Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Review: Shimmer (Rephaim # 3) by Paula Weston

Shimmer (The Rephaim, #3)Shimmer

Author: Paula Weston
Series: Rephaim #3
Pages: 393
Publisher: Text Publishing
Release date: 3rd July 2014

Synopsis: (Goodreads)

Gaby thought her life couldn’t get more complicated.

She’s almost used to the idea that she’s not the nineteen-year-old backpacker she thought she was. She can just about cope with being one of the Rephaim - a 140-year-old half-angel - whose memories have been stolen. She’s even coming to grips with the fact that Jude, the brother she’s mourned for a year, didn’t die at all.

But now Rafa—sexy, infuriating Rafa—is being held, and hurt, by Gatekeeper demons. And Gaby has to get the bitterly divided Rephaim to work together, or Rafa has no chance at all.

It’s a race against time - and history. And it may already be too late.

Review: 5 out of 5 stars

** Contains possible spoilers from previous books

The Rephaim is one of my all-time favourite angel series and one that keeps getting better with each book; with a cast of memorable characters, a wonderful storyline and fabulous writing, I didn’t want this book to end and when it did I was left gaping.

Gaby is a character I absolutely adore, she still has no recollection of how her memories were stolen but piece by piece she learns about the person she was and continues to grow as a character; I have been anticipating the big reveal about the twins memory loss but it wasn’t to happen in Shimmer but the build-up to this point has certainly kept me entertained and fully invested in the characters. Jude slots back into the Rephaim fold easily but he is still a bit of a mystery and Rafa {swoon} despite being missing for the first part of the book still plays a pivotal role overall.

The plot is faultless, A lot of Shimmer is spent with the characters at the Sanctuary where we see the Outcasts reunite with Nathaniel’s supporters in the hopes of finding a way of rescuing Rafa and Taya from the magic room they discovered in Iowa; with Nathaniel delaying it is up to Gaby and Rafa to find a solution and save them from the hellions.

Shimmer is a book filled with angel politics, a wonderful romance and action aplenty, I am still left with so many unanswered questions which I am sure will be revealed in the finale Blaze which has an anticipated 2015 release date.

Amazing angel books are hard to come by but this is a series I highly recommended! My biggest grip is the wait until I can get hold of the next book.


Paula WestonAbout the author

I'm the author of the Rephaim series.

I'm also an avid reader and blogger, a huge fan of Australian literature and fantasy/paranormal stories, a closet comic reader and TV addict...and I'm borderline obsessed with the Foo Fighters.




Shadows (The Rephaim, #1) Haze (The Rephaim, #2) Shimmer (The Rephaim, #3)

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Review: Scratch by Rhonda Helms

ScratchAuthor: Rhonda Helms
Series: -
Publisher: Kensington
Pages: 240
Amazon
Release Date: 30/09/2014

Synopsis:

The most painful scars are the ones you never see. 

In her DJ booth at a Cleveland dance club, Casey feels a sense of connection that's the closest she ever gets to normal. On her college campus, she's reserved, practical-all too aware of the disaster that can result when you trust the wrong person. But inexplicably, Daniel refuses to pay attention to the walls she's put up. Like Casey, he's a senior. In every other way, he's her opposite. 

Sexy, open, effortlessly charming, Daniel is willing to take chances and show his feelings. For some reason Casey can't fathom, he's intent on drawing her out of her bubble and back into a world that's messy and unpredictable. He doesn't know about the deep scars that pucker her stomach - or the deeper secret behind them. Since the violent night when everything changed, Casey has never let anyone get close enough to hurt her again. Now, she might be tempted to try.

Review: 2 out of 5 stars

The premise is what originally intrigued me about Scratch, a young girl with a traumatic past who puts her efforts into DJing and her studies whilst also finding an unlikely friend and eventual love but unfortunately it fell flat in execution for me and I was unable to fully appreciate the book.

The characters: Casey is a college senior with a tragic past; she isolates herself from everyone except her grandparents, her days are spent studying and some nights DJing at a dance club. Daniel is in Casey’s Philosophy class and inserts himself into her life much to her reluctance; he was an all-round great guy with bucket loads of patience.

What I enjoyed:


  • * The build-up to the mystery surrounding what had happened to Casey and her family – her stomach is covered in puckered scars, I was eager to learn what had happened to her.
  • * As a love interest, Daniel was a great guy – kind, calm, persistant and tolerant.
  • * The beautiful cover art.
  • * Casey’s amazing grandparents were a wonderful support.
  • * The believability of Casey’s anxiety and panic attacks

What I didn’t enjoy:  

  • * A heroine I couldn’t relate to or connect with.
  • * Insta attraction/lust & love.
  • * The writing seemed stilted and the dialogue made me cringe.
  • * I didn’t feel the connection between Casey and Daniel, too much seemed to happen between them too soon. They were chalk and cheese.
  • * I would have loved more page time with Casey and her passion for music and DJing – we only get a small aspect.
  • * Casey’s hot and cold personality drove me crazy! I constantly wondered why Daniel would stick around when she constantly pushed him away.

Scratch is a book that I feel has potential; it just needs a little refining.


About the author: Rhonda Helms started writing several years ago. She has a Master's degree in English and a Bachelor's degree in Creative Writing. She also edits for Carina Press (an imprint of Harlequin Publishing) and freelance edits.

When she isn't writing, she likes to do amateur photography, dig her toes into the sand, read for hours at a time, and eat scads of cheese. WAY too much cheese.

Rhonda lives in Northeast Ohio with her family.


Friday, 17 October 2014

Review: Prophecy (Calypso #1) by Julie Anne Lindsey

 

I'm pleased to be able to participate in the Prophecy by Julie Anne Lindsey book tour hosted by YA Bound.

Prophecy (Calypso, #1)Prophecy

Author: Julie Anne Lindsey
Series: Calypso
Pages: 280
Publisher: Lyrical Press / Kensington
Source: YA Book Bound
Release date: 6th October 2014
Buy Links: 

AmazonB&NKensingtoniTunes


Synopsis: On the other side of death, is destiny.

Callie Ingram is spending her senior year focused on one thing: swimming. Her skill as a competitive swimmer is going to secure a scholarship and her future, or so she hopes. She has big plans, and Liam Hale, her gorgeous new neighbor, isn’t going to affect them. But when Callie sees Liam beheading someone, she learns his family has a secret that will change everything. The Hales are Vikings, demi-gods who’ve been charged by The Fates to find their new destined leader.

Callie’s caught in the middle of a budding Norse apocalypse, in love with Liam Hale and desperate to protect her best friend…who the Hales believe is marked for transformation. Putting the clues together as fast as she can, can discovers she has the power to rewrite destiny, for herself and all humankind.

Review: 3 1/2 out of 5 stars

Prophecy is a nice start to the series, it follows eighteen year-old Callie Ingram who hopes to gain a scholarship with her swimming, something she is passionate about but her whole life is turned around when the Hale brothers move in to the house next door.

We learn early on in the story that the Hales are Vikings, demi-gods who have been sent to the small town of Zoar, Ohio by The Fates to find their new leader.

The Characters: Callie was a great character, she is passionate about her swimming and is extremely close to her mother; her father is not in the picture – she was a strong willed character with a likeable personality. Her best friends are Justin and Allison, both wonderful and played an important role in the storyline, I especially loved Justin who was the perfect best friend & great boyfriend material and Oliver and Liam Hale, new in town with a reputation they are eager to escape. Liam is the love interest and was quite broody and sullen, I wasn’t initially interested in him at all; his hot and cold personality confused me but I’m eager to see how their relationship progresses.

What I liked:

** Likeable, finely honed characters; the dialogue was entertaining as was their interactions
** The mystery surrounding the Hales, what they were and their purpose in the small town was enjoyable
** The mythology parts were written well but I would have liked more details
** I liked the plot twists and turns, I was curious about what Callie was so this tidbit was especially interesting

What I didn’t like:

** Insta-attraction/love; it was pretty much right from the moment Callie first saw Liam and was quite off-putting
** The Kirk & Hannah side storyline, I didn’t feel it was needed and nothing really came of it – teenage angst and unnecessary drama.
** Callie accepted everything too easily, I would have liked her to have shown more resistance when it came to the information she was receiving
** Some parts of the book felt choppy, I was a little confused at times
** I would have liked to have learnt more about the ‘bad guys’
** I enjoyed the Norse mythology but would have liked to have more background details; I hope this is detailed in the next book

Overall, I enjoyed Prophecy. It was a nice start to the Calypso series.



Julie Anne LindseyAuthor

Julie Anne Lindsey is a multi-genre author who writes the stories that keep her up at night. She’s 

a self-proclaimed nerd with a penchant for words and proclivity for fun. Julie lives in rural Ohio 

with her husband and three small children. Today, she hopes to make someone smile. One day 

she plans to change the world.

Find Julie online: 

Find Me on Facebook!
Tweet Me!!
Read with me on Goodreads
Pin with me on Pinterest
Capturing life on Instagram


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Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Review: The Jewel (The Lone City #1) by Amy Ewing

The Jewel (The Lone City, #1)The Jewel

Author: Amy Ewing
Series: The Lone City
Pages: 358
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release date: 2nd September 2014

Synopsis: (Goodreads)

The Jewel means wealth. The Jewel means beauty. The Jewel means royalty. But for girls like Violet, the Jewel means servitude. Not just any kind of servitude. Violet, born and raised in the Marsh, has been trained as a surrogate for the royalty—because in the Jewel the only thing more important than opulence is offspring.

Purchased at the surrogacy auction by the Duchess of the Lake and greeted with a slap to the face, Violet (now known only as #197) quickly learns of the brutal truths that lie beneath the Jewel’s glittering facade: the cruelty, backstabbing, and hidden violence that have become the royal way of life.

Violet must accept the ugly realities of her existence... and try to stay alive. But then a forbidden romance erupts between Violet and a handsome gentleman hired as a companion to the Duchess’s petulant niece. Though his presence makes life in the Jewel a bit brighter, the consequences of their illicit relationship will cost them both more than they bargained for.

Review: 2 out of 5 stars

I first became interested in The Jewel when I glimpsed the beautiful cover but unfortunately by the ending I was left underwhelmed despite the initial promise.

The premise I found to be quite unique if not a little (ok a lot) disturbing; girls from the Marsh are auctioned off to infertile Royalty from the Jewel to become their surrogates, becoming a surrogate is determined by your genetics and skillset; they are more or less slaves except for the fact they are spoilt with beautiful gowns, balls and a new lifestyle.

Our main protagonist is Violet Lasting who is number 197 and eventually gets sold to the Duchess of the Lake; I liked Violet but she wasn’t a character who had that sheer determination and strength I like to see, she willingly went along with everything and was a bit lacklustre for me; I would have loved to have seen a little more defiance and a gun ho attitude but it wasn’t to be. We are repeatedly told how amazing she is with her magic, looks and playing the cello but I couldn’t see it.

The world-building wasn’t as thorough as I would have liked with a book such as this, we learn about the different circles/rings – the Marsh, the Farm, the Smoke, the Bank and the Jewel; the Jewel of course being the most elite and the Marsh being the poorest. Everything came across to me as quite basic and I was left with many unanswered questions, a lot of the book was spent learning about the different castes within society which unfortunately for me did become tiresome.

The romance was a big letdown, I thought it was unrealistic with a severe case of insta-love but also forbidden which is usually my favourite but this one just irked me on so many levels. There were no slow to build moments it was insta-love, lust and attraction at its worst and really bought the whole book down an extra notch for me.

I found the writing to be simplistic, the characters under-developed and bland and the plot unfortunately weak, this one was just a mediocre dystopian for me.

I really wanted to love this book and it has certainly received some praise so maybe it was my reading mood that made my reading experience a little less enjoyable.

Overall, shaky world-building, a romance that wasn’t believable (and actually had me cringing), many stereotypes and clich├ęs and an MC that did wow me, this book unfortunately wasn’t for me but please check out the reviews on Goodreads for others thoughts.

Thank you to HarperTeen via Edelweiss for the opportunity to read and review The Jewel.



Amy EwingAbout the author: Amy Ewing is the young adult author of The Jewel, the first in a trilogy from HarperTeen, coming out September 2014.

She grew up in a small town outside Boston, where her librarian mother instilled a deep love of reading at a young age. Amy moved to New York City in 2000 to study theater at New York University. Unfortunately, her acting career didn’t quite pan out. She worked in restaurants, as an administrative assistant, a nanny, and a sales representative for a wine distributor before the lack of creativity in her life drove her to begin writing.

Amy received her MFA in Creative Writing for Children from The New School, where she was lucky enough to meet a fabulous community of YA writers who keep her sane on a daily basis. She lives in Harlem, where she spends her days writing, eating cheese, and occasionally binge watching The Vampire Diaries.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Cover Reveal - Fall With Me by Jennifer L. Armentrout

 Jennifer L. Armentrout's Fall With Me cover is here! the 4th book in the Wait for You series published by Avon Romance, an imprint of HarperCollins.

Release date: 31st March 2015



About FALL WITH ME

 Eleven months ago, bartender and weird-shirt-wearing extraordinaire Roxy and Officer Reece Anders had a one night stand. Well, kind of. She’s been in love with him since she was fifteen, and he wishes that night they shared never happened. She’s sworn him off forever, but the past and future collide, forcing her to rely on the one man who broke her heart not once, but twice.

 Her best friend since birth has been in a long-term care facility since he became a victim of a hate crime years ago, and the person who put him in there is out of prison and wanting to make amends with him and Roxy. She’s not sure she has room for forgiveness in her and when she begins to receive frightening messages and is on the receiving end of escalating violence, she thinks she knows who is to blame. The man who already destroyed one life already.

 But Reece isn’t convinced. The threats are too personal, and even if Roxy doesn’t believe him, he’s not willing to let anyone hurt her. Including himself. He’s already messed up more than once when it comes to Roxy and he’s not going to let history repeat itself.

 

Amazon - Barnes and Noble - iBooks - Kobo


About Jennifer L. Armentrout:

J. Lynn# 1 NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki. Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV. She also writes adult and New Adult romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins. 

Website - Facebook - Twitter - Goodreads - Author Goodreads

                                                                   
       

Review: Unbreakable (Shadow Falls – After Dark 0.5) by C.C. Hunter

UnbreakableUnbreakable

Author: C.C. Hunter
Series: Shadow Falls – After Dark 0.5
Pages: 55 pages
Publisher: St Martin’s Griffin
Release date: 30th September 2014

Synopsis: (Goodreads)

He isn’t everything he says he is. He’s even more…

Who is Chase Tallman, the newest member of Shadow Falls? What made him into the sexy, mysterious vampire he is today? And what led him to Della Tsang?

Step back in time and unearth the secrets that haunt him. The secret of how he became a vampire—and how he knows so much about being reborn. Secrets about his first love, his family--and what steers him toward Della, the beautiful, complicated girl he just can’t seem to stay away from. The one who makes him want things he thought he’d given up on long ago.

It all began with a research study, a palm reader, and a plane crash that sent him on a quest…for a love that’s unbreakable.

Review: 4 out of 5 stars

Unbreakable is very short at only 55 pages, it was more of a tease of what we can expect with the release of the next book in the series,

Unbreakable is smexy Vampire Chase Tallman’s story. We get a glimpse into his life before he was infected with the virus and eventually ended up at Shadow Falls.

The plot was mysterious as we learn about Chase, prior to this he was a bit of a mystery and I wanted to learn more. We get to find out about genetic testing, the plane crash which involved his parents and of the girl he had a huge crush on;  it also left me with many unanswered questions which I’m sure will be resolved in the next book.

I am not usually a novella fan at all but the Shadow Falls are one of my favourite series so it was a must read.

Overall, wonderful writing, an interesting plot and great insight into Chase as a character.

Thank you to St Martin’s Griffin via Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review Unbreakable.


C.C. HunterAbout the author: C.C. Hunter grew up in Alabama, where she caught lightning bugs, ran barefoot, and regularly rescued potential princes, in the form of Alabama bullfrogs, from her brothers. Today, she's still fascinated with lightning bugs, mostly wears shoes, but has turned her focus to rescuing mammals. She now lives in Texas with her four rescued cats, one dog, and a prince of a husband, who for the record, is so not a frog. When she's not writing, she's reading, spending time with her family, or is shooting things-with a camera, not a gun.

C.C. Hunter is a pseudonym. Her real name is Christie Craig and she also writes humorous romantic suspense romance novels for Grand Central. www.christie-craig.com

C.C. would love to hear from you. Because of deadlines, it may take her a day or so to get back with you, but she will reply. cc@cchunterbooks.com