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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Book Review: Iron Traitor

Iron Traitor by Julie KagawaIron Traitor by Julie Kagawa

After his unexpected journey into the lands of the fey, Ethan Chase just wants to get back to normal. Well, as "normal" as you can be when you see faeries every day of your life. Suddenly the former loner with the bad reputation has someone to try for - his girlfriend, Kenzie. Never mind that he's forbidden to see her again.

But when your name is Ethan Chase and your sister is one of the most powerful faeries in the Nevernever, "normal" simply isn't to be. For Ethan's nephew, Keirran, is missing, and may be on the verge of doing something unthinkable in the name of saving his own love. Something that will fracture the human and faery worlds forever, and give rise to the dangerous fey known as the Forgotten. As Ethan's and Keirran's fates entwine and Keirran slips further into darkness, Ethan's next choice may decide the fate of them all. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts:

Am really enjoying this series, and find myself constantly amazed at the direction this story is heading! Kagawa is an amazing author and while I initially had some concerns that Ethan couldn't possibly live up to Megan's story, he totally does!

Ethan is back home and trying to pick up the pieces after his unexpected adventure in the Nevernever. Things aren't so easy though, as he discovers that Kenzie is in the hospital and that his nephew is missing. Despite his best efforts, the fey simply won't leave him alone and he finds himself embroiled in their world once again.

While he's no longer a child and has proven himself over and over, I appreciate that Ethan still makes mistakes. Too-perfect heroes are boring, so glad that this series is anything but! Keirran makes mistakes too, which is a little more surprising because of his background. Love imperfect heroes!

This was a fast read, as I couldn't wait to see what happened next! Then I had to go back and reread the last few chapters to make sure I hadn't missed anything. Have to warn you that the ending totally took me by surprise. There may or may not have been a few tears, and maybe a few shouts of disbelief. If Kagawa's ears were burning, it was probably me screaming at her.

Amazing entry into the Iron Fey series, and I cannot wait for the next book to see where Julie takes the story next!!!


eARC received from the publisher via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review

Saturday, October 26, 2013

My Book Haul (31)

My Book Haul

In need of a new way to showcase titles, I decided that My Book Haul seems like a good fit. I like giving books a little special attention as sometimes it can be awhile before I'm able to review them. Sad to say, but some get put on the shelf and gather a little dust before I'm able to give them the love they deserve. I've included links to Goodreads if you want more information on the books.

NetGalley:

This was featured in an email from NetGalley. It's no longer enough that I don't log into their website so I won't be tempted, but now I need to block their emails as well? I admit it...I'm weak.

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What Nora Knew by Linda Yellin

Self-professed cynic Molly Hallberg navigates the tricky waters of New York romance with help from the advice found in Nora Ephron’s romantic comedies. (Goodreads)

***

Another email tempting me to download from NetGalley. Is there such a thing as book-crack, because I'm pretty sure that NetGalley is my dealer! *L*

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The Spider by Jennifer Estep

For the first time, the full origin story of Gin Blanco's transformation into the fearsome assassin known as the Spider - book ten in the red-hot Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series.

Purchased:

Really enjoyed the first book in the series, so couldn't resist downloading book #2 of The White Rabbit Chronicles! Love Gena's take on zombies!

Through the Zombie Glass by Gena Showalter
Through the Zombie Glass by Gena Showalter

Zombies stalk the night. Forget blood and brains. These monsters hunger for human souls. Sadly, they've got mine... (Goodreads)



What did you receive this week?




Friday, October 25, 2013

Monster Thons Are Coming!

Monster Thons are Coming!

The Monster Thons are coming! Mark your calenders for two weeks filled of reading and reviewing!

Hosted by The Book Monsters, the Monster Read and Review-a-thons are a great chance for us all to get together, read some fabulous reads, and get to those reviews that we know have been sitting there waiting to be done for a little too long. You can read as much as you want. Review till you cannot review anymore. Whatever works best for you! In addition to the Thons, The Book Monsters will be hosting some fun related challenges, great prizes, and a Twitter party.


The Monster Thons are divided into two smaller Thons:

  • The Monster Read-a-Thon runs from November 9-15th.
  • The Monster Review-a-Thon runs from November 16-22nd.

You decide how much you want to participate. Whether it is just for a few days in each Thon or you only want to review… what you get done depends on you!

I need to catch up on both my reading and my reviewing, but think I'm only going to participate in the review-a-thon. I have an ornery side that doesn't like deadlines or being told what to do, so usually fail miserably at read-a-thons. To be honest, I usually fail at review-a-thons too, but am going to give it the old college try as I'm terribly behind.

If you'd like to join me, you can find more information here.



Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Book Review: Thankless In Death

Thankless in Death
Thankless In Death by J.D. Robb

Lieutenant Eve Dallas has plenty to be grateful for this season. Hosting Roarke’s big Irish family for the holiday may be challenging, but it’s a joyful improvement on her own dark childhood.

Other couples aren’t as lucky as Eve and Roarke. The Reinholds, for example, are lying in their home stabbed and bludgeoned almost beyond recognition. Those who knew them are stunned - and heartbroken by the evidence that they were murdered by their own son. Twenty-six-year-old Jerry hadn’t made a great impression on the bosses who fired him or the girlfriend who dumped him - but they didn’t think he was capable of this.

Turns out Jerry is not only capable of brutality but taking a liking to it. With the money he’s stolen from his parents and a long list of grievances, he intends to finally make his mark on the world. Eve and her team already know the who, how, and why of this murder. What they need to pinpoint is where Jerry’s going to strike next. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts:

The Dallas & Roarke series is one of my favorites, and an automatic read whenever a new one comes out. I know that there will always be an interesting case for Eve to solve, that Roarke will assist any way he can, and that the characters will continue to evolve instead of being stuck in a boring rut (like other series that shall not be named).

This case in interesting in that Eve and her team are actually stumped and can't seem to locate the killer. He seems to have a run of extraordinary luck, but rest assured that Eve will not give up and will eventually outsmart the bad guy!

There is a side story with Eve and Roarke receiving a prestigious award, and Roarke's family coming for a Thanksgiving celebration. Personal relationships always manage to terrify Eve, so it's fun to watch her reactions. Everything turns out okay in the end and she enjoys herself, but watching such a strong, otherwise capable woman panic over the thought of holding a baby always makes me smile!

Another great addition to the series! While reading them in order lets you see how all of the characters evolve, it's not necessary and I think they could easily be read as stand-alone romantic, exciting, mystery/thriller.


Monday, October 21, 2013

Book Review: Mirror, Mirror

Mirror, Mirror
Mirror, Mirror anthology

Once upon a time…...…in a world far removed from the days when fairy tales were new, five bestselling authors spin versions that take the classic stories into a new dimension. You’ll recognize Hansel and Gretel, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and other enduring characters, but they’ll exist in realms beyond your imagination, where the familiar is transformed into the extraordinary and otherworldly. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts:

Seems that I can't resist anything with J.D. Robb's name on it. And an anthology to boot? Sold! Doesn't hurt that this collection are inspired by classic fairy tales either, another favorite of mine.

The first story in this collection is Taken In Death by J.D. Robb, and features Dallas, one of my favorite characters! In this twist on Hansel and Gretel, Eve must solve the kidnapping of two young children before it's too late. A clever story that doesn't disappoint, it's my favorite of the four!

The next is If Wishes Were Horses by Mary Blayney. Set in a Derbyshire castle during the 1800s, it involves a magic coin that grants wishes. Not quite sure what fairy tale this one is based on, but it was an enjoyable read (even though I don't normally like historical romances).

Beauty, Sleeping by Elaine Fox is the third in the collection, with a very interesting take on Sleeping Beauty! The "sleeper" in this one is male, and it comes complete with the curse and a good fairy! It was my second favorite of the collection because of it's originality and cleverness!

Fourth is The Christmas Comet by Mary Kay McComas, which is inspired by both The Little Matchgirl and The Star Money (which I've never read and need to look up). Didn't really care for this one, even though Natalie is an admirable character. I just couldn't relate to any of the characters and didn't enjoy this story as much as I enjoyed the other ones.

Last but not least is Stroke of Midnight by R.C. Ryan, inspired by Cinderella.  Sydney has always wanted to visit her father's hometown in Ireland and her dream finally comes true when she discovers a secret stash that he'd been saving so they could go together. Ignoring evil stepmother's advice, she makes the trip and falls in love with the town. She also falls for her handsome seat companion, who happens to live in the town and offers to play tour guide. A little hokey, but sweet.

All in all, I think that this was a good collection and it introduced me to a few new-to-me authors. Well worth reading!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

My Book Haul (30)

My Book Haul

In need of a new way to showcase titles, I decided that My Book Haul seems like a good fit. I like giving books a little special attention as sometimes it can be awhile before I'm able to review them. Sad to say, but some get put on the shelf and gather a little dust before I'm able to give them the love they deserve. I've included links to Goodreads if you want more information on the books.

Purchased:

The next pick for my book club. Was going to skip this as I don't usually read non-fiction, much less memoirs, but didn't want to be a book snob so decided to at least take a look. Read the ebook sample and was hooked! Very well written and interesting, so looking forward to discussing this one next month!

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Same Kind of Different As Me by Ron Hall & Denver Moore

Meet Denver, a man raised under plantation-style slavery in Louisiana in the 1960s; a man who escaped, hopping a train to wander, homeless, for eighteen years on the streets of Dallas, Texas. No longer a slave, Denver's life was still hopeless - until God moved. First came a godly woman who prayed, listened, and obeyed. And then came her husband, Ron, an international arts dealer at home in a world of Armani-suited millionaires. And then they all came together.

But slavery takes many forms. Deborah discovers that she has cancer. In the face of possible death, she charges her husband to rescue Denver. Who will be saved, and who will be lost? What is the future for these unlikely three? What is God doing?

Same Kind of Different As Me is the emotional story of their story: a telling of pain and laughter, doubt and tears, dug out between the bondages of this earth and the free possibility of heaven. No reader will ever forget it.

***

Kevin Hearne. An Iron Druid book. This one was a no-brainer as soon as I saw it suggested on my nook! I have a major crush on Atticus (and Oberon!).

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Grimoire of the Lamb by Kevin Hearne

There's nothing like an impromptu holiday to explore the birthplace of modern civilisation, but when Atticus and Oberon pursue a book-stealing Egyptian wizard - with a penchant for lamb - to the land of the pharaohs, they find themselves in hot, crocodile-infested water.

The trip takes an even nastier turn when they discover the true nature of the nefarious plot they've been drawn into. On the wrong side of the vengeful cat goddess Bast and chased by an unfathomable number of her yowling four-legged disciples, Atticus must find a way to appease or defeat Egypt's deadliest gods - before his grimoire-grabbing quarry uses them to turn him into mincemeat. (Goodreads)



What did you receive this week?



Thursday, October 17, 2013

Book Review: Best of Me

Book Review: The Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks. A little too sweet for my taste, but not a bad beach read.The Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks

In the fall of 1984, high school students Amanda Collier and Dawson Cole fell deeply, irrevocably in love. Though they were from opposite sides of the tracks, their love for one another seemed to defy the realities of life in the small town of Oriental, North Carolina. But as the summer of their senior year came to a close, unforeseen events would tear the young couple apart, setting them on radically divergent paths.

Now, twenty-five years later, Amanda and Dawson are summoned back to Oriental for a funeral. Neither has lived the life they imagined . . . and neither can forget the passionate first love that forever changed their lives. Forced to confront painful memories, the two former lovers soon realize that everything they thought they knew-about themselves and the dreams they held dear-was not as it seemed. And in the course of a single, searing weekend, they will ask of the living, and the dead: Can love truly rewrite the past? (Goodreads)

My Thoughts:

This was the monthly pick for my book club, as I don't usually read Nicholas Sparks. His books are a little too sappy-sweet for my tastes, but I can understand why he's so popular. While I wouldn't have picked this one up on my own, I did enjoy it (until the ending).

We meet Dawson first, who lives a solitary life working on an oil rig. Reunited with Amanda in their hometown for the funeral of an old friend, they find that their feelings for each other haven't really changed.

Really enjoyed how the story didn't focus just on Dawson and Amanda, but also gave us glimpses into the lives of the people around them:  Tuck, cousins Ted and Abee, and Amanda's family. While the story flipped back and forth between multiple narrators, it was never hard to follow or confusing. I really enjoyed Dawson's crazy cousins, as I don't come across crazy, mean, and violent narrators very often.

Have to admit that the story didn't unfold the way I expected, but it was well paced and had great characters! Sparks had several short, fast, intense chapters leading up to the big surprise, which was a fun ride! Didn't care for the ending as it was a little too....schmaltzy? It certainly took me by surprise and wasn't what I was expecting at all, but I have to admit that I was disappointed. 

Even with the ending, which I'm sure that some fans will love, it was still a good read. It was a quick read and would make a good book to take to the beach, as it doesn't require your full attention. Not that there's anything wrong with that.... 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Book Review: How To Be a Good Wife

How To Be a Good Wife
How To Be a Good Wife by Emma Chapman

Marta and Hector have been married for a long time. Through the good and bad; through raising a son and sending him off to life after university. So long, in fact, that Marta finds it difficult to remember her life before Hector. He has always taken care of her, and she has always done everything she can to be a good wife - as advised by a dog-eared manual given to her by Hector’s aloof mother on their wedding day.

But now, something is changing. Small things seem off. A flash of movement in the corner of her eye, elapsed moments that she can’t recall. Visions of a blonde girl in the darkness that only Marta can see. Perhaps she is starting to remember - or perhaps her mind is playing tricks on her. As Marta’s visions persist and her reality grows more disjointed, it’s unclear if the danger lies in the world around her, or in Marta herself. The girl is growing more real every day, and she wants something. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts:

This is one of those books that doesn't spell everything out for you and lets you come to your own conclusions. Makes a nice change every now and again, and I found myself fascinated by Marta's story.

Marta is a sheltered housewife who is dealing with Empty Nest Syndrome and missing her son. Married for twenty-five years, we find out bit by bit that her husband is more than a little controlling (and a bit of a jerk).

The title of this story refers to a book that Marta's mother-in-law gave her as a wedding gift. Excerpts are sprinkled throughout, and it sounds like something straight out of the past with gems such as: "Comfort him in times of stress. Speak in a low, soft voice to reassure him of your support" and "Take small mouthfuls of food, like a baby bird, and make sure to chew daintily with your mouth closed." Funny if given as a gag gift, but Marta's mother-in-law didn't seem to have a sense of humor and Marta took the advice seriously.

Medicated throughout most of their marriage, Marta is tired of not feeling and secretly stops taking her pills. She begins hallucinating and is unsure if what she's seeing are real memories or just figments of her imagination.

We're also not sure if Marta is actually remembering a horrifying past, or if she's delusional as her family believes. While her son does do a quick Internet search on the information she provides, I was surprised that no mention was made of an official investigation. Or maybe that was left out so that we're left wondering?

Found this to be a fascinating story and it stayed with me for awhile, as I pondered all that had happened. The author is incredibly talented and I look forward to reading her next book!

ARC received via the Amazon Vine program in exchange for an honest review

Sunday, October 13, 2013

My Book Haul (29)

My Book Haul

In need of a new way to showcase titles, I decided that My Book Haul seems like a good fit. I like giving books a little special attention as sometimes it can be awhile before I'm able to review them. Sad to say, but some get put on the shelf and gather a little dust before I'm able to give them the love they deserve. I've included links to Goodreads if you want more information on the books.

For Review:

This book was pitched to me as a YA novel that reimagines Cinderella and The Man in the Iron Mask. Couldn't resist, as I have a weakness for fairy tale remixes!

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Princess in the Opal Mask by Jenny Lundquist

Known to her kingdom as “The Masked Princess,” Wilha of Galandria has never been permitted to show her face to another living soul, including her own father, the King. Though raised in the lap of luxury, her mask isolates her from the world and has turned her into a mystery that invites rumors, wonder, and suspicion. (book blurb)

Purchased:

The Eve Dallas series is one of my favorites, so couldn't resist downloading this on my nook as soon as it popped up! Dallas never disappoints, and her hubby Roarke is one of the hottest men in fiction!

Thankless In Death
Thankless in Death by J.D. Robb

In the latest suspense thriller in the #1 New York Times bestselling series, the year 2060 is drawing to a close in New York City and loved ones are coming together for Thanksgiving. But sometimes the deepest hatreds seethe within the closest relationships, and blood flows faster than water… (Goodreads)

***
An anthology inspired by classic fairy tales, featured an Eve Dallas story by J.D. Robb? How could I resist?


Mirror, Mirror
Mirror, Mirror anthology

Once upon a time…,,,…in a world far removed from the days when fairy tales were new, five bestselling authors spin versions that take the classic stories into a new dimension. You’ll recognize Hansel and Gretel, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and other enduring characters, but they’ll exist in realms beyond your imagination, where the familiar is transformed into the extraordinary and otherworldly. (Goodreads)


***

This month's pick for my bookclub. I missed the last meeting, so didn't have any input into the monthly read. Not a big Nicholas Sparks fan, so will be curious if this one is any good. We shall see....

 photo bestofme.jpg
Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks

In the fall of 1984, high school students Amanda Collier and Dawson Cole fell deeply, irrevocably in love. Though they were from opposite sides of the tracks, their love for one another seemed to defy the realities of life in the small town of Oriental, North Carolina. But as the summer of their senior year came to a close, unforeseen events would tear the young couple apart, setting them on radically divergent paths.

Now, twenty-five years later, Amanda and Dawson are summoned back to Oriental for a funeral. Neither has lived the life they imagined . . . and neither can forget the passionate first love that forever changed their lives. Forced to confront painful memories, the two former lovers soon realize that everything they thought they knew-about themselves and the dreams they held dear-was not as it seemed. And in the course of a single, searing weekend, they will ask of the living, and the dead: Can love truly rewrite the past? (Goodreads)


What did you receive this week?




Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Blog Tour: Getting Rowdy by Lori Foster

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Getting Rowdy by Lori Foster

HQN Books; October 2013
400 pages; $7.99 U.S./$8.99 CAN.
ISBN-13: 978-0-373-77779-2

www.LoriFoster.com

Charismatic bar owner Rowdy Yates isn't the kind of man women say no to. So when he approaches waitress Avery Mullins, he fully expects to get her number. However, the elusive beauty has her reasons for keeping her distance-including a past that might come back to haunt them both.

Avery spends her nights working for tips...and trying to forget the secret Rowdy is determined to unearth. But when history threatens to repeat itself, Avery grows to rely on Rowdy's protective presence. As the sparks between them ignite, she will be forced to choose between the security she's finally found...and the passion she's always wanted. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts:

This is the third book in Lori's Love Undercover series, and it's finally Rowdy's turn! We met Rowdy in the first book, Run the Risk, and I've been waiting for his story ever since! Rowdy has had a rough life, but you can tell from the way he always puts his sister Pepper first that he's one of the good guys!

Now that Pepper has settled down, it seems to be Rowdy's turn and he's putting down roots for the first time. The first step was buying and renovating a bar. It didn't hurt that he has his eye on one of the bar's waitresses, who he promptly promotes to bartender.

While I really liked Rowdy, I had mixed feelings about Avery. There were several hints that she was hiding from something in her past, but the "big reveal" seemed a little anti-climatic to me. While I don't doubt that it was traumatizing for her, her reaction to it seemed a little extreme and hard to believe. Especially when compared to what Pepper and Alice went through.

There were a few twists that I wasn't expecting, which is always a nice surprise. And I'm glad that Logan and Reece have cameos, along with Pepper and Alice. Love those two couples!

All in all, this was another interesting story and I was glad that Rowdy finally got his very own Happily Ever After! I love the characters that Lori comes up with, but be warned that she includes several hot & heavy love scenes in her books!


For your viewing pleasure:
  




Blog tour arranged by
 http://booktrib.com


Saturday, October 5, 2013

My Book Haul (28)

My Book Haul

In need of a new way to showcase titles, I decided that My Book Haul seems like a good fit. I like giving books a little special attention as sometimes it can be awhile before I'm able to review them. Sad to say, but some get put on the shelf and gather a little dust before I'm able to give them the love they deserve. I've included links to Goodreads if you want more information on the books.

For Review:

This was a surprise in my mailbox, as I don't have any record of requesting it. Sounds intriguing, but strange. Sometimes strange works, but sometimes it's a trainwreck. Will be curious to see how this one plays out.

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Man Made Boy by Jon Skovron

Sixteen-year-old Boy’s never left home. When you’re the son of Frankenstein’s monster and the Bride, it’s tough to go out in public.... (Goodreads)

NetGalley:

Loved Aimee's previous books, so couldn't resist requesting this one on NetGalley! I've already started it and it promises to be another awesome read!

Pawn
Pawn by Aimee Carter

For Kitty Doe, it seems like an easy choice. She can either spend her life as a III in misery, looked down upon by the higher ranks and forced to leave the people she loves, or she can become a VII and join the most powerful family in the country.


What did you receive this week?



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