True Storm (True Born Trilogy #3)

I received this ARC from Entangled Teen in exchange for an honest review.

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Laster.  Splicer. True Born.

Lucinda Fox is back for this final installment of the True Born Trilogy and it all ends here.  With Margot rescued from the far reaches of Russia and back, lock and key, things should all be resolved neatly.  Wrong.

While she was away I spent a lot of time worrying over this.  The bond I have relied upon my whole life to tell me what Margot was thinking and feeling had stretched, thin and silent, until it was all but obliterated.  It was the loneliest feeling in the world.

Ali has his own movies and so does Nolan Storm.  Margot seems just a shell of her former self, their bond oddly silent.

“I’m a Fox,” Margot says in tones so black I’d as soon call them shadows.

Now the key has met lock and Lucy is far from safe.

I was pleasantly surprised at how this series concluded.  After a very slow start the last quarter of the book really pulled it all together and even managed to surprise me.  I won’t go into more details lest I spoil it so pick it up!  I was late to the party and it’s out now!

Four Stars.

Buy It Here

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Tell the Wind and Fire

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I received this ARC from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children’s Book Group/Clarion Books in exchange for an honest review.

I read this book at a villa overlooking the Caspian Sea and I think that definitely set the mood that had me powering through this in a day.

With the discovery of light magic and that only some can wield it, New York City is split in two, Light New York and Dark New York.  Lucie was born in the dark, the daughter of a light magician father and mother from a family that uses dark magic.  Dark magic is evil, a necessary evil, or so they say.  After her life is completely upended, Lucie is accepted into the upper echelon of Light New York-but it comes with a price.

Once you lose something, it tends to stay gone.  This is especially true with chances.

The only thing that makes sense to Lucie in this new world is Ethan, her love for him and him for her sustains her as she remains haunted by the dark.

Maybe that is the only thing I have ever learned about love: love is when you save someone no matter what the cost.

When Ethan’s actions lead her back into the dark, Lucie must once again become the golden thread that lights his way back.  With dark magicians thirsty for blood, doppelgangers and an elite ruling council that controls everything, she can only hope her light is strong enough.

The only choice in the Light City or the Dark, was to be twisted or to break.

I enjoyed the book for what it was, but a more detailed review would betray the plot as the world-building was not quite as intricate as some of Brennan’s earlier work. I’m definitely a fan but this one didn’t quite reach the level of The Demon’s Lexicon trilogy for me.  About 25% of the way through I could see quite clearly how it would end, which would have been a disappointment had I really stopped to think about it.  As it stands I liked the book but I didn’t love it.

Three stars.

Expected Publication: April 5, 2016

Hard To Break (Alpha’s Heart #2)

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I received this ARC from St. Martin’s Press in exchange for an honest review.

I only just recently read and reviewed the first book in this series so I was delighted when I was offered a chance to do the same with the newest installment.

Quinn is just one of the boys, a skilled mechanic that spent her childhood working on cars with her dad.  When her mother passes away, Quinn has to step up and keep her family garage going and keep an eye on her grieving father.  She enjoys her work, though her personal life isn’t much to write home about.  When finances get desperate, enter Tazen Watts, world-famous mechanic with his own TV show.  He makes quick work of dismantling her life, starting with her garage.  She hates him, or at least she tries to.  She annoys him, or at least she used to.

He is getting to me and…I can’t deny it.  I like it.  I like it a hell of a lot.  I shouldn’t, but I do and a huge part of me is tired of pretending I don’t.


Like the book before it I found this to be a pleasant enough weekend afternoon read.  It was uncomplicated and quick, just the way I like my lazy morning reads.  A definite must if you are a Bella Jewel fan.

Three stars.

Publication Date: October 13, 2015

The Lost Girl (Fear Street)

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I received this ARC from Netgalley and St. Martin’s Press in exchange for an honest review.

Fear Street, the series of my childhood.  How could I turn down the chance to read and review the latest installment?!  R.L. Stine continues to prove he’s still got “it” and it isn’t going anywhere. Now that I’m no longer eight years old I breezed through this in under two hours, telling myself just one more chapter the entire way.  I absolutely loved it.

Michael Frost is your average high school senior in the suburb known as Shadyside.

Everyone in Shadyside knew about the Fear Mansion, which was owned by the weird family the street was named after.

Even after all this time just the mere reference to the Fear’s gives me the willies.  Michael is living an uneventful life.  He’s got great parents, friends and is on his way to Duke University in the fall.  Enter a beautiful yet odd new girl in town and some strange happenings and you have just another day in Shadyside.

Will Michael and his friends be yet more names added to the long list of Feat Street victims?  Buy the book and find out.

Run, I told myself.  Turn around and run.

Five Stars.

Publication Date: September 29, 2015

Black Rose (Shadows Book 1)

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I received this ARC from Samhain Publishing and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Louisiana bayou was her home.  Nothing of New Orleans lived there.  The city was a viper, a red-lipped lady of the night.

Mia LeMay is a born and bred bayou girl who had traded in the swamps for a tea room and club in the city.  Her exciting but predictable life ends when she witnesses a brutal murder from her balcony.  The killer wants her dead and the intriguing Ryder is tasked with protecting her.  Between the things that literally go bump in the night, talk of voodoo and her questionable protector, Mia is in for it.

This was a quick, fun read.  A bit of mystery, a dash of romance and of course a slightly spooky back-drop.  I was able to sit down long enough to finish the last 60% on a work night which is saying something since I wrangle first graders all day.

Three Stars

Publication Date: October 13,2015

*This is a re-release with a new publisher*

Thirteen Ways Of Looking

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I received this ARC from Random House Publishing Group and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I have read very few collections of short fiction in my life.  There isn’t any particular reason why, I just seemed to have jumped from board books as a child straight to novels.  It was the cover art and description of this book that drew me in, I had to read it.  This collection features one novella and three short stories, I enjoyed them all.  The title comes from a poem “Thirteen Ways Of Looking At A Blackbird”, a nod to how much of life is about perception.

The first story “Thirteen Ways Of Looking” is about an elderly man standing in the twilight of his life.  It flips back and forth between the immediate past and the present (after his death) told from his view and that of a commentator type narrator.  I didn’t want to like Mr. Mendelssohn at first, he seemed a combination of stereotypes but he grew on me.

I was born in the middle of my very first argument.

In brief snippets of his past and his musings on the present we get a clear portrait of man who has lived a good life, a life he is reflecting on.

And how is it that the deep past is littered with the characters, while the present is so housebroken and flat?

The second story “What Time Is It Now, Where You Are?” was my least favorite but still offered a few moments of clarity.  A journalist is writing a story on a deadline and he struggles to connect the pieces.

Out beyond the outpost, nothing but the dark and the white frost on the land.  The stars themselves like bulletholes above her.

The third “Sh’kol” really resonated with me, if only because of the title.

She had come upon the word sh’khol.  She cast around for a word to translate it but there was no proper match.  There were words, of course, for widow, widower, and orphan, but no noun, no adjective, for a parent who had lost a child.

A woman on the Irish coast is raising an adopted special needs child alone.  She wakes up one morning and he is missing.  Will he be found?  Will she glean anything about her life in the process?

Sh’khol…She knew the word now.  Shadowed.

The final story “Treaty” was truly touching.  An elderly Maryknoll nun sent for respite in Long Island.  A traumatic event in her life haunts her and the potential emergence of a villain spurs her to action.

She preferred to think and talk of other things, life in the village before she was captured, the volume of blue sky, the children in the schoolhouse, the fall of rain on the in roof…

I truly enjoyed reading these stories.  I found myself stopping to highlight and ponder often, bits and pieces of my own life coming to mind.  McCann is a gifted wordsmith, his framing of the concept of perspective a thing of beauty.  I have several people in mind already that I will personally recommend this collection to.

Sometimes it seems to me that we are writing our lives in advance, but at other times we can only ever look back.  In the end, though, every word we write is autobiographical, perhaps most especially when we attempt to avoid the autobiographical.  -Colum McCann

4 stars.

Publication Date: October 13, 2015

Hard To Fight

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I received this ARC from Netgalley and St. Martin’s Press in exchange for an honest review.

Once again I’m late (19 days post publication) with this review!  Over the summer I blamed my travels but this time I blame moving to Kurdistan two weeks ago.  The expat life is no joke.  I digress.

This book is exactly what it looks like; this is a formulaic bad boy meets good girl love story.  Raide Knox is definitely the kind of bad boy I can get behind, even if I found the heroine (Gracie) a little annoying at times.  Raide is a bad boy with a mission, on a path of revenge destined for sure destruction.  Gracie is a bounty hunter who spends far too much time worrying about how no one takes her seriously…I wouldn’t take her seriously either, she whines too much!  When she goes after Raide, Gracie finds that her first big take down is anything but easy. This is a cute little read, especially if you don’t mind a little smut.  Expect a HEA, even if it was a little too tidy.

Three stars.