Monday, July 28, 2014
I've been on the fence about doing this for months, I've been back and forth on it so much, and trust me this wasn't an easy decision to make. I've had over 4 years of fun, books, and laughs with you guys and making the decision to move on has been heart wrenching for me. I've been putting off making this post for a while just because this is what makes it official. 

I don't know if this is going to be a break or a hiatus or just goodbye but for now and a while I'm not going to be posting anymore. There are a lot of reasons why but none of them really matter. I don't really know what the future of this site looks like or if Amber I. will be back. So any questions you might have, you're just going to have to save because I don't have the answers. 

What I do know is that I appreciate every single one of you. I know that I'm going to miss every single one of you and interacting with you on an almost daily basis. You've all been such a huge part of my life for the last 4 years, this website has been a huge part of my life for the past 4 years and I know I'm going to look back on this time with nothing but love.

Review: Cold Hard Secret by Sierra Dean

Friday, July 18, 2014
Series: Secret McQueen #7
Release Date: July 1, 2014
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Reviewed by: Amber R.

This book was wild from start to finish. After the harrowing book that was Secret Unleashed, you would think that Secret would have time to come to terms with what happened to her. But she has her hands in so many different pots, there is no time for her to do much.

Immediately she's on the trail of Alexandre Peyton, long time foe and no time friend. A vampire that she was sent after when she was but a teenager. She permanently scarred him and he's never forgiven her. They had a few more encounters after that, in fact he was instrumental in her encounter with The Doctor in Secret Unleashed. So to say that Secret wants revenge and wants Peyton turned to ash is putting it lightly.

If dealing with the mental aftermath from The Doctor and going after Peyton weren't enough, Mercy is still out and about. And Secret's mother is a real pain in the ass. She's been trying to kill Secret since birth and nothing has stopped her from trying yet. Oh and the tribunal and a psychotic fairy king are after her as well.

Cold Hard Secret was one of the hardest books yet in the world of Secret McQueen. All of her anguish and flashbacks to her time in California were so hard to read. Since she came back she just hasn't been the same with anyone and it's so clear that she's having a super hard time. Dealing with Holden and Desmond hasn't been easy either. She still hasn't been able to make a choice between the two of them. But it seems that the time for her decision is coming quicker than ever.

The end of this book was a total shock. I had to read it twice to make sure I didn't miss something. Also I kept looking for more pages because I just couldn't believe that it stopped where it did. To say that this one was a cliffhanger would be an injustice. It ended so abruptly, it definitely leaves you wanting more.

Secret came out of left field for me. I had no idea that I'd get so deep into this series so quick. I absolutely love her and she is one of my top 3 UF picks from here on out. I can't wait to see how this series wraps up at the end of the year.

Review: City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare

Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Series: Mortal Instruments #6
Release Date: May 27, 2014
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Reviewed by: Amber R.

You know I saw a lot of people who wrote reviews saying that they felt this series should have ended a long time ago. But I really have to disagree on that one. I think this ended right where it should have. Thinking back on the previous 5 books, I really can't think of anything that I really hated. And I always have a hard time finishing the final books in series because there isn't going to be another one and that makes me super sad.

Clary, Jace, Izzy, Alec, and Simon are going after Sebastian hard in this book. Or he's coming after them? It's definitely both. Sebastian is leading attacks against all of the institutes that he can get into. Which is most of them sadly. Since he has the infernal cup he's turning Shadowhunters into the Endarkened as fast as you can blink. And he's leading them where ever he can gain entry. And anyone he can't turn, he's killing. It's completely brutal and nothing less than what you'd expect from him. The Clave calls everyone back to Idris and is working on coming up with a plan. But they soon come to realize that even Idris isn't protected enough from Sebastian.

There were so many things that happened in this book that really set me on edge. Even the first chapter had my heart breaking. I can think of 2 things that happened that changed the course for everything. I really enjoyed this book. There was nothing about this book that I didn't like. Of course it wasn't perfect but when are these things ever? Would I love a book that didn't have any misses? Yes, I would. But I really don't have any major complaints. And I absolutely love the majority of it. So I'm going to leave this one to you guys to make up your minds about.

Early Review: My Highland Spy by Victoria Roberts

Monday, July 14, 2014
Series: Highland Spies #1
Release Date: September 2, 2014
Reviewed by: Amber R.
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca

First Glance: 
Ravenna is a spy for the English crown, she's also the main caregiver for her 3 younger sisters since their parents died. Ruairi is a Highlands laird and Ravenna's next assignment for the king. However once in Scotland, things quickly fall apart and her plans change. 

Ravenna and Ruairi: 
They are quickly entangled with each other. Ravenna is there as a governess for Ruairi's son. And to make sure that the laird is bending to the king's will. Although there are these outside factors on each side, Ravenna and Ruairi are strongly drawn to each other. They know better but things quickly escalate between the two of them. 

Laird Gordon is Ruairi's late wife's father and has been a thorn in his side since before she died. Gordon is trying to rally together the different clans to fight against the English king. Ruairi and a couple of his friends are instrumental for Gordon to have a good chance but they are not quick to join up with him. 

The Truth: 
It was bound to happen. And it happened after Ruairi confessed his love to Ravenna. So by the time the truth comes spilling out, it's basically unforgivable. Ravenna heads back to England and they both work on moving on with their lives. 

I thought there were a few parts throughout the middle of the book that kind of dragged. But I really liked everything overall. The build up to Ravenna and Ruairi's relationship plus the suspense of their fallout were spot on for me. All in all a great historical romance for me. It gets extra points for the whole Scottish business. 

Beach Reads

Friday, July 11, 2014
Summer is still here and we're still loving it. Right? At least I am. Today we have Mandy with us! She's going to be lovely and answer some questions about her favorite beach-y and summer-y things!

What book would you take on a beach vacation if you had to leave now?
Right now? Probably KISS ME HARD BEFORE YOU GO by Shannon McCrimmon. I just got it in the mail, and very eager to start it! If it was one to reread it would be OUTLANDER by Diana Gabaldon. Hands down. 
Would you take an e-reader, book, or audio book?
Most likely my e-reader. I just have too many books on it that I need to read.
Where's your dream beach vacation?
We love going to Gulf Shores, AL. But this is a dream vaca right? So I would have to pick somewhere in Australia or on the Mediterranean Sea.
 The Mediterranean Sea is somewhere I need to be. 
What book do you remember reading over summer vacation when you were in school?
My friend, in like 4th grade, had found me a book once while she was on vaca and brought it home to me. It was titled MANDY by Julie Edwards. I still have it.
What's your favorite beachy drink (alcoholic or non)?
Sweet tea or Cherry Vanilla Coke. 
(Sweet tea is my fave!)
Who would you take on your beach vaca if you could take anyone?
Definitely my husband. And of course I would have to bring all the kiddos. But if we could get away with it, for at least a couple days, just the two of us...so we can exhale and relax. 
(You are a good mom! I'd leave the kids at home. Haha!)
Where is your favorite vacation spot?
So this is probably going to make me sound old and redneck’ish. But Branson MO. In fact we head out there in July. We absolutely love it there and usually go once a year. There is shows, shopping, water parks, shopping, great food, shopping. 

I don't know about you guys. But I'm betting I'd have a blast here!

Thanks again for joining us today. If you want to follow Mandy around on social media check out the links below!

Sitting On My Bookshelf

Wednesday, July 9, 2014
I don't know about anyone else but I get so behind on my reading over the summer. Lazy, hot days describe my life in July and August and I just want to take naps all day. So I thought as a little motivation to get into reading quicker, I'd list the books I have sitting on my kindle.

Forged by Desire: Bec McMaster

Fast Track: Julie Garwood

Cold Hard Secret: Sierra Dean

Blood Games: Chloe Neill

The Immortal Crown: Richelle Mead

City of Heavenly Fire: Cassandra Clare

Hollowland: Amanda Hocking

A Karma Girl Christmas: Jennifer Estep

Plus I have about 8 books on my bookshelf that I need to crack into. I am so behind. And listing these out really put things in perspective. I need to stop napping and start reading.

How about you guys? Do you seem to get more behind in the summer? Or are there certain times of the year that always seem to bog you down?

Engaging the Earl by Diana Quincy

Monday, July 7, 2014
Series: Accidental Peers #4
Release Date: June 9, 2014
Publisher: Entangled Scandalous

Goodreads Info:
Vivacious Lady Katherine Granville is the toast of the ton, but society's most eligible miss secretly yearns for her childhood love, an untitled loner who vanished long ago after her father forbade their marriage. After years abroad, the dark and brooding Edward Stanhope returns to England a changed man. No longer a second son with no prospects, his battlefield strategies have won him an earldom. His return should be a victorious one, but the new Earl of Randolph is battling secret demons that no one can discover. Least of all, Kat. When the man she can't forget reappears at her betrothal ball, Kat's perfectly arranged future is thrown into tumult. Edward remains cold and distant, hoping she'll marry a man worthy of her. But nothing is settled when Kat sets out to win back her first love. Can the new Earl of Randolph resist the woman he's loved for so many years?

I thought this book was pretty average. Nothing really stood out for me but nothing was really horrible either. One thing that I laughed over quite a few times was the wording. It seemed to me that Quincy was really trying to get into the times but she just googled a bunch of words from the 1800s and threw them in there for funsies.

I don't know guys but I really wouldn't read this again. It took me forever to read (sure sign it wasn't that great), it was pretty bland, and I already forgot half of the things that happened in it. I like a good historical romance but this just wasn't it for me.
Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy 4th Everyone!

Hope y'all have a fantastic day!

Review: Secret Unleashed by Sierra Dean

Wednesday, July 2, 2014
Series: Secret McQueen #6
Release Date: October 15, 2013
Publisher: Samhain
Reviewed by: Amber R.

From Goodreads:

After her last mission tested the limits of her humanity and took her out of this world, Secret’s friends, determined to keep her safe from her old nemesis Alexandre Peyton, keep ushering her from one babysitter to the next. Couch surfing would be a lot more fun if Alexandre would let up on her long enough to allow her to get in some alone time with her lovers. Including Holden, her self-appointed shadow. As if living out of coffin isn’t bad enough, Secret literally brings down the house while hunting a rogue, causing the council to exile her from New York—for her own safety, of course. With her list of people to trust getting shorter and shorter, Secret ends up embroiled in a mystery to find a vampire warden gone AWOL and a missing artifact. Things go from bad to worse when she falls into the hands of a man who will prove that humans can be the worst monsters of them all. Warning: Contains a cross-country journey, an unexpected family reunion, heated lovers’ embraces and a hell of a lot of trouble.

When Secret just had Peyton, killer vampire and Mercy, killer mother after her she was up to her eyebrows in crap. Being shuffled around NYC to try to hide her really wasn't working out. So luckily the perfect opportunity popped up and Sig sent Secret on a mission to the west coast. Thinking that she left the majority of her trouble back in the big apple, Secret is focused on completing a job for the west coast tribunal and Sig. Unfortunately for Secret she is facing the largest threat to her life yet and there's nothing she can do about it.

Holden and Sig's daytime servant, Ingrid go with Secret to California. I liked the time away from Desmond because while I like Desmond, I really want to see how things between Secret and Holden develop. This was the perfect opportunity for that. Working on locating a missing vampire and an artifact that the tribunal is desperate to have, Secret isn't really laying low. Although spending time with Holden is proving to be entertaining though, at least for me. Being kidnapped and tortured can really put a damper on things though.

And when I say tortured, I mean tortured. Things get pretty graphic and terrifying. I'm not going to lie there were points throughout this part of the book that I was super grossed out by. Secret got pretty desperate and actually gave up at one point. I was completely with her. I knew that she wasn't going to be able to her herself out of this one and I was right.

I think the end of this book really gives a lot of different options for the way the rest of this series can go. I can see at least one thing causing Secret to have a ton more responsibility that she doesn't necessarily need though, especially on top of everything else she has going on. I don't know if we're going to get a choice made between Desmond and Holden but I really wish we would. While I like them both I really want Secret to choose Holden. But if she would pick at least one of them I'd be happy. I want to mention that while I normally hate love triangles, I don't really hate this one so much.

I'm glad book 7 just came out yesterday because I don't think I could wait any longer to find out what happens next. If you're not reading this series, you're missing out. This has honestly become one of my top favorite UF series of all time.

Early Review: Fireborn by Keri Arthur

Monday, June 30, 2014

Series: Souls of Fire #1
Release Date: July 1, 2014
Publisher: Signet Select
Author Info
Book Info

Emberly is a phoenix living out her current lifetime, working as a research assistant at a large pharmaceutical company. Living a full life as a phoenix has it's own complications but Emberly has a special talent for embracing the more complex things. Able to take on the form of a human, firebird, or flames she lives with her soulmate Rory. But being a phoenix means that they can never be in love with each other. Although they actually need each other to survive and thrive. They are destined to love humans and have relationships that are doomed to turn to ash.

A dream that Emberly can not ignore leads her into a rough neighborhood late one night. Knowing that the man she's fated to love this lifetime is in danger leads her right into the path of dangerous enemies. Humans have been infected by a new virus making them a vampire by product and it's highly contagious. Emberly helps rescue Sam much to his dismay. Not having seen him since they broke up Emberly is introduced to a different man than she knew. He's leading a team of police to put a stop to these infected humans and he's much more dangerous now. Emberly wants him out of her life so she can move past the heartbreak as soon as possible but fate has different plans.

Once her boss, who was working on a top secret drug, gets murdered Emberly feels like she has to help figure out why and nothing is going to get in her way. Not even Sam whose case is connected to the murder. And once Emberly meets Jackson, a fire fae who is a private investigator working on an eerily similar murder of another researcher they team up and are determined to figure out what's going on no matter the cost.

Emberly is the ultimate heroine for me. Self assured, take no crap, confident, kick ass, and strong she gives us everything we want with none of the b.s. underneath. She knows who she is and is unapologetic about it. Sam, Jackson, and Rory all bring different elements to the book but really are there (in my humble opinion) to build up Emberly's character. Sam is the bad boy, hard ass cop who was hurt once by Emberly and is hardened now because of it. Jackson is fun loving but determined to do what's in his best interests. He's also extremely hot and Emberly wastes no time getting a taste of just how hot. Rory is sweet, fun, and (mostly) everything that she needs. The connection between them is super intense and rewarding.

With the plot, the characters, the steaminess, and the rhythm of the writing this series is bound to be a hit. The ending cleaned up the loose ends pretty tidily but leaves some threads hanging that leave us immediately wanting to know more. And don't worry Keri's talent for steaming up the pages is definitely in there as well.

A book that is sure to catch the interests of anyone who loves suspense, romance, perseverance, and heartbreak with a paranormal twist Fireborn does not disappoint.

Review: Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead

Friday, June 27, 2014
Series: Age of X #1
Release Date: June 3, 2014
Publisher: Signet
Reviewed by: Amber R.

From Goodreads:

The truth is, when you banish the gods from the world, they eventually come back—with a vengeance. In the near future, Justin March lives in exile from the Republic of United North America. After failing in his job as an investigator of religious groups and supernatural claims, Justin is surprised when he is sent back with a peculiar assignment—to solve a string of ritualistic murders steeped in seemingly unexplainable phenomena. Justin’s return comes with an even bigger shock: His new partner and bodyguard, Mae Koskinen, is a prætorian, one of the Republic’s technologically enhanced supersoldiers. Mae’s inexplicable beauty and aristocratic upbringing attract Justin’s curiosity and desire, but her true nature holds more danger than anyone realizes. As their investigation unfolds, Justin and Mae find themselves in the crosshairs of mysterious enemies. Powers greater than they can imagine have started to assemble in the shadows, preparing to reclaim a world that has renounced religion and where humans are merely gamepieces on their board.

It took me a long time to decide to read this book. I finally put it on hold at my library and when I got it I just went for it. Too bad I didn't realize how long it was when I started reading it during a busy week at work. Because it felt like it took me forever to get through. I did it though, I made it through. Surprisingly, I really liked this book. Once I started reading I realized how interesting it truly is.

I'm not going to go into the detail with the story like I normally do because it was such a long book and there were a lot of different ideas. The entire story is sort of a dystopian but kinda futuristic too. It's definitely different from what Mead normally writes but I don't think it takes anything away from the actual story. And the world that she creates is so interesting. Of course the characters are fantastic and flawed.

And while there have been a whole slew of dystopian books being released or just becoming really popular this book isn't like the masses. You're getting something a lot different. The main premise of the story and where the story is heading is something that I've not read before. Justin and Mae are the main characters and I was able to invest very quickly into their stories.

Although the book was longer than I expected, I will be reading the next book asap. I want to know more about these people and this world. I expect it's probably not for everyone but it's truly a good book. If you can deviate from what Richelle Mead usually writes, you'll be happy with your choice.

Review: Memory Zero by Keri Arthur

Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Series: Spook Squad #1
Release Date: August 26, 2014 original June 15, 2004
Publisher: Dell
Reviewed by: Amber R.
Author Info
Book Info

I wasn't really sure how I would feel about this book when I decided to check it out. Sometimes when series are re-released the outcome isn't so great. So once I started reading the book, I was so happy when I was immediately wrapped up in this story. There wasn't one thing that I didn't like and the ending left me wanting to read more as soon as possible.

Sam Ryan is a police officer recently accused of murdering her partner. While she definitely shot and killed him, her partner is still alive and well. Set in a futuristic world where vampires and other paranormal beings are out and proud, Memory Zero is a good mix of urban fantasy, paranormal, and sci-fi. So Jack is Sam's partner, he went missing and then out of the blue he sent her a cryptic message. Meeting up with him reveals a lot of things including the fact that while Jack is alive, he's no longer human and while she's meeting with "A" Jack, it's definitely not her closest friend and partner.

A warning of imminent war between the races and signs that things are certainly happening and Sam winds up in cahoots with Gabriel Stern assistant director of the SIU, fondly called the Spook Squad. Things are non stop throughout this entire book and the revelations that are made are catastrophic. Along with the news that Sam is definitely not entirely human herself.

The ending to this book made me itchy to pick up the next one and just dive right in. If you are like me and are hesitant about re-releases you have no reason to worry over this one. Keri Arthur does it again and brings us an entirely new story and pov that I can't wait to know more about.

Review: Grave Secret by Sierra Dean

Monday, June 23, 2014
Series: Secret McQueen #5
Release Date: March 19, 2013
Publisher: Samhain
Reviewed by: Amber R.

From Goodreads:

It’s been a hell of a year for Secret McQueen, and the last thing in the world she wants is to get caught up in werewolf drama. But when her former fiancĂ© Lucas Rain shows up asking for her help, she knows there’s no easy way out. After making it known she wants nothing to do with him, Secret agrees to help find Lucas’s wayward sister Kellen. After all, how much trouble could one socialite get into in the city that never sleeps? Unless that socialite has been spirited away by fairies. Trying to track down a missing girl in an alternate reality is just the start of Secret’s problems, though. Someone appears to be killing teenagers, and the MO looks eerily similar to something for which the half-fairy oracle, Calliope, might be responsible. Throw in a rogue wolf pack claiming allegiance to Secret’s mother, Mercy, and she’ll have miles to go before she rests. Warning: This book contains a promise fulfilled, sex that’s out of this world, and more heartache than one hybrid assassin can handle.

This was such a pivotal book in this series. And while I don't want to give anything away, I know that I'm probably going to. So this is your warning.

I have a few different points that were such a turning point for Secret and this entire series. I was all in with this book, once I started reading I literally could not stop. I'm glad it was my day off when I decided to read this one.

Lucas, Lucas, Lucas. Secret is so done with his shit and I am so happy. The entire time I was reading this book I was waiting for the other shoe to drop. I know Secret has a penchant for forgiving and letting people back in who don't deserve it. But this time she held steady and Lucas got everything he's been deserving.

I'm not a huge fan of the triangle between Desmond and Holden but right now I'm living with it. Secret gets both of them right now and I'm cool with that. I'm just dreading the time when she has to pick. I really like Desmond but I like Holden more. So it's going to be a hard one for me if she ever does have to pick. And if she wanted to get a bit of Sig up in there I wouldn't hate that either.

When Secret lost her "weapons" I about died. All I knew is that it couldn't be permanent and it had to be fixed asap. Luckily it did get fixed but I think what she had to do in order to get everything fixed is really going to come back to bite her in the ass.

Beach Reads

Friday, June 20, 2014
Welcome back to another interview for Beach Reads. With summer upon us we decided to do a few interviews with some of our favorite blogging friends to find out what some of their favorite beach activities are. 

Today Jennifer from the Book Nympho is with us so let's get to it!

Where is your favorite beach?

I’ve not been to many beaches and I don’t really have a favorite since I’ve not been to the same one twice. But here is list that I’ve visited.

-Gulf Shores/Orange Beach (Alabama)
-Seven Mile Beach (Grand Cayman)
-Cable Beach (Nassau, Bahamas)
-Beach in Mexico (don’t remember the name of the beach)
-Beach in the Fort Lauderdale, FL area (I was little and don’t know the name of the beach)

What book would you take with you on vacation if you had to leave now?

Clean Sweep by Ilona Andrews, narrated by Renee Raudman (it’s the audiobook I’m listening right now)

Would you rather take an e-book, paperback/hardback, or an audio book?

eReader and iPhone loaded with audiobooks

What's your dream beach vacation?

Trip to the beach with V’Lane (Fever series) but instead of V’Lane I’d take Barrons.

(Barrons is the obvious choice here.)

Real Life – I’d love to visit a beach in Greece.

Shipwreck Beach on Zakynthos. Accessible by boat on a day trip.

Uhm yeah, I'll be joining you. Haha

What book do you remember reading when you were younger over summer break?

I didn’t like to read when I was younger but there was one summer (summer before high school I think) were I read The Baby-Sitter I, II & III by R. L. Stine and a few other books by R. L. Stine that I can’t remember at the moment.

Favorite beachy drink? (alcoholic or non)


Pineapple juice and Malibu coconut rum

(Me too. I love pineapple juice and rum. So yum.)

If you could take anyone on a beach vaca, who would you take?

Sam & Dean Winchester. One to apply my sunscreen and the other to fan me.

Oh my! I don't hate it. 

Thanks so much to Jennifer from the Book Nypmo for joining us today. If you want to check her out, her links are below. And I recommend it, she always has such a wide array of books and authors to offer up and she has lead me to so many awesome books. 

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Review: Keeping Secret by Sierra Dean

Monday, June 16, 2014
Series: Secret McQueen #4
Release Date: July 10, 2012
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
Reviewed by: Amber R.
Book Info
Author Info

Every time I read one of these books, I leave off wanting to immediately read the next one. Being the kind of reader who wants to drag a series out as long as possible, I don't. But I really want to. Four books in and with each book, I get deeper involved with everything Secret McQueen.

Literally days before her wedding to Lucas, the king of the eastern pack of werewolves Secret and Lucas are summoned to Louisiana. Apparently king of the southern pack and Secret's uncle feels like playing a role in her life, for the first time ever. Lucas being the kind of king he is immediately decides that they should go. Lucas puts all needs after the needs of his pack. If it benefits his pack, he does it and damn the consequences. It doesn't matter that someone has tried to kill Secret numerous times recently and it could easily be her uncle.

Secret is going through with all of this for reasons unknown to me at this point. Yes, she is mate bonded with Lucas. But she doesn't love him. Even if the pack benefits from her and Lucas getting married, she still doesn't have any ties to these people. Except for Desmond. And things between them have always been on a thin line since the beginning. Plus she's fulfilling her role on the tribunal. And the vampires have their own ideas about things. Sig and Holden both have their hands all over Secret.

I have to admit there was a point in this book that I had a slight weakness towards Lucas. I was thinking that he might surprise us after all. Luckily we see that Lucas is still who he is and he completely crushes everything and if you don't think less of him by the end of this book, I just don't know about you. I just didn't see what happened coming. There was no warning. Well there was, Secret just didn't listen.

Holden and Sig are still my favorites. Sig is so mysterious. However I really don't like the fact that he's holding back from Secret. I guess her lack of needing to know exactly what each of these people have planned for her is frustrating for me. I want her to kick everyone's ass and make them tell her what they're doing. But I think she picks and chooses her battles.

Either way, I really love this series. I can't wait to read further and find out what happens next. I really hope she never talks to Lucas again because he's actually super terrible. I"m so glad that I found out about Sierra Dean because I've been missing out up until now.

Review: The Accidental Duchess by Madeline Hunter

Friday, June 13, 2014
Series: Fairbourne Quartet #4
Release Date: June 3, 2014
Publisher: Jove
Reviewed by: Amber R.
Author Info
Book Info

I have had this recent resurgence of historical romance and if it's wrong, I don't want to be right. I don't even know if the historical romance I read is accurate on the history side of things and honestly I don't care. Reading contemporary romance usually does nothing for me but historical romance just brings me so much happiness and I have no idea why. I think it's because it's frivolous and fun and I know that's all it can be. Sometimes it's about accepting limitations and enjoying yourself anyhow.

So that has nothing to do with this review other than the book is a historical romance but that's okay too. I worked almost 14 hours today, so you'll have to forgive me.

When we get a historical romance with a woman who realizes the era she lives in is giving her the brunt end of the deal, it makes me even happier. Lydia Thornton is one of those ladies. An old maid by societies standards (at 24), she is independent and intent on living life her own way. Her brother, an earl is her guardian and pretty much turns a blind eye to whatever she does. And she likes to gamble.

One of her brothers best friends is the duke of Penhurst. He's always fair and honorable and perfectly respectable. By chance he becomes better acquainted with Lydia. And takes it upon himself to help guide her into more acceptable social behavior. Lydia gives him a run for his money and takes him on an adventure he never expected. Due to a work of fiction Lydia wrote several years ago that would cause quite a scandal if released into society, Lydia must work fast to get the manuscript back at whatever cost. Of course Penhurst gets dragged into her shenanigans.

Things between Lydia and Penhurst are tumultuous at first, which is good for me because if they weren't I probably wouldn't like them as much. Lydia is outspoken and doesn't shy away from standing up for herself. Penhurst is a good guy and quite dashing with a bit of a clever fox added in. I liked their story and how some of their history intertwined.

I don't know if I have read anything by Hunter before, I can for sure say that I'll be picking up more in the future. With the blend and balance she gives us, there really isn't anything more you could want in an historical romance. At least not for me.

Review: Spirit Bound by Christine Feehan

Wednesday, June 11, 2014
Series: Sisters of the Heart #2
Release Date: December 27, 2011
Publisher: Piatkus Books
Reviewed by: Amber R.
Author Info

Lethal undercover agent Stefan Prakenskii knew a thousand ways to kills a man—and twice as many ways to pleasure a woman. That’s what made him look forward to his new mission: arrive in the coastal town of Sea Haven and insinuate himself in the life of an elusive beauty who had mysterious ties to his past, and a link to a dangerously seductive, and equally elusive master criminal who wanted only one thing: to possess her.
Judith Henderson was an artist on the rise—an ethereal, and haunted woman whose own picture-perfect beauty stirred the souls of two men who have made her their obsession. For years she has been waiting for someone to come and unlock the passion and fire within her—waiting for the right man to surrender it to. But only one man can survive her secrets, and the shadow she has cast over both their lives.

The Things I Liked: I really like the story and the premise with the sisters. I'm really interested to see how they came to be together. Also I'm sure the rest of the sisters will have a story and I can't wait to see what happens with them too. I liked Judith enough but she didn't resonate highly with me. Same goes for Stefan. So while a lot of the other aspects of the story I really loved, these two main characters weren't my favorite.

The Things I Didn't Like: Stefan is really controlling and possessive of Judith. And I really can't stand the way he talks to her. It's really gross. I know it's probably just my personal preference. But it's almost like a doting father talking to a daughter and it creeps me out. Also, their relationship moved really quick. I know again that it's supposed to be one of those things where things move quickly on purpose but again not my preference.

All in all: It's not bad. The meat is there. And I'm super intrigued by the sisters as a whole. There are a few of them that really have me intrigued. While I would read it, I would definitely do it during an extremely slow week.

Review: Grim Shadows by Jenn Bennett

Monday, June 9, 2014
Series: Roaring Twenties #2
Release Date: June 3, 2014
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Reviewed by: Amber R
Book Info
Author Info

Once I read Bitter Spirits I knew that whatever was next in this series would be amazing. I wasn't disappointed. Grim Shadows brings us all the style of the 20's encompassed by a group of amazing characters and a story that just sucks you in.

Hadley Bacall and Lowe Magnusson become fast friends at a train station one afternoon. Being chased down and shot at will cause people to bond quickly. Well that's not actually true, they didn't become fast friends. But once Hadley figures out what Lowe is doing, she doesn't let him have all the fun. Lowe is working for her father hunting down ancient Egyptian artifacts. And everyone has their own ulterior motives, Lowe and Dr. Bacall do for sure. Hadley is just along for the ride. It's a crazy one, filled with men who don't age, mythical beasts, magic, and riddles from beyond the grave.

Lowe is a smooth talking, good looking, and too much of both for his own good. He's a treasure hunter who is always looking for the highest bidder. And not always just one bidder either. A lot of times his deals turn into cons. This time around is no different. With debt to pay off and pride blocking him from asking family for help, he's trying to run a game on a few different people. Hadley is focused on her career and taking over for her father when he officially retires. Working with Lowe is necessary for her because she doesn't trust anyone but herself with the artifacts. Living with demons of her own, Hadley has always lived a somewhat lonely life.

There is a strong attraction that comes up between Hadley and Lowe. I have a quote from the book that summarizes things nicely in my opinion.

It almost felt like a challenge. At least , that's how his ever-optimistic brain interpreted it, as if she were saying: "You want this? Good luck. You're going to have to work for it."
To say the relationship between them was hot is putting it mildly. And in own fell swoop, everything changed and it was all gone. I was obviously heartbroken. Hadley and Lowe were perfect.

If you haven't picked up Bitter Spirits, please do. And if you have you aren't going to want to miss Grim Shadows. Jenn Bennett is an author to watch out for, she's going to be here for a long time.

Beach Reads

Friday, June 6, 2014
With summer upon us, we decided to get in contact with same of our favorite bloggers and find out what are some of their favorite beach-y and summer-y things. So starting us off is Braine at Talk Supe.

Where's your favorite beach?
I'm from the Philipppines. If you're unfamiliar, it's in Southeast Asia, above the equator, and a tropical country so I pretty much grew up near sea water. So it goes without saying that my favorite would be from my hometown of San Fernando and our house is a 5 minute walk from the pier and fish market and 10 minutes from the beach where you can actually swim, play frisbee, drink or just do whatever.

Uh hello??? Who is even from a place this gorgeous??

What book would you take on a beach vacation if you had to leave now? 
I just read MAKE YOU MINE by Macy Beckett and it's the perfect beach read. I usually read supernatural/paranormal stuff but when I'm lounging around, I want something light and breezy and not laden with complicated world building and intense characters. Although I'd bring any Molly Harper book as back up for nighttime reading, she's always a hoot!

Would you take an e-reader, book, or audio book? 
Both because I don't want to run out of options. My e-reader sucks, useless if you're under the sun so definitely a book if I'm catching some vitamin d either on the beach or poolside. E-reader in the room or somewhere shady. 

Where's your dream beach vacation? 
This is Bora Bora. I'm coming with you!

What book do you remember reading over summer vacation when you were in school? 
Hmm... I hardly read because I was too busy flirting with boys and hanging out with my cousins. But there was one summer where I read Sweet Valley High by  Francince Pascal, that didn't last for long though. Why live in a fantasy world when you're in a place lots of people fantasize about?! Virgin surf and sand!

(I loved Sweet Valley High!)

What's your favorite beachy drink (alcoholic or non)?
During summer in my hometown, we'd drink room temperature beer coz ice is expensive so what we'll do is get a case, put it in water and after an hour or two it'll be "cooler". And by cooler it's only 70 degrees give or take. I know it's horrible but when you're tipsy or drunk and drinking on the beach with great company and the water just a few feet away, it doesn't really matter. Now that I'm older and can no longer get away with "cute drunkenness" I'll just take water or Gatorade. Can't have my old, brown ass gracing social media, one can never be too careful nowadays.
(LOL. And warm beer?? Ewwww)

Who would you take on your beach vaca if you could take anyone? 
Oh my lover boy that's for sure! I have to try the outdoors thing sans the Poison Ivy... right Amber I? :D
(She's never going to live down that poison ivy story. haha)
Thanks so much for joining us here today! And you can check out Braine's awesome blog and catch her on other social media at the links below.    
Also look for me at Google+* Goodreads

Review: Sixth Grave on the Edge by Darynda Jones

Monday, June 2, 2014
Series: Charley Davidson #6
Release Date: May 20, 2014
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Reviewed by: Amber R.
Book Info
Author Info

Charley Davidson is back and she's the same as always. Which is good for me. Maybe not so good for Reyes. He asked her a huge question at the end of Fifth Grave and it takes almost this entire book to get an answer. But we do get an answer and we get a lot of them. We get almost as many questions but things are definitely on the move.

Reyes. Reyes, Reyes, Reyes. Can I just type his name over and over and make that my review? Because that's what I'd like to do. He's amazing. And sweet and so sexy I could turn into an actual puddle. He's still not giving Charley too many answers about who she really is or what's supposed to happen but he's definitely been listening to her more and not trying to control everything.

Charley is just as hilarious and as scatter-brained as she always has been. She's risking her life to help people all over town. However, I do think that she was hem-hawing over the whole Reyes thing. And at this point there's really no reason for her to, I didn't think so anyhow.

I love all of these characters. Cookie and Ubie are fantastic. Swopes and Charley's dad. I just like her side characters as much as I like the main ones. And that's something that I think is hard to find. When all the friends of the main character are deep and have stories of their own, it just takes the entire book to a different level.

Jones has done it again. The Charley Davidson series gets better and burns brighter with each book. I was so excited to find out that the seventh comes out later this year because with that cliffhanger I don't think I could wait much longer.

Review: Legal Heat by Sarah Castille

Friday, May 30, 2014
Series: Legal Heat #1
Release Date: April 23, 2013
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Reviewed by: Amber R.
Book Info
Author Info

Katy Sinclair is a divorced, single, working mom who is on the way to the top of the lawyer firm she works for. She's given a high profile case that could easily make her a partner in the firm. But this case just might be too much for Katy. Opposing council that she can't help but find herself attracted to, an exhusband who doesn't know the meaning of divorced, and a client who might not be telling the whole truth.

Mark Richards is opposing council for a large pharmaceutical company. And his client, Mr. Steele is beyond reproach. But Mark will only let him push him so far before he stands up for himself. Mark also freelance bartends for a kinky sex club downtown. Once he comes in contact with Katy he knows he wants her. He just doesn't realize how deep that goes.

When the case takes Mark and Katy trying to solve a murder case and dealing with the attraction that is constantly building between them things get dangerous.

I liked this book. I think that this books are really great for fillers when you just need something to read but you don't have anything major coming up. I don't like them enough to read them constantly but they're definitely not bad. If you have a long weekend and you can't think of anything to pick up check out one of Castille's books, you might be pleasantly surprised.

Review: How to Lose a Lord in 10 Days or Less by Elizabeth Michels

Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Series: Tricks of the Ton #4
Release Date: July 1, 2014
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Reviewed by: Amber R.
Book Info
Author Info

Lord Amberstall literally comes crashing into Katie's life one fateful afternoon. Lord Amberstall or Andy as we'll call him, has been away from London for a year after an incident that forced him to go into hiding. With urgent summons from home, Andy makes his way from Scotland back to London. On the way a couple of ruffians are following Andy and making it clear that when they catch him, nothing good is going to happen. With the summons and these men following, Andy can't help but decide things are connected. When his horse gets injured and actually plants him in Katie's lap, life is about to get even more interesting.

Katie is about unconventional as a lady during these times can be. She lives in small cottage on her fathers property, she wears "breeches", takes up with whatever random hobby popped into her head today, speaks her mind, and up until an unfortunate accident she was the main caretaker of her horses. When Andy shows up, she insists on keeping his horse and taking care of it until it's back to health. Oh and she won't give Andy another horse to leave.

I really got into this book pretty quick. I like the story and that Katie was so wonderfully weird. She wasn't even that weird but she was very outspoken and a take charge type and I always love that. There was a good back story for each character, more for Katie but again I love that too. The way the story progressed and changed was so good. There were quite a few things that happened that I never saw coming. Plus the progression in Andy and Katie's relationship was natural and awesome.

I laughed quite a few times and the story was very engrossing. I knew by the title that I would probably like this book and I'm glad to see that I wasn't wrong. I haven't read anything by Michels in the past but I will be checking her out from now on. If this book is any indication, she'll have a lot more to offer with different characters.

Review: A Sword Upon the Rose by Brenda Joyce

Monday, May 26, 2014
Series: Scottish Medieval #2
Release Date: June 24, 2014
Publisher: Harlequin HQN
Reviewed by: Amber R.

Plot: Alana is the illegitimate daughter of a high up lord. She was forgotten by him and raised by her grandmother after her mother died. War is coming to Alana's neck of the woods and the stress and anxiety is too much for everyone to handle. Alana's family are playing a major part in the war. She has a gift or a curse that is being exploited by her family. A Highlander warrior from the opposing side of the war causes Alana to question everything about her loyalties. 

What I liked: I don't know how accurate it was but reading about the different aspects of the war that Robert Bruce waged was pretty cool. It really made me wanna crack open a history book and find out what happened. I liked the fact that Alana was so head strong and even though she knew the people she loved world be upset, she really followed her own heart and her own mind. 

What I didn't like: There was a lot of whining going on. So many gasps and cries and exclamations. It was pretty excessive. Also Alana was pretty whiny the entire time, which got to be annoying. Like we get that she was in "peril" but couldn't she have been a little bit more stoic about it rather than so dramatic? We get that going against her family, that doesn't even like her by the way, is hard but she really has no reason to defend them or stay loyal to them. I also didn't like that Iain wasn't in the book as much. So even though they were "in love" you didn't really get to see their connection. Granted he was away waging war but still. 

Final Thoughts: The mash up at the end with Alana's father's wife and daughters seemed pretty rushed to me. The fact that they just all basically fell in with each other seemed pretty stretched. Iain and Alana end up together but because of him not being in the book as much it's hard to really picture them together.

Review: Taken by the Others by Jess Haines

Friday, May 23, 2014
Series: H&W Investigations #2
Release Date: January 1, 2011
Publisher: Zebra
Reviewed by: Amber R.
From Goodreads:
Once, New York P.I. Shiarra Waynest's most pressing problem was keeping her agency afloat. Now she's dealing with two dangerous, seductive vampires who have been enemies for centuries. The only thing Max Carlyle and Alec Royce agree on is that they both want Shia - for very different reasons. Max is determined to destroy Shia for killing his progeny, while Royce's interest is a lot more personal. That's not sitting well with Shia's werewolf boyfriend, Chaz. As the feud between Max and Royce gets ever more deadly, a powerful vampire-hunting faction is urging Shia to join their side. Shia has always believed vamps were the bad guys, but she's discovering unexpected shades of grey that are about to redefine her friends, her loyalties - and even her desires.

  1. They tried it. They really did. This has all the makings of a good UF series but somewhere along the way it misses that rhythm for me. For some reason it's just not clicking. 
  2. Shiarra is dating were alpha, Chaz. And their relationship is just not believable. She calls him a "furry" monster, beast etc a lot. She spends about 75% of the time saying that she's scared of him in one breath and then saying that she sees him as a regular person in the next. 
  3. It seems like Shiarra has a lot more chemistry with vamp leader Royce than Chaz. And we hardly see Royce at all. 
  4. I don't really care with the writing style. 
  5. The endearing and realistic friendship between Shiarra and Sara falls flat. It's not endearing or realistic. 

I could pick up another one of these books. If I actually have nothing else to read. But honestly I highly doubt it. This series is just not cutting it on the UF for me.

Early Review: In Your Corner by Sarah Castille

Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Series: Redemption #2
Release Date: July 1, 2014
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Reviewed by: Amber R.
Book Info
Author Info

This is the first book I've read by Sarah Castille and I can confidently say that I'll be reading more books by her asap.

Amanda is a hotshot lawyer who has one goal, to make partner in the prestigious law firm she works for. She's on the right track and working with the bigwigs to make sure that happens. That's until she gets offered to take a case for a huge potential client and when she walks into the meeting room, she comes face to face with her ex Jake. Amanda and Jake ended on bad terms after a short relationship. Things were going well but Jake wanted more from Amanda than she was able to give. Due to their past, Amanda goes to her boss and tells him that she needs off the case. Once she goes to her boss he gives her an offer to basically have sex with him or he's going to blackmail her. So Amanda does the only thing she can and she walks out of her job.

Once Jake realizes that he's kinda responsible for Amanda quitting her job he feels really bad. Amanda is depressed after making the decision to leave her job. Unexpectedly Jake is there to push her to get out of the house and start living her life again. Jake is a rookie MMA fighter and he pushes Amanda into the gym to give her something to do until she figures things out. And her life slowly starts to come back. However there's something holding her back from really taking a hold of her new life and the possibilities coming her way. Sometimes you're your own worst enemy.

I think it's pretty obvious that Jake and Amanda start their relationship back up. Well kind of. They both realize they made mistakes before. Jake is trying to take it slow so that they can get to know each other again and connect on a deeper level. Amanda is really not wanting it. She's very independent, she's not one to rely on other people or to reach out to other people. But that's what Jake wants. They do have some pretty tense moments and their playing before they actually get down to business is super hot. And when things do happen between them, it's even hotter.

All in all this was a good book. I honestly didn't really think I'd like it with the MMA aspect but it turned out for me. I liked Castille's writing style and how everything flowed. The character development was good for me too. However there was one aspect of Amanda that kinda drives me nuts but I think that's more me and my personal likes and dislikes. Sarah Castille is definitely an author I'm going to be keeping my eye on.

Review: Deep Dark Secret by Sierra Dean

Monday, May 19, 2014
Series: Secret McQueen #3
Release Date: March 6, 2012
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd
Reviewed by: Amber R.
Book Info
Author Info

You guys, I love Secret. I love her so much. She's everything I love about a lead character. How many more times can I say love?? Secret is such a great character with so much depth and so much untapped potential. She could actually take any path she wanted and cause hell the entire way. People know who she is and they don't question her abilities, too much anyhow.

This book was crazy. I'd say the f word but I really don't think I should. Secret is on the tribunal. Which we got to see some of but I really think we're missing out on this awesome story line with them. There was definitely more of a focus on the werewolves in this book. Lucas and Desmond are both vying for Secret's attentions and sharing her is a little bit more complicated than they thought it would be.

Can I just say out of the two weres, Desmond is my pick all day. Lucas is heavy handed, inconsiderate, rude, forceful, arrogant, and a million other adjectives that describe a shitty person. The fact that he is forcing all of these things on Secret is absolutely driving me stark raving mad. It's not fair and it's down right abusive. AND THEN Secret is straight up forgiving him or at least being "understanding", uh no. You punch him in the face and never see him again. His stupid pack be damned.

Now on the other side of things, we have Holden. And I'm sorry but I'm not sorry, I need them two to get it on. Secret and Holden mash-up will be the most epic time in this series, I can already tell.

Secret is facing something in this book that simply doesn't make sense at all. If it were a vampire or a werewolf, she would have it in the bag. But whatever she is up against is definitely going to push her limits, maybe too far.

I need to read the next book. And that's all I'm saying.

Early Review: Banishing the Dark by Jenn Bennett

Friday, May 16, 2014
Series: Arcadia Bell #4
Publisher: Pocket
Release Date: May 27, 2014
Reviewer: Amber R.
Author Info
Book Info

I know there are going to be all kinds of reviews coming out soon for Banishing the Dark, so I'm going to try to keep this pretty condensed. This fourth and final installment of Jenn Bennett's Arcadia Bell series was so bittersweet for me. One of my favorite UF series that have come out in the last few years, I was hoping it would never end. But like all good things, they have to end at some point.

Cady and Lon are tracking down the mystery surrounding Cady's birth. There are quite a few secondary reasons but the most pressing issue is that Cady's psychotic mother is trying to possess Cady's body and use her powers. Obviously this a no go for Cady and she needs to figure out how to stop her mother in any way possible.

We get some of Jupe's point of view, which I really loved. Jupe is awesome and being able to see how he thinks of things first hand was cool. While Cady and Lon were off doing what they needed to do to figure out what's going on, Jupe was doing some investigating of his own. He wants to help his dad and Cady in any way that he can, even if that means sneaking around to do it.

There is a lot of information about Cady and her parents revealed in this book. Something pretty spoiler-y (is that a word??) happens that I want to discuss a lot because I think it's super interesting but I won't say what it is. There are actually a few things that happen that I don't want to spoil for anyone. What I will say is that the epilogue had me in tears and the acknowledgments made it even worse. I loved this series and it will definitely be on that I come back to in the future. 

Review: Nauti Boy by Lora Leigh

Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Series: Nauti #1
Release Date: March 2007
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Reviewed by: Amber R
Book Info
Author Info

The Nauti Boys are three hard ass Marine cousins from Kentucky. They earned their reputation early in life and honestly. The three men do everything together and are closer than brothers. When I say they do everything, I do mean everything. Rowdy, Dawg and Natches are arrogant, manly men who have done numerous tours of service with the Marines. They've also shared numerous women together since they were little more than kids.

Rowdy has been in love with Kelly since before he knew what love meant. His dad married her mom when they were younger and he's been her protector since then. Once they grew up they knew that they had strong feelings for one another but since Rowdy was a little bit older than her, he knew that making any kinds of moves towards her would be wrong so he stayed away. But once Kelly was grown and he was done with the Marines he came home and for good. But things have changed, Kelly is no longer the flirty, sassy women he knew. She's more subdued, she's scared, and something has happened. Rowdy is determined to figure it out and he's determined to win her over.

There were pros and cons for me in this book. I liked the intensity between Rowdy and Kelly. The sexual tension between them was super hot and so thick you could cut it with a knife. It was hot, I'll give you that. Some of the things I didn't like was how borderline incestuous it was. Like the cousins weren't having sex with each other but they were having sex with the same women all at the same time. Plus Kelly is Rowdy's step-sister, their parents married when Kelly was only like 9. Granted they explain that Rowdy didn't start noticing Kelly or anything until she was like 16 or 17 but if I thought about it too much it was a little bit too icky for me.

So I think you'll have to make up your minds about this one. It wasn't bad enough that I couldn't read it but it was leaning that way. The story was not bad and the writing was good as a whole and for the sex scenes. It's just that cousin/stepsister aspect that threw me for a loop. 

Review: Men of the Otherworld by Kelley Armstrong

Monday, May 12, 2014
Series: Otherworld Stories #1
Publisher: Bantam
Release Date: January 27, 2009
Reviewed by: Amber R
Book Info
Author Info

For those of you who followed my journey through the last month, you know that I read through the last part of the Women of the Otherworld series in just a few short weeks. And I loved the ending. I never thought of reading or needing anything additional from the point of view of the men of this series. I was wrong.

We started out with learning about the circumstances surrounding Jeremy's birth. Malcolm's point of view is not something I ever wanted. And reading of it didn't redeem him in my eyes at all. He's a total bastard and that's all we really need to know. He's underestimated Jeremy from conception and that never changed. It was very interesting reading about Jeremy's mothers family though. We have always known Jeremy was "more", there is a definite distinction there and a vague understanding of where he comes from.

From there we move on to seeing Clay's beginning up close and personal from the start. It's hilarious. Well once Jeremy finally gets Clay to Stonehaven, it's hilarious. While still in Louisiana the true level of Jeremy's patience is highlighted. At the same time we see the true level of Clay's distrust. As we go on with the story, we get to see first hand the way that Clay's mind works and who he is at the heart of things. There were quite a few different things that happened that I laughed so hard at. And I loved seeing the progression of Jeremy and Clay's relationship.

At the end we get a glimpse into Jeremy's life with Jamie. As I was reading, I realized that while Jeremy is involved in all these books, we really don't get anything from his pov. In some of the books we get Clay here and there or Lucas but Jeremy is an enigma and so interesting and we get nothing. For me being able to read about him and see his way of thinking was really interesting.

Like I said, I didn't think I needed this book or even wanted it. But once I started reading, I couldn't put it down. I know that these characters can't go on forever but I really wish they could. Having the guy's stories is just as interesting and endearing as the women. I really need to see the process Kelley has for developing these stories and these people. I can't say characters because they really feel real to me while I'm reading. If you haven't checked out this series yet, you're really missing out. 
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