Monday, September 30, 2013

REVIEW: "Midnight Frost" by Jennifer Estep

Midnight Frost (Mythos Academy, #5)
Midnight Frost by Jennifer Estep
For Ages 13+
Young Adult -- Paranormal/Fantasy
K-Teen -- July 30, 2013
Paperback, 372 pages
Purchased from Amazon

Magic School, Mythology

Here we go again …

Just when it seems life at Mythos Academy can’t get any more dangerous, the Reapers of Chaos manage to prove me wrong. It was just a typical night at the Library of Antiquities — until a Reaper tried to poison me. The good news is I’m still alive and kicking. The bad news is the Reaper poisoned someone else instead.

As Nike’s Champion, everyone expects me to lead the charge against the Reapers, even though I’m still hurting over what happened with Spartan warrior Logan Quinn. I’ve got to get my hands on the antidote fast — otherwise, an innocent person will die. But the only known cure is hidden in some creepy ruins — and the Reapers are sure to be waiting for me there …

"I was trapped."

Warning!  This review may contain spoilers for earlier books in the Mythos Academy series.
Jennifer Estep's Mythos Academy series is one of my current favorites and I am always looking forward to seeing what Gwen and her friends are up to next.  For me, there is always an installment in a series that seems a bit weaker than others.  It is never bad enough to make me give up on the series as a whole, but it usually is one I won't jump to re-read very soon.  Unfortunately, Midnight Frost is that book for me with the Mythos Academy series.  I did enjoy this book, but it didn't grab me as much as the earlier installments.

This book starts soon after the attack on Mythos amphitheater where Logan was possessed by Loki and almost killed Gwen.  This caused a rift between our main couple and Logan ran away from the school in a misguided attempt to protect Gwen.  Of course, in the land of Mythos Academy, there is rarely a time to breath and this fact is proven when librarian Nickamedes is poisoned in a Reaper attack that was meant for Gwen.  This has angered our heroine and she goes on a mission to the Mythos Academy branch in Colorado to find the antidote.  And, of course, she is accompanied by her friends and teachers.

One thing that I do love about this series is the way that Jennifer Estep is developing the character of Gwen.  She started off as a sarcastic, geeky outcast who resisted getting too involved in the supernatural world.  Now, she has fully embraced her destiny as Nike's Champion and is no longer willing to stand by and watch others be hurt in her stead.  Gwen does still have some reckless moments, but they are much less frequent than in the beginning of the series.

I also continue to love the many secondary characters that pepper the Mythos Academy universe.  Gwen's friends (Daphne, Carson, Oliver, etc.) are part of the group that travels to Colorado and it was great to see them working to help Gwen in any way that they can.  I also enjoyed getting to know their teacher Ajax more during this book.  The adults are just as fascinating to me as the students.  And, of course, there are plenty of fascinating new characters to meet and interact with.  My personal favorite was a Spartan girl who has an important connection to Gwen.

I think the biggest reason that I had trouble with Midnight Frost was that the plot dragged quite a bit towards the middle.  I understand that so much happened in the previous book that the characters needed a breather, but I just found myself wanting more to happen.  I did ultimately get the action I wanted towards the end though it seemed a little rushed to me.

Despite my struggles, I do still love this series and am looking forward to the release of Killer Frost in 2014 especially if it ends up being the conclusion!


"Well, naturally," the sword crowed, his voice swelling with pride. "I do put the art in artefact."
I looked down on him. "Really?" I whispered. "You're really going to talk about how awesome you are at a time like this?"
"Certainly," Vic said. "Why wouldn't I?”

0.5. First Frost
1. Touch of Frost
1.5. Halloween Frost
2. Kiss of Frost
3. Dark Frost
4. Crimson Frost
4.5. Spartan Frost
5. Midnight Frost
6. Killer Frost (Coming 2014) 

Sunday, September 29, 2013


    Wild Cards (Wild Cards, #1)
  • The Wicked Deeds of Daniel MacKenzie (Highland Pleasures #6) by Jennifer Ashley (historical romance)
  • My Lady Quicksilver (London Steampunk #3) by Bec McMaster (steampunk romance)
  • Wild Cards (Wild Cards #1) by Simone Elkeles (YA contemporary)
  • Love Lessons by Heidi Cullinan (male/male contemporary)
  • The Eye of Minds (Mortality Doctrine #1) by James Dashner (YA dystopian)
  • One Hot Scot (Scandalous Highlanders #0.5) by Suzanne Enoch (historical romance)
  • A Lady's Secret Weapon (Nexus #3) by Tracey Devlyn (historical romance)
  • In the Heart of the Highlander (Ladies Unlaced #2) by Maggie Robinson (historical romance)
  • His for Christmas (House of Trent #1.5) by Jennifer Haymore (historical romance)
  • Lady in Red (Dark Passions #2) by Maire Claremont (historical romance)
  • Entangled by Amy Rose Capetta (YA science fiction)
Rhythm and Bluegrass (Bluegrass, #2)
  • Rhythm and Bluegrass (Bluegrass #2) by Molly Harper (contemporary romance)
  • After the Fall (Tucker Springs #6) by L.A. Witt (male/male contemporary)
  • The Midnight Dress by Karen Foxlee (YA fantasy)
  • Relic (Books of Eva #1) by Heather Terrell (YA dystopian)
  • Red by Alison Cherry (YA dystopian)
  • The Kingdom of Little Wounds by Susann Cokal (YA fantasy)
  • The Brokenhearted by Amelia Kahaney (YA science fiction)
  • Agamemnon Frost and the Crown of Towers (Agamemnon Frost #3) by Kim Knox (male/male science fiction)

    Duke of Midnight (Maiden Lane, #6)
  • Duke of Midnight (Maiden Lane #6) by Elizabeth Hoyt (historical romance)
  • Across a Star-Swept Sea by Diane Peterfreund (YA science fiction)
  • Mad About the Boy (Bridget Jones #3) by Helen Fielding (contemporary romance)
  • The Twistrose Key by Tone Almhjell (MG fantasy)
  • Allegiant (Divergent #3) by Veronica Roth (YA dystopian)
  • Winter's Heat (Nemesis Unlimited #1.5) by Zoe Archer (historical romance)
  • Black and Blue (Otherworld Assassins #2) by Gena Showalter (science fiction romance)
  • Long Time Gone (Hell or High Water #2) by S.E. Jakes (male/male contemporary)

The Iron Traitor (The Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten, #2)OCTOBER 29
  • The Iron Traitor (Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten #2) by Julie Kagawa (YA fantasy)
  • The Sum of All Kisses (Smythe-Smith Quartet #3) by Julia Quinn (historical romance)
  • When the Marquess Met His Match (An American Heiress in London #1) by Laura Lee Guhrke (historical romane)
  • The Wicked Wallflower (Wicked Wallflowers #1) by Maya Rodale (historical romance)
  • Once She Was Tempted (Honeycote #2) by Anne Barton (historical romance)
  • In Love with a Wicked Man by Liz Carlyle (historical romance)
  • It Happened Under the Mistletoe (Secret Brides #3.5) by Valerie Bowman (historical romance)

Saturday, September 28, 2013


A great feature hosted by Tynga's Reviews where bloggers get to feature the new books they received over the past week.

Second Grave on the Left (Charley Davidson, #2) The Rules (Project Paper Doll, #1)

Second Grave on the Left (Charley Davidson #2) by Darynda Jones [urban fantasy] -- I read the first in the series last week and found it a hilarious look at a female Grim Reaper.  Can't wait to catch up!

The Rules (Project Paper Doll #1) by Stacey Kay [YA science fiction] --  I loved Stacey Kay's The Ghost and the Goth trilogy and, when I saw this on the shelf at my library, I knew I had to get it.

Friends Without Benefits: An Unrequited Romance (Knitting in the City, #2) The Seduction of Lady Phoebe (The Marriage Game, #1)

Friends Without Benefits (Knitting in the City #2) by Penny Reid [contemporary romance] -- One of my favorite books from earlier this year was Reid's debut, Neanderthal Seeks Human.  So I was ecstatic to get an e-ARC of the sequel from the author.  I recently finished it and it was just so cute!

The Seduction of Lady Phoebe (The Marriage Game #1) by Ella Quinn [historical romance] -- I've seen good things about Ella Quinn's writing and I'm always excited to try new historical writers.



Friends Without Benefits by Penny Reid [contemporary romance] -- Super cute sequel to one of my favorite reads earlier this year (Neanderthal Seeks Human).  Review coming soon.

First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones [urban fantasy] -- This was just a fun read!  I loved all the characters especially Charley and the mysterious Reyes.  Review coming soon.

Entangled by Lex Valentine [male/male contemporary] -- Had a great premise, but not enough length to fully develop the characters and the romance.  Too much telling rather than showing.


Styxx by Sherrilyn Kenyon [paranormal romance] -- The most recent Dark Hunters book which I really enjoying, but it will take some time to get through it.

Reckoning by Jeaniene Frost [urban fantasy] -- I re-read Halfway to the Grave yesterday and I realized that I never read this novella which shows Bones's life before he met Cat.


3.5 Stars -- "Midnight Frost" by Jennifer Estep
4 Stars -- "First Grave on the Right" by Darynda Jones
4.5 Stars -- "Illumination" by Rowan Speedwall

Upcoming Releases: October 2013
Top Ten Tuesday: Book Turn-Offs
Follow Friday: Books, TV Shows, Movies I'm Behind On

Friday, September 27, 2013


Alison Can Read Feature & Follow
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!

Q:  Reading Nooks: Give Us a Tour of Your Favorite Reading Spots.

My favorite spot in my recliner with Lily modeling how comfy it is.

My bed: I read for at least half an hour before going to sleep every night.

My couch: Not my favorite, but still comfy.  The towel is there because that is one of my cats' favorite napping spots.



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

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


Hosted by Should Be Reading.

To participate in this feature, you just have answer these three simple questions:

  1. What are you currently reading?
  2. What did you recently finish reading?
  3. What do you think you'll read next?


Styxx (Dark-Hunter, #23)
Styxx by Sherrilyn Kenyon (paranormal romance)

Friends Without Benefits: An Unrequited Romance (Knitting in the City, #2)
Friends Without Benefits by Penny Reid (contemporary romance)

Ender's Game (Ender's Saga, #1)
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card; Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki and Harlan Ellison (science fiction)


First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson, #1)
First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones (urban fantasy)

Why Dukes Say I Do (Wicked Widows, #1)
Why Dukes Say I Do by Manda Collins (historical romance)

Illumination by Rowan Speedwall (male/male contemporary)


Chain Reaction (Perfect Chemistry, #3)
Chain Reaction by Simone Elkeles (YA contemporary)

Magic Bites (Kate Daniels, #1)
Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews (urban fantasy)

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Best Sequels I've Ever Read

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


Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2)
1. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
I loved The Hunger Games, but I think I liked its sequel even more.  Collins just took the danger aspect and turned up the notch with the Quarter Quell.  Plus I thought Katniss, Peeta, Gale, and others really shined in this book.

Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles, #2)
2. Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
This is a case where I liked the prequel a bit better than the sequel, but I still thought Scarlet was a fabulous addition to the Lunar Chronicles world.  Marissa Meyer showed that she wasn't a one trick pony and proved that her mix of fairy tales and science fiction could work beyond Cinder.  (MY REVIEW)

One Foot in the Grave (Night Huntress, #2)
3. One Foot in the Grave by Jeaniene Frost
While I enjoyed the first book in the Night Huntress world (Halfway to the Grave), this is the book that sealed my fangirl status for the series.  The reunion between Cat and Bones and the addition of the federal government to the overall story line just added to my obsession.

The Body at the Tower (The Agency, #2)
4. The Body at the Tower by Y.S. Lee
This sequel to the already wonderful A Spy in the House allowed protagonist Mary Quinn to continue her development as a character.  She has been an agent for awhile now and really gets to show off what she has learned.  Plus I loved all the little moments between Mary and architect James in this book. (MY REVIEW)

The Vampire Who Loved Me (Cabot, #2)
5. The Vampire Who Loved Me by Teresa Medeiros
This was the conclusion of a fascinating duet that mixed paranormal and historical romance.  In this one, vampire Julian Kane returns to London and he is reunited with the woman that he fell for in the first book.  I loved the mythology of this series and thought the second book was the strongest of the two.

Pure (Covenant, #2)
6. Pure by Jennifer L. Armentrout
While I liked the first book in Armentrout's Covenant series, I wasn't sold on the premise or the main character, Alex.  But, Pure completely changed my opinion from the beginning and it started what has become an obsession with JLA's writing.

Dragonfly in Amber (Outlander, #2)
7. Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon
Outlander is still one of my all-time favorite books, but I thought this was a worthy sequel.  I don't want to go too much into the summary of Dragonfly to avoid spoilers, but Gabaldon took it in ways that I never thought she would.  I think the ending of this one caused the most tears that I have ever shed while reading.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter, #2)
8. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling
While I think this is the weakest of the entire series, I couldn't get through the list without mentioning HP.  The plot of this one was a bit darker than that of Sorcerer's Stone and it is fascinating to re-read now with all the connections to the end of the series.

Dare You To (Pushing the Limits, #2)
9. Dare You To by Katie McGarry
This is another example of a sequel that I enjoyed more than the prequel.  While I adored McGarry's debut, Pushing the Limits, I connected with Beth and Ryan immediately and really got invested in their love story.  Plus I loved how McGarry reversed the typical YA roles with these two which kept me on my toes.  (MY REVIEW)

A Million Suns (Across the Universe, #2)
10. A Million Suns by Beth Revis
I read this book almost a year and a half after I finished its prequel, Across the Universe, but it still drew me into the complex world of Godspeed.  The plot really escalates in this book and readers get to see the two main characters make some intriguing discoveries that will resonate for the rest of the trilogy.  (MY REVIEW)

Monday, September 23, 2013

AUDIOBOOK REVIEW: "A Witch's Handbook of Kisses and Curses" by Molly Harper

A Witch's Handbook of Kisses and Curses (Half Moon Hollow, #2)
A Witch's Handbook of Kisses and Curses by Molly Harper
(Half-Moon Hollow #2)

Goodreads -- Amazon -- Audible
Author Website

For Ages 18+
Paranormal Romance
Pocket Books -- May 28, 2013
Audiobook, 8 hours and 59 minutes
Purchased from Audible

Witches, Magic, Family Issues

Nola Leary would have been content to stay in Kilcairy, Ireland, healing villagers at her family’s clinic with a mix of magic and modern medicine. But a series of ill-timed omens and a deathbed promise to her grandmother have sent her on a quest to Half-Moon Hollow, Kentucky, to secure her family’s magical potency for the next generation. Her supernatural task? To unearth four artifacts hidden by her grandfather before a rival magical family beats her to it.

Complication One: Her grandfather was Mr. Wainwright and the artifacts are lost somewhere in what is now Jane Jameson's book shop.

Complication Two: her new neighbor, Jed Trudeau, who keeps turning up half naked at the strangest times, a distraction Nola doesn't need. And teaming up with a real-life Adonis is as dangerous as it sounds, especially when he’s got the face of an angel and the abs of a washboard—can Nola complete her mission before falling completely under his spell?

"My week started with spectral portents of doom floating over my bed while I was trying to have anniversary sex with my boyfriend."

A Witch's Handbook of Kisses and Curses is another adorable paranormal romance that takes place in the same small town that the popular Jane Jameson series portrayed, Half-Moon Hollow, Kentucky.  This book has everything I've come to expect from a Molly Harper story with quirky characters, spicy romance, and plenty of comedy.

Nola Leary's family is made up of witches and they are in desperate need of four artifacts known as the Elements to avoid losing their magic forever.  Unfortunately, the Elements are believed to have been taken to Half-Moon Hollow for safekeeping and no one in the family is sure where they are.  This is where Nola comes in as she travels to Kentucky to find them, meets new people, and gets involved in some sticky situations.

I really liked Nola.  She was quirky, intelligent, and very sarcastic which really came out in the audio book.  Her mix of Irish and Boston sensibilities was interesting as well.  The only thing that I wasn't a huge fan of was her relationship with Steven.  I got where Molly Harper was going with that whole scenario, but it was a little awkward especially at the beginning.

Nola's neighbor in Kentucky is Jed Trudeau, a smoking hot construction worker with a few secrets of his own.  I absolutely adored Jed's character!  He was smart, kind, and loved to joke around with Nola.  His devotion to Nola was evident from the beginning and it was just so cute to watch.  There were a few moments where I got irritated with Jed because of the secrets he was keeping from Nola, but I think he more than made up for it by the end.

Jed and Nola were an adorable couple who met in a very bizarre situation.  They really seemed to understand one another from that first meeting and just got along so well.  I love it when authors show couple hanging out together and Harper definitely does that with these two.  The secrets that each of them were hiding from the other did cause some issues and that was the only part I wasn't a huge fan of with them.

The plot of A Witch's Handbook of Kisses and Curses focuses primarily on the hunt for the Elements.  I love reading about treasure hunts so this story line grabbed me immediately.  The search for clues and the act of trying to piece them together kept me interested throughout the entire book.  This treasure hunt also brought Nola into direct contact with some of my favorite Half-Moon Hollow residents.  I was especially excited to see the return of Jane, Gabriel, Dick, Andrea, and Zeb from the Jane Jameson series.  They are just as warm and funny as they were the last time I read about them which is great to see.

In conclusion, I really liked this new installment in the Half-Moon Hollow series.  Nola and Jed were great characters to add to the already colorful group in this world.  And everything was brought to life by the always wonderful Amanda Ronconi who narrates Molly Harper's books to perfection.  I definitely recommend this for fans of Harper's writing or anybody who is looking for a funny paranormal romance.


0.5. Driving Mr. Dead
1. The Care and Feeding of Stray Vampires
1.5. Undead Sublet
2. A Witch's Handbook of Kisses and Curses

Sunday, September 22, 2013

REVIEW: "Bound by Night" by Larissa Ione

Bound by Night (MoonBound Clan Vampires, #1)
Bound by Night by Larissa Ione
(Moonbound Clan Vampire #1)

Goodreads -- Amazon -- Book Depository
Author Website

For Ages 18+
Paranormal Romance -- Vampires
Pocket Books -- September 24, 2013
Ebook, 400 pages
Received from Edelweiss

Vampires, Tortured Hero, Tormented Heroine, Best Enemies

A WOMAN OUT FOR BLOODNicole Martin was only eight years old when the vampire slaves rose up in rebellion and killed her family. Now she devotes her life to finding a vaccine against vampirism, hoping to wipe out her memories—along with every bloodsucker on the planet. But there’s one thing she cannot destroy: her searing, undeniable attraction for the one man she should hate and fear the most . . .

A VAMPIRE OUT FOR REVENGEA member of the renegade vampire MoonBound Clan, Riker is haunted by demons of his own. When he recognizes Nicole and remembers how her family enslaved his loved ones, his heart burns for vengeance. But when he kidnaps Nicole and holds her in a secret lair, his mortal enemy becomes his soul obsession, his greatest temptation, and, perhaps, his only salvation—a hot-blooded lover who could heal him with her touch . . . or bury him forever.

The vampires were behaving weird today.

I received a free e-ARC of this book from Pocket Books via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

I am a huge Larissa Ione fangirl so I was ecstatic to learn that she was starting a new series and that it was going to focus on vampires!  I had very high expectations for this first installment and I did enjoy it, overall.  It was not as good as my favorite Demonica or Lords of Deliverance books, but there is definite potential!

What I Liked

  • One of Larissa Ione's biggest strengths as a writer is her ability to bring a paranormal world to life.  She is amazing at creating these complex settings and developing them so well that they feel like they could jump off the page.  Vampire series can feel very stale nowadays, but I think Ione is providing readers with a fresh look at this species and their interactions with humans.  There are so many levels in this particular world and I can see that she will have a blast revealing them throughout the series.
  • Nicole Martin was an amazing heroine who I connected with from that grisly first chapter and I really became invested in her journey.  I liked how she was devoted to her family's memory (at first), but was willing to change her mind when provided with the proper evidence.  She was definitely my favorite character of the book and I am looking forward to seeing her pop up in the rest of the series.
  • The relationship between Riker and Nicole was as hot as I would expect from Larissa Ione.  I wasn't sure what I would think about their past interfering with their present, but I think things are resolved well on that front.  The whole hate-to-love journey is very entertaining for me and I loved the sense of the forbidden that overshadows their entire love story.  I always look at a couple with an eye towards to the future and I think they definitely can have a successful future together.
  • The plot of Bound by Night is action-packed from the very beginning when Ione introduces readers to this world by a horrific attack at heroine Nicole Martin's childhood home.  I never felt like the story backed down from that moment and provided all the twists and turns that I expected from this author.  I did find myself confused at points, but I think that was intentional since Nicole was just as confused as I was.
  • Like in her other paranormal series, Larissa Ione provides readers with a large and well-developed cast of characters.  These include heroes, villains, and some who could go either way over the course of the series.  My favorite of these was Riker's friend, Myne, an former slave with titanium fangs who helped Nicole during a particularly harrowing time.  I'm really looking forward to his story because I know it will be a doozy!

What I Didn't Like

  • Bound by Night is the first in the series so I expected lots of background information.  But, I was a little taken aback by the information dump that I got in the early chapters.  My previous experience with Larissa Ione showed me that she is usually more subtle about her exposition, but I do understand that she had a lot to explain to get the series going.
  • The only other issue I had with this book was the hero Riker's melodrama.  I really liked his character and his relationship with Nicole (for the most part).  But, I thought he acted like an ass towards Nicole even after their status changed.  I understood that he had a tough past, but he was so obsessed with his deceased mate that he started getting on my nerves.  I'm also not sure if he groveled enough for my taste.
Overall, I found Bound by Night to be an entertaining first installment in what I think will be another successful series for Larissa Ione.  I am definitely looking forward to the next one, Chained by Night, to be released in 2014.


1. Bound by Night
2. Chained by Night (Coming 2014)

Saturday, September 21, 2013

WEEKLY RECAP: September 15-21, 2013


Never Desire a Duke (One Scandalous Season, #1) A Witch's Handbook of Kisses and Curses (Half Moon Hollow, #2) The Adorned Sweet Young Thang (Theta Alpha Gamma, #3) Midnight Frost (Mythos Academy, #5)

Never Desire a Duke by Lily Dalton -- Very sweet historical about an estranged husband and wife who rekindle their relationship.  Review posted this week.

A Witch's Handbook of Kisses and Curses by Molly Harper -- Cute paranormal focusing on a witch working on a family treasure hunt and her mysterious, and hot, neighbor.  Review coming soon.

The Adorned by John Tristan -- A creative male/male fantasy that had a slowly developed romance and some amazing world building.

Sweet Young Thang by Anne Tenino -- I continue to love this college-set male/male series with this installment that focuses on a secret relationship and a very open-minded fraternity.  Review coming soon.

Midnight Frost by Jennifer Estep -- I liked this newest installment in the Mythos Academy series, but it wasn't my favorite.  I found the middle a bit slow and I wish that more had happened in the overall series plot.  Review coming soon.


First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones (urban fantasy)

Why Dukes Say I Do by Manda Collins (historical romance)

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card (YA science fiction)