Thursday, August 21, 2014

Review: Secret by Brigid Kemmerer

Nick Merrick is stretched to breaking point. He's trying to keep his grades sky-high or he won't get in to college. He's trying to keep his brother's business afloat or the Merricks will be out on the street. He's trying to keep the secret of where he's going in the evenings from his twin brother Gabriel - or he fears he'll lose his family. And he's trying to keep his mind off the hot, self-assured dancer who is his 'girlfriend's' partner.

And then Quinn takes to hanging around his sworn enemy, and an Elemental Guide is counting the hours until he can try again to kill the Merrick brothers. Storms are brewing. On all sides.

My Thoughts:
Brigid did an AMAZING job with some very sensitive subjects in this book.  I was bawling my eyes out in several parts because the anguish from Nick & Quinn was almost tangible.  The pain & love the Merrick brothers give each other left me a puddle of emotion. Kemmerer's writing is so visualizing I could see the whole book unfold in my mind.  From the angry, hurtful confrontations to the lighter moments that had me laughing out loud.  I don't know how anyone could read this series and not fall in love with every one of these characters.  You need to have read the other books in the series to know what's going on but they're all wonderful and fantastically written.  

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

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Review: Lost in Starlight by Sherry Soule

Star reporter Sloane Masterson knows she has one helluva story when she witnesses hottie Hayden Lancaster bending forks with his mind.

Like any good journalist, Sloane sets out to uncover the truth, even if it includes a little stalking. When the superhuman feats start to pile up and the undeniable heat rises between them, Hayden has no choice but to reveal his secret: he’s an alien hybrid.

They’re as different as night and day—she’s a curvy, purple-haired, horror junkie and he’s a smoking hot, antisocial, brainiac—yet the intense fascination between them refuses to go away. Even at Hayden’s insistence that dating each other is “off limits” and dangerous, their fiery attraction threatens to go supernova. 

Now Sloane’s learning to deal with creepy government agents, ├╝ber snobby extraterrestrials, and getting a crash course on the rules of interstellar dating. But Sloane must decide if their star-crossed romance is worth risking her own life....

My Thoughts:  
I had a really hard time getting through this one.  I'll start by saying I really liked that Sloane was described as "curvy" and not the average size "0" female heroin.  I didn't like all the ridiculous words she used to describe her breasts though.  And the hair chewing! Gross!!  I wasn't really impressed with the over kill of pop culture references either.  In fact I found myself skipping over several paragraphs that were saturated in over description only to find I hadn't missed a single thing.  I also started skipping over Sloane's Fright Night Babble posts.  Babble was an accurate description.  I thought they were a waste of time and they didn't enhance the story at all.  At about chapter 13 I started to wonder why it felt like I'd read this story and then I read other readers' reviews.  I agree that this was much like The Lux series by Jennifer Armentrout.  Sloane & Hayden's relationship wasn't all that unique or captivating.  Readers will find the last chapter is a flash back to New Moon by Stephanie Meyers.  I did like the ending though.  In fact it was the best thing about the book.  I'm thinking of reading the next book to see if it can pull this series into a spot light all its own.  I see huge potential if some of the fluff can be carved away.

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

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Review: The Jewel by Amy Ewing

The Jewel means wealth. The Jewel means beauty. The Jewel means royalty. But for girls like Violet, the Jewel means servitude. Not just any kind of servitude. Violet, born and raised in the Marsh, has been trained as a surrogate for the royalty—because in the Jewel the only thing more important than opulence is offspring.

Purchased at the surrogacy auction by the Duchess of the Lake and greeted with a slap to the face, Violet (now known only as #197) quickly learns of the brutal truths that lie beneath the Jewel’s glittering facade: the cruelty, backstabbing, and hidden violence that have become the royal way of life.

Violet must accept the ugly realities of her existence... and try to stay alive. But then a forbidden romance erupts between Violet and a handsome gentleman hired as a companion to the Duchess’s petulant niece. Though his presence makes life in the Jewel a bit brighter, the consequences of their illicit relationship will cost them both more than they bargained for.

My Thoughts:
I requested this book to review on a whim.  I'm so glad I did!  I really enjoyed it.  I liked the concept of the story right away.  Violet has been chosen to be a surrogate and she must birth a designer heir for one of the royal families using the auguries.  I'm still not entirely sure what the auguries are and I wish the author would have explained a little more about them.  I would have also liked to know more about the world the island exists in.  Maybe more of this will be explained in the next book.  I liked Violet and her unwillingness to just accept her circumstances.  But I also begrudgingly liked the Duchess as well.  I think in some way she wants to care about Violet.  I don't know, maybe she'll end up an unexpected ally in the end. I loved how the author weaved the characters together and the way she connected their lives.  This has been one of those stories that's left me excited to find out more.  If you've read The Pledge by Kimberly Derting and liked it then you'll enjoy this one as well. I can't wait to read the next book.   

**Tiny spoiler ahead.**
One thing that I think was over looked was when a certain situation happens between Ash & Violet there would have been some serious fall out.  Considering Violet was being examined all the time and receiving evasive procedures I think the doctor would have noticed some physical changes in a part of her body.  That alone would have gotten her punished severely.

Recommended for 15 & up. 

Friday, August 1, 2014

Review: The Girl With The Windup Heart by Kady Cross

London's underworld is no place for a young woman, even one who is strong, smart and part-automaton like Mila. But when master criminal Jack Dandy inadvertently breaks her heart, she takes off, determined to find an independent life, one entirely her own. Her search takes her to the spangled shadows of the West End's most dazzling circus.

Meanwhile, taken captive in the Aether, Griffin King is trapped in an inescapable prison, and at the mercy of his archenemy, The Machinist. If he breaks under the hellish torment, The Machinist will claim his powers and control of the Aether itself, and no one in either world will be safe-especially not Finley Jayne and her misfit band of friends.

Finley plunges headlong into the Aether the only way she knows how, by temporarily dying. But she cannot parry The Machinist's maneuvers for long. To defeat him for good, Griffin will have to confront his greatest fear and finally come face-to-face with the destructive power he wields.

My Thoughts:

This was a fantastic ending to this series!  The characters were still engaging and awesome.  I loved getting to know more about Jack Dandy.  I'd really love to see Jasper get his own spin-off too.  As the Machinist seemed to have limitless power to hold Griffin prisoner in Aether Finley, Sam & Emily fight to get him back.  While this book was a bit of two stories that ended up merging in the end, it was weaved to perfection.  Although almost every member of the mis-fit gang used their talents to bring an end to The Machinist's reign of terror, it was Griffin who would have to face his own fears to realize that goal.  I'm sad that the series has come to end but I'm hopeful that doesn't mean an end to this amazing world Kady Cross has created.  I LOVE IT!  I want to see it in the movies one day. If you're looking for something original and captivating to read search no further.  

Recommended for 15 & up.  

Monday, July 28, 2014

Review: Take Me On by Katie McGarry

Champion kickboxer Haley swore she'd never set foot in the ring again after one tragic night. But then the guy she can't stop thinking about accepts a mixed martial arts fight in her honor. Suddenly, Haley has to train West Young. All attitude, West is everything Haley promised herself she'd stay away from. Yet he won't last five seconds in the ring without her help.

West is keeping a big secret from Haley. About who he really is. But helping her-fighting for her-is a shot at redemption. Especially since it's his fault his family is falling apart. He can't change the past, but maybe he can change Haley's future.

Hayley and West have agreed to keep their relationship strictly in the ring. But as an unexpected bond forms between them and attraction mocks their best intentions, they'll face their darkest fears and discover love is worth fighting for.

My Thoughts:
Every time I read a book in this series I think, "OMG this is my favorite book!".  With each new book comes an amazing story and more characters to fall in love with.  Every one of them wonderfully complicated and fascinating.  I loved how Haley & West kept saving each other both physically & emotionally.  I wish I could be as kick-ass as Haley, literally.  When it came to protecting those she loved she was fierce!  West had a lot of growing up to do.  There was a twist in his story I was NOT expecting and I was shocked.  It was the perfect situation to really help him evolve.  Both Haley & West had some past wounds they needed to overcome.  While they did help each other some, in the end they both had to face their "demons" alone and came out stronger for it.  I binge read this book like it was my first meal after not eating for weeks!  I would read all the books in this series over again.  I can't wait for the next one!

Recommended for readers 15 & up.  Mild to moderate language & sexual situations.

Katie McGarry -

Friday, July 11, 2014

Review: Wild Cards by Simone Elkeles

After getting kicked out of boarding school, bad boy Derek Fitzpatrick has no choice but to live with his ditzy stepmother while his military dad is deployed. Things quickly go from bad to worse when he finds out she plans to move them back to her childhood home in Illinois. Derek’s counting the days before he can be on his own, and the last thing he needs is to get involved with someone else’s family drama.

Ashtyn Parker knows one thing for certain--people you care about leave without a backward glance. A football scholarship would finally give her the chance to leave. So she pours everything into winning a state championship, until her boyfriend and star quarterback betrays them all by joining their rival team. Ashtyn needs a new game plan, but it requires trusting Derek—someone she barely knows, someone born to break the rules. Is she willing to put her heart on the line to try and win it all?

My Thoughts:
I've been on quite a reading binge lately.  Wild Cards has been one of the better books I've read in the last few weeks.  I'm from TX so it didn't hurt one bit that Derek was a smart mouth, boot wearing, piece of eye candy.  I can see how he could drive most girls to do some crazy stuff.  His need to constantly push Ashtyn away was a little annoying, but in the end he got out of his own way.  Ashtyn is not your typical female MC.  She's one of few female high school football players and she's fought her butt off to prove she deserves to be on the field.  I loved the banter and sarcasm that flowed between Derek and Ashtyn.  The chemistry is H~O~T, HOT when a guy and a girl get such a rush annoying each other.  The only thing that bothered me about this story was the ending.  It was a little too perfect.  Without smacking you with spoilers, I'll just say it's a little unrealistic that Derek's grandmother would do what she did.  Also, a little more should have been said about Derek & Ashtyn's trip to Texas in relation to the travel.  Texas is huge and it takes at least 2 hours to get from one big city to another.  Unless her football camp was within about 30 minutes of his grandmother's house it's unlikely she'd be calling a cab to take her between the two places.  I know that seems like a minor detail to focus on, but it bugged none the less.  Over all I'd recommend this book to anyone looking for a good, young adult romance to read.  I disagree with Amazon's Grade 9 & up rating.

I'd say for readers 16 & up.  Moderate sexual content and language.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Freedom to Read Giveaway Hop ~ INT

It's time to get out those sparklers (unless you're under a fire ban) and celebrate the USA!!
For my stop on this hop one winner can win their choice of a $10 Amazon or iTunes GC.

Have a fantastic 4th of July if you're in the US and great weekend all around!

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