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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