Sunday, March 31, 2013

Books We Didn't Finish - March edition

Bloodland was one of those books I had high hopes for.  It sounded like it was going to be a great political mystery/thriller type book.  Honestly, it wasn't a bad book.  I just had a hard time keeping track of everything that was going on in it.  I recently started back to school and it was just requiring too much thinking to keep up with this book.  I need to use my critical thinking skills elsewhere, not trying to keep all the plotlines of this book straight.

I had never heard of Ghost Road Blues or the Pine Deep Trilogy by Jonathan
Maberry before seeing it at the library a couple of weeks ago.  I really enjoyed the Marbury Lens, so I thought I would probably like this series as well.  I checked out Ghost Road Blues to get started on the trilogy.  I got about halfway through and lost interest.  I kinda got the impression that it was trying to hard to be a Stephen King book. 

I was so looking forward to reading Seraphina.  It looked like a really cool YA fantasy book.  In the end, it was a DNF for me.  I just couldn't get into it.  I listened to the first disc and had no idea what was going on.  I don't usually have such a hard time getting oriented to a "world" in a book, but this one was confusing.  Maybe it is one of those books that I need to read instead of listen to?  I might try it again at some point.

The Haunted was recently released on audio and I thought I would do it as a Throwback Thursday feature.  I wasn't spooked or scared.  I was bored.  I just didn't care about the characters. I made it almost through the first disc, then I gave up.

Romance at Random: Hero of My Heart Hop

Romance at Random is celebrating the upcoming release, Hero of My Heart by Megan Frampton on April 8, 2012. The contest runs March 31- APril 10.

They are giving away some fabulous prizes:

  • 5 eBook copies of HERO OF MY HEART! by Megan Frampton (on sale 4/8)
  • 3 eBook copies of A VAMPIRE SALVATION by Virna DePaul (on sale 4/22)
  • 2 eBook copies of Taking Shots by Toni Aleo (on sale 4/23)
  • AND . . . . . one (US only) prize winner receives a BOX of books! INCLUDING, Debbie Macomber’s STARTING NOW!

  •  You can enter using the Rafflecopter below. Good Luck! 

    Make sure to visit the the other participating blogs in the list below for more chances to win!

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Saturday, March 30, 2013

    Joint review: Fuse by Julianna Baggott

    Author: Julianna Baggot
    Publisher:  Grand Central Publishing
    Date of Publication:  February 19, 2013

    When the world ended, those who dwelled within the Dome were safe. Inside their glass world the Pures live on unscarred, while those outside—the Wretches—struggle to survive amidst the smoke and ash.

    Believing his mother was living among the Wretches, Partridge escaped from the Dome to find her. Determined to regain control over his son, Willux, the leader of the Pures, unleashes a violent new attack on the Wretches. It’s up to Pressia Belze, a young woman with her own mysterious past, to decode a set of cryptic clues from the past to set the Wretches free. 

    This is the second book in the Pure series.  For the most part, I enjoyed Pure.  I was looking forward to reading Fuse to hopefully learn more about the Before and the detonations. I think I have more questions now than I did after finishing Pure.  

     I have to say, I was a bit disappointed in the book.  For me, it really dragged.  I had a hard time getting through it.  I found myself skimming to make it to the end.    It did get great reviews, but it just didn't  do it for me.  I didn't hate it, I just didn't love it.  I'm not sure if I will continue with the series.  I'll have to wait and see.

    Some of you may remember Pure was one of the few books that Kari and I disagreed on.  I really didn't care for Pure at all.  However, it was one of those books that made me think a lot, so it did have that going for it. 

    I was interested in Fuse, just to see where the story was going to go and if I liked it any better than Pure.  My feelings were the same for the second book as they were for the first book.  I just don't like this series.  Nothing against the writer, the writing is fine, just certain aspects freak me out.  The other issue I had with this book was that I had a hard time remembering all the characters from the first book.  Definitely too much time had passed between books.  Since this trilogy thing isn't going anywhere any time soon, I propose that books be release in quicker succession.

    Friday, March 29, 2013

    Blog tour: The Prisoner of Heaven by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

    Author: Carlos Ruiz Zafon
    Publisher: Harpercollins
    Date of publication: July 2012

    Barcelona,1957. It is Christmas, and Daniel Sempere and his wife Bea have much to celebrate. They have a beautiful new baby son named Julian, and their close friend Fermín Romero de Torres is about to be wed. But their joy is eclipsed when a mysterious stranger visits the Sempere bookshop and threatens to divulge a terrible secret that has been buried for two decades in the city's dark past. His appearance plunges Fermín and Daniel into a dangerous adventure that will take them back to the 1940's and the dark early days of Franco's dictatorship. The terrifying events of that time launch them on a journey fraught with jealousy, suspicion, vengeance, and lies, a search for the truth that will put into peril everything they love and ultimately transform their lives.

    The Prisoner of Heaven is the third book in the Cemetery of Forgotten Books series by Carlos Ruiz Zafon.  I really enjoyed Shadow of the Wind and The Angel's Game.  Honestly, I wouldn't recommend reading this book until you have read the first two books.  Prisoner of Heaven really ties the first two books together and helped to answer some, but not all of the questions I was left with from the first two books.

    Daniel, from the first book, is now married and a new father.  He is helping his best friend Fermin get ready for his upcoming wedding.  When a stranger comes looking for Fermin, Daniel gets sucked into another mystery that he can't pass up.  We learn a lot more about Fermin's past in this book and how his past really ties in with Daniel's.

    For the most part, I enjoyed The Prisoner of Heaven. It was a lot shorter than the other two. It also seemed a lot lighter to me.  I didn't feel any of the darkness that I found in the first two books, at least not until the end.  The end left things wide open for the story to continue.  I hope  there will be a fourth book soon!  This a wonderful series and I highly recommend reading all three books!

    About the author:

    Carlos Ruiz Zafón is a Spanish novelist. Born in Barcelona in 1964, he has lived in Los Angeles, United
    States, since 1994, and works as a scriptwriter aside from writing novels.

    His first novel, El príncipe de la niebla (The Prince of Mist, 1993), earned the Edebé literary prize for young adult fiction. He is also the author of three more young-adult novels, El palacio de la medianoche(1994), Las luces de septiembre (1995) and Marina (1999).

    In 2001 he published the novel La sombra del viento ("The Shadow of the Wind"), his first "adult" novel, which has sold millions of copies worldwide. Since its publication, La sombra del viento has garnered critical acclaim around the world and has won numerous international awards. Ruiz Zafón's works have been published in more than 40 countries and have been translated into more than 30 languages.

    Contact info: website, Facebook page, and Twitter account.

    Interview & Review: Take Me Home, Cowboy by Krista Ames

    Welcome to author Krista Ames.  She is promoting her latest release, Take Me Home Cowboy.  Check out her interview after my thoughts about the story.

    Take Me Home, Cowboy (Western Escape)
    Publisher: Decadent Publishing
    Release Date: November 19, 2012

    Ally Kincaid returns to Freewill, Wyoming, to see her father after a two year absence. Anticipating a quiet family reunion, she finds herself butting heads with her father’s foreman instead. The man’s arrogance and sexy drawl push all her buttons, making her wonder what he’s hiding beneath his cowboy swagger.

    Matt Gentry walked away from the past and shies from the future. No ties means no one gets hurt…until the boss’s daughter, a hot, green-eyed blonde, tempts him to break his own rules.

    When tragedy strikes, will building tension and pride destroy their growing attraction or show them the way home?

    My Thoughts:
    Take Me Home, Cowboy is a very quick read.  I'm always a sucker for a good cowboy love story.  Ally and Matt have an instant attraction.  Their one love scene was very hot!  My only regret was that the story was way too short.  I thought that it should have been longer with more of Ally and Matt together.  The HEA came too fast for me.  But that is why I have a love/hate relationship with novellas.  I always want more!  It's a sweet story that will make you want to find your own sexy cowboy!

    Kari& Autumn: What inspired you to become a writer?

    Krista: I think it was actually all the reading I was doing at the time.  One day I just thought ‘hey maybe I can do this’.  So after that, I started writing down some of my ideas and they expanded from there.

    Kari& Autumn: Where do you come up with the ideas for your books?

    Krista: In odd places lol.  Mainly it’s from a verse in a  song that I hear or it can even be a sign along the highway or sometimes commercials or even tv shows…just anywhere really.

    Kari& Autumn: What exciting projects are waiting in the wings?

    Krista: Well not sure how exciting they are but at least to me lol.  I have a follow-up to Take Me Home, Cowboy that I’m in the midst of. I just signed a contract with The Wild Rose Press for a novella where the hero is in the Navy plus writing 2 follow-ups to that one.  I also have a nearly finished MS about a mountain search & rescue heroine and a bull-headed cowboy J  I have several others that I’m working on as well, just can’t give any details as of yet. 

    Kari& Autumn: Who is your favorite literary character and why?

    Krista: I am a huge fan of Pride & Prejudice, HUGE!  I absolutely adore both Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett.  I think theirs is a great love story even though they both fought it with all they had in them.  I even watch that move or at least play it kind of quiet in the background when I need some inspiration to write J

    Kari& Autumn: Just for fun, if you could be any animal, what would it be and why?

    Krista: Wow, hmmm I think there are so many I could choose but some day sit might be nice to be my house cat….she has such the life, sleeping all day, playing when she wants and food & water always at her disposal.  Plus cats have 9 lives so there’s the potential for living a long time !

    About the Author

    Born and raised in Northern Indiana, Krista now resides in Northern Lower Michigan. She is married to
    a very supportive man, Chip, who allows her to follow her true passion of writing and never complains when she is pirated away on her computer for hours. He even helps with proof-reading and is her “in-house” editor and her idea sounding board. She is also a mother of 4 ornery children who keep her plenty busy. With an addition of 2 beautiful chocolate lab sisters and 2 playful cats, there is never a dull or spare moment in her household.

    Krista has always loved to read and would often sit up for hours into the night not able to put down a book until she was finished. She still reads when she can but her main focus is creating her own stories to share with the world.

    Connect with Krista Ames
    Weekend Writers:

    Buy Links

    Thursday, March 28, 2013

    Throwback Thursday: Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

    Author: Neil Gaiman
    First published in 1996 by BBC Books

    Richard Mayhew is a plain man with a good heart - and an ordinary life that is changed forever on a day he stops to help a girl he finds bleeding on a London sidewalk. From that moment forward he is propelled into a world he never dreamed existed - a dark subculture flourishing in abandoned subway stations and sewer tunnels below the city - a world far stranger and more dangerous than the only one he has ever known...

    Normally, I am ahead in my Throwback Thursday reading, but real life got in my way and I had nothing for today.  I was looking back through my Goodreads list and thought I would highlight one of my favorite books.  Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman is one of the best fantasy books I have ever read.  I remember when I first read the book.  I was sucked in right away. I loved the characters.  I loved the world of London Below.  Throughout the entire book, I was rooting for Richard to find his way home. Out of it all, I think my favorite part of the book was the end.  I loved Richard's ultimate decision. If you are a fan of Neil Gaiman, definitely pick this one up. I hope it will be come a favorite for you as well!

    Wednesday, March 27, 2013

    The Last Camellia by Sarah Jio

    by:  Sarah Jio
    published by:  Plume
    publish date:  May 28, 2013

    On the eve of the Second World War, the last surviving specimen of a camellia plant known as the Middlebury Pink lies secreted away on an English country estate. Flora, an amateur American botanist, is contracted by an international ring of flower thieves to infiltrate the household and acquire the coveted bloom. Her search is at once brightened by new love and threatened by her discovery of a series of ghastly crimes.

    More than half a century later, garden designer Addison takes up residence at the manor, now owned by the family of her husband, Rex. The couple’s shared passion for mysteries is fueled by the enchanting camellia orchard and an old gardener’s notebook. Yet its pages hint at dark acts ingeniously concealed. If the danger that Flora once faced remains very much alive, will Addison share her fate?

    I'm a big fan of Sarah Jio's books.  I've read all of her books so far.  While I liked this one, I didn't think it was her best, in my opinion.

    The Last Camellia is organized like all of Jio's other books.  It has two story lines, one set in the past and one in the present, the two story lines eventually connect in an interesting and unexpected way. 

    We have to wait a few more weeks for this one to come out, but I think the Jio fans will line up for it.  It's slated for release at the end of May, so that makes it perfect for adding to your Summer Reading List.

    Tuesday, March 26, 2013

    Review: You're Still the One (Anthology)

    Authors: Janet Dailey, Cathy Lamb, Mary Carter, Elizabeth Bass
    Publisher Zebra (Kensington)
    Date of Publication: March 2013

    A knowing wink…a smile that tugs at the heartstrings…a mind-blowing kiss. In this unforgettable collection of stories, four women have a second chance to rekindle an old spark…

    I always like to read anthologies because the stories are quick and just the right thing when you need something light. I am such a sucker for long lost love stories.I found three of the stories enjoyable.   The last, not so much.

    The Apple Orchard by Cathy Lamb was by far the most emotional of the four stories.  Allie and Jace were in love, but she broke up with him to hide a dark secret.  when they meet up again years later, the attraction is still there.  I was really rooting for this couple.  I loved how Jace never gave up in his quest to get Allie back.  I really believed in this couple's HEA, especially after the work Allie does to allow love into her life.  

    A Kiss Before Midnight by Mary Carter has a bit of a voodoo curse flair to it.  Two people meet, fall instantly for each other and don't see each other for 18 years.  The problem, Rebecca comes back to New Orleans with a secret.  This story was cute and very sweet.  I was happy with how it ended.  I liked the supernatural twist in it.

    Romeo & Juliet…And Jane by Elizabeth Bass was really cute.  Jane and Roy were great together.  I loved the small town that Jane and Roy were from.  The busybodies of the town help to create some amusing moments.  I always love a story that can make me laugh out lout.  

    The Devil And Mr. Chocolate by Janet Dailey was probably my least favorite.  I didn't care for Kitty's character.  Even though Sebastian and her had a history, I just didn't feel the connection.  I think Kitty was one woman that should stay single.   

    If you like anthologies that will put a smile on your face, definitely pick this one up!

    Monday, March 25, 2013

    Joint Review: Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

    Author: Marissa Meyer
    Publisher: Fiewel and Friends
    Date of publication: February 2013

    The fates of Cinder and Scarlet collide as a Lunar threat spreads across the Earth...

    Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit's grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn't know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother's whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her.

    Second books in a trilogy are usually not my favorite books to read, so I approached this one with a little trepidation.  I really liked Cinder and I didn't want to be let down by Scarlet.  Fortunately, that wasn't the case.  I was really pleased with this book and the book series overall.   I really enjoy how these books are different stories, but tied together.  Kari mentions the 3rd book and it sounds like another great addition to the trilogy

    At first I was confused when I started the book.  It has been a while since I read Cinder, so I was racking my brain trying to remembered Scarlet from the first book.  Autumn set me straight by telling me she was a new character.  I enjoyed Scarlet as much as Cinder.  The book was fast paced and moved along pretty seamlessly.  I liked how the author tied Cinder and Scarlet together in the book.  I also liked the introduction of the Lunar/wolf  soldiers.  I just hope no vampires show up in later books.  The only thing I did not like was that we didn't really learn more about Cinder in this book. Hopefully, there will be more answers in the next book, Cress. Unfortunately, it looks like we will have to wait another year.

    Sunday, March 24, 2013

    Zom-B Underground by Darren Shan

    by:  Darren Shan
    published by:  Little Brown Books for Young Readers
    publish date:  January 2, 2013

    Waking up in a military complex, months after zombies attacked school, B has no memory of the last few months. Life in the UK has turned tough since the outbreak, and B is woven into life- and battle- in the new military regime quickly. But as B learns more about the zombies held in the complex and the scientists keeping them captive, unease settles in. Why exactly was B saved? And is there anyone left in the world to trust?

    The first Zom-B book was a surprise for me.  It was one of those books I ended up liking a lot more than I expected to.  So, I was excited when my library got the audiobook for the second book in.  This book, like the first, was narrated by Emma Galvin and she's one of my favorites, so automatically it goes up a few notches in my book.

    At the end of the first book (sorry if this is a spoiler) B gets turned.  She wakes up in some kind of prison and/or testing facility.  While she is a zombie, she has somehow managed to retain her consciousness.  B is part of a small group of zombies that still have functioning brains.  However, she is locked up while government official try to figure out how to use her and others like her to their advantage.

    Zom-B Underground was just as interesting as the first book.  I really like this series and can't wait to see where it goes.  There are two more books in this series coming out this year.  The first Zom-B City is coming out April 9, the next book Zom-B Angels is slated for July 9.  It looks like there might be a Zom-B #5 as well, but no title on it yet.

    Saturday, March 23, 2013

    Say You're Sorry by Michael Robotham

    by:  Michael Robotham
    published by:  Mulholland Books
    publish date:  October 2, 2012


    I broke one of my big rules when I listened to this audiobook.  This is #6 is a series and I did not listen to previous 5.  I started it without knowing it was a series and found out partway through.  It was killing me, but I stuck it out.  Fortunately, this book was written in such a way that, while there were references so the reader could tell it was part of a series, it wasn't so bad that you felt lost.  It almost felt like a stand alone.

    This book is part of the Joe O'Laughlin series.  Joe is a British psychologist that does work with the police as a profiler.  In this particular book, two teenage girls go missing.  Three years later, a married couple is brutally murdered.  When Joe is called in, the two cases are tied together and he assists the police in solving the case.

    This was the first book I've read by Michael Robotham.  I was really impressed.  I found this book to be written in a manner similar to many of the Scandinavian writers that have gotten so popular.  If there ever comes a time when I can fit in 5 extra books, I'd be tempted to go back and read the beginning of this series. 

    Friday, March 22, 2013

    The Tragedy Paper by Elizabeth LaBan

    by:  Elizabeth LaBan
    published by:  Knopf Books for Young Readers
    publish date:  January 8, 2013

    Tim Macbeth, a seventeen-year-old albino and a recent transfer to the prestigious Irving School, where the motto is “Enter here to be and find a friend.” A friend is the last thing Tim expects or wants—he just hopes to get through his senior year unnoticed. Yet, despite his efforts to blend into the background, he finds himself falling for the quintessential “It” girl, Vanessa Sheller, girlfriend of Irving’s most popular boy. To Tim's surprise, Vanessa is into him, too, but she can kiss her social status goodbye if anyone ever finds out. Tim and Vanessa begin a clandestine romance, but looming over them is the Tragedy Paper, Irving’s version of a senior year thesis, assigned by the school’s least forgiving teacher.

    The Tragedy Paper started out as one of my random audiobook picks from the library.  It ended up as one of my favorite books so far this year.  Tim's story is moving and I was instantly captivated by it.

    The Tragedy Paper is told from alternating viewpoints of Tim, in the previous year at The Irving School, and Duncan who is currently attending The Irving School.  They share a common tragic night, however, Duncan was never fully aware of all the circumstances around the incident.  On Duncan's first day of his Senior Year, where this story starts, he receives a stack of CD's that Tim recorded for him explaining the whole year and all the events leading up to the terrible night that their lives became entwined.

    I really enjoyed both characters, Tim and Duncan.  Both of them were so well developed, all their decisions made sense for them.  Another aspect of this book that I came to appreciate was the pacing.  Initially, I was really frustrated with how slowly the story was being pieced out, but in the end I was pleased how it all came together.

    The Tragedy Paper is a fantastic contemporary YA.  I highly recommend it.  I don't have any parental warnings for this one.  From what I recall, everything in it was YA appropriate, although it might be a bit over the heads of the youngsters.

    Thursday, March 21, 2013

    Throwback Thursday: Whirlpool by Elizabeth Lowell

    Author: Elizabeth Lowell
    First published in 1994 under the title, The Ruby by Ann Maxwell
    Republished in 2006 by Avon

    When an exquisitely crafted, authentic imperial Faberge egg mysteriously shows up at Laurel Swann's home studio, she knows it can only be from one person--her father, who has drifted in and out of her life for as long as she can remember. But this time Jamie Swann leaves her something too many people will kill for.

    Out of her league and desperate, Laurel is forced to accept help from the very man who is trying to ensnare her father in his own web of double crosses. Cruz Rowan can help her stay alive, but will he do the same for her father?

    Whirlpool would make a pretty good spy movie.  It has everything that a good spy story needs: Spies, double crosses, action and romance.  I loved Laurel and Cruz together  The instant attraction felt real and for once I didn't mind the insta-love part of the story.  They were both strong characters that meshed well together.  

    I will admit that I absolutely despised Jamie, Laurel's father   I thought the way he treated his daughter and the way he used her was despicable   I thought he got off way too easy in the end.  There were a couple of twists in the book that kept me guessing. While it's not the greatest work of Ms. Lowell's, it is one of her entertaining ones. The audio-version is read by Carrington McDuffie.  She is one of my favorites.  If you missed this one, make sure to check it out!   

    Wednesday, March 20, 2013

    Magick by Moonrise by Laura Navarre

    Author: Laura Navarre
    Publisher: Carina Press
    Date of Publication:

    Tudor England, 1556

    A religious war is brewing. The Catholic Church relies on the ruthless reputation of Lord Beltran Nemesto, who tirelessly hunts down those who don't believe or who practice dark arts.

    Half mortal, half Fae princess, Rhiannon le Fay is a healer trying to broker peace between the Faerie and mortal worlds. The Convergence is approaching, an occurrence every thousand years where the Veil that separates the two realms temporarily dissolves. Without her help, war between the two is inevitable.

    Let me start by saying that Magick by Moonrise is a well written and well thought out book.  There is a lot of world building in this first book.  I liked both Rhiannon and Beltran and I found myself rooting for them to find a way to be together.

    Having said all that, I found that the book just didn't work for me overall.  It may have been that there was too much of a mix of genres in the book.  There is fantasy, historical, and angels.  Because of this, the book was too densely packed for me to enjoy.  It dragged in places and I found myself skimming.

    I do think that this book will work for anyone who loves both historical and fantasy together. Just because it didn't work for me, doesn't mean others won't enjoy it.  It has gotten good reviews and I think it should be given a chance.  So, check it out.

    Tuesday, March 19, 2013

    Blog Tour: Lady of Ashes by Christine Trent

    Author: Christine Trent
    Publisher: Kensington
    Date of publication: February 26, 2013

    In 1861 London, Violet Morgan is struggling to establish a good reputation for the undertaking business that her husband has largely abandoned. She provides comfort for the grieving, advises them on funeral fashion and etiquette, and arranges funerals.

    Unbeknownst to his wife, Graham, who has nursed a hatred of America since his grandfather soldiered for Great Britain in the War of 1812, becomes involved in a scheme to sell arms to the South. Meanwhile, Violet receives the commission of a lifetime: undertaking the funeral for a friend of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. But her position remains precarious, especially when Graham disappears and she begins investigating a series of deaths among the poor. And the closer she gets to the truth, the greater the danger for them both…

    I was really looking forward to reading this book.  From the synopsis, it looked really interesting.  For the most part it was a good mystery with a strong female lead.  I liked Violet and her determination to be a good undertaker. She is a smart and compassionate woman. I also liked the glimpse into the world of death and burials in the late 1800s.  

    The problem that I had with the book was that it was too packed with plots and historical figures.  Had the book just followed the killer plot that I was expecting, I think I would have liked it more. I found myself skimming parts of the book, especially the parts pertaining to the civil war.  The mix of American and British history just didn't work for me.  I would recommend reading the notes from the author at the end of the book.  She provides more information about the historical figures in the book.  I found that interesting.  The book has gotten lots of great reviews.  Check them out and give the book a try.

    About the author:

    Christine Trent writes historical fiction from her two-story home library.  She lives with her wonderful bookshelf-building husband, four precocious cats, a large doll collection, entirely too many fountain pens, and over 4,000 fully cataloged books.  She and her husband are active travelers and journey regularly to England to conduct book research at historic sites.

    Christine Trent's novels include The Queen's Dollmaker, A Royal Likeness and By the King's Design.
    For more information, please visit Christine Trent's website.  You can also find her on Facebook.

    Monday, March 18, 2013

    Blog Tour: The Dark Heroine (Dinner with a Vampire) by Abigail Gibbs

    Author: Abigail Gibbs
    Publisher: Harper voyager
    Date of Publication: October 2012

    One moment can change your life forever...

    For Violet Lee, a chance encounter on a darkened street draws her into a world beyond her wildest imaginings, a timeless place of vast elegance and immeasurable wealth – of beautiful mansions and lavish parties – where a decadent group of friends live for pleasure alone. A place from which there is no matter how hard Violet tries.

    The Dark Heroine is a unique take on the vampire genre.  In fact, the author has used this first book to set up several worlds filed with dark creatures.  For the most part I enjoyed the book. It was pretty well written and moved at a good pace.  I was intrigued from the start.  I loved Violet and admired her spunk   I felt badly for her situation.  I'm not sure I would have taken it all as well as she did. I liked the Prophecy of the Dark Heroines.  I am eager to learn more about them and how they will save the world.

    The problem I had with the book was that Violet is only 17 when the story begins, but she just seems much older to me.  Especially for the situations that the author puts her in.  Fantasy or not, reading about the almost rape of a teenager just made me uncomfortable.  I also really had a hard time liking Kasper.  I mean days after her almost rape, he forces her to let him drink her blood using forceful seduction. That made me cringe.  He did redeem himself a bit in the end. I read somewhere that this would be the sexiest romance I would read of the year.  Honestly, I didn't see it.  Kasper and Violet have a long way to go before I would believe in their HEA.  Their attraction didn't exactly sizzle off the pages.

    The book ends leaving me with some questions that I hope will be answered in the next book. I would hesitate to call this a YA book. There is a pretty brutal almost rape scene and sex in the book.  I'd keep it to over 16 for sure.  I look forward to the next book in August of this year.

    About the author:

    Abigail Gibbs was born and raised in deepest, darkest Devon. She is currently studying for a BA in English at the University of Oxford and considers herself a professional student, as the real world is yet to catch up with her. Her greatest fear is blood and she is a great advocate of vegetarianism, which logically led to the writing of her first novel, Dinner With A Vampire. At age fifteen, she began posting serially online under the pseudonym Canse12, and after three years in the internet limelight, set her sights towards total world domination. She splits her time between her studies, stories and family, and uses coffee to survive all three.

    Wattpad page, Facebook page, Facebook group for Dinner With a Vampire.

    Sunday, March 17, 2013

    Book Shout Out: The Blue Bistro by Elin Hilderbrand

    by:  Elin Hilderbrand
    published by:  St. Martin's
    publish date:  May 30, 2006

    Adrienne Dealey has spent the past six years working for hotels in exotic resort towns. This summer she has decided to make Nantucket home. Left flat broke by her ex-boyfriend, she is desperate to earn some fast money. When the desirable Thatcher Smith, owner of Nantucket's hottest restaurant, is the only one to offer her a job, she wonders if she can get by with no restaurant experience. Thatcher gives Adrienne a crash course in the business...and they share an instant attraction.

    But there is a mystery about their situation: What is it about Fiona, the Blue Bistro's chef, who captures Thatcher's attention again and again? And why does such a successful restaurant seem to be in its final season before closing its doors for good? Despite her uncertainty, Adrienne must decide whether she'll move on, as she always does--or finally open her heart…

    At this point I don't know if there's anything else that I can say about how much I love Elin Hilderbrand's book.  I've read almost all of them and except for a couple of little disappointments here and there, I've adored everything about all of her books.

    The Blue Bistro is an older book, but it's still super good.  I listened to the audiobook and it was very well done. 

    Elin has put it in my head that I WILL go to Nantucket some day.  After reading all these books I can't not go!

    Saturday, March 16, 2013

    2 novellas in 1: Most Likely To Succeed & Cutest Couple by Kate Davies

    It's that time again!  Today, I have two novellas from Carina Press.  Most Likely to Succeed and Cutest Couple are the first two books in the "Girl Most Likely Too..." series by Kate Davies.

    Publisher: Carina Press
    Date of publication: March 25, 2013

    Book one in The Girls Most Likely to…

    Ten years after being voted Most Likely to Succeed, Kelsey Moore is still living in her hometown, still working in her family's flower shop, and too embarrassed to attend her high school reunion. Only the chance to reconnect with her study buddy—and secret crush—Nathan Barrow tempts her to go.

    The series revolves around a ten year high school reunion.  Kelsey, Bree and Tess are  long time friends who graduated together   Kelsey was the brain of the trio.  She had a full ride scholarship to college, but circumstances made her stay home and help her mother out.  Her best guy friend and lab partner, Nathan got out and has been traveling the world.  When Nathan and Kelsey get together, she is reluctant to tell him what she has been up to.

    I liked this one the best out of the two.  It was fun to see Kelsey and Nathan look at each other differently after ten year.  The chemistry between them is sizzling.  They really heat up the sheets!  It was nice to see that their friendship was so strong in high school that after so long, it was like no time had passed.  I loved what Nathan does for Kelsey in the end!  While, I'm not a huge fan of HFN endings, this one was pretty satisfying.

    Publisher: Carina Press
    Date of Publication: April 29, 2013

    Book two of Girls Most Likely to…

    Ten years ago, Marc and Bree were voted Cutest Couple—until a graduation-night argument destroyed their relationship. Unable to contact him, Bree had no choice but to forget Marc—and raise the son she never got to tell him about.

    Out of the two, I think I liked this one the least.  Bree and Mac were high school sweethearts.  He left to join the Army and Bree found herself pregnant.  She makes exactly one attempt to contact him about it and then proceeds to paint him as a deadbeat dad for 10 years!  I kind of lost respect for her there.  I felt so badly for Marc.  

    Despite their history, I didn't really feel the attraction between them.  I also didn't hold out too much hope for a HEA.  They spend most of the time in the story fighting with each other.  I understood Bree's reasons for hating the military, but still.  Maybe if the story had been longer, I would have liked it more. 

    Both stories take place at the same time.  That was kind of neat.  Throughout both novellas, there are hints to what Tess is up to.  I look forward to reading Life of the Party in May!