Wednesday, April 8, 2015

"Everafter" by Nell Stark and Trinity Tam

Everafter (everafter, #1)Everafter by Nell Stark

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Everafter is the first book in the series by the same name, written by Nell Stark and Trinity Tam. It begins by introducing Valentine Darrow, a medical student and Alexa Newland, a law student as soulmate lovers. Valentine wants to marry her lover and is all consumed with how to propose to Alexa when she is attacked by a vampire and nearly killed. Valentine survives but now she is consumed with a craving for blood and an obsession to find her attacker. Alexa’s love for Valentine runs so deep that all she wants is to give Valentine everything she needs to stay alive. But, Valentine’s appetite is too much for Alexa, as a human. So, Alexa risks everything for Valentine. Valentine and Alexa’s relationship is stretched but endures impossible odds.

The authors chose to make half this book Valentine’s point of view and the other Alexa’s point of view. It was written well enough that I wasn’t bothered by this shift. I felt the authors used it effectively.

Throughout the book, you see Valentine’s struggle to learn about her new life all the while doing so with her one true love. I was touched by the great love that Alexa has for Valentine. The sacrifice she made to support her true love is amazing!

Definitely a great read! I’m looking forward to the next book in the series.

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"The Four Agreements" by Miguel Ruiz

The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal FreedomThe Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Miguel Ruiz

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


This was a different book from my normal reads. I read this book on the recommendation of a friend. I've given it 3-stars because 2.5-stars is not an option. On a whole, the book has some great advice and some good points.

  • Speak with integrity!
  • Don't take things personally.
  • Don't make assumptions.
  • Always do your best.
  • Happiness is a choice.
  • Accept and love yourself.

However, growing up in the church, learning from the Bible as I have, this is a no-brainer. If you have read the Bible, this book could be summed up by reading John 13:34; “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” Or, Ephesians 4:2-“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” Or, Romans 12:10 “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” The goal is to love one another and to be like Jesus. However, it was refreshing to read from another source other than the Bible and get the same message that the Bible has drilled into me over the years.

The main thing I had trouble with was the author’s over-simplifications made and the over explaining! It seemed that he explained every single point, regurgitated and simplified more, and then explained again. On an intellectual level, this left me bored. Understanding FIRST explanation, I decided to skim the book.

Some people may require multiple examples to be broken down into the most simplistic of terms. If you are one that needs bite-sized pieces of a self-help book, then this will be a good read for you.

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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

"Voyager" by Diana Gabaldon

Voyager (Outlander, #3)Voyager by Diana Gabaldon

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I have to say, I really love how Diana Gabaldon writes! Her stories are full of adventure and suspense! "Voyager" is the third book in Gabaldon's Outlander series. I was glad to have Claire & Jamie back together. For a large portion of the book, I wondered… it never seemed that it would ever happen.

I remember wondering how Claire would cope with Frank, and how Frank would deal with Claire being pregnant. This book tells that story. I felt so sorry for Claire. The first book showed that Claire was in love with Frank, and it seemed that nothing could dissuade her from going back to him. However, as we see in this book, it is very clear whom she truly loves.

It would seem that Claire has trouble with carrying babies. We know she lost her first child in France, and had she not gone back to the 20th century, she might have lost her second. So for me, that is the plus side of Claire returning to Frank. I'm also very glad that she did further her career as a doctor. Not only was she brave enough to go back through the stones, pregnant, but she also educated herself further.

Now, in Voyager, we read both Jamie's and Claire's stories. We catch up with Claire in Scotland where she and her daughter, Brianna, come to do more research. However, this is where Brianna learns for the first time that Frank is not her father. She learns that her father, Jamie Fraser, is from the 18th century. After her initial introduction to the story of her father, Brianna begins to help locate Jamie in history.

As they, in the 20th century search for those in the 18th century, Gabaldon switches points of view to Jamie and his predicament. We learn what he has had to live through whilst Claire was back in her own time. Let me just say, he goes through much more than I would have dreamed in a story. You could say, he went to hell and back.

After several chapters of Jamie's life, we bounce back to Claire and Brianna. We come to the point where Claire must decide if she wants to go back to Jamie.

Throughout this whole story Jamie and Claire, face one problem after another. Just when you think these two might live happily ever after, they're faced with something else. Even as the end of the book draws to a close, our protagonists almost die at sea. However, within the story I found multiple scenarios or possibilities for the next book in the series.

I'm pretty sure that this book was one of the longest books I have ever read. Yet, there was not one moment where I was bored. In fact, there was a time or two where so much happened in a short period, so I had to take some time off to recuperate. The story took me on an emotional rollercoaster! I had moments where I wish I could have been like Gumby and Pokey from my childhood, gone into the book and strangled or beat the hell out of whoever was annoying me at the time. At one point, it was Claire, the next Jamie, and then another when Claire and Jamie met Mistress Abernathy. You'll have to read the book to know who she is.

I loved this book and I know you will too! If you love historical fiction, romance, time travel, and lots of adventures, you need to look into reading the Outlander series. If you started the series and just not sure if you want to go to the next… DO! I can't wait to start the next book, "Drums of Autumn." In fact, I'm starting it right after I post this review. ;)


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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

"Firestorm," by Radclyffe (A First Responder Novel)

Firestorm (First Responders, #2)Firestorm by Radclyffe

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


"Firestorm" is the second book in Radclyffe's First Responder series. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it!

Mallory "Ice" James is a firefighter paramedic working for the U.S. Forest Service. She commands a team of twenty men & women smokejumpers & trains all the new rookies that come through. Ice runs a tight crew & maintains tight control on everything in her life. Her goal is to keep her team safe. However, something she has no control over is a last minute applicant, rookie Jac "Hotshot" Russo.

Jac has the skills to get & do the job on her own merits, but her Senator father pulls some strings to get her accepted before the others before her. This starts her off on the wrong foot with Mallory, so she feels she has to prove herself to the captain. Jac has spent her life hiding from the politics of her father. She’s learned to guard herself closely & not let anyone into her life.

Neither Mallory nor Jac were ready for what happened next.

Radclyffe does an awesome job of bringing these two women to life. The emotions are high & the love scenes are hot, & the book was too short! There were parts in this book where I would have loved for the author to carry on further. There is so much more that screamed to come out in this story. I would have loved to learn more of Jac's mother, who seemed shoved into this political life just as everyone else. With this political family, it seemed Jac's father pushed the political agenda more so than her mother did.

I'd love to imagine the outcome of Hooker when that day arrives, where Jac or Mallory, or both, let him feel their fury!

Although I would have loved this story to have been longer & beefed up a little more, it was still very balanced with storyline & all the extra characters with the personal relationship between Mallory & Jac. The emotions, the passion, & the sexual tension were intense! I loved it!

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Sunday, December 28, 2014

"Dragonfly in Amber," by Diana Gabaldon

 Dragonfly in AmberDragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


"Dragonfly in Amber," by Diana Gabaldon, is the second book in the Outlander series. The story started slowly and for me, parts of the story seemed to walk by slowly as well. However, with that said, I would not skip one word in this whole book.

If you have read the first book, you know the story is about a 1945 WWII nurse who falls through time and ends up in the 18th century. In the story, we got a glimpse of how she coped with the English and the Scots, the hard times, and how she was saved from death numerous times.

In this second book, we're back in the 20th century, but we have no explanation until she tells her story to her daughter and the son of the ol’ reverend. Claire tells of her adventures in extensive detail. On several occasions, I had to bring out the tissue because I felt as if I were in Claire’s shoes, suffering as she suffered.

My overall opinion of this book was definitely 5-stars! Yes, I struggled with parts and it took longer than usual to get through the book. However, I wouldn't give up one second of my time reading it. I felt that the author did very well at immersing me into the story, putting me right there shoulder to shoulder with Claire. I also felt that I got a good dose of Scottish and English history. Whether all or none of it was truly from our history books didn't matter. Gabaldon's method of writing made you believe it was an historic event!

This is such a beautiful love story too. I swoon every time I think about getting back into the story. There's nothing fake about the love between Claire and Jamie.

Now, onward to "Voyager!"

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Thursday, December 4, 2014

"The Magic Hunt," By L.L. Raand

The Magic Hunt (Midnight Hunters Book 5)The Magic Hunt by L.L. Raand

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


"The Magic Hunt," by L.L. Raand is the 5th installment of the Midnight Hunters series. I’ve been a huge fan of this series and have looked forward to each installment.

After an assassination attempt, Sylvan Mir, wolf Were Alpha of the Timberwolf Pack, and her mate Drake McKennan vow to protect their own, no matter what the cost, from the government and all others who threaten their survival.

In this story, we are introduced to a new person, Fae royal Torren de Brinna. Torren escapes from the vampire dungeon and tries to get back to her people, but finds the doorway closed and is left with only one alternative… request that Sylvan give her sanctuary. However, she didn’t expect to fall in love with one of Sylvan’s young dominate weres, Misha.

Let me first reiterate that I love this series. With that said, I struggled, a bit, with the fact that Jody did not have a bigger part in this story. Since this is, most definitely, a war with the Viceregal of the vampires, I felt that Jody should have been a key figure, a liaison between wolves and vampires. However, she was not. In fact, I think she was in all of 5-pages in the whole book. I would have thought there would have been some kind of collaboration between Sylvan, Jody, and Michel. However, there was not.

The love story between Katya and Michel continues to grow, which I’m glad to see. They make a good match and I would like to see where this story goes. I also like Misha a lot and think that Torren will be a good mate for her. I hope to see more of these two couples in future installments.

I suppose I felt this story was not as complete as the others were. Sometimes, this is acceptable because the next book ties it all together and keeps the edge-of-your-seat entertainment. I’m hopeful for the next book!

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Sunday, October 26, 2014

"Outlander," by Diana Gabaldon

Outlander (Outlander, #1)Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I finally had a chance to get to Diana Gabaldon’s book, “Outlander.” Unfortunately, or perhaps I'm fortunate, to have read this book whilst Starz was running season 1 of Outlander this summer. I have one friend, Aimie, who kept on telling me that I should read this book. I’d guess that she had suggesting the book a couple of years ago. I did have it on my list, but my most favorite genre of books always took precedence. I’m glad that I finally dove in and read the book.

In this story, a 1945 WWII English nurse, on her second honeymoon, falls through time and lands in the 18th century. Talk about culture shock! When she awakens in the 18th century, she finds herself in the middle of a scuffle between the English Dragoons and Scottish Highlanders. With nowhere to hide, and unfamiliar with her surroundings, Claire is shot at and nearly raped by the English Dragoons before a Scottish Clansmen saves her.

Throughout the whole story, Claire learns to cope with the various hardships of the 18th century. She is accepted as a healer in most the lands. I love how she brought her 20th century medical knowledge into the 18th century, saving many lives that probably would have died had she not been there.

Gabaldon’s method of writing immerses you deeply into this beautiful love story! I would definitely recommend grabbing this book and reading it! I look forward to reading Gabaldon’s next book in this series!


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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

"Moonlight" by Katie Salidas

Moonlight (Immortalis, #4.5)Moonlight (Immortalis Vampire Series — Book 5)
by Katie Salidas

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I’ve enjoyed all of Katie Salidas’ books in the Immortalis series, so I looked forward to reading this one. "Moonlight (Immortalis Vampire Series Book 5)" carries on the series and shows us Fallon, Alyssa’s best friend, and Aiden, werewolf Alpha of the Olde Towne wolf pack. As in the previous three books prior to this one, Fallon is human and deeply in love with Aiden. When Aiden’s father died, Aiden became Alpha by blood, not by trial. Part of the ritual in becoming the true Alpha, means he must have a wolf mate. The pack has trouble-accepting Fallon as the Alpha female because she is not a wolf. So now, Fallon must face the decision of either turning away from Aiden & the pack, leaving them all behind, or accept her destiny & become a werewolf herself. However, there is dissension in the ranks of the Olde Towne wolf pack. Two other werewolves want the role of Alpha and will do anything to get what they want.

I have enjoyed how author, Katie Salidas, builds her characters & their world, & fits together each facet of her story. As I said, I looked forward to reading this story. I hoped that she would put as much creativity into her description of turning werewolves as she did turning vampires. It was not as I had hoped, but she did not disappoint. There were points in the story that I felt needed a little more punch. For instance, though Fallon fought her final fight with due diligence, I would have liked to have read that Fallon took the final blow to her nemesis instead of the pack becoming involved. With Fallon going through all that pain and agony & nearly being killed, it felt somewhat anti-climactic to have the pack finish the fight. Showing the pack as supportive here worked for the story, but I felt that Fallon was gypped.

Though I have my opinions on minor details that I feel would better if written differently, it doesn't steal from the fact that Salidas did an awesome job with this story! I must say, these books get better with each one.

Grab your copy now!



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Sunday, August 10, 2014

"Darkness Awakened" by Stephanie Rowe

Darkness Awakened (Order of the Blade #1)Darkness Awakened by Stephanie Rowe

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


The synopsis of this book piqued my curiosity. An ancient race of immortals is cursed with a dark side… they’re destined to meet their soul mate and to be so drawn to them that they are unable to resist bonding with each other. It sounds intriguing, doesn’t it? There’s a flipside… their destiny is to destroy each other.

Overall, I enjoyed this story. The struggle that Quinn and Grace go through to beat destiny was not boring in the least. There were moments where the author pressed hard on the emotions bringing a tear to the eyes as both Grace and finally Quinn sacrifice their lives for each other because of their love for each other.

At first, I struggled with how they each fell in love with each other. It seemed too quick for the story. However, I let that slide because a story has to start somewhere and the whole plot involved both Grace and Quinn. They each seemed to have an intense magnetism that pulled them together, no matter how hard they tried to stay apart.

I did find there were a couple of continuity issues in the story. Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, I can’t remember what they were. I took notice but it didn’t seem to matter. It didn’t derail me from the plot path. In addition, there were moments where I felt like I was in an old black and white movie. Scenes where Grace gently pressed her hand on Quinn’s chest, for instance. Perhaps these are described best as cliché moments. There were some predictable moments also. You knew Grace wouldn’t stay in the tree to stay safe, for instance. You saw it coming when Grace stormed off into the forest and they attacked her at Dante’s house, because Quinn let up from snooping in her head to talk to another warrior…leaving her wide open for attack.

With all that said, to me the story was excellent. The author captured my emotions and carried me through to the end. I can honestly say, I look forward to reading the next in the series.


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Thursday, July 10, 2014

"Iron & Velvet" by Alexis Hall

Iron & Velvet (Kate Kane, Paranormal Investigator, #1)Iron & Velvet by Alexis Hall

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


I must say, I loved the cover and the title of this book. I don't normally say this in a review, but the cover intrigued me enough to get the book. When I opened it up to begin reading, I found I was very surprised. Firstly, there are a lot of typos and a number of very slang words that I had never heard before. In fact, I had to look them up. I found the definitions of these slang words on UrbanDictionary.com. Words like, "woofle," "wibbly," "wotsit," and "faffed," to name a few, baffled the hell out of me. The whole story reads in what I would consider British slang. Personally, I would have preferred a little more polish overall in this story. However, with that stated, I did really like the story.

Kate Kane is a faery princess by birth, but is a P.I. (Paranormal Investigator) by career choice. As I first started reading this, I became concerned that the author may have mimicked another series I’ve read, that I love very much. However, as the story progressed, I found the only commonality between this story and the other, which I’m not naming on purpose, is that the main character is a P.I. and a faery princess. After that, it builds on its own.

Kate is called in to investigate a murder that has paranormal written all over it. Though Kate is a professional P.I., she kind of handles the case like the proverbial bull in the China shop. She jumps in, makes her insinuations, causes a war to break out then realizes she was wrong and starts all over again. During this investigation, she falls in love with the Prince of Cups, which happens to be an eight hundred year old female vampire. I’d never heard of a woman holding the position of “Prince” so this threw me a bit. You have to understand, I’m an American and this book is written in British slang or perhaps, commoner English. So, it’s quite possible that I’m the only one who didn’t understand. The author does help you to understand what the Prince of Cups is though.

This wasn't a thought provoking story. But the author did such a great job detailing the surrounding areas that one could literally lose their lunch. However, I believe that was the intent as you get into the story. She had to trek through some extremely nasty areas. (No, I'm not saying… read the story yourself!) I would have loved to have had as much detail to describe the intimate moments between Kate and Julian (Prince of Cups). It seemed too shallow for me. However, it leaves me to think that this series will grow into something more and I hope to read the next in this series as well.



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