Saturday, 22 November 2014

{Feature} Waiting on Wednesday (#95)

 
"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. 
Jess's WoW
23587984Maybe Not
by Colleen hoover
Release Date: November 24th, 2014

When Warren has the opportunity to live with a female roommate, he instantly agrees. It could be an exciting change.

Or maybe not.

Especially when that roommate is the cold and seemingly calculating Bridgette. Tensions run high and tempers flare as the two can hardly stand to be in the same room together. But Warren has a theory about Bridgette: anyone who can hate with that much passion should also have the capability to love with that much passion. And he wants to be the one to test this theory.

Will Bridgette find it in herself to warm her heart to Warren and finally learn to love?

Maybe.

Maybe not.

Jess's thoughts: Loved the first book, Maybe Someday. And although this is just a novella, I can't wait to read it and get more from these characters. 


Donna's WoW

23309796
Swept Away
by Michelle Dalton
Release Date: May 5th, 2015

Beachfront love blossoms in this refreshing summer romance, in the tradition of Sixteenth Summer and Seventeenth Summer.

Mandy Sullivan isn't exactly looking forward to the summer months as tourists invade her seaside hometown on the coast of Maine. Her best friend, Cynthia, has abandoned her for camp and her older brother just announced he'll be staying at college taking classes for the summer, leaving Mandy with nothing to do and no one to hang out with. Hoping to keep herself busy, Mandy takes a volunteer job at the Rocky Pointe Lighthouse. On her very first day, Oliver Farmingham asks for a private tour. A new and incredibly cute face in Rocky Pointe, Oliver seems more interested in Mandy than the lighthouse and its history.

Without her best friend at her side, Mandy is scrambling to act the right way and say the right things when Oliver is around. Cynthia not Mandy has always been the confident, flirtatious girl that everyone wanted to be around. As Mandy and Oliver spend more time together exploring the coast, biking through the woods, and attending the local summer festivals, their budding friendship becomes much more. But with Mandy's insecurities creeping to the surface, can she open her heart to someone who will only be in town for three months?

Donna's thoughts: I finished Michelle Dalton's Pulled Under over the weekend and loved it. Swept Away will be the third book I read of her's and I can't wait! Or maybe the fourth book if I get Fifteenth Summer before May! =)

<What's your "waiting on" pick this week?
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Grab the logo, post your own WoW entry on your blog, and leave your link at Breaking the Spine. 
Happy Reading!

{Review} Otherworld Nights (Otherworld Stories #3) by Kelley Armstrong

17827953Posted by Melanie
Release Date: October 7th, 2014
Finished Date: November 3rd, 2014
Publishers: Orbit
Genre: Adult, Paranormal, Anthologies
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback
Pages: 353
 This short story collection will include many brand-new tales and others only previously available on Kelley Armstrong's website. Most of the stories will feature the werewolves of the Otherworld, Elena and Clay, Jeremy, Karl and other members of the American Pack. These are some of Kelley Armstrong's best-loved and most enduring characters, from bestselling books such as Bitten, Stolen and Frostbitten.

1) Demonology - Adam's mother discovers what he is
2) Stalked - Clay/Elena honeymoon story from "My Big Fat Supernatural Honeymoon"
3) Hidden - SubPress 2012 Elena/Clay novella
4) Twilight - a Cass story from "Many Bloody Returns"
5) Chivalrous - Reese's backstory from SubPress's long sold-out "Tales of Dark Fantasy 2" (the Dec'14 SubPress graphic novella picks up this storyline)
6) Lucifer's Daughter - Hope/Karl story from "Blood Lite II: Overbite"
7) From Russia with Love - Elena bonus story included with hardcover of "Thirteen"
8) Vanishing Act - brand-new Savannah/Adam novella set after "Thirteen"

The Review: Otherworld Nights is a collection of short stories from Kelley Armstong’s Otherwold series. I’m a huge fan of this series anyway so there was no doubt I would love this book. It was great to be back with the characters from the series again, they feel like old friends and I have missed the series since it ended. I had read all but two of these stories as freebies on the authors website over the years and appreciated them the second time around too. The two new ones that I hadn’t read were Chivalrous – where we get one of the packs newer recruits – Reese’s – background story and it gave a great insight into his character & totally explains why he is so skittish about the pack and why he was unwilling to trust any of them. The other one is Vanishing Act which was written for this book and featuring Savannah & Adam. It was great to be back with these two characters and see a little more of them in action, the story was great with a lot of action and characters crammed into the short space of the story and you can actually feel the maturity of Savannah now in how she deals with everything from her life, her love, her attitude towards the investigation and also her future with Adam. I was pleased we got a little more of their relationship because this one only started in the end book and it didn’t have much time to mature as say …Elena & Clay or Paige & Lucas etc. it was still new and I feel we didn’t get enough of them. In this however they speak of long term plans, Adams worry about the age gap and holding her back and Savannah’s worries about where her life should be going and where she wants it to go – so a nice balance of plot drama and relationship drama. This is a must read for fans of the series, it was great to be back with them – I only wish we had more books to look forward to because this really does whet the appetite for more.

Friday, 21 November 2014

{Review} Mercury Rising (The Adventures of Hermes, #1) (The Cursed Satyroi, #2.5) by Rebekah Lewis

23274977Posted by Melanie
Release Date: October 31st, 2014
Finished Date: November 12th, 2014
Publishers: Breathless Press
Genre: Paranormal, Fantasy
Source: For Review
Format: eBook
Pages: Unknown
Nymphs in peril, obsessive gods, females who literally cannot admit when they're wrong, and unruly satyrs. Just another typical day for Hermes.

When Zeus refuses to demand Apollo release Daphne from captivity in Olympus, the only option left is for Hermes to free the nymph himself. A simple task for a god with his skillset, but risking the wrath of Apollo never went well for anyone. 

However, imprisoned nymphs aren't distraction enough when a former flame crashes back into Hermes' life. It's been a long time since he laid eyes on Hybris, and the timing couldn't be worse. As the goddess of hubris, she has many quirks—such as being incapable of apologizing. And no matter how much she tries to assure him she can be trusted, the memory of her betrayal remains. 

As they formulate a plan to rescue Daphne, Hermes soon suspects no threat is greater than the tribulations of the heart. 

Don't miss the first part of The Adventures of Hermes, a companion series to The Cursed Satyroi.

The Review: Mercury Rising is a really good short story in the Cursed Satyroi series and also the beginning of The Adventure of Hermes. One of the stand out characters in the main series has been Hermes, not only is he a Greek god but he is Pan’s father too. He stands out because for all he is ancient, he is very current in his demeanour and comes across as if he’s a surfer dude, add to that a wicked sense of humour and this character is a hoot! He also has a heart of gold too and he always pops up to help the Satyroi in his own way, it’s like he adopted them and became a father figure to all of them, even if at times they seem more mature than him.
The purpose of this short story seems to be to set up Melancton & Daphne’s story (which I am very much looking forward to) and as we know from book 2 – Melancton promised he wouldn’t try to rescue his beloved nymph Daphne from Apollo anymore in exchange for his friend being able to be with his nymph. Melancton will make good on that promise but what if he doesn’t rescue Daphne? What if someone else does and gives her to Melancton? This is exactly the type of plot Hermes has in mind as he enlists all the allies he can get. One of those turns out to be the mother of Pan and someone who broke Hermes’ heart – Hybris – and with her arrival, he is reminded of what they had together but he wants her to make peace with Pan but with Hybris being the goddess of hubris…. She simply can’t apologise to anyone.
As Hermes goes about his quest, we see all of the things we love about him – humour, sarcasm, wacky dress sense etc. – but we also see a maturity that we hadn’t before and the paternal role he plays to the Satyroi in full effect, by doing this he risks everything to give someone happiness and he is also trying to reconnect his son with his mother who abandoned him. I think this showed more depth and feeling from this character and definitely made me connect with him more. The story has a bit of everything – humour, plotting, conflict and romance with Hermes getting some of his own sexy time – and I can’t wait for more. 

4.5 flowers!

Thank you to Rebekah Lewis for giving me the opportunity to review this book in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

{Review} The Queen of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling #1) by Erika Johansen

18712886Posted by Donna
Release Date: July 17th, 2014
Finished Date: November 14th, 2014
Publishers: Bantam Press
Genre: Adult, Fantasy
Source: Bought
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 448
Her throne awaits . . . if she can live long enough to take it.

It was on her nineteenth birthday that the soldiers came for Kelsea Glynn. They’d come to escort her back to the place of her birth – and to ensure she survives long enough to be able to take possession of what is rightfully hers.

But like many nineteen-year-olds, Kelsea is unruly, has high principles and believes she knows better than her elders. Unlike many nineteen-year-olds, she is about to inherit a kingdom that is on its knees – corrupt, debauched and dangerous.

Kelsea will either become the most fearsome ruler the kingdom has ever known . . . or be dead within the week.

Combining thrilling adventure and action, dark magic, mystery and romance, The Queen of the Tearling is the debut of a born storyteller blessed with a startling imagination.

The Review: The Queen of  the Tearling has got to be one of my favourite debut novel of this year because Erika Johansen did a fantastic job with the story, creating a marvellous and well written story that captivates you until the very end.

On her nineteenth birthday, Kelsea Glynn must claim what’s rightly hers – her throne and Kingdom. After being hidden away since birth, Kelsea has trained for this day and her future where she needs to be strong for her country, but with many secrets being kept from Kelsea, it’s not until she returns home that she truly finds out what has become of her Kingdom – a Kingdom that is full of fear and a who lotteries their people to the Red Queen so they can become slaves for her. Kelsea maybe young, but she’s determined to save her Kingdom….even if it kills her.

I’ve heard so many good things about The Queen of the Tearling and so I decided to give it a whirl too. Was that a good decision? Totally, I loved it! Usually with fantasy stories they have too many characters or too many different points of view, so that the story becomes complicated and hard to follow. Well not this book. Erika Johansen clearly knew what she was doing when she wrote this book because it’s easy to follow, it’s written well and yeah, it is a great read even though there are a few slow chapters.

I instantly loved Kelsea. She’s a very strong character who isn’t afraid to stand up for what she believes in. She takes being the Queen of a Kingdom seriously and, rarely complains about the situation she’s been put in. She’s down to earth and joys herself on the finer things in life, like books. She’s focused on educating the children in her kingdom; helping women better their own futures and helping men find work. She does have help from the Queens' Guard but even then she had to prove herself to them, like she has to prove herself to the Tearling. She really wants to make a different to and it definitely shone throughout this book. I loved her!

Now I’ve finished this book though, I am left wanting more. I want more of The Fetch – who wouldn’t want more? I’m curious about him as a character and as a love interest for Kelsea. There’s next to no romance in The Queen of the Tearling and I honestly didn’t mind, but I’d like to see more improvements in the next story. And of course, I want more of this fantastic world that has been created. A great read! 

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

{Feature} Waiting on Wednesday (#94)

 
"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. 
Jess's WoW
22609310Confess
by Coleen hoover
Release Date: March 10th, 2015

Auburn Reed has her entire life mapped out. Her goals are in sight and there’s no room for mistakes. But when she walks into a Dallas art studio in search of a job, she doesn’t expect to find a deep attraction to the enigmatic artist who works there, Owen Gentry.

For once, Auburn takes a risk and puts her heart in control, only to discover Owen is keeping major secrets from coming out. The magnitude of his past threatens to destroy everything important to Auburn, and the only way to get her life back on track is to cut Owen out of it.

The last thing Owen wants is to lose Auburn, but he can’t seem to convince her that truth is sometimes as subjective as art. All he would have to do to save their relationship is confess. But in this case, the confession could be much more destructive than the actual sin…

Jess's thoughts: I love Colleen's books. I'm behind on a couple of her stories, but I can't wait to read this one. And look how amazing that cover is! 


Donna's WoW
22535481
A Wicked Thing
by Rhiannon Thomas 
Release Date: February 24th, 2015

Rhiannon Thomas's dazzling debut novel is a spellbinding reimagining of Sleeping Beauty and what happens after happily ever after.

One hundred years after falling asleep, Princess Aurora wakes up to the kiss of a handsome prince and a broken kingdom that has been dreaming of her return. All the books say that she should be living happily ever after. But as Aurora understands all too well, the truth is nothing like the fairy tale.

Her family is long dead. Her "true love" is a kind stranger. And her whole life has been planned out by political foes while she slept. 

As Aurora struggles to make sense of her new world, she begins to fear that the curse has left its mark on her, a fiery and dangerous thing that might be as wicked as the witch who once ensnared her. With her wedding day drawing near, Aurora must make the ultimate decision on how to save her kingdom: marry the prince or run.

Rhiannon Thomas weaves together vivid scenes of action, romance, and gorgeous gowns to reveal a richly imagined world … and Sleeping Beauty as she’s never been seen before.

Donna's thoughts: I've not read a Sleeping beauty retelling yet, so hopefully this one is as good as it sounds!! =)

<What's your "waiting on" pick this week?
Want to participate? 
Grab the logo, post your own WoW entry on your blog, and leave your link at Breaking the Spine. 
Happy Reading!

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

{Review} A Fistful of Evil: An Urban Fantasy Novel (Madison Fox, Illuminant Enforcer #1) by Rebecca Chastain

23010894Posted by Melanie
Release Date: August, 2014
Finished Date: November 4th, 2014
Publishers: Mind Your Muse Books
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Source: For Review
Format: eBook
Pages: 273
Buy: Amazon UK Amazon US 

Madison Fox just learned that her ability to see souls is more than a sight: It’s a weapon for fighting evil. The only problem is she doesn’t have a clue what she’s doing. 

On the positive side, her money problems are over, she’s possibly discovered her purpose in life, and her coworker is smoking hot. On the negative side, evil creatures now actively hunt her, and deadly experiences are becoming the norm.

When she thinks it couldn’t get worse, a powerful evil sets up shop at a local hotel’s video game convention, and it’s got its eye on more than the gaming geeks: it is hungry for Madison’s soul. Madison needs to become an expert illuminant enforcer overnight to save her job, her region . . . and her life.

If Stephanie Plum fought evil with magic, it’d look a lot like this.

The Review: A Fistful of Evil was an interesting start to this new series featuring Madison Fox whose life is about to get a whole lot more complicated. The synopsis is spot on about what Madison will go through and it was a fun ride. Madison was a fun character, she has no clue what she’s doing but will wing it for all its worth but she does actually want to do well, she wants to learn and wants to be worthy but because she had been ignoring her gift she is totally inept. She has her eye on a couple of men but romance isn’t really the purpose of this book, it’s all about Madison’s introduction to fighting evil.
The storyline was really good and I thought the author has created something a little different to what the usual UF is about, I like Madison’s gift and how it can be used to fight evil. She is definitely flung in the deep end here and has to learn on the fly but that was an asset to the story because it was amusing to read of her trying her best, her thought process was fun too and she came across really well, so normal for a book character where you could imagine that her reactions would be the same as your own. I loved the species of demons throughout, we have imp demons, monkeys, hounds…. And they’re really just minion-esque for the bigger demons and what they do to unsuspecting humans will make you shiver. Obviously there will be a big bad demon for Madison to cut her teeth on and I had an inclining of where the story was going but when you add all of the action, danger, rescues, fighting…. Even parading around like Lara Croft – you get a fine UF book with tons of potential. My only grumble is that I would have liked a bit more romance in it but that’s personal preference and in no way detracts from the book as a whole. I’m glad I gave this a try and will be looking out for more.

Monday, 17 November 2014

{Review} The Return (Titans #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

18809475Posted by Donna
Release Date: February 17th, 2015
Finished Date: October 17th, 2014
Publishers: Spencer Hill Press
Genre: New Adult, Paranormal
Source: Loan
Format: Paperback
Pages: 335
The Fates are cackling their bony asses off…

It’s been a year since Seth made the deal with the gods that pledged his life to them. And so far, the jobs they’ve given him have been violent and bloody–which is kind of all right with him. But now Apollo has something else in mind for Seth. He’s got to play protector while keeping his hands and fingers off, and for someone who really has a problem with restraint, this new assignment might be the most challenging yet.

Josie has no idea what this crazy hot guy’s deal might be, but it’s a good bet that his arrival means the new life she started after leaving home is about to be thrown into an Olympian-sized blender turned up to puree. Either Josie is going insane or a nightmare straight out of ancient myth is gunning for her.

But it might be the unlikely attraction simmering between her and the golden-eyed, secret-keeping Seth that may prove to be the most dangerous thing of all.

Because history has once again been flipped to repeat.

Book 1 in the new adult paranormal TITAN series, spin-off to the best selling COVENANT series.

The Review: The Covenant series by Jennifer L. Armentrout is one of my absolute favourite series ever, so when I heard that JLA was writing more based around Seth with a new series - The Titans, I have to say I was pretty damn excited. I've always had a love-hate relationship with Seth because if you've read the series you know why and if you don't, Seth was kind of a dangerous character so of course I went into The Return with caution. However, Seth is definitely not the same character we've met before and I was completely rooting for him throughout this book.

It's been one year since Seth made a deal with The Titans where he basically handed over his life to them to save the one person he's ever cared about. Now he's become their lackey, handing down punishment to the people that sided with Ares and his job isn't a nice one - it's violent and bloody but Seth's enjoying it because he knows it's what he deserves, especially with all the destruction he's done in the past. But when Apollo comes to Seth with a new task, he's now becomes the protector of a girl who has a massive role to play in trying to overthrow the escaped Itans.

Josie's life is suddenly turned upside down when Seth fills her in on her destiny - she's a demigod and her destiny is to defeat the escaped Titans, and Josie realizes that her crazy mother, might not be so crazy after all. Now she has to leave everything she's ever known and is thrown into a world of danger. But escaping with the hot stranger - Seth might not be so bad after all...right?

I honestly didn't know what to expect when I headed into The Return especially with it being a New Adult story but as normal JLA doesn't disappoint! It was easy to slip into Seth's head and get to know him more than what we have previously saw, especially with half the story being told from his prospective. Seth really wasn't how I knew him. He's definitely different and more aware of how his actions will affect people. If I'm honest, I just wanted to give him a big hug because he's suffered a horrible life when all he's ever wanted is acceptance and love. I really came to love him during this story and feel as though that was always JLA's plan.

With Josie being a new character and with her story being more surrounded the Titans, I enjoyed getting to know her and her story. It took me a little to warm up to her because even though she could see these strange things happening around her and of course it's explained what's her life will be like, it takes ages for her to really understand, for it to really in for her. It takes her a while and so she spends a lot of time thinking about Seth. I wanted her to focus more on her destiny, but once I reached the middle of the story, she changes and realizes that is real and she's needs as much help as she can get. I really enjoyed the connection she had with Seth - she sees the real him and so their story is quiet intense. They make a great team.

The plot of the story is engaging and intriguing, it's dangerous and exciting and did I mention hot? Oh yeah, it's hot! They story is also mixed with Covenant and Titan details and I loved that. It's was like getting the best of both world. And some of my favourite characters made appearances too - Deacon and Luke. It was good to see where they are at and how their world has changed since the event in Sentinel. And I'm hoping Alex and Aiden make an appearance soon. I'm eager to see how Seth will handle that.

In all, The Return definitely left an impression on me and I thoroughly enjoyed Seth and Josie's story and yep, I'm definitely left wanting more! Well done JLA for another fantastic story.

Thank you Kayleigh @ K-Books for loaning me your ARC copy!