Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Blood of Angels (Blood Hunters # 2) by Marie Treanor

Obsession... a wounded hunter, a damaged vampire.

Six months ago, vampire hunter and inventive genius Istvan nearly died in the seminal battle that would change the relationship between humans and vampires forever.

A year before that, he first encountered sexy vampiress, Angyalka, owner of the Angel Club, favored haunt of the undead. Istvan won that round, but when he recklessly seeks her out again in search of the secret of angels, he's alone and so exhausted he can barely stand, let alone fight vampires. Plus Angyalka's out for revenge, and very happy to use his powerful sexual attraction to her…

But Angyalka has her own secret weaknesses as well as terrifying strengths even she doesn't understand. Their battle becomes one of wits and sex, but when someone bombs the club, they fight together to contain all the threats closing in on the Angel, from humans and vampires, including the sadistic killer who could just be dangerous enough to finally topple undead overlord Saloman.

As Istvan struggles to harness the mysterious power of angels, Angyalka needs a deeper strength to send away the fascinating hunter who delivers on all her deepest sensual desires and yet can't come to terms with her vampire nature.

This book was good, but not as good as the first book, Blood Guilt. I did really like getting to know more about Istvan, and I really liked his character. He's not just a strong vampire-hunter, he's also smart, and I find men who use their brains to be kind of sexy! ;)

Angyalka's was a cool character too, and it's always nice to read about women in power, but saying she is complicated is a MAJOR understatement. Her an Istvan work really well together, they're both weaker than they want to be, but strong enough and proud enough not to admit their faults. 

I did like that this book ties into the last book, so it's not like I was completely starting over with a new story world. I love series for that reason alone! I love already knowing how a certain world works and reading book after book about it!

This book did seem to be a lot more sexual than the first one (which the first one wasn't that mellow either), but just definitely an adult themed book. 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The Tyrant's Daughter by J.C. Carleson

*Received via NetGalley and Random House Children's Publishing*

From a former CIA officer comes the riveting account of a royal Middle Eastern family exiled to the American suburbs.

When her father is killed in a coup, 15-year-old Laila flees from the war-torn middle east to a life of exile and anonymity in the U.S. Gradually she adjusts to a new school, new friends, and a new culture, but while Laila sees opportunity in her new life, her mother is focused on the past. She’s conspiring with CIA operatives and rebel factions to regain the throne their family lost. Laila can’t bear to stand still as an international crisis takes shape around her, but how can one girl stop a conflict that spans generations? 
J.C. Carleson delivers a fascinating account of a girl—and a country—on the brink, and a rare glimpse at the personal side of international politics.

"Every American should read this book. It's an eye-opener." —Suzanne Fisher Staples, Newbery Honor-winning author of Shabanu

*Bonus Backmatter includes a note about the author's CIA past, and a commentary by RAND researcher and president of ARCH International, Dr. Cheryl Benard. Recommendations for further reading are also included. - Goodreads

I know the year has just started, but this is going to the top of my list as the best book I've read this year so far!

This book was a wonderful combination of funny teenage moments and horrible global realizations. I'm a pro at not watching the news and keeping up on current events. I think the only reason I've watched the news lately is to see the weather forecast. I try to keep up by catching highlights of headlines, but I'll admit that I'm global oblivious to a lot of the things going on in other parts of the world. 

I think this book did a great job of showing some of the horrible things that are happening in other places, but in a way that wasn't too overwhelming. There were plenty of funny moments to offset and kind of shelter the blow of the more solemn moments. 

I also loved the juxtaposition of two very different worlds, and Laila trying to find her place in both. 

I'm still not really sure whether or not I liked the way this ended, but I don't want to go too in detail cause I don't want to spoil the story for other readers. 

I definitely recommend this book! 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Season of the Witch by Natasha Mostert

*Recieved via NetGalley, Natasha Mostert, and AuthorBuzz Publishing for an honest review*

The Matrix meets Interview with the Vampire in this sexy Gothic thriller about two beautiful witch sisters and the love triangle that consumes the information thief who is drawn into their intrigues.

Season of the Witch tells the story of Gabriel Blackstone: hacker, information thief, and skilled remote viewer. Asked by a former lover to investigate the disappearance of her stepson, Gabriel's suspicions fall on Minnaloushe and Morrighan Monk, two beautiful sisters who live in a rambling Victorian house in London. Independently wealthy, the sisters spend their time dabbling in alchemy and the ancient Art of Memory invented by the Greeks and used by alchemists and magi such as Giordano Bruno and Leonardo Da Vinci. The sisters are white, or solar, witches, who aim to use alchemy not to turn lead into gold but to attain ultimate knowledge and therefore ultimate power. Gabriel soon becomes convinced that his clients son had been murdered and that one of the women is the killer. But which one?
As Gabriel infiltrates the world of the sisters, he finds himself drawn inexorably deeper becoming entranced even as he realizes that he is in mortal danger. When he is caught snooping, Gabriel must race to unlock their secrets before they can retaliate. To save himself and the one he loves, presuming she is not guilty Gabriel will have to fight one of the sisters within the landscape of her own mind.
I loved this book so much! 
I'm usually not a mystery/suspense fan, and I'm not sure if I ever would have picked this book up if it wasn't recommended to me by a friend. I read it then and fell in love with it. I'd actually been thinking about re-reading this book lately, and I was lucky enough to be able to review it on NetGalley. 
I think I might have fallen in love with this book even more reading it a second time. The story and the way this book is written is just amazing! I love the darkness and the Monk sisters are awesome characters. I love me some witches!
It was actually because of this book that I started to write a journal, since one of the sisters keeps a journal on her computer where she only writes the first letter to indicate a person. I thought that was SO cool and now I've been writing off and on in my journal for years! It was from writing my personal journal that I got the courage to start this blog, so I can thank this book for that. 
This book also  ignited my interest in psychics, and I have no idea how many books I've read on that topic now. This by far is the best fiction book on psychics I've ever read.
On a side note: You have no idea how upset and disappointed I was when the Season of the Witch movie starring Nicolas Cage came out in 2011. At first I thought that the movie was based off of this book, since they had the same name, but no, it sadly was not. I think this book would make an awesome movie though!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Endless by Amanda Gray

* Provided by NetGalley and Month9Books for an honest review*

Jenny Kramer knows she isn't normal. After all, not everybody can see the past lives of people around them.

When she befriends Ben Daulton, resident new boy, the pair stumble on an old music box with instructions for “mesmerization” and discover they may have more in common than they thought. Like a past life.

Using the instructions in the music box, Ben and Jenny share a dream that transports them to Romanov Russia and leads them to believe they have been there together before. But they weren't alone. Nikolai, the mysterious young man Jenny has been seeing in her own dreams was there, too. When Nikolai appears next door, Jenny is forced to acknowledge that he has travelled through time and space to find her. Doing so means he has defied the laws of time, and the Order, an ominous organization tasked with keeping people in the correct time, is determined to send him back. 

While Ben, Jenny and Nikolai race against the clock - and the Order - Jenny and Nikolai discover a link that joins them in life - and beyond death. - Goodreads

Wow! I really loved this book! I loved how everything just slowly keeps building up until the very end, when pretty much all hell breaks loose and everything is happening! So amazing! 

I loved the characters, and I think Ben is my favorite, although at first I didn't really care for him (just cause I'm really not much into the whole emo, moody thing). He turned out to be pretty cool though, still moody at times, but a good character. I'm still not entirely sure how I feel about Nikolai, he was cool and pretty awesome in his own way, but I kind of wanted Jenny to end up with Ben. I mean, Nikolai jumped forward in time to be with Jenny, which is romantic and all, but isn't that kind of like cheating? He didn't wait his turn like everyone else? 

I really hope that there is going to be a sequel to this, cause I'm going to be severely disappointed and angry if I'm not able to find out what happens next. 

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Oranges are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson

Jeanette, orphaned sensitive, intelligent and rebellious, is adopted by a family of evangelists and gloomy industrialized north of Great Britain. Her childhood becomes a surreal blend of sermons, catechism, rattle of tambourine in church orchestra and late adaptation to the rigors of the educational system. However, as Jeanette approaching adolescence, a career missionary to start preparing parents to lose their aura, the young discover their sexuality at all orthodox and family silence falls apart. Jeanette will have to choose between the truth and the truth of her soul Bible and courageous decision that will be the beginning of a path winding between original and unusual landmarks of destiny. -Goodreads

This book is different than anything I have ever read, both in the subject matter and the way that it is written. I found this book by chance in a bag of books that a lady was giving away after a yard sale. 

This books starts when Jeanette is young and naive, believing everything that her mother tells her as gospel. At first I found the story to be slow and a little boring, but it quickly picked up pace. Jeanette is very religious and has this "demon" inside of her and  it's only as she ages and comes into herself that she must process "her sin" of loving women and the ramifications that "her sin" has on the people around her. All of the chapters are named after books in the bible, Genesis, Exodus, etc. and I found that to be nice, since religion is the main underlying theme of the book. 

In the later part of the book there is some fairy-tale type storytelling in the chapters, and at first I was very confused by this, but I ended up really enjoying it and how the author weaved it into the main story.

I found this book to be a very good coming of age story, especially for someone facing adversary, whether it be from their religious beliefs or their sexuality (or a clashing of the two). I really feel like this would make a good book choice for a book club, cause there are so many different issues that can be talked over from this. My only problem with it is the ending, I found it to be very anti-climatic and I really wanted to know more about what happens to Jeanette. 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Blood Guilt (Blood Hunters #1) by Marie Treanor

*Provided by NetGalley and Marie Treanor for an honest review*

The first of a new vampire romance series, a sequel to the Awakened by Blood trilogy.

Mihaela, a fearless vampire hunter secretly haunted by loneliness and childhood tragedy, finds it difficult to adjust to the new world order where vampires are not always the bad guys. She's taking a much needed vacation in Scotland when she sees a little boy being chased through the streets of Edinburgh. Rescuing him brings bigger problems - two vampires from her past: Gavril, who killed her family; and the reclusive and troubled Maximilian, gifted Renaissance artist and one-time overlord of the most powerful undead community in the world. Maximilian once saved her life and now needs that favor returned. 

The earth moves for Mihaela in more ways than one. From Scotland to Budapest and Malta, she races against time to prevent a disastrous, vampire-induced earthquake and save an innocent yet powerful child – all while fighting a dreadful attraction to Maximilian, her only ally, whom she can’t afford to trust. For Maximilian, the hunter becomes a symbol of renewed existence, as he struggles to accept his past and rediscovers his appetite for blood and sex - and maybe even happiness.

I loved this book! I love paranormal romance and it's been so long since I read a book that held me as captivated as this. When I first started reading this book I planned on only reading a few chapters at first, just to get a feel for it, and ended up reading over half the book the first night!

I loved the characters of this, they felt real and had real problems, and their was an actual plot! Some parts of the book were pretty predictable, like Mihaela and Max falling for each other, but other than that I was surprised and captivated by the rest of the book. 

I loved that Mihaela is this kick-ass vampire hunter. I know I've said it before, but I love books with strong female characters. Max being an extremely sexy vampire didn't hurt the story either. ;) 

I really liked how the book developed, it was an interesting, action packed, kick-ass novel! 

I recommend this to anyone who enjoys vampire paranormal romance. 

*Be warned that this book does contain sex and violence*

Sunday, January 5, 2014

The Line by J.D. Horn

Mercy Taylor, the youngest member of Savannah’s preeminent witching family, was born without the gift of magic. She is accustomed to coming in a distant second to the minutes older, exquisite and gifted twin she adores. Hopelessly in love with her sister’s boyfriend, she goes to a Hoodoo root doctor for a love spell. A spell that will turn her heart to another man, the best friend who has loved her since childhood.

Aunt Ginny, the family’s matriarch, would not approve. But Mercy has more to worry about than a love triangle when Aunt Ginny is brutally murdered. Ginny was the Taylor family’s high commander in the defense of the bewitched line that separates humankind from the demons who once ruled our realm. 

A demon invasion looms now that the line is compromised. Worse yet, some within the witching world stand to gain from a demon takeover. Mercy, entangled in the dark magic of her love spell, fighting for her sister’s trust, and hopelessly without magic, must tap the strength born from being an outcast to protect the line she doesn’t feel a part of... 

In this riveting contemporary fantasy, Horn delivers the full betrayal, blood, and familial discord of the best of Southern gothic. - Goodreads

This book starts out slowly, but builds up and boils over at the very end for a reading experience that is just plain awesome! I really enjoyed this book and it had so many twists. Also, getting it for free from the Amazon Prime program wasn't half bad either, and I think I'll have to take advantage of their free monthly book more often.

I loved and hated the characters in this book! I thought Mercy was very well written, being a good mixture between vulnerable, independent, strong, and foolishly stupid. I loved Peter too, but I'm still not sure if I like him that much, he's kind of too nice in my opinion, but I love his eyes!

The only problem I have with this book is that now I'm hungry to know what happens next and I have to wait until July to read the next book.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Forsaken by Jacquelyn Frank

*Received via NetGalley and Ballantine Books*

New York Times bestselling author Jacquelyn Frank continues her scorching and sensual new series set in the world of the Nightwalkers, where alluring entities known as Bodywalkers are the vanguards against the raging forces of darkness.

As a mercenary, Leo Alvarez has signed on for a lot—but he never signed on for his best friend becoming host to the soul of an ancient Egyptian pharaoh. Jackson is now inhabited by a Bodywalker, and Leo is forced to grapple with a realm of supernatural beings far more dangerous than anything he’s ever encountered.

But when Jackson is wounded by an attack from a demon god, Leo must team up with another supernatural creature—a Night Angel—to save his friend from utter destruction. With skin as black as midnight, hair as white as snow, and a body of pure perfection, the Night Angel arouses a burning desire in Leo, even as he refuses to be intimidated by her power—or the power of those who would destroy his friend. An unusual alliance is forged, electrified by sexual temptation, and together the two must unite their strengths to bring down a supreme evil.

First review of 2014! YAY! Okay, so how can I best describe this book? Hmmm...well it was a good book, but it was no where near being a great book, and it was a far leap from joining the books on my favorites shelf. 

The whole world of Nightwalkers, Bodywalkers, and Night Angels (and other magical beings) was interesting, but the main character Leo was kind of annoying to me. His emotional state was understandable and for awhile I was understanding and accepting of his emotional baggage, but then it just got kind of annoying reading about this same old pain story over and over again. 

I never really bought into the whole love connection between Leo and the Night Angel, Faith, either. It didn't feel real to me (as real as a love connection between a human and an angel can be I guess haha). 

This title will be available on January 7th 2014 for purchase on kindle and mass market paperback.