Monday, November 30, 2015

Review: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

Stand Alone
Format: Hardcover
Pages:  419
Rating: 2 Stars
How I Got It: Gift
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Vampires
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads

Tana lives in a world where walled cities called Coldtowns exist. In them, quarantined monsters and humans mingle in a decadently bloody mix of predator and prey. The only problem is, once you pass through Coldtown's gates, you can never leave.

One morning, after a perfectly ordinary party, Tana wakes up surrounded by corpses. The only other survivors of this massacre are her exasperatingly endearing ex-boyfriend, infected and on the edge, and a mysterious boy burdened with a terrible secret. Shaken and determined, Tana enters a race against the clock to save the three of them the only way she knows how: by going straight to the wicked, opulent heart of Coldtown itself.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is a wholly original story of rage and revenge, of guilt and horror, and of love and loathing from bestselling and acclaimed author Holly Black

It took me a week to read this which is very unusual for me. I just really didn’t care about most of the characters. And I felt like there was a lot to the world and vampire history, but it didn’t feel very well explored.

Gavriel is probably the most interesting character and the one I cared about the most. He’s definitely crazy and hard to understand, but I think that’s what I like about him. The only time I was emotionally invested was when he was in danger or his backstory was being explored.

At first, I liked Tana. I wouldn’t necessarily want to be her friend, but she was OK. But as the story continued I cared less and less. Unfortunately, I can’t tell you why.

There was definitely a lot to the world and I do believe that Ms. Black knows her world. But I wanted more. There were allusions to the other coldtowns including on that went dark. I want to know what happened. And I want more about how vampires are transformed/made. This is the danger of a stand-alone fantasy.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, November 27, 2015

Review: Demonglass by Rachel Hawkins

Series: Hex Hall Book #2
Format: Paperback
Pages:  359
Rating: 4 Stars
How I Got It: Purchased
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal
Publisher: Disney Hyperion

Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads

Sophie Mercer thought she was a witch. That was the whole reason she was sent to Hex Hall, a reform school for delinquent Prodigium (a.k.a. witches, shape-shifters, and faeries). But then she discovered the family secret, and the fact that her hot crush, Archer Cross, is an agent for The Eye, a group bent on wiping Prodigium off the face of the earth.

Turns out, Sophie's a demon, one of only two in the world-the other being her father. What's worse, she has powers that threaten the lives of everyone she loves. Which is precisely why Sophie decides she must go to London for the Removal, a dangerous procedure that will either destroy her powers for good-or kill her.

But once Sophie arrives, she makes a shocking discovery. Her new housemates? They're demons too. Meaning, someone is raising demons in secret, with creepy plans to use their powers, and probably not for good. Meanwhile, The Eye is set on hunting Sophie down, and they're using Archer to do it. But it's not like she has feelings for him anymore. Does she?


Holy crap, that was a cliffhanger ending. I liked the first book a little more, but I think that’s because things got a lot more serious in this. I was expecting more sarcasm and humor.

Sophie is still great. Even though I miss her biting comments, it’s nice to see her growing because of the seriousness of her situation. And she really cares about her friends and other people. The Jenna friendship was still there and that makes me happy.

I feel like there’s a love triangle happening. Generally, I’m opposed to them, but this one confuses me. Going into it I was completely on team Archer even though he’s a bad boy. But Cal is so nice and I don’t want to see him get hurt. Uhg…I don’t know what’s going to happen or how I’ll feel about it.

In this one we traveled to England and met some people on the Council. The whole world started to broaden. I really liked learning more about how Sophie’s magic works. And I feel like there was some groundwork laid out for the final book and what I’m assuming will be a big clash.

Good thing I already own the third books, because I want to know what happen next. I’m guessing there are still some big reveals coming. And I have some theories.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Review: Pucked by Helena Hunting

Series: Pucked Book #1
Format: ebook
Rating: 2.5 Stars
How I Got It: Purchased
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Self-published

Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads

With a famous NHL player for a step-brother, Violet Hall is well acquainted with the playboy reputation many hockey stars come with. She’s smart enough to steer clear of those hot, well-built boys with unparalleled stamina. That is until she meets the legendary team captain—Alex Waters.

Violet isn’t interested in his pretty, beat-up face, or his rock-hard six-pack abs. But when Alex inadvertently obliterates Violet’s previous misapprehension regarding the inferior intellect of hockey players, he becomes more than just a hot body with a face to match.

In what can only be considered a complete lapse in judgment, Violet finds out just how good Alex is with the hockey stick in his pants. But what starts out as a one-night stand, quickly turns into something more. Post-night of orgasmic magic, Alex starts to call, and text, and e-mail and send extravagant—and quirky—gifts, making him difficult to ignore, and even more difficult not to like.

The problem is, the media portrays Alex as a total player, and Violet doesn’t want to be part of the game

I’m going to be honest—this was a disappointment. There were some things I liked about it, but generally the characters were annoying and I felt the writing was immature. And the hockey parts felt under-researched.

Alex, the hero, was one of the better things. He was generally kind and nice. And not just to Violet. He was friendly to the other people/women in his life. This says a lot about his personality. Oh, and he was a big fan of consent which you just don’t see enough off.

But Violet pissed me off. She was very rude to her family and constantly over-reacted to things. God forbid she actually talk to Alex about something he does like a grown up. I rolled my eyes a lot during her chapters. And every time she talked about her beaver I cringed.

I was going to say more, but I don’t want to give more of my time to this. Although I may still read the next book because Buck seems OK and his relationship with Sunny might be cute.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Review: Falling in Bed with the Duke by Lorraine Heath

Series: Hellions of Havisham Book #1
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Pages: 372
Rating: 4.5 Stars
How I Got It: Purchased
Genre: Historical Romance,
Publisher: Avon

Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads

After six unsuccessful Seasons, Miss Minerva Dodger chooses spinsterhood over fortune-hungry suitors. But thanks to the Nightingale Club, she can at least enjoy one night of pleasure. At that notorious establishment, ladies don masks before choosing a lover. The sinfully handsome Duke of Ashebury is more than willing to satisfy the secretive lady's desires—and draws Minerva into an exquisite, increasingly intimate affair.

A man of remarkable talents, Ashe soon deduces that his bedmate is the unconventional Miss Dodger. Intrigued by her wit and daring, he sets out to woo her in earnest. Yet Minerva refuses to trust him. How to court a woman he has already thoroughly seduced? And how to prove that the passion unleashed in darkness is only the beginning of a lifetime's pleasure?

I love Lorraine Heath and historical romance. Reading a historical is like going home for me. And it was great to see Minerva’s story and more of Dodger. The sequel bait was pretty heavy in this one.

Minerva is a great independent character. It’s a common one for historicals, but it doesn’t always work. I think she’s great because she’s practical about her situation. And it doesn’t hurt that her family is very supportive of who she is and her decisions. Her decision to seek out the sexual experience she’ll never have is a common trope, but I liked how logically she went into it. And Ms. Heath really worked on that part. The Nightingale Club was well developed as Minerva’s thought processes.

Then there’s Ashe. He has so much of my catnip. He has some psychological issues he’s dealing with. And he reminds me of heroes I used to read about. He does that thing where he clearly cares about Minerva but doesn’t realize what he’s doing. Ms. Heath used his interest in photography very well. It informs the way he views and interacts with the world.

These two had great chemistry. And I liked how Ashe had to court her after seducing her. It was cute to see them both struggling with their mutual attraction. There was a little bit of lying on Ashe’s part which I’m not a huge fan of. And honestly it felt kind of unnecessary to me. Maybe if it had been developed better it would have made more sense.

I’m happy to be back in this world and am excited to read the next book when it comes out next year. It’s probably going to be more of an angsty one.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Review: Nuts by Alice Clayton

Series: Hudson Valley Series Book #1
Format: Papberback
Pages: 308
Rating: 5 Stars
How I Got It: Purchased
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Funny
Publisher: Gallery Books

Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads

After losing almost all of her clients in one fell swoop following an accident involving whipped cream, private chef to Hollywood’s elite Roxie Callahan gets a call from her flighty mother, saying she’s needed home in upstate New York to run the family diner. Once she's back in the Hudson Valley, local organic farmer Leo delivers Roxie a lovely bunch of walnuts, and soon sparks—and clothing—begin to fly. Leo believes that everything worth doing is worth doing slowly…and how! But will Roxie stay upstate, or will the lure of West Coast redemption tempt her back to Tinseltown?

This was exactly what I needed. My last read was very emotional and I needed something more lighthearted and funny. And Ms. Clayton didn’t let me down. Wallbanger is still my favorite, but this was a great story with some funny characters. It definitely reads like a romantic comedy and is a little unrealistic, but it works for me.

Roxie was a fantastic main character. I thought she was funny and easy to like. She had some commitment issues, but they weren’t too heavy like some stories. And I liked how much confidence in herself.

Then, there’s Leo. Such an adorable and sexy farmer. I was attracted to him and wanted more scenes with him.

It was nice to read about two characters that are attracted to each other and just act on it. There are so many stories with slow burn and angst that a lightish summer fling is a breath of fresh air.

Like a lot of Ms. Clayton’s books food is a huge part of the story. I really like characters who are passionate about something and Leo and Roxie definitely care about food. They are a little different, but it’s enjoyable to see them go off on tangents. And it made me want to start going to my local farmer markets.

There was just enough sequel bait to interest me, but I’m not dying for the next book. If you’re liked any other Alice Clayton books you should definitely check this one out. And if you like romantic comedies and don’t mid some sexy times you should give it a shot.

Thanks for reading!