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Sunday, December 21, 2014

ARC Review: Revenant by Larissa Ione

Oh, Revenant, how I love thee (no that is not an exaggeration). Let me tell you my fellow book junkies, this novel flipping rocked my world. I admit this is my first Larissa Ione novel (I know, I know, I should be penalized), but damn, could I have become any more addicted? Nope. This book had so many fantastic characters that I simply cannot wait to go back to the beginning and see how it all started. Furthermore, this book can be read as a standalone, which is pretty amazing. Granted, you have to weave through the world of Daemonica a bit to understand how Larissa created her spin on Sheoul, Heaven, and Hell, but it is so worth it.

In fact, I loved how Larissa added her own flare while incorporating lore and religious aspects so beautifully. I’ll admit, I am not a religious person (though I respect those who are), but I do love history, and I definitely love creativity. This story was so well-written that not only were the intimate scenes delicious, but the action packed bits were nail-biting worthy. I also loved how the author made it possible to love both evil and good, depending on the character. It is so very rare to find an author that can make you love character who may be captivated by the darkness that surrounds them. Enter: Revenant.

Sweet, yummy, virulent, testosterone-laden Revenant: A Shadow Angel and current right hand of Satan himself. He is the perfect example of the anti-hero, turned hero of his own story in so many ways. He is brought up in a violent, abusive existence with the memory of his mother being the only savior in his own personal hell. He is also intent on justice for her suffering, determined to kill Lucifer before he is reborn, and trying to find a place among his kind who detest him. Oh, and did I mention his falling for a woman for the first time? Yeah, this guy is in trouble.

Now, when I say Revenant is in trouble, I mean holy hell, he is about to be blown into oblivion. Satan wants Revenant to prove his loyalty, especially after Rev having his memories returned. Said memories proved that he is actually a full-blown angel (just turned evil under unfortunate circumstances) and he has a twin brother who grew up in heaven, and is a Radiant. Apparently, Radiants and Shadow Angels are the strongest of all angels in existence on the sides of good and evil. Yes, crazy, I know!

First, Reaver, his twin brother was bathed in the brilliance of goodness and was lucky enough to experience the ties of family, which Revenant never had. Then, throw in Rev’s guilt over his mother’s demise, guilt over his own sins, and we have a complex character. He wants to honor his mother, whom was an angel, and change. However, with evil being all he has ever known, Satan owning his backside as well as wanting to filet his hide, how will he overcome his past?

Insert Blaspheme: The supposed False Angel (the product of a Fallen Angel and Angel), and surgeon at Underworld General Hospital. She is on the run from Eradicators, who have already nearly killed her mother Deva. They are on her trail, not only because she may not be who everyone thinks she is, but because her family holds very powerful secrets that lead down deadly paths. However, nothing can prepare you for Blaspheme and her hardcore tough girl attitude. She is absolutely engaging, and I am not sure I can stress that enough. This girl is stubborn, willful, compassionate, and beautifully moral. She is so unique that Revenant cannot possibly quench his thirst for her. She changes him, and in turn, he saves her from losing her light.

The supporting characters are wonderful as well. Eidolon is just….wow. He is the chief of Underworld General and an Incubus. He is helpful to Blaspheme with his timeless loyalty throughout this story. Furthermore, he truly considers her a friend; family. Plus, he is super sexy through his controlling and intelligent nature. I cannot wait to go back to the beginning of this series and read his story (seriously). There is also Harvester, Reaver’s mate, and let me tell you, she is strong and resourceful from what I gathered. Plus, Reaver is just heart-stopping. After all, he endured tragedy of his own, and despite his goodness, he has a little bit of bad boy streak. The other characters like the horsemen Death known as Thanatos, and the Archangel Metatron are intriguing as well, but they do not make strong appearances.

Truly though, Revenant and Blaspheme are the center of the story and they overcome many obstacles. Regardless of threats, betrayal of the most heinous kind, and maddening truths untold, but learned under dire circumstances, they hold each other through it all. Let’s not forget the thrilling fulfillment of biblical prophecies, the elimination of Satan and Lucifer, and the epic occurrence of love’s triumphant conclusion! Simply put, I could not get enough of these two! Then, Larissa throws in the tempest of raw sex and emotional upheaval. Yes, I was utterly captivated by this tale. I am so thankful to have read this and I cannot wait for more!

**ARC provided by Publisher**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N |

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Audiobook Review: Lover Awakened by J.R. Ward, Narrated by Jim Frangione

When I started “Lover Awakened” by J.R. Ward I knew that I would be hearing a story about vampires but I had no idea that I would become completely hooked! First, I had to start this story twice because it picks up very quickly. I went to the library and checked out the first book in the series “Dark Lover” so I could have a little background and a little more understanding.

So J.R. Ward’s writing. I have to say that her storytelling is very good. She was able to develop these hard cord vampires known as the Black Dagger Brotherhood. They live on earth but they stay away from humans although they need to feed. Feeding for them means drinking blood. Unlike the usual vampire stories these vampires eat, drink, sleep just like people and they can be killed. They also have enemies, The Lessers. The Lessers are not vampires and they are not humans. They are soulless beings and basically the bad guys. From this audiobook and from the first book I read, I understand that Ward focuses on one vampire and their love interest but the other characters are very much a part of the story as well. My one gripe about this is that the way she transitions from one scene to another is a little overwhelming. I had to rewind a couple of times to make sure I understood who was in what scene. For anyone that has never read JR Ward her books they are at least four hundred pages, the audiobooks is about sixteen hours. But all well worth it!

Ok, now onto the good stuff. In the BDB there are the main vampires: Phury, Wrath, Rhage, Vishous, Tohrment and Zsadist. The focus of this book is the love story between Bella and Zsadist. Zsadist is a very broken vampire. He lived as a blood slave, the lowest in the vampire hierarchy. As a blood slave he not only had to feed his mister but he also suffered a lot of sexual abuse. This is a constant problem for him in the present day and he becomes overwhelmed by his memories. He constantly feels dirty and has a very difficult time connecting with people. Bella comes from an aristocratic family of vampires. She is held captive by a Lesser that claims her as wife. In the previous book Zsadist meets Bella and is drawn to her. She is held captive six weeks by the Lesser but him and the BDB never stop looking for her.

Personally I loved Zsadist his feelings of unworthiness made my heart ache. He is a real jerk to most of the people he encounters but it’s his way of dealing with his issues. When he can’t distance himself from Bella and feels she is getting too close he really pushes her away. I also like Bella but since I’m on my 3rd book in the series (I became so intrigued by it, I went to my library and checked out the available books in the series) Ward tends to make her females very one dimensional. It’s very frustrating. Bella basically lays around waiting for Zsadist to come to her. When he finally breaks her heart (I’m using self -control and not giving too much away) she goes to see her brother Rehvenge. He’s in control of Bella’s life as well. The female roles that Ward writes are a little frustrating and it almost had me liking the books a little less. However, at the end she really had showed redemption for Bella’s character. I also liked the tremendous transformation that Zsadist put himself through so he could be worthy of her.

Finally, there are so many more characters in this story but I’ve decided to just focus on Bella and Zsadist. The bond of the brother is really beautiful and I enjoy reading about it. I’m also intrigued by Phury his dedication and love for his twin, Zsadist, brought tears to my eyes. I can’t recommend this series enough. I could not helped become hooked and I never thought I would love a paranormal series this much!

Purchase: | Audiobook | Amazon | Kindle | B&N |

Review: On the Record by K.A. Linde

On the Record is the second book in the Record Series by K.A. Linde, and picks up after the events of the first book. These are not standalone novels, and should be read in order. I couldn't wait to read On the Record after finishing Off the Record, and I had to know what would happen next. K.A. Linde always does such a great job of drawing you into a story and then ending with things up in the air. While it is frustrating at times to have all the angst and cliffhangers, I always know that it will be worth it in the end. This series is really good, and I am loving Brady so much.

Liz left Brady after the primary election, knowing that she couldn't have him make an impossible choice between her and his campaign. It broke her heart, but she knew that she believed in him and wanted him to be happy. Now as Liz tries to move forward with her life and with the election coming up, she is forced to think about her future while still dealing with her feelings for Brady. Liz decides to give Hayden a chance after turning him down for months. But when Brady reenters her life, she can't help but feel as though Hayden will never compare to what she had with Brady. Brady has also been seeing someone else though. Can Liz and Brady find their way back to each other, or will they be unable to move forward with one another now that there are more obstacles than ever?

I really love Liz and Brady. I have had a few issues with both of them over the course of the first two books, but I still find them to be likable and I can't help but root for them. Brady wasn't as big of a player in this book, and I really missed him. It seemed to take forever for him to show up, and I was couldn't help but try to rush to the part where I knew he would be back. Brady was a little different in this one, and I really liked it. We not only got to see the sexy and alpha Brady that was used to charming and commanding others, but we also got to see a bit more of his vulnerability. He had been hurt with how things went with Liz, and it was clear that he was just trying to get by and move forward the best he could. Liz drove me a bit nuts at times, and I honestly didn't care for her with Hayden at all. I never felt it between them, despite her having had a crush on him for years. I just always felt as though things were more of a friendship for them, so their relationship left me feeling slightly uncomfortable. They didn't come close to having the same chemistry or passion that Liz and Brady share.

I will say that even though I didn't really care for Liz and Hayden as a couple, that what happened with Hayden in this story didn't really feel right. It felt like his actions weren't really true to his character, but I do understand why it was necessary for Linde to take it where she did. But for me, it just felt out of character for him to have done what he did. I will say that I really enjoyed seeing Liz and Savannah grow closer in this book, and I am really loving Savi. I can't wait to see more of her in the next book, and I would love to get her story as well. I really loved where things were when this book stopped, but I am definitely waiting for more! Brady and Liz are shaping up to be one of my favorite couples, and I cannot wait to see how things play out for them after what happened in On the Record. I highly recommend this series and I think that it is one a lot of readers will really enjoy!

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N | Book Depository |

A Kiss Between Friends...with Brooklyn Ann and Giveaway

A Kiss Between Friends on Christmas Eve - Brooklyn Ann

A lover of witty Regencies and dark paranormal romance, Brooklyn Ann combines the two in her new vampire series. The former mechanic turned author lives with her family in Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho.

Find Brooklyn at:

Friday, December 19, 2014

ARC Review: One Song Away by Molli Moran

One Song Away is a sweet second chance new adult romance from Molli Moran. I love second chance love stories, especially when it is a best friends to lovers book as well. So I couldn't wait to read this one. While I did enjoy the story, I also had a few issues with this one as well.

Sophie-Claire Wright returns home after her life in Nashville falls apart. She knows that returning home will require some adjustments, but she refuses to live with her parents for long. She sets out to find a job so that she can get her own apartment when she runs into her childhood best friend and crush Jake Cooper. Jake and Sophie-Claire instantly reconnect and find that they can help each other. Jake is looking for an employee at his coffee shop, and Sophie-Claire is looking for a fake boyfriend to keep her mom from setting her up with horrible dates. But the more that Sophie-Claire and Jake spend time together, the more the lines between fake and real begin to blur. When Sophie-Claire finds herself falling for Jake all over again, can she finally get up the nerve to convince him to give them a real shot?

I really liked Jake. He was by far the high point of the book for me. Through talks between Sophie and Jake, he was the rich golden boy when they were in school and everything seemed to go his way. But after Sophie left town and he went traveling and found himself changing from a boy to a man. Since he had returned, he was a great guy. He was genuine and nice, and really sweet. I loved that he had that boy next door way about him, and I thought that he was a great hero. I really wish that we had been given some of his POV rather than just Sophie-Claire's. My real issue with this book was Sophie. Sophie is portrayed to be a tattooed and pierced bad ass songwriter that has always been a bit of a wild child. She left home after graduation to pursue her dreams and life her own life. But the problem for me was that she was almost always immature and insecure. She came off as whiny and irritating, and I honestly couldn't see the appeal. I didn't really feel the tension or chemistry between her and Jake, and to me it was her fault. She was always second guessing everything and it got really old.  

Besides Sophie-Claire's insecurity, I also had a problem with how she handled a lot of things. This story is another case of miscommunication/lack of communication between the hero and heroine, and there really wasn't anything new or fresh here. When these two finally got everything out in the open though, instead of them going for it Sophie-Claire decides to run away because she can't handle things. I know that Jake initially handled things poorly by not reacting the best to her confessing her feelings, but Sophie never really gave him the chance to explain anything. Then they finally do talk and she can't deal? That pretty much killed any kind of connection I had felt to her character, and it was pretty impossible for me to really get behind the relationship at that point. I wanted Jake to be with someone he deserved because he was so fantastic, and to me that just wasn't Sophie. I also felt like this story was a bit slow and drawn out, especially the beginning. I thought that Molli Moran had a great writing style, and this story was well written. For me though, it was simply a matter of not liking the heroine and the fact that this book didn't really have anything new or fresh to it. I think that if you are looking for a straight forward standalone new adult romance, that you might give this one a chance. For me though, this just wasn't what I had been expecting or hoping for and while I enjoyed it, I didn't love it.

**ARC Provided by Xpresso Book Tours**

Purchase: | Amazon |