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Saturday, November 29, 2014

Movie Trailer: Pan

From Warner Bros. Pictures comes, “Pan,” a live-action Peter Pan feature directed by Joe Wright (“Atonement,” “Pride & Prejudice”).

Offering a new take on the origin of the classic characters created by J.M. Barrie, the action adventure follows the story of an orphan who is spirited away to the magical Neverland. There, he finds both fun and dangers, and ultimately discovers his destiny—to become the hero who will be forever known as Peter Pan.

The film stars Oscar nominee Hugh Jackman (“Les Misérables”) as Blackbeard; Garrett Hedlund (“Inside Llewyn Davis”) as Hook; Oscar nominee Rooney Mara (“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”) as Tiger Lily; Adeel Akhtar (“The Dictator”) as Smee; and newcomer Levi Miller as Peter.


Friday, November 28, 2014

Review: Lovely Wild by Megan Hart

Title: Lovely Wild
Author: Megan Hart
Genre: Mystery, Women’s Fiction, Suspense
Publisher: Harlequin MIRA
Source: Review copy from publisher
Format: E-book
Brought up in the savage captivity of her unstable grandmother's rural Pennsylvania home, Mari Calder once yearned for rescue. Now she struggles every day to function as an adult in the confines of normal society. Left with only a foggy recollection of her childhood, she's consumed with being a dutiful wife to her husband, Ryan, and mother to their two children.
But an unexpected twist of events returns her to that long-forgotten house in the woods. Soon, Mari is greeted with reminders of a past life, the clarified memories only inviting a new level of strangeness into her fragile world. To protect her family, she must find the beautiful, powerful strength hidden in her inner chaos. Because someone is bent on exploiting Mari's trauma, and as normal and wild begin to blend, a string of devastating truths force Mari to question all she thought she knew.
For years I have heard wonders about Megan Hart’s books. I even have couple of them on my TBR, but they are all erotic romance and sadly, for a long while I have not enjoyed anything too smexy, so erotica is out of the game for me. When I saw Lovely Wild up for review I thought it was erotica, but after reading Pamela’s review I realized it wasn’t. So here was my chance to jump in the Megan Hart’s train. A chance I took and let me tell you, that train too me on an incredible ride. One that kept me glued to the pages from beginning to end and at the end left me days later still thinking about Lovely Wild.

Mari has very little to no recollection of her childhood. Her memories start when she’s almost a teenager and living with her adoptive father, the doctor who rescued from her past.
Years later, Mari married her adoptive father’s son, Ryan. They been together for years and have two children. A fifteen year-old daughter, Kendra and eight year-old son, Ethan.
They live the idyllic suburban life. Ryan is a psychologist with a practice in the city and Mari is the perfect housewife. Their children go to a good school and everything seems perfect from the outside, but everything is far from perfect. Ryan made a huge mistake and his practice license is in peril. Looking for an option in case he loses his license he decides to write a book, he knows his father has a lot of research and he’s planning to use that research to write a book and make money out of it. To save costs, he moves his family to a house in the woods; the house where Mari grew up.
Mari only wants to help Ryan and agrees to the move. Kendra doesn’t like the idea, but has to do what her parents say. The only one happy with the new location is Ethan, who finds the quiet and simple life fascinating. But living in the new house is not easy for Mari, her memories are slowly coming back. Ryan is so focus on writing his new book that he’s not seeing what is going on with his family. Day by day Mari’s past begins to unfold and makes her question what she thought to be true.

I loved this book, I loved it so much I just want to tell you buy it, read it and thank me later, but I know that doesn’t work with you. So, let me try to convince you.

Lovely Wild is told in third person. We get Mari, Ryan and Kendra’s points of view. This made easier to get into the story and to know everything that what’s going on.

Mari is a stupendous heroine. She knows she is not like any other women, she doesn’t understand many behaviors, but she’s aware of this and does her best to look “normal” for the sake of her kids and her husband. She loves her family fiercely and she would rather be in the kitchen cooking a delicious meal for her family than out for lunch with other mothers or getting her nails done. For her, those things are not enjoyable; she simply can’t understand them.

Kendra is old enough to know her mother is different. She sees her friends’ moms and knows Mari is not like them. Still she loves her mother dearly and will do anything to protect her from anyone who wishes her harm.

Ethan is a cute boy, who behaves like an eight year-old. He’s smart and sweet. I loved seeing his interactions with Mari.

Now we come to Ryan. I didn’t like Ryan; I think that year after year he took advantage of Mari and her innocence. He knew about her past and he exploited it for his own convenience. He is selfish, self-centered and very difficult to like. He’s not all bad, but the good things are not enough to make him redeemable in my eyes.  And that is my only problem with this book. I think he had it too easy at the end. Maybe I am a little bloodthirsty, but I wish Mari had been a bit harsher with him.

I really don’t know in which genre to categorize Lovely Wild, I would say it is a combination of suspense, mystery and women fiction. What I can say is that Megan Hart left me awed with her talent. She knows how to write, how to get the reader into the story and keep her/him there even after finishing the book.

Lovely Wild was my first book by Megan Hart but I can guarantee you it won’t be my last. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to read a fascinating story that will stay with you.

My Verdict: 4 ½ Paws

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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Short Review: The After House by Michael Phillip Cash

Title: The After House
Author: Michael Phillip Cash
Genre: Romance, Mystery
Publisher: Red Feather Publishing
Source: Review copy from publisher
Format: E-book
Remy Galway and her daughter Olivia are rebuilding their life after a failed marriage in a 300 year old cottage in historic Cold Spring Harbor, Long Island. Little do they know, another occupant is lurking in the haven of their own home. Will the After House be their shelter or their tomb?
Lately I’m not enjoying reading romance and I’ve been steering more towards suspense, thrillers or books with a creepy or spooky factor. When I saw the eerie cover and read the blurb of The After House by Michael Phillip Cash, I thought I found a perfect book for my mood. Sadly, that was not the case. Even though there is a ghost in the story, The After House is more romantic than scary. Actually, it wasn’t scary at all, not even a touch of suspense or spookiness. There is a mystery, but I knew exactly who was who since the very first moment, so the mystery element was out for me.

There are two main characters, Remy Galway, a recently divorced mother of a young girl, who trying to start her life anew and Eli Gaspar, the ghost of a whaling captain who died in the 1800s.

I couldn’t connect with Remy; her personality is simply one that doesn’t inspire me anything. I was actually a bit bored reading her parts. That didn’t happen with Eli. Thanks to flashbacks we are able to see his life in the 1800s and even spend some days with him whaling. Those parts were very interesting and I learned things I didn’t know about the practice of whaling; but apart from that, the story unfortunately didn’t work for me. I’m blaming the blurb and blaming me. Why? The blurb was misleading and me because I’m not in the mood for romance. The After House was one of those “it’s me, not you” cases. I’m pretty sure people who likes romance will enjoy The After House a lot more than I did.

My Verdict: 3 Paws

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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Top Off Tuesday: Full Disclosure by Kindle Alexander

Today is Tuesday! You know what that means? Yes, today is that special day in the week when we can treat our eyes to some delicious eye candy. It’s Top Off Tuesday! Top Off Tuesday is a feature hosted by Felicia from The Geeky Book Blogger's Book Blog, Amanda from On a Book Bender, and Christi from Smitten with Reading.

I have a very nice cover for your today. The cover of Full Disclosure. Full Disclosure is the second book in the Nice Guys series by Kindle Alexander. I haven’t read this book, but the reviews are very favorable. If you are into m/m romance, this seems like a book you should read.

Deputy United States Marshal Mitch Knox apprehends fugitives for a living. His calm, cool, collected attitude and devastatingly handsome good looks earn him a well-deserved bad boy reputation, both in the field and out. While away on an assignment, he blows off some steam at a notorious Dallas nightclub. Solving the case that has plagued him for months takes a sudden backseat to finding out all there is to know about the gorgeous, shy blond sitting alone at the bar.

Texas State Trooper Cody Turner is moving up the ranks, well on his way to his dream of being a Texas Ranger. While on a two-week mandatory vacation, he plans to relax and help out on his family’s farm. Mitch is the last distraction Cody needs, but the tatted up temptation that walks into the bar and steals his baseball cap is too hard to ignore.

As Mitch’s case gains nationwide attention, how will he convince the sexy state trooper that giving him a chance won’t jeopardize his life’s plan...especially when the evil he’s tracking brings the hate directly to his doorstep, threatening more than just their careers.
If you also want to participate on Top Off Tuesday head over to Felicia’s blog to share your link or just to see which other blogs are participating.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Review: Light My Fire by G.A. Aiken

Title: Light My Fire
Author: G.A. Aiken
Series: Dragon Kin, book 7
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Zebra (November 25th)
Source: Review copy from publisher
Format: E-book
The trouble with humans is that they're far too sensitive. Forget you put a woman in the local jail for a few months--and she takes it so personally! And yet she is the one trying to assassinate the queen. And now I'm trapped with Elina Shestakova of the Black Bear Riders of the Midnight…gods! That endless name!

But what am I to do? I am Celyn the Charming with direct orders from my queen to protect this unforgiving female.

Even more shocking, this unforgiving female is completely unimpressed by me. How is that even possible? But I know what I want and, for the moment, I want her. And I'm sure that she, like all females, will learn to adore me. How could she not when I am just so damn charming?
Light My Fire is the seventh book in the Dragon Kin series by G.A. Aiken.

Elina Shestakova of the Black Bear Tribe of the Midnight Mountains of Despair in the Far Reaches of the Steppes of the Outerplains, (yes, that’s her name) was sent by the leader of her tribe on a “quest of honor”. Elina is supposed to find the White Dragon Queen and kill her.
“I am here to . . .” She cleared her throat. “. . . take your life, queen of the dragons, and bring your head back to my noble people.”

The white dragoness nodded slowly. “Aye. That’s what I thought you said.”
Elina knows is an impossible mission, she knows she won’t survive it, but for Elina her honor is more important than her life.
“I do not run,” Elina went on. “If I am to meet my death at your claw, then I will meet my death.”
Rhiannon actually likes Elina’s courage and decides not to kill her. She asks Celyn to find a safe place for her. The only place Celyn can think of is jail, so he leaves her there… and forgets about her… for months… Until a day when Annwyl needs an alliance with the Head of the Outerplains tribes and they remember about Elina. To say Elina is upset that Celyn forgot about her is an understatement, but she wants to help and accepts her new mission as Annwyl’s emissary.
To Celyn’s chagrin he’s ordered to escort Elina to the Outerplains. The last thing he wants is to spend time with the savage woman, but he cannot go against his queen’s orders.
Elina doesn’t want to spend time with the pompous dragon, but she is smart and knows he might be a valuable ally, mostly because she knows this most probably will be another death mission. Elina is not well like by her tribe because she’s a strategist and not a cold-hearted killer; for that reason they see her as weak and a disgrace to her tribe. They sent her to a death quest already and she doesn’t think she’ll find a warm welcome, especially from the tribe leader who hates Elina. Still, she wants to help Annwyl and will do her best to get an alliance.
Celyn never thought their journey will be so complicated; he also didn’t expect the welcoming they got from Elina’s tribe. He promise her he’ll protect her, but sometimes some promises are impossible to keep.

I love this series, I have loved some books more than others, but in general I can say I love them all… but, in the case of Light My Fire... I adored it… I adored this book!! Why? Because Light My Fire is much more than a simple paranormal romance book, it’s an amalgam of many small stories than intermingled perfectly to make a fabulous and complex main story.

Light My Fire is not only the story of Elina and Celyn, it’s the continue development of all the characters we love, their relationships and their offspring’s adventures. It’s also the continuation of the stories from previous books and the further development of the main arc.

One thing I have to mention is the world building. G.A. Aiken went the extra mile in this installment with the introduction of the Outerplains, its tribes and their culture. They were as different as it gets. The cultural clashes brought many laughing out loud moments, especially when Celyn is trying to understand Elina, her family and their culture.

I can’t say much without giving spoilers away. I will just say “the abominations” also known as “the kids” have grown and they are playing more important roles in the bigger scheme of things. They also bring many laughs to the story.
Some abominations that need mention are Dagmar and Gwenvael’s daughters, especially the older one, Arlais, she’s just a ray of sunshine. Here is an example of her charm.
“I want that woman executed,” the child announced.
Gwenvael stopped walking, rolled his eyes. “She’s your mother, Arlais.”
“Not by choice. She is a Low Born human who orders me around.”
“Arlais, my darling—”
“She is the daughter of a warlord, but I am the daughter of a prince. I outrank her . . . in many ways. In beauty, talent, and a rare grace that comes with being royal born.”
“Awwww. I’ve taught you so well.” He placed his hands over his chest. “It warms my hard dragon heart to see so much annoying and painful arrogance at such a young age.” He shrugged. “But you cannot have your mother executed.”
She stamped her little foot. “That is unfair!”
Light My Fire has romance, suspense, betrayals, adventures, laugh-out-loud humor, secrets and much more. The humor in this book is over the top, it’s bloody and it was perfect for me. As I said before I loved this book, I loved it so much I think it’s my favorite in the series. I’m not kidding you, since the moment I opened Light My Fire I couldn’t put it down until I reached its very end. Yes, it’s that good.

I can’t recommend you enough Light My Fire and the Dragon Kin series in general. One thing I recommend is to read these books in order to understand and get the full effect of all the currents that are going on in the story.

My Verdict: 5 Paws

Other books in the series
Dragon Actually
About a Dragon
What a Dragon Should Know
Last Dragon Standing
The Dragon Who Loved Me
How to Drive a Dragon Crazy
Light My Fire (November 25th)

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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Movie Trailer: Cinderella

The story of “Cinderella” follows the fortunes of young Ella (Lily James) whose merchant father remarries following the death of her mother. Eager to support her loving father, Ella welcomes her new stepmother (Cate Blanchett) and her daughters Anastasia (Holliday Grainger) and Drisella (Sophie McShera) into the family home. But, when Ella’s father unexpectedly passes away, she finds herself at the mercy of a jealous and cruel new family. Finally relegated to nothing more than a servant girl covered in ashes, and spitefully renamed Cinderella, Ella could easily begin to lose hope. Yet, despite the cruelty inflicted upon her, Ella is determined to honor her mother’s dying words and to “have courage and be kind.” She will not give in to despair nor despise those who mistreat her. And then there is the dashing stranger she meets in the woods. Unaware that he is really a prince, not merely an apprentice at the Palace, Ella finally feels she has met a kindred soul. It appears her fortunes may be about to change when the Palace sends out an open invitation for all maidens to attend a ball, raising Ella’s hopes of once again encountering the charming Kit (Richard Madden). Alas, her stepmother forbids her to attend and callously rips apart her dress. But, as in all good fairy tales, help is at hand, and a kindly beggar woman (Helena Bonham-Carter) steps forward and – armed with a pumpkin and a few mice – changes Cinderella’s life forever.


Friday, November 21, 2014

Early Review: Black Widow by Jennifer Estep

Title: Black Widow
Author: Jennifer Estep
Series: Elemental Assassin, book 12
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Pocket Books (November 25th)
Source: Review copy from publisher
Format: E-book
*Warning: This review contains spoilers from previous books in the series*
There’s nothing worse than a cruel, cunning enemy with time to kill—and my murder to plan.

With wicked Fire elemental Mab Monroe long gone, you’d think I could finally catch a break. But someone’s always trying to take me down, either as Gin Blanco or my assassin alter-ago. Now along comes the Spider’s new arch-nemesis, the mysteriously named M. M. Monroe, who is gleefully working overtime to trap me in a sticky web of deceit.

The thing is, I’m not the only target. I can see through the tangled threads enough to know that every bit of bad luck my friends have been having lately is no accident—and that each unfortunate “coincidence” is just one more arrow drawing ever closer to hitting the real bulls-eye. Though new to Ashland, this M. M. Monroe is no stranger to irony, trying to get me, an assassin, framed for murder. Yet, as my enemy’s master plan is slowly revealed, I have a sinking feeling that it will take more than my powerful Ice and Stone magic to stop my whole life from going up in flames.
Black Widow is the twelfth book in the Elemental Assassin series by Jennifer Estep.

I have something to confess… Here it comes… I haven’t been crazy about last four books in this series. Actually, I was almost ready to give up on the series. I even considered not reading this one because I thought it’ll be a Spider’s Revenge 2, but at the end… it’s Jennifer Estep! So, I decided to give it another chance. Hallelujah! OMG! I’m so glad I did because Black Widow is made of awesome. It’s simply Jennifer Estep at her best. I can almost say Black Widow is one of my favorite books in the series. Yes, it is that good.

Gin always thought one of her virtues was patience, but in Black Widow she found her match in Madeline Magda Monroe aka MMM.
MMM took her time to design a very tight trap for Gin, her family and friends, and slowly, every one of them was snared into her evil plans. MMM’s modus operandi was completely different from what Gin was expecting and what she was used. She couldn’t react on time to avoid many hardships and heartaches. I can’t say much without giving spoilers away, but let me just tell you that more than once my heart ached for Gin. MMM is a cunning bitch!

Gin was a lot better in this installment than in previous books, but she wasn’t perfect. She made couple of mistakes about things that were pretty obvious… I was so invested in the story that I found myself talking to the book and almost yelling at Gin “Don’t go there”, “Don’t do that”, but Gin didn’t listen to me and bang… you have to read the book to know what I’m talking about. Apart from those “why you did that” moments, I don’t have any other complain about this book. Gin has grown a lot, she knows she is fallible, but she also knows she has a supporting group that will always be there for her and in this installment, more than ever, they were there for her. All of them! Even Bria, who took her head out of the hole she had put it in in previous books and stepped on the game.

That camaraderie between Gin, her family and friends was one of the things I liked the most about Black Widow; it felt like everything and everybody came to its right place.

I also like how Estep dealt with the MMM situation. If I’m honest, I was expecting something similar to the conflict we saw with Mab in previous books, but I’m happy to say I was surprised how things were developed and … I can’t say more without spoilers… You have to read the book.

Everything that I like about this series was present in this book, the characters I love, the banter, the action, the fights, the suspense, and of course, the food. All these elements made of Black Widow an-impossible-to-put-down-order-take-out-if-you-interrupt-me-while-I-am-reading-I-will-kill-you book.

Black Widow has an almost perfect end, one so well done that I could have been happy with this being the last book. Luckily for us fans, we still have two more books to go and I can’t wait to see what else Estep has in store for Gin and friends in next book in the series, Spider’s Trap, to be release on July 28th, 2015.

Black Widow is a great addition to a great series and a book fans of the Elemental Assassin series have to read; especially those who are considering giving up on this series. Trust me! Don’t give up yet, read Black Widow … and… Welcome back to Gin’s world.

My Verdict: 4 ½ Paws

Other books in the series
Spider’s Bite
Web of Lies
Tangled Threads
By A Thread
Black Widow (November 25th)
Spider’s Trap (July 28th, 2015)

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Short Review: Walking on Her Grave by Melinda Leigh

Title: Walking on Her Grave
Author: Melinda Leigh
Series: Rogue River, book 4
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Source: Review copy from publisher
Format: E-book
The electrifying conclusion of the romantic suspense novella series from Melinda Leigh and Kendra Elliot.

The sleepy town of Solitude, Oregon, has turned into ground zero for a turf war between the manufacturers and distributors of a lethal new drug. When a teenage witness disappears, social worker Carly Taylor must find him before he’s silenced permanently.

Rogue County investigator Seth Harding wants to keep Carly, his estranged wife, out of harm’s way, but she refuses to let his concern keep her from doing her job. When one of her young charges vanishes, Carly gets pulled even deeper into the deadly case, and Seth knows he must help her…even if it leads them right into the criminals’ crosshairs.

Explosive and exciting to the last page, Walking on Her Grave is the fourth and final thrilling addition to the new romantic suspense series from Melinda Leigh and Kendra Elliot.
Walking on Her Grave is the fourth book in the Rogue River series by Melinda Leigh.

In Walking on Her Grave we are back with Carly and Seth. The events in Gone to Her Grave (second book) got them closer and they are slowly working in their relationship and trying to mend their differences. They are doing that while working in their respective cases. Seth is investigating the drug problem in Solitude, Oregon and Carly is working her social worker cases. When one of Carly’s teens goes missing Carly and Seth join forces in the search for him. As the only known witness to the drug operation they know the teen’s life is in danger.

I liked Carly better in this book. She stopped being so stubborn and realized she wanted/needed Seth in her life.
Seth has come a long way. He’s working on his over protective issues and trying to be a better man/husband for Carly. He wants Carly in his life and is willing to do anything to have her back. I have faith in them.

I liked that we also see Zach and Stevie and how they are doing in their relationship.

Walking on Her Grave wraps perfectly all the loose ends and concludes the series on a high note. Although I guess the whodunit from the very first book, I can say it has a good enough amount of suspense.

Walking on Her Grave is a nice addition and conclusion to a highly enjoyable series. I don’t recommend reading Walking on Her Grave as a stand-alone. I recommend you to read it as part of the series. These books are short, so they could even be read back to back in just couple of hours.

My Verdict: 4 Paws

Other books in the series
Walking on Her Grave

Other reviews Goodreads

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Top Off Tuesday: Falling by E.K. Blair

Today is Tuesday! You know what that means? Yes, today is that special day in the week when we can treat our eyes to some delicious eye candy. It’s Top Off Tuesday! Top Off Tuesday is a feature hosted by Felicia from The Geeky Book Blogger's Book Blog, Amanda from On a Book Bender, and Christi from Smitten with Reading.

Today I have for you a soon worthy cover, the cover for Falling. Falling is the third book in the Fading series by E.K. Blair. I haven’t read this book but something tells me I should. *stares at screen and drools*

Sometimes it takes someone else to show us what we are truly capable of becoming.

Suffering from years of violent abuse, Ryan Campbell has learned how to keep people from getting too close. But when you shut yourself off, people get hurt along the way. Never caring much about others, Ryan creates a world in which he doesn’t have to feel.

When Ryan meets Candace Parker, all of his walls slowly begin to crumble. Not sure of the truth of who she is, he feels his mind is playing tricks on him. Unable to force out the thoughts that consume him, Ryan is haunted by visions that torment him every time he looks at her. He finds himself swallowed by guilt and blame, but he’s unwilling to turn his back on the one person that could possibly save him.

You’ve heard Candace’s story in Fading, now hear Ryan’s.
If you also want to participate on Top Off Tuesday head over to Felicia’s blog to share your link or just to see which other blogs are participating.

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