Friday, August 1, 2014

Review: Dark Sacrifice by Angie Sandro

Title: Dark Sacrifice
Author: Angie Sandro
Series: Book Two in the Dark Paradise Series
Published By: Forever Yours (August 5, 2014)
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: YA Fantasy
My Rating: 4 Stars!

Book Description:
A GIFT AND A CURSE

Mala LaCroix sees dead people—really. After using her psychic gifts to catch a killer, she's locked in a psych ward and must strike a deal with the devil to secure her release. Apprenticed to a dark arts practitioner, Mala vows to free herself and save her loved ones from danger. But she doesn't know who to turn to when her crush on Landry Prince turns into something more serious.

A FATE WORSE THAN DEATH

Landry has sacrificed everything to protect Mala. A near-death experience changes him forever, and now he, too, possesses supernatural powers he doesn't understand. Mala and Landry must band together to defeat the dark forces—both human and otherworldly—who would use their abilities for evil. Even as they fall for each other, they must prepare to battle for their very souls . . . 





I was eager to jump right back into the strange and dark world that the Sandro has created in this series. In fact, I was even a bit excited to see what would happen next between Mala, Landry, and even George Surprisingly, I wasn't ready for the end of the first book when it came and was thankful I didn't have long to wait for the release of the second book in this wonderfully executed trilogy about the gritty life of the bayou.

Sandro did not disappoint. If anything the second installment pushed the boundaries of the first and even went above and beyond my expectations. 

I don't even know exactly how to express how much I enjoyed this. It was creepier than the first but it was more than that too. The situations Mala and Landry found themselves in were more serious but also more heartfelt They truly had to work together, nothing left hidden between them. All was bared and it wonderful to see them work through (most) of their issues, insecurities and really form a team and a bond. 

They both went through so much in the first book, separately and together that I wasn't sure if there was hope for them at all to ever be friends again but Sandro took their heartache and their troubles and instead of tearing them apart, brought them together so they would have to work together to survive or die trying. 

So much came to light in this second installment. So much was revealed about both of them and so much is still left to discover.

I for one will be right there for book three to discover it all and see how it all comes together and ends. I just love the beautiful dark and rich world that Sandro has created on the bayou and I just can't seem to get enough of it.






*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 31, 2014

Review: Ever After By Kate SeRine

Title: Ever After
Author: Kate SeRine
Series: Book Four in the Transplanted Tales Series
Published By:  Kensington (August 21, 2014)
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: Urban Fantasy
My Rating: 4.5 Stars! 


 Book Description:
To Catch a Thief…

For centuries, Gideon Montrose has served the King of Fairies without question and, often, without mercy. So when the King orders him to apprehend a notorious thief, Gideon obeys. But when he finally gets his hands on the beautiful culprit, Gideon’s in for a shock.

Arabella Locksley is none other than the spirited, unpredictable woman he knew back in Make Believe as Robin Hood — the love of his life whose tragic death destroyed his chance at Happily Ever After.

Now, he has an impossible choice. Betray the woman he once loved, or the king he’s bound to serve?













SeRine has created a very unique take on modern day fairy tale characters and put such an unexpected, fun and even dangerous spin on stories that we all grew up hearing that you can't help but be enchanted by them. 

Her characters, while versions of the fairy tales we grew up with, are nothing like what we remember. In fact, their story is usually only bits and pieces of what we grew up hearing and loving. They almost always have a dark past and most of them are not innocent at all. 

So how could I resist a very different take on Robin Hood and Little John? Quite simply put, I couldn't.

Oh how I loved Gideon! In fact, I am going to go so far as to say that this whole book is by far my favorite yet. I just loved everything about it and once again I love that we get all the characters we have come to love from the other books in the series. I live for those glimpses!

 Not only did I love Gideon but I also loved Arabella. How could I not love a feisty heroine who started the tale of Robin Hood and her band of Merry Men?

This truly was outstanding with just the right amount of steamy romance and like always, a mystery to keep us on our toes as well as inside info on all the Tales we have come to love. I love learning more and more about them as the series progresses and I love that even though some of the characters already had their book, we are still getting little inside info and glimpses into their past as well as their present. 


I am so excited to see what SeRine comes out with next.





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

Cover Reveal: Breaker by Emma Raveling

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This is the cover reveal for Breaker by Emma Raveling, the fourth book in the Ondine Quartet, an upper Young Adult Urban Fantasy series. 

Breaker

War. Prophecy. Freedom.

She fought for herself. She fought for friendship and love. Now, Kendra Irisavie fights for the survival of her world.

War rages on, leaving no one untouched. Destruction rips through elemental communities and terror flourishes in its wake. Suspicion soars, order fractures, and loyalties crumble despite Kendra’s desperate attempts to protect everyone she holds dear.

 When an organized Aquidae army launches a series of merciless assaults, Kendra and her friends set out to end the bloodshed once and for all. With the fate of elementals hanging in balance, the Shadow and sondaleur hunt each other down in a brutal match of cunning and will.

 Kendra has trained for this her entire life. But in a ravaged world where trust is scarce and no life is sacred, she soon realizes her battle may be against an invincible enemy and that her darkest days lie ahead.

 Twists and turns shape her harrowing odyssey, leading to a stunning climax that challenges everything she believes in.

 Torn between destiny and autonomy, Kendra must finally decide whether the cost of freedom is too high.

 Heartbreaking decisions, turbulent alliances, and shattering revelations collide in Breaker, the
explosive conclusion to the Ondine Quartet.


Tell us about the covers in this series.

The main novels of the Ondine Quartet (Whirl, Billow,Crest, Breaker) have conceptual covers. Each cover’s imagery captures a particular theme or motif in the book, and the coloring conveys a sense of the story’s mood and emotional arc.

The shorter works/novellas in the series (Ondine,Chevalier, and Warrior Prince) are essentially character portraits and are told through the eyes of different characters in the series. Those covers use models.

The goal for Breaker’s cover was to visually convey high stakes, explosive energy, and a brilliant, sharp intensity.This is the epic finale to the series and everything that has happened in previous books has led to this moment.

Out of all the covers in the series, this one took the most amount of work. My designer and I went back and forth multiple times, going through several drastically different versions before finally arriving at the right
imagery and coloring.


How does it feel to end a series?

It’s bittersweet. A part of me is thrilled to share the end of Kendra’s journey with readers. I’ve had the entire series planned since the very beginning so finally releasing what’s been in my head is a relief.

But the process of writing this final book has been a highly emotional one. There’s a personal attachment to the work itself. I’ve spent countless hours thinking and living with these characters and with this world over the past four years. It’s difficult to bring not only Kendra’s story, but my journey with her story,to an end.

A few easy questions:

Top 3 books?

Only 3?? Argh! There are so many books I love for different reasons and my list of favorites is always changing, depending on what’s going on in my life. Right now, if I had to name three, they’d be:

1. Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy

2. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

3. And of course, the Harry Potter series


Top 5 movies?

1. Aviator

2. Mulholland Drive

3. The Matrix

4. The Breakfast Club

5. Okay, I couldn’t just pick five. So the last one is a tie between The Usual Suspects, Reservoir Dogs, Star Wars (ep. 4-6), and Catch Me If You Can.

Top 5 places in the world you enjoy visiting?
1.New York City
2.Tokyo
3.Paris
4.Kauai Island (Hawaii)
5.Berlin


Top 5 foods?
1.Fresh basil pesto – I’ll add this on anything
2.Sashimi (Japanese-style raw fish)
3.Dark chocolate
4.Jamón ibérico(Spanish ham)
5.And my terrible guilty pleasure: pizza



Author Bio:
Emma Raveling writes a wide variety of fiction for teens and adults. Hopelessly addicted to coffee and diet coke, she is the author of the Ondine Quartet and Chancer young adult series, and is currently working on the first book in her new Steel Magic series for adults.

 Previous Novels:

whirl_500billowcover_500Crest_500
   

Previous Novellas:

ondine_500chevalier_500WarriorPrince_500
 
This event was organized by:

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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Cover Reveal: Origins of Angels by Christie Rich


originreveal

I'm excited to share the cover for Origin of Angels by Christie Rich! This is the first book in the Elemental Legacy series and is New Adult Fantasy. It is a continuation of the Elemental Enmity series.

Origin_of_Angels_eBook5 (1)

A man searches for the woman he loves. A woman fights to survive.

As the first male Elemental, Travis is a wanted man. Women fawn all over him, both fae and Elemental alike, but he only has one female on is mind—the woman who captured his heart when he was sure he’d lost it. Travis is not only determined to find her, he’s willing to go through his meddling sister, Ralya, to do it. He doesn’t care if she’s queen of the fae, if war is brewing, or if there is a price on his head. He needs to find his mystery woman before it’s too late—before he loses her to the Order or worse, to the evil Valen, who has made a bargain of his own to win back his kingdom.

Emily will do anything it takes to save her son from the Order, no matter the cost. Her heart yearns for the man who gifted her with the only joy she has in her dreary world, yet the odds she will ever see Travis again are slim to none. Emily has a single desire: to raise her child. Love is beyond her reach, or so she thinks. As evil draws near, Emily must guard her heart or lose her soul to the fae who wants her to fulfill his wicked purposes.

Will Travis find Emily before she gives up, or will she fall into the hands of his enemy and be forever out of his reach? In this gripping sequel to Elemental Enmity, the stakes for control of Earth have been raised. Evil has taken hold of the mortal realm and won’t relinquish it easily. The forces of Elemental and fae must unite against the dark court if they have any chance at all of overcoming the gloom overtaking the human realm.


Christie Rich  About the author: I grew up daydreaming about fairytales, and my love for discovering new worlds has never died. I am not one of those writers who always knew I would write. I thought that was what other people did until one day, a few years ago, I took a challenge from a friend and typed my first words. My journey has been wonderful, and I cannot imagine a day where I would ever give up writing. My love for reading is what fueled my imagination in the first place and still does. When I am not writing or reading, I enjoy family time with my husband and two children. My family and I live in a quiet community in Northern Utah, and I am so thankful for the rich life I have been blessed with.
 Find the author: 


Giveaway:

$15 Amazon Gift Card
a Rafflecopter giveaway
This event was organized by:

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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.

Confession time, I first noticed this only because of the cover, it is gorgeous and the cover whore in me sometimes wins out more than not but, after reading the synopsis, I realized the more practical part of me wanted it as well so...here it is. My WoW pick of the week and of course one I am sure I will be adding to my TBR pile come December.

So what do you think, yay or nay on this one?





Release Date: December 9, 2014

Book Description:
Mysterious. Magnificent. Creepy. Welcome to Rockford Manor.

"There's something hidden in the Maze." Seventeen-year-old Imogen has never forgotten the last words her father said to her seven years ago, before the blazing fire that consumed him, her mother, and the gardens of her family's English country manor.

Haunted by her parents' deaths, Imogen moves to New York City with her new guardians. But when a letter arrives with the news of her cousin's untimely death, revealing that Imogen is now the only heir left to run the estate, she returns to England and warily accepts her role as duchess.

All is not as it seems at Rockford, and Imogen quickly learns that dark secrets lurk behind the mansion's aristocratic exterior, hinting that the spate of deaths in her family were no accident. And at the center of the mystery is Imogen herself--and Sebastian, the childhood friend she has secretly loved for years. Just what has Imogen walked into?


Combining a fresh twist on the classic REBECCA with a spine-tingling mystery and powerful romance, SUSPICION is an action-packed thrill ride.




*Amazon

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Review: Killing Sarai by J.A. Redmerski

Title: Killing Sarai
Author: J.A. Redmerski
Series: Book One in the Company of Killers Series
Published: June 18, 2013
Source: Purchased
Genre: New Adult Thriller
My Rating: 4 Stars!


Book Description:
Sarai was only fourteen when her mother uprooted her to live in Mexico with a notorious drug lord. Over time she forgot what it was like to live a normal life, but she never let go of her hope to escape the compound where she has been held for the past nine years.

Victor is a cold-blooded assassin who, like Sarai, has known only death and violence since he was a young boy. When Victor arrives at the compound to collect details and payment for a hit, Sarai sees him as her only opportunity for escape. But things don’t go as planned and instead of finding transport back to Tucson, she finds herself free from one dangerous man and caught in the clutches of another.

While on the run, Victor strays from his primal nature as he succumbs to his conscience and resolves to help Sarai. As they grow closer, he finds himself willing to risk everything to keep her alive; even his relationship with his devoted brother and liaison, Niklas, who now like everyone else wants Sarai dead.

As Victor and Sarai slowly build a trust, the differences between them seem to lessen, and an unlikely attraction intensifies. But Victor’s brutal skills and experience may not be enough in the end to save her, as the power she unknowingly holds over him may ultimately be what gets her killed.

This is their story…










 So Christy at Christy's Love of Books and I decided since we are both horrible at adding to each other's TBR pile (like truly, we are BOTH evil) each month we would make the other read one of those books. Yes I said make, because how else are we ever going to choose and ever actually get to read them? What better way than having someone demand you read it, right? :P

It has taken me a couple of days to be able to compose this review, to be able to gather my thoughts and feelings and truly understand them.

I am not even sure, now, days later, if I will be able to convey all that I felt while reading this.

This is a read that takes you by surprise with the depth of it. The emotion inside that runs deep within the pages and within the very story itself. 

We are placed in a world that is harsh and rough. Dangerous and brutal and very much a part of the real world today. Into situations that are questionable and horrible and unthinkable. Into places that no one should ever read about, let along experience. A place Sarai grew up and was held captive in for 9 very long years.

This isn't your typical story. There are no happily ever afters and the moments that take your breath away? Those are not because of huge grand romantic gestures but instead because of the horrors that surround you. The thoughts that we try not to imagine that must have happened to her, must have occurred on a daily basis, those are the moments that take your breath away and make your heart pound, get your blood boiling and leave you breathless.

This was an extraordinary read that was both raw and beautiful. 

It won't be what you expect, instead it will be so much more. So much more feeling and depth. It will make you cringe and it will make you think. It has moments that will make you smile but those are few and far in between but come just when you need them too to give you relief and make you go on.

This has just enough hint of a romance that will leave you turning the pages wanting more and the best part is, it isn't your typical romance, not at all.

In short, just read this one, you won't be disappointed and you will get one heck of  a ride along the way.

I am so glad Christy made me pick this one up. I don't regret it at all and will definitely be continuing on with the series.







*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 28, 2014

Review: The Beautiful Ashes by Jeaniene Frost

Title: The Beautiful Ashes
Author: Jeaniene Frost
Series: Book One in the Broken Destiny Series
Published By: Harlequin (August 26, 2014)
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: New Adult Fantasy
My Rating: 3 Stars 

 Book Description:
In a world of shadows, anything is possible. Except escaping your fate. 

Ever since she was a child, Ivy has been gripped by visions of strange realms just beyond her own. But when her sister goes missing, Ivy discovers the truth is far worse—her hallucinations are real, and her sister is trapped in a parallel realm. And the one person who believes her is the dangerously attractive guy who's bound by an ancient legacy to betray her. 

Adrian might have turned his back on those who raised him, but that doesn't mean he can change his fate…no matter how strong a pull he feels toward Ivy. Together they search for the powerful relic that can save her sister, but Adrian knows what Ivy doesn't: that every step brings Ivy closer to the truth about her own destiny, and a war that could doom the world. Sooner or later, it will be Ivy on one side and Adrian on the other. And nothing but ashes in between…












I am a huge Jeaniene Frost fan so when I saw that she was branching out into another genre, I just knew it was something that I would have to try.

The whole concept behind the storyline might not have been completely original but Frost has this unmistakable talent for taking the over done and putting a whole new fresh spin on it and that is exactly what she has done in The Beautiful Ashes. 

This isn't your typical story about another dimension or even angels versus demons. Instead it is an action packed, plot driven, take on an old tale with so many new twists, turns, and excitement that you can't help but be captured in the story as the old takes on the new.

While this didn't quite live up to the wonderfulness that is her Night Huntress series it does have potential with a fiery heroine that is just as tough and ever bit as snarky as her heroine in her adult UF series and a male lead that has potential in all the right ways.


I think this will be one series to watch out for. With Frost's ability to write one heck of a kick butt heroine, a sexy hero, and her story lines that are always as action based as they are filled with romance, this is one series we are sure to want to get hooked on.






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