Saturday, June 29, 2013

Book Review: Deeper

Title Deeper

Author Jane Thomson

Release Date June 2, 2013

We all know the story of the Little Mermaid. Cute mermaid rescues handsome prince, overcomes obstacles, lives happily ever after. But that's just a fairytale... What really happens a curious mer girl rescues a self-obsessed writer, alone in his lighthouse by the sea? What happens when you make a pact you can't go back on?

I'll admit that I haven't read any books about mermaids before. They haven't ever been very interesting to me. I think Deeper might have changed that.

Within the first few pages of the book, I wasn't sure if I was going to enjoy Thomson's writing. There wasn't anything in particular that made me feel this way, but I did. However, the feeling quickly passed and I enjoyed her writing throughout the book.

The story was well done. There were no boring parts or parts that felt unneeded. While I enjoyed it all, I absolutely loved the ending. It wasn't what I was expecting and that made it so much better.

I don't want to give anything away, so I will stop here. I do recommend Deeper. It was so much better than I originally expected.


5 out of 5 stars

* This book was received from the author in exchange for an honest review. *

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Book Review: Finding Pride

Title Finding Pride

Series The Pride, book 1

Author Jill Sanders

Release Date October 1, 2012

Megan Kimble has finally freed herself from years of abuse at the hands of her ex. Now she can finally start a new life and figure out just who she really is. When her brother Matt dies suddenly, she takes a big risk and moves cross country to live in his house and take over his new business. This could be the chance she’s needed. There’s only one problem now. She can’t seem to escape the irresistible charm of her departed brother’s best friend.

Todd Jordan just lost his best friend and business partner. Watching Matt’s sister move into town, his attraction to her is instant. Can he prove to her that all men are not the same, and resist his own desires as she learns to trust again? Overcoming the odds is just part of their journey. The two must first survive a fateful visit from Megan’s ex to have any chance at happiness.

Finding Pride is book one of the Pride Series Romance Novels, a sexy contemporary romance series by Jill Sanders.

I guess it's safe to say that I have some mixed feelings about Finding Pride. I'll try to break it down.

I think the characters were well-written. Oddly, though, I liked more of the secondary characters than I did the main characters. I wanted to learn more about Lacey and Iian than I did Megan and Todd. And there was something about Todd that just rubbed me the wrong way. Why was his family always telling him not to scare Megan? I felt like there was hints at something that had to do with him rather than Megan's past. Maybe I'm reading too much into things, but it bothered me.

While the storyline was sweet, it was also predictable. Things felt rushed. I understand that when writing a book, an author wants to keep the story moving along at a decent pace while keeping the book a reasonable length. I also understand that when reading a book, a person might need to suspend reality and go with the flow. It's hard for me, though, to believe some of the things that happened in Finding Pride in the time span in which the book covers.

I enjoyed the more simplistic writing style. I feel like it worked very well with the book. However, Finding Pride could have done with another once over from the author or a family member or friend. The grammatical errors and whatnot were a bit of a bother. I understand that things happen sometimes (and I have read books that are far worse!) and tried not to let it bother me too much. After reading a few comments on Amazon, it looks as those the author was able to edit the book and post an updated version on Smashwords. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like the Kindle version has been updated yet.

In general, I enjoyed Finding Pride. I would read the rest of the series.


3 out of 5 stars

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Book Review: Ensuing Darkness

Title Ensuing Darkness

Series The Dark Chronicles, book 1

Author Alexis Cain

Release Date December 17, 2012

The small town of Maxville, Colorado is harboring more secrets than Kota Riley ever imagined.

Hunting, partying, and hanging with the guys has made up the most of her simple life, but as she nears the end of her time in Maxville High, she finds herself in want of something more. Something new. Unfortunately for her, she gets her wish the beginning of senior year when a whole slew of new faces come Waltzing into her life. Literally.

The Peters are a family of professional ballroom dancers, deciding to descend upon Maxville and take their most talented to a series of competitions from California and then hopefully to Italy. Unbeknownst to Kota, however, is that this is just their cover. The family’s dark secrets are the real reason behind their arrival, and their mission:

Stay under enemy radar

Gather the information

Make the switch

Get out undetected

It would have been a success, but when their two youngest get mixed up in a taboo romance with Kota and her best friend Sue, things get nasty for everyone.

Driven by boredom and the disturbing effect the mysterious Peters have on her, Kota starts pushing her way into their secrets without hesitation. She soon finds herself surrounded by everything she never knew existed and the blame is all on her when she risks the safety of her friends and family to discover a truth she was never supposed to see.

You know, when Alexis contacted me about reading her book, I wasn't sure if I was interested. This was mainly because of the book description. It was a bit confusing for me. I like a book description that doesn't give anything away, but provides a clear picture of what the book is about. I wasn't really sure about Ensuing Darkness from the description, though. Is the Peters family a group of criminals or supernatural beings? While it wasn't clear, I had an idea and agreed to read it.

In general, I enjoyed Ensuing Darkness. In fact, I liked it more than I thought I would. I think Alexis did a really good job with the characters in the story. While there are a lot of them, and I did occasionally get confused, they all had unique and well defined personalities. There were some really strong scenes that stood out to me. I won't give anything away, but once you read the book, I'm sure you'll agree that some scenes are stronger than others.

There were some things that I didn't enjoy, though. In the beginning (and much less towards the end), the similarities between Ensuing Darkness and Twilight were more than I was comfortable with. Thankfully, the similarities did end and the differences were nice and brought life into the story that I didn't expect. The only other thing I didn't enjoy were the scenes that didn't seem to bring anything into the story. There were a few too many scenes that go into detail, but don't do anything to further advance the story.

Overall, Ensuing Darkness was a good read. I'm looking forward to reading the second book in the series.


4 out of 5 stars

* This book was received from the author in exchange for an honest review. *

Friday, June 21, 2013

Book Review: 144

Title 144

Series The Filchers, book 2

Author Joe Pringle

Release Date May 27, 2013

The awaited sequel to Unbreakables.

Chris, Ben and Leon are back, yet this time they’re not on their own. The stakes are higher but so is the payoff, though they only have six days before the score is out of their reach. 144 hours.

A plan that seemed quite simple quickly turns complex when the activities around the take, a rare African artefact, attracts the attention of two detectives. Not only will they have to watch the clock, they will have to watch their backs too.

I knew that if 144 was half as good as Unbreakables, it would be worth the read. It didn't cross my mind, though, that 144 could possibly be the better book. I got a pleasant surprise.

Joe's writing is even better than before. I was hooked on the story from the very beginning. He provides just enough detail to make the story interesting without bogging it down with unnecessary details. Joe is a mastermind at creating these elaborate heists. He leaves nothing to chance. Just when I thought I had something figured out, he switches it up and keeps me guessing. I loved it.

There were some other things that, while not super important, I did enjoy. I liked that we were given some information about what the characters had been up to since their last heist, but it didn't take away from the present day story. I also liked that Leigh, Thomas, and Tendai were more important characters this time around. Thomas and Tendai were especially interesting to me.

Joe's books just keep getting better. If there's another book in the series, I will definitely read it.


5 out of 5 stars

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Book Review: My Name is Rapunzel

Title My Name is Rapunzel

Author K.C. Hilton

Release Date Unknown [If this book is self-published it will be released in 2013. If this book is traditionally published it could be released in 2014.]

My tale has been told again and again, and I’ve heard each one. Except for my hair, I barely recognize the pitiful renditions. Muddled versions, crafted to entertain laughing children…but the children wouldn’t have laughed if they’d known the real story. It wasn't their fault. They didn't know the truth. Nobody did.

My name is Rapunzel and I will tell you my story. I will tell you the truth.

Once I saw this book on Goodreads, I knew I had to read it. The cover is absolutely gorgeous. The description is intriguing. I'm a fan of fairy tale re-tellings. Every now and again, I'd check Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble... looking for some information about when this book would be released. Unfortunately, I always came up empty handed. That was until a few weeks ago. I saw a post on K.C.'s website about building a street team for her book. Sign me up! I was super excited to read the ARC of My Name is Rapunzel.

Luckily, I wasn't let down. My Name is Rapunzel was a wonderfully written re-telling of the classic Rapunzel story. I liked the variations from the classic story, like Rapunzel was able to leave the tower and her dragon protector. The story was fresh, but kept to the general story. It was hard to put down and I consumed the story quickly (but not too quickly as to leave me feeling unsatisfied).

There was a little quirk to the book, though. I'm sure this is more of a personal preference rather than something to do with the way K.C. writes. When Rapunzel was writing about her story to John, I didn't feel like the transition to flashback was as smooth as it could have been. There were a few times where I had to stop and think about whether or not something was present or past.

Overall, the book was wonderful. I absolutely loved K.C.'s writing. Her storytelling is wonderful. If anyone likes re-tellings, I'm sure they will love My Name is Rapunzel.


4 out of 5 stars

* This book was received as an ARC from the author in exchange for honest review. *