Thursday, July 30, 2015

Vintage (Adrenaline series #2)

When career criminal, Merrick McCoy and the commissioner's daughter, Jovi Carter, met neither expected to find the only thing in life they had been missing. However a classic love story takes a sharp turn when choices have to be made and sides chosen. Will these two forbidden lovers find a future or will their love story just become vintage?

Vintage is amazing. The intensity is pushed full throttle between Merrick and Jovi. There's an atmosphere of anticipation because something majorly catastrophic just has to take place. Eluding Jovi's father seems less likely as their romance progresses and there are hints of change throughout the story.  I rather enjoy the cliffhanger the author laid out. It flows well in a classic, spin off manner. However,  it's kind of a huge cliffie and I love the stories by Xavier Neal so I know I'll be reading the next one.  If you're a stand alone kind if person this may not leave you reeling with happy thoughts. 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Hook's Pan (Kingdom Series #5)

Trishelle Page has known pain in her life, but instead of it making her weak, she's stronger. Confident. That is until the day a fairy kidnaps her during her staring role in Peter Pan's play and tells her not only do fairy tales exist, but that she's the soulmate of the pirate they call Hook, making her question everything she ever thought she knew.

Captain James Hook is a man at the end of his rope. He's not the villainous bastard tales have made him out to be. So when the curvaceous blonde drops, literally, at his feet he aims to prove it to her. If only to get her into his bed.

What neither one knows is that fate and magic are conspiring and they can deny the attraction all they want but the end is already written, it's just a matter of getting there.

I wasn't sure it was possible for Marie Hall to write a story I'd love as much as Gerard's Beauty,  but she has outdone herself.  I am over the moon after reading Hook's Pan. The characters from the second installment are in this book a decent portion considering the female heroine is Betty's closest friend. There is certainly a wonderful surprise in the beginning.  As the story moved forward I couldn't stop smiling. The tension between Hook and Trishelle is insatiable.  I love how their personalities sync. They are both witty,  funny, and hard headed. 
The back story on Peter Pan is one of the best twists I've read to date.  I adored the inclusions of the mermaids and the under water adventure.  This book is pure, unadulterated bliss!  I'm sad to see the fairy tales of the Bad Five and their soul mates come to an end, but very eager to read the spin off series of "the dark daughters" ! 5 Stars!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Jinni's Wish (Kingdom Series #4)

A long, long time ago there lived a man. A Jinni, who had one wish. To know love. But the woman he thought he knew betrayed him and the love he thought they shared. Tortured for his crimes, he was cast out of Kingdom, stripped of all his powers, left to langour in pain and solitude, until eventually he becomes nothing but a ghost...

Paz Lopez is an artist with a dream. To buy a ridiculously large penthouse in the swankiest section of Chicago. But there's just one hitch, she has no man to share her dream with. A fateful visit to a carnival and Madam Pandora's tent sends Paz on a mission to find the love of her life before it's too late.

But the Madam forgot to tell Paz one very important detail... to meet him, Paz will have to die first.

The different tales of the characters in the Kingdom series offer something for every ready to be able to relate to on a more personal level. All of the character's are enjoyable and fun to read. The prose, per usual, flows smoothly and paints wonderfully aesthetic scenes to appreciate. The emotional atmosphere in this fourth installment harness more of a melancholy tone. It's understandable considering the circumstances surrounding Jinni's past and Paz's predicament. It was nice to finally unravel the mystery surrounding Jinni, but I didn't feel the character's connect with as much ferocity as they have in former novels. It was still very much a pleasure to read and I always enjoy Marie Hall's imaginative creations. 4 Stars!

Red and Her Wolf (Kingdom Series #3)

Long ago there lived a beautiful child. Her name was Violet. Fair of skin, with blonde hair and large blue eyes. Born of wild magic, she was a woman with a child’s heart. Innocent and lovely, but not at all what she seemed--you see Violet went by another name: The Heartsong.

She was the child of fairy magic, the physical manifestation of all fae kinds unbridled power. Cosseted and pampered, she grew up in isolation, never knowing who she really was, or why there were those who’d seek to harm her.

Ewan of the Blackfoot Clan is a wolf with a problem. He’s been sent to kill the Heartsong, but the moment he lays eyes on the blonde beauty he knows he’ll defy the evil fae he works for to claim Violet as his own.

This is the tale of Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf, as it really happened...

Book 3 in the Kingdom series is a bit on the darker side and I absolutely loved it. It's twist is far different from the prior two novels as it seems Violet is creature of darkness with no hope for salvation and Ewan, the stubborn Alpha Wolf, refuses to give up on her. I enjoyed the environment and character development. The twist at the end of the story was entirely unexpected and perfect. I cannot get enough of this series! Marie Hall invites me into one magical realm after another and I'm hopelessly addicted to the character's and their romances. 5 Stars!

Gerard's Beauty (Kingdom Series #2)

A not so classic retelling of Beauty and the Beast, as seen through the eyes of the villain...

Betty Hart has had it with men. Jilted in love, her life now consists of shelving books by day, watching too much Anime by night, and occasionally dressing up like a superhero on the weekends with her fellow ‘Bleeding Heart’ nerds. Men are not welcome and very much unwanted. Especially the sexy Frenchman who saunters into her library reeking of alcohol and looking like he went one too many rounds in the ring.

Gerard Caron is in trouble. Again. Caught with his pants down (literally) he’s forced to seek asylum on Earth while his fairy godmother tries to keep Prince Charming from going all ‘Off with his head’. Maybe, messing around with the King’s daughter hadn’t been such a great idea after all, not that Gerard knew the silly redhead was a princess. But his fairy godmother knows the only way to save his life is to finally pair Gerard with his perfect mate, whether he’s willing or not.

From the moment Gerard lays eyes on the nerdy librarian he knows he must have her, but Betty is unlike any woman he’s ever known. He thought Betty would come as willingly to his bed as every other woman before her, but she is a woman who demands respect and even… horror of all horrors… love. Is it possible for a self-proclaimed Casanova to change his ways?

 This Beauty and the Beast is a brilliant spin off worthy of endless praise. The ability to write so many different personalities and let them each stay true to form takes true talent. Marie Hall is a master story teller.

Gerard's Beauty is my absolute favorite.  My intrigue was held from the first sentence to the last. After I finished the book I immediately had to read it all over again. The intensity and longing are intoxicating,  yet her characters are so enjoyable to read. I am always thrilled that these characters are forced in one way or another to take the time to fall in love instead of the clichĂ© stories of lust. It doesn't get more entertaining.  The Kingdom Series is golden. Easily a top 5 pick, coming from an extremely picky reader. 5 stars!

Her Mad Hatter (Kingdom Series #1) by Marie Hall

Alice is all grown up. Running the Mad Hatter's Cupcakery and Tea Shoppe is a delicious job, until fate--and a fairy godmother with a weakness for bad boys--throws her a curveball. Now, Alice is the newest resident of Wonderland, where the Mad Hatter fuels her fantasies and thrills her body with his dark touch.

The Mad Hatter may have a voice and a body made for sex, but he takes no lovers. Ever. But a determined fairy godmother has forced Alice into Wonderland--and his arms. Now, as desire and madness converge, the Hatter must decide if he will fight the fairy godmother's mating--or fight for Alice.

 Her Mad Hatter is the first installment of an extremely addicting series! I adore Marie Hall's imagination and the intricate details that brought this story to life. The characters are original and so realistic they embedded themselves into my heart permanently.  The explicit scenes are well written and scorching hot. Book 1 in the Kingdom Series turned me into an instant fan girl. I am determined to own every book ever written by this author. 5 stars!


Thursday, July 9, 2015

Fire & Shadow (Hand of Kali #1)

Normal people sneak out to a party and have fun. Maya Rao ends the evening by incinerating the guy who attacks her.

Nik Lucas, sexy, new in town and totally forbidden, happens to walk in on her. Normal guys would run for the hills. Nik knows a whole lot more than he's telling.

Maya doesn't believe the gods are real, doesn't waste her time with mere mythology. But when gods, demons and hellhounds become the new normal and wielding fire becomes her new skill, she must decide what it is she really believes.

Can Maya accept that normal is something she will never be because it isn't normal to be ...

The Hand of Kali.

A new Paranormal coming of age series delving in the fantasy and magic of Hindu mythology and its plethora of gods, demons, legends & mythology.


Fire and Shadow is a flawless illustration of everything a YA Paranormal Romance represents. It is a beautifully written tale of a teenage girl being thrown into a world of mythology and a religion she had before deemed nonsense. For reasons not to be revealed, Maya has the power to wield fire. When her crush from afar is worked into the equation of these sudden upheavals in her life, duties and romance become a bit conflicted. She's an extremely likeable character who is truly selfless and always considerate of her friends and family. She just hadn't realized the list of people she would care enough to call friend would soon include mythological gods. While trying to grasp the powers behind the angst in her life, tragedy strikes and being needed by the God of Death to go on an epic adventure is her only bargaining chip in saving the lives of those near and dear to her.

As always, a prose written by T.G. Ayer is a literary pleasure. She is master story-teller who manages to include an abundance of excitement in just a few short pages without all of the clutter and confusion. Fire and Shadow is a well plotted fantasy adventure perfect for lovers of creativity and the desire to find escape within a realm of infinite possibilities. A well-deserved 5 stars!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Ascenders by CL Gaber

"It will keep you up all night reading." USA Today bestselling author Tiffany King.

Walker Callaghan doesn't know what happened to her. One minute she was living her teenage life in suburban Chicago...and the next minute, she was in a strange place and in a brand new school with absolutely no homework, no rules, and no consequences. Walker Callaghan, 17, is dead. She doesn't go to heaven or hell. She lands at The Academy, a middle realm where teenagers have one thing in common: They were the morning announcement at their high schools because they died young.

These high school kids are now caught in a strange “in-between” zone where life hasn’t changed very much. In fact, this special teen limbo looks a lot like life in a quaint Michigan town complete with jocks, popular girls and cliques. "There are even cheerleaders in death," Walker observes. It's not a coincidence that the music teacher is a guy named Kurt who "used to have this band." The drama teacher, Heath, is crush worthy because back in his life, he starred in some superhero movie.

Principal King explains the rules -- there are none. Why? You can't die twice.
There is no homework. No tests. No SATS. You're just there to learn because the human brain isn't fully formed until you're 24.

By the way, you can't get hurt physically, so race your Harley off that hillside. But falling in love is the most dangerous thing you can do ...because no one knows how long you'll stay in this realm or what's next.
"Losing someone you love would be like dying twice," Walker says.

* * * * * *
Walker Callaghan has just arrived at the Academy after a tragic car accident. “Is this heaven or is this high school?” she asks.
She finds out her new life is a bit of both as she falls in love with tat-covered, bad boy Daniel Reid who is about to break the only sacred rule of this place. He's looking for a portal to return back to the living realm.
He needs just one hour to retrieve his younger brother who strangely never arrived at The Academy. Bobby is an Earth Bound Spirit, stuck at a plane crash site that took both of their lives as their rich father piloted his private jet nose-first into a cornfield on Christmas Eve.
Walker loves Daniel and risks it all to go with him.
Have they learned enough to outsmart dangerous forces while transporting a young child with them? Can their love survive the fragmented evil parts of themselves that are now hunting them down as they try to find a way back to the middle?
At the Academy, you learn the lessons of an after-lifetime.

Ascenders was sent to me courtesy of the author. Despite lacking time to read as of late, I couldn't put this book down once I started it. It makes an amazing addition for the YA Paranormal Romance genre. Also, it is a clean read. There is nothing naughty in it to make us parental units worry.

I'd say you caught onto the cues that the female protagonist, Walker Callaghan, often referred to as Callaghan in the story, is deceased and attending an Academy for those in the realm of the "in-between". Most of those existing in her realm are teenagers. Her mother being there is a bittersweet exception to the rule. No spoilers so I won't elaborate. 

Much of the focus on this story is to her adjustments to the realm, a boy of mystery named Daniel, and the plotting of a forbidden adventure. There is only one rule that is enforced at the Academy. Daniel and Callaghan are devoted to breaking it.

As a "ghost story" you can also expect darker elements to be presented, nothing too morbid of course. Along with various celebrities being mentioned, there are also people who are notorious for their heinous acts against humanity. Those were a pleasant surprise!

I cannot wait until my children are old enough to read Ascenders. I was able to enjoy it as an adult so I imagine it will be epic for the teenage generation. It has an extremely entertaining story-line,but I also believe it contains something beneficial for teens to take from it. The other factor I found pleasing is the inclusion of hushed topics that have just recently been trending on social media, such as anorexia or bullying. These may not be the primary focus of the story, but my hopes are that it will trigger a sense of compassion and understanding in teenagers.

Altogether, I loved it! I read the excerpt for Ascenders 2 and I can't get my hands on the second installment quickly enough. I'll be recommending this book to everyone! 5 stars!