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Monday, December 30, 2013

Quick Review: Dragon Awakened by Jaime Rush


Title: Dragon Awakened
Author: Jaime Rush
Series: The Hidden, book 1
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Forever
Source: Review copy from publisher
Format: E-book
“They are the Hidden. Not quite human. Far from normal. And never, ever safe…

Playing With Fire

Ruby Salazaar wants answers…and revenge. Her uncle has just been murdered before her eyes and the name he utters with his final breath—Cyntag—leads Ruby into a world beyond her wildest imaginings. She soon learns that the dark, sexy Cyntag Valeron knows more about her than she does herself.

Burned By Love

Ruby changed Cyn's life before she even knew who he was. Now she charges into his life, a beautiful woman full of fire and questions. Cyn knew this day would come, yet he couldn't foresee the danger—and desires—Ruby would bring with her. He can teach her how to harness her newly awakened powers. But there is one force neither of them can control…”
Dragon Awakened is the first book in The Hidden series by Jaime Rush.

I love dragons and books about dragons. When I saw this book I thought it would be perfect for me, sadly it wasn’t. At least 5 times I thought about DNF it, but I hate to DNF a book so I keep going skimming along the way. It took me over two weeks to finish it but I did it.
My biggest problem was with the heroine, Ruby, and secondly with the dialogue. I couldn’t stand Ruby and when you don’t like the heroine in the book you know you have a serious problem. Why I didn’t like her? She suffered from TSTL Syndrome (To stupid to live Syndrome). She was stupidly stubborn and blind about things around her. Even though I tried to like her she was just too much for me.

My problem with the dialogue was that it didn’t feel natural at all, nor it was fluid; it felt too basic and without any depth.

Cyntag was a better character, he was hot, strong and all around a more likeable character, but still he wasn’t enough to save this book for me.

Sadly, Dragon Awakened wasn’t for me, but it may be for you.. don’t know.

I’m not sure if I’ll read second book in the series, Magic Possessed. I think I’ll decide after reading some reviews.


My Verdict: 2 ½ Paws

Other books in the series
Dragon Awakened
Magic Possessed (January 28th, 2014)
Angel Seduced (February 25th, 2014)

Other reviews Goodreads


Saturday, December 28, 2013

Movie Trailer: The Lego Movie



"In a world made entirely of LEGO, an ordinary minifigure named Emmet (Chris Pratt) is mistaken as being the Special—the last living Master Builder—who can save the LEGO universe. With the help of an old mystic named Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman), a tough young lady named Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks) and Batman (Will Arnett), Emmet will have to unlearn everything he saw in the instructions and learn the power of imagination to defeat the evil tyrant Lord Business (Will Ferrell) who is bent on destroying the LEGO universe by gluing it together."


Trailer 



Friday, December 27, 2013

Favorite Books of 2013


I thought it will be easy to select my favorite books of 2013, but it wasn’t. My idea was to select 10 books from the 220+ books I have read so far in 2013, but after a lot of screening I was able to reduce my list to 15 titles and some honorary mentions. I know I’m kind of cheating with the honorary mentions, but there are too many books I loved this year that I didn’t want to leave any of them out. 

Most of the books I read in 2013 were published this year, some were published in previous years and a few are from 2014, but all of them I read in 2013. 

The books are organized in chronological order starting with the books I read in January and continuing on throughout the months.

Kara Gillian # 5
Urban Fantasy


Written in Red
The Others # 1
Urban Fantasy


Arcadia Bell # 3
Urban Fantasy


Charley Davidson # 5
Urban Fantasy


Heart of Obsidian
Psy-Changeling # 12
Paranormal Romance


YA


The Riyria Chronicles  # 1
Fantasy


Secret McQueen # 6
Urban Fantasy


Magic Rises
Kate Daniels # 6
Urban Fantasy


Vampire Redemption
The Human Revolt # 3
YA - Vampires


Perdition
Dred Chronicles # 1
Science Fiction


Crown of Midnight
Throne of Glass # 2
YA - Fantasy


Wicked as They Come
Blud # 1
Steampunk


The Last Hour of Gann
Science Fiction


Broken Blade
Colbana Files # 3
Urban Fantasy



Honorable mentions

Crave the Darkness by Amanda Bonilla
The Better to See you by Kate SeRine
Night Blade by J.C. Daniels
Cold Blooded by Amanda Carlson 
Horde by Ann Aguirre
Cursed by Destiny by Cecy Robson

Which was your favorite book of 2013?

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Early Review: How to Run with a Naked Werewolf by Molly Harper


Title: How to Run with a Naked Werewolf
Author: Molly Harper
Series: Naked Werewolf, book 3
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Pocket Books (December 31st)
Source: Review copy from publisher
Format: E-book
“Caleb Graham is a werewolf by nature, a tracker by profession. He uses his “extra gifts” to find people, and not always in the most legal or ethical manner. He doesn’t care what they’ve done, or who wants them found, as long as his considerable fee is paid. He likes his life simple and uncomplicated.

Anna Moder, former physician to Caleb’s pack, happens across Caleb during a particularly violent “negotiation” that has left him bloodied and unconscious. She helps him, despite the fact that he’s cost her a car, so he insists that she stay with him on the road for a while. As they grow closer, Anna looks past the gruff exterior and and the questionable job to thoroughly decent werewolf underneath.

Anna – who is careful to edit her involvement with Caleb’s pack from their conversations – doesn’t talk about why a nice girl wants to live in the middle of frozen nowhere, but she’s obviously on the run from something. When Anna’s past collides with Caleb’s current assignment from one of his sleazier contacts, Caleb finally has to make a choice—protect his job…or his potential mate?”
How to Run with a Naked Werewolf is the third installment in the Naked Werewolf series by Molly Harper.

Anna Moder, victim of domestic abuse, has been on the run for the last couple of years. Hiding from her husband hasn’t been easy, but lucky for her, Red-burn, an anonymous organization that helps abused women has helped her with relocations, new identities and finding jobs.
Anna is tired of running, especially after she was forced to leave her practice as the Pack doctor in Grundy, a place where she finally felt accepted and at home. For the last couple of months she hasn’t last long in anyplace, working menial jobs, and trying to keep under wraps.
After an email from Red-burn she knows she has to move again, but her plans are truncated when she decides to help a man shot and left to dead in a parking lot. Soon after, Anna realizes the man she was helping was a werewolf, what she didn’t know was that she was helping Caleb, the cousin of Maggie, the leader of the Pack where Anna used to work.
Caleb is grateful for Anna’s help, he doesn’t know she knows about his werewolf status and is trying very hard to hide his nature. The only thing he knows is that she’s hiding and running from something; this has awakened in him his protective instincts. He will do everything in his power to keep her safe, but first he needs to earn her trust, something that is not easy when she learns about his job as a bounty hunter and other secrets he has been keeping.

Molly Harper’s books are feel good books. I know every time I pick one of her books I’m going to laugh and forget the world around. That was the case with previous books in this series and that was the case with How to Run with a Naked Werewolf.

How to Run with a Naked Werewolf is somehow a bit different from previous books, first is set on the road more than in the town of Grundy, and secondly it touches a more serious topic like is domestic violence.

Mrs. Harper does an excellent job portraying Anna as a victim of domestic abuse. Her actions and reactions to situations were very realistic, so much that sometimes it was very saddening to watch. Despite this, Anna is not a damsel in distress, she has inner strength; something we can clearly see along the story.

Caleb is dreamy. He’s the protective hero with a big heart that will make you swoon page after page. He has secrets but not a bad heart and wants to protect Anna at all cost. He wants her to shine with her inner strength and gives her the space and tools to do it.

Anna and Caleb chemistry is off the charts, the relationship builds slowly but at good pace because Caleb understands that Anna needs to feel safe with him before anything else. This made me enjoy the story even more.

Characters from previous books in the series made an appearance; we see where they are now in their lives and in their new families. It was very nice to see them especially seeing the part they play in helping Anna and Caleb find their new place in the Pack.

Mrs. Harper gives us a surprise at the end with cameos from unexpected characters. I can’t say more without giving anything away, you need to read How to Run with a Naked Werewolf to learn what I’m talking about.

I really liked How to Run with a Naked Werewolf. It was everything I expect a Molly Harper book to be, fun, entertaining and hot.
I thought about giving it a higher score but there were couple of inconsistencies in the story that made me diminish somehow the enjoyment of the story. I won’t cite them here, because I don’t want to predispose you in case you won’t notice them.

If you want to read a fun and entertaining book that will make you swoon and laugh out loud don’t look far, How to Run with a Naked Werewolf is the book you want.
Even though How to Run with a Naked Werewolf is part of a series it can be easily read as a stand-alone. Previous books of the series are very good, so if you haven’t read them I recommend you to do it.

My Verdict: 4 Paws

Other books in the series
The Art of Seducing a Naked Werewolf 
How to Run with a Naked Werewolf (December 31st)

Other reviews Goodreads

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Movie Trailer: How to Train Your Dragon 2


"The thrilling second chapter of the epic HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON trilogy brings us back to the fantastical world of Hiccup and Toothless five years after the two have successfully united dragons and vikings on the island of Berk. While Astrid, Snoutlout and the rest of the gang are challenging each other to dragon races (the island's new favorite contact sport), the now inseparable pair journey through the skies, charting unmapped territories and exploring new worlds. When one of their adventures leads to the discovery of a secret ice cave that is home to hundreds of new wild dragons and the mysterious Dragon Rider, the two friends find themselves at the center of a battle to protect the peace. Now, Hiccup and Toothless must unite to stand up for what they believe while recognizing that only together do they have the power to change the future of both men and dragons."

Trailer



Friday, December 20, 2013

Review: The Spider by Jennifer Estep


Title: The Spider
Author: Jennifer Estep
Series: Elemental Assassin, book 10
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Pocket Books
Source: Review copy from publisher
Format: E-book
“How did I end up in a career where I always have blood on my hands? Well, let me tell you a story about an assassin who thought she could do no wrong. . . . 

Ten years ago. A blistering hot August night. I remember like it was yesterday. The night I, Gin Blanco, truly became the Spider. Killing people is what I do best, especially now that I’ve honed my Ice and Stone magic. But back then, I had yet to learn one very important rule: arrogance will get you, every single time. 

This particular job seemed simple: murder a crooked building contractor with ties to ruthless Fire elemental Mab Monroe. My mentor, Fletcher Lane, had some misgivings, but I was certain that I had the situation under control . . . right up until I exposed my weaknesses to a merciless opponent who exploited every single one of them. There’s a reason assassins aren’t supposed to feel anything. Luckily, a knife to the heart can fix that problem, especially when I’m the one wielding it…”
The Spider is the tenth installment in the Elemental Assassin series by Jennifer Estep.

In The Spider with see a younger Gin, an arrogant and impatient version of her. Despite her mentor’s (Fletcher) misgivings we see her run into a job without much research and we see her fail grandly. This failure in her early life/profession was what made Gin into the woman we have known for the last few years. This job taught her to do research, not to run blindly in a situation and more important to be patient.

This has been one of the hardest reviews to write for this series. I wanted to love The Spider, but sadly I didn’t. Why? Because I had three problems with it, problems that didn’t let me like this book as much as I was expecting to like it.

My biggest problem with this book was that there was no mystery at all. Since the very first chapters I knew what was going on and how everything was going to pan out. Everything was so clear that it was almost unbelievable that Gin couldn’t see it for herself. The enjoyment of reading a book diminishes greatly when by the second chapter you already know who is the bad guy and how everything is going to end and that was the case with The Spider. Ok, I’m been a bit unfair here, there was a nice surprise at the end with one of the characters involved in the story, but by them it was too late to be a remarkable surprise.

My second problem with this book was that it was rife with repetition. We had this problem with some of previous books in the series, last two books were better in this aspect, but sadly The Spider went back to The Repetition Party. It was so bad at times that I ended up skimming a lot of it, and you know it’s not a good sign when you are skimming a book of a series you love. *sighs*

My third and last problem with The Spider was the cameos of people in Gin’s current life. My problem with the cameos was that half of them felt forced into the story and completely unnecessary.
When the first cameo happened I was really happy to see that person there, when the second happened the coincidence of meeting that person was a bit doubtful, when the third happened it was just too much and when the fourth happened… you get the idea. My problem is that we see everybody; when I say everybody is everybody, From Xavier, to Roslyn, to Bria to Owen and more. They all make an appearance here. I’m not exaggerating; even Warren is somehow included in the story with the mention of his store, Country Daze.
“While the pancakes cooked, I also crisped up some bacon, put on a pot of chicory coffee, and made dreamsicle fruit smoothies with fresh- squeezed orange juice, vanilla yogurt, and a drizzle of sourwood honey that Jo-Jo had bought at some store called Country Daze, according to the label.”
Why she doesn’t mention the yogurt brand or where she bought the oranges? As I said before, sadly the inclusion of these characters didn’t feel like an organic part of the story but more like something forced and far-fetched.

Despite the problems I had with The Spider I still love Gin and love this series. I just hope in next book Gin is the kickass-strong heroine she’s supposed to be. I also hope there won’t be much repetition and hope to see something different in the story than bad guy kicking Gin’s ass and Gin surviving only thanks to Jo Jo’s air magic. I want to see Gin comes to her power.

Next book in the series, Poison Promise, is scheduled to be release on July 29th, 2014. I’m sure going to read it because after ten books, I still have hope Gin can become the powerful elemental we been hearing about since Spider’s Bite (first book).

My Verdict: 3 ½ Paws

Other books in the series
Spider’s Bite
Web of Lies
Venom
Tangled Threads
By A Thread
The Spider
Poison Promise (July 29th, 2014)

Other reviews Goodreads

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Relase Blitz, Review & Giveaway: Reaver by Larissa Ione


Title: Reaver
Author: Larissa Ione
Series: Lords of Deliverance, book 5
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Forever/Grand Central Publishing
Source: Review copy from publisher
Format: E-book
*Warning: This review contains spoilers from previous books in the series.*
“WARRIOR OF HEAVEN

Reaver is an angel with a past, a record, and a less-than-heavenly attitude. Powerful enough to fight alongside the fiercest battle angels-and crazy enough to risk his wings on a one-way mission to hell-he's agreed to go where no angel has ever gone before...to steal the most seductive and dangerous prize of Satan himself.

ANGEL OF HELL

Harvester is one of the Fallen, a once-heroic angel who sacrificed her wings to work as an undercover agent in hell. But now her cover has been blown, and she's been doomed to an eternity of agonizing torture. Even if Reaver can snatch her away from Satan's lair, even if they can fight their way out of the underworld's darkest depths, there is one thing Harvester can never escape-her newfound thirst for an angel's blood…”
Reaver is the fifth book in the Lords of Deliverance series by Larissa Ione.

After finding out about what Harvester did and sacrificed for his children, Reaver knows he cannot be in peace knowing she is in Hell being torture by her dear father, Satan. With that in mind Reaver approaches Heaven for help, hoping they will organize a rescue mission to get Harvester out of Hell. What he wasn’t expecting was to not only no getting any help, but also being forbidden to attempt any kind of rescue. In Heaven’s eyes Harvester knew what she was getting into when she decided to work undercover in Hell. Despite that her actions were done to help Heaven and to protect Reaver’s kids, thus prevent the Apocalypse, in Heaven’s “eyes” the idea to Fall was hers hence the punishment if ever caught was also hers to bare.
Reaver can’t live with himself and enjoy his newfound family knowing that Harvester is suffering; so he decides to take matters into his own hands and to deal with the consequences after Harvester is safe and sound.
Reaver knows he can’t rescue Harvester by himself and hires a group of mercenaries to help him find the way in Hell to where Harvester is being kept.
After weeks of torture Harvester has given up hope of a rescue. Her body is in really bad shape, her eyes were gouged out and she can’t hear. She knows she’s being moved and thinks she’s just being taken to a different location to continue the endless torture, what she wasn’t expecting was that she was being rescued and even less being rescued by the last person on earth she was expecting to see, Reaver.
Finding Harvester was not the problem, that was easily done; the problem is leaving Hell alive after Satan realizes his daughter and favorite torture-toy has been rescued. While trying to avoid Satan’s attacks Reaver and Harvester also have to deal with the bombardment of memories from their past, a past packed with love, betrayal and misunderstandings, a past that unites them more than what they could have expected. To add to all that Reaver and Harvester find danger and an enemy in somebody that should have been an ally.
Secrets, betrayals, love, sacrifice and more are the things they have to deal with to find acceptance and be able to be together.

Since the moment I first met Reaver I fell in love with him. I knew his lack of memories was important and from the very first books I guessed he was the father of the Horsemen. What I wasn’t expecting was his past and the reason why his memories were erased. Now that I know I can only give kudos to Mrs. Ione for her creativity and genius. I love when an author surprises me and Mrs. Ione did that and more in this installment.

I’m getting ahead of myself, let’s go back to the beginning. Let me say Yes! Yes! Yes! OMFG Reaver! He was just perfect, the epitome of torture hero with a past too heavy to carry on his shoulders. He’s a bad boy that plays for the good guys and Heaven is lucky to have him; but he doesn’t play with the rules and that brings him lots of trouble. What I love about him is that he knows things are not going to end well for him; still he does what must be done and what it was the right thing to do.
My heart broke for him, learning about his past and what he had done was not easy for him and for us readers. The sentiment was so pure and vivid that my heart ached for him and for what he went through. Accepting that he hurt people, especially Harvester was not easy. The weight of that knowledge was enough to bring a better man to his knees, but Reaver is even more, so he owns the pain, the knowledge and becomes a better man.

I have loved Harvester since the moment I learned about her sacrifice and everything she gave up to protect Reaver’s kids. Why? Because only an extraordinary person would have done what she did.  In Reaver, many of her actions are explain, the whys behind some of her more deplorable acts are disclosed, and after learning all that I can’t help it but love her and admire her even more.

Mrs. Iona does an excellent job-redeeming Harvester in the eyes of the readers, making us accept her, love her and wish her the loveliest and happiest future possible. If a character deserves a happy ending is her.

Reaver and Harvester always had a very strange relationship, it was a hate that was going deeper than the eye. In Reaver we understand the why and we see that hate turn into love and redemption.

Reaver and Harvester couldn’t be better paired; they are just perfect for each other. They are not the people they were, they are the new battled version of them, made better and stronger by all the tribulations they had to live. Now they have finally found a home in each other arms, a home where they don’t have to pretend to be who they are not and where they can find the solace, acceptance and absolution they much needed.

In Reaver we see what is going on with the Horsemen and their lives. Things are not as perfect as we were hoping to be and war between Heaven and Hell is approaching at giant steps. The preparations for war includes all, for that reason the characters from the Demonica series play an important role in this installment and I’m sure in installments to come.

We get the answers to many of our questions and the main ARC of the series get a satisfying conclusion. That doesn’t mean the story is over, far from it, Mrs. Ione brings new twists into the story, opening doors to future books to come. The characters for next book are introduced in this story, I can’t say much about them without giving spoilers away, let’s just say I’m dying to get my hands on that book, dying!!

Reaver was everything I was expecting it to be and more. As always, Mrs. Ione excels with her imaginative and unique world building. Her version of Hell is scary as Hell and Heaven is not as perfect as we could have imagined. In the world she has created there are not black and whites but many shades of gray. Mrs. Ione’s characterization is topnotch and she masterfully balances action with humor, keeping us glued to the pages and proving us once more why she is one of the best authors in the genre.

Even though Reaver has it own storyline I recommend you to read it as part of the series to get the full effect of the brilliant installment Larissa Ione has given us.

My Verdict: 5 Paws

Other books in the series
Eternal Rider
Reaver

Other reviews Goodreads

Excerpt

“R-Reaver?”
Reaver held Harvester’s frail body tight against his as he navigated the final steps of a winding ledge that dropped them into a world of weird. “It’s me. It’s okay. We’re safe.”
Relatively safe, anyway. Relative meaning that they weren’t dead. Yet. He just hoped the same could be said for Tavin, Matt, and Calder. When he’d left them to sneak into Satan’s realm, they’d been engaged in a battle they’d initiated as a diversion. It had been a risky move, and Reaver could only pray they’d make it to the rendezvous point.
A hunter’s horn sounded in the distance and was answered by another, closer horn signal. Satan’s minions hadn’t gained ground, but they were spreading out. Damn.
He scanned the landscape of thorny plants, hills of blackened earth and trees, and twisted, abandoned structures. Nothing moved.
He looked down at Harvester, and as before when he first saw her hanging over a pit of acid, he felt sick to his stomach. He didn’t like Harvester even though he was grateful for the things she’d done, but she didn’t deserve this; her naked body too thin and mottled with bruises and ligature marks, her once silken black hair tangled and dull, and worst of all, missing her gorgeous green eyes.
Under ideal circumstances, an angel could heal from even the most heinous injuries within hours. But these were far from ideal circumstances, and Harvester’s source of power, her wings, had been severed. Without wings or medical assistance, it could take weeks, even months, for an angel’s body to fully heal.
“I can’t risk healing you more than I did,” he said. “My power isn’t reliable right now, and I could do more harm than good.”
“Reaver,” she croaked, as if he hadn’t spoken. “Why…how…”
“Shh.” He tucked her face into his chest, quieting her. “We’re going to meet up with some friends, and then I’ll answer all your questions.”
Reaver and the assassins had worked out a plan A and a plan B. Plan A had been shot to hell when iron gates had prevented Reaver from getting out of Satan’s realm to the south, where his companions would have been waiting. Now, with demons in pursuit, they were on their way to plan B. Hopefully Tav, Matt, and Calder had realized quickly that Reaver’s escape route had gone bad.
Inhaling the stench of rotten vegetation that permeated this section of Sheoul, he started away from the skeletons of some burned-out buildings and toward a mountain range as expansive as the Rockies. He moved swiftly, outrunning the sounds of pursuit and pausing once to blast a group of imps with a ball of lightning. The sphere struck the leader, and from there sent electrical strikes at each of the surrounding imps, frying them all in a handy eight-for-one.
Harvester slept in his arms, barely stirring when he stopped to listen for anyone following them. By the time they neared the plan B meeting site, Reaver was sure they’d lost the demons—temporarily. Reaver wasn’t naive enough to think they were off the hook. The demons chasing them were only the first wave, the security detail unlucky enough to be guarding the dungeon Harvester was kept in.
Once Satan got wind of this, if he hadn’t already, Reaver and Harvester were going to have legions of minions on their heels.

Bio:


A former meteorologist and EMT, Air Force veteran Larissa Ione now gets her daily dose of excitement from vampires, werewolves, demons, and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. She lives in wintery Wisconsin with her U.S. Coast Guard husband, her teenage son, a rescue cat, and her hellhound, a King Shepherd named Hexe.


Where to find (stalk) Larissa:

Buy Links:

Now we have arrived to the fun part! The Giveaways. As part of the Release Week Blitzes - I have two very special giveaways for you today.

First giveaway - One lucky winner will get the grand prize of a Kindle Fire and 4 winners will get a signed set of Larissa Ione’s Lords of Deliverance Series: Eternal Rider, Immortal Rider, Lethal Rider & Rogue Rider!

Second giveaway - 15 winners will receive the Hidden prize pack, featuring a bound flip book of the first two novellas DRAGON MINE and DRAGON AWAKENED by Jamie Rush, a print copy of DRAGON AWAKENED, advanced copies of the next two books in the series, MAGIC POSSESSED and ANGEL SEDUCED, plus a series bookmark and a special Jaime Rush dog tag!

To participate you just need to fill up the Rafflecopter forms below. Good luck to you all!
a Rafflecopter giveaway a Rafflecopter giveaway

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