Sunday, June 30, 2013

Vacation!

This is just a quick announcement that I am on vacation from June 29 to July 6 and will not have access to my computer.  Besides updating my blog, this also means I will be behind on commenting back to people.  Please know that I will respond...it will just be delayed.

*I am still updating my Goodreads account through my phone so, if you want to know all the fabulous books I've been reading on the beach, add me as a friend or follow my reviews.  I'll see you all in a week!!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

UPCOMING RELEASES: July 2013

Drop Dead Demons (Divinicus Nex Chronicles #2) A Secret Affair (Secret Brides #2.5)  MacRieve (Immortals After Dark, #13)  In the Arms of the Heiress (Ladies Unlaced, #1)
JULY 1 -- DROP DEAD DEMONS (DIVINICUS NEX CHRONICLES #2) BY A & E KIRK
[Young Adult Paranormal]
  • Possible love triangle...hexagon...whatever and some amusing humor if it is like its prequel.
JULY 1 -- A SECRET AFFAIR (SECRET BRIDES #3.5) BY VALERIE BOWMAN
[Historical Romance
  • Novella -- Involves a bachelor auction for charity.
JULY 2 -- MACRIEVE (IMMORTALS AFTER DARK #13) BY KRESLEY COLE
[Paranormal Romance]
  • Involves a Lykae (werewolf) and a human.
JULY 2 -- IN THE ARMS OF THE HEIRESS (LADIES UNLACHED #1) BY MAGGIE ROBINSON
[Historical Romance]  
  • New Series -- An heiress who is need of a man to act as her art connoisseur husband.
Days of Rakes and Roses (Sons of Sin, #1.5)   Scandal in the Night (The Reckless Brides, #3)  London's Last True Scoundrel (Ministry of Marriage, #4)  A Cursed Embrace (Weird Girls, #2)
JULY 2 -- DAYS OF RAKES AND ROSES (SONS OF SIN #1.5) BY ANNA CAMPBELL
[Historical Romance] 
  • Novella about a rake tries to seduce the woman's whose reputation he ruined years ago.
JULY 2 -- SCANDAL IN THE NIGHT (THE RECKLESS BRIDES #3) BY ELIZABETH ESSEX
[Historical Romance]
  • Involves a heroine with a false identity and the spy who has always loved her.
JULY 2 -- LONDON'S LAST TRUE SCOUNDREL (MINISTRY OF MARRIAGE #4) BY CHRISTINA BROOKE
[Historical Romance]
  • Bad boy hero and a former schoolteacher.
JULY 2 - A CURSED EMBRACE (WEIRD GIRLS #2) BY CECY ROBSON
[Urban Fantasy]
  •  Witch sisters and a whole slew of supernatural creatures.
The Gentleman's Keeper  The Heiress Effect (Brothers Sinister, #2)  The Winning Season  Not Just a Governess
JULY 9 -- THE GENTLEMAN'S KEEPER BY BONNIE DEE AND SUMMER DEVON
[Male/Male Historical Romance]  
  • Features a master and a servant who clash over the use of the land and the fate of a possible illegitimate child.
JULY 15 -- THE HEIRESS EFFECT (BROTHERS SINISTER #2) BY COURTNEY MILAN
[Historical Romance]
  • A woman trying to avoid marriage at all costs falls for an illegitimate barrister.
JULY 15 -- THE WINNING SEASON BY ALISON PACKARD
[Contemporary Romance] 
  • A publicist and a bad boy catcher.
JULY 23 -- NOT JUST A GOVERNESS BY CAROLE MORTIMER
[Historical Romance] 
  • A widow turned governess who is more than she first appears.
Of Beast and Beauty  Provoked (Enlightenment, #1)  Midnight Frost (Mythos Academy, #5)  The Darkest Craving (Lords of The Underworld, #10)
JULY 23 -- OF BEAST AND BEAUTY BY STACEY JADE
[Young Adult Fantasy]
  •  Intriguing sounding Beauty and the Beast retelling.
JULY 23 -- PROVOKED (ENLIGHTENMENT #1) BY JOANNA CHAMBERS
[Male/Male Historical Romance]
  • Forbidden romance between a lowborn lawyer and a privileged nobleman.
JULY 30 -- MIDNIGHT FROST (MYTHOS ACADEMY #5) BY JENNIFER ESTEP
[Young Adult Paranormal]
  • Continuation of this fabulous YA series about a Gypsy at a unique boarding school.
JULY 30 -- THE DARKEST CRAVING (LORDS OF THE UNDERWORLD #10) BY GENA SHOWALTER
[Paranormal Romance]
  • Love story between an ancient warrior who is the keeper of the Demon of Disaster and a half-Fae.
And Then Comes Marriage (Worthington, #2)  Why Dukes Say I Do (Wicked Widows, #1)  Love and Other Scandals  The Devil of Clan Sinclair (Clan Sinclair, #1)
JULY 30 -- AND THEN COMES MARRIAGE (WORTHINGTONS #2) BY CELESTE BRADLEY
[Historical Romance]
  • Sexy-sounding historical that involves a widow and some competitive twin brothers.

JULY 30 -- WHY DUKES SAY I DO (WICKED WIDOWS #1) BY MANDA COLLINS
[Historical Romance]  
  • New series -- Involves a well-known society flirt and a duke who enjoys the simple country life.
JULY 30 -- LOVE AND OTHER SCANDALS BY CAROLINE LINDEN
[Historical Romance] 
  • Focuses on a wallflower trying to break out of her shell and practices flirtation on her brother's best friend.
JULY 30 -- THE DEVIL OF CLAN SINCLAIR (CLAN SINCLAIR #1) BY KAREN RANNEY
[Historical Romance] 
  • New series -- Scottish romance with a penniless widow and a devilish inventor.
Frigid  How to Lose a Bride in One Night (Forgotten Princesses, #3)  My Notorious Gentleman (The Inferno Club, #6)
JULY 30 -- FRIGID (FRIGID #1) BY J. LYNN
[Contemporary Romance]  
  • New series -- Features best friends with feelings for one another who are stranded at a ski resort.

JULY 30 -- HOW TO LOSE A BRIDE IN ONE NIGHT (FORGOTTEN PRINCESSES #3) BY SOPHIE JORDAN
[Historical Romance]
  • A newlywed duchess survives a murder attempt thanks to the help of an earl with demons of his own.

JULY 30 -- MY NOTORIOUS GENTLEMAN (INFERNO CLUB #6) BY GAELEN FOLEY
[Historical Romance]
  • A shy heroine and a former spy who falls for her.

Friday, June 28, 2013

FOLLOW FRIDAY (75)

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!


This Week's Feature Blogs:
Q: What is your preferred reading format?  Hardcovers, ebooks, paperback, etc.

If I can read a book, I'm usually not too picky about the format.  I love reading print books especially because they were my first love and probably what I read the most.  I also enjoy reading e-books due to the convenience of having my entire library at my finger tips and having the option to buy books at any time of the day.  And I am a big fan of audiobooks, mostly due to the fact that I have a lengthy commute to work each day and reading/listening makes the time go buy faster.


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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, June 26, 2013

WWW WEDNESDAYS (8) and WAITING ON WEDNESDAY (64)


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?

CURRENTLY READING...

With This Kiss: Part One
Novella that takes place after The Ugly Duchess and Seduced by a Pirate.  It focuses on the romance between Lady Grace Ryburn (James and Daisy's daughter) and Colin Barry (Griffin and Phoebe's son).

Spartan Frost (Mythos Academy, #4.5)
Mythos Academy novella written in Logan's pov.


Conspiracy in Death (In Death, #8)
#8 in the In Death series.  This mystery features a serial killer who is targeting the homeless population of Manhattan.

RECENTLY FINISHED READING...
Onyx (Lux, #2)
#2 in the Lux series. Love the development of this world and the characters especially Daemon.

Glitterland
Fascinating male/male romance with a clinically depressed writer and an aspiring model.

My Bluegrass Baby
Hilarious contemporary romance set in my home state of Kentucky!

Seduced by a Pirate (Fairy Tales, #4.5)
Novella that takes place simultaneously as James's The Ugly Duchess and features Sir Griffin Barry.

WHAT I'M READING NEXT...
Heart of Iron (London Steampunk, #2)
Steampunk with vampires and werewolves that I keep meaning to read, but always forget about.

Insurgent (Divergent, #2)
Ready to read this YA dystopia to prepare for the publication of the conclusion in October.

Opal (Lux, #3)
More Daemon and Katy!


****************************************************************************



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

Out of Play
OUT OF PLAY
by Nyrae Dawn and Jolene Perry

Expected Publication: August 6, 2013
Young Adult -- Contemporary Romance
Entangled Teen

Pitched as Gayle Foreman's
Where She Went meets Miranda Kenneally's Catching Jordan, a self-absorbed eighteen year old rock star is sent to Alaska to get himself together after a drug overdose, but the cute hockey player and her grandfather who live next door challenges him to think beyond the baggie of pills he's still sneaking.

Duke of Midnight (Maiden Lane, #6)
DUKE OF MIDNIGHT
(Maiden Lane #6)
by Elizabeth Hoyt

Expected Publication: October 15, 2013
Historical Romance
Grand Central Publishing 

WHEN A MASKED MAN . . .

Twenty years ago Maximus Batten witnessed the brutal murders of his parents. Now the autocratic Duke of Wakefield, he spends his days ruling Parliament. But by night, disguised as the Ghost of St. Giles, he prowls the grim alleys of St. Giles, ever on the hunt for the murderer. One night he finds a fiery woman who meets him toe-to-toe-and won't back down . . .

MEETS HIS MATCH . . .

Artemis Greaves toils as a lady's companion, but hiding beneath the plain brown serge of her dress is the heart of a huntress. When the Ghost of St. Giles rescues her from footpads, she recognizes a kindred spirit-and is intrigued. She's even more intrigued when she realizes who exactly the notorious Ghost is by day . . .

DESIRE IGNITES A DANGEROUS PASSION

Artemis makes a bold move: she demands that Maximus use his influence to free her imprisoned brother-or she will expose him as the Ghost. But blackmailing a powerful duke isn't without risks. Now that she has the tiger by the tail, can she withstand his ire-or the temptation of his embrace?

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Books I've Read So Far in 2013


Hosted by the ladies at The Broke and Bookish.

TOP TEN BOOKS I'VE READ SO FAR IN 2013

Heart of Obsidian  (Psy-Changeling, #12) Kiss of Steel (London Steampunk, #1) Any Duchess Will Do (Spindle Cove, #4) The Indigo Spell (Bloodlines, #3) Shades of Earth (Across the Universe, #3)
1. Heart of Obsidian (Psy Changeling #12) by Nalini Singh [paranormal romance] (REVIEW)
Truly epic!  We finally get to know the identity of the Ghost and see some pretty intriguing things happen in the Psy world.

2. Kiss of Steel (London Steampunk #1) by Bec McMaster [steampunk] (REVIEW)
Loved this romance with its unique take on vampires and one sexy hero!

3. Any Duchess Will Do (Spindle Cove #4) by Tessa Dare [historical romance] (REVIEW)
Conclusion to one of my favorite HR series.  Great love story between a duke and a serving girl.

4. The Indigo Spell (Bloodlines #3) by Richelle Mead [YA paranormal] (REVIEW)
You can never go wrong with a Richelle Mead book especially if it involves large amounts of Adrian/Sydney fun!

5. Shades of Earth (Across the Universe #3) by Beth Revis [YA science fiction] (REVIEW)
Fabulously creative and thought-provoking conclusion to the Across the Universe trilogy.

My Bluegrass Baby Sweet Revenge (Nemesis Unlimited, #1) When She Said I Do (Worthington, #1) Touch & Geaux (Cut & Run #7) How Beauty Loved the Beast (Tales of the Underlight, #3)

6. My Bluegrass Baby by Molly Harper [contemporary romance]
Just finished this last night, but it was amazing!  The humor and the romance were top-notch plus it takes place in my home state of Kentucky.

7. Sweet Revenge (Nemesis Unlimited #1) by Zoe Archer [historical romance] (REVIEW)
Fun, suspense-filled historical with a gruff hero and a fiesty heroine.  Can't wait until November so I can read the next in the series.

8. When She Said I Do (Worthingtons #1) by Celeste Bradley [historical romance] (REVIEW)
I love Beauty and the Beast retellings and this one had a great balance of drama and romance.  Looking forward to more Worthington books!

9. Touch & Geaux (Cut & Run #7) by Abigail Roux [male/male romance] (REVIEW)
I love me some Ty and Zane and I thought this was one of the best.  That ending made me cry and I can't believe we have to wait until next year to see what happens next.

10. How Beauty Loved the Beast (Tales of the Underlight #3) by Jax Garren [urban fantasy] (REVIEW)
Conclusion to a fabulous trilogy that is another Beauty and the Beast retelling.  Hauk is one of my all-time favorite heroes and Jolie is someone I would love to hang out with.



Monday, June 24, 2013

AUDIOBOOK REVIEW: "Spider's Bite" by Jennifer Estep


Spider's Bite (Elemental Assassin, #1)
Spider's Bite by Jennifer Estep; Narrated by Lauren Fortgang
(Elemental Assassin #1)

Goodreads -- Amazon -- Audible
Author Website

For Ages 18+
Urban Fantasy
Publisher -- Publication Date
Audiobook, 11 hours and 59 minutes
Purchased from Audible

THEMES
Strong Heroine, Revenge Plot

SUMMARY
My name is Gin, and I kill people.  They call me the Spider. I'm the most feared assassin in the South — when I'm not busy at the Pork Pit cooking up the best barbecue in Ashland. As a Stone elemental, I can hear everything from the whispers of the gravel beneath my feet to the vibrations of the soaring Appalachian Mountains above me. My Ice magic also comes in handy for making the occasional knife. But I don't use my powers on the job unless I absolutely have to. Call it professional pride.

Now that a ruthless Air elemental has double-crossed me and killed my handler, I'm out for revenge. And I'll exterminate anyone who gets in my way — good or bad. I may look hot, but I'm still one of the bad guys. Which is why I'm in trouble, since irresistibly rugged Detective Donovan Caine has agreed to help me. The last thing this coldhearted killer needs when I'm battling a magic more powerful than my own is a sexy distraction...especially when Donovan wants me dead just as much as the enemy.

FIRST LINE
"My name is Gin and I kill people."

MY THOUGHTS
I have been meaning to start the Elemental Assassin series for years now.  I love the concept and Estep's YA series, Mythos Academy, is one of my favorites right now.  Urban fantasy can be a bit hit or miss for me, but I was really impressed with this one and am looking forward to seeing what happens next in the series.
  
The protagonist for this series is Gin Blanco, an assassin who works in a small barbeque restaurant on the side.  I absolutely loved what Jennifer Estep did with her character.  She is a professional killer who is not ashamed of what she has had to do to survive.  Despite that personality trait, I found Gin to be an admirable, but flawed character.  She lives in a cutthroat world and had a rough childhood that forced her to either kill or die on the streets.  The ethics of being an assassin does come up at times, but doesn't take up too much of the story line.

Besides Gin, readers also meet a decent-sized cast of characters who, I'm sure, will have big roles in the series.  There is Fletcher Lane, Gin's father figure, whose fate sets the plot of the entire book in motion and Finn, Fletcher's son, a tech wiz that helps Gin exact her revenge.  I also loved meeting the dwarf sisters, JoJo and Sophie, who are as different as sisters can possibly be.  And, of course, I can't forget to mention Donovan Caine, the hot detective, who becomes an unwilling participant in Gin's revenge plot despite his strict opinions of good and bad.

Another "character" that I have to bring up in this review is the city of Ashland itself.  I love when an author develops a setting so well that it seems to have a personality of its own.  Like many cities, there are multiple sides to Ashland, particularly the posh suburbs that hide many secrets and the devious underbelly.  Gin and the gang are deeply engrained in this world and the development makes it that much more interesting for a reader.

I was also intrigued by the magical aspect of the series.  Gin is a Stone and Ice elemental, though she relies primarily on knives and other physical weapons, which I believe will become more of a focus later in the series.  I loved the concept of the different types of magic users and what elementals could do with their powers like Air Elementals healing injuries.

Most of Spider's Bite focused on introducing the world of Ashland and Gin's character as many first books in series do.  I did find it a bit slow at the beginning, but things really picked up once the revenge aspect was introduced.  The general plot of the book involved Gin and the gang trying to figure out who killed her handler and then trying to punish them for the murder.  There wasn't too much of a twist with the identity since Gin figured it out pretty quickly, but I thought it was interesting how she managed to find out exactly why it happened.

Lauren Fortgang was a new narrator for me, but I really liked the way she performed Spider's Bite.  She had a clear and concise voice that made it easy to understand what was going on and still kept me interested in the story.  I loved the fact that she had a Southern accent which really brought Gin and the rest of the Ashland residents to life.  I also thought she had good sense of timing and tone with her reading especially in the more dramatic scenes.

Overall, I thought Spider's Bite was an entertaining introduction to what I'm hoping will be a great series.  I think the story lines have tons of potential and I am looking forward to seeing what happens to Gin and the gang next.


RATING
4 STARS -- Really enjoyable book that is just this close to being wonderful.  May or may not re-read.

FAVORITE QUOTES
**"You can work with me—or you can wade through the blood and bodies after I'm done."

 **They’d played Sweet Home, Alabama so many times I wanted to crash the party, kill the radio, and knife whoever was selecting the music.

BOOKS IN THE SERIES
1. Spider's Bite
2. Web of Lies
3. Venom
4. Tangled Threads
5. Spider's Revenge
6. By a Thread
7. Widow's Web
8. Deadly Sting
9. Heart of Venom (Coming 2013)
10. The Spider (Coming 2013)