Friday, February 12, 2016

Review: Lighting the Flames by Sarah Wendell

Stand Alone
Format: Ebook
Rating: 4 Stars
How I Got It: Purchased
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Holiday Story
Publisher: Smart Bitches Trashy Books LLC

Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads

Genevieve and Jeremy have known each other since they were seven, and have been summertime best friends at Camp Meira, a Jewish overnight camp in the mountains. As campers, and then as staff, their friendship was a constant, something neither wanted to change, no matter how tempting those changes might be.

Then, last year, with little warning, Jeremy left camp early. After that summer, Gen left the country on a graduate fellowship.

Now, a little over a year since they were last at Meira, Gen and Jeremy are back together to help run a special Winter Camp during Hanukkah. Any water under the bridge is frozen this time of year, and with so much left unspoken and unexplained, this week may be their chance to rekindle their friendship, or turn it into something new.

I can't believe this is her first piece of full-length fiction. Now, I know Sarah Wendell can write because I've read her reviews. And novellas are particularly hard in my opinion. I consider this a novella.

I do not know a lot about Judaism beyond the basic. She shows you what life means being a practicing Jew without feeling like a primer. I did learn things and it actually made me look at the constant comparisons between Christmas and Hanukkah differently.

The romance was cute and well-developed. Even though it's a shorter story I believed Gen and Jeremy loved each other. I also believed that they've  known each other since they were kids. They have a natural banter.

I know she's a busy lady, but if Sarah decides to write another book I'll read it.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Review: The Crown Conspiracy by Michael J. Sullivan

Series: The Riyria Revelations Book #1
Format: Bind up
Pages: 311
Rating: 4 Stars
How I Got It: Purchased
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Orbit

Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads

There's no ancient evil to defeat or orphan destined for greatness, just unlikely heroes and classic adventure. Royce Melborn, a skilled thief, and his mercenary partner, Hadrian Blackwater, are two enterprising rogues who end up running for their lives when they're framed for the murder of the king. Trapped in a conspiracy that goes beyond the overthrow of a tiny kingdom, their only hope is unraveling an ancient mystery before it's too late.

This definitely lived up to the hype I've seen and heard. It was very approachable fantasy with likable characters. I'll definitely keep reading about Royce and Hadrian.

Like I already said this was approachable. The waiting was easy and not dense. It also had a decent amount of humor which was an added bonus. It bounces around different POVs and locations, but I never felt lost or confused which is something I always fear when going into a fantasy book.

I really liked the characters and thought they were well-developed. Royce and Hadrian are a great little partnership. I want to spend more time with them and to find out more about their mysterious parts.

But Myron is my favorite. He's just amazing and adorable. I hope he continues to be a presence in future books. I can't even explain why I like him so much.

There is definitely a lot going on in this world. Mr. Sullivan laid some groundwork that I'm sure will really build up an amazing series. I'm eager to see what he does with it and I want to know more about the magic system and political factions.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, February 8, 2016

Review: Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith

Stand Alone
Format: Paperback
Pages: 471
Rating: 5 Stars
How I Got It: Purchased
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult Fantasy
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers

Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads
A deathbed promise to their father sends a daring girl and her brother off to war. Filled with intrigue, romance, and magic, this spellbinding novel is a dramatic coming-of-age story about a girl who rises from impoverished beginnings to take command of her own fate.


This is one of my favorite fantasy books. I hadn't read it in about five years and I forgot a lot of things so it was kind of like reading it for the first time again. I feel like this is very approachable fantasy and despite the size, isn't intimidating.

Mel tells the story and is a huge part of why I like the book so much. I get her on a very deep level. We have very similar personalities-especially our flaws-so I understand her. She can be very stubborn and impulsive, but she is trying to help people. And she is genuinely a good person.

The book is divided into two parts which have two main plots. The first is a military/war story and the second is more about recovery and court politics. The war strategy is interesting, but I really like politics and court stories. The second part is always my favorite because it has mystery and intrigue. Plus, there's always word play which I love.

There is some magic in the story, but it's mild. That doesn't mean it isn't beautifully done. There are mysterious people-The Hill People-that are the main connection to magic and Sherwood Smith handles them very well.

There is a romance in the story. It is very mild, but beautifully executed. It's slow and real. Personally, I could use more romance because I love it, but the book is perfect the way it is.

I cannot recommend this book enough. And I have no idea why I haven't read more books by Sherwood Smith because I'm sure they are just as good.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, February 5, 2016

Review: Die for Me by Amy Plum

Series: Revenants Book #1
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 341
Rating: 4 Stars
How I Got It: Purchased
Genre: Paranormal Young Adult
Publisher: HarperTeen

Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads

In the City of Lights, two star-crossed lovers battle a fate that is destined to tear them apart again and again for eternity.

When Kate Mercier's parents die in a tragic car accident, she leaves her life--and memories--behind to live with her grandparents in Paris. For Kate, the only way to survive her pain is escaping into the world of books and Parisian art. Until she meets Vincent.

Mysterious, charming, and devastatingly handsome, Vincent threatens to melt the ice around Kate's guarded heart with just his smile. As she begins to fall in love with Vincent, Kate discovers that he's a revenant--an undead being whose fate forces him to sacrifice himself over and over again to save the lives of others. Vincent and those like him are bound in a centuries-old war against a group of evil revenants who exist only to murder and betray. Kate soon realizes that if she follows her heart, she may never be safe again.

I really enjoyed this book. It isn't anything ground-breaking, but that's not something that really bothers me.

Kate was a nice main character. She's a pretty normal girl which makes her easy to relate to. Her situation could cause her to be super moody or angsty, but she isn't. Yeah, she has her moments, but she's pretty well-adjusted. Oh, and I like that she and her sister have a believable, but good relationship.

Initially, I thought Vincent would be the dark and dreary bad boy you usually see in paranormal books. He does have parts of that, but he's actually very kind and generous. And I really like the little found family he has.

The suprise little gems are Kate's grandparents. They are so freaking adorable and I love couples who still love each other after being together for so long.

Ms. Plum did a good job of giving information about the Revenants so I was satisfied, but also left some mystery. I'm not sure what will happen in the rest of the series based on how this ended, but I do want to know more. I do plan on continuing to read this series eventually.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

January Wrap-up (2016)

I ended up finishing 11 books this month. I'm actualy very suprised ot see such a high number.

My life has been very busy this month. I went out of town for several days and work has been busy. I've been putting in a lot of overtime which cuts into my reading time.

But I'm very happy. I read some great books this month. I did fairly well in the TBRTakedown and I got through the two biggest books on my Winter TBR. Plus, I got to read The Score by Elle Kennedy which was fantastic.

These are the books I read this month and my ratings:

Lakeshore Christmas-3 Stars

The Rogue Not Taken-5 Stars

Rush Too Far-3 Stars

November 9-5 Stars

Die for Me-4 Stars

The Assassin's Blade-3 Stars
The Assassin's Blade (Throne of Glass, #0.1-0.5)

Suddenly Royal-4 Stars

The Score-5 Stars

The Deal-4 Stars

Crown Duel-5 Stars

The Crown Conspiracy-4 Stars

Thanks for reading!

Monday, February 1, 2016

Review: The Assassin and the Empire by Sarah J. Maas

Series: Throne of Glass .5
Format: Novella Bind-up
Rating: 3.5 Stars
How I Got It: Purchased
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publisher: Bloomsbury Kids 


You know what? This was kind of a step up. It was also a sad one, but I knew that was going to happen.

Celena was definitely better. She's still pretty spoiled and full of herself, but she was more down-to-earth. Sam seems to bring out the best in her. I wish there was more Sam. Or he could be the main character :(

Spoiler ahead!!!

In my wildest dreams, Sam is still alive and shows up in the series. I'm totally Team Sam. Not team Sam and Celeana-just team Sam.

Thanks for reading!