Monday, December 26, 2016

Review: Hold On

Hold On Hold On by Kristen Ashley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Gahhh I have to stop reading these types of books! Luckily I'm smart enough to know this type of love is a fantasy thought up by Kristen Ashley who does hot guy romance so well! I absolutely adore Cher and everything about her personality. She's had it rough, without a lot of good in her life so it's sweet that Merry is able to give her good. She's built up her walls, including a tough girl persona that Merry doesn't insist she get rid of but loves her in spite of. I hate to see this series end, but luckily Ashley gives a great update on all of the Burg's couples and their children at the end. Great book to end a great series!

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Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Review: From Sand and Ash

From Sand and Ash From Sand and Ash by Amy Harmon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was given a copy of From Sand and Ash in exchange for an honest review.

“Maybe people had no choice but I wonder sometimes what would have happened if everyone without a choice would have made a choice anyway. If we all chose not to participate. Not to be bullied. Not to take up arms. Not to persecute. What would happen then?”

From Sand and Ash was beautiful in its simplicity and haunting in its reality. The very fact that it's based on actual events in history, and that even today there are those still being persecuted for race/ ethnicity is inconceivable. Harmon does a fantastic job at recreating the trials of Jewish people throughout the Holocaust, specifically those from Italy.

“How can you compromise with people who don't want you to exist? They want us to disappear. I can't adapt to death.”

"My prayer is that the people of today will know the past so they won't repeat it."

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Monday, December 5, 2016

Review: Bullets From The Past

Bullets From The Past Bullets From The Past by Antonio Scotto di Carlo
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I received a request from the author to read Bullets From The Past. There were a few things I just couldn't get past which prevented me from enjoying this book. First, is the insta-love between two of the characters. I can't even enjoy the progression of the relationship because it's so unrealistic that two people fall in love after knowing each other for a week. In this case, the outcome of that insta-love is a little more realistic. She jumps headfirst into a relationship with a guy she's known a week, and after moving in with him, she learns of a secret he's been keeping. Big surprise that you don't know a lot about the guy you've known a week!! My second issue with this book is the actual surprise.


When is raping someone brushed off as if it's not a big deal because he was angry and upset. WTF? The fact that she even considered staying with a guy that she knows is a rapist, because she thinks he's actually a good guy, is unheard of. I guess because she was raped she understands? No, I just can't deal with that part of the story or how it's minimized as a lapse in judgment.

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Thursday, November 10, 2016

Review: Curse on the Land

Curse on the Land Curse on the Land by Faith Hunter
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Curse on the land is book two in the Soulwood series, which is a spinoff of the Jane Yellowrock series. I'm not sure if my mind was just preoccupied lately, or if book two didn't live up to my expectations. It took me days to finish this book and I almost had to force myself to get through it. I hate that because book one of the Soulwood series was a solid four, and the JY series is one of my favorites.

Nell is back from the Academy, and working under probation as Unit 18's newest member. As the newest member of this government agency she now has access to information, she hadn't been privy to as only a consultant. Their newest assignment is determining what or who caused the disturbance to the land, animals, and people surrounding three key areas. It feels like magic but something is off about it, and Nell's unique tie to the land will be crucial in finding the answers to these questions.

Occam, loving this guy! He is smitten with Nell, and luckily he knows to take it slow so he doesn't scare her off! The facts about the relationship between Rick and Paka come to light, and everyone is left reeling from betrayal. Soul is more present in the last half of the book and she is a good addition if only part time.

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Sunday, October 30, 2016

Review: Marrow

Marrow Marrow by Tarryn Fisher
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“People will ignore every warning sign when blinded by their thirst for something. It’s better to not be thirsty.”

“You have to be willing to be happy. Despite the mess of your life—just accept what’s happened, throw away your ideals, and create a new map of happiness to follow.”

“Be bold about your right to be loved.”

Marrow is real, dark and haunting. It's nice to escape into fiction and forget about the world around us, but this isn't the book for escape. It reminds you how cruel humans can be, and how many people suffer silently from their cruelty.

Margo was born and raised in the Bone, where drug dealers, meth addicts, whores and ex-convicts reside. As the daughter of an addict and a whore she somehow manages to be oddly optimistic. She befriends Judah who is wheelchair bound and the two of them make plans to leave. When a young girl from their neighborhood is murdered, Margo is determined to find the killer. The answers she finds changes her. Maybe she would have always turned out that way, or maybe it was the combination of too many terrible things happening at once. I wanted to hate what Margo became but I inwardly cheered her on. I guess that makes me a bit twisted myself.

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Sunday, October 23, 2016

Review: F*ck Love

F*ck Love F*ck Love by Tarryn Fisher
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I could not put this book down! I finally had to make myself go to bed at 3:30 am which only left a few hours before I had to get up and about fifty pages remaining. As much as I loved the book and was sucked in by the storyline, I couldn't help wonder what the hell was wrong with Helena. She completely rearranges her entire life based on a dream. A dream! Who does that? She seemed a bit desperate and I felt a little sorry for her. Her best friend was such a bitch, I didn't have much pity for her even though she did deserve it. Even with the few wtf moments I experienced while reading F*ck Love, Fisher is a truly talented author and I think most people would enjoy reading her books.

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Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Review: The Story of Us

The Story of Us The Story of Us by Lesley Jones
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I detest insta-love.. I especially dislike it when the protagonist is freakin eleven. I mean really boys and love were the last things on my mind at eleven, I definitely didn't think any of them were my soulmate. I don't even believe in soulmates now. Carnage is so cliche with it's insta-love, rock & roll singers, love triangle, etc. I think maybe the author looked up the most overused elements to typical love stories and put them all in one book. I wanted to quit this book so many times but for some reason, I stuck it out. I wish I hadn't.

                “I was eleven years old, but I knew without a shadow of a doubt I
                  was staring into the eyes of the boy I was going to love forever,”

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Sunday, October 16, 2016

Review: Crooked Kingdom

Crooked Kingdom Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“Maybe there were people who lived those lives. Maybe
this girl was one of them. But what about the rest of us?
What about the nobodies and the nothings, the invisible
girls? We learn to hold our heads as if we wear crowns.
We learn to wring magic from the ordinary. That was
how you survived when you weren’t chosen, when there
was no royal blood in your veins. When the world owed
you nothing, you demanded something of it anyway.”

Thank goodness this is a duology because I couldn't wait a year for a third book. Other than one glaring tragedy, Bardugo wrapped up things nicely with Crooked Kingdom, and maybe it's best to leave well enough alone. However, a spinoff with Nina would be welcome! Crooked Kingdom lived up to its predecessor and I couldn't put it down until I knew how things played out with the crew from Ketterdam. Bardugo was fantastic at keeping me on my toes, and just when I thought all hope was lost she'd turn things around. The complexity of this story, this world, and these characters comes together to make a fantastic whirlwind of a ride for the reader.

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Friday, October 14, 2016

Review: Six of Crows

Six of Crows Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Every now and then you stumble across a book that reminds you of why you fell in love with reading in the first place. Six of Crows is one of those books. Bardugo manages in 500 pages to create a world unlike any other, filled with people who despite their criminal profession you can't help but root for. I fell in love with all of them and as I slowly learned each of their backgrounds, how they came to be the person they are, I only loved them more. Bardugo uses an alternating third person point of view so that each of the six main characters contributes their own perceptions. Though Six of Crows is set in the same universe as Bardugo's Grisha series you don't need to read it before starting this one.

"A gambler, a convict, a wayward son, a lost Grisha, a Suli girl who has become a killer, a boy from the Barrel who had become something worse."

All six of these characters are from different parts of their world, different races, and different cultures but trust me when I say that each of these characters has something of their very own that makes you admire them. With that said, Inej and Nina are my very favorites. I can't decide which I like better but for very different reasons. Inej was kidnapped as a young Suli girl and sold into a brothel. Kaz bought her indentured contract and turned her into a lethal ally known as the "the wraith". She longs for the girl she once was and the family she left behind, but she is powerful in her own right, and won't be broken again. Nina is a Grisha, beautiful and deadly but the mouth on this one is phenomenal. She's a sassy little thing that makes even the Fjerden soldier trained to kill the Grisha fall in love.

“A good time needn’t involve wine and … and flesh,” Matthias sputtered.
Nina batted her glossy lashes at him. “You wouldn’t know a good time if it sidled up to you and stuck a lollipop in your mouth.”

“It's not natural for women to fight." (Mathias)
"It's not natural for someone to be as stupid as he is tall,
and yet there you stand.” (Nina)

“Many boys will bring you flowers. But someday you'll meet a boy who will learn your favorite flower, your favorite song, your favorite sweet. And even if he is too poor to give you any of them, it won't matter because he will have taken the time to know you as no one else does. Only that boy earns you heart.”
Inej's father's words to her as a young girl.

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Sunday, October 9, 2016

Review: Full Measures

Full Measures Full Measures by Rebecca Yarros
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Obviously, I'm in the minority with Full Measures. All of the reviews and overall ratings are excellent, but it just didn't do it for me. Don't get me wrong, there were a few instances dealing with the loss of Ember's father that got to me. Witnessing the anguish the family suffers when their loved one doesn't come home from war is heartbreaking. On the other hand, the protagonist is naive, and a bit annoying. Her boyfriend is a douchebag and I seriously can't deal with insta-love. Love doesn't happen in 23 pages, that's called lust. Josh and Gus are the two redeeming factors here. Josh is obviously gorgeous because no male lead is ever unattractive, but he's also super sweet without being a pushover.

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Monday, October 3, 2016

Review: Monster in His Eyes

Monster in His Eyes Monster in His Eyes by J.M. Darhower
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Naz is the epitome of the alpha male and he makes me think I need a bad boy. Then I keep reading and realize why I should stay single because that's the kind of losers I'm attracted to! :) Just kidding.. kind of. lol He warned her "I'm not a good man, Karissa, and I never will be. So don't think you can fix me, or that I'll ever change, because I won't. I can't." but she chose to stay. Granted, she didn't know the full extent of his deceit, but unfortunately, she's already in. There's no going back even when she wishes she could.

"You have to know, if this goes any further, if you ask me to stay, I'm not going to be able to let you walk away."

"I love you. Promise me you'll remember that. Good, because I'm about to fuck you like I don't"

"He’s a drug, an addictive one, and I’m not sure it’s a habit I can kick. All it took was one hit. One strong, euphoric hit and I was hooked."

"He fucks me like he means it, like he needs it, like being inside of me is more important than anything inside of him, and every cell in my body calls out to him, craving more of it."

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Saturday, October 1, 2016

Review: All the Ugly and Wonderful Things

All the Ugly and Wonderful Things All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I'm obviously in the minority with this one. All the Ugly and Wonderful Things is captivating from the very beginning and I didn't want to put it down. The writing and the raw emotion is five-star quality. Even with all of that I still couldn't love it because of the content.

Wavy is deeply damaged from her life with two abusive drug dealers/addicts as parents. The things she's witnessed in her short time on earth leave no question as to why she is the way she is. When she meets Kellen (who is somewhat slow but he's still a grown man) he takes care of her in a way her parents never have. The two of them develop an unlikely friendship that would never be allowed outside of this toxic family. As disturbing as I found their relationship, I was also glad that Wavy finally had someone who was looking out for her best interests. That inner conflict made it hard for me to determine how I felt about the book in general. As she gets older their relationship naturally progresses and it's that turning point that happens a little too soon that prevents me from absolutely loving this book.

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Monday, September 26, 2016

Review: Raw

Raw Raw by Belle Aurora
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

WTF.. I can't even begin to come to terms with how this played out. Belle Aurora warned me from the beginning, "This is not a love story. This is a story of love gone wrong." and yet I still had my hopes up! Twitch is not a nice person, he's not even a decent person. Lexie is everything he is not, hopeful, kind and compassionate. Somehow these opposites attract and it's part magic, part tragic. There are quite a few times of disbelief while reading Raw but the end will twist your mind. Of course, that just guarantees I pick up the second book to find out how Aurora could possibly redeem this story.

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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Review: The Piper's Son

The Piper's Son The Piper's Son by Melina Marchetta
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I added this to my to-read shelf several years ago. For the life of me, I don't know why I waited so long to read it. Marchetta is brilliant at doing Real, with a capital R. She creates characters that are so in depth, and it's amazing to watch them grow.

Tom is headed down the wrong road, but after the last few years, it's not all that surprising. Having a father that is your hero, and then losing him to his addiction has to be worse than never having one at all. After his uncle Joe died in a tragic bombing in London, his whole family was rocked to the core. His dad turned to alcohol, forcing his mother to leave to shield his sister from the person her father had become. Tom sticks around because he can't bear to leave him alone. Then his father walks away from him. His Aunt Georgie is dealing with an unexpected pregnancy at the age of 42, and if that's not bad enough, she is pregnant by the love of her life, who broke her heart seven years ago. The Piper's Son is a traumatic story, of an amazing family..

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Monday, September 5, 2016

Review: Left Drowning

Left Drowning Left Drowning by Jessica Park
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

You know that feeling when your throat is about to close off because you're close to tears? That's how I felt for most of this book.

Blythe is living in her own personal black cloud since her parent's death. Unless she is out boozing it up with random people, she is alone in her dorm room. So meeting not one, but two different people on the second day of sobriety is clearly out of character. When Sabin, who has the most entertaining personality, decides they are friends, who is she to argue? Meeting Chris, and feeling their instant connection is alarming, not only the connection but she opens up to him about things she has never opened up about. Sabin and Chris are brothers attending school with their younger siblings Eric & Estelle. Blythe isn't the only one with a traumatic family history, but the extent of it, she never would have guessed.

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Monday, August 29, 2016

Review: Blood of the Earth

Blood of the Earth Blood of the Earth by Faith Hunter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Soulwood is a great new spinoff series based in the same world as Hunter's Jane Yellowrock series. Nell was recently pulled into Jane's world when Jane asked for her help rescuing a missing Clan Glass vamp. The polygamist cult Nell escaped from and has been attempting to avoid since was responsible for the kidnapping and Jane needed access to their compound which sits adjacent Nell's land. After the rescue attempt, Jane went back to New Orleans leaving Nell to deal with the remaining members who weren't happy with her helping outsiders. In the last few months, things have gotten pretty intense, and are only getting worse, that is until Rick Lafleur and Paka show up. Jane was supposed to send help but they're late in coming, and when they do show up they need Nell's help too. Psyled is working a case that may involve the cult and they want Nell on their team.

Nell is so naive about the world around her having been raising in such isolation. I love the simple joys she finds in things most people consider so normal. She doesn't know what she is or what kind of powers she holds but the coming months will give her plenty of opportunity to test those things out. I never liked Paka much for the role she played in Rick's leaving Jane, but she did grow on me a bit in this book. Even better was Occam, the other were-leopard who just happens to be from Texas and seems to be awfully smitten with Nell!! The other team member I find completely endearing is Tandy, the empath in unit 18. He's basically a human lie detector but he's very sensitive to the emotions of those around him and Nell is very kind to him.

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Thursday, August 25, 2016

Review: Too Late

Too Late Too Late by Colleen Hoover
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I wanted to really like this book but I can't with Sloan and Asa. Neither of them is very appealing just for different reasons. Poor pitiful Sloan is stuck with a drug dealer/user in a horribly abusive relationship because without Asa, her handicapped brother will be forced out of his new home and back in with her mother. Asa knows this, knows that Sloan is dependent upon him and treats her accordingly. Sloan cries a lot but tries to act really tough around Carter. Carter is ok just a little dull. *More of an explanation in the spoilers*

Sloan's brother lost the state-funded coverage for his 24 care center and Sloan was forced to return to Asa and ask for his help. For the last two years, he's been paying the out of pocket cost for her brother's care. Except he hasn't. He faked the paperwork saying they were denied so Sloan would be forced to ask him for help. In two years she never thought to even ask anyone about this? Why was it denied? What do they need to do to get it reinstated? Nothing.. this is why I can't deal with her. Asa is just an asshole who has serious issues stemming from his own fucked up childhood. Carter is an undercover cop posing as a partner to take Asa down when he meets Sloan and they fall in insta-love. Nope., not for me.

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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Haven  by Melissa Belle
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Found this little gem on Wattpad! The best things in life are free! I wanted to rate and add to my collection on Goodreads but the book isn't listed there.

Norah is an aspiring writer and seems to be an introvert most of the time. Her brother has a bad habit of running with the wrong crowd and his bad decisions are now affecting her. When one of his associates threatens her she flees the city looking for peace. What she finds is anything but peace, instead, she's now in the middle of a power struggle between real life fairy tale creatures.

I love Rylan! He is everything, funny, protective, hot and a little cocky. Norah was goofy and at times a little annoying but still she made you want to root for her. The entire Montoya family is awesome, well except for Liam. Liam and his twin brother Luke are the first born twins to their clan but due to complications and an emergency c-section no one knows who was meant to be born first. Before he died, their father chose Luke to lead the pack but Liam is not having it. He left the pack and took some of their members with them essentially fracturing the family. Since then it's been a power struggle and Norah is now caught in the middle. She and Rylan do fall for each other after she saves his ass and he saves hers a few times. Liam and Daniel (her brother's friends she's been running from) hook up when he almost dies after attacking her. Liam saves him because the whole "enemy of my enemy is my friend" thing. They decide to kidnap her and before Rylan is able to save her, Daniel (who is now a wolf) bites her and forces the change. She makes out ok as a wolf and in the epilogue the two decide to get married.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Review: When She Woke

When She Woke When She Woke by Hillary Jordan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I might be alone in this, but I had to give it 5 stars! When I catch myself grabbing my book in the mornings, so that I can sneak in a few chapters at lunch, I'd say it's pretty good.
Hannah has always felt a bit stifled but remained true to her family, and their beliefs. Well until she had an affair with a married man, got pregnant, and then had an abortion. In this post-apocalyptic world, after the second depression, instead of jails filled with criminals, they are all monochromed. Criminals are injected with a color, that changes based on the severity of your crime, and colors your skin head to toe. Since abortion is illegal, and she refused to out the abortionist, or the father, she will have to remain a Red for 16 years.

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Sunday, August 14, 2016

Review: The Evolution of Mara Dyer

The Evolution of Mara Dyer The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow, what a cliffhanger! Mara is trying to bide her time, give the correct answers, and do what has to be done to avoid being put in full-time treatment. No one believes that she saw her ex-boyfriend Jude in the police station, and after a pretty disturbing scene, she was admitted again. Noah is the only person who believes her and is willing to help. Even if Mara wasn't crazy before, dealing with strange new powers, and a dead ex-boyfriend, all while everyone thinks you're imagining things is enough to make anyone mental.

After seeing Jude in the police station, and freaking out her parents have her admitted. She gives the right answers and says what they want so that she can go home and into out-patient care. Once she is home Jude starts leaving things for her, a dead cat, blood on the mirror, and moving things around. At one point she throws her grandmothers doll out with the trash at the curb. She keeps having flashbacks of a little girl in a remote jungle in India. The doll was given to that little girl when she was found alone. She later finds the doll back in her drawer, and she tells Noah as much. He tells her that he watched her get up, tell him she shouldn't have done it, and go get the doll. It was her that retrieved it out of the trash. After this, you start thinking maybe it's her doing all of this. She has periods of time she doesn't remember, etc. Dr. Kells the new psychologist at her new treatment facility is a bit shifty, but Phoebe is worse. Phoebe is bat shit crazy and leaves things for Mara to find that her boyfriend gave her. When Mara wakes up in a trunk of a car, and Jude reveals that he has taken her, he tells her that she will slit her own wrists, or he will do it for her. If he has to do it, he will also use the key he took from her to kill her two brothers. She knows that sometimes pain triggers Noah's gift to see her, and she bites her tongue as hard as possible hoping he can see what's going on. She does cut her own wrist but is stopped by a police officer checking on the two of them. He calls for back up but suddenly has a stroke. Mara is found in a pool of her own blood with the dead officer, and no Jude. So again, everyone thinks she wants to kill herself, and no one believes Jude was there, except Noah. He saw everything through her eyes. Mara is admitted to a full-time treatment center run by Dr. Kells. Phoebe is her roommate and keeps telling people that Mara is trying to hurt her. Turns out Jude is her boyfriend, and has been using her to scare Mara all along. He doesn't want Mara dead, only scared because he thinks she can bring his sister Claire back to life if she is motivated enough. Dr. Kells facilitates the whole thing. Jude traps Mara, Noah, Jamie, Stella, and a few others and reveals that they all have powers. Jude heals himself but while doing so, he takes strength from others. Stella can read Jude's mind, not sure if that works with anyone. In the end, Mara wakes up in a hospital with Dr. Kells there. She remembers the fight and killing Jude. Kells tells Mara that she was given some drug that will make moving her body impossible. She also tells her that she has been a part of a blind study, that not even her parents knew about. She pulls up a list of names on a board. Stella, Mara, Jamie, Jude and Noah all have contraindications next to their names, which is what they call the powers. Five of them, three I don't know, and Phoebe and Noah are listed as deceased. Mara doesn't believe it because Dr. Kells has lied about so many things. She asks Mara if she wants help getting better, and Mara answers yes, knowing that she won't be trapped forever.

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Friday, August 12, 2016

Review: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Why have I not read this until now?? I was sucked in right away, and though at times I couldn't tell what kind of book I was reading, it was phenomenal.
Mara wakes up in the hospital and is told that she was in an accident. She and her friends went to a condemned asylum, and the building collapsed. She was the only one to make it out alive, but she can't remember anything. Some say it's her minds way of protecting itself, but as weird things continue to happen, she starts thinking maybe there is something wrong.

Mara meets Noah at her new school. He is the class whore, and she's warned away from him by her new bff. Noah is not one to be dissuaded and continues his pursuit. Eventually when his ex Anna pulls a real bitchy little stunt to embarrass Mara, Noah steps in and turns it all around. Anna is the only one embarrassed. From that point forward the grow closer while spending time with each other. Mara hasn't told anyone about the strange things that are haunting her, the nightmares that reveal some of the missing memories, the ghosts of her dead friends, or the way her thoughts sometimes create reality. Mara doesn't know what is real, and what's fake so she remains quiet. After seeing an emaciated dog, and his disgusting owner she imagines the guy falling, hitting his head, and dying. After school when she walks back to check on the dog, she sees the police there and sees the man dead. Her Spanish teacher lies about Mara doing well on her exam and gives her a failing grade. Mara imagines her choking on her own tongue. Until the teacher dies of anaphylactic shock, Mara thinks they are coincidences. Noah shows up at her house one night, telling her she has to come with him. Her little brother Joseph was taken, and Noah knows where he is. They find him tied up in a shed, and Noah reveals he saw it all in a vision. They couldn't go to the police, otherwise, they would want to know how he knew where to find him. Joseph doesn't remember any of it, and they tell him he fell at school, and passed out. They found him and brought him home. Mara and Noah agree to keep the real story to themselves. Afterwards, Mara confesses everything that's happening to Noah, and he reveals that he saw her in a vision before meeting her. She is the third person he has seen in a vision, but the first he's met in real life. He also reveals he has the ability to heal people. The person that took Joseph they later find out is the guy on trial for murder, that her father is defending. When he gets off on the charges, Mara says she has to use her new power to stop him from hurting anyone else. Noah tells her not to do it, that the other times were accidents, and this would be intentional. Knowing that it means losing Noah, she still imagines the guy being shot on the courthouse steps. The mother of the victim shoots and injures both the defendant and her father. The mother is taken to jail, for a crime that Mara made her commit. She goes to the police station to turn herself in, but Jude (her ex who died in the collapse) walks in behind her. At first, she assumes he is another one of her hallucinations until the officer there responds to his question. She wakes up in an institution, having flipped out and confessed to everything, naturally they think she is crazy.

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Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Review: It Ends with Us

It Ends with Us It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It Ends with Us is a thought provoking piece of magnificence! It's raw, real and at times emotionally overwhelming. It Ends with Us is heavy, with topics including abuse, rape, betrayal and love. I questioned things I thought I knew and cried when everything in Lilly's life seemed to be falling apart. All of the characters, even down to the minor characters were well developed and integral to the storyline. When considering a rating for a book it takes quite a bit to earn five stars and requires the author make me feel as though I were experiencing the protagonist's conflicts personally. Hoover was able to pull it off flawlessly with one of her best pieces yet.

Lilly makes her way to Boston, where she meets Ryle Kincaid. He's smart, driven, definitely good looking but has no interest in anything beyond a fling. Lilly has no interest in anything casual, but the two of them can't seem to stay away from one another. As their friendship progresses and Lilly finds herself becoming the exception to Ryle's rule, she runs into Atlas Corrigan whom she's loved since she was a teenager. Atlas is steady and everything she thought she wanted before starting a new relationship. His presence in her life threatens what's she's building with Ryle but things have a way of working out how they're supposed to even when we can't imagine the possibility. The most important topics discussed are also spoilers so you will just have to take my word for it that this book is it. You won't be disappointed.

I'm not going to lie, I'm one of those girls. I look at women in an abusive relationship and wonder how they could possibly be so weak to allow that type of thing to continue. I can't understand how you could love a man who is capable of hurting you, but they don't love that man. They love the man they fell in love with, the man he is the other 99% of the time and It Ends with Us has somehow shed a light on domestic abuse that I never thought I would see. I questioned beliefs that I never knew needed questioning and found a new respect for the women that are able to withstand the pain and break the cycle. Hoover pulled back the curtain for her readers and wrote this book based on her mother's life, and I admire her for that. It can't be easy to allow strangers a glimpse of something so private, but she did and she did it very well.

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Sunday, August 7, 2016

Review: Infinity + One

Infinity + One Infinity + One by Amy Harmon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have never read an Amy Harmon book that wasn't worth reading. I was a little skeptical about Infinity + One just because I am so over the rockstar/ superstar love story. Fortunately, Bonnie Rae Shelby is a totally likeable character. She is somewhat of a goofball but compassionate and not at all full of herself. Finn is struggling with the life he's been handed and the feeling of being caged. The two are an unlikely pair but I was rooting for them from the beginning! Bonnie's antics and Finn's exasperation with her antics comes together making some hilarious moments.

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Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Review: Ruining You

Ruining You Ruining You by Nicole Reed
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I'm pretty sure I cried through at least half of Ruining You.. Depression is a silent disease, in some ways worse than anything physical. While you're dying on the inside, no one knows or even suspects that you aren't that smiling face you portray.
Jay lost her innocence to a man that was supposed to protect her. The boy she has loved since they were kids loses his life while attempting to avenge her. Not being able to take another day of the turmoil, she attempts to join him. Waking up alive wasn't in the plans, but now she must attempt to put her life back together. With family, friends, Rhye, and Kane all willing to help her find a reason to go on living.

When the secret comes out about Coach Branch raping Jay, which led to an abortion, JT and Cal jump in the car to confront him. Driving recklessly they end up in an accident which kills JT, and the other driver, as well as paralyzes Cal. Jay attempts to kill herself but is found before she succeeds. The next three months are spent in a rehabilitation center, hopefully gaining the tools she needs to put her life back together. She meets Eli there, and they quickly become great friends. He is the gay son of a Baptist preacher, who also lost his boyfriend. The two hit it off, and Eli's friendship does more to help Jay than all of the therapy she has gone through. After being released she finds out that Kane has moved on. She didn't respond to any of his letters, and he couldn't go on waiting. She is devastated but this is what she thought she wanted. The two of them eventually get their shit together, but with the trial coming up, the battle is just beginning. At first, she didn't want to testify but eventually realizes that choosing not to may mean that running into Bruce Branch will continue. His obsession is even worse than anyone imagined, he has followed her for years, and being out on bond hasn't stopped his sick obsession. After an attempted break-in, Branch is on 24hr surveillance. Thinking she is safe she goes to the cemetery early the morning of JT's birthday. Branch's wife shows up, showing all of her crazy, and asking why she couldn't be enough for her husband. She tells Jay that without her in the picture, Branch goes free and she can have her life back. She shoots at Jay, but the bullet on grazes her neck b/c Kip (JT's brother) tackles her from behind. His wife admits to knowing her husband has been stalking Jay for years, and now they may have enough evidence not to need her testimony. She and Kane take off for a vacation on the beach, first stopping in Vegas to get married.

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Sunday, July 31, 2016

Review: A Gift of Time

A Gift of Time A Gift of Time by Beth Flynn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Holy hell... I cannot even begin to describe how amazing this series is! I am so sad that it's ending but also a little stoked at the possibility of a Mimi spinoff!! A Gift of Time is heart-warming and gut-wrenching all at the same time, but nevertheless, if you haven't already fallen in love with these characters you will. I just want to do a little happy dance at the perfection that is the end of this book. At five am I had to concede defeat knowing I wouldn't be able to finish and at least try to sleep three hours before work this morning. If you have somewhere to be and an unhealthy disrespect for the time like I do, I suggest you hold off until the weekend to start this one.

Just in case there happens to be a spinoff I've left spoilers below.

A Gift of Time starts off when Kit finds out that Grizz isn't really dead, and that he left a way for her to contact him if she even needs him. Grizz claims a boy named Pretty in jail because he noticed the boy working on a computer and exchanges protection for Pretty, who he renames Bill, erasing everything about him from all police databases and websites. Bill ends up marrying Carter, Kit's best friend who lives in their old house. Mimi knew about Grizz long before her parents ever revealed their past which caused a rift in their family that is slowly starting to heal. We also learn that Sarah Jo is an evil bitch who not only was the real "Wendy" who orchestrated Kit's rape back at the motel but is also who helped set up Grizz to go down for Kit's kidnapping. Tommy finds out Grizz isn't his real dad but that Red is. When Tommy gets killed during a random robbery Kit is beside herself and so are her children. She knows Grizz is in town but she wants nothing to do with him. He slowly works his way back into her life being very respectful and patient (and it's glorious!). Some douchebag named Nick Rosman wants to make a name for himself in the biker world and decides that seducing and raping Grizz's daughter Mimi is the best way to do that. Luckily Anthony Bear's son Christian finds out about what he has planned and races to where she is to save her but unfortunately gets pulled over and taken to jail. He's been in love with her since they were kids and wanted to protect her but calls his brother Slade when he can't go himself. He waits too long to make his move and eventually Grizz and Kit get remarried and relocate to start their lives over again. Christian decides since his father kidnapped his mother, and Grizz kidnapped Kit then if he wants Mimi he will do the same thing. The book ends with Grizz, Kit, Jason, their two twins Dillon and Ruthie and Grizz's dad Micah (preacher) getting their last call from Mimi as she heads off to church camp for ten days. She tells her mom she loves her and that she saw a friend and has to go but will text when she is almost there and when she leaves in ten days.

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Thursday, July 28, 2016

Review: The Cuckoo's Calling

The Cuckoo's Calling The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I wouldn't consider this the typical genre of book that I read, but with all the hype surrounding it, I wanted to give it a try. It isn't a fluff read, you need to pay attention, but it's totally worth it. After reading The Cuckoo's Calling, I am thinking about reading Rowling's other books. Yes I know, I'm the only person that hasn't read them.
Cormoran Strike is ex-military, working as a PI. He recently broke up with his fiance, and for now, is sleeping in his office. He lost one of his legs and is the illegitimate son of a famous rock star. If all of that isn't bad enough, he is so far behind on bills, and loans that he has no hope of paying them.
Robin is working temporary jobs while seeking permanent employment. When she gets assigned to Strike as a secretary, she has no idea that he can't pay her, and never asked for a replacement of his last temp.
When a wealthy lawyer, John Bristow, comes to him requesting his service, he is adamant that his sister was murdered and did not commit suicide as the police believe. Strike doesn't believe that it was murder, and tells him up front he doesn't feel right taking his money. John loses his temper, and Strike agrees to take the case.
From that point on, we get a glimpse of how the minds of investigators work.

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Monday, July 25, 2016

Review: Marked in Flesh

Marked in Flesh Marked in Flesh by Anne Bishop
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

So I'm a big fan of The Others series because it's refreshing when an author can recreate the paranormal using beings that are new and haven't been overdone a million times (with sparkles..). The terra indigene are shifters but they are only part of what makes up the whole community of others. The Elders, known as Namid's teeth and claws are not fond of the humans, and as the HFL (Humans First and Last) movement is gaining steam and their leader Nicholas Scratch is hell bent on reclaiming part of the wild country for the humans to expand things are not looking good. Humans memories are short and every couple of generations they must be reminded of what happens when they break their agreements with the Others.

The number of characters and places/settlements continues to grow and it's a bit hard to keep up with at times. I don't think it's vitally important to know exactly which person comes from where but it does get a bit confusing. The pace of Marked in Flesh wasn't up to par with the previous three books and almost felt like more of a filler. Bishop is killing me with dragging this romance out with Meg and Simon, we get it she's fragile but not even a kiss?! Meg and all of the Cassandra Sangue have become such an integral part of the courtyards and Intuit settlements which have allowed them to bridge the gap between some of the humans, the terra indigene, and the simple life folk. Meg and her naivety may be all that stands in the way of death for the human pack of Lakeside.

Read the spoilers section below for a quick recap before starting book number five, Etched In Bone which is expected to be published in 2017.

The HFL lost all of their support and countless lives of humans throughout Thiasia and Cel-Romano when they attached all of the wolf packs. Some of them were able to escape with the warning from the Cassandra Sangue, but Joe and his pack from Prairie Gold weren't one of the lucky ones. All of the pups and their nanny made it out but none of the rest of their pack survived. The Elders are furious at the number of murders the HFL is responsible for and they won't be silent long. Montgomery is ablet o get his mother, sister, and nieces out of Toland before it's destroyed but very few human settlements make it out alive. His mother Twyla is a welcome addition to the human pack that the wolves especially appreciate because she makes the children listen with no room for argument. Meg has discovered a way to ask for answers and speak the prophecy using cards instead of the deadly cuts and she is hoping to show the rest of the Cassandra Sangue. Though she is still addicted to the euphoria of cutting her cards point her in the direction of Simon for a possible replacement for that euphoria. Unfortunately, we don't get to see, hear or read anything regarding romance but it's definitely coming!!

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Saturday, July 23, 2016

Review: Blood in Her Veins: Nineteen Stories from the World of Jane Yellowrock

Blood in Her Veins: Nineteen Stories from the World of Jane Yellowrock Blood in Her Veins: Nineteen Stories from the World of Jane Yellowrock by Faith Hunter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I've given a quick review with no (or minimal) spoilers below for some of the short stories in Blood in Her Veins. Catching up with Jane, Beast, and the gang from very early on until right before book 10 fills in a lot of holes and gives more information about some of the events that take place. It's a long read, 19 stories, and 542 pages but enjoyable nonetheless.

Wesa and the Lumbar King- This story is set in the late 1800's or early 1900's and Wesa (Jane) is still very young. Beast is the more dominant of the two and it will be interesting to see how that changes.

The Early Years- Unfortunately, The Early Years starts out when Jane is leaving the group home at eighteen. She was found wandering the forest at twelve(ish) so it's only been 6 years but she has no memory of her time before she was found. At least a hundred years of time is missing because Jane is using Mapquest to find the rock she has always seen in her dreams. Once she finds it she realizes her memories are correct and Beast is able to shift.

Snafu- This was just a short story about Jane's first interview with a PI firm after leaving the children's home.

Cat Tat's- Cat Tat's is a little back story on Rick Lafleur. He started out in the New Orleans police academy but was picked up to work for the federal government in some undercover infiltration of the vamps. After chatting up a pretty vamp Isleen he wakes up in a barn restrained by his hands and feet. The psycho vamp apparently has an old grudge with Katie who happens to be a long lost relative of Rick. Isleen has a young witch Loriann tattooing his skin with a spell to bind him to her, not sure why she isn't able to do it the normal way other than she has to be sick in some way. Where she has taken blood from the Loriann and Rick the skin hasn't healed but became infected. Loriann reveals that Isleen has her brother locked away with her scions and won't give him back until she completes the binding. For some reason, she trusts Rick after spending a few days with him and provides him a weapon and also provides Katie with the address of the barn. Rick stakes her but misses. Luckily Katie and Leo show up in time to kill Isleen and save them all.

Kits- Jane saves Angie and reveals herself to Molly which she was only acquaintances with before but now is good friends.

Off the Grid- Jane is sent to Clan Glass in Tennessee after they requested Leo's help. She finds out upon arrival that their head of security, Heyda Cohen had a meeting with the local cult church leader and went with them willingly. Her security team didn't think anything of it until she failed to return. Ming Zhane, the Glass Clan Blood Master, wants Jane to rescue Heyda as soon as possible. While doing her research, Jane finds that Nell Ingram and her late husband own the property next to the church. Nell is different but Jane isn't sure at first what she's feeling from the young woman. Nell is their best chance of rescuing Heyda if they can convince her to help.

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Monday, July 18, 2016

Review: Off the Grid

Off the Grid Off the Grid by Faith Hunter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Jane is sent to Clan Glass in Tennessee after they requested Leo's help. She finds out upon arrival that their head of security, Heyda Cohen had a meeting with the local cult church leader and went with them willingly. Her security team didn't think anything of it until she failed to return. Ming Zhane, the Glass Clan Blood Master, wants Jane to rescue Heyda as soon as possible. While doing her research, Jane finds that Nell Ingram and her late husband own the property next to the church. Nell is different but Jane isn't sure at first what she's feeling from the young woman. Nell is their best chance of rescuing Heyda if they can convince her to help.

Nell's character will have a spin-off series titled Soulwood, with the first book Blood of the Earth coming out August 2nd. Nell has a checkered past and an interesting story which should make for a good addition to the JY world.

Read the spoilers section below for a quick recap before starting book number 1 of the Soulwood series titled Blood of the Earth.

Jane learns when visiting Nell at her home that she has some kind of magic, that isn't witch magic, but connects her to the forest around her. She also learns that Nell somehow escaped the cult but she is very private with the details. She's only 22, didn't graduate high school but is self-educated. The cult had blocked local law enforcement from searching their property after receiving complaints of child abuse. While rescuing Heyda, the group also assists the cops in getting onto the property where 138 children are rescued from physical and sexual abuse. Yummy, nicknamed by Jane, was one of the vamps in the rescue mission who Jane sincerely likes because of her kindness to two of the girls held hostage. She takes off with the leader and hopefully tortured him with the same malice he abused his people with. At the end, Jane visits Nell and tells her that because of their involvement she may not be safe anymore but that she is sending Rick and Psyled who may be able to help her. She tells Jane to go away and leave her in peace.

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Friday, July 15, 2016

Review: Shadow Rites

Shadow Rites Shadow Rites by Faith Hunter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Things are getting a lot more complicated in New Orleans. Dealing with the vampires, their clans, the weres, and the treacherous ex should be enough to keep anyone busy but now Jane is also dealing with the witches. She's been tasked with the job of security for the peace negotiations between the Master of the City and the witch council. When she is awakened by a spell scanning her and her home she realizes that she's in for trouble and it's only just beginning. Bruiser is perfection and I am so happy for the way things are working out on that front! Jane may not be ready for it but her family is growing and although a family of humans, a skinwalker, witches and possibly an Onario is unusual Jane and Beast are both happy with the changes.

Read the spoilers section below for a quick recap before starting book number 11 Cold Reign.

When the witches scanned Jane and her home they also marked her with a spell. That spell along with all of the other times she has been marked by a magic user, especially Gee are more harmful than she first suspected. While doing a sweep of the grounds around Jane's home he finds the item the witches dropped while fleeing from Jane, Eli, and the cops. He shows her the peacock brooch which looks antique and tingles with magic but neither are sure what to make of it. Later that night while at the vamp headquarters, while sparring with Gee he stabs her while under a magic compulsion and is horrified when he realizes his mistake. Somehow the spell prevents Jane from changing and she is unable to heal herself. Luckily there were plenty of vamps nearby to heal her and Jane agrees that he was acting against his will and Leo spares his life. Edmund is also becoming closer with Jane especially after she helped knock off some of his time in service to Leo and move up in vamp hierarchy. He insists on calling her master and has suggested becoming her Primo which is something unheard of since Primo's have only ever been used with Master vamps. While they were at vamp HQ Bruiser followed the brooch's pull to a swampy area with two trap doors set underground and which feels like strong magic. After opening the door they find Ming Zoya former blood master of Clan Mearkinis who was presumed dead after her disappearance. She's been starved and left to rot underground in a hole filled with swamp water. Instead of stark raving mad from starvation, she is compliant due to the identical peacock brooch pinned to her skin. When Jane is finally able to speak with her, Ming tells her she knew the human who first kidnapped her was Antoine Bush who Jane had killed in the fight with the Damours. His wife Marlene and daughter Tau had taken over where he left off in their fight against the witches and vampires though Tau had used the blood of Ming Zoya to turn herself into something like an Onario called Senza Onore which roughly translates to Dark Onario. Leo reassigns Edmund Hartley's last 19 years of servitude to Jane as her Primo, even though she doesn't want that. Molly tells her that she doesn't think it's a bad idea because with a Primo she is essentially a Master. According to the Vampira Carta, it is a common protocol for a Primo or Enforcer to fight the blood duel for their master. When the Euro vamps visit this could work in her favor, especially since Edmund is powerful in his own right. Edmund shows up with Brute and after a brief argument, he pledges himself as protector of not only Jane but all of the Yellowrock clan including Eli, Alex, Molly, Evan and the kids. Angie then swears to take care of Edmund, and though she is just a baby she is extremely powerful already with both parents passing the witch gene down to her. Edmund doesn't hold her to the promise, much to her dismay. Even though Marlene and Tau have pulled several more stunts, Jane hasn't been able to locate them until they show up at the meeting between the witches and vamps. Tau is extremely powerful and though Jane saves her people she and Leo are taken hostage by the two and restrained with magic. Jane allows Leo do drink her blood so he can heal enough to use his compulsion to save them. He is able to get them free and the witches were turned over to the witch court where they would be either severely punished or stripped of their magic. The vamp/witch accords were signed aligning the two factions for peace.

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Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Review: Dark Heir

Dark Heir Dark Heir by Faith Hunter
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Jane Yellowrock is growing, evolving and getting better with each new book in the series. Beast is right there with her making the two of them together an unstoppable duo. There is no shortage of characters, each one of them multi-dimensional and adding to this ever evolving world of the Mithrans. Eli and Alex are becoming part of the family that will hopefully expand permanently to include Bruiser. One minute I want to stake Leo myself and then he shows another side that I think Jane is one of the few who gets to see it. There were so many laugh out loud moments while reading Dark Heir it can only be a five star.

When the Son of Darkness, one of the oldest living vampires, Joses Bar-Judas escapes his prison below the New Orleans Council House Jane is charged with bringing him back. Luckily she has her partners Alex and Eli (who I absolutely love by the way) to help. Though Jane is easily one of the most skilled vampire hunters, the SOD is not your typical fanghead. When he escapes he puts all of the humans in New Orleans at risk and he makes it clear early on he has no intention of making things easy. Leo wants Jane to bring Bar-Judas back alive so he has a bargaining chip with the European Council but the more Jane learns about the old one the more she wants him dead.

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Friday, July 8, 2016

Review: Broken Soul

Broken Soul Broken Soul by Faith Hunter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I'm a little behind on the Jane Yellowrock series but looking forward to catching up. Jane is in charge of upgrading Leo's security at the Vamp headquarters in preparation for the European Mithrans visit. Leo pays top dollar to have Jane fulfill these duties which should have been Jane's first clue that things weren't as they seem. Before the expected guests even arrive we have a few new unexpected but no less evil guests making themselves known in the New Orleans Territory. Add to that the reappearance of the glittery/ rainbow thing that Jane can barely see, but who seems to be attacking or at least following her. If all of that wasn't enough, something strange is going on at the vamp headquarters and Jane's love life seems to be on an upswing. I am all for this new development because it is exactly what Jane needed!

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Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Review: Tall, Dark & Lonely

Tall, Dark & Lonely Tall, Dark & Lonely by R.L. Mathewson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

First of all, Chris is by far my favorite character. The book really picked up for me once he was introduced. Otherwise, it would have just been mediocre. I enjoyed reading about the Pyte & Sentinels, and do plan to continue for that reason. Hopefully, with the second book things will continue at the speed they left off.

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Saturday, June 25, 2016

Review: Fire Touched

Fire Touched Fire Touched by Patricia Briggs
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Seven years since I started the Mercy Thompson series and it's still one of my favorites! Mercy is so genuine in a world of Fae, wolves, and others. The love she has for her family is evident, and the many laugh out loud moments make Briggs series a winner. When Mercy and the pack decide to protect Aiden, the human child stolen by the Fae, they do so with the understanding that this might mean war between their pack and the Gray Lords.

Aiden and many other human children were left in Underhill when she closed her doors to the Fae. All but a few of them died, and the others that did survive and make it out didn't make it past the Fae in our world. They wanted to know how these human children were given the gift of magic and killed them in their efforts to find out. Aiden escaped with Zee and Tad from Walla Walla, using his fire power to assist in exchange for Zee asking the pack for Aiden's temporary protection. He's an annoying little shit but most of it is his fear of being returned and his lack of social norms since he's been in Underhill so long. Mercy and eventually Adam grow fond of the boy and promise him they will not let him be returned. Eventually, the Fae make a deal with the pack to respect their territory of the Tri-Cities in exchange for an artifact that Aiden agrees to retrieve from Underhill. While there the Widow Queen, who despises humans and the deal the Fae have struck, with the assistance of Underhill ambushes Mercy, Adam, and Aiden. They are able to defeat her, but not before the walking stick sacrifices itself for Mercy, and Adam is left with a death curse. Luckily Baba Yaga, with the help of Aiden convince Underhill to allow Baba Yaga's use of magic to reverse the curse. Aiden agrees to visit underhill, whom he calls Tilly when she is in the little girl form, in exchange for her agreement. In the end, Mercy is making brownies for their pack, and it seems Aiden has become a part of the family. He plans on visiting underhill soon because she told him she could help him stop lighting fires in his sleep. Aiden and Jesse seem to be getting along great as well.

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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Review: Never Never: Part Three

Never Never: Part Three Never Never: Part Three by Colleen Hoover
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Well, that was kind of a let down.. First, all three of these books could have easily been combined into one book. After reading the third installment, I can see why they chose to separate them. The first two books were really good because they kept you on your toes trying to figure out the missing information, and why Charlie and Silas were losing their memories. The average rating reflects that other readers felt the same. The third does end up revealing the answer to that question but it's kind of silly and anticlimactic. The ending does give us a peek into the future and because I don't know if there will be any other additions I will go ahead and leave a spoiler section.

Charlie and Silas wake up from their 11 am memory wipe repeating the same cycle, only this time Silas doesn't lose his memory. He decides to keep that information from Charlie so she isn't afraid or skeptical of him when he tries to explain. While on their search for more information Charlie visits her dad in prison. Since she is fresh from a recent memory wipe, she has no feelings for the stranger across from her, and she realizes what a dirtbag her dad is. She also learns that he actually fathered Cora Delacroix the "Shrimp" and chose not to be involved in her life. He tells her the only reason they held her against her will is because she was behaving strangely and they thought she was on drugs. After discussing it with Silas, the two of them decide to turn over the missing files that Silas took from his dad. The files ultimately show Charlie's father's guilt in the case regarding the missing money from their company. His father apologizes to Charlie for blaming her for the missing files and asks if she will be around more often. Silas realizes that the reason he didn't lose his memory this times is because he fell back in love with Charlie. He theorizes that if she also falls back in love with him she won't lose her memory again either. With this theory, he has one day to make her fall in love again. He's successful, and she doesn't lose her memory again at eleven am, in fact, both of them regain all of their memories from before the memory losses started. At the end of the book, it shows the two of them married twenty something years later with a daughter named Jessa. Jessa and Harry, her boyfriend are juniors or seniors in high school and have been together since they were freshman. Charlie can tell something is off about the two and asks Jessa if she wants to go to Miami for her birthday next month. She says "yeah... cool" and walks away. Silas starts to protest when Charlie reminds him Jessa's birthday isn't for six more months. Apparently it's starting all over again.

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Sunday, June 19, 2016

Review: Horde

Horde Horde by Ann Aguirre
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

So far Ann Aguirre is 3 for 3 with the Razorland trilogy. If you like Hunger Games or Divergent, you will like this series as well, IMO.
Fade is still dealing with the trauma of being kidnapped by the Freaks, and rescued by Deuce. I don't know what they did to him, but it was bad whatever it was. At the end of book two, the Freaks are attacking their new town Salvation, and Deuce, Fade, Tegan, and Stalker are sent to find help. No longer are they fighting a mindless group of animals, the Freaks are evolving, and gaining skills humans never imagined. Deuce knows that in order for all of humanity to remain safe, she must gather an army and destroy them. The problem is finding soldiers to rally behind a teenage girl.

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Sunday, June 12, 2016

Review: Between Us and the Moon

Between Us and the Moon Between Us and the Moon by Rebecca Maizel
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I can't decide how I feel about this book. I enjoyed reading it, hoping until the very last page for a happily ever after. As I sit here having finished it there are so many things that make me wish it were written a little bit differently. I wish Sarah hadn't lied but that's the premise of the book, so maybe not such a big lie..

Sarah is all about science and the stars. She's been tracking the Comet Jolie for 11 months and she's using this research to apply for a scholarship that will free her parents from the burden of accepting her tuition money from her aunt. After her first heartbreak, she decides she is tired of being the girl who spends every moment looking at the stars, or watching the world around her. She is reinventing herself and no longer has to be one or the other, she can be both good at science and have a social life. She starts the Scarlett Experiment, using her sister's clothes and mannerisms she wants to learn if changing who she is can also change her place on the outside to one on the inside. Sarah meets Andrew and though he was initially attracted to the girl in Scarlett's clothes, he likes Sarah for who she is. What she expects to be a casual conversation, a social experiment turns into a real relationship that has been built on a lie.

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Thursday, June 9, 2016

Review: The Impossible Knife of Memory

The Impossible Knife of Memory The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

When the old soldier's story was finished, Dad asked, "You know how Veterans Day started?" 
"The armistice, the end of World War One, " Fin answered. "At eleven o'clock in the morning of November 11, 1918, all the troops on both sides stopped fighting. That's the day we honor vets."
"Here's what you don't know, " Dad said. "By five o'clock that morning, the officers had all gotten the message that the war would end that day. But lots of them ordered their men to keep fighting. The end of the war meant that career officers would have fewer chances to move up in rank. The goddamn war was officially ending in hours and they sent their boys in to be sacrificed. Almost eleven thousand soldiers died on November 11, 1918. That's more men than died on the beaches of Normandy on D-day in World War Two, twenty-six years later." He cracked his knuckles. "Politics beats out freedom, honor, and service every time. Don't ever forget that."

That quote stuck with me for days after finishing The Impossible Knife of Memory. Hayley Kincain and her father have spent most of her life crisscrossing the nation trying to outrun his demons. Andy Kincain, a war veteran who suffers from PTSD never stays in one place too long. Hayley spends her time taking care of her father, careful not to set him off but unsuccessful more often than not. The Impossible Knife of Memory is a poignant look at the life of veterans and their loved ones. We ask a lot from our veterans, up to and sometimes including death. The fact that there are veterans and their families suffering without the help they deserve is disgusting. How our country could even consider recruiting new soldiers before our veterans are receiving what they were promised is mind boggling.

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Friday, June 3, 2016

Review: The Bird and the Sword

The Bird and the Sword The Bird and the Sword by Amy Harmon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I am in awe of Amy Harmon's skills as a writer. Her ability to captivate her audience is not limited by genre as she so brilliantly proves in The Bird and the Sword. Although I'm not typically fond of fantasy, unless it's urban fantasy I was intrigued from the beginning. Harmon has created a world of intriguing people, magical places, and I hope she has plans to bring us back.

Lark's mother was killed in front of her and that day before she died, she told the King he'd trade his soul and lose his son to the sky. She told her husband that he must protect their daughter as his life was now tied to hers. Then she gave these words to Lark forever trapping her voice.

Swallow, Daughter, pull them in, those words that sit upon your lips. Lock them deep inside your soul, hide them ‘til they’ve time to grow. Close your mouth upon the power, curse not, cure not, ‘til the hour. You won’t speak and you won’t tell, you won’t call on heav’n or hell. You will learn and you will thrive. Silence, Daughter. Stay alive.

In a world of hidden gifts, the Tellers and Spinners, Changers and Healers all hide who they are for fear of losing their lives. In a world among others without gifts, they're threatened and everyone must be equal. King Zoltov has killed every one of the gifted for fear of losing his throne. Lark longs to be free, free of her father and her curse.

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Monday, May 30, 2016

Review: Walk Through Fire

Walk Through Fire Walk Through Fire by Kristen Ashley
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I have no idea why but it took me forever to finish Walk Through Fire. It may have been me because the ratings are great and everyone else seemed to love it. I kept finding reasons to stop reading, to do something else, which is not typical if I'm loving the book I'm reading. I probably should have given up, but I just love Kristen Ashley and I couldn't do it!

Logan "High" Judd and Millie Cross were each other's everything and had their whole lives in front of them. Then out of nowhere Millie walked out on High and made it so that he would let her go. Years later they run into one another again, he's divorced and she's still single. High's intrigued by this new version of Millie, but she hurt him so badly he doesn't have it in him to forgive and forget.

Millie left High when she found out she couldn't have children. She knew how much he wanted kids and was willing to walk away so he could find someone that could give him that. After a chance meeting many years later she is happy that he did have two little girls but hates that he is divorced from their mother. He is cruel to her over and over until she finally walks away again. He learns the reason she walked away the first time and wishes she would have given him the chance to stay but is determined to get her back now. The two of them start to build a life together, and his daughter Cleo is all in but the baby Zadie is not having any part of that. It takes quite a while but she finally starts to come around when two of Valenzuela's men are sent to scare High's daughters and/or Millie and end up kidnapping her, but not before knocking her out. Millie sends Zadie running to her father before she is taken and Zadie is distraught. Valenzuela meets Millie in a hotel room and kills his two men in front of her because they weren't supposed to kidnap her. He is convinced that he still has the upper hand on Chaos, and he is so confident about that it scares Millie. She tries to make sure High knows this, that Valenzuela is counting on him flying off the handle, but it's Shirleen that finally gets through to him. High decides to do things the right way but Hound is determined to get retribution. Things end with High proposing to Millie, the four of them buying a new house, and all of them enjoying Paris together.

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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Review: Thief

Thief Thief by Tarryn Fisher
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Somehow I missed the release of Thief, the final book in the Love Me with Lies series. Thief is not quite as emotionally draining as the two previous books, but still an awesome series ender. Caleb and Olivia must have some kind of love because after all they have been through, the lies, betrayal etc. they still can't stay away from each other. Leah, psycho redhead ex, tries to pull another fast one, but she meets her match this time.

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Saturday, May 7, 2016

Review: Kaleidoscope

Kaleidoscope Kaleidoscope by Kristen Ashley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I seriously love Kristen Ashley, and always love everything she writes. Kaleidoscope is no different, and therein lies the problem. It's not a big problem, definitely not a problem that would keep me from reading anything she writes, down to and possibly including her grocery list. Although all of her books feature different characters, most of the hot & uber-alphas are interchangeable. They're protective, over the top, bossy, and their one-word expressions are all very similar. I like the way they talk and don't want that to change, I just wish there were more distinction between them. Like I said, a very small annoyance that I may have never paid much attention to if it hadn't been pointed out.

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Saturday, April 30, 2016

Review: Cold-Blooded Beautiful

Cold-Blooded Beautiful Cold-Blooded Beautiful by Christine Zolendz
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Poor Samantha, she just can't catch a break! We're finally given her whole story, and it's tragically heartbreaking. There is a reason she and Kade are so perfect for each other. They have both lived through such horrific events early on in life, both of them changed forever. I do have to point out that the characters talking to the reader are extremely annoying. I want to get lost in a book, and I can't do that if I am constantly reminded I am reading it.

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Monday, April 25, 2016

Review: Lost to You

Lost to You Lost to You by A.L. Jackson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Take this regret is such a good book, so I enjoyed getting glimpse of where Elizabeth & Christian started. Elizabeth is so sweet, and so naive, but I think that's exactly what draws Christian to her. She is completely unlike the girls he normally dates. Though Elizabeth refuses to fall to his charm, and they are both leery of ruining their friendship, it's inevitable. I was hoping for a little more on what happened when she found out she was pregnant. Though we already know since we've read Take This Regret.

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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Review: Red Rising

Red Rising Red Rising by Pierce Brown
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The war begins...

Darrow is a Helldiver, one of a thousand men and women who live in the vast caves beneath the surface of Mars. Generations of Helldivers have spent their lives toiling to mine the precious elements that will allow the planet to be terraformed. Just knowing that one day people will be able to walk the surface of the planet is enough to justify their sacrifice. The Earth is dying, and Darrow and his people are the only hope humanity has left.

Until the day Darrow learns that it is all a lie. Mars is habitable - and indeed has been inhabited for generations by a class of people calling themselves the Golds. The Golds regard Darrow and his fellows as slave labour, to be exploited and worked to death without a second thought.

With the help of a mysterious group of rebels, Darrow disguises himself as a Gold and infiltrates their command school, intent on taking down his oppressors from the inside.

But the command school is a battlefield. And Darrow isn't the only student with an agenda..

The Golds make each of the initiates go through the passage, basically, each of them is put in a room with one other initiate and the one who lives moves on. Darrow is forced to kill Julian in order to survive. The remaining Golds are split into groups and are each given a home they must protect with the task of conquering the other groups, and making them their slaves. Darrow rises in his group, but he has a tenuous grasp on his power. When his friend Cassius finds out that it was Darrow that killed his brother, he tries to kill Darrow. He only lives because after he was left for dead, the girl called Mustang saved him and nursed him back to health. Darrow learns from his mistakes and knows he will never gain favor by making slaves of the people he captures, that he can only succeed if his army chooses to fight for him. He gains the nickname The Reaper because of the curved blade he favors. The Jackal is head of the Pluto house, and the one Darrow will have to beat in order to win the game. He is also the ArchGovernor's son, and the Gods watching over the games are all cheating to help him win. When Darrow starts to hurt their chances of winning, they plot against him. It eventually turns into a full-blown battle at Olympus, but Darrow succeeds. Mustang turns out to be the Jackals twin sister but throws her loyalty in with Darrow. He takes a position in the ArchGovernor's house, knowing in order to start the revolution that will free his people, being as close to his enemy as possible gives him the best chance.

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Saturday, April 16, 2016

Review: Five Down

Five Down Five Down by Stacia Kane
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Unfortunately, it's been a while since the last book was released in the Downside Ghosts series (2012). I thought I would get my fix by reading Five Down, which is five novellas/ short stories. The first story is titled Rick the Brave and it follows an electrician who takes a job in Downside against his better judgment because the pay is really good. While there he meets Chess and Terrible and a few murderous ghosts. Seeing Chess and Terrible from an outsiders perspective was a fun change. The second story is titled Home and it involves a neighbor reporting another neighbor for suspected ghost activity which the homeowner vehemently denies. Seeing as that would be enough for the Church to cut a big check, Chess knows something is up in suburbia. The third story, Close to You involves a seemingly senile old woman who's celebrating the return of her husband, and Christmas which has been banned since Haunted Week when the Church of Truth took over. Keeping it Close is the fourth story in Five Down which was also a new one for me. The Randell's report suspicious activity to the church and Chess is sent out to investigate. The last few months have been difficult for Chess, especially losing Elder Griffith even though the outcome could have been much worse. This case seems open and shut until she finds out what's really going on at the Randell house. Last but not least is Playing With Fire and it's also a new one for me. This was probably my favorite of the five because I just love that Chess and Terrible are finally so happy. Without many lucrative cases of her own since the fallout with Elder Griffith, Chess starts investigating the mysterious death of a woman she and Blue witnessed. Since she hasn't been assigned the case she doesn't get all of the information but she does pretty well with what she has. Will was someone she went to the Church's training program with, and he is assigned to the case. Luckily he has the hots for Blue and Chess is able to convince her to get the info she needs. Unfortunately for Chess she agrees but only on the stipulation that Chess stops avoiding Lex. Poor Terrible, everytime Lex's name comes up it's so awkward. Chess didn't see or speak to Lex in Playing With Fire, but that moment is coming and I hope she and Terrible are able to withstand it.

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