Review: Every Ugly Word by Aimee L. Salter

22818100Every Ugly Word
By: Aimee L. Salter
Publisher: Alloy Entertainment
Published: July 29, 2014
Genre: YA Contemporary
Rating:
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When seventeen-year-old Ashley Watson walks through the halls of her high school bullies taunt and shove her. She can’t go a day without fighting with her mother. And no matter how hard she tries, she can’t make her best friend, Matt, fall in love with her. But Ashley also has something no one else does: a literal glimpse into the future. When Ashley looks into the mirror, she can see her twenty-three-year-old self.

Her older self has been through it all already—she endured the bullying, survived the heartbreak, and heard every ugly word her classmates threw at her. But her older self is also keeping a dark secret: Something terrible is about to happen to Ashley. Something that will change her life forever. Something even her older self is powerless to stop.

 

1thoughtsThe book starts off with adult Ashley as she recounts the bullying she endured in high school. Because of a lie she told, Ashley has been bullied every moment since then. She’s been picked on both physically and emotionally and her self esteem is pretty much non existent. The only thing that’s constant in her life is the fact that her future self is always there for her in the mirror. Apparently, when Ashely looks in the mirror she doesn’t just see her own reflection but that of her older self as well. Apparently the older Ashley is there to guide her and to make sure she gets through the bullying and comes out on top at the other end.

Let me just start out by saying that I was bullied for two years in high school. I would show up to school and beeline it straight to my class. I was always watching my back because no matter where I turned someone was talking about me. It got to the point where my mom was ready to contact the school about it but considering that would only make my life there even more a living hell I just stuck through it until I graduated. At least I had my small group of friends that I could count on. I had a support group, but Ashley doesn’t. She has her one best friend, Matt, who doesn’t even really know that she’s being bullied or why. Things get even worse for Ashley when Matt starts dating one of her tormenters.

Considering I was bullied by a vast majority of kids from school, I wasn’t really able to fully connect with Ashley. She put herself in some situations that I just didn’t understand. I would never go to one of my attackers houses for a party. Heck, I went to a teen club once and that was a very bad idea. Dark club, loud music… you get the picture. Needless to say, I didn’t make that mistake again. However, that was not the case. Ashley didn’t learn her lesson the first time and instead went back into enemy territory again. I just didn’t get it. If you are outnumbered and going in with a sketchy person that’s already bailed on you… why would you put yourself in that situation? Sometimes it just felt like the author was trying to throw Ashley in situations to make her life more dramatic and miserable.

I liked that we got the two time differences in this story. You have future Ashley from the mirror and young Ashley, and Ashley who’s talking to the therapist. And you never really know if she’s just crazy or if she’s a time traveler who observes her past/future self from mirrors. I seriously have no idea what happened. What happened to the Ashley that was in the therapists office? Is she really the same one that young Ashley was talking to? Or was that a different future Ashley? I’m so confused. There’s one point where “therapist Ashley” talks about having sex on prom night, but that doesn’t happen with young Ashley… which is the Ashley that “therapist Ashley” is recounting from her past. So yeah, I’m confused.

Aside from the ending this was a good read. The author knows how to draw a reader in. I literally sat down to read it and didn’t get back up until I finished it. It’s just so raw, and you want to know what happens next. You want to know if it all works out for her or not. I really wish the ending was more clear. I was on board with the whole future self thing but then I was thrown for a loop and I never fully caught up to what had taken place.

 

1favequote“People you love should always be more important than people who judge you.”

kRISTIN

Review: Mason Jar Salads and More by Julia Mirabella

18371512Mason Jar Salads and More
50 Layered Lunches to Grab and Go
By: Julia Mirabella
Publisher: Ulysses Press
Published: May 20, 2014
Genre: Cookbook
Rating:
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SALAD MAGIC IN A MASON JAR
Discover the coolest way to pack a tasty, healthy lunch! Mason Jar Salads and More shows how to prepare on-the-go meals that are packed with fresh produce and whole foods.

The tasty recipes and gorgeous full-color photos in this book will show you how to create amazing dishes, including:

•Pomegranate and pear salad
•Pesto tortellini with cherry tomatoes
•Crunchy Asian salad
•Spinach, blueberry and blue cheese salad
•Curried chicken salad
•Kale and avocado salad
•Porcini mushroom risotto
•Overnight oatmeal with fruit
•Green bean and feta salad

4reviewMason Jar Salads and More is a cookbook that contains a bunch or recipes that you pack into a mason jar. The title makes you think it’s just a bunch of lettuce mixtures but there really is a lot more to it than that. There are smoothies, oatmeal, pasta, bean, dip recipes in this book. I was really excited to give this book a try because I’ve always wondered about those mason jar meals you see online. I don’t only use it for quick on the go lunches, I use it for last minute I-don’t-feel-like-cooking dinners as well.

The first recipe I tried was the guacamole salad. Primarily because the Mr. has been on a guacamole kick lately. No seriously, we have a container of guacamole in the fridge at all times because he munches on it just about every night. So this was the perfect recipe to try. I made his with chicken and mine without and I must say that the salad was delicious. You don’t make guacamole, instead you chop up all the components of guacamole and layer them into the jar and let the flavors comes together. You end up with one delicious salad that resembles the guacamole dip. However, the avocado still browns fast even with it being in the jar, so don’t make it more than a day in advance.

The second recipe we tried was the lentil squash. I have been in a fall kick since September rolled around. So I decided to give this recipe a shot. I made a large amount of it so that we could have it for dinner that night. Then I let the ingredients cool down and put the rest into jars for later. I must say that it was just as good warmed up a couple days later as it was the day of. I put smaller mason jars for quick side dishes for later dinners.

If you are a busy person or just want to do some make ahead meals, this is a great book to have in your back pocket. Not only do you get recipes for meals, but Julia gives you recipes for salad dressings that you will use with the recipes. You literally make everything from start to finish. Which in my opinion makes the recipes much more delicious. Plus, my favorite feature from the cookbook are all the mouthwatering pictures. My biggest gripe about cookbooks is when they don’t have pictures in them. I’m a visual person and want to look at what I’m making, and thank goodness this one does. I really could go on and on about this book. I have only tried a couple recipes so far but I plan on trying more recipes in the very near future.

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salad2The lentil squash recipe was my favorite of the two recipes we tried. It’s perfect for the fall. Plus, it stores really well in the jar and tastes just as good two days later as it did when I made it. I will definitely be making this again.

kRISTIN

Review & Giveaway: Black Moon Draw by Lizzy Ford

BMD

green dreamsBlack Moon Draw
By: Lizzy Ford
Publisher: Self-Published
Published: Nov. 9, 2014
Genre: New Adult Fantasy
Rating:
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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.

 

4reviewNaia’s fiance just dumped her a week before the wedding and she finds herself alone at home with a bottle of wine and some new uploaded chapters from a book she’s been reading online. She ends up passing out sometime between her pity party and wakes up in the book she was reading. She’s convinced it’s a dream at first until she realizes that she’s quite possibly really in the fantasy world of the book. She is faced with a huge quest. She must help the Shadow King save his realm or the realm itself will cease to exist, with Naia still in it.

I have to admit that the idea that one could literally get sucked into the book they are reading was pretty interesting. I liked that the author added some interesting aspects into the novel like the animal heads the warriors wear to heighten their abilities. Can’t say I’ve ever heard of that before. I was actually a little worried that one of the leading men literally had a boar’s head. I mean, a guy with a boar face is not attractive at all.

The characters were likable and pretty realistic. Sure, Naia was a bit stubborn at first with her denial of what was going on, but who wouldn’t be. I mean, there have been many times where I’ve fallen asleep after reading only to have the story continue in my dream. The Shadow King was a bit of a brute but he’s got a thousand year curse on his shoulders and only nine days left to lift the curse. So of course he’s short with Naia, his wimpy non-battle battle witch. She’s the one who’s supposed to help him save his world and every time a fight breaks out, she runs the other way… or up a tree.

I will be honest that the Red King reminded me of Lord Baelish from Game of Thrones. You never knew who’s side he was on or what his end game was. He just always popped up when conflict arose and always seemed to diffuse it. He was everyone’s ally but an enemy in disguise. I think I found his character the most fascinating because of that.

However, when I read a story, I read it for the fact of being taken out of reality, and I didn’t get that with this book. I was always one foot in while reading. That was due to two things. One being that Naia was always talking out loud to the author of the story. She’d point out inconsistencies like the Shadow King going from chaps to kilt in the blink of an eye or daylight lasting too long when it should clearly be night by that time, she’d complain to her about wanting to go home, and would ask why she was even sent there. Every time that happened I was jolted out of the story and back to reality. I’d have been fine if it were just at the beginning until Naia came to terms with her new life but I was reminded that this was a book within a book until the very end. The second thing was all the pop culture references. Apparently the author, LF, is a fan of some popular movies/tv shows because things would be said, names used, or circumstances happened that Naia immediately remembered from a movie/tv show. Which she’d then comment on how the author must be a fan of said move/show. A couple of which I was familiar with, others… not so much. I personally really dislike when an author uses pop culture references in a story and makes it the punch line for the scene. Primarily because for those of us who haven’t seen the show/movie, heard the song, or read the book, we have no freaking idea what’s going on. It’s like being left out of a joke that everyone else is laughing at. Yeah, that happened a lot to me in this story.

I think this is a great story. It took me a while to get into and it didn’t fully hold my interest like I’d like but those were all personal reasons. I don’t like being reminded that I’m reading a book, it’s kinda like having someone interrupt you in the middle of a scene, and I don’t like pop culture references, especially ones I don’t know, in my literature. However, for those who don’t have the same issues as me, they’d probably love this book.

 

1favequote“Every book is its own world. They’re all real, if you believe in them.”

 

 

 

authorlizzy

Lizzy Ford is the author of over thirty books written for young adult and adult romance readers, to include the internationally bestselling “Rhyn Trilogy,” “Witchling Series” and the “War of Gods” series.

Lizzy has focused on keeping her readers happy by producing brilliant, gritty romances that remind people why true love is a trial worth enduring. Lizzy’s books can be found on every major ereader library, to include: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBooks, Kobo, Sony and Smashwords. She lives in southern Arizona with her husband, three dogs and a cat.
Website | Facebook | Twitter

 

 

 

1giveaway
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Sunday Wrap-Up #39

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.

 

 

This past week my mom and friend flew across the country to visit the Mr and me. We got to show them our new location near the beach and got to see sealions and dolphins from the pier. It was non-stop action the entire week so I wasn’t online the entire time. It was fun having them here but now it’s time to play catch up on the blog.

 

 
Last week on BSA:
…nothing…

 

This week on BSA:
Black Moon Draw by Lizzy Ford (Review & Giveaway)
Mason Jar Salads and More by Julia Mirabella (Review)
Handcuffed in Housewares by Nikki Duncan (Review)
Fierce by L.G. Kelso (Review)

 

bought
This week we went to the local market and it just so happened that the library (where the market is held) was having a huge book sale. So I got some book buying in. :)

I have actually already read Bound by Night. I got an eARC from Netgalley before it came out last year. However, I wanted a physical copy on my shelf. Check out my review of Bound by Night: HERE.
 
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Bound by Night
By: Larissa Ione
Published: Sept. 24, 2013
Genre: Paranormal Romance
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A WOMAN OUT FOR BLOOD
Nicole Martin was only eight years old when the vampire slaves rose up in rebellion and killed her family. Now she devotes her life to finding a vaccine against vampirism, hoping to wipe out her memories—along with every bloodsucker on the planet. But there’s one thing she cannot destroy: her searing, undeniable attraction for the one man she should hate and fear the most . . .

A VAMPIRE OUT FOR REVENGE
A member of the renegade vampire MoonBound Clan, Riker is haunted by demons of his own. When he recognizes Nicole and remembers how her family enslaved his loved ones, his heart burns for vengeance. But when he kidnaps Nicole and holds her in a secret lair, his mortal enemy becomes his soul obsession, his greatest temptation, and, perhaps, his only salvation—a hot-blooded lover who could heal him with her touch . . . or bury him forever.

 

 

 

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Jewel of Atlantis
By: Gena Showalter
Published: Feb. 1, 2006
Genre: Paranormal Romance
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All Atlantis seeks the Jewel of Dunamis, which legend claims can overcome any enemy. Grayson James, human agent of the ultra-secret Otherworld Bureau of Investigation, has orders to keep it from the wrong hands — or destroy it. What he doesn’t know is that Jewel is a woman, not a stone! But once he meets this precious gem, destroying her is the last thing on his mind . . .

Jewel, part goddess, part prophet, is a pawn in Atlantis’s constant power struggles. She needs Gray’s help to win freedom and uncover the secrets of her mysterious origins. Gray needs her wisdom to navigate monster-ridden Atlantis. But need blossoms into passionate love as they fight demons, dragons, vampires-and a prophecy that says the bond between them could destroy them both.

 

 

 

13310549

Last Kiss Goodnight
By: Gena Showalter
Published: Dec. 26, 2012
Genre: Paranormal Romance
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THE SWEETEST TEMPTATION…

Black ops agent Solomon Judah awakens caged and bound in a twisted zoo where otherworlders are the main attraction. Vika Lukas, the owner’s daughter, is tasked with Solo’s care and feeding. The monster inside him yearns to kill her on sight, even though she holds the key to his escape. But the human side of him realizes the beautiful deaf girl is more than she seems—she’s his.

THE ULTIMATE PRICE…

Vika endures the captives’ taunts and loathing, hoping to keep them alive even if she can’t free them. Only, Solo is different—he protects her. But as hostility turns to forbidden romance, his feelings for her will be used against him…and he’ll be put to a killer test.

 

 
Goodies
P1030463Gina Damico sent everyone who participated in the book trailer reveal for “Hellhole” a little swag as a thank you. :D
 

 
kRISTIN

Review: Nobody’s Angel by Kallypso Masters

12761827Nobody’s Angel
(Rescue Me Saga, #1)
By: Kallypso Masters
Publisher: Self-Published
Published: Sept. 29, 2011
Genre: Erotica
Rating:
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When Marc rescued Angelina from an abusive Dom at his fetish club, he never imagined she’d upend his safe, controlled life. But his SAR partner, Luke, a widower, thinks Angelina has been sent to him by his dead wife. Marc knows only he can fulfill her sexual needs, but won’t hurt his friend. When the abusive Dom stalks her, she turns to Marc for help and learns a submissive has power too.

 

 

1thoughtsI will admit that Marc wasn’t one of my favorite characters in the first book. Not that he’s a bad guy but his story just didn’t interest me. He has quite a bit of money thanks to his family’s business. He’s been burned by women that he planned to marry before and has since grown detached from wanting a permanent sub. Sure, he doesn’t mind the one night stands but he’s not up to trusting anyone ever again.

Since reading BDSM romance novels, Angela has been intrigued by it. So when her date takes her to Master at Arms “kink club”, she’s excited to see what all her books talk about. However, the night quickly turns for the worse and she finds herself tied up with an abusive Dom who refuses to heed to the safe-word. So needless to say, she’s not going to be going to anymore BDSM clubs.

Luke is a new character added to the scene. He’s the guy who makes the special furniture for the club. He’s also part of the Search and Rescue team with Marc. So, on one of their SAR missions, Luke is taken back to the place where he not only lost his wife but a SAR member years ago when hiking with his wife. He’s never forgiven himself for what happened that fatal day. If they’d been more cautious and payed attention to the signs, his wife would still be alive and he wouldn’t have the death of Antonio Giardano Sr. on his hands. So imagine his turmoil when he finds himself interested in Antonio’s daughter.

Once the story started, I thought it was interesting but I still couldn’t get on board with a few things that take place. Aside from that one night at the club where Angela was abused by her Dom and then saved by the dungeon master, Marc, she’s as vanilla as they come. So why when presented with Luke and Marc, she starts getting hot and heavy with both of them? Some times separately, or while in the same room sitting next to each other, or the three of them together?!

“She was putty in their hands now. If they wanted to worship at her alter, she wasn’t about to reject their offerings.”

I just didn’t understand how she made that leap when only knowing the guys for a few hours. I mean, she had no clue that Marc was the guy who saved her that night since he was wearing a mask. So it’s not even like she had that to go off of. I don’t know, maybe it’s just me.

Aside from that, I was excited to see glimpses of Adam and Karla in this book, since after all, Karla and Angela become friends in this book. Yup, I’m definitely glad that their story is next because I’ve been dying to read up on the Marine who saved the teenage runaway from the local pimps. HaHa

 

1favequote“Angel. She was nobody’s angel, but she liked when Luke called her that anyway.”

 

Previous reviews from Rescue Me
Masters at Arms

kRISTIN

Excerpt: The Story of Fester Cat by Paul Magrs

20893498The Story of Fester Cat
By: Paul Magrs
Publisher: Berkley Trade
Published: Nov. 4, 2014
Genre: Non-Fiction

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From when he first ambled into Paul Magrs’s yard—skinny, covered in flea bites, and missing all but one and a half teeth—Fester knew he’d found his family. Paul and his partner, Jeremy, thought it was the ragged black-and-white stray, tired from a rough life on the streets, who was in desperate need of support. But clever Fester knew better. He understood that it was his newfound owners who needed the help.

Over the course of seven years, the feisty feline turned the quaint Manchester house into a loving home. Through his fierce spirit, strong will, and calming energy, Fester taught Paul and Jeremy how to listen and breathe, how to appreciate the joys of simply sitting and singing (what Fester’s purrs sounded like to his silly humans), and how to find joy and contentment in life, even when dealing with hardship.

This is the true story of an extraordinary little cat whose gentle charm and trusting soul turned two young men into a family.

 
 
 
Excerpt

Now it’s time to sit at Paul’s desk.

His window is level with the top of his desk. The desk is a flat wooden table, with room for his laptop, a mugful of pens, and a small basket of notebooks. And there’s room enough for me to sit on. There are three basic desk positions for Fester Cat. First, there’s right in front of the laptop. I sit between Paul and his keyboard, pushing my face into his. I nudge him for attention. Somehow he snakes his arms around me and carries on typing, even as I’m kissing him. The warmth of the machine is wonderful.

Then there’s the more nonchalant positioning, on the right of the laptop. From here I can keep an eye on Paul, and lean over now and then to scratch my chin on the very corner of his computer screen. Sometimes I do this so well I leave some slobber on the glass, but he doesn’t mind.

Then—in some ways, best of all—I sit right in front of the window, with the whole of Chestnut Avenue spread before me. I have a magnificent view of the road in front of us and how it splits into two dead ends. Lots of traffic comes past here. Lots of kids in hoodies, school kids, mums with pushchairs, dodgy-looking blokes, and neighbours that I can recognise. Also, lots of cats. I watch them tracking about, hopping over walls, under gates, and brazenly down the middle of the road. Lots and lots of cats, not all of whom I recognise. And dogs and sometimes, late at night, foxes. I sit up, alert, riveted by the drama outside. To me it’s like the telly is to the boys, and I think they understand that.

Paul types away furiously for minutes and hours at a time. Then he stops abruptly. Then he does a bit more. Then he picks out a notebook and goes flipping through quickly, looking for something. Then he starts scribbling madly for page after page and then crossing things out. He uses pens that squeak against the page like baby mice. I can’t help myself hopping over and pushing my cold nose against his hand. If I really want his attention I go and sit on the pages of his notebook. If I think he’s been working too long and too hard and his attention is starting to fray, I go to interrupt him and I know it’s the right thing to do.

He talks to me at odd moments through the day. He takes it very seriously, knowing we’re having a proper conversation. Knowing I’m taking it all in. He tries out ideas on me.

“Spoiling you! Huh!” he says.

“Ungow,” I tell him. Surely it’s after twelve by now. Surely it’s almost time for lunch?

“You’re my first ever cat, Fester,” he tells me. “I’ve always wanted one. I always suspected that I might be a cat kind of person. But when I was a kid, Mam wouldn’t have one. She thought they were stinky, nasty things.”

“Ungow!”

“I know! And then, of course, as a student it was always about moving house each year and you couldn’t really have pets. Then it was about moving from city to city. And then me and Jeremy were living in different cities . . .

I like it when he tells me bits about their lives before I came along. I’m slowly building up a picture of who they both are. Paul uses far more words than Jeremy does, of course. He hardly ever shuts up. Only when he’s working or reading—and even then, it’s words, words, words passing through his mind.

“Really, I don’t even know the right way to carry on with a cat. I don’t know the right way to be.”

“Ungow.” I try telling him it’s fine. He doesn’t have to be any particular way. Just keep on doing his normal stuff. Cats don’t need entertaining or babysitting. If I wasn’t interested I’d be nowhere near you. I’d zip off somewhere and get on with something else. You’re okay. You sit quite still and you do some interesting stuff.

I especially like it when he goes off in one of his daydreams, between bouts of his tap-tapping at the keyboard. He stares into space out of the window just like a cat would. We sit there side by side, staring into the road, into other people’s windows, and into the sky.

Reprinted from The Story of Fester Cat by Paul Magrs by arrangement with Berkley, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, a Penguin Random House Company, Copyright © 2014 by Paul Magrs.

 
 
 
author
Fester

Paul Magrs is the author of many books, written for all ages and in many different genres, but this is his first foray into memoir. He taught novel writing in the MA program in Creative Writing at UEA, and then at Manchester Metropolitan. Paul lives in Manchester, England, with his partner, Jeremy, and is now a full-time writer.

Website

 
 

Trailer Reveal: Hellhole by Gina Damico

hellholeHellhole
By: Gina Damico
Publisher: HMH Books
Release Date: Jan. 6, 2015
Genre: Paranormal YA

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Geeky, squeaky-clean Max Kilgore only has one dirty habit: digging for fossils. One day, to his horror, his shovel strikes not upon a dinosaur bone, but a pit to hell—and out of it comes a devil. Specifically, the kind of devil who eats a lot of junk food, watches a lot of reality television, plays a lot of video games, and refuses to leave Max’s basement. But evil is still evil, no matter what form it takes. And Max has to find a way to comply with the demands of the big red menace, lest he lay waste to everyone and everything Max cares about.

With the help of Lore, a former goth girl who knows a thing or two about the dark side, Max goes in search of a new abode for his unwanted guest. Finding a place where he can reside in luciferian luxury isn’t easy, but Max has strong motivation: his mother, whose terminal illness the devil promises to cure if Max gives him what he wants. Lore has her doubts about making a deal with the devil, but Max will stop at nothing to save his mom. And pretty soon, he’s doing things the good kid he once was would never dream of doing. Clearly, hanging around with a devil is a bad influence. But how can Max get rid of the guy without incurring the wrath of hell?

 
 

I am a huge fan of the Croak trilogy and I’m really excited about Hellhole. Considering that Croak had me laughing out loud at all the shenanigans that take place and Lex’s smart-ass attitude, and the fact that this is one awesome trailer of silliness… I think it’s safe to say that Hellhole will have me giggle-snorting all over the place. I mean c’mon, look at them dinosaurs!



 
 
author
4983109

I grew up under four feet of snow in Syracuse, New York. I received a degree in theater and sociology from Boston College, where I was active with the Committee for Creative Enactments, a murder mystery improv comedy troupe that may or may not have sparked my interest in wildly improbably bloodshed. I have since worked as a tour guide, transcriptionist, theater house manager, scenic artist, movie extra, office troll, retail monkey, yarn hawker, and breadmonger. I live in Boston with my husband, two cats, and a closet full of black hoodies.

Website | Twitter | Facebook

Review: Third Grave Dead Ahead by Darynda Jones

12043770Third Grave Dead Ahead
(Charley Davidson, #3)
By: Darynda Jones
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Published: January 1, 2012
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Rating:
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Paranormal private eye. Grim reaper extraordinaire. Whatever. Charley Davidson is back! And she’s drinking copious amounts of caffeine to stay awake because, every time she closes her eyes, she sees him: Reyes Farrow, the part-human, part-supermodel son of Satan. Yes, she did imprison him for all eternity, but come on. How is she supposed to solve a missing persons case, deal with an ego-driven doctor, calm her curmudgeonly dad, and take on a motorcycle gang hell-bent on murder when the devil’s son just won’t give up?

 

1thoughtsI think that this might have been my favorite so far in the series! There is a lot more Reyes in this book than previous books and a lot more Swoopes too. Although I must admit, I am starting to lean more towards Swooped than Reyes. Maybe his violence is too much for me, or the fact that Swoopes always seems to be there for Charlie. Oh and Charlie is the same old witty character that I love.

In this book Reyes is bound to his body which is stuck in jail. He is livid with Charlie for binding him to his human body and he’s determined to get out and take care of some unfinished business. The only problem is, Charlie has no clue how to undo what she did. I liked getting a more in depth look at Reyes. It seemed like the majority of this book was the disection of Reyes, and even though he was extremely abused by his father as a kid and has spent the last 10 yrs in jail for murder, there was just something about him that confused me. He seemed to run hot and cold during the book.

There is a lot more than just Reyes to this book though. Charlie is searching for a missing wife whom she has a feeling her husband, who tried to hire her first, had a hand in her disappearance. While trying to talk with her ghost friend who has a gift for know which spirits has recently passed over, she runs into the biker gang who own the property that her friend Rocket “resides” in. That made for some really interesting pages. Not to mention the ending… (yup, I’m going to leave you hanging). Don’t want to ruin the “awww” factor for you.

I must admit that this book evoked quite a few reactions for me. Yes of course I laughed because Darynda has a great sense of humor and it shows in her books. But I also remember throwing my hand over my mouth and gasping at a few surprises and thinking “no no no no”. (Again sorry that I can’t give the details but trust me, you will know where I had a mini freak out because it involved Swoopes). I don’t know about you but I very much enjoy a book that can wrap me in so completely and have me reacting to it in a way that makes the Mr. wonder what I’m reading on the other side of the couch.

 

1favequote“Never trust a man with a penis.”

 

Previous reviews from Charley Davidson
First Grave on the Right
Second Grave on the Left
kRISTIN

Review: Echoes of Scotland Street by Samantha Young

20617402Echoes of Scotland Street
(On Dublin Street, #5)
By: Samantha Young
Publisher: NAL
Published: Oct. 7, 2014
Genre: New Adult Romance
Rating:
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Goodreads | Amazon | B&N

Shannon MacLeod has always gone for the wrong type of man. After she drifted from one toxic relationship to the next, her last boyfriend gave her a wakeup call in the worst possible way. With her world shattered, she’s sworn off men—especially those of the bad-boy variety.

Cole Walker is exactly the sort that Shannon wants to avoid—gorgeous, tattooed, charming, and cocky. But his rough exterior hides a good man who’s ready to find “the one.” He’s determined to pull Shannon from her self-imposed solitude and win her heart.

As Shannon opens up in the face of Cole’s steady devotion, the passion between them ignites to blazing levels. But when Shannon’s past comes back to haunt her, her fears may destroy the trust Cole has built between them—and tear them apart for good…

 

1thoughtsShannon has always been into the “bad-boy”. Not the bad-boy appearance but literally the kind of guy you don’t want to be in a relationship with. The ones that cheat on you, abuse you, hit you, she’s dated them all. So when she moves away to start her life over, she’s not too thrilled to have a boss who comes on to her at every corner. Sure they may have met once when they were kids but that is not enough reason to flirt with her at work. Not to mention that Shannon is convinced he’s just another bad-boy to add to her list. However, as she spends time with him and her co-workers, she is brought to the realization that looks can be deceiving.

I will admit that when I first started reading this story I felt a little left out. Every review I read gushed about Cole, but in the beginning of the story, he’s a little too much. I mean, right off the bat he’s flirting with Shannon. Sure, they may have met briefly when they were kids but surely that’s not enough reason to hit on your new employee. He crowded her at every turn and gave her “panty dropping” looks every chance he got. I was getting ready to throw in the towel when I realized that Cole was a character from the second book in the series. So I grabbed a copy of Down London Road and started reading that to familiarize myself with Cole. I will admit that after reading DLR I wasn’t so turned off by Cole anymore. I mean, he was still extremely unprofessional and it wasn’t okay or even remotely “sexy” but I felt like I knew the creep. So to those of you haven’t read DLR, I suggest it before going into this one.

I like that if you are a fan of the series, the author makes sure to bring back all of the characters and secondary characters from those stories. So it’s like a reunion in every book. I have not actually read every book in the series but after reading DLR I was familiar with who they were.

This was a great story that deals a lot with close knit friends and family. There was always some event or gathering taking place to where Cole and Shannon would be brought together. I liked that, for Shannon at least, the romance was slow building. It took her a long while to be able to trust Cole. She’d been burned a lot and was very cautious around guys. Considering the childhood that Cole had, I’m surprised he wasn’t a bit more stand-offish. He wasn’t reserved at all and I thought that a little odd given the abuse he endured from his mother.

I also found that this series seems to be a bit repetitive. Someone jumps to conclusions thinking the worst of the other. So that person backs off and distances themselves from said person. Only to have the other person realize they were wrong and then come graveling back for forgiveness. I’ve only read 3 books for the series but they’ve all followed that theme. I mean Shannon literally looked at EVERY male in this book and thought “player” “bad-boy”… mind you, one of them was gay, the others were happily married and Cole was well, Cole. I just wish there was something different in this story.

Don’t get me wrong, this was still an enjoyable read but you definitely wouldn’t want to go into these reading them back to back like I did with DLR and this one. I loved On Dublin Street but I don’t think I will be continuing with this series.

 

1favequote“That’s how people describe me. ‘Oh, Shannon, you look cute in that picture.’ et cetera. I suppose it’s better than ‘You look like you’ve been pulled through the bushes backwards,’ so I’m not complaining.”

 

 
Previous reviews from On Dublin Street
On Dublin Street
Down London Road

kRISTIN

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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Goodreads | Amazon | B&N

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