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.
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