Releases and Recommendations

It’s Tuesday! The wonderful day that books are released to the world.

Today, I’m anticipating the release of He Will Be My Ruin by K.A. Tucker, which will be released on Tuesday, February 2, 2016.

25814244The USA TODAY bestselling author of the Ten Tiny Breaths and Burying Water series makes her romantic thriller debut with this heartpounding story of a young woman determined to find justice after her best friend’s death, a story pulsing with the “intense, hot, emotional” (Colleen Hoover) writing that exhilarates her legions of fans.

Twenty-eight-year-old Maggie Sparkes arrives in New York City to pack up what’s left of her best friend’s belongings after a suicide that has left everyone stunned. The police have deemed the evidence conclusive: Celine got into bed, downed a bottle of Xanax and a handle of Maker’s Mark, and never woke up. But when Maggie discovers secrets in the childhood lock box hidden in Celine’s apartment, she begins asking questions. Questions about the man Celine fell in love with. The man she never told anyone about, not even Maggie. The man who Celine herself claimed would be her ruin.

On the hunt for answers that will force the police to reopen the case, Maggie uncovers more than she bargained for about Celine’s private life—and inadvertently puts herself on the radar of a killer who will stop at nothing to keep his crimes undiscovered.

I have to be in a certain mood to read a thriller but K.A. Tucker is an amazing author so I put her newest book on my TBR list without a second thought. I’m sure the thrills will chill just as much as the romance will burn. Looking forward to this one!

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Undone by Peggy Martinez

Undone by Peggy Martinez is the second novel in the time warper series. This book was a vast improvement from the first book that left me intrigued but unsatisfied.

26240762Three months after Sage Hannigan time warps a hundred years into the past and saves the future, she is still trying to come to grips with all the she has gained… and all that she has lost. All of her searching hasn’t turned up the Cerberus Society or any creatures of the night, and she’s beginning to wonder if she’s gone crazy after all. The only things keeping her grounded are her sparring sessions with Matt and her weekly ritual of scouring the city for lowlifes to kick the crap out of, and even that can’t keep her dreams free of the heartache and bittersweet memories she has come to loathe and… to cherish. When blasts from the past—good, bad, and evil—come knocking on her door, will she be able to do what she has to even if it means having her barely healing heart ripped to shreds?

Undone gives a bigger, brighter, more clear picture of Sage Hannigan’s world. It still lacked the world-building and detail I prefer from an epic adventure, but I enjoyed the story arc of this novel. There was more character development and I was more invested in the characters and the story. I like Sage as the heroine and I feel like she’s still growing into her skin both as a character on the page and a character within the novel’s world.

The one thing that kept my attention in this book was the dynamic relationships between Soren and Aldwin. I’ve decided I’m team Soren. I loved how he was so terribly in love with someone who didn’t necessarily love him back. I enjoyed the scenes with Soren and Sage. There was tension that pulled me in and made me want more. Another interesting plot point was the return of Aldwin and the reveal of his true nature. I found his confessions of love but brooding actions confusing but intriguing. I want to know more. Why is he the way he is? Why can’t he just tell the truth?

The big negative from this book was the ending. There’s a difference between a twist and whiplash, and I felt like this story’s ending came way out of left field. I don’t understand why it would take such an abrupt turn, and the epilogue seemed more like a quick justification and wrap up than a progression of the story’s plot. I was disappointed. The build up toward the end had me flipping pages into the night and the story finally hit a steady groove for me only to cause a head-on collision with an explosive ending.

Despite my issues with the storytelling and the ending, I’ve come to love Martinez’s characters. I’m interested to see what happens next and I’m willing to stick it out.

Stars: 3 out of 5

Fated by Peggy Martinez

In the past few months or so, I became a Clean Teen Publishing Elite Reader, meaning I get a free book each month in exchange for an honest review. This is how I stumbled upon Fated by Peggy Martinez, which was promising but didn’t quite deliver.

25283575.jpgEighteen-year-old Sage Hannigan wants to get back to her own time, preferably one that hasn’t been destroyed by an underworld plot brewing in Edwardian-era South Carolina. How hard can it be?

All she has to do is:

1. Learn to use newly acquired warping skills to bend time to her will.
2. Take out a few rogue vampires.
3. Join an ancient secret society.
4. Figure out who is putting the time stream in jeopardy.
5. Find and maim whoever invented the corset.

Sage never asked to be chosen by the Druid Priestess, Amerach, to become a Warper, and she never asked to have the future hanging on her shoulders or to warp a hundred years into the past. She certainly never asked to meet Dr. Aldwin Blake, who would make her question her desire to get back to her own time. But if she fails her mission, people will die, history will change, and the present she wishes to return to will be no more.

After finishing this short novel (only 175 pages), I didn’t know how to feel. Did I like the book? Yes, but something was missing. This novel starts off slow but it picks up towards the end, where I was left wanting to read the sequel. I liked the book, but I didn’t love it.

I think one reason I didn’t fall in love with this book was the lack of character development. I felt like I didn’t really know the characters. The plot was great. The idea of a time warper was unique but the world around her could have been expanded upon. There were a few key moments when I felt sucked into the story during a certain scene with Vampire Soren and Sage when they were both vulnerable. I liked to see their vulnerability and that emotional buildup. The rest of the story kind of didn’t have that until the end.

As I said before, I was skeptical throughout the first book but I wanted to read the second book by the end. I’m hoping to see more character development and more emotions highlighted. Book one felt like a rocky but promising start to the series.

STARS: 3 out of 5

So the question is…

…Where have I been?

I feel as if I’m emerging from a dark hole in the ground, squinting into the harsh sunlight. I’ve been MIA on the blog for a while. Where have I been? Lots of places.

The most notable? NaNoWriMo. That’s right. I participated in National Novel Writing Month for the second time and guess what? I WON!!!! I wrote 50k in 30 days and I’d still be staring, mouth agape, at my word count if I didn’t need food and sleep so much.

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I can’t believe I did it. This is the first time I’ve finished a novel. I’ve started a lot of them but never finished. My next goal is to revise the crap out of it and then maybe let people read it. It’s a paranormal story with lots of romance and violence. My two favorite things.

Where else have I been?

I’m graduating with my Master’s in English this month. Like, I’m a master at something now. (I know, I can’t believe it either!) It took me years of working full time and going to school part-time but I finally did it — on top of NaNoWriMo! I’ve been writing final papers and it’s been a heck of a lot of writing. This is a huge accomplishment for me.

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Let’s Celebrate!

So you see, I didn’t have much time for blogging or reading (sadly), but now…NOW I will have nothing but time SWEET time!

To celebrate my new found, hard-earned time, I want to share the next five books queued on my to-be-read list:

  1. The Bourbon Kings by J.R. Ward: Oh, how this book has whispered sweet nothings from my bookshelf. I need a Ward fix, STAT.23355896
  2. Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas: Not going to lie, I’m not ready for this one because I’m still neck-deep in a book hangover from A Court of Thorns and Roses. I’m sure once I start reading it’ll be like visiting an old friend.18006496
  3. The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski: I’m afraid to start this book because the first book gave me a huge book hangover that I’m not over yet. However, I would still very much like to read it.20443207
  4. The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer: That’s right, the whole series. I’ve had it on my shelf for awhile. Everyone is talking about it and I’m the idiot who’s left out of the conversation.  Plus, I got Lunar Chronicle tattoos from my Uppercase box and I want to know what they mean and wear them proudly.the-lunar-chronicles-copy-the-lunar-chronicles-fancast-jpeg-300004

5. Blood Kiss by J.R. Ward: The first book in Ward’s new Black Dagger Legacy series is a must-read for me. I’m excited to see what she’ll do with new characters while letting us catch a glimpse of characters we know and love. What can I say? I really DO need a Ward fix!24903031