Sunday, February 26, 2012

Giveaway Winner!

Congratulations Jen, for winning a book of your choice from The Book Depository! Yay! *Throws confetti* =D

Thanks to everyone who entered, I appreciate the follows and the participation. I will definitely try to do more giveaways in the future!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

In My Mailbox (12)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. It's a fun way to exhibit the books we recently acquired.

*All titles link to goodreads*

For review:
-I've been giving the Adult Paranormal Romance genre more of a chance lately and haven't been disappointed, so I'm pretty excited to read this book and see what it's all about!

*Special thanks to the author, Hope Welsh, for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book*

Bought: 
-I'm super giddy about all of these books because I just know I'm going to enjoy all of them! Also, I seriously geeked out when I bought the Sailor Moon manga because I absolutely loved watching Sailor Moon when I was a kid. Therefore, my first manga experience will be awesome because I'm convinced you can't go wrong with Sailor Moon!

So tell me, what's in your mailbox? =)

Friday, February 17, 2012

Review: Witchful Thinking (Jolie Wilkins, #3) by H.P. Mallory

Expected Publication: February 28, 2012
Publisher: Bantam Books
Format: Paperback, ARC
Genre: Adult, Fiction, Paranormal, Romance
Series: Jolie Wilkins
My rating: 5/5 stars

Synopsis from goodreads:

 Jolie thinks she’s seen it all, but life continues to spring surprises. The latest shocker? She’s just been crowned Queen of the Underworld. Jolie may possess a rare gift for reanimating the dead, but she doesn’t know the first thing about governing disparate factions of supernatural creatures. She can barely maintain order in her own chaotic personal life, which is heading into a romantic tailspin.

First there’s sexy warlock Rand, the love of her life, from whom Jolie is hiding a devastating secret. Then there’s Sinjin, a darkly seductive vampire and Jolie’s sworn protector—though others suspect he harbors ulterior motives. As the two polar opposite yet magnetic men vie for Jolie’s affection, she must keep her wits about her to balance affairs of state and affairs of her heart. Overwhelmed, under pressure, and longing for love, Jolie decides it’s time to take charge—and show everyone that this queen won’t take jack.


This book managed to captivate me just as much as the first two books in the series did. As usual, this story includes just as much humor, angst, heartbreak, longing, duty, realization and growing. It also happens to have a fantastic amount of romance and steam. But that's one of the things I've come to expect and appreciate from H.P. Mallory, who is just so good at writing Paranormal Romance!

This book is mostly about Jolie accepting her destiny as Queen of the Underworld. The responsibility that befalls her is so huge and overwhelming at times, and she starts to feel like her life is no longer her own. But when she really starts to embrace her calling, she is a force to be reckoned with and it is clear that she is the right woman for the job. Unfortunately, her status as Queen begins to seriously put a wedge between her already rocky relationship with the man she loves. But her royal position does bring her a bit closer to the man she has always been curious about.

I'm still so torn between Rand and Sinjin! Rand is so clearly the man that Jolie loves more than anything, and he's definitely the more practical choice for her. But there's just something about Sinjin, the over 600-and-something year old vampire, that's so utterly irresistible! I think I like the fact that he's just so naughty and such a bad boy, but when it comes to Jolie he clearly feels more for her than just lust (mostly), and their connection is undeniable. But then again, Rand is just so good-natured and his love for Jolie is so genuine--although sometimes frustrating--that it's hard to picture her with anyone else. Either way, one thing these men do have in common is their immense sex appeal and charm, and I never get tired of their presence in this series!

Another thing that pleases me about this book, aside from the romance, is that the mystery of the Lurkers is starting to be addressed and explored. Lurkers are basically a race that is half human, half vampire. They pose a serious threat to all other Underworld creatures due to their need for revenge and murder, and Jolie has suspicions about them that prove to be unsettling. I have no doubts that the Lurkers will be showing up more in the next book or so.

The ending of this book was such a cliff-hanger! From the very beginning of the book there was something curious going on in the background of the plot, and I felt like I should have known what it was, and then when it was revealed I wasn't completely surprised but it was still a jaw-dropping experience. All I can say is, I'm DYING to read the next book! I can't wait to uncover more about Jolie, the mysterious Prophetess and many other things involving this cast of awesome characters.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

In My Mailbox (11)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. It's a fun way to exhibit the books we recently acquired.

*All titles link to goodreads*


For review:

*Special thanks to Candlemark & Gleam publishing company*

-I won this ARC from LibraryThing's Early Reviewers program. The publisher was nice enough to send me this book, along with a big Hickey of the Beast bookmark, and an additional bookmark for a book called Pilgrim of the Sky by Natania Barron. I'm super excited to read this book because the synopsis sounds awesome!



Bought:

-I got all of these from Amazon. Four of them were a part of Amazon's 4-for-3 (buy 4 for the price of 3) promotion. I couldn't very well pass that up, could I? The answer is "NO"! Harbinger wasn't part of the promotion but I had to buy it anyway because it looks so dang fantastic! I'm super excited to read all of these books, actually, because they've been on my wishlist for a while!

What's in your mailbox? =)

Review: Toil and Trouble (Jolie Wilkins, #2) by H.P. Mallory

Published: November 30, 2010
Format: eBook
Genre: Adult, Fiction, Paranormal, Romance
Series: Jolie Wilkins
My rating: 5/5 stars


Synopsis from goodreads:


The Underworld in civil war.
The cause? A witch who can reanimate the dead.
A sexy as sin vampire determined to claim her.
An infuriatingly handsome warlock torn between duty and love.
Who says blonds have more fun?

After defending herself against fairy magic, Jolie Wilkins wakes to find her world turned upside down—the creatures of the Underworld on the precipice of war. The Underworld is polarized in a battle of witch against witch, creature against creature, led by the villainous Bella, who would be Queen.

While Jolie has one goal in mind, to stake the vampire, Ryder, who nearly killed her, she also must choose between the affections of her warlock employer, Rand, and the mysteriously sexy vampire, Sinjin. And as if that weren’t enough to ruin a girl’s day, everything Jolie knows will be turned inside out when she’s thrust into the shock of a lifetime.


This book picks up right where the previous book, Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble, left off. The impending war between the Underworld creatures is becoming more real by the second, and Jolie has just won over the support of the Fae--who have remained neutral until now. This book is all about Jolie and her friends gearing up to battle for their freedom from the completely evil and heartless Bella; who is a powerful witch that wishes to become ruler of all Underworld creatures. Bella and her legion are truly terrifying, and if Jolie and her friends lose, the unthinkable will happen...

I really felt for Jolie in this book because all she wants to do is help take Bella and her army down, but she's being told by Rand to stay away to ensure her safety. Jolie wants nothing more than to fight alongside her friends and supporters because she is the trigger for this war in the first place, unfortunately. She also wants to join the battle so she can get her hands on a certain evil vampire named Ryder, who did some terrible things to Jolie (and he would have gotten away with more if it hadn't have been for Sinjin).

Because Jolie is stubborn and awesome, she devises a plan that will get her what she wants in terms of the battle; and seeing the last events of the book unfold are seriously intense, surprising and enlightening. My jaw was pretty much on the floor for the last several chapters, and I could not tear myself away from the story! I was definitely not expecting the ending to turn out like it did, that's for sure. Let's just say that Jolie's destiny is clearly spelled out, and it's not an easy one!

There were a lot of things that were learned and discovered in this book, some involving Jolie's love interests, Rand and Sinjin. Poor Jolie has enough to worry about as it is, and on top of it all she finds herself extremely confused about her feelings for both of these men. But that's part of what I love about this series! I am smitten with both of these male characters, but for completely different reasons. It was nice to see Jolie get closer to these guys (in more ways than one). The author continues to do a great job creating the steamy scenes, that's for sure!

I don't want to go into too much detail for fear of spoiling the plot, but I will say that the revelations and experiences involving Rand were a really nice touch to the story. Getting some insight into his feelings answered a lot of questions I had. I also loved getting more of Sinjin in this book, because he is just so unpredictable. The things that he does for Jolie really solidify his feelings for her, even if his intentions still come off as misguided sometimes. But I refuse to believe he doesn't actually care for her.

So pretty much what I want to say is that this book did not disappoint. H.P. Mallory has yet again amazed me with her uniquely crafted and well-executed plot and characters! I can't wait to see what will become of Jolie and the interesting people in her life, because there are so many things I'm curious about.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Review: Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble (Jolie Wilkins, #1) by H.P. Mallory

Published: July 2010
Format: eBook
Genre: Adult, Fiction, Paranormal, Romance
Series: Jolie Wilkins
My rating: 5/5 stars

Synopsis from goodreads:

A self-deprecating witch with the unique ability to reanimate the dead. A dangerously handsome warlock torn between being her boss and her would-be lover. A six hundred year old English vampire with his own agenda; one that includes an appetite for witches. The Underworld in a state of chaos. Let the games begin.

Life isn’t bad for psychic Jolie Wilkins. True, she doesn’t have a love life to speak of, but she has a cute house in the suburbs of Los Angeles, a cat and a quirky best friend.

Enter Rand Balfour, a sinfully attractive warlock who insists she’s a witch and who just might turn her life upside down. Rand hires her to help him solve a mystery regarding the death of his client who also happens to be a ghost. Jolie not only uncovers the cause of the ghost’s demise but, in the process, she brings him back to life!

Word of Jolie’s incredible ability to bring back the dead spreads like wildfire, putting her at the top of the Underworld’s most wanted list. Consequently, she finds herself at the center of a custody battle between a villainous witch, a dangerous but oh-so-sexy vampire, and her warlock boss, Rand.


This is the first book in the Jolie Wilkins series, and I must admit that when I first picked it up I wasn't expecting a whole lot from it. I truly thought that this would be just a fun and fluffy sort of story that would satisfy my easily amused nature. However, as soon as I jumped into the world of Jolie Wilkins, I knew I was wrong about this book. This book/series has a lot more going for it than I could have ever imagined; and it's far from a humdrum, fluffy read! There is true depth and emotion within the plot and characters; as well as a heck of a lot of humor and well-written romance.

Jolie Wilkins is a woman whose life changes drastically after a very attractive and mesmerizing man named Rand walks into her tarot reading shop. He soon drops a bomb on her that she's a witch, and that he requires her assistance on a job he was hired to do by another witch. To make a long story short, Jolie agrees to help Rand, and in the process she discovers just how unique and powerful she really is--which then catapults her into the world and politics of the Underworld. Jolie is then exposed to all sorts of different Underworld creatures she never new existed, such as: Vampires, Werewolves, Fae and Demons.

Jolie is hilarious, and I just adore her! I loved reading this book through her point of view. Her character really develops throughout this first book, but she was actually pretty strong and sassy to begin with, which I liked. She makes it clear that she won't take crap from anyone. Jolie's character is the type where it's hard not to like her, and the more I read, the more sure I became that she would be added to my list of favorite protagonists of all time! As strong as she is, the fact that she stutters when she's angry and gets easily distracted by hot guys makes her all the more relatable. Her best friend, Christa, is also quite a riot; and the things that come out of Christa's mouth are both unpredictable and amusing. Their bond as best friends is incredible.

I love all things supernatural, so I really liked that there were so many different supernaturals being introduced in this book. Jolie gets to interact with several of them along the way--some good and some very bad. She also has some really intense and frightening things happen to her, and she learns the hard way who she can trust and who she can't. This book was filled with these crazy and intense moments, and I just couldn't tear myself away from it all!

Another thing I really enjoyed in this book was the romance. Holy cow, was there a lot of sexual tension in this book! Jolie is one of those women who has game, but doesn't know she has it or what to do with it. To her surprise, she finds herself being the object of the affections of a warlock, a werewolf and a vampire. This may seem excessive, but it was worked into the story well, and wasn't as skeevy as it sounds (I promise!). Also, I have such an appreciation for the way the author wrote about Jolie's romantic encounters. Usually, I tend to steer clear of adult novels because I always feel like the steamy scenes are too cheesy and worded wrong--which makes me laugh and roll my eyes in a mocking manner. But H.P. Mallory made these sexy moments real, believable and totally romantic!

My two favorite men in this book are Rand and Sinjin. Rand is a very handsome warlock who is extremely noble and tough. It's very clear that he cares deeply for Jolie, and he is very sincere in every way. There's never a doubt that he always has Jolie's best interest at heart. Sinjin, a vampire, is completely the opposite of Rand. He seems to just ooze charm and sex appeal, and is incredibly seductive; but it's hard to tell whether his intentions are really pure sometimes. It's clear that Jolie is more to him than just a potential conquest, though--and I just love how he always calls her "poppet"! The interactions that Jolie has with both of these men had me fanning myself, and I can't wait to see how things progress with them. These men are truly drool-worthy!

I'd like to wrap up this review by saying that this was such an enjoyable book with immense substance, fantastic characters, and out-of-this-world experiences and places. H.P. Mallory has me hooked and most definitely coming back for more!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

GIVEAWAY: Enter to win an eBook copy of Bone Dressing by Michelle I. Brooks!

Hello everyone!

As you may have already noticed, I just recently read and reviewed a fantastic book called Bone Dressing by Michelle I. Brooks. Because Michelle is extremely awesome and nice, she is offering up one eBook copy of Bone Dressing via Smashwords coupon to one lucky winner! This is the first book in a series of 7, and her second book, Bone Dressing: The Dreaming, is due out this month. I highly recommend this series! To enter this contest, just fill out the Rafflecopter form below.

To read my review of Bone Dressing, you can go HERE. To find out more about this series, you can visit Michelle's website HERE.




Synopsis for Bone Dressing:

Time is running out … the dark that’s been chasing Syd for many lifetimes has finally caught up with her …

Sydney Roberdeau lost her parents as a young girl. Waiting for her life to start and the freedom that will come with her eighteenth birthday, Syd spends much of her time haunting the local cemetery. It is there, stretched out among the dead, that she feels most alive, most at home. Until one rainy night when Beau, Sarah and T.J. crash her ghostly sanctuary, appearing out of nowhere, turning her already inside-out world one degree past upside down.

Syd must now revisit past lives, dressing in the bodies of her previous selves … bone dressing. Her only chance to outrun the evil breathing down her neck is to face her own worst nightmares and her strongest desires. But if she can’t stay out of trouble in this life, how can she possibly fix mistakes from past lives? And just how many lives has she lived, loved and lost? What is Syd exactly, and what will she risk for the life of a man she doesn’t remember, the man she spent a lifetime with, the man she loves? Everything ... including her very own life?

Bone Dressing, the first in a series of seven books, will carry Syd and Beau on an adventure that transcends life itself.


*The terms of this contest are as follows:

-Must be 13 or older
-You can enter as long as you are able to use this Smashwords coupon. You can go to the Smashwords website and find out HERE
-If winners do not respond within 48 hrs of being contacted, a new winner will be chosen

Good luck! =D

In My Mailbox (10)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. It's a fun way to exhibit the books we recently acquired.

*Before I share what I got in my mailbox, I would like to let everyone know how excited I am to be hosting my first 2 giveaways! So please feel free to enter HERE to win a book of your choice, and HERE to win an eBook copy of Bone Dressing by Michelle I. Brooks. =D

-Now, on to the books:

*All titles link to goodreads*


WON:
-I won Echoes from Alexis @ YA Books: Beyond the Cover 

-I won the signed Wander Dust bookmark from Andie Z @ From A to Z

Both of these blogs/ladies are fantastic so go check them out! =)



Gifted:
-Both of these books were given to me by my best friend, Sarah! Thanks again, SarBear!


Bought:
-I've already read this book, as well as the first one in the series, and I will be posting my review soon. I can honestly say that this series has quickly become a favorite of mine! The books are so much better than the description may lead you to believe.

Well, that's it for me. What's in your mailbox? =)

Saturday, February 4, 2012

GIVEAWAY: Enter to win a book of your choice!

I've entered/won some very awesome and gracious giveaways over my time as a blogger, and I've come into contact with several nice people; which is why I decided I would love to share the book love and have a giveaway of my own! So I would like to invite everyone to enter to win a book of your choice up to $15 from The Book Depository. The terms are as follows:

-Must be 13 or older to enter
-Open Internationally as long as The Book Depository ships to you
-Winner will have 48 hrs to respond until a new winner is chosen
-This giveaway starts on February 4th and will end February 26th

Good luck, and thanks for entering and following! =D

Review: Bone Dressing (Bone Dressing, #1) by Michelle I. Brooks

Published: April 20, 2011
Format: eBook
Genre: YA, Paranormal, Romance
Series: Bone Dressing
My rating: 5/5 stars

Synopsis from goodreads:

Time is running out … the dark that’s been chasing Syd for many lifetimes has finally caught up with her …

Sydney Roberdeau lost her parents as a young girl. Waiting for her life to start and the freedom that will come with her eighteenth birthday, Syd spends much of her time haunting the local cemetery. It is there, stretched out among the dead, that she feels most alive, most at home. Until one rainy night when Beau, Sarah and T.J. crash her ghostly sanctuary, appearing out of nowhere, turning her already inside-out world one degree past upside down.

Syd must now revisit past lives, dressing in the bodies of her previous selves … bone dressing. Her only chance to outrun the evil breathing down her neck is to face her own worst nightmares and her strongest desires. But if she can’t stay out of trouble in this life, how can she possibly fix mistakes from past lives? And just how many lives has she lived, loved and lost? What is Syd exactly, and what will she risk for the life of a man she doesn’t remember, the man she spent a lifetime with, the man she loves? Everything ... including her very own life?

Bone Dressing, the first in a series of seven books, will carry Syd and Beau on an adventure that transcends life itself.


I didn't exactly know what to expect from Bone Dressing. All I knew was that the synopsis for the book sounded totally cool and original, so I was pretty excited to find out more. Although things seemed to start off a little slow, it wasn't long before the plot picked up and intensified--and it stayed that way until the end of the book, which left my head spinning!

The book is told through the perspective of Sydney, who is completely tough and amusing. Syd is a character that I really like. She goes on these hilarious tangents that sent me into fits of giggles and I found her pessimism to be endearing and very honest. She's also a rebel, and I admire her ability to say whatever she wants and mean it.

Basically Syd is an orphan who finds her whole world literally being turned upside down when she encounters a very attractive and mysterious guy in the cemetery one night. This guy's name is Beau, and he's accompanied by his sister, Sarah, and a black panther named T.J. (yes, T.J. is LITERALLY a panther and she does fit into the story quite well!). With the help of these three, Syd finds out that there is a sinister being after her and the only way to get the upper hand is for her to journey back in time into her past selves and relive crucial moments in her life. It is then that she experiences memories that she never even knew she had, and she is riddled with an onslaught of emotions and facts that put a dent in her tough exterior and alter her forever.

As if finding out that she is in danger and has past lives that she must live again wasn't enough for Syd to process, she also struggles with the thoughts and feelings she so strongly has for Beau. As a very strong and independent young lady, Sydney actually gets peeved at herself for these intense feelings she instantly develops for Beau, especially since she's never experienced anything like this before. It was both amusing and confusing whenever these two were together, because there's so much tension, and there's also something more going on there than what you are let in on. All I'm saying is that Beau is SUPER hot and I can't wait to learn more about his connection with Syd (though I have a theory)!

One of the things I really love about this book is that the author is very descriptive and poetic at times, which I absolutely loved! Michelle Brooks also knows how to write romance well. There were some steamy moments throughout the story that felt incredibly accurate and personal. Basically, she's a fantastic writer and she really knows how to write a unique and engaging story. She also does such a stupendous job of making the reader really feel everything that the characters are going through. I was definitely effected by the heartbreak that Syd faces in this book, as well as the anger she's enveloped by when she comes to certain realizations. I would also like to bring to light the fact that I literally felt my blood pressure rising during every encounter Sydney has with the repugnant Mr. Askew--never has a fictional character made my skin crawl as much as he has!

There is so much more to find out about this story, and the last events of the book solidify this, therefore I can't wait to continue with this series! So, I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a story with a healthy dose of villains, supernatural, romance and mystery.

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