Saturday, June 25, 2011

In My Mailbox (5)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren.

From the Library:
A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy #1) by Deborah Harkness- Goodreads | Amazon 

For Review:
Catch Me by Loreli Brown- Goodreads | Amazon
Wisdom's Kiss by Catherine Gilbert Murdock- Goodreads | Amazon
The Beginning of After by Jennifer Castle- Goodreads | Amazon
The Mephisto Covenant (The Mephisto Covenant #1) by Trinity Faegen- Goodreads | Amazon
Feast by Merrie Destefano- Goodreads | Amazon

Between the Land and the Sea (Marina's Tales #1) by Derrolyn Anderson- Goodreads | Amazon
The Moon and the Tide by Derrolyn Anderson- Goodreads | Amazon

Blog Hop (12)

Book Blogger Hop
The Book Blogger Hop is weekly meme hosted by Crazy-for-Books.  This is a great way for bloggers to network their blog and discover new blogs.  

Question:  When did you realize reading was your passion and a truly important part of your life?

Answer:  I used to hate reading.  I always read just enough for school.  It wasn't until about a year ago when I was going to try to get more of my general education classes done over the summer that I started to really read.  I was so bored so I went on to amazon, created an account, and started browsing their book section.  Then I started googling like crazy trying to find more books.  By the end of the summer I was stalking B&N's website for upcoming releases.  That was the moment I realized that I truly love reading.  I used to be addicted to watching TV.  Now, I'm addicted to reading, and I never want to go back.  

When did you realize you loved reading?

Friday, June 24, 2011

Book Review: Cascade by Lisa T. Bergren

Title: Cascade
   Author: Lisa T. Bergren
   Series: The River of Time
ISBN: 978-1434764317
Publisher: David C. Cook
Pub. Date: June 1, 2011
Source: Author
Genre: YA/ Historical Romance/Time-Travel
Pages: 416
Rating: 5 Kisses
   Buy: Amazon | Book Depository
Excerpt | Website 

Synopsis (from touched my underdress—a gown made six hundred years before—and her eyes widened as she rubbed the raw silk between thumb and forefinger. She turned and touched Lia’s gown. “Where did you get these clothes?”
              Gabi knows she’s left her heart in the fourteenth century and she persuades Lia to help her to return, even though they know doing so will risk their very lives. When they arrive, weeks have passed and all of Siena longs to celebrate the heroines who turned the tide in the battle against Florence—while the Florentines will go to great lengths to see them dead.
But Marcello patiently awaits, and Gabi must decide if she’s willing to leave her family behind for good in order to give her heart to him forever.

My Reveries and Ramblings:  If you haven’t read Waterfall, the first book in the River of Time series, then I urge you, nay, kick you to the bookstore to buy, yes, you heard me right; buy Waterfall because it is so worth it!  Now, stop reading because this review will spoil the end of Waterfall for you.
When my package (Cascade) came in the mail, I screamed and ripped it open. I beheld a signed copy of Cascade with signed bookmarks (Thank you, Lisa Bergren!)  Apparently all the noise I was making alarmed my family.  When they walked in the room asking me what was wrong, they found me jumping up and down repeating “yes yes YES! AHHHH, I’m so happy!”   They just looked at me shaking their heads, probably flashing back at the last time this happened (during my Twilight phase). 
EPIC.  That was the first word that came to mind when I finished Cascade.  I didn’t think it was possible to love a book more than I loved Waterfall, but Ms. Bergren proved me wrong.  This book was even better than Waterfall.  The stakes were raised even higher in this installment.  Gabi and Marcello are forced to really think about the direction of their relationship.  For Gabi to stay in the past, she would have to force her family to stay with her.  She would also have to start thinking about marriage-people got married at a much younger age back then (they also died earlier).  When the three Betarrini women travel back in time, they find themselves in the middle of a war.  No one is safe; especially the “She-wolves of Siena.”  Gabi and Lia are confronted with numerous obstacles in this sequel.  The enemies of Siena are constantly hunting them.  As a source of hope for the people of Siena, Marcello and Luca, the girls must survive.  I’m going to stop talking about the plot here, because there is just too much that happens and I really don’t want to spoil it for anyone.  Just know that there are three things the girls are up against: 1) The plague, 2) the war, and 3) the choice to either go back to the present or stay in the past. 
Okay, now for my gushing!  I. Love. Marcello.  I might have said that in my Waterfall review, but I don’t care.  It’s true!  Ms. Bergren created a hero that is charming, swoon-worthy, and…..Italian!  All my favorite scenes involved Marcello.  Ahhh, I’m smiling just thinking about him.   Ms. Bergren did add a new potential swoon-worthy guy, Lord Greco.  His status in the book is a bit complicated, so I’ll just say this: YUM!   Yep, he has the whole Ash (from the Iron Fey series) attitude.  He’s goal-oriented, sly, and is more than meets the eye.  He is charged with capturing the Betarrini women.  After accepting the task, he finds out that this is much harder than it seems. 
Cascade was exhilarating!  The story never stalled.  I was constantly turning the page wondering what happened next.  Whenever Gabi overcame one obstacle, there were two more waiting for her on the next page.  Just when I thought “Thank God they made it!” the suspense comes creeping back.  Usually authors have an action scene then a relationship scene.  Ms. Bergren effortlessly blends the two together.  The reader feels the urgency the characters are feeling, throughout the book.  This made me feel like I was a part of the story; like I was right there in the battlefield/forest. This sequel was much more emotional than Waterfall.  Ms. Bergren was not afraid to kill off characters.   Gabi, as well as Lia and their mother, had to deal with death at a much closer and bloody level.  They begin to realize how tragic and dangerous this war is.  They have a responsibility towards the people of Siena whether they like it or not.   Whatever Gabi felt, I felt.  I could feel her pain and sadness over each death.  War is so tragic; it was heartbreaking to read it through Gabi’s POV.  
I couldn’t put the book down! The only problem was that it ended.  Ms. Bergren took me on an exciting adventure that I will never forget!   WARNING: Don’t read the book in a public place unless your are fine with being stared at.  I read Cascade on the train.  Every time something really great happened I wanted to jump up and down.  Every time something tragic or sad happened I wanted to scream or cry.  Of course stifling my laughter by coughing doesn’t really work because my “coughs” sounded more like cackles.  When I finished it (on the train) it took EVERYTHING I had to calmly shut the book.  I wanted to dance and run around yelling “THAT WAS AMAZING! WHY DID IT HAVE TO END?!?!?!?!”  But instead I fidgeted in my little window-seat replaying my favorite scenes and thinking about how far away the release date for Torrent is.  

Book Trailer: 


Previous The River of Time Review(s): Waterfall

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (5)

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine.

Title: Heartless
Author: Gail Carriger
Series: Parasol Protectorate #4
Release Date: June 28, 2011
Pre-order: Amazon | Book Depository

Synopsis (from Goodreads): Lady Alexia Maccon, soulless, is at it again, only this time the trouble is not her fault. When a mad ghost threatens the queen, Alexia is on the case, following a trail that leads her deep into her husband's past. Top that off with a sister who has joined the suffragette movement (shocking!), Madame Lefoux's latest mechanical invention, and a plague of zombie porcupines and Alexia barely has time to remember she happens to be eight months pregnant.  Will Alexia manage to determine who is trying to kill Queen Victoria before it is too late? Is it the vampires again or is there a traitor lurking about in wolf's clothing? And what, exactly, has taken up residence in Lord Akeldama's second best closet?

My Reveries and Ramblings:  Okay, so I'm sooooooo excited for this release.  I LOVED the first book in the series.  I was crying, I was laughing so hard.  The second book was a bit of a disappointment.  The third book was good.  But I'm seriously hoping this one will be amazing!    

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Book Review: Lover Revealed by J.R. Ward

                                  Title: Lover Revealed
                                  Author: J.R. Ward
                                Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #4  
                                ISBN:  978-0451412355
                                       Publisher: Signet
                                         Pub. Date: March 6, 2007
                                        Source:  Gift (B-day)
                                  Genre: Paranormal Romance/
                                                              Urban Fantasy
                                  Pages: 480
                                  Rating: 3 Kisses
                                  Buy: Amazon | Book Depository
                                           Excerpt | Website  

Synopsis (from In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York there's a war raging between vampires and their slayers. There exists a secret band of brothers like no other-six vampire warriors, defender of their race. But now an ally of the Brotherhood is about to encounter his own dark desire... 
Butch O'Neal is a fighter by nature. A hard living, ex-homicide cop, he's the only human ever to be allowed in the inner circle of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. And he wants to go even deeper into the vampire world to engage in the turf war with the lessers. He's got nothing to lose. His heart belongs to a female vampire, Marissa, an aristocratic beauty who's way out of his league. If he can't have her, then at least he can fight side by side with the Brothers... 
Fate curses him with the very thing he wants. When Butch sacrifices himself to save a civilian vampire from the slayers, he falls prey to the darkest force in the war. Left for dead, he's found by a miracle, and the Brotherhood calls Marissa to bring him back. But even her love may not be enough to save him...

My Reveries and Ramblings: Lover Revealed is Butch and Marissa’s story.  Butch is taken by the lessers very early on in the book after saving a civilian vampire.  He is tortured for information about the brotherhood, but never gives in (Go Butch!).  However, something truly evil is done to Butch before he is left for dead in the middle of nowhere.  After the brotherhood rescues him, they question his fate and allegiance.  Butch is no longer the same “cop.” After healing from his stay with the lessers, he starts to notice some changes: his body is letting off an odd spice scent around Marissa, he is much more aggressive, he can suck lessers into himself, and his blood turns black whenever he destroys the lessers his way. 
            Marissa and Butch’s relationship had so many “aw” moments but there was one thing that seriously annoyed me; when Butch called Marissa “baby,” I cringed.  I really don’t know why that bothered me so much.  Other than that, everything was fine.  Butch wasn’t my favorite character, even in the beginning, and this book didn’t really change that for me.  Although, there were some aspects that really stood out and made me love Ms. Ward’s writing even more. 
            The Black Dagger Brotherhood series is a romance book series (just look at the titles).  The characters in the series have so much depth, not often seen in adult romance novels.  With each book, Ms. Ward astounds me with the way she skillfully balances the passionate love scenes with actual plot.  In Butch’s story, just like Zsadist’s, the central characters grow and change through the story.  Butch starts out insecure in his place in life.  Later in the book, when Butch is telling Marissa about his past he comments, “I’ve always been different from other people, not just in my family but when I was working here on the CPD force, too.  I never fit in…until I met the Brotherhood…I’ve been living on the fringes all my life…(p. 325).”  As the story progresses, the Butch becomes a part of a family, a part of something he never had.  Marissa also finds herself.  Even though Butch and Marissa fought a lot in this book, I think it was appropriate.  Neither were secure with themselves.  After Havers forced independence on Marissa, she started to follow her “Rule Number One: Right or wrong, she made the choices in her life.  No one else did (p. 402).”  Of course, Marissa doesn’t become independent overnight.  In fact, she moves in with the brotherhood.  Slowly, she begins to become her own person.  Her transition from flowing gowns and corsets to pants and turtle necks was very symbolic of her transformation from a push over, aristocrat to a fully independent woman, free of the cage her brother and the glymera had forced her in all her life. 
            Lover Revealed was definitely a huge step forward in the war between the vampires and the lessers.  What happens to Butch changes everything.  The Black Dagger Brotherhood have a whole new deadly weapon in the war.  As the Scribe Virgin said, “Now the new era in the war begins (p. 399).”   
            In this installment, Vishous and John Matthews also share some narration time.  Vishous has to deal with his confusing feelings towards Butch and Marissa.  John Matthews has to come to terms with Wellsie’s death and Tohr’s leaving.  Honestly, I felt bad for Vishous (his book is next!), but not John Matthews.  Seriously, John truly annoys me.  I feel like every time Ms. Ward writes a John Matthews part I have to fight the urge not to skip forward, mostly because all he does is whine!  It’s all poor-weak-me.  I’m not strong enough to beat up Lash.  I’m so weak. Etc. *
While this wasn’t the greatest of the Black Dagger Brotherhood books, it definitely is worth the read.  Fair Warning:  like all the BDB books, there are quite a few graphic sex scenes, violence, profanity, and of course blood and gore.  If you haven’t picked these books up yet, then I suggest you buy them…yes, buy them.  They are too amazing not to purchase because you will want to reread them over and over again. 
*note: I’ve actually read up until and part of the way through Lover Mine (John Matthew’s book) and I do like him, much much much better, in that book.


Previous Black Dagger Brotherhood Reviews:  Dark Lover  |  Lover Eternal | Lover Awakened

In My Mailbox (4)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren.

Purchased-Hard Copy:
Passion (Fallen #3) by Lauren Kate

The Survivors by Amanda Harvard
Surrender the Heart by MaryLu Tyndall

From Author/Publisher:
Girl Vs. Ghost (Misdirected Magic #1) by Kate McMurry and Marie August
A Congregation of Jackals by S. Craig Zahler

Where Demons Fear to Tread by Stephanie Chong

Friday, June 17, 2011

Blog Hop (11) and Follow Friday (9)

Book Blogger Hop
Book Blogger Hop, hosted by Crazy-for-Books, is a great way to network your blog and discover amazing new book blogs!  

QUESTION: How many books are currently in your To-Be-Read (TBR) pile?  
ANSWER:  A lot.  My TBR list on goodreads has about 936 books-and it grows everyday.  


Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee's View.  
This week's featured blogger is Rhiannon Paille.

QUESTION:  Genre Wars! What's your favorite genre and which book in that genre made it your favorite?

ANSWER: Paranormal Romance.  I'm sorry, but I have to say it: It all started with Twilight.  Yep.  That was the first paranormal romance book I ever read.  Actually, Twilight was what got me into reading.  

What's your favorite genre? AND How many books are in your TBR pile?  

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (4)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine.

Title: Fate's Edge
Author: Ilona Andrews
Series: The Edge #3
Release Date:  November 29, 2011
From  The Edge lies between worlds, on the border between the Broken, where magic is a fairy tale, and the Weird, where the strength of your magic can change your destiny.  Audrey Callahan may come from a family of thieves and con men, but she left that life in the Edge behind and has gone straight with a legitimate—and thoroughly unmagical—job in the Broken. Then her brother gets in trouble, and her father cajoles her into helping out on one last heist.  But Audrey is about to meet her match in Kaldar Mar, an Edger who has been on the wrong side of the law himself. Kaldar, a sometimes gambler, lawyer, thief, and spy with some unusual talents of his own, is assigned to track down a stolen item... and the trail leads him to Audrey.  Forced to work together, Kaldar and Audrey discover that the missing item has made its way into the hands of a dangerous criminal organization—one they will have to outsmart if they want to live.

My Reveries and Ramblings: I really really really LOVE this series!  Ilona Andrews is a genius.   Yes, the series is very strange; but it's good strange.  The first two books were amazing; and I'm willing to bet, this one is going to be just as phenomenal.  When I first heard the third book is going to be about Kaldar, I wasn't too thrilled.  But now that the cover and blurb are out, I'm just so excited.

What is your WoW?
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