Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday #146

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking The Spine where you can spotlight an upcoming release that you're eagerly anticipating.

This week I'm waiting on.....
 
The Valiant by Lesley Livingston
Releases on: February 14th 2017
 
The youngest daughter of a proud Celtic king, Fallon has always lived in the shadow of her older sister Sorcha's legendary reputation as a warrior. But when Fallon was a young child, the armies of Julius Caesar invaded the island of Britain and her beloved older sister was killed in battle.

On the eve of her seventeenth birthday, Fallon is excited to follow in her sister's footsteps and earn her rightful place in her father's royal war band. But she never gets the chance. Instead, Fallon is captured by a band of ruthless brigands who sell her to an exclusive training school for female gladiators—and its most influential patron is none other than Julius Caesar himself. In a cruel twist of fate, Fallon's worst enemy, the man who destroyed her family, might be her only hope of survival.

Now, Fallon must overcome vicious rivalries, chilling threats and the dangerous attention of Caesar himself to survive the deadly fights that take place both in and out of the arena—and claim her place in history among the Valiant.
 
Thoughts:
This book sounds brilliant! Though I've never read anything by Lesley Livingston before, I know she's well liked and The Valiant may just be the first novel of hers I read. Releasing on Feb 14th next year, I think this book will be my Valentines give to myself! Female gladiators & Julius Caesar?? Yes please!
 
What do you think of The Valiant? Is it something you would like to read?
And what are you waiting on this week?
 
 

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Book Shelf: Bonds of Justice (Psy-Changeling #8) by Nalini Singh

Max Shannon is a good cop, one of the best in New York Enforcement. Born with a natural shield that protects him against Psy mental invasions, he knows he has little chance of advancement within the Psy-dominated power structure. The last case he expects to be assigned is that of a murderer targeting a Psy Councilor’s closest advisors. And the last woman he expects to compel him in the most sensual of ways is a Psy on the verge of a catastrophic mental fracture…

Sophia Russo is a Justice-Psy, cursed with the ability to retrieve memories from men and women so twisted even veteran cops keep their distance. Appointed as Max’s liaison with the Psy, she finds herself fascinated by this human, her frozen heart threatening to thaw with forbidden emotion. But, her mind filled with other people’s nightmares, other people’s evil, she’s standing on the border between sanity and a silken darkness that urges her to take justice into her own hands, to become judge, jury…and executioner…


More info on Goodreads......


Review:

Bonds of Justice is another sensational Psy-Changeling novel, drawing readers into the eighth instalment in Nalini Singh’s brilliantly told, depicted and explored series!

Detective Max Shannon has always had a natural shield against the Psy, an ability that has both helped and hindered his career in law enforcement. A determined individual, Max is left reeling when his latest case sees him paired up with a Psy who temps the most sensual side of him. Sophia Russo is a Justice-Psy with the ability to delve into people’s minds and retrieve memories. Struggling to maintain the shields that prevent her from descending into madness as a result of her abilities, Sophia is a scarred and fractured individual who has managed to project a calm façade for years. That is until she is partnered with Max to investigate a string of Psy deaths connected to Councillor Nikita Duncan. Max ignites wants and desires Sophia has never before felt even as she stands on the cliffs edge of a decent into madness. Feeling emotion like never before as her shields slowly but surely fail, only a miracle can prevent Sophia from losing her mind forever………

Wow! I really, really enjoyed Bonds of Justice! This book utterly swept me up and into Max and Sophia’s story; captivating me with the turn of every page. Nalini Singh presents an addictive read with Bonds of Justice that sees two fantastic characters fall for one another as they hunt for a killer.

I very much liked our two leads in this book, Max and Sophia. Max Shannon is a tough as nails cop who I’m not gonna lie—in a lot of ways reminds me of Butch from J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood. That isn’t necessary a bad thing as I love them both! Sophia on the other hand was actually a very scarred Psy; someone whose connection with Silence has never been as strong as others of her race and whose shields are slowly letting her down.

Personally Sophia won me over as one of my fave female leads in this series. I loved her personality; she was the perfect blend of inner strength and vulnerability and I thought her and Max really worked together. These two are actually lighter personalities than some of the other characters we’ve met, especially considering that Max doesn’t share the dominant and possessive tendencies many of our male Changeling leads have in the past. That doesn’t mean he isn’t very protective and appreciative of Sophia, because he is, it’s just in a more human manner.

As always Nalini Singh wins me over with her romance. Max and Sophia share a wonderful attraction to each other, which builds beautifully and develops over the course of time they work together. Sophia really embraces what she feels for Max once she realizes how powerful her feelings are, and Max never really shies away from the fact he wants her. Sophia’s physical and mental struggles with touch make their relationship interesting as we as the reader see them journey to a point where they were able to be physical without any pain on Sophia’s part.

I’m still in love with each and every character in this series but someone I’m really beginning to see in a new light is Nikita Duncan. I really believe she could be a dark horse here. With every novel and involvement in the series, Nikita becomes a bit more complex and complicated. I’m honestly beginning to believe that what we’ve seen of Nikita so far is just a façade she wears and the Nikita that lurks below the surface not what we’ve seen at all. And I love that! Nalini Singh has me oh so eager to get to know Nikita—I hope maybe she’ll have her own story down the track.

Rich, romantic and exciting, Bonds of Justice is another deeply sensual novel by Nalini Singh that does not disappoint. Satisfied with how this novel ended I’m ready to jump into the next one!

Rating:
Source:
Sent for review by publisher (Thank you guys!)
Publisher: Berkley
Format: Paperback

Release Date: July 6th 2010
Purchase:
BookworldThe Nile | The Book Depository | Amazon
Final Thoughts:
Another brilliant installment in a sensational PNR series!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Owl Post #99


Inspired by The Story Siren's In My Mailbox, Owl Post allows us bloggers to showcase the books we've bought, won or received throughout the week and is hosted by Brodie over at Eleusinian Mysteries. We all know that the Owl Post is the fastest way to send and receive mail and they certainly make me happy every time they drop a book off.
 
It's that time again! Owl Post time :) Check out the fab review copies I got this week!
 
For Review: 
From Allen & Unwin:
- Paper and Fire by Rachel Caine
After getting off to a slow start, I really enjoyed the first book in this series Ink and Bone and have been dying for this sequel to come out. I cannot wait to see what happens in this installement after the previous book!
 
....Thank you guys!
____________________________
 
From Harper Collins Australia:
- American Monsters by Derek Landy
This is the third and final book in Landy's Demon Road series. I'm intrigued to see how Amber's journey comes to an end.
 
.....Thank you Holly!
 
 
And that's me this week :)
What did the owls bring you?
 
 

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Spotlight: Forbidden by Katrina Snow- Excerpt & Giveaway!

I'm super excited to be featuring the fantasy tale Forbidden by Katrina Snow on the blog today with an excerpt and giveaway. I recently had the pleasure of reading and reviewing Forbidden and ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT! Forbidden is a sensational fantasy read with a fantastic romance!

Lady Katherine Durant has perfected the art of hiding her Gifts—a valuable skill in a land where any hint of sorcery could lead to the burning stake. But, hiding her Gifts isn’t the same as not using them, and that troublesome difference has led to capture each time she’s run from her uncle.

Now, using a newly-discovered spell, she binds her powers and flees again—this time for her life. Unfortunately, her plan to hide as a maid in a distant kingdom goes awry when she unwittingly gets entered into a festival competition for the hand of a prince—a man with a wicked kiss and a sense of adventure that rivals her own.

All she’s ever hoped for is a quiet existence as a servant, never imagining she could find laughter and belonging and love. And now the mischievous prince has her dreaming of all those things.

With a bounty on her head, sorcerers closing in, and a prince threatening to steal her heart, could it finally be time to stop running? Time to trust? Time to love?


Add Forbidden on Goodreads or check out my 5 star review!
 
Purchase:
 
Check out the brilliant full book-jacket for Forbidden!
 
From Forbidden.......

“You can’t mean to fight her,” Wolfe said in his odd accent.
Bregovi motioned for the weapon.
Wolfe tossed him another rapier, which Bregovi caught by the handle with ease.
“I hope the hellcat takes you,” Wolfe said.
“Traitor,” Bregovi replied as he rested the thin blade on his shoulder. “May I propose jousting rules?”
“Which would be what exactly?” she asked.
“The first to pin the other with blade or strength wins the bout and their boon,” he said.
“I and my party get passage?”
“I get that kiss.”
“Fine.”
Kate positioned her body with open ground behind her to ensure he didn’t have the initial advantage of forcing her into brush or trees. And through a gap in the forest, she caught a glimpse of Florian’s castle gleaming in the distant sunshine, sprouting turrets like giant trees reaching for the heavens. Truly a stone’s throw away.
“Magnificent. I would ask you to clasp hands on it, but I doubt you’d oblige. I suppose I will have to rely on your honor. Can I trust in that?” he said with a wink.
Her honor? Infuriating man. She sprang forward, her blade meeting his with a quick tap. He blocked each strike as she forced him backward toward a cluster of trees.
“Impressive,” he said, then, in the space of a blink, spun to her right.
She turned to keep him in her sights, but the man was light of foot and had her twirling in circles before she knew what he’d been up to. After freezing her steps to halt the dizziness, she felt the firm smack of his blade on her bottom.
“Is this how you fight all your opponents?” she asked, trying to locate him again as he stepped behind her at each turn.
“Only the beautiful ones,” a warm voice said in her ear.
Spinning the moment he spoke, she latched onto his tunic with her free hand. As mischief danced in his eyes, a long-forgotten memory bubbled to the surface. A childhood game of blind man’s bluff with her father. He’d always been full of mirth and had teased her much the same way.
“Perhaps you’d be better employed as the court jester,” she said.
“You may be right. I’ll inquire about the position the next time I see the king.”
As if he’d ever met the king. Stepping back, she brought her weapon around once again. He blocked blow after blow as she forced him toward a huge elm.
“I will disarm you,” she uttered through gritted teeth.
“Dear lady, you disarmed me long ago.” He said it with such affection, such warmth, it caught her off-guard, and her blade lowered a fraction.
At that precise moment, he twisted his weapon with hers, swiftly whirled her around and pinned her against the tree. They were both out of breath, bodies pressed against one another, their rapiers pinned between them, the back of his fingers resting against her right breast.
Hoping he hadn’t noticed the intimate placement of his hand, she struggled to break free.
His hold was solid.
Her mind raced. If she could use her powers, she’d draw a knife in an instant, or pull down a tree, or command a rock to—
“You smell like lavender,” he whispered, his eyes inches from hers.
“You smell like—” She took a whiff, expecting something repugnant. Instead, spices and mint filled her senses. She could almost taste cinnamon, and her mouth started to water.
“I smell like what?” he asked, his eyes teasing.
Kate was not about to tell him he smelled delicious. “I didn’t know bandits bathed.”
“We are not all as you would expect.” He winked and devilish dimples popped on both stubbled cheeks. “I believe I have won the point, fair lady. Do you concede?”
The idea of kissing him was becoming far less disagreeable, but she refused to give in. She struggled again to no avail.
Easing up, she said, “It appears I underestimated you.”
He smiled.
She smiled back.
He relaxed his grip. Exactly what she had counted on. Mustering up her strength and a knee, she shoved him off. As he struggled to regain his balance, she rushed forward, caught his blade with hers and executed a move to free it from his grasp.
In expert fashion, he recovered and countered with a twist of metal and will. Her weapon flew through the air, leaving her without blade, breath or speech.
Kate looked around at the men, the sword, Bregovi.
“Considering another play, fair one?” he asked.
“You agreed. Safe passage.” She could not be considering this.
He bowed in acknowledgment and threw the borrowed blade back to Wolfe.
“The bargain stands.”
“Yes, well, we’ve already discussed my view of your bargain.”
“A misguided view, indeed,” he said, his voice dropping to a whisper. “For I promise to do all in my power to ensure you are satisfied with the exchange.”
Satisfied. The word hung in the air. Taunting her. She wondered just what ensuring her satisfaction would entail and grew dizzy—either from fear or excitement, possibly both.
Whichever the case, she had little choice and once again uttered, “Very well, collect your kiss.”
He smiled lazily, started forward and halted. Reaching down, he slid a dagger from his boot and tossed it away. The men laughed and she couldn’t help but join in.
“At least you learn from your mistakes,” she said.
“Always.” He stepped closer.
Her knees wobbled.
He moved nearer still.
Kate drew in a breath and something fluttered in her stomach.
Guards and bandits cheered.
Bregovi smiled at their audience, then turned full attention back to her, a grin playing at his lips.
His eyes were full of magik and spells and mystery. Emerald pools flecked with gold. He held her gaze. Intimate. Intense. Hovering just a step away.
Waiting, while his lips and eyes beckoned.
Waiting, while a hint of spice teased her nose.
Just waiting until the suspense mounted to an unbearable degree. Unable to withstand the infernal tension another moment, she rushed forward to get the blasted kiss over with.
Unfortunately, she misjudged the distance.
Her lips crashed into his with such force she knocked him backward. But instead of toppling over—as she would have done under a similar attack—he grabbed her arms and softened his mouth over hers.


 
Katrina Snow writes renaissance-era fantasy romance, but also has YA and contemporary characters in her head lobbying for stories of their own. She’s a fervent traveler, avid photographer, and dark chocolate fanatic, and enjoys those pursuits when she isn’t writing or earning her keep at her busy day job. Katrina lives in New York City with a neurotic tabby and eight million other people who might also be deemed neurotic.

Visit Katrina:
 
a Rafflecopter giveaway I have no hesitations in saying that Forbidden has been one of my favorite reads on 2016! I love everything about this story and cannot recommend it enough. Be sure to pick yourself up a copy--you won't be sorry!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Book Shelf: Ruined (Ruined #1) by Amy Tintera

Emelina Flores has nothing. Her home in Ruina has been ravaged by war; her parents were killed and her sister was kidnapped. Even though Em is only a useless Ruined - completely lacking any magic - she is determined to get revenge.

Her plan is simple: She will infiltrate the enemy's kingdom, posing as the crown prince's betrothed. She will lead an ambush. She will kill the king and everyone he holds dear, including his son.

The closer Em gets to the prince, though, the more she questions her mission. Her rage-filled heart begins to soften. But with her life - and her family - on the line, love could be Em's deadliest mistake.


More info on Goodreads......


Review:

Ruined is Amy Tintera’s latest release and is a superbly written fantasy tale packed with action, adventure and romance that will no doubt appeal to fans of The Winner's Kiss by Marie Rutkoski and Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas! 

Emelina Flores is a member of the Ruined, a race of people known for their incredible abilities, who are hunted and executed by the ruling Kingdom of Lera. Em’s home has been ravaged by war; her parents dead and her sister a prisoner of Lera’s King. With nothing to lose, Em infiltrates the enemy’s kingdom, posing as the crown prince’s betrothed in order to find her sister and enact revenge. Planning to kill the king and destroy the royal family, Em isn’t prepared to discover that prince Cas is nothing like his father. Kind and genuine, falling for Cas could change everything if Em allows it, but with lives on the line and attack around the corner, will Em be able to go through with her mission, or will her heart lead her astray…..

Ruined truly was a well-paced, well written and incredibly well detailed fantasy tale! As someone who has adored Amy Tintera’s work in the past, I can honestly say she did not disappoint with this latest release and had me thoroughly entertained with Ruined. Ruined unfolds through Em and Cas’s varying POV’s and allows us into the minds of two very different characters who are on opposite sides of the divide. 

I honestly liked the two main characters Amy Tintera featured in Ruined. Em was a strong, capable female lead who knew what she wanted and was willing to fight for her people. In the beginning of the story Em comes across as really hard; she’s determined to make the royal family of Lera pay and doesn’t flinch in taking lives, but as Ruined progresses, Cas seems to bring out something in her—a softer side that allows her to see things aren’t completely black and white and there is hope.

Cas on the other hand is simply an honest and genuinely good guy. He’s somewhat naïve to the goings on within the kingdom and it’s not until he meets Em that he begins to pay real attention to how the Ruined are treated and what his father does to them. Cas could be a really wonderful leader if he has the chance; someone who could instil new practices within the kingdom. 

Cas and Em meet when she poses as his intended to gain entry into the palace. Marrying Cas may open a lot of doors for Em, but over time it also makes her question a lot of things. Em and Cas’s relationship was really sweet and endearing to read about. Tintera builds on the tension between them the closer they get and it was really entrancing seeing them slowly fall for one another. It may not have been the plan, but there’s no doubt that Cas brings out the best in Em and theirs was a romance I really enjoyed seeing the beginning of---I can only hope how strong Amy Tintera will develop them in future books!

Depicting a fantasy world where different kingdoms and lands are at war with one another, I’m especially intrigued by the Ruined people. There were a few supporting characters we met that I liked and would like to know more about, but I don’t feel we truly know the world within the story yet. 

Concluding on a killer ending, Ruined sets the stage for the second book in this series, Avenged, and leaves me dying to see what will happen to Em and Cas next! Fast paced, wonderfully written and deliciously romantic, Ruined was a solid fantasy read that leaves me excited to see what Amy Tintera does with the series next!

Rating:
Source:
Sent for review by publisher (Thank you guys!)
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Format: Paperback
Australian RRP:
$16.99
Release Date: 27th April 2016
Purchase:
Bookworld | Booktopia | The Book Depository | Amazon
Final Thoughts:
Though our Australian cover doesn't do much for me, Ruined is a BRILLIANT book and I cannot wait for the next one!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday #145

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking The Spine where you can spotlight an upcoming release that you're eagerly anticipating.

This week I'm waiting on.....

The Book Jumper by Mechthild Gläser
Releases on: January 3rd 2017

Amy Lennox doesn't know quite what to expect when she and her mother pick up and leave Germany for Scotland, heading to her mother's childhood home of Lennox House on the island of Stormsay.

Amy's grandmother, Lady Mairead, insists that Amy must read while she resides at Lennox House—but not in the usual way. It turns out that Amy is a book jumper, able to leap into a story and interact with the world inside. As thrilling as Amy's new power is, it also brings danger—someone is stealing from the books she visits, and that person may be after her life. Teaming up with fellow book jumper Will, Amy vows to get to the bottom of the thefts—at whatever the cost.


Thoughts:
Uh, hello. Book jumper? As in, able to jump into books?? Hell to the yes! Isn't that every readers dream come true?!? I mean, could you imagine jumping into your favourite book?? Talk about heaven. I'm soooooooo ready to read The Book Jumper! Reminds me a little of Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult, but I loved Between the Lines so I'm not complaining! And isn't that cover stunning?!? Hope they stick with it!

What do you think of The Book Jumper? Is it something you would like to read?
What are you waiting on this week?

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Book Shelf: Daring the Bad Boy by Monica Murphy

Annie McFarland is sick of being a shy nobody. A session at summer camp seems like the perfect opportunity to reinvent herself—gain some confidence, kiss a boy, be whoever she wants to be. A few days in, she’s already set her sights on über-hottie Kyle. Too bad her fear of water keeps her away from the lake, where Kyle is always hanging out.

Jacob Fazio is at Camp Pine Ridge after one too many screw-ups. Junior counseling seems like punishment enough, but the rigid no-fraternizing-with-campers rules harsh his chill. When a night of Truth or Dare gets him roped into teaching Annie how to swim, she begs him to also teach her how to snag Kyle.

Late-night swim sessions turn into late-night kissing sessions...but there’s more on the line than just their hearts. If they get caught, Jake’s headed straight to juvie, but Annie’s more than ready to dare him to reveal the truth.


More info on Goodreads......


Review:

Daring the Bad Boy by Monica Murphy is a fun and flirty contemporary read, perfect if you’re looking for that summer romance tale that is endearing, sweet and an honestly good read. 

Sixteen year told Annie McFarland has only ever been known as a good girl….and she’s sick of it! Tired of never being noticed and being known as shy and quiet, Annie decides to take advantage of going to camp for the summer to reinvent herself. And after a few days in, Annie is already making new friends and has set her eye on the hottest camper there, Kyle. If only she could work up the courage to face her fear of water to spend time with Kyle. Enter Jacob Fazio, bad boy and camp councilor. After a run in with the law, Jake has been sent to work at his uncle’s camp for the summer in the hopes that it’ll straighten him out and keep him out of juvie. Jake just wants to get though his punishment, but when a game of Truth or Dare turns dangerous, Jake saves Annie, somehow getting convinced to teach her to swim in the process. There’s a rule about no relationships between campers and councilors, but when Jake’s teaching lessons see Annie and Jake begin to fall for one another, will the resident bad boy be willing to break the most important rule yet?

I’ll admit, the concept within Daring the Bad Boy isn’t something that hasn’t been done before; girl meets boy, boy meets girl, girl likes someone else, boy helps girl and ultimately boy and girl fall for one another……but that doesn’t mean Daring the Bad Boy wasn’t a good read, because it was! Daring the Bad Boy was one of those feel-good YA romances that are simply plain fun to read. 

Told through both main characters Annie and Jake’s alternating POV, Daring the Bad Boy had a great vibe, wonderful characters and a really lovely romance. I easily read this book in a couple of sittings and found it easy to follow both main characters. Annie was a real sweetie, and Jake turned out to be a genuine guy too; he didn’t have an attitude and wasn’t too “bad”. He was actually a really funny, cheeky guy who quickly wanted to spend time with Annie. 

Monica Murphy creates a great camp environment in this book and wonderfully develops Annie and Jake’s romance. What starts out as blackmailed swimming lessons soon turns into a sweet friendship that hints at something more. Both teens are attracted to each other and as they become stronger friends who trust each other, their feelings for each other develop into a very adorable, yet electric romance with shared kisses and stolen moments. 

Sweet and enjoyable, Daring the Bad Boy is a fun YA read perfect for those looking for a light and easy contemporary tale full of teen romance, fun and friendship.   

Rating:
Source:
Sent for review by publisher via Netgalley (Thank you guys!)
Publisher: Entangled Crush
Format:
Kindle eARC via Netgalley
Release Date: 22nd August 2016
Purchase:
The Book Depository | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo
Final Thoughts: A sweet and enjoyable YA read.