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Friday, 30 September 2011

Follow Friday #3



Hi all and welcome to Follow Friday!

This is a great feature hosted by Parajunkee's View and Alison Can Read and I am very excited to be taking part today.

Every week participants have to answer a question so that we can all get to know each other a little better. This week's question is:

What book that hasn't been turned into a movie (yet) would you most like to see make it to the big screen, and who would you like cast as your favorite character?

Ooh, this is a really hard one for me! I don't watch many films so having to pick an actor for a character I love is really difficult! But I'll have a go :)

I would love to see one of my favourite books ever - Outlander by Diana Gabaldon - turned into a film. In fact I think I may have heard rumours about it being made into a film at some point! And I would like to see Gerard Butler cast as Jamie Fraser. They are both gorgeous, strapping Scottish men and I'm pretty sure I'd be there in an instant to see that film :)

So, what book would you like to be seen turned into a movie?

Also, I just wanted to let you all know that today is the last day to enter my international giveaway for the first two books from Rebecca Lim's Mercy series. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment on this post here.

Don't be shy. Let me know if you've found me through Follow Friday today and I'll come and return the favour :)

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Review: Torment by Lauren Kate (Fallen #2)

Publisher - Doubleday Children's Books
Publication Date - 30th September 2010
Paperback - 464 pages
Genre - Young Adult/Paranormal Romance

Source - Received from publisher for review

Rating - 4 out of 5: I really liked it

Book Info - How many times must you live before you find someone to die for?

Lucinda is sure that she and Daniel are meant to be together forever. Now, in this sequel to the bestselling Fallen, they are forced apart in a desperate bid to save Luce from The Outcasts – immortals who want her dead. As she discovers more about her past lives Luce starts to suspect that Daniel is hiding something. What if he has lied to her about their shared past? What if Luce is really meant to be with someone else?

My Thoughts - Although I loved Fallen, I did feel like I had a lot of questions that needed to be answered in Torment. However, they were not answered and I finished this book feeling slightly frustrated. I actually felt as though there were even more unanswered question by the time I had finished this book. Whilst I was reading it I couldn’t help thinking that I would have enjoyed it more if some of it was written from Daniel’s point of view as he is the one with all the knowledge of the situation. But even though I found myself feeling a bit frustrated by the lack of answers, I will still definitely be reading the third book in the series to try and find out more about Daniel and Luce.

However, this was the only negative aspect of the book for me and I did enjoy it a lot overall. I love the chemistry between Luce and Daniel whenever they are together in this book. They often go quickly from overwhelming passion to bickering, and it was this bickering that made their relationship feel more realistic to me – almost as if they really had been together for many years (oh dear, maybe I’ve been married for too long - I’m starting to sound cynical!).

I also loved Luce’s character in Torment. Although Luce feels as though her and Daniel are supposed to be together she doesn’t just accept it and she actually has to ask herself a lot of questions about the way she really feels about him and what she wants from life. This made Luce seem very mature and realistic as I would have had trouble believing that a young girl would just accept at face value that she is supposed to be with a guy that she has only known (in this lifetime, at least) for five minutes. Luce is also very brave and likable.

The students and teachers at Shoreline also make for interesting reading, with two of my favourites being the teachers Steven and Francesca. They are a couple but they are also both fallen angels who have chosen different sides in the battle, with Steven becoming a demon. They help Luce to realise that the lines between good and evil can be very blurred, which does help her to understand Daniel and his situation a little better.

Summary - Torment is written in a way that instantly drags you into the story and keeps your attention throughout. There is a good balance between romance, friendship and action with lots of great characters. Anybody who enjoyed Fallen will love this one too, but I would advise that you don’t try reading Torment if you haven’t read the first book in the series as you could find yourself getting very confused.

Other books in the series:
1. Fallen
2. Torment
3. Passion
3.5. Fallen in Love
4. Rapture

Other reviews of this book:
Feeling Fictional
(If you would like your review of Torment included here, please leave a link in the comments and I will be sure to add it)

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: Angel Fire

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week my "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

Angel Fire by L.A. Weatherly
Only Willow has the power to defeat the malevolent Church of Angels, and they will stop at nothing to destroy her. Willow isn't alone, though. She has Alex by her side a trained Angel Killer and her one true love. But nothing can change the fact that Willow's a half-angel, and when Alex joins forces with a group of AKs, she's treated with mistrust and suspicion. She's never felt more alone... until she meets Seb. He's been searching for Willow his whole life because Seb is a half-angel too.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Review: Mark of the Sylph by Rosalie Lario (Demons of Infernum #2)

Publisher - Entangled Publishing
Publication Date - September 2011
Paperback - 268 pages
Genre - Paranormal Romance

Source - Received from publisher for review

Rating - 5 out of 5: It was amazing!

Book Info - Half-demon Taeg is desperate to free his pregnant sister-in-law, who is spellbound to an indestructible book that will create an army of the undead. He is convinced that an ancient sword can destroy the book and the spell forever, but this relic has been hidden for a millennia by a powerful glamour. The clock begins to run out on his search when an old rival goes after the book and Taeg’s family in his quest for revenge.

Librarian Maya Flores has a secret: she’s immune to magic and is well aware of the supernatural beings prowling the streets of New York City. Haunted by a brutal demon attack that took her family, she is on a one-woman mission to destroy the evil demons who did it—and any others who get in her way.

Maya is Taeg’s best hope for uncovering the sword. Unfortunately, she wants nothing more than to kill him. As he fights for her trust and to save his family, she is forced to face the truth that not all demons are evil. And the worst part? She might be falling in love with one, too.

My Thoughts - I really enjoyed the first book in the series so I was very excited about reading Mark of the Sylph. When I first started reading this book I really did think it was going to be a disappointment. The author decides to start the novel with our hero, Taeg, kidnapping Maya, which is exactly the way that Keegan and Brynn meet in Blood of the Demon (not to mention how the hero seems to meet the heroine in most PNR novels!). I was worried that book two would end up being book one but with different characters. But luckily I carried on reading and I was proved wrong. The author is able to get away with using the kidnapping storyline again because she doesn't take it all too seriously. Even the characters are laughing and joking about the similarities between how the two couples meet. This meant that I didn't take it too seriously either and I could enjoy the rest of the novel without feeling frustrated. Plus, the rest of the storyline is nothing like Blood of the Demon either.

My favourite thing about this book were the two main characters. I have to admit to falling a little bit in love with Taeg *swoon*. Not only is he gorgeous and a bit of a charmer, but he doesn't take life too seriously. In most books I have read with demons as a main character, they have tended to have a very woe-is-me attitude and they do a lot of brooding. But Taeg isn't like that at all and he is like a breath of demon fresh air. He likes a laugh and likes flirting with the ladies. Plus he completely accepts what he is and doesn't feel like he has anything to be ashamed of. He definitely doesn't have a chip on his shoulder like a lot of other demon main characters I could mention.

Maya is a great main character too. She is completely kick-ass and doesn't take any nonsense from Taeg. In fact there are many times at the beginning of the book where she tries to kill him because of what he is. But she has been through a lot in her life and as Taeg starts to earn her trust the reader starts to see a more vulnerable side. Maya and Taeg complement each other really well as a couple and there are some very steamy scenes between the two of them.

The storyline moves along at a good pace with a balance between action, romance and plot. The ending is great, with some twists that I didn't see coming. I just love the world that Ms. Lario has created in this series and I can't wait to read more about the brothers in the upcoming books in the series.

Summary - I have fallen in love with this series and I really can't recommend it enough to fans of the paranormal romance genre. You need to read this book TODAY!!!

Other books in the series:
1. Blood of the Demon
2. Mark of the Sylph
3. Touch of the Angel
4. Heart of the Incubus

Other reviews of this book:
Awesome Sauce Book Club / Grave Tells / Reading Between The Wines Book Club / The Romanceaholic

Monday, 26 September 2011

It's Monday! What are you Reading? (26th September 2011)


This is a weekly meme hosted by Book Journey that gives us all a chance to list the books that we read last week and what we hope to read this week. Last week I still had to spend quite a lot of time at the hospital with my husband as he has had some troubles recovering from the surgery that he'd had the week before. But I still managed to get a little bit of reading done!

Books completed last week:
Four to Score by Janet Evanovich
Storm Born Volume 1 (Graphic Novel) by Richelle Mead

Books reviewed last week:
Blood of the Demon by Rosalie Lario
Fallen by Lauren Kate
Incubus by Carol Goodman

Books I am currently reading:
High Five by Janet Evanovich
Succubus Shadows by Richelle Mead

Books up next:
Succubus Revealed by Richelle Mead

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Series of the Week: Wolves of Mercy Falls by Maggie Stiefvater

Each Sunday I will be highlighting a series that I have been wanting to read for a while, and that I hope to read very soon! This week my pick is the Wolves of Mercy Falls series by Maggie Stiefvater. I have heard so many great things about this series, and I already own the first two books, but I still haven't got around to starting these books yet!

Have you read this series? Let me know what you thought of them!

Shiver

For years, Grace has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf - her wolf - is a chilling presence she can't seem to live without. Meanwhile, Sam has lived two lives: In winter, the frozen woods, the protection of the pack, and the silent company of a fearless girl. In summer, a few precious months of being human... until the cold makes him shift back again.

Now, Grace meets a yellow-eyed boy whose familiarity takes her breath away. It's her wolf. It has to be. But as winter nears, Sam must fight to stay human - or risk losing himself, and Grace, forever.

Linger

In Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver, Grace and Sam found each other. Now, in Linger, they must fight to be together. For Grace, this means defying her parents and keeping a very dangerous secret about her own well-being. For Sam, this means grappling with his werewolf past... and figuring out a way to survive into the future. Add into the mix a new wolf named Cole, whose own past has the potential to destroy the whole pack. And Isabelle, who already lost her brother to the wolves... and is nonetheless drawn to Cole.

At turns harrowing and euphoric, Linger is a spellbinding love story that explores both sides of love - the light and the dark, the warm and the cold - in a way you will never forget.

Forever

In Maggie Stiefvater's SHIVER, Grace and Sam found each other. In LINGER, they fought to be together. Now, in FOREVER, the stakes are even higher than before. Wolves are being hunted. Lives are being threatened. And love is harder and harder to hold on to as death comes closing in.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Review: Incubus by Carol Goodman (Fairwick Chronicles #1)

Publisher - Ebury Press
Publication Date - 21st July 2011
Paperback - 480 pages
Genre - Paranormal Romance

Source - Received from publisher for review

Rating - 2 out of 5: It was ok!

Book Info - Dr. Callie McFay travels to the small college town of Fairwick in New York State for a job interview. Despite it being her second choice she finds herself talked into accepting a job offer from the Folklore Department to teach a class on demons and vampires. She also finds herself drawn to an old house in the woods where Gothic novelist Dahlia LaMotte used to live and buys it on a whim, despite the seeming reluctance of the estate agent to sell it to her.

But on the night of her job interview, she had a very vivid erotic dream about a man made out of shadows and moonlight, and this dream becomes a regular occurrence when she moves into her new home. Callie starts to feel like a heroine in one of the gothic novels she teaches as slowly it dawns on her that things at the college – and in her home – are not what they seem. She learns that her house is supposed to be haunted by LaMotte’s former lover and her new – and rather strange – colleagues tell her an unfamiliar fairy tale about an incubus-demon with a human past who was enchanted by a fairy queen…

My Thoughts - I must admit to having mixed feelings about Incubus. There were some aspects that I really enjoyed but at the same time there were several things that I struggled with. But I will cover the positives first...

Incubus is set in a small town called Fairwick that is home to many types of supernatural creatures. There are incubi, succubi, fairies (including a fairy queen!), witches, vampires and pretty much any other type of creature you could name. The residents of Fairwick all know about the eclectic mix of people living there but most of the students studying at the University are unaware of this. I really enjoyed reading about all of these characters and about their interactions with each other and with the humans that are unaware of their existence.

Apart from characterisation, the author's other main strength is her descriptions of people and places. She uses such vivid descriptions that it is easy to imagine exactly what Callie is seeing and you can imagine yourself there with her. This makes it easy to lose yourself within the pages of this novel.

Now onto the not-so-positive things. I found myself getting quite frustrated with Callie during the first part of the book. She has published a book called 'Sex Lives of the Demon Lovers' and is considered an expert about incubi in gothic literature. However, when she first starts being visited by an incubus herself, Callie has no idea what was going on. I just couldn't see any benefit of her being an expert if it wasn't going to give her some kind of edge when trying to solve the mystery.

The other major flaw for me was that I found the story very predictable. There was not a single plot twist that I had not already guessed at from about the halfway point of the book. This really affected my enjoyment of the book as I did not feel the drive and suspense that will usually drag me into a story and propel me towards the end.

Summary - Incubus is a fairly enjoyable novel that does have a few flaws. However, it sets the scene nicely for the rest of the series and, with the way the end of the book opens up nicely for a sequel, I will still be revisiting the residents of Fairwick when book two is released.

Other books in the series:
1. Incubus
2. The Water Witch

Other reviews of this book:
Blog Critics / Fantasy Book Review / Love Vampires / Novelicious / One More Page
(If you would like your review of Incubus included here, please leave a link in the comments and I will be sure to add it)

Friday, 23 September 2011

Follow Friday #2



Hi all and welcome to Follow Friday!

This is a great feature hosted by Parajunkee's View and Alison Can Read and I am very excited to be taking part today.

Every week participants have to answer a question so that we can all get to know each other a little better. This week's question is:

Do you have a favorite series that you read over and over again? Tell us a bit about it and why you keep on revisiting it?

To be honest, I don't really have a series that I have read over and over again. There are so many series out there that I just don't feel like I have the time to read a series many times. That being said, over the last year or so I have read loads of great series that I will probably re-read a few years down the line.

So, what is your favourite series that you like to re-read?

Also, I just wanted to let you all know that I am holding an international giveaway for the first two books from Rebecca Lim's Mercy series. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment on this post here.

Don't be shy. Let me know if you've found me through Follow Friday today and I'll come and return the favour :)

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Review: Fallen by Lauren Kate (Fallen #1)

Publisher - Doubleday Children's Books
Publication Date - 10th December 2009
Paperback - 464 pages
Genre - Young Adult/Paranormal Romance

Source - Library

Rating - 3 out of 5: I liked it

Book Info - There’s something achingly familiar about Daniel Grigori.
Mysterious and aloof, he captures Luce Price’s attention from the moment she sees him on her first day at the Sword & Cross boarding school in sultry Savannah, Georgia. He’s the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forbidden, the other students are all screw-ups, and security cameras watch every move.

Even though Daniel wants nothing to do with Luce – and goes out of his way to make that very clear – she can’t let it go. Drawn to him like a moth to a flame, she has to find out what Daniel is so desperate to keep secret… even if it kills her.

Dangerously exciting and darkly romantic, Fallen is a page turning thriller and the ultimate love story.

My Thoughts - I immediately fell in love with the cover of this novel – I just thought it was gorgeous. Once I opened the book and started reading, I couldn’t stop. It really gripped my attention and the mystery of Daniel and Luce’s past had me speeding through the pages longing for answers.

I really liked Luce’s character and felt she was well written and believable. However, I would have liked to have learnt a little bit more about Daniel as I felt there was a bit too much mystery surrounding him. I really liked the other characters too and was surprised by the twist at the end involving all the students and teachers of Sword & Cross.

I was slightly disappointed by the ending though as I felt there were just too many unanswered questions surrounding Luce and Daniel. I realise that this is in preparation for the sequel but I still think that a little bit more could have been revealed.

Summary - Despite these reservations about the book, I still really enjoyed Fallen and I am looking forward to reading the rest of the series!

Other books in the series:
1. Fallen
2. Torment
3. Passion
3.5. Fallen in Love
4. Rapture

Other reviews of this book:
Annette's Book Spot / Book Chick City / Feeling Fictional / Turn the PageWilling to See Less / YA Reads
(If you would like your review of Fallen included here, please leave a link in the comments and I will be sure to add it)

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: The Name of the Star


"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week my "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson
The day Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London marks a memorable occasion. For Rory, it's the start of a new life at a London boarding school. But for many, this will be remembered as the day a series of brutal murders broke out across the city, gruesome crimes mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper events of more than a century ago.
Soon "Rippermania" takes hold of modern-day London, and the police are left with few leads and no witnesses. Except one. Rory spotted the man police believe to be the prime suspect. But she is the only one who saw him. Even her roommate, who was walking with her at the time, didn't notice the mysterious man. So why can only Rory see him? And more urgently, why has Rory become his next target? In this edge-of-your-seat thriller, full of suspense, humor, and romance, Rory will learn the truth about the secret ghost police of London and discover her own shocking abilities.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Review: Blood of the Demon by Rosalie Lario (Demons of Infernum #1)

Publisher - Entangled Publishing
Publication Date - 2nd August 2011
Paperback - 253 pages
Genre - Paranormal Romance

Source - Received from publisher for review

Rating - 4 out of 5: I really liked it

Book Info - Keegan lives to exact revenge on the evil demon who sired and abused him. When his father devises a plan to bring on the apocalypse, he and his three half-brothers, interdimensional bounty hunters for the Elden Council, are charged with capturing and delivering their father for punishment.

Art gallery owner Brynn Meyers has no idea that her ability to read memories embedded in objects and drain people of their life force means she has demon ancestry. Unfortunately for Brynn, she's also the key to raising an ancient zombie army, which puts her on every demon's Most Wanted List. And no one wants her more than Keegan's father. Keegan must protect Brynn from his father by any means necessary, but he'll have to learn to harness the other half of his genetics-the far deadlier, uncontrollable half-when he starts to fall for the one woman standing between him and the vengeance he so desperately seeks. The one woman he'll never be able to resist.

My Thoughts - Blood of the Demon is a great start to a new paranormal romance series. I really enjoyed reading about Keegan and his half-brothers, and the way they have coped with the treatment that they have received from their father. The fact that they have grown into the men that they have is a testament to their strength and loyalty and it made me fall a little bit in love with all of them. The brothers are all very close after everything they've been through together, but it is Keegan's sense of duty to his younger brothers that really endeared him to me. I look forward to reading more about these four men as the series continues.

The storyline is full of twists and turns and, although I did see a few of them coming, I was still completely gripped as I really wanted to see how things would end for Keegan and Brynn.

The only thing that I did not like about this book is that Brynn can be a bit irritating at times. She has a tendency to overthink things and ask questions at ridiculous times. For example, at one point three of the brothers are surrounded by a horde of demons who are there to take Brynn. A big fight is about to happen but Brynn thinks it is a perfect time to ask inane questions that I thought could probably have waited until later. I just found this pretty unrealistic and annoying. However, she doesn't act like this all the way through the book so it didn't really dampen my enjoyment of the story by much.

The romance between Keegan and Brynn is sizzling but I did feel that I had read it all before in the paranormal romance genre. You know the one: boy meets girl - boy kidnaps girl - girl instantly lusts after her kidnapper despite the fact that she should be afraid of him - boy and girl fall in love. But even though this isn't the most original love story in the world, I was still able to feel the chemistry and the love between them because of the way the author is able to describe their feelings for each other so well.

Summary - A brilliant start to a new series and I can't wait to read the next book. A must-read for all fans of paranormal romance.

Other books in the series:
1. Blood of the Demon
2. Mark of the Sylph
3. Touch of the Angel
4. Heart of the Incubus

Other reviews of this book:
The Book Pushers / A Bookworm's Haven / Paperback Dolls / Paranormal Haven / Seeing Night Reviews / The Word Fiend
(If you would like your review of Blood of the Demon included here, please leave a link in the comments and I will be sure to add it)

Monday, 19 September 2011

It's Monday! What are you Reading? (19th September 2011)


This is a weekly meme hosted by Book Journey that gives us all a chance to list the books that we read last week and what we hope to read this week. Last week I had very little time to read so I actually only finished one book. My husband has been in hospital for 3 week now and he got very poorly last week and ended up having to have surgery so I had to spend a lot of time at the hospital. He is slowly recovering now but he has been ill for most of this year so it will take him a while to get back on his feet again. Plus it was my little boy's first week at school so there was a lot happening there too. But hopefully things will be getting back to normal this week and I won't be feeling too tired to read every night!

Books completed last week:
Three to get Deadly by Janet Evanovich

Books reviewed last week:
Iron Crowned by Richelle Mead
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
First three books in the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich

Books I am currently reading:
Four to Score by Janet Evanovich
Succubus Shadows by Richelle Mead

Books up next:
High Five by Janet Evanovich
Succubus Revealed by Richelle Mead

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Series of the Week: Dexter Series by Jeff Lindsay

Each Sunday I will be highlighting a series that I have been wanting to read for a while, and that I hope to read very soon! This week my pick is the Dexter series by Jeff Lindsay. I just think that it is such an interesting premise for a crime series and something very different from the rest of its genre.

Have you read this series? Let me know what you thought of them!

Darkly Dreaming Dexter

Meet Dexter Morgan. He's a highly respected lab technician specializing in blood spatter for the Miami Dade Police Department. He's a handsome, though reluctant, ladies' man. He's polite, says all the right things, and rarely calls attention to himself. He's also a sociopathic serial killer whose "Dark Passenger" drives him to commit the occasional dismemberment.
Mind you, Dexter's the good guy in this story.
Adopted at the age of four after an unnamed tragedy left him orphaned, Dexter's learned, with help from his pragmatic policeman father, to channel his "gift," killing only those who deal in death themselves. But when a new serial killer starts working in Miami, staging elaborately grisly scenes that are, to Dexter, an obvious attempt at communication from one monster to another, the eponymous protagonist finds himself at a loss. Should he help his policewoman sister Deborah earn a promotion to the Homicide desk by finding the fiend? Or should he locate this new killer himself, so he can express his admiration for the other's "art?" Or is it possible that psycho Dexter himself, admittedly not the most balanced of fellows, is finally going completely insane and committing these messy crimes himself?

Dearly Devoted Dexter

Dexter Morgan has been under considerable pressure. It's just not easy being an ethical serial killer—especially while trying to avoid the unshakable suspicions of the dangerous Sergeant Doakes (who believes Dexter is a homicidal maniac... which, of course, he is). In an attempt to throw Doakes off his trail, Dexter has had to slip deep into his foolproof disguise. While not working as a blood-spatter analyst for the Miami Police Department, he now spends nearly all his time with his cheerful girlfriend, Rita, and her two children, sipping light beer and slowly becoming the world's first serial couch potato. But how long can Dexter play Kick the Can instead of Slice the Slasher? How long before his Dark Passenger forces him to drop the charade and let his inner monster run free?
In trying times, opportunity knocks. A particularly nasty psychopath is cutting a trail through Miami—a man whose twisted technique leaves even Dexter speechless. As Dexter's dark appetite is revived, his sister, Deborah (a newly minted, tough-as-nails Miami detective) is drawn headlong into the case. It quickly becomes clear that it will take a monster to catch a monster—but it isn't until his archnemesis is abducted that Dex can finally throw himself into the search for a new plaything. Unless, of course, his plaything finds him first...


Dexter in the Dark

Is evil alive...? Dr Jerry Halpern is trying to find out, studying for his PhD on the subject. Dexter Morgan, meanwhile, has a few wicked things of his own to contend with - not least, planning his wedding to Rita to complete his nice-guy disguise. But when a student of Halpern's is found burnt, molested and headless - seemingly sacrificed to an ancient god - and Dex is brought in as forensic analyst to help investigate, he realises he could be dealing with someone a whole lot more sinister than he is. Soon it seems the dark passenger in Dexter's head has gone into hiding. And when something creeps out your friendly neighbourhood serial killer, you know it's serious... As Halpern and Dexter are stalked by death, it looks like it's getting personal - especially as Dex now has a family to protect. Gradually, Dexter realises his stepchildren might share his extra-curricular interest in death. Could he help them target their bloodlust, just as he steers his own? But to do that, Dex must cope with a certain mutilated sergeant from his past, and more importantly...stay alive...

Dexter by Design

Being a blood spatter analyst who hates the sight of blood has always made Dexter's work for the Miami PD tough. But it means he's very neat when it comes to his out-of-hours hobby: murder. Of course, the fact Dexter only kills bad people helps too. Now Dex is facing a disturbing situation. He's used to blood at work, and blood when he's out with the dark passenger (the voice that guides him on his deadly outings). But he's not sure what to make of the man who says blood is art. Using bodies as his canvas, someone is out there expressing themselves in the most lethal and painful of ways. If Dexter's to escape the scalpel and avoid becoming the latest exhibit, he needs somewhere to run...and he might just have found the perfect place. With his wedding looming, completing his nice-guy disguise, Dexter's honeymoon might just save his skin.


Dexter is Delicious

Dexter Morgan has always lived a happy homicidal life. He keeps his dark urges in check by adhering to one steadfast rule... he only kills very bad people. But now Dexter is experiencing some major life changes - don't we all? - and they're mostly wrapped up in the eight-pound curiosity that is his newborn daughter. Family bliss is cut short, however, when Dexter is summoned to investigate the disappearance of a seventeen-year-old girl who has been running with a bizarre group of goths who fancy themselves to be vampires. As Dexter gets closer to the truth of what happened to the missing girl, he realizes they are not really vampires so much as cannibals. And, most disturbing... these people have decided they would really like to eat Dexter.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Review: One for the Money/Two for the Dough/Three to get Deadly by Janet Evanovich (Stephanie Plum #1,2 & 3)

One for the Money (My Rating - 3/5: I liked it)
Stephanie Plum is down on her luck. She's lost her job, her car's on the brink of repossession, and her apartment is fast becoming furniture-free.

Enter Cousin Vinnie, a low-life who runs a bail-bond company. If Stephanie can bring in vice cop turned outlaw Joe Morelli, she stands to pick up $10,000. But tracking down a cop wanted for murder isn't easy...

And when Benito Ramirez, a prize-fighter with more menace than mentality, wants to be her friend Stephanie soon knows what it's like to be pursued. Unfortunately the best person to protect her just happens to be on the run...

Two for the Dough (My Rating - 4/5: I really liked it)
Kenny Mancuso shot his childhood buddy Moogey Bues and then jumped bail. Now bounty hunter Stephanie Plum is on the case to track Kenny down.

Then someone finished Moogey off, Kenny can't be found, twenty-four coffins are missing, and there's some ex-army heavy artillery roaming the streets. And Joe Morelli - the cop with more than a professional interest in her every move - is tailing Stephanie.

With a healthy disregard for the law, and an unhealthy dependence on marshmallow hot chocolate, Stephanie's a match for anyone - even Morelli. That is, until her eccentric grandmother goes AWOL and little pieces of corpses start to disappear...

Three to get Deadly (My Rating - 4/5: I really liked it)
Stephanie Plum's fast becoming the most unpopular woman in New Jersey. Even her own mother can't love her for taking on the job of tracking down Uncle Mo, everybody's favourite candy store owner. Cursed with a disastrous new hair colour and an increasing sense that it's time to get a new job, the world's favourite bounty hunter sets off on her latest adventure, with a little 'help' for her new sidekick, hooker turned file clerk Lula, who's just itching to get a felon in the back of her racy red firebird ...

My thoughts - The Stephanie Plum books are based on the comic capers of the main character, Stephanie, as she learns how to become a bounty hunter. Two for the Dough and Three to get Deadly are absolutely hilarious and include many laugh-out-loud moments (much to the annoyance of the people around me!). However, One for the Money is nowhere near as funny as the other two books. To me, it felt as if the author takes a little while to hit her stride. This means that I didn't enjoy the first book as much as books two and three, but if you read One for the Money and you aren't impressed then please do continue with the series as they get so much better.

For me, the strongest aspect of Ms. Evanovich's writing is the character development. In this series there is a wide range of very eclectic characters who all come with more than their fair share of idiosyncrasies. My absolute favourites have to be Grandma Mazur, who is slightly crazy but so funny with it, and Lula, who is an ex-prostitute who now works at the bail bond company. These two characters have a tendancy to say the funniest things and I have fallen in love with them! I really can't wait to read more about the people from the 'burg!

The only problem with having a wide range of secondary characters is that the mystery element often becomes bogged down with too many leads/witnesses/suspects and at many times during these three books I had real trouble keeping track of who was who.

As well as humour and mystery, there is also a little bit of romance in this series too (what more could you ask for!). There is a lot of chemistry between Stephanie and Joe Morelli and at times it will leave you feeling a bit hot under the collar! I look forward to reading more about their relationship as the series progresses.

Summary - Although the series gets off to a pretty slow start with One for the Money it is definitely worth continuing with. These books are full of humour, great characters, mystery and romance. If you are looking for a light, fun read to keep you entertained from page one then this is the series for you.

Other books in the series:
1. One for the Money
2. Two for the Dough
3. Three to get Deadly
4. Four to Score
5. High Five
6. Hot Six
7. Seven Up
8. Hard Eight
9. To the Nines
10. Ten Big Ones
11. Eleven on Top
12. Twelve Sharp
13. Lean Mean Thirteen
14. Fearless Fourteen
15. Finger Lickin' Fifteen
16. Sizzling Sixteen
17. Smokin' Seventeen

Friday, 16 September 2011

Review: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (Hunger Games #3)

Publisher - Scholastic
Publication Date - 25th August 2010
Paperback - 448 pages
Genre - YA Dystopian

Source - Purchased

Rating - 5 out of 5: It was amazing!

Book Info - Young Katniss Everdeen has survived the dreaded Hunger Games not once, but twice, but even now she can find no relief. In fact, the dangers seem to be escalating: President Snow has declared an all-out war on Katniss, her family, her friends, and all the oppressed people of District 12.

My Thoughts - Mockingjay carries straight on from the events of Catching Fire. The rebellion against the Capitol is in full force and Katniss has had to make some tough decisions about which side she wants to be on. There is a lot of talk about strategy surrounding the rebellion and this means that it does, at some points, move along at quite a slow pace. I did end up skimming through some of these parts in my desperation to find out how the trilogy would end.

I really felt for Katniss during the events of this book. You can't help but feel like she is being used by everybody around her and it is easy to feel her loneliness. At one point she seems to lose sight of who she really is and  she has to do a lot of soul searching. But luckily she manages to find herself again and she soon turns back into the tough, strong, smart girl that I fell in love with.

Gale plays a bigger part in this book but he still doesn't make much of an impression on me. He is incredibly loyal to Katniss and this shows his devotion to her. But I just didn't feel as though there was anything more than friendship between the two of them, despite the fact that he is supposed to have been in love with Katniss for a long time.

I didn't particularly enjoy the ending of the trilogy. There is such a feeling of sadness and loneliness and I really wish it could have ended differently. Even the epilogue, which I think was supposed to be a happy ending, had huge overtones of sadness. But the ending was a powerful one and it stuck with me for a long time after I had finished reading the book.

Summary - Despite my feelings about the way it ended, The Hunger Games trilogy is one of the best series' I have ever come across and I would highly recommend them to anybody who hasn't already read them. They are powerful enough to really drag you into Katniss's world and they don't even release their grip on you after you have finished reading them. This is definitely a series I can see myself re-reading in the future.

Other books in the series:
1. The Hunger Games
2. Catching Fire
3. Mockingjay

Other reviews of this book:
Becky's Book Reviews / Bookalicious Ramblings / Book Smugglers / Caroline Bookbinder / Persnickety Snark / Presenting Lenore
(If you would like your review of Mockingjay included here, please leave a link in the comments and I will be sure to add it)

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: The Girl of Fire and Thorns

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week my "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson
Princess Elisa is a disappointment to her people. Although she bears the Godstone in her navel, a sign that she has been chosen for an act of heroism, they see her as lazy and useless and fat. On her sixteenth birthday, she is bartered off in royal marriage and shipped away to a kingdom in turmoil, where her much-older-and extremely beautiful-husband refuses to acknowledge her as his wife. Devastated, Elisa decides to take charge of her fate and learn what it means to bear the Godstone. As an invading army threatens to destroy her new home, and everyone at court maneuvers to take advantage of the young princess, Elisa becomes convinced that, not only is her own life in danger, the whole world needs saving. But how can a young girl who has never ridden horseback, never played the game of politics, and never attained the love of a man save the world? Elisa can't be sure, but she must try to uncover the Godstone's secret history before the enemy steals the destiny nestled in her core.

I must admit that I don't really like the UK cover for this book but the premise sounds so amazing and I've heard such great things about it that I can't help but really, really, really want this book!

What books are you waiting on?

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Review: Iron Crowned by Richelle Mead (Dark Swan #3)

Publisher - Bantam Books
Publication Date - 31st March 2011
Paperback - 384 pages
Genre - Urban Fantasy

Source - Purchased

Rating - 5 out of 5: It was amazing!

Book Info - Shaman-for-hire Eugenie Markham is the best at banishing entities trespassing in the mortal realm. But as the Thorn Land’s queen, she’s fast running out of ways to end the brutal war devastating her kingdom. Her only hope: the Iron Crown, a legendary object even the most powerful fear...

But who can she trust to help her? Fairy king Dorian has his own agenda. And Kiyo, her shape-shifter ex-boyfriend, has every reason to betray her. To control the Crown’s all-consuming powers, Eugenie must confront an unimaginable temptation – one which puts her soul and the fate of two worlds in mortal danger...

My Thoughts - Once again Richelle Mead has written an action-packed, attention-grabbing novel that I just could not put down. The descriptions of the worlds that Eugenie inhabits are so vivid that you can imagine yourself standing right next to her. And the pages are so full of action that I had to keep reading late into the night.

During the second half of the book there were many twists and turns that left me breathless. The storyline was engaging and I was dragged into Eugenie's world and I didn't want to leave there until the last page had been turned.

However, there was just one minor point that irritated me a bit about Iron Crowned. Eugenie's attitude to relationships and sex is pretty distracting and draws you away from the storyline. She is constantly going backwards and forwards between Kiyo and Dorian, even though both of them prove unworthy of her attention in this book. They both treat her badly yet she can't seem to stay away from them. The fact that Eugenie is so unwilling to be without a boyfriend is a complete contradiction to the strong front that she puts on to the world. I hope that in the next book Eugenie sees the error of her ways and kicks them both to the curb!

Summary - Iron Crowned is one of the best Urban Fantasy novels I have read and, after the huge cliffhanger at the end, I can't wait for the next book in the series.

Other books in the series:
1. Storm Born
2. Thorn Queen
3. Iron Crowned

Other reviews of this book:
Book Chick City / Feeling Fictional / Vampire Book Club
(If you would like your review of Iron Crowned included here, please leave a link to your review in the comments and I will be sure to add it)

Monday, 12 September 2011

It's Monday! What are you Reading? (12th September 2011)


This is a weekly meme hosted by Book Journey that gives us all a chance to list the books that we read last week and what we hope to read this week.

Books completed last week:
Mark of the Sylph by Rosalie Lario
Dark Touch: The Hunt by Amy Meredith

Books reviewed last week:
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
Thorn Queen by Richelle Mead
Grace Interrupted by Julie Hyzy

Books I am currently reading:
Three to Get Deadly by Janet Evanovich

Books up next:
Four to Score by Janet Evanovich

Don't forget there is still time to enter my INTERNATIONAL giveaway to win two great books! All you have to do is leave a comment on this post here.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Series of the Week: Chicagoland Vampires by Chloe Neill

Each Sunday I will be highlighting a series that I have been wanting to read for a while, and that I hope to read very soon! This week my pick is the Chicagoland Vampires series by Chloe Neill. I have heard a lot of good things about this series around the blogosphere and they definitely sound like the type of series that I would love!

Have you read this series? Let me know what you thought of them!
Some Girls Bite

Sure, the life of a graduate student wasn't exactly glamorous, but it was mine. I was doing fine until Chicago's vampires announced their existence to the world - and then a rogue vampire attacked me. But he only got a sip before he was scared away by another bloodsucker... one who decided the best way to save my life was to take it. Turns out my saviour was the master vampire of Cadogan House. Now I've traded sweating over my thesis for learning to fit in at a Hyde Park mansion full of vamps loyal to Ethan 'Lord o' the Manor' Sullivan. Of course, as a tall, green-eyed, four hundred year old vampire, he has centuries' worth of charm, but unfortunately he also seems to expect my eternal gratitude - and servitude. Right... But my burgeoning powers (all of a sudden, I'm surprisingly handy with some serious weaponry), an inconvenient sunlight allergy, and Ethan's attitude are the least of my concerns. Someone's out to get me. Is it the rogue vampire who bit me? A vamp from a rival House? An angry mob bearing torches? My initiation into Chicago's nightlife may be the first skirmish in a war - and there's going to be blood...

Friday Night Bites

VAMPIRES IN CHICAGO! You'd think a headline like that would have made the fine citizens of the Windy City to take up arms against us bloodsucking fiends. Instead, ten months later, we're enjoying celebrity status and fending off the paparazzi, who are only slightly less dangerous than angry stake-wielding slayers. Don't get me wrong - Joe Public isn't exactly thrilled to be living side by side with the undead, but at least they haven't stormed the castle... not yet... But it could be a matter of time. There's a first-time reporter sniffing around vampire society, and if he uncovers the Raves - mass feeding parties, where vampires round humans up like cattle and drink themselves silly. The fact that it's majorly frowned upon by vamp society won't make a difference to that kind of a headline, or a new reporter who's out to impress his family. So now my 'master' - the centuries-old yet gorgeously well-preserved Ethan Sullivan - wants me to reconnect with my own upper-class family and act as liaison between humans and vampire... and use the opportunity to keep the less savoury aspects of vamp existence out of the media spotlight. Tough job, when it seems someone doesn't want vamps and humans to play nicely - someone with a serious, ancient grudge...

Twice Bitten

Merit, Chicago's newest vampire, is learning how to play nicely with others. Other supernaturals, that is. Shapeshifters from across the country are convening in the Windy City, and as a gesture of peace, Master Vampire Ethan Sullivan has offered their leader a very special bodyguard: Merit. Merit is supposed to protect the Alpha, Gabriel Keene - and to spy for the vamps while she's at it. Oh, and luckily Ethan's offering some steamy, one-on-one combat training sessions to help her prepare for the mission. Merit has to accept the assignment, even though she knows that she'll probably regret it. And she's not wrong. Someone is gunning for Gabriel Keene, and Merit soon finds herself in the line of fire. She'll need all the help she can get to track down the would-be assassin, but everywhere she turns, there are rising tensions between supernaturals - not least between her and a certain green-eyed, centuries old master vampire.

Hard Bitten

Times are hard for newly minted vampire Merit. Ever since shapeshifters announced their presence to the world, humans have been rallying against supernaturals - and they're camping outside Cadogan House with protest signs that could turn to pitchforks at any moment. Behind its doors, things between Merit and her Master, green-eyed heartbreaker Ethan Sullivan are... tense, to say the least. But they have to work together when the mayor of Chicago calls Merit and Ethan to a clandestine meeting: there's been a violent vampire attack which has left three women missing. The mayor's message is simple: get your House in order. Or else. Merit needs to get to the bottom of this crime, but it's not easy when she can't tell who's on her side. So she goes outside Cadogan House, secretly calling in a favour from someone who's tall, dark, and part of an underground vamp group which might be able to shed some light on the attack. It's not long before Merit finds herself in the dark, heady heart of Chicago's supernatural society - which seems to be full of vampires ready to fulfill the human's worst fears. She's about to learn that you can't be a vampire without getting a little blood on your hands...

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Review: Grace Interrupted by Julie Hyzy (Manor of Murder Mystery #2)

Publisher - Berkley
Publication Date - 7th  June 2011
Paperback - 288 pages
Genre - Mystery

Source - Received from Kaye Publishing for review

Rating - 3/5: I liked it

Book Info - Civil War re-enactors have set up camp on the grounds of Marshfield Manor. The group is very believable, especially when the unrest spills out of the barracks and into the sumptuous mansion. Grace manages to settle a minor squabble, but loses the war when actor Zachary Kincade is found stabbed to death.

Jack Embers, the groundskeeper, falls under suspicion when he's linked to the death of Zachary's brother years ago. But there were others out for Zachary, actors who can be very convincing when the coveted role of "general" is on the line. Grace feels responsible for finding the murderer... and for the sweet tuxedo kitten, Bootsie, found on her doorstep. Can she come to the rescue of her friends without putting herself in danger's way.

My Thoughts - Grace Interrupted is a cute and fun mystery with a likeable heroine. The author's writing style makes it a quick and enjoyable read. There were several times when I meant to stop reading at the end of a chapter but then the author would throw in a cliff-hanger and I would have to keep reading. The characters are all realistically drawn and it is this complexity of character that gives the book its depth.

However, there were a few points that stopped this being a really great book. Firstly, a good murder mystery should have lots of twists and turns that stop the reader from guessing who the murderer is (which Ms. Hyzy managed to do perfectly in Grace Under Pressure). But I had managed to work it out about halfway through the novel and this did spoil the ending for me.

Also, I found the relationship between Grace and Jack Embers to be confusing to say the least. They meet in the first book in the series and they go on their first date roughly halfway through this  book (and  this is the only date they go on), but Grace seems to talk about him and think about him as if he is her boyfriend. He lets her down several times and she always makes excuses for him and forgives him at the drop of a hat. I would think that it would be easy for her to walk away from the situation seeing as she hardly knows Jack. Instead she acts in a way that makes her come across as slightly desperate and needy. This weakness of hers just seems to really stand out as she is strong in so many other ways.

Summary - Despite these reservations about the book, I still enjoyed Grace Interrupted and I think that fans of cozy mysteries will enjoy the great characters and beautiful setting. It is a quick read that will keep you entertained, even if it is a bit predictable.

Other books in the series:
1. Grace Under Pressure
2. Grace Interrupted

Other reviews of this book:
Devourer of Books / Lesa's Book Critiques
(If you would like your review of Grace Interrupted included here, please leave a link in the comments and I will be sure to add it.)

Friday, 9 September 2011

Follow Friday #1



Hi all and welcome to my first ever Follow Friday!

This is a great feature hosted by Parajunkee's View and Alison Can Read and I am very excited to be taking part today.

Every week participants have to answer a question so that we can all get to know each other a little better. This week's question is:

Have you ever wanted a villain to win at the end of a story? If so, which one?

Ok, so I've had a good hard think about this question and I can honestly say that I can't think of any villains that I have wanted to win.

The best I could come up with was a villain that was really well written and who I could sympathise with (but I think he is a little bit crazy so I don't think I'd want him to win!). This villain is Valentine from the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. I've only read the first two books in the series but the parts written from Valentine's POV really give a good insight into why he is doing what he is doing and why he believes what he is doing is absolutly the best course of action for everybody.

Right, that's my thought on the subject matter. What do you think?

As this is your first time visiting my blog I'd like to point you in the direction of a couple of posts that you might find interesting.

My blog is, of course, dedicated to book series and I have compiled a list of some of the series from my favourite genres. If you have time please take a look and let me know if there are any I've missed, plus you may even find a new series or two to make a start on. You can find these lists here.

Secondly, I am holding an international giveaway for the first two books from Rebecca Lim's Mercy series. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment on this post here.

So, don't be shy. Let me know if you've found me through Follow Friday today and I'll came and return the favour :)

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Review: Thorn Queen by Richelle Mead (Dark Swan #2)

Publisher - Bantam Books
Publication Date - 13th August 2009
Paperback - 480 pages
Genre - Urban Fantasy

Source - Library

Rating - 4 out of 5: I really liked it!

Book Info - Eugenie Markham is a shaman for hire, paid to bind and banish creatures from the Otherworld. But after her last battle, she’s also become queen of the Thorn Land. It’s hardly an envious life, not with her kingdom in tatters, her love life in chaos, and Eugenie eager to avoid the prophecy about her firstborn destroying mankind. And now young girls are disappearing from the Otherworld, and no one - except Eugenie - seems willing to find out why.

Eugenie has spilled plenty of fey blood in her time, but this enemy is shrewd, subtle, and nursing a very personal grudge. And the men in her life aren’t making things any easier. Her boyfriend Kiyo is preoccupied with his pregnant ex, and sexy fey king Dorian always poses a dangerous distraction. With or without their help, Eugenie must venture deep into the Otherworld and trust in an unpredictable power she can barely control. Reluctant queen or not, Eugenie has sworn to do her duty - even if it means facing the darkest - and deadliest - side of her nature...

My Thoughts - Eugenie is coming to grips with being the Thorn Queen whilst also trying to maintain her life in the human world. Watching the struggle between her human side and her gentry side certainly made for interesting reading. She has been brought up as a human shaman who has been taught that all gentry was bad and it was her job to banish any gentry who tried to enter the human world. So it is understandable that she has trouble coming to terms with the fact that she is the daughter of one of the strongest gentry monarchs that ever lived and that she is now a gentry queen in her own right. The way that the author describes Eugenie's feelings means that you can really feel the fear, indecision and loneliness that her situation brings about.

I love Eugenie's character - I love her strength, compassion and loyalty. When she finally starts taking some responsibility for her people, the compassion and care that she shows for them really endeared her to me. But Eugenie is put through some absolutely horrifying things near the end of the book that I found difficult to read because of the author's descriptions of the events and Eugenie's emotions. But these events seem to change Eugenie and she loses a lot of the qualities that I love about her. Part of me is eager to read the next book in the series because of how the story ended, but another part of me is feeling nervous about it as I don't want to start disliking a character that I have come to love so much if she continues to develop in the way that she currently is.

The love triangle between Eugenie, Kiyo and Dorian continues in this story. When reading Storm Born I prefered Dorian over Kiyo and this is even more the case after reading Thorn Queen. Dorian completely understands Eugenie and loves her for the person that she is, while Kiyo is completely selfish and asks for a lot from Eugenie whilst he causes her nothing but trouble. At times I felt a lot of frustration at Eugenie for not seeinng Kiyo for what he really is.

Summary - I just love Richelle Mead's style of writing, from her descriptions of the Otherworld, the action and pace of the story to her descriptions of the emotions that Eugenie feels. She has managed to completely absorb me into this story from the very first page of Storm Born and I am really hoping that this will still be the case with the thrid book - Iron Crowned. This series is a must-read for any Urban Fantasy fan.

Other books in the series:
1. Storm Born
2. Thorn Queen
3. Iron Crowned

Other reviews of this book:
Bitten by Books / Book Chick CityFeeling Fictional / Vampire Book Club
(If you would like your review of Thorn Queen included here, please leave a link to your review in the comments and I will be sure to add it)

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: Succubus Revealed


"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week my  "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

Succubus Revealed by Richelle Mead
Georgina Kincaid has had an eternity to figure out the opposite sex, but sometimes they still surprise her. Take Seth Mortensen. The man has risked his soul to become Georgina's boyfriend. Still, with Lucifer for a boss, Georgina can't just hang up her killer heels and settle down to domestic bliss. In fact, she's being forced to transfer operations... to Las Vegas.

The City of Sin is a dream gig for a succubus, but Georgina's allies are suspicious. Why are the powers-that-be so eager to get her away from Seattle - and from Seth? Georgina is one of Hell's most valuable assets, but if there's any way out of the succubus business she plans to take it - no matter how much roadkill she leaves behind. She just hopes the casualties won’t include the one man she’s risking everything for...

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Review: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins (Hunger Games #2)

Publisher - Scholastic
Publication Date - 7th September 2009
Paperback - 480 pages
Genre - YA Dystopian

Source - Purchased

Rating - 4 out of 5: really liked it!

Book Info - After winning the brutal Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen returns to her district, hoping for a peaceful future. But Katniss starts to hear rumours of a deadly rebellion against the Capitol. A rebellion that she and Peeta have helped to create. As Katniss and Peeta are forced to visit the districts on the Capitol's cruel Victory Tour, the stakes are higher than ever. Unless Katniss and Peeta can convince the world that they are still lost in their love for each other, the consequences will be horrifying...

My Thoughts - Catching Fire starts a few months after the events of The Hunger Games. I felt that the first half of this book really lacked the drive and momentum of the first book, and I had trouble engaging with the characters and the storyline. However, the second half of the book really picks up speed and I found myself completely gripped once again.

There are some great new characters that I really enjoyed reading about and I fell in love with Katniss all over again. There is a lot of intrigue and double-crossing in this book which adds a whole new layer of interest. Along with Katniss, the reader has trouble knowing who can be trusted in the rebellion.

The cliffhanger at the end is huge and I have to say that I am very grateful that I waited until all the books in the series had been released so that I can start Mockingjay straight away.

Summary - Although it got off to a slow start, Catching Fire is a great installment to an amazing series.

Other Books in the series:
1. The Hunger Games
2. Catching Fire
3. Mockingjay

Other reviews of this book:
Becky's Book Reviews / Bookalicious Ramblings / Book Smugglers / Caroline Bookbinder / Persnickety Snark / Presenting Lenore
(If you would like your review of Catching Fire included here, please leave a link in the comments and I will be sure to add it)

Monday, 5 September 2011

It's Monday! What are you Reading? (5th September 2011)

This is a weekly meme hosted by Book Journey that gives us all a chance to list the books that we read last week and what we hope to read this week. As this is my first time participating in this meme with my new blog I would also like to point you in the direction of some other interesting things going on here too! I hope you don't mind :)

Books completed last week:
Two for the Dough by Janet Evanovich
Silver Borne by Patricia Briggs

Books reviewed last week:
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Storm Born by Richelle Mead
Grace Under Pressure by Julie Hyzy

Books I am currently reading:
Mark of the Sylph by Rosalie Lario

Books up next:
Three to get Deadly by Janet Evanovich

Posts of (possible!) interest:
I am hosting a giveaway for the first two books in Rebecca Lim's Mercy series. The contest is open internationally and you can enter here.

I have put together some lists of the series from my favourite genres. If, like me, you also like to read a series or two then please do have a browse through these lists to see if you can find anything new to read. Also, if there are any I've missed out then let me know and I'll add them. You can find these lists here.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Series of the Week: Divine Series by P.C. Cast

Each Sunday I will be highlighting a series that I have been wanting to read for a while, and that I hope to read very soon! This week my pick is the Divine Series by P.C. Cast. Not only do they sound great but I absolutely love these covers!

Have you read this series? Let me know what you thought of them!

Divine by Mistake
The only excitement Shannon Parker expects while on holiday is a little shopping. But when an antique vase calls to her, she finds herself transported to Partholon, where she's treated like a goddess. A very temperamental goddess...
Somehow Shannon has stepped into another's role as the Goddess Incarnate of Epona. And while there's an upside - what woman doesn't like lots of pampering? It also comes with a ritual marriage to a centaur and threats against her new people. Can Shannon survive this new world and ever find her way home?

Divine by Choice
Shannon Parker has finally come to terms with life in the mythical world of Partholon. She's almost forgotten her old life on Earth - especially when she discovers she's pregnant. Then a sudden burst of power sends her back to Oklahoma. Without magic, Shannon can't return to Partholon and needs to find help. Trouble is, it might take the form of a man as tempting as her husband. And along the way she'll discover that being divine by mistake is a lot easier than being divine by choice.

Divine by Blood
Raised as a normal girl in Oklahoma for eighteen years, Morrigan had no idea how special she really was. After discovering the truth of her heritage, her rage and grief take on a power of their own, carrying her back to the world of Partholon. Yet, instead of being respected as the daughter of the goddess Incarnate, Morrigan feels like a shunned outsider. In her desperation to belong to Partholon, she confronts forces she can't fully understand or control. And soon a strange darkness draws closer...

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Review: Grace Under Pressure by Julie Hyzy (Manor of Murder Mystery #1)

Publisher - Berkley
Publication Date - June 2010
Paperback - 320 pages
Genre - Mystery

Source - Received from Kaye Publicity for review

Rating - 4/5: Really liked it!

Book Info - Everyone wants a piece of millionaire Bennett Marshfield, owner of Marshfield Manor, and letters are coming in daily from those claiming to be poor relations. The elderly, reclusive heir trusts no one but his aged curator, Abe. But when Abe is killed in a case of mistaken identity, the tide changes...

Although shaken by the murder, Grace Wheaton, whose lifelong dream has been to work at the manor, steps up to the challenge of assuming Abe’s job. But now some of the letters arriving for Bennett have taken a nasty turn, demanding millions – or else. When an uninvited stalker shows up at the manor and at Grace’s home, she and handsome groundskeeper Jack Embers must protect their dear old Marshfield. But to do this, they’ll have to investigate a botched Ponzi scheme, some torrid wheaton family secrets – and sour grapes out for revenge...

My Thoughts - I must admit to having mixed feelings towards the main character, Grace. For the most part I did like her and found her to be very capable in her job and a loyal friend with the patience of a saint (there were a few times where I would have given her assistant, Frances, a slap, but Grace always managed to deal with her with incredible composure)! However, there were just a few moments where I couldn’t help thinking that Grace looked down on some of the people around her and felt that she was somehow better than them.  But the fact that Grace isn’t perfect did make her a more believable character in my eyes.

The mystery aspect of the novel was well thought out and well written. I was absolutely certain that I knew who had committed the murder and it wasn’t until the last couple of chapters that I realised I was completely wrong, and it was somebody I hadn’t even considered. I love it when I read a mystery that is able to surprise me like this, as often it can be obvious from early on who the perpetrator is.

I really enjoyed Julie Hyzy’s style of writing. It flowed well and was easy to read, with the author easily switching between the action elements of trying to solve a murder and the beautiful descriptions of Marshfield Manor and its grounds.

Summary -  Overall, it was a very enjoyable read, with suspense, lots of twists, and well-rounded characters.

Other books in the series:
1. Grace Under Pressure
2. Grace Interrupted

Other reviews of this book:
Curling Up by the Fire / Devourer of Books / Ficsation / Jenn's Bookshelves / Lesa's Book Critiques
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