Tuesday, 30 June 2015

{Review} When You're Back (Rosemary Beach #12) by Abbi Glines

25558629Posted by Donna
Release Date: June 30th, 2015
Finished Date: June 28th, 2015
Publishers: Simon & Schuster
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Source: For Review
Format: ARC 
Pages: 304
Buy: Amazon UK Amazon US / The Book Depo

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Abbi Glines comes the next new adult novel in her beloved Rosemary Beach series, which continues the story of Mase and Reese from When I’m Gone.

The future is bright for Reese Ellis. She has Mase Colt-Manning, the man of her dreams, and a family she didn’t know existed until her long-lost father arrived on her doorstep in Rosemary Beach. After growing up with a cruel mother and abusive stepfather, Reese is eager to get to know the caring and charming man who wants to be a part of her life. Everything is finally falling into place.

While Reese is visiting her new family in Chicago, Mase spends time with his “cousin,” Aida, who has worshipped him since childhood. Though they’re unrelated by blood, Mase and Aida have been raised to think of each other as family. But when Reese returns, she can tell something isn’t quite right with Aida, who clearly resents Reese and excels at manipulative little games. And though Mase is unsuspecting, Reese knows Aida doesn’t love him like a cousin should...

The Review:
When You're Back is the sequel to When You're Gone where we see Mace and Reese's story come to a close. 


Reese and Mace are working on building their future together but when Reese's long lost father comes into the picture and Reese spends some time with her family in Chicago, they're apart once again. But it's nothing they haven't done before and soon enough, Reese arrives at Mace's ranch to live there. She can't wait to start building a life with him but Mace's so called cousin Aida seems to enjoy causing trouble for them.

Mace is so happy that Reese is finally with him. He'll do anything to make her happy, even if that means helping her find a job. But what Mace doesn't expect is for his cousin to start causing problems for them and for one of Mace's work associates to start showing Reese attention. And even more, his real father Kiro Manning is causing trouble back in Rosemary Beach. All Mace wants it to start his life with Reese but it doesn't look like they'll catch a break any time soon....

When You're Back is an enjoyable read. I like both Reese and Mace and they're stories were entertaining enough to keep me interested. They're were a few twists that were a little predictable but still somewhat enjoyable. I really enjoyed getting to know Mace's family more and I'm definitely looking for to having Major's story in my hands - I'm predicting Major & Nan together but that would be highly entertaining! And of course it was great to be able to see some of my favourite characters from Rosemary Beach once again. 

But I do have one slight issue. Abbi Gines fast became one of my favourite author and even now after however many books she's wrote she's still a favourite, however, after the last couple of books I've read of her's I'm starting to find a pattern with the stories and they've all started to mesh together because the characters, especially the male leads, recently all seem to have the same voice. It's hard to differ between them which is sad because I love them all. I like the alpha male personality however, they've all just become so predictable it's hard to be surprised by anything they do and it's got to the point where I feel like I'm reading the same story over and over again. This makes me sad. It really does because while I was reading When You're Back, it was hard to see Mace as Mace. Rush, Grant, Woods and Tripp all seemed to be there with me and again, it was hard to differ between them all. But I'm not ready to give up on Abbi Glines as a writer. I'm extremely excited to read Until Friday Night but I think I need to take a little break from reading the Rosemary Beach series and once the rest of the series is released, I'll definitely come back to it at that point. 

Thank you to Simon & Schuster UK for giving me the opportunity to review this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Monday, 29 June 2015

{Review} Walk on Earth a Stranger (The Gold Seer Trilogy #1) by Rae Carson

24311619Posted by Donna
Release Date: September 22nd, 2015
Finished Date: June 6th, 2015
Publishers: Greenwillow
Genre: YA, Historical, Fantasy
Format: eARC
Pages: 448
Buy: Amazon UK Amazon US / The Book Depo

The first book in a new trilogy from acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Rae Carson. A young woman with the magical ability to sense the presence of gold must flee her home, taking her on a sweeping and dangerous journey across Gold Rush–era America.

Lee Westfall has a secret. She can sense the presence of gold in the world around her. Veins deep beneath the earth, pebbles in the river, nuggets dug up from the forest floor. The buzz of gold means warmth and life and home—until everything is ripped away by a man who wants to control her. Left with nothing, Lee disguises herself as a boy and takes to the trail across the country. Gold was discovered in California, and where else could such a magical girl find herself, find safety? Rae Carson, author of the acclaimed Girl of Fire and Thorns trilogy, dazzles with this new fantasy that subverts both our own history and familiar fantasy tropes.

Walk on Earth a Stranger, the first book in this new trilogy, introduces—as only Rae Carson can—a strong heroine, a perilous road, a fantastical twist, and a slow-burning romance. Includes a map and author’s note on historical research.

The Review: Disappointing!

I’m clearly the minority when it comes to Walk on Earth a Stranger which is disappointing because I know how much love everyone has for the author Rae Carson. It makes me wonder if I should have started with her other series first – The Girl of Fire and Thorns rather than this one.

I have to say I really did love the concept of this story – a teenage girl who has the ability to sense presence of gold – it’s a unique idea and immediately you can’t help yourself become curious about the idea. In fact I still really love the concept behind this story, unfortunately it was the way it executed that failed to impress me. While I do enjoy some historical YA fiction for me I just found this pretty boring. I can’t say I was overly interested in the whole Gold Rush era, I felt the story was bogged down by a lot of the information. My mind kept wondering when I felt as though I should be giving it my full attention. The slow pacing of the story didn’t help matters either. The first 50 pages for me was definitely the best part of the story.

I bet your wondering why kept reading if I clearly didn’t enjoy this story? It was more about the main character’s journey that kept me reading and also I honestly wanted to give this author a chance. But Lee was my main reason for reading. I really liked her. I felt so bad for her with everything that she was going through and everything that she had to suffer with her journey of losing her parents to going on the run and trying to find her friend. She was the only character that I managed to have some form of connection with. There were a lot of secondary characters that I didn’t care for or like. I didn’t have any form of connection with. And even the love interest/romance wasn’t much to root for. And I need to be invested with the love interest to form a connection.

For me the most disappointing part of this story was the fact that Lee on really uses her ability at the start of the story. While she’s on her journey she doesn’t use it. Maybe slightly at the end of the book but that’s it. Because of this is doesn’t really let us explore her ability. I understand that Lee doesn’t understand it herself, but I thought this would have been a story that allowed her to explore that. So I don’t quite understand why that never happened. It’s a possibility that in the sequel we will discover more about it but, for me if a book fails to impress me I’m more than likely won’t continue with the series. 


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

Friday, 26 June 2015

{Review} Wicked Ride (Realm Enforcers #1) by Rebecca Zanetti

23403599Posted by Melanie
Release Date: June 23rd, 2015
Finished Date: June 14th, 2015
Publishers: Lyrical Press
Genre: Adult, Paranormal, Romance
Source: For Review
Format: eARC
Pages: Unknown
Buy: Amazon UK Amazon US 

If you love the Dark Protectors, these wicked hot Realm Enforcers are for you!

Alexandra Monzelle is a hard-fighting, heat-packing Seattle vice cop, and she’s not much interested in being protected. Her short skirt and sex-kitten heels are tools to lure her suspects into talking about the deadly new drug hitting the streets. She can take care of herself and then some. Unfortunately, she can’t seem to get that through to Kellach Dunne.

Kellach is a fresh import from Dublin, and he’s landed at the heart of a vicious motorcycle club that deals in guns, narcotics, and mayhem. He’s all male, all rough power—and all interference in her damn investigation. Maybe he’s one of the good guys. Maybe not. Lex knows an affair with an immortal like him would risk everything. No matter how delicious he looks…

The Review: Wicked Ride is the first book in the Realm Enforcers series by Rebecca Zanetti and ties into her Dark Protectors series which is just as fab!
This series takes a break from the Vampires in Dark Protectors and introduces us to Witches. These witches come in both sexes, are immortal and have some serious power. The setup for this book is as follows… Alexandra Monzelle is a cop, there’s a new drug around town that is making users feel like gods… just before burning up peoples internal organs and killing them, it is called Apollo and Alex is undercover on the case. Alex is more than capable of looking after herself so when Kellach Dunne makes an effort to protect her by manhandling her during her investigation…. she arrests him!
Kellach Dunne is a witch, he’s Irish and about to be all in Alex’s business because he too is looking into the drug. Having positioned himself in a motorcycle club that has it’s fingers in all of the illegal pies, Kellach is in a prime position to find out what is going in, who is dealing, where the drug is coming from and where it’s headed next. The thing he didn’t plan for is Alex, he is so drawn to her that she knocks all of his plans out of the window – he wants her so badly that she brings out the Neanderthal in him – she’s smart, she’s sassy, she’s sexy and she will be his downfall but his affection for her will make her more of a target than she already is.
I loved this book! I just thought it was fab. The premise was really good with the drug being peddled and of course the investigation. The characters were great, all of them but especially Alex and Kellach – it was clear from the first chapter that these two had chemistry and they were going to clash so I was happy straight away. They did indeed clash in many ways and it was so much fun to read, it became a battle of wills as Alex tried to assert her authority and Kellach unleashed his inner caveman with smouldering effect. They ended up being perfect for each other after they overcome their ‘issues’ and provided us with some nice sexytime.
The storyline threads all tied in really well – we have a drug that is killing people so the human authorities are brought in and unbeknownst to them, the world is full of supernaturals’ who have an authority of their own, who are also investigating the drug. We have rival motorcycle clubs vying for guns, drugs and money and with this new drug being the new thing… they want in on the distribution leading both Alex and Kellach into that world. Alex also has personal drama that ties in extremely well, her life is further complicated by the introduction to the world of the supernaturals and of course there is the romance as the cherry on top. Where the romance was hot, the action was full on and engaging, it excited me and made me really route for the good guys and I always like a good old investigation. The supernatural element added an extra oomph to the story and introduced us to more than witches. It was good to see the tie in to the other series and a couple of cameos so you still feel like you’re in the same world which is welcome if you loved that series.
I thought the whole thing was well written, the characters were all likable even to the point that I want all of the secondary characters stories too (especially Bear, I loved him) the pacing was great, everything came together perfectly and the romance was hot with a hate to love style relationship – I really can’t wait for more!


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

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

{Feature} Waiting on Wednesday (#117)

 
"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
21414439 Truthwitch (The Witchlands #1)
by Susan Dennard
Release Date: January 5th, 2016

On a continent ruled by three empires, some are born with a “witchery”, a magical skill that sets them apart from others.

In the Witchlands, there are almost as many types of magic as there are ways to get in trouble—as two desperate young women know all too well.

Safiya is a Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lie. It’s a powerful magic that many would kill to have on their side, especially amongst the nobility to which Safi was born. So Safi must keep her gift hidden, lest she be used as a pawn in the struggle between empires.

Iseult, a Threadwitch, can see the invisible ties that bind and entangle the lives around her—but she cannot see the bonds that touch her own heart. Her unlikely friendship with Safi has taken her from life as an outcast into one of reckless adventure, where she is a cool, wary balance to Safi’s hotheaded impulsiveness.

Safi and Iseult just want to be free to live their own lives, but war is coming to the Witchlands. With the help of the cunning Prince Merik (a Windwitch and ship’s captain) and the hindrance of a Bloodwitch bent on revenge, the friends must fight emperors, princes, and mercenaries alike, who will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.

Donna's thoughts: This sounds awesome! I love the cover!

Melanie's WoW
24740629
Reawakened (The Reawakened #1)
by Colleen Houck
Release Date: August 25th, 2015


From COLLEEN HOUCK, New York Times bestselling author of the Tiger’s Curse series, comes the first book in a series about a teenage girl entangled in an epic Egyptian quest full of romance, adventure, and mythology!

When seventeen-year-old Lilliana Young enters the Metropolitan Museum of Art one morning during spring break, the last thing she expects to find is a live Egyptian prince with godlike powers, who has been reawakened after a thousand years of mummification. 
And she really can’t imagine being chosen to aid him in an epic quest that will lead them across the globe.
But fate has taken hold of Lily, and she, along with her sun prince, Amon, must travel to the Valley of the Kings, raise his brothers, and stop an evil, shape-shifting god named Seth from taking over the world. 
From New York Times bestselling author Colleen Houck comes an epic adventure about two star-crossed teens who must battle mythical forces and ancient curses on a journey with more twists and turns than the Nile itself.

Melanie's thoughts: 
Everything about this sounds fab! I haven't read anything by this author before so I hope this is a good way to show her talents.

<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, 23 June 2015

{Review} Pure Blooded (Jessica McClain #5) by Amanda Carlson

20343959Posted by Melanie
Release Date: June 16th, 2015
Finished Date: June 19th, 2015
Publishers: Orbit
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Source: For Review
Format: eARC
Pages: 320
Buy: Amazon UK Amazon US / The Book Depo

Jessica arrives back from the Underworld to find her father embroiled in a battle against the Made wolves. She and her crew drop everything to join them.

Once she arrives, the threat is after her. Jessica is lured into danger when her adversary takes something precious from her. 

With help from an unlikely source, Jessica goes up against her creator in a battle that will decide the path of everyone involved. She must war against a new set of foes, ones who could not only steal her power, but could take her soul as well.

The Review: Pure Blooded may be the fifth book in the series but it is still as awesome as book one and a series that is one of my favourites.
Following book four Jessica has some problems; she has changed the course of fate and something that should have happened in the future will no longer be happening, so fate has it in for her. Her father has left their territory in pursuit of the rogue pack and is currently camped in the swamp lands of Florida and is at a stalemate with the enemy so, it’s up to Jessica, Rourke and co. to fly down there and help out. The thing is… danger is coming for Jess in every direction and her enemies are not above using those closest to her to achieve their goals. Jessica is in for the fight of her life.
This is another fabulous read in the Jessica McClain series and it is a series I have championed from the very beginning. I love everything about it – the characters, the different species, the world – I also love how it straddles the lines of Urban Fantasy and straight out fantasy and I always wait for the next book with baited breath. Fifth book in and it is still awesome, filled with danger, death threats, action, magic and romance with our heroine stuck right in the middle. Jessica became something special in the last book, more so than previous books and now the word is out – people want her and want her power. She has matured a lot but also has new powers to break in so it’s like watching her get to grips with her shifting abilities again. One of the things I love about those she surrounds herself with is that they are loyal to a fault and she is just as loyal to them and all are willing to die for each other. At the heart of it all, Jessica is pack so it wasn’t a long shot to think that she would head straight back into danger for them and that’s exactly what she does.
 I really liked the change of scenery again, the author isn’t afraid to use different settings that tie in so well to the story and as you can imagine with Florida being a multi-cultural state, you are going to get different belief systems that include magic. I have to say, the enemy in this one looked to be unwinnable and possesses immense power but it went so well with the progression of Jessica’s character. The things that happened gave the story an eerie, mysterious and evil feel and it was very atmospheric and also stretched the imagination a bit- but doesn’t all hocus pocus? She has help from a couple of sources and both will make you smile but you will always understand the danger they’re in and all won’t come away unscathed. It will take everything she has…. But she will still need more as fate catches up to her and decides that the only way to right her wrongs, is if she dies! So she is straight out of the frying pan and straight into the fire. You think the last enemy was bad? Think again!! This is brutal, it is deadly and when fate wants you dead – how do you survive?
Again Jess has a fabulous supporting cast, they all champion her and non-more so than Rourke who will be with her every step of the way. She will have to call on each and every one to overcome what fate has in store. I really feel for Jess and Rourke, no sooner had they found each other then all hell broke loose! They’ve had to deal with sadistic Goddesses, Vampire Queens with agendas and Jessica’s nearly fatal trip to hell so it’s totally understandable that Rourke be super protective of her –even if she can look after herself- but I love this side to him, he is a primal man and even if your mate is capable, it’s hard to push aside those instincts. I love how their relationship is developing, their magic is evening up and their love adds a balm to the deadly situations they find themselves in. To be honest, I don’t think anyone could be the man/shifter that Jess needs other than Rourke and his beast.
To sum it up – This was another action packed adventure for Jessica, Rourke and the gang, I love where the plot is headed, I love the progression of the characters even the secondary characters, I like the new characters that were introduced, I liked some of the reveals that were shared and I’m excited to see where it will go next…. I’m thinking the missing witches need finding ;)

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

Monday, 22 June 2015

{Review} Chasing River (Burying Water #3) by K.A. Tucker

23522253Posted by Donna
Release Date: July 7th, 2015
Finished Date: June 1st, 2015
Publishers: Atria Books
Genre: NA, Contemporary, Suspense, Romance
Source: For Review
Format: eARC
Pages: 320
Buy: Amazon UK Amazon US / The Book Depo

Armed with two years' worth of savings and the need to experience life outside the bubble of her Oregon small town, twenty-five-year old Amber Welles is prepared for anything. Except dying in Dublin. Had it not been for the bravery of a stranger, she might have. But he takes off before she has the chance to offer her gratitude. 

Twenty-four-year-old River Delaney is rattled. No one was supposed to get hurt. But then that American tourist showed up. He couldn't let her die, but he also couldn't risk being identified at the scene—so, he ran. Back to his everyday life of running his family’s pub. Only, everyday life is getting more and more complicated, thanks to his brother, Aengus, and his criminal associations. When the American girl tracks River down, he quickly realizes how much he likes her, how wrong she is for him. And how dangerous it is to have her around. Chasing her off would be the smart move. 

Maybe it's because he saved her life, or maybe it's because he's completely different from everything she's left behind, but Amber finds herself chasing after River Delaney. Amber isn’t the kind of girl to chase after anyone. 

And River isn't the kind of guy she'd want to catch.


The Review: Another fantastic instalment from K.A. Tucker! 

Amber Welles has wanted nothing more than to leave her home-town of Sisters, Oregon to go and travel the world and so, after a bad break-up and with two years worth of saving tucked away, she takes the leap and decides to go travelling. It's in Ireland that Amber is nearly killed by a bomb except she's saved by a stranger who runs off before she gets the chance to thank him. 

River Delaney does everything he can to keep his older brother out of trouble but Aengus loves getting himself involved in dangerous things and so when River finds out Aengus is planting a bomb in a park, River follows him and in the end, ends up saving a young American tourist - Amber. River knows he needs to lay low but when Amber discovers where he works, it's somewhat hard to stay away from her and soon he finds himself seeking out Amber's company. 

But with the secrets River is hiding, will he ever be able to be truthful to her? And with Amber leaving Dublin soon, is there any point of starting something they know will come to an end?

What a great read! K.A Tucker has definitely became one of my favourite new adult authors as I find myself always looking forward to her stories and they never fail to disappoint and Chasing River was no different. A very heart-warming but thrilling read with a steamy romance story - just what everyone wants right? 

I loved that this story was set in Ireland. I've visited the country once before and I loved it but, reading about Ireland in Chasing River definitely makes me want to head back to see all the sights that I missed out on the first time around. The first two books in the series are set in Oregon and so with this being Ireland, it was a refreshing change. K.A. Tucker does a fantastic job describing the country, writing everything which such detail and with all the back information into Ireland's past, that it definitely feels as though you were right their with Amber and River. 

Amber has always been a character I've liked since we first saw her in Burying Water. Amber is Jesse's brother so if you've been following the series you should be quiet familiar with her. She's such a likable and kind character. I love that she finally decided to to follow her dreams. It proves how much of strong character she is. I think she was quiet sheltered in Oregon and by travelling it opens her eyes to the world and also to the secrets that her family have been hiding to. When Amber meets River to me it felt like fate. They are great characters on their own but even better when their together. So there were many lovable and touching scenes between them. With River being the new character the series, along with his family is always a wary thing because you never know how you'll feel about them. But there's simply nothing to worry about. River is amazing! He hasn't always made the right choices in the past but he's never been a bad guy. He's always looking out for his family and now of course Amber too. It was also great to see the return of Ivy. Ivy is a non-friend of Amber's. They went to school together but hated each other. And Ivy just happens to be in Ireland when Amber so I was glad to see Amber reaching out to her. And of course the next book in the series is about Ivy and she's in San Francisco. Aah! I can't wait to read that.

In all, Chasing River is another great read from K.A. Tucker and I can't wait to read Ivy's story next!

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

Saturday, 20 June 2015

{Blog Tour} Marked for Death ((Inherited Damnation #8) by Claire Ashgrove

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. 

All volumes – Cursed to Kill, Tormented by Darkness, Destined to Die, Bound by Blood, Fated for Sacrifice, Doomed by Torment and Marked for Death are available now!

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

13516209Posted by Melanie 
Release Date: June 20th, 2015
Finished Date: 
Publishers: Untamed Spirit
Genre: Paranormal, Romance, Adult
Source: For Review
Format: eBook
Buy: Amazon UK Amazon US 

Taran McLaine knows the agony of his incubus father's curse more intimately than his siblings. A century ago he murdered the only woman he ever loved. When he finds her alive, he's faced with the ultimate heartbreak. They have no chance at a future--he's done all he can to insure that on his day of judgment the ancestors will deny him a mortal life.

Years ago, Solene Larouche embraced Taran and the dark curse that cloaked him. She knew the risk she faced, but when Drandar pulls her back to life, she agrees to aid the demon and damn Taran to eternal suffering. One look at the man who held her heart so long ago, however, changes her mind. She must find a way to free him, even if it means condemning herself to eternity as Drandar's slave.

As Samhain approaches, Solene and Taran conspire to destroy Drandar. But will their combined effort enable them to kill the incubus or will they be cast into Drandar's own special Hell and all hope of their renewed love marked for death?

The Review: Marked for Death is the finale of the Inherited Damnation series and it was truly heart-warming.
The series is about 8 siblings who have been cursed because of their parentage – their mother Nyammah was a Celtic Priestess who became involved with Drandar an evil demon Incubus, who used her to breed with so that he could murder and steal their childrens’ power. He eventually murders their mother but not before she has spirited away 8 of the children…. but the children are cursed to live an immortal life, one where if they fall in love their dark halves will urge them to kill their beloved. However, if they find their soul mate, resist the pull to murder them and carry out a sacred ritual that will dole out damage to their evil sire… their immortal lives will be judged and if they have kept the balance between their light and dark halves – they will be rewarded with mortality and the love they gave it all up for.
In this final book we meet Taran McLaine who is perhaps the darkest of all because he did the unthinkable and murdered the love of his life a century ago, he knows there will be no redemption for him and that he will join his father. He is taken aback when he sees Solene Larouche again, how can this be that a century later, she lives? Solene has been brought back by Drandar, he wants her to help him in damning Taran and she agrees- that is until she sees him again. Knowing she can’t go through with it, she sees his torment and decides he needs to be freed so she calls in reinforcements to hopefully destroy Drandar once and for all….. but if she does, she damns herself to become the mother of Drandar’s next brood and if she doesn’t, it means Taran will die. Can they find a way to be free, to love each other again?
I have to say that this is definitely one of the stand outs of the series and just like Brigid, Taran isn’t all he appears to be. It’s a fact that parents can mess up their children and it’s never been clearer here. Taran has always been touted as the darkest of the siblings, one who embraced the darker nature and rejected his light side but we find that there is a reason for that and it’s all to do with Solene. Taran hasn’t ever really swayed one particular way, he hates both parents equally and felt abandoned by both – but of course it’s not all cut and dried and Taran has some soul searching to do. Solene was a great match for him and I really felt for their situation, at first she was all in to hurt Taran but then she realises what it has done to him so chooses to save him instead. The love they shared was very sweet and there seemed desperation to it like every minute was to be cherished because it was all going to end soon.
At the heart of this series are eight siblings, a family and that dynamic was broken because of how they chose to live their lives. Each book has been about them finding love and redemption which I love, but what I loved about this is that it gave the family a way to mend also and that is what warmed my heart. How easy is it to fall out with your brothers or sisters and be too stubborn to heal the rift? I know I’ve done it and because of Taran’s deeds, his siblings feel that way. So, it not only becomes a question of will they defeat Drandar but it also asks what the family is willing to do for one who has wronged most of them, will they come through and be there for him? Does he dare to hope when everything points to his demise?
There are a couple of little twists in this because let’s face it, everyone is desperate and Drandar isn’t as stupid as he seems. I really felt for Taran because even his evil sire wanted to see his demise, he had no hope either so he needed to be built back up again and there was only one person who could do that besides Solene, so it will come right down to the wire to see if all of them will come together to defeat evil, where you’re hoping and praying for the ultimate happy ever after for McLaine siblings so they can finally be free of their sires evil influence.
I have really enjoyed the series as a whole and it has been a solid four stars all of the way through. I have loved the characters and their history, their soul mates and how they love unconditionally, the fight between light and dark within, the Celtic magic and rites pertaining to the solstices, the battle of Nyammah and Drandar for their childrens’ lives and of course the romance and sexytime. I’d definitely recommend it!
Name:  Solène Larouche
Age:  Ageless
Hair: Waist-length ebony 
Eyes: vivid green
Alignment:  Mortal
Profession:  Owner of, Serenity, a magical shop in Paris, France
Personal Hope:  That she can save Taran’s soul
Secret Fear:  She cannot save him before Drandar enslaves her

He hesitated. His glance crept to the door, inched back to her. The curling of one hand accompanied the brief pinch of his mouth before he huffed a sigh. “There are two ways this will end, Solène. I promise both.”

A shiver wafted down her spine. Death and pleasure—he didn’t trust himself with the former. The latter neither could control. They were too much a part of each other. The years between them, too many. She tightened her grip on the smooth wood beneath her palms. “The door is open. You won’t kill me tonight, Taran.” She knew one way to pacify the darkness in his soul and insure he couldn’t.

Name: Taran McLaine, youngest McLaine sibling 
Birthdate: Samhain, 186BC
Hair: Waist-length jet black
Eyes: silver
Alignment: Allied with Drandar, her father, incubus demon
Profession: Wanderer
Unique Feature: Scrollwork tattoos on forearms
Closest Sibling: Brigid
Greatest Weakness: His love for Solene and sense of abandonment

One hundred years, and he was once again where he had only ever belonged.

Solène broke the silence first. Her fingers tightened against the back of his palm, and her voice rasped like sandpaper in the quiet. “I have missed you too.”

The gentle sentiment snapped Taran out of his stupor. He jerked his hand away. “You are a fool then.

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.

Friday, 12 June 2015

{Review} The Last True Vampire (Last True Vampire #1) by Kate Baxter

22929547Posted by Melanie
Release Date: June 2nd, 2015
Finished Date: June 4th, 2015
Publishers: St. Martin's Paperbacks
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Source: For Review
Format: eARC
Pages: 384
Buy: Amazon UK Amazon US 

As Michael's eyes lit on a female not twenty feet away, he knew without a doubt that it was her blood that called to him and her scent that had awakened him.This female had tethered his soul and returned it to him.

SOUL SURVIVOR
He is the last of his race. The one true king of the vampires. Michael Aristov roams the nightclubs of L.A. after dark, haunted by his past and driven by his hunger. The last of the Ancient Ones, he alone has survived the destruction of his race at the hands of the slayers. Now he is forced to hunt and feed like a common vampire, a creature of lust. Nothing in this world can fulfill his needs…until he meets a woman who's everything he's ever wanted. And more.

SWEET SALVATION
Her name is Claire Thompson. Her blood is so sweet, so intoxicating--the smell alone draws Michael to her like a moth to the flame. Sly, sexy, and seductive, Claire seems to be the only mortal who can satisfy his craving and seal his fate…forever. Can she be trusted? From their very first kiss, the last true vampire sweeps Claire into a world in which darkness rules desire--and where falling in love is the greatest danger of all…in The Last True Vampire by Kate Baxter.

First in the thrilling new series!

The Review: The Last True Vampire is the first book in the series of the same name and I really enjoyed everything about it.
I’m a sucker for paranormal romance – when it’s done well – and still love the Vampire stories as much as ever so this appealed to me straight away. In the story we find an old vampire who is just living, not enjoying life and full of despair because he is the last vampire. He is the last because the enemy wiped them all out, very nearly Michael too but he survived…just. Now he is alone, he can’t turn any of the Dhampirs, can’t breed and has no want for power…..until he meets Claire. Her blood calls to him, he has never wanted anyone the way he wants Claire and one taste will never be enough.
Claire was only trying to steal Michael’s watch so she could afford her rent but there was something about him that pulled her into his arms, into doing things she wouldn’t necessarily have done – but once the watch was her, she was gone.
Both Michael and Claire can’t escape the connection they shared that night, he needs to find her because she is his ‘tether’ she has given him his soul back and he can finally become the powerful vampire he is meant to be, he can create his race again but how can that be when Claire is human? Claire is thrust into Michael’s world of blood and death as she becomes the target of an age old enemy who are determined to eradicate the vampire race once and for all.
I really loved this book, it seems vampires are making a comeback lately and if they’re all going to be like this then I’m a happy lady! I liked the premise of the book with Michael being the last vampire and holding the fate of his race in his hands, we are given a few flashback scenes of Michael throughout the book to show what happened to them and why he was the only one left. It’s plain to see that he is living half a life and is quite pitiful when we meet him, he even has to force himself to feed and all of the Dhampirs know that he is weak. Because he is the last of the ancient ones, he also carries the burden of being the one to hold all of the history of the vampires and the consciences of the slain collective and also the current dhampirs. This is a heavy burden indeed. He has practically given up hope when he finds Claire and it takes him a while to understand why he feels the way he does which gives Claire opportunity to leave, meaning he will have to find her. I thought Claire was a great character, you could tell she was a survivor and had those skills so she was never going to take the mating bond lying down. I like it when they fight like that, more times than enough the men are swept away with the realization that they have found their one and the women take some convincing which is so much fun to read. I loved the way these two clashed, both as stubborn as each other and unwilling to bend – that is until the bad guys came knocking. They definitely had the chemistry that makes you get involved in the relationship and that is topped with some nice sexytime and a great surprise.
As I said – the story was great and the premise too. I liked how the enemy was linked to Michael’s past and how they made their presence known, there is also a few things to discover about the enemy too. Much of the story is about the relationship and how they get together, the enemy becoming more active and involved especially when it’s clear that Michael has found his mate but the story branches off for some of the secondary characters too which I enjoyed because I like to get to know everyone and know what is going on in all areas. This is done with multiple povs which I think enhanced the story here, it helped to build the other characters up so that you could get to know them more and also get into the mindset of the enemy who aren’t short on their own drama either. There are also some great fight scenes and action throughout as Michael takes on anyone who means Claire harm, adding an element of danger that kept the plot exciting. I was very satisfied by the ending of the book, obviously with it being book one it is left open for more and book two seems set up so now just for the wait – great start though and I’ll definitely be reading the sequel.


Thank you to St Martin's Paperbacks for giving me the opportunity to review this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Thursday, 11 June 2015

{Review} Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen

24926018Posted by Donna
Release Date: May 5th, 2015
Finished Date: May 30th, 2015
Publishers: Penguin
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance
Source: For Review
Format: Paperback
Pages: 448
Buy: Amazon UK Amazon US / The Book Depo

Peyton, Sydney’s charismatic older brother, has always been the star of the family, receiving the lion’s share of their parents’ attention and—lately—concern. When Peyton’s increasingly reckless behavior culminates in an accident, a drunk driving conviction, and a jail sentence, Sydney is cast adrift, searching for her place in the family and the world. When everyone else is so worried about Peyton, is she the only one concerned about the victim of the accident?

Enter the Chathams, a warm, chaotic family who run a pizza parlor, play bluegrass on weekends, and pitch in to care for their mother, who has multiple sclerosis. Here Sydney experiences unquestioning acceptance. And here she meets Mac, gentle, watchful, and protective, who makes Sydney feel seen, really seen, for the first time.

The uber-popular Sarah Dessen explores her signature themes of family, self-discovery, and change in her twelfth novel, sure to delight her legions of fans.

The Review: Sydney's always been close with her older brother Peyton but when Peyton starts getting into trouble and hanging out with the wrong crowd, it drives a wedge between them. And even more so when Peyton drink drives and injuries a teenage boy and is then sentence to seventeen months in prison. This causes Sydney's life to change. Her life is overshadowed by what her brother as done. Her mother and father barely take notice in her and so Sydney does everything possible to make herself invisible in everyone else's world too. It's not until she starts a new school and makes friends with Chatham's where she suddenly isn't so invisible. Sydney knows she needs to speak up to her family, especially when she seems to be the only one carrying around the guilt for what her brother did. But can they all truly move on? And can Sydney find her lost place in her family?

I've only ever read one other book written by Sarah Dessen and I'm glad I can now say, I've read two and it's a really enjoyable YA contemporary read that I'm glad I've read. 

In Saint Anything, Sarah Dessen writes a deep story about real life events and by writing this, brings awareness to teenagers, not just in regards to the implications of driving drunk but also with trying to have an honest relationship with parents and not hiding your feelings. I really hope this message gets across to teenager the way it speaks to me as a parent. 

I really liked Sydney. She's a teenager that has been through a lot and seems to be suffering for her brother's mistakes. I could understand why her mother did the things she did but she took them out on the wrong person and I felt so bad for Sydney. All she wanted was to fit into the family she loved and couldn't do that because she was always pushed aside for her brother. At times it was emotional to read the emotions that Sydney was going through but I'm glad she had the Chatham's there because they became the family she needed to support her. Layla and Mac we're great! Layla is a best friend everyone wants and is truly a lovely person. And Mac, a quiet guy but nice as well. The romance does take forever to come into the story though, it's a least over the halfway mark. While I enjoyed the first part of the story it did go a little slow because at times it was like there was no attraction between Mac and Sydney. I was starting to worry that nothing would happen but I guess you could say the story focuses more on Layla and Sydney's friendship for the first part and then moves on to Sydney and Mac. 

As I mentioned, Sydney's mother really only focuses on Peyton and really pushes Sydney aside. At times I hated her mother. She was really hard to like and even more towards the end. She frustrated me to no end and I just wished she took more notice in Sydney. And that Sydney's father would have spoken up more. It's clear they weren't the perfect family but once they reconsider their faults, they quickly took to repairing them even though it was a long time coming.

In all, Saint Anything is a story about family, relationships, love and real life events and while I enjoyed Just Listen just a tad more, this is still a good read that will leave you wanting more from Sarah Dessen.

3.5 Flowers! 

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

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

{Feature} Waiting on Wednesday (#116)

 
"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
22909838
The Mirror King (The Orphan Queen #2)
by Jodi Meadows 
Release Date: April 6th, 2016

Wilhelmina has a hundred enemies.

HER FRIENDS HAVE TURNED. After her identity is revealed during the Inundation, Princess Wilhelmina is kept prisoner by the Indigo Kingdom, with the Ospreys lost somewhere in the devastated city. When the Ospreys’ leader emerges at the worst possible moment, leaving Wil’s biggest ally on his deathbed, she must become Black Knife to set things right. 

HER MAGIC IS UNCONTROLLABLE. Wil’s power is to animate, not to give true life, but in the wraithland she commanded a cloud of wraith mist to save herself, and later ordered it solid. Now there is a living boy made of wraith—destructive and deadly, and willing to do anything for her.

HER HEART IS TORN. Though she’s ready for her crown, declaring herself queen means war. Caught between what she wants and what is right, Wilhelmina realizes the throne might not even matter. Everyone thought the wraith was years off, but already it’s destroying Indigo Kingdom villages. If she can’t protect both kingdoms, soon there won’t be a land to rule.

In this stunning conclusion to THE ORPHAN QUEEN, Jodi Meadows follows Wilhelmina’s breathtaking and brave journey from orphaned criminal on the streets to magic-wielding queen.

Donna's thoughts: Conclusion? What? NO! I was hoping it was going to be a trilogy! I need it still though and I love the cover!

Melanie's WoW
23168757Battlestorm (Midgard #3)
by Susan Krinard
Release Date: November 5th, 2015


The third installment in New York Times bestselling author Susan Krinard’s first urban fantasy series...

Centuries ago, the Norse gods and goddesses fought their Last Battle with the trickster god Loki and his frost giants. All were believed lost, except for a few survivors…including the Valkyrie Mist, forgotten daughter of the goddess Freya.

But the battle isn’t over, and Mist—living a mortal life in San Francisco—is at the center of a new war, with the fate of earth hanging in the balance. As old enemies and allies reappear around the city, Mist must determine who to trust, all while learning to control her own growing power.

It will take all of Mist’s courage, determination, and newfound magical abilities to stop Loki before history repeats itself.

Melanie's thoughts: 
I had Truth Witch a couple of weeks ago as my pick and this is the series that introduced me to the author. Book one wasn't great for me but book two really grabbed me and made me want to carry on with the series so that now, I really look forward to this.

<What's your "waiting on" pick this week?
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Happy Reading!