the Lambs. Definitely a good villain.

Good guy goes bad is usually interesting, but not usually the other way around.

message 46: by Sheri, Bookworm (new)

Sheri | 6192 comments Mod
There are books like (view spoiler) where the villain turns out to be not so bad in the end...

Or books like (view spoiler) where the villain is not a single person but a group of people (government).

message 47: by Judith (new)

Judith Post | 391 comments I can't remember which book it was, but in the Mercy Thompson book with fae in it, the fairy queen made an unusual villain, and so did the vampire who believed "you are what you eat." Not the usual motivations.

message 48: by Sheri, Bookworm (new)

Sheri | 6192 comments Mod
Pandora's Key (The Key Trilogy, #1) by Nancy Richardson Fischer
Pandora's Key starts out as two different stories. Evangeline's story and Malledy's story. Both are equally captivating and fun to read. Evangeline's life completely changes on her 16th birthday. After going from somewhat awkward teen to someone she hardly recognizes in a mirror, what was supposed to be a special day turns into a nightmare. Nothing makes sense anymore to Evangeline and she has no on to turn to for help…no one she can trust anyway. Malledy is a superintelligent man with a disease that is slowly killing him. He is looking for something that will cure him, and he is willing to go to any lengths to get his hands on that something.

When the two stories finally merge, it was like nothing I would have expected. People weren't who they seemed to be, both for Evangeline and for Malledy. Evangeline gets to the point where she just does not know who she can trust anymore, so she ends up trusting no one, while Malledy did not really seem to trust anyone from the beginning, with good reason.

The characters were great. Evangeline is your normal awkward teen and easy to like as a main character. Her character was well balanced in that she was not so beautiful and popular that you wanted to hate her, yet she was not so down on herself that you got tired of her wining. I think that's a hard balance to create when writing about teen girls, but the author managed it here. Malledy I think we did not get to know quite as well, but we did get to see his motivations and his way of thinking.

I loved the mythology background to this story. I loved that the author was able to take such a well known piece of mystery and create a unique story to go with it. It was fresh and entertaining, and I guarantee you'll be left guessing about what's coming next until the very end.

4 Stars!

message 49: by Sheri, Bookworm (new)

Sheri | 6192 comments Mod
Straight to Heaven by Michelle Scott
The second installment in the Lilith Straight series did not disappoint. Just as Lilith thinks she has things under control as a succubus, her world once again is pulled out from under her. After a run in with an angel bent on keeping her from succeeding on her current task and a contest against oh so yummy William about who will complete the task first, Lilith has to get creative in order to achieve her goal.

I love the take on Angels and Demons in this series. It's a different twist than the usual. Even though Lilith is technically a demon, or at least has one living in her, everything she does is for a greater good. She does what she has to do to survive and keep her daughter safe even if she does not necessarily like it.

I really liked that we got to see more of Ariel and her situation in this story. I really caught myself feeling sorry for her as the story progressed and I was glad that Lilith was there for her.

I also loved the humor in this book and actually caught myself laughing out loud a few times while getting strange looks from my family. I cannot wait to see where this story goes with Lilith and her new tricks, William and his newfound feelings, Tommy and Jasmine.

4 Stars!

message 50: by Judith (new)

Judith Post | 391 comments Sheri wrote: "[bookcover:Survival YA Paranormal Romance]

This book was so full of emotion. I laughed, I cried (yep, really did), and then laughed some more!

The characters were well thought out, each with t..."

Enjoyed this review. Informative and fun.

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