Archive | ARCs RSS feed for this section

Seconds Before Sunrise ARC Review!

7 Mar

Seconds Before Sunrise

Two nightmares. One memory.

“Chaos within destiny. It was the definition of our love.”

Eric has weeks before his final battle when he’s in an accident. Forced to face his human side, he knows he can’t survive if he fights alone. But he doesn’t want to surrender, even if he becomes the sacrifice for war.

Jessica’s memory isn’t the only thing she’s lost. Her desire to find her parents is gone and so is her confidence. But when fate leaves nightmares behind, she decides to find the boy she sees in them, even if it risks her sanity.

** Review Copy kindly provided for honest review by author**

  Minutes Before Sunset Review! –>

Shannon A. Thompson has done it again!

I have to admit, the reason it took me a little longer that I thought it would to release this review is because I had to reread the first book (Minutes Before Sunset) before I started reading this book.  I wanted the story fresh in my mind. But no worries, kiddies! Here it is!

Shannon A. Thompson was very kind to ask me to review the second installment of The Timely Death Trilogy, and I was more than happy to pounce on the opportunity.

This book was a lot better than the first one, in my opinion (and the first book was amazing to begin with, so this says a lot!). You can definitely see the progression the author has taken with her writing, and with the maturity came a better story that anyone would even hope for!

What I love about this series is that it is so outside-the-box. The concepts are fresh and inspiring, connecting with the reader smoothly and allowing for a new perspective of magic, life, and archetypes. I was taken away by this new world Shannon A. Thomson created, and even when I put the book down, this world haunted my thoughts. It was addicting and ironic, haunting and mystical, hilarious and sophisticated. I cannot praise this author more for providing an unfamiliar perspective to YA fiction, and exploring new ideas that are clearly distinct and unique to her personality. The story each author writes, I feel, is a reflection of the type of person they are in their head, and clearly Thompson is a rare gift to the YA fiction writing community.

Thomson found a wonderful balance between Eric and Jessica’s points of view in the story, and integrated the two worlds beautifully in the end. Every time their worlds collided, my heart skipped and I couldn’t read through it fast enough. These two characters were very addictive on their own, and when they were together they were wildfire, hot and uncontrollable. Their worlds didn’t just collide, they clashed into each other. But there were also the soft spots that curled your toes and ended too soon. In human speech: the sexual tension was intense! Just the way I like it, of course. There’s a never-ending need for writers now to just get their characters together. There’s no need, of course, because everything that’s good is worth waiting for, a secret that Thompson is clearly familiar with.

I also liked that the romance wasn’t the controlling factor of the story. The story was the meal, and the romance was one of the few spices sprinkled on top to give it a kick, which is the way it should be. I have great respect for an author who is able to let their characters be individuals, and not let their romantic-interests dictate how they act, what they do, who they are, etc. When two individual characters with distinct personalities apart from their love-interest are pulled together, the sparks fly so much more intensely, which is quite a beautiful sight, if you can imagine.

As for the story – intense! Like, holy smokes, I honestly couldn’t guess  what would happen at any point in the story. It was all a complete mystery, which is what kept me reading. It was nice to read a book where I couldn’t guess the outcome at any point. Even the ending – I did not see that coming! And now, I honestly cannot wait to get my hands on the third installment! I want to see how the story progresses, what happens with the Dark and the Light, how the situation between Eric and Jessica plays out in the third book. I have so many questions!

Oh, and you will definitely never guess what’s in that black box that Eric’s father gives him. I honestly did not see that coming at all. But I’m so happy it happened! Epp!

Overall, I was thoroughly impressed with this story. The first book earned my dedication to the series, this book earned my admiration for the story. Congratulations, Shannon A. Thompson! This book is entirely too unique to not be a hit with the readers!

4.5 stars!

Release Date: March 27, 2014!

Buy it here: http://www.amazon.com/Seconds-Before-Sunrise-Shannon-Thompson/dp/1940820030/

Every Second With You (No Regrets #2) ARC Review!

6 Feb

18689657

Every Second With You = Sex. Love. Addiction. Heartache. Pain. And Hope.

In the sequel to the bestselling THE THRILL OF IT, Harley and Trey face new challenges that will make battling blackmail, sex addiction, and a virgin call girl past look easy…

I used to think love was a lie. Now I know it’s real, powerful, and I don’t want to lose it…But my future scares me, and there’s no way this can be happening, especially since I’ve finally broken free from all the people who wanted pieces of me. I don’t even know how to start over, but I have to find a way. So when I discover what my mother’s been keeping from me, it doesn’t make me hate her. It gives me hope for a new life, outside of New York. But the ties that bind me to this city are so strong, sometimes they are chains. If only I could leave with…

Trey…

I will do anything for her. She owns me, heart, mind and body. But when Harley tells me this, I am rocked to the core, and terrified of what happens next. Especially when this time it’s not her past that chases me, it’s someone from my own. And that someone is messing with my head when I’m trying to be strong for Harley. But all I really want is to escape with the girl I love…For the rest of our lives.

How can you move forward when the past keeps chasing you?

I was fortunate enough to receive an ARC for an honest review, so here it is, folks:

A heartbreaking tale of overcoming our fears and finding strength in love:

Oh. My. God. The feels! I’ve got the feels!

Let’s forget about the story for a second. Can I just say that I definitely think that this book is WAY better than the first one. Especially since I read them back-to-back, I could clearly see the growth in Lauren Blakely’s writing. So props to her, she did an amazing job with this book. You can tell that she put in her heart and soul, and I think that that is what’s going to keep her reputation for writing addictive NA fiction.

In the review I did of The Thrill Of It (No Regrets #1),  I had said that she sticks to the stereotypical model NA books use:

“Beginning that outlines all the problems – check

They meet but there is something keeping them apart – check

The obstacles pile up on both of them and draw them apart – check

They freak out at each other and then realize that they are better together than apart – check

Everything is happy and you just want it to end here – check

But you know it doesn’t because there’s a little less than 100 pages left so something dramatic is about to happen where someone freaks out for no reason… and there it is… – check”

Well, I am completely retracting that statement right now in concerns for this book. Once again, Lauren Blakely provides a breathtaking story that pushes past the cliche and gives us a fresh and inspired story about addiction.

In the last book, addiction is something Trey and Harley fight every day, and try hard to overcome. They are controlled by their addictions, and being together keeps them strong, but also tempts them to go back to their old lifestyles. They both have trouble with striving for the future and living in a healthy pleasant.

Now, if you haven’t read the first book, I don’t suggest you continue reading this review because it might have some spoilers as to what happens at the end of the first book. Instead, go read the review for the first book HERE.

Near the end of The Thrill of It, Trey and Harley have taken great steps and are well on the way to overcoming their addiction. They are strong. Their life is falling into place.

Until Harley tells Trey something that might send them both back to being addicted.

Oh My God. I feel like there should be a warning on the cover: Not for the weak-hearted. Because I promise you, the week of the release of this book, half of Lauren Blakely’s audience will have suffered from a heart attack, high blood pressure, and a nervous breakdown. I don’t know how many times I thought ‘WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS’ and hoping and praying that I did NOT just read what I read. It was gripping from page 1. There is no good time to stop reading, because just as one problem seems to be on the way to being solved, another one just as dramatic pops up. It’s a never-ending cycle that holds you till the very last word. Literally. Because you don’t think that much can happen within the last 20 pages, eh? You. Are. So. Wrong. So, basically what I’m saying is, if you are looking for a bookmark – don’t. You won’t need it. Get comfy, have food nearby, and don’t drink many fluids because those bathroom breaks are agony. I drove myself crazy wondering what happens next during those 5 minutes.

I feel like the first book focused on how hard it is to overcome addiction, with the constant pull of it always there. This book deals with staying strong, not letting the present rule you, and beginning to live your life with no regrets. This is the stage where Trey and Harley are tested. They continue to go to SLAA (Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous), but this book is no longer about their minds going “hey, junky, I need a fix!”. It’s more about the realization that going back to your addiction will not solve your problems. They have both changed, and the growth in these characters is evident. We see them struggling to deal with the problems of the present. However, when they think about returning to their addictions, I am very proud to say that they begin to understand that they are not those people any more. That lifestyle doesn’t suit them anymore because they’ve changed too much. Going back would be just as hard as going forward.

And okay, I know some of you are looking for this so here it is:

The romance. Wow. It’s a steamy, mind blowing, hand-on-the-heart-and-swoon type of romance that makes your toes curl and insides warm. They have such a sweet and honest love, and look at each other  and treat each other the way that lovers should. They adore each other, and even though they both have faults (and do they ever), they are open about them. They accept each others faults and help each other be stronger. They are no longer tempting each other, they are keeping each other on the right path.

There is one love expert that I love to think of whenever I’m reading: Ira Reiss. He named the stages of love each person takes until they have found ‘the one’. The soul mate. The one they were meant to be with. He called this the Wheel Theory of Love:

Rapport: Firstly, you find a mutual connection.

Revelation: Realizing that you love this person romantically.

Dependance: Becoming dependent on each other, where everything you do is connected. (So, with an example of breakfast, he always makes the coffee because she doesn’t know how, and she always makes pancakes because his always catch on fire. Just an example, this doesn’t happen in the book!)

Personality Need Fulfillment: Basically that part of love where you realize you’re soul mates, that you’re best when you’re together. You keep each other strong and are just meant to be together.

So I don’t usually put this into my reviews, because who wants a lesson in theories, right? But I feel like these two books together filled the requirements of the Wheel Theory of Love. And I don’t usually think that, because I don’t usually feel this closely connected with the characters of NA fiction. Typically, NA leaves you at the Dependancy stage. This book took you all the way to Personality Need Fulfillment. You really come to understand the strength of the love between these two characters, because this is the type of love that’s honest, raw, ugly, and beautiful.

The Ugly Beautiful.

You see them progress through these stages from the first book to the last page of the second book. And it’s just amazing.

And the ending of the book – don’t even get me started. If I start, I’ll never stop. I went through more tissues than I should have. I was just a terrible mess and I really can’t talk about it.

So, overall, I give this book 5 stars. It was AMAZING. Memorable, stayed true to its message without the flitzy romance taking over. Oh! And no flitzy romance, either. This romance was epic.

So go out and buy a copy right this minute! I mean it, it’s magical and wonderful and gripping and hard and maddening. I am very honored to have been given an ARC copy to review. It was just too amazing. Not enough praise for it in this world.

This book is published on Feb 10, 2014!

Kelley Armstrong’s New Series: Omens + Giveaways & Excerpt

2 Aug

Giveaways
1) win a hardcover of Omens
2) win a paperback of Four Summoner’s Tales
3) win an ARC* of Brazen To enter, e-mail contest@kelleyarmstrong. com and tell us which contest you want to enter.
If you wish to enter more than one contest, please send a separate e-mail for each. All three contests close August 31 and are open to anyone, anywhere.
* ARC = advance reader copy

Release date: August 20th, 2013.

#1 New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong begins her new series with Omens, featuring a compelling new heroine thrust into a decades-old murder case and the dark mysteries surrounding her strange new home.

Twenty-four-year-old Olivia Taylor Jones has the perfect life. The only daughter of a wealthy, prominent Chicago family, she has an Ivy League education, pursues volunteerism and philanthropy, and is engaged to a handsome young tech firm CEO with political ambitions.

But Olivia’s world is shattered when she learns that she’s adopted. Her real parents? Todd and Pamela Larsen, notorious serial killers serving a life sentence. When the news brings a maelstrom of unwanted publicity to her adopted family and fiancé, Olivia decides to find out the truth about the Larsens.

Olivia ends up in the small town of Cainsville, Illinois, an old and cloistered community that takes a particular interest in both Olivia and her efforts to uncover her birth parents’ past.

Aided by her mother’s former lawyer, Gabriel Walsh, Olivia focuses on the Larsens’ last crime, the one her birth mother swears will prove their innocence. But as she and Gabriel start investigating the case, Olivia finds herself drawing on abilities that have remained hidden since her childhood, gifts that make her both a valuable addition to Cainsville and deeply vulnerable to unknown enemies. Because there are darker secrets behind her new home and powers lurking in the shadows that have their own plans for her.

Excerpt from Omens
Stirring Up Trouble:

As I walked into the diner, the first people I saw were the elderly couple from the day before. Ida and Walter. Ida moved over in the booth. “Come sit with us.” Before I could, the would-be novelist by the win- dow caught my eye and lifted his coffee cup. I hesitat- ed. There was no sign of the server, but he was closer to the coffee station than I was. He could damned well get his own refill. And yet . . . Well, something told me ignoring him would be . . . unwise. I wouldn’t mind a job here, so showing my willingness to work wasn’t a bad thing. I got the pot and filled his cup. “Looking for a tip today?” he said. “Sure.” He leaned over, voice lowering. “Larry’s in a foul mood. Breakfast isn’t even over and Margie’s already dropped two plates, includ- ing the one for Peter Marks, which landed on his lap, right before he took off for a big meeting in Chicago. Marks is the landlord— gives Larry a good deal on the place. Larry said if she screws up again, she’s gone. And he just might mean it this time.” “Thanks.” He lifted his mug. “Quid pro quo.” I filled a cup for myself and took it back to Ida and Walter’s table. I looked around for Margie—I was starving—but there was still no sign of her. “I hear you met Gabriel Walsh,” Walter said as I sat. I nodded. “Someone said he’s a local? Or he used to be.” “Oh, yes,” Ida said. “But Gabriel himself never lived here. His momma did. Moved out when she was just a young one herself.” I’d heard of towns where you were considered lo- cal if you were born there, but this seemed a little ex- treme. As I poured creamer into my coffee, I could hear Larry tearing a strip off someone in the kitchen. Margie, I presumed. The novelist was right. I unwrapped my napkin-wrapped cutlery for a spoon to stir my coffee. Only a fork and a knife fell out. I lifted the knife. Stir with a knife, Stir up strife. I hesitated. I glanced at Ida and Walter, but they
were engrossed in their conversation. I glanced at the kitchen doors and started to put the knife down. No, that was silly. And even if it wasn’t, I shouldn’t . . . I lifted the knife again and gave my coffee a quick stir. As I laid it down, I noticed the novelist watching me, his eyes dancing. I turned back to Ida and Walter, and I was about to say something when a construction worker rose, a twenty in his hand. “Where’s that girl?” He peered toward the kitchen. “Margie!” She came out bearing a tray of steaming plates. A couple across the diner looked up expectantly. She nod- ded and moved a little faster. As she rounded the corner to our aisle, Ida’s cane fell. It didn’t drop with a clatter, just silently slid to the floor. Margie didn’t notice. No one seemed to notice. Margie was heading straight for it. I looked around. The writer caught my gaze. He looked at the cane, then back at me, smiling slightly, as if in challenge. I took another swig of coffee and lifted the menu. I thought I heard the writer chuckle. I didn’t, of course—he was too far away and the clatter of plates and murmur of voices would have drowned him out. Margie tripped over the cane. Not just a stumble, but a full-out sprawl that sent the plates crashing to the floor, oatmeal splattering everywhere, including on the two diners who’d been awaiting their breakfasts. Larry ran from the back, apologizing as he handed the customers damp towels and promised to cover dry cleaning. Margie picked herself up, babbling about the cane. I quietly slid from the booth and cleared away the broken bowls and plates. “You’re fired,” Larry said, spinning on Margie. “Go on. Get your things. I’ll send over your last check.” “It wasn’t my fault,” she protested. “It never is. Get out.” She started to say something else, but a glare from Larry shut her up, and she slunk away. Larry bent to help me with the broken dishes. “You still looking for a job, miss?”

Mila 2.0 Review

2 Aug

Mila 2.0 Review

Mila 2.0 (MILA 2.0, #1)

Mila 2.0 is basically about a girl who’s just suffered a heartbreaking loss of her father in a tragic fire, and she and her mom have moved to a small town to start a new life for themselves. You can see by the little things she does that she doesn’t exactly fit in, but pretty much she’s an ordinary girl with an ordinary crush on a very, very hot boy that’s moved into town. Then she finds out that her whole life’s been a lie, that she is, in fact, an android, and she and her “mom” have been on the run for their lives since the very beginning. And now, they have to keep running.

I absolutely LOVED how the storyline came to life. It wasn’t rushed or forced, except in the beginning where the hot guy instantaneously goes for Mila instead of her annoying and horrible best friend, but considering that that didn’t take up much of the plot I found it to be acceptable. It was a nice, fast read, and I felt compassionate towards Mila’s emotions throughout the entire thing. I loved her, and I loved her mom, and I even liked the hot boy, Hunter, despite his stereotypical existence in the book.

There’s just so much to say. It’s being published March 12,2013, 3 days from when this review is being written. I just can’t believe it because I want to get my hands on the next book ASAP, and I can’t because this book isn’t even out yet. As soon as you pick this book up, you can’t stop reading it because as soon as you’re thinking “Oh, I’ll just put it down now since it’s finally calmed down” something else pops up and you’re like “No way!”

There may be a few small spoilers below here. If you like experiencing the book for yourself where even the smallest give-aways freak you out, then you might not wanna read below.

This book is very thought provoking, as well. It questions our humanity, the part of us that makes us human. Mila thought she was human, she experiences the same emotions,the same hurt,love, anger, etc as a human. Her fake heart beats faster when she’s scared and excited, and she’s capable of denying her robotic part and doing things outside the box that don’t always turn out as she’s planned. She’s not perfect. Despite being this fighting machine, she has a part of her that makes mistakes and regrets. And she’s scared to “die”, to be turned into an emotionless shell of herself. Her emotions sometimes override her judgement. She knows she doesn’t have a soul, but she wants one. She wants to work to earn one. And even though she doesn’t know how to accept that she’s not real, that doesn’t take away her humanity – it builds it.

Congratulations, Debra Driza, for your amazing debut. I, personally, can’t wait for the second book. This will definitely been on the New York Times bestseller’s list. Five stars!

%d bloggers like this: