Friday, February 28, 2014

Seducing His Princess by Olivia Gates

Release Date: March 4th, 2014

Publisher: Harlequin

Author Info: Goodreads & Website

Age Group: Adult

Pages: 192 pages

Buy it Here: Amazon

                                   Our Rating:  3 1/2 stars

Mohab Aal Ghaanem once had Jala Aal Masood… and lost her. Now, as a new king, he can end the explosive feud between their kingdoms, and fulfill his parting pledge to the princess of Judar… that he would make her his wife.

Marry Mohab? Six years ago, the prince risked his life to save Jala, igniting her desires… only to betray her trust. Now the ruthless seducer is forcing her into a sham marriage. Will it mean a second chance with the man she still craves… or heartbreak when all their dark secrets are revealed?

There were a lot of things that I really liked about this book. For one, the cover definitely grabs your attention! I loved all the details given in this book about the surroundings, it was very exotic and I could picture the setting in my mind as I read! I liked both Mohab & Jala, to a point, but I wish that there would had been more to the story.

I was surprised that Mohab was the one that was really pushing for the relationship and who was sure that he was in love with her. I liked that it made this book a little bit different than other romances I've read lately tho. I did think that cat thing was really me, you'll know what I'm talking about if you read it!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Magic Study by Maria V. Snyder

Release Date: October 1st, 2006

Publisher: Luna

Author Info: Goodreads & Website

Age Group: Young Adult

Pages: 392 pages

Buy it Here: Amazon

Our Rating: 5 stars!


With her greatest enemy dead, and on her way to be reunited with the family she'd been stolen from long ago, Yelena should be pleased. But though she has gained her freedom, she can't help feeling isolated in Sitia. Her Ixian background has changed her in many ways—and her newfound friends and relatives don't think it's for the better....

Despite the turmoil, she's eager to start her magic training—especially as she's been given one year to harness her power or be put to death. But her plans take a radical turn when she becomes involved with a plot to reclaim Ixia's throne for a lost prince—and gets entangled in powerful rivalries with her fellow magicians.

If that wasn't bad enough, it appears her brother would love to see her dead. Luckily, Yelena has some old friends to help her with all her new enemies...

I can honestly say that I loved absolutely everything about this book! Yelena continues to showcase her abilities & I loved watching her explore new magical abilities while also adjusting to a new land. As she is reunited with her family she struggles with her inability to remember them & with the fact that her brother, Leif, seems to hate her. Leif is convinced that she is a spy and practically hands her over to Cahil, who believes he is the true King of Ixia. After she is finally able to make it to the Citadel (where she will receive her magical training) she discovers that not everyone trusts her or her growing abilities. 

As Yelena interacts with Cahil throughout the book I started to get worried that Snyder was going to create some sort of love triangle. There were glimpses of Cahil actually being a good guy, but I still would have picked Valek for Yelena anyday! Unfortunately Cahil turns out to be a lot more than I was expected & I ended up hating him before the book was through. There were some great scenes between him, Yelena, & Valek, which I thought gave the book some intensity. Of course let's not forget the rogue magician who was kidnapping & killing female magicians, in order to steal their powers....

This book is filled with excitement on every page. Yelena is constantly involved in something & there were plenty of characters throughout the book to play her nemesis. I like how her relationship with Valek seemed a lot more natural in this book & not rushed, which I felt had been an issue towards the end of Poison Study. The book wouldn't have been complete without Ari & Janco, who had some comedic relief while also managing to make me fall in love with them for always being there for Yelena. 

This book is an excellent addition to the Study series, although I must admit I loved this book even more than the first! Make sure to check out our review of book one, Poison Study, so that you don't miss anything in this exciting series! 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Exclusively Yours by Shannon Stacey

Release Date: June 7th, 2010

Publisher: Carina Press

Author Info: Goodreads, Website & Twitter

Age Group: Adult

Pages: 322 pages

Buy it Here: Amazon

Our Rating: 5 stars!

When Keri Daniels' editor finds out she has previous carnal knowledge of reclusive bestselling author Joe Kowalski, she gives Keri a choice: get an interview or get a new job.

Joe's never forgotten the first girl to break his heart, so he's intrigued to hear Keri's back in town—and looking for him. Despite his intense need for privacy, he'll grant Keri an interview if it means a chance to finish what they started in high school.

He proposes an outrageous plan—for every day she survives with his family on their annual camping and four-wheeling trip, Keri can ask one question. Keri agrees; she's worked too hard to walk away from her career.

But the chemistry between them is still as potent as the bug spray, Joe's sister is out to avenge his broken heart and Keri hasn't ridden an ATV since she was ten. Who knew a little blackmail, a whole lot of family and some sizzling romantic interludes could make Keri reconsider the old dream of Keri & Joe 2gether 4ever.

Everything about this book was pure perfection. I loved Keri from the very beginning & it was impossible not to see the connection she still had with Joe, even after all these years. I was a little worried at first that Joe would spend the whole book making Keri pay for the past & I was relieved as soon as I realized that wasn't the case. Joe's family is hilarious & I'm glad that they all played such a major role in the story, I feel like that gave it something special.

Shannon Stacey did an incredible job with each and every character in this book. They were all so perfect that I feel in love with each of them! I'm very excited to read more from this author & this series! 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Her Favorite Rival by Sarah Mayberry

Release Date: September 3rd, 2013

Publisher: Harlequin

Author Info: Website & Goodreads

Age Group: Adult

304 pages

Buy it Here: Amazon

                                   Our Rating: 4 stars

A new meaning for office politics  

Audrey Mathews has worked hard to get here. Now she's up for a promotion and nothing will stand in her way—including Zach Black. He's hot, smart and the competition. When they're assigned to the same project, she's shocked at how much she actually likes about him…and how much she misjudged him. 

Before long Audrey is seriously falling for Zach—and indulging in an affair that's against company policy. And the stakes rise when it's clear only one of them can get ahead. So where do they draw the line between competition and love? Especially when she doesn't want to lose either the promotion or the guy….

I downloaded this book on my kindle based solely on the cover, which I thought was really cute. That being said I didn't really know what to expect but I did have some ideas once I started reading. I assumed this would be yet another romance about an employee falling for the boss who is determined never to fall in love again. I was pleasantly surprised to find an office rivalry, where both parties were secretly lusting after the other & both were great characters. It was impossible to not love Audrey, with all her family issues & I desperately wanted her and Zach to end up together!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Dark Frost by Jennifer Estep

Release Date: May 29th, 2012


Author Info: Goodreads, Website, Twitter

Age Group: Young Adult

Pages: 336 pages

Buy it Here: Amazon

Our Rating:4 1/2 stars

I've seen so many freaky things since I started attending Mythos Academy last fall. I know I'm supposed to be a fearless warrior, but most of the time, I feel like I'm just waiting for the next Bad, Bad Thing to happen. Like someone trying to kill me--again.

Everyone at Mythos Academy knows me as Gwen Frost, the Gypsy girl who uses her psychometry magic to find lost objects--and who just may be dating Logan Quinn, the hottest guy in school. But I'm also the girl the Reapers of Chaos want dead in the worst way. The Reapers are the baddest of the bad, the people who murdered my mom. So why do they have it in for me? It turns out my mom hid a powerful artifact called the Helheim Dagger before she died. Now, the Reapers will do anything to get it back. They think I know where the dagger is hidden, but this is one thing I can't use my magic to find. All I do know is that the Reapers are coming for me--and I'm in for the fight of my life.

I think that this book may be my favorite in the series so far. However, there were a lot of times where I felt like Gwen completely missed what was right in front of her. There were a lot of clues that I feel like she should have quickly put together, but in this book her skills seemed to be lacking. The storyline in general was good & full of excitement (I wouldn't expect anything else from Estep!) I really love all of Gwen's friends-Daphne, Carson, Logan...but I'm getting a little tired of the Logan/Gwen drama & I'm hoping that what happened at the end of the book will put an end to all of that.  All in all, this book is a perfect addition to the Mythos Academy  series!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Starters by Lissa Price

Release Date: March 2012

Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers

Author Info: Goodreads, Website, & Twitter

Pages: 352 pages

Buy it Here: Amazon

Our Rating: 4 1/2 stars

Callie lost her parents when the Spore Wars wiped out everyone between the ages of twenty and sixty. She and her little brother, Tyler, go on the run, living as squatters with their friend Michael and fighting off renegades who would kill them for a cookie. Callie's only hope is Prime Destinations, a disturbing place in Beverly Hills run by a mysterious figure known as the Old Man.

He hires teens to rent their bodies to Enders—seniors who want to be young again. Callie, desperate for the money that will keep her, Tyler, and Michael alive, agrees to be a donor. But the neurochip they place in Callie's head malfunctions and she wakes up in the life of her renter, living in her mansion, driving her cars, and going out with a senator's grandson. It feels almost like a fairy tale, until Callie discovers that her renter intends to do more than party—and that Prime Destinations' plans are more evil than Callie could ever have imagined. . .

Let me just start by saying I have no idea why I didn't pick this book up sooner.  It was so different from what I was expecting! I was expecting something like the movie The Host (which I hated & no, I haven't read the book) & I was very relieved to find that this book was very different! Callie was an amazingly strong, dynamic character who will do anything for her little brother, a trait I could relate to.  The work that is done at Prime Destinations seemed too good to be true from the very beginning & I suspected their goal from the very beginning. One thing that I was not expecting was how Callie's chip malfunctions...I was expecting it to malfunction, however I was not expecting Callie to be able to communicate with her "renter".

Once Callie figures out what Prime Destinations really intends to do she is determined to fight it. I love all the people that come together to help her accomplish this goal & how they actually treat her like she has some value (so vastly different from how the other unclaimed minors are treated by most of society). I thought it would all be over once they seemed to destroy Prime Destinations but it really just left you hungry for Enders, the second book in the series, which I am about to start!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Shade and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Release Date: June 5th, 2012

Publisher: Henry Holt & Co.

Author Info: Goodreads, Twitter, Website

Age Group: Young Adult

Pages: 358 pages

Buy it Here: Amazon

Our Rating: 4 1/2 stars

Where We Got It: Our local library-we checked it out based on a Goodreads recommendation!

The Shadow Fold, a swathe of impenetrable darkness, crawling with monsters that feast on human flesh, is slowly destroying the once-great nation of Ravka.

Alina, a pale, lonely orphan, discovers a unique power that thrusts her into the lavish world of the kingdom’s magical elite—the Grisha. Could she be the key to unravelling the dark fabric of the Shadow Fold and setting Ravka free?

The Darkling, a creature of seductive charm and terrifying power, leader of the Grisha. If Alina is to fulfill her destiny, she must discover how to unlock her gift and face up to her dangerous attraction to him.

But what of Mal, Alina’s childhood best friend? As Alina contemplates her dazzling new future, why can’t she ever quite forget him?

This book is nothing like what I was expecting when I checked it out. I got it on a whim, based on a Goodreads recommendation & I'm glad that I did. It was different and full of drama & mystery. I found myself falling for The Darkling, sure he was just misunderstood & that he deserved for Alina to fall in love with him. He seemed to be struggling with his growing feelings for her and I felt myself rooting for him. Unfortunately I was fooled by him, just as Alina was. 

It takes a lot for a book to really surprise me, but this one definitely did! Bardugo did an excellent job weaving a tale of love, mystery, and excitement that is sure to leave every reader desperate for more!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

When the Rogue Returns by Sabrina Jeffries

Release Date: January 21st, 2014

Publisher: Pocket Books

Author Info: Goodreads, Website, & Twitter

Age Group: Adult

Pages: 400 pages

Buy it Here: Amazon

Our Rating: 4 stars

Victor Cale never imagined that his sweet, shy bride, Isabella, would use her talents for creating exquisite imitation jewels criminally. But there's no denying that her handiwork was used in the theft of the Dutch royal diamonds-- right after Isa disappeared into the night.

Ten years later, Victor is sent to Edinburgh to investigate a wealthy baron's mysterious bride-to-be... who turns out to be Isa, masquerading as an alluring widow. No longer the meek girl he once knew, Isa boldly asserts that it was Victor who abandoned her, after he helped steal the royal diamonds!

Piecing together the truth of the past reawakens their volatile passions, which burns hotter than ever. But with a decade of secrets between them, Victor and Isa must trust each other to bring the real thieves to justice-- without getting burned themselves.

This is the first book that I have ready by author Sabrina Jeffries & I definitely enjoyed it! I love historical fiction romances & this one was filled with romance, drama, & excitement! Seeing Victor & Isa fight their attraction for each other, along with their attempts to figure out what really happened 10 years ago, really helps the reader to fall in love with this story. 

From the very first page I found myself really hoping that Victor & Isa would be able to reunite. It annoyed me that Victor was so determined to think the worst of Isa, even as they got to know each other again & of course Isa still didn't trust him, even after they spent the night together. In the end it is another theft that truly brings them together, which I thought was absolutely perfect!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers

Release Date: April 2nd, 2013

Houghton Mifflin Books for Children

Author Info: Website & Twitter

Age Range: Young Adult

Pages: 385 pages

Buy it Here:

Our Rating: 5 stars!

When Sybella arrived at the doorstep of St Mortain half mad with grief and despair the convent were only too happy to offer her refuge - but at a price. The sisters of this convent serve Death, and with Sybella naturally skilled in both the arts of death and seduction, she could become one of their most dangerous weapons.

But her assassin's skills are little comfort when the convent returns her to the life that nearly drove her mad. Her father's rage and brutality are terrifying, and her brother's love is equally monstrous. But when Sybella discovers an unexpected ally she discovers that a daughter of Death may find something other than vengeance to live for...

When I first picked up this book I must admit I was disappointment because I was hoping it would continue Ismae's story. I hadn't really liked the glimpses of Sybella we were given in Grave Mercy, however I was determined to give this book a try. I never expected to love it even more than the first. 

Dark Triumph starts with some overlap from Grave Mercy, but told from Sybella's perspective. She has been forced to go back to the family that raised her, to the very man who is trying to force the Duchess into marriage so he can control the country. There are so many secrets that come to light that really explain how Sybella became a deadly assassin & it is impossible not to fall in love with her. Her relationship with Beast is such a huge part of the book & rightly so! The two seem to be cut from the same cloth and are the perfect pair, saving one another several times throughout the book. 

This series so far has proven to be quite a surprise, with its unique storyline and dynamic characters, it is impossible not to become completely hooked! 

Monday, February 17, 2014

Just One Night by Lauren Layne

Release Date: March 11th, 2014

Publisher: Loveswept

Author Info: Goodreads, Website, & Twitter

Age Group: Adult

Pages: 240 pages

Buy it Here:

Our Rating: 5 stars

Riley McKenna knows sex—good sex, bad sex, kinky sex…Her articles in Stiletto magazine are consistently the publication’s most scandalous—and the most read. But Riley has a secret…all that sexy talk? Not an ounce of it comes from personal experience. Her own bedroom escapades are more limited than even her best friends know. When her editor requests that all columnists write something more personal for Stiletto’s anniversary issue, Riley turns to the one man she’s always been able to count on and calls in the favor of a lifetime.

Sam Compton would do anything for Riley McKenna. Anything except be her experimental sex toy. He refuses her request. At least until she tells him that it’ll either be him or she’ll go to someone else. And that, Sam can’t accept. Reluctantly he agrees to her terms—one night of completely meaningless sex in the name of research. Riley thinks she’s prepared for what awaits her in Sam’s bed. After ten years of writing about sex, actually doing it shouldn’t be that different, right? So wrong. What starts as “one time only” becomes “just one more time.” And then one more. And before they know it, Riley and Sam learn first-hand that when it comes to love, there’s no such thing as just one night.

Book 3 in the Sex, Love, & Stiletto series is even better than book 2, which I wasn't even sure was possible. Riley, Stiletto magazine's resident sex expert has been keeping a major secret from everyone: the articles she writes aren't from personal experience. In fact her experience is limited to only having sex once in college & it wasn't even good sex. Now that the company is about to come out with their 50th anniversary issue she has to write a more personal article and she has no idea what to do. When Riley decides to proposition Sam, her brother's best friend & the guy she has been secretly in love with for ten years, things get a little crazy! 

I honestly loved absolutely everything about this book. The love the author & her absolutely stunning love stories! I'm in love with the Stiletto girls & I honestly don't even think I can pick a favorite, which is new for me! I love romances where the two main characters start out as friends & then struggle as their feelings grow/develop. Riley is sassy, sexy, & funny-it is impossible not to fall completely in love with her. Sam is loyal & sweet but struggles with some insecurities that cause some real problems for him & Riley. I love how they were had both been secretly in love with each other for ten years. When they finally got together it was pure magic!

**ARC courtesy of Random House, Loveswept, via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**

Sunday, February 16, 2014

The Sheikh's Last Seduction by Jennie Lucas

Release Date: February 18th, 2014

Publisher: Harlequin

 Author Info: Goodreads & Website

Age Group: Adult

Pages: 192 pages

Buy it Here: Amazon

Our Rating: 4 1/2 stars! 

When Sheikh Sharif offers Irene Taylor more money as chaperone to his sister than she's ever made before, she can't refuse—finally she'll safeguard her family. Irene may be innocent, but she knows the trail of destruction playboys like Sharif leave behind, and will resist his skilled seduction….

Sharif excels at everything he does—especially in the bedroom! His engagement hasn't yet been announced and he'll enjoy his freedom until then. Starting with the beguiling Irene—she's the ideal final challenge before he embarks on a life of duty.

But sometimes even the plans of a sheikh go awry

When Sharif see's Irene at a mutual friend's wedding he is instantly intrigued by her and is determined to get her into bed. Little does he know that Irene is nothing like his usual conquests! Even though she is attracted to him she stands her ground and refuses to compromise her morals, which I love. I love that she has such a great view on love and refuses to be swayed by his attempts at seduction!

When his engagement was brought up I knew that the woman who he was supposed to marry (whom he hated & who shared the same feelings for him) was hiding something, I just wasn't sure what it was. I thought what ended up happening was perfect & it ended exactly how I wanted it to!

I've read several romances by author Jennie Lucas & I have to say this one doesn't disappoint! The only reason it didn't receive 5-stars was because some of it was just too predictable, but it is definitely worth reading!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Love the One You're With by Lauren Layne

Release Date: December 9th, 2013

Publisher: Random House Publishing-Loveswept

Author Info: Goodreads & Author Website

Age Group: Adult

Pages: 228 pages

Buy it Here: Amazon

Our Rating: 5 stars!

Favorite Quote: "Compliments from men were about as reliable as the relatiopnships on The Bachelor."

As a leading columnist for Stiletto, Grace Brighton has built a career warning women about rotten, cheating liars. She just never suspected her fiancé would be one of them. After Grace takes a heart-mending hiatus, her first assignment is to go on a couple of dates with a counterpart from the men's magazine Oxford and report her impressions. Grace 1.0 may have been instantly smitten with the gorgeous correspondent, but Grace 2.0 has sworn off relationships for six months, and she's not falling for his outstanding bod and trophy-winning kisses... or is she?

Jake Malone wants to get back to the fly-by-night, who-knows-what's-next guy he used to be, and he knows exactly how to do it. Oxford is adding a travel section, and Jake—with no wife and no kids and a willingness to live anywhere, eat anything, do everything—is perfect for the job... except that his playboy reputation makes his new editor nervous. To get the gig, he must agree to a fluffy joint article with Stiletto.

But after just one date with snooty, sumptuous, sensational Grace Brighton, Jake starts taking this assignment a whole lot more seriously..

This book reminded me a little bit about How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days, which I absolutely loved! Grace is trying to change her life after discovering that the man she had been with for 9 years was secretly sleeping with one of his co-workers. I love all of the internal conflict between Grace 1.0 & Grace 2.0. It was a unique part of the book & I feel like it really gave the reader a better insight into what Grace was thinking. 
When Jake & Grace both agreed to take on this new assignment they had no idea that they had met before & they never imagined that they would end up developing really feelings for each other. Grace is determined to prove that she is still an expert on what men are really thinking & Jake just wants to win the competition so that he can take over the brand new travel section of Oxford. 

From the beginning it was clear that Jake & Grace were perfect for each other! They had such amazing chemistry that it just jumped off the page. Their dates, both for the competition and the ones that they kept secret, were sweet & entertaining. I especially loved the tricks that they played on one another. Of course you can't have a romance with out some steamy scenes & theirs were absolutely perfect! I can't wait to read book 3 in the Sex, Love, & Stiletto series!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Illuminate by Aimee Agresti

Release Date: March 6th, 2012

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Author Info: Website & Twitter

Age Group: Young Adult

Pages: 534 pages

Buy it Here:  Amazon 

Our Rating: 4 stars 

Haven Terra is a brainy, shy high school outcast. But everything changes when she is awarded a prestigious internship at a posh Chicago hotel under the watchful eyes of a group of gorgeous strangers: the powerful and alluring hotel owner Aurelia Brown; her second-in-command, the dashing Lucian Grove; and their stunning but aloof staff of glamazons called The Outfit.

As Haven begins falling for Lucian, she discovers that these beautiful people are not quite what they seem. With the help of a mysterious book, she uncovers the evil agenda of Aurelia and company: they’re in the business of buying souls. Will they succeed in wooing Haven to join them in their recruitment efforts, or will she be able to thwart this devilish set’s plans to take the souls of her classmates on prom night at the hotel?

When I started this book I wasn't even sure that I would finish it. It started out slow and I was worried that it wouldn't pick up or be able to hold my interest, however it managed to surprise me. Once it started to pick up it quickly took off and I found myself hooked. One of my favorite aspects of the book was that it took a little while to put all the pieces together and figure out exactly what was going on. The reader can tell very quickly that something isn't right, but it takes a little while before its revealed exactly what kind of secrets are being hidden. Although the book manages to wrap things up pretty nicely it definitely leaves you wanting more & I can't wait to start book two!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Road Rash by Mark Huntely Parsons

Release Date: February 11th, 2014

Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers

Author Info: Twitter

Age Group:
Young Adult

Pages: 352 pages

Buy it Here: Amazon

Our Rating: 3 1/2 stars

After being dropped from one band, 17-year-old drummer Zach gets a chance to go on tour with a much better band. It feels like sweet redemption, but this is one rocky road trip. . . .

Zach's in control on the drums, driving the band, keeping things moving at the right pace. But when the show is over, his timing is all off. The jealousies and rivalries within his new group keep him off-balance. The awesome original song he recorded backfires. And the girl he left back home is suddenly talking about this other guy . . .

 Mark Parsons has written a fast-paced, feel-good novel about a boy finding his place in the world, in a band, and in the music. Zach is a character teens will stand up and cheer for as he lands the perfect gig, and the perfect girl.

  I have to start by saying my favorite part of this book were the drummer jokes that popped up periodically! Their presence in the book gave it something special, which I really liked. I loved Zach from the beginning, as he struggled with musical self-esteem & finding his place after losing his band and his best friend. I knew that when he joined the new band there would be issues & it played out exactly like I thought it had!

I feel like this book was more of a guy-read, but I still enjoyed it!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Giveaway: Signed Copy of Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder

The wonderful Maria V. Snyder has graciously given us a signed copy of her book Poison Study to give away to one lucky winner!!

About Poison Study.....

Choose: A quick death…Or slow poison...

About to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered an extraordinary reprieve. She'll eat the best meals, have rooms in the palace—and risk assassination by anyone trying to kill the Commander of Ixia.

And so Yelena chooses to become a food taster. But the chief of security, leaving nothing to chance, deliberately feeds her Butterfly's Dust—and only by appearing for her daily antidote will she delay an agonizing death from the poison.

As Yelena tries to escape her new dilemma, disasters keep mounting. Rebels plot to seize Ixia and Yelena develops magical powers she can't control. Her life is threatened again and choices must be made. But this time the outcomes aren't so clear..

Make sure to check out our review of Poison Study & if you've read it let us know what you think! 

Contest Dates: February 11th-March 1st 2014  
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, February 10, 2014

Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder

Release Date: March 2007

Publisher: Mira

Author Info: Goodreads & Website

416 pages

Buy it Here: Amazon

Our Rating: 4 1/2 stars

About to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered an extraordinary reprieve. She'll eat the best meals, have rooms in the palace—and risk assassination by anyone trying to kill the Commander of Ixia.

And so Yelena chooses to become a food taster. But the chief of security, leaving nothing to chance, deliberately feeds her Butterfly's Dust—and only by appearing for her daily antidote will she delay an agonizing death from the poison.

As Yelena tries to escape her new dilemma, disasters keep mounting. Rebels plot to seize Ixia and Yelena develops magical powers she can't control. Her life is threatened again and choices must be made. But this time the outcomes aren't so clear..

You would think that being a food taster would be much better than being locked in a dungeon and eventually executed. Unfortunately for Yelena she is still very much a prisoner and is constantly having to worry about who will try to kill her next. Attempts on her life seem to happen frequently, regardless of the fact that Valek, the head of the Commander's security, is protecting her. 

In the beginning he doesn't seem to want to have anything to do with her, probably because she killed a man (which was the reason she was sentenced to death). The Commander sees crime as black & white, he doesn't care why you committed a crime or even if it was an accident or self defense. Yelena soon wins the respect and loyalty of Ari & Janco, two solders who make it their mission to protect her and who agree to help train her to fight. At one point in the story I found myself wondering which of the three men Yelena might end up with and although I was sure it would be Valek I would have been happy with any of the three men, who I grew to love just as much as Yelena did. 

When the Commander begins to act strangely and General Brazell (whose psycho son Yelena killed) is appointed his successor, Yelena and Valek are sure that something is going on. Yelena begins to suspect that it is some type of magic that is controlling the commander, but she can't even begin to image how crazy it will get! In order to stop Brazell's plans Yelena has to tell Valek what happened to her while she was under his care and his response reinforces how much he really cares about her. 

I thought the story was amazing, from beginning to end. All of the main characters (Yelena, Valek, Ari, Janco, Rand) were amazingly unique and so well developed. The villains in the story were also more than meets the eye, which I also loved. The only thing that really kept me from giving this story 5 stars was how the relationship between Yelena & Valek progressed. It was all going pretty well until suddenly, with the flip of a switch, they went from occasionally flirting to being in love with each other. I wish it hadn't gone from luke-warm to hot so quickly. 

I'm eager to read the next two books in the series & can't wait for book four to come out this year!   

Friday, February 7, 2014

A Reputation to Uphold by Victoria Parker

Release Date: September 1, 2013


Author Info: Goodreads

Age Group: Adult

Pages: 192 pages

Buy it Here: Amazon

Our Rating: 4 stars 
Out of the frying pan and into the fire… 

When designer Eva St. George, branded wild and shameless by the media, is caught with tycoon Dante Vitale, it's guaranteed to make the headlines. With a fledgling reputation to salvage, how can Eva refuse Dante's exit strategy? 

Only, his solution is not to leave but to stay—together! 

This ruthless Italian's sole focus is business, and if they can convince the world they're truly in love, they both just might get what they want. With enough heat between them to rival the Sahara, the fine line between business and pleasure is going up in flames.

 I must say that I enjoyed this book a lot more than I thought I would. I loved Eva & I thought that her & Dante seemed perfect together. The chemistry between the two was fun to read & the storyline was interesting too. It had some interesting aspects that I wasn't expecting. I'm glad that I picked it up on this cold, snowy day!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Everneath by Brodi Ashton

Release Date: January 24th, 2012

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Author Info: Website & Twitter

Age Group: Young Adult

Pages: 370 pages

Buy it Here: Amazon

Our Rating: 4 stars

Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath. Now she's returned-to her old life, her family, her boyfriend-before she's banished back to the underworld . . . this time forever. She has six months before the Everneath comes to claim her, six months for good-byes she can't find the words for, six months to find redemption, if it exists.

Nikki longs to spend these precious months forgetting the Everneath and trying to reconnect with her boyfriend, Jack, the person most devastated by her disappearance-and the one person she loves more than anything. But there's just one problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who enticed her to the Everneath in the first place, has followed Nikki home. Cole wants to take over the throne in the underworld and is convinced Nikki is the key to making it happen. And he'll do whatever it takes to bring her back, this time as his queen.

As Nikki's time on the Surface draws to a close and her relationships begin slipping from her grasp, she is forced to make the hardest decision of her life: find a way to cheat fate and remain on the Surface with Jack or return to the Everneath and become Cole's queen.

I have to admit that I was attracted to this book because of the gorgeous cover. I didn't even read the back of it or look it up on Goodreads like I usually do. The cover had me completely sucked in. When I first started reading it I wasn't sure what to expected. I did have trouble getting into the book in the beginning but I soon found myself enthralled by the story. 

One thing that I really liked about this book is how it jumped back and forth from past to present as Nikki dealt with different memories and emotions. I loved her interactions with both Jack and Cole, although it was often hard not to hate Cole! The end of this book has me anxious to read book two in the trilogy! 

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Captivated by Her Innocence by Kim Lawrence

Release Date: August 20th, 2013

Publisher:  Harlequin

Author Info: Goodreads

Age Group: Adult

Pages: 192 pages

Buy it Here: Amazon
                                  Our Rating:  3 stars

Lessons in passion… 
Anna is moments away from securing her dream teaching job and a new life until it's all ripped away. And there's only one man to blame. 

Former racing driver Cesare Urquart believes Anna Henderson is the woman who nearly ended his best friend's marriage. He's never forgotten her lithe figure and flowing red hair. 

But when Anna arrives at his sprawling Scottish estate under his sister's employment, Cesare gets a rush of adrenaline he hasn't felt for years. Soon he questions every notion he's had about her. For beneath Anna's feistiness is an irresistible innocence Cesare can't leave unexplored….

I must admit Harlequin Romances are my guilty pleasure read. I like that no matter what happens, the couple always seems to live happily ever after. Of course I do like it when the journey to their happy ending is entertaining & this book just didn't really do it for me. It was definitely better than the last few Harlequin's I have read but it was a storyline I feel like I've read before. I just wasn't impressed and was unable to connect with the characters.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Kiss of Frost by Jennifer Estep

Release Date: November 29th, 2011

Author Info: Website & Twitter

Age Group: Young Adult

Pages: 337 Pages

Buy the Book: Amazon

Our Rating: 4 stars 

I’m Gwen Frost, a second-year warrior-in-training at Mythos Acad­emy, and I have no idea how I’m going to sur­vive the rest of the semes­ter. One day, I’m get­ting schooled in sword­play by the guy who broke my heart—the drop-dead gor­geous Logan who slays me every time. Then, an invis­i­ble archer in the Library of Antiq­ui­ties decides to use me for tar­get prac­tice. And now, I find out that some­one at the acad­emy is really a Reaper bad guy who wants me dead. I’m afraid if I don’t learn how to live by the sword—with Logan’s help—I just might die by the sword...

Kiss of Frost is the second book in the Mythos Academy series, which focuses on Gwen Frost, as she learns how to use her gypsy gifts and navigate this new world she has found herself thrown into. Gwen discovers a lot about herself, her past, and who she can trust in this book, which is the perfect addition to the series. I love Gwen, Logan, and Daphne and all their interactions with each other. The more I read the more I hope that Gwen and Logan can overcome their obstacles and end up together. I also find myself hoping that Daphne is who she says she is, a true friend to Gwen, but in the back of my mind I am wondering if she will turn out to be an enemy instead of a friend. I can't wait to start book three!

Monday, February 3, 2014

The Accidental Princess by Michelle Willingham

Release Date: March 1st, 2010


Author Info: Website & Goodreads

Age Group: Adult

280 pages

Buy it Here: Amazon

 Our Opinion: 4 stars

Lieutenant Michael Thorpe is a forbidden temptation for Lady Hannah Chesterfield. Etiquette demands Hannah ignore the shivers of desire his wicked gaze provokes, but he's the only man to recognize her restless spirit, and her unawakened body is clamoring for his touch….

Thrown together by scandal, a defiant Hannah joins Michael on an adventure to uncover the secret of his birth—is this common soldier really a prince? If so, will the ordinary man who has taught Hannah the meaning of pleasure now make her his royal bride?

I have to start by saying that I really like the cover of this book and that is actually why I decided to read it. I really enjoy Historical Romance books but I have to admit I'm very picky. I only like certain time periods and I LOVE anything that has to do with royalty.

I liked this book immediately and loved how Hannah and Michael's relationship developed. This book had a lot of twists and turns and it kept me wanting to keep reading! I did get frustrated with how Hannah & Michael both seemed unwilling to actually tell the other what they were really feeling and what they wanted but I loved how it ended!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

Release Date: August 27th, 2013

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's

Author Info: Website & Twitter

Age Group: Young Adult

Pages: 420 pages

Buy it Here: Amazon 

Our Rating: 5+ stars! 

An assassin’s loyalties are always in doubt.
But her heart never wavers.

After a year of hard labor in the Salt Mines of Endovier, eighteen-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien has won the king's contest to become the new royal assassin. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown – a secret she hides from even her most intimate confidantes.

Keeping up the deadly charade—while pretending to do the king's bidding—will test her in frightening new ways, especially when she's given a task that could jeopardize everything she's come to care for. And there are far more dangerous forces gathering on the horizon -- forces that threaten to destroy her entire world, and will surely force Celaena to make a choice.

Where do the assassin’s loyalties lie, and who is she most willing to fight for?

How do you write a review for one of the greatest books you've ever read?   

 I gave Throne of Glass 5 stars, so after reading Crown of Midnight I was at a loss because what is better than 5 stars?!? I had no idea that I could even love a book as much as I loved this one. Celaena & her secrets combined with the changes in her relationship with Chaol had me unable to put this book down.  I loved watching as their relationship changed in both good & bad ways. The definitely tragedies/dilemmas that they had to endure would be a challenge for any relationship.

One of my favorite things about this book was that you got to see Celaena do what she does best: manipulate, spy, and even kill. Watching her put the pieces together about the danger that was coming was so thrilling & even though I didn't like what had to happen in order for her to embrace her destiny I am glad that she finally did. Little clues throughout the story kind of tip you off to how the book is going to end but it is still crazy when you get to that point! 

The only bad thing about this book was that I am now desperate to read Heir of Fire, which doesn't come out until the fall! 

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Release Date: August 7th, 2012

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's

Author Info: Website & Twitter

Age Group: Young Adult

Pages: 404

Buy the Book: Amazon

Our Rating: 5 stars 

After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin. Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king's council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she'll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom.

Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilirating. But she's bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her... but it's the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.

Then one of the other contestants turns up dead... quickly followed by another.

Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.

There are so many things I could say about this book that I'm not really sure where to start. I stumbled across this book by pure accident when browsing the shelves of my local library. I checked it out, along with a handful of other books, without really knowing what to expect. That night we were hit with a huge snowstorm/blizzard and I was given plenty of time to start reading!

From the very first page of Throne of Glass I was completely hooked. The story was different than any I had read and I immediately fell in love with the spirited assassin, Celaena Sardothien. She is strong, smart, and could kill you before you even knew what hit you. Prince Dorian seems to be everything you would expect from a Prince and I enjoyed how he and Celaena interacted throughout the book. When Dorian pulls Celaena out of the  prison camp Endovier, she has no idea what to expect but she immediately starts thinking of ways to escape. Captain Chaol Westfall she's Celaena as nothing more than a trained killer & he intends to make sure that she makes it back to the palace for the King's competition. I love the relationship between Celaena & Chaol. I'm hoping that as the books progress they get closer and I will admit I'm hoping they end up together in the end!