Sunday, October 27, 2013

Moonlight Destiny by Rebecca Foote

Book Description:
Alyssa Shaw has given up trying to find the perfect man, until she meets Derek Rendall. He's gorgeous and mysterious, seeming to be a fantasy come to life. Alyssa can't get enough of him and believes her luck has finally changed.
Unfortunately Derek is not who he seems, but something else straight out of her darkest nightmares. As their unlikely relationship blooms into a passionate bond, forces are determined to tear them apart. Alyssa must ask herself what she is willing to do for love.
My Thoughts:
This was a good paranormal romance!  Alyssa is trying to get through school and make ends meet with her job on campus.  Everything starts with a man in a bar and ends with her meeting the mysterious Derek Rendall and his 'family'.  The strange things that happen around Alyssa are consuming most of her thoughts but the rest are devoted to Derek.  He is better than she could have ever dreamed, and they have such a connection....but she doesn't know everything about him.
I really liked Alyssa.  She was strong, independent and fiercely loyal.  She did have her moments but that just made her more real.  Her brother coming to stay with her and her roommate was sweet and realistic given all that happened.  I liked how close Derek's family was and how protective they were.  The bond between Alyssa and Derek was intriguing and I do want to read more about them!
I rate this a 4/5.  I will absolutely be reading more from this author.
Thank you to the author for the review copy of this book (via RAVBT).  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.
**Book Contains Adult Themes and Language**

Thursday, October 24, 2013

UnReap My Heart by Kate Evangelista

Unreap My Heart (The Reaper Series #2)Book Description:
Only a villain can save the day.

During his thousand year banishment in the Nethers, Balthazar thought of nothing but taking over the Crossroads from Death.

On the day he puts his plans into action, Balthazar finds the Crossroads on lockdown. Death has been stabbed by Brianne’s Bitterness, a blade that slowly leaches him of his powers. In order to challenge Death for his seat and prevent utter chaos, Balthazar is forced into a mission to find the Redeemer, the only being capable of pulling out the blade from Death’s chest. The only person who can identify the Redeemer is a human girl in the Crossroads whose soul is still attached to her body.

Meeting Arianne Wilson pushes Balthazar’s patience to the limit. In a deal he makes with Death, he must protect Arianne during their journey through the Underverse using all the resources available to him. He soon realizes the one he needs to protect is himself. For as much harm as it inflicts on Balthazar's body, trekking through the Underverse with Arianne is proving more dangerous for his heart and soul.

Can the villain remain a villain when love gets in the way?

My Thoughts:
I really enjoyed this book.  Ari wakes up and none of the deal she had made with Death had been fulfilled.  She is soon thrown into a mission with Balthazar.  He is a bad guy, no way around that, he even admits it.  The whole reason he had come to the crossroads was to challenge Death for his job.  Finding Death with a knife sticking out of his stomach was disheartening and ruined all of Balthazar's plans.  Now he must find the Redeemer, with a human soul along, keeping her safe, all so he can save Death and challenge him for his seat!
Ari getting on Balthazar's nerves was completely entertaining.  I loved the bond that they 'acquired', I'm not sure that didn't annoy Balthazar even more.  Balthazar was a great character.  He was a little off and I completely loved him through the story but he did give me whiplash a couple of times with his changing.  The interesting 'people' along the way were awesome.  The house they stayed in was eventful and I really liked the way the story unfolded.
I rate this a 4/5.  I liked Balthazar a lot!  I can't wait to see where Kate goes with this 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.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Bargain by Stephanie Reed

The BargainBook Description:
It's 1971, and Betsie Troyer's peaceful and predictable life is about to become anything but.

When their parents flee the Amish, nineteen-year-old Betsie and her seventeen-year-old sister Sadie are distraught. Under the dubious guidance of a doting aunt, the girls struggle to keep the secret, praying their parents will return before anyone learns the truth--a truth that may end all hopes of Betsie's marriage to Charley Yoder.

Worse still, Betsie must learn a trade while she boards with a dysfunctional Englisher family: Sheila, a twelve-year-old desperately searching for a friend and in dire need of her mother; the free-spirited mother, who runs off to "find herself" on the stage; the angry father whose structured life crumbles; and Michael, a troubled college dropout nearly killed in the Kent State Massacre.

Thrust into the English world, Betsie must grapple with the realities of war and miniskirts, pot parties and police brutality, protests and desertion. Can she help the Sullivan family and find peace in her new surroundings, or must she forget the bargain she made and seek refuge back in Plain City with protective and reliable Charley?

My Thoughts:
This was an enjoyable book.  Betsie's parents have left the Amish and gone to live with the English.  She is trying to keep everyone from knowing.  Also, her cousin has been drafted and she agreed to learn the business and take his place at the harness making apprentice.  She doesn't plan to get close to the English though, but keep her distance.
I felt so terrible for Betsie at the start of this book, watching her parents leave like they did.  They did want she and her sister to come with them but watching them 'sneak away' was horrible.  I did like the plan for her to stay apart from the English family she was to live with.  I didn't get a few of the references, but they were 1970s so I chalked it up to not living through that era.  The story was enjoyable and I really liked Betsie and want to know more about her!
I rate this a 4/5.  It was a good/different Amish novel.
Thank you to litfuse 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, October 14, 2013

Good Catch by Tracy Ann Lord

Goodcatch.jpgBook Description:
Maddie Chilton, the reigning queen of Miami's hottest PR firm, has been dethroned. Now she's roughing it at a fishing camp on a lake in the middle of rural Maine. This is what her co-workers chose as a going-away present? Maddie is not a "showers optional" kind of gal. Not only is she surrounded fish, but also a lot of fishy characters. There's Flo, the opera-loving/customer-loathing cook, and Wayne, the too-handy handyman. Fortunately there's also Cal Boretti, her handsome, skinny-dipping fishing guide. Appearances, of course, can be deceiving, and Maddie soon discovers that the camp and its residents are about so much more than fishing. Between budding romance and an exciting new business opportunity, Maddie's dim view of Lake Mooselookmeguntic is beginning to lighten up. She may not have a knack for fishing, but Maddie is about to make the good catch of a lifetime.

My Thoughts:
This was a quick read.  Maddie is having it rough.  She has worked her tail off to be the best she can be at her PR job, only to be replaced by a younger version of herself.  Oh and she TRAINED the girl who is replacing her.  Her friends send her on a trip after a night of pity partying and that is when the entertainment begins.  They don't send her to a place any woman of her 'caliber' would go, but to a fishing camp in the middle of no where!  At least the scenery is nice though.
I really liked the idea of city girl dropped into the middle of a 'redneck' camp.  My problem was, I didn't connect at all with Maddie.  She got herself into plenty of entertaining situations and she did grow as a character throughout the book.  The male lead, Cal is intriguing.  He has his own set of issues.  I liked the cook, she seemed like a real person.  There is quite an interesting mix of characters to meet and get to know!
I rate this a 3/5.  It is a quick 'beach read'.

Thank you to the author/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.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Ever Wrath by Alexia Purdy

Ever Wrath (A Dark Faerie Tale, #4)Book Description:
There is no hope.

Only blood and darkness await.

Shade rules as Queen of the Seelie Summer Court with her love, a Teleen Faerie named Dylan at her side. But, the dark court of Unseelie faeries will do everything in their power to rule the earth, including enslaving the human world. Arthas, the Unseelie Ancient King, has shattered the boundaries of Faerie and the human cities are filling with his evil, unearthly armies.

Old enemies become allies. New friends bring old secrets and an ancient magic to light. Alongside the Ancient Seelie Queen, Kilara, Shade needs to harness this wild magic before the lines between human and faery are forever destroyed.

My Thoughts:
Loved this book.  Arthas has determined that the boundaries of Faerie will be eliminated and he will rule the world.  Shade, Dylan and her comrades are determined to stop him and his armies.  Awakening the Ancients seems like her only choice, but is it the right one?  Could they cause more chaos and harm than good and healing? 
I like how Shade is growing and changing.  She is maturing and learning all through her journeys and trials.  Dylan is so strong and steady.  His unending love for Shade is probably why I am completely in love with him!  Shade makes new alliances, mends old friendships that need it, and is set on saving both the human and Faerie worlds.  I love the secondary characters and their stories that are just as interesting but do take a backseat to the overall story.  Those 'secondary lines' are an integral part of the big picture though and the author does a great job of showing each character and weaving them seamlessly into the story.
I rate this a 5/5.  It was a great addition to the series but can also be read as a stand alone!
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, October 7, 2013

Broken Forest by Eliza Tilton

Book Description:

Hopeless he'll never be more than the boy who didn't save his brother, 17-year-old Avikar accepts his life as the family stable boy, trying to forget the past. But when his sister, Jeslyn, is kidnapped, the thought of losing another sibling catapults him on a desperate quest. With his best friend by his side, and using the tracking skills he learned from his father, he discovers Jeslyn has been taken, kidnapped by one Lucino, the young lord of Daath, a mystical place thought only to exist in fables.

And Lucino has plans for Jeslyn.

His shape-shifting brethren feed off the auras of humans, and Jeslyn's golden hue is exactly what Lucino needs to increase his power. The longer it takes Avikar to reach her, the more entranced she becomes with Lucino's world, and the harder it will be for Avikar to set her free.
He failed his family once. He won't fail again.
My Thoughts:
This was a good book.  Avikar is a simple farm boy who loves to fight.  Or he did before his little brother drowned while he was watching him.  Since he didn't save his brother, he is determined to find and save his sister, Jeslyn, when she is kidnapped.  His best friend/sister's boyfriend is with him in the search, along with an interesting mix of men.  Daath was thought to be a myth but when it turns out that it's ruler, Lucino is who has taken Jeslyn, he knows he must follow.  As he learns more about the land and it's ruler, Avikar becomes more and more afraid for his sister and that he might not reach her in time.
I really liked the author's writing style.  Each chapter is written from a different person's point of view.  That way you know what they are thinking and the story still flows smoothly.  I got annoyed at Avikar for his reactions sometimes, he seemed to be self-centered but almost like martyr at the same time.  The secondary characters were great and helped the story progress.  I wasn't sure about Jeslyn toward the end, but didn't like Lucino at all throughout.  Each time I would think he was having a 'good' moment, he did something else and I wound up disliking him again.
I rate this a 4/5.  Good start to a 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.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Stranded by Dani Pettrey

Stranded (Alaskan Courage, #3)Book Description:
When her friend vanishes from a cruise ship, reporter Darcy St. James isn't satisfied with their explanation that she simply left her job of her own accord. Something isn't lining up, and Darcy believes the only way to find the truth is to put herself in Abby's position. Within days, Darcy learns her friend wasn't the only person to disappear mysteriously. Last summer, a woman vanished under almost identical circumstances.
Gage McKenna has taken a summer-long stint leading adventure excursions for the passengers of various cruise lines that dock for a few days of sightseeing. He's surprised to find Darcy working aboard one of the ships, investigating a troubling report. Something sinister is going on and the deeper they dig the more Gage fears they've only discovered the tip of the iceberg.

My Thoughts:
This is a good one.  Darcy's friend goes missing after calling her and now Darcy is determined to figure out exactly what happened.  Gage and his family are doing adventure tours along with the cruise.  He tries to stay away from Darcy because she reminds him too much of his ex.  She is secretive and he knows he must guard his heart.  He doesn't understand WHY she has the secrets.  Still, he is drawn to her and then into her investigation where there are many questions that have to have answers.
I'm so glad the McKenna's are back!  Darcy is a great character and oh I wish I had a friend like her.  She isn't afraid to put her friend before herself.  Gage's back story makes his character so much better.  You understand why he is the way he is and why he thinks he must keep Darcy at a distance.  I love how close his family is and that he is so protective.  The story line was great.  Plenty of mystery, suspense and romance to suit me!
I rate this a 4/5.  I really enjoyed it but with the character dynamic, I can see where you would need to read this series in order and this is the 3rd one.

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.

The Machine: Truth Seekers by Bill Myers

The Machine: A Truth Seekers NovelBook Description:
For ages 8 to 14, Truth Seekers is a fast-paced, thoughtful, and funny new series using a 21st century approach to sharing ancient Bible truths.

In book one, The Machine, twin siblings Jake and Jenny have just lost their mother and are not thrilled about moving to Israel to stay with their seldom seen archaeologist dad. They don’t yet understand how “all things work together for good to those who love God.” But they will when a machine their father invented points them to the Truth.

My Thoughts:
This was a good young adult book.  Jake and Jenny are twins.  They live with their aunt as just months ago their mother died.  Their father is an archaeologist and has sent for them to come to be with him in Israel. They didn't seem much of him growing up so neither is excited about the move.  As soon as they make the journey, the adventure begins.
I like the different perspectives of the siblings.  Jenny is much more 'mature' and studious than Jake.  Jake is a social guy.  The author starts the adventure early on and doesn't stop.  This book will definitely keep YA attention.  I also enjoyed how morals and God were woven into the story.
I rate this a 4/5.  I think tweens will really enjoy this one!
Thank you to B&B Media Group 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.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Danger in Amish Country by Marta Perry, Diane Burke & Kit Wilkinson

Book Description:

Fall from Grace by Marta Perry 
When one of her students witnesses a crime, Sara Esch gets too close to the truth, and widower Caleb King must risk it all for the woman who's taught him to love again. 
Dangerous Homecoming by Diane Burke 
Katie Lapp needs her childhood friend Joshua Miller more than ever when someone threatens her late husband's farm. Can Joshua protect her…even if it endangers his heart? 
Return to Willow Trace by Kit Wilkinson 
A series of accidents has startled their Plain community…and leads Lydia Stoltz to Joseph Yoder, the man who once broke her heart. At every turn, it seems their shared past holds the key to their future.
My Thoughts:
This three novellas in one was great.  First was Fall from Grace where Sara is a teacher in the local Amish school and is taken with a new little girl in her classroom.  When the little girl starts acting strange, Sara and the girl's father Caleb investigate and Sara is in more danger than ever!  Dangerous Homecoming is about a man coming home and stepping into more than he'd bargained for.  Katie married Joshua's best friend so he left home and hadn't come back for years.  Now he is back and he cannot believe the changes in his friend Katie.  Her farm and her life are in danger and Joshua is determined to keep her safe this time.  In Return to Willow Trace, Lydia didn't want to see Joseph again, and yet she did.  Neither of them expected their first meeting to be over a dead body.  Now both are in danger because of a past neither wants to get into.
I really enjoyed all the story lines.  Each were short but written well enough that you became invested in the characters.  I so wanted Sara and Caleb to find the bad guy so his daughter would be safe!  I felt terrible for Katie and everything she had to go through in life.  Joshua felt guilty but at the same time, he was stuck between a rock and a hard place but I couldn't wait for the two of them to work it out.  I completely understood Lydia's anger but was surprised at the lack of follow through on her part.  At the same time, it was understandable considering the past.  I had issues with Jeremiah staying gone for so long but I still wanted them together.
I rate these a 5/5.  I enjoyed all three of the stories!
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.