Monthly Archives: January 2013

Once Burned

Once Burnedf

Once Burned by Jeaniene Frost

Series: Night Prince #1

Genre: Paranormal-Romance, Adult, Vampires

Publication: June 26th 2012 by Avon

The Plot.

She’s a mortal with dark powers…
After a tragic accident scarred her body and destroyed her dreams, Leila never imagined that the worst was still to come: terrifying powers that let her channel electricity and learn a person’s darkest secrets through a single touch. Leila is doomed to a life of solitude…until creatures of the night kidnap her, forcing her to reach out with a telepathic distress call to the world’s most infamous vampire…
He’s the Prince of Night…
Vlad Tepesh inspired the greatest vampire legend of all—but whatever you do, don’t call him Dracula. Vlad’s ability to control fire makes him one of the most feared vampires in existence, but his enemies have found a new weapon against him—a beautiful mortal with powers to match his own. When Vlad and Leila meet, however, passion ignites between them, threatening to consume them both. It will take everything that they are to stop an enemy intent on bringing them down in flames.

The Review.

Once Burned has reaffirmed why I fell so deeply in love with Jeaniene Frost. Reading her books are like taking long country walks, something enjoyable and refreshing and comforting because I always know that I will get lost in the wonderful world she paints and feel enveloped by the presence of her characters. Particularly her male characters who are always well developed and brooding and I always fall in love. Vlad was a character I loved in the Night Huntress series and I enjoyed his relationship with Cat, but here he was a little more cold and reserved, but the little cracks that came about showed his humour and personality that I fell in love with in the Night Huntress series and I’m so infinitely glad that he’s got his own spin-off. The last Night Huntress book wasn’t quite as enjoyable for me, but the new direction with Vlad is something I’m eagerly looking forward.

I want more Vlad. Yes, Frost left us hanging here. She could have given us so easily a summed up happily-ever-after that so many other authors fall into doing and I applaud her for not resolving the issues so easily because I don’t think it would have done the characters justice to do so. Frost is an author I adore so much because she doesn’t focus solely on the romance, she looks at the plot most heavily and the action and adventure that occurs within the novel and all the different events that unravel. The romance is far from being ignored, but she builds it on a realistic level. She starts at the bottom and forms foundations between the characters that can amount to relationships and this is clearly what occurs in Once Burned between Leila and Vlad. We get the sexual tension and eventually the sex between the two as we expect, but things aren’t fine and dandy like some authors create and there a lots of little pieces that I can see Frost carrying through that make for an intricate plot. However, I didn’t get nearly enough Vlad action in this novel. He is a man that’s dark and brooding, cold and calculated, but he’s so suave and archaic and I love it about him. He’s got a strong sense of loyalty and this is a man I would want, he’s not some cave man that claims Leila without a thought, there are reasoning’s to him and he’s smart. I just love everything Vlad.

I led my armies from the front, Vlad said. The proof was all over his body, from the scars that adorned his skin in random white patterns to the muscles that flexed and bunched with his slightest movement.”

Leila is one of my favourite heroines. She’s headstrong, she takes matters into her own hands and she really doesn’t depend upon Vlad. She even goes behind his back and I liked that she wasn’t afraid of Vlad. She was strong in her own right after everything that occurred to her and she certainly was kick-ass with her powers. There was lots of elements to Leila that made her a really likeable character that I could connect with. She also had this humorous edge to her that I loved. And she accepted the powers that she had and what this meant to her character rather than shunning it and going crazy about it, Leila made a refreshing character to this genre and I’m looking forward to her return in Twice Tempted where I hope she pursues Vlad with everything she’s got.

“You’re hot, big deal,” I shot back, refusing to let his knowledge of my most intimate thoughts daunt me. “I’m attracted to a lot of hot guys. If Chris Hemsworth were here, I’d light him up like a firecracker with how fast I’d jump on him.”

“And that would kill him,” Vlad noted.”

The plot was fast-paced and full of action. I really enjoyed that side of things and I liked the peak of Cat and Bones that we saw, but whilst they were present for a very short time, they didn’t overshadow the novel which is Vlad and Leila’s story. Whilst Once Burned does not have to be read in conjunction with having read the Night Huntress series because it is a spin-off and the fact that the Night Huntress series is so brilliant, I would definitely suggest you go over and check it out right this instance. I find that Jeaniene Frost rarely disappoints and she has kept me entranced with her characters from start to finish. Her novels are well rounded with great characters both secondary and the protagonists, scorching romances and whirl-wind, guns-blazing plots that manage to become the focus of the novel whilst not detracting anything from the romance. Frost is an author for all kinds of people and I thoroughly recommend her!

5 books

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Filed under 2012 Publication, 5 Books, Adult, E-book, Jeaniene Frost, Paranormal Reading Challenge, Paranormal Romance, Vampires

Waiting on Wednesday (22)

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. This meme highlights some of the books whose releases bloggers are most anticipating this year.

What Am I Waiting On?

Crossing the Line

Crossing the Line by Katie McGarry

Series: Pushing the Limits #1.5

Expected publication: April 1st 2013 by Harlequin TEEN

In this gripping novella, she tells the story of Lila and Lincoln, who discover that sometimes it’s worth crossing the line for love…

Lila McCormick, Echo’s best friend from Pushing the Limits, first met Lincoln Turner when tragedy struck both their lives. But she never expected their surprise encounter would lead to two years of exchanging letters—or that she’d fall for the boy she’s only seen once. Their relationship is a secret, but Lila feels closer to Lincoln than anyone else. Until she finds out that he lied to her about the one thing she depended on him for the most.
Hurting Lila is the last thing Lincoln wanted. For two years, her letters have been the only thing getting him through the day. Admitting his feelings would cross a line he’s never dared breach before. But Lincoln will do whatever it takes to fix his mistakes, earn Lila’s forgiveness—and finally win a chance to be with the girl he loves.

Why Am I Waiting?

Well, I’m not usually one for novellas or contemporary fiction, but this is Katie McGarry and part of the Pushing the Limits series so I cannot help but be tempted. This woman is truly my one weakness when it comes to the contemporary fiction because both Pushing the Limits and Dare You To have been brilliant novels that I have really enjoyed, so I can’t wait for this little instalment to keep me going until Crash Into You is released.

What Are You Waiting On?

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The Mad Scientist’s Daughter

Mad Scientist's Daughter

The Mad Scientist’s Daughter by Cassandra Rose Clarke

Genre: Science-fiction, Romance, Adult

Expected Publication: February 7th 2013 by Angry Robot

The Plot.

“Cat, this is Finn. He’s going to be your tutor.”

He looks, and acts human, though he has no desire to be. He was programmed to assist his owners, and performs his duties to perfection. A billion-dollar construct, his primary task now is to tutor Cat. As she grows into a beautiful young woman, Finn is her guardian, her constant companion… and more.

But when the government grants rights to the ever-increasing robot population, however, Finn struggles to find his place in the world.

The Review.

The Mad Scientist’s Daughter is a novel that moved me to tears. I truly did not expect to feel so emotional about a robot. I mean a robot to me has always been metal pieces controlled with complicated electronic circuits inside and sometimes, occasionally the robot may have a system that allows responses. However, Finn is a robot like no other. He was human, he felt human to me and ultimately I couldn’t displace him as not being human and this humanity that surrounded Finn made his story all the more heart-breaking because whilst our protagonist is following Cat growing up from a very young age to her later years which works surprisingly well across the novel, I felt that there was a strong focus through the novel on Finn and that viewing the world through his eyes would have really changed the workings of the novel because I would love to get into his mind and delve further because he has a complex character that is still hard to pinpoint by the end of the novel. I am frankly enamoured with Finn and this is probably why I sobbed quite a lot when reading The Mad Scientist’s Daughter.

“His eyes loomed steadily in the buzzing light of the porch. His skin was much too fair, sallow beneath the swath of black hair that flopped across his forehead.”

Don’t get me wrong, this novel is far from being faultless, but I did really enjoy the novel. The Mad Scientist’s Daughter is a gritty novel that whilst it delves into the world of science-fiction, it touches on friendship, relationships, loss, grief and a changing world. It isn’t full of flowers and happiness, Clarke shows her versatility as an author as she takes on loss of close family relations, abusive relationships and coming to terms with your feelings for others and the meanings that truly lay behind these. I think the cover perfectly encapsulates the kind of desolation that The Mad Scientist’s Daughter delves into and the moon that becomes a very vital part of the story. If you are looking for a happy novel, then The Mad Scientist’s Daughter is not it and I suggest you run far away. However if you want something that’s gritty, emotional and an all around rollercoaster, but still manages to end of a moment of hope and love then pick up The Mad Scientist’s Daughter because I don’t see how it cannot fail to wow.

Cat is the protagonist of this tale and she’s a very complex character. Her relationship with her parents is rather turbulent, but I am thankful to say they are not absent. They show concern for her and whilst they aren’t always present they genuinely care for her welfare and their actions dictate that they only endeavour to give her the best with pushing her. Despite all of this, Cat is not a happy character and she comes with her fair share of her problems. Personally, her isolation as a child with only her robot tutor, Finn, for company and then her friendship group of rather unstable, gothic junkies through high-school lead me to say that this clearly influences Cat’s rather wild behaviour. She’s not an easy character to get along with and whilst I can’t say I liked her, I could connect with her and I found her issues and feelings moving and turbulent. She clearly felt conflicted throughout the novel about Finn and what he can actually be to her, after all, he is a robot and she can’t fathom his nature. It’s rather sad their relationship and the pushing and pulling that takes place and it’s always one of my favourite aspects of a romance to see a rocky path to love and these two take a real roller-coaster. Cat through the end of it, manages to stick to her beliefs after being a very flighty and indecisive character throughout particularly when she lost herself. I did like that she seemed to have matured and found a semblance of who she truly was by the end of the novel and this allowed me to like her more by the end.

“You’re welcome.” He regarded her with his dark eyes. Cat crawled forward on her bed and reached across the chasm between them to pull the chair, with him in it, closer to her.”

The one thing that I didn’t like about The Mad Scientist’s Daughter is that we had very little background to the state of the world and what had happened. Clare seemed to skip straight  over this and I was always hoping that we get some idea of what this “destruction” was and the extremes temperatures they had which all led to the robots being brought in to rebuild the world. I felt we had a great lack of world building for the past and this was Clare just seemed to drop. Everything else about the novel excelled because it was so character driven with fantastic, primary and secondary characters, but the history of the world seemed to vanish. For me, with this, Clare’s novel would be in a whole other league, but nevertheless I still enjoyed it immensely.

Finn is a robot and that will not change no matter how much humanity you apply to him and this was an interesting concept to deal with. I can see how this may make some people uncomfortable in reading because of that, but if you look at the perspective of his behaviour and his feelings then he’s not just a hunk of metal. You need to push aside him as a robot, and look at the romance and Finn as a person because he can be moving and he raised emotions in me. He was a character I grew to respect and love and he’s the reason I kept crying. If it were not for Finn, I do not think The Mad Scientist’s Daughter would be quite the same and I’m afraid my favourite Star Wars robot, C-3PO has been replaced by a new one who’s after my heart. Clare clearly excelled with Finn’s character and I think she worked wonders on the angle of the robot. She also followed this up with protests and underground groups working to gain rights for robots and the changing environment of the world meant that robots were being accepted and I liked the political aspect of the novel and Finn’s character because he was clearly entangled with these elements.

“I can’t tell you what it means to be the only one of my kind,” he said. “I can’t… There is a lack in myself. But your thesis almost filled it in. It was… a start.”

Clare does a fantastic job of building up secondary characters and relationships outside of Finn and Cat because the novel does focus on their relationship it does not solely revolve around it. Clare builds a world up around Cat, so we can only see the world and the people that she connects with. Outside of this we are blank, but because Cat seems to run into lots of people it actually works surprisingly well because we don’t feel confined to just a few characters. The strongest characters I feel are Cat’s parents and in particular her father who plays the strongest secondary character in the novel, but this is probably important because he is the “Mad Scientist”. I didn’t think this aspect of the novel was played on strongly enough about him being the “Mad Scientist” because whilst Cat dealt with issues from other teenagers it was never truly explored. The meaning of this name is implied, but it’s never stated obviously and I think Clare could have explored it a lot further to a greater advantage of her novel.

Through The Mad Scientist’s Daughter Clare presents her versatility of an author to broach both into Young Adult fiction and Adult fiction as you may more commonly know her as the author of The Assassin’s Curse and this novel is incredibly different. I like that the two novels were very different and reflected two entirely different meanings and that she didn’t try to apply the style of The Assassin’s Curse to The Mad Scientist’s Daughter because she made them two entirely different things. If I’m honest, I enjoyed The Mad Scientist’s Daughter more because I thought it was more developed in meaning, but that The Assassin’s Curse has the stronger world foundations. Either way I recommend both novels without reserve, but suggest if you prefer young-adult that you stick to Clare’s The Assassin’s Curse.

Overall, whilst I can nit-pick at The Mad Scientist’s Daughter and I do not see it as a perfect novel, it is one that I could connect and enjoy despite my emotional outbursts and this is what makes it one of my favourite releases of the year so far. Perfection does not always equate to enjoyment in my opinion, so I think despite the few points of contention that you may have with The Mad Scientist’s Daughter or people’s queasy reaction over Finn as a robot, you shouldn’t disregard this novel because it is definitely a stunner in the making. There are lots of brilliant elements that The Mad Scientist’s Daughter manages to encapsulate with the emotion, the characterisation, the politics and the pacing that whilst this novel pushes being quite lengthy keeps it moving and kept me reading. I’ll be looking out for more works from Clare because she’s an author to watch out for.

*quotes taken from an uncorrected arc e-copy provided by Angry Robot via NetGalley.

5 books 

 

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Filed under 2013 Publication, 5 Books, Adult, Angry-Robot, Cassandra Rose Clarke, E-book, Romance, Science-Fiction

Crimson Flames Cover Reveal

Crimson Flames by Ashley Robertson

Crimson Flames by Ashley Robertson (The Crimson Series#2)

The Plot.

Half-vampire Abby Tate is determined to learn more about the sorceress powers that were awakened inside her when she was turned into a vampire—making her a whole new hybrid species. There’s a group of rogue vamps banding together and forming a Resistance against the vampire governing body, The Head Council, and Abby’s newly discovered powers are the key to the Council’s victory. Now the Resistance will do anything possible to remove the hybrid threat, and with no other options, Abby is forced to rely on the aid of the Council, yet can she trust the very vampires that hunt for her human lover? And even worse, can she fight the unwelcome attraction that’s growing between her and one of those ancient vampire rulers?

Thoughts on the Cover

I like how the title stands out and seems to burn, it’s really effective. The girl on the cover reminds me of one of those CGI video game characters, which is pretty interesting. And the background blending with the red-ish tint to the whole thing has a pretty awesome effect.

What do you think?

Author Bio:

Ashley Robertson resides in sunny Orlando, Florida and loves reading and writing about everything urban fantasy and paranormal romance. When she isn’t writing you’ll find her spending time with family and friends, training in her home gym, traveling and exploring new places, drinking fine red wines, and making gourmet coffees with her Nespresso machine. Visit her website to learn about her upcoming releases, guest blog posts, and featured giveaways at: www.AshleyRobertsonBooks.com

Author Links:

Lets take a sneak peak at the first Chapter of Crimson Flames

The Deal

MY STOMACH CLENCHED as I sensed the vampire’s approach. He was close. So close I could feel the thrum of his power vibrating along my skin. The hairs on the back of my neck rose, and I knew if I was going to use my power for defense, then I needed to bring it forth now. I closed my eyes, forcing myself to breathe as deeply as I could—which thankfully had gotten easier with practice. I focused on the energy inside me, willing it to the surface, and as I felt it swelling, building like an approaching storm, I threw out my hand, gripped Stone’s shirtsleeve, and urged him to the floor. “Get down! He’s here!”

Stone raked me with a look that told me he was not too pleased, but then fear swept over his face when he realized just how little time we had.

The wooden door to the pub suddenly burst open—bits of wood and dust raining down from the force. Even though Stone should’ve cowered behind me—since his gift of reading blood wasn’t something he could fight with—somehow he’d found some bravery and boldly stood by my side. Though I appreciated it, I didn’t like it, and desperately wished he had listened to me. But I couldn’t think about that and call forth the fire within me at the same time. So I pushed Stone to the back of my mind with the silent promise of dealing with him later. Then I returned my attention to the power building inside me. One last deep breath and my heart shuddered to life inside my chest, making a rhythmic pattern with my faux breathing. A tingling warmth spread from head to toe, then settled on my awaiting hands. Seconds later, there was a glowing orb of fire (about the size of a basketball) cupped inside my palms. And just as the vampire appeared through the settling fog, I called out, “Not another step, Tristan, or it will be your last!”

“I think you should reconsider your threat,” Tristan shot back. “We are on the same side.”

That I sincerely doubted, but I knew killing a member of the Head Council would definitely put me on the “Most Wanted” list. Which I might already be on, since I’d helped the human this vampire was here to claim escape.

“She’s not bluffing!” Stone said through a snarl. I wanted to glare him into silence, but I refused to take my eyes off of the vampire standing in the broken doorway, wearing a black Armani-looking suit—now lightly covered with dust. It was a custom for all members of the Head Council to wear black suits, but each of them would wear shoes and an undershirt of their own choosing. I guess it was a way to express their individual personalities. Yet this one seemed to express himself through his spiked, platinum blond hair, not the basic black undershirt and matching boots—which were much more boring compared to what I’d seen a few of the other Council members wearing. But this vampire was far from boring. He was a tracker for the Council—one of the best hunters on earth. And he was after my human boyfriend.

“You know why I’m here, Abigail,” Tristan bit out. “The human was here.”

I felt my gaze narrow as I carefully took a step forward, the ball of flames growing hotter in my hands. “Yes, he was. It’s my fault he wasn’t captured.”

“That’s not exactly true,” said Stone as he moved up beside me.

I stole a few deep breaths, fighting the urge to throw my fireball at him instead of the blond vampire in the suit.

“Please explain!” Tristan ordered with impatience. But as Stone attempted a reply, he was cut off. “Not you! I want to hear this directly from Abigail!”

“Abby,” I corrected, feeling sweat forming above my brows and pooling between my breasts.

The blond vampire smirked, folding his arms in front of his chest.

“I did not restrain him because I do not believe he will be kept safe once in your hands,” I went on. “And until I can prove his innocence in all of this, I feel it’s best that he stay far away from you.”

A tinge of red formed a ring around Tristan’s irises as he scowled. “That is not your decision. He must pay for his involvement with those rogue vampires, including Bronx. He cannot get away with helping them try to destroy our stronghold.”

“I made an agreement with the other Council members,” I reminded him. “Doesn’t that count for something? Your word is nothing if your actions do not back up what you say.” My voice was getting louder, my patience thinning. And the angrier I got, the more difficult it became to control the fire in my hands.

“Yes. We have a deal,” Tristan assured. “We will not kill him or harm him—just as we told you—but that does not mean he won’t be punished some other way.”

“I don’t believe you,” I snapped.

If you liked the sound of this, you can check out the first novel in the series, Crimson Groves on Goodreads, here

Part of The Bookish Brunette Book Tours.

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Paranormal Reading Challenge

Paranormal Challenge

Everybody probably knows how terrible I am when it comes to reading challenges, but I stumbled across this one and instantly fell in love. I am a huge Paranormal Junkie and I literally cannot get enough.

The Paranormal Reading Challenge is hosted by Megan Likes Books and Auntie Spinelli Reads!

The goal is to read at least one book featuring each of the following paranormal creatures:

  • Vampires – January (Once Burned by Jeaniene Frost)
  • Angels/Nephilim – February
  • Fey – March (The Iron Fey by Julie Kagawa)
  • Demons – April (Forbidden by Jana Oliver)
  • Aliens – May
  • Zombies – June
  • Witches/Wizards – July
  • Mermaids – August
  • Dragons – September (Eragon by Christopher Paolini)
  • Ghosts – October
  • Werewolves/Shifters – November
  • Other (ie: sirens, unicorns, centaurs, timetravel etc.) – December

The full rules and sign up can be found HERE for anybody interested.

You don’t have to read the books in those months, but extra credit if you do and you can read more than one paranormal book in a month.

I can’t wait to get cracking with this challenge. I don’t know what I’ll be reading yet for every month,  I have a few ideas pencilled in above and obviously my review for this month is scheduled for posting shortly (31st January). BUT since my shelves and kindle are literally BURSTING with paranormal books, I don’t think I’ll have a problem with finding ones suited to the challenge!!

Fingers crossed I’ll finally be able to do a challenge because I am usually absolutely HOPELESS!

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Stacking the Shelves (25)

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews.

Book for Review.

Vanilla on TopFirebrand

Some more contemporary goodies with Vanilla on Top, it looks interesting… So I’ll leave it at that. Firebrand looks really good, fantasy and historical-ish setting, so this should be right up my street. Can’t wait to start that one!

Books Bought.

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So, I haven’t actually gotten around to reading The Iron King yet, but I loved Kagawa’s Immortal Rules series and didn’t want to start this series not having the rest, so when they were 2 for £3 in The Works, I snatched them up. I’m very happy to have them all now and hopefully I’ll be able to start the series this year.

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I do love the covers for these with all the swirls, except “The next Twilight” just puts me off. If it didn’t have that, I’d like the covers much more. So I now have The Iron Daughter, The Iron Queen and The Iron Knight to complete my series.

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I finally got around to spending my gift voucher that I got for Christmas. I don’t think it’s ever taken me so long to get around to actually spending a gift voucher for a book store.

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I got these two babies. Don’t they just look beautiful?! I love the cover of Elantris with the green on. It looks really spooky and eerie and green is my favourite cover. I’ve heard so much about this book and been told to read it countless times, so finally I have my own copy to read.

Anno Dracula is a book I stumbled across and it just sounds incredibly exciting and interesting. I like the idea of it being set during Queen Victoria’s reign and Dracula. I do love my vampires, so I can’t wait to get my teeth into this one.

And in the process you get to see my white/cream bedding. Yes, what was I thinking when I let my mother buy white bedding for me. I attract muck and I have white bedding. Le Sigh. It’s still white though, which is always good or cream. Depends on your colour vision.

And… on my shopping spree of books I stumbled into my favourite high street store and I got a pretty scarf. It’s so nice and warm to snuggle in. So much so that my friend stole it and ran away, luckily I retrieved it. Yay!

photo (2)

What did you get this week?

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Contemporary Blend #1

All of you may be surprised to note, my recent binge on contemporary romance, a genre I usually stray far far away from. However, I recently found Entangled Publishing’s Brazen collection and I found they were semi-decent so I devoured four of their books in as many days and here is my first two reviews on the books. Look out for the other two shortly.

Seducing Cinderella

Seducing Cinderella by Gina L. Maxwell

Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Adult

Series: Fighting for Love #1

Publication: July 20th 2012 by Entangled Publishing

The Plot.

Mixed martial arts fighter Reid Andrews’s chance to reclaim his title as light heavyweight champ is shattered when he’s injured only months before the rematch. To make sure he’s healed in time, his trainer sends him to recuperate under a professional’s care—Reid’s best friend’s little sister, all grown up.

Disorganized and bookish Lucie Miller needs some professional help of her own. She’d do anything to catch the eye of a doctor she’s crushed on for years, so when Reid offers seduction lessons in exchange for 24/7 conditioning for the biggest fight of his career, Lucie jumps at the chance.

Soon Reid finds him himself in the fight of his life…winning Lucie’s heart before she gives it to someone else.

The Review.

Seducing Cinderella was my first contemporary book I picked up by Entangled Publishing and I have to say, it is by far my favourite. There was something about Seducing Cinderella that entranced me from the first moment and had me hooked, flipping through the pages trying to get to the end. I think the fact that it wasn’t such a short 100 and something e-book also made the reading more enjoyable because I felt like there was some substance to the novel.

Reid Andrews was a man I could appreciate from the very first moment. He was tough and he had issues, but he genuinely cared about Lucie and I liked that there was a connection between the two characters from the start that wasn’t purely sexual and this is my general problem with contemporary books that they are overly sexualised and whilst this one had it’s moments I felt that we touched on the relationship between Lucie and Reid much more and managed to bring Lucie out of her shell to blossom. She was a character trapped in a general cliche that she hid herself away in books and baggy clothes and was smitten with another doctor. However I felt like we explored a fun side of her and I wanted to smack her half-way through the book because as usual she overlooked the best character so easily. Reid also had a great sense of humour that I really liked.

“Wait, why does my chart say Randy Johnson?”

Reid chucked at the ridiculous name he used for anonymity. “It’s an alias.” Wanting to erase the pained look from whatever had happened before he arrived, he gave her a wicked smile and added, “And sometimes a state of being.”

Her brother featured very little in this novel with not even a physical appearance, but I liked his character from the brief moment he appeared and his connection to Reid I felt could have been explored a little more since they were supposedly best friends and yet they never talked.. Rather bizarre if you ask me. Hopefully he’ll appear in the next book of the series with his own little story meaning we’ll get to see a little more of Lucie and Reid.

Overall, Seducing Cinderella was entertaining and enjoyable and it happily led me to finding more Entangled Publishing books to read.

3.5 books

No Flowers Required by Cari QuinnNo Flowers Required

Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Adult

Series: Love Required #2

Published: August 23rd 2012 by Entangled Publishing

The Plot.

He’ll give her everything she desires…except his identity.

Flower shop owner Alexa Conroy had it all before the recession hit and her customers fled to cheaper shopping grounds. Desperate to make ends meet, she sells her dream home and moves into the rundown apartments above her shop. When she spots six feet of sexy distraction—complete with muscles, piercings, and tattoos—ripping up flooring, Alexa knows the karmic windfall she’s due just landed on her doorstep.

And the attraction’s definitely not one-sided.

Dillon James, reluctant heir to the corporation about to foreclose on Alexa’s shop, is not about to jeopardize their scorching chemistry by admitting he’s not the building’s handyman. But with only weeks until her business goes under and his identity is revealed, Dillon must find a way to convince Alexa cooperation isn’t a dirty word, help her save the shop from his brother’s greed, and persuade her that he’s not the enemy…or risk losing the only woman who’s seen the real him.

The Review.

No Flowers Required was much shorter, much more fun and a little more humorous than Seducing Cinderella but I didn’t quite enjoy it as much. I skipped the first novel in the series because at 61 pages, it was more of a novella and I prefer reading something a little longer. It wasn’t really necessary to the plot to read it, so I don’t think I missed out on much, since this one seems to wrap itself in a whole different romance rather than a continuation of the last story.

Dillion James is a man that I liked a lot. He had a lot going for him, but I liked that he didn’t appear with his money first and that we met him when he seemed like an average guy and the dynamic of not unveiling his true identity made for an interesting plot. However, I felt this could have been played upon much more. Overall, he was sexy, wise and all around nice guy which tends to be the case in most contemporaries so I had no complaints.

“No kids. My hobbies are fishing, painting and riding my bike.” He scratched his scruffy chin. “Oh and I’m a Leo.”

Alexa I didn’t particularly like all that much. I appreciated her stubbornness, but she seemed to be two different people, the struggling shop owner and damsel in distress and then the sophisticated party goer with the collection of designer clothes and I could never quite mesh the  two sides together to create one character in my brain. It’s like she was two entirely different people and she went from being poverty stricken to snooty in an instance and I didn’t like when she got on her high horse about things.

Overall the romance was fun, flirty and quick and the pace kept you turning the pages. No Flowers Required is an easy rainy-day read or something to cheer you up if you’re a little down.

3 books

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Filed under 2012 Publication, 3 Books, 3.5 Books, Adult, Cara Quinn, Contemporary, E-book, Entangled Publishing, Gina L. Maxwell, Romance

Waiting on Wednesday (21)

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. This meme highlights some of the books whose releases bloggers are most anticipating this year.

What Am I Waiting On?

Ink

Ink by Amanda Sun

Expected Publication: June 25th 2013 by Harlequin Teen

I looked down at the paper, still touching the tip of my shoe. I reached for it, flipping the page over to look.

Scrawls of ink outlined a drawing of a girl lying on a bench.

A sick feeling started to twist in my stomach, like motion sickness.

And then the girl in the drawing turned her head, and her inky eyes glared straight into mine.

On the heels of a family tragedy, the last thing Katie Greene wants to do is move halfway across the world. Stuck with her aunt in Shizuoka, Japan, Katie feels lost. Alone. She doesn’t know the language, she can barely hold a pair of chopsticks, and she can’t seem to get the hang of taking her shoes off whenever she enters a building.

Then there’s gorgeous but aloof Tomohiro, star of the school’s kendo team. How did he really get the scar on his arm? Katie isn’t prepared for the answer. But when she sees the things he draws start moving, there’s no denying the truth: Tomo has a connection to the ancient gods of Japan, and being near Katie is causing his abilities to spiral out of control. If the wrong people notice, they’ll both be targets.

Katie never wanted to move to Japan—now she may not make it out of the country alive.

Why Am I Waiting?

It sounds different and touching that we work in something rather fantasy with this ability and connection to the ancient gods and deal with an emotional aspect too. I like the setting of Japan and hopefully after my failure to like Stormdancer, something with a different cultural take will still manage to engage me and it’s just the one book that I couldn’t get along with. And the cover looks rather gorgeous with the dripping ink and flower blossoms.

What Are You Waiting On?

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Mockingbird

Mockingbird

Mockingbird by Chuck Wendig

Series: Miriam Black #2

Genre: Fantasy, Horror, Thriller

Published: August 28th 2012 by Angry Robot

The Plot.

Miriam is trying. Really, she is.

But this whole “settling down thing” that Louis has going for her just isn’t working out. She lives on Long Beach Island all year around. Her home is a run-down double-wide trailer. She works at a grocery store as a check-out girl. And her relationship with Louis–who’s on the road half the time in his truck–is subject to the piss and vinegar Miriam brings to everything she does.
It just isn’t going well. Still, she’s keeping her psychic ability–to see when and how someone is going to die just by touching them–in check. But even that feels wrong somehow. Like she’s keeping a tornado stoppered up in a tiny bottle.

Then comes one bad day that turns it all on her ear.

My Review.

Chuck Wendig’s sequel to Blackbirds in the Miriam Black series took to a different direction than I expected in Mockingbird and I didn’t quite connect with it as much which is unfortunate to say. Blackbirds unexpectedly surprised me and I was looking forward to starting Mockingbird however it was a little more dark and twisted than I expected and maybe could stomach. Miriam seemed to kick up the violence, language and lonely solo act in this novel and I didn’t appreciate the move away from the romance that kindled in the previous novel which I think represented a light of hope in the novel. However, I felt things were really strained in this novel and they took a lot darker approach in the aspect that the characters really looked inside themselves.

I think my main problem came with Mockingbird in that I didn’t actually like Miriam’s character as much. Before she was bad-ass problematic woman who was a little eccentric. However, Miriam pushed everybody away in this novel, she seemed to be hating on the entire world and she took a trip into the past. I think I’ll be more intrigued to witness the resolving off the issues that Miriam has in the next instalment because we’ll finally be getting to the core of her issues. I just felt like as a character she didn’t make a lot of progress in this novel, she seemed to bounce of walls and fire insults at everybody. She did make some character connections with new people, but these were all underlying with foreboding and death which makes my stomach churn at the thought in nervous anticipation. I can appreciate that Wendig does not creep around the idea of death and destruction and he shows this through Miriam pretty brutally which is why I didn’t like her character for this novel because she became a little harder and colder. However, he has to be applauded for stepping where other authors tend to shy away from.

“Each song of an album, each page of a book, every panel of every comic, they’re all doorways, little escape hatches where Miriam can flee the sad shadows of this life.”

Louis is a character that seemed to make some development in this novel with uncovering some of his issues with Miriam. However again, we’re still not at the bottom of his problems and I hope he returns to resolve these because just like Miriam his life is full of problems. Wendig certainly doesn’t sprinkle fairy dust over people and Louis has lots of demons I feel still left to fight, so I hope we haven’t seen the back of him.

Nevertheless what I did love was the return of the crass humour and eccentric behaviour that occurred in Mockingbird that so reminded me of Blackbirds which was a new venture for me into a book I probably wouldn’t usually read. Mockingbird is not for the faint-hearted and if you are a little queasy or put off my bad language, death and lots of violence I would suggest avoiding this series all-together. However if you want something that delves into the darkness of humanity, something crazy with talking-birds, visions, death warnings and all kinds of crazed happenings then Mockingbird and Blackbirds are the perfect book for you. I think Wendig manages to develop his very own genre with these two books that isn’t alike anything I’ve read and this unique nature that he brings is a reason that I still manage to enjoy this book.

One thing I did love about Mockingbird were the chapter titles. They always manage to make me chuckle and I think Wendig has something very new and encapsulated Miriam’s character perfectly who is our protagonist and narrator and I think this engages your attention before the chapter even begins to keep reading and explore further into the mind of Miriam Black.

“Lords of Google, Hear my Plaintive Cries.”

Despite not enjoying Mockingbird as much as the first novel in the Miriam Black series, I will be continuing with it and looking out for what exciting adventure comes next because dark and gritty this series is and I think it still manages to be innovative and exploring into the dark nature that lays latent in so many books.

*quotes taken from an uncorrected arc copy so may change on the original version provided through NetGalley from Angry Robot.

3.5 books

Extra Nerdy

Chuck Wendig has a rather awesome blog that runs under the name terribleminds and there are lots of cool features over there with short stories he has free and all about his other work in the world of gaming, writing novels and short stories and screenplays. A very cool guy. He also has lots of interesting, awesome pictures on his blog too. terrible minds

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Filed under 2012 Publication, 3.5 Books, Adult, Angry-Robot, Chuck Wendig, E-book, Fantasy, Horror, Thriller

Through the Eyes of a Nerd: The Hobbit

Through the Eyes of a Nerd

I’ve been quite lucky over the past few weeks to get to visit the cinema twice. I don’t usually go that often, so it’s quite exciting when I do. This time, I got to go and see The Hobbit, thankfully in 2D, so my poor head didn’t have to cope with a nearly 3 hour film in 3D.

The-Hobbit-Wallpaper-the-hobbit-33042233-1920-1080

So I finally got to see The Hobbit. It was a little slow to start with, I felt like the prelude with the old Bilbo Baggins and Frodo was a little more drawn out than it needed to be, especially when the film pushes 3 hours, it wouldn’t have needed the extra addition at the start because it would have been a lengthy film without it.

However, having said that I didn’t feel like the rest of the film was drawn out which is surprising to say it’s only covering 6 chapters. It was very enjoyable to find that I wasn’t bored and particularly when things got into the motions when Bilbo Baggins became Martin Freeman, I enjoyed the film much more and I found his character delightful as Bilbo. I didn’t really connect with him in the Lord of the Rings, probably because of his very small part, but I think my love of Martin Freeman who prayed Bilbo brilliantly really added the connection to the story.

The-Hobbit-An-Unexpected--010It made me laugh when all the dwarves began invading on his house and stealing his food. I found that the humour that has always been present in Lord of the Rings, maybe at a slightly darker tone was still in The Hobbit and it was in no way childish which could have been a danger with The Hobbit as the origins of a children’s book. I think the banter and camaraderie between the dwarves was really brilliant and we connected with them as a bunch of friends that were trying to get their home back. Then Bilbo thrown into the midst of things really changed it and I liked the development of him moving to be part of the dwarves which brought a very touching element to the story that’s full of action we had the emotional aspect too which is always good.

The-Hobbit-An-Unexpected-Journey-Kili

My favourite character was Kili who was played by Aidan Turner. He stared in one of my favourite TV series, Being Human and I was rather gutted when he left. So seeing him in the Hobbit and his light, rather humorous character that along with his twin Fili brought a great dynamic to the story.

I can’t wait to see more of him in the future Hobbit films and I’m excited to know that he’s staring in The Mortal Instruments film too so I shall certainly be getting my fill of Aidan Turner. It helps that he’s got this very ruggedly handsome look too, even as a dwarf.

Another aspect that I really adored of The Hobbit were the visual landscapes of New Zealand which are absolutely stunning and really make me want to go visit New Zealand because of how beautiful it looks. I think The Hobbit having less crammed into one film gave us more opportunity to view these beautiful landscapes with the widescreen panning across the landscapes and appreciation for beauty definitely added another level to The Hobbit because it drew away from the action battle-scenes to something a little slower and I think these smooth scenes really helped to keep a constant changing pace throughout The Hobbit that made it engaging and moving in pace.

Hobbit1

We also had the return of Gandalf from Ian McKellen who I can’t help but love. He always plays a fantastically wise and rather bizarre wizard that you never fully grasp, but I love this illusion about his character. Then we have the creepy Gollum who always manages to make you shiver a little with his crazed behaviour and laugh. I think his scenes were the most I laughed throughout the films and I very much liked the return of him. Although you could definitely see the visual enhancements of his character when we first saw Gollum as the CGI character in the Lord of the Rings and it was so much better I have to say. Although elements of The Hobbit were slightly over the top with CGI I felt in certain places, but with such a fantasy film with mythical creatures, it’s hard not to enter into the realms of extensive CGI.

In addition two of the other dwarves Thorin and Bofur were two of my favourite actors. Thorin being Richard Armitage who stared in the BBC Robin Hood as Guy and Bofur being James Nesbitt who brought some fantastic humour to the role in contrast to Thorin’s very brooding character. Richard Armitage played a very strong role as Thorin and I can’t wait to see all the role reprisals from these guys in the next two films.

Overall I really enjoyed The Hobbit and the return to Middle Earth after such a lengthy break. Peter Jackson managed to excel himself as always and hopefully the next two Hobbit films will be just as brilliant. If you haven’t seen The Hobbit I suggest you take the time to go and see it now.

Check out Alisa Selene’s thoughts on book to movie adaption over at Picture Me Reading here!

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