Thursday, 30 May 2013

Review: Blood Oath by Charity Santiago

Title: Blood Oath (Rapid City Wolves #2)
Author: Charity Santiago
Release date: June 1st 2013
Publisher: Self-published
Genre: New Adult Paranormal
Format: eARC
Pages: 110
Source: Review copy from author

Eve has claimed leadership of the Rapid City wolves, but her insistence on maintaining a platonic relationship with her beta werewolf, Max, has caused friction within the pack. Centuries-old tradition mandates that Eve and Max must be mates as well as co-leaders, but Eve's heart and soul belong only to Jericho, the vampire that Max has sworn a blood oath to kill.

To make matters worse, Jericho has all but disappeared, and the only indication of any vampire's presence in Rapid City is a sudden rash of brutal murders. Eve knows that claiming Max as her beta wounded Jericho deeply, but surely her decision wouldn't drive her soulmate to start killing again...would it?

I loved Blood Oath even more than Blood Lust! Charity really upped the stakes in this one, and there were quite a few plot twists that I never saw coming. We meet some new characters in this book, some good and some bad. And one of them is a shocker. I won't mention anything about that, of course! You'll have to read the book to find out.

Eve is now the alpha of the Rapid City wolf pack. She didn't want it, but she knows she needs to lead them. But Max is finding it hard to accept her leadership, since he's been leader for so long. Moreover, Eve's duties to the pack seem to come second to her love for Jericho, who is still missing after she claimed leadership, and Max as her beta. The pack is still getting trouble from the nomad wolf, but they've got new enemies now - vampire enemies. Vampire enemies that seem to know Jericho pretty well. Eve and Jericho's relationship is put to the test in this book, but will they make it out together?

I like how much Eve has grown from the first book to this one. Even though she was initially hesitant about leading the pack, she really grew into her role as alpha over the course of this novel. She also makes sure that Max understands that she's the alpha and he has to respect that. But Eve is torn between the pack and Jericho. Max is still after him, and of course there's the nomad too. Add a couple of new vampires who are out to get Eve, and she's got herself in a nice amount of trouble. But Eve's strong, and she's tough. She fights as hard as she can, and she doesn't back down.

Jericho is still an enigma, but less of one in Blood Oath. We find out more about his past and his relationship with No Rain, as well as other significant friendships he had. We find out most of this through his memories that are being accessed by Eve in her dreams. This is probably an effect of the soulmate principle. Jericho is still incredibly sweet with Eve, and I love that. But I wish he was more prominent in this book! Maybe we'll see more of him in the next one. I'm hoping for that. Because Jericho, despite his past, is definitely my favourite character in this book. More so than Max, and more so than Eve, even.

Out of the new people we meet, I think Nate is my favourite. A lone alpha like Eve used to be, he's soul bonded with a human, and wants to join Eve's pack because Eve's principles are similar to his. No one else would take him in. Nate is immediately a huge asset to the pack, primarily because he can communicate with Eve when they're both in wolf form - a benefit of being alphas. I also quite liked Tain, even though he's pretty dark. He's a vampire, bent on ruining Jericho, but he has this allure to him that even Eve couldn't stay away from. I'm kind of looking forward to knowing Tain more in the next book as well, though maybe what I find out won't be good. But I'll take my chances!

I know I'm repetitive with this, but I can't seem to emphasize enough how much I love the history background that's present in all of Charity's novels. In Blood Oath, we find out more about the legendary war between vampires and werewolves, which I found really interesting. Every paranormal author has a unique take on this famous feud, and I love reading their thoughts on it.

Blood Oath is definitely a must-read if you've read Blood Lust. And if you haven't, start this series ASAP! This one captured my attention straight away and I finished it in one go. I can't seem to get enough of it, and I'm dying to read the next book. The action, the suspense, and the characters are all so amazing in this book. After this, I can say that Rapid City Wolves is one of my new favourite paranormal series.

*Thank you to Charity Santiago for providing me with an eARC for review*

Rating: 4.5/5

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Review: Runes by Ednah Walters

Title: Runes (Runes #1)
Author: Ednah Walters
Release date: May 20th 2013
Publisher: Firetrail Publishing
Genre: Young Adult Mythology
Format: eBook
Pages: 313
Source: NetGalley

Seventeen-year-old Raine Cooper has enough on her plate dealing with her father’s disappearance, her mother’s erratic behavior and the possibility of her boyfriend relocating. The last thing she needs is Torin St. James—a mysterious new neighbor with a wicked smile and uncanny way of reading her.

Raine is drawn to Torin’s dark sexiness against her better judgment, until he saves her life with weird marks and she realizes he is different. But by healing her, Torin changes something inside Raine. Now she can’t stop thinking about him. Half the time, she’s not sure whether to fall into his arms or run.

Scared, she sets out to find out what Torin is. But the closer she gets to the truth the more she uncovers something sinister about Torin. What Torin is goes back to an ancient mythology and Raine is somehow part of it. Not only are she and her friends in danger, she must choose a side, but the wrong choice will cost Raine her life.

Runes definitely exceeded my expectations. I went into it not knowing much about the premise or anything, and I was pretty surprised to find that it's about Norse mythology! I'm really well-versed with Greek mythology (I absolutely love it!) and I do know a bit about Roman mythology. But Norse? Zilch. So it was really cool to see that here. And now I'm inspired to go research Norse mythology, just for the fun of it!

I found it interesting how Norse mythology parallels with Greek. It has its own version of the Fates, called the Norns. It also has reapers called Valkyries, which play a very important role in this book. You'll find out when you read it! There is quite a lot of background on mythology, which I loved. As a newbie to Norse myths, I found that the background really did help a lot. Plus, I'm a sucker for any kind of mythology. So I devoured this one right up.

Raine has a pretty busy life dealing with the recent disappearance of her father, as well as trying to take care of her mother. But she has two amazing best friends to help her deal - Eirik and Cora. Eirik has been her best friend forever, but she's developed feelings for him. But she's too nervous to find out whether he reciprocates them. All of Raine's troubles multiply when Torin moves in next door. Along with Torin, there are three other strangers who appear in town, and it's pretty obvious there's something different about them. Little does Raine know just how different they are.

Raine is a pretty awesome protagonist. She's inexplicably drawn to Torin even though she's with Eirik, and she has no idea what to do about it. She's pretty torn between them, and that was a little annoying. I did like her snark, though. It definitely spruced up the book! She's fun, she's tough, and she's not afraid to search for answers when she needs them. I definitely loved her banter with Torin. Their relationship is amazing - flaming hot, and loads of humour, too.

Torin St. James. He reminds me of Daemon Black from Jennifer Armentrout's Lux series. In fact, the relationship between him and Raine is clearly reminiscent of Daemon and Katy's, which made me love this book all the more. Torin is enigmatic, but so sweet and loyal. Once we get to know him, he's hard to let go of. His determination is admirable, and I loved how protective he was of Raine. Plus, he has a Harley. And rides it to school! How badass is that?

I also really liked Eirik and Cora. Eirik is the classic boy-next-door, also known as the guy who loses the girl to the bad boy. Eirik is sweet and funny, and incredibly brave. My heart went out to him so much in this book! He's just so adorable. Raine is seriously lucky to have someone like him. And Cora is fantastic too. She's pretty much the opposite of Raine - outgoing, quirky, flirty. I think she brings out the fun side in Raine, and she definitely made things more interesting.

Runes is amazingly written, and it really was hard to put down. There's a lot of action in this book, and lots of secrets that I loved uncovering. It's filled with suspense, too. And of course the sizzling hot romance between Raine and Torin! Probably my favourite aspect of the book. And that ending! Not to give anything away, but such a huge twist there. I did not see that coming at all, and I need the next book ASAP to find out what happens! This is an awesome YA paranormal, and if you're a fan of mythology, this is a must-read for you. I'm so looking forward to reading Immortals

*Thank you to Firetrail Publishing for providing me with a copy for review*

Rating: 4/5

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Review: The Forgotten Ones by Laura Howard

Title: The Forgotten Ones (The Danaan Trilogy #1)
Author: Laura Howard
Release date: April 30th 2013
Publisher: Self-published
Genre: New Adult Fantasy
Format: eBook
Pages: 177
Source: Pure Textuality PR

Allison O'Malley's plan is to go to grad school so she can get a good job and take care of her schizophrenic mother. She has carefully closed herself off from everything else, including a relationship with Ethan, who she's been in love with for as long as she can remember.

What is definitely not part of the plan is the return of her long-lost father, who claims he can bring Allison's mother back from the dark place her mind has gone. Allison doesn't trust her father, so why would she believe his stories about a long forgotten Irish people, the Tuatha de Danaan? But truths have a way of revealing themselves. Secrets will eventually surface. And Allison must learn to set aside her plan and work with her father if there is even a small chance it could restore her mother's sanity.

The Forgotten Ones is the first NA fantasy I've read, so I was really looking forward to it. Firstly, the cover drew me towards it. I mean, isn't it so gorgeous? The font, the layout, everything. I just wish the book had lived up to my expectations of it. Sure, I liked the general plot, and it intrigued me, but there were other things that fell flat.

Allison is an introvert, preferring to stay home and read while taking care of her mother, rather than go out with her cousin Nicole and her friends. Al's mother is schizophrenic, and during her episodes, she calls out to Al's dad, Liam. But when Liam unexpectedly shows up at Allison's doorstep, she is suddenly pulled into a world she didn't even know exists. She has to deal with her long-lost father while simultaneously trying to figure out her feelings towards Ethan, the guy she's known forever, and who recently has developed an interest in her.

I liked Allison well enough. I admired her love and loyalty towards her mother, and it was nice to see how much she cared for her. But other than that, she seemed a little unrealistic. Especially when Ethan is concerned. Al keeps pushing him away for no reason at all, and treats him coldly. Then she walks away crying. I didn't get it. I mean, she wants to be with him, and there really isn't anything to be afraid of. Having to take care of her mother is no excuse. Also, when Liam shows up, Allison doesn't tell a single soul! I get that she couldn't tell her mom, but at least her grandma, the person who's taken care of her for years? Someone deserved to know.

I couldn't connect at all with Ethan. At first, I did like him, since he seemed like the fun and cocky kind of guy. But he sort of... faded away later. We don't see much of him, and he seems like just some background character, even by the end. And I couldn't find any spark between him and Allison, let alone actual chemistry. There was one measly kiss, and apparently that didn't have much of an effect on either one of them. So if you want to read this book, I'm assuming it's not for the romance.

I did like the premise of the book. The whole faerie aspect reminds me of Julie Kagawa's The Iron Fey, so that was interesting. The names are definitely confusing, though! There were so many of them, all unpronounceable. At least, until I reached the pronunciation guide at the end of the novel! But yeah, the action in this book surrounding the faerie world was pretty good.

Maybe the reason I couldn't connect with the book much is because it was quite short, but then again, I've read a few standalone novellas that I really enjoyed and connected with despite the short length. I have to say that Liam's character has me intrigued, and I would read the sequel to find out more about him and Allison's mother. The Allison-Ethan storyline was a definite let-down, especially since the beginning of the book seemed so promising.

I will still pick up the sequel to The Forgotten Ones, because I simply cannot leave this hanging. And I'm hoping that I'll enjoy that one more than its predecessor. This book has potential, I can tell you that. But I didn't like where it went after the first few chapters, and even the action parts during the search for Allison's mother felt quite rushed to me. But that's just my opinion, so maybe if you decide to grab this one, you'll see it in a different light than I did!

*Thank you to Jena Gregoire at Pure Textuality PR for providing me with a copy for review*

Rating: 2/5

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Review: You Look Different in Real Life by Jennifer Castle

Title: You Look Different in Real Life
Author: Jennifer Castle
Release date: June 4th 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Pages: 358

For the rest of the world, the movies are entertainment. For Justine, they're real life.

The premise was simple: five kids, just living their lives. There'd be a new movie about them every five years, starting in kindergarten. But no one could have predicted what the cameras would capture. And no one could have predicted that Justine would be the star.

Now sixteen, Justine doesn't feel like a star anymore. In fact, when she hears the crew has gotten the green light to film Five at Sixteen, all she feels is dread. The kids who shared the same table in kindergarten have become teenagers who hardly know one another. And Justine, who was so funny and edgy in the first two movies, feels like a disappointment.

But these teens have a bond that goes deeper than what's on film. They've all shared the painful details of their lives with countless viewers. They all know how it feels to have fans as well as friends. So when this latest movie gives them the chance to reunite, Justine and her costars are going to take it. Because sometimes, the only way to see yourself is through someone else's eyes.

You Look Different in Real Life is one hell of a ride! It's very different from anything I've read before, and I loved that. It's a beautiful story of friendship, courage, and finding yourself when you think you've lost your way. The premise of this book intrigued me ever since I first read it, and I'm so grateful for the opportunity to read and review this. Because this one is a must-read, guys. It's inspirational and thought-provoking, but it's also fun and humourous. I lost myself in these pages for a few hours!

Justine isn't your average sixteen-year-old girl. She's a movie star. When she was just six years old, she was chosen, along with four others, to have her life documented on film. And from there rose the Five At franchise. Five at Six was the first movie she starred in with Felix, Nate, Rory and Keira, and it was followed by Five at Eleven. Now, five years later, the producers are back with a plan to make Five at Sixteen. But the kids aren't the same. They've drifted apart, and they're not who they used to be. Justine's not who she wanted to be at the age of sixteen. But she agrees to do the film, just as the others do. But they don't expect to go on a weekend camping trip, and little did they know that all the lies and secrets would come out during this life-changing weekend.

I find it really easy to relate to Justine. She's the same age as me, just trying to find her way in life, like everyone else her age. But she has a bigger responsibility. The responsibility to give the viewers what they want - the snarky and funny Justine that everyone met and fell in love with in the previous movies. Justine has changed, and she doesn't know if she can be that other Justine anymore. I really admired her character, though. Despite being naturally closed-off to people, especially her co-stars, she pushes herself to open up and to do things she's always wanted to and yet never had the courage to. She's determined, and incredibly strong. Justine is a natural leader, and I liked the way she takes charge in bad situations. I really think the others would be completely lost without her.

I also really loved Nate. Nate is the classic popular guy at the school, and he hasn't so much as looked at Justine, Felix and Rory for years, let alone talked to them. He is friends with Keira, though, and cares a lot for her. It's hard to picture the little boy Nate used to be - bullied and harassed cruelly, but still retaining his innocence.. and a love for rabbits. Nate's put all of that past him, and has built himself up to be someone who no one would even think of bullying. There is a bit of romance between Nate and Justine, but that comes towards the very end. Even though it was frustrating to see that they both wanted to make a move but held themselves back, I liked that for once, the romance wasn't part of the main story. This book focuses on the friendships made and broken between these five, the bond that will always be there between them.

Felix is the one person out of the five who is still close to Justine, and the two of them are inseparable. Even though Felix can be annoying at times, I did feel sorry for him when finding out his story. All his life, he's been in the background, and for once he just wanted the spotlight on him. But it comes at a price. Felix has got quite a few secrets he's kept buried inside, but I think it did him a lot of good when they came out.

I have to say I didn't like Rory much, but her naivety brought humour to the book. There was this one scene that made me burst out laughing - 
"If he's so rich, you'd think he'd have that growth on his eyebrow removed."
"That's not a growth, Rory," I heard Felix say as we shut the door. "It's a piercing."
She and Justine used to be best friends back then, but something changed since those years. Rory is a quiet girl, preferring to stick with her books rather than socialize, but even she makes herself come out of her shell at a point. And I found that quite admirable.

Keira is the most enigmatic of the five, and we don't get to see a lot of her in the book. But from what I've read of her, I'm definitely intrigued. She can be pretty mean, but she seems badass, and I guess I just developed a liking for her. I can't wait to read the novella Playing Keira to find out her story! I know it'll be just as fascinating as that of the others.

One aspect I really liked was the structure of the novel. Set in the present, there are constant flashbacks to when the five were kids. And those flashbacks are what tells us who these five used to be, and how much they've changed from those days. I looked forward to the flashback scenes, because I found it fun to compare their characters. But there's a lot of pain in them, too. There's nostalgia and sorrow, and I could tell how hard it was Justine, or Nate, or any of them, to remember what used to be.

This book doesn't deserve anything less than a full five stars. Such a touching story, full of emotions and longing. If this doesn't speak to you, I don't know what will. I'm so impressed with Jennifer Castle for writing this beauty, and I loved getting to know each and every one of the Five At stars.

*Thank you to Sarah at HarperCollins International for sending me an ARC for review*

Rating: 5/5

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Review: Faking It by Cora Carmack

Title: Faking It (Losing It #2)
Author: Cora Carmack
Release date: June 4th 2013
Publisher: William Morrow Books
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Format: eARC
Pages: 248
Source: Edelwiess

Mackenzie “Max” Miller has a problem. Her parents have arrived in town for a surprise visit, and if they see her dyed hair, tattoos, and piercings, they just might disown her. Even worse, they’re expecting to meet a nice, wholesome boyfriend, not a guy named Mace who has a neck tattoo and plays in a band. All her lies are about to come crashing down around her, but then she meets Cade.

Cade moved to Philadelphia to act and to leave his problems behind in Texas. So far though, he’s kept the problems and had very little opportunity to take the stage. When Max approaches him in a coffee shop with a crazy request to pretend to be her boyfriend, he agrees to play the part. But when Cade plays the role a little too well, they’re forced to keep the ruse going. And the more they fake the relationship, the more real it begins to feel.

I freaking loved this book! Faking It is absolutely delicious - I devoured it in one go, and it left me wanting so much more. It's impossible not to love Max and Cade. Their story is seriously one of the best I've read. Filled with tummy-tickling humour and heartwarming romance, Faking It will leave you breathless and gasping for more!

To be honest, I didn't have very high expectations of this book because I wasn't a huge fan of Losing It (Bliss and Garrick just didn't do it for me), but it just blew me away! I loved it from the beginning itself, when Max is first introduced to us and when we get to see Cade's point of view. Cade was my favourite character in Losing It, and I love him so much in this book. Bliss seriously missed out on a lot! Max and Cade's relationship starts out as them pretending to be together for the benefit of Max's parents, but it slowly grew into something real, and at the same time, something they're both afraid of.

I loved Max immediately. She's so different from most YA or NA heroines. Max will never let anyone call her Mackenzie, and she has a love for tattoos. And piercings. She has this incredible tree tattoo on her upper body, which I think is awesome. I've always wanted a tattoo! She also has flaming red hair (again, awesome) and sparkling eyes. And get this - she's the lead singer and guitarist in a band! So these little facts made me picture Hayley Williams from Paramore as Max, and I think that fit really well. I loved the songs she writes, and I love how passionate she is about music. It's the one thing she has going for her, and she'll never let anyone take that away. Her vulnerability really shows in her songs, and when she's onstage... Cora's writing is so incredible that I felt like I was right there with her! Max is also tough and feisty, and she doesn't take crap from anyone. She's independent and her own person, and I really admire that about her. But she's not as fearless as everyone thinks. The death of her sister has left her vulnerable, and she's afraid to show her true self to her parents. She's also used to dating bad boys who don't really care about her, but then she doesn't care for them either. Imagine her surprise when she finds Cade!

Ah, Cade. I seriously adored him in this book. Cade's my new favourite NA boy. He's different from the guys Max is used to, and that intrigues her. Cade is still hurting from Bliss's rejection, and having her and Garrick right there in the same city is torture for him. But he's trying to manage. Thankfully Max comes along and pushes Bliss right out of his mind. Cade is the sweetest guy ever, and I love how protective he is of Max even though he barely knows her. The fact that he agreed to be Max's pretend boyfriend to help her out shows what an amazing guy he is. No one else would have done that for a stranger. Plus, Cade is absolutely hilarious! His constant sarcasm had me laughing out loud. Take this part, for example. This is Cade's reaction to Max's boyfriend, Mace - 

His name was Mace. As in the stuff sprayed into the eyes of rapists and muggers. Or the ancient weapon used to bludgeon people to death.
He sounded like a real keeper.
Cade's the whole package - sweet, protective, funny, hot, and intelligent. He has so much wisdom in that cute head of his. And his advice really helps out Max, so much. It's pretty helpful to anyone reading the book, actually. Because many of us have faced hardships in life, and the kind of courage and positivity that these two show are really uplifting. There's this one line that really stuck with me, and it's something that Cade says to Max when she admits she's afraid. 

Fear lets us know we’re alive.

I was rooting for Cade and Max so hard in this book. The Golden Boy and Angry Girl make an adorable pair, and their chemistry is sizzling hot! I mentally cheered at the happy parts and teared up at the sad. They both have some pretty large baggage, but they help each other through it. And they really bring out the best in each other. I liked how their relationship started out real slow, because they really got to know each other in that time. And that made them realize how much they care for one another.

I want to re-read Faking It over and over again, because it was just that fabulous. I can't get enough of Cade and Max! They're definitely my favourite NA couple at the moment, and I doubt that will change anytime soon. Cora's writing in this book is so real, and the descriptions so vivid, that I felt like I was living Cade and Max's lives alongside them. I'm certainly looking forward to reading Kelsey's story in Finding It, but I'm pretty sure this one will remain my favourite! You guys HAVE to read this when it comes out. Seriously. It's a must-read. And you won't regret it!

*Thank you to William Morrow Books for providing me with an eGalley for review*

Rating: 5/5

Thursday, 23 May 2013

The Liberator by Victoria Scott: Excerpt + Giveaway!

Hey everyone! I know I've been blogging a little less in the past couple weeks or so, because the final term of Grade 11 is hell, seriously. Anyway, I want to make up for it by sharing the very first excerpt of The Liberator by the amazing Victoria Scott, who sent it to all of us in the V Mafia yesterday. You must have read The Collector already (if not, what are you waiting for?), and this is a hilarious excerpt featuring Dante, Charlie, and Max. Here you go!

Excerpt from THE LIBERTOR
By Victoria Scott

When I open my eyes, the sun is trying to murder me. It’s shining on my face and making my head pound. Or maybe it’s my hangover that’s giving me the headache, but nonetheless—me and the sun?—we’re not on friendly terms.
Charlie murmurs beside me. My arms are still wrapped around her waist, and I suddenly realize I must have crashed out in her bed last night. If Grams wakes up and finds me here, she’ll run me a bath…and toss in the toaster.
            “Morning, babe,” I whisper.
            “Morning, hot stuff,” a distinctly male voice responds.
            I whip around, my heart racing, and find Max sitting in a chair across the room.  “You look so hot when you first wake up,” he says. He raises a hand to his hair. “Got that whole sexy bed head thing going on.”
            Charlie doesn’t even move from her place, but I feel her laughing against me. “Your friend is kind of creepy, Dante,” she manages. 
            “Max, what the hell are you doing in here?” I ask, pulling the covers farther up even though I’m (regretfully) fully-clothed.
            “Real question is, why did I wait so long to join you guys?” Max stands from his chair and cocks his head. A mischievous smile crawls across his face.
            “No,” I say, trying to appear serious. “Don’t even think about it, dude.”
            Max starts running in place, his smile widening farther until he looks deranged. “Ready or not!” Before I can stop him, Max races toward the bed and dives on top of us. “Oh! Oh it feels even better than I imagined.” He rolls back and forth across our bodies as Charlie laughs and I wonder why I’m friends with such a raging idiot.
            With all my strength, I grab Max’s shirt and rotate him toward the edge. He falls off the side, his arms pin-wheeling. There’s a loud thud, and then nothing.
I wait for several seconds before leaning over to search for him. Max is lying face down on the floor, his arms and legs curled like a dead spider. “You’re not really hurt,” I say.
            “I think you gave me spinal bifida. You need to call someone.”
            “That’s a genetic disorder,” I respond with a sigh, collapsing back onto my pillow. A second later, he raises his head very, very slowly up from the side of the bed. It’s one of the more unsettling things he’s ever done.  “Max, is there a purpose to this visit?” I ask. I want so badly to act like he’s annoying me. But he knows, and I know, that we both love this game: the one where I pretend he’s a pain in my ass, and he acts like a damn circus clown.
            He stands up, crosses the room, and plops back down in the chair. “Valery sent me.”
            I throw an arm across my eyes. “Of course she did.” Beside me, Charlie moves to get up and I immediately reach for her. She squeals and wiggles out of my grasp.
            I watch as she walks around the bed and ruffles Max’s hair. The twenty-eight year old pants like a dog. It’s a bit disturbing considering Charlie’s seventeen. She eyes me with a grin. “I’ll make waffles.”
My face lights up.
“Yes,” she continues. “And bacon.”
I glance at Max and nod toward Charlie. “That’s my girl.”
“Damn straight,” he says.
“I’m still making breakfast for your birthday,” I call after Charlie. Then, looking at Max, I add, “My girl’s going to be legal soon.”
Max says, “Boom.” 

Well! Didn't you guys love that?? I'm dying here for this book!
Anyway, that's not all. Enter below to win an ecopy of The Collector :)


About The Collector

He makes good girls...bad. 

Dante Walker is flippin’ awesome, and he knows it. His good looks, killer charm, and stellar confidence have made him one of hell’s best—a soul collector. His job is simple: weed through humanity and label those round rears with a big red good or bad stamp. Old Saint Nick gets the good guys, and he gets the fun ones. Bag-and-tag.

Sealing souls is nothing personal. Dante’s an equal-opportunity collector and doesn't want it any other way. But he’ll have to adjust, because Boss Man has given him a new assignment:

Collect Charlie Cooper’s soul within ten days.

Dante doesn't know why Boss Man wants Charlie, nor does he care. This assignment means only one thing to him, and that’s a permanent ticket out of hell. But after Dante meets the quirky Nerd Alert chick he’s come to collect, he realizes this assignment will test his abilities as a collector…and uncover emotions deeply buried.

About The Liberator

Bad boy, meet bad girl.

Dante has a shiny new cuff wrapped around his ankle, and he doesn't like that mess one bit. His new accessory comes straight from Big Guy himself and marks the former demon as a liberator. Despite his gritty past and bad boy ways, Dante Walker has been granted a second chance.

When Dante is given his first mission as a liberator to save the soul of seventeen-year-old Aspen, he knows he’s got this. But Aspen reminds him of the rebellious life he used to live and is making it difficult to resist sinful temptations. Though Dante is committed to living clean for his girlfriend Charlie, this dude’s been a playboy for far too long…and old demons die hard.

With Charlie becoming the girl she was never able to be pre-makeover and Aspen showing him how delicious it feels to embrace his inner beast, Dante will have to go somewhere he never thought he’d return to in order to accomplish the impossible: save the girl he’s been assigned to, and keep the girl he loves.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Waiting on Wednesday #27: Obsession

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

My pick for this week's WoW is...

Obsession by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Title: Obsession
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Release date: May 31st 2013
Publisher: Entangled Covet
Genre: Science Fiction/Paranormal

He’s arrogant, domineering, and... To. Die. For.

Hunter is a ruthless killer. And the Department of Defense has him firmly in their grasp, which usually doesn’t chafe too badly because he gets to kill bad guys. Most of the time he enjoys his job. That is, until he’s saddled with something he’s never had to do before: protect a human from his mortal enemy.

Serena Cross didn’t believe her best friend when she claimed to have seen the son of a powerful senator turn into something... unnatural. Who would? But then she witnesses her friend’s murder at the hands of what can only be an alien, thrusting her into a world that will kill to protect their secret.

Hunter stirs Serena’s temper and her lust despite their differences. Soon he’s doing the unthinkable—breaking the rules he’s lived by, going against the government to keep Serena safe. But are the aliens and the government the biggest threats to Serena’s life…or is it Hunter?

Oh my god, guys. I'm so freaking excited for this book! We finally get to see what it's like from an Arum's point of view. And Hunter sounds amazing ;)
For those of you who don't know, Obsession is a standalone adult novel set in the Lux world. And you know what that means... Crossovers! Yeah, we get to meet a few characters from the Lux series in this book. *cough* Daemon *cough*
So yeah. I can't wait to get my hands on this xD
What are you waiting on this week? Leave a comment and I'll visit you!

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Release Day Launch Review + Giveaway: The Hazards of Skinny Dipping by Alyssa Rose Ivy

Happy book birthday to The Hazards of Skinny Dipping by Alyssa Rose Ivy! This is such an amazing NA book. Seriously, everyone has to read this - it's so humourous and fun :D
Check out my review below, and then a giveaway!

Title: The Hazards of Skinny Dipping (Hazards #1)
Author: Alyssa Rose Ivy
Release date: May 21st 2013
Publisher: Self-published
Genre: New Adult Contemporary
Format: eARC
Pages: 305
Source: Inkslinger PR
Purchase links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

This isn't a deep book about first loves or self-discovery. If you want a book like that, I'd be happy to recommend one, but I don't have that kind of story to tell. Instead my story is about rash decisions and finding out that your dream guy is bad in bed. It's the story of when I finally went skinny dipping, and how my life was never the same again. Oh, and it's also the story of my freshman year of college and realizing Mr. Right might have been there all along.

The Hazards of Skinny Dipping is absolutely fantastic! I read it all in one go, in a few hours, since I really couldn’t put it down. After reading this, I’m thinking I really need to read Alyssa’s other books, because this was amazing. Just like the previous NA book I read, this one sets itself apart from the majority of the books in the NA genre. The humour, the drama, the romance… it was all perfect.

The book starts off with, as you can guess, skinny dipping. Juliet’s cousin, Amy, gives her a sort of bucket list of things to do before starting college. The last item on the list is skinny dipping, and Juliet finally works up the courage to do it. But what she wasn’t planning on is getting caught, especially by Dylan Bradley, the guy she’s known forever and has been crushing on for years. Juliet and Dylan begin dating in college, but it’s not the dream that Juliet always thought it would be.

I feel a bit mixed about Juliet. On the one hand, she’s funny, quirky, and bold, and I really liked her attitude. She’s not afraid to say just what she thinks, most of the time anyway. And she’s generally really likeable. But I didn’t like the way she is with Dylan. She lets him boss her around and treat her badly, just because it’s Dylan freaking Bradley. Juliet has always put him on a very high pedestal, and she doesn’t know what to do when he’s not as perfect as she believed. Perfect in what, you ask? Well, sex. And Juliet puts up with it for months!

I absolutely loved Reed, though. He’s a Kappa, part of the frat that hangs out with Juliet’s sorority, Delta Mu. Initially, he seemed intimidating and kind of an ass, but as Juliet got to know him, I started falling for him, too. Reed gives Juliet a job at the pizza place he works, and consequently plants the metaphorical seed of a beautiful friendship. And more, of course there was more! I love how protective he is of Juliet, and the two of them are so perfect together. They’re so comfortable with each other, and their banter is hilarious. Reed is a really sweet guy, and he’s the main reason I loved this book so much.

I guess I should talk a little about Dylan, too, since he’s essential to the story. Dylan’s a complete ass, but he’s just so pathetic I couldn’t help laughing at him in pretty much every scene! I found him hilarious – his neediness, his over-confidence in himself, and there was this one scene involving handcuffs where I just burst out laughing. I couldn’t help it. I actually wish Juliet had worked up the courage to tell Dylan he was bad in bed, just to see his reaction!

It was really cool to see the workings of the Greek system in a college, because I’ve never read much about that in books before. The bitchiness of the Delta Mu president and the horrible stuff that pledges have to do made me decide that I definitely do not want to join a sorority in college! I never planned on it, anyway. But some aspects of it do seem quite fun. Juliet and Reed’s relationship is the best part about this book. Yeah, they have misunderstandings that almost broke my heart, but I’m glad they make it through. They really deserve each other. And Juliet deserves someone like Reed after someone like Dylan! The Hazards of Skinny Dipping ends with, you guessed it, skinny dipping, and I think it’s the perfect ending to the book. I’d actually love to read a sequel with Juliet and Reed, with an all-new storyline, but I’m happy with this being a standalone. It works great as one. You guys really have to read this book if you enjoy NA, because you cannot miss out on Reed!

*Thank you to Kelly Simmon at Inkslinger PR for providing me with an ARC for review*

Rating: 5/5

About the author:

Alyssa Rose Ivy is a New Adult and Young Adult author who loves to weave stories with romance and a southern setting. Although raised in the New York area, she fell in love with the South after moving to New Orleans for college. After years as a perpetual student, she turned back to her creative side and decided to write. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and two young children, and she can usually be found with a cup of coffee in her hand.

Find Alyssa on:

Twitter | FacebookGoodreads | Pinterest | Website

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Review: The Iron Queen by Kaitlin Bevis

Title: The Iron Queen (Daughters of Zeus #3)
Author: Kaitlin Bevis
Release date: May 17th 2013
Publisher: Musa Publishing
Genre: Young Adult Mythology
Format: eBook
Source: Review copy from author

Life is hell for Persephone. Zeus will stop at nothing to gain access to the living realm and the Underworld, and as the only living god with a right to both, Persephone’s in trouble. Captured and tortured beyond the limits of her resolve, Persephone must find the power to stand against Zeus. But will she be strong enough?

Meanwhile, Hades contemplates desperate measures to rescue his queen. Persephone never thought of herself as dangerous, but there’s a reason gods never marry for love. A being with the power to destroy all of creation shouldn’t place more value in one individual than the rest of the planet. But Hades...Hades would break the world for her.

To save the world and stop both Hades and Zeus, Persephone must make a difficult choice. One that may cost her everything.

I just finished The Iron Queen today, and I had to write a review immediately! I was so pleasantly surprised when I got the opportunity to read and review this, and I began it the second it showed up in my inbox. The Iron Queen is the final book in Persephone's story arc, and it sure did pack a punch. I simply couldn't put this one down!

This book is told in the perspectives of Persephone, Hades, and Aphrodite. I loved all of their narratives so much, because I could really get into those incredibly fascinating heads of theirs. My favourite was Hades's POV, of course, because I love him so much! And it was so moving to see everything he does to get Persephone back from Zeus. Persephone is being tortured to her limit, and Hades can feel it. He'd destroy the world to get her back. Meanwhile, Aphrodite is really struggling against the oath she swore to Zeus, and she's doing her best to keep everything under control and help Hades find Persephone.

I felt for Persephone so much in this book. She has such an immensely strong spirit that even Zeus can't break her. The things she has to endure... they're unthinkable! I can't even imagine the agony she must have felt. And yet, she perseveres. Because she won't let Zeus take her power. I admire Persephone so much in how much she's changed from the first book in the trilogy. She's really come into her power now, and she embraces it. Too self-sacrificing for her own good, but I'm still so impressed by her.

Hades is as amazing as ever, and I loved him even more in The Iron Queen, if that's possible. We can see the pain he feels on behalf of Persephone, and how broken he is without her. My heart really went out to him during those times. His love for Persephone is stronger than ever, and he recruits the rest of Zeus's Olympian children to help him defeat Zeus once and for all, and get his wife back. There are fewer Hades-Persephone moments in this book, but the ones that are there... they're so incredibly sweet! Reading them, I can honestly think they were meant to be. Both of them would do anything to keep the other safe.

What I loved most about The Iron Queen is that we get to meet the other Olympian gods! Poseidon, Athena, Apollo, Artemis, Ares, Hephaestus. And there's also a demigod called Adonis who seems to have caught Aphrodite's attention. Maybe he'll feature in her upcoming story arc? Anyway, it was awesome meeting the other gods. I liked Artemis, Ares, and Hephaestus. Wasn't a huge fan of Poseidon or Athena, though. Which is weird, because in other YA mythology books I've always liked them. I can't wait to find out more about some of these gods in the next trilogy.

It's sad to think about the fact that Persephone's story is over, but I'm happy with the way it ended. It was fitting, and it creates anticipation for the next book. I also liked Aphrodite a lot more in this book, so I'm definitely looking forward to her story! The Iron Queen is a grand end to this trilogy, with so much action, suspense, and surprises. I've really enjoyed the adventure that Kaitlin Bevis has pulled me into with this series, and I can't wait for more!

*Thank you to Kaitlin Bevis for providing me with a copy for review*

Rating: 5/5

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Click to Subscribe Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway

I've been looking forward to Click to Subscribe ever since I first heard of it, so I jumped at the chance to take part in the blog tour! Thanks so much to Sel at Bookcase to Heaven for organizing this tour :)
You can check out the rest of the stops here.

Title: Click to Subscribe
Author: L.M. Augustine
Release date: May 9th 2013
Publisher: Self-published
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Format: eBook
Pages: 252
Source: Review copy from blog tour host
Purchase links: Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | B&N | Smashwords

1,135,789. That’s how many subscribers sixteen-year-old West Ryder has on his web vlog series. But he only has eyes for one of them.

As one of the internet’s most prestigious video bloggers, West talks about high school relationships under the name “Sam Green.” As far as he knows, no one from school, not even his best friend, Cat, has seen his videos. But the highlight of the whole thing is Harper Knight, who comments every day at exactly 2:02 in the afternoon. He doesn’t know anything about her aside from the occasional deep philosophical messaging on why pizza tastes so delicious, but as stupid as it sounds, he might be falling for her. So when they finally agree to meet in real life, West’s hope for romance seems more and more in reach. But that all changes as soon as he arrives at their meeting spot and sees Cat walking toward him, wearing the same “I love Sam Green” T-shirt Harper promised she'd have on.

To his alarm, West realizes he is falling in love with the best friend who has always been a sister to him.

Click to Subscribe is such a light and humourous read! I was laughing constantly at the banter between West and Cat/Harper, and I loved these two characters so much. You can't help but love them, they're just that adorable. This is a great summer read, and it's the kind of book that'll make you feel good no matter what.

West Ryder is kind of a geek in school, but he shines online. With 1,135,789 subscribers on his vlog channel, he's pretty popular around the internet. And he's enamoured by a girl called Harper, who comments on his videos at exactly 2:02. They strike up a great friendship, and West finds himself doing the impossible - falling in love with someone he's never even seen.

West is an immensely real character, so I found myself connecting with him almost immediately. A few of his character traits did annoy me, but I loved him nonetheless. He's just so goofy and funny! His email banter with Harper reminded me so much of Hazel and Augustus from John Green's The Fault in Our Stars, so of course I loved these characters. I did find it a little impossible to believe that not a single person in West's school knows about his vlog series (except for Cat), even though he has a crazy amount of subscribers. These school kids must really be living under a rock or something! But anyway, I overlooked that because of the awesomeness of the characters.

I really liked Cat, too. I loved how bold she was, and the fact that she'll do everything in her power to get what she wants. It was so cute to see the lengths she'd go to, to make West fall in love with her. Little does she realize that he always did, but he never knew it. Cat making up a persona called Harper to talk to West anonymously seems a little weird to me, but I guess West and Cat are both a little quirky in their own way, and I really admire their uniqueness.

There are so many adorable scenes in this book between West and Cat, and I was desperately rooting for them throughout! This book had me hooked, I tell you. It's addicting! I honestly couldn't put it down, and the part where West sees Cat wearing the "I love Sam Green" T-shirt? My heart was pounding so hard in the scene leading up to that. West and Cat have a lot of ups and downs as well as misunderstandings, but the fact that they found their way in the end shows how strong their love is. That kind of love just makes me feel all warm and gooey inside, when best friends fall for each other! I feel like going 'awww' throughout.

I felt so many emotions while reading this novel - humour, frustration, suspense, sorrow... This book is a freaking roller-coaster! And I loved every second of it. Seriously, you guys have to pick this one up as soon as you can. You don't want to miss out on this delightful read. Click to Subscribe is an incredible debut novel, and I'm definitely looking forward to more books by L.M. Augustine!

*Thank you to Sel at Bookcase to Heaven for providing me with a copy for review*

Rating: 4/5

About the author:

L.M. Augustine is a YA romance author who is obsessed with writing about dorky teenagers, love, and happy endings. He currently lives in New England, where he spends far too much time reading books and screaming at his computer, and he believes that the solution to the world’s problems can be found in chocolate cake. Click To Subscribe is his first novel, but it won’t be his last.

Find L.M. on:

Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Blog

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