Sunday, June 30, 2013

Best of the Bunch ~ June 2013

Best of the Bunch is a monthly meme hosted by Always Lost in Stories on the last day of every month. The aim of this meme is to share the best book that we have read in that month and give it our Best of the Bunch award.

June Reads:

Fall For Me (The Tate Chronicles #1) by K.A. Last ~ 1 Star ~ My Review
Obsession by Jennifer L. Armentrout ~ 5 Stars ~ My Review
Eversea (Eversea #1) by Natasha Boyd ~ 4 Stars ~ My Review

My Name is Rapunzel by K.C. Hilton ~ 3 Stars ~ My Review
Justice (Galilee Falls Trilogy #1) by Jennifer Harlow ~ 5 Stars ~ My Review
Demons in the Big Easy by Jamie Marchant ~ 3 Stars ~ My Review

Freeing Pain by Lor Rose ~ 2 Stars
Vampires, Scones, and Edmund Herondale (The Bane Chronicles #3) by Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan ~ 5 Stars ~ My Review
Death Takes a Holiday (A F.R.E.A.K.S. Squad Investigation #3) by Jennifer Harlow ~ 4 Stars ~ My Review

Fifty Shades of Facebook by Joseph Menette ~ 1 Star 
Keeper of the King's Secrets (Susanna Horenbout and John Parker #2) by Michelle Diener ~ 5 Stars ~ My Review
Gradation by Geoff Peck ~ 1 Star

My Name is Electra by Joanna Leyland ~ 2 Stars

And the Best of the Bunch winner of June 2013 is...

~Obsession by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Kindle Edition, 370 pages
Published May 31st 2013 by Entangled Publishing, LLC (Covet)
He’s arrogant, domineering, and... To. Die. For.

Hunter is a ruthless killer. And the Department of Defense has him firmly in their grasp, which usually doesn’t chafe too badly because he gets to kill bad guys. Most of the time he enjoys his job. That is, until he’s saddled with something he’s never had to do before: protect a human from his mortal enemy.

Serena Cross didn’t believe her best friend when she claimed to have seen the son of a powerful senator turn into something... unnatural. Who would? But then she witnesses her friend’s murder at the hands of what can only be an alien, thrusting her into a world that will kill to protect their secret.

Hunter stirs Serena’s temper and her lust despite their differences. Soon he’s doing the unthinkable—breaking the rules he’s lived by, going against the government to keep Serena safe. But are the aliens and the government the biggest threats to Serena’s life… or is it Hunter?

Obsession was by far the best book I have read this month. No surprise there since it's from JLA. But also loved Justice and Keeper of the King's Secrets! :)

Review: Keeper of the King's Secrets by Michelle Diener

Title: Keeper of the King's Secrets 
Author: Michelle Diener
Series: Susanna Horenbout and John Parker #2
Publication: April 3rd 2012 by Gallery Books
Genre: Historical Fiction
Format: Paperback, 286 pages
Cover Rating: 5/5
Overal Rating: 5/5

Copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.


A priceless jewel. A royal court rife with intrigue. A secret deal, where the price of truth could come too high . . . The personal artist to King Henry Tudor, Susanna Horenbout is sought by the queen and ladies of the court for her delicate, skilled portraits. But now someone from her past is pulling her into a duplicitous game where the consequence of failure is war. Soon, Susanna and her betrothed, the King’s most dangerous courtier, are unraveling a plot that would shatter Europe. And at the heart of it is a magnificent missing diamond. . . .

With John Parker at her side, Susanna searches for the diamond and those responsible for its theft, their every step dogged by a lethal assassin. Finding the truth means plunging into the heart of the court’s most bitter infighting, surviving the harrowing labyrinth of Fleet Prison—and then coming face-to-face with the most dangerous enemy of all.

~My thoughts:

Although I am so interested in history I do not read historical fiction books a lot. I just don't know many books in that genre that are actually good. The most historical fiction books I have read are Michelle Diener's books and oh how I love her writing and storytelling. It's more than amazing to read her books.

It's hard to say if I like Keeper of the King's secrets more than the first book so I won't compare them. I guess I liked them both equally. But I must say in this one Susanna steps it up quite a bit more. I adored her before but I like her even more now. She was fierce. I  have no other word for it. I also love her and Parker (who was as swoonworthy as he always is) together. They're one of my favorite book couples to read about. They're both equally protective toward each other and I just can't get enough of their interactions.

As always Michelle Diener's writing was fantastic. I love the way she writes. Gorgeous! She really captured me with her words and the excitement going on in the story. I loved the whole story and plot and as is usual with her stories I can never figure out what is going to happen next which is a good thing because nothing is more boring than expecting what is going to happen in a book, right? Luckily I don't ever have to worry about that with Michelle's books.

I need to mention how much I love the setting. I love anything about the Tudors but I like it more that they are not exactly the main characters in this series and yet we glimpse a lot of historical facts that actually happened which makes the history geek in my all happy. 

It is hard to overall describe Keeper of the King's Secrets. Words like gorgeous, brilliant, breathtaking and completely fascinating come to mind. Yes, I loved this book immensely (obviously), which at this point shouldn't be a surprise with how much I love Michelle Diener's books and yet every book I read by her comes as such a pleasant surprise that I read them in no time it seems. I can't wait to read the next book, I'm sure it's going to be just as amazing!

~Favorite Quotes:
Parker came for her, striding out of the darkness like Hades in search of his bride.
There was a pause, the threat of violence hanging clear in the air, then the grip on her arm was suddenly gone. She took a step back, rubbing the spot. There would be a bruise. Something for Parker to grumble about later, she was sure.

~About the author:
Michelle Diener writes historical fiction. Her Susanna Horenbout and John Parker series starts with IN A TREACHEROUS COURT. Set in the court of Henry VIII, it features the real historical figures of artist Susanna Horenbout and Henry’s Keeper of the Palace of Westminster and Yeoman of the King’s Robes, John Parker. It was followed by KEEPER OF THE KING’S SECRETS, also featuring Susanna Horenbout and John Parker, and DANGEROUS SANCTUARY, a short story with the same characters, set between the two books, is currently available as an ebook only.
Set during the Napoleonic Wars in London in 1811, THE EMPEROR’S CONSPIRACY, was released on November 27th, 2012. BANQUET OF LIES, which is connected to THE EMPEROR’S CONSPIRACY, is set to release on October 22nd, 2013.

On 1 March 2013, DAUGHTER OF THE SKY was released. It is set in Zululand at the outbreak of the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879.

Michelle also contributed a short paranormal story to the ENTANGLED Anthology entitled BREAKING OUT. All the proceeds of the sale of ENTANGLED go to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Michelle was born in London, grew up in South Africa, and now lives in Australia with her husband and two children.

When she’s not writing, or driving her kids from activity to activity, you can find her blogging at Magical Musings, or online at Twitter and Facebook.
Find Michelle also on:

Purchase Keeper of the King's Secrets on:

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Stacking The Shelves #30

Stacking The Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga @ Tynga's Reviews, where you can showcase the books and goodies you bought, borrowed, won, downloaded, received and so on..

~For Review:
In Defense of the Queen (Susanna Horenbout & John Parker #3) by Michelle Diener
Receive a link from the author to get it from NetGalley because she knows how much I love this series. Thanks Michelle!
It doesn't have a cover yet, but I'm sure it's going to be gorgeous like the others.

And that is all for this week! 

What books or goodies did you all receive?
Leave me links to your hauls!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Feature & Follow #37

Feature & Follow is a weekly meme hosted on friday by Parajunkee & Alison Can Read to gain new followers and make new friends!

You can follow me anyway you like but I prefer Bloglovin

This week's question:
What is your preferred reading format? Hardcover, eBooks, paperback etc?

I've been reading a lot eBooks lately. It's the easiest to read books for review, short stories or books that are only available as eBook. But I think deep down I'll always prefer paperbacks. And I'll probably always buy my favorite books/series in print so I can see them line up in my shelves. <3

What about you? What format do you prefer?
Leave me links to your FF post!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Waiting On Wednesday: Unhinged by A.G. Howard

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

My WOW pick of this week:

Unhinged (Splintered #2) by A.G. Howard
Hardcover, 384 pages
Expected publication: January 7th 2014 by Amulet Books
Alyssa Gardner has been down the rabbit hole and faced the bandersnatch. She saved the life of Jeb, the guy she loves, and escaped the machinations of the disturbingly seductive Morpheus and the vindictive Queen Red. Now all she has to do is graduate high school and make it through prom so she can attend the prestigious art school in London she's always dreamed of.

That would be easier without her mother, freshly released from an asylum, acting overly protective and suspicious. And it would be much simpler if the mysterious Morpheus didn’t show up for school one day to tempt her with another dangerous quest in the dark, challenging Wonderland—where she (partly) belongs.

As prom and graduation creep closer, Alyssa juggles Morpheus’s unsettling presence in her real world with trying to tell Jeb the truth about a past he’s forgotten. Glimpses of Wonderland start to bleed through her art and into her world in very disturbing ways, and Morpheus warns that Queen Red won’t be far behind.

If Alyssa stays in the human realm, she could endanger Jeb, her parents, and everyone she loves. But if she steps through the rabbit hole again, she'll face a deadly battle that could cost more than just her head.

I am sooooo excited for this book. I loved Splintered and can't wait to get my hands on this + the cover is gorgeous! Morpheus! <3

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I've Read So Far In 2013

Top Ten Tuesdays is a meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish that features a new topic each week where we have to put down our top ten of it.

This week's topic:

Top Ten Books I've Read So Far In 2013

This was a very hard top ten to put together but I managed to do it. =D

Unravel Me (Shatter Me #2) by Tahereh Mafi
Obsession by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Spririt (Elemental #3) by Brigid Kemmerer

Sever (The Chemical Garden #3) by Lauren DeStefano
Girl With Guitar (Girl With Guitar #1) by Caisey Quinn
Justice (Galilee Falls Trilogy #1) by Jennifer Harlow

The Reluctant Assassin (W.A.R.P. #1) by Eoin Colfer
The Indigo Spell (Bloodlines #3) by Richelle Mead
Cinder (Lunar Chronicles #1) by Marissa Meyer

The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White

All of these books were simply amazing! I loved them and would recommend every single one.

Honorable mentions go to Clockwork Princess, Christabel, Solar Defeated and Les Misérables.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Review: Death Takes a Holiday by Jennifer Harlow

Title: Death Takes a Holiday
Author: Jennifer Harlow
Series: A F.R.E.A.K.S. Squad Investigation #3
Publication: August 8th 2013 by Midnight Ink
Genre: Fantasy
Format: e-arc
Cover Rating: 5/5
Overall Rating: 4/5

Copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review.

A supernatural love triangle + one indecent proposal Beatrice Alexander can crush a sixty-foot snake with her mind, but she can't take any more of the drama that's tearing apart F.R.E.A.K.S. Should she give it all up -- her job as a secret agent and the possibility of a relationship with Will, the gorgeous werewolf? Bea's hoping to get it all figured out on a trip home for Christmas. But soon her hunky ex-boyfriend wants to rekindle their romance. Then, a powerful (and super hot) vampire lord offers Bea an impossible ultimatum: leave San Diego and her family forever -- or become his lover.

~My thoughts:

How I love this series! One of my all-time favorites so far. Once again Jennifer Harlow did a great job with this series.

Death Takes a Holiday starts out with Bea running away from a basilisk and crushing it with her awesome mind power. Loved that. Brilliant start. After that we find out quite a few things have happened since the last book. The team is all devided in two parts about what happened there. That made me so sad and I couldn't believe Will would let things get so far. So Bea decides to take a much needed vacation and return home, but of course the vacation doesn't turn out exactly like she wanted to...

I must admit that Death Takes a Holiday isn't my favorite Freaks book so far. It's still a really great book but I felt at some point that all Bea did was whine about Will and Oliver, like it was all about the love triangle. Yep. Bea was annoying me for a little while. Never saw that one coming. Luckily it didn't take long for things to pick back up. So other than I loved this book. There were quite a few new characters like the Irish vamipre lord Connor. I must say I love him. So I'm curious to read more about him in the future maybe.

Like I said Bea kept going back and forth on her feelings for Will and Oliver. There were even dirty dreams involved. lol.
I'm still rooting for the Oliver. He's so amazing and after this book I'm even more convinced. He's the guy for Bea! We found more about his past also. I feel with every book we learn more and more about him and that makes me even love him more. He actually understands Bea, unlike Will. Yeah, I still don't like him. He's too serious and brooding and not fun. But I guess the heart wants what it wants. And Bea wants Will. But things still aren't resolved between them so there's still a chance for Oliver or even Connor to sweep her off her feet. We'll see...

The overall story line was amazeballs! Never in a thousand years I would've seen THIS coming. Yes, Jennifer Harlow is truly the queen of plot twists. And I love her for it.

Death Takes a Holiday might not be the best Freaks book out there (personally for me due to lack of Oliver) but it definitely wasn't lacking action, good writing or unexpected turns. No, I really liked it and it's a nice addition to the this series. I can't wait to read the fourth book and see what other adventures the team is going to go on!

~Favorite Quotes:
It takes all my willpower not to run like the Flash out of that club, but since it was bravado that's more or less kept me alive in the past few minutes, I must keep up appearances.
“Go get it over with, and I'll reward you with a cherry margarita," April says.
"With sugar rim?"
"Of course. What are we? Heathens?"
"I want two. And flan."
"Done. Now get over there. And be nice.”
I sigh. What a couple of days. Tomorrow I am so not leaving my bedroom. Not if there's a fire, an earthquake, or if Chris Evans shows up on my doorstep begging me to run off to Hawaii with him.
“Glad I help you expand your horizons." "Perhaps later we can return to your bedroom and I can expand yours.”

~About the author:
Jennifer HarlowJennifer Harlow spent her restless childhood fighting with her three brothers and scaring the heck out of herself with horror movies and books. She grew up to earn a degree at the University of Virginia which she put to use as a radio DJ, crisis hotline volunteer, bookseller, lab assistant, wedding coordinator, and government investigator. Currently she calls Northern Virgina home but that restless itch is ever present. In her free time she continues to scare the beejepers out of herself watching scary movies and opening her credit card bills.

Find Jennifer also on:

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Review: Justice by Jennifer Harlow

Title: Justice
Author: Jennifer Harlow
Series: Galilee Falls #1
Publication: May 2013 by Devil on the Left Books
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Format: ebook, 280 pages
Cover Rating: 3/5
Overall Rating: 5/5

Copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

It’s hard being a regular police officer in Galilee Falls, a city with the highest concentration of superheroes and villains in the country. It’s even harder watching your best friend, the man you’re secretly in love with your whole life, planning to marry another woman. Detective Joanna Fallon has to contend with both. When the vilest supervillain in the city’s history, Alkaline, the former crime boss who can shoot acid from his wrists, escapes from the maximum security prison, the whole city is gripped by panic. Leading the pursuit is Captain Harry O’Hara, Joanna’s boss and secret lover, and the city’s champion superhero Justice, who caught the villain last time, much to Joanna’s chagrin. Before her father was murdered in a mugging twenty years earlier, Joanna worshiped the hero, but when he disappeared and failed to save her father, that adoration turned to contempt for all supers. After Alkaline attacks too close to home and targets Joanna as his next victim, tough-as-nail Joanna has to contend with her increasing fear while struggling to choose between her life-long crush and her new-found love.

At turns vulnerable and fierce, equally mordant and winsome, Joanna is an earnest yet emotionally damaged heroine, who despite the tough breaks of her childhood sees the good in people and vow to protect her beloved city at all costs. An ass-kicking petite firecracker with no superpowers of her own, she charges after supervillains unflinchingly, never losing her wit even when facing her toughest fight. With a coy blend of whimsy and vivid imagination, she delivers both humor and thrills in an action-packed and edgy blend of comic book cool, fantasy-noir, and bitter-sweet romance.

~My thoughts:

I would've posted this review sooner but I had already written a review of this and saved it but then it magically disappeared on me so that's why it took me a while.

Justice by Jennifer Harlow introduces us to a brilliant world full of superheroes (tights and everything), complex but interesting characters and of course can't have superheroes without some very evil supervillains. 

This story follows the fierce but emotionally damaged detective Joanna Fallon, who has her own personal problems with superheroes. Especially city champion Justice and also being in love for over twenty years with her best friend, Justin, and having a secret relationship with her boss, Harry. On top of all that she gets targeted by supervillain Alkaline. 

I've been a fan of Jennifer Harlow's books ever since I read her Freaks books. I love them but I have to say that I think Justice easily is her best writing so far. It's a very different story and boy, is it a bittersweet ending but damn I loved it so much. Although I wasn't sure I was gonna like it at the beginning because Joanna's voice is so different from other heroines I've read. She's so very complex, damaged and has a lot of flaws but that's why I like her so much. She's real. Jennifer Harlow write her so well. I was really impressed by how totally amazing this book was.
The other characters were also very interesting to read about from Justin to Harry to Justice and Alkaline. I loved reading about them all so much and never got bored everytime I picked this book up. 

The ending was so sad, I got all weepy eyed. But it was a good ending even though it felt like I was kicked in the chest. And also what good book doesn't have an unexpected betrayal in them? Jennifer Harlow really writes amazingly unexpected plot twists. You'd think with her you would start expecting them but no, takes me by surprise every single time and with this book it was no different. Loved it!

Overall Justice by Jennifer Harlow isn't your typical superhero story. It's a story about love, friendship, sacrifice and doing the right thing. Joanna isn't a superhero, she just a normal person with her own problems but she sure can kick some ass! This story was in my opnion exceptionally well written and the story line was superb! One of the best books I've read so far this year + all-time. I can't wait to read the second book. I hope it'll be just as amazing as Justice was!

~Favorite Quotes:
All this sudden interest in my safety is getting old and stiffling. I feel like a pissed-off china doll.
Okay... I feel like total and utter shit. They could do a full-scale model of the Eiffel Tower with the amount of shit I feel like right now.
It's about five and the party begins at seven, so I have to get the hell out of here. I need to shower, shave, eat, straighten my hair, apply make-up, and try to get a cab on a Friday night. Ugh, girly things. Kill me now.
Sometimes there's not enough light in this godforsaken world to keep the darkness at bay.

~About the author:
Jennifer HarlowJennifer Harlow spent her restless childhood fighting with her three brothers and scaring the heck out of herself with horror movies and books. She grew up to earn a degree at the University of Virginia which she put to use as a radio DJ, crisis hotline volunteer, bookseller, lab assistant, wedding coordinator, and government investigator. Currently she calls Northern Virgina home but that restless itch is ever present. In her free time she continues to scare the beejepers out of herself watching scary movies and opening her credit card bills.

Find Jennifer also on:

Purchase Justice on: