Thursday 30 April 2015

{Review} Lying Out Loud by Kody Keplinger.

23361244 Posted by Donna
Release Date: April 28th, 2013
Finished Date: April , 2015
Publishers: Scholastic
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance
Source: For Review
Format: eARC
Pages: 405
Buy: Amazon UK Amazon US / The Book Depo

Kody Keplinger returns to the world of The DUFF in this brand-new companion novel!

Sonny Ardmore is an excellent liar. She lies about her dad being in prison. She lies about her mom kicking her out. And she lies about sneaking into her best friend's house every night because she has nowhere else to go.

Amy Rush might be the only person Sonny shares everything with -- secrets, clothes, even a nemesis named Ryder Cross.

Ryder's the new kid at Hamilton High and everything Sonny and Amy can't stand -- a prep-school snob. But Ryder has a weakness: Amy. So when Ryder emails Amy asking her out, the friends see it as a prank opportunity not to be missed.

But without meaning to, Sonny ends up talking to Ryder all night online. And to her horror, she realizes that she might actually like him. Only there's one small catch: he thinks he's been talking to Amy. So Sonny comes up with an elaborate scheme to help Ryder realize that she's the girl he's really wanted all along. Can Sonny lie her way to the truth, or will all her lies end up costing her both Ryder and Amy?

The Review: I love Kody Keplinger's books. The DUFF of course being my favourite. So when I heard about her writing a companion novel for The DUFF I simply couldn't wait. 

Sonny Ardmore lies - all the time. She lies to everyone around her because it makes her feel better about her life. Even everyone at schools knows she lies so whenever Sonny has a real problem, it's hard for anyone to believe if she's telling the truth or just crying wolf again. But when Sonny starts connecting with the new guy - Ryder, it's here that she tells one of the biggest lies of all. Sonny is actually pretending to be her best friend Amy - the one Ryder really likes, but as Sonny talks more to Ryder, she realises she likes him. But how can she get out of the mess she's put herself in? It's time Sonny realises that telling lies will get her no-where in life. 

Heading into Lying Out Loud I was so excited. I was expecting the same sort of emotional bust that The DUFF provided and here lies my problem, I definitely went into this book with far to many expectations and unfortunately, Lying Out Loud just didn't have the same feel. Mainly that's because I found the characters from The DUFF much more relatable. I hate comparing the two books but it's impossible not to.

If I'm honest, I didn't really like Sonny as a character. I felt she never helps herself by telling the lies and that she just puts herself in harder situations. I just wanted her to tell the truth. I understand she's a teenager and sometimes they have trouble explaining how they really feel but Sonny's life wasn't pretty, you'd think she'd do anything for a little bit of help. I actually enjoyed Amy Rush - Sonny's best friend and yes, she's Wesley Rush's sister - more than Sonny. But Amy was only a secondary character. I possibly think I may have enjoyed this story more if it was Amy's story rather than Sonny's.

The plot of the story was fun though. The banter between Sonny and Ryder was quirky and enjoyable - definitely my favourite part of the story. And although the ending was predictable it was still lovely to see a good ending to the story. 

In all, I may have had some issues with Lying Out Loud but this will not stop me seeking out more books (when she writes them) by Kody Keplinger. 

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

Wednesday 29 April 2015

{Feature} Waiting on Wednesday (#110)

"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
Until Friday Night (The Field Party #1)
by Abbi Glines 
Release Date: August 25th 2015

To everyone who knows him, West Ashby has always been that guy: the cocky, popular, way-too-handsome-for-his-own-good football god who led Lawton High to the state championships. But while West may be Big Man on Campus on the outside, on the inside he’s battling the grief that comes with watching his father slowly die of cancer.

Two years ago, Maggie Carleton’s life fell apart when her father murdered her mother. And after she told the police what happened, she stopped speaking and hasn’t spoken since. Even the move to Lawton, Alabama, couldn’t draw Maggie back out. So she stayed quiet, keeping her sorrow and her fractured heart hidden away.

As West’s pain becomes too much to handle, he knows he needs to talk to someone about his father—so in the dark shadows of a post-game party, he opens up to the one girl who he knows won’t tell anyone else.

West expected that talking about his dad would bring some relief, or at least a flood of emotions he couldn’t control. But he never expected the quiet new girl to reply, to reveal a pain even deeper than his own—or for them to form a connection so strong that he couldn’t ever let her go…

Donna's thoughts: YES! YES! YES! A YA contemp from Abbi Glines? YES PLEASE!
Melanie's WoW
by Temple West
Release Date: May 12th 2015

First rule of dealing with hot vampire bodyguards? Don't fall in love.

After losing both her parents before age seventeen, aspiring designer Caitlin Holte feels like her whole world has been turned upside down, and that was before the terrifying encounter with a supernatural force. Then, she learns that her hot bad-boy neighbor, Adrian—who might have just saved her life—is actually a half-demon vampire.

Suddenly Caitlin is stuck with a vampire bodyguard who feels that the best way to protect her is to become her pretend boyfriend. Trouble is, Caitlin is starting to fall in love for real, while Adrian can never love a human. Caitlin trusts Adrian to keep her safe from his demon father, but will he be able to protect her heart?

Melanie's thoughts: This sounds fab and it's ages since I've read a good vampire book!

<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 28 April 2015

{Review} Hush Hush #1 by Anneliese Vandell

24922672Posted by Melanie
Release Date: February 10th, 2015
Finished Date: April 21st, 2015
Publishers: Self Published
Genre: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Source: For Review
Format: eBook
Pages: Unknown
Buy: Amazon UK Amazon US

Fifty Shades of Grey meets Revenge in this tantalizing new series about a young woman who’s willing to do anything in the name of vengeance.

Something terrible happened to April Morrison when she was eleven years old. When she returns home to New Orleans fourteen years later as “Sophia,” she has only one word on her mind: revenge. She’s got her eye on Charles and Barbara Hawthorne, the crowning jewel of New Orleans’ elite and the ones responsible for turning her life upside down. 

Enter Liam Hawthorne, the couple’s successful, strikingly handsome, and irresistibly dominant thirty-two year old son. When Liam makes a provocative proposal, it occurs to April that he may be just the “in” she needs. But what she doesn’t bargain for is Liam’s insatiable—and thrilling—sexual appetite. And as Liam begins to test April’s limits, she realizes that appearances are not what they seem. 

This book is intended for mature audiences.

The Review: Hush Hush was an intriguing read in which we meet ‘Sophia’ the alter ego of April Morrison as she returns to New Orleans to seek revenge on those who ruined her life fourteen years previous. She has a mental list of all of those involved and along with her cousin, she has come up with a cunning plan to infiltrate New Orleans elite and show the world what liars they really are.
After striking up a conversation with a brooding, handsome man at a gala – he propositions her and she turns him down……until she realises that he is Liam Hawthorne, New Orleans most eligible bachelor and son of the Charles & Barbara – her intended targets. Seeing this opportunity as an ‘in’ to their lives she quickly changes her mind about his proposal thinking she can seduce him into anything…… little does she know that Liam is a sexual dominant and wants to push her boundaries in every way.
I enjoyed this book although it did feel more of an ‘episode’ in those serial novels and I really don’t like those.
I thought the premise was good and it had me interested straight away, I was curious to know all about Sophia/April’s background and what had happened to upset her childhood. I wholeheartedly believed that Charles and Barbara Hawthorne had done her an injustice and really wanted to see what she had planned for them. I wasn’t sure whether I believed that Sophia could exact revenge upon anyone because she seems way too innocent a person and it didn’t fit her personality much but, she was being guided by someone in the know so I was willing to go along with it. Liam entered the scene more or less straight away and there is an instant connection, did I feel it? Hmmm.. a bit, but that was their first meeting – plus I’m not overly keen on the ‘let’s just get out of here and go for it’ lines. Anyway, I was glad she turned him down at first; it showed some innocence to her and also showed that she wasn’t dumb although at times she was too easily influenced by others.
Now the big thing that interested me about this was the revenge plot, I was in it for the romance too but I like a good story and this had all of the elements that I would love. Unfortunately that took more of a minor role to the romance and relationship development, not that there was a great deal of depth to the relationship but it was enjoyable to some extent. What irked me was that it was like he was trying too hard to be Christian Grey and Sophia was meant to be all innocent but immediately let him touch her intimately in public on their first date – it just didn’t sit with my opinion of her character, I know she needed an ‘in’ for her plan but it seemed that she gave up her integrity straight away. I liked his dominance over her, I liked how he asserted himself too and I liked most of her responses because it did create some very heated moments that had you wishing they would get it on but also hoping they didn’t to draw out the tension. I’m willing to see where it will lead, it’s early days yet so they could grow on me even more.
What I did get of the story was interesting and I liked the setup, I’m intrigued about the circumstances and those involved and yes I really want the truth of what went down but I also felt that Sophia/April had blinkers on at times and what about if she was doing all of this for nothing? We do see her get a little taste of revenge on someone and it was satisfying but quite childish but again, she does seem quite naïve. I liked that someone is there for her (it’s hard to not give things away so I think this review will be quite vague) and I thought they had a very natural relationship and is someone I could imagine her being friends with and maybe more? To be honest, this instalment is just the tip of the iceberg – it whet my palette and left me wanting more where hopefully I will get some answers and warm to the lovers a bit more, it was good though and definitely worth a read. 

3.5 Flowers!

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

Monday 27 April 2015

{Blog Tour} Finding Paris by Joy Preble

22864861Finding Paris 
by Joy Preble 
Release Date: February 10th, 2015
Publishers: Balzer & Bray/Harperteen
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance 
Pages: 272
Buy: Amazon UK Amazon US / The Book Depo

An evocative and compelling story of two sisters who would do anything for each other--perfect for fans of Thirteen Reasons Why and Speak. Joy Preble's stirring new novel explores the lengths to which sisters go to protect each other, and the winding road that brings two strangers into each other's lives.

Sisters Leo and Paris Hollings have only ever had each other to rely on. They can't trust their mother, who hops from city to city and from guy to guy, or their gambler stepfather, who's moved them all to Las Vegas. It's just the two of them: Paris, who's always been the dreamer, and Leo, who has a real future in mind--going to Stanford, becoming a doctor, falling in love. But Leo isn't going anywhere right now, except driving around Vegas all night with her sister.

Until Paris ditches Leo at the Heartbreak Hotel Diner, where moments before they had been talking with physics student Max Sullivan. Outside, Leo finds a cryptic note from Paris--a clue. Is it some kind of game? Where is Paris, and why has she disappeared? When Leo reluctantly accepts Max's offer of help, the two find themselves following a string of clues through Vegas and beyond. But the search for the truth is not a straight line. And neither is the path to secrets Leo and Max hold inside.

Joy Preble
Joy Preble is a Texas girl who was born and raised in Chicago and a former high school teacher who now writes full time, which means she gets paid for making up stuff. She earned an English degree from Northwestern University and speaks and teaches widely on writing and literacy at libraries and schools, as well as SCBWI, NCTE, AWP, and other conferences.

Joy is the author of THE SWEET DEAD LIFE and its sequel, THE A WORD (May 2014), both from Soho Press. Kirkus hailed THE SWEET DEAD LIFE with "Hallelujah! A paranormal tale of angels…that breaks the mold."

She is also the author of the DREAMING ANASTASIA series (Sourcebooks) that combines paranormal romance with Russian folklore. DREAMING ANASTASIA was nominated for a Cybil Award in the Teen Sci-Fi/Fantasy Category in 2009. It was named an ABC Best Book for Children, Teen Category in 2009, and was featured in Justine Magazine.

Joy also has a contemporary mystery/romance on the way: FINDING PARIS will be out April 21, 2015 from Balzer and Bray/Harper Collins. Another paranormal mystery/romance, IT WASN'T ALWAYS LIKE THIS, pitched as Tuck Everlasting meets Veronica Mars, arrives from Soho Press in Spring 2016.

In no particular order, Joy loves guacamole, pizza, banana bread, red wine, books, boots of all shapes and sizes, TV, movies, and crazy road trips so she can see the world. She is also fond her family and her dog, in case you were wondering.

TWITTER: @joypreble 

Sunday 26 April 2015

{Feature} Showcase Sunday (#66)

Showcase Sunday is a new weekly meme hosted by Vicky @ Books Biscuits and Tea. We will now be taking part in Showcase Sunday instead of In My Mailbox. If you'd like to join see HERE for more details.

For Review:
The Shadows (Black Dagger Brotherhood #13) by JR Ward
The Territory by Sarah Govett
Phoenix Rising by Bryony Pearce
The It-Girl by Katy Birchall
Asa (Marked Man#6) by Jay Crownover
Made for You by Melissa Marr
The Wicked Will Rise (Dorothy Must Die #2) by Danielle Paige
Rogue (Talon #2) by Julie Kagawa
It's About Love by Steven Camden
The Potion Diaries (The Potion Trilogy #1) by Amy Alward
Because You'll Never Meet Me by Leah Thomas
A Darker Shade of Magic (A Darker Shade of Magic #1) by V.E. Schwab

To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han
The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows
Full Blooded (Jessica McClain #1) by Amanda Carlson
Hot Blooded (Jessica McClain #2) by Amanda Carlson
Cold Blooded (Jessica McClain #3) by Amanda Carlson 
Shadow Study (Soulfinders #1) by Maria V. Snyder
Until the End (Sea Breeze #9) by Abbi Glines
Alienated by by Melissa Landers

A Wicked Thing (A Wicked Thing #1) by Rhiannon Thomas
After by Anna Todd

Audiobooks Bought:
19234711 18371671
Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1) by Sarah J. Maas
Loving Cara (Love Under the Big Sky #1) by Kristen Proby
22723256 21509673
Fall with Me (Wait for You #4) by J. Lynn
Better When He's Bad (Welcome to the Point #1) by Jay Crownover

eBooks for Review:
23361244 21825486
Lying Out Loud by Kody Keplinger
Last Year's Mistake by Gina Ciocca

Thank to you all the publishers, you rock as normal.

What's in your showcase this week? 

Saturday 25 April 2015

{Review} Raising Cain (The Key Guardians #1) by Kelli Ireland

25176860Posted by Melanie 
Release Date: April 7th, 2015
Finished Date: April 18th, 2015
Publishers: Self Published
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Source: For Review
Format: eBook
Pages: 378
Buy: Amazon UK Amazon US 

Hiding places are scarce when both Heaven and Hell intend to find you. 

Dani Fayel’s backbreaking job as a stable hand at The Freaks’ Fair isn’t glamorous, but for someone looking to keep to the shadows? It’s perfect. Neither paranormal freaks nor human norms ever notice her. But when Dani is forced to either let a child die in order to maintain her anonymity or choose to save him and risk being discovered, she finds herself unwillingly thrust into the spotlight. 

Cain, Hell’s premier assassin and a predatory incubus, is close to fulfilling his final contract and earning his freedom. Hired by the Archangel of Death to find his daughter, Cain follows her trail to the Fair. He works undercover, certain his mark is inside one of the portable canopies or traveling cages. Dead or alive, she equals his ticket to freedom. 

When Cain’s objective is divulged, Dani realizes she can’t outrun her destiny. As the fabled Key—the one soul with absolute free will who is tied to the three realms of Heaven, Earth and Hell—only she is capable of opening the gates for the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Whoever frees the Horsemen allegedly commands them. Now both Heaven and Hell are vying for her allegiance, and there are no limits as to how dirty they’ll fight to obtain it. With Hell raining indiscriminate chaos as Heaven maneuvers its players around her, Dani realizes her would-be assassin may be the only man capable of helping her survive.

The Review: Raising Cain was a pretty good read once I got into it. It’s the first book in ‘the Key Guardians’ series and it definitely made an impression.
We meet Dani who is working in a sort of travelling fair for ‘freaks’, she has no one in her life and prefers to keep it that way, no one knowing anything about her, no ties + no attachments = no hurt. Dani also has a hidden gift – if you could call seeing a persons’ death as a gift – and she accidentally exposes it when a childs’ life is on the line. This brings her to the attention of firstly her boss Kavien who now decides she must become the resident fortune teller and the new guy on the scene – Cain – a mysterious man who is searching for the fable ‘Key’ that will bring about the apocalypse. Cain is actually an assassin and an Incubus but soon finds himself as Dani’s new bodyguard at the fair which comes in really handy when one of his associates tries to kill Dani claiming that she is in fact the key.
Dani is having none of it but when she is forced into revealing some things about herself that even she never knew, she decides now is the time to leave but she is betrayed in the worst way and runs for her life with hell on her heels. Life then becomes about staying ahead of her pursuers, staying alive and hoping that this has all been one big mistake….. but has it?
So, I did really enjoy this story and the content was actually not what I expected. The world is one that is inhabited by both humans and paranormals with humans knowing of their existence but they don’t live in harmony. I found Dani to be quite a lonely character, it’s clear from the beginning that she doesn’t let anyone in but considers those at the travelling fair as close to family as she can get but that’s not to say that anyone knows her. Her world is rocked when she saves a child because she has revealed her power and her boss makes her use it to his advantage but it also pushes Cain into her life. They share a sort of easy friendship and they feel pulled toward each other but no one really acts on that because who wants to be involved with an Incubus right? Cain is a complex character, in some respects he seems like a protector, others a predator, I was never sure if he was the love interest because the feelings he portrayed were so guarded. Even when he was trying to be tender with her, it wasn’t very believable – it was like he couldn’t show a feeling and it made it hard to buy into any romantic notions between the two. His demon side came across very well, he was scary, unforgiving and violent but I also wanted to see his weakness and willingness to be meek for her.
The storyline was good once it got started because the pacing was quite slow in the beginning but was more than made up for throughout the rest of the book. I liked the idea of the ‘key’ and what it was supposed to do, I liked it even better when we see how Dani fitted into the story aswell because she is the centre of it all. To send mercenary like assassins on the hunt for it was a great idea, they are the types that will stop at nothing to get what they came for so this shows exactly how brutal things could get but I also liked how later on we get to see the reasons that they have taken this mission on. Once some reveals have been made about Dani and her life, the pacing quickens up as the story takes on a run & chase scenario as Dani flees from more than one enemy. There are numerous attempts at capturing and killing her throughout that you actually felt the urgency in her to be safe and get hidden plus we get to see just what will happen when they get their hands on her. Through all of the danger and all of the action we get to know Dani & Cain that bit better, we also meet some more characters that will have an impact and it all heads towards a final confrontation where we get to see what everyone’s made of….. and it was gooood. I’m excited to see where it will all go next but I’m very impressed with this. 

4.5 Flowers!

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

Friday 24 April 2015

{Review} Dark Triumph (His Fair Assassin #2) by Robin LaFevers

17406490 Posted by Donna
Release Date: April 3rd, 2013
Finished Date: April , 2015
Publishers: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance
Source: For Review
Format: eBook
Pages: 405
Buy: Amazon UK Amazon US / The Book Depo

When Sybella arrived at the doorstep of St Mortain half mad with grief and despair the convent were only too happy to offer her refuge - but at a price. The sisters of this convent serve Death, and with Sybella naturally skilled in both the arts of death and seduction, she could become one of their most dangerous weapons.

But her assassin's skills are little comfort when the convent returns her to the life that nearly drove her mad. Her father's rage and brutality are terrifying, and her brother's love is equally monstrous. But when Sybella discovers an unexpected ally she discovers that a daughter of Death may find something other than vengeance to live for...

The Review: I loved Grave Mercy when I listened to the audiobook verison last year. I was hoping that Dark Triumph would become available in the UK as well but so far, I've not seen it and this was the reason for not reading this sooner. In the end, I just decided to read it because I just couldn't wait any longer and I'm so glad I finally did because Sybella & Beast's story is amazing! 

At the age of fourteen Sybella arrived at the doorsteps of St Mortain half mad after escaping the evil clutches of her family. In return for taking her in and training her to become a deadly assassin, Sybella now owes a debt to the convent and it's time to put her training to work where she will carry out assignments in Mortain's name. But when the convent return her back to the one place she hates - her family's home, it's there Sybella finds an unexpected ally and starts questioning all she's been trained to do. 

Dark Triumph is a fantastic addition to the His Fair Assassin's series. Although you could probably read this as a stand alone because it's not the same characters from the first story, but I'd highly recommend you don't because you'll miss out on the beauty of this story from the beginning. 

I wasn't sure how I would get on with Sybella because from what I read of her in Grave Mercy she came across quite mad and unpredictable, but as soon as I started her story in Dark Triumph all my worries went away because Sybella is completely likeable. She's had the worst things done to her by her family because of how mean her father is and always hides it away from people. The fact that even her closest friends don't know who she really is, is a hint of how private Sybella is. What I loved about her though was even though she had this terrible past, she doesn't let it drag her down now. She's determined to achieve her goals for the greater good and will do whatever it takes to get the job done. 

The romance part of the story is really loved - I think even a little more than Grave Mercy just because this had so many little moments along the way of the story which made it feel like there was much more romance in it. Sybella and Beast's relationship starts off slowly but you can see from the start something is there. They make a great duo! 

As for the plot of the story, I did like that it wasn't so political based and more about Sybella's story but then I loved that the plot thickens and thickens at every turn. It'll be exciting to see what comes next and how this series will come to and end. And hopefully I'll get a chance to read it soon! 

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

Thursday 23 April 2015

{Review} Cold Burn of Magic (Black Blade #1) by Jennifer Estep

22715908Posted by Melanie
Release Date: April 28th, 2015
Finished Date: April 12th, 2015
Publishers: K-Teen
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance
Source: For Review
Format: eARC
Pages: 362
Buy: Amazon UK Amazon US / The Book Depo

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. . .

The Review: I really enjoyed the story, I thought it was quite different from what I usually read and gave me something fresh and new. The ‘family’ system that is a major part of the world building is very ‘mafia/mob’ like except with supernatural elements in the form of magical gifts. There are ‘families’ and there are an elite bunch of them that run the various parts of the city and commerce complete with a hierarchy and led by a ‘boss’ type figure. As with the mafia, there is rivalry among the families, power plays, assassinations, in fighting, alliances and such – to be associated with one of the these families is to have a certain kind of respect and safety. The city itself is a magical place, complete with every kind of species you could find in a fairy tale so this makes it a tourist hotspot and where the families earn most of their money. Most of the higher members have body guards and this is how Lila becomes involved with one such family.
I really liked Lila, I empathised with her straight away because she was so alone after having lost her mother 4 yrs previously. She was murdered and so Lila shields her heart, her feelings and her whole self from everyone. She squats in a library basement, thieving to make ends meet and that’s how she knows Mo, the only human contact she really lets in and the owner of a pawn shop. She’s quite happy with the solitude, she doesn’t want to end up with the families putting her life on the line for people she despises….. but that’s exactly what she ends up doing. She had a great attitude and sass about her that gave some comic relief to her situation and showed us that not everything gets her down. I liked the tentative relationship that seems to be blossoming with Devon, it seems like it will be one of those where it will be frowned upon but we will have to wait and see because it was just starting to become apparent in this. They do share a connection, they have chemistry and they have similar circumstances – the author does give us some little moments between them that gets the pulse racing but that’s it for now.
The story and pacing was great, there is a lot of action and fighting in this and I really enjoyed it. As I mentioned that with the families, there are assassination attempts aplenty and this book is very much focussed on someone wanting Devon dead and will stop at nothing. Lila becomes his guard after a bad fight when she comes to his aid after his other guard is killed in the line of duty, Lila does it selflessly and although it’s not what she wanted, ends up in the employ of one of the families. With the multiple attempts on Devon’s life we get to see what our characters are really capable of – in both fighting and magic using – and it was a good insight into what was going on with the families. There are a good few secrets being kept by multiple characters so it’s just a matter of letting the plot play out so they will be revealed and when they do… I wasn’t expecting some but I thought they were great and definitely added to the suspense of the story. I was very impressed with this first book, I thought it did a good job of building a believable world and inhabitants that were easily explained and understood. The characters were all likable and it was easy to read them and relate plus I ended up being interested in more characters than just Lila & Devon which is always good. The ending was satisfying but it also opened up a lot of questions that will keep you interested enough to want to pick the next book up – awesome start though! 

4.5 Flowers! 

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

Wednesday 22 April 2015

{Feature} Waiting on Wednesday (#109)

"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
23522253Chasing River (Burying Water #3 )
by K.A. Tucker
Release Date: July 7th, 2015

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.

Donna's thoughts: I love K.A Tucker's new adult books and I'm so excited to read Chasing River. I hope there are more books to come! 

Melanie's WoW
18500665 End of Days (Penryn & the End of Days #3) 
by Susan Ee 
Release Date: May 12th 2015

End of Days is the explosive conclusion to Susan Ee’s bestselling Penryn & the End of Days trilogy.

After a daring escape from the angels, Penryn and Raffe are on the run. They’re both desperate to find a doctor who can reverse the twisted changes inflicted by the angels on Raffe and Penryn’s sister. As they set off in search of answers, a startling revelation about Raffe’s past unleashes dark forces that threaten them all.

When the angels release an apocalyptic nightmare onto humans, both sides are set on a path toward war. As unlikely alliances form and strategies shift, who will emerge victorious? Forced to pick sides in the fight for control of the earthly realm, Raffe and Penryn must choose: Their own kind, or each other?

Melanie's thoughts: I'm desperate for this book! Kind of sad that it will be the end but so looking forward to reading it =)

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Tuesday 21 April 2015

{Review} The Shadows (Black Dagger Brotherhood #13) by J.R Ward

24673995Posted by Donna
Release Date: March 31st, 2015
Finished Date: April 12th, 2015
Publishers: Pitakus
Genre: Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance
Source: For Review
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 592
Two brothers bound by more than blood fight to change a brutal destiny in the heart-wrenching new novel of the Black Dagger Brotherhood by Sunday Times bestselling author J. R. Ward.

Trez "Latimer" doesn't really exist. And not just because the identity was created so that a Shadow could function in the underbelly of the human world. Sold by his parents to the Queen of the S'Hsibe as a child, Trez escaped the Territory and has been a pimp and an enforcer in Caldwell, NY for years- all the while on the run from a destiny of sexual servitude. He's never had anyone he could totally rely on . . . except for his brother, iAm.

iAm's sole goal has always been to keep his brother from self-destructing- and he knows he's failed. It's not until the Chosen Serena enters Trez's life that the male begins to turn things around... but by then it's too late. The pledge to mate the Queen's daughter comes due and there is nowhere to run, nowhere to hide, and no negotiating.

Trapped between his heart and a fate he never volunteered for, Trez must decide whether to endanger himself and others- or forever leave behind the female he's in love with. But then an unimaginable tragedy strikes and changes everything. Staring out over an emotional abyss, Trez must find a reason to go on or risk losing himself and his soul forever. And iAm, in the name of brotherly love, is faced with making the ultimate sacrifice . . .

The Review: It feels like it's been too long since a new Black Dagger Brotherhood book was released - well it was a year. That's too long! ;) 

When I first heard that Trez and iAm were getting their stories told I admit I wasn't as excited about them as much as I have been over the previous characters. I feel like I have a stronger connect to the Brotherhood more than the secondary characters, I have grown attached to Trez and iAm but still I didn’t see me enjoying their story as much as I did. So yes I had my doubts, I was still looking forward to what J.R Ward would bring to their story. And I’ve even yes, I've seen all the bad reviews. People hating this book definitely gave me even bigger doubts. So I decided to go into this book with no expectations and I honestly I really loved the book! Some people won't agree but for me, this was different from all the previous books. It was so much more unexpected, so much more unpredictable, and so much more emotional and clearly, I would have liked everyone to have a happy ending – and don’t let that put you off because JR writes this story true to the characters and in the end all the characters have the right ending – it did still have some sort of happy ending, a peaceful and hopeful one. I know this sounds a bit hypocritical but I’ll be honest, I may have a different outlook on this story if it had been one of my favourite characters in the same position Trez and Selena were and yes, maybe it was because Trez wasn’t a favourite character so I wasn’t as invested in his story as much, I don’t know but all I know is I really enjoyed The Shadows. 

Trez and iAm have definitely become stronger players in the Brotherhood's world and reading The Shadows proves how much they really are a part of the story now – they live at the compound and the Brothers accept them completely and wholly and will stand by them no matter what and respect them, and this goes both ways. Its shows how the Brotherhood is growing and opening up to new challenges and people and I for one am exciting to see what the next few books bring in regards to the Brotherhood growing and enrolling new people. 

The Shadows tell Trez and Selena’s story but it also tells iAm's and his girl - who I'm keeping quiet about. ;) And we also see more from Xcor, Layla, Rhage, Assail, and a new character, Paradise. It's always exciting to see who will feature in each book and it was good to see that JR focused more on the main characters rather than boring chapters from people that I’m certainly not interested in. This is why I enjoyed this book more. I felt she focused more on the people who mattered and so it definitely held my interest more. And Paradise as a new character was great. I’m intrigued to see what will happen next with her and her friend Peyton. I am a firm believer that this series needs new players, it needs new males and new females willing to fight. 

With each book that JR writes I’m always hopeful that she will finally reveal the John Matthew secret and unfortunately, it doesn’t come in this book. I was disappointed that we didn’t see much from John Matthew at all but I understand there’s so much going on. I’m praying this big secret is revealed soon. Please JR reveal it! It has to be soon. 

In all, this book may not have been a hit for some of you but for me, it was a win and if you didn’t already notice, I can’t wait to see what’s coming next! 

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

Monday 20 April 2015

{Blog Tour} Fated for Sacrifice (Inherited Damnation #5) 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 five volumes – Cursed to Kill, Tormented by Darkness, Destined to Die, Bound by Blood and Fated for Sacrifice are available now!

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

Posted by Melanie 
Release Date: March 11th, 2015
Finished Date: April 17th, 2015
Publishers: Untamed Spirit
Genre: Paranormal, Romance, Adult
Source: For Review
Format: eBook
Buy: Amazon UK Amazon US 

When Reese Hamilton is abandoned in the snow-laden woods, she must find her way to Dáire McLaine’s cabin—a friend she’s known for years, and the man who makes her pulse triple. Little does she know that a cozy night in the woods will lead to passion they both have been longing to explore. But with the new change in their relationship comes something darker and more terrifying, and Reese must confront danger, even death, before she can be free to love.

Dáire McLaine will do anything to escape his demonic blood and attain mortality, even if that means defying nature’s laws and manipulating Reese’s thoughts for his own means. But when he delves into her hidden secrets, the staggering emotion he encounters makes it impossible to deny the forbidden longings of his own heart. He’s yearned for Reese over the years. Yet to love Reese will demand the ultimate sacrifice—his life.

Book #6, Doomed to Torment, will be coming on 5/12/15. Keep your eye out! 

The Review:   Fated for Sacrifice is the fifth book in the Inherited Damnation series that follows 8 immortal siblings as they try to break the curse that was placed upon. The curse makes them immortal but also means that when they fall in love, their dark side and that of their father, compels them to accept the darkness and kill their soul mate or they can choose light – the side of their mother – and become mortal which delivers a blow to their demonic father that will eventually end him…. If all 8 find their true loves and release their priestess mother’s soul to find peace.
This time around it Daire who is about to get his wish come true. Daire has popped up in all of the books and has a really strong bond with his ‘twin’ sister. When she found her soul mate and became mortal, Daire took it badly, he always assumed they would find mortality together because of their bond and how close they are but when two more of their siblings were redeemed after her…. He was not pleased. Daire is about to find hope in Reese Hamilton, a lady he has known for years but belongs to another man…his friend in fact and even though they share a great platonic relationship, both have been secretly desiring the other.
When Reece and her man go camping on Daire’s land and she suddenly finds herself dumped and abandoned- she must try to find shelter at Daire’s cabin. After getting lost she finds an ancient cabin, but it will do for the night. As she tries to get some warmth, Daire turns up, knowing she is alone and will need help and the forced closeness they share that night will be the building block for something special to start……that and the discovery of a scroll…. A magical scroll that just might be what Daire has been hoping for.
I really enjoyed this story and its definitely fitting to the rest of the series. I liked the scenario to this – the way Reece is dumped in the woods and how it made her come to some realisations. You know where these books are headed so we know that Daire will show up and be her protector in her time of need *swoon*. The setting on the first night was great – they were stuck in an eerie cabin with only firelight and a nice cosy bed – I liked that Reece found her scroll when she was with Daire to set the seed of their relationship in his head from the start. They were characters that made sense to be something more, they shared that connection that makes their relationship believable and of course – lust filled with plenty of sexytime. I really enjoy the alternating point of views because I like being in both of their heads and Daire’s was really interesting in that he could be inside of Reece’s head too. We know that things aren’t going to run smoothly for them and just as Fintan had his sister put his mate in danger, Daire’s brother is on the scene to do just that for Reece. Daire does his own brand of messing up too and really needs to understand boundaries before he can ever be ready for his change.
I felt the danger element has been amped up in this book because now we have some of the darker siblings stalking who is left, hanging around at the times that the scroll would be due to appear and threatening whoever was in possession. They in turn tell Drandar and he is getting to know a lot quicker now than previous books which gives the overall feel of the book a more sinister feel. It was nice to see the others from previous books and see how they’re doing too. I’m always left wondering if they will succeed with every book and how it will affect their Father, there was more than one run in with him this time around and I was more than happy that the mate was more involved in the ending this time. I can’t wait to find out who’s next to find love and deal their demonic Father another blow.
Character Profiles:

Name:  Dáire (daw-ra) McLaine
Birthdate:  Ostara, 191BC
Hair: Long auburn
Eyes: Sky-blue
Alignment:  Neutral; both positive and negative influences
Magical Strength:  Though and memory manipulation.
Profession:  Wanderer
Unique Feature:  Intricate tattoos across nose and cheekbones
Closest Sibling:  Near-twin to Dáire McLaine
Secret Fear:  Something he does will negatively impact the balance of nature

A tremble rolled down her spine, into him. He wound his free arm around her waist and pulled her into his embrace, steadying her. But all that accomplished was to meld every delectable curve against his body and taunt him with the promise of sweet surrender. When her subconscious rushed into his like an out of control freight engine, Dáire’s own balance  waivered.  Reese  surrounded  him.  Body, mind, and soul.

It was more than he could handle. More than he’d ever encountered before. Too much. If he didn’t pull  back  somehow, he  would become hers completely and his dark soul would have its wish.HHH
Name:  Reese Hamilton
Age:  Thirty-two
Hair: Long golden blonde
Eyes: Tawny brown
Alignment:  Mortal
Profession:  Teacher
Personal Hope:  To be accepted for who she is
Greatest Regret:  That she hasn’t stood up for what she believes in often enough
Secret Fear:  That she will end up disappointing Dáire

“I won’t kiss a man who smokes.” Reese’s eyes went wide as the confession burst free. Good grief, where  had  that  come  from?  It  wasn’t  like  he’d offered. Heat crept into her cheeks.

Once more, Dáire’s gaze sparked with dark intensity, leaving her feeling like he could read the sinful fantasies in her mind. “Maybe I’ll find that motivation.”

No. No, no, no—she was imagining this. They were not having this discussion.

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: or toristclaire.comFor all the latest updates look for the Untamed Spirit blog, via any of her websites.
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