Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Top 3 Favourite Books of 2013!


Hi guys, so it's the nearly the end of 2013 (how quick has this year gone?) and we here at Book Passion for Life thought it would be good to share our favourite reads for 2013 and we hope you will join us with your picks too.
Donna's Top 3!

13570854   15755296   Champion (Legend, #3)
Number 3: Black Dagger Brotherhood Series by JR Ward:
I'd been wanting to read this series FOREVER and this year, I finally got the chance...and I loved them. There were a couple that weren't my favourite but most of them that I loved. I devoured the series within a few weeks and I can't wait to see what comes next.
 
Number 2: Through the Looking Glass by Gena Showalter
I adored Alice in Zombieland but the sequel really look me by surprise. It was a heart-wrenching read, just because you had no idea what the outcome was going to be. I loved it! 
 
Number 1: Champion by Marie Lu 
What can I say about this series that already hasn't been said? It's amazing, heart-pounding, enthralling...well you get the picture. Champion is really my favourite read of they year. It was a read that had me sitting on the edge of my seat, filled with dread, hope and love. When I look back on the year, this is the book that stands out for me the most. 
Jess's Top 3!

16116099    17449417    5199022
Number 3:  Dead Jealous by Sharon Jones
Dead Jealous was great. Not only is it set in England, but it was something totally out of my normal reading. But I loved it, I thought it was a really great read and it truly stuck with me. It's  great YA mystery/thriller book that will leave you reeling.
 
Number 2: Simple Perfection by Abbi Glines
I guess you were thinking an Abbi book would be at number one? Well no, it was a fantastic read, and I don't think I'll ever get bored of Abbi or her books. But one other book (or series) pipped it to the number one spot.
Number 1: The Cut & Run Series books 1-6 by Abigail Roux
Ok. Firstly, the Cut & Run number one spot goes to the entire series (I know it's cheating, but I don't care). I'd read plenty of M/M romances before this one. But this, this series truly stuck with me. Through the 6 books that are published, I was on the edge all the time. It was fabulous. If you want to get out of your comfort zone and maybe dip into some M/M romace, I suggest you start with book one of this series as it eases you into that particular romance. I guarantee if you enjoy it, you won't regret it. 
Melanie's Top 3!

       13605723  Crest (Ondine Quartet, #3) Rock Chick (Rock Chick, #1) 17622425
Number 3: Sentinel (Covenant #5) by Jennifer L. Armentrout/ Crest (Ondine Quartet #3) by Emma Raveling
Ok, a joint 3rd because they are both from my favourite series’, Sentinel, I chose because it is the last in the Covenant series and it was awesome, all of us here at BPfL are huge Aiden fans and have been from the very beginning so it was great to see Alex & Aiden get their HEA. 
Crest I chose because again, this is an awesome series, (Donna & I will champion this series forever because we love it so much and also the leading man Tristan) and this book really steps it up a notch and takes on a more serious feel, we only have one more book to go so everything has been set up, we get lots of reveals and I’m sooooo excited for the finale.
 
Number 2: Rock Chick Series by Kristen Ashley
Ok, so I know they were out before 2013 but I was only introduced to them this year and they have definitely made it into my all time favourite series ever, every time I finished one of the books, the main man was my fave only to be replaced when I read the next book but to be honest, I love them all! I go back to these time and time again and I defy anyone not to fall in love with each and every one of the Hot Bunch.
 
Number 1: The Broken Tomb (The War for Inisfail #2) by Kaiya Hart
This is without doubt my top book of the year, it blew me away and I couldn’t even find the words to review it other than to say it was EPIC! It truly was and I only wish that this series had more recognition because it is breathtaking, its high fantasy with a dash of romance and would appeal to so many fantasy readers if they took a chance on it so please, read it! You have no idea what you’re missing.
 
There are so many other books that I have loved over the year and I wish I could list them all but alas I am only allowed 3.
So that's it from us in 2013! We hope you've had just as much fun as us and we hope to see you all in 2014! Happy New Years!!
Love Donna, Jess & Mel.

Monday, 30 December 2013

A Review for Blaze of Secrets (Asylums for Magical Threats #1) by Jessie Donovan

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Posted by Melanie
Release Date: September 2nd 2013
Finished Date: November 8th, 2013
Publishers: LHK
Genre: Adult, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
Source: For Review
Format: eARC
To avoid persecution, the Feiru will do anything to keep their elemental magic a secret from humans—even lock away their children for life. Few know what goes on inside the prison system for magic users, but that is about to change…

Kiarra Melini overhears the dangerous secrets of her blood and decides that if Feiru elemental magic is to survive, she needs to die. But before she can finish the deed, a handsome black-clad man kidnaps her from prison and introduces her to an anti-prison activist group. As the prison retrieval squad hunts for her, Kiarra must overcome the demons of her past or risk losing not only her newfound freedom, but also the man who reawakens her desires and captures her heart.

Jaxton Ward finally rescues his older brother from prison, but instead of helping with his brother’s recovery, he’s ordered to train Kiarra—a stubborn elemental fire user who claims her magic is gone. But just as Kiarra starts trusting him with her secrets, the prison enforcers catch up with them. Now Jaxton must find a way to keep his family safe while also protecting the only woman able to ignite both his temper and his passion.

The Review: Blaze of Secrets was a brilliant start to the Asylums for Magical Threats series and I thoroughly enjoyed it! The series premise is that there are magical people born into the world who control the elements and because it affects the first born children, they are taken away from their parents at maturity and placed in a prison like system, never to see the outside world again. The parents think that they are protecting their first borns from persecution from the outside world and their burgeoning powers so have no qualms about handing then over to people with their best interest at heart…. Little do they know but they are handing over their children to torture, abuse & experimentation. Jaxton Ward’s brother is one of the first borns taken and he has spent the last decade trying to find him and when he eventually obtains the information about his whereabouts, it comes with a condition….. rescue Kiarra Melini, the woman in the cell next door too… and when he does… sparks will fly as the synopsis explains perfectly. I really liked the characters, it was so easy to gel with both of them and I connected with Kiarra in the first chapter because as the synopsis tells us, she is trying to commit suicide. Her life in the prison for the last 15 years has been horrid and she sees no light at the end of the tunnel, it’s amazing she has made it that far so we meet her in the worst possible place in time and it’s impossible not to empathise with her situation. I loved when Jaxton arrived, he had a Knight in black camo thing going on and is totally unprepared for what he finds in Kiarra, he is drawn to her straight away and that’s just the beginning. I loved how their relationship developed and how they worked through their problems, obviously Kiarra is going to be more damaged but she handled it really great and I liked how she worked through things in her head, I also liked Jaxton’s handling of her and their chemistry was sizzling as the trust grew. I actually liked all of the secondary characters as well and a good few of them are stand outs so I’m hoping for more from them too. I loved the idea behind the book, I don’t read a lot about elemental powers and with the first born prison system element it brings something new to the table, giving me a unique and interesting story plus the amount of people in those jails gives this series a lot of possibilities. With the seriousness of what is happening to these elementals we are obviously going to get corruption and abuse of power and that is where the enemy threat comes in, politics does have a role in this although it isn’t overwhelming and as always with tyrannical leaders comes the opposition, the rebellion and the catalyst for change which introduces us to the legend of four exceptional elementals who are destined for big things… if they survive. It had everything I love in a paranormal romance book, the relationship was a major factor & lovely, I liked that Jaxton thought out of the box when it came to winning her over, I said before that I liked how Kiarra handled herself for all she had been through, it was slightly psychological like coaxing an abuse victim to trust someone but that only made me empathise with both characters all the more. When the action got going it took on a run, chase, hide scenario and I like that because it amps up the danger, the bad guys definitely show that they will stop at nothing which also gave a dangerous edge to it and we get a good few point of views that let us into everyones head – good and bad- so we know what’s coming from all angles which I loved. I have to say that I was drawn into this book and hooked by the beginning, it really made an impact and kept me reading, the pacing was great, I was never bored and read it in one sitting and if I’m getting this from the first book, I can’t wait to see what I get from the sequel.

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Book Blitz for Erasing: Shadows (Erasing #1) by K.D. Rose; Review + Excerpt

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Posted by Melanie
Release Date: December 18th, 2013
Finished Date: December 21st, 2013
Publishers: Lycaon Press
Genre: Paranormal, New Adult
Source: For Review
Format: eARC
Pages: Unknown
Buy: Amazon UK / Amazon US 

What if to save the ones you love, you had to unlock the key to a different reality?

Generations of mystery smash together when a seemingly traditional family must shatter their illusions of normality to confront themselves and their friends, leaving no possibility unexplored in order to rescue- well, who exactly? Watch the Ross family, the High Five Gang, and multiple generations dig into an innovative explosion of imagination where they must confront numerous realities, real-world danger, and worst of all—their own teenage hormones!

In a place where nothing is as it seems and shocks are around every corner, even the people you thought you knew may find themselves strangers in this moving and provocative reality-bender. With breathless pacing and psychological intrigue, Erasing: Shadows and the High Five Gang will keep you guessing until the very end.

The Review: Erasing: Shadows is the first book in the Erasing series…
One day whilst doing the dishes Mira notices that her three year old son starts to disappear, growing more transparent she tries to cling onto him to stop him vanishing but in the end, all that’s left …is a shoe. Distraught, she searches the home she shares with her family – husband Michael, their 3 children & Mother in law, Mrs Ross – but comes up with nothing. She knows where he has gone but how? Why? Does someone mean them harm? Who would do such a thing? So with haste Mira & Michael prepare to go back to a place they hadn’t visited for many years, a place where as children, along with their friends, they had formed the High Five Gang and possibilities were limitless…. Only what happens when you get there and you forget? You are so traumatised by events that you regress to a safer time, a safer place and it’s up to someone else to steer you home?..... it’s time to get the gang back together one last time.
I liked this story, it was something very different and something you could imagine being limitless & without boundaries in where the story could go and what you could see. Some of the world was very imaginative and I did like the idea but at times it was confusing which sometimes made me go back and re read parts where I thought I might have missed something. All of the characters were likeable but the wasn’t a lot of depth to them, I suppose I connected with our main characters most of all and they were easy to understand, the trauma of a missing child would definitely affect a person so Mira’s reaction and the point of the book was definitely believable to a certain extent and then Michaels quest to bring her back was on par for how I would expect him to react. I think the most interesting characters for me were Mrs Ross & Stu, they pulled on my curiosity and I wanted to know about them. I think the age regression thing was ok but a little weird, was I reading about adults? Children? Kids bodies holding an adults intellect? It was a mind bender because some retained knowledge whilst others didn’t. I feel that whilst this was a good introduction to the world, because of what goes on there, the rules, the age stuff, the different areas etc. that I couldn’t grasp everything and understand it all, it would definitely take further reading but I’m intrigued enough to try a sequel and if what I read into it, the character change may be a plus.
 
Excerpt from Erasing: Shadows by K.D. Rose
Exactly one hour later, six raggedy looking teenagers showed up out of nowhere in the astral, sitting on the ground near a farm. For a moment, they weren't quite sure where they were. Then it all came back to them. The gravel underneath their legs was leaving imprints like always. They smelled hay. It was a sure sign they were there.
The Emergency Meeting Place.
The group surveyed the landscape, and it appeared exactly as it was supposed to be. The field over the hill lay behind Mira's childhood home. Then they caught themselves staring at each other because of the sheer scale of difference between their before and after appearances.
"Wow." Jonathan spoke first. He gaped at Michael, who, true to his word, had come back at about sixteen-years-old. Even his clothes were teenage clothes. "You've learned some things haven't you!" He was impressed.
"From Mira," answered Michael. "And apparently you have too." Jonathan looked obviously older than Michael. If Michael had to guess, he would say Jonathan was nineteen or twenty. "But, I've re-thought this, and maybe I am going to return to age twelve. It’s closer to Mira's age, and I can build more rapport with her."
He didn't mention that also he just plain missed her. If they were both twelve, well, hopefully her former crush on him when they were younger would manifest this time too. In real life she was older than him, though not by much. That was the weirdness of the astral. Playing with ages got really complicated.
Michael amazed the others as he shrunk. Suddenly he wasn't sixteen anymore. Jonathan knew the technique, but the others were in awe.
"Can I do that too?" asked Zac, who was changing into the clothes he brought. Jonathan noted his older clothes were hanging off of him. Zac was the only other one at about age twelve. He was also the only one who hadn't seemed to travel into the correct clothes. He had arrived still wearing his adult attire. Somehow his traveling skills were a bit behind the others, who looked their appropriate ages.
"No," said Michael. "You are the cousin I have that is Mira's age. The more people her age the better."
Trina laughed at Zac's adult clothes falling off. "Okay, Mr. Hobo, about ready there?" she teased.
Then she turned to Onie. "Wow, you're suddenly a cougar , aren't you,?" she said laughing, for Onie had turned up as age sixteen, four years older than her husband.
"Ha, ha," said Zac.
"Yeah, forgive me if I wait until we're back into the real world to um—oh never mind," said Onie.
"So you do only love me for my body!" teased Zac.
"Well," said Jonathan, getting everyone back on track, "we have to be careful how we introduce ourselves to Mira. It needs to be like it was before; except atour current astral age, so we don't freak her out. I'm not sure where she would end up if she got confused and upset, but it wouldn't be good."
"Right," said Michael. He popped a few more Tums. "She could end up in a forest or a storm. Or alone in the desert—you never know what the unconscious will do, so everyone needs to concentrate hard because Mira won't be able to. So I will find her first and try to develop our old rapport. Knowing her, she will want to learn, and then I'll introduce her to Jonathan like before."
"Let's write this down," said Lu.
"I have paper and pen," said Onie.
Lu looked at the group. "We really haven't changed much personality-wise. There's Onie with supplies on hand, Jonathan ordering us around, and Zac falling apart." She laughed.
"I think it will be easiest if we think of this like a play. We all have our parts that are mimicking how we met and acted before. Only don't forget how serious it is," said Trina.
"I agree," said Michael.
The group spent the next hour recalling their collective memories, remembering the old days, and then reenacted some of their initial encounters with Mira. Michael decided to leave out some of the negative events so as not to traumatize Mira. In the end, they had a plan.
"Does everyone feel comfortable with this?" asked Lu.
"Do you mean, do I feel comfortable as a nineteen-year-old?" said Jonathan. "Hell, yeah. Loving this."
Everyone laughed. Perturbed, Zac spoke. "I'm surprised that I'm only twelve. I thought I'd be older. Why am I the only one that was automatically so young?"
Jonathan answered, "Well, it is representative of your inner evolution, so physically you may be older, but astrally, in this world, you haven't really done that much more traveling or advanced your learning so you haven't particularly grown intellectually or evolutionally 'here.' And remember," he added, "when Michael first came back, he was twelve too. And look at him now—he can stretch to any age."
Zac frowned. His wife saw and added, "It's not a bad thing, Zac. Some people get older and can't go back because they've lost their sense of wonder and attitude of learning. Other people never grow up because they never mature. I think we are right where we are supposed to be, and you never know, this adventure may change us a bit."
"Yeah, hopefully in a good way," Zac acquiesced. Lu and Trina at sixteen voiced no complaints. "Actually, Onie, this may come in handy, because you know we are not exactly the same ages as when we first met Mira, except for me, so I think Zac being closer to her age is a good thing," said Michael. "That's a good thought," said Zac. "I feel better."
Jonathan was gathering his things and making moves to go. "It's getting late. Is everyone clear on what to do? And the order to do it in?"
There were nods all around. Michael added, "Okay, from now on, I am twelve-year-old Michael. Is everyone also clear where to sleep tonight, how to eat, and all the practical things? We sleep in the real world, eat in the real world, but if anyone can, someone should bring some real food to the astral next time."
Jonathan volunteered to try.
"Okay, unless there are any last concerns, let's get this show on the road," said Trina.
Onie had one last comment. "Everyone remembers our name, right? We loved it at the time and believed we were so slick. Mira liked it."
Michael remembered back to his younger self. "The High Five Gang."
K.D. RoseAUTHOR BIO

K.D. Rose is an author and poet and currently has "Heavy Bags of Soul", "Inside Sorrow" and “I AM (Poetry in Motion)” on sale at Amazon.com. "Erasing: Shadows" is the first of a Seven Book Series for New Adults in the Fantasy/Paranormal Genre. K.D. is currently at work on Book 2, Erasing: Shattered.
K.D. Rose is now also an author with Lycaon Press.  
Just like her books, K.D. Rose is edgy, hits you in the gut and gives you the education you never knew you needed. Writing with irony, truth, and a spiked pen, she takes you past the self into self-evolution.

K.D. has an eclectic mind and loves language, physics, philosophy, photography, design, art, writing, symbolism, semiotics, spirituality, and Dr. Who. K.D. is an avid supporter of music, the arts, cutting edge science, technology, and creativity in all forms that encourage us to expand and explore past the artificial limits we often set for ourselves in order to see the everyday connections that exist among all things.

Join K. D. Rose on the following social media sites:


Website for the Erasing Series: http://kdroseworld.com/

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00830RFC0

Blog: http://www.kdroseauthortales.com

Email: kd.rose@aol.com

Twitter: @kdrose1

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/K.D.RoseWriter

Lycaon Press: http://www.lycaonpress.com/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6038789.K_D_Rose

LinkedIn:
http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=184204909&trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile

Friday, 27 December 2013

A Review for Deadly Thorns (Hemlock#2) by Kathleen Peacock

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Posted by Donna
Release Date:  November 7th 2013
Finished Date: November 26th, 2013
Publishers: Simon & Schuster UK
Genre: YA, Paranormal, Dystopian
Source: For Review
Format: Paperback
Pages: 352
Mac can’t lose another friend. Even if he doesn’t want to be found.

The ripple effect caused by Mac’s best friend Amy’s murder has driven Mac’s new love, Kyle, to leave Hemlock and disappear from her life forever. But Mac knows that Kyle plans to enroll in a rehabilitation camp, where he can live with other werewolves. She refuses to accept his decision, especially since the camps are rumored to be tortuous. So she sets out in search of Kyle with a barely sober Jason—and Amy’s all-seeing ghost—in tow.

Clues lead Mac to find Kyle in a werewolf den in Colorado—but their reunion is cut short by a Tracker raid. Now Mac and Kyle are trapped inside the electric fences of Thornhill, a camp for young werewolves. As she devises an escape plan, Mac uncovers dangerous secrets buried within the walls of Thornhill—and realizes that the risk to the people she loves is greater than ever before.

The Review: 3.5 Flowers!

I really loved Kathleen Peacock's debut novel Deadly Hemlock last year, so I've been eager to find out what happens next in the sequel; Deadly Thorns and I'm glad I've finally had the chance to read it.

In Deadly Thorns we see Amy and Jason trying to find Kyle, but once they do, they find themselves in more trouble than they ever believed they could get in. The place Kyle is staying at, is raided and everyone but Jason is taken to a rehabilitation camp. It's there that Amy realises there are more secrets than ever and she needs to find out what's going on, as well as trying to get her and her friends out. But can Amy do that before drawing suspicion onto herself?

I was excited to read Deadly Thorns and started to as soon as I received it, however, one thing I noticed was how much of the details from Deadly Hemlock I had forgotten. It took me a least 100 pages into this book, that I could finally remember most of the details - which kind of sucked! Once I finally got into the story, I enjoyed it but I didn't think it was on par with Deadly Hemlock. If I'm honest, I didn't quiet like the whole 'rehabilitation camp', if anything, I was a little surprised the author went down this route when I thought there was so many more avenues that she could have took. I found the plot to be a little slow and I guess in my head, Deadly Thorns wasn't was I was expecting, but despite the few minor issues I had, I did still enjoy it.

What I liked was being back with the characters. I'd missed Amy, Jason and Kyle (yes, more so Kyle, lol) and I couldn't wait to see what was next in their journey's. I think character wise, they all grow a lot in this sequel, I mean they don't really have much choice but to do so with the situation's they're put in. Kyle has a lot to overcome, he has to hide who is but still try and have some sort of normal relationship with Amy and his family, Jason has to try and overcome his recent drinking binges and fight his feelings for Amy, and Amy, well after solving the murder of her friend, she's now taken on the task of trying to help the wolves. It's a lot for a teenage girl to do. I really like them as a trio. They work well together and I'm still left thinking about their story now.

Overall, I did enjoy Deadly Thorns, I did wish for more but I'll still look out for the final book.

Thursday, 26 December 2013

A Review for Angelbound (Angelbound #1) by Christina Bauer

18459932Posted by Melanie
Release Date:  December 17th, 2013
Finished Date: November 26th, 2013
Publishers: Ink Monster LLC
Genre: YA , Paranormal, Romance
Source: For Review
Format: eARC
Pages: 532
Buy: Amazon UK / Amazon US 

Eighteen year old Myla Lewis is a girl who loves two things: kicking ass and kicking ass. She’s not your every day quasi-demon, half-demon and half-human, girl. For the past five years, Myla has lived for the days she gets to fight in Purgatory’s arena. When souls want a trial by combat for their right to enter heaven or hell, they go up against her, and she hasn’t lost a battle yet.

But as she starts her senior year at Purgatory High, the arena fights aren’t enough to keep her spirits up anymore. When the demons start to act weird, even for demons, and the King of the Demons, Armageddon, shows up at Myla’s school, she knows that things are changing and it’s not looking good for the quasi-demons. Myla starts to question everything, and doesn’t like the answers she finds. What happened seventeen years ago that turned the quasi-demons into slave labor? Why was her mom always so sad? And why won’t anyone tell her who her father is? Things heat up when Myla meets Lincoln, the High Prince of the Thrax, a super sexy half-human and half-angel demon hunter. But what’s a quasi-demon girl to do when she falls for a demon hunter? It’s a good thing that Myla’s not afraid of breaking a few rules. With a love worth fighting for, Myla’s going to shake up Purgatory.

The Review: Angelbound was an excellent start to the series of the same name and I thought it was a fun & original. All of the characters are likeable, particularly our main characters Myla & Lincoln. Myla definitely stole the show, she’s fun, she’s confident, she’s full of attitude and totally kicks ass in every way! I love that she’s tough and has been fighting in ‘the arena’ since she was 12, you would expect her to be hardened by that but she’s not… she loves doing it, it’s like her lives work to catalogue the strengths & weaknesses of the demons she fights and she still retains her fun loving optimistic view of life. I really loved when Myla & Lincoln meet, I love a relationship that starts off with arguments & bickering, a love/hate thing, which is such a refreshing change to the insta love, I’m not saying you don’t feel their connection from the onset because you do, it just takes a while for them to realise what it is and that always means fun for the reader. Their relationship is so easy when they give each other a chance and they complement each other so well, making them a great team and you just know they’re going to cause waves because both of them together just radiate mischief. The world the author has created was very original in its structure and I loved the history of it and its inhabitants which all worked together very well and was a great background to the story. I liked that we have certain groups of beings – angels, demons, ghouls, thrax, quasis – and that within these groups are differences again, they all have their own ways, their own magic, histories and traditions which brings different aspects to the world. The bad guy was great but slightly underused in my opinion, I would have loved Myla to have had some run ins with him but I liked how he radiates fear & despair and was curious for more of his story. The main focus of course was Myla, a lot had been kept from her and there are a lot of secrets surrounding her & her parents that are going to come to light throughout the book which I loved, I did cotton on pretty early what was happening but that didn’t matter here because I really enjoyed finding it all out and I enjoyed the way Myla discovered some of the past that was giving her clues to who she really was and I really liked how that in turn shaped Myla into the person she became. I thought the arena scenes were good, with plenty of action, I like what Myla does there and I especially liked the Thrax introduction & display. To be honest I don’t think there was anything that I didn’t like about the whole thing – we got a great story in a great setting filled with fun, action, secrets, power plays, first love and a quasi girl (with a tail that has a mind of its own)set on shaking things up big style! I can’t wait for more. 

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

A Review for The Awakening by Emma Jones

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Posted by Melanie
Release Date: December 6th, 2013
Finished Date: December 19th, 2013
Publishers: Self Published
Genre: YA, Paranormal
Source: For Review
Format: eARC
Pages: 176
Buy: Amazon UK / Amazon US 

Do you believe in vampires? Ghosts? The supernatural world?
Meet Lauren who instantly clicks with Gavin at a friend’s BBQ. Everything goes well until Lauren starts to experience strange things and hears a weird voice. It seems like a warning but from what? Lauren eventually makes the startling discovery that Gavin is a vampire and it has profound consequences for herself. The arrival of Daniel makes things even more confusing for Lauren as she is warned he is bad news from a ghostly source. Laurens life is turned upside down as things she thought were myths and legends become real and she struggles to cope with everything she has discovered.
Will Lauren and Gavin’s relationship survive and what about the mysterious Daniel?

The Review: 3.5 Flowers!

The Awakening tells us the story of Lauren, a young woman just about to meet someone very special and fall in love. Gavin, the boy she will meet is everything she thought she wanted in a man but when they get close, strange things begin to happen…..migraines, strange voices & the dreams all tell her one thing – beware! What is happening to her, why is this happening to her? Is she going crazy? One thing is certain, it all centres around Gavin and when the pieces click into place, Gavin is revealed to be a vampire…..but the discoveries don’t end there for there is more and it involves Lauren herself. However, just as Lauren is coming to terms with what is happening in her life another man arrives on the scene  – Daniel, Gavin’s cousin – and the warnings begin anew…. But what does it mean this time? Can she cope with any more surprises? And with the electricity & excitement she feels around him, how will Daniel impact her deepening relationship with Gavin?

So, I enjoyed this story…. I thought all of the characters were likable particularly our main character Lauren, she’s just a young woman wanting to have fun, have a laugh with her friends & find love, as we all do at that age and then Gavin enters her life and rocks it in more ways than one. I liked their relationship, they made a sweet couple but I did wish for more time together and more depth to them because for all I liked them, I didn’t ‘connect’ with them emotionally, yet I connected slightly with the stolen moments she had with another. I thought Lauren was very realistic in her reactions to some of the discoveries, she struggled & didn’t want to believe what was happening but was willing to ‘see where things would lead’ and I appreciated that about her character.
As I said, I enjoyed the story – I always like the vampire genre and I especially liked the authors take on vampires and how they have evolved, it was nice getting some of the history too as Lauren starts delving into it in an attempt to accept what is happening to her and I like how her history entwines with it. I love how Lauren is forewarned about people/situations that may bring her harm, the way in which it was done gave the book a spooky feel and amped up the curiosity factor. I also liked reading about Lauren’s ‘education’ (I can’t really say much in case its spoilery) but that also adds to her character. I was very interested in the overall storyline and it steadily got better & better throughout and culminated in a really surprising, but good ending that does leave you wanting a sequel. So to sum it up, The Awakening was a good story based on a romance between two people with unsuspecting secrets between them, a nice dose of the supernatural and it held my interest but it was very much a getting to know you and your world book, hopefully in a sequel we can get some enemies or the mentioned vampire council will make and appearance & become a problem? Who knows but I liked where it went and definitely left it up in the air for a sequel.

Book Blitz for Ondine (Ondine Quartet 0.5) by Emma Raveling; Review, Excerpt + INT Giveaway


Ondine (Ondine Quartet 0.5)
by Emma Raveling
Publication date: December 19th, 2013
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Purchase: Amazon / Amazon UK

“I shouldn’t get involved.”

Rebellious and headstrong, sixteen-year-old Kendra Irisavie doesn’t have much respect for authority. An ondine with the powerful gift of Virtue, she uses her tough attitude and Empath magic to navigate through high school and keep others away.

Because being an ondine also means keeping secrets.

Kendra and her mother are Rogue water elementals in the middle of an ancient war. They hide among humans, their survival constantly threatened by monstrous Aquidae demons.

Along with a rigorous training regimen to mold Kendra into a lethal fighter, her mother has instituted four rules to keep her safe.

Trust no one. Relationships are weaknesses. Emotional attachments are dangerous. Be responsible only for yourself.

But when Kendra witnesses a classmate in trouble, she intervenes and her decision to break the rules comes at a price.

Sometimes, humans could be more dangerous than demons.

Ondine is a short prequel novella for the young adult urban / paranormal fantasy series, the Ondine Quartet.
Melanie's Review: Ondine is an excellent insight into a younger Kendra, who is now future governor of Haverleau. In this we see her as a sixteen year old, trying to stay below the radar by following her mother’s rules -
‘Trust no one. Relationships are weaknesses. Emotional attachments are dangerous. Be responsible only for yourself.’
And she has….until now.. because she is forced to step in when she sees one of her classmates being held responsible for something that is out of his control which attracts the attention of the bully – Rui- who has a lot going on beneath the surface and Kendra recognises that in him. Along with the bullied boy, Kendra decides to make a difference in this town and sort of leave a legacy for the better but will everything go according to plan?
As I mentioned, this is an excellent insight into Kendra’s younger self, I can see her emerging into the Ondine warrior we know her to be, ‘the sondaleur’. I like her strong sense of right from wrong, I like how she wants to make a difference and can see how these traits have manifested into her new role. Even though this was a short story, I liked the connection she had to Rui, it’s a shame there was never any time to delve into that further because he was like a kindred spirit and both victims of their parents visions. For all we know much about Naida Irisivie, I find myself wondering wth she was doing to her daughter, I’m surprised Kendra had any confidence left by the time Tristan took her away, she is cruel in my opinion and whilst I do know why she was that way with Kendra, it’s harsh. I really liked the story, it fit well to her character and definitely something I could see her doing plus it shows us she was just as fearless then as now and we get a very symbolic scene at the end which I thought was a great way to end this. As with each & every story we get in this series, it always leaves me wanting more!
Donna's Review: Emma Raveling never disappoints. She's back but this time with Ondine a prequel novella based around Kendra when she's younger and in the human world where she's trying to figure out the difference between right and wrong. There's something going on at school and Kendra knows she's the only one who can help right the situation, even despite all her mother's warnings. Her mother is a harsh women. At times I could see why Nadia is the way she is, after all, if you've read the series, you know her it all plays out for her and why she pushes Kendra so much. But there's a way to do that at I honestly believe Nadia did most things wrong. She puts Kendra down and doesn't really show her the affection a mother should, it was slightly hard to read because Kendra takes as much as possible in stride but deep down, I think she just wanted her mother to be proud of her, so does what she can. I enjoyed the overall story for Ondine too. It was good to see Kendra interacting with people, you can see the feisty person starting to bubble under the surface and even though she's in the human world, she's far from normal...and you do start to see glimmers of that. In all, even though this is only a novella, Emma Raveling manages to capture everything we love about Kendra and makes us wish that much more that she can get the happy ever after ending we all want her to have.
Excerpt from ONDINE by Emma Raveling
Afternoon sunlight drenched the wood, heat seeping through my jeans and warming the back of my legs.

Rui’s icy voice sliced through the delicate spring air. “I need you to get the money from him.”

Potheads occupied the narrow recess beside the stairs while the cheerleaders and athletes took the table farthest from the building door.

They weren’t getting involved.

Neither was the Student Council group gathered along the west side.

I’d managed to follow her rules for the four months we’d been in L.A. The championship tournament was in two hours and she’d be seriously pissed if my performance wasn’t better than the last one.

I needed to concentrate on my own shit, not get involved in anyone else’s.

Troy’s fear ratcheted up another notch and the hot spike of emotion raked against my insides.

“I—I don’t know him that w-well…”

“That’s a problem.” Rui adopted an expression of mock concern and pulled out a cigarette. “‘Cause your dad owes mine a lot of money.”

Empath magic reached inside him, sensing clumps of frustration and rage, hardened over the years.

“It’s just me and my mom,” Troy said in a desperate voice. “I don’t see him that often —“

 Mistake one.

“Often?” Rui’s voice rumbled with the dark glee of a predator who’d spotted its prey. “So you do see him.”

“N..no.” Troy’s eyes darted around the courtyard.

Don’t, don’t…

Wide eyes locked on to me. Great.

“What do you mean, no?”

“I m-m-mean…” He stumbled over the words. “S-sometimes I do, but…”

Mistake two.

“Then you can get the money from him, right?” Rui lit his cigarette. Troy flinched at the click of the lighter. “I don’t think your old man would like it if my father got his hands on you.”

Troy swallowed, his gaze flickering toward me again.

Sasha followed his line of sight. “You thinkin’ a chick’s gonna help you?”

Rui slowly turned. Black hair, dark eyes set against olive skin. Cold, grim awareness etched into his face, creating an impression of severe superiority.

The things he’d seen and experienced exceeded your worst nightmares and he wanted you to know it.

Rui flicked his cigarette, ash landing a foot away from me.

“She’s not bad, Troy. Don’t think she’s your type, though.”

I suppressed a sigh and stood. Might as well get this over with.

“You don’t know my type, Vergara.”

A flicker of surprise in those dead eyes. “You know my name. I’m flattered.”

“Don’t be.” I strode over and leaned against the metal railing of the stairs. “You just have a rep of being an asshole.”

Kane stepped forward, body tense. Rui’s arm shot out and stopped him.

“You’re that junior.” A ring of smoke gently swirled around his face. “Transferred here a few months ago. Kendra, right?”

Empath detected a quick shift. Irritation and anger smoothly transformed to calculating curiosity. The unusual degree of control set off my internal alarms.

I shouldn’t underestimate him.
AUTHOR BIO
I’m a fantasy writer who lives a slightly eccentric life with my accommodating husband and our charming, neurotic dog. I'm currently working on the Ondine Quartet, a young adult urban fantasy/paranormal series featuring a kick-ass heroine, powerful magic, and the complex world of water elementals.

I have a weird love of spreadsheets and organizational tools because they give me the illusion that I am somehow in control of the chaos that is my life. I adore beautiful art such as painting and sculpture, classical music, lyrical writing, and great graphic design. My all-time favorite books (as of this writing) are Immortality by Milan Kundera, 100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Beloved by Toni Morrison, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, and The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka.