I Have Moved!

I really hope you move with me! My new blog address is:


I just hated how WordPress doesn’t support java scripts AND the blogger book community is much more robust so voila!

Please check out my new location and stay tuned! I hope to be having a giveaway or two to celebrate!

Review: Living Violet by Jaime Reed

Title: Living Violet (Cambion Chronicles #1)
Author: Jaime Reed
Publisher: Dafina
Genre:  Young Adult, Paranomal
Rating: 4/5

Why I picked it: Premise looked interesting and I won an ARC of the book via Goodreads.

Synopsis: He’s persuasive, charming, and way too mysterious. And for Samara Marshall, her co-worker is everything she wants most–and everything she most fears. . .

Samara Marshall is determined to make the summer before her senior year the best ever. Her plan: enjoy downtime with friends and work to save up cash for her dream car. Summer romance is not on her to-do list, but uncovering the truth about her flirtatious co-worker, Caleb Baker, is. From the peculiar glow to his eyes to the unfortunate events that befall the girls who pine after him, Samara is the only one to sense danger behind his smile.

But Caleb’s secrets are drawing Samara into a world where the laws of attraction are a means of survival. And as a sinister power closes in on those she loves, Samara must take a risk that will change her life forever. . .or consume it.

Review: Via Goodreads, I received an opportunity to read an advance copy of “Living Violet.” I was really interested in the plot and the book drew me in from the start. While I thought the premise was original (as original as you can be in the ever-growing paranormal YA genre), there were a few issues that I had which made this a 3.5 (or 4, since you can’t have half ratings) read for me.

Let me begin by saying I totally hate this cover. I hate HATE that Caleb is pictured because well…I don’t find this cover boy cute at all and it totally threw me off when reading the book since I was just picturing THAT dude as Caleb instead of some imagined hottie, and it made the plot a little unbelievable. Since I know that authors rarely even have a say in what their covers look like, I’m not going to detract any stars for this point. It’s a personal pet peeve and I wanted to mention it because it made the book a little harder for me to read.

When I did finally get into the book, one thing I really enjoyed was Jaime Reed’s writing style. It was really easygoing and fun and Samara was a character who really bounced off the pages. She was realistic, and realistic is good. I also really appreciated that she wasn’t a “Bella Swan” – meek and quiet and far too subtle for my tastes. While I can see where Sam would come off as being a little annoying, I really think that in this case, there was enough sass without it coming across as forced or bratty.

Another thing that really made the book for me was the actual premise. I liked the supernatural beings featured, and I really liked Reed’s explanations of how they work. The supporting characters in the book really helped move and shape the story and I really enjoyed getting to know them all.

Now, the one thing that I did NOT like (and I kinda mentioned above) was Caleb. Again, maybe this was because of my cover bias but he just DID NOT come off to me like the likeable, tempting guy that Samara is into. At the beginning, he comes off a little skeevy and really, does not make up for it for the rest of the book. He just did not work for me as the male lead, and do sorta wish he had been written differently.

Overall, I decided to rate the book up to 4 stars because I did enjoy reading it, issues aside. I also am curious to read the 2nd book in the series, because it seems like it would focus more on Samara than on Caleb and Samara’s relationship. I’d recommend this book to all fans of paranormal YA.

Speculative Romance Challenge 2012 – My Progress

Christmas has yet to begin but I have already begun to participate in 2012 reading challenges! So, I was always super reluctant to read romance books and then my friends got me into them and I’m kinda hooked. Then, in the last few months, I discovered paranormal, steampunk, and fantasy romance which I also surprisingly loved! Due to this new discovery, I’d like to read more and more of these types of books and thus…

Timeline: 01 Jan 2012 – 31 Dec 2012
Rules: There are FOUR (4) LEVELS to choose from:

• One Sexy Demon: Read 6 Speculative Romance novels in 2012
 • Two Sexy Werewolves: Read 12 Speculative Romance novels in 2012
• Three Sexy Vampires: Read 18 Speculative Romance novels in 2012
• Four Sexy Archangels: Read 24 Speculative Romance novels in 2012

For more details or to sign up click HERE
I’m not sure how many I can read so I’m not committing to a number just yet but I do already have four or five that I bought in the great Borders Haul of 2011 that have been sitting and collecting dust. We’ll see how it goes.

IMM: Living Violet

So I can only assume that most people who read book blogs are also members of Goodreads. If not, you totally should be! Thanks to entering contest on their site, I won me an advance, autographed copy of “Living Violet (The Cambion Chronicles)” by Jaime Reed.

I’m really excited to read and review this one and will have the review up in a week. If  you can’t wait, you can pre-order the book from Amazon! To check out more about the author, please go to http://www.jaimereedbooks.com/

Lastly, there is STILL TIME to win your own copy! Jaime is going away one a week until the release date (12/27/11). Just clicky on this link.

Review: Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin

Title: Elsewhere
Author: Gabrielle Zevin
Publisher: Square Fish
Genre:  Young Adult
Rating: 5/5

Why I picked it: Never read anything by the author before and this was a bargain book.

Synopsis: Welcome to Elsewhere. It is warm, with a breeze, and the beaches are marvelous. It’s quiet and peaceful. You can’t get sick or any older. Curious to see new paintings by Picasso? Swing by one of Elsewhere’s museums. Need to talk to someone about your problems? Stop by Marilyn Monroe’s psychiatric practice. Elsewhere is where fifteen-year-old Liz Hall ends up, after she has died. It is a place so like Earth, yet completely different. Here Liz will age backward from the day of her death until she becomes a baby again and returns to Earth. But Liz wants to turn sixteen, not fourteen again. She wants to get her driver’s license. She wants to graduate from high school and go to college. And now that she’s dead, Liz is being forced to live a life she doesn’t want with a grandmother she has only just met. And it is not going well. How can Liz let go of the only life she has ever known and embrace a new one? Is it possible that a life lived in reverse is no different from a life lived forward? This moving, often funny book about grief, death, and loss will stay with the reader long after the last page is turned.

(Mini) Review: Let me begin by saying that I was totally hooked on this book about 5 pages in, and it’s very rare for me to be so into a book so quickly. Having read nothing from the author before, I was very pleasantly surprised by the subject matter of this book, as well as the create world-building.

Elizabeth Hall is dead. Instead of ending up in a heaven-like world where one lives on a cloud and is surrounded by angels, Liz finds herself in a world called Elsewhere that mirrors Earth but isn’t exactly the place that she had left behind.  I found Zevin’s interpretation of what happens after you die to be really original. Part of the reason why this book was such a page turner for me was because of how much I wanted to know about this world.

For a long while, Elizabeth is really depressed and accepting of her status as a member of the deceased. The struggles she goes through are just what one would expect of a person who died to young – never being able to grow up and enjoy all that life awaits them.I felt like I was there with Liz on her emotional journey of denial and acceptance.

Overall, I would highly recommend this book to readers of all ages. The story works, and the supporting characters really do a wonderful job of really building Liz up as she learns acceptance. Although a book about death, “Elsewhere” brings a refreshingly positive outlook to life, in general, which is always something I enjoy.

Teaser Tuesday (November 29th)

The rules:

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

* Grab your current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teaser:

“He cocked his head, watching as she carefully licked those lush lips, preparing her argument, no doubt. He felt the beat of the pulse beneath his skin, his body’s response to her feminine vitality.”

– p. 19 Wicked Intentions by Elizabeth Hoyt (Mass-market paperback)

Review: The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie

Title: The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie
Author: Jennifer Ashley
Publisher: Leisure Books
Genre: Historical Romance
Rating: 2/5

Why I picked it: Came highly recommended at Smexy Books.

Synopsis: The year is 1881. Meet the Mackenzie family–rich, powerful, dangerous, eccentric. A lady couldn’t be seen with them without ruin. Rumors surround them–of tragic violence, of their mistresses, of their dark appetites, of scandals that set England and Scotland abuzz.

The youngest brother, Ian, known as the Mad Mackenzie, spent most of his young life in an asylum, and everyone agrees he is decidedly odd. He’s also hard and handsome and has a penchant for Ming pottery and beautiful women.

Beth Ackerley, widow, has recently come into a fortune. She has decided that she wants no more drama in her life. She was raised in drama–an alcoholic father who drove them into the workhouse, a frail mother she had to nurse until her death, a fussy old lady she became constant companion to. No, she wants to take her money and find peace, to travel, to learn art, to sit back and fondly remember her brief but happy marriage to her late husband.

And then Ian Mackenzie decides he wants her.

Review: Maybe this book was a prime example of myself expecting far more from a book than it delivered…and I wanted to like it SO MUCH. But nope.  As I think I wrote not too long ago in another review, all romance/fantasy/sci-fi books ask that you suspend a certain amount of belief when reading them. Where I have a problem is when events happen so fast, so perfectly, or so out-of-the blue that I find myself going “Come on! Seriously?” This book was brimming with such things – to the point where I felt Ashley was trying to cram as much different plots and sub-plots as possible. But before I start ranting and raving about the actual events that occur in the book, let me begin with the characters.

Ah, Ian Mackenzie. Tragic hero with a dubious past. Unlike other romance books, this one really makes a focus on the male lead as being unwell – not just eccentric by that time’s societal norms but really – there’s something wrong with him. I did not care for Ian at all. I didn’t like his bluntness and I did not find him endearing in the least.  I felt bad for his experiences and the reasons behind why he is the way he is but yeah…not enough for him to be desirable.

Beth, our female protagonist, came off completely unbelievable. Formerly the wife of a vicar, apparently she lost all sense of propriety just because this crazy man coaxed it out of her. I found her to be weak and generally unlikeable.

In terms of the plot – ugh. There is a murder in which Ian is the prime suspect. An overzealous detective, with a secret of his own, makes it his job to uncover the truth behind the crime and to discredit the Mackenzie family once and for all. They way everything unfolds is just so unbelievable that the last 100 or so pages had me rolling my eyes as events kept piling on and on.

The last reason why I didn’t particularly care for this book was the relationship between Ian and Beth. It wasn’t convincing – and what’s a good romance read if you can’t get behind the main love story?

Overall this was a 2-star read for me because the steamy scenes were super steamy and the book kept my attention well enough for the first half.