Monday, June 30, 2014

Book Review - Of Royal Descent by Ember Shane

Of Royal Descent
by Ember Shane
Published 2013

390 Pages

After the discovery of a family secret Doyle Hawthorne, and his best friend Chuck Johnson, embark on a road trip to locate Doyle's birth grandfather. But what starts out as a harmless excursion ends up as something much more unsettling. Doyle and Chuck are heading toward a colony of zombies! And it's all part of a larger plan.

Before all hell breaks loose, Doyle meets Addy at a roadside diner, and is immediately drawn to her. The attraction is mutual. So, despite his not-so-grand entrance, she agrees to go out with him. Doyle questions why his senses are getting sharper, but doesn't dare reveal his dreams to Addy... at least, not yet.

Across town at a government facility Edgar Bradbury's sinister plans are falling into place. And while Doyle's dreams are slowly slipping into the waking world, lines are being crossed, and other secrets are revealed... secrets that are more deeply rooted in Doyle's history than he could have ever imagined. He will need to brace himself, if he is to make it out alive... or dead.

This book started off with plenty of suspense, which I thoroughly enjoyed! But the pace was a bit inconsistent. And after it slowed to explain some technical aspects of the story, it never quite recovered its full excitement. Further, I had a tough time believing in the fast and hard way Doyle and Addy fell for each other. Still, it was a fun read, with interesting characters, and some genuinely frightening moments! 

Available on Amazon

Reviewed by Stephanie
3.75 STARS

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Event - Anniversary Giveaway

Ebook Prizes Include
Contemporary, Paranormal Romance, 
Urban Fantasy, and More!
♡   ♡  
Winners will be contacted
after the drawing on July 15th.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Congratulations to the Winners!
We hope you enjoy your prizes, and will leave reviews on Amazon or Goodreads!

A Special 'Thank You' to the Authors, Once Upon a Book Blog,
2 Book Lovers Reviews, & Mia's Point of View!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Book Review - When You Are Mine by Kennedy Ryan

When You Are Mine (The Bennetts, #1)
by Kennedy Ryan
Published 2014
256 Pages

This story was a true joy to read, which surprised me a bit, since it deals with some serious subject matter. But I was glued to the pages! The intense moments, and a series of reveals, caught me off guard, and had me hooked to the end! These are flawed characters, with real life challenges. But they are so well developed, and compelling, they jumped off the pages. It was hard not to root for them!
Kerris had a tough start in life, but it hasn't gotten in the way of her hopes and dreams. As a new college graduate she is full of ambition for her future, and plans to open a vintage clothing store. Things are just starting to fall into place. So, when she arrives at an awards ceremony packed with wealthy donors, and sponsored by a prestigious foundation, nothing can prepare her for Walsh -- dark green eyes, 6'4"... and staring holes through her. 

Of course, Walsh and Kerris are from different worlds. As the heir to the Bennett family fortune, Walsh has been groomed in acquisitions, travel, and philanthropy. Kerris, on the other hand, is used to doing things for herself, and finds creative ways to cut corners. But when they run into each other at a local hospital, they realize they have more in common than meets the eye -- Kerris volunteers her time locally, while Walsh travels the world helping children in need. And so begins an unlikely friendship. The problem is, Kerris' boyfriend, Cam, has just asked Kerris to marry him... and Walsh is Cam's best friend. 

As the friendship between Kerris and Walsh intensifies, so does their attraction. But it goes far beyond physical. They understand each other, and are hopelessly drawn together like a moth to a flame. And they soon discover the pull is stronger than either one of them. Even their friends begin to notice. And then there is the kiss... 

"His kiss was a feather and a flame, raising goose bumps and heating her skin. She pressed closer, defenseless against sensations she'd never experienced before ... An intimate invitation. An irresistible dare."

It would be easy to jump to judgment. But Kerris and Walsh are basically caring people, who never set out to hurt anyone. Above all this is a love story, but one where loyalties and friendship are at stake. And while matters of the heart are never simple, Kerris and Walsh's story is particularly complex. 

To find out more, you will have to read the story -- lovely, well written, and sometimes heartbreaking. But it is well worth it!

Available on Amazon

Reviewed by Stephanie


Thursday, June 12, 2014

Book Release - My Skylar by Penelope Ward

Now Available!

My Skylar
(Gemini #3)
by Penelope Ward

Grab your copy today!
Amazon | B&N | kobo

About the Book:

From the author of the Amazon #1 bestselling romance, Jake Undone, comes a friends-to-lovers story of longing, passion, betrayal and redemption……with a twist that will rip your heart out.

Skylar was my best friend, but I secretly pined for her. One thing after another kept us apart, and I’ve spent the last decade in fear of losing her forever.

First, it was the cancer, but she survived only to face the unthinkable at my hands. Because of me, she left town. For years, I thought I’d never see her again.

But now she’s back…and living with him.

I don’t deserve her after everything I’ve put her through, but I can’t live without her. This is my last chance, because she’s about to make the biggest mistake of her life. I can see it her eyes: she doesn’t love him. She still loves me...which is why I have to stop her before it’s too late.

My Skylar is a STANDALONE novel and a companion to Jake Undone.

Read our review for My Skylar by clicking here!

About the Author:

Penelope Ward is the USA Today Bestselling author of Gemini, Jake Undone (Gemini, #2) and My Skylar (Gemini, #3). She grew up in Boston with five older brothers. Penelope spent most of her twenties as a television news anchor, before switching to a more family friendly career.

Penelope lives for reading books in the new adult genre, coffee and hanging out with her friends and family on weekends.

She is the proud mother of a beautiful 9-year-old girl with autism (the inspiration for the character Callie in Gemini) and a 7-year-old boy, both of whom are the lights of her life.

Penelope, her husband and kids reside in Rhode Island. She is currently working on her fourth novel and last in the Gemini series, Jake Understood (expected publication January 2015).

Connect with the Author

Penelope Ward
Website | Facebook | Goodreads

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Book Review - The Same But Different by Serena Clarke

The Same But Different
by Serena Clarke
Published 2014

321 Pages

Cady and Shelby are twin sisters who, after facing an unexpected loss, find themselves heading to the U.S. to uncover the mystery behind a family inheritance. Seeking answers, and following their mother's wish for them to explore life, they travel with a flash mob in California, meet up with a couple of handsome guys in the group... and find more than they bargained for!

Shelby, being the sassy and sarcastic one, is eager for adventure. Cady, who is normally the level-headed one, is also intrigued. And when they begin to unravel the mystery--a mystery that runs deep into the very foundation of their own family--a secret is revealed. And what is uncovered proves to be more than anyone expected!

Cady and Shelby are very quick witted and fun characters! The secondary characters held my attention, as well. But when some sinister red flags popped up, it was hard to imagine these quick-witted sisters not picking up on them.

Overall, this is a really fun read, with an array of diverse characters, and an interesting storyline that weaves together in a pleasurable way. I look forward to reading more from the author! 

Available on Amazon

Reviewed by Andrea


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Book Review - My Skylar by Penelope Ward

My Skylar (Gemini, #3)
by Penelope Ward
Published 2014

314 Pages

Trying to capture in words the essence of this story is as futile as trying to find the magic formula for love. Simply put, this book holds a magical tale that will catch you by surprise, take your breath away, and make you fall in love over and over again.

Skylar and Mitch first met as kids. Mitch's parents were going through a rough patch, and in an effort to shield their son from the worst of it, sent him to his grandmother's house for the summer. But despite their efforts, he knew things were bad, and began tuning out the rest of the world to cope. That is, until he met Skylar. Having experienced a similar disruption in her young life, Skylar was understanding. But more importantly, she was able to bring Mitch out of his shell with her sense of humor and enthusiasm for life. By the end of summer, they were best friends.

Throughout the years, Skylar and Mitch's paths continued to cross. And although the story begins at a pivotal point in adulthood, we discover the full scope of their lives and interactions, as told by both Skylar and Mitch, including their perspectives on the obstacles in their way. Ultimately, these characters never quite let go, and through the storytelling, we learn why. It will pull at your heartstrings, and will make you laugh and cry, because love is messy, complicated, unpredictable... but it is also true bliss. And it will come along when you least expect it.

Along with our main characters, we reconnect with old friends from previous books, and meet up with new characters--some are equally charming, while others are much less so. But all are fully developed, perfectly entwined with the plot, and add meaningful elements to the story.

This is an ambitious and poignant tale of an entirely human experience that will leave you deep in thought, long after you turn the last page. Unlike anything else I've read, this story is as much a journey for the reader as it is for Skylar and Mitch. And for anyone who has ever felt the kind of love you can't explain in words, this story will bring you home.

Available on Amazon

Reviewed by Stephanie


Read our reviews for other books in the series:

Gemini (Gemini, #1)
Jake Undone (Gemini, #2)

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Book Review - Shadower by Catherine Spangler

Shadower (Shielder, #2)
by Catherine Spangler
Published 2014 
362 Pages

Stopping off at Giza's on the planet Calt, we meet our main character, who has no idea that one action is about to change the course of his life. Giza's, where the hazy lighting, and misty atmosphere affords anonymity for all, is just another stop for Sabin Travers on the gritty, remote planetary way station. But he has business to conduct. And on Calt, where most business dealings involve illegal trade and activities, it is the last place one would expect to see a beautiful woman. And yet, there she is... and she is about to
get herself killed. 

Moriah thought she would be all right at Giza's. All she wanted to do was gamble, and win enough money to secure transport off the planet. But the game ended with much more than she bargained for, and outside of Giza's, she was attacked. Now, waking up in a strange ship, she realizes her rescuer is the man from Giza's... the handsome, arrogant, and blatantly chauvinistic Sabin Travers. Moriah has places to be, and she is desperate. She concludes that there is only one way out of her predicament, and it involves earning Sabin's trust... just long enough to gain access to his ship. 

Although Sabin is a bit brash, Moriah presents as unnecessarily cruel. Instead of showing gratitude toward her rescuer, she steals his ship, and abandons him on a nearby planet, without clothes or other basic essentials. We do discover the root of Moriah's distaste for strong, overbearing men -- her history is filled with men who wanted to control her. Still, it didn't make her behavior toward Sabin any more excusable.

Sabin Travers has plenty of flaws of his own. Having experienced a tragedy in childhood, he is mostly alone, aside from his partner. But his backstory is overshadowed by his domineering attitude, and blind spots for a beautiful face. He makes passes at Moriah, and doesn't seem to have a clue that he is being manipulated. He trudges along, calling her "sweetheart", and pining away for her for the first half of the book. In the second half, following a pivotal event, he seems to make a genuine shift in consciousness. And although the turnaround is abrupt, it is a refreshing change of pace!

Overall, I wanted more cohesion between the main characters, and less anger, manipulation, and deceit. Without a strong connection to the characters, I found it tough to stay invested. Still, t
he story is very well written, with a fully developed plot, and plenty of descriptives. From the food replicators, to the unusual plants and creatures that inhabit the planets, every detail is in place. We meet an array of alien life forms, and travel to distant lands, each of which has its own unique characteristics. The vivid descriptives, and complex plot make this futuristic romance worth the read!

Available on Amazon

Reviewed by Stephanie