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Category Archives: NetGalley

Awaken – Meg Cabot

Awaken coverAwaken
By Meg Cabot
Abandon Trilogy – Book 3
Available Now

Please read the first two books in the series and be sure to catch my review of Underworld, book two. This review may contain spoilers.

Description:
Death has her in his clutches. She doesn’t want him to let go.

Seventeen-year-old Pierce Oliviera knew by accepting the love of John Hayden, she’d be forced to live forever in the one place she’s always dreaded most: the Underworld. The sacrifice seemed worth it, though, because it meant she could be with the boy she loves.

But now her happiness — and safety — are threatened, all because the Furies have discovered that John has broken one of their strictest rules: He revived a human soul.

If the balance between life and death isn’t fixed, both the Underworld and Pierce’s home back on earth will be wiped away. But there’s only one way to restore order. Someone has to die.

This Blonde’s Review:
Pierce and John’s relationship is an unusual one but they’re both very dedicated to each other. She’s willing to dive into the world of death to be with him, and he’ll destroy anyone who threatens her. The furies haven’t given up attempting to kill John and soon goes far enough that John is injured. Pierce is still wonderfully flawed, making rash decisions that can put herself and others in danger. John is still intense and intimidating.

I enjoyed watching the way Pierce stands up and does what is needed even knowing that John isn’t here to save her. She refuses to believe that he is gone and instead does what is needed while always believing he will be back. She steps up and tries to help with the underworld, then she goes back home to do what is needed to find the answers. No matter what anyone else thinks, she knows John will be back, she just has to hold it together until he’s back.

We got to see the way the rest of the team stands up to help, even the new friends Pierce makes in the underworld. I really enjoyed the side characters, such as Kayla and Henry. There were a few unexplained questions regarding some of her friends, which leaves room for a novella or two if the author decides to do so. It seems there are a lot of those nowadays so we’ll have to wait and see if Meg Cabot takes us back to this world now that the series is over.

The series as a whole was an interesting concept, getting to see the Hades and Persephone myth with it happening now. I didn’t love that Pierce fell for John so fast and hard considering the short span from the 1st book to the 3rd. There were a few unhealthy relationship issues throughout the series, but overall this is interesting and I still enjoyed it. If you enjoy books that are modern retellings of known stories then you’ll want to give this series a try.

 
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Posted by on September 19, 2013 in Book Review, NetGalley

 

Time After Time – Tamara Ireland Stone

Time After Time coverTime After Time
By Tamara Ireland Stone
Time Between Us – Book 2
Available Oct 2013

Don’t forget to check out the first book in the series, Time Between Us, and my review.

Description:
Calling Anna and Bennett’s romance long distance is an understatement: she’s from 1995 Chicago and he’s a time traveler from 2012 San Francisco. The two of them never should have met, but they did. They fell in love, even though they knew they shouldn’t. And they found a way to stay together, against all odds.
It’s not a perfect arrangement, though, with Bennett unable to stay in the past for more than brief visits, skipping out on big chunks of his present in order to be with Anna in hers. They each are confident that they’ll find a way to make things work…until Bennett witnesses a single event he never should have seen (and certainly never expected to). Will the decisions he makes from that point on cement a future he doesn’t want?

Told from Bennett’s point of view, Time After Time will satisfy readers looking for a fresh, exciting, and beautifully-written love story, both those who are eager to find out what’s next for Time Between Us’s Anna and Bennett and those discovering their story for the first time.

This Blonde’s Review:
I really enjoyed the first book in this series. Anna was fantastic and I was so eager for this book to come out. It’ll be out soon but luckily I managed to get a review copy.

Anna and Bennett are trying to live their lives in two different time zones. Bennett has promised not to go back any longer so he has to sneak around to do it. He claims to have plans to do things that would make him unavailable, such as camping in remote areas, then goes to Anna. He also starts to help others in ways he refused to in the past. Between Anna and helping others he believes his life can be something more. Until he starts to lose control of his time.

I enjoyed the romance of the first book, seeing things through Anna’s point of view and seeing her strength made me care for Anna and Bennett. In this book I got to know Bennett better by seeing what was happening through his eyes. As hard as it was for Anna to not know what was going on, imagine how much harder it has to be for Bennett trying to live a double life.

At first I didn’t think I liked this one as much as the other, but Bennett’s story was needed to really show us the true strength of the story. When you can’t see a happy ending in sight, what do you do? With Bennett we don’t see the happy ending, but I enjoyed watching him figure out what the best path for him to take would be.

If you enjoyed the first book in this series you have to read this one. It doesn’t have the same magic and romance, but this isn’t about the first blush of love. This book is about the difficulties that can happen when life doesn’t line up the way you want it to. If you want to see what real love is about, difficulties and all, then you’ll get a great story out of this book.

 
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Posted by on September 15, 2013 in Book Review, NetGalley

 

The Taming of the Rake – Kasey Michaels

The Taming of the Rake
By Kasey Michaels
Blackhorn Brothers – Book 1
Available Now

Description:
Meet the Blackthorn brothers— Three unrepentant scoundrels infamous for being mad, bad and perilous to love

Charming, wealthy and wickedly handsome, Oliver “Beau” Blackthorn has it all…except revenge on the enemy he can’t forget. Now the opportunity for retribution has fallen into his hands. But his success hinges on Lady Chelsea Mills–Beckman—the one woman with the power to distract him from his quest.

Desperate to escape her family’s control, Lady Chelsea seizes the chance to run off with the notorious eldest Blackthorn brother, knowing she’s only a pawn in his game. But as Beau draws her deep into a world of intrigue, danger and explosive passion, does she dare hope he’ll choose love over vengeance?

This Blonde’s Review:
Even books about couples have a main character. The one that stands out and drives the book more than the others. In this book that would be Chelsea, even though the blurb and the prologue make it seem like Beau would take that role.

Chelsea is headstrong and opinionated. She doesn’t worry about what other people think. Her treatment of Beau in the prologue give us a glimpse of how different she is from other females Beau has known, but from the first chapter there is no doubt about it. Chelsea’s brother is determined to marry her to a man she refuses to have anything to do with. She quickly forms a plan that leads her to Beau’s door, knowing that there is no turning back from her choice. She’d be bringing ruin and possible harm down on Beau and herself, but she’s sure he’ll fall in line with her plan.

Beau is the bastard son of an Earl. When he was whipped for kissing a woman who was ‘above his station’ his beliefs about the world around him changed quickly. Except for a character who is supposedly changed and untrusting he falls into Chelsea’s plan very easily. Like I said, Chelsea runs the show throughout this book. She stumbles into most of the intrigue and danger on her own, then drags Beau into it. Even though she insists on calling him Oliver.

Despite some things falling together a little too easily in my mind, I really enjoyed this. Despite not thinking how it will affect others, Chelsea is very practical and doesn’t worry about the missish things. I love that she’s cheerful and doesn’t complain. She knows what she wants and is quick to see what’s going on around her. Beau/Oliver was a little harder for me to know. At times he was supposed to be hard and willing to take what he needed, yet he was also very caring and worried about those around him.

The story moved kind of quickly and had quite a few unrelated things going on, but the unrelated things also gave us the benefit of showing the characters in different situations. In some ways that made how quickly things moved with Chelsea and Beau a more reasonable idea since they had seen each other in a variety of situations to really know each other.

I liked this one, just like I’ve enjoyed the other books by Kasey Michaels I’ve read. There were several lines that had me smiling and wanting to sharing them, though they may have been less amusing out of context. We see quite a bit of Puck, one of Beau’s brothers, in this one. It makes it easier to look forward to reading the next book in the Blackhorn brothers series and seeing what happens with Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Sin.

If you enjoy romance novels with women who bulldoze over the men around them and men who learn to love it, you should give this one a try. Especially if you enjoy seeing characters try to figure out their feelings when they start as a relationship of convenience. The Taming of the Rogue is out now, with book two to follow at the end of November.

 
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Posted by on November 12, 2011 in Book Review, NetGalley, Romance

 

Eat Slay Love – Jesse Petersen

Eat Slay Love
By Jesse Petersen
Living With The Dead Book 3
Available Today

Description:
Sarah and David might have solved their marriage problem – but that pesky zombie apocalypse just won’t go away.

They have survived the zombie apocalypse.  They stood side by side and fought the undead, mad scientists, and even bionic monsters until the unthinkable happened. A zombie bite.  But not even that could stop them. Now, with a possible cure in hand, they’re headed east, looking for a safe zone behind the rumored “Wall.”  They’re feeling pretty optimistic.

That is until Dave stops sleeping and starts lifting huge objects.

This Blonde’s Review:
I read the first book in this series a few months ago and couldn’t wait to read the next one. Except since the 2nd book was already out I was seeing advertising for the third book and mistakenly believed that this was the next in the series. Since I really enjoy Sarah and David I will be going back to read the 2nd book even though I already know what happens in book three. That’s a good way to tell if you enjoy characters or not. When I don’t enjoy them I don’t bother to go back since I can get the general idea in the book I skipped to.

Sarah is such a smart-ass and I love it. I tend to think that way and really relate to those characters. At one point in the book Sarah talks about how hard her husband sleeps and that if not for her David would have been eaten. It made me laugh the way she put it. Later the day I read that the subject of sleeping came up with my husband and I randomly informed him that if not for me he’d probably get eaten by zombies very quickly. This shows how much I enjoy Sarah since I rarely quote books or refer to them like it’s something that really happens.

I have had less of a connection with David, but I still enjoy him. He cares about his wife and is willing to sacrifice himself in a pit of zombies to save her. As I informed several people (including my husband) a man doesn’t Really love his wife until he’s willing to face a pit of zombies for her. Another example of how this book became part of everyday conversation for me. This is noteworthy, since like I said I rarely do it once.

We are introduced to a few new characters that alternately make you want them to live or get eaten by zombies. Add Dave’s new zombie-like tendencies, zombies, and crazy people trying to kill them and Sarah has a full plate.

I really enjoyed Married With Zombies, the first book in this series, when Sarah and David discover that a zombie apocalypse is better therapy for their marriage than counseling was. This isn’t a series you’ll want to skip straight to book three on, so be sure to pick that earlier books first.

If you like strong smart mouthed women, protective men who are strong enough to accept their woman as she is, and Zombies, then you’ll love this.

 
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Posted by on July 1, 2011 in Book Review, NetGalley

 

A Tale of Two Lovers – Maya Rodale

A Tale of Two Lovers
By Maya Rodale
Writing Girl Book 2
Available Now

Description:
Lord Simon Roxbury is a godsend to gossip columnists everywhere. this notorious rake has recently been caught in an extremely compromising position by none other than The London Weekly’s Lady of Distinction. Rumor also has it that Lord R received an ultimatum: be wed or be penniless.

As A Lady of Distinction, Lady Julianna Somerset typically reports on other people’s scandals, but soon she finds herself embroiled in a very public battle with an irate Lord Roxbury–one that leaves her reputation in tatters and her position at The Weekly on the line.

With no other choice available, these two enemies unite in a marriage of convenience to rescue both their reputations and secure his fortune. With their rivals intent on revealing the charade, Lady Julianna and Lord Simon inevitably surrender to temptation. It may just be a love match after all…


This Blonde’s Review:
Julianna loves to write about scandal. She loves to write about scandals involving Simon Roxbury most of all. After her experience with her charming rake of a husband she suspects Simon is exactly like him. To Julianna this means she must expose everything he does so that no one else will find themselves in the same situation she was in.

Simon enjoys women and so they enjoy him. He doesn’t understand why Julianna dislikes him so much, but he isn’t about to let her win or take him down. Especially when he needs to find a bride or lose everything.

I really enjoyed this one. Julianna and Simon are both smart and strong minded characters. They won’t go down without a fight and they won’t give in to love without a fight either. Just as with other stories when we have our lady dressing a part, it can be hard to believe that the hero was the only one to see through her disguise, but I believe that Maya Rodale managed to make that work for her story. The author managed to put her characters in a situation where they had to spend enough time together to realize how wrong they were about each other. They were also given enough time to love each other.

I love characters who are willing to give as good as they get. I enjoyed Julianna and Simon and look forward to the next book in the Writing Girl series.

If you enjoy romance novels with ladies who aren’t willing to accept their role meekly, men who aren’t afraid to go after what they want, and a couple who will fight themselves until the accept what is right in front of them then you’ll love this one.

 
 

The Goddess Test – Aimée Carter

The Goddess Test
By Aimée Carter
The Goddess Test Book One
Available Now

Description:
It’s always been just Kate and her mom—and her mother is dying. Her last wish? To move back to her childhood home. So Kate’s going to start at a new school with no friends, no other family and the fear her mother won’t live past the fall.

Then she meets Henry. Dark. Tortured. And mesmerizing. He claims to be Hades, god of the Underworld—and if she accepts his bargain, he’ll keep her mother alive while Kate tries to pass seven tests.

Kate is sure he’s crazy—until she sees him bring a girl back from the dead. Now saving her mother seems crazily possible. If she succeeds, she’ll become Henry’s future bride, and a goddess.

If she fails…

This Blonde’s Review:
Kate is moving back to the town her mother grew up in. That is where her mother has decided she wants to die. After years with a sick mother and knowing that she won’t last much longer, Kate is not looking to make friends. Somehow she ends up with one anyway, as well as an enemy she doesn’t want. When a prank goes awry and Ava, the girl who hates her, winds up dead Kate has a choice. Either she let’s Ava die, or she makes a promise to a strange boy named Henry. A promise Kate doesn’t understand but that has to do with the story of Persephone. Even though Kate knows the other girl doesn’t like her, Kate can’t allow her to die if Henry can help her.

This leads to Ava being brought back to life and Kate finding herself living with Henry in the Underworld. Kate finds herself struggling to adjust to life in the Underworld with all of the rules she doesn’t understand.

I really enjoyed Kate. She is struggling, her mother is clinging to life and Kate is unable to be with her. Kate doesn’t understand what is going on around her, except that the girls who came before her all died. Yet Kate is a strong girl and rather than breaking under the pressure she shows her backbone. Rather than break when given a task she rises to the challenge even though she thinks she can’t. I can’t help but love the girls who don’t understand how strong they are. The girls who keep going and getting stronger because there really is no other way in their minds.

This young adult book brings mythology into the world now. If you’ve ever been fascinated by Greek Gods and enjoy stories that bring the past to the present then you’ll probably enjoy this one. Add a mysterious person out to kill Kate and a surprise twist at the end and you’ll love The Goddess Test.

 
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Posted by on June 10, 2011 in Book Review, NetGalley, Young Adult

 

Unveiled – Courtney Milan

Unveiled
By Courtney Milan
Turner Series Book 1
Available Now

Description:
Ash Turner has waited a lifetime to seek revenge on the man who ruined his family—and now the time for justice has arrived. At Parford Manor, he intends to take his place as the rightful heir to the dukedom and settle an old score with the current duke once and for all. But instead he finds himself drawn to a tempting beauty who has the power to undo all his dreams of vengeance….

Lady Margaret knows she should despise the man who’s stolen her fortune and her father’s legacy—the man she’s been ordered to spy on in the guise of a nurse. Yet the more she learns about the new duke, the less she can resist his smoldering appeal. Soon Margaret and Ash find themselves torn between old loyalties—and the tantalizing promise of passion….

This Blonde’s Review:
I love the cover for this book! Now, on to the review.

Ash has hated the Duke of Parford since he was a child. When Ash is able to have the duke’s children declared illegitimate he takes it, claiming he wants a better life for his brother.

Margaret is one of the duke’s now illegitimate children. Ash is unaware of who Margaret really is, since he believes she is nothing more than the nurse she is masquerading as.

One character pretending to be someone else is a classic storyline, as well as having a character that is damaged by something in their childhood. While we do have the common storyline, that doesn’t mean that this is a tired story that isn’t worth reading.

Ash and Margaret are great characters. They have to learn how to get past the actions of the Duke and decide what really matters in their future. They also have the additional issues of Margaret’s brothers to deal with and to consider if they want a shot at being together.

Courtney Milan does a fabulous job bringing these characters to life and making you care about both sides of their argument. If you enjoy strong characters fighting to make things right when right depends on where you stand, then you’ll love this one.