Tuesday, 31 December 2013

My top 12 reads of 2013!

Okay, so, here we are. Last day of 2013. Time to choose ten books that I shall call my top ten reads of 2013. Altogether this year I have read 237 books, including short stories and fanfiction stories.
I haven't written reviews for a lot of these books, so I won't be posting reviews with the titles, but maybe I will tell you why I love it.

Okay, so there are 12 books, but that's about half of what I started with...

12. Seduction and Snacks by Tara Sivec (Chocolate Lovers, #1)

Description; Claire is a twenty-something, single mom that grudgingly helps her best friend sell sex toys while she attempts to make enough money to start her own business to give her foul-mouthed, but extremely loveable (when he's asleep) toddler a better life.

When Carter, the one-night-stand from her past that changed her life forever, shows up in her hometown bar without any recollection of her besides her unique chocolate scent, Claire will make it a point that he remembers her this time.

With Carter's undisguised shock at suddenly finding out he has a four-year-old son and Claire's panic that her stretch marks and slim to none bedroom experience will send the man of her dreams heading for the hills, the pair will do whatever they can to get their happily ever after.

Warning: contains explicit sex, profanity and enough sarcasm to choke a horse.

Why I love it: This book is hilarious, I couldn't put it down and I could not stop laughing. I bought the sequel straight away, though I have yet to read it I can't wait to!

11. The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

Description: I live in a world without magic or miracles. A place where there are no clairvoyants or shapeshifters, no angels or superhuman boys to save you. A place where people die and music disintegrates and things suck. I am pressed so hard against the earth by the weight of reality that some days I wonder how I am still able to lift my feet to walk.

Former piano prodigy Nastya Kashnikov wants two things: to get through high school without anyone learning about her past and to make the boy who took everything from her—her identity, her spirit, her will to live—pay.

Josh Bennett’s story is no secret: every person he loves has been taken from his life until, at seventeen years old, there is no one left. Now all he wants is be left alone and people allow it because when your name is synonymous with death, everyone tends to give you your space.

Everyone except Nastya, the mysterious new girl at school who starts showing up and won’t go away until she’s insinuated herself into every aspect of his life. But the more he gets to know her, the more of an enigma she becomes. As their relationship intensifies and the unanswered questions begin to pile up, he starts to wonder if he will ever learn the secrets she’s been hiding—or if he even wants to.

The Sea of Tranquility is a rich, intense, and brilliantly imagined story about a lonely boy, an emotionally fragile girl, and the miracle of second chances.

Why I love it: I love books that make me feel, and this book did that a heck of a lot. It made me cry so much. And I fell slightly in love with it. It is a much loved book, not just by me. (Plus, I also maybe have a thing for names. I don't cut them from newspapers, but I do look at them a lot, plus I research names for my books and stories most of the time.)
I also felt like I could relate to the character and their feelings a little. 

10. With All My Soul by Rachel Vincent (Soul Screamers, #7)

Description: What does it mean when your school is voted the most dangerous in America? It's time to kick some hellion butt...

After not really surviving her junior year (does "undead" count as survival?), Kaylee Cavanaugh has vowed to take back her school from the hellions causing all the trouble. She's going to find a way to turn the incarnations of Avarice, Envy and Vanity against one another in order to protect her friends and finish this war, once and forever.

But then she meets Wrath and understands that she's closer to the edge than she's ever been. And when one more person close to her is taken, Kaylee realizes she can't save everyone she loves without risking everything she has..

Why I love it: I only started reading this series about two years ago when my mum picked up the second one for cheap, but I instantly fell in love with it, as I have with so many other series. This book was the final one in the series, and though it was so sad to see it all end - I know I can reread it, but it's never the same - it was a great last installment, I think.

9. Boys Don't Cry by Malorie Blackman 

Note: Though this book is not actually considered part of a series, there will be a follow on novel next year. 

Description: This is the explosively page-turning new novel for teenagers from the author of the award-winning "Noughts and Crosses" sequence. You're about to receive your A-level results and then a future of university and journalism awaits. But the day they're due to arrive your old girlfriend Melanie turns up unexpectedly ...with a baby ...You assume Melanie's helping a friend, until she nips out to buy some essentials, leaving you literally holding the baby ...Malorie's dramatic new novel will keep you on the edge of your seat right to the final page.

Why I love it: This book had been on my to-read list for years, practically since I started reading again, but I didn't get around to it until earlier this year. So, whilst I should have been sleeping or preparing to go on holiday...I was reading this. And I don't regret one second of it! I loved the characters, how easy it was to read, even with some of the heavy subjects... The fact that - though this sounds horrible - the characters actually had real life problems, rather than silly little things to worry about. All around a great book.

8. The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen

Description: A long, hot summer...

That's what Macy has to look forward to while her boyfriend, Jason, is away at Brain Camp. Days will be spent at a boring job in the library, evenings will be filled with vocabulary drills for the SATs, and spare time will be passed with her mother, the two of them sharing a silent grief at the traumatic loss of Macy's father.

But sometimes unexpected things can happen—things such as the catering job at Wish, with its fun-loving, chaotic crew. Or her sister's project of renovating the neglected beach house, awakening long-buried memories. Things such as meeting Wes, a boy with a past, a taste for Truth-telling, and an amazing artistic talent, the kind of boy who could turn any girl's world upside down. As Macy ventures out of her shell, she begins to wonder, Is it really better to be safe than sorry?

Why I love it: The first Sarah Dessen book I read in 2012, Someone Like You, was merely an okay experience, but I knew I wanted to read something else by Sarah. So, I picked up this book...and didn't put it down. And I cried and smiled and I just fell in love with the whole thing. It felt real to me, and it made me feel, and I... loved it.

7. Fangasm: Supernatural Fangirls by Katherine Larsen & Lynn Zubernis

Description: Once upon a time not long ago, two responsible college professors, Lynn the psychologist and Kathy the literary scholar, fell in love with the television show Supernatural and turned their oh-so-practical lives upside down. Plunging headlong into the hidden realms of fandom, they scoured the Internet for pictures of stars Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki and secretly penned racy fan fiction. And then they hit the road—crisscrossing the country, racking up frequent flyer miles with alarming ease, standing in convention lines at 4 A.M.

They had white-knuckled encounters with overly zealous security guards one year and smiling invitations to the Supernatural set the next. Actors stripping in their trailers, fangirls sneaking onto film sets; drunken confessions, squeals of joy, tears of despair; wallets emptied and responsibilities left behind; intrigue and ecstasy and crushing disappointment—it’s all here.

And yet even as they reveled in their fandom, the authors were asking themselves whether it’s okay to be a fan, especially for grown women with careers and kids. “Crazystalkerchicks”—that’s what they heard from Supernatural crew members, security guards, airport immigration officials, even sometimes their fellow fans. But what Kathy and Lynn found was that most fans were very much like themselves: smart, capable women looking for something of their own that engages their brains and their libidos.
Fangasm pulls back the curtain on the secret worlds of fans and famous alike, revealing Supernatural behind the scenes and discovering just how much the cast and crew know about what the fans are up to. Anyone who’s been tempted to throw off the constraints of respectability and indulge a secret passion—or hit the road with a best friend—will want to come along.

Why I love it: Because, as a fangirl myself, it helped me. It helped me accept a little bit more of who I am. It showed me that not all fangirls, me included, are doomed to be crazy. Not all of us are teen girls. Not all of us are even female. It taught me not to be ashamed. Yeah, there are idiots out there who believe all fangirls are silly and immature, but we're not. I also loved the way in which it was written, the way everything was explained. I can't wait to read these girls' other books.

6. Looking for Alaska by John Green

Description: Before. Miles "Pudge" Halter's whole existence has been one big nonevent, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave the "Great Perhaps" (François Rabelais, poet) even more. Then he heads off to the sometimes crazy, possibly unstable, and anything-but-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe. Because down the hall is Alaska Young. The gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed-up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young, who is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart.

After. Nothing is ever the same.

Why I love it: John Green is one of my favourite authors, I have read a number of his works and enjoyed each and every one. He always has something good to say, and something silly to say, and he writes it all so well. Looking for Alaska was no different. It made me laugh, and it made me cry. Such is the power of John Green.

5. Ally Carter

There is no description here, and no cover. This year I read about 90% of Ally Carter's published works, I read the rest of them last year. This spot is for all of those books combined. The Gallagher Girls series, The Heist Society series, and the Cheating at Solitaire series. 

Why I love them: The writing, the stories. There's always something new. Something to make me laugh and/or cry. I love a good heist book, and a good spy book, though I am into more YA heist and spy books. I also love books about writers, because usually, I can relate. 

4. Paper Aeroplanes by Dawn O'Porter

Description: It's the mid-1990s, and fifteen year-old Guernsey schoolgirls, Renée and Flo, are not really meant to be friends. Thoughtful, introspective and studious Flo couldn't be more different to ambitious, extroverted and sexually curious Renée. But Renée and Flo are united by loneliness and their dysfunctional families, and an intense bond is formed. Although there are obstacles to their friendship (namely Flo's jealous ex-best friend and Renée's growing infatuation with Flo's brother), fifteen is an age where anything can happen, where life stretches out before you, and when every betrayal feels like the end of the world. For Renée and Flo it is the time of their lives.

With graphic content and some scenes of a sexual nature, PAPER AEROPLANES is a gritty, poignant, often laugh-out-loud funny and powerful novel. It is an unforgettable snapshot of small-town adolescence and the heart-stopping power of female friendship.

Why I love it: It made me feel nostalgic, even though the year it was based was the year I was born. There was just something so British about it, and I'm British...so... It was another one of those make you laugh, make you cry novels that I just can't seem to get enough of.

3. Bloodlines and The Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead

Another one with no cover or description. This series, Vampire Academy, and it's spin off series, Bloodlines...are amazing. I can't get enough of them. Romance, alive and not so alive vampires, magic, adventure. They are the perfect series. And the characters, well, most of them, are so darn loveable. An all around perfect series. To me anyway. 

2. Karina Halle

Yes, another one with just an author name. I have read more than half of Karina Halle's published works this year and every single one has gotten 5 stars from me. There's scary, sexy, emotional. Wonderful characters. In the space of about two books, Karina Halle became a favourite author. Now I have read at least one book in all three of her series and I can't wait to read more next year!

1. Painted Faces by L. H. Cosway

Description: Come forth with an open mind, for an unconventional tale of love.. 

Dublin native Freda Wilson considers herself to be an acquired taste. She has a habit of making offensive jokes and speaking her mind too often. She doesn't have the best track record with first impressions, which is why she gets a surprise when her new neighbour Nicholas takes a shine to her.

Nicholas is darkly handsome, funny and magnetic, and Freda feels like her black and white existence is plunged into a rainbow of colour when she's around him. When he walks into a room he lights it up, with his quick wit and charisma. He is a travelling cabaret performer, but Freda doesn't know exactly what that entails until the curtains pull back on his opening night. 

She is gob-smacked and entirely intrigued to see him take to the stage in drag. Later on, Nicholas asks her if she would like to become his show assistant. Excited by the idea, she jumps at the chance. Soon she finds herself immersed in a world of wigs, make-up and high heels, surrounded by pretty men and the temptation of falling for her incredibly beautiful employer.

In this story of passion and sexual discovery, Nicholas and Freda will contend with jealousy, emotional highs and lows, and the kind of love that only comes around once in a lifetime. 

Why I love it: This book was so different from anything I have ever read before. It not only has a beautiful cover, but a beautiful inside too. I feel that if I say anything about this book I will ruin everything about it and it's...indescribableness. This is a book I will read over and over and over again, whilst looking for more books by L. H. Cosway.

I shall leave you with part of the Dedication:
"For all the men who are women and the women who are men, the men who are men and the women who are women. And those of you who are a little bit of both... You colour my world"


So, there you have it folks, my top...12 from 2013. What are yours?

Also, Happy New Year!

Friday, 20 December 2013

He's An Asshole Anyway (Review)


Title; He's An Asshole Anyway
Authors; Elliot Capner, Misha Zelinsky, Matthew Knapp
Source; Author, for review
Format; Poorly formatted eBook
Publisher; CZK Publishing
Publication Date; October 2013
Description: How to deal with being dumped according to the assholes themselves. 

The Aussie break-up book that every girl and her friends MUST read has now hit America!

Thatz rightz, we know how much you Americanz needz your Americanized wordz. So here it iz, in all of it'z glory!

Specifically, we will tell you: what he is thinking; what he is doing; what you are doing wrong and how you should act in the period immediately after you've been dumped to ensure that you win the break up.

My Rating; 1*
My Review;
I am sure some people will love this book. Just look at the reviews on Goodreads, so many of them are good! But...I just couldn't find the humour in it I guess. 

The entire book just feels...pointless to me. I could not get into it, I didn't laugh. So...I gave up. 

If this sounds like your sort of thing then go for it, but I was expecting something more. 

(Plus, the formatting was terrible and half of the time half of the page was covered up and I couldn't read it properly.)

Friday, 15 November 2013

College Boys (Men of Holsum College, #1) by Daisy Harris

Title; College Boys
Author; Daisy Harris
Series; Men of Holsum College, book one
Source; NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review
Format; Mobi/Kindle
Publisher; Siren-bookstrand
Publication Date; April 9th 2012
Description; When soccer star Chris Fischer moves next door to an openly gay classmate, he doesn't realize the wall between their rooms will be so thin he'll hear his neighbor's every move. But soon he and Peter become friends, and Chris is intrigued—imagining what happens on the other side of the wall.

Active on the Queer Student Council, Peter Cohen wishes he wasn't so damn hot for his straight neighbor. He can't tell if Chris is flirting or in denial or what, but Chris's innocent overtures lure Peter into flirtation that throws his world into chaos. Peter doesn't want to date a closet case, but he desperately, passionately wants Chris.

Soon Chris must choose whether to run away from his new feelings or embrace a relationship with the guy he loves. And Peter must decide if he can give his heart to a guy who hasn't yet figured it all out.

My Rating; 3.5*s

My Review; College Boys was an enjoyable read for me, but I just felt like something was missing. Lack of a background...maybe. Or maybe I would have liked to explore emotions a little more.

I don't think I could connect with the writing that well.

I would recommend this book to those who like m/m fiction. I will also be reading the rest of the series...at some point. I'm just not so excited and in a rush about it as I have been with other books recently, you know?

I liked the main characters. I liked their story, though there was a little bit in the lack of romance for me. Maybe that's why I didn't connect with it so well.
It was more sex than actual relationship stuff. Whilst that was enjoyable, I like a bit of romance with my sex in books.

I wonder what the rest of the series will bring me.

Monday, 11 November 2013

Wild Cards (Wild Cards, #1) by Simone Elkeles

Title; Wild Cards
Author; Simone Elkeles
Series; Wild Cards, book one
Source; NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.
Format; Kindle/Mobi
Publisher; Walker Books for Young Readers
Publication Date; 1st Oct 2013
Description; After 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?

My Rating; 5*s

My Review; There are certain kinds of romance that I am sucker for. Love/Hate, or I love you but I'm going to act like I hate you, is one of those kinds, but that isn't the only reason I loved this book.

Simone Elkeles has the ability to make me feel like a giddy preteen girl all over again. There is just something about the romances she writes, because I felt the same when reading the Perfect Chemistry series.

Maybe it's the characters. Not only with the chemistry the all seem to have. But, the characters she writes. Sometimes they're characters I would find myself disliking if anybody else had written them, but somehow I always find myself attached and draw to her characters.

I loved the characters in this book. They made me feel as if I should maybe add a "cry rating" to my reviews. Because oh, look, it's another book that made Claire cry. Though most of my tears were happy tears. Most.

(Gosh, I can be such a sapp.)

This book was sweet and addictive. I stayed up for two nights, gone 5AM, just to read it.

Great characters, great first book in a series. Do I recommend it? Yes.

If you have loved other Simone Elkeles books you will probably love this one.
If you are a fan of romance books and you haven't picked up a Simone Elkeles book yet, you should.

Saturday, 9 November 2013

The Devil's Reprise (Devil's, #2) by Karina Halle (Review)

Title; The Devil's Reprise
Author; Karina Halle
Series; Devil's, book two. (Final Book)
Source; NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review
Format; Mobi/Kindle
Publisher; Diversion Books
Publication Date; Oct 29th 2013
Description; Given a second chance, music journalist Dawn Emerson and guitarist Sage Knightly are reunited, only to have their lives threatened again by a demonic bargain. The sequel to THE DEVIL’S METAL, from USA Today bestselling author Karina Halle.

When Dawn Emerson got the chance to go on tour with her favorite metal band, Hybrid, she thought she landed the writing gig of the century. But what started off as a dream for the budding music journalist quickly turned into a nightmare that she and guitarist Sage Knightly barely escaped alive.

Now, months after they went their separate ways, Sage invites Dawn to accompany him on his first solo tour across Europe and write about it for Creem Magazine. But like the last tour, nothing is as easy as it seems. Sage is a broken man on the path to self-destruction and Dawn isn’t sure if she’s the right person to save him. And aside from having to pick up the pieces of their burgeoning relationship, they have to negotiate the mysterious new photographer assigned to Dawn’s story, as well as vindictive promoters and demonic groupies they thought they’d never see again.

Because this time, it’s Dawn who made a deal with the devil and the only thing worse than having to uphold a bargain with the prince of darkness is not remembering how you’re supposed to pay it back.

It may be with their souls.

THE DEVIL’S REPRISE is the sequel to THE DEVIL’S METAL and the final book in this series.

My Rating; 5*s. (Can I give it more?)

My Review; Holy hell in a handbasket... The tears? They're real. I just had my heart ripped out, stomped on, torn to pieces and I loved it. Geez.

I suppose my heart also beat with joy at times and that makes up for it too. Though there was the fright as well.

From the very first page I had been highlighting quotes in this book. I just...there is so much I loved about it.

Why are all the best books the ones that rip your heart out?

As I have mentioned many times before and I will mention again and again and again until I am blue in the face, Karina Halle is one of my favourite authors. Books like this are the reason why.
Characters like Dawn, Jacob, Sage, they're the reason why.

Books with demons in, ghosts and all sorts of other supernatural things that are somehow believable. With believable characters. These are the reason that, no matter what the books are about, I will keep on reading Karina Halle books.

Do I recommend this series? Hell yes I do.
It had a great first book and it finished strong. It has the best ending possible for this series, in my opinion. I also have no questions. I like everything just the way it was. Which is rare, especially for a series.

Any fiction book that can effect me enough to make me cry, to almost make me sob, is worth a recommendation in my eyes. What is a book if it makes you feel nothing?

Besides, who doesn't love a good book about music? Especially rock music?

If I had to pick an author that I loved the most this year (and I've read a lot of books this year, and loved a lot of them,) I think I would have to pick Karina Halle. My author of 2013.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

A Duchess in the Dark (By Invitation Only, #1) by Kate McKinley

Title; A Duchess in the Dark
Author; Kate McKinley
Series; By Invitation Only, Book One
Source; NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.
Format; eBook
Publisher; Forever Yours
Publication Date; 3rd Dec 2013
Description; When a well-bred young lady opens the wrong bedroom door at a Regency house party, she has no idea of the sensual delights that await her on the other side…

Miss Daphne Hayward is on the hunt for a safe, honorable husband and she has set her sights on the perfect target. He’s kind, titled, and miraculously single. She plans a full-scale seduction that will bring him to his knees, begging for her hand in marriage. But when she mistakenly climbs into another man’s bed, sparks ignite, threatening to send all her plans up in smoke.

Ashton Fitzgerald, Earl of Claymore, is surprised by the powerful desire that surges through him when he sees Daphne for the first time. So when he unveils her as his mysterious midnight visitor, he is determined to make her his…forever.

My Rating; 4.5*s

My Review; I loved this novella. It was great, but I really felt that it could have been longer. The main characters had such great chemistry and I would have liked to have gotten to know most of the other characters better too.

Other than the length I really enjoyed this story. It was just a light, quick read. Which was something that I really needed lately.

I would recommend this novella. I'd also read more by this author.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

A Poll....

Okay, so, as some of you may know, I am behind on my reviews. Like, way behind. I'm even half way through some of the books I'm supposed to review but haven't got around to! It's terrible. And still I keep reading other books. So, I'm putting a stop to that.

Below there is a poll. Thirty of the books I have to read and review. Random ones.
Currently I am reading The Devil's Reprise by Karina Halle, depending on how long that takes me I will either read another book to review and leave the poll for a little longer or I will read the book that gets the most votes on the poll. Even if there is only one vote.
I do not care if you are going to read the review, or even if you've read the book yourself. I don't care if you pick a title randomly, I just hope that you please pick one and vote. It would make my life much easier. And if I get a lot of votes on books I may even pick up the second most voted once I finish or DNF the first.

You can vote daily.

What Should I Read and Review Next?

What Should I Read and Review Next?
pollcode.com free polls 

The Devil's Metal (Devils, #1) by Karina Halle

Title; The Devil's Metal
Author; Karina Halle
Series; Devils, Book One
Source; NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review
Format; Kindle Edition
Publisher; Diversion
Publication Date; Sept 21st 2012
Description; It’s the summer of 1974 and 21-year old Dawn Emerson has only three things she wants to do: compete one last time in the Ellensburg Rodeo, win back her ex-boyfriend Ryan, and become the best damn music journalist at Central Washington University. But all her plans are left in the dust when she’s contacted by Creem magazine to go on the road with one of her favorite groups, the up-and-coming metal band, Hybrid.

At first the assignment reads like a dream come true. Not only will Dawn land some much-needed credibility as a female music journalist, but she’ll finally get to experience life from the other side of the stage, and maybe crack the drunken, enigmatic code that is guitarist Sage Knightly. Instead, Dawn finds herself on an aging tour bus filled with ego-maniacs, band politics and a whole lot of sex, drugs and rock n’ roll. When monsters start showing up in dressing rooms and some of Sage’s groupies become increasingly strange and dangerous, Dawn discovers the band is not only going places – they’re going straight to Hell.

And Dawn has a backstage pass.


The Devil's Metal is the first book in a two-part New Adult Horror/Paranormal Romance and very (very!) loosely based on the author's exploits as a music journalist. Hell comes in different forms.

Rating; 5*s

My Review; What can you expect from this book? Sex, Drugs, and Rock 'n' Roll in the '70s. Oh, and don't forget the demons.

Karina Halle has done it again. This is the third series of her I have picked up this year and loved. She has easily become an auto-buy-author for me.

I love almost every character that she writes. I love what she writes about. I've even recommended books to friends, which is something I rarely do considering they don't read as much as I do.

The Devil's Metal is set in the '70s, a great decade for rock. Also a great decade for the phrase far-out, which, by the way, I'm probably going to start saying now. Not because I particularly want to, but because the words are in my head.

This book made me smile, laugh, it broke my heart a little, freaked me out a little.

This is me when I read Karina Halle books, just replace face with heart.

Dawn is such an awesome character. She doesn't back down from what she wants. She's had some pretty bad shit happen in her life, but she fights on. I like that in a character.

I'd definitely like to get to know some more of the characters in the next book. Other characters as well. Not just Sage and Dawn, though they are both awesome characters. And it is their story.

This book kept me up reading, which turned out to be bad when I needed to pee as I got a little freaked out.

I just want to gush over how amazing this book was.

I am just so curious and excited about the sequel, well, and scared.

The music is good. The story is good. The writing is good. The characters are good. The demons are freaky. This book as a whole is awesome and I definitely recommend it to you. If you haven't picked up a Karina Halle book yet, then you should. Trust me.
Every single Karina Halle book I have read so far has gotten 5*s. Even when I'm going through a reading slump. It really is no wonder she's one of my favourite author's.
(I also love that she isn't afraid to use the word cunt in her books, but that's just me.)

Monday, 14 October 2013

First Goodreads, Now Amazon and Kobo...What's Next?

So, as I'm sure many of you have heard now, Goodreads has started to take down shelves and reviews that they deem offensive. Or reviews and shelves that have nothing to do with the book and are basically "hate" towards the author. They've started censoring out honest opinions and they've deleted many reviews and shelves that they shouldn't have in my opinion. It's ridiculous.

Now, Kobo and Amazon are removing self-published titles they deem abusive/offensive. A lot of it is erotica.
Well, Kobo has just decided to remove ALL self-published titles at this moment in time. Including books that are published through Smashwords.

I'm pretty sure this an email. I got it from First Class Books FB Page.

Whilst Kobo removing these books doesn't affect me too much it still pisses me off. It pisses me off because if I didn't have this blog and the FB page, then I probably wouldn't have known about it, and I have one title currently published through Smashwords. It doesn't affect my buying of books, but it affects my already published story and I wasn't told about it. Which, you know, all authors should have been at least emailed about it. Even if it was just an impersonal collective email.

Think about how many authors don't know about this? How many readers don't know about this. It pisses me off.

WHSmith (http://whsmith.co.uk/) have completely shut down their website due to this. And if you follow that link it will lead you to the statement they give for temporarily shutting down the website.

I understand how some books are very offensive. Some self-published titles contain...a little too much abuse wise for some people maybe, and maybe some contain...things that some people may not like, but that's why there are warnings.

I don't read beastiality books, I don't like to read books that contain rape (there are some books that will only contain the subject, I don't mind those, but I do not want details, that makes me feel sick), and I will only read abusive books if I know there is some kind of good that comes out of it. Like, a person recovering. Or sometimes I want to read a story that will make me think. But, usually, there are warnings. So, I don't see why all of these books have to be removed. Because a lot of these books that get removed are probably going to be run of the mill BDSM books. Which is both unfair to BDSM readers and those in the BDSM community.

Some of these erotica books that are getting deleted, they open peoples eyes to a whole new world, and then people come along and they're trying to censor us.

Amazon doesn't seem to be removing ALL self published books, but they are removing several that they thing violate a certain code.


This is the best article on the story that I have read. The removed Selena Kitt books that nowhere near violated any of their stupid codes.
I can understand removing a few books maybe. Like, so really, really bad ones. But, really? They're not doing that. They're removing books left and right just because of a title, or a keyword. GAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

The books that glorify rape (not rape play) I can understand. Some of the non-pseudo incest books I can understand. Erotica books with anybody under 18 I can understand. But, otherwise? It's just stupid. Plus, you can find stuff much worse for free on websites anyway. So, it's pointless.

I also love how they only delete self-published author's books. Like, they're not going to remove books like Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma. And they shouldn't (that book is amazing,) but they also shouldn't be removing erotica written by self-published authors.

Well, I'm angry about all this censoring, so sorry if this doesn't make sense, but there are references to help.
This has been a bad month for readers and writers alike.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Cheating at Solitaire by Ally Carter

Title; Cheating at Solitaire
Author; Ally Carter
Source; Amazon, Paid
Format; Paperback
Publisher; Berkley Trade
Publication Date; December 6th 2005
Rating; 5*s
Description; Self-help guru Julia James is so good at being single that she's become famous for it-advising women that they don't need a man to be happy. Then the unthinkable happens. Just when her newest book, 101 Ways to Cheat at Solitaire, is about to hit stores, a trumped-up piece of gossip linking her to a gorgeous actor hits the papers. Their pictures are splashed all over the tabloids, and now Julia's credibility is about to hit rock bottom. But she isn't going down without a fight. Unless, that is, the actor is going down with her.

I first picked up an Ally Carter book late last year. It was the first in the Gallagher Girls series and I was...skeptical. Because she was such a popular author and it was a popular series, that usually doesn't mean good things for me and books. 

Since then? I've read almost every book that Ally Carter has currently published. I'm up to date with the Heist Society books, I've completed the Gallagher Girls series...and now I've read Cheating at Solitaire. 

This book, I don't think I'll ever forget it. Sure, Ally Carter's YA books are fun, and I absolutely love them, but this one hit me on more of an emotional level than any of Ally Carter's other books so far. 

Not just in a make-you-cry way, but also in a life changing way. Those little bits from 101 Ways to Cheat at Solitaire, and just bits from the book in general... They makes me want to change, for me, and to accept things as they are, and to do something. 

There is nothing better in the world than a book that not only makes you cry, but makes a difference to you. Whether it be an inside or a positive outside difference. 

Ally Carter deserves every single 5 star rating I have given to the books that I have read of hers. She deserves the praise she gets for Heist Society and Gallagher girls, and the praise she gets for this book, even though it is lesser known.

To my author side, her writing is an inspiration. To my reader side, her writing is amazing. 

If you have not had the chance to read an Ally Carter book yet, please do. Even the Gallagher Girls series which seems mostly intended for preteens and young teens is good for older readers. 

The main characters in this book were definitely likeable. I can't wait to glimpse into their lives a little more in Learning to Play Gin. They were also believeable. 

I cannot find a flaw within this book. I loved it so much. I loved it so much that anything I could possibly consider a flaw has been overshadowed by all of the good in the book. And here I was thinking I was going to be hit with Reader's Block soon. 

I do not only recommend this book, I recommend all of Ally Carter's books.

It has been about a year since I first picked up one of her books and I definitely plan to read more in the years to come. Even if this is my first review for a book of hers. 

Trust me, you do not want to miss out on Ally Carter's books. 

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Fangasm: Supernatural Fangirls by Katherine Larsen, Lynn S. Zubernis

Warning: This "review" contains gushing. That's right, I'm practically fangirling a book about fandom.

Title; Fangasm: Supernatural Fangirls
Author(s); Katherine Larsen, Lynn S. Zubernis
Source; NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review
Format; eBook
Publisher; University Of Iowa Press
Publication Date; October 1st 2013
Rating; 5+*s
Description; Once upon a time not long ago, two responsible college professors, Lynn the psychologist and Kathy the literary scholar, fell in love with the television show Supernatural and turned their oh-so-practical lives upside down. Plunging headlong into the hidden realms of fandom, they scoured the Internet for pictures of stars Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki and secretly penned racy fan fiction. And then they hit the road—crisscrossing the country, racking up frequent flyer miles with alarming ease, standing in convention lines at 4 A.M.

They had white-knuckled encounters with overly zealous security guards one year and smiling invitations to the Supernatural set the next. Actors stripping in their trailers, fangirls sneaking onto film sets; drunken confessions, squeals of joy, tears of despair; wallets emptied and responsibilities left behind; intrigue and ecstasy and crushing disappointment—it’s all here.

And yet even as they reveled in their fandom, the authors were asking themselves whether it’s okay to be a fan, especially for grown women with careers and kids. “Crazystalkerchicks”—that’s what they heard from Supernatural crew members, security guards, airport immigration officials, even sometimes their fellow fans. But what Kathy and Lynn found was that most fans were very much like themselves: smart, capable women looking for something of their own that engages their brains and their libidos.
Fangasm pulls back the curtain on the secret worlds of fans and famous alike, revealing Supernatural behind the scenes and discovering just how much the cast and crew know about what the fans are up to. Anyone who’s been tempted to throw off the constraints of respectability and indulge a secret passion—or hit the road with a best friend—will want to come along.

Review; I'm just going to dive right in on this one. There is going to be no I liked, I didn't like to break the ice.

I'm just going to go right in and say this: Read this book.

If you are a fan of Supernatural. If you've ever been an emotionally invested fan. If you've ever experienced Fan Shame. If you don't really understand fandom. Read this book.

This book caught my eye a few months ago when I found out that, like 50 Shades of Grey was originally Twilight Fanfiction, there had been a book that was originally Destiel Fanfiction that got published. So, I was looking around to see if I could find any others.

Instead I found Fangasm.

To be honest, with how much I connected with this book, with how much I could relate to the Fan Shame, and being a Lurker and even as being seemed strange by family members because of how invested I can get with a show... I could relate.
That makes this book all the more special.

I mean, I try to think of at least one bad thing and one good thing to mention when I review a book. I try to make it fair. But, I loved this book so much...that I don't think  I CAN say anything bad about it.

I read an eBook version provided by the publisher through NetGalley, but I want a physical copy of this book. I could read this book again. And again.

Fandom, and those safe anon places online, and the sense of a community... I really felt it in this book.
I'm already really invested in Supernatural, and I spend a lot of my time reading fanfiction as well as physical books. So, I already know that feeling. I already know the fears of it too. The fear of not being accepted. Of being ostracised from a place where you are supposed to feel safe, even online.
But this book made me feel all of these things again.

I think that Kathy and Lynn did the right things by writing this book this way, by giving their account of Fandom to help explain what fandom really is. I will definitely be investing in some of their other book (when I can afford to.)

I'm really just gushing about this book rather than reviewing it, but I don't know how to review a book that I fell so in love with. That I related to so well.

The amazingness that is this book cannot be described with words. How accurate everything was... It all just astounds me.

TPTB are assholes though. That is one thing I must say. They really do not understand the fandoms and how much fans promote things by sharing real details and not censored shit. I hope I never have to deal with TPTB. Or at least not the same TPTB that these two had to deal with.

So, now that we've established that this book is yes, yes, EVERYTHING yes! well, I just want to say again that I would 100%, no doubts at all, recommend this book. To everyone. In fact, before I even finished the book I had recommended it to a fellow Supernatural fan.

Okay, so I know this review is kind of...rambly and incoherent, but I must say that the real life interviews and quote really helped make this book too. And the pictures. Also, if your fan lingo isn't all up to date and what not, there's even a glossary.

To sum this whole mess up... I loved this book. Possibly more than any other book or piece of fanfiction I have read this year. And I've read almost 200 works. Also, I'm not a big non fiction reader.

Fandom really needed a book like this. There is no need to be ashamed of being a fan. Ever.

Beth's Acceptance by Tracy Cooper-Posey

Title; Beth's Acceptance
Author; Tracy Cooper-Posey
Series; Destiny's Trinities book one
Source; Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
Format; Mobi, Kindle
Publisher; Tracy Cooper-Posey
Publication Date; September 13th 2013
Rating; 2.5*s
Description; Can she accept the destiny being thrust at her?

For weeks, the darkly sinful Zachariah, her favourite customer at McGinty’s, has been raising NYC student Beth Siegel’s pulse, driving her crazy with need.

Neither can she keep the tall, blue-eyed mysterious Luke who haunts the library stacks at her day job, out of her mind or her sweaty, desperate fantasies.

Fate hands Beth a startling destiny: to bond with both of them—a bond formed via sex. Sex with either one of them would have been fabulous. Together? Irresistible.

But fate is a two-edged sword and the bond comes at a price. Luke and Zack are not what they seem, and the world as Beth knows it not quite the real deal. Can Beth accept the price the bond will ask of her?

Warning: This story features two super hot alpha heroes, multiple sex scenes, including anal sex, MM sexual play, and MMF sex. Do not read this book if frank sexual language and sex scenes offend you.
No non-humans were harmed except for large numbers of Grimoré, who died with satisfactory squeals…

Review; Beth's Acceptance was...okay. I feel that there should have been more of a plot. I get that it was only a novella, but I didn't really get much of a sense of the characters and...it was just sex, sex, sex a lot of the time. It was also unrealistic.

I did enjoy reading this book. That's why it got 2.5*s, rather than just 2 or 1. But, there were so many things in the book that I could not enjoy.

Lack of explanations about the worlds. The sudden appearance of a prophecy. Lack of character development. The wording for some of the sexual scenes. The unrealisticness of the entire book. The worlds. The finding out. The bonding. The fact that it all takes place over, like, three days. Also, I think it could have done with a little more editing. There are a lot of repeat words and such. Or maybe I'm just being a little picky.

There also wasn't that much that I totally loved.

So, I loved that there was a little M/M scene. It wasn't much, but I'm a sucker for M/M scenes.

I liked that it was an easy read.

And anything after that...well, I'm just grasping at straws.

To sum it up? This novella was just not for me. Which sucks, because I hate giving reviews like these, even if I did enjoy the book.

Will I carry on with the series? Probably. It takes a lot for me to give up on a book or series, although I did consider giving up at the halfway point.

I'm really not sure I would recommend this book. I'm sure some of you would love it. I just didn't.
By all means, try it for yourself.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend by Kody Keplinger

Title; The Duff: Designated Ugly Fat Friend
Author; Kody Keplinger
Publisher; Little Brown/Poppy
Publication Date; September 7th 2010
Source; Amazon, paid
Format; Hardcover (previously it was a library book.)
Rating; 1*
Description; Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn’t think she’s the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She’s also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her “the Duff,” she throws her Coke in his face.

But things aren’t so great at home right now, and Bianca is desperate for a distraction. She ends up kissing Wesley. Worse, she likes it. Eager for escape, Bianca throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with him.
Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out Wesley isn’t such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she’s falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone.

Review; This book had been on my want-now list on Goodreads for so long. I was sure I was going to love it!

I. Was. Wrong.

This book...pissed me off to almost no end.

Here's why:

Bianca. The main character is so cynical. She's selfish. She's a bitch.

She did redeem herself slightly. From page...256 to page 280 the book wasn't so bad. But I have been reading this book since April and sighing so much with it because I was annoyed at the main character until that point (the redeeming point was really redeeming for me.)

Some of the side characters helped me get through this book, but the book...I don't know what it is. I usually love books like this. With fluff and angst. But...Bianca. And her ways. And her parents. I just couldn't really get past Bianca's personality to like the book enough.

There seems to be slight slut shaming, where she calls someone a whore in her head. Or she just judges in her head sometimes. I don't know why that annoyed me so much, because we all do it. We all judge people in our heads, even if we don't mean to.
This was all totally redeemed at the turnaround point in the book. Where Bianca seems to have an epiphany.

How much Bianca pushed people away. How much she tried to escape and push her problems away. I don't think she really dealt with that within the book, and I would have liked to see her deal with those problems.
I get that we all seem to push away our problems with things, I know I do, but Bianca was an expert at it. She escaped from her problems until they went away or she let other people deal with her problems for her.

I'm sure there are other things, but I can't remember everything, this book took me months to finish because I kept avoiding it. Which sucks.

Oh, the fact that it ruined Wuthering Heights for me. I've yet to read Wuthering Heights and I've never really heard much about it and who chooses who and so on and so forth. Until this book.

Things I liked about this book:

The epiphany, which is basically Bianca realising that we all feel like shit about ourselves. We all worry about those names; slut, ditz, tease, DUFF. We all feel ugly. We all feel like the DUFF. And Bianca redeemed herself slightly with this. I found I couldn't really hate her as much.

The side characters. At least when Bianca was narrating I could occasionally see a side character that I didn't think was so bad.

The fact that other characters, not just Bianca, started to redeem themselves in the end, if they needed redeeming in the first place.

That's it. That's all I can think of.

Honestly, I think that Bianca was supposed to be disliked, but she was also supposed to be relatable as well. Although she was slightly relatable she was just too...ugh for me.

I think that I would recommend this book. Even with how much it pissed me off. Even though I'm rating it one star. I think someone else could love this book. I just didn't.

I really wanted to love this book, and I'm sad that I didn't even like it like I thought I would...but we can't love every book we read.

Monday, 23 September 2013

Unattainable by Madeline Sheehan

Title; Unattainable (Undeniable, book 3)
Author; Madeline Sheehan
Publication Date; September 20th 2013 (Early release date)
Publisher; Self published.
Source; Amazon, paid.
Format; Mobi/Kindle
Description; Warning: This is not a virtuous and tender love story. It’s chaotic, ruthless, and tragic. This story takes love and kills its innocence, steals away the pure moments, and crushes the hearts of the broken. A story born in childhood, tying one girl to one boy, leads to a destructive path—that hurts more than it doesn’t, that shatters more than it heals—testing the love that binds the two through a lifetime.

Tegen Matthews is the daughter of Dorothy Kelley, a club whore in the Hell’s Horsemen. A plain little girl, Tegen falls into the gritty world of the motorcycle club. When she meets a sweet, caring boy, she embraces the warmth and affection he shows her. Cage West is the son of the president of the Hell’s Horsemen. Tall and blond with deep brown eyes, as he grows up Cage realizes the power of his dimpled smile and smooth drawl. With one chance encounter, Tegen becomes forever tied to Cage. Following is a wayward journey that is filled with regrets, mistakes, and heartache, pulling at the threads that hold them together. Cage and Tegen fight hard but love harder, and in the end, what matters is where the journey takes one girl and one boy, who have been twined with one another since the beginning.

This is Tegen and Cage’s story.

Love doesn’t erase a broken heart, and it sure doesn’t change people. But no matter how old, how flimsy, how frayed the rope of love is, it keeps you tethered to the people you love.

Rating; 5*s

Review; It is no secret that I love this series. As you can see by my reviews of the first two books.

Undeniable, book one; http://booktobookreviews.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/undeniable-by-madeline-sheehan.html

Unbeautifully, book two; http://booktobookreviews.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/unbeautifully-by-madeline-sheehan.html

And Boy, am I glad this is not the last book! There is something about this series and about the way Madeline Sheehan writes the series.

She can go from;

"Love, they say, has the potential to kill a person if they aren’t careful."


"He became the cockiest , most self-centered, self -serving, egotistical, narcissistic, and depraved motherfucker I’d ever met in my entire life."

in literally just a few sentences. And I love it.

There is no combination of words, of letters, to describe these books. (And my love for them.) The stories that make me grin like a lovesick pre-teen and then make me cry, all in the same chapter. The stories stick with me, too.

I've declared favourite authors and favourite series before, but I think that this might be my favourite series...ever. So far anyway.

The characters and their relationships. Tegan and Cage's story was amazing, just as all the others were. And Dirty and Ellie's story was both heartbreaking and amazing. All of these stories are heartbreaking and amazing.

I love the writing. I love the setting. The bikers. The club. The characters. I love everything about every single book in this series so far and if you haven't read it yet...I recommend that you do. I know it won't be for everyone, but this series...is just undeniably, beautifully, amazing.

Series like this one, the ones that make you laugh, and cry, and want to squee? Series like these are the reason I read as much as I do. And why I love reading as much as I do.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Indivisible Line by Lorenz Font - Blog tour review + excerpts

Title; Indivisible Line
Author; Lorenz Font
Format; eBook
Source; Publisher/Author for blog tour
Publisher; Renaissance Romance Publishing
Publication Date; July 16th 2013

Pre-med student Sarah Jones is back in Beaver, Alaska, for summer vacation. A loyal member of the Gwich’in tribe, she accepts the rules set by her father, the leader of their small town. Raised in a strict household, she learned early on to do what is expected of her and has agreed to an arranged marriage. Despite her reluctance to marry without love, Sarah is unwilling to defy her father’s wishes. She hopes to help usher in an era of independence and stability for the town, but for now, her focus is finishing med school so she can become Beaver’s resident doctor.
Business owner Greg Andrews wants to escape his philandering wife and his life in general. Leaving New York City to join a hunting expedition in Alaska, Greg’s plans are turned upside down when he is shot on Gwich’in land and ends up on Sarah’s operating table. In the absence of a qualified doctor, Sarah must operate to save his life. She refuses to wait for the consent of their tribal leader, and her father banishes her from the tribal land in punishment.
Grateful for his life, Greg concocts a scheme to help. Plagued by the side effects of her unconventional operation, he convinces Sarah to become his live-in nurse. Without the means to support herself, Sarah agrees to the questionable arrangement, but she soon finds herself in even more trouble. Her new problem is that she is falling in love with this infuriating man, and the choices she now must make are must more difficult than the simple act of saving a man’s life.
Together, Sarah and Greg must both decide whether they can overcome the vast differences between them, or if the indivisible line that separates their worlds will ultimately pull them apart.

Goodreads Rating; 4.75*s
My Rating; 5*s

My Review; When I found out that Lorenz Font was publishing another book, it went on my to read list. And then I was offered a chance to review as part of the blog tour (and my review is being posted slightly late, sorry) and I just jumped at the chance. As with her first book, Hunted, I was very pleased.

It may just be something about the way Lorenz writes, or maybe it's just the content of her writing. She brings something different to the table. For me at least.

Honestly I think that the only thing wrong with Lorenz Font's books is that they are unfortunately...undiscovered.

This book, as with Hunted, kept me hooked. Which is a wonderful thing when you are going through a reading slump.

Her characters have baggage and problems and flaws. Her characters are also likable. Two of my musts for characters. They have to have flaws, because it makes them seem real. And they have to be likable otherwise you're just going to get annoyed with them.
Lorenz does this nicely.

The story is about people from two different worlds. These worlds intertwine. You then have the rest of the story, which I shan't spoil.
The story is very believable. There's something about Lorenz's writing that is just so...believable.

It is so hard to convey my love for this book in words.
My love for Lorenz's writing.

The tribe and banishment was believable. The whole tribe...stuff was believable.

Her writing is amazing, her character and her storylines are amazing. I will definitely recommend this book. As well as Hunted, her other novel. If you haven't read a Lorenz Font book yet, why not?



“You disgrace yourself.” Her father’s accusation made her cringe.
Sarah heard curious voices outside the clinic. There wasn’t a doubt that the entire town was waiting for the verdict. Their small town’s antenna was very good at learning about these types of situations; reports must have already been spreading. Considering the inexplicable turn of events, this would have qualified for a front-page headline if they had a local newspaper.
Ahila glared at her with disapproval and walked out of the room. His anger was something she’d expected, and her one hope was that that he’d accept her explanation.
She closed her eyes and leaned on the desk for a brief moment before dutifully following her father outside the clinic. The scene outdoors was no surprise. Old and young alike had gathered, their expressions ranging from curiosity to outright accusation and blatant disappointment. Just a few people showed any signs of sympathy, Lily and Trimble among them.
“Do you have any idea what you have done?” Ahila’s voice boomed. It was no wonder why words in Beaver traveled fast.
“I did what I thought was right. Surely, you’re not putting me through school so I can pick and choose who to help?” Sarah’s rising voice questioned. Her usual reserved character was gone; instead, she spewed the same venom with which her father was lashing her.
“You had no right to give away what little medicine we had left. Didn’t you think about the possibility that if any one of us fell ill, there would be no chance of surviving because you gave away the few provisions we had?” Anger flashed in her father’s eyes while he stared her down. He had a slight stature, but size didn’t matter. Ahila was big in presence and command.
“I did the right thing, Papa,” Sarah cried in response. She clenched and unclenched her fists. How could she make her father understand?
“You did not! You chose an outsider and made him your priority. They come here with full knowledge that we cannot give them much in terms of medical assistance. They signed their waivers; they knew what to expect.”
“I’m not going to become a doctor to make decisions about who deserves to be treated.” Tears came down with a gush, and she couldn’t help the quivering in her voice.
Lily took a step forward, but Trimble held her back.
“And you won’t ever become one,” Ahila thundered. “As of today, I’m washing my hands of you. Consider yourself expelled. You’re no longer a part of this tribe; this community you turned your back on will no longer fund your training. You’re on your own.”


“Have you been spying on my friend?”
“A senator’s son graces the tabloids and newspapers once in a while. It’s common knowledge among city folks.” Greg didn’t look up; he just continued to whisk the eggs.
The way he had recited all that information infuriated Sarah. “Look at me, Greg. Where is this coming from?” She leaned forward and tilted his chin up with her forefinger. When their eyes met, his expression surprised her. In his eyes, she found vulnerability she hadn’t expected and a hint of jealousy, which made her heart soar.
Her finger burned where it touched his skin. Greg held her gaze for a moment before turning away. He walked over to the stove and turned the knob.
“Nowhere. It’s going nowhere,” he replied in a quiet voice.
That wasn’t my question. Sarah eyes widened; could Greg be jealous? Why? He hadn’t given her a reason to believe he was interested in her in any way beyond the terms of their arrangement, which he was supposed to have concocted to benefit them both. As far as she was concerned, she was here to pay him back for what she’d done. So far, Greg hadn’t benefited from their arrangement at all. She’d been doing the taking, while he seemed content to keep giving.
Sarah jumped off the barstool, walked over to the stove, and stood next to him. “That’s not what I asked. Tell me what’s bothering you.” She tugged at his arm.
“Nothing, Sarah. I’m looking after your best interests. Sharks are always out there, swimming around and looking for the prey to sink their teeth into. I’m just making sure you’re protected and safe.” He kept his eyes glued to the empty skillet, and Sarah itched for him to say more.
Minutes passed before he met her gaze. She held her breath. The way he angled his head made her think he wanted to kiss her. For a moment, she imagined his mouth on hers and what he’d taste like.
“Are you one of those sharks?” she couldn’t help asking.

She blinked and pulled her hand back. “I hate nightmares.”
Sarah scrambled to sit up while Greg rose from his kneeling position at the side of her bed.
“I heard your screams, so I came in to check on you.” He watched her with a worried expression. “What got you all scared?”
She tried to remember but came up empty. “How can dreams turn you upside-down, and then leave you wondering what got you all riled up in the first place?” Blinking, she tried to compose her thoughts. “I can’t remember.”
“Do you want a glass of water?” Greg asked without moving from his spot.
Sarah shook her head and shivered, still feeling the effects of the forgotten nightmare. “Lie down with me?”
Why did she always end up speaking without thinking first? This was so wrong on all levels, but she was giving in to her heart’s desire. If it was a mistake, then she’d learn her lesson pretty soon.
Greg hesitated. She couldn’t blame him. He must know how she felt about him, although, she’d fought hard to keep her emotions hidden. Greg was far too beautiful for his own good, and she had been mesmerized by him from the first moment she’d laid eyes on him.
She closed her eyes, waiting for him to turn her down. He didn’t say anything, but then she felt the mattress dip under his weight. “I’ll hold you until you fall asleep.”
Sarah nodded, and then turned her body in his direction. Greg eased himself onto the bed, and face to face, they stared at each other in the darkness. No words were necessary. They were just two people struggling with their lives and everything around them, and they needed each other.


Footsteps advanced, and another shot rang out. Greg only had a brief moment to register Cade’s wild eyes looking down at him before he felt pain radiating in his lower limb, He’d been hit. His eyes traveled down to his injured leg and tried to assess his situation. The darkness made it difficult to discern the damage, but he knew he’d been struck in his right thigh. Greg cried out, feeling the same pain and experiencing the same fears he’d endured in Alaska.
With nothing he could use to fight back, he clutched at his thigh and tried to crawl away on what was now his ‘good leg.’ Greg felt blood gushing from the wound, and more strength seeped out of him with every passing second. He refused to die now, no matter how loud Death knocked on his door. If the Reaper did manage to claim him right here and now, his one regret would be not telling Sarah how he felt about her.
“I think this time, I’ll make sure you’re dead.” Cade’s maniacal laugh rang out, and he walked closer, his footsteps pounding against the hardwood floor with every step.
Despite the pain every movement elicited, Greg turned his body around to meet Cade’s gaze with determined resolve. If he were to die, it wouldn’t be running away like a coward. The other man’s expression held no remorse, no pity, and no awareness — just pure hatred.
“Why do you hate me so much?” Greg asked through gritted teeth. The question had been nagging at him since Cade’s first attack on him.
His former best friend smirked and pointed the gun at his head.

Author Bio for Indivisible Line:
Lorenz Font discovered her love of writing after reading a celebrated novel that inspired one idea after another. She is currently enjoying the buzz from her debut novel Hunted, the first installment of The Gates Legacy trilogy.

Writing is therapeutic for Lorenz, and a perfect day consists of writing and playing with her characters while listening to her ever-growing music collection. She enjoys dabbling in different genres, with an intense focus on angst and the redemption of flawed characters. Her fascination with romantic twists is a mainstay in all her stories.

Lorenz currently lives in California with her husband, children, and two demanding dogs. She divides her time between a full-time job as a Business Office Manager for a hospital and her busy writing schedule.

Find her at: 
Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lorenz-Font/455404784511100?ref=hl Twitter- https://twitter.com/LorenzFont Website- http://lorenzfont.com/ Blog- https://lorenzfont.wordpress.com/ Independent Authors Network- http://www.independentauthornetwork.com/lorenz-font.html Linkedin- http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=221465635&trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile Goodreads- http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6590637.Lorenz_Font About Me- http://about.me/lorenz.font Pinterest- http://pinterest.com/lorenzfont/

Tour Schedule:
July 16: Wyndy Dee --Review
July 16: R.E. Hargrave –Promo/Excerpt
July 17: Tattooed Book Reviews --Review
July18: Book to Book Reviews --Review
July 18: Tracey Riva --Review
July 19: Mandy Anderson, I Read Indie --Interview
July 19: Martini Times Romance Book Reviews --Review
July 20: Fandom Fanatic --Review
July 21: Mich Books Reviews --Review
July 22: The Hive --Review
July 23: N Wood –Guest Post
July 23: Ali’s Bookshelf Reviews --Review
July 23: J. Rose Allister –Guest Post
July 24: Tbird London --Review
 July 24: Sydney Logan –Promp/Excerpt
July 25: Claudia --Review July 25: Jennifer –Promo/Excerpt
July 26: Mythical Reviews --Review
July 26: Babus Bookshelf --Review
July 27: Library at the End of the Universe –Guest Post
 July 28: Lissa Bryan --Review

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Branded (Sinners #1) by Abi Ketner and Missy Kalicicki - Blog tour review + excerpt

Title: Branded (Sinners #1) 
Author: Abi Ketner Missy Kalicicki  
Source: NetGalley/CBL Book Tours
Format: eBook
Genre: YA Dystopian Romance  

Twenty years ago the Commander came into power and murdered all who opposed him. In his warped mind, the seven deadliest sins were the downfall of our society. He created the Hole where sinners are branded according to their sins and might survive a few years. At best. Now LUST wraps around my neck like blue fingers strangling me.   I’ve been accused of a crime I didn’t commit and now the Hole is my new home. 
Darkness. Death. Violence. Pain. 
Now, every day is a fight for survival. But I won’t die. I won’t let them win. The Hole can’t keep me. The Hole can’t break me. I am more than my brand. I’m a fighter. My name is Lexi Hamilton, and this is my story. 
Publication Date: June 28th 2013
Goodreads Average Rating: 4.15*s
My Rating: 3.75*s

My Review: The start of this book sucked me right in. I did not want to put it down, even for a second. I read every chance I could, staying up too late.

But, yes, unfortunately there is a but, the second have...left something to be desired. 

The whole book, but especially the second half, just moved way too fast. And the romance, that moved more than way too fast, and was also pretty expected. As soon as we met the love interest in the book I knew they were going to be the love interest...which kind of sucked. Because I like to be kept guessing.

Now, I absolutely loved this book at first. And at the end, well, I still quite like it, and yes, I would recommend it. 

When I was reading the first half, well, I found it hard to believe that this is the first book that either author had published. I was so absorbed in the story and the world. And what a horrible world it is.

Some things were quite predictable within the story. Like I said, I knew who the love interest was straight away. I also guessed a few of the other things that were going on. But I won't tell you about them because I don't really like to put spoilers in my reviews.

Favourite character? Probably Zeus. I love smart or silly animal characters. Zeus seemed to be both. 
If I had to pick a human character...then...I'd probably choose Alyssa. 

All of the characters had flaws. Sometimes that made me like them more, like Lexi. Some characters flaws were kind of annoying... I'm not sure whether I like Cole's character or not. I'm just not sure how I feel about him altogether.

Sutton was an alright character, but I hated how much he held back, whether it was to protect Lexi or not. 

I'm definitely going to carry on with the series, I can't wait to find out what happens next. I will recommend it with a slight warning for violence. Because there's blood, and bone crunching, and a lot of bullets in this book. As well as lots of puking. And there might be a trigger warning for rape, as there is an attempted rape scene. So, I'd recommend the book, but take the warnings into mind before deciding whether to read or not. 

Author Bio: 
Abi and Missy met in the summer of 1999 at college orientation and have been best friends ever since. After college, they added jobs, husbands and kids to their lives, but they still found time for their friendship. Instead of hanging out on weekends, they went to dinner once a month and reviewed books. What started out as an enjoyable hobby has now become an incredible adventure. 

Chapter One 
I’m buried six feet under, and no one hears my screams. 
The rope chafes as I loop it around my neck. I pull down on it, making sure the knot is secure. It seems sturdy enough. 
My legs shake. My heart beats heavy in my throat. Sweat pours down my back. 
Death and I glare at each other through my tears. 
I take one last look at the crystal chandelier, the foyer outlined with mirrors, and the flawless decorations. No photographs adorn the walls. No happy memories here. 
I’m ready to go. On the count of three. 
I inhale, preparing myself for the finality of it all. Dropping my hands, a glimmer catches my eye. It’s my ring, the last precious gift my father gave me. I twist it around to read the inscription. Picturing his face forces me to reconsider my choice. He’d be heartbroken if he could see me now. 
A door slams in the hallway, almost causing me to lose my balance. My thoughts already muddled, I stand, waiting with the rope around my neck. Voices I don’t recognize creep through the walls. 
Curiosity overshadows my current thoughts. It’s late at night, and this is a secure building in High Society. No one disturbs the peace here—ever. I tug on the noose and pull it back over my head. 
Peering through the eyehole in our doorway, I see a large group of armed guards banging on my neighbors’ door. A heated conversation ensues, and my neighbors point toward my family’s home. 
It hits me. I’ve been accused and they’re here to arrest me. 
My father would want me to run, and in that split second, I decide to listen to his voice within me. Flinging myself forward in fear, I scramble up the marble staircase and into my brother’s old bedroom. The door is partially covered, but it exists. Pushing his dresser aside, my fingers claw at the opening. Breathing hard, I lodge myself against it. Nothing. I step back and kick it with all my strength. The wood splinters open, and my foot gets caught. I wrench it backward, scraping my calf, but adrenaline pushes me forward. The voices at the front door shout my name. 
On hands and knees, I squeeze through the jagged opening. My brother left through this passage, and now it’s my escape too. Cobwebs entangle my face, hands, and hair. At the end, I feel for the knob, twisting it clockwise. It swings open, creaking from disuse. I sprint into the hallway and smash through the large fire escape doors at the end. A burst of cool air strikes me in the face as I jump down the ladder. 
Reaching the fifth floor, I knock on a friend’s window. The lights flicker on, and I see the curtains move, but no one answers. I bang on the window harder. 
“Let me in! Please!” I say, but the lights darken. They know I’ve been accused and refuse to help me. Fear and adrenaline rush through my veins as I keep running, knocking on more windows along the way. No one has mercy. They all know what happens to sinners. 
Another flight of stairs passes in a blur when I hear the guards’ heavy footfalls from above. I can’t hide, but I don’t want to go without trying. 
Help me, Daddy. I need your strength now. 
My previous desolation evolves into a will to survive. I have to keep running, but I tremble and gasp for air. I steel my nerves and force my body to keep moving. In a matter of minutes, my legs cramp and my chest burns. I plunge to the ground, scraping my knee and elbow. A moan escapes from my chest. 
Gotta keep going. 
“Stop!” Their voices bounce off the buildings. “Lexi Hamilton, surrender yourself,” they command. They’re gaining on me. 
I resist the urge to glance back, running into what I assume is an alley. I’m far from our high-rise in High Society as I plunge into a poorer section of the city where the streets all look the same and the darkness prevents me from recognizing anything. I’m lost. 
My first instinct is to leap into a dumpster, but I retain enough sense to stay still. I crouch and peek around it, watching them dash by. The abhorrent smell soon leaves me vomiting until nothing remains in my stomach. Desperation overtakes me, as I know my retching was anything but silent. My last few seconds tick away before they find me. Everyone knows about their special means of tracking sinners. 
I push myself to my feet and look left, right, and left again. Their batons click against their black, leather belts, and their boots stomp the cement on both sides of me. I shrink into myself. Their heavy steps mock my fear, growing closer and closer until I know I’m trapped. 
Never did I imagine they’d come for me. Never did I imagine all those nights I heard them dragging someone else away that I’d join them. 
“You’re a sinner,” they say. “Time to leave our society.” 
I stand defiant. I refuse to bend or break before them even as I shiver with fear. 
“There’s no reason to make this difficult. The more you cooperate, the smoother this will be for everyone,” a guard says. 
I cringe into the blackness along the wall. I’m innocent, but they won’t believe me or care. 
The next instant, my face slams into the pavement as one guard plants a knee in my back and another handcuffs me. A warm liquid trails into my mouth. Blood. Their fingers grip my arms like steel traps as they peel me off the cement. The tops of my shoes scrape along the ground as I’m dragged behind them until they discard me into the back of a black vehicle. The doors slam in unison with one guard stationed on each side of me, my shoulders digging into their arms. The handcuffs dig into my wrists, so I clasp them together hard behind me and press my back into the seat, unwilling to admit how much it hurts. My dignity is all I have left. 
Swallowing hard, I stare ahead to avoid their eyes. 
Did they need so many guards to capture me? 
I’m not carrying any weapons, nor do I own any. I don’t even know self-defense. High Society frowns on activities like that. 
The driver jerks the vehicle around and I try to keep my bearings, but it’s dark and the scenery changes too fast. Hours pass and the air grows warmer, more humid, the farther we drive. The landscape mutates from city to rolling hills. They don’t bother blindfolding me because they escort all the sinners to the same place—the Hole. Twenty-foot cement walls encase the chaos within. There’s no way out and no way in unless they transport you. They say the Hole is a prison with no rules. We learned about it last year in twelfth grade. 
To the outside, I’m filth now. I’ll never be allowed to return to the life I knew. No one ever does. 
“All sinners go through a transformation,” one of the guards says to me. His smirk infuriates me. “I’m sure you’ve heard all kinds of stories.” I don’t respond. I don’t want to think about the things I’ve been told. 
“You won’t last too long, though. Young girls like you get eaten alive.” He pulls a strand of my hair up to his face. 
Get your hands off me, you pig. I want to lash out, but resist. The punishment for disobeying authority is severe, and I’m not positioned to defy him. 
They’re the Guards of the Commander. They’re chosen from a young age and trained in combat. They keep the order of society by using violent methods of intimidation. No one befriends a guard. Relationships with them are forbidden inside the Hole. 
Few have seen the commander. His identity stays under lock and key. His own paranoia and desire to stay pure drove him to live this way. He controls our depraved society and believes sinners make the human race unforgivable. His power is a crushing fist, rendering all beneath him helpless. So much so, even family members turn on each other when an accusation surfaces. Just an accusation. No trial, no evidence, nothing but an accusation. 
I lose myself in thoughts of my father. 
“Never show fear, Lexi,” my father said to me before he was taken. “They’ll use it against you.” His compassionate eyes filled with warning as he commanded me to be strong. That was many years ago, but I remember it clearly. My father. My rock. The one person in my life who provided unconditional love. 
The vehicle stops, and I’m jerked back to reality. “Get out,” the guard orders while pulling me to my feet. The doors slide open and the two guards lift me up and out into the night. A windowless cement building looms in front of us, looking barren in the darkness. 
The coolness of the air sends a shiver up my spine. This is really happening. I’ve been labeled a sinner. My lip starts to quiver, but I bite it before anyone sees. They shove me in line and I realize I’m not alone. Women and men stand with faces frozen white in fear. A guard grabs my finger, pricks it, and dabs my blood on a tiny microchip. 
I follow the man in front of me into the next room where we’re lined up facing the wall. Glancing right, I see one of the men crying. 
“Spread your legs,” one of the guards says. 
They remove my outer layers and their hands roam up and down my body. 
What do they think I could possibly be hiding? I press my head into the wall, trying to block out what they’re doing to me. 
“MOVE!” a guard commands. So I shuffle across the room, trying to cover up. 
Five of us sit in the holding room. One by one, they pull people into the next room, forcing the rest of us to wonder what torture we’ll endure. An agonizing amount of time passes. I lean my head back and try to imagine a place far away. The door opens. 
Lexi Hamilton.” 
A guard escorts me out of the room, and I don’t have time to look back. As soon as the door closes, they pick me up and place me on a table. It’s cold and my skin sticks to it slightly, like wet fingers on an ice cube. Then, they exit in procession, and I lie on the table with a doctor standing over me. His hands are busy as he speaks. 
“Don’t move. This will only take a few minutes. It’s time for you to be branded.” 
A wet cloth that smells like rubbing alcohol is used to clean my skin. Then he places a metal collar around my neck. 
Click. Click. Click. 
The collar locks into place, and I struggle to breathe. The doctor loosens it some as I focus on the painted black words above me. 
The Seven Deadly Sins: 
Lust ¾ Blue 
Gluttony ¾ Orange 
Greed ¾ Yellow 
Sloth ¾ Light Blue 
Wrath ¾ Red 
Envy ¾ Green 
Pride ¾ Purple 
“Memorize it. Might keep you alive longer if you know who to stay away from.” He opens my mouth, placing a bit inside. “Bite this.” 
Within seconds, the collar heats from hot to scorching. The smell of flesh sizzling makes my head spin. I bite down so hard a tooth cracks. 
“GRRRRRRRRR,” escapes from deep within my chest. Just when I’m about to pass out, the temperature drops, and the doctor loosens the collar. 
He removes it and sits me up. Excruciating pain rips through me and I’m on the verge of a mental and physical breakdown. Focus. Don’t pass out. 
Stainless steel counters and boring white walls press in on me. A guard laughs at me from an observation room above and yells, “Blue. It’s a great color for a pretty young thing like yourself.” His eyes dance with suggestion. The others meander around like it’s business as usual. 
I finally find my voice and turn to the doctor. 
“Are you going to give me clothes?” A burning pain spreads like fire from my neck to my jaw, making me wince. 
He points to a set of folded grey scrubs on a chair. I cover myself as much as I can and scurry sideways. Grabbing my new clothes, I pull the shirt over my head and try to avoid the raw meat around my throat. I quickly knot the cord of my pants around my waist and slide my feet into the hospital-issue slippers as the doctor observes. He hands me a bag labeled with my name. 
“Nothing is allowed through the door but what we’ve given you,” he says. 
I hide my right hand behind me, hoping no one notices. A guard scans my body and opens his hand. 
“Give it to me,” he says. “Don’t make me rip off your finger.” He crouches down and I turn to stone. I don’t know what to do, so I beg. 
“My father gave this to me. Please, let me keep it.” I smash my eyes shut and think of the moment my father handed the golden ring to me. 
“It was my mother’s ring,” he’d said. “She’s the strongest woman I ever knew.” With tears in his eyes, he reached for my hand. “Lexi, you’re exactly like her. She’d want you to wear this. No matter how this world changes, you can survive.” I turned the gold band over in my palm and read the engraving. 
You can overcome anything… short of death. 
“You’re going to take the one thing that matters the most to me?” I say, glaring into the guard’s emotionless eyes. “Isn’t it enough taking my life, dignity, and respect?” 
A hard blow falls upon my back. As I fall, my hands shoot out to stop me from smashing into the wall in front of me. The guard bends down and grabs my chin with his meaty fist. 
“Look at me,” he commands. I look up and he smiles with arrogance. 
“What the hell?” He staggers a step backward. “What’s wrong with you? What’s wrong with your eyes?” 
“Nothing,” I respond, confused. 
“What color are they?” 
“Turquoise.” I glower at him. 
“Interesting,” he says, regaining his composure. “Now those’ll get you in trouble.” 
Reality slaps me across the face. I have my father’s eyes. They can’t take them from me. I twist the ring off my finger and drop it in his hand. 
“Take the damn ring,” I say. I walk to the door. He swipes a card and the massive door slides open to the outside. 
“You have to wear your hair back at all times, so everyone knows what you are.” He hands me a tie, so I pull my frizzy hair away from my face and secure it into a ponytail. My neck burns and itches as my hand traces the scabs that have already begun to form. Squinting ahead into the darkness, I almost run into a guard standing on the sidewalk. 
“Watch where you’re going,” he says, shoving me backward. His stiff figure stands tall and I cringe at the sharpness of his voice. 
“Cole, this is your new assignment, Lexi Hamilton. See to it she feels welcome in her new home.” The guard departs with a salute. 
“Let’s move,” Cole says. 
I take two steps and collapse, my knees giving out. The unforgiving pavement reopens the scrapes from earlier and I struggle to stand. A powerful arm snatches me up, and I see his face for the first time.