Saturday, July 31, 2010

Book Blogger Hop #1 (My First)

Book Blogger Hop
Who is your favorite new-to-you author so far this year?

Dan Waters
I have been surprisingly shocked at how much I enjoy his work! The fact he's male is even odder for my romantic reading style/taste; yet, he has become a instant favorite of mine since beginning the Generation Dead series. I even went out and bought the third, Passing Strange, just the other day.

Thanks for hopping by!


Thursday, July 29, 2010

Linger by Maggie Stiefvater

(Wolves of Mercy Falls Book #2)
by Maggie Stiefvater

Genre: Paranormal Romance | Fantasy | Young Adult

This is the story of a boy who used to be a wolf and a girl who was becoming one.  

Just a few months ago, it was Sam who was the mythical creature. His was the disease we couldn't cure. His was the good-bye that meant the most. He had the body that was a mystery, too strange and wonderful and terrifying to comprehend.  But now it is spring. With the heat, the remaining wolves will soon be falling out of their wolf pelts and back into their human bodies. Sam stays Sam, and Cole stays Cole, and it's only me who's not firmly in my own skin. 

So, we pick-up from the last book, Shiver.   Sam has remained all winter as a human even though he is cautious of cold drafts and finds comfort in hot drinks.  Grace's good-girl appearance is falling apart with her family after getting caught sleeping with Sam and continuing to see him upon being grounded.  Isabel is adapting to her knowledge of the existence of shifters while dealing with the loss of her brother.  The newcomer, Cole, is adjusting to being a new wolf and is slowly figuring out where he choices have lead him.  Those are the main characters and the chapters are divided and individually told from their own POV between the four.

It's Spring and the warmer it gets in Mercy Falls, the more the wolves shift back into their human forms.  At least the new ones do.  The older the wolf, the less likely the shift occurs - which is what really bothers Sam.  Deep down he's afraid he won't see Beck and Ulric in human form again and he secretly misses his family while having flashbacks of his youth. Grace is continuing to let Sam crash every night at her house, which she keeps from her parents until getting caught one night.  Yet, Grace is secretly suffering herself from headaches that get worse and eventually nose bleeding as well.  She's beginning to carry the scent of a wolf and a tragic accident from her youth is causing the wolf inside to die.  Cole becomes the first wolf of the pack to shift back to human form, something he doesn't want.  Being the newbie, he choose to take the wolf virus to escape his life.  A life of being a rising rock-star until his faked death before coming to Mercy Falls.  He shares Beck's house with Sam and deals with the rocky future that both now share.  

Personally, I felt this book wasn't as great as the first one (since I'm a sucker for lovey-dovey tales), but I still found I read it quickly, teared up at parts as well, and thought it was a great continuation for Sam and Grace.  It's truly a touching story that grips your emotions since you know what is coming, but continue reading toward it anyways and then want more at the end.  Plus, the chapters being divided up carries the story pretty easily and keeps it from becoming too monotone.  Sam and Grace are truly in love and share an amazing bond and the fresh sparks between Cole and Isabel were becoming interesting as well.  Cole's an intriguing character and I, have to say, enjoyed his chapters the best.  I even feel in love with some of this thoughts throughout Linger and wrote down a few of his lines as favorites: "I was still chasing something -- some idea of life & fame that I imagined for myself when I was [younger] -- but I was losing interest in actually finding it." (pg. 30)  Beautiful and Heart-wrenching!  If you loved the first book, you won't be disappointed with the second and you'll be eager for what's to come.

Likes: Sam's poetic side & his sincere obsession with folding paper cranes! Plus, I just dig a guy who works in a book store. 

Dislikes: This book was pretty heavy for a YA read.  Lots of thoughts of suicide, hard-core drugs, attempts of murder, feelings of abandonment, etc.


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

*REREAD* Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost

Halfway to the Grave
(Night Huntress Book #1)
by Jeaniene Frost

Genre: Paranormal Romance / Urban Fantasy 

Half-vampire Catherine Crawfield is going after the undead with a vengeance, hoping that one of these deadbeats is her father – the one responsible for ruining her mother’s life. Then she’s captured by Bones, a vampire bounty hunter, and is forced into an unlikely partnership. In exchange for help finding her father, Cat agrees to train with the sexy night stalker until her battle reflexes are as sharp as his fangs. She’s amazed she doesn’t end up as his dinner – are there actually good vampires? Pretty soon Bones will have her convinced that being half-dead doesn’t have to be all bad. But before she can enjoy her status as kick-ass demon hunter, Cat and Bones are pursued by a group of killers. Now Cat will have to choose a side … and Bones is turning out to be as tempting as any man with a heartbeat.

Cat discovers she's half-vampire in her mid-teens and due to her Mother's anger toward them, she personally makes it a mission to take out as many as she can. Being self-taught and with a growing number of dead vampires under her belt, Cat mistakenly runs in Bones (a master vampire) on one her her nightly hunts. Upon being captured, Bones makes the shocking discovery of Cat's heritage and decides to make her a part of his team. He trains her, shares some power, and together they take on bounty hunting. Cat learns to acknowledge her darker side instead of shunning it, but things get dangerous pretty quickly.

There are lots of half-vampire stories out there, but I thoroughly enjoyed this one. It was different from the norm and Cat & Bones relationship was great. Lots of juicy chemistry between the two that keeps the readers glued. The flow of the story was nice as well and didn't turn corny or silly like some stories easily could. The ending is gripping and I got suckered into reading book two (again!) soon after finishing - One Foot in the Grave

Likes: Bones unabashful attitude toward Cat's shy side.

Dislikes: I began listening to the audio version of this book, but Bones
hackney accent got on my nerves too much to finish.


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Lion's Heat by Lora Leigh

Lion's Heat
(The Breeds Book #21)
by Lora Leigh

Genre: Paranormal Romance | Urban Fantasy

Bad boy Jonas Wyatt knows it is fate that Rachel becomes his mate. He can sense it. He can also sense her reluctance. But she has little power over the mating heat of the Breeds. It is Jonas's destiny to claim her. And nothing will stop him from having his way.

Jonas Wyatt, the Director of the Bureau of Breed Affairs (aka The Bogeyman of the Breeds), meets his mate, Rachel Broen, who also happens to be his new personal assistant. Unfortunately, Rachel is also pregnant with her ex-boyfriend's child, but that does nothing to affect Jonas' love. Jump forward several months, and Brandenmore, a geneticist (aka evil scientist) who has tortured and experimented on Breeds, threatens Amber, Rachel's daughter.

If you read the series, you know the spill . . . the Breeds are half-human, half-animal experiments who escaped captivity and are now building a world they can live & work in all while finding mates. Yet, upon mating, the pairs become partially immortal with extended life spans. With more government/secret agencies discovering that fact, the Breeds suffer from prejudices, death threats, and more. The series contains a complicated storyline and the time-line seems to grow generations as each book is released and more Breed members are introduced. Most readers are prepared for the 'been-there-done-that' romantic plot, but they still come back for more since they are HOT reads. This was another so-so tale, but it passed the time and was somewhat enjoyable . . . if not predictable.

Likes: Jonas wasn't really my favorite character out of the series, but it was nice to catch up with other pairs throughout Lion's Heat and see the families growing.

Dislikes: The negative attitude always given toward mates who shy away from mating, gets rather boring!


Sunday, July 18, 2010

Intertwined by Gena Showalter

(Harlequin Teen - Intertwined Book #1)
by Gena Showalter

Genre: Paranormal Romance | Fantasy | Young Adult

Most sixteen-year-olds have friends. Aden Stone has four human souls living inside him: One can time-travel. One can raise the dead. One can tell the future. And one can possess another human. Everyone thinks he's crazy, which is why he's spent his entire life shuffled between mental institutions and juvie. All of that is about to change, however. For months Aden has been having visions of a beautiful girl -- a girl who carries centuries old secrets. A girl who will either save him or destroy him. Together they'll enter a dark world of intrigue and danger . . . but not everyone will come out alive.

Aden has spent his whole life in and out of mental institutions diagnosed as a violent schizophrenic. Now able to control the voices in his head, Aden has moved to Crossroads, OK, to live in a halfway house for delinquent boys. His goal in life is to find a means to free these souls and at last be at peace. When he meets Mary Ann Gray, she miraculously acts as a neutralizer, and for the first time in his life, he truly feels normal. Little do they realize that when they first met, their connection sent a power surge throughout the world drawing every paranormal creature from fairies to vampires to Crossroads on a quest for power. To complicate matters, Aden becomes romantically involved with a vampire princess and Mary Ann with her werewolf bodyguard. Together the teens must figure out a way to protect themselves, and all of humanity.

I expected more from this book and sadly I was let down! It took me awhile to catch on the plot & characters - when I did - I was rooting for Mary Ann and Aden to get together, but no . . . instead the two become fast friends, establishing a sibling-type bond - which I just found strange & displeasing since they only knew each other for a few days/weeks. And this was just at the beginning of the book. They weren't the only characters being "forced" together either. Aden keeps having visions of a long, dark haired girl (who he first thinks is Mary Ann) who turns out being the Vampire daughter of Dracula (lame!), Victoria. So, Aden instantly has these insane urges to kiss her (I didn't get into ANY of their "romantic" time together either!) and the story just got sillier, less interesting, and just had TOO MUCH going on from there. I didn't like it. I didn't enjoy it. I couldn't even finish reading it. . . stopping on page 372 of a 440 story. I just really didn't care about the ending - SAD! None of the characters were believable. The romance was "pushed" upon the kids, even for a Young Adult novel. The story plot was all over that place and had way too many paranormal creatures, powers, you name it and, for once, I didn't enjoy the story going back and forth between two POVs.

Likes: Ummmm? This is a NO NEED READ!!!!

Dislikes: Don't EVEN get me started!


Thursday, July 8, 2010

Revenge of the Cheerleaders by Janette Rallison

Revenge of the Cheerleaders
by Janette Rallison

Genre: Contemporary Fiction | Romance | Young Adult

Chelsea's school year has taken a turn for the worse. After being dumped by her boyfriend and humiliated at the pep assembly by her younger sister's boyfriend, Rick, she's just concentrating on avoiding any other major embarrassments. That's when Rick and his band debut their new album, complete with a whole set of songs bashing cheerleaders. Chelsea's humiliation has reached a whole new level now that everyone is walking down the halls singing the words to -Dangerously Blonde. It's time to make Rick pay. All he wants is to win the High School Idol audition, so he can be on his way to rock star fame and fortune. But with the help of her best friends, Aubrie and Samantha, Chelsea is going to steal his victory right out from under him. The characters from All's Fair in Love, War and High School are back, only this time it's payback.

Having the same characters as All's Fair in Love, War, and High School, Revenge of the Cheerleaders deals with Chelsea dealing with some senior year drama which consists of her rocky relationship with her younger sister (Adrian) and her sis's emo boyfriend (Rick). Rick's band's popularity is taking off with his catchy, but mocking songs about cheerleaders - including Chelsea in particular. So, what's the girls to do? Beat him at his own game and win the local musical idol competition at their high school.

Rallison's book are just pure fun. Cute & Cheery. Easy to read and full of humor. Very realistic, but enough silly actions to make it all blend smoothly. She also creates characters that you just hate at the beginning but near the end, flip feelings toward. Plus it was nice catching up with Samantha and Logan again from the previous book.

Likes: The hunting reference for looking for guys and Chelsea & Tanner's first couple of meet-ups.

Dislikes: "Bad boys have a certain attraction, but they grow
up to be bad men, and we all know where that leads." I felt the father's alcoholism wasn't fully addressed, but I guess that would take away from the cheeriness of the story.


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Deeper by Megan Hart

by Megan Hart

Genre: Erotic / Paranormal Romance

Twenty years ago she had her whole life spread out before her. She was Bess Walsh, a fresh-scrubbed, middle-class student ready to conquer the design world. And she was taken. Absolutely and completely. But not by Andy, her well-groomed, intellectual boyfriend who had hinted more than once about a ring. No. During that hot summer as a waitress and living on the beach, she met Nick, the moody, dark-haired, local bad boy. He was, to put it mildly, not someone she could take home to Daddy. Instead, Nick became her dirty little secret— a fervent sexual accomplice who knew how to ignite an all-consuming obsession she had no idea she carried deep within her. Bess had always wondered what happened to Nick after that summer, after their promise to meet again. And now, back at the beach house and taking a break from responsibility, from marriage, from life, she discovers his heartbreaking fate—and why he never came back for her. Suddenly Nick's name is on her lips…his hands on her thighs…dark hair and eyes called back from the swirling gray of purgatory's depths. Dead, alive, or something in between, they can't stop their hunger. She wouldn't dare.

Elizabeth (known as Bess) returns to the sea-side town she spent her university summers working in. Now, upon being newly divorced, she moves into her grandparents beach home where she mysteriously runs into Nick, an old fling, and Eddie, an old co-worker. She's torn about what mistakes she made in the past and where exactly her future is going.

This was an audio book for me over my holiday drive. Not bad! It has that paranormal aspect to it that keeps up the interest as well as the romance that turns up the heat. Yet, Bess comes off as a lost character for me throughout most of the book. The chapters flip back and forth from the past to present, so the reader gets to see what exactly happened "then" and how that lead Bess to "now". At times it was was confusing and I, sadly, felt much of the story was left out . . . but overall . . . it was an enjoyable tale.

Likes: I like reading books all about the beach during the summer time, since it makes me day-dream I'm there . . . when I really stuck at work.

Dislikes: It's an okay love story, but I didn't feel like it was a complete love story. Lacking!


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

All's Fair in Love, War, and High School by Janette Rallison

All's Fair in Love, War, and High School
by Janette Rallison

Genre: Contemporary Fiction / Young Adult / Romance

Samantha has bombed her SATs, and her prospects for college are looking dim. What can she do to redeem herself in the eyes of college admissions? Head cheerleader isn't exactly awe inspiring, so she decides that politics is her salvation, and she begins her campaign for student body president with the help and support of her fellow cheerleaders. Branching out of her clique to enlist others to help leads to a bet with Logan, her eighth-grade boyfriend, that she cannot go two weeks without insulting someone. In the process, Samantha makes new friends, loses old ones, dates a hunk from her past, and learns something about character.

Sam is keeping her SAT scores on the down-low after scoring a little over 800. She's nurvous about college admissions and decides the only way she can gain more leadership skills is by running for the student body President position. Should be an easy win for the popular head chearleader, right? But, two weeks before the elections, Sam makes a bet with Logan (her co-worker and ex-boyfriend) that she cannot insult anyone . . . not her fellow schoolmates, not her teachers, and especially not Logan (who she almost insults everyday). It's a challenge that changes her more than she realizes.

I know . . . you look at the title of this book and the comical image and think . . .
what is she reading? That's just some shallow-prissy high school tale, but it's got great ratings on and Rallison has this brilliant way of writing that the characters come off as very realistic and funny as heck and after my enjoyment with My Fair Godmother, I checked out other books by the same author. I wasn't disappointed with this one as well. It's a fun, easy, light-hearted read that cracks the reader up and easily absorbs you into the story. GREAT summer book and I promise you'll be surprised how much you like it as well!!!

Likes: Logan's persistence.

Dislikes: The few spurts of high school silliness.