Saturday, July 22, 2017

Book Review: Waiting for the Beast (Lucifer's Clock Book 1) by T. Hayden

Lucifer's Clock Book 1
Title: Waiting for the Beast
Author: T. Hayden
Series: Lucifer's Clock #1
Published: February 14, 2017
Pages: 267
My Rating: ❤❤❤❤

What if the Bible has it all wrong about the Anti-Christ?

What if this person is female and what if she actually has a choice?

Meet A.C. a.k.a Angelica Cunningham

Angelica is drop dead gorgeous, lives in a sprawling mansion with her two aunts, attends a prestigious private school, is an A student and excels at everything she does effortlessly. She has a great life.

That's until her 16th birthday and it all goes banana's. One of her aunt's fall mysteriously ill on the brink of death. Angelica is suddenly telepathic, has a heightened sense of smell and is seeing supernatural beings, that only exists in fairy tales.

Angelica's family is forced to tell her the truth. Her aunts are actually supernatural beings that have been charged with protecting Angelica from her father, Lucifer. He has put a bounty on Angelica's head and every creature from the Abyssal Realm a.k.a Hell is looking for her. In addition she has a hot guardian angel that has been assigned to her since birth that she can now see.

She is suddenly thrust into a dangerous, magical world. Between dealing with her new identity, a love triangle, hiding from her father, and just trying to be a teenager she has to make a decision to run, fight or wait for the darkness to consume her.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

The way that Waiting for the Beast started was unlike any other book I had ever read. Instead of getting thrown into Angelica's story, I was slowly eased into it. Books don't typically do this. Instead of being left guessing, I was given the relevant information at the beginning. This allowed me to focus on where the book was going, and more importantly what was in store for Angelica's future. I wasn't constantly wondering what/who Angelica was, instead I already knew.

I did appreciate how I was eased into the story, but at the same time I found myself getting a little bored. I was ready to meet Angelica and get started on the action! Once the action did start, I found that I really enjoyed reading the book. The storyline and world that Hayden had weaved fascinated me!

I'm excited for the rest of the series, and am really hoping that the author takes some risks with Angelica's romantic affairs, just like she did with the concept of this book! I know Michael is the definition of perfect, but that has been done time and time again. I am much more intrigued by Roman. I have a feeling that there is much more to him than meets the eye. What can I say, I have a soft spot for the bad boys!

Friday, July 14, 2017

Book Review: Bloodrage (Blood Destiny Book 3) by Helen Harper

Blood Destiny Book 3
Title: Bloodrage
Author: Helen Harper
Series: Blood Destiny #3
Pages: 237
My Rating: ❤❤❤❤

Mack begins her training at the mages' academy in the hope that, by complying, the stasis spell will be lifted from her old friend, Mrs. Alcoon. However, once there, she finds herself surrounded by unfriendly adults and petulant teenagers, the majority of whom seem determined to see her fail.

Feeling attacked on all fronts, Mack finds it harder and harder to keep a rein on her temper. Forced to attend anger management classes and deal with the predatory attentions of Corrigan, the Lord Alpha of the shapeshifter world, her emotions start to unravel. But when she comes across a familiar text within the walls of the mages' library, which might just provide the clues she needs to unlock the secrets of her background and her dragon blood, she realises that her problems are only just beginning...

Mack seems to have an incredible talent of getting into trouble literally everywhere she goes. Bloodrage is definitely no different. Due to the events in both Bloodfire and Bloodmagic, Mack finds herself to be the newest initiate at the mages' prestigious academy, much to both the students and the teachers dismay.

She knows that if she doesn't succeed in passing all of her lessons at the academy, that poor Mrs. Alcoon will never be released from stasis. She also knows that to actually succeed, she will need to keep that little temper of hers in check, which is way easier said than done. Despite her predicament, Mack does try her hardest and even makes some actual friends!

Just as with the previous books, Bloodrage is full of action and there is a little bit of Corrigan thrown in there too (wink, wink). The suspense is killing me! We all know that Corrigan keeps popping up in Mack's life for a reason, but of course, Mack is emotional, temperamental, and stubborn. However, those same qualities, the temper, emotions, and stubbornness is also why we love her.

Sigh, we will just have to wait, because i am one hundred percent sure that Corrigan and Mack will happen. Hopefully, the next book in line, Blood Politics will not disappoint. I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

"His back was ramrod straight, exactly as if the metaphorical poker up his arse reached through his spine and into his skull. That probably accounted for the lack of brain cells, I figured sardonically."

"Wonders would never cease. It would appear that I may have made another, if perhaps rather taciturn, new friend."

"Good teachers don't seek to train their students to be as good as they are, they seek to make them better." 

Book Review: Off Limits (Men of Lake Tahoe Book 1) by Jules Barnard

Men of Lake Tahoe Book 1Title: Off Limits
Author: Jules Barnard
Series: Men of Lake Tahoe #1
Pages: 320
My Rating: ❤❤❤❤❤

When Cali Morgan kicks off her perfect post-college summer in Lake Tahoe, she has everything she ever wanted: acceptance into a top law program, a gorgeous boyfriend, and an incredible summer planned with her best friend.

Confident about her place in the world, Cali makes it her mission to be her friend’s wingwoman and help her meet guys. What Cali doesn’t count on is running into Jaeger Lang, one of her older brother’s high school friends, or the sparks that fly when she’s around him.

Jaeger has changed, and it’s not just the added height and muscle. There’s something about him that’s deep and a little scarred. In spite of the changes, Jaeger becomes a top pick for her friend—if Cali can keep her hands off him.

But when Cali’s boyfriend dumps her and her carefully laid plans begin to unravel, she finds herself questioning what it is she truly desires. In the midst of doubts about her future, one thing is very clear: she wants Jaeger for her own. The question is, has her friend already fallen for him? And will Jaeger’s past come back to haunt them both?

Cali thinks she has her entire future mapped out. She recently graduated college and has been accepted into a top law program. She believes everything is great, except her friend Gen. Gen has recently broken up with her boyfriend, so to help cheer her up, Cali gets them jobs at a casino in Lake Tahoe.

However, things do not go as planned, and Cali finds herself lost and totally confused. Everything she thought she wanted, may not be even remotely close to what she really needs. Luckily for her, she has some help along the way, including Gen, and Jaeger, who looks a lot different than he did in high school...

I absolutely loved Barnard's writing! She was able to weave a great story that included a shock or two (or three or four). And the scenery sounds AMAZING! Her descriptions make me want to grab my camera, head on over there, and just enjoy the view. Speaking of view, her descriptions weren't just about the scenery, quite a few adjectives were about a certain scarred someone with some pretty green eyes. Just Sayin'. Deep Blue is fun summer read that will definitely, without a doubt have you swooning. 
"If one wishes to elicit a reaction from the elusive species known as 'reservus quietgirlius,' one must poke."

"Mom discovered too late that sometimes a hardworking man is more successful than a brilliant one."

"You're not a loser. You're almost as smart as me, which makes you one of the smartest people on the planet."

"Is he crazy? No one has ever told me my doodles are good, not that I flash them around or anything. Gen likes them, but she also thinks vampire romances are literature and sings along to 'Islands in the Stream.' Her tastes are dubious. She's not a reliable source."

"What better time to try something new than when you have nothing to lose."

"...maybe that's art. Seeing beauty others miss and capturing it." 

****Off Limits was previously named Deep Blue, and looked a little something like this: ****

Book Review: Protect Me (Donovan Family Book 6) by Margaret Watson

The Donovan Family Book 6
Title: Protect Me
Author: Margaret Watson
Series: Donovan Family #6
Pages: 329
My Rating: ❤❤❤❤

Police officer Mia Donovan is studying for the detective's exam when her captain offers her an assignment – be Finn O'Rourke's personal bodyguard for the next three weeks. He's in town to film a movie, he has a stalker, and the threats are escalating.

Mia isn't interested – she's focused on the looming exam. But her captain convinces her that successfully protecting Finn will look very good on her record when promotion decisions are made. So, reluctantly, she takes the assignment.

Finn isn't the arrogant, egotistical actor Mia expected. There's more than meets the eye when it comes to the 'most hated man in America', Finn's nickname since he cheated on his girlfriend, a beloved pop star.

But his stalker is lurking and the threat is escalating. Although Mia's feelings for Finn are growing, her job is to protect Finn, not fall in love with him.

*I received a free copy of Protect Me in exchange for an honest review*

Besides reading, one of my favorite things to do is watch crime shows. From NCIS to Criminal Minds and everything in-between, I watch it all. So, when this books description offered romance and some cool crime action, I knew that I'd like it! 

I absolutely loved both Finn and Mia! They have this banter that is extremely entertaining. They actually remind me a lot of Castle and Beckett from one of my all time favorite shows, Castle. It's hard not to see the similarities. A witty woman with a badge pitted against a charming "ruggedly handsome" celebrity. You know that's the perfect recipe for something great!

Okay, so combine that idea with the fact that Mia is so close to her cop family, and you get a sort of cross between Castle and the tv show Blue Bloods. Mia's family even meets up at least once a month to eat dinner together. This was my first Donovan book, but from what I've seen, Mia's family is absolutely great! I couldn't imagine growing up with four older brothers! 

Overall, this was a good fun read! The dialogue between our two protagonists was great and truly entertaining. And the stalker plot line also helped keep things interesting. Also, I'm ready to try some of that Oscar's Mac-and-Cheese (trust me, you will too after you read this)!!

"She thinks you're stalking me."
"Why the hell would I do that? I see too much of your ugly mug as it is." 


Book Review: Paranormalcy (Paranormalcy Book 1) by Kiersten White

Paranormalcy #1
Title: Paranormalcy
Author: Kiersten White
Series: Paranormalcy #1
Pages: 335
My Rating: ❤❤❤❤❤

Evie’s always thought of herself as a normal teenager, even though she works for the International Paranormal Containment Agency, her ex-boyfriend is a faerie, she’s falling for a shape-shifter, and she’s the only person who can see through paranormals’ glamours.

But Evie’s about to realize that she may very well be at the center of a dark faerie prophecy promising destruction to all paranormal creatures.

So much for normal. 

I have wanted to read Paranormalcy for a while. The book first came out in 2010, and I think I've wanted to get my hands on it ever since. Well, I finally did!

White creates a pretty impressive underground world that involves trolls, faeries, werewolves, vampires, and so much more! It reminds me of the military that got involved in supernatural affairs on Buffy, except with less kevlar and more sass. I don't mean just a little sass either, but instead a whole lot of sass.

The main character, Evie, is a sixteen year old operative in a paranormal agency. With a little help from her pink sparkly tazer she is able to bag and tag all things supernatural. She is absolutely one of my favorite characters! She is full of curiosity, spunk, and of course sassiness. Oh, and she absolutely loves the color pink, so naturally she is pretty amazing!

In addition to the awesome character White created, I also love the world that she created. I loved the idea of a secret agency battling the things that go bump in the night! However, don't think that this book is all work and no play though, because there is some romance involved. The way it all unfolds is super sweet and the flirty dialogue is fantastic!

I am so glad that I finally picked up Paranormalcy, and I highly suggest it for people who love shows like Buffy or even Marvel: Agents of Shield and Men in Black. Seriously, it is that good!

"Tasers are a one-size-fits-all paranormal butt-kicking option. Mine's pink with rhinestones."

Book Revies: Endlessly (Paranormalcy Book 3) by Kiersten White

Title: Endlessly
Author: Kiersten White
Series: Paranormalcy #3
Pages: 385
My Rating: ❤❤❤❤

Kiersten White’s New York Times bestselling Paranormalcy trilogy comes to a breathless conclusion with a signature mix of wit, romance, paranormal creatures, and a truly original heroine.

In Endlessly, pink-loving, butt-kicking Evie has way too much on her to-do list. Paranormals are begging her to open a faerie gate so they can leave the human world, something Evie’s not sure she has the power to do. The Dark Queen is torturing humans and must be destroyed.

On top of all that, Evie’s prom is coming up. She’s not sure what to wear, and, oh, yeah, her shape-shifting boyfriend, Lend, has been cursed so that he falls into an enchanted sleep whenever he and Evie are in the same room…and even Evie’s ex-boyfriend, the faerie Reth, can’t reverse the dark magic.

An epic battle is looming, and the choices Evie makes will determine the fate of whole paranormal world—and her own life.

In Supernaturally Evie discovered just how embedded she was in the affairs of the paranormal. Nothing has changed. In Endlessly, Evie is faced with one problem right after another, and sometimes even multiple problems at once. Can't a girl catch a break?

I enjoyed this novel, however, for me it didn't quite live up to its predecessor. Don't get me wrong though, it is a great one, but just not my favorite. I think Evie was reading my mind throughout the story. She kept whining about "why me" and "what now?" I assure you that I'm not exaggerating about the whole one problem right after another situation. As soon as you think that nothing else can go wrong, be assured that it will.

Despite the treacherous bumpy road that Evie was forced to walk, things did get better. Raquel even had this great quote about how great things can emerge from chaos. This was certainly true for Evie, and I couldn't have said it better myself.

Ms. White did a fantastic job on this series! I still can't believe that it took me this long to read all three! This was a great Buffy-esque series. It was full of romance, forgiveness, growth, and as always some butt-kicking action!

"I don't see what good it's going to do for you to waltz back in there and-" 
"Can I tango back in there, instead? So much sexier than the waltz."

"I'm not going to let anyone kill you." He grinned "If I don't get to, no one should."
"I'm touched." But I couldn't help smiling back at him.

"Best to have only a few absolutely perfect trait - for example, my hair and eyes and sparkling personality - so you don't overwhelm."

"Sometimes it takes a little chaos for things to work themselves out. When we make it through the chaos, we can use it to shape the world around us into something better than it was before."

Book Review: The Calling (Darkness Rising Book 2) by Kelley Armstrong

Title: The Calling
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Series: Darkness Rising #2
Pages: 326
My Rating: ❤❤❤❤❤

Maya Delaney's paw-print birthmark is the mark of what she truy is - a skin-walker. She can run faster, climb higher, and see better than nearly everyone else. Experiencing intense connections with the animals that roam the woods outside her home, Maya knows it's only a matter of time before she's able to Shift and become one of them. And she believes there may be others in her small town with surprising talents.

Now Maya and her friends have been forced to flee from their homes during a forest fire they suspect was deliberately set. Then they're kidnapped, and after a chilling helicopter crash, they find themselves in the Vancouver Island wilderness with nothing but their extraordinary abilities to help them get back home.

In THE CALLING, the sizzling second book in the Darkness Rising trilogy, New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong pumps up the romance, danger, and suspense that left readers of THE GATHERING clamoring for more.

The Calling was just as good as The Gathering, or maybe even just a bit better! In the first novel, we got to know the main characters, but in this installment we were able to see more of the supporting characters, and I really love how Armstrong did it.

Even though we were learning more about the characters, the story did not lag one bit. There was one action scene right after another! And, of course my emotions were all over the place! When reading a book, there is nothing better than feeling like you are part of the action, and just as torn emotionally as the characters are. Armstrong does a fantastic job of this!

One thing that did change with this novel is that we are exposed to a more vulnerable side of Maya. Being strong and brave is harder than what you think, and Maya lets us see the struggle that is happening inside of her. Not only did this make me like her even more, but it also made me even more appreciative of Daniel. The way he helped and supported Maya was very sweet, and he is a really great guy (just like what the book says!). You cannot help but love Daniel!!

I can't wait to read the next and final installment of the Darkness Rising, and am sure that it will be just as action packed as its predecessors!

"'Right.' A soft, choked laugh. 'Kind of ruins the dramatic effect if I'm storming off in the wrong direction, doesn't it?'"

"When you accept a leadership role, you take on extra responsibility for your actions toward others. If you shun someone, the effect will trickle down through those who value your opinion."

"I'd always thought of myself as an open-minded person. I had no patience with anyone who put down other kids because of their race, religion, or sexuality. But that's just one kind of open-mindedness. There's another kind, too, the kind that's willing to see people for who they really are and admit when you were wrong about them."

"I started rubbing my temples and she suggested I don't really get headaches. It just hurts me to think." 

Book Review: The Selection (Sapient Salvation Book 1) by Jayne Faith

Title: The Selection
Author: Jayne Faith
Series: Sapient Salvation #1
Pages: 282
My Rating: ❤❤❤❤

Twice a year, the alien Lord Toric demands a selection of human women between the ages of 18 and 20 to compete for a place in his harem. Maya must get through just one more selection and then she can marry the man of her dreams. She should have been safe, but when a young woman who was supposed to compete dies the day of the selection, Maya is forced into the competition.

Thrown into the fight of her life with no preparation, Maya must shed her innocence and win Lord Toric’s favor. And there is only one winner in the competition. The losers will be sacrificed. Will she survive the first round, or will she pay the ultimate price for her inexperience?

I have previously read The Selection by Kiera Cass and absolutely loved it! I found that both books are extremely similar, except Faith's is geared towards a more mature audience and includes aliens. In addition to Cass' series, this book also tends to incorporate some elements from The Hunger Games. Overall, I would say that Jayne Faith's novel is The Hunger Games meets The Selection (Cass) meets aliens.

It may seem like there is a lot of different elements being thrown into this book, but somehow Faith manages to make it all mesh seamlessly. I really enjoyed how their is a bi-annual culling of both men and women, who then must compete in various survival scenarios. However, the real competition is within both groups, for there can only be one male victor and one female victor. This makes for an interesting dynamic between "obligates."

The story was really enjoyable, but ended too abruptly. I hate when books do that! I felt like after such a slow start (background stuff) that the story was finally getting to some action, and then "wham!" The end. I just wasn't prepared for the story to end, even though the status bar at the bottom of my kindle indicated it's upcoming end.

"May we all find what peace we can, collect as many moments of happiness as possible, and know gratitude in every breath."

Book Review: Fated (The Soul Seekers Book 1) by Alyson Noel

The Soul Seekers Book 1
Title: Fated
Author: Alyson Noel
Series: The Soul Seekers #1
Pages: 352
My Rating: ❤❤❤❤

Until now, he's existed only in her dreams - but fate is about to bring them together.

I shove through the crowd, knocking into girls and bouncing off boys, until one in particular catches me, steadies me. I feel so secure, so at home in his arms. I melt against his chest-lift my gaze to meet his. Gasping when I stare into a pair of icy blue eyes banded by brilliant flecks of gold that shine like kaleidoscopes, reflecting my image thousands of times. The boy from my dream. The one who died in my arms.

Strange things are happening to Daire Santos. Crows mock her, glowing people stalk her, time stops without warning, and a beautiful boy with unearthly blue eyes haunts all her dreams. Fearing for her daughter’s sanity, Daire’s mother sends her to live with the grandmother she’s never met. A woman who recognizes the visions for what they truly are—the call to her destiny as a Soul Seeker—one who can navigate the worlds between the living and dead.

There on the dusty plains of Enchantment, New Mexico, Daire sets out to harness her mystical powers. But it’s when she meets Dace, the boy from her dreams, that her whole world is shaken to its core. Now Daire is forced to discover if Dace is the one guy she's meant to be with...or if he’s allied with the enemy she's destined to destroy.

I read Noel's Immortals series a few years ago and really enjoyed it. So, when I came across Fated, I knew that I had to pick it up. Once again, she did not disappoint!

This series is definitely different from her immortals series, but is just as amazing! For her whole life, our main heroine has never remained in one place for long. Her Hollywood make-up artist mom has just dragged her from movie set to movie set. However, Daire's life isn't as glamorous as it may appear. Due to her constant bouncing around, she has learned that nothing lasts forever and chooses to not form attachments. In reality, she is actually really lonely...

Strange things start to happen to her and when one thing leads to another, she is forced to stay with a relative in New Mexico. Despite her protests, this town, this place, turns out to be one of the best things that have ever happened to her. 

The mythology that Noel weaves into the story is really interesting, and I absolutely love how it all unfolds. I mean, who wouldn't want their very own spirit animal? And, all of this with a beautiful New Mexico landscape makes for a very ENCHANTING story.

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