Friday, 19 December 2014

{Book Blitz + Giveaway} Gilded Wings by Cameo Renae

23634448Gilded Wings by Cameo Renae 
(Hidden Wings #4) 
Published by: Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing
Publication date: December 19th 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Young Adult
Buy: Amazon UK  Amazon US

As the final battle draws near, Emma finds herself bound under an unbreakable oath. She must seal the bond with Ethon before her transformation, or risk her life and the lives of those she truly loves. Who she wants is no longer an option.

Lucian has unleashed troops of evil beasts from the Underworld, making it impossible for Emma to leave the protective barrier of Alaine’s home. War is inevitable. The Guardians will need to stay and fight their ground, hoping Lucifer keeps his end of the deal and comes to their aid.

In this epic series conclusion, burning questions will be answered, lives will be lost, and sacrifices will be made.

But who will survive, and at what cost?

Gilded Wings by Cameo Renae
Excerpt #1

Hate is a very strong word. In fact, there are a myriad of reasons why one should avoid the vicious feeling. But at this very moment, I’d never felt more hatred toward another being. I couldn’t stop the bubbling revulsion if I tried. Its dark tendrils spread through me like a cancer, grasping at every cell, seeping from every pore. It filled me with an unexplainable sadness and pain. 
In just a single moment, I’d lost everything. My dreams and my future were shattered. He stole my free will and made me a slave. That’s all I was now… a pawn who would eventually be used for destruction. 
Lucifer had become the enemy of my soul. He took me to a place I never wanted to go; shrouded in darkness and internal suffering. Outwardly, I bore the marks of his fingers, which he’d wrapped tightly around my neck, nearly squeezing the life from me. The look of pure hate and murderous intent, burning bright in his wicked eyes, was imprinted in memory. It felt like a dream. I could only have wished it was, but the pain was too real. 
Just outside my door I was surrounded by everyone I loved, and yet, I’d never felt more alone. They were so close, but I had become disconnected, muted, unwillingly sworn to silence. It was killing me inside, and I couldn’t do anything about it. I had to submit. I had no choice. I wouldn’t risk any of their lives. As much as I wanted to let them know why I was acting indifferent, I wouldn’t speak a word.

Voted 2013 Break Out Author by Young Adult & Teen Readers, and 2013 Book of the Year (Hidden Wings). 

Cameo Renae was born in San Francisco, raised in Maui, Hawaii, and recently moved with her husband and children to Alaska.
She's a daydreamer, a caffeine and peppermint addict, loves to laugh, loves to read, and loves to escape reality. One of her greatest joys is creating fantasy worlds filled with adventure and romance, and sharing it with others. 
One day she hopes to find her own magic wardrobe, and ride away on her magical unicorn. Until then...she'll keep writing!

Author links:

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Thursday, 18 December 2014

{Review} Out of Control by Sarah Alderson

16080353Posted by Jess
Release Date: May 22nd, 2014
Finished Date: November 3rd, 2014
Publishers: Simon & Schuster
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Suspense, Thriller
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback
Pages: 320
When 17 year old Liva witnesses a brutal murder she’s taken into police custody for her own protection. But when the police station is attacked and bullets start flying it becomes clear that Liva is not just a witness, she’s a target.

Together with a car thief called Jay, Liva manages to escape the massacre but now the two of them are alone in New York, trying to outrun and outwit two killers who will stop at nothing to find them.

When you live on the edge, there’s a long way to fall.

The Review: Hmm, not my favourite of Sarah Aldersons books. Although it was one that I enjoyed, enjoyed enough to rate it a 3 star, I still wouldn't put it up there with the best of hers. I've read all of Sarah's books to date, including the ones by her other pen name, and this one fell sort of flat. It's a shame really because I always anticipate a new Sarah Alderson book and this one was no different. I loved the blurb and I loved the cover, that I couldn't wait to get my hands on it.

It wasn't a bad start, I was intrigued and engaged from the first page but it took me a little longer to read, it took me a while to connect with the characters. I guess more than anything, I went in with high expectations because I'm such a fan of her books and her previous ones have been excellent, but this one didn't quite meet the expectation I wanted. The overall concept of the story is great, and I think with a little more umph to it, it would have been a fabulous book. I felt a few things could have been done differently, but if it had the focus that I would have liked, it would have ended up being similar to Hunting Lila. 

My 3 stars mostly go to the story concept and Sarah herself. Although this book (for me) wasn't up to Sarah Aldersons standard (purely my opinion) it is a good read and an engaging one at that, but it's just a little slower in pace and character connection as a reader that had me holding back. This won't stop me from reading Sarah Alderson, nope. This is merely a bump and I'm over it and look forward to her next book :)

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Waiting on Wednesday (#98)

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. 

Donna's WoW
Jesse's Girl (Hundred Oaks #6)
by Miranda Kenneally 
Release Date: July 1st, 2015

Practice Makes Perfect.

Everyone at Hundred Oaks High knows that career mentoring day is a joke. So when Maya Henry said she wanted to be a rock star, she never imagined she’d get to shadow *the* Jesse Scott, Nashville’s teen idol.

But spending the day with Jesse is far from a dream come true. He’s as gorgeous as his music, but seeing all that he’s accomplished is just a reminder of everything Maya’s lost: her trust, her boyfriend, their band, and any chance to play the music she craves. Not to mention that Jesse’s pushy and opinionated. He made it on his own, and he thinks Maya’s playing back up to other people’s dreams. Does she have what it takes to follow her heart—and go solo?

Donna's thoughts: Another Miranda Kenneally book? YES PLEASE!

<What's your "waiting on" pick this week?
Want to participate? 
Grab the logo, post your own WoW entry on your blog, and leave your link at Breaking the Spine. 
Happy Reading!

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

{Review} Captive by A.J. Grainger

23121745Posted by Donna
Release Date: January 29th, 2015
Finished Date: December 12th, 2014
Publishers: Simon and Schuster UK
Genre: YA, Thriller, Romance
Source: For Review
Format: ARC
Pages: 240
I open my eyes. The cell is flooded with sunlight; the window is a slice of pale blue. Dust particles dance in the sparkling light, pirouetting in a golden line from the window to the opposite wall of the cell, where they seem to converge into shapes. It is like looking into a kaleidoscope. 

Dad isn't here. No one is, but me.
Robyn Knollys-Green is an A-list celebrity, famous for being the daughter of one of the world's most powerful men. But not even the paparazzi can find her now.

Robyn begins to realise that she is trapped in a complicated web of global corruption and deceit - and that the strange, melancholy boy who has been tasked with guarding her might not be an enemy after all . . .

A thrilling, well-crafted, ever-relevant story from a talented new voice in YA fiction.

The Review: As soon as I heard about Captive by A.J. Grainger I was instantly intrigued. The plot of the story sounded interesting and I couldn’t recall reading anything that sounded like it, however, while Captive had some positive things about it, it failed to hold my attention.

As the Prime Minister’s daughter, Robyn Knollys-Green is always in the public eye. Nothing goes unnoticed, especially after a failed attempt on her father’s life put her in the spotlight even more. But when Robyn is kidnapped and hostage by the animal rights activists it’s there that Robyn realises she’s on her own – her father will only come on his terms not her kidnappers. As time moves on Robyn starts to get close to the boy who guards her but by doing so, she uncovers secrets that involve her father that she can’t believe he’d have any part in and it soon becomes a struggle to figure out the truth. Can Robyn make it home alive in one piece and discover the truth?

I really liked the idea of Captive and for such a short story I think the author did an okay job. I was immediately pulled into Robyn’s life and got to know what she was like as a character. I liked her, I didn’t love her. I felt at times I couldn’t connect to her as much as I would have liked – more so towards the start of the story – but towards the end, I couldn’t understand her reasoning’s for doing the things she did. She’s just likable – nothing really stood out about her as a character.
Then there’s Falcon – who I was more intrigued by. I liked Falcon. I felt he was a deeper character than Robyn just because of the things he’s been through at such a young age. He’s a strong character, one that doesn’t always make the best choices but he definitely makes up for it through-out the story.

Robyn and Falcon’s relationship was definitely the best part of the story that did hold my attention and the main reason I kept on reading. They’re connection felt real and quite frankly honest. They don’t meet in the best circumstances and they recognise that their friendship isn’t a normal one, but I liked that. I liked that it was something different and it wasn’t all hearts and candy. It felt more real this way.

The whole story isn’t just focused on Robyn and Falcon’s friendship, it’s about the animal rights activists and Robyn’s father. This I didn’t enjoy as much as I would have hoped. I found it a bit boring and it’s here that I started to lose interest, even though it’s a pivotal part of the story.

In all, while Captive had some pros and cons about it, the only way you’ll know for yourself is if you read it. So go read it.

Thank you to Simon & Schuster for giving me the opportunity to review this book, in exchange for an honest review. 

Monday, 15 December 2014

{Review} Ex-mas by Kate Brian

6380220Posted by Donna
Release Date: October 6th, 2009
Finished Date: December 14th, 2014
Publishers: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers 
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance, Holiday
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback
Pages: 224
Two Exes. One holiday adventure. Merry Ex-Mas? 

Seventeen-year-old Lila Beckwith's parents just left for vacation, and Lila's all set to throw the holiday party of the season. But when her Christmas-obsessed little brother, Cooper, discovers that global warming is melting the North Pole, he and his best friend, Tyler, take off on a runaway mission to save Santa.
Lila has to get Cooper safely home before her parents get back on Christmas Eve. But the only person who can help her is Tyler's older brother, Beau — a.k.a. Lila's musician, anti-everything ex-boyfriend.

It'll take more than a Christmas miracle for Lila and Beau to overcome their differences and find their fugitive brothers. But could a journey destined for disaster help these polar opposites fall in love...all over again?

The Review: With Christmas approaching fast I wanted to find a Christmassy read to get me in the festive mood and so, I was recommendation Ex-Mas by Kate Brian by a few people and it was definitely a cute festive read! 

Lila Beckwith can't wait for her parents to go on a vacation because she's planned the school's biggest party of the year, in the hopes that she will become someone memorable when she graduates. But when Lila's little brother Cooper discovers her plans and tells their parents, the party is off and Lila's hopes of getting a car before she starts college hangs in the balance. Things however go from bad to worse when Cooper discovers that global warming is melting the North Pole and now, he and his best friend have run away to try and save Santa. Lila's only help is in the form of her ex-boyfriend Beau, the one she's tried to leave behind but things were never easy between the two. Can Lila and Beau put aside their differences and reach their brothers before their parents find out and before their old feelings resurface?

Ex-Mas is a fun packed read. It's cute and has some funny moments and it offers everything you want in a short read, but the down side, it's just that, a quick read that's not very memorable despite how enjoyable it is. It's full of adventure though - even though a little unrealistic - but still, enjoyable. 

Beau had to be my favourite character. At times I wasn't too sure in what he saw in Lila because while Beau is a down to earth character, I found Lila a little shallow. She's always quick to judge people and she judges Beau the most. I didn't like that about Lila. But as the story progresses, she stopped doing it so much, stopped caring what other people thought about her and became a much more likable person. But Beau, he was awesome from the start and with a name like that - how could he not be awesome? 

In all, Ex-Mas is a cute and quick holiday story but don't go into it with too many expectations, otherwise you may be disappointed. 

Saturday, 13 December 2014

{Review} Little White Lies by Katie Dale

17232924Posted by Donna
Release Date: August 13th, 2013
Finished Date: December 3rd, 2014
Publishers: Simon and Schuster UK
Genre: YA, Thriller, Romance
Source: For Review
Format: Paperback
Pages: 384
The first time Lou meets tall, dark, and handsome Christian, she knows he's hiding something. Why does he clam up every time she asks about his past? Why doesn't he have any family photos and why does he dye his blond hair black? 

Then suddenly his terrible secret is unveiled to the world - and it seems everything he's ever told Lou is a lie. Can what the media are saying about him really be true? Should Lou trust him? Or is she in terrible danger? But Christian isn't the only one keeping secrets. For what if their chance meeting was no accident at all ...? 

As lie follows lie, nothing is as it seems, and soon Lou finds herself ensnared in a web of deceit, her loyalties torn, her emotions in tatters as she faces a heart-wrenching dilemma: should she shatter the lives of those she holds dearest, or betray the guy who, against all odds, she's fallen in love with? 
Full of family secrets, surprising twists and unexpected revelations, Katie Dale's second novel will have readers on the edge of their seats.

The Review: I had two of Katie Dale’s books sitting one my shelf waiting to be read and I honestly didn’t know which on to start. As you can see White Little Lies won over Someone Else’s Life but I’m wondering if that was a good choice because White Little Lies didn’t wow me as much as I was hoping for. 

The story follows a teenage girl called Lou, who has just started at a new school in order to escape something that happened in her past. Lou is hiding secrets from all the people around her and she’s happy to continue doing so. It’s not until she meets Christian, whom she is determined to get to know, that we see that Christian is hiding something too. As Christian and Lou start to spend more time together, it’s clear that their secrets are somehow tied to one another but, can Lou really trust him? 

I enjoyed White Little Lies, I did. It had an interesting plot that was surrounded by so many different secrets that it was difficult to unravel the lies that were being told. It was hard to work out whom to trust through-out the story. I think Katie Dale did a good job with that because it wasn’t easy to work out the truth. I just found the story too long to hold my complete attention. During the story there were moments that really weren’t significance and it was then that I easily could have put the book down and read something else. 

The story has an interesting set of characters but some I didn’t really connect to and the main person being Lou. That’s a big issue for me seems as the story is told by her point of view. I couldn’t sympathize with the lies that Lou told, I couldn’t understand half of them and it’s not until the end of the story that we truly see how many lies she’s told or even the things that she’s done (which I won’t say any more about). I just didn’t like her all that much. 

As much as I wanted to like Lou, I liked Christian more. He’s the only one from the story that I sympathized with and was rooting for.  I felt like he got the short end of the stick through-out most of the story. He’s the reason I kept reading and I did want to see if he and Lou got a happy ending even though I didn’t like her all that much. 

In all, this may not have been a favourite read for me this year but it’s one I’m glad I’ve read. I know many people will enjoy it – so go read it and see for yourselves – but for me, it was a little underwhelming. 

Thank you to Simon & Schuster for giving me the opportunity to review this book, in exchange for an honest review.