Sunday, September 27, 2015

Review: Wednesday by Dennis Sharpe


SYNOPSIS

When everything in life has been against you, who can blame you for not playing nice with others? 


My name is Wednesday Valentine. For the last seven years I have been abused and used by a sadistic bastard named Klein. Now he wants me dead- only he doesn't have the balls to kill me himself. 



Alvin, who was sent to do Klein's dirty work, decided to save my life (repeatedly) instead of taking it. But no matter how much someone cares about you, they can only do so much...can only go so far. You are your only real shot at coming out on top. 



Sometimes reclaiming your life requires a body count. 



-Wednesday Valentine






EXCERPT


Wednesday stopped and stared after him. She’d been beatenwith electric cords by men who pissed her off less than this guy. She knew that smart money said she should go with him, if for no other reason than to put a warm body with a gun between her and Klein’s hitmen. It was, however, difficult to stifle her reactionary urges to run as fast as she could in the opposite direction.


She watched as he walked over to the blue ’83 Malibu wagon and unlocked the back. The rear window swung up, making the loud scraping sound of metal on metal in protest, and he lowered the rear gate. He shuffled things over to one side, making room for thecopious amount of necessities his clueless companion had absolutely been unable to travel without.


He turned to look at her, and slowly she moved forward. One foot forced in front of the other, she drug herself up next to him. On top of everything else, she was now in stunned disbelief that he expected her to endure the vehicle parked in front of her. To her, it looked more like a landmark, a statement on the decay of the city, than a means of transportation.

The chrome was peeling off the bumper that appeared to have been warped into a diagram depicting low frequency radio waves. The faded blue paint seemed to smoothly fade away to gray around the windows and wheel wells. There didn’t appear to be any rust, but there also wasn’t a body panel on the vehicle, that she could see, which didn’t boast at least two dents and at least one major scratch. This was worse than anything she could have imagined.

"This is your car?" she asked as her nose crinkled. "Really?"

"What?" Alvin asked, looking from her shocked face to his car and then back to her.

"If I’m going to be walking around with you in that – where did you get that suit anyway? Goodwill? No. Don’t tell me. I don’t want to know," she said, waving her hand at him as though he were trying to serve her food with bugs in it. Her voice raised an octave when she continued. "If you’re taking me with you, can you at least take me in a car that isn’t... that? Ugh! Make it kidnapping and GTA?"

He ignored her as he threw all of her things, except what she had on her, into the back of the wagon unceremoniously while she looked on in horror. Then he stalked around the car, patting the roof of it reassuringly as he went, opened his door and put his foot in. He looked back over at her before slipping down behind the wheel and out of her line of sight.

"I’m only going to say this once. Shut up and get in the car." His voice was cold and his words came quickly, then he turned the key and the engine roared to life.

"I’m only going to say this once. Shut up and get in the car," she said in a pinched and nasally voice mocking him as she stomped her foot. She screeched without words, opened the car’s passenger side rear door – it dropped down about half an inch and seemed to yell at her as it swung out – threw her Birkin in the backseat, and then slammed the door as hard as she could.

She jerked the front passenger side door open and looked down and in at Alvin who didn’t even acknowledge the fit she was throwing. She was furious, more now than she had been. She was not someone who anyone ignored. Not ever.She dropped herself onto the car’s bench seat like a sack of bricks, then ‘Hmmmmphf"-ed as she threw herself hard back in the seat as though she were a very young child who wasn’t getting her own way.

Alvin tilted his ankle and the accelerator sank. They pulled out of the alley with him completely ignoring her red-faced fuming less than two feet away from him.



*3 STARS*

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


Judging by the reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, I'm going to be in the minority apparently, but this book was just alright for me. I didn't love it, but I didn't hate it either. It reminded me a lot of the Transporter 3 movie. You've got an older, nice-looking guy wearing a suit and possessing a set of bad ass ninja skills protecting a younger, bratty girl with no sense of self-preservation, and they are on the run.

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I couldn't connect with Wednesday's character at all. I understand that she went through hell for many years, but still. She was so immature. She had no regard for anyone's safety, including her own. She threw a temper tantrum if she didn't get her way. I just flat out didn't like her. 

Not being the central focus of the person or persons whom she was with was something Wednesday was completely unaccustomed to dealing with, and she was quite sure by this point that she didn't like it. 

She stomped away without saying a word, breathing heavily, face flushed. It was storming off in a way that would make even the worst of children in their terrible twos pale in comparison. 

Alvin was livid. This was a game for her. She was a child, playing and having fun, while putting their lives at risk, not to mention the lives of others, like this cop.

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I don't know. Like I said, I didn't hate it, but this book just wasn't for me. There was mention about the excessive use of curse words but that didn't bother me much. I just had a really hard time getting into the story because I just couldn't connect with Wednesday.

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Saturday, September 19, 2015

Cover Reveal: Light of Dawn by Komali Da Silva

 

*Book 3 in The Dawn Trilogy*

When Dawn’s soul mate, Angelo, leaves town with another girl, he steals all hope of mending their relationship. However, this allows the bond with her guardian angel, Gabe, to grow. But their love can’t save them from what is to come.

When their greatest fear becomes a terrifying reality, their limits will be pushed and tested. Dawn’s strange abilities are finally revealed, and she begins to realize her full potential. Now she must decide if she will run or fight.

Goodreads

Series Purchase Links




Author Links


About Komali
Komali da Silva was born and raised in Colombo, Sri Lanka. She started writing as a teenager but never took it seriously because her love for basketball and track and field sports was much stronger. At the age of seventeen she moved to Switzerland. Komali has a degree in Insurance but is dreaming of one day owning her own book cafe.
She adores reading and some of her favorite authors include Lauren Kate, Cassandra Clare, Becca Fitzpatrick, Carlos Ruiz Zafon, Cecelia Ahern, J.K. Rowling and Richelle Mead.
She started immortalizing her own words on paper in June 2012. Komali, her husband and their daughter Amalia now live in Switzerland, where they eat a lot of chocolate and freeze during the winter.
Komali could live on love and happiness if life lets her do so. She laughs a lot and has different smiles for all her moods.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Review: Fractured Suns by Theresa Kay


SYNOPSIS

We came in peace. Lie.

We had no role in the Collapse. Lie.
I have always been honest. Lie.
I never lied to her. Truth.



Reunited with her brother, and surrounded by Flint, Peter and her new-found grandfather, Jax Mitchell has still never felt more alone. The choice to follow Rym back to the city to find answers and see Lir is an easy one, but their reunion is cut short and Jax is forced to leave Lir behind. She finds herself traveling with some unexpected companions and heading back toward a place she’d hoped to never see again.



After being imprisoned—and tortured—on the orders of his uncle, Lir hasn’t seen daylight or linked to anyone in weeks. After a lifetime of connection, the pain and loneliness is almost too much to bear. Elated that Jax actually came, Lir finds renewed hope and the strength to continue fighting his uncle's influence over the E'rikon, even when things look hopeless and Lir’s been branded a traitor by the very people he’s trying to save.



While Jax and Lir fight separate battles, their missions have more in common than they realize. It’s a race against time to stop men driven only by greed and power. But the ones they trust the most might be the very people working against them—and "family" doesn't mean what it used to. Will they recognize their friends from their enemies in time to save the people they love or will they lose each other in the process?



Book 1, Broken Skies

Book 2, Fractured Suns




*5 STARS*

I received a copy of this book in exchange for a honest review. 

 You know how some sequels fall victim to that Book 2 Syndrome where nothing overly exciting happens but it's the meat of the story line and is essential to the series as a whole? Yeah, that didn't happen with this book. I think I may have loved this one more than Broken Skies. You can find my review of Broken Skies here. Fair warning: this review is going to be a jumbled mess. I don't even know where to start. The paragraph above is probably the most coherent grouping of thoughts you'll get from me. This book was amazing. Just. Whoa. Wow. Oh. My. Goodness.

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I inhaled this book. I couldn't put it down. I read it in one day and fed my kids cereal for dinner. Don't judge me. They love cereal. They were ecstatic and it took me 45 seconds to make dinner.

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Lots of stuff happened in this book. I don't want to give any of it away, just take my word for it. Lots of action and twists. There isn't a big heaping of romance but the little bit that was in the book....yessssss.

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A note...make sure you have a box of tissues and a bottle of wine for the last 1/4 of the book because OH. MY. GOSH. 

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 I'm still not over it.


Review: Timekeeper Rising by Allyssa Painter


SYNOPSIS

Fifty years ago, the sky cried acid and the earth vomited poison, all due to human destruction. Desperate for a savior, the people called out to the Shunned, a group of Fallen angels on Earth, and allowed them to take over. Now the Shunned rule with unspeakable cruelty, manipulating and torturing the humans in every possible way. Marked for death, Iris Ankea will do anything to end their tyranny and rescue her brother and best friend from their clutches. When she learns that she is God’s chosen Timekeeper and has the power to defeat the Shunned, she sets out with the only man who can help her, the one she thinks just might kill her. With a prophecy about her drawing ever near, Iris must race against time to discover her powers before the world, and her life, end. Can Iris force herself to embrace her role and sacrifice herself to save everyone she loves, or will she lose it all? 





*5 STARS*

This book...ohhh this book. Wow!

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Timekeeper Rising sucked me in from page one and kept me reading wayyyyy past my bedtime, which rarely happens. I value my sleep with the same vigor as I value air and coffee.

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 This book was so creepy and awesome. It reminded me a bit of an M. Night Shymalan movie, kind of like The Village. Iris and Sage are travelling through the woods, trying to remain hidden from The Shunned. The whole time I was reading, I was on edge, waiting for something to jump out. And those somethings did...quite often.

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 Every time The Shunned wanted to take someone, all of the lights would go out in all of the homes, and when they came back on, the home where someone was taken would remain black. Think about that for a second. You have no idea when it's going to happen and if someone you know, or YOU, will be taken.

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 Iris was a very strong character. Ever since she was a little girl, she's had visions of the future, specifically of her own death. She's accepted it and because she has known for so long, she no longer fears death. Her only concern is to protect those she loves. Her brother, Zander, was taken and at the opening of the book, her best friend, Danny, is taken. She believes that The Shunned took them to draw her out, because she is the Timekeeper. She is wracked with guilt and will stop at nothing to rescue them.

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I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I devoured it. I couldn't put it down. It was unlike anything I'd ever read. Yes, it's an angels and demons dystopian, but the focus isn't on them. The focus is on Iris and Sage's struggle to work together. The book ended on a cliffhanger and I can not wait to get my hands on the sequel.

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Monday, September 7, 2015

Review: Protecting Melody by Susan Stoker



SYNOPSIS

Tex gave everything he had to his country and his SEAL teammates. When an IED took away part of his leg, and his career, he devoted himself to his country and friends from behind his computer. He’s always been the man that can find anyone, that uses his computer skills, legal and illegal, to keep people safe and to put the bad guys behind bars. 


But behind a computer is a lonely place to be. While he might put on a good front, Tex can’t help but feel he’s missing out when he sees how happy his friends are. But when the woman he’s been talking to online for the last six months suddenly disappears without a word, Tex knows it’s time to step up, and use his skills for himself this time. 



**Protecting Melody is the 7th book in the SEAL of Protection Series. It can be read as a stand-alone, but it’s recommended you read the books in order to get maximum enjoyment out of the series.






*5 STARS*

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. 

Side note: If you're curious about the format of this review, all will be revealed when you read the book.

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Protecting Melody has been my #mostanticipatedbook since Protecting Fiona. In all of the previous Protecting books, Tex has made an appearance. And every time I would see his name, I would get #superanxious to know his story. Well, now #mydreamshavecometrue.

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Tex is a retired Navy SEAL who lost part of his leg on a mission when a bomb went off. He still helps out the team a lot with his #computerninjaskills. If someone is missing, #Texwillfindthem. Truthfully, the team would be lost without Tex. #Texisthebomb #Tex4ever 

Even though he is the #perfectmalespecimen, Tex has some hang ups about his prosthetic. His past encounters with women have left him insecure and embarrassed about his scarred amputation site. Let's just say their reactions weren't nice. It #brokemyheart to see him struggle with it.

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Thank goodness Melody doesn't feel the same way. #sexonastick #neverlookatboxersthesamewayagain #sixpackunderthatshirt 

Jesus, Tex, I know you're nervous as hell and you really, really don't want to share this with me, but you are sex on a fucking stick. Seriously.

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 And when the 2 of them finally #getdowntobidness....

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 The #sweetest part of the story was #Baby.

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  Sorry. I couldn't help myself.

Baby is Melody's #sweet, #loyal, #protective, and #incrediblysmart coonhound. I loved her interaction with Tex.

I was a little worried that Tex's story wouldn't live up to #myexpectations but I #shouldhaveknownbetter than to doubt the #ninjawritingskills of Susan Stoker. You don't have to read this book in series order, but really #whywouldntyouwantto

I have but one complaint.... I need to know who Tex's #favoritedisneycharacter is! Why must you torture us like this, Susan?

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Review: Soul Slam by Allie Burton


SYNOPSIS

A sixteen-year-old on her first heist to steal an ancient Egyptian amulet inadvertently receives the soul of King Tut…and the deadly curse that comes with it. 

And Olivia is not alone at the museum. 
A member of a secret society, Xander believes it is his place to inherit King Tut’s soul and justly rule. He knows nothing about the society’s evil plan to control the world or the curse. Now, he must deal with the female imposter who stole the amulet. 
Xander convinces Olivia they must form a temporary partnership. The two teens develop a connection, and together they must figure out how to end the curse before it turns deadly. On the run, unable to touch because of the curse, and managing the male soul inside her female body, Olivia must learn to trust Xander. 
As the mystery surrounding the amulet unfolds, Olivia and Xander start to fall for each other. But is love enough to save them and the world from destruction?








I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


I'm torn between 3.5 and 4 stars for this one. Allow me to explain. 


 Soul Slam started out solid. It pulled me in from the very beginning when Olivia has to disarm a museum security guard in the middle of her first heist. The action starts off from the get-go and held my attention for the majority of the book. The story was well written. The grammar and spelling were great, and I can't recall any errors. The Egyptian lore is fabulous and I thoroughly enjoyed the small glimpses we got into King Tut's history. However, this is where one of my (small) complaints comes in. Olivia has a couple of dreams which are actually King Tut's memories. They also had some conversations (inside Olivia's mind), which I thought were great and would have added a lot to the story (I kept hoping for Olivia to get some profound advice from Tut and grow emotionally). These were some of my favorite parts of the story, so of course there weren't enough. I wanted more.

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Xander...oh, Xander. He was my favorite character (with Tut as a close second) and often times he was what kept me reading when Olivia's internal dialogue would get repetitive and long-winded (but we'll get to that in a minute). Xander's entire existence was based on him absorbing Tut's soul. He was born and bred for the task. He lived an extremely sheltered life. He doesn't know his parents and was raised in the Society mansion, receiving no attention outside of his training and zero physical contact. Zero, people. Every time he didn't understand something that would be otherwise commonly known, I just wanted to hug him. But he is also strong, honest, loyal, and fiercely protective of Olivia. He's just the best. I also think if the story had been told from dual POVs, Olivia's and Xander's, that it would have added a lot to the story. I would have loved to have read about Xander's childhood more, maybe through memories and/or dreams. Flashbacks to his training would have been awesome too.

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 Now, back to Olivia. She was alright. She had some hang ups about trusting Xander and just wanted to get back home to Fitch...and I get that. She's an orphan who lived on the streets for many years, so it's natural that she is very stingy with her trust. And being an orphan who finally found some sort of, albeit messed up, family and normalcy, I can understand her desire to get back to Fitch, the only (horrible, despicable, evil) father she's ever known. But here is where my hang up is. Olivia is incredibly naive. For someone who grew up on the streets and has learned not to trust people, she has no street smarts and is quick to hand out her trust to those who do not deserve it. For example, there is this whole scene where she and Xander come upon some homeless men standing around a fire in a barrel. She pays them $5 to give Xander some clothes (because he's wearing a white tunic, which is a whole other story and if you want to know more about that you gotta read the book). One of the guys is acting sketchy and she doesn't think, "hmm, maybe these guys have unsavory intentions for 2 teenage kids out on their own at night." She just thinks, "aww, they're homeless guys and down on their luck." Of course, trouble happens. Of course.

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 *Side note* This is not me blanket stereotyping homeless people. I know they are not all bad, but IN THIS SCENE they are. 

 Anyway, Olivia was a likable character, I just got tired of her rambling inner dialogue. Yes we get it. Fitch is who you *know* and trust, but we don't need to hear about it every time the action stops and you get a moment to internally reflect. And given his track record in the story, he most certainly does not deserve your trust.

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There are quite a few twist and turns, and the Egyptian lore was masterfully intertwined throughout the entire story...as it should since the entire story surrounds the fact that Olivia is possessed by King Tut's soul. All in all, Soul Slam is a solid YA book. I enjoyed it and will definitely be reading the next 2 in the series, Tut's Trumpet, and Peace Piper.

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