Book Review: Soulless by Gail Carriger

Title:  Soulless
Author:  Gail Carriger
Series: Parasol Protectorate #1
ISBN:  0316056634
Publisher:  Orbit
Pub. Date: 2009
Source: Kindle
Genre: Science Fiction/ Fantasy/ Paranormal / Historical Romance / Mystery
Pages:  373
Rating:  5/5

Synopsis (from Goodreads.com):  Without a morsel of exaggeration, its publisher describes this debut novel as “a comedy of manners set in Victorian London full of werewolves, vampires, dirigibles, and tea-drinking.” At the center of Soulless‘s “parasol protectorate” is Miss Alexia Tarabotti, a young woman who lacks not only a suitor but also a soul. And those are not her only problems: When she accidentally kills a vampire, it begins a series of events that she must set out to resolve without the help of any proper authorities. A charming mass market original.

My Reveries and Ramblings: Alexia Tarabotti is the daughter of an Italian-making her tan, assertive, big-nosed, and curvy.  Unlike her mother and half sisters, she also happens to be soulless (the preferred term being preternatural).  After being attacked by a vampire, Alexia is forced to uncover the mystery behind recent vampire and werewolf disappearances.  In doing so, her relationship with the alpha of the London werewolves, Lord Maccon, intensifies in every way.

I loved this book.  Gail Carriger does a fantastic job twisting the paranormal into steampunk Victorian England.  This satire is filled with great characters, an interesting plot, and lots and lots of tea.  The protagonist, Alexia Tarabotti was born a preternatural, or without a soul.  By simply touching a vampire or werewolf, she can rid them of their supernatural abilities, or turn them human.  This only works if she is physically touching them; as soon as she removes her touch, they are back to their supernatural state.  Lord Maccon arrives right after Alexia kills her attacker with her parasol.  He is a Scottish alpha werewolf who finds Alexia to be a pain in his-well, you know what I mean.  Lord Maccon grows deeper feelings for Alexia-or rather, he comes to realize his deeper feelings for her throughout the first half of the novel.  He is accompanied by his Beta, Prof. Lyall.  Even though Prof. Lyall is a werewolf, he is the opposite of Lord Maccon.  Where Lord Maccon is rude, primal, and a bit wild, Prof. Lyall is well-mannered, civilized, and tame.   I loved Lord Maccon.  I really enjoyed reading the banter between him and Alexia.

The story is set in 19th century (steampunk) Victorian England.  This novel had me laughing out loud.  Alexia, like everyone else at that time, is obsessed with manners and proper etiquette.  To her, the end of the world would occur when it ran out of tea.  However, she does realize the absurdity of her family and how they judge others.  Alexia’s family reminded me so much of the Bennet family in Pride and Prejudice.  There were also some similarities between Alexia and Elizabeth, not tons, but definitely some.

I would highly recommend this book.  Warning: there is a sex scene, kissing, some nudity, and a bit of blood.

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Soulless (Parasol Protectorate, #1)

The Versatile Blogger Award

I am so happy! I was awarded The Versatile Blogger Award by Dog-Eared & Bookmarked, Book Kritik, Bookaholic Does Blogging, and Mystifying Paranormal Reviews.  Thank you all so much.  I seriously wouldn’t have won these awards without any of my readers/followers and all their help and support.  I love the book blogging community.  Thank you all so much ❤
Rules:

1-Share 7 things about yourself.

2-Pass the award to 15 bloggers recently discovered.

3-Notify the blogger recipients.

4-Link to the blogger who gave the award.
So, here are 7 things about me:
1- I used to hate reading-like seriously hate it.  I would watch TV or play with my sister instead.  So one day, when I was in the third grade, I was fighting with my mom about reading a book for school.  I yelled, “I hate reading!” and started to storm up the stairs when my mom replied, “Well, I pity you.”  That has stuck with me ever since.  I now understand what my mom meant-I love reading!
2- I was a musical theater major for a year- and it was my life in high school before switching to Communications.
3-  Sometimes I go into B&N for no reason- and I just walk around and not buy anything to pass the time.  I usually go at least once a week.
4-  I  have zero control over my sweet tooth.  If there is chocolate, or anything sweet really, around me I WILL eat it- which is why I don’t buy any of it unless I have company over.
5-  Twilight books got me into reading.
6-  Christmas is my favorite time of year-I’m obsessed! haha
7- I can quote Elf (the movie).
I’ve recently discovered these blogs:
1-  Crazy Book Slut

2-  My Love Affair With Books

3-  Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews

4-  Amaterasu Reads

5-  Book Faery

6-  Books by their Story

7-  Books to Brighten Your Mood

8-  Coffee Books and Laundry

9-  Cupcake Queen Book Reviews

10-  Fantasmagoriese

11-  Must Love Books

12-The Broke and Bookish

13-  steampunkery & book reviews

14-  Small Review

15- Soon Remembered Tales
Thank you all so very very much 🙂  Have a great weekend.

Book Review: Insatiable by Meg Cabot

Title:  Insatiable
Author:  Meg Cabot
Series:  Insatiable #1
ISBN:  006173506X
Publisher:  William Morrow
Pub. Date: 2010
Source: Kindle
Genre: Paranormal/Romance/Satire/Chick-Lit
Pages:  451
Rating:  4/5

From Goodreads: Sick of vampires? So is Meena Harper.

But her boss is making her write about them anyway, even though Meena doesn’t believe in them.

Not that Meena isn’t familiar with the supernatural. See, Meena Harper knows how you’re going to die (not that you’re going to believe her; no one ever does).

But not even Meena’s precognition can prepare her for what happens when she meets—then makes the mistake of falling in love with—Lucien Antonescu, a modern-day prince with a bit of a dark side . . . a dark side a lot of people, like an ancient society of vampire-hunters, would prefer to see him dead for.

The problem is, he already is dead. Maybe that’s why he’s the first guy Meena’s ever met that she could see herself having a future with. See, while Meena’s always been able to see everyone else’s future, she’s never been able look into her own.

And while Lucien seems like everything Meena has ever dreamed of in a boyfriend, he might turn out to be more like a nightmare.

Now might be a good time for Meena to start learning to predict her own future . . .

If she even has one.

My Reveries and Ramblings:   Insatiable  is kind of a modern day sequel to Bram Stoker’s Dracula.  Meena, the protagonist, can sense how people will die.  As the world becomes obsessed with vampires, Meena, a non-believer, goes to a party where she meets Lucien Antonescu, a vampire prince.  Just as in Twilight, Meena finds it interesting how she can’t foresee Lucien’s death.  Their romance becomes filled with obstacles when murders involving drained bodies start occurring all over New York City.  As if that isn’t enough, Alaric Wulf, a vampire hunter, appears to exterminate Lucien.  However, things don’t go as planned.  He starts to fall for Meena.

I wasn’t sure what to call this novel.  It was a great work of fiction, but it had the feeling of a satire.  When Meena’s co-worker gets the promotion over her, she has to deal with the new vampire story line.  Meanwhile Meena is upset over the loss of quality of a once well-written show.  In Insatiable, Meg Cabot makes fun of the film and book industry’s obsession with vampires at the same time as participating in it herself.  I really liked this book.  Even though I’m totally team Lucien, I kind of wish that Cabot did more with the Alaric and Meena story line. Hopefully in the next book, it will be more of a triangle.  It was funny and romantic.  I can’t wait until the next one comes out.

* Spoiler Alert * If you haven’t entered Meg Cabot’s world of Insatiable than please don’t read on because there are spoilers.  If you have, than highlight the area below.

Okay, so first of all-it was hilarious how Meg Cabot is making fun of the vampire craze at the same time as cashing in on it.  Secondly- I wanted to slap Meena a few times- yeah, so what if your boyfriend is a vampire prince.  I would love it if I had a vampire prince boyfriend.  He’s rich, caring, sexy, etc.  What is so terrible about that?  So what if there is some danger mixed in-it makes life interesting.  Also, I think Alaric can be hot but I still like Lucien best.  Lucien is such a great name ❤  I thought how Lucien kept saving Meena by putting her somewhere relatively safe during the battle scene at the end, was so cute.

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Insatiable (Insatiable #1)

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Happy Holly Jolly Holiday Giveaway!

Happy Holidays!  To celebrate all the holidays between now and next year, I’m going to host my first giveaway.   The winner will get to choose ONE out of all the books reviewed on Bon Bons and Reveries by January 1, 2011 unless otherwise stated.  Also, certain books may not be available to people under 18.  I will have a full list (that will grow as I review more books) on the left sidebar.

So you want to enter the giveaway:
1-Fill out the form below.  If your answers change before Jan. 2, 2011 then email me to let me know.
2-  To enter, all you have to do is fill out that form.  You get extra entries for the following:
> +1  Follower
> +1  Friend on Goodreads
> +1  Following on Twitter
> +2  (Re)Tweet this giveaway (This only gives you 2 extra entries not 2 for every retweet-just 2 in total)
> +4  Post on Blog/Website (If you post it on your blog/website then you get 4 extra entries, however this does not include me posting The Happy Holly Jolly Holidays Giveaway myself on a list on a website/blog)  You can grab the badge for this giveaway on the sidebar
3- There will be one winner, however if I get more followers before the deadline, then there will be more winners:
100 followers-2 winners
200 followers- 3 winners
300 followers-4 winners
etc.
4-open to international (where Book Depository ships)
5- Winner(s) will be chosen on January 2, 2011
6-Book will be ordered from Amazon or Book Depository
7-The Winner will have 48 hours to answer my congratulatory email before I pick a new winner.

8-The winner will be chosen using random.org
Happy Holly Jolly Holidays Giveaway!

Book Review: Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

Title: Clockwork Angel
Author: Cassandra Clare
Series: Infernal Devices #1
ISBN: 9781416975861
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Pub. Date: 2009
Source: Library
Genre: Fiction/ Supernatural/ YA/ Steampunk/ Victorian / Magic / Paranormal Romance
Pages:  479
Rating:  5/5
From Goodreads:  When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London’s Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos.
Kidnapped by the mysterious Dark Sisters, members of a secret organization called The Pandemonium Club, Tessa soon learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare ability: the power to transform, at will, into another person. What’s more, the Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the Club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa’s power for his own.
Friendless and hunted, Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters of the London Institute, who swear to find her brother if she will use her power to help them. She soon finds herself fascinated by–and torn between–two best friends: James, whose fragile beauty hides a deadly secret, and blue-eyed Will, whose caustic wit and volatile moods keep everyone in his life at arm’s length…everyone, that is, but Tessa. As their search draws them deep into the heart of an arcane plot that threatens to destroy the Shadowhunters, Tessa realizes that she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping her new friends save the world…and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.
My Reveries and Ramblings:  Tessa traveled to England hoping to live with her brother when she is kidnapped by the Dark Sisters.  They convince her to cooperate by telling Tessa that they have her brother.  They force her to awaken her hidden powers-ones she didn’t even know she had.  When the Sisters tell Tessa of their plans to marry her to the Magister, she attempts to escape and is punished.  Will, a shadowhunter investigating a murder, turns up just in time to rescue her.  Tessa is drawn into a world of magic, vampires, werewolves, warlocks, and secret societies.  Tessa is faced with a difficult question: who is she? And is she really human?
This story takes place in a fictional Victorian England-complete with steampunk and supernatural creatures.  I was drawn in from the start.  Cassandra Clare tactfully catches the reader’s attention in the first few chapters, making it almost impossible to put down.
Her characters were all beautifully written.  Tessa is relatable.  I saw a lot of myself in Tessa.  Like Tessa, I love to lose myself in books.  I really enjoyed all the references Tessa and Will both made to other works of literature.  Tessa, like many sixteen-year-old girls, is insecure.  She falls into a deeper hole of doubt when she realizes that she may not be human.  This causes her to question everything she has ever known.         However insecure she was, her values remained strong.  She never waivered from what she knew was right and wrong.  I felt that Tessa had matured throughout the book.
Will is a witty and arrogant shadowhunter.  I loved reading his witty dialogue.  Most of his remarks had me laughing out loud.  I was concerned, though.  It became apparent partially through the book that there is something deeper there.  Something painful and sad.  Almost all the characters notice this about him.  He uses wit, humor, and fighting as defense mechanisms.  He even keeps Tessa at a distance.
Jem is the only person Will seems to open up the most with-which isn’t a lot actually.  Jem is such a sweetheart.  His character was heart wrenching to watch (read).  I have to say-Jem had the best inspirational quotes.  He’s so cute ❤
I LOVED this book.  I was never bored.  I loved everything about it-the characters, the story, the romance, etc.  I recommend you buy this book!!! It’s definitely worth re-reading over and over again.

*Spoiler Alert * If you have already read this book  then highlight the area below…Those of you who haven’t read Clockwork Angel, you have been warned.

Okay, so I can’t decide who I like better: Will or Jem.  I love Will-his carefree attitude and his wit are hilarious to read.  But he puts up so many walls that it’s so hard to tell what’s going on in his head.  One moment it’s like he loves Tessa and then the next he’s being a jerk.  At the end when he tells her they can’t get married? What’s with that? He doesn’t seem like he loves her but then sometimes he does-I’m so confused with him.  Jem on the other hand is the kind of guy that in real life is my type.  I find Will SO attractive but he’s just not my type-maybe my fictional self’s type (if I ever wrote one), but not mine.  Jem is the perfect gentleman and so optimistic which is so refreshing compared to Will’s I-don’t-give-a-damn approach to life.  
I was shocked when that twist at the end came.  That was just sooooo unexpected.  At that point, I was racing to see what happened next.  How could Nate do that to his sister? And that last scene with Will and Magnus…I want to know what happens!!  It’s going to be torturous waiting for the next book.  
What did you think?

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Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, #1)

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Book Review: Ransom My Heart by Princess Mia Thermopolis & Meg Cabot

Title: Ransom My Heart
Author: Princess Mia Thermopolis & Meg Cabot
ISBN: 006170007X
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Pub. Date: 2009
Source: Library
Genre: Romance/ Historical Romance/ Chick Lit/ YA/ Fantasy
Pages:  396
Rating:  4/5

From Goodreads: Mia Thermopolis, Princess of Genovia and star of Meg Cabot’s insanely popular #1 New York Times bestselling Princess Diaries books, has “penned” her first historical romance novel . . . with help from Meg Cabot
He’s a tall, handsome knight with a secret. She’s an adventurous beauty with more than a few secrets of her own. Finnula needs money for her sister’s dowry, and fast. Hugo Fitzstephen, returning home to England from the Crusades with saddlebags of jewels, has money, and lots of it. What could be simpler than to kidnap him and hold him for ransom?
Well, for starters, Finnula could make the terrible mistake of falling in love with her hostage.
Princess Mia Thermopolis, Meg Cabot’s most beloved character, has always been an outspoken animal-rights activist and committed environmentalist. In keeping with Mia’s true spirit, Meg will be donating her advance to Greenpeace.

My Reveries and Ramblings:
Finnula Crais is a female Robin Hood, known as Fair Finn. She helps feed the poor (by stealing from the rich). She is a skilled archer. If that isn’t enough to cause the town to gossip, she also wears men’s clothes. gasp The horror! When Finnula’s unwed sister becomes pregnant, Finnula is forced to help. Finnula goes in search of a rich man to take hostage to pay for her sister’s dowry. She captures Hugo, a knight on his way home from the Crusades. An amused Hug allows himself to be captured. Their journey back is filled with tension (will they or won’t they)-it is intense. I don’t want to give anything away but that is only the first half of the book. The second half is drenched in mystery, and romance too.
Finnula and Hugo were great characters. Finnula is a redhead tomboy who won’t let anyone push her around. Hugo, on the other hand, is arrogant and bossy. They are constantly arguing. Most of it is playful though. He wants her to wear dresses while she insists on wearing men’s clothes. Underneath all their arguing, they really love each other. The great thing about these characters is that neither changed who they were for the other, they learned to compromise. They both kept their values, which I think makes them work well together-especially for the story. It’s the main cause of their constant head butting.
  Ransom My Heart is a great novel filled with romance (lots of it) and a bit of mystery. The only problem was that it was a bit predictable. Having said that though, I really enjoyed reading it. There were some comical moments throughout. An all together easy read for adults.
Warning: some sex scenes.

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Ransom My Heart

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Blog Hop Friday 11.18.10

Book Blogger Hop

The Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Crazy-for-Books.  The question of the week is:  Since Thanksgiving is coming up next week, let’s use this week’s Hop to share what we are most thankful for and what our holiday traditions are!

I am most thankful for God, my family and friends, my dog, and all the opportunities I have.  I am so lucky to have a great support system.  My family are everything to me.  Without them…well, I can’t even begin to imagine life without them.  I love them so much.  Also, I am thankful for the troops overseas and all that they are doing.

I’m going home for Thanksgiving.  Yay!  I’m so glad.  Every year on Thanksgiving morning I wake up and the first thing I do is turn on the TV to watch the Thanksgiving day parade.  The rest of the day is spent preparing for the evening.  During the course of the day (evening included) my sister and do a marathon of F.R.I.E.N.D.S. Thanksgiving episodes.  Sometimes, as a family, we watch Little Women, but we’ve only been doing that for the last few years.  Compared to previous years, this year we are having a large Thanksgiving.  More family members will be joining us-which is always nice.  I was watching the food network the other night (Thanksgiving specials!!) -let’s just say I’m going to be doing a ton of baking!!!  So excited!

I hope you all have safe travels to wherever you will be spending Thanksgiving.

Book Review: Bloodfever by Karen Marie Moning

Title: Bloodfever
Author: Karen Marie Moning
Series: Fever #2
ISBN: 038533916X
Publisher:  Delacorte Press
Pub. Date: 2007
Source: Paperback
Genre: Dark Fantasy/Mystery/Paranormal Romance
Pages:  303
Rating: 5/5

From Goodreads: I used to think my sister and I were just two nice southern girls who’d get married in a few years and settle down to a quiet life. Then I discovered that Alina and I descend, not from good wholesome southern stock, but from an ancient Celtic bloodline of powerful sidhe-seers, people who can see the Fae. Not only can I see the terrifying otherworldly race, but I can sense the sacred Fae relics that hold the deadliest of their magic.

When my sister was found dead in a trash-filled alley in Dublin, I came over to get answers. Now all I want is revenge. And after everything I’ve learned about myself, I know I have the power to get it….

MacKayla Lane’s ordinary life underwent a complete makeover when she landed on Ireland’s shores and was plunged into a world of deadly sorcery and ancient secrets.

In her fight to stay alive, Mac must find the Sinsar Dubh-a million-year-old book of the blackest magic imaginable, which holds the key to power over both the worlds of the Fae and of Man. Pursued by Fae assassins, surrounded by mysterious figures she knows she cannot trust, Mac finds herself torn between two deadly and irresistible men: V’lane, the insatiable Fae who can turn sensual arousal into an obsession for any woman, and the ever-inscrutable Jericho Barrons, a man as alluring as he is mysterious.

For centuries the shadowy realm of the Fae has coexisted with that of humans. Now the walls between the two are coming down, and Mac is the only thing that stands between them….

My Reveries and Ramblings:   What I love about Karen Marie Moning’s Fever series is that she concludes most chapters with a cliffhanger.  After reading about an hour one night, I told myself, “as soon as I finish this chapter, I’m going to bed.”  Well, at the end of the chapter, Moning had a one-sentence cliffhanger.  How am I supposed to fall asleep?  So I continued reading.  Another hour passed.  “Last chapter,” I kept telling myself as each chapter ended and another began.  Moning has a way of drawing the reader into her world.

In Bloodfever, Mac is set on revenge.  She knows who killed her sister, and she wants him dead.  Barrons on the other hand disappears quite often throughout the novel, leaving Mac to fend for herself.  The other sidhe-seers are trying to recruit her, she is being followed by a “grim reaper,” not to mention the hunters are out looking for her- it’s a lot to handle.  However, I will give Barrons credit, he is starting to show genuine concern for Mac’s safety.  There were some situations where Barrons really came through.  I just wish he’d open up to her.  Then, we, the readers, would know a little bit more about him.  This sequel combined everything that I love in a book- paranormal, romance, comedy, adventure, danger, and suspense.  My recommendation:  read it.  READ IT!

*SPOILER ALERT* (highlight the words below with your mouse to see them-don’t want to ruin anything for those who have not yet read this amazing book):

For those of you who have read this book: Oh. My. Gosh.  That scene at the end with Barrons and Mac! I was freaking out!!! Ahhhh, I can’t wait to read the next book!! That scene was perfect-like out of a movie ❤

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Bloodfever (Fever, #2)

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