Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Girl in the Wall: Review

Title: The Girl in the Wall
Author: Daphne Benedis-Grab
ISBN: 1440552703
Publisher: Merit Press
Book Source: NetGalley

Buy Now: Amazon - Barnes & Noble

Goodreads Synopsis:

Ariel's birthday weekend looks to be the event of the season, with a private concert by rock star Hudson Winters on the grounds of her family's east coast estate, and all of Ariel's elite prep school friends in attendance. The only person who's dreading the party is Sera, Ariel's former best friend, whose father is forcing her to go. Sera has been the school pariah since she betrayed Ariel, and she now avoids Ariel and their former friends. Thrown together, Ariel and Sera can agree on one thing: this could be one very long night.

They have no idea just how right they are.

Only moments after the concert begins and the lights go down, thugs open fire on parents and schoolmates alike, in a plot against Ariel's father that quickly spins out of control. As the entire party is taken hostage, the girls are forced apart. Ariel escapes into the hidden tunnels in the family mansion, where she and Sera played as children. Only Sera, who forges an unlikely alliance with Hudson Winters, knows where her friend could be. As the industrial terrorist plot unravels and the death toll climbs, Ariel and Sera must recall the sisterhood that once sustained them as they try to save themselves and each other on the longest night of their lives.


Review:

I loved the idea of this book, which was the main reason I had requested it. That and, a lot of curiosity.

Ariel and Sera had a fall out nine months ago, and Sera got the burnt of it as Ariel told everyone she was a backstabber. Now Sera's forced to attend Ariel's birthday party even though the whole school hates her and are bound to cause her a lot of trouble for attending. Little did they know that this petty argument between them  would be the least of their problems. With a hostage situation gone bad and problems with who to trust and who's actually leading this hostage situation, the girls learn to let the past behind them and look for a way out.

What I loved about this book was the mystery, trying to figure out who was actually behind the attacks, though I did suspect it from the start but things kept changing and left me on edge. In all fairness the premise of the book was very interesting, which was the main reason why I continued reading it till the end, however, it's not one of my favourites.

This book had so much potential, sadly it didn't completely live up to it. The first thing that annoyed me was, there was a lot of unnecessary deaths, it was like there were no accidents whatsoever, every shot killed. What the heck? With all the chaos going on and the people they recruited you want to convince me each and every one of them would have a perfect shot? The second thing that annoyed me was, you're hostages and your host and a friend just got killed in front of you, and yet, no one is actually terrified. Like seriously, none of them acted it at least, how on Earth could they not be terrified? They were still being snotty with one another, they were laughing, joking, eating, and playing normally, what was that about? I thought the whole idea of the secret walls gave a big advantage to both Ariel and Sera you know? But for some reason it was never used wisely or well enough to give them much of an advantage. It just ended up annoying me to no means.

The writing was quite good, the switching between characters was insightful, especially with how different the two girls were, but the idea wasn't so well executed sadly.

Rating: 2.5/5

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Furthermore Blog Tour: Excerpt

Title: Furthermore
Authors: ,     
ISBN:1481006010
Buy Links: Amazon -  Smashwords

Goodreads Synopsis:

A first date, a lottery, treachery and deceit. Sometimes fate has other plans. Sometimes there’s more to tell.

In Furthermore: An Anthology, eighteen original stories take you on a journey through worlds here and beyond. From the depths of the earth to the embrace of the sea, your favorite series continue. Prequels, alternative views, and new scenes give readers a chance to experience more than originally told. 

Including stories from Rebekah Campbell, Amber Garr, David Estes, Leigh Michael, Karen Amanda Hooper, Stephanie Judice, and Mayandree Michael. And most importantly, in honor of those who lost the battle and those who continue to fight, all proceeds from this anthology will be donated to cancer research and support.

SURPRISE VISITOR -Emily has never been a fan of surprises but Eric has something up his sleeve to change her mind. (The Darkness Through The Light Series)

GETTING TO KNOW THE HEAVIES - The two Sullivan bodyguards are still human beings underneath it all. And everyone has a weakness. (The Darkness Through The Light Series)

PEOPLE CHANGE - When Eric asks his dad a question about his mother, it’s time to go back to where it all began and then went so badly wrong. (The Darkness Through The Light Series)

COLD FEET - Kain witnesses Eviana’s deceit on their wedding day and is forced to deal with the consequences of her behavior. (The Syrenka Series)

RIFT - Daniel encourages the group to make a detour to the Grand Canyon, as the distance between the friends begins to rival the great ravine. (The Syrenka Series)

DISCOVERY - Leila’s first encounter with her psychic mentor is nothing short of memorable. (The Leila Marx Novels)

HUMAN RESOURCES – Blake finds a new job while Mac finds a friend who reminds him of home. (The Leila Marx Novels)

THE RUNAWAY- TAWNI’S STORY - After learning of her parents’ treachery, Tawni leaves home seeking to make amends for their transgressions. (The Dwellers Saga)

THE LIFE LOTTERY- A STORY FROM YEAR ZERO - With the survival of the human race on the brink, there’s only one way to decide who will be saved in the underground caves: The Lottery. (The Dwellers Saga)

FATE: Experience Annabelle’s struggle to fulfill the ABA Prophecy in a new light through the parting words of Adrian, Aurelia, Blake, and Lady Katherine. (Annabelle’s Story)

THE SOUND OF LOVE - Glimpse into one of Nathaniel’s previous lives and see how his soul mate reacts when tragedy strikes. (The Kindrily Series)

MUIRNE’S MELODY--To escape her master’s vile desires, Muirne flees into the snow-swept night, finding a green-eyed stranger and a mystical destiny. (Saga of the Setti Series)

JEREMY’S HEART: Calm, cool, and complete scoundrel, Jeremy realizes the loss he’s suffered means nothing compared to true love. (Saga of the Setti Series)

FALL FROM GRACE: Warped by centuries of darkness, the creature Sveigja plots to capture Clara as his queen. (Saga of the Setti Series)


Excerpt:


 (The Leila Marx Novels - Discovery) 
The aroma of simmering bacon mixed with freshly cooked eggs filled the kitchen and tempted my stomach. Russ hustled back and forth between the table and stove as graceful as a dancer, not once breaking his stride. Much appreciated in my house, his cooking skills only added to the attractiveness. 
I leaned against the counter to enjoy the view. Dressed only in a pair of jeans, Russ’ bare back flexed with each little move. His muscular arms moved effortlessly and when he turned to smile at me, my heart fluttered. 

“Good morning, beautiful,” he said.  

Despite the novelty of our relationship, I predicted he was here to stay. No one had ever made me feel like this before. I smiled and walked to his side, wrapping my arms around his waist and squeezing tight.  

“Morning,” I replied. Lifting my head to meet his lips, another rush of emotions flooded my body. 
On top of my own infatuation, an overwhelming sense of happiness embraced me. Despite trying to shield myself, Russ’ feelings poured through every place our skin touched. We were both ridiculously content with each other.  I smiled, but then noticed only one plate at the table. “You’re not staying?” 

Russ kissed the top of my head and pushed away to finish lifting the bacon out of the sizzling pan. “No, I have to go home and then into work for a bit.” 

Pouting, I pulled the chair out and sat down next to the single setting. He laughed and loaded up my plate. 

“Don’t look so sad. I’ll be back tonight.”

Rare for us to spend a night apart, I still couldn’t control the tingling in my body every time we planned to see each other. 

“What are you doing today?” Russ asked while rinsing the pans. 

“I think I’ll go check out that psychic I told you about.” He’d cooked the bacon to a perfect crisp and I savored my first bite. With a full mouth, I added, “She’s one of the last ones I haven’t met.” 

Russ shook his head and chuckled. My little project amused him. Knowing the special gifts I had, he accepted the idea of others like me. But he thought my efforts to prove them wrong were unnecessary. Every time I moved to a new city, I made it a point of identifying the true psychics. So far, they’ve all been fake. In a city the size of Baltimore, I expected to find at least one. Maybe the lady today would be the real deal. 

“Well, have fun.” Russ dried his hands and leaned across the small kitchen table to grab my face. “As far as I’m concerned, you’re the only psychic in my book.” 







Social Contact for all Authors 

Name: Amber Garr 
Series: The Syrenka Series & The Leila Marx Novels  
Genre: YA and Adult Urban Fantasy 
 
Name: David Estes 
Series: The Dwellers Saga, The Evolution Trilogy, and The Adventures of Nikki Powergloves 
Genre: YA Dystopian, YA Paranormal, and Children’s Fantasy 
 
Name: Karen Amanda Hooper 
Series: The Sea Monster Memoirs & The Kindrily 
Genre: YA fantasy and paranormal 
 
Name: Leigh Michael 
Series: Annabelle’s Story 
Genre: YA paranormal adventure 
 
Name: Rebekah Campbell 
Series: Darkness Through the Light series - Living in the Dark (#1) to be published start of Nov. 
Genre: YA 
 
Name: Stephanie Judice 
Series: Saga of the Setti 
Genre: YA Paranormal/Romance 


Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Ambassador's Daughter: Review

Title: The Ambassador's Daughter
Author: Pam Jenoff
ISBN: 0778315096
Publisher: Harlequin UK
Source: NetGalley

Buy Now: Amazon - Barnes & Noble


Goodreads Synopsis:

Paris, 1919.The world's leaders have gathered to rebuild from the ashes of the Great War. But for one woman, the City of Light harbors dark secrets and dangerous liaisons, for which many could pay dearly.

Brought to the peace conference by her father, a German diplomat, Margot Rosenthal initially resents being trapped in the congested French capital, where she is still looked upon as the enemy. But as she contemplates returning to Berlin and a life with Stefan, the wounded fiancé she hardly knows anymore, she decides that being in Paris is not so bad after all.

Bored and torn between duty and the desire to be free, Margot strikes up unlikely alliances: with Krysia, an accomplished musician with radical acquaintances and a secret to protect; and with Georg, the handsome, damaged naval officer who gives Margot a job—and also a reason to question everything she thought she knew about where her true loyalties should lie.

Against the backdrop of one of the most significant events of the century, a delicate web of lies obscures the line between the casualties of war and of the heart, making trust a luxury that no one can afford.


Review:

I think I chose this book mainly because I loved the cover. I know I should stop doing that, but sometimes I can't help it okay? I'm impulsive when it comes to amazing covers.

When I eventually got around to reading the synopsis I was a bit conflicted, because the early 1900's is not a period I'm interested in at all. My favourite books to read on are the early 1800's. At some point I had wanted to drop it after that. But then I started thinking, maybe I should give this a try, after all I did study about the First and Second World Wars in history at school, but I've never read much on them after that.

The most interesting thing about this read for me was the point of view it is based on. I studied the two wars from the British point of view, and lately I've been reading in the point of view of a Jewish Italian man that survived Auschwitz, but I've never really read anything from the point of view of a rich German Jew, who - from what I read - are actually the reason for Hitler's hatred towards the Jews. From the rich lifestyle Margot describes and the suffering the rest of her country had undergone, it's very new for me.

The research and history Pam had added into the mix was so brilliant and I loved it. I mean, espionage, war veterans, soldiers and treaties, wars and assassination attempts. It was such a beautifully written read, with so much added in the mix. However, Margot's character wasn't one I liked in the least. She was a selfish young brat from what I read. She's too scared to voice her opinions or tell people what she really wants because she doesn't want to hurt them, only she ends up doing more than that to them. She's so absorbed in her world and doesn't want others to break free or live their own lives, when they do she envies them, even though she's repeatedly told to do just that but she doesn't listen. I hated the decisions she made and what that had cost other people, which is one of the reasons why it made me like this otherwise spectacular book much less.

It's a very interesting read, very new for me, I didn't expect to like it as much as I did, I half expected to drop it a few times throughout the book. Not because I wasn't enjoying it, but because it's not the kind of book I usually enjoy or am interested in. I am glad I didn't and that I continued till the end, but frankly, I am so sick of bad female protagonists at this point and Margot was quite bad.

Rating: 3/5.

The Trouble With Valentine's: Review

Title: The Trouble With Valentine's
Author: Kelly Hunter
ISBN13: 9781472000736

Publisher: Harlequin UK
Source: NetGalley

Buy Now: Amazon


Goodreads Synopsis:

The perfect Valentine’s gift?

As far as women’s fashion accessories went, he was spectacular. A black-haired, cobalt-eyed, dangerous- looking toy who no doubt warned you outright not to bother playing with him if you didn’t like his rules. He was like a Hermes handbag; women saw and women wanted, even though they knew the price was going to be astronomical.

Hallie Bennett likes a challenge, though – and his offer is tempting: $5,000 if she pretends to be his wife for a week. It might not be the most traditional Valentine’s Day proposal… but she’s hardly a traditional girl. Maybe a week in the high life, with a man to match, will be just the ticket. Just as long as she doesn’t start wishing the ‘I do’ is real…


Review:


When I first started this book I had mixed feelings because I wasn't sure I got much from the synopsis. But it sounded like a cute girlish read so I went on ahead and read it. I usually leave my contemporary reads until I am in the mood of something simple, fun, and quick, so since yesterday I was in that mood, I decided what could be more so than a 'Valentine' read?

Hallie has four overprotective older brothers, and to show them she can do it on her own, she won't accept any money from them for her tuition meaning she has to work hard to earn that money. It doesn't help that she's a bit flighty since she's always changing her courses and her mind on what she'd like to do in the future. So when a ridiculously good looking computer geek walks into her store with his mother and asks her to pretend to be his wife for the week for 5 thousand pounds, she thinks it would be way easier to get the money that she needs than the work at the store. What she doesn't anticipate is how hard it would be to pretend without wanting more.

To start off, I really didn't like the first part with how they met and how he proposed the deal, it was ridiculously unbelievable. But I'm so glad I didn't stop reading like I had wanted to at that first part because once they land in Hong Kong, the book picks up and is so good!

Kelly's writing is very hooking and fun to read. I enjoyed the two stories that were intertwined in the middle so it's not just about Hallie and Nick, but also about Kai and Jasmine. I hate that we didn't get to see inside Kai's head like we occasionally did with the rest, but maybe because he was a much more complex character than the rest, and really hard to get into?

I think it's a bit strange that I was more emotionally invested in Kai and Jasmine's love story than I was in Hallie and Nick's. I actually just thought of them as a couple straight away and the issue with mainly with poor Jasmine who didn't have many friends, only bodyguards guarding her every move. Their story was so cute. But I did enjoy Hallie's character so much. She's so lively and insane at times, causing havoc without knowing it, and poor old Nick wonders on more than one occasion how her brothers survived her. They're so great together and I quite enjoyed this read!

Rating: 3/5.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Wisteria & Myopia Blog Tour: Review





Title: Myopia
Author: Bisi Leyton
ASIN: B00A4Q4DSA

Goodreads Synopsis:


Sixteen-year-old Wisteria has embraced her deep bond with eighteen-year-old Bach, a member of a supernatural race called the Family, despite the risk of his family finding out. Should Bach’s people discover his bond with a human, Wisteria will be guaranteed a painful and bloody death—but somehow, being together is more important. 

Their bond is tested when empirics, an elite group of Family investigators, are sent to the Isle of Smythe under the orders of Bach’s father to find artifacts stolen by the humans. They’re to find the artifacts at any cost. Among the empirics is Bach’s old friend, the stunning Alba, who has learned about Bach and Wisteria’s secret relationship, and surprisingly accepts this. With no one else in the Family to turn to, she becomes Bach’s ally and confidant, but possibly more. 

As the empirics start to take over the town, Wisteria is torn between trusting Bach and the safety of the humans on Smythe. She soon realizes that she and Bach are on opposite sides of the war between the Family and Humans, and there is no middle ground. One of them must choose a side.


Review:

As I probably mentioned before, I don't usually know what to write when I'm reviewing a second book in a series, unless there's so many developments and new ideas added in, but otherwise I can't add much.

It was actually a while since I read the last book "Wisteria" in this series, so it took me some time to get back into the story and once I did a surge of emotions rushed back to me, like the girls on the island and what they had done to Wisteria in book one, man did I hate those girls! I also dislike how Bisi hadn't done some form of retribution for what they did. And Wisteria's brother? He's seriously  just as bad for letting them do that and get away!

I honestly had no clue what to expect in this book, but oh Gosh, it's really good! I mean so many things escalate and go out of hand, and a lot of mix-ups occur, but yes, it's just as good as book one! I do love Bisi's writing and that the "zombie" side of things isn't so much more than I can handle, though they appear a lot more in this book. There are also some scenes where they were gross, but all in all, a great read!

Rating: 3.5/5


Author's Bio:


Bisi Leyton was born in East London in 1978. She grew up in London, Nigeria and the States, listening to the stories life and love from aunts, cousins and big sisters.

She lives in London, but has worked around Europe including France, Germany, Ireland, Belgium and the Czech Republic. She has a fondness for reading graphic novels, and cracked.com.

You can email Bisi on bisileyton@gmail.com as she would love to hear from you. You can also follow her on twitter or on Facebook or at her Blog .

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Just For Fun: Blog tour, excerpt

Title: Just for fun
Author: Rosalind James


Goodreads Synopsis:

What if the person who broke your heart turned out to be the only one who could mend it?

Nic Wilkinson is a responsible, organized, disciplined rugby player at the top of his game. Emma Martens is a sometimes-scattered, often-emotional, and always-broke would-be designer with a big chip on her shoulder where Nic’s concerned.

They have no history together, except one perfect week. Nothing in common anymore, except the most important thing of all.

Getting together again would be messy. Complicated. Scary. And, just maybe, worth every risk.



EXCERPT:

“Mum!” Zack burst in through the front door. “It was brilliant!” He kicked his shoes off impatiently, dropped his rugby boots next to them before struggling out of his jacket. Nic followed him in, grabbed the jacket and hung it on the brightly painted rack next to the door when Zack would have dropped it on the floor.  
Emma reached out for a hug that, Nic saw, the boy was still willing to give his mother, at least here at home. Her eyes met Nic’s as she looked over her son’s head. How did she always look so soft? So . . . pettable? She was wearing another sweater, that was all, he told his troublesome libido. Another light, lacy one, prettily trimmed once again. A pale pink cardigan with pearly shell buttons, edged in cream, over a long stretchy top and leggings. She looked like an invitation to cuddle. Like the best blankie ever. 
“Can Nic stay for dinner, Mum?” Zack asked excitedly, offering a welcome distraction from his wayward train of thought. “He could help me tell you all the things we did. We’re having spaghetti!” he told Nic. “It’s really good.” 
“Can’t, mate. Sorry,” Nic put in hastily at Emma’s instinctive shake of the head. “But I’ll have a glass of water, if one’s on offer.” 
“Sit down,” Emma told him. “Please.”  
Nic slipped off his own shoes before heading to the couch with Zack. “Cheers,” he said as she came back from the kitchen to hand each of them a glass, then took her own seat in a small armchair next to the couch, the only other option the little room offered. 
“You look tired,” she said abruptly. “And bruised. Are you OK?” 
“Just a bit confused on the sleep schedule, still,” Nic admitted. “I took a wee pill on the flight home, but it never works that well.” 
“It’s a long way, Mum,” Zack put in. “South Africa’s really far.” 
Nic took a long drink of the cold water, looked around for something to set the glass on. “Coaster?” 
“Just put it down,” Emma told him.  
“Don’t want to spoil this,” he said, looking more closely at the coffee table. The simple rectangle had been transformed into a forest of ferns, with native birds peeping out from underneath fronds, perched in trees. The parson-throated tui making a meal of red fruit, the colorful, stumpy takahe on the forest floor, tiny fantails darting overhead.  
“You can’t,” Emma assured him. “It’s all enamels. Everything in this house is pretty indestructible.” 
“Did you find the ruru yet?” Zack asked him, leaning forward. 
“Don’t tell me,” Nic said. “Let me look.” Zack watched him eagerly as he searched and finally pointed triumphantly to a notch in a tree where the owl blended into the bark. “There.” 
“You did this too, eh,” he asked Emma. “Nice.” 
“I did everything. That’s my decorating theme. Things I made.” 
“I like it,” he assured her. The warm colors of the lounge seemed to cocoon them. Two walls were a rich caramel, the others a warm yellow. She didn’t even paint every wall in a room the same color, he realized. Well, at least in the kitchen it was all the same. Purple. He wondered what color her bedroom was. How it looked. And found himself wishing, against every better impulse, that he could see it.