Friday, July 31, 2015

Vacation Time + Blogging Break!


July 31 - September 1

It's time for vacation and a blogging break!

I'll be leaving on vacation for two weeks today (July 31st) and for one week on August 22nd. Obviously I won't be home a lot so I'm just taking the whole month of August off from blogging. 

I'll be back on September 1st!







Thursday, July 30, 2015

ARC Review: Finding Gabriel by Rachel L. Demeter

Title: Finding Gabriel
Author: Rachel L. Demeter

Publication: August 27th 2015 by Momentum (Pan Macmillan)
Genre: Historical Romance
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Rating: 5/5

Review copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.

 

Colonel Gabriel de Laurent departed for the war intending to die.

After a decade of bloodstained battlegrounds while fighting in Napoleon's army, Gabriel returns to the streets of Paris a shattered and haunted soul. Plagued by inner demons, he swallows the barrel of his flintlock pistol and pulls the trigger.

But fate has a different plan.

Ariah Larochelle is a survivor. Orphaned at twelve and victim to a devastating crime, she has learned to keep her back to walls and to trust no one. But when she finds a gravely injured soldier washed up on the River Seine, she's moved by compassion. In spite of her reservations, she rescues him from the icy water and brings him into her home.

Now scarred inside and out, Gabriel discovers a kindred spirit in Ariah—and feelings he imagined lost forever reawaken as he observes her strength in the face of adversity. But when Ariah's own lethal secrets unfold, their new love is threatened by ancient ghosts. Can Gabriel and Ariah find hope in the wreckage of their pasts—or will the cycle of history repeat again?

Perfect for fans of Gaelen Foley's Lord of Ice and Judith James's Broken Wing, Finding Gabriel features all the dark romance, searing passion, and historical intrigue of The Phantom of the Opera and Les Misérables.


Finding Gabriel was unlike any books I've read before. It was exquisite, personal, emotional and I just loved it so much. It took me a good six days to finish it but it never got boring. All I know is, I want to read more by this author!

This book felt a bit like a mix between Les Misérables and The Phantom of the Opera. In fact I like this one just as much (if not a little bit more), which is a huge deal since I'm a huge fan of both those stories. 

The story starts quite shockingly with Colonel Gabriel de Laurent trying to kill himself. This is where Ariah Larochelle, a mother of a six-year-old girl, finds him, severely wounded. In spite of not knowing who is is, Ariah rescues him and brings him to her home to heal him. At first Gabriel finds himself angry with Ariah but the more he gets the know her the more he admires her strenght and feels a close connection to her, which Ariah also feels. 

My first thought when I finished Finding Gabriel was: this is utterly beautiful. And it really was for so many reasons. One of them was how both Gabriel and Ariah were broken, with scars inside and in Gabriel's case out. But when they found each other they slowly started healing. That was amazing. 

This book was really emotional, in my opinion. I must admit that I shed a few tears (which is something I almost never do with reading). I felt myself really invested in the characters and I wanted Gabriel, Ariah and her little girl to have the happy ending they deserved. 

This book was heavy on the romance but it wasn't too much, you know? It felt exactly right. Even when life got in the way for Ariah and Gabriel I still felt the love and connection they shared. I especially loved the scenes between Gabriel and Ariah's daughter Emmaline. They simply melted my heart.

The writing also was gorgeous. Actually, that was one of my favorite parts of this book and I was practically inhaling every sentence because it was written in such a beautiful way. I'm definitely keeping an eye on the author's future books. I just want more stories like this!




       

       Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Rachel L. Demeter lives in the beautiful hills of Anaheim, California with Teddy, her goofy lowland sheepdog, and her high school sweetheart of eleven years. She enjoys writing dark, poignant romances that challenge the reader's emotions and explore the redeeming power of love.


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Review: Girl From Above: Betrayal by Pippa DaCosta

Title: Girl From Above: Betrayal
Author: Pippa DaCosta
Series: The 1000 Revolution #1
Publication: 
April 21st 2015

Genre: Science-Fiction
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Rating: 5/5


WARNING: Over 18+ only. Contains adult content, including sex, drug use, violence, and curse words.

"My name is #1001, and I am not ready to die." I’d only just begun to live.

When Captain Caleb Shepperd is released from prison, all he wants to do is keep his head down and earn a living smuggling illegal cargo through the nine systems. So when a synth stows away on his ship, and brings with her a crap-ton of problems, including guilt-ridden secrets he thought he’d escaped, he’d prefer to toss her out the airlock. The problem is, she’s priceless tech, and he’s fresh out of credit.

#1001 is not meant to exist. Created for a single purpose, she has one simple order: to kill. But not everything is as it seems. Buried deep inside, she remembers... Remembers when she was human. And she remembers what Shepperd did to her. She’s not ready to die, but she is ready to kill.

From the bestselling author of the Veil Series comes an action packed story of love, redemption, and revenge.

Pippa DaCosta captures the grit and realism of her urban fantasy stories and injects it—along with some down-and-dirty passion—into the sci-fi genre.


"My name is #1001, and I am not ready to die. I’d only just begun to live."

So this book? It was really good. I can't say I have read many books in this genre in my life (though lately I've been getting more into it) but this has got to be in my top three of best sci-fi books. 

Girl From Above: Betrayal follows Caleb, a captain who has been released from prison who's trying to keep a low profile and #1001, a synth, who is not meant to excist, as there are only supposed to be 1000 synthetic humans a decade. Her orders? To kill Caleb. But when #1001 slowly starts to remember who she is and what he did to her things really get dangerous and deadly.

I really enjoyed reading both Caleb and #1001's points of view. On the surface Caleb seems like a typical guy, smuggling illegal cargo with his second in command, Fran, who he'd love to nail. Then #1001 comes in the story. Caleb just wants to get rid of her but slowly but surely he finds out who she is. Meanwhile #1001 has orders to kill him, which she doesn't follows. Not yet anyway. And also #1001 was simply a kick-ass character. I loved her. 

This story and world is quite harsh, to be honest, which is one of the reasons why I loved it so much. Like the synopsis says: it contains graphic adult content, including sex, drug use, violence and curse words. And the characters are not all good, they all have secrets and sins.

The writing was, of course, excellent. The story hooked me and didn't let me go until I had finished it. What else can I say? I just loved the sci-fi part of the book but also the relationships between all characters and obviously the story was just awesome.

Girl From Above: Betrayal by Pippa DaCosta was a sci-fi book that I needed in my life. I literally have nothing negative to say about the story. It was unique, gritty and totally awesome with unexpected plot twists. I'll definitely be reading book two very soon!




       

Born in Tonbridge, Kent in 1979, Pippa's family moved to the South West of England where she grew up amongst the dramatic moorland and sweeping coastlands of Devon & Cornwall. With a family history brimming with intrigue, complete with Gypsy angst on one side and Jewish survivors on another, she has the ability to draw from a patchwork of ancestry and use it as the inspiration for her writing. Happily married and the Mother of two little girls, she resides on the Devon & Cornwall border.





Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Review: Better When It Hurts by Skye Warren

Title: Better When It Hurts
Author: Skye Warren
Series: Stripped #2
Publication: June 4th 2015 

Genre: Adult ~ Contemporary ~ Dark Romance
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Kobo
Rating: 3/5


Five years ago we lived in the same house. He was the ultimate bad boy. And my foster brother.

Now he’s back. Tougher, harder, meaner. All of it aimed at me, because I was the one who sent him away. It’s payback time. He wants his pound of flesh, and I am helpless to say no.


As much as I love Blue (which is a whole lot!), I didn't think Better When It Hurts was as good as Love the Way You Lie. Don't get me wrong, I still liked it but I wasn't into it as much as the first book. 

From the moment I met Blue in Love the Way You Lie I was so intrigued by him. I wanted to know what his story was and how he ended up being the head of security at the stripclub. I was really surprised by how he was connected to Lola but I liked that part of the story. He's still my favorite guy in this series so far.

I also was curious about Lola's story but I ended up being really annoyed by her. And the thing is I really liked her in the first book but in this one she was a bit of a let down and just kind of aggravating. 

But as much as I disliked Lola, her chemistry with Blue was off the charts. There really were some fireworks going off with the two of them. Needless to say the sex scenes were scorching hot. And I was glad when they finally got through all the BS and just be together. 

Also I'm super excited for Candy and Ivan's book. I've been curious about them from book one so bring it on! 




              

              Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Skye Warren is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of dark romance. Her books are raw, sexual and perversely tender. For those new to her work, consider the bestseller Wanderlust, Prisoner or the Dark Nights series starting with Trust in Me.



Monday, July 27, 2015

Review: Love the Way You Lie by Skye Warren

Title: Love the Way You Lie
Author: Skye Warren

Series: Stripped #1
Publication: March 12th 2015

Genre: Adult ~ Contemporary ~ Dark Romance
Purchase: AmazonBarnes & Noble | Book Depository | Kobo

Rating: 4/5


A dark romance about the lies that lead us down…

I’ll do anything to get safe, even if that means working at the scariest club in town.

I’ll do anything to stay hidden, even if it means taking off my clothes for strangers.

I’ll do anything to be free. Except give him up. When he looks at me, I forget why I can’t have him. He’s beautiful and scarred. His body fits mine, filling the places where I’m hollow, rough where I am soft.

He’s the one man who wants to help, but he has his own agenda. He has questions I can’t answer. Like, What are you afraid of? -- You.


“He's wrong for me. Dangerous. Desire doesn't ask questions. Neither does love.” 

I truly love dark romances. They're my favorite kind of contemporary romance stories and I really liked Love the Way You Lie. It was quite quick read, or maybe I just read it fast because I was enjoying it so much. In any case, I thought it was a really great book.

This is one of those stories that slowly unravels and reveals everything.The main character, Honor, was also a bit like that. Slowly but surely everything about her and her life unravels also. The same goes for Kip, the mysterious stranger who shows up at the stripclub where she works. It was all very suspenseful and I loved that. 

I really liked Honor. Her protectiveness over her sister was very remarkable. I loved how she did everything in her power to stay hidden, even if it means working at a shady stripclub. Bring in Kip, a mysterious stranger who keeps showing up and the story really gets interesting.

Kip sure was interesting. He was sexy, mysterious and totally intriguing. He really was the eptiome of a man who could either be bad or good. At first you just don't know what he's after. Oh the suspense!

I don't really want to go into details of the plot of the story because it would give too much away. But let me just say that there were a few twists that made me go like "wow!". The end, though, felt a little rushed but as the rest of the story was so good I don't care all that much about it. 

Overall, Love the Way You Lie was good, really good. It was seductive, brutal at times, thrilling and the writing was oh so beautiful! I would highly recommend this book to fans of dark romance. 




       Quotes:

We're a long way from the man who told me about poetry and childhood dreams, but I can't forget that he did. He's the same man, light and dark, petal and thorn.

He's something else. Something dark and serious and solemn. His hands mesmerize me, so large and strong and yet careful. He's stone, rough-edged and impenetrable. And I am air, already blowing away.

I'm afraid of the wind, afraid of its force, but what I didn't realize is that the greater danger lay ahead of me. Kip is my cliff. Every gust of wind pushes me closer. It's only a matter of time before I fall.

I think of Peter Pan flying off into Neverland, taking Wendy with him. I think of sword fights and fairies. That's how it feels in the clearing—like magic.




About the Author: 

       Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Skye Warren is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of dark romance. Her books are raw, sexual and perversely tender. For those new to her work, consider the bestseller Wanderlust, Prisoner or the Dark Nights series starting with Trust in Me.


Sunday, July 26, 2015

Review: Fairest by Marissa Meyer

Title: Fairest
Author: Marissa Meyer
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #3.5
Publication: January 27th 2015 by Feiwel & Friends

Genre: Young Adult ~ Science-Fiction ~ Fantasy
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Kobo
Rating: 4/5


In this stunning bridge book between Cress and Winter in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles, Queen Levana’s story is finally told.

Mirror, mirror on the wall,
Who is the fairest of them all?
Fans of the Lunar Chronicles know Queen Levana as a ruler who uses her “glamour” to gain power. But long before she crossed paths with Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress, Levana lived a very different story – a story that has never been told . . . until now.

Marissa Meyer spins yet another unforgettable tale about love and war, deceit and death. This extraordinary book includes full-color art and an excerpt from Winter, the next book in the Lunar Chronicles series.


I felt a lot of things with this book... I felt anger towards both Levana and especially her older sister Channery. I also felt sad because this book was pretty much the road to Levana's craziness and how she totally spiraled downwards. 

There were some things that were quite creepy to me while being inside Levana's head. One thing being her obsession with one of the palace guards who she ends up marrying due to some really disturbing manipulation. But we also got to see how everything with Cinder got started. And of course a little Winter and Jacin made appearances as well.

I have to say that I never sympatized or felt bad for Levana because she's always been pretty crazy and not to mention obsessive. But I do see where she's coming from with the way she was raised and how she was tormented by Channery.

Fairest was the sad, eerie yet intriguing story of Levana, the Lunar queen. Although it was pretty much what I expected, I really liked reading Levana's back story. It always interesting knowing where a villain is coming from. 




       

       Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Marissa Meyer lives near Seattle with her husband and their three cats. She's a fan of most things geeky (Sailor Moon, Firefly, color-coordinating her bookshelf...) and will take any excuse to put on a costume. She may or may not be a cyborg.




Saturday, July 25, 2015

Stacking The Shelves: July 25, 2015

Stacking The Shelves is a weekly meme hosted @ Tynga's Reviews.


Won:
The Devil You Know by Trish Doller
Won this book via a Dark Faerie Tales giveaway!


Bought:
Mermaid Magnetic Bookmark by Craftedvan
This arrived a few weeks ago already but I haven't been home so it wasn't until today that I finally saw it. I absolutely love it. Craftedvan has the BEST bookmarks!


For Review:
Annie's Defiance by Nicole Pouchet
This is the third book in the Elemental Myths series so I'm pretty excited to see where this one will be going.

For Review:
Finding Gabriel by Rachel L. Demeter
From synopsis: 
Perfect for fans of Gaelen Foley's Lord of Ice and Judith James's Broken WingFinding Gabriel features all the dark romance, searing passion, and historical intrigue of The Phantom of the Opera and Les Misérables.So yeah I HAD to accept this for review. 


For Review:
Lumiére by Jacqueline E. Garlick
Sounds like a really good book. Also, STEAMPUNK! 

For Review:
Sanctuary by Lucy Varna
Pretty curious about this one!




Leave me links to your hauls so I can stop by, please! :)




Friday, July 24, 2015

Blog Tour ~ Review: Torn by Avery Hastings






Title: Torn
Author: Avery Hastings
Series: The Feuds #2
Publication: July 21st 2015 by St. Martin's Griffin

Genre: Young Adult ~ Dystopia
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Kobo

Rating: 3/5

Review copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.


In an America split into the genetically superior and inferior, a fiercely ambitious ballerina and a boy from the wrong side of the tracks must stop a deadly virus that is spreading quickly. Determined to escape from TOR-N, a corrupt Narxis research center, Davis meets another recovered patient, Mercer, whose sweet smile and quirky sense of humor give her hope in humanity again—and a way out. As they make a perilous journey seeking clues that could lead to a cure, Davis and Mercer's friendship begins to evolve into something more... but she's still struggling to let go of her feelings for Cole, whom she believes is dead.

Meanwhile, Cole has plans to change his identity in order to compete in the Olympiads—where Imps have now been invited to compete against Priors. He begins training with Mari, the intense and rebellious daughter of a retired fighter, but through trials and tests that are both exhausting and exhilarating, he finds himself in over his head—literally.

Will both Davis and Cole have the strength to resist temptation? Will they have the courage to face the answers they're seeking? Will their love survive across the divide?


I enjoyed reading Torn. It wasn't amazing or anything but  I liked it a bit more than Feuds. The ending, though, left me with some questions. If it wasn't for that I'd probably given it four stars.

In this sequal Davis and Cole were pretty much seperate until the end (*sniffles*). One the one hand I liked most of that because they had to find their own path back to each other, each  having struggles they had to face, but on the other hand I had wished they'd spend a little more time together because I missed seeing them together. 

At the start of the book Davis is still stuck at TOR-N, which is an awful place to be with corrupt doctors, terrible living conditions and people dying. I kind of wished that the time spend at TOR-N was more written about more extensively about the months she spend there.
In the.She met Mercer there who Davis bonds with and eventually escapes TOR-N with. I really really really disliked Mercer. I just knew he was lying about some things and I just hated the little shit.

Cole in the meantime is in hiding and trying to do everything he can to go back to Davis, which means competing in the Olympiads. He starts training and even takes over his friend Brent's identity to be able to enter. I must admit I was more curious about Cole than Davis, although I enjoyed both their points of view. 

Some things felt a little rushed and not explained enough in the story. And then the ending felt all too easy and wrapped up. I'm not sure there will be another book because everything was resolved. I guess I didn't like it in the end that for the whole book Davis and Cole weren't together. But all in all, I really did enjoy most of the story. The writing, although sometimes rushed, was pretty good. I do hope another book will come, though, but who knows!




       About the Author:

            Twitter | Goodreads
Avery Hastings is an author and former book editor from New York City. Avery grew up in Ohio, graduated in 2006 from the University of Notre Dame and earned her MFA from the New School in 2008. When she's not reading or writing, Avery can usually be spotted lying around in the park with her affable dog. Like her protagonists, she knows how to throw a powerful right hook and once dreamed of becoming a ballerina. In addition to New York, Avery has recently lived in Mumbai and Paris, but is happy to call Brooklyn home (for now).


♥ Holly's Boys ♥

Highly recommended story to check out!