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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Early Review: The Crown Tower by Michael J. Sullivan

Title: The Crown Tower
Author: Michael J. Sullivan
Series: The Riyria Chronicles, book 1
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Orbit (August 6th)
Source: Review copy from publisher
Format: E-book


A warrior with nothing to fight for is paired with a thieving assassin with nothing to lose. Together they must steal a treasure that no one can reach. The Crown Tower is the impregnable remains of the grandest fortress ever built and home to the realm’s most valuable possessions. But it isn’t gold or jewels the old wizard is after, and this prize can only be obtained by the combined talents of two remarkable men. Now if Arcadias can just keep Hadrian and Royce from killing each other, they just might succeed.”
The Crown Tower is the first book in the new The Riyria Chronicles by Michael J. Sullivan.

In 2011 I had the pleasure and fortune of discovering The Riyria Revelations series by Michael J. Sullivan, a series that soon after became one of my all time favorite series. But that wasn’t all; The Riyria Revelations series and Mrs. Sullivan amazing writing also made me fall in love all over again with the fantasy genre. Since reading The Riyria Revelations fantasy has become one of my favorite genres, one I read constantly.

I was ecstatic when I learned Mr. Sullivan was writing this book/series and couldn’t wait to read it and let me tell you The Crown Tower was everything I was expecting it to be and more. I really didn’t know how much I had missed Hadrian and Royce until I read The Crown Tower.

The Riyria Chronicles is a prequel series to The Riyria Revelations. In this new series we will learn how Hadrian and Royce came to be the best friends and partners we love, we will also see first hand adventures we just heard about in passing in The Riyria Revelations. This doesn’t mean you need to read The Riyria Revelations first, if you haven’t read them there is no problem, it’ll be completely ok to start with The Riyria Chronicles (The Crown Tower) and move from here to The Riyria Revelations.

The Crown Tower takes place twelve years before the events in first book of The Riyria Revelations, Theft of Swords (this omnibus contains The Crown Conspiracy & Avempartha).
In The Crown Tower we see how Hadrian and Royce met, we also see how Gwen came to be an important part in the lives of this amazing duo.

Ok, let me go back and start from the beginning. After being informed of his father’s death Hadrian Blackwater decides to leave his soldiering days behind and travels to the University to met with professor Arcadius who has something his father left for him. In the University Arcadius introduces Royce Melborn to Hadrian and with some machinations force them to work together. Their objective will be to steal a book from the Crown Tower.
Hadrian with his easy going way is willing to humor Arcadius, but Royce is not that agreeable, he’s used to work and be alone, the last thing Royce wants is a partner, even if it’s a temporary one. Arcadius is not easily assuaged and pulling some strings he forced the partnership. Without a way out Hadrian and the reluctant Royce slowly start to work together. But after some tribulations what neither of them was expecting was to discover a kindred soul in the other.

I can’t say how much I loved Hadrian and Royce in this book. I loved to see that Hadrian despite having done things he despised during his soldiering days he still conserves some innocence in him. He has done what he thought needed to be done, he tried to find a life using his sword but realized that life wasn’t for him; his good heart wouldn’t let him continue on that course.

Royce has been one of my all time favorite characters. I loved him before and I love him even more now after reading The Crown Tower. Seeing this new Royce, the one that only has had a difficult life and has known nothing but mistreatment and betrayal almost broke my heart. In this book Royce was almost like a street dog, battered by others and completely distrustful when people show him any kind of courtesy.
I loved that despise the harsh fa├žade he wears as an armor we were able to see some glimpses of the man he one day will become and it was a pleasure to see when he left his dark humor shine.

In The Crown Tower we also get Gwen’s point of view. It was great to see why and how she came to be in Royce and Hadrian’s lives. I loved how strong she was and seeing every ordeal she has to suffered and survived to get where she needed to be only made me like her even more. I know I’m being a bit ambiguous about this but I can’t say more without giving spoilers away.

I really tried to write this review without gushing but it has been almost impossible because this book made me want to squeal like a teen in a Justin Bieber concert. Mr. Sullivan knows his way around words and brings to life fabulous multilayered characters. The world he has created for this series is so vivid and realistic you just need to close your eyes to be right there with these lovely characters. The action is perfectly paced and the humor and tension are masterfully balanced making of The Crown Tower a book impossible to put down.

I can’t recommend you The Crown Tower enough. If you like fantasy this book is a Must Read for you. Believe me, go read it, and thank me later.
I’m eagerly looking forward to next book in this series, The Rose and the Thorn.

Last but not least I need to publicly thank Mr. Sullivan’s wife, Robin. Thanks to her we have these new books; she convinced used her wife’s wiles on Mr. Sullivan to write more books about Hadrian and Royce and for this I will be forever grateful to her.

My Verdict: 5 Paws

Other books in the series
The Crown Tower (August 6th)
The Viscount and the Witch (Novella)
The Rose and the Thorn (September 17th)

Other reviews Goodreads

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Monday, July 29, 2013

Early Review: Pitch Perfect by Sierra Dean

Title: Pitch Perfect
Author: Sierra Dean
Series: Boys of Summer, book 1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Samhain Publishing 
(August 6th)
Source: Review copy from publisher
Format: E-book
“She’d be the perfect catch if he could take his eye off the ball. 

Emmy Kasper knows exactly how lucky she is. In a sport with few opportunities for women at the pro level, she’s just landed her dream job as head athletic trainer for the San Francisco Felons baseball team. Screwing up is not an option.

She’s lost in thought as she pedals to the spring training facility, her mind abuzz with excitement as she rounds a corner—and plows head-on into two runners. The end of her career dances before her eyes when she realizes she’s almost run over the star pitcher.

As Tucker Lloyd watches the flustered Emmy escape with his bandana tied around her skinned knee, the view is a pleasant change from worrying about his flagging fastball. At thirty-six, the tail end of his career is glimmering on the horizon. If he can’t pull something extraordinary out of his ball cap, the new crop of rookies could make this season his last.

The last thing either of them needs is a distraction.

The last thing either of them expects is love.

Warning: Contains a down-on-his-luck pitcher, a good-girl athletic therapist, chemistry that’s out of the park and sexy times that’ll make them round all the bases.”
Pitch Perfect is the first book in the new Boys of Summer series by Sierra Dean.

Emmy Kasper is the daughter of a famous baseball player; growing up in the sport made her love baseball with an endless passion. After many hard working years she has finally earned a great position in the sport as the new head athletic trainer for the San Francisco Felons baseball team. Her first day on the job almost becomes her last when she almost runs over the star pitcher, Tucker Lloyd, with her bicycle.
Tucker Lloyd is back in the game after a major arm surgery and a long year of physical therapy. At age 36 he’s worried he won’t be able to keep with the demands of the job and will be trade to another team or even worse, will be force to retire.
Even though his first impression of Emmy wasn’t the best he can help it and finds her fascinating. She not only knows what she is doing but also she is hot as hell. But the last thing he needs right now is to be lusting after the head athletic trainer when he should be focusing in being 100% back in the game.
Emmy couldn’t be happier with her new job, working for the Felons is everything she has dreamed and more, the only inconvenience is her attraction to the star pitcher, an attraction that could become a distraction she cannot afford. But when they are force to work closely together fighting the sparks becomes harder than pitching a perfect game.

First let me tell you that I’m not a fan of baseball and even though I know the basics of the game I have never being into it, that was until I read this book and Sierra Dean made me bite my nails while reading a scene set during a game. OMG! The stress, the tension, the emotion! OK, I think I’m getting ahead of myself, let me go back a bit a start with the characters.

Sierra Dean always writes outstanding and lively characters and it was not an exception in Pitch Perfect.

I really loved Emmy, I loved that she is a mature woman who knows what she wants and has worked hard to get where she is; I also loved her sense of humor and her tenacity.

Tucker is not only dreamy but he’s also a gentleman. He is dealing with some personal struggles and doing the best he can with his circumstances. I loved how hard he fought for his dream and didn’t give up despite having some hard times ahead.

One thing I loved about Pitch Perfect is the romance. Since the moment Emmy and Tucker met there was a clear attraction, but their priorities were in the game and what they needed to do. Emmy also had a long distance boyfriend and even though the relationship was almost dead they knew getting involved wasn’t a good option when their focus should be somewhere else, so they became friends.  But luckily for us there was not much for them to do when their hearts demanded more. Seeing them fighting their attraction was not only entertaining but sexy as hell, and when they finally succumbed to their heart’s desires it was so hot the pages sizzled and left me in dire need of a cold shower.

In this book we also met Tucker’s best friend, Alex. Alex is also a player for the Felons and a delightful character to read. I loved how he teased Tucker and brought laughs and some comic relief when it was needed. Despite being easy going and fun it’s clear Alex’s life is not as fun and perfect and he pretends it to be. I can’t wait to learn more about him and really hope next book will be his book.

Another character I really liked is Emmy’s friend and assistant, Jasper. Jasper and Emmy have worked together for years and when the Felons hired her she brought him to the team to be her assistant. As Emmy, Jasper loves the game and loves his job. Jasper is gay and is always lusting after players and sometimes they are even lusting after the same guy with Emmy. Emmy and Jasper together are fun and entertaining and I can only hope for Jasper to have his own book or a novella.

As I said on the beginning, Sierra Dean brings to life the game of baseball and gives it center stage in Pitch Perfect. Even from a not fan of the sport’s point of view I can say I loved this book and all its baseball splendor.
Sierra’s writing is so vivid and realistic that it made me feel as if I were in the middle of the ballpark. I cheered with the spectators and agonized next to Emmy when the Felons and especially Tucker were playing.
Sierra Dean shows us once again that she is a master storyteller. I love her and her books so much that I’m pretty sure even her grocery list will be a delight to read.

Pitch Perfect is fun, sexy, entertaining and an overall a delectable read. Pitch Perfect is the perfect summer read or for those days when you want to read a pick-me-up book, one that will leave you grinning like the Cheshire cat.

I can’t wait to read more about this new baseball world Sierra Dean has brought to life.

My Verdict: 5 Paws

Other reviews Goodreads

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Movie Trailer: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

"THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE begins as Katniss Everdeen has returned home safe after winning the 74th Annual Hunger Games along with fellow tribute Peeta Mellark. Winning means that they must turn around and leave their family and close friends, embarking on a "Victor's Tour" of the districts. Along the way Katniss senses that a rebellion is simmering, but the Capitol is still very much in control as President Snow prepares the 75th Annual Hunger Games (The Quarter Quell) - a competition that could change Panem forever.

THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE is directed by Francis Lawrence, from a screenplay by Simon Beaufoy and Michael DeBruyn, based upon the novel "Catching Fire" by Suzanne Collins and produced by Nina Jacobson and Jon Kilik. The novel is the second in a trilogy that has over 50 million copies in print in the U.S. alone. THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE opens on November 22, 2013. Lionsgate presents a Color Force/Lionsgate production."


Friday, July 26, 2013

Early Review: Midnight Frost by Jennifer Estep

Title: Midnight Frost
Author: Jennifer Estep
Series: Mythos Academy, book 5
Genre: YA
Publisher: Kensington Teen (July 30th)
Source: Review copy from publisher
Format: E-book
“Here we go again … 

Just when it seems life at Mythos Academy can’t get any more dangerous, the Reapers of Chaos manage to prove me wrong. It was just a typical night at the Library of Antiquities — until a Reaper tried to poison me. The good news is I’m still alive and kicking. The bad news is the Reaper poisoned someone else instead.

As Nike’s Champion, everyone expects me to lead the charge against the Reapers, even though I’m still hurting over what happened with Spartan warrior Logan Quinn. I’ve got to get my hands on the antidote fast — otherwise, an innocent person will die. But the only known cure is hidden in some creepy ruins — and the Reapers are sure to be waiting for me there…”
Midnight Frost is the fifth book in the Mythos Academy series by Jennifer Estep.

Gwen is dealing with the aftermath of what happened in Crimson Frost and pretending to be ok in front of others, when in reality she is suffering from severe nightmares and missing Logan dearly. Still, Gwen is continuing with her routine of fighting techniques practice, studying, and working in the library.
Now it’s publicly known that she is Nike’s champion and that she saved the day during the events that happened in Crimson Frost (previous book). This not only has changed the people’s opinion of her it also has made the Reapers try harder to get rid of her. In one attempt they try to poison Gwen but somebody else ingested the poison by mistake. Now Gwen and her friends (minus Logan) need to find the antidote to the poison before it’s too late.
Gwen and friends know it’s a Reaper’s trap because the flower to produce the antidote only blossoms at midnight in the Eir's ruins in the Colorado Mountains. With that in mind they go to the Colorado branch of Mythos Academy and from there they leave to the Eir's ruins where more than Reapers awaits for them.

One thing I liked about this book was that Gwen has grown a lot since first book and we see this very clearly in this installment. She also went from the girl everybody teased and some even hate to the girl everyone is looking up to; now she has almost a celebrity status, everybody knows who she is and what she has done. I liked that despite that Gwen is still the same sweet and caring girl we have learned to love.
I also liked that despite being sad and almost dealing with PTSD Gwen knew she had to be strong for her friends if they wanted to be able to accomplish what was needed of them.

I really missed Logan in this installment; I think his lack of page time change the tone of the book a little bit.
Gwen’s friends are still as delightful to read as in previous books. It’s pretty obvious they love each other and will go the extra mile to protect one another.
In Midnight Frost we are introduce to a new character, Rory. Rory is a student at the Mythos Academy in Colorado and a girl that brought a lot to the story, I can’t say more about her without giving spoilers away, let’s just say that I really hope to see more of her in future books.
Another thing I really liked about this installment is that we also learned more about Gwen’s father and some other family secrets.  What secrets are you asking? You need to read this book to discover them by yourself.

The new setting in Midnight Frost made things more interesting. The Colorado Mountains and the Eir's ruins made a nice change in the scenery.

The only thing I can say that it bother me a little bit about this book was that when Gwen is confronting Vivian and the Reapers they do too much talking before the fight, it made the whole scene feel illogical or unrealistic. Another thing that also relates to this is that Vivian always escapes the same way, via Roc. I think by now Gwen should have already a plan to counteract her escape if Vivian always escapes the same way.

Midnight Frost was a nice addition to the series and one I recommend to read to fans of this series. Midnight Frost is not the book to start this series: if you haven’t read this series you should start with Touch of Frost (first book).

I’m looking forward to next installment of this series, Killer Frost (February 25th, 2014).

My Verdict: 4 Paws

Other books in the series
Touch of Frost
Kiss of Frost
Dark Frost
Spartan Frost (Novella)
Midnight Frost (July 30th)
Killer Frost (February 25th, 2014)

Other reviews Goodreads

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Cover Revealed: Sins of the Lost by Linda Poitevin

Today I have a very special cover for you, the cover of one of my most awaited books of the year, Sins of the Lost. Sins of the Lost is the third book in the wonderful Grigori Legacy series by Linda Poitevin
If you are a fan of urban fantasy and haven't read this series you are missing a lot. I recommend you to read these books in order.

Sins of the Lost
Linda Poitevin
Grigori Legacy # 3
Urban Fantasy
Octubre 15th, 2013

"Heaven and Hell are on the brink of war as Lucifer builds his Nephilim army and waits for his new agenda to become a reality — that of having a Nephilimchild of his own bloodline to lead his forces to cataclysmic victory. 

With rumors of the pending war rampant on Earth, Alex fights to save humanity from its own panic –­ leaving little time for her fledgling relationship with Seth, the man with heavenly origins who has captured her heart. But when Nephilim children begin to disappear, along with Alex’s own vulnerable niece, the inevitable war between Heaven and Hell becomes as personal as sin. 

Heaven has its own plans to fight the coming apocalypse, but first it needs Seth back. Asked to betray the man she loves, Alex must turn for help to the soulmate she thought she’d given up — the Archangel Aramael, who may be her last chance to save her family and humanity from the ashes of Lucifer’s Armageddon."

October 15th can't come soon enough. 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Tuesday's Hot-Hot Hottie: Adam Von Rothfelder (NSFW)

Today's Hot-Hot Hottie is the American professional MMA fighter, personal trainer and model 
Adam Von Rothfelder.

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