Young Adult Guest Review: Marked by P.C. Cast + Kristin Cast

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The House of Night series is set in a world very much like our own, except in 16-year-old Zoey Redbird’s world, vampyres have always existed.  In this first book in the series, Zoey enters the House of Night, a school where, after having undergone the Change, she will train to become an adult vampire — that is, if she makes it through the Change.  Not all of those who are chosen do.  It’s tough to begin a new life, away from her parents and friends, and on top of that, Zoey finds she is no average fledgling.  She has been Marked as special by the vampyre Goddess, Nyx.  But she is not the only fledgling at the House of Night with special powers.  When she discovers that the leader of the Dark Daughters, the school’s most elite club, is misusing her Goddess-given gifts, Zoey must look deep within herself for the courage to embrace her destiny–with a little help from her new vampyre friends.

Title: Marked
Author: P.C. Cast + Kristin Cast
Series: The House of Night series
Publisher:   St. Martin’s Griffin
Format: Print
ISBN: 0312360266
Genre: Young Adult
Release date: May 1st, 2007
Number of pages: 306
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Review by Melissa

I remember back in my Twilight days when I was looking for a book to satiate my vampire hunger because I was in a desperate need to get over them, or at least, to obsess with something else. And, I recall Marked was always popping out as a book recommendation. I was definitely intrigued by the book description, but somehow, I never got around to reading the series.

Anyway, I finally got the chance to read Marked thanks to a library book sale (pretty awesome) and I’m very happy to say that it came out to be a really cool book. It has a great female lead character named Zoey Redbird, who doesn’t take poopies (hehe) from anyone, and is definitely a unique person both inside and out. I liked the way she lifted her head high and smiled when most would have searched a dark corner to hide and possibly to cry their eyes out.

The friendship Zoey built between Stevie Rae and the gang was also cute and sweet. I thought they were fun and nice fellows, though sometimes they came out to be a little bit too cheesy for my taste. On another matter, Erik Night was the super hot fledgling (vampyre in training) that was supposed to catch my heart along with Zoey’s, but sadly, he did not. Maybe because everything happened too fast, and I somehow got the feeling he was just interested in Zoey’s uniqueness. I don’t know, I just felt that, but my hunch may be completely wrong and I’ll probably end up falling hard for him too. It is wise to change opinions from time to time.

The House of Night series is great vampire goodness, filled with darkness both good and bad. I do want the next books, all of them. They are a ton! Hopefully they will be as good as this one, maybe even better and having them almost all available for purchase is definitely a plus. Go get them pronto!

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Series in Order

#1 – Marked
#2 – Betrayed
#3 – Chosen
#4 – Untamed
#5 – Hunted
#6 – Tempted
#7 – Burned
#8 – Awakened
#9 – Destined
#11 – Revealed (October 15th, 2013)
#12 – Redeemed (2014)
 

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Young Adult Guest Review: Awakening Foster Kelly by Cara Rosalie Olsen

Awakening Foster Kelly

If only a pile of wayward curls and the inability to stay on her feet were seventeen year-old Foster Kelly’s most pressing concerns. Unfortunately, stubborn hair and clumsiness are just the tip of it. At the age of five when Foster is told, “You don’t belong here,” it was only a mistake, but the result is one broken heart. These four carelessly spoken words have shaped and shadowed Foster, and now—a senior at Shorecliffs High-school—she seeks the wallflower’s existence, denying herself the most casual of friendships, much too afraid that someone will see what she believes is certain: she does not belong anywhere—or with anyone.

This reality would continue to suit her just fine; however . . . Love has a long-standing history of undoing broken hearts.

Like a comet, an unexpected arrival knocks Foster out of the crowded, starry sky, sending her directly into the limelight. Exposed and afraid, she will attempt to regain anonymity; but it isn’t so easy now that someone is watching. He pursues this shy enigma, confronting Foster’s deepest fears head-on, and in the process falls wholly and completely in love with her. But there is something he is not saying . . . a secret capable of certain ruin. Either he will break her heart once and for all, or he will heal it.

In the end, though, it is Foster who must decide if she is worth mending.

Title: Awakening Foster Kelly
Author: Cara Rosalie Olsen
Series: Standalone
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Format: Kindle ebook
ISBN: 1478263644
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Release date: June 23rd, 2013
Number of pages: 703
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Review by Melissa

Awakening Foster Kelly is the type of book where you want to highlight every line and every word. We encounter a beautiful prose, full of imagery and enchanting details that it’s hard not to get captured by its beauty, not wanting to miss a single tiny thing.

Foster Kelly is the spitting image of our own fears of being out there, but doubled. Of trying to blend into the wall, to go unnoticed. Fearing to love and being forgotten. Being so guarded, only a few people get to know the wonderful person Foster really is. She is so smart, caring, gifted and adoringly clumsy. Her only flaw would be to abstain herself from saying what her heart yearns to tell, or show. Instead, she opts to say what she thinks everyone else wants to hear.

Incredibly enough, author Cara Olsen managed to make me step into Foster’s shoes. I don’t know if this was on purpose or not, but I felt everything she felt. We connected. When she blushed, I blushed. When she fell, I cringed with her. And, when her pulse quickened at the sight of Dominic, well, my heart beat wildly just like a hummingbird’s.

Beautiful, handsome, Dominic. How I love broken boys. They are always so vulnerable and sweet, masking their real personality with anger. His relationship with Foster was intense, filled by many emotions that when the heartbreak came, mine was also lying around in tiny pieces. Something I knew was eventually going to happen, but I still hoped and crossed my fingers wishing for the impossible.

I want to dwell on this beautiful book forever. Is it crazy for me to wish it was longer? It’s a huge book, but not endless. And, I could tell you all about it, but that’s not fair. You have to read and see for yourself. Experience the way this story moves slowly, carefully building up with each passing page, gently pushing you, encouraging you to admire and take everything in. Prepare to laugh out loud at the antics of the insanely funny twins, to daydream just like Foster and her father, to feel the beauty of love and the pain brought by heartbreak, and to awaken at the sound of music in your ears.

P.S. I’m ever so grateful to Cara Olsen for providing me this book for free in exchange for an honest review and I swear all I said above was in no way altered by this.

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Visit http://awakeningfosterkelly.com or
http://cararosalieolsen.com

Review: Ascension by Caris Roane

Ascension (The World of Ascension #1)Title: Ascension
Author:  Caris Roane
Series: The World of Ascension
Publisher:  St. Martin’s
Format: ebook
ISBN: 0312533713
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release date: December 28th 201
Number of pages: 469

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Summary

On The Wings of Desire

 

Alison Wells is no ordinary woman. Born with super-natural powers, she can never make love to a man without putting him in grave danger. But when her special vision reveals a glorious muscled man soaring overhead on might wings, she feels an overwhelming attraction she cannot resist-even as he tells her “I have come for you. Your blood belong to me.”

In the Heat of Passion

Kerrick is a vampire and a warrior who has fought his hunger for a woman’s love for the past two hundred years. As a Guardian of Ascension, he is sworn to protect Alison from the death vamp armies who crave her blood and her power. But Kerrick has cravings of his own-a forbidden longing to open his heart and veins to Alison. To share his blood…satisfy his thirst…and seal their fates forever.

My Thoughts

It has been awhile since I get surprised with a vampire book and this one was a pleasant ride all along. Looking at the cover my first thoughts was of angels, but in reality this book is all about vampires and mortals with special abilities.

 

Since this one is the first in the series we get to meet several characters along with the principal couple. I loved how this book made me think about the Black Dagger Brotherhood and at the same time is all so different. Not so dark and with so many different layers of stories that can be used on the next books.

 

Let’s go back to the story. This was a very big book and it took me some time to actually get into the story but only because of the introductions and I didn’t knew at the start what the bad guy actually wanted after all. There are good and bad vampires in this book, but all of the have special powers. Commander is the chief of the Death Vamps and wants to dominate the Earth (First and Second). He’s bad and uses all the dirty plays in the book that made me really mad, is like the good guys don’t want to really win the war and just play along.

 

So we have Kerrick and he’s a Warrior, a very dangerous and deadly vampire that fight’s for good and kills death vamps every night to save humanity, he also lost two wife’s and two kids in this war, so now he’s a little bitter and made a vow to never guard a women and never starts a relationship because he’s afraid to lose another person.

 

Alison has fought her entire life to hide her powers and tries to live normally, but wants what every women dreams of: a family. An event in her past, mad her believe that be with a guy is deadly for him because her powers can get really strong after an orgasm.

 

But guess what? Kerrick is sent to guard Alison, because Commander wants her death so that she wont join the good vamps after her Ascension. Yes, her powers will make her a vamp after she realize that another world is waiting for her, sort like a wake up call.

 

The book is all about protecting Alison and make sure she’s still alive in her Ascension moment. Not an easy task but she’s just really powerful and can take about everything, plus Kerrick is trying really hard to keep her save because she’s his chosen one.

 

I actually liked this book, but some moments in the first chapters were really slow and the introductions let me believe the next books will be of the other Warriors meeting their women, plus Alison adjusting to her new live.

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Books in this Series

#1 – Ascension

#2 – Burning Skies

#2.5 – Brink of Eternity

#3 – Wings of Fire

#4 – Born of Ashes

#5 – Obsidian Flame

#6 – Gates of Rapture

Quote

“She thought she heard a faint growl. She listened harder. The warrior with all the gorgeous black hair was growling. Because she’s said the other man was good-looking and muscular? Uh-huh. A clear case of caveman possessiveness…and it kind of got to her.”
Rating

 
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Review: Born at Midnight by CC Hunter

Born at Midnight (Shadow Falls, #1)Title: Born at Midnight
Author:  CC Hunter
Series: Shadow Falls
Publisher:  St. Martin’s Press
Format: ebook
ISBN: 0312624670
Genre: Young Adult
Release date: March 29th 201
Number of pages: 398

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Summary

Don’t miss this spectacular new series that will steal your heart and haunt your dreams, Welcome to Shadow Falls camp, nestled deep in the woods of a town called Fallen…

One night Kylie Galen finds herself at the wrong party, with the wrong people, and it changes her life forever. Her mother ships her off to Shadow Falls—a camp for troubled teens, and within hours of arriving, it becomes painfully clear that her fellow campers aren’t just “troubled.” Here at Shadow Falls, vampires, werewolves, shapshifters, witches and fairies train side by side—learning to harness their powers, control their magic and live in the normal world.

 

Kylie’s never felt normal, but surely she doesn’t belong here with a bunch of paranormal freaks either. Or does she? They insist Kylie is one of them, and that she was brought here for a reason. As if life wasn’t complicated enough, enter Derek and Lucas. Derek’s a half-fae who’s determined to be her boyfriend, and Lucas is a smokin’ hot werewolf with whom Kylie shares a secret past. Both Derek and Lucas couldn’t be more different, but they both have a powerful hold on her heart.

Even though Kylie feels deeply uncertain about everything, one thing is becoming painfully clear—Shadow Falls is exactly where she belongs…

My Thoughts

I was strolling to the library in my country and saw this book was released in Portuguese, but since I already had an English ebook edition, on the first minute I returned home this one was picked and I already bought and read the rest already released.

 

It was so fun and mysterious to follow Kylie while she tried to discover her new powers. Is not everyday a girl can believe she see ghosts and there’s also several other non-human persons in this camp. After being shipped to Shadow Camp by her mother, Kylie start to discover a new world where everything is possible, from vampires to werewolves and shapeshifters, but her powers are very different and again she fells alone.

 

I loved Kylie adventure to understand how to communicate with the ghost following her and also discover from where she received those strange powers, but the best part was trying to discover witch supernatural she was. She has so different powers and they could fit in several different places.

 

Another great part was the friends she made. Della is a vampire and she struggles with her family and can’t tell them the true, but the camp is the only place she can feel save and be honest about her strength and drink blood regularly. Miranda is a witch and can’t make a spell work, she suffers from her family pressure.

 

Of course there’s also some guys that catch Kylie attention. Lucas is a werewolf and she actually met hi before when she was just a kid. He’s a little older, but sounds like a nice guy with some dark moments and a dangerous past. On the other side we have Derek and he’s half-fae, very sweet and a great friend.

 

It’s fun to follow Kylie during her adventures and her passions, her life was really miserable at home while her parents are separating and her grandmother just passed, but the camp made her feel at ease and helps her try to figure out her powers and help the ghosts. Loved the first book and how fast things happened.

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Books in this Series

#1 – Born at Midnight

#2 – Awake at Dawn

#3 – Taken at Dusk

#4 – Whispers at Moonrise

Quote

“Just because a guy rings your bell, doesn’t mean you have to toot his horn.”
Rating

 
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Review: Let me In by Callie Croix

Let Me InTitle: Let me In
Author:  Callie Croix
Publisher:  Carina Press
Format: ebook (NetGalley)
ISBN: 9781426893773
Genre: Erotica
Release date: May 21st 2012
Number of pages: 103

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On leave for Thanksgiving, the last thing marine lieutenant Talia Barnett expects to find is Liam Brodie waiting for her at the airport. He’s had a starring role in her fantasies for the past two years, and although she’d love to make them a reality, she has a dark secret that prevents her from taking things further.

A former marine, Liam’s specialty is planning tactical operations, and that’s just what he plans to do to win Talia. The woman has kept him at arm’s length for too long, and this time he’s finally going to claim her—body and heart.

What begins as comfort quickly turns hot. When Liam shows Talia a hint of the dominant nature inside him, the submissive part of her flares to life. Though she desires him, she’s going back on deployment and doesn’t want to dump all her drama on him. Will he find a way to break through the protective walls around her heart and convince her they have a future that goes far beyond the bedroom?

My Thoughts
I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

I cannot count this book as part of a series, but Liam was a character introduced during a ménage on another book from this same author. I liked him from that book, but I expected more from him in this relationship and in a way is partly Talia’s fault because I didn’t felt connected with during this short book.

 

I read ravishing reviews on the blogosphere about this book, but honestly the erotica part was kinda vanilla to me and the BDSM everyone was talking about was not to sexy. Liam wanted a women, but he let her escape several times during years and is mostly his fault. Talia has issues from her mother and also tries to put everyone away so not to get hurt when her relationships fail.

 

I just didn’t like this couple together and expected a hotter book from Liam, even if not with ménage but he could be more alpha in bed and Talia should accept more hardness from him. The book is short but good, but I prefer her first one.

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Books in this Series

#1 – No Holds Barred

#2 – Let Me In

Rating

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Review: Reckless by Cheryl Douglas

Reckless Book FourTitle: Reckless
Author:  Cheryl Douglas
Series: Nashville Nights
Publisher:  selfpub
Format: ebook
ISBN: B0088GT8GA
Genre: Romance
Release date: June 2, 2012
Number of pages: 182
                         Amazon

As a publicist, Avery Collins knows that mixing business with pleasure is a recipe for disaster so she has one rule. Her bedroom is off limits to clients, no matter how enticing and persistent they may be.

Ty McCall is country music’s newest rising star, but he needs the best team in the business to help him make it to the top. That team includes Avery, who gave him the most unforgettable night of his life only to disappear the next morning.

Avery agrees to work with him, but Ty isn’t willing to settle for a professional relationship with the woman of his dreams. Can this sexy cowboy convince her that rules were made to be broken?

My Thoughts

 

This series is very emotional and I can’t wait to pick up a new book after it’s release. I’ve read the first three in a row and couldn’t wait for Avery book. We got to meet her since Shameless and she kept appearing during the other romances. She’s Trent publicist and now is currently working for Luc. At the very end of Ruthless the author gave hints that Avery and Ty had some hot moments together, but she keep hiding from him and truth is Luc gave her a push to meet Ty.

 

So these two work together and Avery is now Ty publicist, but the relationship is not only professional and we got to see more of her feelings and her insecurities during the book. I thought she was a very hard girl to get along, but in this business being a girl makes things really hard and she needed to work double to be considerate as good as the males.

 

Ty is very sweet and so passionate, he have some secrets in his past but nothing awful, and those show he’s very good and family is important. he tried to understand Avery and help her work toward her feelings, because he loved her so much.

 

I kinda liked the fact that he never gave up on her and she pushed him a lot, but he’s perfect and I expected him to be a little immature, but he’s definely more grow up than other artists.

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Books in this Series

#1 – Shameless
#2 – Fearless
#3 – Ruthless

#4 – Reckless

#5 – Relentless

#6 – Heartless

Rating

 
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About the Nashville Nights Series

Q: Can you tell us a bit about the Nashville Nights series?

Nashville Nights is an eight-book contemporary romance series involving some major players in country music. Four of the main characters are singers, one is a manager, who started his own record label, and another is a publicist.

Q: What inspired you to write this series?

I started out with the idea to write a story about Trey and Sierra, the hero and heroine in book one, Shameless. But when the secondary characters became more prominent, I realized I had to dig a little deeper to learn more about them. I never expected it to evolve into an eight book series, but I’ve learned to listen to my muse and follow it wherever it might lead.

Q: Who was your favorite character in this series and why?

I can’t pick just one. I loved Trey from book one, Luc from book three, and J.T. from book five. I think these were the most complicated characters to write because there were so many facets to their personality. Just when I thought I had a handle on them, the story would take a surprising turn and I would realize there was yet another layer to their characters. All three men have made their fair share of mistakes, and are trying to work through them to find redemption.

Q: How will the books in this series be released?

With the exception of book six, all of the books are finished and at various stages of editing and proofreading. Book five, Relentless, will be released July 1, book six, Heartless, will be released October 1, and the remaining two books in the series, Hopeless and Careless, will be released the first of each month thereafter.

Q: What surprised you the most about this series?

It would have to be the fact that this series took on a life of its own, literally. As I said, Shameless was supposed to be a stand-alone book. I never expected this to be such a long and rewarding journey. At first, it was a six book series, but when I began to receive daily email from readers telling me they weren’t ready for the series to end, I decided it was time to follow Jay and Mike’s journey. Fans of the series will remember the twins as Josh’s teenage sons in book two, Fearless. In book six, they are grown men who are ready to find love.

Q: What was the most difficult scene or character to write?

Up to this point, I think Luc in book three, Ruthless, was the most complex character to write. I continued to be surprised by the depth of his character and the secrets that were revealed as we progressed through the book. With him, my outline went out the window!

 

There were a lot of difficult, heart-wrenching scenes in this series. Some even made me cry. I would say the most difficult scene to write took place in the latter part of book five with J.T.’s family. I won’t spoil it for readers, but I will say that it was a tear-jerker.

 

I am currently working on book six, and it deals with the topic that was introduced at the end of book five, so it’s been very emotionally draining for me. I’m getting ready to tackle some very sensitive topics in the remaining books, so I’m sure that it will only get more difficult as time goes on.

Q: Which character do you think readers will best be able to relate to and why?

The heroes in books two and four, Josh and Ty, are genuinely good guys. I think readers will want to root for them. They may even get a little upset with the heroines who trample their hearts along the way.

Q: Why did you choose country music as the common thread that ties these books together?

Country music is the backdrop, but I wouldn’t say it’s a strong focus in the series. I hope this is a series that readers will enjoy regardless of the genre of music they prefer. Having said that, country music tells a story. It’s often about heartbreak, trials, lost love, patriotism, and triumph. This series also encompasses all of those elements, so for me, it made sense to weave the music I love into this series. I hope readers share my opinion.


About the Author

clip_image002It took me thirty-seven years to decide what I wanted to be when I grew up. I thought I’d found my calling. In fact, I worked as a nutritionist for twelve years before I finally admitted to myself that while I enjoyed my work, I couldn’t imagine doing it for the next thirty years.

 

My sub-conscious knew that I wanted to be a writer long before the conscious part of my mind decided to get with the program. While my sub-conscious was hard at work creating character profiles, plots and storylines, my conscious mind was telling me it was crazy to give up a successful business on the off-chance one of my manuscripts might rise to the top of someone’s never-ending slush pile. After years of listening to that negative voice, I was finally ready to stop making excuses, face the fear and follow my dream of becoming a full-time writer, no matter the outcome. I’m so thankful I did.

 

I love bringing my characters to life and I am so grateful to have readers who love those characters as much as I do.

 

When I take a break from writing it’s to spend time with my husband (a.k.a. my real life hero), my son, and my writing partner, Tia, a spirited Havanese who enjoys tapping her paw on my keyboard whenever I need a little comic relief.

 

www.cheryldouglasbooks.com

 

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Review: Ruthless by Cheryl Douglas

   

Ruthless  (Nashville Nights #3)

 

Ruthless by Cheryl Douglas

e-ARC provided by the author for the book tour
Nashville Nights #3

Publisher: Amazon Digital Services

Format: ebook

ISBN: –

Genre: Romance
Release date: April 26th 2012
Number of pages: 225
Add it: Goodreads

 
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Book Blurb:

Marisa Turner has wanted her brother’s best friend, Luc, forever, but she also wants a baby and it seems Luc isn’t up to the challenge. She has to choose between the man she loves and the family she hopes to have. Fortunately, there’s another man waiting in the wings to make her baby fantasy a reality.

Luc Spencer is tired of hearing about marriage and babies. He loves Marisa, but he can’t promise her forever. After two years together, she tells him it’s over. He’s not worried, he believes she’ll be back. But what will happen when he finds out there’s another man waiting to take his place?

My Thoughts:

This is the third book featuring Marisa and Luc. We met them both on the first book and of course got to see their relationship process. Marisa is Trey little sister and Luc is Trey best friend and agent. So these two know each other for a very long time and the romance could grow.

 

This is book is more for us to understand why Luc is so opposite to marriage and kids, but a dating is fine. He needs to overcame some past mistakes and trust people around him. Interesting part is that no even Trey knew about his secrets. It took some time for him to actually open up, but I liked how the author showed some flaws in the characters, making them more real.

 

Marisa is like the perfect girl, but she decided to live and find someone who could give her a future since Luc was out of question. It took her years to admit he wasn’t going to change and that showed me how much she really loves him.

 

I liked the fact this two already dated and of course there’s chemistry, plus Luc deserves some happiness after everything that happened to him.

 

Books in this Series:

#1 – Shameless
#2 – Fearless
#3 – Ruthless

#4 – Reckless

#5 – Relentless

#6 – Heartless