Thursday, February 24, 2011

Review: Healing the Highlander by Melissa Mayhue

Healing the Highlander (Daughters of the Glen, Book 7)
by Melissa Mayhue

  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Star (February 22, 2011)
Goodreads Description:

ANDREW MACALISTER longs for a cure to free him from the excruciating pain caused by an old wound, but when he rescues a drowning woman, he has no idea how much his life is about to change. All Drew knows is that this mysterious woman is hiding secrets—and that he’s never felt such a consuming desire before. Yet he cannot deny her request for help, even if it means bringing the detested English army to his Highland clan’s home.

LEAH NOBLE MCQUARRIE still harbors a deep hatred of the Fae who tortured her eleven years ago, forcing her to escape back in time to the thirteenth century. A descendant of the Fae, Leah denies her heritage and her magical healing abilities. But the English army is holding her beloved adoptive grandfather captive, so Leah must seek help from the Fae—and the captivating man whose touch she craves.

Then Drew discovers Leah’s secrets, and he’s torn between old loyalties and trusting a woman who has the power to give him the future he’s sought—but could destroy his clan forever. . . .

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I only recently started this series, but since I picked up that first book I have been reading the Daughters of the Glen books nonstop. If you haven't read the series before I suggest you read it in order or you will miss out on a lot of things. There is time travel, romance, adventure, highlanders, Fae and more!

From the book prior to Healing the Highlander I just knew Andrew and Leah's paths were meant to cross. Andrew was seriously wounded in a battle to save his sister and cousin and was also injured practicing sword fighting with his brother and has lived with terrible pain and scars since. Leah is from the future and was brought to the past to keep her safe from the Nuadian Fae. She has the power to heal and was held captive and abused by the evil Fae which resulted in her hatred for all things Fae including her own powers.

When her adoptive grandparents are in trouble she goes to seek help at Dun Ard despite the resident's ties to the Fae. On the way there her path crosses with Andrew and he saves her. There is an almost instant bond between them.

I loved reading about Leah and Drew! Their relationship happened quickly first out of necessity to deceive those that might mean harm but the feelings they felt for each other eventually became very real. This is one of my favorites in this series. I think a lot of that has to do with Drew. He is a pretty emotional guy...he feels things deeply and strongly. It was refreshing to read about a guy like that. I love that this series changes things up with each book. Sometimes the setting is mostly in the past, sometimes in the present, sometimes the main enemy is the Nuadians, sometimes its regular people. It keeps things fresh and prevents me from feeling like I am reading the same book over and over. This is now one of my favorite series!

5/5

I was sent a copy of this book for review from the publisher. Any opinions expressed are my own.

CymLowell
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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Review: Dreams of a Dark Warrior by Kresley Cole

Dreams of a Dark Warrior (Immortals After Dark, Book 9)
by Kresley Cole

  • Mass Market Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket (February 15, 2011)
Goodreads Description:

HE VOWED HED COME FOR HER . . .

Murdered before he could wed Regin the Radiant, warlord Aidan the Fierce seeks his beloved through eternity, reborn again and again into new identities, yet with no memory of his past lives.

SHE AWAITS HIS RETURN . . .

When Regin encounters Declan Chase, a brutal Celtic soldier, she recognizes her proud warlord reincarnated. But Declan takes her captive, intending retribution against all immortals—unaware that he belongs to their world.

TO SATE A DESIRE MORE POWERFUL THAN DEATH . . .

Yet every reincarnation comes with a price, for Aidan is doomed to die when he remembers his past. To save herself from Declan’s torments, will Regin rekindle memories of the passion they once shared—even if it means once again losing the only man she could ever love?

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Wow! This book is ridiculously awesome...seriously. The whole series is amazing and I really didn't think it could get any better but it did. Regin isn't my favorite character, I mean don't get me wrong she is awesome and totally badass, but she isn't my favorite female character in the series and despite that this is my favorite book in the series now. Regin the Radiant is one fierce Valkyrie who has a history with a berserker who reincarnates over and over (without memories of his previous lives) to seek her out and reunite with her. The problem is that once they kiss and have sex he remembers their pasts and that is when tragedy strikes and he is killed...every time. This time though, Regin's beloved berserker is not sweet, loving and caring. He is Declan Chase, the magister of the facility that has been capturing Loreans and doing terrible things to them. He is hated by all Loreans and even feared by those he works with. His whole life is his job and he hates Loreans with a passion. He is also unaware that he is a Lorean himself. Regin is captured but Declan himself and taken to the facility.

Out of all the pairings in the previous books in this series this has to be the one fraught with the most complications. There is so much for them to overcome that it seems impossible. Even if they managed to it seemed like Declan would be a dead man walking because of the things he did, so what was the point? I also thought it would be impossible for me to really like Declan Chase. He's the bad guy and he has done horrific things, yet somehow I found myself rooting for him to come out of this a better man and not a dead one. For that I think Kresley Cole is a genius. I love that the events in this book happened simultaneously with those of the last book because it gave a different view on what all was happening at the facility and after it fell. Near the end of the book my curiosity about Lothaire's endgame really intensified and I also want to know what Nix is doing as well.

5/5

I received a copy of this book for review. Any opinions expressed are my own.

CymLowell
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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday #28

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

I Am J by Chris Beam
  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (March 1, 2011)
Goodreads Description:

"Hola, Jeni."

J spun. His stomach clenched hard, as though he'd been hit. It was just the neighbor lady, Mercedes. J couldn't muster a hello back, not now; he didn't care that she'd tell his mom he'd been rude. She should know better. Nobody calls me Jeni anymore.

J always felt different. He was certain that eventually everyone would understand who he really was: a boy mistakenly born as a girl. Yet as he grew up, his body began to betray him; eventually J stopped praying to wake up a "real boy" and started covering up his body, keeping himself invisible - from his family, from his friends...from the world. But after being deserted by the best friend he thought would always be by his side, J decides that he's done hiding - it's time to be who he really is. And this time he is determined not to give up, no matter the cost.

An inspiring story of self-discovery, of choosing to stand up for yourself, and of finding your own path - readers will recognize a part of themselves in J's struggle to love his true self.



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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Review: Demonglass by Rachel Hawkins

Demonglass (Hex Hall, Book 2) by Rachel Hawkins
  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Hyperion Book CH (March 1, 2011)
Goodreads Description:

Sophie Mercer thought she was a witch.

That was the whole reason she was sent to Hex Hall, a reform school for delinquent Prodigium (aka witches, shapeshifters, and fairies). But that was before she discovered the family secret, and that her hot crush, Archer Cross, is an agent for The Eye, a group bent on wiping Prodigium off the face of the earth.

Turns out, Sophie’s a demon, one of only two in the world—the other being her father. What’s worse, she has powers that threaten the lives of everyone she loves. Which is precisely why Sophie decides she must go to London for the Removal, a dangerous procedure that will destroy her powers.

But once Sophie arrives she makes a shocking discovery. Her new friends? They’re demons too. Meaning someone is raising them in secret with creepy plans to use their powers, and probably not for good. Meanwhile, The Eye is set on hunting Sophie down, and they’re using Archer to do it. But it’s not like she has feelings for him anymore. Does she?
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In the second book of the Hex Hall series Sophie finally meets her dad when he shows up to take her to the Council Headquarters in London to teach her all about being a demon. When she gets there she is met by the council members and also two demons, which is a shock because she thought that she and her father were the only demons. Well it turns out that someone is turning people into demons and the The Eye is rising up to destroy those they see as monsters.

It was pretty interesting to read about Sophie's father, but he definitely holds himself back so it is difficult to get a good read on him. Cal, the hunky groundsman from the first book is in this book quite a bit which I am thrilled about. I am forever rooting for the guy that is considered "the friend" when it comes to love triangles, but it always seems that the other guy always wins the girl. Although Archer is a great character I wish just for once the friend would prevail. Who knows, maybe Cal will. All the complications and turmoil between Archer and Sophie make for good reading though. Jenna is also in London with Sophie but she doesn't play a very big role in the story, which was a little disappointing for me because I love her character.

Surprisingly not much action in book 2 compared to book 1 in the series. It was still enjoyable though because a lot of info is revealed. At the very end of the book the action/drama picks up some and it is left on a cliffhanger that nearly drove me up the wall wondering what happened to all the different characters. If you haven't gotten hooked on the series yet you will once you read Demonglass because it will drive you crazy with curiosity (plus it is just a great read anyway). Oh, and I have some suspicions about something that may be revealed in the next book and I can't wait to find out if I am right.

5/5

I was sent a copy of this book for review. Any opinions expressed are my own

CymLowell

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Winner Announcement

The 3 winners of the Notorious Pleasures by Elizabeth Hoyt giveaway are:

Rie C.
Lisa M.
Linda H.

I have emailed the winners and they have 48 hours to claim their prize. Thanks!
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Friday, February 4, 2011

Review: To Tempt a Rake by Cara Elliott

To Tempt a Rake (Circle of Sin, Book 3) by Cara Elliott
  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Forever (February 1, 2011)
Goodreads Description:

Kate Woodbridge has spent most of her life sailing to exotic ports around the globe, acquiring an expertise in botany, along with a few less ladylike skills. So when a deathbed promise to her parents brings her to London to seek reconciliation with her grandfather, the imperious Duke of Cluyne, she feels like a fish out of water. Her outspoken views and fiery temper tend to set off sparks in Society-especially with the rakish Conte of Como.

A devil-may-care rogue, Marco finds the alluring and mysterious Kate a tempting target for his flirtations. But when murder strikes at the duke's country house party he begins to suspect that she's hiding a dark secret. He has his own clandestine reasons for offering to help her prove her innocence . . . And so begins a journey of dangerous deception that leads from England to the glittering ballrooms of Vienna, where Marco and Kate must duel with a deadly villain . . . and their own explosive attraction.
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From the very first book in the Circle of Sin series I became interested with Kate Woodbridge. She had a unique upbringing and she is a little mysterious so I was eager to learn more about her. Her past becomes more clear and it really shows how resourceful she is. She had an encounter with Marco at a low point in her life and she is afraid that Marco will remember her so she is desperate to keep him at a distance but at the same time she is drawn to him. Marco is drawn to her as well even though he is on a mission and was basically ordered to keep his hands off her. While at the duke's house party someone is murdered and Kate and Marco search to find the killer and in the process discover an even bigger plot.

I really loved the chemistry between the two main characters and I think the pairing really made sense. One of my favorite parts of the book is that Marco and Kate aren't the only ones to find love in it. I would have enjoyed reading even more about that but it is what it is. There is action, intrigue, and love...a nice variety to keep things interesting.

Although I always think it is best to read a series in order I do think this is one a person could pick up and easily read without reading the books prior to it. To Tempt a Rake is not my favorite of the Circle of Sin series but altogether I was satisfied with it and I am sad that it is the last in the series. I'm really looking forward to whatever Cara Elliott writes next!

4/5

*I received this book from the publisher for review. Any opinions expressed are my own.

CymLowell

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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Review: Jane by April Lindner

Jane by April Lindner
  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Poppy; 1 edition (October 11, 2010)
Goodreads Description:

Forced to drop out of an esteemed East Coast college after the sudden death of her parents, Jane Moore takes a nanny job at Thornfield Park, the estate of Nico Rathburn, an iconic rock star on the brink of a huge comeback. Practical and independent, Jane reluctantly becomes entranced by her magnetic and brooding employer, and finds herself in the midst of a forbidden romance. But there's a mystery at Thornfield, and Jane's much-envied relationship with Nico is tested by a torturous secret from his past.

Part irresistible romance and part darkly engrossing mystery, this contemporary retelling of the beloved classic Jane Eyre promises to enchant a new generation of readers.
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I remember first reading Jane Eyre when I was in middle school. My mom had encouraged me to read some of the classics she had on her bookshelf. I found some difficult to get through but I didn't seem to have that problem with Jane Eyre. It became one of my favorites. It is a dark story but there is love and it is different from any other book I have read. I've always wished there was a follow up story or a modernized version so I was very excited when I heard about April Lindner's book.

Throughout the entire book I could feel the spirit of the original come through. I was a little worried that it would get lost in the changes needed to modernize it, but all the important elements are there as well as the emotions that the original exudes. I believe that if I had never read Jane Eyre before I would want to after reading this book. Don't let the fact that it is labeled as Young Adult deter you from reading this if you are an adult.

I loved all the characters and I thought that Nico Rathburn (Mr. Rochester in Jane Eyre) as a rock star looking for a comeback was perfect to sort of make him seem unattainable and maybe a bit intimidating to Jane. Reading about their evolving relationship kept me glued to the pages, and then of course when disaster hits I couldn't put the book down because I was desperate to know what Jane would do. The most interesting thing to me is that I already know this story and what will happen but the author really drew me in and it was like reading it for the first time.

I know that remakes of something you love often turn out to be disappointing because the bar is set so high, but this book blew me away. At the most I had hoped that it wouldn't suck and that I would kind of like it but it turns out that I LOVE it! I love it just as much as the original it turns out and it makes me hopeful that more great stories are remade with just as much thought and care.

5/5

CymLowell
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