Saturday, July 20, 2013

Book Review: Shadowborn

Title Shadowborn

Series Light & Shadow, book 1

Author Moira Katson

Release Date April 8, 2013

It has been only two generations since Arthur Warden seized the throne of Heddred from the Conradines, and now the crown rests on the head of Garad, sickly and weak. Shadows gather: legacies of the centuries-long rivalries for power, old betrayals, the endless plots of the courtiers, and the murmur of rebellion in the southern provinces...

Catwin, plucked from her life at the edge of the Kingdom, is thrust abruptly into the world of the Court when she is chosen by the Duke of Voltur to be a Shadow-spy, shield, and blade-to his niece, the Lady Miriel DeVere. The Duke's ruthlessness is legendary, and he will stop at nothing to become the power behind the throne, using Miriel as a pawn to catch Garad's heart.

But the Duke's carefully-laid plans are only a piece of the intrigue of the court, and greater forces than Catwin can imagine are massed against her, determined to eliminate Miriel and impose a new order of their own. If Catwin and Miriel are to survive, they must learn quickly who to trust, and when to turn their skills against the very people who have trained them...

I've never been a big fan of the medieval genre before. No matter how much fantasy you throw in, Kings and Queens and the Court haven't ever done it for me. So, when Moira contacted me about reviewing Shadowborn, I was pretty torn. Yes, the book has pretty good reviews... but would it be interesting enough to keep my attention?

Shadowborn moves a slow and steady pace. One thing I saw mentioned in a few reviews is that there isn't a whole lot of action (danger, threat against Miriel) going on. Most people have counted this against the book. However, it felt right to me. I feel like Shadowborn was laying the ground work for the trilogy and it did so wonderfully. While there wasn't a lot of action, there was a lot happening.

Moira's writing is fantastic. I love that Shadowborn is done in first person. I think it added extra mystery to the story since we're only able to see things as Catwin sees them. The characters are masterfully done. All of the characters had their own personality and depth. I loved watching Catwin and Miriel evolve through the story. I cannot wait to see how the story continues.


5 out of 5 stars

Friday, July 12, 2013

Book Review: Escaping Reality

Title Escaping Reality

Series The Secret Life of Amy Bensen, book 1

Author Lisa Renee Jones

Release Date July 22, 2013

Infinite possibilities….
Infinite passion…..
Infinite danger….

His touch spirals through me, warm and sweet, wicked and hot. I shouldn’t trust him. I shouldn’t tell him my secrets. But how do I not when he is the reason I breathe? He is what I need.

At the young age of eighteen, tragedy and a dark secret force Lara to flee all she has known and loves to start a new life. Now years later, with a new identity as Amy, she’s finally dared to believe she is forgotten–even if she cannot forget. But just when she lets down her guard down, the ghost’s of her past are quick to punish her, forcing her back on the run.

On a plane, struggling to face the devastation of losing everything again and starting over, Amy meets Liam Stone, a darkly entrancing recluse billionaire, who is also a brilliant, and famous, prodigy architect. A man who knows what he wants and goes after it. And what he wants is Amy. Refusing to take “no” as an answer, he sweeps her into a passionate affair, pushing her to her erotic limits. He wants to possess her. He makes her want to be possessed. Liam demands everything from her, accepting nothing less. But what if she is too devastated by tragedy to know when he wants more than she should give? And what if there is more to Liam than meets the eyes?

I was browsing Netgalley and was pleasantly surprised to find Escaping Reality as a Read Now book. However, that excitement was short lived. Escaping Reality was a big letdown.

There's all this mystery about Amy. Who is she really? What happened to her family? Who is after her? Big surprise! You get NO answers in this book. Nothing. I kept reading, hoping that something would be explained. Honestly, it felt like a cheap ploy to get me to continue reading. Not cool at all.

Other than that, you're left with something very typical and overused. If you feel like you've read this before, you might be right. Liam Stone is the typical damaged billionaire with a desire to control a naive girl. Amy Bensen just happens to be that naive girl that needs saving (mostly from herself, but who am I to judge). The mystery behind Amy might have been enough to save this story from being just another one of the same, but there aren't enough answers to save the story.

There was something else that bothered me about this story, other than it being rather unoriginal. Amy is supposed to be on the run from someone that's dangerous, but along comes Liam and she's throwing all common sense out the window. Screw being safe! Instalove trumps living any day. Sorry, I just find it completely unrealistic.

So, while I wouldn't recommend Escaping Reality, I may (or may not) pick up the second book to find out Amy's whole story.


2 out of 5 stars

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

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Book Review: Safe Word

Title Safe Word

Author Teresa Mummert

Release Date May 25, 2013

A chance meeting with a stranger can turn your entire world upside down.

When Colton ‘Colt’ Bishop enters a bar in New York City, he has a plan. His job is to find an easy target and take her back to his place for a few days. He is working his way up the crime ladder doing a job he never wanted.

Lily Hilton has it all, but is hiding from a troublesome past. When she enters a bar downtown, and runs into her old high school crush, her entire world is turned upside down. She is determined to make him notice her, but that plan may work better than she expects.

Colton does not hesitate to take Lily home and use her as his new pawn, but their past begins to catch up with them as their secrets unravel and he must decide what is more important to him, protecting Lily or himself.

While waiting on the second book in the White Trash Trilogy to be released, I decided to pick up Safe Word. I've had a pretty positive experience with Teresa Mummert's books before. Unfortunately, I was left disappointed. And it really sucks.

I'm not even sure what happened. The lack of detail in the story was frustrating. Things felt sloppy and didn't make very much sense. The entire book feels incomplete. Other than the flashbacks to high school, you're not given any looks into the characters' pasts (the years between high school and the present are a complete mystery). I'm honestly not sure how this book has gotten so many positive reviews.


2 out of 5 stars

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Book Review: Interrupted

Title Interrupted

Series Progress, book 2

Author Amy Queau

Release Date July 15, 2013

After the emotional turmoil that was ‘Jesse’ subsides, Charlie manages to find peace with her decision to leave him, despite her conscience telling her otherwise. Saying goodbye to the drama proves to be an easier task than she anticipated.

And although Charlie’s life continues to test her strength, her will, and her motivation to pick herself up and dust herself off, she carves a new path. Making positive changes in her life, she gets a new job, a new apartment, and a new guy; everything is nearly perfect. Nearly.

Hundreds of miles away, Jesse isn’t faring too well in their aftermath. But within his darkness, he finds a purpose and reconstructs himself with one goal in mind:

He needs to find his Charlie.

I was excited when Amy contacted me to review Interrupted. I needed to know what happened between Jesse and Charlie. Luckily, Interrupted picks up right where Progress left off.

While Progress was good, this one is even better. I devoured this book. By the time I got to end, I had felt a hundred different things. And of course, I was left with the question I've had since the beginning... What is going to happen with Jesse and Charlie?! Even though the ending is a giant cliffhanger, the book is such a satisfying read.

One of the reasons I enjoy this series so much is the fact that it's so relatable. I can connect to Charlie in so many ways. She's real and I understand and feel for her. I've known (and dated) a Jesse or two in my past. It's scary in some ways how much I can relate to the series. I've definitely become emotionally invested in the series and I cannot wait to see how it ends.


5 out of 5 stars

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