Defying the Odds starts out slow and sweet two strangers meet and a connection is felt. Leaving Clay smitten and Melody intrigued but not for the same reasons at first she’s drawn to him because his gruff exterior reminds her of her father, but it becomes more. I like the progression of their romance tentative at first then it seemed to move to fast. Still it rang true if you have ever been in love you will recognize this dance touch and go especially if you have been hurt. But when its meant to be it awesome and Melody and Clay were meant to be.
The characters are believable and each have their own distinct aura. Shaped by backstories of pain and lost. Of course romances are filed with beautiful people but their hard lives tempered that beauty. I liked Clay the most this big mean looking guy that was so gentle (reminded me of my hubby). Melody was second I give writer Moon props for making her so strong to fight for her right to be happy. So many times in stories of abuse the wife goes back sometimes until the husband kills her. I liked that even though she was scared, tired and overwhelmed she didn’t give up on that right. The Connor twins were funny, and the pillars that Clay rested on for support. I loved their family dynamic dysfunctional but close.
Overall I really enjoyed the story, the characters were solid, the plot was simple and enjoyable but my only bone of contention is the ex-husband Justin. Through out the story we are given a picture of Justin and what he did and was capable of. Still his appearance at the end seemed like an after thought, it bristled me. Not enough to ruin the story but enough to loose a star. I would recommend Defying the Odds to steamy romance lovers (you know who your are), those who read erotica, and if you want to add a steamy read to your bedtime reads.
Publisher’s Note: This book contains explicit sexual situations, graphic language, and material that some readers may find objectionable: violence. So NO KIDDIES (12-18) Adults only room here sorry.
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Normally my mythical go to creatures are not mermaids because I felt there wasn’t much story there. However after reading Of Triton by Anna Banks I was pleasantly surprised that I liked the story. Books about mermaids aside from the star-crossed lovers angle, what eles was there? Yes there is that element in Of Triton with a twist. I wondered would the story appeal to me, the synopsis hooked me and that was my motivation to read Of Triton.
What did I like about the book you say. For starters the story wasn’t epic but the bread crumbs throughout was enough to hold my attention. I was engaged in the plot I found it hard not to skip ahead at some especially juicy thing that was happening. The characters were funny and there were genuine moments when I laughed at something one of them said. Compelling at some points that I found myself wanting to know what happens next.
Told from g Galen and Emma’s point of view. Was nice to see the story unfold from both sides of the coin so to speak. The romance was cheesy but in good way if you have romanticize idea of love. There was some points of the story that just didn’t belong the book could have done without, the pacing slowed down to a crawl at one point (in my opinion). The ending to me seemed like just a way to facilitate what writer Banks need to do to make Galen and Emma’s union happen. So that they could be mated one day to each other. The book could have done without a few fluff paragraph. Of Triton had its moments the pacing slowed down throughout the body. Still the story was engaging I gave Of Triton a 3.5 out of 5. I would recommend this book if you love books about mermaids. Or paranormal fantasy in general. There is no age cap on this book child or adult could read. Its just a sweet story about a boy and a girl the obstacles they have to face to be together.
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Being Henry David is a literary feast I loved the narration of Hank’s inner thoughts they’re on the same level as R’s in Warm Bodies. Intelligent and descriptive. Hank’s odyssey to discover his true identity is precarious path that takes him fro the streets of New York city to the town of Concord, Massachusetts. Hoping that the familiarity and comfort he feels from his soul possession. A copy of Walden by Henry David Thoreau would yield answers. I’m intrigued by Hank. Most stories are formulaic and have cues that make it easy to guess the plot, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It empowers the reader with a sense of control and intelligence. But sometimes you just want to be blindly led down a rabbit hole, with BHD the story was unique I never knew where the story was going until I got here. I liked the unpredictability of Being Henry David, that unbalanced sense of not knowing what was going on. It was a nice distraction from the pace kudos to writer Armistead for that.
Hank is a great male character I haven’t read too many books with male leads. To date I’ve only loved two male characters Lestat from interview with a vampire. R from Warm Bodies now Hank from Being Henry David has made to that exclusive club. Hank was a mystery and the more I got to know him the more frustrated I felt because the big picture wasn’t quite clear as the flashes that sparked his recollection grows. I wanted to reach through the pages and hug him and offer him a room to stay as long as he needed. The story was beautifully written without unneeded embellishment the words flow naturally in a rhythm. Writer Armistead has a great sense of character and can handle many difficult plot devices like a pro. Dream sequences, flashbacks are not easy to write but she does a beautiful job of keeping the rhythm of the book. Depicting the stressful, and heart pounding scenes honestly–for instance when Hank trips the alarm at the school alerting the authorities. The nail biting scene of him hiding under the bleachers as the cop shines a light on the drip from his wet clothes is a perfect example.
My gripes aren’t too many the first the pacing. Even though there are some nail biting scenes in the book the mood felt slow and somber. The barely there romance. BHD disintegrates into an ode to Walden and if you have a low tolerance for the classics this could become annoying. I hated the that they were unresolved fates of some characters. The multiple stories could have been tied to together better this was a weak link for me. The ending I felt cheated with my reward after reading the whole book, it wasn’t resolved to my satisfaction.But can I take a minute to play devil’s advocate here. Say you are Henry and wake up with no memory. Injured $10 in your pocket. Wouldn’t you ask the cops for help? I mean all the suffering he goes through could have been avoided. Sure the story might have been different but it would have made more sense. Just putting that out there okay ratings time I gave Being Henry David a three and half stars out five. I would recommend for 18+ and if you are a fan of contemporary or realistic fiction.
3.5 / 5
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After discovering Poison upon writer Bridget Zinn’s death I was sadden by her untimely passing, but was intrigued by the story of the young poisoner. I must say I feel odd reviewing Poison though because I was afraid I wouldn’t like the book. And if I did would my review be taken as sentiment for writer Zinn and not an honest critique. However after reading the first few chapters I was wooed by Kyra’s world and realized if I felt this way so would a lot bookies who have read her book. Wooed from complete love of Poison’s descriptive world to irritation at characters like Fred. Whose first introduction like Kyra I wanted him to leave. But just like Kyra Fred began to grow on me. What surprised the most was how beautifully vivid writer Zinns descriptions of the Kingdom of Mohr was. Descriptions that weren’t too flourished or ornate but just detailed enough for one to form a mental picture of Mohr.
The characters are thankfully developed with complex pasts and secrets. The plot is original and had a nice pace to start and the pieces slowly came together. Intrigue, assassination attempts, magical creatures. Witches, wards, and poisoners, and a pig are just some of the elements that are part of Kyra’s world. And so much more to peek one’s imagination. That I simply can’t get into all of it besides reading the story will give you a much better experience than me telling you. Amongst the traits I like most about Poison is it’s wide appeal middle grade readers to adults can enjoy strolling through Wexford under a cloaking mist. The plot is simple–Poison was a fun well spun tale of young Kyra embracing her true self and finding the courage to do what’s right even at cost of her life. Along the way is a path of encounters people meant to help or harm her. There are temptations of love and friendship that makes her question her goal,and threaten to sway Kyra off her path to save the kingdom. Nice right those are my reasons for giving my rating.
My only complaints which are few and far between. Fred’s appearance ruffled me at the beginning I found my sentiments echoing Kyra’s at first I just wish he would leave. As some minor character to be forgotten. Poison’s pace start off well enough but lags towards the middle–filler to tie the beginning and the end of the story into a neat bow. Urban fantasy is my thing because I like the fast pace adrenaline scenes. So maybe its a personality quirk but the middle of Poison lagged for me. And that’s why I couldn’t give Poison a five. Readers of all ages are welcomed, if you are a parent looking for a good book for your middle grader Poison is a great choice. I would recommend Poison to Fantasy junkies but Poison’s wide appeal doesn’t pigeon hole it so no matter which genre you prefer it reads well.I gave Poison a four out of five.
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I first became entranced with the Beauchamp witches after Witches of East End though witches aren’t my preferred fictional entity. I did like Freya for her in your face ways and Ingrid who was the total opposite, and reminded me a little of myself. Joanna the mother read like the kind of mother most girls wish to have, but didn’t. So right way three reason for me to read Serpent’s Kiss other then the awesome sauce of a cover. That suggested intrigue and promised much good reading.
Where to start? Okay how about the plot there are lot of threads in the story leading to different places. Freya and her twin Freddie who just broke out of god jail, limbo accusing her lover of framing him. Right there conflict. Ingrid falls for a mortal and sabotages herself every chance she gets we see heartache and the motions of first love, Romance. Then there are all the strange occurrences and the uneasy sense that something is not right, Intrigue. This should be the happiest time in the women’s lives the restriction on magic has been lifted. Love for both daughters old and new and even mama, Joanne is getting in on a piece of the action. So why does everything feel like it could fall apart any second. I loved all those elements of the plot. I think that captures the best essence of Serpent’s Kiss.
Moving on to characters. Well there is some character development though not much. Freya is still Freya and Ingrid has made small steps to live more by taking a chance with human detective Matt Noble, but she still reverts back to old hermit habits. The new faces such as Freddie, the guardians, the pixies and so on is welcomed flavor. But my only complaint with Freddie’s story arc is I wish to see Freddie do more activity, than just veg-ging out playing video games and hooking up with college girls. But doing some skulking in the shadows looking for evidence to prove his innocence he keeps professing. Instead of basically threatening Freya into to helping him. I wanted to see some glimpses of their twin connection that they once shared understandably atrophied by five thousand years in limbo.
The story as a whole just didn’t come together fully formed there were cracks that fissured through out the story. For instance the mash up of POV of the characters. From chapter to chapter would have been a nice element if the transitions was better. When I first started reading my reaction was I thought I missed something, not a god sign. Off putting at first but not a deal breaker you get use to POV swap as you continue to read. Some action sequences seemed to written for the sake of it that didn’t serve a real purpose. E.g Joanne going off to limbo and nothing happens. And the “oh I just remembered something” syndrome just when it was convenient for the story only works twice at the most anymore and you’re insulting the readers intelligence. So that when a revaluation was made it felt cheap and unearned.
Writers are suppose to show you. In this case why Freddie is suppose to be so powerful everyone believes he destroyed the bridge he must have the juice for it or else why would the believe. Telling doesn’t convey as well as showing and if you’ve read or taken any courses on writing you’ll understand that term. Would you believe someone if he tells you something e.g. “hey baby I can rock your world” what’s your first reaction–disbelief right. Until he shows you he can rock your world, and does. Sorry writer de la Cruz there’s more telling than showing in Serpent’s Kiss so a lot of belief in the characters and the story gets lost. Which in turn equals to a lost of interest in story itself and reading the book.
I can not describe in words how much I wanted to fall in love and gush gush about Serpent’s Kiss. I really really wanted to be blown away.I wanted to feel that excitement you know what I’m talking about. When you get so caught up in a book that you read it while crossing the street (true story I have done that I don’t recommend it). I was hoping to feel some of that while reading Serpent’s Kiss, but it was missing that kick in the pants readers experience when a book is so good they just can’t put down until the end. Save for only the call of nature (bathroom break) could tear them away. For me, that was the most disappointing. The let down because I guess I had my expectations too high, which I don’t normally do. Serpent’s Kiss has been on my TBR for awhile now. Still for all the flaws and the good I gave Serpent’s Kiss a three and half out of five.
31/2 – 5
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Fury’s Kiss is the third book in the Dorina Basarab series. I’m a big fan of urban fantasy because they have a healthy pace, usually. And lots of action and running for your life scenarios. Where to begin there was so much to love, like, knit your brows at. Should I talk about the romance between Dory and Louis-Ceasare. The push and pull attraction Dory’s been trying to pretend she doesn’t feel. More accurately she thinks she doesn’t deserve. Any one with eyes can see Dory is crazy about Louis-Ceasare. Or the story behind Micera and Dory’s estrangement. I like that writer Chance finally decided to address this topic. And pull back the curtain on the relationship between Mircea and Dory, because I’ve wondered from time to time were they always like that. And if not what had he done to drive that wedge so deep that Dory didn’t trust him. Aside from the seemingly unrelated mini story arcs spread out throughout the book that on their own were separate random pieces of a puzzle that once put together formed a complete picture. That made the reader–me, scratch my head at some points.
I liked that writer Chance gets more into to the relationships in Dory’s life including Dorina, the dhampir. There are so many directions for the story to go. I like that Dory is becoming more developed as a character and stronger I just wish she would be less self deprecating. I’m so excited I’m afraid I will tell you too many details. I will tell you this reading I thought I figured out the villain’s identity since there were quite a few suspects to choose from. But I wasn’t even close. The twist and turns really do unbalance you so that the ending is a total surprise. After I had to take a break–to you know sleep. The whole time I had Dorina on the brain did she get out of whatever mess she was in? That my friend is the mark of a good book.
My only gripe was the constant self deprecating thing Dorina had going on after a while it was annoying but not enough to kill the book just enough you notice it. And the sex scene between Dorina and Louis-Cesare was drawn out all the teasing I was over it. I wanted to get back to the action. There are a few arcs that the book could have done without Salvo for one, and the zombie vamps it didn’t hurt the story, but Fury’s Kiss wouldn’t have suffered from the omission. As a whole I like most of the plot lines. Lately I’ve have kinda fallen off with many of my staple Urban fantasy series. Either they were getting stale or ended, which bummed me out because Urban Fantasy is my baby (though I read other genres). Dory has rekindled my love affair with the genre. So I gave Fury’s Kiss a 4/5. Being that this is adult fiction I recommend this book for adults and a no no for kiddies under the age of 18. Because there is rough language, sexual situations graphic in details. And has an feel all around.
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Three levels. Two loves. One choice. And the place that exists between our world (Level 1) and what comes after life (Level 2). This is the concept behind Debut novelist Lenore Appelhans new series the Memory Chronicles. Level 2 is the first book it was….. promising? Level 2 was really good. I know why I sound surprised but that’s not my intention because many is the case when vetting a debut author’s first novel it can go either way.
What has me falling in love with writer Appelhans’s writing is how thoroughly developed the world of Level 2 was — a world of hives and plug in humans, security drones. The Blockbuster movie concept of renting other people’s memories was an original twist I hadn’t encountered before. Even the way Felicia’s character is slowly revealed to us in her memories. We get both perspectives of Felicia’s life in Level 1 through her memories. That are rich and full the reader experiences it as Felicia did without getting that flashback feeling. Yet the contrast between her memories which are alive with color verses life in level 2 which is stark white and antiseptic.
I liked the relationship between Felicia and Julian it comes across more real than Felicia and Neil, but that’s just me. The characters were interesting. And the memories were the best part of the story for me. Level 2 had a nice flow I started reading in the late afternoon and finished the next day. That’s always a plus as far as I’m concerned. What I liked about Level 2 aside from the writing was the unspoken intrigued that lingered in the background hinting as much in Felicia’s distrust of Julian, the Morati, the prisoners hooked on their memories like junkies. And I keep getting this bad feeling that somehow Neil figures into this maybe as a bad guy in the next book.
What left a bad taste in my mouth was the character of Neil after awhile the constant association be it memory or just Felicia mentioning Neil’s name. I felt like Felicia romanticized him to the point he was too good to be true. After all our memories can be influenced and even distorted such is the nature of the human mind. She’s dead and the thought of Neil helped passes the time. So when he shows up in Level 2 I don’t know what I expected. I can’t help but feel somehow this is going to bite Felicia in the butt in Book 2. Level 2 was nicely written, with a good flow and promising plot lines for book 2. Aside from that I’m in love with Lenore’s writing so I gave Level 2 a 4/5.
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Amy Peterson is a von Neumann machine, a self-replicating humanoid robot. For the past five years, she has grown slowly as part of a mixed organic / synthetic family. Huh how is that going to work? That sounded like an interesting premise and it got my attention to read vN. But as I began to read it became painfully obvious I wasn’t going to like this one. And I had such high hopes getting past the first chapters wasn’t too bad as it was quite tedious. The entire world doesn’t seem plausible the whole organic food, synthetic food was a little weird.
Fiction by definition falsehood, a story that describes event and people that is untrue. Good fiction has possibilities, a plausible ring to it. After you read it you’re suppose to be able to imagine the world in totality, be intrigued by and if its really good then you wish to be part of it. I didn’t get that with vN I really just wanted to get on with and had to fight the urge to put it down. That was the down fall for vN with me regardless how shocking or uncomfortable the contents the words should still encourage you to linger, imagine.
What attracted me to vN besides the awesome cover was this cool premises, that was just d.o.a. Disappointing as that was because I really really wanted to like this book. My impression of vN at the start of the book this was about the second class treatment the synthetics receive and this series is about their fight to be recognized, but after I was lost. All the side events just confused me. Then there were just elements that couldn’t be ignored the language, a whole lot of cussing. And second the whole pedophile business, the true purpose it seems the robots were originally created for. WTF, I have no words.
I like the fact that vN makes you think about morality, the importance and value of life organic vs inorganic. Could we live in a future like this one. Literature has given us so many possible outcomes. For the future, its that big unknown that frightens and intrigues us and inspires tales from paradise to dystopian fall outs. But this is a possible future I hope we never have to face. vN was well written, very creative, thought provoking but it didn’t resonate with. After reading it I didn’t understand what I should think,or feel. This I believe writer Ashby should take as a compliment. So I gave vN respectfully a 3/5 to acknowledge vN’s merits.
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Sweet shadows is the second book in the Medusa Girls series. My first impression I liked this book better than the first (I didn’t write a review for Sweet Venom if you’re curious). If you are a regular visitor to Sony the Book Lover, then you know I’m a professed cover junkie. And nine times out ten I’ve picked up a book for that reason. Sometimes its a hit others a miss. Such is the case with Sweet Shadows nice story, well written.
The Medusa myth is given a revamp–so score for creativity, the world is inhabited with many mythical creatures that are up to no go–so score again there for conflict and drama. The sisterly bond between the girls and sibling head butting was realistic and I loved three person p.o.v. New characters and a new environment to explore. The doomsday prophecy as the end game keeps the reader interested in the series if not to know if the girls live or die at the of the series. Like I said there’re elements that appeal but in my case they weren’t enough. Sweet Shadow hit a flat note for me.
I’ll tell you why I expected more action considering the beginning started with a literal bang. Promising action packed intrigue. Instead what I got was anything but. I was hoping this theme would continue but instead I was disappointed by all the down time and narration. But when the action happens I am turning pages like mad. I just wanted that feeling to be continuous through out the book. That was the black eye that decided the the rating. I liked the twist on the Medusa myth I think I like this version best considering how tragic Medusa’s story was. Sweet Shadows in my opinion could have used more tweaking the girls are helpless and every time they reached out for help comically that door closed in their faces. I found myself playing who will disappear next.
Still the question marks at the end had me curious. Like what’s the deal with Thane? Will he and Geer hook up? Who is the mystery woman Geer meets in the alley? So yeah writer Childs didn’t completely loose me but honestly as for Sweet shadows I gave it a 3.5 /5 and hope book 3 three hits all the right notes. Wish-list the girls become more sure of themselves and their powers. Learn how to use them properly,and for the love of all things holy give them a source the can get real answers. (Not the cryptic musing of the oracle that only works if the were knowledgeable about the Greek world) An ancient text or hell medusa’s journal, something. More action less in your head narration. Define the roles of the men in the girl’s lives at the moment I trust none of them including unassuming Milo. Address these and book 3 is gold.
3.5 / 5
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