Paranormal Guest Review: The Mating by Nicky Charles

The Mating by Nicky Charles
Series:
 Law of the Lycans
Publisher:
 Smashwords
Format:
ebook
Genre: Paranormal romance
Release date: February 26th, 2010
Number of pages: 340
Source: Free on smashwords

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Summary:

She lay beside him, staring blankly at the ceiling. The deed was done. They were mated. It didn’t matter that she had no love for him nor he for her. Political alliances were more important than feelings, or so she had been told. That fact was cold comfort right now as her heart broke within her.

Elise had no idea when she came home that day that she’d end up mated to a complete stranger. A new Alpha and the need for an alliance between packs have made her a pawn.

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Review by Melissa:

Swoon, swoon, swoon. Themating by Nicky Charles will forever be one of my favorite werewolf books of all times. This is like the fourth or fifth time I read it, and I still have a hard time controlling my swooning butterflies every time Kane happens to be around. Nowadays, it’s really hard to get a chance to re-read books when you have an ever-growing pile of books to read and review, but when a book is so good, you just have to stop everything you’re doing, grab that book and only live and breathe in its world for a few hours.

The mating is that kind of book I like to come back to every once in a while. It has all of my favorite elements: romance, paranormal setting, great plot and a superb writing style. It’s a story you dive into and the pages seem to fly by in a matter of seconds. The kind where you fall in love, giggle and blush along with the characters. They become friends and when it’s time to say goodbye, it’s like losing a part of you that you didn’t know was missing.

Bear in mind though that this is an adult paranormal romance, so we do get some steamy scenes between the main characters, Elise and Kane. So if you’re not comfortable reading the those moments, you can always skip them and be sure you’re not missing out much of the plot. Only a few sexy Kane moments.

Wait, did I mention that this book and the rest of the series are all free in ebook format? Why yes they are! Nicky Charles is one heck of an awesome writer because she decided to make all of her books available for free, and let me tell you, they are all SO GOOD. Could this be any more perfect?

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Contact the Author: Website | Goodreads

Series in Order

#0.5 – Bonded
#1 – The Mating
#2 – The Keeping
#2.5 – Betrayed: Days of the Rogue
#3 – The Finding

 

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Romance Guest Review: The “What If” Guy by Brooke Moss

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The “What If” Guy by Brooke Moss
Series:
 Standalone
Publisher:
 Entangled Publishing
Format:
paperback
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release date: July 27th, 2011
Number of pages: 296
Source: I won this book through a giveaway by Joy at Joyous Reads. 

Goodreads Amazon

Summary:

What would you do if your “what if” guy showed up at the lowest point of your life?

(Autumn Cole clocked hers with an encyclopedia.)

After losing her job at a swanky Seattle art gallery and finding out her father has been hospitalized, single mother Autumn Cole reluctantly returns to her tiny hometown of Fairfield, Washington, to put the pieces of her life back together.

Her disgruntled twelve-year old son isn’t thrilled about going from hip to hick, but Autumn’s got it worse. She resumes her role as the daughter of the town drunk, promptly facing a crisis with her father that’s been decades in the making.

Running into Henry Tobler, and nearly breaking his nose, is almost more than she can handle, but can rediscovering love-and herself-with her “what if” guy teach Autumn to forgive before it’s too late?

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Review by Melissa:

The “What If” Guy is the kind of book that serves on a silver platter the beauty in second chance love. And, I mean all kinds of love. Second chances with the love of your life, with family and friends from the earlier days who we long lost touch.

Autumn Cole is a single mother to Elliot who until recently, worked at an Art Gallery in Seattle. After she loses her job and knowing her father is ill, she returns to her hometown, Fairfield Washington, where she has to face her past walking around as handsome as ever.

Autumn, Elliot, Henry, Autumn’s father and every other character of this book were very easy to like and I could totally see them in my mind living in the picturesque town of Fairfield. Their personalities were what made this book shine so bright. They all could make you smile and laugh, and then make you tear up. It’s tough to get attached to them and then having to let go.

Henry and Autumn had this incredible spark between them, so sweet and untouched as if the past didn’t happen at all because the feelings were there and the years would never take them away. Still, I liked the process of getting to trust each other again and slowly getting familiar with the new things in their lives. The only thing I wasn’t much of a fan was Henry’s other girlfriend, how he managed that other relationship at the end and leaving Autumn all alone in her time of need. No phone calls or anything.

Overall, it’s worth the visit into gossipy Fairfield, Washington, where second chances are not unheard of and everyone wants to know how you’re doing in the love department. Gotta love ’em!

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Contact the Author: Website | Twitter | Goodreads

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Fantasy Guest Review: Heritage by S.M. Boyce

15764040Heritage by S.M. Boyce
Series:
 The Grimoire Saga
Publisher:
 Caffeinated Books Publishing
Format:
eArc
Genre: Fantasy
Release date: November 5th, 2013
Number of pages: N/A
Source: I received this eARC directly from the author in exchange for an honest review. 

Goodreads Pre-Order

Summary:

Kara Magari isn’t normal, even by Ourea’s standards—and in a world of shape-shifters and soul stealers, that’s saying something. To the royalty, she’s a loose cannon. To the masses, she’s a failure. But Kara’s arrival in Ourea started a war, and she’s going to end it.

An ancient isen named Stone takes an interest in Kara’s training, and it turns out he has more answers than he originally led her to believe. In an effort to unearth a secret that might end the bloodshed, Kara instead discovers an ugly truth about her family—and how much she has in common with an infamous mass-murderer.

Braeden Drakonin has slowly rebuilt his life after the betrayal that tore it apart. His father wants him dead, and frankly, his so-called allies wouldn’t mind that either. Private alliances are formed. Secrets are sold. Tension is driving the armies apart. A single battle will end this war, and it’s coming. Braeden may be a prince, but it will take more than that to survive. He must take the fight to his father’s door—and win.

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Review by Melissa:

This book, THIS BOOK is oh-my-god AMAZING. Let me first start off saying that The Grimoire Saga is one of my top favorite fantasy series of all-times. It’s an epic adventure and I still can’t wrap my head around why isn’t everybody living and breathing this series? I mean, it has everything! There’s romance, adventure, magic and a kick-ass heroine involved with powerful allies, plus an adorable guy rooting for her.

I have stated before in my reviews for the first two books, Lichgates and Treason, that the world in here is so unique and interesting. It’s called Ourea, home of several kinds of races and species, each one ruled over by a Blood who can control all of their people with a single thought. In a quick run-down, this world has become corrupted and far from the beautiful peaceful place it was before. Blood Carden from the Stelian race wants to rule over the other Bloods, no matter the cost and it’s Kara, the vagabond and now powerful Isen, the one who can fight him to restore Ourea’s peace once and for all.

And everything is so complex. Not only she has to fight against Carden, but she also has to fight with the other Bloods, because everybody else wants to have the upper hand in the war and maybe even more than that. They are all fighting inner demons, and some giving in to them without a trace of sense.

Drifting a bit from the main plot of the storyline, I can’t forget to mention how glad I was to read about Kara and Braeden’s relationship. I can see a bright forever in their future if they can survive the war ahead. They will, won’t they? I desperately hope so!

I don’t want to spoil much more of this book’s awesomeness because this book deserves to be read without knowing what will happen. I would only like to add that Heritage is full of surprises that shift endlessly the possible outcomes of the war. I definitely didn’t see many things coming, like the ending. It left me intrigued, but content enough. I can’t wait to read  the 4th and final book, I’m certain it will be the next thing to epic.

P.S. You can read Lichgates, book one in the Grimoire Saga for FREE! 

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Contact the Author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Series in Order

#1 – Lichgates
#2 – Treason
#3 – Heritage
#4 – Illusion (Summer 2014)

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Young Adult Guest Review: Made of Stars by Kelley York

15739649Made of Stars by Kelley York
Series:
 Standalone
Publisher:
 Entangled Teen
Format:
eArc
ISBN: 162266020X
Genre: YA Thriller
Release date: October 1st 2013
Number of pages: 320
Source: I received this eARC directly from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads

Summary:

When eighteen-year-old Hunter Jackson and his half sister, Ashlin, return to their dad’s for the first winter in years, they expect everything to be just like the warmer months they’d spent there as kids. And it is—at first. But Chance, the charismatic and adventurous boy who made their summers epic, is harboring deep secrets. Secrets that are quickly spiraling into something else entirely.

The reason they’ve never met Chance’s parents or seen his home is becoming clearer. And what the siblings used to think of as Chance’s quirks—the outrageous stories, his clinginess, his dangerous impulsiveness—are now warning signs that something is seriously off.

Then Chance’s mom turns up with a bullet to the head, and all eyes shift to Chance and his dad. Hunter and Ashlin know Chance is innocent…they just have to prove it. But how can they protect the boy they both love when they can’t trust a word Chance says?

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Review by Melissa:

It’s… wow.

Made of Stars impressed me beyond words. I never thought I would come to love this book so much, but God did it affect me. I am still lost in Kelley York’s words and in her intriguing characters.

Hunter and Ashlin are these great half siblings, who love each other no matter what. They have different personalities, but in the long run, they are good and supporting for each other. While Hunter is this quiet thoughtful guy, Ashlin is more expressive and good with words. They decide to come back home and live with their dad after graduation to help around his time of need and of course, to reunite themselves with their best friend from childhood, Chance.

That is what astounded me the most, their big affection for Chance. I mean, they LOVED this boy. He was this person so essential to their lives. He had this way of entrancing you, to need him there to feel complete, just like Hunter and Ashlin did. His secrets though were always setting off my trust alarms. But then he would appear and I would forget everything and go willingly wherever he would take us. That is Chance.

Oh, I was constantly surprised. Mid through the story I tried to stop guessing, I never came even close to how everything would turn out, though I always knew the romance aisle of this story would be GLBT, and let me tell you, it was absolutely beautiful.

I am torn about how it ends, it’s unexpected and unfair. It’s bittersweet and, despite not being what I wanted it to be, I really can’t think of a better way of how it could have ended because this book is the real deal. It’s not the fall-into-place-perfectly kind of read. It is raw and tormenting, yet at the same time, hopeful and hauntingly fascinating.

I try without success to not think about it, I’m certainly stunned and heartbroken. I’m mystified and at the point where I ask myself why I like to inflict torture in my life. I have the urge to plaster stars into my ceiling, gather many dragon figurines and head out the freeway looking for a way to reach him.  Really, it’s quite hard to describe all the feels, you just have to read this book and see for yourself what I mean.

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Contact the Author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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New Adult Guest Review: Easy by Tammara Webber

Easy

Rescued by a stranger.
Haunted by a secret
Sometimes, love isn’t easy…

He watched her, but never knew her. Until thanks to a chance encounter, he became her savior…

The attraction between them was undeniable. Yet the past he’d worked so hard to overcome, and the future she’d put so much faith in, threatened to tear them apart.

Only together could they fight the pain and guilt, face the truth—and find the unexpected power of love.

A groundbreaking novel in the New Adult genre, Easy faces one girl’s struggle to regain the trust she’s lost, find the inner strength to fight back against an attacker, and accept the peace she finds in the arms of a secretive boy.

Title: Easy
Author: Tammara Webber
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Berkley Trade
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 0425266745
Genre: New Adult
Release date: November 6th 2012
Number of pages: 310
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Review by Melissa

Easy was my first ever New Adult novel that I read and fell in love with. The reason that I’m writing this review now and not a few months ago as I should have is because I back then couldn’t find the right words to describe how wonderful and inspiring this book really is. Actually, I still don’t think I have the right words and I believe I will never do, but it’s time for me to write more than “I loved this book so much!”.

First of all, I’d like to praise the author of this amazing book. Tammara Webber is an author that knows how to deliver a story with such a tough subject and at the same time, bring out hope and encourage her readers to think more about it. She kind of turns on the lights of a very dark room with the help of humor, romance and the harsh reality of the extremes sick people tend to do to innocent ones.

In Easy, Jackie is almost raped by someone she knows, but is saved by the handsome Lucas who happened to be near her at the right time. Even if the deed wasn’t done all the way through, this event left her emotionally drained and terrified to be a victim again. But life goes on, and she has to live with the nightmare and hope that it never happens to her again.

Lucas is incredible. He’s more than a knight in shining armor. He is a fighter, attentive, caring and a beautiful broken boy who needs his own savior to save him from his inner demons. Oh, how I loved to read about him. Jackie is one lucky girl to have found him. The chemistry between them was … HOT. And, even though their relationship was complicated-tempers were always brimming at their limits and tension would break out constantly between them-they were both perfect for each other.

Easy is so, so good from cover to back that I will be rereading it once I get a break from my ever-growing TBR pile. This book is the kind that leaves a mark. It makes you giddy and excited. It makes you laugh and then stuns you in shock. It’s a book worth reading over and over again until you know every line by heart. I definitely recommend it to everyone who loves the New Adult genre.

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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