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Thursday, July 31, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: Pines (Wayward Pines Trilogy #1) by Blake Crouch

Kindle Edition, 309 pages
Published August 21st 2012 by Thomas & Mercer (first published June 18th 2012)

Goodreads synopsis: Secret service agent Ethan Burke arrives in Wayward Pines, Idaho, with a clear mission: locate and recover two federal agents who went missing in the bucolic town one month earlier. But within minutes of his arrival, Ethan is involved in a violent accident. He comes to in a hospital, with no ID, no cell phone, and no briefcase. The medical staff seems friendly enough, but something feelsoff. As the days pass, Ethans investigation into the disappearance of his colleagues turns up more questions than answers. Each step closer to the truth takes Ethan further from the world he thought he knew, from the man he thought he was, until he must face a horrifying facthe may never get out of Wayward Pines alive.

I spent most of the book trying to figure out what in the heck was going on. I was brought back to an old movie about a town called Stepford and each step Ethan made in town, the closer to some cruel end he seemed to get. This book was definitely creepy and unputdownable. I don't know if I would call it horror, but it was more mentally scary than physically scary. 

The book was easy to read. The text flowed well. We got the addition of Theresa's point of view (Ethan's wife) in Chapter Four. I actually read a few pages and thought, wait a minute, who is this. Gotta go back and re-read. I did have a few questions. After the reveal of the BIG SECRET to Ethan, I wondered how they came into possession of both a helicopter and Jeep? I also wondered how them not talking to each other about current events, pop culture and music really helped their aim in the end. But those are just niggles, really.

I found this book quite interesting and captivating. It is definitely something I want to delve deeper into because now I am left with the question: where do they go from here?

5 Stars

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: Mom Con by K. Morris

Mom Con
Paperback, First, 292 pages
Published December 11th 2012 by Axe Publishing (first published December 2nd 2012)

Goodreads synopsis: Meet Anita Henry, a hard-working, single mom trying to launch her own business after losing her job. The only problem is a nasty lawsuit charging her with stealing secrets from her ex-employer. Corporate espionage? Please. Her single greatest offense was a high school fashion felony. But when a shady court ruling forces Anita to cease and desist, she’s determined to set things right. Her plan involves launching the hippest night spot in town, but can she work her scheme while juggling her brother the musician, who likes her couch just a little too much; his manager, who’s prone to some sketchy accounting practices; an ex-husband who can’t seem to remember those child support payments; and an old flame who wouldn't mind heating things up again?

I had never heard of this book before but its premise intrigued me. And as I kept reading, Anita's fascination with performing a sting on her idea stealing boss seemed right up my alley. I only wish I had such skills in my verbal repertoire.

I was biting my nails as Anita and her co-worker cohorts set up everything. I think this is the beginning of a series and I am curious to see who Anita picks for a love relationship, Corey or Drake. Both seem equally yummy.

This was easy to read. The text flowed well and the twists and turns kept me following along. I did wish for a bigger climax and I wished for more resolution with her brother, James and his music. But all in all, it was a great read. I gave it 4 stars, and deservedly so.

I received this as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) from Net Galley in return for an honest review and I thank Net Galley and the publisher for allowing me to read it.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: Housewife Assassin's Deadly Dossier by Josie Brown

The Housewife Assassin's Deadly Dossier: Prequel - The Housewife Assassin Series
by Josie Brown (Goodreads Author)
Kindle Edition, 231 pages
Published June 17th 2014 by Signal Press

Goodreads synopsis: Finally—Donna Stone, as you've never seen her before: through the eyes of those who affected her life the most.  In this full-length prequel to The Housewife Assassin series, Acme Industries black-ops agent Jack Craig is tasked with investigating the mysterious death of his organization’s most prolific hit man, Carl Stone, only to fall in love with the dead man’s wife, Donna—a woman he must never contact, but who may hold the key to her husband's disappearance. When Acme approaches Donna to join their organization as an assassin, Jack’s undercover mission will change both their lives forever.

This is definitely my genre! I am hooked on reading and writing about spies. (You could probably tell that from my Twitter name: tonispywriter.) This is what makes reading for Net Galley a real pleasure: You get introduced to books you might never come across.

It took me a hot minute to figure out who was the star of the narration since so much happened at the beginning of the book. At first I thought it might be Donna's husband, Carl, but quickly came to realize it was Jack Craig. He is an interesting fellow. And in one part when Carl was acting very un-Carl-like, I thought he was Jack. (Come to find out that little tidbit about Jack and Carl became a bit of a spoiler for me later on. You will just have to read it to know what i mean.)

I enjoyed following Jack as he practically fell in love with the image Donna portrayed to her other suburbanites. Underneath it all, Donna was a bit of a rebel. I don't want to go into too much detail about the plot but it sure kept my interest the entire time. I have already bought book one and book two. (This is the prequel to the Housewife Assassin series.) You should pick up book one for sure. It's FREE!

One little note about reading this sucker. Pay attention to everything. You might need to remember it for later. I read this on my Kindle but wished I had it in paperback just so I could go back and check my memory on certain facts.

This is definitely a great one for sure. Check it out if you like the spy genre that is filled with fun antics. 5 Stars!

I received this as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) from Net Galley in return for an honest review. I thank the publisher and Net Galley for allowing me to read this book.

Monday, July 28, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: Fit to be Dead by Nancy G. West

by Nancy G. West (Goodreads Author)
Kindle Edition, 336 pages
Published March 15th 2012 by Southwest Publications (recently re-released with new cover)

Goodreads synopsis: In this first Aggie Mundeen mystery caper, Aggie, pushing forty and obsessed with becoming decrepit, writes the column, “Adventures in Staying Young.” When she moves to San Antonio, Texas, she has to shape up before anybody discovers she’s the author. She takes Aspects of Aging at University of the Holy Trinity and dives into exercise at the health club. Rusty at flirting and mechanically inept, she irritates a slew of male exercisers, then stumbles into murder.

I do understand that this being the first in a series that there is a lot of info dropping that needs to be done and character-getting-to-know, but I found this mystery just okay. First off there was way too much of Aggie reading up for her class, the one she hardly ever attends. Plus, we don't get enough of Sam's perspective in order for us to come to the same conclusion as the characters do when solving the mystery. I know that is a niggle, but I like following the mystery. I like knowing where I was fooled by the author. To me, the following of the mystery is half the fun of reading a mystery.

There was a bit of a confusion for me in one part. Aggie is doggedly going after solving the mystery of who put the radio in the swimming pool and nearly hurting her friend. But when same friend is later killed, she tries to talk herself out of the search for the killer. So, why be so gung-ho in one instance and so standoffish in the other? That part I didn't get but once she got going the mystery was interesting. 

The book that I read before this was so outstanding in not only the flow of the text but the vastness of the story that I think it made this book seem dim in comparison.  In light of that I gave this book 3.75 Stars. It could have been better. Better flow in the text, better use of Sam the detective, better overall-ness in the plot. But it was a good, decent read.

I received this as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) from Net Galley in return for an honest review.

BOOK REVIEW: I'll Find You by Nancy Bush

I'll Find You
Paperback, 416 pages
Published June 24th 2014 by Zebra (first published January 1st 2014)

Goodreads synopsis: Callie Cantrell has only fragmented memories of the car accident that killed her husband and son. One year later, she's still trying to start over, yet she can't shake her unease. Especially when former LA cop West Laughlin barges into her life, searching for his young nephew. (There is a lot more to the plot but I don't want to spoil you too much. I mean, where is the fun in that?) :)
This book started off a bit slow but after about the 20% mark it started to pick up. There were a lot of viewpoints to consider during this book. So it took me a hot minute to figure out who the stars of the show, so to speak, were. Callie looks like Teresa and this is a crucial tid bit to remember when reading this book. This is very well plotted and no one is left out. Every minor character is important in some way. And that is hard to do in most mystery series. I enjoyed the play between West and Callie. I wondered about the sanity of Andre "The Messiah" and his "handmaidens". Who would knowingly sign up for such a gig? I mean... really?
The plot kept me interested throughout and just when you thought it was about over, someone else dies and throws you off balance.
Definitely loved it. I gave it 4.75 stars only taking off a bit for the slowness of the beginning. Definitely check this one out if you like mystery!
I received this as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) from Net Galley in return for an honest review.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: No Biz Like Showbiz by Julie Moffett

No Biz Like Showbiz (Lexi Carmichael Mystery #4)
Kindle Edition, 229 pages
Published July 21st 2014 by Carina Press

Goodreads synopsis: Lexi Carmichael: helping geeks everywhere get some. Okay, so it's not exactly as it seems, but that's what's happening on the dating reality show called Geeks Get Some that I, geek extraordinaire Lexi Carmichael, have been called to work on. Not that I'm a fan of reality shows (I can barely deal with my own reality). Still, I've been sent to Hollywood to find a hacker who's screwing with the results of the show's online voting system.

Per usual for me, I read this book out of order according to the series number. This is book four in a series. But amazingly you don't need to read all three previous books (and one novella, I believe) in order to know who is who and what everything is about. The author gives us a great deal of backstory in the beginning which is not only helpful but quite interesting and entertaining to boot.

This book was a hoot. I don't think I could read it fast enough. I started reading it at 8pm-ish one night and finished it at lunch the next day. Someone on Facebook mentioned that she wished it was longer and I concur with that. Longer would just make it even more amazing, I just want Lexi to be my friend. I want to read about her adventures and gush about Slash, her newfound boyfriend. She has such great, complex and engaging mysteries that I marvel at how easily the author makes it to read. It has a great flow to the text. After reading this I was compelled to go out and buy the rest of the Lexi Carmichael series. I am indeed hooked.

5 Stars. Highly recommended,

I received this book as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) from Net Galley in return for an honest review. Thanks to the publisher and the author for letting me read this.

BOOK REVIEW: The Legend of the Blue Eyes by B. Kristin McMichael

The Legend of the Blue Eyes (The Blue Eyes Trilogy #1)
by B. Kristin McMichael (Goodreads Author)
Paperback, 256 pages
Published March 15th 2013 by Lexia Press (first published March 7th 2013)

Goodreads synopsis: Arianna Grace liked her boring, Midwestern, teenage life where she ignored the many unanswered questions of her childhood. Why were her parents dead? Why did she not have family? Where was she raised until she was five? When someone offers to explain it all, Arianna thinks she’s just getting answers. Instead, she is thrown into a world of night humans who drink blood.

I thought this book was an interesting take on the vampire genre. They can be out in light but only after 2pm. There are two types of vampires that are designated as night people: Baku and Dearg-dul. Four main clans of night humans are struggling for control of the night. They are divided into two sides, clans Baku and Tengu have been at war for centuries with the clans Dearg-dul and Lycan. Arianna is a combo of both Baku and Dearg-dul and she is the vampire of legend with the blue eyes that are supposed to bring the clans together.

I thought the story was okay. I was a bit disturbed by the fact that she, Arianna, had to have 5 different suitors each from a different clan (one being human). What does that teach our youth about love and commitment? But beyond that, this book was just your basic introduction to the series to come. It ended on a high note and the point of Arianna's biggest stress. She is in charge: now what?

I gave this book 4 stars because it was a clever introduction to a new look into the vampire genre. The characters were interesting and they each had their unique voice which was easy to distinguish one from another.

I received this book as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) from Net Galley in return for an honest review. Thanks to the publisher and the author for letting me read this.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: A Cold Day For Murder by Dana Stabenow

A Cold Day For Murder (Kate Shugak #1)
by Dana Stabenow (Goodreads Author)
Kindle Edition, 212 pages
Published March 15th 2011 by Gere Donovan Press (first published 1992)

Goodreads synopsis: Kate Shugak returns to her roots in the far Alaskan north, after leaving the Anchorage D.A.'s office. Her deductive powers are definitely needed when a ranger disappears. Looking for clues among the Aleutian pipeliners, she begins to realize the fine line between lies and loyalties--between justice served and cold murder.

I was expecting a lot more from this book based on a series recommendation from one of the YouTube beauty gurus that I follow. It was interesting, don't get me wrong. This book has one of the greatest settings I have read but the mystery was wrapped up too easily. And the last great revelation took place in the main character's head which made me want to scream because I like to follow along with how the character figures out things in order to come to the answer.

The love interest character of Jack wasn't described enough in order for us to fall in love with him too. I mean, isn't that what books are all about. You, the author, make us fall in love with your characters and root for them. I thought the character of Able could have been developed a bit more in order for us to come to the same conclusion as Kate did. She obviously knew everyone in the cast better than the reader of this book.

I did like getting a glimpse into this native-American-ish (I don't know what else to call it) civilization where people look down on what they call the Outside. That is anywhere that isn't this national park.

This book follows Kate Shugak as she tries to find a missing park ranger and a friend/lover of hers. Both missing. Both suspected dead. For the first man 6 weeks had gone by, for the latter, two weeks. And it is up to Kate to trail them and discover what truly happened to them. Kate lives in Alaska, not sure if I mentioned that. It is arctic cold up there and this makes searching for these men even more of a challenge. Like I said above, the setting was depicted in great detail.

Since this is the beginning of a series, I can see how this book is just laying groundwork for later books, but I did expect more. But I do plan on reading more in this series.

I bought this book for my Kindle. But I don't think bought is the right word since the book was FREE! So, if this sounds interesting to you, go and get it now.

3.5 Stars!

Monday, July 21, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: Forget Me Not by Fern Michaels

Forget Me Not
by Fern Michaels (Goodreads Author)
Hardcover, 279 pages
Published December 1st 2013 by Kensington Publishing Corporation (first published 2013)

Goodreads synopsis: Illustrator Lucy Brighton loves her work. Her animal characters Izzy, Bizzy, and Lizzy have their own comic strip, card line, and children’s cartoon, and their popularity has given Lucy financial stability and freedom. Yet none of that quite erases the lingering ache of a cold, lonely childhood. Sent away to boarding school at ten, Lucy spent little time with her parents afterward, and her few visits home only seemed to widen the gap between them. Even though she still lives in the New Jersey house where she grew up, Lucy has had little contact with her parents since they moved to Florida five years ago. Then they are killed in a car crash and all heck breaks loose.

My mom asked me to check this book out. Someone had let her borrow it and she said it sounded like it was something I would have written.

This gal had a heck of a time during the span of the book. Her comic strip empire was taking off to bigger heights and then she discovers that her parents are killed in a car accident. She spent much of the book thinking there was something wrong with her because she felt nothing for the loss of her parents.

The thing that really got my goat in this book was Luke and how he fell into insta-love with Lucy. I mean, he meets her at the front door, they talk for a hot minute, then later he calls her on the phone and they speak for five minutes and suddenly he is so in love with her he rushes to New Jersey to save her when the FBI come a calling on his doorstep.

The rest of the book was interesting. The twist at the end was good. My mom told me what it was which errked me a bit but all in all, a great read. Definitely recommend Fern Michaels to anyone who likes romance.

4.5 Stars

BOOK REVIEW: Marry Me (Covington Falls Chronicles Book 1) by Kristin Wallace / Astraea Press

Marry Me (Covington Falls Chronicles Book 1)
by Kristin Wallace (Goodreads Author)
ebook, 357 pages
Published October 24th 2013 by Astraea Press (first published October 23rd 2013)

Goodreads synopsis: Julia Richardson is no fan of weddings. A lifetime of watching her parents treat relationships like the flavor of the month has taught her that love is for fools and faith is for na├»ve. She’s always put her faith in her career. Then her life is thrown into a tailspin. First, she loses her job. Then she gets a panicked call and learns her former stepsister is having a crisis with her pregnancy. The crisis has Julia returning to the small Southern town – and the family – she’s been avoiding for years. Before she knows it, Julia’s been pressed into service running her stepsister’s wedding planning business.

I had started reading this book first and then when I was at work was reading the ARC pdf I had of book 2 in this series. I so enjoyed book 2 that I finished that one first. I don't seem to be able to read books in series order for some reason. But this book was equally as good as book 1. I resonated more with book two because I did drama in high school and the musical aspect just pulled me in. But I also loved how a non-believer, so to speak, found not only faith, but her family and love at the same time.

I laughed and cried while reading this book. And that is saying something because most books don't pull any emotions from me. I felt for Seth as he tried to stand up to the church board to keep his music minister. My heart clinched for Julia as she was betrayed by someone she didn't even like in the beginning but grew to like.

It was just all good. I know some people don't like to delve into Christian fiction but I say, delve away! This one is worth the read!

5 Stars

I bought this book on my Kindle and I think it was around $2.99-ish.

Friday, July 18, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: Acting Up by Kristin Wallace and Astraea Press

Acting Up (Covington Falls Chronicles Book 2)
by Kristin Wallace (Goodreads Author)
Kindle Edition, 421 pages
Published April 20th 2014 by Astraea Press

Goodreads synopsis: Addison Covington is the reigning Ice Queen of television. Until her producer husband falls in love with her on-screen daughter and a well-placed punch on national television casts her as the wicked ex-wife. Fired and disgraced, she escapes to Covington Falls, the idyllic Southern town where she found comfort in a time of turmoil as a teenager. 

This was a great novel. I can truly say I love Covington Falls, Georgia. I enjoyed watching Addison as she tried to deny her feelings for Ethan but knowing that her Aunt Ruth, Ethan's kids, Jason and Carson, and her step-son, Aaron would make her come to the the right decision in the end. I loved watching as Addison took the school musical and made it into a true love story for the kids she was working with. I love how she made a difference in Michelle's life. Not only that, I loved how Addison was so clear-headed when dealing with problems in her life. I wish I could do that with a similar grace.

I actually had started reading MARRY ME, the first book in this series, but at work I started reading ACTIING UP and I just couldn't put it down. It is definitely amazing. I will read all the books in this series for sure. I'll make MARRY ME next on my TBR list.

If you like Christian fiction, you will adore this. I had no idea this was a Christian book when I first started reading it. But I think people who haven't tried Christian fiction would like this too. I mean, who doesn't love a story about a soap opera star coming back to her small town hometown and finding love. It is a no brainer!

5 Sars!

I received this as an ARC pdf copy from Astraea Press in return for an honest review. Honestly amazing. 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: The Source by J.D. Horn

by J.D. Horn (Goodreads Author)
Kindle Edition, 352 pages
Published June 3rd 2014 by 47North

Goodreads synopsis: Book 2 in the Witching Savannah series. Savannah resident Mercy Taylor may now be in control of the South's most powerful family of witches, but she's struggling to master her newfound magic. Pregnant with her first child and still reeling from a heartbreaking betrayal, she just wants to be able to use her supernatural abilities without accidentally destroying dishes or blasting the doors off buildings.

This book is a continuation from the previous book called THE LINE. If you want to read this, you definitely need to read The Line first so you know what all is going on. This series wasn't made to be stand alone books.

This is yet another great showing from the author J.D. Horn. He has captured the witchy south with an amazing perfection. My particular favorite is Hoodoo lady Mother Jilo. This book is filled with twist after twist. Just when you think you know a fact, it proves to be untrue. This book really keeps you on your toes and your fingers turning the pages.

Definitely worth whatever meager price they are asking for it. I would love to have this series in hardback some day to display on my shelf. I bought this book when Amazon was having a Kindle deal. I paid $2.00. It is normally a little higher but worth every penny.

You must check out this series! I can't wait until November for book 3 entitled THE VOID. Must I really wait that long? Ack!

5 Stars!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: The Secrets of Ghosts by Sarah Painter

The Secrets of Ghosts
by Sarah Painter (Goodreads Author)
Kindle Edition, 279 pages
Published February 25th 2014 by Carina UK

Goodreads synopsis: On her twenty-first birthday Katie Harper has only one wish: to become a real Harper woman. Mystical powers are passed down her family generation after generation – some even call them witches – yet every spell Katie attempts goes disastrously wrong.When her magic does appear, it’s in a form nobody expected and suddenly Katie is thrown into a dangerous new world with shadowy consequences.

This was a different kind of book for me. There was no real mystery to solve or end to come to except that Katie discover what her power was. I thought it was interesting. But I did not realize that this was the second book in a series. There were a few times where they referred to past events but not knowing them did not detract from my experience with the book. 

I did think it was odd that she accepted Max, the con man, so easily. And there was a part in the middle where she was just Jonesing to have her powers and then the next chapter it was all just too much for her to take. I thought that transition was a bit unusual considering she spent most of the book wanting that talent.

It was a good book. Not great. I think it could have been made better with some more suspense or adding something else in addition to her finding her way with her powers. The love story was so-so also.

I gave it a 4 on Goodreads but I think it is more like a 3.5 Stars.

I received this book as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) from Net Galley. I thank them and the publishers for allowing me to read this title.

Monday, July 14, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: The Line by JD Horn

by J.D. Horn (Goodreads Author)
Kindle Edition, 296 pages
Published February 1st 2014 by 47North

Goodreads synopsis: Mercy Taylor, the youngest member of Savannah’s preeminent witching family, was born without the gift of magic. She is accustomed to coming in a distant second to the minutes older, exquisite and gifted twin she adores. Hopelessly in love with her sister’s boyfriend, she goes to a Hoodoo root doctor for a love spell. 

And that is only the beginning of this twisting tale of magic, betrayal and murder! Just when you feel it is ending, there is a twist and something new and shocking is brought up. This one definitely keeps the reader on their toes.

I loved how the author married the history of Savannah with his story of the Savannah witches and The Line. I was rushing through trying to figure out what was going on and just when I thought I had it in hand, I didn't and I rushed down another alley in the story.

Just wonderful, wonderful storytelling. Plus, the cover is amazing. I just love it. Book 2 is called The Source and it is next up in my TBR (To Be Read) pile.

I would recommend this book to anyone. 5 Stars!

This book was available to me as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) from Net Galley but I bought it with my own money. I also bought book two, The Source, at the same time. 

BOOK REVIEW: The Curse Keepers by Denise Grover Swank

The Curse Keepers (Curse Keepers #1)
by Denise Grover Swank (Goodreads Author)
Kindle Edition, 312 pages
Published November 19th 2013 by 47North

Goodreads synopsis: Ellie Lancaster has lived her whole life by the site of the mysterious Lost Colony of Roanoke, the Virginia settlement that vanished without a trace around 1590. Only the descendants of the two men who banished the spirits of an enemy tribe from the material realm know what really happened to the colony. Ellie is one of those descendants—a Curse Keeper. 

Ellie thought her father's stories about the Lost Colony and their family's part in it was just that... a story. Then she meets Collin and accidently opens the gate that has sealed these Native American spirits for 400 years. Now it is up to her and Collin to close it again. Bad thing is, she doesn't remember her father's stories and now that he has Alzheimer's, she can't ask him for help. So, how can she trust this newcomer when at every turn he tells her not to trust him?

I found this book to be a complex, thought-proviking thriller with some pretty hot love scenes. All in all, I think the sex scenes could have been toned down a bit and not hurt the plot at all. The author managed to feed us a lot of history and not make it mind-numbing. It was an easy read and flowed well. I will definitely be reading book two: The Curse Breakers in the next week or so.

I received this book as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) from Net Galley in return for an honest review. Thank you to the publisher and author for allowing me to read this title!

Friday, July 11, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: The Goddess Hunt novella by Aimee Carter

The Goddess Hunt (Goddess Test #1.5)
by Aimee Carter (Goodreads Author)
ebook, Harlequin Teen, 92 pages
Published March 1st 2012 by Harlequin Teen

Goodreads synopsis: A vacation in Greece sounds like the perfect way for Kate Winters to spend her first sabbatical away from the Underworld... until she gets caught up in an immortal feud going back millennia.
I enjoyed this book. It wasn't as good as the first book but it was interesting. I thought Zeus (Walter) was better portrayed here. I think this is just setting up a triangle for the future Henry (Hades)/Kate/James (Hermes). I don't think I will ever be able to see James as more than her happy-go-lucky friend but you never know. It was a short read but it managed to give us a look into Kate and how she will deal with "the council" in the future. So, I think this is a must read if you are following the series to completion.
4 Stars!

BOOK REVIEW: The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter

The Goddess Test (Goddess Test #1)
by Aimee Carter (Goodreads Author)
Paperback, 293 pages
Published April 19th 2011 by Harlequin Teen

Goodreads synopsis:
Every girl who had taken the test has died.
Now it's Kate's turn.
It's always been just Kate and her mom - and her mother is dying. Her last wish? To move back to her childhood home. So Kate's going to start at a new school with no friends, no other family and the fear that her mother won't live past the fall.
Then she meets Henry. Dark. Tortured. And mesmerizing. He claims to be Hades, god of the Underworld - and if she accepts his bargain, he'll keep her mother alive while Kate tries to pass seven tests.
I am not sure what possessed me to pick up this book but I just felt compelled to pull it from the middle of a stack of books. I am a big fan of the Greek Gods and am ready to start reading the "House of Hades" by Rick Riordan. Hades has always scared me a bit. He never was one of my favorite Greek Gods and I never thought anyone could make me like him. But Aimee Carter did just that. In fact, I loved her portrayal of Hades "Henry" in this book. Since I am familiar with the Persephone myth, I was excited to see it portrayed here. 
This book was emotional and heart-wrenching at times. Kate was going through a lot with the death of her mother. And to have all these Gods and Goddesses put her through deception after deception, I am not sure any one of us could stand up to such a trial. This book made me look at my perceptions about Hades and begin to humanize him, for lack of a better term. He became more real, more of someone to understand instead of hate.
I thought this was a wonderful book and I gave it a much deserved 5 stars! I am already reading the novella THE GODDESS HUNT because I just can't get enough of Hades (Henry).

At the end of the book it tells you who each of the Gods were in their human guises. I had no idea that Hera was that particular character. I am glad I didn't know at the time because it would have colored my love of the book. I figured out who Ava was and Kate's mother but that was all. I was surprised who James turned out to be. Happily surprised.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: Shadows of the Silver Screen by Christopher Edge

Shadows of the Silver Screen (Twelve Minutes to Midnight #2)
by Christopher Edge (Goodreads Author)
Paperback, 256 pages
Published January 10th 2013 by Nosy Crow (first published January 1st 2013)

A mysterious filmmaker approaches The Penny Dreadful with a proposal to turn Montgomery Flinch’s sinister stories into motion pictures. Penny, who is the real writer behind the success of her alias Montgomery Flinch, is only a teenager. So she has hired an actor they call Monty to take over her alias' persona. The filmmaker uses an unusual new type of camera that not only puts sound and images together,  it makes the ghosts from the past appear!

I have to admit that I picked this book purely based on the cover image. I thought it was going to be a cozy mystery. Boy, was I wrong. This is set in between 1900 and 1920-ish. The motion picture craze has yet to start and before this time all they had were silent pictures that were the new craze. Penny writes really horrific and mysterious stories that have the public awed. And this filmmaker wants to put her words to screen.However, Monty, being an actor, wants to be in this movie as well and convinces Penny to accompany him.

I think this was a great book. The setting was interesting. I wished more than once there was a phone or some easy way to contact other characters who are 150 miles away. The mystery kept me hooked. I enjoyed the characters as well. I will definitely look into other books by this author. Nice accidental find.

I received this book as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) from Net Galley in return for an honest review. I thank the publishers and Net Galley for allowing me this privilege. 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: Deserves To Die by Lisa Jackson

Deserves To Die (To Die #6)
by Lisa Jackson (Goodreads Author)
Paperback, 432 pages
Expected publication: July 29th 2014 by Zebra

In Grizzly Falls, Montana, Detectives Selena Alvarez and Regan Pescoli have a new commander and a new psycho who is cutting the ring finger off of ladies and dropping them into the river. Meanwhile, Anne-Marie, a newcomer to Grizzly Falls, has come with a secret of her own. She is trying to escape someone by donning a disguise and taking a job as a waitress.

When I first started this book I was a bit afraid. I had just finished reading a book where there were a plethora of characters and all the characters had the same voice. It was hard to tell one character from another. I thought, oh, no, a million characters, how will I keep them straight? I don't know how Lisa Jackson did it but I was able to easily remember who everyone was. I was easily able to tell one character's voice from another and the plethora of scenes that contained minor characters did not detract from the book, it added to its richness.

I greatly enjoyed this book. This is the first book I have read in Lisa Jackson's Alvarez and Pescoli series and it made me just want to go back and read the other five or so books to get up to speed on everyone's lives. I was a bit dismayed to see the death of Sheriff Dan because he seemed to be such a rich character. I definitely want to know more about him!

This was a fun literary ride and I look forward to reading more from this author. 4.5 Stars!

I received this book as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) from Net Galley in return for an honest review. I thank the publisher and Net Galley for letting me read this great book! 

Monday, July 7, 2014

Book Review: Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan

The Mark of Athena (The Heroes of Olympus #3)
by Rick Riordan (Goodreads Author)
Hardcover, 574 pages
Published October 2nd 2012 by Hyperion Book CH

This book starts off where the last book (Son of Neptune) ended. It is the third book in the Heroes of Olympus series. Seven demigod heroes both from Greek and Roman camps have to sail to Rome on the Argo II and save Hazel's brother, Nico, kill the Giants and somehow reunite the Greek and Roman pantheons. Their is a lot going on in this book. Annabeth is tasked to follow the "Mark of Athena" and avenge her mother. Athena is a bit miffed that the Roman's demoted her to a craft goddess when she was all about wisdom and war previously. All the gods had a bit of a schtzo nature in this book waffling between their Greek and Roman names. Aphrodite however, doesn't change much since she is pretty much the same goddess in either pantheon. I enjoyed getting to know the Roman names of the Gods since I am not as familiar with those names as I am with the Greek names.

It took me a bit to get through this book. Not because it was over 500 pages long in hardback but because I had other books I needed to read in between. I had been three quarters done when I had to put it away for a few weeks. But I was glad to pick it up again  and get myself out of my reading slump. The author makes it so easy to read. It is almost like watching a movie in your head that you forget that you're reading actual text.

Great book. Highly recommended. 4 Stars!

BOOK REVIEW: Mission: Out of Control by Susan May Warren

Mission: Out of Control 
(Steeple Hill Love Inspired Suspense #235)
by Susan May Warren (Goodreads Author)
Paperback, 218 pages
Published March 1st 2011 by Steeple Hill (first published February 9th 2011)

Goodreads synopsis: Brody "Wick" Wickham is a former Green Beret turned security agent--with a 100 percent mission success rate. No way is his new assignment changing that. Even if it's protecting a "diva" American rock star while she's on tour in Europe. Except Veronica "Vonya" Wagner isn't just a beautiful celebrity used to having her way--she's the daughter of a U.S. Senator. And she's hiding a dangerous secret.

This book was exciting and really kept you on your toes. The main character girl's name changed based on whom she was talking to. Her father referred to her as Vernoica, her friends called her Ronie, and her fans called her Vonya. She is portrayed as a very Lady GaGa-ish singer. But she was sort of like Angelina Jolie in her humanitarian efforts. She was trying to get a kid soldier saved, someone she had sponsored at one time. She wanted to bring him to America and make him her own child. And this motive gets her into a lot of trouble because she is involved with many unscrupulous people in order to gain her ends. In a way she is naive in her thinking about how the world works. She is from a life of privilege  and wants to stand on her own two feet but comes running to Daddy when the funds run out. She isn't in control of her finances and lets her manager and college friend take advantage of her niceness.

Brody comes in with his own motives. He wants to help his family save their house from going into foreclosure. He is one of multiple brothers and sister in this family but he feels responsible for them. He currently lives in Prague which is cool in itself but it distances him from his family and dealing with family issues. I like the part at the end where they show how Brody is Ronie's bodyguard like God is all our bodyguards. He keeps us from harm even to our own detriment.

This was a great book. I wanted to strangle the main character gal quite a few times but all in all, one great ride! 4 Stars!