Thursday, January 30, 2014

Book Review: Playing for Love at Deep Haven

Playing for Love at Deep Haven (Enchanted Places, #1)
Playing for Love at Deep Haven
by Katy Regnery
Enchanted Places #1
January 10, 2014
278 pages
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance 18+
(contains: strong language, sex)
Source: eARC from NetGalley for Honest review
Book Blurb:
Violet Smith and Zach Aubrey have history…
…the kind of history he regrets and she wishes she could forget.

She was the girl. The only girl. Ever.

Nine years have passed since heavy-metal songwriter, Zach, slept with, then walked away from, his best friend, Violet. But that doesn’t change the fact that he’s never gotten over her.

He shattered her heart.

Despite the years that have passed, chick-lit novelist, Violet, vividly recalls the pain of Zach's rejection, and hates that she's never been able to completely let go of the brooding boy who turned his back on her.

When the rocker and the writer find themselves thrown back together in a strange twist of fate, their chemistry is just as scorching as ever, but old wounds don’t just disappear. Even if Zach can explain why he walked away from Violet, can she find the courage to trust him again? Together they will discover if a love that broke them both is worth a second chance at forever.

Playing songs, playing for keeps…
…Playing for Love at Deep Haven
My Review:
I really loved Playing for Love at Deep Haven. What started as a seemingly straight-forward second chance love story turned into so much more than I expected. In the first few chapters I thought I'd figured it out and wondered why what I felt was a short story was going to be a full-length novel. But I was pleasantly surprised and thrilled with the direction Katy Regnery took Zach and Violet's love story, and loved it.
Here are just a few things that made this book so special:
1. ZACH! Zach is a rocker, but he is not the typical lead singer millionaire of a band so many books are about these days. He is a music prodigy, but also a working musician looking to take his career in a different direction. He is financially comfortable, but not rich. He is special, yet relatable. He is attractive and tattooed, but not perfect. I loved  Zach and the way Regnery created him. He is such an endearing character, and I loved getting to know him. (Oh, of course I loved Violet, too.)
2. Depth. I loved that Regnery really looked at all levels and perspectives of what a real second chance would take. There was no stone unturned as far as Zach and Violet attempting a new relationship. And there were no quick fixes. They had to hash-out the past, turn-over the present, and break-through a possible future. They had to honestly look at their differences. She did such a thorough job and I really appreciated the depth of which we got to see Zach and Violet deal with everything.

3. Friends and Romance. I loved the looks into Zach and Violet, present and past. The sweetness of the initial friendship of this odd duo, the sadness of their miscommunicated feelings and ultimate departure from each other's lives, and then the beauty of their rekindled feelings. I loved the way they fought, the way they talked,  the way they made-up, the way they opened-up. They had beautiful chemistry and it felt so tender and passionate, and then they were so supportive of each other and it was so genuine and compassionate. And, of course, they were hot and steamy together as well. They were just lovely together.  
4. Music & Poetry. The use of music and/or poetry in a novel can really be hit or miss for me. The lyrics can be cheesy, the bands and songs referred to can feel forced, the types of music associated with the characters can feel inauthentic. Fortunately, this was not the case here. I loved the intermingling of musical genres, the intertwining of poetry and emotion into song lyrics, the beauty of musical expression. It really rang true for me.

I loved this book and was completely engrossed in it. It is a sweet romance with a lot of depth and heart. It is a sexy romance with a lot of friendship and feelings. It has a beautiful blend of emotions with characters that captured my heart, and I look forward to the rest of this series.
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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Cover Reveal: NASH by Jay Crownover

I love the Marked Men series by Jay Crownover. There's something about the writing and the characters that has completely won me over, so I am super excited for more books! Nash's story is next, and I cannot wait. And this cover is awesome!

Nash (Marked Men, #4)
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Title: Nash (Marked Men #4)
Author: Jay Crownover
Genre: New Adult/ Coming of Age
Publish Date: April 29, 2014
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks an imprint of HarperCollins
ISBN-13: 9780062333032
ISBN-10: 0062333038

Will their past determine their future?
  Saint Ford has worked hard to achieve her childhood dream of becoming of nurse. Focused on her work and devoted to her patients, there’s no room for love. She doesn’t need a guy making waves in her calm, serene life—especially when he’s the unforgettable hottie who nearly destroyed her in high school. Dark, brooding Nash Donovan might not remember her or the terrible pain he caused. But he turned her world upside down . . . and now he’s trying to do it again.

Saint has no idea that Nash isn’t the cocky player he once was. Uncovering a devastating family secret has rocked his world, and now he’s struggling to figure out his future. He can’t be distracted by the pretty nurse he seems to meet everywhere. Still, he can’t ignore the sparks that fly between them —or how she seems so desperate to get away from him. But the funny, sweet, and drop-dead gorgeous Saint is far too amazing to give up on—especially since she’s the only thing in his life that seems to make sense.

When Nash discovers the truth about their past, he realizes he may have lost her heart before he could even fight for it. Now, Saint has to decide: is Nash worth risking herself for all over again?

Pre-Order Links:

Rule (Marked Men, #1) Jet (Marked Men, #2) Rome (Marked Men, #3)

About the Author
  I'm supposed to share interesting details about myself so that my readers get to know me so here we go in no particular order: I'm an natural redhead even though I haven't seen my real hair color in years, I'm a big fan of tattoos and have a half sleeve on either arm and various other pieces all over the place, I've been in the bar industry since I was in college and it has always offered interesting insight into how men and women interact with each other, I have 3 dogs that are all crazy, I live in Colorado and love the snow, I love music and in all reality wish I could be a rock star not a writer or a bartender but I have zero talent so there is that. I love to write, love to read and all I'm interested in is a good story with interesting characters that make the reader feel something. Thanks for taking the time to check my stuff out...

Connect with Jay:  Facebook | Twitter | Website | Goodreads

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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

(Adult) Book Review: Blood Reunited

Blood Reunited (Blood Vine #3)
Blood Reunited by Amber Belldene
(Blood Vine #3)
January 28, 2014
Omnific Publishing
Genre: Adult Paranormal 18+
(contains: strong language, sex including m/m)
Source: eARC from author for Honest review

Book Blurb:
Brooding vampire halfling and biologist Bel Maras is determined to create a cure for the wasting disease that plagues his vampire family. His work becomes essential as the Hunters intensify their global and bloody campaign. When Bel's cure fails, only his ancient and estranged godmother Uta Ilirije can help. But seeing the ice-cold Uta reveals something shocking--she is his bonded mate.

She may be a dangerous warrior, but Uta feels her failures acutely. She has been unable to protect her kind from Hunters, and vampires are dying out. Worse, she tied Bel to her long ago in an accident of blood, then abandoned him for his own good--a choice he has never forgiven. Many days, she is convinced Bel and the vampires would be better off if she just walked into the sun.

Biology has fated them to be mates. Now these old enemies must overcome their past to save the vampires and come to peace with the bond they never chose.
My Review:

I love this series. Each book in this trilogy has been amazing, and Blood Reunited is no exception. There is something so special about these complex and appealing characters with their gripping and richly-layered storyline. If you've been drawn in by the first two books, then you are in for an amazing conclusion to this trilogy. And if you haven't started this series yet, I highly recommend it for the Adult reader.

Blood Reunited picks up where Blood Entangled left off, and kept me glued to the pages until the very end. I will not give away plot details, but be ready for some highly creative, imaginative reading, taking us in all sorts of directions, being completely entertaining at the same time. I loved that Belldene did not make things easy for her characters. There are wins and losses, redemption and failure, love and hope. Problems had to be challenged and faced head-on. Ultimately I loved and respected where she eventually brought her characters and their community. Belldene brought it all together splendidly.

Uta may be my favorite character from this series. She has so many layers, so much depth, so many years of her life, so much history, so much heart. There's just so much to her and I loved getting to know her. She is a powerful warrior queen with this amazing strength, who can also be so hilarious, zinging us with some great lines. But behind it all is a vulnerable woman aching to be loved and understood. Her heartache is deep. Oh how my heart broke for her! To live as long as she has, to do all that she has done for her people, and to struggle with all that she feels. I loved her and admired where her journey eventually took her.

Then there's Bel, who finally found answers to his questions in book two, and here he must face it all. I could completely understand and empathize with his plethora of conflicting feelings and emotions. His confusion, his bitterness, his longing, and also feelings of betrayal. And besides all the personal stuff, the scientist in him was desperately trying to save his people. What he faced was so hard to watch.  I knew what I wanted for him, but also knew an easy solution would have felt false. But just like Uta, I loved that we witnessed the depths of his journey and loved where it eventually led him.

We also get to see all our favorites from this series. Pedro and Lucas are well represented in not just the progression of their relationship (yes, there's some m/m action), but also with their role in the scope of the trilogy plot. We get our Maras family, and I loved Andre's continued fatherly role and the strength and love he continued to show. And unfortunately, we also get the bad guys, the misunderstood guys, and one particular broken female character that just made me completely sad. All this combined for an amazing, layered read.

Bottomline: I loved this entire trilogy, and Blood Reunited is a fabulous conclusion. Amber Belldene has woven a tale full of sensual characters who have such beautiful depths to them, engaged in a world full of rich detail and amazing layers that I found so well thought out, engrossing me in their compelling story. My only criticism is that this is the last book, because I will miss the Maras's and their extended family greatly. Well done!

Find on AMAZON  *  Add to GOODREADS

Series Order and Book Links:
Blood Vine (Blood Vine #1) Blood Entangled (Blood Vine #2) Blood Reunited (Blood Vine #3)
#1 BLOOD VINE - My Review / Amazon / Goodreads
#2 BLOOD ENTANGLED - My Review / Amazon / Goodreads
#3 BLOOD REUNITED - My Review / Amazon / Goodreads

Monday, January 27, 2014

Book Review: Alienated

Alienated (Alienated, #1)
Alienated by Melissa Landers
February 4, 2014
Disney Hyperion
352 pages
Genre: Mature Young Adult
Source: eARC from publisher for Honest review
Book Blurb:
Interplanetary relations have never been more exciting! The first in a funny, romantic YA sci-fi series.

Two years ago, the aliens made contact. Now Cara Sweeney is going to be sharing a bathroom with one of them.

Handpicked to host the first-ever L’eihr exchange student, Cara thinks her future is set. Not only does she get a free ride to her dream college, she’ll have inside information about the mysterious L’eihrs that every journalist would kill for. Cara’s blog following is about to skyrocket.

Still, Cara isn’t sure what to think when she meets Aelyx. Humans and L’eihrs have nearly identical DNA, but cold, infuriatingly brilliant Aelyx couldn’t seem more alien. She’s certain about one thing, though: no human boy is this good-looking.

But when Cara's classmates get swept up by anti-L'eihr paranoia, Midtown High School suddenly isn't safe anymore. Threatening notes appear in Cara's locker, and a police officer has to escort her and Aelyx to class.

Cara finds support in the last person she expected. She realizes that Aelyx isn’t just her only friend; she's fallen hard for him. But Aelyx has been hiding the truth about the purpose of his exchange, and its potentially deadly consequences. Soon Cara will be in for the fight of her life—not just for herself and the boy she loves, but for the future of her planet.
My Review:

Reading this was a real treat. I'll admit, the gorgeous cover pulled me in, but the story and the characters kept me going. Even in a Sci-Fi setting, this story was relatable, filled with humor and seriousness, banter and compassion, romance and reason, suspense and intrigue. It has a little bit of everything, and that everything completely worked for me.  

Great characters: Cara is a wonderful heroine. Her way of dealing with things and standing up for what she believes in is commendable. She's a firecracker, just like her hair color. She doesn't let people walk all over her. She's head of the debate team for a reason. She's loyal. She's compassionate. She's analytical, though sometimes a little too trusting, but that's also what is great about her. She wants to see the good in "people." Aelyx starts as arrogant, self-important, and overly critical. I loved watching his gradual transformation and the effect humans, Cara in particular, had on him. The feelings he wrestled with were very genuine and I could understand the fear behind his conflict. And I loved that we get dual POVs in third-person. This really worked for this story, giving us both perspectives even without being in first-person. Additionally, Cara's parents were the best. I love their "amorous" moments and the touchy-feely standard they set in their home. It set the stage for a compassionate and loving household. This was a great addition to a YA book.

Storyline: The story seemed to gradually build in its intensity. I found this to be a really great strategy, drawing me into the story with easygoing moments, and then a steady build-up of conflict. By the end I couldn't put the book down. It was quite an interesting concept - alien exchange program - and I loved how the author introduced it. The optimism of this being an easy program was quickly trumped by the reality that this would freak people out. And as the author showed, people opposed to this would always be more vocal and persistent than those for it, reflecting many similar exchanges in our society. The government seemed a little less involved initially than I think they would have been realistically, but eventually that was rectified. But overall, I loved this story, where the plot took us, how things developed, and ultimately how things ended and set themselves up for the next book. Really well done.

Romance: Loved the gradual build-up of the relationship between Cara and Aelyx. No insta-love. There was a mutual build up of comradery, to friendship, to more. I loved their exchanges and the author's use of dialogue and scenes where they actually interact together as opposed to just talking "about" stuff. This was a great showing, not just telling, book. We get to see the real connection between Cara and Aelyx, not just some physical lust-fest, but how they connect on an emotional and "human" level. There are sweet moments, funny moments, tender moments, and swoony moments.

Bottomline: This was a wonderful that to a new YA Sci-Fi series, with appealing and strong characters, an intriguing plot, and suspenseful situations sure to keep a reader engaged. Definitely looking forward to the next book!

Bonus: If you read the author's acknowledgements, you'll see the names of her children, which are also names of a few characters in the book. I thought that was super cool and sweet.

4-1/2 STARS

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Stacking the Shelves (43) & Weekly Wrap-Up

Weekly Wrap-Up

What I Read:
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs (finished)
Blood Reunited by Amber Belldene
Playing for Love at Deep Haven by Katy Regnery

Audiobooks I Listened To:
Hexed by Kevin Hearne (finished)
Hammered by Kevin Hearne (started)
Reviews I Posted:
Angelfall by Susan Ee (my review)
World After by Susan Ee (my review)
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs (my review)
STSmall_thumb[2][2]Stacking The Shelves, hosted by Tynga's Reviews, is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

Books Purchased:
The Fault in Our Stars Rome (Marked Men, #3)
The Fault in Our Stars (Collector's Edition) by John Green (one of my all-time favorites - I needed this edition for my collection)
Rome by Jay Crownover (my review)

Books Purchased (Book Outlet):
 The Distance Between Us Foretold (The Demon Trappers, #4) Darkest Mercy (Wicked Lovely, #5)
Mr. Monster (John Cleaver, #2) I Don't Want to Kill You (John Cleaver, #3)
The Distance Between Us by Kasie West
Foretold by Jana Oliver
Darkest Mercy by Melissa Marr
Mr. Monster by Dan Wells
I Don't Want to Kill You by Dan Wells
eBooks For Review:
Lingering Echoes 
Lingering Echoes by Erica Kiefer
 Hammered (The Iron Druid Chronicles, #3)
Hammered by Kevin Hearne
For My Kindle:
The Golem and the Jinni Eighteen at Last (Wilson Mooney, #2) Beyond Eighteen (Wilson Mooney, #3)
The Rosie Project Girl with Guitar (Kylie Ryans, #1) Promise Cove (Pelican Pointe #1) 
The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker
Eighteen at Last by Gretchen de la O
Beyond Eighteen by Gretchen de la O
The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
Girl with Guitar by Caisey Quinn
Promise Cove by Vickie McKeehan


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Book Review: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine, #1)
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
by Ransom Riggs
(Miss Peregrine #1)
June 7, 2011
Quirk publishing
352 pages
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Source: Personal purchase

Book Blurb:
A horrific family tragedy sends Jacob, 16, to a remote island off Wales, to the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, where he finds unusual old photographs. The children, one his grandfather, were more than peculiar, perhaps dangerous, quarantined for good reason - and maybe still alive.

My Review:
I've had this on my shelf for a while and have been hesitant to read it because of the creepy cover. I am a bit of a wimp when it comes to scary stuff. I was worried it would be too creepy for me, despite reassurance from the author himself when I asked him at a book signing. Well, I'm glad I finally read it. It does have a creep factor to it, but I did not find it overly scary at all.
So why the creepy cover? This book was written with the amazing combination of storytelling using words and pictures. There are not an overabundance of photos, but just enough to draw you into the story and bring you into this world of these peculiar children. I loved this use of old photos and bringing them to life in a new way. They really brought so much more life to the story, adding greatly to its visual effect.
The blurb doesn't say much, so what's this all about? Well, the blurb is short for a reason. There is a nice level of mystery surrounding this story, particularly in the beginning. Giving away too many details would really ruin it for the reader. But I will say that the story follows Jacob, our 16 year old Floridian, who has grown up with his grandfather's stories of the children he grew up with. Jacob has always been curious about them, but his belief in them as a young boy has waned as he aged, making him question the validity of his grandfather's stories. When tragedy strike's Jacob's life, he must search within and without himself to seek out answers and the truth. But this journey brings about more than he bargained for. The story is quite unique and intriguing. I was very much drawn into Jacob's tale, not knowing where things were going, and finding the storytelling itself very engaging. My curiosity continued to build and build until the end.

There is a nice cast of characters here as well. Jacob is so sincere and so genuine. I really enjoyed his perspective, the thoughts he wrestled with, the determination he discovered in himself, the honesty in how he looked at things, and the courage he dug deep for. He was the main driving force of the story. The additional characters brought their own life to the story, though it took me some time to keep all the names straight. A few of the secondary characters had a touch more depth, Emma in particular. The relationship between Jacob and Emma is very interesting and odd. But I liked that it wasn't over romanticized in this book. You'll understand what I mean once you read it.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. The use of old photos really brought that extra special something to the storytelling, so combining that with the engaging plot, I was thoroughly entertained and look forward to the next book.


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday (24): RUINS

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

I loved Partials by Dan Wells! I confess I have the sequel, Fragments, but have not read it yet because I'm waiting for the last book so I can read them all in one swoop. This means I'm super excited Ruins is coming soon because I'm looking forward to getting my read on with this series!

RUINS by Dan Wells
(Partials Sequence #3)
Expected publication date: March 11, 2014

Ruins (Partials Sequence, #3)Book Blurb:
Kira, Samm, and Marcus fight to prevent a final war between Partials and humans in the gripping final installment in the Partials Sequence, a series that combines the thrilling action of The Hunger Games with the provocative themes of Blade Runner and The Stand.

There is no avoiding it—the war to decide the fate of both humans and Partials is at hand. Both sides hold in their possession a weapon that could destroy the other, and Kira Walker has precious little time to prevent that from happening. She has one chance to save both species and the world with them, but it will only come at great personal cost.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Teaser Tuesday (29): Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read    
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
by Ransom Riggs
published June 7, 2011

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine, #1)
Teaser from page 57:

Emerson. The letter.

I felt the blood drain out from my face. My mother leaned toward me and in a tense whisper asked if I needed a drink of water, which was Mom-speak for keep it together, people are staring. I said, "I feel a little, uh..." and then, with one hand over my stomach, I bolted to my room.

Book Blurb:

A horrific family tragedy sends Jacob 16 to a remote island off Wales, to the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, where he finds unusual old photographs. The children, one his grandfather, were more than peculiar, perhaps dangerous, quarantined for good reason - and maybe still alive.


Monday, January 20, 2014

Double Book Review: Angelfall & World After

Angelfall by Susan Ee
(Book 1: Penryn & the End of Days)
May 21, 2011
Feral Dream publishing
Genre: Mature Young Adult Paranormal
(contains: disturbing images)
Source: Personal purchase
Book Blurb:
It's been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back.

Anything, including making a deal with an enemy angel.

Raffe is a warrior who lies broken and wingless on the street. After eons of fighting his own battles, he finds himself being rescued from a desperate situation by a half-starved teenage girl.

Traveling through a dark and twisted Northern California, they have only each other to rely on for survival. Together, they journey toward the angels' stronghold in San Francisco where she'll risk everything to rescue her sister and he'll put himself at the mercy of his greatest enemies for the chance to be made whole again.
My Review:

I kept hearing so many great things about this book and I'm so glad I finally picked it up. Angelfall grabbed me from the very first chapters. Filled with action and suspense, mystery and anticipation, I quickly became engrossed in this world and its story. Susan Ee has the great ability to combine great suspense and mystery with compelling characters and a storyline that leaves you eager for what's to come.

I don't want to give away a lot of details about this story. I personally didn't know much going in, and I found it really added to my enjoyment and the intensity of what was going on, or what I anticipated might happen. But I will say that the story is set in essentially a post-apocalyptic setting, but I wouldn't completely define it that way. Because there is so much more going on beyond the surface. (And even after finishing the second book, there is still so much more for me to learn). Humanity is in jeopardy and "angels" have come for some unknown reason, and in this case, these "angels" are not the good guys. And while this big picture is happening, we have Penryn, trying to care for her mentally unstable mother and crippled sister. Penryn meets Raffe after he is attacked and her sister is kidnapped and they make a tentative agreement to help each other. Beyond this, I will leave the rest to the reading. But let me just say, there is so much more than meets the eye. There are twists and turns. There are questions on top of questions. There are some very disturbing developments that seriously creeped me out.

And then there are the characters...
Penryn is such a great heroine and narrator. She is one of my favorite female kick-butt characters. She is strong yet compassionate, wise yet youthful, loyal yet fierce. I felt like she was such a genuine addition to the female YA heroine group. She was so well developed, having so many strengths yet also vulnerabilities you would expect in someone her age, but she also has such wisdom as someone who has lived through so much even before all this other business took place. Loved her!
Raffe is the perfect mystery. He has this sarcasm and humor to him that you wouldn't expect, this tender side he hides, and this sheath of mystery and intrigue that pulls you right in. You don't know whether to trust him, ditch him, or love him.
Plus, we get Penryn's mother and all her mentally disturbed self, who is this wild addition to the story that is so interesting that she totally works for the storyline. Penryn's relationship and reference to her is unique, heart-breaking, and humorous, all at the same time. I have so many questions about her and know there is so much more to her.
There are also other very interesting secondary characters that added so much to the story (like the twins - loved them).

By the end Angelfall, I was completely absorbed in this story, getting some of my questions answered but then having just as many new ones pop up. But not in that annoying way. It's in the way that I really appreciate that the author is taking the reader on a unique experience and I can't help but fear and anticipate what will come next. The ending was quite the ride and I'm so glad I already have the next book (but the third isn't out yet, so I might be kicking myself later).

Admittedly, I am picky about my "angel" reads and don't tend to read a lot of them. I believe in angels and demons and worry about what direction and interpretation the author will take, particularly when it comes to angels. Now, while I don't know the ultimate outcome of this proposed five-book series, so far with Angelfall I am completely intrigued by the plot and suspense on what exactly is going on behind the scenes of this world and "end of days," and can't wait to continue with this series.


World After (Penryn & the End of Days, #2)
World After by Susan Ee
(Book 2: Penryn & the End of Days)
November 19, 2013
Skyscape publishing
Genre: Mature Young Adult Paranormal
(contains: disturbing images)
Source: Personal purchase
Book Blurb:
In this sequel to the bestselling fantasy thriller, Angelfall, the survivors of the angel apocalypse begin to scrape back together what's left of the modern world.

When a group of people capture Penryn's sister Paige, thinking she's a monster, the situation ends in a massacre. Paige disappears. Humans are terrified. Mom is heartbroken.

Penryn drives through the streets of San Francisco looking for Paige. Why are the streets so empty? Where is everybody? Her search leads her into the heart of the angels' secret plans where she catches a glimpse of their motivations, and learns the horrifying extent to which the angels are willing to go.

Meanwhile, Raffe hunts for his wings. Without them, he can't rejoin the angels, can't take his rightful place as one of their leaders. When faced with recapturing his wings or helping Penryn survive, which will he choose?

My Review:

(Contains spoilers from Angelfall)

World After picks up immediately where Angelfall left off. I felt eager to see where Susan Ee would take Penryn next, and this book did not disappoint. At the end of Angelfall, Penryn had been reunited with her mother and sister. Her sister Paige had been irrevocably changed and is trying to adjust and see where she fits in with society. Penryn has troubles of her own considering she was returned to her family by what they perceive as a demon (aka, Raffe with demon wings). And the entire family is with the resistance, who aren't sure how they feel about this weird group of women. What happens next continues the wild ride that Susan Ee started us on. Often I did not know where she would take things and I loved getting surprised. This book was very difficult to put down and I clung to the pages. I will not go into details about the plot. If you're desperate for details you can find them elsewhere. I think the great things about reading this series is all the suspense and mystery. But I will say that if you loved the ride in Angelfall, you'll love it all over again in World After.

Let's not forget Raffe. He's not with Penryn at the beginning because you'll recall he left her with her family assuming she was dead. But we still get to see more of Raffe, but in a very unique way. I loved the twist in this and felt like it added so much more to the mystery of Raffe. It also added more insight into Penryn and Raffe's relationship. They have such an interesting and unique bond, and I was eager to see more moments of them together, as well as see how their characters developed apart. I loved Raffe here and felt so much closer and tuned in with him. I also continue to be amazed by Penryn. I love her strong character, her tenacity, her compassion, her integrity, and so much more. Susan Ee really struck gold when she created Penryn.

As for action, this book is full of it, and I would say it has more action that Angelfall. There is also a step up in the disturbing images department. There is some serious creep factor going on and a bunch of questionable moral decisions by humans and "angels" alike. But as disturbing as it all was, I could not turn away from the pages. Really well done!

By the end of the book, my only problem was that the next book wasn't out yet. This is such an amazing series, and World After is a superb sequel to Angelfall. The end leaves us once again with questions answered and more questions left open. But it is not a tortuous cliff-hanger. I would deem it more a this-is-where-they-are-at-now-but-there-is-so-much-more-to-come. It leaves you content in your knowledge of where things are at, but eager for the next book. I loved Angelfall and World After and cannot wait for the rest of the books!


Sunday, January 19, 2014

Stacking the Shelves (42) & Weekly Wrap-Up

Weekly Wrap-Up

What I Read:
Awaken by Nina Lane (finished)
Songs of Submission series (#1-7) by CD Reiss
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs (started)

Audiobooks I Listened To:
Hexed by Kevin Hearne (started)
Reviews I Posted:
Alex's Destiny by Amy Gregory (my review)
Masquerade by Nyrae Dawn (my review)
Awaken by Nina Lane (my review)
Mike's Way Back by Amy Gregory (my review)
STSmall_thumb[2][2]Stacking The Shelves, hosted by Tynga's Reviews, is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks! 
Books Purchased:
Hollow City (Miss Peregrine, #2) Jet (Marked Men, #2)
Hollow City by Ransom Riggs
Jet by Jay Crownover (my review)
eARCs for Review:
Tyler & Stella (Tattoo Thief, #2) Blood Reunited (Blood Vine #3) Love Hacked: A Reluctant Romance (Knitting in the City, #3)
Tyler & Stella (Tattoo Thief 2) by Heidi Tretheway
Blood Reunited by Amber Belldene
Love Hacked by Penny Reid
For My Kindle:
 Playing at Love: A Perfect Kisses Novel A Tale of Two Centuries (My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century, #2) 
Drew + Fable Forever (Drew + Fable, #3.5) Greed (The Seven Deadly, #2)
Playing at Love by Ophelia London
A Tale of Two Centuries by Rachel Harris
Drew + Fable Forever by Monica Murphy
Greed by Fisher Amelie

Friday, January 17, 2014

Book Review: Mike's Way Back

Mike's Way Back - Finding Perfect #1
Mike's Way Back by Amy Gregory
(Finding Perfect: Book 1)
September 30, 2013
140 pages
Genre: Adult Romance
(contains: sex, strong language)
Source: Personal purchase
Book Blurb:
Detective Mike Sterling walked away from his dream job telling himself it was to honor the promise he’d made his mother, while lying in a Chicago emergency room. A year later, he’s still fighting the demons that followed him back to his boyhood town.

Taryn Watts is an award-winning designer, going from project to project, living from a suitcase. Her plan for Renlend Kansas was the same as always. Go in, get the job done and get out, just the way she likes it. Growing up as a cop’s daughter, her every move was controlled. When she escaped to college she vowed to never fall in love with a cop –ever. Until she found herself sitting across from the ruggedly handsome stranger. Looking into Mike’s ice blue eyes they pulled her, called to her, but there was a haunting in them she knew too well.

Mike is drawn to Taryn, her passion for her work and her stunning beauty left him breathless, but what surprises him most is the peace he feels when he’s near her. Maybe it’s because Taryn is a temporary addition to his town and his secret is safe, or maybe it’s because she makes him feel safe. Mike knows he can’t keep up this charade and when Taryn moves to Renlend for an extended stay he can’t hide the truth any longer.

Can Taryn forget he’s a cop and give him her heart, or will his demons drive them apart?
My Review:

I loved the "Racing To Love" series by Amy Gregory, and flew through the books. So when I found out there would be a new series by her, with the first book as a spin-off with Mike, Carter's brother from the RTL series, I was thrilled. Now it is not necessary to have read any of the RTL books previously, but some of the characters make cameos, so for me it was a special treat. Mike's story is completely his own. But by the end you may find yourself wanting to meet the other side of the family.

Mike's Way Back follows Mike, detective and cop extraordinaire, who has moved back to his hometown. He has this quiet strength about him that I really liked, and though he is still a cop, his alpha male side is controlled, sensitive or strong at all the right times. Plus his detective side allows him to see beyond the surface. He's been burned before, and old wounds die hard, but into his life walks Taryn, a woman to challenge him, but maybe even heal him. Taryn herself is passionate about her job, has created an exterior that has protected her over the years, but unknowingly needs someone to see past her walls and love her for who she is, letting her inner firecracker out.

I loved the pacing and interactions between Mike and Taryn. They have wonderful banter that helps open them up to each other, and beyond that the more they are with each other, even by phone or email, the clearer you can see their friendship forming, and blooming into more. Even within the limited time frame, it all felt very natural. I truly enjoyed their honesty, their genuine care and consideration of the other, their lack of game-playing, how well they worked together, the laughs they shared, and of course their chemistry (their hot chemistry).

Additionally, one of Amy Gregory's strengths in her RTL series was the great community of characters she brings to life. We're not limited to just the MCs or given some token one-dimensional secondary characters. In MWB, we once again gain some wonderful characters that I look forward to getting to know more and more. Everyone has a place in the story and it gives a lovely depth to this book.

Amy Gregory created a beautiful, sweet romance between two characters with incredible humor, heart, healing, and love. I'm so happy about the start of this new series, and I hope Mike and Taryn make appearances in the rest of the upcoming books.

Racing to Love - Carter's Treasure Racing to Love: Brody's Love (Racing to Love, #1.5) Racing to Love: Jesse's Soul (Racing to Love, #2)
 Racing To Love: Eli's Honor (Racing to Love, #3) Racing to Love:  Alex's Destiny (Racing to Love, #4)