Sunday, 24 May 2015

Fantasy of Flight (The Tainted Accords #2) by Kelly St. Clare

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to author Kelly St. Clare.
Fantasy of Flight (The Tainted Accords #2)Blurb (from Goodreads):
Fantasy of Flight is the highly anticipated second installment of The Tainted Accords.

My veil is off and I need it back.

Stuck in the lethal outer rings of Glacium, I must fight to survive until I can find the answers I seek and find a way back to the Bruma castle. Being a Solati from the enemy world of Osolis would be bad enough, but being the Tatuma, the next in line to rule…No one can find out who I really am. Especially now the veil is off.

Has the Tatum refused King Jovan’s peace offers and declared war? Do my brothers and Aquin know I’m alive? Who are my enemies and who are my friends? Nothing is certain. Though, if I think about it, nothing has been certain in a long time.
All of my worries must all be put aside.

I can’t imagine many distracted fighters survive The Pit.

Warning: Fighting, adventure, action, fantasy, sexual themes and heartbreak (about twice that found in Fantasy of Frost. Watch out for the cliff-hanger ending, too!

Fantasy of Flight by Kelly St. Clare

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Fantasy of Flight (The Tainted Accords #2)(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to author Kelly St. Clare.)

“Tomorrow morning, Newbie will be joining the rest of you in the main gym. She’ll be fighting in the rings this week.”

This was a great fantasy sequel to Fantasy of Frost, and Lina continued to be a strong female lead.

Well, Olina was one heck of a kick-ass chick in this book! After the events of Book 1, she managed to not only look after herself, even though she was a very strange place and completely cut off from all that she had ever know, but she also managed to become a top fighter, and best men twice her size! Go Olina! There is seriously no stopping this girl once she knows what she wants, and if you get in her way – look out!

“Shard shoots me an amused glace. He is the only one I couldn’t beat.”

The storyline in this was good, although I did despair of the situations that Olina got herself into at times! This poor girl was constantly out of the fire and into the frying pan, and even when it looked like things might finally be looking up, she was in trouble again!

“I’m half standing when I remember he can’t possibly recognise me.”

There was a touch of romance in this, and it was surprising, but good! I don’t want to say too much, but I was so upset for Olina after when happened with Kendrick in Fantasy of Frost, and I really want her to have a chance to be happy!

“His kiss is firm, but his lips are devastatingly soft. It’s the direct opposite of Sin’s kiss. And then the tingles start. The ones I’ve only felt a couple of times before.”

The ending to this once again left me desperate for the next instalment! Well done Kelly for another fabulous fantasy adventure!
8 out of 10

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Skeletal by Katherine Hayton

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Katherine Hayton and NetGalley.

Blurb (from Goodreads):
Three months before she died Daina Harrow faced a bully at school. Six weeks before she died Daina Harrow suffered an assault in the park. One week before she died Daina Harrow stole a secret people had killed to hide. That was ten years ago. Ten long years. Now, her bones have been found on a building site. A coroner's inquest has been reopened. A parade of witnesses is about to start. And Daina's here. Watching every day as her mother cries in the courtroom. Watching every day as her friends, and her enemies, and her killers lie about her on the stand. Watching, and making sure that no matter what the coroner hears, you know the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. So help you God.

Skeletal by Katherine Hayton

My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

Skeletal(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Katherine Hayton and NetGalley.)

A blow across the face shut me up. And then Uncle Charles’ face softened. “Oh, honey I’m sorry. You just got me riled when you don’t pay attention.”

This was an okay story, but I lost interest.

I felt really sorry for Daina in this book, it seemed like everyone treated her like trash, without even knowing her, and the way her mother treated her was even worse! To not even bother to make sure that her daughter was fed and safe was just disgusting behaviour.

The storyline in this bounced between the court proceedings following Daina’s death, and the story of Daina’s life leading up to her death, and the way that nobody seemed to care about her, and the way she was bullied was so upsetting! I really felt so sorry for the poor girl, and I really would have hoped that she had someone in the world who cared about her, but it really didn’t seem that way at all.

This book did start to drag a bit in the middle though, and I got bored. I wanted to know who had killed Daina and why, but it just dragged and dragged, and very little seemed to be happening other than Daina’s life continuing to be poo. The rape scenes in this book were also not very nice.

The ending to this was okay, but it was sad that Daina obviously died.
5 out of 10

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Bone Deep by Kim O'Brien

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Spencer Hill Press and NetGalley.
Bone Deep
Blurb (from Goodreads):
When Paige Patterson travels to Arizona to spend the summer with her archeologist father, she expects answers. Why did her parents divorce? Why did her father choose his career over family? She doesn’t expect to be reunited with her best friend Emily Linton, a girl she has always admired and secretly wanted to emulate, or to find herself falling for the project manager’s son, Jalen Yazzi.

But the summer takes a terrible turn when Emily vanishes. As the police struggle for answers, Paige sets out to find the truth.

The search takes Paige from the Cliffside ruins of prehistoric Native Americans to the Navajo Nation to the horrifying possibility that the answer is much closer to home. Emily, it turns out, was not the only one good at hiding things.

Her father has no alibi for the night Emily disappeared. An intern with the motive insists he’s innocent. And Jalen has some secrets of his own.

Old bones might not be the only things buried in the ruins. As Paige digs deeper into Emily’s disappearance, she realizes that uncovering the truth may cost her everything—even her life.

Bone Deep by Kim O'Brien

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Bone Deep(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Spencer Hill Press and NetGalley.)

“You will fall in love, but you won’t help her and she’s going to die.”

This was a really interesting YA murder-mystery story, with a bit of archaeology thrown in.

I liked Paige in this story, and it was sad that she had had such a difficult time during her parent’s divorce. For one of her oldest friends to then go missing the way she did was really awful for her, especially when she didn’t know if someone close to her was involved.

“Detective Rodriquez is building a case against Jeremy Brown because she believes he might have done something even worse to Emily than he did to me.”

The storyline in this followed Paige and Emily at the start of the story, and then Paige once Emily went missing. I did have an idea of who was behind Emily’s disappearance, but I wasn’t able to guess all of the details! The archaeology in the story was a nice touch though, and I definitely learned some things that I didn’t know before.

“I think the sneakers and the corn are symbolic. A lot of ancient tribal burial ceremonies involved placing moccasins and food along with the body of the loved one. The moccasins symbolised a swift journey to the next world, and the food was to provide nourishment along the way.”

There was a bit of romance, and there was a little bit of a love triangle at one point. I did like the way the romance played out though.

“He takes my face in his hands, carefully moved my hair, and then his lips close over mine.”

The ending to this was pretty good, and we definitely got a bit of action. We didn’t get a 100% happily-ever-after, but hey, this book featured a murder-mystery so what can you expect?
7.5 out of 10

Talisma by Marie Mohn

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to author Marie Mohn.

Blurb (From Goodreads):
Thrilling all age fantasy, dramatic twists and a stirring love story! Why did Kaja – a bearer of good fortune – suddenly run out of luck? Shadow creatures are lurking in the dark, one misfortune leads to the next, and her fear of being claimed by the aristocrats increases by the hour. Furthermore, she is torn between her seaman and the wild wood wanderer, before whom all warn… Can she escape her superior opponents? And how will her heart decide?

Talisma by Marie Mohn

My rating: 3.25 of 5 stars

Talisma(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to author Marie Mohn.)

“To love me is suicide for you! You have to keep away from me!”

This was an interesting fantasy-romance story, about a green-eyed girl and the two boys who loved her.

I felt quite sorry for Kaja at the start of this book, the way she lost her sister was awful, and having to hide her green eyes from everybody couldn’t have been easy either.

“Women with these deep green eyes were considered to be charms for good luck.”

The storyline in this followed Kaja as she met a boy who lived in the forest, a ‘wood-wanderer’ and the powers that she discovered because of him. There was some action, but this was strongly about the romance too.

“Never speak to a wood wanderer!” he had always warned. “Do not look to them and keep your distance! They are dangerous!”

Kaja found herself torn between her ‘wood-wandreer’ Teon, and her childhood friend Nio. At first I preferred Teon, but as the story went along I grew to prefer Nio, especially as he cared for Kaja so much.

“Had he really attempted to propose marriage to her? After their first kiss?”

The ending to this was okay, and we got a bit of action, I wasn’t 100% happy with the way the love triangle ended though!
6.5 out of 10.

Friday, 22 May 2015

Illusionarium by Heather Dixon

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):
What if the world holds more dangers—and more wonders—than we have ever known? And what if there is more than one world? From Heather Dixon, author of the acclaimed Entwined, comes a brilliantly conceived adventure that sweeps us from the inner workings of our souls to the far reaches of our imaginations.

Jonathan is perfectly ordinary. But then—as every good adventure begins—the king swoops into port, and Jonathan and his father are enlisted to find the cure to a deadly plague. Jonathan discovers that he's a prodigy at working with a new chemical called fantillium, which creates shared hallucinations—or illusions. And just like that, Jonathan is knocked off his path. Through richly developed parallel worlds, vivid action, a healthy dose of humor, and gorgeous writing, Heather Dixon spins a story that calls to mind The Night Circus and Pixar movies, but is wholly its own.

Illusionarium by Heather Dixon

My rating: 3.25 of 5 stars

Illusionarium(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)

“Illusionists are rare, which means illusionariums are even rarer.”

This was an interesting fantasy story, but I did lose interest a bit towards the end.

Jonathan was a character who tried his best to find a cure for the strange fever that was killing all the women in the country, but he was easily led at times! Thinking that a competitor might help you, is maybe a little too trusting!

“You stupid idiot,” he rasped. “You let divinity tell you what to illusion, didn’t you.”

The storyline in this started out quite well, and I liked the use of the strange ‘fantillium’ and all the things that they were able to do with it. There were some twists and turns in the tale and Jonathan seemed to get himself in bigger and bigger messes, I did lose interest at some point though, and I wanted things to be solved!

“Well Jonathan,” said Lady Florel, beaming. “Shall we fetch that cure?”

The ending to this was okay, and I was happy with the happily ever after, I just didn’t expect the story to drag so much after the half-way mark.
6.5 out of 10

Marked (Servants of Fate #1) by Sarah Fine

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Amazon Publishing and NetGalley.

Blurb (from Goodreads):
In a broken landscape carved by environmental collapse, Boston paramedic Cacia Ferry risks life and limb on the front lines of a fragile and dangerous city. What most don’t know—including her sexy new partner, Eli Margolis—is that while Cacy works to save lives, she has another job ferrying the dead to the Afterlife. Once humans are “Marked” by Fate, the powerful Ferrys are called to escort the vulnerable souls to either eternal bliss or unending fire and pain. Unaware of Cacy’s other life, Eli finds himself as mesmerized by his fierce and beautiful partner as he is mistrustful of the influential Ferry clan led by the Charon—who happens to be Cacy’s father. Cacy, in turn, can no longer deny her intense attraction to the mysterious ex-Ranger with a haunted past. But just as their relationship heats up, an apparent hit takes the Charon before his time. Shaken to the core, Cacy pursues the rogue element who has seized the reins of Fate, only to discover that Eli has a devastating secret of his own. Not knowing whom to trust, what will Cacy have to sacrifice to protect Eli—and to make sure humanity’s future is secure?

Marked by Sarah Fine

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Marked (Servants of Fate, #1)(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Amazon Publishing and NetGalley.)

“I feel like I failed you,” he said.
She shook her head. “You were amazing, and you did all you could.”

This was an okay story, but I didn’t love it.

Cacy was an okay character, and she worked really hard as a paramedic, Eli did all he could to look after his sister, and was also a good paramedic, but I just didn’t connect with them as much as I wanted to.

The storyline in this was about certain people being ‘marked’ for death, and a runaway ‘ker’ who was doing the marking? I think? Anyway, I found the world-building in this just not detailed enough for me. I didn’t understand the world they lived in, I didn’t understand why Boston had rivers instead of streets, or exactly what the heck the supernatural stuff was about, and I just lost interest.

There was some romance and a couple of sex scenes, and while I wanted Cacy and Eli to be together, I didn’t really feel the romance all that much.

The ending to this was pretty forgettable, in fact half an hour after finishing I really can’t remember what happened.
6 out of 10

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Black Rainbow by J.J. McAvoy

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to J.J. McAvoy, NYLA, and NetGalley.
Black Rainbow
Blurb (from Gooreads):
A sweet and steamy New Adult Romance from Amazon bestselling author of the Ruthless People series, J.J. McAvoy…

After an erotic one-week fling with a musician she meets in a bar, Thea Cunning never expects to see Levi Black again. Then Monday morning comes around, and she discovers that her former lover is not only her professor, but he’s also one of the top criminal lawyers in the state of Massachusetts.

With everyone in class vying to be one of the twelve disciples—a group of twelve students that Professor Black takes under his wing—tensions run high. Thea considers dropping his class, given their passionate week together and their undeniable chemistry. After all, there are other (less infuriatingly sexy) law professors on campus.

But to accomplish her goal and get her father out of prison, Thea knows she needs to learn under the best of the best—and that’s Levi Black.

But can she learn under the best, without being under the best?

Black Rainbow by J.J. McAvoy

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Black Rainbow(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to J.J. McAvoy, NYLA, and NetGalley.)

“I’m getting addicted,” I confessed to myself. “I’m getting addicted to Levi Black.”

This was a really good romantic suspense story, and I really enjoyed it.

I liked both Thea and Levi, and I thought they worked really well together. Thea was stubborn and went after whatever it was she wanted, and Levi was intelligent and really good at his job. This pair just gelled so well!

“You are not a black rainbow. I see every one of your colors.”

The storyline in this was both about the romance between Thea and Levi, and the way that they met, as well as the case that they were working on. When it then turned out that Thea also had a case she was passionate about, this came into the story too, and what a case it turned out to be!

“Having The Shark as a mother, must have been like having the ultimate crash course in law.”

The romance in this was good, and I really liked Thea and Levi together. The sex scenes were also pretty steamy!

“I was tempted to call her now, or swing by after work, but i
We’d made a deal; it was meant to be just a one week fling, after out week was up, we agreed that we’d both go our separate ways.
Why had we made such a stupid fucking deal?”

The ending to this was really good, although I thought the epilogue was a little unnecessary.
Overall; sexy romantic suspense,
7.5 out of 10

Blood and Bone by Tara Brown

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Tara Brown, Amazon Publishing , and NetGalley.

Blurb (from Goodreads):
What would you do if your life was a lie—and everyone knew but you? Jane has come a long way from the dark days of the horrific car accident that robbed her of many memories. Living the life of a shopgirl with a charming boyfriend—a handsome, green-eyed doctor named Derek—is so satisfying that she doesn’t want to revisit her past. But the past insists on revisiting Jane. People keep thinking she’s Samantha, a dead girl who looks exactly like her. Now, Jane is determined to discover her connection to the girl, leading her to question everything from her relationship with Derek to her own sanity. Should she believe Rory, the man who insists she actually is Samantha? Or should she depend on Derek, who offers her love and shelter…but who may have other reasons for keeping her under wraps? Who is telling her the truth—and what are the others hiding?

Blood and Bone by Tara Brown

My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

Blood and Bone(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Tara Brown, Amazon Publishing , and NetGalley.)

“Remember, I told you how there was a case of mistaken identity with Samantha Barnes? The dead man is the one who mistook me for her. And now he’s dead.”

This book was just… odd.

I really don’t know where to start with this one, because even after reading the whole book, I am still having problems really understanding who the main character was, because there were so many twists thrown in here, so many false identities and lies, that I’m not really sure I know any of the characters in this book at all.

“I go to bed, convincing myself that it doesn’t matter. I am Jane, and Samantha and her crazy life are over.”

The storyline in this really confused me, and even when I wasn’t confused, I still couldn’t be sure that I really understood what was going on. I found the first half of this book pretty boring, and then the second half just kept flinging so many different things at me that I didn’t know if I was coming or going! Who was Jane really? Who was Derek really?

“Yes, we were identical. Yes, we both had a terrible car accident. Yes, we named our cats the very same strange name.
But my life is on the other side of the country, and I lived through my tragedy.”

There was some romance, and several (sometimes rough) sex scenes, and I had to laugh at the way people kept referring to Derek as having a ‘magic cock’ – to the point where one chapter was actually called that!

“He’s a surgeon and a humanitarian and a good cook.”
He bites his lip, furrowing his dark brow. “Right, and he’s got a magic cock.”

The ending to this was still confusing, and while I think I have an idea of what happened, I’m still not sure that that is what actually happened. I really don’t think I have the motivation to read the next book in this series.
5 out of 10

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

The Cost of All Things by Maggie Lehrman

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):
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind meets We Were Liars in this thought-provoking and brilliantly written debut that is part love story, part mystery, part high-stakes drama. What would you pay to cure your heartbreak? Banish your sadness? Transform your looks? The right spell can fix anything…. When Ari's boyfriend Win dies, she gets a spell to erase all memory of him. But spells come at a cost, and this one sets off a chain of events that reveal the hidden—and sometimes dangerous—connections between Ari, her friends, and the boyfriend she can no longer remember. Told from four different points of view, this original and affecting novel weaves past and present in a suspenseful narrative that unveils the truth behind a terrible tragedy.

The Cost of All Things by Maggie Lehrman

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Cost of All Things(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)

“You’d be as graceful as a gazelle. But then that spell comes with its own set of side effects, and then you’re up to three permanent spells – very bad. Very risky. Side effects cascading.”

This was a story about grief and magic, but I lost interest a bit towards the end.

There were 5 main characters in this book. Ari was so desperate to forget her boyfriend that she was willing to take a spell to forget him! I’m not sure this was really the best idea to be honest, and paying for it with money that didn’t belong to her seemed like a bad idea as well.

“I want to cry, but if I start, I’m afraid of what will happen. I’m afraid of what I’ll become.”

I felt quite sorry for Kay, that she was insecure enough to think that she needed magic to keep her friends close to her, and Markos seemed a bit messed up with grief.

“They would be loyal. They would be constant. They wouldn’t leave me to go travelling the world. They couldn’t leave me – the spell kept them near.”

I didn’t really get much from Diana, she was a bit of a nothingness character, and Win was the dead guy, so his chapters were from the past, before he died.

“Win was dead. See, I could say it right out loud. Dead. I no longer had a best friend and never would again.”

The storyline in this followed the 4 teens after the death of Win, and their interactions with the Hekamists – and the spells each of them was under! I thought that the world-building with regards to the magic in this story was done well, and it was interesting the way that there was no way to end a spell once cast! It was also a pretty interesting mystery as to what had happened to Win, not to mention the blackmail going on, and the really unethical spells going round too!

“Don’t even try to play that game because you’ll lose. Pay me my money or everyone finds out.”

There was a little bit of romance in this, but not a lot, and it was more about the interactions with regards to the relationships, rather than an actual romance storyline.

“And if you’re looking to reverse the spell itself, not the side effect, you’re mostly out of luck.”

The ending to this was interesting as so many spells came to light, and we also got another unexpected death, I have to admit to having lost interest a bit by the end though, even with the revelations, and I struggled to finish this really.
6 out of 10

From a Distant Star by Karen McQuestion

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Karen McQuestion, Amazon Publishing, and NetGalley.
From a Distant Star
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Seventeen-year-old Emma was the only one who hadn’t given up on her boyfriend, Lucas. Everyone else—his family, his friends, his doctors—believed that any moment could be his last. So when Lucas miraculously returns from the brink of death, Emma thinks her prayers have been answered.

As the surprised town rejoices, Emma begins to question whether Lucas is the same boy she’s always known. When she finds an unidentifiable object on his family’s farm—and government agents come to claim it—she begins to suspect that nothing is what it seems. Emma’s out-of-this-world discovery may be the key to setting things right, but only if she and Lucas can evade the agents who are after what they have. With all her hopes and dreams on the line, Emma sets out to save the boy she loves. And with a little help from a distant star, she might just have a chance at making those dreams come true.

From a Distant Star by Karen McQuestion

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

From a Distant Star(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Karen McQuestion, Amazon Publishing, and NetGalley.)

“A shape-less something flew out of the craft, latched onto his nose, and wiggled upward until it covered his eyes. The sensation was stronger than a breeze, almost like a splash of water to the face, but not exactly like that either. He stepped back, blinked, and shook his head trying to get the thing off him, but it was stuck, covering his eyes and making his vision murky.”

This was a YA sci-fi story, about a boy whose body has been taken over by an alien.

Emma fought really valiantly to keep her boyfriend Lucas alive, and it was so mean the way his mother treated her like dirt. I thought that Emma did well to keep fighting for Lucas though, even when the things he said sounded very strange!

The storyline in this revolved around Emma trying to cure Lucas of his cancer, and then cure him of the alien inside him! The pace in this was very slow though, and I did find my attention wandering a lot.

There was some romance, but not a lot, because Emma knew that Lucas wasn’t really Lucas.

The ending to this was fairly happy, and this did improve a bit towards the end. I wasn’t the biggest fan of this book really though, the slow pace and the fact that it didn’t hold my attention well made it feel like a really long book.
6 out of 10