Friday, March 30, 2012

Review Copy Cleanup - Love Will Find a Way (Challenge 5)

In the Love Will Find a Way Challenge we're sharing our all-time favourite books. If you were stuck on an island, or in a cave, which books would you bring? We're not limiting you to bring a certain amount of books, so give us your best!

The Books I Would Bring:

Thursday, March 29, 2012

A Case of Not So Mistaken Identity

The Lost Duke of Wyndham by Julia Quinn

Summary: Jack Audley has been a highwayman. A soldier. And he has always been a rogue. What he is not, and never wanted to be, is a peer of the realm, responsible for an ancient heritage and the livelihood of hundreds. But when he is recognized as the long-lost son of the House of Wyndham, his carefree life is over. And if his birth proves to be legitimate, then he will find himself with the one title he never wanted: Duke of Wyndham. 

Grace Eversleigh has spent the last five years toiling as the companion to the dowager Duchess of Wyndham. It is a thankless job, with very little break from the routine... until Jack Audley lands in her life, all rakish smiles and debonair charm. He is not a man who takes no for an answer, and when she is in his arms, she's not a woman who wants to say no. But if he is the true duke, then he is the one man she can never have...

Review: An enjoyable romance with great characters and a nice slow buildup.

I immediately fell in love with Jack Audley. He is incredibly charming, handsome, and very witty. Grace Eversleigh is very patient with the dowager and that shows her strength of character since the dowager is very very aggravating. She is a very nice person as well. It's been a couple days since I've read the book and Jack sticks out much more in my mind than Grace. It's a small thing, but I like that the woman on the cover actually looks like the character in the book. I found the premise of the book a little hard to believe even though it does set up the story. 

The romance between Grace and Jack builds slowly and I like that Grace reacts with humor and amusement to his advances. She does come to care for him (although it's a case of instalove for both of them), but it takes some time (relatively) and involves slow seduction. I feel like there is a healthy dose of friendship in the relationship between Grace and Jack, which is always a nice thing to see. Jack's seduction of Grace was something they both wanted, not just a man deciding he wants to seduce that beautiful woman just because. There was such a build up between the characters that the actual sex was a bit of a letdown. 


Recommendation: I would recommend this book to fans of historical romance and those who love devastatingly witty characters. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

It's Monday: What Are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a meme hosted by Book Journey. This meme lets you show fellow readers what you have read, what you are reading, and what you will be reading.

Recently Read: 

Currently Reading:

To Read: 

The Last Dawn Tour: Excerpt and Review

The Last Dawn by 
Disclaimer: I received this book from the author in exchange for a review.

Summary: The Last Dawn begins in late 2055 during the last few days of Earth. As Earth's demise is imminent, Madison Weatherly and her former flame, James, reunite. Only a few hours remain for life on the dying planet when the entire population is dispersed throughout the universe. As Madison tries to adjust to a new life on a new planet and far away from her love, the desire to be with him never wavers. When an unexpected opportunity comes to leave her planet to find him, Madison takes off on a risky adventure through the galaxies.

Excerpt: Chapter Six
Madison and James continue to sit in silence. The cooling late fall breeze begins to pick up, extinguishing a few of the candles. Neither of them makes an effort to re-light them. The pungent fragrance of nearing rain captures her attention. She peers out towards the horizon to see enormous billowing storm clouds building upwards into the sky. A far off lightning bolt streaks across the sky, illuminating its surroundings. A crack of thunder is the first to break their silence. The electricity of the storm surges around them fueling Madison’s hostile feelings.
“Why did you leave me?” Madison suddenly bursts out. “You never told me why.”
Another agonizingly silent moment passes by, “it’s complicated.”
Because James is prolonging admitting the truth, frustration mounts inside of her until it begins to boil over. “How complicated can it be? Did you just fall out of love with me?”
“I never fell out of love with you,” he softly says and reaches for her hand.
She abruptly yanks her hand out of his reach and brings it close to her chest. “Then was there some reason why we couldn’t just work things out?” She questions, “did I do something wrong?”
With a sullen look upon his face, he cracks his neck, bending it in either direction. Guilt and nerves course throughout his body and his voice breaks. “If I would have told you the real reason back then, you wouldn’t have forgiven me anyways. Hell, why would you now anyways.”
A roar of thunder vibrates the air as the approaching storm gets closer. Light, misting rain begins falling, dampening their skin. The frequency of lightning strikes increases; the electricity in the air thickens causing the hair on her forearms to stand on end.
“What happened?” She adamantly asks. A dreadful feeling of somehow already knowing the truth makes her sick to her stomach.

Review: An enjoyable mix of light science fiction, a dash of dystopia, and romance.

Romeo and Juliet only had to deal with warring families, but James and Madison had to deal with light year distances so James and Madison win. This book was short, but managed to pack a lot in. The initial premise for everyone leaving plenty earth felt a little unbelievable (wouldn't have people noticed what was happening to the earth sooner?), but it did set the stage for the rest of the book. Madison's relationship with her boyfriend (not James) was comfortable and familiar, but lacked passion, at least when compared to her previous relationship with James. You can tell how deeply Madison cared about James by their very emotional reunion even after so many years.

How people were divided up to go to different planets really upset me on a personal level. I couldn't imagine being split up from my husband. I would try to do what Madison did. The planet Madison landed on already had humans on it or at least I think they were humans. Also, there were tons of rules and the planet had a dystopian feel. I did find myself wanting to know more about the other aliens in the universe and why humans (if they were humans) were on the planet beforehand. I liked that Madison was able to make a life of sorts for herself on the planet, including gaining a friend named Mark, but never gave up hope. She seizes an opportunity when it arises regardless of the danger. The ending was a little sad and quite surprising, but happy overall. I wish the book had been longer. 


 I would recommend this to fans of romance and light science fiction.

Buy This Book Here:

Dates on the Blog Tour:

March 20th - Review & Excerpt at
March 22nd - Q & A at
March 26th - Review & Excerpt at
March 28th - Excerpt and Q & A at
March 30th - Review at

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Fluffy Cotton Candy

Alphas by Lisi Harrison

Summary: At OCD the losers are tormented.

At Alpha Academy, they're sent home.

Skye Hamilton has scored an invitation to the ultra-exclusive Alphas-only boarding school where beta is spelled LBR . What happens when the country's best, brightest, and hawtest begin clawing and scratching their way to the top?

Review: A quick cotton candy read with snotty girls.

This book happened to be a book I needed to read for a book challenge on Goodreads although I'm not sure how or why it got picked. Normally, it's not something I would normally consider reading, but I broaden what I read for challenges. After reading this, I must say that I am willing to read the second book in the series and others like it. I view books like these as cotton candy: delicious, but with little substance. 

The premise of the book is quite silly along with how damn advanced the island is. It does make for some good drama plus the excitement of wondering who will be next. And of course Shira's sons are off limits so that adds for drama too. This book really isn't much beyond one hundred girls competing to be the test and those girls are catty, snobby, bitchy, and boy crazy. The story focuses on three characters and since those characters are most developed, I actually came to care about them. I can't give a whit about the other characters although perhaps that is the author's intention. The love triangle in the story is actually intriguing and I want to see what happens between the three of them.


Recommendation: I would recommend this book to those that enjoy drama and catty girls and don't want too serious of a read. 

Friday, March 23, 2012

A Monster Masquerading As A Vain Human

Thirst No. 1: The Last Vampire, Black Blood and Red Dice by 

Alisa has been in control of her urges for the five thousand years she has been a vampire. She feeds but does not kill, and she lives her life on the fringe to maintain her secret. But when her creator returns to hunt her, she must break her own rules in order to survive.
Her quest leads her to Ray. He is the only person who can help her; he also has every reason to fear her. Alisa must get closer to him to ensure her immortality. But as she begins to fall in love with Ray, suddenly there is more at stake than her own life....
Review: Decent vampire mythology with a character I really couldn't stand.
What irked me most about this book was Sita. I couldn't stand her nor did her behavior make much sense for a five thousand year old vampire. She acted like a human a lot of the time and managed to fall in love with many people throughout the book. And of course it was all insta-love, especially with Ray (although the idea of reincarnation that runs through the book makes it a little less annoying). She's horribly vain and also kills indiscriminately even though she talks about trying not to kill or hurt anyone. She is a very disturbing character. 
What I liked most about the book was the mythology. I liked the involvement of Krishna and Hindu mythology in the book. I liked how vampires were originally formed and how a vampire's blood worked. I liked Sita's tales of other times. She always talks about how she is the birth of history and while she is 5,000 years old, civilization has been around for much longer than that. There was plenty of action in the book and many people managed to die, including people who I thought would be around much longer than they actually were. I might give the second book a shot because I am curious to see what happens next in Sita's life.

Recommendation: I would recommend this book to big fans of young adult vampire fiction.

Review Copy Cleanup - Mysterious Meetup (Challenge 4)

In the Mysterious Meetup Challenge you can have that conversation with your favourite book character of all times. Who would you want to meet? What questions would you ask him or her? Share your Mysterious Meetup with us!

My Favorite Character: The characters I usually wind up liking the most are from books that have been turned into movies. I may like the character beforehand, but getting a face with the person helps me to like them better. So with that in mind, I'd probably have to say Aragorn.

I picked Aragorn because I love Lord of the Rings and it is in my top three books of all time. I love his character in the books and in the movies. I also wish I could live in that world (I also wish Hogwarts was real). I am not sure what questions I would ask him. Plus, I wouldn't want to pester him. However, I would like to be shown around his world to see all the sights. 

Monday, March 19, 2012

It's Monday: What Are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a meme hosted by Book Journey. This meme lets you show fellow readers what you have read, what you are reading, and what you will be reading.

Recently Read:

Currently Reading:

To Read:

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Zombies, Zombies, and More Zombies

Hungry For You by A.M. Harte

Disclaimer: I received this book from the author in exchange for a review. 

Summary: "There is no greater drug than relationships; there is no sweeter death than love." 

Love is horrible. It’s ruthless, messy, mind-altering, and raw. It takes no prisoners. It chews you up and spits you out and leaves you for dead. Love is, you could say, very much like a zombie. 

In this haunting short story collection, anything is possible—a dying musician turns to tea for inspiration; a police sergeant struggles with a very unusual victim; a young wife is trapped in a house hiding unimaginable evil…. 

With "Hungry For You", A.M. Harte explores the disturbing and delightful in an anthology that unearths the thin boundary between love and death. 

Review: An incredible collection of short stories about zombies and so much more.

I am still on the fence about zombies. I love other supernatural/paranormal creatures and will read almost anything with them involved (vampires, werewolves, angels, demons, and the like), but I have to think about whether or not I want to read a book about zombie. I was incredibly pleased with Harte's stories. She is an incredible short story and packs quite a punch in a few pages. Sure, there were zombies, but they were a backdrop to love, hate, despair, hope, anger. My favorite stories were the tea addict (who thought tea could be addictive), zombies who need sex to survive (such a twist), and the giant rose (so damn creepy!). 


Recommendation: I would recommend this fans of horror, zombies, and anyone who enjoys stories that pack an emotional punch.

Action, Romance, and Clothes

The Girl in the Clockwork Collar by 

Summary: In New York City, 1897, life has never been more thrilling - or dangerous. 

Sixteen-year-old Finley Jayne and her "straynge band of mysfits" have journeyed from London to America to rescue their friend Jasper, hauled off by bounty hunters. But Jasper is in the clutches of a devious former friend demanding a trade-the dangerous device Jasper stole from him...for the life of the girl Jasper loves. 

One false move from Jasper and the strange clockwork collar around Mei's neck tightens. And tightens.

Review: A fun novel with action, romance, plenty of clothes and Tesla. 

I personally wasn't the biggest fan of the first novel. It was a decent read, but nothing spectacular. I decided to read the second because it was offered on NetGalley and I loved the cover. Yes, I'm a sucker for pretty covers. Plus, I love the dress she is wearing. I wound up liking the second book better than the first even though Jack Dandy wasn't in it. I hope he shows up in the third book. Griffin, Finley, and Jack is one love triangle that I don't mind. 

I liked Finley much better now that her personality is whole. I liked all the characters this time around although I got sick of hearing about Emily's ropes of hair. I hope Griffin has come to terms for his feelings for Finley. I liked that he stopped trying to protect her like she was some damn fragile butterfly. The villain was dastardly. And it was pure fun to have Tesla play a role in the story. The dynamics between the characters became more obvious in this novel. There was plenty of action, an unexpected twist, and satisfying justice. I did see the plot twist coming, but it was still very satisfying when it did occur. The novel didn't feel as steampunky as the previous one. The one thing that did irk me quite a bit was the descriptions of Finley's clothes. I honestly don't care what color her corset was or how long her pantaloons. 


Recommendation: I would recommend this to who enjoyed the first novel and those who were on the fence about it. I would recommend the series to fans of young adult steampunk.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Review Copy Cleanup - Don't Be Such a Tease (Challenge 3)

The Don't Be Such a Tease challenge is all about being the biggest tease possible. We are all reading books that aren't published yet, and what is more fun than showing other readers how awesome your current read is! The challenge is to share a few sentences from the RCC book you are reading right now, so we can all get a little taste.

My Sentences: Most of my books I have read or plan to read have already been published, but I do happen to be reading a galley of The Girl in the Clockwork Collar (Steampunk Chronicles #2) by Kady Cross. Here are a few sentences from the page I am currently on, page 127: "After discussing it further with the others--she was trying to prove she could be a team player--Finley decided she would let Dalton see that her bruises had healed, rather than trying to re-create them with cosmetics. Her ability to heal quickly could only be seen as an advantage, especially to someone who might want to use her for violence."

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Strength of Friendship

Grace by Susan Bennett

Disclaimer: I received this book from the author in exchange for a review.

Summary: Four women are about to start a mob war – and nails WILL be broken.

Some epiphanies look like diamonds.  Isabella Albrici's diamond shaped epiphany begins when her womanising husband, Domenic, frames her and her best friend Teresa for his diamond smuggling operation to save himself from jail. Prime targets for the prison’s resident psychopath, they’ll be lucky to survive jail, even luckier to survive if they get out – thanks to Domenic, ‘the family’ thinks Isabella is an FBI informant.  The big house ain't no fun house, but for Isabella and Teresa, it’s the safest house there is – until the evidence keeping them there suddenly goes missing.

Ladies, you are free to go.
Ah, if it’s all the same to you, maybe we’ll just stay where we are.No chance. Close the door on your way out.
Ah shit. Thanks very much.

Some epiphanies are shaped like diamonds – others, like bullets. Sometimes grace is received; sometimes grace has to be earned.  For years, these mob wives have lived off the wages of sin, now the path to redemption is clear: they gotta whack their old men.

Welcome to the inaugural general meeting of the first chapter of the New Jersey Mob Suffragette’s Whack Club.


Review: A tale of enduring friendship and sweet, sweet revenge.

This was a novel of friendship between four women more than anything else. Sure, there was some whacking, but it was secondary to their growing friendship. Three of the women have been traumatized and one has a mysterious past. The prison part of this novel was the strongest part of this novel and I would have easily read a whole novel about Isabella, Teresa, and their lives in prison. They get out of course. I found it a bit hard to believe how readily Irish wants to help Isabella, but perhaps I'm just a tad cynical and too much of a Jersey girl. 

I am glad Irish was able to help them so much although she probably shouldn't have been encouraging their plan so much. Teaching them to shot is useful and a skill I think everyone should know, but giving guns to traumatized people isn't always the best idea. Despite all that, Irish did make a pretty decent therapist and was able to help the women to attempt to get past their traumas and to focus on the future. The whacking was enjoyable. The rash of sex seemed a bit out of place, but I'm glad the women were able to have some fun.


Recommendation: I would recommend this book to those who enjoy friendship stories or fans of anything related to the Mafia or lovers of New Jersey (go Jersey!).

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A Bit of Romance with Plenty of Stubborn

If You Desire by 

Summary: How much temptation can a Highlander resist? Fierce Scottish brothers shadowed by a dark curse face steamy new adventures in the second book in Kresley Cole's thrilling new trilogy.
He tried to run....
In his youth, Hugh MacCarrick foolishly fell in love with a beautiful English lass who delighted in teasing him with her flirtatious ways. Yet he knew he could never marry her because he was shadowed by an accursed family legacy. To avoid temptation, Hugh left home, ultimately becoming an assassin.
She tried to forget him.... 
Jane Weyland was devastated when the Highlander she believed would marry her abandoned her instead. Years later, when Hugh MacCarrick is summoned to protect her from her father's enemies, her heartache has turned to fury -- but her desire for him has not waned.
Will passion overwhelm them?
In hiding, Jane torments Hugh with seductive play. He struggles to resist her because of deadly secrets that could endanger her further. But Hugh is no longer a gentle young man -- and toying with the fever-pitched desires of a hardened warrior will either get Jane burned...or enflame a love that never died.
Review: A sweet, satisfying romance with characters that feel more like caricatures
I liked this book better than If You Dare. It was nice to have established feelings between the two main characters instead of one being kidnapped and then falling for her kidnapper. It explained how the two characters felt about each other. I must admit not understanding why the two feel for each other. Jane was a fiery character, but was often too pushy and acted like a spoiled brat on a number of occasions. Hugh was a very caring person, but frankly, he acted like a crude, uncouth man a lot of the time. Tall, large men are not always hulking beings that act like cavemen. 
Despite their faults, it was really nice to see their romance blossom and it was often quite sweet. They had a number of misunderstandings, but were still able to express their feelings to each other. Grey and the danger he posed was a subplot to their romance. I was disappointed by how quickly the Grey situation was resolved. I also didn't understand how quickly Hugh disregarded the curse as being folly. I am glad they had a happy ending and I am interested in finding out what happened to Ethan. 

Recommendation: I would recommend this book to those that read If You Dare and enjoyed it. I would recommend this series to fans of historical romance with Scottish Highlanders.

Monday, March 12, 2012

A Brain Twister

Time Travel and Warp Drives: A Scientific Guide to Shortcuts through Time and Space by 
Summary: Sci-fi makes it look so easy. Receive a distress call from Alpha Centauri? No problem: punch the warp drive and you're there in minutes. Facing a catastrophe that can't be averted? Just pop back in the timestream and stop it before it starts. But for those of us not lucky enough to live in a science-fictional universe, are these ideas merely flights of fancy—or could it really be possible to travel through time or take shortcuts between stars? Cutting-edge physics may not be able to answer those questions yet, but it does offer up some tantalizing possibilities. In Time Travel and Warp Drives, Allen Everett and Thomas A. Roman take readers on a clear, concise tour of our current understanding of the nature of time and space—and whether or not we might be able to bend them to our will. Using no math beyond high school algebra, the authors lay out an approachable explanation of Einstein's special relativity, then move through the fundamental differences between traveling forward and backward in time and the surprising theoretical connection between going back in time and traveling faster than the speed of light. They survey a variety of possible time machines and warp drives, including wormholes and warp bubbles, and, in a dizzyingly creative chapter, imagine the paradoxes that could plague a world where time travel was possible—killing your own grandfather is only one of them! Written with a light touch and an irrepressible love of the fun of sci-fi scenarios—but firmly rooted in the most up-to-date science, Time Travel and Warp Drives will be a delightful discovery for any science buff or armchair chrononaut.

Review: An informative and complex, complicated book. Not for those new to physics.

Time travel is especially fascinating to me because it technically could be possible, but we never know if it ever will become possible. I have read a lot of physics books (only informative non-fiction books, no textbooks), but I found this book quite complex. Time travel is a hard idea to wrap one's head around though, especially with the paradoxes associated with it. Everett and Roman provide a good background on the physics behind time travel, but insist upon using equations to explain and demonstrate certain facts. They also use long, convoluted examples with their equations. Then they summarize what they we trying to say in a few sentences and that's the part I understand best. I was able to understand the few sentences much better than the algebra. I did understand the algebra better as the chapters went on. I am good at math and have no trouble doing problems, but I prefer examples of the equations with values plugged in.

That being said, I did enjoy the book and did learn a lot. Some of the concepts were complex, but I felt I had a better understanding of time travel after finishing the book. I like to hope that time travel will be possible and that exotic matter will be discovered, but it isn't looking too good at this point. At least it makes for good science fiction.


Recommendation: I would recommend this book to fans of physics who are well versed in the subject and not those that are somewhat new to the topic.

It's Monday: What Are You Reading?

So I'm starting to do some memes (I don't know if it'll get to all days of the week though, but perhaps a few eventually). It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a meme hosted by Book Journey. This meme lets you show fellow readers what you have read, what you are reading, and what you will be reading.

Recently Read: 

Currently Reading:

To Read: