25 February 2011

Review: Desires of the Dead by Kimberly Derting

Title: Desires of the Dead
Author: Kimberly Derting
Series: The Body Finder #2
Genre: YA

Release Date: March 17, 2011
Publisher: Headline
Edition: Paperback
Source: Publisher

Violet and Jay are finally dating, but adjusting to the new relationship is not as easy as Violet anticipated. Especially when she has to split Jay's time and attention with his new best friend, Mike, and Mike's pesky younger sister - who happens to be obsessed with Jay. Meanwhile, when Violet's special abilities lead her to the body of a young boy, her tip to the police puts her on the radar of the FBI. Violet tries to fend off the FBI's questions while maintaining the semblance of a normal life, but somebody's leaving her threatening notes and an echo around Mike's house reinforces that all is not right. Violet is forced to admit that perhaps the only people who can help her figure it out are the very people she's desperate to avoid - the FBI.

I loved The Body Finder so much that I wasn't sure if Desires of the Dead was going to live up to it. In a sense I was right, but this keeps being a great novel nonetheless.

Violet still is an amazing character and this time she has to worry about people finding out about her ability to sense the echoes of the death. She struggles a lot with it but I liked how at the end she's the one who decides what to do and who to tell, although she does get some help and advice from her parents and Jay.

Jay keeps being as awesome as ever and while his relationship with Violet goes through some bumps, at the end they still make a great couple. As the story evolves you can see how their relationship matures and becomes more serious.

There are some new interesting characters like Rafe. He's a quiet and intriguing character and I really hope the author tells us more about him in the next book.

To me, the reason this book wasn't as good as the previous one is the mystery. In the first book I didn't know who the bad guy was until the end but this time around it's pretty clear who's to blame. Honestly, I don't know how the characters could have missed it.

All in all, this was an amazing read with a great cast of characters and a interesting plot. I can't wait to read the next one!

Memorable Lines:
“Your parents asked me to stop by and check on you on my way home. They won’t be back until late. Can I trust the two of you here . . . alone?”
“Of course you can—” Jay started to say.
“Probably not—” Violet answered at the same time. And then she caught a glimpse of the horror-stricken expression on Jay’s face, and she laughed. “Relax, Uncle Stephen, we’re fine. We were just doing homework.”

Previous Book:
1. The Body Finder - Review

Next Book:
3. Untitled (2012)


24 February 2011

Review: Evermore by Alyson Noel

Title: Evermore
Author: Alyson Noel
Series: The Immortals #1
Genre: YA

Release Date: September 18, 2009
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
Edition: Paperback
Source: Publisher

Sixteen-year-old Ever Bloom is the sole survivor of a car accident that killed her family. Exiled to sunny California. Ever is haunted by her little sister and by the ability to see people's auras, hear their thoughts and know their entire life story by touching them. She wants to hide from the world, but when a stunningly handsome guy arrives at school, she can't seem to keep away. Falling in love with Damen is dangerous - he's not what he seems. But if Damen is her destiny, how can Ever walk away?

I've heard a lot of things about this series so I was really happy when I got it. Ever is a very conflicted character. She's been through a lot (mainly the death of her parents and little sister on a car accident that she survived) and her way of dealing with it is shutting people out, especially her aunt. All this changes when she meets Damen, the intriguing new guy at school.

I liked Ever's abilities and how they were explained. What I didn't like was how Ever never got curious enough to search for answers or help about her abilities and how she ignored or tried to live like they didn't exist. One thing Ever can do thanks to her powers is talk to her little sister Riley. She probably was my favourite character of the book and I loved her interactions with her sister. At one point Ever was incredibly selfish regarding Riley and that's one of the reasons I didn't completely warmed up to her.

Damen is supposed to be this mysterious, dangerous guy and while at the beginning it's kind of appealing, as the story unfolds all his secrets and lies just pissed me off. Truth be told, I didn't even know what was so special about him.

Then there's the bad guy. On the positive side he/she was completely evil and I've always like those kind of villians. On the negative side, the bad guy was predictable and at times cheesy. He/she acted like a stereotype villian and I just can't understand why no one caught him/her before.

I especially liked Riley, Ever's friend Miles and Ever's abilities. I was expecting more on the mystery area. Even so, this was an interesting first book and I'll definitely check out the second.

Memorable Lines:
"What happened? You run out of white rosebuds?" I ask, flipping through books and papers, as though I've something important to do.
"I would never give you a rosebud," he says, his eyes searching for mine.
But I refuse to meet his gaze, refuse to get sucked into his sadistic little game. I just grab my bag and pretend to search for something inside, cursing under my breath when I find it stuffed full of tulips.
"You're strictly a tulip girl-a red tulip girl."

Next Books:
2. Blue Moon
3. Shadowland
4. Dark Flame
5. Night Star
6. Everlasting (June 7, 2011)


23 February 2011

Review: Married With Zombies by Jesse Petersen

Title: Married with Zombies
Author: Jesse Petersen
Series: Living with the Dead #1
Genre: Urban Fantasy

Release Date: February 3, 2011
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Edition: Paperback
Source: Publisher

Meet Sarah and David.
Once upon a time they met and fell in love. But now they're on the verge of divorce and going to couples' counseling. On a routine trip to their counselor, they notice a few odd things - the lack of cars on the highway, the missing security guard, and the fact that their counselor, Dr. Kelly, is ripping out her previous client's throat.

Meet the Zombies.
Now, Sarah and David are fighting for survival in the middle of the zombie apocalypse. But, just because there are zombies, doesn't mean your other problems go away. If the zombies don't eat their brains, they might just kill each other.

Have any of you seen Zombieland? Well, this book reminded me of that movie. David and Sarah's marriage is on the rocks so they're going to therapy to try save it when they're shocked to find their therapist eating her clients. At this point, they both start working together to survive the zombie outbreak.

At the beginning of every chapter there's an advice regarding how to save your marriage during a zombie apocalypse. Those parts were amusing although very short. I liked how Sarah and David got the hang of zombie killing slowly and how they realized that sometimes humans are more dangerous than the zombies. While I liked both David and Sarah, the truth is that I didn't really care much for them.

One of the best parts of the book was seeing David and Sarah trying to fix their problems, the thing is, we don't get much information about how their life was before the zombies and I think that was something important the novel was missing. The main problem I had with the book was that it didn't seem like they had a plan and when they finally make one it doesn't really go anywhere. And the ending was so open ended that it didn't felt like it was a real ending.

In this book there is plenty of zombie killing, a lot of arguments, a cult and many entertaining parts. This novel was short and light, perfect for a quick reading.

Memorable Lines:
“You’re right,” I said as I put the car in gear and inched into the garage.
David let out a snort as he pocketed his game system in his hoodie and unbuckled his seatbelt. “Wow, I hardly ever hear that.”
I swung the car into a space close to the elevator bank and slammed on the brake, purposefully making David catch himself on the dash a second time.
“Nice,” he muttered with a glare in my direction as he got out.
So what I did wasn’t subtle, but I couldn’t help but smile as I followed him across the quiet parking complex to the elevator.

Next Books:
2. Flip This Zombie
3. Eat Slay Love (June 2011)


Waiting on Wednesday (38)

Title: Eternal Rider
Author: Larissa Ione
Series: Lords of Deliverance #1
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: March 29, 2011
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Edition: Mass Market Paperback

They are here. They ride. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

His name is Ares, and the fate of mankind rests on his powerful shoulders. If he falls to the forces of evil, the world falls too. As one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, he is far stronger than any mortal, but even he cannot fight his destiny forever. Not when his own brother plots against him.

Yet there is one last hope. Gifted in a way other humans can't-or won't-understand, Cara Thornhart is the key to both this Horseman's safety and his doom. But involving Cara will prove treacherous, even beyond the maddening, dangerous desire that seizes them the moment they meet. For staving off eternal darkness could have a staggering cost: Cara's life.

21 February 2011

Review: Grave Witch by Kalayna Price

Title: Grave Witch
Author: Kalayna Price
Series: Alex Craft #1
Genre: Urban Fantasy

Release Date: October 5, 2010
Publisher: Roc
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Source: Bought

As a grave witch, Alex Craft can speak to the dead-she's even on good terms with Death himself. As a consultant for the police, she's seen a lot of dark magic, but nothing has prepared her for her latest case. When she's raising a "shade" involved in a high profile murder, it attacks her, and then someone makes an attempt on her life. Someone really doesn't want her to know what the dead have to say, and she'll have to work with mysterious homicide detective Falin Andrews to figure out why...
I'm always looking for new urban fantasy series so I was really excited when I heard about this book. Alex is a very likeable character who has a very rare ability and has to deal with all sorts of problems, her family being one of them. At the beginning Alex is a loner, she does things her own way and she doesn't usually ask for help, but all of that changes when she finds herself in the middle of a very dangerous high profile homicide case.

While it's explained why Alex doesn't get on with her family, I wish we could have gotten more information on them, especially about what happened to her older brother and mother. I really hope the author tells us more about them in future books.

At first it seems like Alex doesn't have friends but as the story evolves you get to meet plenty of people that we are told are her friends, but to me it seemed like they were strangers. None of them knows the truth about Alex, she almost never interacts with them and when there's something wrong she never calls them or ask for their help. That to me seemed like very strange "friendships".

My favourite parts of the book, apart of when Alex is using her abilty, are the ones that include Falin and Death. Falin is the homicide detective in charge of the case and he's a very enigmatic character. I didn't really know if he was a good guy or a bad guy but I was sure from the start the there was something more to him that what met the eye.

Then there's Death. He is mysterious, powerful and complicated. I liked how he always tried to help Alex even though it might mean bending the rules. He was by far my favourite character and it's a shame that there wasn't more of him in the book. I really hope he gets a more central role in the next one.

All in all, this was a great start to a very promising series, with an interesting worlbuilding and an awesome set of characters. I can't wait to see what happens next.

Memorable Lines:
Angel of Death, Soul Collector, Grim Reaper—whatever you called him, most people saw him only once. He strolled forward, and Baker stumbled back a step.
Crap. I jumped from the casket platform. "Don't."
Too late.
Death reached into Baker's pudgy torso, and the color leached from my client's face. He swayed. Death stepped back, and Baker blinked once more before crumpling.

Next Book:
2. Grave Dance (July 5, 2011)


20 February 2011

Help save a life

In your lifetime, there are few moments when you’re given the opportunity to directly save another person’s life.-Bryan Mealer, HuffPo

If you had a chance to save somebody’s life, and it didn’t take all that much… would you do it? Well, here’s that chance.

Check out Shiloh Walker’s blog for a chance to read how you can help save a man’s life…

16 February 2011

Review: Right Hand Magic by Nancy A. Collins

Title: Right Hand Magic
Author: Nancy A. Collins
Series: Golgotham #1
Genre: Urban Fantasy

Release Date: December 7, 2010
Publisher: Roc
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Source: Bought

Like most Manhattanites, aspiring artist Tate can't resist a good rental deal-even if it's in the city's strangest neighborhood, Golgotham, where for centuries werewolves, centaurs, and countless other creatures have roamed the streets.

Her new landlord is a sorcerer name Hexe, who is determined to build his reputation without using dark, left-hand magic. As Tate is drawn into Hexe's fascinating world, they both find that the right hand does not always know what the left hand is doing-and avoiding darkness is no easy trick...

This is the first book of a really interesting new series. Tate moves to a new place in Golgotham, the supernatural neighbourhood where she meets a lof of different creatures and races she only saw and heard about throught TV and magazines. Her landlord is Hexe, a Kymeran who only practices Right Hand Magic, meaning he doesn't lay curses, he mostly lifts them.

The chemistry between Tate and Hexe was one of the best things of the book. They both are from different worlds but at the same time they can relate and understand each other perfectly. There also was a were-cougar in the story. Lukas was a very sweet character. He was running from his pack until he was found by the bad guys. I felt bad for him at times and I really liked seeing his character evolve.

While the worldbuilding was one of the strong points of the novel, most of the time I was really bored reading about the history of a street or what happened to a market. Almost none of the information were are given is important to the story and the truth is that after a while I started skipping those parts.

The main problem I had with the story was that nothing happened during most of the book until the end and there wasn't much action or mystery. You know who the bad guy is since the beginning and you are told that he is evil, but you never really see it. I was very disappointed on that aspect of the book.

All in all, this was a very promising start of a series and while the first book didn't catch my attention at all times I have high hopes for the next one.

Memorable Lines:
"Scratch, this is Miss Tate."
"Humph," Scratch sniffed, clearly unimpressed.
"Pleased to meet you, uh, Scratch."
"As well you should be," the flying cat replied curtly.
"Scratch is my familiar. I'm sure you've heard about such things from books and movies." As the landlord stroked the winged cat's back, Scratch butted his forehead against him, just like any other tabby would. "He is also my rent collector."
"Yeah—I eat the deadbeats!" The familiar grinned.


Waiting on Wednesday (37)

Title: This Side of the Grave
Author: Jeaniene Frost
Series: Night Huntress #5
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: February 22, 2011
Publisher: Avon
Edition: Mass Market Paperback

Danger waits on both sides of the grave.

Half-vampire Cat Crawfield and her vampire husband Bones have fought for their lives, as well as for their relationship. But just when they've triumphed over the latest battle, Cat's new and unexpected abilities threaten to upset a long-standing balance . . .

With the mysterious disappearance of vampires, rumors abound that a species war is brewing. A zealot is inciting tensions between the vampires and ghouls, and if these two powerful groups clash, innocent mortals could become collateral damage. Now Cat and Bones are forced to seek help from a dangerous "ally"—the ghoul queen of New Orleans herself. But the price of her assistance may prove more treacherous than even the threat of a supernatural war . . . to say nothing of the repercussions Cat never imagined.

15 February 2011

Cover Reveal: Sweet Venom by Tera Lynn Childs

Well, here it is. The cover of Sweet Venom by Tera Lynn Childs. I have to say, it looks great.
More info about the book:

- Release Date: October 4, 2011 (I'm not sure if this is final)
- About the book: Three teenage descendants of Medusa, the once-beautiful gorgon maligned by myth, must reunite and embrace their fates in a world where monsters lurk in plain sight.
- Characters: The three main characters are Grace, Gretchen, and Greer. You can see their character collage here.

14 February 2011

Review: The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting

Title: The Body Finder
Author: Kimberly Derting
Series: The Body Finder #1
Genre: YA

Release Date: November 25, 2010
Publisher: Headline
Edition: Paperback
Source: Publisher

Violet Ambrose is grappling with two major issues: Jay Heaton and her morbid secret ability. While the sixteen-year-old is confused by her new feelings for her best friend since childhood, she is more disturbed by her “power” to sense dead bodies—or at least those that have been murdered. Since she was a little girl, she has felt the echoes the dead leave behind in the world . . . and the imprints that attach to their killers.

Violet has never considered her strange talent to be a gift; it mostly just led her to find dead birds her cat had tired of playing with. But now that a serial killer has begun terrorizing her small town, and the echoes of the local girls he’s claimed haunt her daily, she realizes she might be the only person who can stop him.

Despite his fierce protectiveness over her, Jay reluctantly agrees to help Violet on her quest to find the murderer—and Violet is unnerved to find herself hoping that Jay’s intentions are much more than friendly. But even as she’s falling intensely in love, Violet is getting closer and closer to discovering a killer . . . and becoming his prey herself.

I don't think there are enough words to describe how much I loved this book. Violet has a gift for seeing and hearing the echos of the dead. Saying that, there wasn't much paranormal touches in the story. Mostly this has Violet trying to solve the murders of a few local girls and while her ability is important, I felt like it wasn't the focus of the book, which was refreshing and made me love the novel a lot.

One of the best things of the book or more accurately my favourite parts of the book were the ones that involved the relationship between Violet and Jay. Theirs is an unusual one in YA fiction. I loved that they were best friends since they were kids and that because of that they knew each other so well. Jay has always known about Violet's gift, which was also a nice change from other books, and I especially liked how he always took care and wanted to protect Violet without making her feel useless or inferior. It was so much fun seeing them go from friends to something more and truth be told those probably were my favourite scenes of the book. Jay is a total sweetheart and he has become my favourite male YA character.

As for the plot, the author had me guessing who the bad guy was. There were a lot of twists that at times kept me at the edge of my seat and at the end I didn't really know who the bad guy was until it was revealed.

All in all, this was an unputdownable book with an awesome murder-mystery plot and incredible set of characters. The Body Finder was one of the best YA books I've ever read. I can't wait to read the sequel.

Memorable Lines:
"I just don't want anything bad between us," she offered by way of an explanation.
"I know." He reached out, capturing her hand in his. He laced his fingers casually through hers.
Violet leaned against him and the calm finally came, settling over her peacefully.
And the he kissed her. Gently. Softly. Not on the lips, as she'd imagined so many times before, but on her forehead.
The gesture was sweet and a little possessive.
Violet hoped, maybe, it was a start.

Next Book:
2. Desires of the Dead (February 15, 2011)


13 February 2011

Review: The Iron Witch by Karen Mahoney

Title: The Iron Witch
Author: Karen Mahoney
Series: The Iron Witch #1
Genre: YA

Release Date: February 3, 2011
Publisher: Corgi
Edition: Paperback
Source: Publisher

Freak. That's what her classmates call seventeen-year-old Donna Underwood. When she was seven, a horrific fey attack killed her father and drove her mother mad. Donna's own nearly fatal injuries from the assault were fixed by magic—the iron tattoos branding her hands and arms. The child of alchemists, Donna feels cursed by the magical heritage that destroyed her parents and any chance she had for a normal life. The only thing that keeps her sane and grounded is her relationship with her best friend, Navin Sharma.

When the darkest outcasts of Faerie—the vicious wood elves—abduct Navin, Donna finally has to accept her role in the centuries old war between the humans and the fey. Assisted by Xan, a gorgeous half-fey dropout with secrets of his own, Donna races to save her friend—even if it means betraying everything her parents and the alchemist community fought to the death to protect.

The story is told from Donna's point of view. She's some sort of magical bionic woman; something happened when she was a kid that made her lose her parents and both her arms and they were later replaced with magical induced iron arms. She makes her own decisions and doesn't let anyone push her around, which are the reasons I liked her so much. There was some sort of incident that happened at her school and I was disappointed that it wasn't explored more, especially since it seems to be a important moment on Donna's life.

I loved her relationship with Navin, her best friend, and Xan, a mysterious boy who understands her better than anyone else. It seems like the're is a posible love triangle with them. As for her family, we almost don't see her aunt Paige at all and I would have liked knowing more about her parents and what exactly happened all those years ago in the clearing where her father died.

There are some parts of the story that were told as Donna's diary entries and all of them were really interesting. The thing is, the consequences of Donna's actions are told that way too, and it seems to me that they were too important to be told in a few lines. I would have definitely prefered for them to be expanded.

One of the problems I had was that the alchemist's society wasn't explained well. At some point we get a lot of information about them but it was too much, too quickly. I did love the whole idea of the alchemists and how they were originally supposed to protect the world from the fae.

Anyway, this was a very entertaining read with interesting and complex characters and a plot full of secrets and magic. At the end I wasn't even sure who were the good guys and who were the bad guys. I can't wait to read the next one!

Memorable Lines:
“I think we should just go. We could call the police.”
You should go, Navin. You don’t even belong here.” Her voice shook.
“You can’t make me do anything, Donna. You’re my friend and I think you’re in trouble. I’m not leaving you.”

Next Book:
2. The Wood Queen (2012)


12 February 2011

Review: Seduce the Darkness by Gena Showalter

Title: Seduce the Darkness
Author: Gena Showalter
Series: Alien Huntress #4
Genre: Paranormal Romance

Release Date: July 28, 2009
Publisher: Pocket Star
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Source: Bought

The war between otherworlders and humans changed Earth beyond recognition. It also saved Bride McKells's life. Before, the gorgeous vampire was a target for every fanatic with a stake and a crucifix. Now, she's free to roam the streets -- and desperate to find others of her kind. One man claims to have the answers she seeks. Devyn, King of the Targons, is a warrior and a womanizer, and he makes no secret of how much he wants Bride -- and how dangerous he could be to her in every way.

An avid collector of women, Devyn easily seduces human and otherworlder alike. Until now. Not only does Bride resist him, but she leaves Devyn feeling something entirely new...a bone-deep need bordering on obsession. Her blood is the key to curing a vicious alien disease, but helping Bride uncover her origins will compel her to choose between electrifying passion and a destiny that could tear her from Devyn's side forever.

This is the fourth Alien Huntress book and it's the one I liked the least. We have Devyn, the king of his planet, a ruthless killer and a
man slut. He sleeps with different women at least once a day and he never "repeats" with the same alien race (which tells me that there has to be at least thousands of alien races on earth). I like reading about how this type of men find their perfect match. The problem is, while at the beginning I really liked Bride, the heroine, as the story advanced she changed so much that at some points I couldn't neither stand nor understand her.

At first Bride comes across as shy, with an air of innocence but very determined to find the only person in the world she loves. That's what made me like Bride so much. I guess I just didn't like how Devyn manipulated Bride even when he got what he wanted and then how she didn't even fight much at all. To tell the truth, those parts pissed me off. After that Bride changed and she became a seducer; confident and ultimately very powerful. I just couldn't understand how she changed so much. I will say that I liked that she wasn't as tough as previous heroines of this series.

As for the plot, the alien virus is still around and I would have liked variety on that front. The book also explores the vampire race, which was very interesting, especially since we're introduced to McKell. This was a good adition to the series but I liked the other ones better. I guess I just didn't like much the main couple and how their romance evolved.

Memorable Lines:
“I only answer questions when the one doing the asking is naked, and as we won’t be getting naked anytime soon . . .” Another of those disappointed sighs. “If I wasn’t in a hurry, you might have been able to make me forget I prefer variety. As it is, I’m late and have to go. But do dream of me, darling.”
That dirty, rotten bastard! How dare he! “Leave, and I’ll come after you. I swear I will.”
“Won’t do you any good, I’m afraid.” And with that, he disappeared amidst the churning crowd.
Bride was unable to follow and all the madder for it. He’s going down, she thought darkly. In every possible way.

Previous Books:
1. Awaken Me Darkly
2. Enslave Me Sweetly
3. Savor Me Slowly - Review

Next Books:
5. Ecstasy in Darkness
6. Dark Taste of Rapture (August 2011)


10 February 2011

Review: Savor Me Slowly by Gena Showalter

Title: Savor Me Slowly
Author: Gena Showalter
Series: Alien Huntress #3
Genre: Paranormal Romance

Release Date: December 26, 2008
Publisher: Pocket Star
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Source: Bought

Mishka Le'Ace was created to be an undercover operative...literally. Her beautiful body has been mechanically augmented to give her superhuman strength -- strength she's going to need. Her latest mission sends her to rescue Alien Investigation and Removal agent Jaxon Tremain from torture and death. With him, she discovers a passion unlike any other. A passion she was forbidden to know....

From the moment they meet in a darkened cell, Jaxon craves her touch. But the machine half of Le'Ace forces her to do things she doesn't always want to do. Even betray him...and ultimately destroy him. Now Jaxon must battle the man controlling Le'Ace, and even Le'Ace herself, to at last claim the woman he's come to love.

This is the third book in the Alien Huntress series and I love the world the story is set in. You have all types of aliens living in earth after the alien/human war almost destroyed the world. The A.I.R. are the ones that police the aliens and Mishka is sent to discover all the secrets A.I.R. agent Jaxon has, any means necessary.

What I liked about Jaxon was that he didn't care what anyone thought, not even his friends, and he stood by Mishka when things got ugly. At the beginning I didn't like how the romance between the two of them started, it felt forced, the attraction was too instantaneous, especially since Jaxon had been tortured for a long time and suddenly the only thing he wanted to do was bed Mishka. As the story advanced and both of them began talking to each other, I started liking the two of them together.

I'm still not sure if I like Mishka. She had been forced to do things or she she would had been killed, and while I understand the will to live, I didn't like her much when she said that she killed innocent people and children just so she could live. At that moment I didn't think she was heroine material. What I'm trying to say is that I liked the person she was when she was with Jaxon, but without him her past actions made me dislike her.

I loved that characters from the previous books are still important in the story and how Gena gives us glimpses of future heroes and heroines. All in all, I really liked this book, especially the A.I.R. agents. There was plenty of action and I can't wait to see how the virus plot arc evolves in future books.

Memorable Lines:
Jaxon closed his eyes and said goodbye to one of his favorite body parts. I love you little guys. We had some good times together.
“Last chance, Jaxon.”
His gaze met Marie’s, locking, clashing. Unflinching. “I told you. I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
Her lush lips rose in an exquisite smile, lighting her entire face. Just then, she was the perfect blend of good and evil, innocence and absolute wickedness. His traitorous heart skipped a beat in total, masculine appreciation. Her teeth were straight and white, the pink tip of her tongue peeking out the center as if she were nibbling on it. “That answer just saved your life,” she said, and then her arm lashed to the side and she stabbed Thomas in the stomach.

Previous Books:
1. Awaken Me Darkly
2. Enslave Me Sweetly

Next Books:
4. Seduce the Darkness
5. Ecstasy in Darkness
6. Dark Taste of Rapture (August 2011)


09 February 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (36)

Title: The Gathering
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Series: Darkness Rising #1
Genre: YA
Release Date: April 12, 2011
Publisher: Harper Teen
Edition: Hardcover

Strange things are happening in Maya's tiny Vancouver Island town. First, her friend Serena, the captain of the swim team, drowns mysteriously in the middle of a calm lake. Then, one year later, mountain lions are spotted rather frequently around Maya's home—and her reactions to them are somewhat . . . unexpected. Her best friend, Daniel, has also been experiencing unexplainable premonitions about certain people and situations.

It doesn't help that the new bad boy in town, Rafe, has a dangerous secret, and he's interested in one special part of Maya's anatomy—her paw-print birthmark.

Review: You Against Me by Jenny Downham

Title: You Against Me
Author: Jenny Downham
Series: -
Genre: YA

Release Date: December 2, 2010
Publisher: David Fickling Books
Edition: Hardcover
Source: Publisher

If someone hurts your sister and you're any kind of man, you seek revenge, right? If your brother's been accused of a terrible crime and you're the main witness, then you banish all doubt and defend him. Isn't that what families do? When Mikey's sister claims a boy assaulted her at a party, his world of work and girls begins to fall apart. When Ellie's brother is charged with the crime, but says he didn't do it, her world of revision, exams and fitting in at a new school begins to unravel. When Mikey and Ellie meet, two worlds collide. Brave and unflinching, this is a novel of extraordinary skillfulness and almost unbearable tension. It's a book about loyalty and the choices that come with it. But above all it's a book about love - for one's family and for another.
From the moment I heard about this book I knew I wanted to read it. There are two narrators in this story: Ellie, who seems to have a perfect life as a rich, pampered girl who only has to worry about school, and Mikey, a poor boy who had to quit studying to support his two younger sisters and alcoholic mother. Their lifes completely change when Ellie's older brother is accussed of raping Mikey's younger sister.

There is a lot of angst as well as guilt in this book. Both main characters try to do the right thing for their families, but the main problem is when the right thing to do may come in conflict to the loyalty your supposed to have for your family. I love that particular struggle the characters go through and I think that's one of the main reasons why both Ellie and Mikey get together; they understand what each other is going through.

While the romance between Ellie and Mikey is important for the story, there are other things that are as important, like how the accusation Mikey's sister made against Ellie's brother affected their families. One of the things I liked about the book is that usually this type of stories are told from the victim's point of view, but this time what we see is what happens to the families. At times there was hope, hope that what happened can make a family member who was lost or disinterested remember what's important, but mostly there was pain, sorrow and heartbreak.

This was a very emotional read with amazingly written and realistic characters. The only problem I had was that the ending was quite abrupt and I was expecting more. Other that that, this was a fantastic read.

Memorable Lines:
"We could hide out at your grandparents' place."
"Don't be ridiculous."
"I've got money. We can buy food, loads of it, and go and live there for a while."
"Think about it, Ellie - just until the worst is over."
"Are you insane?" She took her hands away from her face. "It isn't going to be over, don't you get it? Someone's family is going to be ruined - yours or mine, that's the choice. We can't run away. This is real life Mikey!"


04 February 2011

Review: Worth the Trip by Penny McCall

Title: Worth the Trip
Author: Penny McCall
Series: -
Genre: Romantic Suspense

Release Date: November 2, 2010
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Source: Publisher

For behavioral psychologist Norah MacArthur, relationships and family are stressful and messy. That's why she leads a quiet, clinical, solitary life. That is, until the days leading up to the release of her con artist father from jail. For fifteen years, Julius has managed to conceal the location of his stolen bank loot but now everyone, from two-bit crooks to the Feds, is scrambling to get their hands on it—and Norah is the perfect leverage.

It's a quick leap from ‘control group’ to ‘out of control’—as FBI agent Trip Jones knows all too well. He might like to strangle Norah himself, but he's been sent to protect her. Besides, behind Norah’s psycho-babble and ugly suits there’s something special. Something way more valuable than ill-gotten gains—and just maybe a real life study in love...

This was the first book I've read by Penny McCall, so I didn't know what to expect. What I got was a complicated romance with plenty of action and interesting characters.

Norah is the daughter of a jailed con artist that has tried the best she can to go on with her life on her own. The problem is, her father is being released and now everyone wants to know what happened with the loot her father stole but was never found. I never understood the loyalty Norah felt towards her father, he puts her life in danger, he lies to her, he betrays her, but she never gets mad at him, and that's one of the reasons why I really didn't connect with her. Truth be told, she comes across as a smart woman, but in reality she makes a lot of stupid mistakes and does things that are unnecessary and that I don't understand. In my opinion, she never evolves as a character and she's annoying almost all the time. Those are the main problems I had with her.

Then there's Trip, the FBI agent asigned to the case. He's arrogant, tricky and smart, and he always puts his job first. He has plenty of issues but the good thing is that he knows he has them and he is willing to eventually work on them. He grows a lot through the book and I like how he never lies to himself or to Norah.

The relationship between Norah and Trip is intense and hot. Both of them have trust issues and I think the happy ending between the two of them was far fetched because their personalities were so different.

Memorable lines:
"If someone comes at you with a gun you won't have time to psychoanalyze them, Norah. Not that you'll need to. Shoot first and ask questions later is a pretty straightforward concept."
"You said the want to use me as leverage, not to kill me."
"Yeah, but after a few seconds of conversation with you they'll probably change their minds."


03 February 2011

Are you a winner?

So, I have to announce the winners of two giveaways.

First, the winner of Archangel's Consort by Nalini Singh is:

Lisa Richards

Congrats! You have 48h to answer my email or I'll have to choose a new winner.

And, the winner of the $40 CSN Stores GC is ...

Michelle Hudak !!!

Congrats! I've already sent you an email.

Thanks so much to everyone for entering and look out for my next giveaway.

Review: The Kensei by Jon F. Merz

Title: The Kensei
Author: Jon F. Merz
Series: Lawson the Fixer #5
Genre: Urban Fantasy

Release Date: January 18, 2011
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Edition: Trade Paperback
Source: Author

Meet Lawson. A cynical, wise-cracking vampire charged with protecting the Balance between vampires and humans, he is part cop, part spy, and part commando — James Bond with fangs. Lawson mixes shrewd cunning with unmatched lethality to get his job done. He tries his best to dismantle conspiracies, dispatch bad guys, and live long enough to get home. In The Kensei, a battle-weary Lawson heads to Japan for a little rest and some advanced ninja training. But he no sooner steps off the plane than lands in the midst of a Yakuza turf war orchestrated by a shadowy figure known as the Kensei. With the help of Talya, a former KGB-assassin, Lawson must put a stop to the Kensei’s organ trafficking networks, prevent the creation of an army of vampire-human hybrids, and save his own skin in the process.

This is the first book I've read by the author, and I was a little worried that I wouldn't be able to follow everything seeing as how this was the fifth book in the series, but the truth is that I had no problem whatsoever. Martial arts heavely influence the story and it was interesting reading about it. The book has non stop action from the start until the end, there are also plenty of easily followed fights that include swords, guns, bombs ...

The best thing about the book was the main character, Lawson. He's funny, sarcastic and overall very entertaining. I liked the complicated relationship he has with Talya, an assassin; plus he meets a lot of interesting characters along the way like Yuki, a wise vampire, and Moko, a very intriguing police detective. The vampires in this series are unusual and there isn't much information about them and their society, also in a lot of parts of the book I even forgot they were vampires.

All in all, this was an entertaining read with plenty of action, a creepy bad guy and a interesting main character.

Previous Books:
1. The Fixer
2. The Invoker
3. The Destructor
4. The Syndicate

Next Book:
6. The Ripper (Spring 2012)


02 February 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (35)

Title: Hard Bitten
Author: Chloe Neill
Series: Chicagoland Vampires #4
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: May 3, 2011
Publisher: NAL
Edition: Trade Paperback

Times are hard for newly minted vampire Merit. Ever since shapeshifters announced their presence to the world, humans have been rallying against supernaturals--and they're camping outside of Cadogan House with protest signs that could turn to pitchforks at any moment. Inside its doors, things between Merit and her Master, green-eyed heartbreaker Ethan Sullivan are ... tense. But then the mayor of Chicago calls Merit and Ethan to a clandestine meeting and tells them about a violent vamp attack that has left three women missing. His message is simple: get your House in order. Or else.

Merit needs to get to the bottom of this crime, but it doesn't help that she can't tell who's on her side. So she secretly calls in a favor from someone who's tall, dark, and part of underground vamp group that may have some deep intel on the attack. Merit soon finds herself in the heady, dark heart of Chicago's supernatural society--a world full of vampires who seem too ready to fulfill the protesting human's worst fears, and a place where she'll learn that you can't be a vampire without getting a little blood on your hands...