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Monday, September 30, 2013

Review: Forged in Dreams and Magick by Kat Bastion

Title: Forged in Dreams and Magick
Author: Kat Bastion
Series: Highland Legends, book 1
Genre: Time Travel, Historical Romance, Paranormal
Publisher: Kat Bastion
Source: Review copy from author
Format: E-book
“Isobel MacInnes wakes up in present-day California, lunches in medieval Scotland, and by ten days’ end, falls in love with a man and his country, only to lose them in a heart-wrenching twist of fate . . .

Found in the arms of her second soul mate . . .

Forced to balance the delicate strands of time between two millennia . . .

Shocked by revelations rewriting the very foundations of history . . . of everything.

Isobel, a rising-star archaeology student, is dropped into two ancient worlds without warning . . . or her permission. Her fiery spirit resists the dependency thrust upon her. Amid frustration at her lack of control, she helplessly falls in love. Twice.

She struggles to adjust to the unimaginable demands of two leaders of men—a laird in the thirteenth-century Highlands and a Pict chieftain in a more ancient Scotland. Isobel transforms from an academic, hell-bent on obtaining archaeological recognition, to a woman striving to care for those she loves, and ultimately . . . into a fearless warrior risking everything to protect them.”
Forged in Dreams and Magick is the first book in the new Highland Legends by Kat Bastion.

After discovering an ancient artifact Isobel MacInnes is taking back in time to the XIII century. After accepting time traveling is not only a possibility but a reality Isobel decides that living in the highlands is a dream come true for an archeology student. Soon after Isobel realizes that this new century not only brings new experiences but also hosts her soul mate, Iain Brodie.
Coming to terms with her new reality Isobel gives all of herself to make the best of her new life, but destiny hasn’t stop playing with her; days later Isobel encounters the ancient artifact again and is taken back once more into the past, this time to the Late Iron Age, to The Picts’ time, where Isobel encounters again a different man (Velloc) and an altogether different soul mate.
Isobel’s brain can’t assimilate the idea of two different soul mates, but her heart knows it as truth. After trying and failing to return to Iain Isobel decides to do her best and survive in this new era, but destiny still has plans for her and brings her back and forth between her two men and the different times. She knows there must be a reason for this, but finding it may cost her more than just her heart.

I have to be honest, on the beginning I had some trouble getting into the story, there were some too farfetched situations that made it hard for me to connect with the characters and some of the situations, but after I decided to take this book as what it is, Fiction, and stopped trying to see the logical side of the story I started to enjoy it tremendously.

Sometimes I say that a character is strong and determined, but nothing compares to Isobel, she is thrown in the past not once but twice and both times she made the best of her situation. She does whatever necessary to survive without compromising her integrity. She’s who she is in the XXI Century, XIII Century and in the Iron Age, she just adapts to her circumstances like a chameleon to survive.
Loving two men is not easy; her heart was never whole because some part of it was always missing. Iain and Velloc are both swoon worthy but I wouldn’t want to be in Isobel’s shoes.

It was hard for me to like one man more than the other, they are both strong warriors that care for their people, they are both protectors at heart, and they love Isobel with all their beings.
One page I was Team Iain, the next I was Team Velloc. Page after page I could only wonder how would all be developed at the end. Mrs. Bastion kept me wondering and wishing for an outcome to just shake things up, leaving me with heartache and wanting to know more.

One thing I really loved about Forged in Dreams and Magick was the way Mrs. Bastion masterfully intermingled historical facts with the story. I love when this happens in a book and I can only admire when an author can pull it off without feeling like getting a history lesson. Kudos to Mrs. Bastion and her brilliant storytelling for achieving this.

I can say I was sold after reading the blurb for Forged in Dreams and Magick. Time travel, highlanders and romance, yes, please, count me in. What I didn’t know was that I would also find in Forged in Dreams and Magick a fluid prose, a strong story, very likeable characters and very sensual and well-written moments. Here I also have to applaud Mrs. Bastion, she writes very tasteful sex scenes that enhance the story while adding to the character and relationships development.

If you like time travel, highlanders and strong romance I recommend you to read Forged in Dreams and Magick by Kat Bastion.
I’m looking forward to read the next book in this series, Bound by Wish and Mistletoe, a sequel novella to be release this November.

My Verdict: 4 Paws

Other books in the series
Forged in Dreams and Magick
Bound by Wish and Mistletoe (November, 2013)

Other reviews Goodreads

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Movie Trailer: 47 Ronin

Keanu Reeves makes an explosive return to action-adventure in 47 Ronin. After a treacherous warlord kills their master and banishes their kind, 47 leaderless samurai vow to seek vengeance and restore honor to their people. Driven from their homes and dispersed across the land, this band of Ronin must seek the help of Kai (Reeves)—a half-breed they once rejected—as they fight their way across a savage world of mythic beasts, shape-shifting witchcraft and wondrous terrors. 

As this exiled, enslaved outcast becomes their most deadly weapon, he will transform into the hero who inspires this band of outnumbered rebels to seize eternity. 

Helmed by director Carl Rinsch (The Gift), 47 Ronin is produced by Scott Stuber (Ted, Identity Thief), Pamela Abdy (Identity Thief, upcoming Kill the Messenger) and Eric McLeod (Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Austin Powers series).


Friday, September 27, 2013

Cover Revealed: Banishing the Dark by Jenn Bennett

Today I have a very-special-fresh-from-the-oven-cover, the cover of Banishing the DarkWhy so special? Because Banishing the Dark is one of my most anticipated books of 2014. Banishing the Dark is the fourth book in one of my all time favorite series, the Arcadia Bell series by Jenn Bennett. 

If you like your books with kick ass heroines, dreamy heroes and unique and imaginative world this series is for you. If you love Urban Fantasy this series is a must read for you. 
Trust me, go read Kindling the Moon (first book) and thank me later. 

Banishing the Dark
Arcadia Bell #4
Urban Fantasy
May 27, 2014

In this new installment in a beloved urban fantasy series, gutsy renegade mage and tiki bar owner Arcadia Bell faces the last danger standing between her old identity and a new future she desperately wants: herself.After surviving a supernatural battle with Hellfire Club leader Ambrose Dare, Cady and her demon boyfriend, Lon Butler, journey across California to find the source of her mysterious Moonchild origins. But the further they travel, the stranger the revelations about her parents’ past occult lives. Can Cady keep what's rightfully hers, or will she have make the ultimate sacrifice to stop her murderous mother from crossing the planes?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Review: Bound by Night by Larissa Ione

Title: Bound by Night
Author: Larissa Ione
Series: MoonBound Clan Vampire, book 1
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Pocket Books
Source: Review copy from publisher
Format: E-book
A WOMAN OUT FOR BLOOD Nicole Martin was only eight years old when the vampire slaves rose up in rebellion and killed her family. Now she devotes her life to finding a vaccine against vampirism, hoping to wipe out her memories—along with every bloodsucker on the planet. But there’s one thing she cannot destroy: her searing, undeniable attraction for the one man she should hate and fear the most . . .
A VAMPIRE OUT FOR REVENGE A member of the renegade vampire MoonBound Clan, Riker is haunted by demons of his own. When he recognizes Nicole and remembers how her family enslaved his loved ones, his heart burns for vengeance. But when he kidnaps Nicole and holds her in a secret lair, his mortal enemy becomes his soul obsession, his greatest temptation, and, perhaps, his only salvation—a hot-blooded lover who could heal him with her touch . . . or bury him forever.”
Bound by Night is the first book in the new MoonBound Clan Vampire series by Larissa Ione.

In MoonBound Clan Vampire series Larissa Ione brings us a new take on vampires. In this new world vampires are not the all-powerful beings we usually read about, here they have been slaved by humans. There are some rogue clans that live in secret locations and fight for the freedom of their race.
Riker is one of those rogue vampires and he belongs to the MoonBound Clan. Years back he was witness to the enslavement of his mate (Terese) by the Martin family. The Martin family is one the most powerful families in the world, they own many companies that use vampires for research and sell slaves.
After her enslavement Terese became Nicole Martin’s nanny. Nicole never saw Terese as a slave, she only saw her as the caring woman that gave her unconditional love and friendship, something she didn’t get from her own family.
After some years had passed Riker tried to free Terese and her unborn child, attempt that failed and cost Terese’s life.
Nicole was witness to Riker’s attempt to free Terese, attempt that ended the life of her loving nanny. Since that day Riker has been the protagonist of all her nightmares. Nightmares that only incremented after the vampire rebellion and attack that killed her family and left her with internal and external scars.
Twenty years has passed, Teresa now sole heir to the Martin Empire has recovered from the attack that almost cost her life and is back to her childhood home. Finding a cure to vampirism has become her life goal.
Riker kidnaps Nicole as a bargain ship to recover a very important member of the MoonBound Clan that was kidnap and enslave by people from the Martin Corporation. Riker only wants vengeance from the woman that enslave his mate, he knows she was only a child but by only Nicole being a Martin he feels she is responsible for Terese’s death.
After spending sometime with Nicole Riker can’t help it but feel attracted to her, attraction that is making him reevaluate his hatred.
Nicole is now in the hands of the man she has feared all her life, she knows she should be afraid but what she wasn’t expecting was to find a kindred soul in Riker.
Now, Riker and Nicole have united their forces to work against a bigger enemy they could have ever imagined.

Nicole is a very strong character; she is what we expect from a female lead, she’s smart, courageous and caring. She has a good heart and when she learns of the mistreatment and injustices that vampires are submitted to she wants to fight and right the wrongs her own family subjected to others.
Riker is dreamy; he fights for those he cares about and is willing to admit when he is wrong.

Nicole and Riker are attracted to each other from almost the very beginning, but for them to come to terms with their attraction they will need to leave years of hatred and misconceptions behind. Seeing them fight their attraction only increased the enjoyment of the story, making of the resolution a more satisfying one.

The secondary characters shine next to Riker and Nicole. They not only add depth to the story, they also made it more enjoyable. From them the clan leader, Hunter, is one I can’t get enough. I can only hope next book is his book. Followed by Myne’s book and… so many other great characters that is difficult to decide which one I want next.

Bound by Night is another example of why Larissa Ione is one of the top Paranormal Romance writers. She took the overused vampire and made it new and refreshing. Not only the origins of Mrs. Ione’s vampires is different, they also live in a world where they are slaved and use without any care in medical research. Here, vampires fight for their freedom, while humans ruled by greed and fear became the monsters to fear.

As with other books by Mrs. Ione Bound by Night is packed with strong characters, witty and smart dialogue and a rich and unique world building. Bound by Night is a book that left me wanting for more. I can’t wait to see what Mrs. Ione has planned for the MoonBound Clan and its members.
I recommend this book to all Paranormal Romance fans.

My Verdict: 4 Paws

Other books in the series
Bound by Night
Chained by Night (August 1st, 2014)

Other reviews Goodreads

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Covers of the World: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Today I have a very special book in Covers of the World, Throne of Glass. Throne of Glass is the first book in the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas
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?
After hearing so many great things about the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas, I decided to give it a try. My plan was to read The Assassin and the Pirate Lord (first prequel novella) and if I liked it get the other novellas and books and read them next time I’ll have an opening in my reading schedule. What I wasn’t expecting was liking it so much that I ended up doing a Throne of Glass series marathon. Yes, you heard/read right, I read the four prequel novellas and the two full-length books one behind the other. I loved this series so much that I bought the books for my nephew. He also ended up doing a Throne of Glass series marathon. Now my sister is reading them and she is loving them too. As you can see this book/series is made of awesome. If you like Fantasy this book/series is for you. 
Without further ado here are the covers for Throne of Glass.

1. English cover US first edition & US second edition.

2. English cover UK edition & French edition.

 3. German edition & Italian edition.

4. Spanish edition & Turkish edition. 

My favorite cover from this bunch is the English Cover UK edition. I like the colors and how Celaena looks like she's ready to kick some ass. 
My least favorite is the Spanish edition, it just looks like a poster for a 007 movie. That one is closely followed by the English cover US first edition and the Turkish edition, those covers just don't say anything about the book and if I were judging/buying a book for its cover sadly this book will fail. 

Which are your favorite and least favorite covers from this group? 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Early Review: The Rose and the Thorn by Michael J. Sullivan

Title: The Rose and the Thorn 
Author: Michael J. Sullivan
Series: The Riyria Chronicles, book 2
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Orbit (September 17th)
Source: Review copy from publisher
Format: E-book

For more than a year Royce Melborn has tried to forget Gwen DeLancy, the woman who saved him and his partner Hadrian Blackwater from certain death. Unable to get her out of his mind, the two thieves return to Medford but receive a very different reception --- Gwen refuses to see them. The victim of abuse by a powerful noble, she suspects that Royce will ignore any danger in his desire for revenge. By turning the thieves away, Gwen hopes to once more protect them. What she doesn't realize is what the two are capable of --- but she's about to find out.

The Rose and the Thorn is the second book in The Riyria Chronicles."
The Rose and the Thorn starts one year after events in The Crown Tower (first book). Royce and Hadrian have been partners for a year, they are making a good living as thieves, they are enjoying their time together and everyday that passes they get along better.
A year has passed but Royce hasn’t been able to forget Gwen, the woman that saved their lives (The Crown Tower). Not able to keep his distance they travel back to Medford, but when they arrived to their grand surprise Gwen doesn’t receive them. Not understanding Gwen’s behavior they ask around and learned that a powerful noble had beaten her badly. Gwen didn’t want to see them not only for vanity but also as a way to protect them. She knows Royce and knows he wouldn’t let an insult like that pass easily.
Hadrian agrees completely with Royce, the culprit needs to pay for what he did to Gwen, what Hadrian doesn’t agree is with Royce methods, but Hadrian also knows when to fight his battles and this is one he knows he can’t win.

One of my all time favorite series is The Riyria Revelations by Michael J. Sullivan, luckily for me, his wife and for many of his fervent readers he decided to write a prequel series, The Riyria Chronicles and The Rose and the Thorn is part of that prequel series.
Mr. Sullivan set the standards very high with The Riyria Revelations and now, every time he publishes a book I can’t help it but have high expectations, expectations that he not only meets but exceeds, that was the case with The Crown Tower and that was the case with The Rose and the Thorn.

In this installment we learn more about the new Riyria partnership and how Hadrian and Royce are learning to be and work together. We also see the changes they have had in each other and how they are working to find a balance with their different personalities.

Gwen is still the woman we learned to love in The Crown Tower; she is dedicated to her girls and those she cares for, to the point that she is completely selfless and puts her life in danger to protect others. Her softness is what attracts Royce; he finds in her not only acceptance but also not reservations. Gwen gives herself completely and that is something that intrigues Royce and furthermore calls to him.
Despite some of his actions seeing Royce lose his head for a woman was incredible sweet and unexpected. I can only hope to see more of their relationship development in future books to come.

In The Rose and the Thorn we are introduce to new characters (not new for fans of The Riyria Revelations) like Viscount Albert Winslow, Reuben Hilfred, Princess Arista, and Prince Alric of Melengar among others. From them I have to talk about Hilfred. I loved him in The Riyria Revelations and loved him in this book. Seeing his origins and how he came to be Princess Arista bodyguard and protector was a bittersweet treat.

Another character I really liked was Viscount Albert Winslow, I liked that he was cunningly smart. He was given a chance and even though he might have not agreed with everything that happened, he knew that it was in a way necessary. His personality and behavior make of him the perfect intermediary for the Riyria.

The stories in The Riyria Chronicles are very character driven, but in The Rose and the Thorn Mr. Sullivan deeply develops the world building. In this installment Mr. Sullivan also submerges us in the political climate of the time and the region, thus getting us ready for what it is to come.
For fans of The Riyria Revelations it will be interesting to see how some of the incidents that took place in The Rose and the Thorn were the cataclysm of future events in the series.

Mr. Sullivan’s writing is fluid and flawless giving The Rose and the Thorn a perfect pace, one that I can guarantee you will have you glued to its pages from beginning to end.

If you love your books with unforgettable characters, with a plot with a perfect balance of drama, humor and mystery, and with a unique and vivid world building The Rose and the Thorn is for you.
If you are a fan of the fantasy genre this book and this series are a must read for you. You don’t need to have read The Riyria Revelations beforehand; you can even start with The Rose and the Thorn.
Mr. Sullivan is writing these books in a way that they can be read as stand-alones, but I recommend you to start with The Crown Tower and go from there. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed. 

I don’t think I will ever get enough of Hadrian and Royce and saying I’m eagerly awaiting for next book in this series is the understatement of the year.

My Verdict: 5 Paws

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

Other reviews Goodreads

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Movie Trailer: RoboCop

"In RoboCop, the year is 2028 and multinational conglomerate OmniCorp is at the center of robot technology. Overseas, their drones have been used by the military for years – and it’s meant billions for OmniCorp’s bottom line. Now OmniCorp wants to bring their controversial technology to the home front, and they see a golden opportunity to do it. When Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman) – a loving husband, father and good cop doing his best to stem the tide of crime and corruption in Detroit – is critically injured in the line of duty, OmniCorp sees their chance for a part-man, part-robot police officer. OmniCorp envisions a RoboCop in every city and even more billions for their shareholders, but they never counted on one thing: there is still a man inside the machine pursuing justice."


Friday, September 13, 2013

Early Review: Delia's Shadow by Jaime Lee Moyer

Title: Delia's Shadow
Author: Jaime Lee Moyer
Genre: Historical Fiction, Paranormal
Publisher: Tor - September 17th
Source: Review copy from publisher
Format: E-book
“It is the dawn of a new century in San Francisco and Delia Martin is a wealthy young woman whose life appears ideal. But a dark secret colors her life, for Delia’s most loyal companions are ghosts, as she has been gifted (or some would say cursed) with an ability to peer across to the other side.

Since the great quake rocked her city in 1906, Delia has been haunted by an avalanche of the dead clamoring for her help. Delia flees to the other side of the continent, hoping to gain some peace. After several years in New York, Delia believes she is free…until one determined specter appears and she realizes that she must return to the City by the Bay in order to put this tortured soul to rest.

It will not be easy, as the ghost is only one of the many victims of a serial killer who was never caught. A killer who after thirty years is killing again.

And who is now aware of Delia’s existence.”
The 1906 San Francisco earthquake left Delia Martin orphan and gifted her with the ability to see ghosts. She would rather have her parents that a gift that feels more like a curse; but with no way to stop it she tries to live her life as normal as possible in a city plagued with ghosts, until the day she has enough and leaves San Francisco behind in search of a new and quieter life in New York.

After couple of peaceful years in New York the ghost of a woman starts to haunt Delia. Delia names the ghost Shadow because she doesn’t know how to communicate. Delia knows Shadow is somehow connected to San Francisco and would not leave her alone until she helps her with whatever is she needs.

Delia is back in San Francisco, the timing is almost perfect, her best friend (Sadie) is getting married soon and needs Delia’s help with the wedding preparations. Sadie also needs help taking care of her convalescent mother, a woman that became Delia’s mother after hers died in the earthquake.

Sadie wants Delia to be as happy as she is with Jack and plays matchmaker. With the excuse of the wedding she invites Jack’s best friend and partner, Gabe, to have dinner with her and Delia.
Jack and Gabe are both police detectives and right now they are very busy, but they can’t say no to Sadie; they are investigating a series of vicious murders that have happened across the city; murders that are very similar to some that occurred in the city over 30 years ago and coincidentally Gabe’s father investigated but never found the culprit.
After meeting Gabe Delia knows he is the only person that can help her with Shadow, because for some reason there is a connection between Shadow and the serial killer than is prowling the city.
What Delia didn’t know when she decided to help Shadow was that her life would be in danger; at least now, she has Gabe by her side. 

Delia hasn’t had an easy life, since her early years life have been tough with her. She has tried to do her best with what life has dealt her and even though she doesn’t believe it, she’s a strong person. She is afraid of Shadow and what it means for her, but that is easily understandable. Despite her misgiving about this whole situation she goes forward and does what she must.

Gabe lost his wife and his unborn child during the earthquake/fire of 1906. He hasn’t get over their loss; his only outlet is his job and now that a serial killer is not only making of San Francisco his/her playground, but it’s also taunting him by leaving letters addressed to him, Gabe knows he will solve this case whatever the cost. The only thing Gabe wasn’t counting with was with meeting a woman that has awaken in him feelings he thought forever lost, but now that he has met Delia he will do everything in his power to protect her.

The array of secondary characters made of Delia’s Shadow an even more enjoyable story.
Sadie is one of those persons that want the best for others; she’s caring, loving and very sweet.
Jack is the best friend that anyone would want to have. His love for Sadie is clear, same with his affection for Gabe, they are almost as brothers and have a great chemistry working together.
A character that really surprised me was Theodora. When she was first mention in the book I thought she was a fraud, but after meeting her I couldn’t help it but like her. She has a personality bigger than words can express and the pages light up when she was on them.

The plot is well paced, with a perfect balance of suspense and romance. The murders are gritty and the story is engaging enough that you won’t be able to put the book down until you reach its very end. My only complaint is that the end felt a bit rushed.

One of my favorite things about Delia's Shadow is the setting. Mrs. Lee Moyer’s words bring to life the Victorian San Francisco of 1915 and the famous Panama American Expo. Her depiction of the city and the life of the time was so vivid and realistic that I only needed to close my eyes to be there with the characters.

Delia's Shadow by Jaime Lee Moyer is more than a story about ghosts, it’s also a police investigation packed with suspense, mystery and ghastly crimes.

I’m looking forward to read more books by Mrs. Lee Moyer.

My Verdict: 3 ½ Paws

Other reviews Goodreads

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