Saturday, April 29, 2017

Book Shelf: Take the Key and Lock Her Up (Embassy Row #3) by Ally Carter

The princess is dead. Long live the princess.

Centuries ago, the royal family of Adria was killed…or so everyone thought.

Now Grace Blakely knows the truth: There was one survivor, and that survivor’s blood runs through her veins. This simple fact could cause a revolution—which is why some people will stop at nothing to keep it from coming to light.

There is only one way for Grace to save herself, save her family, and save the boy she loves. She must outmaneuver her foes, cut through the web of lies that has surrounded her for years, and go back to the source of all her troubles, despite the risk.

If she wins, she will inherit a throne.

And if she loses, she will inherit the fate of all the dead princesses who came before her.


More info on Goodreads.....


Review:

Take the Key and Lock Her Up is the third and final novel in Ally Carter's Embassy Row trilogy and brings the series to a close with Grace facing her final confrontation against those who will stop at nothing to keep the truth about Adria's history a secret.

Grace Blakely knows the truth. Centuries ago the royal family of Adria was killed in a coup, but unbeknownst to most, a single family member managed to survive. And two hundred years later, the blood of that lost princess runs through Grace's veins. Though she wants nothing to do with it, Grace is the rightful heir to the Adrian throne and it's a secret people will kill to protect. Everything Grace has been through has been leading up to this discovery and as Grace faces the source of all her pain and troubles, will she be able to save herself, or will Grace be destined to end up a tradgedy.

Bringing to a close the Embassy Row trilogy, Take the Key and Lock Her Up will finally answer many of the questions readers will have about who has been behind so much of Grace's loss and difficulties. Admittedly, I was a little underwhelmed with Take the Key and Lock Her Up and really the series as a whole if I'm being honest. I don't think Embassy Row was a bad series. I just feel like the first novel had such potential, but the series never seemed to reach a really big climax. There was plenty of danger and excitement and surprising moments, but at the same time I feel like part of the spark was missing from this final book I enjoyed with the first.

Ally Carter has woven plenty of mystery and intrigue into this series, and in the tradition of Anastasia, throws a lost princess and a royal coup into the plotline. It's impossible not to draw comparisons between Amelia and Adria with the infamous missing princess Anastasia and the Russian mystery and I do wonder whether this was intentional by Carter or not.

Brimming with ultimatums and with sacrifices needing to be made, Take the Key and Lock Her Up ends the series in a good place. Easy enough reading and decent enough to entertain, I don't regret reading this trilogy and will most likely read more by Ally Carter in the future.
 

Rating:
Source:
Sent for review by publisher (Thank you guys!)
Publisher: Scholastic Australia
Format: Hardback
Australian RRP:
$19.99
Release Date: February 2017
Purchase:
Bookworld | Booktopia | The Book Depository | Amazon
Final Thoughts:
A decent ending to a series that has been easy to read. It didn't blow me away but it left me satisfied.

 

Friday, April 28, 2017

Roar by Cora Carmack Pre-Order Campaign

If you liked these:

You'll LOVE this!
In a land ruled and shaped by violent magical storms, power lies with those who control them.

Aurora Pavan comes from one of the oldest Stormling families in existence. Long ago, the ungifted pledged fealty and service to her family in exchange for safe haven, and a kingdom was carved out from the wildlands and sustained by magic capable of repelling the world’s deadliest foes. As the sole heir of Pavan, Aurora’s been groomed to be the perfect queen. She’s intelligent and brave and honorable. But she’s yet to show any trace of the magic she’ll need to protect her people.

To keep her secret and save her crown, Aurora’s mother arranges for her to marry a dark and brooding Stormling prince from another kingdom. At first, the prince seems like the perfect solution to all her problems. He’ll guarantee her spot as the next queen and be the champion her people need to remain safe. But the more secrets Aurora uncovers about him, the more a future with him frightens her. When she dons a disguise and sneaks out of the palace one night to spy on him, she stumbles upon a black market dealing in the very thing she lacks—storm magic. And the people selling it? They’re not Stormlings. They’re storm hunters.

Legend says that her ancestors first gained their magic by facing a storm and stealing part of its essence. And when a handsome young storm hunter reveals he was born without magic, but possesses it now, Aurora realizes there’s a third option for her future besides ruin or marriage.

She might not have magic now, but she can steal it if she’s brave enough.

Challenge a tempest. Survive it. And you become its master.


Releases June 13th 2017!

As a member of the Official Road Street Team, I've had the pleasure of reading and reviewing Roar ahead of time and can I just say.....it....is....awesome! Rich in magic, adventure and forbidden romance, Roar is one to keep an eye out for this year!

PRE-ORDER CAMPAIGN:
To celebrate Roar's release, US and Canadian readers can submit proof of pre-order and get this gorgeous Skyfire pendant! Submit your proof of purchase here: http://us.macmillan.com/mobile/torforge/promo/roar2017preorderoffer to snag this beauty!


Thursday, April 27, 2017

Book Shelf: Memory's Wake (Memory's Wake Trilogy #1) by Selina Fenech

Lost in a world full of monstrous fairies, a troubled sixteen year old has to find out who she is and why her memories were stolen before she is found by those who want her dead.

She takes the name "Memory" and knows she has just one goal - to find her way home, wherever that is. But this land is strange. No technology to be seen, and iron is banned, thanks to a pact the humans have with the magical creatures who share their pre-industrial era world. In her t-shirt and torn jeans, Memory knows she's different, even before she performs impossible magic.

Haunted by her past, chased by a dragon, wanted by the king and stalked by the strange, handsome savage that seems to know her, everyone is after Memory, and she suspects it's not just for her eye-catching outfit. Her forgotten past holds dangerous secrets that will challenge everything she believes and risk the lives of everyone she loves.

 
More info on Goodreads....


Review:

Memory’s Wake is the first novel in Australian writer and illustrator Selina Fenech’s Memory’s Wake Trilogy and is a beautifully depicted and lyrical fantasy world full of magic, adventure and even the perfect hint of romance. 

Waking up in a forest, a confused teenager finds she has no memories of who she is and where she came from. Lost in a seemingly strange world, she finds herself assisted by another beautiful but secretive girl named Eloryn whom she meets in the woods. Taking on the name Memory, all Memory knows is that she must find her way back home. Hunted and chased by strange men, a tyrant king and a dragon, Eloryn and Memory find themselves racing across a magical land inhabited by both humans and fae alike. In a world with no technology and simple living, Memory knows she’s different in her torn jeans and multiple piercings, but as Eloryn and Memory try to determine who to trust—either the charming thief to tries to assist them, or the handsome but strange man who stalks Memory, Memory’s ability to harness dangerous magic make it clear that Memory’s past could change everything….

I have to say I enjoyed Memory’s Wake a lot more than I expected to. There’s an almost fairytale like quality to the story that blends well with the authors lyrical descriptions and vibrant fantasy world. In fact, I’m almost ashamed to say I haven’t read Memory’s Wake until now. As a fixture on the Australian fantasy scene, I have often seen Memory’s Wake and its author Selina Fenech at the various Supanova’s and Oz Comic-Con’s I have attended, but have never pursued the book further until now. I was very much entranced by the world Fenech has created and enjoyed this magical tale—wish I had read it sooner. 

Mysterious and magical, Memory’s Wake features all my favourite aspects of fantasy. I liked the childlike wonder that accompanied the story and that it was a light, softer kind of fantasy that included a lush Victorian fantasy setting, intriguing characters and plenty of magic and friendship to keep me entertained. The beautiful drawings that accompany the story and litter the novel are stunning additions to the story that enhance the reading experience. 

Memory’s Wake is delightfully told in third person and follows a number of characters, with Memory’s voice obviously an important one as well as Eloryn, Roen and Memory’s mysterious follower Will. I really liked all the characters and am already very invested in their tales, especially Eloryn and Roen who seem to be beginning a will-they-won’t-they forbidden romance. 

I very much enjoyed piecing things together and learning about Memory’s past in Memory’s Wake. Selina Fenech has plenty of tricks up her sleeve and some intriguing developments to the story are revealed. Can’t wait to read the second book in the trilogy, Hope’s Reign! 
 

Rating:
Source:
Snagged as an Amazon freebie
Publisher: Fairies and Fantasy Pty Ltd              
Format:
Ebook
Release Date: June 16th 2011
Get for FREE:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo
Final Thoughts:
Beautiful and whimsical, Memory's Wake was a delightful fantasy and I can't wait to read more!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday #176

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.....
 
Devils & Thieves by Jennifer Rush
Releases on: October 3rd 2017

A thrilling new urban fantasy filled with magic and motorcycle gangs from Jennifer Rush, author of the Altered saga--perfect for fans of Beautiful Creatures.

Eighteen-year-old Jemmie Carmichael has grown up surrounded by magic in the quiet town of Hawthorne, New York. In her world, magic users are called "kindled," and Jemmie would count herself among them if only she could cast a simple spell without completely falling apart. It doesn't help that she was also recently snubbed by Crowe, the dangerous and enigmatic leader of the Black Devils kindled motorcycle gang and the unofficial head of their turf.

When the entire kindled community rolls into Hawthorne for an annual festival, a rumor begins spreading that someone is practicing forbidden magic. Then people start to go missing. With threats closing in from every side, no one can be trusted. Jemmie and Crowe will have to put aside their tumultuous history to find their loved ones, and the only thing that might save them is the very flaw that keeps Jemmie from fully harnessing her magic. For all her years of feeling useless, Jemmie may just be the most powerful kindled of all.


Thoughts:
There's something about motorcycle clubs that have always interested me, but the adult and erotic romance versions are often too hardcore for my taste.....so I'm ecstatic to try a YA version of them, especially as it weaves magic and possible romance together. Devils & Thieves has me very exciting and looking for October when it releases!

What do you think of Devils & Thieves? Do you want to read it?
And what are you waiting on this week?

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Book Shelf: Wolf's Mate (Wind Dragons MC #5) by Chantal Fernando

From USA TODAY bestselling author Chantal Fernando comes the latest in her steamy Wind Dragons Motorcycle Club series featuring biker bad boys and the strong women who love them.

Vinnie was once the youngest prospect at the infamous Wind Dragons Motorcycle Club but finally, he’s going to be initiated as a full-fledged member! But when Vinnie (now known as Wolf) puts on that WDMC leather for the first time, little does he know what he’s in for. The Wind Dragons have made enemies, and being a member means being on the front lines…


More info on Goodreads.....


Review:

Wolf’s Mate is the 5th instalment in Chantal Fernando’s deeply sensual and addictive Wind Dragon’s MC series and is another edge of your seat romance that brings a world of tempting bikers and mouthy heroine’s alive once more!

There’s nothing more important in Vinnie’s life than his brothers. Proving that some things are stronger than blood, the Wind Dragons are the family Vinnie always yearned for as a discarded foster child without a home. Vinnie is as loyal as they come and he’s determine to be the most honourable man he can be, even if means he’ll need to repay a debt to a rival MC president who straddles the line between friend and pain in the ass. Protecting Talon’s cousin Shayla seems like the easiest marker he could be given, but with the stunning beauty both mouthy and alluring, Vinnie finds himself fighting to keep his hands to himself. With Shayla’s father in prison for fraud and his enemies after Shayla, it becomes clear that the individuals after Shayla will stop at nothing to hurt her, and Vinnie will need the help of his brothers if she’s able to protect the woman he’s coming to care about. 

Back again with another stellar tale, Chantal Fernando details another addictive romance in Wolf’s Mate. As someone who doesn’t read a lot of MC novels, Wind Dragon’s MC manages to beautifully balance club life with family, friends and romance. It’s not too brutal for my tastes but still allows readers to become immersed in a motor cycle club world. It’s raw and gritty, but there’s wonderful bonds of friendship and respect amongst the characters; from the club members to the partners of the members and the women behind the men. 

I found myself enjoying Vinnie’s story a lot more than I was expecting. Some characters you anticipate their stories for what seems like forever, while others sneak up on you when you’re not expecting. Vinnie’s was one of those stories for me. I’d liked Vinnie when were saw him in past Wind Dragon novels, but he hadn’t made the biggest impression on me so I was unsure how much I’d enjoy his story. Thankfully Chantal Fernando made me really care about Vinnie and Shayla and I very much enjoyed their romance. 

I always appreciate being able to see other characters and past couples in series’ and Chantal Fernando certainly allows this to be the case with the Wind Dragon’s books. All our past couples continue to feature and be a part of each new novel, continuing to enhance the feelings of friendship and family exhibited in the MC club. 

Ending perfectly and giving Vinnie and Shayla the HEA they deserve, Wolf’s Mate was another solid tale from Chantal Fernando that doesn’t disappoint. I can’t wait to read Ranger’s tale next and get to know this intelligent biker who has my interest piped! 

Rating:
Source:
Purchased by me from Bookworld
Publisher: Gallery Books      
Format:
Paperback
Release Date: August 16th 2016
Purchase:
Bookworld | Booktopia | The Book Depository | Amazon
Final Thoughts:
Another great read in my favourite MC series. Can't wait to read the next one!

 

Monday, April 24, 2017

Free Ebooks

Hi guys and happy Monday!

No Owl Post this week; instead I have some fabulous FREE Amazon ebooks to share with you. Enjoy :)



Did you manage to get something new? I know I did!
 
 

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Book Shelf: Defy the Stars (Defy the Stars #1) by Claudia Gray

Noemi is a young and fearless soldier of Genesis, a colony planet of a dying Earth. But the citizens of Genesis are rising up - they know that Earth's settlers will only destroy this planet the way they destroyed their own. And so a terrible war has begun.

When Noemi meets Abel, one of Earth's robotic mech warriors, she realizes that Abel himself may provide the key to Genesis' salvation. Abel is bound by his programming to obey her - even though her plan could result in his destruction. But Abel is no ordinary mech. He's a unique prototype, one with greater intelligence, skill and strength than any other. More than that, he has begun to develop emotions, a personality and even dreams. Noemi begins to realise that if Abel is less than human, he is more than a machine. If she destroys him, is it murder? And can a cold-blooded murder be redeemed by the protection of a world?

Stranded together in space, they go on a whirlwind adventure through Earth's various colony worlds, alongside the countless Vagabonds who have given up planetary life altogether and sail forever between the stars. Each step brings them closer - both to each other and to the terrible decision Noemi will have to make about her world's fate, and Abel's.


More info on Goodreads....


Review:

Defy the Stars is Claudia Gray's breathtaking latest release and is an exhilarating sci-fi tale masterfully blending well developed romance and high stakes action in this incredibly addictive and beguiling novel!

Noemi is a well trained and capable soldier from the planet Genesis, fighting to defend her people from their enemy planet Earth. Abel is one of Earth's mechs; a perfectly created super machine, designed to fight in the war against Genesis and completely one of a kind. Highly intelligent and capable, Abel has spent thirty years alone on a ship lost in space, his conscience developing well past the expected levels of any mech. When one of Noemi's friends is injured in a battle against Earth, they seek refuge on the ship Abel inhabits, and Noemi quickly finds herself forced to rely on the human-like Abel to survive. When tragedy strikes, Noemi decides to make one last ditch effort to protect her people, but when it becomes clear Abel is far from the mindless machine she first thought him to be, will Noemi be able to make the ultimate sacrifice or will love change everything....

Claudia Gray is an author I have been reading for years. I first became a fan when I read her debut novel Evernight and have followed her career ever since. This woman never fails to write a stunning novel, but may have truly outdone herself with Defy the Stars! Perfect for fans of the Starbound series by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner, Defy the Stars is a beautifully told and emotionally vivid story. I was very impressed with the well paced progression of the story and the way the characters and storyline developed.

I felt Noemi and Abel were well rounded and wonderfully developed. With the novel unfolding through the back and fourth point of views of both of them, Gray will make you fall absolutely in love with these two individuals who start out as enemies but soon come to develop a close and unexpected bond. Noemi and Abel are both honorable and noble characters who will make you contemplate who is in the right and who is in the wrong as they journey throughout the galaxy and come to see different point of views of the worlds around them and the ongoing war between planets.

As a mech, Abel was admittedly the highlight of the novel for me. Though I loved Noemi, Abel thrilled me from start to finish as he continued to experience new thoughts and feelings and became so very human. It was beautifully written on Claudia Gray's part, especially the complex relationship Abel has with his creator and the little things, such as adoring Casablanca, that made Abel such a personable character.

As the novel progresses, Defy the Stars will make you continually think and question things as you follow Noemi and Abel on their life changing journey. Entertaining and exciting, Defy the Stars was a spectacularly told story, well balanced and perfectly woven together story. Even if the ending of the novel did slay me and break my heart somewhat.

Perfectly written and so very good, Defy the Stars is a 2017 read I highly recommend and something I will continue to think about even though it's over. Can't wait to see what Claudia Gray has in store with this series next as there's so many facets of this world she could explore!
 

Rating:
Source:
Sent for review by publisher via Allen & Unwin (Thank you guys!)
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Format: Paperback
Australian RRP:
$19.99
Release Date: 29th March 2017
Purchase:
Bookworld | Booktopia | The Book Depository | Amazon
Final Thoughts:
Despite featuring an ending guaranteed to make you emotional, I absolutely love Defy the Stars and really hope we have a chance to see more Noemi and Abel in the future!