Monday, April 28, 2014

Wild About You


Today’s post is on Wild About You by Kerrelyn Sparks. It is one of her Love at Stake books. You do not have to have read any of the others to understand the book. The cover has the two main characters looking sexy and stuff. The intended reader is someone who likes paranormal romance, funny novels, and nothing too hard to read, just fun. There is some mild language, some violence, sex and sexuality; for adults only. The story is told by third person close moving from character as the story needs. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- Handsome Howard…Hunky Howard… Hot Howard…
It’s not every day that Elsa Bjornberg feels delicate, not when she hosts a home renovation show where she can effortlessly demolish a kitchen. But from the moment she meets Howard Barr, this bear of a man makes her feel like a woman. And the way he looks at her, as if she were a pot of honey he’s like to lick…
Howard is not like most men. For one things, he’s a shapeshifter. And he always thought his celebrity crush would never amount to anything more than drooling at Elsa on TV. When his meddling vampire employer gets involved, the star is suddenly within his grasp- and within a hair of her life. For an ancient curse forbids their newfound love, and Howard is suddenly torn between his desire for her and his desire to keep her alive.

Review- This is a fun light read that is funny too. I love Sparks. She knows that she is writing fun, silly paranormal romance novels and she loves it. Nothing too serious and nothing too demanding to think about. Just fun, cute characters, and sweet romance. Elsa and Howard have a lot going for them. He makes her feel like a woman and she helps him feel brave enough to love again. Sparks is an okay writer. She is not going to convert you to paranormal romance if you do not like the genre. But if you want something that you can just enjoy and not think too hard about then she is for you. That said she does not have many plot holes. She does make a solid plot. I believed that Elsa and Howard really did want to be together. The dialog is what makes this book funny. It is playful and quick. I like this series and I will read more.
I give this book a Four of Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I bought this book with my own money.

Friday, April 25, 2014



Today’s post is on Mossflower by Brian Jacques. It is the first in his Redwall series. It is 373 pages long and is published by Ace Books. The cover has Martin, Gnoff, and Dinny walking a field on their great journey. There is no language, no sex, and the violence is very fantasy but there is high death toll in this book just to be fair. The story is told from third person close of the main characters moving from one to another within chapters. The intended reader is older children but this book is just wonderful that anyone can really enjoy it. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- The clever and greedy wildcat Tsarmina becomes ruler of all Mossflower Woods and is determined to govern the peaceful woodlanders with an iron paw. The brave mouse Martin and quick-talking mouse thief Gonff meet in the depths of Kotir Castle's dungeon. The two escape and resolve to end Tsarmina's tyrannical rule. Joined by Dinny the mole, Martin and Gonff set off on a dangerous quest for Salamandastron, where they are convinced that their only hope, Boar the Fighter, still lives.

Review- I first read this book when I was about 10 and I just loved it. So I wanted to reread it as an adult and see if it could stand up to adult eyes. It can. I had just a wonderful time reading this book again. I still love every minute of it. The characters, the setting, and the flow of the plot are still just perfect. Gnoff is still my favorite character; he is funny and clever. I still have trouble reading the mole’s speech but that does not annoy me as much as it did when I was a child. I am going to be rereading all of the Redwall books now because if my favorite is still as good then I think all of the others will hold up as well. On a side note I said that this is the first book because of time in that world. This is the first book if you are going by time not publish date. But if you read this one first you will have an idea about where everything in Redwall and later books came from. I highly recommend this book and the rest of the series.

I give this book a Five out of Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I bought this book with my own money.

Monday, April 21, 2014

The Scandalous Duke Takes a Bride


Today’s post is on The Scandalous Duke Takes a Bride by Tiffany Clare. It is the third in her Dangerous Rogues series but you do not have to have read the previous ones to enjoy this story. The cover has the main characters in a passionate embrace with the title and author name in white. The story is told from third person close of the two main characters moving from chapter to chapter. There is sex, language, and talk domestic violence; so 18 and up just to be safe. The intended reader is someone who likes historical romance. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- Friends and Lovers…
As a wealthy young widow, Lady Jessica Heyer must endure the closest of scrutiny and most wicked of rumors from society gossips. Their whispers would be utterly unbearable if it weren’t for her oldest friend, the Duke of Alsborough. Jessica knows she can always count on Hayden. What she never could have expected, however, is that he is deeply, madly in love with her…
To have and To hold.
For years, Hayden has kept his longing for his beautiful friend Jessica a secret. But now that she’s finally free to remarry, will she be willing to take their relationship to a more intimate level? He’ll get his answer soon- at a glittering masquerade, where identities are hidden, hearts are open, and true love is unmasked… in a single, shameless act of passion.

Review- This was a fun and sweet historical romance. It had drama, secrets, and just the right amount of sexy. I love stories where friends are secretly in love with each other so this was just up my alley. Warning there are two sex scenes in this book but are late in the book and can be skipped if you do not want to read them. The romance is good enough as is. Clare makes believable characters. Jessica and Hayden were interesting and fun characters that I really believed were in love. Clare also makes the reason that Jessica does not want to marry Hayden very understandable. He has been one of the only people that she could count on no matter what. So when Hayden starts pursuing Jessica it scares her. All she can think about is what if she losses her best friend. One problem I have with the blurb is the masquerade is not very important to the overall story. It happens in two chapters then they move on. My other problem is Hayden is not scandalous; at all. It is even talked about in the book that he is only one of the group of friends that has sense and does not cause trouble. But that is my only problem with the blurb and the book. I enjoyed reading it.

I give this book a Four out of Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I borrowed this book from my local library.

Friday, April 18, 2014

The Golem and The Jinni


Today’s post is on The Golem and The Jinni by Helene Wecker. It is 484 pages long and is published by HarperCollins. The is cover is a deep blue with Central Park in winter, the title in gold with the pages painted the same deep blue. The intended reader is someone who likes magical realism, literary fiction, or unusual fantasy. There is some language, talk of sex, and violence in this book. Because of the way the book is written adults would get the most enjoyment out of this novel. The story is told in third person close moving from character as the needed. There Be Spoilers Ahead.
From the back of the book- Helene Wecker’s dazzling debut novel tells the story of two supernatural creatures who appear mysteriously in 1899 New York City. Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay, brought to life by a strange man who dabbles in dark Kabbalistic magic. When her master dies at sea on the voyage from Poland, she is unmoored and adrift as the ship arrives in New York Harbor. Ahmad is a jinni, a being of fire, born in the ancient Syrian Desert. Trapped in an old copper flask by a Bedouin wizard centuries ago, he is released accidentally by a tinsmith in a Lower Manhattan shop.
Struggling to make their way in this strange new place, the Golem and the Jinni try to fit in with their neighbors while masking their true natures. Surrounding them is a community of immigrants: the coffeehouse owner Maryam Faffoul, a pillar of wisdom and support for her Syrian neighbors; the solitary ice cream maker Saleh, a damaged man cured by tragedy, the kind and caring Rabbi Meyer and his beleaguered nephew: Michael, whose Sheltering House receives newly arrived Jewish men; the adventurous young socialite Sophia Winston; and the enigmatic Joseph Schall, a dangerous man driven by ferocious ambitious and esoteric wisdom.
Meeting by chance, the two creatures become unlikely friends whose tenuous attachment challenges their opposing natures, until the night a terrifying incident drives them back into their separate worlds. But a powerful menace will soon bring the Golem and Jinni together again, threatening their existence and forcing them to make a fateful choice.
Review- This is a wonderful book. It is beautifully written, the magical realism is very well done, and it is literary without being pretentious. I normally did not like literary fiction. I find it pretentious and boring. But not with Wecker. This is story is interesting. The characters are moving pieces of art. Chava and Ahmad do not really change much over the course of the story but that did not annoy me. I felt that they were two calm places in the storm of the humanity that was all around them. Because of what they are they do not change quickly. They slowly grow as they move together and with the humans who interact most with them. In all this is a very simple story. A Golem and a Jinni find each other in the sea of humanity and learn to be friends in spite of how different they are. That is the heart of their interactions. How different Chava and Ahmad are from each other. Chava is very much like the earth she is made from and Ahmad is the same. I highly recommend this book.
I give this book a Five out of Five stars. I get nothing for this book and I borrowed it from my local library.

Monday, April 14, 2014



Today’s post is on Greywalker by Kat Richardson. It is the first in a new series. It is 352 pages long and is published by ROC Fantasy. The cover has the main character Harper with Seattle behind her with the cover is shades of grey. There is mild language, implied sex, and lots of violence in this book. The story is told from the first person perspective of Harper. The intended reader is someone who loves urban fantasy on the  gritty side. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- Harper Blaine was your average small-time PI until a two-bit perp’s savage assault left her dead- for two minutes, to be precise.
When Harper comes to in the hospital, she begins to feel a bit… strange. She sees things that can only be described as weird- shapes emerging from a foggy grey mist, snarling teeth, creatures roaring.
But Harper’s not crazy. Her “death” has made her a Greywalker- able to move between our world and the mysterious crossover zone where things that go bump in the night exist. And her new gift (or curse) is about to drag her into that world of vampires and hosts, magic and witches, necromancers and sinister artifacts…
Whether she likes it or not.

Review- I really enjoyed this book. It was so different from the other stuff I have read recently. It was gritty with interesting characters and a world that I cannot wait to explore again. Harper is very natural. When she has all the weird stuff happen to her she thinks that she is going crazy. She believes that something must be wrong with her. In the end she has no choices but to believe it is true. I will say that as an experienced urban fantasy reader it can get annoying how Harper just never deals with the fact that this is her new reality but I cannot really blame her. Other than her fighting with what she sees I liked this book. It was fun, it has good world building, and interesting characters. In the next Harper is going to learning why she became a Greywalker and I am looking forward to reading it.

I give this book a Four out of Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I bought this book with my own money.

Friday, April 11, 2014



Today’s post is on Allegiant by Veronica Roth. It is the last book in her Divergent trilogy. It is 526 pages long and is published by Katherine Tegen Books. The cover has the city of Chicago in the background with a circle of water above the title. There is mild language, implied sex, and violence in this book. The intended reader is young adult. The story is told from the first person perspective of Tris and Tobias changing from chapter to chapter. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the dust jacket- The faction-based society that Tris Proir once believed in as shattered- fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s knows, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties and painful memories.
But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature- and of herself- while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love.
Told from a riveting dual perspective, Allegiant, by #1 New York Times bestselling author Veronica Roth, brings the Divergent series to a powerful conclusion while revealing the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of readers in Divergent and Insurgent.

Review- This series was just okay to me but I will say that I liked the ending. I did not like everything about this book. In fact I found most of the plot to be so out of left field that I had trouble taking it seriously. Roth before has that the world is now broken and trying to fix it by becoming one prefect human trait; but in Allegiant she tosses all that out. Yes the world is broken but Chicago is just one big experiment. Everything that both the characters and the reader believed is just wrong. Suddenly humanity is genetically damaged or genetically pure. I really think that Roth is did not fully plan out where she was going with this story. But I do like that ending. I thought that it was within Tris’ character to do something like that. I hope that Roth does not write more in this world because of all the weirdness with bad science fiction that she does in this novel. I also hope that whatever she writes next she fully plans out where it is going.

I give this book a Three out of Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I borrowed this book from my local ibrary.

Monday, April 7, 2014



Today’s post is on Blackwood by Gwenda Bond. It is a stand-alone novel. It is 325 pages long and is published by Strange Chemistry. The cover has Miranda, one of the main characters, in profile with a snake wrapped around her and on her face. The intended reader is young adult but I think adults can enjoy it too. The story is told from the main characters point of view third person close of Miranda and Phillips moving from chapter to chapter. There is no sex, no violence on camera and some language in this book. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- On Roanoke Island, the legend of the 114 people who mysteriously vanished from the Lost Colony hundreds of years ago is just a story for the tourists. But when the island faces the sudden disappearance of 114 people right now, an unlikely pair of 17 year-olds may be the only hope of bringing them back.
Miranda, a misfit girl from the island’s most infamous family, and Phillips, an exiled teen criminal who hears the voices of the dead, must dodge everyone from federal agents to long-dead alchemists as they work to uncover the secrets of the new Lost Colony. The only thing they can’t dodge is each other.

Review- I love the Roanoke mystery and so I came to this book with very high expectations. I was not disappointed. Bond takes the oldest mystery in America and she gives it an interesting new twist. Miranda Blackwood is the child of a cursed family but she does not know that yet. Phillips Rawling just wants the voices to stop so he got himself sent to a private school hours from the island. But now something is coming back for both of them. It is a mystery with some supernatural elements. The writing is very solid, the characters are believable, and plot is fun. She takes real history and some real historic rumors to give a fun and strong novel. If you are a fan of the Roanoke mystery then you need to read this book. I cannot wait to read whatever Bond is going to write next which I have in my To-Be-Read pile and I think that I will be moving it up now.

I give this book a Five out of Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I was given this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Across a Star-Swept Sea


Today’s post is on Across a Star-Swept Sea by Diana Peterfreund. It is a companion novel in her For Darkness Shows the Stars series. It is 449 pages long and is published by Balzer + Bray. The cover has of the main characters Persis with water and gown making the rest of the cover. The intended reader is young adult but I think that anyone can enjoy this novel. The story is told from third person close moving from character to character as the story moves. There is no language, no sex, and no violence on camera. There Be Spoilers Ahead.
From the dust jacket- Centuries after wars that nearly destroyed civilization the two islands of New Pacifica stand alone, a paradise where even the Reduction- the devastating brain disorder that sparked the wars- is a distant memory. Yet on the island of Galatea, an uprising against the aristocracy has turned deadly. The revolutionaries’ weapon is a drug that damages their enemies’ brains, and the only hope is rescue by a mysterious spy known as the Wild Poppy.
On neighboring Albion, no one suspects that the Wild Poppy is actually famously frivolous teenage aristocrat Persis Blake. Her gossipy flutternotes are encrypted plans, her pampered sea mink is genetically engineered for spying, and her well-publicized new romance with handsome Galatean medic Justen Helo… is her most dangerous mission ever.
Justen is hiding things too- his disenchantment with his country’s revolution, his undeniable attraction to the silly socialite he’s pretending to love. Persis is also falling for Justen, but when she discovers his greatest secret- one that could plunge New Pacifica into another dark age- she realizes she’s not just risking her heart, she’s risking the world she’s sworn to protect.
Inspired by The Scarlet Pimpernel, Across a Star-Swept Sea is a thrilling adventure in which nothing is a sit seems and two teens from different worlds must fight for a future only they dare to imagine.
Review- I have not read the first book in this world but that is okay because Star-Swept is a companion to the first not a sequel. I really enjoyed this book. I love The Scarlet Pimpernel and I think that Peterfreund pays wonderful homage to it. She takes the basic plot of Pimpernel and makes new. All the characters are interesting. The plot is old and new. In general I really liked this book. The setting is so lush; Peterfreund makes these islands at the end of the world so real and beautiful.  I am going to be reading the first in this world soon. Peterfreund is introducing a whole new generation to classic literature and I cannot wait to see what book she is going to make over next. She adds the science fiction to update the book and I think that it works. Peterfreund does not really get into the why the science works and I think that was a good choice. She does explain some things but mostly it works because it does. If she had gone into the nuts and bolts of why that would have really slowed and bogged down the story. As it is she gives just enough to answer questions then she moves back to the point of the story.

I give this book a Five out of Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I borrowed this book from my local library but I will be buying for my personal collection.


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The Hotel on Place Vendome


Today’s nonfiction post is on The Hotel on Place Vendome by Tilar J. Mazzeo. It is 292 pages long including notes, bibliography, and an index. It is published by HarperCollins. The cover is a black and white photograph of the hotel with a woman in evening dress to the right. The intended reader is someone who wants to learn more about life in Nazi occupied Paris. There is some language, talk of sex, and violence in this book. The story is told from interviews, letters, and journals with some first person input from the author. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the dust jacket- Established in 1898 in the heart of Paris on the Place Vendome, the Hotel Ritz instantly became an icon of the city frequented by film stars and celebrity writers, American Heiresses and risqué flappers, politicians, playboys, and princes. By the 1920s the bar became a favorite watering hole for F. Scott Fitzgerald and other writers of the Lost Generation, including Ernest Hemingway. In June 1940, when France fell to the Germans, Joseph Goebbels, the propaganda minister of the Third Reich, famously declared that the nation’s capital would remain a high-spirited place- or else. Orders from Berlin specified that the Hotel Ritz would be the only luxury hotel of its kind in occupied Paris.
Tilar J. Mazzeo traces the history of this cultural landmark from its opening in fin de siècle Paris to the modern era. At its center, The Hotel on Place Vendome chronicles life at the Ritz during wartime, when the hotel simultaneously served as headquarters to the highest-ranking German officers, such as Reichsmarschall Herman Goring, and home to wealthy patrons (and to the spies among them) who stayed on in Paris. At Coco Chanel’s table in the dining room on any given evening, one might find the playwright and screenwriter Sacha Guitry, lithe Russian ballet star Serge Lifar, or Jean Cocteau and his handsome boyfriend.
Mazzeo takes us into the grand palace’s suites, bars, dining rooms and wine cellars, revealing a hotbed of illicit affairs and deadly intrigue, as well as stunning acts of defiance and treachery, in which refugees were hidden in secret rooms, a Jewish bartender passed coded messages for the German resistance, and Wehrmacht officers plotted to assassinate the Fuhrer. By the spring of 1944, as the tides of war shifted, these stories were all coming to their dramatic and sometimes heartbreaking conclusions. There were celebrations as well: when Ernest Hemingway returned in the last hours of the occupation with his rogue band of “irregular” troops to liberate the hotel Ritz, they also liberated many bottles of vintage wine from its cellars.
The result is the story of The Hotel on Place Vendome- a singular season at the world-class hotel, an intimate and riveting portrait of the last days of the Second World War.

Review- This is an interesting book about one place during a very particular time. It is not about the French underground or the German resistance. It is about the people who lived and worked in the Hotel Ritz during the occupation of Paris. It is an amazing cast of characters. From Coco Chanel to Ernest Hemingway and many people who are now mostly unknown. There is passion, betrayal, high fashion, and morally grey actions. Mazzeo takes the reader on a journey from the very beginning of the Hotel Ritz and all the way to its present state. The Hotel is one of the most important characters of the story. Everything that everyone does is about the Hotel. Why the German’s want it, why spies were able to work right next to each other, and why the Allies wanted to have it liberated first. If you are looking for an uplifting war story then this is not for you but if you want something more honest then I would give this a try.
I give this book a Five out Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I was given a copy of this book by HarperCollins for free in exchange for an honest review.