Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Review: MASKED by Janelle Stalder

Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it.

New Berlin, 2040. Rebels prepare to fight against the New World Order, bent on bringing down the world’s greatest tyrant. One girl wanted nothing to do with it, content to keep her head down and make the best of this new world. That is, until she has no choice but to work with the rebels and infiltrate the NWO headquarters. Every moment she spends there puts her in danger, especially when one man, the second in command to the New World leader, continues to make his way into her every thought. She must stay focused and protect not just her mind and body, but also her heart. Will she be able to complete her task without being unmasked? Or will the one man standing in her way ruin it all?

Genre:  NA Dystopian 
Publisher Type:  Indie
Add it to your Goodreads TBR!
Purchase a copy here:  Amazon and Barnes & Noble

My Rating:  *  *  *  *  *

My Review:

I'm a huge fan of Janelle Stalder's books -- HUGE, HUGE, HUUUUGE fan girl here.  Her gift for story-telling and the complexity of characters she creates is unmatched in today's market.  In MASKED we pick up where the very incredible SWITCH left off (check out my SIX star review here) and as a bonus we get to some of the events from SWITCH unfolding from Bridgette's point of view.  I really liked seeing things through Bridgette's eyes.  She's such a contrast from her sister and is so brave despite her vulnerability and inexperience.  And then there's Roman ... happy sigh.  He's a great character and a perfect hero for Bridgette.  He's in a situation where he'd be viewed as the bad guy by so many, but truly has a good heart.  One of the great thing about Stalder's writing is that her characters always have such depth and none are purely good nor evil.  This is especially true of Ludwig.  He's loathsome in so many ways, but we see a side to him in MASKED that makes you care for the guy and feel pretty sad for him as events unfold.  Stalder's books always leave me feeling so conflicted, but in a good way.

Another amazing thing about Stalder's books is that she always has so much going on with a full cast of characters to love, hate or be unsure about.  Despite the complexity of her stories, the reader never gets lost or confused.  MASKED is another fabulous buffet of layered story lines with engaging characters of whom a reader just cannot get enough.  I'm dying to see what happens next and how this all plays out.  I can never figure out how Stalder will resolve her plot conflicts and am looking forward to more surprises, plot twist and tasty romance!  Yay!!! 

Monday, April 28, 2014

Review: RORY by Ciye Cho

Far beyond heaven, earth and hell is a city known as Palladino, a place ruled by ghosts and filled with demons, magic, and all sorts of darkly beautiful things. A city where no one can ever escape.

Eighteen-year-old Rory is a cake decorator who makes stunning confections. But no amount of frosting or miracles can save her when a demon kidnaps her—and carries her to Palladino. Here, Rory ends up in a deadly charm school where young women are forced to become companions for the Ghost Lords. And for her to survive, Rory must become everything that she isn’t: graceful, elegant... and perfect.

But nothing is what it seems in Palladino. Not the magic. Not the ghosts. And definitely not Martin Marius, the bizarre Ghost Lord-slash-inventor who is drawn to Rory. For amid a thousand machines and a hundred cats, Martin holds a secret that could change everything. A secret that could either free Rory... or destroy her.

Genre:  YA/NA Fantasy
Publisher Type:  Indie

Purchase your very own copy of Rory:  Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords

My Rating:  *  *  *  *  *

My Review:
I just put my Kindle down and all I can say is "Wowie-wow-wow!!!!  Where's the next book?!?"!  

This is the second Ciye Cho book I've read.  And what I love best about this author is his incrediby imaginative worlds.  Cho's books are amazingly colorful and RORY takes that to a whole other level.  The world of Palladino is so far beyond unique that Alice's wonderland has got nothing on it.  It's scary and beautiful and filled with secrets.  Without slowing the story pace down, Cho is able to paint a fantastical world that fills your mind's eye with wild colors, textures and forms.  I'm floored by Cho's creativity!

Besides the awesome world built by Cho, RORY has an incredible story that grabs you and pulls you in, making it quite difficult to stop reading.  Aurora (nicknamed Rory) has a challenging life to begin with in the human world before being kidnapped and brought to Palladino.  I did wonder why Aurora and her mother were aware of the "demons" who kidnap girls while the rest of the human world seemed oblivious?  Also, why does mom know so much about Palladino?  I'm not sure if these are things we will understand better later in the series, or if this a plot hole issue, but I'm eager to see if mom has secrets of her own.  There's a lot of danger and challenges that face Rory as she begins life in Palladino.  I love the mystery and the sense of not knowing who she can trust.  I also love how the whimsical and the violent are juxtaposed in Palladino.  Rory is both believable and likable: being frightened yet brave, reckless yet caring; she is a memorable character that I immediately could care for and cheer on.  There are many other intriguing characters in Palladino;  quirky and brooding Martin and his many cats, Cookie --whom I LOVE-- the adventuresome ghost cat and Manny the conflicted kidnapper.  It's an outstanding cast in an amazing setting telling a wondrous story.

Really my only complaint was the huge cliff hanger ending.  What the heck?!?  You simply cannot leave a girl hanging like that!!!  So expect a review of book 2 as soon as the author gets the ARCs out.  I will be stalking him until he is done **evil grin**  

Cover Art:
I really love the art the author does for his books.  This is such a beautiful cover which fits the book perfectly!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Blog Tour with Giveaway: UNNATURAL by J. A. Belfield

Super excited today for my tour stop for J. A. Belfield's UNNATURAL,
book #4 for the Holloway Pack (you know how I love these boys)!!!

I just finished reading this gem and will be sharing my thoughts with you in the next few days;
in the meantime, let's jump right in for the tour stop.......

Unnatural. One word to sum up werewolf Kyle Larsen—his mood swings, abnormal body, and choice of female.

The first two, he blames on the vampire venom.

The third, though? No, feline shifter Brook Nicholls was all his doing—a female of whom the pack will never approve.

As part of the Coalition, an organisation with even stricter rules than the pack and a rigidly warped sense of responsibility, Brook comes with a whole lot of opposition of her own.

No wonder the two of them keep their relationship secret for as long as they can.

Now, distanced from his family by his own indiscretions, Kyle’s left to fight battles he’s unsure how to win—some of them even against his own pack.

Is one woman really so important that he’s willing to defy his Alpha for her?

If his heart has any say in the matter, the answer will be yes.

Purchase your copy here:  Amazon, Kobo and Barnes & Noble

And here's the GIVEAWAY!!!!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Review: THE WANDERERS by Jessica Miller

What do you do when you learn your family is the one who's holding all the secrets? Secrets that could get you killed...

Ella is looking forward to starting college in the fall with her best friend Josie. She’s looking for a place where she can get away from her overbearing parents and two older annoying brothers. Unfortunately Ella realizes that sometimes the past comes back to haunt you.

Ella soon learns that the man who terrorizes her dreams is in fact real and coming after her.

When one of her classmates is murdered, Ella slowly recognizes this is not some strange coincidence. Ella fears that the boy she’s falling in love with is the one who stalks her dreams and no longer knows who she can trust.

When she finally learns the truth of her family's deepest secret, Ella has to face her demons by taking out one of the people she thought she could trust…before they kill her.

Genre:  New Adult PNR/Urban Fantasy
Publisher Type:  Self/Indie

Purchase Links: Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords

Rating:  *  *  *

I have mixed feeling on this one and have fluctuated between 3 and 4 stars, finally landing on 3.  The book starts off great with wonderful, easy-flowing writing and an intriguing  mysterious supernatural event, but then the pace really slows as the author introduces us to Ella's life.  While I really liked the depth this gave some of the main characters (except for her parents who seemed fairly unrealistic to me), this section suffers with no more mention of the supernatural and Ella's wordy discourse on her being rich, but not spoiled.

Once past this, the middle hits and the book is incredibly hard to put down.  Ella's and Tristan's courtship is very entertaining and romantic.  Their relationship is extremely well done, with the notable exception to Ella's incessant need to argue and call things off.  She was hard to like at times because she was so unreasonable, selfish and unkind.

The book has a great mystery that unfolds and keeps a reader eagerly awaiting answers.  There's a lot of action through the latter part of the book, too, which made for an engaging read.  The ending was intense and emotional with a serious cliff hanger that I'm not so sure I appreciate.  While I don't mind cliff hangers, I could do with a bit more closure.

Overall, I was left with a few questions that may or may not be answered in future books.  For example, I had a hard time accepting that her parents kept their secret from her even before Kyle's accident and that they bothered allowing her to go to college when they had other plans for her, especially with a deadline involved.  I also am confused as to why her older brothers are not called upon first for the thing she's supposed to be do (sorry for being so vague, I try never to spoil).

Regardless of my questions and some concerns I've voiced, this is a very entertaining read and I very much wish to continue on with this series.  I am eager to see where the story goes from here!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Tour Day with Giveaway: DARKEST DAY by Emi Gayle

Yay, yay, yay!!!
I'm so super excited to be a part of this tour!!!
This is one of my all time favorite series; 
I just CANNOT express to you how awesome these books are!!!
...but if you want to see me try, see my reviews here...

aaaaaannnnddd --since I was crazy lucky and got a way early copy of it --
Yes indeedy, I'm a lucky girl!

Sooooo.... Let me tell you a bit about DARKEST DAY.....

Darkest Day

The 19th Year
by Emi Gayle

Release Date: January 6, 2014
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Romance

Amazon or Barnes & Noble


Mac Thorne’s time as a Changeling is coming to an end.

It may have taken eighteen years, but Mac did finally manage to do what the Council wanted: she chose a teacher and renounced the in-between.

There’s just one last step. She must say goodbye to her human. Forever.

After being challenged in every way possible, Mac leaves what she thought would be the easiest task for the last possible moment. As midnight on July fourth draws near, though, she hasn’t found a way to give up Winn Thomas.

Nor does she want to.

With time running out, Mac stands at a literal crossroads.

Choose Winn, and she’ll be stripped of the only family she’s ever known—vampires, dragons, and her favorite demon. Even her own mother. Accept her position on the Council and rule as an equal to her twelve peers, and she’ll forget Winn ever existed.

Independence and freedom have never before been so limiting.

In this final chapter of the 19th Year Trilogy, it’s time for Mac to decide.

Responsibility? Or Love?

Awesomesauce, right?!?!  **fangirl squeal**

So we've got lots of fun for you today starting with a little insight into one of everyone's fav character, Suze.  It's his top ten list of superheroes he wishes he could be....

10 Captain America 
9 Wolverine
8 Sonic the Hedgehog
7 Energizer Bunny
6 The Green Lantern
5 Batman
4 Thor
3 Spiderman
2 Superman
1 Iron Man

Tee hee hee!  I heart me some Iron Man ... and some Suze!!!
Be looking for an upcoming novella starting Suze (oh and it's sooo good!!!).

Now you know that Mac has some big decisions to make.  Any ideas or guesses?
Stop by here and weigh in.

Ready for the giveaway???  it's a good one :)

Monday, January 6, 2014

Review: SHIFTING FATE by Melissa Wright

According to prophecy, Brianna Drake was born to save the world. The trouble is, she doesn't have the slightest idea how. Her visions should have given her the answer, but they’re beginning to shift, making the danger too unpredictable, even for a prophet.

If she can just help her sister restore their hidden powers, she might be able to stop what’s coming. But an old enemy returns, and he’s got plans for Brianna and her visions.

What neither of them knows is that fate has given a stranger one chance to find her. He was trained to protect the chosen—but if he fails, the future will crumble.

Genre:  NA Urban Fantasy
Publisher Type: Indie

Purchase your copy:  Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Rating:  *  *  *  *

Oh how I love when a fabulous book has a fabulous sequel!  It makes me do a happy dance :) tee hee hee!  The first book in the Descendants Series, BOUND BY PROPHECY, is an amazing read (see my five star review here) and I've been salivating to get a hold on this baby, SHIFTING FATE.  It totally does not disappoint!

We start off stepping away from Emily's POV to a shifting POV that focuses on Brianna's story.  I loved getting to know this girl who, while being Emily's twin, is so different.  Then we get to meet Logan.  **happy sigh**  Logan is this amazing alpha male who is completely devoted to protecting Brianna.  The chemistry between these two is like fireworks!  Awesomesauce!!!  

The plot of SHIFTING FATE is intense.  It's a race against time, but the timing is so uncertain because Brianna's visions keep changing and her powers alter, causing even more trouble.  Brianna must find a way to free her and Emily's powers to prevent a horrible future from coming to pass.  While she is trying to accomplish this, psycho kidnappers, chase scenes and explosions keep getting in her way.  I love her tenacity throughout this book and I love how she grows to believe in herself.

My only complaint is that Emily's and Brianna's heritage got confusing for me.  As the mystery unfolds on who they are and how Brianna will ultimately free their powers, I got a bit lost, but I'm pretty confident that book 3 will clear these things up.  I'm crazy eager to see where this series goes from here and anxiously await Descendants #3!!!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Review: SOUL RESURRECTED by Keri Lake

As Wrath’s fiercest son, Logan carries the scars of fifty years spent in the most dreaded prison of the underworld, for a sin he’d kill to keep secret. Enduring decades of gruesome torture has left Logan feared by and detached from others, until a female Alexi’s blood resurrects his soul from death and, with it, the pleasures he’s been denied for so long.

Plagued by shame of her own, Calla is drawn to the ruthless demon, Logan, whose insatiable craving for her touch rouses buried passions and, for once, leaves her feeling desired.

A dark and dangerous evil has been reawakened, however, and when Calla is drawn too close to its breeding grounds, Logan vows to summon the violence of Wrath in order to keep her safe. First, though, Calla must save him from a past riddled with deceit and corruption … but only if she can accept the chilling consequences of unearthing his vilest skeleton.

Sons of Wrath
Never gamble with vengeance …

Genre:  Paranormal Romance (steamy) / Urban Fantasy
Publisher Type:  Indie

Add SOUL RESURRECTED to your Goodreads TBR here!

Purchase your copy here: Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Rating:  *  *  *  *  *

SOUL AVENGED (see my five star review here) is such an awesome book and I was crazy excited to get to read it's sequel, SOUL RESURRECTED.  SA sets the bar really high and I've got to say, SR is every bit as good!  Keri Lake does such a great job taking a mystery and peeling off it's layers at just the right pace to keep a girl glued to her kindle.  I gobbled SOUL RESURRECTED right up!  

Since we meet both Logan and Calla in SA, it's safe to say a reader is already quite invested in these characters.  SR picks up right where SA leaves off -- thank goodness as we were left with quite a cliff hanger in SA-- and we are immediately drawn into this story.  The wild action and intense romance is perfectly balanced.  The plot is fantastic and I was holding my breath wondering how it would all work out.  Plus there is such a great romance between Calla and Logan -- both very sweet and steamy!-- and along with the depth of Calla and Logan's story, there are hints and story building going on for future installments.  Yay for a great read!  I can't wait to more of this series!!!