Tuesday, November 29, 2016

YA Book Review: Dark Heart of Magic by Jennifer Estep

Title: Dark Heart of Magic
Author: Jennifer Estep
Series: Black Blade #2
Genre: Young Adult Magic, Fantasy, Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Kensington 
Pub Date: October 27, 2015
Pages: 368
My Copy: Courtesy of NetGalley and Kensington

Book Summary:

Something Wicked This Way Comes . . .

As a thief, I stick to the shadows as much as possible. But when the head of the Sinclair Family picks me to compete in the Tournament of Blades, there's no escaping the spotlight--or the danger. 

Even though he's my competition, Devon Sinclair thinks I have the best shot at winning what's supposed to be a friendly contest. But when the competitors start having mysterious "accidents," it looks like someone will do anything to win--no matter who they hurt. 

As if I didn't have enough to worry about, mobster Victor Draconi is plotting against Devon and the rest of my friends, and someone's going around Cloudburst Falls murdering monsters. One thing's for sure. Sometimes, humans can be more monstrous than anything else... 

Book Review:
A totally great second book in this series. I really found myself rooting even more for Lila in this book. Lila has a lot more to deal with in this second book and you totally fall even more in love with the characters and world.

We also learn a lot more about the families in ways we never expect. Lila’s relationships also deepen and we get some information about Lila’s mother that even Lila didn’t know. I like how we get to meet some new characters such as Victor’s wife and Deah’s mother who is going to be an interesting character. Plus we get introduced to Katia, who seems nice at first, but she definitely is a character who adds a lot to this story.

I like the fact that there is a tournament. This tournament is a competition where members, guards who are selected by the head of the families to compete. The winner gets the prestige and prize money, plus a nice gold trophy to take home. This competition is front and center in this book. So when the competitors are chosen, Lila is stunned to find out that she has been selected as one of the people chosen to compete. I really found this very interesting. We also learn that maybe some of the competitors are ruthless and will do anything to win, even try to sabotage the competitors and contests in really bad ways. There is also the fact that someone is murdering trolls. The Trolls are not bad, but they are creatures that are being hunted and murdered in not so great ways. We don’t know why this is happening, but it does leave some of the characters on edge.

There is also a bit of Felix romantic problems that are becoming a bit of a mess. I like that this is bought up. Katia is from a different family. She used to date Felix the previous summer. So of course him dating Deah, means that Felix finds himself in a very interesting situation. I also like the friendship that seems to be growing between Lila and Katia. Yet nothing is ever simple in this world. Having friends can be great. Lila is someone who still feels guarded in a way. We learn that Katia needs to win this tournament for her own reasons. She has gone head to head with Deah and always come out on the losing end.

Then some other interesting things happen as well. We learn that Victor’s wife and Deah’s mother has the power to see the future and is a little off her rocker at times. We learn that Deah’s mother is Lila’s aunt. Celeste mistakes Lila at first with her mother. That quickly changes though. She reveals a lot to Lila and tells Lila that blades and bones are coming. This is one of the more interesting things that happens. This also means that Lila and Deah are cousins. Also that Victor has files on various members of the family and is up to something. Nothing is ever as it seems in this world.

Through out the competition we learn that people are fighting hard. People do get murdered. We also learn that Katia is the one who has been murdering people because she has been murdering the trolls for their magic. She has been taking their magic to win her matches. When Deah beats her again, she is sick of it and decides to take Deah’s magic and what ensues is that both Lila and Deah have to work together to defeat Katia. Plus we learn that Victor is really bad and has no problem sacrificing his own family. Lila really does grow a lot in this book.

I also like how Lila realizes that life can be short and does decide to pursue a romantic relationship with Devon. She knows that this might be a bad idea, but decides to go for it. Who knows if their time will be cut short by death or even something else. She needs to follow her heart, or she will  never know what life will bring. I really found that this was a great second book. 


4.5 Hearts

Monday, November 28, 2016

Guardian of Secrets Cover Reveal by Brenda Drake


Let us know what you think of the cover for Guardian of Secrets (Library Jumpers, #2) by Brenda Drake which releases February 7, 2017!

This cover reveal is brought to you by Entangled TEEN & YA Interrobang!

Brenda Drake's thoughts on the cover:

I had an idea of what I wanted the cover of Guardian of Secrets to look like the entire time I was writing the story. I was delighted (I might have screamed) when the cover showed up in my email and it was EXACTLY what I’d imagined. I love that it’s blue since part of the setting of the book takes place in a cold climate. I’m thrilled the couple is on it, too. They resemble the characters I’ve created in my mind perfectly. The cover is so beautiful, and I’m beyond excited to share it with everyone!

About Guardian of Secrets (Library Jumpers, #2):

Being a Sentinel isn’t all fairytales and secret gardens. Sure, jumping through books into the world’s most beautiful libraries to protect humans from mystical creatures is awesome. No one knows that better than Gia Kearns, but she could do without the part where people are always trying to kill her. Oh, and the fact that Pop and her had to move away from her friends and life as she knew it. And if that isn’t enough, her boyfriend, Arik, is acting strangely. Like, maybe she should be calling him “ex,” since he’s so into another girl. But she doesn’t have time to be mad or even jealous, because someone has to save the world from the upcoming apocalypse, and it looks like that’s going to be Gia. Maybe. If she survives.

Want to read more? Pre-order your copy of Guardian of Secrets (Library Jumpers, #2) by Brenda Drake today!

Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | Amazon CA | Amazon UK

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Sunday Brunch: A Countess For Christmas by Christy McKellen

Title: A Countess For Christmas
Author: Christy McKellen
Series: Maids Under The Mistletoe #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Harlequin
Pub Date: October 1, 2016
Pages: 256
My Copy: Courtesy of NetGalley and Harlequin

Book Summary:

The earl's secret bride… 

Emma Carmichael is shocked when she sees who she's waitressing for at a lavish party—Jack Westwood, the new Earl of Redminster. Her new life comes crashing down when Jack announces to the world that they're married! 

Jack has never forgotten his first love despite the tragedy that tore them apart. When the paparazzi cameras intrude, he proposes they live as man and wife until the fuss dies down. Emma feels like Cinderella, masquerading as his countess…only, behind closed doors, their marriage feels tantalizingly real…

Book Review:

An enjoyable contemporary romance. This book had a very enjoyable heroine and hero. Emma and Jack just sizzle together when they are around one another. Emma and Jack are not like other couples because of their circumstances.

Emma is working at a party trying to pay off the last of her father’s debts. We get some of her past and find out that her father was a peer of the realm who got into some trouble and kept these things from his family. After he died the debts were enormous and it left Emma and her mother in a terrible position. Her mother was in no position to work, so Emma had to work and all her friends and members of the peerage which she belonged to turned their backs on her. This Emma left her in the position which she finds herself at the beginning of this story. She is now forced to work to pay off debts.

I totally like how while she is working at a party for a pig named Joylon. Joylon keeps trying to hit on her while she is serving the guests at the party. What spooks her is when she sees Jack Westwood at the party, who happens to be the Earl of Redminster. Yet there is a past and a secret that these two individuals know about. Bad things happen at the party and of course what happens is that Jack rescues Emma from Joylon's  clutches and announces in spectacular fashion that Emma is his wife.

Of course this leads to some very interesting things happening. Once this announcement happens, they make an arrangement to live together and pretend to be the happy couple in love. This leads to a lot of things happening between them with the press and Jack's family interefering with things. Jack and Emma try pretending to be the happily married couple. We learn through out a series of events what drove them apart and how Emma suffered without reaching out to Jack. We also learn that Jack has never stopped wanting Emma. So during this pretending things happen and they start to reconnect in a way that’s powerful. 

I totally found the start to finish of this book driven by what it means to give up things. Reconnect with the person you thought hurt you. I totally found that Emma and Jack work through their issues through time and patience and helping each other. I like the way they talk to one another and come to reassure one another of things. Things happened that I never expected and it was great to see these things make them stronger as a couple.

A wonderfully sweet book that makes you believe in second chances and happy endings. This was the kind of book that you fall in love with both characters and things happen that were forced upon them and they realize that they are stronger together rather than apart and Emma realizes she needs this man in her life and vice versa for Jack.

A perfect romance for those of us looking for something sweet to read.


4.5 Hearts

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Stacking The Shelves, Bought, Borrowed and Bagged, Coloring Book Updates

Stacking The Shelves is a meme hosted by Team Tynga's Reviews and Bought, Borrowed and Bagged is hosted by Braine over at Talk Supe Blog.

Note: For those that want to see my coloring book pictures, I have made boards on my pinterest account for each coloring book, but I'm not done uploading all the pictures. I made a lot of progress I still like have a few more boards to make, but I've added a lot to the boards, and uploaded some older stuff as well...so go there if you want to see my coloring book pictures...


Coloring Book Haul & Other Related Stuff

E-Books Gotten
Note: Everything was under $5.00 except White Heart of Justice, so check prices at Amazon


Adult Coloring Book Treasury Vol 1 Update

Alice in Wonderland Coloring Book

Anime Doodle Coloring Books Vol 2

Debbie Macombers Come Home to Color Coloring Book Update

Creative Christmas Coloring Book Update:

Magical Jungle Coloring Book Update

Mermaids, Fairies and Other Whimsical Girls Coloring Book Update

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Book Review: Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Title: Gemina
Author: Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Series: The Illuminae Files #2 
Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction
Publisher: Knopf For Young Readers
Pub Date: October 18, 2016 
Pages: 608
My Copy: Hardcover from my TBR pile

Book Summary:

Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed.

The sci-fi saga that began with the breakout bestseller Illuminae continues on board the Jump Station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of the BeiTech assault.

Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy's most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion.

When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station's wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands.

But relax. They've totally got this. They hope.

Book Review:

I enjoyed this sequel to Illuminae. It was definitely a much more interesting sequel as we get two new characters and this couple of Hanna and Nik are not your typical Romeo and Juliet. I like how both of them seem to be someone that people expect them to be, but deep inside they both have rebellious streaks in them.

This book had lots of action, suspense, romance, not to mention a lot of humor that you need to have. Plus there are scientific explanations about why things are the way they are. Not to mention one our heroine Hanna Donnelly seems to be perfect at first, Nik not so much, since his family is a bunch of criminals.

Things seem like that both Hanna and Nik have good lives and are trying to pursue with one another yet things are complicated because of who they are and due to their social strata…and their careers. Plus everyone thinks that Hanna is dating someone else. We learn that these two individuals are very funny and sarcastic. Plus Nik has some artistic skills. The drawings and other illustrations were nice. I also like the format in which way the story is told. It’s told in journals, computer forms. Video tapes, etc.

So once things get crazy because people have tried to take the station hostage and do so, but those people on the station depending on where they are try to take them down and rescue the station from these very bad people who have their own agenda. I like how both Hanna and Nik have to work together with others on the station. Things get very complicated as they have to use various strategies and do things that they never thought possible. I like how action packed the struggle is.

Then at some point we get two universes merging and get two sides of the same coin. I thought that was interesting. As one set of choices lead to one of our characters being alive and not the other one. I also like how Nik and Hanna really work together as a team at one point. The way that Universe A and B each had only one of them living at the same time. This was very well done. Explaining how there were two universes was tricky. Yet they told it well and gave us two viewpoints and way the story is told. I totally loved how Hanna and Nik handled this news, plus they do end up merging the universes into one. I totally thought that this was good.

I enjoyed the fast pace of this book and the romance was great. Plus not to mention the way there were two universes. I really thought that this book had a lot of action, heart, humor and a great story about fighting for survival and for the people you love. The whole universe is at stake as well which made this book seem more epic. I totally recommend this book as well.


4.5 Hearts

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Stacking The Shelves, Bought, Borrowed and Bagged, I'm in a Reading Slump,

Stacking The Shelves is a meme hosted by Team Tynga's Reviews and Bought, Borrowed and Bagged is hosted by Braine over at Talk Supe Blog.

Note: I've been in a bit of a slump. I'm currently reading Gemina, and I'm only on page 550, because I've been working and now my mother is making me do more stuff around the house. Also been having some health issues as well, then money issues as well. I'm almost broke, but I still managed to get some books.


E-Books Gotten
Note: Some of these I paid for and they were under $5.00 with the exception of A Million Words With You

Adult Coloring Book Treasury

Big Coloring Book For Grown Ups

Charles Dickens: A Christmas Carol Coloring Book

Come Home to Color Coloring Book Update

Creative Christmas Coloring Book Update

Daydreams Coloring Book

Escape to Christmas Past Coloring Book

Throne of Glass Coloring Book Update