Tuesday, December 31, 2013

King of Dubling by Lisa Henry and Heidi Belleau

I received this book from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

I have to say that this book was not quite what I expected it to be, and I enjoyed that. The characters were felt honest to me. I really felt for Ciaran. He had been such a naive idealist before he was captured it broke my heart to see what years of slavery had done to him. There were times I was frustrated by him, but I always understood the anger and the fear that drove his words, and actions. Looking from the outside he does this that might seem stupid, but smart, and rational decisions by such a damaged boy would not have made sense or been honest to the character.

I really enjoyed Darragh as a character. He is strong in such a caring manner while still being a flawed individual. He wasn't the typical alpha male that shows up to fix Ciaran. He isn't that sort of controlling guy who needs to own someone else. He isn't a saint either, and I liked the balance between his protective nature, and his kindness and compassion. I liked how that played out in the character's bond over the story. It felt like their relationship was on a much more even footing, and I appreciated that. Ciaran might have been in a bad place, but it didn't mean that he was totally broken. I liked that Ciaran was such a strong person, to have survived the years of abuse by such an unbalanced character.

The plot was strong, and I liked that the world and the people in it felt honest to the post disaster setting. It actually felt like a world in crisis to me, and only added to my enjoyment of the story. The secondary were a complex bunch, and added to the depth of the plot. I loved the intrigue, and snarl of alliances that comprised this book. Overall a really well developed story with strong characters that I really enjoyed.


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Secret by Brigid Kemmerer

I received this book as an ARC through Net Galley in exchange for honest review.

I really enjoyed this book. It was nice seeing that Nick and Adam's relationship was given the same consideration that his brothers and Quinn's relationship received. Seeing them so obviously enamored with each other, and how well they supported and encouraged each other was wonderful. They really were just too adorable. I wasn't as enamored with Quinn's story, and wish they book had focused more on Nick and Adam. I did appreciate that her difficult relationship with her mother was more deeply explored, and I got a much better understanding for how much pain she was in. I did like her budding relationship, but it felt like it took away a bit from Nick and Steve's story, and I wish this had been more of a side short story than a part of this book.

I liked how characters in this story aren't static, and people have the ability to grow, and change, and that characters needed to learn about each other, so they could understand each other. It's a refreshing change from so many young adult novels, heck even adult novels, with cardboard villains, and heroes.

I think my favorite character in these novels continues to be Michael. I love how well he does taking care of his brothers at such a young age, and I will be very excited to read his book. Another fun, well written, and developed book in what is fast becoming one of my new favorite series.


Always Saying Goodbye by Hollis Shiloh

I received this book as an ARC through Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

This was a nice short story about love, and what drives people together, and what it takes to make a relationship work. I liked the characters, and I like what lead to their break up was neither outside forces driving them apart, or a silly big misunderstanding. I liked that their break up felt like it was rooted in the problems in their relationship, and the fears and pride of both men. I think the time skip really worked well in this story. It allowed me to feel the time, and the changes the men had undergone while they apart without having to give a minute by minute recounting of all seven years. I found the ending to be well done, and I liked that it felt happy without feeling unrealistic, or too sappy. It worked for the characters, and I appreciated that. Overall a nice love story for a cold winter day. 


Friday, December 6, 2013

Strain by Amelia C. Gormley

I received this book as an ARC through Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

I have to say that I really enjoyed this book, but I also think enjoyed is almost the wrong word. It is a dark, often hard book. The relationships aren't pretty, or sentimental, or really all that romantic. People come together out of necessity, out of situation, and out of convenience. There is a huge age gap between our main characters. There are elements of non-con, dub-con, and hard kink. Elements that would have usually sent me running in the opposite direction, but it this book it all works for me.

What makes these elements make sense to me is the setting of this book. The world we know has fallen away, and they are in a much darker, harder place. I appreciated how much colder, and practical people have become. It fits the setting, and seems much more authentic that some of the hearts and flowers stories zombie I've read. The plot was nicely paced, and I liked how much I found out about the history of what happened and the military unit along the way naturally instead of one large info dump.

I liked the depth to the character. No one, not even the secondary characters, were as simple as they first appeared. I liked that the more I got to know characters, the more I appreciated their depths, and complexities. I also have to say I love the strength to the female characters. It was nice to see them hold their own, and survive as best they can. Not damsels in distress in sight.

A strong, dark read that felt authentic and genuine. I appreciated the ending, it fit the feel of the story without feeling too bleak or hopeless.


Thursday, December 5, 2013

The Waking Dreamer by J.E. Alexander

The Waking Dreamer by J.E. Alexander

When insomnia sets in I feel that you have two book options: a horribly boring one that will put you to sleep, or an wonderful one that you has you saying fuck it! I can’t sleep anyway, might as well enjoy it! Well when insomnia hit me last night I was very pleased I had this ARC. It was a perfect fit; it bit right into me and didn’t let me go until I finished it at 2:30am!

All I can say is that if you are looking for a really well done Urban Fantasy you will want to give this a try.

I don’t have the words to give this book the review it deserves. I am just too tired. All I can say is that if you enjoy pop culture, movies, sarcasm, magic, with a dash of romance give this a try, you will not be sorry!

I received this book from NetGalley for an honest review.

Rating: ★★★★★

- E

Monday, December 2, 2013

The 12 Days of Dennis by Jude Dunn

I received this book as an ARC through Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

This story had a cute premise, but it quickly became just too absurd to be believed. The ridiculously rich boyfriend, an indoor pool, a home theater, and an elevator felt more like a caricature than a real person, and I never really got a handle on who the main character was at all. The gifts started out a bit silly and just went south from there. By the time the eye rolling, overdone finale came I had lost all interest, and belief in the story. I had hoped for silly fun, but it read more like a farce, and lacked any of the warmth and spark I was looking for.


Long the Mile by Ally Blue

I received this book as an ARC through Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

I wanted to like this story more than I did. The multiple time skips left me feeling a bit too distanced, and too much of the character transformation took place off the page for me to feel fully engaged with the characters or the plot. The whole story had a bit  of an afterschool special feel to me, and sometimes it felt like the plot, and the characters were secondary to the message. What I did appreciate was the honest handling of homelessness, and how easy it can be for people to fall through the cracks. How hard it can be for people to improve their situation when they have a criminal record, or no fixed address or telephone number. I appreciate the honesty of that message, and even though I thought the story itself was a bit clunky, I’m glad I read it. It helped make me appreciate the support system I have, and how many times things in my life could have worse if I didn’t have those people.