Book Review: The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker

22238196Title: The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker
Author: Leanna Renee Hieber
Series: Strangely Beautiful #1
ISBN: 978-1428511453
Publisher: Leisure Books
Pub. Date: August 2009
Source: Publisher
Genre: Paranormal Romance/Historical Romance/Urban Fantasy
Pages: 322
Rating:  4/5

From Goodreads: What fortune awaited sweet, timid Percy Parker at Athens Academy? Hidden in the dark heart of Victorian London, the Romanesque school was dreadfully imposing, a veritable fortress, and little could Percy guess what lay inside. She had never met its powerful and mysterious Professor Alexi Rychman, knew nothing of the growing shadows of the Ripper and other supernatural terrors against which his coterie stood guard. She saw simply that she was different, haunted, with her snow white hair, pearlescent skin and uncanny gift. This arched stone doorway was a portal to a new life, to an education far from what could be had at a convent and it was an invitation to an intimate yet dangerous dance at the threshold of life and death.

My Reveries and Ramblings:  I was shocked! I did not expect to love this book as much as I did. Ms. Hieber captured me in the very first few words. Her world is so gothic and romantic. I just love it! It was like Jane Eyre meets Harry Potter meets Ghostbusters.
The Guard was blessed with powers to rid the civilian population of evil ghosts/spirits and other demons. In order for them to succeed they must work together. As soon as they split, they weaken. Besides ridding the world of evil beings, they are looking for the reincarnation of Persephone, the goddess who gave them their powers. All they were told was that she would be their peer, to look for a doorway, and to be careful of imposters.
When Percy Parker arrives at Athens Academy after leaving the convent that raised her, she is immediately regarded as odd. With her white hair, glowing eyes, and uber-pale skin she has always felt she was different. By covering herself up, she protects herself from the gawking stares of others. That is until she starts spending her nights being tutored by Prof. Rychman, who insists she removes her “barriers.” The first time Alexi, Prof. Rychman, sees Percy without all the scarves and glasses he becomes mesmerized. During the course of their tutoring sessions, Alexi becomes more and more convinced that she is Prophecy. However, the Guard refuses to believe that she is their seventh since she is not a peer but a student. Instead they do everything they can to convince Alexi that the real Prophecy is Miss Lindon. Alexi must choose between the two. The wrong choice could mean the end of the world.
Ms. Hieber’s writing blew me away. I find that most historical romances have great stories, but the writing is weak. That was not the case in this one. When the characters spoke, their word choice as well as their sentence structure was appropriate for the time. I was so happy to not hear the words “yeah” or “Oh my god” or even worse, “buddy.” Nothing ruins a historical romance like 21st c. talk. Ms. Hieber’s Victorian era writing is itself ,enough for an applause. Her word choice and descriptions were just perfect. Seriously, this book could have been written in the Victorian era and there probably wouldn’t have been a difference in word choice or style.
Now onto characters. When we are introduced to Percy Parker, she is scared and alone. Her friends see her as “strangely beautiful” while others avoid her, if not for her strange looks then for the possibility of being mad. When she arrives at Athens Academy, she finds that her professors don’t think she is crazy when she (rarely) talks of seeing visions (or dreams) and speaking to ghosts. One professor in particular finds her fascinating. His name? Professor Alexi Rychman. Before I continue I must say his name bears a striking resemblance to one Alan Richman (aka Professor Severus Snape). After reading about half of the book I found out that Professor Snape was who Ms. Heiber had in mind when writing this character.

tumblr_nyw8l2yylq1ud2p0eo3_500 Alexi is cold, mean, stiff, and lonely. He is hard on Percy and considers her failure to do well in his class a major flaw. However, he falls more and more in love with her over the course of the book. Alexi was so frustrating (and oh so swoon-worthy). Shortly after reading The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker, I watched BBC’s North and South. The second Richard Armitage came on screen, I almost fell out of my chair! It was Alexi! This was exactly how I had envisioned my Alexi! This was before I found out that Miss Hieber had actually mentioned him in an interview (at Darkly Reading) as an alternative to Alan Richman (too old now) for Alexi.
The romance was knit with so much sexual tension, you could almost see the sparks. Yet, there was very little kissing. The tension alone just made me want to scream “Get together already!” It was awesome. There was also a few subplot romances going on within the Guard which were equally fun to read. I can’t wait to read the rest of the books to see more of those play out. This book doesn’t really have a cliffhanger. These books are more like Harry Potter where there is a beginning, middle, and end, but there are certain story arcs that span across the whole series. Although I do want to find out what happens with Alexi and Percy. Basically, I love this book. I’ve read it several times since finishing it, stopping every once in a while to daydream about Alexi *sigh*. I love the eeriness of it-very gothic.
If you like: retellings (ancient greek myth of Persephone), Historical romance (Victorian era), Paranormal (ghosts, demons, etc.), Gothic Romance (swoon-worthy hero, eerie qualities), and apocalyptic scenes, then you’ll love this book.

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The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker (Strangely Beautiful, #1)

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Shadow Bound by Erin Kellison/ My Guest Post

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Hi Everyone! I did a guest post/review this week on the Dorchester Publishing Blog. Check it out!

Shadow Bound by Erin Kellison Review

Dorchester Publishing is hosting a giveaway. The winner will receive a copy of Shadow Bound.

Book Review: Tiger’s Curse by Colleen Houck

9284655Title: Tiger’s Curse
Author: Colleen Houck
Series: The Tiger Saga #1
ISBN: 978-1402784033
Publisher: Splinter
Pub. Date: January 11, 2011
Source: Library
Genre: Fantasy/YA/Romance
Pages: 448
Rating:  4/5

From Goodreads: Passion. Fate. Loyalty.

Would you risk it all to change your destiny?

The last thing 17-year old Kelsey Hayes thought she’d be doing this summer was trying to break a 300-year-old Indian curse. With a mysterious white tiger named Ren. Halfway around the world. But that’s exactly what happened. Face-to-face with dark forces, spellbinding magic, and mystical worlds where nothing is what it seems, Kelsey risks everything to piece together an ancient prophecy that could break the curse forever.

Tiger’s Curse is the exciting first volume in an epic fantasy-romance that will leave you breathless and yearning for more.

My Reveries and Ramblings:  Tiger’s Curse begins with Kelsey starting her new job at a visiting circus. While working, she becomes attached to one of the animals, a very tame white tiger. When Kelsey is given the opportunity to help transport the tiger back to India, she readily accepts. Once she arrives in India, she finds out that the tiger, Ren, isn’t really a tiger, but a cursed prince. The real reason she was tricked to escort the tiger was to help break the curse. What follows is a journey filled with love, friendship, heartache, magic, and adventure.
Tiger’s Curse is such a refreshing YA novel. I have yet to come across a novel for teens that takes place in India. The romance was just so beautiful. It was touching and very real. It felt very natural. Although Kelsey’s inability to make the, ahem, correct decisions at the end made me angry. I could go on an on and on about the awesomeness of their relationship and how devoted Ren was to her. It was so cute! I had a big smile on my face for 2/3 of the book. The other third was when Kelsey had her nightmare (which by the way, I was freaking out, I felt like I was in the nightmare-scary!) and the few chapters when Kelsey was acting irrational.
I absolutely loved every moment of this Indian adventure. There was so much going on. Ms. Houck kept throwing complicated Indian names and myths/legends around, but they all made sense later. The only problem I had was with Kelsey-specifically at the end, but I think I ranted enough about her. I did love her optimism, though. Her ability to compartmentalize was astounding. I wish I could do it that well.
The only problem I had with the whole book was that the quest was too easy. Yes, there was a lot of traveling. But, whenever they needed something, it somehow appeared. I never felt that life and death urgency. It was more like well-even-though-we’re-camping-since-you’re-a-tiger-you-can-run-a-few-miles-back-and-get-us-some-food type feeling. The only time when I was actually nervous or scared for the characters was towards the end when they were attacked by the kappas. However, even though this was something I had to overlook, I really loved this book. Kelsey’s narration was funny and interesting to read. My favorite aspect of this book was the romance. The sweetness of it, just made my heart ache. I borrowed this book from the library. But I’m having pre-separation anxiety about it. I’m probably going to buy the book so I can re-read my favorite parts. While I’m out, I might as well buy the second book Tiger’s Quest-because i can’t just leave the series as is. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves re-tellings, traveling, quests, and a rich and beautiful romance.

<<SPOILER ALERT-RANT-highlight to read>>
Oh My Goodness!!! I could just kill Kelsey for what she did. Doesn’t she realize how lucky she is?! Ren loves her so much and she just leaves?!?! I would have done the exact opposite if I were put into the book. Ren’s just too good to pass up. I wish I had a guy like Ren. A guy who’s passionate, straight-forward, strong, confident, sweet, charming, and a prince all rolled into one package. Seriously, a girl couldn’t ask for more. But nooooo, Kelsey just throws it all away because she’s scared. I mean, I did understand why she did what she did; but at the same time I also didn’t like her decision. She most definitely made the wrong one.

 

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Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1)

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(I took many of the songs from the official Tiger’s Curse Playlist mostly because I listened to that while I read the book).

Book Review: The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney

6882274Title: The Mockingbirds
Author: Daisy Whitney
Series: The Mockingbirds #1
ISBN: 978-0316090537
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Pub. Date: November 2, 2010
Source: Library
Genre: YA/Realistic Fiction / Contemporary
Pages: 339
Rating:  4/5

From Goodreads: Some schools have honor codes. Others have handbooks. Themis Academy has the Mockingbirds. Themis Academy is a quiet boarding school with an exceptional student body that the administration trusts to always behave the honorable way–the Themis Way. So when Alex is date raped during her junior year, she has two options: stay silent and hope someone helps her, or enlist the Mockingbirds–a secret society of students dedicated to righting the wrongs of their fellow peers.
In this honest, page-turning account of a teen girl’s struggle to stand up for herself, debut author Daisy Whitney reminds readers that if you love something or someone–especially yourself–you fight for it.

My Reveries and Ramblings:  The Mockingbirds is about date rape. The story begins with Alex waking up naked in Carter’s room with no memory of what happened the previous night. With her friends’ help, she goes to The Mockingbirds, a secret student run police force. The Mockingbirds are The Law amongst the students. In addition to taking Alex’s case on, they help protect her from Carter.
Alex begins the story a victim of a terrible crime. Over the course of the book, she slowly regains power over her life. She even acknowledges the fact that she’s letting the rape take over her life. Her schedule, eating habits, and personal life were all dictated by Carter. The Mockingbirds helped her get over all of that.
Martin, a member of the Mockingbirds, really helped Alex. Even though he somewhat blamed himself for what happened to Alex. Actually, many of Alex’s friends blamed themselves for what happened to her, even though it was no one’s fault but Carter’s. Martin was so sweet. I really liked how the romance in this book wasn’t overpowering. The rape and Alex’s transformation were the main points in the plot. The romance was more of a compliment to the story; it wasn’t necessary but at the same time it was much appreciated. Of course, their relationship wasn’t easy. Alex was raped, so its only natural for her to be hesitant about having a relationship with a guy. However, since Martin and Alex were good friends before she was raped, it wasn’t as difficult as it could have been if he was just some guy that asked her out.
The Mockingbirds was so wonderfully written! The dialogue was never awkward or choppy; it flowed nicely. The plot was well developed and it too was well paced. My favorite part, though, was not the plot but the actual writing. Ms. Whitney’s own experience clearly influenced her writing. By writing The Mockingbirds through Alex’s point of view, the reader can feel what Alex feels on a much more personal level than if she had written it in 3rd person. Ms. Whitney also uses quotes and draws inspiration from To Kill a Mockingbird. After reading The Mockingbirds, I want to go back and re-read To Kill a Mockingbird.
The Mockingbirds is a thought provoking novel involving rape and a girl’s decision to take a stand. I was reluctant to read it at first, mostly because I’m not a huge fan of serious books. I read to get away from all that. But I couldn’t help the fact that almost every review I read praised the book to the point where I said, “I might as well…” So far I’ve read the book twice, and loved it both times.

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The Mockingbirds (The Mockingbirds, #1)

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Book Review: Cascade by Lisa T. Bergren

9368401Title: Cascade
Author: Lisa T. Bergren
Series: The River of Time #2
ISBN: 978-1434764317
Publisher: David C. Cook
Pub. Date: June 1, 2011
Source: Author
Genre: YA/ Historical Romance/Time-Travel
Pages: 416
Rating:  5/5

From Goodreads: Mom touched my underdress—a gown made six hundred years before—and her eyes widened as she rubbed the raw silk between thumb and forefinger. She turned and touched Lia’s gown. “Where did you get these clothes?”
Gabi knows she’s left her heart in the fourteenth century and she persuades Lia to help her to return, even though they know doing so will risk their very lives. When they arrive, weeks have passed and all of Siena longs to celebrate the heroines who turned the tide in the battle against Florence—while the Florentines will go to great lengths to see them dead.  But Marcello patiently awaits, and Gabi must decide if she’s willing to leave her family behind for good in order to give her heart to him forever.

My Reveries and Ramblings:  If you haven’t read Waterfall, the first book in the River of Time series, then I urge you, nay, kick you to the bookstore to buy, yes, you heard me right; buy Waterfall because it is so worth it! Now, stop reading because this review will spoil the end of Waterfall for you.
When my package (Cascade) came in the mail, I screamed and ripped it open. I beheld a signed copy of Cascade with signed bookmarks (Thank you, Lisa Bergren!) Apparently all the noise I was making alarmed my family. When they walked in the room asking me what was wrong, they found me jumping up and down repeating “yes yes YES! AHHHH, I’m so happy!” They just looked at me shaking their heads, probably flashing back at the last time this happened (during my Twilight phase).
EPIC. That was the first word that came to mind when I finished Cascade. I didn’t think it was possible to love a book more than I loved Waterfall, but Ms. Bergren proved me wrong. This book was even better than Waterfall. The stakes were raised even higher in this installment. Gabi and Marcello are forced to really think about the direction of their relationship. For Gabi to stay in the past, she would have to force her family to stay with her. She would also have to start thinking about marriage-people got married at a much younger age back then (they also died earlier). When the three Betarrini women travel back in time, they find themselves in the middle of a war. No one is safe; especially the “She-wolves of Siena.” Gabi and Lia are confronted with numerous obstacles in this sequel. The enemies of Siena are constantly hunting them. As a source of hope for the people of Siena, Marcello and Luca, the girls must survive. I’m going to stop talking about the plot here, because there is just too much that happens and I really don’t want to spoil it for anyone. Just know that there are three things the girls are up against: 1) The plague, 2) the war, and 3) the choice to either go back to the present or stay in the past.
Okay, now for my gushing! I. Love. Marcello. I might have said that in my Waterfall review, but I don’t care. It’s true! Ms. Bergren created a hero that is charming, swoon-worthy, and…..Italian! All my favorite scenes involved Marcello. Ahhh, I’m smiling just thinking about him. Ms. Bergren did add a new potential swoon-worthy guy, Lord Greco. His status in the book is a bit complicated, so I’ll just say this: YUM! Yep, he has the whole Ash (from the Iron Fey series) attitude. He’s goal-oriented, sly, and is more than meets the eye. He is charged with capturing the Betarrini women. After accepting the task, he finds out that this is much harder than it seems.
Cascade was exhilarating! The story never stalled. I was constantly turning the page wondering what happened next. Whenever Gabi overcame one obstacle, there were two more waiting for her on the next page. Just when I thought “Thank God they made it!” the suspense comes creeping back. Usually authors have an action scene then a relationship scene. Ms. Bergren effortlessly blends the two together. The reader feels the urgency the characters are feeling, throughout the book. This made me feel like I was a part of the story; like I was right there in the battlefield/forest. This sequel was much more emotional than Waterfall. Ms. Bergren was not afraid to kill off characters. Gabi, as well as Lia and their mother, had to deal with death at a much closer and bloody level. They begin to realize how tragic and dangerous this war is. They have a responsibility towards the people of Siena whether they like it or not. Whatever Gabi felt, I felt. I could feel her pain and sadness over each death. War is so tragic; it was heartbreaking to read it through Gabi’s POV.
I couldn’t put the book down! The only problem was that it ended. Ms. Bergren took me on an exciting adventure that I will never forget! WARNING: Don’t read the book in a public place unless your are fine with being stared at. I read Cascade on the train. Every time something really great happened I wanted to jump up and down. Every time something tragic or sad happened I wanted to scream or cry. Of course stifling my laughter by coughing doesn’t really work because my “coughs” sounded more like cackles. When I finished it (on the train) it took EVERYTHING I had to calmly shut the book. I wanted to dance and run around yelling “THAT WAS AMAZING! WHY DID IT HAVE TO END?!?!?!?!” But instead I fidgeted in my little window-seat replaying my favorite scenes and thinking about how far away the release date for Torrent is.

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Cascade (River of Time, #2)

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Book Review: Lover Revealed by J.R. Ward

42898Title: Lover Revealed
Author: J.R. Ward
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #4
ISBN: 978-0451412355
Publisher: Signet
Pub. Date: March 6, 2007
Source: Gift (B-day)
Genre: Paranormal Romance/ Urban Fantasy
Pages: 480
Rating:  3/5

Synopsis (from Goodreads.com): In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York there’s a war raging between vampires and their slayers. There exists a secret band of brothers like no other-six vampire warriors, defender of their race. But now an ally of the Brotherhood is about to encounter his own dark desire…
Butch O’Neal is a fighter by nature. A hard living, ex-homicide cop, he’s the only human ever to be allowed in the inner circle of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. And he wants to go even deeper into the vampire world to engage in the turf war with the lessers. He’s got nothing to lose. His heart belongs to a female vampire, Marissa, an aristocratic beauty who’s way out of his league. If he can’t have her, then at least he can fight side by side with the Brothers…
Fate curses him with the very thing he wants. When Butch sacrifices himself to save a civilian vampire from the slayers, he falls prey to the darkest force in the war. Left for dead, he’s found by a miracle, and the Brotherhood calls Marissa to bring him back. But even her love may not be enough to save him…

My Reveries and Ramblings: Lover Revealed is Butch and Marissa’s story. Butch is taken by the lessers very early on in the book after saving a civilian vampire. He is tortured for information about the brotherhood, but never gives in (Go Butch!). However, something truly evil is done to Butch before he is left for dead in the middle of nowhere. After the brotherhood rescues him, they question his fate and allegiance. Butch is no longer the same “cop.” After healing from his stay with the lessers, he starts to notice some changes: his body is letting off an odd spice scent around Marissa, he is much more aggressive, he can suck lessers into himself, and his blood turns black whenever he destroys the lessers his way.
Marissa and Butch’s relationship had so many “aw” moments but there was one thing that seriously annoyed me; when Butch called Marissa “baby,” I cringed. I really don’t know why that bothered me so much. Other than that, everything was fine. Butch wasn’t my favorite character, even in the beginning, and this book didn’t really change that for me. Although, there were some aspects that really stood out and made me love Ms. Ward’s writing even more.
The Black Dagger Brotherhood series is a romance book series (just look at the titles). The characters in the series have so much depth, not often seen in adult romance novels. With each book, Ms. Ward astounds me with the way she skillfully balances the passionate love scenes with actual plot. In Butch’s story, just like Zsadist’s, the central characters grow and change through the story. Butch starts out insecure in his place in life. Later in the book, when Butch is telling Marissa about his past he comments, “I’ve always been different from other people, not just in my family but when I was working here on the CPD force, too. I never fit in…until I met the Brotherhood…I’ve been living on the fringes all my life…(p. 325).” As the story progresses, the Butch becomes a part of a family, a part of something he never had. Marissa also finds herself. Even though Butch and Marissa fought a lot in this book, I think it was appropriate. Neither were secure with themselves. After Havers forced independence on Marissa, she started to follow her “Rule Number One: Right or wrong, she made the choices in her life. No one else did (p. 402).” Of course, Marissa doesn’t become independent overnight. In fact, she moves in with the brotherhood. Slowly, she begins to become her own person. Her transition from flowing gowns and corsets to pants and turtle necks was very symbolic of her transformation from a push over, aristocrat to a fully independent woman, free of the cage her brother and the glymera had forced her in all her life.
Lover Revealed was definitely a huge step forward in the war between the vampires and the lessers. What happens to Butch changes everything. The Black Dagger Brotherhood have a whole new deadly weapon in the war. As the Scribe Virgin said, “Now the new era in the war begins (p. 399).”
In this installment, Vishous and John Matthews also share some narration time. Vishous has to deal with his confusing feelings towards Butch and Marissa. John Matthews has to come to terms with Wellsie’s death and Tohr’s leaving. Honestly, I felt bad for Vishous (his book is next!), but not John Matthews. Seriously, John truly annoys me. I feel like every time Ms. Ward writes a John Matthews part I have to fight the urge not to skip forward, mostly because all he does is whine! It’s all poor-weak-me. I’m not strong enough to beat up Lash. I’m so weak. Etc. *
While this wasn’t the greatest of the Black Dagger Brotherhood books, it definitely is worth the read. Fair Warning: like all the BDB books, there are quite a few graphic sex scenes, violence, profanity, and of course blood and gore. If you haven’t picked these books up yet, then I suggest you buy them…yes, buy them. They are too amazing not to purchase because you will want to reread them over and over again.
*note: I’ve actually read up until and part of the way through Lover Mine (John Matthew’s book) and I do like him, much much much better, in that book.

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Lover Revealed (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #4)

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Book Review: The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

6644117Title: The Iron King
Author: Julie Kagawa
Series: The Iron Fey #1
ISBN: 9780373210084
Publisher: Harlequin
Pub. Date: January 26, 2010
Source: Kindle
Genre: YA/Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
Pages: 368
Rating:  5/5

From Goodreads:  Meghan Chase has a secret destiny; one she could never have imagined. Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan’s life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school or at home.
When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she’s known is about to change.
But she could never have guessed the truth – that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she’ll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil no faery creature dare face; and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.

 

My Reveries and Ramblings: I first read The Iron King a year ago, before I even knew book blogs existed; before I was really into reading.  This book shocked me with its amazing-ness (yes, I’m well aware that this is not a real word-but oh well).  I didn’t think I would love it as much as I did.  Since then, I’ve read this book at least 5 times.  I LOVE IT!   Not only did I love it, but my sister (who is extremely picky when it comes to books and almost never reads) loved it too.
The story begins with the protagonist, Meghan Chase, making it through high school.  So far, she’s had a pretty rough life.  Her father disappeared/left when she was younger; her mother remarried and had a baby, Ethan.  Her family is dirt poor, she is underappreciated, and is the loser at school.  The only bright spots in her life are her best friend Robbie and her younger brother Ethan.  On her sixteenth birthday, Ethan is kidnapped and replaced with  a changeling.  With Robbie’s help, Meghan ventures into a world filled with faeries and other creatures to rescue her brother.  What was supposed to be just an ordinary rescue mission turns into something much more.  Meghan learns the truth about her birth, her family, and who she really is.
<<SPOILTER ALERT-START>>
Meghan Chase is such a great character.  She’s not really talented at anything; however, she is a good person and a very strong character.  She risks everything to save her brother.  When she meets Ash, the winter prince, he is puzzled at how she allows her emotions to influence her decisions.  Through the course of the book, Meghan learns that she can make a difference; that she isn’t invisible; that she is wanted.  She also grows up (through all three books).
Ash, the Winter prince, is just sooooooo hot.  (Note-the sidebar on the left has my Team Ash button!!!)  Seriously, every time he walks into the room/scene I get butterflies.  I just love him.  You’d think after having read this book so many times, that would go away-it does not.  When I re-read The Iron King last week, I was just giddy the entire time.  By the way my absolute favorite line of his is: “Touch her, and I’ll freeze your testicles and put them in a jar.  Understand?”  Ha ha.  When I first read that line I laughed so hard.  But in all seriousness, Ash is a very quiet and calculating character.  He never lets his emotions show.  The thinks rationally; well, at least he did until Meghan entered his life.  Over the course of the book Meghan and Ash have a TON of obstacles they have to overcome.  It definitely doesn’t help that Ash and Robbie are out to kill each other.
Robbie, Meghan’s best friend, is actually Puck from the Summer Court.  He was ordered to protect Meghan Chase and keep her from discovering the truth.  Well, its safe to say, he failed.  But it was all for love.  He is so very weak when it comes to Megan.  Its kind of cute, but still, I like Ash better.  However, Puck is just so funny.  Almost anything he does or says gets me on the floor in tears.  Even though I am completely Team Ash, I feel bad for Puck.  He really does deserve to fall in love.
<<SPOILER ALERT-END>>>
Ms. Kagawa fills her novel with fantastic characters, including a sharp-talking cat.  I love every one of them.  Ms. Kagawa’s imagination is so vast and vibrant.  Her world is amazing.  I was pulled in, just like Meghan, and was taken on a journey, one that I will most likely never forget.  Think Alice and Wonderland meets A Mid-Summer Night’s Dream.  I highly recommend this book (series) to anyone who loves YA/romance/ supernatural books.  If you do, you’re going to love this!

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The Iron King (The Iron Fey, #1)

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Book Review: Abithica by Susan Goldsmith

11050827Title: Abithica
Author: Susan Goldsmith
Series: Abithica #1
ISBN: B004WOYNGC
Publisher: Twilight Times Books
Pub. Date: April 2011
Source: received an ebook arc copy from the author

Genre: Supernatural/Romance/Fantasy/Paranormal/Paranormal Romance/YA
Pages: 287
Rating:  4/5

From Goodreads:  What if you knew you were about to be torn from your body and replaced by an imposter in a seamless switch forever separating you and the one you love? Would you do whatever it took to stay? Even if YOU happened to be the imposter? Abithica must borrow all that she is from others: names, lives, even bodies. When she switches into the troubled life of Sydney Turner, she breaks the rule that has sustained her, the one thing in her control—never get attached. Lane Riley has no idea he’s fallen for Abithica, wearing Sydney Turner’s body and that a future with her is impossible. Desperate to stay with him, Abithica uncovers the mystery of what she is, only to learn she’s a pawn in a battle over souls, and that she’s probably one of the “bad guys.” What will happen if she refuses to leave Sydney’s body?

My Reveries and Ramblings: Abithica is the story of a spirit/being/whatever you want to call her for right now(not giving anything away) who is thrust into people’s bodies taking over their lives.  She stays with her host until she has completed whatever needed to be done.  She sees her predicament as a punishment from God.  She sees herself as a parasite or demon.
The book opens in Arizona with Sydney collapsing into her food at a restaurant because the spirit being mentioned (in the previous paragraph) has just entered her body.  As Sydney, the spirit starts trying to improve her life starting with Sydney’s damaged relationship with her mother, Faith.  At first “new” Sydney is having a hard time because the real Sydney is being resistant.  During a trip to Faith’s work (at the mall), Sydney meets Lane and his much younger sister, Shae.  It’s love at first sight for “new” Sydney and Lane.  However, “new” Sydney is very resistant because she doesn’t want to hurt him when she leaves Sydney’s body.  Also, she is scared of falling too hard because she knows it will all be ripped from her.  Besides the romance, there is also an element of danger from the gang that Sydney belongs to, the Legnas.  They are a dangerous gang that brands their members and like to kill, a lot.
Abithica takes the reader on a journey with the protagonist as she discovers who and what she is.  She discovers her real name at the end.  Poor girl.  Every time she forced into a new body she forgets most of what happened before.  However, the one thing she does know is that she wants to fall in love and stay that way.  That is her greatest wish/dream.  This is impossible, though.  To prevent herself from getting hurt she decided that she would never get attached.  Of course Lane changed that.
Lane is just * gush * amazing!  He knows there’s something different about Sydney as soon as he meets her (I’m talking about “new” Sydney).  No matter how many times she pushes him away he comes back even stronger and more cling-y (in a good way).    He loves her so much.  The most beautiful aspect of their love is the fact that he loves who the “new” Sydney is-meaning he loves the spirit inhabiting Sydney.  (Yes, I know, it sounds confusing on paper, but it really isn’t).
The novel contains many other great characters.  Among them are Shae, Lane’s adorable little sister; Faith, Sydney’s shoe obsessed mother; the ever helpful Father Gabe; and Marge, a saint-like doctor.
When I started Abithica, I was enjoying it.  But about half-way through, OMG! I was hooked.  There were moments where I was screaming at my computer screen (ebook), yelling at the characters.  Then there were moments where I was on the verge of tears.  The protagonist’s voice easy to read.  I felt a connection with her-there were moments where I could completely relate to her.  Mrs. Goldsmith did an awesome job with the writing.  Even when she wrote through Shae’s POV, it was readable at the same time as sounding like a little girl.
Now, even though I really really liked this book, there were a few things that just didn’t click with me.  I didn’t like reading the Legnas parts of the book-but I think this is just a matter of personal taste.  I never like reading the antagonist’s POV in any book.  Also, Lane annoyed me in the beginning.  He was talking about marriage very VERY early on in their relationship- they had only gone out a few times together.  But, of course, I was able to come to terms with it, and even accept it later on in the book.
Overall, I would definitely recommend this book to all who love a good romance.  Yes, it is Christian Lit., but it’s not overwhelming (which is good).  Also, I seriously read the last 50 pages four times-it was just too fantastic to not reread! I can’t wait until the sequel.

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Abithica

Book Review: To Catch a Pirate by Jade Parker

493051Title: To Catch A Pirate
Author: Jade Parker / Rachel Hawthorne
ISBN: 978-0439026949
Publisher: Point
Pub. Date: May 2007
Source: Library
Genre: YA/Romance/Adventure/Historical Fiction/Historical Romance
Pages: 320
Rating:  4/5

From Goodreads: Once caught, it’s harder still to let a pirate go.  When Annalisa Townsend’s ship is set upon by pirates in search of her father’s treasure, one of the crew, James Sterling, discovers her in the hold.  When he moves to take her necklace, she begs him not to, as it is all she has left of her mother.  He accepts a kiss in exchange for the necklace.  “A fair trade, m’lady,” he tells her afterward, before disappearing.  A year later, with a forged letter of marque, Annalisa is intent on hunting down the wretched James Sterling and reclaiming her father’s treasure from him.  But now she’s in danger of him stealing something far more vulnerable this time: her heart.

My Reveries and Ramblings:  After the death of her mother, Annalisa Townsend and her father sail to the Caribbean, with a treasure chest filled with some of the King’s gold, to build a new port.  When their ship gets attacked by pirates, the gold is stolen and many lives are lost.  The survivors, including Annalisa and her father, report the attack.  Because they survived, Annalisa’s father is accused of either being a pirate or associating with pirates and is thrown in jail.  Annalisa goes out with her friend, Nathaniel to find the pirate, James Sterling.  He was the very attractive pirate who held her at knifepoint, stole her ring, and kissed her while the pirates were searching the ship.  In fact, he saved her life, by keeping her whereabouts a secret.  Since her father is incarcerated, she wants nothing more than to kill the pirates that forced her into ruin.  Using her dowry, Annalisa finds a ship and crew and begins hunting for the pirate that stole her treasure.
Annalisa was such a strong character.  For a woman in the 1700s to chase pirates and captain a ship-that’s pretty darn incredible.  James Sterling couldn’t believe she (a woman) was commanding a ship.  Of course, she had Nathaniel’s help; but still.  Grrr….Nathaniel.  I did not like him.  Since this book reminded me so much of the Pirates of the Caribbean (without the supernatural aspect), Nathaniel reminded me of Norington.  James Sterling was just Ahhhh *swoon*.  He was like a combination between Captain Jack Sparrow and Will Turner.  After stealing Annalisa’s kiss and ring he is marooned on an island along with his friend Ferret for betraying his captain.  When he gets off the island he ends up running for his life from a pirate hunter.  When Annalisa finally catches him, she treats him well, or tries to at least.  Nathaniel can see the growing attraction and does not like it.  He does terrible things to James, like beating him.  James is the better man, even though he is a pirate.  Now partnered with James, Annalisa goes out to find the buried treasure.
This book was so great.   It had romance, sword fighting, pirates, adventure, and suspense.  I would definitely recommend reading this awesome book.
Side note: The author is actually Rachel Hawthorne.  She wrote To Catch a Pirate under “Jade Parker.”

 

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To Catch a Pirate