Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A Kiss for Midwinter by Courtney Milan [Review]

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00APONX6Y/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00APONX6Y&linkCode=as2&tag=ufya-paranormalreviews-20
A Kiss for Midwinter (Brothers Sinister #1.5) by Courtney Milan
Format: ebook
Source: free Kindle download 12/21/13
Date read: December 22, 2013

Brothers Sinister
0.5. The Governess Affair
1. The Duchess War
1.5. A Kiss for Midwinter - Paperback | Kindle
2. The Heiress Effect
3. The Countess Conspiracy
4. The Mistress Rebellion

Courtney Milan
| Website | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon |

Synopsis (Goodreads):
Miss Lydia Charingford is always cheerful, and never more so than at Christmas time. But no matter how hard she smiles, she can't forget the youthful mistake that could have ruined her reputation. Even though the worst of her indiscretion was kept secret, one other person knows the truth of those dark days: the sarcastic Doctor Jonas Grantham. She wants nothing to do with him...or the butterflies that take flight in her stomach every time he looks her way.

Jonas Grantham has a secret, too: He's been in love with Lydia for more than a year. This winter, he's determined to conquer her dislike and win her for his own. It all starts with a wager and a kiss...
Thoughts on A Kiss for Midwinter: Oh, Courtney Milan knows how to wring the emotion out of a reader, doesn't she? From Jonas and Lydia's first abbreviated interaction to how Lydia unravels the mystery of the good doctor, I was hooked. And now I want to read book 1 like whoa because what I've read of this series is ridiculously good and I want more. MOAR.

So. Lydia and Jonas. The position he's put in when he first lays eyes on her is painful. While he could have spoken up and done something, he didn't and she ended up paying for it. On the other hand, Lydia rallied from an event that could have defined her in a most tragic way and she ended up a strong, confident woman. As an aside, I adored her father. His honesty when Lydia asked him why he was willing to stand beside her after her mistake laid me low. In a good way.

I genuinely liked the relationship that bloomed between Lydia and Jonas. Jonas is blunt -- sometimes painfully so -- and he believes knowledge is power. He talks about sex openly and he's uncompromising on being honest. Which is kinda awesome because he flat out tells her how he feels up front. Yeah, she doesn't believe him due to the preconceived notions she has about him but he lays it on the line and never wavers from what he feels.

I like that in a man.

Sarcasm, blunt talk, and a steamy kiss or two make for a fantastic book. *thumbs up*

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Forever Song by Julie Kagawa [Review]

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00I66AAFA/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00I66AAFA&linkCode=as2&tag=ufya-paranormalreviews-20
The Forever Song (Blood of Eden #3) by Julie Kagawa
Format: ebook
Source: provided by Harlequin Teen through NetGalley
Date read: March 17, 2014

Blood of Eden
0.5. Dawn of Eden
1. The Immortal Rules
2. The Eternity Cure
3. The Forever Song - Hardcover | Kindle

Julie Kagawa
| Website | Twitter | Amazon |

Synopsis (Goodreads):
VENGEANCE WILL BE HERS

Allison Sekemoto once struggled with the question: human or monster?

With the death of her love, Zeke, she has her answer.

MONSTER

Allie will embrace her cold vampire side to hunt down and end Sarren, the psychopathic vampire who murdered Zeke. But the trail is bloody and long, and Sarren has left many surprises for Allie and her companions—her creator, Kanin, and her blood brother, Jackal. The trail is leading straight to the one place they must protect at any cost—the last vampire-free zone on Earth, Eden. And Sarren has one final, brutal shock in store for Allie.

In a ruined world where no life is sacred and former allies can turn on you in one heartbeat, Allie will face her darkest days. And if she succeeds, triumph is short-lived in the face of surviving forever alone.
Thoughts on The Forever Song: I've really enjoyed this series (dark, broken worlds do it for me!) and this book satisfied my craving for blood, guts, and endings that tied things up nicely. Yes, the ending worked for me. Full circles and blood bonds and a forever that's not so bleak after all's been said and done.

So. Allie. She's had a bit of a rough ride. She's grown a lot since we first encountered her in book 1. She backslides a bit with the events that took place at the end of book 2 (as one does when THAT happens) and it takes time for her to find herself again. Her interactions with Jackal were hilarious (SHUT UP, JACKAL!) and I imagine Kanin rolling his eyes more than once at their bickering. If he was the type to roll his eyes, that is.

We got to see plenty of the broken parts of the world as Allie and her crew follow Sarren's trail. We also got to see plenty of what Sarren is capable of. And he's capable of a lot. He's not the resident psychopath for nothing, you know. He's all about drawing out the pain and hitting his enemies in the worst possible way.

He's just a big ball of screwy and he's brilliant enough to keep everyone on their toes as they try to plan for the worst.

All in all, this was a very satisfying ending to the series. We got love, redemption, family ties, and hope all rolled up in a blood stained flourish of flashing blades. Vampires. They know how to drop the hammer when it's needed.

Oh, and I'd love to see more of Jackal and the oddly noble moments that slip out when he's not trying to be a jerk. That guy ended up growing on me. Way more than I expected.

Top Off Tuesday - Nice, don't you think?

I've decided to join Felicia, Christi and Amanda for their gratuitous shirtless covers on Tuesdays. Because nothing says Tuesday like flashing some skin! Hop over to Felicia's blog to see who else is participating!

I hesitated over including this as a top Off Tuesday cover because the lady is so front and center here. But BUT... I really like his abs. So, there you go.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00CR3YTQY/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00CR3YTQY&linkCode=as2&tag=ufya-paranormalreviews-20
The Governess and the Beast (Blind Cupid #2) by Karyn Gerrard
Hiding secrets and a past she longs to forget, Hortense Jennings answers an ad for a governess and embarks on an adventure she did not expect.

Concealed in a gothic, crumbling manor on the edge of a North Sea cliff, Baron Simon Wolstenholme is hiding from life. Horribly scarred from battle wounds, he lives up to his name “The Beast of Stonecliff” in both appearance and attitude until he realizes how lonely he has become.

Simon propositions Hortense for a singular night of passion. Raging weather and storms of anger clash between a lonely man and a distrustful woman to reveal secret desires in an emotional crescendo. Can the Governess and the Beast find calm amid the storm and admit their true feelings, or will pride destroy the fairy tale before it begins?

Monday, April 14, 2014

Stolen by Kelley Armstrong [Review]

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0452296668/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0452296668&linkCode=as2&tag=ufya-paranormalreviews-20
Stolen (Women of the Otherworld #2) by Kelley Armstrong
Format: paperback
Source: purchased
Date read: January 9, 2014

Women of the Otherworld
1. Bitten
2. Stolen - Paperback | Kindle
3. Dime Store Magic
4. Industrial Magic
5. Haunted
6. Broken
7. No Humans Involved
8. Personal Demon
9. Living with the Dead
10. Frostbitten
11. Waking the Witch
12. Spellbound
13. Thirteen

Kelley Armstrong
| Website | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon |

Synopsis (Goodreads):
In Book 2 of the Women of the Otherworld series, Elena Michaels is back-and she has company. Lending a mission of vampires, demons, shamans, and witches, Elena is lured into the net of ruthless Internet billionaire Tyrone Winsloe, who is well on his way to amassing a private collection of supernaturals. He plans to harness their powers for himself-even if it means killing them.

For Elena, kidnapped and imprisoned deep underground, unable to tell her friends from her enemies, choosing the right allies is a matter of life and death.
Thoughts on Stolen: The reread continues! One of the things I love most about this book is how explosively it expands the world. In book 1, we were shown werewolves. Period. Book 2 gives us MULTITUDES of new supernaturals and this little, niggling feeling there's so much more we HAVEN'T been shown yet. That's a beautiful feeling!

I had honestly forgotten how ...well, annoying Paige is when we first meet her. She's not the biggest people person and she has a tendency to barrel into things. The events in this book force her to grow up in a lot of ways, which is a good thing because we'll be seeing plenty more of her. We also get introduced to Savannah, who we get to see grow up as the series progresses. Again, it's interesting to see her as a child again instead of the confident young woman she becomes later.

But let's talk about Elena, shall we? She's settled into her life with the pack. She's happy. She has a family with Clay and Jeremy. She has a place within the social structure of the pack. Then she's kidnapped and she's back to relying on herself again. Honestly, it was hard to watch her force herself to go along with what her kidnappers wanted from her. You could feel her struggling against the desire to lash out and HURT these people constantly.

And the bad guys? CREEEEEEPY. I get the willies thinking of how they stopped seeing their subjects as thinking, breathing people and started seeing them as only experiments they could learn from.

I loved how far reaching the world building is in this book. I liked learning about the different supernaturals and how they fit together in the grand scheme of things. I just... like this whole series!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Clock Rewinders (04/13/14)

Clock Rewinders on a Book Binge is the brain child of Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Tara @ 25 Hour Books.  I'm inviting myself to their party (as I sometimes do) because I have so damn much fun reading Amanda's posts that I couldn't help myself.

Reading the Paranormal Week in Review
Bookish Delights
Goodreads Stats - Loosely borrowed from Tara @ 25 Hour Books
Globetrotting...
Check it out!
  • Seriously Series weekly update: It's hard to be disappointed when you're halfway through your goal in one category and it's only 1 month into the new quarter.
    • Series started in 2014: 9/18 (+2 since last week)
    • Series started before 2014: 2/18 (+1 since last week)
    • Series rereads: 4/7 (+0 since last week)
News from around the blogosphere:

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Blog Housekeeping [34]


It's that time again! Time to polish up your blog until it shines!

Update:
  • review archive - are you responsible for sites other than your own? Don't forget about those
  • sidebar - check for buttons or links for events that have ended. Have any new events coming up? Now's the time to add them.
  • reading challenges - update your progress, add links to challenges where you can link up. If you're a challenge host, do you try to comment on linked reviews? Now's your chance!
  • blogrolls -  clean 'em up!
  • crosspost - do you crosspost to Amazon, B&N, Goodreads, Library Thing? Don't forget to add your reviews to Netgalley or Edelweiss if you use those sites.
  • check your subscription and social media links - if this isn't something that you normally check, now's an excellent time to make sure it's doing what it should be doing. (check out Felicia's Tech Tips for ideas on what to do if you're getting errors on your subscription link)
  • check your static pages (About, Review Policy, etc) for outdated information, broken links, etc.
  • review your profiles - when was the last time you updated your Goodreads or Facebook profiles? Is everything up to date?
Get ahead:
  • We're at the halfway-ish point for April. Do you have reoccurring posts (memes, weekly wrap-ups, etc) drafted or scheduled so you don't have to worry about them?
Misc:
  • respond to review requests and other bloggy emails
  • check your spam folder - legitimate emails can sometimes slip through, catch them now.
  • check the spam filter on the blog - get rid of the spam! save the legits!
  • make the rounds - check back on blogs where you left comments, maybe spread a few new comments around like candy.
Did you do everything that applies to you? Well done! Now...

BACK UP YOUR BLOG!

The next Blog Housekeeping is scheduled for April 26th. I hope to see you there!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Blood Stone by Tracy Cooper-Posey [Review]

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009A2EB22/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B009A2EB22&linkCode=as2&tag=ufya-paranormalreviews-20
Blood Stone (The Blood Stone #2) by Tracy Cooper-Posey
Format: ebook
Source: provided by the author for an honest review
Date read: January 18, 2014

The Blood Stone
1. Blood Knot
2. Blood Stone - Paperback | Kindle
3. Blood Unleashed
4. Blood Revealed

Tracy Cooper-Posey
| Website | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon |

Synopsis (Goodreads):
Nial orders Calum Garrett to get close to Hollywood producer Kate Lindenstream. Garrett reluctantly complies for he has held himself apart from humans for centuries. Kate doesn’t fall into Garrett’s arms, either. She already has someone for that. Roman Xerus – whom Kate knows as Adrian — and Garrett go way back to the sixteenth century Scottish highlands, but they parted bitterly two hundred years ago.

With Roman’s support, Kate battles Garrett in wills and business as he methodically forces himself into her life. However, on the closed-in movie set in the Californian desert, Garrett’s calm, orderly world crumbles for Garrett is drawn to Kate. He has begins to experience real, human feelings.

Kate doesn’t cooperate in the chess game Nial orchestrates, despite being unaware of the strategies swirling around her film set. Demanding and expecting only the best for her movie, Kate’s agenda forces Roman and Garrett to work together to protect her and keep the humans around her ignorant of the Pro Libertatus, the anonymous and all-powerful vampire group who nearly killed Nial, Sebastian and Winter, and shield Kate from the excesses of the League for Humanity. But could Roman really be with the Pro Libertatus?

There’s hidden intentions everywhere, and centuries of repressed feelings, along with at least two different groups that mean them harm. Then there’s the rumors that Kate has found the mythical Blood Stone, the key to unlocking vampire history and lifting their curse. Who is Kate, really? Because once Garrett begins to notice, things about Kate don’t quite add up, either…
Thoughts on Blood Stone: I must admit that Tracy Cooper-Posey knows how to weave a complex tale of intrigue and action while not skimping on the sexy times. We're given the madness of the movie industry -- complete with intrusive paparazzi and the logistics of pulling together a large movie shoot -- and the political maneuverings of vampires as Nial works to bring his vision of vampires revealing themselves closer to reality.

Those aspects alone worked wonderfully, so throwing in a passionate, volatile relationship between three strong personalities made this book a definite page-turner.

Kate, Roman, and Garrett have A LOT of baggage to work through before they can reach any sort of happily ever after. The years of pain and heartache between Roman and Garrett is probably the biggest hurdle. Kate's attraction to both men pulls her into their orbits and as she falls for them, she has to face the facts that there might not be a way for her to have both. I loved that Kate is sexually confident and doesn't make any bones about how much she enjoys having a man in her bed. I loved how accepting Roman was about that side of her. I loved how Garrett was so darn relentless in the role Nial gave to him -- he wormed his way into Kate's life and then found himself drawn to her more than he wanted to be.

So much happens in this book. SO MUCH. We got answers, questions, backstory, danger, a slew of new characters who I look forward to seeing again, and outstanding setup for later books. Yep, Tracy Cooper-Posey knows how to deliver a wonderfully complex storyline and I'm looking forward to book 3.