Friday, August 29, 2014

The Remnant: Into the Collision by P.A. Douglas [Review}

The Remnant: Into the Collision by P.A. Douglas
The Remnant: Into the Collision by P.A. Douglas
Format: ebook
Source: provided by the author for an honest review
Date read: May 16, 2014

P.A. Douglas
| Website | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon | Paperback | Kindle |

Synopsis (Goodreads):
The end does not come with a whisper, but with a big bang.

It has been months coming and it is finally here. Astrologers have predicted that the meteors aren't going to hit. But that fact doesn’t help much for the fear filled panic that floods the streets worldwide in the weeks leading to the catastrophic boom.

Forced out of his home by the chaos and rioting, Byron Russo finds himself on the run. All of the survival horror novels that he has read tell him to stock up and lay low. In the process of raiding supplies at a local grocery store Byron bands together with an unlikely cast of characters.

But surviving the panic is the least of their worries. After hunkering down at the Templeton Factory where Byron works, the worst has only begun.

The meteor shower strikes the moon, shifting it off its natural axes. The moon is larger. The floods have started. Plant life is dying. And the oxygen levels are changing.

No one can breathe.

With the use of the factory supplies will Byron and his new friends survive the new world, or will they fall to a much darker element that lurks in their own backyard?
Thoughts on The Remnant: Into the Collision: I love a good apocalyptic tale. One where very bad things happen to otherwise good people just because. I must say, this book delivered on that.

When the world falls apart, Byron is well on his way to joining most everyone else. He doesn't have more than a flimsy plan to hide out at his work and he's been holed up in his house long enough he has NO CLUE what's been going on in the world in the weeks before the meteors arrive. A lucky run-in with a small group helps him survive the first wave of panic. Or maybe it's the second. One could argue the first wave started when he was sitting on his couch in a stupor watching everything happen on TV.

The point is he finds a place with the motley group of survivors. Although they survive what happens, there's little more than slow death waiting for them as oxygen levels decrease and bad, bad men take to the streets.

Honestly, as much as I love the actual apocalyptic side of stories like this, it's the slow decline of the survivors' mental states that fascinates me. They all deal with what's happened in different ways. They grieve and fall apart and then try to pull themselves back together. Some don't manage it. Some don't bother trying at all.

And that's when the fun begins. You know, if you measure fun by how batshitcrazy! people can be. Apocalypse!YAY! *ahem* Right. I like the chaos. It works for me.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Linden Manor by Catherine Cavendish [Review]

Linden Manor (What Waits in the Shadows) by Catherine Cavendish
Linden Manor (What Waits in the Shadows) by Catherine Cavendish
Format: ebook
Source: provided by the author for an honest review
Date read: April 28, 2014

What Waits in the Shadows
Linden Manor - Kindle
Blood Red Roses
Bootleg Cove
Castle by the Sea

Catherine Cavendish
| Website | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon |

Synopsis (Goodreads):
"Have you ever been so scared your soul left your body? "

All her life, Lesley Carpenter has been haunted by a gruesome nursery rhyme The Scottish Bride sung to her by her great grandmother. To find out more about its origins, Lesley visits the mysterious Isobel Warrender, the current hereditary owner of Linden Manor, a grand house with centuries of murky history surrounding it.

But her visit transforms into a nightmare when Lesley sees the ghost of the Scottish bride herself, a sight that, according to the rhyme, means certain death. The secrets of the house slowly reveal themselves to Lesley, terrible secrets of murder, evil and a curse that soaks the very earth on which Linden Manor now stands. But Linden Manor has saved its most chilling secret for last.
Thoughts on Linden Manor: Another nicely creepy tale by Catherine Cavendish. She gives good ghosts, man. And good spook. Just the whole horror thing. It works for me.

My take away from this book is that if your mom tells you doing something is a bad idea, listen to her. Especially when it comes to spooky old manor houses and creepy nursery rhymes. LISTEN TO HER. Moms are smart. They know when BAD THINGS are going to happen.

So. Lesley. She's curious about a piece of her past, but ends up getting a whole lot more than a paper out of her research. The idea that you can't know someone's intentions until you have the whole picture gave this book a nicely mind-bending twist. From the moment Lesley stepped into Linden Manor, she was caught by the house's secrets.

I liked that.

And the ending. Oh, the ending. I liked that, too. *thumbs up* all around.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Widdershins by Jordan L. Hawk [Review]

 Widdershins (Whyborne & Griffin #1) by Jordan L. Hawk
Widdershins (Whyborne & Griffin #1) by Jordan L. Hawk
Format: ebook
Source: free download at ARE 04/09/14
Date read: April 17, 2014

Whyborne & Griffin
1. Widdershins - Paperback | Kindle
1.5. Eidolon
2. Threshold
3. Stormhaven
3.5. Remnant
4. Necropolis

Jordan L. Hawk
| Website | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon |

Synopsis (Goodreads):
Some things should stay buried.

Repressed scholar Percival Endicott Whyborne has two skills: reading dead languages and hiding in his office at the Ladysmith Museum. After the tragic death of the friend he secretly loved, he’s ruthlessly suppressed any desire for another man.

So when handsome ex-Pinkerton Griffin Flaherty approaches him to translate a mysterious book, Whyborne wants to finish the job and get rid of the detective as quickly as possible. Griffin left the Pinkertons following the death of his partner, hoping to start a new life. But the powerful cult which murdered Glenn has taken root in Widdershins, and only the spells in the book can stop them. Spells the intellectual Whyborne doesn’t believe are real.

As the investigation draws the two men closer, Griffin’s rakish charm threatens to shatter Whyborne’s iron control. When the cult resurrects an evil sorcerer who commands terrifying monsters, can Whyborne overcome his fear and learn to trust? Will Griffin let go of his past and risk falling in love? Or will Griffin’s secrets cost Whyborne both his heart and his life?
Thoughts on Widdershins: I have to admit, I had a soft spot for the bumbling Whyborne and his inability to stand up for himself. Isolated by choice, ridiculed and bullied by his coworkers and family, and forced to hide his sexuality because man-lovin' was frowned upon in that day and age, the poor guy got to me. He just... got to me.

That moment when he found out he had people he could lean on was marvelous. And, yeah, maybe there was a little bit of perceived betrayal in there, but everything worked out in the end and that's what counts, RIGHT?

Anyway. The story. A nicely gruesome mystery throws Whyborne into the path of Griffin. Whyborne bumbles, but ultimately shows his mettle. Griffin eases his way into Whyborne's life with finesse. Mind you, he doesn't do everything with finesse and he had plenty of secrets he does his best to keep from Whyborne, but he's a good man with a troubled past. I liked the two of them together. I liked when the two of them steamed up the sheets. I liked that Griffin gave Whyborne confidence in himself.

While the mystery behind who was involved was fairly easy to figure out, the hows and whys kept me guessing. And the bad guy? Was bad. The shivery sort of bad that makes you check the dark corners of a room when you enter.

Overall, a solid historical with some quality man-lovin'. I'm looking forward to reading more in this series.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Top Off Tuesday - I can't get enough of these fighters!

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!

MOAR FIGHTERS! (Man, I like this one!)

Winning Love by Abby Niles
Winning Love (Love to the Extreme #3) by Abby Niles
Mac “The Snake” Hannon has spent years throwing himself into cage fighting as a way to lash back at the natural disaster that destroyed his future. A call for help has Mac returning to the one place he swore never to return: Kansas—in the height of tornado season.

There he meets free-spirited Gayle Andrews. At first he wants nothing to do with the infuriatingly, persistent woman, but the crazy challenges she tosses his way are impossible to resist. As she thaws years of bitterness, bringing back the Mac he believed long gone, he starts to make peace with the past and see the future again. Until he learns she chases his worst nightmare, then he can’t get away fast enough.

Meteorologist and storm chaser, Gayle Andrews is no stranger to being left behind and now believes in living in the moment. She wants to do just that with the handsome extreme fighter with the achingly sad eyes. As she works to replace the sorrow with desire, she finds herself breaking her one rule: have fun, but don’t fall in love. When he suddenly pushes her away and she discovers the horrifying reason why, she issues one more challenge: face his fear and come on a chase with her.

Will squaring off with the past lead to a victory for heartache or love?

Monday, August 25, 2014

Deep in Crimson by Sarah Gilman [Review]

Deep in Crimson by Sarah Gilman
Deep in Crimson (Return to Sanctuary #2) by Sarah Gilman
Format: ebook
Source: provided by the publisher for an honest review
Date read: June 21, 2014

Return to Sanctuary
0.5. Wings of Redemption
1. Out in Blue
2. Deep in Crimson - Paperback | Kindle

Sarah Gilman
| Website | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon |

Synopsis (Goodreads):
Kidnapped by humans and raised in a research facility, Jett was taught to believe his own race of demons insidious and violent. But a friendship with the archangel Raphael shatters Jett’s reality. Caught between two worlds, his first months of freedom find him lingering on the fringes of his home colony, Sanctuary.

When the human who stole Jett captures another demon youth from Sanctuary, Jett learns of the real plan—to steal Raphael’s archangel grandchildren. Jett wants to bring his captor to justice, but he must overcome the lies from his past and join forces with the demon Guardians, and the demon child’s older sister, Lexine.

Irresistible attraction grows between Jett and Lexine, but Lexine’s prophetic dreams of being mated to a poacher make her wary. And if Jett goes through the all-consuming process of becoming a Guardian, he may forfeit any chance they have of being together.
Thoughts on Deep in Crimson: I had forgotten how much I enjoyed this world until I dove into it again. The way the archangels are feared and hunted, the protective demons, the poachers who will commit any atrocity against both angel or demon... man, I liked it all.

Jett's situation slayed me. Having been raised in captivity, he doesn't feel like he fits in with others of his kind. He's reclusive and wary and he feels guilt over not helping Raphael sooner. Other demons are wary of him because of the time he spent with their enemy. His desire to protect and his willingness to throw himself into danger so another boy wouldn't have to live through what he did made him a-okay in my book.

Anybody willing to go back to the place they'd been tortured to save a child gets major bonus points from me.

I can totally appreciate Lex's desire to not make Jett feel trapped by fate once she unravels her prophetic dream. She gives him the space to make his own decisions even though it could mean losing him as he begins his Guardian training. She's also smart enough to take matters into her own hands when she needs to.

I really enjoy the overall worldbuilding and how fragile the archangels' existence is. The tortured hero thing works for me, too. Heck, all of it worked for me.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

RtP Week in Review (08/24/14)

Reading the Paranormal's Week in Review
Bookish Delights
Check it out!
  • Seriously Series weekly update: Hmm. Looks like I need to focus on series started before 2014 for reading next week.
    • Series started in 2014: 14/18 (+2 since last week)
    • Series started before 2014: 10/18 (+3 since last week)
    • Series rereads: 7/9 (+0 since last week)

Saturday, August 23, 2014

One Sexy Ride by Vivian Arend [Review]

One Sexy Ride by Vivian Arend
One Sexy Ride (Thompson & Sons #2) by Vivian Arend
Format: ebook
Source: provided by the author for an honest review
Date read: June 17, 2014

Thompson & Sons
1. Rocky Ride
1.5. Baby, Be Mine
2. One Sexy Ride - Paperback | Kindle
3. Let it Ride
4. A Wild Ride

Vivian Arend
| Website | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon |

Synopsis (Goodreads):
His goal is to stand firm

As the middle child in a big family, Len Thompson has found it easy to slip under the radar. His relationships outside the family-run garage tend to run a mile wide but only an inch deep as he keeps his heart, body and soul protected. But when the one woman he’s always wanted makes it known she’ll soon be leaving town, he can’t resist letting her into his carefully constructed fortress.

Her gift is rocking his world

Chasing her best friend’s big brother has both entertained and frustrated Janey for years. She’s not sure what triggered his change of heart, but hell, yeah, she’ll accept it. All of it. Every kiss, every touch, every bit of body-shaking pleasure. Working to meet her renovation deadline is suddenly not nearly as interesting as the mind-blowing escapades she’s enjoying with the big sexy mechanic.

When old fears threaten, Len must finally choose—face his past or let their future crumble.
Thoughts on One Sexy Ride: Len is a total sweetheart. Gun shy about relationships and letting others get close, he's the quiet middle brother who hides behind his silence. And I adored him. The reasoning behind why he's chosen to stay away from Janey killed me.

Oh, Len. You poor thing.

Janey is fun. Relentless in her pursuit of Len over the years, she's nearly given up on believing she'll ever get him. He'd been her one great love growing up and she finally gets the chance to see that reality is even better than what she'd dreamed up. Even when she's trying desperately to hold it together after Len screws things up and hurts her in a BIG way, she can't quite turn her back on him. She sees the hurt he hides even though she doesn't know the cause of it. She has a big heart and a huge capacity for forgiving people. I liked that.

Love love love the family dynamics among the Thompsons and how they aren't afraid to point out how one of them screwed up. It's going to be fun watching those other boys fall. I can feel it.