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Monday, January 23, 2012

Taking a Short Break...

I'll be taking a little vacation from blogging, I'm visiting my family and want to give them all my attention during this week. I'll be back next Tuesday January 31st. I hope you won't miss me too much. Have a wonderful week. 

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Movie Trailer: Battleship

Battleship is an upcoming science fiction film based on the game of the same name. It's starred by Taylor Kitsch, Alexander Skarsgård, Brooklyn Decker, Rihanna and Liam Neeson.

From iMDB: "A fleet of ships is forced to do battle with an armada of unknown origins in order to discover and thwart their destructive goals."

Movie Trailer


Friday, January 20, 2012

Friday's Short Review: Undeniable Yours by Shannon Stacey

Title: Undeniable Yours
Author: Shannon Stacey
Series: Kowalski Family, book 2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Harlequin
Source: Review copy from publisher
Format: E-book

“One-night stand + two percent condom failure rate = happily ever after?

Bar owner Kevin Kowalski is used to women throwing their phone numbers at him, but lately he’s more interested in finding a woman to settle down with. A woman like Beth Hansen. If only their first meeting hadn’t gone so badly…

Beth’s tending bar at a wedding when she comes face-to-face with a tuxedo-clad man she never thought she’d see again. She tries to keep her distance from Kevin but, by last call, she can’t say no to his too-blue eyes or the invitation back to his room. Then she slips out before breakfast without leaving a note and, despite their precautions, pregnant.

Kevin quickly warms to the idea of being a dad and to seeing where things go with Beth. After all, he’s not the player she thinks he is. But she’s not ready for a relationship and, given his reputation, it’s going to take a lot to convince her to go on a second date with the father of her child…”

Undeniable Yours is the second book in the Kowalski Family series by Shannon Stacey. 

Exclusively Yours (book one) made me fall in love with Kevin and the whole Kowalski family. As soon as I finished it I started Undeniable Yours. After what happened to Kevin he more than deserved a HEA and I was looking forward to read his story.

Kevin is still the same sweet and caring man. He is tired of having meaningless relationships, he was raised in a happy and stable family and he wants the same, he is ready to settle and start a family. When Beth comes with the news that she’s pregnant he man up and accepts the responsibility with a great attitude, he likes Beth a lot and is sure they can have something special together. He’s willing to go the extra mile to have what he wants with her. 
BUT and yes there is a big but, Beth is a pain in the... neck, what a frustrating character, I wanted to slap her, shake her and commit other acts of violence against her. I couldn’t understand her behavior at all. She lives a nomad life, staying in shitty places and working shitty jobs, why? Because her parents smothered with too much affection. Really? Now she’s with a baby on the way, a baby she feels is truncating her life. She is not alone, she has an awesome and caring guy than wants to protect her and help her as much as possible, and what does she do? She wears her stubbornness suit and declines all kind of help. She was insufferable, so much that I’d have preferred for them to stay friends, Kevin deserved a better person. At the end when everything is almost lost she realizes her mistake, but for me it was a little too late. 

There is a secondary story about Kevin’s best friend and bartender Paulie and her ex-fiancé Sam. At a times I found their story more interesting than Kevin and that woman (Beth). 

My final thought: Even though Beth and her attitude almost killed the joy of the story, I found myself enjoying the book. Thankfully Kevin was a great character, one that outshines his counterpart. The secondary characters were also great, in a sense they saved the story (and my rating of the book). I’m still in love with the Kowalski family and their real and endearing interactions. Sadly I can’t say the same for Beth and Kevin, their relationship lacked depth and left me wondering if they would last together. 
As with previous book Mrs. Stacey’s writing style is not just fluid but is complemented with smart and fun dialogues, this makes of Undeniable Yours an engaging read. 

My Verdict: 4 Paws 

Other books in the series 
Exclusively Yours
Undeniable Yours
Yours to Keep

Other reviews Goodreads

Monday, January 16, 2012

Review: The Demon Lover by Juliet Dark

Title: The Demon Lover
Author: Juliet Dark
Series: Fairwick Chronicles,
book 1
Genre: Romantic Paranormal Fantasy
Publisher: Random House Publishing
Source: Review copy from publisher
Format: E-book
“Since accepting a teaching position at remote Fairwick College in upstate New York, Callie McFay has experienced the same disturbingly erotic dream every night: A mist enters her bedroom, then takes the shape of a virile, seductive stranger who proceeds to ravish her in the most toe-curling, wholly satisfying ways possible. Perhaps these dreams are the result of writing her bestselling book, The Sex Lives of Demon Lovers. After all, Callie’s lifelong passion is the intersection of lurid fairy tales and Gothic literature—which is why she finds herself at Fairwick’s renowned folklore department, living in a once-stately Victorian house that, at first sight, seemed to call her name.  
But Callie soon realizes that her dreams are alarmingly real. She has a demon lover—an incubus—and he will seduce her, pleasure her, and eventually suck the very life from her. Then Callie makes another startling discovery: He’s not the only mythical creature in Fairwick. As the tenured witches of the college and the resident fairies in the surrounding woods prepare to cast out the incubus, Callie must accomplish something infinitely more difficult—banishing this demon lover from her heart.”

The Demon Lover is the first book in the Fairwick Chronicles by Juliet Dark.

I thought The Demon Lover was a YA novel, but after couple of pages and some steamy scenes I realized my mistake. I should have read the blurb, I guess the beautiful cover is to blame in this case. Also it’s very difficult to categorize this book, it’s not a paranormal romance nor an urban fantasy, it’s more like a mix of paranormal, romance and fantasy with a gothic touch.

The blurb describes very well what The Demon Lover is about. Adding more to it will be giving too much away of the story.
The pace during the first chapters of the book was a bit slow, but after a while the pace picks up and story becomes really interesting.

What made this book a good book was its characters, especially the secondary characters and its setting. 
I liked Callie, even though sometimes she felt too dense, I don’t know if she couldn’t see what was in front of her or maybe she just didn’t want to see the obvious. 

The Demon Lover aka the incubus is a mysterious character with very strong feelings. It was easier for me to connect with him than with Callie because his reason and intentions were clear from day one. 
As I said before I loved the secondary characters, they are all diverse and interesting, and they all bring something different to the story.
Some of them were really surprises, some other not that much but still they all complemented the story beautifully, making it more enjoyable. We learn a lot about them but still there is more to be discover. One of my favorite characters was Ralph, I loved how that tiny character had some much presence. He was just cuteness overload. 

Another thing that was really nice about this book was the folklore. It’s clear Mrs. Dark knows what she’s writing about, she knows her legends and her mythology. Even though I knew some of the legends outlined in the book, some other were completely new. 

Now let’s talk about of the setting, the town of Fairwick is a complex character in its own. With its gothic university, the “enchanted” forest, and the magic houses, Fairwick became a place I would love to visit. Also Mrs. Dark writing is very vivid and precisely descriptive almost giving life to Fairwick. The world building is one of the best things this book has, the attention giving to detail was topnotch, I just needed to close my eyes to be in Fairwick.

The Demon Lover is well written and well paced (after first chapters), although a big predictable in regards to who the villain in the story is and other secondary plots, I can easily say it’s was a book I enjoyed. The end is not a proper cliffhanger but it’s one that will leave you scratching your head and wishing for the next book in this series, The Water Witch. Don’t expect a HEA because your won’t find one, you will find the hope and promise of what it could be and hopefully it will be. 

The Demon Lover was my first book by Juliet Dark (she also writes as Carol Goodman) but I can guarantee you it won’t be my last. I may even check some of her previous works. If you like paranormal books with a gothic touch this is a book you may enjoy. 

My Verdict: 4 Paws

Other Books in the series
The Demon Lover
The Water Witch (TBA)

Other reviews Goodreads

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Movie Trailer: The Avengers

The Avengers is the upcoming American superhero film produced by Marvel Studios and one of my most anticipated movies of the year. 

The Avengers is based on the Marvel Comics superhero team of the same name. This is the sixth installment in the Marvel film series. The Avengers crosses over other Marvel superhero films: Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger

Official Synopsis: "Marvel Studios presents in association with Paramount Pictures “Marvel’s The Avengers”–the Super Hero team up of a lifetime, featuring iconic Marvel Super Heroes Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Hawkeye and Black Widow. When an unexpected enemy emerges that threatens global safety and security, Nick Fury, Director of the international peacekeeping agency known as S.H.I.E.L.D., finds himself in need of a team to pull the world back from the brink of disaster. Spanning the globe, a daring recruitment effort begins."


Movie Posters

Friday, January 13, 2012

Friday's Short Review: Forever and a Day by Delilah Marvelle

Title: Forever and a Day
Author: Delilah Marvelle
Series: The Rumor, book 1
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Harlequin
Source: Review copy from publisher
Format: E-book
“Roderick Gideon Tremayne, the recently appointed Duke of Wentworth, never expected to find himself in New York City, tracking down a mysterious map important to his late mother. And he certainly never expected to be injured, only to wake up with no memory of who he is. But when he sees the fiery-haired beauty who's taken it upon herself to rescue him, suddenly his memory is the last thing on his mind. 
Georgia Milton, the young head of New York's notorious Forty Thieves, feels responsible for the man who was trying to save her bag from a thief. But she's not prepared for the fierce passion he ignites within her. When his memory begins to return, her whole world is threatened, and Roderick must choose between the life he forgot and the life he never knew existed.…”

Forever and a Day is book one in the new series The Rumor by Delilah Marvelle. 

What made me chose this book was the setting. Usually the historical books I have read are set in England, but this one was set in New York City during the 1800’s. Ok, at the end the story moves to England but most of the time the events occurred in New York City. 
Even though I’m familiar with the modern city of New York I didn’t know much about its history; while reading Forever and a Day it was very obvious Mrs. Marvelle did her work with the research for her book. I really loved to see how people live during those days in NYC, I also loved to see the differences and similitudes with the England of the same era. 

I had some issues connecting with Georgia, she was too crude, I know this is because of her background and where she is coming from but I prefer my heroines a bit less rough. 
I liked Roderick on the beginning, I thought he was charming and interesting but when he started to change his mind every couple of pages or so my love for him also started to change.

I had a problem with their romance, I think the idea behind the amnesia and the need to live together was a good idea in theory but the way it was developed wasn’t. For me is impossible to believe that after spending a bit over a day together they are madly in love, I might believe it if they had spent a week or so together, but not this short amount of time. Also the time the spent together was nothing spectacular or mind blowing or something that would have made a radical difference in their lives. 

I had another problem with the resolution of the story, the end came so fast and abrupt that I thought my book had missing pages. Also there were some subplots that were left open and without resolution. I guess (hope) Mrs. Marvelle is planning to address these in future books of this series. 

My final thought: Forever and a Day is a book with a lot of potential that fell short of my expectations. But, and here comes the big “but”, even though I had some problems with the story I enjoyed reading Forever and a Day, especially the parts in which New York City is the character. 
This was my first book by Mrs. Marvelle but I don’t think it will be my last, I think I’ll pick up next books of this series because I would like to see the resolution to the subplots that were left unresolved. 

My Verdict: 3 Paws

Other books in the series
Forever and a Day
Forever a Lady (August 2012)
Forever a Lord (TBA)

Other reviews Goodreads

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Review: Exclusively Yours by Shannon Stacey

Title: Exclusively Yours
Author: Shannon Stacey
Series: Kowalski Family, book 1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Harlequin
Source: Review copy from publisher
Format: E-book
“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.”
Exclusively Yours is the first book in the Kowalski Family series by Shannon Stacey.

After hearing so many great things about Shannon Stacey’s books I knew I have to read something by her, soon. Thanks my luck this book was available in NetGalley.

The blurb describes pretty well what this book is about, I don’t think it’s necessary to add more to it. Adding more will be too spoilerish. 

I started Exclusively Yours with an open mind and not high expectations, but I can honestly say this book was a great surprise. I really liked everything about it and since page one I was ensnared in the story. The characters felt real and well developed, I’m not just talking about main characters but secondary characters too. They all have different personalities and characteristics. This made them feel more alive and at the same time easier to connect with. 

Keri has worked hard to obtain her dreams and to get where she is. But now she is walking the tightrope, she wants to succeed in her career but not at the expense of her principles. She had the material in her hands to write the article of her lifetime but she could never live with herself if she did that; this made me really admired her and liked her even more. I also loved that she had insecurities, she knows she is not the same eighteen year old girl that Joe knew, nor has the same body, time has passed and even though she takes care of herself years and gravity have affected her, or at least that was what she thinks, making her feel more real and easy to relate to.
I have never camped, not once in my life and just thinking about it I get the willies, for that reason more than once I identified myself with Keri. I guess many of her reactions to the different situations could have been my own reactions; this made the book an even funnier read for me. 

Joe was a great character, he was sweet, caring, sexy, smart, funny and honest. *swoon* I loved his need to keep his life private and that he hasn’t let himself be blinded by fame and fortune. He’s still the same Joe Keri dated in high school, just with expensive toys. 

The chemistry between these two was off the charts, since their first encounter is was pretty obvious things haven’t changed with time and seeing them fight this attraction was not only entertaining but hilarious at a times. 

Apart from the main plot there are two small subplots, one involves Joe’s sister and her husband and the other one involves one of Joe’s brothers and his wife. These secondary stories didn’t subtract attention to the main story but complemented the plot as a whole.

As I said before, the secondary characters were all different and entertaining, and as in all stories some easier to like than others. Their interrelationships were honest and true to their characterizations. 
Mrs. Stacey’s writing style is fluid and spotless making of Exclusively Yours a-difficult-to-put-down-book. 

All in all I liked Exclusively Yours and its characters so much that as soon as I finish reading it I stated the second book in this series, Undeniable Yours
I can truthfully tell you that all the hype behind Mrs. Stacey books is real. If you are a lover of contemporary romance you should give this book and this author a chance, I can guarantee you you won’t regret it. 

My Verdict: 4 Paws

Other books in the series 
Exclusively Yours
Undeniable Yours
Yours to Keep

Other reviews Goodreads
Visit Author’s Website

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Tuesday's Hot-Hot Hottie: Kellan Lutz

Today's Hot-Hot Hottie is the American model and actor 
Kellan Lutz (lust).

He is best known for playing Emmett Cullen in the film adaptations of the Twilight saga by Stephenie Meyer.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Review: Silver-Tongued Devil by Jaye Wells

Title: Silver-Tongued Devil
Author: Jaye Wells
Series: Sabina Kane, book 4
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Orbit
Source: Review copy from publisher
Format: E-book
*Warning: This review contains spoilers from previous books of this series*
“Now that the threat of war has passed, Sabina Kane is ready to focus on the future. Her relationship with Adam Lazarus is getting stronger and she's helping her sister, Maisie, overcome the trauma of her captivity in New Orleans. Even Giguhl is managing to stay out of trouble thanks to the arrival of Pussy Willow and his new roller derby team. But as much as Sabina wants to feel hopeful about the future, part of her doesn't trust that peace is possible. 
Her suspicions are confirmed when a string of sadistic murders threaten to stall treaty negotiations between the mages and the vampires. Sabina pitches in to find the killer, but her investigation soon leads her down dark paths that have her questioning everyone she thought she could trust. And the closer she gets to the killer, the more Sabina begins to suspect this is one foe she may not be able to kill.”    
Silver-Tongued Devil is book fourth in the Sabina Kane series by Jaye Wells. 

The story starts couple of days after the events in Green-Eyed Demon (book three). Sabina and Adam are enjoying the calm after the storm, they are living together at the Mage compound in New York city and are helping with the preparatives for the signing of the peace treaty between the races (vampires, mages and fae). Sabina is continuing with her mage education under Rhea’s tutelage and changing her lifestyle one “blood bag” at a time. 
Maise is having issues recovering from the trauma left by her ordeal in New Orleans, but this time Sabina is trying to be there for her as much as she can. But when some horrific murders occur, putting in danger the peace treaty, Sabina and Adam are forced to leave the quiet life behind to investigate and find the culprit behind these murders. Sabina is glad for the change, she realizes she has missed the rush her old life used to give her. 
As always Giguhl is there, not only as Sabina’s side kick but he is also expanding his horizons as the coach of a new Roller Derby team.

Sabina has come a long way, and even though she is still trying to find herself the growing as a character she has achieved is discernible. I loved how she realizes she can’t leave one part of herself behind, that for her to be complete she needs to accept herself and get both of her halves to live in balance and harmony with each other.

After what happened in New Orleans Adam is suffering from mild PTSD, he is pretending the events didn’t affect him as much but his actions are saying something else. He needs to deal with this to be able to be and accept Sabina as she needs him. 

Their relationship is stable but secrets from Sabina’s past are coming to haunt them and test their commitment and love for each other.

I have always loved Giguhl but Silver-Tongued Devil made me loved him even more, not only he made me laugh out loud many times but he became the friend and confidant Sabina needed. His priority was her and he proved it time after time. 

Characters we loved from previous books also made appearances, new characters are introduced and others… let’s just say Mrs. Wells went where not many authors have the guts to go. 

The pace during the first half of Silver-Tongued Devil is a bit slow, but halfway into the book the pace not only picks up but it takes you in a roller coaster ride of emotions, with ups, downs, twists and turns that will leave you with you heart in your hand. The end was not a cliffhanger but still it’s one that will leave you counting the days for the release of the next and last installment of this series Blue-Blooded Vamp

Silver-Tongued Devil is a great addition to a great series. If you are an urban fantasy lover this is a series you need to read. Silver-Tongued Devil is not a stand-alone book, these books should be read in order. 

My Verdict: 5 Paws

Other books in the series
Red-Headed Stepchild
The Mage in Black
Green-Eyed Demon
Silver-Tongued Demon
Blue-Blooded Vamp (June 7th)

Other reviews Goodreads

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Movie Trailer: Wrath of the Titans

Wrath of the Titans is an upcoming fantasy film and sequel to the 2010 film, Clash of the Titans.

From IMDb: "Perseus embarks on a treacherous quest into the underworld to rescue Zeus, who has been targeted for capture by his traitorous son, Ares, and his brother, Hades."

This film will be on theaters on March 30th


Movie Poster

Friday, January 6, 2012

Friday's Short Review: Blood Rights by Kristen Painter

Title: Blood Rights
Author: Kristen Painter
Series: House of Comarré, book 1
Genre: Urban Fantasy
PublisherHachette Book Group
Source: Review copy from publisher
Format: E-book

“Born into a life of secrets and service, Chrysabelle's body bears the telltale marks of a comarré -- a special race of humans bred to feed vampire nobility. When her patron is murdered, she becomes the prime suspect, which sends her running into the mortal world...and into the arms of Malkolm, an outcast vampire cursed to kill every being from whom he drinks.

Now, Chrysabelle and Malkolm must work together to stop a plot to merge the mortal and supernatural worlds. If they fail, a chaos unlike anything anyone has ever seen will threaten to reign.”
Blood Rights is the first book in the House of Comarré series by Kristen Painter.

There was a lot of talk on Twitter and in different blogs about this book and this series in general and some of my friends recommended it. When I saw it available in NetGalley I knew I have to read it. 

I have to be honest, it took me some time to get into the story, the first chapters are packed with information but don’t go anywhere, but after chapter six or so the story picks up the pace, halfway in it becomes a book difficult to put down. 

There are so many stories about vampires, but even though this is a book with vampires the premises and the characters are somehow refreshing. The complex world Mrs. Painter created in Blood Rights is different and interesting making of this read a more entertaining one. 

I really liked Chrysabelle; on the beginning she fells like a damsel in distress but boy was I wrong. Her as other Comarrés are hiding a big secret, they are not the docile and fragile persons they pretend to be, they are a race of warriors waiting for the moment when their services to humanity are needed and soon they are going to be needed. 

Malkolm is the epitome of a torture hero, he not only has a dark and sad past but is the carrier of a deadly curse, a curse that makes him lose control of himself to a point he becomes a killer monster.

The chemistry between them is palpable, but they are fighting it all the time. Chrysabelle doesn’t want to feel what she’s feeling for Malkolm and Malkolm doesn’t want to take the risk to get to close to her because of his curse, also he does’t feel worthy of a Comarré. But circumstances got them together and now they need to work close to each other. Despite all the buildup of the attraction between them nothing happened. There were many scenes in which I was sure something was going to happen but sadly it was just more buildup of their attraction. 

This book is told from many points of view, not just our many characters but others as well. And here is where I have a complaint. I think it was unnecessary to show/tell us the villain’s point of view. Actually I thought it would have been a lot better if it hadn’t been included. I got to a point that I skimmed over the parts with the villain’s POV.

My final thought: Blood Rights was a entertaining read, with complex and likable characters, a plot with some twist and turns along the way and written in a nice and easy style. Blood Rights also has an elaborate world building and a beautiful cover. Although I had some problems with its pace and the different POVs I can honestly say I liked Blood Rights and I’m looking forward to read the following books of this series Fresh and Blood and Bad Blood

My Verdict: 3 ½ Paws

Other books in the series
Blood Rights 
Fresh and Blood
Bad Blood

Other reviews Goodreads

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Tuesday's Hot-Hot Hottie: Fabio Cannavaro

Today's Hot-Hot Hottie is the former Italian soccer player and one of my favorite players of all time, Fabio Cannavaro.
He was the capitan of the Italian national team for over ten years. In 2006 he led Italy to victory in the FIFA World Cup. He is consider one of the greatest defenders of all time. 
In 2006 he won FIFA World Player of the Year award, making him the first, and so far, only defender to win the award, as well as the oldest recipient.
Last year he retired from professional football due to an injury. 

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