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rabidreading

Rabid Reading

Book reviewer at The Demon Librarian. Evil Queen. Hater of slugs, clowns & the color pink. Pandora addict. Reading, always reading. 


Favorite book genres: UF, PNR, Dystopian, YA/NA/Contemporary Romance, Fantasy, Sci-Fi Romance, and anything written by Karina Halle.

Definitely, Yes!

Definitely, Maybe in Love - Ophelia London

Definitely, Yes

 
Pride and Prejudice is one of my favorite classic novels. I've watched almost every televised or film version of it multiple times, and while it's not my favorite Jane Austen novel (Persuasion has that honor), it was the first Austen book I read ​and ​will forever hold a special place in my heart. And modern-day Pride & Prejudice retellings? I am all over that action!
 
If you are in any way familiar with Pride & Prejudice (book or movies) then you know how this story ​will go down. T​wo very different characters collide, sparks fly and debates ensue. Over time, as the characters learn more about each other, their relationship changes. Walls come tumbling down and a whole new type of spark starts flying. Tried and true formula? You betcha, but that doesn't make the story any less enjoyable. Quite the contrary. The author deftly pays homage to the original ​Jane Austen story ​while ​at the same time ​adding her own unique touches​. The result is a fun, fresh take on a classic tale.
 
Definitely, Maybe In Love begins with Spring and Henry on opposite sides of what seems like an impossible divide. She's an outspoken, environmentally-conscious vegan and he's the rich, entitled son of a land developer who represents everything Spring stands against. So when circumstances conspire to force Henry and Spring to work together on a project that could make or break her academic career, needless to say, Spring is not a happy girl. She can't imagine willingly spending ten minutes in Henry's company, let alone hours upon hours. But what choice does she have? Her thesis depends on Henry's help. 
 
And so the love-hate, back-and-forth dance begins. 
 
Spring came off a bit too strong for me at first, always climbing up on that pesky soapbox of hers and ruining perfectly good moments. While I respected her passion when it came to her beliefs and ideals, she didn't inspire a whole lot of warm-fuzzy feelings in me.....at first. It took a few chapters for she and I to find our "character-reader groove", but once we did, it was smooth sailing the rest of the way, and by the time the ending rolled around, Spring and I were firm friends. She really is a character worth reading about, and I'm glad I stuck with her so I could find that out. 
 
Henry, now...Henry was great. Maybe I was biased because of the whole Darcy-ish thing he had going on, but even when Henry was supposed to be all prickly and arrogant (especially in the beginning), he never came across that way to me. He was just...Henry. Intelligent, earnest, surprisingly sweet and sexy Henry, the guy who turned all of Springs preconceived notions on their head and did wonderful fluttery things to her heart (and mine!). 
 
Forget the "maybe" in the title. This is very much a "definitely" book....one you should definitely check out.

4 Stars ★★★★
ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Source: http://www.thedemonlibrarian.com/2013/11/arc-review-definitely-maybe-in-love-by.html

More Please!

Fractured Legacy (Darkness Bound) - Skye Callahan

I'm a total wuss when it comes to scary stuff. I'm a hide my face/look away/leave the room sort of girl (much to the dismay of my horror movie-loving husband, lol), and sometimes, all it takes is creepy music to send me bolting to the nearest exit. Yep, total baby, right here. And yet, for some reason, I love paranormal mysteries, and ghost stories, and suspenseful novels that wind me up up chapter by chapter. Case in point? One of my favorite series of all time is a paranormal/horror romance. I ADORE those books, even when they are scaring the bejeezus out of me. So you can imagine what happened when I read the blurb for Skye Callahan's Fractured Legacy. You guessed it - I was all over that action! And when I read an excerpt, I was sold. Immediately.

 

The story focuses a pair of paranormal-investigating sisters, Kaylyn and Cole. It's been a while since I read a sisters book, and I gotta say, this one makes me think I need to add more to my library. They had a great dynamic and their interaction felt very authentic (I chuckled more than once, thinking to myself, "Yep, I'd say that to my sister too!"). While Cole plays more of a supporting role in this book, I suspect there's a lot more story coming her way as the series develops. For now, though, it's all about Kaylyn - and believe me, there's more than enough going on in Kaylyn's life to keep things interesting!

 

Kaylyn's having a tough time. Blacking out at work, experiencing things she can't explain, and now the job that means everything to her could be taken away if she steps out of line - which, Kaylyn being Kaylyn, happens all too often. Oh, and we mustn't forget that pesky, not-so-nice entity that is way too interested in her and does things like....well....things I can't tell you!

 

What I like most about Kaylyn is her spark. She's got it in spades, and that's a good thing, because it makes her character ridiculously easy to connect with. Even when everything is falling apart around her and she's being put through the paranormal wringer, she's still fun to read about.

 

But where Kaylyn really shines is in her interactions with her new boss, Jonah. I totally ate up their scenes together. They have such fantabulous chemistry, and not necessarily in a romantic way. In fact, there's no romance at all. As a romance junkie, that would normally be a deal-breaker for me, but surprisingly, it wasn't an issue. The book works just fine without all the smoochy, swoony stuff. That's not to say I'm opposed to a romance. Far from it! The potential is definitely there, it's just a matter of whether or not Skye Callahan chooses to weave one into the series (and for the record, I vote OMG YES PLEASE, DO IT DO IT DO IT!!!!).

 

Speaking of Jonah....LOVE. HIM. He comes off a bit hard-nosed and straight-laced at first, but with reason, and thankfully, the author doesn't waste any time giving you reasons to like him. He's just so perfect for this story, cool-headed and practical and willing to step up in small and big ways when it's necessary, and he really fits well with the sisters. He's like the balancing force, and without him, I don't think the book would have worked nearly as well as it did. And of course, he's got that whole chemistry thing with Kaylyn going on, as I mentioned earlier. That helps too ;)

 

My only complaint with Fractured Legacy is how brisk the pacing was. The story moves along so swiftly at times, it's like someone hit the fast forward button. I wanted the suspense and paranormal-y stuff to be drawn out a bit more, to really build the tension and put me on the edge of my seat. I craved that freaked-out, jumping-at-shadows feeling, and I came close to experiencing it several times, but I never quite got there. However, despite that, I still really enjoyed the story.

 

Final verdict? Fractured Legacy gave me a teasing taste of what this author can do and how awesome this series can be, and now I'm hungry for more. I will definitely be reading the next book!

 

4 Stars ★★★★

ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Source: http://www.thedemonlibrarian.com/2013/11/tour-stop-review-fractured-legacy-by.html

Mystery Perfectly Solved

The Road to You - Marilyn Brant

What a surprise this book was! Set in the late 1970's, before the advent of computers, cell phones, and all the modern gadgetry we can't live without, The Road To You is a YA mystery novel filled with twists and turns, coded clues, and well-laid breadcrumb trails that may (or may not) lead to the ultimate prize -- the truth about the disappearance of two young men from a small town in Minnesota.

I confess, I don't read many mysteries. I mean, I've read some, sure, but it's not the genre I usually gravitate toward when I'm hunting for a new book to read. Which is why, I think, The Road To You was such a huge hit for me. It was different and really forced me out of my comfortable reading box.

The driving force behind this book is Aurora, the younger sister of one of the missing boys. She's an interesting YA heroine, because she's brilliant and awkward all at once - very much an old soul in a young body, not really fitting in with kids her age and too young to be part of the adult crowd. Her knack for problem- and puzzle-solving, her ability to notice things other people don't, sets her apart. I confess, I was skeptical about her deductive powers at first, cynically thinking to myself, "Yeah right, she's just a kid, she can't possibly be all that." Here's the thing, though. SHE IS, and she proves it over and over throughout the book, digging up clues and connecting dots I never would have thought of connecting. It's almost scary, how impressive she is, and yet Aurora never came across as lofty or inaccessible. I had no trouble at all relating to her, and I especially enjoyed all the "normal" moments the author wove in. Times when the mystery took a temporary backseat and we get to see Aurora be just a girl - such as when she's crushing on Donovan McCafferty, the older brother of her brother's best friend.

Speaking of Donovan, he was, for me, almost as fascinating as the mystery he and Aurora were trying to solve. He comes off a bit reluctant at first, dragging his feet and giving the impression that he's simply along for the ride...and yet he wants to find out the truth as much as Aurora does. He's just afraid of getting his hopes up. I can respect that. In his situation, I'd probably react the same way. What I love most about him, though, is that he really, truly gets Aurora, in a way few people do. Who she is, how her mind operates - he sees the whole package, and he likes it. He really is a fabulous character, and I heart him. Aurora couldn't have made this journey without him.

There are romantic elements in The Road To You, but don't expect a love and smooch fest, because that's not what this book is about. While I wouldn't have minded more romance (more is always better!), the lack of hot-and-heavy action every other page or chapter didn't in any way detract from my overall enjoyment of the story itself. If anything, it made those romantic moments that much more powerful.

As for the big mystery....sorry, no spoilers here. if you want to know what Aurora and Donovan discover, what really happened to their brothers, READ THE BOOK!

The Road To You is a thoughtful, well-crafted and intelligently-written read, and I enjoyed every page of it. It's definitely a book I'd recommend.

Source: http://www.thedemonlibrarian.com/2013/11/review-road-to-you-by-marilyn-brant-12.html

So Much Awesome

Archangel's Legion - Nalini Singh

On the back cover of this book, Nalini Singh is described as the "alpha author of paranormal romance". Truer words have never been spoken. She is, hands down, my absolute favorite PNR writer. Have I gone gaga over every single story she's written? No. There have been a few I didn't personally connect with, but those would be the exception, not the rule. Almost overwhelmingly, Nalini Singh books are grand-slam hits for me, with many occupying coveted places on my favorites shelf - which is exactly where her Guild Hunter series sits.

 

In Archangel's Legion, New York's archangel and his consort are back after a two-book break, and boy oh boy, do they ever hit the ground running! The danger they must face is introduced almost immediately, with angels inexplicably falling from the sky, and from that devastating scene forward, it's a race against time as Raphael and Elena try to figure out what the heck is happening in their city and how to stop it before all is lost.

 

I felt like there was a stronger character focus this time around. Not that the action wasn't present, because it definitely was, but the characters really stepped to the forefront. Elena is still adjusting to her new wings and immortality. She's getting better at vertical takeoffs and extended flights, but as a newly Made angel, she's got a long way to go before she can keep up with Raphael and the others. She's vulnerable yet, a mere babe in the woods, and that doesn't sit well with her. Add in the painful knowledge that she is going to outlive all of her human friends and loved ones, the ongoing issues with her dad, complicated (and potentially deadly) angel politics, trying to figure out the do's and don't's of being a Consort, and....yeah. Tough days. But this is Elena we're talking about. Being the kick-butt heroine that she is, she doesn't take anything lying down. She rises to every challenge, refusing to give up even when things are at their worst. She's always been a powerhouse character in my mind, but I think this is the first book where all the pieces clicked into place and I fully grasped just how big and amazing her potential is. She's incredible.

 

Raphael is under fire in this book as well. The Cascade is in full swing, opening the door to catastrophe and mass destruction, and triggering the onset of new abilities Raphael doesn't fully understand and can't control. There's also Lijuan to deal with, and the constant threat of her macabre plans for world domination. The pressure of leading, protecting and saving his people is an enormous burden, but fortunately for everyone, Raphael's got the broad wings and shoulders to handle it. I love that Nalini Singh doesn't pull any punches with him - that he is still very much the strong alpha male character we met in book one and hasn't become one of those poetry-spouting softies who can't make tough decision or dish out punishment. Archangels are no one you want to mess with, and you can really feel that in the Raphael scenes. He's a certified badass, and yet his deep, passionate love for Elena is unwavering. Their relationship is as solid as ever, and thank goodness it is, because without each other to lean on and draw strength from, I'm not sure they could survive everything that is being thrown at them.

 

As in previous Guild Hunter books, the secondary cast of characters plays an important role. We find out what's going on with Vivek from the Guild, and of course there are the usual appearances from various members of Raphael's Seven. Now, as fans of the series know, Dmitri and Jason have already gotten their own books, so the big question we're all asking ourselves is, who's next? The author has reported on her website that she is only contracted for 2 more books after this one (although that could certainly change in the future). Will Raphael and Elena be headlining those books, or will members of the Seven get top billing...and which members? Will it be Venom? Illium (aka Bluebell)? Aodhan? What about Naasir, the uber-fascinating "tiger creature" we met in this book? Gahhhh, I want books about ALL OF THEM!

 

To make this long review short, Archangel's Legion rocked my socks off, and the series as a whole is one of the finest and most thrilling, well-written paranormal romances I've ever had the pleasure of reading. Bar none.

 

Nalini Singh, I bow to your awesomeness.

 

5 Stars ★★★★★

ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

 

Source: http://www.thedemonlibrarian.com/2013/11/arc-review-archangels-legion-by-nalini.html

Good Romantic Fun

Rumor Has It  - Jill Shalvis

Rumor Has It is my first Jill Shalvis novel, and after reading it, all I can say is, "More, please!"

 

I seriously, seriously enjoyed this book. It's a light, sexy read with a perfect balance of humor and emotion, and it won me over so completely, I have already added all the other books in the series to my to-be-read list. Aaaaand I have added the first book in each of her other series too! Overkill? Maybe, but hey, what can I say? I know what I like, and I like Jill Shalvis' writing. A lot.

 

The story itself is about ex-soldier Griffin (Grif) Reid, who has been discharged from military service due to a combat injury. Grif's lucky to be alive, but lucky isn't what he's feeling when he returns to Sunshine. Despite its cheery name, this small Idaho town doesn't hold the best of memories for Grif. He doesn't want to be there, doesn't want to deal with his dad and their always-rocky relationship, and he sure as heck isn't looking for love. 

 

That is, until he literally bumps into Kate Evans, his little sister's best friend. 

 

Like Grif, Kate is looking for a way out of Sunshine. She's got one, too, courtesy of an elite graduate school program in another state that would take her away for an entire year and give her the chance to finally (finally!) do what she wants with her life. But Kate's got a dad and siblings to look after, students to help and teach, and what feels like a mile-long list of obligations, all of which conspire to keep her firmly tied to Sunshine. Being the care-taking soul that she is, Kate simply can't abandon the people who need her. 

 

Then Grif Reid - the guy she's been secretly crushing on for years - shows up, and suddenly, it's like a door in Kate's life has been blown open. The question is, is she brave enough to walk through it? 

 

The romance in Rumor Has It plays out beautifully. I loved that Kate took the initiative instead of playing the part of a shrinking violet, waiting for the guy to come to her. And Grif....yeah. Can you say wounded (but dead-sexy) warrior? Cue the sighs and swoons. 

 

I also thoroughly enjoyed Kate's best friend, Ryan. Total charmer. He's getting his own book, right? RIGHT?! 

 

So would I recommend Rumor Has It? YES! It is an engaging read and all-around good romantic fun. You can read it as a standalone, but do you really want to leave it all by its lonesome? Of course you don't. You want the entire series! (Trust me on this.) And while you're at it, check out Jill's other books too. She's written a TON of them and if they're anything like this one, you've got some great reading days ahead of you!

 

4 Stars ★★★★

ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Source: http://www.thedemonlibrarian.com/2013/11/tour-stop-review-giveaway-author-q.html

A Most Excellent Ending

Panic - J.A. Huss

I love it when a trilogy ends well. When I flip the last page of the final book, read the final words, and then flop back on my bed/couch/whatever, sighing happily and floating on a cloud of pure bliss.

 

The Rook and Ronin trilogy has been a favorite of mine from the day I started reading it (you can read my reviews of book 1 and 2 HERE and HERE). Much as I adore Rook's boys - and when I say adore, I mean wish they were real so I could have my wicked way with them - this is really Rook's story, and in Panic, she absolutely shines. With her erotic modeling days behind her and more money in the bank than she knows what to do with, it seems her future couldn't be brighter. But as Rook quickly discovers, moving on - growing up, if you will - comes with its own unique set of challenges. Even more so when she and Ronin both have pasts that are hellbent on catching them.

 

What I like most about Rook is how beautifully honest she is. Sure, she has secrets, and yeah, there are more than a few scary skeletons lurking in her closet, but she doesn't pull punches or play silly games - she's just herself. This is her life, her journey, and if you don't like it, you know where the door is. Don't let it hit you on the way out. I heart that about her. She's just so frank and engaging, so real, it's impossible not to hop on her bandwagon. Heck, I didn't even try. I just gave in, accepted how amazeballs she was, and haven't looked back since. (She hasn't given me any reason to, either.)

 

Rook's journey wouldn't be complete without her boys. Ronin, Ford and Spencer are a trifecta of hotness, and their devotion to Rook doesn't waver for a second - which of course makes them even more irresistible! We learn a lot more about the guys' shared past in Panic, and just how badass and wickedly devious they are capable of being - even more so than they were in book 2. I was a bit sad that Spence didn't have a larger role to play, but he made his page time count. As for Ford, he tried hard to steal the show, and I gotta admit, he came damn close a time or two, but I am and always will be a Ronin girl. Ronin is just so...so...everything, and I heart him like crazy. Really, though, it doesn't matter which guy rings your bell, whether you're a Spencer super-fan, a Ford fanatic, or a raving Ronin supporter like I am. They are each fantastic in their own way and you're going to fall in love with all of them.

 

Love is not something you will feel for the character of Clare. She's back and causing a lot more trouble than she's worth. I feel for the girl and all she's been through, but if she'd walked out in front of a bus, I wouldn't have minded at all. Terrible, I know, but gahhh, she just rubs me the wrong way. Always has. As for Rook's douchebag ex, Jon....UGH. Don't get me started.

 

Panic hits a home run on every front. It has tension, suspense, romance, hot smexy times, and some truly incredible jaw-dropping moments that I never saw coming. It was the perfect ending to an exceptional NA contemporary trilogy and if I didn't have to worry about breaking my bank, I would buy you all copies of the books so you could experience this awesomeness for yourselves.

 

5 Stars ★★★★★

ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

 

 

Reviewed by:

Source: http://www.thedemonlibrarian.com/2013/10/tour-stop-review-giveaway-panic-by-ja.html

Phenomenal!

Sins of the Lost  - Linda Poitevin

Oh. Em. Gee. THIS BOOK.

The Grigori Legacy has been a rollercoaster ride for me from the moment I started it. At first (before I knew better), I thought it would follow the usual formula. Yeah, there would be twists and turns unique to the series, but it couldn't be that different than other urban fantasy books I'd read, right?

WRONG.

I know what you're thinking. You're reading the book's blurb and saying to yourself, this girl is nuts, it sounds like standard UF to me! And you'd be right....to a point. There are certain required elements that every good UF must contain, and the Grigori Legacy has them all. Supernatural race? Check. Kickass hero and/or heroine? Check. Good and bad forces duking it out, with the fate of the world hanging in the balance? Double check. A romantic subplot that is teeming with unresolved tension and complications? Yep, got that too. So yes, if you want to call the Grigori Legacy "just another urban fantasy", you could totally do that.

Only...it isn't, and I didn't fully appreciate that until I read Sins of the Lost.

Nothing in this book happened the way I expected it to. Nothing! Linda Poitevin ripped the rug out from under my feet in the very first chapter - the first chapter, people! - and she kept on doing it, over and over, all the way to the end. At no time did I experience a quiet, comfortable, cozy moment - because there weren't any!Everything was topsy-turvy, everything was on the line, and it seemed like every darn thing that could go wrong for the characters (and the world they were trying to save), did. It was CRAZY. I haven't been so off kilter while reading a book since I don't know when. Never, maybe? Yep, that sounds about right!

Don't believe me? Here are some gifs I posted on Goodreads, documenting the state of my emotions as I read Sins of the Lost:


















And yet, despite all the craziness packed within Sins of the Lost's pages, it all made sense. Linda Poitevin didn't just toss random plot developments into a pot and hope it turned into a nice story stew. No, what she did was force me to take a looong step back so I could finally see the forest for the trees. Because that's what I'd been doing for the past two books - focusing on individual trees. I had tunnel vision in the worst way, so caught up in the action or the romance I was rooting for, I wasn't grasping the full picture. I didn't understand just how big the consequences for certain choices were. Well, I get it now. Oh boy, do I ever.

Alex. Poor, poor Alex. I honestly don't know how she was still functioning by the book's end, because if I'd been put through the hell she was, I'd be a whimpering ball of misery on the floor. But that's not who Alex is. She's a survivor, and I have enormous respect for her as a character - and respect for her author, too, for being brave enough to throw Alex into the fiery pit in the first place.

As for the romance and sorta-love triangle that was going on....yeah, I can't talk about it. Seriously, don't even ask. Just thinking about it has me rocking back and forth and looking for a corner.

If I had to pick the biggest surprise of the story - and there are many to choose from - it would have to be the character of Mika'el, or Michael as he's called in the human world. Holy freaking crap, where did he come from?! He intrigued me in book two (Sins of the Son), but in this book, he completely stole the show - or at least he did for me. I love him. LOVE HIM.

To wrap this review up, no, the Grigory Legacy is not your typical urban fantasy series. It doesn't play it safe. You can try to predict and pin it down, but trust me, it's not going to work. And that, my friends, is the sign of a series well done. Linda Poitevin is a freaking genius, and if you don't have her books on your reading list, you are missing out on some truly brilliant writing.

Sins of the Lost destroyed me. It ripped my guts out, crushed my heart, and turned me into a weeping, wailing, teeth-gnashing monster. I have no idea what will happen next, but I do know this: I CAN'T WAIT TO FIND OUT.

5 Stars ★★★★★
ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Source: http://www.thedemonlibrarian.com/2013/10/blog-tour-stop-sins-of-lost-by-linda.html#comment-form
SPOILER ALERT!

An Action-Packed Sequel!

Sins of the Son - Linda Poitevin

I'm a hardcore urban fantasy fan. It's hands down my favorite genre. I love the action, the drama, the magic, the variety of supernatural races, the strong characters, and of course the complicated romances that always seem to be under some sort of fire. So it goes without saying that when I stumbled across Linda Poitevin's Grigori Legacy last year, I was hooked. Instantly.

 

In book one, we were introduced to Alexandra Jarvis, a Canadian detective who is just going along, minding her police business, when she was drawn into an ancient conflict between the forces of Heaven and Hell. Her eyes were ripped wide open, her heart took a severe beating, and now, a book later, all she wants is to get back to her life and put all that angel and doomsday stuff behind her.

 

But Heaven and Hell are on a collision course, and at the center of it all is Seth Benjamin, the Appointed. As the son of Lucifer and the One, Seth has a choice to make. He can fulfill his sacred duties, or he can pursue the woman he hasn't been able to forget since their paths first crossed in book one. That woman, of course, being Alex. And because no choice would be complete without a little added pressure, Seth's decision may affect the fate of the world itself.

 

The cast of characters in this series is absolutely terrific. Alex, Aramael and Seth hold center stage, but they're each at a crucial crossroads, facing challenges that are daunting to say the least. There are no easy solutions, no quick victories - and not just for them. Everyone in this book has tough calls to make, even the supporting cast. But the same challenges that make the characters lives so hard are what pulled me deeper into the story and into this wonderful, dark and intelligently-written world Linda Poitevin has created.

 

As urban fantasy heroines go, Alex is absolutely fantastic. She doesn't pretend to have all the answers, but she will commit to finding them no matter what. She can't leap tall buildings or beat up bad guys one-handed, but she can hold her own and match verbal swords with the best of them. She's a fighter, with a strong spirit and sense of justice - the kind of character you don't have to think about supporting, you just do. And wow, does she go through a lot in this book. A LOT.

 

The men in Alex's life - Aramael and Seth - are....yeah. You try to choose between them, because I can't. I just can't. On the one hand, there's Aramael, who sacrificed so much for Alex and is so gruff and conflicted, and on the other, there is Seth, who stirs up feelings Alex wasn't sure she could (or should) feel anymore, and who may not be as free to love as he wants to be. I spent most of the book leaning Seth's direction - his story really got to me - but I like Aramael too, dang it! I'm so confused! Which is why you'll have to make up your own mind....and when you do, maybe help me make up mine? Please?

 

I have to give a quick shout-out to the character of Mika'el, Heaven's greatest warrior and one seriously badass dude. This book marks his first appearance in the series, and all I can say is, MORE PLEASE!

 

Like its predecessor, Sins of the Son is a gritty, action-packed, page-turning thrill ride. It's a fabulous sequel (none of that silly sophomore slump stuff here, nuh-uh!) that doesn't just move the story forward - it propels it at rocket speed. So much happens! So many twists and turns and OMG moments! I loved it. LOVED IT.

Source: http://www.thedemonlibrarian.com/2013/10/review-sins-of-son-by-linda-poitevin-12.html
True - Erin McCarthy

DNF @ 61%. Iffy start, signs of promise, and then big-time crash and burn. Not the book for me, I'm afraid. 

An Epic Conclusion

Bold Tricks  - Karina Halle

An Epic Conclusion 

 

I have been torturing myself over this review for what seems like forever. How do I write about a book that affected me as deeply as Bold Tricks did? How can I possibly convey the sheer awesomeness of this trilogy? How do I inspire other readers to drop everything and run to their nearest online bookstore to grab a copy of these books?

 

How?!

 

The answer is simple: I can't. Nothing I write about this book will come anywhere close to achieving the perfection of Karina's own words. Because that's what Bold Tricks is, folks. Perfection. The perfect end to an unforgettable trilogy that will hold a special place in my heart (and on my favorites shelf) for many, many years to come.

 

But that doesn't really tell you anything, does it? You want to know about the book. That's why you're here, right? To read a review? So I guess I should start reviewing, huh? ;)

 

Karina doesn't waste any time getting Bold Tricks off the ground. The story picks up almost immediately where book 2 (Shooting Scars) left off, with Ellie, Javier and Camden forming a fragile and unlikely alliance. The plan seems simple. Track down Travis (aka Mr. Rat Bastard), save Gus and Ellie's mother, and get the heck out of Dodge. Preferably without getting killed in the process.

 

But this is a Karina novel, and we know what that means, don't we? Where Karina writes, complications, plot twists and mindeffery are sure to follow - and let me tell you, she's got a whole mine field of them planted in Bold Tricks! I was on edge the entire time, never knowing from one page to the next if I was safe, or if everything was going to blow up in my face. It was crazy-intense, and during a few crucial scenes, I had to force myself to put the book aside and take a break before a) I hyperventilated, b) I had a nervous breakdown, or c) my heart exploded. You may think I'm kidding. I'm not. I have the Facebook messages as proof of what a number this book did on me. It was insane. 

 

 

In trademark Karina fashion, the action of the story flows seamlessly from one chapter to the next. Sometimes it's subtle and small, even intimate - a stolen moment in time that allows you and the characters to catch your breath - and just when you start to relax and get comfortable....WHAM! The bad guys come around the corner, bullets start flying, and just like that, you're right back into the thick of it, hanging on for dear life and hoping like hell you survive.

 

 

As I said, INSANE.

 

Whether you're Team Camden and Team Javier, you're going to walk away from this book still passionately in love with your respective boy. Both men play pivotal roles, and both have their moments in the sun, but this isn't their show. It never has been, really. That honor belongs to Ellie. After two and a half books, she has finally embraced who she is. The angel with dirty wings we met in Sins & Needles is still there, inside of her, but she's stronger now, fiercer in mind and spirit, and wow, does she rock this book! She rocks it hard

 

About the romance. No, I am not going to tell you which guy Ellie ends up with, or if she ends up with anyone at all. Sorry, ain't happening. However, I will tell you that the choice Ellie makes is the right one for her. Let me repeat that. It's the right choice FOR HER. You don't have to agree with it. A good number of you probably won't. You may rant and rave, and some of you may even throw objects at walls. It's okay. I get it. The amazing thing about this series is how passionate its fans are, and if the outcome means that much to you, then Karina has done her job. She's made you care so much, it's personal, like this story is somehow yours. But if you've read these books and understand Ellie's character even a little bit, then you'll see why it has to end the way it does. This isn't about what you want or which guy you would pick - it's about Ellie. It's always been about Ellie. Her journey, her decisions, her mistakes, and ultimately, her happy ending. If you remember that while you are reading, then you will be able to appreciate just how beautiful and, yes, how utterly perfect Bold Tricks really is. It is the only way this trilogy could have ended, and I hope everyone can accept that. 

 

The Artists Trilogy has been a gritty, sexy, action-filled, gut-wrenching and coronary-inducing ride from start to finish. I'm sad it's over, but I couldn't have asked for a better conclusion than the epic one Karina gave me. So, thank you, Karina. Just...thank you.

 

5 Stars ★★★★★

ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

 

 
Source: http://www.thedemonlibrarian.com/2013/10/review-excerpt-giveaway-bold-tricks-by.html

Drama Worthy of a Soap Opera

This Much Is True - Katherine Owen

I seem to be on a "whoa, that wasn't what I expected!" kick lately. Not intentionally, of course, that's just how it has worked out, and Katherine Owen's THIS MUCH IS TRUE definitely falls into that category. The blurb led me to believe I was reading one thing, and what I got was something else altogether. For starters, this isn't your everyday YA contemporary romance. It's more of a YA/NA crossover, and it deals with a lot of mature themes that give it a very adult feel. That's not a bad thing, by any means, but it was definitely a surprise.

When Tally and Lincoln first meet, it's under the worst possible circumstances. He is on-scene during the worst night of her young life. While Tally survived the tragic accident that killed her twin, in many ways, she's the one who died. There's a big gaping hole inside of her, and she's just trying to fill it - with lies and meaningless hookups and a rigorous ballet schedule that, I'll admit, gave me a whole new respect for the hell dancers go through in the name of their art.

And then fate brings Linc back into her life. Tally doesn't remember him from the accident scene, but he remembers her. A connection quickly forms - an incredible, powerful connection that neither one can deny.

It's a good thing that connection was established early on, because without it, I'm not sure their relationship - or this book - would have survived. Following a blink-and-you'll-miss-it halcyon period, Tally and Linc are thrown straightaway into life's vicious wringer, and needless to say, it isn't pretty. Sometimes it seemed the whole universe was conspiring against them, and other times, they were their own worst enemies. And it went on that way for years! 

I haven't read Tolstoy's War and Peace, but for me, this book was the equivalent. It's long, and what's worse, itfelt long at times. The angst and drama-fest just went on and on and on, with no apparent end in sight. It was like a soap opera on steroids, and after a while, I just wanted it to end.

Final verdict? I liked the book, it's a good read, but it drags at times, and the characters' constant "one step forward, two steps back" just plain wore me out.

Source: http://www.thedemonlibrarian.com/2013/10/arc-review-this-much-is-true-by.html
Facade  - Nyrae Dawn

I have a confession to make. I didn't read the first Games book. I know, I know, what was I thinking, right?! But before you come after me with pitchforks and torches, would it help if I told you I have realized the error of my ways and added the first Games book (Charade) to my to-be-read list? AND that I have plans to read it in the very near future and have already pre-ordered book 3 (Masquerade)? Yes, I have seen the light, and all thanks to Facade!

 

So what did it for me? What sold me on this book about two people whose lives are forever changed and connected by tragedy?

 

Three words:  Damn fine storytelling.

 

Here's the proof: Author Nyrae Dawn gave me a sweet and innocent heroine with strong caretaker tendencies, and she made me care about her. You may not appreciate what a big deal that is, but let me assure you, it is. I have nothing against "good" characters, but if they aren't written right, they can come across as flat, one-dimensional, and ultimately boring. I didn't have that problem with Delaney, though. Somehow, she got to me. It was if she threw her arms around me at the start of the book and held on tight. With every page I read, another crack formed in my prickly armor. I ended up not only caring about her, I became weirdly protective of her too. As in, I actually bristled up a few times when other characters treated her in a way I didn't approve of. It was the craziest thing - but it heightened my reading experience. I was deeply invested in Delaney's character and was prepared to throw down if she didn't get a happy ending.

 

On the flip side, there's Adrian. I've got three words for him too, and they are "hot, sexy mess". This really was his book. Delaney's a key part of it, obviously, but whereas Delaney shone like a light in the darkness, Adrian was all shadow. He blamed himself for the tragedy that occurred in his past, and he couldn't move past it. He wasn't living; he was existing. Just going through the motions of life and hiding his pain behind a playful, flirtatious smile. And boy, did he have a lot of pain to hide, and it was eating him up inside. If Delaney hadn't come along, I honestly don't think he would have made it. But she did come along, and she changed everything.

 

The romance is great - and by that I mean fantastic. Adrian and Delaney are a beautifully matched pair. Like ying and yang, they balance each other out. And in the physical department....um, yeah, definitely no problems there! They scorched quite a few pages, and even in their "quieter" moments, I felt the heated pull between them.

 

Biggest surprise of the book? Delaney's brother, Maddox. OMG, Maddox! He stole every scene he was in, and I'm so thrilled he gets the next book all to himself! It's already on my "highly anticipated" list.

 

Long story short, I am officially a Nyrae Dawn fan. You will be too when you read her books. Now go get them! :)

 

4 Stars ★★★★

ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Source: http://www.thedemonlibrarian.com/2013/10/tour-stop-review-and-author-q-facade-by.html

Unexpected For The Win!

Prophecy Girl - Cecily White

Teenage angel descendants (aka guardians) maintaining order, keeping the balance and fighting the good fight - all while trying to juggle make it through school, or in their case, angel academy. That's what I thought I would be reading about when I started Prophecy Girl. I thought I had the book all figured out within the first few chapters.

 

Um, yeah. About that.

 

Prophecy Girl surprised me. In the beginning, it seemed like a fairly simple, straightforward book. I'd even go so far as to say it was borderline predictable. But then things happened - and they kept on happening. Every single time I thought I had the story nailed down, it changed direction on me - sometimes so fast, it gave me whiplash - and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't get ahead of it. I was always at least a half-step behind.

 

It. Was. Awesome.

 

As characters go, Amelie Bennett is, for lack of a better word, a character. She's a firecracker, that girl, almost too snarky for her own good, and yes, there are times when she really acts her (YA) age. Yet somehow, it works. I got the biggest kick out her, frequently chuckling and shaking my head and wondering what the heck she would do or say next. What was really interesting, though, was watching her evolve over the course of the story. Turns out she was a lot stronger, tougher and smarter than I originally gave her credit for, and I don't know about you, but when a character defies my expectations as completely as Amelie did, the book automatically gets a higher rating.

 

Jackson was a treat as well. He wasn't a swaggering bad boy, and yet he wasn't a too-good-to-be-true good boy either. He was just himself. In the beginning he comes off as a prickly porcupine, and at times, like a lecturing professor, but I actually enjoyed that. Maybe it was because he kept calling Amelie "Miss Bennett", but I kept thinking of Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice, and being the huge P&P fan that I am, that mental association really worked for me. Like Darcy, Jackson comes off one way, when in reality, he's so much more - the kind of guy who is really, truly worth knowing. A keeper. It may take a while for his heart and true motives to be revealed, but that's half the fun, isn't it? Getting to know the characters one delicious bit at a time? And trust me, Jackson is delish.

 

I was a little wary about the romance. The whole bondmate thing suggested instalove to me, and as someone whose eye starts twitching at the mere mention of instalove, I had my doubts about that aspect of the story. But once again, author Cecily White surprised me. Yes, there's a bond, but it's complicated and doesn't come with any guarantees. I loved that.

 

I had a lot of fun with this book. Like, a lot. Can't wait to read the next one!

 

4 Stars ★★★★

ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Source: http://www.thedemonlibrarian.com/2013/10/arc-review-prophecy-girl-by-cecily-white.html

Supernatural Love!

Must Love Fangs - Jessica Sims

Supernatural Love 

 

A supernatural dating agency - because supernaturals need love too, yo! ;)

 

The Midnight Liaisons series has been a blast so far. I didn't read the first book (I know, shame on me!) but thanks to Lynsey's glowing recommendation I did grab the second one and was immediately hooked on the world Jessica Sims has created (you can read Lynsey's review of books one and two HERE and HERE). Each book focuses on a different couple, and in this particular installment, we've got Marie and Joshua, two very different personalities who may have more in common than they think.

 

So what is the book about? In a nut shell, Marie is a human who works for Midnight Liaisons, the aforementioned supernatural dating agency, and she needs to be turned. (Notice I said "needs" instead of "wants to be". That's important - and no, you're not getting any other spoilery type statements out of me!) Unfortunately for Marie, because of the not-so-nice supernatural climate right now, her options of who - or I should say, what - can turn her are limited. But Marie has a plan, and she is determined to execute it.

 

I loved Marie. She has a delightfully cool and acerbic personality, which was so refreshing, and while I didn't think much of her plan (too many holes in it), it was fun watching her try to carry it out. And more than that, it revealed so much about her character. With each date Marie went on, searching for the right one to turn her, I learned a little more about her, and the more I learned, the more I liked her. She was a very easy leading lady to get behind.

 

The real star of the show, though, was were-cougar Joshua Russell. What a charmer! He's one of those guys who comes off as just another playboy until you get to know him and discover his gooey center. That's not to say he's a walking wuss-ball - far from it! There's no rolling over and playing dead for this guy. He strolls onto the page, big as life, and pretty much commands every scene he is in. I love it when heroes do that, don't you? He's irresistible and I promise, you're going to end this book gushing over him.

 

As paranormal romances go, this series is a hit for me. With multiple supernatural races involved, there are plenty of possibilities for future books, and I just plain like the author's style. It's sexy and fun and makes for a quick, enjoyable read. You really can't go wrong here, folks, and I'd encourage all of you to give these PNR books a try.

 

4 Stars ★★★★

 

Source: http://www.thedemonlibrarian.com/2013/09/review-must-love-fangs-by-jessica-sims.html

BREAKING NOVA by Jessica Sorenson - 4 STARS

Breaking Nova - Jessica Sorensen

Oh, wow. I have been sitting on this review for a couple of weeks now, trying to think of what to write and how to capture in words what it was like to read this book, and honestly, I'm still not sure how to convey my feelings....but I've got to try, so here goes.

I love flawed characters. I really, truly do - and I know I am far from alone in that love. After all, if every character we read about was perfect, what would we have to talk about and get all worked up over? Nobody's perfect and life isn't easy, and as readers, we expect the characters we give our time and our hearts to, to reflect that. We want to ride the roller coaster of life with them. Hurt when they hurt, laugh when they laugh, cry when they cry. Sigh and swoon and love and fight - the whole works. Make us feel, we say, and make us feel everything.

BREAKING NOVA tested my love of flawed characters in ways it has rarely been tested before. Nova and Quinton were....man, were they were messed up. Seriously, totally effed up in almost every conceivable way.  They didn't just make bad choices, they made colossal errors in judgment, and almost the entire book was spent documenting their downward spiral. It was brutal. Heartbreaking. So damn tragic that a few times, I had to put the book down and take a break because it was too painful to continue reading.

So why, then, did I rate this book 4 stars? It's simple, really. The story, while tragic and disturbing, was beautifully written, and more importantly, it did its job. This book sank its teeth into me and refused to let go. Much as I hated the self-destructive path Nova and Quinton were walking, I couldn't find it in me to abandon themhad to stick it out. I had to see how it ended, if they could somehow pull themselves out of the muck and escape the darkness their lives had become.

Did they? Didn't they? My lips are sealed. You'll just have to read the book and find out for yourself.

I don't want to paint a misleading picture here. The book isn't all moody, gloomy skies. There were moments when the clouds would part and light would shine through, and I soaked up those moments like rain-starved earth. They gave me hope, when hope was desperately needed. The connection between Nova and Quinton is intense, almost visceral, and the characters themselves will forever be branded upon your heart.

BREAKING NOVA is amazing and soul-crushing. When you turn that final page, you won't be able to speak, or move, or do anything at all except sit there and mutter "OMG" over and over - and when you are able to think coherently again, your first thought will be, "What the hell did I just read?"

This is not a book for the faint of heart. It will wreck and destroy you. If you don't think you can handle that, then don't read it. Seriously, don't. For me, the pain was worth it. I have no plans to re-read the book (I'm crazy, not a masochist), but I have every intention of picking up the next one. I'm in it now, fully invested, and I must see the journey through.

4 Stars ★★★★
ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Bite Me (Bitten, #1) - C.C. Wood So disappointed. When I started this book I was totally into it, gobbling up every word, and then somewhere around the halfway point, the story turned. It went from awesome to meh, and I completely lost interest. DNF at 64%.