Tuesday, 31 March 2015

{Review} 99 Days by Katie Cotungo

22864818Posted by Donna
Release Date: April 21st, 2015
Finished Date: January 6th, 2015
Publishers: Balzer + Bray
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance
Source: For Review
Format: eBook
Pages: 384
From the acclaimed author of How to Love comes another stunning contemporary novel, perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen.

Molly Barlow is facing one long, hot summer—99 days—with the boy whose heart she broke and the boy she broke it for . . . his brother.

Day 1: Julia Donnelly eggs my house my first night back in Star Lake, and that's how I know everyone still remembers everything. She has every right to hate me, of course: I broke Patrick Donnelly's heart the night everything happened with his brother, Gabe. Now I'm serving out my summer like a jail sentence: Just ninety-nine days till I can leave for college and be done.

Day 4: A nasty note on my windshield makes it clear Julia isn't finished. I'm expecting a fight when someone taps me on the shoulder, but it's just Gabe, home from college and actually happy to see me. "For what it's worth, Molly Barlow," he says, "I'm really glad you're back."

Day 12: Gabe wouldn't quit till he got me to come to this party, and I'm surprised to find I'm actually having fun. I think he's about to kiss me—and that's when I see Patrick. My Patrick, who's supposed to be clear across the country. My Patrick, who's never going to forgive me.

The Review: Molly Barlow has always been friends with the Donnelly’s. She’s grown up in their house and they’re like her second family and the fact that she is dating Patrick – the younger Donnelly – shows how strong her connection is to this family. But when Molly cheats on Patrick with his older brother Gabe, the Donnelly’s and all of her friends hate her. As a way to escape Molly moves to a boarding school but, with school out for the summer, she has nowhere to go other than to return home.  It’s back home she finds that everyone still remembers what she did and Julia Donnelly is definitely trying to punish her by egging her house and leaving notes on her car. All Molly wants to do is keep her head down and reconnect with her friends she accidently pushed away, but when Gabe and Molly start spending time together, it’s there that she realises she has feelings for more than one Donnelly brother and more so when Patrick decides that he also wants to spend time with her to. Once again Molly finds herself in the middle of the Donnelly brothers but can it all end with a happy ending?

99 Days is Katie Cotungo’s second novel and like her How to Love, I really enjoyed 99 Days. It is a very quick read, one that is fast-paced and easy to fly through and get lost in the story. I find Katie’s writing completely captivating and well written that once I start one of her books I don’t want to stop. It makes me wish she had more novels released so I could devour them to. Honestly, there is just something about 99 Days that will make you love it.

I really liked the main character Molly. Some people may not because this is kind of a cheating book and I know some people are put off by that. In Molly’s defence there are a few technically, so although she’s not completely innocent she’s not completely to blame either. She doesn’t make the best choices at times around these boys and she does let her emotions take over but honestly with two hot Donnelly brother’s running around, how could the girl not fall at their feet. But Molly’s young and it’s in my opinion it’s good for her to make mistakes while she is young. She definitely grew as the story progressed. She became stronger and I believe a lot of that had to do with Gabe and how he pushed her to do what she wanted.

Now for the Donnelly brother’s, I only liked Patrick. As the story progresses you see that everything is not as black and white as it seemed and I really didn’t like his motives. I felt the connection between him and Molly was more based around them growing up together – being together for most of their younger lives. But Gabe on the other hand, I loved. I felt their relationship was more real and open. Molly could be with him and could leave most of her troubles away. So I was definitely TEAM GABE!

I really enjoyed the plot of the story – love triangle and all. It is an emotional read with lots of adventures and fun moments to. The only thing I didn’t really like was how the story ended. I need closure and this provided none apart from a tiny little moment between Molly and one of the boys that left me feeling hopeful but, nothing much more – nothing concrete. It would be interesting to hear other peoples take on how it ended.

In all, 99 Days is a good summer read that will definitely be a hit. And I’m really looking forward to seeing what Katie comes up with next.  

Thank you to Balzer & Bray for giving me the opportunity to review this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Monday, 30 March 2015

{Blog Tour} Bound by Blood (Inherited Damnation #4) by Claire Ashgrove

INHERITED DAMNATION INHERITED DAMNATION is an 8 book paranormal romance series being released as one book every three weeks between January 27th and June 23rd, 2015. Damned at birth, eight immortal children of a high priestess are compelled to kill the one that holds their heart. They can never fall in love. Driven by the need to finally destroy their evil sire and break the curse, each struggles to balance their desire for innocence against the dark needs of their conflicted souls. The series contains mythos shared between the volumes, but each book stands on its own with a newly featured couple. 

The first four volumes – Cursed to Kill, Tormented by Darkness, Destined to Die and Bound by Blood are available now!

Keep up with all things Inherited Damnation over on the Inherited Damnation Facebook page!

23523025Posted by Melanie 
Release Date: March 11th, 2015
Finished Date: March 6th, 2015
Publishers: Untamed Spirit
Genre: Paranormal, Romance, Adult
Source: For Review
Format: eBook
Buy: Amazon UK Amazon US 

Beth Whitley has finally put her life back together after her husband’s betrayal and is determined to piece together the clues to her past. But she never imagines an ancient scroll bearing the name of a Celtic ancestor will plunge her into a world of demonic ritual. Nor does she suspect that a kiss shared with genealogist Fintan McClaine will unveil the secrets of her dreams and a burning desire.

Fintan McClaine wants freedom from the dark curse he’s suffered for centuries. When Beth arrives with evidence that she shares ancestral ties with his Selgovae Celt tribe, he must confront the truth of his inherited damnation. As he struggles to convince Beth the truth within her dreams, she awakens a dangerous and forbidden yearning in his heart.

To save them both, Fintan must convince Beth to believe in herself and her ability to overpower his unholy sire. If he fails, he will remain an eternal slave to his tainted blood and lose Beth forever.

Book #5, Fated for Sacrifice, will be coming on 4/21/15. Keep your eye out…

The Review:  This time around we have Fintan McLaine and his chance to break the curse through Beth Whitley. As we find out, Beth has just found the script that shows she could break the curse but assumes it is part of her ancestry and who better to turn to than Fintan for some help in uncovering hers. The script isn’t the only thing that Beth needs though, she also has dreams… dreams in which she sees a ritual being performed, a horrific sacrifice and it all seems so real.
Fintan is glad to have Beth in his home once more, he has held a candle for her for a while and although he is happy to see her taking control of her life again – he isn’t impressed that some of talents are being wasted. Imagine his surprise when Beth turns up carrying part of his mother’s script and the key to unlocking his curse. He is even more taken aback by Beth’s dreams and the information she should have never known, it becomes clear that she has ancestors from his tribe but convincing her it was real and that he was part of that will be trickier than her thought. With the countdown to his birthday and a sister who is determined her sire will come to no more harm, Fintan has his work cut out for him.

I enjoyed the fourth instalment of the series and I liked how we delved more into the fateful night when all of the McLaines were cursed. Fintan and Beth are both interesting characters and it was easy to feel their connection. I liked that Fintan and Beth both knew each other beforehand because it gives them a history and they had already been bonded by friendship.  Fintan knew who Beth really was deep inside no matter what she tried to put across and really wanted her to follow her passion but Beth had a problem with letting go after living her life for others for so long. Beth is a pleaser and tried to please those around her but could be herself around Fintan and think of possibilities for the future….. with him maybe. Both are shocked at Beth finding the script although it takes a while for Fintan to confess what it is.
 I really enjoyed how Beth tied into this story, so far in the series we have the matches being made with random people but this match felt more destined than the others and that is because of Beth’s ties to the Selgovae tribe. The dreams she was having were really graphic and horrid but they gave a great insight into what happened the night that the 8 children were cursed and what his father was capable of. It also gave us a glimpse into his mother’s final moments and how the children escaped seeing it through another tribe members eyes. Beth’s ancestor turned out to be someone very important and I like to think that Beth will be powerful in some way.
Throughout the book there is always a feeling that something is going to happen because Fintan’s sister Brigid is determined that her Sire will not receive more damage and decides to hang around to ensure that doesn’t happen. She was a constant threat throughout the book and we do get to see some of her deviousness – I’m looking forward to seeing how she will fare when her turn comes. Through all of the discoveries, confessions and romance we head towards an awesome climax and I loved that, another fight ensued with Drandar and someone is going to pay a price…. But who?
I’m looking forward to the next book in this very enjoyable series. 
Character Profiles:
Name:  Fintan McLaine
Birthdate:  Imbolc, 194BC
Hair: Long, brown
Eyes: Grey-as-steel
Alignment: Allied with Nyamah, his mother, High Priestess of the Selgovae Celt tribe 
Magical Strength:  Offensive elemental powers
Profession:  Revered historian; expert on ancient Celt tribes
Unique Feature:  Tattoo of intricate Celt scrollwork at the base of his spine
Closest Sibling:  Isolde McLaine
Greatest Weakness:  A never-ending thirst for knowledge

The chair creaked as she rose to her feet. A heartbeat later, her fingertip traced over the leftmost side of his tattoo. “And this…dagger…protects you.”

He bowed his head and let out an unsteady breath. Time passed at a crawl with Beth trailing her finger over the intricate loops and swirls, each feather-light touch churning the desire that simmered in his veins. He couldn’t move, could scarcely think, her accuracy so affected him. All he knew was she understood. She recognized the ancient markings his mother had placed on his back, and had placed on all his other siblings, to protect them from their sire until they were old enough to do so themselves.
Name:  Beth Whitley
Age:  Thirty
Hair: waist-length brown with red and blond highlights
Eyes: amber
Alignment:  Mortal
Profession:  Attorney
Personal Hope:  To find herself
Greatest Regret:  She’s always been what everyone else wants her to be
Secret Fear:  She will never achieve her dreams and hopes
  
It was far easier to comprehend the way Fintan’s wind-blown hair called to her fingers, beckoning them to push it aside so it couldn’t hide the sensual upturn of his incredibly warm mouth. Far easier to understand the simplicity of desire and the fact she very much wanted to experience that delicious mouth once more.

Changing the subject, she flattened her palm against his muscular thigh. “If you aren’t going to look at the scroll with me, instead of speculating about my past why don’t you go with the tangible?”

Head cocked, he peered at her quizzically.

“There was a lot of tangible earlier.” She ran her hand down the length of his thigh, savoring the feel of firm hard muscles beneath denim. “Kiss me, Fintan.”

About the Author: Building on a background of fantasy game design, a fascination with history, and a lifetime love of books, Award-Winning Author Claire Ashgrove brings to life action-filled, passionate journeys of the heart. Her paranormal series, The Curse of the Templars, marries the history of the Knights Templar with the chilling aspirations of the most unholy--a must-read for speculative fiction fans. For romance fans, she also writes as the National Bestselling Author Tori St. Claire and historical romance as Sophia Garrett.
 In her non-writing time, she owns and operates Finish The Story, a full-scale editing house co-founded with Bryan Thomas Schmidt. She lives in Missouri and enjoys cooking, studying ancient civilizations, and spending downtime with her two sons and too-many horses, cats, and dogs. To learn more, visit her at: claireashgrove.com or toristclaire.comFor all the latest updates look for the Untamed Spirit blog, via any of her websites.

Sunday, 29 March 2015

{Review} Hooray! It's a New Royal Baby! by Martha Mumford & Ada Grey

23569069Posted by Donna
Release Date:  April 9th, 2015
Finished Date: March 4th, 2015
Publishers: Bloomsbury Childrens
Genre: Children's Picture Book
Ages: 3 - 6 years old
Source: For Review
Format: Paperback
Pages: 32
The Royal Palace is in chaos yet AGAIN, but what on earth could be the cause of all the excitement? Yes, you've guessed it - there's a new baby on the way!

The nursery has been prepared (royal rocking horse? Check! Royal teddy bears? Check!),

the balloons and bunting are up (the young prince's auntie is quite the party planner, you know)

and the welcome committee is ready and waiting at the palace gates.

Everyone is excited. Everyone, EXCEPT the Royal Baby.

Waaah! Waaah! Waaah!

Oh dear. Is there enough room in the palace for TWO royal babies? It looks like the Duke and Duchess have got their work cut out for them!

A brilliantly funny follow-up to Shhh! Don't Wake the Royal Baby! and Happy Birthday, Royal Baby!, and the perfect book for all Royal Baby fans.

The Review: Hooray! It’s a New Royal Baby is about the arrival of the new Prince that will be arriving over the next few months. In the story we see the Royal family trying to prepare for the arrival and Royal Baby George trying to come to terms with him no longer being the baby of the palace. 

What a delightful read Hooray! It’s a New Royal Baby is. I absolutely loved reading this to my daughter because not only is it about the Royal family but it also managed to teach her about them in a fun and entertaining way. For a four year old she is aware that we have a Queen but reading the story and pointing out who was who, was so much fun. She understands that we have a not only a Queen but a whole family of Royal’s who will be welcoming a new baby soon and I just loved the idea behind this story because it gave her a bit of history on who was ruling our country. 

I think I enjoyed the story more than my daughter did, just because it was fun to see the Royal family in illustrations and I think Ada Grey did a fantastic job with them. And I loved how Martha Mumford wrote this story - fun and highly entertaining and full of laugh-out-loud moments. I feel so out of the loop because I didn’t know there were more books based around the royal family and I so want to purchase them for my daughter. It’s a book series that I can see us enjoying for a long time. 

Well done Martha Mumford & Ada Grey! 

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

Saturday, 28 March 2015

{Review} Alfie in the Bath by Debi Gliori

22929614Posted by Donna
Release Date:  March 12th, 2015
Finished Date: March 4th, 2015
Publishers: Bloomsbury Childrens
Genre: Children's Picture Book
Ages: 3 - 5
Source: For Review
Format: Hardback
Pages: 24
Alfie Rabbit is splashing around in the bath. His world turns from real to imagined as a gatefold spread is opened. Now he's on an amazing deep-sea adventure. Alfie is a deep-sea monster waving his tentacles, a little pink crab snapping his claws, a whale spouting water high in the air ...

A delightful book for toddlers, celebrating their irrepressible imagination, with exquisite illustrations featuring all sorts of ocean creatures.

The Review: This is the second time my daughter and I have had the pleasure of reading about Alfie’s adventures’ and this time it’s with Alfie in the Bath. Alfie is a cute little rabbit whom has a big imagination especially when it comes to bath time because he turns his regular bath time in a big adventure where he can explore the waves. We see him becoming a deep-sea monster with big tentacles, then a pink crab with claws, making lots of mess when the water becomes big waves and we won’t spoil the rest and tell you what else little Alfie gets up to. 

Very much like Alfie in the Garden, Alfie in the Bath has the same style of illustrations which are bright and very detailed. Alfie’s adventures keep you and your little one thoroughly entertained and it’s always exciting to turn a page and find that lovely fold out page with more beautiful details. We had fun trying to pick out the different sea creatures we could see underneath the waves and trying to guess what Alfie would come up with next. 

 In all, we’d love to see more from Alfie. We’ve enjoyed both his tales so far and we can’t wait to see what adventures he comes up with next.

Thank you to Bloomsbury Children's for giving us the opportunity to review this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Friday, 27 March 2015

{Review} Seducing the Dragon: Boxed Set (Stonefire Dragons #5-8) by Jessie Donovan

23292416Posted by Melanie
Release Date: October 28th, 2014
Finished Date: March 21st, 2015
Publishers: Self Published.
Genre: Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Source: For Review
Format: eBook
Pages: Unknown
Buy: Amazon UK Amazon US 

On her first visit to Clan Stonefire, Department of Dragon Affairs inspector Evie Marshall has an ulterior motive—she needs to seduce its clan leader. If she can’t seduce him and become his mate, the dragon hunters will kill her. Of course, Evie doesn’t know the first thing about seducing a man, let alone a dragon-shifter, but with her life on the line, she’s going to have to become a fast learner or die trying. 

Bram Moore-Llewellyn has a track record of scaring off DDA inspectors, but when the latest inspector shows up wearing tight clothes and a sexy smile, his inner dragon takes notice. While battling his attraction to the human, he soon finds himself with an impossible choice: he can either break the law to mate the female and risk a backlash from both the dragon hunters and the British government, or he can turn her away and let her die at the hands of the hunters.


The Review: Jessie Donovan delivers another awesome paranormal romance that will have you drooling over the Stonefire Dragons.
Parts 5-8 are a new arc in the Stonefire Dragon series and this time the Clan Alpha is about to bite off more than he can chew in the form of Department of Dragon affairs inspector Evie Marshall. Now, Evie has an agenda of her own when she heads to Stonefire to do an inspection of the humans there because Evie is about to do as the title suggests ….and seduce herself a dragon and that would be none other than Bram Moore-Llewellyn Stonefire’s Alpha. Bram is expecting the DDA inspector and is quietly amused when Evie turns up in her tight clothes and high heels, he knows something is up with her but is willing to let things play out. Evie fumbles around with her attempts at seduction and comes off as a clumsy person but ends up spilling her secrets when Bram calls her on it. Her secret is that she is being threatened by the Dragon Hunters because of her DDA status and insider knowledge, she can’t talk these threats lying down because a lot of DDA inspectors have been found dead lately and with that she deduces that if she seduces the alpha of Stonefire, he will then protect her against those who wish to destroy her. Their mating would mean a lot of changes for both of them plus, it could have disastrous consequences from both the Hunters and the government. The thing is, it doesn’t matter to the Hunters who is protecting Evie, they want her…. And will stop at nothing to get her.
I really enjoyed this book, I like to read them all in one go because I don’t like to wait for the other instalments so the omnibus editions are perfect for me. It was good to be back on Stonefire lands and really easy to get into. We know Bram already from Mel & Tristan’s story so we know there are reasons behind the fact that he is mateless and we quickly find out that Evie is not compatible to be a Dragon’s mate so her suggestion is one of an arrangement rather than love….. or is it? I thought Evie was a fab character, full of sass and determination. I thought she was perfect for Bram because you could really see her leading the Clan alongside him, she has that authority about her and a way of getting to the bottom of things that would come in really handy, I also liked her risk taking too. Bram entered this with humour thinking she didn’t want anything serious but was willing to come to the arrangement with her because it was good for both of them but as the story progresses we see that there is more to the pairing than meets the eye. I absolutely love the relationship Bram has with his dragon and their internal dominance struggle, it was so funny that his dragon was down to his base instincts and couldn’t see past claiming Evie whilst Bram tried to remain aloof, they sort of have different personalities in one body. As usual in PNR there is plenty of sexytime to get us all hot and bothered and these two were hot together.
The storyline progressed perfectly from part 1-4 and the Dragon Hunters become a more prominent enemy. They start to take huge risks here, infiltrating dragon land and causing havoc in an attempt to get to Evie. Evie works them out though and what she discovers is shocking and makes you wonder who the monsters truly are. Of course all of this brings Brams dragon’s protective nature to the front and tensions are high. We meets some new characters who are from the Scottish Dragon Clan and I’m really hoping for more from them, Finn was fun and playful but all business when needed as the Alpha and I’m loving the connection he has to a certain lady dragon that promises to be a good story in the making. I liked getting a really good look at the enemy and what they were about, in parts 1-4 you could easily mistake them for a band of outlaws who are determined to rid the world of dragons but here we see just how organised they really are, what the true nature of their game is and how invested they are in what they are doing – I was quite shocked at the lengths they would go to. There is also plenty of action too where we see the Dragons fight back! Co ordinated battle plans, ambushes, tons of fighting too so I was very satisfied with where the story went and can’t wait for more! 

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

Thursday, 26 March 2015

{Author Interview + Giveaway} Soulmates by Holly Bourne

16099393
Soulmates
by Holly Bourne 
Release Date: September 1st, 2013
Publishers: Usborne Publishing
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Romance
Pages: 544
Every so often, two people are born who are the perfect matches for each other. Soulmates. But while the odds of this happening are about as likely as being struck by lightning, when these people do meet and fall in love…thunderstorms, lightning strikes and lashings of rain are only the beginning of their problems.

Enter Poppy, the 17-year-old cynic with a serious addiction to banana milk, and Noah, the heart-throb guitarist; residents of mediocre Middletown, sometime students, and…soulmates. 

After a chance meeting at a local band night, Poppy and Noah find themselves swept up in a whirlwind romance unlike anything they’ve ever experienced before. But with a secret international agency preparing to separate them, a trail of destruction rumbling in their wake, (and a looming psychology coursework deadline), they are left with an impossible choice between the end of the world, or a life without love…

Holly Bourne
Author Interview with Holly Bourne.

1) Where did you get the idea behind the story?
It seems SO long ago now, but I got the idea in the midst of the Twilight mania. Where there were entire sections of bookshops dedicated to ‘dark romance’ and ‘forbidden love’. Though I loved those books, I also worried they didn’t set the most realistic expectation of love. So I got the idea for Soulmates – using a romance book to play with the generic conventions of other romance books. I really wanted to hold a mirror up to all the clich├ęs and expectations of romance, while writing a stonking romance at the same time.

2) How long did it take to write? 
Two long years, around my 50 hours a week job as a news reporter. Whenever anyone tells me they ‘don’t have time to write a book’, it makes me want to do a little spiteful dribble on them. Only a little one… 

3) What was the most challenging thing about writing this book? 
The ending. Oh, the ending, the ending, the ending. I cried solidly for about two weeks afterwards. Plus, making all the science behind soulmates was pretty challenging. I spent a good couple of months researching the science and psychology of love to make the storyline as plausible as I could. 4) Do you have a favourite moment in the book? I really wanted Poppy to have a strong set of friends – that she keeps throughout the romance. And it was brilliant fun writing all the scenes of her, Lizzie, Amanda and Ruth pissing about. 

5) What’s your favourite quote from the book? 
*SPOLIER ALERT* It’s right at the end of the book. “That’s the thing about love. However you’ve have it, however you’ve had it – it never goes. Once it’s touched you, it’s touched you forever. You’ll be permanently scarred by its brilliance. You can walk through the rest of your life with that wonderful knowledge… …someone once loved me and it was beautiful. No-one can take that from you.” 6) What’s next for you? I have a YA trilogy about FEMINISM coming out. I’m so, SO excited. It’s about a group of girls who start a grassroots campaign group at their college. The first book is called ‘AM I NORMAL YET?’ and is about Evie and her OCD relapse. It examines the links between gender and mental health. 

Fun Questions’s: 
1) What would we find in your refrigerator right now? 
A lifetime supply of Quorn sausages Chocolate. A lot of chocolate. Probably a half-empty jar of tomato sauce at the back with mould on it. That’s the sort of gross human being I am. 

2) List 3 books you have recently read and would recommend? 
ARGH! THERE ARE SO MANY. Recently? OK The Sin Eater’s Daughter made me realise I do actually like fantasy books! Who knew? Elizabeth Is Missing was beautiful, haunting, frustrating, but hilarious in equal measures. And I’ve been lucky enough to get a sneaky preview of The Secret Fire, co-written by CJ Daugherty and Carina Rosenfeld, and it’s ruddy awesome. You should be excited by it. I am. 

3) If you were deserted on an island, what three favourite things would you want with you? 
Books. Obvs. Mascara. Just in case a pirate that looked like Johnny Depp rocked up. I guess I should say something like ‘a paper and pen so I could use the experience to pen the next great British novel’…but you know what? I really like Quorn sausages. So I’m choosing them.

About the Author: Holly Bourne writes for young adults for a living. She is a journalist for www.TheSite.org, an advice and information website for 16-25 year-olds. Before this, she spent two years working as a local news reporter on the Surrey Mirror and was nominated as Print Journalist of the Year 2010. She also has a first class degree in Journalism Studies and has won awards for her writing.Her debut novel, Soulmates, is published by Usborne on September 1, 2013. 

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

{Feature} Waiting on Wednesday (#107)

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

Donna's WoW


22469323
Firewalker (The Worldwalker Trilogy #2)
by Josephine Angelini 
Release Date: September 1st, 2015

Worlds divide, magic slays, and love lies in the second book of Josephine Angelini’s The Worldwalker Trilogy.

"You think I’m a monster, but my choices, as ruthless as they seem, are justified."

Lily is back in her own universe, and she's ready to start a new life with Rowan by her side. True, she almost died in the Pyre that fueled their escape from New Salem, and must hide her magic for the safety of everyone she cares about, but compared to fighting the Woven, the monstrous creatures inhabiting the alternate Salem, life is looking pretty good.

Unfortunately, Lillian, ruthless ruler of the 13 Cities, is not willing to let Lily go that easily. If she can’t persuade Lily to return to her world, she will force her to come back by doing away with the ones she loves.


Picking up right where Trial By Fire left off, Firewalker is another sexy, fast-paced, heartbreaking thrill ride from internationally bestselling author Josephine Angelini! 


Donna's thoughts: Adore the cover for this book. I'm excited for more! 

Melanie's WoW
22715908
Cold Burn of Magic (Black Blade #1)
by Jennifer Estep 
Release Date: April 28th 2015

There Be Monsters Here. . .

It's not as great as you'd think, living in a tourist town that's known as "the most magical place in America." Same boring high school, just twice as many monsters under the bridges and rival Families killing each other for power. 

I try to keep out of it. I've got my mom's bloodiron sword and my slightly illegal home in the basement of the municipal library. And a couple of Talents I try to keep quiet, including very light fingers and a way with a lock pick. 


But then some nasty characters bring their Family feud into my friend's pawn shop, and I have to make a call--get involved, or watch a cute guy die because I didn't. I guess I made the wrong choice, because now I'm stuck putting everything on the line for Devon Sinclair. My mom was murdered because of the Families, and it looks like I'm going to end up just like her. . . 

Melanie's thoughts: This sounds really good, I liked the author's Mythos Academy series and.... I have it for review, so keep and eye out for that!

<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, 24 March 2015

{Review} The Winner's Crime (The Winner's Trilogy #2) by Marie Rutkoski

23276983Posted by Melanie
Release Date: March 12th, 2015
Finished Date: March 9th, 2015
Publishers: Bloomsbury
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Romance
Source: For Review
Format: eARC
Pages: 368
Lady Kestrel's engagement to Valoria's crown prince calls for great celebration: balls and performances, fireworks and revelry. But to Kestrel it means a cage of her own making. Embedded in the imperial court as a spy, she lives and breathes deceit and cannot confide in the one person she really longs to trust ...

While Arin fights to keep his country's freedom from the hands of his enemy, he suspects that Kestrel knows more than she shows. As Kestrel comes closer to uncovering a shocking secret, it might not be a dagger in the dark that cuts him open, but the truth.

Lies will come undone, and Kestrel and Arin learn just how much their crimes will cost them in this second book in the breathtaking Winner's trilogy.


The Review: I think I was in the minority who wasn’t blown away by book one but because of the ending, which I greatly enjoyed – I decided to give book two a chance and I’m so glad I did because I simply could not put it down.
As the synopsis tells us – Kestrel is now living in the Capital and engaged to the crown prince, a price she must pay for the treaty that saved Herran and its people. The city is abuzz with the wedding preparations and Kestrel must adjust to life at court with endless parties and gatherings but longing for her life back in Herran. Things were left up in the air between Kestrel and Arin and she really wants to explain to him why she made her decisions and there’s no better opportunity than her engagement party, which must be attended by all high powered people – which Arin now is as leader of Herran. Kestrel learns that there are spies everywhere and maybe her relationship with Arin should be hidden forever but it isn’t that easy when she is shown things that will hurt the Herrani and her loyalties are tested. Kestrel becomes what she must in order to gain valuable information for the Herrani people but she also has to keep up appearances with the Emperor who is more watchful than she realises.
As Arin struggles with his feelings for Kestrel and his suspicions about her, he realises that Herran is no match for Valoria, their might is vast and no one is safe from them….. so, what if the casualties of the Emperor’s quest for power banded together to keep what little freedom they have gained? One thing is for sure, both Kestrel and Arin are walking a fine line between life and death because we all know the price for treason.
So, I actually really, really liked this book and that was a surprise because I wasn’t keen on the first book. I thought Kestrel became a more likable character here, we saw what she did for Arin in the conclusion of book one and that definitely started to show her in a different light because she sacrificed herself for their safety. Even though she will have a privileged life, it will not be the life she would have chosen for herself but she will do her duty and be an Empress one day. We see her struggle with what she has done on more than one occasion and I liked how she tried to work out the best option for both sides, to avoid casualties. She had her foot in both worlds and was very torn between them and you could really feel the turmoil in her but her stoic outside kept people at a distance.
I can’t deny that I was waiting with baited breath for Arin to arrive on the scene, I was waiting for their meeting and what was going to happen and I wasn’t disappointed. The meeting was filled with electricity and you can feel the tension between the two, Arin really put his heart on his sleeve throughout this and I was disappointed by Kestrel’s need to push him away because of who he was. He pays a pretty harsh price for holding Kestrel’s attention and I was really shocked that happened but it definitely endeared him even more to the reader. I loved the stolen moments throughout the book, I was desperate for something to happen between them and my pulse raced each time they were around each other.
The progression of the storyline was great, most of the book was set in the capital and we see how Valorian royalty go about their lives and I really liked that the story was told from both Kestrel and Arin’s point of views. There is a lot of spying going on and it seemed to get to Kestrel a bit, she had to be so careful and it subdued her in a way. There are a lot of political agendas going on, plans and plots and some misdirection – it’s really a precarious time for both Kestrel and Arin as they both try to stay one step ahead. Kestrel uncovers some unnerving secrets that will have far reaching consequences and whilst she will do what she thinks is right… it’s dangerous for her. There is a lot of emotional turmoil between Kestrel and Arin where they each see the other in a different light. Kestrel cannot have a life with him and has to handle him in a way that only a person who truly knows someone will, knowing what is at risk and his reaction if she was to confess all to him and when he leaves, he takes a piece of her with him. Arin is looking for allies and the story begins to alternate between Kestrel in the capital and Arin on his journeys, both are in constant danger which keeps you on the edge of your seat and things start to look bleak for them. The pacing was great, a lot smoother than book one and it did hold my interest all of the way through and the ending of this book will leave you astonished but desperate for more. I can’t wait for the next book. 

4.5 flowers!

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

Monday, 23 March 2015

{Review} Every Last Promise by Kristin Halbrook

22836562Posted by Donna
Release Date: April 21st, 2015
Finished Date: January 10th, 2015
Publishers: HarperTeen
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Source: For Review
Format: eBook
Pages: 288
Buy: Amazon UK Amazon US

Perfect for fans of Laurie Halse Anderson and Gayle Forman, Every Last Promise is a provocative and emotional novel about a girl who must decide between keeping quiet and speaking up after witnessing a classmate's sexual assault.

Kayla saw something at the party that she wasn't supposed to. But she hasn't told anyone. No one knows the real story about what happened that night—about why Kayla was driving the car that ran into a ditch after the party, about what she saw in the hours leading up to the accident, and about the promise she made to her friend Bean before she left for the summer.

Now Kayla's coming home for her senior year. If Kayla keeps quiet, she might be able to get her old life back. If she tells the truth, she risks losing everything—and everyone—she ever cared about.

The Review: Kayla witnessed something at a party that she wasn’t supposed to and it’s something that she’s trying to forget. She hasn’t told anybody because of the events that happened and how they’ve changed her world. She loved her home town and it was a place that loved her in return but now, after spending time at her Aunt’s house it’s a place that hates her and she has no-one but her family for support. As time goes on, Kayla’s guilt starts to eat away at her but can she reveal what happened that night when she knows there will be no turning back and she will forever be an out casted from the place she once loved?

Every Last Promise is a story that is very promising but unfortunately fell a little short for me. From the moment I started the story I struggled to connect to the main character Kayla. She was okay – I guess but she was really a hard character to like. She’s witnessed a terrible thing and rather than tell everyone what she saw, she keeps quite all for the sake of her reputation – even though no-one wants to know her because of something she did that night – which I’m not going to spoil for you. What Kayla did was a good twist to the story and it was all for the right reason – or so I believed. So for her to remain quiet over the thing she witnessed just because she thought no-one would believe her, in my eyes, was pretty unforgivable because it involved one of her close friends and mainly because she had the proof all along to back up the events that happened. As a character, Kayla focussed too much on trying to get her friends back. I just found her very shallow.

Kayla wasn’t the only character I didn’t really like or connect to – Jen and Kayla’s other friends as well as some of the boys in the story – who you weren’t meant to like – were just mostly horrid people. The only bright spark from the story was the love interest that was sweet but we don’t see as much from him and Kayla to really form a real connection to or even to root for their relationship.  

The plot of the story does deal with some heavy real life issues and I applaud Kristin Halbrook for exploring the issues within her book, but unfortunately for me, I just didn’t enjoy the story as much as I hoped. 

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

Sunday, 22 March 2015

{Giveaway} Happy 4th Birthday Book Passion for Life!


We can't believe it! We turned 4 today! Yay!
Our little blog was measly just an idea which we decided to pursue and 4 years later, here we are. Where has 4 years gone? We know. It's flew by reading so many awesome books. One things for sure, we couldn't have done it without our lovely followers and of course all the publishers and authors that take a chance on our blog to and make this a success for us. 

So we're here to celebrate with a fantastic giveaway that we hope you all enjoy. 
And here's to another successful year!

Love, 
Donna & Melanie.
xoxoxox 

Saturday, 21 March 2015

{Review + Giveaway} #theDUFF by Kody Keplinger (UK/IRE only)

The DUFFPosted by Donna
Release Date: February 25th, 2015
Publishers: Hodder Children's Books 
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance
Source: For Review
Format: Paperback
Pages: 320
Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn’t think she’s the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She’s also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her “Duffy,” she throws her Coke in his face.

But things aren’t so great at home right now. Desperate for a distraction, Bianca ends up kissing Wesley. And likes it. Eager for escape, she throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with Wesley.

Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out that Wesley isn’t such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she’s falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone.


The Review: Plain and simple I loved The DUFF! I can't believe I put off reading this book for so long. It's an amazing story. 

The story follows Bianca, a seventeen-year-old girl who gets labelled The DUFF; Designated Ugly Fat Friend by one of the most popular and hottest boys at school - Wesley. Bianca is very opinionated around Wesley and doesn't hold back on telling him what she really thinks, however when her family life starts to get a little crazy, Bianca finds a kind of peace around Wesley when she finds that he's really easy to talk too. Can Bianca find something more in Wesley or are they forever fated to be enemies?

This was just the type of book I needed last week - something easy to read but completely addictive. It's brutally honest and very realistic about teenage life - you don't find many books that many readers will be able to relate to but, that's what The DUFF is. I believe many readers will know exactly what Bianca is going through and how they will do anything to just find some peace in all the craziness. 

I loved Bianca and Wesley together - I mean who wouldn't? Wesley does come across as a jerk to start with, and it's so much fun watching Bianca put the boy in his place. They banter back and forth which makes the story very humorous but underneath all that humour, there's the beauty of a strong relationship being formed. I loved every single minute these too spent together - it was honest, real and beautiful. 

In all, The DUFF was one surprisingly beautiful read and one I absolutely adored! Well done Kody Keplinger! 
Giveaway!
To celebrate the release of The Duff which is hitting UK cinema's on April 6th,  the movie company are kindly giving ONE winner a chance to win this goody bag which includes the movie tie-in version of the book.

As you all know labelling is a huge issue in our society today, so The Duff are partnering up with Ditch the Label which is a charity who are trying to overcome this, if anyone of you are suffering with any bullying make sure you check out www.ditchthelabel.org for advice and someone to talk to.

The giveaway will run until April 5th 2015. 
Good Luck!