Wednesday, August 26, 2015


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine spotlighting upcoming releases that we are eagerly anticipating! Today's selection will release on February 23, 2016.

Argeneau #23
by Lynsay Sands

Buckle up - the Argeneaus are back in a sexy, witty new novel from New York Times bestselling author Lynsay Sands!

Dante Notte has heard it said that love hurts. He just wasn't expecting it to run him over in an RV. Still, a punctured lung and broken ribs are nothing compared to the full-body shock he feels whenever he's near the vehicle's driver, Mary Winslow. He needs to keep her safe from their pursuers while he rescues his brother. Most challenging of all, he needs to claim this smart, stubborn woman as his life mate.

The naked, injured, insanely gorgeous younger man who clambered into her RV insists they belong together. If Mary wasn't feeling their incredible connection in every inch of her being, she wouldn't believe it. But now that the men who took Dante's twin are after her too, trusting her gut means risking her life for an immortal who's the very definition of a perfect stranger.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015


It's Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the wonderful ladies of The Broke and the Bookish! This week's topic: Top Ten Books That Would Be on My Syllabus If I Taught X 101

The hardest part of this one is deciding what class I would teach! I love so many different types of books that choosing one is like trying to get a parent to choose a favorite child. I am basing my choice on a genre that I feel is under-appreciated: science fiction romance. These selections are listed in publication order so as to demonstrate the evolution of the genre over the span of almost thirty years.

Sweet Starfire (Lost Colony, # 1)Freedom's LandingAll's FairAfter Dark (Harmony #1)Naked in Death (In Death, #1)
Gabriel's Ghost (Dock Five Universe, #1)Awaken Me Darkly (Alien Huntress, #1)Your Planet or Mine? (Otherworldly Men #1)Born of Night (The League, #1)Touched by an Alien (Katherine "Kitty" Katt, #1)

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

review: MAGIC POSSESSED by Jaime Rush

The Hidden #2
Hachette: Forever
released January 28, 2014
source: bookstore
312 pages

Rating: Liked it

They are the Hidden.
Not quite human. Far from normal.
And never, ever safe . . .

Her brother was mysteriously murdered with no witnesses, clues - or motives. Yet Violet Castanega knows he won't be the last to die unless she seeks help. But the Hidden's law enforcement won't come to the aid of her rowdy dragon clan, and the only person who will listen to her is one tough cop. Violet has tangled with him before, and it got rough. This time, it's getting hot . . .

Powerful Guard member Kade Kavanaugh has been ordered to take out Violet Castanega. While assassination orders don't come with explanations, his instincts scream that killing the fiesty beauty is wrong. Now Kade must put his career, not to mention his life, on the line to save her. But as the passion - and the danger - heat up between Kade and Violet, can they survive the darkest magick of all?

My Thoughts

When Violet's brother is brutally murdered, she risks the wrath of her family to enlist the aid of the Guard in investigating his death. She is told in no uncertain terms that the Fringers need to police their own and is thrown out of the building. Kade follows her back home with orders to assassinate her but finds that he can't go through with it. A friend recently told him to trust his gut . . . and the more he looks into things, the fishier this situation seems.

I definitely liked this one more than the first book in the series, Dragon Awakened... at least until the halfway mark. The plot was already a little sketchy before then, but somewhere around the middle it just all fell apart for me. Sometimes simplicity just ends up making characters look like fools.

I did like that big bad Kade is actually a submissive man at heart. While it's not personally my cup of tea, I do still like to see male romantic leads who aren't entirely stereotypical alpha douchebags. Men who enjoy sexual submission are very under-represented in women's literature these days.

At the end of the day, though, you can definitely feel how short this book is. Another forty pages of plot and character development could have made a world of difference for this story.


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine spotlighting upcoming releases that we are eagerly anticipating! Today's selection will release on February 16, 2016.

RIDERS (Riders #1)
by Veronica Rossi
Tor Teen

For eighteen-year-old Gideon Blake, nothing but death can keep him from his goal of becoming a U.S. Army Ranger. As it turns out, it does. Recovering from the accident that most definitely killed him, Gideon finds himself with strange new powers and a bizarre cuff he can't remove. His death nas brought to life his real destiny. He has become War, one of the legendary four horsemen of the apocalypse.

Over the coming weeks, he and the other horsemen - Conquest, Famine, and Death - are brought together by a beautiful but frustratingly secretive girl to help save humanity from an ancient evil on the emergence.

They fail.

Now - bound, bloodied, and drugged - Gideon is interrogated by the authorities about his role in a battle that has become an international incident. If he stands any chance of saving his friends and the girl he's fallen for - not to mention all of humankind - he needs to convince the skeptical government officials the world is in imminent danger. But will anyone believe him?

I will read anything written by Veronica Rossi! Cannot wait for this!!!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Bout of Books 14.0: Day 2 Recap

Yeah . . . big ol' fail for me today. I read the first chapter of my book today - a whole 11 pages! Ah, well. I did go see The Man from U.N.C.L.E. with my mom and then binge the first two High School Musical movies on Netflix. At least I was successful at something. LOL

-- Magic Possessed by Jaime Rush
-- (started) Angel Seduced by Jaime Rush

manga review: Nurse Hitomi's Monster Infirmary #1 by Shake-O

story & art by Shake-O
Macmillan: Seven Seas Entertainment
released February 17, 2015
source: bookstore
180 pages

Rating: Liked it


Welcome to the nurse's office! Nurse Hitomi is more than happy to help you with any health concerns you might have. Whether you're dealing with growing pains or shrinking spurts, body parts that won't stay attached, or a pesky invisibility problem, Nurse Hitomi can provide a fresh look at the problem with her giant, all-seeing eye. So come on in! The nurse is ready to see you!

Manga Rating: Older Teen. An "OT" rated book contains material that some parents or guardians may consider inappropriate for readers under the age of 16.

My Thoughts

Hitomi-Sensei is a school nurse . . . which doesn't sound all that strange until you realize that she's also a cyclops and most of her patients are monster girls! Hitomi is very clumsy because the cyclops eye means she has no depth perception. Her monster girl patients all have their own unique problems, and Hitomi and her assistant are there to save the day.

I picked up this title because it was advertised as perfect for fans of the manga series Monster Musume, which I adore. Monster Infirmary, however, feels like a bit of a disjointed mess. It has its cute moments, and I like the way that Hitomi manages to see her students' true problems and give them advice, which is really the only reason that this made it to three stars instead of just two. But this doesn't feel like it ties together like that other manga I have read - it just comes off as individual stories all strung together by the shared character of Hitomi. 

I'm still planning to grab the second book in the near future, but if the style and pacing remain the same then I don't know if I'll continue with the series. This just isn't my favorite style.


It's Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the wonderful ladies of The Broke and the Bookish! This week's topic: Top Ten of Your Auto-Buy Authors

A couple of these are genre-specific...
01. Sherrilyn Kenyon
02. Beth Revis
03. Sarah J. Maas
04. Jayne Castle (Jayne Ann Krentz's futuristic pen name)
05. Tahereh Mafi
06. Rachel Hawkins
07. Katie Reus
08. Vicki Lewis Thompson (just her paranormal romances)
09. Lynsay Sands (just the paranormal romances, although I do like her historicals on occasion)
10. Melissa Landers

Monday, August 17, 2015

Bout of Books 14.0: Day 1 Recap

Today was a surprisingly busy day. Between regular life and a friend coming over to watch Rent (which we made Hubster watch, too!), I only got one book read today.

-- Magic Possessed by Jaime Rush

review: THE IMMORTAL WHO LOVED ME by Lynsay Sands

Argeneau #21
HarperCollins: Avon
released February 24, 2015
source: bookstore
357 pages

Rating: Really liked it!

A few years ago, Sherry Carne would have sworn that vampires didn't exist. That's before rogue immortals rampage through her store, leaving bloody chaos (literally) in their wake. The kicker comes when Sherry learns that one of the vamps on the bad guys' trail may be her life mate. Her head says it's impossible. The rest of her takes one look at Basileios Argeneau and has much more interesting ideas.

Whatever Basil expected in a life mate, funny outspoken Sherry isn't it. But mind-blowing chemistry and instinct don't lie. They tell him something else, too - that Sherry's connection to the immortal world goes deeper than she knows. And that she's in the kind of danger only Basil can save her from - if she'll just trust him, now and forever . . .

My Thoughts

Sherry is just going about her everyday life and trying to get her taxes done when a teenage girl runs into her office and all hell breaks loose down below in her shop. She soon finds herself on the run from an immortal madman, learning about the immortal world, and meeting her supposed life mate . . . all while trying to convince herself that this is just a drug-induced dream. There's no way vampires are real . . . right? Right?

In many ways, this was the perfect book for me to read after a long break in the series. I have trouble with remembering details, and Sherry's introduction to the world of immortals also served as my reintroduction to the series. Of course, there were some characters that I would have liked to revisit as well, but with so many books there are just too many characters to try to give all of them a decent plotline in each installment.

As some other reviewers have noted, it would be nice to get back to the other style of Argeneau books in which the main couple is able to spend some time alone together to allow the romance to develop rather than being forced into family time with no privacy.

The only issue I had with this book - although it is a big one - is the author's view on rape. It comes up in the storyline, and one character's comment rubbed me the wrong way:
He didn't rape her... at least not in the violent, violated way. She was attracted to him and he just mentally veiled her reasons for not sleeping with him, and subdued her conscience.
This is on page 308 in my copy. There's a bit more to that quote that's also relevant, but it would be giving away key plot information, so I won't share it here. My general reaction was WTF followed by a feeling of disbelief that this attitude could still be published in this era. I'm trying to separate out this section from the rest of the book in my memory so I can move on to the next book without the pall of this viewpoint hanging over the series. After 21 books, I'm fairly invested in the world. Why, Lynsay, why would you do this to me? Argh.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Bout of Books 14.0

I'm so excited to have jumped back into book blogging just in time for the next Bout of Books read-a-thon! I never, ever read as much as I'd like to during these events, but they're still super fun. If anyone needs me this week, I'll be curled up on the comfy chair with my ever-vigilant dog and a big ol' stack of books! (:

Want more info? Check out this blurb below and go visit the Bout of Books Blog to sign up!
The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 17th and runs through Sunday, August 23rd in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 14 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team


Stacking the Shelves is an alternative to In My Mailbox hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

This week, I got one new book

one new manga
Nurse Hitomi's Monster Infirmary Vol. 1

and two new comic books!
Ms. Marvel, Vol. 3: CrushedThe Wicked + The Divine, Vol. 2: Fandemonium

Saturday, August 15, 2015


Penguin Teen has a list of 10 creepy YA books for those of you planning for Halloween now! [link]

Penguin Teen also has 10 YA books to help you hold on to summer! [link]

Buzzfeed published yet another on-point list of 23 things everyone who grew up a book nerd will understand. [link]

Rae Carson's fall tour schedule has been released. [link]

Friday, August 14, 2015

review: DRAGON AWAKENED by Jaime Rush

The Hidden #1
Hachette: Forever
released December 17, 2013
source: bookstore
318 pages

Rating: It was okay

They are the Hidden.
Not quite human. Far from normal.
And never, ever safe . . .

Ruby Salazaar wants answers . . . and revenge. Her uncle has just been murdered before her eyes, and the name he utters with his final breath - Cyntag - leads Ruby into a world beyond her wildest imaginings. She soon learns that the dark, sexy Cyntag Valeron knows more about her than she does herself.

Ruby changed Cyn's life before she even knew who he was. Now she charges into his life, a beautiful woman full of fire and questions. Cyn knew this day would come, yet he couldn't foresee the danger - and desires - Ruby would bring with her. He can teach her how to harness her newly awakened powers. But there is one force neither of them can control . . .

My Thoughts

Ruby is a strong and independent woman who is thrown headlong into a dangerous new world after her uncle's murder. Cyn, a dark and sexy stranger, can help her . . . but he's also hiding a dangerous secret.

Interspersed throughout the main story are passages from a fairytale book written for Ruby by her uncle. They felt a bit cumbersome at times, and sometimes the parallels between the passages and the plot were a bit contrived. I was actually excited to come to the end of a chapter and not have to read another excerpt.

I wanted to like this book so much more than I actually did. I loved Rush's Offspring series and was hoping to fall for this trilogy in the same way. Unfortunately, it just never clicked for me. The writing was a bit dull, and the characters just didn't work for me. Some plot points were rushed, others were glossed over, some characters were there for seemingly no reason, and there was a general lack of world-building. Alas, I just discovered that there were a couple of prequel stories, and maybe reading those will help me to enjoy the world a bit more. At this point, though, the only reason I will read the other two books is that I've already purchased them. Hopefully they will save the series!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

review: EARTH BOUND by Christine Feehan

EARTH BOUND by Christine Feehan
Sisters of the Heart #4 / Sea Haven #11
Penguin: Jove
released July 7, 2015
source: bookstore
371 pages

Rating: Really liked it!

The #1 New York Times bestselling author of Air Bound returns to the mysterious coastal town of Sea Haven where six sisters of the heart are bound by the elements, and one is stalked by an inescapable past . . .

After escaping from a cult, Lesi found refuge with her sisters on the farm that more than sustained her body - it nurtured her soul as well. But she never forgot the terror she left behind or the always present fear that the cult would find her again, and claim her. Then her nightmare came true.

Lexi was discovered and threatened - only to be suddenly saved by a stranger. He is Gavriil Prakenskii, and he's awestruck by the woman he has rescued. She is destined for him. He can feel it in his soul. But how can Lexi find happiness with a man steeped in secrets and shadows, one intimately acquainted with violence, and whose very love could be the death of them?

My Thoughts

This is another one of those series that I read compulsively and love to an unhealthy degree. The stories are formulaic and sort of blur together - especially when you read them back-to-back like I did with the original seven Sea Haven books - but I don't care because I love the characters.

The women of the Sisters of the Heart series are especially close to my heart. As an adoptee, the whole "blood is thicker than water" argument makes my blood boil. Seeing these women freely refer to themselves as sisters despite any actual blood relations makes me happy, because I strongly believe that your chosen family is your real family, regardless of what your genealogy says. The people who are there for you, who have your back no matter what, whom you know you can lean on through the tough times, those are your real family. To see that reflected in this series has been a powerful experience.

Gavriil Prakenskii has come to see his brothers one last time before leading danger away from their door. Unfortunately for him, life had other plans, throwing Lexi into his path just when she most needed him. He can feel that she is the woman he is destined to be with and finds himself unable to leave her side. Together they face the new threat to her life.

Sure, there's instalove, a rather thin plot, and some seriously ridiculous glossing over the amount of work that would need to go into a victim like Lexi establishing her first sexual relationship. But there's also hot Russian assassins and a bunch of talented, badass women. Just let it go and enjoy the ride.

Probably my favorite thing about this particular installment is that we are finally starting to see the Prakenskii brothers interact more. We met Ilya in Turbulent Sea, Lev in Water Bound, Stefan in Spirit Bound, Maxim in Air Bound, and now Gavriil in Earth Bound. That's a lot of Prakenskiis in one little town! It was lovely to watch them finally start to learn to interact as family again rather than as just one killer to another.

Two more brothers to go!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

review: SIREN'S CALL by Jayne Castle

SIREN'S CALL by Jayne Castle
aka Jayne Ann Krentz
Rainshadow #4 / Harmony #12
Penguin: Jove
released July 28, 2015
source: bookstore
323 pages

Rating: Really liked it!

In the mysterious world of Harmony, there are places filled with unexplored marvels. But Rainshadow Island isn't about to give up its secrets . . .

In the alien catacombs of Rainshadow, there are creatures whose compelling songs lure the unwary to their deaths. That's why Rafe Coppersmith, hired to clear out the catacombs for exploration, needs a music talent. He knows the perfect one, but she probably doesn't want anything to do with him . . .

Ella Morgan had once fallen hard and fast for Rafe, but then he disappeared for months . . . and he's not about to tell her why. Ella, too, has secrets that only her dust bunny knows. She's not just a music talent, she's a Siren: a paranormal singer capable of singing men to sleep - or to their deaths.

But once on Rainshadow, Rafe and Ella will learn that surrendering to passion doesn't come without risks - and fighting fire with fire only adds to the flame . . .

My Thoughts

I must admit that I have a ridiculous soft spot for this series. Really, I love all of the many, many Arcane titles under the Krentz and Quick lines too, but the Castle titles will always hold the bulk of this affection. (Scifi romance FTW!) For that reason, I am not the most impartial judge of quality here. I am more than willing to overlook the book's deficiencies in order to have my yearly romp through this world once more. Siren's Call is not a perfect book, but if you love Arcane as much as I do then you will likely be willing to do the same and just sit back and enjoy the ride!

Soon after Ella Morgan opens her new dream consulting business, she comes across a very insistent dust bunny. Following it down into the catacombs, she manages to help the dust bunny and its friends before landing herself in a very dangerous situation . . . and has to use her talent to save herself. Rafe Coppersmith covers for her and her secret talent with the local investigator, asks her out for coffee . . . and never shows.

Fast forward three months, and Rafe shows up at Ella's new office requesting her help as a music talent and Siren on a project for his family's Coppersmith Mining company. She has no desire to see him again, considering he never showed up to claim that coffee date she was so anticipating, but eventually agrees to go for the sake of her company. Having Coppersmith Mining as a client would do wonders for its reputation. Besides, who can say no to saving people from dinosaurs in Wonderland over on Rainshadow Island?

Yes, I said dinosaurs. Seriously.

I love the beautiful mind of Jayne Ann Krentz!