Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday (16)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and features different book related themes each week. This week the theme is:

Top Ten Books I Read in 2013

I read so many good books over the course of the year, I hope I can limit my selections to just ten. Let's try and find out.

Escaping Reality by Lisa Renee Jones (review)
Series: The Secret Life of Amy Bensen #1

Breaking Nova by Jessica Sorensen (review)
Series: Breaking Nova #1

Jet by Jay Crownover (review)
Series: Marked Men #2

Shadows by Paula Weston (review)
Series: The Rephaim #1

Ascension by Caris Roane (review)
Series: The Guardians of Ascension #1

Jacob by Jacquelyn Frank (review)
Series: The Nightwalkers #1

Assassin's Touch by Laurie London (review)
Series: Iron Portal #1

Wait For You by J. Lynn (review)
Series: Wait For You #1

Breaking the Storm by Sedona Venez (review)
Series: Credence Curse #1

What are some of the top books you read in 2013?

Monday, December 30, 2013

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (35)

"It's Monday! What are you reading?" is a meme hosted by Sheila @ Book Journey
Since I am not permitted to read e-books at work. I will be reading one physical book and one e-book ever week from now on. :)

Elijah by Jacquelyn Frank
Series: The Nightwalkers #3
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Publication date: December 18th, 2007
Purchased from used bookstore.

They are called the Demons, one of the elusive Nightwalker races living in shadow and struggling for survival against their human enemies. Their proudest warrior is Elijah, a man who bends for nothing and no one...until one woman brings him to his knees...

Some Feelings You Just Can't Fight

He is known as the Warrior Captain--a master of every weapon, a fierce soldier sworn to protect his kind. Powerful, relentless, merciless, Elijah has always won every battle he's ever taken on--until now. Ambushed by necromancers, he is left for dead only to be discovered by the woman who could very well deliver the final blow... Siena, the Lycanthrope Queen.

With three centuries of warring, little more than a decade of uneasy peace has existed between the Lycanthropes and Elijah's people. Now, after a lifetime of suspicion, the warrior in Elijah is consumed with a different battle--winning Siena's heart by giving her pleasure beyond all boundaries. What starts as attraction and arousal soon burns into a passion with consequences that will echo through the ages for both their people. And as would-be enemies become inseparable lovers, another threat approaches, one with the power to destroy them all...

Surrender to the night.

Darkness Awakened by Katie Reus
Series: Darkness #1
Format: E-book
Publication date: November 3rd, 2013
Provided by the publishers on NetGalley for review.

Years ago he ended things between them to protect her...

As leader of one of the fiercest werewolf packs in the south, Finn Stavros is in full battle mode 24/7. He has no choice—he’s one of the few beings strong enough to fight the Akkadian demons, whose mysterious escape from hell threatens the entire world. With the battle turning bloodier by the second, Finn is ready for anything…until his vampire long lost love shows up on his doorstep in desperate need of his help, sending his heart into a tailspin. He agrees to help her, unaware that she carries a shocking secret that will turn his life upside down.

This time, he’s not letting her go...

Vampire Lyra Marius curses the day she met Finn. The ruthless werewolf promised to love her forever, but he rejected her instead—before she could share her life altering news. Pregnant, kicked out of her coven, and cast aside by the love of her life, Lyra struggled to raise their rare shifter-vampire daughter Vega alone among humans. When the 16-year-old is kidnapped and used to fulfill a frightening prophecy, Lyra swallows her pride and turns to Finn for help. But how long can she fight her feelings for him and keep him from guessing the truth about who Vega really is? As they race against the clock to save their daughter, they must defeat the lethal threat imposed by demons infiltrating the human world and a hell gate that could not only reveal their existence to mankind, but destroy the world in the process.

What are you reading this Monday?

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Review: Born In Blood by Alexandra Ivy @NetGalley

Title: Born in Blood

Author: Alexandra Ivy

Series: The Sentinels #1

Publication date: December 31st, 2013

ISBN: 9781420125146

Synopsis (according to Goodreads):
In a stunning new paranormal romance series—even edgier than her bestselling Guardians of Eternity books—New York Times bestselling author Alexandra Ivy lures readers into the dark, seductive world of the Sentinels—humans outcast by their hidden abilities, treading the line between life and death, good and evil, pleasure and pain...

Born In Blood

Sergeant Duncan O’Conner has seen it all before. A beautiful erotic dancer is found murdered in her home—no suspect, no motive. But there’s one clue: she’s missing her heart. It’s enough to make the hard-bitten Kansas City cop enlist the help of a necro—one of the dead-channeling freaks who live in the domed city of nearby Valhalla. It’s a long shot, but desperate crimes call for desperate measures.

Unlike the other “high-bloods” in Valhalla, Callie Brown considers her abilities a gift, not a curse. But when she reads the dancer’s final thoughts, she senses a powerful presence blocking her vision. This is no ordinary homicide. This is the work of a legendary necromancer who controls souls. A ravenous force that will put Callie’s skills to the test, O’Conner’s career at risk, and both their hearts on the line... literally.

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

Alexandra Ivy is a name I have come to know from being involved in a paranormal romance book club and finding the genre to be one of my favorites of all time. I had never read any of her work and was hungry to sink my teeth into the first in one of her new series. The synopsis brought to light a whole new world of fantasy that was moderately unique. Other authors have done similar things with worlds were humans and superhumans coexist and are aware of each other, but not to this extent. I was anxious to wrap myself in a new world with new rules and new fantastical creatures to learn about.

Duncan is a cop first and foremost. Nothing else matters to him except his drive to bring justice to those harmed in his hometown of Kansas City. He is one of the few humans that hold no true animosity to the high-bloods (a group name for superhumans such as psychics, diviners/necromancers, and witches). He would rather keep his cases from involving the freaks, but he understand that sometimes his department needs a bit more help than mere humans can offer. Enter Callie Brown. She is a diviner who can enter the minds of the recently dead and view their last moments of life in hopes of finding the animal that murdered them. Duncan has always found Callie irresistible and is determined to coax her into his bed. Freak or not, she is the most dynamite woman he has ever laid eyes on. He can almost forget the dead girl with the missing heart and no signs of trauma to explain the disappearance. Almost.

Callie is called in on another of Duncan's case. With her tattooed mountain of a guardian following her every move it's hard to really get to know the handsome cop... especially when they only ever meet when some poor soul has lost their life. She is inside the mind of the dead, heartless woman when she comes face-to-face with a necromancer of great power. She realizes this is not an ordinary case. She must find this necromancer and stop him before his ability to turn corpses into walking, talking zombies threatens not just the human world but the world of the high-bloods as well.

Callie and Duncan are forced to wade the tranquil waters of a horrifying case set in motion by a psychotic high-blood and a budding romance between them. Humans and high-bloods are not supposed to mix, but there may be more to this particular human than meets the eye. Can Callie and Duncan find a balance between the mutual hatred of their kinds to both stop a madman and nurture the connection growing between them?

Let me first say, I am a romance fanatic. If a story doesn't have at least a hint of romance in it, I rarely want to read it. This book did not have that problem. There was plenty of romance to go around... in fact, too much romance to go around. The romance between Callie and Duncan ruined the reading experience for me, to be frank. I hated the fact that Duncan always said EXACTLY the right thing. It was always poetic and heartfelt and that just doesn't happen in reality. Sure, men can be sensitive, but from the moment they were alone Duncan was confessing how deeply he felt for her and the had only really talked this one time. Too fast, too corny, and too unbelievable. Callie's reserved nature was a bit more spot on as far as romances go, but even she had her moments of eye-rolling antics.

Now, the single saving grace that kept me reading and kept me moderately interesting despite speed reading through the romantic scenes was the world created. I liked that humans and high-bloods tended to look down their noses at each other as if they were more superior than the other. I liked the various mystical races created. I liked Fane's hard ass personality more than the author probably intended. In short, everything but the two main characters and their relationship.

I would recommend Born in Blood if you prefer sentimental romances where the characters are the epidemy of perfection in their relationships.

Available at:
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Saturday, December 28, 2013

Ladybug Loot/Book Haul (33)

Well, of course I have books! You didn't think the holidays and making purchases mainly for family and friends would keep me from partaking in some book buying of my own, did you? We are on our thirty-third week of Ladybug Loot, I would hope my ladybug literates would know me better than that by now ;)

Review Books

ARC of Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen (The Malediction Trilogy #1) - Goodreads / Amazon
Into the Wilderness by Mandy Hager (Blood of the Lamb #2) - Goodreads / Amazon
ARC of Burn by Julianna Baggott (Pure #3) - Goodreads / Amazon

Books Won

Come to Dust by J.S. Cook (Inspector Raft Mystery #3) - Goodreads / Amazon (won from author on Goodreads)
Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke (Between #1) - Goodreads / Amazon (won from Beth @ Curling Up With A Book)
Captive: The Forbidden Side of Nightshade by A.D. Robertson (Forbidden Side of Nightshade #1) - Goodreads / Amazon (won from Mary @ Bookhounds)

Books Bought

Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan - Goodreads / Amazon
Eve & Adam by Michael Grant & Katherine Applegate - Goodreads / Amazon
Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen (Bright Young Things #1) - Goodreads / Amazon
Waterfell by Amalie Howard (The Aquarathi #1) - Goodreads / Amazon
Defiance by C.J. Redwine (Defiance #1) - Goodreads / Amazon
The Demon Trapper's Daughter by Jana Oliver (The Demon Trappers #1) - Goodreads / Amazon
Pretty by Jillian Lauren - Goodreads / Amazon
The Luxe by Anna Godbersen (Luxe #1) - Goodreads / Amazon
Silver Borne by Patricia Briggs (Mercy Thompson #5) - Goodreads / Amazon


NetGalley (for Review)

ARC of Die for Love by Caridad Pineiro (The Reborn #4; The Calling #12) - Goodreads / Amazon
ARC of Temptation by Fire by Tiffany Allee - Goodreads / Amazon
ARC of Touch of the Wolf by Vella Munn - Goodreads / Amazon
ARC of Red Rising by Pierce Brown (Red Rising Trilogy #1) - Goodreads / Amazon
ARC of Song of the Fireflies by J.A. Redmerski - Goodreads / Amazon

Edelweiss (for Review)

ARC of Great by Sara Benincasa - Goodreads / Amazon
ARC of Pretty Sly by Elisa Ludwig (Pretty Crooked #2) - Goodreads / Amazon
ARC of Dear Killer by Katherine Ewell - Goodreads / Amazon
ARC of Faking Normal by Courtney C. Stevens - Goodreads / Amazon
ARC of Wanderers by Susan Kim & Laurence Klavan (Wasteland #2) - Goodreads / Amazon
ARC of Fugitive X by Gregg Rosenblum (Revolution 19 #2) - Goodreads / Amazon

Amazon Freebies

Witch Song by Amber Argyle (Witch Song #1) - Goodreads / Amazon
Fall From Grace by Christine Zolendz (Mad World #1) - Goodreads / Amazon

Won from Bloggers/Authors

Impasse by Sylvie Fox (L.A. Nights #2) - Goodreads / Amazon (won from author on LibraryThing)
Lennon's Rain by Chris Myers (Lennon's Girls #2) - Goodreads / Amazon (won from the girls @ Literati Book Reviews)

Thanks goes out to the publicity department of Strange Chemistry, PYR, Grand Central Publishing, Entangled: Ignite, Random House: Del Rey, Grand Central Publishing: Forever, HarperTeen, Katherine Tegan Books, as well as J.S. Cook, Beth @ Curling Up With A Book, Mary @ Bookhounds, Sylvie Fox, and the girls at Literati Book Reviews. Thank you for all the books :)