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.
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