Sunday, November 30, 2014

Review: Say Yes to the Marquess by Tessa Dare

Say Yes to the Marquess by Tessa Dare
Book Two of the Castles Ever After series
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: December 30, 2014
Rating: 5 stars
Source: eARC from Edelweiss

***Warning: this is an adult book, and for the eyes of mature readers***

Summary (from Goodreads):

Your presence is requested at romantic Twill Castle for the wedding of Miss Clio Whitmore and . . . and . . . ?

After eight years of waiting for Piers Brandon, the wandering Marquess of Granville, to set a wedding date, Clio Whitmore has had enough. She's inherited a castle, scraped together some pride, and made plans to break her engagement.

Not if Rafe Brandon can help it. A ruthless prizefighter and notorious rake, Rafe is determined that Clio will marry his brother—even if he has to plan the dratted wedding himself.

So how does a hardened fighter cure a reluctant bride's cold feet?
● He starts with flowers. A wedding can't have too many flowers. Or harps. Or cakes.

● He lets her know she'll make a beautiful, desirable bride—and tries not to picture her as his.

● He doesn't kiss her.

● If he kisses her, he definitely doesn't kiss her again.

● When all else fails, he puts her in a stunning gown. And vows not to be nearby when the gown comes off.

● And no matter what—he doesn't fall in disastrous, hopeless love with the one woman he can never call his own.

What I Liked:

Holy moley, I loved this book. Five stars? Do I want more? Yes. Yes yes yes. Tessa Dare is definitely a favorite, auto-buy historical romance author. I LOVED Romancing the Duke (book one of this companion series), and I loved this one even more. Dare's writing is beautiful, her storytelling lovely, the romance superbly crafted!

Just a disclaimer - this book is in no way related to book one (Romancing the Duke). There are no crossover characters (that I can recall). The books are related/are in the same series because each book is set in some sort of castle. So you can read whichever book in whatever order or not at all... though I highly recommend that if you had to read one, read this one!

Clio has been engaged to Piers Brandon, a marquess, for eight years. Well, she will wait no longer. When she goes to find his brother, Rafe, to break off the engagement (since Piers is away for business, Rafe is the next person with the power to break it off), Rafe refuses. Instead, he comes to her newly inherited castle and tries to convince her to go through with the wedding... all the while, falling in love with her, and she with him. 

One of the things that really stuck out to me, that is unique to Dare, that I really loved in this book, was the HUMOR. It's hard to describe, but the banter between Rafe and Clio, their individual dialogue, their inner monologue, the way things are presented... it's just so HILARIOUS. It's not like this is supposed to be a "Humor" novel - no, it's clearly historical romance, but the way Dare writes, things are so, so funny. And it's great. Her writing is sort of modern, for a historical time, but it doesn't seem anachronistic.

Like I said, this book had a lot humor. It was very lighthearted, with Rafe finishing Clio's sentences, Rafe constantly trying to make Clio blush, Clio trying to by the perfect Englishwoman, Clio desperate to have Rafe sign the papers. Watching them fall for each other was so nice, because their relationship was so tension-free and carefree and playful. 

I like Clio a lot - she is very sweet. She's the oldest of three sisters, but her middle sister is already married, and is a serious pain. Clio has a lot of patience, which is perfect for dealing with her sister... or someone like Rafe. I really like Rafe. He used to be a prizefighter, and he still trains for underground fights. Imagine, a lord, the second son of a marquess, fighting like a common man. But I so like him! He wants nothing to do with the title (which is good, because Piers is first in line).

It's adorable to watch watch as the story progresses. Clio and Rafe get under each other's skin, in a surprising, lovely way. Their banter is wonderful and cute and a breath of fresh air. There isn't too much angst and woe is me and all that - Clio doesn't want to marry Piers, Rafe loves Clio, Clio loves Rafe. It just makes sense!

This one is kind of heavily romance-driven, which is fine by me! Rafe is trying to convince Clio to go forth with the marriage, because of his loyalty to his brother. But eventually, neither Rafe nor Clio want that, so it becomes a matter of Clio telling Piers the truth, whenever that may be.

I could re-read this book again and again. Seriously, it was that great! Definitely a favorite historical romance novel of the year - and in general!

What I Did Not Like:

I HATED Daphne (Clio's sister - the middle one). I mean, I think that was the point, but dang, I wanted to punch her (and her idiot husband) from the moment we meet them.

Would I Recommend It:

To all the historical romance lovers out there, you MUST give this book a shot. If I'm calling it a favorite, then at least add it to your TBR list. Just look at it. But seriously, this book is one of my favorite historical romance novels in general! And it's out in a month!


5 stars. So well-earned. I want to go re-read this one right now!

Was this review helpful? Please let me know in the comments section!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Stacking the Shelves (#101)

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews, in which bloggers share the books and swag they've received in the past week!

So, what did I get in the week of Sunday, November 23rd to Saturday, November 29th?

(all links to Goodreads are provided!)

From Edelweiss:

I'm familiar with Sophie Barnes' historical romance novels, so I have high hopes for this one!

Already read this one and LOVED it! Review to be posted on Sunday. 

Well, my week off school is over. I can honestly say that I have never appreciated a break so much - nor have I ever needed one so much. Good timing, Thanksgiving. 

One more (nightmarish) week of school, and then two weeks of finals, and then winter break!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Review: The Treachery of Beautiful Things by Ruth Frances Long

The Treachery of Beautiful Things by Ruth Frances Long
Publisher: Dial
Publication Date: August 16, 2012
Rating: 4 stars
Source: Gift from a friend

Summary (from Goodreads):

A darkly compelling mix of romance, fairy tale, and suspense from a new voice in teen fiction

The trees swallowed her brother whole, and Jenny was there to see it. Now seventeen, she revisits the woods where Tom was taken, resolving to say good-bye at last. Instead, she's lured into the trees, where she finds strange and dangerous creatures who seem to consider her the threat. Among them is Jack, mercurial and magnetic, with secrets of his own. Determined to find her brother, with or without Jack's help, Jenny struggles to navigate a faerie world where stunning beauty masks some of the most treacherous evils, and she's faced with a choice between salvation or sacrifice--and not just her own.

What I Liked:

I have had this book for ages! Literally since Christmas 2012, when one of my best friends gave it to me that year. I've been meaning to read it since then, even before then, but never brought myself to it. Luckily, Pili pushed this one on me, so it's my Pili-Pushed recommendation of November. To see my reviews of other Pili-Pushed recommendations, see the "Pili Pushed" tag!

Jenny's brother was taken seven years ago... by the forest. Seven years later, Jenny is determined to find him. She enters the forest, and finds a world so unlike her own. The Fae live in this Realm, as in, Queen Titania/Mab, Oberon, Puck... and Jack, the Jack o' the Forest. Jack is the guardian of the Edge, and he is charged with helping those on a quest (which is Jenny). But Jenny quickly learns that the Fae world is treacherous and dangerous, but she will stop at nothing to get her brother back.

I usually don't like books that involve the Fae/faeries... but how much did I love this book? Let me count the ways. I really enjoyed the Fae aspect of this book! It's much like what I personally think of, when I think of the Fae. Like, the Shakespeare stuff, with wicked, tricksy faeries. Oberon, Titania, Mab, Puck... they're all very present in this book, and very much like they came from a Shakespeare play. I really, really liked this!

This book is written in third person, and this really worked for me. I still connected with Jenny, though in the beginning, she seemed a little distant. Most scenes are exclusively Jenny's, but there are some that feature only Jack. Personally, I'm a huge fan of Jack.

Jack is the guardian of the edge, so he watches the border between the human world and the Fae world. He serves Oberon, but he also answers to Titania (everyone does). There is so much mystery surrounding Jack, and we don't get to know everything at once. I love how Long feeds us information about Jack, bit by bit. Definitely made me love him slowly but surely, more and more. 

There IS romance in this book, yay! Jenny doesn't go into the forest looking for love - she's hunting for her brother. And Jack - he's been around for a while, doing his job, trying to find a way out of his curse... he doesn't expect or want to fall for anyone. Jack has to save Jenny on many occasions, and eventually, he realizes just how much he's grown to care about her. 

I thought the romance was really sweet and slow-burn... definitely one of my favorite structures of a romance in fiction. Love!

The story was so fascinating and dark and intriguing. I love Long's storytelling, her prose, her way with words. This story wasn't just about Jenny finding her brother - it was about Jack and his curse, the Fae world and their tyrant. It's a standalone novel, so it wraps up at the end. The ending is fabulous. So beautiful, and not too perfect. Okay, it was perfect, in a warm, lovely way. Ah!

What I Did Not Like:

I wanted a little more from the story before Jack has to rescue Jenny from the Nix (you'll have to read the book to know what I mean - and I promise, this isn't a spoiler). This occurs about halfway through the book, but it also takes a good portion of the book, for Jack to rescue her, and then we haven't even reached the climax. I wanted a little more journey, trampling through the forest, that kind of thing. Just a small thing!

Would I Recommend It:

I seriously loved this book - a fantasy novel set in the modern world - and I would totally recommend it. Especially for the romance, it's one of my favorites. Love!


4 stars. I can't believe I waited this long to read the book! It's been sitting in my room... innocently... for nearly two years. Shame on me for doing that! I really liked this book. 

Was this review helpful? Please let me know in the comments section!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

To all of those that celebrate, HAPPY THANKSGIVING!! I hope you all have a fabulous holiday - eating lots of turkey and mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie and whatnot. And to those that do not celebrate (or perhaps are not in the United States), I hope you all have a wonderful day!

In the States, it's a day of thanks, to express our gratitude. Honestly, just in terms of blogging and books, I have so much for which to be thankful. To every person who clicked on my blog link from somewhere (a linky list, a comment, on Twitter, on Facebook, etc.), to every person who commented on my blog, to every person who followed/follow me in some way, to every that has read or liked a review or post, to every person who entered a giveaway... to every person who helped, supported, boosted, stuck with, believed in me...


Seriously. Thank you all so much. You all are wonderful. I've had a tough year for so many reasons, but definitely in terms of blogging, and I really, REALLY want to make sure everyone knows how grateful I am for everyone who has begun and continued to support me throughout the year, throughout everything. It means so much to me to know that people look at me, my blog, my work, a reflection of me, and see something worth time and effort.

So, thank you! In addition to all of you wonderful people in the blogging world, I'm thankful for my family, for supporting me in everything. My mom specifically, for being so understanding of my stress about school, and my situation with my gilipollas boy. My dad, for never saying more than was necessary, for understanding me. Nicole, for being an amazing friend, for listening, for always being my photographer whenever I spontaneously decided that we needed pictures of this or that, for knowing ME, and still loving me - you're a lifeline! Christina, for listening, always, every Monday. Matthew, for all the chocolate, whether known or surprise. You are a rockstar. Adrienne, for knowing, understanding, and not judging. Bria, for listening, but also, for empathizing. We will survive, girl. Aunt Becky, for just being there. To Johns Hopkins, for giving me a chance, seeing my potential, and letting my dream come true. 

My gilipollas boy, who won't be named - for breaking my heart, and continuing to do so, but for showing me my worth, that I'm so much better than whatever I thought I was. I miss you.

God - to whom I owe everything. I know many of you all might not be religious, but I find comfort in religion. Thank you for everything.

While 2014 hasn't been the kindest, I have so much for which I am grateful. That's how it should be, right? We can't go through life and be thankful for nothing. In all of the darkness, light always appears. Or something like that. 

I hope you all have a wonderful day with family and friends!

Swoon Thursday (#96): Frostfire by Amanda Hocking

Swoon Thursday is a hot meme hosted by the fabulous ladies at YA Bound!

- From the book you’re currently reading, or one you just finished, tell us what made you SWOON. What got your heart pounding, your skin tingling, and your stomach fluttering

- Try to make the swoon excerpt 140 characters (or less), if you are going to tweet about it. Use the hashtag #YABOUND when tweeting

This week, my swoon is from Frostfire by Amanda Hocking!

And just when I'm certain he won't, and I'm about to turn and hurry away in shame, he's there. His lips are cold, pressing hungrily against mine. HIs fingers knotting in my hair, pulling me to him. His stubble scrapes against my lips and cheeks, but I don't mind. I like it. I love everything about him that feels so real, touching me, holding me.

I wrap my arms around his neck, and I bury my hands in his hair. It's longer and thicker than I thought it would be, and I feel the curls at the nape of his neck wrapping around my fingertips.

He's strong, stronger than I thought he'd be, and his arm around my wait is crushing me to him so hard that I can barely breathe. But I don't care. I don't want to breathe. I just want to kiss him forever, tasting him on my lips, feeling him against me. 

- ARC, page 257

What did you all think?

Book Blitz and Giveaway: The Shape of My Heart by Ann Aguirre

Welcome to the release day launch of The Shape of My Heart by Ann Aguirre! I'm late to posting this - I totally apologize! Being on vacation addles my brain, methinks. Anyway, read on!

The Shape of My Heart by Ann Aguirre
Book Three of the 2B trilogy
Publisher: Harlequin HQN
Publication Date: November 25, 2014

Summary (from Goodreads):

Some people wait decades to meet their soul mate. Courtney Kaufman suspects she met hers in high school only to lose him at seventeen. Since then, Courtney's social life has been a series of meaningless encounters, though she's made a few close friends along the way. Especially her roommate Max Cooper, who oozes damaged bad-boy vibes from every pore. 

Max knows about feeling lost and trying to move beyond the pain he's been on his own since he was sixteen. Now it's time to find out if he can ever go home again, and Courtney's the only one he trusts to go with him. But the trip to Providence could change everything because the more time he spends with Courtney, the harder it is to reconcile what he wants and what he thinks he deserves. 

It started out so simple. One misfit helping another. Now Max will do anything to show Courtney that for every heart that's ever been broken, there's another that can make it complete.

About the Author:

Ann Aguirre is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling author and RITA winner with a degree in English Literature; before she began writing full time, she was a clown, a clerk, a voice actress, and a savior of stray kittens, not necessarily in that order. She grew up in a yellow house across from a cornfield, but now she lives in sunny Mexico with her husband, children, and various pets. Ann likes books, emo music, action movies, and she writes all kinds of genre fiction for adults and teens, published with Harlequin, Macmillan, and Penguin, among others.

The Excerpt:

 So many questions ricocheted around my brainpan, but Max’s shoulders were pulled up almost to his ears, his chin nearly on the table. Without looking at me, he shredded the napkin in his hands into four pieces and then in half again. The waning sunshine streaming in the smeared window behind him haloed his hair, so that the highlights shone blue instead of tawny or copper.

            “You don’t have to tell me a bedtime story,” I said gently.

            “No, you need to know. So you understand what’s going on and why it’s so tense when we get there.”

            “Okay. If you’re sure.”

            “I’ll set the stage.” His tone was brittle, uneven, and the bits of paper in his hands kept getting smaller. “I was sixteen, just got my license. My dad was drinking, acting like a fuckhead. Business as usual. When he started in on Mickey, I grabbed the keys. Figured I’d get us both out of there for a while. I don’t know if you've noticed but taking off is kind of my specialty.”
  “Between your bike, the garage office, and the place you showed me by the river, I've picked up on the pattern, yeah.”

            “I thought I was doing the smart thing, you know? But I was driving too fast and some asshole blew the stoplight. T-boned us. Mickey got the worst of it… weeks in the hospital without knowing if he’d make it. Then once he stabilized, we found out he’d never walk again.” He curled a fist and slammed it onto the table, making the pizza box dance. “Ironic, huh? I was worried that my dad would hurt Mickey but I’m the one who—”

            “Not true,” I cut in. “That’s a textbook accident. Don’t tell me you blame yourself.”

            “It’s impossible to do anything else. No, wipe that look off your face, Kaufman. I didn't open up to make you feel sorry for me. I just want you to know the deal going in. I mean, my dad’s the biggest asshole I ever met and he hates me, too.”

            “What about Mickey?”

            “We weren't talking much when I left. Every day I think, what if I’d put up with my old man’s shit for five minutes more? What if I’d picked a fight with him instead of grabbing those keys? I—” His voice broke on a shuddering inhalation.

            Until this moment I didn't realize how much weight Max carried on a daily basis or how good a job he did hiding it. I came out of my chair and rounded the little table before I consciously decided to make a move. Standing beside him, I hovered, unsure what to do. He answered the question by wrapping both arms around my waist and pulling me onto his lap. Unsettled, unnerved, even, I let him press his face into my shoulder, resting a hand on his head.

            His breath warmed the skin of my throat, rousing an inappropriate shiver. Now is not the time. It wasn't like I’d never noticed his hotness; he specialized in a scruffy, soulful appeal that women of all ages seemed unable to resist. But it was so much better for him to call me Kaufman and confide in me instead of flirting. At the moment, Max needed a friend. I stroked his back for like five minutes before he raised his gaze to meet mine.
  “Sorry. The closer we get to Rhode Island, the worse I feel.”

            “It’s understandable. You have to be worried about how your brother will react when you see him.” The rest of his family sounded like jackwagons. Though he’d only told me about his dad, if he had any decent aunts, uncles or cousins, they would've stepped up when his old man went upside his head with a bottle. A scar like that would take eight or ten stitches, minimum. I imagined Max as a scared kid with blood gushing from his scalp, and all of my protective instincts roared to life. People had been calling me a bitch since I was fifteen, and I was ready to wade in against Max’s family. Yeah, the funeral might be tense and shitty, but if his family said one fucking word—

The Giveaway:

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday (#100): Empire of Night by Kelley Armstrong

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week, I'm featuring:

Empire of Night by Kelley Armstrong
Book Two of the Age of Legends series
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: April 7, 2015

Summary (from Goodreads):

Sisters Moria and Ashyn are the Keeper and Seeker of Edgewood. Or at least, they were.

Their village is gone. Their friends have betrayed them. And now, the emperor has sent them on a mission to rescue the children of Edgewood—accompanied by Prince Tyrus and a small band of imperial warriors. But the journey proves more perilous than they could have imagined. With treachery and unrest mounting in the empire, Moria and Ashyn will have to draw on all their influence and power to overcome deadly enemies—not all of them human—and even avert an all-out war.

Sea of Shadows was one of my favorite novels of 2014! Fantasy is awesome :D

Also - 100 Waiting on Wednesday posts!! I'm going to do a post on how many books I've read, of the 100 that I have featured. Yes.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Review and Excerpt: The Darkest Touch by Gena Showalter

The Darkest Touch by Gena Showalter
Book Eleven of the Lords of the Underworld series
Publisher: Harlequin HQN
Publication Date: November 25, 2014
Rating: 4 stars
Source: ARC sent by the publisher

***Warning: this is an adult book, and for the eyes of mature readers***

Official Summary:

From New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter comes the long-awaited story of Torin, the most dangerous Lord of the Underworld yet…

Fierce immortal warrior. Host to the demon of Disease. Torin’s every touch causes sickness and death—and a worldwide plague. Carnal pleasure is utterly forbidden, and though he has always overcome temptation with an iron will, his control is about to shatter.

She is Keeley Cael. The Red Queen. When the powerful beauty with shocking vulnerabilities escapes from a centuries-long imprisonment, the desire that simmers between her and Torin is scorching. His touch could mean the end for her, but resisting her is the hardest battle he’s ever fought—and the only battle he fears he can’t win.

What I Liked:

Ooo, my first Gena Showalter adult romance novel! As you regular blog followers might recall, I've read Showalter's young adult novels, The White Rabbit Chronicles. I've always said that I wanted to read one of Showalter's adult novels, especially since I LOVE romance novels... leave it to me to start with book ELEVEN of a series. Good thing it's a companion series!

Torin is the host to the demon of Disease - meaning that everyone he touches, he infects with sickness, and the person dies. Meaning... he can't be intimate with anyone. But when he frees Keeley, the Red Queen, desire sparks and sizzles between them. She wants to kill him for (accidentally) killing a friend of hers, but neither of them can resist each other.

I loved this book. Let me repeat that statement - I loved this book. I know Showalter would not disappoint. The romance, the chemistry, the sizzle between Torin and Keeley was perfect, but there was also more to this book. A war has been brewing between Lucifer and Hades, and the Lords of the Underworld (Torin and the other host Lords) are involved. Now that Keeley is free, she is involved as well (she used to be engaged to Hades, and he wants her back, evidently).

Keeley wants to kill Torin at first, because he (accidentally) killed Mari, a friend of Keeley's. But Torin really cared about Mari, and feels very guilty about killing her with his touch. Keeley wants to exact her revenge on Torin... but she finds it difficult because she also really wants him. So. That's puts a damper on her plans.

I love the hate-turned-love relationships, especially when the lust is so strong, and the emotions slowly develop. Showalter did an excellent job of building the relationship and keeping the chemistry super fiery. It was interesting to see how Showalter did that - because Torin can't touch anyone without killing them. In Keeley's case, she's strong, and believes that she can withstand his touch. She'd get sick afterwards, but hey, when the guy is that fine...

Seriously though, the cover model of this book is like, PERFECT. That is exactly how I would see Torin. I haven't read any of the other books in the series, so I didn't get to see Torin as a secondary character, but I love him up close and personal. He's tortured over his deadly curse, and yet, he's an alpha warrior, born and bred to fight and destroy. Mmm... can't say that doesn't attract me. But he's also protective and sweet and thoughtful. Gaaahhh...

I liked Keeley, too. She was fierce and competent, devious and wicked and downright hilarious. The two of them are so great together - he fights the attraction, she doesn't, he tries to leave, she doesn't let him, and back and forth like that. It's so great!

The plot of the story, involving Hades and Lucifer and the Morning Star, is pretty cool. Showalter focused on demons rather than angels, so I was cool with all of this. There is also another story arc, involving Cameo (one of Torin's ex-girlfriends) and Lazarus, whom I didn't get a really good read on. I hope there is a book twelve, and it's about the two of them...

Overall, I'm really pleased with this book. Totally satisfying romance novel, as well as paranormal novel in general. I've seen somewhere that I really should have read the other ten books in the series before reading this one, just to get a feel for Torin's character... I will do just that. 

What I Did Not Like:

I think just one more scene between Torin and Keeley, at the very end of the book, would have been nice. You know what I mean. Heh.

Would I Recommend It:

Yes! As far as romance novels go, this is a really great! Read it just to experience the hot complexity that is Torin. Also, hey, the paranormal aspect was awesome. I really enjoyed it!


4 stars. Much like from me! I hope there are more novels in the series to come. I also hope that I can go back and binge-read the other eight books in the series!

Was this review helpful? Please let me know in the comments section!

About the Author:

Gena Showalter is a New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author whose books have appeared in Cosmopolitan and Seventeen magazines, as well as Entertainment Weekly. Her novel Red Handed has been optioned by Sony Television. Critics have called her books “sizzling page-turners” and “utterly spellbinding stories,” while Showalter herself has been called “a star on the rise.” Her mix of humor, danger and wickedly hot sex provides wildly sensual page-turners sure to enthrall. 

The Excerpt:

She appeared in front of him, displaying more tanned skin than she concealed, her hair falling around her face in lush, golden waves. Her eyes glittered with remnants of her anger. Her lips were slightly swollen and pinker than usual.

“Temper much?” she quipped.

His relief was palpable. She hadn't forgotten him! But the relief was quickly replaced by concern. “Are you all right? Did someone hit you?”

She blinked with confusion. “No. Why?” 

“Your lips are swollen.”

She rubbed them, color heating her cheeks. “Someone didn't hit me, but someone sure did hit on me.”

Hit on her. As in kissed her.

Already on edge, Torin. Utterly. Erupted.

He forgot everything he’d planned to do and say and got in Keeley’s face, snarling, “Who was it?”

Her eyes widened. “Hades. Why?”

“You dare ask why? You belong to me! We agreed. You do not kiss other men, Keeley. Ever. Have you for- gotten my rules?”

Her jaw dropped, and she gasped out a few unintelligible words as if she couldn't quite figure out what to say to him.

He stood in place, breathing too quickly, too heavily, his throat and lungs burning. He reached for her, but as so many times before, fisted his hands and dropped them just before contact. This is crazy. I’m crazyI have to leave.

“Are you…thinking about touching me?” she asked, her eyes widening again.

No, she had to leave. He could not be in public right now. “Go shopping. Buy yourself something pretty. My treat.” He basically tossed his credit card at her. He should be calm by the time she finished. “Come back in an hour. Maybe two. Actually, we’ll reconvene to- morrow.”

“You are,” she said. “You’re thinking… Even craving me. You don’t like the thought of another man’s hands on me, and you want to replace the memory with your hands.”

That. Yes. Hades would die, and Torin…Torin would touch this woman and never stop.

He gnashed his molars. “Last chance, Keeley. I suggest you take it and leave.” Soon. His control was almost completely shredded.

“No way. You’re the big bad warrior, yet I've had to come on to you time and time again. I've had to battle within myself—worth the price or not worth it. Well, it’s your turn.”

“There is no damn way you just suggested I haven’t done the same. I've battled.”

“When have you ever caved without prompting from me? You've resisted me so easily, always walking away. Sure, you've snarled while you've done the walking, but still you left me behind. So, tell me. When did you ever—”

“So easily?” he roared. Had she just said so easily? She had no clue about the intensity of his need—but he would teach her better.

Torin cupped her by the nape, yanked her close and smashed his mouth against hers. The kiss was a brutal assault meant to silence her, to dominate and possess. He held her still, making her take it, take everything. But the moment she softened against him, welcomed him inside her mouth, the darkness churning inside him switched gears. From the need to punish and master to the need to seduce and please.

This was Keeley. His princess. She deserved his best. 

He gentled the pressure, rolling his tongue inside her mouth, learning her all over again, tasting her. Summer berries and melted honey. So sweet. And mine. All mine. He framed her cheeks, angled her head and rolled his tongue just a little deeper. This time, she met him with a roll of her own.

That was his undoing.

But wait!

Gena will be doing a virtual event on December 9th! Check out the details HERE, and buy signed copies of The Darkest Touch HERE!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Review: Frostfire by Amanda Hocking

Frostfire by Amanda Hocking
Book One of the Kanin Chronicles
Publisher: St. Martins Griffin
Publication Date: January 6, 2015
Rating: 4 stars
Source: ARC sent by the publisher

Summary (from Goodreads):

The first book in a magical new YA series from New York Times bestselling author Amanda Hocking that invites readers back to the beloved world of the Trylle.

Bryn Aven is an outcast among the Kanin, the most powerful of the troll tribes. Set apart by her heritage and her past, Bryn is a tracker who's determined to become a respected part of her world. She has just one goal: become a member of the elite King’s Guard to protect the royalty. She's not going to let anything stand in her way, not even a forbidden romance with her boss Ridley Dresden. But all her plans for the future are put on hold when Konstantin– a fallen hero who she once loved – appears to be up to something dangerous, kidnapping changelings. Bryn is sent in to help stop him, but will she lose her heart in the process?

What I Liked:

First - can we talk about how BEAUTIFUL the covers are, for the entire series?! If you haven't seen the second or third book's covers, definitely check them out on Goodreads. The cover of this book really embodies Bryn - as well as the Kanin world. Same with the other two covers!

Bryn is half Skojare, half Kanin - and she has always been an outcast in the Kanin tribe, because of her differences (both physical and otherwise). She's blonde (whereas Kanin are brunettes), ice pale (whereas Kanin have tanned skin), and has no troll abilities (where Kanin have persuasion and other supernatural abilities). But her differences make her work even harder, to be a successful tracker, and eventually, a member of an elite Guard of the King. 

But when a mission goes wrong and a traitor who hurt her father reappears, Bryn will have to make some decisions. She has a feeling that Konstantin (the traitor) isn't simply a traitor, and that there is something larger at play. But even Bryn's friend and boss, Ridley, doesn't believe her. Bryn has to discover the truth, or the wrong person could be punished.

I really liked this extension of the troll world that Hocking created, starting with the Trylle trilogy! If you haven't had the chance to read those books yet, definitely try and read them before reading the Kanin Chronicles. It's not necessary, but I think it would help. I literally binge-read the Trylle trilogy weeks ago, for the purpose of being able to read this book with no trouble/more background.

Bryn is a really likable character, in my opinion. She's a little air-headed at times, just like Wendy, but I liked her more than I liked Wendy. Bryn has a different drive, motive, MO, whatever. She has worked so hard for what she has and what she wants. She's not royalty, she's a hybrid, and she's also a couple years older than Wendy was in the Trylle series. In context though, I think this series occurs years after the Trylle trilogy - it mentions Finn being like, twenty-four.

In this book, Bryn is a tracker, bringing in changelings. She wants to do much more than that, but she wants to be a faithful servant to the crown. When Konstantin Black shows up while she is tracking a changeling, everything changes. Konstantin and some guy named Bent seem to be after changelings, and the Kanin will not let this happen. Ridley, Bryn, and other Kanin begin to track down changelings at an alarming rate.

Ridley is Bryn's boss - about five years older than her, retired tracker, now a Rektor (in charge of the trackers). Bryn never really noticed her attraction to him... but there is a lot of chemistry between them. He has a girlfriend (awkward), but that doesn't seem to do anything to the attraction between them. He wants Bryn and Bryn wants him. But the relationship is strictly forbidden (tracker and Rektor), and Bryn doesn't want to attach herself to anyone. Or does she?

It's entirely possible that, like the Trylle series, a love triangle could pop into this series. I could see Hocking working some sort of romance angle between Bryn and Konstantin. I wish she wouldn't, because I'm not the biggest fan of Konstantin (yet?), and I like Ridley.

The thing is, we don't get to know much about Konstantin, or his motives, or what's going on, really. We don't get to know why he attacked Bryn's father, years ago. We don't know why he and Bent are trying to take changelings. But it's bigger than two people betraying the tribe. Personally, I think Konstantin is trying to change the way things are done (not everyone likes the changeling system), but that's my conspiracy theory).

The world-building is really well-done, in this book. Kanin is very different from Trylle. Also, Bryn is very different from Wendy. It's interesting to see things from the perspective of a tracker, versus a queen. Kanin seems colder than Trylle - not that Trylle was a ball of sunshine or anything.

Does this book end well? Not exactly. Hocking has a way with ending books with plenty of unanswered questions, a cliffhanger in the plot, the romance. I think this really works in this series - especially since we won't have to wait a year or more for the next book - the sequel will be published in May.

So, with that, I leave you with - I can't wait to read the next book!

What I Did Not Like:

Like I said above, I'm hoping that Hocking steers clear of the love triangle realm. I totally ship Bryn and Ridley. Although... in the Trylle trilogy, Loki wasn't even fully introduced into the series until book two. So, we might not even meet Bryn's chosen one until book two. Scary thought...

Would I Recommend It:

Personally, I really liked this book! I liked the Trylle series as well, and I'm enjoying the spinoff series so far. The Kanin world seems so much colder and darker than the Trylle world - in the best of ways! I'm excited about book two.


4 stars. Fans of Amanda Hocking will love this new book (and series), I'm sure of it! And hey, trolls, that's interesting, right?! I'm intrigued!

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