Book #54: Resisting the Rebel by Lisa Brown Roberts

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Disclaimer: This book contains a villain pretending to be a hero, a hero pretending to be a villain, a disco-dancing heroine, two overprotective sidekicks, a little bit of bad language, and a whole lot of swoony kissing.

Spirit committee leader Mandy Pennington is secretly in love with her best friend, Gus, but when he hooks up with her archenemy at a party, she decides to win him over once and for all. She just doesn’t know how. But who better to help than hot loner Caleb Torrs?

Caleb’s got his own problems, but when he sees Mandy pining over Gus at a party, he thinks she’s finally smoked the spirit stick and lost her mind. Maybe he has, too, because he just asked Mandy to be his fake girlfriend.She’ll get her loser friend’s attention, and he’ll get his stalker ex off his back.It’s a win-win.

But soon one fake date blends into the next and before he knows it, he actually wants to kiss Mandy. For real. Too bad their plan is working, and Gus is finally noticing the one girl Caleb just might be falling for…

I received a copy of the book from the publisher, Entangled Teen, via NetGalley for an honest review. Everything following this little disclaimer is my opinion. And now, for our regularly scheduled program . . .

Okay, first off, I LOVE THIS BOOK. I do. It’s a cheesy teen book that makes you laugh. It reminded me of the movies 10 Things I Hate About You and Sky High. Minus the superheroes.

The writing is great. It’s easy to get into and be pulled into. I was flipping the electronic pages like a madwoman wanting more. The imagery is great, the humor is beyond funny, and the whole situation of the book is straight out of a teen movie that you can’t help, but giggle.

I will have to say, I found it to be steamy at times too. There isn’t any sex, but the kisses definitely makes the heart pound. I found myself wanting to be a teen again; even though those were not my best years.

The characters are well written. Yes, they are stereotyped in the beginning. You have your hippie goody two shoes and your badass bad boy. HOWEVER, once the characters started to get to know each other, more of their personality and life situations came out. It’s very much like high school.

You have your stereotypes, but each person has their own personal drama, family issues, or something that puts them in a unique spot away from their clique. It’s the same with Brown’s chracters. Mandy may seem like a ditzy hippie, but she has a pretty rough life. Caleb, on the other hand, is aloof, but his reasons aren’t because he plainly hates people.

The main plot of the fake relationship may be a over made plot point, but it felt new again reading this book. I wanted to see their relationship unfold. It was very much a book that could translate into a movie and not lose it’s essence.

All in all, this is a fun book. I enjoyed it. I would even read it again given the chance.

Book #53: Becoming a Legend by B. Kristin McMichael

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Arianna Grace is about to turn seventeen and her life has been very complicated lately. She is the leader of four clans of night humans: dearg-dul, baku, tengu, and lycan. While the four clans seem to get along better with each other, there is internal conflict on both sides of her family, not to mention the three boys vying for her attention.

Edward Lucan is making a chase for the power to lead the baku clans and is playing his cards by using his nephew Andrew to lure Arianna into a trap. Unfortunately for Lucan, Andrew has his own plans. He has spent the last year waiting for Arianna to see him as more than a friend, and he now finds it necessary to make a move for her affection, despite his uncle.

In the dearg-dul estate, Arianna discovers that the ambitious Lord Seeger has been laying his own strategies for power and is slowly poisoning her. After getting away with her grandfather’s murder, he is setting his sights on her. Luckily for Arianna, her team is on to all of the plans and is making some plans of their own. Will it be enough to keep Arianna safe? Several people close to Arianna have been keeping secrets. If Arianna is to take power and control of the night, she will need to know the truth. Will someone finally tell her what it truly means to become the legend everyone is waiting for, before it is too late to turn back?

 I know. I said I wasn’t going to read the rest of the trilogy. I honestly didn’t care for the first book of this trilogy. It was monotonous and boring. There was no real climax and the book fell. I’m not sure why I decided to continue with the trilogy, but I did.
I found this book, the second book, to be a bit better than the first, but it still needed more. Arianna is a little less of a boring character. She does find some gumption and I appreciate that. In the first book, she was one dimensional. Here? She’s reaching the third.
I like that the romantic drama isn’t really there. Yes, Arianna does have some personal drama going on about boys, but for the reader there isn’t much of a contest. I think it was pretty easy to figure out who she was going to end up with for the rest of the trilogy. There was no doubt on my mind.
As for the main plot points . . . Arianna doesn’t sleep as much as she did in the first book! Which was great. That was a big pet peeve in the first book. She does sleep quite a bit, but it isn’t as much.
There were moments where you think there is going to be action, but it falls short. There is a bit of a twist, but again the resolvement doesn’t feel like a big reveal. However, I did like the very end when Arianna finally takes her position by the balls.
In the end, though I enjoyed this book about as much as the first, I did see an improvement to the overall story. It was an enough improvement that I felt that I could finish the trilogy.

Book #52: Victorian by Jordan Elizabeth

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Celeste struggles with finding her way from a dark past until she gets a summer volunteer gig at the local historical fair. Enter outrageous actors, dominating psychics, and ghosts stirred by a medium’s presence.

With the help of the psychic’s son, who isn’t at all what her dream date would look like but rather endearing all the same, Celeste uncovers secrets about the village left hidden amongst the dilapidated buildings. Searching deeper will mean opening her heart, a part of her she’s locked up tight and been petrified of freeing.

I received a copy of this book from the author for an honest review. Everything here is my opinion. There was no compensation aside from the enjoyment of reading.

I’ve read quite a few of Jordan Elizabeth’s books and this one reminds me of Escape From Witchwood Hollow. The similarities are the emotional trauma of the leads and the supernatural/paranormal element that ties in and helps the characters through their trauma. Though those are big similarities, the two books are still very different.

Victorian deals with the emotional trauma of two teenage girls. The book is separated by their personal views. The reader joins in their lives and witnesses their transformation.  Their voices are very different. Celeste is quiet and unsure of herself whereas Weronika is loud and irrational. Though it is the same author, the way the book is written you can see their individual voices.

I would say the main character is Celeste, only because she has more chapters than Weronika. However, both girls go through a change because of their friendship and the Victorian Fair they both work at. Celeste’s change has to deal with the ghosts at the fair than Weronika, but they both still go through a change.

I have to say, I prefer Jordan Elizabeth’s books that deal with heavy subjects and how the teens grow from them. I have read some of her steampunk and though it’s enjoyable, I gain a stronger emotion from books like Victorian.

The Victorian fair is more of a backdrop, a tool for the characters to use to find themselves. The title of the book may confuse the reader, but I think it fits this book very well. Celeste uses the fair to hide herself. No, the fair isn’t very Victorian and it does have a few anachronisms, but it’s a fair.

In all, I enjoyed this book very much. It doesn’t have an antagonist character, but I believe the emotional trauma is the antagonist. The inner turmoil and the physical acts of finding oneself is the focus of the book. It is well written and I would recommend it.

COVER REVEAL: Timeseer’s Gambit by Kate McIntyre

Curiosity Quills is excited to reveal the cover for THE TIMESEER’S GAMBIT, by Kate McIntyre, and announce that it’s now available for pre-order, for direct delivery to your Kindle on release day.

Cover Artist: Amalia Chitulescu

Cover Artist: Amalia Chitulescu

It’s been three months since mild-mannered Christopher Buckley began working with Olivia Faraday, the eccentric Deathsniffer. They’ve hunted killers, solved murders, and learned to work together. But their greatest challenges are yet to come…

As a brutal heat wave wracks an increasingly unstable Darrington City, someone is killing young priests. Worse, they are using bound elementals to do it. As Chris and Olivia contend with rogue spiritbinders and a church under siege, the clock ticks down toward the trial of Doctor Francis Livingstone, accused of orchestrating the fall of the Floating Castle and the death of thousands. Chris believes the doctor is innocent, but the tide of the conspiracy aligned against him is strong enough to wash away anyone who would stand for him.

How far is Chris willing to go to save the doctor? Can Darrington city survive the rival forces tearing it apart? And can Olivia find her first serial killer before another body drops?

Genre: historical-fantasy, paranormal, mystery

Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press

Date of Release­­: August 4, 2016

author

Author: Kate McIntyre

About The Author:

Kate McIntyre was born and raised in the frigid white north, having spent her entire life in Moncton, New Brunswick. She learned to appreciate the quintesstial Canadian things: endless winters, self-deprecating jokes, the untamed wilderness, and excessive politeness. Somehow it was the latter that she chose to write about.

She has been writing since she was five years old and nothing has ever stopped her for long. Her first novel was about a lady mouse detective saving her turtle janitor boyfriend from kidnappers, so it’s nice to know she always loved lady detectives. She is the proud author of sixteen embarrassing hidden novels and one publishable one.

Kate loves crochet, video games, board games, reading, and listening to bad pop music very loudly. She spends several months of the year in Illinois, and the rest of the time lives in a big country home with two cats who refuse to stay.

Find Kate Online:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Update on life and Pumpkin Puppy

For those wondering how Pumpkin is doing… it has been a roller coaster. A number of things happened recently: she had gone into heat and has been bleeding (I’ve bought puppy diapers). She also had a long bout of no eating. Instead of gaining weight, she was losing it. From the 20.9 pounds on her second appointment, she was back to the 19.1 she started with.

And then she bit my husband… yep, she bit him. He had gotten close to her face and she went for it. He didn’t do anything to her to merit the reaction and she isn’t an aggressive dog (not really, she’s a complete sweetie-pie). She’s just in pain and wasn’t feeling good. I took her to the vet the next day and she was given another bout of bloodwork as well as some steroids.

The good thing is, the steroid worked. She isn’t in pain and she is eating again. She’s drinking a lot more too. Will told me he came home that same day to a dog who was happy to see him and loved on him. This was the Pumpkin we knew and I’m glad she’s back.

The blood work came back fine and we were prescribed more steroids for the dog. I think this is going to be a much better deal for her now than before. Fingers crossed that in two weeks (next appointment) I will be screaming with happiness and saying we have a dog gaining weight.

Now for my daily life:

Nothing too exciting aside from Pumpkin. I’ve been doing a bunch of transferring my book into its computer file, but not nearly as much as I’d like to.  I’d blame everything that’s been going on, but let’s be real…. I procrastinate.

I have had a bit of a stressful week. I had a few panic attacks. But, I’ve been productive in the house front. Still watching my brother Jay.  Which is a bit stressful, but only because he yells at me when I’m not writing. He was just doing that too. I have to say, it’s definitely helpful.

So, yep, nothing else is new. Just extremely happy that everything is happening well with Pumpkin.

Book #51: Runes by Ednah Walters

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Seventeen-year-old Raine Cooper has enough on her plate dealing with her father’s disappearance, her mother’s erratic behavior and the possibility of her boyfriend relocating. The last thing she needs is Torin St. James—a mysterious new neighbor with a wicked smile and uncanny way of reading her.

Raine is drawn to Torin’s dark sexiness against her better judgment, until he saves her life with weird marks and she realizes he is different. But by healing her, Torin changes something inside Raine. Now she can’t stop thinking about him. Half the time, she’s not sure whether to fall into his arms or run.

Scared, she sets out to find out what Torin is. But the closer she gets to the truth the more she uncovers something sinister about Torin. What Torin is goes back to an ancient mythology and Raine is somehow part of it. Not only are she and her friends in danger, she must choose a side, but the wrong choice will cost Raine her life.

I found this book sometime a while ago while looking for free books on Kindle. I didn’t come across it again until recently when I saw the audiobook via Audible for 1.99. I honestly didn’t realize it was because I bought the Kindle book a while back. I thought it was a great deal and was in search for my next Audible read. Besides, I needed to try out my new car’s bluetooth (yeahhh, I’m behind with the times).

Anyway, I thought this would be a good book to listen to. AND IT WAS. I was hooked pretty early on. With the mention of Runes and Norse mythology, I was so hooked I got the second book in audio too.

Raine Cooper is a normal girl with a semi-normal life. I say semi because right off the bat you learn she is going through a grief process that deals with her father. This already gives her a heightened sense of emotion and is pivotal to her personality. She is loving, loyal, and stubborn as all get up. When Torin, seriously smexy, moves into the house next door, her life changes.

Yes, this is a paranormal romance and it’s a young adult. Also, you may think there is a love triangle (which I guess there is, but it is resolved in the end). The love triangle is a pretty obvious thing. Girl has the hots for a bad boy, but also has it for the good ol’ boy. We can guess where it goes from there.

HOWEVER, I wouldn’t say the book is just the triangle of teen angst. There is the theme of death, mythology, and loyalty (to your duty, family, and friends). Raine doesn’t just sit alone and angst about which guy to be with. Okay, she does at times, but it isn’t central to her. She also goes for the guts of the issue and tries to solve a number of questions both she and reader has.

Despite being set in the Pacific Northwest, she isn’t a Bella. She does mention sparkly vampires though (which made me giggle).

Did I also mention the Norse mythology? I mean, BADASS. I love the Norse mythos. It might be my own Danish heritage, but I find their dieties to be far more interesting than the Greek or Roman. That said, Walters has inspired me to read more on the Norse. I want to see how the world she crafted was inspired by mythology.

As for the writing, the book is well thought out. I did have moments of figuring out things, but there were a few instances I wasn’t expecting. It was those times that made the book that much more interesting. I loved all of the characters, they were well done and I could see them in my mind’s eye.

Obviously, I will be listening/reading more from Walters and I have a feeling I will be going through all of the books in the Runes world (which are a lot).

Book #50: Heroine Complex by Sarah Kuhn

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Being a superheroine is hard. Working for one is even harder.

Evie Tanaka is the put-upon personal assistant to Aveda Jupiter, her childhood best friend and San Francisco’s most beloved superheroine. She’s great at her job—blending into the background, handling her boss’s epic diva tantrums, and getting demon blood out of leather pants.

Unfortunately, she’s not nearly as together when it comes to running her own life, standing up for herself, or raising her tempestuous teenage sister, Bea.

But everything changes when Evie’s forced to pose as her glamorous boss for one night, and her darkest comes out: she has powers, too. Now it’s up to her to contend with murderous cupcakes, nosy gossip bloggers, and supernatural karaoke battles—all while juggling unexpected romance and Aveda’s increasingly outrageous demands. And when a larger threat emerges, Evie must finally take charge and become a superheroine in her own right… or see her city fall to a full-on demonic invasion.

 I received a copy of this book via NetGalley for an honest review.

What first grabbed me about Heroine Complex  was the brightly colored cover. It says exactly what the book is about:  Superheroes. It also insinuates that there is some comic book like elements. Sorry to burst that bubble; the book is all book. There are no illustrations.

However, that never bothered me.

The second and final thing to really grabbed me was the description. Usually we have our intrepid super be the main focus of a book. In this sci-fi superhero book, it is the PA who is the main character.

Evelyn Tanaka, is a young twenty-something who lives in the shadow of her superhero best friend. She is mousy and lets people walk right over her. It isn’t until an injury that she shows her true self: in the disguise of her best friend.  I actually really liked her character, she was easy to relate and she did change throughout the book. It wasn’t a gradual change per se, but that makes sense given what goes on in the book.

Evie isn’t the only one to change in the book. The supporting characters do as well. It was great to see the growth in all of the characters, even the ones you dislike in the beginning and for much of the book.

The writing is well done. It is humorous and action packed. I found the pop cultural references fun.

In all, the book was a fun read. It isn’t something big or thought provoking; but for a good and fun read, this is the book for you. Don’t try to nitpick, just enjoy the ride.