Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Review: Too Dangerous To Desire by Cara Elliott

Too Dangerous To Desire (Lords of Midnight #3) 
by Cara Elliott

  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Forever (November 20, 2012)
Goodreads Description:

Can a Flame from the Past be Rekindled? Long ago, Sophie Lawrance chose prudence over passion, rejecting a rebellious young rogue for the sake of her family-no matter the ache it left in her heart. But after a specter from her father's past resurfaces, threatening to destroy all she holds dear, the desperate beauty knows there is only one man whose shadowy skills can save her. Or Is It Too Dangerous to Play with Fire? Cameron Daggett is a man of many secrets . . . and many sins. He's never forgotten the pain of losing Sophie. But now, with a chance to win her back, Cameron sets aside his anger and agrees to help Sophie save her father's honor. Together they embark on a perilous masquerade, leading them to a remote country estate near the sea. There, they must battle a cunning adversary-and their own burning desires. Will they be consumed by the flames? Or can they prove that true love conquers all?
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My Thoughts:

First I want to be upfront and say I did not finish this book. I only read a little more than half of it. I'm usually not guilty of not finishing a book (even when I don't like it) but I just couldn't make myself read anymore of this one. Was this book terrible? No, but I found that I did not care about any of it. I did not care about the characters, the romance, or what was going on with them. I did not even care about the mystery aspect. That is probably the most surprising thing about me not finishing it. Usually even if I can't stand a book the mystery will keep me reading because I want to know the solution or answer. I liked the first two books in this series very much and I'm a bit disappointed that this one just missed the mark (for me). I'm sure plenty of other people will be satisfied with this book, unfortunately I'm not one of those people.

Please keep in mind that I did not finish this book. For all I know the second half of this book could be amazing. I just was not able to make myself read any more past the first half. If you enjoyed the first two books in the series or other books by Cara Elliott you might want to give this one a try despite this review. Hopefully you will enjoy it more than I did.

This rating is only for the first half of the book:

2/5

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

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Review: Ghost Town by Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson with Tim Waggoner

Ghost Town by Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson 
with Tim Waggoner
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Gallery Books; Original edition (October 9, 2012)
Goodreads Description:

 From the stars of the SyFy network’s popular show Ghost Hunters, the second novel in a new spine-tingling supernatural series.

When Amber, Drew, and Trevor are invited to a paranormal conference in the most haunted town in America, they confront a murderous ghost called the Dark Lady and her human servant: Amber’s abusive ex-boyfriend Mitch. The three friends must stop the Dark Lady before she destroys the entire town, and they'll have the help of a surprising and spooky ally….
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My Thoughts:

Ghost Town is a pretty good follow up to the first book in the series, Ghost Trackers. Was is as good as the first? Maybe not, but it was still thoroughly enjoyable. It was interesting to see how life goes on for the three main characters after the ordeal they went through at Lowry House (in the first book). In Ghost Town they travel to a quirky town to speak at a conference. Of course things get deadly and a creepy ghost is behind it all. With the help of a few others Drew, Trevor, and Amber have to figure out a way to stop the ghost known as the Dark Lady from harming even more people.

I really liked the setting of this story. The town is known as the most haunted town in America and the history of it is very tragic. I like that the authors didn't just go for the typical haunted house type of setting again because when stuff starts to happen in certain places it isn't necessarily expected. Another thing I really loved was the characters, especially the new ones. The ally twist was very easy to figure out immediately but it still created a lot of anticipation of when the main characters would figure it out too.

Although I thought this book was great I do wish it was a little scarier. It was spooky but I was hoping for it to be more scary-spooky like the first book. If you liked the first book I don't think you would be disappointed with this one. If you haven't read the first book I recommend you read it before this one so that you can fully appreciate the whole story.

3.5/5
*I received this book for review. Any opinions expressed are my own*
 CymLowell



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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Review: The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan

The Mark of Athena (The Heroes of Olympus #3) 
by Rick Riordan
  •  Hardcover: 608 pages 
  • Publisher: Hyperion Book CH (October 2, 2012)
Goodreads Description:

 Annabeth is terrified. Just when she’s about to be reunited with Percy—after six months of being apart, thanks to Hera—it looks like Camp Jupiter is preparing for war. As Annabeth and her friends Jason, Piper, and Leo fly in on the Argo II, she can’t blame the Roman demigods for thinking the ship is a Greek weapon. With its steaming bronze dragon masthead, Leo’s fantastical creation doesn’t appear friendly. Annabeth hopes that the sight of their praetor Jason on deck will reassure the Romans that the visitors from Camp Half-Blood are coming in peace.

And that’s only one of her worries. In her pocket Annabeth carries a gift from her mother that came with an unnerving demand: Follow the Mark of Athena. Avenge me. Annabeth already feels weighed down by the prophecy that will send seven demigods on a quest to find—and close— the Doors of Death. What more does Athena want from her?

Annabeth’s biggest fear, though, is that Percy might have changed. What if he’s now attached to Roman ways? Does he still need his old friends? As the daughter of the goddess of war and wisdom, Annabeth knows she was born to be a leader, but never again does she want to be without Seaweed Brain by her side.

Narrated by four different demigods, The Mark of Athena is an unforgettable journey across land and sea to Rome, where important discoveries, surprising sacrifices, and unspeakable horrors await. Climb aboard the Argo II, if you dare. . . .

In The Son of Neptune, Percy, Hazel, and Frank met in Camp Jupiter, the Roman equivalent of Camp Halfblood, and traveled to the land beyond the gods to complete a dangerous quest. The third book in the Heroes of Olympus series will unite them with Jason, Piper, and Leo. But they number only six--who will complete the Prophecy of Seven?


The Greek and Roman demigods will have to cooperate in order to defeat the giants released by the Earth Mother, Gaea. Then they will have to sail together to the ancient land to find the Doors of Death. What exactly are the Doors of Death? Much of the prophesy remains a mystery. . . . With old friends and new friends joining forces, a marvelous ship, fearsome foes, and an exotic setting, The Mark of Athena promises to be another unforgettable adventure by master storyteller Rick Riordan.
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My Thoughts:

If you read the first two books in the series then you know pretty much where things are headed in this one. Characters you know and love bravely fighting to save the world at great risk to themselves. The heroes must work together and use their abilities, ingenuity, and strengths to overcome obstacles such as monsters and angry gods. There are lots of new bad guys (aka gods/goddesses/monsters) introduced and since I love mythology it was especially interesting to learn about them. The ending left me reeling a bit so I can't wait for the next book because I have to know what happens next! I keep getting a feeling that something terrible is going to happen but hopefully I'm wrong. This series has been filled with nonstop action and adventure and this latest book does not disappoint. If you haven't read the previous books in the series you definitely need to read them first (and in order!) or you won't be able to fully enjoy this story. 

5/5
 CymLowell
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Friday, September 21, 2012

Review: Immortal Surrender by Claire Ashgrove

Immortal Surrender (The Curse of the Templars #2) 
by Claire Ashgrove
  • Mass Market Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books (September 25, 2012)
Goodreads Description:

Farran de Clare, loyal member of the cursed Knights Templar, wants nothing to do with predestined mates. Even the Almighty won’t turn him into a fool again—he’d rather sacrifice his soul. Yet in the scientist Noelle Keane, a devout atheist, Farran meets the seraph designed for him.

Ordered by the archangel Gabriel to protect Noelle, the possessor of a sacred relic that could give Azazel incredible power, Farran swears to do his duty—but in name only. Fighting an attraction that grows with each day, he’s determined that he’ll never pledge himself to her.

As they war over her future, their mutual passion ignites a conflict far more damning. But before Noelle will agree to eternity with him, she demands the ultimate sacrifice – his heart.

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Review:

I have to admit that I often judge a book by its cover. I shouldn't, but I do it anyway. I really dislike the cover of this book and even more so the cover of the first book in the series and based on that I would never have read these books. However, I got bored one day and was just given an e-copy of the first book so I decided to read a little bit and put it down if it sucked...it didn't. I was immediately drawn in to the story and couldn't put it down. I knew by the time that I finished the story that I would follow this series closely and eagerly anticipate each book release.  

If you haven't read the previous book in the series (you should!) the gist of it all is there is a fight between good and evil. The Knights Templar (the good guys) are cursed. They are immortal but defeating the bad guys actually weakens them and over time they will be overcome with darkness and join the baddies. The only thing that can stop the darkness from taking over is their predestined mate. 

Each book is about a knight finding his mate and the troubles the couples go through before they find happiness with each other. Of course, the good vs. evil thing comes into play with the Knights fighting demons and fighting their own deterioration into darkness, but in my opinion that takes a backseat to the romance aspect. 

I really like both Farran and Noelle but insecurities, distrust, and just plain stubbornness hold them back from happiness so long that sometimes I just wanted to cosh them on their heads and shake some sense into them. They would make progress and then take two steps back. It made for some exciting reading though. Just like the first book I was unable to put this one down. I read it all in one sitting because I just had to know how things would turn out. I loved the ended but was left wondering about certain characters, what they were up to, what their fate was, etc. so I will be anxiously awaiting the next book and hoping that some of my questions will be answered.

5/5

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

 CymLowell

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Monday, September 17, 2012

Review: Incarnation by Emma Cornwall



Incarnation by Emma Cornwall
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Gallery Books; Original edition (September 18, 2012)
Goodreads Description:

 In the steampunk world of Victorian London, a beautiful vampire seeks out the author of Dracula–to set the record straight . . . If one is to believe Bram Stoker’s legendary vampire tale, Lucy Weston is Dracula’s most wanton creation, a sexual creature of the night who preys on innocent boys. But the real-life Lucy is nothing like her fictional counterpart—and she demands to know why the Victorian author deliberately lied. With Stoker’s reluctant help, she’s determined to track down the very fiend who transformed her—from the sensual underworld where humans vie to become vampires, to a hidden cell beneath a temple to madness, and finally into the glittering Crystal Palace where death reigns supreme.

Haunted by fragmentary memories of her lost life and love, Lucy must battle her thirst for blood as she struggles to stop a catastrophic war that will doom vampires and humans alike. Ultimately, she must make a choice that illuminates for her—and for us—what it means to be human.
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My Thoughts:

I wanted to love this book, but I didn't. The premise of the book sounded interesting but it turned out to be quite boring. The description of the book is actually a bit misleading. I was expecting steampunk but it felt more like an afterthought. There may be a few steampunk-like elements that were described but it definitely did not feel like a "steampunk world". It just felt very weak. The book description also makes it sound like there is a ton of action when there really isn't. The couple times there are battles the author doesn't even delve into the action. Instead she follows the main character, Lucy, who doesn't participate in the excitement, and the readers are told that a fight happened without any other details really. Not very exciting in my opinion.

The characters were bland for the most part. I never really connected with any of them, least of all Lucy. The story had a few little inconsistencies that probably aren't even that noticeable but since I was already disliking the book those few things got on my nerves. Although I wanted to put the book down many times I forced myself to finish it. Near the end the story got a little more interesting but it never reached the height of excitement that it should have. In the end the reader is left wondering what will happen with certain characters. Instead of feeling anxious to find out more, I am left feeling like I just don't care.

Although I am sure some people will enjoy this book, it turns out it just wasn't for me.

1/5
 *I received this book for review. Any opinions are my own" 

 CymLowell

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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Review: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle #1) by Maggie Stiefvater
  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Press (September 18, 2012)
Goodreads Description:

“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”

It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

From Maggie Stiefvater, the bestselling and acclaimed author of the Shiver trilogy and The Scorpio Races, comes a spellbinding new series where the inevitability of death and the nature of love lead us to a place we’ve never been before.

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My Thoughts:

Words cannot truly describe how I feel about this book...but I will try. Please bear with my as my mind is still boggling. There was an instant connection to the characters and the story for me. I wanted to be part of the story, be friends with Blue and the boys, take part in their adventure...and as I read this story I felt like I did. 

The characters were so well written and unique. Something I really love is that the four Raven Boys are so unlike each other and by all rights should not get a long much less be friends and yet they are. It is almost as if they each lack something important but when you put the four of them together they are made whole. 

Reading this book actually made me think of a series I loved as a kid, The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper. It invokes a similar feeling of magic and adventure so I think that if you like The Dark is Rising you will like The Raven Boys.

I read this in one sitting because I couldn't imaging putting it down. Sleep didn't matter, all that mattered was knowing what was going to happen. The ending to this book was perfect and left me craving more. I will definitely snap up the sequel the day it comes out and not a moment later.  There are a number of shocks, twists, and dangerous moments that will make you hold your breath in anticipation for the outcome. Mystery, magic, adventure, and betrayal are also something to look forward to when reading this book. This has been my favorite read so far this year and I have a feeling that status is untouchable.

6/5
This book broke my rating system lol!

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

 CymLowell


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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Review: In a Fix by Linda Grimes

In a Fix (In a Fix #1) by Linda Grimes

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; First Edition edition (September 4, 2012)
Goodreads Description:

 The start of an original new urban fantasy series starring human chameleon Ciel Halligan

Snagging a marriage proposal for her client while on an all-expenses-paid vacation should be a simple job for Ciel Halligan, aura adaptor extraordinaire. A kind of human chameleon, she’s able to take on her clients’ appearances and slip seamlessly into their lives, solving any sticky problems they don’t want to deal with themselves. No fuss, no muss. Big paycheck.

This particular assignment is pretty enjoyable... that is, until Ciel’s island resort bungalow is blown to smithereens and her client’s about-to-be-fiancĂ© is snatched by modern-day Vikings. For some reason, Ciel begins to suspect that getting the ring is going to be a tad more difficult than originally anticipated.

Going from romance to rescue requires some serious gear-shifting, as well as a little backup. Her best friend, Billy, and Mark, the CIA agent she’s been crushing on for years—both skilled adaptors—step in to help, but their priority is, annoyingly, keeping her safe. Before long, Ciel is dedicating more energy to escaping their watchful eyes than she is to saving her client’s intended.

Suddenly, facing down a horde of Vikings feels like the least of her problems.
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My Thoughts:

Although I thought the premise of the book to be intriguing I felt like there was potential for the story to end up being cheesy. It turned out that I absolutely loved this book! It was a pleasant surprise. I became so engrossed in the book that I read it in one sitting and ended up staying awake until 3 a.m. to finish it. Was it worth the lack of sleep? YES!

Ciel, Billy, and Mark are adaptors, which are people that can take on the appearance of someone else. Ciel has used her ability to start up a business where she will take her client's place to deal with issues that they don't want to deal with. While on one of her assignments things go wrong and she ends up joining Billy and Mark in saving lives and uncovering an illegal operation. 

There is a ton of action and danger as well as some mystery so if you enjoy that type of stuff you are in luck. For me the best part of the book is the characters. I immediately became invested with them and everything that happened to them. There is a love triangle which normally would get on my nerves but in this instance I thought it added a lot of interest to the story. It's usually easy for me to pick the guy I want to root for in the triangle but it wasn't so clear cut in this case. I'm leaning toward one guy right now but I'm definitely not counting out the other just yet.

This was such a fun and exciting book that I highly recommend to fans of urban fantasy. It isn't filled with vampires, werewolves, or faeries so if that is what usually keeps you for this genre you might want to give this story a try. 

5/5

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

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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Review: Close Enough to Touch by Victoria Dahl


Close Enough to Touch by Victoria Dahl

  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Harlequin HQN (August 28, 2012)
Goodreads Description:

 Can a city girl make it in the wild, wild West? For makeup artist Grace Barrett, Hollywood is less the land of golden opportunity and more the land of difficult divas, cheating boyfriends and unemployment. So when her great-aunt offers her a free place to stay in Jackson Hole, Grace thinks she'll spend a little time in the sticks to figure out her life, and then move somewhere exciting to live out her dreams. But it turns out that there are a few more thrills in this small town than Grace was expecting....

Cole Rawlins is a rugged Wyoming cowboy born and bred. Yet he can't help but be drawn to the fascinating big-city girl who moves in across from him. As they discover a sizzling attraction, it's Grace who finds herself surprised. Cole's the only man who's ever dared to get close enough to see through her tough facade. And his mysterious past only makes him sexier.

They'll need more than scorching-hot passion to make this opposites-attract affair work. But if they can learn to trust one another enough to reveal their secrets, they just might have a chance at forever.

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Review:

Close Enough to Touch is the first in a new series set in Jackson Hole Wyoming. I have previously read the author's Donovan Brothers Brewery series and since I loved her writing with those books I figured I would love this book just as much. Sadly, I was let down. When I finished the book I felt stressed out and drained. This was not a light or fun contemporary romance. The main characters are angry and secretive people and there was little to no humor or fun anywhere in the story. I also didn't feel that Grace and Cole had much of a relationship and to be honest at the end of the book one of the first things that popped into my mind was that it wouldn't last between them. They reminded me of those couples you avoid hanging out around because they are always fighting or being dramatic. It is stressful and no fun to be around people like that and when you ARE around them all you can think of is getting away. 

Although I dislike the main characters (especially Grace) and their so-called relationship (not a very healthy one in my opinion), the story isn't terrible. The secondary characters were wonderful, but I wish they were involved a little more in the story. I probably would have liked the book more. The setting was really nicely described and I could easily picture it in my mind. I did crack a smile a couple times while reading but those moments are overshadowed by the oppressiveness of the defensive and quick to anger main characters.

When I read contemporary romance I want it to be fun, light and romantic. This, however, just was not my kind of story. I'm not going to give up on the series just yet though because I really did like the secondary characters. Hopefully it will be more enjoyable.

1.5/5
*I received this for review. Any opinions are my own*


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Monday, August 20, 2012

Review: Blame it on Texas by Christie Craig


Blame it on Texas (Hotter in Texas #2) by Christie Craig

  • Mass Market Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Forever (August 28, 2012)
Goodreads Description:

Zoe Adams has always been content with her quiet nights at home, watching TV alone-until her life turns into a real-life episode of Unsolved Mystery Hunters. The story of a kidnapped girl triggers unexplained memories, and Zoe is dead-set on figuring out why. Her search leads her to one of the Lone Star State's richest families-and to sexy PI Tyler Lopez.

Tyler has sworn off women, especially redheads with killer curves who poke their noses into his clients' private lives. Still, he can't deny the attraction any more than he can deny that some of Zoe's crazy story makes sense. But when she becomes a hit man's target, this cold case starts heating up. Suddenly, Tyler will do anything to protect Zoe-even risk his heart.

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Review:

One of my favorite things about the Hotter in Texas series is the characters. They are so funny and likeable. Zoe Adams is a great addition to the series and a perfect match for Tyler. Both have had relationships that ended badly and that really holds them back in the beginning but when they finally let loose the sparks fly between them. Another character I absolutely loved was Rick, who is a police officer and also helps the guys a little with Zoe's case. I really hope that his story gets delved into even more in the next book.

Christie Craig is one of my favorite contemporary romance authors, which is saying a lot because I am pretty picky when it comes to that genre. I really liked the first book in this series so I was excited to read this one. Although I  enjoyed the story there were a few minor things that took away a little bit of the enjoyment. I read this on my kindle so I don't know if that affected the formatting but when the author would switch from one group of characters to another group of characters it was often so abrupt it would take me a paragraph to realize that I was no longer reading about the characters from the previous paragraph. The premise of the story is so interesting and there are a lot of twists and turns but when the mystery was solved it just felt like a lame wrap-up that wasn't given enough thought. It was very anticlimactic, but thankfully the romance in the story helped to make up for that.

3.5/5

*I received this for review. Any opinions are my own*

 CymLowell


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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Review: Shadows Before the Sun by Kelly Gay

Shadows Before the Sun (Charlie Madigan #4) by Kelly Gay

  • Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books (July 31, 2012)
Goodreads Description:

 The electrifying sequel to the acclaimed urban fantasies The Better Part of Darkness, The Darkest Edge of Dawn, and The Hour of Dust and Ashes!

After filling out mountains of paperwork, Detective Charlie Madigan sets out for a death-defying trip into heavenly Elysia to rescue her partner Hank and bring the siren home. Of course, she doesn’t expect to leave behind an all out siren revolution or return home to find that jinn crime boss, Grigori Tennin, has begun a massive search for the divine being, Ahkneri. Tennin’s tactics set off a chain reaction that puts Charlie in the crosshairs of the shadowy creature known as Death and awakens Ahkneri from her long sleep. And when Vengeance rises, Atlanta will never be the same.
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My Thoughts:

If you haven't read the previous books in the Charlie Madigan series...you should! Oh, and I suggest you not read this review because I don't want to spoil anything for you.

At the conclusion of the last book I was so worried about Hank. The not knowing what would happen was killing me so I was really looking forward to reading this book. The majority of the story is about Charlie's effort to rescue Hank from the Circe in Elysia. It was very exciting (and sometimes creepy) and Charlie actually had some surprising help which added a lot of interest and mystery. In the end the endeavor had both good and bad results. Another major part of the story involves Charlie finally having to face Sachath (otherwise known as Death). Of course nothing can be easy so the answer to defeating Death is not so simple, but with help from her friends and Ahkneri Charlie rises to the occasion.

There is really nothing negative to say about this book. I do wish that there was more Rex (he is my favorite!) and Emma (I would love to learn more about her schooling and such). I'm keeping my fingers crossed that they will play a bigger part in the next book.

I loved this book and the Charlie Madigan series is one of my favorites. I eagerly await each the next release.

4.5/5
*I received this book for review. Any opinions expressed are my own.*
 CymLowell
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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Review: Stunning by Sara Shepard

Stunning (Pretty Little Liars #11) by Sara Shepard
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen (June 5, 2012)
Goodreads Description:

 Full of darker secrets, juicier scandals, and deadlier plot twists, the latest arc of the #1 New York Times bestselling series continues to deliver fast-paced, tension-ridden drama.

After Alison DiLaurentis tried to kill them, Spencer, Aria, Emily, and Hanna tried to get their lives back on track. But these girls just can’t stay out of trouble. First there was their disastrous trip to Jamaica, and their summer breaks were no less eventful. Now a new A is stalking them, taunting them with the very secrets these pretty little liars have been trying to forget. But this A doesn’t just want to blackmail the girls—this A is out for blood.

Sara Shepard’s fan base only gets bigger as the hit ABC Family Pretty Little Liars TV show continues to draw new readers to the bestselling series. Everyone will be dying to find out what A does next....
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My Thoughts:

I don't have much to say about this book because I felt like nothing of interest really happened. Normally the Pretty Little Liars books are chock full of twists and surprises but it in this one there only seemed to be one twist (at least in my opinion). I pretty much figured out that twist somewhere between the first quarter to first half of the book, so when it came time for the reveal that was supposed to be shocking my reaction was, "duh!". The story AND the characters were lackluster and boring. These girls have been through a lot and are a little older so I would expect some growth but they all seem to be repeating their mistakes over and over. Overall, the book wasn't bad (or good), it was just disappointing. Hopefully the series will be ending within the next book or two because I think the series is suffering by continuing, but I do want to know how things turn out so I will be reading the next book in the series. 

2.5/5
*I received this book for review. Any opinions are my own.* 

CymLowell


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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Review: Size 12 and Ready to Rock by Meg Cabot





Size 12 and Ready to Rock (Heather Wells #4) by Meg Cabot

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Original edition (July 10, 2012)
Goodreads Description:

 Summer break . . . and the livin' ain't easy

Just because the students at New York College have flown the coop doesn't mean assistant residence hall director Heather Wells can relax. Fischer Hall is busier than ever, filled with squealing thirteen- and fourteen-year-old girls attending the first ever Tania Trace Teen Rock Camp, hosted by pop sensation Tania Trace herself--who just happens to be newly married to Heather's ex-boyfriend, heartthrob Jordan Cartwright. But the real headache begins when the producer of a reality TV show starring Tania winds up dead . . . and it's clear that the star was the intended victim.

Grant Cartwright, head of Cartwright Records, wants to keep his daughter-in-law (and his highest-earning performer) alive. So he hires his oldest son, black sheep of the family and private investigator Cooper Cartwright--who just happens to be Heather's "new" fiancE. Heather should leave the detecting to Cooper. But with a dorm full of hysterical mini-divas-in-training, she can't help but get involved. And after Tania shares a really shocking secret with her, "this" reality suddenly becomes more dangerously real than anyone ever anticipated.

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Review:

I have not read any of the previous books in the series so I was a little worried I would get feel like I was missing a lot of info. There were mentions of incidents from previous books and obviously my enjoyment of the story would have been enhanced had I read the other books, but ultimately I don't think it made a big difference. 

What I enjoyed most about this book is the main character Heather Wells' personality. She is warm, quick of wit, and comes across as approachable. She is also mind boggling forgiving to people  who have screwed her over. I think she and her fiance Cooper make a great couple. I got the feeling that the romance between them was a big part of at least one of the other books and I now I plan to read them because I would love to know how feelings developed between them. 

I had some issues with Tania Trace. I thought she was selfish and irresponsible. At times I did feel sorry for her but then I would go back to feeling kind of disgusted with her. I'm sure the author means for the readers to feel these things about her though. 

Overall, the story was just okay.  It almost come off a bit like a cozy mystery but toned down. Had there been more false leads, incidents, drama, etc. I think I would have enjoyed it a little more. The book wasn't bad but it wasn't incredible either, however, I was engrossed in it enough to finish it in one day and it was a fairly fun, light read.

3/5

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

 CymLowell


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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Review: Dark Time by Dakota Banks

Dark Time (Mortal Path #1) by Dakota Banks

  • Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Voyager; Original edition (July 28, 2009)
Goodreads Description:

 Three hundred years ago, she sold her soul to a demon. Now she wants it back.

For centuries, the woman calling herself Maliha Crayne has lived a second life - as an assassin for the malevolent creature who owns her soul. A haunted killer with the blood of countless victims on her hands, she has finally discovered a way to nullify the demonic pact that chains her: If she saves a life for every one she has taken, she will be free.

But if she fails, her punishments will be unspeakable, unendurable . . . and neverending.

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Review:

From the start this story captures my attention. There is no warming up period. It goes straight into how Maliha has come to become the woman she is now and quickly progresses to more and more action. The author does an excellent job of giving the reader enough background history on characters and events without revealing too much in the first book of the series. 

Maliha Crayne is a highly trained assassin who is trying to make amends for centuries of killing. If she succeeds she will be rewarded, if not she will suffer for eternity. Despite the consequences if she were to fail she attempts to balance the scales because she does not want to go on killing and tearing families apart and causing grief.

I don't want to say too much and give away too many details but I will say that this book is full of action, interesting characters, and just the barest touch of steaminess. If you enjoy urban fantasy you are sure to love this book. I've read this book multiple times now and find it just as thrilling to read as the first time I cracked this book open.

4.5/5

 CymLowell



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Sunday, January 22, 2012

A Winter's Respite Read-a-Thon 2012


If you would like to learn more about this challenge then check out The True Book Addict for info HERE

Mini Challenge #1:

Reading List:


Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin
Hardcover, 320 pages
April 24th 2012 by HarperCollins Children's Books

Everything is in ruins.
A devastating plague has decimated the population. And those who are left live in fear of catching it as the city crumbles to pieces around them.
So what does Araby Worth have to live for?
Nights in the Debauchery Club, beautiful dresses, glittery make-up . . . and tantalizing ways to forget it all.
But in the depths of the club—in the depths of her own despair—Araby will find more than oblivion. She will find Will, the terribly handsome proprietor of the club. And Elliott, the wickedly smart aristocrat. Neither boy is what he seems. Both have secrets. Everyone does.
And Araby may find something not just to live for, but to fight for—no matter what it costs her.


Havoc (Deviants #2) by Jeff Sampson
Hardcover
, 1st Edition, 352 pages
January 24th 2012 by Balzer + Bray

Emily Webb thought life would return to normal after the death of the man who attacked her and her fellow “Deviants.” Or as normal as it could be, after discovering that she has nighttime superpowers . . . and she’s a werewolf. But when Emily awakes one night to find an otherworldy Shadowman watching her, she knows the danger has only just begun.
So Emily and her pack-mates set out to find the people who made them what they are, and why. But as they get closer to the truth, they realize they aren’t the only ones in town with special powers: The most popular girls in school might just have a secret of their own–and they might just have it out for Emily.
With shadowy beings stalking them, a mysterious company doing all it can to keep the truth hidden, and the secrecy of her new identity in jeopardy, life threatens to spiral out of control for Emily. Soon these dangers will come together in one terrifying confrontation that may force her to make the toughest choice of her life . . . so far.

Touch of Frost by Jennifer Estep
Paperback, 350 pages
July 26th 2011 by Kensington Publishing Corporation

My name is Gwen Frost, and I go to Mythos Academy — a school of myths, magic and warrior whiz kids, where even the lowliest geek knows how to chop off somebody's head with a sword and Logan Quinn, the hottest Spartan guy in school, also happens to be the deadliest.But lately, things have been weird, even for Mythos. First, mean girl Jasmine Ashton was murdered in the Library of Antiquities. Then, someone stole the Bowl of Tears, a magical artifact that can be used to bring about the second Chaos War. You know, death, destruction and lots of other bad, bad things. Freaky stuff like this goes on all the time at Mythos, but I'm determined to find out who killed Jasmine and why—especially since I should have been the one who died. . .


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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Review: New Girl by Paige Harbison

New Girl by Paige Harbison


Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Harlequin; Original edition (January 31, 2012)


Goodreads Description:


They call me 'New Girl'... Ever since I arrived at exclusive, prestigious Manderly Academy, that’s who I am. New girl. Unknown. But not unnoticed—because of her. Becca Normandy—that’s the name on everyone’s lips. The girl whose picture I see everywhere. The girl I can’t compare to. I mean, her going missing is the only reason a spot opened up for me at the academy. And everyone stares at me like it’s my fault. Except for Max Holloway—the boy whose name shouldn’t be spoken. At least, not by me. Everyone thinks of him as Becca’s boyfriend but she’s gone, and here I am, replacing her. I wish it were that easy. Sometimes, when I think of Max, I can imagine how Becca’s life was so much better than mine could ever be. And maybe she’s still out there, waiting to take it back.

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New Girl is a modern YA version of the classic book Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier (which is one of my favorites). I've been hoping for some time now that an author would retell this story and when I came across this book I was excited to read it. My standards were set very high since Rebecca is a story I love and I was worried that I would be overly critical because of that and not enjoy the story. Although I felt the story could use some improvements here and there, overall I was impressed. There were many little details that really tied in to the original story so well. For example, one of the character's names is Dana Veers (a play on the original character's name, Mrs. Danvers). It took me a few chapters to really see a similarity in plot between the stories but it got there eventually and was really a great modernization of it with young adult characters.

There were only two problems I had with the story. The main issue for me was that the main character's name (the "new girl" Callie) is known and used throughout the story. In Rebecca the main character's name is unknown and the reason for that is meaningful. In New Girl I think that this should have been carried over. It could have easily been done. The only other problem I had was that the story skipped ahead so often. Sometimes months would be skipped and it just didn't feel seamless...it felt more like there were holes in the story.

The location and the characters make up for any faults I found with the story. A boarding school was the ideal location and Manderly Academy has an oppressive and slightly eerie atmosphere that is perfect for this book. Some of the characters were obvious match ups to characters in Rebecca and it was fun figuring out who was who and how their personalities compared. The main character was okay but for me it was all about the supporting characters. Dana was my favorite character in New Girl. She was obsessed, creepy, and crazy which made for some interesting reading. I loved how this story played out and I wish I could read more about the characters and what their lives are like after leaving Manderly Academy.

4/5


CymLowell

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


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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Review: Spiral by Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: The Chicken House (May 1, 2012)
Goodreads Description:

The 5th book in the Tunnels series. The Styx have surfaced. The only ones to stand in their way is Will and his friends, and a rag-bag team of retired commandos.
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Years ago when I first discovered this series it instantly became one of my faves and I eagerly anticipated each books release. Every book has been amazing, but when I received Spiral and dove into the story I felt like something was missing. This story definitely has a different feel to it than the others. It wasn't bad, the story was pretty interesting actually, but it just wasn't what I had anticipated.

If you have been reading this series you will know about the Styx and their evil plans. Spiral is an in depth look at HOW they plan on executing their plan to obtain their goal. Will and his cohorts must find a way to foil the Styx's plans. The most interesting thing about the story is learning more about the Styx...their history, physiology, etc. It is all very unexpected and extremely different from any thought I have had about them. That and the fact that the story almost exclusively takes place above ground is probably the reason why the tone of the book is so different from the others.

I will still be awaiting the next book but I will be keeping my fingers crossed that the focus will switch back to underground (although I have a feeling that won't be the case). Usually I buy the UK release because it comes out much sooner than in the US, but because of the direction Spiral took I will probably just hold out for the US release. I don't think I will be quite as eager for the next installment as I typically would have been. A lot of fans of the Tunnels series will probably share a similar view of the story with me, but just as I will continue reading this series, so will they. Not a bad story, but certainly does not exceed expectations.

3/5

CymLowell

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I'm Back!!!

It has been a loooong time since I have posted and I apologize. Between the holidays and being out of town for a few weeks I just haven't really had the time (or motivation) to post. I'm back now and I would like to thank those of you who have stuck around. I'm going to get back on track and will hopefully be posting regularly. Thank you!
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