Thursday, August 21, 2014

Review: Consequence (Significance, #4.5) by Shelly Crane

Maggie and Caleb are married, leaders of their people, parents to their children, and happier than they ever dreamed, even with the visions they saw of it to prove it so. The council is still rebelling against Maggie’s changes, but this time it’s different. It’s almost as if something…or someone is behind them, pulling the strings and making decisions for them.

And Maggie is having strange visions that only she can see, leaving Caleb helpless to help her. But when her visions start to warn her that their daughter, Ava, will one day be in danger, they’ll do anything it takes to find out what’s going on and how to stop it, even paying a visit to a previous Visionary.

Maggie and Caleb must find out who or what is behind it all and stop them before Maggie is one vision too late.


Lately it's felt like my favorite authors are throwing me a bone.  Crane's Significance series is one of the few that I wish could go on forever no matter how crazy the story lines would become.  It's a combination of all the right elements, tied up in a fantastic package that's been created.  The main characters, the supporting characters, the world that's been created, the elements of surprise and suspense.  It's an addicting combination for sure.  It had been a while since the forth installment had been devoured and completed and to be honest I think it was just plain luck that I even found this addition. 

While it was a novella, to be honest it read to me like each of the other full installments did.  Crane's sense of humor hasn't dwindled, and her characters are as lovable and strong as ever.  The cliffhanger she left with had me both anxious and completely over the moon to learn that the series hadn't yet reached it's end.  The fifth installment is on the horizon and I'll be counting down to the very last day!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Review: Just One Night (Just One Day, #2.5) by Gayle Forman

After spending one life-changing day in Paris with laid-back Dutch actor Willem De Ruiter, sheltered American good girl Allyson “Lulu” Healey discovered her new lover had disappeared without a trace. Just One Day followed Allyson’s quest to reunite with Willem; Just One Year chronicled the pair’s year apart from Willem’s perspective. Now, back together at last, this delectable e-novella reveals the couple’s final chapter.

I know I've said it before, but honestly novellas were just never really something that interested me for the most part.  I always felt like I'd be let down by their short length or less involved plots, etc...but this is now the second one I've read in a short period of time that has decidedly proved my assumptions wrong.  And yet again I was pleasantly surprised.

Forman gave her readers a great gift when she introduced her characters, Willem and Allyson.  I fell in love with these two as they were falling in love with each other.  While I enjoyed reading their stories, I was of course sad to see their story come to a close.  So when I saw this novella I grabbed it like a lifeline and was anxious for even a few more pages and scenes with these two.

Each and ever tidbit that Foreman gives her readers is to be cherished.  It's not everyday that we're able to find stories that not only are enjoyable but move us as well.  This series was one that touched me and really felt special.  So while I'll always want more and find myself sad when I've read the final pages of their story, I always feel lucky to have even been given the chance and peek into Foreman's world.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Review: Better Off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg

For Macallan and Levi, it was friends at first sight. Everyone says guys and girls can’t be just friends, but these two are. They hang out after school, share tons of inside jokes, their families are super close, and Levi even starts dating one of Macallan’s friends. They are platonic and happy that way.

Eventually they realize they’re best friends — which wouldn’t be so bad if they didn’t keep getting in each other’s way. Guys won’t ask Macallan out because they think she’s with Levi, and Levi spends too much time joking around with Macallan, and maybe not enough time with his date. They can’t help but wonder . . . are they more than friends or are they better off without making it even more complicated?

From romantic comedy superstar Elizabeth Eulberg comes a fresh, fun examination of a question for the ages: Can guys and girls ever really be just friends? Or are they always one fight away from not speaking again — and one kiss away from true love?


Oh how I needed this one from one of my favorite authors, Elizabeth Eulberg!  I'm always anxiously awaiting each and every one of her newest releases and this one was no different.  What was out of the ordinary was me finishing her last novel and not being so enthusiastic overall.  So I went into this one with a little hesitation which is completely out of the ordinary when it comes to her writing, but it turns out I had nothing to worry about.  I think I might have just been expecting something different with her last title, because this book felt like coming home again.  Eulberg's quick wit and wonderful characters reigned supreme and kept me entertained the whole way through.

Mac and Levi...what can I say, but yet again we've got two characters that will forever hold a place in my heart.  They were endearing and real and the kind of characters readers will wish were their true friends instead of just names found in fiction.  Their interaction and relationship was gritty and truthful, blunt and honest and had me loving them right off the bat.

But what's really a key factor in this book's brilliance is how easy it was to relate to how every scene turned out.  I found myself nodding along and rolling my eyes right along with the characters themselves, and watching from the outside while totally empathizing with some of the more difficult challenges these two were faced with due to their unorthodox friendship.  One of my favorite things though was that these two just rolled with most of it.  They didn't let what others thought of them or their relationship morph it into something else the majority of the time.  They didn't constantly feel the need to defend of define what they had and were.  I'm not saying they were always acting older than their years, but it was heartening to see this mature side to characters often portrayed in different lights.  As always I'm looking forward to what Eulberg produces next!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Review: Devour (Warm Delicacy, #3) by Megan Duncan

You never know how strong you are until something makes you choose between humanity, and the beast.

As Claire descended deep into the ancient tomb; laying to rest the bodies of the fallen, she wondered if time healed all wounds, would an eternity be long enough? Still recovering from a brutal attack that nearly killed her, she refused to let evil win. Pain and destruction glared at her everywhere she went. Nothing and no one would ever be safe until Baal was not only defeated, but destroyed. Fueled by her thirst for revenge, she traveled with her father to the ‘old world’, seeking the aide of a long forgotten ally. Will their quest for help lead to their salvation, or is it only the first step in their annihilation?


Picking up once again right where the series' sequel left off, the epic battle at the end is over and Claire and Arrick, along with everyone else is working on recovering from loses and injuries inflicted.  And while this would have been enough to deal with on their plate, they know it's not over and what lies ahead will be more than they can even imagine.  Duncan will not disappoint her readers as her characters continue to develop and expand in your opinions as a whole.  Decisions were made and while the characters must live with their consequences, it's refreshing and nice to see that Claire is still trying her best to hold on to any little pieces of her old self and values that she can. 

While the dilemmas that go hand in hand with love triangles is still evident, I have to admit that Arrick stole it for me towards the end of the second installment and sealed the deal with this third book.  He's just what I as a reader enjoy in a male lead.  He's decent despite what's thrown at him, and how he's treated.  And despite the fact that I like Claire's character, there was more than a few times I wanted to smack her character and her treatment of him.  I did not always approve. 

New characters join the fold and old ones resurface, creating a great mix of personalities and plot twists.  Who can these people trust and who should they be watching out for?  It's a fun ride to take and Duncan once again maintained a great balance of action and suspense, along with romance and friendships.  It was fun to read and again had me only wanting more!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

In My Mailbox (134)

This is a meme that I first heard about from Kristi over at The Story Siren and immediately wanted to jump on board. I'm always picking up new books, because I never tire of reading, but the other thing I like about this meme is that it gives everyone an opportunity to check out what other book fanatics, bloggers, etc... got for themselves. I've gotten great recommendations from this meme and hope that keeps up in the future.

Here's what I got, what did you guys get this week?

  
For Review:
 
 
Things aren't going like anyone planned and life keeps throwing one curve ball after another at Artemis and Ares. Can she live up to the prophecy or have they been wrong this entire time? Join them as they try to right the balance of light and dark in the final installment of Artemis Lupine's life.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
A sophisticated page-turner about a wealthy New York family embroiled in a financial scandal with cataclysmic consequences. Now that he's married to Merrill Darling, daughter of billionaire financier Carter Darling, attorney Paul Ross has grown accustomed to New York society and all of its luxuries: a Park Avenue apartment, weekends in the Hamptons, bespoke suits. When Paul loses his job, Carter offers him the chance to head the legal team at his hedge fund. Thrilled with his good fortune in the midst of the worst financial downturn since the Great Depression, Paul accepts the position.

But Paul's luck is about to shift: a tragic event catapults the Darling family into the media spotlight, a regulatory investigation, and a red-hot scandal with enormous implications for everyone involved. Suddenly, Paul must decide where his loyalties lie-will he save himself while betraying his wife and in-laws or protect the family business at all costs?

Cristina Alger's glittering debut novel interweaves the narratives of the Darling family, two eager SEC attorneys, and a team of journalists all racing to uncover-or cover up-the truth. With echoes of a fictional Too Big to Fail and the novels of Dominick Dunne, The Darlings offers an irresistible glimpse into the highest echelons of New York society-a world seldom seen by outsiders-and a fast-paced thriller of epic proportions.
 
 
For fans of Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones’s Diary and Allison Pearson’s I Don’t Know How She Does It comes an irresistible novel of a woman losing herself . . . and finding herself again . . . in the middle of her life.

Maybe it was those extra five pounds I’d gained. Maybe it was because I was about to turn the same age my mother was when I lost her. Maybe it was because after almost twenty years of marriage my husband and I seemed to be running out of things to say to each other.

But when the anonymous online study called “Marriage in the 21st Century” showed up in my inbox, I had no idea how profoundly it would change my life. It wasn’t long before I was assigned both a pseudonym (Wife 22) and a caseworker (Researcher 101).

And, just like that, I found myself answering questions.

7. Sometimes I tell him he’s snoring when he’s not snoring so he’ll sleep in the guest room and I can have the bed all to myself.
61. Chet Baker on the tape player. He was cutting peppers for the salad. I looked at those hands and thought, I am going to have this man’s children.
67. To not want what you don’t have. What you can’t have. What you shouldn’t have.
32. That if we weren’t careful, it was possible to forget one another.

Before the study, my life was an endless blur of school lunches and doctor’s appointments, family dinners, budgets, and trying to discern the fastest-moving line at the grocery store. I was Alice Buckle: spouse of William and mother to Zoe and Peter, drama teacher and Facebook chatter, downloader of memories and Googler of solutions.

But these days, I’m also Wife 22. And somehow, my anonymous correspondence with Researcher 101 has taken an unexpectedly personal turn. Soon, I’ll have to make a decision—one that will affect my family, my marriage, my whole life. But at the moment, I’m too busy answering questions.

As it turns out, confession can be a very powerful aphrodisiac.


Opposition (Lux, #5) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Katy knows the world changed the night the Luxen came.

She can't believe Daemon welcomed his race or stood by as his kind threatened to obliterate every last human and hybrid on Earth. But the lines between good and bad have blurred, and love has become an emotion that could destroy her—could destroy them all.

Daemon will do anything to save those he loves, even if it means betrayal.

They must team with an unlikely enemy if there is any chance of surviving the invasion. But when it quickly becomes impossible to tell friend from foe, and the world is crumbling around them, they may lose everything— even what they cherish most—to ensure the survival of their friends…and mankind.

War has come to Earth. And no matter the outcome, the future will never be the same for those left standing.


The Keep (The Watchers, #4) by Veronica Wolff

JUST BECAUSE YOU WORK FOR THE DEAD DOESN’T MEAN YOU WANT TO JOIN THEM.

Drew has just started her second year on the Isle of Night, and the weather isn’t the only thing changing drastically. She has ascended to the rank of Initiate. She’s also found an intimate love in the handsome vampire Carden. But most important, she no longer dreams of escape. She dreams of vengeance.

Her friend Emma was brutally wounded by the savage vampire Alcántara and may have been taken to the dreaded castle, from which none of the living returns. With so many different stories from so many people with so many of their own deceits and machinations, Drew can’t be sure of anything—except that she must find a way into the castle to discover the truth and take down Alcántara once and for all.

But Drew isn’t the only one out for revenge. Someone very dangerous on the island is also out for blood….

Hers…

Friday, August 15, 2014

Review: Indulge (Warm Delicacy, #2) by Megan Duncan

Claire's heart is torn between her first vampire love, Dmitry, and the Blood Mate, Arrick, that she is eternally bonded to with a powerfully deep and emotional connection. A vengeful vampire is haunting her steps, after Claire killed their mate. An ancient evil threatens to rip her world apart. With the danger of war looming on the darkening horizon, will Claire find the strength to fight back and protect those she loves? Even if it means embracing the darkness inside her? Is it worth it to become the evil she fears, in order to destroy it?

I wasn't exaggerating when I said I couldn't wait to continue on with this series, and continue I did.  With this series' second installment readers are thrust right back into all the action exactly where the first installment left off.  Love triangles don't go away so easily and resolutions are hard to come by for Claire, Dmitry her first vampire love and friend, as well as Arrick, the blood mate intended for her to spend the rest of her days with due to their eternal bond.

But it's not all long and angst in these pages this go around.  Duncan keeps up the intensity and nail biting suspense with vengeful vampires hot on Claire's trail desperate for revenge thanks to Claire killing their mate.  And let's not leave out the crazy evil that's putting Claire's world at risk each and every second.  No one wants to see a war start, but with these characters and the obstacles they're constantly facing, Duncan leaves no doubt for her readers that war is indeed coming no matter what they do to try and stop it.

Claire and the rest of the gang have a lot of tough choices to make and difficult decisions there's no way to avoid.  While wanting to retain parts of her old life and humanity, Claire will face the age old question...can and should she embrace her inner darkness?  Check out this series if you're like me and were desperate to see which way she'd go.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Review: Savor (Warm Delicacy, #1) by Megan Duncan

When Claire Miller turned eighteen all she wanted to do was celebrate her birthday, but after a night on the town with her best friend she awakes to a visitor she never expected. The rulers of her region, a vampire royal family, have chosen her to be turned as their new heir and vampire princess. In a world fueled by the power of blood, Claire quickly discovers the vampire royal family is not what they seem and that she has secrets in her past, she never knew existed.

While vampires are something readers are seeing all over the place now days, whether in books, movies, TV shows, etc...Duncan has managed to create a unique and tale in her Warm Delicacy series.  Vampires and humans living together in peace and out in the open?  While it might seem crazy and virtually unbelievable, Duncan managed to spin this reality of hers into something that before I knew what had happened, had me nodding my head as if it made perfect sense.  Humans donate at a blood bank, vampires rule the world.  Of course there's more to it than that, but it's the beginning that roped me in and Duncan kept me entertained and intrigued the rest of the way through this series opener.

Claire's discovered to have that "something" special about her that the vampire royal family has decided is just what they've been looking for in order to create an heir to their throne.  So after the announcement is made, she's whisked off to leave her old life and way of living behind only to begin her new life at the castle in preparation of becoming a vampire herself.  Once this is set into motion, action and suspense abound in these pages.  Love triangles are presented and secrets are both kept and revealed at the perfect moments.

While this series opener without a doubt provides ample background information and details to set the scenes for the rest of the series, it's not just information being shot at readers from every direction.  The characters are developed in a way that will leave readers finding it difficult to put the book down, let alone not want to continue the series immediately in order to see what will happen to them next.  While I did find this a quick read, it was only in the best possible ways.  I got through it quickly, but also enjoyed it from start to finish and decided to continue with the rest of the series before starting anything else.  A must if you're a fan of vampires and are looking for something that gives a new storyline and interesting characters you'll want to root for and find out what happens at each and every turn.

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