Monday, March 31, 2014

The Here and Now by Ann Brashares

I received an ARC of The Here and Now in return for an honest review. Thank you to Miss Brashares and Random House Publishing for this opportunity.

Official description:
Follow the rules. Remember what happened. Never fall in love.

This is the story of seventeen-year-old Prenna James, who immigrated to New York when she was twelve. Except Prenna didn’t come from a different country. She came from a different time—a future where a mosquito-borne illness has mutated into a pandemic, killing millions and leaving the world in ruins. 

Prenna and the others who escaped to the present day must follow a strict set of rules: never reveal where they’re from, never interfere with history, and never, ever be intimate with anyone outside their community. Prenna does as she’s told, believing she can help prevent the plague that will one day ravage the earth. 

But everything changes when Prenna falls for Ethan Jarves. 

One of the blurbs on Goodreads describes this book as an "unforgettable epic romantic thriller".  While I admit Miss Brashares' has an interesting imagination, I never once thought of this story as epic, unforgettable, or a thriller.
Miss Brashares does not do a very job of developing the characters. At the very beginning of the story the reader is just dropped into the middle of the plot. There is no build up of the main characters. And within just a few pages the reader is thrown forward by two years and the characters have matured and it is never really explained. The reader never really gets a chance to build a relationship with any of the characters. The story goes back and forth between scenes making it somewhat difficult to keep up with what is going on. I had to go and re-read pages on a few occasions to understand what I was reading. And then the ending just happened all of a sudden. She left the reader with questions. It is like she literally just ran out of ideas for the story.
 I don't really like to give bad reviews, but this story was not for me. I would give it 2 stars and those are for imagination only.

The Chase by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg

The Chase hardcover

The official description:
Internationally renowned thief and con artist Nicolas Fox is famous for running elaborate and daring scams. His greatest con of all: convincing the FBI to team him up with the only person who has ever caught him—and the only woman to ever capture his attention, Special Agent Kate O’Hare. Together they’ll go undercover to swindle and catch the world’s most wanted—and untouchable—criminals.
Their newest target is Carter Grove, a former White House chief of staff and the ruthless leader of a private security agency. Grove has stolen a rare Chinese artifact from the Smithsonian, a crime that will torpedo U.S. relations with China if it ever becomes public. Nick and Kate must work under the radar—and against the clock—to devise a plan to steal the piece back. Confronting Grove’s elite assassins, Nick and Kate rely on the skills of their ragtag crew, including a flamboyant actor, a Geek Squad techie, and a band of AARP-card-carrying mercenaries led by none other than Kate’s dad.
A daring heist and a deadly chase lead Nick and Kate from Washington, D.C., to Shanghai, from the highlands of Scotland to the underbelly of Montreal. But it’ll take more than death threats, trained henchmen, sleepless nights, and the fate of a dynasty’s priceless heirloom to outsmart Fox and O’Hare.
I received an ARC of this book in return for an honest review. Thank you to Miss Evanovich, Mr. Goldberg, and Random House Publishing for this opportunity.
So, I have to admit, I have never read a book by Janet Evanovich before now. My sister and my mother both love her books. When I had the chance to read and review this book, I jumped at the chance to see why my mom and sister were such big fans. And now, I am a fan too!
The Chase is a fast-paced, exciting story. I enjoyed the fact that it wasn't just one big heist that Kate and Nick went traipsing after. It was a series of heist after heist that took the reader across continents. And every heist was related. Each heist is important to the main story. Miss Evanovich and Mr. Goldberg keeps the reader on the edge of their seat wanting to know what is going to happen next. While it's not politically correct, they also keep the reader waiting to see how the antagonist will be humiliated again. The amount of politics added to the story is just enough to be important but not enough to bore the average reader into putting the book away. While their is no romance between Kate and Nick, the sexual tension is well written without taking over the story.
After reading The Chase I now understand why Miss Evanovich is such a popular author. And while this is not my typical genre to read, I am happy to say I am now a fan of Miss Evanovich and am looking forward to picking up another of her books. I hope I will be able to read the next one is one day as I did this particular book.
I highly recommend The Chase! Happy Reading!!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Forged by Jacquelyn Frank

I received and ARC of Forged in return for an honest review. Thank you to Miss Frank and Random House Publishing Group for this opportunity. 
Forged is the fourth book in the World of Nightwalker series by Jacquelyn Frank, and my first experience with her writing. Forged is Ahnvil and Kat's story. A supernatural love story. Ahnvil is a gargoyle who has been captured by the Templars, the supernatural bad guys. He manages to get away and is found by Kat while she is walking her dog, Karma. While Ahnvil was held captive he was away from his touchstone, a piece of himself that he needed to re-energize. If kept away from the touchstone for too long, he will start going insane and eventually turn into a stone gargoyle forever.
When Kat finds Ahnvil, he is badly hurt and needs her help. She finds him in the snow near sunrise. For Ahnvil, the sun will turn him to stone. For Kat, due to a medical condition, the sun will burn and blister her skin. Kat helps him to her house and uses her skills as a physician's assistant to tend to his wounds. 
Finding a beautiful necklace with his clothes, Kat puts it on intending to only admire it for a minute. When Ahnvil wakens and sees her wearing it he angrily tries to removes it without any success.
Kat and Ahnvil begin an adventure to find a way to remove the pendant and to keep Kat safe from the Templars. Along the way there is adventure, frustration, love and hot sex. But Kat and Ahnvil learn how special and important Kat is to the Nightwalkers.

If you have read any of Miss Frank's books and liked them, then you will love Forged. This is a book that keeps you riveted to each and every page. Putting the book down is almost impossible. It took sheer force of will for me to put it down to go to sleep. For those who like sex scenes: there are hot, steamy scenes that leave nothing to the imagination BUT make you picture everything in your mind. Ahnvil is every woman's secret desire! 
But the story is well written with plenty of plot. She does a great job of developing characters and describing each character without being overly descriptive. Even the characters that she brought over from other stories were easy to connect to without knowing their whole story. Miss Frank makes you cheer for the good guys, boo at the bad guys, and keeps you trying to figure out which side the middle-ground guys are really on.
As I said, this is my first experience with Miss Frank's writing and because of Forged I look forward to devouring more of her books (as well as her heroes)! 
Happy Reading!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Broken Skies by Theresa Kay

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I would like to welcome everyone that is participating in the Broken Skies Blog Tour to my blog. Thank you for joining me.
Broken Skies is a story set in the future but isn't really futuristic. It is about a teenage girl, Jax. Jax lives 30 years after the Collapse, a time when a massive war was fought with biological weapons and then followed by the plague. Twenty years after the Collapse is when the aliens showed up.. 
Jax and her brother are forced to live within a settlement after their parents are killed. While Jax and her brother are outside the settlement one day, she comes across an alien ship. Her brother ends up being caught by the aliens trying to keep Jax safe. 
In her quest to save her brother, Jax meets up with one of the aliens, Lir. There is little known about the aliens because they prefer to keep to themselves while the humans do the same. Jax and Lir join forces to get Lir home and to get Jax to the city where her brother is kept. Along the way they discover things about each other, each of their species, but most importantly, things about themselves.

Broken Skies kept me riveted. I couldn't wait to turn each page to see what else was going to happen next. I wanted to learn about the aliens as much as Jax. But most of all, I was impressed by Miss Kay's ability to envelope the reader into her world. She described each scene and each person to perfection. I was able to picture it all in my head as I read, yet I wasn't bogged down by too many words that described what she was trying to convey. There were some scenes where I felt like I could actually reach out and touch Lir and feel what Jax was feeling, Miss Kay's description was so vivid.
Broken Skies is a story I highly recommend! Happy Reading!!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Broken Worlds by Anitha Robinson

I received this book as an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Anitha Robinson and CBAY Books for this opportunity.

A young girl, Kalli, is living on the streets is brutally attacked. She thinks she is being carried to heaven by an angel. But in reality Ellis is an alien. As Kalli spends time with Ellis healing, she begins to have romantic feelings for him. As she heals she is watched very closely by his family. What are they up to? Are Ellis and his family more than they seem?

I enjoyed Miss Robinson's creative imagination. She has a talent for creating new worlds and new civilizations. She has shown great critical thinking skills in developing a story line that includes creating a way to save a world and a civilization. She had more than a little skill in creating a political base for an active alien civilization. I was impressed by the way she dared to try to save a people and their world.
But I was disappointed in the ending. It fell flat. It seemed like she ran out of imagination and ideas to complete the story. It ended abruptly. All I could think was "Really? That is all there is?!" I wonder what happened to the great story-teller that wrote the rest of the story?

Blue Lines: The Assassins Series by Toni Aleo


I received a copy of Blue Lines: The Assassins Series as an ARC for an honest review. I would like to thank Toni Aleo and Random House Publishing Co. for this opportunity.

Blue Lines is part of a series that Miss Aleo is writing but is also a stand alone story. You do not need to read any of the other books in the series to understand the story. The series is about the Nashville hockey team-the Assassins. Blue Lines is about one of the top players on the team, Erik Titov and his brother's sister-in-law, Piper.

Erik and Piper have a one night stand that results in a pregnancy. But Erik is the type who prefers to party and not settle down with one woman. His playboy lifestyle gets him in trouble with the owner of the team who wants the image of the team to be untarnished. Erik is put on probation, if he is noticed in the media for his sexual conquests even once, he will be traded. For Erik, to be traded is the ultimate punishment because he lives near his brother in Nashville and he and his brother are very close. To help himself, he turns to Piper to help him out.

What can I say? This book was WOW!! I enjoyed reading this book a lot. There is romance, conflict, family ties, a past with a bite, and a woman willing to try letting her love heal the only man she could ever love. Yes, there is sex, so anyone under 18 should have permission to read this book. But the book isn't all sex. The sex augments the story. It is a natural progression to the story line.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys romance. You will not be disappointed.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Wakeworld by Kerry Schaffer

                                                                             Wakeworld (The Between, #2)

I received this book in a contest for an honest review. Thank you to Miss Schaffer, Berkley/NAL, and Goodreads.

Wakeworld by Kerry Schaffer is the second book in the Between series.

It is about a girl, Vivian, who thinks she has become the last of the Dreamshifters after her grandfather dies. But she was never taught how to be a Dreamshifter. Being a Dreamshifter gives her the ability to open a door into Dreamworld, a place where dreams are real. She is also battling the dragon inside of her yearning to break free while being in love with Zee who happens to be a Dragon Warrior, a line of descendants who are born with hate for all dragons. When Wakeworld is threatened, Vivian sets out to find a man, Weston Jennings, who she thinks may be another Dreamshifter. Together, Vivian, Weston, and Zee, along with Vivian's penguin and Weston's Raven, all set out to save Wakeworld from destruction.

Miss Schaffer weaves a world full of dreams, dragons, and suspense.
While this in the second book, it can be read without reading the first book, Between.
I enjoyed this story very much. Miss Schaffer has woven into a story, something that I think most people have thought about: what if dreams were real? She has taken that thought and created a fantasy world where dragons, sorcery, and warriors all clash in a basic Good versus Evil plot. But the plot is so unusual that you mesmerized trying to find out how Good triumphs over Evil.

While this was an interesting read, I do not find myself eager to go read the first book or going out of my way to read the next book.