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Thursday, 31 May 2012

Review: Kept by Jami Alden (Gemini Men #2)

Publisher - Kensington Books
Publication Date - 1st March 2009
Paperback - 369 pages
Genre -  Romantic Suspense

Source - Purchased

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

Reviewed by - Chrissie

Book Info - Ethan and Derek Taggart: they're the men of Gemini, and when it comes to sheet-scorching undercover work, nobody does it better. The only one they answer to is big brother Danny - that is, until the right women come along to grab the reins and crack the whip as hard as the Taggart men like it...

Security is Derek Taggart's game, and he plays it straight - no margin for error, no time to fool around... except with one hot little number who changes everything. He takes her home when she needs a ride - one she'll never forget. The problem is Derek can't forget her, a total about-face for a guy who keeps his enemies closer than his lovers. Then he finds out the sexy dynamo is Alyssa Miles, notorious party girl and darling of the gossip rags. It's time to walk away and never look back, which would be a hell of a lot easier if his agency didn't desperately need the high-profile gig her family's offering: a minor detail that consists mainly of Derek watching Alyssa 24/7. Keeping an eagle eye on every inch of Alyssa's nubile body isn't exactly a hardship - the problem is keeping his hands off and his brain on when things go dangerously wrong...

My Thoughts - After reading, and loving, the first book in the Gemini Men series I have become completely hooked on this series and I have fallen more than a little bit in love with the Taggart brothers. These books are very sexy - definitely the hottest romantic suspense books I have come across so far - and as soon as I pick one up it is very difficult for me to put it back down again.

Derek is an ex-military man who runs a security agengy with his twin brother Ethan and older brother Danny. He is a typical alpha male who feels the need to protect those around him but he doesn't like to get too close to anybody. He is very emotionally shut off and, although I did find him very sexy, this did make it a bit difficult for me to really get attached to him as a character. He has fallen for Alyssa but in an effort to keep her at arms length he is cruel to her at times. There is one particular scene that made for very uncomfortable reading, although I won't go into too many details as I don't want to give too much away.

I really liked Alyssa. She has had some troubles in the past - a stint in rehab for a drug problem, a horrible ex-boyfriend who put naked pictures of her on the internet - but she is trying her hardest to put that behind her a build a successful career for herself in her father's jewellery business. Even though everybody thinks of her as a famous-for-nothing, airhead celebrity, it soon becomes obvious that this isn't true and she is really trying to change her image. I think the thing I loved most about her is that even though she has been hurt a lot in the past, mainly by people wanting to cash in on her fame, she is still very trusting and willing to see the best in people. Although this is probably what has got her hurt in the past I loved the vulnerability this aspect of her personality brings out in her.

The mystery aspect of the storyline is fast-paced and kept me hooked on the edge of my seat. Although the reader finds out quite early on who is wanting to hurt Alyssa, the author manages to throw in a big twist at the end, and I loved the surprise of this turn of events.

Summary - Although I didn't enjoy this book as much as the first in the series (mainly because of some of the more unlikeable aspects of the hero's personality) I still loved it and once I started it I really couldn't put it down. I had to start reading book three straight away as I just could not wait to find out what else is in store for the Taggart brothers.

Other books in this series:
1. Caught
2. Kept
3. Unleashed

Other reviews of this book:
The Good, The Bad and The Unread / The Romance Reader

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown

"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:
Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown
Calder White lives in the cold, clear waters of Lake Superior, the only brother in a family of murderous mermaids. To survive, Calder and his sisters prey on humans, killing them to absorb their energy. But this summer the underwater clan targets Jason Hancock out of pure revenge. They blame Hancock for their mother's death and have been waiting a long time for him to return to his family's homestead on the lake. Hancock has a fear of water, so to lure him in, Calder sets out to seduce Hancock's daughter, Lily. Easy enough - especially as Calder has lots of practice using his irresistable good looks and charm on ususpecting girls. Only this time Calder screws everything up: he falls for Lily - just as Lily starts to suspect that there's more to the monsters-in-the-lake legends than she ever imagined. And just as his sisters are losing patience with him.

Monday, 28 May 2012

Review: Feast of Fools by Rachel Caine (Morganville Vampires #4)

Publisher - Allison and Busby
Publication Date - 23rd February 2009
Paperback - 352 pages
Genre -  Young Adult / Urban Fantasy

Source - Purchased

Rating - 4 out of 5: I really liked it

Reviewed by - Chrissie

Book Info - In the town of Morganville, vampires and humans live in relative peace. Student Claire Danvers has never been convinced, though, especially with the arrival of Mr. Bishop, an ancient, old-school vampire who cares nothing about harmony. What he wants from the town's living and its dead is unthinkably sinister. It's only at a formal ball, attended by vampires and their human dates, that Claire realizes the elaborately evil trap he's set for Morganville.

My Thoughts - In Feast of Fools we are introduced to three new vampire characters – Bishop, Ysandre and Francois. They are definitely not friendly and they take pleasure is using humans in their games and think nothing of killing them or using their powers to force humans to do things against their will. Ysandre, a very sexy female vampire, takes a liking to Shane and this does create some tension between him and Claire. These new vampires are a great addition to the story. They are bad to the bone and, unlike the other vampires in the series who seem to have both a good and a bad side, you just know there will be trouble whenever they are around.

Previous books in the series have been non-stop action from start to finish, however, this one moves at a slightly slower pace. The book begins with some action when Bishop and his two sidekicks arrive at the Glass House, but then the story slows down in the lead up to the welcome feast. Although, what this story lacks in action it certainly makes up for it with suspense. The feelings of tension and fear leading up to the feast just jump off the page at you as you’re reading. I do have to say though that I found it slightly unbelievable that the residents of Morganville can be so aware of what is going on around them with regards to what the vampires are getting up to, whilst non-residents (e.g. students at the University) seem to be so oblivious to these events. I just don’t see how such a divide can exist between the humans in Morganville.

Once again everybody is so beautifully characterised that by now I feel as if I really know Claire, Shane, Eve and Michael. And, whether they are humans or vampires, the characters all have such complex personalities and this is one of my favourite things about this series. I have really enjoyed getting to know each and every person in Morganville (although Myrnin still creeps me out A LOT!).

Summary - Although this isn’t my favourite story in the series so far, Feast of Fools is still definitely worth a read and I can’t wait to read Lord of Misrule. I’m very interested in seeing exactly what Bishop has got up his sleeve for the residents of Morganville.

Other books in this series:
1. Glass Houses
2. Dead Girl's Dance
3. Midnight Alley
4. Feast of Fools
5. Lord of Misrule
6. Carpe Corpus
7. Fade Out
8. Kiss of Death
9. Ghost Town
10. Bite Club
11. Last Breath
12. Black Dawn

Other reviews of this book:
Bookish Novelties / Gimme The Scoop Reviews / Love Vampires

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Review: A Night Like This by Julia Quinn (Smythe-Smith Quartet #2)

Publisher - Piatkus
Publication Date - 29th May 2012
Paperback - 384 pages
Genre -  Historical Romance

Source - Received from publisher for review

Rating - 5 out of 5: It was amazing!

Reviewed by - Chrissie

Book Info - Anne Wynter's job as governess to three highborn young ladies can be a challenge - in a single week she finds herself hiding in a closet full of tubas, playing an evil queen in a play and tending to the wounds of the oh-so-dashing Earl of Winstead. After years of dodging unwanted advances, he's the first man who has truly tempted her, and it's getting harder and harder to remind herself that a governess has no business flirting with a nobleman.

Daniel Smythe-Smith might be in mortal danger, but that's not going to stop the young earl from falling in love. And when he spies a mysterious woman at his family's annual musicale, he vows to pursue her. But Daniel has an enemy, one who has vowed to see him dead. And when Anne is thrown into peril, he will stop at nothing to ensure their happy ending...

My Thoughts - A while ago, I put out a call for help from my fellow bloggers. My problem was that I'd just read my first historical romance (which I'd loved!) and I wanted recommendations from other fans of the genre as to what to read next. Julia Quinn's name appeared several times in amongst all the recommendations, so when A Night Like This popped through my door, I was very excited. And now that I've read this book I can see why the author's name was mentioned to me so many times.

This has got to be one of the sweetest and funniest romances I've come across. Daniel and Anne make such a cute couple. Anne is intelligent and funny, but at the same time has had her fair share of bad luck in the past. As a result of this she is now very wary of people around her and has lost a lot of the naivety that can be seen in heroines in this genre. Daniel has just arrived back in the country after a death threat towards him has seen him go into hiding for three years. He is a very charming man and as soon as he sees Anne he persues her with a single-minded determination. I loved this about him - he's not a man who is ashamed of how he feels or has a need to hide his emotions.

When Anne and Daniel are together on the page the chemistry between them sizzles. However, when they are around Daniel's nieces (the girls that Anne is a governess to) they have to tone it all down and the affection they feel for each other comes out in some light-hearted teasing. Some of my favourite moments from the book are these moments when Anne and Daniel are with the girls - there were more than a few times when I was laughing out loud at their antics.

There is a fair amount of danger and intrigue thrown into the mix in the form of the man who previously threatened Daniel's life, as well as a mysterious man from Anne's past. Although I did find this part of the plot to be somewhat predictable, I still loved the extra element of suspense that this added to the story.

Summary - An absolutely adorable romance that will have people rushing out to get more books from this author. In fact, the second I finished this book I downloaded Just Like Heaven (the first book in the series) onto my Kindle and I just can't wait to enter again the beautiful world created by Julia Quinn.

Other books in this series:
1. Just Like Heaven
2. A Night Like This

Other reviews of this book:
Book Pushers / Heroes and Heartbreakers / Medieval Bookworm

Friday, 25 May 2012

Review: New Girl by Paige Harbison

Publisher - Mira Ink
Publication Date - 4th May 2012
Paperback - 320 pages
Genre - Young Adult

Source - Received from publisher for review

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

Reviewed by - Ally

Book Info - A contemporary young-adult retelling inspired by the classic 1938 romantic suspense bestseller Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier.

They call me 'New Girl'...

Ever since I arrived at exclusive, prestigious Manderly Academy, that’s who I am. New girl. Unknown. But not unnoticed—because of her.

Becca Normandy—that’s the name on everyone’s lips. The girl whose picture I see everywhere. The girl I can’t compare to. I mean, her going missing is the only reason a spot opened up for me at the academy. And everyone stares at me like it’s my fault.
Except for Max Holloway—the boy whose name shouldn’t be spoken. At least, not by me. Everyone thinks of him as Becca’s boyfriend…but she’s gone, and here I am, replacing her. I wish it were that easy. Sometimes, when I think of Max, I can imagine how Becca’s life was so much better than mine could ever be.

And maybe she’s still out there, waiting to take it back.

My Thoughts - Go into a library enough and you’ll eventually get caught on a shelf in a book that sends your brain the thought that this time, the book is going to... Swallow me whole!

That’s how I felt with this book. Becca’s lost, gone, missing and the “new girl” suddenly shows up trying to be her. Becca came into their lives and changed it; go to people, the guys they were pining for, parties and fun! She was their saviour and when she disappeared they built her into this deity or goddess. They never saw her for what she truly was, half of them didn’t even know her but either way they took it out on “New girl”.

This book is a re-telling and when reviewing a re-telling, its well... really hard especially as I haven’t read the book this book is a re-tell of.

This book was funny, how many people do you know that would tell someone to “shut up, you’re turning an ugly shade of red.” This book, well Becca, at some points other than being a “pathological liar” was Creepy. It creeped me out how manipulative she was and you could really tell she was screwed up, knew she was screwed up and could do nothing to stop it. Her family had given up on her and she was lost.

This book covers the topic of rape, it wasn’t a full out lecture or even a lecture but you get to see the devastating affects and two different takes on it. New girl is cool; everything Becca wanted and the dream like state where she meets Becca and Becca explains the truth were scary and so well written. That’s what this book was: well written, it swallows you whole, takes you in, makes you believe and when it spits you back out you want to go back in and stay there. Against your better judgement, against the devastating news of Becca.

New girl ends up catching the eye of Becca’s ex and is instantly warned against it but she can’t help it. Neither can Max they like each other and that’s that, no matter how hard they try not to. Dana the best friend is tormented by Becca’s disappearance and knows secrets, lots of secrets, that she kept and in the end do come out.

Things you should know (thanks to Kimba88 who said she liked the list)
1. Becca is psychotic.
2. I don’t think, or remember ever getting to know “new girls's" name.
3. This book is creepy; sweet fluffy love story it is not.
4. Max is a prick; a hot stud muffin (yes I said stud muffin) prick, but a prick none the less.
5. I want to go to this school!

Summary - This book really shows the torment and suffering one girl’s disappearance can cause especially a girl like Becca’s. Whether this book is an accurate depiction or retelling I don’t know but I will say that this book was beautifully written and I would recommend it for older teenagers and adults alike.

Other reviews of this book:
I Want to Read That / Serendipity Reviews / Writing from the Tub

Monday, 21 May 2012

Review: Adorkable by Sarra Manning

Publisher - Atom
Publication Date - 24th May 2012
Paperback - 400 pages
Genre - Young Adult/Contemporary Romance

Source - Received from publisher for review

Rating - 2 out of 5: It was ok.

Reviewed by - Chrissie

Book Info - Welcome to the dorkside. It's going to be a bumpy ride...

Jeane Smith's a blogger, a dreamer, a dare-to-dreamer, a jumble sale queen, CEO of her own lifestyle brand and has half a million followers on Twitter.

Michael Lee's a star of school stage and playing field. A golden boy in a Jack Wills hoodie.

They have nothing in common but a pair of cheating exes. So why can't they stop snogging?

My Thoughts - I was really looking forward to reading this book - I mean, as a blogger myself, what could be more interesting to read about than a teen blogging sensation? But, I ended up having some really mixed feelings about this one. It's not that I hated the book, but I didn't like it much either. If I had to describe my feelings about Ardorkable I would probably use the word 'neutral'.

This story is told from alternating points of view of the two main characters - Jeane and Micheal. I enjoyed the way the story was laid out and it helped to show just what polar opposites these two characters are. The reader often gets each character's thoughts on the same event and at times it was laugh-out-loud funny that they perceived the event in such different ways. These characters really are chalk and cheese. What I did find slightly strange is how when Michael and Jeane are thinking about each other, they use the other character's full name all the time. Not once does Jeane think of Michael as, well, Michael. It is always Michael Lee. I don't know why but this just bugged me a bit whilst reading this book.

Unfortunately, for a large portion of the book, I found Jeane to be pretty unlikeable. She is proud of the fact that she is a dork, this being the reason that she started her blog called Adorkable. But she is so judgemental of everybody around her and thinks that she is so much better than everybody else at her school. She is very prickly towards others and isn't afraid to speak her mind, even if she knows that it will hurt somebody's feelings. But, as Michael, and therefore the reader, get closer to Jeane, it is obvious that this prickly and judgemental demeanour is a protective barrier. At the heart of the matter, Jeane is a lonely girl who just wants to be loved and she becomes a much more mellow and likeable character as she lets Michael into her life.

Michael is an ok character. As with the book as a whole, my feelings towards Michael are pretty neutral. He trys very hard to keep everybody happy but he comes across to the reader as quite bland. The one thing that I did really like about him was the way that he is able to stand up to Jeane, despite the fact that she is a force to be reckoned with. He doesn't change a single thing about the way he dresses or acts, even though he knows that these things go against everything that Jeane stands for.

The storyline in itself wasn't particularly interesting and, for large portions of the book, nothing much really happens other than Jeane and Michael sneaking around behind their friends backs and kissing. Oh, and bickering, a lot! Although I will admit to loving the bickering between the two of them - this in particular was a lot of fun to read. But, and this is a big but, as the story nears its end, Jeane and Michael grow as characters and do a lot of soul searching and I loved the way the story ended. The author even managed to squeeze a tear or two out of me at the end!

Summary - A book that has a lot of potential but it doesn't fully deliver. There are some fun moments that had me laughing out loud but overall it was a pretty average book.

Other reviews of this book:
Fluttering Butterflies / Jess Hearts Books / Missy's Reads and Reviews

This book counts towards the following challenges:
Book #36  for 2012 Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Letterbox Love #3



Letterbox Love is a new weekly meme being hosted by Lynsey over at Narratively Speaking. It is for UK bloggers to showcase what books/ebooks/other book related goodies have arrived through our letterboxes.

Here's what I got this week...

For Review:

Crystal Gardens by Amanda Quick (Ladies of Lantern Street #1)









Lethal Rider by Larissa Ione (Lords of Deliverance #3)









Born of Silence by Sherrilyn Kenyon (League #5)

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Review: Midnight Alley by Rachel Caine (Morganville Vampires #3)

Publisher - Allison and Busby
Publication Date - 5th September 2008
Paperback - 384 pages
Genre - Young Adult/Urban Fantasy

Source - Purchased

Rating - 5 out of 5: I really liked it.

Reviewed by - Chrissie

Book Info - Morganville is such a nice place to live… and die. If you don’t mind that sort of thing.

When Claire Danvers learnt that her college town was run by vampires, she did what any intelligent, self-preserving student would do: she applied for a transfer and stocked up on garlic. The transfer is no longer an option, but that garlic may come in handy. Now Claire has pledged herself to Amelie, the most powerful vampire in town. The protection her contract secures does little to reassure her friends. All of a sudden, people are turning up dead, a stalker resurfaces from Claire’s past, and an ancient bloodsucker extends a chilling invitation for private lessons in his secluded home.

My Thoughts - ***It is impossible to write this review without giving away some spoilers for events in the previous books in this series. If you have not read the other books please read this review with caution***
 

For me, this has to be my favourite book in the series so far. I love all of the housemates and find them all likeable and relateable. What I really like about this installment of this series is the impact that is caused by Michael becoming a vampire in Dead Girls’ Dance. It brings more complexity to the relationships between himself and Claire, Eve and Shane. Shane finds it very hard to accept that his best friend is now a vampire and this leads to a lot of testosterone-fuelled fighting between the two boys. Although at times I felt like I wanted to bang their heads together to knock a bit of sense into them both, it also shows how much Shane truly cares for Michael and how difficult he is finding the transition. Michael’s new life as a vampire, along with some other things, also helps Claire to come to some realisations about the world she lives in as she realises that the lines between good and evil are quite often not very clear at all. She has always believed that vampires are the bad guys but how can this be the case when one of her best friends is a vampire? And this belief is further shattered when Eve’s brother (a human, so supposedly one of the good guys) starts hurting young women in Morganville.

But Claire is the same old Claire that we know and love from the previous books in the series – a brave and mature girl who always seems to find her way into trouble. She once again needs to be rescued several times in this book but you always know that she will end up saving the day. Her relationship with Shane is sweet and endearing, although there are times when the chemistry between them sizzles on the page.

There is a new vampire introduced to the readers of this book in the form of Myrnin. He is teaching Claire about alchemy after school but he is ill and this illness is leading him to bouts of anger, confusion and uncontrollable hunger for Claire’s blood. I will admit to not liking this new character too much. I just found him a little bit too creepy, as he went from being Claire’s friend to trying to eat her. Every time she was alone with him I found myself feeling very on edge.

The action in Midnight Alley is well-paced and the storyline is intriguing and pulled me in right from the beginning. This book really needs to be read as part of the series and not as a stand-alone, as the plot of all the books is too tightly woven together to really be able to understand the complexities from just one of the novels. And as always, Rachel Caine has left us with a huge cliff-hanger that will ensure that all readers will rush off to get Feast of Fools as soon as they have finished reading Midnight Alley.

Summary - Overall, an amazing read that will keep you turning the pages well into the night. It’s a must read for any fans of vampire fiction.

Other books in the series:
1. Glass Houses
2. Dead Girl's Dance
3. Midnight Alley
4. Feast of Fools
5. Lord of Misrule
6. Carpe Corpus
7. Fade Out
8. Kiss of Death
9. Ghost Town
10. Bite Club
11. Last Breath
12. Black Dawn

Other reviews of this book:
Love Vampires / Mindful Musings / The Bookette

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Review: Magic in the Blood by Devon Monk (Allie Beckstrom #2)

Publisher - Berkley UK
Publication Date - 5th January 2012
Paperback - 368 pages
Genre - Urban Fantasy

Source - Received from publisher for review

Rating - 3.25 out of 5 (because I'm stingy)

Reviewed by - Ally

Book Info - Allie Beckstrom knows that there's a price to pay for using magic...

She's suffered her fair share of migraines and gaps in her memory during her time working as a Hound, tracing spells back to their casters. But now Allie's been visibly marked by magic with a mysterious iridescent tattoo. She's not only lost all memory of how she got it, but also of the man that she's supposedly fallen in love with. Oh, and as usual, she's completely broke.

So when the criminal magic enforcement division of the police asks her to consult on a missing persons case, things start to look up. At first, it seems to be a fairly straightforward way of earning some money - but like most things in Allie's life it soon turns into a dangerous mix of underworld criminals, ghosts and blood magic. This time Allie is going to discover it takes more than magic to survive...

My Thoughts - Wooh! This series is awesome (I’m on the 4th book in exam season that should tell you something). Ms Beckstrom is the best trouble magnet there is!

So we left off with her losing most of her memory and well I thought I would be frustrated during this book knowing something she didn’t. I wasn’t but I was….waiting. This book is well written and kept my interest but after reading the first, to…. Well, this I was expecting more. Maybe I’m greedy but this book felt like more of a filler book leading on into the next one (which it does perfectly). We’re introduced to a whole bunch of new characters from the Oh so secretive AUTHORITY! *cue breaking glass and screaming* to Maeve (awesome character with a story that I’m sure will shake our bones).

I don’t want to go into too much detail, because we sort of enter a whole new section of Devon Monk's incredible world. But the story starts off slow, well written but slow, and then picks up.

There’s a lot more world building as we transition to the world of the AUTHORITY! With Lon Trager - blood magic priest/grave robber -, creepy ghosts and possession by your dad (that can make a date uncomfortable), this one is endless bubbles of fun, well ….till the bubbles popped: your magic is being sucked out of you, you’re always losing memories and you’re starting to look like a dirty sidewalk. The plot was well thought out and it was well written. I really like this book, maybe because I had the third book ready to read straight after so there wasn’t a wait.

Speaking of wait …. Mr Zayvion Jones *ME and Mr, Mr Jones! We got a thing going ooooon* Ok Allie and Zay have a thing going on but by proxy me too! What?*shrugs* my name's Ally too! He makes an appearance (in my dreams) no magical “bow chick-a-wow-wow” (in the book!) but well, just being in his presence ok, -reading a page or even a chapter he’s in- is exhilarating.

A few things I though you should know-
1. Her dad's a monster (there’s no saving him, he’s icky)
2. Allie Has awesome immense Allie-licious power
3. Mr Jones is a sexy hunk of a man! Awesome
4. The world and the way this book is written is really good and different from my -somewhat limited- experience of books in this genre.
5. I really liked this book

Summary - A great addition to the series, I can tell you that it gets better! More Zay a few interesting friends and just Well Ally Allie Awesomeness. 3 .25 stars because I’m stingy, and I know how good this series gets so *shrug* sue me!

Other books in this series:
1. Magic to the Bone
2. Magic in the Blood
3. Magic in the Shadows
4. Magic on the Storm
5. Magic at the Gate
6. Magic on the Hunt

Other reviews of this book:
Feeling Fictional / Reading Diva / Yummy Men and Kick Ass Chicks

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: Wicked Nights by Gena Showalter

"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:
Wicked Nights by Gena Showalter (Angels of the Dark #1)
Leader of the most powerful army in the heavens, Zacharel has been deemed nearly too dangerous, too ruthless-and if he isn't careful, he'll lose his wings. But this warrior with a heart of ice will not be deterred from his missions, at any cost...until a vulnerable human tempts him with a carnal pleasure he's never known before.

Accused of a crime she did not commit, Annabelle Miller has spent four years in an institution for the criminally insane. Demons track her every move, and their king will stop at nothing to have her. Zacharel is her only hope for survival, but is the brutal angel with a touch as hot as hell her salvation-or her ultimate damnation?

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Review: Dreams by Daniela Sacerdoti (Sarah Midnight #1)

Publisher - Black and White Publishing
Publication Date - 17th May 2012
Paperback - 432 pages
Genre - Young Adult

Source - Received from publisher for review

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

Reviewed by - Chrissie

Book Info - Seventeen-year-old Sarah Midnight has never had a normal life. To the outside world she is a typical teenager, but on the inside, Sarah holds an unimaginable secret. Her parents are demon hunters, part of a web of Secret Families who have sworn to protect the world. When they are mysteriously killed, Sarah's world is shattered but she knows she must now take up their fight.

Unprepared for the task ahead, she finds herself thrust into a world of incredible danger, full of things she never even knew existed. Including her enigmatic long-lost cousin who, out of the blue, turns up on her doorstep just when she needs him most. He claims to be there to help and protect her, but how will she know who to trust in this perilous new life? And can she stay alive long enough to complete her parents' quest when they have left her so defenceless?

Sarah has to learn, and learn fast - the demons are all around her and death waits for no one...

My Thoughts - I really enjoyed this first instalment of the Sarah Midnight trilogy. Sarah is a complex and interesting main character and I really loved reading about her. She belongs to a Secret Family - families with special powers who help to rid the world of demons. Each family has a dreamer, a person who dreams about demon attacks before they happen, so that the demon can then be hunted. Sarah is the dreamer for the Midnight family. For years she has suffered horrific dreams and then been left alone at night whilst her parents run off to fight the demon. The anxiety of the dreams, as well as never knowing if her parents are going to come home alive, has caused Sarah to suffer from severe Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. This is the first time I've come across a character suffering from this affliction and it not only made for interesting reading, but also made Sarah seem so much more real.

At the beginning of Dreams we see Sarah trying to come to terms with her parents death, just as she realises that her parents have kept a lot from her over the years and that they have left her completely unprepared to deal with demons on her own. At times, Sarah shows herself to be very naive, despite her upbringing, and this was very endearing. But sometimes it was taken a little too far - like the times she would try and negotiate with a demon who was intent on killing her just because she didn't want to kill. Each time I would be thinking 'Huh? Really?' and then luckily her cousin, Harry, would intervene and save the day. But other than this minor gripe I found Sarah to be a great main character.

Harry is another interesting one - something you can say about Ms. Sacerdoti is she certainly knows how to create intriguing characters! He is keeping a very big secret from Sarah. The reader knows from the start what this secret is and it certainly adds a whole new dimension to the story. On the whole, I really liked Harry. He is fearless and strong and does everything he can to keep Sarah safe. There were a couple of times when this protectiveness bordered on possessiveness, and although it is obvious he does this because of his need to keep her safe, it still made me feel a little uncomfortable whilst reading it. But I'll admit that Harry did still manage to have a funny effect on my heart rate whenever he was around *sigh*

The storyline is fresh and imaginative, with a great mixture of action, intrigue and romance. At times, near the end, there is a very dark feel to the narrative and it is easy to get sucked into the desperate mood of the story.

The one thing that, for me, made Dreams lose a star was the sheer number of POV's this story is told from. There are a lot of characters in this story and it felt as though everybody got a turn to have their say at least once. While it was interesting to hear the other character's views on the events, I did feel as though it was a bit too much. But this was the only major gripe I had with the book.

Summary - Dreams is a great start to what promises to be a fantastic trilogy. It's got demon hunters, forbidden love, tragedy and betrayal and in a lot of ways it reminded me of The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. The ending is fantastic and has left me wanting more of Sarah Midnight!

Other reviews of this book:
Jera's Jamboree / Midnight Reads / YA Yeah Yeah

This book counts towards the following challenges:
Book #33  for 2012 Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Letterbox Love #2



Letterbox Love is a new weekly meme being hosted by Lynsey over at Narratively Speaking. It is for UK bloggers to showcase what books/ebooks/other book related goodies have arrived through our letterboxes.

Here's what I got this week...

For Review:

A Night Like This by Julia Quinn











New Girl by Paige Harbison











Wolf Whisperer by Karen Whiddon











Taking Charge by Mandy Baggot

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Review: Young Love Murder by April Brookshire

Publisher - Self-published by author
Publication Date - 24th August 2011
Genre - Young Adult/Comtemporary Romance

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

Reviewed by - Ally (Codename: Book Reviewer)

Book Info - First love's a killer, but so is seventeen-year-old Annabelle Blanc. The teenager was raised to be an assassin and taught to never fall in love. She lives for the job until she meets Gabriel Sanchez, the son of her latest target. 

Wealthy, spoiled and self-indulgent, Gabriel Sanchez is a teenage playboy. Setting his sights on the beautiful Annabelle, he's drawn to the mysterious new girl who's playing hard to get. Gabriel also finds himself drawn into a world of deception, violence and murder.

Off-centered for the first time in her life, Annabelle struggles to fight her doomed attraction for the handsome Gabriel.

In this gritty, mature YA novel, you'll follow Annabelle and Gabriel in an intense, funny, angry, crazy, rocky and passionate romance. As two worlds collide and they're repeatedly thrown together and pulled apart by fate, will Annabelle and Gabriel overcome betrayals, revenge and heartbreak to find a lasting love?

My Thoughts - So you guys don’t know this, but one day I'm going to be recruited by the CIA, I’m going to become a part of MI5 and be on the FBI’s most awesome list, you uh huh, that’ll be me. But shhh! I’m not supposed to tell anyone. Psst “Did you get your letter in the Mail?"

Anabelle: Hero? Maybe so. Killer? Definitely

Gabriel: “I’m still a player, but I’ll just be playing with one girl from now on"

She’s playing with her heart and He’s playing with his father’s life. When 17 year old Anna gets to play teenager for her next mission, she never knew she’d fall for a teenager. With Simon depending on her and her older brother there to tease her every move this assassin has a lot of people she WANTS to kill and so few she can.

The book follows Anna and Gabriel’s young love and you guessed it murder. Fighting and shooting betraying the one you love most and well everyone else’s drama, this book will take you on a rollercoaster.

At times psychotic others cute and fluffy and sometimes just funny, this little gem will kill you, ok Anna and eventually Gabriel will kill you. Definitely for the older crowd this steamy romance was really good. Alternating between Gabe’s and Anna’s POV we get to hear their snarky comments and Lol monologues.

Anna I found at times whiney, ok once and it was totally understandable but still! She’s meant to be a lean mean killing machine not whining over a boy (another reason I wouldn’t be a great assassin). I loved her older brother he was funny and the sneak peek at the end of the book of his next book well can I say I’m down for that.

So time for my gripes…

This book was long, not long in a boring way but long in the why are you not 2 books kind of long, there were two different plots and the story shows a series of years, where they finally mature, or get more psychotic you be the judge. Although, while I’m saying this in my head when I was reading I was shouting “Hell yes two for the price of one!” I’m actually glad it was only one book; instead of dragging it on into a story no-one likes or wants to read with giant margins and a novella they call a book (house of night series anyone?)

Gripe 2- the characters were kind of flat, not in a bad way (how can it not be in a bad way you ask?). Well it’s clear a lot of research was put into the book for the killing methods and the overall book, they weren’t flat in the conventional sense but flat in the this book is awesome “why aren’t you awesome-ER?” Kind of way!

Summary -  A good book (or two) that was funny, killer and action packed. And it was about Assassins soo … I’m a little biased (another reason I wouldn’t be a good assassin).

Other reviews of this book:
Book Filled Blog / Book Whisperer / Nightly Reading

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Review: Magic to the Bone by Devon Monk (Allie Beckstrom #1)

Publisher - Berkley UK
Publication Date - 13th October 2011
Paperback - 384 pages
Genre - Urban Fantasy

Source - Purchased

Rating - 3.5 out of 5: I liked it.

Reviewed by - Ally

Book Info - "Using magic, meant it used you back. Forget the fairytale hocus pocus, sparkles and pixie dust crap. Magic, like booze, sex, and drugs, gave as good as it got"

Everything has a cost. And every act of magic exacts a price from its user, maybe a two-day migraine, or losing the memory of your first kiss. But some people want to use magic without paying and they Offload the cost onto innocents. When that happens, it falls to a Hound to identify the spell's caster - and Allie Beckstrom is the best there is.

Daughter of a prominent Portland businessman, Allie would rather moonlight as a Hound than accept the family fortune - and the strings that come with it. But when she discovers a little boy dying from a magic Offload that has her father's signature all over it, Allie is thrown into the high stakes world of corporate espionage and black magic...

My Thoughts - I’m torn, this book on the one hand was awesome it had industrial espionage! Not quite assassins but close enough…right? New to me Devon Monk builds a gritty world where everything has a cost, more specifically magic. With lost memories, magical sex, murder, a damn hot mysterious hunk of a man and a cute little kitty this book is bursting at the seams with action.

I really liked the characters in the book, Nola is awesome. The story itself was well paced and kept me on my toes. There were some points where there was a lump in my throat I couldn’t swallow, the story has some pretty intense child abuse …. I don’t know how to explain it really but it made me tear up the way ….*swallows* Every few chapters there would be alternate point of view from Cody a little kid who was once an adult but no longer remembers and when he’s manipulated and abused he refers to the “older smarter part of himself” telling him he was doing it wrong it all seemed very NSPCC to me, protect a child, save a life *30 second ad in black and white, kid curled in a corner*. Very sad. BE WARNED.

This book had a lot going on and it seemed that Monk has a very bright future ahead for Allie (almost like my name Ally, she even reminded me of me!).

What I really disliked about this book was the memory losing thing as a magical side effect of using magic. The HEA (Happily ever after) part of me wanted her to be able to use her power as much as she wanted and the only side effect would be raining marshmallows, it really pained me to see her have to sacrifice so much and see her handle it so well (I must admit I’ve developed a little attachment to our head strong heroine).

*SPOILER ALERT* I also did not like the ending, at all. How can she not remember any of it, however I am very intrigued to see how Devon Monk works it out in the next book (though a can see myself being frustrated knowing something she doesn’t) The awesome hunk I might also add is forgotten, EVERYTHING you know that crazy intense magical sex part I mentioned earlier? YUP forgotten, which annoyed and frustrated me to no end, if you’ve ever watched the Vow and saw how it ended welcome to Magic to the Bone. I don’t care how cute it was!

For me the end made the book lose a lot of marks, as well as Allie’s stubbornness at the end, *grits teeth* I. Wanted. To.Kill.Her! Whether she was doing it by herself or not.

Summary - This book really, really was good I loved the characters, the plot was well written and paced and well it was funny and witty and not in that over the top (at times) trying too hard kind of way. I really liked it though the realness of it all was at times difficult to handle (can’t a girl have a happy ending?) The ending also lost a lot of points for me.

Other books in the series:
1. Magic to the Bone
2. Magic in the Blood
3. Magic in the Shadows
4. Magic on the Storm
5. Magic at the Gate
6. Magic on the Hunt

Other reviews of this book:
Book Addicts / Book Chick City / Dear Author / SFF World

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Review: Carter's Treasure by Amy Gregory (Racing to Love #1)


Publisher - Sapphire Star Publishing
Publication Date - 6th June 2012
Genre -  Contemporary Romance

Source - Received from publisher for review

Rating - 4 out of 5: I really liked it


Reviewed by - Chrissie

Book Info - From the outside, Molly West had everything, beauty, brains, and a career she’d retired from not once, but twice. Being in the limelight and in a sport that was male driven, she was often surrounded men. She ignored first the boys, and as she got older, the men. Unfortunately, they were all the same, all after one thing, and she had absolutely no use for them. Her cold shoulder and patented not a chance in hell look were usually enough to get her point across. Occasionally, she had to resort to her sass—and her brother.

Molly had no plans in changing what was a perfectly good system. That is until she walked into the pits. When she stood toe-to-toe with the sex in jeans, she knew right then and there that the man her adoptive mother always told her was out there, was now standing right in front of her.
 
Carter Sterling had traveled the racing circuit since he was a boy. He’d heard all the old standbys, She’s out there somewhere, love comes along when you least expect it. Good things come to those that… Yeah, he’d heard them all. The last place he expected to meet the love of his life was on a pro track. All she did was smile, and he knew, looking into her sapphire blue eyes, Molly West was his. Forever.
 
If it was only that easy. From the moment he laid eyes on her, he had a gripping feeling in him. An overwhelming need to protect her. A girl he’d just met. Carter had learned a long time ago that gut feelings are almost never wrong.
 
Molly now held his heart in her hands, but it was going to take a lot more than just love to protect her from the past she thought she’d buried a long time ago.

My Thoughts - I have been looking for more contemporary romance authors to try so when Sapphire Star Publishing asked me to review Carter's Treasure for them I jumped at the chance. And I'm very glad that I did! It is such a sweet romance with characters that you can't help but fall in love with.

Molly has been into Motocross ever since she could walk and she is very successful in her career. She is the only girl in a very male oriented world but she wouldn't have it any other way. She is friendly but keeps the men around her at arms length - she's not even slightly interested in starting a relationship. It is obvious from the start that Molly has suffered some sort of pain in the past and that this is the source of her issues with men. I loved the way the author gave teasing hints about what had happened to Molly but didn't reveal it all until later in the book. The mystery surrounding her past gave the story a lot of momentum - I had to keep reading until I found out what had happened to her!

I absolutely loved Molly as a character. She is strong and funny, but is prone to panic attacks when she feels threatened by any man, adding a vulnerability to her that is adorable. And I loved watching her grow in confidence once she met Carter - how she learnt to trust him and to open up her heart to him. There are some very sweet and tender moments between them that had me sighing with contentment.

Carter is a great hero - he is strong, loyal, sexy and would do anything to keep his Molly safe. He falls head-over-heels for Molly as soon as he meets her and I loved the way he trusted his gut about his feelings instead of swinging backwards and forwards over it. This is one man who is not afraid to commit himself to a woman! My only complaint about him would be that not much is learnt about his past before he met Molly. There are some vague references to events from his past but I felt as though I didn't get to know him as well as I got to know Molly. It was almost as if his life didn't really start until Molly walked in - although I guess this could have been the point that the author was trying to get across. Although this didn't really affect my enjoyment of the book when reading it, it was just something that came to me when I was thinking about the book after I had finished it.

There is also a great cast of supporting characters - Carter's friend's Eli and Jesse (who are also getting their own stories in this series), Carter's brother Mike, Molly's brother Brody, and Molly's parents. They all had their own distinct personalities and I enjoyed getting to know them all. The only character I found it difficult to bond with was Brody. He is very protective of Molly because of everything she has been through in the past but at times I felt as though he took it way too far. But he does begin to lighten up a bit at the end and he became a lot more likeable then.

As well as a romance story, there is also a bit of suspense thrown in for good measure when Molly starts receiving threatening letters. It is obvious that whoever is sending these letters is following Molly and the race is on to find out who is sending the letters before she gets hurt. I really enjoyed this part of the storyline as the pace really picks up and it became impossible to put the book down.

Summary - Carter's Treasure is a fantastic start to a new series - full of loveable characters, a sweet but oh-so-sexy romance and heart-stopping suspense. I am glad to have found this new author and I can't wait to read the next book in the series, Jesse's Soul, which is due for release in January 2013 (athough can I just say at this point that I REALLY don't want to have to wait that long :P)

Waiting on Wednesday: Once Burned by Jeaniene Frost

"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:
Once Burned by Jeaniene Frost (Night Prince #1)
She's a mortal with dark powers...

After a tragic accident scarred her body and destroyed her dreams, Leila never imagined that the worst was still to come: terrifying powers that let her channel electricity and learn a person's darkest secrets through a single touch. Leila is doomed to a life of solitude...until creatures of the night kidnap her, forcing her to reach out with a telepathic distress call to the world's most infamous vampire...


He's the Prince of Night...

Vlad Tepesh inspired the greatest vampire legend of all—but whatever you do, don't call him Dracula. Vlad's ability to control fire makes him one of the most feared vampires in existence, but his enemies have found a new weapon against him—a beautiful mortal with powers to match his own. When Vlad and Leila meet, however, passion ignites between them, threatening to consume them both. It will take everything that they are to stop an enemy intent on bringing them down in flames.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Blog Tour Review: Bad Girl Lessons by Seraphina Donavan



Publisher - Self-published by author
Publication Date - 28th March 2012
Genre - Erotic Romance

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

Reviewed by - Chrissie

Book Info - Evangeline Harper has been everyone's good girl. But after being dumped at the altar by her fiancé, Evie decides it's time to stop playing by the rules and have some fun. There's only one problem... she doesn't know how. But one of her oldest friends, Jackson Cope, is just the man to teach her. Hotter than a Georgia tent revival in July, Jackson has had a starring role in every erotic fantasy Evie has ever had. Can she convince the local bad boy to help transform her from a slightly pudgy, former debutante into a wanton, sex kitten?

Jackson's been secretly in love with Evie since they were kids, but she was always off limits to the likes of him. Now she's offering him everything he's ever wanted, but only as friends with benefits. Planning to seduce her into his life on a permanent basis, he starts out with hot, steamy lessons on how to walk on the wild side. When Evie's former fiancé shows up, trying to woo her and her trust fund back to save his sorry hide from the Dixie Mafia, it's up to Jackson to protect her from danger. But who will protect him from a broken heart?

My Thoughts - Wow, this book was hot! The chemistry between the two main characters, Evie and Jackson, started to steam up the screen of my ereader right from the very first page and didn't stop until I had finished the book. But what I loved was the way that they had obviously known each other for a long time so, for me, this chemistry was totally believable. Their history also meant that there was a lot of tenderness between Evie and Jackson which was really sweet to read about.

When we first meet Evie she has just been left at the alter by her fiance - a man who always made Evie feel as though she's too fat/not pretty enough/not good enough for him. It was lovely to see Evie gain confidence in herself under Jackson's attentions. In contrast to her ex, Jackson believes Evie is perfect and he does all he can to prove this to her.

However, aside from the romance aspects of the book, there is also an element of action and danger introduced when Evie's ex arrives back on the scene on the run from some very dangerous men. This storyline adds a good dose of suspense which kept me hooked up until the end.

Summary - Bad Girl Lessons is very short, probably more of a novella, but it is a great way to spend a quiet evening. It is a quick fun read that has got everything a girl could need - a likeable heroine, a very sexy hero, hot romance and suspense. I really enjoyed this book and would definitely recommend it to others.

Monday, 7 May 2012

Book Trailer for the Brotherband Series by John Flanagan


As you may or may not know, I am currently slowly working my way through the Ranger's Apprentice series by John Flanagan (you can read my reviews here). I have only read the first four out of eleven but it is a fun fantasy series aimed at YA readers.

The author has also started a spin-off series called Brotherband. The first book, The Outcasts, was released in November of last year and I have just seen this very atmospheric trailer for the book.

So, what do you think of the trailer? Has it made you want to pick up The Outcasts? Let me know what you think!

Immortal Rules Contest Winner


I have finally got around to picking a winner for the Immortal Rules contest, and the lucky person is:

hiba008

Congratulations!

It's Monday! What are you Reading? (7th May 2012)


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 Read:

Carter's Treasure by Amy Gregory (Racing to Love #1)









Books Reviewed:
(Click on links to read reviews)

Oakleaf Bearers by John Flanagan (Ranger's Apprentice #4)









Double Clutch by Liz Reinhardt (Brenna Blixen #1)









Faefever by Karen Marie Moning (Fever #3)









Books I'm Currently Reading:

Dreams by Daniela Sacerdoti (Sarah Midnight #1)









Body Heat by Katherine Garbera









Books Up Next:

Adorkable by Sarra Manning

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Letterbox Love #1


Letterbox Love is a new weekly meme being hosted by Lynsey over at Narratively Speaking. It is for UK bloggers to showcase what books/ebooks/other book related goodies have arrived through our letterboxes. Thank you Lynsey for agreeing to host this meme!

So here is what I got this week...

For Review:

Rapture by Lauren Kate










Love Chosen by Marne Ann Kirk (ebook)










Library:

I've been in a romantic suspense kind of mood lately and these two look perfect - and hot!!!

Body Heat by Katherine Garbera










Deep Breath by Alison Kent

Friday, 4 May 2012

Review: Faefever by Karen Marie Moning (Fever #3)

Publisher - Gollancz
Publication Date - 10th November 2011
Paperback - 416 pages
Genre - Urban Fantasy

Source - Purchased

Rating - 3 out of 5: I liked it.

Reviewed by - Chrissie

Book Info - When MacKayla Lane receives a page torn from her dead sister's journal, she is stunned by Alina's desperate words. And now MacKayla knows that her sister's killer is close. But evil is closer. And suddenly the sidhe-seer is on the hunt: For answers. For revenge. And for an ancient book of dark magic so evil that it corrupts anyone who touches it. Mac's quest for the Sinsar Dubh takes her into the mean, shapeshifting streets of Dublin, with a suspicious cop on her tail. Forced into a dangerous triangle of alliance with V'lane, a lethal Fae prince, and Jericho Barrons, a man of deadly secrets, Mac is soon locked in a battle for her body, mind, and soul.

My Thoughts - I must admit that after the great cliff hanger from the last book I had very high hopes for Faefever. But unfortunately, my hopes were dashed with this book. On the whole I am enjoying the series but there are still a few things about the books that are making me have some mixed feelings.

First of all, I feel as though both Bloodfever and Faefever have followed a bit of a pattern - they start off slow, often leaving me bored for a large proportion of the book with all of the scene-setting that takes place, then some great big thing happens near the end that leads to a big cliff-hanger that will make you want to pick up the next book straight away. And as much as I love the big climatic events at the end of the book, I also want something that really holds my attention for the first two thirds of the book.

The overall plot arc of the series is great, and that is one of the things that is keeping me going with these books. But I feel as though there is a lot of 'filling' going on. I would have been perfectly happy for Bloodfever and Faefever to be squashed together into one amazing book with a lot of the filling taken out. That being said though, I can't wait to find out what is in store next for Mac - especially after the way Faefever ended!

The major plus point in this book for me was Barrons - I know, you're shocked right? *cheeky grin*. I am still completely intrigued and can't wait to find out more about him! I love the sexual chemistry between him and Mac and I'm really hoping something happens between the two of them as I think that would be explosive! I am also more than a little bit fascinated by V'lane - I think he cares about Mac (as much as he is able to care about anything) and I love the way tries to do all he can to help her.

Summary - This is a series that has a promising storyline but that is let down somewhat by the amount of 'filling' and scene-setting that is going on. I am hoping that this will decrease as the series progresses and that the pace will pick up as it heads towards it's finale.

Other books in this series:
1. Darkfever
2. Bloodfever
3. Faefever
4. Dreamfever
5. Shadowfever

Other reviews of this book:
Dark Faerie Tales / Love Vampires / Saz 101

This book counts towards the following challenges:
Book #8 for 2012 TBR Pile Reading Challenge
Book #28  for 2012 Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Review: Double Clutch by Liz Reinhardt (Brenna Blixen #1)


Publisher - Self-published by author
Publication Date - 6th September 2011
Genre - Young Adult/Comtemporary Romance

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

Reviewed by - Ally


Book Info - What happens when you fall in love with the perfect guy...twice... in one day?

Brenna Blixen spent her freshman year homeschooling in Denmark; now that she’s back in the States, she’s determined to make her sophomore year unforgettable. And by unforgettable, she imagined awesome classes, fun friendships, and maybe a little romance.

What she got was a whole lot of romance, and all at once.

The same day that dark, brooding Saxon Maclean charmed her with his killer good looks and whip-smart wit, Jake Kelly stole her breath away with his heart-wrenching smile and intelligent, thoughtful focus.

But Saxon is a proud player who makes it clear that he doesn’t know why he can’t get Brenna off of his mind and out of his system, and Jake’s sweet and humble attitude hides a secret past life that might be more darker and more complex than Brenna’s willing to handle.

Complicating the matter is the fact that Saxon and Jake were once best friends and are now arch-enemies... and the more Brenna finds out about their connection to each other, the more intrigued and worried she becomes.

Between keeping the peace with her lovingly over-protective parents, designing t-shirts for her high school’s rising punk band, keeping up her grades in both academic and technical high school, and running the track like a maniac, Brenna has enough to worry about with out juggling two guys who make her heart thud and drive her crazy all at once.

She has to make a choice. But how can she when giving her heart to one of them might mean breaking the other’s?

My Thoughts - This book is intense, a strong dynamic between three teens. One girl and two boys, Oh no not another love triangle! You cry, I said it too when I started reading it. But when I read it I was screaming yes! This book was crazy, I loved each and every character and when I found out there was a sequel, well oh boys is all I have to say. But anyway I’m jumping ahead of myself.

Double clutch, made me laugh, cry scream in frustration and cuss, I cussed a lot, a looooooooooooot. Brenna is beautiful (and she doesn’t know it, cliché I know) has two amazing guys who are crazy about her and just… (Would it be rude if I stopped reviewing here, this book is amazing)

Ok, this book had a lot of intense emotions; I think it really got down what it is like to be a teen, especially faced with a dilemma like this. She didn’t always make the right choice, hell some people might argue she got it wrong as soon as she came on the scene. But wow, this book is pure romance and real life relationships, there are no aliens or zombies just pure YA, for me this is too intense to be classified as chick lit (it made me cry a lot and NOT happy tears). I never thought a book like this could exist it was like a cross between Sarra Mannings French kiss and Megan Mcafferty’s sloppy first series (I loved both of them).

The story was addictive, no matter how many times I threw my kindle across my bed (not the floor because it’s too hard) I couldn’t put it down, it had me holding my breath and aching to know what happened next. Brenna is a real person, 3 what she eats, wears, hates, everything was told and although I didn’t agree with her, many, many ,many times, she is strong willed, sensible and caring - add in boy obsessed and I think I’ve just described every teenage girl on the planet (at some stage).

I cant deny this was a good book, I really want to because it made me so angry, I wanted to hate it and I did, I was so obsessed with what was happening that I got lost in the story and I think that is the mark of truly great writing, I didn’t hate the book (I loved that) I just didn’t like what happened. I felt a part of the story like it was happening to me and it took me almost a month after reading this monstrosity to realise how much I loved it.

Summary - An addictive read that makes you feel like a teenage again, breath in twice (you’ll need it) because double clutch is fast paced and crazy intense. Jake and Saxon are oh so delicious and Brenna is just theirs for the taking.

Other books in this series:
1. Double Clutch
2. Junk Miles

Other reviews of this book:
Books, Biscuits and Tea / Readaraptor / Tabitha's Book Blog

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: Dragon Bound by Thea Harrison

"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:
Dragon Bound by Thea Harrison
Half-human and half-wyr, Pia Giovanni spent her life keeping a low profile among the wyrkind and avoiding the continuing conflict between them and their Dark Fae enemies. But after being blackmailed into stealing a coin from the hoard of a dragon, Pia finds herself targeted by one of the most powerful - and passionate - of the Elder Races. As the most feared and respected of the wyrkind, Dragos Cuelebre cannot believe someone had the audacity to steal from him, much less succeed. And when he catches the thief, Dragos spares her life, claiming her as his own to further explore the desire they've ignited in one another.

Review: Oakleaf Bearers by John Flanagan (Ranger's Apprentice #4)

Publisher - Corgi Yearling
Publication Date - 5th June 2008
Paperback - 352 pages
Genre - YA Fantasy

Source - Received from publisher for review

Rating - 2 out of 5: It was ok

Reviewed by - Chrissie

Book Info - Just as spring approaches and Will and Evanlyn can finally escape Skandia, Evanlyn is carried off by mysterious horsemen. Will sets out after them, but one boy against six fierce Temujai warriors is impossible odds - even for a Ranger's apprentice. Halt and Horace arrive just in time. But the happiness of their reunion is cut short when Halt realizes these Temujai are only scouts for a massive invasion force. The four Araluans must work together with the Skandians to defeat their invaders - if the Oberjarl will accept their help.

My Thoughts - This is the fourth book that I have read in the Ranger's Apprentice series and, although I am enjoying the series as a whole, this one has been the least enjoyable for me so far. My main problem was that it was just far too focused on war for my liking. I'm not a big fan of books about war and this book is full of talk about strategy and preparation and then, later on in the book, the actual war itself. I found myself getting quite bored with it all and skimming through several pages. However, I noticed that the next book in the series seems to go off in a very different direction so I will still be continuing with the series.

As usual, Flanagan has created a cast of loveable characters who I am really enjoying getting to know as they are growing up and developing their skills. Will went through some tough times in the previous book in the series and Oakleaf Bearers show him getting his strength back and regaining the skills that he learnt previously under Halt's direction before he was held hostage by the Skandians. By the end of the book Will reaches Hero proportions again and I loved seeing his confidence grow along with his abilities as a Ranger.

I love Halt and Horace, and their interactions provide some light relief in an otherwise serious book. Halt loves to tease Horace and, as he is quite innocent and niave, Horace never even realises what Halt is doing. However, I didn't much like Evanlyn in this book. She comes across as spoiled and likes having the attention of both Will and Horace and at times plays them off against each other. This is a new side of Evanlyn that the reader hasn't seen before and I hope that she has matured a little more in the next book in the series.

Summary - This is a book full of great characters but the plot was far too war-orientated for my liking. Not a book for people who, like me, finds war talk boring.

Other books in this series:
1. The Ruins of Gorlan
2. The Burning Bridge
3. The Icebound Land
4. Oakleaf Bearers
5. The Sorcerer in the North
6. The Siege of Macindaw
7. Erak's Ransom
8. The Kings of Clonmel
9. Halt's Peril
10. The Emperor of Nihon-Ja
11. The Lost Stories

Other reviews of this book:
Medieval Bookworm / The Book Reviewer

This book counts towards the following challenges:
Book #26 for 2012 Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge
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