Friday, December 19, 2014

Review: City of Eternal Night by Kristen Painter


City of Eternal Night


Author: Kristen Painter
Publisher: Orbit
Series: Crescent City #2
Pages: Paperback, 436 pages
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: December 2nd 2014



Summary:

Magic and mystery collide in this second installment of the new urban fantasy series by House of Comarre author Kristen Painter.

Still coming to terms with their unexpected partnership, Augustine and Harlow have a tentative truce. With Harlow slowly working to accept being fae, Augustine still learning how to be Guardian, and feelings growing on both sides though, they do not have an easy road ahead.

But when a young girl is stolen from the Mardi Gras Exemplar Ball -- the biggest far event of the year -- Harlow and Augustine must put all their issues aside to bring her home alive. Harlow's father, Braziano, is of course their number one suspect, but evil lurks in every corner of the city and time is running out. Their only choices: Either find a way to rescue the girl, or Augustine must die.



Review:

So this took... a week? to read.
Yeah, I know.. There are several reasons for that. First and foremost, RL getting in the way. But also and sadly it took me a while to get into this.
It started really slow. Nothing wrong with that either. I just wasn't in the mood for slow and intense.
And mentioning intense...If I would have one word to describe this, that would be it.
I think Painter is a master with intense actually. The slow build up of Augies and Harlow's relationship, the dramas and disasters slowly sprinkled through the plot, the incredible descriptions, the world building, the action, the feels... it all is immensely intense. This is not a light anything.

Painters prose is beautiful and she has my heart wrapped around her pen. She is one of the most skilful urban fantasy authors I've ever read.

The world building is amazing. I loved it in City of the Rising Sun, I haven't read House of Comarré , her first series set in the same world, so all of it was new to me. In this instalment Painter added more details and managed to astound me again. I've never been in NOLA but after reading this... I wanna go, really really wanna go. Need to see exactly how Painter took the exciting place, it's feel and character and added her own brand to it. I wanna know exactly how much, how precise.. I wanna see the place that inspired this world.

The story line as I said is at time a bit slow. A slow but steady buildup till the end. There is not as much action as in the first book- I think I kinda missed that- but there is plenty of twists and turns. Some of them, had me totally sidetracked and others I saw coming and was dreading. I kept on oscillating between hoping that it would work out and waiting for the shoe to drop...right till the last word. Which by the way had me wanting to throw my kindle on the wall. I mean I gotta wait till what? APRIL?!! So frustrating! really really frustrating. And if you wondering. It's a cliffy alright. I mean it's not but yeah it is. See still oscillating!

The best part though by far? The character building. It is meticulous. Not a single flat or one-sided character. Each one is interesting, there are several POV, in fact quite a lot of them, but because Painter writes in third person and does an astounding job at it, it adds to the character building. The exact time a POV is chosen, the way they were written- they all unique to the different characters, not once was I confused or lost- all add to the character building. This is not a small cast. There are several new additions in this book, several new kind of fae and magic creatures. Painter managed to bring them across masterfully, I feel like I know them all, some of them I am hoping to get to know better.
Augie and Harlow being the two MCs, one gets to know them best. And I like them, bot , with faults and all. Both of them change and evolve throughout the two books, but stay uniquely themselves at the same time. And their relationship? Slow burn... no insta..Which makes me a happy girl. I did at times wish they would finally get it on. But then again, there is a realness to it, their friendship being deepened and their respect for each other grows slowly. Theirs is a companionship with a promise of more way more. So I can wait.

I was left with so many questions. So so so many. And to be honest I was not really satisfied with the answers that City of Eternal Night gave me. In fact, not much was resolved. A couple of deaths.. that's about it.
There are so many stories woven together, so many still to be told, I can't wait to see how Painter unravels them!

So. April. *takes a deep breath* I guess I could always start reading House of Comarré so long...


Rating: 




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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Review: Echoes of Us by Kat Zhang


Echoes of Us


Author: Kat Zhang
Publisher: HarperCollins
Series: The Hybrid Chronicles #3
Pages: Hardcover, 368 pages
Genre: Dystopia
Release Date: September 16th 2014



Summary:

To change the world, I may lose everything

All Eva ever wanted was the chance to be herself. But in the Americas, to be hybrid—to share your body with a second soul—is not tolerated past childhood. Now Eva and Addie, her sister soul, are constantly on the move, hiding from the officials who seek to capture them. But the tide is changing. A revolution is brewing, and people are starting to question the hybrids' mistreatment.

Then Marion, an ambitious reporter, offers Eva and Addie a daring proposal: If they go undercover and film the wretched conditions of a hybrid institution, she will not only rescue them, she'll find a way to free Jackson, the boy Addie loves. It's risky, and Eva will have to leave Ryan and her friends behind, but if she succeeds, it could also tip the scales forever and lead to hybrid freedom.

As Eva and Addie walk into danger, they cling to each other and the hope of a better future. But the price they might pay is higher than they ever could have imagined.


Pre-review:

I wouldn't say that I like this series as a whole but I certainly think that this was as good an ending as could be expected.

Review:

This series has never been one of my favorites but the writing style has pulled me in after every release without fail. The last book in The Hybrid Chronicles trilogy by Kat Zhang isn’t the best in the series but it isn’t the worst either.

A little bit on the story: Eva and Addie are hiding with the rest of the group, as they have been since being rescued from Normandi forever ago. The second book ended with Jackson being caught and the others being on the run after their pictures were circulated all over media for their “little” stunt. There is a lot of sulking and hiding and Eva martyring herself and Addie over and over and over till the end of the book. Only this time, we don’t have to worry about reading that again.

I know I don’t particularly sound pleased in my review so why the 3 stars you ask? It’s actually 2.5 and mainly for Zhang’s writing style. Even though I’m not a fan of the characters, the way she portrays compassion and kindness in little acts all over the book makes me feel that little flutter somewhere inside my heart. And that’s what I really appreciate about any story.

Having said that, I’ve gotta admit that Eva and her acts of selflessness that bordered on martyrdom got me riled up every.single.time. Even when she questioned herself and hesitated on trusting people, even when she acknowledged being rash and impulsive, even when she knew she would be jeopardizing everyone’s plans, she went ahead with her unplanned, irrational agenda anyway. I know it all worked out in the end for her but it shouldn’t have! I felt that being the protagonist made her escaping any shithole she dragged herself into very convenient. As for the other characters, I felt Jackson and Ryan didn’t really play any role other than being the love interests in this book and this time they weren’t even making things complicated for Addie and Eva! So they were practically useless. As for the obsession with Jaime, I don’t care about his situation anymore to give a fuck. The others from the old group were hardly mentioned and Marion, the new reporter who was introduced in the story from nowhere, stole away the spotlight.

The ending was as dull as could be expected. Although, I was a little dumbstruck by the events that unfolded during the end (view spoiler). It wasn’t bad, I mean I don’t really think there could have been a better ending to this series but it’s just that I’m so disappointed. The concept of Hybrids is what roped me in at the first place; there was such potential, so much to be explored. But alas, it wasn’t meant to be and maybe that’s the reason I sound so bitter. Not once in this entire series was it mentioned why the government of America alone considered looking for a cure for Hybrids. Sure, there were vague descriptions of some war that ended up with America secluding itself from other nations and trying to curb the Hybrids because they were supposed to be.. volatile? Crazy? Uncontrollable? Unpredictable? I honestly don’t know and that pisses me off.

Apart from the lack of plot building, the idea of two souls in a single body, of how they normally settled in relationships or jobs or real lives is barely shed any light upon. Eva and Addie loved different individuals and only an aspect of their relationship was reflected in the trilogy. I could ignore this by saying that the author wanted to focus on the mistreatment of the hybrids and the rebellion but without getting a good explanation of its cause, I can’t.

In the end, I’m sort of glad to be done with the series. I didn’t have high hopes so it wasn’t as awful as the second book for me. At the same time, I’m also a little sad that such a promising concept was awfully wasted on the same run-of-the-mill-teenager-instigating-and-winning-a-rebellion-against-the-government storyline when it had so many other aspects to talk about.


Rating: 




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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Cover Reveal: Asa by Jay Crownover

We are so excited about the cover reveal for Jay Crownover's ASA! ASA is the sixth and final book in Jay's Marked Men Series, published by HarperCollins. Check out the hot cover and don't forget to pre-order your copy today!




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About ASA:

Starting over in Denver with a whole new circle of friends and family, Asa Cross struggles with being the man he knows everyone wants him to be and the man he knows he really is. A leopard doesn’t it change its spots and Asa has always been a predator. He doesn’t want to hurt those who love and rely on him, especially one stunning arresting cop who suddenly seems to be interested in him for far more than his penchant for breaking the law. But letting go of old habits is hard, and it’s easy to hit bottom when it’s the place you know best.

Royal Hastings is quickly learning what the bottom looks like after a tragic situation at work threatens not only her career but her partner’s life. As a woman who has only ever had a few real friends she’s trying to muddle through her confusion and devastation all alone. Except she can’t stop thinking about the sexy southern bartender she locked up. Crushing on Asa is the last thing she needs but his allure is too strong to resist. His long criminal record can only hurt her already shaky career and chasing after a guy who has no respect for the law or himself can only end in heartbreak.

A longtime criminal and a cop together just seems so wrong . . . but for Asa and Royal, being wrong together is the only right choice to make.



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And don’t miss the previous books in The Marked Men Series!

RULE

JET

ROME

NASH

ROWDY

 And don't miss Jay at 3pm EST over at the Between The Covers page on Facebook today! Come chat with her!


Jay CrownoverAbout Jay Crownover:

Jay Crownover is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men series. She also introduced the dark and sexy world of The Point that started with BETTER WHEN HE's BAD and is currently working on her newest series The Saint of Denver. Like her characters, she is a big fan of tattoos. She loves music and wishes she could be a rock star, but since she has no aptitude for singing or instrument playing, she'll settle for writing stories with interesting characters that make the reader feel something. She lives in Colorado with her three dogs.






Website ** Blog ** Facebook ** Twitter ** ASA Goodreads ** Jay Crownover Goodreads

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Release Day Blitz: KALEIDOSCOPE by Kristen Ashley






Kaleidoscope


Author: Kristen Ashley
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Series: Colorado Mountain #6
Pages: Paperback, 416 pages
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: December 16, 2014



Summary:
When old friends become new lovers...anything can happen.

Sexy, gifted, and loyal, PI Jacob Decker is a tall, cool drink of perfection who had Emmanuelle Holmes at "hello." His relationship with Emme's best friend kept them apart for years, but things have changed. Now that a case has brought him to Gnaw Bone, Colorado, the road is wide open for Emme and Deck to explore something hotter and deeper than Emme dreamed possible. So why is she sabotaging the best thing that's ever happened to her?

It isn't easy to catch Deck off guard, but Emme does just that when she walks back into his life after nine long years. The curvy brunette had her charms back in the day, but now she's a bona fide knockout . . . and she wants to rekindle their friendship. Deck, however, wants more. Emme's always been the one; she excites Deck's body and mind like no other woman can. But a dark chapter from Emme's past overshadows their future together. Now only Deck can help her turn the page-if she'll let him . . .

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Review:


To be honest I was a little anxious before I started reading Kaleidoscope, because despite the fact that KA is one of my favorite authors and I can countlessly re-read some of her old books I really had problems enjoying some of her last releases. Also, I know, that for some readers their favorite authors can't do no good, but it's not my case, and Jagged, the previous book in this series, was not only a huge disappointment but an almost DNF for me. Fortunately, even though it doesn't have the magic of the firsts four books in the Colorado Mountain series, that wasn't the case with Kaleidoscope.

We met Deck in Breathe, he's Chace's best friend. He is a gorgeous genius and a PI who isn't afraid to use unorthodox means to reach his goals. When Chace asks for his help in a difficult case, he accepts the meeting:

"So, before we talk this through with you, you know that if you take this on, you do this by the book. You're deputized, you report, you take orders and I'll repeat, you don't go maverick," Mick continued and Deck drew in breath.
Then he stated it plain.
"My understanding of this meet is, if I wanna take this on, and seein' if I do, my usual charges will need to be significantly discounted considering you can't afford to pay them as I charge them, it'll need to be somethin' I really wanna do. And you got a reputation I admire, Shaughnessy, so I hope you take no offense but I don't take orders. I work a case how I feel it needs to be worked. I report what I feel is necessary. And last, I only do maverick."

Emme ex-best friend was Deck's girl friend. They haven't seen each other for years and now, she somehow is in the middle of the case Jacobs is investigating. Although she wasn't my favorite KA heroine and I didn't understand why she did some of the things she did in the book, she was an ok heroine.

Also, a thing I would never understand is how fashion accessories can turn plain heroines into knockout girls. Sure, clothes, make up, the right hair do, the attitude,... can help enhance a person, transform her from plain to pretty. But from plain to totally gorgeous? No.

The things I really liked in this book are, Deck, his relationship with Emme, and last but not least, the participation of Chace, Tate, Ty and Max.


Rating: 




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About the author:

Kristen Ashley grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana, and has lived in Denver, Colorado, and the West Country of England. Thus she has been blessed to have friends and family around the globe. Her posse is loopy (to say the least) but loopy is good when you want to write. Kristen was raised in a house with a large and multigenerational family. They lived on a very small farm in a small town in the heartland, and Kristen grew up listening to the strains of Glenn Miller, The Everly Brothers, REO Speedwagon, and Whitesnake. Needless to say, growing up in a house full of music and love was a good way to grow up. And as she keeps growing up, it keeps getting better.

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Excerpt



I looked out my office window, down to the yard, my eyes to the bustling activity, and I did this tapping my phone on my desk.
I should be working but I wasn’t thinking about work.
I was thinking about Jacob.
More precisely, I was thinking about calling Jacob, had an overwhelming urge to do so.
I was also trying not to do so because I had a boyfriend, even though he was a boyfriend I wasn’t all that sure about. He was sweet, he was into me, but he was just… off.
Then again, I didn’t have a lot of experience so what did I know?
Additionally, after my dinner with Jacob last night, within an hour, I’d called him after ten at night and now it was only eleven thirty the next day.
I didn’t want him to think I was psycho, and calling him would imply psycho behavior. Further, when I called him last night, I’d asked him to dinner, which was dinner two nights in a row with a woman he hadn’t seen in nine years, a woman with a boyfriend, and that was semi-psycho.
Okay, maybe it was totally psycho.
I didn’t want Jacob to think I was psycho.
Ever.
But I wanted to hear his voice. I wanted to connect with him on the phone. I’d missed him and I liked having him back. I liked it a great deal.
I also missed him a great deal.
And I needed to ask him something. Further, he was the only one I could ask.
I looked from the yard to my phone. My mind telling my thumb not to do it, my thumb not listening, I found Jacob’s contact and hit go.
I put it to my ear.
“I’m a psycho,” I whispered and luckily finished whispering two seconds before Jacob’s voice sounded.
“You okay?” he answered.
He kept asking that mostly, I figured, because I kept calling when I didn’t need to so he probably thought something was wrong.
Or that I was a psycho.
“I need to know if you don’t eat anything,” I lied.
Actually, it wasn’t a lie. Although I remembered a lot about Jacob (most everything, in all honesty), I couldn’t recall if there was something specific he didn’t like to eat.
I could recall how beautiful he was, how tall he was, how strong he was. I could recall how smart he was and how funny he was. I could recall how cool he was with me. I could also recall how much I missed him. But I couldn’t recall if he didn’t like chicken.
But that wasn’t the only thing I needed to know. I needed to know something else too.
Much like last night, when he didn’t make me feel like a psycho, in fact, the opposite and sounded like he was happy to hear from me and would be willing to talk all night, he again sounded like me psychotically calling him yet again in a precursor to stalker way was no big deal.
“I don’t eat it, I’ll pick it off.”
“You can’t pick it off if I cook with it in it or if the mainstay of dinner on the whole is what you don’t eat,” I informed him.
“You makin’ Indian food?” he asked.
“No. Don’t you like Indian food?” I asked back.
“Love it,” he answered.
“Then why’d you ask if I was making Indian food?”
“ ’Cause I hoped you were.”
I burst out laughing.
No, Jacob definitely didn’t make me feel like I was being a psycho.
When I quit laughing, I told him, “Sorry, honey, I don’t know how to make Indian food.”
“Shame,” he muttered, a smile in his deep, attractive voice, and if I was on an infrared scanner, specific parts of me would have shown up hotter.
You have a boyfriend, Emme! I told myself.
For a while, I answered myself.
Jacob is also your ex–best friend’s ex-boyfriend, Emme! I reminded myself.
So? I asked myself.
I shoved those thought aside, thoughts that, if anyone knew I was talking to myself in my head might prove I was indeed a psycho, and pointed out to Jacob, “You haven’t actually answered the question.”
“I’ll eat what you cook, Emme. Cook what you like.”
He was such a nice guy.
He always was.
Nice. Tall (very tall). Handsome (unbelievably handsome). Smart (so damned smart). Funny. Interesting. Gentlemanly. And a repeat of nice because it was worth a repeat since he was just that nice.
I liked all that about him. I liked that he wore his dark hair way too long. I liked that sometimes a thick hank of it fell over his forehead and into his eye. I liked that he was who he was and didn’t wear designer jeans or put gel in his hair. I liked that, even considering he was extortionately intelligent, in fact, a genius, he never made anyone feel less than him because they weren’t as smart. I liked that he never acted superior or arrogant and with all that was him, looks, body, brains, he was one person who could. And I liked that he liked to do what he liked to do, he did what he liked to do and wouldn’t get pushed into doing something he didn’t want.
Like Elsbeth tried to do.
He’d lost her to that and he’d accepted it. I knew it killed. He’d loved her to distraction. But he refused to be the man she wanted him to be and instead was the man he was.
She should have seen she had it all even if he didn’t make bucketloads of money and thus couldn’t give her the life she was used to getting from her daddy. Country clubs, tennis lessons, vacations in villas in Italy and beaches in Thailand, fabulous homes kept by maids and fabulous meals cooked by cooks.
She didn’t see all she had.
Stupid.


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Monday, December 15, 2014

Release Day: Inspire by Cora Carmack

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We are so incredibly excited to be able to bring you the Release Day Launch for Cora Carmack's INSPIRE! INSPIRE is a New Adult Paranormal Romance novel and the first book in her new Muse Series!! Holy canoli, y'all. Go out and get this today!



Inspire

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About INSPIRE:

Kalliope lives with one purpose.

To inspire.

As an immortal muse, she doesn’t have any other choice. It’s part of how she was made. Musicians, artists, actors—they use her to advance their art, and she uses them to survive. She moves from one artist to the next, never staying long enough to get attached. But all she wants is a different life— a normal one. She’s spent thousands of years living lie after lie, and now she’s ready for something real.

Sweet, sexy, and steady, Wilder Bell feels more real than anything else in her long existence. And most importantly… he’s not an artist. He doesn’t want her for her ability. But she can’t turn off the way she influences people, not even to save a man she might love. Because in small doses, she can help make something beautiful, but her ability has just as much capacity to destroy as it does to create. The longer she stays, the more obsessed Wilder will become. It’s happened before, and it never turns out well for the mortal.

Her presence may inspire genius.

But it breeds madness, too.



Inspire Teaser 3

Excerpt:

I can feel Wilder’s breath against my lips. More than that, I can see it. The sun has set and the temperature has dropped, and air fogs between us. There’s something about actually seeing it, like our lips are touching, we are touching, despite the distance between. And as we sway from side to side, my heart gradually begins to pick up speed.

The strains of guitar music flowing out from the restaurant are nearly indecipherable over the heavy heartbeat in my ears. But Wilder must hear it. His hands are strong on my body, guiding my movements, and I’m practically clay in his palms.

We dance, eyes on eyes, lips nearly on lips, and there is lightning beneath my skin each time his body brushes against mine in a new way. His touch is firm, but gentle, never pushing or pressuring, though I can tell from the dark look in his eyes that he’s just as affected as I am. The music shifts, building to a crescendo, and he spins us. My chest pushes tight against his, and I bite back a gasp. I don’t know if it’s the cold or him or some combination of both, but the tips of my breasts are painfully tight. Just the pressure of my bra is enough to rub them raw.

I remember the night at his apartment, the way he’d taken his time learning my body. I think of the heat of his mouth on my skin, and the memory alone is enough to make me shiver and clench.

He’s back to being business, grown-up Wilder tonight in his button down and glasses. Only now that I know him, it doesn’t seem like such a stark difference. He is neither the straight-laced man nor the tattooed bad boy. Or perhaps he’s both. Regardless of what he’s wearing, Wilder is caring and loyal and strong and so sexy that I’m having trouble remembering why I shouldn’t push him into the backseat of his SUV and crawl on top of him.

Inspire Teaser 1






HeadshotAbout Cora Carmack:

Cora Carmack is a twenty-something writer who likes to write about twenty-something characters. She's done a multitude of things in her life-- boring jobs (like working retail), Fun jobs (like working in a theatre), stressful jobs (like teaching), and dream jobs (like writing). She enjoys placing her characters in the most awkward situations possible, and then trying to help them get a boyfriend out of it. Awkward people need love, too. Her first book, LOSING IT, was a New York Times and USA Today bestseller.








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