Monday, 31 January 2011

Review: Warm Bodies - Isaac Marion

"R" is a zombie.  He has no name, no memories and no pulse, but he has dreams.  He is a little different from  his fellow Dead.

Amongst the ruins of an abandoned city, R meets a girl.  Her name is Julie and she is the opposite of everything he knows - warm and bright and very much alive, she is a blast of colour in a dreary grey landscape.  For reasons he can't understand, R chooses to save Julie instead of eating her, and a tense yet strangely tender relationship begins.

This has never happened before.  It breaks the rules and defies logic, but R is no longer content with life in the grave.  He wants to breathe again, he wants to live, and Julie wants to help him.  But their grim, rotting world won't be changed without a fight...

Check out Isaac Marion's blog for more information

Review:
R is in pretty good shape for a zombie, he has grey skin and smells bad but still has all of his body parts so is a lot better off than many of his friends.  He has no memory of his life before he died, he doesn't know his name and doesn't even know how long he has been a zombie but he does know things used to be different.  He gets to experience snippets of life through his victims - when he ingests their brains he also gets to live through some of their memories - and he wants to be able to feel things again.  When he goes out to hunt with some of his fellow zombies he experiences memories of Julie after eating her boyfriend.  He becomes fascinated with her and decides he doesn't want to eat her so instead he protects her and takes her home with him.  With everything against them can R and Julie beat the odds and find a way for the living and the dead to live together?

I have to confess I didn't know much about Warm Bodies when I borrowed it from my friend Lyndsey.  I don't think I would have started reading it if I'd realised that it was a zombie romance and that fact did affect my enjoyment of the story.  I couldn't get over the fact that a human could fall for a proper brain eating zombie - particularly one that had killed her boyfriend.  The idea of kissing a rotting body quite frankly turned my stomach and was almost enough to make me stop reading.

Having said that there was something so compelling about Warm Bodies that I had to finish reading, I just needed to know what would happen to both R and Julie.  I never thought I'd be able to relate to R but he is a surprisingly likable character and one that grew on me despite the odds.  I think I would have preferred it if the romance had been removed and instead R and Julie had become friends but that is more down to personal taste than the way the story was written.  If you can look past that fact then I'm sure you'll find the book a really enjoyable read.

The story is witty and well written and makes you think about the value of life and things that you take for granted.  It is written from R's perspective which helps you to relate to his character but I think it would have benefited from seeing some things from Julie's point of view to help see her motivation and feelings towards R.  Isaac Marion has created a realistic dystopian world where there are very few remaining humans and the ones who are left are forced to live in fortified towns to protect them from the zombies.  The zombie attacks are written in great detail so I don't think this is a story for the squeamish but I thoroughly enjoyed the guts and gore.  Warm Bodies is definitely original and although not quite to my taste I'm sure it is a book that a lot of people will love.  If you're looking for something different to read then it would be well worth giving this one a try.

Source: Borrowed from Lyndsey at Heaven, Hell and Purgatory Book Reviews

Other Reviews:
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Saturday, 29 January 2011

Review: Love Immortal - Felicity Heaton

When you're searching for your purpose, the last thing you expect to discover is that you're the latest reincarnation of a goddess on a three thousand year old mission to defeat the original werewolf, Lycaon, before he can gain revenge on Zeus and Olympus.

Rescued from the claws of werewolves by Julian, a handsome and mysterious immortal, Lauren is pulled into a dark and frightening new world full of monsters out to kill her and an organisation of people with phenomenal abilities who want to protect her—Ghost. But the most frightening thing of all is that soon Lauren will need to drink Julian's blood in order to reawaken and regain her immortal powers.

Or she will die.

Julian isn't about to let that happen. He's never met anyone like Lauren and he's determined not to lose her. She's the perfect copy of Illia but is nothing like her or any of the incarnations. She is light to their darkness, and she breathes life back into him, but can he trust her with his heart and bring himself to believe that the feelings she shows him are real after everything he has been through?

Can Lauren succeed in defeating Lycaon when all of her predecessors have failed? Will she be able to crack the armour around Julian's heart and seize her happily forever after with him?

Visit Felicity Heaton's website for more information.  You can also read the first 8 chapters for free on the Love Immortal blog.

Review:
Lauren is just a normal woman with no idea of the supernatural creatures that exist until she is attacked by werewolves on her way home one night.  She is saved by a mysterious stranger, one who explains her life is in danger if she doesn't let him help her.  Lauren doesn't believe Julian when he tells her that she is the reincarnation of a Greek Goddess Illia but as much as she tries to deny it she soon discovers that Julian is telling the truth.  It is her destiny to try and defeat the werewolf Lycaon but this is something that her previous incarnations have been trying to do for nearly 4,000 years - how can Lauren possibly succeed when all the others have failed?

I have read and enjoyed several novellas by Felicity Heaton so I was really looking forward to seeing what she could do with a full length novel, I can tell you now that Love Immortal did not disappoint.  It contains everything I could ask for in a paranormal romance - action, danger, mystery, betrayal, lust, love, passion and much more besides.  Lauren is a great heroine, she may not have asked for the life she has but when she accepts her heritage she goes to great lengths to protect those she cares about and to learn everything she can to help her defeat Lycaon.  She has her backup but she isn't someone who is going to sit about and let everyone else fight for her - she wants to be in on the action and make sure she plays her part.  She is equally determined to get her man and Julian is definitely a man worth fighting for.

I absolutely loved Julian, he is prepared to do whatever it takes to protect Lauren and has been through so much to keep her and her previous incarnations safe.  Illia was the love of his life and he was distraught when she died, watching over her incarnations throughout the years has torn his heart into pieces as none of them have ever returned his feelings.  This makes him very wary of falling for Lauren but she is so different from Illia and the others and he finds her very hard to resist.  The sexual tension between the two of them was fantastic and had me desperate for them to get together, Felicity Heaton makes you wait a long time before anything happens between them but believe me it is more than worth the wait!

Lauren and Julian also have help from an organisation called Ghost that was formed to help keep the balance between humans and demons.  The 5 members of ghost that are helping them - Duke, Astra, Piper, Kuga and Leo - all have very distinct personalities and very different abilities that will come in useful when they take on Lycaon and his werewolves.  I liked each of the team members but Piper, Kuga and Leo were particular favorites.  The banter and friendship between them all really added to the story but at one point a betrayal almost broke my heart.  I can't say any more without giving spoilers but just make sure you have tissues to hand when you're reading.

The mythology and world building is well done and enjoyable to read. Love Immortal will play on every emotion as you're reading it and I really hope that Felicity Heaton will re-visit this world and these characters again in the future.  I'm sure there is more to learn about each of the characters and I would like to see each of them get their own happy ending in the future.  If you like your paranormal romance with plenty of action this is definitely a story you need to get hold of.

Source: Received free from the author in exchange for an honest review

Other reviews of this book:
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Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Review: Personal Demons - Lisa Desrochers

Frannie Cavanaugh is a good Catholic girl with a bit of a wicked streak.  She has spent years keeping everyone at a distance - even her closest friends - and it seems as if her senior year is going to be more of the same ... until Luc Cain enrolls in her class.  No one knows where he came from, but Frannie can't seem to stay away from him.

What she doesn't know is that Luc is on a mission.  He's been sent from Hell itself to claim Frannie's soul.  It should be easy - all he has to do is get her to sin, and Luc is as tempting as they come.  Frannie doesn't stand a chance.  But sure enough, it's not long before the angel Gabriel shows up, willing to do anything to keep Luc from getting what he came for.  It isn't long before they find themselves fighting for more than just Frannie's soul.

But if Luc fails, there will be Hell to pay ... for all of them.

Personal Demons Series:
Personal Demons
Original Sin (July 2011)
Hellbent (2012)

The above dates are the US release dates as the UK rights for this series haven't been sold yet.

Check out Lisa Desrochers' website for more information

Review:
Frannie has been brought up in a good Catholic family but since a tragedy when she was younger she has been the black sheep of the family, even getting kicked out of Catholic school for asking too many questions in religious education.  Luc is sent on a mission from hell to tag Frannie's soul and is expecting it to be easy, all he has to do is get her to commit a sin and his job is done.  It shouldn't be hard - especially when he can tell how much Frannie wants him but he wasn't expecting to like her too.  The more he gets to know her the more he starts to have feelings for her, feelings that demons shouldn't be able to feel.  Throw in the complication of angel Gabe who has been sent from heaven to make sure Frannie's soul is tagged for them and things get even more confusing.  Frannie is torn between the gorgeous mysterious bad boy that is Luc and the beautiful, boy next door Gabe but she doesn't realise that the fate of the world depends on her decision.

I read Personal Demons after signing up for a UK book tour and I have to say how surprised I am that this series hasn't been snapped up by any of the UK publishers.  It really is a great book and I'd love to see it released over here and made more accessible to UK readers.  In the meantime I'd definitely recommend getting hold of a US copy of the book, it's one fans of YA paranormal stories won't want to miss.

The story is told in first person from both Frannie and Luc's point of view which allows us to get to know both of them quite well.  The only downside to this is that Gabe never really felt fully fleshed out to me, we learn a little about him from the others but nothing that made me really feel the attraction that Frannie felt for him.  I would have loved to see things from Gabe's point of view and get to know him better but I can understand how it could have been confusing to have 3 different view points.  I did find myself getting a little irritated by the way Frannie was constantly changing her mind about who she wanted but I think that was down to the fact that I loved Luc so much and didn't feel like I knew much about Gabe.

I have to confess that no matter how well I'd got to know Gabe I don't think I'd have been swayed from my position on team Luc - he is so delicious that you can't help but fall for him!  He definitely starts off acting like a jerk but the more you get to know him the nicer he becomes and the sexual chemistry between him and Frannie was off the scale compared to most other YA books I've read.

This is one of those books that I devoured staying up late to find out what happened next.  I loved the chemistry but I also wanted to know why both heaven & hell were so keen to tag Frannie for their cause.  I needed to know how things could possibly work out for Luc - I just couldn't see a happy ending for him no matter what decision he made.  I'm not going to say more for fear of spoilers but I absolutely loved the ending and can't wait to find out what happens next in Original SinPersonal Demons is an impressive debut and I'm looking forward to seeing what Lisa Desrochers comes up with next.  If you like YA paranormal romance or urban fantasy this is definitely a series to watch out for.

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

Other Reviews:
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Monday, 24 January 2011

Book Launch for Entangled by Cat Clarke - 20th January 2011


I first heard about Entangled when I met Cat at the London YA blogger meet up last May so it felt like I had to wait a long time before I finally got to read it.  When I finally did get my hands on a copy I absolutely loved it (you can read my review here) so I was over the moon to be invited to the launch party arranged by Quercus to celebrate the Entangled release.

I went up to London early on the day to meet up with Liz (My Favorite Books) and Becky (The Bookette) and was lucky enough to be invited to lunch with them and Nina from Orion.  We went to a lovely Italian restaurant (please don't ask me to tell you where it was as I'm sure I'd never find it again) and while we were all filling up on delicious food Nina was telling us about all of the exciting books they have coming this year.  I can tell you now Orion have a lot of exciting looking books coming out but the ones that I'm particularly excited about are My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece by Annabel Pitcher, The Case of the Deadly Desperados by Caroline Lawrence, An Act of Love by Alan Gibbons and Soul Beach by Kate Harrison.  We also got given an ARC of The Hunting Ground by Cliff McNish which sounds like a terrifying ghost story that I'm going to need to read in the daylight!  Those are definitely some to watch out for in the next few months and if you'd like more information you can check out the Orion website.  I'd like to say a massive thank you to Nina for a lovely lunch and all the exciting book news.

After lunch Becky had to head home as unfortunately she couldn't make it to Cat's launch party but it was nice to get to see her for a bit.  Liz and I found a Starbucks near Charing Cross and had fun nattering about books while we waited for Carly (Writing from the Tub) to arrive.  I have to confess I'd been a bit nervous about the journey to Hampstead Heath for the launch as it looked like a nightmare journey on the underground but luckily Nina had given us some decent instructions so it wasn't anywhere near as bad as we were expecting.

Entangled Cupcakes!

The launch was hosted by Daunt Books and we made it with plenty of time actually being some of the first to arrive.  Niamh greeted us and we spent some time admiring the cupcake tower and taking pictures of the books.  Caroline (Portrait of a Woman) arrived not long after we did and have fun posting a couple of live tweets about the event for those who hadn't been able to make it.

Caroline & Carly live tweeting
Carly with the cupcakes

It didn't take long before the room had really started filling up, I don't think we could have fitted in many more people and it was lovely to see such a great turn out to support Cat.  It was great to see author Kaz Mahoney and bloggers Lauren (I Was a Teenage Book Geek), Andy (Pewter Wolf) and Sya (Mountains of Instead).  I hadn't met Sya before and she'd travelled all the way down from Scotland for the launch, it was great to meet you Sya!

Andy, Sya, Lauren & Carly
Caroline & Kaz
Me & Caroline

Cat arrived to a massive, well deserved applause and I think she was quite overwhelmed by the number of people there.  She gave a lovely speech about becoming a published author and then spent time mingling with the crowd and of course signing books for everyone.  It was lovely to see you again Cat (and a nice surprise to see you without a hat on lol!)

Cat giving her speech
Cat getting ready to sign my book
My signed copy

Alongside Cat & Kaz there were a few other authors present, we spotted Michelle Harrison but I was a bit too nervous to go and say hello and I didn't realise until afterwards that Tamsyn Murry was also there.  Perhaps next time I'll pluck up the courage to talk to them!  There was also a special surprise guest who'd come all the way from Sweden - the cover model.  She looked just as pretty in real life but unfortunately I didn't manage to get a picture of her.

It was a great event & I'd like to say thanks to Quercus for inviting me and thanks to Daunt Books for hosting it.  Massive congratulations to Cat on the publication of her debut novel - if you haven't already got your copy of Entangled what are you waiting for?  If you'd like to check out the rest of the pictures I took you can find them all online in this album.

Who was there?
Cat Clarke - Website - Blog - Event Report
Niamh from Quercus - Website - Event Report
Kaz Mahoney - Website - Blog

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Review: Another One Bites the Dust - Jennifer Rardin

I'm Jaz Parks.  CIA assassin.  Black Belt.  Belly dancer at the Corpus Christi Winter Festival.

The last is cover for my latest mission: retrieve a vital piece of biotechnology by killing the maniac who stole it.  The thief is not your run-of-the-mill nut job, either.  He's Chien-Lung, an obsessive vamp who's invulnerable while wearing his armour - which is constantly.

Then there are the reavers, ancient fiends who murder innocents and eat their souls.  Only I can sense them.  So it's not long before they want me dead, dead, dead.

And did I mention the nightmares?  They're not your garden variety sit-up-and-screamers.  These suckers may actually kill me before the reavers do.

Jaz Parks Series:
Once Bitten, Twice Shy
Another One Bites the Dust
Biting the Bullet
Bitten to Death
One More Bite
Bite Marks
Bitten in Two
The Deadliest Bite (2011)

Visit Jennifer Rardin's website for more information

Review:
Jaz and her team are on another mission and this one is even more dangerous than the last.  Not only are they dealing with a Chinese vampire who has stolen some very sophisticated biotechnology but there are also the soul sucking reavers that only Jaz can sense.  To top it all off Jaz is suffering with some serious nightmares - ones that get her into some very dangerous situations.  She has her team along for back up but with them all living together in a small RV while they pose as entertainers at the Winter Festival there are sure to be some fireworks amongst them.  The question is can they put any personal issues to one side long enough to get the job done?

I really enjoyed Once Bitten, Twice Shy (the first book in the series) but in my opinion Another One Bites the Dust is even better.  This is a great urban fantasy series and one that I'm looking forward to continuing.  I love the fact that Jaz and her team are CIA agents and we get to see a bit of James Bond style technology!  If you were a fan of the first book I'd definitely recommend this installment but if you're new to the series I would suggest reading the books in order starting with Once Bitten, Twice Shy - trust me it will be worth it!

I really liked the fact that Jaz is still dealing with the issues raised towards the end of the last book.  I'm not going to go into detail in case you haven't read it but the things we discovered were bound to have a lasting effect on Jaz so it's good to see her starting to work things out in her head.  Jaz's inner dialogue regularly makes me snort with laughter, along with some of the crazy (or stupid) things she gets up to - her belly dancing was hilarious.  I love the sexual tension between her and Vayl - these two together have the potential to be smoking - but I'm glad that they aren't rushing into anything that neither of them is really ready for.  I'm enjoying the will they / won't they side to the story but this doesn't take over the whole book and we still get an action packed story line.

In this installment we get to see a lot more of Bergman, Cassandra and Cole.  I liked all of these characters but I have to say Bergman in particular (alongside Jaz) has the ability to make me laugh out loud with his actions.  It was good to get to know all of them a bit better and really start to see them pulling together as a team despite the many niggles they may have along the way.  Although Cole is still flirting with Jaz I was pleased that this doesn't seem to be turning into your typical love triangle that continues until the final book in a series, as much as Jaz enjoys flirting back she makes it clear that she isn't really interested in Cole although I did enjoy seeing Vayl getting jealous at times.

This is a fun, action-packed series that I would definitely recommend.  If you haven't already discovered it you should pick up the first book as soon as you can.

Source: Library

Other Reviews:
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Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Review: Long Reach - Peter Cocks

"We found him face down in the mud at Long Reach.  Near the Dartford Bridge.  Looks like he might have jumped off."

Eddie Savage makes two shocking discoveries in quick succession.

One: his brother, Steve, has been working undercover.
Two: Steve is dead.

Eddie refuses to believe that his hero elder brother killed himself, and there's only one way to find out the truth: follow in his footsteps.

There's a job: to infiltrate the notoriously violent Kelly family.
There's a girl: the boss's daughter - beautiful, sexy, dangerous.

Before long, Eddie is up to his neck in Kelly business and sinking fast.

Long Reach is the first book in a new series about main character Eddie Savage and was released in the UK on January the 3rd.  I don't have any information about future books in the series at this time.

Check out Peter Cocks' website for more information

Review:
When Eddie finds out that his brother Steve is dead he also discovers that Steve has been working undercover for a government agency.  Eddie is convinced that his brother wouldn't have killed himself but the only way he can prove that is if he accepts the offer to take Steve's place.  His first assignment is to befriend Sophie Kelly the daughter of crime lord Tommy Kelly and try to find out as much as he can about the family's illegal businesses.  As Eddie gets to know Sophie and starts working for her father he discovers that being a spy isn't as easy as he thought it would be and he may need to use questionable means if he is going to survive his mission.

Long Reach is the first book starring Eddie Savage as the main character and is an exciting start to what promises to be a popular new series.  The world Eddie enters is gritty and frightening, definitely not one he will survive in one piece if he doesn't keep his wits about him.  Although this is a young adult series it doesn't hold back on the gritty side of the criminal underworld and includes some quite violent scenes.  Long Reach is an exciting and pacy read that I'm sure will be very popular with older teens and adults.

The story has a similar feel to Martina Cole's adult books and doesn't feel dumbed down for it's younger target audience.  As I read a lot of books by American authors I found the British slang made a refreshing change and it made the book feel more real to me.  I loved the fact that it is set in and around places I know and have visited (even my home town gets a brief mention) and thought that Peter Cocks has done a great job describing these areas and the people who live there.  Each of the characters feel as if they could walk out of the pages and you could bump into them walking down the high street.

Eddie may be only 17 but his training when he joins the agency is brutal and punishing.  He has to be prepared both mentally and physically for the job he is going to undertake and you are left with no doubts that he is putting his life at risk.  Some of the team are worried about having someone so young involved but they need him to find a way into the Kelly family, something they have been trying to do for a long time.  I did find I had to suspend belief a little to accept that someone of his age would be employed for this particular job but the story is so good that you soon stop worrying about that fact.

When Eddie agrees to work for the agency he is doing it mainly to learn more about his brother's life and to find out what happened to him.  The new skills he is taught and the gadgets that go along with them made me think of a young James Bond but I found him a much more believable character.  As Eddie goes deeply undercover it is interesting to watch his attitude shift as he realises that the criminals aren't all bad and that even the good guys do questionable things for the sake of their long term goals.  Nothing is black and white and it's the shades of grey that make the story so interesting to read.

Most of the story is told from Eddie's point of view but I also really enjoyed the sections that were from Donnie's perspective.  Donnie is a muscle man for the Kelly family who does whatever Tommy Kelly asks him to and reading about his daily life really helped give an insight into what Tommy was capable of.  The Tommy that Donnie sees is totally different to the family man that Eddie sees in the Kelly household.  Eddie knows about Tommy's criminal activities via the agency but it isn't long before Tommy takes him under his wing and starts to draw him into his world.  This is when things start to get complicated and Eddie finds himself questioning everything.  But what will happen if Tommy discovers who Eddie is really working for?

Long Reach is a great start to a new series and I'm really looking forward to reading more of these books in the future.  I think this series will be popular with teenage boys but it is something that girls will enjoy reading too and I'd recommend it to anyone looking for a fast paced thrilling read.  I will definitely be keeping an eye out for more by Peter Cocks in the future.

Source: Received from Walker in exchange for an honest review

Other Reviews:
Carole's Book Corner
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, 17 January 2011

Winners: Nightshade by Andrea Cremer


With the help of random.org I can confirm that the 2 winners of Nightshade by Andrea Cremer are:

Lyndsey (email address starting linzeeloulabelle@...)
&
Natalie (email address starting natalie23@...)

Congratulations to you both!  If you can email me at sarahsreviews at ymail dot com with your full address I will get your books posted to you.  Your address will be forwarded to Atom and they will be sending your prizes so by giving me your address you are agreeing for me to pass it on to them.  If I don't hear from you within 48 hours then a different winner will be chosen.  I'd like to say a massive thank you to Atom for allowing me to host this giveaway for them.

UK Blogger Meet Up - 8th January 2011

The lovely Jo from Ink & Paper and Once Upon a Bookcase has recently gone to a lot of effort trying to arrange a couple of UK blogger meet ups in London.  Unfortunately the one in December had to be cancelled due to the snow and then Jo was ill for the January meet up so she didn't get to come which was really disappointing.

Thanks to Jo's hard work a few of us did get to meet up on the 8th of January though.  It was lovely to see Caroline (Portrait of a Woman), Becky (The Bookette) and Carly (Writing from the Tub) again and I also got to make a new friend in Hannah from My Book Journey.

I'm sorry for the lack of pictures to go with this post but I woke up late, missed my train and totally failed to take my camera with me.  I could have taken pictures with my phone but I think I'd left my brain at home and it didn't even occur to me to take pictures until we were all on our way home again!

We met up in Garfunkels in Leicester Square (luckily I wasn't too late after the whole missed train debacle  and the others waited for me before ordering!) where we had a lovely lunch and a good catch up.  Then of course a bit of book shopping was called for so we walked over to Foyles where we spent ages eyeing up all the pretty book covers and of course adding a million more books to our wish lists thanks to everyone's recommendations.  I can't believe I've never been to Foyles before - how had I managed to miss it on every other meet up?  I had to be strict with myself and not buy any books as I'd gone a little crazy when I was spending my Christmas money on Amazon & The Book Depository but I still had a lot of fun browsing the shelves and will definitely be going back when I have some money to spend.

After we'd had our fill of shopping (and unfortunately Carly had to leave to catch her train) we found a Wetherspoons pub where we spent more time nattering before we all had to head home.  It always amazes me how much a bunch of book bloggers can find to chat about, there never ever seems to be a break in conversation because we've run out of things to say :o)

Overall it was a fab day, the only disappointment was that Jo couldn't make it after she'd gone to the trouble of organising it all.  There were a few others that had to drop out due to sickness &/or other commitments too so hopefully we'll be able to arrange another meet up soon that everyone can attend.

Who was there:

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Review: Rules of Attraction - Simone Elkeles

Carlos Fuentes isn't happy about leaving Mexico to start the "new" life his older brother, Alex, has planned for him. Carlos liked his freedom; living life on the edge and carving out his own path - just like Alex did.

Kiara Westford doesn't talk much; preferring instead to shut the world out. And when Carlos bounds into her life she struggles to understand him and his wild ways. Carlos is sure that Kiara thinks she's too good for him, which is just fine because he's not interested anyway, right?  But when they finally open up to each other, the connection they feel shocks them both. Can they overcome their fears and realise that sometimes opposites really do attract?

Fuentes Brothers Trilogy
Perfect Chemistry
Rules of Attraction
Chain Reaction

For more information visit Simone Elkeles' website

Review:
I was such a massive fan of Perfect Chemistry that I was desperate to read Rules of Attraction but at the same time I found myself feeling nervous. How could Simone Elkeles possibly live up to my high expectations? What if I didn't like it, would that colour my thoughts of Perfect Chemistry? I honestly don't know why I was so worried, not only did Rules of Attraction live up to my expectations - it far exceeded them. Yes, I'll admit it Carlos has stolen my heart away from Alex - something I didn't think would be possible.

Rules of Attraction does follow a similar storyline to Perfect Chemistry - hot bad boy gang member meets and falls in love with a girl who couldn't be more different than he is - but Carlos and Kiara are very different to Alex and Brittany and their story is just as powerful. Where Alex only joined a gang because he wanted to protect his family Carlos believes it is in his blood to be a member. He thinks that he was born to be part of the gang and feels it is right to follow in the footsteps of his father and brother. His mother sends him to live with Alex because she is worried for his safety but Carlos doesn't go willingly. He believes that Alex abandoned his family to be with Brittany and he hates him for that, the last thing he wants is to be forced into living with the couple and he is determined not to follow their rules.

When Alex arrives in Colorado he seeks immediately finds the wrong crowd and ends up getting in trouble. It is only when he is forced to live with Kiara's family that he starts to see how wrong his attitude has been. Kiara is nothing like the girls Carlos is usually attracted to, she is a tom boy and not one of the popular crowd at school. She is happy in her own company and would rather be working on her car or off hiking than swapping make-up tips with the girls from school. Kiara is painfully shy but she knows who she is and what she wants out of life. She may be attracted to Carlos but she isn't going to fall for his charms easily so he'll have to work hard if he wants to be with her.

The relationship between Kiara and Carlos is Hot with a capital H but also has incredibly sweet and tender moments that will make your heart melt. I found the storyline lighter than Perfect Chemistry and there were a lot of laugh out loud moments as the two of them banter and play tricks on each other. You really never were quite sure what they would get up to next. I loved getting to find out how Alex and Brittany are doing 2 years after the ending of their story, it made me want to re-read Perfect Chemistry (in fact I might just indulge myself and read both books one after the other). I also really enjoyed getting to know Kiara's family and fell for her younger brother Brandon in particular.

If you haven't already read Perfect Chemistry you could probably read Rules of Attraction as a stand alone story but they are both such amazing reads that I would highly recommend reading them in order. Perfect Chemistry easily makes it into my top 10 YA reads of 2010 and I would have to read some pretty impressive books to knock Rules of Attraction off of this years list. If you're looking for a contemporary YA romance you can't go wrong by picking up a book by Simone Elkeles, she really is a master at characterisation and knows just how to draw you into the romance. I can't wait to get my hands on the final book in the series Chain Reaction.

Source: Received for review from publisher Simon & Schuster

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.

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Extract: Rules of Attraction - Simone Elkeles


Today I'm very excited to be taking part in the UK blog tour to celebrate the release of Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles.  I'm a massive fan of both Perfect Chemistry and Rules of Attraction so if you haven't already discovered these books I'd highly recommend you go out and buy both of them today!  You can read my review of Perfect Chemistry here and I'll be posting my review of Rules of Attraction later today.

In the meantime here is the cover, blurb and book trailer and I also have an extract to share with you...

Carlos Fuentes isn't happy about leaving Mexico to start the "new" life his older brother, Alex, has planned for him.  Carlos liked his freedom; living life on the edge and carving out his own path - just like Alex did.

Kiara Westford doesn't talk much; preferring instead to shut the world out.  And when Carlos bounds into her life she struggles to understand him and his wild ways.  Carlos is sure that Kiara thinks she's too good for him, which is just fine because he's not interested anyway, right?  But when they finally open up to each other, the connection they feel shocks them both.  Can they overcome their fears and realise that sometimes opposites really do attract?



Extract from Carlos' point of view (taken from chapter 25, pages 134-137 and posted with permission of Simon & Schuster UK):

I sit on the ground, facing her. Kiara continues taking notes.We came up here together, and we’re gonna leave here together. I’m not gonna like it, but at this point I don’t see any other option. Every once in a while she looks up and catches me staring at her. Yeah, I’m doing it to make her uncomfortable. Maybe if I annoy her enough she’ll want to pack up and leave.


But after five minutes I can tell my strategy isn’t workin’.


Time to change tactics. “Want to make out?”


“With who?” she asks, not bothering to look up.


“Me.”


She lifts her head from her book just long enough to give me a once over.


“No, thanks,” she says, then goes back to her homework.


She’s fuckin’ with me.


She’s got to be fuckin’ with me, right? “Because of that pendejo Tuck?”


“No. Because I don’t want Madison’s leftovers.


Wait. Un. Momento. I’ve been called a lot of things before, but . . .


“You callin’ me leftovers?”


“Yeah. Besides, Tuck is a great kisser. I wouldn’t want you to feel bad when there’s no way you can compete.”


That guy hardly owns a pair of lips. “Wanna bet?”


I’m anything but leftovers. After we moved to Mexico and Destiny broke up with me, all I did was date one girl after another. Hell, I could write a book on kissing chicas if I wanted to.


I lean toward Kiara and get a small dose of satisfaction when I hear her breath hitch and notice her pencil stop moving. She doesn’t move an inch as my lips get close to that place right below her right earlobe. I reach up with my left hand and touch the sensitive spot below her left ear with my thumb while my lips hover over her neck. She can definitely feel my hot breath on her bare skin.


She tilts her head the slightest bit, giving me more access. I’m not even sure she realized she’s doing it. I stay where I am. She moans almost silently, but I don’t give in. She’s definitely being turned on. She likes this. And she wants more. But I’m holding back . . . leftovers, my ass.


The problem is, I’m not prepared for what Kiara smells like. Usually girls smell too much like flowers or vanilla, but Kiara has a distinctly sweet raspberry scent that’s totally turning me on. And while my mind is telling me I’m flirting with her just to prove a point, my body wants to play “you show me your perky privates and I’ll show you mine.”


“D-d-do you m-m-mind?” she says. She might be trying to mask her reaction to me being so close, but her words betray her. “I’m trying to work and you’re blocking my sun,” she whispers. I’m guessin’ she doesn’t stutter when she whispers.


“We’re in the shade, under a tree,” I say, but pull away anyway because I need to cool down and stay in control


I lean back against a rock, the rough edges rubbing into my bare back. I bend one knee and get in a relaxed position even though I’m anything but relaxed.While I’m trying to get comfortable, Kiara is still sitting under that damn tree doin’ her homework. She’s not sweating at all, and she appears totally relaxed. I don’t know if I’m hot because of what just happened, or didn’t happen, between us. Or if it’s because of the weather. You’d think I’d be used to the hot weather from Mexico but I was born in Chicago and spent most of my life there. The summers in Chi-Town are humid and hot, but it only lasts a few months.


My insides are going nuts. My heart is beating furiously and there’s a crackling energy in the air that wasn’t there before I leaned close to her.


What’s going on?
OK so tell me you're not going to go out and buy a copy of Rules of Attraction after reading that extract?  Go on, I dare you.  It's certainly made me want to go and read my copy again...in fact I think I might just go and do that now!  Don't forget to check back later to read my review.

Friday, 14 January 2011

Author's Animal Antics - Curtis Jobling


Author's Animal Antics is a 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 or share animal related stories.  I'm thrilled to introduce the lovely Curtis Jobling as my guest today...

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You'd think with four children I wouldn't have time for pets, but that's where you're wrong (cue evil laughter).  We have two cats in Casa Bling, a pair of Bengal brothers named Eric and Ernie.  We used to have a dog too, Samwise (yes, named after the short fat hairy footed fella) but he now lives with my Aunt in Blackpool.  Sam actually got to be a "ringbearer" for me when I proposed to my now-wife halfway up a Welsh mountain; I'd attached the engagement ring to his collar so that when Emma let him off his lead it would fall into her hand.  She actually dropped it when she took the lead off which led to me crawling through the wet grass on all fours, feverishly trying to find the thing while dodging sheep droppings and cowpats.  I know, I'm an old romantic aren't I?

Eric and Ernie are named after two famous comedians who your younger readers may (criminally) not know about.  May I direct you to your grandfather or dad for that matter and ask him about Morecambe and Wise at the earliest opportunity?  I thank you.

Samwise and Eric

Well, as Bengals they can be a little wild.  They're only six generations away from a wild Asian Leopard Cat, and have still got a bit of that attitude in them.  They're not afraid of water (used to swimming in the wild) and used to frequently go fishing for Koi in our old next door neighbours garden.  Great cats, aren't they?  Fish isn't the only thing they like to hunt.  Birds, rats, frogs, mice - on one occasion they dragged a young rabbit through the catflap which promptly squeezed under the sofa we were sat on.  Cue two cats and a dog frantically circuiting the settee like some deranged episode of Scooby Doo.  Yes, cats are great, especially when they bring still-living wild animals into your home, the bigger the better.  I'm just waiting for the day they haul a fresian cow through the toilet window...

Sadly poor Ernie had a nasty encounter with an idiot with an air rifle a couple of years ago, the result being that he had to have his tail amputated.  He's still an adorable, affectionate little fellow, but he's no longer the perfect example of the Bengal breed that could have won competitions (if we'd ever been bonkers enough to enter one!)  Instead he now looks like the stunt double of one of my other creations, Frankenstein's Cat, my mixed up moggie that appeared in his own picture book and animated series.

Ernie

Eric and Ernie are both very vocal chaps, letting us know when they want to come in.  Their constant MAOWING at the backdoor is frequently a delightful distraction for me as I'm trying to crunch illustration and writing deadlines.  And typically, they miaow when they want in and then miaow because they want out again!  I'm all for cats being independent as opposed to dogs but would it really hurt for them to learn how to open the patio door?

So yes, I'm a pet lover.  We would probably have more if we had a bigger house but for the time being the Chinchillas will have to wait.  Hope you dig Wereworld: Rise of the Wolf, in fact I hope it excites and scares the pants off you in equal measures - do follow the adventure on the official website http://www.wereworldbooks.com/ and keep up to speed on the Jobling blog - http://badablingthing.blogspot.com/!

Enjoy the petting, reading and Bada Bling!

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Thank you so much for visiting today Curtis, I can't believe how close Ernie is sitting to Sam in that picture, I've never met a Bengal cat before but they look big (very cute too).  What a lovely way to propose to your wife too, although it sounds like you're lucky you didn't lose the ring!

'YOU'RE THE LAST OF THE WEREWOLVES SON. DON'T FIGHT IT . . . CONQUER IT.'

When the air is clear, sixteen year-old Drew Ferran can pick up the scent of a predator.

When the moon breaks through the clouds, a terrifying fever grips him.

And when a vicious beast invades his home, his gums begin to tear, his fingers become claws, and Drew transforms . . .

Forced to flee the family he loves, Drew seeks refuge in the most godforsaken parts of Lyssia. But when he is captured by Lord Bergan's men, Drew must prove he is not the enemy.

Can Drew battle the werecreatures determined to destroy him - and master the animal within?



Curtis Jobling is the animator who gave us Bob the Builder (I'm not sure if my international readers will know who that is but I'm sure all the Brits will!) and his debut novel Wereworld: Rise of the Wolf was released on the 6th of January.  I've seen some fantastic reviews for Wereworld but unfortunately my copy appears to have been lost in the post, I've got another copy on the way though & can't wait to read it.  I'll get my review posted as soon as I can.

Find out more about Curtis and his work here - Website / Wereworld Website / Blog / Twitter / Facebook

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

ARC Review: The Iron Witch - Karen Mahoney

Freak.

That's what they call seventeen-year-old Donna Underwood at Ironbridge High School.  A horrific fey attack that killed her father when she was just a child left Donna branded with iron tattoos that cover her hands and arms - and magically enhanced strength, that she does all she can to hide.

Now, after ten years of wishing for a normal life, Donna finally accepts her role in the centuries-old war against the darkest outcasts of Faerie - the dark elves.  Aided by Xan, a gorgeous half-fey dropout, Donna must save her best friend's life - and that means betraying one of the world's greatest secrets and confronting the very thing that destroyed her family.

The Iron Witch is released in the UK on the 20th of January and in the US shortly afterwards.

The Iron Witch Series:
The Iron Witch
The Wood Queen
The Stone Demon

Check out Karen Mahoney's website for more information

Review:
As a child Donna and her father were attacked in Ironbridge woods by the fey, her father was killed and Donna was severely injured.  Having almost lost her arms Donna was given magical surgery by the alchemists (who her parents were both members of) and now her lower arms are covered with special iron tattoos that give her far more strength than any other girl of her age.  Wanting to be normal Donna keeps her arms hidden with long gloves but since an incident at her school she has been known as the "freak" by the other students.  Excluded from school she is now home schooled by the alchemists and the only normal thing in her life is her best (and only) friend Navin.

Navin has no clue about the fey creatures who inhabit the world alongside us and Donna has worked hard to keep him safe from that knowledge.  When he is captured by the wood elves Donna will do whatever it takes to bring him home, even it it means going against everything that the alchemists have ever taught her.

I have been looking forward to reading The Iron Witch since I first heard about it last year so I was incredibly excited when I received a review copy.  I'm happy to say that The Iron Witch is a fantastic story and the only thing I'm disappointed about is that I'm going to have to wait before I can read the sequel The Wood Queen!  I'm impressed that this is Karen Mahoney's debut novel and am sure we can look forward to great things from her in the future.

Donna is a great heroine, things have been tough for her and she struggles to fit in with the real world but she doesn't sit around feeling sorry for herself.  I think this is partly due to her friendship with Navin, the two of them are very close and I think she would have found things a lot harder to deal with without his support.  It was really nice to see such a strong friendship that wasn't based on romance and I loved reading about the two of them.  Donna has kept a lot of secrets from Nav, partly to protect him but also because she was afraid of how he would react if he found out the truth.  I really felt for her when circumstances forced her to tell him things she didn't want to involve him in but I loved how they remained so loyal to each other.  When Navin is captured by the wood elves Donna is determined to do anything to rescue him and this is where her inner strength really starts to shine through.

We are also introduced to Xan who Donna finds herself instantly attracted to (and who can blame her - he is HOT!).  I really liked the fact that although Donna and Xan feel drawn to each other they don't immediately jump into a full on relationship, in fact things between them are developing quite slowly and I was left looking forward to seeing this continue throughout the series.  Xan has his own secrets to keep and although we have learnt some of them by the end of the story I still believe there is a lot more than meets the eyes when it comes to his character.  He is definitely intriguing and I'm looking forward to getting to know him better.

When it comes to the story I really liked the world Karen Mahoney has created, there is a detailed and well thought out mythology when it comes to both the fey and the alchemists but this is introduced in a way that doesn't overwhelm you with too much information at any one time.  In fact I'm sure we still have plenty to learn as the series progresses and this is something I'm looking forward to.  I would highly recommend The Iron Witch to any fans of the YA urban fantasy genre and I can't wait to continue reading the series.

Source: Received from RHCB in exchange for an honest 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.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Review: Dark Needs at Night's Edge - Kresley Cole

UK Cover
A raven-haired temptress of the dark...
Neomi Laress, a famous ballerina from a past century, became a phantom the night she was murdered. Imbued with otherworldly powers but invisible to the living, she haunts her beloved home, scaring away trespassers - until she encounters a ruthless immortal even more terrifying that Neomi herself.

A vampire warrior consumed by madness...
To prevent him from harming others, Conrad Wroth's brothers imprison him in an abandoned manor. But there, a female only he can see seems determined to drive him further into madness. The exquisite creature torments him with desire, leaving his body racked with lust and his soul torn as he finds himself coveting her for his own.

How far will he go to claim her?
Yet even if Conrad can win Neomi, evil still surrounds her. Once he returns to the brutality of his past to protect her, will he succumb to the dark needs seething inside him?

Immortals After Dark Series:
The Warlord Wants Forever (Novella in the Playing Easy to Get anthology)
A Hunger Like No Other
No Rest for the Wicked
Wicked Deeds on a Winter's Night
Dark Needs at Night's Edge
Dark Desires After Dusk
Kiss of a Demon King
Untouchable (Published in the Deep Kiss of Winter Anthology)
Pleasure of a Dark Prince
Demon from the Dark
Dreams of a Dark Warrior
Lothaire
Shadow's Claim (The Dacians book 1)
MacRieve
Dark Skye

For more information visit Kresley Cole's website

Review:
Nikolai and Sebastian Wroth have been searching for their brother Conrad for years but the last thing they expected was to find him in the grip of blood lust, very close to losing his sanity. Even though it has never been done before they are determined to bring him back from the brink and help him get control of the madness. Conrad is captured by his brothers and locked in a mansion where he must try to recover from the blood lust.

Neomi was a prima ballerina at the height of her career when she was brutally murdered by an obsessive ex-fiance who didn't want to see her live without him. Ever since her death 80 years ago she has haunted the mansion where she died, unable to leave and not able to interact with anyone around her. When Conrad and his brothers arrive she is distraught as Conrad starts to destroy the only home she has but then she realises that he can see her. He is the first person she has been able to interact with since she died but he believes she is a figment of his crazed mind. The attraction between them grows but how can a ghost and a vampire who is losing his sanity have any kind of a happy ending?

I have to confess that the Immortals After Dark series has been a bit hit and miss for me so far so although I've had this book on my to read pile for quite a while now I've been putting off reading it. I wasn't too keen on the idea of the main character being a ghost & didn't think I'd enjoy the story much. I'll come right out with it - I absolutely loved Dark Needs at Night's Edge, in my opinion it's the best book in the series so far and it's got me excited about continuing with the series again.

The romance between Conrad and Neomi is so sweet, especially as they are unable to touch each other for the majority of the book. Kresley Cole did an amazing job of building the sexual tension and oh boy was it worth the wait for these two to get together! I didn't think I'd be able to relate to an ex-ballerina who is now a ghost but I really liked Neomi and was impressed with her attitude and love of life. Conrad was a fab hero, he has been through so much that you can't help but wish for a happy ending for him. Their romance is completely different from any of the other books in the series but it worked for me and was by far my favourite.

It was also nice to see the main characters from previous books making an appearance, I always enjoy seeing how couples are getting along after they've had their own HEA. If you're a fan of the series already I'm sure you'll enjoy this instalment. If you haven't discovered the series before you could probably read Dark Needs at Night's Edge as a stand alone story but I would recommend reading the books in order so you get a full picture of the world Kresley Cole has created. This is definitely one I would recommend to fans of the paranormal romance genre.

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.

US Cover
Paperback / Kindle:

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

New Blog Name - Feeling Fictional

I figure since I've been blogging for a year now it's about time that I gave my blog a decent name & brought my own domain.  After a lot of brainstorming and a little help from the bloggers I met up with on Saturday (thanks Becky from The Bookette, Caroline from Portrait of a Woman, Carly from Writing from the Tub & Hannah from My Book Journey, it was great to see you all!) I'd like to announce that the blog will now be called:

Feeling Fictional

The new blog address is http://www.feelingfictional.com/ so please make a note of it so you can still find me (I understand that the old address will automatically direct you to the blog and if you're a follower you shouldn't need to do anything but I thought it was best to let you know just in case!)

I'm getting a new layout designed by the lovely Larissa from Welcome to Larissa's Bookish Life so hopefully the blog will have a new look to go with the new name soon :o)

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Review: Paranormalcy - Kiersten White

Evie's always thought of herself as normal.  Sure, her best friend is a mermaid, her ex-boyfriend is a faerie, she's falling for a shapeshifter and she's the only person who can see through paranormals' glamours, but still.  Normal.

Only now paranormals are dying and Evie's dreams are filled with haunting voices and mysterious prophecies.  She begins to suspect that there is a link between her abilities and the sudden rash of deaths, and even worse, that she is at the centre of a dark prophecy promising destruction to all paranormal creatures.

Paranormalcy Series:
Paranormalcy
Supernaturally
Endlessly

Check out Kiersten White's website for more information

Review:
Evie was abandoned by her mother as a baby and spent her early years growing up in foster care before she was discovered by the IPCA (International Paranormal Containment Agency).  Evie has the rare ability to see through the glamours that paranormals use to hide their real identity from the human population making her an asset to the agency who tag paranormals to make sure they aren't breaking any rules.  Evie's life is anything but normal, she has grown up on the agency base with a mermaid for a best friend, her ex boyfriend is a faerie and she has a crush on a shapeshifter, but she wants to be like any other teenage girl.  Evie dreams of going to school and living in the normal human world but when someone (or something) starts murdering paranormals her dream seems to be getting further and further away from her.  After discovering that she is at the centre of a disturbing prophecy Evie's life will never be the same again.

I've been looking forward to reading Paranormalcy since I first saw it released in the US so I was really excited when I was sent a copy for review.  I was really impressed with this debut from Kiersten White and can't wait to see what she does with the rest of the series.

I liked Evie's voice from the very first page, she is such a fun character with her love of all things pink (including her taser!) and a snarky attitude that had me laughing out loud.  I found it nearly impossible to put the book down because I wanted to see what kind of trouble she'd manage to get herself into next.  I loved the relationship between Evie and her best friend Lish, they may not have much in common (after all Lish is a mermaid unable to leave her tank on the base) but they obviously cared for each other.  Someone else that Evie has a lot of contact with is her boss Raquel who is also a mother figure to her, I'm sure mothers and daughters everywhere will see themselves in the interactions between the two of them - they have their arguments but deep down they both love each other.

Kiersten White has created a detailed world with lots of unique and interesting supernatural characters, from those we see quite regularly in paranormal stories right through to ones I've not come across before.  I liked the way we were introduced to the history and mythology for all of the different species and I was glad that the author managed to put her own slant on even the most common creatures.  One of my favorite characters after Evie was Lend (the shapeshifter Evie has a crush on).  I can't go into too much detail here as I don't want to give any spoilers so I'll just say he wasn't at all what I was expecting and I loved him all the more because of it.  I really enjoyed the developing relationship between Evie and Lend but I was pleased that this didn't overshadow the rest of the story.  I think Paranormalcy had the perfect blend of action and romance.

Alongside the characters you will love there are also some great characters that you will love to hate.  The faeries (Reth in particular) are experts at manipulation and manage to turn everything around to suit themselves.  I love the fact that you're kept guessing about who can be trusted and who the real bad guys are right until nearly the end of the book.

Paranormalcy is a fun read and one which completely pulled me into Evie's world.  I wanted to spend more time with these characters so can't wait to read the next book in the series.  If you're a fan of YA urban fantasy and are looking for something a bit different to all the books we've seen recently I'd definitely recommend picking this one up.

Source: Received from Harper Collins in exchange for an honest 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: Lover Revealed - J.R. Ward

In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there's a war raging between vampires and their slayers. There exists a secret band of brothers like no other - six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. But now an ally of the Brotherhood is about to encounter his own dark desires...

Butch O'Neal is a fighter by nature. A hard-living ex-homicide cop, he's the only human ever to be allowed in the inner circle of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. And he wants to go even deeper into the vampire world - to engage in the turf war with the lessers. He's got nothing to lose. His heart belongs to a female vampire, an aristocratic beauty who's way out of his league. If he can't have Marissa, then at least he can fight side by side with the Brothers...

Fate curses him with the very thing he wants. When Butch sacrifices himself to save a civilian vampire from the slayers, he falls prey to the darkest force in the war. Left for dead, he's found by a miracle, and the Brotherhood calls on Marissa to bring him back. But even her love may not be enough to save him...

The Black Dagger Brotherhood Series:
The Story of Son (novella set in the BDB world but about completely unrelated characters)
Dark Lover
Lover Eternal
Lover Awakened
Lover Revealed
Lover Unbound
Lover Enshrined
The Black Dagger Brotherhood: An Insider's Guide
Lover Avenged
Lover Mine
Lover Unleashed
Lover Reborn
Lover at Last
The King
The Shadows
The Beast (2016)

The Fallen Angels Series:
(This is a spin off series set in the same world with a slight crossover of characters)
Covet
Crave
Envy
Rapture
Possession
Immortal

Black Dagger Legacy:
(A second spin off series that stars the original characters from BDB and the new recruits they're training)
Blood Kiss

Visit J.R. Ward's website for more information

Review:
Butch is the only human who has ever been allowed to know the location of the Black Dagger Brotherhood and is as close to being a member as a human can possibly be. He thinks of the others as his brothers and wants to join their war against the lessers to help protect the vampire race. Things go horribly wrong from him when he tries to protect a civilian and ends up captured by the lessers, after suffering horrific torture Butch is left for dead. Thanks to V he is discovered but can they save him and even if they do what will be the long term consequences of what the Omega did to him?

Lover Revealed is the fourth book in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series and although it was my least favourite book in the series so far I still really enjoyed it. If you're one of the few people who is new to this series then it is one I'd definitely recommend to paranormal romance fans but I would recommend reading the stories in order starting at Dark Lover so you get the most out of the full back story.

I have liked Butch since he was introduced in the first book so I've been looking forward to reading his story and he didn't disappoint me. As an ex-cop Butch is as tough as they come but he also has a softer side that just makes you want to hug him. Butch has had it tough never feeling like he fitted in with his family so it's nice to see him finally find acceptance with the Brothers. I love watching him & V together, they have such a close friendship and strong bond. The scenes with the two of them are some of my favourite in the book and for me V stole the show and left me really looking forward to his story. I did feel that things came together a little too easily for Butch at the end of the book but I was pleased with the outcome so it didn't really worry me. It's hard to say much without giving spoilers but I'm also very curious about his new ability and how that will change things throughout the series.

I've never been the biggest Marissa fan, I felt quite sorry for her in Dark Lover after the way Wrath treated her but I've never really cared much for her or been interested in reading more of her story. I'll admit that she still isn't my favourite character in the series and I found her far too sweet and innocent for my tastes particularly at the beginning of the Lover Revealed but J.R. Ward did manage to improve my opinion of her by the end of the book. There were things she did that irritated me but I felt she grew a lot throughout the book and by the end I actually admired her for the things she has planned (again I don't want to say more than that for fear of spoilers).

Overall Lover Revealed is a strong instalment in one of my favourite paranormal romance series and one I would highly recommend reading. I'm looking forward to getting stuck into V's story in Lover Unbound.

Source: Purchased

Other reviews of this book:
StoryWings
All Booked Up
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.

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