Clean Sweep (Innkeeper Chronicles, #1)

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When you see a book written by Ilona Andrews, you know a couple things. First, the writing will be fantastic and you will be drawn into the story within the first chapter. And second, the plot will be complex, fascinating, and unique. Clean Sweep is no exception. But one thing the author did that I have not seen before was add pictures throughout the book. There were only a couple but nonetheless it was kind of fun to see. 


Clean SweepAuthor: Ilona Andrews
Published: December 2, 2013
Pages: 235

Stars: 4.5 out of 5

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Synopsis:
On the outside, Dina Demille is the epitome of normal. She runs a quaint Victorian Bed and Breakfast in a small Texas town, owns a Shih Tzu named Beast, and is a perfect neighbor, whose biggest problem should be what to serve her guests for breakfast. But Dina is…different: Her broom is a deadly weapon; her Inn is magic and thinks for itself. Meant to be a lodging for otherworldly visitors, the only permanent guest is a retired Galactic aristocrat who can’t leave the grounds because she’s responsible for the deaths of millions and someone might shoot her on sight. Under the circumstances, “normal” is a bit of a stretch for Dina.

And now, something with wicked claws and deepwater teeth has begun to hunt at night….Feeling responsible for her neighbors, Dina decides to get involved. Before long, she has to juggle dealing with the annoyingly attractive, ex-military, new neighbor, Sean Evans—an alpha-strain werewolf—and the equally arresting cosmic vampire soldier, Arland, while trying to keep her inn and its guests safe. But the enemy she’s facing is unlike anything she’s ever encountered before. It’s smart, vicious, and lethal, and putting herself between this creature and her neighbors might just cost her everything.

Review:
Dina is the owner of the local bread and breakfast. But when the dog killings begin to increase and the thing killing them begins to get bolder, Dina isn’t sure she is able to sit back and watch her neighbors get threatened. Sean is not what he seems. Although he is new to town, he takes no time in marking his territory. As a werewolf, Dina goes to him for help but getting his help isn’t as easy as she would hope. This puts Dina in a predicament – do nothing and keep her neutral stance within the world of creatures and monsters. Or get involved and lose part of her protection and possibly jeopardize her inn. 

Both Dina and Sean are far more complex than they seem. Dina’s powers match those of her inn. Her little dog Beast is amazing. But Dina is not a usual innkeeper. She is caring, loyal, and unbelievably strong. Yet, there are parts in the book that hint her skills and powers are highly underestimated, even by her. 

Sean is arrogant, dangerous, and highly attractive. Watching the interactions between him and Dina is not only entertaining, but also fun in the building of sexual tension kind of way. 

So much happens in this book, I honestly don’t know what else to say without giving too much away. I love the flow of this book. The author does a great job creating a unique world. The book ends with the possibility of a love triangle. Normally I hate this kind of thing. But I have a feeling it won’t be much of a love triangle for long. 

By the end of the book I had a huge smile on my face and could only think one thing – man, I love this book! I am really looking forward to the next installment in this series. 

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The Perilous Sea (The Elemental Trilogy, #2)

the perilous sea

 

Author: Sherry Thomas
Published: September 16, 2014
Pages: 414

Stars: 5 out of 5

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Synopsis:
After spending the summer away from each other, Titus and Iolanthe (still disguised as Archer Fairfax) are eager to return to Eton College to resume their training to fight the Bane. Although no longer bound to Titus by a blood oath, Iolanthe is more committed than ever to fulfilling her destiny—especially with the agents of Atlantis quickly closing in.

Soon after arriving at school, though, Titus makes a shocking discovery, one that makes him question everything he previously believed about their mission. Faced with this devastating realization, Iolanthe is forced to come to terms with her new role, while Titus must choose between following his mother’s prophecies—and forging a divergent path to an unknowable future.

Review:

The first chapter grabs the readers attention but I was not exactly sure what was going on. Like with most series, months or maybe even a year has past since I have read the previous book. And for me, when I saw this book was available, I felt excitement and wanted to read it right away. The description of the book reminded me who the characters were and the overall plot. But I couldn’t remember how the last book ended. And starting the book out with the main character having no memory who who they are, doesn’t help. Luckily the following chapters fill in the gap.

The chapters go back and forth between the Sahara desert- where Titus and Iolanthe (Fairfax) have lost their memory and aren’t sure why they are there, to the past – which describe the events leading up to the Sahara desert and memory loss. Reading the chapters of when Titus and Iolanthe don’t have their memories is fascinating. In a way, it is very similar to the first book- the emotions, the connection between them, and the slow development of respect, companionship, and more. But I will admit, I am drawn to the romance. Titus is so sweet and Iolanthe is perfect for him. This series really is turning into an addiction. The author did an amazing job with developing deep characters.

One of the hiccups in Titus and Iolanthe’s relationship is an important discovery. I wish I could expand on this but honestly I think it would be giving too much away. But I will say this discovery makes Iolanthe feel betrayed and I have to agree with her. This part of the book made me question- Did the first book not matter? Everything Iolanthe went through, all her sacrifice, everything she has overcome, does it not matter? In the first book Iolanthe killed the Bane in the crucible. That has to count for something… 

The ending of this book left me with goosebumps!! Talk about a cliffhanger. I can’t wait for the next book. The action in this book was intense, the plot fast paced, and the romantic jesters were beautiful. I must agree with the critics, this series is the next big one. 

This book reveals so much, I wish I could say more but I would be spoiling it if I did. But what I can say is how you read Titus’s mothers prophecies in the beginning of the book is not how you look at them, read them, or interpret them later on.

If you haven’t read the first book, you can find my review for it here. Otherwise, happy reading!  

The Sight (Devil’s Isle, #2)

Thie Sight

Author: Chloe Neill
Published: August 16, 2016
Pages: 330

Stars: 5 out of 5

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Synopsis:
Claire Connolly is a Sensitive, infected with magic when the Veil that divides humanity from the world beyond fell. Magic can easily consume and destroy a Sensitive, and if Claire’s secret is discovered she’ll be locked into the walled district of Devil’s Isle along with every other Paranormal left in the city.

Bounty hunter Liam Quinn discovered Claire’s secret, but refused to turn her in. Together they saved New Orleans from the resurgence of magic that nearly destroyed it. But now a dangerous cult is on the rise, and it will take both Claire and Liam—and magical allies within Devil’s Isle’s towering walls—to defeat the occult threat before magic corrupts them both…

Review:
Walking into this book, I wasn’t sure what to expect. A lot of time has pasted since I read the first book in this series. But the further I got into the story, the more I remembered. And I’ll be honest, the first handful of chapters were dull. But things pick up and before you know it, you can’t put the book down. So if you start reading this book and you contemplate putting it down, don’t. Push through because it’s well worth it.

The writing and the world Chloe Neil created, like always, is spectacular and really shines in this book. The details really allow you to imagine what is happening and the action scenes are spectacular. Between the details and action, I was completely captivated. And that doesn’t include the romance side of this book.

Liam is sexy as all get out. He has the looks, flippant tongue, and he’s a bounty hunter. It’s a safe bet to say he can handle most situations. Claire is a fiery red head who is strong, loyal, and loves deeply. But she is also a sensitive who developed magic as a result of being exposed to it. Supposedly she is supposed to turn into a wrath because the magic will start controlling her. But not everyone thinks that has to happen. Some believe you can control the magic and stay human. Unfortunately for her, Liam is on the fence about this. Which makes him off limits.

The sexual tension between them builds throughout the entire book until you guessed it, it collides into this intense moment. And of course things can only go down hill from there. The ending in this book is unbelievable. I honestly didn’t see it coming. As I was finishing the book, I was at the edge of my seat unable to believe what I was reading.

This book was about war and politics. It is about people who are mad, hurt, and blindly follow others. This book expresses so many emotions: pain, hope, hatred, love, and repulsion. It also shows a characters drive to do what is write, even if that means giving up what they cherish most.

This has probably been one of the hardest reviews I have written in a long time. I want to talk about so much, but doing so would spoil the book. So how about this, read the book because I promise you’ll love it. And then let’s connect because if you are anything like me, you’ll want to talk to someone after you’re done reading the book. This series is one to keep your eye on!

 

Magic Binds (Kate Daniels, #9)

magic-bindsAuthor: Ilona Andrews
Published: September 20, 2016
Pages: 328

Stars: 5 out of 5

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Synopsis:
Mercenary Kate Daniels knows all too well that magic in post-Shift Atlanta is a dangerous business. But nothing she’s faced could have prepared her for this…

Kate and the former Beast Lord Curran Lennart are finally making their relationship official. But there are some steep obstacles standing in the way of their walk to the altar…

Kate’s father, Roland, has kidnapped the demigod Saiman and is slowly bleeding him dry in his never-ending bid for power. A Witch Oracle has predicted that if Kate marries the man she loves, Atlanta will burn and she will lose him forever. And the only person Kate can ask for help is long dead.

The odds are impossible. The future is grim. But Kate Daniels has never been one to play by the rules…

Review:
I feel like I should let you know this review is a little bias. I absolutely love this series and this book does not disappoint. It has been a while since I’ve read book eight in this series and I always worry about being lost when too much time has pasted. If that is the same case for you, don’t worry because Ilona does a wonderful job providing you with any information you need.

If you have not started reading this series yet, then it’s a must! This series is perfect for those who love paranormal books with a light romantic twist. For those of you who have read this series, does anyone else find themselves going back and forth between hating Roland and desperately wishing he would change for Kate? I know, it doesn’t make any sense because he probably won’t. Roland is the type that kills without thought and is aggravating as all get out. Not to mention the kind of threat he turns into in this book. Maybe I’m a sap for happy endings and I want one for Kate. I’m just not sure it’s going to happen.

The plot flows effortlessly and getting lost into this book was too easy. Before I knew it, I had read this book in less than two days and didn’t take a single note. I was captivated by the plot, invested in the characters, and wondered what would happen next. By the end of the book, I felt like I should have a hangover from the binge reading I did. Instead I walked away wanting to read the book again to see if I missed anything and wondering if it is too early to pre-order book ten… In case you’re wondering, it’s to early.

This book makes huge gains. Without giving any spoilers away, one characters in particular has a significant transformation that I didn’t see coming. One of the developments with Kate was predictable but I think that was because Ilona made it that way on purpose.

Honestly, I am still digesting the book. But what I can tell you is this is one of those books/series you don’t ever want to end. Again, give the series a chance. You won’t regret it! If you want to know more about the series, I wrote a Throwback Thursday-Kate Daniels Series. Happy Reading!!

All the Ugly and Wonderful Things

All the Ugly and Wonderful things

Author: Bryn Greenwood
Published: August 9, 2016
Pages: 352

Stars: 5 out of 5

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Synopsis:
As the daughter of a meth dealer, Wavy knows not to trust people, not even her own parents. Struggling to raise her little brother, eight-year-old Wavy is the only responsible “adult” around. She finds peace in the starry Midwestern night sky above the fields behind her house. One night everything changes when she witnesses one of her father’s thugs, Kellen, a tattooed ex-con with a heart of gold, wreck his motorcycle. What follows is a powerful and shocking love story between two unlikely people that asks tough questions, reminding us of all the ugly and wonderful things that life has to offer.

Review:
This isn’t the type of book I normally pick up but I’m glad I did. I’ll be honest with you, this book at times is terribly sad. The plot involves child abuse that is uncomfortable and guaranteed to pull an emotional response out of you. But it is also about strength and savoring those little moments of light. And I promise, the ending is worth getting to. There are some grammatical errors, but nothing you aren’t abel to read past.

Wavy is a complex child who comes with a hefty load of baggage. After her father and mother get arrested, she is sent into the system. After much persuasion, Wavy goes to live with her aunt. Although, that didn’t last long because of Wavy’s peculiar habits. You see, she isn’t like a typical child. She would rather eat out of the garbage than eat dinner at the table with her family. She would rather steal and sneak around than follow societal rules. She is a selective mute and yet so much more. Once Wavy goes back to live with her mother, there is no doubt she was lucky she didn’t turn out worse. The abuse her and her brother go through is horrifying.

I found myself reading this book wondering how in the heck did this little girl end up like this. Unfortunately that answer gets solved and you aren’t going to like it. Yet with everything Wavy has been through, she is such a strong character. The author did an amazing job describing the hopes and dreams of a little girl who caries around so many demons.

In this book, Wavy talks about the different sides her mom has. There’s happy mom who is attentive, caring, and loving. There’s scary mom, who is cruel, neglectful, and abusive. Then there is sad mom, who doesn’t care about anything and falls into a depression. Because of all these sides, Wavy (at the age of five) ends up practically raising her brother.

Kellen is a complex character. I can’t help but pity him. He isn’t attractive, is constantly made fun of, and overweight. But he is a savior to Wavy and a trusted friend. I’m not sure how old he is, much older than Wavy. I think he might be ten years older than her. Maybe more, like I said I’m not sure. Which is what kind of bothers me. The further I get into the story, the more Kellen and Wavy’s relationship changed. At first it was really innocent. But as it became more, I couldn’t help but see Wavy as a child and Kellen as an adult. To be honest, it made me uncomfortable reading about this. But his character does redeem himself in some ways and by the end of the book I am happy with how things turned out.

As I was reading this story, I kind of felt like I was on a rollercoaster of emotions. And just when you think things are as bad as they can get, tragedy strikes and everything gets worse. You must be asking, what more could happen to this little girl that wouldn’t be classified already as a tragedy? Well, when you find out it’s like your heart stops. You’re reading the words but shaking your head not wanting to comprehend them. Your stomach turns with how unfair life can be. And you’re just not sure how much more of this you can take. That’s how gifted this author is.

Even with all the uncomfortable moments and my doubts about Kellen, somehow by the end of the book I desperately wanted Wavy to reconnect with him. I was surprised how this book stayed with me. When I wasn’t reading the chapters, I was constantly thinking about the plot or wishing I could read just one more chapter. I will admit there was one point in the book I wanted to put it down. It was around the time Kellen and Wavy’s relationship changed into something more and I wasn’t sure how much more of that I could take. But I’m glad I did’t because this book is truly amazing.

My final thought I want to leave with you is I promise you won’t be disappointed in this book. Yes it is emotionally charged and pulls at your heart, but the story is one worth reading. By the end of the book, you will fall in love (and sometimes hate) the characters in this book. My warning is to read the book for how it is. Wavy is not your typical little girl, so don’t try to cast her in that image. You will only be disappointed and end up disgusted. Good luck with this book if you decide reading it. Like I said, it will be one that stays with you.

A Fine Mess (Over the Top, #2)

A Fine Mess

Author: Kelly Siskind
Published: August 2, 2016
Pages: 340

Stars: 5 out of 5

 

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Synopsis:
Some guys should come with a warning label . . .

Sawyer West is Mr. One-Night Stand. He doesn’t do relationships or promises or feelings. He’s never cared enough to get involved. Until Lily Roberts. She’s sweet and shy and sexy as sin, and resisting her is testing his self-control. She believes Sawyer can be a better man, and for the first time in his life, he wants to be. But change isn’t easy, and Sawyer would do anything to protect Lily from his past self. Even break his own heart . . .

Review:

Although in a way this book could be read as a stand alone, I wouldn’t recommend it. The first book was full of character development and without that foundation I think you would miss an aspect of who the characters are. Not only would you miss a part of their backstory, but I think the beginning would lack a certain degree of depth. In other words, read the first book. If you missed review, you can find it here.

Like I mentioned, this book doesn’t miss a beat. It opens will Lily in complete turmoil over needing to break up with her 11 year boyfriend but not wanting to throw everything they had away. Of course sexy, confident Sawyer also has something to do with how she feels.

Sawyer has a dysfunctional family. Although he tries his best to separate himself from them, he is scared he will become just like them. So when Lily tells him she is single, hoping to turn their friendship into more, Sawyer is too scared to move forward.

This story is not what I expected. The depth of both Sawyer and Lily pulls the reader into the story. Lily is not who I thought she was. She has secrets she desperately tries to hide. Both characters fall deep for each other and their feels get intense fast. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t the intense that leaves you unable to put the book down. No, this is the kind that you know is going to come crashing down on them and end badly. The only question is when..

The plot is slightly predictable and I can’t say I love Lily as much as I did Shay. But still, I find myself getting pulled along on this emotional roller coaster that is Sawyer and Lily. And the ending!! It’s complete gush worthy. Regardless of the complexity of issues both Sawyer and Lily face, this is a great love story. I can’t wait for the next book to come out!!

A Fine Mess by Kelly Siskind- Cover Reveal and Excerpt

A Fine Mess


A Fine Mess

Title: A Fine Mess
Series: Over the Top, #2
Author: Kelly Siskind

THE OVER THE TOP SERIES
My Perfect Mistake, #1
A Fine Mess, #2

On Sale: August 2, 2013
Price: $3.99

Where to Buy:
Amazon
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Synopsis:
Some guys should come with a warning label . . .

Sawyer West is Mr. One-Night Stand. He doesn’t do relationships or promises or feelings. He’s never cared enough to get involved. Until Lily Roberts. She’s sweet and shy and sexy as sin, and resisting her is testing his self-control. She believes Sawyer can be a better man, and for the first time in his life, he wants to be. But change isn’t easy, and Sawyer would do anything to protect Lily from his past self. Even break his own heart . . .

A Fine Mess
ABOUT THE AUTHOR

A small-town girl at heart, Kelly moved from the city to open a cheese shop with her husband in Northern Ontario. When she’s not neck deep in cheese or out hiking, you can find her, notepad in hand, scribbling down one of the many plot bunnies bouncing around in her head.

She laughs at her own jokes and has been known to eat her feelings-Gummy Bears heal all. She’s also an incurable romantic, devouring romance novels into the wee hours of the morning.

 

Website   Facebook   Twitter   Goodreads


Excerpt:

She holds up her new treasure. “Found a good one.” The blue stone in the center of the ring catches the light of a nearby lamp, the thick band decorated with filigree.

“Okay,” I say. “You first.”

She swallows and peeks at me from below her lashes. “There was this man.” Another swallow. “He was a soldier about to be shipped off to war.” She scrapes her teeth over her bottom lip. “He bought this ring but didn’t propose to his girl before he left. He was afraid. He didn’t think he’d do right by her. But he held on to it during every battle, and every horrible night. When he got home and realized he was being foolish”—she looks at me with glassy eyes—“the girl had fallen for someone else.”

Single Lily fights dirty.

My pulse kicks up a notch as I approach her. I stop a foot away and hold out my hand. “The ring, please.”

Trembling slightly, she places it in my palm, her fingers grazing my skin.

“A man,” I say, turning the band over, “proposed to the girl of his dreams with this ring.” I step closer. “He worshipped her. I mean, she was hot as fuck”—eye roll numero cinco—“but they were meant to be, like real soul mates. Then the unthinkable happened.” I shift my feet until there’s barely an inch between us.

Self-control at DEFCON 2.

“What happened?” she whispers.

I grin. “A car fell on her. Freak accident. Dropped from the second story of a parking garage. Nasty mess.” I grab her hand and place the ring on her finger as she mumbles something about my maturity. I knock her toe with mine. “Quiet. I’m not done.” Numero seis. I clear my throat. “Although the man loved his wife more than anything, he pawned the ring. He knew it was special. He hoped the next person to buy it could be as lucky in love as he was.”

That stops the eye rolls.

She looks at the ring, then at me, then back and forth again.

Her lips part. Her chest rises.

Sirens ring: DEFCON 1.

I’m a thrill seeker. Cliff jumping, fast cars, steep slopes—you name it, I love it. The adrenaline rush gives me Spidey-sense, and my pulse shoots from one hundred to 220 in ten seconds flat.

Leaning in to kiss Lily is like skydiving without a chute.

I don’t give her time to turn me down, not a moment for either of us to overthink. Heart in my throat, I taste her lips. Yep, strawberry. She’s soft and tentative, then eager, a whimper escaping when our tongues swipe. I grip her harder and walk until I have her pressed against a table. She tugs my hair. I grab her ass. The next whimper is louder, the sound shredding what’s left of my self-control. I need to hear what other sounds she makes, need to hear her fall apart. Will she chant my name or pray to her maker? Will she scream or groan? Our mouths move faster, hands greedier, my jeans barely containing me. If I don’t stop soon, we’ll be giving these antiques enough stories for another century.

By the time I pull away, she’s swallowed my heart.


A Fine Mess

This is such a great series!!  Click on the link for my review of book one- My Perfect Mistake.

I will be posting my review of A Fine Mess, tomorrow 🙂