Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Review: Lover At Last by J.R. Ward

Lover At Last
(Black Dagger Brotherhood #11)
 by J.R. Ward

Hardcover: 608 pages
Publisher: NAL Hardcover; 1 edition (March 26, 2013)

Goodreads Description:

Qhuinn, son of no one, is used to being on his own. Disavowed from his bloodline, shunned by the aristocracy, he has finally found an identity as one of the most brutal fighters in the war against the Lessening Society. But his life is not complete. Even as the prospect of having a family of his own seems to be within reach, he is empty on the inside, his heart given to another....

Blay, after years of unrequited love, has moved on from his feelings for Qhuinn. And it’s about time: The male has found his perfect match in a Chosen female, and they are going to have a young—just as Qhuinn has always wanted for himself. It’s hard to see the new couple together, but building your life around a pipe dream is just a heartbreak waiting to happen. As he’s learned firsthand.

Fate seems to have taken these vampire soldiers in different directions... but as the battle over the race’s throne intensifies, and new players on the scene in Caldwell create mortal danger for the Brotherhood, Qhuinn finally learns the true definition of courage, and two hearts who are meant to be together... finally become one.
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My Thoughts:

The title of the book says it all...AT LAST! I feel like I have been waiting forever for Blay and Qhunn's story and I finally got to read it. With so much anticipation and high expectations it is easy to be let down but in this case the wait was worth it because this story was just as good as I had hoped it would be. 
Blay and Qhuinn have had a tumultuous friendship with Blay's unrequited love for Qhuinn and Qhuinn's self destructive behavior (plus a bunch of other drama) so it was very interesting to see how they finally began to figure things out with each other and face some realizations about themselves. 
I think the author handled the love scenes well (as she always does) and there is just the right level of steam. I hate reading a book that has sex scene after sex scene and too many details that either make it come off as porn or cheesy. I've never felt that way with J.R. Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood series so kudos to the author.
The secondary stories were really good in this book and have been set up well for future installments of the series. I believe there are actually 3 other romances brewing, which I was a little surprised about because usually I think it is only about 1 or 2 per book. I'm guessing that more than one love match will be resolved in the next book.
5/5
CymLowell
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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Review: Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices #3) 
by Cassandra Clare 

                                                                Hardcover: 592 pages
                                    Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books (March 19, 2013)

                                                           Goodreads Description:

THE INFERNAL DEVICES WILL NEVER STOP COMING


A net of shadows begins to tighten around the Shadowhunters of the London Institute. Mortmain plans to use his Infernal Devices, an army of pitiless automatons, to destroy the Shadowhunters. He needs only one last item to complete his plan: he needs Tessa Gray.



Charlotte Branwell, head of the London Institute, is desperate to find Mortmain before he strikes. But when Mortmain abducts Tessa, the boys who lay equal claim to her heart, Jem and Will, will do anything to save her. For though Tessa and Jem are now engaged, Will is as much in love with her as ever.



As those who love Tessa rally to rescue her from Mortmain’s clutches, Tessa realizes that the only person who can save her is herself. But can a single girl, even one who can command the power of angels, face down an entire army?



Danger and betrayal, secrets and enchantment, and the tangled threads of love and loss intertwine as the Shadowhunters are pushed to the very brink of destruction in the breathtaking conclusion to the Infernal Devices trilogy.
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My Thoughts:


The third installment of the Infernal Devices series does not disappoint. I think the story wrapped up better than I could have hoped for. The only negative is that I am sad that it is over. On the bright side, the Mortal Instruments series in not over with (and there will be a companion series called The Dark Artifices) so there will be more Shadowhunters to read about in the future. 
Although there is a lot of great action in the book the best part of the story is the relationships between Jem, Clary, and Will. The three of them are connected in so many ways and it has been a pleasure to read about them throughout the series and watch how they turn out. There were quite a few occasions while reading that I teared up and cried a little. Emotions definitely run high in this book. If  you have loved this series so far I think you will love this book as much, if not more, than the others.
5/5
CymLowell
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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Guest Review: Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

Under the Never Sky

Under the Never Sky  (Under the Never Sky  #1)
by Veronica Rossi

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; First Edition edition (January 3, 2012)

  • Goodreads Summary:

    WORLDS KEPT THEM APART.

    DESTINY BROUGHT THEM TOGETHER.


    Aria has lived her whole life in the protected dome of Reverie. Her entire world confined to its spaces, she's never thought to dream of what lies beyond its doors. So when her mother goes missing, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland long enough to find her are slim.

    Then Aria meets an outsider named Perry. He's searching for someone too. He's also wild - a savage - but might be her best hope at staying alive.

    If they can survive, they are each other's best hope for finding answers.

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    My Opinion:

    This story is told in third person with each chapter alternating between Aria and Perry . The reason I like chapters set up this way is because it helps me to get to know each of them better without lingering in one place long enough for me to forget the feel of the other character.That allows the story to flow more smoothly for me.
    I liked both of the main characters straight away. Aria is smart, talented, and very determined to find her mother. She becomes a strong survivor after being dumped in a place with extreme adverse conditions compared to life inside the pod. Perry has not had the pampered and carefree life that those who live behind the domes have. He has to fight for everything he needs and is a real alpha male who comes to Aria's rescue.
    These two suddenly find themselves on a journey together, each searching for a missing loved one. Along the way they have to face deadly weather, cannibals, wolves and the people that threw Aria "Outside". I'm sure you have guessed by now that during their travels Aria and Perry start developing some sort of feeling for one another (after a very rocky start) but the pacing was just right I think.
    The one criticism I have would be that in the beginning of the book I wish more was written about Aria's life in the pod to give me that day to day feel for it.
    Overall I enjoyed this well-written, original dystopian. I'm looking forward to reading the sequel,Through the Ever Night.

    4.75/5

    CymLowell

    Tuesday, February 26, 2013

    Review: Lord of Darkness by Elizabeth Hoyt

    Lord of Darkness (Maiden Lane #5) by Elizabeth Hoyt
    • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
    • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (February 26, 2013)

    Goodreads Description:

    When Strangers In The Night

    He lives in the shadows. As the mysterious masked avenger known as the Ghost of St. Giles, Godric St. John's only goal is to protect the innocent of London. Until the night he confronts a fearless young lady pointing a pistol at his head—and realizes she is his wife.

    Become Lovers...

    Lady Margaret Reading has vowed to kill the Ghost of St. Giles—the man who murdered her one true love. Returning to London, and to the man she hasn't seen since their wedding day, Margaret does not recognize the man behind the mask. Fierce, commanding, and dangerous, the notorious Ghost of St. Giles is everything she feared he would be—and so much more.

    Desire Is The Ultimate Danger

    When passion flares, these two intimate strangers can't keep from revealing more of themselves than they had ever planned. But when Margaret learns the truth—that the Ghost is her husband—the game is up and the players must surrender...to the temptation that could destroy them both.
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    My Thoughts:

    Lord of Darkness is book 5 in this series and it is one of the best in my opinion.  This whole series is great though and is definitely in my top 5 favorite historical romance series. If you haven't read the previous 4 books in the series I recommend that you do. It probably isn't really necessary in order to enjoy this book but I think going into this book you would have a better idea of some of the things talked about.

    The slow building romance and love between the two main characters is my favorite part of the story. They both lost the people they loved and have trouble  moving past that grief. These characters are a perfect fit for each other and I really connected with them. The supporting characters were great in this story as well and I hope to read more about them in the future. 

    Since Godric is the Ghost of St. Giles there was of course some action and heroics. It was just enough to be interesting without overshadowing the love story aspect. The set up for the next book was interspersed throughout the story. Just short snippets really but enough to get me very interested in the next book. I believe the story was perfectly balanced.

    5/5

    *I received this book for review from Netgalley. Any opinions expressed are my own*
    CymLowell

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    Wednesday, February 6, 2013

    Review: Magic at Midnight by Gena Showalter

    Magic at Midnight by Gena Showalter
    • Paperback: 240 pages
    • Publisher: Berkley Trade; Reprint edition (February 5, 2013)

    Goodreads Description:

    TOGETHER FOR THE FIRST TIME 

    Two charmed and sexy novellas set in Mysteria, the beguiling little Colorado town where magic is in the air and passions run high—and not because of the altitude . . . 

    Hundreds of years ago, in the mountains of Colorado, Mysteria was founded by a random act of demonic kindness. Today, it’s a magnet for the supernatural, where magic quietly coexists with the mundane world. But now two sisters are about to unleash a tempest of seduction that will have tongues wagging for centuries to come . . . 

    The Witches of Mysteria and the Dead Who Love Them 
    Genevieve is a witch with a bad case of unrequited love for a local bar owner. But is his sudden change of heart the result of a love potion—or a literally breathtaking passion?

    A Tawdry Affair 
    Glory, witch of love, wants her man. Unfortunately, he barely knows she exists—until a magic pen brings her creative fantasies of seduction, sex, and delicious revenge to life.
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    My Thoughts:

    How many times are they going to keep reprinting stories from Mysteria and Mysteria Lane? Last time it was Mysteria Nights which I was excited for and then was shocked after I got it and it turned out to just by Mysteria and Mysteria Lane combined into one book (2 books I already owned). Now Magic at Midnight is just the two novellas written by Gena Showalter from Mysteria and Mysteria Lane packed into this one book. When I saw a new book by Gena Showalter (my favorite author) and that it was based in Mysteria I didn't even bother to read more about it so it is definitely my fault that I now own 3 copies of both of these stories. I just hate when stories are repackaged over and over. It gets confusing.

    The stories are obviously short but enjoyable. Nice little love stories involving witches and other paranormal creatures. I really hope that new short stories based in Mysteria get written or, even better, full length novels. If you haven't read about Mysteria I recommend buying Mysteria Nights instead of Magic at Midnight. With Mysteria Nights you get to read the all the stories written by the other authors as well.

    I normally give a rating for books I've read but since this is just a repackaging I don't even want to bother with a rating.

    CymLowell

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    Wednesday, January 30, 2013

    Review: Catherine by April Lindner

    Catherine by April Lindner
    • Hardcover: 320 pages
    • Publisher: Poppy (January 1, 2013)

    Goodreads Description:

    A forbidden romance. A modern mystery. Wuthering Heights as you’ve never seen it before.

    Catherine is tired of struggling musicians befriending her just so they can get a gig at her Dad’s famous Manhattan club, The Underground. Then she meets mysterious Hence, an unbelievably passionate and talented musician on the brink of success. As their relationship grows, both are swept away in a fiery romance. But when their love is tested by a cruel whim of fate, will pride keep them apart?

    Chelsea has always believed that her mom died of a sudden illness, until she finds a letter her dad has kept from her for years—a letter from her mom, Catherine, who didn’t die: She disappeared. Driven by unanswered questions, Chelsea sets out to look for her—starting with the return address on the letter: The Underground.

    Told in two voices, twenty years apart, Catherine interweaves a timeless forbidden romance with a compelling modern mystery.
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    My Thoughts:

    After reading Jane by April Lindner and loving it I knew that I would become an avid reader of her books.    I went into reading Catherine with high expectations and I wasn't disappointed. I can't tell how good of a modern take on Wuthering Heights it is (I've never read Wuthering Heights before. I know, shame on me), but I know that this was a good book. 

    The story is told from two points of view, Chelsea (who is 17) and her mother, Catherine (when she was 17). I liked how the author went back and forth between them because it really allows the reader to understand them both. This story is pure drama with some mystery thrown in. From practically the beginning I felt such sadness while reading, I even cried a little bit at one point. I actually didn't like most of the characters in the book (their personalities and the choices they make) but all of that is what makes up the story, and the story is great.  Now that I have read Catherine I really want to read Wuthering Heights.

    4.5/5

    CymLowell

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    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

    Review: Shades of Earth by Beth Revis

    Shades of Earth (Across the Universe #3) by Beth Revis
    • Hardcover: 400 pages
    • Publisher: Razorbill (January 15, 2013)

    Goodreads Description:

    The final book in the  New York Times bestselling trilogy, perfect for fans of Battlestar Galactica and Prometheus!

    Amy and Elder have finally left the oppressive walls of the spaceshipGodspeed behind. They're ready to start life afresh--to build a home--on Centauri-Earth, the planet that Amy has traveled 25 trillion miles across the universe to experience.

    But this new Earth isn't the paradise Amy had been hoping for. There are giant pterodactyl-like birds, purple flowers with mind-numbing toxins, and mysterious, unexplained ruins that hold more secrets than their stone walls first let on. The biggest secret of all? Godspeed's former passengers aren't alone on this planet. And if they're going to stay, they'll have to fight.

    Amy and Elder must race to discover who--or what--else is out there if they are to have any hope of saving their struggling colony and building a future together. They will have to look inward to the very core of what makes them human on this, their most harrowing journey yet. Because if the colony collapses? Then everything they have sacrificed--friends, family, life on Earth--will have been for nothing.

    FUELED BY LIES.
    RULED BY CHAOS.
    ALMOST HOME.
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    My Thoughts:

    I love, love, love, loooved this book! Each book in this series gets better and better. Sadly, this is the last book in the series, but on the bright side at least I wasn't disappointed with the ending. I do really wish the author would at least write some kind of spin-off or something.

    In this book Amy, Elder, and 1k+ people land on Centauri-Earth. The planet is an unknown place full of danger. People are terrified and it leads to bad decisions. One of the dangers on the planets is giant pterodactyl bird creatures, which was pretty interesting. I would have liked to read more about the flora and fauna of the planet but the story really stayed focused on the characters. Although I had suspicions about certain things throughout the story I was still surprised a lot. There were some nice twists thrown in. The ending was a good one but did leave me wanting more. Overall a great addition to the series.

    5/5

    CymLowell
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