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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Review: The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong

The Summoning
(Darkest Powers Trilogy, #1)
By: Kelley Armstrong
Publisher: HarperCollins
Published: July 3, 2008
Genre: YA Fantasy
Source: Library
Format: Hardcover
Rating:

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All Chloe Saunders wants is a life like any normal teenager – the chance to get through school, make friends, and maybe meet a boy. But when she starts seeing ghosts, she knows that life will never be the same again.

Soon the ghosts are everywhere, demanding her attention. When Chloe finally breaks down, she’s admitted to a group home for disturbed kids. At first Lyle House seems okay, but as she gets to know the other patients – charming Simon and his ominous, unsmiling brother Derek, obnoxious Tori, and Rae, who has a ‘thing’ for fire – Chloe begins to realize that something strange and sinister binds them all together, and it isn’t your usual ‘problem kid’ behavior.

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Review: The Immortal Highlander by Karen Marie Moning

The Immortal Highlander
(Highlander, #6)
By: Karen Marie Moning
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Published: Aug. 3, 2004
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Source: Bought
Rating:

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With his long, black hair and dark, mesmerizing eyes, Adam Black is Trouble with a capital T. Immortal, arrogant, and intensely sensual, he is the consummate seducer, free to roam across time and continents in pursuit of his insatiable desires. That is, until a curse strips him of his immortality and makes him invisible, a cruel fate for so irresistible a man. With his very life at stake, Adam’s only hope for survival is in the hands of the one woman who can actually see him.

Enter law student Gabrielle O’Callaghan, who is cursed with the ability to see both worlds: Mortal and Faery. From the moment she lays eyes on this stunning male, Gabby is certain of one thing: He could be her undoing. Thus begins a long, dangerous seduction. Because despite his powerful strength and unquenchable hungers, Adam refuses to take a woman by force. Instead, he will tease his way into Gabby’s bed and make her want him just as he wants her.

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Cover Reveal & Excerpt: Fallenmore by Lucy Swing

Lucy is still in the process of writing the sequel to her Feathermore trilogy but couldn’t wait to share the new cover with everyone! She still doesn’t have a blurb yet since the book isn’t finished but she was cool enough to take an except from what she has already written to share with us. Make sure to add Fallenmore to your Goodreads list and look for it to pop up on Barnes & Noble and Amazon soon!

Fallenmore
(Feathermore #2)
By: Lucy Swing
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: May 2012
Genre: YA

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Excerpt

Silence.

Darkness.

Stillness all around me. There was only the endless blackness that stretched out into infinity and swallowed me whole. I floated, weightless, suspended in a starless universe.

I had fallen, hadn’t I?

I’ve gone to hell.

I didn’t understand when, or how, but I must’ve had become a fallen angel. I would forever live and succumb to the darkness that I felt inside of me. I would roam the mortal realm with a heart filled with hate and destruction.

I moved my arms but I couldn’t see them. It was as if I didn’t exist. I was only mind in this world. Wherever this was. The air around me was thick and I took long, deep breaths, but it only caused the feeling of suffocation to enclose me even more.

I thought of what had happened before I had come here, an attempt at trying to piece it together. How and why I had been the one to end up in this place. My memories were hazy, distant, but they were there. I maneuvered around the fog that kept them hidden but I couldn’t tap into them. They were blocked off.

I allowed myself to wander through my life before any of this happened. My parents. Memories flashed through and I gripped on to each one, holding on to the past. Holding on to the love once filled my heart, yet there was nothing there now. No love, no happiness. It seemed like a distant memory, but why? Why had I fallen? There was a faint noise that sent vibrations all around me. I extended my arms, trying to feel for something. Nothing.

“Hello!” Although I couldn’t see myself, I was able to hear. My voice echoed fiercely but no one responded. It was silent for what felt like forever.

“What are you doing here?” Claire. She sounded distant and muffled. I wanted to call back to her, to ask her to help me, but something stopped me. Something deep inside me made me doubt her, almost hate her.

I tried to move, but I couldn’t really tell if I was moving at all. I just floated.

“I can protect her. She will be safe with me, and most importantly, she will feel no pain.” Blake? Why was Blake here? Or, there? Wherever it was that they were. Did they know each other? Questions gathered in my head, but there was no one around to ask them to. I still screamed them out.

“What is going on? Where are you?!”

There was a warm feeling on my hand and then it spread along my arm, as if the darkness was caressing me softly. I twitched away from it, scared by the feeling it brought. The fear was instantly gone. Left behind was emptiness, I just was; the darkness no longer scared me. I wanted to go where he was. Blake. He would know what to do.

“Michael, you can’t think for one second life will go back to what it once was, can you?” Claire’s voice rippled though my body, awakening a monster.

Michael? Who the hell was Michael?

“Of course it won’t, but it’s not because of me, is it?” He spat out. “It was your hand that killed him.”

Killed him.

Who?

A set of blue eyes flashed before me.

And something inside of me broke. Again.

I saw his face and that was all it took for the pain to come crashing down like a tidal wave. I tried to hold on to his face, to the emotions that were coming across in his eyes, but he was gone, and the glimpse of my own emotions was gone with him. I stared down at my own arms, they way they had been wrapped around his body as he took his last breath. The way his bright eyes had lost their intensity; not even the moon that washed the forest with light could brighten them up. His eyes had moved through my face as if searching for something that would save him. But I couldn’t save him, and his eyes soon stared, lifelessly at the star filled sky above us. He had died in my arms and I had done nothing to stop it. I had nothing to prevent it from happening.

Could I had saved him from the doom that loving me had brought upon him?

I screamed, or at least I thought I was screaming. There was no more sounds coming out from me.

I dug deeper through the memory. I could still feel the weight of his body in my arms. There had been a tear deep inside of me the moment I felt his soul vanish, when he had become just another useless death in Lilith’s game.

Lilith. Who had left him there to die. Who just stood by as Shemer’s sword took the one person I lived for. Who stood by when Claire, my best friend, killed him. Lilith, whom I would have sacrificed it all to, if only to see his face one more time. If me dying meant I would be with him again, that’s what I wanted to do. Where I wanted to be. But I was trapped here.

Alone.

 
 
author

Lucy Swing lives in sunny Florida with her husband and two children.

She is a YA Paranormal/ Romance writer, whose works include: Feathermore #1 & Fallenmore #2 (Feathermore Trilogy), Bloody Valentine, the novella, and Bloody Valentine is also offered in “Death by Chocolate,” an anthology consisting of 6 fantastic YA short stories with a chocolaty twist.
She is an absolute book hoarder and must always have a book at arms distance. Music is her muse, and there is always a soundtrack that plays along her life.

For more information on Lucy Swing please visit her website.

Review: Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning

DarkFever
(Fever, #1)
By: Karen Marie Moning
Publisher: Delecorte Press
Published: Oct. 31, 2006
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Rating:

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MacKayla Lane’s life is good. She has great friends, a decent job, and a car that breaks down only every other week or so. In other words, she’s your perfectly ordinary twenty-first-century woman.

Or so she thinks…until something extraordinary happens.

When her sister is murdered, leaving a single clue to her death–a cryptic message on Mac’s cell phone–Mac journeys to Ireland in search of answers. The quest to find her sister’s killer draws her into a shadowy realm where nothing is as it seems, where good and evil wear the same treacherously seductive mask. She is soon faced with an even greater challenge: staying alive long enough to learn how to handle a power she had no idea she possessed–a gift that allows her to see beyond the world of man, into the dangerous realm of the Fae….

As Mac delves deeper into the mystery of her sister’s death, her every move is shadowed by the dark, mysterious Jericho, a man with no past and only mockery for a future. As she begins to close in on the truth, the ruthless Vlane–an alpha Fae who makes sex an addiction for human women–closes in on her. And as the boundary between worlds begins to crumble, Mac’s true mission becomes clear: find the elusive Sinsar Dubh before someone else claims the all-powerful Dark Book–because whoever gets to it first holds nothing less than complete control of the very fabric of both worlds in their hands.

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Review: Alpha by Rachel Vincent

Alpha
(Shifters #6)
By: Rachel Vincent
Publisher: Mira
Published: Sept. 28, 2010
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback
Rating:

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The unscrupulous new Council chair has charged Jace, Marc and me with trespassing, kidnapping, murder and treason. Yeah, we’ve been busy. But now it’s time to take justice into our own hands. We must avenge my brother’s death and carve out the rot at the heart of the Council.It’s not going to be easy, and loss seems unavoidable, but I have promised to protect my Pride, no matter what. With a target on my back and Marc at my side, I’m heading for a final showdown that can–that will–change everything forever. A showdown I’m not sure I’m ready for.

But life never waits until you’re ready.

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