Sunday, November 13, 2011

Chronicle Books Happy Haul-idays!

The 2nd Annual Happy Haul-idays Giveaway has arrived!
Chronicle books is giving away $500 worth of Chronicle books to one blogger. One commenter on the winning blog post will also win the same haul of books as the blog winner. In addition, this year the winning blogger also gets to choose a charity to receive up to $500 worth of books as well!

For more info about this contest go HERE

If I win I would love for the Portsmouth Public Library Foundation to receive that last set of books. On Christmas Day in 2010 a man set the Main Library on fire causing damage to the building and 150,000 books. Almost a year later and the library is still closed for repairs. I would love for some new books to be donated to the library which will hopefully open early on in the new year.

My Wishlist:
(I've linked to all the books so you can learn more about them)

Skinny Dips
Quick & Easy Mexican Cooking
Cooking for Two
Puff
The Christmas Table
The Best Casserole Cookbook Ever
The Big Book of Casseroles
Cake Simple
Handheld Pies
Tea & Crumpets
The Glorious Soups and Stews of Italy
Grilled Cheese
1,2,3 Sew
Paper Cutting
Vintage Craft Workshop
World of Geekcraft
Every Day's a Holiday
Graffiti Art Coloring Book
Boo
My Milk Toof
The Redtone Inkblot Test
F in Exams
Ticket Stub Diary
The Exquisite Book
Weirdo Noir

25 book equaling a grand total of $491.85

Don't forget to leave a comment! If I win then one commenter on this post will also be a winner.


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Review: Heart of Steel by Meljean Brook

Heart of Steel (Iron Seas #2) by Meljean Brook
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley Trade; 1 edition (November 1, 2011)
Goodreads Description:

Return to the gritty, alluring world of steampunk with the New York Times bestselling author of The Iron Duke.

Growing up in the dangerous world of the Iron Seas, the mercenary captain of the airship Lady Corsair, Yasmeen, has learned to keep her heart hard as steel. Ruthless and cunning, her only loyalty is to her ship and her crew-until one man comes along and changes everything...Treasurehunter Archimedes Fox isn't interested in the Lady Corsair-just the captain and the valuable da Vinci sketch she stole from him. When it attracts a dangerous amount of attention, Yasmeen and Archimedes journey to Horde-occupied Morocco- and straight into enemy hands.

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Meljean Brook has written another amazing steampunk romance/adventure! I absolutely love the Iron Seas series. The book starts off with correspondences between Archimedes Fox and his sister Zenobia. It was difficult to get into the story reading the letters but once the first chapter started I quickly found myself engrossed in what was going on.

The last time Yasmeen saw Archimedes was when she kicked him off her ship in dangerous zombie infested territory. Of course, Archimedes always comes out on top so it is no surprise that their paths cross again. This time Archimedes intends to fall in love with Yasmeen. They are thrown together on an adventure because of an extremely valuable da Vinci sketch that was stolen from them. This story has quite a bit of action in it with zombies, airships, and assassins. I really loved that history and even some politics helped to make up the meat of the story. It isn't just a frivolous romance although the romance aspect of the story was quite nice. Yasmeen is tough and definitely has no plans of ever falling in love so Archimedes does not have an easy time cracking that shell. I think respect has a lot to do with the progress of their relationship. I think the ending was satisfying but I hope to read more about them in the future to see how they are faring together. Obviously their lives will be full of adventure and it would be great to see what trouble they can get into (and out of).

Although Archimedes and Yasmeen are interesting, Zenobia is actually my favorite character in the series. I was glad that she was present in the start of the book, and of course mentioned throughout. She is terrifyingly intelligent and I hope to eventually read about the man that go head to head with her. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that she will be featured in the next book. Another intriguing character is the Blacksmith. He is really only mentioned in the story but it gave a glimpse at his history. Learning about his past would be fascinating.

5/5

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

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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Review: To Wed a Wild Lord by Sabrina Jeffries

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

Drowning in guilt over his best friend's death seven years ago, Lord Gabriel Sharpe, the Angel of Death, knows his only hope at redemption is a race against a shocking opponent.

Shrouded in darkness for the past seven years, the infamous racer Lord Gabriel Sharpe is known to accept every challenge to race thrown at him. When his next challenge comes in the form of his late best friend's sister, Virginia Waverly, Gabe is shocked. Yet she presents just the opportunity Gabe needs--marriage to fulfill his grandmother's ultimatum and ensure his inheritance. What he didn't count on was needing her love.
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If you have read the previous books in the Hellions of Halstead Hall series (and you should) then you know that Hetty Sharpe, grandmother to Gabriel and his siblings, issued an ultimatum that they all be married by the end of the year or they will lose their inheritance. The meddling grandmother wants her grandchildren to find love and happiness, but they are against it...at first. 3 of Gabriel's siblings have found love so far and only he and his younger sister are left and their time is running out to meet the deadline.

Gabriel, otherwise known as the Angel of Death races. Carrying guilt over his best friend's death for many years he decides that the person he will marry is his late friend's sister, Virginia, who hates him and blames for her brother's death. Obviously, convincing her to marry him won't be very easy. Or will it? I felt like Virginia made things too easy too quickly. Don't get me wrong, there was resistance and distrust throughout the story, but it felt a little to much like once he turned on the charm she caved in to it easily. Of course, Virginia comes across as a sensible person, so her falling so easily for him could just be that she knew deep down that he wasn't the heartless and uncaring person she had imagined him to be. Virginia is a perfect match for Gabriel. She is full of spirit and daring but is able to rein in some of Gabriel's recklessness. I guess they sort of temper each other.

The investigation into the Gabriel's parent's deaths continues. Although there wasn't as much about it as I would have liked, there was enough to keep up interest in it and some new leads. I really can't wait for the next book to find out what really happened that night so many years ago. On a happier note, it seems like Gabriel isn't the only one to find a match in this book. I won't say who, but it is definitely an added treat and I hope to see the relationship unfold even more in the next book.

4.5/5

I received this book for review. Any opinions expressed are my own
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Monday, November 7, 2011

Review: Lost in Time by Melissa de la Cruz

Lost in Time (Blue Bloods #6) by Melissa de la Cruz
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Hyperion Book CH (September 27, 2011)
Goodreads Description:

After their beautiful yet brief bonding ceremony in Italy, Schuyler Van Alen and Jack Force are forced to separate. To fulfill the Van Alen Legacy, Schuyler travels to Alexandria to search for Catherine of Siena and the Gate of Promise. But Schuyler quickly discovers that everything she believed about the Gate to be wrong. Meanwhile, Jack makes the difficult decision to return to New York to face his twin and former bondmate, Mimi. But instead of a bitter reunion, he is faced with a choice for which there is no good option.

Mimi, with a most unexpected travel companion in Oliver Hazard-Perry, jets off to Egypt, too, to search for Kingsley Martin, her long lost love. With all roads leading to Hell, Mimi learns that not all love stories have happy endings. But she'll have to put her own feelings aside if she's going to save her crumbling Coven.

Packed with heartache, twists, and vampiric folklore, Lost in Time is sure to satisfy hungry fans' cravings for more Blue Bloods adventure.
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After reading this book I felt like this series should have ended probably a couple books ago. It feels like it is just dragging along. You would think that with everyone going to hell to rescue someone that things would be exciting and interesting, but alas that is not how it goes. I am racking my brain to find something positive about this story but I just can't think of anything I enjoyed about it. I am really shocked by that because I really loved the first 4 books in this series, but either the quality seems to have deteriorated or my taste in books has changed... I'm not sure. Many fans of the Blue Bloods series will probably still be satisfied with this newest book, but I am just not one of them. I am giving up on this series.

1.5/5

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

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Sunday, November 6, 2011

Review: Misguided Angel by Melissa de la Cruz

Misguided Angel (Blue Bloods #5) by Melissa de la Cruz
  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Hyperion Book CH; First Edition edition (October 26, 2010)
Goodreads Description:

After inheriting the dark Van Alen Legacy, Schuyler fled to Florence with her forbidden love, Jack. Now the two of them must embark on the mission Schuyler was destined to complete: to find and protect the five remaining gates that guard the earth from Lucifer, lord of the Silver Bloods.

Back in New York, Mimi has been elected Regent of a crumbling coven. Struggling with her heartache over the loss of Kingsley and with her overwhelming desire to destroy Jack, she must focus all of her energy on a perilous new threat. Vampires are being abducted and their captors are planning to burn them alive online…for all the world to see. Help arrives in the form of Deming Chen, a Venator from Shanghai, who must untangle the web of deceptions before the killers strike again.

As the young vampires struggle for the survival of the coven, they uncover a deadly secret, a truth first discovered by Schuyler’s mother during the Renaissance but kept buried for centuries. And as the Blue Blood enclave weakens yet further, fate leads Schuyler to a terrible choice that will ultimately map the destiny of her heart.

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This story was a little confusing at times for me since it has been awhile since I have read the previous books in the series. A glossary of people and terms would have been extremely helpful. Without a glossary I just had to guess at things occasionally which made reading this book a little more like a chore than something pleasurable.

The book is sort of sectioned out in 3 parts. The beginning is about Jack and Schuyler, the middle features Mimi, Oliver, and Deming. and the end is once again about Jack and Schuyler. I found Jack and Schuyler's sections of story to be boring for the most part. They go through a daring escape among other things, yet I remained uninterested in what was going on with them. Also, the way they speak to each other can be a bit nauseating. It is overly formal and they don't sound like teenagers. Yes, I know that Jack is a Blue Blood and has lived many lives but what is Schuyler's excuse for sounding so stuffy? For awhile I was worried I wouldn't be able to make myself finish this book but thankfully the middle of the book was much more interesting.

Mimi is the Regent of the New York Coven. She is bent on seeking revenge on her brother Jack, but before she can get around to that she must deal with the kidnapping of a Blue Blood. Her position as Regent is in jeopardy and she is desperate to find out who is behind the kidnapping. She calls in help from a venator names Deming who goes undercover at the school to investigate. Deming was by far the most interesting character and I wish there was more about her in the story. Oliver actually helps Mimi out with everything that is going on. I wasn't sure how that would work out but I liked the dynamic between them that was developing.

This is probably my least favorite book in this series so far. I don't think I really like the direction things are going. It has a different feel from the other books which kind of threw me off. I am hoping that it will get better in the next book.

3/5

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

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