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Tag: "Romance"

Blog Tour: Deceiving Lies by Molly McAdams

[ 3 ] March 17, 2014

17860194Please welcome Molly McAdams, author of Deceiving Lies, as she tours the blogosphere with TLC Book Tours.

Reviewed by Sarah Horwath

In Molly McAdams’ Deceiving Lies, the sequel to Forgiving Lies, Rachel and Kash are supposed to be in love and planning their wedding. But certain things keep happening and derailing the wedding plans at every corner. Rachel’s life is at stake and Kash will do anything to protect her.

I loved and enjoyed Deceiving Lies just as much as I enjoyed Forgiving Lies. Rachel and Kash are super cute together and I love their chemistry. This book is full of twist and turns and keeps you wanting more just like Forgiving Lies did. This book to the story in an interesting direction and introduced the character of Trent who kept me turning pages with his je ne sais quoi.

Deceiving Lies was filled with mystery and suspense–unusual for romance stories but much appreciated. Rachel was an admirable character and showed immense strength given what happened with Blake in the last book and then what happens in this one.

Molly McAdams definitely has a unique writing style. I haven’t liked any of her books in the past but Forgiving Lies and Deceiving Lies have truly made me a fan. I was really immersed in these books and enjoyed every minute spent with Kash, Rachel and Trent. There were definitely some unexpected surprises in this book like there were in the first one but to me that made the story even better. Rachel and Kash have a very true feeling love story and it was easy to emphasize with their trials and triumphs.

I am glad that I gave Molly McAdams another shot and hope to see more books in this new series. I will say that if you have read her books before and were disappointed like I was, give these books a shot with an open mind. I can’t wait to see what else she has in store for her readers.

Rating: ★★★½☆ 

Sarah is a college student studying English. One day, she hopes to become an author. For her, reading is much more than just a hobby.

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

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Review: Let the Sky Fall by Shannon Messenger

[ 0 ] March 16, 2014

a247fab5c29accd321266fe476fcea83Reviewed by Sarah Lelonek

It’s not every day that I pick up a book and literally cannot put it down. If I do, I end up carrying the book around the house and hide it in my purse so I can read it whenever I have a spare moment. Let the Sky Fall by Shannon Messenger is one of those books. I read this book over the course of two days. I was enthralled by how the plot was different than most young adult novels. I loved the characters and their progression throughout the story. In general, this was just a great book.

The story switches between Vane Weston and his mystery girl Audra. Vane has no memory of his childhood; the part from before he miraculously survived a tornado that destroyed everything around it, including his parents. All he remembers is a shadow of a girl with long black hair. Now, stuck in the desert, Vane finally gets to meet the enigma known as Audra. Vane doesn’t just meet Audra, but discovers that he and Audra are air elementals known as sylphs and not regular humans. They control the wind. Audra has sworn her life to protect Vane because he’s the last of his kind. Vane is the last western-wind speaking sylph and a very powerful enemy will do anything to learn Vane’s language of the western winds.

What I liked about this book was that it wasn’t about the typical young adult figures: vampires, witches, angels or demons. Let the Sky Fall broke out of the mold and offered a new mythical creature to YA literature. It was interesting to read about these new beings known as sylphs. The imagery of Audra and Vane controlling the wind and speaking to it was very beautiful. I felt like the description in the book was not over-powering but instead inspiring. I loved reading how much Audra loved the wind and how it spoke to her.

Of course, there is a love story, and a pretty good one at that. However, I think the love story was a bit predictable at times. I didn’t mind it though. I liked reading about a boy who had never been kissed and was fawning over his one true love. I liked that most of the romance was from the male point of view instead of the female. I also liked that Audra is portrayed as a strong young woman who can mostly take care of herself. It’s empowering to read her side of the story as she battles with themes such as honor, duty, and love.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who wants a good, fast read full of action, love, and a little suspense. Let the Sky Fall is a great read that had me entranced until the end. Luckily, this book is a part of a series, so, I won’t have to wait long for the next book. While the book leaves on a bit of a cliff hanger, it’s just enough to get me excited for the sequel.

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Sarah Emily Lelonek has a BA in English Literature from Kent State University. She is planning on attending Graduate School for English Rhetoric and Composition. She enjoys traveling and gaming while on breaks from working on her novel.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Simon Pulse. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.

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Blog Tour: The Collector of Dying Breaths by M.J. Rose

[ 4 ] March 13, 2014

collector-of-dying-breaths-coverPlease welcome M.J. Rose, author of The Collector of Dying Breaths, as she tours the blogosphere with Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours.

Reviewed by Colleen Turner

If you have never read a book by M.J. Rose then you are missing out on an immersive, sensual adventure that twists and turns through time and across the world, one that is laced with mystery, romance and heartbreak unlike anything else I’ve read. In her Reincarnationist series she introduces us to an unforgettable character named Jac L’Etoile, a woman from a long and illustrious line of French perfumers who has continually fought against her abilities to experience past life memories, her own as well as others, and who has spent her life trying to debunk the mysteries of the past in order to make sense of the mysteries surrounding her in the present. In The Collector of Dying Breaths, Jac will be forced to face her abilities head on and to trust in not only those abilities but in the people closest to her if she stands a change of finding some peace in a life that has been marred by tragedy.

When Jac’s life is turned upside down (once again) by the death of one of the people closest to her (no spoilers for those who know the series) she is thrust into contact with Melinoe Cypros, an eccentric and cunning heiress who wants Jac to decipher the work of the 16th century perfumer Rene le Florentin and use it to figure out the formula to reanimate a person’s dying breath. Taking on this project will also bring Jac’s one and only love, Griffin North, back into her life, a man she has loved not only in this life but in all others and whom she has caused the death of in each previous life. Even as Jac initially tries to refuse Melinoe’s offer she soon gives into the temptation of finishing Rene’s work and possibly finding a way to bring back her loved one. But agreeing to Melinoe’s terms to work on the formula at her opulent home in the forests of Fontainebleau, a home dripping with the priceless art collection Melinoe is determined to keep in this life and the next, brings Jac into the lair of a conniving, ruthless woman who will do anything to get what she wants. And what she wants might just cost Jac everything.

Weaved together with Jac’s story is that of Rene, the man who rose from nothing to become the perfumer to Catharine de Medici. This great honor comes with a heavy price, however, and Rene finds himself also creating poisons for his queen to use against her enemies and continuing his mentor’s work of discovering the secret to bringing back the dead. As Rene trusts Queen Catharine he does not question what she asks of him. But when Rene falls in love with one of Catharine’s ladies in waiting he discovers just how dangerous this Medici princess can be.

It is hard to find exactly where to begin my praise of The Collector of Dying Breath because I just loved it all! The meticulous sensory descriptions work to transport the reader through time much as Jac experiences it and it is hard not to feel the joy, passion and pain of the characters. The depths of obsession experienced by both Catharine and Melinoe and the lengths they both will go to to get what they desire is quite frightening and adds a heavy dose of shock, terror and passion to the suspenseful plots. I have long hoped that Griffin and Jac would somehow come together and watching their connection unfold alongside Rene and his love pulls at the heartstrings. Combine all of this emotion with the detailed and immersive history and the reincarnation twist and what isn’t there to love?

My only complaint would be that the story ended too soon for me and, from the ending, I have a very sad feeling that this might conclude Jac’s story. I truly hope I am wrong because I, for one, want more. This series is something not to miss, regardless of which book you decide to start with. They are magical.

Rating: ★★★★½ 

Colleen lives in Tampa, Florida with her husband, son, their dog Oliver and their fish Finn. When not working or taking care of her family she has her nose stuck in a book (and, let’s face it, often when she is working or taking care of her family as well). Nothing excites her more than discovering a new author to obsess over or a hidden jewel of a book to worship.

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

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Review: Manor of Secrets by Katherine Longshore

[ 1 ] March 10, 2014

18039484Reviewed by Rachel Mann

The advance reader’s copy of Manor of Secrets seems marketed as Downton Abbey lite, or Downton Abbey for a tween audience. The front cover’s close-up of an elegant girl—she looks rather like Downton’s Lady Sybil—and the back cover’s portrait of a servant girl in the distance seem to promise upstairs and downstairs, propriety and scandal, and a crossing of class barriers.

The book does deliver on the elements suggested on the cover. Lady Charlotte, the girl shown on the front, is the upstairs heroine who’s unfulfilled by society and feeling unrequited given her status and privilege. Janie, the downstairs kitchen maid, lacks Charlotte’s opportunities, but has other freedoms (and maternal love) to balance things out. Both know their place, and both struggle with it. Both are longing for something more.

Potential love interests abound: Lawrence, the too-handsome scoundrel of a footman; Harry, the sweet servant with an eye for Janie; and Lord Andrew, who initially seems dull but oh-so-suitable for a society lady like Charlotte. Lawrence and Harry live up to their first impressions, for worse and for better; Andrew’s not what he appears to be initially.

There’s also no shortage of villains to threaten the two heroines, from Charlotte’s mother, the status-conscious Lady Diane, to the housekeeper and other downstairs employees who are jealous or concerned about those crossing class boundaries. These villains, though, are no match for Janie and Charlotte in their pursuits of love, happiness, and, most surprisingly and rewardingly, female friendship. Romantic love is certainly an interest for Janie and Charlotte, but friendship—specifically, sorority—comes first.

Since Charlotte and Janie both have brown hair and look rather similar, I was hoping Longshore would include a Prince and the Pauper style switcheroo in the plot. But while the book reveals a few surprises about the characters, this isn’t one of them. I was hoping for even more secrets and surprises, although there are some shocking revelations that alter the characters’ trajectories and which, fortunately for them, forestall an unhappy outcome.

The book’s tidy solution proves that Janie and Charlotte are right to stand up for themselves and that they should stand up for each other, too. In them, Longshore gives us characters who aren’t just focused on love, friendship, family, or vocation, but on finding a place in the world that allows them to seek out all of that on their own terms.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

Rachel, who has a Ph.D. in English, is a freelance writer/editor and a voracious reader. You can talk to her about books at http://twitter.com/writehandmann.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Point Books. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.

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Review: Counting to D by Kate Scott

[ 2 ] March 4, 2014

235d9-countingtodcoverimageReviewed by Jessa Larsen

Nobody ever quite knew where to place Sam on the intelligence scale. On one hand, she rated a genius on IQ tests, on the other, she happens to be illiterate. This is what happens when a child grows up dyslexic. She can outsmart just about anybody, as long as she doesn’t have to read or write it out. Sam’s grown tired of it though, so when her mom packs up their life to move to another city, Sam decides against telling anybody new about her learning disorder. So far, it seems like a fresh start was exactly what Sam needed. She makes new friends with the smartest kids in school, meets a hunky valedictorian, and decides her new life at her new school is perfect. Her secret is safe… for now.

Kate Scott has made notes about how she, herself, is dyslexic and I found that both insightful and inspiring. Dyslexia has to be an extremely tough disorder to work with and would be quite the curve ball to throw at both author and editor. She mentions that she purposely used an alternate font rather than the standard for print so as to make it easier for dyslexic readers. This was another factoid that I found rather interesting. It does make sense in the fact that even editors will change to a default font for spacing and reading purposes. I was glad to note that the font chosen made it easy on the eyes for everyone, not just dyslexics.

Overall, Counting to D was a fun story with small insights scattered throughout as to what life might be like for a dyslexic person as they grow up and try to navigate through the school system. The various aspects throughout the actual education system mixed with the hurdles of teenage life were realistic and the book was fun to read overall. It was a simple, yet engaging story. I am interested (and hopeful) to see what else Kate Scott comes out with.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Jessa lives in Utah with her husband, 2 sons, 2 dogs and a cat called Number One Boots Kitten. She is a full time mom and enjoys writing short stories in her spare time. She also likes watching anime, reading books, and playing video games.

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

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Review & Giveaway: The Chance by Robyn Carr

[ 14 ] February 27, 2014

18246304Enter to win a copy below! Open to US residents only.

Reviewed by A.D. Cole

Laine Carrington is fresh off an undercover assignment and recovering from a gunshot wound when she decides to take a year off to recuperate in Thunder Point, Oregon. The job that got her shot happened to take place not far from Thunder Point and during the course of her work, she became friends with several of its citizens. In need of some rest and reflection, she can think of no better place to spend her time. It also helps that it is as far from Boston and her cantankerous father as she can get.

Eric Gentry has only been in Thunder Point a little while. When he discovered his teenage daughter and developed a relationship with her, he decided to open up his auto body shop there to be closer to her. With his shady past never far from his conscious thoughts, Eric is daily determined to work hard and be a better person. He’s fairly satisfied and content until the beautiful and mysterious Laine Carrington arrives in town. Now he’s out to take a chance on her.

The Chance is the fourth book in the Thunder Point series and so far, my least favorite. The thing to understand about this series is that it is full of characters, all of whom are important in Carr’s storytelling. There is a central romance story line, but then you also get to catch up with all the other residents of Thunder Point as well as meet some new folks.

The issue I had with this novel was that I didn’t find the central romance very interesting. At least not until about the eighty percent mark when there was finally some conflict. That’s a long time for a story to go without conflict. Laine had conflict with her father, of course, and that element of the story was carried out well because it ultimately culminated to become the thing that was driving a wedge between her and Eric. But until that point, I was beginning to wonder where the story was.

I did enjoy seeing some of my favorite characters from past books and I think (hope) she has just set up Dr. Scott Grant as the hero of the next novel, but I was a little jarred by the entrance of Al. He wasn’t introduced until later in the book and then suddenly it became the Al and Ray Ann story for a while. I wondered if I’d suddenly entered into a new novel and somehow forgotten about it.

So overall, I suppose my complaint was with the flow of the story. I still say read it if you’ve read this far in the series. It wasn’t bad. It just didn’t hold up to the standards of the first three novels, in my opinion.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

A.D. Cole is a homeschooling mother and aspiring romance novelist. She lives in the Ozark foothills and spends her free time reading, writing, baking and pondering life’s little mysteries.

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

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