August 31, 2012

Book Review: Shades of Temptation by Virna DePaul

Title: Shades of Temptation
Author: Virna DePaul
Release Date: September 18th 2012
Publisher: Harlequin
Imprint: Harlequin HQN
Source: Received from the publisher via NetGalley

Carrie Ward understands dangerous men, and she's got the scars to prove it. These days, the Special Investigations Group detective saves her risk taking for the job. But when she's asked to pursue a high-profile serial killer, she'll have to join forces with the last man she wants to depend on—Jase Tyler, an ace senior detective who's as reckless as she is cautious. And despite her best intentions, the sparks begin to fly.
As Carrie and Jase race to try to save the next victim, the passion that simmers between them ignites. But a cunning killer at the top of his game is challenging Carrie to play to the very end. 
Now all she can count on are her instincts—and Jase, the one man daring enough to keep her safe….

My Thoughts

Virna DePaul has a talent for writing an intriguing mystery surrounded by an intense and deeply sexually charged atmosphere.
But sadly, that's where it tends to end.

The characters never truly develop, the story kind of stagnates, and I'm left feeling disappointed and let down - again.

The first half of this book was great.
Lots of heated exchanges between Carrie and Jase, plenty of tension, sexual and otherwise; a crazed murderer and an equally deranged copycat on the loose makes for a really great read.
But then it all slumps.
The story gets long winded and boring, causing me to skim through a good chunk of the book before it slowly starts to pick up again, but it doesn't - not really.
The remaining last third is a reasonably safe and stale read that leaves a bitter taste in the mouth, because I feel like Carrie and Jase have been cheated out of what could have been a fantastic story. Somehow it just seemed to plateau at the mid way point and never got back its intensity.

Overall a good read, but I was unsatisfied with the books lack of consistency. 3 Stars :]

August 30, 2012

Happy Release Day Giveaway

Congratulations 
and
Happy Release Day

to T.G. Ayer for

DEAD EMBERS
Valkyrie #2
*Print Edition*


Valkyrie-in-training Bryn Halbrook just can't catch a break. With her boyfriend stuck in Hel and the taunting laughter of Loki still ringing in her ears, she struggles to concentrate on her training and duties in Odin's realm. The last thing she expects or wants is more adventure—but then treachery, a shocking abduction and a chilling discovery send her forth on another perilous, globe-hopping mission.

As the ultimate battle, Ragnarok, draws closer, it's a race against time for Bryn, Fenrir and their team to discover who kidnapped her foster brother from the halls of Asgard and what's causing the mysterious deaths of so many of Odin's chosen warriors.

You can read my reviews of Book #1 Dead Radiance and Book #2 Dead Embers here.

Prizes up for grabs...one *PRINT COPY* of DEAD EMBERS, 
Dead Radiance and Dead Embers
*signed* bookmarks...
and I was so inspired by Bryn and her exceptional story

that I have made some Valkyrie phone charms and
some Brynhildr Valkyrie metal bookmarks...
*conditions*
You must be able to get the book shipped from
The Book Depository for *FREE*
 For your chance to win one of two prize packs,
use the Rafflecopter form below.

August 27, 2012

Book Review: Charming Blue by Kristine Grayson

Title: Charming Blue (Fates #8)
Author: Kristine Grayson
Release Date: September 1st 2012
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Imprint: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Source: Received from the publisher via NetGalley

Once upon a time...he was the most handsome of princes. But now he's a lonely legend, hobbled by dark history. With too many dead in his wake, Bluebeard escapes through the evil spell of alcohol. But it's a far different kind of spell that's been ruining his life for centuries. Jodi Walters is a fixer, someone who can put magic back in order. But Blue has a problem she's never encountered. And worse, she finds herself perilously attracted to him.
   
My Thoughts

Although this is book #8 in a series, it is the first book I have read by this author.

Its a modern day world in which this story is set, with 'fairytale' characters happily living amongst us trying to fit in. But not everything is all rosy because they have 'fixers' like Jodi to run to for help.

I'm sorry but I found the characters weak and unlikeable.
Jodi is a boring, ageless, up-her-self ch√Ętelaine who I didn't connect with, I just did not like her - at all. She moaned and groaned her way through the entire book. I wanted to tell her to make a run for it - if you're so damn unhappy, leave, but for crying out loud stop complaining!
And Blue wasn't much better. He is a weak-kneed, down trodden, wet dish cloth - definitely not a hero to lust after.

There really wasn't any depth to the story, and other than their initial attraction there isn't any romance to speak off.
The blurb reads "she finds herself perilously attracted to him"
Perilously implies danger, what danger?...oh you mean when see looked in his eyes and thought "Oh he's so charming, he's charming me with his eyes, I mustn't look, Oh my" or did you mean he was dangerous because he's the killer Bluebeard?
There were no overly heated looks, touches, thoughts...in fact; there wasn't anything hot or dangerous about either of them to speak off at all.
And the ending to the mystery was so unsatisfying and so underwhelming, so what? who? when? it just didn't make a whole lot of sense.
The whole book was just too full of holes and plot letdowns, and to top it all off; it suddenly ended with Jodi being madly in love with Blue and they live HEA - yep, okay, whatever.

Kristine Grayson has a writing style that flows well and is easy to read, however I found the world building weak, the story was down right boring, and the character development shallow at best.

(an overly generous) 2 Star read :|




August 25, 2012

Book Review: Seven Nights in a Rogue's Bed by Anna Campbell

Title: Seven Nights in a Rogue's Bed (Sons of Sin #1)
Author: Anna Campbell
Release Date: September 25th 2012
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Imprint: Forever
Source: Received from the publisher via NetGalley

Will a week of seduction...

Desperate to save her sister's life, Sidonie Forsythe has agreed to submit herself to a terrible fate: Beyond the foreboding walls of Castle Craven, a notorious, hideously scarred scoundrel will take her virtue over the course of seven sinful nights. Yet instead of a monster, she encounters a man like no other. And during this week, she comes to care for Jonas Merrick in ways that defy all logic—even as a dark secret she carries threatens them both.

...Spark a lifetime of passionate surrender?

Ruthless loner Jonas knows exactly who he is. Should he forget, even for a moment, the curse he bears, a mere glance in the mirror serves as an agonizing reminder. So when the lovely Sidonie turns up on his doorstep, her seduction is an even more delicious prospect than he originally planned. But the hardened outcast is soon moved by her innocent beauty, sharp wit, and surprising courage. Now as dangerous enemies gather at the gate to destroy them, can their new, fragile love survive?

My Thoughts

I love a good historical romance and Anna Campbell writes the best bodice rippers out there. Filled with incredible amounts of emotion, her books are always a joy to read - well written and extremely addictive, this 'Beauty and The Beast' themed romance is no exception.
  
With equal amounts of pure sex and self loathing, Jonas Merrick is the quintessential tortured hero. 
Within his self imposed prison at Castle Craven he hides his scarred face and bastard status from view which only fuels the fires of gossip. His reputation for vile hatred and revenge is well known and although terrified at the thought of giving herself in exchange for her sister, Sidonie approaches this lonesome beast with a kind heart and open mind.
What follows is an extremely sweet romance filled with hot and heavy sex!
Not only does Sidonie tame the beast but she finds the strength to stand up for both Jonas and herself too.

Well written characters set against a dark and gothic background of hatred and despair, Seven Night's in a Rogue's Bed will leave you thoroughly enchanted. 
This emotional and turbulent love story will both set your pulse racing and break your heart with its intensity and heat. 

A truly engrossing story of love, trust, and redemption; and a definite sexy 5 Star read ~<;]

August 24, 2012

Children's Book Review: The 13th Horseman by Barry Hutchison

I was lucky enough to win a copy of this book and while I had every intention of reading this with my 10year old daughter, she loved the first chapter so much that she barreled along without me.

The following thoughts are hers alone, I've just typed it up for her :)

Title: The 13th Horseman (Afterworlds #1)
Author: Barry Hutchison
Release Date: March 1st 2012
Publisher: HarperCollinsChildren'sBooks


In a darkly funny, action-packed adventure, fourteen year old Drake is surprised to discover the Horsemen of the Apocalypse hanging out in his garden shed. He’s even more surprised when they ask him to join them. The team is missing a Horseman, having gone through several Deaths, and they think Drake is the boy for the job.

Miss 10's Thoughts

I really enjoyed the book, and all the characters are pretty cool too.

My favorite character is Famine because all he ever did was eat food and he was really funny.

The story is interesting and has a bit of mystery to it, and has lots of funny bits.

One of my favorite scenes was at the end when Famine was on the ground and War said "Hey look at that cake over there"
Then Famine sat straight up demanding "Where?" and War pulled a muffin out of his pocket, it was funny.

War was a great character too, I liked that he kept teasing Drake all the time.

I would definitely read more books from this author because I really loved The 13th Horseman a lot.

I rate this book 4.5 Stars out of 5 :)



August 23, 2012

Book Review: Once Burned by Jeaniene Frost

Title: Once Burned (Night Prince #1)
Author: Jeaniene Frost
Release Date: June 26th 2012
Publisher: Avon
Source: Purchased for my own reading pleasure.

She's a mortal with dark powers...

After a tragic accident scarred her body and destroyed her dreams, Leila never imagined that the worst was still to come: terrifying powers that let her channel electricity and learn a person's darkest secrets through a single touch. Leila is doomed to a life of solitude...until creatures of the night kidnap her, forcing her to reach out with a telepathic distress call to the world's most infamous vampire...

He's the Prince of Night...

Vlad Tepesh inspired the greatest vampire legend of all—but whatever you do, don't call him Dracula. Vlad's ability to control fire makes him one of the most feared vampires in existence, but his enemies have found a new weapon against him—a beautiful mortal with powers to match his own. When Vlad and Leila meet, however, passion ignites between them, threatening to consume them both. It will take everything that they are to stop an enemy intent on bringing them down in flames.

My Thoughts

I have been lusting after this book since I first heard about it last year and then in January when the cover was released, well hell, I hungered for it.

Vlad has been one of the reoccurring characters in Jeaniene Frost's The Night Huntress series that has held my attention with his smart sexy mouth and heated sexy glances, his soulful sexy eyes and drop dead gorgeous sexy body...
you get the idea!

Vlad Tepesh exudes primal sex, and yet this book, does not :(


Before I complain, I'll start with what I did enjoy.

The story flowed well, it had plenty of action and intrigue to keep me guessing.
Leila has an interesting gift, and she's a bit ballsy, although we don't get a lot of background on her other than a brief look at how she got her injury.
Vlad and Leila's journey together has a good amount of attraction, and they have to work together in order to solve a mystery and save the lives of their friends.


Had I not read any previous books by Jeaniene Frost I probably would have given this book a 4 Star rating.


However there are some things that I just couldn't get past.

It says right there on the front cover 'A Night Prince Novel'
So I was expecting a book based around Vlad, from Vlad's point of view.
Not so.
Its a book based around Leila, and written from her POV.
I initially didn't mind, but as the story progressed I got bored with the constant self berating and 'oh darn, he can hear that/knows what I'm thinking' commentary.

Vlad and Leila's attraction was well...dull.
Vlad has to be one of the most lusted after vamps of all time with extraordinary powers, a body to die for, and hundreds of years of experience under his belt.
He knows how to lure a lady, how to turn on the charm, but I found his pursuit of Leila stilted and awkward.
And when they did finally come together, it was pretty average.
I was hoping for fireworks, not unlike those of Cat and Bones in book #1 *wink wink* but what I got was safe and (dare I say) lacklustre.

Speaking of Vlad; the Vlad in this book is different from the one I know from TNH books.
The Vlad I know is a tease, darkly sexy and broody, has a wicked sense of humor and flirts mercilessly with all females.
This Vlad was moody and arrogant, and I really didn't care for him all that much.
I actually felt bereft.
Who was this impostor because it sure as hell wasn't my Vlad?
Maybe that's what was missing, not enough Vlad.

And the ending - what kind of ending was that?
Yes, I know it the first book in a series but what the hell?
I don't think it made sense to end it so abruptly, so half arsed!

Perhaps I would have enjoyed Once Burned more had it been written from Vlad's POV...
or if there had been more heat, more great sex...
or maybe I would have enjoyed it more if the ending had been more complete...
I'll never know.

What I do know is - I was left feeling angry, bitterly disappointed, and almost had a throw-it-against-the-wall moment!

I couldn't with good conscience give Once Burned anything more than 2 Stars :|




August 22, 2012

Book Review: Kiera's Quest: Sacrifices by Kristy Brown

Title: Kiera's Quest: Sacrifices
Author: Kristy Brown
Release Date: August 3rd 2012
Publisher: Muse It Up
Source: Received from the author for an honest review.


After almost beating the villainous Witch Queen, Kiera’s triumph is tainted with sadness for the loss of Joe and Daz.

When the handsome Prince Zakk asks Kiera to re-enter his world in order to save her friend, she does not hesitate.

On their perilous journey Kiera realizes that she is there to save many lives.

As she comes face to face with her evil nemesis once again, Kiera comes closer to finding out the truth to why she has been chosen.

Will she succeed?
Will this be the end to Kiera’s quest?


My Thoughts

I read book #1 in this series, Kiera's Quest: Awakenings back in June and you can read my review here

For a reasonably short read, Sacrifices has a lot going on. 
Lots of new friends and some new foes; a few friendly faces re-appear, and some new twists and turns make for a non stop reading adventure.

However, lots of scene changes and different points of view did make it a slightly disjointed read, I mean 28 chapters in less than 80 pages?
Overall I think it worked out okay, but it did take me a few of those chapters to get back into the fast paced world that author Kristy Brown has created.

Well written, with plenty of great characters and story arc's - Kiera's Quest: Sacrifices is a great continuation of an intriguing and action packed story, with a cliffhanger to leave you gasping!
4 Stars ;]

LINKS


kindle
Goodreads

August 21, 2012

A Book To Watch For...The Archived by Victoria Schwab

I was lucky enough to receive a sneak peek of this book from the publisher via NetGalley and I have to say, I was blown away!

The writing was full of emotion and the story is something new, it sounds like a truly different tale.

I LOVED what I read, and I can not wait for this to come out next year...mark your calendar :)

Title: The Archived
Author: Victoria Schwab
Release Date: January 22nd 2013
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Category:   Fiction - Juvenile: Action & Adventure, Ages 12 and up.

Imagine a place where the dead rest on shelves like books.

Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures that only Librarians can read. The dead are called Histories, and the vast realm in which they rest is the Archive.

Da first brought Mackenzie Bishop here four years ago, when she was twelve years old, frightened but determined to prove herself. Now Da is dead, and Mac has grown into what he once was, a ruthless Keeper, tasked with stopping often-violent Histories from waking up and getting out. Because of her job, she lies to the people she loves, and she knows fear for what it is: a useful tool for staying alive.

Being a Keeper isn't just dangerous—it's a constant reminder of those Mac has lost. Da's death was hard enough, but now her little brother is gone too. Mac starts to wonder about the boundary between living and dying, sleeping and waking. In the Archive, the dead must never be disturbed. And yet, someone is deliberately altering Histories, erasing essential chapters. Unless Mac can piece together what remains, the Archive itself might crumble and fall.

In this haunting, richly imagined novel, Victoria Schwab reveals the thin lines between past and present, love and pain, trust and deceit, unbearable loss and hard-won redemption.

August 20, 2012

Book Review: When Temptation Burns by J.K.Beck

Title: When Temptation Burns (The Shadow Keepers #6)
Author: J.K. Beck
Release Date: July 21st 2012
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Imprint: Bantam
Source: Received from the publisher via NetGalley



Half human, half daemon, Ryan Doyle is a driving force for justice. As an agent for the Preternatural Enforcement Coalition, he's investigating murders linked to a Los Angeles fringe group bent on exposing the shadow world to humanity. He is a master of self-control, keeping his deepest hungers hidden beneath a veneer of cool professionalism. Until he crosses paths with sinfully sweet Andy Tarrent,a gutsy reporter who makes him crave all the pleasures he's denied himself for centuries.
 
Tracking a band of conspiracy theorists eager to spill blood, Andy has uncovered the story of her career. Brooding, mysterious Ryan is an enigma-but their dance of seduction is hotter than any fantasy. As they race to stop mass murder on the streets, Andy knows that Ryan is holding back, keeping secrets.But getting close to Ryan means opening the door to a world that will challenge her deepest beliefs-including what it means to truly surrender to love.

My Thoughts

While I found this to be a well written, and interesting story, it started off quite slow. In fact I had the same complaint with the previous book in this series. Review here

The story takes quite some time to get going, and a less patient reader may put it aside, lamenting its lack of ability to grab your attention.

Perseverance paid off though as When Temptation Burns is actually a really great read. The characters are much more like-able, the story was more interesting and exciting, and I found it to be an easy and enjoyable book to read.

When Temptation Burns was a vast improvement from the previous book in this series, and gets a well deserved 4 Stars from me :]





August 15, 2012

Book Review: When Darkness Hungers by J.K. Beck

Title: When Darkness Hungers (The Shadow Keepers #5)
Author: J.K. Beck
Release Date: June 26th 2012
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Imprint: Bantam
Source: Received from the publisher via NetGalley

FBI agent Alexis Martin knows that vampires exist—because one of them killed her sister. Assigned to investigate a series of bizarre homicides in Los Angeles, Alexis believes the murders are the work of rogue vampires—perhaps even the monster responsible for her sister’s death. Now she finally has a chance for retribution. Even better, Alexis receives unexpected help from a sexy stranger as hungry for rogue blood as she is.

Serge is a centuries-old bad boy who stays off the grid—keeping his secrets, his hunger, and his heart safe from exposure. A new breed of vampire that feeds off other shadowers, Serge finds sweet torture in Alexis’s arms. Loving her is a chance to be free from the hiding, the loneliness, the secrecy. But the truth about what he is, and what he’s done, may banish him to the dark confines of his own private hell—and destroy the beginnings of their love.


My Thoughts

When Darkness Hungers is a reasonably safe, familiar story involving Vampires, hunters, and secret FBI divisions.
Alexis was an alright character, as was Serge; but I just didn't really care for them at all.
Yes, I got Serge's motivation for wanting Derrick dead, I understood his fear of his 'beast'; but I didn't connect with him, I felt he was very one dimensional.
In fact I thought Serge and Alexis both, were very shallow characters, the entire book was rather flat I thought.

The only thing I did enjoy was Serge changing CeeCee and his feelings towards her afterwards, and trying to understand why he felt responsible for her; it was the only part of the book that held any depth for me, I even found the sex scenes dull and the ending was hurried.

All in all, this was a reasonable read, nothing I'd rave about, just okay.
3 Stars :]

Happy Release Day Giveaway

Congratulations 
and Happy e-book
Release Day
 
to T.G. Ayer for
 
DEAD EMBERS
(Valkyrie #2)


Valkyrie-in-training Bryn Halbrook just can't catch a break. With her boyfriend stuck in Hel and the taunting laughter of Loki still ringing in her ears, she struggles to concentrate on her training and duties in Odin's realm. The last thing she expects or wants is more adventure—but then treachery, a shocking abduction and a chilling discovery send her forth on another perilous, globe-hopping mission.

As the ultimate battle, Ragnarok, draws closer, it's a race against time for Bryn, Fenrir and their team to discover who kidnapped her foster brother from the halls of Asgard and what's causing the mysterious deaths of so many of Odin's chosen warriors.


You can read my reviews of Book #1 Dead Radiance and Book #2 Dead Embers here.


Prizes up for grabs...one kindle copy of DEAD EMBERS,

*signed* Dead Radiance and Dead Embers bookmarks...

and I was so inspired by Bryn and her exceptional story

that I have made some Valkyrie phone charms and
some Brynhildr Valkyrie metal bookmarks...


For your chance to win one of two prize packs,
use the Rafflecopter form below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


LINKS

Purchase Dead Embers from Amazon
Purchase Dead Radiance from Amazon
T.G. Ayer on Facebook

 Be sure to check back on the August 30th 2012
for another Release Party for the print edition :)

August 11, 2012

Book Review: Captured In Sin by Devlin Chase

Title: Captured In Sin (The Vengeful Elements, #1)
Author: Devlin Chase
Release Date: February 29th 2012
Publisher: Self published
Source: Received from the author for an honest review.

Seven Sinners. Seven Innocents. One Prophecy.

Catherine De Sano is quite happy with her life, despite the trauma of her childhood. The last thing she needs is to be stalked by a devastatingly sexy man who's trying to convince her that her life is in danger...that she's being hunted by a rogue vampire. If it weren't for the fact that he knows how she spends her evenings she would have had him arrested. Now she's stuck with him, whether she likes it or not.

Darien Hawkwood has never met such a stubborn young woman before. The fact that she might be the key to an ancient prophecy seems to be having little impact and the instant attraction between them isn't helping him keep his emotions under control either. But he also knows that he needs her - more than she could ever begin to imagine.

As danger closes in around them and forces of nature are unleashed, Darien will need to turn his back on everything he's known if he's to protect Catherine - and give her the chance to fulfil her destiny.

My Thoughts

I really like the premise of this book.
A strong willed, independent women meets her match in a vampire who stubbornly stalks here every move, professing to keep her safe; only to find herself repeatedly caught in the grasp of the evil and mad rogue vampire that wants her dead - or does he?
 

For me, the first 50 or so pages of Captured In Sin were a little bumpy and disjointed to read. Some of the sentence structuring was difficult to follow and the repeated use of words in a sentence frustrating. The flow of the story and world building was a bit clumpy also. 

The dinner scene between Catherine and her estranged brother was awkward and felt unnatural and I didn't get what the author was trying to do with them, I didn't connect with them at all. And while Cat is obviously very good at her day job, she feels the need to burgle her clients at night - this scenario came out of nowhere and threw me for a loop. There really was no clue as to why this would be something she'd do until a little later in the book when she gets to the convent; where more of Cat's character is revealed and I started to get a better idea about the person she was. 

But for those first 50 or so pages I was confused and lost. I think that section of the book could do with an edit, or at least iron out some of the wrinkles, a more cohesive story flow would better hold the reader's interest.

However after those first bumpy pages, the writing starts to flow more easily and really finds its rhythm. I found myself connecting with the characters and enjoying the continual sexually charged banter. 
I was also intrigued by the secondary characters, and the roles that they may play in the rest of this series. I was pleasantly surprised to find myself thoroughly enjoying this book. And there is a lot to like. 
New hero's, new rules; a new and exciting world of danger, intrigue, and of course, plenty of romance and sex!

Overall, a surprisingly good read once you get past the bumpy start.

3.5 Stars :]



August 10, 2012

Book Review: Silver by Talia Vance

Title: Silver (A Bandia Novel #1)
Author: Talia Vance
Release Date: September 8th 2012
Publisher: Flux Books
Source: Received from the publisher via NetGalley

An Irish heritage, Celtic myth, and deadly beauty.

In eighth grade, Brianna did something so dreadful she was suspended and home schooled. No one could explain what happened that night . . . except Brianna’s Irish grandmother, who gave her a silver charm bracelet and told her to wear it until she turned seventeen. Ever since she slipped it on, Brianna has felt like she’s invisible. People stare right past her as if she doesn’t exist. And that includes Blake Williams, the one boy she can’t resist.

But everything changes in one frozen, silver moment when Blake sees her—and recognises what she’s been hiding. Brianna is descended from Danu, the legendary Bandia of Celtic myth. Yet before she can fully understand who or what she is, Brianna accidentally binds her soul to Blake—whose tribe has spent the last thousand years hunting Danu’s descendants to protect humanity.

My Thoughts

Celtic myth has really taken off lately, and I thought Silver sounded like another new and interesting take on legends of old.

Silver has been written well and I was for the most part, kept entertained by all the teenage angst and boyfriend stealing!
 

But I floundered in the beginning.
The author literally drops you into a party and expects you to instantly connect - here's Brianna, she's the heroine, like her.
I felt like I'd missed the first chapter or something, even flicking back to the front of the book several times to double check - and because of that, it took me longer to get a feel for the main character, Brianna.

Had perhaps more time been spent explaining what happened when Brianna was in the eighth grade at the beginning of the book as either a prelude, flashback or something similar (ie before the opening party scene) instead of peppered amongst the growing story surrounding Blake's attraction to her, it could have made the story a little more coherent.
The story flow was interrupted too often with disjointed tidbits rather than any actual insights.

I really didn't feel the ending did the story any justice either.
It was a mishmash of chapters where an attempt was made to tidy up all the threads of the story. Again, if this had been less disjointed it probably would have been a more enjoyable read.
  
Overall though I enjoyed the story but it just lacked a bit of polish. The Danu story kept me interested, but I felt the book was let down by its predictability and so for me Silver lost some of its shine.

Still a worthwhile 3 star read :]





August 9, 2012

Book Review: Dead Embers by T.G Ayer

Title: Dead Embers (Valkyrie #2)
Author: T.G Ayer
Release Date: e-book: August 15th 2012, print: August 30th 2012
Publisher: Evolved Publishing
Source: Received from the author for an honest review.

Valkyrie-in-training Bryn Halbrook just can't catch a break. With her boyfriend stuck in Hel and the taunting laughter of Loki still ringing in her ears, she struggles to concentrate on her training and duties in Odin's realm. The last thing she expects or wants is more adventure—but then treachery, a shocking abduction and a chilling discovery send her forth on another perilous, globe-hopping mission.

As the ultimate battle, Ragnarok, draws closer, it's a race against time for Bryn, Fenrir and their team to discover who kidnapped her foster brother from the halls of Asgard and what's causing the mysterious deaths of so many of Odin's chosen warriors.

In the exciting sequel to DEAD RADIANCE, Bryn encounters dwarfs and dragons, new friends and old foes—but worst enemy of all may be the person she trusts most!

My Thoughts

I reviewed the first book in this series Dead Radiance, earlier this year and you can read it here.
 
I should also state that after reading Dead Radiance, I had the incredible pleasure of meeting this talented and very sweet and unassuming author in person, but that has in no way colored my judgement in writing this review, as always, this review is unbiased, honest, and my own opinion.
                                   
                                           ~<3 ~      ~<3 ~

Dead Embers picks up immediately from where Dead Radiance finished, throwing the reader headlong into the emotional and heart wrenching moment that shocked many to the core.

Second guessing every decision she has ever made has left Bryn confused and in a tailspin of self doubt - and without her most trusted friend at her side, she struggles to cope as Ragnorak quickly approaches.
 
Warned by the god's to trust no-one, Bryn is yet again thrust into a journey fraught with betrayal, leading her to question not only her own actions but the actions and intentions of all those around her.

The depth of emotion with which T.G Ayer writes, is such that I was immediately sucked into her hauntingly beautiful world of Norse mythology yet again.
Insanely intense at times, I was kept on the edge of my seat - desperately trying to anticipate the next unnecessary death, the next friend to turn.
Darker than book #1 - Dead Embers will have you in knots as you try to unravel all the plot twists and turns.
And I knew there would be an ultimate twist, a reason for all the betrayal and deceit, but I was still shocked by the sheer hatred that this well organized and despicable plan entailed
...
and O.M.G - what an ending - Holy Helheim!!

Full of suspense, intrigue, and astounding revelations - Dead Embers is an incredibly emotional, and shockingly additive adventure that will be enjoyed by readers both young and old.

Another richly deserved 5 Star read ~<;]

**due for e-book release next week, check back on my blog for your chance to win some goodies in my Dead Embers giveaway**

AUTHOR LINKS

Blog 
Goodreads

August 8, 2012

Book Review: Redemption by Veronique Launier

Title: Redemption (Hearts of Stone #1)
Author: Veronique Launier
Release Date: September 8th 2012
Publisher: Flux Books
Category: Fiction - Juvenile (YA): Science Fiction, Fantasy, & Magic
Source: Received from the publisher via NetGalley

Guillaume: For five hundred years I've existed as a gargoyle. Perched atop an old Montreal church, I've watched idly as humanity wanders by. With the witch Marguerite gone, there is no one left to protect, nothing to care about. I never planned to feel again. But then a girl released me from my stone restraints, allowing me to return as a seventeen-year-old human boy. I must find out all I can about this girl's power . . .

Aude: Getting attacked twice in as many days is strange in itself, but even stranger is the intriguing guy I keep running into. There's something so familiar about him, like a primal drum rhythm from my dreams. But spending time together only raises more questions--about my heritage, a native Mohawk prophecy . . . and an unearthly magic threatening our city...

My Thoughts

This book sounds fantastic - Gargoyles finally freed after decades of watching  the world pass them by. Strange and awkward girl with untapped power mysteriously releases them from their concrete prison.

Sadly I got as far as page 145 and put it aside.
I just couldn't read another word.
There is too much stuff going on, and yet nothing really happens, the story just isn't going anywhere. And its boring - I want to read about the gargoyle Guillaume and Aude, not the dead witches/Mohawk's/band/crappy friends or the many flashbacks that do nothing but distract the reader. And the dialogue is poor at best.

There just isn't any real consistency, the story jumps from one thing to the next without any clear path of where the story is going, it doesn't flow and lacks the ease of great storytelling.
 

As I said, I didn't read through to the end as I was bored beyond reason, so I can't say whether or not it improved.

A really great idea, but poorly executed.
1 Star :[

August 7, 2012

Book Review: Lethal Rider by Larissa Ione

Title: Lethal Rider (Lords of Deliverance #3)
Author: Larissa Ione
Release Date: May 22nd 2012
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Source: Received from the publisher via NetGalley.

They're here. They ride. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

Born of a match between good and evil, four siblings stand between hell's minions and everything they want to destroy. They are the Lords of Deliverance, and they have the power to ward off Doomsday...or let it ride...

Thanatos, the most deadly Horseman of the Apocalypse, has endured thousands of years of celibacy to prevent the end of days. But just one night with the wickedly sexy Aegis Guardian, Regan Cooper, shatters centuries of resolve. Yet their passion comes with a price. And Thanatos must face a truth more terrifying than an apocalypse-he's about to become a father.

Demon-slayer Regan Cooper never imagined herself the maternal type, but with the fate of the world hanging in the balance she had no choice but to seduce Thanatos and bear his child. Now, as the final battle draws closer and his rage at being betrayed is overshadowed by an undeniable passion for the mother of his child, Thanatos has a life-shattering realization: To save the world, he must sacrifice the only thing he's ever wanted-a family.

My Thoughts

Yet again, author Larissa Ione has produced a story that is not only sexy, gritty, and intriguing, but is so damn gripping you attack it like a starving dog devours a bone. Awake into the wee small hours, I just could not put Lethal Rider down until I was finished.

Larissa Ione's talent for writing with equal measures of sex, violence, and impending doom - and a little hope, has yet again blown me away.
Her character developments are such, that you cant help loving every player including the ultimate bad ass!

Fearsome and sexy, this latest roller coaster ride will leave you exhilarated and gasping for more - I for one am eagerly awaiting another ride(r).

5 out of 5 Stars ~<;]

August 6, 2012

Childrens Book Review: Grandma Bendy by Izy Penguin

Title: Grandma Bendy
Author: Izy Penguin
Illustrator: Izy Penguin
Release Date: May 2012
Publisher: Maverick Arts Publishing Ltd
Source: received from PR company for the purpose of an honest review

A quirky story about a bendy burglar, who learns the error of her ways.
Grandma Bendy is the bendiest grandma. She has twizzly arms and super stretchy legs!

In the past Grandma Bendy used her skills for bad and was an excellent burglar. However a taste of her own medicine sets her on the straight and narrow!



My Thoughts

I had fun reading this with my Miss 5. She had me in stitch's as she tried to stretch and twist her body like a pretzel in an attempt to show me how she was just like Grandma Bendy!

Here's what Miss 5 had to say about the book:

"Its funny but bad. Stealing is bad"

"The Grandma is like elastic and that's not good, my Grandma's not elastic!"


Whilst twisting her body on the floor: "See I can do it! But I'm not a stealer!"

"Its (the story) really, really good" 

A neat little story with a lesson in morals and responsibility, Grandma Bendy gets 5 Stars from us ~<;]


Grandma Bendy is written and illustrated by first time author Izy Penguin.


August 1, 2012

What do you do ALL day?

What do you do all day?

That was the question recently posed by the mother of one of my daughters friends, as we chatted after a play date.
I had clean dishes on the sink, a few breakfast ones soaking, and a small basket of laundry on the floor waiting to be folded, but otherwise the house was unusually spik and span!
I was having a good day, or so I thought. But the look on this woman's face told a different story.

I'm a Mum to 3 girls, and wife to 1 husband and I don't work, well not for cold hard cash anyway!
My days consist of generally doing sweet Fuck All...at least that's the look I was given by the above mentioned woman (and by my husband once or twice in a brief moment of misplaced bravery)

So, what do I really do ALL DAY?!

Here's a day in the life of this lazy housewife!!

2.15am: Get up to pee.
3.30-4am ish: Get woken up as DH tries to quietly get up and leave the house for work.
6am: Awakes full of energy and excitement for the start to a new day! NOT!! I groggily and slowly roll out of bed, go pee, and put the coffee on.
6.30am: Wake the 3 girls, start breakfast, organise lunches, puts on first load of washing.
7am: Hit the shower.
7.15am: While still wrapped in a towel, brush and style Miss 10's hair and remind her to brush her teeth.
7.20am: While only in my underwear, brush and style Miss 5's hair, remind her to brush her teeth and organise her backpack for school.
7.45am: Feed the dog and 2 cats, drag comb through hair and blow dry (time permitting)
7.55am: Call out to girls to get in car, quickly sign Miss 14's forgotten homework from last night, scramble around for a missing shoe, and rush out the door.
8.05am: Drop Miss 14 off at her bus stop.
8.15am: Walk Miss 10 and Miss 5 to their classrooms, greet teachers, check out latest artworks on wall.
8.35am: COFFEE!!! Check emails, facebook etc.
9.30am: Work on some Beta reading.
10.30am: Morning tea, hangs laundry.
11am: Beta reading, then email edits and suggestions to author.
12.30pm: Lunch, check on laundry.
1pm: Read a couple of chapters of the book I'm reviewing.
2.20pm: Time to pick up Miss 5 and Miss 10.
2.40pm: Afternoon tea.
3pm: Helps girls with homework, talk about things happening at school.
4pm: Miss 14 comes home and we discuss her day. Have another coffee, get laundry in, and maybe (if I'm lucky) sneak off for a quick read.
5-5.30pm ish: DH gets home, we discuss his day and start preparing dinner.
6.30pm: Dinner.
7-7.30pm ish: Do the dishes, referee an all out free-for-all between the girls as they fight over the remote, the computer, and the bathroom! Get the 2 youngest bathed and ready for bed.
8pm: Miss 5 heads to bed, I read her a story.
8.30pm: Miss 10 heads to bed. I start cleaning up the house, fold laundry, put another load of laundry on etc.
9.30pm: Miss 14 heads to her bedroom to facebook chat, txt, do whatever away from the prying eyes of her parents! Time for a cuppa as my DH heads to bed.
10pm: Briefly checks facebook, channel surfs.
10.30pm: Reads in bed as can't sleep, takes notes for next review, checks all the locks again.
12 midnight ish: Puts away book, jabs DH in the ribs for snoring and snuggles up for some well deserved sleep. Gets up to pee!

...and there you have it, a full on, completely relaxing, lazy day in the life of me! (life of luxury my arse!!)

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