Announcement

Feminist Fairy Tale Reviews is currently on hiatus. I hope to return to blogging sooner rather than later.

I will still be posting mini book reviews on Goodreads and talking books on Twitter so feel free to find me there.

Thank you and happy reading1


Wednesday, February 29, 2012

MY BOOK BOYFRIEND (27): Cam Rohan


My Book Boyfriend is an awesome weekly meme hosted by Missie at The Unread Reader all about fictional boys who make us swoon.  This week I am swooning over Cam Rohan from Lisa Kleypas's Mine Till Midnight.  He also appears throughout the Hathaways series as the family's patriarch.  

About Cam:
  • Half-Irish, Half-Romany (Gypsy).
  • Black hair, hazel eyes, tan skin, diamond stud in one ear.
  • Raised in a gambling club by his foster father.
  • Manages the same club for his foster brother-in-law. (St. Vincent from Kleypas's Devil in Winter)
  • Has to deal with being between two worlds: that of the Rom and the British upper class.
  • Sees the Hathaways as his own Gypsy tribe and is extremely protective of them.


"He was every bit as well dressed as the gentleman on either side . . . but it was obvious this man was no gentleman.  He was black-haired and swarthy and exotic.  And he moved with the swift grace of a cat, easily avoiding the swipes and lunges of his opponents."  --Mine Till Midnight


 

Rohan's fingertips drifted with stunning delicacy over her throat, behind her ear, pushing into the satiny warmth of her hair. "You are an interesting woman Amelia."
Gooseflesh rose wherever his breath touched. "I can't f-fathom why you would think so."
His playful mouth traced the wing of her brow. "I find you thoroughly, deeply interesting. I want to open you like a book and read every page." A smile curved the corners of his lips as he added huskily, "Footnotes included." --Mine Till Midnight




"The Rom believe you should take the road that calls to you, and never turn back. Because you never know what adventures await." ... "So we're going to take this road," he murmured, "and see where it leads." --Mine Till Midnight




"The worst part about loving someone, Merripen, is that there will al­ways be things you can't protect her from. Things be­yond your control. You finally realize there is something worse than dying . . . and that is having something hap­pen to her. You have to live with that fear always. But you have to take the bad part, if you want the good part."
Kev looked at him bleakly. "What's the good part?"
A smile touched Cam's lips. "All the rest of it is the good part." --Seduce Me at Sunrise



Cam held her closer. "Marry me, Amelia. You're what I want. You're my fate." One hand slid to the back of her head, gripping the braids and ribbons to keep her mouth upturned. "Say yes." He nibbled at her lips, licked at them, opened them. He kissed her until she writhed in his arms, her pulse racing. "Say it, Amelia, and save me from ever having to spend a night with another woman. I'll sleep indoors. I'll get a haircut. God help me, I think I'd even carry a pocket watch if it pleased you." --Mine Till Midnight


My Cam: Tennis player and Armani model Rafael Nadal


Here is the video that really inspired me to choose Rafael for Cam


About Mine Till Midnight:
When an unexpected inheritance elevates her family to the ranks of the aristocracy, Amelia Hathaway discovers that tending to her younger sisters and wayward brother was easy compared to navigating the intricacies of the ton. Even more challenging: the attraction she feels for the tall, dark, and dangerously handsome Cam Rohan.
 
Wealthy beyond most men's dreams, Cam has tired of society's petty restrictions and longs to return to his "uncivilized" Gypsy roots. When the delectable Amelia appeals to him for help, he intends to offer only friendship--but intentions are no match for the desire that blindsides them both. But can a man who spurns tradition be tempted into that most time-honored arrangement: marriage? Life in London society is about to get a whole lot hotter….

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

TOP TEN TUESDAY (15): Books I'd Give a Theme Song

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

TOP TEN BOOKS I'D GIVE A THEME SONG

1. Harry Potter series by JK Rowling 
"Sharada" by Skye Sweetnum
The song I chose is based on the character of Luna Lovegood. 

Once upon a time there was a girl.
You really wouldn't call her typical.
Had her own definition of cool,
She lived in her own world.



2. Night Huntress series by Jeaniene Frost
"Le Disko" by Shiny Toy Guns
This song is for Cat aka The Red Reaper and just shows her kickass warrior side.

So what's it gonna take
Silver shadow believer
Spock rocker with your dirty eyes
It's a chance, gonna move
Gonna f*** up your ego
Silly boy, gonna make you cry


3. The Fault In Our Stars by John Green
"Kings and Queens" by 30 Seconds to Mars
I thought of this for the support group where Hazel and Augustus meet and their unique outlook on life.

Into your eyes
Hopeless and taken
We stole our new lives
Through blood and pain
In defense of our dreams





4. Cinder by Marissa Meyer
"A Sorta Fairytale" by Tori Amos
Chosen due to the fact that this book is a twisted classic fairytale.

And I'm so sad
Like a good book
I can't put this day back
A sorta fairytale
With you




5. Fever series by Karen Marie Moning
"A Star-Crossed Wasteland" by In This Moment
Just sounds like Mac's inner turmoil throughout the series.

The wolves are ascending, the vultures are near.
And I'm still here waiting for you to reappear.
And you just wait for a sign





6. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
"When the Stars Go Blue" by Tyler Hilton and Bethany Joy Lenz
Sweet, romantic song for a sweet, romantic story.

Where do you go when you're lonely
Where do you go when you're blue
Where do you go when you're lonely
I'll follow you
When the stars go blue





7. Romancing Mr. Bridgerton by Julia Quinn
"Crush" by Jennifer Paige
Perfect explanation of Penelope's feelings for Colin.

So let it be, what it'll be
Don't make a fuss and go crazy over you and me
Here's what I'll do
I'll play the wuss, not like we have a date with destiny





8. Just Listen by Sarah Dessen
"Hear Me" by Kelly Clarkson
Annabel's feelings of invisibility and being misunderstood by her family/friends.

I'm lost inside the crowd
It's getting loud
I need you to see
I'm screaming for you to please
Hear me





9. Angelfall by Susan Ee
"Cry Little Sister" by G Tom Mac
Powerful song that just reminded me so much of the dark, epic plot of this apocalyptic story.

Cry, little sister - Thou shall not fall
Come to your brother - Thou shall not die
Unchain me, sister - Thou shall not fear
Love is with your brother - Thou shall not kill





10. The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa
"The Diary of Jane" by Breaking Benjamin
What Ash was thinking while trying to find his way back to Meghan.

Something's getting in the way.
Something's just about to break.
I will try to find my place in the diary of Jane.
So tell me how it should be.


Friday, February 24, 2012

FOLLOW FRIDAY (17) and TGIF (8)

Gain New Blog Followers
Feature & Follow Friday is a blog hop that expands your blog following by a joint effort between bloggers. Feature & Follow Friday is now hosted by TWO hosts, Rachel of Parajunkee and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it'll allow us to show off more new blogs!


This Week's Feature Blogs:



Ezine of a Random Girl

6774901246 c09aaea047 o Feature & Follow #85
Oh!  For the Love of Books


Q: Activity!!! Take a picture or describe where you love to read the most...


I am one of those people that can and does read everywhere.  I always have a book in my purse, my tote bag, or my car.  You never know when you might have a few minutes with nothing to do.  My personal favorite places to read are my bed and my super comfy living room couch which has been dubbed the Dangerous Sleeping Couch due to its ability to render anyone who lays down on it extremely exhausted.  

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Hosted by Ginger at GReads.


This Friday's Question: 

Which book from your school days do you remember reading & enjoying? Is there a book published now that you'd like to see in today's curriculum for kids?


My favorite books that I remember being assigned:


Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (English)
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (American History)
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson (English)
Hamlet by William Shakespeare (English)
A Time to Kill by John Grisham (Government)
Night by Elie Wiesel (World Civilizations)

Books that I would like to see as part of today's curriculum:

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
Anything by John Green or Chris Crutcher

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WEEKLY RECAP

BOOK CHALLENGE: 2012 Paranormal Fantasy Reading Challenge (link)
TOP TEN TUESDAY: Books That I Would Save in a Disaster (link)
MY BOOK BOYFRIEND: John Matthew from Lover Mine by JR Ward (link)
REVIEW: Unraveled by Courtney Milan (link)









Thursday, February 23, 2012

REVIEW: "Unraveled" by Courtney Milan


Unraveled by Courtney Milan
(Turner Family #3)

Historical Romance--Victorian
Self-Published--December 2011
Ebook, 258 pages 

RATING: 5 STARS--LOVED IT!







SUMMARY


Smite Turner is renowned for his single-minded devotion to his duty as a magistrate. But behind his relentless focus lies not only a determination to do what is right, but the haunting secrets of his past—secrets that he is determined to hide, even if it means keeping everyone else at arm’s length. Until the day an irresistible woman shows up as a witness in his courtroom…

Miranda Darling isn’t in trouble…yet. But she’s close enough that when Turner threatens her with imprisonment if she puts one foot wrong, she knows she should run in the other direction. And yet no matter how forbidding the man seems on the outside, she can’t bring herself to leave. Instead, when he tries to push her away, she pushes right back—straight through his famous self-control, and into the heart of the passion that he has long hidden away.


MY THOUGHTS

***WARNING:  EXTREMELY GUSH-FILLED REVIEW AHEAD***

It is very rare when every book in a series is considered a 5-Star read.  But, that is exactly what happened with Courtney Milan's epic Turner Family series.  For those of you who do not know, the Turner brothers were cursed with an insane and abusive mother.  Each of these men reacted differently to their mother's treatment and have unique character quirks that endear them to readers. 

Unveiled is the first book and tells the story of Ash, the eldest, who escaped from their mother's clutches to make a fortune, rescue his younger siblings, and restore his family's proper place in society.  Next, Milan delves deeper into the character of Mark, the youngest, who becomes a celebrity in English society with his views on male chastity in Unclaimed.  There have also been various entertaining novellas that help enhance this wonderful series. 

And then there was Smite Turner and Unraveled.  While I would recommend reading all the books in this series based on my personal enjoyment, I do believe this is one that can be read as a stand-alone.  There is some overlap with previous characters, but not enough to cause confusion. 

Smite is the middle brother in the Turner family and was the most abused by his mother.  Based on his experiences, he has become obsessed with seeking justice for those most unfortunate and takes his position as a magistrate very seriously.  His sense of justice and loyalty is obvious from the moment that he is introduced.  Unfortunately, his obsession has forced him to shy away from emotional intimacy or, as he refers to it, sentimentality.  He strongly believes that he is a broken man and is striving to do whatever he can to prevent something similar happening to someone else. 

Miranda is an accomplished con woman who is struggling to survive in the impoverished areas of Bristol.  She uses her skills primarily to help her neighbors get out of difficult situations with the law.  Unfortunately, Smite Turner's impeccable memory causes him to recognize her in one of her many disguises and he tries to keep her out of trouble through various threats and proclamations.  As a heroine, Miranda is strong-willed and knows exactly what she wants.  Her life has made her tough and she does not take anything for granted.  She also has a deep desire for affection that was instilled in her by her family and guardians.

As a couple, Smite and Miranda are full of sexual tension, understanding, and respect.  Sparks fly from the moment they meet, but their relationship does not rely solely on lust though that is what Smite desired at the beginning.  In order to help Miranda get through some difficulties and to help himself stop obsessing over her, Smite offers her a position as his mistress for a month.  The rest of the book takes place over that time period and shows how their relationship transforms as they get to know each other better.

Another relationship that I enjoyed in this book, and the series as a whole, is between the Turner brothers.  They all went through alot in their childhood and have the scars, mostly invisible, to prove it.  Smite and Mark are extremely close and, therefore, understand one another's mood and temperament.  Ash and Smite, on the other hand, have had a difficult time relating throughout the series.  This book allows them both to get to the root of their sibling issues and really understand how much they mean to each other.  I love reading about authentic family relationships and Milan does this extremely well.

There is an important subplot that involves Miranda and the mysterious Patron who has been delving out their own version of justice in the poorer areas of Bristol.  Usually suspenseful side stories just take away from my overall enjoyment of the story since I tend to be more interested in the romance, not the mystery.  But, I thought this subplot was intriguing and fairly unpredictable.  Also, it was well-balanced with the Miranda/Smite storyline so it never felt out of place.

Overall, this was a fabulous ending to a fabulous series.  Courtney Milan is a truly talented writer who is not afraid to push the envelope and provide characters and plots that are a little left of center.  After years of reading too many Duke of Slut and Bluestocking Betty stories, I, for one, am ecstatic to see authors thinking outside the box and giving readers something fresh.  I highly recommend Unraveled and the entire Turner family series!!

FAVORITE QUOTE

"There isn't one part of me that you've flinched from.  I don't know why you'd marry me, but I know why I'm desperate for you.  Nobody else on earth would bring me to myself as you have."
"Oh, don't you know why I love you?"
He turned to her.  His hands closed roughly about her wrists.  "Say it again."
"You anchor me without holding me down.  You frighten me without threatening my future.  You're unflinchingly devoted.  I love you."

SERIES INFORMATION

Turner Family
*Unveiled (Ash and Margaret)
*The Birthday Gift
*Unlocked (Evan and Elanie)
*Unclaimed (Mark and Jessica)
*Out of the Frying Pan
*Unraveled (Smite and Miranda)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

MY BOOK BOYFRIEND (26): John Matthew


My Book Boyfriend is an awesome weekly meme hosted by Missie at The Unread Reader all about fictional boys who make us swoon.  This week I am swooning over John Matthew aka Tehrror from JR Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood series.  Readers first meet John as a pretrans vampire in Lover Eternal and he is a major side character throughout the series.  He receives his HEA in Lover Mine with his kickass shellan Xhex.

About John Matthew:
  • Real name is Tehrror.
  • Reincarnation of BDB warrior Darius.
  • Born without a voice box so uses ASL to communicate.
  • Raised in an orphanage until reaching age 18.
  • Did not know he was a vampire until early 20s.
  • Extremely protective of those he cares about.


The essential truth of life, he was coming to realize, wasn't romantic and took only two words to label: Shit.  Happens.  But, the thing was, you kept going.  You kept your friends and your family and your mate as safe as you were able.  And you kept fighting even after you were knocked down.



The truth was...he was in love with her.  Totally over-the-line, no-going-back, not-even-dead-would-he-part kind of shit.





John leaned in and pressed his lips to hers; then he stretched out beside her.  His body was exhausted but, his heart was alive with a joy so pure it was like the sunlight he didn't get to see anymore.  He was a mute-ass motherfucker with a nasty past and a night job that involved fighting evil and slaughtering the undead.  And in spite of all that...he'd gotten the girl.



He traced over her features with his fingertips.  And as he did, for some strange reason, he felt the arms of infinity wrapping around them both, holding them close...linking them forever.
Yes, he mouthed.  I would hold you up.  I will ever hold you dear, lover mine.
As he fused their mouths, he thought that was his vow to her.  Mating ceremony or not...that was his vow to his female.

My John Matthew: Jed Hill

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

TOP TEN TUESDAY (14): Books I'd Save During a Natural Disaster, Alien Abduction, etc.


Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

TOP TEN BOOKS I WOULD SAVE IN THE CASE OF A NATURAL DISASTER, ALIEN ABDUCTION, ETC.


1. Harry Potter series by JK Rowling
Okay, I know I am cheating, but I couldn't choose just one of these amazing books. 

2. Complete works of William Shakespeare
Confession time: I am a huge English geek and I do own a complete set of all of Billy's plays and sonnets. 

3. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
One of my all-time favorites that I need to have at hand whenever I feel the urge to re-read it again.

4. Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
Historical fiction that would help remind me that things can always be worse.

5. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
I would never get bored with all the twists and turns in this time-travel romance.

6. Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie
Absolutely hilarious which I would probably need after such a tragic event...

7. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
So sweet and really helped seal my interest in YA romance.

8. Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
I almost cheated with this series as well, but I decided that I could pick just one if I had to.

9. The Viscount Who Loved Me by Julia Quinn
My favorite historical romance that always makes me smile and cry, sometimes simultaneously.

10. There's A Nightmare In My Closet by Mercer Mayer
Favorite picture book ever!!



Monday, February 20, 2012

2012 Paranormal Fantasy Reading Challenge

2012 Paranormal Fantasy Reading Challenge - Sign Up Post

Here are the details:

1. This is a challenge to read 2012 releases that have paranormal or fantasy elements. This means anything with vampires, witches, magic-users, shifters, fae, zombies, (etc.) qualifies! Also, humans with supernatural powers count (since that is fantasy........).

2. This challenge is for reading adult books. There are plenty of YA reading challenge out there already. 

3. The books must be 2012 releases, but they don't need to be debuts (although they can be). Continuing a series is perfectly acceptable.

4. Choose how dedicated you are to the world of the paranormal:

(The names of the levels are just for fun. Any paranormal/fantasy book qualifies for any level!)

Magic's kind of interesting: 1 - 10 books
I'd Pet A Werewolf: 11 - 20 books
Take Me To the Fae Realm: 21 - 30 books
Bite Me, I Want To Be A Vampire: 31 or more books

5. At the end of every month there will be an update post. You can link up your reviews for that month that meet the challenge (a great way to get your reviews read by others, and to check out others' reviews to get ideas for what to read!).

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I think I am going to try for the I'd Pet a Werewolf goal of 11-20 books.  Here is a preliminary list of the 2012 paranormal/fantasy releases I plan to read this year:

  • Lothaire by Kresley Cole
  • Shadow's Claim by Kresley Cole
  • Wild Cat by Jennifer Ashley
  • Mate Claimed by Jennifer Ashley
  • Once Burned by Jeaniene Frost
  • Tricked by Kevin Hearne
  • Lethal Rider by Larissa Ione
  • Rogue Rider by Larissa Ione
  • Royal Street by Suzanne Johnson
  • Sacrificial Magic by Stacia Kane
  • Chasing Magic by Stacia Kane
  • Time Untime by Sherrilyn Kenyon
  • Iced by Karen Marie Moning
  • Biting Cold by Chloe Neill
  • The Darkest Seduction by Gena Showalter
  • Wicked Nights by Gena Showalter
  • Tangle of Need by Nalini Singh
  • Dire Needs by Stephanie Tyler
  • Lover Reborn by JR Ward
  • Darker After Midnight by Lara Adrian
  • Kiss of the Vampire by Cynthia Garner


Friday, February 17, 2012

FOLLOW FRIDAY (16) and TGIF (7)

Gain New Blog Followers
Feature & Follow Friday is a blog hop that expands your blog following by a joint effort between bloggers. Feature & Follow Friday is now hosted by TWO hosts, Rachel of Parajunkee and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it'll allow us to show off more new blogs!


This Week's Feature Blogs:



Q: I like unique names for characters and am looking forward to coming up with some when I start writing. What's the most unique character name you've come across?


I am a huge fan of unique names in books as long as it makes sense in context.  I thought the best way to approach this question was to go by genre:

Science Fiction, Fantasy, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy:

*Katniss -- The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins
*Hermione -- Harry Potter series by JK Rowling
*Penryn -- Angelfall by Susan Ee
*Cesaria -- Downside Ghosts series by Stacia Kane
*Jericho -- Fever series by Karen Marie Moning
*Acheron, Zarek -- Darkhunters series by Sherrilyn Kenyon
*Eidolon, Wraith, Shade -- Demonica series by Larissa Ione
*Rhage, Vishous, Zsadist, Xhex, etc. -- Black Dagger Brotherhood series by JR Ward

Historical:

*Calpurnia -- Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake by Sarah MacLean
*Peregrine -- Last Night's Scandal by Loretta Chase
*Linnet -- When Beauty Tamed the Beast by Eloisa James
*Lazarus -- Wicked Intentions by Elizabeth Hoyt
*Marcelline -- Silk Is for Seduction by Loretta Chase
*Smite -- Unraveled by Courtney Milan 
(Note: This is not his Christian name...his real name is "The Lord said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every living thing, as I have done."  His brothers, Ash and Mark, have similarly awful names, but I thought Smite's nickname was the worse.  To explain the Biblical verse names, their mother was fanatically religious and a little bit insane.)

Contemporary:
*Haven -- This Summer by Sarah Dessen
*Emerson -- Airhead Trilogy by Meg Cabot
*Cricket -- Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
*Augustus -- The Fault In Our Stars by John Green
*Jules -- Hot Target, Force of Nature by Suzanne Brockmann
*Blue -- Natural Born Charmer by Susan Elizabeth Phillips


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Hosted by Ginger at GReads!!

This Friday's Question:

Book Blogger Pride: What do you take pride in when it comes to blogging?
I take pride in the work that I put into my blog.  I am fairly new to the blogging world (since June 2011) so I am still learning the best ways to organize my reviews and balance the reviews with book memes.  Alot of time is spent improving my blog design or keeping all my book information updated.  I also am proud of my book reviews which I try to make as detailed and helpful as possible without spoilers.  I am a former English major so I do have to stop myself from becoming too long-winded in my reviews, but I'm working on that.  Blogging is definitely a time consuming hobby, but one that I have thoroughly enjoyed and am very proud of.
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WEEKLY RECAP
TOP TEN TUESDAY: Books That Broke My Heart (link)
MY BOOK BOYFRIEND: Eidolon from Pleasure Unbound by Larissa Ione (link)
REVIEW: Squeeze Play by Kate Angell (link)
REVIEW: Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead (link)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

REVIEW: "Vampire Academy" by Richelle Mead


Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
(Vampire Academy #1)

Young Adult-Paranormal-Vampires
Razorbill--2007
Paperback, 322 pages 

Rating: 4 Stars--Really Liked It







SUMMARY

Vladimir’s Academy isn’t just any boarding school—it’s a hidden place where vampires are educated in the ways of magic and half-human teens train to protect them. Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, a bodyguard for her best friend Lissa, a Moroi Vampire Princess. They’ve been on the run, but now they’re being dragged back to St. Vladimir’s—the very place where they’re most in danger. . . .

Rose and Lissa become enmeshed in forbidden romance, the Academy’s ruthless social scene, and unspeakable nighttime rituals. But they must be careful lest the Strigoi—the world’s fiercest and most dangerous vampires—make Lissa one of them forever.


MY THOUGHTS

Ever since I started using Goodreads and blogging, I have seen references to Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy series.  I bought the first book in Borders "Going Out of Business" sale which became one of those books that I keep meaning to read, but always got distracted from it for one reason or another.  Well, I finally started it over the weekend and finished it within two days.  Now, I think I finally understand what everyone has been talking about!

TEN THINGS I LIKED ABOUT VAMPIRE ACADEMY

1.  Vampire mythology
I have read my fair share of vampire stories (both adult and young adult) so I have seen many different takes on the classic vampire myth.  Therefore, it is very unusual when I see something as original as Mead's society of Moroi, Strigoi, and dhampirs.  The idea of two different types of vampires (living and not) was fascinating and dhampirs being half-Moroi was just a fun bonus. 

2. Rose
The protagonist and narrator of this series is a different kind of YA heroine.  She is tough, strong-willed, and a bit of a flirt.  Rose has a lot of confidence in herself as well as a protective streak a mile wide which makes for a fun combination.  She comes off a little aggressive at times, but I found it a nice change from all the super-sweet, TSTL heroines I've seen pepper this genre. 

3. Rose and Lissa's friendship
Another unique aspect of this novel (and series) is the friendship between Rose and Lissa.  Lissa is the last of her royal Moroi line and Rose is her best friend who is training to be one of Lissa's guardians.  Rose's protectiveness and loyalty towards Lissa is obvious from the beginning of the book and I enjoyed seeing their interactions.  Their friendship was not perfect, but seemed fairly realistic despite the unconventional nature of their relationship.

4. Christian
Christian, at first, appears to be the typical social outcast, but I was pleased to see there was so much more to him.  His tragic past and treatment at the Academy really grabbed my attention and I look forward to seeing more of his character.  I always have a soft spot for the social rejects or underdogs...

5. Dimitri
No VA review would be complete without mentioning the delicious Dimitri.  He is the main reason that I finally started reading this series (so many people choosing him for My Book Boyfriend posts).  While Mead does not provide a lot of information about his character, I fell in love with what was there.  Russian, sexy, badass...yes, please!

6. Dimitri and Rose
Then there is the romance between Dimitri and Rose which is just starting out on, what I would presume, will be a very long road.  The tension between them is electric from the moment they meet each other.  I also liked how Mead had them talk and interact without constantly lusting after one another.  This is definitely teh beginning of a forbidden romance that I am eager to read more about.

7. St. Vladimir's Academy
School stories are some of my absolute favorites...probably left over from my unhealthy Harry Potter obsession.  St. Vladimir's Academy trains both Moroi and dhampirs to fulfill their intended roles in vampire society whether through ruling, magic, or guardianship.  Yet despite the unique mission of the school, there are still plenty of typical high school drama like dating, partying, and bullying.  The student interaction was highly entertaining and helped me understand specifics about Moroi culture as well as little tidbits about the main characters.

8. Plot
The plot of Vampire Academy appears fairly basic and stereotypical at first glance.  There is alot of school-related drama peppered with a minor supernatural problem.  As a reader, I knew there was something more underneath all the Academy stuff, but couldn't put my finger on it.  Then Mead turned up the volume and the action began happening in one scene after the other.  I couldn't flip the pages fast enough.  The twists at the end were a pleasant surprise a well.

9. Changes on the horizon 
Now, that I have been introduced to Moroi society, I have a feeling that there are alot of changes in store for this world.  The relationship between Moroi and dhampirs seems a little archaic and it seems like some of them are going to begin revolting against the norm.  I can't wait to see what will finally break the camel's back on the hierarchy in later installments.

10. Series potential
As a first book, I believe Vampire Academy did an admirable job.  I have an idea about the characters and the setting, but not much more than that.  There is a lot of potential running around like Dimitri and Rose's relationship and the unrest in Moroi culture.  I look forward to reading more of this fabulous series as soon as Frostbite comes in the mail!
FAVORITE QUOTES

**"The greatest and most powerful revolutions often start very quietly, hidden in the shadows. Remember that."
--Christian

**"If I let myself love you, I won't throw myself in front of her. I'll throw myself in front of you."
--Dimitri

SERIES INFORMATION

Vampire Academy
1. Vampire Academy
2. Frostbite
3. Shadow Kiss
4. Blood Promise
5. Spirit Bound
6. Last Sacrifice

Bloodlines
1. Bloodlines
2. The Golden Lily (To Be Released 2012)

BOOK CHALLENGE ENTRY

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

MY BOOK BOYFRIEND (25): Eidolon


My Book Boyfriend is an awesome weekly meme hosted by Missie at The Unread Reader all about fictional boys who make us swoon.  This week I am swooning over Eidolon from Larissa Ione's Pleasure Unbound.

About Eidolon:
  • Black hair, blue eyes, tall, muscular
  • Seminus demon (a rare type of incubus)
  • 100 years old
  • Doctor who specializes in demonic medicine
  • Head of Underworld General Hospital (UGH!)
  • Determined to find his mate before reaching s'genesis (final maturation cycle that causes Seminus demons to lose all sanity in pursuit of impregnating as many females as possible)
  • Completely devoted to his brothers Shade and Wraith. 
    • BTW I have previously done a MBB post for Wraith here.

Gradually, her vision came into focus, and whoa...she must be in another realm, because the dark-haired man staring down at her was a god.  His lips, glistening sensuously as if he'd just licked them, were moving, but the buzz in her ears drowned out his words.



"You keep licking your lips.  Are you nervous?"
"They're just dry."
The darkness in his gaze intensified as he watched her, and then he dipped his head until their lips nearly touched and she could feel the softest draft of air in the span of distance between them.  "I can help with that."



"You keep surprising me," she murmured as he slid the plate in front of her.
"Because I can cook?  I'm a hundred years old.  You learn a few things in that much time."
"I guess I'm just surprised that you're so...domestic."
Grinning, he pulled up a stool next to her.  "I do my own laundry, too."



"Eidolon isn't an idiot.  He's one of the most logical, annoyingly intelligent males I've ever met, human or demon.  He isn't so desperate that he'd lock himself into a lifetime of misery with a female who might turn on him or who might be a bad mother to his children.  Yes, his life and his hospital mean everything to him, but he'd rather die than be bound to a female he doesn't love.  He loves you, Tayla."

 

He'd looked for a mate for so long, and now that he'd found the most perfect female he could imagine, he couldn't lose her.  Wouldn't lose her. Tayla was his life.  A growl rose up in his chest as he stalked into the bedroom, the need to lay his claim on her, to show her she was his and that she had better keep herself safe, turning him into a creature of pure instinct.


My Eidolon: Nathan Kamp

About Pleasure Unbound:

In a place where ecstasy can cost you your life... 

Tayla Mancuso is a demon-slayer who hungers for sensual pleasure-but fears it will always be denied her. Until Tayla Mancuso lands in a hospital run by demons in disguise, and the head doctor, Eidolon, makes her body burn with unslakable desire. But to prove her ultimate loyalty to her peers, she must betray the surgeon who saved her life. 

Two lovers will dare to risk all. 

Eidolon cannot resist this fiery, dangerous woman who fills him with both rage and passion. Not only is she his avowed enemy, but she could very well be the hunter who has been preying upon his people. Torn between his need for the truth and his quest to find his perfect mate before a horrific transformation claims him forever, Eidolon will dare the unthinkable-and let Tayla possess him, body and soul...




Tuesday, February 14, 2012

TOP TEN TUESDAY (13): Top Ten Books That Broke My Heart



Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

TOP TEN BOOKS THAT BROKE MY HEART
(trying to avoid as many spoilers as possible)


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter #7) by JK Rowling
A pretty obvious choice for this type of list.  I knew it was going to be sad before I started reading, but it just put me through the ringer.  I think I had tears in my eyes from beginning to end. 

Mockinjay (Hunger Games #3) by Suzanne Collins
The entire series made me cry at one time or another, but there were so many sad moments in this one.  Like Deathly Hallows, I knew it wasn't going to be easy, but it didn't make it any less heartbreaking.

Dragonfly in Amber (Outlander #2) by Diana Gabaldon
There were two main moments in this book that just got me: the scene while Jamie and Claire were in Paris and the ending.  I listened to this on audiobook while driving and actually had to pull over at the end because I couldn't see through all my tears.

Lover Awakened  (Black Dagger Brotherhood #3) by JR Ward
Zsadist is one of the most tortured heroes I've read and his story was difficult to read, but definitely worth it by the end.  The scenes which show the extent of his torture as a blood slave and how those years effect him even now are absolutely gut-wrenching. 

At Grave's End (Night Huntress #3) by Jeaniene Frost
I won't spoil this book for anyone who hasn't read the Night Huntress series, but, if you have read it, you know what scene made me cry buckets.  Everything about that section of the book was heartbreaking and has made the rest of the series that much more poignant.

Seize the Night (Dark Hunters #6) by Sherrilyn Kenyon
There are many SK heroes that have made me tear up due to the fact that the only way to become a Dark-Hunter is to die in such a way as to seek revenge beyond the grave.  While characters like Acheron and Zarek were tortured in ways that it was often difficult to read, it was the stoic and seemingly snobby Valerius who really made me a mess.  This was a man whose treatment, both as a Roman and as a Dark-Hunter, and the way that he has developed a mask as a shield against it really struck a chord with me.

Broken Wing by Judith James
Oh, god, this is a historical romance that takes the reader on a complete rollercoaster.  Our hero was kidnapped as a child and forced into prostitution for years.  He tastes freedom, and love, for a short time before being thrust into another demeaning situation that appears impossible to recover from. 

The Secret Pearl by Mary Balogh
Balogh is the queen of tearjerker historical romance and this is one of my personal favorites.  The heroine is impoverished and forced to prostitute herself to make money.  Imagine her surprise when the gentleman who she sold her virginity to finds her again and hires her as a governess for his daughter.  These two broken people find something special in each other, but have a long road to find happiness.

Texas Destiny by Lorraine Heath
Houston Leigh is a lonely man who was scarred during the Civil War and spends most of his time around horses who won't flinch at his appearance.  He is forced to meet his brother's mail-order bride, Amelia, and escort her to their home.  Unfortunately, Houston falls in love with Amelia and must deal with the fact that she is promised to another.

Between Sinners and Saints by Marie Sexton
A male/male contemporary romance that portrays the traumatic effects of sexual abuse and how love can become a powerful healer.  The two main characters could not be more opposite, but their connection is obvious and super romantic.  How Levi is able to help Jaime out of his shields and begin to see the beauty that can be found in life and love is both heartbreaking and inspiring.

Monday, February 13, 2012

REVIEW: "Squeeze Play" by Kate Angell


Squeeze Play by Kate Angell
(Richmond Rogues #1)

Contemporary Romance
Love Spell--2006
Kindle

Rating: 3.5 Stars--Liked It







SUMMARY

Risk Kincaid and Jacy Grayson have known each other since high school, when, after seeing her crying because her prom date dumped her, Risk volunteered to be her rebound guy. Whenever she broke up with someone, she could call him, and wherever he was, he'd show up for a few days to "console" her.

Years later, Risk, now a team captain of a World Series-winning baseball team, returns to their hometown of Frostproof, Florida, for a benefit. He has seen eccentric Jacy every six months or so for years, and he now plans on asking her to marry him. Jacy has never had anyone in her bed but Risk, her true love. All those boyfriends were just a way to keep him in her life. But now she is afraid of changing the status quo.

MY THOUGHTS

Let me begin by saying that I am a huge sports fan: basketball, baseball, football, soccer, you name it.  If it is broadcast on ESPN or part of the Olympics, I will probably watch it and try to learn everything I can about it.  Therefore, it should come as no surprise that I absolutely adore sports romances.  I have enjoyed the escapades of Susan Elizabeth Phillips's Chicago Stars and Rachel Gibson's Seattle Chinooks so I was excited to venture into the world of baseball with Angell's Richmond Rogues.

Squeeze Play is vibrant and funny book that gives readers three sexy love stories.  I am usually not a fan of multiple romances going on at once in the same book, but Angell does a fine job balancing everything out.  I really enjoyed two of the couples while the other annoyed me for a very specific reason. 

Risk and Jacy's story is the primary romance of the book and the one mentioned in the summary above.  At first, I was a little hesitant about the concept of their past as rebound lovers.  What made me get on board with this couple is the fact that, despite their unconventional history, they both secretly love each other.  Both Risk and Jacy are determined to spend as much time with the other without revealing their true feelings.  Risk is a typical sports romance hero who is handsome, sweet, and funny.  Jacy is a breath of fresh air for contemporary romance heroines with her Cyndi Lauper-esque style and flirty personality. 

The next love story is between Zen, Risk's teammate, and Stevie, Jacy's childhood best friend.  Zen has been "kidnapped" by Risk to help with a Frostproof charity event which Stevie is helping coordinate.  This was my personal favorite of the three stories in Squeeze Play.  Zen is my ideal guy with athleticism and intelligence along with good looks.  He falls for Stevie from the moment he met her and just wants to make her happy for most of the book even if it opposes what he wants.  Stevie is going through a difficult breakup with her long-time boyfriend and is struggling with her self-image.  This love story is quick, but very sweet.

Stevie's ex-boyfriend, Aaron, and his fiancee Natalie are the last love story and the one that really interrupted my overall enjoyment of the book.  Aaron is a major league pitcher who just lost the World Series to Risk and Zen's team.  He is also from Frostproof, Florida and is in town to help with the charity event.  Natalie is the daughter of Aaron's boss and is a difficult character.  She comes from money and has a very dominating personality.  I enjoy strong women, but Natalie's treatment of Aaron and the people of Frostproof often seemed to go into the realm of bitchiness rather than just being opinionated.  There is a small attempt at redeeming Natalie near the end, but it just didn't feel realistic to me. 

Besides the love stories, I enjoyed the small-town setting that Angell utilized in Squeeze Play.  The people and sites of Frostproof were unique and full of life without taking away from the main storylines.  I especially loved the atmosphere at Jacy's coffeeshop. All in all, this was a light, frothy, and funny romance with two great couples, intriguing side characters (love the Bat Pack!), and plenty of sweet moments.  I will definitely check out more in this series!

FAVORITE QUOTES

"Outer beauty attracts, but inner beauty captivates."

SERIES INFORMATION

Richmond Rogues
1. Squeeze Play
2. Curveball
3. Strike Zone
4. Sliding Home
5. "Ho, Humbug, Ho" from Santa, Honey anthology
6. Sweet Spot (To Be Released 2012)

Friday, February 10, 2012

FOLLOW FRIDAY (15) and TGIF (6)


Feature & Follow Friday is a blog hop that expands your blog following by a joint effort between bloggers. Feature & Follow Friday is now hosted by TWO hosts, Rachel of Parajunkee and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it'll allow us to show off more new blogs!


This Week's Feature Blogs:

Goldilox and the Three Weres
Goldilox and the Three Weres

Blog%252520Button Feature & Follow #83
Book ChowDown

Q: What would your prefer: reading your favorite book over and over again until you got sick of it OR reading 100s of mediocre books? And why?

I would definitely prefer to read my favorite over and over again.  I have very little patience for mediocre books and often don't finish them if they don't interest me enough.  I used to try to finish every book I started, but my TBR tower and wishlist have gotten too big for that.  And if a book is my favorite, it will probably take me a long time to get sick of it.

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Hosted by Ginger at Greads!

Love Stories: What are some of your favorite fictional love stories?


This is a hard topic to narrow down, but I did my best!  I tried to find a swoon-worthy quote to go with each couple. 

**Anne Elliot and Captain Wentworth -- Persuasion by Jane Austen
Not always the most popular Austen couple, but my personal favorite.  I just love the whole lovers reunited theme plus how can you go wrong with that letter?

"You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope...I have loved none but you."


**Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger -- Harry Potter series by JK Rowling
Almost every HP fan knew it was coming...it was only a matter of time.  I love watching the ups and downs of their relationship/friendship and how they circled around each other for so long.

There was a clatter as the basilisk fangs cascaded out of Hermione's arms. Running at Ron, she flung them around his neck and kissed him full on the mouth. Ron threw away the fangs and broomstick he was holding and responded with such enthusiasm that he lifted Hermione off her feet. --Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows


**Eve Dallas and Roarke -- In Death series by JD Robb
I'm only four books into this series, but I absolutely adore this love story.  Tough as nails police detective and her Irish billionaire husband?  I'm sold!

He held her there until he was sure he could speak, then eased her back, looked into her eyes "You've changed my life. Become my life." He touched his lips to hers, let the kiss deepen slowly, silkily. "I need you.” --Rapture in Death


**Cat and Bones -- Night Huntress series by Jeaniene Frost
One of my all-time favorites!  This vampire couple is passionate, romantic, and hilarious.  They are completed devoted to one another and it is great to read about.

Time has no dominion over love. Love is the one thing that transcends time. --One Foot in the Grave


**Robin Chadwick and Jules Cassidy --Troubleshooters series by Suzanne Brockmann
A male/male romance that spans three books in this series: Hot Target, Force of Nature, and All Through the Night.  Robin is an up-and-coming movie star who is firmly in the closet while Jules is an out-and-proud FBI agent.  There is a lot of heartbreak and tears involved in this romance, but it is so worth it by the end. 

"I spent a large part of today believing you were dead," he said, "and none of that other stuff mattered.  All I knew was that I was never going to smile again.  I was never going to be able to look into your eyes and... You always know what I'm thinking and what I'm feeling and... You know me.  And you love me anyway.  I thought I'd lost that forever.  I thought I'd lost you."
--Force of Nature


**Jamie Fraser and Claire Randall -- Outlander series by Diana GabaldonWhat can I say about Jamie and Claire that hasn't been said already?  Just a fabulous love story that spans books, time, and locations.  Truly the definition of epic.

"I will find you," he whispered in my ear. "I promise. If I must endure two hundred years of purgatory, two hundred years without you - then that is my punishment, which I have earned for my crimes. For I have lied, and killed, and stolen; betrayed and broken trust. But there is the one thing that shall lie in the balance. When I shall stand before God, I shall have one thing to say, to weigh against the rest." His voice dropped, nearly to a whisper, and his arms tightened around me, "Lord, ye gave me a rare woman, and God! I loved her well." --Dragonfly in Amber


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WEEKLY RECAP

REVIEW: Some Girls Bite by Chloe Neill (link)
REVIEW: Moon Spell by Samantha Young (link)
REVIEW: The Body at the Tower by Y.S. Lee (link)
TOP TEN TUESDAY: Books for Non-Readers (link)
MY BOOK BOYFRIEND: Luc Martineau from See Jane Score by Rachel Gibson (link)


HAVE A GREAT FRIDAY AND WEEKEND!!