Thursday, November 30, 2017

Book Review - Reviver Amond (Lost Souls 0.5), by Avie Adams

Some women call me a cold bastard, but not to my face.

They are half wrong. Men like me are born in the twilight, live in the shadow, and die in darkness. I have no destiny, save for repaying the debt we owe to the Daemons. This is not to say I am cold – only principled...

Forced into a bitter dismissal of his debauched Incanta, Reviver Amond grudgingly sets out to find another, but his cynicism cracks as he chances upon an innocent girl with a pure voice.

His luck, however, is tinged with misfortune.

Reviver Grym, his corrupt, sworn enemy is also hell-bent on winning the girl called Cytriah. Amidst the fierce rivalry that breaks out between them, Amond’s orderly world disintegrates into an appalling revelation: Grym is hardly a threat to Cytriah.

The worst could happen if Cytriah ended up in his own hands…

Avie Adams has become an author to watch. I was not sure how much I would enjoy her first book Incanta Soul-Catcher which I reviewed here, and I was so surprised by how engrossed I became in the story. I was offered to read her shorter installment focusing on Amond and his backstory, and I could not get my hands on this any faster.

I was not surprised at how much I enjoyed his character. He was very intriguing in the first book, and he was even more so in this one. There are certainly many layers to Amond, more than I could imagine and some that are darker than I anticipated or could understand. But above all, this book did what I wanted it to do. It explained A LOT about who Amond is and why he was so cold in the first book.

I was surprised at the violence that brought him and his consort together, as I did not see him as having such a dark side. But he became even more intriguing! And that relationship too made more sense.

I was left with a sense of having my eyes opened to his character and wanting to re-read the first book again with fresh eyes. May actually do that because I wonder if I will see the story a little more differently the second time around. This is unusual for me, and a great testament to how great this series is shaping up to be.

It shouldn't be at all perplexing that I would continue to recommend this series. Fantasy lovers rejoice! This is definitely worth picking up. And I am really enjoying the originality of the world building and characters.

Happy Reading!

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Book Reviews - Gather the Daughters & Zero Repeat Forever

Today I will be reviewing two new publications from Netgalley, Gather the Daughters and Zero Repeat Forever. I broke my vow for 2017 of not making any more NG requests for these two books. I was SOOOOO excited to read these two books and they didn't disappoint.

GATHER THE DAUGHTERS is a haunting story of an isolated island cult for fans of THE HANDMAID'S TALE, THE GIRLS and THE POWER. 'An intriguing, gorgeously realised and written novel which inexorably draws you into its dark heart' Kate HamerOn a small isolated island, there's a community that lives by its own rules. Boys grow up knowing they will one day reign inside and outside the home, while girls know they will be married and pregnant within moments of hitting womanhood. But before that time comes, there is an island ritual that offers children an exhilarating reprieve. Every summer they are turned out onto their doorsteps to roam wild: they run, they fight, they sleep on the beach and build camps in trees. They are free. It is at the end of one of these summers, as the first frost laces the ground, that one of the younger girls witnesses something she was never supposed to see. And she returns home, muddy and terrified, clutching in her small hand a truth that could unravel their carefully constructed island world forever.

 Purchase Links: Amazon/BookDepository/Kobo

A friend of mine, who is a teacher, is the one that pointed me to this book, late this summer. She was really enjoying this book, stating that it was as good as The Handmaid's Tale and it was quite dark, which she loved. High praise! I was THRILLED that I was approved to receive a digital copy of this novel for review from Netgalley and dove right into it shortly after.

It was certainly enthralling, and very hard to put down. I was definitely revolted by one of the 'normal' parts of the culture of this little secluded society, as it is very TABOO in our normal world. I immediately began to doubt whether anything had actually happened to the world outside, or if a chosen few decided that they wanted to start over somewhere where they can make up their own dirty rules... What bothered me even more was that there was no explanation as to why this would even be part of normal life, whether some men agreed with it or not.

It was an equally sad and intriguing tale, which never really reaches conclusions to any of the questions I had as a reader... yet I was not turned off by that, and was fine, for once, with using my own imagination in coming up with theories on what happens to some characters, or what may have happened to the outside world, if anything. I also enjoyed the changing POVs of different characters of different ages. Some sounded so adult, but then life was tough for these girls, and I imagine that they grew up very quickly living in this type of society.

As tough and revolting parts of this book were to read, I thoroughly enjoyed this story for the disturbing and intriguing tale it was. As long as you can handle dark content, even if mostly implied vs detailed, I would certainly recommend this novel.

* * *

The 5th Wave meets Beauty and the Beast in this fast-paced and heart-stopping novel about an invasion of murderous creatures and one girl fighting for her life at the end of the world.

He has no voice or name, only a rank, Eighth. He doesn’t know the details of the mission, only the directives that hum in his mind.
Dart the humans. Leave them where they fall.
His job is to protect his Offside. Let her do the shooting.
Until a human kills her…

Sixteen-year-old Raven is at summer camp when the terrifying armored Nahx invade. Isolated in the wilderness, Raven and her fellow campers can only stay put. Await rescue. Raven doesn’t like feeling helpless, but what choice does she have?

Then a Nahx kills her boyfriend.

Thrown together in a violent, unfamiliar world, Eighth and Raven should feel only hate and fear. But when Raven is injured, and Eighth deserts his unit, their survival comes to depend on trusting each other… 

 Purchase Links: Amazon/BookDepository/Kobo

Though, in my opinion,  the movie did not measure up, I absolutely loved reading The 5th Wave. How could I possibly resist a book that is being compared to it? I just couldn't! In my mind, if you are going to make this kind of claim, it better be good!

I can definitely see the similarities to The 5th Wave, but by no means was it a clone of that novel. This book definitely stands on its own. Plot had some originality, and the characters were well fleshed out, intriguing and engaging... even the nasty ones.

This was another book that did not disappoint. It was absolutely action packed, and filled with plot lines that were pretty powerful and emotional. I was insanely invested in some of these characters, and I could not have sympathized with our Nahx "bad guy" more if I tried. My heart literally went out to him, and hoped that he would find a place to fit in... even though that seemed so impossible. 

I really look forward to continuing the series. The part that sucks the most is having to wait for the next installment. 

*    *    *

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

Happy Reading!

Monday, November 20, 2017

Book Review - Deep, By Kylie Scott

 Positive. With two little lines on a pregnancy test, everything in Lizzy Rollins' ordinary life is about to change forever. And all because of one big mistake in Vegas with Ben Nicholson, the irresistibly sexy bass player for Stage Dive. So what if Ben's the only man she's ever met who can make her feel completely safe, cherished, and out of control with desire at the same time? Lizzy knows the gorgeous rock star isn't looking for anything more permanent than a good time, no matter how much she wishes differently.

Ben knows Lizzy is off limits. Completely and utterly. She's his best friend's little sister now, and no matter how hot the chemistry is between them, no matter how sweet and sexy she is, he's not going to go there. But when Ben is forced to keep the one girl he's always had a weakness for out of trouble in Sin City, he quickly learns that what happens in Vegas, doesn't always stay there. Now he and Lizzie are connected in the deepest way possible... but will it lead to a connection of the heart?

Purchase links: Amazon/Book Depository/Kobo

This book was a real let down compared to the others in this series. It started off with a bang but then was very slow to get to the point at time. However at other times I felt like it was rushed and I needed to know more about specific situations.

I didn't really love the characters as much as the others. I felt like Ben was still way to much of a mystery, there were to many times where I wanted to follow him when he disappeared and find out what he was doing or how he was feeling. And Lizzy... she fell short for my likings. She is very immature, getting mad and shutting him out or pushing him away for very miniscule things. The she would turn around and say he was running away from her! this made me very annoyed, very unnecessary.

What I did like about this book was how Ben & Lizzy protected and cared for each other, even when they weren't together. But that's probably the only thing I liked... The only reason I kept reading this book was because you still got more storylines on characters from the pervious books. 

Overall if you've read the other books to this series I would suggest reading this one, but only if you care about getting a little more information on the pervious characters. This was a 2 star book for... a bit of a waste of time.   

Monday, November 13, 2017

Book Review Lead, by Kylie Scott

As the lead singer of Stage Dive, Jimmy is used to getting whatever he wants, whenever he wants it, whether it's booze, drugs, or women. However, when a PR disaster serves as a wake-up call about his life and lands him in rehab, he finds himself with Lena, a new assistant to keep him out of trouble.

Lena's not willing to take any crap from the sexy rocker and is determined to keep their relationship completely professional, despite their sizzling chemistry. But when Jimmy pushes her too far and Lena leaves, he realizes that he may just have lost the best thing that ever happened to him.

Purchase links: Amazon/Book Depository/Kobo

Kylie Scott has done it again! She captured me right from the beginning with this book. This book had me on the edge of my seat almost the entire time. I was just waiting for every page I turned to be the one where all the drama unfolded and the characters finally got together. I wasn't disappointed even with staying up until 2am (on a work night), lets just say it made for A LOT of coffee and a very grumpy Samantha the next day!

The storyline to Lead was really good. There was lots of drama, not to much sex scenes, and a lot of emotions. I defiantly felt all the feelings with Lena & Jimmy. Jimmy being an ass most of the time and pushing Lena away, and Lena trying very hard to stop her feelings for Jimmy made for a very good read. Although I do with I got to read more on Lena and Jimmy after they got together.

I love how all these books still show a few light details on what's happening with all the other characters form the pervious books. This book still doesn't compare to book 1 but it still deserves a 3 star rating. I cant wait to see what happens in book 4 "Deep"!

Friday, November 10, 2017

Book Review - Play, By Kylie Scott

Kylie Scott returns with the highly anticipated follow-up to international bestseller Lick.

Mal Ericson, drummer for the world famous rock band Stage Dive, needs to clean up his image fast—at least for a little while. Having a good girl on his arm should do the job just fine. Mal doesn't plan on this temporary fix becoming permanent, but he didn't count on finding the one right girl.

Anne Rollins never thought she'd ever meet the rock god who plastered her teenage bedroom walls—especially not under these circumstances. Anne has money problems. Big ones. But being paid to play the pretend girlfriend to a wild life-of-the-party drummer couldn't end well. No matter how hot he is. Or could it?

 Purchase Links: Amazon/BookDepository/Kobo

Have you ever had a literary crush? I have never been so in love with a character as much as I am with Malcolm from this book! Malcolm is hilarious, his sarcastic humor really gets me! And to top it off he is also very smart, sexy and oh so sweet! Kylie Scott did an amazing job creating this character!
Anne, the female protagonist, is just as funny... she threw the witty replies right back at Malcolm. I loved their banter, never backing down from each other. it made me like the characters connection that much more.

There wasn't a lot of drama in this book, well not as much as the first book "lick". I felt like I was on edge, waiting for more to happen, and when it didn't I was a little disappointed. I loved getting the little snippets about Evelyn & David (from book one "Lick") and where they are after their story was told.

Overall this book was very good, it wasn't as good as the first book, however it still dug its way into my heart and pulled on those strings. Especially because I just love Malcolm so much! A much deserved 3 stars for this book. I cant wait to read the next book of the Stage dive series "Lead"!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Book Reviews - The Demon Lover & Heart Like Mine

Another two featured books from Netgalley are getting reviewed today -  The Demon Lover and Heart Like Mine.  Again, two novels pretty different from one another, but both really interesting in their own way.

Both of these I read recently as well, but with a little guy that is crawling up a storm, and now trying to walk, and who is just now learning to sleep through the night, I am one tired momma over here... I admit, I love to read and escape more than I love to write these days... or at least, I give priority to escaping in a book during his nap time, than I do spending it writing! But I do have to pat myself on the shoulder, because I think that I am doing an OK job at some catching up on my reading list, fitting in a little writing time here and there, giving myself some TLC by picking up a book or two when I can, and taking care of a little human. It's not easy, people!

  I gasped, or tried to. My mouth opened, but I couldn’t draw breath. His lips, pearly wet, parted and he blew into my mouth. My lungs expanded beneath his weight. When I exhaled he sucked my breath in and his weight turned from cold marble into warm living flesh.

Since accepting a teaching position at remote Fairwick College in upstate New York, Callie McFay has experienced the same disturbingly sensual dream every night: A mist enters her bedroom, then takes the shape of a virile, seductive stranger who proceeds to ravish her in the most toe-curling, wholly satisfying ways possible. Perhaps these dreams are the result of her having written the bestselling book The Sex Lives of Demon Lovers. Callie’s lifelong passion is the intersection of lurid fairy tales and Gothic literature—which is why she’s found herself at Fairwick’s renowned folklore department, living in a once-stately Victorian house that, at first sight, seemed to call her name.

But Callie soon realizes that her dreams are alarmingly real. She has a demon lover—an incubus—and he will seduce her, pleasure her, and eventually suck the very life from her. Then Callie makes another startling discovery: Her incubus is not the only mythical creature in Fairwick. As the tenured witches of the college and the resident fairies in the surrounding woods prepare to cast out the demon, Callie must accomplish something infinitely more difficult—banishing this supernatural lover from her heart.

 Purchase Links: Amazon/BookDepository/Kobo

(** This review contains some spoiler content. Proceed with caution!)

Am I supposed to have all these good feels for an incubus? I don't think I am supposed to, but here we are! I am so confused? Isn't he supposed to be a bad guy? I see what you are doing here, Author! Oh yes, you got me. Pulling on my heart strings and making me feel sympathetic for this creature, yet knowing the harm he can do. 

This is classic gothic, and I LOVE IT! You don't always need to have explicit scenes to get some really intense feelings and connections to a story and characters. This was so subtle and yet so passionate. I really felt heartache for Callie's demon lover, and yet feared for her well being, all at the same time. The yearning they both feel is so intense, it jumps out of these pages and into a reader. Some parts left me completely breathless!

Love the hints of mystery and darkness surrounding the home she purchased, and the author was even able to connect all of these magical creatures in this story nicely. It was a direction that I did not anticipate in this book, but I am digging it!

This is not a new release, and glad of it. Because I have book 2 and 3 out and ready for my hot grubby hands to grab. Getting back to this forbidden romance.... Is it wrong for me to hope that maybe they will find a way to be/stay together? (Le Sigh) I definitely want to find out.

*   *   *

When a young mother dies under mysterious circumstances, those she leaves behind begin looking for answers in the past—and find a long-buried secret they could have never imagined.
Thirty-six-year-old Grace McAllister never longed for children. But when she meets Victor Hansen, a handsome, charismatic divorced restaurateur who is father to Max and Ava, Grace decides that, for the right man, she could learn to be an excellent part-time stepmom. After all, the kids live with their mother, Kelli. How hard could it be?

At thirteen, Ava Hansen is mature beyond her years. Since her parents’ divorce, she has been the one taking care of her emotionally unstable mother and her little brother—she pays the bills, does the laundry, and never complains because she loves her mama more than anyone. And while her father’s new girlfriend is nice enough, Ava still holds out hope that her parents will get back together and that they’ll be a family again.

But only days after Victor and Grace get engaged, Kelli dies suddenly under mysterious circumstances—and soon, Grace and Ava discover there was much more to Kelli’s life than either ever knew.

Narrated by Grace and Ava in the present with flashbacks into Kelli’s troubled past, Heart Like Mine is a poignant and hopeful portrait about womanhood, love, and the challenges of family life.

 Purchase Links: Amazon/BookDepository/Kobo

You know... it wasn't that long ago that I had limited genres that I would dive into. But a coworker and friend of mine opened up my eyes to contemporary fiction such as this novel, and I am so grateful. I had this prejudice that contemporary chick lit would be boring, because it's real life situations... and we live real life... Who wants to escape into a book with real life situations? How ignorant of me... So Moira, if you are reading this, thank you for your recommendations years ago, because I am so much more open to reading this type of novel and I haven't come across one yet that has not gripped me.

This one was no exception. I truly could not put this book down. These characters were so well fleshed out, and I enjoyed reading from the different POVs. That really helped show insight into each character's feelings as they dealt with Kelli's loss and the conflict that would arise from adjusting to a blended family amidst all the trauma. Going back and forth in time wasn't jarring for me at all, either. I looked forward to the flashbacks and the unraveling of the secret of Kelli's past.

I do feel that the book ended too soon. Would have loved to see their quest complete, but I guess that the Author had achieved what she wanted to achieve and ended it where she needed to end it. I do hate unanswered questions, and I felt that the story was not over by a long shot... a big part of it was just beginning.

Excellent storytelling. Plot and characters really well developed, and emotions that couldn't be better fitting and realistic in this situation. Couldn't have chosen a better beach read!
*   *   *

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

Happy Reading!



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