Friday, August 31, 2012

FOLLOW FRIDAY (40) and TGIF (28)

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:

Nette's Bookshelf Reviews
Cheerful Reviews

Alison and Rachel have two different questions this week so I decided to answer both!

Q1: What is the best cover of a book that you've read and loved?

Cinder by Marissa Meyer was one of my favorite reads of 2011 and the cover is completely worthy of such an awesome story.  I first became interested in the book because of the awesome cover with the cool shoe and the hints of sci-fi.  Love it!!

Q2: What is the best cover of a book that you've read and didn't like?

I freaking love the cover of Fallen by Lauren Kate...actually I love all the covers in the series.  But, I really disliked the book and haven't gotten the inspiration to try the later ones.  I just wish I could get the covers as paintings to hang all over my house. 

I have created different ways for you to follow my blog: GFC, LinkyFollowers, email, Twitter, or Goodreads.  Comment, follow me, and I'll return the favor!!


Hosted by Ginger at GReads.

This Friday's Question
Choose Your Next Read: How do you go about choosing what you read next?  Do you have a schedule you follow or do you read whatever makes you happy at the moment?

I am a very impulsive reader.  After I finish a book, I just walk over to my TBR shelf (which is growing leaps and bounds right now) and wade through it until I find a book that peaks my interest at the moment.  Sometimes I find myself wishing I could establish and keep a reading schedule, but no luck so far!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

REVIEW: "Divide & Conquer" by Abigail Roux and Madeleine Urban

Divide & Conquer by Abigail Roux and Madeleine Urban
(Cut & Run #4)

Romantic Suspense -- Male/Male Romance
For Ages 18+
Steam Level: Hot 

Dreamspinner Press -- October 2011
Ebook, 313 pages

Rating: 4  Stars


Baltimore, Maryland, is a city in alarming distress. Rising violence is fanning the flames of public outrage, and all law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, are catching blame. Thus the FBI’s latest ideas to improve public relations: a municipal softball league and workshops for community leaders. But the new commitments just mean more time Special Agents Ty Grady and Zane Garrett have to spend apart when they’re happily exploring how to be more than by-the-book partners.

Then the latest spate of crime explodes in their faces—literally—throwing the city, the Bureau, and Ty and Zane’s volatile partnership both in and out of the office into chaos. They’re hip-deep in trouble, trying to track down bombers and bank robbers in the dark with very few clues, and the only way to reach the light at the end of the tunnel together requires Ty and Zane to close their eyes and trust each other to the fiery end.


Ty Grady and Zane Garrett are probably one of my favorite literary couples ever and this is evidenced in the fourth book in their epic Cut & Run series.  Taking place shortly after their undercover mission in Fish & Chips which revealed some important personal information, our two wonderful FBI agents are trying to adjust to life as a couple while still hiding their true relationship status with their co-workers. 

The main suspense plot of Divide & Conquer involves a wide array of violence occuring around Baltimore from out-of-hand protests to bomb threats to bank robberies.  Ty, Zane, and their colleagues are trying to find a way to help the police decrease the violence and the animosity that citizens are harboring towards law enforcement.  One theory of building rapor is a massive PR surge that forces Ty and Zane into some pretty hilarious situations like a softball league and community lectures.  Overall, I don't think the mystery plot in Divide & Conquer was as successful as the one in the previous book, but it kept my attention and provided a great balance to all the Ty/Zane drama.

As a couple, these two provide some of the most emotional scenes even during the most mundane situations.  They are a true rollercoaster of emotions with both of them being stubborn and tortured in their own way.  Ty and Zane, as characters, are written so well that they feel like they could jump off the page and walk around in your everyday life.  This causes readers to get heavily invested in almost every moment of their lives.  I'm telling you, even the most seemingly boring details are exciting with this couple. 

Divide & Conquer forces Ty and Zane to learn how to lean on each other as they navigate a variety of circumstances such as discomfort with their job duties and severe injuries.  I feel like the emotional side of their relationship is taking center stage.  They are beyond the physical, though that is still hot and spicy, and are figuring out how much they need each other as life partners.  After reading about all the ups and downs in the earlier books, it was nice to see them trying to work things out as a couple.  I especially loved the dates that they went on throughout the story.  So cute and so much fun to read about!  But, there is little likelihood of anything being normal and happy for these guys especially with that cliffhanger!

All in all, another successful entry in a fabulous series!  Ty and Zane continue to be great characters and their escapades are as entertaining as always.  I can't wait to see what they do next!

Favorite Quote: "First time I saw you, after I got over hating you, I knew, he said, echoing Ty's words, I knew I'd fall in love with you."


Cut & Run
1. Cut & Run
2. Sticks & Stones
3. Fish & Chips
4. Divide & Conquer
5. Armed & Dangerous
5.5. Dine & Dash
6. Stars & Stripes


Dirty Little Secret is a weekly meme hosted by the ladies at Under the Covers.  Every Thursday they get to know other bloggers & readers more intimately by asking them a question hoping to reveal their dirty little secrets.

Book abuse!  What's the worst thing you've done to a book?

I used to dogear my paperbacks (only ones that I owned!), but have started getting into the habit of using bookmarks.  On occasion, I like to soak in the bathtub with a book and one time I did drop a book into the tub.  I do plead that an insane cat decided it would be fun to jump into the tub then realized that it was full of water.  In all the confusion, I did manage to get the book out and dry it, but the papers are all wrinkly now. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

WAITING ON WEDNESDAY (30): The Indigo Spell

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine to highlight upcoming releases we're anxiously awaiting. 

by Richelle Mead

Young Adult -- Paranormal -- Vampires
Razorbill -- Expected Publication: February 12, 2013

In the aftermath of a forbidden moment that rocked Sydney to her core, she finds herself struggling to draw the line between her Alchemist teachings and what her heart is urging her to do. Then she meets alluring, rebellious Marcus Finch--a former Alchemist who escaped against all odds, and is now on the run. Marcus wants to teach Sydney the secrets he claims the Alchemists are hiding from her. But as he pushes her to rebel against the people who raised her, Sydney finds that breaking free is harder than she thought. There is an old and mysterious magic rooted deeply within her. And as she searches for an evil magic user targeting powerful young witches, she realizes that her only hope is to embrace her magical blood--or else she might be next.

Populated with new faces as well as familiar ones, the Bloodlines series explores all the friendship, romance, battles, and betrayals that made the #1 New York Times bestselling Vampire Academy series so addictive—this time in a part-vampire, part-human setting where the stakes are even higher and everyone’s out for blood.

I loved Mead's Vampire Academy series and its spin-off, Bloodlines, is shaping up to be even better.  The first two books were fabulous with the ending of The Golden Lily being insane!!  Can't wait to see where Mead takes these great characters next!

MY BOOK BOYFRIEND (50): Hall of Fame

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 celebrating my !!50th!! My Book Boyfriend post so I decided to do something a little different.  I have featured alot of guys over the past year and have met many more suggested by my fellow bloggers.  Therefore, in celebration, I have decided to feature my favorite book boyfriends from the past forty-nine posts.  I am calling it my Book Boyfriend Hall of Fame!  In creating this list, I did not have a set number in my head.  I just decided to look at the guys I've featured and figure out who is most deserving.  BTW, I am providing links to the original MBB posts for each boyfriend.  Enjoy! 

Acheron Parthenopaeus -- Dark Hunters series by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Played in my head by Travis Fimmel.

It’s easy to look at people and make quick judgments about them, their present, and their past, but you’d be amazed at the pain and tears a single smile hides. What a person shows to the world is only one tiny facet of the iceberg hidden from sight. And more often than not, it’s lined with cracks and scars that go all the way to the foundations of their soul. --Acheron

Adrian Ivashkov -- Vampire Academy/Bloodlines series by Richelle Mead
Played in my head by Ed Westwick.

"Takes a lot of tries before you hit perfection." He paused to reconsider that. "Well, except for my parents. They got it on the first try." --Bloodlines 

"I tried to be a better person for her– but it was to impress her, to get her to want me. But when I’m around you, I want to be better because… well, because it feels right. Because I want to. You make me want to become something greater than myself. I want to excel. You inspire me in every act, every word, every glance. I look at you, and you’re like… like light made into flesh. […] You have no clue how beautiful you are or how brightly you shine." --The Golden Lily 

Anthony Bridgerton -- The Viscount Who Loved Me by Julia Quinn
Played in my head by Richard Armitage.

“Listen to me," his voice even and intense,"and listen well, because I'm only going to say this once. I desire you. I burn for you. I can't sleep at night for wanting you. Even when I didn't like you, I lusted for you. It's the most maddening thing, beguiling, damnable thing, but there it is. And if I'm to hear one more word of nonsense from your lips, I'm going to have to tie you to the bed bloody bed and have my way with you a hundred different ways, until you finally get it through your silly skull that you are the most beautiful and desirable woman in England, and if anyone else doesn't see that they're bloody fools.”

Ashallyn'darkmyr Tallyn -- Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa
Played in my head by Ben Barnes.

"I've seen thousands of mortal girls," he said softly, "more than you could ever count, from all corners of your world. To me, they're all the same." His finger slid below my chin, tilting my head up. "They only see this outer shell, not who I really am, beneath. You have. You've seen me without the glamour and illusions, even the ones I show my family, the farce I maintain just to survive. You've seen who I really am, and yet, you're still here." He brushed his thumb over my skin, leaving a trail of icy heat. "You're here, and the only dance I want is this one.” --The Iron Daughter

“I have come from the End of the World.... From the River of Dreams, through the gauntlet and the Briar and the Deep Wyld, in order to stand before you today. I have but one request - to take my place at your side. To resume my duty as your knight, and to protect you and your kingdom for as long as I draw breath.” --The Iron Knight

Bones -- Night Huntress series by Jeaniene Frost
Played in my head by Andy Richardson.

 "Kitten, you need to make a decision. Either we stay here and behave or we leave now
and I promise you”—his voice dipped lower and the words fell against my lips—“if we
leave, I won’t behave." --Halfway to the Grave

"I love your hands,” he sighed. “You think I look like an angel? Well, Kitten, your hands are my heaven and your eyes are my home." --This Side of the Grave

Dimitri Belikov -- Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead
Played in my head by Taylor Kitsch.

"You and I will both be Lissa's guardians someday.  I need to protect her at all cost.  If a pack of Strigoi come, I need to throw my body between them and her."
"I know that.  Of course that's what you have to do."  The black sparkles were dancing in front of my eyes again.  I was fading out.
"No.  If I let myself love you, I won't throw myself in front of her.  I'll myself in front of you." --Vampire Academy

"We can't . . ." He told me.
"I know," I agreed.
Then his mouth was on mine again, and this time, I knew there would be no turning back.  There were no walls this time.  Our bodies wrapped together as he tried to get my coat off, then his shirt, then my shirt . . . It really was a lot like when we'd fought out on the quad earlier--that same passion and heat.  I think at the end of the day, the instincts that power fighting and sex aren't so different. They all come from an animal side of us. --Shadow Kiss

Eidolon -- Demonica series by Larissa Ione
Played in my head by Nathan Kane.

"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." --Pleasure Unbound
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. --Demonica Overkill

Gabriel Nightengale -- Jane Jameson series by Molly Harper
Played in my head by Ian Somerhalder.

"I haven't had a lot of good, soft things in my life," he said against my forehead. "Not since my family sent me away. Apart from being your sire and feeling that pull to you, it's that goodness, that softness and warmth, along with the resolve and strength in you, that I love. Being turned hasn't taken that from you. If someone were going to design the perfect mate for me, it would be you. Even when you infuriate me with your pigheaded stubbornness and your temper and incredible lack of anything resembling self-preservation—"
"Stop describing me please."
"You're the most fascinating, maddening, adorable creature I've ever met," he said, sighing and pushing my hair out of my eyes. "So, when I seem possessive or I'm raving like a lunatic, it's just that part of me is still very afraid that I'll lose that—that I'll lose you. I love you."
--Nice Girls Don't Date Dead Men

Heath Champion -- Match Me If You Can by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Played in my head by Christian Bale.

"You're beautiful, every part of you. I love your hair, the way it looks, the way it feels. I love touching it, smelling it. I love the way you wrinkle your nose when you laugh. It makes me laugh, too, every time. And I love watching you eat. Sometimes you can't shovel it in fast enough, but when you get interested in a conversation, you forget there's anything in front of you. God knows, I love making love with you. I can't even talk about that without wanting you."

James Easton -- The Agency series by Y.S. Lee
Played in my head by James McAvoy.

He smiled. "I suppose I thought we'd have a madly impractical, terrifyingly modern sort of marriage. One based on love. Not to mention dangerous undertakings and hair's-breadth escapes from burning buildings, high ledges and exploding sewers."
"And bickering."
"Always that, yes."
"Assuming I want to marry at all."
"True. I know of no good way of forcing you to do anything."
"And you're mad enough to think it could work - one day?"
He cupped her face in his hands. His smile was so brilliant it seemed to illuminate the room. "I think it would be heaven."
She trembled, then. "You have a very strange idea of heaven."
"Kiss me and see." --The Traitor in the Tunnel

Jericho Z. Barrons -- Fever series by Karen Marie Moning
Played in my head by David Gandy.

He pulls me around and kisses me. "You're Mac," he says. "And I'm Jericho. And nothing else matters.  Never will.  You exist in a place that is beyond all rules for me.  Do you understand that?" I do.  Jericho Barrons just told me he loves me. --Shadowfever

John Matthew -- Black Dagger Brotherhood series by JR Ward
Played in my head by Jed Hill.

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. --Lover Mine

Judd Lauren -- Caressed by Ice by Nalini Singh
Played in my head by David Boreanaz.

"There is no us, Brenna."  There couldn't be, not if he wanted her to live the life she deserved.  "For some reason, you're attracted to me.  And yes," he said when it looked like she was going to respond with another burst of red-hot anger, "I'm tempted by you.  But that means nothing."

They called him the Man of Ice, but where Brenna was concerned, he was anything but.  If she stroked him, he wouldn't be able to complete even a tenth of his plan.  And for a man who'd been hungry as long as he had, a quick bite held no appeal.  He wanted to linger, to gorge, to indulge.

Malkom Slaine -- Demon from the Dark by Kresley Cole
Played in my head by Wes Ramsey.


 He interlaced his fingers and said, "We are bound."
He collected a piece of rope, knotting it.
"Oh, you mean bound?"
He gave a nod, then drew in the sand.
An infinity symbol? "Clever demon, how did you know that...?"
He was gazing at her with a question in his eyes.
"Bound forever?" And somehow she met his gaze and lied, "Yes, demon. Bound forever."
As if to make her feel guiltier, he gathered her into his arms, cupping her face against his broad chest. His voice a deep rumble, he said, "Carrow is Malkom's." 

Peeta Mellark -- Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins
Played in my head by Josh Hutcherson.

"Do you mean you won't kill anyone?" I ask.
"No, when the time comes, I'm sure I'll kill just like everybody else. I can't go down without a fight. Only I keep wishing I could think of a way to... to show the Capitol they don't own me. That I'm more than just a piece in their Games," says Peeta. --The Hunger Games

"I knew you'd kiss me."
"How?" I say. Because I didn't know myself.
"Because I am in pain," He says, "That's the only way I get your attention."--Mockingjay

Roarke -- In Death series by JD Robb
Played in my head by David Gandy.

"For once, he slept first.  She lay in the dark, listening to him breathe, stealing a little of his warmth as her own body cooled.  Since he was asleep, she stroked his hair.
"I love you," she murmured, "I love you so much, I'm stupid about it."With a sigh, she settled down, closed her eyes, and willed her mind to empty.
Beside her, Roarke smiled into the dark.  He never slept first. --Ceremony in Death

"Do you remember the first time we made love?"  He touched his lips to hers as he said it.  "We rode up in the elevator like this and couldn't keep our hands off each other, couldn't get to each other quick enough.  I was mad for you.  I wanted you more than I wanted to keep breathing.  I still do."  He deepened the kiss as the elevator doors opened.  "Its never going to change." --Big Jack

Valerius Magnus -- Seize the Night by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Played in my head by Eric Bana.

"I'm not stupid.  I've seen the people who are your friends.  None of them look like me.  None of them act or speak like me.  All of you mock anyone you see who looks or acts like I do.  Your kind hates us.  You dismiss us.  I'm rich and cultured, I come from a noble Roman family, therefore I must think myself above everybody else, so it's okay to be vicious and cold whenever I'm around.  We have no feelings to hurt."

 "No, that ring means that the wearer is worth his or her weight in gold. See?"  He held it up so that she could see the regal crest.
A slow smile spread across her face.  "I'm worth my weight in gold?"
Valerius moved her hand to his lips so that he could kiss it.  "You're worth a lot more than that to me."

Zsadist -- Black Dagger Brotherhood series by JR Ward
Played in my head by Wentworth Miller.

"What is your name?" she murmured.
He cocked an eyebrow at her and then went back to staring at his brother. "I'm the evil one, in case you haven't figured it out."
"I wanted your name, not your calling."
"Being a bastard's more of a compulsion, really. And it's Zsadist. I am Zsadist."
--Lover Eternal 

"I was dead until you found me, though I breathed. I was sightless, though I could see. And then you came...and I was awakened." --Lover Awakened

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

TOP TEN TUESDAY (35): Bookish Confessions

Sponsored by the ladies over at The Broke and the Bookish.


1. I am notorious for being late on returning library books.  This is usually because I haven't gotten around to reading the book even though I've had it for weeks.  I'm impulsive about requesting library books so they don't always work in the reading schedule.

2. I am obsessive about series.  I will not read them out of order no matter how many books I have to work through to get to a particularly great story.

3. I cannot go into a used bookstore without spending at least $25.00.  Most of the time the books I buy are ones I'll never read, but I cannot turn away from the cheap price. 

4. I am very selective about who I let borrow my books.  I have had too many bad experiences with people losing or destroying my books.  It isn't the nicest way to be, but I value my books too much.

5. I used to dogear pages.  This was only on paperbacks that I own, but I am trying to get used to bookmarks for everything.

6. If I get bored with a book, I will put it down and start something else.  Usually I go back the book, but not always. 

7. I love to take a nice long bath and read.  This is a rare occurence since my morning routine doesn't allow much leisure time.

8. I read and eat at the same time...all the time.  I have eating with one hand and reading with another down to a science.  And, surprisingly, I don't spill stuff nearly as much as you would think. 

9. I used Spark Notes/Cliff Notes for most of my high school required reading.  As an almost-teacher and librarian, I am ashamed to admit this, but I usually didn't want to take the time reading something I didn't choose for myself.  The only exception to this was anything by Shakespeare.

10. While I love ebooks and my e-reader, I will purchase a physical copy of a book that I adore.  I have a probably irrational fear that the e-network will die and I will lose all my books.

Monday, August 27, 2012

WISHLIST: August 27-September 1, 2012



Defiance by C.J. Redwine (fantasy) [AUGUST 28]
Iron Legends by Julie Kagawa (fantasy) [AUGUST 28]
Every Day by David Leviathan (fantasy) [AUGUST 28]
Foretold: 14 Tales of Prophecy and Prediction by Various Authors (paranormal) [AUGUST 28]
The Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron (steampunk) [SEPTEMBER 1]
Flight by Alyssa Rose Ivy (fantasy) [SEPTEMBER 1]


A Lady by Midnight by Tessa Dare (historical) [AUGUST 28]
The Ugly Duchess by Eloisa James (historical) [AUGUST 28] 
Full Blooded by Amanda Carlson (paranormal) [SEPTEMBER 1]


I love finding free or cheap books for my Kindle so I decided to start featuring some of the best.  Take advantage of these great deals before they end!  BTW, two asterisks (**) means a book that I highly recommend.

Cold Kiss by Amy Garvey (YA Paranormal)
Pyxis: The Discovery (Pyxis #1) by K.C. Neal (YA Fantasy)
Of Noble Birth by Brenda Novak (Historical Romance)
The Inconvenient Duchess by Christine Merrill (Historical Romance)
Stolen Fury (Stolen #1) by Elisabeth Naughton (Paranormal Romance)
A Hidden Fire (Elemental Mysteries #1) by Elizabeth Hunter (Paranormal Romance)

Demons at Deadnight by A&E Kirk (YA Paranormal)**
Significance (Significance #1) by Shelly Crane (YA Paranormal)
Her Sudden Groom (Groom #1) by Rose Gordon (Historical Romance)
The Wild One (The De Montforte Brothers #1) by Danelle Harmon (Historical Romance)
Confessions at Midnight by Jacquie D'Alessandro (Historical Romance)**
A Quick Bite (Argeneau #1) by Lynsay Sands (Paranormal Romance)

Bloody Jack: Being an Account of Mary "Jacky" Faber, Ship's Boy (Bloody Jack #1) by L.A. Meyer (YA Historical)
Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George (YA Fantasy)
Croak by Gina Damico (YA Paranormal)
Her Scandalous Affair by Candice Hern (Historical Romance)
The Duke and I (Bridgertons #1) by Julia Quinn (Historical Romance)**
Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake (Love by Numbers #1) by Sarah MacLean (Historical Romance)**
Your Scandalous Ways by Loretta Chase (Historical Romance)
Memoirs of a Scandalous Red Dress by Elizabeth Boyle (Historical Romance)
Driving Mr. Dead by Molly Harper (Paranormal Romance)**

Enclave by Ann Aguirre (YA Science Fiction)
The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things by Carolyn Mackler (YA Contemporary)
Storm by Brigid Kemmerer (YA Paranormal)
Seducing Cinderella by Gina S. Maxwell (Contemporary Romance)
Wrong Bed, Right Guy by Katee Robert (Contemporary Romance)
A Belated Bride by Karen Hawkins (Historical Romance)**
Flowers from the Storm by Laura Kinsale (Historical Romance)**
The Shadow and the Star by Laura Kinsale (Historical Romance)**

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld (YA Dystopian)
Flat-Out Love by Jessica Park (YA Contemporary)**
Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout (YA Paranormal)**
Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase (Historical Romance)**
Eternal Rider by Larissa Ione (Paranormal Romance)**
The Darkest Seduction by Gena Showalter (Paranormal Romance)**

Sunday, August 26, 2012

WEEKLY RECAP: August 20-26, 2012


Kitty and the Midnight Hour (Kitty Norville #1) by Carrie Vaughn
-First book in a popular Urban Fantasy series about werewolves and their place in human society.  I'm really liking the heroine, Kitty, despite her submissive behavior within her pack.  Loving the radio show sections!  I'm listening to this on audiobook.

Stars & Stripes (Cut & Run #6) by Abigail Roux
-Ty and Zane go to Texas!  Love that we're getting to see them become comfortable with their relationship and watching them interact as a couple.  I also enjoyed what happens when Ty gets a Stetson...

Legend (Legend #1) by Marie Lu
-I've had this YA dystopian on my TBR shelf for over six months and finally got inspired to start it.  Really liking the alternate povs, but haven't deep enough in the plot to make any other points about the book yet.


Dine & Dash (Cut & Run #5.5) by Abigail Roux -- 3.5 Stars
-Sexy little freebie on Roux's tumblr account.  Very little plot, but lots of hot sex!

Tied Up Tied Down (Rough Riders #4) by Lorelei James -- 3.5 Stars
-Not one of my favorites in the series.  I loved Kade and how deep of a character he was.  His scenes with little Eliza were wonderful and realistic.  Skylar got on my nerves for about 80% of the book and I never felt connected to her.  The sex scenes got a little overdone though they are still well-written.

City of Bones (Mortal Instruments #1) by Cassandra Clare -- 4 Stars

-Finally started this series!  I can understand the hype now.  Really like the creative worldbuilding and the fun characters.  Jace makes me laugh and Simon is just too adorkable for words.  Not sure about my feelings on Clary yet, but I'll hold judgment until I read more.  The revelation at the end was a little jarring, but I'm interested to see where the author takes the series from here.

Friday, August 24, 2012

REVIEW: "For Darkness Shows the Stars" by Diana Peterfreund

For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund

Young Adult -- Science Fiction/Dystopian
For Ages 13+ 

Balzer & Bray -- June 12, 2012
Hardcover, 402 pages

Rating: 4.5 Stars


It's been several generations since a genetic experiment gone wrong caused the Reduction, decimating humanity and giving rise to a Luddite nobility who outlawed most technology.

Elliot North has always known her place in this world. Four years ago Elliot refused to run away with her childhood sweetheart, the servant Kai, choosing duty to her family's estate over love. Since then the world has changed: a new class of Post-Reductionists is jumpstarting the wheel of progress, and Elliot's estate is foundering, forcing her to rent land to the mysterious Cloud Fleet, a group of shipbuilders that includes renowned explorer Captain Malakai Wentforth--an almost unrecognizable Kai. And while Elliot wonders if this could be their second chance, Kai seems determined to show Elliot exactly what she gave up when she let him go.

But Elliot soon discovers her old friend carries a secret--one that could change their society . . . or bring it to its knees. And again, she's faced with a choice: cling to what she's been raised to believe, or cast her lot with the only boy she's ever loved, even if she's lost him forever.


I was intrigued by the premise of For Darkness Shows the Stars since I first heard about it.  After all, what is there not love about a dystopian/science fiction retelling of my favorite Jane Austen book, Persuasion?  Thankfully, my excitement was realized when reading this book with its creative setting, wonderful heroine, and lovely reunited romance.  I will also say that readers do not need to have prior knowledge of Persuasion in order to enjoy this book though it provides a great introduction to the themes that Peterfreund focuses on.

The worldbuilding is one of my favorite aspects of the book.  The characters are living in a dystopian world where a genetic experiment has resulted in the creation of the Reduced, humans with limited cognitive skills and physical limitations.  The world has been taken over by a group of conservative noble families known as the Luddites who avoid most technology and new trends in an effort to retain their comfortable positions.  Years after the creation of the Reduced, there is now a growing population of Post-Reductionists (Posts) who are born from Reduced parents, but show none of the limitations.  Unfortunately, Posts are given the same social status as their Reduced family members which is equal to slavery.

The more specific setting of For Darkness Shows the Stars is a Luddite estate on an unidentified island where the North family and their servants reside.  The Norths have a large community of Reduced and Post laborers that tend their house and farm in exchange for food and shelter.  But, the estate is in trouble after the death of Lady North despite the efforts of the youngest daughter, Elliot.
Elliot North is a very admirable heroine who is the highlight of the book for me.  She is a deep character that is flawed yet relatable.  She is very easy to root for as she struggles to keep the farm afloat in difficult times.  Four years earlier, Elliot gave up the only man she loved for her perceived duty to the laborers.  Her father's uncaring and selfish disposition makes her efforts that much more difficult as she strives to keep the estate afloat.  It is easy for readers to see Elliot's desperate need to break out of her shell and live her own life, but she is always thinking of others and hides this desire.

The male protagonist is Malakai Wentworth, known as a Kai, a former Post servant on the North Estate until his escape four years ago.  He has returned as a member of a shipbuilding company (Cloud Fleet) and seems determined to show that he has gotten over Elliot and their forbidden romance.  Kai was a difficult character to like at the beginning with his tendency to be cruel to Elliot and his former colleagues and his inability to deal well with his hurt feelings over the events prior to his escape.  He also has a few dangerous secrets that threaten everything the Luddites believe in which I wish had been given more page time.  But, like his Jane Austen counterpart, Kai grew on me and became a hero worthy of Elliot.

The Elliot/Kai romance is full of history and tension.  Sparks are evident everytime they are around each other despite the years apart.  Peterfreund provides readers with letters between the two that show the background of their relationship and what really happened four years ago.  The letters were some of my favorite parts of the book and showed what a heartbreaking couple Elliot and Kai were at times.
There is a huge cast of secondary characters in For Darkness Shows the Stars from Elliot's family to the laborers to the Cloud Fleet.  All of these are varied and three-dimensional without ever taking away from the Elliot/Kai storyline.  They also provide great background and secondary plots to keep the action moving forward.
All in all, this was a great retelling of one of my favorite literary classics ever.  The science fiction/dystopian twist is a fresh take on an old story and really kept my attention through the reading process.  There are also alot of thought-provoking questions regarding science and its repercussions that kept me thinking days after completing the book.  I should also mention that there is a fabulous free prequel, Among the Nameless Stars, available on Peterfreund's website that details Kai's adventures after escaping from the North estate.

Persuasion by Jane Austen
Epic Fail by Claire LaZepnik
Across the Universe by Beth Revis
Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

FOLLOW FRIDAY (39) and TGIF (27)

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:
Awesomesauce Book Club
Book Me!

Q: Worst cover?  What is the worst cover of a book that you've read and loved?

1. Almost every book in Nalini Singh's Psy-Changeling series: These books are amazing and worth much better covers.  Who is designing these things?

2. See Jane Score by Rachel Gibson: A great hockey-themed romance whose cover has a random pair of lips and a horrid mix of blue, red, and yellow.  Color me confused...

3. It Had To Be You by Susan Elizabeth Phillips: Another fabulous sports-themed romance, this time football, that has an overabundance of cleavage on the cover.  I thought these were supposed to make women want to buy them, not steer clear.

4. Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase: This answer also includes most every historical romance cover in existence especially the ones with half-naked couples in biologically impossible positions.  These books, especially LoS, are so much better than that!

I have created different ways for you to follow my blog: GFC, LinkyFollowers, email, Twitter, or Goodreads.  Comment, follow me, and I'll return the favor!!


Hosted by Ginger at GReads.

This Friday's Question
Back to School Reading: Which books would you like to see in today's high school literature classrooms? 

For my answer this week, I decided to create two categories: classics that should be included and modern examples that could get high school students excited to read.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton 
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare

ModernThe Book Thief by Markus Zusak
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes by Chris Crutcher
Article 5 by Kristen Simmons

Thursday, August 23, 2012

REVIEW: "Unearthly" by Cynthia Hand

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand
(Unearthly #1)

Young Adult -- Paranormal -- Angels
For Ages 13+
Steam Level: Kisses 

Harper Teen -- January 2011
Ebook, 267 pages

Rating: 4 Stars


In the beginning, there's a boy standing in the trees . . . .Clara Gardner has recently learned that she's part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what that is, though, isn't easy.

Her visions of a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger lead her to a new school in a new town. When she meets Christian, who turns out to be the boy of her dreams (literally), everything seems to fall into place—and out of place at the same time. Because there's another guy, Tucker, who appeals to Clara's less angelic side.

As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she'd have to make—between honesty and deceit, love and duty, good and evil. When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny?

This book was extremely entertaining and easy to read.  I have found that I am not a huge fan of YA angel books, but I enjoyed this one.  Cynthia Hand provided readers with a mature, original look at the world of angels and how they would interact with the human world. 

I liked Clara's characters and how she adjusted to her angel destiny.  She is not a perfect Mary Sue, but is likable and relatable.  Her relationship with her mother and brother is wonderful to read about and rare in modern YA fiction.  The way that these three work together to deal with their angel qualities gives the paranormal part a fun twist.  I especially enjoyed the scenes where Clara is learning to fly...very reminiscient of that first driving lesson!

In terms of the romance, I found myself liking both Christian and Tucker though I have a small soft spot for cowboys.  Tucker is just easy to adore with his sarcastic comments that hide his sweet personality.  The scenes with him and Clara were almost too sugary, but still great to read.  I don't feel like readers got to know Christian enough to really make an informed opinion about him, but I'm hoping the later books in the series will address that.

The mystery of angelbloods and what their purposes really are is intriguing to me.  I couldn't imagine having to rely on random visions to figure out your destiny which is also related to someone's possible survival.  I really look forward to reading the next in this series and seeing the aftermath of Clara's choices.


1. Unearthly
2. Hallowed
3. Boundless (Expected 2013)

Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins
Born at Midnight by C.C. Hunter
Angelfall by Susan Ee
Paranormalcy by Kiersten White


Dirty Little Secret is a weekly meme hosted by the ladies at Under the Covers.  Every Thursday they get to know other bloggers & readers more intimately by asking them a question hoping to reveal their dirty little secrets.

"What quote or picture would you get tattooed from a book and where would you get it?"

There are alot that I would love to get and I still might...I just have to get up the urge to deal with the pain.  But someday I will overcome!  Here are some of the possibilities:

1. Harry Potter's lightning bolt on my ankle with the quote, "All was well" from Deathly Hallows.

2. Underworld General Hospital logo from Larissa Ione's Demonica series on my lower back.

3. Mockingjay from Suzanne Collins's Hunger Games Trilogy on the inside of my wrist.

4. A general picture of an open book with the quote, "Sometimes you read a book so special that you want to carry it around with you for months after you've finished, just to stay near it" from The Book Thief on my right shoulder blade.