Thursday, May 30, 2019

Random Reads - April Review and May 2019 Pick

Random Reads is a personal monthly challenge, where I use to choose a book from my extensive, massively huge list of books I have yet to read (over a thousand!!!).

In this month's post, I will review last month's random pick, and move on to the next book picked for me. 

Last month's pick was 'The Hallowed Ones', by Laura Bickle. I was truly excited about this book, and remember being excited about adding it to my list - back in 2012... eeeekkkk


The Hallowed Ones started off really exciting. This community was secluded, and when a few curious things began to happen, no one really knew what was happening out in the world, nor were they initially very concerned. With no outside communication, they really were in the dark about the horrors that had yet to visit them. Until not even their community was safe....

Katie was a great character. She exhibited a degree of bravery that I did not anticipate, especially for someone who I would say lived in a secluded, protective society.  Even when she faced the disturbing truth (and when I say disturbing, it was damn right DISTURBING), she still swallowed down her fears, and went against the elders in order to protect her community.

The one downer about this book is that when shit hit the fan, it turned too preachy. I could have done without the religious debates. They did not add anything to this story and were distracting from the fabulous plot that was unfolding! SOOOO frustrating!

A book filled with so much promise, completely fizzled towards the end. Unfortunately, I did not add the next book to my list, but was glad that I finally got to read this one and take it off my list.

And now for May's Random Pick! Drum roll please!

And so the next book that I will be reading will be #678 on my list, which is 'The Book of Why' by Nicholas Montemarano. I asked for this on Netgalley, actually, quite some time ago (2013 - ouch!), during a period in my life where I was curious about self-help. I am in a good time right now for this kind of book, and I look forward to no longer putting this book off another second. 

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Series Review - Tormentor Mine 1 - 4, by Anna Zaires & Dima Zales

It's been a quiet May on the blog, but that is because I have been whipping through this pretty great series that I came across recently.


I want to say that I was able to get the first book for free off of Amazon during a free promotion, but I can't quite recall if that is correct. I immediately borrowed each book in the series in sequence from my library (this momma is on tight funds lately during my mat leave). Thank you Library!!

This is also my very first anti-hero romance, and the anti-hero part was a bit of a surprise to me, because I didn't really pay too much attention to the blurb on the book. (Ok, so the dude on the cover got me. I admit it!!)

The anti-hero is not an unknown type of character to me, but definitely one that I was unfamiliar with in romance fiction. I struggled a little bit with the idea, but this series was really well written, and the tension between Peter and Sara was believable, even though the circumstances of their meeting certainly did not seem like the right path to romance, to say the least. 

Word of warning also.... the sex in these books is ... a bit forceful? Bordering on violation... maybe some would say that it is outright violating and some of it, humiliating?... also something that I wasn't exactly prepared for. Not to say that I am 'vanilla', but even though most of it was welcomed by Sara, some acts left me a little uncomfortable. And 4 or 5 orgasms in a row? Come on now, dear Author... I didn't realize this was also a fantasy series (eye roll). But I surprisingly enjoyed their relationship dynamics. I did pick up another series by same author, but quickly decided it was not for me. There are limits to what I enjoy in an anti-hero romance. This series, however, was a good balance for me.

Action wise, WOW. Played out like a series of action films. Great villains, great backstory of murder and ensuing revenge quest. All characters were great, and so well fleshed out. I devoured these 4 books in record time, and enjoyed BRAVO!!

I give this series an easy 4 star overall rating.

To check them out on Goodreads for more details click on the Goodreads link below.

Happy Reading everyone!

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Book Blitz & Giveaway - The Forgotten Ones, by Andrea Bills

The Forgotten Ones
Andrea Bills
Publication date: May 6th 2019
Genres: Adult, Mystery, Romance, Thriller

From the iBooks Bestselling Author of Hardwired comes

One small town.

One lost love.

One killer.

Agent Caitlin Cade is called back to her hometown by a serial killer. She’s avoided the town for six years, trying to create a new life away from the painful memories of the sudden passing of her father and a love lost.

Dean Campbell was given a mission that forced him to walk away from the only woman he had ever loved. Just as his mission is over and he can return to her news reaches him that a serial killer has Caitlin caught in a deadly game.

Can Dean handle not being the one in control in order to show Caitlin he’s back for good? Can Caitlin not only face her past but also a killer who always seems two steps ahead of her? As a game of chess plays out using human bodies, secrets and lies come to see the light of day for the first time.
All the Gods, all the heavens, all the hells, are within you. —Joseph Campbell
“Have you ever heard the saying; ‘only the forgotten are dead’?”
The young girl shook her head. Tears welled up in her eyes, but they hadn’t fallen yet. This one was tough. She was fighting the terror that was undoubtedly coursing through her body. There was no point in fighting it; her death was inevitable.
“See, I will kill you, but if I remember you, then it’s like you’re not even dead.”
A whimper escaped from the girl. She wasn’t the first one to die, and she wouldn’t be the last. She would be the first to send a message, so her body would be the first one to be discovered unlike the others; the forgotten ones. Their bodies had been left to decay in their shallow graves never to be found. There was an added excitement knowing someone — Agent Caitlin Cade more precisely— would be staring at this girl’s dead body in just a matter of hours.
“Don’t worry baby girl, you won’t be one of them; one of the forgotten ones. You’re going to be found.”
A scream ripped through the room.
“I always like to talk during this next part. I don’t know why. The first few times I thought maybe it was just what was left of my humanity reaching out to offer comfort in the final minutes of their lives, but that’s not it. I haven’t had humanity in years.”
The knife sliced through the air, and the first cut into flesh vibrated to the depths of the killer’s soul. The feeling was orgasmic. Another cut and then another. The smell of fresh blood wafted through the room permeating every single crack and crevice. The beautiful scream that ripped from the girl’s throat was the icing on the cake. Over and over the knife cut into her flesh.
“I saw a therapist once, and she told me that my mind was like a disease. Can you believe that? Someone who went into the business of helping people told me that.”
The girl’s body was lifeless now. There was no point in checking for a pulse. Still, the desire to feel the knife tear through her flesh was uncontrollable. That was the problem with the urges. They were impossible to control. Blood sang a song like the sirens from the old tales, and there was no refusing the call.
“I already knew my mind was diseased, and I’m not going to stop until I’ve infected everyone.”
If only walls could talk, these walls would tell some very horrific stories. Stories that were filled with screams, begging and pleading, but never salvation. This room had never seen salvation.

Author Bio:
Andrea is a wife, mother and writer from small town West Virginia. She spends her time while she's not dreaming up lovers and villains alike chasing after her two kids and husband.

Her overactive imagination and her husband's wacky dreams attribute to her love of the written word. Guilty pleasures include reading all night and Reese Cups.


Friday, April 26, 2019

Of Shadow and Light
Ebony Olson
Publication date: May 1st 2019
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance

She will be the one to take his coldness,

She will unveil the Unseelie darkness and show them light.

She will unite what should never have broken.

The daughter of the moon will teach him love and the radiance of the sun.

Her inner light will purify the tainted ones,

And she will guide the fey by wisp-light.
‘Prophecy of the Dark Prince’
Messina Doe was just looking for a warm place to spend the night. What she discovers is a place the human race had long ago buried and forgotten.
The dark Fey haven’t forgotten humans. The throne room of the Unseelie court is the hottest underground nightclub around, but if you step through the wrong door, there is no going back.
No one ever escapes. Never.
Once, someone did.

Author Bio:
Ebony lives in Sydney, Australia, with her husband, daughter, and six cats. She loves to read fantasy, thrillers, and paranormal romance, spending most of her free time with her nose in a book or writing.

Having always possessed an over-active imagination she spent her younger years regaling friends with fantastic stories, holding her audience captive with the passion and suspense of her characters plights.

Now in adulthood, she has numerous published works and shows no signs of stopping her imagination from spreading across as many pages as it can find.


Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Sweet Poisons
Natalie Bennett
(Pretty Lies, Ugly Truths Duets, #1)
Publication date: Spring 2019
Genres: New Adult, Romance

A dark and sordid New Adult duet coming spring 2019.
Rhett Sullivan.

Mysterious boy painted in shades of red.

Nova Markov

Eccentric girl dripping in sunshine.
He was the type mother’s warned their little girls about—a cocky, rich asshole with a pretty smile, unapologetically insane and wild.
I was the type guys like him usually ignored—a free spirit who hid my crazy beneath an odd good girl facade, and the art hanging on my studio walls.
We were opposites in every way but one, and we collided like two runaway trains that never had a chance of stopping.
What blossomed between us, our ‘relationship’, was maniacal.
We got stuck in a cycle of madness.
Rhett Sullivan became a bittersweet poison I couldn’t get enough of.
In the end, that’s what destroyed me.
Because in the end?

Our love was nothing but a lie.

I said I was done slapping warning labels on my book babies this year, but since I have never written full on NA yet, I’m going to give a tiny one now. This will be the only label this duet will have. If you are not a fan of twisted stories that deal with dark themes, rich assholes, and lots of filthy sex, this will not appeal to you. This couple is not unicorns and rainbows and neither is their story.

Author Bio:
Natalie Bennett is your average socially awkward author that turns her spontaneous head ramblings into stories.
She has a penchant for writing about villainous immoral men, crazed anti-heroines, and tends to deviate away from traditional HEA's.
She likes chocolate, Netflix, and Prickly Pear Margaritas.
When she isn't writing she's hanging out with her husband and their three (adorable) spawns.


Monday, April 22, 2019

Book Review - Ryder, by Diana Gardin

Title: Ryder
Author: Diana Gardin
Release Date: February 12, 2019
Publisher: Forever (Grand Central Publishing)
Source: Netgalley

Purchase: Amazon  
My Rating: 3 stars

Since Valentine's Day was around the corner, I was in the mood for a romance. And not just any romance. The kind that makes your heart pitter patter because the guy in the novel is strong, rough, protective kind of male that most of us kind of yearn for (let's be honest here!)
Ryder seemed to fit the bill for all the wants on the list. And he certainly checked off all the criteria above. He was very strong, rough and very protective of the woman he cared about.
Frannie used to succuum to the wishes and wants of her ex-husband. His suceptability to violence against her made it an incentive for her to always please him, but his level of paranoia in her faithfulness made every effort she made useless. When he almost killed their unborn child and landed her in the hospital, she had had enough. She made the decision to finally leave, but needed protection, as her ex-husband lived in a much darker world than she even imagined.  
What I enjoyed about Frannie was how she rose from the situation so strong and determined to escape her ex, and learn to take care of herself. She was still frightened of the man, but she wasn't going to allow him to take up one more minute of her life. I don't believe that she was looking for anyone else to be a part of her life, and she sure was believably surprised at the feelings she developed for Ryder when in protection with him as her guard.
On the sizzle meter, this book was up there, however, their chemistry was a bit abrupt. It was neither an immediate lustful connection that entwined them together, nor did it seem to be the slow burning kind that builds up a level of anticipation even in the reader. It was a flip of the switch kind of situation, and once they were physical, they connected. The forementioned two scenarios are much more to my liking. This instant switch didn't do it for me. That being said, once they 'hooked up', their emotional build up was satisfying.
This novel follows the classic romance formula, so of course you have some conflict at the end with the bad guy. It all concluded in the expected satisfying way, and once again, love conquered all. All the right fuzzies just in time for Valentine’s Day, which is around the time I started the book.
Many thanks to Netgalley, Authors and Publishers for making copies available for review. No compensation was accepted and my opinions are 100% my own.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Book Reviews - The two novels that let me down.

Well past the first quarter of the year, and already 1 star reviews. 


It is not often that I fail at choosing the right books. I can assure you that the last thing I do is purposely read books that I think I would dislike. So 1 star reviews are not the usual thing for me, but it occasionally happens.

I recently started two books that I was given access to from Netgalley, and though I couldn't quite believe it, I had to make the decision to drop them because I was not enjoying them. So here are my thoughts on these two books that I had to DNF.

Title: Puppet
Author: Pauline C. Harris
Release Date: October 24, 2014
Publisher: Patchwork Press
Source: Netgalley

Purchase: Amazon  
My Rating: 1 star 
Those that have followed me for some time know that I love reading fairytale retellings. So no surprise here that I would be happy to pick up a book that labelled itself a retelling of Pinocchio. Not my most favorite of fairy tales, but I was excited about it nonetheless.
Well, folks, this was a bit of a let down. It was bit like Pinocchio I guess, in the loosest of terms, and backwards! Jed wasn't interested in turning a marionette into a human girl, but turning a human girl into a marionette. And for the first part of this book, that is all that it was focused on. Characters were dull and had no substance. They were underdeveloped as was everything else in the story. Not sure where they were, whether it was set in a futuristic society or not... the synopsis claims this story is set in a world of advanced technology, yet there was very little of the actual world in what I read.
This story felt like it could have had much potential but the foundation was cracked and crumbling. The world buildup can be as important to holding a reader, as the set up of characters and plot, and that too was not as strong as I had hoped it would be.
Unfortunately, this was not the right retelling for me.

Title: The Clockmaker's Daughter
Author: Kate Morton
Release Date: October 9, 2018
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Canada
Source: Netgalley

Purchase: Amazon  
My Rating: 1 star 
Never, ever, ever did I think that I would ever 1 star one of Kate Morton's novels, nevermind DNF one. This took me aback, and I had put this book down, thinking that maybe I just wasn't in the mood for it and later picked it up again... but to no avail. It was torturous to continue for another 5% and felt like I was forcing myself to read even that much.
Glad that I am in the minority here, because I really enjoy Morton's novels so far, and maybe it was me and not her writing. In this case, I was equal parts bored and confused. I had no clue whose POV I was reading some of the time. And when I was reading Elodie's POV, the amount of detail over minute things would overshadow the mystery of the bag and sketch book that had her so enthralled.
I no longer push myself to be the kind of reader that forces herself to finish a book she is not enjoying, for a review or not. In every author that I have loved, there has always been the one book that leaves me dissatisfied and scratching my head, and I hope that this one is the only one of Kate Morton's that doesn't appeal to me. I hope the next one I read from her affirms why I love reading her novels so much.
Have you had any 1 star reads this year so far? What was missing for you? Are you the kind of reader that keeps on reading even if you are not enjoying the story? Let me know in the comments. I am always curious about other fellow readers thoughts and habits.

Happy Reading!

Many thanks to Netgalley, Authors and Publishers for making copies available for review. No compensation was accepted and my opinions are 100% my own.


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