Monday, March 30, 2015

Review: Orphan Train

Orphan Train
Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I picked up Orphan train for some trip, but never read it. I recently found it in a suitcase, and decided to give it a go. I had no idea that this was a real thing. The Orphan Train was a welfare program that transported orphaned children from crowded Eastern cities of the US to foster homes located largely in rural areas of the Midwest. The orphan trains operated between 1853 and 1929, relocating about 250,000 children. Many of the children were adopted for their labor, in a kind of indentured servitude. While reading Orphan Train, it made me sad to know what some of these children, who had already lost everything, experienced at the hands of the people who were supposed to help them.
Orphan Train follows the lives of one of the train riders, Vivian, and a modern day orphan simultaneously. Molly is trying to make it the last few months in her current foster home before she ages out. She gets in a little trouble, and ends up doing her community service at the home of a 91 year old wealthy woman, who also happens to be one of the train riders. As Molly helps Vivian clean out her attic, they discuss the possessions she has collected in almost a hundred years. They soon realize how similar their stories are, and both understand how important they are to one another. I would have liked for the story to continue a little more, as it ended abruptly, but I guess that is for the readers to determine.

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Monday, March 23, 2015

Review: Made

Made by J.M. Darhower

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If you haven't read the first two books in the Forever series, there will be spoilers below.

Oh I loved this just as much as Sempre.. Corrado is cold, and calculating. I couldn't ever figure out where Celia's devotion came from, but Made makes things really clear. As a hit man for Cosa Nostra, his job requires him to be ruthless, but very few people ever see the man that Celia sees. He has loved her since he was a child, and will continue until the day he dies. Made is 530 pages starting when Corrado was a small child, and spanning the remainder of his life. Darhower gives us a glimpse of all the things that happened before Carmine & Dominic came into the picture. Antonio as Don that Sal could never live up to. Ericka Moretti is more callous than her husband could ever dream of being, making it easy to understand where Katrina gets it from. Vincent's love for Maura, and all that took place for them to have their short time together. Love, love, loved it!

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Sunday, March 22, 2015

Review: Soaring

Soaring by Kristen Ashley

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Amelia was married for almost two decades, to the love of her life. She couldn't have asked for more. She, being the heiress of a multi-million dollar company, and her husband working as a neurosurgeon, meant she spent most of her time doing things for her family. With two teenagers, and several charity organizations, she always had things to do. When her husband informed her he was leaving, and marrying another woman. She loses it. She goes so far that she eventually loses the respect of her children, who want nothing to do with her. Then her husband packs up the kids and moves across the country to Maine. Amelia decides she has to pull her self together if she is ever going to win back her children. She packs up and follows them, buying the beautiful home called Cliff Blue. Her sexy firefighter neighbor piques her interest, but she is quickly shut down. He has no intention of anything happening between himself, and his new neighbor. Amelia is disappointed, but knows she should be focusing all of her attention on her children.

Luckily Amelia's children Pippa, and Auden don't take much convincing to forgive their mother. Once they see that she has no intention of causing any more drama for their father, and only wants to repair her relationship with them they are all for it. It takes a little time, and lot of love but they do begin the process of getting back to where they once were. During this time, Micky, the hot firefighter next door is trying to stay away from Amelia. It only takes a few dates with other men before he gets off his ass and makes his move. He and his children Aisling, and Cillian all call her Amy. I don't know why I don't like that, but it's annoying. Amelia grows close to his children, and she is concerned when Aisling starts slipping into a bad place. Micky, and his ex Rhiannon both try to find out what's wrong, and even Amelia gives it a try. Then when the families are supposed to meet for the first time, both Aisling and Pippa grow pale at the sight of one another. Apparently Pippa's bff Polly is a bully, and makes Aisling's life miserable. Pippa doesn't say anything, but she doesn't stop it either. After a major drama they are all able to work everything out, even Pippa and Aisling. Mickey and Amelia get married, and both of their families become one at Cliff Blue.

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Monday, March 16, 2015

Review: Confess

Confess by Colleen Hoover

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I'm not sure how to review this book. Confess was definitely interesting, and unlike any other book I have read. I was eager to finish it, and a little surprised at how it all turned out. Auburn was endearing, and her roommate was awesome. Adam's family was absolutely awful. I hated them, and hated them even more once I was aware of the depth of their evilness. Owen was different. He's not the typical male love interest, but just as good. He has secrets of his own, and respects Auburn's need to withhold her secrets. Confess is such a great title, and the reasoning for that will come to light once you read it.

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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Review: Bound by Flames

Bound by Flames
Bound by Flames by Jeaniene Frost

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Frost is one of my top three authors, but Bound by Flames wasn't up to her normal standards. Usually her books not only grip you from the beginning, they are also funny. Not so with this one. There is one other book in the Night Prince series, but that's not due out until 2016. I'll add a spoilers section at the bottom for a quick review.

Bound by Flames starts out with Vlad & Leila hosting a masquerade ball. They have invited all of the top players in the vampire world. With Laila's touch, she will be able to find out which one of them has betrayed them to Mihaly Svilagyi, Vlad's oldest nemesis. Vlad knows that Mihaly is equally as determined to destroy him, but he doesn't fear for his own safety. His concern is for Leila. Though she does have a few gifts that are unique to her, she is still a new vampire and wouldn't stand a chance up against the centuries old Svilagyi. Of course women are headstrong, and hell bent on showing their men they are just as useful in a battle as their spouse. Leila is a bit reckless, and Vlad is more than a bit overprotective. Neither of them see eye to eye on how to proceed, but they will both stop at nothing to protect each other.

Vlad uses Maximus to infiltrate Svilagyi's inner circle. Everyone knows that Vlad threw Maximus out of his line, and therefore his protection. Which means they also know that he would never have a chance to earn his way back in. This makes him the perfect person because no one would ever suspect he was actually working for Vlad again. Without Maximus' knowledge, Svilagyi targets Vlad's home while he isn't there, and Leila is captured. Maximus suggests skinning her alive so she won't have a way to access Vlad through his essence trail left on her skin. All of this is recorded, and then mailed to Vlad along with her skin. Leila can't believe that Maximus would betray her. When Svilagyi decides his next form of punishment will be raping Leila on camera, Maximus volunteers for the job, saying that will hurt Vlad more since he was once a friend. He actually pretends to rape her, while telling her that he had her skinned to remove Vlad's protective aura so she could reach him, and gave her the location where she is being held. He is also able to sneak her blood which she has been deprived of. Leila is rescued, but it isn't until the end that Vlad is able to destroy Svilagyi. While trying to link to him, she is spelled with a self destruction spell that makes her want to kill herself. Mencheres isn't able to break the spell, which lets them know whoever made the spell is extremely powerful. In the end the spell backfires, and links the caster to Leila. Killing either of them will break the spell, but if one of them dies, so does the other. They find out that the necromancer who cast the spell is the son of Vlad's brother, and his wife. He knew she cheated, and the kids weren't his because theirs was an arranged marriage. He didn't know that she cheated with his brother. All this time his nephew (stepson?) was raised by Svilagyi, and he has been seething with resentment. He disappears at the end, but not before telling Vlad that he isn't through with him.

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Sunday, March 8, 2015

Review: Shifting Shadows: Stories from the World of Mercy Thompson

Shifting Shadows: Stories from the World of Mercy Thompson
Shifting Shadows: Stories from the World of Mercy Thompson by Patricia Briggs

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Shifting Shadows includes ten short stories, all of which are centered around the world of Mercy. Each of them gives a little more insight to some of our favorite characters. It's not necessary to read in order to read the series, but I enjoyed it. :)

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Friday, March 6, 2015

Review: Dead Heat

Dead Heat
Dead Heat by Patricia Briggs

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Patricia Briggs' Mercy Thompson, and Alpha & Omega series are both old favorites of mine. No matter how long passes between each new book, I know I am in for a good one.

Charles Cornick is the son of the Marrock, Bran Cornick. Bran is the Alpha of all Alpha's, and Charles is his enforcer. He and his wife Anna who is an Omega wolf travel to Arizona looking to buy a horse from one of Charles' old friends. Anna is able to meet Joseph, and his wife Maggie. Joseph is the human son of Hosteen, the local alpha. He is old and dying, but refuses to be changed. While they are there visiting, they run into a little fae drama. The two of them, with the help of a few friends must track down the fae responsible for endangering the family members, of the local pack. I do hope this family makes a return, especially the kids. Joseph and Maggie's son Kade is married to Chelsea, and they have three children Max, Macky, and Michael.

Shortly after arriving they overhear a call from Chelsea saying she is in trouble. They arrive at their house to find her almost dead from self inflicted cuts, and the resulting blood loss. She is witchborn, but was spelled by a fae with the compulsion to kill her kids, and then herself. She was able to overcome the compulsion by cutting herself until help could arrive. They know that Chelsea has lost too much blood, and Charles tells Kade to choose between letting her go, or changing her. They do end up changing her, and Anna is able to help her stay calm through the change with her Omega powers. They soon find out that the person who put the spell on her was a changeling fetch. An inanimate object spelled to replace and resemble a real person. The fetch replaced a young girl named Amethyst that attended daycare with Mackey. Now that they know who cast the spell, they need to find the fae who kidnapped the young girl. The doll collector is an evil fae that had been put on a leash by the Gray Lords for a while. He collects children, and keeps them for a year and a day. They find Amethyst locked in an attic, along with over twenty other children's bodies. Neither Charles nor Anna are convinced that the person the FBI has in custody is the person responsible. The Doll Collector is capable of tearing a werewolf to shreds, so the person who went willingly to jail facing only human captors isn't convincing. They were right, as that person turned out to be a fetch as well. The real fae responsible was posing as a principal at the daycare, and comes back for Mackey. Joseph and Maggie both lose their lives protecting her, giving Charles and Anna the opportunity to kill it. In the end Charles agrees that while losing Joseph was painful, he wouldn't trade that for all of the good times they had. After realizing this he agrees to adopting a child with Anna.

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Monday, March 2, 2015

Review: You Were Mine

You Were Mine
You Were Mine by Abbi Glines

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was a little iffy about how this book would turn out. Bethy isn't my favorite character, and I just wasn't sold on her getting to move on after what happened to Jace. Plus I just hate her name. Glines did a good job of not completely erasing Jace, but showing that everyone deserves a second chance. Tripp was ok, but they're better together.

Mason is up next, and from the teaser at the end, it looks like it will be really good.

Tripp & Bethy spent a summer together falling in love on Rosemary Beach. She was sixteen, and he was eighteen. His family didn't approve, and she was too young for him. He knew if he stayed, and followed the path his family had in mind he could never be with her. He needed to escape that life, and make a new one. A life that he could bring her back to when he went back for her. I don't know why he didn't tell her of his plans, but he left her without telling her why. He didn't get the message until it was too late. Bethy was pregnant, but had an abortion after not hearing anything from him. He was devastated, and so was she. Years later she moved on, and fell in love with Jace. They made a life together, but then he died trying to save Bethy from drowning. For two years she has lived in a fog. Heartbroken, and guilt ridden for the part she played in the death of her fiance. Tripp just brings up bad memories,and she wants nothing to do with him. He's determined to wear her down, and almost does. It's not until after she finds out that she miscarried, and didn't have an abortion that she is able to move on. She's ready to live, and Tripp is ready to live with her.

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Sunday, March 1, 2015

Review: Never Never

Never Never
Never Never by Colleen Hoover

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Well that was unexpected.. Charlie & Silas both lose their memories at the exact same time, during third period. They allow their friends to fill in some of the pieces, until they realize that the other lost their memories as well. Then they find that sticking together, and working to find out what's going on is their only choice.

Never Never 2 won't be out until May. Over the two days they spend trying to figure out who they are, they learn that they are both seniors. They have been together four years, but they were both cheating on one another. Their fathers once worked together, but Charlie's father is now in prison. Her mom is a drunk, they used to have money, and she has a little sister. Silas family is wealthy, and his dad hates Charlie. His brother covers for him any chance he gets, but no one else knows what is happening to them. At the end of the book Charlie & Silas are on Bourbon street, when she decides to take a cab home. He lets her leave, but no one has heard from her the next morning. While looking for her at her house, he sees a letter addressed to Charlie. He takes it, and after reading it he learns that they both lose their memories every 48 hours. They write down what happened to them, and anything they learn and mail it to themselves so they know what's wrong when the lose their memories again. Silas is reading the letter when he realizes he only has 3 minutes until he loses his memories again. He writes down all that they have learned, and also that Charlie is out there without a phone, or an id, and soon she won't know who she is. His last sentence is "Charlie got into a cab on Bourbon street last night, and no one has seen her since. She doesn't know about this letter. Find her. The first thing you need to do is find her. Please."

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