Sunday, 1 March 2015

The Sunday Post #14



Randomly From the Internet

So sometimes I find interesting stuff on the internet. And this week it's a Buzzfeed article, sarcastically telling you why not to visit Yorkshire. As a proud Yorkshire girl myself, I loved it, and wanted to share a little bit of where I come from too! Check out the article here! (I even worked at Bettys, the café mentioned!)

N.B. If anyone is unaware of where Yorkshire is (and to be fair they might be!) it's in Northern England, actually the biggest county!

Read This Week






End of the Month Round Up (February)

OH MY! It's the end of February...when did that happen? (Well I'd actually somehow managed to convince myself that it was the end of February last weekend but oh well!) Sticking with last month's format for my End of the Month Round Up, this is also now my challenge update, especially necessary now I have so many! Of course it should be said that I am reading a llittle bit less now that I'm working full time, though not too much less!

Costs of the Month

Since January I've been keeping track of how much I should have been spending on books (i.e. if the ARCs and review copies I'm lucky enough to receive actually cost me money) and how much I actually do spend. To be honest I'm already pretty shocked at how much I've saved.

The Total Cost of Books I've Read in February:
The Total Spent on Books I've Read in February:

The Total Cost of Books I've Read This Year:
The Total Spent on Books I've Read This Year:

Challenge Updates


Because reading is better than real life

Resolution #1 Listen to 4 Audiobooks This Year
Ok so I'll admit that there isn't that much progress going on for this resolution. I have started an audiobook, and I'm kind of hating it. 
Resolution #2 Read 1 'Classic' This Month
This Month I've read The Two Towers by JR Tolkein
Resolution #3 Read 6 Netgalley Books This Month
I read 6 Netgalley Books this month and DNF one (after getting 25% in, which counts because it's my challenge :-P ) 
Resolution #4 Read 2 Bought Books This Month
I read 6 books that I bought this month. 
Resolution #5 Finish One of My Writing Projects
Yes...not going all that well really, could definitely be doing better, I'm just too tired to write. 

2015HWLogo

Yes so I caught this one fine again. But not quite as fine as last month! This month I read: 
A Moment by Marie Hall 
Just Now by Marie Hall
The Boleyn Reckoning by Laura Andersen
Goal: 48 Books (4 Books a Month) 
Read: 8 Books

Falling For YA

I read 6 books for this challenge this month, and DNF another book.
Goal: 75 Books
Read: 21 Books


I have complete my COYER challenge this month! Yey! There was a short space of time where I thought I might not but got lucky!
Goal: 80 Books
Read: 84 Books


I only started this challenge this month, and have chosen not to back date the challenge, so anything from January that could count does not. 
Goal: 101+ Points
Read: 30 Points


Another one that I am not back dating and have only started this month. 
Goal: 31-45 Books 
Read: 3 Books

Read This Month: 

DNF Report: 

5 Stars: 
  • Spark Rising by Kate Corcinco
  • The Boleyn Reckoning by Laura Andersen
4 Stars: 
  • How (not) to Play with Magic by Elizabeth A Reeves
  • A Moment by Marie Hall
  • Sing for Me by Gracie Madison
  • Austin by S L Scott
  • The Stubborn Lord by Michelle M Pillow
  • Destined by Michelle M Pillow
  • Three Two One (321) by JA Huss
  • Call of the Lycan by Michelle M Pillow
  • Spice by Scarlet Smith 
  • Hidden Violet by Vivian Winslow
  • Blaze of Glory by Mandy M Roth
  • The Reluctant Lord by Michelle M Pillow
  • Devils Among Us by Mandy M Roth
  • Remote by Lisa Acerbo
  • Right Now by Marie Hall
  • The Guardians by Mandy M Roth
  • The Impatient Lord by Michelle M Pillow
  • Chosen by Nina Croft
3 Stars: 
  • The Obsession by Lilianna Lee
  • Last Man on Earth by Michelle M Pillow
  • Wicked Wants by Cayla Kluver
  • Wolf Bride by Elizabeth Moss
2 Stars: 

Saturday, 28 February 2015

Book: The Boleyn Reckoning by Laura Andersen

Title: The Boleyn Reckoning
Series: The Boleyn Trilogy (#3)
Author: Laura Andersen
From: Netgalley
Genre: Alternative History
Release Date: 15th July 2014
Challenges: Winter COYER, 2015 Reading Assignment, 2015 Prequel & Sequel Challenge (2 points + 10 point bonus), 2015 Netgalley & Edelweiss Challenge
Links: Goodreads - Amazon

Despite having survived the smallpox, William aka King Henry IX of England, still suffers from the affects of his illness, no longer giving the careful thought to matters of state that he used to. Announcing to everyone that he intends to marry Minuette, he causes anguish and rifts in his court, as well as between him and his best friend, Dominic, who Minuette married in secret. When secrets get revealed in the Tudor court there can be hell to pay, and even a friend's love can not stand against a lover scorned...

I cried. Just getting it out there. In the last few chapters of the book (and by that I mean the last quarter) I cried several times at the pure tension, emotion and hell that the characters are put through. I considered for a while how best to write this review, because I want to try and involve spoilers, but in some ways that just isn't possible. So though I will try and avoid them where possible (even if that means getting a little cryptic) but one or two may be about.

So firstly...Minuette and Dominic's relationship. This was pretty well established by this point (considering they were married at the beginning of the book) and yet, they had so many hurdles to overcome. I loved the fact that, despite the times they had a marriage of equals (maybe down to the fact that no one actually knew they were married) but even so at times the contemporary views about marriage came out. There were points where my heart was breaking for the two of them, even when I knew that things were better than they thought and later in the book I was openly crying.

There is a pretty big twist. Which I guessed before it happened, but even so when what was 'supposed' to happen happened I cried (after all Tudor wrath isn't easily dealt with without violence) and I couldn't stop reading until I knew the truth about events. More than that though, I kept waiting for certain characters to be rescued only to be disappointed, or it to happen in ways that I didn't expect. Hope that was spoiler free enough! (I'm not talking about the obvious characters in some of that!)

The Boleyn Reckoning is an alternative history story, and as such some events changed, meaning that the fates of several other characters changed as well. As this is about the son of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, obviously Edward didn't exist at all, and his mother and Henry's other wives didn't get a look in. But what I found interesting was what Andersen did with several other characters. Most notably Mary Tudor (who never ruled), Robert Dudley, Jane Grey*, George Boleyn, Jane Parker-Boleyn (or Lady Rochford) and several others.

I was going to say that Mary Tudor and Jane Grey's fates were the only ones that were changed much, but then I realised that it wasn't true. Actually a lot of characters' fates was completely different (the closest to historical truth was Jane Parker-Boleyn's fate, though for obvious reasons she didn't help Katherine Howard commit adultry with Thomas Culpepper). With the exception of Robert Dudley's fate, the other characters happened close to how I would imagine they would have done anyway had Anne Boleyn had a son, they fit with the events and the story in a way that clearly worked. Robert Dudley's fate is slightly different. Though he didn't have to end the story in the way that he did, I think it would have interesting implications for Elizabeth, both as a rular and as a woman.

Now...Elizabeth, torn between affection for her brother and her country. While William went a bit crazy (though to be fair to him if anyone found out their best friend secretly married the woman you want to marry they'd probably go a bit mad), Elizabeth was trying to ensure that the country ran smoothly. It was a fine line she balanced between treason and loyalty and I felt that this really captured the spirit of Tudor politics, which actually have played a large part in the series as a whole. Elizabeth had to get to where she was going to be anyway**, and I felt that The Boleyn Reckoning really got her there.

William was cleverly characterised in a way that made it clear whose son he was. He had the temper, the power and the wrath of his father, with some of the calculation of his mother and uncle. I liked the way that a lot of his actions mirrored his father's, both in his personal life and in his diplomatic life, it seems in line with the influence Henry VIII would have had on his son, as well as on his personality. But the one thing it did do was make you scared for the characters around him. And that was any character, even Elizabeth and his other sister Mary.

I seem to have talked a lot about various other characters and not so much about Dominic and Minuette, who I felt were the main characters, and who really made an impact on me. I loved the two of them as characters individually and together and I'm sad that I have to part from them at the end of their story.

I haven't even touched on many of the minor characters (other than in my cryptic paragraph) but I did find it hard to remember that this book wasn't real history at points, with the rich descriptions and believable characters. I may have been crying at some points (and seriously scared for some characters) and at others I wanted to call them idiots, but I loved every minute of this book, well the trilogy really. I'll certainly be less wary of Alternative History in the future, and anything Laura Andersen writes will definitely be on my TBR list!


*For anyone that isn't all too aware of English Royal History, Jane Grey ruled England as Queen for 9 days between Edward and Mary in an attempt to avoid England returning to Catholisism under Mary, obviously it failed, and Jane died for her part in the plot.

** The whole premise of the series was that Anne Boleyn had a son but Elizabeth still became Queen anyway.

Blitz: Tempest's Fury by Alicia Michaels

Tempest’s Fury by Alicia Michaels

Release Spotlight + Giveaway

Large_front  Title: Tempest’s Fury (The Lost Kingdom of Fallada Book Four) Release Date: February 28, 2015
  Genre: YA Paranormal/Fantasy
  Publisher: Marion Press

  Blurb: Gretchen Thomas isn’t exactly princess material. She’s not thin, perky, graceful, or refined. So, when a mysterious man claiming to be from another world appears, telling her that she’s royalty, her first instinct is to laugh in his face. However, his assertion that she’s from this strange parallel realm rings true—especially given the freakish abilities she’s had since childhood. Yet, with that knowledge comes a set of expectations Gretchen isn’t sure she can live up to. With an entire kingdom relying on her to fight for them against an evil queen, and a long lost family hoping to reunite with her, being a princess doesn’t seem like all it’s cracked up to be. One thing is for sure; when the war between good and evil spills over from one realm into another, disrupting her life and threatening the brother who raised her, Gretchen will not hesitate to unleash the powerful storm brewing inside of her. *A fairytale reboot of Hansel & Gretel*  
Add to your list on Goodreads
Download your copy:
 
Excerpt:
Brooklyn, New York Moisture coated the air, steam from the showers lingering on the air along with the chorus of Miley Cyrus’ “We Won’t Stop”. Gretchen Thomas scowled. She hated the song with a passion, almost as much as she hated the girl who sang it. To add insult to injury, the locker room echoed with the constant chatter of high-pitched voices. They sounded like a flock of birds … a flock of tall, leggy, blonde birds with perfect bodies and daddies who gave them everything they wanted. The goddesses of high school. The banes of Gretchen’s existence. They giggled together and danced to the music, not at all shy about their various states of half-nakedness. Turning her back to them, she peeled off the sweatshirt she’d worn to gym class. Beneath it was her not-so-skinny body and nondescript black sports bra. She tried to be quick about covering herself. Unfortunately, she wasn’t fast enough. “Whale, ho!” one of the high-pitched voices said from behind her. She stiffened, her face growing hot as the insult washed over her. Refusing to turn around, she pulled on her long-sleeved black and white striped tee, before layering it with a shorter-sleeved purple one. “Want some butter for those rolls, porky?” a second voice asked. Ariana Smith and Jessica Simmons … she recognized the voices as two of her most dedicated tormentors. Their insults sent giggles through the locker room, and now she could feel the stares … the eyes of the other girls boring into her. Determined to ignore them, she slid out of her sweats and into her jeans as fast as she could. One of the girls muttered something else, but she couldn’t hear it through the anger causing her heart to pound, filling her ears with the sound. Gritting her teeth, she shoved everything into her backpack and slung it over her shoulder. Not bothering to put her shoes on, she carried them, making a quick escape. “Watch out, wide load!” wailed Ariana, giggling and backing out of her path in a dramatic motion. She glared over her shoulder at both of them, then retreated. She could still hear the laughter as she paused, leaning against the wall outside the locker room and closing her eyes. Ignore them. They’re just a couple of mean girls who put other people down to make themselves feel better. Be the bigger person. You don’t have to prove anything to anyone. Fitting in is for losers. Yeah, none of that worked. The more she fought against her anger, the worse her need to lash out became until she felt a familiar heat beginning in her palms. The air around her shifted and moved like a gust of wind, and a bluish-white spark flashed in one hand. Taking a deep breath, she swallowed past the lump of rage in her throat. She could hear Hayden’s voice in her head, telling her not to act out, not to use her abilities in public. But, her big brother wasn’t here, and her anger won out. Releasing the emotion on a wave of energy, she grinned as the sound of screams and curses filled the locker room. The staccato pitter-patter of raindrops wasn’t enough to satisfy her, though. Fighting back laughter, she peeked around the corner for a glimpse of her handiwork. Girls ducked and covered their heads, wailing their distress over the soaked clothes strewn across the locker room floor. Water rained down on them from overhead, drenching them all. Ariana and Jessica stood in their midst, screaming as their ruined hair fell around their heads, and water streamed down their faces, ruining their makeup. Gretchen grinned, turning away from the locker room. She slid into her Converse sneakers, then reached into her backpack to retrieve her phone. Jamming her earbuds in, she cranked up the volume as Aerosmith crooned “Janie’s Got a Gun”. Laughter burning in her chest, she made her way to lunch, practically skipping the entire way.    
Check out the rest of the Lost Kingdom of Fallada books, a series of YA fairytale reboots!
 
NewCover
Book 1: Daughter of the Red Dawn
A FREE Read!
Blurb: On the outside, seventeen year-old Selena McKinley is like any other teenage girl. Yet Selena has always felt as if she doesn’t belong and is counting the days to graduation and her freedom from the small town that makes her feel so out of place, when the arrival of a stranger turns her world upside down. Selena will learn just how different she is and the truth of where she comes from.
A lost princess, they call her, the catalyst for a war involving a world that Selena was taken from as a child. An evil queen obsessed with her own beauty with a plan to enslave the human race.…the notion seems so silly, yet Selena knows in her heart that it is true. Then there is Titus, the shape shifter whose blue eyes and claims of destiny hold her heart captive. Can Selena find the strength to do what she must while following her heart?
*A fairytale reboot of Little Red Riding Hood*
LargeWhole
Book 2: Child of the Sacred Earth
Blurb: Get a degree, get a job, save adorable foster siblings from the clutches of the evil foster mom …
These are Jocylene Sanders’ top priorities as she enters her sophomore year of college. The last thing she expects is to find herself the champion of an entire kingdom. However, that is just what happens when the mysterious Faerie, Rothatin Longspear, appears to her, tasking her with saving a parallel world full of creatures from her wildest dreams.
Jocylene journeys with him into the world of Fallada, hoping for answers about her birth parents and background. What she finds is a mystifying past, and an even more uncertain future, as her heart becomes entangled with the stoic, battle-hardened Rothatin, as well as Eli, the untroubled Panther Shifter with no loyalties and no home. With her heart and soul pulled in so many directions, can Jocylene find the strength needed to become the savior one nation so desperately needs?
*A fairytale reboot of Rose Red*
Risecover
Book 3: Rise of the Tide
Phaedra Jones’ life is perfect. She loves her small coastal town and the beach, graduation is just a year away, and she’s in love with the boy of her dreams. Unfortunately, everything changes when Phaedra’s boat goes down in a storm. Luckily, Phaedra survives, finding herself in a world beyond anything she could ever imagine. Not only does she discover that she is a Mermaid shifter of the underwater kingdom of Zenun, but the kingdom of Fallada—where fairytale creatures live and breathe—is depending on her. Phaedra risks losing everything: her perfect life, her family, even the boy she loves … all for a cause she has no stake in. Arrian Riverleaf, Elf prince of the Riverleaf Clan, has been shunned by his people for over a century. After his arrogance caused him to be cursed, he became a hideous creature, only a shadow of his former self. When Princess Phaedra arrives in Fallada, he does not intend her to steal his heart. With her lost love to compete with and his own insecurities over his unattractive face, Arrian fights his feelings, knowing she could never look beyond his curse to love him. As the two fight together to save Phaedra’s people, the realm of Fallada and the world of men will both hang in the balance as the battle between good and evil rages on.
*A fairytale reboot of The Princess and the Frog*
Beyond Full 3
Prequel: Beyond the Iron Gate (Zara’s Journey)
In the year 1845, before the mystical land of Fallada was separated from the realm of men forever, the two worlds coexisted in harmony. Man could mingle freely in the world of the Elves and Faeries at will and peace reigned.
In the hills of Shropshire, England, just miles from the gate separating the village of Ludlow from the world of mystical creatures, farmer’s daughter Zara Wells longs for answers. It is not only the golden hair that trail feet behind her, or the strange hue of her violet eyes that separates her from the other girls her village. There is something inside of her, something touched by magic that longs to know more about what lies on the other side of the gate.
In Fallada, darkness has begun to spread. As the youngest and most beautiful girls of her village begin to disappear, Zara comes closer to discovering the true circumstances surrounding her birth. Little does she know, that the closer she comes to the answers she so desperately desires, the closer she will come to being ensnared in the dark queen’s web of growing treachery.
*A fairytale reboot of Rapunzel*
Download now:

*GIVEAWAY*

Enter to win these awesome items:
Gray, hand-crocheted infinity scarf
Read More Books silver bracelet
Set of signed postcards, bookmarks, and vanilla-honey lip balm
Tempestgiveaway
Giveaway ends March 14th!
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Friday, 27 February 2015

Tour: Seaside Secrets by Melissa Foster

Title: Seaside Hearts
Series: Love in Bloom (#24)
Author: Melissa Foster
From: Review Copy
Genre: Romance
Release Date: 24th February 2015
Challenges: Winter COYER, 2015 Prequel & Sequel Challenge (2 points), 2015 New Release Challenge
Links: Goodreads - Amazon

Amy Maples has been in love with Tony Black forever. And all her friends know, just like they know that Tony feels the same way. What they don't know is that fourteen years ago, Amy and Tony were together, right under their noses, until a tragedy tore them apart in a way they weren't sure they could ever get past. Now Amy has a job offer that could take her to Australia, and decisions have to be made which could change everything...

I have a confession...I actually stopped reading blurbs for Melissa Foster's books and just get excited and sign up as soon as I see the tour invite, and so I actually go into each book without having read the blurb. Having met the characters in previous books, I have to say that I was surprised that Amy had a secret like she did. Like the other characters, I knew her and Tony loved each other, but never actually imagined they had a past.

The past that Amy and Tony shared played a big part in their story, in a way that none of the other Seaside Friends have yet. Because of this I thought that there were some points at which the story got quite deep compared to the others in the series, but I loved it because of this. Because the two of them had known each other so long it felt natural that they had more to get through than the other characters.

The ending to this book was perfect as well. It summed up the girls perfectly and gave all of them the ending that they wanted, without actually ending the series! I thought it fit with all their individual personalities as well as their comaraderie as a group.

The way that the girls interact is one of the things that I absolutely love about this series. It captures best friends talking about things perfectly, and in a way that reminds me of some of my own friends. Girls talk about anything, and I think that Foster has captured that, and the closeness, perfectly. There were also several one liners that had me laughing aloud, from various characters.

I love this series! I'm excited to read more!


Tony Black is the hottest surfer on the planet. He travels the world throughout the year and spends his summers on Cape Cod with his friends, at the Seaside cottages in Wellfleet, Massachusetts.  He’s got his choice of women, but Amy Maples is the one he wants. Fourteen years ago she was his for an entire summer, until a devastating accident changed everything, and what they had seemed like it had never existed—at least for her. 
Amy Maples is as consistent as the day is long. She’s spent summers on Cape Cod forever, she always does the right thing, and she’s spent years trying to reclaim the heart of Tony Black, the only man she’s ever loved.  She’s back for a summer of fun with her friends at Seaside, only this year she’s been offered the opportunity of a lifetime thousands of miles away, and she’s decided to try one last time to reconnect with Tony. But having a relationship with Tony means dealing with her past—and dealing with her past may knock her to her knees.
BUY LINKS

ABOUT MELISSA FOSTER
Melissa Foster is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes contemporary romance, new adult, contemporary women's fiction, suspense, and historical fiction with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Her books have been recommended by USA Today's book blog, Hagerstown Magazine, The Patriot, and several other print venues. She is the founder of the Women’s Nest, a social and support community for women, the World Literary Café. When she's not writing, Melissa helps authors navigate the publishing industry through her author training programs on  Fostering Success. Melissa has been published in Calgary’s Child Magazine, the Huffington Post, and Women Business Owners magazine. 
Melissa hosts an annual Aspiring Authors contest for children and has painted and donated several murals to The Hospital for Sick Children in Washington, DC. Melissa lives in Maryland with her family.

Visit Melissa on The Women's NestFostering Success, or World Lit Cafe. Melissa enjoys discussing her books with book clubs and reader groups, and welcomes an invitation to your event.

Authors Links:

GIVEAWAY
The prize on this tour is 3 ecopies of the previous book in the series – Seaside Sunsets



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Thursday, 26 February 2015

Book: Spice by Scarlet Smith

Title: Spice
Author: Scarlet Smith
From: Netgalley
Genre: Romance, Erotica
Release Date: 26th February 2015
Challenges: 2015 New Release Challenge2015 Netgalley & Edelweiss ChallengeWinter COYER
Links: Goodreads  - amazon

Freelance writer Jess has a new assignment, to write a blog on if you can go from vanilla to kinky in 2 weeks. Armed with a list of things to try in bed and her sexy and gorgeous man onside to help, Jess sets off on a journey that could make or break her career. And her relationship.

I will admit I'm a little bit at a loss about how to describe this book. There's a lot of sex in it (as the description kind of leads to) but it actually became so much more than that. But at the same time I wouldn't count Spice as romance. The couple, Jess and Max, have a good long term relationship going, it doesn't need saving and they don't need to get to know each other. In fact they were happy with their lot and loved each other a lot. Then came the list.

I loved the way that the list was approached. I imagine (because in some respects this is how I feel myself) that the list comprised of things that most people are a little too worried about admitting they want to try, including fairly 'safe' things like role play or spanking, right up to dogging, golden showers and threesomes. The idea was that as a blogger (a paid one!) Jess would approach each one, try it and write about it.

What I liked was that Jess and Max talked about it first, and didn't feel that they needed to do it if they didn't want to (prime example being golden showers, not sure I'd really have wanted to read about that). There was also a few awkward moments where things didn't go to plan or one of them wasn't as into it as the other one. I liked that because it seemed realistic, after all not everyone likes some of this stuff.

You could actually see the relationship between Max and Jess getting stronger as the book went on, and Jess' feelings were pretty strong to start with. All the way through I never really doubted that their relationship would hit a rocky patch, which is good and a nice change from 'normal'. There was a hiccup, but I thought that it was managed well and felt natural all things considered.

I enjoyed Spice. It was fun, it was sexy and actually I really wouldn't mind having a relationship like Jess and Max's!



Blitz: Aurora by Amos Cassidy



Aurora Blurb
Three hundred years ago humanity almost eradicated itself…almost, but not quite. As is the persistence of human kind, we hung on; we survived, but the world as we knew it was changed forever. The exact details of what happened have been lost in time. All we know is that this is our world now and we have no choice but to live in it. 

Oz and his sister True have been travelling for as long as they can remember. Ma feels that staying on the move is safe, that it prevents them getting lazy and complacent. It’s a better way to avoid bandits and raiders, a more effective way to stay alive. But the thing, the person that protects them is Oz – a lethal fighter who will go to any lengths to defend his family.  

Oz makes money from cage fights while dreaming of a better life for them all – a home where they can be truly safe. True dreams of freedom, love and hope and just when she thinks she’s found it their world is turned upside down and they are forced to embark on a journey that rips them apart. For when True is taken by an unknown enemy Oz must enlist the help of a man from the shadows to save her. 

A Post-Apocalyptic, Dystopian Romance, filled with action, adventure and fantasy.

Links:




Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Book: The Impatient Lord by Michelle M Pillow

Title: The Impatient Lord
Series: Dragon Lords (#8)
Author: Michelle M Pillow
From: Review Copy
Genre: Romance, Sci-Fi, Paranormal
Release Date: 3rd March 2014
Challenges: Winter COYER, 2015 Prequel & Sequel Challenge (2 points + 10 points for finishing a series)
Links: Goodreads - Amazon

After thinking his luck hadn't held out again, Mirek is shocked to discover his true wife, Riona, in the woods outside the Breeding festival grounds. Next thing he knows, Riona is in a coma, seemingly having an allergic reaction to the Yellow, flowers that induce sleep. Waking up months later, Riona finds that life has moved on around her, but can she work with her new husband to overcome that? Or will she return to her old ways?

I can't believe that Dragon Lords is over, I really don't want it to be! Let me find out more about the younger generation of Draig, or just something! The Impatient Lord gave an insight into Riona and Mirek's story, but also provided a tie up of the rest of the series, mainly because it took place months later than the rest of the books.

While the other brides all had each other going through a similar time struggling to accept their marriages, Riona had it a bit harder, because when she woke up she was faced with the other three brides in her household already happy in their marriages and moving on with their families. But then Riona had a different attitude from the rest of the brides anyway! Or at least that was the impression that I got.

I liked the relationship between Mirek and Riona. Though their relationship was far from perfect and there were hurdles for them to get over but their attraction, and mutual interests, were never in question. I liked that their feelings grew over the course of a physcial and somewhat emotional journey.

This series has had me wanting to keep reading from the very beginning, and I'm sad thaat it is over! I need more!

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Book: The Guardians by Mandy M Roth

Title: The Guardians
Author: Mandy M Roth
From: Review Copy
Genre: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
Release Date: 1st December 2007
Challenges: Winter COYER 
Links: Goodreads - Amazon

Madelyn has never been normal. As a Guardian she spends her time protecting humanity from the evil members of the supernatural society. As far as she is aware, her best friend Brady knows she isn't totally human but no more than that, or at least that's what she thinks. Brady soon makes a revelation that changes everything that she thought she knew and causes secrets to spill out at an alarming rate...

I absolutely loved this book! The Guardians was one of those that dragged me in from the first page and just made me want to keep reading until the absolute end! And the ending wasn't anything that I would have expected either, and though it is a stand alone title I can't help but want more!

I loved the interactions between the various characters. Not just the romantic leads, but the other characters in the book as well. There was no such thing as a straight forward relationship in The Guardians and that worked really well when it came to the dynamics between characters.

The relationship between Brady and Madelyn was really well done, both capturing the frienship between them, and the story changing into a more romantic and physical attraction. I also really liked the fact that though The Guardians worked on the concept of fated mates, it didn't feel forced and Brady in particular was convinced that Maddy should make the choice herself.

I'd struggle to fault The Guardians if I'm honest! Maddy was a strong female lead, who wouldn't let the men tell her what was what, though actually, they may have joked about it but I would doubt if any of the male characters would actually have stopped her doing what she wanted! It was nice to have alpha male characters who didn't act quite so alpha male ish all the time!

Defintiely one I'd recommend!

Monday, 23 February 2015

Tour: Remote by Lisa Acerbo

Title: Remote
Author: Lisa Acerbo
From: Review Copy for Blog Tour
Genre: Dystopian
Release Date: 20th November 2014
Challenges: Winter COYER
Links: Goodreads - Amazon

Yara is an Undergrounder, known as grounders for short, and has lived her life knowing that the New State's reliance on technology is bad. Joshua has been brought up in New State, and is used to all of the technology around him, but his mother doesn't feel it is necessarily right, causing Joshua to question it as well. When Yara runs into Joshua on a raid, everything changes and neither of their lives will stay the same...

Remote was a book that seemed to fly by! There was plenty of action in the book, mainly in the form of raids from the grounders towards the New State. Actually I thought this book got the balance between action and the rest of the story just right, there wasn't too much violence (thought there was some) but there was enough action to make it feel real.

Now the whole premise of the book is scary. This is one of those dystopias that you can see exactly how it could happen, which makes it twice as scary as any other dystopia. The characters lives in a world where technology has become the norm, with CHIPs implanted at birth and each citizen 'hooking up' at night where they can commit crimes, have sex, drink, do drugs or live out any other fantasy that they want. I think that the author did a fantastic job creating a world in which people have become disinterested in each other and in interacting with each other.

I really liked the way that Josh and his parents had to come to terms with living without so much technology (though the grounders didn't like complete reliance on technology they didn't mind using it to improve their lives in a limited way...ie not implanting it into themselves). In some books they'd have made the switch easily, but in Remote they actually had to come to terms with it, and I thought the way that played out worked well.

Also it was great to see a YA dystopia (though I'd count this as mature YA) that didn't involve a love triangle. Though there were a couple of chapters where I thought it could be a possibility, turns out I'd just missed the signs of a Gay Best Friend! I really liked that touch, I thought it was interesting and created a different dynamic between Yara, Josh and Masson.

I really enjoyed Remote, it was an engaging and somewhat scary dystopia!


Book & Author details:

Remote by Lisa Acerbo
Published by: Etopia Press
Publication date: November 20th 2014
Genres: Romance, Science Fiction, Young Adult

Synopsis:
When technology fulfills every dream, reality becomes a nightmare.
Below the streets of New State, the undergrounders fight to remain free of the technological control of the world above. Every night, Yara risks her life fighting New State’s deadliest weapons, the drones. Half human and half machine, their living half tortured until everything human is gone, the drones have only one objective. Kill. And they do it with exacting precision.
Yara is good at her job and committed to her raids on New State. Until one of those raids brings her face-to-face with Joshua, a New State citizen who doesn’t quite fit her preconceived expectations. After a couple of awkward encounters, he shows her the meaning of hooking up—a computer simulation that allows people to live out their fantasies—without the complication of emotional entanglements or physical reality. But what Yara feels for Joshua is very real. And it’s punishable by law.
As she and Joshua grow closer, she convinces him to leave New State for her underground cause. But as the unrest between New State and the underground escalates, and the drones move in to destroy her world, nothing goes as planned. Families are arrested, loyalties are strained, and Yara’s forced to choose between her people and her feelings. The wrong choice could mean the end of her people, and reality could slip away—forever…


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AUTHOR BIO:
Lisa Acerbo is a high school teacher and holds an EdD in Educational Leadership. She lives in Connecticut with her husband, daughters, three cats, and horse. She is the author of Apocalipstick and has contributed to local newspapers, news and travel blogs including The Patch and Hollywood Scriptwriter.

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