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Showing posts from July, 2013

The Vampire Queen's Servant by Joey W. Hill

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Lady Lyssa, queen of the vampires, the last in the line of pure royalty has been given a gift by her former human servant. Jacob, a former vampire hunter, has made it his goal to be his lady's bonded human servant. The premise of The Vampire Queen's Servant is very simple. Is Jacob worthy enough for Lady Lyssa and will she accept him as hers, bonded to her until her own life ends (that's pretty long considering she's nearly 5 centuries old)? But this is a Joey W. Hill novel and they never are simple. This is a story solely between two people. There is a subplot but serves more as background, a conflict source. But as a whole this is a book about Lyssa and Jacob, its their interaction, submission, domination, their anger, their joy, their love. Its as intense as anything. Although very strong on the BDSM elements and graphic sexual scenes, its the exchange during those moments that makes you aware of the emotions between Lyssa and Jacob. They serve as the cataly…

Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami

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"I once had a girl or should I say, she once had me.."
A Beatles' song takes the narrator, Toru Watanabe, to the events in his life twenty years ago.  While in college, he bumps into an old friend, Naoko who was his bestfriend's girlfriend. His bestfriend, Kizuki, took his own life when he was seventeen. His death changed the life of Toru and most especially Naoko. Toru and Naoko found themselves spending a lot of time with each other and later on formed some kind of a special relationship. However, after Naoko's 20th birthday, she decided to quit college and go to a sanatorium.
During Naoko's absence, Toru meet Midori, a fellow drama major. Despite having relationships with other people, they felt attracted towards each other. They become friends quite easily.
Toru's idyllic life suddenly becomes complicated when he becomes torn between his love for the fragile Naoko and his attraction for the lively Midori.

Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books by Azar Nafisi

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It is the story of women and books and literary figures and characters amidst oppression and censure. In truth, this book is a slow read for me. The number of times I picked it up and dropped again seemed too many to mention over the course of weeks (was it months?). Perhaps it may be said that this book is better when taken in small doses. As a woman living in a freer nation, I could almost take for granted the rights given to me as opposed to women pictured in the book. I am wrought with puzzlement and burden (and annoyance) as I manage to finish each chapter. Its fragmented narratives make it quite difficult to piece the story together in a timely manner but that is not really the core of this memoir for in the end it won't matter. Faith and beliefs are more important and shown to us the lengths people will go to to pursue it.
The pages are stained with numerous tragedy, deep suffering and atrocities one living in a free world couldn't begin to imagine. I could ignore that …

The Marriage Merger by Jennifer Probst

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The fourth book in the Marriage to a Billionaire series, The Marriage Merger, totally kept me at the edge of my seat.  I just had to finish it before the day ended. Having read the first three books in the series, this would probably be the best yet.  In terms of the tone of the story,  this one was edgier with more sexual scenes, some BDSM elements and more flawed characters than previously seen in the series. The main elements that bind the series like the Book of Spells and Mama Conte's way of matchmaking are still very much present.  While the clever and witty comebacks, one-liners and repartee did a great job in showing that both Sawyer and Julietta are both smart and definitely used to getting their own way type of people. This book is almost raw in the portrayal of both characters sensuality and vulnerability. For some readers the plot is almost ordinary but the author was able to portray both characters exceedingly well creating a tale about two people with a whole lot…

Stone Guardian by Danielle Monsch

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Danielle Monsch has crafted a fantastic world, introduced in Stone Guardian, the first book in her Entwined Realms series.Stone Guardian, opens with the human realm colliding with the magical realm. Supernatural creatures have invaded due to some unknown occurrence and 26 years later, the world has changed. The romance between Larissa, our ordinary but spunky human, and Terak, gargoyle shifter and leader of his clan has sometimes been overshadowed by the world that the author has created. The dialogue is clever and quick witted, the sensuality can definitely be felt along with the sizzling chemistry but the other characters with super human strengths, magical abilities and questionable fashion sense (*cough* Laire*cough*) do stand on their own, making the readers curious as to what happens next. Like any first book in a series, Stone Guardians serves as an introduction and whets your appetite for the next book. A good story and potentially looking like a great series.
*ARC provide…

Little Fish: A Memoir From a Different Kind of Year by Ramsey Beyer

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I haven't read a graphic novel/ comic book for a very long time  but Little Fish is something quite different.  For one its an autobiography.  Ramsey Beyer chronicles her first year of college in Baltimore, living far away from her small hometown in Michigan.  It's a young woman's journey into discovering who she is and how big the world is outside of her safe environment, crafted by way of drawings and artful notes.  Initially, it looks very simple almost plain even in the storytelling however as you keep reading you noticed the way each zine, graphic, note enhances the tale being told directly to the reader. It is a story within the art, simple yet charming, captivating and heartwarming.  A different reading experience that most can appreciate and enjoy. By the end of the book, I was so invested in her story that I wanted to learn more about her experiences. A coming of age novel that feels like the person is definitely living it.

Friday Night Alibi by Cassie Mae

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Friday Night Alibi, is a total surprise. This New Adult story about Kelli and Chase, totally hits the right notes for me. Told from Kelli's POV, the plot seemed simple enough, young love in bloom, amidst the pranks, banters and total denial of mutual attraction. Kelli is trying to keep emotions out of every equation, to compensate for her parents apparent indifference.   She tries to act cool but has made it impossible to take part in life when she started her business of being everyones Friday Night Alibi.  That is until she meets Chase. Chase who's all things un-Sundale.  This is a very refreshing read compared to other books from the same genre.  Filled with humor and funny moments, it still manages to pull at your heartstrings and root for Kelli to get her head out of the equation and just go for that kiss!  Innocent for NA but even that fits with the story.   There is still that sense of passion but its an underlying simmer which works since its the emotional connecti…

Undertaking Love by Kat French

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Love, Actually meets Four Weddings and a Funeral.  Sparks fly when wedding chapel owner Marla Jacobs finds out that a funeral parlor will be opening right near her place of business. Never mind that funeral director Gabriel Ryan is more gorgeous than any undertaker has a right to be. Who cares if that irish brogue of his keeps giving her those sweaty dreams. Keeping her business afloat is of top priority, or so she thinks.  This was a fun and delightful read, full of quirky characters and a few out of the box takes on those romantic tropes. Kat French's writing style is good, keeping the pace flowing, the bantering great and those wicked dialogues (*cough*Claudia was a riot*cough*) to keep on coming. This was basically a romance where the couple eventually got their happily ever after. The quote " You two are like Romeo and Juliet, star-crossed lovers kept apart by the brides on one side and the widows on the other"  just about sums it up.   It does read like those Brit…

From Book to Film: Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman

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Practicality and magic tossed around with a dash of sisters that couldn't be anymore different, eccentric aunts, a dusty manor, an array of black cats, and tantalizing attractions of the opposite sex and you'll be in for a little dark fable if not entertainment.
When the beautiful and precocious sisters, Gillian and Sally, are orphaned at a young age, they are taken to a small town in Massachusetts to be raised by their aunts, who happen to dwell in the darkest, eeriest house in town. As they become more aware of their aunt's mysterious and sometimes frightening powers, and their own powers begin to surface, the sisters grow determined to escape their strange upbringing by blending into "normal" society.
But both find that they cannot elude their magic-filled past. And when trouble strikes, in the form of a menacing backyard ghost, the sisters must not only reunite three generations of Owens women but embrace their magic as a gift. (*)

True Love by Jude Deveraux

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True Love is a love story within a love story. It's filled with romance, family secrets, a family ghost, lots of shenanigans and unique secondary characters that just simply fills up the pages.  A wonderful and captivating tale set in the beautiful Island of Nantucket.  Jude Deveraux's vivid descriptions and attention to detail,  brings you a story a little out of the box.

Alix and Jared's relationship starts out as hero worship on her part and keep your hands off her on his.  There is a 200 year old mystery to be solved, a ghost that gives out love advice, a bombshell mother/romance author, a doting father on the verge of falling in love, a long list of interfering relatives and friends and the beautiful background of Nantucket.  Throw in witty bantering and some sexual tension and you have the makings of True Love.

Charmed by Erica Ridley

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This was unique and funny book. Erica Ridley did a great job of putting together a paleo-archeologist and a scientist/tooth fairy apprentice. Trevor never though that in his entire career he would find Daisy La Fey inside his tent while in an archeological dig in Costa Rica. While she never thought Little Angus would be anything like Trevor, never mind that he doesn't seem to have any of his teeth missing. Indiana Jones meets Tinkerbell and chaos of the best kind happens. From missing teeth, to Himalayan Lust Charms, to True Love prepare to laugh your socks off. In the end like all fairy tales, they do get to the happily ever after eventually.

Summary:
Prepare to be... Charmed!

Daisy le Fey is good at a lot of things. Math, science, accidentally turning people into pumpkins... Unfortunately, she's not good at the one thing hiring managers look for when filling open positions for magical beings: Magic.

When she jeopardizes her apprenticeship by getting involved with sex…

Short Reviews: Paranormal Romance Series

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This is a short review of some of the long running and ongoing paranormal romantic series I have been reading. Each of the books for each series can't really be read as stand alone so I decided to review them collectively.

1. The Dark Carpathian Series by Christine Feehan
Christine Feehan's series Dark Carpathians is about a powerful and immortal race, blood drinkers with abilities that range from shape-shifting to superhuman strength. They can blend in among humans and has never killed any unnecessarily while drinking blood.  The main plot is romantic, male Carpathians must find their lifemates as soon as possible to prevent them from losing their emotions and their seeing in color.  As their population dwindles, with fewer Carpathians born and just a handful of females per generation, the males must decide to end their existence or fall prey to becoming vampires.  Vampires are considered monsters who kill humans and consider Carpathians as weak.  The series started with Dark P…

Hearts in Darkness by Laura Kaye

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Two strangers…

Makenna James thinks her day can't get any worse, until she finds herself stranded in a pitch-black elevator with a complete stranger. Distracted by a phone call, the pin-striped accountant catches only a glimpse of a dragon tattoo on his hand before the lights go out.
Four hours…
Caden Grayson is amused when a harried redhead dashes into his elevator fumbling her bags and cell phone. His amusement turns to panic when the power fails. Despite his piercings, tats, and vicious scar, he's terrified of the dark and confined spaces. Now, he's trapped in his own worst nightmare.
One pitch-black elevator…
To fight fear, they must reach out and open up. With no preconceived notions based on looks to hold them back, they discover just how much they have in common. In the warming darkness, attraction grows and sparks fly, but will they feel the same when the lights come back on?
Amazon

Making It Last (Camelot Series) by Ruthie Knox

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Meet Amber and Tony, a wonderful couple, together for 14 years, married for ten and have three beautiful children together. They seem like the poster child for a successful marriage.  That is until Amber starts falling apart.  This is an enlightening tale of what happens after the happily ever after. Making It Last, the fourth book in the Camelot series,  tells what marriage truly is about.  That sometimes in the pursuit of that happily ever after you kind of forgotten that there was a You and I in the Us.  It isn't just the role of provider and caretaker, mom and dad that can keep it together. It simply is keeping each other in sight and knowing that you have each other, you can survive anything.  This is a really good book, full of poignant, heartbreaking scenes, one that most married and even single people will definitely respond to.  Ruthie Knox is one truly talented writer.
"You, she thought.   I choose you.  I choose this. Again. Again. Always you."
I've always love…

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

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Set in South Carolina in 1964, The Secret Life of Bees tells the story of Lily Owens, whose life has been shaped around the blurred memory of the afternoon her mother was killed. When Lily's fierce-hearted black "stand-in mother," Rosaleen, insults three of the deepest racists in town, Lily decides to spring them both free. They escape to Tiburon, South Carolina, a town that holds the secret to her mother's past. Taken in by an eccentric trio of black beekeeping sisters (August, June and May), Lily is introduces to their mesmerizing world of bees and honey, and the Black Madonna. This is a remarkable novel about divine female power, a story women will share and pass on to their daughters for years to come. (*)

The Only Exception by Magan Vernon

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I was surprised how much I enjoyed reading this. Despite all the romantic tropes, it was engaging, witty and discusses controversial issues that needs to be tackled in today's society. It was written very well, in a way that was not preachy or even presented in a very direct manner. Rather it was done in a realistic way, what you would imagine would happen to a young woman faced with what Monica had to deal with.  Magan Vernon's The Only Exception is definitely exceptional.

*Thank you NetGalley and the publisher for providing the ARC in return for an honest review*

The Story Guy by Mary Ann Rivers

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I will meet you on Wednesdays at noon in Celebration Park. Kissing Only

Meet Carrie West, a librarian, who seems to have a perfectly content life. Until one day she just yearned for more.
Meet Brian Newburgh, a federal contracts attorney, who can only spare one hour of his time on Wednesdays, just for kissing.
One online personal ad later, they decided to meet.....just to kiss. But ended up wanting more.
Mary Ann Rivers' novella is an engaging, captivating read.  The type of romance that sweeps you off your feet while managing to fit in real life, portraying real struggles of what it really means to love.       
Ms. Rivers has that unique writing style that makes each word sing out, simple words with layered meanings.  Poetic prose anyone?
"I have never been gladder for my own uncomplicated life, the simple love I've had from my family and friends, for my interesting daily work and the unencumbered lifestyle I created for myself.  I have room for this."
This is Carrie saying …

Cover Reveal: Forever Freed by Laura Kaye

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Forever Freed by Laura Kaye:
A heart can break, even one that no longer beats.

I stalk my new neighbors, a single mother and her child, drawn by the irresistible scent of their joy and love. I crave their blood, starved for some healing respite from my ancient guilt and grief. Now to lure them into my grasp.

But they surprise me. Little Olivia accepts me without fear--talking, smiling, offering innocent affection that tugs at my long-lost humanity. Her mother, Samantha, seeks me out when she should stay away, offering sweet friendship, and tempting the forgotten man within me. They luremeinstead.

Ah,Dio, Lucien, run and spare them while you can...
NJRW GOLDEN LEAF WINNER FOR BEST PARANORMAL ROMANCE OF 2011
NJRW GOLDEN LEAF FINALIST FOR BEST FIRST BOOK OF 2011 GDRWA BOOKSELLERS' BEST CONTEST FINALIST FOR BEST PARANORMAL 2012
GDRWA BOOKSELLERS' BEST CONTEST FINALIST FOR BEST FIRST BOOK OF 2012
Buy Links: Amazon Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00DSP7AA2
Amazon Paperback: http://www.amazon…

Chasing Fire by Nora Roberts

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Little else in life is as dangerous as fire jumping. Flying past towering pillars of smoke, parachuting down to the edge of an all-consuming blaze, shoveling and sawing for hours upon hours, days at a time, all to hold the line and push back against the raw power of Mother Nature.

But there's also little else as thrilling - at least to Rowan Tripp. The Missoula smoke jumpers are one of the most exclusive fire-fighting squads in the nation, and the job is in Rowan's blood: her father is a legend in the field. She's been fighting fires since her eighteenth birthday. At this point, returning to the wilds of Montana for the season feels like coming home - even with reminders of the partner she lost last season still lingering in the air.
Fortunately, this year's rookie crop is among the strongest ever - and Gulliver Curry's one of the best. He's also a walking contradiction, a hotshot firefighter with a big vocabulary and a winter job at a kid's arcade. He came t…

Beauty Shop for Rent:...fully equipped, inquire inside by Laura Bowers

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Abbey Garner is used to killing time by reading questions from the snarky tabloids in Granny Po's struggling beauty shop.  It's not like there are a lot of customers to help, anyway.  Mostly just the feisty Gray Widows, who are there to primp, polish, perm... and of course, gossip.  
Abbey is there to work- to get a head start on the million dollars she intends to earn by the time she's thirty-five.  She doesn't have much time for boyfriends, parties or hanging out with friends.  But with the arrival of a trendy young woman who rents the beauty parlor and turns it into a modern-day spa, at least Abbey has a chance to make some real money.  Then all of this fades into the background when Abbey's mother, who abandoned her on Granny Po's doorstep four years ago, suddenly shows up with a wild scheme of her own.  ( Book Blurb)

The Ancient Garden A Love Story by Hwang Sok-Yong

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Oh Hyun Woo, a political activist, has served nearly twenty years of a life sentence, but when the Korean government relaxes its stance on such dissidents, he finds himself up for release. While he was growing old on the inside, though, things on the outside have changed, and he is soon adrift in a world full of noise and activity, multi-storey apartment blocks and mobile phones. As he struggles to adjust to the present, and to consider his future, Mr Oh is also forced to examine the past: family members he's lost, one way or another; friends he's no longer in touch with; comrades who have died or moved on - and the loss of the love of his life: it may have been two decades since they were together, but some relationships leave their mark no matter what.(Goodreads.com)

From Book to Film: The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge

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The adaptation of a book into screen is but one of the many ways to appreciate a story created in literature, to see it come to life (sometimes not exactly in the way we imagined it) but to enjoy it nevertheless through the interpretation of another. This is a new feature in the blog and count for more of these posts from hereon. Now what better way to start it than with a little fairy tale.

Thirteen-year old Maria Merryweather left London a penniless orphan to journey to the West Country to live with her nearest living relative, Sir Benjamin Merryweather of Moonacre Manor. Accompanied by her odd and rather rigid governess, Miss Heliotrope, they arrived to a charming English estate, met eccentric people, friendly animals, and lush gardens. However, the idyllic life in the manor is shadowed by appearances of black men, the De Noirs, from the woods and Maria's glimpses of a white horse at night. As the strange history of her family unfolds, an ancient feud was revealed done by her …