Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The Maze by Jason Brannon

The Maze - The Lost LabyrinthBook Description:
A near death experience transports Jamie Burroughs into The Maze, a Christian themed realm built by angels and demons and filled with traps and riddles for those haunted by their mistakes.

For Jamie, The Maze becomes a terrifying journey through a world of darkness where his soul and the lives of those he loves hangs in the balance. With his family in danger and his soul in peril, Jamie is forced to reevaluate the kind of man he truly is as he struggles to escape The Maze before it’s too late.

My Thoughts:
This was a good one.  Jamie is a guy who has it all, but one decision leads to him going to The Maze.  There he must face what he has done and see if he is strong enough to come out on the other side.  If not, he loses it all.
To start with, I love this books cover.  The story itself is good and not 'in your face' Christian fiction but it does paint a good picture.  Honestly, this book makes you think and isn't the typical cookie-cutter book I had been reading so it was very refreshing!  This man could have been any of us and the feelings of facing everything and going on, was so real.
It was a 4/5 for me.  I like how this author writes!

Thank you to the publisher/author for the review copy of this book (via PUYB).  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Grey Daze by Michael Allan Scott

Grey Daze: A Lance Underphal MysteryBook Description:
GREY DAZE descends. A fresh murder spins out of control, twisting into new realms of paranormal mystery.

Not for the faint of heart, the third in the Lance Underphal Mystery series, is an interplay of corrupt characters immersed in today’s world. 

Paranormal twists and fast action in movie-like scenes set the story’s mystery/thriller elements apart from the typical whodunit/serial-killer thriller.

Guided by his dead wife, a reluctant psychic finds himself on a wild ride through a criminal underworld, slamming face first into corrupt police, gunrunning bikers, and a drug addicted killer–not to mention confrontations with the dead.

Layers of plots within plots twist this new thriller into a startling climax.

My Thoughts:
Pretty good book here.  Lance is a psychic and has to solve a murder.  His late wife is his helper and guide throughout but he also has a host of  friends helping him.  His wife's ghost isn't the only one he sees but she is the one helping.  He has a lot of investigating to do and runs into a crazy world full of corruption.
I wasn't certain how I was going to like the murder/mystery/paranormal mixture, but I really enjoyed this.  It isn't the first in the series, but I didn't have a problem getting to know the characters or getting into the story.  Lance is reluctant with the psychic stuff but he is good at it.  His 'back up' and lady friend are awesome and written well.  The author does a good job with imagery and you really do feel like you are in the story.  The twists and turns the story took will keep you interested from start to finish.
This is a 4/5 for me.

Thank you to the author/publisher for the review copy of this book (via PUYB).  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Shadow Play by Iris Johansen

Book Description

Eve Duncan is the most sought-after artist in the field of forensic sculpting. Dedicated to her work ever since her daughter Bonnie was taken and killed at the age of seven, Eve feels a sense of duty to those whose lives were lost and whose bones are now in her hands. When a sheriff in California contacts her with a request for help on the reconstruction of the skull of a nine-year-old girl whose body has been buried for eight years, his intensity and investment in the case puzzle her. But when the ghost of the girl begins communicating with her, Eve finds herself wrapped up in the case more intensely than she could have ever imagined. Not since Bonnie has Eve had such an experience, and suddenly she finds herself determined to solve the murder and help the little girl find peace. Except that the killer is still out there, and he knows Eve is on the case. And he won't rest until anything and anyone that could reveal his identity is eliminated…

My Thoughts:
Great book!  Eve Duncan is the best forensic sculptor there is.  She has a waiting list a mile long, but a small town sheriff talks her into working a case that he just cannot get out of his head.  As she works the case, Eve starts communicating with the dead girl's ghost.  The killer is determined now that the body has been found to keep everything quiet and to continue his search.
I absolutely love Eve Duncan books.  There is so much going on and such suspense!  The fact that the officer just cannot get this little girl's murder out of his head and talked Eve into coming is very telling as to how the story will go.  Eve get so involved with her cases and seeing the little girl's ghost is just a part of the investigation.  The suspense is just so awesome and cases that involve children would have to be so much harder than others.  I just love how it ends and can't wait for the next one!
5/5!  Johansen knows how to write suspense!

Thank you to the publisher for the review copy of this book (via netgalley).  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Avalon Relics Lilith Links by J.L. Clark

The Avalon Relics: Lilith LinksBook Description:
Sophia Bennett is looking forward to celebrating her eighteenth birthday with her best friend Angie. After graduating high school and enjoying the last days of her summer vacation, getting ready for college and catching the eye of her high school crush Jake are the most important things on her least, until the night of her birthday party. 

Suddenly, Sophia is thrust into a world that she never knew existed, and finds herself in the middle of an ancient struggle between good and evil. Time is against her as she and her new friends struggle to take possession of a powerful magic before it falls into the wrong hands. 

Can Sophia solve the mystery of the Lilith links in time to save her loved ones, or will the enemy triumph and destroy all that she holds dear?

My Thoughts:
I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  Sophia doesn't want a big party for her 18th birthday but her best friend insists.  She gives in to Angie and everyone close to her is invited to the party.  Her long-time friend and secret crush, Jake, shows up with his ex-girlfriend in tow and that is just the start of the night's downturn.  Suddenly there are men after her and she is whisked away by strangers and enters a world that she never knew existed and she must discover several truths if she is to save the ones she loves.
I liked Sophia from the start.  She seemed like such a typical teen.  There was the crush she's had on her best male friend that he is clueless about, parent interaction, best friend gossip and just everything normal.  Angie surprised me at the start but I liked where she fit in.  Michael, yeah, I liked him too, along with the other characters.  The story flowed well and I look forward to more from this author!
Absolutely a good start to a new series that I plan to read.  4/5 
Thank you to the author/publisher for the review copy of this book (via PUYB).  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Alpha Unleashed by Aileen Erin

Book Description

Tessa McCaide has had it up to here with supernaturals. Luciana may have failed to steal Tessa’s magic, but she’s just getting started on her crusade for magical domination. And if her demonic summoning isn’t stopped, it could mean the end of everything.

Tessa’s allies, including her mate Dastien, are ready to fight, but they’re no match for Luciana’s power. A little help (and ancient Inca mojo) from Tessa’s cousin, Claudia, may give the side of good a chance if she can make it home in time, but stopping the war is no longer an option.

When witches and wolves fight, no one wins. Only time will tell who will still be standing after the last spell is cast.

My Thoughts:
I really do love this series.  Tessa and Dastien are trying to figure out what Luciana's end game is.  Since her powers were messed with, Tessa hasn't had the visions that she is used to.  Now, night terrors, yes she's had those, but she cannot remember them.  Tessa's cousin Claudia is trying to free her coven members at the beginning and as it evolves, Tessa realizes she may need more help from her cousin than she realized.  Problems come from near and far and it seems that she may have to become the face of the pack.
I love Tessa and Dastien!  I was glad to see Claudia's book from Tessa's perspective and see what was going on at home while Claudia was gone.  The pack dynamic always intrigues me and I love that Tessa is now surrounded by a family that takes care of her.  I literally inhaled this book wanting to see how it unfolded and once the action truly started, it went fast!  This whole series has entertained me and I know the author is going to write another series for a while and I cannot wait to read it!
Absolutely a 5/5.  Love the series, you should start with book 1 but great series!!

Thank you to the publisher for the review copy of this book (via netgalley).  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Laguna Nights by Kaira Rouda

Laguna Nights (Laguna Beach #1)Book Description:
Madison Alcott left her Laguna Beach childhood in the past as soon as she could, never imagining she’d be forced to return. Caring for her ill mother and holding down a high-pressure position at the best resort in town, Madison’s life is as good as it could ever be in Laguna Beach. And blissfully, nobody knows her as Holly anymore, the name she used on television. Everything changes when her high school boyfriend appears in the lobby. He was the reason she’d left Laguna in the first place when he humiliated her on national television.

Josh Welsh’s star has been dimming ever since he shot to fame as the high school heartthrob on the reality TV series Laguna Nights. Hoping to reignite his career, he agreed to host a travel show, with the first episode shooting in his old hometown of Laguna Beach. Of all the negative scenarios associated with filming in Laguna, Josh hadn’t calculated a run-in with Madison, or that the same deep connection he felt for her in high school would still be there.

Madison and Josh’s reality TV relationship exploded years ago but when the new series forces them together, they must face Laguna Nights past and present.

My Thoughts:
This book was ok.  Madison has made a good life for herself and her mother after a horrid reality TV experience.  She runs a resort now in her home town that caters to the rich and famous, also she now goes by Madison instead of Holly.  Josh was the reason she was so humiliated on the show and now he is back in town with his crew to shoot a new reality TV show.  She wants nothing to do with him or his show, except she cannot seem to stay away from him and then there is a big push to get her to be a part of the show.
I thought the idea for this book was really good.  The thought of the guy coming home to redeem himself to his first love pulled me in.  It is a smooth, easy read.  I really didn't buy the Josh being a good guy was my problem with the book.  He was too self-centered, even after everything that had happened for Holly/Madison to trust but she felt that chemistry.  I think that was part of my problem with the romance in this book, they talked about the chemistry a lot but it wasn't overly apparent.  Still, it is a good, quick romance read.
It was 3/5 for me.
Thank you to the author/publisher for the review copy of this book (via PUYB).  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Ardent (the arcknight chronicles) by Alexia Purdy

Ardent (The ArcKnight Chronicles #1)Book Description:
Teaming up with a handsome rival named Ephrem, the banished Princess Lilliana must find her stolen Ardent talisman before a sinister enemy uses it against both rival wolf pack strongholds, intertwining the destinies of the two would-be lovers.

Books in the ArcKnight Chronicles:
Ardent #1
MarkTier #2

My Thoughts:
I love Alexia's books and this one ranks right up there with my favorites.  Lilliana is not in line for the throne, that is her older sister.  Still to be banished is to be put to death.  Without her pack, she was doomed.  Ephrem is not from the same pack as Lilliana but he protects her for his own reasons.  Together they must track down what Lily lost before it puts both packs in grave danger.
I love the royalty aspect of these packs.  There isn't just and alpha and his mate, this is an honest to goodness royalty line with all the niceties that comes with that.  Ephrem and Lily are really made for each other with neither having a place in their respective packs royalty.  I wasn't sure how it would come out about the secret Ephrem kept from her but I really liked it.  They worked together to find what Lily lost, even if it put them at great risk.  I can't wait for more in this series!!
5/5 for me!  I like the start of this new series.
Thank you to the author for the review copy of this book.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Believe Student Edition by Randy Frazee

Book Description

Written for teens, Believe: Student Edition is part of the national church-wide campaign led by bestselling author Randy Frazee that takes teens on a journey to become more like Jesus in their beliefs, actions, and character.
It’s one thing to know the story of the Bible. It’s another thing to live it.
From bestselling author and pastor Randy Frazee comes an exciting new all-church discipleship program inspired by the success of The Story. Introducing students and teens to the big ideas of Christian life and theology in a way that is clear and accessible, Believe: Student Edition helps them understand how to live out God’s story in their own lives. As they walk through the three big categories of faith—beliefs, practices, and virtues—they’ll begin a journey that will take them closer to the heart of Jesus and deeper into the words of Scripture.
Relevant, practical, and deeply fundamental, Believe: Student Edition is a must-read for any student serious about their faith.

My Thoughts:
This is a good guide to help anyone come closer to God.  Broken up into 3 sections, this book helps you study and understand the scriptures.  Also, it shows how to implement that knowledge into life practices and I know it said Student but I believe it is good for any age.  I really liked how it is written and easy to follow. This book is something I will share with others!
This is a 4/5 for me.  I think it is a great addition to any student's library.
Thank you to the publisher for the review copy of this book.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Tracker's End by Chantal Fernando

Tracker's End (Wind Dragons MC, #3)Book Description:
The third in a sexy romance series from the bestselling author of Saxonand Toxic Girl about the bad boys of the Wind Dragons Motorcycle Club and the women who fall in love with them.
Tracker is everything I’ve ever wanted.
I see him. I’ve watched time change him.
I’ve been patient, but he still hasn’t noticed me. Not the way I want him to. The more time I spend with the MC, the more I understand.
When you want something, you have to take it. You have to fight for it.
And Tracker is more than worth fighting for…

My Thoughts:
Good addition to the first two books in this series.  Tracker is a bad boy.  As a member of the Wind Dragons, he isn't happy with not having what he wants.  He wants Lana, but has to end his on-again-off-again relationship will Allie before he can convince Lana to give them a chance.  Lana's best friend is a Wind Dragon old lady and so is her friend's brother so she's just kinda been adopted in.  She has wanted Tracker since the start but since he has Allie, he is off limits.  If he is going to be hers, she doesn't want to share!
I really like how close the MC is throughout this series.  The are truly family and accept each other as is.  It is also interesting to watch how they interact throughout because once you are accepted in, there is no getting out! I liked most of this book.  How hard Tracker worked to get Lana.  How Lana has a past and a secret, all of which she gives her trust issues.  That being said, I had issues after Tracker and Lana had a big fight with how he reacted and what he did.  I can't say more without spoilers but that almost ruined the book for me.  Overall, the story is good though and continues the series well. I liked the continuation of the story so this was a 3/5 for me. 
Thank you to the publisher/author for the review copy of this book.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

**Adult Content and Language**

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Bruja by Aileen Erin

Book Description:

Claudia De Santos has always looked out for every witch but herself. She fought from the shadows as her coven turned dark, and with a little help from her half witch/half alpha werewolf cousin, Tessa, Claudia is doing everything she can to keep her friends and family in the light.

Now the coven has splintered into two factions: Luciana’s army of witches wielding dark magic, and Claudia’s few stragglers who fight with the wolves. War is coming, and it won’t be much of a battle if Claudia can’t find the spells to counteract Luciana’s demonic power.

The answers lie in ancient magic, and Claudia must journey to Peru to rediscover what the Inca mages knew. Fighting evil will require a pure spirit, but her quest is full of temptations, including a handsome Peruvian guide with secrets of his own.

My Thoughts:
I completely love this series.  This is the fourth book and you really need to have read the first 3 for the characters and back story.  That being said, this is a good story by itself.  Tessa's cousin Claudia is the main character here and is working to help her coven.  She has to go to Peru to find a long lost magic that is their only hope.  While there, her guide is Lucas and she may find more in Peru than what she was searching for. 
Claudia has been a secondary character in the other books but I love how this one focuses on her and how strong she really is.  She is powerful as a witch, but also has an inner strength that is awesome.  Lucas was amazing and so hot.  I love how protective he is and what he is willing to do for her.  The story is great and I felt horrible for Claudia and the pain she felt for her twin throughout.  I can't wait to see where the story goes from here.
It is an absolute 5/5 if you've been reading the series, you must read this.  If you are new to the series, start at the beginning and catch up quickly! :)
Thank you to the author/publisher for the review copy of this book (via netgalley).  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Evolved by Aubrey Coletti

EvolvedBook Description:
The boarders of J. Alter High have fought their school, sabotaged their school, and attempted to destroy their school. Yet the powerful Academy and its enigmatic Headmistress have remained always one step ahead of them. Now they must decide whether or not to work with the school to unlock the abilities that brought them there — a decision that could tear them all apart. But choose they must, before they are out of moves, out of options . . . and out of time. 

My Thoughts:
I liked this series.  I will start out by telling you that this is the 3rd in the series and you really need to read the first 2 for the back story and to get fully invested in the characters.  Each book takes the characters further and grows them/shapes them.  I don't want to say a lot about the plot because most of what I would say would be spoilers.  
Instead, I will focus on the author and the story she spins.  I wasn't certain when I read book 1 that I would like this author's style, but I quickly got over that as the story took me over.  I was so glad that I read these in series and had one after the other as the story just pulls you along.  The characters are teenagers (for the most part) and I was afraid they would be 'stale' but they are far from it.  Each has their own outlook, back story and are completely unique.  They come across as real people and not something someone made up.  Generally, if I love the first book in a series, the following book fails to live up to my expectations, but not so with this series.  I'm very glad to have read this book and expect great things from Aubrey Coletti! 
4/5 for me and I will absolutely be watching for more from this author.
Thank you to the author/publisher for the review copy of this book (via PUYB).  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.