Saturday, September 29, 2012

Stacking the Shelves (13)

Stacking the Shelves is a *new* weekly meme to feature all the books that have made their way into our homes this week! 
Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

Every time I start a STS post I think "Well, this will just be a short post this week, I didn't get many books....." Then I start the post and realize I got  A TON of books! I think I have an addiction - who's with me?


(Click on cover to go to Goodreads)

  Death and the Girl Next Door (Darklight, #1) Angel in Chains (The Fallen, #3) Vengeance Bound
Gilded Daughter of the Sword (Fated Blades, #1) The Dark Unwinding
Ironskin (Ironskin, #1)  Magisterium

(Click on title to go to Amazon)

Death and the Girl Next Door (Darklight #1) by Darynda Jones
Angel In Chains (The Fallen #3) by Cynthia Eden
Vengeance Bound by Justina Ireland
Gilded (The St. Croix Chronicles #2) by Karina Cooper
Daughter of the Sword (Fated Blades #1) by Steve Bein
The Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron
Ironskin (Ironskin #1) by Tina Connolly
Magisterium Jeff Hirsch

(Click on cover to go to Goodreads)

Archangel's Storm (Guild Hunter, #5) City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5) Blood of the Wicked (Dark Mission, #1)

(Click on title to go to Amazon)

Archangel's Storm (Guild Hunter #5) by Nalini Singh
City of Lost Souls (Mortal Instruments #5) by Cassandra Clare
Blood of the Wicked (Dark Mission #1) by Karina Cooper - $ .99 Amazon

What goodies did you add to your shelf this week?

Friday, September 28, 2012

Read This F@!%ing Book! - New Feature and First Post!

Welcome to a new feature I'm going to post from time to time called:

Read This F@!%ing Book!

This is a feature for me to push my favorite reads that just aren't getting enough attention! 

I'm also opening it up to anyone who would like to guest post. Do you have a book that you just LURVED but feel like its not getting the play it deserves? Email me to let me know and I'd be THRILLED to have you post about it here! Especially if its something I haven't reviewed yet - that's even better! If you're interested email me:

Now.....on to my first post:

Why I'm pushing it: I know what some of you are thinking. Why push this series? Its probably getting PLENTY of attention! Well here's the thing.....SOME people aren't reading the series because they think they won't like Sydney. GASP! Let me convince you!

Why I love Sydney and this spinoff: Sydney is not Rose - that's true. And as much as I loved Rose, I also love Sydney because she's a little different than the typical YA heroine out there right now. Instead of acting before she thinks or going balls out.....Sydney uses her intelligence to kick ass. I kind of think its daring for Richelle Mead to write an anti-cool dork like Sydney as the main character. What a girl for teens to look up to! She thinks things through! She's values things like education and reading! And even though she's a total nerd, she has some seriously funny and endearing moments in these books. You don't mess with Sydney's friends and family without consequences.....a wimp she is not (case in point: We finally learn why Sydney made a deal with Abe and it is juicy!). 

Catch up with your favorite side characters from VA: Eddie and Jill are back as major players in the Bloodlines series.....and P.S. Eddie is adorable! Dimitri and Rose are even in The Golden Lily! Want to catch up with everybody you loved in VA? Well, here you go!

Also.....there's Adrian: Maybe you live in a cave. Maybe you've had mono for like, two years. Because you've obviously forgotten about Adrian! HELLO! Adrian! He is even better in the Bloodlines series than in Vampire Academy! And unlike in VA, where you just knew things weren't going to work out for him, in Bloodlines you can root for him to get the girl! He is SO devilishly charming and irrestible in these books, especially in The Golden Lily


So, there you go. That's me pushing Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy spinoff, Bloodlines. If you were a VA fan please give this series a try. And if you've read the first book and were on the fence you REALLY need to read book two! 

I firmly believe that often our reaction to a book depends heavily on what we thought we were getting into and I think going into this series you need to not except another VA. Sydney is a different and more mature character and this series is less vampire, more Alchemists. I love Sydney and I hope you will give her a chance!

If you'd like to participate in Read This F@!%ing Book let me know!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (35) - The Loop

The Loop
Shandy Lawson
Release: April 2013
Goodreads   Amazon
Ben and Maggie have met, fallen in love, and died together countless times. Over the course of two pivotal days—both the best and worst of their lives—they struggle again and again to resist the pull of fate and the force of time itself. With each failure, they return to the beginning of their end, a wild road trip that brings them to the scene of their own murders and into the hands of the man destined to kill them.

As time circles back on itself, events become more deeply ingrained, more inescapable for the two kids trapped inside the loop. The closer they come to breaking out, the tighter fate’s clutches seem to grip them. They devise a desperate plan to break free and survive the days ahead, but what if Ben and Maggie’s only shot at not dying is surviving apart?

I really like love stories that are messed up by time travel or living in different times, like The Time Traveler's Wife. I'm hoping this is as interesting as it sounds!

What is your WOW pick this week!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Early Review: Poison Princess by Kresley Cole

Poison Princess
(Arcana Chronicles #1)
Kresley Cole
Release: October 2, 2012
Goodreads   Amazon

Sixteen year old Evangeline “Evie” Greene leads a charmed life, until she begins experiencing horrifying hallucinations. When an apocalyptic event decimates her Louisiana hometown, Evie realizes her hallucinations were actually visions of the future—and they’re still happening. Fighting for her life and desperate for answers, she must turn to her wrong-side-of-the-bayou classmate: Jack Deveaux.

But she can’t do either alone.
With his mile-long rap sheet, wicked grin, and bad attitude, Jack is like no boy Evie has ever known. Even though he once scorned her and everything she represented, he agrees to protect Evie on her quest. She knows she can’t totally depend on Jack. If he ever cast that wicked grin her way, could she possibly resist him?

Who can Evie trust?
As Jack and Evie race to find the source of her visions, they meet others who have gotten the same call. An ancient prophesy is being played out, and Evie is not the only one with special powers. A group of twenty-two teens has been chosen to reenact the ultimate battle between good and evil. But it’s not always clear who is on which side….


Wow, Kresley Cole has seriously impressed me with her young adult debut, Poison Princess. The idea behind the story is so fresh and original and her writing is so amazing and complex. I am excited by the promise of more YA from her in the future!

Poison Princess is an unusual YA book and I often found myself forgetting that the book was intended for young adults, although this one is definitely recommended for mature teens and adults. Cole's characters are so multi-faceted and different in a genre stuffed with cookie cutter characters. And the writing.....Oh the writing! Cole is a master at prose and she doesn't hold back just because this is YA.

Something to note - this book is not fast-paced. This book is the first in what I am assuring you will be an epic series. And to get to that epic place, the first book must set everything up. Poison Princess is that first book. The first 100 pages occur before the apocalyptic event. You will get to know a lot of the major players in the series and see Evie's life before the apocalypse. This is important, because Evie is reminiscent of Mac's character from the Fever series. Remember how Mac was a vapid, little blond who couldn't do anything to help herself? Yeah, that's Evie. And watching her change and grow just in this book alone was really amazing. I can only imagine who she will be by the end of this series. Picture Mac from Darkfever and then Mac (with her MacHalo) from Shadowfever. Yeah, that's going to be Evie.

The series is based on the idea that the 22 Major Arcana cards of the Tarot card deck are actually real people with real superhuman powers.Some of them know what they are and what they can do and some of them don't. Going in, I knew nothing about Tarot cards so I was hoping not to be confused. Cole does a nice job of helping the reader understand the concept and the history behind it. I was totally mesmerized by this unique concept, which I have certainly never read before.

As I was reading, I almost forgot that this book was going to take an apocalyptic turn as I got used to observing Evie in her own personal hell of waking visions and horrible nightmares, along with all the side characters attending high school with her. Evie teeters on sanity as she battles the crazy she thought she had gotten rid of, but manages to keep it a secret from her perfect boyfriend and group of popular, cheerleader best friends.

Enter Jackson Devereaux, bad boy extraordinaire. Jackson and a small group of his friends are new to Evie's high school, fresh from the swamps of Louisiana with the Cajun accent and all. Jackson is a really complex character and although you will find him sexy as hell you will go back and forth between love for him and hatred. He made me so angry sometimes and even when I understood what he was doing I was still so mad I could throw my book! Jack and Evie have quite the tumultuous relationship that sees many ups and downs throughout the book. What I loved about them was that there was no insta-love and no "he's so hot it doesn't matter how he treats me".

Cole writes the two as unapologetically real with no short cuts. She doesn't give in to the typical pattern of a YA paranormal romance and instead pushes the characters to the extreme. I love her for this. Sometimes you might want to smack Evie and sometimes you might not understand how we are supposed to love Jack, but when the book ends you will feel like you've just lost touch with two people you actually know.

And when the apocalyptic event that we are all expecting finally occurs, the post-apocolypse world that Cole creates is intricate and scary. Watching as Jack, Evie, and others navigate their new ruined world only a few months into it is nerve wracking. There is a serious lack of food and water, females are rare and therefore highly coveted, and the monsters are both supernatural and human. Everyone must learn to become someone or something new, especially these teenagers that are the Arcana cards. I especially loved confusing and endearing Matthew, Evie's secret friend that she sees through visions.

When the secrets of who these teenagers are and what they are supposed to do is finally revealed you will be shocked. Of course, then you'll have to wait for the sequel to find out what happens next.

Recommended for fans of: dystopians and post-apocolyptics, Southern settings, Tarot, unique plots, hot but frustrating Cajun boys, mature YA, The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa, and Shatter Me by Taherah Mafi.


Saturday, September 22, 2012

Kiss of Steel by Bec McMaster

Kiss of Steel
(London Steampunk #1)
Bec McMaster
Release: September 4, 2012
A brilliantly creative debut where vampires, werewolves, and clockwork creatures roam the mist-shrouded streets of London...

When Nowhere is Safe
Most people avoid the dreaded Whitecapel district. For Honoria Todd, it's the last safe haven. But at what price?

Blade is known as the master of the rookeries--no one dares cross him. It's been said he faced down the Echelon's army single-handedly, that ever since being infected by the blood-craving he's been quicker, stronger, and almost immortal.
When Honoria shows up at his door, his tenuous control comes close to snapping. She's so...innocent. He doesn't see her backbone of steel--or that she could be the very salvation he's been seeking.

Blade's hand tightened on her shoulder, reluctant to let her go. But then he felt her body tense and forced himself to release her. No point scaring her off. He'd have to move slowly, let her get used to him. For he intended to have her. It was just a matter of when.

Kiss of Steel was an unexpected gem of a book with fantastic characters, good action, and hotness hotness hotness! This books gets an easy five stars from me and leaves me waiting on the edge of my seat for book two!

McMaster created a world where the aristocracy has vampire blood flowing through their veins and the cruel reign supreme. The rich and powerful willingly take on vampire blood to become 'blue bloods', meaning that they are stronger, faster, and live longer but one day they will begin turning into full fledged vampires and will have to be killed. They must drink human blood to survive, but have to watch for signs that the vampirism is taking over. This spilt into two different kinds of vampires was intriguing and I really loved it.

This paranormal steampunk romance (light on the steampunk, heavy on the romance) is told from the alternating points of view of Honoria and Blade. Honoria is the daughter of a scientist who was experimenting with blue bloods and vampirism to find a cure when he was unexpectedly murdered. Honoria, who was always interested in her father's work and even worked alongside him for a bit, is a knowledgeable and likable heroine. She is smart and witty, but also very loyal to her family. She is the sole caregiver for her younger sister, Lena, and her brother, Charlie, who has a dangerous illness.

He smiled and her breath caught. Such a wicked, devilish smile. If she had been a normal young woman, without the heavy burden she carried, she might have let her gaze linger. Or if he had been a man instead of a monster. 

Blade is the rough and tumble ruler of Whitechapel, the poor district where the destitute and dangerous live. Honria finds herself living in Whitechapel after her father's death and eventually her path crosses with Blade's. They strike a deal that benefits them both, but Blade secretly just wants to keep Honoria close. Honoria is afraid of Blade because he is a blue blood and she knows he must drink blood to survive. She also knows that she has responsibilities at home and a secret to keep about her brother and she can't just give in to Blade.
Her gaze flickered his way. "You're staring."

"Can't 'elp meself," he replied. "You were made to be stared at."
Blade is that sexy Alpha male we all dream about and McMaster didn't hold back when creating him. His immediate attraction to Honoria and determination to have her no matter what coupled with his kindness and generosity toward her make him completely impossible to resist.

He'd be in Undertown now, hunting a vampire among the Slasher gangs and the humans who lived down there. Determined to do his duty to the people who relied on him, and to the little adopted family he'd gathered around himself. He was illegitimate, illiterate, and a self-professed scoundrel. And he had more honor in his little finger that half the so-called lords of the Echelon.

Honoria and Blade are amazingly well written. They both have so many sides and secrets. Their building relationship was a wild ride to read, from distrust to faith to attraction to love. There was a great balance between seduction and sweetness between these two that I really appreciated. And then there was the hotness. Goodness, McMaster threw in all the stops with these two and I was practically drooling during some of the scenes. This one will keep you up late reading, that's for sure!

"Honoria. Look at me."

To look at him would undo her. She slipped her shoes off and crossed toward him, her stockinged feet sinking into the thick carpets. To have his mouth on her skin.....She shook the thought off with a shiver. Such an intimacy had never occurred to her. A hot little flush swept through her lower belly. 

There are a lot of twists and turns in this book, some you might see coming and some that will certainly surprise you. The action scenes mostly center on the hunt for a rogue vampire that is on the loose in the city and McMaster proved that she can handle the action as well as the bedroom. One of the only complaints is that I wanted to see more of our main 'bad guy', Vickers. Both Honoria and Blade each have their own fights to pick with Vickers and when we finally meet him he is all the evil that was promised. He is that slimy and power hungry bad guy on a constant ego trip and I found myself waiting for a big showdown where he'd finally be put in his place.

I don't know what I can say to make you read this book, but whatever it is let's just pretend I said it! This will be in my top ten favorite reads this year for sure. It really had everything I usually look for: action, strong heroines, sexy Alpha, mysteries to solve, creepy bad guy, and hot sex! Can you really go wrong here? Look for book two in the spring, which will focus on Honoria's sister and Blade's second in command (a werewolf!) as well as continue Honoria and Blade's story.

Honoria watched with lazy abandon, seemingly content to lie in his arms.

"You want to do it again, don't you?" she whispered.

He almost dropped the soap. "Not tonight."

"Liar." Christ, when had her voice turned to smoke?

Recommended for fans of: well-written paranormal romance, vampires, plots with mysteries and twists, sexy sexy sexy men, Firelight and Moonglow by Kristen Callihan, and everyone who wanted more sexy times in God Save the Queen by Kate Locke.


This book is part of:

Friday, September 21, 2012

Cover Reveal and Giveaway: Opal by Jennifer L. Armentrout

(Lux #3)
Jennifer L. Armentrout
Release: December 11, 2012

No one is like Daemon Black.

When he set out to prove his feelings for me, he wasn’t fooling around. Doubting him isn’t something I’ll do again, and now that we’ve made it through the rough patches, well... There’s a lot of spontaneous combustion going on.

But even he can’t protect his family from the danger of trying to free those they love.

After everything, I’m no longer the same Katy. I’m different... And I’m not sure what that will mean in the end. When each step we take in discovering the truth puts us in the path of the secret organization responsible for torturing and testing hybrids, the more I realize there is no end to what I’m capable of. The death of someone close still lingers, help comes from the most unlikely source, and friends will become the deadliest of enemies, but we won’t turn back. Even if the outcome will shatter our worlds forever.

Together we’re stronger... and they know it.

Follow this link to an ~~~ EPIC CONTEST ~~~ Announcement. You will want to bookmark this page!

USA TODAY Bestselling author, Jennifer L. Armentrout, 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 also writes adult romance under the name J. Lynn.

Find Jennifer on: Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Website | Blog

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