Announcement!

I am still accepting books for review but on a VERY limited basis. If you are interested in my reviewing your book please check out my review policy and feel free to contact me at bookjunkie221@gmail.com.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Book Review ~ No Mercy by Lori Armstrong

Title: No Mercy
Author: Lori Armstrong
Series: Mercy Gunderson Mystery #1
Publication Date: January 12th 2010

Rating: 5/5


Synopsis:

On medical leave from the Army, Mercy heads home to her family ranch after the recent death of her father, having been away for 20 years. It's her responsibility to decide whether to sell the ranch or not, and she gets little help from her sister and nephew. After a dead body is discovered on her land, Mercy butts heads with the sheriff, Mason Dawson.

When another body is discovered, Mercy starts her own investigation into the deaths. As she unearths buried secrets, her life--and the lives of family members--are put in jeopardy


Review:

I've had this book on my shelf FOREVER!  When I originally bought this book it was because of the blurb and the cover of the book....Anyone else ever do that?  I'm pissed at myself that this book sat on my TBR shelf for as long as it did...IT WAS FAN-FREAKING-TASTIC!

The book itself is told from the point of view of our main character, Mercy Gunderson, a female Army sniper.  Who is home on leave due to the death of her father. It's up to Mercy to figure out what's going to happen to the family ranch...Is she gonna sell or is she gonna stay. When things start getting really dicey around town, when the body of a dead Native American boy is found on her ranch.  It seems that with Mercy coming home, death follows her in 3's.

That's when she starts butting heads with the Sheriff Mason Dawson.  She doesn't think he's doing his job, he says he is.  She doesn't trust him, he wishes she would.  You know the beginning of a beautiful "friends with benefits" relationship.

Then things turn personal and Mercy isn't just looking for answers, she's looking for revenge.  When Mercy decides that she's had enough of Sheriff Dawson NOT doing enough she launches her own investigation and finds out some shocking revelations.  The people she thought she could count on start turning on her.  Not all is as it seems.

I guess the thing that bothered me the most about the book was that the main part of the plot was figuring out the deaths of 3 Native American kids.  It bothered me but at the same time it made the story VERY strong.  Another thing that bothered me was the politics.  I kind of got the "the only good Indian is a dead Indian" feel during parts of the book, but then again, this mentality also helped to solidify the story.

The things that I really liked about the book were that it was definitely a page turner.  Once I started No Mercy I had to keep going and it ticked me off that I had to do other things, like work and laundry, instead of finishing this book.  I also really liked how Mercy was written.  Sure she's an Army sniper but she's also human and has feelings...so she's kind of written as a bad ass with feelings. The other characters were pretty great too...with the exception of Theo, who was written as the smarmy bastard that he ended up being.  Then there was the MINOR character who ended up playing a MAJOR role in how things ended up.

Overall, to say that I enjoyed No Mercy would be a vast understatement.  Immediately upon finishing No Mercy I started into book number 2 Mercy Kill.  I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys an excellent mystery. 

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Book Review (EROTICA) ~ Blood Knot by Tracy Cooper-Posey

Title: Blood Knot
Author: Tracy Cooper-Posey
Rating: 4.75/5

Synopsis:

Winter, a professional thief who can manipulate others' biologies by touch, accidentally "healed" her former partner-and former vampire-Sebastian, whom she secretly loves. Her healing created a symbiot pairing between them that neither of them wants.

Nathanial, a sexy thousand-year-old vampire and Sebastian's ex-lover, talks Sebastian and Winter into stealing evidence that will expose all vampires to the world. But Nathanial is a puppet-master who doesn't believe in falling in love with humans, leaving Winter unsure of his real feelings for her once he seduces her, or how he feels about Sebastian, the former vampire-now-human whose life he has turned upside down once more.

But the evidence they steal is hot property. The future of all vampires is on the line and others will stop at nothing to get it, leaving Sebastian, Winter and Nathanial with no allies but each other. They must trust each other to survive. Only...can they?


Review:

This was a very interesting read.  I've only read 1 other book where m/m/f love scenes were involved and I can definitely say that this one trumps it big time!  Hot doesn't even begin to cover it!  The premise of the story was really interesting to me because it involved two male vampires and one female who is supposedly human who are best known throughout the vampire world for their skills in stealing.

Nathanial, or Nial, is one smart cookie and not to mention one sexy vamp, who has a way of manipulating others minds to get what he wants.  I saw him as someone who needed to constantly be in control, it showed in his encounters and actions towards Winter and Sebastian.  He always seemed to be in the minds of others, being able to read them and make them react accordingly.

Winter was one tough ass chick that who was labeled a human but isn't really.  See she was born by human parents but she was given a gift that no one else has.  She has the ability to reach into other individuals simply by touching their skin and completely change their biological chemistry or heal them if needed.  That includes herself as well.  There was an instance in the book where she was able to heal herself from being poisoned simply by mentally reaching within herself and breaking down/diluting that strain of poison.  Therefore, reversing it and making her immortal like a vampire.


Sebastian, is yet another smexy vampire (side note: why are the paranormal ALWAYS uber sexy?) who has worked with Winter for two years.  In that time he's also been keeping his true feelings away from Winter.  See Winter has saved his sexy vampire backside numerous times and this last time was ALMOST the time where he actually broke down and told her how he felt...ALMOST.  What kept him from confessing?  TINY SPOILER>>> Thinking she was human. <<<END TINY SPOILER  The last time Winter saved him he was on the brink of death.  That's where she panicked and healed him back to human.

For me, this is where the story got really interesting.  After healing Sebastian, Winter finds that she has inherited some traits that she definitely did not have before...Like requiring blood, more specifically Sebastian's blood.  Also, her eyes and her hair have also changed on a permanent basis.

Sebastian thinks he was turned back into a human being because his biological chemistry has changed.  He's suddenly able to eat food and seems to be craving it.  This is where things get difficult for Sebastian, he's having an extremely difficult time dealing with all the truths revolving around the situation and decides that he's just going to run away from his feelings and trys to forget about Winter all together.  Well, until his ex-lover Nail shows up and persuades Winter into helping him find Sebastian.

This is the point where the heat-ometer goes up several notches. Winter and Nial keep finding themselves in each other's arms with an heightened sense of passion.  Especially AFTER they find Sebastian and the old flames are stoked between old and new lovers.

I decided that I couldn't give this book a 5/5 out of because I thought that there were some area's where a little more clarification would have been helpful.  One area in particular, what kind of immortal exactly was Winter.  It was very clear that she wasn't entirely human but wasn't exactly a vampire either.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Book Review ~ Empire of the Summer Moon by S.C. Gwynne

Title:  Empire of the Summer Moon
Author:  S.C. Gwynne
Rating: 5/5

Synopsis:

In the tradition of Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, a stunningly vivid historical account of the forty-year battle between Comanche Indians and white settlers for control of the American West, centering on Quanah, the greatest Comanche chief of them all.S. C. Gwynne’s Empire of the Summer Moon spans two astonishing stories. The first traces the rise and fall of the Comanches, the most powerful Indian tribe in American history. The second entails one of the most remarkable narratives ever to come out of the Old West: the epic saga of the pioneer woman Cynthia Ann Parker and her mixed-blood son Quanah, who became the last and greatest chief of the Comanches. Although readers may be more familiar with the tribal names Apache and Sioux, it was in fact the legendary fighting ability of the Comanches that determined just how and when the American West opened up. Comanche boys became adept bareback riders by age six; full Comanche braves were considered the best horsemen who ever rode. They were so masterful at war and so skillful with their arrows and lances that they stopped the northern drive of colonial Spain from Mexico and halted the French expansion westward from Louisiana. White settlers arriving in Texas from the eastern United States were surprised to find the frontier being rolled backward by Comanches incensed by the invasion of their tribal lands. So effective were the Comanches that they forced the creation of the Texas Rangers and account for the advent of the new weapon specifically designed to fight them: the six-gun. The war with the Comanches lasted four decades, in effect holding up the development of the new American nation. Gwynne’s exhilarating account delivers a sweeping narrative that encompasses Spanish colonialism, the Civil War, the destruction of the buffalo herds, and the arrival of the railroads—a historical feast for anyone interested in how the United States came into being. Against this backdrop Gwynne presents the compelling drama of Cynthia Ann Parker, a lovely nine-year-old girl with cornflower-blue eyes who was kidnapped by Comanches from the far Texas frontier in 1836. She grew to love her captors and became infamous as the "White Squaw" who refused to return until her tragic capture by Texas Rangers in 1860. More famous still was her son Quanah, a warrior who was never defeated and whose guerrilla wars in the Texas Panhandle made him a legend. S. C. Gwynne’s account of these events is meticulously researched, intellectually provocative, and, above all, thrillingly told. Empire of the Summer Moon announces him as a major new writer of American history.

Review:

I saw this book on Barnes and Noble when it first came out and I've always had a fascination with Quanah Parker and Native American's in general really.  So I immediately downloaded it onto my Nook and started reading it.  I actually had to start over because life got in the way and I really wanted to review it on my blog so I wanted the information to be fresh in my mind.

What I really liked about this book was that it wasn't entirely about Quanah Parker, yes the vast majority of it was, but there was a lot of history about the Comanche nation in the book too. I saw this book as "Rise and Fall" type of book. There is also a pretty detailed description of the raid on Parker's fort.  A little bit graphic but I'm sure very accurate for the times.

I enjoyed how the author depicted both sides of the Indian wars.  At times a little graphic but historically accurate.

I thought that the depiction of Quanah Parker pre-reservation life and reservation life was pretty neat.  It turns out that Quanah wasn't just a "dumb" Indian.  He was an advocate for his people as well as an entrepreneur.

The only quirk that I really had with the book was the sometimes graphic nature of some of the content.  Yes, it's historically accurate but it became, at times, a slight turn off for the book.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Book Review ~ Where I Belong by Gwendolyn Heasley

Title:  Where I Belong
Author: Gwendolyn Heasley
Rating: 4/5


Synopsis:


Meet Corrinne. She's living every girl's dream in New York City—shopping sprees at Barneys, open access to the best clubs and parties, and her own horse at the country club. Her perfect life is perfectly on track. At least it was. . . .

When Corrinne's father is laid off, her world suddenly falls apart. Instead of heading to boarding school, she's stripped of her credit cards and shipped off to the boonies of Texas to live with her grandparents. On her own in a big public school and forced to take a job shoveling manure, Corrinne is determined to get back to the life she's supposed to be living. She doesn't care who she stomps on in the process. But when Corrinne makes an unlikely friend and discovers a total hottie at work, she begins to wonder if her life B.R.—before the recession—was as perfect as it seemed.

Review:

I got this one out of my local library.  When I started reading it I had a hard time putting it down once I got started.  I thought it was that good.  Though I did find a couple things that I didn't care for...Not many though.

In the beginning of the book I thought that Corrinne was pretty much a wanna be "Paris Hilton" (you have no idea how much Paris Hilton annoys me.).  I didn't really care for her very much at all. Then her dad gets laid off from his job.  And life gets really REAL for Corrinne.

I thought after she and her little brother arrived in Texas, that as much conflict as there was when they first arrived between Corrinne and her grandmother, that she became pretty "normal".  She wasn't doing the things that she was able to do in her old life.  If she wanted to survive she had to eat her grandma's fatty food, which meant she had to stop counting calories and watching her carbs.  She actually had to work, GASP SHOCK!  She actually had to go to PUBLIC SCHOOL, GASP SHOCK!  It turns out her first friend at public school is a cheerleader!

The farther I got into the book the more like able Corrinne became.  She started putting others before herself.  She did have a slight "relapse" when she met a rocker and thought they should be together, though it didn't take her long to see through him.  Then there was the "normal" guy who saw right through her from the start and by the end of the book there is potential there for a relationship.

Besides the Corrinne from the beginning of the book, I didn't really like the scene where Corrinne's friend from her B.R. life comes to visit.  Here Corrinne is turning her life around and making due and here comes her friend purposely trying to make things difficult for her.

I hope that there is another book.  The end of this one was to me anyway, a cliff hanger.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Book Review (EROTICA) - Four Play by Maya Banks and Shayla Black


Title: Four Play
Author: Maya Banks and Shayla Black
Series:
Genre: Erotica
Publisher: Berkley Trade
Release Date: October 5, 2010
Format: Paperback, 346 pages
Source: Bought for my Barnes and Noble Nook 
 
Rating: 4/5 overall

Smuttiness: 5/5


Pillow Talk - by Maya Banks 3/5

At the beginning of this story I was really into it.  It features main characters Zoe and Chase (who happens to be a yummy firefighter).  After a round of spontanious panty combusting sex they are having themselves a little pillow talk and they start talking about their fantasies.  Both fantasies are pretty incredible to be honest.

Well the vast majority of the story, ok all but a couple pages, are about fulfilling those fantasies.  In the beginning the sex scenes were Awesome Sauce, but as the story went along I think that it was mostly focused on the sex and not so much on the actual characters or the relationship. Which come to find out it was written like that on purpose as part of the story. As a result I was kind of turned off by this story by the end of it. Actually, I could hardly wait for it to end.

I'm not giving up on Ms. Banks though.  I can't base all of an author's works on one story.  I do like the way that Ms. Banks writes her works and minus an obscene (in my opinion anyway) amount of sex in this particular story she sure does know how to write one hell of a love scene.

Her Fantasy Men - 4/5

I really got into this particular story and was sad to see it end.  Of the 4 characters in this story Tucker is the only one that has actually known Kelsey almost her entire life.  The other two male characters are Kelsey's boss and her peeping tom-smoking hot-fire fighter neighbor.  I thought that Kelsey herself was a very likeable character who is one of those girls that be one of the girls as well as one of the guys.

It was actually very interesting to read how realtionship became pretty dang solid through the course of this story.  The truth of the matter is that the 3 guys only know each other because of Kelsey and they all kind of struggle with their possessiveness of her to make her happy.  Because she really can't bring herself to choose between them.  She reads very much like an "all or nothing" type of girl.

Naturally, the sex scenes were scorching hot.  What I really liked about this story is that each guy brought his own brand of lovin' to the story....complete with some BDSM for those of us who like that sort of stuff (I'm slowly but surely getting into it!)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Book Review ~ A Dead Man's Debt by Grace Elliot

Title:  A Dead Man's Debt
Author: Grace Elliot
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: N/A
Publication Date: October 10, 2010
Format: E-Book
Source: Received from author in exchange for an honest review

Rating: 5/5

Synopsis:

A Dead Man's Debt - a story of blackmail, duty and an unexpected love.

After publicly humiliating a suitor, Miss Celeste Armitage is sent from the Ton in disgrace and resolves never to marry. But when she finds a sketch book of nude studies and discovers the artist is her hostess's eldest son, Lord Ranulf Charing, she finds herself dangerously attracted to exactly the sort of rogue she is sworn to avoid.

Nothing is as it seems. Lord Ranulf's life is a facade and he is being blackmailed over his late brother's debts. But just as the darkly restless Ranulf unexpectedly learns to love, the vengeful fury of his nemesis unleashed. In order to protect Celeste, Lord Ranulf faces a stark choice between duty and true love...
However Ranulf has underestimated Miss Armitage's stubborn resolve to clear his name, and in so doing places the woman he loves in mortal danger....

Review:

I found this historical romance to be a refreshing change of pace from all the YA I've been reading lately.  I haven't read many books that center around the Regency era but I did really enjoy this book.  I think for me the best part of the book was the "roller coaster" of emotions as well as twists and turns that took place through out the book.  Usually, I'm not one for "roller coasters" but I found this particular one to be of my liking, especially since it helped keep the book at a fast pace.

Our heroine Celeste, is sent away by her family after she refuses a suitor.  She's sent to live with Lady Sophia Cadnum at the Hazeldene House, where she is quite content to be Lady Sophia's companion if it means that she never has to marry.   Celeste don't want to be tied to a man and become his property...she's not interested in that in the least.  I saw Celeste as an independent woman for the time we are talking about.  But then Celeste meets Lady Sophia's son Lord Ranulf Charing and that's when the "roller coaster" ride really begins.

Lord Ranulf is known for being a seducer of women, a "one night Romeo" if you will.  But that's before he meets Celeste.  Once he meets Celeste things start to change.  He feels that Celeste challenges him and NO woman has ever challenged him before.  The more time that he spends in her company the more his feelings start to change.

But unfortunately there are many challenges that they must over come in order to get their chance at HEA. Oh, you know the basic stuff....He has to convince her that he's someone she'd want to be married to, she has to loosen up on the reigns when it comes to her opinion of love and marriage, then there's the blast from his past.

Overall, I thought that the book was EXCELLENT.  I thought that the characters were extremely well written and complementary to one another.  Writing wise I found the book to be crafted in a way that made you want to keep reading.  For me personally, I HAD to know what was going to happen next.  I would highly recommend this debut author to anyone who enjoys historical romance.  I will definitely be checking out more of Grace Elliot's books in the future!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Knitting Projects part duex

I am in the process of making headway on several Christmas presents.  One of these projects is going to be the Three Irish Girls Samovar Shawl.  I picked up this pattern at my local yarn shop and can hardly wait to get started on it.  I will also be using this pattern to create a baby blanket.  It should be really interesting, this will be the first time that I've ever done cables.

The colorways that I'm using for the Christmas present verson of this pattern are McNamara (which is the first photo here) and Saoirse (Seer-Sha) which is the second photo.  I haven't started this project yet.  I need to finish the Miami Vice shawl first, I need the circular needle that I'm using for that project.

McNamara
 
 
 
       

Saoirse

Book Review ~ Fantasy Lover by Sherrilyn Kenyon


Fantasy Lover
Sherrilyn Kenyon
Dark Hunter/Were-Hunter prequel

Rating: 5/5

Synopsis:

This book is part of the Dark-Hunter universe, but does not feature any Dark-Hunters, For that it's considered an introduction to the series hence the #0.

Dear Reader, Being trapped in a bedroom with a woman is a grand thing. Being trapped in hundreds of bedrooms over two thousand years isn't. And being cursed into a book as a love-slave for eternity can ruin even a Spartan warrior's day. As a love-slave, I knew everything about women. How to touch them, how to savor them, and most of all how to pleasure them. But when I was summoned to fulfill Grace Alexander's sexual fantasies, I found the first woman in history who saw me as a man with a tormented past. She, alone, bothered to take me out of the bedroom and into the world. She taught me to love again. But I was not born to know love. I was cursed to walk eternity alone. As a general, I had long ago accepted my sentence. Yet now I have found Grace-the one thing my wounded heart cannot survive without. Sure, love can heal all wounds, but can it break a two thousand year old curse? Julian of Macedon


Review:

I've had this book sitting around collecting dust on my book shelf for little over a year now and I recently picked it up and decided that enough was enough...time to get her read.  I'm kicking myself for waiting as long as I did to read this book!  What the heck was I thinking?!

Alrighty then...Our main heroine is Grace Alexander, who happens to be a sex therapist who thinks that she's heard and "seen" it all and that nothing can shock her anymore.  Yet there has been MANY years since her last relationship, or I think it's safe to say relationshit. Since she was really nothing more than a game to her first love.  I really liked Grace....she seemed to come off as a very genuine character with a pretty wicked sense of humor, especially when she's been partaking in "adult beverages."  But it's Grace's BFF Selena who has other idea's for Grace.  Selena thinks that Grace's love life is in desperate need of something other than nothing at all.

Selena gives Grace an ancient book that she claims hold the sex slave Julian of Macedon.  Once Julian has been summoned he has to serve the woman who called him for 30 days.  The image of the man pictured in the book looks a LOT like a Greek God....meaning wicked HOT and UBER YUMMY!  Naturally Grace thinks it's nothing but a bunch of BS and in a drunken stupor jokingly calls Julian...Over course she doesn't actually expect him to show up at her house...much less NAKED!!
Julian has spent what feels like forever (literally) in the book since his last summons, which was sometime in the late 1800's, but doesn't really expect anything out of the norm to take place when he is summoned by Grace.  Boy does he ever get the shock of a lifetime!
At first I thought that Julian's character was pretty stereotypical...just what you would imagine a sex slave to be.  But the further I got into the story the more Julian's character developed and you learn that before the curse he actually had a life and his character becomes much deeper.  I especially enjoyed the flashbacks to his time in the military...were he eventually became a General.

As time goes along it becomes harder for Grace to resist Julian.  But when Ero's is summoned he explains that there is a way to break the curse.  That's were Julian starts feeling really dejected.
(SLIGHT SPOILER AHEAD) The only way to break the curse is for a woman of Alexander to summon Julian but they can not consummate the relationship until the very last day.  This only makes Julian feel worse until Grace tells him, "Julian, my name is Grace Alexander."

I especially loved that there were a couple of fight scenes in the book.  My personal favorite was the one at the end between Julian and the God who cursed him.  Very interesting.


This isn't my first book in this series and so far of the few that I have read I am really enjoying them.  So naturally I can hardly wait to read more.  I really like how Sherrilyn writes.  It's a style that I really enjoy. 


Favorite Quotes:

"I don't think it's the business of my patients wether or not I'm a born-again virgin.  And as for the Age of Electronics, I really don't want to get personal with something that comes with a warning label and batteries."

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Operation Debt Reduction ~ Part 1b

So I've been doing some math and here is the final break down of my debt:

CREDIT CARDS

Wells Fargo Credit Card ~ $5,000
  ~ I am going to be able to pay this one off shortly, hopefully.  I have a check from my car insurance
     company for almost $3700 and my dad is going to lend me the remaining balance to be completely 
     done with this card.  Well, I will be done with this card because I've already cut it up.

Old Navy Credit Card ~ $484.00
 ~I already pay more than the minimum on this one.  I just don't have a firm plan as to how or when this one will be paid off.

Target Credit Card ~ $1500
 ~Another one that I pay more than the minimum on.  Again, another one I just don't have a firm plan of attack for.

Maurices Credit Card ~ $1200
~Yet another card that I pay more than the minimum on and have no real firm plan of attack for.

Total Credit Card Debt: $8184

MISC. DEBT

Bank of Dad ~ $1500
 ~Approximately another $1400 will be added to this number when I pay off the Wells Fargo Credit card.

Bank of Mom ~ $200
~Money my mom lent me to help pay for putting brakes on my car.

Total Misc. Debt: $1700

Combined Debt Total as of July 24, 2011: $9884

Operation Debt Reduction ~ Part 1a

Greetings and salutations Ladies and Gentleman!  Jamie here and as you can probably tell from the title of this blog post, this has NOTHING to do with books at all.  So far books seems to be what this blog is all about so I'm going to add a taste of reality to the blog.  I'm in debt peeps.  Lots of it.  All most all of my debt is credit card debt and that sucks!

Starting today - July 24, 2011, I am putting myself on Operation Debt Reduction.  I still have to do all my math and figure out all the specifics yet, so there will more than likely be a Operation Debt Reduction ~ Part 1b later today.  But I am asking for a great big cheering section.  I freely admit to being pretty horrible with money, so I need all the help I can get to try and stay on task.

I do have several things that I am doing that will save me money in the long run.  Here are a couple of examples:

1. I LOVE to read (see books did make there way into this post!) but I am going to make a concentrated effort to read the books that I already have, which includes an overflowing bookcase - most of the books on it I have NOT read, several piles of books on my bedroom floor (almost all of which I have NOT read) and several bags full of books in my basement (almost all of which I have NOT read).  I'm also going to try and use my library more as well.

2. I have decided that I am going to be making several handmade Christmas gifts this year.  I've already started 1 which I've posted about earlier (Miami Vice Shawl) that I'm making very good progress on.  I've got the materials, minus a set of size 7 double point needles and a size 10 circular needle, for the next 2.  For the rest of my projects, I am almost 100% sure that I have all the materials that I need.  I just have to execute.

3. I'm in the process of giving up soda, again.  This should save me anywhere from $4-$8 every 2 weeks.

4. On August 1 I am able to upgrade my cell phone plan and I am going to try and get myself into a plan that will allow me to save a considerable amount of money a month.

I have more ideas that I want to try and I am always open to suggestions.  You can either leave me a comment here on this post or you can drop me an email at rutrow01@gmail.com.

Book Review ~ The Lost Dogs: Michael Vick's Dogs and Their Tale of Rescue and Redemption by Jim Gorant

NOTE: There is the use of cuss words in the review that follows.

Title: The Lost Dogs: Michael Vick's Dogs and Their Tale of Rescue and Redemption
Author: Jim Gorant
Series:
Genre: Non-fiction, animals, sports
Publisher: Penguin
Release Date: 2010, September 16
Format: E-Book, 488 pages
Source: Bought for my Barnes and Noble Nook
Rating: 5/5
Smuttiness: N/A
Synopsis (from Goodreads):
An inspiring story of survival and our powerful bond with man's best friend, in the aftermath of the nation's most notorious case of animal cruelty.

Animal lovers and sports fans were shocked when the story broke about NFL player Michael Vick's brutal dog fighting operation. But what became of the dozens of dogs who survived? As acclaimed writer Jim Gorant discovered, their story is the truly newsworthy aspect of this case. Expanding on Gorant's Sports Illustrated cover story, The Lost Dogs traces the effort to bring Vick to justice and turns the spotlight on these infamous pit bulls, which were saved from euthanasia by an outpouring of public appeals coupled with a court order that Vick pay nearly a million dollars in "restitution" to the dogs.

As an ASPCA-led team evaluated each one, they found a few hardened fighters, but many more lovable, friendly creatures desperate for compassion. In The Lost Dogs, we meet these amazing animals, a number of which are now living in loving homes, while some even work in therapy programs: Johnny Justice participates in Paws for Tales, which lets kids get comfortable with reading aloud by reading to dogs; Leo spends three hours a week with cancer patients and troubled teens. At the heart of the stories are the rescue workers who transformed the pups from victims of animal cruelty into healing caregivers themselves, unleashing priceless hope.

Review:

I was checking out the new releases on Barnes and Noble the other day and I saw this book.  I'm an animal lover and I thought that the premise of this book sounded really interesting, so I downloaded it onto my Barnes and Noble Nook.  I started to read it at about 2 am Sunday morning and I could NOT stop reading it until I had read all 488 pages e-book pages (the print version is 304 pages).  I was absolutely FLOORED by some of the things that I had read.

Now if you are going to read this book I must warn you in the beginning there are a few graphic scenes that show just big of an fucking jackass Michael Vick truely is. And they let this fucker BACK into the NFL! The author of this book doesn't hold anything back really.  He goes into the gorey details of how Vick and his "crew" disposed of dogs that just didn't have it in them to fight.
Once the bust is made on Vick's property and the dogs are confiscated then there is a big hoopla about if the case is going to be a state/local case or a federal case.  In the end it became a federal case but the state/local attorney did slap some charges on about 5 months AFTER the case started.
While the case is going on there is much discussion about what should be done with the dogs.  There were many who said that they should ALL be destroyed because they were taken from a fighting situation, which makes them steriotypical "killers" naturally....I mean hell...even PETA said destroy them.  In the end, after much discussion and bringing in outside help.  It was decided that they would evaluate each dog individually.  After all the evaluations were done, of the 51 dogs that were seized, only 1 was deemed to dangerous to even evaluate.

Because I don't want to give away too much of this book away I'm not going to go into very many more deatils.  All I'm going to say is that there is a happy ending for the remaining dogs...They actually get to learn how be a dog and do dog things and many of them have been adopted out and several are even therapy dogs.  I hope that if you read this book you learn as much about this breed that is known as the "nanny dog", because it was originally bred to be a family pet as well as a protector of the farm, as I did.  I can honestly say that after reading this book, it has definately changed my opinion on the American Pit Bull Terrier.

Book Review ~ Griffin Rising by Darby Karchut

Title: Griffin Rising
Author: Darby Karchut
Release Date: June 28, 2011
Rating: 5/5, Awesome Sauce Award


Synopsis:

For Griffin, it's time to angel up.

For centuries, rumors have abounded of a lowly caste of supernatural beings known as the Terrae Angeli. Armed with the power to control Earth, Fire, Wind and Water, these warriors secretly serve as guardians for mortals in danger.

But for one young angel-in-training, Griffin, life is hell as a cruel master makes his apprenticeship a nightmare. On the verge of failing, a new mentor, Basil, enters his life and changes it forever. It is their father-and-son relationship, sometimes turbulent, often hilarious, always affectionate, that sings through the story like a pure note.

Masquerading as the average teen next door, Griffin struggles to learn his trade, navigate the ups and downs of modern life among humans (including falling in love with the girl next door), and prepare for the ancient trial-by-combat every apprentice must pass at sixteen or be forced to become mortal.


Review:

I was approached a few months back by the author to read and review Griffin Rising on my blog.  Up until that point I had not even heard of this book.  I'm really glad that the author approached me, if she hadn't I might have missed out on a PHENOMENAL debut YA novel.  Griffin Rising is what my co-workers and I refer to as Awesome Sauce.  Let's put it this way, the "Awesome Sauce" list is REALLY short....The Hunger Games trilogy, No Mercy, Mercy Kill and Griffin Rising are it.

What I really liked about Griffin Rising is that the book is actually a coming of age story disguised as an angel adventure. Once I started reading I was instantly attracted to characters, even the evil Nicopolis.  I also felt that I was better able to connect with the characters via their journal entries.  I really enjoyed at the contrast that Darby brought to the character of Griffin.  I enjoyed following Fin through his struggles as not only an angel apprentice, training for his ultimate test, but also a teenager.  At times Griffin showed that he was wise beyond his years and at other times he was kind of a smart ass and your "typical" teenager.

One of my favorite parts of the whole book was the actual relationship between Griffin and his Mentor Basil.  Basil comes into Griffin's life after Griffin is removed from his former Mentor Nicopolis who happened to be extremely abusive and rooting for Griffin to fail (Nicopolis sounds like a real winner!).  When Basil enters Griffin's life everything starts to change for the better.  But it still takes Griffin a long time to start opening up to his new Mentor.

Then not long before Griffin is scheduled to take his test a mortal teenage girl, Katie, moves in across the street.  A sweet teen love develops which adds a whole new dimension to the story.  That is when things get real interesting between Basil, Griffin and their new neighbors.

Shortly before Griffin's test, Basil receives word that Griffin's past is going to come back to haunt him.  Does Griffin pass his ultimate test?  To find out your going to have to pick up a copy of Griffin Rising.

 

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Book Review ~ A Creed in Stone Creek by Linda Lael Miller

Title: A Creed In Stone Creek
Author: Linda Lael Miller
Series: Creed Cowboys #1
Publication Date: February 22, 2011
Rating: 4/5

Synopsis:

When single attorney Steven Creed becomes guardian of an orphaned five-year-old boy, he trades his big-city law firm for a ranch near his McKettrick kin in the close-knit community of Stone Creek, Arizona. Taking care of little Matt and fixing up his run-down ranch house with its old barn loosens something tightly wound inside him. But when Steven takes on the pro bono defense of a local teen, he meets his match in the opposing counsel—beautiful, by-the-book county prosecutor Melissa O'Ballivan. It'll take one grieving little boy, a sweet adopted dog and a woman who never expected to win any man's heart to make this Creed in Stone Creek know he's truly found home.

Review:

Steven Creed comes to Stone Creek, AZ to make a new life for himself with his newly adopted son Matt.  Personally, Matt was the best part of the story for me.  Kids say the darngdest things!  Not long after arriving in Stone Creek and buying a "run down" ranch he meets Melissa O'Ballivan, a Stone Creek native. When Steven and Melissa meet there are sparks and an instant attraction. But they have both endured bad relationships in the past which makes the falling in love part very interesting.

Worse yet...They are both attorney's.  Melissa is a prosecutor and Steven is in the process of setting up his practice in Stone Creek as a defense attorney.  Oil and water!  When a local case comes up and these two end up going against each other in court they definitely butt heads.  But no matter how bad it gets their values and love for family are still the same and in the end help each of them.  Once they each get over their individual hang ups and insecurities they are well on their way to a happy ending. That last sentence makes it sound simple, but nothing is ever simple when two VERY stubborn people are added to the mix.

My main hang up with this particular book was Melissa.  I think that at times she was written as a borderline "man hater."  I think she definitely met her match in Steven Creed though.  He's a very determined guy.  Like I said above, I think little Matt was my favorite part of the book.  He kept the story "young and fresh."

Book Review ~ Lover Revealed by J.R. Ward

Title: Lover Revealed
Author: J.R. Ward
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #4
Rating: 3/5

Synopsis:

In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York there's a war raging between vampires and their slayers. There exists a secret band of brothers like no other-six vampire warriors, defender of their race. But now an ally of the Brotherhood is about to encounter his own dark desire...

Butch O'Neal is a fighter by nature. A hard living, ex-homicide cop, he's the only human ever to be allowed in the inner circle of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. And he wants to go even deeper into the vampire world to engage in the turf war with the lessers. He's got nothing to lose. His heart belongs to a female vampire, Marissa, an aristocratic beauty who's way out of his league. If he can't have her, then at least he can fight side by side with the Brothers...

Fate curses him with the very thing he wants. When Butch sacrifices himself to save a civilian vampire from the slayers, he falls prey to the darkest force in the war. Left for dead, he's found by a miracle, and the Brotherhood calls Marissa to bring him back. But even her love may not be enough to save him...


Review:

I don't know what it was about this particular book in the series but I didn't think that it lived up to the three prior novels. I can honestly say that of the 4 books in the series that I've read so far this one is probably my least favorite.  In my opinion it started off slow and never really gained much steam the farther I got into the book.

I've always like Butch since he was first introduced into the series.  He was a "warrior" before he joined the BDB and all he really wants to do is help the BDB fight the lessers so he doesn't feel so much like a mooch.  Though I can honestly say that I'm only lukewarm on Marissa. SIDE NOTE: Her brother is my absolute LEAST favorite character in the whole series, he's such a pompous ass in my opinion.

Overall, I didn't hate this book.  I just prefer that when I read a romance I don't spend most of the book wishing the pace would pick up.  There were plenty of exciting parts and the ending, though a little predictable, was very good.  And as an added bonus we learn a little bit about Vishous' kinky side.

Book Review ~ Lover Awakened by J.R. Ward


Title: Lover Awakened
Author: J.R. Ward
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Signet Eclipse
Release Date: September 5, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback, 434 pages
Source: Bought
 
Rating: 5/5

Smuttiness: 4/5
 
Synopsis:
 
In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, a deadly turf war rages between vampires and their slayers. There exists a secret band of brothers like no other-six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Of these, Zsadist is the most terrifying member of the Black Dagger Brotherhood.

A former blood slave, the vampire Zsadist still bears the scars from a past filled with suffering and humiliation. Renowned for his unquenchable fury and sinister deeds, he is a savage feared by humans and vampires alike. Anger is his only companion and terror his only passion-until he rescues a beautiful female from the evil Lessening Society.

Bella is instantly entranced by the seething power Zsadist possesses. But even as their desire for each other begins to overtake them, Zsadist's thirst for vengeance against Bella's tormentors drives him to the brink of madness. Now Bella must help her lover overcome the wounds of his tortured past and find a future with her.
 
Review:
 
Hi!  My name is Jamie and I spent my Sunday reading Black Dagger Brotherhood novels. I think that's a hell of a way to spend a day.  Sexy as hell warrior vampires and the ladies they eventually learn to love.  Hell of a way.  I actually got through 2 novels yesterday.
 
Lover Awakened is Zsadist's story.  When Zsadist was young he was stolen from his family and turned into a blood slave where absolutely HORRIBLE things happened to him.  To the point that his twin actually tells Bella that Zsadist isn't broken, he's ruined.  Cause if something is broken you can sometimes fix it right.  Everyone is scared of him because he's scarred (he's got a LOT of nasty ass scars from his bloodslave days) and borderline sadistic.
 
But really all it takes is a strong female vampire to turn Zsadist's world upside down.  That's where Bella comes in.  After her ordeal (which starts in Lover Eternal) with the lessers she's beyond shaken and she's always had a crush on Zsadist.  And that's where she starts turning him around.  Making him feel loveable and almost "human" again.
 
Unlike the last two books there is a LOT of sadness in this book.  I don't want to gve too much away but y'all should know that this story is NOT all "sunshine and roses."  And not all the sadness comes from the main characters either.
 
What I've noticed so far in this series is that the books seem to rotate from being a LOT of fighting and almost a lot of romance to a LOT of romance and almost a lot of fighting.  Well this book happens to be of the a LOT of fighting and almost a lot of romance variety.  Don't get me wrong there is a considerable amount of romance but given Zsadist's past he's a fighter learning to be a lover.  Actually, because of his past he feels that he's unattractive AND unloveable.  Double whammy!
 
What I also noticed about this book was there wasn't a much buildup to the next story in the series.  In the last two books there was buildup to each character's story.  I didn't feel that that was happening in this story as much as the other two books.
 
Overall, I thought though it had more than it's fair share of sad moments that Lover Awakened was a great read.  Of the three books in the series that I've read so far I'm having a hard time coming up with a clear cut favorite.  But I think that with Zsadist's past and his hang up's he just might be slightly ahead of the other two books.

Book Review ~ Lover Eternal by J.R. Ward


Title: Lover Eternal
Author: J.R. Ward
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood (#2)
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Signet Eclipse
Release Date: March 7, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback, 441 pages
Source: Bought
 
Rating: 5/5

Smuttiness: 4/5


Synopsis:In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there's a deadly turf war raging between vampires and their slayers. There exists a secret bound of brothers like no other-six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Possessed bu a deadly beast Rhage is the most dangerous of the Black Dagger Brotherhood.

Within the brotherhood, Rhage is the vampire with the strongest appetites. He's the best fighter, the quickest to act on his impulses, and the most voracious lover-for inside him burns ferocious curse cast by the Scribe Virgin. Owned by this dark side, Rhage fears the time when his inner dragon is unleashed, making him a danger to everyone around him.

Mary Luce, a survivor of many hardships is unwittingly thrown into the vampire world and reliant to Rhage's protection. With a life-threatening curse of her own, Mary is not looking for love. She lost her faith in miracles years ago. But when Rhage's intense animal attraction turns into something more emotional, he knows that he must make Mary his alone. And while their enemies close in, Mary fights desperately to gain life eternal with the one she loves...


Review:

Lover Eternal is the second book in the Black Dagger Brotherhood and is Rhage's story.  Rhage a LONG time ago was cursed by the Scribe Virgin and now he's got about 91 years left on a 200 year old curse.  Well that is until he meets Mary that is.  That's when things start to get real interesting around the brotherhood.

Mary on the other hand is a strong independent woman.  She has to be to have gone through the "curse" she's gone through and come out on the other side.  Well that is until that nasty old "curse" comes back again.  Then she meets Rhage, through a friend (who she has no idea is actually a vampire) and all bets are off.

Unlike the first book where there was a LOT of fighting and almost a lot of romance this book in the series goes the other way.  Where there's a LOT of romance and almost a lot of fighting.  What I really liked about this book is that J.R. Ward took a vampire that had been written to be shall we say a fighting/sex addict to keep his beast (which you learn some shocking things about through the course of the book) at bay and turned him into fighting/monogamy addict.  Really teaching an old dog a new trick.

Another thing that I really liked about this book was the way that Rhage spoke to Mary.  Even from the beginning it was really sexy (in my opinion) when he talked to her like he was talking to his wife.  It gave me warm fuzzies inside to read all these words of love coming out of a big, strong, sexy as hell warrior vampire.

I'm usually not one for cliff hanger endings but I think with the build up throughout this story to Zsadist and Bella's story that the cliff hanger was very appropriate.  I made me want to keep reading and pick up the next book and start that one right away...which I did.  I can honestly say that I spent my entire Sunday, from the time I got up at around 1 am until I went to bed at a little after 5 pm, reading the Black Dagger Brotherhood.  I just could not stop myself.

Book Review ~ Dark Lover by J.R. Ward


Title: Dark Lover
Author: J.R. Ward
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood (#1)
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Signet Eclipse
Release Date: September 5, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback, 393 pages
Source: Bought
 
Rating: 5/5

Smuttiness: 4/5

Synopsis:In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there's a deadly turf war going war going on between vampires and their slayers. There exists a secret band of brothers like no other-six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Yet none of them relishes killing their enemies more than Wrath, the leader of the Black Dagger Brotherhood...

The only purebred vampire left on the planet, Wrath has a score to settle with the slayers who murdered his parents centuries ago. But when one of his most trusted fighters is killed - orphaning a half-breed daughter unaware of her heritage or her fate - Wrath must usher the beautiful female into the world of the undead...

Racked by a restlessness in her body that wasn't there, Beth Randall is helpless against the dangerously sexy man who comes at night with shadows in his eyes. His tales of brotherhood and blood frighten her. But his touch ignites a dawning hunger that threatens to consume them both....


Review:

The Black Dagger Brotherhood is one of my favorite adult vampire series of all time.  Each of the brothers have bad ass names like Rhage and Tohrment to name two.  Each brother has his own story and I can hardly wait to re-read them all!  Including John Matthew's story which I still haven't read yet. *hangs head*

But Dark Lover is the kickoff story for this series.  The main characters are Wrath and Beth Randall...Wrath who is the King of the vampires and Beth who is the half human daughter of Darius (a warrior in the brotherhood who is killed at the beginning of the story).  At the beginning of the story Darius approaches Wrath about helping Beth through her transition (from human to vampire), if it were to happen.  At first Wrath shuts him down cold.  But then Darius is killed and Wrath feels that he owes Darius to help Beth through her transition.

I really LOVED this book a LOT.  Not only are we talking about a group of EXTREMELY attractive warrior vampires who's whole purpose in life (is it really life if your a member of the undead?) is to protect civilian vampires from lessors, who are soulless humans who get their jollies getting rid of vampires.  But also a group of individuals who really act like brothers.  And the fact that they are written to basically be SEX GODS.  Definitely NOT your Twilight vamps that's for sure!

I really was impressed with the way that this book was written.  The characters were very engaging, even Hard-ass Butch and Zsadist, I felt that even I could relate to the characters. The side stories I thought were well written to keep the story flowing....There's a lot of from the vampire's points of view and switching to the lessor's points of view through out the book. The dialogue was catchy and there was a touch of humor laced through out this book.  I thought that the transition from Wrath and Beth at the beginning of the book to the end of the book was very smooth.  See at the beginning Wrath was 6'9" of hard ass and didn't particularly care for females or humans (two strikes against Beth) and Beth was sort of a loner lost in the world (her mother died when she was born and she was put in the foster system), then Wrath shows up and things start to change for both of them.  I thought that they were beautifully matched.

Overall, I think that this book was a great start to this series and I can hardly wait to read further on into the Brotherhood.  I'm off to start reading about Rhage and his curse...sounds awfully delicious!

NOTE: Importing Posts

Just a little heads up that Jamie is in the process of importing some of her posts and reviews from her old blogs.  So if you see reviews, misc. posts, or discussion posts that you have previously seen on Jamie's Bookshelf , The Book Junkie's Bookshelf or Nitty Gritty that is what is happening.

Jamie and Bumps

Discussion Post ~ How do you conquer your TBR pile?

This morning I was checking out some of the blogs that I follow and I came across this post posted by the ladies over at Everything To Do With Books.  Which led me to find the inspiration for the post over at Down The Rabbit Hole.  Which led me to think about my TBR mountain and how I'm failing on my fail boat to conquer it.  So now I'm asking you, what steps have you implemented to conquer you TBR pile/mountain?

I will spare you all the "gory" details about my TBR mountain.  Let's just say that it's REALLY scary almost to the point of being beyond scary and I am looking for a way to work towards conquering that particular mountain.

So fellow book bloggers I am asking for your help in conquering my TBR mountain.  An overflowing bookcase and stacks of books all over the place say I NEED to conquer my mountain.  So Thank You in advance for any suggestions, tips, or ideas that might come from this post.  I really appreciate it a lot.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Book Review ~ The Creed Legacy by Linda Lael Miller

The Creed Legacy (The Creed Cowboys, #3)
Title:  The Creed Legacy
Author:  Linda Lael Miller
Genre:  Contemporary Romance
Series:  The Creed Cowboys #3
Source:  Sent by Meryl L. Moss Media Relations, Inc. in exchange for an 
              honest review

Rating: 4/5


Synopsis:

Rough-and-tumble rodeo cowboy Brody Creed likes life on the move. Until a chance encounter with his long-estranged twin brother brings him "home" for the first time in years. Suddenly Brody is in Creed territory—at thirty-three, he's a restless bad boy among family with deep ties to the land and each other. And a secret past haunts him as he tries to make plans for his future.

Carolyn Simmons is looking for Mr. Right in Lonesome Bend, as the ticktock of her biological clock gets ever louder. Then she falls for gorgeous Brody Creed, the opposite of everything she wants. Until lassoing his wild heart becomes everything both of them need.

Review:

Let me just go on record as saying, I LOVE THIS SERIES!  I'm very sad to see it end but I can hardly wait to see what the author brings to the plate next!  I want to thank the wonderful ladies at Meryl L. Moss Media Relations, Inc. for contacting me about being a part of the tours for this series. :)

Our hero Brody Creed is back home in Lonesome Bend after being estranged from his family and living the hard and fast life of a rodeo cowboy.  Having made amends with his aunt, uncle and twin brother Conner, Brody is green with envy at all the happiness that his brother and their cousin Steven have found in their new marriages.  Brody wants some of what they have, so he's putting down roots and building his own place.

Enter Carolyn Simmons....

Carolyn Simmons  is pretty content with her life in Lonesome Bend.  She has a job, a roof over her head and a group of friends.  But there is something missing for Carolyn,  she wants her own Happily Ever After, complete with a family and a permanent home.  Many years ago she thought she found her HEA in younger Brody Creed.  Then Brody up and leaves her without a real explanation.  But being a child of "the system" Carolyn is used to being let down.

Enter Brody's "deep dark secret"....

There is a reason why Brody left Carolyn all those years ago.  Now it's a very tragic and painful place in Brody's life.  Right now though, Brody just wishes that Carolyn would open up enough and maybe let him get close enough that maybe they can have another shot.

I really enjoyed this book a lot.  There are plenty of emotions in motion throughout the course of this book that kept things very interesting for me.  I really enjoyed Brody's meddling sister-in-law the best.  I think that's what caused Brody to up his game.  Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a pretty happy read or enjoys reading romance novels centered around hot, rugged cowboy types.

Book Review ~ Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Title: Anna and the French Kiss
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Genre: YA/Contemporary

Rating: 3.75/5

Synopsis:

Anna was looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. So she’s less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris—until she meets √Čtienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, √Čtienne has it all . . . including a serious girlfriend.

But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss? Stephanie Perkins keeps the romantic tension crackling and the attraction high in a debut guaranteed to make toes tingle and hearts melt.

Review:

I received Anna and the French Kiss a couple of weeks ago as part of Book Soulmates RAK program.  I had been wanting to read this book for a long time and I could never get my hands on a copy.  I am very happy that an unbelievable nice individual sent me this book as an .epub file so I could read it on my Nook.

I really wanted to love this book.  I really did.  I thought that all of the characters, even the not so good ones, were written in a way that made them seem like they are actual people and not fictional characters.  My personal favorite character was of course, St. Clair.  The good-looking American with an English accent and a French father that he doesn’t like.  At times I had a hard time liking Anna.  I thought she could get a little bit too whiney and wishy washy.

I really enjoyed the beginning and end of the book.  Though I did think that the middle was a little bit to repetitive.  Then there was Anna’s relationship with St. Clair….I thought that it was at times a little bit rough to the point of being rushed.

Overall, I did enjoy the book.  Once I got started reading it I had a hard time stopping, I just didn’t LOVE the book.  Though I can for sure say that I am looking forward to the next book by Stephanie Perkins.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Book Review ~ Firelight by Sophie Jordan

Title: Firelight
Author: Sophie Jordan
Genre: YA/Paranormal/Dragons
Series: Firelight #1

RATING:4/5

Synopsis:

A hidden truth.
Mortal enemies.
Doomed love.

Marked as special at an early age, Jacinda knows her every move is watched. But she longs for freedom to make her own choices. When she breaks the most sacred tenet among her kind, she nearly pays with her life. Until a beautiful stranger saves her. A stranger who was sent to hunt those like her. For Jacinda is a draki—a descendant of dragons whose greatest defense is her secret ability to shift into human form.

Forced to flee into the mortal world with her family, Jacinda struggles to adapt to her new surroundings. The only bright light is Will. Gorgeous, elusive Will who stirs her inner draki to life. Although she is irresistibly drawn to him, Jacinda knows Will’s dark secret: He and his family are hunters. She should avoid him at all costs. But her inner draki is slowly slipping away—if it dies she will be left as a human forever. She’ll do anything to prevent that. Even if it means getting closer to her most dangerous enemy.

Mythical powers and breathtaking romance ignite in this story of a girl who defies all expectations and whose love crosses an ancient divide.

Review:
I received this ebook as part of Book Soulmates RAK program.  I had been wanting to read it for a very long time and I was beyond happy when a very nice individual offered to send it to me as an .epub file so I could read it on my Nook.  Yeah for the RAK program!

I started this book late yesterday morning and once I got started I just could NOT put it down.  I had to finish it, I had to know what was going to happen next!

Jacinda, one of our main characters, is a Draki.  Draki are descendents of dragons and can shift from draki form to human form.  As an unfortunate bonus for Jacinda she is a fire-breather, the first one in her pride in MANY generations.  Which makes her a valuable commodity to her pride…Much to Jacinda’s dismay, she’s not real thrilled about the fact that her mate has already been picked out for her. 

After a near brush with Draki death Jacinda’s mom decides that for her families safety they are going to move….to the desert….to try and kill Jacinda’s Draki.  Again, much to Jacinda’s dismay.

This is a really great opposites attract love story.  Jacinda is a Draki.  The boy, Will, that she is interested in is a Draki hunter.  Even though she knows she should avoid Will like the plague she can’t help her growing attraction to him.  What I really liked about this budding relationship was that through the whole thing Jacinda’s personality doesn’t change one bit.  She isn’t afraid to stand up to anyone, Will included.

Will was a great character too.  I really enjoyed him a lot.  Not only does he do something he really shouldn’t have done at the beginning of the story, he also has a secret.  One that you don’t find out about until almost the end of the book.  It’s a pretty good secret too.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book a lot.  I had never read a book about dragon/draki before and I found the mythology captivating.  Like I stated earlier, I had a very difficult time putting this book down.  I had to know what was going to happen next.  The only thing I didn’t really care for and it’s really a teeny tiny thing, was the cliff hanger ending.  I can hardly wait for the next book to come out!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Book Review ~ Divergent by Veronica Roth

Title: Divergent
Author: Veronica Roth
Series: Divergent #1
Genre: YA Dystopia
Rating: 5/5

Synopsis:

In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

Debut author Veronica Roth bursts onto the literary scene with the first book in the Divergent series—dystopian thrillers filled with electrifying decisions, heartbreaking betrayals, stunning consequences, and unexpected romance.


Review:

Alrighty then....I am jumping on the "fan girl" band wagon!  I LOVED this book!  I'm really glad that I paid the extra money to have it arrive at my house on release day.  Best $28 I've spent in a LONG time!  FAN-FREAKING-TASTIC!  And just for effect I'll add a SQUEEEEEEEEE in there too!

This book has literally jumped its way to the top of my MUST READ list to all of my friends/family/co-workers.  Divergent has been compared to The Hunger Games trilogy and I can honestly see a lot of similarities between the two series.

Leading up to me purchasing Divergent I hadn't heard much about it.  But when I looked it up on Goodreads close to its release date I saw a plethora of "Awesome," "YOU MUST READ THIS," "It will hook you and not let go" type of reviews.  I was still a little skeptical, because its sort of a natural tendency for me to be a little bit leery about purchasing an item that gets so much positive hype.  Let me tell you this....Divergent DEFINITELY earned all that positive hype.

I mean look at the cover!  The cover is what sold me on buying the book.  I'm a sucker for a great cover!  If you haven't picked up this book yet you should!  What are you waiting for!?

There are so many great things about this book that I really don't even know where to start!  Honestly, there isn't just one or two things that stand out to me that make this book great.  It's the total package.  The characters, the story itself, the world that the author creates...all great things that meshed together in a solid bond to create an UNFORGETTABLE book!

This book REALLY does have the power to suck you in and not let go.  It happend to me and it has happened to others who have read Divergent.  The only drawback is that we have to wait until 2012 for the next installment of the series:(

Book Review ~ Steel by Carrie Vaughn

Steel

Title:  Steel
Author: Carrie Vaughn
Genre: YA/Time Travel
Rating: 4/5

Synopsis:

Sixteen-year-old Jill has fought in dozens of fencing tournaments, but she has never held a sharpened blade. When she finds a corroded sword piece on a Caribbean beach, she is instantly intrigued and pockets it as her own personal treasure.

The broken tip holds secrets, though, and it transports Jill through time to the deck of a pirate ship. Stranded in the past and surrounded by strangers, she is forced to sign on as crew. But a pirate's life is bloody and brief, and as Jill learns about the dark magic that brought her there, she forms a desperate scheme to get home—one that risks everything in a duel to the death with a villainous pirate captain.

Time travel, swordplay, and romance combine in an original high-seas adventure from New York Times bestseller Carrie Vaughn.


Review:

I saw this book one day when I was looking on the Barnes and Noble web page and thought that the premise was good enough to add it to my shopping cart.  After checking out it's page on Goodreads I found that Steel got mixed reviews.  A lot of 3 and 4 star ratings.

I thought that the idea behind the story was right up my alley...mainly because it was a new-to-me idea.  I think reading Steel helped me get into the proper frame of mind for the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie that came out last weekend.

I thought Jill overall was a like able character, though in the beginning she was a little bit to "woe is me" for me personally.  There is being dedicated to your sport then there is addicted.  I think that at the beginning of the book she was leaning closer to addicted....To the point of NOT being able to enjoy a family vacation a MONTH after her last match.  Which leads up to Jill being transported back to the 18th century and becoming a member of the crew on the pirate ship Diana.  The more time that Jill spends on the Diana the more she's able to not only conquer her own issues she's also able to help the crew with some of their own problems.  When Jill is finally transported back to her own time she takes the lessons that she has learned on the Diana with her to use in her life from that point on.  Plus, there is a REALLY COOL "souvenir" too.

The pirate portion of the book was my favorite part of the book, meaning I'm not really a fan of the beginning but it got much better.  There was a TON of action.  The captain of the Diana was a WOMAN and I learned a TON.  Did you know that pirate ships are where the first forms of democracy were formed?  The main positions (captain, quartermaster, first mate, etc.) were all voted on.  Each ship has it's own rules which are known as in Steel the "articles."  Also, I really enjoyed that Carrie Vaughn brought actual pirates out of the history books and put them in her book.

The only part I had a slight misgiving with was the "romance."  There were plenty of hints at it but there was only 1 real kiss in the whole book.

Overall, I would recommend this book if you are looking for a fun, quick read, or a slight departure from what you've been reading recently.