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Tag: "paranormal romance"

Review & Giveaway: Abandon by Meg Cabot

[ 274 ] May 3, 2011

Reviewed by Jennifer Jensen

In Abandon, best-selling author Meg Cabot offers up a darkly romantic modern retelling that is almost straight out of Greek mythology. Pierce Oliviera died when she was 15, but she fought her way out of a dreary Underworld ruled by a seductively handsome older boy named John. Nobody believed Pierce when she told them what she had seen, and everyone–including her parents–thought she needed therapy.

Now in the small town of Isla Huesos, Pierce and her mother are getting a fresh new start. Making friends with her classmates proves difficult for Pierce because of her family name and the rumors about Pierce that followed her to the island. And although it has been two years since she last saw John, he keeps appearing before her. Afraid that he wants to take her back with him to the Underworld, Pierce tries to deny herself of the one thing she wants most: his love.

Meg Cabot has been one of my absolute favorite authors for years, and Abandon is a great start to her new paranormal series. I have had my eye on this book for months, and couldn’t put it down once I had it in my hands. Isla Huesos is loosely based on Key West, and I was fascinated by some of the fact filled historical information that Meg included in this novel. The tradition of Coffin Week might seem a bit disrespectful to the dead, but if I were still a teenager, I would have been all for participating in it. That’s all I’m going to say; if you want to know more about Coffin Week, you’ll just have to get a copy for yourself.

I’m definitely looking forward to seeing how the romance between Pierce and John progresses. I wish John had been a bigger presence in Abandon and that I’d gotten to spend more time in the Underworld. I’m so excited to see how Meg will flesh out John’s “home” in the next installment, Underworld.

Abandon was a bit different than what I was expecting–but in a good way! A strong-willed heroine, a darkly handsome hero, and murder and mayhem on a small island where everyone knows each other is the perfect recipe for a fantastic read.

Rating: 3.5/5

Jennifer graduated from the University of Utah with a BA in English. She occasionally dabbles with her own fiction writing, particularly with the Young Adult and Paranormal genres. She currently resides in Utah with her husband and daughter.

Check out the new online community, This is Teen, to connect with your favorite YA authors and get the latest news on Meg Cabot!

Giveaway:
One lucky winner will receive a copy of Abandon and a necklace inspired by the book!

Mandatory entry: Please comment here and include your e-mail address.

Extra entries (please post each entry separately, i.e. 2 posts for subscribing):
- Subscribe via e-mail, follow or subscribe to the feed. You must verify the subscriptions. (1 entry each)
- Enter another current giveaway and tell me which one you entered (1 entry each)
- Share this giveaway on a social network of your choice. Click the “Share/Save” button at the bottom of this post (1 entry each)

This giveaway is open to US and Canada residents only. Deadline to enter is midnight on May 20, 2011.

Review and giveaway copies were provided free of any obligation by Scholastic. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.

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Review: Infinite Days by Rebecca Maizel

[ 5 ] March 12, 2011

Reviewed by Elizabeth Talbott

Lenah Beaudonte remembers her life as a bloodsucking, remorseless, savage vampire in great detail – all 592 years of it. She wakes up in a new century in a new place and in a very mortal, human state. She tired of her unsatisfying existence, and her soul mate and best friend Rhode sacrificed his life so that she could become human.

Lenah’s vampire coven is compiled of four vampires she made herself because of their utter ruthlessness, unparalleled skill, and detachment from humanity. To become completely human, Lenah must immerse herself in human life and grow new attachments with her fellow classmates at her new high school. Can a centuries old vampire bring herself to care about the trivialities of teenage life? How long will it take her vampire coven to find her? Will she be able to protect her human friends in her present weak state?

Infinite Days was definitely not what I expected. I figured it was just going to be another vampire romance exactly like Twilight and all of its various rip-offs. I was completely wrong and I have never read a book quite like this.

I really enjoyed the way the story was slowly revealed. At first, we essentially know very little about Lenah. Significant stories from her past are interwoven throughout the narrative of her present life when she saw or did something that brought that memory to mind.

Lenah is a wholly unique protagonist. She seems rather still and formal at first and has a clinical way of looking at the world. As a human, she still finds herself thinking as a vampire, but she never descends into being emo or the typical brooding vampire stereotype. She accepts her past as just that and doesn’t make apologies for it. At first, she also retains some of her vampiric gifts and slowly loses them as she immerses herself more and more in her human life. The event that makes these gifts disappear altogether is beautifully written and is my favorite scene of the novel.

I really enjoyed Infinite Days. The writing flowed really well and kept me engaged in the story. I found myself sadly closing the book when I had to go do other things or go to bed. The ending of the novel was absolutely perfect. I especially recommend this to fans of young adult vampire novels that are tired of reading the same sappy story.

Rating: 4/5

Elizabeth is a student at Cal State Long Beach. She laughs a lot, loves cats, and lives for music and books. You can read her blog here: http://titania86-fishmuffins.blogspot.com/.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by St. Martin’s Griffin. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.

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Review: The Lost Saint by Bree Despain

[ 7 ] March 4, 2011

Reviewed by Jennifer J.

Grace Divine gave up her soul to save her boyfriend, Daniel Kalbi, at the end of The Dark Divine. In the sequel The Lost Saint, Grace must learn to control the will of the wolf that is battling for control in her body. At first, Daniel, who appears to be 100% human after Grace’s sacrifice, is training Grace to keep the wolf dormant. But because she catches Daniel in several lies and suspects him of being dishonest with her, Grace turns to the mysteriously sexy Talbot to take over her training.

A gang of supernaturals called the Shadow Kings is destroying Grace’s town, and she wants to stop it. With her father mostly absent while he searches for her wayward brother, Grace puts her trust in Talbot. Mysterious text messages and blog comments that can only be from her brother Jude warn her away from an unnamed individual, but surely they can’t mean Talbot. Grace thought she could trust Daniel, but he doesn’t seem the same anymore. And if Grace can’t trust her one true love, who can she trust?

I love the paranormal genre, but werewolves have always been one of the least interesting supernatural creatures to me. That said, I do recommend Bree Despain’s Divine series. I love the story arc involving Gabriel, and hope that he’ll be an even bigger presence in the follow up to The Lost Saint. It was hard being in Grace’s head for this book, though. I was really frustrated with both Grace and Daniel, and fully expected them to break up by the end because of Talbot. There was so much unnecessary drama between them, from jealousy and insecurity to matters of basic trust. In The Dark Divine, they had a very different relationship and the Daniel in that book was much more likable. For a paranormal series, Bree Despain’s books are relatively clean and are age appropriate for younger paranormal readers.

The Lost Saint ends with a total cliffhanger, which will have me waiting impatiently until the next book. I’ll definitely be scouring the internet for a teaser chapter just as soon as there is one to read!

Rating: 3/5

Jennifer graduated from the University of Utah with a BA in English. She occasionally dabbles with her own fiction writing, particularly with the Young Adult and Paranormal genres. She currently resides in Utah with her husband and daughter.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Goodman Media International. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.

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Blog Tour & Giveaway: Shadowfever by Karen Marie Moning

[ 131 ] February 27, 2011

Please join Karen Marie Moning, author of the final installment to the MacKayla Lane novels, Shadowfever, as she tours the blogosphere with TLC Book Tours!

To learn more about Karen Marie Moning and her books, please visit her website!

Review of Shadowfever - Book Five – by Jennifer J. (check out our reviews of Darkfever, BloodfeverFaefever and Dreamfever)

Shadowfever by Karen Marie Moning concludes the adventures of MacKayla Lane (“Mac”) and Jericho Barrons…or does it? Though my most pressing questions were answered, a few things were left with barely any resolution so that Mac and Jericho’s alternative version of Dublin can live on in a new series. Whether Mac or Jericho will narrate the story is still a mystery.

It is absolutely paramount that a new Moning reader start at the beginning of the series with Darkfever. The series is a thrilling ride from beginning to end with great character development, mystery, enchantment, and a whole lot of twists and turns to keep you coming back for more.

Shadowfever is the lengthiest book in the series at 594 pages, but I still made it through in just a few days. When I was ready for a break, something shocking would happen and keep me reading for another 50 pages into the wee hours of the night. You will not want to leave your home or do anything else until you know how everything ends. Will Mac and Jericho finally admit they love each other? Will Mac find the Sinsar Dubh? And just what is that horrific sound that Mac heard in Jericho’s basement?

[amazonify]0385341679[/amazonify]What I love most about this series is that I couldn’t predict a single thing. When Alina’s killer is finally revealed, I was dumbfounded. When the Unseelie King finally makes an appearance, I was amused. All the pieces began to fall into place as the novel unfolded, and I was just in awe at all the creativity and planning that went into this series right from the very start.

Shadowfever wasn’t my favorite book out of the whole series; I almost feel the story should have been split into two books instead of getting crammed into one. I also got really irritated with Mac’s narrative and all of the twists because I felt they were overdone. At the same time, though, the reader is right there with Mac experiencing just a taste of what Mac must feel as she tries to find out who she really is.

The Fever series is one of the best series I’ve ever encountered, and I am so glad that Moning will be writing more about these characters and their world. I’m just keeping my fingers crossed that Dani won’t be narrating them, because her point of view and her voice get old really fast.

Rating: 3/5

Jennifer graduated from the University of Utah with a BA in English. She occasionally dabbles with her own fiction writing, particularly with the Young Adult and Paranormal genres. She currently resides in Utah with her husband and daughter.


Giveaway
1 winner will receive their own copy of Shadowfever!

Mandatory entry: Please comment on this post with your e-mail address.

Extra entries (please post each entry separately, i.e. 2 posts for subscribing):
- Subscribe via e-mail, follow or subscribe to the feed. You must verify the subscriptions. (1 entry each)
- Enter another current giveaway (1 entry each)
- Share this post on a social network of your choice by clicking “Share/Save” button below (1 entry for each method)

This giveaway is open to US and Canada residents only. Deadline to enter is midnight on March 11, 2011.

Review and giveaway copies were provided free of any obligation by Delacorte Press. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.

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Review: The Cowboy and the Vampire by Clark Hays and Kathleen McFall

[ 10 ] January 23, 2011

Reviewed by Joanne L.

I never watched the soaps, but for Dark Shadows. I read Dracula and The Historian and about Sookie and Bella. And, when Buffy, The Vampire Slayer came out – I was a devotee of both the movie and then the series.

On the cowboy side, I learned to ride a horse by watching Roy Rogers and Dale Evans! And I lived in the mountains out west for a couple years and have left a bit of my heart in the high arid country of snow-covered peaks and whispering pines.

Enter, Clark Hays’ and Kathleen McFall’s The Cowboy and the Vampire and I now add a cowboy and vampire category. I am a fan.

The authors use their backgrounds to give voice to the book’s characters. Hays grew up on a ranch in Montana and McFall is a city girl from DC. With tongue in cheek humor and homespun wisdom, McFall and Hays help Tucker and Lizzie learn about the world of vampires and the grayness that infuses the often black and white world.

Main character Lizzie, big city reporter, is unknowingly from a long-line of vampires. She is destined, through the manipulations of Julius, evil vampire, to be their Queen. Tucker, the subject of an article of Lizzie’s on The Last Cowboy, is a citizen of Lonepine, Wyoming. Lizzie and Tucker make the big connection, and fall in love –before Lizzie’s next writing assignment on vampires.

After leaving Tucker to return to New York, Lizzie faces her vampire article academically, “Outside of Dracula, most historical characters fitting the Vampire bill were creations of frightened pre-literate societies, since those bloodthirsty Vampires could handily explain away contagious diseases…”

[amazonify]0738721611[/amazonify]When Lizzie returns to Wyoming unexpectedly, she tells Tucker that she wasn’t certain how long she would stay. His is the voice of pragmatism. “Hell, stay as long as you like,” my mouth said, but all the while my mind was thinking just how long it had been since I’d had a woman underfoot and despite the severity of her situation, how it might interfere with this illustrious single life I’d been living….can’t watch TV with a woman wanting to talk all the time.”

McFall and Hays’ secondary characters offer additional offbeat interplay. When a beat up Tucker goes to his father’s house to enlist his dad’s help after Julius kidnaps Lizzie, Dad shows his own pragmatism. ‘We gotta fix you up first, boy. Can’t fight no Vampires all busted up. I’m gonna call the vet.’”

I enjoyed The Cowboy and the Vampire; the quirky characters, the new mythology of vampires, and the focus upon the uncertainty between evil and good. Especially appealing to me were the personalities brought out through behavior of Tucker’s dog, Rex, and horse, Snort. No wonder Tucker’s dad turned to the vet for help. With family support like that, how can a Cowboy in love go wrong?

Rating: 4/5

Joanne is an organization development and human resources professional with a business background living in Ohio. She has lived in Europe, Africa (including her Peace Corps service in South Africa), and arround the United States. She loves to plays volleyball, read, write, and has a cat named Ender.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Clark Hays and Kathleen McFall. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.

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Giveaway: The Lost Saint by Bree Despain

[ 203 ] December 17, 2010

For the readers who fell in love with Bree Despain’s The Dark Divine, here’s your chance to win a copy of the sequel, The Lost Saint, and a bottle of nail polish to match the beautiful blue on the cover!


Mandatory entry: Please comment on this post with your e-mail address.

Extra entries (please post each entry separately, i.e. 2 posts for subscribing):
- Subscribe via e-mail, follow or subscribe to the feed. You must verify the subscriptions. (1 entry each)
- Enter another giveaway on this blog (1 entry each)
- Follow me on Twitter and tweet about this giveaway (1 entry, 1 tweet per day)
- Grab the Luxury Reading Gift Guide button from the sidebar (2 entries)

This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. Deadline to enter is midnight on January 12th.

Review and giveaway copies were provided free of any obligation by Goodman Media. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.

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