Thursday, August 25, 2016

Book Shelf: Ruined (Ruined #1) by Amy Tintera

Emelina Flores has nothing. Her home in Ruina has been ravaged by war; her parents were killed and her sister was kidnapped. Even though Em is only a useless Ruined - completely lacking any magic - she is determined to get revenge.

Her plan is simple: She will infiltrate the enemy's kingdom, posing as the crown prince's betrothed. She will lead an ambush. She will kill the king and everyone he holds dear, including his son.

The closer Em gets to the prince, though, the more she questions her mission. Her rage-filled heart begins to soften. But with her life - and her family - on the line, love could be Em's deadliest mistake.


More info on Goodreads......


Review:

Ruined is Amy Tintera’s latest release and is a superbly written fantasy tale packed with action, adventure and romance that will no doubt appeal to fans of The Winner's Kiss by Marie Rutkoski and Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas! 

Emelina Flores is a member of the Ruined, a race of people known for their incredible abilities, who are hunted and executed by the ruling Kingdom of Lera. Em’s home has been ravaged by war; her parents dead and her sister a prisoner of Lera’s King. With nothing to lose, Em infiltrates the enemy’s kingdom, posing as the crown prince’s betrothed in order to find her sister and enact revenge. Planning to kill the king and destroy the royal family, Em isn’t prepared to discover that prince Cas is nothing like his father. Kind and genuine, falling for Cas could change everything if Em allows it, but with lives on the line and attack around the corner, will Em be able to go through with her mission, or will her heart lead her astray…..

Ruined truly was a well-paced, well written and incredibly well detailed fantasy tale! As someone who has adored Amy Tintera’s work in the past, I can honestly say she did not disappoint with this latest release and had me thoroughly entertained with Ruined. Ruined unfolds through Em and Cas’s varying POV’s and allows us into the minds of two very different characters who are on opposite sides of the divide. 

I honestly liked the two main characters Amy Tintera featured in Ruined. Em was a strong, capable female lead who knew what she wanted and was willing to fight for her people. In the beginning of the story Em comes across as really hard; she’s determined to make the royal family of Lera pay and doesn’t flinch in taking lives, but as Ruined progresses, Cas seems to bring out something in her—a softer side that allows her to see things aren’t completely black and white and there is hope.

Cas on the other hand is simply an honest and genuinely good guy. He’s somewhat naïve to the goings on within the kingdom and it’s not until he meets Em that he begins to pay real attention to how the Ruined are treated and what his father does to them. Cas could be a really wonderful leader if he has the chance; someone who could instil new practices within the kingdom. 

Cas and Em meet when she poses as his intended to gain entry into the palace. Marrying Cas may open a lot of doors for Em, but over time it also makes her question a lot of things. Em and Cas’s relationship was really sweet and endearing to read about. Tintera builds on the tension between them the closer they get and it was really entrancing seeing them slowly fall for one another. It may not have been the plan, but there’s no doubt that Cas brings out the best in Em and theirs was a romance I really enjoyed seeing the beginning of---I can only hope how strong Amy Tintera will develop them in future books!

Depicting a fantasy world where different kingdoms and lands are at war with one another, I’m especially intrigued by the Ruined people. There were a few supporting characters we met that I liked and would like to know more about, but I don’t feel we truly know the world within the story yet. 

Concluding on a killer ending, Ruined sets the stage for the second book in this series, Avenged, and leaves me dying to see what will happen to Em and Cas next! Fast paced, wonderfully written and deliciously romantic, Ruined was a solid fantasy read that leaves me excited to see what Amy Tintera does with the series next!

Rating:
Source:
Sent for review by publisher (Thank you guys!)
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Format: Paperback
Australian RRP:
$16.99
Release Date: 27th April 2016
Purchase:
Bookworld | Booktopia | The Book Depository | Amazon
Final Thoughts:
Though our Australian cover doesn't do much for me, Ruined is a BRILLIANT book and I cannot wait for the next one!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday #145

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking The Spine where you can spotlight an upcoming release that you're eagerly anticipating.

This week I'm waiting on.....

The Book Jumper by Mechthild Gläser
Releases on: January 3rd 2017

Amy Lennox doesn't know quite what to expect when she and her mother pick up and leave Germany for Scotland, heading to her mother's childhood home of Lennox House on the island of Stormsay.

Amy's grandmother, Lady Mairead, insists that Amy must read while she resides at Lennox House—but not in the usual way. It turns out that Amy is a book jumper, able to leap into a story and interact with the world inside. As thrilling as Amy's new power is, it also brings danger—someone is stealing from the books she visits, and that person may be after her life. Teaming up with fellow book jumper Will, Amy vows to get to the bottom of the thefts—at whatever the cost.


Thoughts:
Uh, hello. Book jumper? As in, able to jump into books?? Hell to the yes! Isn't that every readers dream come true?!? I mean, could you imagine jumping into your favourite book?? Talk about heaven. I'm soooooooo ready to read The Book Jumper! Reminds me a little of Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult, but I loved Between the Lines so I'm not complaining! And isn't that cover stunning?!? Hope they stick with it!

What do you think of The Book Jumper? Is it something you would like to read?
What are you waiting on this week?

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Book Shelf: Daring the Bad Boy by Monica Murphy

Annie McFarland is sick of being a shy nobody. A session at summer camp seems like the perfect opportunity to reinvent herself—gain some confidence, kiss a boy, be whoever she wants to be. A few days in, she’s already set her sights on über-hottie Kyle. Too bad her fear of water keeps her away from the lake, where Kyle is always hanging out.

Jacob Fazio is at Camp Pine Ridge after one too many screw-ups. Junior counseling seems like punishment enough, but the rigid no-fraternizing-with-campers rules harsh his chill. When a night of Truth or Dare gets him roped into teaching Annie how to swim, she begs him to also teach her how to snag Kyle.

Late-night swim sessions turn into late-night kissing sessions...but there’s more on the line than just their hearts. If they get caught, Jake’s headed straight to juvie, but Annie’s more than ready to dare him to reveal the truth.


More info on Goodreads......


Review:

Daring the Bad Boy by Monica Murphy is a fun and flirty contemporary read, perfect if you’re looking for that summer romance tale that is endearing, sweet and an honestly good read. 

Sixteen year told Annie McFarland has only ever been known as a good girl….and she’s sick of it! Tired of never being noticed and being known as shy and quiet, Annie decides to take advantage of going to camp for the summer to reinvent herself. And after a few days in, Annie is already making new friends and has set her eye on the hottest camper there, Kyle. If only she could work up the courage to face her fear of water to spend time with Kyle. Enter Jacob Fazio, bad boy and camp councilor. After a run in with the law, Jake has been sent to work at his uncle’s camp for the summer in the hopes that it’ll straighten him out and keep him out of juvie. Jake just wants to get though his punishment, but when a game of Truth or Dare turns dangerous, Jake saves Annie, somehow getting convinced to teach her to swim in the process. There’s a rule about no relationships between campers and councilors, but when Jake’s teaching lessons see Annie and Jake begin to fall for one another, will the resident bad boy be willing to break the most important rule yet?

I’ll admit, the concept within Daring the Bad Boy isn’t something that hasn’t been done before; girl meets boy, boy meets girl, girl likes someone else, boy helps girl and ultimately boy and girl fall for one another……but that doesn’t mean Daring the Bad Boy wasn’t a good read, because it was! Daring the Bad Boy was one of those feel-good YA romances that are simply plain fun to read. 

Told through both main characters Annie and Jake’s alternating POV, Daring the Bad Boy had a great vibe, wonderful characters and a really lovely romance. I easily read this book in a couple of sittings and found it easy to follow both main characters. Annie was a real sweetie, and Jake turned out to be a genuine guy too; he didn’t have an attitude and wasn’t too “bad”. He was actually a really funny, cheeky guy who quickly wanted to spend time with Annie. 

Monica Murphy creates a great camp environment in this book and wonderfully develops Annie and Jake’s romance. What starts out as blackmailed swimming lessons soon turns into a sweet friendship that hints at something more. Both teens are attracted to each other and as they become stronger friends who trust each other, their feelings for each other develop into a very adorable, yet electric romance with shared kisses and stolen moments. 

Sweet and enjoyable, Daring the Bad Boy is a fun YA read perfect for those looking for a light and easy contemporary tale full of teen romance, fun and friendship.   

Rating:
Source:
Sent for review by publisher via Netgalley (Thank you guys!)
Publisher: Entangled Crush
Format:
Kindle eARC via Netgalley
Release Date: 22nd August 2016
Purchase:
The Book Depository | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo
Final Thoughts: A sweet and enjoyable YA read.


Monday, August 22, 2016

Owl Post #98


Inspired by The Story Siren's In My Mailbox, Owl Post allows us bloggers to showcase the books we've bought, won or received throughout the week and is hosted by Brodie over at Eleusinian Mysteries. We all know that the Owl Post is the fastest way to send and receive mail and they certainly make me happy every time they drop a book off.
 
Hi guys and welcome to another Owl Post :) I was lucky enough to receive a few ARC's this week that I'm excited to share with you.
 
For Review:
  From Bloomsbury Australia:
- Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige
I'm super excited to read this fairy-tale retelling. It looks super good and I'm definitely planning on reading it soon.
 
....Thank you guys!
____________________________
 
From Harper Collins Australia:
- Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow
This book looks like it has the potential to be a really deep and meaningful read. Better be prepared before I dive into this.
 
- Spontaneous by Aaron Starmer
I'd never heard of this book before I received a copy and I have to say....boy does it sound quirky. I mean teens exploding, literally? Sounds like a riot! Oh and the ARC came with a super cute poncho to wear in the event that teens start exploding--super cute!
 
....Thanks guys!
 
I Received:
 
The ever lovely and uber generous Emily Wibberley sent me some awesome swag from her Last Oracle series. Not only is Emily a kick-ass lady, but her books are to DIE for. I definitely recommend. Thank you Emily for the beautiful goodies!
 
 
And that's me this week!
What did the owls bring you?
 
 

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Book Shelf: Forbidden by Katrina Snow

Lady Katherine Durant has perfected the art of hiding her Gifts—a valuable skill in a land where any hint of sorcery could lead to the burning stake. But, hiding her Gifts isn’t the same as not using them, and that troublesome difference has led to capture each time she’s run from her uncle.

Now, using a newly-discovered spell, she binds her powers and flees again—this time for her life. Unfortunately, her plan to hide as a maid in a distant kingdom goes awry when she unwittingly gets entered into a festival competition for the hand of a prince—a man with a wicked kiss and a sense of adventure that rivals her own.

All she’s ever hoped for is a quiet existence as a servant, never imagining she could find laughter and belonging and love. And now the mischievous prince has her dreaming of all those things.

With a bounty on her head, sorcerers closing in, and a prince threatening to steal her heart, could it finally be time to stop running? Time to trust? Time to love?


More info on Goodreads.....


Review:

Katrina Snow’s debut novel Forbidden is a simply brilliant fantasy tale that is addictive with its delectable dialogue, page-sizzling chemistry and romance to die for! One of the best books I’ve read this year!

Lady Katherine Durant has been under her Uncle’s control since her parents both tragically died and she became his ward. Both blessed, and cursed, with unimaginable powers, Kate has mastered the ability to keep her Gifts hidden in a world where sorcery is forbidden and punishable by death. When her Uncle gives her to another man who in turn binds her to him, Kate flees, desperately seeking out her cousin and joining her on a journey across the land so her cousin can participate in contest to win the hand of a prince. Attempting to hide in plain sight as a maid, Kate isn’t prepared to find herself thrust in the spotlight when she herself in entered into the contest. Going barb for barb against an intelligent and daring prince who makes her burn, Kate must try to protect her heart as she continues to discover that maybe running is no longer the answer; especially when she might have found something worth fighting for….love.  

Having recently devoured Forbidden, I have no qualms in saying that this book is one of the best I’ve read all year, easily keeping me up until all hours of the morning—something that doesn’t happen very often. Considering I was unsure what to expect heading into the story, Snow absolutely blew me away and sucked me in with Kate and Bregovi’s sensational chemistry and sharp, witty banter. Their’s was some of the best chemistry I have read in a novel in a long time, if ever and I ate up every shared moment, touch, kiss and sentence shared between them. 

Katrina Snow has simply outdone herself with the chemistry and connection she has written into the story between Kate and Bregovi. This alone could have easily made me adore the story with so much wit and sizzle written into their developing relationship. I loved the push and pull, the determination Bregovi had to be with Kate—it made me swoon. Yet, at its base Forbidden also features a very vivid storyline that weaves all the best elements of fantasy combined. Magic, sorcery, romance, humour, friendship, family…everything blends together with fire, flair and sensational dialogue that is pretty much perfect.

Even the characters I couldn’t fault, especially the leads. Kate was a sensational heroine to follow; strong willed, intelligent and vocal—refusing to bend for anyone. She had fire inside her and personality and I loved that Snow wrote her so likable. You were one hundred percent behind Kate all the way. Bregovi was charming and dashing, and really, really sexy. He was cheeky and adventurous and adored his sister Rachel too, something that won points with me. 

Forbidden was well written; Katrina Snow’s writing painting a lovely fantasy world that unfolds through alternating POV’s between Kate and Bregovi and a few minor characters too. I loved the cast of characters Snow littered Forbidden with. Bregovi’s sister Rachel was a true sweetheart, as was her love interest who was simply perfect for her. Bregovi’s friend Wolfe intrigues me with his cheeky personality, as does Kate’s cousin Victoria who seemed to go back and forth between helpful and kind, and well….not. 

I’m highly intrigued by the world of sorcery and genies Snow has created. Underneath Kate’s plight, there seems to be another sub-story brewing that makes me excited for possibilities with future books and the chance to follow other characters in future tales, some of which I’ve mentioned. 

Deeply delicious, I cannot praise Forbidden enough! Katrina Snow has seriously impressed me with her debut and I cannot wait to see what she has in store next with the second novel, Fractured. If it’s anything like Forbidden I have no doubt it’ll be brilliant!

Rating:
Source: Sent for review by publisher via Netgalley (Thank you guys!)
Publisher: Published by KL Anderson
Format:
Kindle copy via Netgalley

Release Date: November 5th 2015
Purchase: 
Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Final Thoughts:
This book is simply BRIILIANT! It's one of those fantasy tales you won't want to put down and I can't recommend it highly enough!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Cover Reveal: Soul Finder by Jacinta Maree

 
I'm thrilled to be helping Xpresso Reads Tours and Aussie author Jacinta Maree reveal the cover for Soul Finder, the second book in Maree's The Immortal Gene series! I had the privilege and pleasure of reading the first book, Soulless and am absolutely dying to get my hands on Soul Finder. I have no doubt it's going to be a brilliant read!

So without further ado, I give you....Soul Finder!

Soul Finder by Jacinta Maree
(The Immortal Gene, #2)
Publication date: September 16th 2016
Genres: Dystopian, New Adult, Supernatural

Since being discovered as Soulless, Nadia has become a target for both terrorist groups and government corporations. Now, her only hope for survival rests in the hands of the man sent out to kill her: Diesel, the Mad Dog terrorist.

Diesel is determined to free himself of the never ending curse of reincarnation and the haunting memories that plague his mind. But when his search leads him to Nadia, a greater desire stills him from taking her life.

Unable to see into Diesel’s cracking mind, Nadia instead puts her faith into his strength, fueled by eleven generations of unmatched rage and insanity. Their tight-rope relationship balances the two between life and death, love and rage, trust and betrayal.

Tension pulls at the hems of their dangerous companionship, and as time runs out all madmen must eventually make their choice.

Book two of the thrilling Immortal Gene series dives deeper into the danger of trusting your heart over your head.



Go back to the beginning with Soulless

Add Soulless on Goodreads or check out my 5 star review of Soulless!

Purchase Soulless:

Born in Melbourne Australia, Jacinta Maree considers herself a chocoholic with an obsession with dragons, video gaming and Japan. She writes a variety of genres including YA paranormal, steampunk, horror, new adult, dystopian and fantasy. Winner of 2014 Horror of the year and bestselling author, Jacinta writes to bring enjoyment to others while fulfilling her own need to explore the weird and the impossible.

Visit Jacinta:
Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook

I just want to say a big congrats to Jacinta on this upcoming release. She outdid herself with the brilliance that is Soulless and I CANNOT wait until September 16th to get my hands on Soul Finder. I'm MORE than ready to be with Nadia and Diesel once again!
 
For those out there who haven't read Soulless yet--I highly recommend you do so. I guarantee you won't be disappointed!
 
 

Monday, August 15, 2016

Book Shelf: Up in Flames (Rosemary Beach #13) by Abbi Glines

#1 New York Times bestselling author Abbi Glines returns to Rosemary Beach one last time in this highly-anticipated finale.

Spoiled. Selfish. Rich girl. Villain. Slut.

As the Prada-clad bad girl of Rosemary Beach, Nan Dillon has been called every vile name under the hot summer sun. Some of her reputation is deserved—she’s never had to worry about anything but maintaining her perfect figure and splitting Daddy’s private jet with her brother, Rush.

But Nan is far from happy. Rush has another kid on the way and doesn’t have time to catch up with his sister. Grant, the last guy she truly cared about, chose to be with her half-sister, Harlow, instead of her. And Harlow, who has never gotten over the way Nan treated her when she first moved to town, remains distant.

So when Major asks her out, she jumps at the chance to date the gorgeous charmer. Though she doesn’t know much about the sweet-talking Texan, and though it’s clear he doesn’t want to be exclusive, dating him beats hanging out with vapid socialites or watching Netflix alone at home.

For a while, Nan deals with Major’s playboy ways, but after he burns her one too many times, she takes off for an impromptu wild weekend in Vegas. There, she meets Gannon, a darkly seductive and oh-so-dangerous businessman who knows exactly how to handle her.

With Major asking for a second chance and Gannon haunting her dreams, Nan has to decide who to give her heart to. But what she doesn’t realize is that these players are involved in a much bigger game—and they’re already two moves ahead of her.


More info on
Goodreads.....


Review: (Warning: May contain some spoilers!)

Up In Flames is the long anticipated final installment in the riveting Rosemary Beach series by Abbi Glines and features the misunderstood but often infuriating villain of the series Nan in a scorching read that will leave you breathless!

Nanette Dillion has garnered a reputation for herself over the years. Spoiled, rich and a born trouble maker, Nan knows that some of her selfish reputation is well deserved, but that doesn't mean she's as coldhearted as everyone seems to think she is. Discarded by her mother and unacknowledged by her father, Nan has been desperate for love her whole life, being with man after man in an attempt to find it. Even Major Colt, the charming Texan can't seem to give her what she needs, so fed up with being used, Nan does what every rich girl does in her situation....she hightails it off for a weekend in Vegas! And it's in Vegas that she meets Gannon, a rough, mysteriously and darkly seductive individual who isn't who he seems but who makes Nan burn like never before. Gannon appeals to a part of her she never knew, but when Major reappears begging for a second chance, who will Nan choose and who will finally give her everything she's always longed for?

Having been yearning and desperate for this book for so long, Up In Flames wasn't what I was expecting. There were times whilst reading it that I even debated how I felt about it, but in the end I think I'm generally pretty happy with how Abbi Glines wrote Up In Flames. It wasn't what I expected, but it was still an enjoyable read.

That being said, as far as I'm concerned, Up in Flames seemed to ooze a darker aura than the other Rosemary Beach novels. The darker edge gave the story a different overall feel. The relationship between Nan and Gannon was raw and edgy and sexually dominant. Glines blurred the line between pleasure and pain in a way she has before. Gannon was a lot darker than the Glines leading men I'm used too.

I was really happy to finally have Nan front and center though. Whilst reading the series, I hated her for a long time before she eventually became someone I loved to hate. Now I think I just love her. We're all a product of our childhood and environment and Nan never had the love and security she should have had as a child. It made her hard and cold and cruel. She made bad choices in an effort to find love and be loved. I'm glad Abbi Glines finally gives her some redemption in this book. Everything isn't magically fixed--Nan still has a lot to make up with her family and those around her, but Up in Flames marks a big turning point and shows how far Nan has come. It was lovely to see her begin to let go of her hate and to make amends.

Nan has two love interests in Up in Flames; Major and the mysterious Gannon. I'd been hoping that Glines would pair Major with Nan and that he was perhaps going to be her happy ending. Imagine my surprise when I began the novel and quickly realized that might not be the case. Major and Nan just didn't fit the was she and Gannon did. I wasn't expecting that and was really disappointed in the beginning, but as the novel progressed I found myself becoming entranced in the relationship between Nan and Gannon.

I have to say Gannon was sexy; all bearded and strong with that man bun and attitude, but he was also very sexually dominant, bordering on violent. I'm not against those kinds of leading men but it did feel a little out of place in a Rosemary Beach novel at first. It wore on me, but I felt it was strange at first.

The relationship between Nan and Gannon was really raw. Sexual and dark, Gannon gave Nan what she needed and accepted her for everything she was, faults and all. Considering Nan had been crying out for love and acceptance her whole life it was nice to see her finally find someone who could give that to her unconditionally. There was a lot of sweetness woven into their tale amongst the sensuality and I loved the way Glines completed their tale.

Dark and sensual, Up in Flames was a powerful Rosemary Beach novel that redeemed the resident bad girl and allowed us to see many of our faves again. My only issue with this tale is that I find myself still wanting to see Major get some resolution himself. Fast paced with an unexpected storyline, Up in Flames gave Nan the tale she deserved and left me happy with how her story ended!

Rating:
Source:
Sent for review by publisher (Thank you guys!)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Australia
Format: Paperback
Australian RRP:
$19.99
Release Date: June 2016
Purchase:
BookworldBooktopia | The Book Depository | Amazon
Final Thoughts:
This was a great ending to the series, but I find I'm still curious as to what's in store for Major's future.