Friday, November 30, 2012

Book Review: The Vincent Boys

Media Type: Ebook
Title: The Vincent Boys
   *Series: The Vincent Boys #1
Author: Abbi Glines
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pages: Paperback; 288
Release Date: October 30, 2012
Source: Amazon
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Intended Reading Group: Young Adult
Content Screening: Sexual Situations; Adult Language
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HDB Rating: 3 Keys to My Heart
Recommended to: Readers who enjoy contemporary romance, with some sass!

Add it on: Goodreads / Shelfari / Amazon / B&N
Ashton is getting tired of being good, of impressing her parents and playing ideal girlfriend to Sawyer Vincent. Sawyer is perfect, a regular Prince Charming, but when he leaves town for the summer, it’s his cousin Beau who catches Ashton’s eye. Beau is the sexiest guy she’s ever seen, and even though he’s dangerous, Ashton is drawn to him.

Beau loves his cousin like a brother, so the last thing he wants to do is make a move on Sawyer’s girl. Ashton is off-limits, absolutely. That’s why he does his best to keep his distance, even though he’s been in love with her forever. When Ashton wants to rekindle their childhood friendship in Sawyer’s absence, Beau knows he should say no.

Ashton and Beau don’t want to hurt Sawyer. But the more they try to stay away from each other, the more intense their urges become. It’s getting way too hard to resist...

Ashton Gray is tired of playing the perfect little princess. Tired of trying to please her religious parents and make herself worthy of the one and only Sawyer Vincent. Beau Vincent is nothing like his perfect cousin. He's sexy, dangerous, and alluring as all get out. In other words, the one guy she should stay away from. Still, she finds herself drawn to him despite everything. What's a girl to do?

Sound fairly familiar? Let's be honest, The Vincent Boys doesn't really bring anything new to the table in terms of story line. The plot is very predictable, but I pretty much knew that going in. Still, I can't deny that it was a pretty scrumptious way to pass a couple of hours. It might take a while for you to get hooked, but once you are it's difficult not to finish.

I had a love/hate relationship with Ashton most of the book. A good portion of the story is spent in Ashton's head, and it isn't always an easy place to be. Her definitions of a "good girl" versus a "bad girl" are fully fueled by her parents, and yet I feel like she was so hard on herself. I can't deny that I hated that she cheated, but the story wouldn't make sense otherwise. Plus, well, it is Beau after all.

Which leads me to Beau and Sawyer Vincent. Night and day, these two are pretty delicious each in their own way. I'm always a sucker for the bad boy. I admit it. Glines' puts these two at odds to allow for some tension, but really it is Beau that shines through it all. A bad boy with a heart of gold. If that doesn't draw you in, I really don't know what will. It definitely kept me reading.

I really felt like this book could have gone into a lot more depth at times. The relationship between Ashton and Beau went from zero to sixty in a matter of pages, and it was a little disconcerting. I felt no emotion for Ashton, even when things went badly for her. It honestly made me sad. Perhaps in the next book we'll dive deeper into the two of them. All in all though, The Vincent Boys ended up being enjoyable. I appreciated the Southern, small town charm that Abbi Glines worked into the story line, and of course I loved Beau. Give this a shot if you're looking for a sweet and quick read.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Book Review: Wild About You

Media Type: Ebook
Title: Wild About You
   * Series: Love At Stake #13
Author: Kerrelyn Sparks
Publisher: Avon Books
Pages: MMP; 384
Release Date: November 27, 2012
Source: TLC Book Tours
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Intended Reading Group: Adult
Genre: Paranormal Romance
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HDB Rating: 4 Keys to My Heart
Recommended to: Both readers of the series and newbies! Lovers of a great paranormal romance novel.

Add it on: Goodreads / Shelfari / Amazon / B&N
Handsome Howard...
Hunky Howard...

Hot Howard...


It's not every day that Elsa Bjornberg feels delicate, not when she hosts a home renovation show where she can effortlessly demolish a kitchen. But from the moment she meets Howard Barr, this bear of a man makes her feel like a woman. And the way he looks at her, as if she were a pot of honey he'd like to lick...

Howard is not like most men. For one thing, he's a shapeshifter. And he always thought his celebrity crush would never amount to anything more than drooling at Elsa on TV. When his meddling vampire employer gets involved, the star is suddenly within his grasp—and within a hair of her life. For an ancient curse forbids their newfound love, and Howard is suddenly torn between his desire for her and his desire to keep her alive.

Admission time. Up until recently I was terrified by anything with the world "romance" in its description. I imagined weak women, overly tough guys, and a story line that would be so saccharine filled that it hurt my teeth. Then, I discovered Kerrelyn Sparks and her world of paranormal characters. Romance, yes, but the type that is exciting, fraught with challenges, and has just the right amount of sexy times. Now? You couldn't tear these away from me if you tried.

This is the second book that I've read by Kerrelyn Sparks. I actually skipped from the first book right on to this one, but I can happily assure you that Wild About You is a solid standalone. Sparks allows the reader a glimpse at what is important in the past, and ties it all in to what is happening now. I wasn't the least bit lost as I read, and if nothing else it actually made me want to go back and finish the series. This, friends? This is what I like to call "book candy". Sweet, sinful, and downright addictive.

As you can probably discern from the synopsis, this is Howard's book. Handsome, hunky and hot Howard. He's a big bear of a guy (pun definitely intended) and absolutely drool worthy. The romance that is kindled between Howard and Elsa is delicious. It's slow, sensual, and as I mentioned above, has just the right amount of sexy times! I almost melted at some of the scenes between the two of them, and I'm certain that more than once a longing sigh escaped my lips. Be warned, you may swoon.

What I really loved thought was the plot! Elsa's curse really put a twist on her relationship with Howard, and it makes their story that much more enjoyable to read. Wanting to be together, but kept apart by their pasts. I so wanted them to change their fates and end up together! Although things started a little slow for me, by the end I was breathless and in love. I'm now on a mission to read the whole series.



FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A November to Remember: Celebrating with The Vincent Boys!


A NOVEMBER TO REMEMBER
Brought to You By:
THE VINCENT BOYS
By Abbi Glines


The Vincent Boys is a seductive story of attraction and betrayal. This November, the Vincent boys are helping us remember the guys who have both stolen and broken our hearts.

The Man Who Has My Heart


This silly man right here? That's my husband. We've had a long, LONG and interesting relationship, but let me put it in a nutshell for you.

He stole my heart in high school, and he still has it today. 10 years later, and we're still just as happy as we were at day 1! We've been through hell and high water, but I wouldn't change a single day.

When Abbi Glines asked us to share who had stolen our hearts, I knew it had to be him. No matter how sappy it may be! So go ahead and throw things if you must ;). This is my man, forever and always!



And now...a celebratory giveaway!
Thanks to Simon & Schuster, one lucky winner will receive a
Vincent Boys Breakup Survival Kit, containing:
· Pajama set
· Chocolates
· Eye Mask
· $10 iTunes gift card to make the breakup mix


Must have a U.S. mailing address to enter! A winner will be chosen December 5, 2012. Good luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

=======================================================================

Abbi Glines can be found hanging out with rockstars, taking out her yacht on weekends for a party cruise, sky diving, or surfing in Maui. Okay maybe she needs to keep her imagination focused on her writing only. In the real world, Abbi can be found hauling kids (several who seem to show up that don’t belong to her) to all their social events, hiding under the covers with her MacBook in hopes her husband won’t catch her watching Buffy on Netflix again, and sneaking off to Barnes and Noble to spend hours lost in the yummy goodness of books.
Connect with Abbi at:
 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Why Write Short Stories? A Guest Post by Richard Salter.


If you've followed my blog for any length of time, you'll know that I'm completely obsessed with both Science Fiction and Fantasy. Put a book in my hands that takes me to another world? You have me forever. I'm that much of a nerd. So of course I am ecstatic to welcome today's guest!


This is Richard Salter! Contributing author to, and editor of, World's Collider. An anthology filled with death, destruction, and the terrible nightmarish creatures that bring about both. Can I please say that I've been drooling over this book ever since I first set eyes on it? I'll let you decide for yourself though.

The Collision is the worst disaster in human history. So far…

In the near future, an experiment at the Large Hadron Collider causes an enormous explosion, known as the Collision. The blast flattens a huge chunk of central Europe and punches a massive hole in the Earth’s surface. Over the next decade, unspeakable horrors pour from the rift: vicious creatures with a taste for human flesh, a terrible scream that drives all who hear it insane, a phantom entity that feeds on fear and paranoia, and a nightmare train from the pits of hell, to name but a few. This onslaught of terror causes the collapse of civilization and threatens to wipe humanity from the planet.

World’s Collider is a unique concept in short fiction, where all eighteen original stories are part of a common narrative, recounting the disaster and its aftermath. A true novel by many voices, including Steven Savile, James Moran, Aaron Rosenberg, Trent Zelazny, Jonathan Green, Simon Kurt Unsworth, Kelly Hale, Richard Wright and a host of new talent.

Fifty million people died in the Collision. They were the lucky ones…
Sounds amazing, am I right? Lucky for us, Richard was kind enough to grace us with a guest post today, so I'll let him have the floor! Read on to the bottom, he's also brought along a surprise!

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Why write short stories?

Ask any writer if there’s money to be made from short stories and they will likely laugh at you. Novels are the way to make a living from your craft. The amount of money I’ve earned from my short story sales has ranged from the cost of a pizza to the cost of an iPod.

So why do it? Why not channel your efforts into creating a world, a set of characters and an intriguing premise for the sake of a novel? Why waste good ideas on a much shorter tale that won’t make you much money and likely won’t be read by as many people.

Well firstly they can be fun to write. Maybe the idea you’ve had is struggling to stretch to novel length. Maybe your central idea is too cluttered in an attempt to stretch it out. The idea might make an effective short story. It’s a great way to hone your craft. Short stories force writers to get to the point or run out of words, and they allow a single idea to shine without the need for subplots or extraneous characters. Many successful novelists will sometimes crank out a short story, just for a change of pace or to keep creative juices flowing while researching their next novel.

For the new writer, short stories are a very effective way to raise your profile and get your work in front of readers. In Solaris Rising, I shared cover space with Steven Baxter and Alastair Reynolds. People who bought the anthology just for them might well have read my story too. If they liked it, they might seek out more of my work. It all helps, and it adds real sales to the resume when approaching agents.

Writing effective short stories is not easy and it won’t make your fortune, but it can be lucrative both creatively and in establishing a positive reputation as a writer to watch.

Thanks to Jessica for giving me this space to ramble, and for allowing me to announce that an anthology I edited, World’s Collider, is free to download for two days starting now! This is a unique collection with eighteen original stories by great writers that combine into a unified storyline. This mosaic novel charts a terrible accident at the LHC and the horrors that invade our world in the years that follow. Enjoy!

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For two days only you can get your own copy of World's Collider absolutely free! Tuesday 11/27 and Wednesday 11/28, Richard Salter is sharing his book with you. So go claim your copy and get reading! The links are below and, as always, don't forget to leave some comment love for our guest.


Richard Salter lives near Toronto, Canada. He is the writer of over twenty published short stories and the editor of two short story anthologies, including World’s Collider – a Shared-World Anthology. He is currently shopping his debut novel to publishers and has upcoming stories in Nightcapes vol 1 from Nightscape Press and the highly anticipated Machine of Death 2. You can find out more at http://www.richardsalter.com



Monday, November 26, 2012

Book Review: Mystic City

Media Type: Print Book
Title: Mystic City
   * Series: Mystic City #1
Author: Theo Lawrence
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Pages: Hardcover; 416
Release Date: October 9, 2012
Source: Library
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Intended Reading Group: Young Adult
Content Screening: Mild Violence
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HDB Rating: 4 Keys to My Heart
Recommended to: Readers who love vivid stories set in futuristic societies.

Add it on: Goodreads / Shelfari / Amazon / B&N
Aria Rose, youngest scion of one of Mystic City's two ruling rival families, finds herself betrothed to Thomas Foster, the son of her parents' sworn enemies. The union of the two will end the generations-long political feud—and unite all those living in the Aeries, the privileged upper reaches of the city, against the banished mystics who dwell below in the Depths. But Aria doesn't remember falling in love with Thomas; in fact, she wakes one day with huge gaps in her memory. And she can't conceive why her parents would have agreed to unite with the Fosters in the first place. Only when Aria meets Hunter, a gorgeous rebel mystic from the Depths, does she start to have glimmers of recollection—and to understand that he holds the key to unlocking her past. The choices she makes can save or doom the city—including herself.
Mystic City made my reading list as soon as I saw the beautiful cover. Little did I know that Theo Lawrence was about to blow my mind. I was under the impression I knew where this story would take me, but I was pleasantly surprised to figure out that I actually had no idea.

Aria wakes with a lack of memories. According to everyone around her, Thomas is the love of her life and she fought against all odds to be with him. It makes perfect sense since they are now engaged to be married. However Aria can't shake the feeling that things are just...off.

I can't deny that the characters are what really drew me in. While Aria isn't the type of protagonist I'm usually drawn to, I did find her interesting. The fact that she was willing to question things, even when she was assured on all sides that her memories were fine, made me smile. Of course once Hunter came into the picture you couldn't have stopped me reading if you wanted to. Funny, kind, and absolutely intriguing, Hunter is a character to swoon over. You'll get no spoilers from me, but their story is wonderful.

My one wish for Mystic City was that the world building was a little more solid. Let's be honest, a futuristic New York is just too delicious not to describe! I was teased with a look at a world that is split in two. The rich live above the filth, and the poor in it. New gadgets and technology rule the day, and people are constantly monitored no matter where they go. I really wanted more showing and less telling. When Lawrence was describing, it was gorgeous. All I wanted was more. I'm hoping that the next in the series will help me further dive into this new setting. 

Despite any small qualms that I may have had with the world building though, I really enjoyed Mystic City! I blame my Fantasy addled brain for the lack of five stars, because quite honestly the story line and characters together are more than enough to keep you reading this book. Readers of dystopian, fantasy and even romance will all find something to love here. I will happily admit that I am eager for more!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Coming Soon on HDB... (11/25/12)


It's that time of week again! Let's see what's coming up this week.


MONDAY

Tomorrow I'll be posting a review of Mystic City by Theo Lawrence. I so enjoyed this book! I'll be raving about it and trying to get it on your TBR.


TUESDAY

Tuesday it's all about Richard Salter, author of World's Collider! He'll be sharing a guest post with you and let you know how you can get your own free copy of the book!


WEDNESDAY

You'll be treated to a guest post and a giveaway on Wednesday! Courtesy of Abbi Glines. I'll be sharing  a guest post about a boy I found irresistible and you'll have a chance to win a prize pack including a copy of the book!


THURSDAY

Things get hot on Thursday! I'll be reviewing Wild About You by Kerrelyn Sparks! I haven't read the rest in the series, but let me tell you if this is an indication of the series? I WANT MORE.


FRIDAY

In case you were wondering about The Vincent Boys, Friday I'll be reviewing it just for you! Can I please say I love this new cover? Mmmm....


SATURDAY

Saturday we all say hello to a new month! I'll be rounding out the week by doing a wrap up of November. It's a great chance to see all the goodness I've read this month!



That's it for this week! Hope to see you stop by!


Saturday, November 24, 2012

Book Review: Above Ground

Media Type: Ebook
Title: Above Ground
Author: A.M. Harte
Publisher: 1889 Labs Ltd.
Pages: Paperback; 342
Release Date: October 31, 2012
Source: Author
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Intended Reading Group: Young Adult
Content Screening: Violence
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HDB Rating: 4 Keys to My Heart
Recommended to: Readers who enjoy a dystopian/fantasy mix and are ready to explore a new world.

Add it on: Goodreads / Amazon
The first glimpse of sun may be her last.

When Lilith Gray goes above ground for the first time, she hardly expects to stay there — much less be trapped on the surface with no way home.

Hunted by trackers and threatened by the infected, Lilith is on the run, desperate to return underground. Her only hope for survival lies with a taciturn werewolf with a dark agenda of his own.

Lilith’s old carefree life has been reduced to one choice:

Adapt. Or die trying.

I've been a fan of A.M. Harte since I read her first book. So of course when she approached me to read her newest book, Above Ground, I happily accepted. I was drawn in by the synopsis and readied myself for an exciting read. The book opens with Lilith and her friend Emma visiting the surface with a one day pass. Their trepidation is palatable, as they wait to see what horrors they might see. Little do they know that a series of events will soon turn their entire lives upside down.

First and foremost I have to tell you that I really loved Silver as a character. At first he seemed very aloof, but Harte soon allowed him a much deeper vein of emotion. I liked being in his head, and seeing the things that he thought about. Especially regarding his attitude towards Lilith. A bit of a bad boy, this is a werekin who really pushes the actions forward. He made the book for me.

Unfortunately, I really didn't like Lilith all that much. Not that I didn't understand her motivation for the way she behaved. Here is a girl who has lived her whole life underground. A girl who is used to being pampered and safe. Throw her into an uncomfortable new situation, and anyone would be understandably upset and lost. However her decisions and her constant anger definitely made her a though character to love.

Above Ground takes off at a manic pace, but soon evens out into an easy to follow pace. I would have liked to see a little more action at some points, but overall things moved forward nicely. It was fun to delve into the conspiracy that surrounded Lilith's home. Plus I've already professed my love for Silver, so it was simple for me to follow along with his train of thought. By the time I got to the ending, I was ready for more. Overall, I really enjoyed reading Above Ground! I would recommend it to readers who enjoy dystopian fiction and/or fantasy.





a Rafflecopter giveaway



FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Feature & Follow Friday + Book Blogger Hop! (11/22/12)



It's that time of week! Time to find some great new blogs to follow, and to meet some wonderful new people. Let's get to it!


First up is Feature & Follow, hosted by Parajunkee's View and Alison Can Read. If you'd like to participate, click the banner above!

Q: Are you thankful for a fellow blogger? Tell us about him or her.

I am very thankful for Kari from A Good Addiction! She knows this already, but she's my sanity most times. Her musings make me laugh, her writing chats make me smile, and I can always count on her to keep me company when I'm going crazy. Best of all? We both love to talk hot guys. What could be better?

Book Blogger Hop

Next up is The Book Blogger Hop. This is normally hosted at Crazy For Books, but right now it's on the road! You can find today's host at Butterfly-O-Meter Books.

Q: The sound of silence: When reading, do you assign each character their own voice in your head, or do they all sound the same? Do they sound like you or someone else?

Now this is a good question! Come to think about it, the character voices in my head really all depend on what book I'm reading. For instance, if I've heard an audio book before the actual book? The characters all have those voices. If I'm reading a book that I haven't heard on audio, I sometimes assign the characters voices if they have accents, or certain ways of speaking. Otherwise? I think they're quiet. Which is good. I read so much I think I'd go crazy from all the voices in my head :).


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Blogger Backstage Pass - A new feature!


SIGN UPS ARE:
OPEN - Get those applications in!

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I've decided to spread the love here on Hopelessly Devoted Bibliophile, and start an interview feature! I've seen this done around the blogosphere, and I think it's a great way to help promote one another.

Titled Blogger Backstage Pass, I'll be interviewing a new blogger every month. If you're the blogger of the month, you'll get your own VIP Badge and be featured in the sidebar!

I will feature your blog banner, your photo (if you're comfortable with that), and a synopsis of your blog, along with your interview.

Interested?

Fill out THE FORM.

I look forward to working with you!


Things I'm thankful for...



I wasn't going to put up a post today, but I feel like it's important to take a quick moment and list some things I'm thankful for this year! I think with all the food, friends, and craziness, we forget to step back and take a look at how many good things are in our lives.

So without further ado...


* My crazy, wonderful and totally supportive family. It doesn't matter what happens between us, we are always an unbreakable unit. I don't know where I'd be without them.

* Brandon. My loving, and silly husband. He and I constantly say that we should have a reality show that follows us. We make (and laugh at) dumb jokes, throw light switch rave parties, and sing songs with our own words. He makes me smile even when I feel like the world is crashing in on me. I'm one lucky girl.

* My new job! At first I wasn't sure that I'd fit in. I went from a job working with children, to a job working in an office. Things have been great though, and the extra income has really helped B and I move forward in our lives together.

* Having the coolest friends ever. I may not get to see most of them often. In fact, we are so far spread that sometimes I only see them one or twice a year. I know that they're the genuine article though, because as soon as we're back together it's like we were never apart. If it's true that you measure a life by the friends you have, I'm rich I tell you. Rich.

* This blog. I am so completely thankful that I have a place to share my obsession with books, and that there are actually people who take the time to read my ramblings! I'm also blessed that authors and publishers ask me to review for them. I feel like my opinion matters, and that's a great feeling!


That's my list! What are you thankful for?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday... (11/21/12)


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking The Spine!

 It's my opportunity to spotlight an upcoming book that I am truly looking forward to. So let's see what's on the wishlist this week!

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This week I'm waiting on...


First, the virus took Kaelyn’s friends, then her family, and now it’s spread beyond her island. The only thing people know for sure is that no one is safe. But when Kaelyn finds samples of a vaccine hidden in her father’s abandoned laboratory, she knows there’s only one option: seek out someone who can replicate it.

As Kaelyn and her friends head to the mainland, carrying with them hopes for a cure, they face greater challenges than they ever could have imagined. Not everyone they meet wants Kaelyn to succeed—and many simply want her dead and the vaccine for themselves. With the chance of finding help slipping away, will Kaelyn be forced to sacrifice those she loves in order to rescue the human race?

Megan Crewe’s second installment in this powerful and gripping YA series tackles self-preservation, first love, and hope, while refusing to flinch from the sacrifices they require. This heart-wrenching story of one girl’s bravery and unbeatable spirit will leave readers fervently awaiting the final book in this suspenseful and action-packed trilogy.

I read The Way We Fall last year and I was so completely and utterly in love with it! Little did I know that there was a sequel coming out. I'm anxious to see what happens after the ending of the first book. What will Kaelyn find? Will she be able to reunite with her friend? GAH. I must know!!!

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What are YOU waiting for?

Don't forget to leave a comment! I'll stop by and and leave you a comment as well. Happy reading week everyone!



Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Audio Book Review: Magic Burns



Media Type: Audio Book
Title: Magic Burns
   *Series: Kate Daniels #2
Author: Ilona Andrews
Narrator: Renee Raudman
Publisher: Tantor Media
Format: Digital MP3
Duration: 9 hours and 38 minutes
Source: Library Download
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Genre: Urban Fantasy

HDB Rating: 5 Keys to My Heart

Recommended to: Fans of the series! It just keeps getting better and better.

Add it on: Goodreads / Shelfari / Amazon / B&N
Down in Atlanta, tempers-and temperatures-are about to flare... As a mercenary who cleans up after magic gone wrong, Kate Daniels has seen her share of occupational hazards. Normally, waves of paranormal energy ebb and flow across Atlanta like a tide. But once every seven years, a flare comes, a time when magic runs rampant. Now Kate is going to have to deal with problems on a much bigger scale: a divine one. When Kate sets out to retrieve a set of stolen maps for the Pack, Atlanta's paramilitary clan of shapeshifters, she quickly realizes much more is at stake. During a flare, gods and goddesses can manifest and battle for power. The stolen maps are only the opening gambit in an epic tug-of-war between two gods hoping for rebirth. And if Kate can't stop the cataclysmic showdown, the city may not survive.

Narrator Review:
Renee Raudman's voice is perfection! Her portrayal of Kate Daniels makes her gruff, kick-ass persona hop out of the audio book and kick you in the face. She's got the sarcasm and dry wit down to a science! I was already excited about that, but even more impressed when I heard the wide range of voices that she has for each and every other character in the book. Hands down, great audio book!

Audio Book Rating: 5/5 - A Must Listen!!!


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Book Review:
I wasn't sure that Kate Daniels could be more amazing, but once again I've been proven wrong! This book is even better than the first. Our heroine is back! Her sarcastic, strong and utterly likable personality is intact, and even more honed this time. I'm always a sucker for kick-ass female leads, but Kate takes the cake. Not only is she able to handle herself, but she does it for the love and protection of others. I profess to follow Kate until the ends of the Earth! Or, until the end of the series.

The reader is reintroduced to modern day Atlanta. A world filled with magic, rife with both wondrous and deadly creatures. This time around there's a Celtic twist, and I thought that Ilona Andrews did a wonderful job of tying it in with the plot. It makes for an intriguing read. If you are an action rubbernecker, one that loves to see things heading for complete disaster, Magic Burns will be sure to please! The climax of this book almost killed me. It was perfection. Insane, amazing, perfection.

This installment also brings the sexual tension between Kate and Curran even more into the forefront. I think what I love most about Kate is that she doesn't pine over the men around her. She might be able to see herself in bed with them (I mean, who wouldn't?) but she's not a "love at first sight" kind of gal. I can tell that the relationship between these two is going somewhere, but I'm loving the slow, steady and wit-filled build up that it's taking. There are some definite milestone moments in Magic Burns, but I'll leave those for you to uncover.

Best of all, Andrews adds to her roster of characters, and they are all vividly written. Each one brings a new facet into Kate's life. Most notably added are Julie and Bran. Again, no spoilers here! Let's just say that they both bring their own unique problems to the table. It allows Kate to once again show how much she cares about the people in her life. She knows that when people get close to her they are in peril, and she'll do whatever it takes to protect them.

To be honest, I had no idea how much I was going to love this series when I first started it! After two books I'm already completely invested in Kate, her world, and all the other characters in it. Ilona Andrews is an expert at writing a story that will keep you reading ravenously. You need to pick this Urban Fantasy series up as soon as possible! In the meantime, I'll be moving on to the third book.


Other books reviewed in the series:
Magic Bites (Kate Daniels #1)

Monday, November 19, 2012

Book Review: These Things Happen



Media Type: Print Book
Title: These Things Happen
Author: Richard Kramer
Publisher: Unbridled Books
Pages: Hardcover; 272
Release Date: November 7, 2012
Source: TLC Book Tours
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Genre: Contemporary Fiction

HDB Rating: 5 Keys to My Heart

Recommended to: Readers who enjoy stories with great characters and a solid plot.


Add it on: Goodreads / Shelfari / Amazon / B&N
A domestic story told in numerous original and endearing voices. The story opens with Wesley, a tenth grader, and involves his two sets of parents (the mom and her second husband, a very thoughtful doctor; and the father who has become a major gay lawyer/activist and his fabulous "significant other" who owns a restaurant).

Wesley is a fabulous kid, whose equally fabulous best friend Theo has just won a big school election and simultaneously surprises everyone in his life by announcing that he is gay. No one is more surprised than Wesley, who actually lives temporarily with his gay father and partner, so that he can get to know his rather elusive dad. When a dramatic and unexpected trauma befalls the boys in school, all the parents converge noisily in love and well-meaning support. But through it all, each character ultimately is made to face certain challenges and assumptions within his/her own life, and the playing out of their respective life priorities and decisions is what makes this novel so endearing and so special.

It's been a long while since I've read a book that made me both laugh and cry on the same page. Richard Kramer's These Things Happen is a book that contains hilarity and introspection, and does it in a way that blurs the line between the two. I fell in love from page one, and you wouldn't have been able to pry this book out of my hands if you tried. I read straight through. That, in itself, is a testament to how amazing this book really is.

It's important to me that I praise the characters first and foremost. Wesley especially stole my heart. Although I'm sure most readers will profess that there is no adolescent out there that talks the way Wesley and his friend Theo do, I really don't care either way. The point remains that Wesley brings a voice to the mix that is sweet and genuine. Add in other vivid and candid characters, and you have a story that just begs to be read. I'd say more, but I really feel like this is something a reader needs to experience for themselves.

I think that Kramer approaches being gay in a way that is unique, and well done. He explores the relationships between his characters in a manner that allows the reader to see the rawest parts of them. Wesley and his very patchwork family each have to learn how to accept and understand one another. At the same time, they must learn who they themselves truly are, and learn to love even the roughest parts. The complexities of familial relationships are taken to a whole new level here, and it's a beautiful thing. I especially loved the ending (there were tears in my eyes, I'll admit it). Yet again though, you'll have to read this on your own to truly understand what I mean.

I know I'm rambling, but I'll end with a truth. These Things Happen is a unique and gorgeously written book. It's a rich tapestry, with a deep look at who we are when we think no one else is looking. I loved this book. Honestly, I'd love to put it on the shelf of every reader out there. If you appreciate a good story, one that deals with important topics in a stunning manner, then this is a read to add to your list.



FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Coming Soon on HDB... (11/17/12)



Before we get down to business, let's see what you might have missed this week!

Monday 11/12 - Book Review: Midnight The Magpie - Mystery, murder...magpies?
Tuesday 11/13 - Book Review: Rouge - Ready for a romance in a New Orleans cabaret?
Wednesday 11/14 - Waiting on Wednesday - Check out what book I can't wait for!
Thursday 11/15 - Audio Book Review: Magic Bites - Kick-ass heroine anyone?
Friday 11/16 - Book Blogger Hop - Which characters would I transplant? Check it out!
Saturday 11/17 - Book Review: Snowblind -  A camping trip turns into a nightmare...

What a great week! I was particularly in love with Rouge, which I highly recommend that you add to your TBR! You can check out my review for more raving :). 

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MONDAY

I fell in love with this quirky and unique read! It's Upper YA/Adult, and completely amazing. You'll see my review of These Things Happen on Monday.


TUESDAY

Tuesday brings another review, this time of Ilona Andrews' Magic Burns! I am loving this series! This is the second book, and I'll be raving about how easily I devoured it.


WEDNESDAY

What title will I choose to eagerly drool over this week? Stop by and check it out!


THURSDAY
No post today! Happy Thanksgiving all!


FRIDAY

Friday is all about hopping and meeting new people! I found some great blogs to follow last week, and I can't wait to do it again!


SATURDAY

I am so happy to be participating in A.M. Harte's Above Ground tour this Saturday! I'll be posting a review of her wonderful book, and also linking you to an awesome giveaway! Make sure to stop by.

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So that's it for this week! Hope to see you around, and happy reading!


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