Review: A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray

Monday, September 30, 2013

Series: Gemma Doyle #1
Genre: YA/Historical/Paranormal
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: December 2003
Reviewed by: Amber R.

A coming of age tale, set in the late 1800's, A Great and Terrible Beauty does not give us quite the story we would think. Gemma Doyle is an English girl that has been raised in India since before she can remember. Although she has begged and pleaded with her mother to go back to London, she had not gotten her wish yet. On her 16th birthday everything changes. When Gemma has a vision in an alley after running from her mother during an argument. A vision that changes everything. 

After her mother's terrible death, she finally gets to go to England but not as she imagined. She's being sent to a boarding school for girls to learn how to become proper ladies abs snag a husband. Gemma does not fit in until she makes friends with the leader of a popular clique. Together with two other girls, Gemma, Felicity, Pippa, and Ann head off on an exciting adventure right in the woods behind the school.

It turns out that Gemma's vision wasn't a one time deal. She has the capability of traveling through different magical realms. However she doesn't understand the price that comes from such power. And there are things that happen that even someone as powerful as Gemma can't reverse. 

Add in a band of gypsies, a mysterious boy who followed Gemma from India, dire warnings, a diary of a girl who died many years ago, and Gemma's new powers, it's a story you can't forget.       

I really enjoyed this book. It was a bit darker than some YA that I've read but nothing that would be too scary for the age group. The four main girls definitely learn a lot. More than they expected actually. And it leaves you with a sense of wanting to know what happens next. I'll be picking up the next book in this series for sure.

Review: Death's Rival by Faith Hunter

Friday, September 27, 2013

Series: Jane Yellowrock #5
Publisher: Roc
Release Date: October 2012
Reviewed by: Amber R.

Jane is working full time for the Master of the City, Leo Pellisier. Well she has been only now she's not lying to herself. There are vamps all across the country who are getting sick. Which as we all know, should not be happening. Leo sends Jane out to each of the cities that are being effected by this vamp-plague. She needs to get blood samples from the vamps and blood servants to send back so that they can figure out where this disease is coming from. However, very quickly she realizes this isn't going to be as easy as accepted. Someone is intent on stopping her. Also a blood crazy vamp has challenged her to a duel basically. Things are not easy and there are like 50 other things going on.

My poor Janie, she is so guilty and lost right now. While she was raised as a Christian, she's really struggling with her morals right now. She's remembering more of her past and with the jobs she's doing for Leo, she's looking for a balance that she's not getting. 

We get more of Bruiser in this book, which I loved. Because as we know from my past reviews, I'm a huge fan. They still haven't boned which is really ticking me off. BUT there were a few very nice tense moments that I quite enjoyed. Rick pops up and I'm just like "UGH". He needs ot go away and stay away in my opinion. But I'm a Bruiser fan so that's probably why. Beast has claimed Leo as a mate for some reason. So we'll see what happens with that because I don't feel like Jane is quite on the same page. Granted Beast would claim like 6 men as her mate if she had her way. 

Beast is hilarious, seriously. I can't get enough of the Beast parts of these books. Sometimes she makes me lol more than Jane does. They are both pretty funny though. 

We get a few new characters in this book. I'm really interested to see where these relationships go and how the characters develop. 

There were a few things that happened, that I never saw coming. No matter how many books are in this series, I never ever imagined that this would happen. I was pretty shocked. There are several major developments in this book. Basically turning points for Jane and her relationship with the vamps in New Orleans. 

All I have to say that is with each book things get more and more interesting. These books are action packed, hilarious, and everything you could want in a UF book. If you haven't started in with this series yet, definitely do. You won't regret it.

Review: Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Series: Graceling Realm #1
Publisher: Harcourt
Release Date: October 1, 2008
Reviewed by: Amber R.

A friend of mine recommended this book to me months ago and I'll admit that I didn't think I would find it interesting. It took me awhile to finally pick it up and start reading. It took me all of 2 chapters to be thoroughly engrossed in this book. Katsa is the niece of King Randa. And she's been graced with the power of killing. Randa uses her from a young age to execute whomever he wants. She maims, kills, injures whoever he orders her too. However she never really wants to do this job, because he is the king she is under his rule. Throughout the years she has learned control over her grace. She's also started a secret Council that helps people in need throughout the kingdoms.

Being graced is something that is coveted by the seven kings who rule the land. But only if it's a grace that can help them win more power. Some people have graces in violent things like fighting and killing, some have a grace for being able to swim like a fish, or being able to work numbers in order to get a vast fortune. Katsa's grace is something that she longs to control and she is exhausted from hurting and killing people who she doesn't feel deserves it. One day while on a mission to rescue a grandfather prince from one of the kingdoms, Katsa's entire life changes on a chance meeting with a man with the most entrancing eyes she's ever seen. Because she's on a mission, she knocks him unconscious and goes on her way.

However he shows up at Randa's kingdom days later. Turns out the grandfather prince is his grandfather. Needless to say Po and Katsa strike up a friendship. Which is new to Katsa because no one wants to be her friend, everyone is scared of her. So they embark on this new friendship which leads them on an adventure that they never expected.

I loved this book. I stayed up until 7am to finish reading it. And I was crying and laughing and it was just so amazing. I love Katsa, I loved being on her journey as she grew and learned who she truly was. I loved Po and how cocky, sure of himself, perfectly kind and genuine, and so unbelievably sweet he is. They both have struggles together and apart that seem astronomical but they come through them and are better for them in the end. I can't wait to read the next book in this series. 

Excerpt: Bet On Ecstasy by Stacey Kennedy

Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Pact of Seduction, Book 3 
Stacey Kennedy
Release Date: September, 24, 2013



Book Description:

Business partners, Smith and Brock share their fortune, success, and they share their women. A healthy competitive streak built MDR Software into a multi-million-dollar enterprise, and their on-going bets continuously raise the stakes. The current proposition: an arranged ménage encounter through the sex club, Castle Dolce Vita. The prize: a sexy kitten, Kyra.
While the two wealthy, powerful men are enough to pique Kyra’s interests to fulfill the Pact of Seduction and live out her ultimate fantasy, a bet forged between the men comes with an intriguing promise. Her pleasure is now part of their wager.
Soon, Kyra fights against her desire for the men as she struggles through the complications of a ménage relationship. Of course, the men take their bets seriously and are determined to show Kyra that in this game of seduction no one loses.

About the Author:

Stacey Kennedy is an urban fantasy lover at heart, but she also enjoys losing herself in dark and sensual worlds. She lives in southwestern Ontario with her husband, who gave her a happily-ever-after. Together, they have two small children who can always make her smile, and who will never be allowed to read Mommy’s books. If she’s not plugging away at a new story, you’ll find her camping, curling up with the latest flick, or obsessing over Supernatural, True Blood, Lost Girl, and Sons of Anarchy.





“Prick.” Smith slammed the pool cue down on the table, cursing the game that had cost him a thousand dollars. The muscles in his neck ached, as did the throb in his head from concentrating on winning for the last twenty minutes.
His business partner, Brock, laughed. The black ball spun in the corner pocket, and the white ball swept up the table to hit one of Smith’s two remaining striped balls. “Pay up,” Brock stated.
Smith scowled at the glow in Brock’s blue-gray eyes. He mentally flipped Brock off for his satisfied smirk. With a snort, Smith grabbed his wallet from his back pocket, then tossed the money onto the pool table. “You got lucky.”
“Lucky!” Brock gave a booming laugh. “It’s all skill, buddy.”
He cursed again under his breath, dropping down into the leather seat in the corner of his office. Perhaps he shouldn’t have purchased the new pool table. Then he wouldn’t have had his ass handed to him.
His secretary had thought he’d lost his mind when he asked her to place the order. Smith figured it made total sense. A game in between the long hours he worked kept him sane, which made a thought rise. “Did you go through the last stack of résumés?”
Brock nodded. “Sure did, but no one stood out.”
Smith pointed. “You’re too damn picky.” He’d seen at least four résumés that fit exactly what they were looking for to hire new employees to ease up their workload.
Brock grinned. “Perhaps.” He hesitated, then gave a halfhearted shrug. “Why change something that works.”
Even if the month-long search grated on Smith’s last nerve, he also couldn’t deny the truth behind Brock’s statement.
MDR Software had been built upon years of hard work and sweat, not only from Smith, but from Brock too. When the company had celebrated its five-year anniversary, it had grown into a million-dollar venture in Chicago. After the takeover a year later of fellow software company HighDot, located in the heart of Baltimore, MDR’s worth tripled.
Brock leaned against the pool table, his gaze glowing. “New bet?”
“You emptied my wallet, who says I want another bet?”
While Smith did have money in the bank, he didn't have any other cash on him. It had taken a good year to stop the memories of living paycheck to paycheck and pinching every penny. Though he’d grown more comfortable with money, he’d never forget when they first opened the company, he ate hotdogs for an entire month.
“Not interested in winning your cash back?” Brock asked, stretching his arms.
The sardonic look Brock delivered usually raised the stakes in their bets. A competitive streak had remained healthy between them, and not only in business. For the most part, Smith enjoyed betting on things, except when he lost. “Possibly.”
Smith laced his fingers behind his head, catching a glimpse of the Baltimore skyline out the large panoramic window. The dark night was typical. There wasn’t a day he, or Brock, didn’t put in a ten-hour shift.
Hard work made for a solid company. Yet the long hours had also been the reason why Smith had been pushing for new employees. He wanted a life, not more time in his damned office.
The telephone next to Smith rang once, and Brock’s grin became sinful. Smith’s irritation at the loss of the game morphed into a new type of heat, pooling low in his groin. He reached for the phone on the side table, then held it to his ear. “Smith.”
“Kyra Garner is here to see you,” the security man, Antonio, said. “I realize it’s late, but she said you were expecting her.”
“Send her up.” Smith placed the phone back on the base, spotting Brock’s expression shift in intensity. Smith also sensed the growing impulse to control and conquer. It’d been a long day waiting for Kyra to arrive, and now Brock’s question held a stronger appeal. “I take it she’s the bet?” At Brock’s nod, he added, “What’s the wager?”
Brock smirked. “Ecstasy.”
Smith had always understood why women flocked to Brock; his charisma, handsome features, matched with a lighthearted personality impressed the ladies. Smith witnessed the toughest businesswomen crack under the assault of that smile. “Bet on ecstasy, hmm?” He rubbed his jaw, considering the proposition. “I’m intrigued, but why that one?”
Brock lifted a lazy shoulder. “Any other bet would make us assholes.”
Smith nearly offered a bet on who Kyra would take an interest in, perhaps who she might want to date when the night concluded. It had happened before. Smith had attempted to date two of the women he’d met through ménage adventures with Brock. The last woman had become near obsessive, causing Smith to shut her down when she showed up at his office. The only thing that resulted from any relationship lately was money-hungry women who wanted a certain lifestyle he wouldn’t give them.
Even the women he dated who weren’t into ménage relationships ended up more interested in where he took them for dinner. The social circuit in Baltimore had been disappointing and hadn’t given him anything other than one-night stands.
After consideration, he dismissed the thought of his idea for the bet. Anything too emotional crossed a line neither him, nor Brock, would cross. He preferred no-strings-attached sex, but he wasn’t a coldhearted bastard. “Interesting bet. Indeed.”
Brock ran a hand through his sandy-colored messily styled hair, which amused Smith. No matter if they were surrounded by millionaires, at work, or watching Sunday-night football, his hair always remained disheveled. “Christ, she’ll reap the rewards anyway.”
From what Smith heard out in the hallway, Kyra was nearly at his office, her high heels clicking along the marble floor. “No one loses,” Smith agreed. “Well, except one of us, which will be you.”
“Dream on.” Brock jumped off the pool table as the sound of her heels against the floor drew closer. “You in?”
Smith nodded. “Double it up.”
The clicks of Kyra’s heels sounded right outside the door. One second passed of silence—far longer than he expected. He wondered if she searched for bravery. When she finally entered through the opened door, the sight of her stunned him, and his entire body came to life.
His cock hardened to steel, causing him to groan as raw primal need tensed his muscles. He experienced a pull to her that shocked the wind right out of his lungs—it was more than lust; it was raw chemistry. Kyra was beautiful.
Standing at the doorway, she offered a sweet smile that held a mysterious edge. Her green eyes were a stunning light color he’d never seen before. Her long black hair would drape beautifully over his thighs when her puffy lips pleasured him.
“Hello, Kyra,” he murmured.
She strode into the office with a confidence he favored in women, chin high, gaze fixated directly on him. Once in the center of the office, she licked those lovely glossy pink lips. “Smith.” Her gaze cut to the right. “Brock.”
“Pleasure to meet you.” Brock winked, a playful smile teasing the corners of his mouth. “I mean to say, in person, and not through e-mails and texts.”
Her laughter was as lovely as the women who owned it. “Yes, exactly.”
Smith stood from the chair in the corner, gesturing to the leather couch. “Please take a seat.”
Kyra approached the couch, and her scent carried to him. Smith inhaled the mix of flowers and spice that suited her. Sweet with a slice of fire. He reveled in that combination. “Would you like a glass of wine?”
Her smile was polite. “Yes, thank you.”
Smith chuckled under his breath, unable to stop himself. An outsider would think she arrived tonight for business. Kyra looked all too proper in her rose-colored blouse and black pencil skirt, but her killer legs were anything but appropriate.
The meeting tonight had nothing to do with discussing software.
Brock closed the office door and locked it before he dropped down into the couch across from her, while Smith retrieved her wine from the small bar in the corner.
“Do tell us, Kyra, about this pact of seduction you made with your friends,” Brock said. “I must admit, I found your ad at the Castle Dolce Vita…appealing.”
A personal ad Smith and Brock had stumbled upon late one night on the Web site’s forum. Castle Dolce Vita was located out of Bowleys Quarters, a half-hour drive from Baltimore. The castle catered to everything from ménage encounters to BDSM to just about anything the mind could conjure.
Smith poured her wine and corked the bottle. He turned to hear her reply in a strong voice, “It’s a silly pact between friends to live out our ultimate fantasies. Call it boredom, or maybe insanity, but that’s the gist of it. Two of my friends have already completed the pact, and so, here I am.”
Smith enjoyed the strength Kyra portrayed. Most women wouldn’t voice such thoughts so freely without a stumble in speech or mere hesitation. Impressed by her, he approached, eyeing her silky calf crossed over her knee, envisioning exactly where and how he planned to touch her.
Smith reached her, raised his attention to her face, and she bewitched him with her elegance. He offered her the wineglass. “You all joined the Castle Dolce Vita to fulfill this pact?”
She accepted the glass and as she did, he brushed his fingers over hers. Kyra’s eyes widened, breath hitched. “Yes, we all joined. It seemed like the best place to find others looking for similar ventures.”
The perfect place, Smith thought.
Though that interested him, he couldn’t take his eyes off her, more than pleased he wasn’t the only one affected by the clear heat between them. Tonight would be enjoyable for all, if her reactions were anything like she’d shown from the simple touch.
He and Brock had both been members of Castle Dolce Vita since they relocated to Baltimore. Of course, they also had visited many sex clubs around the country who catered to sexual exploration. He’d reveled in the freedom. No emotions. No needy women. He could have fun, then walk away.
While both of them had numerous relationships throughout the years, some lasting longer than others, all failed miserably. Their tastes included an active sexual appetite. Smith had never met a woman who fulfilled him enough, and none of their ménage relationships had ever worked out. The women they’d been with had thought they could handle two men, but it always turned out two was just a little too much.
“Why are you members?” Kyra asked.
Simple question. Simple answer.
Together, they weren’t only solid partners in business and excelled at their work, but with a woman between them, they shone. They’d shared their fortune, success, and enjoyed sharing their women.
Smith watched as Kyra took a sip of her wine and her eyes fluttered closed, indicating she enjoyed the taste of the wine. At six hundred dollars a bottle, Smith wasn’t surprised. He sat down in the leather chair to her left, gazing over the long lines of her shapely, silky legs.
Images of them wrapped around his waist while he drove into her could be his undoing. He forced his gaze onto her face again, which was currently turning a lovely rose color under his examination.
Smith liked the effect he had on her.
He fought to remember her question and cleared his throat. “Our business is our top priority. This tends to mean our time is limited. The castle has provided a means for us to enjoy sex without involving relationships. Also, it has the highest form of privacy.” Even he heard the cold distance in his voice and saw her eyebrows rise.
Every person who joined the castle signed a waiver swearing to keep things private and not share identities to nonmembers, and everyone went through STD and AIDS testing. Smith preferred knowing his sexual partners were clean rather than having casual sex with strangers from a nightclub, and the privacy of the castle offered a sense of freedom.
Kyra took another mouthful of her wine, then with a twinkle in her eyes, tipped the glass at him. “Understandable. Privacy is something I can appreciate too.”
Woman, you are to be appreciated, and then some.
Brock chuckled at Smith, clearly reading his thoughts. He turned to Kyra. “Tell us a little something of yourself. More than the basic details in the profile we saw when we discovered you, kitten.”
The side of her mouth arched at the nickname indicating she didn’t mind, and why would she? Smith had no doubt Brock lowered his voice to inflict a straight attack on her hormones.
“I’d prefer if we kept the small talk to minimum,” she said.
Smith leaned back in his seat. He’d never met a woman who didn’t want some type of intimate connection before they had sex. Not in any of the encounters that had been arranged through the castle, or relationships out of the castle for that matter.
He lifted his chin. “All business, then?”
She drank a larger sip of her wine before she lowered the glass. “We’re not here to get to know one another, are we? We’re here to fulfill my ménage fantasy.” Her eyebrows rose higher. “That is what we agreed to, yes?”
“All action. No talking.” Brock’s grin widened as he rubbed his jawline. “Damn, kitten, you’re my type of woman.”
While Brock seemed eager and accepting of her response, Smith wasn’t so easily swayed. Women, even if they came in different colors and shapes, were still women rich with emotions. Right now, Kyra acted more like a man, void of any emotional connection. “Are you comfortable with that arrangement, Kyra?”
Her deep swallow displayed her nerves, but she sipped her wine in haste controlling the reaction. “I prefer it.”
Smith grinned at her while she shifted uneasily in her seat. He enjoyed that he unnerved her, since her presence gave him a hefty erection. Plus, she made him far more interested than he’d ever been in any woman.
While he believed she had, in fact, lied to him with her answer, he wouldn’t speculate as to why. He also wouldn’t argue it out with her either. Her emotions belonged to her. “Fair enough.”
He paused while she drank her wine again. Once he had her fixated on him, he leaned forward, resting his arms on his elbows. “It’s important you’re aware of what’s ahead of you tonight. Before you arrived, Brock and I decided to make a bet on you, if you’re agreeable.”
Suspicion darkened her eyes as she lowered her glass onto her lap. “What sort of bet?”
“Your orgasms,” Brock declared.
A blush crept over her face, yet her expression didn’t hold any wrath at such a bet, which Smith would’ve expected. She blinked. “E-excuse me?”
Brock added, “The wager is simple: orgasms for points. Whoever gains the most points from your pleasure by the end of the night wins the money.”
Her pupils dilated, and her lips arched up into a sexy smile. “Might I ask what the value of this bet is?”
“Two thousand dollars,” Smith stated.
All the heated reaction vanished in a millisecond replaced by wide eyes, and her mouth fell open. She glanced around the office as she must’ve realized their wealth. Maybe only now she realized they didn’t just work at MDR Software, but they owned the company.
Smith had seen the reaction many times—fancy things impressed women, sparkly things even more. What he hadn’t ever seen before, once the surprise faded from her eyes, she didn’t seem at all interested in that. “Seriously, a two-thousand-dollar bet on my orgasms?”
“Yes, kitten, we’re quite serious.” Brock grinned. “Are you willing?”
Christ, Smith could only grip the armrests to stop himself from going to her, tossing her legs over his shoulders, and having himself a snack. No woman had ever made him this damn hard.
In a slow, seductive slide of her finger she traced the rim of her glass as she regarded them. “I’m agreeable to join the bet.” Her cheeks flushed a color that wreaked havoc on Smith’s cock, making it ache in need. “But I’m afraid there’s a problem.”
Smith forced his attention away from her slender finger that he hoped would make a similar move on his dick. He also ignored her pinkish cheeks that he prayed burned deeper while she writhed beneath him. “Which is?”
She hesitated, then said on a quick breath, “I don’t orgasm easily.”
Smith smiled. As if that would be a problem. But it was glaringly obvious she pretended to be a sex kitten who was, in fact, more or less, in way over her beautiful head.
He could see himself respecting a woman like Kyra.
He exchanged a look with Brock, who gave him a firm nod, indicating their thoughts ran on the same line. Smith turned to Kyra again, and he noticed how she squirmed in her seat.
Exactly how he wanted her.
Smith appreciated a confident woman who fought to be brave, and he respected the trait, yet without a certain vulnerability to her, the appeal would fade. He loved pink cheeks and a stunned speechless woman under his touch. More to the point, enjoyed when a woman unraveled in his presence. To hold such heady power fed a greedy part in his soul.
In the minutes Kyra had been in his office, she’d given him all these things.
He tilted his head, regarding the treat awaiting him on the couch. “Quite the dilemma, isn’t it?” He stood from his seat and approached her. It delighted him how she sucked in a deep breath, and how ragged it sounded from her parted lips.
Once in front of her, he took the wineglass from her hands. The stunning clarity in her eyes mesmerized him. “Sit on the desk. Do not cross your legs.”
Her eyes blazed with reservations, even as she licked her lips. “Why?”
Smith scanned over her long, beautiful neck, her silky skin stretching over her hammering pulse. “We take our bets seriously and need to know what we’re up against. It’s a lot of money to wager if it’s bound to fail.” He leaned down into her face, his cock pressed against the zipper in his slacks. “Get on the desk, Kyra.”

Recommendation: Dark Elite Series by Chloe Neill

Monday, September 23, 2013
Finding this book was my first knowledge that Chloe Neill has a YA series. I am absolutely in love with her Chicagoland Vampire series so I knew I had to delve into this book as well. And honestly it was the best decision I've made all month.

Firespell (Dark Elite #1)

Hexbound (Dark Elite #2)

Charmfall (Dark Elite #3)

If you're into YA, snark, magic, and a book that you can fall into, you have to check this series out. Anyone who is a fan of Chloe Neill will enjoy these books.

Review: Hearts in Darkness by Keri Arthur

Friday, September 20, 2013
Series: Nikki and Michael #2
Publisher: Dell
Release Date: August 2013
Reviewed by: Amber R.

You know I really want to love this series. But I don't. It's really lukewarm for me.

Nikki is a psychic P.I. who is in love with Michael, a vampire who is involved in his own kind of investigation business. In the last book, Michael left Nikki even though they loved each other because his job is dangerous and he didn't want to risk her life for his job. And he was certain that they would intertwine. Fate has other plans for these two though. They're working on two separate cases that end up coming together in Wyoming. And try as he may, Nikki is involved all the way.

This book has all the makings to be a great read but for a few reasons it really misses the mark for me. Mainly the interaction between Nikki and Michael seems really shallow. You don't get that deepness between them that you're really wanting. It's there but it seems very insincere to me. Another thing is that Michael is really trying to insist that even though he is in love with Nikki, he can't and won't be with her. He tell her that constantly throughout the book. But then he gives her false hope by being close to her and touching her and other little things that if he was trying to not be with her, he wouldn't really do. I don't know it doesn't really seem like he was trying and kind of toying with her even though what he said and did really were at odds with his thoughts. Another thing is when they finally do end up getting together, it just seems crazy. One minute he's telling her that they can't be together and then literally the next minute they're in the bathtub together.

I don't know. I almost like this series and I want to give it another shot but then I can't like it. I think some other readers might be able to see the good in it and not focus on the annoying stuff. However for some reason, I really can only focus on the things that are aggravating me. Anyhow I'll probably give the next book another shot only because I can really see the possibilities.

Review: The Angel Stone by Juliet Dark

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Series: Fairwick Chronicles #3
Publisher:Random House
Release Date: Sep. 2013
Reviewed by: Amber I.

I was in love with The Demon Lover the first book in this series and while book 2 and 3 never really captured me  the way the first one did I still really enjoyed the series. Callie was a fun character and I love her little magical town, Fairwick has so much to offer and it was a blast exploring it.

I guess what happened to me is that Callie went from an ordinary girl to this all mighty powerful being way too fast for me. I think  her character just went from 0 to 80 in a blink of an eye. Also in this book it drove me crazy that she says she didn't love Liam (the guy from the first book) he is my #1 choice! Angel Stone had a lot of potential but there was too much build up and not enough action. Once we are in the big scene it was just too easy and over too fast.

Like I said I enjoyed the series but this last book isn't going to leave too much of an impression on my brain. I know I read it but nothing is really sticking with me. We traveled back in time, saw some friends and learned some things and of coarse Callie got her happily ever after. I just wish this last book would have been as amazing as the first book. I would still recommend giving this series a try though.

Review: Death and the Girl Next Door by Darynda Jones

Monday, September 16, 2013
Series: Darklight #1
Publisher:St. Martin's Press
Release Date: October 2, 2012
Reviewed by: Amber R.

I'm starting to think that Darynda is obsessed with the grim reaper. If you're a fan of her adult series, Charley Davidson is a grim reaper. We have a grim reaper in this book series too. The most amazing part though is you would think with the same author writing two separate series, each focusing on the same type of supernatural being, there would be similarities. And honestly, she approaches this book completely different. Don't get me wrong, she's still super hilarious, witty, and completely engrosses you in the story. But things are a bit different for sophomore Lorelei.

Lorelei is a teenage girl from a small town. Her parents disappeared into thin air ten years ago and Lorelei has been living with her grandparents since. Her two best friends Brooklyn and Glitch, along with her grandparents, and a mix of love, laughter, and snark have helped her life be as amazing as it could be without her parents. You would think dealing with losing your parents at such a young age would be enough to deal with but Lorelei also has visions. They mostly seem random and nonsensical but she has them. At the beginning of the school year Lorelei notices the hot, tall, loner guy from school has been following her around for no apparent reason. Not too mention loner guy, Cameron and new, supernova boy Jared seem ready to battle it out every second for reasons yet to be revealed. And they both keep telling Lorelei some pretty cryptic things that are just weird. Things do eventually cleared up but not necessarily for the better.

I absolutely loved this book and the different approach to a YA book. It is obviously not as gritty as UF or descriptive as PNR but it can definitely hold it's own. I didn't feel like I was missing out on anything like you sometimes do with YA. I read through this book extremely fast just so I could find out what was going to happen next. Lorelei is good heroine in this book, she keeps her wits about her, even when things are spiraling out of control. Plus all of the other characters in this book are just as great as her. It's funny, witty, unique, smart, and a downright 5 out of 5 for me. I would recommend this book to everyone, even people who don't normally like YA.  

The Amber Feature: Friday the 13th

Friday, September 13, 2013
Everyone knows that Friday the 13th is the scariest day of any month. It automatically takes even the most logical person to following superstitions, shunning black cats, and throwing salt over their left shoulder. It invokes marathons of scary movies and pranks being pulled by the youngest kid and the oldest grandpa.

I started thinking of scary books. Some of the ones I can think of off the top of my head are:

I'm not a huge fan but I know everyone says that Stephen King's books are horribly scary. The
Shining, Christine, and Carrie are all extremely popular horror books of his.

What about The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman? I've read that book and it definitely gave me the creeps.

The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan is a very good and yet scary book. Amber I. reviewed this one a long time ago. If you want to check out the review you can do that here.

We have the classics like Frankenstein, Interview with the Vampire, and Rosemary's Baby.

Of course the Goosebumps and Fear Street series by R.L. Stein were some of my favorites when I was younger. I owned all of those books and I read them all numerous times. I am still a huge fan of both of these series.

The Experiment in Terror series by Karina Halle is a paranormal series that is amazing. And appropriately, extremely creepy. I reviewed this one, which you can check out here.

In a Dark, Dark Room and Other Scary Stories by Alvin Schwartz is a collection of short stories for children that I read a long, long time ago that thoroughly horrified me. The Green Ribbon was my favorite story. I still remember sleeping with the light on when I was young after reading this book. I loved it then and I love it now.  

So obviously this got my gears grinding about scary books that we know and love. What books really scare you? Have you read any books that have given you the creeps? What about books that have left you looking over your shoulder? Leaving the light on when you go to bed? Anything that gives you nightmares?

Review: Circle of Fire by Keri Arthur

Thursday, September 12, 2013
Series:Damask Circle #1
Publisher: Dell
Release Date: Re-Release January 2014
Reviewed by: Amber R.

Keri Arthur has never disappointed me yet and this book was no different. Circle Of Fire is one of her earlier books that is being re-released in the U.S in a few months. Although this is an early book of Arthur's, if you're a fan, you can really see the weaving of a story that we love.

Maddie is a woman with extraordinary gifts. She is clairvoyant and she also has the capability of starting and manipulating fire. Growing up in a small town, with narrow minded parents didn't exactly help her self confidence grow. Throw in an abusive husband and what you're left with when they're all gone is a woman sure of nothing about herself. Although she is very determined and strong when the life of her nephew is threatened.

Sent to her as an apparition, Jon is a shapeshifter who is looking for help. Somehow he is sent to Maddie, which doesn't start so well for him. Maddie has been through a lot and it basically has turned her into a hermit. Jon has to convince Maddie that he's real and that she's the only one who can help him. Finally they both end up in Taurin Bay, the town where everything is centered around. Only by working together can they finally stop the evil that is draining the lives of teenagers.

Maddie doesn't trust Jon or anyone really. And while Jon doesn't have the same trust issues that she does, he doesn't want her around while he's on the hunt. But like I said, Maddie is determined and she refuses to back down. I really ended up liking her, in the beginning she does come off a bit of a weakling. But she quickly shows a backbone of steel. Jon is pretty likeable as well but I feel like the mistakes he made towards the end of the book were too easily forgiven.

I really did enjoy this book and I'm definitely going to continue on in this series. I think it has all the makings of where Keri Arthur started in her writing style and you can see how much she's progressed. I'm looking forward to seeing where this series goes next. 

Review: Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost

Wednesday, September 11, 2013
 Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy/Vampire
Series: Night Huntress #1
Published by: Blackstone Audio, Avon
Length: 11 hours 17 minutes
Narrator: Tavia Gilbert
Audiobook Release Date: March 24, 2010
Reviewed by: Amber R. 

This is a second read of this book for me and it's still a five star. I love this series so much. And I loved this audiobook so much that I'm going to listen to the rest of this series on audio asap. Tavia Gilbert really brings these characters to life for me. I loved listening to her retell the beginning story of one of my favorite couples. I have heard several other narrators for different series that I just could not listen to. Tavia was so great, I can't wait to hear more of her. Now on to the book.

Catherine Crawfield is a 22 year old vamp hunter from a small town in Ohio. She's deep undercover as a college student. And surprisingly enough the only person who knows about her night job is her mother. Cat, her vamp hunting name, is not only hunting vamps but she is a vamp. Well, kind of. Her mother was date raped by a newly turned vampire and the product of the night is Cat. She's half vampire herself. So she's stronger than the average human and faster. And she's been on the hunt for vampires since she was 16.

Her entire existence changes when she is out hunting, she meets a peroxide blonde, hunk of a British vamp who doesn't fall into any of her usual traps. In fact he ends up trapping her. And things only escalate from there. Bones is his name and he's a vampire who is a bounty hunter for other vamps. And he'll find anyone if the price is right. As of now he's hunting down Hennessy, a vampire who is in the sex/blood trafficking business. Bones has been on his trail for years and has never been closer when he meets Cat. They end up working together. Bones trains Cat to make her better, faster, stronger. Not only does he do that but he teaches her all about vampires and how they live, are created, and die. But while Cat simply sees them as business associates, Bones has radically different ideas. In fact, he's intent on making her his.

It's been years since I read this book for the first time. This one of my all time favorite series and going back into, nothing changes. I found that I did forget some things though. Cat is super bad ass but her years of being in a small town and under her mothers thumb have really warped her mind. I forgot how horribly annoying she was. Especially in the beginning when Bones is trying to teach her. But I had so many feelings throughout this book. I love it so much and I can't wait to delve back in. And even if you've already read this, you should definitely check out the audio version of it, it's amazing.

Review: Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling

Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Reviewed by: Amber I.

The Chamber of Secrets introduces one of my favorite characters in the series Dobby a house elf. I love him! He is just so sweet. But of coarse he makes some crazy decisions to try and help Harry and well he messes a lot of things up. But you still have to love him.

Book 2 is just as amazing as book 1 and I still get sentimental reading it. I think this series will just be timeless, I can picture myself an old geezer and still getting all emotional when reading these books. You can just connect so much with these characters. When you are in the pages of a Harry Potter book the world will stop and you will be left wondering where is my letter to Hogwarts?. I have to assume mine got lost since when I went to visit Hogwarts in Florida one of the pictures on the wall said both times I was in there that there must be a wizard in the bunch. And I know those pictures don't say the same thing on repeat or anything. So it was obviously talking to me. I would have rather gotten my letter but at least the picture recognized my unrecognized talent!

So much happens in this book, Harry gets an official letter that he could be expelled, we are introduced to a medding house elf, Harry and Ron take a flying car to school and crash into a tree that will hit you back, we discover why Hagrid was expelled, giant spiders, a monster is lose in the school, a defense against the dark arts teacher that is just insane, kids are being petrified, one is kidnapped, we go back 50 years with an enchanted diary and plus Harry and his friends are still in school. So many amazing things in this book that I can't even begin to get to half of them!!

I am loving re-reading this series. Here I come Prisoner of Azkaban!

Review: How To Lose a Demon in 10 Days by Saranna DeWylde

Monday, September 9, 2013
Series: 10 Days #1
Publisher: Kensington Brava
Release Date: August 2012
Reviewed by: Amber R.

There were some good things in this book and some bad. I didn't hate it but I didn't exactly love it either.

Grace is from a line of powerful witches. She's extremely powerful, smart, cunning, and gorgeous to boot. However being a powerful witch isn't always the greatest thing in the world. And even being a powerful witch, you can still meet some crappy dudes and her ex is a doozy. Michael is an abusive, murdering, creep of a man. He's trying to become a demon and on the path to doing that he has completely screwed over Grace. He has weaved magic and convinced Grace that they have a son. A son that he stole from her and has kept from her for years. So in order to get her son back, since nothing else has worked, she summons a demon from hell to help her get her son back. But she definitely bites off more than she can chew.

So Caspien, the demon Grace summons, is super hot. They end up having sex, which is super hot. They didn't fall straight in love with each other which was good for me. They bickered back and forth a lot which I really like. I was actually okay with the portion of the book. They were mostly lighthearted and fun. The humor in most of the book was really offbeat, it wasn't really my style but I didn't mind reading it at all. Sometimes books will have you busting out laughing, this one was mainly just amusing.

The main issue I had with this book was Michael, Graces' ex. Obviously, he's the bad guy and it gets pushed so hard. The book seems lighthearted 95% of the time so the fact that this guy is so violent seems really off balance. He's extremely rough, vicious, and sadistic with the women he interacts with.

I was kind of "meh" with this book. I read it pretty quick. It wasn't a bad book but it wasn't really something that would stick with me either. I haven't decided yet if it just wasn't my taste or if I just didn't care about it one way or another.

Review: Hallowed by Cynthia Hand

Friday, September 6, 2013
 Young Adult - Paranormal/Angel
Publisher: HarperTeen
Length: 403 pages
Release Date: January, 17, 2012
Reviewed by: Amber R.

I have a few pretty strong thoughts about this book right now, so I'm just going to dive right in.

In Unearthly we know that Clara started out super infatuated with Christian but then ends up falling in love with Tucker. Clara and Tucker are still together in this book. However things are changing quickly for Clara and it doesn't seem like Tucker can keep up. Clara is having a new vision that doesn't include Tucker but it does include Christian. But Clara keeps fighting what she knows she should do because she has strong feelings for Tucker.

Now I really like Tucker and I was completely rooting for him. And I don't usually switch teams but I switched teams in this book. I was thinking the entire time how much Clara just needed to let it go and get on with her life. It's obvious that her and Christian are meant to be together. It's obvious that Tucker is not cut out for Clara's crazy angel life. But Clara isn't one for catching on that quick.

Although this is a big part of what's going on in Clara's life, it's not everything. There is a Black Wing on the loose and causing havoc in Clara's life. Not too mention she's trying to figure out what this new purpose could possibly be. She's also trying to learn more about what it means to be an angel blood and her mom is surprisingly more forthcoming than she has been in the past. She even takes Clara, Jeffrey, and Angela to meet a congregation of other angel bloods. Jeffrey and Clara find out some shocking news about their father. And life takes a whole new turn.

I was literally sobbing throughout the last 20% of this book. It was so unbearably heartbreaking, I couldn't even deal with it honestly. I really love this series so far and I can't wait to see what happens next. I liked this book even more than I liked Unearthly. Even though Clara can be pretty stubborn sometimes, I really love her as our main girl. I feel so much for her and everything she has been through and still has to go through. I can't wait to see what happens with Clara next and how she grows even more. 

AAD Recap

Thursday, September 5, 2013
We had a blast at AAD. Met some amazing authors and bloggers. Although we technically didn't do much with the book convention, we didn't go to a single panel, Savannah was just too pretty. Still we had an amazing time! 

 Pretty much a photo recap. 

I suck at talking in the 3rd person, so you will see me do it but not all the time. ~Amber I.


Savannah Bound! We left at like 11 pm after we both got off work!

Half way there. Amber I. got a stupid ticket in Virginia! Damn Virginia!

 We have arrived at the hotel. And Amber I has been up for over 24 hrs. Amber R is almost at 24 hrs. We are a little tired but we are eating before our nap!

 We slept for like 3 hours but Savannah needed us. Amber I decided since it was hotter then hell that first day to just keep her pajamas on. Got to stay classy! This was us outside our hotel. On the SAVANNAH river. Amber R. didn't believe that was what it was called.

Hanging out in the lobby. Amber I may have gotten a little tipsy waiting for the Ghost Tour.

Soaking wet after the Ghost Tour! Such a waste of money. It rained the whole time and it was NOT scary! (With Jennifer from The Book Nympho and Laura from Little Read Riding Hood)


Did I mention I was drinking? And totally being a perv. I am sure everyone around me got to hear me talk about lots and lots of crazy things!
Me with Kristen Painter. And yes I was obnoxious. I kept telling her how pretty she was and things like that.
I got pretty drunk this night. I can handle my beer but liquor goes straight to me head. I must have made some kind of impression because I had lots of people coming up to me the following days asking if I was okay.

I got her to dress up with me for like 30 minutes!

I tried GATOR! I was pretty drunk when I did but I really enjoyed it!
I got a little photo crazy. I am not usually one for photos but then I always regret it once things are over. So every 5 minutes I was like Amber-take a picture of me with this and that. I also spent a lot of time drinking, so I was a little out there. And I fell a lot!  ~Amber I. 


She just steps on graves like its no big deal!

Grave Walker!

I think Kristen Callihan is stalking me. hahaha

I love her! Amber I and Stacey Kennedy!

I would have so stuck my tongue out if I knew that is what we where doing!

Jenese from Readers Confession and Jen From TwiMom making an Amber Sandwich

And that is pretty much that! We left Saturday afternoon. I really had so much fun! Stacey Kennedy was amazing! I loved getting to meet her and my fellow bloggers where a lot of fun to hang out with. I hope Jennifer from The Book Nympho goes to RT because I need her in  my Even though we didn't do much with the convention it didn't matter. We got to enjoy Savannah and meet up with everyone at night. Just getting to hang out was so worth the money of going to a convention.
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