Wednesday, 29 January 2014

(ARC) Book Review (301): Maybe One Day - Melissa Kantor

Maybe One Day

Pages: 400
Genre: Contemporary
Age Appropriate: Young Adult
What an emotionally heartfelt and heartbreaking book this turned out to be,  full of so much emotion that the author has wrung out of this tragic story, as I was left ugly crying into the last few pages of this book.

I have a love/hate relationship with these kinds of book, I end up so devastated at the end that I feel like I've lost that person as well, and the tragedy of having someone so young be the one diagnosed with cancer is so extremely saddening (not that it's any less sadder if it's an older person, but they've at least got to live a little, when you're sixteen there's not really a whole lot in life yet that you've had the chance to get to do).

And always in books like this the heroine/ hero is left  lamenting the things that they'll never, ever get a chance to do with their lives, thats when the tears start and I end up a sobbing mess.

It also helps to have likeable characters, and you'll certainly find them in this story best-friends Zoe and Olivia, since they met when they were four they've been inseperable ever since, but after Olivia goes to the Doctor with flu-like symptoms and is diagnosed with cancer, we get to see the impact that this news will have on their friendship and their plans for the future.

I'm tearing up writing this review just thinking about this book, it's hard to put into words how much this story affected me emotionally , it really made an impact, and I won't be forgetting this book anytime soon.

I will definitely be keeping an eye out for other Melissa Kantor releases, her writing is beautifully done and she's a fantastic storyteller.

Highly recommended for any contemporary fan.

I give this 5/5 stars.

 I was born in New York City in 1970. And even though teachers never care about this, I'll give you my sign--Capricorn. 
When I was in seventh grade, I told people I was going to be a writer. Then in college I got interested in other things, and after I graduated I started teaching, which I love. But ideas for stories kept popping into my head. One was an image of two girls walking down Montague Street (that’s the main drag in Brooklyn Heights) during their lunch period. They were best friends, only one of the girls was cooler and prettier and more successful with boys than the other one. They were talking about a party they’d been invited to, trying to decide if they wanted to go or not. Finally I decided I had to know what happened to them. Those girls became Jan and Rebecca, and their story is Confessions of a Not It Girl.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

(ARC) Book Review (300): White Space (Dark Passages #1) - Ilsa J. Bick

White Space (Dark Passages #1)

Publication: 11th February 2014
Publisher: EgmontUSA
Pages: 560
Genre: Fantasy
Age Appropriate: Young Adult
In the tradition of Memento and Inception comes a thrilling and scary young adult novel about blurred reality where characters in a story find that a deadly and horrifying world exists in the space between the written lines.

Seventeen-year-old Emma Lindsay has problems: a head full of metal, no parents, a crazy artist for a guardian whom a stroke has turned into a vegetable, and all those times when she blinks away, dropping into other lives so ghostly and surreal it's as if the story of her life bleeds into theirs. But one thing Emma has never doubted is that she's real.

Then she writes "White Space," a story about these kids stranded in a spooky house during a blizzard.

Unfortunately, "White Space" turns out to be a dead ringer for part of an unfinished novel by a long-dead writer. The manuscript, which she's never seen, is a loopy Matrix meets Inkheart story in which characters fall out of different books and jump off the page. Thing is, when Emma blinks, she might be doing the same and, before long, she's dropped into the very story she thought she'd written. Trapped in a weird, snow-choked valley, Emma meets other kids with dark secrets and strange abilities: Eric, Casey, Bode, Rima, and a very special little girl, Lizzie. What they discover is that they--and Emma--may be nothing more than characters written into being from an alternative universe for a very specific purpose.

Now what they must uncover is why they've been brought to this place--a world between the lines where parallel realities are created and destroyed and nightmares are written--before someone pens their end.
My Thoughts.
White Space is the first book in Ilsa J. Bick's new Dark Passages series.

To say that this book and I didn't get along is an understatement, from the very first page I was confused, I felt like I was dropped right into the middle of a story and that everything had been explained already but I'd missed it, unfortunately the confusion only got worse as the book went on.

The end of each chapter with the unfinished sentences that at the start seemed like a novelty, soon became quite annoying, and while I did guess who Emma actually was very early on, the revelation came at the point where I was just reading to actually get the book finished so I could review it, and I didn't really care.

I made myself read the whole book, I don't like to not finish a book, sometimes I find that I don't like the start of a story but the ending redeems it, but I found I still couldn't figure out what really went on after I'd finished, I was left with way more questions than I had answers.

While the concept of this plot was what initially perked my interest I found that this book was too complex for me, unfortunately as much as I wanted to love it I won't be continuing on with this series.

I still hope to one day pick up Ilsa's Ashes trilogy some point in time, and that I'll like that series a whole lot more.

I give this 2/5 stars.

Among other things, I was an English major in college and so I know that I’m supposed to write things like,”Ilsa J. Bick is<fill in the blank>.” Except I hate writing about myself like I’m not in the room.
Helloooo, I’m right here … So let’s just say that I’m a child psychiatrist (yeah, you read that right) and an award-winning, best-selling author of short stories, ebooks and novels.
Believe me, no one is more shocked about this than I … unless you talk to my mother.

Saturday, 25 January 2014

(ARC) Book Review (299): The Lure - Lynne Ewing

The Lure

Publication: 11th February 2014
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Pages: 288
Genre: Contemporary
Age Appropriate: Young Adult
From the bestselling author of the Daughters of the Moon series comes a gritty, sexy novel about a teen who is forced to become a "lure"-a beautiful girl who is used to lure victims of gang violence.

Fifteen-year-old Blaise Montgomery lives in the gritty outskirts of Washington, DC, where a stray bullet can steal a life on the way to school. Drugs and violence are the only ways to survive, so Blaise and her friends turn to gangs for safety, money, and love. When Blaise is invited to join Core 9, one of the most infamous crews, she jumps at the chance. Though her best guy friends, Rico and Satch, warn her about the danger, she agrees to be beaten for a minute straight as part of the gang's initiation ritual.

Now Blaise is finally part of a crew. A family.

But things get only more dangerous when she becomes a member of Core 9 and tensions with a rival gang heat up. Trek, the head of Core 9, asks Blaise to be his "lure," the sexy bait he'll use to track down enemy gang members and exact revenge. Rico and Satch tell her it's a death sentence, but Blaise can't resist the money and unparalleled power. As Trek puts Blaise in increasingly dangerous situations, she begins to see that there's more to lose than she ever realized-including Satch, the one person who has the power to get under her skin. With death lurking around every corner, should Blaise continue to follow the only path she's ever known, or cut and run?
My Thoughts.
The Lure by Lynne Ewing is a contemporary book focusing on the initiation into and the life of belonging to a gang.

Gritty and raw told through the eyes of Blaise, raised in a neighbourhood where most people are poor and the only answer for most teenagers is to join a gang, in Blaise's case she is being raised by her sick grandmother, money is very tight and so like her childhood friends Satch and Rico she decides to join their gang Core 9.

Initial into the gang is to be beaten for 1 minute straight without fighting back, after successfully completing the beating Blaise feels like part of a family, but life in a gang is not as great as it appeared to be when she was on the outside looking in, but when Trek the leader of Core 9 tells her that she will be their lure (enticing opposing gang members, so that they let their guard down and subsequently get beaten up by Core 9 members) against her better judgement and without really being given a choice she accepts.

But reality comes crashing down when someone she lured comes after her and results in the death of an innocent bystander, that Blaise comes to realise that this may not be the life that she wants after all, getting out is a lot harder than getting in, and when Trek sets Blaise, Satch and Rico up and turns on them it will end fatally for one of them. and will shock the remaining two into realising that they've got to take the chance and get out while they can.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, the insight into what it takes to not only join a gang but belong to one as well had me very intrigued and in places shocked that this does actually happen.

A fast-paced, quick read that contemporary fans should devour.

I give this 4/5 stars.

Lynne Ewing is an American author and a screen writer.

She always had to move around a lot when she was growing up because her father was in the Marine Corps. She has two sisters. Lynne graduated from high school in Lima, Peru after attending seven other schools. While she was in Peru, she learned to speak Spanish. She attended the University of California at Santa Barbara. When she was 30 years old, she began writing for newspapers, documentaries, magazines, and did screen writing. She also counsels troubled teens. Her first books were Drive-By and Party Girl. Drive-By took six years to write, and Party Girl has been made into a movie called Living the Life. She has written the completed Daughters of the Moon and Sons of the Dark series. She lives in Los Angeles and Washington D.C.. Ms. Ewing has two children, Jonathan, a molecular biologist, and Amber, an international lawyer. She has also traveled to Japan, China, Russia, Europe, Malaysia, Singapore, Laos, Myanmar, and Thailand. She has begun a new series called Sisters of Isis.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

(ARC) Book Review (298): Burn For Me (Phoenix Fire #1) - Cynthia Eden

Burn For Me (Phoenix Fire #1)

Publication: 28th January 2014
Publisher: Kensington Brava
Pages: 368
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Age Appropriate: Adult
Under Fire

Eve Bradley was undercover looking for a story, not a cause. But something about the man they called Subject Thirteen got her involved. The scientists said he was a devil, and they had a decent case: Terrifying power. A bad attitude. And looks that could lead anyone to sin. . .

Cain O'Connor knows the minute he catches her candy scent that Eve could drive him wild. But she's a threat--in a way no one has been for him in years. She's safer away from him, too. But with a powerful conspiracy determined to shut Eve up for good, there's no time to argue. All they can do is trust their instincts--and their hearts. . .
My Thoughts.
Burn For Me is the first book in the new Phoenix Fire series by Cynthia Eden.

To say that I loved this book is an understatement, I devoured and adored this story and it's characters and I'm highly anticipating the next two books.

I've never read any of Cynthia's books before, and after finishing Burn For Me I will definitely have to remedy that, I knew as soon as I read the first page that I was going to fall in love with not just the story and characters but the writing as well.

The originally fresh concept of having a Phoenix as the male lead was genius, I love discovering something new in the paranormal genre, and the character of Cain (subject thirteen) was certainly unique and made for an interesting character storyline.

The plotline was exciting and suspenseful as our heroine Eve a reporter, goes undercover as a Doctor at Genesis Group, (a lab where paranormals are being tortured and experimented on, disguised as a genetics research lab), and that's where she meets Cain, after discovering the way that he and all the other paranormals are treated by Dr Wyatt who is in charge she sets out to help them escape, and in doing so may just find out the truth about who she is and why the Doctor is so interested in her.

I'm very intrigued to see what happens with the rest of the series, I look forward to the next book Once Bitten, Twice Burned which will feature vampire Ryder as the male lead and maybe fingers crossed Trace as the male lead in an upcoming book.

This series is a fantastic addition to the paranormal genre, one I will be following and reading along the way.

I give this 5/5 stars.

Award-winning author Cynthia Eden writes dark tales of paranormal romance and romantic suspense. She is aNew York Times, USA Today, Digital Book World, andIndieReader best-seller.  Cynthia is also a two-time finalist for the RITA® award (she was a finalist both in the romantic suspense category and in the paranormal romance category). Since she began writing full-time in 2005, Cynthia has written over thirty novels and novellas.
Cynthia is a “hybrid” author. She has published extensively with New York (her New York publishers include Kensington, Grand Central, and Harlequin), and she has also enjoyed success in her indie writing career.
Cynthia lives along the Alabama Gulf Coast. She loves romance novels, horror movies, and chocolate.  Her favorite hobbies including hiking in the mountains (searching for waterfalls) and spelunking.
You can find Cynthia chatting daily on Twitter or on her Facebook page.

Sunday, 19 January 2014

(ARC) Book Review (297): Arcadia Falls (Arkadien #3) - Kai Meyer

Arcadia Falls (Arkadien #3)

My Thoughts.
Arcadia Falls is the third and final book in the Arkadien trilogy by Kai Meyer.

What an epic and thrilling conclusion that will leave no questions unanswered, starting with a bang, digging it's claws into you so you can't put the book down until you reach the fantastic and perfect ending that will leave everyone satisfied.

I've thoroughly enjoyed each and every book in this series, getting better with each new instalment, and definitely and appropriately saving the best for last.

Full of twists and turns which I've come to expect from Kai's writing, there's never a dull moment which in a book consisting of 471 pages is a rarity and a very welcome surprise.

This book is full of amazingly written characterisations, and you need not look no further than our two leads: Rosa and Alessandro, two fully fleshed out characters that I've loved reading about, and have sadly had to say goodbye to in this series swan song.

Combining the Sicilian Mafia and the paranormal has worked a treat, especially having the two leaders of two opposing and long feuding families fall in love with each other, against the odds these two who through a long ago concordat are pretty much forbidden to be together, are now hunted by their own families.

For those of you that like forbidden romances, feuding families mixed up with paranormal aspects, then check these books out.

A great series that I plan on re-reading, highly recommended!

I give this 5/5 stars.

With millions of books sold worldwide, Kai Meyer is one of Germany's most successful authors. His novels have been translated into 27 languages including English, Spanish, French, Italian, Japanese, Russian and Chinese.

Kai Meyer was born in 1969 in northern Germany. He began college at the University of Bochum, Germany, where he studied film, theatre, and philosophy. After a year, he dropped out to work for a newspaper as a trainee journalist, followed by two years as a staff journalist.

Kai wrote his first novel in his early 20s, and it was published when he was just 24 years old. He has been a full-time novelist since 1995. To date, Kai has written nearly 50 books – some for adults, some for teenagers. Kai’s books are mostly historical with strong fantastical overtones. There are over 1.5 million Kai Meyer books in print in Germany, and he is quickly gaining popularity in other countries as well: THE WATER MIRROR went into its third US printing before it was even delivered to bookstores, and his young adult dark fantasy series SIEBEN SIEGEL is a substantial hit in Japan. The British edition of THE FLOWING QUEEN / THE WATER MIRROR won the 2007 Marsh Award for Best Children´s Book in Translation.

In 2007 his historical novel DAS GELÜBDE (The Vow) was turned into a movie by celebrated German director Dominik Graf. SIEBEN SIEGEL is set to be filmed in 2008, other books are optioned.

Kai has also written screenplays, two of which have been made into TV movies. He is the author of a hardcover comic book, PANDORAMICUM, and is one of the creators of the fantasy role-playing game ENGEL (US edition by White Wolf).

Kai Meyer lives in Westphalia near the Rhine in Germany.

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Series Spotlight: The Trust Me Trilogy: Trust Me? & Love Me? - KE Osborn

Trust Me?
The Trust Me? Trilogy
Book 1
KE Osborn

Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance

ISBN: 9780992333805

Number of pages: 283 pages
Word Count: approx 89,000

Book Description:

This book is for mature audiences 18+ It contains explicit language and sexual content.

Jenifer Taylor is content with her life, dull and boring as it is. Being absent from the dating scene means she doesn’t have to deal with the major trust issues she has with men that stem from a controlling and aggressive ex-boyfriend and an absentee father.  She’s happy being alone, sharing her life with her friends and family.

When Jeni starts a typical day in the big city of Mornington Vale, California, it turns from bad to worse when she’s involved in a chain collision on her way to work.
Her world changes forever that day because she meets Aiden O’Connell, the billionaire son of Alistair O’Connell, who owns Mornington Vale’s largest financial corporation. Aiden is an up-and-coming young businessman who's ready to take on the vice presidency of his father’s company. He is the good son, and it’s imperative to Alistair that Aiden succeed and follow in his footsteps. Life for Aiden involves working hard and not much else.

After the accident, however, Aiden’s world changes as well. He finds Jeni irresistible and instantly pursues her. With some coaxing, she eventually agrees to a date, and the attraction is mutual.

Jeni finds love quickly with Aiden, but trusting him is another issue.  When to trust is tested in many different ways but comes to a head when Aiden is investigated for a serious crime.  As her trust issues spark, she is forced to go through a journey of self-discovery.

She must decide once and for all whether she trusts the man she loves when she’s asked the ultimate question: “Do you trust me?”

This is book one in a series of three.  Book two "Love Me?" was released on November 18th, 2013.

Short Excerpt Trust Me?

I turn to face him; he puts his other arm around me. We are in the same position as before when the last kiss attempt failed. My arms are tight around his neck, his arms around my waist. I look down. He lifts up my chin so I’m lost in his gaze. His hand goes back to my waist. He swallows; I think he’s as nervous as I am. He tilts his head and leans in … I back away quickly.
“What’s wrong?” he asks, looking hurt.
“Oh, no, it’s not you. I think … I might have garlic breath.”
He laughs and pulls me back to him. “So do I.” He pulls me in tighter, and before I know what’s happening, his lips are on mine. I give in and surrender to him completely.
This feels like one of my fantasies, only way, way better. He holds me tight as one hand moves from my waist to caress my cheek, kissing me softly but sensually. My hands move to the back of his head, and I grab a lock of hair in each hand. He moves our bodies so that I’m against the railing at the edge of the deck. He moves his hand from my waist to hold the rail as I still grasp his hair. The kissing becomes feverishly passionate; his tongue against mine as they intertwine with each other. Our breathing becomes faster and erratic. Our kissing becomes more intimate. We are in perfect sync with each other. I pull him closer to me, our whole bodies touching. My heart is pounding fast and hard. His hand moves from my face to the back of my head, pulling me tight. He moves my hair from the side of my neck, breaks our kiss and kisses my neck slowly and seductively. I sigh and breathe in a stuttering motion. I open my eyes to see the waitress standing there, gawking at us. I stiffen as I see her. He pulls back and looks at me. With my eyes, I gesture toward the waitress. He turns, looks, and lets out a little huff. He leans in towards me.
“Now that’s a first kiss,” he whispers as he grabs my hand and leads me over to the table. I can’t help but smile.

Love Me?
The Trust Me? Trilogy
Book 2
KE Osborn

Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance

ISBN: 9780992333812

Number of pages: 271
Word Count:87,000

Book Description:

This book is for mature audiences 18+ It contains explicit language and sexual content.

In the first book of The Trust Me? Trilogy, Jeni Taylor finds the love of her life, but as the second book begins, she finds herself lost without Aiden O’Connell, who’s been wrongly convicted of embezzlement charges and incarcerated. She must find the strength within to help prove he’s innocent while dealing with other issues. Aiden’s father, Alistair, still taunts her, making life between Jeni and Aiden more difficult, and an unexpected visitor enters their lives, creating havoc and turning it upside down. Jeni’s trust issues return in a major way after an incident leaves her fragile and broken. Aiden and Jeni find themselves going through more trials and tribulations than ever before in this second installment of the Trust Me? Trilogy. In the end, Jeni will be asked the ultimate question: Do you still love me?

Short Excerpt Love Me?

       My nerves start to get the better of me, I start to feel nauseous; those darn pesky butterflies attack again. I’m not sure why I’m nervous, whether it’s the shoes making me unstable or whether it’s the memory of our first date, our first touch, or our first kiss that’s making me bashful.
       I turn the corner to see him standing there with a bunch of red roses, in the suit that he changed into earlier, this time with a baby pink tie on. Behind him is that gorgeous waterfall cascading down the cliff with the lush greenery surrounding us. As I take a step closer, I hear music playing. “Thank You for Loving Me” by Bon Jovi. It’s our song. I feel my eyes welling up as all the emotion and love I feel for this man is becoming too much to bear.
       His smile is beaming from ear to ear when I approach. Finally I reach him. He holds out his hand for me to take. I take it, and he pulls me into a tight embrace.
       “This is perfect,” I whisper.
       “Perfection for perfection, my love.” He kisses my cheek, and places the bouquet of flowers on the railing.

About the Author:

K E Osborn is the Adelaide based Author of the Trust me? Trilogy, a romance series with love, laughter and plenty of lust!

K E Osborn was born in September 1984 and raised in Adelaide South Australia. She had a love of writing throughout High School but went down a different path to Design instead. It wasn't until she had a vivid dream about a three car pileup that the characters of her first book came to life.

Aiden and Jeni are the amazing couple from the Trust me? Trilogy and they were born into the world through the imagination of K E Osborn in 2012.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Blog Tour & Book Review (296): Hollywood Angels - Karri Thompson

   Hollywood Angels
Title: Hollywood Angels (Amateur Angel #2)
Author: Karri Thompson
Genre: YA Paranormal

Ashley’s back – and this time, she’s no amateur. She has a new assignment, someone who’s thoughtful, loveable, and caring – someone unlike her last assignment—Cannon Michaels, rock-and-roll bad boy, her celebrity crush, and the boy she loves. But will her next stint on earth will be any easier than the last? Can she forget Cannon and continue her role as a responsible guardian angel? Someone has followed Ashley back to earth, and this person reminds her of who she used to be – an untrained angel full of sorrow and regret – but this someone is rash and unpredictable, lacking the patience and training needed to watch and wait and keep his assignment from harm. What will Ashley do when she meets this unexpected angel? Can she suppress her human emotions while teaching him how to love and protect his assignment? If he doesn’t cut it as an angel, will he be replaced by another, tearing Ashley away from her true love? Find out when Ashley falls back to earth and lands in a city full of surprises – Hollywood, California. Hollywood Angels is the sequel to Amateur Angel by Karri Thompson.
My Thoughts.
I really loved the first book, and was so excited to take part in this blog tour, I was really anxious to see what was going to happen next after the ending of the first book, unfortunately while I did like it, I didn't love it as I'd hoped to.

I found that Cannon whom was Ashley's first job/charge as a Guardian Angel in Amateur Angel and who I loved was just extremely annoying and whiny in this book and it got to the point where I hated every scene he was in which was mostly all of them.

I did enjoy reading about the new charge Brendan that Ashley was responsible for. including the brief appearances of fellow Guardian Angel Will (aka: William Shakespeare), and with the new Guardian Angel that Ashley is teaching who is the Angel for Brendan's twin brother Bradley, the storyline of two former child stars making a comeback with a movie, took us behind the scenes of movie sets and the goings on of filming a movie I found interesting.

It was a quick fast read and I recommend fans of the first book to pick this up.

I give this 3/5 stars.

When Cannon’s lips parted, sending his tongue to meet with mine, I thought I was going to faint. Without a beating heart, without a chest to heave with heavy breaths, my body tingled instead, sending wave after wave of sweet shivers throughout my entire being. His hands were warm against my back, the dewy skin of his face hot against mine when his lips left their mark to kiss my neck just below my ear. I tilted my head, sending a cascade of chestnut locks against my wings. “Ashley, you have no idea how much I want you right now – all of you.” Cannon’s voice was deeper than a whisper but soft, muffled against the inside collar of my robe. “I want you too, Cannon.” I said without the inconvenience or interruption of having to catch my breath between kisses. As our kissing continued, Cannon’s grip upon me became heavier and desperate. I pulled him closer in return, wanting him to press hard against me, giving in to our emotions. My wings were tight, aching against my back. Cannon’s wings were firm, pulsing as his muscles flexed.

AMATEUR ANGEL, was released on May 1, 2012.  The second book in the series,HOLLYWOOD ANGELS, followed on October 21, 2013, and a third book will eventually round out the series.

MIRROR X, the first book in my new trilogy, THE VAN WINKLE CHRONICLES, launches in 2014 with Entangled Publishing.

I grew up in San Diego County and attended San Diego State University, earning a bachelor's degree in English, a master's degree in education, and my teaching credential. I'm a high-school English teacher in the East County of San Diego where I also live with my husband, John, our son, and two dogs. Earning a Ph.D. in English and teaching at the college level are on my bucket list.

Being a lover of Victorian literature, my favorite author is Charles Dickens although I haven't quite finished reading all of his books. Someday I'll finally finish David Copperfield - I promise. If you are one of my students, you are either laughing or shaking your head at this.

In my free time, I like to jog, ski, and travel. After a recent trip with my family to Germany, I have plans for a new YA romance, and I'm hoping our upcoming 2014 trip to Ireland will also inspire another romance novel.

I lead a very busy life, but when I'm not teaching, grading papers, or attending my son's football games and tennis matches, I find time to write novels, my greatest passion.

Saturday, 11 January 2014

(ARC) Book Review (295):Cruel Beauty - Rosamund Hodge

Cruel Beauty

Publication: 28th January 2014
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Pages: 352
Genre: Fantasy
Age Appropriate: Young Adult
Graceling meets Beauty and the Beast in this sweeping fantasy about one girl's journey to fulfill her destiny and the monster who gets in her way-by stealing her heart.

Based on the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, Cruel Beauty is a dazzling love story about our deepest desires and their power to change our destiny.

Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom-all because of a foolish bargain struck by her father. And since birth, she has been in training to kill him.

With no choice but to fulfill her duty, Nyx resents her family for never trying to save her and hates herself for wanting to escape her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, Nyx abandons everything she's ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, destroy his enchanted castle, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.

But Ignifex is not at all what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiles her, and his castle-a shifting maze of magical rooms-enthralls her.

As Nyx searches for a way to free her homeland by uncovering Ignifex's secrets, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him. Even if she could bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him? With time running out, Nyx must decide what is more important: the future of her kingdom, or the man she was never supposed to love.
My Thoughts.
Cruel Beauty is a 2014 debut novel by Rosamund Hodge.

Described as Beauty And The Beast crossed with Graceling, this was one of my most highly anticipated books of the year, unfortunately it didn't quite hit the mark, maybe my expectations were too high I don't really know, it was still good, just not as good as I'd built it up in my head that it was going to be.

I have to start by saying that Beauty And The Beast is my all time favorite Disney movie, so anytime that there is a  book I find that's described as a retelling you can bet your ass that I'll be all over it, I think what had me disappointed in this book is that I got bored, it was too long and whenever I put the book down I wasn't ever in a rush to pick it back up again.

I didn't really find any of the characters that likeable, maybe Shade and that was about it, I find once you discover no redeeming qualities in the lead characters, you're not going to find it that enjoyable, that may have been another problem I had with this book too.

The concept was a great idea, that was another reason that I was initially drawn to to this book as well as the gorgeous cover, if the story had of been a lot shorter I'm sure I would have liked it a whole lot more.

I would still recommend this to fans of fantasy and fairy tale retellings, as this seems to be rating very well on Goodreads, unfortunately it wasn't really for me.

I give this 3/5 stars.

When my older brother was thirteen, he started a writing club with his friends and wouldn’t let me join because I was only eight. I promptly swore that I would become a writer and make him sorry.
He still isn’t sorry. (I checked.) But in 2014 I will publish my first novel with Balzer+Bray/HarperCollins, so I guess everything worked out okay.
Some other facts about me:
• I practice Shorinji Kempo, a Japanese martial art based on Shaolin Kung Fu.
• Cruel Beauty is my debut novel, but it is somewhere between the third and sixth that I ever completed, depending on how you count things. (There was the 40,000-word mess I called a novel when I was sixteen, and the 220,000-word mess I briefly pretended was a single novel in 2009.)
• NaNoWriMo changed my life and got me finishing novels again after a long hiatus. But Cruel Beauty is not a NaNoWriMo novel. (The NaNoWriMo project that changed everything was the 220,000-word mess. Someday I may even revise it.)
• I grew up as a homeschooler in Los Angeles, and I spent my childhood marinating in Greek mythology, which is where all the Greek elements in Cruel Beauty come from.
• Then I got a B.A. in English at the University of Dallas, and an M.St. in Medieval English at Oxford. Naturally, I moved to Seattle and got a job with computers.
• I have studied five languages (Spanish, French, Latin, Old Norse, and Japanese), though sadly I am still not able to speak any of them.
• I love some things more than T. S. Eliot’s poetry. But not many things.

Thursday, 9 January 2014

(ARC) Book Review (294): Wulfe Untamed (Feral Warriors #8) - Pamela Palmer

Wulfe Untamed (Feral Warriors #8)

Publication: 28th January 2014
Publisher: Avon
Pages: 384
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Age Appropriate: Adult
Buy It: Amazon+Barnes & Noble+The Book Depository
They are called Feral Warriors—an elite band of immortals who can change shape at will. Sworn to rid the world of evil, consumed by sorcery and seduction, their wild natures are primed for release...

The most enigmatic and tortured of the Feral Warriors, Wulfe is haunted by the quiet beauty of a human woman who no longer remembers him. Once a captive of both the Mage and the Ferals, Natalie stole a piece of his heart before he took her memories and sent her safely back to her fiancé. But now the Mage are threatening her again, and Wulfe will risk anything to protect her.

Natalie Cash is stunned when she's saved by a wolf who shifts suddenly into a splendidly built, if badly scarred, man, a man with the kindest eyes. Swept into a world of intrigue and danger beyond her comprehension, she turns to the powerful Wulfe, finding a passion she'd only dreamed of. But when time runs out, they must trust one another and surrender to a wild, untamed love.
My Thoughts.
Wulfe Untamed is the eighth and final book in the Feral Warriors series by Pamela Palmer.

Unfortunately this series is coming to a close, and while I've heard that there will be a spin-off of sorts it's still sad to say goodbye to these characters that I've grown to love.

Palmer has saved the best for last, an intense, action packed, suspense filled story that is a perfect finale to this fantastic series, that just got better with each and every instalment.

I've been highly anticipating Wulfe's story, and I'm happy to say that I was not left disappointed, I had a feeling when Natalie first appeared in this series that she would end up becoming Wulfe's mate, the chemistry was there right from the start, and she was attracted to him scars and all.

The warriors make their final stand against Inir and Satanan, as the warriors try to gain back their immortality and reclaim the animal spirits that have been tainted by evil and restore them to the future feral warriors and to stop Satanan's escape from the Daemon Blade.

I really enjoyed the epilogue at the end of the book, it gave us an insight into the future and I liked what I read, it was a really nice touch.

For fans of paranormal romances featuring shifters, especially series length then these are the books for you, I highly recommend you pick these books up.

A wonderful end to an incredibly entertaining series.

I give this 5/5 stars.

Pamela Palmer is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Feral Warriors shape-shifter series, the Esri Series, and (coming in 2012) the Vamp City series. Raised in an Air Force family, Pamela lived in eleven different houses by the time she was fourteen. The two constants in her life—her family and her imagination. When her initial career goal of captaining starships didn't pan out, she turned to engineering, satisfying her desire for adventure with books and daydreams until finally succumbing to the need to create worlds of her own. Pamela now calls the suburbs of Washington, D.C. home.