Monday, May 12, 2014

{ARC Book Review & $100 Giveaway} Goddess Born by Kari Edgren

Title: Goddess Born
Author: Kari Edgren
Publisher: Carina Press (An ebook first imprint of Harlequin)
Publication Date: May 19, 2014


Pennsylvania, 1730

Selah Kilbrid keeps a dangerous secret: she has the power to heal.

A direct descendent of the Celtic goddess Brigid, it's Selah's sacred duty to help those in need. But as the last of the Goddess Born living in the New World, she learned from an early age to keep her supernatural abilities hidden. The Quaker community of Hopewell has always been welcoming, but there's no doubt they would see her hanged if her gift was revealed.

When a prominent minister threatens to try her with witchcraft unless she becomes his wife, Selah has only one hope--that her betrothed, a distant cousin from Ireland, arrives as planned. Marrying Samuel would keep her secret safe, preserve her sacred bloodline, and protect her from being charged as a witch.

But when news of Samuel's death reaches the Colonies, Selah is truly on her own. Terrified, she faces an impossible choice--forfeit her powers and marry the loathsome Nathan? Or find an imposter to pose as her husband and preserve her birthright?

*Though this book is NA, it is clean and can be read by any age reader.

This review makes me happy! I'd stopped taking review requests, but when the opportunity came giving me the opportunity to review Goddess Born, I jumped on it. As one of the only NA fantasy books I've read, I'm enthralled. Plus, there is the concept of Brigid, a Celtic goddess, and we all know how much I enjoy this type of mythology. And how long has it been since I've given any book 5 Stars... um, a long freaking time.

Selah's story takes place in 1730, when any woman who appeared a bit odd was considered a witch. Selah happens to be different, in many ways. Her refusal to marry one man sets off a chain of events, risking not only her reputation, but her life as well. Once her father dies, there's little to protect Selah from the rumors she is a witch, especially when her husband-to-be dies at sea. Luckily, this young woman is quick on her feet and stumbles upon a plan that may save her life.

Ms. Edgren serves a delicious helping of fantasy intermingled with a helping of endearing romance. The characters leap off the pages, becoming three dimensional people you'll either love or despise. Selah is a caring girl who is devoted to her community. Her gift in healing has earned her many loyal friends who will stand by her no matter what adversity she faces.

Nathan is a nasty, jealous man who's been fed lies enabling him the ability to blackmail Miss Kilbrid. His interest in the beautiful young lady becomes dangerous when she doesn't return his affections. The list of people who could be passing Nathan Selah's secrets appears to be small, yet becomes greater with every flip of the page.

And then there's Henry, who I loved with all my heart. He plays his part well, protecting a young woman he's known for only a few days. I don't want to discuss him too much because he's the heart of this story, even when you're not certain whether you like him or not. His character provides plenty of warm, fuzzy feelings as well as a bit of drama from time to time.

The twists and turns in Goddess Born are delightful. I never knew who to suspect and was adequately shocked when the true culprit is revealed. Ms. Edgren blended all the intricacies of suspense with those of fantasy and romance. The writing is flawless and creative, evolving into a perfect novel.

Author Kari Edgren has been kind enough to provide us with an amazing giveaway. $100 in the form of a giftcard to Amazon or Barnes & Noble, or $100 added to your PayPal account. 

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, May 10, 2014

{Book Review} Sweet Peril by Wendy Higgins

Title: Sweet Peril
Series: The Sweet Trilogy #2
Author: Wendy Higgins
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: April 30, 2013
Genre: Young Adult


Anna Whitt, the daughter of a guardian angel and a demon, promised herself she’d never do the work of her father—polluting souls. She’d been naive to make such a vow. She’d been naive about a lot of things.

Haunted by demon whisperers, Anna does whatever she can to survive, even if it means embracing her dark side and earning an unwanted reputation as her school’s party girl. Her life has never looked more bleak. And all the while there’s Kaidan Rowe, son of the Duke of Lust, plaguing her heart and mind.

When an unexpected lost message from the angels surfaces, Anna finds herself traveling the globe with Kopano, son of Wrath, in an attempt to gain support of fellow Nephilim and give them hope for the first time. It soon becomes clear that whatever freedoms Anna and the rest of the Neph are hoping to win will not be gained without a fight. Until then, Anna and Kaidan must put aside the issues between them, overcome the steamiest of temptations yet, and face the ultimate question: is loving someone worth risking their life?

I spent two days reading Sweet Peril & Sweet Reckoning, and they were both brilliant. I'd heard rumors Sweet Peril had been difficult for Ms. Higgins to write, and she stated as much in her acknowledgements, but Sweet Kaidan Rowe, did she get this book right. Heck, she pulled together quite a trilogy and I look forward to reading much more from this beautiful author.

Not having read Sweet Evil in quite sometime, I wished I had set aside time to reread it before hopping right into the second and third books. I found I'd forgotten some things, though Wendy set us up with a very nice reference for the Aura colors at the front of the book, and a "Duke Names and Job Descriptions Index" following the book, including their children. And lets be honest, there are 12 Dukes and many more Nephilim, it takes a bit of time to remember all their nefarious ways. 

Anna and Kaidan are currently living on opposite coasts from each other due to the problems they faced in the debut novel. Anna's having a difficult time "working" as she's not comfortable with risking other lives, because as the Daughter of Duke Beliel, she is supposed to lead people astray via substance abuse. While most 18 year old girls live to party, Anna doesn't just get to be the guest, she has to push alcohol and drugs on the party-goers who happen to be her friends. On nights when she's been using her demonic ways, she turns to her angelic side and makes sure everyone has a safe ride home so no one gets hurt. Honestly, she'd rather just not work, but...

After the New Year's Summit, the Dukes decided to have several of the Nephilim followed by whisperer demons who reported back to them if something looked wonky. Anna was top priority for the Dukes, especially Duke Pharzuph, Kaidan Rowe's hostile father. He's hell bent on getting rid of the goody two shoes Anna forever, too bad Kaidan and Anna love each other and are not willing to just give up.

I enjoyed Sweet Peril for several reason. I always enjoy a well thought out struggle between good versus bad. I think we all struggle with this on a daily basis. Perhaps not to the extent Anna and her Neph friends do, but I often feel the weight of any decision I make, good or bad. And teenagers, as a parent, I feel blessed when my children even recognize the differences, though they've been pounded into their brain since birth. 

Next, the journey in book 2 kept me hopping. Sister Ruth's spirit brought Anna a prophecy, and now Anna must find a way to help "fix" the situation. In an attempt to fulfill the prophecy Anna's father sends her to fetch other Nephilim who would make good allies. I should probably mention, Duke Beliel is one of the good Demons. An oxymoron, I know. Anna and Kope fly to Syria to fetch Zania, a Nephilim who is the daughter of Duke Sonnellion, Demon of Hatred. Her job is to promote civil unrest, but she dislikes her job so she'll make a good ally down the road. They travel to Australia for another, then Anna finally gets to start seeing the old gang. Ginger, Marna, Blake, and Kaidan. *SWOON*

I think Ms. Higgins put together a fine novel, dwelling on good vs. bad, misunderstood love, and personal moral integrity. The steamy appearances of Kaidan Rowe (Chapter 2, guy - that's all I can say) mixed with the action and adventure of pulling a group of misfits together to accomplish a goal unlike any other made for one heck of a ride. As I neared the end of Sweet Peril, I grabbed my youngest and pulled her to the bookstore with me so I could get Sweet Reckoning. I knew I would want to start on it right away, and I read it in one sitting. Crazy, I know. I'll have that review for you tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

{Waiting on Wednesday} Silver Shadows by Richelle Mead

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Title: Silver Shadows
Author: Richelle Mead
Series: Bloodlines #5


Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets—and human lives.

In The Fiery Heart, Sydney risked everything to follow her gut, walking a dangerous line to keep her feelings hidden from the Alchemists.

Now in the aftermath of an event that ripped their world apart, Sydney and Adrian struggle to pick up the pieces and find their way back to each other. But first, they have to survive.

For Sydney, trapped and surrounded by adversaries, life becomes a daily struggle to hold on to her identity and the memories of those she loves. Meanwhile, Adrian clings to hope in the face of those who tell him Sydney is a lost cause, but the battle proves daunting as old demons and new temptations begin to seize hold of him. . . .

Their worst fears now a chilling reality, Sydney and Adrian face their darkest hour in this heart-pounding fifth installment in the New York Times bestselling Bloodlines series, where all bets are off.

Honestly, I've yet to read The Fiery Heart, and from what I've heard, I'll be waiting until this baby is in my hands, and possibly the last book also, but I'm still more than ready to see this release. What's your WoW of the week?

Saturday, May 3, 2014

{Book Review} Phenomenal X by Michelle A. Valentine

Title: Phenomenal X
Series: Hard Knocks
Author: Michelle A. Valentine
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: Aprill 22, 2014


Good Girl. Notorious Bad-Boy. One Phenomenal Love.

From the mean streets of Detroit rises the newest superstar of professional wrestling, Xavier Cold, better known as Phenomenal X. His muscular physique makes men cower before him and women lose their minds with desire.

Anna Cortez is fresh out of college and naive to the harsh realities of the real world. Tired of living under the thumb of her conservative family, she defies them when she accepts a job as the assistant to wrestling’s most notorious bad-boy. Phenomenal X has an animalistic nature that even good girl Anna finds hard to resist.

One night forced to share a bed in a sold-out hotel, lines blur between them and they quickly learn that one lustful night changes everything and neither one of them will ever be the same.

*Due to the sexual nature of this book, it is not recommended for readers under the age of 17.

I promise myself, one day I will learn. I will. The hype circulating about this book may have been my own worst enemy here. You can tell me if you think I'm wrong when I'm done.

Young, innocent - but not virgin innocent - girl boards airplane and is seated a couple of rows behind first class. In walks a dashingly handsome, yet rough around the edges type of guy who she notices. He's a professional wrestler, I'm certain everyone noticed, but he winks and makes his way to his first class seat with his manager. There's an awkward meeting on the plane, plane lands, more awkwardness ensues, but he manages to sneak his number into her back pocket in the form of an autograph. And we're up and running.

Chances are I would have enjoyed this book much more given three things:

1. I needed a clue about what Phenomenal X looked like, well, there was that one piece of black hair that flopped in his eyes. I honestly don't recall there being much of a description outside of eyes and said hair, but I suppose that's all you really need. I do like my guys to be more than a pretty face. A whole package of hot bod I can do, but this novel left me hanging - oh, the pun we haven't gotten to yet.

2. If we had not repeated the same exact settings, as well as dialogue, throughout the entire book. The plane was a one time thing, though they did fly again, I just don't think we had to read about that flight twice. Xavier "X" Cold picks up Anna at a bar after she calls him, they hop on his motorcycle and head to a little 24/7 diner he enjoys, then takes her home. The next day she starts working with her cousin at what I'm assuming is a dive or maybe a bar & grill, I'm honestly not sure. X shows up, sits in one of her booths, then takes her back to the diner on his bike. Eventually, she gets fired not of her own wrongdoing, SHE drives to the diner and waa-laa, X shows up, offers her a job as his personal assistant, you know, since they are only friends and all. Seriously... they hadn't had a steamy encounter yet.

AND 3. What I should do is just end this review here, with you knowing there's one more thing that really, seriously bothered me with this book, because the cliffhanger is horrid. You think, "Thank all that is good, we're finally getting somewhere!" Then... BAM! It's over. All she wrote. See ya around. Not one single tiny thread of a rope got tied up. In fact, it's possible that I'm left knowing less than I did before I read the darn thing.

So, why 3 stars you ask? Okay, you didn't, but I'll answer anyway. The lack of grammar and spelling errors and because I loved Michelle's Black Falcon series are the only two reasons I'm not knocking it lower. And, hey guys, I understand this happens. Every single one of my very favorite authors have had at least one book that let me down, tremendously. Abbi Glines and Fall Too Far, Jennifer L. Armentrout and Cursed, also to her list I'll say this, while I LOVED Sentinel with all my heart and thought it ended perfectly, the editing was crap. I'm hoping Hard Knocks #2 will be much better, because I'm positive like that!

Friday, May 2, 2014

{Book Review} Nash by Jay Crownover

Title: Nash
Series: Marked Men #4
Author: Jay Crownover
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Publication Date: April 29, 2014


Will their past determine their future?

Saint Ford has worked hard to achieve her childhood dream of becoming of nurse. Focused on her work and devoted to her patients, there’s no room for love. She doesn’t need a guy making waves in her calm, serene life—especially when he’s the unforgettable hottie who nearly destroyed her in high school. Dark, brooding Nash Donovan might not remember her or the terrible pain he caused. But he turned her world upside down... and now he’s trying to do it again.

Saint has no idea that Nash isn’t the cocky player he once was. Uncovering a devastating family secret has rocked his world, and now he’s struggling to figure out his future. He can’t be distracted by the pretty nurse he seems to meet everywhere. Still, he can’t ignore the sparks that fly between them —or how she seems so desperate to get away from him. But the funny, sweet, and drop-dead gorgeous Saint is far too amazing to give up on—especially since she’s the only thing in his life that seems to make sense.

When Nash discovers the truth about their past, he realizes he may have lost her heart before he could even fight for it. Now, Saint has to decide: is Nash worth risking herself for all over again?

*This is a New Adult book and due to the underlying themes and sexual content, it is not advised for readers under the age of 18.

The Marked Men Series is saturated with hot, broken, seriously INKED men, and man, do they need a good woman to balance their chaos. Rule was the first book in this series, and while the writing seemed a bit amateur, he remains my favorite Marked Man to date, so I'm thankful we still get to see bits and pieces of him in each book. Jet, the second book, had me squirming. Jay's writing flowed and she captured Jet's tortured soul so perfectly. Um... also he's a rock god, so I obviously fell in love with him. Rome, the third installment, told the story of Rule's older brother. His journey revolved around things the others didn't. I enjoyed the change of pace with this book. BUT, I was not so patiently waiting on Nash, because his cameo appearances in the other books kept me laughing and smiling. Toward the end of Rome, Nash's story begins to unfold and it is quite a doozy.

While The Marked Men Series protagonists are the guys, each of their love interests are equally, if not sometimes more jacked up than they are. So you're taken on a wild ride where two emotionally unstable people are winding their ways into each others lives, but trust and security never come easy.

I will admit I was a tad bit let down by this book. I expected so much more from Nash. He always seemed to be the life of the party, yet the levelheaded bro of the bunch. Don't get me wrong, I most definitely hurt for him, I even shed a few tears. I suppose with him being pretty mellow and the peacemaker, his actions made sense. The way he handled Saint amazed me though, especially when he figured out he might not be her problem—perhaps she stood in her own way.

I've read a few reviews of this book and a lot of people had issues with Saint. I did not. She was extremely insecure from things that happened to her as a teenager, both at school and at home. A shy girl who may have been a bit on the plump side, but exceptionally smart. People whispered about her in the hallways and there's an incident where she believed Nash said something very hateful and harsh about her after they had established a semi-friendship. So when she sees him several years later, she can't let go of the words she heard and trust him. This is where I totally get it, because in high school, someone started an awful rumor about me, and to this day, I will not return to a class reunion, nor do I accept these people's friend requests on Facebook, and people, that's been 20 years ago. Is it a bit childish... maybe. But I can't face all these people who joined in on a rumor that was not only unfounded, but completely untrue.

If Nash had been Saint's only problem, I might not be so lenient on her; however, her mother was out of her mind insane. Seriously. For years she'd tried to turn Saint into her older, popular sister, Faith. She picked at Saint's weight, her hair, her clothes, everything. Her mom popped too many pills and drank too much wine trying to get past the hurt of Saint's father leaving her for a younger woman. Once Saint came back to Denver, she took it upon herself to try to take care of her mom, but it always ended badly. So again, When you grow up with parents who want you to change and be someone you're not, how are you supposed to gain any self-esteem? Plus, as far as relationships went, her father set an example Saint couldn't let go of.

For these reasons, I forgive Saint for her trust issues. I know there's a time you have to let all these go, and Saint did, when she was able.

I wanted Nash's story to be my favorite, but I feel there were some writing issues that kept it from exploding off the pages the way the others did. That said, this is a terrific book, with high emotional content that keeps you wondering what could possibly happen next. I'm looking forward to Rowdy's story, which releases October 21st. It sounds like it's going to be something else. Jay has another book coming out, it's not part of the Marked Men series, but Jay has become one of my automatic buy authors, so I'll be picking up Better When He's Bad on June 17th. I need to check, I may have possibly pre-ordered it.

Marked Men Reading order:

Rome - My review
Rowdy - October 21st

(Don't ask why I haven't reviewed the others, perhaps I'll get to it in time.)

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Birthdays & Music

It's my birthday, and I can talk about what I want to... so we're talking music!

When this post goes live, it will officially be my birthday. I've spent some time over the past few days thinking about the music that best describes my life at this moment.

When I was younger, I remember the music I liked changing daily, depending on whether my heart was pitter-pattering in love or shattered. Outside of driving past an ex-boyfriend's house, blaring "There's Gonna Be a Heartache Tonight," my tastes in music tended to be pretty shallow. As I have grown older, I've found more meaning, more motivation, more inspiration in what I listen to. I've found a handful of songs that have stuck with me over the years, that mean something special to me, or describe certain parts of my life. Songs that aren't just guilty pleasures... of course, I have plenty of those too.

In honor of my birthday, I'm going to tell you a bit about myself. In music!

This is one song that continues to remind me to keep going, no matter what.
"Sometimes goodbye IS a Second Chance"
I think this one is pretty self  explanatory. 
We all have our demons, right?
Anyone who knows me, knows exactly why this song is on this list and we will leave it at that.

And if this isn't the exact truth about love, I don't know what is. Seriously.

Last, but not least, my usual state of mental health.

Now, this is to in no way reflect my overall musical taste. Typically, I'm a pretty eclectic listener. Some of my guilty listening or just all around get my jam on songs include:

"Some Nights" & "We Are Young" by FUN.
Almost anything Bruno Mars or 30 Seconds to Mars
Forever the Sickest Kids
All Time Low
"Unpredictable" by Jamie Foxx
Post Kim-hating Eminem - Love him, Hate him, I don't really care.
Green Day 
Grace Potter
Barnaby Saints
And OH - The Black Keys

And finally is my deep fondness for classic rock. It can always take me back to a time when things were better, and make me smile or remember some stupid stunt I did.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...