Thursday, February 08, 2018

Renegades by Marissa Meyer

Title: Renegades
Author: Marissa Meyer
Genre: Sci-Fi Fantasy, Young Adult
Series: Renegades # 1

Hardcover, 556 pages
Publication: November 7, 2017 by Feiwel & Friends

Source: Won a review copy on Goodreads.


The Renegades are a syndicate of prodigies — humans with extraordinary abilities — who emerged from the ruins of a crumbled society and established peace and order where chaos reigned. As champions of justice, they remain a symbol of hope and courage to everyone... except the villains they once overthrew.

Nova has a reason to hate the Renegades, and she is on a mission for vengeance. As she gets closer to her target, she meets Adrian, a Renegade boy who believes in justice — and in Nova. But Nova's allegiance is to a villain who has the power to end them both.

Meyer is best known for her Lunar Chronicle series, a mash-up of fairy-tales and sci-fi. I have the entire series just sitting on my shelf. I did read a bit of Cinder a few years back and while I did enjoy what I read…I just never had the urge to pick it up again. Then I heard Meyer was starting a new series with superheroes and villains. I was intrigued, I love all things superheroes/villains…you’d think people would get burnt out on the idea with it flooding mainstream television and movies. Nope. If there’s a market for it, you’d bet it’d sell.

Renegades was like the comic book version of Romeo and Juliet. We have Nova, niece of the Anarchist leader and Adrian, the adopted son of the beloved Renegades Originals. I think you all know how this is going to go (not death, obviously). It's pretty predictable. With the help of her Anarchist family, Nova infiltrates The Renegades by trying out to be part of the team and actually landing in a group with team leader Adrian, the golden child of The Renegades. Nova’s plan is to learn as much as she can to take down the entire organization; enacting retribution because she believes The Renegades are the reason why her family was dead. Adrian on the other-hand is keeping a big secret from The Renegades and investigating his mother’s death and he thinks Nightmare, an Anarchist, has the answers. The two end up liking one another but little do they know they come from rival families.

The plot as I said is pretty generic and predictable. Meyer doesn’t bring anything new to the concept of superheroes or villains. The characters themselves are basic, I don’t recall anything special or anyone standing out for that matter. I have to admit, even the dialogue seemed juvenile. But I still found myself glued to the pages. It’s the way Meyer writes. There’s just something that pulls the readers in and keeps your attention. I know I’m gonna get flacked for this comment but its the only comparison I can give. Everyone remember Twilight? Of course you do. You know it’s not particularly good fiction or writing but yet you keep reading it anyways…because in the moment you’re reading it…it's the best thing ever! Yeah that was what it’s like for me. I mean, the point of any and all books is to be able to immerse yourself into the story and suspend reality for a couple of hours. Well, The Renegades definitely accomplished this. So there’s that going for it.

There wasn’t much romance in this book, more like a potential start of one. It was kind of awkward any way you looked at it. There’s something between Adrian and Nova but they never acted on it. And while they had plenty of interaction with one another, it wasn’t like sparks were flying. And because their interaction was weird; there’s was a disconnect between the characters which caused a disconnect between the readers as well. I didn’t feel it and didn’t really care about their relationship. It was just there. I didn’t think it brought anything to the story/plot sadly.

The Renegades doesn’t have much to be desired, it’s lackluster in terms of plot, world building, and characterization at best. If I don’t think too much about the book, I’d say it was okay borderline good. I mean, I did finish it. I’m pretty picky when it comes to book, so that’s saying a lot. The ending was the only unpredictable thing in the entire book and I am curious to see how things will play out in the sequel. I may or may not pick up the sequel just to see what happens next. But would I recommend this book? Probably not unless you’re looking for a brain candy type of book to pass the time…it may look and feel good at the moment but there’s no real substance.

Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Magic Rises by Ilona Andrews

Title: Magic Rises
Author: Ilona Andrews
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Kate Daniels # 6

Mass Market Paperback,  327 Pages
Publication: July 30, 2013 by Berkeley Publishing Group

Source: Personal Library


Atlanta is a city plagued by magical problems. Kate Daniels will fight to solve them—no matter the cost.

Mercenary Kate Daniels and her mate, Curran, the Beast Lord, are struggling to solve a heartbreaking crisis. Unable to control their beasts, many of the Pack’s shapeshifting children fail to survive to adulthood. While there is a medicine that can help, the secret to its making is closely guarded by the European packs, and there’s little available in Atlanta.

Kate can’t bear to watch innocents suffer, but the solution she and Curran have found threatens to be even more painful. The European shapeshifters who once outmaneuvered the Beast Lord have asked him to arbitrate a dispute—and they’ll pay him in medicine. With the young people’s survival and the Pack’s future at stake, Kate and Curran know they must accept the offer—but they have little doubt that they’re heading straight into a trap…

The final Kate Daniel novel releases this year. So, I thought It’d be a good time as any to catch up on the series. I don’t know why but I’ve been holding off on reading the series for years, even though it’s my favorite series and I know it’s going to be great…and of course, it was! The sixth installment in the series takes Kate, Curran, Derek, Andrea…and a few more away from The Keep as they travel across The Black Sea to act as bodyguards to Dessandra, a shifter whom is about to give birth to twins in exchange for a cure for lupism. The gang know that it’s likely a trap, but they’re in for a rude awakening when the find out who’s in charge and things are a lot worst than it seems.

There’s A LOT that went on in Magic Rises. Kate and Curran’s relationship is tested by Curran’s former acquaintance, the other two packs has it out for Kate feeling she’s unfit to be a consort because she’s not a shifter, unknown creatures are wrecking havoc on the island, and Kate’s history and identity is at risk of being exposed. I’m sure there were more things but like I said, there’s too many things going on at once.

I’ve been following this series for almost 10 years now, and with each book it just gets better and better. The world building is complex and ever-expanding; there’s always something new to discover. And I love seeing the characters grow into their person and their relationship with one another. It crazy to see how far everyone has come. The third book in the series has been my favorite book for the longest time, but now Magic Rises takes the coveted position (but I’m pretty sure that’s going to change again when I read the next book lol). Magic Rises made me deliriously happy, annoyed, left me gobsmacked and a few more emotions I can’t reiterate.

It made me happy because, hello…it’s a Kate Daniels novel. Enough said. But really, I liked that it took place in a new location with new characters. Kate was totally bad-ass, as usual. The other packs verbally and physically attacked her and she handle everything like it was a walk in the park. She didn’t care about anyone’s opinion of her. When they voiced their doubts about her, instead of stooping to their level by arguing, Kate showed her worth by her actions which spoke volumes. Kate and Curran’s relationship was pretty close of being over at one point. For the majority of the book Curran spent his time with a former lady acquaintance as rumor flew that Kate was going to get replaced. I was annoyed that Kate actually believed it! She and Curran have been through so much together and I was surprised that she actually doubted his loyalty and love for her. And finally, to say I was shocked at the events towards the end is an understatement. There were casualties, we lost a favorite shifter! I literally gasped out loud during the dining hall scene…because all hell broke loose.

Andrews have written yet another amazing addition to the Kate Daniel Series. Magic Rises is definitely a game-changer and I can’t wait to see what happens next…I have a feeling it’s going to be big. Maybe Roland will finally make an appearance! All in all, I love this book and series, it’s one of the best Urban Fantasy out there and is still going strong after six books. Normally when authors publish four or more books in a series, things get stale, redundant, dull or some combination of all three but Andrews don’t have that issue…ever. If you want to read the best that Urban Fantasy has to offer, then you need to read this series A.S.A.P. Trust me, you won’t regret it! 

Thursday, February 01, 2018

[Blog Tour} It Should Have Been You by Lynn Slaughter + Excerpt

Publication: January 30, 2018 by Page Street Kids
Living in her sister's shadow has never been more dangerous.

Five months ago, Clara Seibert’s twin sister was murdered. Struggling under the weight of newfound and unwanted attention, the only thing that makes Clara feel normal is ghostwriting an advice column for her school’s newspaper—until she starts receiving threatening emails in her staff inbox.

“It should have been you...but soon."

Convinced that her email stalker blames her for her sister’s death and is out for revenge, Clara undertakes her own investigation to clear her name and avoid a similar fate. Can she solve the murder before it’s too late?


The next day after school was more of the same. Apparently Detective Martino had been busy last night after I’d stomped out of his office. No sooner had I headed to my spot in the back newspaper office than Mr. B. summoned me to his adjoining classroom.
“Sit down, Clara.”

I sat.

“Detective Martino called me last night and filled me in about this e-mail. Obviously, I’m very concerned about you and your safety. But frankly,” he said, lowering his chin and staring at me over his wire-rimmed glasses, “I’m also very disappointed that you didn’t report this to me immediately. I thought we had an understanding, that you knew I was in your corner.”

“I do know. I’m so sorry! I was scared you’d take me off the column, maybe even the staff. The column is so important to me. It’s keeping me sane.”
“Sanity is great, but not if it puts you in harm’s way.” 

“But, this jerk can come after me whether or not I’m writing the column. And maybe we’ll be able to ID the jerk from his—or her—messages.” 

Mr. B. slumped forward, putting his right elbow on the desk and resting his chin on the back of his hand. The bald patches on his head shone beneath the classroom’s fluorescent lights. 

He looked like the middle-aged version of that statue of The Thinker.

He didn’t say a word, so I plunged ahead. “I promise I’ll show you any more messages that come in. And I’m supposed to let Detective Martino and my parents know as well. Dad read me the riot act last night when I got home from the station.”

“Well, he should have.” 


Mr. B. straightened slightly and jabbed his finger in my direction. 

“I need to inform the principal about this. For the time being, Since You Asked will remain yours. But if you ever pull something like this again and don’t let me know what’s going on, you’re out. Understood?”

“Yes. Thank you, Mr. B.” I wanted to hug him, but that kind of stuff embarrassed him—and worried him. Last year, a student on the debate team accused another teacher of sexual harassment because he gave her a hug after she won regionals. Personally, I thought that was taking political correctness a little too far.
He glanced at the huge clock above the doorway to his classroom. 

“Staff meeting in fifteen minutes.” 

I headed for the drinking fountain and nearly crashed into CJ, who stood rooted in the middle of the hallway, staring at something at the far end. I turned to look. Sure enough, there was Tony, hand leaning against a locker while he whispered into the ear of a tall blonde with boobs that were so big I wondered if they could possibly be real.
Whatever Tony was whispering was apparently hilarious, because Blonde Girl tittered away.

“How am I supposed to compete with that?” CJ muttered.

“Oh come on. You are fabulous inside and out. It’s Tony’s loss if he can’t see that. Besides, from what I hear, he’s a three-time wonder. Ever since Sheri, it’s three dates and he moves on to the next girl with legs up to her neck. How shallow can you get?”

CJ stiffened and I mentally kicked myself.

I should have known by now that she couldn’t stand any criticism of Tony. 

“I hate it when you say stuff like that,” she said. “He’s the farthest thing from shallow. I wish you could have seen him last summer with those kids in Honduras on our mission trip. He made every one of them feel special, important. Those little guys hung all over him. He was like a rock star.”

Now that I could imagine Tony eating up. As far as I could tell, he loved being the center of attention. But no way was I going there with CJ. Besides, what did I know? I was hardly part of Tony’s inner circle.

“You’re right,” I said. “You know him a lot better than I do. But… it’s just… Don’t you think sometimes he comes across as a tiny bit arrogant?”
“Trust me. It’s a cover. Underneath it all, he’s really insecure. His dad’s a hard ass. Nothing Tony does is ever good enough.”
“That sucks,” I said, feeling more sympathetic towards him. 
“Okay, you’ve convinced me.” I gazed at her with newfound respect. “You should be the one writing Since You Asked, not me. You’re amazing.”
She squeezed my arm. “Not on your life. The column’s perfect for you. To be honest, I wouldn’t want the responsibility.”

We crammed ourselves around the big work table in the back of Mr. Bradford’s classroom. Mr. B. sat at one end, and Tony at the other. 
I was between Donny Masden, our roving investigative reporter whose recent piece on widespread cheating had set off a major firestorm, and Kristen Svien, who covered music and the arts.
I was surprised Kristen had plopped down next to me, although as usual, she was icy towards me and avoided any eye contact. She’d been Moura’s friend and devoted fan. When I’d finally asked her point blank if she thought I had something to do with my sister’s murder, she mumbled, “Of course not,” but then backed away—as though getting too close might put her at risk for one of my homicidal rages. It hurt, even though I should have been used to it. When I first got back to school, so many kids avoided me it was like parting the Red Sea when I walked down the hall.
Anyhow, CJ sat across from us, along with Wolfman and Rita D’Angelou. Rita, who loved to laugh and was the only person I knew who could sit on her hair because she’d never cut it, covered women’s sports. When she got overloaded, I helped her out. That’s how I’d met Jenny back in ninth grade. Already beating veterans on the tennis team as a freshman, she was a natural for our spotlight feature on students who were “making news or noise.” I also frequently assisted CJ, who reported on school clubs.

We had a lot of clubs—bikers, hikers, future teachers, chess whizzes, astronomers, and the one I was super involved with, the Psychology Club.
“All right gang, before we get into brainstorming about the next issue, I have something I want to talk to you about,” said Mr. Bradford. “This is confidential, and I want to remind all of you that what is said in here, stays in here. Understood?”
“Absolutely, sir,” Tony said, nodding his head vigorously.

Tony was so smooth and slick, especially around adults, that I always felt a little greasy around him.
The rest of us nodded too.
“Okay then. What do we tell people about who writes Since You Asked?”
“We say it’s confidential—that it could be one of us, or all of us, and that we’re honor-bound not to reveal who writes it,” said CJ.

“Right. Why’s that?” said Mr. B.

Wolfman cleared his throat. “Because someone might get pissed off at the advice we give and decide to engage in a little payback.”

“True. And why else, given what you know about who currently works on the column?”

I shifted in my seat and looked down. 

Oh God.

No one said anything for a minute. Finally, Donny spoke up. 
“Because of what happened to Clara’s sister. People who don’t know Clara might believe the rumors and say she shouldn’t be giving other people advice.”
I winced, even as Donny put his hand on my shoulder and gave it a comforting squeeze.
“Someone could also write in to accuse Clara, or bully her,” added Rita.
“Exactly,” said Mr. B. “And yesterday, Clara received an anonymous threatening e-mail.”
All eyes turned toward me as everyone said how sorry they were and bombarded me with questions. “What did it say?”  “What did the address look like?” And on and on.

Fortunately, Mr. B. cut the questions off before I had to pull myself together to answer.
“We don’t need to get into that. But whoever this was seems to know Clara is the column’s writer...But how? I want all of you to think back over your conversations…Is there anything that could have slipped out that gave her away? Not intentionally, of course. You’re not going to be punished. No one’s going to be mad at you. We just need to know, so we can figure out who might be behind this.”

Mr. B. then went around calling on staffers, one-by-one. Everyone said they’d been really careful and couldn’t remember ever spilling the beans, even unintentionally. Kristen’s voice seemed a little higher than usual when she denied having said anything about me being the column’s writer, and she leaned as far away from me as she could. Rita, on the other hand, reached her hand across the table toward mine. “I would never do anything to hurt you, especially after all you’ve been through.”

Donny and Wolfman chimed in with their own words of support. They felt like balm on an open wound.
Then Tony turned to me and said, “This must be awful for you. We’d totally understand if you wanted to take a leave of absence from the paper until this gets cleared up. Even though, of course, we’d hate to lose you. Right, everyone?” 
“Thank you, but no,” I said before anyone else could respond. “I think that’s just what this jerk wants, to intimidate me and mess up my life. And I’m not going to let that happen—or let you guys down.”

“Well, then. If it’s okay with you, Mr. Bradford, let’s move on to talking about the next issue.”

Excerpted from IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN YOU © Copyright 2018 by Lynn Slaughter. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Lynn Slaughter has a passion for dance and music—from Frank Sinatra to Chopin—and her first book, While I Danced, was a finalist in the 2015 EPIC competition in the Young Readers category. After a long career as a professional dancer, she earned her MFA in writing popular fiction from Seton Hill University. She and her husband live in Louisville, Kentucky. You can visit her at and follow her on Twitter @lslaughter2.

Read Other Excerpts from It Should Have Been You!

1/24: Teenreads

Friday, January 19, 2018

Cover Reveal: Frozen by Christine Amsden

The Cassie Scot, A ParaNormal Mystery is one of my favorite series. The series technically wrapped up after the fourth book, Stolen Dreams; but the characters aren't ready to close the book just yet. I was ecstatic to hear that the author is continuing the series; with the seventh book (after two spin-off books), Frozen tentatively schedule to release later this year!

I have the pleasure of revealing the cover for the next book in the Cassie Scot Series, so without further ado, I give you FROZEN!

Ebook Release: April 25, 2018
Print Release: June 15, 2018 (tentative)
Audiobook Release: TBA

Apparently, life doesn’t end when you get married.

Cassie Scot is called away from her daughter’s first birthday party when a young couple is found frozen to death in their living room. The couple ran a daycare out of their home, making preschoolers the key witnesses and even the prime suspects.

The investigation takes a dangerous turn when a deputy is attacked by a hell hound, a creature nobody has seen in hundreds of years. Then the mist rolls in, bringing with it the cold. Cassie has to think fast to survive, and her actions cause a rift between her and her husband.

No, life doesn’t end after marriage. All hell can break loose at any time.


Christine Amsden has been writing science fiction and fantasy for as long as she can remember. She loves to write and it is her dream that others will be inspired by this love and by her stories. Speculative fiction is fun, magical, and imaginative but great speculative fiction is about real people defining themselves through extraordinary situations. Christine writes primarily about people and it is in this way that she strives to make science fiction and fantasy meaningful for everyone.

Christine currently lives in the Kansas City area with her husband, Austin, who has been her biggest fan and the key to her success. They have two beautiful children, Drake and Celeste.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

A to Z Bookish Survey

Hi Ya'll! I can't believe we're already half way through January, time is flying by! Over the years I feel as if I'm blogging less and less; life and work has taken a good portion away from my reading. I still read every day but just a few pages here and then, between break and what not. I plan to change that this year. Many people have new year resolutions, and while I don't necessarily believe in "new year" resolutions, I do plan on making changes; and a couple of those changes include writing, posting and reading more.

I normally just stick to book reviews on my blog. Or the occasional blog tours, but today I'm going to be doing something different. My girl, Natalie, tagged me in a fun book survey, so check it out below! (Warning, I'm a slow reader and I haven't read many books lately (BUT that's one of my changes) so my answers may be repetitive!)

And be sure to stop on by Natalie's page, Teen Literati and show her some love!

Author you’ve read the most books from:

I surprisingly have a lot of Go-To, Auto-Buy authors which means I've read pretty much most, if not all, of the books they write but without a doubt it'd be a tie between Seanan McGuire and Ilona Andrews; both Urban Fantasy authors. 

Best Sequel Ever:

Man, this is a tough one. I had to give it some serious thought. But at the top of my head; I'm going to go with A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab

Currently Reading:


I'm 'reading' two books right now; the first is Renegades and the second one is Magic Rises. I don't read many superhero novels but Renegades sounded interesting enough that I actually wanted to read it. And guess what? It's pretty great so far! And very different. The author said she was inspired by X-Men and I can definitely see that. Good thing I too, am a X-Men fan! Magic Rises is the 6th book in the Kate Daniel series, and I am soooo behind. The final, 10th book comes out this year! That's how behind I am LOL. I'm actually doing audiobooks for a change and this is my second audiobook and I'm loving it. It feel wonderful immersing myself back in Kate's world and I feel as if I've never left. It's always a treat when I read this amazing series. If you haven't read this series yet, you're totally missing out! Get on it ASAP!!! 

Drink of Choice While Reading:

Water or Dr. Pepper (I know soda is soo bad!)

E-reader or Physical Book?

99% of the time it's going to be a physical book. On the rare occassion that I don't want to luge a heavy book around, I'll bust out my e-reader. Or if I don't want to bend my book, lol! 

Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Actually Dated In High School:

None. Because the guys I read about in books are so much better than little boys in high school! 

Glad You Gave This Book A Chance:

Shadow and Bone. I remember the year this book came out, it was getting major crazy hype. People were going nuts for this book. When a book gets that much attention, I hesitate and tend to not read it. I even remember in 2012, seeing the author with no lines (now her lines are ridiculously long!) promoting her book but never bother to check out the series. Until last year and I'm glad I decided to read it after all these years. The world building is interesting and the story itself, well written. I do plan on reading the rest of the series...eventually.

Hidden Gem Book:

An Alchemy of Masques and Mirrors by Curtis Craddock. This book is freaking fabulous! The perfect blend of multiple genres with one of the best female and male lead (a father-daughter relationship) I've read in a loooong time! And how awesome is that they're not the normal, leading romantic couple you find in most books. 

Important Moment in your Reading Life:

Going to any book-related events. Past highlights are going to Victoria Schwab signings and Yallwest. Seeing Victoria speak in person is a pure treat; hearing her speak about writing, the book industry and just life in general is eye-opening and inspiring. Although we are practically the same in age; she makes me want to strive to better my life and career. Talk about goals! Yallwest was great last year and I hope I get the chance to go this year! Pub houses and authors all in one place, what more can a book lover ask for? Biggest highlIght of Yallwest for me last year was meeting Daniel Jose Older, love his adult/YA books! 

Just Finished:

Burn for Me by Ilona Andrews. Unfortunately, I didn't enjoy it as much as I hoped. Despite the glowing 5-stars review, it rubbed me the wrong way. 

Kinds of Books You Won’t Read:

Erotic and Western, I won't even bother with it. Not my cup of tea. 

Longest Book You’ve Read:

A conjuring of Light. I believe it was over 600 pages.

Major book hangover because of:

None that comes to mind.

Number of Bookcases You Own:

I have three bookcases and four wooden crates that I stack on one another to create two mini bookcases. I also have books lying around. I need more space! 

One Book You Have Read Multiple Times:

I haven't had the opportunity to read many books over. I think the only time I read a book more than once is Magic Bites, book one, in the Kate Daniel series by Ilona Andrews.  

(Ya'll starting to see a pattern here? LOL.)

Preferred Place To Read:

Tucked under my blanket in bed. 

Quote that inspires you/gives you all the feels from a book you’ve read:

"We accept the love we think we deserve." —Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower
I don't know why but this quote has stayed with me for a long time...but pretty accurate.

None of us really changes over time. We only become more fully what we are.
– Anne Rice, The Vampire Lestat

Anit this the truth? I've always been a firm believer of this. 

Reading Regret:

This is probably one of the most beloved series out there. And also my biggest regret. I did not like this book at all. I felt like I wasted my time reading it as the ending was in reality, a no ending. Even after all these years, I can still remember how disappointed and unsatisfied this book left me. 

Series You Started And Need To Finish(all books are out in series):

I'm on the 4th book in Parasol Protectorate series and 5th and final book in the Shifter series, and the only reason why I haven't finished the books is because I don't want the series to end! I know it's not logical! But that's how I deal. 

Three of your All-Time Favorite Books:

1. Magic Stikes (Book 3) by Ilona Andrews
2. The Spellman Files By Lisa Lutz...The funniest book I've ever read!
3. Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

Unapologetic Fangirl For:

Ilona Andrews and Seanan McGuire. If you're new to the UF genre, these authors are a MUST READ. Kick-Ass heroine, amazing world building and complex plot. The Kate Daniel series by Ilona Andrews have cool mythology and all the shifters your hearts desire and The October Daye Series has the best, darkest and most intricate work of faerie you'll ever see. 

Very Excited For This Release More Than All The Others:

I just read The City of Brass, which is like Disney's Aladdin for adults! It was amazing and beautifully written. I am already pining for the sequel, The Kingdom of Copper!

Worst Bookish Habit:

As I kind of mentioned before, I will not read the last book in the series because I refuse to have it truly end. As illogical as that sounds, to me, if I don't finish the last book in the series then it's not over. I know! Don't judge me! Also, another bad habit is buying all the books in the series having only read one book in it. Terrible but I can't help myself!

X Marks The Spot: Start at the top left of your shelf and pick the 27th book:

The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon.

Your latest book purchase:

Wildfire by Ilona Andrews. Yes, Andrews AGAIN! 

ZZZ-snatcher book (last book that kept you up WAY late):

The Hour of Dust and Ashes by Kelly Gay and Summoning the Night by Jenn Bennett. I just had to find out what happened next; only to be stopped short by the most dreadful cliff-hangers ever. Talk about a bombshell revelation for both books! 

Thanks for stopping by and checking out what I had to say about the series above! I hope this post helped you discover some new reads! 

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Burn for Me by Ilona Andrews

Title: Burn for Me
Author: Ilona Andrews
Genre: Fantasy, Romance
Series: Hidden Legacy

Mass Market Paperback, 382 Pages
Publication: October 28, 2014 by Avon

Source: Personal Library


Nevada Baylor is faced with the most challenging case of her detective career—a suicide mission to bring in a suspect in a volatile case. Nevada isn’t sure she has the chops. Her quarry is a Prime, the highest rank of magic user, who can set anyone and anything on fire.

Then she’s kidnapped by Connor “Mad” Rogan—a darkly tempting billionaire with equally devastating powers. Torn between wanting to run or surrender to their overwhelming attraction, Nevada must join forces with Rogan to stay alive.

Rogan’s after the same target, so he needs Nevada. But she’s getting under his skin, making him care about someone other than himself for a change. And, as Rogan has learned, love can be as perilous as death, especially in the magic world.

Ilona andrews are hands down my favorite authors, their Kate Daniels series is what jump start my love for Urban Fantasy/Fantasy. Andrews has a few series under their belt and they’ve been a hit or miss for me. But when I heard they were writing a new series, The Hidden Legacy series I was ecstatic. The love for Burn for Me was off the chart and the reviews were mostly five stars. I thought great, this one is going to be a good one. Unfortunately, I didn’t love this book like I hoped I would. I think it was too hyped up or my expectations were too high, who knows. If I can described this book with a single word it'd be: underwhelming. 

Let’s start with what I liked about the book, the world-building. When Andrews were in the process of writing the book, they gave a very basic detail of the world building, in which there were magical families and the more powerful they were, the more wealth and status they had. I was intrigued. Throw in the fact that the main heroine was a PI and a human lying detector; I was sold. However, I thought the plot was weak and slightly dull. Nevada is tasked or more like threaten with bringing in a prime magic user and to help her we have Rogan, another prime bad boy. Mixed in between the task at hand was sexual tension between the two characters, nevada going back and forth between loathing and admiring Rogan and that pretty much sums up the book. Nothing complex.

For the most part I like Nevada she’s relatable and someone I can see living in my community or someone I’d be friends with. She’s independent, a business woman and a hard-worker that doesn’t need a man to fulfill or support her. She’s highly capable of taking care of herself and her family, all admirable traits. As for our male protagonist/anti-hero Rogan…he’s an alpha male, no doubt but one that rubbed me the wrong way. I remember reading other reviewers comment about how they loved him and here I’m thinking what’s to love? He’s mean, narcissistic, ignorant and unapologetic. Did everyone forget he kidnapped Nevada? And towards the end of the book he had the audacity to tell Nevada they should sleep together. I was like ew, did he really just say that? Pig. Having finished Burn for Me and seeing Rogan make a conscious effort to be better, I still didn’t like him. As for all the side characters, I thought they all fell flat. The book as a whole felt underdeveloped, like the authors rushed to put this book out. It’s definitely not on the same level as their Kate Daniel series.

With that said, I’m still debating if I should continue the series or not. The thing with loving an author is that you’d think everything they write you’ll love, that it’d be great. I went out and bought all three books in the series based solely on it being written by them. I should have read Burn for Me first. All in all, Burn for Me was an okay read. I honestly don’t remember half of what happened in the story or the characters, even Nevada failed to make a lasting impression; which is never a good thing. I may or may not continue, but for sure, I won’t be rushing to start the sequel, White Hot.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

[Blog Tour] Blood and Sand by C.V. Wyk Excerpt + Giveaway

Welcome to my stop on the Blood and Sand Blog Tour! For today's stop, I have a an exclusive excerpt of Chapter One. Don't forget to check out the other tour stops and enter the giveaway below.

In stores and wherever books are sold January 16, 2018
Hardcover|Ebook| 320 Pages
Published by Tor Teen


The action-packed tale of a 17-year-old warrior princess and a handsome gladiator who dared take on the Roman Republic—and gave rise to the legend of Spartacus...

For teens who love strong female protagonists in their fantasy and historical fiction, Blood and Sand is a stirring, yet poignant tale of two slaves who dared take on an empire by talented debut author C. V. Wyk.

Roma Victrix. The Republic of Rome is on a relentless march to create an empire—an empire built on the backs of the conquered, brought back to Rome as slaves.

Attia was once destined to rule as the queen and swordmaiden of Thrace, the greatest warrior kingdom the world had seen since Sparta. Now she is a slave, given to Xanthus, the Champion of Rome, as a sign of his master’s favor.

Enslaved as a child, Xanthus is the preeminent gladiator of his generation.

Against all odds, Attia and Xanthus form a tentative bond. A bond that will spark a rebellion. A rebellion that threatens to bring the Roman Republic to its end—and gives rise to the legend of Spartacus...

Chapter 1

They called them slaves.

In the shadow of the Coliseum, through the paved streets of
Rome, armed guards dragged them by the neck. Rusted iron
shackles cut at their wrists and ankles. Each labored breath was
fouled by the bitter stench of the city. Old and new blood darkened
the rope that bound them together. Clumps of hair, torn
fingernails, and other bits were trapped in the heavy, twisted
strands. It was a rope that had been used many times before.

A crowd of dusty citizenry parted to let them pass, urged
along by the guards and watchmen flanking the slaves on their
walk to the auction block.

Twenty-one women in total, and they all averted their eyes,
trembled with terror. All but one.

At the very end of the line, a slight figure lifted her head and
stared around her, her gaze steady, penetrating. The dirt and
mud that streaked her face wasn’t enough to hide her disgust.

She knew what was going to happen to her and the others. She
knew the warped rules by which the Romans played. Patricians
and plebeians. Masters and slaves. They all filled their roles
without exception. It didn’t matter who she was sold to, just that
she would be sold. She would be bought, and she would be paid
for, and she would be a slave.

She tried to summon calming pictures of her home—the
salty air that drummed against the walls of her father’s tent, the
alternating calm and fury of the Aegean, the stormy gray of
her mother’s eyes. But the pictures quickly turned to images of
carnage and violence.

She’d been a warrior once, and free. Now she was the only
one left, the last Thracian the world would never know. She
wondered if history would remember the genocide of the Maedi,
the annihilation of her people.
Doubtful, she thought. History only serves the winner.
Roma victrix.

She knew she didn’t have the luxury of denial—not if she
was going to survive. So when the bloodstained rope pulled her
forward with a sharp jerk, she focused instead on her training
and her discipline and managed to remain steady.

“Keep moving,” the guard behind her grumbled.

Gripping her rope with bleeding fingers, she spat into the
sand and walked on.


C. V. Wyk was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. She has lived in five states in the continental US (and hopes to add a few international locales to that list). Prone to wanderlust and getting lost, Wyk likes to explore local hiking trails, mountain ranges, dark caves where nefarious mythical creatures undoubtedly reside, and libraries. She currently lives in Maryland with a precocious mini poodle and a demanding guinea pig. 

In her not-so-spare time, she enjoys playing MMORPGs, kayaking, coding, staring listlessly at blank walls, and nursing a totally healthy coffee addiction.


Tor Teen has provided 3 Hardcovers to be sent to 3 winners in the US or Canada. You must be 12 years or older to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule (weekdays Jan 8 – Jan 26)
Jan 9 – Novel Knight
Jan 10 – The Book Nut
Jan 12 – Rabid Reads
Jan 16 – Powder and Page
Jan 17 – Arctic Books
Jan 19 – Itching for Books
Jan 23 – Chasing Faerytales
Jan 26 – Gizmo’s Reviews