Friday, April 29, 2011

Hush by Cherry Adair (thoughts)

From the back cover:

"A reckless adventure in a deadly paradise.

Thrill seekers Zakary and Gideon Stark travel the globe in search of extreme adventure, but a trip to Venezuela to jump off the world’s highest falls catapults them into a perilous game of life or death—where they don’t know the rules.

A one-night stand that will change his life forever.

Kidnapped with a woman Zak knows nothing about, the brothers are held prisoner deep in the jungle. A risky, death defying escape separates them and nearly claims Zak’s life . . . until his recovery reveals a baffling new sixth sense."

My Thoughts:

Sounds interesting, right?? I must say that it definitely was and I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this book. One of the things that I enjoyed most about the story was the fast-paced, edge of your seat atmosphere that the author created. This book was such a page-turner that there were times when I literally had to stop and slow myself down so that I wouldn't miss anything. The action in the novel starts from the very beginning and doesn't let up until the very end. The constant danger mixed with romance made for a winning combination. I liked that I never knew what was going to happen next. The two main characters were very enjoyable and I was rooting for them from the very beginning. I loved that they constantly tried to resist the feelings that they had for each other until they couldn't hold out any longer. It helped to make the book that much more interesting, and I felt that this book was the perfect blend of romance and suspense. The book was a bit corny at a few different points but rather than detracting from the story, it made me laugh and I couldn't help but like the book even more. There was a point during a sexual scene where the author is describing how well endowed Zak was and I found myself giggling. And I thought to myself, "Did she really just compare that to that???" I liked that the author could make laugh while reading and that everything wasn't so serious the entire time. The ending of the book was completely unexpected and I didn't see it coming whatsoever. I was blown away. I literally felt my jaw drop even though I felt that the author did a great job of wrapping it up.

I really enjoyed reading this book and although this was my first time reading this author it will definitely not be my last! This is probably one of the best romantic suspense books that I've read in a long time and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it. Very enjoyable :)

Disclosure: I was sent this book in exchange for an honest review as part of Gallery & Pocket Books Romance Blog Tour. I'm a day late, my apologies!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Demon's are a Girl's Best Friend by Linda Wisdom (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"Feisty witch Maggie enjoys her work as a paranormal law enforcement officer—that is, until she’s assigned to protect a teenager with major attitude and a sleazy boyfriend. A group of satanic Mayans priests has decided Courtney has a drop of divine blood in her—making her just the virgin sacrifice they need to release their God and rule the world. "

My Thoughts:

I've been in the mood for a good romance lately and this book fit my mood perfectly! It was a book that I couldn't put down and I thoroughly enjoyed. One of my favorite things about this book was the storyline itself. I loved the mix of demons, ancient Mayans, evil gods coming back to life, and a supernatural law enforcement team that didn't have to play by any rules. Maggie was a kick-ass character that wasn't afraid to be herself and get what she wanted. She was vulnerable enough that the romance that developed between her and Declan was both sweet and refreshing. I thought that both main characters were well developed and helped to make the novel that much better.

I've read books by this author before but thought that this was going to be a separate series. Instead, it turned out to be loosely tied in with her other books (characters from previous books were mentioned briefly) but this novel had a darker feel to it. I thought that it was also more suspenseful than my previous reads by her, and I really liked the change that this book provided. I hope that she writes more books with Maggie and her supernatural team in the future as I just didn't get enough. This was a really good addition to the paranormal romance genre in my opinion, and I will be looking forward to reading whatever books that this author writes in the future. Recommended without hesitation!

Disclosure: This book was sent to me for review by Danielle at Sourcebooks. My many thanks for the chance to read and enjoy this book!

P.S.- I thought I would share a link to a review of Hex Appeal that I posted previously by the same author as well as a link to Wicked By Any Other Name. I've also read 50 Ways to Hex Your Lover but never ended up reviewing it. All three books were enjoyable reads but this one was the best in my opinion. I also wanted to warn you that I'm hoping to flood you with reviews this week as somehow I've fallen a bit behind. Just thought I would give you all a heads up :P

Monday, April 18, 2011

Affinity by Sarah Waters (thoughts) Part 2

From the inside cover:

"From Sarah Waters-a spellbinding ghost story, a complex and intriguing historical mystery, and a poignant romance with an unexpected twist.

An upper-class woman recovering from a suicide attempt, Margaret Prior has begun visiting the women's ward of Millbank prison, Victorian London's grimmest jail, as part of her rehabilitative charity work. Amongst Millbank's murderers and common thieves, Margaret finds herself increasingly fascinated by an apparently innocent inmate, the enigmatic spiritualist Selina Dawes."

My Thoughts:

A few weeks ago I shared my thoughts on the first half of this book here. I was enjoying the atmosphere that the author created, I found the main character intriguing, and was very interested in seeing where the story was going to go next. And I'm going to admit that I went into the book with high expectations after hearing all of the accolades concerning the author and her novels. I'm happy to share that this book lived up to all of my expectations, and I found this to be a wonderful reading experience. My favorite part of this book was the gloomy, creepy atmosphere that the author creates. The prison, where a huge part of the story takes place, seems to take on a life of its' own and I couldn't help but wonder at the mysteries and horrors that it held within its' walls. Margaret was such a curious and mysterious main character. I never could guess what she was going to do throughout the story and found her actions to be surprising at times. And Selina. I constantly wondered about her "spiritualism" and if anything that she was saying was true or how could it possibly not be true. The whole book was a mystery for me until the very end. The ending of the book blew me away...and yet when I thought about it afterwards it wasn't all that unexpected but it sure worked. It was the type of ending that left me thinking about it for a couple of days afterwards if that tells you anything :) All in all, this is a book that I would highly recommend and an author that I will be reading much more of.

Disclosure: I checked this book out from my local library but I'm thinking about buying my own copy as I enjoyed this one so much. Thanks to Andi for hosting this readalong and finally giving me the push to give this author a try!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

On My Wishlist (Radar) #4

On My Wishlist is my way of sharing all of the books that I cannot wait to get my hands upon and read. These are all 2011 releases and I can't wait till they come out. It is so hard to be patient sometimes...especially when I want to read them RIGHT NOW!

Dead Iron by Devon Monk

"Welcome to a new America that is built on blood, sweat, and gears...

In steam age America, men, monsters, machines, and magic battle for the same scrap of earth and sky. In this chaos, bounty hunter Cedar Hunt rides, cursed by lycanthropy and carrying the guilt of his brother's death. Then he's offered hope that his brother may yet survive. All he has to do is find the Holder: a powerful device created by mad devisers-and now in the hands of an ancient Strange who was banished to walk this Earth."

I am impatiently waiting for my library to get this book...I've had it on hold for weeks now!

Witchlanders by Lena Coakley

"High in their mountain covens, red witches pray to the Goddess, protecting the Witchlands by throwing the bones and foretelling the future.

It’s all a fake.

At least, that’s what Ryder thinks. He doubts the witches really deserve their tithes—one quarter of all the crops his village can produce. And even if they can predict the future, what danger is there to foretell, now that his people’s old enemy, the Baen, has been defeated?

But when a terrifying new magic threatens both his village and the coven, Ryder must confront the beautiful and silent witch who holds all the secrets. Everything he’s ever believed about witches, the Baen, magic and about himself will change, when he discovers that the prophecies he’s always scorned—

Are about him."

The cover on this book is just gorgeous!

The Map of Time by Felix J. Palma

"A page turner in which a skeptical H.G. Wells is called upon to investigate purported incidents of time-travel and save lives."

This is a short and sweet description but I just can't resist. Plus, I love the cover on this one as well.

The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross

"In 1897 England, sixteen-year-old Finley Jayne has no one…except the "thing" inside her.

When a young lord tries to take advantage of Finley, she fights back. And wins. But no normal Victorian girl has a darker side that makes her capable of knocking out a full-grown man with one punch….

Only Griffin King sees the magical darkness inside her that says she's special, says she's one of them. The orphaned duke takes her in from the gaslit streets against the wishes of his band of misfits: Emily, who has her own special abilities and an unrequited love for Sam, who is part robot; and Jasper, an American cowboy with a shadowy secret."

I want this book right now! Love the cover, love the summary, can't wait to read it!

I want each and every one of these right now! And the covers on all four of these books are just stunning! I'm thinking about doing a romance wishlist next week as I've been on a romance kick all of a sudden. I've been requesting romance reads from the library like crazy :) Yay for good books!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Surrender The Dark by L.A. Banks (thoughts)

Celeste Jackson isn't your typical heroine. She's caught up in a bad relationship, dealing with substance abuse, and her life is basically a mess. But all of that changes when she meets Azrael, a self-proclaimed angel, who believes in Celeste and wants what is best for her. Before Celeste knows it, her life is turned upside down as she realizes that she is in a fight for her life and for the fate of the world against evil. And that maybe Azrael is exactly who and what he claims to be.

I enjoyed reading this book for a number of reasons with the main reason being that it felt like a breath of fresh air for the urban fantasy genre. I liked that the heroine didn't have her life fact, it was completely messed up in the beginning of the novel. Celeste has lived her life believing that she was crazy, seeing things that shouldn't be there, and fighting off the urge to lose herself to alcohol and drugs. It was a nice change of pace to see that she had realistic problems and was unsure of herself. It was interesting to see her realize that the things she had been seeing like demons were real and that there was more to life than what she knew. I liked that the storyline included angels and demons which was also refreshing and different. There was a lot of world building going on throughout the book which was to be expected as this is the first book in the series. It did draw me away from the story a few times as I was overwhelmed with details but overall ended up helping to make me want to continue on with this series. The ending of the book was fast paced and interesting while also leaving me wanting more. I'm excited to see where the author goes with the next book and how the series continues on. Overall, I would recommend this book to fans of urban fantasy.

Disclosure: I was sent this book to review for a blog tour by the publisher for Gallery & Pocket Books SciFi/Fantasy Blog tour. Unfortunately, I'm really apologies!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

How I'm Spending My Sunday...

Since this seems to be one of the only good pictures I have with all three kiddos in it, I will be spending my Sunday working hard to capture a few good pictures. While working outside in my yard. Anything will be better than this bottom one if I can manage to get them all to sit still (at the same time) and look at the camera (at the same time). It's gonna be a long day..... :)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Library Loot - Fantasy Edition

Even though I had a pretty crappy reading month in March, I found myself still checking out books from the library. Lots of books...which led to me adding to my TBR list like crazy when they had to go back unread. But since April is a fresh month, I'm hoping to make a serious dent in my reading piles. (I'm pretty sure I use this excuse every time that I go to the library. LOL!) I picked up a bunch of books to fit Carl's Once Upon a Time Challenge V as well. Here is what I grabbed recently from the library:

1. Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal

2. Visions of Magic by Regan Hastings

3. Godmother: The Secret Cinderella Story by Carolyn Turgeon

4. The Fallen Blade by Jon Courtenay Grimwood

5. Deliverance From Evil by Frances Hill

6. Green-Eyed Demon by Jaye Wells

I want to read each and every one of these right now! I feel like I've been waiting forever for Green-Eyed is all I can do not to pick it up and start reading it right now. The cover for Visions of Magic is just gorgeous. And Deliverance From Evil has to do with the Salem witch soon as I heard that I knew that I wanted to read it. Have you read any of these? Any thoughts to share??? All I have to say right now is, "Let the reading begin!"

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Sunday Salon - Taking A Break

Somehow April is already here when I'm not even sure where March went. My oldest turned eight last month (I remember that quite clearly...where did the time go??) but other than that the month passed by in a bit of a blur. March was also a pretty lousy reading month for me as I only was able to finish three books this month. I also am in the middle of two other books but still...the books that I finished last month were:
  1. Senseless by Mary Burton
  2. The Liberation of Alice Love by Abby McDonald
  3. The Ice Princess by Camilla Lackberg
Not very impressive if I do say so myself. Which leads me into my taking a small break from the blog and the computer. For the last month now (off and on) my youngest has been dealing with RSV. For those of you who don't know this is a pretty serious virus that babies can get that affects their breathing. And while he is getting over the more scary aspects of it, I've got it in my head now that my house needs some spring cleaning. To get rid of the germs and all that. I know that I can't prevent him from getting sick again but it will make me feel better if my house has been scrubbed down :) Plus, I would like to wash all blankets and pillows, catch up on laundry, etc. All next week I will be taking a complete break from online and the computer. This means no internet email, no twitter, and no blogging. The only exception will be posting a review for Surrender the Dark by L.A. Banks as soon as I finish and that is only because it was supposed to be part of a blog tour and I'm late. I'm going to attempt to get a few posts scheduled for next week and catch up a bit on my commenting today. That may or may not happen...we'll see. And for the record I'm actually writing this on Saturday because tomorrow is the beginning of my week long cleaning fest.

I did decide that while I won't be on the internet, I will be reading. I'm pretty sure that I would go crazy otherwise and it would make for a very LONG week. Maybe I'll turn this into my own mini readathon where instead of computer time I read AND clean of course. I've got high hopes that I'll be able to get a lot accomplished. I'm currently in the middle of reading three very different books (this is unheard of for me). I'm in the midst of these three lovely books:

I'm hoping to make some serious progress on all three of these (maybe even finishing all three) and then who knows. I have some library books checked out that I really, really want to read. And a few review books that I'm looking forward to picking up as well. And hopefully I come back from this break feeling refreshed and renewed. My apologies for not visiting your blogs this week but I'll be back and around next week for sure. Have a great week!