Tuesday, 30 September 2014

{Review} The Ophelia Prophecy by Sharon Lynn Fisher

17910150Posted by Melanie
Release Date: April 1st, 2014
Finished Date: August 30th, 2014
Publishers: Tor Books 
Genre: Sci Fi, Romance
Source: For Review
Format: Paperback
Pages: 319
New sci-fi romance from the RITA Award nominated author of GHOST PLANET!
* * * 
Our world is no longer our own. We engineered a race of superior fighters -- the Manti, mutant humans with insect-like abilities. Twenty-five years ago they all but destroyed us. In Sanctuary, some of us survive. Eking out our existence. Clinging to the past. 

Some of us intend to do more than survive.
* * *
Asha and Pax -- strangers and enemies -- find themselves stranded together on the border of the last human city, neither with a memory of how they got there.

Asha is an archivist working to preserve humanity’s most valuable resource -- information -- viewed as the only means of resurrecting their society.

Pax is Manti, his Scarab ship a menacing presence in the skies over Sanctuary, keeping the last dregs of humanity in check.

Neither of them is really what they seem, and what humanity believes about the Manti is a lie. 

With their hearts and fates on a collision course, they must unlock each other's secrets and forge a bond of trust before a rekindled conflict pushes their two races into repeating the mistakes of the past.

The Review: I enjoyed ‘The Ophelia Prophecy’, I don’t read a lot of sci-fi romance and it did make a nice change.
The story was very imaginative as we read about a world where DNA manipulation has created various mutant humans that have become insect-like and are known as ‘the Manti’ who became stronger and more capable than humans. Humans were all but wiped out by an uprising 25yrs previous and now only pockets of humanity exist. One such place is Sanctuary and where our leading lady is from, Asha is an archivist who stores the information regarding the wars and how things were before the Manti took over, this is valuable information because ideally that is what the humans strive to get back to. When she wakes up on the beach one day with no memory of how she got there, her life is about to change in a big way as she wakes up alongside one of the enemy and he decides to take her prisoner. Pax is Manti, a very important one and he can’t afford to leave this human female where he found her, her missing memories are a problem and she needs to be questioned but what is also troubling is that he feels a connection to her, a mating instinct is evoked and he really doesn’t need that complication on his life – never the less, she must now go to his home.
Over the course of their journey they will face many situations that will force them to believe and trust in each other building a bond in spite of both of their secrets. How far will they go to keep each other safe? Is it possible that a prophecy from long ago could come to pass?
I liked both Asha & Pax’s characters; Asha seems to be fragile and docile in the beginning but we soon find out what she is capable of and Pax seems to be fighting a fate that he doesn’t want and is blindsided by this lady appearing in his life. The   relationship that developed between Asha & Pax was great, the connection was immediate but the relationship was not, it was a slow burning thing that took time to develop and I appreciated that especially considering Pax’s mating instinct had been set off from the start. I always like enemy to lovers stories and these two are so far apart that it’s hard to see how they could come together.
As I mentioned above, I enjoyed this book and thought it was very imaginative. The world building was good and created a realistic future that could be plausible where the tables have definitely turned on humanity. The Manti were described well enough that you could really imagine their features and behaviour which I find to be a plus if an author can do that for me. I liked the characters throughout the whole book, they are diverse and aren’t  just two species of Human & Manti because the Manti had varying mutant levels and some are more human than others so there are a lot of sub groups going on aswell. Obviously Asha and Pax’s relationship isn’t the only thing going on in the book and we find that not only do the humans have a small rebellion but the Manti do too and everyone has a different agenda. When we learn the secrets that everyone has been keeping, especially Asha, the action is brought into the plot and we find out where everyone stands leading to danger, life threatening situations, betrayal & misdirection that built to an exciting conclusion with two lovers from opposing sides that could just change everything. My only grumble is that the ending seemed a bit rushed but it did seem to be left open for a possible sequel. This was very different and original and I enjoyed it a lot. 

3.5 flowers! 

Thank you to Tor Books for giving me the opportunity to review this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Monday, 29 September 2014

{Review} No Place to Fall by Jaye Robin Brown

20783274Posted by Donna
Release Date: December 9th, 2014
Finished Date: August 30th, 2014
Publishers: HarperTeen
Genre: YA Contemporary, Romance
Source: For Review
Format: eARC
Pages: 368
Amber Vaughn is a good girl. She sings solos at church, babysits her nephew after school, and spends every Friday night hanging out at her best friend Devon’s house. It’s only when Amber goes exploring in the woods near her home, singing camp songs with the hikers she meets on the Appalachian Trail, that she feels free—and when the bigger world feels just a little bit more in reach.

When Amber learns about an audition at the North Carolina School of the Arts, she decides that her dream—to sing on bigger stages—could also be her ticket to a new life. Devon’s older (and unavailable) brother, Will, helps Amber prepare for her one chance to try out for the hypercompetitive arts school. But the more time Will and Amber spend together, the more complicated their relationship becomes . . . and Amber starts to wonder if she’s such a good girl, after all.

Then, in an afternoon, the bottom drops out of her family’s world—and Amber is faced with an impossible choice between her promise as an artist and the people she loves. Amber always thought she knew what a good girl would do. But between “right” and “wrong,” there’s a whole world of possibilities.

The Review: No Place to Fall follows sixteen year old Amber Vaughan – a good girl who sings solos at her local church, always does her homework, and helps out her family with babysitting her baby nephew and also trying to keep her family together. But Amber’s one release is visiting the hikers that travel through the Appalachian Trails near her home and releasing all her pent up frustration by being a bit wild, making out with strange guys and getting drunk. She’d be mortified if anyone other than her best friend Devon ever found out. But when Amber learns of an audition for the chance to go to a School of the Arts in North Carolina to sing, Amber realises her dream of singing is something she want to peruse but as she tries, her family life keeps dragging her down. Even with the help of Will, Devon’s older brother Amber isn’t sure she can do it and ultimately leaving her final choice to decide between right and wrong because of the mistakes that Amber has made along the way. 

I’m not sure where to start with this review because No Place to Fall sounds like the perfect summer read. It started out well but as I read more and more, I really started to not enjoy it. At first it enjoyed getting to know the characters but it became quickly obvious that there weren’t many likable characters throughout the story. Amber was I guess, okay. I didn’t feel the connection with her and I keep rolling my eyes at some of the things she said and especially some of her actions. I think the main issue I had with the story was Amber’s family. They were all completely unlikable and dysfunctional and they didn’t do anything to redeem themselves by the end of the story. Amber’s sister, brother-in-law and father being the main culprits. And then there was Will. Will is the love interest for Amber. I liked him but at times he treated Amber poorly. I didn’t think he could redeem himself and he did slightly but still, I’m not sure I could completely forgive him for the way he behaved at the start.

The plot of the story was okay. I couldn’t connect to the way all of the characters seems to have a deep connection with music that they would just start jamming or singing in the middle of the street. 

In all, No Place to Fall simply wasn’t for me. I wish it was something I enjoyed more but there were too many facts that made me dislike the story. 

Thank you to HarperTeen for giving me the opportunity to review this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Sunday, 28 September 2014

{Review} Five Little Ghosts by Patricia Hegarty & Julia Woolf

21813265Posted by Donna
Release Date: September 1st, 2014
Finished Date: September 20th, 2014
Publishers: Tiger Tales 
Genre: Children's picture book 
Ages: 3-6 years
Source: For Review
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 22
Five little ghosts at the end of the day, are on the lookout for somewhere to play! 

Follow the adventures of five little ghosts in this comical rhyming caper. 

From a dress-up box to midnight feasts, this cute board book features a host of friendly Halloween mischief!

The Review: Five Little Ghosts is a fun and enjoyable board book that follows the adventures of five little ghosts who are looking for somewhere to play, but we seem to find them in more mischief than anything else. 

This is exactly the type of story that my daughter loves and it was even fun for me to read it to her. With its brilliantly crafted rhyming all the way through, it’s definitely not a dull story. It’s entertaining and keeps a smile on your face all the way through. We really enjoyed how each little ghost had their own personality and my daughter loved pointing out the differences between each ghost, like one wears a shiny hat and they are different colours. 

What made this story memorable for us what that this is the first Halloween story that we’ve read together. There definitely should be more books like this around because it’s something that you won’t forget and can read for several years – depending on the age of your child. Plus there’s the added bonus of trying to find the cat and frog which are featured on each page. We had tons of fun trying to find them.

Patricia Hegarty has written this story perfectly and I would love to see more from her. Five Little Ghosts has captured our hearts and is perfect for any young child who loves reading.

Thank you to Tiger Tales for giving me the opportunity to review this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Saturday, 27 September 2014

{Review} Prodigal Son (Truth Seers #1) by Debra Mullins

17332297Posted by Melanie 
Release Date: October 1st, 2013
Finished Date: September 12th, 2014
Publishers: Tor Books  
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal
Source: For Review
Format: Paperback
Pages: 368
Prodigal Son—the new paranormal romance from acclaimed historical romance author Debra Mullins

Bounty hunter Rafe Montana is a Seer, descended from the fabled Atlanteans. He uses his inherited power to “see” criminals across the globe and track them down, and he’s just started on a new case. Danny Cangialosi is accused of disappearing with a stolen car…but for the first time in his life, when Rafe goes looking, he is unable to “see” him. Instead, his search leads him to Danny’s stubborn, meddling, and very cute stepsister, Cara McGaffigan.

Cara is looking for Danny, too, but not to turn him in. He is her brother, after all, and she’s convinced he has a good heart. If she can just find him before the cops do, she’ll figure out a way to get him out of this. But Cara didn’t count on a scorching-hot bounty hunter getting in her way. 

Despite instant chemistry, Rafe and Cara know they’re never going to see eye-to-eye when it comes to Danny. What they don’t know is that Danny didn’t just steal a car—he stole a precious stone, a stone right out of the legends of Atlantis. It holds powers they can only dream of…and its owner wants it back

The Review: Prodigal Son is the first book in the ‘Truth Seers’ series by Debra Mullins and thought it was fantastic! I love the idea of a ‘gifted’ bounty hunter that uses his gifts to track down criminals and Rafe was a great leading man, he had a lone wolf, brooding, mystery about him and I couldn’t wait to unlock some of his secrets. I was very intrigued by his visions and his ‘Hunter’, it made his character even more interesting. I really liked the connection to Cara when she entered his life, it made sense for them to team up considering it was her brother they were trying to find but neither were prepared for the attraction they shared, it was electric. I loved what she could do for him further into the story and that there is talk of ‘mates’ – we all know how much I love soul mates - and they fit well together and made the chemistry very believable & I liked what they brought to each others lives. Rafe also has some unfinished business with his family which ties into the book so well and was the cause of some bad blood, I enjoyed this part too and I got why he turned into the bounty hunter and why he became the loner we first meet, it goes a long way into getting to know the character a lot more and a great introduction to his family and their powers too. I thought the storyline was great and quite original, I loved the idea that there are descendants of survivors from Atlantis and they possess certain powers. I also like how the Atlantis connection isn’t cut and dried and that throughout the book it is opened up a lot more showing us a variation in those powers. I really liked that Rafe chose to be a bounty hunter and how his gifts were an asset to his profession, I liked how he used them and the premonitions he got and I especially liked the use of precious stones to enhance and channel the power and energy and thought they were used well throughout the book. The threat was really good and sinister too because of what the enemy could do, it gave a feel that no matter what happened that Rafe & Cara would never be safe especially with the run and chase scenario that happens for a good portion of the book. It was a very intriguing book and I loved the mystery of it all, it really kept me on my toes and interested, the pacing was great and I loved that there were surprises thrown in at random to grab my interest even more. I will definitely be looking out for the sequel to find out more about Rafe, Cara and his family. 

4.5 flowers! 

Thank you to Tor Books for giving me the opportunity to review this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Friday, 26 September 2014

{Review} Eversea (Eversea #1) by Natasha Boyd

20434721Posted by Donna
Release Date: April 10th, 2014
Finished Date: August 24th, 2014
Publishers: Headline Eternal 
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Source: For Review
Format: Paperback
Pages: 320
An orphaned, small-town, southern girl, held hostage by responsibility and self-doubt.

A Hollywood A-list mega-star, on the run from his latest scandal and with everything to lose. 

A chance encounter that leads to an unlikely arrangement and epic love affair that will change them both for ever.

As powerful as the pounding surf, as intoxicating as the sea breeze, this is one love affair you won't be able to forget about...

The ReviewIf you’re a fan of New Adult stories then it’s impossible to not know about Eversea by Natasha Boyd. It’s all I’ve been hearing about so I knew it was something I wanted to read so I could discover the hype about this story, and although it’s not a favourite of mine, it’s still worth a read. 

Kerri, an orphaned southern girl living in a small town called Butler Cove. Her life is going by day by day until it’s her change to escape. But for right now, she’s stuck and is desperately trying to renovate her family’s estate. This is where Hollywood actor Jack enters who is looking for a quite summer to get over a nasty and much publicized relationship; Jack goes off the radar and straight to Butler Cove looking for some much needed peace. It’s at a bar one night that Kerri and Jack meet and soon realize they could both get what they want by working together, but can they stop the obvious attraction that is flying between them? 

Eversea is a quick summer romance read that’s has quite an enjoyable story. I really enjoyed the characters introductions and found I quickly connected with the characters and their lives. I do love a good Hollywood romance story and while I enjoyed Eversea I didn’t love it. For me the story was overall predictable and I feel like I’ve read the story a million times in other books now. I can see why so many people enjoyed the book though because I do think Natasha Boyd set the plot of the story up quite well and it was just a shame it was so predictable. 

I did really like Kerri. I loved her personality and thought she was a lovely person. So completely down to earth and so much fun. And I completely fell for Butler Cove – I really want it to be real! I think the main reason I had an issue with the book was Jack. I liked him, I really did but I just thought he was so boring. I honestly think I’ve been spoilt for choice with all these bad boy characters and Jack is just so vanilla. I didn’t feel the connection to him as I normally would for the love interest. 

In all, Eversea was a good read, one that I wish I enjoyed more but still I’m glad I crossed it off my TBR for this year! 

Thank you to Headline Eternal for giving me the opportunity to review this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Thursday, 25 September 2014

{Blog Tour} See How She Runs (The Chronicles of Izzy #1) by Michelle Graves

18171350Posted by Melanie
Release Date: July 17th, 2013
Finished Date: August 21st, 2014
Publishers: Self Published 
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Romance
Source: For Review
Format: eBook
Pages: 234
Buy: Amazon UK / Amazon US 

One delivery changed her whole life. 

Izzy was a normal girl living in Chicago as a bike messenger before that fateful day. She delivered one package and set into action a chain of events she never could have expected. 

Now she is running for her life from the Corporation, her best friend is not at all who he seemed, and to top it all off she keeps having visions.

Will she survive to navigate the waters as a Seer? Will her feelings for Kennan be her very downfall? Find out in See How She Runs.

The Review: See How She Runs was a really good introduction to the ‘Chronicles of Izzy’.
In this story we meet Izzy, a bike messenger, she’s 24 nearly 25, lives with her best friend – Kennan – who works in a bar and happens to be male. Izzy is just going about her usual business when she is asked to deliver a letter to the head of a corporation, upon delivery she gets really bad vibes from the man and tells her boss that she won’t deliver to him anymore. When she tells Kennan about this man, he gets angry but when the man apparently bumps into her and asks her on a date….Kennan packs her bags because Izzy is about to find out that her whole life has been a lie and that man from the corporation wants her, for her abilities?!? Izzy is in for a quick study as she finds out she is a Seer and that Kennan is in fact her Guardian and with the corporation after her, she has no other choice but to run.
I really enjoyed this book, I thought Izzy was a great character and had a great voice that you could easily connect with, she dealt with things with humour and even though her world was changing so much, she never pitied herself or her situation. Kennan was perfect for her and they created some hot sexual tension in a will they, won’t they romantic scenario that brought some sweetness to the plot as Izzy tries to come to terms with seeing her friend in a different light and Kennan battling between his feelings for Izzy and his obligation to her.
The storyline was good, the premise is that Izzy is a Seer (something she was unaware of) and each Seer comes with a Guardian who can be hundreds of years old before he finds his Seer, Kennan happens to be Izzys Guardian. The corporation is the bad side of the Seer/Guardian lifestyle where they would capture a Seer and use her for profit, so you can understand the need for Izzy to run. This book focuses on Izzy finding out about the world she is really from and who people are around her, who the enemy is, how they operate and of course her training in her powers and how to defend herself with just that smidge of romance. I found it intriguing, Seers aren’t that popular in books so I found it a nice change from the norm and I enjoyed immersing myself in their world and will be reading book 2 very soon. 

Thank you to Michelle Graves & Paranormal Cravings  for giving me the opportunity to review this book in exchange for an honest review. 
Michelle  GravesAUTHOR BIO:
Michelle Graves is a self-proclaimed nomad, moving every two to three years with her husband the Army man, her beautiful daughter, and a fat tailless cat named Torri. When she is not writing away trying to purge her mind of yapping characters she can be found entertaining her daughter, attempting to craft (whilst trying not to injure herself with the glue gun), baking yummy treats, or reading. She admits to having a restless spirit and forces her family to go out on adventures whenever possible. They lovingly play along.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

{Feature} Waiting on Wednesday (#89)

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

20601687
Even in Paradise
by Chelsey Philpot 
Release Date: October 14th 2014

When Julia Buchanan enrolls at St. Anne’s at the beginning of junior year, Charlotte Ryder already knows all about the former senator’s daughter. Most people do... or think they do.

Charlotte certainly never expects she’ll be Julia’s friend. But almost immediately, she is drawn into the larger than-life-new girl’s world—a world of midnight rendezvous, dazzling parties, palatial vacation homes, and fizzy champagne cocktails. And then Charlotte meets, and begins falling for, Julia’s handsome older brother, Sebastian.

But behind her self-assured smiles and toasts to the future, Charlotte soon realizes that Julia is still suffering from a tragedy. A tragedy that the Buchanan family has kept hidden … until now.

Jess's thoughts: "This sounds pretty much up my street. I look forward to its release." 

Donna's WoW

18660447
The Fill-In Boyfriend
by Kasie West
Release Date: May 5th, 2015

When Gia Montgomery's boyfriend, Bradley, dumps her in the parking lot of her high school prom, she has to think fast. After all, she'd been telling her friends about him for months now. This was supposed to be the night she proved he existed. So when she sees a cute guy waiting to pick up his sister, she enlists his help. The task is simple: be her fill-in boyfriend— two hours, zero commitment, a few white lies. After that, she can win back the real Bradley.

The problem is that days after prom, it's not the real Bradley she's thinking about, but the stand-in. The one whose name she doesn't even know. But tracking him down doesn't mean they're done faking a relationship. Gia owes him a favor and his sister intends to see that he collects: his ex-girlfriend's graduation party — three hours, zero commitment, a few white lies.

Just when Gia begins to wonder if she could turn her fake boyfriend into a real one, Bradley comes waltzing back into her life, exposing her lie, and threatening to destroy her friendships and her new-found relationship.
Donna's thoughts: I really enjoyed Kasie West's On the Fence so I have to say I'm rather excited about her new book coming up. I hope it's just as good!

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