Wednesday, October 31, 2012

WISHLIST: November 2012

There are so many great books being released this month that I decided to feature some of them.  Enjoy!

Rogue Rider (Lords of Deliverance, #4)  Shadow's Claim (Immortals After Dark: The Dacians, #1)  The Duchess War (Brothers Sinister, #1)
Rogue Rider (Lords of Deliverance #4) by Larissa Ione (November 20)
Shadow's Claim (Immortals After Dark: Dacians #1) by Kresley Cole (November 27)
The Duchess War (Brothers Sinister #1) by Courtney Milan (November 16) 

 The Importance of Being Wicked (The Wild Quartet, #1)  Ashes of Twilight (Ashes Trilogy, #1)  Greta and the Goblin King (Mylena Chronicles, #1)
The Importance of Being Wicked (Wild Quartet #1) by Miranda Neville (November 27) 
Ashes of Twilight (Ashes Trilogy #1) by Kassy Tayler (November 13)
Greta and the Goblin King (Mylena Chronicles #1) by Chloe Jacobs (November 13)

Elemental  Trapped (Iron Druid Chronicles, #5)  Luminosity (The Raven Chronicles, #1)
Elemental by Antony John (November 21)
Trapped (Iron Druid Chronicles #5) by Kevin Hearne (November 27)
Luminosity (Raven Chronicles #1) by Stephanie Thomas (November 13)

WAITING ON WEDNESDAY (35): "Scarlet" by Marissa Meyer

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

by Marissa Meyer

Young Adult--Science Fiction
Feiwel & Friends -- February 5, 2013

Cinder returns in the second thrilling installment of the New York Times-bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother and the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she has no choice but to trust him, though he clearly has a few dark secrets of his own.

As Scarlet and Wolf work to unravel one mystery, they find another when they cross paths with Cinder. Together, they must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen who will do anything to make Prince Kai her husband, her king, her prisoner.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

TOP TEN TUESDAY (42): Kick-Ass Heroines

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


 1. MacKayla Lane (Fever series by Karen Marie Moning)
One of the best parts of the Fever series (besides Barrons, of course!) was watching Mac go from pink-loving, Southern belle to badass Unseelie killer over the course of five books.  She goes through alot in this series, but comes out stronger than ever by the end.   

2. Katniss Everdeen (Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins)
I won't go too far into Katniss since I'm thinking everyone has either read the book, seen the movie, or at least knows who she is.  I will just say that I find her to be an admirable, though not perfect YA heroine who is not afraid to do what she needs to in order to save those she cares about.

3. Cat Crawfield (Night Huntress series by Jeaniene Frost)
A half-vampire known among the supernatural world as the Red Reaper.  She is not afraid to pick a fight with any type of paranormal creature and usually comes out on top.  Plus she has an amazingly kickass husband in Bones, a vampire bounty hunter.

4. Xhex (Black Dagger Brotherhood series by JR Ward)
She is a controversial character among BDB fans.  I am one of the few readers who loved her and her badass personality.  Xhex (killer name!) is a half-vampire, half-Sympath who can manipulate others' emotions.  She works as the second in command at a nightclub and is not afraid to use her vampire strength to deal with rowdy customers.

5. Chess Putnam (Downside Ghosts series by Stacia Kane)
Chess is an unusual kickass heroine.  She is strong in her own right especially with the whole witch, ghost-fighting powers.  But, what makes her even more kickass is her drug addiction which she is forced to deal with through the course of the series and makes her very admirable.  Plus she has a hell of a boyfriend in bruiser Terrible.

6. Eve Dallas (In Death series by JD Robb)
Lieutenant Eve Dallas works for the homicide division of the New York Police in the year 2058.  She is kickass because of her fighting skills, her devotion to her job, and her emotional strength which has helped her overcome a very traumatic childhood.  Don't mess with this woman or any of the people she cares about!

7. Rose Hathaway (Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead)
Another badass YA heroine!  Rose is a dhampir training to be a guardian for her best friend and vampire princess, Lissa.  She is not always the most likable heroine, but readers can't help take note of her superior fighting skills.

8. Tayla Manusco (Pleasure Unbound by Larissa Ione)
A demon hunter with a mysterious bloodline who gets involved with a incubus doctor.  I adore most of Ione's heroines, but Tayla has a special place in my heart with her no-nonsense combat style and protective nature.

9. Merit (Chicagoland Vampires series by Chloe Neill)
I am only a few books into this series, but I can already tell that Merit is one kickass lady!  She starts out as a grad student forcibly turned into a vampire and quickly evolves into a strong guardian for her vampire clan.  I can't wait to see how she evolves in the later books of the series.

10. Lanore Vesta (Fire Baptized by Kenya Wright)
Lanore is the main character of this amazing independent urban fantasy I read earlier this year.  She is a strong, intelligent woman who lives in a world where paranormal creatures and Mixbreeds are forced to live in specific, poverty-stricken communities.  One of my favorite characters of 2012!

Honorable Mentions: Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series by JK Rowling, Claire Randall from Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, Fiona MacEnroy from Highland Warrior by Hannah Howell, Sienna Lauren from Kiss of Snow by Nalini Singh

Monday, October 29, 2012

REVIEW: "How Beauty Met the Beast" by Jax Garren

How Beauty Met the Beast by Jax Garren
(Tales of the Underlight #1)

Urban Fantasy/Steampunk
For Ages 18+
Steam Level: Hot

Carina Press --November 19, 2012
Ebook, 152 pages

Rating: 4.5 Stars


The Beast...Scarred. Damaged. Living with a terrible secret. Agent of the Underlight Wesley "Hauk" Haukon has nothing left but the fight for liberty against the oppressive Order of Ananke. He's starting to lose hope…and then he sees her.

The Beauty...Despite her night job as a burlesque dancer, grad student Jolie Benoit has always played the mostly good girl. That all changes following a scorching sexual encounter with a stranger whose face she doesn't see. After she's kidnapped by thugs and rescued by a man with a very familiar voice, Jolie becomes a pawn in a struggle she never knew existed.

Hauk knows he cannot have her, and resolves to protect his heart and his secrets. But as they work together and grow closer, he finds new reason to keep fighting. Dare he risk hope in a new life, one where Jolie can see past his ravaged face and where their friendship can grow into something more?


One of my favorite fairy tales is Beauty and the Beast so it should come as no surprise that I actively seek out romance retellings of this awesome story.  That is why my interest was peaked by Jax Garren's debut urban fantasy/steampunk romance.  I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  It takes the classic fairy tale and gives it a supernatural twist while keeping the spirit of the original.  The characters are fascinating, the love story is swoon-worthy, and the plot kept me flipping pages all night.

 How Beauty Met the Beast takes place in a alternate futuristic United States where corporations control almost every aspect of life.  There are also rumors of some of the heads of these businesses making deals with supernatural forces in order to keep their power.  This series focuses on an underground world known as the Underlight which is devoted to fighting against the corporations and trying to get the country back on its feet.

Our "Beast" is Wesley "Hauk" Haukon who was badly scarred in a military accident and acts as a bodyguard for various members of the Underlight.  I fell absolutely in love with this man.  While his appearance may be frightening, his personality is sweet and caring without being a pushover.  He takes his scars in stride and even makes jokes about them which I found refreshing.  I love tortured heroes, but it is nice to see one that isn't spending all their time brooding about their situation.

Jolie is the "Beauty" and she is a graduate student who is moonlighting as a burlesque dancer.  Her family is one of the most prominent in Austin society, but she has begun doubting their beliefs and politics.  I really liked Jolie as the heroine.  She was beautiful (as the role requires), but is much more beneath the surface.  Her intelligence is very refreshing to read about as is her devotion to her family and friends.

The love story between Jolie and Hauk is very sweet and slow-moving...compared to alot of paranormal romances.  They have one spicy scene together, but it is early on and mostly acts as an example of the chemistry between them.  I will warn potential readers that this is the first in a trilogy (I believe) so the romance is not resolved by the end.  Most of romantic storyline deals with these two getting to know each other and developing a friendship that has definite potential for more.   

How Beauty Met the Beast is full of action and suspense.  Most of this first book involves Hauk and Jolie searching for her kidnapped niece.  It provides a great introduction to this world and the dangers that the Order of Ananke are bringing to the United States.  There are many twists and turns (despite the limited page length) that really kept me interested.  I am very anxious to see what happens next especially with Hauk and Jolie's relationship.

I highly recommend fans of fairy tale retellings and steampunk romance check out How Beauty Met the Beast when it comes out in November.  It is a shorter story, but packs alot of punch.  Plus the price seems fairly reasonable at $1.99!  You won't regret meeting Hauk and Jolie!



Tales of the Underlight
1. How Beauty Met the Beast (November 19, 2012)
2. How Beauty Saved the Beast (April 2013)
3. Untitled


Downside Ghosts series by Stacia Kane
Lover Awakened by JR Ward



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! 

Maelyn (The Nine Princesses Novellas)  Beautiful Demons (Peachville High Demons, #1)  Madly (Madly, #1)
Maelyn by Anita Valle (FREE)
Pre-teen novella about a princess (and her eight adopted sisters).  Reviews say it is cute and similar to the works of Gail Carson Levine.

Beautiful Demons by Sarra Cannon (FREE)
YA paranormal about a girl who tries to solve the mysterious death of a cheerleader.  Some of the reviews compare it to Charmed and The Secret Circle.

Madly by M. Leighton (FREE)
Heard some great things about this YA fantasy novella.  Love the idea of a princess in love with her sentinel. Madly sounds like an admirable heroine too!

Intentions of the Earl (Scandalous Sisters #1)  Desperate Measures (A Regency Short Story)  Darkness Awakened (Order of the Blade: Primal Heat Trilogy, #1)
Intentions of the Earl by Rose Gordon (FREE)
Cute historical romance.  Good introduction to the author's voice.  My review found here.

Desperate Measures by Candice Hern (FREE)
Cute short story by a popular Regency romance writer.  Unrequited love stories are my favorite!

Darkness Awakened by Stephanie Rowe (FREE)
First in the Order of the Blade series which features a group of sexy, supernatural warriors.  Recommended by JR Ward. 

Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble (Jolie Wilkins, #1)  To Kill A Warlock  The Amazon's Curse (Atlantis, #5)
Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble by H.P. Mallory (FREE)
Lighthearted urban fantasy with a hilarious, newbie witch and her sexy warlock boss.  First in the Jolie Wilkins series.

To Kill a Warlock by H.P. Mallory (FREE)
Another humorous urban fantasy book with a fairy who acts as a supernatural law enforcement officer.  First in the Dulcie O'Neill series.

 The Amazon's Curse by Gena Showalter (FREE)
Fifth book in the Atlantis series.  One of my favorite paranormal romance writers.

Wild Card (Down & Dirty, #1)  Shadow of the Sun (Timeless, #1)  Sunrise at Sunset (Sunset Vampire, #1)
Wild Card by Moira Rogers (FREE)
Paranormal erotica featuring werewolves.  A few of the reviews comment the book having a nice western feel despite taking place in a futuristic world.

Shadow of the Sun by Laura Kreitzer (FREE)
Intriguing sounding urban fantasy with a heroine who is a supernatural specialist.  

Sunrise at Sunset by Jaz Primo (FREE)
Urban fantasy featuring an alpha female vampire. 
 Once Upon a Winter's Eve (Spindle Cove, #1.5)  Simply Irresistible (Chinooks Hockey Team, #1)  Her Sudden Groom (The Grooms, #1)
Once Upon a Winter's Eve by Tessa Dare ($0.87)
Decent holiday novella in Dare's Spindle Cove series.  Love this author!  My review found here.

Simply Irresistible by Rachel Gibson ($0.89)
Adorable contemporary story with a sexy hockey player and a vivacious, caterer heroine.  I gave it 3.5 stars.

Her Sudden Groom by Rose Gordon ($0.99)
Very cute historical romance.  Heroine is a little annoying, but loved the scientist hero.  I gave it 3.5 stars.

Lord of Vengeance  Rock Chick (Rock Chick, #1)  Tempting the Best Man (Gamble Brothers, #1)
Lord of Vengeance by Lara Adrian ($0.99)
Medieval romance from one of my favorite paranormal writers.

Rock Chick by Kristen Ashley ($1.99)
I haven't read this yet, but most of my blogger friends have and rave about it.  Apparently it is a sexy mix of chick lit and contemporary romance with plenty of alpha males and suspenseful plots.

Tempting the Best Man by J. Lynn ($2.99)
I love a good unrequited love storyline and this contemporary romance has been recommended to me a couple times.  A road romance with the always fun best friend's little sister plot.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

WEEKLY RECAP: October 22-27, 2012

Books Read:
Caught Running by Abigail Roux and Madeleine Urban (4 Stars)
Sweet sports romance with two likable heroes.  I love baseball so I'm pretty much guaranteed to love almost any story with that as a background.  I enjoyed the lack of external drama in this book.  It was just a nice love story between two guys that have known each other for years.  I did have a hard time with the changing points of view at the beginning, but the story was good enough to make me want to continue.  Full review coming soon.

Currently Reading:
The Lost Prince by Julie Kagawa (YA-Fantasy)
Holiday in Death by JD Robb (Romantic Suspense)
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater (YA-Paranormal)
Tigers and Devils by Sean Kennedy (Male/Male Romance)

Books Purchased Or Received: 
The Lost Prince by Julie Kagawa
Poison Princess by Kresley Cole
Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter
The Demon's Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan
A Study in Seduction by Nina Rowan

Plans for Next Week (subject to change):
Kindle Deals
Review: How Beauty Met the Beast by Jax Garren

Top Ten Tuesday: Kick-Ass Heroines

Waiting on Wednesday: Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Review: Iron's Prophecy by Julie Kagawa

Follow Friday

Friday, October 26, 2012


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:
Carmen Jenner
The Y.A. Bookworm Blogger 

Q: What writing device or trick most irritates you when reading a book?

1. Confusing Points of View

I find myself annoyed when a writer decides to tell the story through switching points of view, but doesn't properly distinguish the differences between them.  I recently read a book in which the pov shift would happen every few paragraphs without warning.  It was really difficult to get a handle on the style especially when the two main characters would be in different locations and the story would jump around.  I will say that I eventually got used the style and enjoyed the story, but it was slightly irritating.
2. Love Triangles (especially in YA)
I do not hate all love triangles and I understand the drama that can come from them.  But, what annoys me is writing a love triangle just for the sake of having one.  There should be a deliberate reason for the situation and it should be written in a way that makes the reader become heavily invested in the outcome.     

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!!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

WAITING ON WEDNESDAY (35): "Lover At Last" by JR Ward

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

by JR Ward

Paranormal Romance -- Vampires
NAL -- Expected Publication: March 26, 2013

Qhuinn, son of no one, is used to being on his own. Disavowed from his bloodline, shunned by the aristocracy, he has finally found an identity as one of the most brutal fighters in the war against the Lessening Society. But his life is not complete. Even as the prospect of having a family of his own seems to be within reach, he is empty on the inside, his heart given to another....

Blay, after years of unrequited love, has moved on from his feelings for Qhuinn. And it’s about time: The male has found his perfect match in a Chosen female, and they are going to have a young—just as Qhuinn has always wanted for himself. It’s hard to see the new couple together, but building your life around a pipe dream is just a heartbreak waiting to happen. As he’s learned firsthand.

Fate seems to have taken these vampire soldiers in different directions... but as the battle over the race’s throne intensifies, and new players on the scene in Caldwell create mortal danger for the Brotherhood, Qhuinn finally learns the true definition of courage, and two hearts who are meant to be together... finally become one.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

TOP TEN TUESDAY (41): Books To Get Into the Halloween Spirit

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


1. The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff     
This book is on here because it is a great story and has one of the creepiest covers I've seen in forever.  I bought this based on the cover alone which never happens. 

2. Jenny Pox (The Paranormals #1) by J.L. Bryan

I'm not big into horror, but I really enjoyed this terrifying and still romantic at times story.  The main character has the supernatural ability to infect anyone who comes into contact with her bare skin.  Think Rogue from X-men, but worse. 

3. . Unholy Ghosts by Stacia Kane

The first in a very creepy urban fantasy series where ghosts run rampant and require witches like Chess Putnam to keep them in line.

4. Soulless (Parasol Protectorate #1) by Gail Carriger
A steampunk/paranormal romance that includes a variety of supernatural creatures from vampires to werewolves to people like Alexia Tarabotti who are born without souls.  The beginning of a hilarious and spooky series.

5. Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins
The beginning of an intriguing YA paranormal series that isn't afraid to push the envelope with its plots or characters.  Hawkins does a great job of taking stereotypes and twisting them around to suit her needs.  

7. Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead

Another fabulous YA series that went above and beyond my expectations.  Don't let the the cliched title fool you.  This is a set of books full of supernatural fun, action, and characters you will become obsessed with.  Team Dimitri and Team Adrian for the win!! 

6. Demonica series by Larissa Ione
One of my favorite paranormal series ever!  I love almost everything about these books from the intense worldbuilding to the sexy romance to the lovable, but still dangerous creatures.  If you ever wondered what it would be like to have world where demons live side by side humans (without their knowledge), this is perfect for you.

8. Cabot Family series by Teresa Medeiros
A historical/paranormal romance duology that I have adored for years!  They have a very Dracula feel to them and are full of mystery which is perfect for the season.  Definitely recommended!

9. Night Huntress series by Jeaniene Frost
Another amazing urban fantasy series with my all-favorite paranormal hero, Bones, and his kickass half-vampire wife, Cat.  Fans of sexy, dark vampire stories will enjoy this ongoing series.

10. Jane Jameson series by Molly Harper
Hilarious is the best way I can describe this series which stars a former child librarian who was unwilling turned into a vampire and tries adjust to her new undead lifestyle.  Jane is a fabulous heroine whose supernatural antics will keep readers entertained from beginning to end.

Monday, October 22, 2012

REVIEW: "Admit One" by Jenna Hilary Sinclair

Admit One
Admit One by Jenna Hilary Sinclair

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

Dreamspinner Press -- November 2009
Ebook, 350 pages

Rating: 4 Stars


When high school teacher Tom Smith meets Kevin Bannerman at a gay club, he violates his own rule: one-night stands only. But when the weekend is over, he walks away, reminding himself that he lives a deeply closeted life for painful, compelling reasons. He keeps his secrets, his heart, and the cause of his crippled arm to himself, but almost immediately he bitterly regrets leaving Kevin. 

Months later, while Tom serves as reluctant assistant director for his school's production of Rent, he fears that the show's same-sex love angle will somehow out him. Protests against the play begin, one of the student actors is harassed, and during a parents' meeting, Tom encounters Kevin again. 

This time Tom can't fight the attraction between them, and he and Kevin begin a tentative relationship. Within Rent's message of acceptance and support, and as local churches oppose the play, Tom struggles to find the strength to admit one man into his heart.


This was a wonderful male/male romance between a damaged history teacher and the banker who showed him how to embrace life again.  The characters are richly detailed and never stereotypical while the plot provides enough drama and angst to keep things interesting.  The romance is a nice balance between sweet and spicy and works perfectly for the two heroes.

Tom Smith is a teacher in a small town in Texas who hides his sexuality from everyone.  He does this in order to keep his job (which he loves) and to avoid any judgment from the uber-conservative townspeople.  Tom is an interesting and sometimes depressing character.  Despite his love for his students, he is very unhappy and only seems to come to life when he takes his irregular trips into the city for one night stands.  It should be noted that Tom has good reasons to be as closed off as he is so watching him slowly come out of his shell throughout the book is a satisfying experience.

The man who helps Tom realize how dark his life had gotten is banker, Kevin Bannerman, who was supposed to just be another fling in the city.  But, Kevin quickly disputes Tom's efforts to keep emotions out of their relationship and manages to dig his way into his heart.  I really liked how Sinclair depicted Kevin and showed how different he was from Tom.  Unlike Tom who has known about his sexuality for ages, Kevin has recently come out of the closet and even has a teenaged daughter from an earlier marriage.  I really admired Kevin's determination to stick with Tom despite all the darkness that comes along.

There are many side characters in Admit One and none of them is lacking in detail.  Sinclair provides readers with a great feeling for the town by providing information about everyone from the high school students to the other teachers to the townspeople.  My personal favorites were the students especially Robbie.  They are written very realistically and devolve into classic high school stereotypes.  Readers can tell why Tom cares so much about these kids which is very important for his character.

As a couple, Tom and Kevin are full of drama and romance.  Their initial meetings are mostly physical, but show hints of emotional ties early on.  After meeting up again in Tom's hometown, these two men continue to circle around each other despite Tom's hesitations.  The chemistry between them is obvious and very well-written.  One of my favorite parts of the book was the development of their relationship.  It felt very real and rarely rushed which is rare in romances today.

I will say that the plot of Admit One is not light-hearted in the least.  There are some darker aspects particularly related to Tom's past, but it is balanced with some of the antics of the high schoolers.  I found it interesting to have the protagonists live in a small town in Texas that is ultra conservative and I think it gave the relationship some great obstacles.  Another aspect that I enjoyed was the use of the musical Rent as a parallel to Tom's story.  It also doesn't hurt that it is one of my all-time favorite shows ever!

All in all, I found this to be an entertaining though emotionally draining read.  Tom and Kevin both have to overcome quite a few obstacles to get their happily ever after, but it all feels worth it by the end.  This was my introduction to Jenna Hilary Sinclair and I am definitely going to look for more of her work soon.


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!  

MAID in the USA by Judy Angelo (FREE)
Marked by Elisabeth Naughton (FREE)
Overprotected by Jennifer Laurens (FREE)

Unenchanted by Chanda Hahn (FREE)  
The Rock Star's Daughter by Caitlyn Duffy (FREE) 
Intentions of the Earl by Rose Gordon (FREE)


Dark Craving by Donna Grant ($0.99)
Midnight's Wild Passion by Anna Campbell ($0.99) 
A Knight to Remember by Christina Dodd ($0.99)

A Groom of One's Own by Maya Rodale ($0.99) 
A Tale of Two Lovers by Maya Rodale ($0.99)
The Tattooed Duke by Maya Rodale ($0.99)


Vampire Wardens/Werewolf Society-5 Story Box Set by Lisa Renee Jones ($1.99) 
The Perils of Pleasure by Julie Anne Long ($1.99) 
The Second Seduction of a Lady by Miranda Neville ($1.99)