Monday, September 4, 2017

Review: Protecting Dakota by Susan Stoker




Protecting Daktoa by Susan Stoker
SEAL of Protection #9, Sleeper SEALS #1

Dakota James’s life has become the stuff of nightmares. The leader of the Ansar al-Shari’a terrorist group has become obsessed with her, determined to take her as his wife. On the run, she’ll have to pin her hopes on the retired SEAL charged with finding and stopping Aziz Fourati before he can carry out plans to bomb more US airports.
Recently recruited to join a sleeper SEAL team tasked with fighting terrorism on US soil, Slade “Cutter” Cutsinger, with the help of some Special Forces friends, has located the one woman who can identify the deadly Ansar al-Shari’a leader. That was the easy part. Keeping her safe proves more difficult than anyone ever imagined.
When she and her new friend, Caroline, are kidnapped by the terrorist group, Dakota can only pray Cutter and the SEALs will reach them before they’re taken out of the country—and away from Cutter forever.

** Protecting Dakota is a part of the SEAL of Protection Series. It is also in the “Sleeper SEAL” connected series. Each book is a stand-alone, with no cliffhanger endings.
Each book in this multi-author branded series is a standalone novel, and the series does not have to be read in order. 






4 STARS


Well it's no secret that I am a huge Susan Stoker fan, and when I was presented with the opportunity to review her last book in the SEAL of Protection series, I jumped at the chance.

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And while I am current on all of the SEAL of Protection books, I am behind on my reviews. I know, I know.


My only defense is that I have been literally devouring books. Of course, once I get on a roll with my reading, I inevitably fall into a reading slump. The one I was in when I received my review copy of Protecting Dakota was an endless of abyss of frustration and just blah.


For me, a Susan Stoker book is my reading knight in shining armor. It never fails to break me out of a reading slump. It doesn't matter if it's a new release or a reread (I've lost count how many times I've reread Alabama & Cheyenne's books), I never can put it down. I ignore all of my adult responsibilities (I mean really, why did I become an adult in the first place? Ugh) and completely lose myself in the story. Her writing is that good.


Okay, enough rambling and fangirling...

Protecting Dakota was a solid 4 star read for me. The story flowed nicely and I really liked Cutter. Salt and pepper hair, leather clad, muscles for dayssss, rides a motorcycle, is a bad ass.

Yes.
Please.


So, if you read the synopsis then you already know shit goes down. I won't go into much detail because anymore and you run the risk of spoilers. Shorthand of my thoughts:

1-Insta love but it actually kind of worked.
2- Cutter is delicious. No seriously, I would take a bite out of him if I could.
3- I LOVED seeing the other SEALS again. It made me really nostalgic for their books.
4- Definitely planning a full SEAL of Protection reread in the near future.
5- Susan never fails to hook me in. I would read the woman's grocery lists if she published them.
6- Cutter. For reals. Cutter.








Saturday, July 22, 2017

2017 Booktube-A-Thon TBR



Booktube-A-Thon is here! 



What is Booktube-A-Thon? Check out this video below:



I attempted to participate last year but alas, life got in the way. I'm hoping this year will be better since 2 of my 3 kids will be at band camp during the week it takes place. I tried to keep my selections on the small side, but I do have 7 books to share with you (one of the reading challenges is to read 7 books). 

First things first, here are the 7 reading challenges:

1- Read a book with a person on the cover.
2- Read a hyped book.
3- Finish a book in one day.
4- Read about a character very different from you.
5- Finish a book completely outdoors.
6- Read a book you bought because of the cover.
7- Read seven books. 

Here's my (extremely awkward) TBR video:




For those of you who can't watch the video, here's more info on the books:

1- Read a book with a person on the cover:



Shut Out by Kody Keplinger









2- Read a hyped book:



The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater











3- Finish a book in one day:



Girl Stolen by April Henry












4- Read about a character very different from you:



Percy Jackson & the Lightning Thief 
by Rick Riordan
http://amzn.to/2ubR9By


5- Finish a book completely outdoors. 


6- Read a book you bought because of the cover:



Text by Cambria Hebert
http://amzn.to/2gLGI2U













7- Read seven books:



The White Aura by Felicia Tatum






Unless You Can Be A Unicorn
by Delphina Henley
http://amzn.to/2uEgfd4











I seriously can not wait to start reading these books. I've been listening to audio books (Kresley Cole's Immortals After Dark series) and am in need of a change so I don't get burned out. 

This will be me come Sunday at midnight.





Review: Tempestuous by Lesley Livingston





"I don't love Sonny Flannery."
That's the lie Kelley Winslow is told to protect the boy she loves from a power he doesn't know he possesses. Devastated, Sonny retreats to a haven for Lost Fae that's hidden deep underneath New York City.
But Kelley's not about to let things end in heartbreak. To get Sonny back, she's got to find out who's after his magick and how to use her own. She's got to uncover who's recruiting Janus Guards to murderously hunt innocent Faerie. She's got to help rebuild the shattered theater company she called family. And she's got to do it all without getting dangerously distracted by the Fenrys Wolf, whose legendary heart of stone seems to melt whenever he's around Kelley.
The intrigue and romance that began with Wondrous Strange and Darklight come to a stormy head in Tempestuous, the breathtaking conclusion to Lesley Livingston's ravishing urban Faerie trilogy.




5 STARS


What a fantastic conclusion to a wonderful trilogy! I truly loved The Wondrous Strange trilogy, and the fact that the romance was "safe" for my daughter to read was just an added bonus. It's not often that the two of us are able to share in the experience of being completely engrossed in a series. There's not a lot of plot points that I can delve into without posting spoilers but I will touch on a few things. 

Fennrys Wolf: Sigh, I called it. The story could have carried on perfectly without his unrequited love. His story ending was clearly an attempt at redemption but I think it wrapped things up well for him. 

Mabh: Thi sis the one part of the story that I never got. She made some half-assed attempts to split Kelley and Sonny up but we never learn why. 

Sonny: Double swoon! Just when I didn't think I could love him more, we get details about his past and squeeeee!!! I LOVED this plot line!

The ending battle sequence was great. Usually I can predict who the bad guy is in YA novels, but I was taken totally by surprise with Tempestuous. 

Tempestuous was well-written and the pacing was great. There weren't any slow or boring spots. Revelations are made, battles are fought, and Kelley's story was wrapped up neatly. 


Twitter: @declarefangirl
Instagram: @declarationsofafangirl



Thursday, July 20, 2017

Review: Darklight by Lesley Livingston






Faerie can't lie . . . or can they?
Much has changed since autumn, when Kelley Winslow learned she was a Faerie princess, fell in love with changeling guard Sonny Flannery, and saved the mortal realm from the ravages of the Wild Hunt. Now Kelley is stuck in New York City, rehearsing Romeo and Juliet and missing Sonny more with every stage kiss, while Sonny has been forced back to the Otherworld and into a deadly game of cat and mouse with the remaining Hunters and Queen Mabh herself.
When a terrifying encounter sends Kelley tumbling into the Otherworld, her reunion with Sonny is joyful but destined to be cut short. An ancient, hidden magick is stirring, and a dangerous new enemy is willing to risk everything to claim that power. Caught in a web of Faerie deception and shifting allegiances, Kelley and Sonny must tread carefully, for each next step could topple a kingdom . . . or tear them apart.
With breathtakingly high stakes, the talented Lesley Livingston delivers soaring romance and vividly magical characters in darklight, the second novel in the trilogy that began with wondrous strange.



5 STARS

This book. Oh goodness! My thoughts are jumbled so bear with me. Sonny was just plain amazing. I wish there were more coverage of his time hunting the members of The Wild Hunt. Let's back up for a second. I listened to the audio version of this book and it was read by the author. Seriously amazing! To hear the story read exactly the way the author intended was pure magic!!

Anywho, I  kept hoping and waiting for Kelley and Sonny to be reunited. I was looking forward to a sweet reunion, which I got but it was short lived. Once again, the creatures of the Otherworld were on the attack. 

We get to see more of the Fennrys Wolf and I loved him! He was one of my favorite characters. I found his laid back attitude but thirst for a good fight quite endearing.The only thing I didn't like was the hinting that Fenn was developing romantic feelings towards Kelley. Ugh, why?! There's plenty of action, plot twists, and drama with being tangled up with the Underworld, we don't need a possible love triangle too. I'm crossing my fingers that this plot line meets a short end at the beginning of book 3. And Mahb! I can't figure her out. She's so two faced but we haven't learned why yet. 

All in all, Darklight was a great second book and didn't fall prey to the typical Second Book Syndrome where it's just filler. 


Twitter: @declarefangirl
Instagram: @declarationsofafangirl


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Review: A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas







A nightmare, I’d told Tamlin. I was the nightmare.
Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit—and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well. As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords—and hunt for allies in unexpected places. 






5 STARS

I've seen mixed reviews for this book but I really enjoyed it. My dislike for Tamlin has been no secret so it shouldn't surprise anyone that I thoroughly enjoyed Feyre's sabotage of the Sprint Court. I loved how she stole Ianthe's thunder! I felt bad (a little) for Lucien because because there was somewhat of a friendship kindling between him and Feyre, but he stood by and let Tamlin wreck her which I had a hard time forgiving him for. However, one of my FAVORITE parts of the entire book involved him. When he and Feyre loosed the Boggart on the awful twins from Hybern's court, I straight up cackled! The pacing of the book was consistent and I didn't find myself bored or having to slough through any parts. I seriously couldn't be parted with my book and it went everywhere with me, which should be a testament to how much I loved it because my copy was a 700 page hard back. My initial though upon completing the trilogy was that book 1 could have been condensed down into a few chapters of flashback. Out of the 3 books, ACOTAR is my least favorite. In fact, if I ever decided to revisit this world, I will probably just reread Feyre's time under the mountain (it'd be nice to read those parts knowing now what I do about Rhysand) before diving back into book 2. I'm so glad I sucked it up and finished book 1 because books 2 and 3 were just so amazing!

Twitter: @declarefangirl
Instagram: @declarationsofafangirl






Thursday, July 13, 2017

Review: A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas






Feyre survived Amarantha's clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can't forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin's people.


Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.

With more than a million copies sold of her beloved Throne of Glass series, Sarah J. Maas's masterful storytelling brings this second book in her seductive and action-packed series to new heights.





5 STARS

Ohhhhhhh my goodness!! 


This book was leaps and bounds better than A Court of Thorns and Roses! Usually the second book of a trilogy is just filler and a bridge between books 1 and 3. Not the case with A Court of Mist and Fury!! Oh Rhysand! All of the heart eyes for Rhysand!



Tamlin can go suck eggs! His true colors shined through at the beginning of this book. Feyre was a freaking fairy but yet he kept her confined to his house. Jerk. And it's not like she expected him to just know what she needed or to read her mind' she flat out told him that she needed out of the manor. The manor was suffocating her. So what does he do?



*highlight to read spoiler*

He uses his magic to literally keep her, JUST HER, in the house

.


Obviously my favorite parts were when Feyre visited the Night Court. Rhysand was the opposite of everything I expected him to be. I expected him to commit all of these horrifying injustices and awful things and justify his actions because he has a tormented past. Nope. 



*highlight to read spoiler*

He's actually quite amazing but has just done nothing to dispel the rumors floating around that he is an awful person to hide the Court of Dreams.

It's been a while since I was so engrossed in a story and couldn't put the book down. There's only one more book left in this series/trilogy and its just not enough! I will never get enough of Rhysand! 



Twitter: @declarefangirl
Instagram: @declarationsofafangirl













Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas






Feyre's survival rests upon her ability to hunt and kill – the forest where she lives is a cold, bleak place in the long winter months. So when she spots a deer in the forest being pursued by a wolf, she cannot resist fighting it for the flesh. But to do so, she must kill the predator and killing something so precious comes at a price ...


Dragged to a magical kingdom for the murder of a faerie, Feyre discovers that her captor, his face obscured by a jewelled mask, is hiding far more than his piercing green eyes would suggest. Feyre's presence at the court is closely guarded, and as she begins to learn why, her feelings for him turn from hostility to passion and the faerie lands become an even more dangerous place. Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse, or she will lose him forever.





4 STARS

This started out kind of slow for me. As much as Feyre went on about how sweet Elain was, I just didn't see it. Her father and sisters were just plain lazy. The way her family was portrayed just seemed like it was a little over the top. The first half of the book slogged on and on. The second half completely redeemed this sereis in my eyes. There was so much action! My heart was racing through the entire second half of the book. I still had trouble relating to the characters, but that didn't keep me from rooting for Feyre and Tamlin. Speaking of Tamlin...I can't decide if I like him enough for Feyre. I don't know if he deserves her. I enjoy a good, brooding guy but good Lord! Tamlin was over the top broody. I wish I could say that learning about his curse changed my feelings for him but not really. I liked him because Feyre did, much the same as when you like your friend's SO because you love your friend, but if that friend wasn't in the picture then you wouldn't give a damn about said SO. I just wanted Feyre to be happy. I swooned over Tamlin because he was who she wanted but not because I wanted him. I'm going to read book 2 with the hope that Tamlin grows or does something to redeem himself in my eyes. I don't appreciate how quickly his attitude changed towards her once he got into her pants. Not cool, dude. 

Twitter: @declarefangirl
Instagram: @declarationsofafangirl