Thursday, August 28, 2014

Blog Tour Review: Inamorata by Megan Chance @TLCBookTours

Title: Inamorata

Author: Megan Chance

Publication date: August 1st, 2014

ISBN: 9781477823033

Synopsis (according to Goodreads):
American artist Joseph Hannigan and his alluring sister, Sophie, have arrived in enchanting nineteenth-century Venice with a single-minded goal. The twins, who have fled scandal in New York, are determined to break into Venice's expatriate set and find a wealthy patron to support Joseph's work.

But the enigmatic Hannigans are not the only ones with a secret agenda. Joseph's talent soon attracts the attention of the magnificent Odile Leon, a celebrated courtesan and muse who has inspired many artists to greatness. But her inspiration comes with a devastatingly steep price.

As Joseph falls under the courtesan's spell, Sophie joins forces with Nicholas Dane, the one man who knows Odile's dark secret, and her sworn enemy. When the seductive muse offers Joseph the path to eternal fame, the twins must decide who to believe--and just how much they are willing to sacrifice for fame.

I received a physical copy from the author in exchange for an honest review and participation in a blog tour.

I must admit I had grown predictable in my reading choices. It was normally paranormal romance or contemporary romance and I never deviated. When I was approached to read Inamorata, I pondered the discomfort of branching out of my normal genres. Finally, I threw caution to the wind and decided a historical read, with just a dash of fantasy so I didn't venture too far away from my zone, was going to be my guinea pig. I had never read anything by Megan Chance so it was also a way to test a new writer (for me at least).

Joseph and Sophie Hannigan are two twins with an odd connection. They are incredibly close and Sophie has learned to take a backseat to Joseph's work. It was no surprise that they ended up in Venice in hopes of expanding on her brother's talent and finding a rich benefactor to make him rich and famous. Sophie, Joseph's docile muse, is willing to do whatever it takes to make her brother a star. Even seduce and manipulate a man by the name of Nicholas Dane. 

The Hannigans do not have to work very hard to dazzle anyone they come into contact with. They seem to fuel compliment each other to such an extent that men and women alike can't help but be captivated by them. But their abilities to draw people in could also be their downfall when a seductive succubus catches wind of the handsome artist sibling, Joseph. Sophie has a strong aversion to Odile from the beginning and makes every attempt to keep her brother away from the temptation that is the famous courtesan. But Joseph seems under a spell that no one can break. Not even the sister he loves more than anything in the world.

Sophie finds help from the most unlikely of people. Nicholas Dane who she was meant simply to seduce into introducing her brother to a well known patron of the arts has a secret past with Odile. He has been following her for years trying to thwart her attempts at destroying young artists' lives and leaving them in talentless ruin. Can Sophie and Nicholas stop Odile from claiming Joseph's soul before it's too late? 

This book was incredibly odd to me. When I finished it, I closed the book, stared at the cover, and muttered a 'Huh. That happened.' The incestuous undertones between the twins coupled with Sophie's potential romance with Nicholas confused me. I didn't know who I was rooting for. And if I rooted for the siblings to become romantically involved, how screwed up was I? I really liked Joseph. I saw how pained he was to know his sister was hurt by the scandal they left in New York and how much he wanted to be famous, not just for himself but for his sister. He wanted to take care of her. I loved him as a character. I growled and bared my teeth when he became involved with Odile though. No likey the succubus. Sophie seemed a little too submissive and docile for my liking, but thinking back, women were taught to be that way in the 19th century. Is it really a surprise that at least one of the characters had that sort of personality?

I found the book to be okay. There was no part of it that resonated in my brain really. It kept me reading but with a bit of a lackluster attitude. I liked the different landmarks in the book, but being as I know nothing about Venice or it's popular places, I had a hard time picturing the scenes. That was a bit frustrating for me personally. Other people may not have the same issue. If you are a history buff who also likes a dash of otherworldliness in your reading, Inamorata is for you.

Available at:
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Rest of the Tour
August 4th: Ageless Pages Reviews
August 5th: My Shelf Confessions
August 5th: Reading Reality
August 7th: The Whimsical Cottage
August 8th: The Book Binder's Daughter
August 11th: Biblioteca
August 11th: Unabridged Chick
August 12th: Patricia's Wisdom
August 13th: Books a la Mode - Guest Post
August 13th: Unabridged Chick - Q&A
August 18th: 100 Pages a Day... Stephanie's Book Reviews
August 18th: Literally Jen
August 19th: Savvy Verse & Wit
August 19th: Vox Libris
August 20th: Brook Blogs
August 21st: Svetlana's Reads and Views
August 25th: Books Without Any Pictures
August 26th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
August 27th: Wensend
August 29th: Under a Gray Sky
September 1st: Snowdrop Dreams of Books

About the Author:
Megan Chance is a critically acclaimed, award-winning author of historical fiction. Her novels have been chosen for the Borders Original Voices and IndieBound's Booksense programs. A former television news photographer and graduate of Western Washington University, Chance lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and two daughters.

Hosted by:

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Waiting On Wednesday (67)

Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine. This is a once-a-week look at the book(s) I am anxiously awaiting release.

Crown of Ice by Vicki L. Weavil

This book is to be released September 9th, 2014. It is a stand-alone novel.

Thyra Winther's seventeen, the Snow Queen, and immortal, but if she can't reassemble a shattered enchanted mirror by her eighteenth birthday she's doomed to spend eternity as a wraith.

Armed with magic granted by a ruthless wizard, Thyra schemes to survive with her mind and body intact. Unencumbered by kindness, she kidnaps local boy Kai Thorsen, whose mathematical skills rival her own. Two logical minds, Thyra calculates, are better than one. With time rapidly melting away she needs all the help she can steal.

A cruel lie ensnares Kai in her plan, but three missing mirror shards and Kai's childhood friend, Gerda, present more formidable obstacles. Thyra's willing to do something--venture into uncharted lands, outwit sorcerers, or battle enchanted beasts--to reconstruct the mirror, yet her most dangerous adversary lies within her breast. Touched by the warmth of a wolf pup's devotion and the fire of a young man's desire, the thawing of Thyra's frozen heart could be her ultimate undoing.

CROWN OF ICE is a YA Fantasy that reinvents Hans Christian Andersen's "The Snow Queen" from the perspective of a young woman who discovers that the greatest threat to her survival may be her own humanity.

I am always up for a good retelling. I think this may be an even better retelling than the movie Frozen. Oh yeah, I said it. The book just sounds amazing. I am always up for reading books by debut authors and this one sounds like a great one.

What are you "Waiting On" this Wednesday?

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Review: Layers by Sigal Ehrlich @Sigal_Ehrlich

Title: Layers

Author: Sigal Ehrlich

Series: Stark #1

Publication date: October 10th, 2013

ISBN: 9781939927958

Synopsis (according to Goodreads):
According to Hayley love is a subject of ridicule, a myth created by hopeless romantics.

When Hayley makes a resolution to declare her loose lifestyle era R.I.P, it's all good in theory...

That is until she meets Daniel Stark, a well-respected, mid-thirties business man who is known for his short temper, lack of steady relationships as well as his strict preserve of his private life.

Opinionated, sharp tongued Hayley accidentally steps into his office leaving Daniel resolved to put Hayley in her place and have her in his bed.

Both Hayley and Daniel can't avoid the immediate instigation of the attraction between them.

In a unanimously agreed upon verdict by Hayley and her two best friends, Ian the gay self-absorbed, aspiring model and Natasha the witty, borderline neurotic soul mate, Daniel Stark is to be Hayley's pure physical attraction, emotions aside era closure.

Will it indeed be a closure, or a beginning to something neither Hayley nor Daniel ever bargained for...

I received an e-copy of this book from the publishers at NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

When I read this, I had not read any Erotica in a long time. I had stuck my head in the proverbial paranormal romance sand and hadn't ventured out. I thought I was due a change so through random draw of all my review books, this one was selected. I went into it with an open mind as I knew there would be no hunky vampires are troubled werewolves to be found. Could I venture out of my comfort zone for a sexy bit of smut?

Hayley has no desire to be hired at the job she is interviewing for. Her friend and roommate conned her into coming with her and so, Hayley did the dutiful best friend thing and went along. As she ventures away from the group to find much needed caffeine she bumps into what she suspects is just another worker named Daniel in the office. They exchange witty comments and leave with smiles. Eventually Hayley starts receiving emails from the CEO of the company she had been interviewing for asking her to come in for a follow up interview. She goes and lo and behold the coffee room conversationalist is no more than the owner of the company. Thinking back on the less than courtesy words Hayley said about the CEO and his company she is utterly humiliated. She leaves in a huff but Daniel has found something special in Hayley and is not willing to let her go.

Hayley decides to explore things with the hot and incredibly domineering CEO. This is her chance to explore a situation where she can explore sex without frivolous emotions getting involved. She is saying goodbye to her need for love and companionship and getting a few orgasms along the way doesn't hurt. But the more time Hayley and Daniel spend together the deeper their feelings grow until they must confront the fact that their no strings attached arrangement may no longer work for them.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I loved the alpha male vibe that Daniel exuded. That just plan does it for me. And then to see Hayley give Daniel hurtles to jump through and forcing him to face situations that he would normally shy away from was absolutely adorable. I loved these two characters and the chemistry between them was red hot. I normally like to let myself be drawn into books so I can actually attempt to experience the things characters are. When reading Erotica that makes the experience even more fun. I could identify with Hayley. I have been where she has been where love and relationships just don't seem worth it anymore. That sort of experience in a book is rare and always welcomed.

I think if you like hot sex scenes with a quirky, fun female protagonist and a domineering, troubled bad boy then Layers is the book for you!

Available at:
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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Waiting On Wednesday (66)

Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine. This is a once-a-week look at the book(s) I am anxiously awaiting release.

Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

This book is to be released September 2nd, 2014. It is the third book in the Throne of Glass series.

Lost and broken, Celaena Sardothien's only thought is to avenge the savage death of her dearest friend: as the King of Adarlan's Assassin, she is bound to serve this tyrant, but he will pay for what he did. Any hope Celaena has of destroying the king lies in answers to be found in Wendlyn. Sacrificing his future, Chaol, the Captain of the King's Guard, has sent Celaena there to protect her, but her darkest demons lay in that same place. If she can overcome them, she will be Adarlan's biggest threat--and his own toughest enemy.

While Celaena learns of her true destiny, and the eyes of Erilea are on Wendlyn, a brutal and beastly force is preparing to take to the skies. Will Celaena find the strength not only to win her own battles, but to fight a war that could pit her loyalties to her own people against those she had grown to love?

I have heard such wonderful things about this series. I have the first book in the series, but, sadly, have yet to dive into this beautiful series. I know, bad book reviewer, bad. I will get to it, I promise. But can you believe how pretty the covers of these books are? I mean... crazy beautiful!

What are you "Waiting On" this Wednesday?

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Tell Me Something (39)

"Tell Me Something" Tuesday is a meme hosted by Heidi @ Rainy Day Ramblings

This week's question is:

Do you still go ahead and review a book that you have for review after reading several not so flattering reviews?

To be honest, if I have a book for review I try not to read any reviews about it until I finish it. I don't want to suffer any spoilers or get a bad taste in my mouth about the book before I give it a fair shake. Would that be fair?

Oh, there have been moments in the past where I have read reviews about a book, at the time I didn't have for review, but later obtained. Now that was a sticky situation. Fortunately most of the reviews I read about these books were good ones with zero spoilers.

I know how bad it can be to talk about a book a friend or book pal wants to read and then spoiling something for them inadvertently. Nothing is as frightening as the wrath of a bookworm. I barely escaped with my life.

So, yes I review books even if I have read bad reviews about them, however, I try to avoid reading reviews until AFTER I have read the book in question. Nothing could be worse than writing off a book that could potentially rock your world. Not everyone's opinions are the same after all.

Do you read books you've read not-so-dazzling reviews for or do you write it off as a loss?

Monday, August 18, 2014

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (59)

"It's Monday! What are you reading?" is a meme hosted by Sheila @ Book Journey.

Dire Needs by Stephanie Tyler
Series: Eternal Wolf Clan #1
Publication date: March 6th, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Bought from local used bookstore (A Novel Idea).

Feared by humans and envied by werewolves, the Dire Wolves are immortal shifters, obeying no laws but their own bestial natures.

Rifter leads the pack, and his primal instincts have led him to claim Gwen, a woman seeking solace from the chronic pain that has wracked her body her entire life.

But whatever future Rifter and Gwen have is threatened by an enemy of both humanity and the Dire Wolves...

What are you reading this Monday?