Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Disturbed Earth (Ritual Crime Unit, #2) by E.E. Richardson

2 "Is It Over Yet?" Stars

Back Cover Blurb -
A hard-nosed career officer in the male-dominated world of British policing, DCI Claire Pierce of North Yorkshire Police heads Northern England’s underfunded and understaffed Ritual Crime Unit. Injured in the line of duty, Pierce returns to work to find her new Detective Inspector has brought in a self-proclaimed necromancer to question the victim of a murder, there’s a coven of druids outside protesting the sale of their sacred site, and an old iron lantern in the evidence room has just sent out a signal.

Pierce is going to have to hit the ground running. A suspected ritual murder and a string of puzzling artefact thefts initially seem unconnected, but signs point to something bigger: buried skulls possessed by evil spirits start turning up, and they may only be the beginning. Someone is planning something big, and the consequences if they succeed could be catastrophic. With a rebellious second-in-command, an inexperienced team, and a boss who only cares about potential bad publicity, Pierce has to make the connections and stop the ritual before it’s too late...
This book was extremely difficult for me to finish. Not because it’s a bad book or anything, it’s just that it’s ridiculously boring! Honestly, I’m typically reading somewhere between one to two books a day, depending on what all I have going on and this book took me over TWO MONTHS to finish. I would pick it up, read a page or two, get bored, pick up another book, come back to it when I was done with that book, read a page or two…etc. My goodness, I don’t think it has ever taken me so long to finish a book, but at least I did finish it rather than give up on it like I was tempted to do a few times, so yay me!

The actual premise of this book is pretty interesting and I really liked the fact that the main character is a bit older, which is a refreshing change from all the books I have picked up lately and that it takes place in England (a place on my bucket list) and if I was one that had a little bit more patience, then I might have really enjoyed it, but unfortunately I’m not and I didn’t. This to me was like watching a silent movie in black and white. There is nothing wrong with those movies and more often than not they have a pretty great story to tell, but it’s the monotony and uniformity where you will lose me every time. If you want to keep my attention, give me color, give me action, give me sound….give me something! A good story alone will not keep me interested, I need more and Disturbed Earth didn’t give me anything but a pretty good concept that was very monotone in its delivery.

Overall, no…this isn’t going to be a book that I recommend, but readers who like a book with a little bit of a slower pace, might find that they enjoy this one.

Happy reading, until next time…

I would like to thank NetGalley and Rebellion for the ARC of this title in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Boundary Crossed (Boundary Magic, #1) by Melissa F. Olson

4 "Promising Start" Stars

Back Cover Blurb -

After her twin sister’s brutal murder, former US Army Sergeant Allison “Lex” Luther vowed to protect her niece, Charlie. So when two vampires try to kidnap the baby, it quickly turns into a fight to the death—Lex’s death, that is.

She wakes up to two shocking discoveries: she has miraculously survived the fight, and baby Charlie is a “null,” gifted with the ability to weaken supernatural forces...and a target for creatures who want to control that power. Determined to guarantee her niece’s safety, Lex makes a deal with the local vampires. She sets out with the mysterious—and undead—“fixer” Quinn to track down whoever’s responsible for the kidnapping, sharpening her newfound magic skills along the way. But the closer she gets to the truth, the more dangerous her powers become.

Boundary Crossed is a dark, thrilling journey into a world where the line between living and dead isn’t nearly as solid as it appears...
Sometimes, just sometimes we could all use and want to pick up a nice, “think-less” read. One of those books that just flows and doesn’t have too much drama. A book that isn’t out to emotionally gut you; one of those books that has just enough action to keep it interesting and just enough sexual tension to keep it exciting. Well, Boundary Crossed is just that book and seems to be a promising start to a new Urban Fantasy series, Boundary Magic.

“Lex” is a tough girl, who can take care of herself. She doesn’t make friends easily and the ones that she does have, she protects with her life, especially her family. So when Lex’s sister is killed, she will stop at nothing to get justice for her and protect her niece from succumbing to the same fate. It’s all so much easier said than done though, especially when a whole paranormal community is after her and hell bent on getting their hands on her niece. Making unlikely alliances and uncovering secrets and deceptions at every turn, it’s hard even for a tough-as-nails girl such as Lex to handle, but after several hard years in the Army, it’s going to take a little more than rabid werewolves, power hungry vampires and untrusting witches to keep Lex down. After all, she didn’t become a Sergeant in the US Army by being afraid and playing it safe and she soon shows those after her just how ruthless she can actually be.

Boundary Crossed was a nice, fun read for me. Never having read a book by author Melissa Olson before, I really went into this without much expectation and was mildly surprised by how much I actually enjoyed it. I am always overly critical of “first books” in a series, because those books are going to be the deciding factors of whether or not I decide to keep on with a series. I need characters that I enjoy reading about, plots that aren’t too easily predictable or “used” up, intelligent writing and a storyline worth my attention, luckily this one had it all and it managed to keep me engaged from start to finish. I will say that I am probably being extra generous with my 4 star rating, but after a streak of reading some Urban Fantasy books that were complete disappointments, I was pretty excited to find one that I didn’t hate.

Overall, yes, I recommend this one. I can’t say that it ranks up there with my favorites in the genre, however, it does deliver as far as readability is concerned and I will be picking up the next one in the series once available. Those that are fans of the Urban Fantasy genre should consider giving this one a shot. If you can go into it without too much expectation, I think you will actually enjoy it.

Happy reading, until next time…

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Made You Up by Francesca Zappia

4 "Wait, What?" Stars

Back Cover Blurb -

Reality, it turns out, is often not what you perceive it to be—sometimes, there really is someone out to get you. Made You Up tells the story of Alex, a high school senior unable to tell the difference between real life and delusion. This is a compelling and provoking literary debut that will appeal to fans of Wes Anderson, Silver Linings Playbook, and Liar.

Alex fights a daily battle to figure out the difference between reality and delusion. Armed with a take-no-prisoners attitude, her camera, a Magic 8-Ball, and her only ally (her little sister), Alex wages a war against her schizophrenia, determined to stay sane long enough to get into college. She’s pretty optimistic about her chances until classes begin, and she runs into Miles. Didn't she imagine him? Before she knows it, Alex is making friends, going to parties, falling in love, and experiencing all the usual rites of passage for teenagers. But Alex is used to being crazy. She’s not prepared for normal.

Funny, provoking, and ultimately moving, this debut novel featuring the quintessential unreliable narrator will have readers turning the pages and trying to figure out what is real and what is made up.


Eintstein’s definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. I kept taking pictures, hoping I’d look at one and know its subject was a hallucination. I did my perimeter checks, thinking I’d eventually be able to walk around paranoia-free. I spent every day hoping someone would tell me I smelled like lemons.
If I wasn’t insane by anyone else’s definition, I figured I was at least insane by Einstein’s.

Made You Up is the debut novel by author Francesca Zappia and for the most part, I applaud her efforts and found that I enjoyed the book more than I did not. Based off of this book, I will definitely add Ms. Zappia as an author to read and I look forward to see what other books she releases to mess with my mind.

A saying that I never really understood is when someone says “they scratched their head in confusion.” I am often confused, some might say I live in a state of confusion, but I don’t think that I have ever really scratched my head because of it. If I have, then I do it without realizing it – something that I will pay closer attention to from now on, but in any case, this book had me doing the proverbial “confused head scratch” the whole time. THE.WHOLE.TIME. Much like our unreliable narrator in this story, Alex, I was fumbling around trying to make heads or tails of everything that was going on and I had not a clue as to what to believe or not believe while reading and I learned never to take anything that Ms. Zappia had written at face value. 

I am not schizophrenic (clinically), nor do I know anyone that has clinically been declared schizophrenic, but if the depiction of this illness in this book is to be believed and portrayed correctly, then damn…just DAMN. Storyline and plot aside, this book was a huge eye opener for me when it comes to the daily struggles and life of a schizophrenic. Life is hard enough to navigate on its own, I can’t imagine how hard it would be adding not being able to trust your own mind into the mix.

Alex is a teenage girl with normal teenage girl problems, but those problems are the least of Alex’s worries and are only the beginning of Alex’s daily struggles. Classified as a paranoid schizophrenic, nothing about Alex or her life can be trusted, because there is a good possibility that none of it is real. Armed with a camera and determined not to let her illness get the best of her, Alex starts a new school with a clean slate. No one at this school knows her secret, no one at this school knows the details of why she had to leave her last school and no one at this school calls her crazy. No one yet anyway. Trying hard to keep a solid grip on reality, we journey with Alex as she faces her challenges head on, but when a sinister plot at her new school slowly becomes apparent, Alex must become the most unlikely hero in her own story. Filled with mystery, intrigue, truths, half-truths and delusion, Made You Up will have you questioning your own grasp on reality while trying to discern truth from fiction.

I will be very upfront with you when I say, Made You Up is weird. So very weird. I was constantly second guessing my own storyline theories and just when I thought I had it all figured out, the story would then throw another twist my way that made me second guess myself all over again. It would be one thing if all schizophrenic illusions were easily identified based on the doubtful actuality and physical existence of the forms/situations encountered, but to be probable and likely forms/situations, it really was exhausting! For example, if Alex was to walk down the street and see a hot pink unicorn, eating a cupcake, wearing a tutu and reciting the alphabet, I could more easily view that as an illusion caused by the schizophrenia, but when normal (I use this term loosely) people, situations and conversations occur that are in fact illusions, I found myself quickly weary of everyone and everything in this book.

Overall, yes, I recommend this book to read. It’s weird, it’s compelling, it’s different and mostly, it’s nothing like anything I have ever read before. I have taken on my share of “weird” reads, but this one ranks right up there close to the top and I think it should be experienced by everyone. It may not be one that you mark as one of your favorites and you may hate it, but I don’t think that anyone that reads it will be sorry that they did. If anything, it’s one of those books that makes you think and sometimes those are the best kind.

Happy reading, until next time…   

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Never Never: Part Two (Never Never, #2) by Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher

4 "I want more right now" Stars

Back Cover Blurb -
“Never forget that I was your first real kiss. Never forget that you’ll be my last.
And never stop loving me between all of them.
Never stop, Charlie.
Never forget.”

Silas races against time as more truths unravel, while others twist tighter together. And now, the stakes are higher as Silas’ control slips and others begin to point fingers. Charlie is in trouble and he must be the one to bridge the chasm between their past and their present. Because somewhere between I love yous and Never Nevers and Never Agains, a truth they can't imagine, beckons to be found.

“Where are you, Charlie?”
Bravo Ms. Hoover and Ms. Fisher, you have done it yet again – completely captivated me with your writing and words.

In this second episode (I use that term, because just like book one, book two is a very short read) of the Never Never trilogy, things pick up exactly where book one left us hanging. I actually went back and read the last couple of chapters of book one, just to have everything fresh in my mind before I started on this one and I’m glad that I did, it really helped to set my mood and anticipation again. If you haven’t read Never Never: Book One, then you will need to start there. This one is not a stand-alone and things are already confusing enough within the storyline, you won’t want to add any extra confusion, trust me. Don’t worry though, book one is GREAT and it’s short, it’s completely worth the time and the read.

“I know that’s weird, but that’s what you love about me. You love how much I love you. Because yes, I love you way too much. More than anyone deserves to be loved. But I can’t help it. You make normal love hard. You make me psycho-love you.”

In this second episode, we get yet another piece of the puzzle that is Never Never. Even after reading this, I’m at a loss as to what is really going on (though I have a few hunches), but as with the other books that I have read from both Ms. Hoover and Ms. Fisher, nothing and everything is as it seems. I can see the final picture taking form, but yet things are still aggravatingly out of focus. We are given just enough in this one to think, hmmmm….maybe, but not enough to form any solid conclusions. The little clues dropped here and there are infuriating. I WANT to figure this out! The truth is like a carrot dangling in front of me…errrrr…actually, I don’t like carrots much, so let’s instead use cake, yes I like cake, that will do. It’s like a cake dangling in front of me, urging me to keep reaching for it, but all the while, staying just outside my grasp. There are so many ways that Ms. Hoover and Ms. Fisher can take this story and I’m excited (and impatient) to see how it all wraps up.

Silas and Charlie have lost their memories yet again, only this time Charlie is missing and Silas has to begin at square one alone. With the added pressure of trying to find Charlie on top of trying to digest, figure out and fix what has happened to them, all within the span of 48-hours, Silas’s world starts closing in on him. Trying to keep up appearances for both his and Charlie’s sakes and trying to keep the rest of the world clueless as to their all too real problem that he’s sure no one would believe, because he can hardly believe and comprehend it himself, things finally become too much. With the police now involved and the suspicion of his parents and peers mounting by the moment, Silas is forced to reveal his and Charlie’s secret, the one thing he never wanted to do. Can he trust who he told? Is there anyone that he can even trust in all of this? With every answer that he gets, a bigger question is posed and with every step he takes in order to get the truth, he also takes a step closer to when his time will run out and he and Charlie are forced to start everything all over, yet again. I was hooked!

So, this series reminds me a bit of the movie, Fifty First Dates. Well, minus the comedy, the storyline, the characters, the plot, the…okay, okay, it is NOTHING like Fifty First Dates, except the whole memory loss aspect. But anyway, I remember when I first watched that movie, I thought how sucky it would be to wake up every day and have no memory of anyone you met or anything you did past a certain point in your life and how scary it would be to read about you, by you. Not to mention the trust that you have to learn all in a day to be able to believe that the people around you are sincere and not taking advantage of you. All, so you can turn around and do it again the next day. How exhausting. But now, after reading Never Never, I think I would much prefer Drew Barrymore’s life in that movie, because even though she would have to learn to trust people daily, at least she had people that she could trust. I don’t know how I would deal with experiencing all that initial shock and then having to digest everything if I was all alone. Wow, I think sucky doesn’t cover how bad that situation would stink.

Overall, yes, this is a definite must read. Both episodes one and two are fantastically written and the story itself is addicting. The only complaint that I had about the first one and I have again about this one, is the shortness of each one and that’s really only because I’m such a selfish B* and want MORE and MORE and MORE. I feel like such a petulant child right now, full pout in place, angry red cheeks, with both arms outstretched, fists opening and clenching, screaming, “GIMME GIMME GIMME GIMME!” That is what these books do to me, they bring out my inner she-devil, the little tantrum throwing child. *sigh* Off I go, to find other books now to fill the time until I can get my hands on part three.

Happy reading, until next time…  

Bridged by Love by Nancy Corrigan

2 "Just Didn't Do It for me" Stars

Back Cover Blurb -
Follow his head, he breaks her heart. Follow his heart… he breaks his pack.

From the moment he was born, Nic Kagan’s future was sealed. He’ll accept a mate, have kids, and eventually take over his father’s role as pack alpha. There’s just one problem.

Long ago, his heart settled on Riley, the pack’s human doctor and honorary member. Except only half of him can have her. The other half—his wolf—won’t give a weak non-shifter female a second sniff.

No one—human or shifter—has left a mark on Riley’s soul like Nic. But with his father hospitalized, any hope things could work out between them is slipping away. Yet Riley understands something else about pack life. Power isn’t always a physical gift; love is just as strong. What she and Nic have is worth fighting for.

With rival threats mounting, Nic realizes he can’t simply turn his back on Riley. Though his wolf could tear his heart out for it, he must fight for what he wants before he loses his mate. His pack. Maybe even his sanity.

Warning: Contains a reluctant alpha with only one roadblock between his heart and the woman he loves—biology. And a woman who isn’t giving up on him, even if it means risking her life to fool Mother Nature.

Where do I even start? I’m a sucker for a good shifter novel. If I could have my way, then my significant other would be a were-lion. This could be why I’m still single though, but hey….a girl can dream right?

Give me a blurb with a were-shifter in the mix and add a love story and I’m putty in your hands. 80% of having me love the book is already accomplished, all you have to do now is make it an interesting story with good writing and I’m a fan. I don’t ask for much, but it seems I asked for too much from this one and I was left terribly disappointed. After reading this, I didn’t want a were-anything in my life, especially not a wolf. I blame the likes of Ilona Andrews (who can even make me lust after a were-hyena for goodness sake), Laura K. Hamilton in her earlier novels and Patricia Briggs – all of whom (noted but not excluded to) have made me a were-lover. I think if you are going to jump on the Urban Fantasy/Paranormal author train, you need to read what others have delivered and either go as big (if not bigger) or go home.

As I have ALWAYS said with books that I give less than stellar ratings to, this in no way reflects my feelings toward the author. Writing a book is hard work, emotional and often times personal and I’m merely just one voice in the crowd of millions that will read and review this book, it just so happens that my review on this one isn’t glowing. It will not stop me from reading any future titles from this author and I hope that readers will read this one and judge it for themselves, but in the business of reading and reviewing books, I need to be honest and tell it how I feel it.

I didn’t immediately start off disliking this book, it was actually toward about the 60% mark that I found myself really done with the plot and storyline and ready to just get to the end and mark it off as a read book. Contrary to popular belief, throwing a bunch of intense humping and hot guys into a book is not going to make me like it. I do want some substance and a main heroine that I can cheer for. This book gave me a lot of the former and a lot less of the later and try as I might to enjoy it, I just didn’t.

By the end, I really didn’t like our main character, she was just too selfish and annoying, it really bothered me and the side cast of characters….I could have done without the lot of them and the additional questions/drama they brought with their appearance. The story itself was appealing, but the execution and everything else is what failed in my opinion. I don’t know if maybe a better editor would have made a difference, but I know it wouldn’t have hurt. Some of inconsistencies within the story and character actions bugged me and if those details had been resolved before my reading this; that might have made all the difference in the world.

Overall, no, this is not a book I recommend, there are just so many better ones out there to be read. I will always try to point out the good in a book though before I end my reviews and the good in this, Ms. Corrigan does offer an interesting take on the were/shifter theory.  It wasn't one that I had read before and with all the were/shifter books out there, that is pretty impressive.

Happy reading, until next time book nerds…
I would like to thank NetGalley and Samhain Publishing for the ARC of this title in exchange for an honest review.


Saturday, May 16, 2015

Mud Vein by Tarryn Fisher

4 "I Saw the Beauty in the Ugly" Stars

Back Cover Blurb -
When reclusive novelist Senna Richards wakes up on her thirty-third birthday, everything has changed. Caged behind an electrical fence, locked in a house in the middle of the snow, Senna is left to decode the clues to find out why she was taken. If she wants her freedom, she has to take a close look at her past. But, her past has a heartbeat... and her kidnapper is nowhere to be found. With her survival hanging by a thread, Senna soon realizes this is a game. A dangerous one. Only the truth can set her free.
Have you ever noticed how there is a certain ugliness in too much perfection and yet a subtle beauty in flaws? That is how I feel about Mud Vein by Tarryn Fisher. This is not a perfect book, but within each dark and disturbing scene there is an honesty and within the twisted and unsettling story, there is beauty.

“You’ve been silent your whole life. You were silent when we met, silent when you suffered. Silent when life kept hitting you. I was like that too, a little. But not like you. You are stillness. And I tried to move you. It didn’t work. But that doesn’t mean you didn’t move me. I heard everything you didn’t say. I heard it so loudly that I couldn’t shut it off. Your silence, Senna, I hear it so loudly.”

The first time that I had ever heard of Tarryn Fisher, is when I picked up and read, Never Never, a novel co-written by both her and Colleen Hoover. Given how much I actually loved that particular read and having read some of Ms. Hoover’s other books, I decided to read one by Ms. Fisher and I’m really glad that I did.

Mud Vein is a love story, but as I say that, in that same breath I will tell you that it isn’t, it’s so much more than that. If your idea of a love story is passionate sex, roses, the waxing of poetic words, HEA’s and perfect heroines and heroes, then this will definitely not classify as a love story to you, it doesn’t have any of that, but yet…

Filled with intrigue and classified as almost too weird to read on my book list, Mud Vein, pushes the limits of human reasoning and explores the human psyche in a unique and disturbing way. From the very beginning of this book, I was immediately guessing as to what was going on. I needed to figure it out before I reached the end of the book, I wanted to be able to say, “Ha-ha! I already knew that! You can’t get me Ms. Fisher.” But she did “get” me and even though I kept reading page after page, waiting for the next shoe to drop, it never really did and I liked that. In telling such a twisted story, she kept me engaged from the start and kept my mind swirling with possibilities throughout, only really to end it in the most anti-climactic fashion. After going through a myriad of emotions that began at the opening page, it seemed that Ms. Fisher then gave her readers a simple peace at the end, which was unexpected, but welcome.

“I folded the page over and over until it was the size of my thumbnail, square upon square upon square. Then I ate it.”

This story is really unlike any that I have read before. Yes, the basic premise is one that can be categorized with other books in publication. Girl and boy meet, girl and boy try to disparage and fight their feelings for one another, then girl and boy experience something together that causes them to realize and express their feelings to one another, but that is about where the similarities end. Ms. Fisher puts her own spin on things and the result is definitely read worthy.

I can’t say that I really liked Senna, our heroine in this story, but by the end of the book I understood her and in doing so, I came to appreciate her. She was weird, hard to relate with, annoying and often times almost too eccentric to believe, but the vulnerability within her, shown to us in rare moments and actions, are the moments that I held onto and that is what struck a chord within me. I have never been as eclectic as Senna, nor have I ever been as closed off or aloof, but I have been that “scared little girl” wanting nothing more than acceptance and once I saw that, all of her other character flaws muted in their vibrancy and I started to see things in a new light.

“As far as I was concerned children had bipolar disorder. They were angry, unpredictable, emotional ambulance-sirens with pigtails, grubby hands and food-crusted mouths that twisted from smiles to frowns and back again as quick as a breath. No, thank you very much. If I wanted a three-foot warlord as my master, I’d hire a rabid monkey to do the job."

As I stated before, this is a love story and it’s not a love story. There is so much wrong that happens in this story and yet, so much right, but at the root of it all, there is love. It begins in love and it ends in love, regardless of all the messed up in between.

“Tell me a lie, Isaac.”
His fingertips trace a curlicue on my shoulder.
“I don’t love you.”

Overall, yes, I recommend this book. It’s not typical and some parts will make you shake your head wondering, “What in the hell am I reading?” But I think that if you are able to momentarily lower your guard and acclimate yourself into a mind that is as damaged as it is flawed, you will also see the underlying meaning behind it and the beauty within it. Too often we resent so much the down pour of rain upon our heads, that we never see the beauty of the rainbow it yields.

Happy reading, until next time book nerds…

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn, #1) by Renee Ahdieh

5 "Arabian Lure" Stars

Back Cover Blurb -
A sumptuous and epically told love story inspired by A Thousand and One Nights

Every dawn brings horror to a different family in a land ruled by a killer. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride each night only to have her executed at sunrise. So it is a suspicious surprise when sixteen-year-old Shahrzad volunteers to marry Khalid. But she does so with a clever plan to stay alive and exact revenge on the Caliph for the murder of her best friend and countless other girls. Shazi's wit and will, indeed, get her through to the dawn that no others have seen, but with a catch . . . she’s falling in love with the very boy who killed her dearest friend.

She discovers that the murderous boy-king is not all that he seems and neither are the deaths of so many girls. Shazi is determined to uncover the reason for the murders and to break the cycle once and for all.


I actually finished this book yesterday, but when I tried to type out my review, I noticed that my emotions were a little all over the place and my review was not making a lick of sense, so I slept on it and here I am, trying again – here’s hoping for the best.

When I started this book, I actually went into it a little blind.  Having foregone my typical pre-reading ritual, I did not read, seek out or otherwise know anything on what the book was based or regarding and I think it worked out in favor for the book.  For instance, after reading this book I realized that it was inspired by A Thousand and One Nights or Arabian Nights (as some might know it) and that’s not a title that I am familiar with.  Had I known this beforehand, I’m fairly certain that I would have gotten a copy and read it prior to reading this one, which in turn would have ended up giving me a base comparison on which to judge and that normally doesn’t end well for the “inspired by” or “retold” books.  So, not having any prior information or prior knowledge of the original before reading, I found myself really loving this book.

“One hundred lives for the one you took.  One life to one dawn.  Should you fail but a single morn, I shall take from you your dreams.  I shall take from you your city.  And I shall take from you these lives, a thousandfold.”

A curse born of hate and a nation in dissent and unrest, The Wrath and the Dawn is a novel charged with mystery, heart break, cunning and death.  With ruthless leaders plotting and grief stricken families hell-bent on revenge, the world is falling into chaos and in the midst of it all, we find just one boy and one girl with an unbidden love so fierce, that it threatens to destroy them and everyone around them.  Once I started reading this book, I could not put it down. 

“This boy-king, this murderer…she would not permit him to destroy another family.  To rob another girl of her best friend-of a lifetime filled with memories that had been and never would be.”

Despite the wonderful storytelling and writing within the book, it was the actual character’s themselves that held me captive and kept me their very willing prisoner till the end.  And speaking of the end, something else that should be of note, something else I failed to find out until the end of this book due to my lack of research beforehand, is that this book is a saga…sooooo….it ends in a somewhat cliffhanger.  I’m pretty sure that my neighbors heard my scream of “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” across the way when I came to this point and if they are book nerds as well, I’m sure they recognized that wail for what it was, if not, then that could account for the weird looks I was receiving this morning.  Regardless, don’t start this if you are one that likes your books closed up nice and tidy by the end, because by the end of this book – that is when things are really getting started.

“A mere trinket?  Love is a force unto itself, sayyidi.  For love, people consider the unthinkable…and often achieve the impossible.  I would not sneer at its power.”

The Wrath and the Dawn is a beautifully written story with a myriad of loveable and not so loveable characters that are certain to entertain you.  Set in a time and place that I myself am unfamiliar with, a few of the terms and items in the book flew right over my head and had me going, “Errr…the what?” However, Ms. Ahdieh has graciously provided a glossary in the back pages of the book for the readers like me and it is a great reference for those moments you find yourself thinking the same as I.  I didn’t know it was there until I reached the end and had I known, it would have saved me a lot of time I spent “googling” things, so you’re welcome!

“Lost forever.  In this kiss.  This kiss that would change everything”

Overall, yes, yes, yes.  I absolutely recommend this to everyone.  I think it has a little something to offer readers of all types and though it is mostly considered a YA Fantasy read and both the main characters are between the ages of 16-17, the story and writing are so compelling, that even those factors become background noise to the story itself.
Happy reading, until next time...

Monday, May 11, 2015

Rook by Sharon Cameron

2 "You Had Me at Hello, but Lost Me Right After That" Stars

Back Cover Blurb -

History has a way of repeating itself. In the Sunken City that was once Paris, all who oppose the new revolution are being put to the blade. Except for those who disappear from their prison cells, a red-tipped rook feather left in their place. Is the mysterious Red Rook a savior of the innocent or a criminal?

Meanwhile, across the sea in the Commonwealth, Sophia Bellamy’s arranged marriage to the wealthy René Hasard is the last chance to save her family from ruin. But when the search for the Red Rook comes straight to her doorstep, Sophia discovers that her fiancé is not all he seems. Which is only fair, because neither is she.

As the Red Rook grows bolder and the stakes grow higher, Sophia and René find themselves locked in a tantalizing game of cat and mouse.


Rook is a modern day twist and reimagining of the original play and adventure novel, The Scarlet Pimpernel by Emma Orczy and for all of you kiddo’s out there scratching your heads, asking “The Scarlet Pimper-what??” The only thing I can say is, “Go look it up and stop making feel so old!”

Though Rook is set in a time period that takes place in the not too distant future, the world that we are actually immersed into and the actions of the characters read more reminiscent of the Victorian and Regency Era time periods. Rather than the typical scientific and technological advances that most author’s incorporate into a futuristic set piece, Ms. Cameron actually sets the world as taking several steps backwards in those areas and puts a slightly different spin on futuristic ideas. The theory itself was quite interesting and provided a different depiction from the norm, but it still took my mind a moment or two to accustom itself to having guillotine-style public executions, horse drawn carriages and engagement balls, all in the same sentence with Nintendo controllers and DVDs. It was almost like watching a historic time period drama on television and noticing a plane fly through the air in the back ground or a watch on someone’s wrist, not because it’s supposed to be there, but rather the editor just didn’t catch it. It was a little weird, but I did enjoy the concept.

Unfortunately though, Rook failed in its execution for me and I was left feeling unimpressed and cheated by the time I got to the end. This book did manage to trick me though, for about the first 50% and I was pretty sure that I loved it, until the storyline started becoming so convoluted and drawn out and the writing so sloppy, that I just started skimming through the pages just to get to the end. Our main heroine, Sophia, who started off and is supposed to be a bold, cunning and smart character, ended up really being just an immature, not so smart and unlikable character to me….actually all the characters did. It was almost like all the characters who I found myself really enjoying in the beginning half of the book, decided mid-story to take a big, heaping shot of stupid and the resulting last half of the book suffered because of it. I’m not too sure what happened with the writing either. The once interesting and readable story, turned rather choppy in its delivery and the ever increasing POV changes towards the end gave me reader’s whiplash.

Overall, no, this isn’t going to be a book that I recommend. It was a valiant effort and an interesting take on a classic story, but that is about where my positive feelings about it end. As for the other ratings and reviews of this book, I’m not surprised to find my opinion to be in the minority, but I am surprised by the amount of readers who are fans of The Scarlet Pimpernel, that said that they enjoyed this one. As a huge fan of the original myself, I found that I was rather disappointed, but I’m pretty interested to see what other fans think. 

Happy reading, until next time...

Sunday, May 10, 2015

One Percenter by D. R. Graham

4 "Don't Tell Me What to Do" Stars

One Percenter

Back Cover Blurb -

99% of bikers obey the law. The other 1% make their own...
Eighteen-year-old Tienne Desrochers grew up in the rough world of the Noir et Bleu Motorcycle Club. Bikers. Family. Outlaws. But after her dad's murder, Tienne decides she's had enough. She refuses to end up like her drug-addicted mom. So she grabs her younger brother and leaves it all behind...including her boyfriend, Aiden Gyllenhall.

More comfortable in the middle of a bar fight than at a country club, living with her wealthy aunt and uncle is an adjustment, to say the least. No swearing. Designer shoes that pinch. And charming corporate types like Leland Crofton instead of super-sexy, tattooed Aiden. But even the upper class can't escape the toxic touch of underworld violence. And this time, Tienne won't just learn who she really is—she'll learn who has her back.

Book #1 in the Noir et Bleu Motorcycle Club series


As the old adage goes, “The grass is always greener on the other side.” But is it really?

Growing up with absent parents and under the thumb of the notorious Noir et Bleu Motorcycle Club, Tienne Desrochers has only ever known heartache and brutality. As the sole provider for her and her brother Cooper, Tienne dreams of a better life and that chance comes in the form of her Aunt Elizabeth and Uncle Blaine. Not being one who likes being told what to do though, living the life as a socialite and rubbing elbows with the upper crust of society is not easy, especially when the man she loves, Aiden Gyllenhall, is the son of the President of the MC she wants no part of and walked away from.

It needs to be said that I am a SUCKER for a good Motorcycle Club story. I’m an SOA junky and have fantasies of riding off into the sunset on the back of a bike, with my arms tucked securely around my man, while he is wearing his leather cut. Now, I know that things are not always rosy and romantic when it comes to Motorcycle Clubs and One Percenter is a stark reminder of that.

When the glitzy and glamorous world of social elitist and the dark, dangerous world of Motorcycle Club life collide, no one is safe, least of all Tienne and if she plans to make it out alive and with her heart intact, hard choices have to be made and the repercussions could be deadly.

One Percenter is a reminder that no matter where you go and no matter what you leave behind, no one is ever really safe. Everyone has their dark secrets and their own demons in the closet, so sometimes running to the greener pastures from the devil you know, is not always good as it seems.

While reading this book, I found myself getting very agitated with Tienne and her selfish behavior, but I had to remind myself that she really is only just a young girl and trying to survive in a world that hasn’t been kind to her. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone that loves a good story with a little bit of mystery and a lot of heart.

As for me I’m already planning my wedding to Gylly, he had me at hello.

Happy reading and until next time…

I would like to thank NetGalley and Entangled Publishing, LLC for the ARC of this title in exchange for an honest review.

The One that Got Away by Simon Wood

3 "Meh" Stars


Back Cover Blurb -  

Graduate students Zoë and Holli only mean to blow off some steam on their road trip to Las Vegas. But something goes terribly wrong on their way home, and the last time Zoë sees her, Holli is in the clutches of a sadistic killer. Zoë flees with her life, changed forever.
A year later and still tortured with guilt, Zoë latches on to a police investigation where the crime eerily resembles her abduction. Along with a zealous detective, she retraces the steps of that fateful night in the desert, hoping that her memory will return and help them find justice for Holli. Her abductor—labeled the “Tally Man” by a fascinated media—lies in wait for Zoë. For him, she is not a survivor but simply the one that got away.
With an unforgettable heroine, a chillingly disturbed psychopath, and a story that moves at breakneck speed, The One That Got Away is thriller writer Simon Wood at his finest.
Suffering from survivors remorse and guilt from leaving her friend behind in the hands of a sadistic serial killer, Zoe manages to take life day by day, not really living, but not ready to give up just yet. When a murder happens close to home that is reminiscent of the horrors she saw when she was abducted, Zoe has no choice but to try and help solve this crime and bring the murderer in for justice.

This book managed to keep me involved from start to finish, but the obvious fumbling's and mishandling of the crime by the police force in this book left a bad taste in my mouth. Not because I was mad at the cops, but more so the way the author portrayed them. I was wanting a Lt. Joe Kenda, but was instead given a Barney Fife with a couple of bumbling idiots as his deputies. I cannot pretend to know how an investigation would actually be handled, seeing as how I am not a cop, but I do watch a lot of CSI, NCIS and the ID channel and it was hard for me to believe that some of the "missed" clues or lack of initiative shown by the police is how things would really be handled in reality. Maybe a hundred years ago, but not now. With that hanging over my head, I wasn't able to truly enjoy the book.

I would recommend this to anyone who is looking for a quick, entertaining read in the mystery crime genre, but I wouldn't expect too much from this book.

Happy Reading! Until next time...

Saturday, May 9, 2015

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

4 "I Want More" Stars

Back Cover Blurb -
A thrilling, seductive new series from New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas, blending Beauty and the Beast with faerie lore.

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she's been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.

Perfect for fans of Kristin Cashore and George R. R. Martin, this first book in a sexy and action-packed new series is impossible to put down!

“There are those who seek me a lifetime but never we meet,
And those I kiss but who trample me beneath ungrateful feet.


At times I seem to favor the clever and the fair,
But I bless all those who are brave enough to dare.


By large, my ministrations are soft-handed and sweet,
But scorned, I become a difficult beast to defeat.


For though each of my strikes lands a powerful blow,
When I kill, I do it slow …”

One of the things that I fear and hate the most, is when I come across a book that has terribly high and disgustingly gushy reviews, because in most cases that is a sure sign to me that I’m going to have a problem with it and most likely hate it (i.e. Twilight, Thoughtless, Gabriel’s Inferno, etc…).  Perhaps some could see that as a complete lack of taste on my part, but instead, I prefer to think myself a rebel. 

Whatever the case or cause though, you can then understand my excitement and reluctance when I came across this title with all of its glittering reviews and 5 star ratings.  I was reluctant because I wasn’t looking forward to spending a few hours of my life stuck in a book world that I loathed, but I was excited in the same breathe hoping that this might be one that actually managed to make me feel the same as everyone else.  Happily, this one fell into the latter category and I am still reeling from all the feelings that it suddenly made me fall into.  I will say though, that the first 75% or so of the book, I had feared that I found yet another “dud” book to add to my “Hated It” list, but the last 25% of this book really saved it for me and transformed it into a “must read” in my opinion. 

Rather than going into what the book is actually about, because that can easily be deduced by reading the back cover blurb, I’m going to do something a little different and list out the things I didn’t like and the things that I did…I will start with the dislikes first:

1.        Insta-love.  It would seem the older and more jaded I get in my age, the whole insta-love phenomenon that tends to happen in books becomes less romantic to me and a whole lot more annoying.  This to me though shouldn’t be confused with love at first sight, because even though they are closely related, insta-love happens more so after a few chapters as opposed to a few pages and though I don’t like either one, I can stomach insta-love a bit more than the other. 

2.       Our main heroine’s propensity for suffering from watery bowels.  Maybe it isn’t as bad as I am making it out to be, but every single time that Feyre’s bowels turned watery, it stuck with me and not in a good way.

3.       The main heroine, Feyre.  I found that I was constantly having to remind myself how young our MC really is, because her complete stupidity and annoying nature really grated my nerves on more than a few occasions.

Okay, now what I liked:

1.        Rhysand.  I seem to have a thing for the bad boys in a book/movie and Rhys is no exception.  That sexy beast grabbed and held onto my attention, regardless of his terribleness and I found myself rooting for him no matter who he was killing or what he was doing. 

2.       Everything else in the book.         

Okay, so readers that enjoy YA/Fantasy novels, this one is definitely for you.  Filled with romance, intrigue, drama and supernatural beings, this could easily rank up there with the bests in the genre.  If YA or Fantasy isn’t really your thing, but you have been interested in trying it…here you go, I would absolutely recommend that you start with this one.  If there is one more thing that I wanted to add to my dislike list, it would be that I have to wait till next year to get part two…but until then, I’ll be happily awaiting it.

Happy reading, until next time…