September 25, 2012

Book Review: Gods and Warriors by Michelle Paver

Title: Gods And Warriors (Gods And Warriors #1)
Author: Michelle Paver
Release Date: 28th August 2012
Publisher: Penguin
Imprint: Puffin
Source: Received from the publisher via Booksellers NZ
In the turbulent world of the Mediterranean Bronze Age, long before the Greek myths, a boy and a girl battle for survival. With the help of three animal allies - a dolphin, a falcon and a lion cub - they defeat the forces of tyranny and withstand the elemental powers of the gods of land and sea.

My Thoughts

On the run from the war hungry Crows, Hylas is afraid for more than just his own life, but the life of his missing sister Issi also.

In his haste to find Issi, tension and excitement ensues when Hylas is helped by his friend Telamon, crosses paths with young bride-to-be Pirra, gets saved by a mischievous dolphin and ends up stranded on an almost deserted Island with more questions than answers.

Fighting for their lives, Hylas and Pirra slowly piece together the mystery that has thrown so many different players together in this battle of strength and wits against fearsome foes and unsettled Gods.

From the very first page, Gods and Warriors is full of action, mystery and intrigue; capturing my attention and making it a very hard book to put down. It has been beautifully written with adventure on every page.
Great characters, each with their own individual story that is then cleverly and intricately woven together into what will no doubt become an epic story of growth and self discovery.

Full of mystical creatures, magic, and beliefs of old, this is a story that will appeal to readers of all ages.

This first installment has whet my appetite for author Michelle Paver's wondrously rich world of an ancient civilization, and I cant wait to read more.
A fantastical 4 Star read ;]

September 22, 2012

Book Review: Beautiful Disaster by Jamie MacGuire

Title: Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful #1)
Release Date: August 14, 2012 (originally released May 26th 2011)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster, Inc. (originally self published)
Imprint: Atria
Source: Received from the publisher via NetGalley

The new Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn’t drink or swear, and she has the appropriate percentage of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance between her and the darkness of her past, but when she arrives at college with her best friend, her path to a new beginning is quickly challenged by Eastern University's Walking One-Night Stand.

Travis Maddox, lean, cut, and covered in tattoos, is exactly what Abby needs—and wants—to avoid. He spends his nights winning money in a floating fight ring, and his days as the ultimate college campus charmer. Intrigued by Abby’s resistance to his appeal, Travis tricks her into his daily life with a simple bet. If he loses, he must remain abstinent for a month. If Abby loses, she must live in Travis’s apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match.

My Thoughts

I thought it got off to a rough start, the writing was a bit disjointed and rather jumpy to begin with and I almost gave up on it, but it did settle down enough that I wasn't completely frustrated by it.

The story was okay, however I was very distracted by the constant to and fro-ing between Abby and Travis and wondered if I should take a Prozac to settle my nerves; it seriously was a train wreck relationship.
But I have to confess, some of it was rather appealing, Travis did try to woo Abby after all.
At one time or another, I think we've all had, or wanted to have, someone to be so in love with us that they literally cant survive without us; a true co-dependent existence. But that kind of relationship is often destructive and unhealthy, and there were moments in this book that it went too far.
I lived with a boyfriend for a year in my late teens and suffered both mental and physical abuse before I finally left, and Abby and Travis's relationship was very reminiscent of that time for me. Travis never actually hits Abby, but at the end of the day, it's sometimes the emotional bruises that are far harder to heal.

I didn't particularly like Abby all that much to be honest, I just found her to be a bit stuck up and standoffish. Travis wasn't much better either. In fact, I had problems with all the characters. They were all a very mismatched, shallow bunch of people that annoyed me.

I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone under the age of 18 and even though I thought their relationship was abusive (depending on your definition) it is something that happens, and therefore I'm not going to condemn the author for it. But I am a little disappointed that this kind of behavior was romanticized, which may lead a younger reader to think that this kind of relationship is healthy and okay; and its not (IMO)

An okay read, but definitely not for everyone.
Just a 2 Star read :|


Walking Disaster (Beautiful #2) is the same story but written from Travis's POV and is set for a release date in April 2013.
If you visit the author's website you can read an excerpt, and I must say I actually liked what I read more than I did Abby's POV.

September 19, 2012

Book Review: Fathom by Merrie Destefano

Title: Fathom
Author: Merrie Destefano
Release Date: October 1st 2012 (expected)
Publisher: Self published
Source: Received from the author for an honest review

Everything is changing . . .

Turning sixteen can be hell, especially if everyone in town thinks your mother killed herself and your sister. All Kira Callahan wants to do is swim, hang out with her best friend, Sean, and ignore the kids who torment her at school. That is, until one day when she gets invited to a party. For three minutes her life is wonderful—she even kisses Sean in the driveway. Then somebody spikes her drink at the party and some girls from out of town lure her into the ocean and hold her underwater.

Kira soon discovers that the group of wild teenagers who have come to visit Crescent Moon Bay are not as innocent as they seem. In fact, nothing is as it seems—not the mysterious deaths of her sister and mother, not her heritage, not even her best friend. And everything seems to hinge on the ancient Celtic legends that her mother used to tell her as a child.

My Thoughts

Fathom is a story steeped in mystery, legends, and the ghosts of a tragic past. And although it has been written with a YA audience in mind, I have fallen in love with with beautiful and charismatic tale.

I fell in love with Kira straight off the bat.

Kira is a great girl, her determination and love for those around her is an attribute both admirable and foolish, no more so when faced with a choice between her own happiness, or fulfilling the happiness of others. 
She has very deep-set ideals that are not often found in your average teenager; she's a fighter, and once her mind is set on something, no amount of persuasion will move her from it.

Haunted by the ghosts of her past, the unwanted rumors about her that never die down, combined with the new and strange feelings for her cute best friend, Kira's life just gets even more complicated by some strangely intriguing attention from the mysterious new kids in town. 

Watched like a hawk by her overprotective family, whispering and waiting anxiously for something to happen to her, for her to turn out like her mother, Kira has to battle more than just her own demons.

Fathom is a story shrouded in secrets; and this new and improved version of Selkie's and their Celtic Legend is fantastic.
They are an adventurous, sexy, messed up group, on a quest of self discovery that has been predestined in the ongoing legends that this old and secret race live by. They are chaotic, erratic, and their emotions are almost always in turmoil, making them unpredictable and exciting. The author has morphed this legend into a unique and captivating version that is completely her own.

I just couldn't put Fathom down. 
Its not just Kira's story, it's a story that encompasses a whole family, the legends of old that they live by and their small seaside town. 
There are so many elements and threads to Fathom that there really isn't a moment to catch your breath. Its entirely absorbing, and I lost myself in it's pages; I especially loved the brief passages of undersea life and I hungered for more of this fascinating world.
Beautifully written and very evocative, Fathom is a fantastic story full of excitement, mystery, love and grief.

A fantastic 5 Star read ;]



September 17, 2012


I have just finished reading an e-ARC of this amazing book and while its far too early to post a review, I thought I'd share the cover with you all :)

Betwixt by Melissa Pearl
Release Date: November 5th 2012

here's the blurb:

Beautiful, wild-child Nicole Tepper is hit by a car and left for dead. But when she wakes the next morning, Nicole finds herself in bed without a scratch. Perhaps she was more intoxicated than usual, as her mother is giving her the silent treatment and her friends are ignoring her as well. 

Things take a turn for the weird when Nicole soon discovers she is actually hovering between life and death. Her body is lying in the forest while her spirit is searching for anyone who can hear her. Unfortunately the only person who can is Dale Finnigan, the guy she publicly humiliated with a sharp-tongued insult that has left him branded.

Desperate, Nicole has no choice but to haunt Dale and convince the freaked-out senior to help her. Will he find her body before it's too late? Or will the guy who tried to kill her with his car, beat him there and finish her off before anyone finds out?

September 16, 2012

Book Review: Seven Years To Sin by Sylvia Day

Title: Seven Years To Sin
Author: Sylvia Day
Release Date: August 28th 2012
Publisher: Kensington

Source: Received from the publisher via NetGalley

The longer the resistance... 
Seven years ago, on the eve of her wedding, proper Lady Jessica Sheffield witnessed a licentious scene no innocent young miss could imagine. Shocked, yet strangely titillated, she'd held her silence regarding scandalous Alistair Caulfield, and walked down the aisle as expected. But through years of serene, unremarkable marriage, Caulfield's image remained burned into her imagination, fueling very illicit dreams. . .

...the sweeter the reward
Alistair ran far from the temptation of the prim debutante with the fire of passion in her eyes—all the way to the West Indies. As a successful merchant, he has little in common with the rakehell youth she knew. But when newly widowed Jessica steps aboard his ship for a transatlantic passage, seven years' worth of denied pleasures are held in check by nothing more than a few layers of silk—and the certainty that surrender will consume them both. . .

My Thoughts

I enjoyed this book quite a lot.
Seven Years To Sin is well written, and has great flow.
The characters are interesting, witty and fun, and the attraction between Alistair and Jessica is rough, ready and very hot.

I like that they each have a past that could potentially get in the way of a romance between the two. They definitely have to work at being together against the stumbling blocks of society and the roles that they are each expected to play in it.

If you are looking for a great read full of intense feelings and enjoyable sex, then Seven Years To Sin fits the bill quite nicely.
It does lack some story though, as its mostly about the sexual heat and subsequent affections of the two MC's as opposed to a detailed and moving novel. There is some interesting interaction with the secondary characters and I hope that they may get to have their own story told in a future book.

Overall a great read, full of interesting and playful banter, and a rough and ready love story.

A 4 Star read ;]

September 14, 2012


The author of two of this years greatest YA reads
 Dead Radiance and Dead Embers T.G. Ayer
(who I love)
has revealed the cover for Book #1 in her new series
The Hunter Trilogy
26th Nov 2012

Here's the blurb:

Panther Shape-shifter Kailin Odel just wants to be normal. Leaving her clan, and her Alpha responsibilities, to live with her grandmother in Chicago had been the best thing for her. Only then did she discover her ability to track and kill the soul sucking undead creatures called Wraiths.
Now she protected the humans, and had something to be proud of.
But, when she discovers the body of a murdered shape shifter, Kailin has to come to terms with the reality that her own kind are just as vulnerable as the humans.
The closer Kailin gets to the killer the more she has to face the intricacies of her people. When the time comes can she accept who and what her real purpose is?

and an excerpt:

"The cold cocking of guns set my body on fire.
It also did something worse. With mortal fear gripping me, my imminent Change wasn't taking second place anymore. My body churned the fear and my Panther grasped at the visceral power of the adrenalin in my veins.
I ran.

A gunshot echoed around the garden, the sound ping-ponging off the aging brick walls of the surrounding apartment buildings.

I gasped as a blast of searing pain slammed into me.

As a bullet buried itself deep within my shoulder."


I saw this on facebook and just had to share with you all...

#1 Gorgeous cover!!

#2 Sounds awesome!!

Anyone else SUPER EXCITED?!

September 13, 2012

Book Review: If I Were You by Lisa Renee Jones

Title: If I Were You (Inside Out Trilogy, #1)
Author: Lisa Renee Jones
Release Date: August 24th 2012
Publisher: Self Published
Source: Received via NetGalley

Fifty Shades of Grey meets Basic Instinct

How it began…

One day I was a high school teacher on summer break, leading a relatively uneventful but happy life. Or so I told myself. Later, I’d question that, as I would question pretty much everything I knew about me, my relationships, and my desires. It all began when my neighbor thrust a key to a storage unit at me. She’d bought it to make extra money after watching some storage auction show. Now she was on her way to the airport to elope with a man she barely knew, and she needed me to clear out the unit before the lease expires.

Soon, I was standing inside a small room that held the intimate details of another woman’s life, feeling uncomfortable, as if I was invading her privacy. Why had she let these items so neatly packed, possessions that she clearly cared about deeply, be lost at an auction? Driven to find out by some unnamed force, I began to dig, to discover this woman’s life, and yes, read her journals—-dark, erotic journals that I had no business reading. Once I started, I couldn’t stop. I read on obsessively, living out fantasies through her words that I’d never dare experience on my own, compelled by the three men in her life, none of whom had names. I read onward until the last terrifying dark entry left me certain that something had happened to this woman. I had to find her and be sure she was okay.
Before long, I was taking her job for the summer at the art gallery, living her life, and she was nowhere to be found. I was becoming someone I didn’t know. I was becoming her.

The dark, passion it becomes…

Now, I am working at a prestigious gallery, where I have always dreamed of being, and I’ve been delivered to the doorstep of several men, all of which I envision as one I’ve read about in the journal. But there is one man that will call to me, that will awaken me in ways I never believed possible. That man is the ruggedly sexy artist, Chris Merrit, who wants to paint me. He is rich and famous, and dark in ways I shouldn’t find intriguing, but I do. I so do. I don’t understand why his dark side appeals to me, but the attraction between us is rich with velvety promises of satisfaction. Chris is dark, and so are his desires, but I cannot turn away. He is damaged beneath his confident good looks and need for control, and in some way, I feel he needs me. I need him.
All I know for certain is that he knows me like I don’t even know me, and he says I know him. Still, I keep asking myself — do I know him? Did he know her, the journal writer, and where is she? And why doesn’t it seem to matter anymore? There is just him and me, and the burn for more.

My Thoughts

I haven't joined the hyped up masses and read Fifty Shades of Grey, but I have read my fair share of (the now termed) mommy porn.

Right off the bat I'll tell you straight...I did not enjoy this book.

Shy good girl gets off reading somebody else's journal, seeks out the author,  starts living her life, and having her sex; um creepy much?!

I dont believe her innocent, unworldly guise for a second.

Sara is nosy, dishonest and has a self confessed knack for meeting creepy guys. She hates liars, yet constantly lies herself. She invades someone's privacy by reading their journal and lies about it, and then she's spouting on about hating liars and secrets...its a double standard that makes me not like her at once, in fact she is a very unlikeable, unbelievable and un-connectable character throughout.

The men.
The men in this book are gross and pushy and in no way romantic, and if I have to read "hey baby", "oh yeah baby", "thats it baby", (*cue the skanky low budget porn music*) one more time I think I really will scream.
I did not like either of the males at all.
Seriously, what is it with arrogant, self centered men with over inflated egos that women seem to love? (yes, I'm questioning your self respect)

The sex.
So I've figured out that Master/Sub sex is not my thing in or out of the bedroom, it doesn't turn me on in the least.
I'm far too bossy myself to be told where I can and cant put my hands, legs, mouth...and find it arousing.

No matter how many times I'm told (by the narrative) that MS is all about control I only see it as weakness, and that just pisses me off.

Hard, eager, heated, and demanding, mutually beneficial I need you now sex, yes - but this whole shut up and do what I tell you thing just isn't for me.

So to the writing then.
The story is slow to develop, almost stagnant at times, and once the sex starts - a mere afterthought. And what story there is, is boring.
Its unimaginative, stale, and predictable.

Is it Fifty Shades of Grey meets Basic Instinct?
Well if what you're looking for is unappealing (IMO) sex with annoying and arrogant male plus bad non-thriller nineties thriller movie mostly famous for an unrevealing leg crossing scene...sure.
I really don't have anything that I can put a positive spin on, I just didn't like it from start to finish.

If you are a Fifty Shades of Grey fan, you will no doubt love it, but for me...
1 Star only :[

September 11, 2012

Book Review: Mystic City by Theo Lawrence

Title: Mystic City (Mystic City #1)
Author: Theo Lawrence
Release Date: October 9th 2012
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Imprint: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Source: Received from the publisher via NetGalley

A magical city divided.
A political rebellion ignited.
A love that was meant to last forever.

Aria Rose, youngest scion of one of Mystic City’s two ruling rival families, finds herself betrothed to Thomas Foster, the son of her parents’ sworn enemies. The union of the two will end the generations-long political feud—and unite all those living in the Aeries, the privileged upper reaches of the city, against the banished mystics who dwell below in the Depths.

But Aria doesn’t remember falling in love with Thomas; in fact, she wakes one day with huge gaps in her memory. And she can’t conceive why her parents would have agreed to unite with the Fosters in the first place.

Only when Aria meets Hunter, a gorgeous rebel mystic from the Depths, does she start to have glimmers of recollection—and to understand that he holds the key to unlocking her past. The choices she makes can save or doom the city—including herself.

My Thoughts

Mystic City by Theo Lawrence is one of those books that after reading, I'm perplexed by it, frustrated even. I'm torn between liking it and all out hating it.
The blurb is great and whet my appetite for what I hoped would be a really entertaining read, but by the time I was a third of the way through I got bored, and that's a shame because I thought the book started off well, but f
or me it was a very up and down read.

While I liked the characters, I didn't really connect with them at all - I didn't care enough about them as people to be bothered either way what happened, they lacked any real depth, and I just found them shallow and boring. 

And that's it really, I was bored. I just lost interest, and I didn't enjoy it.
Sadly it was just a 2 Star read for me :|

September 10, 2012

Book Review: Witch Born by Amber Argyle

Title: Witch Born (Witch Song #2) 
Starling Publishing

Brusenna thought it was finished.

She defeated the Dark Witch, saving the Haven Witches from imprisonment and death. She found love and a place to belong.

She was wrong.

Haven is not the sanctuary it appears to be. Even love is in danger of slipping away like water through cupped hands.

Some things can't be saved.

A new threat merges with the old as the Witches’ dark history begins to catch up with them. Only Brusenna knows the extent of the danger and how to stop it, though doing so might cost her everything.

Including her life.

Will Brusenna be required to make the ultimate sacrifice?

My Thoughts

Witch Born is the second book in this series and you can read my review of Book #1 Witch Song here.

Amber Argyle has again put me under her spell with the truly beautiful and lyrical way in which she writes.
All the characteristics and qualities that I originally fell in love with her characters for are still there, but this time they are more richly written - more mature versions of themselves.
They have all grown up a little since defeating the wicked witch Espen. They take their roles on Haven and to the Four Sisters more seriously, and in doing so find that they are growing apart and changing their opinions on the way things should be done. Thus causing friendships to strain and for lovers to tiff, and so when danger again threatens their lives and the lives of those they love most, hard choices must be made and may force them apart forever.

From start to finish Witch Born has been an enchanting read. Brusenna really comes into herself and believes in herself so much more this time around, but her frustration is almost tangible.
No-one wants to believe that a mere apprentice could know more, or do more than all the other Haven Witches put together, even her loyal Guardian Joshen fears her need to prove herself.
I love the way the author continually twists and turns the alliances of those around Senna, the poor girl really struggles with who to trust, who to turn to for help - that's what makes her so strong though.

I really can't find fault with anything in Witch Born.
I loved the characters. I loved the story. The writing was beautifully lyrical, rich and addictive.
If anything I just want more!
Witch Born definitely has all the right things going for it and I eagerly await future stories from Amber Argyle. A delightful 5 Star read ~<;]


Author Website


September 4, 2012

Book Review: The Kingmaker's Daughter by Philippa Gregory

Title: The Kingmaker's Daughter (The Cousins' War #4)
Author: Philippa Gregory
Release Date: August 14th 2012
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK
Source: Received from the publisher via Booksellers NZ

In The Kingmaker’s Daughter, #1 New York Times bestselling author Philippa Gregory presents the riveting story of Anne Neville, her sister Isabel, and their ever-changing fortunes.

The Kingmaker’s Daughter
is the gripping and ultimately tragic story of the daughters of the man known as the “Kingmaker”, the most powerful magnate in England through the Cousins’ Wars. In the absence of a son and heir, he uses the two girls as pawns in his political games, but they grow up to be influential players in their own right. In this novel, her first sister story since The Other Boleyn Girl, Gregory explores the lives of two fascinating young women.

At the court of Edward IV and his beautiful queen, Elizabeth Woodville, Anne grows from a delightful child brought up in intimacy and friendship with the family of Richard, Duke of Gloucester, to become ever more fearful and desperate when her father makes war on his former friends. Her will is tested when she is left widowed and fatherless, with her mother in sanctuary and her sister married to the enemy. Fortune’s wheel turns again when Richard rescues Anne from her sister’s house, with danger still following Anne, even as she eventually ascends to the throne as queen. Having lost those closest to her, she must protect herself and her precious only child, Prince Edward, from a court full of royal rivals.

My Thoughts

Admittedly I haven't read a Philippa Gregory novel for quite some time but it didn't take long for me to remember why I love her books so much.
The vividly rich way with which Philippa Gregory lovingly describes her settings, characters and their stories is simply beautiful - she carries the reader back to those times, bringing to life what would otherwise be vague moments of history left mostly forgotten the past 600 plus years, and The Kingmaker's Daughter is another prime example of her wondrous writing.

Anne Neville is a fiercely loyal daughter to her father, an obedient servant to her mother and fiercely protective towards her sister. But when pushed aside one too many times and left abandoned and betrayed by those charged with her care, Anne turns to herself for salvation; and in doing so discovers that she can make her own future.
The story of Anne Neville is one of great determination born of an upbringing filled with broken treaties, forced alliances and deceit  - an almost constant life of uncertainty.

Written with Philippa Gregory's unique vibrancy, the scenes painted so clearly and colorfully in ones mind's eye, that you are immediately swept into this harsh and contrived world of royalty and politics. While many subplots and other historical figures play a large role in the telling of Anne's story, the author keeps true the book title by following Anne from her lowest of low points, to the fruition of her father's ultimate dream - a Neville on the throne.

I have always enjoyed Philippa Gregory's fictional retelling of actual events in history, her characters are always vibrant and charismatic even when forced to do unspeakable acts.
Philippa Gregory skilfully weaves her stories into books I have come to cherish; they
 are some, if not the best factual historical novels I have read - she is a master storyteller.
The Kingmaker's Daughter is decadent 4 Star read.

September 3, 2012

Book Review: Tyler's Story by Mireille Chester

Title: Tyler's Story (Tales of Quelondain)
Author: Mireille Chester
Release Date: September 1st 2012
Publisher: Self published
Source: Received from the author for an honest review.

It’s been five years since his twin brother Trent was killed and Tyler has been on his own ever since. When he stumbles across Heidi, a human from the other world who’s just crossed over, he vows to get her home against his better judgement. What he doesn’t realize is that to keep his promise, he’ll have to risk his life and the one thing he’s managed to keep to himself since the war… his heart. Still, a promise is a promise and Tyler doesn’t break his. After facing human rogues, packs of Majs, and Zerpanays, he’ll have to decide…can he bear to let go of the one thing that’s managed to bring him back to life? Will he ever be able to bear going home?

Tyler's Story is Mireille Chester's YA debut in the world of Quelondain where shape shifters are the norm and magic is everywhere.

My Thoughts

Mireille Chester has quickly become one of my favourite indie author's.
Her stories are always emotionally charged and heartfelt, and Tyler's Story is a prime example of that.

Tyler is still the sweet boy we left behind in The Chosen One series, but he has matured into a sexy and sweet almost adult.

Still haunted by the death of his twin, and the decisions he has made since weighing heavy on his mind, Tyler stumbles across a half starving runaway, and a lost hiker who has inadvertently crossed over into Quelondain.
A fast paced adventure ensues, sending this motley crew on a journey that will bring them to the brink of death, have them forming new friendships and alliances, fall in love, and ultimately change their lives forever.

Written in Mireille's beautifully lyrical style, I was enraptured from the start. Reading Tyler's Story was like returning home to the familiar embrace of a loved one. I really can not get enough of the wonderful world of Quelondain and I truly hope Mireille has more of their stories to tell.

As a kid I would check wardrobes in the hope of crossing over into an adult I hope to accidentally cross over into Quelondain while taking a stroll anywhere!!

A gorgeous 4 Star read ;]



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