Thursday, January 19, 2017

*ARC* Shadow Fall - Review

Shadow Fall #1

By: Audrey Grey

Published: November 22, 2016 by Blaze Publishing

302 pages

Source: Netgalley ARC from publisher

(Goodreads / Amazon)

Summary:
The asteroid hurtling toward the earth will kill billions. 

The Emperor and his Gold Court will be safe in their space station, watching from the stars. The Silvers will be protected underground. But the Bronzes must fight it out at the Shadow Trials for the few remaining spots left on the space station. 

When an enigmatic benefactor hands Maia Graystone a spot in the Trials, she won’t just get a chance at salvation for her and her baby brother, Max: She gets to confront the mother who abandoned her in prison, the mad Emperor who murdered her father, and the Gold prince who once loved her. But it’s the dark bastard prince she’s partnered with that will make her question everything, including her own heart. With the asteroid racing closer every day, Maia must trust someone to survive. 

The question is who?
MY REVIEW:
I read this book in sort of two halves. I read the first 55% and then needed a contemporary read break, but knew I wanted to come back to finish it. I don't feel like I lost interest necessarily during my break, but I would say this teetered on the edge of losing me. It's very detailed in the beginning of the story as there is much to explain so the reader isn't completely lost. Usually upon finishing a book I feel like I can type up a short summary of what I think would be helpful for potential readers. With this book though, I'm not so sure what I say is going to flow smoothly.

The world as it stands now has been left battered and desolated by war. There's really only two sides of people now. Those who were on the losing side of the war and those on the winning. The losers are ruled by an Emperor who separated the empire into colors: Gold, Bronze, Silver: classes of people who determine the social status: royalty, the workers, the slaves, etc... Then there are the Chosen, specific children of Gold families. What's left of Earth will soon be destroyed, at least uninhabitable for generations to come by an asteroid that is heading straight for the planet. Scientists planned for and created Hyperion - a space station to house Golds so that humanity can continue on.

Maia, was the daughter of a gold family. Her father is seen as a traitor and was murdered, and her mother abandoned them. She has been in hiding for 7 years at the start of the story in what is called "the pit". The picture painted in my head is one scary situation - dark, damp, cannibalism, murder, basically in the pit it's every man or woman for themselves...and you better not show weakness because like a predator to its prey, you will not survive! She's given a unique and rare opportunity to participate in the Shadow Trials and win a spot on Hyperion for her and one other with her.

A few frustrations. A glossary of words would have been helpful at the beginning to explain the different houses and their colors, and various terms. Secondly, I found similarities in the Shadow Trials to that of the games in The Hunger Games. I couldn't decide whether this irritated me or intrigued me.

There is a romantic interest in the story...perhaps more than one to which I will leave for the reader to discover. I don't mind sci/fi (which this definitely falls in) as long as there is also a love story.

Overall, where the story leaves off in a cliffhanger of sorts, I was invested enough in the story and it's characters to want to know what's going to happen next.

Favorite Quotes:
"I'm a lot of things, Digger Girl, but a hero isn't one of them."

Riser scares me the most. Because he possesses the one thing the Archduchess does not. The ability to make me vulnerable.

"But I mean it when I said I would never hut you. You're the only thing that makes me want to be better."

Language Rating: 0 (none)
Mature Content Rating: 0 (none)
Final Rating: 3.5 stars

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Sunday Post #202

Sunday Post is a weekly post hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer.
Each week bloggers participate to share any books received and news from their week.

Click on the book cover to be taken to its Goodreads page.

~NO NEW BOOKS~

RECAP OF WEEK:
SUNDAY:

MONDAY:

THURSDAY:
ARC Thursday Review - Finding Kyler (The Kennedy Boys #1) by Siobhan Davis (3.5 stars)

Not much to report from my week. It was beautiful Spring weather, with highs right at 80 for a couple days this week and mid 70's the rest. Even for central Alabama, this is very unusual warm temps for January. But I'll take it! Bring on the flip flops! 

Unfortunately our dryer is basically unusable now, so for all intents and purposes it "went out" on Thursday. Due to the age of the washer and dryer, and issues I was having with both, we had to shop for and purchase a new set. Let me tell you - in a family of 4, two being teenagers, not being able to dry clothes for over a week is a MAJOR hassle! Our new set won't be delivered until next Thursday. What a pain! It wasn't a purchase we planned to start off 2017, but I'm looking forward to a new set. First time in my married life of 18 years that we've ever had to buy a washer and dryer! Thanks to my parents, we always got their old set when they would purchase new. 

In book news I'm making great progress for January. 5 books read so far. The weekend brought a relaxing Saturday. Time to read, blog and watch TV. 

2017 SERIES ENDERS READING CHALLENGE SIGN UP:
You can now join us for our 4th annual Series Enders Reading Challenge for 2017! Join anytime until December 15, 2017. We give away a gift card EVERY month to one lucky participant. The more book reviews you link up - the more entries you have to win. Come join us!



Enjoy your week!
Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

*ARC* Finding Kyler - Review

Finding Kyler (The Kennedy Boys #1)

By: Siobhan Davis

Published: January 9, 2017

299 pages

Source: Netgalley ARC from publisher

(Goodreads / Amazon)

Summary:
Two fractured hearts and a forbidden love they can’t deny. 

You shouldn’t want what you can’t have… 

Faye Donovan has lost everything. After her parent’s tragic death, she’s whisked away from her home in Ireland when an unknown uncle surfaces as her new guardian. 

Dropped smack-dab into the All-American dream, Faye should feel grateful. Except living with her wealthy uncle, his fashion-empire-owning wife, and their seven screwed-up sons is quickly turning into a nightmare—especially when certain inappropriate feelings arise. 

Kyler Kennedy makes her head hurt and her heart race, but he’s her cousin. 

He’s off limits. 

And he’s not exactly welcoming—Kyler is arrogant, moody, and downright cruel at times—but Faye sees behind the mask he wears, recognizing a kindred spirit. 

Kyler has sworn off girls, yet Faye gets under his skin. The more he pushes her away, the more he’s drawn to her, but acting on those feelings risks a crap-ton of prejudice, and any whiff of scandal could damage the precious Kennedy brand. 

Concealing their feelings seems like the only choice. 

But when everyone has something to hide, a secret is a very dangerous thing. 
MY REVIEW:
So here's what drew me to request this title - forbidden romance, a girl from Ireland, similarities to one of my favorite series from last year, The Royals by Erin Watt, young adult angst, and 7 hot sons. Not all necessarily in that order. Having read Siobhan's work in the past I felt sure I would enjoy this, especially since contemporary romance is so easy for me to get swept up in. I didn't discover until after being approved for the title that this story dealt with forbidden romance between first cousins. So there's your warning there. I figured...hmm...this is stretching my comfort reading zone by a lot, but I'll give it a shot and try to keep my preconceived feelings (perhaps due to geographical location) pushed aside. After all, great works in literature by Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte, and others, often wrote their love stories about cousins. I realize in history this idea was widely accepted and not at all scandalous. I also realize that not all countries have the same laws and stigma surrounding relationships with first cousins, or distant cousins. After a quick google search in the US, cousin marriage laws vary state by state and way more than I realized (including the one in which I live) it's legal. Huh...who knew?! Still, perhaps because I grew up close to a lot of my first cousins, I find the idea repulsive. It may not be illegal where I live, but it's still socially unacceptable and very taboo. I suspect that's the case in a lot of places. So I had to take a serious step back to get into this story. Since the MC's didn't know the other existed for the first 18 years of their life - one growing up in Ireland and the other in the States, I was able to be more open to the idea.

I appreciated the author's note at the beginning about some of the verbiage being odd because Faye is from Ireland and as such will speak differently than the teens in the States do. A helpful glossary of commonly used words or terms is listed in the back.

To the story itself. Yep I was sucked in! Even with all the similarities to The Royals (such as a wealthy family with a lot of seriously good looking sons (Kaden, Keven, Kyler, Kalvin, Keanu, Kent and Keaton), an unknown guardian showing up out of nowhere with legal custody to the girl, mean girls at an incredibly elite private high school, the sons who won't accept the girl right away and are downright hateful, secrets among each member of the family members, among many others...), I was still able to enjoy the atmosphere and the story line.

Obviously the main plot is that Faye and one of the brothers, Kyler, form an attraction to one another but fight it due to the familial relationship. There's a giant cliffhanger at the end that, if I'm being honest, I was like "woah - stop right there! This is an issue that I'm not sure I can overlook or overcome." But because I can't look away....I HAVE to know what other secrets have yet to be discovered and what's going to happen next. There are issues with several of the brothers that I have to know more about. Secrets abound and my curiosity is too peaked to not return for book two.

Favorite Quotes:
All the money in the world is no substitute for parental love.

"...honesty is the cornerstone of trust. You can't have one without the other. If you're not being honest, then the trust is gone too."

Genuine friendships are hard to come by and even harder to hold on to. Real friendship is the sort that lasts a lifetime. The type that can overcome disagreements and differences as if they never happened. And the real test of friendship? True friendship arises from the ashes of separation stronger and more powerful than before.

Language Rating: 2 (medium)
Mature Content Rating: 2 (medium)
Final Rating: 3.5 stars

Monday, January 9, 2017

Punk 57 - Review

Punk 57

By: Penelope Douglas

Published: October 21, 2016

341 pages

Source: Personal Kindle Library

(Goodreads / Amazon)

Summary:
From New York Times Bestselling Author, Penelope Douglas, comes the latest New Adult standalone romance...

"We were perfect together. Until we met."

Misha

I can't help but smile at the lyrics in her letter. She misses me.

In fifth grade, my teacher set us up with pen pals from a different school. Thinking I was a girl, with a name like Misha, the other teacher paired me up with her student, Ryen. My teacher, believing Ryen was a boy like me, agreed.

It didn't take long for us to figure out the mistake. And in no time at all, we were arguing about everything. The best take-out pizza. Android vs. iPhone. Whether or not Eminem is the greatest rapper ever...

And that was the start. For the next seven years, it was us.

Her letters are always on black paper with silver writing. Sometimes there's one a week or three in a day, but I need them. She's the only one who keeps me on track, talks me down, and accepts everything I am.

We only had three rules. No social media, no phone numbers, no pictures. We had a good thing going. Why ruin it?

Until I run across a photo of a girl online. Name's Ryen, loves Gallo's pizza, and worships her iPhone. What are the chances?

I need to meet her.

I just don't expect to hate what I find.

Ryen

He hasn't written in three months. Something's wrong. Did he die? Get arrested? Knowing Misha, neither would be a stretch.

Without him around, I'm going crazy. I need to know someone is listening. It's my own fault. I should've gotten his phone number or picture or something.

He could be gone forever.

Or right under my nose, and I wouldn't even know it.

*Punk 57 is a stand alone New Adult romance. It is suitable for ages 18+.
MY REVIEW:
Oh. My! This book....it's wickedly delicious!!! I came across the title in the CoHorts FB group on a Fan Friday giveaway day just before Christmas. The Goodreads summary had me intrigued immediately, coupled with a gazillion people in the group raving about it, I knew I had to get this one. So I did.  At $2.99, it's a steal! I was completely addicted to this book! Standalone's are refreshing these days, in the days of duologies, trilogies and series...but there are the rare standalone occasion's where the story is THAT good that you never want it to end. This would be one of those.

This is gritty, raw, and it's very mature and I'm shocked it's even mildly considered young adult in Goodreads tags - so ignore those categories. Their ages being 18 and being seniors in high school are about the only thing that would fall in the "young adult" range. So if you're younger than 18, please be warned. The content and language is rated on the high side of my "high rating".

In the 5th grade Misha and Ryen are set up as pen pals from two different elementary schools by mistake - his teacher thinking she was a boy based on the name, and her teacher thinking he was a girl based on the name. Living 30 miles apart, one would think they would eventually meet, but 7 years later and a friendship formed through letters, they've never come face to face, never breaking their rules of no social media, pictures or phone numbers. Until all of a sudden Misha stops writing back. 3 months go by with no word. In the meantime of Ryen feeling his absence, she forms a serious attraction to dangerous Masen Laurent.

The heroine of the story is very relatable. There are aspects of her character that I think most females, whether you're in high school, or have gone to high school, can relate to. Ultimately I saw this as a story about wanting to belong - "having a tribe" - friends to share life with. Nobody wants to go through life alone. People want to be accepted. Kids though, teenagers, put too much value on the quantity of friends instead of the quality of friends. I think this is something all readers can relate to. The problem in being overly focused about the numbers, is that sometimes this can turn someone into a shallow person, one begins to see and pick out the quirks in others and become blind to their own flaws. This can cause a person to become mean, following a crowd of bullies rather than standing apart and standing up for the friendless. This story gives hope that having the right friend can show us what true friendships look like, which can start an avalanche of kindness. Be different. Be kind. Speak up. Be you.

Half way through reading I told two fellow IRL friends and readers (of this genre) they HAD to get this. Check it out if you love NA romance!

Top Favorite Quotes:
Anything to not need you, anything to not fall for you, anything to look at a girl who's not you, but baby, there's nothing but you.

"I have no life there if you're not in it. You're part of everything good I've ever done..."

"We're all ugly, Ryen. The only difference is, some hide it and some wear it."

"Don't you get it yet? You don't have to be afraid or embarrassed. No one does you better than you. You can't be replaced. Not everyone will see that, but only you need to."

Language: 3 (high)
Mature Content: 3 (high)
Final Rating: 4.5 stars

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Sunday Post #201

Sunday Post is a weekly post hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer.
Each week bloggers participate to share any books received and news from their week.

Click on the book cover to be taken to its Goodreads page.

~PURCHASED/FREEBIES~
State of Fear (Collapse Series #8) by Summer Lane
Buy Link: Amazon

~ARC's: FOR REVIEW~
Full Tilt #1 by Emma Scott
Buy Link: Amazon

All In (Full Tilt #2) by Emma Scott
Buy Link: Amazon

One Wish Away (Djinn Empire #1) by Ingrid Seymour
Preorder Buy Link: Amazon

RECAP OF WEEK:
SUNDAY:

WEDNESDAY:

THURSDAY:
ARC Thursday Review - Four Seconds to Lose (Ten Tiny Breaths #3) by K.A. Tucker (4 stars)

The first week of 2017 was a good one. We had highs in the 70's and ended the week with highs in the 30's. Crazy weather in the south of the US! And this coming week will be similar in temps. I'm 100% a fan of warm weather, the beach, the sun and flip flops and not at all a fan of snow or extreme cold. Reading is going well, three books done to start off my 2017 GR challenge. And a whole lot more added to my TBR list. 

2017 SERIES ENDERS READING CHALLENGE SIGN UP:
You can now join us for our 4th annual Series Enders Reading Challenge for 2017! Join anytime until December 15, 2017. We give away a gift card EVERY month to one lucky participant. The more book reviews you link up - the more entries you have to win. Come join us!



Enjoy your week!
Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

*ARC* Four Seconds to Lose - Review

Four Seconds to Lose (Ten Tiny Breaths #3)

By: K.A. Tucker

Published: November 4, 2013 by Atria Books

345 pages

Source: Netgalley ARC from publisher

(Goodreads / Amazon)

Summary:
When a gorgeous young dancer walks through his door, a strip club owner must decide whether to follow his rules or his heart in the third novel by the author of One Tiny Lie and Ten Tiny Breaths.

Owning a strip club isn’t the fantasy most guys expect it to be. With long hours, a staff with enough issues to keep a psych ward in business, and the police regularly on his case, twenty-nine-year-old Cain is starting to second guess his unspoken mission to save the women he employs. And then blond, brown-eyed Charlie Rourke walks through his door, and things get really complicated. Cain abides by a strict “no sleeping with the staff” rule. But being around Charlie challenges Cain’s self-control... and it’s been a long time since any woman has done that. 

Twenty-two-year-old Charlie Rourke needs a lot of money, really fast, in order to vanish before it’s too late. Taking her clothes off for men makes her stomach curl but Charlie tells herself that at least she’s putting her acting and dancing skills to good use. And though her fellow dancers seem eager to nab their sexy, sophisticated, and genuinely caring boss, she’s not interested. After all, Charlie Rourke doesn’t really exist—and the girl pretending to be her can't get distracted by romance.

Unfortunately, Charlie soon discovers that developing feelings for Cain is inevitable, and that those feelings may not be unrequited—but losing him when he finds out what she’s involved with will be more painful than any other sentence awaiting her.
MY REVIEW:
This would be a "better late than never" review seeing as how it is an ARC, no doubt a long archived one by now. In my haste to try to complete this series, I realized halfway through reading that I was missing some information about some of the characters, which led me to discover that I skipped book 2. In the end though, it didn't matter much and it didn't take away from this storyline.

This story follows Cain and Charlie set in Miami, Florida. Cain has a disturbing past, one in which, now as a 29 year old adult he makes it his mission to try to provide a stable work place for women who choose to strip. He has hard rules: no drugs, no illegal activity, and he certainly does not have relationships with the women who work for him. Charlie has an equally disturbing past and is, for all intents and purposes, attempting to escape a life she never wanted to be a part of but didn't have a say in. But how do you make tens of thousands of dollars to start a new life in a short amount of time?

In the Ten Tiny Breaths series, all of the main characters have something in common with the same club. There's a group of friends that either work together, live in the same apartment complex, or hang out together. Charlie is the outsider of this group, but she's likable and Cain is having trouble staying true to one of his rules. The problem is that the Charlie that Cain knows, is a lie.

I was blown away by Ten Tiny Breaths. I wasn't interested to read book two, which is why I put this series on hold for so long, and I don't plan to go back to read it. But I did enjoy book 3. I mean...Cain! Hello?!

The only negative I saw was the book cover. It doesn't match up with who Cain and Charlie were in my head. Fans of NA contemporary romance will definitely enjoy this series.

Top Favorite Quotes:
He's aggressive and emotional. He's the best of both worlds.

I'm beginning to believe that the depths to which a woman could fall for Cain are endless. To a deep, dark, infinite pit with no ladders to get away, no cushions to soften the impact. No safety net. No escape.

We are simply two good people with equally flawed pasts, looking for perfect futures.

Language: 2 (medium)
Mature Content: 2 (medium)
Final Rating: 4 stars


Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday: State of Allegiance


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly post previously hosted by Breaking the Spine.
A meme I thoroughly enjoy, so I'm continuing with it in 2017. Each week bloggers participate to share a book they can't wait to get their hands on.

This week I'm waiting on:

State of Allegiance (Collapse #9) by Summer Lane
Expected Publication: February 24, 2017
Preorder Buy Link: Amazon
Be brave. Be vigilant. But above all, be loyal. 

In the wake of a dangerous but successful mission to Yukon City in Alaska, Cassidy Hart now finds herself back in California, at the naval air station in San Diego. Together, she and Chris now face their most terrifying threat yet: nuclear destruction. 

Surviving in a world gone nuclear is easier said than done. Faced with the prospect of being wiped off the face of the earth by Omega's nuclear arsenal, Cassidy, Chris and their fellow rebel friends stage an incredible, daring journey into the Pacific Rim with the hope that they will be able to seize a weapon that could turn the tide of the war in the militia's favor. 

The clock of the apocalypse is counting down. 
Choices must be made. Relationships will be strained. True love will be put to the ultimate test. 
It's militias versus Omega. Hope versus destruction. 

Where does your allegiance lie? 

Choose carefully. 

The ninth installment in the national and international phenomenon by #1 bestselling author Summer Lane.
What are you waiting on this week?
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