Sunday, April 27, 2014

Review: Courier by Terry Irving

Summary
"This is a goddamn big story. It'll make those jerks at the Post look like idiots and Watergate look like a cop taking an apple off a fruit stand."

It's 1972. The Watergate scandal has Washington on edge and Putnam, a Vietnam veteran and courier for one of the capital's leading television stations, is trying to get his life back together after his nightmarish ordeal in the war. Racing at breakneck speed through the streets of the capital, he not only intends to be the best courier in the business, he also intends to escape the demons that haunt him. But when Rick picks up film from a news crew interviewing a government worker with a hot story, his life begins to unravel as everyone involved in the story dies within hours of the interview and Rick realizes he is the next target.

Enlisting the aid of friends who have discovered a way to hack into the government's computer databases, and a beautiful young Indian Rights activist, Eva Buffalo Calf, Rick races full throttle through the streets of the nation's capital to stay ahead of his pursuers as he searches for answers. When he discovers the killings have been orchestrated by a rogue CIA agent and his team of assassins, Rick isn't surprised when his road to the truth leads directly to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.



Rating


 
Review
It was pretty interesting diving into Courier. I was born in 1980 so I thought that what I was feeling while reading was equal to what Marty McFly would have gone through when he jumped into the DeLorean with Doc Brown. (That was a Back to the Future reference in case you didn't have a fulfilling childhood and have never seen that movie.) Anyhow ... I had no idea that this was how couriers actually operated back then.

Courier gave me what I'm assuming is a fairly accurate accounting of what is going on in D.C. as the whole Watergate scandal explodes into a fiery disaster. I've heard my parents talk about Watergate but I've never done any real reading up on the subject ... since reading Courier, I have actually spent a couple of hours looking stuff up because now I'm super interested.

Courier moves at a pretty fast speed and keeps the reader fully engaged and on the edge of their seat. Now, I've never ridden a motorcycle and I think that people who have will find those parts a little more interesting. I did find myself skimming the parts where it talked about clutches and popping whatever it is that you pop when you drive a stick ... I have no idea how to drive a manual transmission ... so these parts were pretty much written in Chinese for me.

The writing was stellar throughout the entire book. Irving is such an amazing author that I could practically feel the wind blowing through my hair as the main character, Rick Putnam, raced up and down back alleys and busy streets. I'm betting it is spot on considering Terry Irving was a courier in this same historical time-frame. Man, I can only imagine the stories that he has to tell ... come to think of it ... was this one of his stories? How much of this is actually fictional ...

While the book did slow down a little for me about a third of the way through, it picked right back up and I was able to gain back my momentum. All in all, this is a pretty entertaining book and I'm hoping that Irving will have a memoir or something either coming out (or maybe it's already on shelves?) because I know that he must have some awesome stories to tell and I would love to hear them. 



Find Courier here:
About the Author
Author and long-time journalist Terry Irving moved to Washington D.C. in 1973 to kick around for a few weeks and never looked back.

In the nation’s capital, Irving started out riding a classic BMW R60/2 for ABC News during Watergate. Carrying that news film was the beginning of a 40-year career that has included producing Emmy Award-winning television news, writing everything from magazine articles to standup comedy and developing early forms of online media. He has traveled and worked in all 50 states plus parts of Europe, Africa and Asia.

Irving is the winner of four National Emmy Awards, multiple Peabody, DuPont and Telly awards, plus an honor at the Columbus Film Festival. He has produced stories around the world from the fall of the Berlin Wall to Tiananmen Square. He worked as a senior live control room producer at CNN, Fox, ABC and MSNBC. He wrote and edited copy for some of the top anchors and journalists in television news including Ted Koppel, Diane Sawyer, Wolf Blitzer, and Aaron Brown.

Irving is an active member of the International Thriller Writers and the Mystery Writers of America, and serves as a board member of the Foundation for Moral Courage.

Irving is the author of the on-going memoir “On the Road” and the self-help book “The Unemployed Guy’s Guide to Unemployment,” both published in 2012 by Rock Creek Consulting LLC. His debut novel “Courier” releases May 1, 2014 from Exhibit A Books, the crime fiction imprint of Angry Robot Books. It’s the first of several books planned for The Freelancer Series.

Irving and his wife live just outside Washington D.C. because their dog simply refuses to live anywhere else.
Contact Terry Irving here:



Saturday, April 26, 2014

Review: Untraceable (The Nature of Grace #1) by S.R. Johannes


Summary
16-year-old Grace has lived in the Smokies all her life, patrolling with her forest ranger father who taught her about wildlife, tracking, and wilderness survival.

When her dad goes missing on a routine patrol, Grace refuses to believe he’s dead and fights the town authorities, tribal officials, and nature to find him.

One day, while out tracking clues, Grace is rescued from danger by Mo, a hot guy with an intoxicating accent and a secret. As her feelings between him and her ex-boyfriend get muddled, Grace travels deep into the wilderness to escape and find her father.

Along the way, Grace learns terrible secrets that sever relationships and lives. Soon she’s enmeshed in a web of conspiracy, deception, and murder. And it’s going to take a lot more than a compass and a motorcycle (named Lucifer) for this kick-butting heroine to save everything she loves.



Rating
★★★



Review
Oh, Untraceable. How I wish I loved this book. The blurb was really interesting when I read it a couple of months ago and agreed to review this novel. But I didn't read the blurb before I picked it up and started reading. That was a big problem. I think that subconsciously, I do this on purpose (not reading the blurb before I start reading). I like picking a book up, not knowing ANYTHING about what is going on and being pleasantly surprised by everything going on. Most of the time, this works out ... I don't have any preconceived thoughts or opinions about what is going on. But this time it backfired ... dude, I'm telling you ... I had NO CLUE as to how old the main character, Grace, was. In the very beginning, I thought that she was a teenager but then the further I got into Untraceable, I really started to think she was in her 20's. At one point, I even flipped back to the cover to see if it could give me a hint and the picture of the chick on the cover looks like she is in her 20's as well. Yes, I could have just read the blurb but I wouldn't let myself and for all I know, her age could have been disclosed in the first paragraph but I somehow missed it and I didn't go back to check. 

I guess what I'm getting at is that it didn't read like a teenagers thoughts ... it was oddly a mix of both. To be honest, I really didn't even like the main character. Hey, not liking a character isn't necessarily a bad thing - sometimes that's the intention. But I don't think that it was this time. Another piece of honesty ... this main character was a little shit. She had nothing but snarky and rude comments for her mother and pretty much everyone around her and that really bothered me. Now, I have been lucky enough to not have lost one of my parents. Maybe this was a coping mechanism but all of the hatred just felt completely unnecessary. It really turned me off early on. 

All of that being said, there were a few unexpected twists and turns that I enjoyed quite a bit and that kept me reading to the end of the book. Thank goodness that they happened because if the inner monologue that was going on in the beginning was how the rest of the book was written, I would have put this one down long ago. 

I know that this review sounds super negative but I did like Untraceable. I'd be interested to see what happens in the next installment because it seemed like everything was closed up pretty tightly barring one thing and I kinda want to know how that would play out in another novel. 



Find Untraceable here:


Friday, April 25, 2014

Review: Face Time by SJ Pajonas

Face Time banner

Today is my stop during the Lola's Blog Tours book blitz for Face Time (Love in the Digital Age #1) by SJ Pajonas. This blitz takes place on April 25th, 28th and 30th. You can view the entire schedule here.

Face Time


Face Time (Love in the Digital Age #1)
By SJ Pajonas
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age category: Adult
Release Date: April 25, 2014

Blurb
After the best first date ever, Lee thought Laura was funny, intelligent, and impulsive; a whirlwind of bright laughter and happiness. Laura loved Lee's sweet smile and the way he expertly filled in every awkward pause. He held her hand and then pulled her in for the most perfect kiss she’s had in years. What could possibly be wrong? Just the 7000 miles that separates them the next day.

Even though Lee has gone home to Seoul, Laura can't stop thinking about him. What starts as an innocent text thanking him for their dinner date becomes something much more: someone either of them can't live without. But Laura's got a live-in mother going through a midlife crisis, and Lee's stressful traveling schedule means they'll be apart for some time. Life, family, and a complicated past also get in the way, and they're both going to need actual face time to figure it out.

Told from both Lee and Laura’s point of view, FACE TIME is a funny, romantic, modern-day story about two people who connect across the world.


Rating
 ★★★


Review
I was oddly excited about picking this book up. When it comes to romance novels, I usually stick to one of two categories ... either historical romance (LOVE this genre) or romantic suspense. I can't actually think of the last time I read a straight romance novel so when I read the blurb for this one, it sounded pretty interesting and I was sold!

Right from the beginning, I really enjoyed the sass from the main character, Laura. I thought that her character was realistic and super personable. She sounds like the modern woman which is what I'm assuming the author was going for. Pajonas hit that one out of the park.

One thing that I just couldn't connect with at first was when they were talking about Face Time ... not the title of this book ... but the ... app? Is it an app? I'm assuming it has to do with the iPhone because I've never heard of Face Time and I don't use an iPhone ... so I figured that's where it came from. I just didn't know what it was, hell ... I don't know what I thought the title of this book meant ... anyhow. Then there are these emoji (is that what they are?!?) ... the little symbols made into pictures ... dear, Lord. I feel really old as of right this minute and I'm only in my early 30's! Now, these issues won't apply to the majority of readers out there because they are more connected with modern ... stuff.

This book takes place in NYC which is cool but I've only been there once and it was when I was catching a flight to Italy ... maybe the airport doesn't count as being to NYC. Okay, I'm pretty sure it doesn't count. But anyway, what I was trying to say is that there were a lot of references to restaurants and streets ... things that just won't make sense to someone who hasn't been there in some capacity. It made the book lag a bit anytime the street or restaurant descriptions came up. 

Lastly, this is one of those novels that flip-flops the POV. I don't mind the flip-flops, it can actually add a lot to a story line. But this time, I found it to be a little distracting because it was hard to differentiate between Lee and Laura when these switches happened. Now, maybe this is because Lee and Laura were really that alike and this does happen but I think it may have read a little better if I had been able to distinguish between the two. It is just hard to not lose the magic of the switching POV when you can't remember which character's head you're in.

All in all, this is a well written novel and it was amusing. It's a light read that you should pick up and take with you on vacation to read poolside this summer.


You can find Face Time here:
Goodreads

Want to know more about Face Time?
You can listen to the Face Time playlist
Visit the Face Time visual inspiration Pinterest board
View a teaser trailer for Face Time from Laura’s point of view:


About the Author
S. J. Pajonas loves all things Asian and has been in love with Japan and the East for as long as she can remember. Writing about Asia and Japan came naturally after studying the culture and language for over fifteen years. She studied film and screenwriting first and eventually segued into fiction once she was no longer working a full-time job.

Face Time is the first novel in the Love in the Digital Age series, and Pajonas’s first foray into Korean culture and families. Along with Removed and Released in the Nogiku Series, she continues to take the cultures of Asia and weave them into stories that appeal to people from around the world. Her writing is described as unique and unpredictable. Expect the unexpected.

Stephanie lives with her husband and two children just outside of New York City. She loves reading, writing, film, J- and K-dramas, knitting, and astrology. Her favorite author is Haruki Murakami and favorite book is The Wind-up Bird Chronicle.

You can find and contact her here:



Giveaway
Grand Prize: $10 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card and an ebook copy of The Kimchi Chronicles.
First Prize: $10 Amazon GC or $10 Nook Card

For a chance to win, you can enter the giveaway here:

Cover Reveal & Giveaway: Shadows Fall Away by Kit Forbes


Welcome to the Cover Reveal for

Shadows Fall Away by Kit Forbes

presented by Month9Books!
Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

Shadows Fall Away 

1600x2400

Mark Stewart is one incident away from becoming a juvenile delinquent, and his parents have had enough. They ship Mark off to London England to stay with his eccentric aunt Agatha who is obsessed with all things Jack the Ripper. After a strange twist of luck, Mark is struck by lightning, and he wakes to find himself in 1888 Victorian London.
His interest in a string of murders Scotland Yard has yet to solve make him a likely suspect. After all, why would a young boy like Mark know so much about the murders? Could he be the ripper they've been searching for? Convinced the only way to get back home is to solve the murders, Mark dives headfirst into uncovering the truth.
Mark's only distraction comes in the form of the beautiful Genie Trembly, a girl who is totally out of his league and who may have already caught the attention of the infamous ripper. To save her, he'll endanger both their lives, and risk being trapped in the past forever.

add to goodreads

Title: SHADOWS FALL AWAY
Publication date: September 23, 2014
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
Author: Kit Forbes



Kit Forbes has been a lover of books, history, and all things paranormal for as long as she can remember. She lives in Western Pennsylvania with her youngest daughter and an assortment of cats who give new meaning to the world bizarre.
Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads




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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Review: Pretty Reckless (Deputy Laney Briggs #1) by Jodi Linton


RATING
 ★★★★☆



SUMMARY
Welcome to Pistol Rock, Texas where everyone knows secrets last about as long as the sporadic west Texas rain showers.

Laney Briggs has long been considered reckless by the denizens of her hometown, but she’s finally turned it all around—she’s happily engaged to the local veterinarian and she’s become a Pistol Rock deputy sheriff. Everything’s fine and dandy—until a dead body turns up and her ex, Texas Ranger Gunner Wilson, decides to stick his boots into the town’s first murder case.   Of course, the troublesome cowboy’s rugged good looks and T-shirt-straining muscles are already leaving Laney knee-deep in hot water, but she’ll be damned if she lets Gunner trample all over her turf. She’s decided that, instead of conflict, she wants a contented, steady life with her vet—a life in which Gunner Wilson and his seemingly endless ability to undermine her resolve and her libido plays no part. Still, it’s hard to keep her head as forbidden sparks ignite and suspicions arise between old rivals and old flames. And when the bodies start to pile up, Laney has to ask the lethal bad boy for a hand—and a truce in exchange for his help. But after uncovering the pack of lies surrounding not only her job but her heart…  Having an ex-boyfriend as an ally might not be the best idea, but it’s certainly the most reckless, and Laney has always been pretty reckless…  



REVIEW
When I was asked to review this novel I just couldn't wait to dive in. The whole cowboy or western thing isn't usually my cup of tea but I decided to go outside of my reading comfort zone this time. And for good reason! Did you read that summary?!? Yeah ... you and I both know that you want to know more about Gunner Wilson. Sweet baby Jesus. I'm telling you ... you want to know more about Gunner Wilson. 

This is the first novel that I've read by Jodi Linton and it probably won't be the last. It was really well written ... I didn't find any boring sections, nothing long winded or anything like that. I also really liked how established the story was ... you know those kinds ... there's no warming up period, just first paragraph and BOOM! already some action going on. 

That being said ... I also felt a bit overwhelmed in the beginning. There were so many characters to learn and they all played a vital part in the story. I did find myself having a hard time at first keeping up with everyone. Now, that goes away once you're fully into the story but it was a bit much at first. 

I've read ... hundreds of books. I don't even know how many. Tons. A crap ton. That's more than a ton, right? Well ... because of that, I can sometimes pick out the ending to novels and movies. Strike that. Not sometimes ... most of the time. And unfortunately, that was the case with Pretty Reckless. Oh, I hoped that I was wrong during the whole novel but in the end, I wasn't. But I will say this ... I may have known the outcome of the novel but the ride to get there was pretty awesome. I'll definitely read another one by Linton in the future and I'm kinda excited to see what happens in the next installment. 



Find Pretty Reckless here:

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Cover Reveal: Tempting the Bodyguard by Jennifer L. Armentrout

TEMPTING THE BODYGUARD

will be released on May 12, 2014.


TEMPTING THE BODYGUARD OFFICIAL BLURB:

A sexy category romance from Entangled’s Brazen imprint…
He can protect her from everyone except himself.


Alana Gore is in danger. A take-no-prisoners publicist, her way with people has made her more than a few enemies over the years, but a creepy stalker is an entirely different matter. She needs a bodyguard, and the only man she can ask is not only ridiculously hot, but reputed to have taste for women that goes beyond adventurous.


Chandler Gamble has one rule: don't protect anyone you want to screw. But with Alana, he's caught between his job and his increasingly hard libido. On one hand, Alana needs his help. On the other, Chandler wants nothing more than to take the hot volcano of a woman in hand. To make her writhe in pleasure, until she's at his complete mercy.


She needs protection. He needs satisfaction. And the moment the line is crossed, all hell will break loose…






# 1 NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY Bestselling author Jennifer Armentrout lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell, Loki.

Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen.

She also writes adult and New Adult romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.


Where You Can Find Jennifer:


Monday, April 21, 2014

New Release: Waltz Back to Texas by M. J. Fredrick



Waltz Back to Texas (Lost in a Boom Town)
Author: M. J. Fredrick
Publication Date: April 21, 2014
Pages: 200
Genre: Contemporary Romance
http://amzn.com/

B00IZODKWS


Don't forget to head to the bottom of the post for the giveaway!


BLURB:
Welcome to Evansville, a sleepy Texas town on the verge of a boom.

After growing up in a dying town, with only two restaurants, no movie theater, and no future, waitress Cassidy Simon wants out. For once, luck is on her side when the oil boom comes to South Texas. She’s determined to use it for her advantage, starting up an RV park for the oilfield workers to add to her escape fund. She’s never been out of Texas, and she’s itching for adventure.

Grady McKenna couldn’t get away from his family’s ranch fast enough when he was a teenager, but a tour in the Air Force in the Middle East is enough to convince him there’s no place like home. He’s seen the world, had his adventure. Now he’s ready to contribute to his family’s legacy in Evansville.

Naturally, the woman who draws his attention is the one intent on slipping through his fingers. How can he convince her life with him will be all the adventure she needs?



EXCERPT:
Cassidy. That was her name. He watched her move among the tables, her shoulders tight, and she looked over her shoulder. Shit. He could see by the look on her face that she knew they were talking about her, and the resignation in her eyes told him she was used to it. He shoved an onion ring in his sister’s mouth and shook his head to shut her up.

Sage rolled her eyes and held onto the onion ring as she took a vicious bite out of it. “It’s not like she doesn’t know.”

“Yeah, but—” He shook his head. He didn’t want to talk about her, not when she was in the room, not behind her back. And he would prefer finding out her secrets on her own.

Sage pointed at him with the bitten edge of her onion ring. “She’s a disaster. If you want a nice girl, I can introduce you around.”

“I don’t need my sister to introduce me to women. Especially a woman who admittedly has no life.”

She shrugged, finished the onion ring, then plucked another from the basket. “I’ve got cute friends.”

Cassidy was plenty cute, in those jean shorts, those long legs.

“Thought you didn’t have time for friends.”

The grimace was quick, but he didn’t miss it, and he wondered what had her so shut down.




AUTHOR BIO:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
MJ Fredrick knows about chasing dreams. Twelve years after she completed her first novel, she signed her first publishing contract. Now she divides her days between teaching elementary music, and diving into her own writing--traveling everywhere in her mind, from Belize to Honduras to Africa to the past.

She's a four-time Golden Heart Award finalist, and she won the 2009 Eppie Award with Hot Shot and the 2010 Eppie with Breaking Daylight.







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Friday, April 18, 2014

Cover Reveal & Giveaway: The Night House by Rachel Tafoya

Welcome to the Cover Reveal for

The Night House by Rachel Tafoya

presented by Month9Books!

Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

TNH_Final
Bianca St. Germain works at a Night House, a place where vampires like the aristocratic Jeremiah Archer, pay to feed on humans, and she doesn’t much care what others think of her. The money is good, and at least there, she’s safe. Bianca also doesn’t care that the Night House is killing her. All she cares about is: nauth, the highly addictive poison in vampire bites that brings a euphoria like no drug ever could.
But when Bianca meets James, a reclusive empath who feels everything she does, for the first time, she considers a life outside of the Night House and a someone worth living for. But Jeremiah has decided to keep Bianca for himself; he won’t allow her to walk away.
As she allows her feelings for James to grow, she struggles to contain nauth's strong hold on her life. If they are to have a future, James must make her see what she's worth, what she means to him, before Jeremiah and nauth claim her for good.
add to goodreads 
Title: THE NIGHT HOUSE
Publication date: December 9, 2014
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
Author: Rachel Tafoya

Chapter-by-Chapter-header---About-the-Author
Rachel TafoyaRachel Tafoya studied creative writing while at Solebury School and was published in their student run literary magazine, SLAM. She attended a writing program for teens at both Susquehanna University and Denison University, and the Experimental Writing for Teens class and Novels for Young Writers program, both run by NY Times bestselling author, Jonathan Maberry. Rachel is the daughter crime author Dennis Tafoya.
Connect with the Author: Tumbler | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


Chapter-by-Chapter-header---Giveaway
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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Review: More (More #1) by T.M. Franklin


RATING
★★★★☆ 



SUMMARY
Ava Michaels used to think she was special.

As a child, she fantasized about having magical powers . . . making things happen. But Ava grew up and eventually accepted the fact that her childish dreams were just that, and maybe a normal life wasn't so bad after all.

Now a young college student, Ava meets Caleb Foster, a brilliant and mysterious man who’s supposed to help her pass Physics, but in reality has another mission in mind. What he shows Ava challenges her view of the world, shaking it to its very core.

Because Caleb isn't quite what he seems. In fact, he's not entirely human, and he's not the only one.

Together, the duo faces a threat from an ancient race bound to protect humans, but only after protecting their own secrets—secrets they fear Ava may expose. Fighting to survive, Ava soon learns she's not actually normal . . . she's not even just special.

She's a little bit more.



REVIEW
Unfortunately, I've had this book sitting on my Kindle for almost a year. Almost a year. Well, that was a huge mistake on my part. If I had known what magic was hidden within those pages ... man. I should have read this long ago. You know, this is my first novel from Franklin. She was pretty unknown to me before picking this novel up but I'm really excited to see what is in store for the future of this series. 

More does start off a little slow ... at first, I was thinking that it might take me forever to get through the book but after you get a couple of chapters in, it's REALLY engaging. There were bunches of unexpected twists and surprises. The book had a super nice flow to it after the first shaky section and I didn't find any more slow spots. It actually starts to move at almost a break-neck speed and it pulls you along with it. 

I will definitely be looking into some more novels by this author and the likelihood that I'll read this one again is extremely high. This is one that I'll be adding to my must read list for my friends and family. 



FIND MORE HERE


 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Review: Almost Royalty by Courtney Hamilton

Summary
Courtney Hamilton is a Velveeta-loving attorney driven to distraction by a city that seethes with soul-sucking status seekers. When her friend Marcie formulates an impossibly detailed rating system for acceptable men--the Los Angeles Eco-Chain of Dating--Courtney goes on a self-destructive binge that doesn’t stop until she gets thrown out of group therapy for insulting a former child actress.

Courtney is mortified as she watches her best friends give up stellar careers in law and the arts to marry entertainment royalty and civilian overachievers. Worse, they expect Courtney to do the same. So they hatch plots to get her to give up her career, break her addiction to fake cheese, marry into high-orbit wealth and rule the stratosphere alongside them.

But Courtney resists. She doesn’t want to be a poster child for the Opt-Out Generation. And she certainly doesn’t want to be molded into date bait for the top rung of L.A. society. All Courtney wants is to be left alone so she can search beneath the surface for a meaningful life. But between a meddling, narcissistic mother, a self-absorbed therapist and friends trying to send her to dating re-education camps, it seems that fake cheese is the only genuine thing left in the city. Social ambition combats self-actualization in this biting tale of one woman’s search for certainty in a city full of mirages.



Rating & Review
I'm sure you can tell by my one star rating that this one really missed the mark for me. This is not a book that was made for me ... or anyone that likes having money, for that matter. I know that sounds really weird ... who doesn't like money?!? Or at least who doesn't like what money can buy ... like food and stuff. From the very first page, I got this distinct feeling that the main character in the book hated money. Or the author hates money. Someone (either within the pages or outside of them) HATES money. Now, was this written? No, it was just the feeling I got just from reading. 

I just felt a lot of hatred from this one ... the character hates her friends, her fiance, her chosen career and basically herself. She just seems really bitter and although the pages really go out of their way to say that the main character isn't jealous but every other sentence is just laced with an underlying hatred of pretty much everyone and everything around her. 

Maybe Almost Royalty isn't subliminally about hating money. Maybe it's intended to be wittily sarcastic or darkly funny. Maybe I just read the book wrong. When I got about halfway through the book, I went back to the beginning and reread the first chapter. I was just hoping that I would get a different feeling or something would click and make the rest of the novel slide into the fun chick lit genre that I had initially categorized it. Unfortunately, that click never happened. If anything, my rereading the beginning just kind of cemented my initial take. 

Now, this is just my opinion. Take it with a grain of salt. This novel is wildly popular on Goodreads right now and I'm hoping that is how it stays. I'd rather be in the minority with my negative reviews than be surrounded by a bunch of other party-poopers, like myself. 



Find Almost Royalty here:

 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Review: Dark Surrender by Erica Ridley


Summary
TRAPPED IN DARKNESS . . .

Violet Whitechapel committed an unspeakable crime to save a child. To escape the hangman’s noose, she takes refuge in a crumbling abbey with secrets darker than her own. When its master offers her a temporary post, Violet cannot say no. Just as she begins to see him in a new light, her past catches up to her and endangers them all.

THEIR PASSION BURNS BRIGHT . . .

Alistair Waldegrave keeps his daughter imprisoned in the black heart of his Gothic abbey. As he searches for a cure to the disease the villagers call demonic, his new governess brings much needed light into their lives. But how can the passion between them survive the darkness encroaching from outside their sheltered walls?




Rating & Review

 
This is the first novel that I've read from Erica Ridley and I will probably read another one by her sometime in the near future. Dark Surrender was pretty intriguing right from the get-go. I can't really think of many historical romance novels that start off with a couple of deplorable crimes and can actually carry it off but this one does. And due to those crimes, right away, I became really attached to Violet.
 
I got a distinct Beauty & the Beast feeling immediately from this and I would be lying if I didn't say that I had some pretty distinct visions of Belle twirling in her yellow dress in the middle of an amazing library. The author must have been channeling some Disney because I wasn't disappointed ... there was an awesome library hidden within the pages of Dark Surrender. If I had stopped reading right there, I would have given this book 5 stars ... I love a good library! But unfortunately, I didn't stop reading right there. 

About a fifth of the way through the book, I got really confused ... wondering if I had somehow misread the previous chapters. I didn't know if I had found myself in the middle of a vampire novel or what. I'll cut to the chase and tell you right now that this isn't about vampires so don't go hoping for a sparkly dude, you'll be disappointed! 

As a whole, this book was pretty good even if it was fairly predictable. Sometimes you just need a good read that doesn't make you ponder or delve deep into anything series ... sometimes you just want something entertaining and that is what this is. It would be a good poolside read for this coming summer.



Find Dark Surrender here:


Friday, April 11, 2014

Cover Reveal & Giveaway: Call Me Grim by Elizabeth Holloway

Welcome to the Cover Reveal for

Call Me Grim by Elizabeth Holloway

presented by Month9Books!

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Call Me Grim
The truck should have turned Libbi Piper into a Libbi Pancake -- and it would have, too, if Aaron hadn't shown up and saved her life. The problem? Aaron's the local Grim Reaper... and he only saved Libbi's life because he needs someone to take over his job. Now, Libbi has two days to choose between dying like she was supposed to, or living a lonely life as Death Incarnate. Talk about a rock and a hard place.
And the choice goes from hard to sucktastic when her best friend shows up marked: condemned as a future murderer. Libbi could have an extra week to stop the murder and fix the mark... but only if she accepts Aaron's job as Reaper, trapping herself in her crappy town forever, invisible and inaudible to everyone except the newly dead. But, if she refuses? Her best friend is headed straight for Hell.
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Title: CALL ME GRIM
Publication date: November 11, 2014
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
Author: Elizabeth Holloway


Chapter-by-Chapter-header---About-the-Author
Elizabeth Holloway
Elizabeth Holloway is a registered nurse living in Southern Pennsylvania with her two teen children, Bam-bam the dog, and Tinkerbell the cat. CALL ME GRIM is her first novel.

Connect with the Author:  Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Chapter-by-Chapter-header---Giveaway
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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Review: Deadly Curiosities (Deadly Curiosities #1) by Gail Z. Martin


 Summary
Cassidy Kincaide owns Trifles & Folly, an antique/curio store and high-end pawn shop in Charleston, South Carolina that is more than what it seems. Dangerous magical and supernatural items sometimes find their way into mortal hands or onto the market, and Cassidy is part of a shadowy Alliance of mortals and mages whose job it is to take those deadly curiosities out of circulation.

Welcome to Trifles & Folly, an antique and curio shop with a dark secret. Proprietor Cassidy Kincaide continues a family tradition begun in 1670—acquiring and neutralizing dangerous supernatural items. It’s the perfect job for Cassidy, whose psychic gift lets her touch an object and know its history. Together with her business partner Sorren, a 500 year-old vampire and former jewel thief, Cassidy makes it her business to get infernal objects off the market. When mundane antiques suddenly become magically malicious, it’s time for Cassidy and Sorren to get rid of these Deadly Curiosities before the bodies start piling up.



Rating & Review
I was really intrigued while reading the description for this one. What a cool idea for a book! There are tons of books out right now that have some sort of magical spin to them but this one was a bit different from the rest.

Unfortunately, it just didn't work for me. Not that the book was bad, it just lacked the finesse that I had thought it would have. I found myself getting a bit bored. That became an issue because the things that were happening, should have really made me want to tear through this book. 

I think maybe that it just started off on the wrong foot for me with some acronyms in the beginning. Now, this is just an irritant for me. The rating I gave the book didn't have anything to do with the acronyms but since I did write it down in my notes, I thought I would bring it up.  I just don't like weird acronyms because I think it's a waste of perfectly good writing space. Let's say you put an unknown acronym in your book. You have to write that acronym and then explain it... And then I'll probably have a horrible time trying to remember this weird acronym and I'll have to keep looking in previous text for it just so I can remind myself. And THEN, I'm going to waste a crap-ton of blog space just explaining why I can't stand acronym explanations. Le sigh.

Okay, moving this show along... I didn't get attached to any of the characters. To be honest, I had a hard time relating to anything about any of them. They felt really detached from me, from the story, from each other... It just didn't work for me at all and that's always hard to swallow. I want to love every book that I pick up, but it just doesn't work out like that most of the time. 



Find Deadly Curiosities here:










Monday, April 7, 2014

Review: Witch Hearts by Liz Long


Summary
How does a witch stay safe if a killer can get through her protection spells?

Witches like Ruby and Courtney can take care of themselves. So when Courtney is murdered, Ruby’s world crashes to a halt. The only thing keeping her grounded is the return of Courtney’s brother, Cooper. He seeks revenge, but Ruby wants to help other witches stay alive. To do that, she’ll have to reunite with her old coven’s High Priest, who also happens to be her cheating ex-boyfriend.

If that wasn’t awkward enough, when the killer gets too close, Cooper temporarily moves into Ruby’s place while a police officer tails her every move. Cooper’s presence distracts Ruby as they fight their desire against their need to stay safe. Then Courtney begins to haunt Ruby’s dreams and secrets are spilled, things from Cooper’s past that could get them both killed. The killer continues to stalk Ruby and the more she discovers, the more she fears she won’t be able to keep her heart in her chest.



Rating & Review


When I was first approached about reading Witch Hearts, I was a little skeptical because I was told that it was reminiscent of Criminal Minds. Stop it. Wait right there. Growing up, my dad was a forensic scientist (or criminalist). I grew up with this stuff. And I have messed up childhood science fairs to prove it! One year, I did bullet analysis and the next, blood spatter. I got some super weird looks but I thought it was cool ... now that I think about it, I wonder if my teachers thought I was homicidal ...

Anyway, I get pretty critical of books and shows having to do with crime because I know so much about this topic. So right off the bat, I was gearing myself up to pull this book apart but I just never got the chance. There weren't any problems and while the book isn't about crime solving, it's the kind of thriller that would appeal to Criminal Minds fans.

Gosh. I just don't know where to start, there are just too many good things to say. The beginning of the book is a bit haunting. You are dropped into the thoughts of a woman out for a little jog before it gets dark. She notices that she's alone and thinks of how the blonde girl running alone at night story never ends well. But then she has the same thoughts that everyone gets ... yep ... I'm talking about the "It will never happen to me" thoughts. We've all had them but they don't usually end badly for most of us. What an eerie way to start a book! I loved it!! All of that being said ... the first couple of chapters were a little slow moving for me. Looking back, I don't think that I appreciated them enough the first go round. They are really quite good.

The characters ... these characters were so well written that the author could easily go back and write a prequel and it would slide right in like it was always there. Too many times I have seen authors just not get ... it ... you know the heart and soul of a character. Then they will try and make up for it in the next novel. But in my mind, you've got one shot to hook me, the reader. I want to love or hate the characters that an author creates. I don't really care which ... I can love a character that I hate with a fiery passion. I just want the author to make me feel and this one did. I adored the heroine of Witch Hearts. I can't wait to read more novels with her ... nudge, nudge Ms. Liz Long.

I want to say more but it will spoil the surprises and believe me, there are many and they are totally worth it. This would be a great one to read poolside this summer ... maybe there will be a follow-up book ... my hints are getting more unsubtle-er ... that was a hint on the hint, by the way. I would really like a second Witch Hearts. Soon.



Find Witch Hearts here:
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