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Thursday, July 24, 2014

We Have a Winner!

Loupe D.

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2014 Audiobook Challenge Update & Giveaway.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Review: Into the Shadows by Carolyn Crane

Title: Into the Shadows
Author: Carolyn Crane
Series: The Associates, book 3
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Carolyn Crane
Source: Review copy from author
Format: E-book

Thorne McKelvey knows exactly how Nadia sees him—as a brute and a killer just kinky enough to play her sexy games. And that’s how it has to stay. Leaving her was the hardest thing he ever did, but his undercover mission could blow up at any second. No way will he drag Nadia down with him.

Maybe it was foolish to fall in love with her late father’s deadliest henchman, but Nadia Volkov’s not sorry; without Thorne she wouldn’t have their beautiful little boy. There’s nothing she won’t do to protect Benny, which means she must hide his identity—especially from his father.

Now Thorne has burst back into her home, searching for clues to a gangland mystery…and stirring a hunger Nadia hasn’t felt in two years. But Benny’s identity isn’t the only secret she’s keeping, and things are turning deadly. Can Thorne and Nadia trust each other long enough to stay alive and have a chance at happiness?
Into the Shadows is the third book in The Associates series by Carolyn Crane.

This is one of those reviews in which I just want to tell you “buy it, read it, and thank me later”, but I know that doesn’t work with you greedy people. So let me tell you why you should follow my advice… Because this books will rock your socks off!

The blurb explains pretty well what this book is about, I don’t want to give much away because this is a story you need to discover slowly by yourself to feel the “punch” Carolyn Crane packed in it.

Carolyn Crane has a gift with words, she knows how to bring you into the story and make you feel strong emotions, so much, that a certain point in the story I had to take a break because I was really worried for a character. When an author can make you feel strong emotions like this, you know you are in for a treat.

Throne has had a very difficult life; his mother abandoned him when he was just a child, she left him with his junkie father and younger sister.  He didn’t have a normal upbringing to say the least, and couldn’t protect his sister when she needed him the most. He has lived his whole life blaming himself for her death and looking for revenge.
Throne is the epitome of a tortured hero. He doesn’t believe he is worthy of anything good or deserving of love. He is the kind of hero that will break your heart and will make you feel deeply for him.

Growing up as the daughter of a mob boss wasn’t easy, but Nadia, also known as The Party Princess, learned how to handle the situation best. She knew how to make people comfortable and how to entertain. The only problem was everybody only saw her surface and not what she was hiding deep inside, until one day when her barriers fell and Thorne was there to witness it.
After the death of her father, Nadia’s life changed drastically. His businesses were divided between four gangs and Throne left her to join one of them. After that, she realized she was pregnant with his child, and months later she learned her mother was still alive (not dead as her father has told her) and working in one of the sweatshops owned by her deceased father.
The Party Princess became a mother and with the help of her ex bodyguard started the search for her mother, a search that brought Throne back into her life.

Nadia and Throne romance is wild, sexy, rough, and hot as hell. They are both broken, one more than the other, but they can make themselves whole when they are together if they only learn to trust each other again.

Carolyn Crane’s villains are always creepy as hell and the one in Into The Shadows was not an exception. Jerrod is smart, cunning and a sociopath. We can easily see he’s dangerous and even though I knew everything was going to be well at the end, I couldn’t help, but be worried along the way.

Into The Shadows is one of the best romantic suspense books I have read in a while. This book keep me glued to its pages, suffering for its characters, and wondering how everything was going to pan out at the end. You know you have a winner when a book make you feel strong emotions and that’s exactly what Into The Shadows is, a winner, and a great addition to a great series.

Into The Shadows can be read as a standalone, but I recommend you to read previous books in this series too. Why? Because they are really good too.

I recommend Into The Shadows to romantic suspense fans or to anyone who wants to read a well-written gripping story, with unforgettable characters, sizzling romance and biting-nails suspense.

My Verdict: 4 ½ Paws

Other books in the series
Against the Dark
Into the Shadows

Other reviews Goodreads

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Top Off Tuesday: Gargoyle by Shelley Martin

Today is Tuesday! You know what that means? Yes, today is that special day in the week when we can treat our eyes to some "horny man"... It’s Top Off Tuesday! Top Off Tuesday is a feature hosted by Felicia from The Geeky Book Blogger's Book Blog, Amanda from On a Book Bender, and Christi from Smitten with Reading.

The Cover I have for you today is a bit “different”… it’s the cover of Gargoyle by Shelley Martin. I haven’t read this book or any books by this author. What about you? Have you read this book or any other book by this author?

Elizabeta's secrets will kill her, but the devotion of a gargoyle can save her.

In 1891, seventeen year old Elizabeta Riemma pulls the clothes from her dead twin's body and assumes his identity. To avoid her murderous uncle, she attends her brother’s school on Marettimo island, which is forbidden to women. Elizabeta takes solace in sculpting and one night, she awakens her gargoyle.

Gorgeous and fiercely loyal, Aelius uses his abilities to aid Elizabeta in keeping her secret. He only asks one thing in return- a kiss. As Elizabeta learns confidence from her creation, suspicions rise and the island’s bloody history threaten to bury them.

Elizabeta must hide her gender. Aelius must hide his existence. But both of them dream of the impossible- to be together.
If you also want to participate on Top Off Tuesday head over to Felicia’s blog to share your link or just to see which other blogs are participating.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Review: Poison Promise by Jennifer Estep

Title: Poison Promise
Author: Jennifer Estep
Series: Elemental Assassin, book 11
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Pocket Books (July 22th)
Source: Review copy from publisher
Format: E-book
“Gin Blanco is hard-nosed, sexy, and lethal. Nicknamed “The Spider,” she’s a stone elemental assassin who brings her unique mix of magic and tact to every assignment, no matter the target.

There’s a new drug on the streets of Ashland, and its name “Burn” sums up the potent effect it has on its users. When one of her restaurant employees is threatened by dealers of the drug, Gin steps in to set things straight…”
Poison Promise is the eleventh book in the Elemental Assassin series by Jennifer Estep.

Gin Blanco is tired of people trying to kill her, but that’s her life. Being the famous assassin “The Spider” has its drawbacks and that is one of them. Gin’s sister, detective Bria has her sights on Beauregard “Beau” Benson, drug lord and king of Southland who is pushing a new drug called Burn. But Bria’s obsession with Beau is putting not only her life in danger but that of those around her.
Gin has retired from her “profession”, but when the people she cares about are threatened she has to stepped up and do what she does best, take her Silverstone knives out to play. The only problem is that Beau is not her usual enemy; he’s a sadistic vampire with a special magic that lets him feed from other people’s emotions.
The good thing is that Gin is not alone, she has a group of friends willing to help her every step of the way.

I have to be honest, I’ve been going through a kind of reading slump and I’m not enjoying much the books I’ve been reading. Even though I knew and felt this book was better than previous couple of books in the series, I just couldn’t get into it as much as I wanted. I’m blaming it on me, not on the book. I think it was one of those “it’s me, not you” cases.

Saying that, I can say I liked Gin in this book, I liked that we see her tough side and her insecure side. That’s what makes her a remarkable heroine. She is not perfect, she’s not omnipotent, she has insecurities, and knows she has limitations. Still, she does what needs to be done to protect those she cares about.
In this installment she’s tired of hiding and comes out in the open. She knows that now that she has publicly proclaimed to be The Spider things will be more interesting for her and consequently for those around her.

One good thing about Poison Promise was that I felt love for Owen again. What he did in previous books is now in the past and he’s back to be the perfect man for Gin.

Finn is the perfect sidekick. He can kick ass when necessary and at the same time he brings the comedy relief to balance the story. He loves Gin and has always been there for her. I really couldn’t like him more.

Now we have come to Bria, OMFG! Bria! I wanted to slap her more than once. What happened to her? She used to be a pain in the neck for Gin then she accepted her for what she was (an assassin and her sister) and now, in this installment she is back being a prick! She said many hurtful things and was very judgmental about Gin’s life. She not only hurt Gin deeply, she also put her life in danger.
Later on she regretted her actions, but I can’t helped but think that deep down Bria still feels and thinks that way about Gin, if not, she wouldn’t have said those hurtful things.

In Poison Promise we see everything we expect from the books in this series, non-stop action, violent confrontations, creepy villains, Gin getting her ass kicked and kicking ass.
In this installment we finally meet M.M. Monroe and even though I guessed who she was, I can’t help but feel that what is to come for Gin are things we have seen before (first books). I really hope I’m mistaken and the new villains won’t be new versions of Mab Monroe and her cronies, because that would be very disappointing.

Poison Promise is a great addition to a great series. I recommend reading these books in order to get the full effect of the Elemental Assassin series.

I’m looking forward to next book in the series, Black Widow, to be released on November 25th.

My Verdict: 4 Paws

Other books in the series
Spider’s Bite
Web of Lies
Tangled Threads
By A Thread
Poison Promise
Black Widow (November 25th)

Other reviews Goodreads

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Movie Trailer: Interstellar

Interstellar is a movie by Director, Christopher Nolan (Inception, Dark Knight Trilogy).

Mainly based on the scientific theories and script treatment of renowned theoretical physicist, Kip Thorne. Interstellar is set to be released in November 7, 2014.

Nolan and Emma Thomas are producing with Lynda Obst, and Jordan Goldberg is exec producing. Obst commissioned the original treatment and Steven Spielberg came aboard in 2006, when Paramount owned DreamWorks and after the filmmaker became intrigued by Caltech physicist and relativity expert Kip S. Thorne and his scientific theory that wormholes exist and can be used for time travel. Spielberg set Jonah Nolan to write the script, which made it easy for Christopher Nolan to come aboard after Spielberg left the project. The ambition is that Interstellar will depict a heroic voyage to the farthest borders of our scientific understanding.

The film is co-finaced by Paramount Pictures and Warner Bros. Entertainment. In coming to a deal with its rival studio, Warners, which maintains an overall deal with Nolan's Syncopy label, relinquished to Paramount its rights to co-finance the next Friday the 13th horror film as well as a potential future South Park movie, which are two properties that were originally owned by Paramount before being brought by Warners. Also included in the negotiations was an agreement to let Paramount co-finance a to-be-determined A-list Warners property.


Friday, July 18, 2014

Review: Half a King by Joe Abercrombie

Title: Half a King
Author: Joe Abercrombie
Series: Shattered Sea, book 1
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Del Rey
Source: Review copy from publisher
Format: E-book
“I swore an oath to avenge the death of my father. I may be half a man, but I swore a whole oath.”

Prince Yarvi has vowed to regain a throne he never wanted. But first he must survive cruelty, chains, and the bitter waters of the Shattered Sea. And he must do it all with only one good hand.

The deceived will become the deceiver.

Born a weakling in the eyes of his father, Yarvi is alone in a world where a strong arm and a cold heart rule. He cannot grip a shield or swing an axe, so he must sharpen his mind to a deadly edge.

The betrayed will become the betrayer.

Gathering a strange fellowship of the outcast and the lost, he finds they can do more to help him become the man he needs to be than any court of nobles could.

Will the usurped become the usurper?

But even with loyal friends at his side, Yarvi finds his path may end as it began—in twists, and traps, and tragedy.
Half a King is the first book in the Shattered Sea trilogy by Joe Abercrombie.

In a world where men are judge by their strength and warrior capabilities, Prince Yarvi is at a great disadvantage; being born with a deformed hand has rendered him a weakling in the eyes of his family and the kingdom’s people.
Yarvi is a second son without interest in the throne. he is happy with his decision to become a Minister (priest and advisor to the king) and with his training almost complete he is ready to start his new life. Unfortunately, his father and brother are killed in an ambush and Yarvi has to step up and take a throne he wasn’t ready for.
Now, a King, Yarvi swears an oath to avenge the deaths of his father and brother, not knowing his enemies were closer than he was expecting. Enemies that betrayed him and left him for dead, but if Yarvi is something is resourceful. His fight for survival sees him sold into slavery, where he finds in a group of misfits the camaraderie and friendship that give him the strength not to give up and to plan his revenge.

Yarvi may be half man, but his wits are more than enough to compensate for his physical limitations. His hardships make him stronger and give him the confidence he so much needed it to not only seek out his revenge, but to be successful.
Yarvi grows page after page, seeing his transformation from an insecure youth to a strong and smart man was a delicious treat.

The secondary characters are simply amazing. They all are very different but complement each other perfectly. I have two favorites, Sumael and Nothing. Sumael is strong and smart, and despite her circumstances she’s a fighter who doesn’t give up. Girl power!
Even though I guessed from the very beginning whom Nothing was, it was really nice to see him being a part of Yarvi’s band of misfits. His dialogue was the best. I don’t know how many of his quotes I highlighted in the book, but there were a bunch. I can’t wait to see more of him in future books.

The world is a very interesting kind of Viking world, maybe in the future. There are some references to Elves, but we don’t see or learn much about them. The only thing that made me wonder is the cities the Elves left behind… they could be our (current) cities and we could be the Elves that (almost) end the world. I’m just speculating, but I might be right, who knows.

Half a King is Abercrombie’s foray into YA. Having read (listened to) one of his adult books before (The Heroes) and I’m happy to say all his trademarks are present in Half a King, they are only toned down a bit to appeal to younger audiences. Everything you expect to find in an Abercrombie book, dark humor, witty dialogue, strong characters, vivid world, a good amount of violence, conspiracies, and non-stop action is present in Half a King.

Kudos to Joe Abercrombie for taking the YA leap, because he gloriously succeeds, Half a King is YA fantasy at its best.

Half a King is an engaging and entertaining book, one with so many twists and turns you won’t be able to put it down. Half a King feels like at stand-alone; it doesn’t end in a cliffhanger, but at a satisfying point. Luckily for us readers, there will be two more books in this series, books I can’t wait to read, starting with next installment in the series, Half the World, to be release on February 19th, 2015.

I recommend Half a King to fantasy fans, YA and adults alike.

My Verdict: 4 ½ Paws 

Other books in the series
Half a King
Half the World (February 19th, 2015)
Half a War (2015)

Other reviews Goodreads

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