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Archive for the ‘Book Reviews’ Category

Girl of Nightmares by: Kendare Blake (Anna #2)

Girl of Nightmares, the acclaimed sequel to Kendare Blake’s Anna Dressed in Blood.

It’s been months since the ghost of Anna Korlov opened a door to Hell in her basement and disappeared into it, but ghost-hunter Cas Lowood can’t move on.

His friends remind him that Anna sacrificed herself so that Cas could live—not walk around half dead. He knows they’re right, but in Cas’s eyes, no living girl he meets can compare to the dead girl he fell in love with.

Now he’s seeing Anna everywhere: sometimes when he’s asleep and sometimes in waking nightmares. But something is very wrong…these aren’t just daydreams. Anna seems tortured, torn apart in new and ever more gruesome ways every time she appears.

Cas doesn’t know what happened to Anna when she disappeared into Hell, but he knows she doesn’t deserve whatever is happening to her now. Anna saved Cas more than once, and it’s time for him to return the favor. ”

4 stars

This is the 2nd book in the Anna duology, the  first being Anna Dressed in Blood. I enjoyed this book almost as much as I did the first book. It was a bit slower in pace, but still a lot of fun. With the exception of Caramel, I really liked most of the characters in this story. This book didn’t have quite the same Supernatural (the tv show) feel to it as the first book, but it does have some really dark sides to it, and yet I still wanted to like Anna in spite of it all.

I was pleased with how the story wrapped up and will definitely be keeping an eye out for more books by Kendare Blake.

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The Beast is an Animal by: Peternelle Van Arsdale

Alys was seven the first time she saw the soul eaters. Twin sisters, they radiated an energy that excited Alys. Through them she felt the wildness of the forest, and The Beast within it. Too late, she learned of their power to destroy.

By the time she is fifteen, Alys knows too much about both the lure and the danger of the soul eaters. She lives in a world of adults who are terrified of their power, and who cower behind high walls and grim rules. Fear of the soul eaters—and of The Beast—rules their lives. Even more, they fear the ways in which The Beast may lurk among them—and within a girl like Alys.

For Alys has a connection to the soul eaters, and The Beast. And she hides a truth about herself that she can reveal to no one, for fear she will be called a witch. As the threat posed by the soul eaters grows, Alys must undertake a journey through the wild danger of the fforest. But the greatest danger is not outside her. Alys’s secret about who—and what—she is terrifies her most of all. And in order to save her world, she must also risk losing herself.”

3.5 stars (Almost got 4 stars, but faltered at the end.)

I was really excited when I found out that my local library not only had this book, but that it was in stock and available for checkout without having to sign up on a wait list.

I absolutely adore the cover and it was a big reason that I wanted to read this book. I really didn’t know what to expect beyond the Old Byd Nursery Rhyme on the back of the book, which drew me in and pushed this book to the top of my TBR list.

The book moves along at a slow but steady pace, which I was ok with. It had the feel of an old fairy tale, dark and creepy. At times it even reminded me of M. Night Shyamalan’s The Village, which I really enjoy. Unfortunately once the romantic interest was introduced to the story it lost a bit of its creep factor. The story was still good, it just developed a different feel. I also felt like the end of the book was a wee-bit of a let down. It just didn’t have the bang that I was hoping for based on the creepy way the book started.

On a positive note, this book is a stand alone. It’s gotten harder and harder to find stand alone books now-a-days, so I was happy when this book had an actual ending and not a cliff hanger. This is Peternelle Van Arsdale’s first book and I did enjoy it enough that I will be keeping an eye out for her next book so I can give it a read.

 

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Sara’s Game by: Ernie Lindsey (Sara Winthrop #1)

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Two years ago, Sara’s husband left for the gym one morning…and never came back. His car was found. He wasn’t. Unbelievably, the police report said, “No foul play suspected.” There were a few unreliable sightings over the following months, but little else.

Now, on the last day before summer break, her three children have gone missing from their schools, all at the same time.

And the note under her windshield wiper asks one simple question: Are you ready to play the game? ”

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4 Stars

What a ride. This book starts off on the day that Sara’s children are abducted. There’s no messing around with a lot of back-story before you get to the action. This was a fast paced story that kept me up reading late into the night. I will definitely be reading more by this author.

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Unlikely Substitute by: Leah Atwood (Mail-Order Husbands #1)

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“Once widowed, once duped Anne Marie Meadows has no desire to be married, but she is down to her last option. In order to save her farm, she sends for a mail-order husband.

U.S. Marshal Jude Malstrom is a loner dedicated to his work, but when a dying man asks him to deliver a letter, he reluctantly carries out the task.

When nature unleashes her fury, Jude and Anne Marie find themselves in each other’s company for longer than they wish. Can they see beyond obligation and find an unlikely love?”

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3 stars

At only 55 pages long this novella was a really quick read. It was a clean, fun and entertaining story.  I enjoyed it enough that I would definitely be willing to read more by this author.

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A Little Something Different by: Sandy Hall

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Lea and Gabe are in the same creative writing class. They get the same pop culture references, order the same Chinese food, and hang out in the same places. Unfortunately, Lea is a little aloof, Gabe is shy, and it looks like they are never going to work things out.
But something is happening between them, and everyone can see it. Their creative writing teacher pushes them together. The baristas at the local Starbucks watch their relationship like a TV series. The bus driver tells his wife about them. The waitress at the diner automatically seats them together. Even the squirrel who lives on the college green believes Lea and Gabe were meant to be together.
Fall in love with falling in love in this irresistibly romantic, completely original novel!

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2 stars (maybe closer to a 1.5 star book for me)

**small spoilers**

When I first heard about this book I was really excited. I thought that seeing this couple’s romance unfold through the eyes of those around them, would be fun. I was even excited that one of the POV’s was that of a squirrel. Sadly this book didn’t turn out to be quite what I was hoping for. I was a bit put off by the college writing professor that became so obsessed with her “project couple” and the speed at which their relationship was or wasn’t progressing that she became emotionally distraught. And the bus driver that was so worried about listening in on the conversation that the couple was having that he sat through multiple green lights. Then you have the POV of the local park bench that was only worried about the perfict butt setting on it. It wasn’t long before I started skimming the book in an attempt to see if it got any better, but when I could literally read the first sentience in each paragraph for multiple pages and not miss anything important to the story line, I simply finished the book because I knew it wouldn’t take me that long and I felt I owed it to the author if I was going to review the book. I really don’t like to give bad reviews. I know authors work hard on their books and I know not every person is going to love every book. Unfortunately this book just didn’t do it for me.

 

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Death’s Acre by: Bill Bass & Jon Jefferson

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Nowhere is there another lab like Dr. Bill Bass’s: On a hillside in Tennessee, human bodies decompose in the open air, aided by insects, bacteria and birds, unhindered by coffins or mausoleums. At the “Body Farm,” nature takes its course, with corpses buried in shallow graves, submerged in water, concealed beneath slabs of concrete, locked in trunks of cars. As stand-ins for murder victims, they serve the needs of science — and the cause of justice. For thirty years, Dr. Bass’s research has revolutionized the field of forensic science, particularly by pinpointing “time since death” in murder cases. In this riveting audio book, he investigates real cases and leads listeners on an unprecedented journey behind the locked gates of the Body Farm. A master scientist and an engaging storyteller, Bass shares his most intriguing work: his revisit of the Lindbergh kidnapping and murder, fifty years after the fact; the mystery of a headless corpse whose identity astonished the police; the telltale bugs that finally sent a murderous grandfather to death row; and many more.

Forensic science and murder investigations are among the most fascinating topics of our time. Dominating television and print media the subjects could not be hotter. As one of the world’s leading forensic anthropologists, Dr. Bill Bass is the premier guide to this unusual realm.”

Audio book cover:

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3 stars

I don’t read a lot of non-fiction books, but this one sounded really interesting so I gave it a shot. I was having a hard time making progress with the book, not because it was boring, but because for me reading usually means getting out of the real world and into a make believe world. With this book it was all about the real world. I finally decided to give the audio book a shot so I could still do something I found relaxing while completing a sometimes depressing story about the evil things that can happen in life and the people that try to solve those cases.  Once I switched to audio book I was able to complete the book very quickly. I found it very interesting to see just how the Body Farm came to be and all the good that has come from it.

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The Legend of Holly Claus by: Brittney Ryan

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Santa Claus’s daughter, Holly, comes to Earth seeking an end to the curse cast upon her and the Land of the Immortals by an evil wizard, whose own punishment will end only if Holly willingly gives him her pure heart.

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3 stars

According to Goodreads everyone seems to file this book under Fantasy, but I got a much stronger Fairy Tale feeling while reading it. The basic story line is…Princess baby is born, a curse is placed on the kingdom, princess must grow up and save her kingdom. Throw in a little unexpected romance and you have the complete Fairy Tale package. That being said, I really did enjoy this book. Even though Holly is the daughter of Santa Claus and Christmas is mentioned many times in the book, it didn’t really feel like a Christmas story to me. The Fantasy aspects of the book made it more of a fun winter read than just a holiday read. Laurel Long did an amazing job on the illustrations and they really added to the overall enjoyment of this book.

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Beautiful Disaster by: Jamie McGuire (Beautiful #1)

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The new Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn’t drink or swear, and she has the appropriate percentage of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance between her and the darkness of her past, but when she arrives at college with her best friend America, her path to a new beginning is quickly challenged by Eastern University’s Walking One-Night Stand.

Travis Maddox, lean, cut, and covered in tattoos, is exactly what Abby needs – and wants- to avoid. He spends his nights winning money in a floating fight ring, and his days as the most-eligible college co-ed. Intrigued by Abby’s resistance to his charm, Travis tricks her into his daily life with a simple bet. If he loses, he must remain abstinent for a month. If Abby loses, she must live in Travis’ apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has finally met his match.”

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3 stars

I’ve heard a lot about the basic premise of this book over the last few years, but had somehow managed to avoid any actual spoilers. The one thing I did know was that I wasn’t really going to care for the moral values or most of the decisions made by the leading characters. I’m actually glad I knew what I did, because I went into the book as nothing more than a chance to shake my head at and, yes, even judge the characters. And that is why it got a 3 star rating. If I had gone in hoping to like the characters and wanting a sweet romance, I would have been highly disappointed. And would have given it a much lower rating. Instead I found it to be an entertaining, fast paced train-wreck (as in it was hard to look away from.) I still can’t believe how it ended. Co-dependence is a confusing thing.

I enjoyed the author’s writing style with one exception. Her repetitive description of almost every kiss starting out with someone placing both hands on each side of the other person’s face. I am interested in reading the companion book, Walking Disaster, which sounds like it’s going to be the same story told from Travis’s point of view. I’m also interested in reading other books by this author.

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Once Upon a Curse (17 Dark Faerie Tales)

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Seventeen magical stories from NY Times and USA Today bestsellers and award-winning authors that will entice you to the darker side of faerie tales. More Grimm than Disney, in this collection you’ll find twists on Snow White, Hansel & Gretel, Rumpelstiltskin, The Snow Queen, Cinderella, The Pied Piper, Alice in Wonderland, and Red Riding Hood, plus new tales paying homage to the old traditions.
Shadows cannot exist without light, however, and you’ll find enough happily-ever-afters to lift your spirits in this anthology full of adventure, dark powers, and ultimately the enduring power of true love.”

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3.5 stars (Adult)
Some stories were better than others. There were a few that weren’t all that interesting, and a few I really enjoyed. There was only one story that I didn’t finish. Overall I enjoyed this book and I’m glad I took the time to read it.

 

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MultiBookReviews

Sonya Loveday is also the author of the amazing The Six series. You can check out all of her book over on her Goodreads page.

Casted  by: Sonya Loveday

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Jade had spent the majority of her life running from the Triad. The Triad, are a powerful group, who would stop at nothing to obtain Jade and the missing spell book for leader, Lorenzo’s, nefarious plans. And now that she has absorbed the highly coveted magic contained inside the missing book, there is nowhere left for her to hide. With the help of her friends, Jade steps out from the shadows and learns how to fight back. But no one is prepared for Elinor-the woman bound inside of the book that’s trapped in Jade’s mind. Now she not only needs to protect herself from the Triad, but from what’s hiding inside her mind as well. Jade never expected the answer to it all would revolve around love. Edge is dark, mysterious, and a sworn member of the Triad. He also hides a secret past that threatens the thin line he walks between good and evil. Lives are at stake when Jade and Edge’s two worlds collide. Can Jade learn to trust him when he says he is her pre-ordained and vows to do everything he can to protect her? But more importantly, can she trust herself and the woman in her mind?”

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4 stars (contains mild romance, nothing overly descriptive.)

As one of Sonya’s first books you can see where she got her start writing action scenes. Though Casted is not as suspenseful as most of the books in her Six series end up being, it’s still full of tension, action, and even some romance. I found most of the characters fun and very likeable. This book moves along at a pretty fast pace and never left me bored or wondering when something exciting was going to happen. The only warning that I can give is that it ends on a cliff-hanger and you’ll probably want to have Spelled on hand before reaching the end of Casted. 😉

 

Spelled by: Sonya Loveday

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Releasing Elinor from the spell book was only the beginning for Jade. When a surprise visit from Lorenzo sets off a downward spiral of events, Jade’s ripped from the confines of Edge’s home and plunged into the madness of the Triad. Confused by the turn of events, Jade is only sure of four things: My name is Jade Kinsley. I’m 20 years old. I’m an Enforcer for the Triad. And I have a debt to settle with Original Coven. Will Jade be able to break through the spell her Grandfather put on her and remember who she is, or will she become just another piece in Lorenzo’s game?

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4 stars (contains mild romance, nothing overly descriptive.)

Spelled picks up right where Casted left off. You jump right back into the action and the pace never seems to slow down. There are more twists and turns with every chapter. At first I wasn’t sure how I felt about the ending, it wasn’t quite what I was expecting, but after thinking about it for a few days I think I’ve come around to liking it. As a longtime reader of Sonya Loveday’s books it was fun to read some of her early work and be able to see where she started and how she has honed her skill.

 

Casted & Spelled are also available as an ebook boxed set.

 

TopBookRelated

My reviews of other Sonya Loveday books:

The Summer I Fell

End Note

If Ever I Fall

Relevance

The Vows We Make

Love Always

 

 

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