Review: The Darkest Passion by Gena Showalter

6758331The Darkest Passion
(Lords of the Underworld, #5)
By: Gena Showalter
Publisher: Mira
Published: May 21, 2010
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Rating:
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For weeks, the immortal warrior Aeron has sensed an invisible female presence. An angel-demon-assassin has been sent to kill him. Or has she? Olivia claims she fell from the heavens, giving up immortality because she couldn’t bear to harm him. But trusting – and falling for – Olivia will endanger them all. So how has this mortal with the huge blue eyes already unleashed Aeron’s darkest passion?

With an enemy hot on his trail and his faithful demon companion determined to remove Olivia from his life, Aeron is trapped between duty and consuming desire. Worse still, a new executioner has been sent to do the job Olivia wouldn’t…

 

1thoughtsI will admit that Aeron was never really on my radar. Yes he had Legion, and was a little crazed with wrath but I just didn’t gravitate towards him in the previous books. However, this one grabbed my attention and didn’t let go until the very end.

Olivia who was once an angel of Joy but was recently hired to kill Aeron by her higher-ups decides to “fall” from the heavens. You see, when she was sent to kill him, she followed him around a lot and in doing so wound up developing feelings for him. So when she shows up at the fortress, bloody, emotionally beaten down and screaming out Aeron’s name, he immediately thinks that she is bait sent by the hunters. But he soon finds out that she is an angel, and not just any angel but THE angel that has been randomly popping in and she has turned her back on everything just for a chance to be with him. But their chance is short lived when they are given only 9 days. Nine days for Aeron to change Olivia’s mind and send her back to the heavens, nine days for Aeron to come to terms with what he has to do in order to not only save Legion’s life but the lives of his brethren as well.

Olivia is a very gentle character however she is strong willed and isn’t a pushover. So she was easily to relate to. When she fell, she went straight to hell and had to literally dig her way up through the earth to the surface. That will leave a lasting mark on anyone. So it was no surprise that she was terrified by all of the Lords except for her Aeron. Since they are demons, and demons are exactly what had just tortured her in hell. However, when she comes across a pissed off territorial Legion who is non too happy about the Angel trying to steal Aeron, Olivia asserts herself and doesn’t back down.

I had no idea that Aeron was so selfless. He was originally introduced as this guy possessed by his blood thirsty demon but you really start to see how he does everything he can to help ease the other Lords’ pain. He does a lot of things for the Lords and it is brought to the forefront in this book. Not only that, but both he and his demon have claimed Olivia as their mate. However, knowing that life on earth would constantly put her in danger, he tries to convince her to leave him and go back to heaven.

This story was great and I LOVED the addition of Scarlet and her introduction to Gideon (Lies). As well as a little inside look to Galen. Do I sense a story about him in the future? I know he is supposed to be the bad guy and all but the tiny glimpse you get definitely made me interested in him.

 

1favepartOlivia stumbles across Gideon in his room. She sits down and starts talking to him about everything that is bothering her.
G- “Oh and Olivia? In that position, I can’t see you’re panties.” clearly amused
O- “Do you like them?
He blinked in surprise, clearly having expected her to change positions.. “I hate them.”
“Really? Would you like them as a souvenir? Since I plan to take your advise and crawl into Aeron’s bed naked, I’m not going to need them anymore.”
Gideon laughed outright. “Nope. I wouldn’t. I would hate to have them as a souvenir. And not just because I’m sure Aeron will be thrilled to know I have his girlfriends panties.”

 

Previous reviews from the LOTU series
The Darkest Night
The Darkest Kiss
The Darkest Pleasure
The Darkest Whisper

kRISTIN

Review: Cipher by Aileen Erin

21943833Cipher
(The Shadow Ravens, #1)
By: Aileen Erin
Publisher: Ink Monster
Published: Oct. 14, 2014
Genre: YA Fantasy Romance
Rating:
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In the not-too-distant future, the color of your helix tattoo shows exactly how your DNA was modified—green for super-smart scientists, black for pumped-up warriors, white for the immortal Seligo—but Cipher’s red helix is a death sentence. It’s a sign of unstable DNA, which is probably the reason she can manipulate electricity.

When she was eight years old, Cipher made the mistake of showing her uncle the tattoo. In return, he killed her parents and tried to kidnap her.

She’s been on the run ever since, and twelve long years later, Cipher is tired of hiding. Survival isn’t enough anymore. She wants her life back.

Hacking into the Citadel mainframe is a huge risk, but it pays off when she finds a database on red helixes. Before she can copy it, she loses control of her power, charring her last processor, and the only person in the Arizona Voids that can get her back online is her oldest friend, Knightly. She hasn’t seen him in person since she started running, and Knight 2.0 is fully upgraded with a six-pack and knee-melting smile.

For a girl like Cipher, trust doesn’t come easily, but Knight makes her yearn for a life she knows she can’t have, especially when every secret she reveals endangers them both.

 

1thoughts
Cipher’s helix tattoo is red which means that since she was little, she’s been on the run. She’s learned a lot of tricks that have kept her alive over the years. But when a hacking job calls too much attention to herself she has to put her trust in a group of guys who are not only part of the military that hunts her kind, but they also share the same mysterious raven tattoo that Cipher has.

I thought this was going to be a sci-fi young adult story but it’s really more of a romance novel that’s set in the near future. There isn’t a lot that’s actually futuristic, aside for the whole helix tattoo thing. I was also a little disappointed that the romance overshadows everything. The story is in both Cipher and Knight’s POV. These two met when they were little kids and unknowingly kept in contact via online. Knight has been Cipher’s computer part supplier. Meanwhile, Knight has actually been looking for Cipher (aka Emma) because his secret mission is to save the red helix’s and he’s had a soft spot for his childhood friend throughout the years. So when they meet each other they instantly fall in love. I mean, we are like two days in and there’s talk about marriage. I don’t know. I was really thinking there would be more sci-fi but that was not the case.

If you are looking for a kick-ass sci-fi story, this is not it. I think those who would enjoy the story the most would be anyone who’s looking for a young adult romance. Unfortunately for me, when I picked this book up, I was looking for a kick-ass sci-fi story.

 

1favequote“Well, why don’t you shit in one hand and wish in the other. Let’s see which fills up faster.”

kRISTIN

Review: Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder

3462638Poison Study
(Study, #1)
By: Maria V. Snyder
Publisher: Mira
Published: Nov. 18, 2008
Genre: YA Fantasy
Rating:
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Goodreads | Amazon

About to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered an extraordinary reprieve. She’ll eat the best meals, have rooms in the palace—and risk assassination by anyone trying to kill the Commander of Ixia.

And so Yelena chooses to become a food taster. But the chief of security, leaving nothing to chance, deliberately feeds her Butterfly’s Dust—and only by appearing for her daily antidote will she delay an agonizing death from the poison.

As Yelena tries to escape her new dilemma, disasters keep mounting. Rebels plot to seize Ixia and Yelena develops magical powers she can’t control. Her life is threatened again and choices must be made. But this time the outcomes aren’t so clear…

 

 

1thoughts Yelena is charged with murder and is awaiting noose. When a guard comes and leads her to the chief of security’s office, she is expecting the end. What she doesn’t expect is for Valek to offer her a job instead. If she accepts his offer, she will be the food taster for the commander making sure that his food isn’t poisoned, and if it is identifying it in time so that Valek can find the culprit. For her “services” her life will be spared from the noose and she will live a rather comfortable life in comparison.

I really enjoyed this story and the magical world the the author has created. There are magician, spies and Valek… someone whom cannot be effected by magic. I liked the addition of the secondary characters and the author did a great job keeping them interactive throughout the duration of the story.

Another aspect of the story that I really enjoyed was the connection between Yelena and Valek. They don’t start off on good terms. In fact, he is very cold and distant to her. Which is understandable since she is someone who he pulled from deathrow only to be the food tester for the Commander. So her chance of survival is pretty low. As the story progresses though you start to notice Valek softening around Yelena but when he is around her he tries to maintain an uninterested demeanor. Their relationship was definitely a slow building interesting one. There is no insta-love. This was definitely an interesting story.

 

1favequote“Yelena, you’ve driven me crazy. You’ve caused me considerable trouble and I’ve contemplated ending your life twice since I’ve known you. But you’ve slipped under my skin, invaded my blood and seized my heart.” -Valek

kRISTIN

Review: Into Darkness by JT Geissinger

22046835Into Darkness
(Night Prowler, #6)
By: JT Geissinger
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Release Date: Oct. 21, 2014
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Rating:
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In New Vienna, capital of the oppressive global government formed after the Flash, three things are certain: the sun is poisonous, speaking out is dangerous, and being different will get you killed.

And Lumina Bohn is extraordinarily different.

Living in terror of discovery, Lu knows nothing of her past?but she knows she must pretend to be human to survive. When an incident at work triggers her astonishing powers, she becomes the target of an international manhunt. Only one person can save her: Magnus, the enigmatic stranger haunting her dreams.

Magnus rescues the outcasts called Aberrants from capture and torture. As Lu begins exploring her powers among her people, her feelings for Magnus intensify. He’s determined to stay emotionally distant, yet their smoldering passion soon becomes impossible to resist.

But when a shocking revelation threatens the lives of every remaining Aberrant, Lu and Magnus must risk everything, confronting their enemies in an explosive final stand to save their kind from the darkest fate of all: extinction.

 

 

1thoughtsLumina was adopted by her parents. Her adoptive mother passed away when she was a baby and her father raised her on his own. He knew she had special powers and made sure she hid them away because he knew that her kind was being hunted. So when she slips up at work and the Prime Minister shows up to weed out the Ikati from the group, she makes a run for it and ends up learning not only who she is, but WHAT she is.

This book is set 25 years after the last book. So whereas at the end of Darkness Bound, Leander and Jenna see a comet coming and they know it’s the final countdown (sorry I couldn’t help myself), this book is set after that huge battle has happened. The Ikati are literally underground hiding from everyone. The evil humans are capturing Ikati and extracting their bone marrow and running all sorts of tests on them to try to create a drug that will give the user their healing powers.

I don’t want to go too much into the story because I don’t want to give anything away but this was a fantastic story. I love that Lumina is such a strong character. She isn’t afraid to look death in the fact if it means saving the ones she loves. Magnus is the Alpha of the small remaining group of Ikati and he is just as strong as Lumina. He spends his time tracking down Ikati and bringing them to safety at the underground colony. The two of them together make a great pair and some kick-ass main characters.

I’m glad that the author brought back all the characters from the previous books. It was nice to see them one more time before everything came to a close. I really enjoyed JT’s debut series and I look forward to reading more of her work.

 

 
1favequote
“A diamond in the rough is still a diamond, pet. One just had to know how to handle it to bring out all the facets of its beauty. Only with a pair of gentle, loving hands can it be polished to perfection. Men are the exact same way.”

 

Previous reviews from Night Prowlers
Shadow’s Edge
Edge of Oblivion
Rapture’s Edge
Edge of Darkness
Darkness Bound

kRISTIN

READ PINK 2014

 

1FzEg_KkK24l3e13PUYkOau9-zWb-ZipNx9lBNBGehnUXAfb5_vCOy_AFxB8EW0BGxE0kfwbuNcpjr8PFQmoMrcz6_7AjYYa8nQ7QIA1S4heFqO6CZt-oKVyc73OobSItrpDBxm9zkPenguin announces READ PINK® 2014 campaign in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and I couldn’t be happier to share the participating authors and titles with you guys. But first, here’s a little bit about READ PINK®.

 

Today the scientific community has left behind the “one-size-fits-all” breast cancer treatment to emerge with targeted, more effective therapies. As a result, after remaining stagnant for more than 50 years, the death rate from breast cancer has decreased by 30 percent. The Read Pink®initiative by Penguin Random House is proud to be part of this exciting new chapter in the fight against breast cancer, supporting the bold research of The Breast Cancer Foundation®while leveraging its passionate readers to help increase awareness and education about the disease. This literary embrace of a life-saving cause has resulted in nearly 1.5 million best-selling novels shipped with Read Pink seals and information about BCRF across all five years of the promotion.

Penguin Random House is thrilled to partner once again this year with BCRF, as 91 cents of every dollar spent by BCRF is directed towards breast cancer research and awareness programs.

The $25,000 donation that Penguin Random House contributes, regardless of sales, provides vital funds to support the mission of BCRF.

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Penguin Random House’s Read Pink® editions, we are featuring a few participating authors and what Read Pink® means to them…

 

 

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Memorial Day, 1938

Lily Dane has returned to Seaview, Rhode Island, where her family has summered for generations. It’s an escape not only from New York’s social scene but from a heartbreak that still haunts her. Here, among the seaside community that has embraced her since childhood, she finds comfort in the familiar rituals of summer.

But this summer is different. Budgie and Nick Greenwald—Lily’s former best friend and former fiancé—have arrived, too, and Seaview’s elite are abuzz. Under Budgie’s glamorous influence, Lily is seduced into a complicated web of renewed friendship and dangerous longing.

As a cataclysmic hurricane churns north through the Atlantic, and uneasy secrets slowly reveal themselves, Lily and Nick must confront an emotional storm that will change their worlds forever…

“Every life lost to breast cancer leaves behind a hole that can never be filled again: a wife, a mother, a sister, a friend, an aunt, a grandmother. I’m so grateful for organizations like The Breast Cancer Research Foundation for their efforts to find a cure for this devastating disease, and honored to support breast cancer awareness, detection, and research through Penguin’s READ PINK program in 2014. With your help, we can move closer to the day when breast cancer leaves behind only survivors.” -Beatriz Williams

 
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Eleanor Murray will always remember her childhood on Edisto Island, where her late father, a local shrimper, shared her passion for music. Now her memories of him are all that tempers the guilt she feels over the accident that put her sister in a wheelchair—and the feelings she harbors for her sister’s husband.

To help support her sister, Eleanor works at a Charleston investment firm during the day, but she escapes into her music, playing piano at a neighborhood bar. Until the night her enigmatic boss walks in and offers her a part-time job caring for his elderly aunt, Helena, back on Edisto. For Eleanor, it’s a chance to revisit the place where she was her happiest—and to share her love of music with grieving Helena, whose sister recently died under mysterious circumstances.

An island lush with sweetgrass and salt marshes, Edisto has been a peaceful refuge for Helena, who escaped with her sister from war-torn Hungary in 1944. The sisters were well-known on the island, where they volunteered in their church and community. But now Eleanor will finally learn the truth about their past: secrets that will help heal her relationship with her own sister—and set Eleanor free….

“Since 1989, death rates from breast cancer have been decreasing due to earlier detection and improved treatment because of the efforts of organizations like The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Books have always been an important part of my life, and I am honored that my book will be part of Penguin’s Read Pink program that supports breast cancer awareness and research through reading. It is my greatest hope that through efforts like this we might find a cure within my lifetime.” – Karen White

 

 

 

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A champion boat racer, Cameron Quinn traveled the world spending his winnings on champagne and women. But when his dying father called him home to care for Seth, a troubled young boy not unlike Cameron once was, his life changed overnight…

After years of independence, Cameron had to learn to live with his brothers again, while he struggled with cooking, cleaning, and caring for a difficult boy. Old rivalries and new resentments flared between Cameron and his brothers, but they tried to put aside their differences for Seth’s sake. In the end, a social worker would decide Seth’s fate, and as tough as she was beautiful, she had the power to bring the Quinns together—or tear them apart…

“To all the moms and daughters, wives and sisters, lovers and friends, Read Pink is here for you and yours. Help support breast cancer awareness and the strong, brave women who fight or will fight this disease and Read Pink in October.” – Nora Roberts

 

 

 

 

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Tragedy has struck the Harrigans—Quincy’s beloved sister-in-law Loni is gravely ill and nearing death. Quincy, like his brothers, feels helpless to save her, and the clock is ticking. Then, with perfect timing, a winsome red-haired woman named Ceara O’Ceallaigh mysteriously appears on Quincy’s property and insists that Loni can be cured. Only Quincy, she says, as the sole remaining Harrigan bachelor, can make it happen—by marrying Ceara.

To Quincy, Ceara is a charming and quite likely deranged spinner of dreams who can’t prove she’s telling the truth. But how can he pass up any attempt to restore Loni to health? Against all better judgment, he decides to marry Ceara. Maybe he’s making the worst mistake of his life. Or maybe he’s opening himself up to possibilities that defy explanation…and will send him on a miraculous journey toward enough love to last forever.

“I am so delighted to be included in the Read Pink campaign again this year with Perfect Timing being featured, along with so many other great books, to raise funds for breast cancer research. I can remember when a diagnosis of breast cancer was often equivalent to a death sentence. Nowadays, the survival rates have increased greatly, and I personally know women who have prevailed over this terrible disease. Sadly, I’ve also known a few women who lost the battle. So I call upon all of you to join ranks with me and countless other women in a war to defeat breast cancer. ‘Read Pink! Buy books bearing the Read Pink logo as gifts for the women you love.’ By standing together as sisters, we have it within our power to make a huge difference!” – Catherine Anderson

 

 

 

 

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The death of her friend and mentor, Evelyn Ballinger, brings psychic counselor Gwen Frazier back to the small town of Wilby, Oregon, and brings back memories she would rather forget. Two years ago, a killer stalked the members of one of Ballinger’s research studies—including Gwen, who survived while two others didn’t. Now, she’s sure that Ballinger’s death is related.

Sent by a friend to help Gwen, psychic investigator Judson Coppersmith arrives in Wilby barely in control of his own talent and his own life, and haunted by urgent dreams. His attraction to Gwen is primal, but there are secrets he must keep to protect himself from surrendering to her completely, even as their investigation draws them into dreamscapes, into decades of deception and into the paranormal fires of a desire too strong to resist…

“This is the time of year when we celebrate the progress that has been made in the battle against breast cancer and acknowledge the work that lies ahead. No, we aren’t there yet. There’s a long way to go. The greatest weapon we have to fight this disease is research and research costs money. That is why this breast cancer awareness campaign is so important and why I am proud to participate.” – Jayne Ann Krentz

 

 

 

 

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Almost seven years after losing her husband in Iraq, Hannah Abbott Guthrie isn’t sure she’s ready—or able—to move on, but the attentions of a lifelong friend are making her think about it for the first time. The memory of the sweet kiss she shared with Nolan Roberts hasn’t strayed far from her thoughts, but she also fears that pursuing something with him would mean betraying her husband’s memory.

Nolan has loved Hannah for years, but he’d been giving her the space she needed to heal from her devastating loss. Now, when an opportunity arises to show her how he feels, Nolan can’t resist, but he knows earning her love will take more than a kiss. Somehow he has to prove to Hannah that finding love twice in a lifetime is possible—and well worth risking her heart.

“I’m so thrilled to be part of the Read Pink effort to help raise awareness and funding for breast cancer research. I hear frequently from romance readers who tell me my books and those of other romance authors have helped them get through breast cancer treatment. I want to hear from fewer of them in the future. I want to hear they took our books on fabulous vacations rather than treatments. Please Read Pink in October to support all the courageous women fighting this disease and to fund critical research. Thank you for Reading Pink!” – Marie Force

 

 

Full List of 2014 Participating Authors:

Jojo Moyes, The Last Letter from your Lover

Karen White, The Time Between

Nora Roberts, Sea Swept and The Witness

Jennifer Chiaverini, Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker

Beatriz Williams, A Hundred Summers

Wendy Wax, While We Were Watching Downton Abbey

Catherine Anderson, Perfect Timing

Marie Force, I Want to Hold Your Hand

Janet Chapman, The Heart of a Hero

Lisa Gardner, MacNamara’s Woman

Jayne Ann Krentz, Dream Eyes

Mark your calendars and remember to join in the conversation with @BerkleyRomance and @PenguinGroupUSA on Twitter in October. Make sure to use the hashtag #ReadPink!

For more information about the Read Pink initiative and to view a complete list of the participating retail outlets, please visit penguin.com/readpink.

 

 

Excerpt & Giveaway: Zoe and the Demon Slayer by Neel Kay

zoe
 
 
 
21526374Zoe and the Demon Slayer
By: Neel Kay
Publisher: Self-Published
Published: Oct. 6, 2014
Genre: Sci-fi New Adult

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N

Twenty-four year old book worm and blogger Zoe Graves was looking forward to the fourth and final instalment of her favourite book saga – The Augustin Chronicles. The evening was meant to be spent in line at the local bookstore with hundreds of other fans, getting the book, maybe even meeting the author, and ultimately spending the night with the dreamiest hero of them all, Lucien de Forest and the love of his life Noomi Augustin.

But somewhere someone thought otherwise.

Confused and hurt after a mugging by the bookstore, Zoe is somehow transported to another world, and suddenly finds herself in a snow-covered landscape witnessing a bloody fight far away from the English summer, and is left to rely on the help from the rather reluctant Matis, who just happen to be out to kill none other than Zoe’s favourite hero and heroine, Lucien and Noomi.

Although convinced she might be in some sort of limbo or maybe even in a coma, Zoe figures that her role in the story is to prevent Matis from killing her all-time favourite fictional couple.

 
 
 

Excerpt

“What are you doing? Hello? Earth to Zoe. Hey!”

“Huh? What?”

“What are you doing?” Emma said slowly and loudly, as if talking to someone hearing impaired. She even made a gesture resembling sign language with her free hand.

Zoe looked at the computer screen absentmindedly, and then over at her sister as if it was obvious. “I’m writing a blog post.”

Emma’s sweet face contorted into a sour frown that really didn’t become her. “You’re obsessed with that blog,” she said, as she continued to chop carrots for dinner. “And books,” she added eyeing the ragged copy of The Last Isilin – the fourth instalment of the Augustin Chronicles lying next to the computer on the kitchen counter.

“Haven’t you already read that one?”

“Only three times.”

Emma arched an eyebrow. She didn’t even have to say anything. Zoe knew what her sister thought of her books and her book blog. Nevertheless,

Zoe continued undauntedly. “It’s the second last book of the series. The last one comes out tomorrow. Lucien and Noomi finally got each other in The Last Isilin, but it was revealed that Olander had sent out a hired killer to finish them off.”

“Olander?” A rather impatient look on Emma’s face betrayed that she immediately regretted having even said his name as a question.

“The ultimate bad guy. The dark lord of Norling,” Zoe continued, thrilled that Emma had indeed uttered the name. “He tried to enslave Noomi, to make her his slave bride in volume one, Lord of the Forest, but Lucien saved her in the nick of time and then later left Olander for dead in The Lost Prince.

He didn’t appear in most of The Last Isilin, and everyone thought he was history, but then he returned on the very last page, thirsty for revenge.”

Emma sighed audibly. Her carrots on the chopping board were feeling her frustrations. Still, Zoe freewheeled on. She couldn’t help it. She was obsessed with this saga, fangirling big time, and near to tears when thinking about the fact that this next book was the very last one. Then what? She’d have to resort to fan-fiction, addict that she’d become. She really hoped the rumours of a film, several films in fact, were true. She needed them to be true.

“But he can’t go after Noomi and Lucien, because his legs were crushed when Lucien fought him in The Lost Prince,” Zoe said. She felt her eyes widen and her pulse pick up. “So now he’s hired someone to kill them.”

“Oh no,” Emma commented dryly, looking sarcastically deadpan.

“I can’t believe my little sister is such a nerd. You should find yourself a boyfriend. A non-fictional one.”under her breath: “I date.”

“I have boyfriends,” Zoe protested.

“Like right now? In plural? Are you seeing anyone at the moment?”

“No, but it’s not like I’m a nun or anything.” She shrugged and added

“Really?” Emma ploughed the knife into the chopping board tip first and released it to put both her hands on the kitchen counter. Then she leaned over it a little bit, giving Zoe a piercing stare. All she needed now was a sharp light and someone to act as the good cop.

“When was the last time you went on a date?”

“Last week,” Zoe replied promptly. It was a total lie, she hadn’t dated since she broke up with Tom last Valentine’s Day, and now it was August, the following year.

“Yeah? What’s his name?”

“G-George.”

“How old is he?”

“Twenty-one.”

“Kind of young, don’t you think?”

Zoe shrugged. He was only three years younger than her. Not that he was real or anything.

“And what does he do for a living?”

“He’s a … chef,” Zoe said eyeing the carrots on the chopping board. “I mean he’s training to be a chef.”

“A chef?” Emma repeated, sounding like she knew it was pure and utter bullshit.

Zoe nodded and avoided looking at her sister by pretending she’d just gotten a very important e-mail.

“You should have brought him tonight,” Emma said in a suspicious tone, straightening up.

“What? Here? No, no, we didn’t really click. It was a blind date set up by one of the girls at work. We probably won’t be seeing more of each other.

But hey, at least I’m dating, right?”

 
 
 
author
6518450

Introvert, creative, awkward.

Neel Kay lives with her husband and two kids in rural surroundings in the south of Denmark, not far from the German border. She’s a trained milliner, studied English at university, and now works a day job as a web editor. But she’s been writing always.

Love coffee, scarves and sea views. Oh, and butt-kicking heroines who know how to swing a sword and aren’t afraid to get a little dirty.

Website | Twitter | Facebook

 
 
 

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We have TWO giveaways going on today!

 
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Sunday Wrap-Up #38

Sunday Wrap-Up is all about sharing the books and book related items that I’ve picked up recently. I also recap what went on last week and let you in on what’s coming up. I link up my post to Sunday Post, Bought, Borrowed & Bagged, Showcase Sunday, and Stacking the Shelves.
 

 
There hasn’t been too much going on here. I’ve been laying low and catching up on reading both for review and books from my personal TBR list. I’m hoping to go shopping this weekend for the components for my Halloween costume. I thought I could get away with the Halloween store version of what I wanted to be… but spandex dresses aren’t my thing. No big though. I think making your own costume is so much cooler anyways.

 

 

Last week on BSA:
At Grave’s End by Jeaniene Frost (Review)
Graceling by Kristin Cashore (Review)
Down London Road by Samantha Young (Review)
C791 by Eve Langlais (Review)

This week on BSA:
Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder (Review)
Zoe and the Demon Slayer by Neel Kay (Excerpt & Giveaway)
Read Pink Event (Spotlight for Breast Cancer Awareness)
Into Darkness by JT Geissinger (Review)

 

 

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green dreams

Black Moon Draw
By: Lizzy Ford
Release Date: Nov. 9 2014
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Goodreads | Amazon | B&N

A reader gets sucked into the book she’s reading and is trapped, unless she convinces the hero of the story to send her home. Just her luck – the book is unfinished, and its sexy hero is far more alpha male than she’s prepared to handle.

What Naia doesn’t know: the story – and its hero – have been expecting her for quite some time, even though she has no idea what she’s doing there.

Naia must learn quickly how to navigate the dangerous, magical world of Black Moon Draw and find a way to woo the unlikely, uncooperative hero of the story, who holds the key to returning her home.

 

 

 

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Cipher
By: Aileen Erin
Release Date: Oct. 14, 2014
Genre: YA Fantasy
Goodreads | Amazon | B&N

In the not-too-distant future, the color of your helix tattoo shows exactly how your DNA was modified—green for super-smart scientists, black for pumped-up warriors, white for the immortal Seligo—but Cipher’s red helix is a death sentence. It’s a sign of unstable DNA, which is probably the reason she can manipulate electricity.

When she was eight years old, Cipher made the mistake of showing her uncle the tattoo. In return, he killed her parents and tried to kidnap her.

She’s been on the run ever since, and twelve long years later, Cipher is tired of hiding. Survival isn’t enough anymore. She wants her life back.

Hacking into the Citadel mainframe is a huge risk, but it pays off when she finds a database on red helixes. Before she can copy it, she loses control of her power, charring her last processor, and the only person in the Arizona Voids that can get her back online is her oldest friend, Knightly. She hasn’t seen him in person since she started running, and Knight 2.0 is fully upgraded with a six-pack and knee-melting smile.

For a girl like Cipher, trust doesn’t come easily, but Knight makes her yearn for a life she knows she can’t have, especially when every secret she reveals endangers them both.

 

 

 

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13423346

Ink
By: Amanda Sun
Published: June 25, 2013
Genre: YA Fantasy
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On the heels of a family tragedy, the last thing Katie Greene wants to do is move halfway across the world. Stuck with her aunt in Shizuoka, Japan, Katie feels lost. Alone. She doesn’t know the language, she can barely hold a pair of chopsticks, and she can’t seem to get the hang of taking her shoes off whenever she enters a building.

Then there’s gorgeous but aloof Tomohiro, star of the school’s kendo team. How did he really get the scar on his arm? Katie isn’t prepared for the answer. But when she sees the things he draws start moving, there’s no denying the truth: Tomo has a connection to the ancient gods of Japan, and being near Katie is causing his abilities to spiral out of control. If the wrong people notice, they’ll both be targets.

Katie never wanted to move to Japan—now she may not make it out of the country alive.

 

 

 

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Other
By: Karen Kincy
Published: July 8, 2010
Genre: YA Fantasy
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Seventeen-year-old Gwen hides a dangerous secret: she’s Other. Half-pooka, to be exact, thanks to the father she never met. Most Americans don’t exactly roll out the welcome mat for Others, especially not the small-town folks of Klikamuks, Washington. As if this isn’t bad enough, Gwen’s on the brink of revealing her true identity to her long-time boyfriend, Zack, but she’s scared he’ll lump her with the likes of bloodthirsty vampires and feral werewolves.

When a pack of werewolves chooses the national forest behind Gwen’s home as their new territory, the tensions in Klikamuks escalate–into murder. It soon becomes clear a serial killer is methodically slaying Others. The police turn a blind eye, leaving Gwen to find the killer before the killer finds her. As she hunts for clues, she uncovers more Others living nearby than she ever expected. Like Tavian, a sexy Japanese fox-spirit who rivals Zack and challenges her to embrace her Otherness. Gwen must struggle with her own conflicted identity, learn who she can trust, and–most importantly–stay alive.

kRISTIN

Review: C791 by Eve Langlais

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000026_00096]C791
(Cyborgs: More Than Machines, #1)
By: Eve Langlais
Published: Self-Published
Published: Feb. 21, 2012
Genre: Sci-Fi Erotic Romance
Rating:
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Assigned as a specimen collector for a captured cyborg, Chloe is intrigued by the machine disguised as a man. Kidnapped during his daring escape, he shows her that despite the chip in his brain, his humanity is not completely lost.

Formerly known as unit X109GI, Joe is on a quest to discover his origin. While he doesn’t find the answers he’s looking for, he does discover that affection isn’t just for humans. But when it comes to a battle between logic and love, which side will the cybernetic organism—once a man—choose?

Evaluating his feelings will have to wait though because the military isn’t done with Joe. But their threats against him pale in comparison before the shocking discovery of project C791, the revelation of which stuns the rebel cyborgs—and ignites a fury for vengeance.

 

1thoughtsJoe was just a normal cyborg, created to take orders and that’s it. However, something happened to his wiring and he was able to have his own individuality. So when the cyborgs are given a directive to be exterminated via suicide, Joe quickly hacks into the other cyborgs overriding their command base and gives them free will as well. Of course, this leads to a war between the military and the rogue cyborgs. Which is where Chloe and Joe meet. Chloe is assigned to extract DNA samples from the captured cyborg (Joe). Even though he is crude, he does not harm her like he has the previous people who were sent into his cell.

This is my first cyborg romance and I have to say, it won’t be my last. I’ve read other books by Eve but this is by far my favorite story of hers. I liked that even though they were cyborgs they were also human. However, even though they looked human, they were also cyborgs. You see, there were no metal parts showing on his body, everything is internal. He could randomly hack into the closest computer system at will, he healed fast and had no pain receptors so he didn’t feel anything. You never forgot that he was partially a robot.

Eve did a great job with this story. I was captured from the second that cyborgs went rogue and started killing humans. She gave them a dark side. They go into towns and kidnap women for bed-mates, and apparently the older folks are kidnapped for parts. It was all a little creepy, but it worked. I really enjoyed the different elements that Eve brought to the table with this one. It wasn’t some hot and steamy erotica, there was some grit to it too.

 

1favequote“But I am horny now, and according to my neural processor, the definition of woo is to curry the favor of. I do not have the time to properly seek out items to please you. And you have already rejected my flattery.”

kRISTIN

Review: Down London Road by Samantha Young

16140408Down London Road
(On Dublin Street, #2)
By: Samantha Young
Publisher: NAL
Published: May 7, 2013
Genre: New Adult Romance
Rating:
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It has always been up to Johanna to care for her family, particularly her younger brother, Cole. With an absent father and a useless mother, she’s been making decisions based on what’s best for Cole for as long as she can remember. She even determines what men to date by how much they can provide for her brother and her, not on whatever sparks may—or may not—fly.

But with Cameron MacCabe, the attraction is undeniable. The sexy new bartender at work gives her butterflies every time she looks at him. And for once, Jo is tempted to put her needs first. Cam is just as obsessed with getting to know Jo, but her walls are too solid to let him get close enough to even try.

Then Cam moves into the flat below Jo’s, and their blistering connection becomes impossible to ignore. Especially since Cam is determined to uncover all of Jo’s secrets… even if it means taking apart her defenses piece by piece.

 

1thoughtsJo has taken on the parental responsibilities of both her little brother and her unpredictable alcoholic mother. Joss has been making ends meet since the moment she was old enough to start working. She came to the realization that she can’t support her family on her own and has taken to accepting the advances and dating older, more established gentlemen. She doesn’t ask for money, but they like to spoil her with clothes and jewelry which she accepts. She knows that they will eventually get bored of her and move on, which is when she sells all the riches they bestowed upon her. Which helps pay the bills and puts money away for her little brother’s education. However, she finds herself reevaluating her life when she meets her new neighbor/co-worker, Cameron.

Jo was an interesting character. She’s not a gold digger like previously thought. She doesn’t ask for hand outs and she’s independent from the men she dates. No one knows about her life at home. No one knows about her mother or the fact that she is the sole provider for her little brother. So when Cam comes in the picture, inserting himself into her home life, her world is thrown off kilter.

Cam was one of those characters that you had to warm up to. He’s immediately judgmental towards Jo. He views her as nothing short of a paid whore and isn’t afraid to let his disgust show. However, he himself is dating an older woman. He’s actually dating Jo’s boyfriend’s ex. However, that fact is never really brought to the table. Even though he was extremely supportive of Jo, he did some questionable things. So it was nice that the characters weren’t flawless. They definitely had their “duh” moments.

This was a good story. I read On Dublin Street over a year ago and don’t really remember much from the story, let alone remember Jo. So this is definitely a story you can read as a stand alone. I enjoyed watching the layers of Jo peel page as the story progressed. She wasn’t necessarily complex but she was definitely someone who had a lot going on in her life. Her little brother was a character that popped up a lot in the book. He was kind of the silent brooding voice of reason that knew when to give Jo a push when she needed it. This story just came together really nicely and I’m really looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

 

1favequote“You know, the world will always try to make you into who it wants you to be. People, time, events, they’ll all try to carve away at you and make you think you don’t know who you are. But it doesn’t matter who they try to make you, or what name they try to give you. If you stay true, you can chip off all their machinations and you’re still you underneath it all.”

kRISTIN

Review: Graceling by Kristin Cashore

3236307Graceling
(Graceling Realm #1)
By: Kristin Cashore
Publisher: Harcourt
Published: Oct. 1, 2008
Genre: YA Fantasy
Rating:
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Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight – she’s a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king’s thug.

When she first meets Prince Po, Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change.

She never expects to become Po’s friend.

She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace – or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away…

 

1thoughtsKatsa is a Graceling. She was born with a special gift that allows her to fight with extreme skill. She always wins when facing an opponent. She’s been her Uncle’s mercenary since she was young and she’s had enough. When another Graceling comes into the picture, she decides to leave her uncle and take off with the other Graceling on his quest. They come across some enemies along the way who have special gifts of their own.

The world that Kristin creates is amazing. This really didn’t read like a debut novel. She wrote such a great fantasy with strong characters. You won’t find any timid, self-conscious females here. Oh no, Katsa is as rough as they come. She’s not afraid of anything and she’s not looking to get married and have babies. Even Bitterblue (Po’s cousin) is a strong willed 10 year old girl who is wise beyond her years. She doesn’t take things at face value but she doesn’t voice her opinion, instead she seems to observe and take in everything. I really did enjoy all the characters in the story.

The author also does an amazing job with the plot and pacing. There wasn’t a lot of lag time where I was left skimming over pages. There was always something going on whether it was Katsa and her gift, Po and his gift, their journey to save Bitterblue or simply, what it’s like to live during those times. Everything flowed together nicely and I really did enjoy the story. I will definitely be reading Fire.

 

1favequote“If there’s anyone I wish to stun at dinner, I’ll hit him in the face.”

kRISTIN