Thursday, 27 February 2014

Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2)

Goodreads Summary
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?

My Thoughts
This series is so good! I won't say too much about this book because you really should pick up a copy and read it yourself. I will say though that I do not understand why this is called Crown of Midnight. If you know fill me in.

This book picks up where Throne of Glass left off. Celaena has a new journey to overcome and she has every intention of doing it her own way. You will love her for her bravery, but also her trepidation. She one of the strongest female characters I have read about, but she has her doubts about herself too. It's a beautiful contradiction. 

This book has everything in it. Fight scenes, loss, rage, hate, love, truths, and Chaol. I'm sorry...ok not sorry, but I love Chaol. There were times when I wanted to kiss him, shake him, and slap him, but I still adore him. 

Go get your hands on a copy of Throne of Glass and then pick up Crown of Midnight.

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Friday, 21 February 2014

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1)

Goodreads Summary
Meet Celaena Sardothien.
Beautiful. Deadly. Destined for greatness.

In the dark, filthy salt mines of Endovier, an eighteen-year-old girl is serving a life sentence. She is a trained assassin, the best of her kind, but she made a fatal mistake: she got caught.

Young Captain Westfall offers her a deal: her freedom in return for one huge sacrifice. Celaena must represent the prince in a to-the-death tournament—fighting the most gifted thieves and assassins in the land. Live or die, Celaena will be free. Win or lose, she is about to discover her true destiny. But will her assassin’s heart be melted?

My Thoughts
I really really loved this book!  A lot of people on youtube have been raving about this book, so I knew I had to give it a read. I have had mixed reviews with books that youtubers have enjoyed so I was a little worried that I wouldn't like this one, but I am so glad I gave it a shot. 

Celaena, the main character, is a lethal assassin. She had been trained from a young age and killing people for a living until one day she was caught and thrown in a death camp; that's where Prince Dorian comes in. He wants her to fight to become his father's Champion Assassin.  You would think that she would be hardened to the world, but she wasn't and that's what I (and the other characters in the book) loved about her.  

The characters made this book what it is.  Nehemia is a princess from a different town who befriends Celaena pretty quickly. She's sweet and a loyal friend.  Chaol is the Captain of the Guard and in charge of making sure Celaena doesn't kill anyone or escape the castle.  He is a little stiff, but so lovable. He is who I hope Celaena ends up with. The other competitors were an interesting bunch too. The most memorable are Cain and Nox. Cain is everyone's pick to win the competition and he isn't afraid to let people see just how strong he is.  Nox on the other hand becomes an alley and friend to Celaena. 

The names in this book can be a little difficult to pronounce, but luckily Sarah J. Maas provides us with a pronunciation guide on her website

This book is part action thriller, part love story, and part paranormal. Sounds good, doesn't it? Go get yourself a copy and read it right away!!  There are also novellas with this series so I'll be reading those as well.

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Friday, 14 February 2014

Best Kind of Broken

*This ARC was sent to me by Forever (Grand Central Publishing) via NetGalley. An honest review is expected of me.*

 Goodreads Summary 
 Pixie and Levi haven't spoken in nearly a year when they find themselves working―and living―at the same inn in the middle of nowhere. Once upon a time, they were childhood friends. But that was before everything went to hell. And now things are... awkward. 

  All they want to do is avoid each other, and their past, for as long as possible. But now that they're forced to share a bathroom, and therefore a shower, keeping their distance from one another becomes less difficult than keeping their hands off each other. Welcome to the hallway of awkward tension and sexual frustration, folks. Get comfy. It’s going to be a long summer. 

What Did I Think?
 I loved this book! Levi and Pixie (her name is actually Sarah. I thought she'd be a stripper when I first read her name.) have an electric chemistry. You can practically feel the air crackling when these two are on the same pages. They may have sparks, but they also drive each other crazy. Pixie finds herself taking a lot of cold showers thanks to Levi and he has to restart the fuse box more often than he'd like. 

This book was an emotional one. I should have been prepared for that -look at the title again Renee -, but I wasn't. Pixie and Levi grew up together and when tragedy strikes she is left with a physical scar and they are both left feeling guilty.  The tragic event was heartbreaking.  I tend to know that I loved a book if it can make me cry; this book made me bawl. I should know better than to read a love story before bed because I woke up this morning with puffy eyes.  I'll never learn. 

The minor characters in this book were really good too. Pixie's aunt Ellen was an amazing woman.  She took Levi and then Pixie in when they had nowhere else to go.  She also played cupid a little bit which was really cute.  Pixie's friend Jenna was a bold girl.  She is covered in tattoos and has a rough exterior, but she cared about Sarah a lot.  She's there for her when things with Levi get complicated.   Then there was Daren. He's Levi's sister's ex and kind of a pain in the ass.  I only mention him because he will be the main character in Chelsea Fine's next book Perfect Kind of Trouble which comes out in June.   

This was a really great ride. Go get your copy on March 4th!

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Thursday, 13 February 2014

Waking Up Pregnant

*This ARC was sent to me by Harlequin Kiss via NetGalley to read and review*

Goodreads Summary 
The night that changed everything!
Waitress Darcy Penn is the smart, sensible type—flirting with the extremely cute guy in the bar just isn't her usual style. As for ending up in his hotel room? Definitely not! Sneaking out while he's in the bathroom to avoid the post-sex awkwardness? Much more like it….

If Darcy had stuck around, Jeff Norton could have told her about their "epic latex fail." So he shouldn't be quite so shocked when months later, Darcy turns up at his classy L.A. office and throws up in his wastepaper basket. She's got a bad case of morning sickness, and she's here to find out what he's going to do about it!

What did I think?
I read Waking Up Married by Mira Lyn Kelly last year and thought it was pretty cute so when I found out there was a companion novel I knew I wanted to read it. I remember the first one being a fun, quick read and this one was too, but I didn't like it as much.

Darcy is a cocktail waitress in Vegas when she meets Jeff. She is the type of girl who always has her guard up and that night was no different. She is hesitant to go out with him, but as the night progresses his charm wins her over. They have an amazing night, but then she doubts herself and runs. When she finds herself pregnant three months later she finds Jeff and the story gets interesting. 

Jeff and Darcy clearly have a connection. It was instant, but they both doubted what the connection was. I found their shock a little tiring. Are you seriously surprised that you have feelings for someone? Then as Darcy's pregnancy progresses their feelings grow too, but both assume it is one sided. Really? Maybe it's the single girl in me, but I just figured after all their time between the sheets and their long talks they would have figured it out so much quicker. 

Waking Up Pregnant is a cute enough story that will take you no time at all to read. Get your copy on March 1st.
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Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Inked Armor (Clipped Wings #2)

*This ARC was sent to me by NetGalley, but the review is honest*

Goodreads Summary
In this follow-up to Clipped Wings, the emotional love story continues between Hayden and Tenley; two
young people who desperately want to love and be loved but are afraid to completely let go of their pasts.

In the wake of losing Tenley Page, tattooist Hayden Stryker's tumultuous past is haunting him. Plagued by nightmares about the murder of his parents, Hayden reaches out again to Tenley. Having run from the man she doesn't believe she deserves, Tenley finally lays her guilt to rest. Despite their intense physical attraction, Hayden and Tenley struggle to repair their fragile emotional connection. As Hayden gets closer to the truth, he must find a way to reconcile his guilt over his parents' death in order to keep the woman who finally cracked his armor, and found her way into his heart.

Here's What I Think
Inked Armor begins where Clipped Wings left off, but to be honest I think it could have been one book. I don't really understand the need for stories to be told in duologues and trilogies, but sometimes I just feel like the story would be just as strong (or stronger) as just one book. 

I loved this ARC! I don't want to say much because I don't want to give anything away, but the connection between Hayden and Tenley is tested in this book. They have to learn to trust each other again. Hayden also has to deal with the death of his parents again when he remember something about that night; this causes his O.C.D. becomes extreme. I found his struggle really believable.

I didn't love this book quite as much as Clipped Wings. I felt like the book just wrapped up too quickly. One minute they were dealing with the death of Hayden's parents and the next they were living happily ever after. I would have been interested to know if Lisa and Jamie got married. Did Tenley and Hayden go to the wedding? How did Cassie fair at the trial? Did Tenley ever bring Hayden home to help go through her parents' things? I don't really need these answers, but I would have loved to know what happened anyway. Basically I still loved this book, but I felt like some of my questions weren't answered and it ended too soon.

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After you have read Cupcakes and Ink and Clipped Wings, go pick up Inked Armor on May 13th.

Monday, 10 February 2014

Clipped Wings (Clipped Wings #1)

*I was sent this ARC by NetGalley to read and review*

Goodreads Summary
An emotional love story that follows the touch-and-go relationship of Hayden and Tenley; two young people who desperately want to love and be loved but are afraid to completely let go of their pasts.

 As Hayden and Tenley navigate their newfound but slightly unstable relationship, they want to trust each other, but Hayden is hiding a dark and shameful past that he doesn't ever want Tenley to find out about. And Tenley has secrets of her own that could make Hayden run away forever. When Tenley asks Hayden to put a beautifully elaborate tattoo across her back, the two form what they thought was an unshakeable bond. But when Tenley's past shows up on her doorstep, will Hayden stand by her side...or run?

My Thoughts
As I said when I reviewed Cupcakes and Ink, I read this story years ago when it was a fan fiction. I loved it then and I am loving it now. Hayden and Tenley have a connection that they don't quite understand, but can't escape. It's beautiful.

Hayden has a rough exterior, but a good heart. Tenley is broken and blames herself for the pain. These two never would have gotten together if it hadn't been for the accident that destroyed Tenley and there is a kismet aspect to that that I can't help but love. 

I love the characters in this book and am glad that they haven't really changed (besides their names) from the original story. Hayden still has O.C.D. tendencies. Tenley still wears ridiculous underwear. Lisa is a little ball of fire. Chris has the best of intentions, but doesn't always go about things the right way. And Jamie is the level headed one that you could go to about anything.

I decided to read this on the train on my way to visit a friend and boy was that a bad idea. I was wiggling around in my seat trying to get comfortable throughout most of the book. Why you ask? While I wouldn't say that this book is strictly erotica, it does have it's sexy moments. Hayden definitely knows what he's doing. If you aren't into books with sex scenes than this isn't for you, but if you are than also don't expect that to be all this book is about. It's so much more.

There were a few changes from the original and there were aspects of the original that I personally didn't like that were left in. Despite this, I still loved this book and am currently reading the next one.

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 Go read Cupcakes and Ink from Amazon now and then go get your copy of Clipped Wings March 4th!

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Cupcakes and Ink (Clipped Wings #0.5)

*I found out these book were on NetGalley and requested them immediately. I could not be happier to read them, so thank you NetGalley and Pocket Books. I will of course be giving an honest review.*
Goodreads Summary
Tenley Page is looking for a new start: a new city, a new apartment, a new life. Her plan is to keep toherself and stay focused. But leaving her past behind and starting over isn’t as easy as she thought. And neither is maintaining her solitude. As Tenley settles into her new surroundings, she finds herself drawn to Inked Armor, the tattoo studio across the street. But it’s the gorgeous, dark-haired tattoo artist who captures her interest. There’s something about his severe beauty that captivates her—and not just in her waking hours.

Covered in the ink he inscribes on other people’s skin, Hayden Stryker has made a career out of being a tattooist. He’s got his own business and a tight circle of friends. As far as he’s concerned, that’s all he needs. At least until his aunt, who owns the antiques and used book store across from his tattoo studio, hires a new employee. At first his intrigue is based on physical appeal; hot chick equals something nice to look at. But as he begins to catch glimpses of the fiery personality under the fragile, feminine exterior, his fascination with Tenley grows. Annoyed by his inability to control his fixation, Hayden decides the best way to cure him of the new obsession is to get to know the girl under her skittish façade.

But like the ink he wears as armor, Tenley has the ability to get under his skin and stay there.

My Thoughts
This cover is gorgeous! And if you know anything about the series than you will know that it is fitting.   

This was just a taste of Helena Hunting's brilliant work. I have not yet read Clipped Wings and Inked Armor officially (they are next on my TBR list), but I was a fan of the fan fiction.  I hope that wasn't a secret, Helena.  

Like I said, Cupcakes and Ink is just a taste of what's to come. It's only the first few chapters in Tenley and Hayden's journey together. This quick read introduces you to these two characters and leaves you wanting more. Thankfully you do not have to wait long for Clipped Wings to come out. In the meantime get yourself a copy of Cupcakes and Ink on Amazon (or your favourite e-reader store) today and enjoy!

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Plain Jayne

*NetGalley and Loveswept allowed me to read this book a little early in exchange for an honest review*

Goodreads Summary
Worn out from the long drive back home, Jayne Morgan can only smirk at the irony: Of course the firstperson she sees from her old life is Nick Scott. Once best friends, they lost touch when Jayne left town at eighteen, but nothing could keep them apart forever. Jayne has returned to take over her grandmother’s bookstore, determined to put all her bittersweet memories and secret disappointments strictly in the past—until, that is, Nick insists she bunk at his place.

Nick never did care what people thought about having a girl for a best friend—or the “scandal” she caused by showing up to his wife’s funeral four years earlier—so he’s got no problem with the gossips now. Jayne was always the one person he could count on in his life. Now Nick is starting to realize that he never wants her to leave again . . . and that being “just friends” isn’t going to be enough anymore.

My Thoughts
 I want to start by talking about the cover because it is gorgeous. I'm not always a fan of people on book covers. Too often female writers are stuck with cheesy covers that don't do their books justice, but this one is beautiful and not just because of the people on the cover. It just seems magical in a way and I can't wait to pick up a physical copy. Luckily this book was as beautifully written as it's cover.

If you read the book's description than you know you're about to be in for an emotional rollercoaster and this book didn't disappoint. Jayne is anything but plain, but she is so broken that she doesn't realize it. Nick, poor Nick, is so wrapped up in his own head to realize what his heart is screaming at him. It was beautiful to see these two stumble through getting reacquainted.  Jayne didn't want to step on any toes and Nick didn't care about what anyone thought. 

I loved the characters in this book. Jayne and Nick were great, but the minor characters were important too. Carter, Nick's cousin, was probably my favourite character in the book. There were times when I wished that Ms. Drewry had followed him home because I was just so curious what he was up to. He didn't pull the reader's attention from Nick and Jayne, but he added to their world. He was just so smart and witty. I could read an entire book based solely on Carter.  

Maya, Ellie, and Regan were an interesting bunch of women Jayne befriended, but it was nice to see Jayne with a group of girls that she could talk her issues out with.  Dr. Scott, Nick's dad, was a nice touch to the novel too. With Jayne's history it would make sense if she didn't trust adults, but she knew she could count on him...even if his wife was horrible to her. I would have liked to know more about Nick's mother and why she could be so horrible at times. Maybe Ms. Drewry can bring that up when she writes about Carter. ;)

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Oh and the John Hughes movie quotes at the start of each chapter was a nice touch too. Pick up your copy of Plain Jayne April 8th.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

Goodreads Summary
Berlin 1942

When Bruno returns home from school one day, he discovers that his belongings are being packed in crates. His father has received a promotion and the family must move from their home to a new house far far away, where there is no one to play with and nothing to do. A tall fence running alongside stretches as far as the eye can see and cuts him off from the strange people he can see in the distance.

But Bruno longs to be an explorer and decides that there must be more to this desolate new place than meets the eye. While exploring his new environment, he meets another boy whose life and circumstances are very different to his own, and their meeting results in a friendship that has devastating consequences.

My Thoughts
I have been meaning to read this book for so long and I am so glad that I finally did.

Bruno comes off as being selfish, self-centered and arrogant, but he is a child who was used to getting what he wants. I loved that he was unafraid to tell those around him what he thought.  I loved his innocence and curiosity.  He didn't realize what was going on (thankfully), but he set out to get used to his new home anyway. 

My favourite character in the book was Shmuel. This little boy has been through more than anyone could imagine and yet he still friendly toward Bruno. Their friendship was complex, but real. 

I hope to see the film soon.  I've heard that it is heavier than the book and has less of the book's innocence. 

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Monday, 3 February 2014

Bloodmark (Bloodmark #1)

*This book was sent to me by the author*

Goodreads Summary
Sixteen-year-old werewolf princess Ashling Boru is different from other wolves—she was able to shift to wolf form at birth. Rather than bringing pride to her family, it brings fear, and as a result, she is forced to live in seclusion in Ireland’s countryside. Ashling’s reputation is further blackened when she refuses her betrothed and defies the ancient laws. When her pack’s oldest rivals begin hunting her, she finds herself in the small town of York Harbor, Maine—far from everything she’s ever known.

In Maine, she crosses paths with the dark and rebellious Grey Donavan, and something ignites within her soul. There’s just one problem: Grey is human. Their instant connection turns into a passionate romance, and Ashling begins to believe she can create her own life outside of wolf laws. When she begins to uncover long-buried pack secrets—secrets that threaten to destroy all she holds dear—Ashling’s courage and tenacity are tested. Will she choose her deep and enduring love for Grey, or will she follow Old Mother’s path to her destiny?

What Did I Think?
 I thoroughly enjoyed this book!  I have been hesitant to read any werewolf books since Jacob Black. I also tried reading the Shiver series, but couldn't connect with the characters. Finally Bloodmark was capable of changing my mind about the species. 

We meet Ashling in Ireland and she is wild and sheltered.  I loved her character. She is ripped away from her home and from her mother to live with a stranger in a new place.  Despite the upheaval I thought she was bold and remarkable, but still naive due to her upbringing. When she meets Grey (I love that name) they are instantly connected. I wasn't too keen on the instant love that happened between these two, but it makes sense considering wolves mate for life.  Sometimes they were too sweet and almost cheesy (remember I am a bitter, single girl).

I loved the family aspect of this book. It didn't matter if they were blood related or family through circumstances, they came to love each other. They were fierce in their love for Ashling and would do anything for her and sometimes this meant pain for poor Grey.

There was a bit of a pacing issue for me. Some aspects of the story were dragged out a little more than I would have liked and other aspects were only touched upon. Hopefully the parts I am curious about will be considered for the sequels (this is a Saga, so there should be sequels).

Oh and remember that danger that ripped her from her home? Well it crosses the ocean in order to attack her and her family in Maine!

I can't wait for this book to be read by teenage girls...and full grown women everywhere!

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