Wednesday, 1 July 2015

{Feature} Waiting on Wednesday (#118)

 
"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
24657660
Reign of Shadows
by Sophie Jordan 
Release Date: February 9th, 2016

Seventeen years ago, an eclipse cloaked the kingdom of Relhok in perpetual darkness. In the chaos, an evil chancellor murdered the king and queen and seized their throne. Luna, Relhok’s lost princess, has been hiding in a tower ever since. Luna’s survival depends on the world believing she is dead.

But that doesn’t stop Luna from wanting more. When she meets Fowler, a mysterious archer braving the woods outside her tower, Luna is drawn to him despite the risk. When the tower is attacked, Luna and Fowler escape together. But this world of darkness is more treacherous than Luna ever realized.

With every threat stacked against them, Luna and Fowler find solace in each other. But with secrets still unspoken between them, falling in love might be their most dangerous journey yet.

With lush writing and a star–crossed romance, Reign of Shadows is Sophie Jordan at her best.

Donna's thoughts: This sounds epic. I loved Sophie Jordan's Firelight series but then didn't love Uninvited, so I'm hoping I love this one! 

Melanie's WoW
24740629
Reawakened (The Reawakened #1)
by Colleen Houck
Release Date: August 25th, 2015


From COLLEEN HOUCK, New York Times bestselling author of the Tiger’s Curse series, comes the first book in a series about a teenage girl entangled in an epic Egyptian quest full of romance, adventure, and mythology!

When seventeen-year-old Lilliana Young enters the Metropolitan Museum of Art one morning during spring break, the last thing she expects to find is a live Egyptian prince with godlike powers, who has been reawakened after a thousand years of mummification. 
And she really can’t imagine being chosen to aid him in an epic quest that will lead them across the globe.
But fate has taken hold of Lily, and she, along with her sun prince, Amon, must travel to the Valley of the Kings, raise his brothers, and stop an evil, shape-shifting god named Seth from taking over the world. 
From New York Times bestselling author Colleen Houck comes an epic adventure about two star-crossed teens who must battle mythical forces and ancient curses on a journey with more twists and turns than the Nile itself.

Melanie's thoughts: 
Everything about this sounds fab! I haven't read anything by this author before so I hope this is a good way to show her talents.

<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, 30 June 2015

{Review} When You're Back (Rosemary Beach #12) by Abbi Glines

25558629Posted by Donna
Release Date: June 30th, 2015
Finished Date: June 28th, 2015
Publishers: Simon & Schuster
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Source: For Review
Format: ARC 
Pages: 304
Buy: Amazon UK Amazon US / The Book Depo

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Abbi Glines comes the next new adult novel in her beloved Rosemary Beach series, which continues the story of Mase and Reese from When I’m Gone.

The future is bright for Reese Ellis. She has Mase Colt-Manning, the man of her dreams, and a family she didn’t know existed until her long-lost father arrived on her doorstep in Rosemary Beach. After growing up with a cruel mother and abusive stepfather, Reese is eager to get to know the caring and charming man who wants to be a part of her life. Everything is finally falling into place.

While Reese is visiting her new family in Chicago, Mase spends time with his “cousin,” Aida, who has worshipped him since childhood. Though they’re unrelated by blood, Mase and Aida have been raised to think of each other as family. But when Reese returns, she can tell something isn’t quite right with Aida, who clearly resents Reese and excels at manipulative little games. And though Mase is unsuspecting, Reese knows Aida doesn’t love him like a cousin should...

The Review:
When You're Back is the sequel to When You're Gone where we see Mace and Reese's story come to a close. 


Reese and Mace are working on building their future together but when Reese's long lost father comes into the picture and Reese spends some time with her family in Chicago, they're apart once again. But it's nothing they haven't done before and soon enough, Reese arrives at Mace's ranch to live there. She can't wait to start building a life with him but Mace's so called cousin Aida seems to enjoy causing trouble for them.

Mace is so happy that Reese is finally with him. He'll do anything to make her happy, even if that means helping her find a job. But what Mace doesn't expect is for his cousin to start causing problems for them and for one of Mace's work associates to start showing Reese attention. And even more, his real father Kiro Manning is causing trouble back in Rosemary Beach. All Mace wants it to start his life with Reese but it doesn't look like they'll catch a break any time soon....

When You're Back is an enjoyable read. I like both Reese and Mace and they're stories were entertaining enough to keep me interested. They're were a few twists that were a little predictable but still somewhat enjoyable. I really enjoyed getting to know Mace's family more and I'm definitely looking for to having Major's story in my hands - I'm predicting Major & Nan together but that would be highly entertaining! And of course it was great to be able to see some of my favourite characters from Rosemary Beach once again. 

But I do have one slight issue. Abbi Gines fast became one of my favourite author and even now after however many books she's wrote she's still a favourite, however, after the last couple of books I've read of her's I'm starting to find a pattern with the stories and they've all started to mesh together because the characters, especially the male leads, recently all seem to have the same voice. It's hard to differ between them which is sad because I love them all. I like the alpha male personality however, they've all just become so predictable it's hard to be surprised by anything they do and it's got to the point where I feel like I'm reading the same story over and over again. This makes me sad. It really does because while I was reading When You're Back, it was hard to see Mace as Mace. Rush, Grant, Woods and Tripp all seemed to be there with me and again, it was hard to differ between them all. But I'm not ready to give up on Abbi Glines as a writer. I'm extremely excited to read Until Friday Night but I think I need to take a little break from reading the Rosemary Beach series and once the rest of the series is released, I'll definitely come back to it at that point. 

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

Monday, 29 June 2015

{Review} Walk on Earth a Stranger (The Gold Seer Trilogy #1) by Rae Carson

24311619Posted by Donna
Release Date: September 22nd, 2015
Finished Date: June 6th, 2015
Publishers: Greenwillow
Genre: YA, Historical, Fantasy
Format: eARC
Pages: 448
Buy: Amazon UK Amazon US / The Book Depo

The first book in a new trilogy from acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Rae Carson. A young woman with the magical ability to sense the presence of gold must flee her home, taking her on a sweeping and dangerous journey across Gold Rush–era America.

Lee Westfall has a secret. She can sense the presence of gold in the world around her. Veins deep beneath the earth, pebbles in the river, nuggets dug up from the forest floor. The buzz of gold means warmth and life and home—until everything is ripped away by a man who wants to control her. Left with nothing, Lee disguises herself as a boy and takes to the trail across the country. Gold was discovered in California, and where else could such a magical girl find herself, find safety? Rae Carson, author of the acclaimed Girl of Fire and Thorns trilogy, dazzles with this new fantasy that subverts both our own history and familiar fantasy tropes.

Walk on Earth a Stranger, the first book in this new trilogy, introduces—as only Rae Carson can—a strong heroine, a perilous road, a fantastical twist, and a slow-burning romance. Includes a map and author’s note on historical research.

The Review: Disappointing!

I’m clearly the minority when it comes to Walk on Earth a Stranger which is disappointing because I know how much love everyone has for the author Rae Carson. It makes me wonder if I should have started with her other series first – The Girl of Fire and Thorns rather than this one.

I have to say I really did love the concept of this story – a teenage girl who has the ability to sense presence of gold – it’s a unique idea and immediately you can’t help yourself become curious about the idea. In fact I still really love the concept behind this story, unfortunately it was the way it executed that failed to impress me. While I do enjoy some historical YA fiction for me I just found this pretty boring. I can’t say I was overly interested in the whole Gold Rush era, I felt the story was bogged down by a lot of the information. My mind kept wondering when I felt as though I should be giving it my full attention. The slow pacing of the story didn’t help matters either. The first 50 pages for me was definitely the best part of the story.

I bet your wondering why kept reading if I clearly didn’t enjoy this story? It was more about the main character’s journey that kept me reading and also I honestly wanted to give this author a chance. But Lee was my main reason for reading. I really liked her. I felt so bad for her with everything that she was going through and everything that she had to suffer with her journey of losing her parents to going on the run and trying to find her friend. She was the only character that I managed to have some form of connection with. There were a lot of secondary characters that I didn’t care for or like. I didn’t have any form of connection with. And even the love interest/romance wasn’t much to root for. And I need to be invested with the love interest to form a connection.

For me the most disappointing part of this story was the fact that Lee on really uses her ability at the start of the story. While she’s on her journey she doesn’t use it. Maybe slightly at the end of the book but that’s it. Because of this is doesn’t really let us explore her ability. I understand that Lee doesn’t understand it herself, but I thought this would have been a story that allowed her to explore that. So I don’t quite understand why that never happened. It’s a possibility that in the sequel we will discover more about it but, for me if a book fails to impress me I’m more than likely won’t continue with the series. 


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

Friday, 26 June 2015

{Review} Wicked Ride (Realm Enforcers #1) by Rebecca Zanetti

23403599Posted by Melanie
Release Date: June 23rd, 2015
Finished Date: June 14th, 2015
Publishers: Lyrical Press
Genre: Adult, Paranormal, Romance
Source: For Review
Format: eARC
Pages: Unknown
Buy: Amazon UK Amazon US 

If you love the Dark Protectors, these wicked hot Realm Enforcers are for you!

Alexandra Monzelle is a hard-fighting, heat-packing Seattle vice cop, and she’s not much interested in being protected. Her short skirt and sex-kitten heels are tools to lure her suspects into talking about the deadly new drug hitting the streets. She can take care of herself and then some. Unfortunately, she can’t seem to get that through to Kellach Dunne.

Kellach is a fresh import from Dublin, and he’s landed at the heart of a vicious motorcycle club that deals in guns, narcotics, and mayhem. He’s all male, all rough power—and all interference in her damn investigation. Maybe he’s one of the good guys. Maybe not. Lex knows an affair with an immortal like him would risk everything. No matter how delicious he looks…

The Review: Wicked Ride is the first book in the Realm Enforcers series by Rebecca Zanetti and ties into her Dark Protectors series which is just as fab!
This series takes a break from the Vampires in Dark Protectors and introduces us to Witches. These witches come in both sexes, are immortal and have some serious power. The setup for this book is as follows… Alexandra Monzelle is a cop, there’s a new drug around town that is making users feel like gods… just before burning up peoples internal organs and killing them, it is called Apollo and Alex is undercover on the case. Alex is more than capable of looking after herself so when Kellach Dunne makes an effort to protect her by manhandling her during her investigation…. she arrests him!
Kellach Dunne is a witch, he’s Irish and about to be all in Alex’s business because he too is looking into the drug. Having positioned himself in a motorcycle club that has it’s fingers in all of the illegal pies, Kellach is in a prime position to find out what is going in, who is dealing, where the drug is coming from and where it’s headed next. The thing he didn’t plan for is Alex, he is so drawn to her that she knocks all of his plans out of the window – he wants her so badly that she brings out the Neanderthal in him – she’s smart, she’s sassy, she’s sexy and she will be his downfall but his affection for her will make her more of a target than she already is.
I loved this book! I just thought it was fab. The premise was really good with the drug being peddled and of course the investigation. The characters were great, all of them but especially Alex and Kellach – it was clear from the first chapter that these two had chemistry and they were going to clash so I was happy straight away. They did indeed clash in many ways and it was so much fun to read, it became a battle of wills as Alex tried to assert her authority and Kellach unleashed his inner caveman with smouldering effect. They ended up being perfect for each other after they overcome their ‘issues’ and provided us with some nice sexytime.
The storyline threads all tied in really well – we have a drug that is killing people so the human authorities are brought in and unbeknownst to them, the world is full of supernaturals’ who have an authority of their own, who are also investigating the drug. We have rival motorcycle clubs vying for guns, drugs and money and with this new drug being the new thing… they want in on the distribution leading both Alex and Kellach into that world. Alex also has personal drama that ties in extremely well, her life is further complicated by the introduction to the world of the supernaturals and of course there is the romance as the cherry on top. Where the romance was hot, the action was full on and engaging, it excited me and made me really route for the good guys and I always like a good old investigation. The supernatural element added an extra oomph to the story and introduced us to more than witches. It was good to see the tie in to the other series and a couple of cameos so you still feel like you’re in the same world which is welcome if you loved that series.
I thought the whole thing was well written, the characters were all likable even to the point that I want all of the secondary characters stories too (especially Bear, I loved him) the pacing was great, everything came together perfectly and the romance was hot with a hate to love style relationship – I really can’t wait for more!


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

Thursday, 25 June 2015

{Review} Ice Like Fire (Snow Like Ashes #2) by Sara Raasch

24623385Posted by Donna
Release Date: October 13th, 2015
Finished Date: May 6th, 2015
Publishers: Balzer + Bray
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Source: For Review
Format: eARC
Pages: 432
Buy: Amazon UK Amazon US / The Book Depo

Game of Thrones meets Graceling in this thrilling fantasy filled with shocking twists and heart-pounding action, the highly anticipated sequel to Snow Like Ashes.

It's been three months since the Winterians were freed and Spring's king, Angra, disappeared—thanks largely to the help of Cordell.

Meira just wants her people to be safe. When Cordellan debt forces the Winterians to dig their mines for payment, they unearth something powerful and possibly dangerous: Primoria's lost chasm of magic. Theron sees this find as an opportunity—with this much magic, the world can finally stand against threats like Angra. But Meira fears the danger the chasm poses—the last time the world had access to so much magic, it spawned the Decay. So when the king of Cordell orders the two on a mission across the kingdoms of Primoria to discover the chasm's secrets, Meira plans on using the trip to garner support to keep the chasm shut and Winter safe—even if it means clashing with Theron. But can she do so without endangering the people she loves?

Mather just wants to be free. The horrors inflicted on the Winterians hang fresh and raw in Jannuari—leaving Winter vulnerable to Cordell's growing oppression. When Meira leaves to search for allies, he decides to take Winter's security into his own hands. Can he rebuild his broken Kingdom and protect them from new threats?

As the web of power and deception is woven tighter, Theron fights for magic, Mather fights for freedom—and Meira starts to wonder if she should be fighting not just for Winter but for the world.

The Review: Snow Like Ashes was easily one of my favourite reads last year and so of course I jumped at the chance to get my hands on the sequel, Ice Like Fire and I simply couldn't wait to start it. 

Meria is looking for a way for her people to be free after Cordell helped her take back her country but, she now has the bargain that she made with them breathing down her neck and so she has no choice but to try and fulfil her debt, even when her own country needs the money more than them. Not only that but, everyone is still searching for Primoria's lost chasm of magic and when it's found, everyone is at lodger heads about what to do with it. However, the King of Cordell has other ideas and is seeking to use Winter for his own purpose, so Meria leaves on a journey to try and gain Winter some new allies within the other Kingdoms.  But her journey isn't just about gaining new allies, Meria is trying to find the keys for lost chasm before anyone else can because releasing all that magic out into the world, when there is already so much danger surely can't be good for her people? Can Meria find them in time to save Winter? 

Ice Like Fire is told from alternative narratives which is slightly different from Snow Like Ashes because we've only ever saw Meria's point of view. This time we get Mathers, so you Mather's fan will definitely be happy with this change. It was nice to get to know him a little better because both Meria and Mather have different ideas for Winter - both on their own journeys, so it was a nice change to see what was happening to both characters and getting their own thoughts on the issues that arise in Ice Like Fire. 

Ice Like Fire is definitely a book that sets everything up for the grand finale and in all honestly, as much as I wanted to love this just as much as Snow Like Ashes it was pretty hard not to because it was so painstakingly slow for the first three quarters of the book. That disappointed me because I wasn't expecting this and I found I kept having to push through. I did this because of how much I loved the first story and I just knew something epic awaited at the end of this story. And I was right - it did. But this was still pretty much a filler book in my opinion and definitely fell into the second-book syndrome category. 

Even though I had issues with the story I still very much enjoyed parts, hence my 3.5 star rating. Meria, Theron & Mather will always be great characters for me. Even though they change a lot through this story and go through a lot of personal struggles, I still root for them to be the people I know they are destined to be. They have so much determination and are full of hope. I just hope that they learn from the mistakes they've made and move on from them. 

Another reason I enjoy this series so much is because of the relationships/romance between the three characters but honestly, Ice Like Fire in my opinion is a turning point. It's clear now who should be with whom now but I'm still a little torn as to whose team I'm on, but like I've said before, I think I would be happy with either guy for Meria. It really just depends on what happens after the events in this book. Nail-biting! 

In all, Ice Like Fire for me wasn't as good it's predecessor but it's still worth a read especially if you're invested in these characters and their story just as much as me. 

3.5 flowers! 

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

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

{Feature} Waiting on Wednesday (#117)

 
"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
21414439 Truthwitch (The Witchlands #1)
by Susan Dennard
Release Date: January 5th, 2016

On a continent ruled by three empires, some are born with a “witchery”, a magical skill that sets them apart from others.

In the Witchlands, there are almost as many types of magic as there are ways to get in trouble—as two desperate young women know all too well.

Safiya is a Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lie. It’s a powerful magic that many would kill to have on their side, especially amongst the nobility to which Safi was born. So Safi must keep her gift hidden, lest she be used as a pawn in the struggle between empires.

Iseult, a Threadwitch, can see the invisible ties that bind and entangle the lives around her—but she cannot see the bonds that touch her own heart. Her unlikely friendship with Safi has taken her from life as an outcast into one of reckless adventure, where she is a cool, wary balance to Safi’s hotheaded impulsiveness.

Safi and Iseult just want to be free to live their own lives, but war is coming to the Witchlands. With the help of the cunning Prince Merik (a Windwitch and ship’s captain) and the hindrance of a Bloodwitch bent on revenge, the friends must fight emperors, princes, and mercenaries alike, who will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.

Donna's thoughts: This sounds awesome! I love the cover!

Melanie's WoW
24740629
Reawakened (The Reawakened #1)
by Colleen Houck
Release Date: August 25th, 2015


From COLLEEN HOUCK, New York Times bestselling author of the Tiger’s Curse series, comes the first book in a series about a teenage girl entangled in an epic Egyptian quest full of romance, adventure, and mythology!

When seventeen-year-old Lilliana Young enters the Metropolitan Museum of Art one morning during spring break, the last thing she expects to find is a live Egyptian prince with godlike powers, who has been reawakened after a thousand years of mummification. 
And she really can’t imagine being chosen to aid him in an epic quest that will lead them across the globe.
But fate has taken hold of Lily, and she, along with her sun prince, Amon, must travel to the Valley of the Kings, raise his brothers, and stop an evil, shape-shifting god named Seth from taking over the world. 
From New York Times bestselling author Colleen Houck comes an epic adventure about two star-crossed teens who must battle mythical forces and ancient curses on a journey with more twists and turns than the Nile itself.

Melanie's thoughts: 
Everything about this sounds fab! I haven't read anything by this author before so I hope this is a good way to show her talents.

<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, 23 June 2015

{Review} Pure Blooded (Jessica McClain #5) by Amanda Carlson

20343959Posted by Melanie
Release Date: June 16th, 2015
Finished Date: June 19th, 2015
Publishers: Orbit
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Source: For Review
Format: eARC
Pages: 320
Buy: Amazon UK Amazon US / The Book Depo

Jessica arrives back from the Underworld to find her father embroiled in a battle against the Made wolves. She and her crew drop everything to join them.

Once she arrives, the threat is after her. Jessica is lured into danger when her adversary takes something precious from her. 

With help from an unlikely source, Jessica goes up against her creator in a battle that will decide the path of everyone involved. She must war against a new set of foes, ones who could not only steal her power, but could take her soul as well.

The Review: Pure Blooded may be the fifth book in the series but it is still as awesome as book one and a series that is one of my favourites.
Following book four Jessica has some problems; she has changed the course of fate and something that should have happened in the future will no longer be happening, so fate has it in for her. Her father has left their territory in pursuit of the rogue pack and is currently camped in the swamp lands of Florida and is at a stalemate with the enemy so, it’s up to Jessica, Rourke and co. to fly down there and help out. The thing is… danger is coming for Jess in every direction and her enemies are not above using those closest to her to achieve their goals. Jessica is in for the fight of her life.
This is another fabulous read in the Jessica McClain series and it is a series I have championed from the very beginning. I love everything about it – the characters, the different species, the world – I also love how it straddles the lines of Urban Fantasy and straight out fantasy and I always wait for the next book with baited breath. Fifth book in and it is still awesome, filled with danger, death threats, action, magic and romance with our heroine stuck right in the middle. Jessica became something special in the last book, more so than previous books and now the word is out – people want her and want her power. She has matured a lot but also has new powers to break in so it’s like watching her get to grips with her shifting abilities again. One of the things I love about those she surrounds herself with is that they are loyal to a fault and she is just as loyal to them and all are willing to die for each other. At the heart of it all, Jessica is pack so it wasn’t a long shot to think that she would head straight back into danger for them and that’s exactly what she does.
 I really liked the change of scenery again, the author isn’t afraid to use different settings that tie in so well to the story and as you can imagine with Florida being a multi-cultural state, you are going to get different belief systems that include magic. I have to say, the enemy in this one looked to be unwinnable and possesses immense power but it went so well with the progression of Jessica’s character. The things that happened gave the story an eerie, mysterious and evil feel and it was very atmospheric and also stretched the imagination a bit- but doesn’t all hocus pocus? She has help from a couple of sources and both will make you smile but you will always understand the danger they’re in and all won’t come away unscathed. It will take everything she has…. But she will still need more as fate catches up to her and decides that the only way to right her wrongs, is if she dies! So she is straight out of the frying pan and straight into the fire. You think the last enemy was bad? Think again!! This is brutal, it is deadly and when fate wants you dead – how do you survive?
Again Jess has a fabulous supporting cast, they all champion her and non-more so than Rourke who will be with her every step of the way. She will have to call on each and every one to overcome what fate has in store. I really feel for Jess and Rourke, no sooner had they found each other then all hell broke loose! They’ve had to deal with sadistic Goddesses, Vampire Queens with agendas and Jessica’s nearly fatal trip to hell so it’s totally understandable that Rourke be super protective of her –even if she can look after herself- but I love this side to him, he is a primal man and even if your mate is capable, it’s hard to push aside those instincts. I love how their relationship is developing, their magic is evening up and their love adds a balm to the deadly situations they find themselves in. To be honest, I don’t think anyone could be the man/shifter that Jess needs other than Rourke and his beast.
To sum it up – This was another action packed adventure for Jessica, Rourke and the gang, I love where the plot is headed, I love the progression of the characters even the secondary characters, I like the new characters that were introduced, I liked some of the reveals that were shared and I’m excited to see where it will go next…. I’m thinking the missing witches need finding ;)

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