Friday, March 27, 2015

“A Book Based Entirely On Its Cover” 2015 Challenge; PIERCED by Sydney Landon

Look below and ask yourself if I really need to explain my reasoning. ;-)

PIERCED by Sydney Landon
Book 1 in Lucian & Lia's Story)


My name is Lucian Quinn and I own one of the most successful software companies in the world. I’m twenty-nine, rich and single. Impressive right? I’m also a favorite target for every hungry socialite looking to land the uncatchable catch. Maybe it sounds vain, but the fact that I’m a God between the sheets doesn’t hurt my stock any. What these women don’t know though is that I’m completely screwed up and damaged beyond repair by my past. The only part of me I’ll ever willingly give them is the hour it takes to make them scream…several times.

Then I saw her…

I’m Lia Adams and I’m in my last year at St. Claire’s University in North Carolina. I grew up with an abusive mother, and a twisted stepfather who was worse…so much worse. I’m so close to escaping from my past and making my dreams come true. I’ll do anything necessary to survive, even work as an escort to help pay for my college expenses. The men that I accompany to various events as an escort for Date Night are mostly harmless and just want an attractive woman on their arm for an evening. It has never gone further than that…until him…

Circumstances bring two people that should have never crossed paths together and in the days and weeks ahead, they grow close quickly, each seeing a kindred soul in the other. As ghosts from their past rise to haunt them, they cling to each other as their lives start to spiral out of control. Soon, they realize that they’re both damaged possibly beyond repair. Will their love be what saves or destroys them?
4.5 out of 5 *Stars*
 "I couldn't help but wonder what love between us would do to the hate that has driven us both so far.  There were only two possible outcomes I could see: We would either save or destroy each other."
I'm grudgingly writing this review before reading Book2, Fractured, because I have a tendency to clump all books together in a series to form one opinion of them all.  How can you not when there are so many continuing series out there now-a-days. So, even now when a part of me wants to continue on to read the next book (yes, I've already got it), my sensible side is telling me to get my options down about Book1 first.  For once, my sensible side won out because I have a feeling Book2 could go either way for me.

This book blew me away.  I was not expecting a story that had so much of an impact.  Ok, you got a really hot cover with a guy somewhat pulling down his pants with the title, "Pierced." What is the first thing someone would think about here? Come on, use your little perverted mind for a sec.  I know I did. Romance book + "Pierced" = my stereotypic opinion thinking that it was going to be erotica that filled the pages more than a plot. Boy, was I wrong. FYI... I'm pretty sure this is not a spoiler, so I'll go right out and say it.  No one has any piercings in this book!  Somewhat of a bummer, I know.  As much as it is hard to remember, “Pierced” can mean something else rather than body jewelry. It's just not that commonly used.

Have you ever read one of those books that; you loved it, and loved it, and kept loving it all the way till the very end?  Then the climax happens, and you're not so sure you love the book anymore. That's the way I feel about this book.  I loved it all the way through.  It is the perfect mix of intrigue, very hot intimate scenes, drama, comedy, and even more hot sex. 

You can't help but be curious about Luc’s past.  So much so that you end up constantly flipping the pages in the hope that you will get some spread or morsel as a clue to what happened to him.  Then there is Lia's past and you can’t help but admire her strength.  All the conflict in this book centers around her and her past.  You want this to be a knight in shining armor story, except that there are some kinks in that armor of Luc's. 
"I have existed in my fucked-up world for so long since that I'm like someone waking from a coma to face the first sunlight they've seen in years.  The glare is bright, the world is confusing, and I'm floundering at every turn.  However, when I behold the vibrant blue of the day and the fiery glow as the sunsets, I feel nothing but wonder in the moment.  That is what I feel when I'm with Lia..." 
There love is an epic story that you can't help but root for.
When I was getting closer to the end, I could tell that the story was going to be continued to another book, and then quiet possibly another after that. Trilogy's are the "in" thing right now after all.  Anyway, when I figured this out, I quickly went to Amazon to purchase Book 2.  Then I hit the end and wished I wouldn't have kept reading.  The writing wasn't bad, and it did make sense, but I just didn't like how it ended.  Without giving anything away, I'll just say that it has you guessing as to what happened, and that guess is not a good thing.  I had gotten so invested in the story and my emotions were tied with the characters so much that (I know it might sound silly) I actually went into a mini state of depression after reading it.  I had to quickly go out and grab my favorite comfort food.  Now, I have Book2 on my Kindle, just waiting for me to finish this review, so I can start reading it.  Except part of me doesn't want to.  I don't want what I'm thinking to actually be true.  Before you say anything, YES I know that these are fictional characters!

Now I'm stuck with rating this book.  It was a 5 star book, hands down... Until the end.  Now, do I penalize the author because she has us guessing what happens and imagining the worst, or do I commend her for being able to evoke such strong feelings from me? Overall, I am docking her somewhat because it is hard to get a 5 star rating out of me for a continuing series, until the last book at least.  I don't like to be kept waiting for loose ends to be wrapped up. What can I say, I'm an impatient person.  However, I do LOVE how emotionally invested I got with only words on a page. 
Do I recommend this book? Hmm... If you like darker suspenseful erotic romances with characters that have troubled pasts, then yes, you would like this book.  Just beware... It will suck you in, and if it stays written as well as it is, you will be reading the series to the very end.  Am I going to suck it up and read the next one? *big sigh* Yes...
Ok, review over, time to jump back into the thick of things.  See you on the other side...

17 books down, 35 to go!!
Happy Reading, Everyone! 

Friday, March 20, 2015

THE MAZE RUNNER by James Dashner; 2 for 1!! Book AND Movie Review!

What a treat you guys are getting.  It’s a two review special!  Here’s my take on the book AND the movie. 


No, this was not a book that I read for my 2015 challenge.  I read The Maze Runner last year, but I’ve been thinking more about the book and movie since I just started reading Book 2 in the series, The Scorch Trials.  You know me… I have an opinion and therefore I need to share it.  Stay tuned for my review on TST.  It’s already panning out to be an interesting book.

THE MAZE RUNNER by James Dashner
Book 1 in The Maze Runner Series


When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his name. He’s surrounded by strangers—boys whose memories are also gone.

Nice to meet ya, shank. Welcome to the Glade.

Outside the towering stone walls that surround the Glade is a limitless, ever-changing maze. It’s the only way out—and no one’s ever made it through alive.

Everything is going to change.

Then a girl arrives. The first girl ever. And the message she delivers is terrifying.

Remember. Survive. Run.

3.5 out of 5 *Stars*

You know, I love a descriptive book just as much as the rest.  There’s nothing like being taken into a whole new world, whether it be futuristic, a different plane, or even the center of the earth where no one has ever or will ever see.  It’s amazing to see, yes “see”, what new and different things an author can come up with.  There’s only one downfall to these types of books.  Since the reader is being introduced into something they’ve never personally seen, a lot of time is spent describing aspects of the story, that sometimes the plot can get put on the backburner.  That was the case with this book.
The concept was amazing; nothing more than children creating and thriving, in a world that was thrust upon them.  To top it off, all of their memories were wiped clean.  You could practically feel the strength and determination that lived in those boys. Then they threw the girl into the mix.  I’m still trying to understand her significance, because I’m pretty sure they could have eliminated her character all together, and she wouldn’t have been missed.  Anyways, the boys had a system and a civilization. 
Then there was the maze that had different sections and was covered with vines, and had moving walls.  In the maze were the Grievers.  They were these part mechanical, part slime “things” (yes, it’s a very technical word, I know.), that had a needle like exterior that could inject a poison into someone to kill them.  These “monsters” (Better?) would take off with the Gladers if they were caught inside the maze. 
There were SO many things going on that it took most of the book to explain everything.  Of course it was done in a way where it still tied into the story, so it wasn’t so bad.  Maybe just a little long winded at times.  Then on top of trying to figure out what was going on, you also had to get used to the unique wording or slang that the Gladers used.  For example…

Gladers = the boys that live in the glade, which is the center part of the maze.
Grievers = the biomechanical “creature” (?) that comes from the maze.
Shank = friend
Slinthead  = popular name used to insult someone
Klunk = poop

I’m sure there’s more, but those are the ones I remembered most.

I thought it was a good book, maybe a little slow at times, but something that I believe would be enjoyable for someone to read.  The thing that I like most about this story is that it ALWAYS keeps you guessing, and even then, your guess is more than likely wrong.  I won’t spoil the ending, but it was something that I never saw coming.  Get it, read it, and tell me if you agree. 
In Comparison to the Book

I just have to go ahead and say it.  I really liked this movie.  Yes, it left out A LOT from the book and did things that contradicted the story, but what movie that came from a book hasn’t?  To the dismay of my husband and sons, I kept saying, “In the book…”  Then I would continue to state the difference.  Once I got over the contradictions, and was told politely to “shut up”, I started to really get into it. 

What the movie had going for it that the book did not was the issue that I stated before.  The book took so long to describe jobs or specific details, but with the movie, everything could be seen firsthand, so all it had to do was concentrate on the plot, which was interesting in itself.  Plus, the way they made the maze in the movie was fantastic.  It was nothing like I pictured, but still just as intriguing.  The way that they showed the maze shifting was an added bonus.  I knew what was going to happen, but I was still at the edge of my seat.    

I only had one issue and that was the ending.  If you read the book, the ending will make perfect sense and you can go on to wait for the sequel, The Scorch Trials, coming 9/18/15.  If you haven’t read the book, you might end the movie with one word on your mind… “What??”  It’s not that easy to comprehend.  Now begs the question…  Is the movie still a good movie if you need the book to understand everything?  I can say that I enjoyed the movie and understood every different aspect it threw out there, but I’ve read the book.  Therefore, I’m not a good person to answer that question.  I can say that my kids liked it, and they’ve never read the book.  It’s just a matter of opinion. Like everything else on this planet.    
So, those were my thoughts.  Overall… Read the book?  Absolutely.  Watch the movie?  Of course!
Do you agree?  Disagree?  Comment below, and let me know!
Happy Reading, Everyone!      


Wednesday, March 18, 2015


As you might be seeing, there are some changes to the blog.  At the moment they are somewhat of an eyesore, but will hopefully be better shortly.  So sorry, and thank you for your patience! 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

“A Book with Non-human Characters” 2015 Challenge; FIRELIGHT by Sophie Jordan

I just now realized how many Young Adult books that I read.  I didn’t realize how many until I actually started to keep track.  I actually had planned on reading a Lora Leigh book for this series.  She is well known for her Breed series.   All of those book have a darker side of romance to them.  Are they hot?  Yes, extremely, but when it came down to it, all I wanted this time was a light, uncomplicated read.  I think I got that with this one. 

FIRELIGHT by Sophie Jordan
Book 1 in the Firelight Series


A hidden truth.
Mortal enemies.
Doomed love.

Marked as special at an early age, Jacinda knows her every move is watched. But she longs for freedom to make her own choices. When she breaks the most sacred tenet among her kind, she nearly pays with her life. Until a beautiful stranger saves her. A stranger who was sent to hunt those like her. For Jacinda is a draki, a descendant of dragons whose greatest defense is her secret ability to shift into human form.
Forced to flee into the mortal world with her family, Jacinda struggles to adapt to her new surroundings. The only bright light is Will. Gorgeous, elusive Will who stirs her inner draki to life. Although she is irresistibly drawn to him, Jacinda knows Will's dark secret: He and his family are hunters. She should avoid him at all costs. But her inner draki is slowly slipping away; if it dies she will be left as a human forever. She'll do anything to prevent that. Even if it means getting closer to her most dangerous enemy.
Mythical powers and breathtaking romance ignite in this story of a girl who defies all expectations and whose love crosses an ancient divide.

3.5 out of 5 *Stars*


Let me start off by saying that I had never read a story based on dragons before.  Werewolves… yes.  Cougars… yes.  Along with many other shifter books, but never dragons.  The way that Jordan describes the texture of the skin or the way she wrote about their different colors, it’s as if I was running my hand over one and seeing it through her eyes.  When she talks about them flying, it’s the same thing.  It’s like I’m right there in the air with them.  The way she wrote the story and vividly described all aspects, made it a thoroughly enjoyable book to read.  It was the story itself that I had a few issues with. 
Here’s the biggest… 
I don’t think I have ever been as mad at a mother in a story as I was with Jacinda’s mom in this one.  Yes, there are others that were mean and I didn’t like, but that was who they were.  This one was a selfish bitch under the pretense of looking after her daughter.  Every draki can transform into human.  If you stay human too long without morphing, your draki dies; not just goes dormant, but DIES!  That is the equivalent of killing off part of your soul.  Well, here is a woman (the mother) that chose to let hers die when one of her daughters never manifested into a dragon.  She decides to break away from the pack, taking both her daughters along with her. (For a good reason.  I will give her that.) Instead of moving someplace where her one daughter’s draki can flourish, she moves somewhere in the hopes that it will die off.  Basically, she wants a part of her daughters SOUL to die, and shows not a bit of remorse.  I wanted to reach into that book and smack her mother around a bit.  Maybe it would knock some sense into her. 
If that wasn’t bad enough, the only other person that Jacinda had was her sister, a twin no less, the one that never had a draki.  I understand the sister had it rough when she lived with the pack, always being an outsider.  It almost made me feel sorry for her, but the moment she opened her mouth, my sympathy for her flew right out the window.  Her sister was suffering, emotionally and physically.  When she saw this, she would say, “I’ll never forgive you if you ruin this for me.”  When Jacinda had an issue at school that was entire NOT her fault, her sister chose to berate her for it rather than be supportive.  It was infuriating!! You’re a twin.  Aren’t you supposed to be there for each other, no matter what?  Jacinda’s mom and sister were two peas in a freakin’ pod. 
With the unbelievable amount of support she received, it was not surprising that Jacinda thought she was the one being selfish and had an extremely negative opinion of her self-worth. 
She had an opinion on what her mom thought about her.  That she was…
“Someone she had to love, but wouldn’t have chosen.”
I know that all of it is probably contributing to the grand plot corresponding between all the books, but it’s still hard to read and not get irritated.  See, I said that Jordan was a good writer.  She would rather me get some emotion from her story rather than feel nothing at all.    
Overall… It was a wonderfully written story.  The love story kind of fell second nature to what was going on with her, but I’m not disappointed that I read it.  Do I recommend it though?  Not sure on that one.  I guess it goes like this.  Is it a good book to have under your belt?  Yes.  Is it absolutely imperative that you do?  No.  Now, I have the dilemma of my own.  Do I continue on with the series?  Do I want to read Jacinda getting belittled by the very people that are supposed to love her unconditionally for another whole book? I ordered the next book from the library, but I’m still not sure if I’m going to read it.  Stay tuned to find out…


16 books down, 36 to go!!

Happy Reading, Everyone!     


Sunday, March 15, 2015

“A Book Published the Year You Were Born” 2015 Challenge; THE ENDEARMENT by LaVyrle Spencer

There were so many books I could have read that were published in 1982, but I decided to read this one.  The concept sounded intriguing… a mail-order-bride that lied to get out of her current situation.  I mean, one of my favorite books by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss, A Rose in Winter, was published in 1982, but I’m reading all new books for this challenge.  Then there was “The Body”, a book that they based the epic movie Stand By Me on.  Even though I wanted to read it, I chose “The Endearment”. I’m disappointed, yet not.  Look below to see what I mean. 


THE ENDEARMENT by LaVyrle Spencer


From the streets of 19th-century Boston to the harsh frontier--she wove a web of deception to ensnare her man!

Lovely, fiery-tempered Anna Reardon was forced to lie to get out of the street urchin's life that shamed her ... to become Karl Lindstrom's mail-order bride in the beautiful, treacherous Minnesota wilderness.

Karl forgave Anna for her deceptions--but there was still one shameful, burning secret that she had to hide from him, knowing its revelation would destroy the love that had become her very life!



2 out of 5 *Stars*

Honey… Baby… Loverboy… Studmuffin…

Oh wow.  This book was actually a struggle to get through.  Let me correct that…  The beginning was a struggle to get through.  Then after much treacherous reading, a fairly good ending came from it all.  Anna, the bride, didn’t know how to do anything when she got to the wilderness of Minnesota.  The first half of the book was spent explaining how to do everything to her, and the reader, with how detailed it got.  Yes there was a little bit of chemistry, but the first have was like a “How to Survive in the Wilderness with Only an Axe” guidebook. It was only after she had been taught everything at least once did the story start coming along.  However, by the end, even though it was entirely predictable, I was quickly flipping pages because it had finally grabbed my attention.
Along with the story, the writing was hard to get through.  I had to go back and re-read paragraphs to understand a few.  Example…
“…kneeling in the glow that limned their bodies in fireshine, that splashed a half of each with orange, that picked the radiance from one pair of eyes and set it dancing to another, eyes that wondered and worshipped, widened and wondered.”
Yes, it is beautiful, but… the whole book was like that when giving a description, and I found it too hard to follow most of the time.  Then, there was how Karl, our Minnesota Man, described things, especially when he talked about trees.
“See that one there?  Yellow locust. Splits as smooth and as true as the flight of an apple falling from a tree.  And that Chestnut there? Another smooth splitter, to make board as flat as milk on a plate.”
Or should we call him Metaphor Man instead of Minnesota Man?
Speaking of our main man, you hear the saying tall, dark, and handsome all the time in regards to the hero of a romance novel.  What if the man was honest, light, and perfect in every way?  That was Karl.  He was a man from Sweden that was perfect in every way, except for his ability to forgive, so perfect that it was almost nauseating.  Who is THAT perfect, I ask?  NOBODY!  He had all the answers, and knew how to do everything.  Then came this girl, I say girl because she was only 17, and she couldn’t do anything.  I almost felt sorry for her, if she wasn’t a fictional character and all. 
Yes, he was completely perfect, and a hopeless romantic.
“I have loved you when I did not know you existed, Anna.  I have loved the dream of you.  I have begun loving you before I left my mother’s arms.  I have loved you while I find this land to which I would bring you and while I cut its timbers to build this home for you and while I reap my grains for you and build my fire for you… I know all my life you are waiting somewhere for me.”
Awww… Yeah, that was pretty good!
Ok, time for my “Overall”.  Overall… Much to the dismay of my husband who's from Minnesota, I honestly feel that this book would be a waste of your time.  The first half was almost brutal to get through, and even though it ended well, there are many other romance books, even historical ones about mail-order brides, out there that are good all the way through.  I have seen a few reviews that said it was better the second time around, but I don’t think I’m going to find that one out.  Oh well, where one falls flat, another one soars. 

15 books down, 37 to go!!

Happy Reading, Everyone!


Friday, March 13, 2015

“A Book Published This Year” 2015 Challenge; DEAD OF WINTER by Kresley Cole

The moment I got the challenge, I knew this would be the book for this topic.  I’ve had it pre-reserved at the library since I finished the last book in the series.  Even though, this book could definitely be used for the “love triangle” topic, I’m sticking to my original placement.  Since this book was first published on January 6, 2015, it works perfectly for my “A book Published This Year” topic in the reading challenge.  Keep reading to see if it was worth it!


DEAD OF WINTER by Kresley Cole
Book 3 in the Arcana Chronicles


Can Evie convince her rival loves to work together? Their survival depends on it in this third book of #1 New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole’s Arcana Chronicles, a nonstop action tale of rescue, redemption, and a revenge most wicked.

Heartbreaking decisions
Evie was almost seduced by the life of comfort that Death offered her—until Jack was threatened by two of the most horrific Arcana, the Lovers. She will do anything to save him, even escape Death’s uncanny prison, full of beautiful objects, material comforts…and stolen glances from a former love.

Uncertain victory
Despite leaving a part of her heart behind with Death, Evie sets out into a perilous post-apocalyptic wasteland to meet up with her allies and launch an attack on the Lovers. Such formidable enemies require a battle plan, and the only way to kill them may mean Evie, Jack, and Death allying. Evie doesn’t know what will prove more impossible: surviving slavers, plague, Bagmen and other Arcana—or convincing Jack and Death to work together.

Two heroes returned
There’s a thin line between love and hate, and Evie just doesn’t know where she stands with either Jack or Death. Will this unlikely trio be able to defeat The Lovers without killing one another first...?
5 out of 5 *Stars*
You know, all this time I was kicking myself because I started to read a review for this book and its first sentence was that this book ended just like the previous one had.  All through the book, I was getting more and more into the storyline, but didn’t get too excited because I “knew how it would end”.  Boy, was I thrown for a curveball!  By the time it ended, I was slack jawed and practically pulling my hair out because I wanted more, and I knew I would be waiting over a year to find out what happened.  Yes, that means there is a mega cliffhanger, and not at all like the last book… BEWARE! 
This book was action packed with the basis of a love triangle throughout the whole book.  I see where Evie, the main female character, is coming from.  I‘m just an innocent bystander looking in, and it was even hard for me to choose. Personally, I LOVED the first book in the series.  It’s right up there with being one of my all-time favorites.  The next two books were good too, but there was nothing like reading about Jack and Evie’s start.  That was enough to push me over to “Team Jack”.  It was still hard though.
One of Jack’s pitches…
“I told you I couldn’t keep doing life after the Flash, not without you.  That’s changed.  I will go on – ‘cause I got a job to do now – but I will never be right.  I’ve got to feel you with my every step, Evangeline.”
One of Aric’s pitches…
“So beautiful.  I won’t stop until you’re mine.  I won’t ever rest.  Es tevi milu.”  (Which, of course, means “I love you”.) 
See what I mean?  Both yummy and swoon worthy.
Moving along…
I LOVE the whole concept of this series – Tarot card characters destined to kill each other off and gain immortality.  It’s amazing how much life comes from the pages when the Arcana group together.   Besides the love triangle, this book had fights, suspenseful encounters, and witty banter.  Evie herself made me laugh out loud a few different times.  Whether it be her sometimes quirky personality,
“I’d trusted him to steer me through a minefield (talk about a team building exercise).”
or when she referenced a classic.
“I went all Little Shop of Horrors with those vines.”
Wonderful job, Cole.  I was enthralled with the story, but couldn’t help to reflect back to the many times of watching that original movie. 
In this book, the Arcana have a plan to save Jack and stick it to The Lovers.  It’s a plan that you can’t help but get behind.  Throughout the book though, we also got the opportunity to get to know the other Arcana.  That was a treat in itself.  A character that you would be more than happy to see exterminated in the beginning, by the end you want to see them survive.  I wanted to be immersed inside of their world, fight zombies and slavers, okay… and maybe take over the discarded male Evie chose not to pick.  That would be my cross to bear.
Yes, I definitely recommend this book, but of course and as always, read the other books in the series first.  Ignore the goofy looking people on the cover and try it on for size.  Comment below and let me know what you thought. 

14 books down, 38 to go!!
Happy Reading, Everyone!