Monday, April 25, 2016

Review: The Siren by Elicia Hyder (The Summoner Series Book 2)

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All the missing victims of North Carolina’s deadliest serial killer have been found, all except Rachel Smith. When the FBI produces a photo proving Rachel is alive and well in Texas, one case is closed but another one is opened. Either this is a case of mistaken identity or there are more people than just Sloan Jordan and Warren Parish who seem to walk the earth without a soul. 

Along with Detective Nathan McNamara, Sloan and Warren travel south to find Rachel and solve the biggest mystery of all: determining who—or what—they really are. 

The Siren is Book 2 of The Soul Summoner Series. 

My Thoughts:
Outstanding!!  A sequel worthy of its predecessor. This book has so many unexpected twists that I could barely stand to put it down.  The story picks up a few weeks after the last book.  Sloan, Warren & Nate are searching for another possible "supernatural" person who can give Sloan & Warren some much needed answers.  They get so much more than they ever bargained for.  One of the best things about Elicia's writing is the connection between all the characters.  It's so natural.  There's never any awkward dialogue or strained interactions.  The banter between Sloan, Warren, Nate & even Shannon is hilarious.  I can't wait to read the next book.  There's so many possibilities for this series it makes me giddy to think what could be next!  There is a bit of a cliff hanger at the end but it's one that is absolutely needed to keep the series going.  It didn't bother me in the slightest other than to make me wish the next book was sitting in my Kindle already!

Recommended for 15 & up.  Mild to moderate language, violence & sexual content.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Review: The Soul Summoner by Elicia Hyder

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Blessed–or cursed–with a connection to the souls of others, Sloan Jordan can see the best in people… and the worst. For twenty-seven years, she's kept her ability a secret, but eleven young women have been murdered in the mountains of North Carolina, and Sloan may be the only hope of finding their killer. 

She has just agreed to help Detective Nathan McNamara with the case, when a stranger—who is as alluring as he is terrifying—shows up at her doorstep with a dark past and another puzzling mystery: she can't see his soul at all. 

Now Sloan is on the hunt for a deadly psychopath with two irresistible men. One of them would die for her, and the other would kill to keep her safe.

My Thoughts:
I was pleasantly surprised  with this book.  My mother-in-law told me I would love it & she was so right!  The writing was fantastic & the story is unique!  I like when a book doesn't resemble anything I've read before.  The characters are funny and easy to relate to.  I loved Sloan's witty comments in difficult situations.  Mainly because that's how I react when things get stressful.  I was a bit leery of her sudden "connection" to Warren, but it didn't degrade the story in any way.  Detective Nate is hilarious.  His banter with both Sloan & Warren was so entertaining.  The story is well paced & I hated having to put the book down to interact with other humans.  There's good suspense & I didn't know right away who the killer was.  There are some questions still left to be answered so of course I will be reading the next book.   

Recommended for 15 & up.  Moderate sexual content & violence.  

I bought this book on Amazon to review for my own pleasure.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Review: More than Music (Chasing the Dream #1) by Elizabeth Briggs

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Classical musician Maddie Taylor secretly dreams of a louder life, but geeky girls like her don't get to be rock stars. That is, until tattooed singer Jared Cross catches her playing guitar and invites her to join his band on The Sound, a reality TV show competition.

Once on the show, Maddie discovers there's more to Jared than his flirty smile and bad boy reputation. With each performance their attraction becomes impossible to ignore, but when the show pressures them to stay single, they're forced to keep their relationship secret.

As the competition heats up, Jared will do whatever it takes for his band to win, and Maddie must decide if following her dream is worth losing her heart.

My Thoughts:
This book was a fun, quick read.  I'm an avid viewer of the tv show The Voice.  Much of the book was set in a setting similar so I loved reading what it could possibly be like for the contestants on that show.  Maddie is a self-proclaimed music geek who doesn't see her own beauty.  What I liked about her was that she wasn't miss prim & proper who's just waiting for the bad boy to come steal her innocence.  She is a little naive about the music industry but what she lacks in that knowledge she makes up for by being a bad-ass guitarist.  Jared is a guy who finds it easier to play the part of the bad guy who breaks hearts than to risk getting hurt in a relationship.  He has decided his dedication to his music & his band are the only things worth committing to.  When the band needs Maddie to fill after the guitarist bails, she finds herself & her feelings in uncertain waters.  She discovers there's more to Jared than his reputation and he finds out there's something more to fight for.  I can't wait to read the next book in the series.

Recommended for 16 & up.  Moderate sexual content.

I purchased this book from Amazon.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas - Audio version

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In a land without magic, where the king rules with an iron hand, an assassin is summoned to the castle. She comes not to kill the king, but to win her freedom. If she defeats twenty-three killers, thieves, and warriors in a competition, she is released from prison to serve as the king's champion. Her name is Celaena Sardothien. 

The Crown Prince will provoke her. The Captain of the Guard will protect her. But something evil dwells in the castle of glass--and it's there to kill. When her competitors start dying one by one, Celaena's fight for freedom becomes a fight for survival, and a desperate quest to root out the evil before it destroys her world.

My Thoughts:
I bought this book on audible to listen to on my commute to work & home.  The narrator, Elizabeth Evans, did a great job voicing the characters.  She captured Celaena's haughty attitude perfectly.

I can't believe I waited so long to start this series.  I love it!  It's unique & exciting.  Celaena is a wonderfully complex character.  I didn't just get attached to Celaena.  I fell in love with Chaol, Dorian & Nehemia too.  They all have such an intricate part in the story.  I like that Celaena isn't perfect.  She's sometimes selfish and stubborn.  She doesn't apologize for her faults.  She accepts them as part of who she is and does the best she can in all circumstances.  The world the story is based in is beautifully constructed.  I can't wait to see what happens next to the "King's Champion".  

Recommended for 14 & up.  Moderate violence & mild language.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Review: The Opposite of Wild (Clover Park #1) by Kylie Gilmore

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Ex-cop Ryan O'Hare takes one look at buttoned-up control freak Liz Garner and just itches to loosen the woman up. Not that he’s into her. Because a woman like that comes with way too many expectations. Not to mention, she practically works for him, and he didn’t hire Liz to watch after his beloved Harley-stealing Gran so he could turn Liz loose in his bed. Still, there’s something about her, a hidden wild side, that makes him wonder what it would take. 

Liz must be crazy to work for the insensitive, arrogant, horribly…hot man she's avoided for years. Unfortunately, she needs the money and Ryan's grandmother needs a keeper. (Midnight tango lessons and ziplines with Gran, anyone?) Ryan's rare smile and swaggering confidence have Liz torn between throwing her favorite pinot grigio at his head or throwing herself at him. Can this control freak find a way to let loose with the tough, no-strings guy who once broke her heart?

My Thoughts:
There were some great "LOL" moments in this book!  Maggie a.k.a. Gran was hilarious.  She was just what uptight Liz needed to get out of her comfort zone.  Gran's new adventurous outlook on life has her grandsons all in a tizzy, especially Ryan.  He hires Liz to watch out for Gran and to talk her out of her crazy shenanigans.  Ryan & Liz are thrown into chaos when an unexpected visit from Liz's sister effects both their families.  Both Liz & Ryan have let things from their past mold them as adults.   They help each other deal with those issues all the while trying to keep up with Gran.  This was a great start to a series I know I'm going to really enjoy.  The characters are funny & endearing.  

Recommended for 17 & up.  Mild language & moderate sexual content.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Review: Crazy, Stupid, Fauxmance by Shellee Roberts

After Mariely Hinojosa and Cabot Wheeler both break up with their significant others at the same party, Mariely sees a way to get even with both of their exes. Everyone knows that the best way to get over a breakup is a hookup—a fake hookup, that is. Three weeks, all fun, no strings, and definitely no heartbreak at the end. 

But somewhere between the sweet hand-holding and melt-your-mind kisses, their fake relationship starts to feel less like an act and more like the real thing...but Mariely’s a free-spirited girl from the other side of the tracks, and Cabot’s the hot trust-fund guy from the Hills. 

They’d never work for real...

My Thoughts:
I live near Austin so I LOVED that this book was based there.  Mariely was an amazing character.  I would have loved to see her sense of style on the cover.  I liked how determined she was not to let her circumstances hold her back.  Mariely & Cabot both do an excellent job of calling each other out when it comes to dealing with their personal issues.  While their past relationships seemed to hold them back, their "fauxmance" pushes them out of their comfort zones and into something much better than they ever imagined.  In the end, things fall into place and the scene is set for other characters to take center stage.  That last sentence is really clever after you've read the book.  I'm looking forward to reading the other books in the Creative HeArts series.  
Recommended for 15 & up.  Mild language & sexual content.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Review: If We Were a Movie by Kelly Oram

  if we were a movie 
If We Were a Movie by Kelly Oram (Power of the Matchmaker #3) Music meets Movies in this sweet college romance from the bestselling author of Cinder & Ella. NYU freshman Nate Anderson is a triplet who is desperate to escape his wild and crazy brothers. After they screw things up for him one too many times, Nate flees his housing situation and takes the first available room for rent as far from his brothers as he can get. Enter his new roommate Jordan--a quirky LA girl who believes that everything in life has already been done in the movies. In this heartfelt tale of love, friendship and family, Nate learns how to deal with his new adult life using Hollywood films as a guide.

My Thoughts:
I loved this book just like I love EVERY, sappy, happy ever after, Hallmark movie.  That's right!  I am one of those women who will watch every single Hallmark movie at Christmas, Valentine's & basically anytime I can get a 2 hour window without my husband & kids.  I record them until my DVR is almost out of space.  I don't care if the plot is basically the same, or that the endings are "cliche'".  I. Love. Them.  This book was all the things I love about those movies.  
The movie, music & pop-culture references were the sprinkles on the sundae.  There's a great ice cream theme happening in this book too so that previous sentence is pretty perfect, if I do say so myself.
Nate & Jordon are fantastic!  Their quirky way of finding a movie or song to describe the awkward situations they find themselves in is comical.  Then there's Nate's brothers, Chris & Tyler, who make Nate's problems 10 times worse in the most hilarious ways.  Throw in a conniving, psychotic girlfriend, a very outspoken gay friend & you have the perfect rom-com in the making.  The pace of the story is just right.  The characters and setting are extremely well written.  I will be looking to read more of Kelly Oram's books if they're all as good as this one. 

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What readers just like you are saying about If We Were a Movie:
"WOW! This book is great! The concept is so inventive, and the writing is brilliant."
"I thought Cinder & Ella jerked with my emotions too much but this one might have it beat."
"I finished reading If We Were a Movie yesterday. I loved it! I fell hard for Nate. Jordan was amazing! And Pearl's timing was perfect! "
"Amazing concept with movies as chapters, and fantastic storyline." "I loved this story and was humming along to the songs from the book whilst reading. I can see this book becoming the movie it was written to be." "If We Were a Movie made me want to binge watch movies, listen to old playlists and re-read it all at once."
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TEASER: “So this is what a Pearl-approved guy looks like.” She shook her head once and cracked a smile. “She’s got good taste, I’ll give her that. You’re an odd mix of sexy and adorable. Don’t see that often.”
I was a little taken aback by the compliment, if that’s even what it was. She may have just been stating what she considered to be fact. She laughed at my surprise and held out her hand to me. “Nice to meet you. I’m Jordan Kramer.”
I’d been afraid of that. “You’re a girl.”
Jordan laughed. “That’s what it says on my birth certificate, but I’m really glad you were able to figure it out without needing to read it.”
Nope. I definitely didn’t need that.

 TEASER: I handed Jordan the electric guitar that I’ve had since I was twelve, and laughed when her eyes got really big. “You play the electric guitar, too?” “Music major,” I teased, picking up my keyboard. “I play this, too. A little. And the bass guitar.” “Awesome.” She examined the electric guitar with awe. “Why do you seem so surprised?” She looked at me as if the answer to that question should be obvious. “Hello. Have you met yourself? You with an acoustic guitar singing soft songs around a campfire or in a coffee house makes perfect sense. But I can’t picture you up on a stage, jamming on your electric guitar like a rock star.” She studied me a moment, then shook her head. “You’ll have to play for me, or I’m not going to believe it.”
Kelly Oram
Author Kelly Oram
Kelly Oram wrote her first novel at age fifteen--a fan fiction about her favorite music group, The Backstreet Boys, for which her family and friends still tease her. She's obsessed with reading, talks way too much, and likes to eat frosting by the spoonful. She lives outside of Phoenix, Arizona with her husband, four children, and her cat, Mr. Darcy.
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