Saturday, 13 February 2016

Progeny: Dystopian Fiction by D.R. Windsor

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to author D.R. Windsor.
Progeny: Dystopian Fiction
Blurb (from Goodreads):
When seventeen-year-old Eriah Collingwood gets recruited into the Melange – the governing division of America – not only does he free himself from the limitations of the camps, but he also sets out to save his father’s life with a dangerous quest to retrieve the elixir of life.

During the challenging integration process, Eriah struggles to work alongside his fellow recruits, discovering an expanding conflict when he finds himself involved in an overwhelming case that might solve the mystery behind the loss of his childhood memories.

As the integration advances, he experiences the ultimate test: controlling the sinister device that he was implanted with at ten years old - it threatens to dismantle his entire plan. Some of the consequences of the decisions that follow might be disastrous enough to unfold his apparently imperfect life.

Progeny: Dystopian Fiction by D.R. Windsor

My rating: 3.25 of 5 stars

Progeny: Dystopian Fiction “I used to be a pre-member of Jersey. More recently, of the Melange. Now I don’t know who I am.”

This was quite a complex dystopian story, with a couple of twists.

Eriah worked hard to get where he wanted to go in this book, even if his big mouth could have gotten him in trouble at times. He did seem to care a lot about his parents though, even if his actions weren’t 100% by the rule.

The storyline in this was quite complex, and there was quite a lot of world building. I did find it a little confusing in places, and found I had to concentrate really hard to keep track of what was going on. I also found that the storyline went in a direction I hadn’t thought it would go at the start, and there were a couple of twists that I didn’t see coming.

The ending to this was okay, although it was clear that the story would continue in the next book.
Overall; complex dystopian, but I had a bit of trouble following it at times.

6.5 out of 10

Friday, 12 February 2016

The Secret to Letting Go by Katherine Fleet

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Entangled Publishing, LLC and NetGalley.
The Secret to Letting Go
Blurb (from Goodreads):
One summer can change everything...

Haunted with guilt after his girlfriend’s death, Daniel Hudson has no interest in committing to anyone. At the end of the summer, he’ll be leaving Florida for a new start in college. If only he could avoid the mysterious new girl in town, who seems every bit as naive and eccentric as she looks. Trouble is, she’s hard to ignore, with her beautiful piercing eyes, pitiful-looking dog, and unsettling tendency of finding trouble.

Clover Scott lived her whole life off the grid and arrives on the Gulf coast in search of her grandparents. She never expected to nearly drown, or get caught in a hurricane, or fall in love with the boy who rescues her. Now, she has a chance to rewrite her life’s story, to finally fit in somewhere, but Daniel wants answers about her past. When the police start asking questions about the disappearance of her parents, she must make a choice: go to jail or confess her secrets—even if they might destroy her chance at a happily-ever-after.

The Secret to Letting Go by Katherine Fleet

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Secret to Letting Go "His lips found mine, as soft as a dragonfly landing, so soft that maybe I'd imagines it. Was he kissing me? My first kiss?"

This was a YA contemporary romance about a girl who needed saving, and a boy who wanted to save her.

I felt quite sorry for Clover in this story, being left with no family and nowhere to live must have been awful for her, especially considering the circumstances. She did come across as a little naïve though.

The storyline in this was about Daniel trying to save Clover, quite literally in a couple of places, and there was also a bit of mystery over what had happened to Clover for her to end up where she did, and also about Daniel’s old girlfriend who had died. There wasn’t quite enough about the dead girlfriend for me though, and I wanted to know more about what had happened and why.

There was some romance in this, although again, there wasn’t enough romance for me. I felt like Clover and Daniel fell for each other pretty quickly, but there weren’t many romantic scenes between the two of them.

The ending this was fairly happy, but overall I just wanted a bit more romance.

6 out of 10

Thursday, 11 February 2016

The Haunting (Red Eye) by Alex Bell

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Little Tiger Group and NetGalley.
The Haunting
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Some curses grow stronger with time…
People say that all Cornish inns are haunted, but the Waterwitch’s history is particularly chilling. Built from the salvaged timber of a cursed ship, the guest house’s dark secrets go further back than anyone can remember.
Emma is permanently confined to a wheelchair after an accident at the Waterwitch which took place when she was ten. Seven years later, she decides to return to the place where the awful event occurred. But the ancient inn still has its ghosts, and one particular spirit is more vengeful than ever…
A chilling new title in the Red Eye horror series from the author of Frozen Charlotte.

The Haunting by Alex Bell

My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

The HauntingUnfortunately, like the previous book in this series, this one just did not hold my attention well at all. There were a couple of moments that could have been creepy (highlight to view spoiler - Shell pulling a feather out of her eye, and Emma having her wheelchair pushed by a ghost ) but overall I struggled to get through this one.

5 out of 10

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

True North (Undertow #3) by K.R. Conway

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to K.R. Conway, Wicked Whale Publishing , and NetGalley.
True North (Undertow, #3)
Blurb (from Goodreads):
For Eila Walker, history has become its own demon. After months of trying to keep ahead of those who are hunting her, Eila is more than ready to end her days of running. But her ancestor, Elizabeth, has left a twisted legacy in her wake that shadows Eila still, nearly 170 years later.

When her grandfather reveals that he has kept a priceless piece of the past hidden in his vault on the island of Polaris, Eila and her friends are hopeful they may finally find the answers they so desperately need.

But just when Polaris is beginning to feel like a safe haven, a brutal attack leaves the group shattered. Eila, desperate to end the violence, soon finds herself drawn into the decadent underworld of the Mortis, where lies become truths, and allies . . . become killers.

True North by K.R. Conway

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

True North (Undertow, #3) “Nothing can happen to you, do you understand? I can’t live without you.”

This was a good third instalment, and the stakes were really raised.

Eila had a lot to deal with in this book, and she just about made it, although she did have her moments. Raef again seemed overprotective though.

The storyline in this did confuse me a bit, and I think I really need to go back and reread books 1 and 2 again, but there was action, and an unexpected death to keep things flowing.

The ending was a bit of a cliff-hanger again! I will be re-reading these before that fourth one comes out!

7 out of 10

Banished (Forbidden #2) by Kimberley Griffiths Little

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.
Blurb (From Goodreads):
She thought she’d lost everything . . .

After spending months traveling the harsh, unforgiving Mesopotamian desert, Jayden reunites with a broken, injured Kadesh. Although everyone was convinced the violent and unpredictable Horeb, Jayden’s betrothed, killed the handsome prince, Jayden knew in her heart that her love was alive and safe. But their reunion is short-lived, as they learn Horeb is on their trail and determined to take back the girl he has claimed. Soon, the two star-crossed lovers are on the run toward Sariba, Kadesh’s homeland, where, as heir to the Kingdom, he plans to make Jayden his princess.

But the trek to Sariba is fraught with heartache and danger. After narrowly escaping being stoned to death for a crime she didn’t commit, and learning that her sister has disappeared, Jayden’s only solace is her love for Kadesh. But even he is keeping secrets from her . . . secrets that will change everything.

This gorgeous and enchanting sequel to Forbidden, is full of love, danger, and heated passion that will leave readers breathless.

Banished by Kimberley Griffiths Little

My rating: 3.25 of 5 stars

Banished “If he found me he’d either kill me or lock me up in chains as his wife.”

This was an okay sequel, but things didn’t really improve for Jayden.

Jayden really showed some spirit in this book, and she stayed strong through some really awful times. Unfortunately though, even the smallest matter wasn’t made simple for her, and she really had to fight to survive.

“Touch me and I’ll kill you.”

The storyline in this was about Jayden discovering that Kadesh wasn’t really dead, and travelling to find him, and then them travelling together to Kadesh’s kingdom, with a bloodthirsty Horeb hot on their heels. There was quite a lot of travelling in this book, and backtracking, and the pace of the book seemed quite slow because of it. We did get a bit of excitement though, and a little dash of romance.

“I brought you here because I plan to make you my wife.”

The ending to this again didn’t leave Jayden in the best of situations, and it will be interesting to see if she finally gets happy ending in the third book.

6.5 out of 10

Alice Takes Back Wonderland by David D. Hammons

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Curiosity Quills Press and NetGalley.
Alice Takes Back Wonderland
Blurb (from Goodreads):
 After ten years of being told she can't tell the difference between real life and a fairy tale, Alice finally stops believing in Wonderland. So when the White Rabbit shows up at her house, Alice thinks she's going crazy.

Only when the White Rabbit kicks her down the rabbit hole does Alice realize that the magical land she visited as a child is real.

But all is not well in Wonderland.

The Ace of Spades has taken over Wonderland and is systematically dismantling all that makes it wonderful. Plain is replacing wondrous, logical is replacing magical, and reason is destroying madness. Alice decides she must help the Mad Hatter and all those fighting to keep Wonderland wonderful.

But how can she face such danger when she is just a girl?

Alice must journey across the stars to unite an army. She discovers that fairy tales are real in the magical world beyond the rabbit hole. But they are not the fairy tales she knows.

Fairy tales have dangers and adventures of their own, and Alice must overcome the trials of these old stories if she wants to unite the lands against Ace.

With the help of Peter Pan, Pinocchio, Snow White and heroes old and new, Alice may have the strength to take back Wonderland.

Alice Takes Back Wonderland by David D. Hammons

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Alice Takes Back WonderlandThis book was just a mess. Alice seemed to be in need of psychiatric help, I didn’t get why Peter Pan suddenly showed up, and the tangents that this book then went off on were nothing short of ridiculous - (highlight to view spoiler - what has rescuing Tinkerbelle got to do with anything? Why are Peter Pan and the lost boys even in this story? Why the heck is the tic-toc-croc suddenly Pinocchio in an automaton suit? Are you kidding me?)

Needless to say I spent most of this book hoping that the end would come quicker, and getting frustrated with the random places the storyline went. I would not want to read another book by this author.

4 out of 10

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Reign of Shadows by Sophie Jordan

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.
Reign of Shadows
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Seventeen years ago, an eclipse cloaked the kingdom of Relhok in perpetual darkness. In the chaos, an evil chancellor murdered the king and queen and seized their throne. Luna, Relhok’s lost princess, has been hiding in a tower ever since. Luna’s survival depends on the world believing she is dead.

But that doesn’t stop Luna from wanting more. When she meets Fowler, a mysterious archer braving the woods outside her tower, Luna is drawn to him despite the risk. When the tower is attacked, Luna and Fowler escape together. But this world of darkness is more treacherous than Luna ever realized.

With every threat stacked against them, Luna and Fowler find solace in each other. But with secrets still unspoken between them, falling in love might be their most dangerous journey yet.

Reign of Shadows by Sophie Jordan

My rating: 3.25 of 5 stars

Reign of Shadows “This tower isn’t my fate.”

This was an interesting YA fantasy, with a couple of twists that made it a little more special.

Luna was a strong character, and the way she coped with her disability was admirable, if maybe a little unrealistic? (highlight to view spoiler - how does a blind person manage to run through the forest without hitting a tree or tripping over something? Is this just me being an idiot? Can blind people really do that? )

The storyline in this was about Luna leaving her tower, which really reminded me of Rapunzel – is this supposed to be a retelling? Whilst we have an almost permanent eclipse, and weird creatures which try to eat anything that moves roaming around. We got very little in the way of explanation as to what these creatures were, or why there was a permanent eclipse, and the plants seemed to not do too badly considering that they only got 1 hour of daylight a day – is that reasonable though? Could plant-life really continue to support life if it could only photosynthesise for 1 hour a day? And wouldn’t there be a build-up of carbon dioxide and a decrease in the amount of oxygen available because of this? And if they live mainly on meat, well what does the meat eat? (I really don’t think this world stands up to modern science).
Anyway, the story was fairly enjoyable once you ignored all these questions, and the romance happened fairly slowly.

The ending however was a giant cliff-hanger! I didn’t even realise this was a series until I got to this point, so it was a bit of a shock really!

6.5 out of 10

Monday, 8 February 2016

The Abyss Surrounds Us (The Abyss Surrounds Us #1) by Emily Skrutskie

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Flux and NetGalley.
The Abyss Surrounds Us (The Abyss Surrounds Us, #1)
Blurb (from Goodreads):
For Cassandra Leung, bossing around sea monsters is just the family business. She’s been a Reckoner trainer-in-training ever since she could walk, raising the genetically-engineered beasts to defend ships as they cross the pirate-infested NeoPacific. But when the pirate queen Santa Elena swoops in on Cas’s first solo mission and snatches her from the bloodstained decks, Cas’s dream of being a full-time trainer seems dead in the water.

There’s no time to mourn. Waiting for her on the pirate ship is an unhatched Reckoner pup. Santa Elena wants to take back the seas with a monster of her own, and she needs a proper trainer to do it. She orders Cas to raise the pup, make sure he imprints on her ship, and, when the time comes, teach him to fight for the pirates. If Cas fails, her blood will be the next to paint the sea.

But Cas has fought pirates her entire life. And she's not about to stop.

  The Abyss Surrounds Us by Emily Skrutskie

My rating: 3.25 of 5 stars

The Abyss Surrounds Us (The Abyss Surrounds Us, #1) “It’s just a rite of passage,”

This was an interesting fantasy/pirate story, with genetically engineered beasts!

Cas had to make some tough decisions in this book, and I didn’t blame her for the choices she made. Being kidnapped by pirates does not sound like fun!

The storyline in this was about Cas’ kidnapping, and the expectation that she would train an illegal Reckoner pup for the pirates. We also got a little bit of girl-on-girl romance, and a couple of twists thrown in also. The pace was a little up and down for me though, with lots of action one moment, and then a dull patch that followed it.

The ending to this was okay, but it was obvious that there would be more adventures for Cas in the future.

6.5 out of 10

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Dead Ringer by Jessie Rosen

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks Full Fathom Five and NetGalley.
Dead Ringer
Blurb (from Goodreads):
From the moment Laura Rivers steps foot into Englewood High, she notices the stares—and they aren’t the typical once-overs every pretty new girl endures. The students seem confused and…spooked. Whispers echoing through the halls confirm that something is seriously off. “That new girl looks just like her,” they say.

It turns out Laura has a doppelgänger, and it isn't just anyone—it's Sarah Castro-Tanner, the girl who killed herself by jumping into the Navasink River one year ago.

Laura is determined not to let the gossip ruin her chances of making a fresh start. Thanks to her charming personality and California tan, she catches the eye of Englewood’s undisputed golden boy, Charlie Sanders, and it’s only a matter of time before they make their relationship official.

But something is making Charlie and his friends paranoid—and Laura soon discovers it has to do with Sarah Castro-Tanner.

What really happened to Sarah? Why is Charlie unraveling? And how does Laura Rivers fit into it all?

After all, she’s the dead ringer for a dead girl.

Dead Ringer by Jessie Rosen

My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

Dead Ringer “I don’t know if I can lie this time,” Charlie confessed. “It’s really getting to me.”

This book was unfortunately, pretty dull.

There were too many characters in this for me, especially ones who went by two names, which was a bit confusing, especially at the start.

The storyline was mainly about this girl Sarah who had committed suicide, and this girl Laura who looked a lot like her. We then got a bit of different characters day-to-day lives, which was pretty dull, and then a bit of a twist towards the end. I found the twist a little far-fetched though, and I just didn’t believe it.

The ending was then a bit of a non-ending, with very, very little actually tied up at the end. Can’t say that I was very impressed overall.

5 out of 10

Saturday, 6 February 2016

Crosstown Crush: Book 1 in Series (Sins in the City #1) by Cara McKenna

Sponsored post: I received a finished paperback copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks Little Brown Book Group.
Crosstown Crush: Book 1 in Series (Sins in the City)
Blurb (from Goodreads):
The first in a new series from the “wicked-hot”* author of Hard Time and Give It All explores the fantasies of a daring married couple—and those of a stranger invited to play along in their scandalous little games…

 When he’s working, Mike Heyer is all business—every inch the alpha male, with the hard, capable body to back up his persona. But at home he can be a different man entirely, harboring appetites only his wife gets to glimpse…

When Samira first learned of her husband’s fantasies, she was reluctant, even alarmed. But after witnessing the way they set him on fire, she yielded, and happily indulged. As their games have intensified, so has the rush. And now so has the risk—they’re poised to take Mike’s indecent desires to the next level, by opening their bed to a sexy, brazen stranger. A man seeming custom-made to grant every last one of Mike and Samira’s sinful wishes.

Welcoming someone new into their lives was always a dangerous proposition, but the couple imagined if anything was at stake, it was their privacy…not their hearts.

*New York Times Bestselling Author Jaci Burton

Crosstown Crush: Book 1 in Series by Cara McKenna
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Crosstown Crush: Book 1 in Series (Sins in the City)
Highlight to view quote (+18's only)
“I want to kill that cocksucker, Mike thought.
But I want to watch him fuck Sam about ten times worse.”

This was a really sexy story, about a couple with a cuckolding fetish.

Okay, so first of all I have never heard of this sort of kinkiness before, and it was quite shocking to me that a man would want his wife to have sex with other men to turn him on. Kind-of strange, but the author made it make sense!

Anyway, Samira was a really great wife to Mike in that she went along with this kink, and even went to extremes to try and make their sex life good for him, and Mike seemed to be really into the idea that his wife was cheating on him, although I did worry over whether the introduction of a real life man into their sex life would shake things up maybe too much.

The storyline in this was mainly about Samira and Mike inviting Bern to join them, and to set up some cuckolding scenes so that Mike could walk in on Samira and Bern having sex, and the sex scenes in this book were pretty steamy!

The ending to this was a little disappointing for me, although things seemed to be working out okay for the characters, I just didn’t feel like the story was 100% finished.

7 out of 10.