Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Release Day Review: As Long As You Love Me by Ann Aguirre

As Long As You Love Me
(2B Trilogy #2)
Ann Aguirre
Release: September 30, 2014
Reviewer: Rose Red
Goodreads Amazon
Most people dream about getting out of Sharon, Nebraska, but after three years away, Lauren Barrett is coming home. She has her reasons—missing her family, losing her college scholarship. But then there's the reason Lauren can't admit to anyone: Rob Conrad, her best friend's older brother.

Football prowess and jaw-dropping good looks made Rob a star in high school. Out in the real world, his job and his relationships are going nowhere. He's the guy who women love and leave, not the one who makes them think of forever—until Lauren comes back to town, bringing old feelings and new dreams with her.

Because the only thing more important than figuring out where you truly belong is finding the person you were meant to be with.
Review by Rose Red:
As Long As You Love Me is the second installment on Ann Aguirre’s 2B Trilogy and I loved it! I don’t think I loved it more than I Want It That Way but it is close. However, I did love Rob more than I did Ty which is saying something because I loved Ty! This one hit more closely to home for me than the previous one as well.

This book is all about Lauren, Nadia's best friend and roommate that decides to give up on university and run back home. We barely got to know Lauren in Nadia's story, and all because Lauren was already distancing herself from everyone in preparation to leave. The book starts with Lauren returning to Sharon, to live with her mom again. By returning, Lauren has to face all her bad choices at university as well as all kinds of gossip. Even with all that she is happy to be home for reasons that soon become obvious. One day she stumbles into Nadia's brother and high school crush, Rob, and they start hanging out. A real friendship starts even though Lauren is very well aware that she has never really gotten over her crush on him.

As with IWITW, the main couple is made up of two individuals with their own different issues. Lauren has become an expert at hiding who she is and the issues that plague her. And Rob has spent his whole life being considered as nothing but the dumb hot guy. They both help each other discover more to themselves than they thought. And as well as they work together, they also need to learn to stand on their own before getting any further into a relationship. And that's one hell of an important message here, even if it can lead to some momentary heartbreak.

The tone of this book was so different from first book. I really liked the relationship that Lauren and Rob developed. It was believable how it started out as friendship and built upon that into something more. Even more than that, Lauren and Rob as characters felt real to me. I loved them from the moment that I start reading about them and as individuals and not just a couple.

In my opinion, Rob is pretty much the most adorable thing to ever! I loved his character! He was not what I expected at all! Actually, I'm not sure what I expected, but certainly wasn’t the sweet, caring guy that he ended up being. He really knows how to commit to something. He gave everything his all no matter what. It broke my heart whenever he felt insecure.

I loved Lauren more than I thought I would have based on what I knew about her from book one. I connected with her so much because I suffer from some of the same issues. But what endeared her to me even more was the fact that she always took the time to support Rob and show him how much she believed in him. Their relationship worked so well because it's obvious how much each one wanted the other to feel loved. Ann Aguirre deserves a slow clap for the characters and relationships she writes.

The pacing was pretty great, but it wasn’t as fast as the first book. And it did drag a bit in a couple places and there were really no big surprises. I hit halfway and I couldn’t figure out what the big upset was going to be. Everything was going great, but you know something had to happen to test the relationship. This didn’t bother me at all. I was invested in the book because I wanted Rob and Lauren to make it together. I wanted their relationship to work even when obstacles put stress on them.

The story wasn't overwhelmed with drama and I really appreciated that. Sure there are a few angst-filled moments, but they were balanced out with a good dose of humor. Much of the story is spent with them doing every day things like going to dinner with their families, working at his home, and them just spending time together. Everything worked so well together: the plot, the pacing, and the character development. It allowed their relationship to progress at the perfect pace. Nothing ever felt rushed and it was easy to believe that they really fell in love. I love that Ann Aguirre can create imperfect characters without them being broken, beautiful romances without unnecessary drama.

The growth and maturity of the characters that develops through this book is one of the things I love the most. The two people who come out at the end are not very much like the same characters the story started with. It was really refreshing to see such a natural and yet obvious growth in them. The one surprise in this book was Avery. I didn't expect things to go where they did with her. That aspect of the book became one of my favorite things about it.

Overall, Ann Aguirre has written a romantic and humorous story about two realistic characters struggling with their inner demons. In spite of that, they come together and find love. I love how the characters deal with their issues in a healthy and mature way. I highly recommend this book if you’re looking for a sweet romance about a couple doing just everyday things.

Recommended for fans of: 
Wait For You by J. Lynn
Easy by Tammara Webber
Be With Me by J. Lynn

I received an eARC through Netgalley from the publisher in exchange for a honest review.

  4 / 5 stars

My reviews of other books in this series:
I Want It That Away by Ann Aguirre

Monday, September 29, 2014

Read This F@!%ing Book (26)

Welcome to a feature I'm going to post on Mondays 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 (but not necessary)! If you're interested email me:

This week's post comes from our very own: 
Rose Red!

Read This F@!%ing Book Post 26: The Study Series by Maria V. Snyder

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/60510.Poison_Study    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1265703.Magic_Study   https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1966969.Fire_Study

(Click book cover to go to Goodreads page)

Read The Synopsis And Tell Me You Wouldn't Want To Read This!
Murder, mayhem and magic…

Locked in a coffin-like darkness, there is nothing to distract me from my memories of killing Reyad. He deserved to die—but according to the law, so do I. Here in Ixia, the punishment for murder is death. And now I wait for the hangman's noose.

But the same law that condemns me may also save me. Ixia's food taster—chosen to ensure that the Commander's food is not poisoned—has died. And by law, the next prisoner who is scheduled to be executed—me—must be offered the position.

How Much Are You Willing To Risk In Order To Delay Death?
For Yelena, a soon-to-be-executed murderer, the answer is everything. To prolong her life for an indeterminable amount of time, she is willing to participate in a gamble and accepts the offer to become the Commander's food taster. The prize? The possibility of living just one more day after each successful tasting. The stake? Her life and death by poison.

Come for Yelena. Stay For The Side Characters.
The characters Maria V. Snyder writes are amazing and you quickly become attached to them! I loved Yelena! She may have ended up as the Commander’s food taster, but she continued to grow as a person despite the threat of death always looming before her. She’s intelligent and does everything she can to help herself. Despite facing numerous threats, she refuses to give up and keeps working towards strengthening herself both physically and mentally. She never loses hope that she will have a better life and not just an insecure existence as a food taster.

As much as I adore Yelena, I loved most of the secondary characters just as much. I especially loved the moody spy master and assassin, Valek! This trilogy has been complete for years now and I still want to know more about him! Also, Janco and Ari were adorable throughout the whole series! Yelena and they don’t get along at first for a really hilarious reason, but they soon become her protectors. I dare you not to love them! Seriously. I could read a whole book of just Ari and Janco’s interactions with each other. They have a very interesting friendship to say the least. Kiki and Moon Man are also favorites, but we don’t meet them till later in the series.

ZOMG! The World Building!!!
These books take place in a fascinating world that is filled with mystery, violence, and magic. The setting is the two neighboring countries, Ixia and Sitia, which couldn’t be more different. Ixia is a country ruled by a military dictatorship while four powerful magicians govern Sitia. I love how Maria V. Snyder created an interesting world where magic is honored in one country but feared and despised in the other. There is a lot of political intrigue in this series and it's one of the things I love about it.

The world building is full of such intricate details from the geography to the weather and to the different cultures in both countries. And the magic system is intriguing and varies person-to-person! Every time I read this series I get completely lost in the world.

Poison Study was definitely my favorite book in this series, but they were all unputdownable! The best news is that Maria V. Snyder has sold three more books in this series! So we get even more of Yelena’s adventures! While those books are going to build on this series, the story arc in these three books wraps up nicely by the end of Fire Study.

The mix of political intrigue and magic with a little bit of romance work together to make a series that you can easily binge read in a few days. I’d highly recommend them to anyone looking for a great fantasy series to start.

Have you read this book?
Did we persuade you to add it to your TBR mountain?
Let us know in the comments below!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Early Review: The Diamond Thief by Sharon Gosling

The Diamond Thief
Sharon Gosling
Release: October 1, 2014
Reviewer: Rose Red
Goodreads Amazon
No-one performs on the circus trapeze like 16-year-old Remy Brunel. But Remy also leads another life, prowling through the backstreets of Victorian London as a jewel thief. When she is forced to steal one of the world's most valuable diamonds, she uncovers a world of treachery and fiendish plots.

Review by Rose Red:
Rémy Brunel is a trapeze artist in the circus; and a popular one at that. Unbeknownst to others, she is also a professional thief. Being a trapeze artist definitely comes in handy. Things start going wrong as soon as her master sends her to steal the Darya-ye Noor diamond.

We soon meet Thaddeus Rec, an officer at Scotland Yard, who is assigned to guard two very famous diamonds that are stored in the Tower of London. Of course, one of them is the diamond that Rémy is supposed to steal.

On the night of the exhibition, the diamond disappears. But neither Thaddeus nor Rémy have it in their possession. Due to dissatisfaction on both sides, they end up teaming up to get it back.

I wanted to like this book, and I mean REALLY like it. Come on! Steampunk circus! Trapeze artist who is also a jewel thief! And a Scotland Yard detective with a mystery! What’s not to like? Well, a few things it turns out. It ended up being just an okay story for me. The beginning was good and really captured my attention. I was eager to see where the story would go and it ended up just letting me down

The pacing was off for the entire book. In the beginning, the pacing of the book is really fast. Meet Rémy. Meet Thaddeus. Go steal the diamond. Boom. Boom. Boom. Then all of a sudden, the pacing changed and became annoyingly slow.

Not only was the pacing off, there were just too many things the author tried to shove in the story. It started off with Rémy stealing the diamond, but then went into slavery. And then a really random curse was thrown in among other things. It was way too much for one book and it really took away from the story. It was almost like all of these random things were being thrown into the story to entice us to become more invested in the plot. But in reality, it just turned me off.

The story was really predictable. There were a couple plot twists in the novel. I'm using the term "plot twist" loosely in this case because Rémy hinted at them so much that it it wasn't a surprise when they actually happened.

Another problem I had with this book was that I couldn’t connect to the characters. Their backstories were never explained even though they were hinted at. I have so many questions that were never answered. On top of not enough character development, we have another case of instalove. Can we just ban instalove in YA? There was absolutely no chemistry between Thaddeus and Rémy. They just randomly started to fall in love with each other. You can’t go from not knowing anything about someone to not being able to live without them in a matter of days.. It was very the definition of instalove.

Overall, it was an okay read and I gave it 2.5 stars. It was an interesting idea that had so much potential. It just wasn’t executed properly. Taking everything into account, The Diamond Thief doesn't take itself too seriously, which is nice. And it was kind of great reading a YA novel that has no plans to be trilogy though.

I received this eARC via Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

2.5 / 5  stars

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Review: House Immortal by Devon Monk

House Immortal
(House Immortal #1)
Devon Monk
Release: Sept. 2, 2014
Links Goodreads Amazon
Summary: One hundred years ago, eleven powerful ruling Houses consolidated all of the world’s resources and authority into their own grasping hands. Only one power wasn’t placed under the command of a single House: the control over the immortal galvanized....

Matilda Case isn’t like most folk. In fact, she’s unique in the world, the crowning achievement of her father’s experiments, a girl pieced together from bits. Or so she believes, until Abraham Seventh shows up at her door, stitched with life thread just like her and insisting that enemies are coming to kill them all.

Tilly is one of thirteen incredible creations known as the galvanized, stitched together beings immortal and unfathomably strong. For a century, each House has fought for control over the galvanized. Now the Houses are also tangled in a deadly struggle for dominion over death—and Tilly and her kind hold the key to unlocking eternity

The secrets that Tilly must fight to protect are hidden within the very seams of her being. And to get the secrets, her enemies are willing to tear her apart piece by piece.…

Review: Last year I saw an early description of House Immortal that said, "Frankenstein meets Firefly" and I was sold. It's also got a little bit of The Hunger Games and a lot of unique and fascinating world building.
The way I saw it, a girl needed three things to start the day right: a hot cup of tea, a sturdy pair of boots, and for the feral beast to die the first time she stabbed it in the brain.
Matilda Case lives on a farm off the grid and unnoticed by most of civilization. She cares for her grandmother, and some very unusual farm animals that her father created, with the help of her friend and farmhand Ned, who happens to have two heads. (Both are named Ned, but the left one is a lot crankier.) Tilly, like those animals, is "stitched," made up of parts and held together with a special thread. She's been told to hide her nature all her life, but the reasons didn't really sink in until she met Abraham and learned of the Houses' plans for her.

Tilly doesn't trust anything associated with Houses, including Abraham, since she watched them kill her parents years ago. But her brother, a scientist like their father, is missing and entering their world may be the only way to find him. She also has to make sure her father's creations and the rebel communications hub and on her property stay hidden.

One of the things I thought was really interesting about this world is that it's not clear if the stitched exist because of magic or science or some combination of the two. Tilly explains the animals' ability to survive on the farm by saying there are nanos in the soil, a sort of nuclear fallout from the disaster that created the galvanized. But some of her father's creations, like the thread that holds her together, sound a lot like magic. There are clues about the original experiment that led to that disaster, but no one knows the details.  And everyone - Tilly's brother, the Houses, the galvanized themselves - are looking for the answers. I'm really interested to learn more about that as the series progresses.

I thought it was odd that Tilly knew how she was created, but didn't realize she was galvanized. But then, she's not exactly like the others. Tilly can feel, and when she touches Abraham he can too, for the first time in centuries. I wonder if that's the reason he's almost instantly attracted to her, or if she just reminds him of a time before the Houses controlled the galvanized. The two have a connection from the very beginning, but it's not really a romance. There just isn't enough time for that with everything else going on in their lives. That's another element that I'm curious about how it plays out in the next book.

I loved Abraham and (most of) the galvanized. They're a great example of a trope I've been seeing a lot lately -- the "monsters" are better people than the humans. (Another series that does this really well is Anne Bishop's The Others.) They're also soldiers who sacrifice for the greater good, despite society's unfair treatment. The galvanized all become pawns in a battle between the Houses, with everyone wanting to use Tilly to gain the advantage.

Once we enter that world of politics and intrigue, House Immortal is action-packed and full of surprises. The last quarter of this book went by so fast I was shocked when I got to the end. It's kind of an out of the frying pan and into the fire ending, so I'm really looking forward to the next book in the series. Infinity Bell releases in March.

Recommended for fans of:  dystopian worlds; hunky immortal heroes; strong, yet naïve heroines

4 1/2  stars

Monday, September 22, 2014

Read This F@!%ing Book 25

Welcome to a feature I'm going to post on Mondays 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 it's something I haven't reviewed yet - that's even better (but not necessary)! If you're interested email me:

This week's post comes from our very own: 

Read This F@!%ing Book Post 25: The Immortal Empire Series by Kate Locke

Click Cover for Goodreads
God Save the Queen (Immortal Empire #1)
The Queen is Dead (Immortal Empire #2)
Long Live the Queen (Immortal Empire #3)
Click text for Amazon

Why I Love It: I've been reading a lot of Steampunk lately and sooner or later my lapsed lit major brain starts to compare and contrast them all. Immortal Empire was one of the first Steampunk series I ever read - I picked up God Save the Queen at the library because I liked the cover - but it's still one of my favorites. One of the things that makes it different is that it's set in the present day, but still maintains the Victorian flavor that defines the genre.
The premise of the series is that the bubonic plague reacted very differently in a small portion of the population and instead of dying like the masses, the upper echelon became supernatural and passed the mutation on to their children. Some are vampires, some are werewolves, but all are immortal. Since Victoria is still queen and immortals are notoriously resistant to change, their society maintains a 19th century sensibility in its fashions and etiquette. But they also have some modern conveniences, like cell phones and computers. They're just cool steampunky versions, rather than ones we know.

 It's got a lot of the typical Steampunk tropes: the hunky Scottish alpha werewolf, Vexation McLaughlin (love that name,) snooty vampire nobles, and a half-blood heroine, Xandra Vardan, who ends up being more than she seems. I absolutely love the supporting characters even though some of them are also the usual suspects, like Xandra's gay (vampire) best friend. Even the old Steampunk standards are executed well and there are lots of unique twists to keep it interesting.
Why I'm Pushing It: I'm such a compulsive series reader that I almost always binge read. This trilogy is complete so you can read them all the way through. And it was so hard to put down that I really appreciated having the next book to start right away. The political intrigue, which is another thing I love to see in my Steampunk, kept me riveted throughout all three books.
I Love the Goblins! What really makes this series unique for me are the goblins. The third class, both literally and figuratively, of plagued immortals. They live underground in abandoned subway tunnels and have been known to eat intruders. Their lives are much more primitive and brutal than their counterparts above ground. But they're also spies and surveillance experts who know everything that happens in the city. They're fiercely loyal to their family and friends. And they're kind of adorable furry creatures if you disregard the whole people-eating thing. The goblins become increasingly more involved in Xandra's life as the series goes on (it's hard to explain that without spoilers) and I just love them.
Still not convinced? Check out Goldilox's review of God Save the Queen.

Have you read this book?
Did we persuade you to add it to your TBR mountain?
Let us know in the comments below!


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Release Day Review: The Clockwork Dagger by Beth Cato

The Clockwork Dagger
(Clockwork Dagger #1)
Beth Cato
Release: September 16, 2014
Reviewer: Rose Red
Goodreads Amazon
Full of magic, mystery, and romance, an enchanting steampunk fantasy debut in the bestselling vein of Trudi Canavan and Gail Carriger

“The Clockwork Dagger was just what I needed: A steampunk adventure with an uncommon heroine, a fascinating magic system, and a young gremlin! I’m hooked and can’t wait for more Octavia and Leaf!”
—New York Times bestselling author Kevin Hearne

Orphaned as a child, Octavia Leander was doomed to grow up on the streets until Miss Percival saved her and taught her to become a medician. Gifted with incredible powers, the young healer is about to embark on her first mission, visiting suffering cities in the far reaches of the war-scarred realm. But the airship on which she is traveling is plagued by a series of strange and disturbing occurrences, including murder, and Octavia herself is threatened.

Suddenly, she is caught up in a flurry of intrigue: the dashingly attractive steward may be one of the infamous Clockwork Daggers—the Queen’s spies and assassins—and her cabin-mate harbors disturbing secrets. But the danger is only beginning, for Octavia discovers that the deadly conspiracy aboard the airship may reach the crown itself.
Review by Rose Red:
Octavia Leander was orphaned at a young age, but her luck took a turn for the better when she was taken in by Miss Percival and trained as a medical magician, or medician. Years have passed and now Octavia is now a fully trained veteran and has been hired by a small town that is being devastated by illness.

As she’s trying to find the airship that will take her to her new town, she meets the very handsome steward, Alonzo Garret. As The Argus takes off on its journey, things happen that threaten Octavia. When people start becoming ill on the ship, Octavia's nature is revealed and murders ensue that cannot be stopped. There are some people who want to get rid of Octavia in a permanent fashion because of her gifts with healing. Due to the multiple assassination attempts, she gains two friends and protectors in her roommate and the previously mentioned handsome steward.

Octavia's roommate, Mrs. Viola Stout (who is very aptly named) has secrets of her own and even though she is a sweet older lady, something about her seems a bit off to Octavia. Then there is the gorgeous steward, Mr. Garret, who is far more than what he seems. Nobody is who they seem to be in this book!

The first thing that caught my attention in The Clockwork Dagger was the world building. It is this wonderful mix of steampunk and magic in a world torn apart by a war between two neighboring countries. Beth Cato did a wonderful job of layering each element needed as the story built. The pacing was spot on and always moving forward. I can't think of any chapters where there wasn’t some new clue being dropped or some kind of danger manifesting itself. It felt like an adventure novel and was loads of fun!

The magic system in this book fascinated me! I’ve always been attracted to books where the main character is a healer but I’ve never read anything quite like this! Octavia’s power comes from an interesting mix of science and religion. To do any healing, Octavia has to pray to the goddess of healing referred to as The Lady. The religious aspect added a very interesting contrast to all the mechanical steampunk. Octavia uses magic and faith to heal in a world that is very much in love with all things science and it truly adds a fascinating dynamic to the story. I absolutely love the back story on who the Lady is and I think it played well with the story of the lost princess.

While there is a bit of romance in the story, it is not what drives the plot. The story is action packed and driven by Octavia's need to figure out the mystery behind the attempts on her life. There is also a bit of political intrigue that adds some depth to the story as well as motive for our villains.

The characters were intriguing and you never knew who might be friend or foe. I loved Octavia as a character! She is resourceful, incredibly compassionate, practical, and a tad bit naïve. She was a fascinating character to read about. I adored Mrs. Stout with her motherly advice and romance novels. I have a lot of thoughts about Alonzo which unfortunately are a bit spoilery so I'll keep them to myself for now. But I will say that I love him! He is a perfect gentleman and never forces Octavia to do anything and allows her to be herself. Seriously, love him! He was an intriguing character, but I couldn’t figure out what his lay was until the end. I must say that the gremlin, Leaf, was my favorite! He was just so cute and so funny. I can't wait to read more and see how he fits into the bigger picture.

Overall, I loved this book! The story is gripping and engaging and I had one hell of a time putting it down once I started it. That is the best kind of book! The ones that you can’t set down and are impossible to leave alone once you do. The story was incredibly engaging. The writing was very easy to read and flowed nicely. The dialogue between characters was witty, fun, and very natural. The characters are well done and I enjoyed the world so, so much! I seriously can’t stop thinking about the contrast between Octavia's magical healing and the mechanical world around her.

I highly recommend The Clockwork Dagger to fans of steampunk and fantasy! This book left me hungry for more. Thankfully, there’s a sequel already in the works and I absolutely cannot wait to read it!

Recommended for fans of: 
Soulless by Gail Carriger
Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder
Phoenix Rising by Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris

**I received an eARC of this book through Edelweiss from the publisher, Harper Voyager, in exchange for an honest review.

  5 / 5 stars

Monday, September 15, 2014

Read This F@!%ing Book (24)

Welcome to a feature I'm going to post on Mondays 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 (but not necessary)! If you're interested email me:

This week's post comes from our very own: 
Rose Red!

Read This F@!%ing Book Post 24: Nice Dragons Finish Last by Rachel Aaron

(Click book cover to go to Goodreads page)

Rachel Aaron is an author you NEED to check out!
Nice Dragons Finish Last is the first book in Rachel Aaron’s Heartstriker series. Rachel Aaron is one of my favorite authors and I have loved every book she has written so far. Seriously. I could write long essays on my love for her Eli Monpress series. So when I heard that she was going to self-pub this book, I nearly died from excitement waiting for it. And dang! It was well worth the wait!

An Awesome Cast of Characters! 
The main character, Julius, is wonderful! He’s strong, smart, and kind-hearted. And he's nice. The only problem with this is that he's a dragon and who has heard of a nice dragon? Because of his lack of dragon-like behavior, his mother ships him off so he can learn how to be a “real” dragon. Although right before she does this, she seals him. He is locked in his human form and not able to shift into his dragon form at all. Julius is one of the reasons I loved this book so much. Rachel Aaron did an excellent job creating a balanced and believable character. And as much as I loved Julius, I loved Marci Novalli even more! Marci is a Thaumaturgic mage who is running away from her past in Las Vegas and she is not one to mess with. She’s tough as nails and extraordinarily intelligent. Marci is the perfect compliment to Julius’ character. She’s perfectly willing to kill if she has to, while Julius is much more squeamish about that even though he’s the dragon. Man! Do I enjoy their interactions!

The secondary characters are just as interesting as Julius and Marci! Just when you think that you understand their motivations and personality, something happens that sheds an unexpected light on them and reveals some new facet of their character. I seriously loved SO many characters! Especially Bob. He is a seer who sees everything and promptly forgets it. He is a hoot and he can't help that he steals the spotlight whenever he appears on scene. Not to mention, he is delightfully eccentric. Bob enjoys cryptic jokes, sending random “helpful” messages, and even has a pet pigeon. Bob is definitely my favorite! Also, I loved Ghost the Dead Cat that hangs around Marci. He is quite terrible in an interesting way.

Dragons In A Post-Apocalyptic Magical Detroit!
Magic has come back into the world and starts a magical apocalypse where old spirits, gods, and every manner of mythical creature are awake and among the masses again. Nice Dragons Finish Last is set in this post-apocalyptic world in a very magical Detroit. The Lady of the Great Lakes, Algonquin, woke, destroyed the old Detroit by flooding it, and claimed it as her own. Annexed from the US, a new city has been rebuilt on top of the ruins and has become the Detroit Free Zone (DFZ). The DFZ is home to all manner of spirits, mages, shamans, and anyone looking for a place to start over, no matter how dangerous they are.

It is both foreign and familiar. On the one hand, you have ghosts, retail stores full of everyday magical items, and nightmarish monsters. On the other hand, there is rampant commercialism in this city with all the latest technology and every kind of magic you can think of. Not to mention, the worry about pollution and a high crime rate. It’s almost like we’re talking about the real Detroit and not this mythical version of it. From what I can see, Rachel Aaron has only scratched the surface of this fascinating world and I can’t wait to find out more about it.

There is only one type of creature not welcome in the DFZ and that would be dragons. And that is a problem considering that is where Julius’s mother has dumped him. Combine Julius illegally being in the DFZ trying to avoid certain death with the problems Marci is running from and you get a story that is one hell of a thrilling and highly entertaining ride!

Dragons. Commercialized magic. Soul-sucking ghost cats. What more could you want? Well, besides the next book of course! I'd highly recommend picking this up before book two releases!

Have you read this book?
Did we persuade you to add it to your TBR mountain?
Let us know in the comments below!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Really Short Reviews: The Black Dagger Brotherhood Part 1

Co-blogger Gretl had a great idea for a new feature called Really Short Reviews, for those books we read but don't need to write a full length review for.
 Let us know in the comments what you think of the format. Should we make it a regular feature?

This is my Really Short Reviews post, Black Dagger Brotherhood style!
I do not like the Black Dagger Brotherhood series.
I am obsessed with the Black Dagger Brotherhood series.
Thanks a lot, guys.

Lover Eternal (BDB #2) by J.R. Ward
Links: Goodreads Amazon

My Really Short Review: 
I wasn't sure I'd enjoy reading about a heroine who was dying of an illness, but I was happily surprised. Mary was actually a strong heroine. Rhage's alter ego as the giant white creature-thing was super interesting and I couldn't wait to find out more about it throughout the story. The best part of this book, though, was all the other POV's that set up future story lines with the other brothers, mostly it was the beginnings of Zsadist and Bella's story and John Matthew's beginnings with the Brotherhood that hooked me. Glad I gave this series another try!

  4 stars

Lover Awakened (BDB #3) by J.R.Ward
Links: Goodreads Amazon

My Really Short Review: 
Holy crap, now I'm hooked. Zsadist's story wasn't exactly what I thought it would be - I thought he would be the Brother with the weird sexual habits (we learn who that is soon...), but actually he is just completely and totally damaged. I really liked Bella - strong, smart, not at all annoying. I loved her strength with the crazy ass Lesser who had captured her. Zsadist and Bella are an awesome couple. Again, I loved getting glimpses at some of the stories still to come - John Matthew in training (holy cow his story is so crazy/sad/amazing!), Phury, Butch, and Vishous. 

Lover Revealed (BDB #4) by J.R. Ward
Links: Goodreads Amazon

My Really Short Review: 
I heart Butch so much and even though Marissa was slightly annoying and wimpy at times, her growth throughout the book was super. The stop and start between the two of them drove me a little bit crazy and this romance was definitely different from the previous books in that it was a little sweeter and slower to develop. Overall this one falls in the middle of the previous two books for me as far as the main couple goes, but with all the progress in the side stories and the awesome ending it gets a little bump in the rating.

4 1/2 stars

Now, off to read V's book...SUPER excited!

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