Friday, January 31, 2014

Book Blogger Hop and Feature and Follow Friday

Book Blogger Hop is Hosted by Ramblings of A Coffee Addicted Writer
When you receive new books in the mail, do the older ones get moved to the bottom of your list or do go strictly "by the book" and keep your list with older books first and then the new ones?
I review my books for review as close to release date as I can.  There are the occasional book that I will read early due to excitement for the release and others that fall behind.  For those that I have purchased, there is no rhyme an reason to when I will read it.  I'm pretty sure I have books on my selves that are from 2008 or 2009 that I haven't read yet.


Feature and Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee & Alison Can Read

Time for Book Spine Poetry again! Take a picture of your book spines spelling out something epic.

Wishful Thinking
Nobody's Princess

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Review - Awakening (The Chrysalis Series #1) by Elene Sallinger (ADULT)

Awakening (The Chrysalis Series, #1)Title: Awakening
Author: Elene Sallinger
Series: 1st
Pages: 224
Published:  November 5th 2013 by Sourcebooks Casablanca 
Source: Publisher via Netgalley

Description: River Rock, Vermont, 2011: This is the story of Claire Ryan and Evan Lang. Thirty-five-year-old Claire joins a local book club for romance readers in order to get over the breakdown of her 10-year relationship. There she meets book shop owner Evan, a dominant man who has never recovered from the sudden death of his submissive wife.  As their relationship develops and they embark on the path of Claire's submission, it becomes harder and harder for Evan to keep his emotional distance. Claire is open and responsive and he wants her badly, but refuses to let himself go. As Claire falls deeper in love with Evan, she realises that he is holding back and decides to end their relationship, forcing Evan to confront his own past and his feelings in order to save his new love.  

I Give This ...

I wasn't sure I was going to review this on my blog.  This site tends toward young adult with the occasional younger book thrown in.  But, I realized I'm a grown adult and I think most of my readers are as well.  

I've read a few BSDM books.  Some of it really is hard for me to take.  But, this one was presented in a very 'tasteful" fashion.  I think it would be good for those easing themselves in the genre.  I really liked Claire.  It's interesting to me that she came from a very abusive relationship.  While you constantly hear of women who claim they deserved their beatings, Claire actually craved it.  But, she never recognized that it was delivered in the wrong context.  It wasn't until her relationship is long over that she realized what it was she wanted.  But, these types of relationships take care and consideration.  They aren't to be entered into lightly.

I understood that Claire had an intense attraction to Evan.  But I was a little disappointed that she agreed to his terms.  I know she realized that she was not a replacement for his deceased wife, but Evan never realized that.  It was like he refused to see Claire for herself.  In turn, he was denying himself what he really wanted.  If her recognized Claire as a true submissive, he was doing her a great disservice by treating her the way he did.

I'm happy they finally admitted what they both needed.  I liked that this book was not just about the BSDM lifestyle but about the dynamics of the relationship.


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Review - A Breath of Frost (The Lovegrove Legacy #1) by Alyxandra Harvey

A Breath of Frost (The Lovegrove Legacy, #1)Title: A Breath of Frost 
Author: Alyxandra Harvey
Series: 1st
Pages: 496
Published: January 7th 2014 by Walker Childrens
ISBN: 9780802734433
Source: Publisher via Netgalley

Description: In 1814, three cousins—Gretchen, Emma, and Penelope—discover their family lineage of witchcraft when a binding spell is broken, allowing their individual magical powers to manifest. Now, beyond the manicured gardens and ballrooms of Regency London, an alluring underworld available only to those with power is revealed to the cousins. By claiming their power, the three cousins have accidentally opened the gates to the underworld.  Now ghouls, hellhounds—and most terrifying of all, the spirits of dark witches known as the Greymalkin Sisters—are hunting and killing young debutante witches for their powers. And, somehow, Emma is connected to the murders…because she keeps finding the bodies. Can the cousins seal the gates before another witch is killed…or even worse, before their new gifts are stripped away? 

First Line: Breaking into a dead woman's house was easy work since she rarely complained.

 I Give This ...

I tend to gravitate to this author when I see her name pop up on a book.  But, I have to be honest and say I haven't been wowed since her vampire series.  I really hoped this book would spark that interest again.  Sadly, it wasn't quite so.

I really liked how close these three cousins are because when you learn about their mothers, you realize it couldn't easily have been that they have nothing to with each other.  They get through it all no matter what the costs.  When Emma accidentally breaks the binding spell and all hell breaks loose, Gretchen and Penelope never hesitant to be right behind her helping solve their complicated past.

And complicated it is.  I really think that's were this story lost me.  There's just a lot of details that padded the story to the point it was too much.  First the history of witchcraft isn't as simple as one would think.  There's also a hierarchy that's in place that just didn't work for me.   Which is funny because it's really everywhere.  I didn't enjoy how only those from aristocratic backgrounds that demonstrated powers could be trained and attend the academy.  I also still don't understand what The Order does.  Do the protect or control?

I wasn't disinterested to the point that I put the book down though.  I really wanted to know more about Emma's mother and why she put the binding spell in place.  I really enjoyed our brief glimpses we get of who she was and who she is now.  There's also a few great little twists to the story that helped bring the book up a little.  

I'm not giving up on this author yet.  I just don't think I connect with her paranormal historical fiction as much as I would like.  


Monday, January 27, 2014

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

What Are You Reading, is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week. It is a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list. Click on the picture to be taken to Sheila at One Person's Journey Through A World of Books!
Read Last Week: 
Neverwas  (Amber House, #2)Awakening (The Chrysalis Series, #1)
  • Neverwas by Kelly Moore, Tucker Reed, & Larkin Reed (DNF) 
  • Awakening by Elene Sallinger 
 Currently Reading: 

The Offering (The Pledge, #3)
  • The Offering by Kimberly Derting
Up This Week:

Elizabeth of York: A Tudor Queen and Her WorldInto the Still Blue (Under the Never Sky, #3)
  • Elizabeth of York by Alison Weir 
  • Into the Still Blue by Veronica Rossi

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Stacking the Shelves!

For Review: 

The Hunt (Project Paper Doll, #2)The Red Lily Crown: A Novel of Medici Florence
  • The Hunt by Stacey Kade 
  • The Red Lily Crown by Elizabeth Loupas
Stacking The Shelves is all about the books we are adding to our shelves each week, sharing with you our excitement for our newest titles and maybe have you discover a new book in the process!  It's hosted by Tynga's Reviews!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Review - The Redhead Plays Her Hand (Redhead #3) by Alice Clayton

The Redhead Plays Her Hand (Redhead, #3)Title: The Redhead Plays Her Hand
Author: Alice Clayton
Pages: 320
Published: December 17th 2013 by Gallery Books 
ISBN: 9781476741253
Source: Publisher for Honest Review

Description: Grace has landed the lead in a new TV series—but when the director asks her to lose fifteen pounds, she goes public with her weight struggles and suddenly develops a huge fan club who support her right to have curves. But between that and the public’s continuing fascination with her “are they or aren’t they” relationship with Jack, Grace begins to wonder if anyone’s really interested in her because of her upcoming TV series, or if it’s all speculation about the size of her ass and her bedroom partner. Meanwhile, Jack is voted the Sexiest Man Alive and becomes a little too enamored with the party-hard lifestyle. Grace vows to give him the space he needs to find himself, but then he begins to spiral down from lovable Brit to Hollywood brat. People are talking, but are Jack and Grace? Her career is on the rise, and his continues into the stratosphere, but will she be able to catch him if he falls? Will they ever be able to just be a couple who can hold hands when they walk down the street? 

I Give This ...


I've been anxiously waiting for this book for some time.  I've been a fan of Alice Clayton long before she was finally given the recognition she deserved from the big six!  But, I admit I was also hesitant.  Would my beloved characters have changed to please the big guys?  Rest assured, they may go through some turmoils but Grace and Jack are still just as sweet as ever.

I've seen some knocks against Grace in a few reviews.  Maybe it's because they don't identify with the way Grace reacted to her situations.  She's new to Hollywood and I imagine that's incredibly difficult to be faced with the pressure becoming famous entails.  Especially when she's attached to not only the "golden boy" of Hollywood, but also the newest it show of Television.  She's not your typical star and she hasn't grow a backbone yet when it comes to how all those people might play her.  I'm sure we all think that we someone tells us to lose weight in underhanded ways, we would tell them to get bent.  But, the truth is, I'm not sure we would.  Most have the drive to succeed, and if acting was our chosen dream, we would do anything to keep it.

More especially, I understood Grace's reactions to Jack.  I may not have liked him much in this book, but I thought he was true to character.  We've all seen how Hollywood can strip young actors down to nothing.  Now, it's a book and Clayton could have chose to have Jack be better than that.  But, in all reality I think showing the weakness was better.  Now maybe Grace could have walked away and decided Jack wasn't worth it.  But, sometimes it's harder than one thinks.  Even if it's the best thing for us in so many ways.  I identified with it because in all reality I've been in that relationship that all it would have took was one "I'm Sorry." Is it the right decision?   Only time can tell.

The only difference for me was this book seemed a lot lighter on the sex than previous books and more on the actual dynamics of their relationship.  It's not all about what happens in the bedroom!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Review - The Essence (The Pledge #2) by Kimberly Derting

The Essence (The Pledge, #2)Title: The Essence
Author: Kimberly Derting
Series: 2nd (The Pledge)
Pages: 352
Published: January 1st 2013 by Margaret K. McElderry 
ISBN: 9781442445598
Source: Personal Copy

Description: At the luminous conclusion of The Pledge, Charlaina defeated the tyrant Sabara and took her place as Queen of Ludania. But Charlie knows that Sabara has not disappeared: The evil queen’s Essence is fused to Charlie’s psyche, ready to arise at the first sign of weakness. Charlie is not weak, but she’s being pushed to the brink. In addition to suppressing the ever-present influence of Sabara, she’s busy being queen—and battling a growing resistance determined to return Ludania to its discriminatory caste system. Charlie wants to be the same girl Max loves, who Brook trusts, but she’s Your Majesty now, and she feels torn in two. As Charlie journeys to an annual summit to meet with leaders of nearby Queendoms—an event where her ability to understand all languages will be the utmost asset—she is faced with the ultimate betrayal. And the only person she can turn to for help is the evil soul residing within.

I Give This ...

This is one of those time that maybe it was too long since I read the last book in the series.  It's not the the events were unfamiliar.  It's more than the story seems different that how I remember the first book being.  

 I was indifferent to Charlie and her struggles as a new queen.  It seems the book glossed over some of the parts that might have made us better understand her.  She's put all these new policies into place, but I was surprised to read how much some of her people are unhappy with her changes.  I wasn't really expecting her to all of a sudden be the most popular Queen.  But, she doesn't seem to have a very strong hold of her kingdom.  I didn't ever even really get a feel that she was ruling in her right.  

The book picked up the pace a little when Charlie makes it to the summit.  But, this seems to be a party not a place for alliances to be made and broken.  There's a lot of talk on the proper way to greet each Queen and what everyone is wearing.  I found it kind of exhausting.

But, there's always something that sets you up to read the next book.  First, Sabara is still hanging on to Charlie.  And interestingly enough, she's not happy with a backseat role.  There's a couple instances were Charlie loses control and its Sabara pulling the strings.  Plus, there's a traitor in their mists, and that person may or may not be working for someone Charlie considers a friend.

Sadly, this book has that dreaded second book problem.  It's necessary to the storyline or you won't understand what happens next.  But, in the end it's likely to be my least favorite book in the series.   

Monday, January 20, 2014

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

What Are You Reading, is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week. It is a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list. Click on the picture to be taken to Sheila at One Person's Journey Through A World of Books!
Read Last Week: 
The Redhead Plays Her Hand (Redhead, #3)A Breath of Frost (The Lovegrove Legacy, #1)
  • The Redhead Plays Her Hand by Alice Clayton
  • A Breath of Frost by Alyxandra Harvey
Currently Reading:

Neverwas  (Amber House, #2)
  •  Neverwas by Kelly Moore, Tucker Reed, & Larkin Reed  
Up This Week:
Elizabeth of York: A Tudor Queen and Her WorldThe Offering (The Pledge, #3)
  • Elizabeth of York by Alison Weir
  •  The Offering by Kimberly Derting

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Stacking the Shelves!

For Review: 

The Shadow Throne (The Ascendance Trilogy, #3)
  • The Shadow Throne by Jennifer A. Nielsen


A Tale of Two Centuries (My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century, #2)
  • A Tale of Two Centuries by Rachel Harris
    Stacking The Shelves is all about the books we are adding to our shelves each week, sharing with you our excitement for our newest titles and maybe have you discover a new book in the process!  It's hosted by Tynga's Reviews!

Review - A Study in Darkness (The Baskerville Affair #2) by Emma Jane Holloway

A Study in Darkness (The Baskerville Affair, #2)Title: A Study in Darkness
Author: Emma Jane Holloway
Series: 2nd (A Study in Silks)
Pages: 513
Published: October 29th 2013 by Del Rey 
ISBN: 9780345537195
Source: Publisher via Netgalley

Description: When a bomb goes off at 221B Baker Street, Evelina Cooper is thrown into her Uncle Sherlock’s world of mystery and murder. But just when she thought it was safe to return to the ballroom, old, new, and even dead enemies are clamoring for a place on her dance card. Before Evelina’s even unpacked her gowns for a country house party, an indiscretion puts her in the power of the ruthless Gold King, who recruits her as his spy. He knows her disreputable past and exiles her to the rank alleyways of Whitechapel with orders to unmask his foe. As danger mounts, Evelina struggles between hiding her illegal magic and succumbing to the darker aspects of her power. One path keeps her secure; the other keeps her alive. For rebellion is brewing, a sorcerer wants her soul, and no one can protect her in the hunting ground of Jack the Ripper.

I Give This ...

I'm so glad that I decided to stick with this series.  There was something in the first book that made me want to continue on despite my 3 rating.  I was right!

Evelina is really beginning to grow on me as our main character.  She's got a very unique background with her connections to the aristocracy, the lower class, and then there's her uncle the infamous Sherlock Holmes.  But, she really holds her own in this story.  She may naive enough to take the bait to be the Gold King's spy, but I can't imagine anyone else for the job.  She manages to integrate herself in place that others can't.  Plus, she learns things about her magic that likely wouldn't have happened.  I imagine that will become more key as the story progresses.

I feel the love triangle is kind of up and down this time around.  I don't necessarily think Evelina's feeling for Tobias were misplaced.  He just didn't seem to think about the repercussions their actions might have on Evelina.  Plus, he's too easily swayed by a pretty face.  Niccolo's affection seem to be much more genuine.  He would do anything for her, including walk away.  I'm hoping that Evelina will stick to what seems to be a clear cut choice.  Who knows though!

I'm really enjoying the little bit we see of Sherlock in this series.  He's an character that could easily take center stage, but he stays in the background.  He may be part of the bigger picture, but he's not the one maneuvering the pieces.   I'm curious as to what his final role will be in this series.  And I LOVED the inclusion of Jack the Ripper in this story.  This serial killer has fascinated me for years, and I loved how it played out in the story.  It stuck with the details of the original crimes and lead to the allure of how it remained unsolved.   It worked beautifully here.

I'm excited to tackle the next book in the series.  I'm not sure if it the final one, but I will savor it and hope the story has a satisfying conclusion if it is!


Review - Diamonds and Deceit (At Somerton #2) by Leila Rasheed

Diamonds and Deceit (At Somerton, #2)Title: Diamonds and Deceit
Author: Leila Rasheed
Series: 2nd (Cinders and Sapphires) 
Pages: 420
Published: January 7th 2014 by Disney-Hyperion 
ISBN: 9781423171188
Source: Publisher via Netgalley

Description: A house divided...London is a whirl of balls and teas, alliances and rivalries. Rose has never felt more out of place. With the Season in full swing, she can't help but still feel a servant dressed up in diamonds and silk. Then Rose meets Alexander Ross, a young Scottish duke. Rose has heard the rumors about Ross's sordid past just like everyone else has. Yet he alone treats her as a friend. Rose knows better than to give her heart to an aristocrat with such a reputation, but it may be too late. Ada should be happy. She is engaged to a handsome man who shares her political passions and has promised to support her education. So why does she feel hollow inside? Even if she hated Lord Fintan, she would have no choice but to go through with the marriage. Every day a new credit collector knocks on the door of their London flat, demanding payment for her cousin William's expenditures. Her father's heir seems determined to bring her family to ruin, and only a brilliant marriage can save Somerton Court and the Averleys' reputation. Meanwhile, at Somerton, Sebastian is out of his mind with worry for his former valet Oliver, who refuses to plead innocent to the murder charges against him--for a death caused by Sebastian himself. Sebastian will do whatever he can to help the boy he loves, but his indiscretion is dangerous fodder for a reporter with sharp eyes and dishonorable intentions. 

I Give This ...

I really enjoyed the first book in the series.  I'm not as familiar with this time period in England, so I like immersing myself in new details.  This series seems to have just enough scandal, intrigue, aristocracy, beautiful dresses, and romance.  However, this book seemed a little dragged down by the details.  The end almost made up for all that though.

My first problem lies with the fact that there are a lot of characters in this book, plus two separate locations. It hasn't been that long since I read the first one, but I really had to set myself straight on who was who.  I couldn't remember who were the actually related, who were stepchildren, and how all the other characters fit together at first.  I eventually figured it out, but I think the book could have benefited from some little refresher.  There was also a lot of scenes that didn't really seem to move the story forward that much. Scenes at various balls, dress shops, etc just seemed to fill the pages.  Some of them had little details that I enjoyed that connected the story together, but overall were not important.

I did enjoy Rose's Season debut.  I can't imagine going from servant to debutante and having to endure the whispers, etc.  Perhaps that's why she occasionally acted like she did around Alexander.  I think she was so use to defending herself that she forgot that things are always what they appear and sometimes words spoken aren't what was meant.  I forgave her though, because it didn't take her long to realize her errors.  

The other characters definitely had their ups and downs.  I think Ada could have been happy with Lord Fintan, but fate would have things play out differently.  Sebastian and Oliver have a long road ahead of them, so I'm hoping this isn't the last story. This family is finally starting to function as a unit and I'm excited to see what the future holds for all of them!

Waiting on Wednesday - Pivot Point by Kasie West

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

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:
Title: Split Second
Author: Kasie West
Publication Date: February 11th 2014 by HarperTeen 
Split Second (Pivot Point #2)
Description: Addie hardly recognizes her life since her parents divorced. Her boyfriend used her. Her best friend betrayed her. She can’t believe this is the future she chose. On top of that, her ability is acting up. She’s always been able to Search the future when presented with a choice. Now she can manipulate and slow down time, too . . . but not without a price. When Addie’s dad invites her to spend her winter break with him, she jumps at the chance to escape into the Norm world of Dallas, Texas. There she meets the handsome and achingly familiar Trevor. He’s a virtual stranger to her, so why does her heart do a funny flip every time she sees him? But after witnessing secrets that were supposed to stay hidden, Trevor quickly seems more suspicious of Addie than interested in her. And she has an inexplicable desire to change that. Meanwhile, her best friend, Laila, has a secret of her own: she can restore Addie’s memories . . . once she learns how. But there are powerful people who don’t want to see this happen. Desperate, Laila tries to manipulate Connor, a brooding bad boy from school—but he seems to be the only boy in the Compound immune to her charms. And the only one who can help her.  As Addie and Laila frantically attempt to retrieve the lost memories, Addie must piece together a world she thought she knew before she loses the love she nearly forgot . . . and a future that could change everything. 
I'm really intrigued by this second book in the series.  I loved how the idea of how a decision can effect future events was presented in the first book.  I want to see were this goes!

Review - Royal Inheritance (Secrets of the Tudor Court #6) by Kate Emerson

Royal Inheritance (Secrets of the Tudor Court, #6)Title: Royal Inheritance
Author: Kate Emerson
Pages: 368
Published: September 24th 2013 by Gallery Books 
ISBN:  9781451661514
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss

Description:  Audrey Malte, born about 1528 and raised at court by the king’s tailor, John Malte, was led to believe she is Malte’s illegitimate daughter when, in fact, her father is King Henry VIII. When she reaches marriageable age, she begins to realize, from the way certain people behave toward her, that Malte is keeping secrets from her, and she sets out to discover the truth. Her quest involves the best and the worst of the courtiers, among them a man with whom she falls in love. Unfortunately, Malte has already entered into negotiations for her betrothal to someone else, and Audrey guesses the truth about her legacy when the king settles property on her, jointly with Malte. Marriage is definitely in Audrey’s future, but will it be to the man she wants to wed?

I Give This ...

I found this book to be a little different than the previous books in the series.  I still enjoyed it, but the events seemed a lot tamer than they had in previous books.

I really liked Audrey.  I was a little surprised that she didn't question her own heritage sooner.   If it were me, I would wonder why a chance meeting with the king would lead to being removed from my abusive home and being placed with a rich merchant.  If that wasn't enough to question, then the king orders Audry be brought to court, given all sorts of lessons above her adoptive sisters.  It's no wonder they become jealous of Audrey.

As Audrey becomes of marriageable age, a very undesirable match comes forward.  Audrey has no desire to become the daughter-in-law of a man accused of murder, especially when she learns who this man thinks her father really is.  She hopes that if she delays long enough, that she will be able to marry the man she truly loves.  But, what happens when the king gets involved?  Will she be able to defy her king as well?

I enjoyed how this story is told in flashbacks in the way of Audrey telling her background to her 8 year old daughter Hester.  She's feels she does not have luxury of time to tell this story when her daughter is older.  I'm not sure why she felt her daughter needed this information in the first place, but so be it.

I'm hoping this series exhausted yet.  I've really enjoyed Kate Emerson's ability to take little known people in history and give them their own story!

Monday, January 13, 2014

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

What Are You Reading, is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week. It is a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list. Click on the picture to be taken to Sheila at One Person's Journey Through A World of Books!
Read Last Week: 
Diamonds and Deceit (At Somerton, #2)A Study in Darkness (The Baskerville Affair, #2)The Essence (The Pledge, #2)
  • Diamonds and Deceit by Leila Rasheed
  • A Study in Darkness by Emma Jane Holloway 
  • The Essence by Kimberly Derting  

Currently Reading: 

The Redhead Plays Her Hand (Redhead, #3)
  • The Redhead Plays Her Hand by Alice Clayton  

Up This Week: 

A Breath of Frost (The Lovegrove Legacy, #1)Neverwas  (Amber House, #2)
  • A Breath of Frost by Alyxandra Harvey
  • Neverwas by Kelly Moore, Tucker Reed, & Larkin Reed


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