Releases and Recommendations

It’s Tuesday! The wonderful day that books are released to the world! This week, I’m anticipating the release of The Undead Pool by one of my favorite authors, Kim Harrison. This book comes out Tuesday, February 25, 2014.

17285883Witch and day-walking demon Rachel Morgan has managed to save the demonic ever after from shrinking, but at a high cost. Now strange magic is attacking Cincinnati and the Hollows, causing spells to backfire or go horribly wrong, and the truce between the races, between Inderlander and human, is shattering.

Rachel must stop the occurrences before the undead vampire masters who keep the rest of the undead under control are lost and it becomes all-out supernatural war. However, the only way to do so is through the ancient elven wild magic, which carries its own perils.

I love Kim Harrison! As the 12th book in the Hollows series, The Undead Pool, is a must-read. I love Rachel Morgan and now that there are hints that she’ll FINALLY get with Trent. I can’t wait to pick up this installment!

Searching for Someday by Jennifer Probst

I received a wonderful treat! Searching For Someday by Jennifer Probst, which I devoured in two days.

17571266Kate has given up on love—at least for herself. She is both blessed and cursed with the ability to sense a romantic connection between two people—a gift that her family passed down for generations. When Kate launches her own matchmaking company, Kinnection, with her two best friends in a cozy New York town, she has to put aside her own romantic disasters to make her business a success.

But when a furious man stalks into her office and accuses her business of being a scam, Kate is given the ultimate challenge to prove herself. Slade puts himself in her hands and asks Kate to find him love. Enraged at his arrogance but stubbornly eager to prove herself, Kate agrees, dedicating herself to the journey of finding him love…only to find herself falling for him along the way.

I know Jennifer Probst for her Marriage to a Billionaire series starting with the Marriage Bargain. I really enjoyed them as a light, delightful read. Searching For Someday was no different, and in some ways, better than that series.

The story of Kate and Slade was so much fun to read. First, I love the name Slade. Second, I adored the concept of a divorce attorney falling for a matchmaker. As an avid viewer of the Millionare Matchmaker on Bravo, I got a few laughs out of the Patty quips. I was a bit surprised at all the modern references. I may know what song or artist she is referring to but what about five years from now? I don’t think it’s a good idea to “date” your stories, just a personal opinion.

In true Probst style, this book was wonderfully crafted with a sweet and spicy romance and a well thought-out plot, including small clues to the second book in this new Love Spells series. There was a lot of character growth and reasonably rational reasons for the all the ups and downs. Overall, the story was really sweet, and that’s also my problem with it. Sure, there was a little “spice” with the sex scenes but I found myself skimming during those scenes and focusing on what actually happens. I guess that’s a testament to how great the plot is, but I was disappointed I wasn’t in the moment more. I like a little more edge with my romances. However, for what this novel is supposed to be, it’s a good one. Comparing this to what I “like” would be comparing apples and oranges. As a light, satisfying, fluffy read, Probst does it again and I would recommend it. This sweet love story hits stores tomorrow on November 24, 2013.

STARS: 4 out of 5

Thank you NetGalley for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review!

Origin by Jennifer Armentrout

I’ve recently discovered the Lux series by Jennifer Armentrout and it’s my new obsession. I read the first four books in about a week, and now that I’m caught up, I have to wait in agony like the rest of the world to see what happens next.

I thought it a waste of time to write a review on each book. If you haven’t started this series (Beginning with Obsidian, Onyx and Opal), you need to. This series is a first-person female narrative about the everyday, ordinary girl that falls for the extraordinary guy. In this case, he’s extraterrestrial. The sexual tension is off the charts and the plot weaved throughout brings out the best and the worst in the characters, making you feel for them and understand their motives. Obviously, I’m a huge fan of Katy and Daemon but all the characters bring something of value to the story. I’m in love with these people. You will not be disappointed.

If you have read the series, Origin, the latest addition to the series was crazy good. (From this point on, there are spoilers for those who haven’t read to this point. You’ve been warned!)

13644052Daemon will do anything to get Katy back.

After the successful but disastrous raid on Mount Weather, he’s facing the impossible. Katy is gone. Taken. Everything becomes about finding her. Taking out anyone who stands in his way? Done. Burning down the whole world to save her? Gladly. Exposing his alien race to the world? With pleasure.

All Katy can do is survive.

Surrounded by enemies, the only way she can come out of this is to adapt. After all, there are sides of Daedalus that don’t seem entirely crazy, but the group’s goals are frightening and the truths they speak even more disturbing. Who are the real bad guys? Daedalus? Mankind? Or the Luxen?

Together, they can face anything.

But the most dangerous foe has been there all along, and when the truths are exposed and the lies come crumbling down, which side will Daemon and Katy be standing on?

And will they even be together?

This book has destroyed me. The ending has squeezed my heart into a tiny, ball of mush, and I need the next book to get here already so I can recover. As I stated earlier, this series is amazing. This installment is not an exception. I will say that this book has upped the stakes. Armentrout takes some risks and does some really heartbreaking things. However, this book still has the characters we all know and love and the plot is as exciting as ever. The love between Katy and Daemon is still sigh-worthy and they are thrown a few more “mature’ curve balls in this book. I am a sucker for Daemon and his “I will destroy the world to find her” attitude.

Katy really grows in this book. She’s been taken and now she has to fight on her own. I loved seeing her work through her new situation but still never give up.

I love all of the mini-shout outs Armentrout gives regarding book blogging and other current Young Adult books. It brought a smile to my face.

I’m not even sure what else to say about this book. It was awesome. It was heartbreaking and what happens in this book changes everything. I’ll let the five stars speak for themselves. Read this series people! You won’t regret it.  The next book, Opposition, won’t be out until August 5, 2014.

STARS: 5 out of 5

Dark Triumph by R.L. LaFevers

Dark Triumph by R.L. LaFevers is the second book in the His Fair Assassin series. I loved Grave Mercy, so I gave an anguished cry when I turned the first page of Dark Triumph and realized it wasn’t a continuation of the story of Ismae and Duval but the story of Sybella. However, I got over it quickly enough with the action in the opening scenes plus you get to see a bit of Ismae throughout the novel.

 9943270Sybella arrives at the convent’s doorstep half mad with grief and despair. Those that serve Death are only too happy to offer her refuge—but at a price. The convent views Sybella, naturally skilled in the arts of both death and seduction, as one of their most dangerous weapons. But those assassin’s skills are little comfort when the convent returns her to a life that nearly drove her mad. And while Sybella is a weapon of justice wrought by the god of Death himself, He must give her a reason to live. When she discovers an unexpected ally imprisoned in the dungeons, will a daughter of Death find something other than vengeance to live for?

Sybella’s story was spellbinding. She had such a dark, hidden past that is revealed to us by the end of the book. I loved that she used her pain as a shield and as a sword, attacking with biting quips of false superiority. I would argue her story was so much deeper than Ismae’s and it really pulled at my heart strings. Which brings me to Beast, oh how I love him! LaFever’s description of his battle lust and fighting style really hit the mark. Plus, as Sybella gets to see Beast’s softer, “savior” side, it makes my heart absolutely melt. Beast and Sybella combined makes for one heart-stopping love story!

As always with LaFevers, I enjoy her slow plot building and behind-the-scene scheming that make up the “feel” of this time period in 15th Century Brittany. I loved the historical aspect and ate up anything LaFevers gave out. I’m also a sucker for battles and political intrigue so this book hit the spot. We still get to see what’s going on with the Duchess and the country at-large, and LaFevers weaves in details that will hopefully be fully explained in the third book, Mortal Heart, which is the story of Annith another child of Mortian with the gift of a seer. This book will be out later in 2014.

STARS: 4.5 out of 5

Wild Cards by Simone Elkeles

From the moment I read the synopsis of Wild Cards, I had to read it. Plus, it’s written by Simone Elkeles so I knew it was going to have some steamy chemistry.

A13065327fter getting kicked out of boarding school, bad boy Derek Fitzpatrick has no choice but to live with his ditzy stepmother while his military dad is deployed. Things quickly go from bad to worse when he finds out she plans to move them back to her childhood home in Illinois. Derek’s counting the days before he can be on his own, and the last thing he needs is to get involved with someone else’s family drama.

Ashtyn Parker knows one thing for certain–people you care about leave without a backward glance. A football scholarship would finally give her the chance to leave. So she pours everything into winning a state championship, until her boyfriend and star quarterback betrays them all by joining their rival team. Ashtyn needs a new game plan, but it requires trusting Derek—someone she barely knows, someone born to break the rules. Is she willing to put her heart on the line to try and win it all?

This book had such an interesting premise. I mean, a female football player? Who thinks of that? Ashtyn was such a neat character, badass enough to play football but still has a feminine side. I loved that she wore jerseys and sweats but would still dress girlie to go out. Derek, however, was awesome. I totally related to him and his wit and sarcasm. His view of reality and his inner demons were a bit more believable than Ashtyn’s, but they both had to face some demons.

In true Elkeles style, there is chemistry sizzling off the pages. There are a few moments where anticipation is built and they’re on the edge but nothing happens. Elkeles grabs you and gets you panting only to douse you in cold water. She delivers some heavier content sex-wise than I am used to seeing in Young Adult but it’s done tastefully and it may go over some readers’ heads completely if you don’t read between the lines closely.

The supporting characters were wonderfully vibrant and added to the story. I loved how Ashtyn’s teammates rallied around her and I am in love with Derek’s Grandma. The way it all fit perfectly by the last page made for a sigh-inducing ending.

I really enjoyed this book and read it in two days. It was a healthy does of romance and teenage inner strife, working out their lives and finding they’re better together. Even though I enjoyed this book and I loved the concept of the plot, I felt like the Perfect Chemistry series was better. Maybe it’s because there was more at stake since it included gangs and it was hotter because of the Spanish influence? I’m not sure. Either way, this is another magnificent addition to Elkeles’ published works.

STARS: 4 out of 5