Friday, October 31, 2014

Review: A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray

Title: A Thousand Pieces of You
Author: Claudia Gray
Series: Book One in the Firebird Series
Published By: Harper Teen (November 4, 2014)
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Publisher
(in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: YA Fantasy
My Rating: 4 Stars!

Book Description:
Every Day meets Cloud Atlas in this heart-racing, space- and time-bending, epic new trilogy from New York Times bestselling author Claudia Gray.

Marguerite Caine’s physicist parents are known for their radical scientific achievements. Their most astonishing invention: the Firebird, which allows users to jump into parallel universes, some vastly altered from our own. But when Marguerite’s father is murdered, the killer—her parent’s handsome and enigmatic assistant Paul—escapes into another dimension before the law can touch him.

Marguerite can’t let the man who destroyed her family go free, and she races after Paul through different universes, where their lives entangle in increasingly familiar ways. With each encounter she begins to question Paul’s guilt—and her own heart. Soon she discovers the truth behind her father’s death is more sinister than she ever could have imagined.

A Thousand Pieces of You explores a reality where we witness the countless other lives we might lead in an amazingly intricate multiverse, and ask whether, amid infinite possibilities, one love can endure.

There were only a handful of books this fall that I was really looking forward to reading. Those who's premises I loved or those authors that I can always count on to deliver one heck of a story so I buy their stories immediately, A Thousand Pieces of You was one such read. Every since first glimpsing that Ms. Gray had a new book coming out and then getting a glimpse of the amazing cover and even more amazing blurb, I knew it was one I had to get my hands on.

Ms. Gray has never let me down. Time after time she amazes me with the creative and imaginative stories she writes and her ability to weave a tale that is not only believable but fun as well. One that easily captures your attention and holds it.

I loved this story. I devoured this story. 

This was everything I have come to expect from Gray's work and everything I love about it but maybe even more so. I was so caught up in the story that I lost all track of time and of what I should have been doing instead, but, it didn't matter because the story was just that good and it was worth it to read, I mean who needs clean clothes and dinner anyways right?

This was captivating and so very interesting. It blended science, romance, adventure, and mystery seamlessly. There was never too much of one thing and always just the right amount of info without boring you or overloading you with specifics and too much science jargon. In other words, beautifully presented and written. 

I loved everyone, even those we weren't always suppose to love. Paul, Theo, Marguerite, Dr. Caine and the whole family were wonderful characters and I loved seeing them in each new dimension, in each new situation. 

This is by far one of my favorite parallel universe reads yet. 

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

Also today is the last day for the Something Wicked Strikes Hop so don't forget to enter all the giveaways and check out today's post!

Happy Halloween!!!

October 31st:
Heidi@Rainy Day Ramblings: A Cursed Bloodline by Cecy Robson
 Maja @The Nocturnal Library: Mortal Danger by Ann Aguirre

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Review: Waistcoats & Weaponry by Gail Carriger

Title: Waistcoats & Weaponry
Author: Gail Carriger
Series: Book Three in the Finishing School Series
Published By: Hachette Little Brown (November 4, 2014)
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: YA Hostorical Paranormal/Steampunk
My Rating: 4 Stars

Book Description:
Class is back in session...
Sophronia continues her second year at finishing school in style--with a steel-bladed fan secreted in the folds of her ball gown, of course. Such a fashionable choice of weapon comes in handy when Sophronia, her best friend Dimity, sweet sootie Soap, and the charming Lord Felix Mersey stowaway on a train to return their classmate Sidheag to her werewolf pack in Scotland. No one suspected what--or who--they would find aboard that suspiciously empty train. Sophronia uncovers a plot that threatens to throw all of London into chaos and she must decide where her loyalties lie, once and for all. 

Gather your poison, steel tipped quill, and the rest of your school supplies and join Mademoiselle Geraldine's proper young killing machines in the third rousing installment in the New York Times bestselling Finishing School Series by steampunk author, Gail Carriger.

This is such a fun series. Like smile the whole way through and sit back and have fun kind of series. 

From the names of the characters down to the shenanigans they get themselves involved in, it is just plain fun and the series is getting better and better as it goes.

This has elements in numerous genres that I simply adore from the paranormal steampunk to the historic side of it and the ragtag bunch of friends is by far the best part of it all.

Add in teachers that are almost as mischievous as the students, adventure around every corner, a hint of romance in every book and an even bigger hint of danger and this series is quickly becoming one of my go to series for a great time. 

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

Don't forget to stop by Heidi's today and see what she has posted for the Something Wicked Hop!

Heidi@Rainy Day Ramblings:Seventh Grave and No Body by Darynda Jones

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Review: Curtsies & Conspiracies by Gail Carriger

Title: Curtsies & Conspiracies
Author: Gail Carriger
Series: Book Two in the Finishing School Series
Published By: Hachette Little Brown (November 2013)
Source: Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: YA Historical Paranormal/Steampunk
My Rating: 3.5 Stars

Book Description:
Sophronia, second year at Miss Geraldine's Finishing Academy, helps Dimity avoid London kidnappers and Vieve 10 attend Bunson boys' school. Someone kills for malfunctioning guidance valves that can control 'aether' atmosphere level. Again, she flirts with 'sootie' coal-worker Soap from the boiler room, and cuts Felix, son of Duke Golborne, at come-out ball. Teacher Captain Niall turns werewolf; vampire Prof Braithwope braves 'tether'; mechanimal Bumbersnoot plays essential role.

I really loved the audio version of the first book so much that even though I received a copy from the publisher to review, I wanted to once again listed to Moira Quirk narrate and all of the fun that comes with listening to her quirky accents and voices. She really does bring this series to life with the voices and the character and warmth she projects into the storyline. I honestly don't know if I would like this series as much as I do without her little added extras.

I really enjoyed the first book. It really was a cute and fun read and while I did enjoy it, I was hoping the second volume would be just a little bit more. Hoping that the characters would grow up some and change along the way. And even though this is still one of the silliest reads I have come across that mixes historic, paranormal, and a bit of steampunk, it is by far such a cute read at the same time that you can't help but get caught up in the storyline as Sophronia and her friends get into trouble more often than naught. 

It will be interesting and I am sure quite entertaining to see where the third book with take them next. I am looking forward to the hijinks and shenanigans that are sure to follow.

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

Heidi@Rainy Day Ramblings: Endsinger by Jay Kristoff
Maja @The Nocturnal Library: Mortal Gods by Kendare Blake 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Review: Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers

Title: Mortal Heart
Author: Robin LaFevers
Series: Book Three in My Fair Assassins Trilogy
Published By: HMH Books For Young Readers (November 4, 2014)
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: YA Historic/Paranormal
My Rating: 4.5 Stars!

Book Description:
Annith has watched her gifted sisters at the convent come and go, carrying out their dark dealings in the name of St. Mortain, patiently awaiting her own turn to serve Death. But her worst fears are realized when she discovers she is being groomed by the abbess as a Seeress, to be forever sequestered in the rock and stone womb of the convent. Feeling sorely betrayed, Annith decides to strike out on her own.

She has spent her whole life training to be an assassin. Just because the convent has changed its mind doesn't mean she has...

It is never easy seeing a series end, more often than not, it is bittersweet and sad. But along with the sadness, there is always that bit of excitement too, to see how it all finally comes together and end. This is one series that with each new book, I have fallen more and more in love with the writing, the rich attention to detail, and the rather original plot line of a convent of not nuns but servants of death, female assassins of Mortain. 

It was easy getting caught up in the storyline and while yes these books are long and full of detail they are also so fascinating that you can't help but want to read more and you become engrossed in the storyline. These books aren't just a pretty cover or pretty words written on a page. They have substance with characters while serving a god, are anything but whole or perfect. 

Annith was everything I was hoping she would be from the small glimpses we see of her in the other books. She is tough, fierce, and a fighter. She doesn't have all the answers but she is willing to go out and get them.

Balthazaar was...he was amazing. Like the previous other men from the series, he was swoon worthy and mysterious and much more. I can't go into detail about him but just know that I loved him and he was perfect for Annith. They truly made each other whole.

Best of all, we get glimpses of all our favorites. Where they are, how they are doing and the missions they have been on.

Throw in a whole bunch of things that no one saw coming, twists, reveals, lies, truths, love and you really had an amazing ending to the series. So rich in historic detail and that slight paranormal edge that this truly is a series that is irresistible. I am so very sad to see it all end but so very excited at the same time with how it all came together. I truly couldn't have asked for anything more. 

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

Don't forget all the great post today for the Something Wicked Hop!

Heidi@Rainy Day Ramblings: Compulsion by Martina A. Boone
 Maja @The Nocturnal Library: Demon Squad by Tim Marquitz

Monday, October 27, 2014

Review: Almost Like Love by Abigail Strom

Title: Almost Like Love
Author: Abigail Strom
Series: Stand Alone
Published By: Montlake Romance (October 28, 2014)
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
My Rating: 4 Stars

Book Description:
Television writer Kate Meredith is having the day from hell. First, her show was canceled. Then her fiance left her for another woman. Now, she's courting disaster by flirting with the hard-bodied, tattooed, motorcycle-riding bad boy of her dreams - who also happens to be the man who fired her.

If people had told Ian Hart that he'd be firing Kate in the morning and dancing with her that night, he'd have laughed in their faces. Despite her leggy body, the sweet but geeky redhead isn't his type. At least, that's what he thinks before spotting her in a club wearing an outfit that reveals her surprisingly delectable assets.

Before he knows it, Ian becomes Kate's knight on a shining motorcycle, escorting her home to prevent her from running off with some random guy. But when the night is over, "Little Miss Boring" and her sexy former boss just might turn their oh-so-wrong feelings into something very right.

I loved Strom's first book and numerous ones after, so it was no wonder I picked this up expecting everything I loved in her other stories. A sweet romance, lovable characters, a fun plot line, and the happily ever afters that I crave. 

Throw in a feisty heroine and a bad boy turned good with a heart of gold and an adorable nephew to boot and you have a winner. 

How can anyone not love a book that references Doctor Who and the X-Men. My inner nerd was all over it and even though I know nothing about D & D it was fun to see it referenced (and even played) in the book.

I really liked Ian and Kate and their love story was a good one. This didn't get too heavy or deep but it wasn't a light fluff read either. It was a nice balance of romance with real life circumstances and issues.

I completely gobbled this up and was sad to see it end.

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

And don't forget to check out all the stops for Something Wicked!

Heidi@Rainy Day Ramblings:Chaos by Sarah Fine
Maja @The Nocturnal Library:Mihir from Fantasy Book Critic
Jessie@Jessabella Reads: The Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
Nobody @ The Story Goes: The Devouring Trilogy by Simon Holt
Gin @ Gin's Book Notes: Tia Silverthorne Bach

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Review: Stay by Alyssa Rose Ivy

Title: Stay
Author: Alyssa Rose Ivy
Series: Book Three in the Empire Chronicles
Published: October 20, 2014
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Author (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: NA Paranormal
My Rating: 4 Stars

Book Description:
Nothing could possibly get worse. Everything and everyone that could be in jeopardy already is, and Jared knows that he is The Society's only hope. If he doesn't find a way to escape he fails everyone including Vera, the bear shifter he can't seem to get out of his head.

Casey and Toby are in love. Head over heels in love, but is their love strong enough to survive a magic so powerful that Casey's mind is no longer in her control?

Vera will do anything to help her sister, and unfortunately that means she is well acquainted with Jared, the most frustrating man she has ever met. Now she has to find a way to fight her annoyance and growing attraction long enough to help save Levi and Allie.

Racing against the clock, all four must face their greatest fears to save The Society and all the people they love.

It is no mystery that I adore this series and have since the original Crescent Chronicles was released. The very fact that the spin off series is just as great was such a bonus for me. Ivy has a way of writing a story that no matter what is involved, love triangle, mean girl cliché, insta-love, you can't help but be sucked into the story and be disappointed when it is done and left always wanting more.

I have become so invested in the character of this series that I feel like they have become friends and I truly care about their outcome. Even though some of the characters are harder to love than others (Jared I am talking about you), I still want to see them happy in the end.

This was such a great read. The Pterons have become a huge sup favorite of mine and I love every single one of them (okay not the bad guys, they make it too easy to hate them), even some of the grouchy bears are wearing me down and weaseling their way into my heart.

I loved getting more Toby, Jared, Vera, and Casey. We even get some Levi, Owen, Hailey, Georgina, and Allie time as well and it was wonderful having them all together in one story!

I so desperately want a certain love scorned Pteron to have his happily ever after that I can't help but want another book, or three! I need to see him get his happily ever after. So much has happened to him over the course of the series and even though at times he can be a complete douche, you see the goodness and love inside of him as well and I can't wait for that to really come out and shine for everyone to see. His loyalty and devotion to Levi and Allie is so heartwarming and I just know the right girl is out there for him. 

Once again this was a wonderful addition to the series with lots of mystery, twists, turns, and exciting action scenes. I can't wait for more!

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

Friday, October 24, 2014

Blog Tour Review and Giveaway: Cinder & Ella by Kelly Oram

I am so excited to be a part of this tour because Kelly is an amazing author. She has the ability to create heartfelt stories that touch your heart and leave a last impression.

Published By: Bluefields (October 1, 2014)
Series: Stand Alone
Genre: YA Contemporary

Book Description:
It’s been almost a year since eighteen-year-old Ella Rodriguez was in a car accident that left her crippled, scarred, and without a mother. After a very difficult recovery, she’s been uprooted across the country and forced into the custody of a father that abandoned her when she was a young child. If Ella wants to escape her father’s home and her awful new stepfamily, she must convince her doctors that she’s capable, both physically and emotionally, of living on her own. The problem is, she’s not ready yet. The only way she can think of to start healing is by reconnecting with the one person left in the world who’s ever meant anything to her—her anonymous Internet best friend, Cinder. 
Hollywood sensation Brian Oliver has a reputation for being trouble. There’s major buzz around his performance in his upcoming film The Druid Prince, but his management team says he won’t make the transition from teen heartthrob to serious A-list actor unless he can prove he’s left his wild days behind and become a mature adult. In order to douse the flames on Brian’s bad-boy reputation, his management stages a fake engagement for him to his co-star Kaylee. Brian isn’t thrilled with the arrangement—or his fake fiancĂ©e—but decides he’ll suffer through it if it means he’ll get an Oscar nomination. Then a surprise email from an old Internet friend changes everything.

About the Author:

Kelly Oram wrote her first novel at age fifteen–a fan fiction about her favorite music group, The Backstreet Boys, for which family and friends still tease her. She's obsessed with reading, talks way too much, and loves to eat frosting by the spoonful. She lives outside of Phoenix, Arizona with her husband and four children.

Kelly Oram writes some of the sweetest romances. They are always refreshing, fun, and clean and I love that about them. I love that I always end up devouring them in one sitting and leave with a smile on my face and maybe a little teary eyed as well. I can't help it, I am a sicker for those sweet love stories. 

This isn't your typical fairy tale and certainly not a retelling. Instead it is a refreshing take on the whole concept of happily ever after and being a damsel in distress or rather not being a damsel in distress but fighting your own battles, with a whole lot of help along the way.

I can't even begin to explain how many feelings, how many emotions this book brought out in me. So many that I don't, days later, still have them all sorted out and handled. I can say this though, I absolutely one 100% adored this read and it will make my top 20 best reads for the year. 

I was expecting to get a great read, I wasn't expecting to get something with so much depth to it, so many emotions and struggles and just something with so much to offer.

Oram blew me away with this one. I was already a fan but she just reenforced why I already liked her writing and then made me take that love and multiple it by one hundred. 

In fact, I'm not even going to say any more about it because I want you to experience it all for yourself. The hardships, the struggles, Ella's strength, all of it. Just trust me on this one, try it, it will surprise you and I am betting blow you away with how very much you end up falling in love with it too.

*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author. I was given an ARC of this in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated for this review.*

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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Review: Demon's Fury,Demon's Vow, and Inner Demon by Jocelynn Drake

Title: Demon's Fury
Author: Jocelynn Drake
Series: Book 3.1 in the Asylum Tales
Published By: Harper Voyager (October 14, 2014)
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: Urban Fantasy
My Rating: 3.5 Stars!

Book Description:
Jocelynn Drake continues her successful urban fantasy series, Asylum Tales, with Demon’s Fury, set in a world where elves, faeries, trolls, werewolves, and vampires walk free among humanity.

Powerful warlock and tattoo artist Gage has managed to escape the magical Ivory Towers who terrorize the rest of humans and monsters – but at a price. Now he must join forces with his nemesis Gideon to stop an unknown entity who is using old magic to commit gruesome murders. And if that’s not keeping him busy enough, an investigator recruits Gage to help her track a killer … who might be targeting tattoo artists.

Title: Demon's Vow
Author: Jocelynn Drake
Series: Book #3.2 in the Asylum Tales
Published By: Harper Voyager (October 21, 2014)
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: Urban Fantasy
My Rating: 3.5 Stars!

Book Description:
Tattoo artist and warlock Gage is having a rough week. He’s trying to track down a mysterious murderer in Low Town while also chasing a powerful entity using forbidden Death Magic across the nation. When Gage discovers the two forces may be trying to unite, the stakes get even higher. With Gideon’s help, Gage is determined to stop the murderers before anyone else gets hurt – including his girlfriend, Trixie.

Title: Inner Demon
Author: Jocelynn Drake
Series: Book #3.3 in the Asylum Tales
Published By: Harper Voyager (October 28, 2014)
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: Urban Fantasy
My Rating: 3.5 Stars!

Book Description:
Gage is a powerful warlock in Low Town, where elves, faeries, trolls, goblins, and vampires walk free among humanity. But there are two dangerous entities murdering families and children, and Gage needs to stop them before anybody else gets hurt.

When Gage discovers a demon locked away it offers him access to dark magic in exchange for its freedom – a dangerous opportunity, but one that could save his loved ones. Gage must choose between what is right and what is easy … except he’s running out of time.

Even though these are three separate installments to the series, I am going to review them as a whole because they all start right where the first left off.

As some of you may know I was taken by surprise with this series when I first picked it up last year. Not only is this told entirely in the male point of view, Gage's (which is fantastic) is also a lot more rough because of it. Gage doens't hold anything back. He is who he is and you take it or you leave it. 

I was so excited to learn that book three wasn't the end of his, Trixie's and Bronx's tale because I wasn't quite ready to let go of them yet. 

One of my most favorite quotes from the collection of shorts was from the first book Demon's Fury:

"Trixie was my heart, but Bronx, he was my rock."

It shows jut how close this friendship is and how much they love and respect each other. Which in there world is rather unique considering they are all different species. One a feared wizard, another an elf, and the third a troll. 

It is funny how you don't even realize how much you can miss a world, a book, a series,  until you see another book is coming out and all those feelings and memories come flooding back to you.

That is what happened to me with The Asylum Tales. I missed Gage and the dark gritty world that Drake created and I didn't even realize how much so until Demon's Fury was in my hands and I dived right back into the world she had created. 

And even if I did guess early on some of the things that were going on, I still had a fabulous time with these reads and I can't believe that then end of the third book Inner Demon is all that is left to the story. In fact, it can't be. I just won't accept it. I need to see everyone settled and safe and together again.

I am keeping my fingers crossed that it wasn't the end and that Drake will once again surprise us with a fourth book or even so more shorts because I truly would love to see it happen.

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

Once again don't forget to check out all the fun and exciting post for the Something Wicked Hop!

Heidi@Rainy Day Ramblings: Blood of My Blood by Barry Lyga
Beth@ Curling Up With A Good Book: Compulsion by Emily Goodwin

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Review: Someday Maybe by Ophelia London

Title: Someday Maybe
Author: Ophelia London
Series: Book Two in the Definitely Maybe Series

Published By: Entangled Embrace (October 20, 2014)
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: NA Contemporary Romance
My Rating: 4 Stars!

Book Description:
Some guys are impossible to forget.

Rachel Daughtry has a 10-year plan that leaves no room for mistakes. Or not-so-serious boys—including Oliver Wentworth, the freshman boyfriend she's never forgotten. Now she's back in San Francisco with an awesome-slash-scary new job. Unfortunately, The Plan doesn't cover things like meeting her best friend's new “secret” guy...Oliver.

Fortunately, no one knows that Rachel and Oliver were ever together, and endless bikini wax torture couldn't make Rachel hurt her friend. But it's killing Rachel. She's not over him. Not even a little. And as her 10-year-plan crumbles around her, Rachel realizes that maybe—just maybe—Oliver feels the same way.

Now Rachel is on the verge of losing all control. And her best friend. And the love of her life...

Someday Maybe is a modern take on Jane Austen’s Persuasion that proves a second chance at true love is always worth the risk.

I absolutely adored London's modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice when she wrote Definitely, Maybe In Love so there was no way I was going to pass up the chance to not only get another dose of her great writing but also to get another modern twist of my second most favorite Austen's tale, Persuasion. 

I so was not wrong to pick this up, I loved it from the very beginning and how could I not love Spring and Henry's cameo! Yay!

Oliver and Rachel were perfect, everything I would picture in a very modern Fredrick and Anne (love that those were their middle names!). In fact, I am going to go so far as to say that I liked this even more than the P&P retelling. It is by far my favorite Persuasion retelling to date. I loved everything about it. 

You could see the insecurities, the heart break, the longing, the love, the resentment, the jealousy. So many emotions so beautifully thought out and displayed. 

I completely devoured this in one sitting. I just couldn't get enough. And even though I knew how it would end, I was still biting my nails in anxiety hoping like heck it was a happy one. 

Wonderfully done! 

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