Friday, July 31, 2015

Review: Undying Legion by Clay Griffith and Susan Griffith

Title: Undying Legion
Author(s): Clay Griffith and Susan Griffith
Series: Book Two in the Crown & Key Series
Published By: Del Rey (June 30, 2015)
Source: Purchased
Genre: Urban Fantasy
My Rating: 5 Stars!

Book Description:
A thrilling new Victorian-era urban fantasy for fans of Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid Chronicles, the Showtime series Penny Dreadful, and the Sherlock Holmes movies featuring Robert Downey, Jr.

With a flood of dark magic about to engulf Victorian London, can a handful of heroes vanquish a legion of the undead?

When monster-hunter Malcolm MacFarlane comes across the gruesome aftermath of a ritual murder in a London church, he enlists the help of magician-scribe Simon Archer and alchemist extraordinaire Kate Anstruther. Studying the macabre scene, they struggle to understand obscure clues in the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics carved into the victim’s heart—as well as bizarre mystical allusions to the romantic poetry of William Blake. One thing is clear: Some very potent black magic is at work.

But this human sacrifice is only the first in a series of ritualized slayings. Desperate to save lives while there is still time, Simon, Kate, and Malcolm—along with gadget geek Penny Carter and Charlotte, an adolescent werewolf—track down a necromancer who is reanimating the deceased. As the team battles an unrelenting army of undead, a powerful Egyptian mummy, and serpentine demons, the necromancer proves an elusive quarry. And when the true purpose of the ritual is revealed, the gifted allies must confront a destructive force that is positively apocalyptic.

When you love a first book in a series as much as I loved Shadow Revolution, it is with some trepidation that you open up book two. Not because you don't want to read it but rather, you don't want anything to make book one, the book you love, to not be as great as you remember it. 

They say the second book in a series, sometimes can make or break it. You know, the dreaded second book, or middle book syndrome. The ones that sometimes have too much info dump, not enough action, and drag so very much, that you almost regret even starting the series to begin with.

Those are the reasons why most of us, dread opening that second book when the first one was so great. Will it live up to its predecessor or am I going to regret this later on?

Thankfully, I had no cause to be concerned. This was fabulous and reminded me all over again, why I loved the first book so very much. 

With the steampunkish era, action, adventure, amazing characters, not to mention hints of magic and the sup world, this truly is a stand out fun series that I just can't seem to get enough of. 

Simon, Malcolm, Katie, Imogen, Charlotte, Hogarth, Penny, truly, these are some of my favorite characters and my love for all of them grew exponentially throughout this story. I couldn't get enough of them. 

I am so very thankfully that I have book three sitting right next to me because I am diving right into it. 

This series has quickly become a favorite of mine and I can't wait to read more.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Review: Slammed by Colleen Hoover

Title: Slammed
Author: Colleen Hoover
Series: Book One in the Slammed Series
Published: January 5, 2012
Source: Purchased
Genre: NA Contemporary
My Rating: 5 Stars!

Book Description:
Following the unexpected death of her father, 18-year-old Layken is forced to be the rock for both her mother and younger brother. Outwardly, she appears resilient and tenacious, but inwardly, she's losing hope.

Enter Will Cooper: The attractive, 21-year-old new neighbor with an intriguing passion for slam poetry and a unique sense of humor. Within days of their introduction, Will and Layken form an intense emotional connection, leaving Layken with a renewed sense of hope.

Not long after an intense, heart-stopping first date, they are slammed to the core when a shocking revelation forces their new relationship to a sudden halt. Daily interactions become impossibly painful as they struggle to find a balance between the feelings that pull them together, and the secret that keeps them apart. 

Sometimes there is writing that will grab you from the very first page and characters so darn lovable and memorable that they make it impossible not to fall in love with them from the very beginning. You instantly connect, like, care, and want to know more about them. Instantly invested, concerned, and ready to cheer them on.

That book, those characters, are Slammed , that are what made it so very wonderful. 

I knew I like Hoover's work before starting this, heck I would even say I loved it, but it wasn't until this read that I was truly over the moon enamored with it and the very worst part about it, the embarrassing part, is that I have had this in my TBR pile sitting on my kindle since it was self pubbed, yes you read that right, SELF-pubbed years ago and I refused to read it for whatever reason. Smacks self and kicks my own butt. Stupid stupid girl.

I smiled, I cried and I smiled and cried some more, in many places and not even just with Lake and Will's story but with Eddie and the boys as well. There wasn't a single moment, a single character, that wasn't amazing, that didn't make me want more, hold my breath or even think for a moment, that I needed a break, a time out. I didn't eat, I didn't sleep, I read until I came to the very last page and then I wanted to start it all over again. 

Truly an amazing story and my favorite yet. Hands down once again to Hoover for writing something worthy of the genre. Stand out, fun, emotional, heartfelt and overall wonderful. Will and Layken will stick with you long after you put the book down.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

WoW Pick of the Week!

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It is a chance to share those new releases were are super anxious to get our hands on and read.

I admit, I was drawn into this by the cover just as much as the premises. Sounds like  Beauty and the Beast retelling with a huge twist and I can't wait to read it. 

I know I have been burned by retellings more often than not but I can't help it, Beauty and the Beast is by far my favorite so, I'm going to take a chance and read this one.

Book Description:

Sixteen-year-old Brielle has grown up hearing tales of a beast that kills humans, leaving behind only a scattering of bones and limbs. Or so the village elders say. She thinks it’s just their way of keeping children in line, though it doesn’t explain her grisly premonitions of blood, claws, and severed heads.

When Lord Kenrick, Knight of the Crowhurst Order, shows up asking questions about the legendary monster and Brielle finds a mangled body in the woods, she begins to wonder if the grim stories are true. Her attraction to the handsome knight grows as she spends time with him searching for clues to the creature’s existence, and she becomes even more determined to help him discover the beast’s location. 

But as her seventeenth birthday approaches, her nightmares worsen. If Brielle doesn’t figure out the connection between Kenrick, the monster, and visions of a ghostly woman in the woods soon, more people could die. Including those closest to her… 

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Release Day Review: The Bourbon Kings by J.R. Ward

Title: The Bourbon Kings
Author: J.R. Ward
Series: Book One in the Bourbon Kings Series
Published By: NAL (July 28, 2015)
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: Drama/Family Saga
My Rating: 4 Stars!

Book Description:
For generations, the Bradford family has worn the mantle of kings of the bourbon capital of the world. Their sustained wealth has afforded them prestige and privilege—as well as a hard-won division of class on their sprawling estate, Easterly. Upstairs, a dynasty that by all appearances plays by the rules of good fortune and good taste. Downstairs, the staff who work tirelessly to maintain the impeccable Bradford facade. And never the twain shall meet.

For Lizzie King, Easterly’s head gardener, crossing that divide nearly ruined her life. Falling in love with Tulane, the prodigal son of the bourbon dynasty, was nothing that she intended or wanted—and their bitter breakup only served to prove her instincts were right. Now, after two years of staying away, Tulane is finally coming home again, and he is bringing the past with him. No one will be left unmarked: not Tulane’s beautiful and ruthless wife; not his older brother, whose bitterness and bad blood know no bounds; and especially not the ironfisted Bradford patriarch, a man with few morals, fewer scruples, and many, many terrible secrets.

As family tensions—professional and intimately private—ignite, Easterly and all its inhabitants are thrown into the grips of an irrevocable transformation, and only the cunning will survive.

My very first J.R. Ward book was nothing short of spectacular. Something full of deceit, intrigue, lies, love, abuse, mystery, danger, backstabbing, and heavy on the family and personal drama.

In short, it was everything you should expect form a soap opera in book form. It was truly addicting and hard to put down. 

Is it possible to truly feel sorry for the troubles of the filthy rich and spoiled family that are the Bradfords? When they have a father like William, yes, it is indeed not only plausible but is indisputably bound to happen.

With a mixed blend of struggles bouncing from one family member to the next this book really kept a fast pace and made it impossible to put down. Never knowing who to feel more sorry for or have compassion or hatred towards, this book is one that will keep you on your toes as much as it will turning the pages. 

Well written and executed the cliffhanger ending will leave you begging for more.

*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher. I was not compensated for this review.*

Monday, July 27, 2015

Blog Tour Book Review and Giveaway: Racing the Sun by Karina Halle

Welcome to my stop for the Racing The Sun blog tour! 
I have to tell you guys, this was such an amazing read and truly perfect for this time of year. I really hope you will take a look and consider adding it to your TBR pile because, you won't regret it, plus, come on, Karina is a brilliant writer and this is one you don't want to miss.

Release Date: July 28, 2015 by Atria Books

Book Description:

From the USA TODAY bestselling author of Where Sea Meets Sky comes a new adult novel about a young woman who becomes a nanny in Capri and falls for her charges’ bad-boy brother.

It’s time for twenty-four-year-old Amber MacLean to face the music. After a frivolous six months of backpacking through New Zealand, Australia, and Southeast Asia, she finds herself broke on the Mediterranean without enough money for a plane ticket home to California. There are worse places to be stuck than the gorgeous coastline of southern Italy, but the only job she manages to secure involves teaching English to two of the brattiest children she’s ever met.

It doesn’t help that the children are under the care of their brooding older brother, Italian ex-motorcycle racer Desiderio Larosa. Darkly handsome and oh-so-mysterious, Derio tests Amber’s patience and will at every turn—not to mention her hormones.

But when her position as teacher turns into one as full-time nanny at the crumbling old villa, Amber finds herself growing closer to the enigmatic recluse and soon has to choose between the safety of her life back in the States and the uncertainty of Derio’s closely guarded heart. 

About the Author:

Karina Halle is the New York Times bestselling author of Where Sea Meets Sky, The Pact, Love in English, and other wild and romantic reads. A former travel writer and music journalist, she lives on an island off the coast of British Columbia with her husband and her rescue pup, where she drinks a lot of wine, hikes a lot of trails, and devours a lot of books.

If there is one thing you can count on with a book written by Halle, it is that you will get something original, fresh, and so hot and swoon worthy you won't want it to end. 

Add in a gorgeous Italy setting, gorgeous Italy men, and a slow building romance that is sure to make you blush and a story every bit as endearing as it is sweet, and you truly have the perfect summer read that is sure to please anyone.

I have said this numerous times I know but it still holds true and bears repeating, there is just something about a broken person being made whole by someone truly worthy of their love that is so endearing and appealing. I can't get enough of them and Halle creates those characters in Amber and Derio and of course, his siblings. I fell in love with every character equally in this story and couldn't get enough of them, their heart aches, their troubles and later, their triumphs as they overcame their fears and healed their hearts together. 

If you are a fan of this author this is one you truly don't want to miss out on. Even if you are a first time reader of her, this is one you don't want to miss out on. The perfect blend of everything that makes a good New Adult book a stand out in the genre and really shine like the sun. 

*A review copy was received in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher. I was not compensated for this review.*

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Friday, July 24, 2015

Review: The Heartbreakers by Ali Novak

Title: The Heartbreakers
Author: Ali Novak
Series: Stand Alone
Published By: Sourcefire (August 4, 2015)
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Publishers (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: YA Contemporary
My Rating: 4 Stars!

Book Description:
"When I met Oliver Perry, I had no clue he was the lead singer for The Heartbreakers. And he had no idea that I was the only girl in the world who hated his music."

Stella will do anything for her sick sister, Cara—even stand in line for an autographed Heartbreakers CD...for four hours. She's totally winning best birthday gift this year. At least she met a cute boy with soft brown hair and gorgeous blue eyes while getting her caffeine fix. Too bad she'll never see him again.

Except, Stella's life has suddenly turned into a cheesy love song. Because Starbucks Boy is Oliver Perry – lead singer for the Heartbreakers. And even after she calls his music crap, Oliver still gives Stella his phone number. And whispers quotes from her favorite Disney movie in her ear. OMG, what is her life?

But how can Stella even think about being with Oliver — dating and laughing and pulling pranks with the band — when her sister could be dying of cancer?

What is it about rock stars that appeal to almost everyone? Whether in young adult reads, new adult, or just plain old adult, they just are appealing to so many of us. 

This story was about a rock star, a band, and of course, a girl. But more than that this story went deeper. It was about families, and love, taking chances, and living life to the fullest, and loving those around us and being strong for those that need us to be without losing ourselves in the process. 

It was about chasing our dreams and making them happen and for that, I can say I loved this story.

I honest wasn't expecting any deep meaningful thoughts or opinions when I started this. Instead I thought it would be a light hearted, fun, quick read and it was that too, It had a lot of light funny moments and even sweet moments that broke up the sadness and really was a perfect balance of seriousness and fun all in one.

I didn't expect to love Alec, JJ, Xander, Drew, Oliver, Cara, and Stella as much as I did, but I did feel for them, like them, and care about them.

Yes there were some familiar tropes and cliches, but overall, I really had fun with this read and even got teary eyed a time or two.

Overall, this was a fun, quick read with meaning and I would definitely read the next book.

*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher. I was not compensated for this review.*

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Review: Reawakened by Colleen Houck

Title: Reawakened
Author: Colleen Houck
Series: Book One in the Reawakened Series
Published By: Delacorte (August 11, 2015)
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: YA Mythology/Fantasy
My Rating: 4 Stars!

Book Description:
When seventeen-year-old Lilliana Young enters the Metropolitan Museum of Art one morning during spring break, the last thing she expects to find is a live Egyptian prince with godlike powers, who has been reawakened after a thousand years of mummification.

And she really can't imagine being chosen to aid him in an epic quest that will lead them across the globe to find his brothers and complete a grand ceremony that will save mankind.

But fate has taken hold of Lily, and she, along with her sun prince, Amon, must travel to the Valley of the Kings, raise his brothers, and stop an evil, shape-shifting god named Seth from taking over the world.

From New York Times bestselling author Colleen Houck comes an epic adventure about two star-crossed teens who must battle mythical forces and ancient curses on a journey with more twists and turns than the Nile itself. 

Colleen Houck's novels are always so well written, so beautiful and enchanting that they are hard to resist. In fact, she is one of the few author's that I will pick up, knowing that a love triangle and drama and angst might ensue and still not care, because her writing simply overshadows all the rest.

Her ability to weave mythology, romance, mystery, action, and adventure, all into one tale is truly breathtaking and her latest novel Reawakened was no exception.

Where to begin with this? It was, simply put, a fabulous read with mythology, romance (no love triangle!), adventure, and danger weaved into every single page and almost impossible to put down.

Even with a slower start, it didn't take long before I was completely wrapped up in Amon and Lily and what awaited them. 

This was every bit the adventure and swoon worthy romance that I have come to expect from Houck and then some. I am so very excited to see what book two has in store for us. 

*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher. I was not compensated for this review.*