Saturday, March 30, 2013

Giveaway: Twice Tempted

I ended up with an extra copy of TWICE TEMPTED by Jeaniene Frost, so I've decided to share it with one lucky winner! 

This is an ARC, an advance copy of the book with the regular cover and mostly the same text, although it is an uncorrected proof so there may have been some changes made from the ARC to the finished copy of the book.

The winner must be 13 or older and live in the US or Canada.
Giveaway ends Saturday, April 6 at 11:59pm

To enter, I just have a few little questions for you...they all have to do with your love of Vlad and other Night Huntress characters. The winner will be chosen using

Good luck!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Review: Green-Eyed Demon by Jaye Wells

Green-Eyed Demon
(Sabina Kane #3)
Jaye Wells
Release: March 1, 2011
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Things to do:

1. Rescue sister.
2. Murder grandmother.
3. Don't upset the voodoo priestess.

The clock is ticking for Sabina Kane. Her sister has been kidnapped by her grandmother, the Dark Races are on the brink of war, and a mysterious order is manipulating everyone behind the scenes.

Working on information provided by an unlikely ally, Sabina and her trusty sidekicks--a sexy mage named Adam Lazarus and Giguhl, a Mischief demon--head to New Orleans to begin the hunt for her sister. Once there, they must contend with belligerent werewolves, magic-wielding vampires and--perhaps most frightening of all--humans.

But as much as Sabina is focused on surviving the present, the past won't be ignored. Before she can save those she cares about most, she must save herself from the ghosts of her past.

Sabina Kane is back in Green-Eyed Demon, the third in this urban fantasy series by Jaye Wells. Sabina continues to grow in this book, but her growth is still expectedly slow and I must admit I wouldn't have it any other way. I enjoy watching her become a more likable character and learn to rely on her friends (as well as learn to call them 'friends', period), but she still retains that independent attitude and that sarcastic snark that make her such a great UF heroine.

Adam and Sabina's relationship has more of a center stage role here, but I think Adam was actually sexier in previous installments. I don't know why, but now that their relationship seems more likely I'm not as into Adam anymore. The fact is, the romance isn't the most important thing in this series, just a nice addition. The real focus is Sabina's character and the action.

This is an urban fantasy through and through and the plot and action are certainly the star. Sabina is still after her grandmother, evil vampire Dominae Lavinia Kane. This hunt is especially important now that Lavinia has kidnapped Sabina's sister, Maisie, and the search for her drives pretty much all of the plot. Giguhl is back as Sabina's terrifically funny and loyal demon sidekick and I love how he provides some humor as well as some touching moments here. There are also some new side characters introduced while in this book's setting of New Oreleans that I really grew to love.

All in all, this is another great book in the Sabina Kane series. I'm really happy to have started this series and I look forward to reading the next one. This one ends with some game-changing events that really make me curious what will happen in the fourth book, Silver-Tongued Devil. 

Recommended for fans of: urban fantasy, bitchy heroines, sexually ambiguous fae, game-changers, vampires, and mages.

  4 / 5 stars

If you've read this book, head on over to the Read-A-Long discussion, at The Book Nympho this month:
Click on the picture to discuss!

My reviews of other books in this series:

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Follow Friday (45)

Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee's View and Alison Can Read

This week's question:

Tell us about the most emotional scene you've ever read in a book - and how did you react? 
A couple of books came to mind when I saw that this was the question:

Umm, hi, I'm the most emotional book ever in the history of books - nice to meet you, get your effing tissue box.

I won't spoil anything, cause I don't roll like that, but geez this book made me cry for pretty much all of the final 1/3. I cried tears of happiness, tears of sadness, heartbreaking tears, tears of joy, tears of beauty...etc. If there is another type of tears, I cried those too.

Listen, if you've read this book - and survived - then you should earn a freaking medal. There are two ridiculously emotional scenes in this, one of which had my arm cocked back to throw my book. Thank goodness I stopped myself, but geez. I couldn't go to sleep after reading this particular scene because I couldn't breathe through my nose from all the crying. Ugly crying, people. 

The rooftop scene between Terrible and Chess followed by the cemetery scene between Terrible, Chess, and Lex - yeah, I almost didn't survive those two scenes. The emotion, the embarrassment, the betrayal...good god I'm surprised I lived through it. Talk about getting hit right in the feels.

I've provided you with some visuals of my emotions while reading these books: 

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Feel free to check out my Recent Reviews in the sidebar! J

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Happy Friday!

Review: Sealed With A Curse by Cecy Robson

Sealed With A Curse
(Weird Girls #1)
Cecy Robson
Release: December 31, 2012
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Celia Wird and her three sisters are just like other twenty-something girls—with one tiny exception: They're the products of a curse that backfired and gave each of them unique powers that make them, well, a little weird…

The Wird sisters are content to avoid the local vampires, werebeasts, and witches of the Lake Tahoe region—until one of them blows up a vampire in self-defense. Everyone knows vampires aren't aggressive, and killing one is punishable by death. But soon more bloodlust-fueled attacks occur, and the community wonders if the vampires of Tahoe are plague-ridden.

Celia reluctantly agrees to help Misha, the handsome leader of an infected vampire family. But Aric, the head of the werewolf pack determined to destroy Misha's family to keep the area safe, warns Celia to stay out of the fight. Caught between two hot alphas, Celia must find a way to please everyone, save everyone, and—oh, yeah—not lose her heart to the wrong guy or die a miserable death. Because now that the evil behind the plague knows who Celia is, he's coming for her and her sisters.

This Wird girl has never had it so tough.

Sealed With A Curse is a light urban fantasy about a set of sisters with unusual paranormal abilities. While the characters are all likable and the skeleton of the plot is great, there are some bumps along the way here that made it hard for me to thoroughly enjoy this one.

The main character is Celia, the eldest sister, and her abilities include shapeshifting into a tigress and morphing down into the floor and reappearing in another location (think The Secret World of Alex Mack). While these are both cool abilities, we find out later in the book that she also morphs against her own will into any other animal that she touches. Why? This is one of my biggest problem with this otherwise affable book. If I had to describe my complaints in one word it would be this: convenience. I felt like abilities were popping out of thin air among the sisters, as though a situation would arise and the author would change or augment someone's abilities in order to meet the situation. And one power had nothing to do with another.

Shayna's ability to create new items from wood or metal confused me. She could hold a toothpick and turn it into a freaking wooden ax out of nowhere. Emme had the power to heal people, but later in the story she puts a force field around people and carries them through the air. And I honestly don't even think I understood what Taryn's powers were. I just had a hard time suspending my disbelief and getting fully into the story because I was so focused on all these weird abilities. And this is coming from someone who reads about vampires, werewolves, witches, and mystical creatures on a daily basis!

The reason these details tripped me up so much is because I really wanted to like the book. Celia is a good character and she's smart and protective of her family. I wanted to like her story! The thing about superpowers and paranormal abilities is that everyone can't have everything they need in a story. There needs to be conflict in order to create a sense of drama and excitement - the understanding that even though these characters are amazingly powerful, they still can't fix everything every time. That doesn't work if characters can do everything.

I did enjoy the battle scenes in the book, despite being continually baffled by the sisters' abilities. The scenes were fast paced and well written and I greatly appreciate both of those things in a good fight scene. I would definitely say that the action was better than the romance, which is typical of urban fantasy, but I like my urban fantasy to have a little more romance in it

I liked the men in Sealed With A Curse, Misha the vampire and Aric the werewolf. They were each delicious and fun in their own way and I kept going back and forth as to who I was rooting for. I think Aric won out in the end, because we got to see him in more romantic situations with Celia, and he is a sexy, growly werewolf after all. The romance is light, however, the next book still focuses on Celia so I'm sure we will continue to see romance and a relationship of some sort develop.

The sisters certainly have their own personalities in this series, but often their traits are told through dialogue instead of shown through actions. Some of the dialogue was even a little awkward and the humor sometimes too silly. My hope for book two is that the characterization of the whole cast of characters gets stronger and more in-depth, and that each sister gets fleshed out a little better.

I know it probably sounds like I hated this book, but I did enjoy the overall feel of it and gave it three stars. I will most likely read the second one, if only to see where the romance goes and to also find out if everyone gets more developed. I just won't be running out to the book store on release day.

Recommended for fans of: light urban fantasy, family issues, vampires and werewolves, and every supernatural ability under the sun.

  3 / 5 stars

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Waiting On Wednesday (44)

Charm & Strange
Stephanie Kuehn
Release: June 11, 2013
When you’ve been kept caged in the dark, it’s impossible to see the forest for the trees. It’s impossible to see anything, really. Not without bars . . .

Andrew Winston Winters is at war with himself.

He’s part Win, the lonely teenager exiled to a remote Vermont boarding school in the wake of a family tragedy. The guy who shuts all his classmates out, no matter the cost.
He’s part Drew, the angry young boy with violent impulses that control him. The boy who spent a fateful, long-ago summer with his brother and teenage cousins, only to endure a secret so monstrous it led three children to do the unthinkable.

Over the course of one night, while stuck at a party deep in the New England woods, Andrew battles both the pain of his past and the isolation of his present.

Before the sun rises, he’ll either surrender his sanity to the wild darkness inside his mind or make peace with the most elemental of truths—that choosing to live can mean so much more than not dying.

This is a young adult book by a debut author and its been on my radar for a while now. I love when a female author writes from a guy's perspective, so far it has always been a positive reading experience for me!

This one's about a boy at boarding school who is awaiting the one fateful night that his wolf side finally takes over. It's supposed to be a very dark, psychological, and heartbreaking YA and I'm really looking forward to it!

What is your WOW pick this week?

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Review: Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

Clockwork Princess
(The Infernal Devices)
Cassandra Clare
Release: March 19, 2013
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Danger and betrayal, secrets and enchantment in the breathtaking conclusion to the Infernal Devices trilogy.

Tessa Gray should be happy - aren't all brides happy?
Yet as she prepares for her wedding, a net of shadows begins to tighten around the Shadowhunters of the London Institute.
A new demon appears, one linked by blood and secrecy to Mortmain, the man who plans to use his army of pitiless automatons, the Infernal Devices, to destroy the Shadowhunters. Mortmain needs only one last item to complete his plan. He needs Tessa. And Jem and Will, the boys who lay equal claim to Tessa's heart, will do anything to save her.

*Spoiler-free review*

When I first started The Infernal Devices trilogy it was clear to me that it far surpassed The Mortal Instruments. It has all the same world building and excitement of the Shadowhunters, but being set in the late 1800's in London there is just something extra special about this Shadowhunter world. The historical aspect, the location outside the U.S., and the occasional steampunk elements make this spinoff even more unique and fun than its predecessor. And the emotions in this trilogy are off the charts, even more than anything Jace, Clary, Alec, and Isabelle have experienced.

As in the other two books in the trilogy, Mortmain is after Tessa and will stop at nothing to steal her away from the Shadowhunters. Also as in the other books, Mortmain is more of a constant threat lingering over the characters than a villain who we see regularly. At the times when he does appear in the plot he is just as evil and underhanded as before. Through Mortmain, as well as some other characters, we learn about Tessa's past and finally find out exactly who and what she is.

Another bit of a threat in this book comes from the Shadowhunter's Consul, and his constant backstabbing to try and remove Charlotte's credibility and threats to take away her job as head of the London Institute. This was a side plot that intertwined Gabriel and Gideon Lightwood and I was almost as anxious as this as I was about Mortmain.

Tessa is a torn women for most of this book, but brave and loyal. She is a very honorable character, putting aside her feelings for Will and making him think she doesn't love him in order to try and make him forget his feelings for her. She truly does love both Jem and Will equally, something we don't often see in a love triangle, and I never ever felt like she was just engaged to Jem because he was slowly dying. That is something impressive that author Cassandra Clare did with this series, she made a love triangle where everyone actually loves everyone else. Will and Jem have their special brotherly type of love because they are parabati, and it truly makes neither of them wish unhappiness on the other. And Tessa truly loves both Will and Jem.

Will's temper and attitude have evened out a little in Clockwork Princess, ever since he found out his curse wasn't really a curse. But now those traits have been replaced with his burning desire for Tessa and his absolute refusal to do anything that would come between her and Jem. It's beautiful but heartbreaking, really, to see him struggle with this. Jem faces down his own issues here, as he is fighting death, as he always has, but its creeping up on him faster than it was before.

I know what you want to hear: Who does she pick in the end? But, as this is a spoiler-free review I'm not going to tell you (Where would the fun be in that anyway?). I will tell you that the way Clare works out this love triangle is beautiful and perfect. I cried off and on for most of the second half of the book, but they were both sad tears and happy tears. I was blubbering like a small baby, if you must know. This series just brings out the giant crybaby in me, apparently. As many of the predictions I've seen readers making prior to the book's release turned out to be spot on as those that were completely off base. Still, other aspects of the story's ending I just plain didn't see coming.

There are several side plot romances going on here as well and I loved seeing other characters find their own happy endings.

In the end, Clare brings the trilogy full circle and I closed the book happy and satisfied (in fact, I think I hugged it for a little while as well). I'm sad that The Infernal Devices is over, but I am so so so glad that I had the pleasure of reading it.

Recommended for fans of: The Shadowhunter world, love triangles, honorable and smart young adult characters, The Mortal Instruments, and ugly crying until your face is swollen and red

  5 / 5 stars

My reviews of other books in this series:
Clockwork Angel (Infernal Devices #1)
Clockwork Prince (Infernal Devices #2)

Monday, March 25, 2013

Review: Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi

Unravel Me
(Shatter Me #2)
Tahereh Mafi
Release: February 5, 2013
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Juliette has escaped to Omega Point. It is a place for people like her—people with gifts—and it is also the headquarters of the rebel resistance.

She's finally free from The Reestablishment, free from their plan to use her as a weapon, and free to love Adam. But Juliette will never be free from her lethal touch.

Or from Warner, who wants Juliette more than she ever thought possible.

In this exhilarating sequel to Shatter Me, Juliette has to make life-changing decisions between what she wants and what she thinks is right. Decisions that might involve choosing between her heart—and Adam's life.


I had to take a few days after reading this to calm my nerves, which were rightfully frazzled, before I could compose a review. Unravel Me is a beautifully written and exciting sequel that shows us the complexities of human relationships and I was even more engrossed in this one than the first in the series, Shatter Me.

In Shatter Me, I was sucked in by author Tahereh Mafi's unique style of writing and the steamy romance between Juliette and Adam, which was fairly sexy for a YA book. I loved Adam's sexy confidence and his attachment to Juliette. I was also intrigued by the story's villain, Warner, and found him dark and interesting, but I didn't view him as a love interest. Imagine my surprise when all this "Team Warner vs. Team Adam" stuff came about. In the interim novella, Destroy Me, readers got to read from Warner's POV and learn a little about his horrific upbringing at the hands of a psychotic monster and why he became so obsessed with Juliette. After reading the novella I felt like I could sympathize with Warner as a character and while learning his history and his inner most thoughts didn't completely justify all of his actions in Shatter Me, I felt like I could better understand his motivations and reasons.

Fast forward to me after Unravel Me: I am now completely infatuated with Warner and ready for him to keep me as his prisoner for as long as he wants.

In Unravel Me, everything goes topsy turvy and Mafi surprises readers with all sorts of shocking plot twists that I honestly didn't see coming. We get to watch as Juliette and Adam try to adjust to their new life at Omega Point and learn about the abilities of the other inhabitants. We also get to learn more about the outside world, a dystopian landscape of clustered towns of people living in horrible conditions. It all just expands the world Mafi has created and made me feel even more immersed in the story.

Omega Point is counting on Juliette to be a major force in their coming war with the Reestablishment, due to the strength of her abilities, but as we learned from reading her inner monologue in Shatter Me, she is a bit of a wounded bird and has to overcome her own issues before she can be of any help to anyone else. Juliette spends time training with Kenji in order to learn how to control and grow her abilities. By the way, Kenji is an absolutely amazing character who is somehow a perfect combination of humor and heart. I loved all of his scenes with Juliette and I enjoyed watching her grow and become stronger throughout the course of this novel. I think that growth is going to be a major factor in this series' final book.

Juliette and Adam suffer some relationship setbacks in this sequel and their ups and downs were at times, heartbreaking. To make things even more complicated for Juliette, she finds herself thinking about Warner all too often and the metaphorical dam breaks when she is reunited with him under unusual circumstances. I never thought you could make a Team Warner girl out of me, but his understanding of her deepest, darkest places is undeniable. And Warner gets his own steamy scenes in this book. In fact, I just about passed out while reading from all that steam, whew!

"Juliette," he says and he mouths the name, barely speaking at all, and he's pouring molten lava into my limbs and I never even knew I could melt straight to death. [...]
"I want to be the friend you fall hopelessly in love with. The one you take into your arms and into your bed and into the private world you keep trapped in your head. I want to be that kind of friend," he says. "The one who will memorize the things you say as well as the shape of your lips when you say them. I want to know every curve, every freckle, every shiver of your body, Juliette-" [...]
"I want to know where to touch you," he says. "I want to know how to touch you. I want to know how to convince you to design a smile just for me." I feel his chest rising, falling, up and down and up and down and "Yes," he says. "I do want to be your friend." He says "I want to be your best friend in the entire world." [...]
And I drop dead, all over the floor.

Here's the thing, when it comes to fictional characters I love me some bad boys. I love watching a big and bad get all crazy once he realizes he's accidentally fallen in love and I love watching the growth he makes for the heroine. It's really the ultimate challenge for an author, to take a bad guy type of character  and make readers fall in love with him. Take Damon from Vampire Diaries, Barrons from the Fever series, Eric from Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood, Dorian from the Dark Swan series, etc. Making a character lovable enough for us to understand why the heroine would choose him while still keeping the integrity of the "bad guy" persona is an amazing talent and Mafi has somehow managed to turn me into a Warner lover.

I cannot WAIT to see what she does to me next.

Recommended for fans of: young adult dystopian, shocking bomb-like plot twists, people with supernatural abilities, love triangles, character growth, and good-looking villains in boxers.

This review is based on an advance copy of the book.

  5 / 5 stars

My reviews of other books in this series:
Shatter Me (Shatter Me #1)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Follow Friday (44)

Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee's View and Alison Can Read

This week's question:

What is your guilty pleasure as far as reading? Is it a genre? Or is it a certain type of book?

I was surprised by my own answer! Young Adult is definitely my guilty pleasure. My fave genres are adult Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance, with all their fighting, supernatural mysteries, and steamy sex. But, a YA book is a guilty pleasure for me because I can read them quickly and often the plots are more straightforward. Its fun to read about characters in those tumultuous teen years, coming of age and experiencing all the angst and first love. And when you throw in vamps, weres, witches, goddesses, post-apocolyptic worlds, and other monsters, things get EVEN BETTER! Some YA books are even more complicated, emotional, and shocking than adult books. And when a YA book is like that it feels like even MORE of a guilty pleasure!

Some of my favorite guilty pleasure YA books/series:
Unravel Me (Shatter Me, #2) My Soul to Save (Soul Screamers, #2) Crimson Frost (Mythos Academy, #4) Opal (Lux, #3) 
Deity (Covenant, #3) Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles, #2) The Golden Lily (Bloodlines, #2) Last Sacrifice (Vampire Academy, #6)
What's your reading guilty pleasure?

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Happy Friday!

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