Review: Thornbrook Park by Sherri Browning

Monday, March 31, 2014
Series: Thornbrook Park #1
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Release Date: June 3, 2014
Reviewed By: Amber R.
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I don't know what it is but I really prefer historical romance over contemporary romance. Thornbrook Park is a delightful installment in the historical romance genre. I read this book in just under a day and it was such a quick, great read. Set back in the early 1900's, this is the first Sherri Browning book I've read and I'll be coming back for more.

Eve Kendal is a woman of the times and she is intent on making her own way in the world. After the untimely passing of her army husband, she decides to leave her home in India to return to the country of her birth, England. Although she was disowned by her family for marrying "beneath" her, she still has friends in London and with her payments from investments that her husband set up she will be able to live comfortably.

However once in England, things start unraveling pretty quickly. While Eve has dreams of living her own life, it turns out that something suspicious has happened to her funds. Luckily her friend Sophia, now a countess, is willing to be hospitable to Eve until she can figure out what to do. But Eve didn't figure Sophia's brother in law, Marcus into the equation. A war hero in his own right and a prize boxer, Marcus is a mans man. He's also pretty charming and seems sweet. When he takes up with Eve to help her solve her financial issues, things bloom between the two.

I really loved this book. I was less than thrilled with Sophia and her husband's involvement in Eve and Marcus' relationship. But Eve was such a breath of fresh air. Although times are starting to change for women during this time frame, most of them are still embracing the old ways. Eve is really independent and ready to do things on her own and I can really appreciate that about her.

I think that if you enjoy historical romance or even just romance you will need to read this book. It's super sweet and we get that happily ever after but only after a few false starts. So we get a lot of that suspense too. Plus with some of the other things that happen, things aren't always clear. It's a great mix and a well contained story. Check it out!

Review: Archangel's Kiss by Nalini Singh

Friday, March 28, 2014
Series: Guild Hunter #2
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Release Date: February 2, 2010
Reviewed By: Amber R.
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Archangel's Kiss is set a year after Angels' Blood. True love has converted Elena from mortal hunter to angel... hunter? Her hunter instincts are still strong. But after a year of basically being in a coma after being turned by Raphael into an angel, she's as weak as a kitten. When the ancient archangel Lijuan sends an invitation to a ball, Raphael knows that they must accept or else.

There are so many different power plays between these archangels, it almost seems no one is truly on the same side. They all might be part of the Cadre but most of the time they act like mortal enemies. And it's not just one against the rest, it's this one against these two, these two against these two, and so on and so forth. So not only are Raphael and Elena dealing with her new found status as Raphael's weakest link, her still healing from being made into an angel, Lijuan's craziness, all of the archangel's inner power plays, but someone is wreaking havoc in the angel's city.

Elena's past is making an unwelcome advance as well. While she feels she has mostly dealt with the deaths of her sisters and mother. Memories that have been suppressed are coming back with a vengeance. Raphael is there to help. And while Elena was in a coma for a year, the love between these two has not faded. Elena has changed but she's still the same headstrong hunter she always was. Raphael and Elena are learning each other still and I feel like they're coming out stronger than ever.

Lijuan's ball is something they must go to because to not show up would be a weakness. However what she has planned might even be too much for Elena and Raphael to deal with. She's truly vicious. But going against Lijuan, who is literally the most powerful being in existence, is just something that you don't do.

I'm really into this series. This is the second book I've read within a week and I can't wait to read even more.

Audiobooks Vs. Reading

Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Audiobooks VS. Reading

While perusing my favorite bloggers websites, I've steadily noticed an increase of audiobook reviews and challenges and an overall almost preference to audiobooks over reading. Now I've listened to 1 audiobook that I really enjoyed and about 20 minutes of another that I could just not get into.

Now I don't think that reading is better than audiobooks or that if you listen to audiobooks it doesn't really count as reading. Is that really what some people think, by the way? Because when I was looking up stuff about audiobooks, a lot of people seem to think that it doesn't count?? Which I don't understand because you're taking in the content and you know what's happening in the book, you're just listening to it rather than reading it.

Either way what I do think is that it seems like way more work to listen to an audiobook. Not only do you have to actually be into the story, you also have to be able to actually listen to the narrator. As I stated earlier, that's a real issue with me. Because if I can't handle the "voices" or accents that the narrator is doing, I will completely give up on the audiobook. Also, I can't really figure out when I would listen to an audiobook. It takes way longer to listen to a book than for me to read it. I work full time and have other life things that I have to do, I just can't imagine where I'm going to find the time to listen to an 8 hour book. Especially when I can read it in a fraction of that time.

So if I had a long commute, I can see listening to an audiobook then. Or if I was on a plane, or taking a road-trip then okay, I get it. But when people are mostly listening to audiobooks and still reviewing them or just even for pleasure, I don't know how you're doing it. Truly. You're a marvel to me at this point.

When do you guys stand on this? Do you prefer reading or audiobooks? And if you listen to audiobooks often, how do you do it? Because I'm just one reader who doesn't understand. 

Review: Lie by Night by Cathy Marlowe

Monday, March 24, 2014
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Entangled: Ignite
Release Date: March 24, 2014
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Guys, I really try to be diplomatic about these things but I'm not going to be able to do it.

Here's all you need to know. The relationship, the story, and the fact that this professor decided that she would go to a remote island to save her military trained brother is just laughable. Emma is on the hunt for her missing brother, Jacob. On the island she runs into Cole, a man who she met six months before for one night. He was also friends with Jacob but only for like a week? Like I said, super far-fetched. Emma and Cole reluctantly team up together. Although Cole was initially on the island for different reasons.

Everything seemed very far-fetched. The main relationship was lukewarm. And it wasn't believable to me. It was very back and forth. But Cole and Emma both felt some sort of connection the first night they met six months ago. Even though that night Cole ended up staying with another woman.

Now, I'm not here to dictate what you should or shouldn't read. But I will say that this book wasn't anything that I'll remember or even think about again.

Review: Angels' Blood by Nalini Singh

Friday, March 21, 2014
Series: Guild Hunter #1
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Release Date: March 3, 2009
Reviewed By: Amber R.
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Up until this point I haven't read any books with angels as the main paranormal character that I've really loved. However this book has definitely changed my mind. While we have vampires in this book too, they're not really in charge like the usually are. There's actually a hierarchy with archangels on top, vampires, and humans on bottom. So not only did Singh make me love angels, she also created this brand new world in the PNR/UF genre.

Elena is a guild hunter. She works for The Guild hunting rogue or dangerous vampires based off orders given by the angels who created them. She's also a born hunter which means something but it's pretty unclear at this point what that is. Elena is a layered, intricate character and I really love that about her. She has a past and not a pretty one. Her mother and two of her sisters somehow ended up dead. She's estranged from the remaining part of her family. But she's found family within The Guild. Elena has special traits that make her fantastic at her job, she's snarky, she's had to be hard, and she's just trying to live her life.

Raphael is an archangel who needs Elena's particular talent. And while Elena is hesitant to work for him, you can't really tell an archangel no. But she'll definitely not sit back and let Raphael rule over her the way he wants to. He's arrogant, lethal, and unbearably gorgeous. There is a heated attraction between the two but Elena is determined to not let that effect her. Besides she needs to be focused because the job she's working is undoubtedly the most dangerous job she's ever done.

Of course Elena can't resist Raphael for too long. But she does a pretty good job. I really loved the banter back and forth between them. I just don't like my couples without some sarcasm. And then the ending to this book was completely unexpected. It's already left me anticipating the next book in this series. I don't know why it took me this long to pick this up, no I do.. it was the angels. I don't know why I was so against it. But I'm way into it now and I can't wait to see what happens next.  

Review: You Again by Ashlee Mallory

Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Genre: Contemporary Romance/Mystery
Publisher: Entangled: Ignite
Release Date: March 24, 2014
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You Again is a romance/mystery set in Salt Lake City, Utah. Allie is a single mom who teaches English at a local Catholic high school. The discovery of a body of a teacher who disappeared over 15 years ago found on school property has the close knit community reeling. Jackson Williams was a beloved teacher of Allie's when she attended the same school she teaches at now. She decides to put together a video memorial for the teacher she idolized. But foul play soon becomes apparent and Allie decides she's going to figure out what happens. However an old crush of hers turns up back in town right around the same time and they quickly turn into a Lois and Clark duo.

There are quite of few things I enjoyed about this book. The mystery part of the story line was pretty strong. I really love being able to follow the clues as a book progresses and try my own guess at who our killer is. I wasn't sure in this one, there seemed to be several people who fit the bill. It seems although Allie loved Mr. Williams there were some who disagreed with that assessment. The romance part of the book wasn't as strong. However I really did enjoy the progression between Allie and Sam. At times it seemed Allie was being pretty childish in how she was handling certain situations with Sam. And Sam wasn't able to trust Allie even though he really had no reason not to. But overall it wasn't bad.

I think if you're looking for some interesting, not scary or gory, light romance this is a good choice for you. I gave it 3.5 stars because Allie and Sam's connection didn't seem that deep to me and the mystery was pretty straight forward. The book was pretty solid though.

Review: Night Broken by Patricia Briggs

Monday, March 17, 2014
Series: Mercy Thompson #8
Release Date: March 11, 2014
Publisher: Ace Hardcover
Reviewed by: Amber R.
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In the last portion of this book Mercy says that she had been feeling a sense of doom all day. And all I could think was that I FELT THE DOOM THE ENTIRE BOOK! As soon as I found out that Christy was involved, I knew it was going to be bad. I try really hard to stay away from spoilers with all of the books/series that I read. I honestly don't even read blurbs so coming into this I had no idea what was going to happen.

Mercy has dealt with a lot but dealing with Adam's ex-wife, Christy, might take the cake. Christy is manipulative, selfish, and all around terrible. Plus she has a way of always making herself out to be the victim and everyone defending her. But this time she really is the victim. On the run from a man with a violent streak because she's Jesse's mom and because Adam helps everyone, Christy comes to the Tri-Cities. Unfortunately her troubles follow not too far behind.

If you don't think Mercy is an angel and a half yet, you will after this book. She has the patience of a saint. Mercy is not only handling Christy's crap like a pro, she's dealing with a Gray Lord who wants the walking stick which she no longer has, and it turns out Christy's trouble isn't quite as human as they thought. To put it mildly, it's a hurricane of pure crap. Mercy comes definitely swings back though. While her and Adam's relationship isn't necessarily tested with Christy around, Mercy's relationship with the pack is. However she does have some unexpected people in her corner.

I loved this book from the first to the last. Mercy is an amazing heroine and I think we could all strive to be more like her. I'm not going to lie to you guys though, the ending to this book had me on pins and needles and I almost couldn't get through it. Briggs has a way of making sure you understand that absolutely nothing is certain and you love her for it anyhow. While I was so anxious and happy to read this book, I'm already on edge to start the next book in this series. More Mercy in my life is necessary.

Review: Jaded by Ember Leigh

Friday, March 14, 2014
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Breathless Press
Release Date: March 14, 2014
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I don't know if it was the sub-zero temperatures at work or the book but I had chills. It was definitely the book. I'm certain of it. I've been on the hunt for some good, flirty romance and I found it in Jaded a new release by Ember Leigh. It had all of the flirty romance I wanted but it did pack a punch with the plot and leading lady Isabella.

I was really able to relate to Isabella. She's given up on men. And I can't tell you how many times I've been there. After one too many heartbreaks, she's throwing in the towel. She's a successful, independent woman and she doesn't need a man in her life. Who could blame her, after her ex cheated on her with his secretary? It was the final straw for her. That is until a surprise gift from her mother shows up knocking on her door one morning. A construction crew on a 3 month project to renovate her house. And a hunky, built, tan, blonde foreman leading the job who has his eye on everything that Isabelle has to offer.

But Isabelle has other ideas. She's adamant about ignoring Luke and making sure he realizes that she basically wants nothing to do with him. But his cheeky sense of humor and cockiness are too much for Isabelle to overlook. And once she gets to know him, he shows a whole different layer that tugs on her heart. Luke is a total playboy but in a nice way. He's not a jerk or anything like that. But he's never found the right person to fall in love with. Isabelle is a force to be reckoned with though. While she can appreciate Luke, she is also very firm in her choices.

Unfortunately these aren't the only hurdles they have to cross, if they were they might be okay. When I first started reading this I didn't really know what to expect but I really liked the book. It's a quick read and it flows perfectly. We do get POV from both Luke and Isabelle which I really enjoyed. Because while Luke makes some heinous mistakes, you can really see that he's a good guy and I don't know if we would have been able to see that without his side of things too.

This is a new release today and I really think that you should all pick this up. If you like a sexy good time, a lot of snark, hilarity, and a good plot you can't go wrong. And check out Ember's website as well. She's hilarious and super fun. 

Something Secret This Way Comes by Sierra Dean

Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Series: Secret McQueen #1
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd. 
Release Date: May 10, 2011
Reviewed By: Amber R. 

I hadn't heard too much about this series so I wasn't really sure what to expect. Amber I told me she didn't really like it. Since I usually like the same books as her, I didn't have my hopes up. But I loved this book. 

Secret McQueen is a bounty hunter for the vampire tribunal. Her petite figure can be misleading and most vamps laugh her off. But Secret is a half vamp/half werewolf and she's more than anyone ever bargained for. Her status as half vamp/half werewolf is a heavily guarded secret. Only a handful of people know the truth. Including her vampire liaison to the tribunal, a rogue bounty hunter and her partner, the leader of the tribunal and an immortal of epic proportions. 

While Secret basically accepts her vampire nature, drinking blood (albeit not from humans) and everything that comes with. Accepting her werewolf side is a bit more challenging, in fact she hasn't shifted in years. But when she comes across Lucas Rain, werewolf king to the east and his lieutenant, accepting her werewolf side is imperative. Apparently Secret has soul bonded with Lucas who has some interesting information about Secret's own werewolf ancestry. And things aren't so cut and dry with the whole soul bonding thing either.

A vampire nemesis from before Secret started working for the tribunal is back in town and he's fighting dirty right off the top. Knowing that Secret will be on his trail he starts off killing prostitutes and turning them against their will. Secret will do whatever it takes to bring him down. 

You can't help but like Secret. She knows who she is and what she's doing. Well at least until the werewolves come into her life. She's totally kick ass and her being a mix of vampire and werewolf give her an advantage over the rest of the guys. We are left on a crazy cliffhanger and I'm so anxious to see what happens next. If this is a series you've skimmed over for one reason or another, you should definitely pick it up. I don't think you'll be disappointed. Plus you get the best of both the vampire and werewolf worlds.

A Quick Update!

Monday, March 10, 2014
Hi Everyone! 

So things have been pretty quiet over here for the past couple weeks and I'm sorry! I went on vacation to Portland. Which was amazing in case you were wondering. I love Portland. Oregon, by the by. I ate too much great food and had way too much fun. Acclimating back into the land of living is hard. But I'm back, errrr, will be back. I'm embarrassed to even tell you how far behind I am. But things are well on their way and we'll have regular reviews posting again soon. 

As you know, I started doing this for the love of reading and then for the love of sharing my love with all of you, who I love. I just have so much love in me, it's unbelievable. But thankfully we have the most loyal dedicated readers and you never disappoint. Hopefully you all feel the same. Either way, I just wanted you to know that things will be getting back to "normal" soon. 

In the mean time if you have anything you've been missing in the book reviewing/blogging community leave a comment and let me know. I'll be checking back with you all.

-Talk to you soon, Amber R.

Review: The Undead Pool by Kim Harrison

Monday, March 3, 2014
Series: The Hollows #12
Publisher: Voyager
Release Date: February 25, 2014
Reviewed by: Amber R.
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I feel like I should write this entire review in caps and bold everything because OH MY GOD. This book was the culmination of everything we've been waiting for throughout the last 11 books. I'm in love with this story so much. I'm honestly going to read this book again and I hardly ever re-read books. Rachel is giving us everything we want. And the other characters in this series are just as strong. With some series, the main character is the focus and what everyone looks forward to. And while Rachel is absolutely amazing, I think that you look forward to the other characters in this series just as much. 

I feel like I could go on and on about how amazing these characters are but I definitely need to go into a bit more detail here. Rachel has been working for Trent for the past three months as security. They have come into an easy rhythm together. There's underlying feelings for both of them but Trent has responsibilities and Rachel doesn't want to be the one who comes in between Trent and the other things that he has going. Even though Rachel is being responsible in this situation, there are some things that you can't ignore.

Of course Rachel and Trent's relationship isn't the only thing that's going on. Magic misfires are happening all across Cincinnati. No one knows what's going on. Not to mention, all of the master vampires are asleep and can't be woken up at all. There's definitely something going on and someone is behind it. Like usual, Rachel is right in the middle of everything and so are her friends.

I can not rave about this book or this series enough. And I finally got what I wanted in this book! Harrison was being a bit tricky though and kinda brought someone back from the dead. Luckily not really though. But I was like, "NOOOO, DON'T DO THIS, WE'RE SO CLOSE", she didn't though so we're still okay. You are completely missing out on something incredible if you haven't read this series. After all that Harrison has done so far I can't even begin to imagine how she's going to wrap the series up. I'm dreading and also absolutely can't wait for the next book to come out.
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