Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Temporary Wife

The Temporary Wife (A Forever Love Story)
by Jeannie Moon





The Temporary Wife is set to debut on May 21, 2013 and is sure to be a hit. Jason Campbell, software engineer and rich bachelor, is putting an offer on the table a woman can not refuse especially teacher Megan Rossi. Megan has recently gained custody of Jason’s niece Molly after a fatal accident left her parentless. Jason’s parents are fighting for Molly and her huge trust fund.

Jason and Meg arrange a marriage so his parents can not touch Molly or her inheritance. The newlyweds also have a past as teenage sweethearts, is falling back in love a possibility or will the couple divorce as in their agreement.

I have read many takes on a fake finance or marriage partnership and I love the idea and the plot never gets old. This, however, is a new take on an old idea and I loved every minute of it.







Monday, April 29, 2013

Die For Me (Revenants series)

Die For Me

What can I say about Die For Me? Well, I wanted to connect to this book, but it ended up going something like this:
50 pages in - not connected
100 pages in - not connected
150 pages in - still not connected
200 pages in - just...barely...connected.
246 pages - Phew, glad that slow exercise in futility is over.

In my brutally honest opinion, Die For Me made looking for split ends seem like loads of fun. No. Really. About 120 pages in, I got sidetracked for an hour (okay, it was really two, but don't tell my husband because he'll just say something like, "You're going to ruin your hair doing that!"). So here I am, a day later, writing this review with a two-inch swath of breakage on my left front side and a possible clogged sink drain (Damn split ends and sporadic OCD tendencies!) Anyway, moving on...I'm sorry, but this book just did not hold my interest (understatement). 

After looking at all the positive reviews for this book on Amazon, I was like, "What is wrong with me? Am I the only person who just doesn't get this book?". But I've come to the foregone conclusion that you like what you like, and vice versa with dislikes. For example, take Fifty Shades of Grey. After reading it, I was that way, as well. More specifically, my inner dialogue went something like, "Am I the only one who wants to gouge my eyes out after reading this?". It made me want to rush to my keyboard with a gasp (and with my smart rucksack in tow-that I'm so keen on carrying), roll my eyes, cock my head to the side, and tap out a, jeez, really bad erotica, with a flourish of holy crap Britishims and see, oh my, if my own flushing/blushing/murmuring/muttering subconscious inner goddess can ensnare, oh crap, millions with a bite of her lip and a raise of her eyebrow. My lips purse and my breath hitches at the titillating thought of my all-consuming, body-shattering future, best-selling success. Maybe one day...

Personally, I don't think that Die For Me resonated with me for several particular reasons. For one, I think that Ms. Plum's writing style lacked the emotional intensity that I'm looking forward to in a YA book-we are talking about teenagers here. Surprisingly, there's just not a lot of emotional depth/tension/angst to the story. Rather, it's all more surface emotion, where things are touched on and then quickly moved on, assimilated, or resolved rather rapidly. This can probably be attributed to Ms. Plum's breezing writing style-which there's nothing wrong with that, it just lends itself to simplicity. What's puzzling is that the writing is not dumb-downed at all; it's just lacking substantial emotional depth. Additionally, it got a little bogged down in descriptions of the locale. The book takes places in beautiful Paris, so there are lots of descriptions of the city. This is nice to a point, but then at another point, I felt myself skimming over some of it to get back to the meat of the story.

Secondly, as fabulous as the cover is, and as interesting as the premise and the concept of Revenants was, I felt like I've read parts of this story before, as parallels can be drawn between this book and Twilight. I don't want to take the time to break them all down, however, I will say that Kate and Vincent felt an awful lot like Bella and Edward. Not to mention the strong similarities between Edward's family and Vincent's family (Charlote=Alice; Ambrose=Emmett; Jules=Jackson). 

Thirdly, the romance was a little cliche, a little too saccharine sweet, and a little too, oh, you're dead...moving on; how very insta-accepting it all was. The potential for a strong romance was there, it was just right below the surface (which seemed to be the universal theme with this book), and it just needed a good pick ax to get to it. Maybe if the dialogue had not been off-at least in retrospect with the main characters being teenagers. Additionally, Kate was so whiny and argumentative with all her huffing, puffing, and walking/storming away. And can we please move away from YA books, already, where the heroine has major self-esteem issues? Or where they beat themselves up over their physical shortcomings like a weary drum. Hey, I have more split ends than Sasquatch has hair, but you don't see me obsessing over them (anymore;). 

Verdict: Great premise and interesting concept but poor execution. 

Short blurb: After their parents are killed in a car accident, sixteen-year-old Kate Mercier and her older sister Georgia, each grieving in her own way, move to Paris to live with their grandparents and Kate finds herself powerfully drawn to the handsome but elusive Vincent who seems to harbor a mysterious and dangerous secret.

Die For Me - 2.5 stars out of 5!


Reviewed by Susannah;)

Heat Wave Series

Savin’ Me (Heat Wave #1) 
by Alannah Lynne

This first installment of the Heat Wave series, Savin’ Me, offers a new take on the old one night stand. Ever had a one night stand that you can’t get out of your head, well Erik and Kat do. Erik Monteague and Kat Owens meet in a bar and have one night of bliss that neither can forget.

Erik, a playboy business man with a past he can not get over, can not stop thinking about this girl he met in a bar Kat. Kat, an advertising agent, has dreams about this one night with Erik over a year ago. After relocating, Kat runs into Erik and can not believe faith has put them together again. Can one night turn into more?

Since summer is around the corner I recommend this for a beach read. The light and refreshing romance will have you engulfed from cover to cover. The ending will show readers this is not your run of the mill romance. I can not wait for the next installment of Heat Wave. This book is a re-release from 2010.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not? A Novel

Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not? A Novel
By Thompson Square and Travis Thrasher




Let this be a lesson to all you song writers out there, if you can write a hit song does not necessarily mean that you can write a good book; case in point Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not? by Thompson Square and Travis Thrasher. I love the Thompson Square song and thought that this book would be brilliant. I was so wrong. This book was all over the place past one minute present the next, I could not keep up with all the time changes. The editing was not good and the timing was just off. The plot has potential but seem to be stuck in the mud with the wheels turning and going no where.

Synopsis

Daniel and Casey were an unlikely couple back in high school when they came together to write music for a school event. Struggling against their differences, they dated during college, but their relationship never seemed quite right. Yet despite their personal conflict, as songwriters they had undeniable chemistry—and several hit songs. Eventually they went their own ways, both trying to make it in the music world and find true love.

Years later, both Daniel and Casey are at rock bottom, still trying to find success. But when they connect again as old friends, they realize that what they needed was right in front of them all along: each other.

From Thompson Square, a married twosome who knows a little something about what it’s like to overcome years of struggle in the music business and find love, Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not? is a charming and humorous love story about coming of age, knowing where you belong, and finding the perfect person to share life with.

A Moment

A Moment by Maire Hall



This book is the first in the new series Moments. I don’t really know how I feel after reading this story, I am conflicted. The profound characters in this novel overcome realistic struggles, but have more than the average person. This couple defies the odds, and there are so many to overcome. Be prepared for a deep, dark romance, not the everyday happily ever after that you are use to.

I feel like the male protagonist, Ryan, stole the show with intensity that I would have like to seen in the female role as well. However, I felt like Liliana had her own issues. All in all, this highly emotional book had a very different take on a romance and I felt it to be different and draining.

On the other hand, this book had some major editing issues. I noticed some issues with the name Lily/Lili through out book. There were also some misspelled words, but since I am not an editor or English major I did not find it too distracting. As a book lover I did find the actual character dialog vs. narration kind of distracting. The characters didn’t really talk to each other, but thought out everything in their head; it through me a little. The ending was rushed, and I felt like the last entry didn’t give me closure. Maybe the next installment will, but that’s doubtful since it skipped forward more than 5 years.

Regardless, this is a series and I would hope in the next book Alex can find his one true love. I will read it if the story goes to him.

Synopsis:
Ryan Cosgrove and Liliana Delgado are on a collision course with destiny. They don’t know it yet, but before the night is over their lives will be forever changed.


Spending Valentine’s Day at a burlesque bar, hadn’t been Liliana’s ideal way of spending a Friday night. She’d much rather be back on campus doing homework… until she meets Ryan. Tall, athletic, and gorgeous, Lili can’t keep her eyes off him, and despite his gruff manners and drunken disposition she’s intrigued.

Ryan’s got demons, and they’re deep, dark, and eating him alive. Regardless of his attraction to the petite brunette he’s tired of fighting, of pretending the last fifteen years haven’t been a daily struggle just to get out of bed every morning. That night he decides to end his pain, to leave it all behind and float away into the blessed darkness of oblivion. But fate has other plans for him, Lily finds and rescues Ryan, determined she’ll not only save his body, but his soul too.

This is their moment…


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Runes Series

Runes (Book One) by Ednah Walters


This upcoming series Runes has a release date of May 20, 2013 and it is something to get excited about folks. The cover is bad, the synopsis is good, what do I do; read it or pass? I gave it a shot and I am so glad that I did not pass on this one.

With this wickedly unique series, think The Lux series by Jennifer Armentrout meets Existence Trilogy by Abbi Glines with twists and turns along the way, you can not go wrong. Lux and Existence are my top two YA paranormal series and now I am adding the third in line with Runes. I have read reviews where this book has been compared to Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instrument Series, but I don’t see that (I was not a fan of this series).

The first few chapters were very descriptive setting the scene as well as giving the whole book a “real” vibe. The characters were very well thought out and the plot was perfect. The love connection and romantic tension between Raine and Torin was HOT! However, I did not like that Eirik just woke up one day and wanted to be with Raine, I mean who does that. They have been best friends forever and she has been in love with him since preschool; then when a mysterious next door neighbor shows up you take the plunge (don’t get me started). This did make the whole book with the love triangle but had me infuriated with Eirik’s character being selfish.

Can you say CLIFFHANGER? I read and reread, and cussed, and reread again the ending of this novel and I can not believe the author can really leave us hanging like that. Way to crush a girl! Then I thought this is genius, but I have to wait, what now? Please, Mrs. Walters please tell me I do not have to wait that long before I get more Torin and Raine.

Raine Cooper, high school swim team member, is trying to wrap her head around a tragic plane crash that leaves her father missing. She has supportive friends in her BFF Cora and boyfriend/guy pal Eirik to help her through these tuff times. Enter (or rather a knock at the door) Torin St. James (the hottest guy since Travis Maddox of the Beautiful series by Jamie McGuire and Beau Vincent of the Vincent Boys by Abbi Glines), sex on a stick with a bad attitude to boot and new next door neighbor to Raine. This sex pot has it all from a barely furnished bachelor pad with a Harley to boot and the mysterious quality has all the girls wanting to get to know him better. Raine has that feeling too, but just starting a relationship that is not well defined with Eirik, and weird things happening in her life she just wants to forget Torin. Torin may be the key to unlocking her questions and all the unexplained events happening, but can she trust him with her life.

This series hands down is the best one I have started all year. I give this book all 5 stars and hope to read the next installment sooner rather than later. One request, a better cover that's the only thing I could find that I didn't really love.







Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Darkness before Dawn


Darkness before Dawn

Talk about not wanting to put a book down; I devoured this book in a matter of hours. Darkness before Dawn is a vampire dystopian-if there is such a genre. This book is set in the future in Denver, or what is left of Denver, after a thirty-year war between humans and vampires. The remaining humans in Denver have walled themselves off from the vampires who live outside and are under the control of the menacingly evil Lord Valentine, an Old Family vampire. There’s a kick here, though: a peace treaty has been negotiated where the vampires will not attack them further, as long as the humans willingly supply them with needed human blood, by way of a volunteer blood bank. The only problem is that rogue vampires have been known to get into the city and kill humans indiscriminately anyway, and that nine years later, the humans have become complacent in their protective status, and hence, lackadaisical about making blood donations. To encourage this pseudo harmony and peace, a human delegate is chosen to work with the vampires, in particular, Valentine.

Dawn Montgomery’s father is hand-selected as the first delegate. When he’s subsequently killed, along with his wife-supposedly by rogue vampires-Dawn is chosen by Valentine himself to be the new delegate, and at the young age of seventeen, as well. FYI: there’s always a hidden agenda with Valentine. Dawn is a great protagonist, though, you can feel her pain and despair over the loss of her parents, as well as an older brother. However, she’s strong and capable and doesn’t back down from a fight, either. Even when that fight involves four, bloodthirsty rogue vampires against one small female human. 

This is where Victor, Valentine’s son, comes in; he saves Dawn and her friend, Tegan, during that obvious disadvantaged attack. Dawn is quickly intrigued by Victor and his life, and it doesn’t take long for her to develop feelings for him, yet she’s conflicted because her own family was killed by his kind, ones that she once considered to be monsters. Then there’s Matt, a friend she’s known for years and one that just so happens to be her boyfriend, as well. And coincidentally enough, someone who’s training to be a Night Watchmen, an individual who patrols the city and kills rogue vampires. 

Regardless, she can’t seem to get Victor out of her mind and her dreams. Moreover, Victor is taken with Dawn, too, as he tells her, on more than one occasion, that she reminds him of the one thing that he’s never fully seen: the sunrise. There were a couple of times were I just barely refrained from rolling my eyes at Victor’s, teetering on cheesy, dialogue, but then I tried to also remember that he was a four-hundred-year-old vampire, not well nuanced in contemporary teenage slang.

“I like you Dawn. I’ve seen lots of humans, from far away and up close. I’ve never met one like you. I think you’re the closest thing to a sunrise I’ll ever see.”
"You'll never lose me, Dawn. Since I met you, for the first time in my life, I truly understand what I'm fighting for. You are every sunrise that I will never see."
"...I would gladly sacrifice my immortality for you." He touches my cheek and then skims his fingers along my throat. "You will be in my life such a short time, but it will be worth it."

Darkness before Dawn is written by a mother/son team, and at first I was rather skeptical about this pairing (outside of Nicholas Sparks, I don’t tend to read male authors-sorry!) But I can honestly say that this was a good book. Moreover, definitely worth a try. Lots of action with this one, and with the addition of multiple baddies, the story moves at a rather quick pace. If you’re open to a different type of dystopian novel, or if you have to a vampire fix, on occasion-like me-then I recommend this book. Oh, and before I forget, this is the first book in a series (I know you’re not surprised, though)J

Darkness before Dawn – 4 out of 5 stars!



Darkness before Dawn playlist – (I know my followers wait with abated breath for my review playlists, so here it is. Ha! Ha!)
Bring Me to Life by Evanescence (no vampire story is complete without a little Evanescence, right?)
Monster by Skillet
All Around Me by Flyleaf
The Last Night by Skillet
Alive in You by 7eventh Time Down
Unbreakable by Fireflight
Hold Me Now by Red

Reviewed by Susannah;) 

Hunter

Hunter by Jacquelyn Frank aka JAX




Hunter by Jacquelyn Frank aka JAX, is a stand alone book that feels like a series. The beginning starts off a little long winded in telling the back-story. I kind of felt like I was missing something, possibly a previous book, but I could not find another book. I thought that was kind of distracting and almost put the book down. I am so glad that I didn't.

After finally getting past the back-story, this book had an interesting take on witches. I thought that the instant connection that Tatyana had with Hunter was intriguing. I wanted to learn more about them. Honestly, this is the only reason I continued reading this book.

The scene changes are rather jumpy and I had to go back and reread to make sure I didn’t jump on the page. There are really no page breaks to separate scenes. That is very distracting. And some of the characters were not introduced; they just showed up in a scene, which takes away from the story line to me.

The sexual tension between Hunter and Tatyana is frustrating at best, just go ahead and get it on, everyone including the readers will feels so much better. With all the build up the sex better be good (and it is). The banter and playfulness between these two and the chemistry they elude is so hot; it makes this book so good.

The battles in this book are graphic and not for the faint of heart. I like that the witches actually fight warlocks and not just have these awesome powers and not use them. I feel like this book might be the start of a new series and would absolutely read any future books. I give this book 3 1/2 stars.



Synopsis:

This can’t be happening to her. A random break down…an isolated mountain road, a seemingly chance meeting with a hotter-than-hot stranger. Tatyana is a modern gal who can handle any crisis, but before she knows what’s hit her, she’s sensing a hideous threat, not to her but to this man who draws her like a moth to flame. Hunter.

“I know things…I saw it.”

When the attack comes, she is his protection from a diabolical enemy, even as he initiates her into a startling world of magic, sorcery and sensuality. For in a moment of terrifying danger a spark has been struck, and neither can escape the erotic fire to come…







Monday, April 22, 2013

Date by Mistake

Date by Mistake



Date by Mistake is an anthology of short novella’s having to do with an unexpected date. It would not be fair to give this book a star reviewing system for all the authors work, because I liked one and some I thought were just ok. I will be breaking down the titles and rating them individually.

Mr. Virile and the Girl Next Door by Gwen Hayes

I loved this short story, with the quick witted humor, banter, and sexual tension, Dane and Holly’s story was a hit. 4 stars

Seduction is the name of the game when two rival dating advice darlings agree to be romantically linked to boost publicity. But all bets are off when they take the battle of the sexes from the web to the bed!

Tycoon Reunion by Candace Havens and Shannon Leigh

Jake and Annabelle’s story was about long lost love and was short and sweet. 3 stars

Sparks fly when a project brings a heartbreaker back to town and into the path of the woman he left behind. He’s determined to win her over in the boardroom … and the bedroom!

Passionate Persuasion by Rosemary Clement-Moore

Again a long lost love story with a twist. It was a humorous, sweet read. 3 stars

A hot playboy who has left a string of hearts in his wake can’t forget the cellist who haunted his fantasies. Now it is his turn to use his power of persuasion to prove he’s the only man to keep her satisfied.

Date on the Run by Jill Monroe

This novella felt rushed to me. I think I would have like it better if it was a full novel instead; it had potential but just didn’t hit the mark for me. 2 stars

When an reporter mistakes a hard-bodied military man for a crime source, she soon finds it’s just as much fun undressing her new bodyguard as it is uncovering her latest case…Four stories, four dates. How can these dates by mistake turn into love ever after?

Sunday, April 21, 2013

The Baby Bargain


The Baby Bargain by Jennifer Apodaca
 

This is the first time I have ever read anything by Jennifer Apodaca (Jennifer Lyon) and I loved every second of it.  The plot is something different that made it interesting to me.

The long lost love idea appeals to me; I love that idea. The fact that the main characters share a child together; one that the father does not know about is a real life situation.  Although, I do not know how Megan could not tell Adam about the baby, Cole.  But that is what makes this book, not knowing how Adam will respond to fatherhood and the fact that his life will change if he wants it to.

Megan Young is a single mother and an up and coming veterinarian in the small town of Raven’s Cove.  Adam Waters is an ex marine who is starting his own security firm and long lost love of Meg.  When Meg works late one night and Adam in is need of a vet the two cross paths and the sparks fly.

Adams and Meg have a son, Cole, but Adam has not idea.  After letting Meg know that he will only be in town for a few weeks and has no intention of staying, can Meg tell him her son is his.  In the meantime, Meg is caught in a scandal and turns to Adam for help.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Beautiful Redemption



Beautiful Redemption

            Throughout reading Beautiful Redemption, I felt like I was saying goodbye to an old friend. From the beginning of this series, I’ve been a fan of Ethan and Lena’s and in this novel, watching him struggle to make his way back to her caused me, a time or two, to become emotional. I felt like his journey and the bittersweet journey of others, in relationship to him and Lena (Sarafine, Amma, his mother), came full circle.  And I was moved by each and every one of them.

            (Slightly spoilerish) Beautiful Redemption picks up just a few days after Beautiful Chaos, with Ethan having made the ultimate sacrifice and then finding his spirit self in a spirit realm with his mother. Knowing how his mother’s premature death had affected him (and his father and Macon, as well), and having an only son myself, I was overjoyed to see his character get to spend time with her; I felt like it was closure that he needed. I kinda kept hoping, too, that they would write a similar type closure for Macon and Lila. But there wasn’t. There’s not an abundant amount of Macon in this story, but regardless, I wished there had been more of an epilogue for his character. You see Lila in this “holding” spirit realm, and she hasn’t crossed over yet-and there’s a reason, but it’s never clear as to why-and I just kept thinking, Hmm...maybe. As a fan of Macon’s from the very start, I would have loved to have seen him gotten his own HEA with Lila (somehow). I know, I know, that probably wouldn’t be politically correct, given Ethan’s father’s own strong feelings for Ethan’s mother. Moreover, that’s probably why they didn’t. But had I been the author…

             I felt this way about Ridley and Link also. Okay, I’m one of these readers that you have to spell things out for me; open-ended endings with characters, more often than not, just leave me feeling frustrated and unsatisfied. I want to know-will they, won’t they? Will Ridley remain a Dark Caster forever? Can they be together long-term if she is a Dark Caster/Siren? Will Link move to New York and be the bad-a$$ rocker that he longs to be? I’m going to hope that maybe a novella for Ridley and Link will one day be in the works to answer and expound on some of these questions. That just goes to show you how much I enjoyed reading about these characters; unrealistically, no doubt, but I want all of them to have a HEA before I close the book on them. God help me when the last Sookie Stackhouse book comes out next month; I will be a crying, deplorable mess. Over the course of these four books, all of these characters/couples have come to mean something to me: Lena and Ethan, Lila and Macon, Ridley and Link, and John and Liv. As for the last couple, I was glad to see more of them-I’ve always liked John from his character’s bad boy inception on-and felt that their storyline, for what there was of it, was wrapped up nicely.

            One of the reasons why I liked this book so much was because of the cutting of fat. That was one of my chief complaints with the previous books: they were just too descriptive, and they needed to have some fat trimmed off them. Now having said that, there were some substantive loose ends that could have been wrapped up better and given a few more worthy pages. There was also some bending and manipulating of the paranormal world created in the previous books. Overall, if the book is well done, and if it’s not too polarizing, it doesn’t really bother me all that much because I tend to look at it more in terms of initial parameters than anything. Moreover, you can’t say that it’s not commonplace within the paranormal genre (to change rules/reasons), such as when there is a need for a rapid progression of a storyline(s), particularly one that has become redundant or stagnant. Or when it’s the last book in a series, or, of course, just to suit the author’s needed purpose/whim. Translation: it happens. It bothers me more when an author starts making such changes early on in a story or series, though.

            Verdict: If you’ve read the others-no matter how many-then you’ve got to finish the series. If you haven’t read any of them, I say give it a try. If you love (YA or other) books that take place in the South-like I love books that take place in the South-then what are you waiting for. Happy Reading!

Beautiful Redemption – 4.5 stars out of 5 stars!





 Beautiful Redemption Playlist (No playlist for a story that takes place in the South would be complete without country musicJ )
I Do by Paul Brandt (my favorite!!!!!-I love when it says that I promise to be your best friend. It reminded me of Lena and Ethan.)
I Will Not Say Goodbye by Danny Gokey (Lena missing Ethan-Perfect!)
Once In A Lifetime by Keith Urban (Just because I love KU!)
I Run To You by Lady Antebellum
You by Rascal Flatts (because Ethan had to go down many “roads” to get back to Lena)
Can’t Shake You by Gloriana (Link and Ridley)
I Want Crazy by Hunter Hayes (Link to Ridley;)

Reviewed by Susannah;)

Friday, April 19, 2013

The Practice Proposal

The Practice Proposal by Tracy March


The Practice Proposal is the first book in the upcoming Suddenly Smitten series by Tracy March. I can honestly say that I loved this book. This bad boy reunites with good girl plot is very interesting and adding a few deceitful schemes in the process was very smart.

Ms. March knocked it out of the park with this baseball themed love story with a twist. I also love the Twitter feeds. I can not wait to read the second book in the series, although I have not idea where she will go with series; but the ideas are endless. Paige may get her happily ever after or the wedding can be planned. My brain is going haywire with the possibilities and I can not wait for book two.

Cole Collins is a professional baseball player who is famous for his plays on and off the field. Liza Sutherland is a franchise daughter who has a history with Cole. All grown up, over her crush and dealing with her fiancé’s death the two meet again. Cole is trying to clean up his act and get a renewal contract and Liza is trying to get over her loss. With deceit, romance and history this relationship will either be a homerun or strike out.

On another note the guy on the cover does not do Cole Collins' character justice by any means. 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Faking It


Faking It by Diane Alberts
 

 
I did not read any reviews before picking this one up and reading it, but I was surprised at the 3.8 star rating on Goodreads.com.  I loved this book; it was everything thing that I look for in a good book.  It had sexual tension, romance, sweet dates, fake engagements, a sassy heroine, and a hot hero.

This is a Cinderella story at its finest.  The banter between the characters and the strong spirit of Stephanie was a great match for the hot, uptight Derek.  I devoured this book in one sitting and did not want it to end. 

The only way this book could get better is if Ms. Alberts announced she was making it into a series and give Aaron his own story, maybe involving the wedding and introducing the other guys.  Just a suggestion.

Synopsis:

Derek Rory never meant to propose to his best friend's little sister. But when her boss tells a family-oriented investor he's Stephanie's fiancé, Derek can either play along or let her get fired. He's hardly one to turn away from a damsel in distress. If only that damsel wasn't adorable and sexy with a laugh that could melt any cold business mogul’s heart.
When a business proposal becomes a marriage proposal, Stephanie Miller tries to keep it strictly boardroom. But when things get hot under the table, it's all they can do to stay apart. As the tangle of lies drags them deeper into the underhanded world of business politics, Stephanie finds herself in over her head—not just with her job, but with her "fiancé." His eyes are cold, but his kisses light her on fire. If she's not careful, she'll end up faking her way into a real romance

 

Just for the Summer


Just For the Summer by Jenna Rutland
 

Thank you Entangled for introducing me to Jenna Rutland.  Thank you Jenna Rutland for introducing me to Lake Bliss, the perfect summer getaway.  Just for the Summer is the first novel in the Lake Bliss series published by Entangled Bliss line. 

This story pulled at my heart strings, leaving me with a happy ending and hope.  I just loved the storyline that Dani, Matt, and Sam gave to us.  The banter and sexual tension between Dani and Matt was hot!  I love the connection that Dani and Sam had from the very first meeting. 

This book deals with very real situations, from diabetes to second chances.  I am a nurse and I happen to have a diabetic 10 year old boy.  The research the author put into this subject is spot on.  Juvenile diabetes is a very real disease that takes up a lot of time, dedication, and love to deal with.  Hold on to your heart and pick up this book.

On another note, I can not wait to dive into this series.  Lake Bliss will be on my “to read”list from now until the last book.  I hope that the next story goes to Jack

Synopsis:

Dani Sullivan has come to Lake Bliss to write her latest cookbook and take a breather. After the year she’s had, she deserves a summer retreat to reevaluate priorities and make peace with past decisions. But from the moment single dad and sheriff Matt Reagan shows up, she has a hard time convincing herself that a life away from Lake Bliss could beat the life she might have here.
Recently divorced Matt is ready for a new relationship, but he doesn’t want short-term

his son needs permanence, and so does Matt’s heart. Unfortunately, it’s the smart-mouthed and sinfully sexy Ms. Sullivan who catches his eye. But when Matt learns Dani’s secrets, will he still want her to stay? Or will her chance for love last just for the summer?

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A Risk Worth Taking

A Risk Worth Taking by Victoria James



I discovered a new author to add to my must read list in Victoria James. This contemporary romance from the Entangled Indulgence line was really good. I laughed, I cried, and I felt the true emotion of the story being told. I could not imagine being in Holly’s shoes and coming out the other side like she did. This is a truly inspiring story.

Holly Carrington just got promoted to senior designer at a prominent design firm, when she got a call that her sister and brother-in-law had been killed in a car accident leaving Holly to raise her infant niece, Ella. Holly has returned to her small home town to renovate and sell her grandparent’s Victoria house. She hires contractor, and high school crush, Quinn Manning. Quinn is a divorced contractor who is in charge of Holly’s renovations, and secretly pining for Holly. Renovating a house, having stubborn women, hot men, and chemistry, the next eight weeks will be a lot of fun. Holly really wants a family; can she find it with Ella and Quinn?

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Tempted By Trouble

Tempted By Trouble by Michelle Smart




This debut novel Tempted by Trouble from Michelle Smart had me from Marco! This Entangled Publishing read is one of my new favorites. I have to say that I absolutely love Entangled (enough with the shout outs).

What can I say enough about this book, it had angst, attitude, aggression, and don’t forget Marco. These well thought our characters, along with a great plot and backstory/history between the characters, sucked me in and I blew through this book.

The full circle that Pippa makes at the end of this book is heartfelt. The attraction between her and Marco could not have been written better. I really like this one. If you are looking for a great beach read try Tempted By Trouble.

Synopsis:

Socialite Pippa Rowantree has always provided excellent fodder for the UK’s gossip rags. After another unfortunate scandal sends the gossips into a feeding frenzy, her shamed family retaliates by forcing her into hiding at old family friend Marco Capello’s lush Caribbean estate—literally the last place on earth she wants to be.As far as Marco’s concerned, wild child Pippa has ruined his life once and he’ll be damned if he lets her do it again. But it’s hard to reconcile the adolescent he knew with the mature, beautiful woman who stands before him. Soon he's questioning if everything the media is claiming about PIppa is the truth or if he should trust his heart.

The Cinderella Makeover

The Cinderella Makover by Hope Tarr

This fun, second book in the Suddenly Cinderella series is published by Entangled Publishing. The quirky and deviant characters are sure to be a hit. If you like fairy tales, fashion and romance this is the book for you. I give this book 3 out of 5 stars.

Synopsis:

Fashionista Francesca St. James has agreed to work as a "fairy godmother" on the reality TV show Project Cinderella, taking contestants from geeky to dreamy. When Francesca’s archrival bets she can't transform the awkwardly sweet CEO to hot in under eight weeks, Francesca accepts the challenge.

As CEO of a tech company, Greg may have billions, but what’s it worth without a woman to share it with? From day one on the show though, he clashes with his gorgeous fairy godmother—yet off-set, he can’t stop thinking about her. But this sexy woman is so far out of his league…and wants to change every single thing about him. It's up to him to show her it's more than clothes that make the man.May the best man or geek win…

Monday, April 15, 2013

First Loves

First Loves by Jean Stone



First Loves is a re-release from 1995 and you could tell. This book had several dated references that needed to be revamped. I love the Love Swept line by The Random House Publishing Group, but come on guys did you have to pick this one?

I fell like the synopsis is misleading on this book. I usually love intertwining stories, but this one was dreadful. I didn’t finish it, but did read about 75% before deciding that this story was not going to get any better. I had hope with each page turn, but it fizzled out fast.

This book deals with some taboo subjects such as AIDS, teen sex, infidelity, homosexuality, and suicide. There was a lot going on to say it best. Be your own judge if you want, but this book was a waste of time.


Synopsis

For every woman, there is a first love. And for Meg, Zoe, and Alissa, that love has never been forgotten. Now these three friends have made a pact. In the next six months, they vow to reconnect with the men who touched their lives so long ago.

Meg is blessed with success, yet lives a life without love, haunted by the only man she’s ever wanted, a man who’s still irresistible . . . and seemingly out of reach. Zoe is a once-prominent film star, desperate for a comeback and scared to discover what has become of her hometown sweetheart—the one person who means more to her than fame. Alissa, the darling of Atlanta society, seems to have it all. Then, in one shocking moment, she finds that her life is a sham and that she left the only man who ever really loved her. Now these women will risk everything—their families, their reputations, and their hearts—to take a chance on the alluring magic of first love.

Dark Wolf

Dark Wolf by Kate Douglas



Dark Wolf is the first installment of the new Spirit World series. This book was all over the place for me. I love paranormal, but I really couldn’t get into this book.

Take everything you have ever known about shifters and throw it out the window, the shifters in this book are out in the public world. Also, the public want to be shifters; they get tested and are let down when they find out that it is not in their blood and can not take the nutrients to bring out the recessive gene.

There is someone in the area murdering, raping, and dumping girls bodies at random times and places and it is up to Lily Cheval, Chanku pack representative, to find out who it is. Lily is getting close to finding out who it is and falling in love at the same time. But is she falling in love with the person she is looking for?

This book is filled with sex, mystery, and betrayal. This book had a lot going on, with a ton of characters and sub plots. I understand that you must introduce several characters for a new series, but this was very distracting. I thought that the sub characters had too much going on and were too complex not to be main characters. I give it 2 ½ stars for a new take on the paranormal life, but the book was just mediocre for me.


Synopsis

Sebastian Xenakis is still coming into his power as a wizard. He can shapeshift by magical means and runs as a wolf using the power he draws from the elements. But young women are dying—raped by a human and then slaughtered by a wolf. Suspicion falls on the shapeshifting Chanku, but Sebastian wonders if he might somehow be guilty of the crimes.

Then he meets Lily Cheval, the uncrowned princess of the powerful Chanku, and realizes he will do whatever it takes to clear his name and win her love. But evil walks where Sebastian goes, and there are mysteries neither Lily nor her father, the powerful wizard, Anton Cheval, cannot unravel. Is Sebastian the perfect mate for Lily, or is he instead, one she should fear?

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Skinny Bitch in Love

Skinny Bitch in Love by Kim Barnouin
 

This novel is based on the best selling Skinny Bitch cook books.  This book was distracting to put it mildly.  I thought that the title was great considering the main character in this book was kind of a bitch.  I just hope this main character was not based on the author who has her own diet and cook books.  I thought that the book was awful wordy, the plot was not clearly defined, and there were a lot of unnecessary sub plots that did not relate to anything in this book.  I was left confused and felt the ending was rushed compared to the wordy first half of the book.  Overall, I was not impressed with anything this book had to offer and felt it that the author might be taking a shot at the 2/3’s of American’s who are overweight.  Sorry I just didn’t get it; the synopsis is misleading hinting at romance which is maybe 10 pages in this long winded book.

 

Synopsis:

In this new novel based on the #1 bestselling Skinny Bitch books, a twenty-something chef loses her dream job—only to find happiness after she launches a vegan cooking school and falls for a sexy carnivore. Twenty-six-year-old Clementine Cooper is an ambitious sous chef at a hot vegan restaurant in Santa Monica. When an important food critic visits the restaurant, a backstabbing coworker sabotages her vegan dish by adding butter. Fired from her job and blackballed in L.A., Clementine has hit rock bottom. Not one to wallow, she decides to launch her own cooking school and personal chef business called Skinny Bitch.
Every day, Clementine passes a space for lease in her neighborhood and fantasizes about opening her own restaurant. Fifteen tables. A juice bar. Cali-meets-Moroccan décor. She plans to work hard, save money, and buy the space. But on the first day of her cooking classes, she discovers that millionaire restaurateur Zach Jeffries is opening a steakhouse in the same space!
Zach is the antithesis of everything she stands for, but she’s incredibly attracted to him. And it seems like he might be attracted to her too, since he immediately enrolls in her cooking school. Can two people who are so fundamentally different actually find love? As Clementine rebuilds her life with new friendships, romance, and recipes, she finds that there are healthy choices to make both in and out of the kitchen.

Scarlet


Scarlet
           
             Scarlet is the second book in The Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer. You’ll find my review and specific criticisms for the first book, Cinder, right below this review. Let me say that I was on the fence with Cinder, so I was a little reluctant to read this one because of that. I’m so glad that I did, though; I enjoyed this one much more than Cinder.
            Why did I like this one better? Easy. Because of Scarlet and Wolf. Wow! They had so much more emotional intensity than Cinder and Kai ever did in the first book. In fact, I found myself wanting to hurry up and get back to them in the story. Yes, Cinder and Kai are both featured in this one, but there is no relationship progression (absolutely none) between them-which was a letdown because I was hoping that the author would correct this in the second one. As it was, it was very hard to decipher Kai’s feelings for Cinder in the first one; the guy has a mean poker face. So, those of you looking for lots of Cinder and Kai interactions in Scarlet will be disappointed on that end, as was I.
            Scarlet is a fairy tale re-telling just as Cinder was, but this time we have some new characters introduced and ones that are better developed than some of the characters in Cinder. The two main ones are Scarlet, a.k.a. Little Red Riding Hood, and Wolf (self-explanatory). Wolf is one of those characters that you’re not sure if he’s the good guy or the bad guy, and there’s a little bit of a gray area with him, but you still like him. I did anyway. The majority of the book follows Scarlet, but there are also POV’s from Cinder and Kai, as well.
            What we see of Cinder is of her escaping the prison and later, as a wanted fugitive under penalty of death, running for her life. We also see Kai, but his scenes are infrequent and most of them revolve around what he can do for his people to stop the impending war with the Lunars. Scarlet’s scenes have to do with her grandmother’s disappearance, of course-this is a re-telling of Little Red Riding Hood. When she goes to the city looking for her missing grandmother, she meets up with a street fighter named Wolf. Together, they both set out to get to the bottom of the mystery, but Wolf’s intentions are not quite as clear.
            Towards the end of the story, Cinder, Scarlet and Wolf meet up, and it’s interesting to see their interaction and how their individual stories start to overlap with each others. I’m really looking forward to the third book now; it’s called Cress and will follow Rapunzel. It will be interesting to see how Meyer is able to successfully mesh her particular story with the others. Additionally, I can’t wait for the evil Lunar Queen to get her just due.
            I highly recommend Scarlet, but I think it would be prudent to read Cinder, if you haven’t, because of the overlapping storyline arc and the on-going appearance of main characters from the first book.
Scarlet – 4.5 stars out of 5 stars!

Sorry, didn’t do a playlist with this one!

Reviewed by Susannah;)

Friday, April 12, 2013

Cinder


Cinder
        
              Have you ever read a popular book with good reviews before and asked yourself, “Why don’t I like this book more?” I feel this way about Cinder. It’s a popular YA book that has gotten great reviews, comes highly recommended, so what’s the problem? Why did this book not connect with me better?
        
              Let me begin by saying that this Marissa Meyer’s debut book, and it is a futuristic and sci-fi fairy tale re-telling of Cinderella. Over the recent years, I’ve read some decent fairy tale re-tellings, but I’ve also read some terribly clichés ones, as well.  Usually, they are hit or miss, but I find myself more in the middle on this one.
          
             The cover, which features a red high heel with a woman’s leg and the mechanical parts shown inside, tells the reader a lot about the book alone. Cinder is a cyborg and kinda of a futuristic Cinderella, but she’s also a talented mechanic, who has caught the attention of Prince Kai, the Emperor of New Beijing’s son. Before I go further, there is a backstory about World War IV, that has devastated the world and caused it to be rebuilt, a current plague that is killing indiscriminately and has no known cure, and an impending war with Lunars, inhabitants of the moon, who are at odds with people of Earth. New Bejing is where Cinder lives. Prince Kai goes to Cinder because he needs her help with an android robot, or so she believes at first, but he has no idea that Cinder is a cyborg. Furthermore, Cinder, who’s somewhat self-conscious, doesn’t want him to know, which I think made for one of the best parts of the book. And, when the truth of her full identities (notice that it’s plural) are finally revealed, holy cow! Easily, Kai’s and Cinder’s interactions and the last part of the book (the ball was fantastic!) were the best part of it. I do think that Kai’s character could have been fleshed out a little more, given more substance; there were a few times where I was frustrated because I didn’t know what he was thinking, but I wanted to know, and I thought for sure that the author would reveal it, however disappointingly, she didn’t. Moreover, there were no real gestures to give the reader further indication.
        
           Cinder is a very original re-telling, with an interesting storyline, but outside of Kai, Cinder, and Peony, I didn’t care for any of the secondary characters. And, yes, there is a mean stepmother and a bitchy step-sister. Peony is her second step-sister, but going against the original fairy tale storyline, she’s nice to Cinder. Cinder is a very likeable character, though, because you clearly see what she’s gone through. Even with her tendency to pity herself, which stems more from her own insecurities about having mechanical parts than anything, she gets in there and tries to rise above it; she’s not a shrinking violet, by any means. She knows that she has perceived deficits, but she doesn’t sit there and bemoan her fate; she goes on because she has to.
          
           The world building is unique and descriptive, but some of the plot elements were rather predictable. But there again, Meyer’s writing is a little inconsistent. When I wanted her to be more descriptive (as with some of the more flat secondary characters), she wasn’t, and when I wanted her to be less descriptive and a little more glossed over (as with some of the more technical aspects), she wasn’t. The more sci-fi and technical aspects were the least appealing things to me, but I wouldn’t discourage anyone from reading it because of that. In fact, even though I'm kinda on the fence, I would say give this book a try, and see if you like it for yourself.

Cinder – 3.5 out of 5 stars!


Reviewed by Susannah;)

Still Mr. and Mrs.

Still Mr. and Mrs. by Patricia Olney




Still Mr. and Mrs. is an entertaining short re-release from the Love Swept line of The Random House Publishing Group. Gabriel Stewart and his soon to be ex wife, Rebecca, come to an agreement to benefit Gabe’s company, The Toy Factory. Rebecca Ann (which happens to also be my name) strolls into town by request of her soon to be ex husband two weeks before their divorce to help with an international merger. The couple pretends to be happily married, and soon discover that the feelings are still there. Can the couple work it out in before their divorce?



Dear Cassie

Dear Cassie by Lisa Burstein



Ok to start off by saying I really loved this book is an understatement. All the profanity and sarcasm in this book reminded me of myself (before I had children of coarse) and I loved every f***ing minute of it.

The abrasive attitude of Cassie brought back so many memories, leaving out the illegal activities (or maybe not), of my youth; needless to say that I can relate to this book minus the rehab part.

I can not say too much about this book due to spoilers, but I can say the descriptive writing style had me right there with Cassie throughout the entire story. The attention to detail was impeccable. The story itself was a beautiful, heartbreaking, full circle that took Cassie and myself on an emotional journey.

This book is related to the series Pretty Amy and to get the full back story you might want to read this series. I, however, did not read the series and still enjoyed the book.  Dear Cassie is a great stand alone.

The ending was confusing to say the least; to me this is a cliffhanger and hope the author did not leave us hanging. I would like to follow Cassie’s story further (hopefully with Ben). I would rate this book a 3 ½ out of 5 stars and recommend for younger readers 17+.

Synopsis:

What if the last place you should fall in love is the first place that you do?


You’d think getting sent to Turning Pines Wilderness Camp for a month-long rehabilitation “retreat” and being forced to re-live it in this journal would be the worst thing that’s ever happened to me.

You’d be wrong.

There’s the reason I was sent to Turning Pines in the first place: I got arrested. On prom night. With my two best friends, who I haven’t talked to since and probably never will again. And then there’s the real reason I was sent here. The thing I can’t talk about with the guy I can’t even think about.

What if the moment you’ve closed yourself off is the moment you start to break open?

But there’s this guy here. Ben. And the more I swear he won’t—he can’t—the deeper under my skin he’s getting. After the thing that happened, I promised I’d never fall for another boy’s lies.

And yet I can’t help but wonder…what if?

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Stolen


Stolen
               *Spoilerish - Stolen is about a London-based sixteen-year-old girl, on her way to Vietnam with her (predictably) well-to-do parents, who, while at a stopover in a Bangkok airport, is drugged while purchasing coffee (because all sixteen-year-olds wonder around a Bangkok airport without their parents to purchase coffee), and then is kidnapped and taken to the middle of an Australian desert. She eventually goes on and becomes sympathetic to her kidnapper, who is Australian himself, yet he followed her all the way from London to Bangkok (exhales). Make sense? Oh, and they met in a park when she was ten and he was nineteen, and evidently, he’s been obsessed with her ever since. A nineteen-year-old obsessed with a ten-year-old. O-kay. From London to a Bangkok airport to a little shanty in the middle (as opposed to the edge or the far side) of an Australian desert. Really?  I’m sorry, but this was just so far-fetched and convoluted. Furthermore, I haven’t even gotten to the part about his parents.

               Why did he kidnap her? His reasoning was that he was in love with her; he didn’t even ask for ransom money from her wealthy parents, although he went without certain basic necessities. Either that or the author just failed to mention them. Heard of soap? And, don't get me started on the disgustingly nasty water that they had to wash off with-with no soap! What was the point? So, because he’s in love with her, he takes her to a dump in the Australian desert to prove it? And, as much as I appreciate the beauty of the Australian Outback depicted, it was a little too much with pages upon pages and rather, what stayed with me most is that damn, there’s some scary a$$ snakes there. I think I’ll mark that one off my bucket list. And, did I forget to mention that he has an affinity for those same slithering reptiles?

               I’m sorry, but I never did warm up to anyone in this story: Gemma, the kidnapped, Ty, the kidnapper, those scary snakes. Well, I did like the camel in the story, but I also felt bad for her-Ty had kidnapped her, too! This guy was a real whack job. He has a disturbing obsession over a child, keeps venomous snakes as pets, eats kangaroos, thinks nothing of stealing a camel…sorry, this is not a guy that I would fall for, Stockholm syndrome or otherwise. If anything, I would probably call an animal cruelty agency on him-if he had a phone! Really disappointed with this one because it had so much potential.

Stolen – 2 out of 5 stars!


 Reviewed by Susannah;)

A Shard of Ice by Alivia Anders COVER REVEAL

COVER REVEAL
A SHARD OF ICE
BY
ALIVIA ANDERS
RELEASE DATE APRIL 14, 2014
PUBLISHER: RED ALICE PRESS
 
 
Synopsis:

THEIR SOULS, REAWAKENED

When 13-year-old Lilix Morgan is found alive and floating on a bed of ice
at sea, everyone counts it a miracle. Kidnapped nearly four weeks earlier,
she remembers nothing of her mysterious abduction. When she tries to
remember what happened, she hears only a melody - a faint and delicate set
of notes, strung together in a tune she doesn't understand.

THEIR POWER, UNMATCHED

A year later and desperate to put the lingering nightmares of her past
behind her, Lilix crosses the country to enroll at Baelmorte Academy,
aiming to become the violinist she once dreamt of. Things seem to be
finally going well, and Lilix settles into a routine of sheet music and
inspiration among new friends.

Then the dreams start.

The melody and night terrors she thought she'd left behind return with a
vengeance, threatening to ruin her fragile version of normalcy. Then an
unlikely ally tells her that she isn't alone. That there are others just
like her, fighting to hide their own shocking truths from coming to light.
That they know who she is, and what she's been through. Now, accompanied by
four other girls, Lilix discovers her nightmares are larger than a single
trauma; they're a window to a hidden part of her soul, a place of immense
power with a destiny that cannot be ignored.

THEIR BATTLE, IS ONLY BEGINNING

With this knowledge comes a new and frightening reality. For Lilix has been
reawakened to stop an age-old enemy, one thought to have been destroyed
centuries ago. Trapped by her destiny, Lilix is torn between what feels
right and what she remembers. Her memories tell her of a star-crossed love
waiting to be reunited, of friendships and trust broken in the past. But
can she save that love when reality brings her an enemy, and an evil that
will be the undoing of them all if they don't destroy it?
LINKS:

Facebook for Alivia Anders: http://www.facebook.com/aliviaanders

Twitter for Alivia Anders: https://twitter.com/AliviaAnders

Blogger for Alivia Anders: http://aliviaanders.blogspot.com

Official author website (still under construction): http://aliviaanders.com

A Shard of Ice on Goodreads:
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17207178-a-shard-of-ice



Send Me No Flowers

Send Me No Flowers by Trish Jensen




This short sweet re-release by Trish Jensen hit the spot. I really like the simple life portrayed in this book. I have never read a book with more southern references that I have actually heard in real life. Being from Alabama, and growing up chubby I relate quite well to this story. It hit home for me and I loved it.

Synopsis

When she was known as an overweight kid from a "loony" family, he often rescued her from bullies. Now she's come back home all grownup and gorgeous, and he's the one who will need rescuing.

Sheriff Rob Townsend of Daredevil, South Carolina remembers Jenny Creighton as the girl mean kids called "Jumbo Jenny." He was compelled to protect her on more than one occasion, a brand of heroic kindness Jenny never forgot. Jenny's returned to the small town to claim an inheritance and open a flower shop. On the inside, however, she's still the chubby girl who doesn't want anyone to remember her humiliating past.

Rob has turned into a hunk with a painful history of his own-one that makes him the biggest heartbreaker south of the Mason-Dixon line. When he becomes her best customer-buying flowers as goodbye gifts for a growing line-up of ex-girlfriends-the women in Daredevil begin to run from Jenny and her kiss-goodbye bouquets. How can she build a business when all the single gals in town are scared to see her on their doorsteps? And what are the secrets behind her childhood hero's love-'em-and-leave-'em lifestyle?

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

This Dark Endeavor

This Dark Endeavor

     This Dark Endeavor is the first book in a series of YA books by Kenneth Oppel that follows sixteen-year-old Victor Frankenstein. Summit Entertainment owns the movie rights to this book, so one day, it may very well be made into a movie. Which it should be because This Dark Endeavor is a phenomenal book, and I can see it translating nicely to the big screen. If you're a fan of YA historical fiction or gothic books, or even Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, do yourself a favor and read this book. Honestly, if I taught high school English literature, this would be on a summer reading list for my students. 

     Victor's twin brother, Konrad, has fallen ill, and doctors are unable to completely heal him. However, Vincent believes that an alchemist's Elixir of Life, that he found in a tome in a hidden library, will do what the doctors are unable to do. So begins the quest (this dark endeavor) to save his brother, as Victor, his best friend Henry, and his (distant) cousin, Elizabeth, set out in attempt to retrieve the three arcane ingredients needed to complete the mixture. The first two are in forewarned, "dark" and dangerous places, and the third one, well, its retrieval will shock you. Along the way, revelations are revealed, as a love triangle slowly emerges between the twin brothers and the beautiful Elizabeth. Dare I say, though, the romance may develop slowly, however, there is never a dull moment in this story, as the plot moves along at a quick pace and with prose and dialogue that flows evenly. And oh...Victor, Victor, Victor. Such a richly-developed, complex character that you can feel his inner turmoil and the wars that he wages within himself, at times; he loves his brother, but he loves Elizabeth, as well; he's jealous and resentful of his perceived perfect brother, but on the same token, is willing to sacrifice so much for him. You begin to see as the storyline progresses how this young Victor will become the older Victor, the one who goes on to create a well-known monster. 

     From the very first few pages, I was hooked and intrigued and I had to find out what Vincent's motivations were. Why he became the mad scientist bent on bringing a lifeless body back to life; bent on bringing life into his own creation. This book and the conflicts that the characters faced stayed with me long after I finished it. This Dark Endeavor is one of the best YA books that I've read this year. 

This Dark Endeavor - 5 out of 5 stars!



This Dark Endeavor playlist -
Falling Slowly by The Frames ("Moods that take me and erase me and I'm painted black. You have suffered enough, and warred with yourself. It's time that you won,"...Those lyrics get me every time, but this time they made me think of Victor and his inner struggles.)
Whatever It Takes by Lighthouse
You and Me by Lighthouse (When he sees Elizabeth with Konrad and he finally realizes that he's in love with her)
Unwell by Matchbox Twenty
Chances by Five by Fighting (Elizabeth is very religious, but Victor is not. There's one line where it says "No act of God can pull me away from you" and it made me think of Victor and how his feelings for Elizabeth transcend his beliefs.)
I'll Be by Edwin McCain ("I'll be your crying shoulder"...enough said.)

Reviewed by Susannah;)



Dating the Devil

Dating the Devil by Lia Romeo




Dating the Devil’s synopsis sounding promising and the cover was cute, I thought why not. I thought this book would be something different than my usual reads so I gave it a shot.

This book was just ok. I liked the different approach to the romance, having never read a book involving the devil. I would not call this book paranormal, rather romance with a twist. I loved the idea of the devil being romantic, hot, and rich, but he had a rather sad quality making him redeemable. 

This book follows Lucy O’Neil after being dumped by her boyfriend, having a dead end job, fabulous friends, and a string of bad dates. Cliché as it seems, walks into a bar and finds Mr. Right who is also the Devil himself, Lewis Mephisto. After several attempts to corrupt Lucy, Lewis finds himself falling in love with a mere mortal.

This book was corny on several different levels, but I did find myself enjoying this book not as a romance, but more of a comedy.

What Happened to Goodbye?

I've never read Sarah Dessen before, but I've always wanted to read a book of hers to see what her writing style was like, and if it would appeal to me. After reading What Happened to Goodbye?, I'm a little conflicted. Sure, it's a good story, in that it is a very realistic contemporary book for young girls, as it depicts a high school girl trying to find out who she is in the wake of her parents' messy divorce. Added to this, she chooses to go with her father, rather than her mother, who took up with another man while still married.

There are some good themes (disconnected families; coping with divorce; starting all over again; father and teenage daughter dynamics; the betrayal of a parent) running throughout the story. But I think that it addresses so many of these that it gets bogged down by details and slow pacing winds up being a result. On top of that, I felt like there needed to be more of a connection between Maclean, the protagonist, and the love interest, Dave.The romance is sweet and very mild, even almost tepid, shall I say. Towards the end, it was a little anticlimactic, as well, as the reader is told rather than shown that she has made up with her mother.

All in all, I would recommend this book to a teenage girl, but for an older individual, who likes to read young adult romance, I would say pass.

What Happened to Goodbye? - 3 out of 5 stars!


Sorry, I didn't do a playlist with this one.

Reviewed by Susannah;)

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Bloodspell

Bloodspell by Amalie Howard



Amalie Howard has crossed paranormal worlds in Bloodspell. In most paranormal books, YA or not, the type of supernatural creature, i.e. vampire, werewolf, witch, do not cross paths let alone fall in love; in this book they do. This book has every element to become a YA paranormal best seller, but in my opinion waiting so long to put out a sequel makes people loose interest (expected release 2014).

With a strong heroine in Victoria, the author has created a solid platform to base her storyline. Victoria is more like a witch form of Buffy the Vampire Slayer than an Elaina Gilbert (Vampire Diaries), thus not having to run to people for help rather helping people in need.

While falling in love with an ever so hot vampire, Christian, and fighting off his twin, Lucian, Tori grows comfortable in her skin and owns her inner witch. With twists and turns along the way this journey is one you will want to read.

This book was sweet; however, I thought that there could have been more in the romance department. I would love to see Christian and Victoria hook up or even get YA steamy for that matter. If the sequel comes out and I happen upon it I will read it, but I hope there are more romance and maybe Lucian will have a change of heart and fall in love.

On another note, the cover is amazing!