Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Review: Impossible - Nancy Werlin

A family curse, an impossible task... only true love can save her.

Lucy is seventeen when she discovers that for generations, the women of her family have been cursed.  Now it's her turn.  Lucy must attempt three seemingly impossible tasks or fall into insanity.  But Lucy is allowed to try and escape.  She has to try.

Because Lucy believes in love and choosing the life she wants.  Unlike her ancestors, Lucy has her childhood friend Zach and her family by her side and she will fight this curse.  Is Zach's love and Lucy's strength of hope powerful enough to save her?

Visit Nancy Werlin's website for more information

Review:
Lucy's mother Miranda gave birth at just 18 and left Lucy with her foster parents after going crazy.  Miranda now lives on the streets and whenever Lucy sees her she is singing an unusual version of an old folk song called Scarborough Fair.  At first Lucy believes this is just part of the madness that her mother suffers from but after finding Miranda's diary she begins to wonder if there is more to it than that.  Especially when she finds herself pregnant at just 17 after a disastrous prom date.  Unsure if her family really is cursed or if she has just inherited Miranda's insanity Lucy is going to need the support of her family and friends if she is going to find out the truth.  The song tells of three impossible tasks that must be completed before her baby is born or she'll end up just like her mother, surely it's worth trying to solve the puzzles just in case.

I really enjoyed Impossible, it is a sweet love story and I really liked the fact that Lucy had such supportive foster parents.  The relationship between them made a refreshing change from a lot of books I've read where the heroine / hero can't turn to their parents for help.  I really loved Lucy's childhood friend Zach, he was so caring and was willing to step up to the plate to protect Lucy and help her in any way possible.  I did feel their relationship was a little rushed but the story wouldn't have worked so well any other way so it wasn't a major issue for me.

I found it intriguing that the idea for this book came from a song and I still really want to get hold of a copy, it would have made perfect background music for reading the book and I'd still like to know the tune.  The idea of the curse and the impossible tasks was different from anything else I've read and gave the story a fairy tale feel that I really liked.  Overall the focus was more on the love story - which I did enjoy - but it would have been nice to see more of the supernatural and of the very creepy villain.  I would recommend this book to romance fans, especially if you enjoy a good fairy tale.  It wasn't a perfect book for me but the niggles I had were minor ones that didn't stop me enjoying the story.

Source: Received as part of a book tour arranged by International Book Tours, this book has already been sent on to it's next destination.

Other reviews of this book:
Asamum Booktopia
We Adore A Happy Ending
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.

Sunday, 27 June 2010

In My Mailbox (25)

Thanks to Kristi at The Story Siren for hosting In My Mailbox every week.

Books Purchased / Given:
I had an amazing this week - all of these books & I only actually brought one of them!
  1. Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning - this was my naughty ebay purchase and came highly recommended.  I'm looking forward to starting this series.
  2. Unseen Academicals by Terry Pratchett - my Dad and I are both massive Terry Pratchett fans so when he saw the new book on a 2 for 1 deal he picked us both up a copy
  3. First 12 books in the Anita Blake series by Laurell K Hamilton - I happened to mention this series to my friend and her husband who got fed up with the series gave me the first 12 books.  I couldn't believe it when he dropped them around for me - it was like Christmas!  I've heard mixed things about this series, my friend got fed up after book 12 so didn't read any further but I'm still keen to give them a try.
  4. First 2 books in the Meredith Gentry series by Laurell K Hamilton - These were an extra bonus from the same friend who gave me the Anita Blake books.  I hadn't actually heard of this series before so I'm curious to find out what it's about.
Library Finds:

I was hoping that my reservation for the third book in the Riley Jenson series would come in this week but it hasn't so hopefully I won't have to wait to much longer.  Other than that I'm trying not to get any other library books at the moment - I really need to try and read through the ones I've alread got!

For Review:
  1. Trash by Andy Mulligan - Thanks to RHCB for sending this one for review.  I hadn't heard of it before but the description sounds really good.
  2. Angel by L.A. Weatherly - Thanks to Usborne for sending this one - it is the first book in a new trilogy and it looks amazing!  I can't wait to start it but since it isn't out until October I'll probably wait until a bit closer to the release date before I review it.
  3. Shade by Jerry Smith-Ready - Thanks to Simon & Schuster, I've heard so many good things about this on the blogosphere that I can't wait to dig in & read it.
  4. Claire de Lune by Christine Johnson - Thanks again to Simon & Schuster - this is another one I've heard a lot about & am really looking forward to reading!
  5. Best Friends Forever by Jennifer Weiner - This was another surprise from Simon & Schuster, I've actually read another book by Jennifer Weiner a few years ago & really enjoyed it so I'm sure this will be a good summer read.
  6. Dear Dylan by Siobhan Curham - Thanks so much to Siobhan for sending me this for review, it is a novel written entirely in the form of emails so I'm very curious to see how the story comes across.
  7. Ex Appeal by Cari Quinn - Thanks to Cari for sending me a copy of her newest ebook.  I've heard fab things about the first book in this series & am looking forward to reading this.
What was in your mailbox this week?

Review: Nauti Boy - Lora Leigh

Too weak to resist young Kelly Salyers's attempts at seduction, Rowdy Mackay left home eight years ago.  Duty as a U.S. Marine put a safe distance between him and the temptation of the nubile Kentucky vixen.  Now Rowdy's back home and ready to engage in the kind of erotic games that have earned him and his two cousins a Nauti-boy reputation.

Once it was Kelly's dream, too, to feel the heat of the boy she desired.  But an attack from a stalker still on the prowl has left Kelly terrified of a man's touch.  Now as fear and desire converge, Rowdy fights to save her from the deadly threats of a stranger, to rid her of her demons and to satisfy a hunger more powerful than either can imagine.

Nauti Series:
Nauti Boy
Nauti Nights
Nauti Dreams
Nauti Intentions
Nauti Deceptions

Visit Lora Leigh's website for more information.

Review:
Rowdy has been crazy about his step-sister Kelly since she was 16 but as he was 22 at the time he didn't feel it would be right to take things any further until she was older.  To escape from her flirting he joined the marines where he has spent the last 8 years until deciding that Kelly is now old enough for him to claim her as his.  When he returns home he finds a very different Kelly from the one he remembers on his last visit a year ago.  Having been the victim of a vicious attempted rape and still being stalked by the perpetrator Kelly has become a shadow of her former self and is very nervous around men - even Rowdy.  With the help of his cousins Dawg and Natches Rowdy is determined to stop her stalker but he also wants to help Kelly regain her confidence and begin a relationship with her.

Having really enjoyed Lora Leigh's Wild Card I was looking forward to reading Nauti Boy but unfortunately I was disappointed and found this one just didn't work for me.  One of the main issues I had was how quickly Rowdy pushed Kelly into a relationship with him and how he immediately asked her to allow his cousins to join them in bed together.  Considering the nature of Kelly's attack and the fact that she was terrified of Rowdy when he first returned home it didn't make sense to me that she would get over her fear so quickly.  I also couldn't understand how she would feel comfortable with some of the sex scenes but I can't really go into more detail without giving spoilers.  I just felt that everything moved far too quickly which made it very unbelievable for me.

I did find I liked their relationship more towards the end of the book but I didn't feel emotionally invested in the characters.  The sex scenes were hot but I noticed several places where the same phrasing was used from Wild Card, perhaps I noticed this more because I read both books one after the other but it still irritated me.  I also found the showdown at the end with the stalker seemed a bit rushed and was over far too quickly and easily.  I had enjoyed the build up throughout the book but felt let down by the ending.  Overall I'm not too sure if I'll be reading the rest of the books in this series although I may pick up the next one if I see it in the library.  I will definitely be continuing with Lora's Elite Ops series though and am looking forward to trying her Seals and Breed series, both of which I've heard good things about.

Source: Library

Other Reviews:
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.

Friday, 25 June 2010

Review: Wild Card - Lora Leigh

A Fatal Escape

It was supposed to be simple.  All Navy SEAL Nathan Malone had to do was rescue three young girls from a Colombia drug cartel, then allow himself to be captured just long enough to draw out a government spy.  That was before his mission went disastrously wrong ... and before his wife, Bella, was told that Nathan was never coming home.

A Dangerous Desire...

Bella's mourned her husband's death for three long years.  But she has no idea he's alive.  Forced to assume a new identity, the man Nathan was is now dead.  If he can get back to his wife, can he keep the secret of who he really is ... even as desire threatens to consume them?  And as danger threatens to tear Bella from Nathan's arms once more?

Elite Ops Series:
Wild Card
Night Hawk (Free short story)
Maverick
Heat Seeker
Black Jack

Visit Lora Leigh's website for more information.

Review:
When Navy SEAL Nathan went on a mission he thought it was going to be easy and he'd be back with his wife Bella within a couple of weeks.  However, when the mission went wrong he ended up captured and tortured for 19 months.  By the time he was rescued Bella had already been told he was dead.  Both physically and mentally scarred from the torture he endured Nathan believes that Bella is better off without him and to protect her he takes on an assumed identity as Noah Blake and starts working for an elite team who carry out dangerous missions for the government.  6 years after he left on his last fateful mission as Nathan, Noah's team is called in to investigate a white supremacist group in his home town.  Noah believes he can go undercover even working in Bella's garage without her realising who he is and without having to act on his love for her. 

Bella has been grieving for years for the husband who was her soul mate so she is shocked to find herself drawn to the sexy stranger Noah.  It doesn't take her too long to discover who he actually is and she is hurt that he was alive for all this time and didn't come back to her.  Noah finds Bella is very different from the helpless young wife he left behind, in fact she is the perfect match for the man he has become.  The attraction between them is intense and they are unable to resist each other but with Bella waiting for Noah to tell her who he really is and Noah not wanting to tell her for the fear that she will reject him their relationship isn't going to be resolved easily.  Add to that the danger that Bella is in from the supremacist group and the couple are in for a bumpy ride.

Wild Card is the first book I've read by Lora Leigh and it won't be the last.  Although Wild Card is the first book in the Elite Ops series I have since found out that this series is a spin off from Lora's Seals series so Nathan's character had already been introduced in previous books.  I didn't feel like I'd missed anything by not reading the Seals series first but I enjoyed this book so much I'll definitely be reading that series in the future.

Nathan & Bella's relationship is intense and passionate (with plenty of really hot love scenes!) and I really found myself liking both of the main characters.  Bella has gone through hell grieving for her husband but she is a survivor and has come through it stronger than ever.  Now that Nathan (Noah) is back in her life she refuses to go back to being the "little woman" who waits around helplessly waiting for his instructions.  She wants to be an equal partner and she isn't prepared to settle for less.  Noah isn't the same man that Nathan was but she can still see the man she loved under the tough exterior and she still loves him just as much.  Although at times I wanted to shake Noah until he told her who he really was (particularly when he was getting jealous of his wife's memory of Nathan and the love he believes she still has for him) I could understand why he felt the way he did.  He had been changed deeply by the torture he had gone through at the hands of the drug lord who had captured him but it was his love for Bella that got him through.

I loved the intensity of their relationship and the fact that although they had both changed considerably from the people they were when they married they both remained true to each other and were still deeply in love.  The passion between them was smoking hot - believe me you're going to need plenty of cold showers reading this one!  I can't remember who suggested Lora Leigh to me but I will definitely be reading more of her books in the future and would recommend Wild Card to any fans of erotic romance.  I'm looking forward to getting my hands on the next book in this series and will definitely be reading the Seals series too.

Source: Library

Other Reviews:
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Review: Sing Me To Sleep - Angela Morrison

Beth has always been "The Beast" - that's what everyone at school calls her because of her awkward height, facial scars, and thick glasses.  Who could love a beast?  Beth's only friend is geeky, golden-haired Scott.  That is, until she's selected to be her choir's soprano soloist, and receives the makeover of a lifetime.  Suddenly, everyone wants a piece of Beth.

Things only get better when her choir travels to Switzerland and Beth meets the mysterious Derek.  They have an incredible whirlwind affair that makes Beth realise, for the first time, she too can find love.  She's no longer The Beast.  In Derek's eyes, she's a beauty.  But then Scott makes a heartbreaking confession to Beth that leaves her completely torn.  Should she stand by sweet, steady Scott or follow the dangerous, passionate feelings she has for Derek?

And there's an even bigger problem:  Derek's got a secret ... one that could shatter everything.

Visit Angela Morrison's website for more information

Review:
Beth has been bullied at school for as long as she can remember, with her poor skin, thick glasses and unusual height she is known as The Beast and teased mercilessly by the bullies.  Her only friend is the geeky Scott who has stood by her through it all.  Everything starts to change when she lands herself the role of soloist in her choir by amazing everyone with her beautiful voice.  Choir members who wouldn't give her the time of day before suddenly decide to give her a makeover in preparation for their trip to Switzerland to take part in the Choral Olympics. 

Suddenly Beth finds that people are taking notice of her and the only person who doesn't seem keen on the changes is Scott.  When Derek contacts her via the choir's website she can't believe he'd actually be interested in her when he sees her but when they finally meet in Switzerland she's shocked to find that he is.  Their whirlwind romance continues when they get home but it soon becomes clear that Derek has a secret.  Disappearing for long periods of time with no contact and acting strangely when she suggests she meet his parents their relationship isn't the easiest romance ever.  With Scott confessing his love for her Beth is torn between the two boys in her life - her best friend or the secretive Derek.

Sing Me To Sleep is a beautiful and well told story and my heart went out to Beth.  I'm sure most of us have experienced some kind of bullying in our lives and if you have I'm sure you'll find it very easy to relate to Beth's feelings.  She truly has suffered and her confidence and self-belief are at an all time low, the only thing she loves is singing and that really shows in her character.  I loved Scott straight away - he was the only person who saw through the surface to the real Beth and loved her just as she was.  He tried so hard to make her believe in herself but it wasn't surprising that she couldn't believe him.  I really found myself wishing Beth would see what was right in front of her but I could see the appeal Derek had too.

Derek came across as really sweet at first and he obviously had strong feelings for Beth.  When they returned home and he started behaving strangely I started to get quite frustrated with him.  I'd already guessed at his secret (I wasn't completely correct but close enough) and was desperate for him to just tell her rather than messing her around.  I found it frustrating that he was being so secretive but that Beth was still prepared to do anything just to be with him.  It felt at times like she put up with far too much from him when she should have moved on with her life but I think considering her low self esteem her reactions were probably quite realistic.  I also found her jealousy irritating but understandable in the circumstances.  By the time you get to the end of the book you get to know Derek a lot better and although I still don't agree with the way he handled things I can certainly understand why he did what he did.  My heart completely broke for him when I found out for sure what he had been hiding.

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed Sing Me To Sleep it was a beautiful story of young love and the transition from teenager to adult.  It's about learning to have confidence in yourself no matter what other people think or say and it's about finding your place in the world.  I'd recommend this book to anyone who has ever been bullied or felt down about themselves.  I have to warn you though - you'll need tissues when you read it.  I can't remember the last time I cried as much as I did while reading this book!  It is both heartbreaking and uplifting and is a book I'd say shouldn't be missed.

Source: Received as part of a book tour arranged by International Book Tours, this book has already been sent on to it's next destination.

Other reviews of this book:
Inside of a Dog
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Review: Gale Force - Rachel Caine

Weather Warden Joanne Baldwin is taking a vacation from her duties when her idyll is interrupted by her worst nightmare: a reporter from a legitimate newspaper. The last thing Joanne needs is someone exposing the supernatural world she inhabits.

The sun chases the clouds away when her Djinn lover, David, asks Joanne to marry him. She's thrilled to answer yes, but there are certain parties - some human, some otherwise - who will be less enthusiastic.

Joanne's premarital bliss ends when a freakish devastating earthquake hits Florida - and this time, she won't be able to ask David and his kind for assistance. The cause of the quake is unlike anything Joanne has ever encountered, and it is fueled by a power even the Djinn cannot perceive...

The Weather Warden Series:
Ill Wind
Heat Stroke
Chill Factor
Windfall
Firestorm
Thin Air
Gale Force
Cape Storm
Total Eclipse

Outcast Season Series:
(This is a spin off from The Weather Warden Series)
Undone
Unknown
Unseen
Unbroken

Visit Rachel Caine's Website for more information.

Review:
Gale Force is book 7 in the Weather Warden series and I would strongly recommend reading the series in order. I think if you tried to read this as a stand alone book you'd probably be missing too much of the back story to get the full enjoyment from the book. I'm really enjoying this series though so I'd definitely recommend checking it out starting with Ill Wind.

The story starts with Jo on a well deserved vacation - not that she actually wants to be there, she'd much rather be getting stuck into her job as a Warden than sat around doing nothing. When David proposes she is thrilled and begins planning the wedding but not everyone is happy for them - in fact there are a lot of people who are prepared to stop the wedding at any cost. Ashan and the old Djinn are determined to stop the wedding but the wardens aren't too keen on it either. After events in the previous books relations between Wardens and Djinn are still volatile with the Djinn harbouring a deep seated resentment for the thousands of years of slavery they have suffered at the hands of the Wardens. The Wardens are still wary of the Djinn after seeing so many of their friends die in the war between the 2 races.

In the midst of planning the wedding of the year Jo is also being chased by reporters who want to know more about the Warden organisation. On top of that when a devastating earthquake hits Florida it soon becomes clear that they are facing an enemy unlike anyone they have faced before. Worse still is the fact that David and the Djinn are completely unable to detect the danger and unable to help in the fight. With the wedding ceremony planned as a way to bring out their enemy are Jo and David actually going to make it down the aisle? Even if they do will they survive to enjoy their wedding night?

Events in Thin Air made book 6 in the series a very different read than the previous books in the series, I still enjoyed it but not as much as I had enjoyed the previous books. I'm very pleased to say that with Gale Force the series is back on top form and was a thoroughly enjoyable read. I still love Jo as a heroine - I like the fact that she is prepared to fight for what she believes in no matter what the personal cost. She has a lot to deal with in this book but I thought she coped admirably.

I absolutely love David - who wouldn't want this gorgeous Djinn as their own? - and I really liked the development in his and Jo's relationship throughout the book. I also really like Jo's best friend Cherise and loved her in this book. It's great to have a supportive female character who is human with no supernatural abilities but still has an important role to play in the story. The plot is fast paced and has so many twists thrown in you'll feel like you're on a roller coaster ride. With past characters making re-appearances and old friends making devastating betrayals it is hard to tell who Jo can trust. Although some of the plot lines are tied up at the end things are left wide open for the next book & I can't wait to get my hands on Cape Storm. I really am struggling to work out how Rachel Caine is going to be able to resolve things between the Djinn and the Wardens but also how they are going to be able to fight this new enemy.

If you're a fan of the series then I'm sure you'll enjoy Gale Force, even if you weren't keen on Thin Air I'd definitely recommend giving it a try. If you haven't started the series yet then I'd recommend it to urban fantasy fans but you really should start with book 1 Ill Wind.

Source: Library

Other Reviews:
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.

Monday, 21 June 2010

It's Monday, What are you Reading? (24)

This meme was started at J. Kaye's Book Blog but has now moved to One Person's Journey Through a World of Books run by Sheila.

News:

The UK Tour of Low Red Moon by Ivy Devlin has started this week but UK bloggers can still sign up if you're interested - the tour sign up page is here.  You can also read my review of Low Red Moon here.

This week's guest for Author's Animal Antics feature was the lovely Devyn Quinn who stopped by to talk about how she came to start working in feret rescue and share some lovely pictures of her ferets.  You can read Devyn's post here.  I have some fantastic authors lined up to take part in the feature so keep an eye out for the posts every Thursday.

Books read last week: (Click on the links to read my reviews)
  1. One Foot in the Grave - Jeaniene Frost (read last week)
  2. Comfort Food - Kitty Thomas (read last week)
  3. Astoroth: Her Last Sin - Stella & Audra Price (Short Story)
  4. Siren's Call - Devyn Quinn
  5. I Married A Demon - Beverly Rae
  6. Blood Promise - Richelle Mead
  7. Gale Force - Rachel Caine (review coming soon)
What I'm reading now:
What I'll be reading next:

Next up is Impossible by Nancy Werlin so I can send it on to the next person in the tour and after that I've got a few review books I want to read.  I'm not sure which ones I'll read first though - it depends what catches my eye first!

Challenge updates:

100+ Reading Challenge - Read 116/200
Paranormal Reading Challenge - Read 50/50 - COMPLETE
Speculative Fiction Reading Challenge - Read 24/24 - COMPLETE
April NAC Mini-Challenge - Battle Royale - Read 5/5 - COMPLETE

What are you reading?

Review: Blood Promise - Richelle Mead

How far will Rose go to keep her promise?

The recent Strigoi attack at St. Vladimir's Academy was the deadliest ever in the school's history, claiming the lives of Moroi students, teachers and guardians alike.

Even worse, the Strigoi took some of their victims with them... including Dimitri.  He'd rather die than be one of them, and now Rose must abandon her best friend, Lissa - the one she has sworn to protect no matter what - and keep the promise Dimitri begged her to make long ago.

But with everything at stake, how can she possibly destroy the person she loves the most?

Vampire Academy Series:
Frostbite
Blood Promise
Spirit Bound
Last Sacrifice

Bloodlines Series: (This is a spin off from the Vampire Academy Series)
Adrian's Lost Chapter (Free Short Story can be read here)
Bloodlines
The Golden Lily
The Indigo Spell
The Fiery Heart (Release date to be confirmed)


Visit Richelle Mead's website for more information

Review:
Although this review won't include spoilers for Blood Promise please, please don't read beyond this paragraph if you're new to this series.  Events at the end of book 3 (Spirit Bound) make it impossible to review this book without giving away a major spoiler for the first 3 books.  If you haven't yet discovered this series then I would highly recommend it to both adults and teens - it has become my favorite YA vampire series by far & I can't praise it enough.  Check out the reviews of Vampire Academy for an introduction to the series.

OK so hopefully if you're still reading this review you've already read at least as far as Shadow Kiss.  What can I say about Blood Promise?  Apart from the fact that this series just gets better with every book and I'm now desperately waiting to read Spirit Bound!  Talk about an ending that will have you on the edge of your seat and leave you begging for more.

At the end of Shadow Kiss we saw Rose leaving Lissa and St Vladimir's Academy to search for Dimitri.  Knowing that he'd never want to be Strigoi and that he was turned against his will she is determined to track him down and keep her promise to him.  Rose sets off on her own for Russia believing that Dimitri will have returned to his home town and she eventually tracks down his family.  Let me just take a minute to point out how much I liked Dimitri's family and I loved the way they accepted Rose and made her feel so welcome.  We get to learn so much more about Dimitri from his family and from flashbacks Rose has about times they have spent together and it made it easy to see how much he & Rose meant to each other.

When Rose finally tracks Dimitri down it leads to some heart wrenching scenes that brought tears to my eyes in several places.  As much as Rose wants to believe he is the same Dimitri he has changed and is no longer the same man that she was so in love with.  It is hard to see him in such a different light & I desperately missed the old Dimitri.  Scenes between them are intense and emotional but I thought that Richelle Mead handled things really well.  Everything that Rose said and did was completely believable & my heart went out to her.

Although Rose and Lissa are apart for the first time we do still get to find out what is happening with Lissa via the bond they share.  Rose frequently checks in with Lissa to see what is going on at the Academy and we see a lot of what is happening with Lissa, Christian and Adrian.  Rose is also visited by Adrian in her dreams and I'm starting to like him more and more as I get to know him better.  Lissa's behaviour is becoming more erratic and it soon becomes clear to Rose that something strange is going on at the Academy but she has so much else to deal with that she can't drop everything to go to Lissa immediately.  I had actually found myself a bit disappointed with Lissa in Shadow Kiss because she never seemed to give any thought to Rose's feelings so I was pleased to see that this started to change in Blood Promise and I'm hoping that she will redeem herself.

I have to say that I absolutely loved Blood Promise and oh the developments at the end - I have got to get my hands on Spirit Bound asap because I NEED to know what happens next!  If you enjoyed the first 3 books in the series then you're going to love this installment.  If you're new to the series & ignored my spoiler warnings to make it this far (yes, I'm thinking of you Bear!) then you need to get your hands on Vampire Academy now - this series really shouldn't be missed.

Source: Library

Other Reviews:
Ink and Paper
So Many Books, So Little Time
Chrissie's Corner
I'd So Rather Be Reading
GretchTM's Reading Haven
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.

Sunday, 20 June 2010

In My Mailbox (24)

Thanks to Kristi at The Story Siren for hosting In My Mailbox every week.

Books Purchased:
I failed at my book buying ban again this week but I had some credit on my paypal account so couldn't resist making some purchases on eBay!
  1. Angels Blood by Nalini Singh - I've seen so many good reviews of this series on other blogs & I'm really looking forward to giving it a try
  2. Dark Warrior Unleashed by Alexis Morgan - I've not heard much about this series but it looks good so I thought I'd give it a try.
  3. Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K. Hamilton - I've been wanting to start the Anita Blake series for ages & I finally got around to buying book 1.
  4. The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness - This book was raved about by Lynsey and some of the other bloggers at the UK Blogger meet up so I'm sure I'll enjoy this one.
Library Finds:
I didn't get around to posting my mailbox last week so this haul is actually 2 weeks worth but either way I'm quite impressed with my haul :o)
  1. At Grave's End by Jeaniene Frost - I absolutely love this series so can't wait to dig into my next Bones fix!
  2. Speak of the Devil by Jenna Black - I ordered this book from the Morgan Kingsley series quite a while ago so I'm looking forward to reading the next installment.
  3. Bound to Shadows & Embraced by Darkness by Keri Arthur - I'm really enjoying the Riley Jenson series & ordered the rest of the series from the library but I'm still waiting for book 3 to come in which means I can't read any of the others yet.
For Review:
  1. Impossible by Nancy Werlin - Received from International Book Tours, I've only got a week to read this before I need to send it on so this one has jumped right to the top of my TBR pile
  2. Sing Me To Sleep by Angela Morrison - Another one from International Book Tours so this will also be one I'm reading this week
  3. Star Crossed by Jo Cotterill - Thanks to RHCB for sending me this one for review.
What was in your mailbox this week?

Review: I Married A Demon - Beverly Rae

How’s a wife supposed to keep her new hubby happy when she’s chasing after gargoyles, zombies, and evil-doers of the Otherworld? Charged with guarding her hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma, Protector Jennifer Randall must find the Bracelet of Invincibility before a high demon lord can claim it and use its power to rule Mankind.

While hunting for the Bracelet, she discovers she’s unknowingly married a demon who needs the Bracelet to regain his mortality. Will she fulfill her mission and deliver the Bracelet to her superiors, thus dooming her husband to Eternity as a demon? Or will she give into love and use the Bracelet’s power to save him?


Para-Mates Series:
I Married A Demon
I Married A Dragon

Visit Beverly Rae's website for more information

Review:
Jenn is a Protector and it is her job to keep humans safe from the supernatural creatures that most of them have no idea exist.  When she is forced to take a holiday by her boss she meets the man of her dreams and after a whirlwind romance they are quickly married.  Back home from her holiday turned honeymoon she has to juggle her day job as an estate agent alongside her Protector duties whilst trying to settle into married life.  Keeping her role as a Protector secret from her new husband Blake becomes even harder when she is tasked with finding an important bracelet before it falls into the hands of the demon lord who wants to use it to destroy the world.

Her investigations take a turn for the worse when she starts to have suspicions that her gorgeous new husband might actually be a demon.  How could her instincts have been so wrong about Blake?  With both Jenn and Blake searching for the bracelet for their own cause will it end up in the hands of good or evil?  And can sworn enemies overcome everything for the sake of love?

I Married A Demon is the first book I've read by Beverly Rae & it definitley won't be my last - in fact I'm glad to have the next book in the series, I Married A Dragon, in my TBR pile!  This was a hilarious paranormal romance that had me laughing out loud as I read.  You have to like Jenn, she is completely crazy and so good at ignoring the signs when there is something she doesn't want to see.  She isn't the most compitent heroine but her heart is in the right place and she is determined to do the right thing.  The heat between Jenn and Blake is great & they can't keep their hands off each other.  Jenn comes to realise that Blake isn't your average demon and I loved him (well I did when he was in his human form anyway!)

There is also a great supporting cast of characters who were always on hand to add to the hilarity.  I particularly liked Partner who was assigned to help Jenn by the Protectors, scenes between the 2 of them never failed to make me laugh.  There was also Jenn's human friend Myra who ends up playing an important role in the story and the mysterious George who saves Jenn's life and then wants to hang around.

I'd definitely recommend I Married A Demon if you're looking for a light hearted summer read.  I was kept guessing right to the end about how things would work out between Jenn and Blake but I thoroughly enjoyed the time I spent with them & am looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

Source: Thanks to Veronica from Strictly Reviews for sending me this eBook for review.  This review will also be posted on Veronica's blog.

Other Reviews:
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Winners: Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick & Dido by Adele Geras

I had 2 giveaways end yesterday and it's time to announce the winners with the help of random.org.

First is the winner of Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick - we had an amazing number of entries for this one so thank you all for spreading the word.  There were a total of 47 people entered into the giveaway with 419 entries between them and the lucky winner is.....

Blueicegal

Next we have 3 lucky winners for Dido by Adele Geras and I'd like to say a massive thank you to RHCB publisher for offering this giveaway for my readers.  There are 3 winners for this book (2 UK winners & 1 international winner) and the books will be sent out directly by RHCB.

UK winners:
Carly & Dwayne

International winner:
Mariska

A massive congratulations to all of today's winners!  Don't worry if you didn't win - I have several more giveaways coming up soon.  I'm about to send all of the winners an email asking for your addresses so I can arrange for the books to be sent to you.  I'll be sending the copy of Hush, Hush myself but please note that the copies of Dido will be coming directly from RHCB so I'll need to pass your address over to them.  Please respond to my email within 48 hours or I'll have to pick new winners.  Thanks to everyone for taking part.

Author's Animal Antics - Devyn Quinn

Author's Animal Antics is a new regular blog feature here at Sarah's Book Reviews where I'm very excited to have some fantastic authors come and chat to us about their pets.  I'm thrilled to introduce the lovely Devyn Quinn as my guest today...

**************************************************


Ferts Gone Wild…Or how I learned to love rats with fangs

I’ve always been an animal lover and have had pets of one kind or another for most of my 44 years. Like most kids I had cats, dogs, hamsters, snakes and even a Kangaroo rat. So it was a no brainer when I grew up and got a home of my own that I’d fill it with animals. It’s not unusual to walk into my place and see that it’s filled to the rafters with pets. Not only do I have a dog, my 6 year old Shih Tzu, Tess, I have too many cats to count and ferrets. Lots of ferrets. As of today’s count, there are 8. I’ve had as many as 14 at any given time.

Amazingly there was a time when I didn’t know what a ferret was, and I certainly didn’t want one. All I knew about the little creatures was that they looked like long skinny mice and had sharp claws and fangs. Makes them sound really lovely, right? Well, no. Not really.

So how did I end up with a bunch of ferrets?

Well, at the time I was working in cat/kitten rescue. Our small desert town has no resources for animals, not even a dog catcher and people often drive to the country to dump their unwanted animals rather than take them to the kill-shelter in the next largest city. I guess they figure letting the animal starve, get run over on the highway or eaten by coyotes is preferable to having them put down. In my opinion it’s just as cruel, if not more so. So I began rescuing stray kittens and giving them a home. Unfortunately many of the animals come with various diseases, including feline leukemia and many of the kittens I rescued died. I like to think they got a home and a decent burial while they were with me.

As I slowly wound down the rescue efforts for feral kittens, I received a call to come and pick up a ferret for rehoming. I asked around and found a home for the little critter. That accomplished, I drove over to a city in the neighboring state of Texas to pick the animal up. Imagine my shock when I arrived to find a poor pitiful little animal covered with fleas and sores. It had been at least 6 months since someone had cleaned her cage and she was living in her own filth, and being fed an inadequate diet. In other words, she was pathetic. It took all my efforts not to slap the stupid, lazy owner into next year and then some. I quickly snatched the ferret, named Coda, and drove her to her new home. Once I dropped her off, I was sure she was going to be okay.

Coda

Then around midnight I received a call. It was Coda’s new owner. He informed me that although he had cleaned her cage, he could not stand the stink of the animal and wanted to get rid of her. Well, what to do? No one else wanted her, so I ended up picking her up and taking her home. As I drove home, I grumbled. What was I going to do with the extreme mouse in my house?

The first few days were touch and go. Not only did Coda need a lot of bathing and cleaning to get the stink off her, she needed to be fed an adequate diet. Knowing nothing about ferrets, I began scouring the web for tips on ferret care. Ferrets, I found, are carnivores, landing somewhere between the cat and dog family. They are also extremely friendly, inquisitive and absolutely adorable. Before I knew it I had stopped looking for a home for Coda. She’d not only moved into my place, she was staying for the long haul.

After about a year, it became apparent that my ferret was lonesome. Scouring the want ads, I found a woman selling a pair of older ferrets. Again, I drove over to pick them up, and Biggie and Baby joined my ferret family. Coda was ecstatic and the ferts took to each other right away. After a year of keeping three ferrets quite happily, I happened to wander into a pet store that had a brand new baby ferret for sale (a baby being about 2-3 months old). The next thing I knew, Rascal, was on her way home with me. And then Peetems showed up, along with Cocoa and Misti. That’s right. It was fert mania around my house and everyone got along famously, cats, ferrets and even the dog. The years passed and all was well.


Since I had lots of ferrets, I was in the pet store all the time buying supplies. It was during one of my trips that the owner of the store asked if I was still doing animal rescue. It turns out people were trying, for one reason or another, to give their ferrets away. But the pet store had no facilities for abandoned ferrets, especially those that were older and in bad health. Seeing as I already knew how to care for older ferrets (all these years later Biggie and Baby had passed on from old age) and had a facility for them, I decided then and there ferret rescue would be my mission.

After printing up some business cards and handing them out at all the pet outlets in town, I formally opened the doors on Jan 1, 2010. Within a month I had a call to pick up 6 ferrets. One call included a guy who had to give up his brand new baby ferret of three days (I quickly snatched this little darling as my own and decided Sasha was going to stay with me, LOL) Although their owners hated to give up their pets, changes in life and health circumstances were forcing them to part with their animals. It quickly occurred to me I would soon have more ferrets than I could possibly handle. So phase 2, ferret adoption, began. Since I ask the owner to give up the cage and all materials relating to the ferret’s care, most ferrets go out the door in the home they came to me in.

Although most animals are in good condition when they come in, some are not so fortunate. In most cases the ferret is elderly and in no shape to be adopted out. When the older or ill ferrets come in, they are provided with a nice home to live out their final days in peace and comfort. I have several older ferrets, including my first ferret, Coda. Now 6 (as near as I can figure), I’ve had her for five years. And even though she’s a little bald in places, she is still active and alert for her age.

Although my family thinks I am a little bit nuts for having a house full of rats, I have to admit I wouldn’t have it any other way. As long as I am able, I’m going to be working in ferret rescue.

**************************************************


Thank you so much for visiting today Devyn!  Devyn Quinn writes paranormal romance novels about everything from demons, shape-shifters and vampires to her new series the Dark Tides about mermaids.  I reviewed the first book in the Dark Tides series Siren's Call yesterday & can't wait to try out some of Devyn's other titles.  You can read my review of Siren's Call here, this is being published in the US in August and in the UK in October and is one I'd definitely recommend.

Find out more about Devyn and her work here - WebsiteFacebookTwitter

For more information about the Author's Animal Antics feature click here

ARC Review: Siren's Call - Devyn Quinn

Between desire and love there are some things that can’t stay buried, even in the deep of the ocean.

As a woman with a secret, lighthouse keeper Tessa Lonike savors her solitude on the island of Little Mer, off the coast of Maine. During a violent storm, Tessa spots a man thrashing in the ice cold waters and dives in to save him, using her ability as a mermaid to easily pull him to shore.

When Kenneth Randall awakens on the beach he is alone, left with the haunting memory of his beautiful, flame-haired savior. But a year later, when Kenneth meets her again, he’s determined not to let Tessa slip away. Just as the desire between them begins to burn, Tessa’s archaeologist ex-lover comes back to town with a tantalizing clue to her murky heritage.

The trio travel to the Mediterranean in search of answers, and when Tessa inadvertently opens an underwater portal they find a lost mermaid city. But in the deep, not everything is as it seems, and Tessa must decide if she wants to take her place as the royal heir, or follow the call of her heart…


Dark Tides Trilogy:
Siren's Call (Published in the US on 3rd August 2010 & in the UK on 28th October 2010)
Siren's Surrender (release date TBC)
Book 3 title & release dates to be confirmed
 
Visit Devyn Quinn's website for more information

Review:
When Tessa sees a man close to drowning in the sea near the isolated island she lives on she uses her mermaid abilities to save his life.  Kenneth should have been left with no memory of her but a year later he is still haunted by her face and decides to search her out to thank her.  Tessa isn't keen on having someone invade her island but she is in desperate need of help to fix up her house and the lighthouse that she has been looking after alone since her sisters moved to the mainland.  The attraction between them flairs but Tessa has been burned before and isn't looking for a relationship.  Kenneth has his own reasons to be wary but he finds Tessa impossible to resist.

Tessa and her sisters know very little of their mermaid heritage so when Tessa's ex Jake arrives claiming to have evidence proving the location the lost mermaid city they are keen to find out more.  Tessa and Kenneth soon find themselves in the middle of the Mediterranean sea with Jake looking for traces of the mermaid city.  When they do find the city it isn't at all what they expected and Tessa is going to find herself with some difficult decisions to make.

Siren's Call is the first book I've read by Devyn Quinn and also the first book I've read about mermaids but it won't be the last in either category. Devyn has created a fascinating world full of mermaid mythology that I really enjoyed visiting and I'm already looking forward to reading future books in the series.  The romance between Tessa and Kenneth is sweet and passionate and I loved the action and adventure when they discovered the mermaid city. 

If I had one very minor niggle it would be that I really don't like the hero Kenneth's name but like I say that was a minor thing & I found his character irresistible.  Tessa is bad tempered and snarky but as you get to know her better you discover that her attitude is a front to hide her loneliness and to stop herself from being hurt again.  The relationship between her and Kenneth develops quite quickly but I didn't find that unbelievable in the circumstances.  Although I have to confess I did feel for Kenneth after the way Tessa treated him sometimes but she had redeemed herself by the end.  I liked both of Tessa's sisters (Gwen and Addison) and I'm hoping we'll get to see more of them in future books in the series.  Jake (Tessa's ex) was someone I absolutely hated from the very first time we got to meet him - I'm not sure I found a single redeeming quality that made me understand what Tessa ever saw in him!

Siren's Call was a great start to a new series and although I liked the ending I'm looking forward to seeing what will happen next.  I really liked Devyn Quinn's writing style so will definitely be checking out some of her other books too.  If you like your romance with plenty of action or are curious to find out more about mermaids then I'm sure you'll enjoy this book.

Source: Thanks to Devyn for sending me this eBook ARC for review

Other Reviews:
That's What I'm Talking About
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Review: Comfort Food - Kitty Thomas

Emily Vargas has been taken captive. As part of his conditioning methods, her captor refuses to speak to her, knowing how much she craves human contact. Told in the first person from Emily's perspective, Comfort Food explores what happens when all expectations of pleasure and pain are turned upside down, as whips become comfort and chicken soup becomes punishment.

Comfort food is currently available as an eBook but is coming soon in both hardback and paperback.  The eBook can be purchased from Smashwords, Scribd or on Kindle.  Scribd also has the first 100 pages available as a preview if you want to give it a try.

Check Kitty Thomas' website for more information.

Review:
Emily has been kidnapped, she has no idea where she is and very little hope of escape.  Kept in an empty grey cell with nothing to do and not even a bed to sleep on she quickly becomes desperate for human contact - ANY kind of human contact.  Although she is brought 3 meals a day (always chicken noodle soup) her captor refuses to answer her questions or even speak at all.  Her world has been turned upside down and she will soon willingly submit to anything just to feel the comfort of his touch.

Comfort Food is like nothing I've ever read before but WOW is it a powerful read!  Told in first person narrative by Emily you journey with her from the minute she wakes up tide to a chair and blindfolded.  I loved her voice and it was scarily easy to imagine you were in her place.  Given the situation she was in I'm not sure that anyone would have been able to handle things differently.  The worst thing for Emily is that she can see what he is doing to her but she is powerless to resist.

The book does include scenes of BDSM which I confess isn't something I've read a lot of.  It isn't a light hearted affair with what we would consider normal consent and there is no such thing as a safe word but Emily's captor doesn't do anything without her agreement.  Emily can choose to say no at any time but then she is left alone in her empty grey cell with food passed silently through the door.  Given the choice of nothingness or doing what her captor requests she finds herself accepting anything just to have his company and attention.

Although Comfort Food takes you on a dark and disturbing journey and isn't a book for the faint hearted it is an incredibly powerful story and one that I devoured in an afternoon.  We've all heard stories of women who have been captured and held prisoner for years but it tends to be something that society tries not to think about and rarely discusses.  It isn't something that should be pushed under the carpet though & I can't recommend reading this book strongly enough.  I'm still thinking about the story days after I finished reading it and I know it will effect me for a long time to come.  In my opinion that is the sign of a good story and if you're brave enough to give it a try I'm sure you won't regret it.

Source: Thanks Kitty for sending me this to review.

Other Reviews:
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.

Review: Astoroth Her Last Sin - Stella & Audra Price

Meet Astoroth, high duke of hell. When a woman at the end of her bucket list meets him in a bar in Las Vegas, he sees the possibility for some harmless fun with a human just at her expiration date. what he doesn't count on is deciding to keep her...

Keepers of Twilight Series:
The Soft Edge of Midnight
Astoroth: Her Last Sin (Short Story)
The Bitter Kiss of Chaos (coming soon)

Astoroth: Her Last Sin can be purchased from All Romance Ebooks for $0.99 by clicking here

For more information visit Stella & Audra Price's website


Review:
Sarah only has months left to live so she has been working through her bucket list and the only thing left for her to do is flirt with a fallen angel.  That puts Astoroth (Astor) at the top of her to do list!  Astor is attracted to Sarah and more than happy to have a little harmless fun with her before she dies but he doesn't expect that he'll end up wanting to have her around on a more permanent basis.

I really Astoroth: Her Last Sin the latest short story released by Stella & Audra Price and would definitely recommend it if you're looking for something quick to read when you have a spare 20 minutes.  The chemistry between Sarah and Astor is fab & leads to some very heated scenes.  I'd love to read more about Astor and the Fallen so I'm definitely going to have to check out The Soft Edge of Midnight after reading this one!

Source: Received from Stella Price for review

Other Reviews:
Deadmen Tell No Tales
Story Wings
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Review: One Foot in the Grave - Jeaniene Frost

You can run from the grave, but you can't hide...

Half-vampire Cat Crawfield is now Special Agent Cat Crawfield, working for the government to rid the world of the rogue undead. She's still using everything Bones, her sexy and dangerous ex, taught her, but when Cat is targeted for assassination, the only man who can help her is the vampire she left behind.

Being around him awakens all her emotions, from the adrenaline kick of slaying vamps side by side to the reckless passion that consumed them. But a price on her head - wanted: dead or half-alive - means her survival depends on teaming up with Bones. And no matter how hard she tries to keep things professional between them, she'll find that desire lasts forever... and that Bones won't let her get away again.

Night Huntress Series:
Halfway to the Grave
One Foot in the Grave
At Grave's End
Destined for an Early Grave
One for the Money (Short Story in the Magic Graves Anthology)
This Side of the Grave
One Grave at a Time
Home for the Holidays (Novella available as an ebook or as part of The Bite Before Christmas anthology)
Up from the Grave

Night Huntress World Series:
(This is a spin off from the Night Huntress Series that fits into the time line after Destined for an Early Grave)
First Drop Of Crimson
Eternal Kiss of Darkness

Night Prince Series:
(This is a spin off from the Night Huntress series that fits into the time line after One Grave at a Time)
Once Burned
Twice Tempted

For more information visit Jeaniene Frost's website

Review:
Although this review won't contain spoilers for One Foot in the Grave this is the second book in a series so if you've not read Halfway to the Grave I'd recommend reading that before you continue reading this review. This is a fantastic series though so would definitely recommend giving them a try!

The end of Halfway to the Grave saw Cat trying to protect Bones by leaving him to go and work for the government in a special department set up to fight vampires. One Foot in the Grave continues the story 4 years later - Cat has now established her vampire hunting team and trained her men in the same way Bones taught her in the past. But no matter how good their training has been her team are still only humans and can't protect Cat when she finds herself being targeted by vampire assassins. Bones has also managed to track her down and she is forced to turn to him for help. The attraction between them is still strong and Bones is determined not to let Cat get away from him again.

Wow, what can I say about One Foot in the Grave? I absolutely loved the first book in the series but this on blew me away! I am head over heals crazy about Bones - yes his British slang doesn't sound natural to a Brit but it suits him & I love the way he talks, he is also sexy as hell and the scenes between him and Cat are scorching. I'd heard a lot about the infamous chapter 32 but boy did it surpass my expectations and I think it may have ruined me for other paranormal romances :o)

If you liked the first book in the series then I guarantee you'll enjoy this one even more. It had everything I loved about Halfway to the Grave and then some. I've already mentioned how HOT it is but it is also action packed and full of twists that will make Cat rethink everything she has ever been told. We are introduced to some great new characters - I really liked Cat's team members Tate, Juan, Dave and Cooper and am looking forward to seeing more of them in the series. I enjoyed watching their interactions with Cat and the way they all looked out for each other.

Although this is classed as paranormal romance I would consider it one of those books that crosses over with the urban fantasy series & would recommend it to fans of both genres. I can't wait to get my hands on the next book and am looking forward to seeing what is in store for Cat and Bones in the future. If you are new to the series then I'd strongly recommend starting with the first book as it really does need to be read in order to get the full back story between the main characters but this is definitely one of my favourite series and one not to be missed!

Source: Library

Other Reviews:
Ink and Paper
Story Wings
I'd So Rather Be Reading
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.

Monday, 14 June 2010

It's Monday, What are you Reading? (23)

This meme was started at J. Kaye's Book Blog but has now moved to One Person's Journey Through a World of Books run by Sheila.

News:

The UK Tour of Low Red Moon by Ivy Devlin has started this week but UK bloggers can still sign up if you're interested - the tour sign up page is here.  You can also read my review of Low Red Moon here.

There are still a couple of days left to enter my 2 international giveaways - both end on 16th June.  You can win a copy Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick here and there are 3 copies of Dido by Adele Geras available to win here (2 copies will be given to UK winners & 1 copy to an international winner)

This week's guest for Author's Animal Antics feature was the lovely Chloe Neill who stopped by to tell us about her beautiful dogs.  You can read Chloe's post here.  I have some fantastic authors lined up to take part in the feature so keep an eye out for the posts every Thursday.

Books read last week: (Click on the links to read my reviews)
  1. Vampire Academy - Richelle Mead (read last week)
  2. Frostbite - Richelle Mead (read last week)
  3. Shadow Kiss - Richelle Mead
  4. Halfway to the Grave - Jeaniene Frost
  5. Kissing Sin - Keri Arthur
  6. Lonestar Homecoming - Colleen Coble
  7. One Foot in the Grave - Jeaniene Frost (review will be posted later today)
  8. Comfort Food - Kitty Thomas (review coming soon)
What I'm reading now:
What I'll be reading next:

Up next is The Moonstone Legacy which I'm reviewing for a blog tour on Thursday.  I've got a couple of other review books I'm planning on reading this week too - Astoroth Her Final Sin by Stella & Audra Price and I Married a Demon by Beverly Rae.  I'm also really keen to read the next book in the Vampire Academy series Blood Promise & I've got to start working through some of the library books I have - the pile has gotten way out of control LOL.  I'll just have to see how much reading I can get done.

Challenge updates:

100+ Reading Challenge - Read 111/200
Paranormal Reading Challenge - Read 50/50 - COMPLETE
Speculative Fiction Reading Challenge - Read 24/24 - COMPLETE
April NAC Mini-Challenge - Battle Royale - Read 5/5 - COMPLETE

What are you reading?

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails
There was an error in this gadget