CTR Current Contests and Events

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Fulfillment by Kimberly Zant

Released: July 1, 2010
Publisher: New Concepts Publishing
Rated: Adult
Buy Fulfillment here

The Hawaiian conference was the ideal setting to implement Christian's 'just slightly odd' plan. It coincided fortuitously with the peak of Carly's fertility cycle. They could do the deed, protect both their reputations and their jobs, and no one would be the wiser-Carly would have the baby she wanted, and her 'anonymous' donor could remain unknown. Carly had doubts the plan would work, but she had no inkling just how bizarre a turn her quest for a gene donor could take. She certainly hadn't anticipated that she would end up in the bed of the one man she most definitely didn't want to know about her plans-her boss. 

What I thought:

I loved this novel! I have read a few of Ms. Zant's novels so far, and I have to say this just may be my favorite. My only complaint, and it is a small one, is that the conflict seemed over pretty fast.

This was a well written story, while I wish I had a bit more background on Carly's past marriage (it is an important role into way she's doing what she's doing), it was endearing and it tugged on my heart a bit. I recommend this highly, it is well written and well worth the time and money.

I gave it 5 stars!

Take Me by Cherry Adair

Released: August 1, 2002
Publisher: Harlequin
Rated: Adult

Business exec Joshua Falcon is used to getting his way in the boardroom -- and in the bedroom. And when he meets gorgeous Jessie Adams at a party, he wants her. Now. Naked in his four-poster. Together the two of them could have a hot sexual affair -- with no commitments.

She's his for the taking...

That suits Jessie to a T. Long nights of incredible sex. No ties. All she wants is a baby by the man she's always secretly hungered for...and then she's moving on. Except Jessie and Joshua share a surprising past. One that's about to take them where they never ever expected to go.

What I thought:

This was a very well written story. I fell in love with Jess as soon as I really started to get to know her character. While I agree, it was predictable, it was still an amazing story of two lost souls just wanting to be loved.

Jess was a steadfast character, she knew what she wanted and she was out to get it, even if it meant it would most likely break her heart down the line. She was brave, in that regard, and I admire her for rising above and standing on her own two feet when it would have been easy for her to take the less difficult path and just take the payments that were offered to her.

I have only recently found Cherry Adair and she is quickly rising to the top to be one of my favorite romance authors. I highly recommend this book for a heartwarming tale of love.

I gave it 4 stars!

Would-Be Witch by Kimberly Frost

Released: February 3, 2009
Publisher: Berkley Trade
Buy Would Be Witch here

The family magic seems to have skipped over Tammy Jo Trask. All she gets are a few untimely visits from long-dead, smart-mouthed family ghost Edie. But when her locket—an heirloom that happens to hold Edie’s soul—is stolen in the midst of a town-wide crime spree, it’s time for Tammy to find her inner witch.

After a few experiences with her dysfunctional magic, Tammy turns to the only person in small-town Duval, Texas, who can help: the very rich and highly magical Bryn Lyons. He might have all the answers—and a 007 savoir faire to boot—but the locket isn’t the only heirloom passed down in Tammy’s family. She also inherited a warning: stay away from Lyons

What I thought: 

I liked this more than I thought I would. I wasn't sure entirely what to expect, but it was humorous and it had a well written story. I really liked the main character, Tammy Jo. She's a spitfire.

This was unique from other paranormal stories I have read. Tammy comes from a long line of witches but somehow the witch gene has passed her over. So now to save Edie she has to find a way to do magic before Edie disappears for good.

I'm looking forward to reading the next book, it should be interesting with two guys fighting over Tammy. And I hope Jenna gets what is coming to her.

I gave it 4 stars!

Suspicion by Kate Brian

Released: September 8, 2009
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Rated: YA
Buy Suspicion (Private, Book 10) here

Forbidden fruit...

Reed, Noelle, and former Billings Girls Kiran and Taylor have been living it up on St. Barths over winter break. The tropical sun has melted away all the tensions of last semester, and for the first time in months, Reed is happy. She's got her best friends by her side, she has a palatial suite with an ocean view, and she's landed Upton, the most sought-after guy on the island.

Reed is falling in love.

But dating Upton makes Reed St. Barths' highest-profile guest -- and not in a good way. Upton has a dark past, and he's broken a lot of hearts. One of his exes still wants him. And she'll do whatever it takes to get Reed out of the picture.

What I thought: 

This is one of the better novels I have read in this series. While I am sad to see that Reed still wants to be with the player, I really didn't see the twists at the ending coming at all. Very well played!

Again, Reed has someone out to get her, while this is a tiresome story plot in this series, it was well written and entertaining. I was on the edge of my seat to find out if Reed would make it out okay.

I'm still waiting for something big, something mind blowing, but I'm starting to think that this series will always be just okay to me. This isn't a series I plan on revisiting, but I do look forward to reading the books as they come out.

I gave it 4 stars!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Revelation by Kate Brian

Released: September 16, 2008
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Rated: YA
Buy Revelation (Private, Book 8) here

Two months after Cheyenne Martin was found dead in her Billings House dorm room, exclusive Easton Academy is rocked by another stunning revelation: Cheyenne was murdered. No one knows who the killer is, but everyone agrees that Reed Brennan, who took over Cheyenne's role as Billings's president, gained the most from her death. Once the most powerful girl on campus, Reed is now powerless to stop her classmates' accusing whispers. Rumors begin to swirl that she killed Cheyenne.

And just like that, Reed is kicked out of Billings.

She's lost everything -- her friends, her home, her boyfriend -- and Reed knows the only way to get it all back is to figure out who really murdered Cheyenne. And she has to do it fast because the killer is still out there. The more Reed investigates, the more she uncovers. And as any Billings Girl knows...secrets can be deadly.

What I thought:

This had me on the edge of my seat waiting to see who it was that was after Reed. While I knocked it down a star for all the drama I really wanted to skip, it was still a good read.

I was a bit sad to see Noel and Josh both turn from Reed. For some odd reason, I like them both. While Noel can be pretty mean and condescending when she wants and Josh can be pretty unsupportive and judgemental, somehow I wanted them both to forgive Reed and come back. Reeds had a pretty hard time since changing schools and I was hoping for things to start going better for her. But I suppose it wouldn't be much reading if nothing ever went wrong.

Another reason I knocked a star off the rating: I was waiting and waiting and waiting during the confession (no spoilers!) to Reed for our mystery person to just say 'And if it wasn't for you meddling kids, I would have gotten away with it too!' Sure, a full confession leaves no doubts, but I couldn't help but see how Scooby Doo it was and how most likely that never would have happened.

I gave it 4 stars!

Ambition by Kate Brian

Released: May 6, 2008
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Rated: YA
Buy Ambition (Private, Book 7) here

The higher you climb, the farther you have to fall....

Reed Brennan knew being elected president of exclusive Billings Hall would change her life. What she didn't count on was being dumped by her boyfriend, Josh Hollis, or being held responsible for a fire that destroyed Easton Academy's oldest building.
And now the administration wants to shut Billings down. Forever.

As president, it's up to Reed to save Billings Hall. What better way to win over the head?master than to host a glam fund-raising event in New York City? Everyone needs a date, and the newly single Reed is the most eligible girl on campus. All of Easton's hottest boys are angling to take her out, and for once, Reed's biggest problem is which one to choose.

Reed has never felt so popular or powerful -- until the police start asking questions about Cheyenne Martin's death. Excited party buzz quickly turns to whispered rumors and dark moods, and one thing becomes clear: There is someone who wants to see Billings, and Reed, go down. And they will do anything to make it happen.

What I thought:

Things are starting to heat up by the end of this novel and it has gotten my attention all over again. I thought by now I would be over the drama of this series, but somehow I have gotten addicted to it all and I really do enjoy following Reed, even if most of the time I spend my time wishing things could only get better for her.

The plot was an interesting one, as Reed had to find a way to save Billings, but in the process she is also the victim of some disturbing incidents. I'm ready to find out how the whole thing with Cheyenne ends, it has been a good one through this book and I look forward to reading the rest.

I gave it 4 stars!

Legacy by Kate Brian

Released: February 19, 2008
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Rated: YA
Buy Legacy (Private, Book 6) here

After Cheyenne Martin's death, everyone at Easton Academy is struggling to recover from yet another tragedy--especially the girls of Billings Hall. With Cheyenne gone, they need to elect a new leader. And who better than Reed Brennan, the ultimate Billings Girls?

As the new Billings president, Reed suddenly has access to power she never imagined. Gossip is reported to her immediately, she has first dibs on everything from dining tables to dorm rooms, and Billings's most powerful alumnae are at her beck and call. So when Easton's students discover they're the only prep school on the East Coast not invited to this year's all-inclusive Legacy party, everyone turns to Reed to get them back on the list.

What I thought:

Oh the emotional roller coaster that is experienced in this novel! I have a hard time saying if I really liked it or not, but it was enjoyable, at least. I have been hoping for a more stable situation in Reed's dating life because, well, I like her with Josh. I'm hoping for the best and I can't wait to start the next in hopes to see things get better for them.

I liked the mystery of the Legacy, it was more downplayed than previous novels (hey! only so many deaths can really take place!) and it was a nice switch to some seriousness. Well, if you ask the Billings Girls, being snubbed from the Legacy is a big deal.

I was excited to see the return of a favorite character (no spoilers! need to read to find out who!) and I knew there would be a gimmick to add more drama, and boy did it ever! This series is looking to heat up again as Reed races to the finish to bring the Billings Girls to the party of the year.

I gave it 3 stars!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Shadow of a Vampire by Meagan Hatfield

Released: July 1, 2010
Publisher: HQN Books
Rated: Adult
Buy Shadow of the Vampire here

Vampire princess Alexia Feodorovna has been undead for 125 years, so it's been a while since any man has made her pulse race. Until Declan Black. One look at his bronzed body and a fire like no other consumes her. Then she discovers that he's a dragon lord come to take revenge on the vamps who killed his parents. And claim a crystal said to imbue its owner with incredible powers.

Alexia is ordered to torture and kill the dragon lord. Yet with each reckless encounter, she finds herself consumed by his fiery passion. A passion Declan battles, as well. Will he be able to resist the fire of lust she kindles within him and keep revenge in his heart? Or will he risk everything to quench the burning desire and claim the vampire as his own?

What I thought:

This was my first dragon shifter book and wow! It was great! This took on an unique paranormal world, where vampires and dragons are at war with each other, both choosing to live in the same cliffs, vampires on ocean level, dragons at the top. I loved how different they were, how they both wanted to live in the tunnels of the cliffs, while the vampires where more adapt at living among humans.

This looks like it is a promising start to a series, while this leaves a bit of a cliffhanger. I was really intrigued with the Romeo and Juliet story line, which usually I hate. But the author writes beautifully and gives hope that they won't always have to live apart. I hate when authors write it so couples can never be together, but Hatfield breaks the mold, by giving her characters the chance.

I'm glad I picked this one up, the cover is gorgeous and drew me in and the story got me hooked. I can't wait to read more from this author.

I gave it 5 stars!

Last Kiss by Dominique Adair

Released: September 2001
Publisher: Ellora's Cave
Rated: Adult

Sensual Vampire Romance E-book: For centuries Alexei Romanov has been searching for her, for the Russian gypsy he'd fallen in love with the first time their eyes had met. Three times he'd found her over the years and three times he'd lost her, death having taken her away when he'd been unable to protect her. Now at last, thirty years since her last incarnation, he has found her once again. This time Alexei is determined to never let the fates separate them again, and to claim her for all eternity.

What I thought:

I wasn't expecting too much out of this. I liked it, but I had a sense of dread when the name of Elaine's dark lover was announced. I tend to stay away from such things, but really, Alexei Romanov was indeed who I thought he was, it wasn't focused at all about the past or about what happened to his family. Instead it was about him looking for his lost love, so in the end I was pleased that the author stayed away from the Romanov tragedy.

I was expecting a bit more steamy scenes, but it focused more on Elaine's illness and the relationship. Which isn't bad, but not what I was looking for when I picked it up.

I gave it 3 stars!

Blue Moon by Alyson Noel

Released: July 7, 2009
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Rated: YA
Buy Blue Moon (The Immortals, Book 2) here

In the second installment, Ever can bring her family back from the dead—but only if she’s willing to sacrifice the guy she loves more than life itself.       

Just as Ever is learning everything she can about her new abilities as an immortal, initiated into the dark, seductive world by her beloved Damen, something terrible is happening to him.  As Ever’s powers are increasing, Damen’s are fading—stricken by a mysterious illness that threatens his memory, his identity, his life.     

Desperate to save him, Ever travels to the mystical dimension of Summerland, uncovering not only the secrets of Damen’s past—the brutal, tortured history he hoped to keep hidden—but also an ancient text revealing the workings of time. With the approaching blue moon heralding her only window for travel, Ever is forced to decide between turning back the clock and saving her family from the accident that claimed them—or staying in the present and saving Damen, who grows weaker each day...

What I thought:

This was a hard one to get through. Not because it was badly written or that the storyline was flat or nonexistent, but it was hard to read and see all of what was accomplished in the first book pretty much destroyed and now we must wait to see if everything can get back to right or if Ever and Damen will be forever forced to be separated.

I am hoping that the next book works out for them, and I see the problems that arise in this one could be carried through multiple books and I can't wait to see what happens in the rest of this series.

I gave it 4 stars!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Evermore by Alyson Noel

Released: February 3, 2009
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Rated: YA
Buy Evermore: The Immortals here

Since a horrible accident claimed the lives of her family, sixteen-year-old Ever can see auras, hear people's thoughts, and know a person’s life story by touch. Going out of her way to shield herself from human contact to suppress her abilities has branded her as a freak at her new high school—but everything changes when she meets Damen Auguste… Ever sees Damen and feels an instant recognition. He is gorgeous, exotic and wealthy, and he holds many secrets. Damen is able to make things appear and disappear, he always seems to know what she’s thinking—and he’s the only one who can silence the noise and the random energy in her head.  She doesn’t know who he really is—or what he is. Damen equal parts light and darkness, and he belongs to an enchanted new world where no one ever dies.

What I thought:

I have been putting this one off for a long time. Now I am wondering why I didn't get to it sooner! Sure, it was a bit like twilight (one person can read all minds save one) but better written and a much better story. Plus, no sparkly vampires. Instead we get some well developed characters. Ever's new life and friends were fun to learn about, while anxiously waiting to hear more on the past.

Ever, even knowing what her aunt is thinking, still has a hard time reaching out. This was very real to me, she didn't just pretend it didn't happen, maybe even dwell a bit, but it was masterfully written. I was really wondering where the tulips came from, and I'm not sure I'm really liking that part of it, but we shall see if I really like it or not when I get to the second book.

I gave it 4 stars!

Hourglass by Claudia Gray

Released: March 9, 2010
Publisher: HarperTeen
Rated: YA
Buy Hourglass (Evernight) here

Bianca will risk everything to be with Lucas.

After escaping from Evernight Academy, the vampire boarding school where they met, Bianca and Lucas take refuge with Black Cross, a fanatical group of vampire hunters. Bianca must hide her supernatural heritage or risk certain death at their hands. But when Black Cross captures her friend—the vampire Balthazar—hiding is no longer an option.

Soon, Bianca and Lucas are on the run again, pursued not only by Black Cross, but by the powerful leaders of Evernight. Yet no matter how far they travel, Bianca can't escape her destiny.

Bianca has always believed their love could survive anything . . . but can it survive what's to come?

What I thought:

I have mixed feelings about this series so far. It's alright, nothing overly fantastic and amazing that blows everything out of the water, but it is a good light read. At first I didn't like where it was going, I know urban fantasies, like this novel, usually don't have happy endings, but I'm not a fan of overly sad endings where there it is likely that the couple may never be together.

I'm still interested in the storyline with Charity, and I wonder where that will go with Balthazar still looking for her. I'm also looking forward to the story of the wraiths and the vampires. Although I liked this series so far, I doubt this will be a series I revisit.

I gave it 4 stars!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Stargazer by Claudia Gray

Released: March 24, 2009
Publisher: HarperTeen
Rated: YA
Buy Stargazer (Evernight, Book 2) here

The vampire in me was closer to the surface . . . Evernight Academy: an exclusive boarding school for the most beautiful, dangerous students of all—vampires. Bianca, born to two vampires, has always been told her destiny is to become one of them. But Bianca fell in love with Lucas—a vampire hunter sworn to destroy her kind. They were torn apart when his true identity was revealed, forcing him to flee the school. Although they may be separated, Bianca and Lucas will not give each other up. She will risk anything for the chance to see him again, even if it means coming face-to-face with the vampire hunters of Black Cross—or deceiving the powerful vampires of Evernight. Bianca's secrets will force her to live a life of lies. Yet Bianca isn't the only one keeping secrets. When Evernight is attacked by an evil force that seems to target her, she discovers the truth she thought she knew is only the beginning. . . .

What I thought: 

I enjoyed this a bit more than the first book. The wraiths were interesting, and finding out exactly what they want left me pondering. I liked how Gray explained how vampires can become pregnant. And I'm really curious as to what happens now to Bianca. What choices she has and how long she can remain alive.

I was still hoping, just a little, that Balthazar and Bianca would make it. It bothers me, sometimes, when an author has multiple interesting for a person and you see the one the character doesn't want being lead on (although, not lead on in this case, but almost as bad) because I usually end up liking the one that they don't want.

Overall, I liked the story and it kept me from putting the book down.

I gave it 4 stars!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Evernight by Claudia Gray

Released: May 27, 2008
Publisher: HarperTeen
Rated: YA
Buy Evernight here

Bianca wants to escape. At the eerily Gothic Evernight Academy, the other students are sleek, smart, and almost predatory. Bianca knows she doesn't fit in. When she meets handsome, brooding Lucas, he warns her to be careful—even when it comes to caring about him. But the connection between them can't be denied. Bianca will risk anything to be with Lucas, but dark secrets are fated to tear them apart . . . and to make Bianca question everything she's ever believed.
What I thought:

Oh the twists and turns in this book! I liked it a lot! Not a favorite, but it was a good read. It was a bit different and I liked how I didn't know what was really going on until about halfway through. I just picked this one up form a whim, so I didn't read any reviews (so I didn't get any spoilers) and I had no idea what to expect.

Bianca is an interesting girl. Torn between two worlds, doing what her parents want and following her heart. This brings more conflict to the romance element of the book and I found it highly intriguing. I can't wait to start the second book to see what happens.

I gave it 4 stars!

Friday, August 13, 2010

13 to Life by Shannon Delany

Released: June 22, 2010
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Rated: YA
Buy 13 to Life here

Jessica's life seemed difficult enough since the sudden loss of her mother, but meeting Pietr Rusakova turns her world upside down again. The newest member of Junction High, Pietr is a first generation Russian-American, a fact that by itself makes him different enough to get lots of attention in the small town. But Pietr is far more than good looks and an interesting accent, Pietr has secrets to hide-secrets including dramatic changes he's undergoing that will surely end his life early. Secrets dating back to the Cold War get the better of Jessica's curiosity, leading her into an exciting and dangerous world where her understanding of reality and what makes a man or a monster will be challenged.

What I thought: 

I really enjoyed this story, it was a bit different than previous YA/UF stories I have read. The Russian Mob connection with the wolves was very interesting and I loved the plot around it.

We don't get to see too much of the werewolves in this one, while most would think this is disappointed, it was fantastic as far as leading suspense as to whether or not werewolves existed or if they were just a figment of Jessica's imagination.

I loved the tension between Jess and Pietr. I loved watching it play out. But what interested me the most among her friends, was Sarah. Jess is a very brave girl who could have helped Sarah get back on track in the world after a horrifying experience. Honestly, I'm not sure I would have been capable of such selflessness as Jess in that regard.

Loved the book, I look forward to more from both author and series.

I gave it 5 stars!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Invitation Only by Kate Brian

Released:November 7, 2006
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Rated: YA
Buy Invitation Only (Private, Book 2) here

Reed Brennan's future is looking as bright as the two-karat diamonds in her new housemates' ears. Being accepted to the most prestigious private boarding school in the country wasn't enough for Reed. She had to break every rule to do it, but she has accomplished the impossible:

Reed is a Billings Girl now.

And with her new status come respect, envy, and, most important, opportunity. Not to mention the parties. Unfortunately, at the next illicit party in the Easton campus woods, her roommate snaps some pictures of Reed in more than one compromising position. She uses the photos to blackmail Reed: Dig up dirt on the most powerful and popular Billings Girls or she will have Reed expelled.

And speaking of parties, the Legacy is coming up. It's the invitation-only Halloween party in NYC and it's rumored that Thomas -- Reed's MIA boyfriend -- will be making an appearance there. Too bad Reed isn't even close to invited.

Life as a Billings Girl is every bit as glamorous as Reed imagined. What she didn't bargain for is the tangled web of private lies these girls weave.

What I thought:

Sometimes I wonder why I like this series so far, other times it is clear. It has your typical teen drama, but it isn't over exaggerated to the point where I just can't take it. The other part is, which is weird to me, is that it is what Reed wants. She wants to be there so badly, she'll take just about anything from them to be with them. Even if it means that they wield the power to get her kicked out... for good.  We've all done things to fit in, but the Billings Girls have taken Reed to a bit of a more extreme testing.

This book was a bit different from the first. This one had a bit of a mystery to it. Thomas still isn't showing his face, and I was intrigued with this plot, it wasn't overly complicated but we got to see more from Reed about how she is handing it and obviously she isn't taking it well. The Billings girls do surprise, they are there for Reed when she really needs it.

I am looking into more from this series and this author.

I gave it 4 stars!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Break No Bones by Kathy Reichs

Released: July 11, 2006
Publisher: Scribner
Buy Break No Bones here

In this ninth in the popular series, forensic anthropologist Tempe Brennan is spending two weeks in May on Dewees, a barrier island north of Charleston, South Carolina, where she is leading a student excavation of a prehistoric site when one of the bodies they find isn't so ancient. After reporting her find to her friend Emma Rousseau, coroner at the Charleston County Coroner's Office, Tempe learns that Emma is ill and unable to investigate; so Tempe fills in for her as a consultant. When another body is found in a different location, the forensic examination of the bones shows a similarity in the manner of death. As Tempe investigates further, another body turns up, leading her to a horrifying conclusion about the motive for these deaths. Complicating matters, Tempe's estranged husband moves into the house she has borrowed, and her boyfriend arrives unexpectedly from Montreal. Tempe must work through her ambivalence about divorcing her unfaithful husband, for whom she still has feelings, but she also cares for her boyfriend. Readers who enjoy Patricia Cornwell's mysteries will appreciate the forensic detail here, and more character-oriented readers will respond to Reichs' likable and well-developed cast, from the local sheriff to Tempe herself, a dedicated woman who feels compelled to provide justice for those who can no longer speak for themselves. 

What I thought:

This was a book that was picked for a local book club, I realize that I started late in the series, but I think it was a good novel where I didn't need alot of back story to understand what was going on. The only part I felt like I was shorted was the history with the relationship with Pete and Ryan. I wanted to know more, but since there were 8 books previous in the series, I'm sure it is all there.

I was surprised to see how different this was to the TV series, and I was happy about that. Most times I don't like it but it meant that it was new to me. Brennan is a great character and she is one that I hope to learn more about, and I'm interested in starting from the beginning and seeing what had happened with Pete.

The mystery part of it was interesting. I was wondering how it would all tie together and I think Reichs does a fabulous job of planning (where some authors just skip and hope it works out) and connecting the stories. She had a couple of twists in there that got me and left me wondering why I didn't see it coming. Very well written.

I gave it 5 stars!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Private by Kate Brian

Released: June 27, 2006
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Rated: YA
Buy Private (Private, Book 1) here

Tradition, Honor, Excellence...and secrets so dark they're almost invisible

Fifteen-year-old Reed Brennan wins a scholarship to Easton Academy -- the golden ticket away from her pill-popping mother and run-of-the-mill suburban life. But when she arrives on the beautiful, tradition-steeped campus of Easton, everyone is just a bit more sophisticated, a bit more gorgeous, and a lot wealthier than she ever thought possible. Reed realizes that even though she has been accepted to Easton, Easton has not accepted her. She feels like she's on the outside, looking in.

Until she meets the Billings Girls.

They are the most beautiful, intelligent, and intensely confident girls on campus. And they know it. They hold all the power in a world where power is fleeting but means everything. Reed vows to do whatever it takes to be accepted into their inner circle.

Reed uses every part of herself -- the good, the bad, the beautiful -- to get closer to the Billings Girls. She quickly discovers that inside their secret parties and mountains of attitude, hanging in their designer clothing-packed closets the Billings Girls have skeletons. And they'll do anything to keep their secrets private.

What I thought:

I'm not normally big on high school novels, mostly because of all the drama. This had it's fair share of drama, but it seemed more real to me. Girls who took advantage of others, teased, made fun of, strung along who haven't been overly mean but show moments of caring when I thought there wouldn't be any. Girls, who in the end, stuck up for one of their own. I was very pleased with this novel.

The characters themselves were interesting, along with the plot. While it didn't have much of a mystery to it, I was really wanting to know what would happen and see if Reed really had made the right decision in choosing to go to school away from her mother, in choosing who she wanted to get close to. I look forward to reading more in this series.

I gave it 4 stars!

Friday, August 6, 2010

You Wish by Mandy Hubbard

Released: August 5, 2010
Publisher: Razorbill
Rated: YA
Buy You Wish here

Kayla McHenry’s sweet sixteen sucks! Her dad left, her grades dropped, and her BFF is dating the boy Kayla’s secretly loved for years. Blowing out her candles, Kayla thinks: I wish my birthday wishes actually came true. Because they never freakin’ do.

Kayla wakes the next day to a life-sized, bright pink My Little Pony outside her window. Then a year’s supply of gumballs arrives. A boy named Ken with a disturbing resemblance to the doll of the same name stalks her. As the ghosts of Kayla’s wishes-past appear, they take her on a wild ride . . . but they MUST STOP. Because when she was fifteen? She wished Ben Mackenzie would kiss her. And Ben is her best friend’s boyfriend.

What I thought:

I was expecting a nice light story to keep me entertained for a while, but this exceeded all expectation. It was a barrel of laughs, I couldn't stop laughing as each new wish appeared and how much it screwed with Kayla.  This was definitely a book I picked out because of the cover (I just love it) and I'm glad I took a chance on it.

While it was funny, it didn't make joke out of what happens as friends start to come into their own and I liked that it didn't make fun of it. That it has some seriousness when it came to the strife between Kayla and Nicole. I was sad that she couldn't fall back on Nicole when all her wishes started to destroy the life she knew, but I was glad that it seemed to be resolved.

I liked how I got to see Kayla grow up in a few days following her birthday. Seeing how something she wished for when she was seven was just what she needed in this moment. Very well written. This is definitely a keeper.  I am excited to read more from Mandy.

I gave it 5 stars!

Just Right (Not Quite Wicked) by Bronwyn Green

Released: February 3, 2010
Publisher: Resplendence Publishing
Rated: Adult
Buy Just Right (Not Quite Wicked) here

When Department of Natural Resources officer, Gwendolyn Locke, hits a black bear on the way home from work one night, her entire view of reality changes. She discovers that shape-shifters exist, and she’s just become Goldilocks to three gorgeous, very aroused men who also happen to be werebears. Being snowbound has never been so hot.

What I thought: 

While this had references to the Three Little Bears, I am glad it wasn't a steamy adaptation of the fairy tale. Instead, as I said, it has references. The three bears are able to make fun of themselves with the old story.

This was short, sweet and to the point. But this story was a good one that I wish was longer. I wanted to get to know Noah and Gwen more and I would have loved to see a little tension build up before they finally succumb to their needs. But for what it was, it was good and the price for it wasn't bad at all.

I gave it 4 stars!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

She's So Dead To Us by Kieran Scott

Released: May 25, 2010
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Rated: YA
Buy She's So Dead to Us here

When having money is all that matters, what happens when you lose it all? Perfect, picturesque Orchard Hill. It was the last thing Ally Ryan saw in the rear-view mirror as her mother drove them out of town and away from the shame of the scandal her father caused when his hedge fund went south and practically bankrupted all their friends -- friends that liked having trust funds and new cars, and that didn't like constant reminders that they had been swindled.

So it was adios, Orchard Hill. Thanks for nothing. Now, two years later, Ally's mother has landed a job back at the site of their downfall. So instead of Ally's new low-key, happy life, it'll be back into the snake pit with the likes of Shannen Moore and Hammond Ross. But then there's Jake Graydon. Handsome, wealthy, bored Jake Graydon. He moved to town after Ally left and knows nothing of her scandal, but does know that he likes her. And she likes him. So off into the sunset they can go, right? Too bad Jake's friends have a problem with his new crush since it would make Ally happy. And if anyone deserves to be unhappy, it's Ally Ryan. Ally was hoping to have left all the drama in the past, but some things just can't be forgotten. Isn't there more to life than money?

What I thought:

This is not my usual type of book, but I do have to say I enjoyed this alot. While most books that deal with high school stuff that isn't all that important, this has a plot that deals with a real issue. Money is what makes the world go round, sad but true. While we see some of the cattiness you would expect from high schoolers, the reason behind it is more than just 'I'm popular and you're not'.

And it is more than just the teens. It's the parents as well. I know it must happen but I was surprised that it was in this book, it seemed to make it more real when you had a parent attacking an outcasted member to try and gain more ground in the popular club.

I liked the alternating of narration. It was confusing at times, I had to go back to the chapter head a page before to remember which character I was following at two different points, but I enjoyed seeing the story told from both Jake and Ally.

This does have quite the cliffhanger, so it makes me happy there will be another (hopefully, I don't mind imagining for myself what could happen, but this leaves so many possibilities open for Scott). 

I gave it 5 stars!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Forgive My Fins by Tera Lynn Childs

Released: June 1, 2010
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Rated: YA
Buy Forgive My Fins here

Lily, 17, is a mermaid princess living on land and attending a high school where no one knows her real identity. She needs to find a mate before she turns 18 in order to inherit the throne. Her big crush on Brody is going nowhere until her obnoxious neighbor, Quince, intervenes.

A surprise kiss from the wrong boy leads to a tidal wave of unexpected consequences. In this lighthearted and mostly enjoyable novel, Childs stretches the relationship drama out perhaps a little too long for impatient readers, but the end result is sweet and satisfying. The ending hints of more mermaid tales to come.

What I thought:

I have to say I enjoyed this novel. It was the first mermaid novel I have read and it was very refreshing to get a different kind of paranormal.

It was a bit predictable in the romance department, but it was fun to see the resistance and the longing for the wrong person, I mean, we've all been there, right? I'm not sure what I think about the ending, but I'm hoping to read more and see what happens in the next novel.

I liked the structure of the underwater world, how they hide from human eyes and how they can transform just enough to be wearing scales for bikini bottoms. But really, I'm not sure how I feel about the bonding. Bonding (or mating, in other novels) is almost too much for me. I don't believe in love at first sight, and this is along those lines, once you mate or bond, it's over. I'm still unsure about it, even more unsure of the resolution to this particular novel.

This is another book I have read where it is written in present tense.  This drives me nuts, but luckily Childs doesn't get carried away with it, I barely noticed it in this one when in others I couldn't focus on anything but the writing style.

I gave it 4 stars!

Bridging the Gap by Annmarie McKenna

Released: August 4, 2009
Published: Samhain Publishing
Rated: Adult
Buy Bridging the Gap here

The higher she climbs, the harder he falls...

Carter Malone is usually the first one to make tracks before a woman starts getting any ideas. Permanent relationships don't fit into his personal blueprint. Now, for the first time in his life, he's burning up the sheets with a woman who makes him think about something more permanent-like spending the night. But she's holding something back, something he can't quite pin down.

As a woman in a man's world, Ryan Cooper is used to wearing a target on her back - and hiding her vulnerabilities. She hasn't let anything, not even the ever-present threat of an epileptic seizure, stop her from working her butt off to get the foreman-s job with her stepfather's construction company. Then she discovers the guy she's been dating - okay, having the hottest sex of her life with-is the architect who designed the building she'll be overseeing. The last thing she needs is anyone thinking she slept with Carter to get the job.
Or worse, feeling sorry for her.

Before the dust clears, things get a lot more complicated. The previous foreman's injury was no accident, and whoever caused it is taking aim at the target on Ryan's back.

What I thought:

This was an entertaining tale of two lovers who don't really know much about the other, except what they can bring to the bed. The story line with it was a good one, but I wish it was played out more, it was over quickly, almost as if it hadn't been a big deal when really it was.

The mystery wasn't a mystery for more than a few pages. The story was really short and I still wanted more when I was done. I wanted to really get into the characters lives and live the mystery with them. If McKenna had chosen, she could have made a great romance suspense out of this one, instead it was a quickie when I wanted the full session.

This ebook was worth the two bucks I spent on it.

I gave it 4 stars!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Blog Design by Use Your Imagination Designs All Images from the Coffee Time Kit by Manudesigns