Recent Reviews...

Monday, October 30, 2017

A Review of Wolves & Roses by Christina Bauer

Wolves and Roses (Fairy Tales of the Magicorum #1) by Christina Bauer 
Genre: Young Adult (Paranormal Romance)
Date Published:  October 31, 2017
Publisher: Monster House Books

"If Janet Evanovich teamed with a young adult, fairy-tale author like Marissa Meyer (the Lunar Chronicles) or Alex Flinn (Beastly), the result might be something like Christina Bauer’s Wolves and Roses." –Blue Ink Review

Seventeen-year-old Bryar Rose has a problem. She’s descended from one of the three magical races—shifters, fairies, or witches. That makes her one of the Magicorum, and Magicorum always follow a fairy tale life template. In Bryar’s case, that template should be Sleeping Beauty.

“Should” being the key word.

Trouble is, Bryar is nowhere near the sleeping beauty life template. Not even close. She doesn’t like birds or woodland creatures. She can’t sing. And she certainly can’t stand Prince Philpot, the so-called “His Highness of Hedge Funds” that her aunties want her to marry. Even worse, Bryar’s having recurring dreams of a bad boy hottie and is obsessed with finding papyri from ancient Egypt. What’s up with that? 

All Bryar wants is to attend a regular high school with normal humans and forget all about shifters, fairies, witches, and the curse that Colonel Mallory the Magnificent placed on her. And she might be able to do just that--if only she can just keep her head down until her eighteenth birthday when the spell that’s ruined her life goes buh-bye.

But that plan gets turned upside down when Bryar Rose meets Knox, the bad boy who’s literally from her dreams. Knox is a powerful werewolf, and his presence in her life changes everything, and not just because he makes her knees turn into Jell-O. If Bryar can’t figure out who—or what—she really is, it might cost both her and Knox their lives... as well as jeopardize the very nature of magic itself.

1. Wolves And Roses (Fall 2017)
1.5. Moonlight And Midtown (Spring 2018)
2. Shifters And Glyphs (Fall 2018)

Wolves and Roses is the first book in the Fairy Tales of the Magicorum series by Christina Bauer. This was a hard book to put down. Something was always happening. Bryar Rose is supposed to be living a life parallel to Sleeping Beauty, but she's not, nor does she want to. She's a misfit in her world, but she also doesn't fit in with normal humans which is what she wants more than anything. Knox is a werewolf. He does a great job of luring the interest of the reader in too... complete with some belly flips. The guy is pretty droolworthy. Fictionally speaking. He doesn't have to necessarily follow a fairy tale template. I'm not sure yet how the characters get distinguished from one another in that regard. Why do some have to follow a fairy tale template while others don't? Is it just the supernaturals and not humans? I'm not exactly sure. Then some have a job or purpose of their own that may or may not be related to fairy tale templates. So, like I said... there is a lot going on, but I didn't feel bombarded with info overload. This story gives you a lot to think about, and it kept me thoroughly entertained from beginning to end.

The ARC of Wolves & Roses by Christina Bauer was kindly provided to me by Xpresso Book Tours for review. The opinions are my own.

Christina Bauer knows how to tell stories about kick-ass women. In her best selling Angelbound series, the heroine is a part-demon girl who loves to fight in Purgatory’s Arena and falls in love with a part-angel prince. This young adult best seller has driven more than 500,000 ebook downloads and 9,000 reviews on Goodreads and retailers.

Bauer has also told the story of the Women’s March on Washington by leading PR efforts for the Massachusetts Chapter. Her pre-event press release—the only one sent out on a major wire service—resulted in more than 19,000 global impressions and redistribution by over 350 different media entities including the Associated Press. Christina graduated from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School with BA’s in English along with Television, Radio, and Film Production. She lives in Newton, MA with her husband, son, and semi-insane golden retriever, Ruby.

To learn more about Christina Bauer and her books, visit her website blog.You can also find her on Goodreads, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Playing Catch Up! Etherworld by Claudia Gabel & Cheryl Klam

Playing Catch Up has really been helping me through my ever growing TBR list. I'd like to welcome all other blogs to participate too! If you do, be sure to post your links in the comments section. I'd love to see your Playing Catch Up Reviews, and I'm sure others would too!! *wink*

Want to know more about Playing Catch Up? I'll tell you all about it here!

Etherworld (Elusion #2) by Claudia Gabel & Cheryl Klam
Genre: Young Adult (Science Fiction)
Date Published: March 31, 2015
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

In this sequel to Elusion, three teens fight a virtual reality program that threatens to destroy their minds. Dangerous secrets and lies add up to a thrilling futuristic fantasy with an Inception-inspired twist.

Elusion was hailed as an exciting leap in technology—until users began to disappear amid rumors of addiction. Regan’s search for the truth led her and her new love interest, Josh, to Etherworld. Etherworld is a dimension hidden deep beyond Elusion's firewall, where players can hide, and ultimately fight back. Regan's father and others are here working to destroy Etherworld, but the longer they stay the less likely they'll be able to return to the real world alive.

Escape means attacking Elusion from within the program. It's dangerous and it’s a puzzle. And even if they manage it, how will they be able to stop Orexis from distributing Elusion to the masses when the people who run it are corrupt?

Etherworld is the second book in the Elusion duology by Claudia Gabel & Cheryl Klam.  Like I said with the first book, I can really see something like this happening, and I think that's one of the reasons this book was so hard to put down. We also got to know the characters better this time around and met some new ones as well.  You'll see so much growth among them. It's still hard to know who to trust... even those who mean well might do the wrong thing out of good intentions.

There are some surprising changes in Elusion to make things more interesting. This is a tricky world to live in, and that's even before you add Elusion itself. This story was well told, and all things were wrapped up nicely. I enjoyed how it was all concluded.

Have you read the first book?

Claudia Gabel and Cheryl Klam are the authors of Elusion. They met when Claudia edited Cheryl's previous novels, Learning to Swim and The Pretty One. Claudia works as an editor in New York, but she's also the author of several books for tweens and teens, including the In or Out series and the mash-up Romeo & Juliet & Vampires. They liked working together so much that they decided to write a bunch of things together, including movie proposals and TV sitcom scripts. And then one day they had the idea for Elusion, and the rest is the future.

To learn more about Claudia Gabel  and her books, visit her website.You can also find her on GoodreadsFacebookInstagramTumblr, and Twitter.

To learn more about Cheryl Klam and her books, visit her website.You can also find her on GoodreadsFacebook, and Twitter.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Book Reviews! The Vampire Trick & The Vampire Fate by Michelle Madow

The Vampire Trick (Dark World: The Vampire Wish #3) by Michelle Madow
Genre: Young Adult (Paranormal/Fantasy Romance/Fairy Tale Retelling)
Date Published: September 7, 2017
Publisher: Dreamscape Publishing

In a kingdom full of secrets, no one can be trusted.

Annika’s life was flipped upside down when she was kidnapped by vampires to become a blood slave in their hidden kingdom of the Vale. Now, the powerful witch Geneva has disguised her as a vampire princess, and Annika’s living in the palace to compete for Prince Jacen’s hand in marriage. But her quest to become his bride is just a facade. Her real goal? Kill the vampire queen Laila so the kingdom crumbles and she can set the human blood slaves free.

When rebellious wolves attack the town, they leave a trail of vampire corpses in their wake, declaring war upon the Vale. But the wolves didn’t act alone. Someone on the inside is helping them, making everyone a suspect. And one major player won’t make it out alive.

The Vampire Trick is the third book in the Vampire Wish series by Michelle Madow. Just when you think things might be looking up, and Jasen and Annika would catch a break... bam. Nope. Not today. There were twists, turns, and all out craziness! Especially in the last few chapters. I saw some things  coming, but not everything. This series sure keeps you on your toes. 

The ARC of The Vampire Trick by Michelle Madow was kindly provided to me by the author for review. The opinions are my own.

The Vampire Fate (Dark World: The Vampire Wish #4) by Michelle Madow
Genre: Young Adult (Paranormal/Fantasy Romance/Fairy Tale Retelling)
Date Published: October 5, 2017
Publisher: Dreamscape Publishing

The vampire queen is dead.

Annika shouldn’t have been able to kill the vampire queen Laila—such a task can only be done by the Nephilim, whose race is extinct. But somehow, she did kill the queen. Now she’s the number one target on multiple hit lists, and she’s only alive because she’s a fugitive at the neutral kingdom of the Haven.

As if that weren’t enough to deal with, the world is in danger and she’s the one prophesied to save it. But she doesn’t have to do it alone. When fate brings her and Prince Jacen together again, they team up on a quest to find the only object that can save the world as they know it—the Holy Grail itself.

The adventure continues in the fourth book of The Vampire Wish series, and get ready to brace yourselves, because it’s going to be a bumpy ride!

The Vampire Fate is the fourth book in the Vampire Wish series by Michelle Madow. There was a lot to this book and not just the action, which there was a lot of that too. But the characters.. We got to know them better and learned more about them too. I can feel for almost all of them in a way. Even the, well, I don't want to call them the bad guys, but the not so great ones? I can see why they are the way they are. Some I even care for a little bit now. There's depth to the character and world building of this series, and it gets better and more involved with each book. I almost thought this book was going to start wrapping things up, but when one thing seemed to be taken care of, a few more things popped up in its place. I've read several of this authors books, and I think this is my favorite series by her so far. 

The ARC of The Vampire Fate by Michelle Madow was kindly provided to me by the author for review. The opinions are my own.

Check out my reviews of the previous two books in this series!

Check out my reviews of other books by this author!

She grew up in Baltimore, and now lives in Boca Raton, Florida, where she writes books for young adults. Some of her favorite things are: reading, pizza, traveling, shopping, time travel, Broadway musicals, and spending time with friends and family. Michelle went on a cross-country road trip from Florida to California and back to promote her books and to encourage high school students to embrace reading and writing. Someday, she hopes to travel the world for a year on a cruise ship.

To learn more about Michelle Madow and her books, visit her website. You can also find the author on InstagramGoodreadsPinterestFacebook and Twitter.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Release Day Review! Secrets at Seaside by Addison Cole

Secrets at Seaside (Sweet with Heat: Seaside Summers #5) by Addison Cole
Genre: Adult (Contemporary Romance)
Date Published: October 25, 2017
Publisher: World Literary Press

Sweet with Heat: Seaside Summers features a group of fun, flirty, and emotional friends who gather each summer at their Cape Cod cottages. They're sassy, flawed, and so easy to relate to, you'll be begging to enter their circle of friends!

Secrets at Seaside by Addison Cole is the sweet edition of New York Times bestselling author Melissa Foster's steamy romance novel Seaside Secrets. The stories and characters remain the same and convey all of the passion you expect between two people in love, without any explicit scenes or harsh language.

Tony Black is the hottest surfer on the planet. He travels the world throughout the year and spends his summers on Cape Cod with his friends, at the Seaside cottages in Wellfleet, Massachusetts. He's got his choice of women, but Amy Maples is the one he wants. Fourteen years ago she was his for an entire summer, until a devastating accident changed everything, and what they had seemed like it had never existed--at least for her.

Amy Maples is as consistent as the day is long. She's spent summers on Cape Cod forever, she always does the right thing, and she's spent years trying to reclaim the heart of Tony Black, the only man she's ever loved. She's back for a summer of fun with her friends at Seaside, only this year she's been offered the opportunity of a lifetime thousands of miles away, and she's decided to try one last time to reconnect with Tony. But having a relationship with Tony means dealing with her past--and dealing with her past may knock her to her knees.

Secrets at Seaside is the fifth book in the Sweet with Heat: Seaside Summers series by Addison Cole. I've been looking forward to Amy and Tony's story from the beginning. These two have always been cute together. I love how Tony has taken care of Amy at various times through this series. I knew something had to be there between them. I've been rooting for this couple for a while. I had no idea they had so much history though. Both together and apart. My goodness. Their romance has definitely not been easy. They've had so much to work through, and I think they really needed each other in order to face most of it. I think Amy and Tony just might be my favorite couple in this series so far.

ARCs of Secrets at Seaside by Addison Cole were kindly provided to me by the author and Indie Sage PR for review. The opinions are my own.

Caden, Pete, Jamie, and Kurt must have taken Jenna’s whispers and hot stares as a cue, because they headed up to the bar, and Jessica, Bella, and Leanna scooted closer to Amy and Jenna.

“How about you put those puppies away before the guys over at that table drool into their drinks,” Leanna said to Jenna while glaring at the three handsome, leering men sitting at the next table. They finally looked away when Bella shot them a threatening stare.

Jenna wrestled her boobs into submission with an annoyed look on her face. She always acted annoyed about her boobs, but Amy knew it was a love-hate annoyance. Jenna wouldn’t be Jenna without her boobs always trying to break free.

“Look at our men up there at the bar.” Bella wiggled her fingers at Caden. “Pete has his eyes on the drooling men. Kurt and Jamie are eyeing Leanna and Jessica like they’re on the menu, and Tony...”

Your men,” Amy corrected her. “Tony’s not mine, and he looks mad, doesn’t he?”

“Sexually frustrated, maybe. Not mad.” Bella took a sip of her drink.

“But you’ll fix that tonight. I mean, be real, Amy. Who tells a girl to behave and be careful whenever she goes out if he’s not interested? Why would he care? And not just that—he always adds that you can text him if you need him and he’ll come running. Just. Like. Always.”

Amy couldn’t stop the exasperated sound that left her lips. “You read my texts?” That was the only way she could have known that Tony always offered to be there if she needed him.

“Duh. Of course I did. Consider it a recon mission. I had to know what we were dealing with here from his side.” Bella had been pulling for Amy and Tony to get together as long as Amy had been in love with him, which was just about forever. She stood and dragged Amy toward the dance floor. “Come on, sweetie. Time to have some fun.”

The other girls jumped up and followed them. Amy sensed Tony’s eyes on her before she caught sight of him watching them. It made her nervous and excited at once. The music blared with a fast beat. Amy’s head was spinning from the alcohol, and as Bella and Jenna dirty danced up and down her body, gyrating with their hands in the air, Amy tried to ignore the rush of anticipation mixing with nervous energy inside her. Leanna and Jessica danced beside them in a far less evocative fashion that was more Amy’s speed, but she could no sooner disengage from being the target of Jenna’s and Bella’s sexy dancing than she could ignore Tony as he moved to the edge of the dance floor. His eyes raked slowly down her body, making her insides twist in delight. His jaw muscles bunched as he slid his eyes around the bar and leveled the leering men at the table a few feet away with a dark stare.

The sexy dancing, the alcohol, and the way Tony was guarding her like she was a precious treasure—his precious treasure?—boosted her confidence. Amy rocked her hips to the beat. She closed her eyes, lifted her hands above her head, and let the music carry her into what she hoped was a plethora of tempting moves.

“You go, girlfriend,” Jenna encouraged her. “He’s not going to be able to resist you. You’re drunk, sexy, and ready for action. What man could resist that?” She wiggled her butt against Amy’s hips.

“Oh, please. He’ll probably never reciprocate my feelings, which is why I’m seriously considering the job offer from Duke Ryder.” Never again, anyway. Her chest tightened with the thought.

No, you are not.” Bella’s eyes widened as she froze and pointed her finger at Amy, right there in the middle of the dance floor. “You are not going to move to Australia for two years. You’ll never come back to Seaside in the summers if you’re in Australia. Can’t you tell Duke you’ll consider nine months out of the year instead of twelve?”

Duke Ryder was a real-estate investor who owned more than a hundred properties throughout the world. He was also Blue and Jake’s older brother. Blue Ryder was a specialty carpenter who had renovated Kurt and Leanna’s cottage and built an art studio for Jenna and Pete. He’d since become one of the gang and hung out with them often. Jake was an Army Ranger and mountain-rescue specialist. Amy had dated Jake briefly last summer, but he was younger and too wild for her. And…he wasn’t Tony.

“No, I can’t,” Amy answered. “It’s a full-time position heading up the creation of the new Ryder Conference Center. The conference center is going to be the focus of international meetings with major corporations. I think I need to be on-site full-time.” Amy had worked with Duke on a consulting basis for several years. When Jessica and Jamie had said they were getting married at the Ryder Resort in Boston, Amy had jumped at the chance to help plan the event and work with Duke and his staff again. Amy had known that Duke was negotiating on a property in Australia, but she hadn’t realized he’d sealed the deal until she’d arrived at the resort two days ago and he’d offered her a full-time job as director of operations for the Conference Division Center. She’d never been to Australia, and between all of her friends getting engaged and summer after summer of wasted energy spent on a man who treated her more like an adoring brother than a potential love interest, she decided it was high time she made some changes in her life.

Check out my reviews of the other books in this series!

Addison Cole is the sweet alter ego of New York Times and USA Today bestselling and award-winning author Melissa Foster. She writes humorous and emotional sweet contemporary romance. Her books do not include explicit sex scenes or harsh language. Addison spends her summers on Cape Cod, where she dreams up wonderful love stories in her house overlooking Cape Cod Bay.

Addison enjoys discussing her books with book clubs and reader groups and welcomes an invitation to your event.
Addison’s books are available in paperback, digital, and audio formats.

To learn more about Addison Cole and her books, visit her website.You can also find her on GoodreadsFacebookInstagramPinterest, and Twitter.

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