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Monday, October 27, 2014

Suspicion by Alexandra Monir


Blurb from Goodreads:
 Mysterious. Magnificent. Creepy. Welcome to Rockford Manor.

"There's something hidden in the Maze." Seventeen-year-old Imogen has never forgotten the last words her father said to her seven years ago, before the blazing fire that consumed him, her mother, and the gardens of her family's English country manor.

Haunted by her parents' deaths, Imogen moves to New York City with her new guardians. But when a letter arrives with the news of her cousin's untimely death, revealing that Imogen is now the only heir left to run the estate, she returns to England and warily accepts her role as duchess.

All is not as it seems at Rockford, and Imogen quickly learns that dark secrets lurk behind the mansion's aristocratic exterior, hinting that the spate of deaths in her family were no accident. And at the center of the mystery is Imogen herself--and Sebastian, the childhood friend she has secretly loved for years. Just what has Imogen walked into?

Combining a fresh twist on the classic REBECCA with a spine-tingling mystery and powerful romance, SUSPICION is an action-packed thrill ride.
4 stars
Is it just coincidence that I happen to be reading a book of short stories by Daphne Du Maurier when I picked up this book to read? I had read a couple of chapters and was enjoying Suspicion before I knew that it was based on Rebecca. After reading, I can't really say that this book was similar other than the creepy house and spiteful housekeeper. I think it would have been better not to be linked to Rebecca, but that is just my two cents.

I thought the mystery was a well done plot, but the supernatural felt forced. If the mystery powers were done away with, I felt the book would have been stronger. Once again we are bombarded with insta-love and too much focus on the handsome, good looking, swoon worthy, divine looks of the love interest. Once is enough to understand that the boy is attractive. I realize that the two had a relationship with each other when they were younger, but they were 10 and 12 years old so I don't believe a story line where they magically fall in love with each other based on the past.

The book did keep me guessing, and there were some points that I didn't see coming (probably because I thought it was based on Rebecca). If you are looking for a good mystery and don't mind a little paranormal then I would recommend this book. If you're looking for a new Rebecca, I don't think this book hits that mark completely. There are similarities, but not anything that would make me certain it was based on Rebecca.  I, of course, recommend very highly Rebecca by Du Maurier if you haven't read it yet. 

Content - Clean from language and sex.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Books I Am Excited For....

Books that I have and need (and want badly) to read....

And books that I am desperate to get my hands on....
Product DetailsProduct DetailsProduct DetailsProduct Details

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Atlantia by Ally Condie

Blurb from Goodreads:
Can you hear Atlantia breathing?

For as long as she can remember, Rio has dreamt of the sand and sky Above—of life beyond her underwater city of Atlantia. But in a single moment, all her plans for the future are thwarted when her twin sister, Bay, makes an unexpected decision, stranding Rio Below. Alone, ripped away from the last person who knew Rio’s true self—and the powerful siren voice she has long hidden—she has nothing left to lose.

Guided by a dangerous and unlikely mentor, Rio formulates a plan that leads to increasingly treacherous questions about her mother’s death, her own destiny, and the complex system constructed to govern the divide between land and sea. Her life and her city depend on Rio to listen to the voices of the past and to speak long-hidden truths

4.5 stars
I will warn you - this is slow to get started. It takes awhile for the world to be built and the characters to get situated, but once it does, it is an amazing world to explore. Rio is an immensely complex protagonist who really struggles with the right thing to do. But I think my favorite character of all was Maire. She is so nebulous - you don't know whether to hug her or smack her. She is a big reason this book almost got five stars from me. The rest of the book was spectacular as well. I felt the plot and motivations of the characters were really strong.

I really feel that this was a stand alone novel. It was perfect the way it ended, and I don't feel the longing to visit these characters again. Their story has found the perfect balance.

I loved the way that True treated Rio. He felt concern for her, but he never treated her like she was less than he was. He didn't agree with what she was doing, but he stepped back and respected her enough to make her own decisions. This is good writing, and I applaud Ms. Condie for creating a strong male character who treats women with respect and dignity. Too many romantic leads think they know better for their female counterparts and try to act against the wishes of their love interest. Real men or should I say True men respect women.

I read the first two books in the Matched series - liked one and not so much the other one. This book was a genuine pleasure to read, and it makes me want to eagerly read the next book she comes out with.

Oh, and isn't the cover divine?

Content - completely clean read.  No sex or language.  

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Return to Sleepy Hollow by Dax Varley

Return to Sleepy Hollow

Blurb from Goodreads:
He was there again…just below. I awoke as always to the power of his presence.

My bare feet hit the cold floor. One peek—just one—out the window.

It’d been three years since I’d seen this horseman. THE Horseman. And, as then, his hand reached out, summoning me to him.

Three times he’s appeared since Ichabod and I fled to Philadelphia.

Why here? Why now?Why me?

But whatever the reason, he wanted me—a want so strong, I was weak to resist.
* * *
The sequel to Sleepy Hollow is here!

4.5 stars
This sequel does not disappoint! The perfect read for a windy and rainy day in October. This furthers the story of Katrina and Ichabod in wonderfully unique way. I realize that Ichabod's story ends in the original tale, but I was glad to see him back in this one. And we see a lot more of the Headless Horseman. He is spooky and creepy, but things are not always what they seem. I really was kept on the edge of my seat and could not figure out where the books was headed. The ending felt a tad rushed,and everything wrapped up nicely except for that last sentence again. I am hoping that means there will be another one. I look forward to reading more from this author and hope that there will be more Katrina!

Content: There is sex although not graphically explained.  No language.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Stitching Snow by R. C. Lewis

Stitching Snow

Blurb from Goodreads:
Princess Snow is missing.

Her home planet is filled with violence and corruption at the hands of King Matthias and his wife as they attempt to punish her captors. The king will stop at nothing to get his beloved daughter back—but that’s assuming she wants to return at all.

Essie has grown used to being cold. Temperatures on the planet Thanda are always sub-zero, and she fills her days with coding and repairs for the seven loyal drones that run the local mines.

When a mysterious young man named Dane crash-lands near her home, Essie agrees to help the pilot repair his ship. But soon she realizes that Dane’s arrival was far from accidental, and she’s pulled into the heart of a war she’s risked everything to avoid. With the galaxy’s future—and her own—in jeopardy, Essie must choose who to trust in a fiery fight for survival.


4.5 stars
2014 is really a jackpot year for fantasy and sci-fi. I can't believe how many great books there have been this year. And Stitching Snow is another one to add to the list. If you are not a fan of insta-love, I dare you not to like this one. The romance is so sweet, so slow-building, so fantastic! I'm not a big romance fan, but this one was definitely worth reading.

I loved the Snow White story set in space. (Playing Risk with her father based on Earth from long ago was a nice twist to where we are in space and time.) Essie lives in an incredibly hostile environment when we first meet her - and she thrives. She is such a fighter and independent. I loved her from the first chapter. So often, main female characters are described as being tough, but turn out to play the damsel in distress. Essie is no such heroine. She's smart, resourceful and hard as nails.

The cover is gorgeous.  I should have known it was going to be a good book based on that.  I know - never judge a book by its cover and all that, but sometimes you can just tell.

The story wrapped up nicely so I don't know if there will be a sequel, but if there is I will definitely be reading it.

Content: There is a robot who is named Cusser, but it is just alluded to that he swears, the words are never stated.  No sex - the romance is really sweet with just a tender kiss.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Queen of Someday by Sherry Ficklin

 Queen of Someday (Stolen Empire, #1)

Blurb from Goodreads:

Before she can become the greatest empress in history, fifteen-year-old Sophie will have to survive her social-climbing mother’s quest to put her on the throne of Russia—at any cost.

Imperial Court holds dangers like nothing Sophie has ever faced before. In the heart of St. Petersburg, surviving means navigating the political, romantic, and religious demands of the bitter Empress Elizabeth and her handsome, but sadistic nephew, Peter. Determined to save her impoverished family—and herself—Sophie vows to do whatever is necessary to thrive in her new surroundings. But an attempt on her life and an unexpected attraction threatens to derail her plans.

Alone in a new and dangerous world, learning who to trust and who to charm may mean the difference between becoming queen and being sent home in shame to marry her lecherous uncle. With traitors and murderers lurking around every corner, her very life hangs in the balance. Betrothed to one man but falling in love with another, Sophie will need to decide how much she’s willing to sacrifice in order to become the empress she is destined to be.

In a battle for the soul of a nation, will love or destiny reign supreme?

I love any book that makes me scramble for my history book. At first I didn't know this was about Catherine the Great. So I researched and found out some really cool and interesting things. This book did a fantastic job of showing how a young, confused teenager could grow into one of the most famous Empresses in Russian history. My only complaint is that the books was too short. There could have been a lot more court intrigue and delving into the background of Empress Elizabeth (who also had a fascinating road to the throne). In a time when women were not treated as equals, it is refreshing to see a female character who takes charge of her own destiny rather than allowing circumstances and other people to decide for her. I don't know if this book was historically accurate - no one can know for sure - but things could have unfolded in this manner.

I hated the cover. It seemed more like an adult romance cover. I almost didn't pick this one up because of it. I hope the next one more accurately reflects the book.

I will definitely be looking forward to the next one (especially to see Peter get his comeuppance).

Monday, October 6, 2014

Kiss Kill Vanish by Jessica Martinez

Kiss Kill Vanish 

Blurb from Goodreads:
Valentina Cruz no longer exists.

One moment, she was wrapped in Emilio’s arms, melting into his kiss. The next, she was witnessing the unthinkable: a murder in cold blood, ordered by her father and carried out by her boyfriend. When Emilio pulled the trigger, Valentina disappeared. She made a split-second decision to shed her identity and flee her life of privilege, leaving the glittering parties and sultry nightlife of Miami far behind.

She doesn’t know how to explain to herself what she saw. All she knows now is that nothing she believed about her family, her heart, or Emilio’s love, was real.

She can change her name and deny her past, but Valentina can’t run from the truth. The lines between right and wrong, and trust and betrayal, will be blurred beyond recognition as she untangles the deceptions of the two men she once loved and races to find her own truth.
4 stars
 Great read! This book had everything it needed to make it a compelling and intriguing read. The characters were multi-layered and just when you thought they would act one way, they would throw you a curve ball. I was not a big fan of the romance between a 24 year old and a 17 year old especially when certain information was revealed at the end. Emilio should know better. At first I hated Marcel. Martinez did a great job of slowly revealing his inner layers and making you love his character in the end. I felt Valentina's character was strong and vulnerable at the same time. She truly grew and matured as the story goes on. She has a big decision to make in the end, and while I think I would have chosen to do some things differently I can still respect why she did what she did.

This seemed like a stand alone novel which I appreciate. I will be picking up more titles by this author for certain. I would recommend this to anyone who likes a good thriller with great characters who have to make interesting choices. 
This was an absolute clean read.  Sex is vaguely implied and referred to later in the book, but there is nothing graphic.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Rebel Wing by Tracy Banghart

Rebel Wing (Rebel Wing #1) Shattered Veil
Blurb from Goodreads:
The Dominion of Atalanta is at war. But for eighteen-year-old Aris, the fighting is nothing more than a distant nightmare, something she watches on news vids from the safety of her idyllic seaside town. Then her boyfriend, Calix, is drafted into the Military, and the nightmare becomes a dangerous reality.

Left behind, Aris has nothing to fill her days. Even flying her wingjet—the thing she loves most, aside from Calix—feels meaningless without him by her side. So when she’s recruited to be a pilot for an elite search-and-rescue unit, she leaps at the chance, hoping she’ll be stationed near Calix. But there’s a catch: She must disguise herself as a man named Aristos. There are no women in the Atalantan Military, and there never will be.

Aris gives up everything to find Calix: her home. Her family. Even her identity. But as the war rages on, Aris discovers she’s fighting for much more than her relationship. With each injured person she rescues and each violent battle she survives, Aris is becoming a true soldier—and the best flyer in the Atalantan Military. She’s determined to save her Dominion . . . or die trying.

This is a new release of the previously self-published title Shattered Veil.

4.5 stars
The shift in cover art and title was a great move. The second cover really gives a better feel of what the book is about. The first cover was enticing, but it didn't really scream sci-fi book with a really cool MC who flies. I think the second cover will garner a much more devoted fan base. And this book deserves it. I found it to be really well written and engaging. I loved watching Aris learn and mature and grow into her own person. I really hope there will be more books set in this world. I am a map person so I would like a map next time too. Not that I have any say, just sayin'...

The one drawback to the books was the love affairs. They were too easily formed and dissolved. I need to see that a character is going to be constant and not distracted by another person while they are in a committed relationship. Just because things are hard, and you don't get to see each other, doesn't mean you form attachments elsewhere.

I felt this book was full of really strong women. Galena was my absolute favorite character. I really would like to read more about her. I found myself looking forward to her chapters. Her romance was tender and sweet even if it was full of heartache. But again we have a man who is promised to someone else falling in love with Galena.

I would have expected a book this good to be picked up by a major publishing house (that sounds incredibly snobbish to self published works, but I haven't had much luck with those), and I feel that the author will be putting out more quality work. I will be waiting to see what is next.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

The Fall by Bethany Griffin

The Fall
Blurb from Goodreads:
Madeline Usher is doomed.

She has spent her life fighting fate, and she thought she was succeeding. Until she woke up in a coffin.

Ushers die young. Ushers are cursed. Ushers can never leave their house, a house that haunts and is haunted, a house that almost seems to have a mind of its own. Madeline’s life—revealed through short bursts of memory—has hinged around her desperate plan to escape, to save herself and her brother. Her only chance lies in destroying the house.

In the end, can Madeline keep her own sanity and bring the house down? The Fall is a literary psychological thriller, reimagining Edgar Allan Poe’s classic The Fall of the House of Usher.

4 stars
Spooky and atmospheric - perfect for Halloween. The lyrical prose was top notch. It meandered a bit in the middle, but I loved Madeline's voice so much that I didn't mind. Some people may not like the way the story hopped around in Madeline's life, but I felt it really added to the mysteriousness. The incest was creepy, and I thought unnecessary. The last 15% was a whirlwind and felt rushed and did not match the beautiful build up that came before it. The cover conveys exactly what you are going to get in the story - mystery and suspense. I love EAP, and I think he would be proud and flattered that this story was based on one his short stories. It did a great job of remaining true to the original, but also having a more fleshed out story. Sometimes retellings can be tricky, but this one was a true gem. I haven't read the other Poe retellings by this author, but I am definitely going to check them out soon.