Review: Hero by Alethea Kontis

Monday, December 30, 2013
Series: Woodcutter Sisters #2
Publisher: Harcourt Books
Release Date: October 1, 2013
Reviewed by: Amber R.

This is the fairy tale I needed when I was 10, when I was 12, when I was wide-eyed and impressionable. Although I didn't get this book, this author until I was an adult, I'm still overjoyed. This isn't a fairy tale where the damsel needs rescued and the prince comes charging in on a white horse. At least not really.

Saturday is one of the Woodcutter clan. The sixth daughter with a bunch of destined sisters, sisters with beauty and magic and all the things that Saturday wishes she had. She doesn't say it but you get the distinct impression that she wouldn't mind being different. Her sisters have adventures and were gifted magical items. Saturday works with her father in the forest and while she was given an item, she doesn't believe it's magic. And she never goes on adventures. She's tall, strong, she doesn't tire, and she works harder than any other.

As these things happen in fairy tales, one event led to another and another which caused Saturday to go on her long awaited adventure. And it's one amazing tale. Dragons and demon witches and stopping time and really, truly understanding and knowing who you are. Which is really the biggest adventure of them all. There is romance as well. And it's so sweet.

If you are looking for a book that is unlike any other fairy tale, if you're looking for something where the man doesn't rescue the woman but a reversal of that. If you're looking for a book filled with adventure and different types of love, I highly recommend this series. I couldn't wait for this book after the first. And I'm so excited for the next and to find out which sister the third book is about. Definitely try this out, I don't think you'll be disappointed.

Review: Who Needs Enemies by Keri Arthur

Friday, December 27, 2013
Series: Harri Phillecki, PI #1
Publisher: IGLA
Release Date: August, 2013
Reviewed by: Amber R.

After reading the Riley Jenson series and the Dark Angels series, I really didn't know if I'd love another Keri Arthur book as much. But I really think I've met their match in the new Harri Phillecki series. Harri is a PI who is just starting up her business. She has a partner in Ceri, a former police officer. But Harri is also a half elf/half siren. Harri is roped into the disappearance of a siren by the only family she's really in contact with, her elven uncle Lyle. From the start she feels like something is just not right about the entire situation but she's not quite sure what.

Harri's family life is quite unusual. Her father's side (elf) doesn't even recognize that she exists. Her mother is in retirement and she barely sees her. She has a group of ogres who are constant house guests. A dragon who has been a close friend since school years. A witch who is a healing guru. And her flamboyant, siren half brother. The rag-tag gang is close knit (mostly) and has each others backs.

The investigation into the disappearance of the siren quickly turns into a murder investigation. When the siren washes up on the beach, Harri's investigation starts leading closer to home. With half of the suspect list made up of her elven fam, Harri is walking a thin wire. Threats are coming in all over the place, thugs are breaking into her home and literally trying to beat her to death, but it just makes her more and more determined to find out what's going on. And it seems like she doesn't care if she gets burned in the process.Through in an ex who has been away for 10 years but comes back during this case and Harri is up to her eyebrows in trouble.

I really love this world. All the supes are out and everyone knows about them. To see a dragon flying around the city skyline isn't unusual. Elves are out, sirens are out, everyone is out and it brings a different dynamic to the story. The entire story while reading was like peeling an onion, layer by layer. It just got deeper and deeper. The further in we got, the more intricate everything became. Harri as our main focus was really great. She can definitely hold her own. I'm really liking her and I can't wait to see where her story leads us. This is definitely a series that you'll want to check out if you haven't yet.

Review: Kissed by a Dark Prince by Felicity E. Heaton

Monday, December 23, 2013
Series: Eternal Mates #1
Format: ebook
Release Date: November, 30, 2013
Reviewed by: Amber R.

We have all kinds of paranormal species, some steamy romance, and a lot of badassery. It's the perfect combo for a good book.

Olivia is a researcher/doctor for Archangel, a demon hunting group. They don't only hunt though, research of supernatural beings is a big part of what they do. It's her lucky day when a gorgeous hunk of a demon ends up in her exam room. Although Loren isn't a human. And when he wakes up, out of control from his injuries, he bites Olivia to replenish his strength with her blood. Attacking Olivia really gets them off to the wrong start. But one pull of her blood and he knows that she's his one true mate. And he will stop at nothing to have her.

Okay, I make him sound a little bit more nefarious than he really is. He's actually a really nice guy. Olivia is wildly attracted to him but she really wants nothing to do with him. She was burned in the past and she's not looking to get with someone supernatural again. Not too mention, he's tracking down his crazy brother who is trying to kill him.

I really enjoyed this book. I like when the guy doesn't really get the girl immediately. There was some trouble and there was some hunting. This book really does give you a little bit of everything. Plus Loren is hot and having a 4000 year celibate man in the bedroom isn't too bad at all. Trust me he was ready to go. If you're looking for a good, hot read, you're going to want to pick this up.

Review: Fates by Lanie Bross

Friday, December 20, 2013
Series: Fates #1
Publisher: Delacorte Books
Release Date: Feb, 2014
Reviewed by: Amber R.

My reviews are usually long drawn out and very witty, if I do say so myself. *toot, toot*

But this one is going to be short and sweet. It literally took every ounce of determination I have to finish this book once I started it. It didn't hold my attention, I wasn't moved or even mildly entertained. It's a YA book and while the world is extremely different, it didn't make any sense. I was not a fan.

Now I don't know if this is just me but I doubt it because I started reading another book and I'm only 5 pages in and I'm already more entertained. This was just not something that I'd recommend to anyone. So save yourself the time and veto this one.

Review: The Fiery Heart by Richelle Mead

Monday, December 16, 2013
Series: Bloodlines #4
Publisher: Razorbill
Release Date: November 19, 2013
Reviewed by: Amber R.

I'm still overly emotional about this book. I figured taking sometime before I reviewed it might help but it really hasn't. I got everything I wanted in this book. Sydney and Adrian are together. And together they are amazing. I knew that they were going to be amazing together, I just didn't know how perfect and sweet and loving and wonderful it was going to be. Granted they are keeping everything under wraps especially since Sydney's sister is at Amberwood now. And to say she's making things extremely hard is an understatement.

Adrian and Sydney are both working on separate things that are sort of connected. Adrian is working with Lissa, Sonya, and everyone back at court to help figure out how how spirit works in stopping the Strigoli. Sydney is working on a way to block and keep the Alchemists from "re-educating" or brainwashing other Alchemists. Especially now that she's on her own path. But Zoe throws a wrench into everything. She's a typical Alchemist, she's arrogant, proud, and a complete jerk. She's also Sydney's sister and their parents have announced they're getting a divorce and there's a custody battle for Zoe. Plus she questions all of Sydney's movements, especially with Jackie and the Moroi and Adrian.

I couldn't believe the ending of this book. It was literally one of the worst cliff hangers I have ever read. The lead up to the ending was so heartbreaking, I could feel the despair and the love that Adrian and Sydney have for each other. Richelle Mead has a way of completely entrancing you and completely entangling you with her characters. I really liked that you got to read from Sydney and Adrian's POV. And if you didn't love Adrian already (of course you did), you will love hearing things from his side. He's such a great guy and he deals with a lot more than we realized being a spirit user.

There are so many things about this book that I absolutely loved. I really can't get them all in. However, if you haven't read Richelle's VA series, you don't have to before reading this one. But if you haven't, you really should because her VA series gives you a beginning look to Sydney and Adrian and it's just a great story. But honestly, Bloodlines is my favorite of the two. If you haven't picked it up yet, definitely do. You will not be disappointed. I can't wait to read the next book, waiting is going to be torture.

Review: The Spider by Jennifer Estep

Friday, December 13, 2013
Series: Elemental Assassin #10
Publisher: Pocket Books
Release Date: December 24, 2013
Reviewed by: Amber R.

We all know that Gin was trained by Fletcher to be the most bad ass assassin in Ashland. In The Spider we get to see Gin on the brink of the end of her training and one of the first jobs she takes basically by herself. The Gin we all know and love is very steady and sure. She doesn't take any risks and she always listens to her instincts. However, 20 year old Gin isn't so solid. It's really kinda fun to see her stumble around.

Fletcher and Gin got a job offer to take out one of the leading business men in Ashland, Ceaser Vaughn. While the information they get states that Vaughn is abusing his young teenage daughter Fletcher has reservations about taking the job, Gin is gung ho. She wants Vaughn to pay for abusing his daughter. Given Gin's determination to take this guy out, Fletcher agrees even though he still isn't sure about the job. And while recon and what not go mostly smooth, Vaughn's son Sebastian is an unexpected issue. He takes a liking to Gin and she doesn't really ignore him like she should. He's gorgeous and crazy charming. To say the job doesn't turn out the way it should is putting it lightly.

I really loved this book. We got to see Gin mess up, which I was a big fan of. Gin never screws up and her instincts are always right. But she was really wrong in this one. We also get a lot of Fletcher in this book which I really loved because I just miss that guy. He's awesome. Surprisingly enough Bria and Owen are in this book as well. Although they are small characters, I'm not really sure how I feel about them being in this book. It seemed weird to me and not entirely necessary. We have never heard of them knowing Gin before and I just thought it was weird. Seeing a young Finn Lane was pretty amazing though. Plus we get Jo-Jo, Sophia, and some other familiar faces too.

While I really enjoyed this book, I also have to stay pretty true to myself and admit that it really seemed like a filler book to me. I liked seeing where and when Gin really got into her career. But it was a complete filler for me. It's not relevant to where the story line is going and unless Vaughn's daughter is going to have a bigger role in the upcoming books, I don't really see the point. BUT, I really did like the book.

Waiting on Wednesday

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

From Amazon: 

Release Date: May 27, 2014

In this new installment in a beloved urban fantasy series, gutsy renegade mage and tiki bar owner Arcadia Bell faces the last danger standing between her old identity and a new future she desperately wants: herself.

After surviving a supernatural battle with Hellfire Club leader Ambrose Dare, Cady and her demon boyfriend, Lon Butler, journey across California to find the source of her mysterious Moonchild origins. But the further they travel, the stranger the revelations about her parents’ past occult lives. Can Cady keep what's rightfully hers, or will she have make the ultimate sacrifice to stop her murderous mother from crossing the planes?

I've been waiting for this book since I finished the last one. I'm obsessed with this series. What book are you waiting on this week? Leave a comment for me!

Review: Green-Eyed Demon by Jaye Wells

Monday, December 9, 2013
Series: Sabina Kane #3
Publisher: Orbit
Release Date: March 2011
Reviewed by: Amber R.

As I was reading the ending to this book, I was heartbroken. I was like Sabina couldn't have come this far for all of this to happen. Luckily Jaye Wells is a tricky, tricky lady or I would have been super sad. I absolutely loved this book. The first two books in this series were great and Green-Eyed Demon does not disappoint.

After Sabina's twin sister, Maisie, being kidnapped by their evil alpha vamp grandmother Team Awesome is on their way to New Orleans. Team Awesome is Sabina, Adam, and Giguhl and they're on a mission to rescue Maisie no matter what. With Adam's aunt Rhea's connections they meet up with a voodoo witch, Zen and her partner fae Brooks. The problem is that they have no idea where dear old granny is keeping Maisie and a whole shlew of other problems come up. 

Sabina's main goal is to save Maisie and kill her grandmother. And while those goals are the main focus, that doesn't mean that they can't enjoy a drag show or two while in the Big Easy. Also we get some of that sexual tension that's been building between Adam and Sabina released. Sabina really, really grew in this book. She's finally not looking at herself as a lone wolf anymore and she's really embracing the "family" and support she has around. 

The end of this book leaves the entire story open but there are quite a few things tied up as well. I can't wait to read the next book and find out what happens next. I'm really hoping that Sabina can pull it together to be happy with Adam. Granted her life has left her completely messed up but she's really trying hard. I wasn't sure how I would feel about this series but I really am loving it. If you haven't checked out this series yet, you'll definitely want to check it out. It's pretty great.

Review: Entwined by Kristen Callihan

Friday, December 6, 2013
Series: Darkest London #3.5
Publisher: Forever
Release Date: November 5, 2013
Reviewed by: Amber R.

Good god, Kristen Callihan is amazing. The Darkest London series is fantastic. I am fully enraptured by this series. Each time I read a book I think that I love it more than the one before. And Entwined is no different.

Eamon Evernight is a second son who was always berated and ignored by his father, for no reason other than being born. He's a large, red-headed man who is looked upon by the townspeople as an abomination. Because he has red hair. Yes back in the day people thought anyone with red hair was a demon/devil/evil. It's lame but it's true (trust me, as a red head I know). Aidan is his other brother who is betrothed to a girl he's never met. And because of a deep secret and the desire to never marry, Aidan pleads with Eamon to write to the girl and dissuade her from the marriage.

Luella is being forced into a marriage to someone she's never met by her father. While not unusual, she also has her secrets and she doesn't want to force them on an unsuspecting man. However writing letters to "Aidan" to try to convince him to not go through with the wedding really backfires. Because she falls in love with him, although it's really Eamon. Forced to go to the Evernight home sooner than was planned she meets the brothers and things fall south from there. Aidan is not the person from the letters. Eamon and Lu are drawn together by unforeseen circumstances.

Kristen had me from hello with this novellas with the letters back and forth. It was the sweetest thing reading the sass and wit between these two who obviously had such a connection from the beginning. When Lu finally turns up, my heart was breaking for her and Eamon because neither of them could be with the person they really wanted to be. It's a short book but such a full story. You don't feel like you're missing out on anything at all. It just makes me all the more eager to plunge into the next book in this series.

Waiting on Wednesday

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

From Amazon: 
Release Date: December 24, 2013

How did I end up in a career where I always have blood on my hands? Well, let me tell you a story about an assassin who thought she could do no wrong. . . .

Ten years ago. A blistering hot August night. I remember like it was yesterday. The night I, Gin Blanco, truly became the Spider. Killing people is what I do best, especially now that I’ve honed my Ice and Stone magic. But back then, I had yet to learn one very important rule: arrogance will get you, every single time.

This particular job seemed simple: murder a crooked building contractor with ties to ruthless Fire elemental Mab Monroe. My mentor, Fletcher Lane, had some misgivings, but I was certain that I had the situation under control . . . right up until I exposed my weaknesses to a merciless opponent who exploited every single one of them. There’s a reason assassins aren’t supposed to feel anything. Luckily, a knife to the heart can fix that problem, especially when I’m the one wielding it. . . . 

If any of you have been following the site for any length of time then you all know that we're huge fans of Jennifer Estep. I'm thinking that since this is basically a prequel to the Elemental Assassin series, it's going to be super interesting to see Gin from the start.  

Review: Blood Rights by Kristen Painter

Monday, December 2, 2013
Series: House of Comarre #1
Publisher: Orbit
Release Date:September 2011
Reviewed by: Amber R.

Blood Rights is definitely a book that brings you into a different world. It's unlike anything that I can remember reading before. It was a smooth ride, extremely interesting, and I honestly thought I wasn't going to be crazy impressed but I liked it. However, the ending changed everything for me. I really, really enjoyed this book. It was a steady build up to the end and you're left wanting more as you're reading the last sentences.

Chrysabelle is a Comarre which means that she was bred from birth to provide blood to noble vampires. Specifically one vampire bids on rights to her blood. Some Comarre's blood goes for a higher price, I think it basically depends on the level of training etc. Whoever bids the highest is then the Comarre's patron. After being under a patron's care for 100 years, the patron then can give the Comarre the option to leave. Chrysabelle was going to take that option however her patron didn't offer her the choice. Soon after her patron is murdered, Chrysabella takes the opportunity and leaves. However, she is suspected of killing her patron. With the help of an older Comarre who is free and an unstable vampire and a couple of his oddball friends she sets out to prove her innocence so she can live her life freely. 

There is all kinds of sexual tension between Chrysabelle and Mal, the unstable vamp, that just keeps building until the end. And then if you want to see what happens with that, you're going to have to read the next installment. Really with the way things ended, you're going to have to read the next book to find out how a lot of these things end up. I really liked Chrysabelle and how frail and soft she seemed. However, she turns out completely bad ass. Her fighting skills are above and beyond what you would expect. 

Like I said I think this book was steadily good from the beginning but the ending really pushed it above for me. I'm looking forward to reading what happens next. 

Amber I reviewed this back over the summer. If you want to check out her review, you can do so here.
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