Review: Spellcaster by Cara Lynn Shultz

Spellcaster

(Spellbound, #2)
By: Cara Lynn Shultz
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Published: March 27, 2012
Genre: YA
Source: NetGalley
Rating:
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Finding your eternal soul mate – easy.

Stopping a true-love-hungry evil – not so much…

After breaking a centuries-old romantic curse, Emma Connor is (almost) glad to get back to normal problems. Although…it’s not easy dealing with the jealous cliques and gossip that rule her exclusive Upper East Side prep, even for a sixteen-year-old newbie witch. Having the most-wanted boy in school as her eternal soul mate sure helps ease the pain-especially since wealthy, rocker-hot Brendan Salinger is very good at staying irresistibly close….

But something dark and hungry is using Emma and Brendan’s deepest fears to reveal damaging secrets and destroy their trust in each other. And Emma’s crash course in über-spells may not be enough to keep them safe…or to stop an inhuman force bent on making their unsuspected power its own.

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Review: Stained by Jessica McBrayer

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Review: Fever by Joan Swan

Fever

(Phoenix Rising, #1)
By: Joan Swan
Publisher: Kensington Publishing
Published: March 1, 2012
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Source: Won
Rating:

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When Dr. Alyssa Foster is taken hostage by a prison inmate, she knows she’s in deep trouble. Not just because Teague Creek is desperate for freedom, but because the moment his fingers brush against her skin, Alyssa feels a razor-sharp pang of need…

A man with a life sentence has nothing to lose. At least Teague doesn’t, until his escape plan develops a fatal flaw: Alyssa. On the run from both the law and deadly undercover operatives, he can only give her lies, but every heated kiss tells him the fire between them could be just as devastating as the flames that changed him forever.

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Review: Bloodfever by Karen Marie Moning

Bloodfever
(Fever, #2)
By: Karen Marie Moning
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Published: Oct 16, 2007
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Source: Bought
Rating:

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I used to be your average, everyday girl but all that changed one night in Dublin when I saw my first Fae, and got dragged into a world of deadly immortals and ancient secrets…

In her fight to stay alive, MacKayla must find the Sinsar Dubh—a million-year-old book of the blackest magic imaginable, which holds the key to power over the worlds of both the Fae and Man. Pursued by assassins, surrounded by mysterious figures she knows she can’t trust, Mac finds herself torn between two deadly and powerful men: V’lane, the immortal Fae Prince, and Jericho Barrons, a man as irresistible as he is dangerous.

For centuries the shadowy realm of the Fae has coexisted with that of humans. Now the walls between the two are coming down, and Mac is the only thing that stands between them.

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Review: The Between by L.J. Cohen

The Between
By: L.J. Cohen
Publisher: Interrobang Books
Published: Jan. 6, 2012
Genre: YA
Rating:

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High school senior Lydia Hawthorne is less than grateful when Oberon has her snatched from the Mortal world and she finds out she’s actually Fae. And not just any Fae, but a trueborn with enough inherent magic to tip the balance between Oberon and Titania’s warring Bright and Shadow courts.

But that’s their game and she doesn’t want to play by their rules. Together with Clive Barrow, a Bright Court Fae with embarrassing family ties to the Mortal world, Lydia fights to regain her old life, fueling her magic with the very Human power of love and loss, challenging the essential nature of Faerie itself.

 

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Review: The Breakaway by Michelle Davidson Argyle

 

The Breakaway

By: Michelle Davidson Argyle
Publisher: Rhemalda Publishing
Published: May 1, 2012
Genre: YA
Source: Author
Rating:
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When Naomi Jensen is kidnapped, it takes her parents two days to realize she’s missing. Escape isn’t high on her list of priorities when all she has to return to is an abusive boyfriend and parents who never paid much attention to her. For the first time in her life she’s part of a family—even if it is a family of criminals. But she’s still a captive. In a desperate attempt to regain some control in her life, Naomi embarks on a dangerous plan to make one of her kidnappers think she’s falling in love with him. The plan works too well, and when faced with the chance to escape, Naomi isn’t sure she wants to take it.

 
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Review: Out of the Ashes by Lori Dillon

Out of the Ashes
By: Lori Dillon
Publisher: Amari Press
Published: March 17, 2012
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Rating:
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Pompeii, AD 79

David and Sera are soul mates meant to be together, if only their bumbling guardian angels could do their job right…

First united in Pompeii as a privileged merchant’s daughter and a slave gladiator, their young love is cut short when Vesuvius unexpectedly erupts. After several botched attempts, their angels get one final chance to bring the couple together and personally escort them back to war-torn Italy, nearly two thousand years later.

WWII, 1943

Sera is now an archeologist excavating the ruins of Pompeii. David is an American soldier masquerading as an Italian, sent to spy on the Germans camped near the ruins. With the help of their earth-bound angels, they soon find each other again as they excavate the ruins.

1thoughts
The book starts off with a gladiator slave who is about to enter the arena where he will fight to the death. When he is about to be defeated and killed, there is a commotion in the stands of the arena. A young woman is pleading for his life to be spared and crazy enough the crowd seems to agree with her. His life is spared and he is able to live another day to fight in the arena. The young woman is fascinated with the gladiator and starts visiting him in his cell. They start to develop a friendship that is rapidly becoming something more but then Vesuvius erupts and their time together is cut short.

The story then changes to their guardian angels getting chewed out for allowing their charges to die before their time and are given a second chance by having their charges be reincarnated, and then again, and again. Until we get David and Sera. I was a little glad that the author didn’t make us read about all of the failures but rather the first time these two spirits meet and then the current time for the two characters which just so happens to be during WWII. Sera is an archaeologist digging up the remains of Pompeii and David is an American spy who happened to get a job as Sera’s assistant but is really there to spy on the German camp that is practically in Sera’s excavation site’s backyard.

I must say that it was instantaneous love for me when I started reading about the gladiators. I am not a huge history buff but somethings do interest me and that is one of them. I loved Sera and David. Their characters just worked so well together. And Lori Dillon’s writing was spot on for me. She didn’t get too heavy with the details weighing you down with too many words and distracting you from the story at hand. She gives you enough details to paint a picture in your head but leaves some of it to your imagination, which I love.

I really enjoyed the author’s note at the end that explained that she got the idea when she saw a National Geographic photograph of a plaster cast of a couple from Pompeii. The two died in each others arms and from that picture she imagined who the couple might have been and came up with Out of the Ashes. She did an amazing job with the story and I can’t believe that this is a debut novel for her. I cannot wait to read more of her work.

1favepart
Sera and David’s guardian angels are discussing all of their failures over trying to bring their two souls together with their boss.

“Apparently there was a typo on the relocation application for Male 2028.”
“Really?”
“You see, he was supposed to return as a Hun on Horseback.”
“And he was sent back as…?”
Marsha and Hershel glanced nervously at each other.
“A monk with a hunchback,” Hershel mumbled as he sank lower in his chair.

Review: Storm’s Heart by Thea Harrison

Storm’s Heart
(Elder Races, #2)
By: Thea Harrison
Publisher: Berkley
Published: Aug 2, 2011
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Source: Won
Rating:
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During the rule of her murderous Dark Fae uncle, Thistle “Tricks” Periwinkle found sanctuary among the Wyr in New York. Her ethereal beauty and sparkling personality won the hearts of the public, but after her uncle’s death, there are those who don’t want to see her ascend to the throne.

Able to wield thunder and lightning, Wyr sentinel Tiago Black Eagle has ruled the skies for centuries. His massive build and thunderous power make him one of the Wyr’s best weapons. And he’s sent to protect Tricks when she’s almost assassinated in Chicago.

Soon, both Tiago and Tricks will fall prey to the stormy hunger that engulfs them—a passion that will shake the very foundation of all the worlds.

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Review: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

Outlander
(Outlander, #1)
By: Diana Gabaldon
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Published: June 1, 1991
Genre: Historical Romance
Source: Library
Rating:
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In 1945, Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon—when she innocently touches a boulder in one of the ancient stone circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach—an “outlander”—in a Scotland torn by war and raiding border clans in the year of our Lord…1743.
Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire’s destiny in soon inextricably intertwined with Clan MacKenzie and the forbidden Castle Leoch. She is catapulted without warning into the intrigues of lairds and spies that may threaten her life …and shatter her heart. For here, James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, shows her a passion so fierce and a love so absolute that Claire becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire…and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.

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Review: Exceeding Expectaions by Lisa April Smith

Exceeding Expectations
By: Lisa April Smith
Publisher: 2old2wait2young2giveup
Published: Nov. 29, 2011
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: Author
Rating:

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It’s 1961 and Palm Beach socialite, irresistible rascal and devoted father Jack Morgan encounters genuine danger while staging his suicide to shield his beloved daughters from disgrace. Next, meet his daughter Charlotte (Charlie), an over-indulged 23 year-old struggling to cope with the traumatizing loss of her beloved father, her sister’s resulting mental breakdown and the discovery that she’s suddenly penniless. Fortunately Raul, an admiring young attorney, appears to offer assistance. As terrified as she is about daily survival, Charlie soon realizes that she has to learn what drove her father to kill himself. With Raul’s much needed ego-bolstering, the drive of necessity and unforeseen determination, Charlie finds a practical use for her annoyingly lean 5’ 11” frame. In time, this career finances her hard-wrought independence, her sister’s costly treatment and an emotional eye-opening journey to Paris.

Jumping back in time to romantic pre-WWII Paris readers meet young Alan Fitzpatrick – aka Jack Morgan – lack-luster artist, expert lover, irresistible rascal, and the bewitching girl who will become the mother of his children. Not even Charlie’s relentless detective work will uncover all Jack’s secrets, but in a fireworks of surprise endings, she discovers all that she needs to know and more: disturbing truths about her father, hew own unique talent, crimes great and small and a diabolical villain.

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