Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Like a River Glorious (The Gold Seer Trilogy #2) by Rae Carson

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.
Like a River Glorious (The Gold Seer Trilogy, #2)
Blurb (from Goodreads):
After a harrowing journey across the country, Leah Westfall and her friends have finally arrived in California and are ready to make their fortunes in the Gold Rush. Lee has a special advantage over the other new arrivals in California—she has the ability to sense gold, a secret known only by her handsome best friend Jefferson and her murdering uncle Hiram.

Lee and her friends have the chance to be the most prosperous settlers in California, but Hiram hasn’t given up trying to control Lee and her power. Sabotage and kidnapping are the least of what he’ll do to make sure Lee is his own. His mine is the deepest and darkest in the territory, and there Lee learns the full extent of her magical gift, the worst of her uncle, and the true strength of her friendships. To save everyone, she vows to destroy her uncle and the empire he is building—even at the cost of her own freedom.

The second epic historical fantasy in the Gold Seer trilogy by Rae Carson, the acclaimed author of The Girl of Fire and Thorns.



Like a River Glorious by Rae Carson

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars


Like a River Glorious (The Gold Seer Trilogy, #2) “The truth is I’ve got witchy powers that lead me to gold as sure as the west leads the sun.”




This was an interesting sequel, and Leah finally got to put her gold-finding powers to good use!

Leah was a strong character in this, and she tried really hard to be honest with people, and to keep them from danger in whatever way she could. It was unfortunate that she once again had problems with her uncle though.

The storyline in this was about Leah and her friends finally staking claims in California, and beginning to mine gold. We then had Leah’s uncle causing her problems, and we got some real action and excitement, as well as greater development of Leah’s powers with Gold, which had been a little lacking in the previous book. We also got a little more in the way of romance too, although I wouldn’t classify this as a romance story. The pace in this was quite slow though, and I did find the book dragged a bit in places.

The ending to this was pretty good, and tied up a lot of loose ends.



7 out of 10

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Bright Smoke, Cold Fire (Untitled #1) by Rosamund Hodge

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.
Bright Smoke, Cold Fire (Untitled, #1)
Blurb (from Goodreads):
When the mysterious fog of the Ruining crept over the world, the living died and the dead rose. Only the walled city of Viyara was left untouched.

The heirs of the city’s most powerful—and warring—families, Mahyanai Romeo and Juliet Catresou share a love deeper than duty, honor, even life itself. But the magic laid on Juliet at birth compels her to punish the enemies of her clan—and Romeo has just killed her cousin Tybalt. Which means he must die.

Paris Catresou has always wanted to serve his family by guarding Juliet. But when his ward tries to escape her fate, magic goes terribly wrong—killing her and leaving Paris bound to Romeo. If he wants to discover the truth of what happened, Paris must delve deep into the city, ally with his worst enemy . . . and perhaps turn against his own clan.

Mahyanai Runajo just wants to protect her city—but she’s the only one who believes it’s in peril. In her desperate hunt for information, she accidentally pulls Juliet from the mouth of death—and finds herself bound to the bitter, angry girl. Runajo quickly discovers Juliet might be the one person who can help her recover the secret to saving Viyara.

Both pairs will find friendship where they least expect it. Both will find that Viyara holds more secrets and dangers than anyone ever expected. And outside the walls, death is waiting. . . .


Bright Smoke, Cold Fire by Rosamund Hodge

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars


Bright Smoke, Cold Fire (Untitled, #1) “He was her world, and now she is going to destroy him.”


This was an interesting YA fantasy story, with characters named Romeo and Juliet.

Romeo and Juliet were very different characters to what I expected! For a start, Juliet wasn’t even named Juliet, she was The Juliet – her families executioner and thought of more as property than as a daughter. She was pretty kick-ass though, and I really admired her strength and drive. Romeo we didn’t really seem to get that much from, and the main characters in this book were actually Paris and Runajo. Runajo was also very stubborn and strong though, and I liked her too.

“It was risky, and it was probably going to get her killed.
But at least she would die fighting.”


The world in this book was pretty impressive, and we had the threat of the revenants (like zombies), reapers, and necromancers, whilst the romance between Romeo and Juliet was exceptionally small and appeared only in a couple of low key flashbacks. In fact other than the names, this was not your average retelling at all.

“He’s working with somebody called the Master Necromancer.”


We than had one of our main characters Runajo trying to save the city from the threat of the revenants beyond the walls, at possibly any cost, even if it took stopping Juliet from dying, and taking them on one at a time to find out what magic really protected the city.

“Even here is Viyara, behind the walls, the dead would rise again within two days, mindless and hungry for the living.”


The book did jump about between the girls and the boys though, which made things a bit tougher to follow, and again, the romance was practically non-existent, with Romeo and Juliet spending the entire book apart except for the occasional flashback.

“I will always do what is right, and not what my family tells me.”


The ending to this was pretty good, and it will be interesting to see how the story ends in the second instalment.



7 out of 10

Gilt Hollow by Lorie Langdon

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Zonderkidz-Books and NetGalley.
Gilt Hollow
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Willow Lamott’s best friend is a murderer, and no one in the small town of Gilt Hollow will let her forget it. For four long years, she’s tried to fade into the background—but none of that matters when Ashton Keller comes striding into school, fresh out of juvie and fueled by revenge. The moment their eyes meet, Willow no longer feels invisible. Drawn to the vulnerability behind Ashton’s mask of rage, she sinks deeper into his sinister world and begins to question whether he’s a villain, a savior, or both.
Ashton thought he wanted vengeance, until Willow reminded him what he’d been missing. Now he longs to clear his name and become the person she sees in him. But the closer they get to uncovering the truth, the darker the secrets become, and Ashton fears his return to Gilt Hollow will destroy everyone he loves, especially the girl he left behind.

  Gilt Hollow by Lorie Langdon

My rating: 3 of 5 stars



Gilt Hollow “My intention was to uncover the truth and somehow clear my name. But someone’s been working overtime to send me back to jail.”




This was a YA story about a boy who went to juvie for a murder he didn’t commit.

I felt quite sorry for Ashton in this story, not only did he go to juvie for 4 years for killing someone who he didn’t kill, he also lost his family and friends as well, and had nowhere to go when he eventually got out.

The storyline in this was about Ashton going back to Gilt Hollow after being released from juvie, and the threats and hate that he received from the town’s residents. We had Willow who was a little torn as to whether to stick by Ashton or not, and eventually we also got the storyline of Ashton and Willow trying to work out what really happened the night Daniel was killed, and who really pushed him. The storyline concerning who really killed Daniel was a long time coming though, and the pace in the book was really slow, which made it drag for me.

The ending to this was okay, and we did get a happily ever after, the story was just a little slow for me though.



6 out of 10

Lost Wolf by Stacy Claflin #Giveaway


Lost Wolf
Stacy Claflin
(Curse of the Moon, #1)
Publication date: July 17th 2016
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Young Adult
She’s hiding a dark secret. It already killed her once.
Victoria can’t wait to start college, but there’s a hitch—she can’t remember anything before arriving on campus. Her memories spark when she sees her ruggedly handsome math professor, but she senses something horrific. The shock on his face affirms her fears.
Toby is an alpha wolf who never thought he’d see his true love again—not after she died in his arms. Nothing could have prepared him for her walking into his class. But to his dismay, not only has she forgotten what happened, she doesn’t even know who she is.
He’s determined to do whatever it takes to restore what they’ve lost. Can Toby help Victoria recover her memories, or will he lose her forever?
EXCERPT:
Beads of sweat broke out along my hairline. I wiped them away, tightened my ponytail, and ran faster along the dirt trail, jumping over exposed roots and ducking under low-hanging branches. Pine trees, firs, and alders turned my path into more of an obstacle course than a trail.
A twig snapped behind me.
I glanced back, but didn’t see anything. Probably just a raccoon.
My sneaker hit a root and my arms flew in front of me. I landed on my hands and knees, and slid down an incline. Rocks and branches dug into my skin until I crashed into a huckleberry bush.
I stood and dusted myself off. Blood dripped from my legs. I pulled twigs, dirt, and small rocks from the cuts.
“Nice work, Victoria,” I muttered to myself.
Sasha had said I shouldn’t have gone into the forest for my first jog. But having just moved to the beautiful Olympic Peninsula, I wasn’t about to join a club when I had the great outdoors. Birds chirped all around and a stream bubbled nearby. It was like the woods were telling me I’d made the right choice.
Another snap.
“Who’s there?” I sounded a lot braver than I felt. My heart thundered against my ribcage and I whipped my head around. My roommates had said the woods were safe, but I was also trusting people who had been strangers only a couple days earlier.
Why had I gone into the woods alone? Wasn’t that how half of all horror movies started?
I thought of Sasha running on a treadmill, flirting with cute college guys. Maybe she was the smart one.
Footsteps.
“Hello?” I called.
Nothing. The birds had even stopped singing.
“Is anyone there?”
The footsteps came closer.
My pulse drummed in my ears. I fought to breathe normally.
A small gray and black wolf stepped out from behind the tree. He made eye contact with me.
I didn’t move a muscle, holding its gaze.


Author Bio:
Stacy Claflin is a USA Today bestselling author who writes about complex women overcoming incredible odds. Whether it's her Gone saga of psychological thrillers, her various paranormal romance tales, or her sweet romance series, Stacy's three-dimensional characters shine through.
Decades after she wrote her first stories on construction paper and years after typing on an inherited green screen computer that weighed half a ton, Stacy realized her dream of becoming a full-time bestselling author.
When she's not busy writing or educating her kids from home, Stacy enjoys watching TV shows like Supernatural, Pretty Little Liars, and Once Upon a Time.
Join Stacy's newsletter to get three free novels. Register here to get your books right away: http://stacyclaflin.com/newsletter/

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Monday, 26 September 2016

Swords and Sorcery (The Faerie Tales #1) by Lee Tozer

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to author Lee Tozer.
Swords and Sorcery (The Faerie Tales #1)
Blurb (from Goodreads):
The ancient spell gave Aldwyn some hope. He closed the book, knowing he had a long journey before him. Something had to be done, to discover the cause of the darkness before it was too late. Twelve knights were needed, and only he could find them

Swords and Sorcery by Lee Tozer

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Swords and Sorcery (The Faerie Tales #1) “The darkness that is threatening us – it is just a symptom of the greater darkness.”


This was a high-fantasy novella, about a group of knights and a wizard’s spell.

This book followed two characters mainly – Otto and Collin, it wasn’t obvious from the start that they would be the main characters though, as initially the story started off elsewhere.

The storyline in this started off with a wizard casting a spell to send 12 knights to see the Faerie Queen, only the spell went wrong. We then followed Otto and Collin as they found themselves in the Faerie Queen’s realm, not really knowing what had happened and what their next move was.

The ending to this was okay, but it left us with a bit of a cliff-hanger. I’m guessing that the next book will follow Rikki and Holle.



6 out of 10

Ruin by Clarissa Wild #Giveaway


Ruin
Clarissa Wild
Publication date: September 20th 2016
Genres: New Adult, Romance
Maybell Fairweather was the girl of my dreams.
Always smiling brightly, she kept going, despite the names her classmates called her behind her back.
She was full of curiosity and independence, the extent of which I could only be jealous of. Even though she had all odds stacked against her, she knew what she wanted from life and pursued it, no matter the cost.
She was completely my opposite in every way.
Perfect, even though she couldn’t see it.
Perfect … until me.
Because this is the story of how I ruined her.
Based on a true story. Standalone Romance. No cliffhanger.
This gorgeous Limited Edition cover is available in Paperback ONLY and can be purchased here!
limited-edition-paperback-ruin
EXCERPT:
He winks, and somehow, it makes me blush.
For some reason, it’s hard to look away too.
“What’s your name?” I ask.
“Alexander Wright.”
I smile. “Maybell Fairweather.”
“Hmm … Maybell … nice name.”
“Thanks.” I blush.
I don’t know why or what it is about him, but he has this gentleness about him that soothes me and makes me want to ask him to stay, even if I don’t have a reason for it.
But then I realize it’s not the only reason I’m looking at him.
Something’s felt off since we met, and I couldn’t put my finger on it, but now, I can.
“Wait …” I mutter. “I know you, right?”
“Yeah, I’m that guy who ate a sandwich with you the other day. You don’t remember? Should I call a nurse?” He chuckles.
I roll my eyes. “No. I mean …” I recognize him from somewhere. “I know you from … school, right?”
His eyes suddenly widen, and he slams his lips shut.
HA! I knew he looked familiar. “No way! I knew it.”
The muscles in his face tighten. “Oh, boy.”
“I’ve seen you at school a few times.”
“Really?” he says, scratching the back of his neck.
“Yeah … don’t tell me I’m making this up. I’m not crazy … right?” I pout.
He smiles, his dimples making me wanna pinch his cheeks. “No, you’re not crazy. It’s just a surprise that you’d even recognize me. People usually don’t even see me. I’m invisible.”
“Yeah?” I bite my lip and frown. “Same here.”
He lowers his arm. “No … you’re not invisible at all,” he says, looking at me with half-mast eyes. “I see you. All the time.”
Romantic couple kissing with love and passion


Author Bio:
Want to be the first to get your hands on new books & get access to free short stories, giveaway prizes, previews, and more? Sign up here http://eepurl.com/FdY71
Clarissa Wild is a New York Times & USA Today Bestselling author, best known for the dark Romance novel Mr. X. Her novels include the Fierce Series, the Delirious Series, and Stalker. She is also a writer of erotic romance such as the Blissful Series, The Billionaire's Bet series, and the Enflamed Series. She is an avid reader and writer of sexy stories about hot men and feisty women. Her other loves include her furry cat friend and learning about different cultures. In her free time she enjoys watching all sorts of movies, reading tons of books and cooking her favorite meals.


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Sunday, 25 September 2016

In the Graveyard Antemortem by Stephen Stromp

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Kindle Scout.
In the Graveyard Antemortem
Blurb (from Goodreads):
*Winner of Amazon's reader-powered Kindle Scout program.*

Seventeen-year-old Lisa Jacobs is determined to solve her father’s gruesome murder. But before she can investigate in her own small town, she is forced to spend the summer with her Uncle Clayton, the owner of Grand Hallow—a massive funeral and mortuary operation the size of a small city.

Her move to Grand Hallow only deepens the mystery as she begins to suspect the strange and chilling occurrences there are linked to her father’s death.

With the help of her acid-tongued best friend and deadbeat brother, Lisa must unravel the secrets of Grand Hallow—before it’s too late.

In the Graveyard Antemortem is a mystery/suspense novel with a healthy dash of horror.


In the Graveyard Antemortem by Stephen Stromp

My rating: 3.25 of 5 stars


In the Graveyard Antemortem “Even in my state of paralysis, and beyond the fact that it was evident my father had not done this to himself, I realized something else was not right with the scene: there was no blood.”


This was a YA horror/mystery story featuring cannibalism.

I felt quite sorry for Lisa, discovering her father murdered must have been awful for her, and to then have to go and live with an uncle that she had never met before couldn’t have been easy either.

The storyline in this started with Lisa discovering her dead father, and then followed Lisa as she had to move into her uncle’s place, which was a large funeral and mortuary business. Unfortunately though things at the mortuary were not normal, and poor Lisa discovered loads of weird stuff going on and some strange characters also. There were a few twists in this, some which I guessed and some which I didn’t, but the story did feel a bit disjointed at times, as though Lisa’s father’s death was forgotten somewhat once she started investigating what was going on at the mortuary, and again after someone had been arrested but the story kept going as if they hadn’t.

The ending to this was okay, although I wasn’t 100% convinced that things were really over.



6.5 out of 10

I’m Not Afraid of Wolves by Erin Hayes #Giveaway


I’m Not Afraid of Wolves
Erin Hayes
(The Cotton Candy Quintet #4)
Publication date: September 22nd 2016
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
Christine would do anything to get away from it all.
After escaping an abusive marriage and heading up a group of brand new performers, she’s tired and in need of a vacation. So when her sister Sara wants her to go camping out in the mountains of Georgia with the girls, she packs her bags for some rest and relaxation. Not even meeting a gorgeous park ranger like Colton Donnelly is going to distract her.
Except Sara didn’t tell her the real reason for the trip: she’s running away from a terrible secret. One that puts all of their lives in danger.
Now the vacation that Christine so desperately needed is ruined, but that’s the least of her worries. She has to use her wits and skills to save them all. Because she soon finds out that werewolves are very real. And they’ll stop at nothing to get their claws into her sister.
EXCERPT:
When the sliding door locked, I turned my gaze onto Sara and watched her, waiting for her to bring up her story. I wanted her to be the one who talked first, if only because I didn’t want to prod her too much if she was traumatized by whatever this was.
But if she was going to try to weasel her way out of talking to me, she had another thing coming.
“Wow,” she murmured softly. “Look at that full moon.”
I picked up a note of fear in her voice. “Yeah,” I said cautiously. “It’s beautiful.”
“I used to think so.” Sara turned around and looked back at me. Her eyes were wide with fright and the rigidity told me something else was going on with her.
Finally, my patience snapped.
“Sara, what’s wrong?”
“You won’t believe me,” she repeated, using the same phrase she used when we were putting food away.
I crossed my arms. “I think you’ll be surprised.”
Sara’s jaw worked. “I think I’m going to need more wine for this.”
I held up my glass. “Just drink mine.” Don’t think I’m letting you back in the kitchen that easily. She’d run away and hide and hoped I’d forget about it. She wanted to talk about it, but she was too afraid to.
She took my glass and downed the rest of it in one chug. I raised my eyebrows in surprise.
“Okay,” she said, as if warming herself up for our talk. “Okay.”
“It will be all right,” I told her.
“No, it won’t.” Tears started filling her eyes. “Christine, do you believe in werewolves?”
Beautiful young bride walking on the field of flowers


Author Bio:
Sci-fi junkie, video game nerd, and wannabe manga artist Erin Hayes writes a lot of things. Sometimes she writes books.
She works as an advertising copywriter by day, and she's a New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author by night. She has lived in New Zealand, Hawaii, Texas, Alabama, and now San Francisco with her husband, cat, and a growing collection of geek paraphernalia.
You can reach her at erinhayesbooks@gmail.com and she’ll be happy to chat. Especially if you want to debate Star Wars.

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Saturday, 24 September 2016

The Gender Game by Bella Forrest

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to NightLight Press and NetGalley.
The Gender Game
Blurb (from Goodreads):
A toxic river divides nineteen-year-old Violet Bates's world by gender.
Women rule the East. Men rule the West.

Welcome to the lands of Matrus and Patrus.

Ever since the death of her mother, Violet's life has been shadowed by bad luck. Already a prisoner to her own nation, after two unfortunate incidents resulting in womanslaughter, now she has been sentenced to death.

But one decision could save her life.

One decision to enter the kingdom of Patrus, where men rule and women submit.

Everything about the patriarchy defies Violet's identity, but she must sacrifice many things if she wishes to survive the forbidden kingdom... including forbidden love.

In a world divided by gender, only the strongest survive...


The Gender Game by Bella Forrest

My rating: 3.25 of 5 stars


The Gender Game “Once you reach the other side of the river, trust no one, Violet. Do you understand me?”


This was a YA dystopian story, in which different genders ruled in different cities.

Violet was quite unfortunate in this story that she kept finding her way into trouble. At points it even seemed like she was doing it on purpose as she had very little regard for rules and regulations, and just did things that she knew she shouldn’t be doing.

The storyline in this was about a secret mission that Violet was sent on, which involved going to Patrus, marrying a Patrus man as a cover story, and then stealing a special silver egg. The pace in this was just way too slow for me though, and I didn’t really love the forbidden romance either as again it just seemed like Violet inviting trouble in.

The ending to this was the most exciting part of the book, but it left Violet in a very tricky position.



6.5 out of 10

The Surrendered by Case Maynard #Giveaway


The Surrendered
Case Maynard
Published by: Blaze Publishing
Publication date: September 20th 2016
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
After a financial collapse devastates the United States, the new government imposes a tax on the nation’s most valuable resource—the children.
Surrendered at age ten—after her parents could no longer afford her exorbitant fees—Vee Delancourt has spent six hard years at the Mills, alongside her twin, Oliver. With just a year to freedom, they do what they can to stay off the Master’s radar. But when Vee discovers unspeakable things happening to the younger girls in service, she has no choice but to take a stand—a decision that lands her on the run and outside the fence for the first time since the System robbed her of her liberty.
Vee knows the Master will stop at nothing to prove he holds ultimate authority over the Surrendered. But when he makes a threat that goes beyond what even she considers possible, she accepts the aid of an unlikely group of allies. Problem is, with opposing factions gunning for the one thing that might save them all, Vee must find a way to turn oppression and desperation into hope and determination—or risk failing all the children and the brother she left behind.
EXCERPT:
A sinking feeling washes over me. “We’re going to Meadowood.”
He responds without opening his eyes, “I want answers.”
I start to argue that this will be a fool’s errand, but in truth, I want the same answers he does. “Do you think the man who rescued Oliver was with the Southies?”
“I don’t know who else it could’ve been.” He sits up and stretches. “It must’ve been them, and I want to know why they changed the plan without informing us. The Master and his Regulators got to the rooftop very quickly after I fired that shot. I have to wonder if someone told them we were there.”
“You think the Southies took Oliver to get the combination and then set the Regulators on us? Why would they do that?”
He rubs his face. “It doesn’t make any sense. But something’s not adding up.”
I ponder this, thinking about my brother’s strange plea. “I know you think I’m insane, but I can’t help but feel like Oliver knew someone was going to take him; I swear it felt like he was speaking to me when he said not to interfere. But that doesn’t make any sense, either. He’s been behind the fence for years.”
Cason yawns and tries to shake off the effects of the Papaver. “I don’t think you’re crazy; his message did seem odd for someone who was about to hang for a crime he didn’t commit. I don’t know, but hopefully he’ll be at Meadowood and you can ask him yourself.”
My mood elevates as I realize I may only be hours away from a reunion with my brother. The pain in my arm forgotten, I try to concentrate only on this knowledge, confident we’ll have our answers soon enough. “I didn’t get a chance to thank you for earlier. You could’ve just turned me over to the Master and walked away, but you didn’t. I’m grateful for that.”
I feel a little embarrassed as soon as the words leave my mouth. Normally I’m not one to share my feelings, but the Papaver Flower makes me breathless and lightheaded and loosens my tongue.
He reaches for me, careful not to jostle my splinted wrist, and pulls my face to his. “I’m probably going to ruin that sentiment by telling you the Master would never have let me go anyway, but know this—” he runs the pad of his thumb along my lower lip and meets my eyes “—if everyone else in the entire world leaves you to fend for yourself, if your father, your mother, your brother disappoint you, if God himself decides you aren’t worthy . . . you’ll still be able to count on me. I’ve got your back, Vera.”
the-surrendered-teaser-8


Author Bio:
With over 20 years’ experience in the legal and medical fields, Case Maynard decided to trade in her briefs and reports to write the stories that have been floating around in her head since childhood. She lives with her two teenagers and husband in South Georgia, while maintaining a long-distance liaison with her oldest daughter and partner in crime in Alaska. When not writing, she enjoys reading as often as possible, binge watching anything good on Netflix, and all things NCAA football (Go Noles!). You can learn more about Case and her stories on her website.

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