Wednesday, July 1, 2015

ARC Review: The Witch Hunter (The Witch Hunter #1) by Virginia Boecker

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: June 2, 2015
Publisher: Little, Brown Books
368 Pages

The magic and suspense of Graceling meet the political intrigue and unrest of Game of Thrones in this riveting fantasy debut.

Elizabeth Grey is one of the king's best witch hunters, devoted to rooting out witchcraft and doling out justice. When she's accused of being a witch herself, Elizabeth is arrested and sentenced to die at the stake. Salvation comes from a man she thought was her enemy. Nicholas Perevil, the most powerful wizard in the kingdom, offers her a deal: he will save her from execution if she can track down the person who laid a deadly curse on him.

As she's thrust into the world of witches, ghosts, pirates, and all-too-handsome healers, Elizabeth is forced to redefine her ideas of right and wrong, of friends and enemies, and of love and hate.

Lately I found myself reading strictly contemporary reads. You know how it is, every once in awhile you just get stuck in a genre rut. After numerous contemporaries, I decided to venture back into dystopian/fantasy. That's when I came across The Witch Hunter. Set in a world where magic is known, but outlawed, Elizabeth Grey finds herself at the center of a war - one where she thought she knew where she stood.

Elizabeth Grey is a witch hunter - a special group of people who are trained to capture magic users for the crown. When she's caught with witches herbs (which she had for good reason), she's tossed into prison to await her burning, which is just as it sounds - burning at the stake. Only she never makes it to her burning day. Instead, she's saved by the one person she's been trained to hunt down - Nicholas Perevil - the most powerful wizard in the land. Nicholas needs something from her, something only Elizabeth can provide. Soon Elizabeth finds herself surrounded by the people she normally captures and she must either learn to trust them or go back to life that had turned it's back on her.

This book surprised me. There were times when I thought I had it figured out, only for it to take a completely different turn. Elizabeth was not who I thought she was. She was definitely a flawed protagonist who at times wasn't very likeable. But over the course of the book, she became this character who took control of her own fate and she started making her own decisions. 

And it's not just Elizabeth who drives this book. There Nicholas, this powerful wizard who everyone should fear, but in all honesty, he's a lot like Dumbledore. Wise and honest and just wanting to protect his people. Then there's Nicholas' inner circle, a group of healers and magic wielders who have no idea that a with hunter is within their midst.  Each one brought their own brand of magic to fight their cause, but the one I was drawn to the most was John, the healer and son of a pirate. He was the one who really helped Elizabeth see more than just the lies she was told.

Like I said before, this book didn't go in any direction that I thought it would. I thought there would be a love triangle with Elizabeth between Caleb (her childhood friend, fellow hunter, and crush) and one of the new boys in Perevil's group. Didn't happen. I thought I knew which boy in Perevil's group Elizabeth would go for. Nope. And I also thought that I magically predicted the ending. Well, on that one I was kinda right, but mostly wrong. While this wasn't an edge of your seat thriller, I enjoyed the pace and story telling. Enough so that I am awaiting the next book to find out what happens.

I received an e-copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Book Review: The Best Medicine (Strictly Business #1) by Elizabeth Hayley

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: June 2, 2015
Publisher: Signet
336 Pages

The first novel in a sparkling and sexy new contemporary romance series about four best friends looking for love in all the right places—and the one woman who discovers that it takes more than an impeccable bedside manner to make dreams come true…

Lauren Hastings is finally ready to enter the real world. At twenty-six, she’s about to get her master’s in psychology, and she’s well on her way to beginning the career of her dreams—until she suffers public humiliation and has to endure something she thought she’d never have to deal with again: a part-time job.

A gig at Trinity Hospital isn’t exactly Lauren’s definition of a good time, but Dr. Scott Jacobs quickly changes her mind. He’s straight-up gorgeous, and he always gets what he wants. And that includes Lauren. It’s an ideal arrangement for both of them. No strings. Just fun—at least at first.

But feelings quickly begin to run deeper than either Lauren or Scott is willing to admit, causing issues neither of them want to confront. After all, who wants to risk the perfect relationship on something as terrifying, as messy, and as unpredictable as love?

Umm...I really wanted to like this one. It sounded so cute in the blurb, but in the end, it just didn't cut it for me. 

Lauren Hastings has made some major mistakes in her life. All of these have lead her life off of the course she had planned for it. She's watching all of her friends thriving in their careers and she just wants to have that life as well. When events get out of hand at a local bar, Lauren is left cleaning up the pieces. And aside from trying to finish grad school, she now has to get a part time job. With help from her mother, Lauren ends up working for Dr. Scott Jacobs basically a hot version of Doogie Howser.

There's instant attraction between the two, that's obvious to see. Their first thoughts about each other were literally how to get the other into bed. And it just escalates from there. The two, tired of fighting their attraction to each other, enter into a 'no-strings' arrangement. 
I'm betting you can see where this is going. And therein lies one of my problems with it. It's a plot I've read over and over with nothing new brought to it. I could have looked beyond that, and have in other books, if the characters were well-rounded. But halfway through through the book, I realized that I just didn't care. I knew how the book would end, but I didn't care how they ended up there. I skimmed the last half, which mostly consisted of sex. They just weren't likeable and I felt had no chemistry outside of their sexual relationship. Lauren was childish. Scott was a dick. That's pretty much all I got out of this.

This series is supposed to follow Lauren and her friends. I am interested in reading the next one because I seemed to like the side characters a lot better than the main. And I really want to know if it's the writing I didn't like, or the characters.

I received a copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

Friday, June 12, 2015

Tasty Virtual Book Tour + Giveaway: Accidentally In Love (Friends First #3) by Laura Drewry

Displaying accidentallyinlove-banner_edited-2.jpg 

Hey guys, I so happy to be part of the Tasty Book Tours party for Accidentally in Love, the third book in the Friends First series.This was the first book in the series that I've read but it definitely has me wanting to read the others. Check out the other stops of the tour here

Accidentally in Love (Friends First #3)

by Laura Drewry
The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: June 16, 2015
Publisher: Loveswept
298 Pages

Fans of Jill Shalvis and Susan Mallery will love Laura Drewry’s warm and humorous new Friends First romance, a sexy romp about a good cop and a bad girl playing hard to get.

Ellie Palmer and cops don’t mix, and getting pulled over by Officer Brett Hale—again—doesn’t help. Neither does being forced to take a safe-driving course with him. Brett’s by-the-book attitude leaves Ellie ice-cold, and his rock-hard body won’t change that. Still, the more time she spends with the guy, the more she finds herself warming up to his unexpected charms.

Even though Brett comes off like a boy scout, Ellie has sparked something he wants badly enough to get him to rethink his past mistakes. But when her ex shows up, Brett makes it his mission to keep Ellie safe in the here and now. His gut tells him the guy’s trouble, and Ellie must agree, because she doesn’t complain when Brett pulls her close. To keep her safe, though, he’ll have to choose between breaking her heart . . . and breaking the rules.

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Local good boy cop meets smart ass rule breaker in the next installment of the Friends First series. This was not only my first book from Drewry, it was also the first one I picked up from the series. I just really love starting them in the middle. I wasn't sure what to expect, but I'm really happy I read it.

Ellie just can't catch a break. She has a bit of a lead foot when it comes to driving, and when she's pulled over again, she realizes that her license has been suspended. This is the last thing that she needs - she needs her car. It doesn't help that the officer who pulled her over is part of her friend circle, even though to call the two of them friends would be a stretch.

Brett lives by the rules. As a cop, it's all he knows. He's pulled Ellie over more times than he can count and while he knows he's just doing his job, he just can't understand Ellie's animosity toward him. When circumstances throw them together for the foreseeable future, Brett starts to see a side of Ellie that she tries hard to keep hidden.

I am a sucker for stories where they couple were friends first. There's a foundation that's built up and you feel the connection between the two just grow. This was true for Ellie and Brett. Animosity turned into respect until neither of them knew what hit them. When someone from Ellie's past comes back and threatens the safety of herself and her friends, Brett steps up, placing himself directly in the line of attack. Their charade turned reality was a fun story to follow.

I would also like to say that I really thought I had this book pegged. The moment her past came back, I came up with this scenario that I thought for sure the author was going to. But nope, it went somewhere else and managed to completely avoid the over the top drama for the sake of drama that plagues so many in this genre. 

This was a fun, light, read that's perfect for summer. I will definitely be going back and reading the others in this series as I am now interested in how they all got together. 

Big thanks to Tasty Book Tours for allowing me to participate in this book tour!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Book Review: Moonlight on Nightingale Way (On Dublin Street #6) by Samantha Young

The blurb as seen on Goodreads
Release Date: June 2, 2015
Publisher: NAL
352 Pages

Logan from Echoes of Scotland Street is back with his own smoldering story, as the New York Times bestselling On Dublin Street series returns…

Logan spent two years paying for the mistakes he made. Now, he’s ready to start over. He has a great apartment, a good job, and plenty of women to distract him from his past. And one woman who is driving him to distraction…

Grace escaped her manipulative family by moving to a new city. Her new life, made to suit her own needs, is almost perfect. All she needs to do is find her Mr. Right—or at least figure out a way to ignore her irresistible yet annoying womanizer of a neighbor.

Grace is determined to have nothing to do with Logan until a life-changing surprise slowly begins turning the wild heartbreaker into exactly the kind of strong, stable man she’s been searching for. Only just when she begins to give into his charms, her own messy past threatens to derail everything they’ve worked to build…

Now this is how you wrap up a series!

I've read the On Dublin Series from the beginning and let us just say, it was a slow process to straight on love. The first book I liked, the second I really liked, the third was pretty damn good, the forth was ehh, the fifth brought the possibility of full out love and then came the sixth.

Moonlight introduces us to Logan and Grace. While neither had been featured in the previous books, Logan was mentioned in the fifth as being Shannon's older brother. He's fresh out of jail and looking to start fresh. He has a good job, a place to live, and an annoyingly nagging neighbor, Grace, who he keeps running into. She's opinionated and not afraid to confront him about his string of noisy late night companions.

Having left her controlling family and branched out on her own, Grace enjoys her life. She has a great career and amazing friends. The only thing she doesn't have is a significant other. Despite the numerous dates her friends set her up on, no one comes close to stealing her heart. Least of all, her obvious heartbreaker of a neighbor. There is no neighborly friendship between these two, it's just straight out animosity from the beginning. It doesn't help that they find themselves thrown together when a surprise from Logan's past makes an appearance and Logan turns, rather reluctantly, to the only person he feels can help him.

And there's a whole lot of it here.

But it wasn't just Grace and Logan's story that drew me in. It was the way in which Young showcases family and friends. Everyone from the first book and on are still very much present. We get to see little peeks into their lives and see where they each stand currently. Young created such a family between all of them whether they were blood or not and it's amazing and beautiful.

Hands down this was my favorite of the series. The minute I finished it, I wanted to read it again. I loved Grace and how she stood up for herself and the people she loved, even when everything was falling in on her. She was fierce and protective and everything Logan needed in his life. And I loved Logan for his undying loyalty to his sister and how even though he did time, he still felt like he didn't deserve happiness. Happiness and love were foreign concepts to Logan and it was fun watching him navigate these new feelings. On top of that, watching him grow into his new role after the surprise of his life just made me fall more in love with him on each page. 

These books individually are great reads but as a series they are amazing. So would I recommend this series to people?

 I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

"Real" Book Challenge May Recap

Real Book Challenge on Swoony Boys Podcast and Fiction Fare

Summer is here and it's once again time for a monthly recap. July is going to be a busy month for me so I'm trying to get as much reading done as possible now. I did pretty good in May. Here's what I added to my challenge:

Goal: 80
Total So Far: 34
Current Level: Real Book Aficionado

See you next month!

Sunday, May 31, 2015

ARC Review: Sweet Ache (Driven #6) by K. Bromberg

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: June 2, 2015
Publisher: Signet
400 Pages

The New York Times bestselling author of Slow Burn turns up the heat when a sexy bet turns into so much more…

Hawkin Play, the bad boy rock star with a good guy heart, has lived a lifetime of cleaning up after his twin brother’s mistakes. Hunter’s most recent screw-up could land Hawke in jail and risk the band’s future. Hawke agrees to guest lecture at a local college to stay in the judge’s good graces—and a bet with his bandmate to seduce his sexy teaching assistant is icing on the cake.

Quinlan Westin is harder to bed than Hawke imagined. She knows his type and is determined to avoid the rocker at all costs—even if their attraction runs deeper than simple lust.

Just as Hawke might finally be winning over the girl, his brother has other plans. When Hunter realizes his twin finally has a weakness, he’ll stop at nothing to take advantage…

 Ok, not going to lie, I didn't go into this book with very high hopes. I had only read Slow Burn (Driven #5) by Bromberg and I wasn't too impressed. But holy crap, by the end of the first chapter, I knew I was going to love this one. 

Rock star Hawkin Play meets his match in Quinlan Westin and their romance just burns through the pages. Talk about hot! The chemistry between these two was just off the charts. From the moment they meet, when Hawkin finds out that Quin is his TA for a college class where he's a quest lecturer, there's instant spark. Quin seems immune to the charms of this known playboy and Hawkin is not used to being told no. After she turns him down once, Hawkin makes a bet with his fellow bandmate that he'll get Quin in bed before the semester is done. 

I think it's important to make every moment count.

Hawkin is your typical rockstar - mostly. He loves his job, he loves women and he loves to party. But there's a darkness to him that comes in the form of his twin brother. Constantly trying to hold onto a promise he made his late father, Hawkin finds himself once again bailing his brother out. Only this time, it could end up costing him his career and freedom. 
Quin is tired of picking the wrong man. While she doesn't mind the occasional hookup, she realizes that she wants more. Seeing her wayward brother finally settled has her wanting that. When she meets Hawkin, she knows he's not the one to settle with, but she's inexplicably drawn to him. She knows he's hiding something and it's something she thinks is worth sticking around for.
Aside from their chemistry just being off the charts, Bromberg spends time building up their friendship. You can see almost instantly why these two are drawn to each other and you can almost pinpoint the exact moment when Quin becomes more than a bet. While the sex scenes were very steamy, my favorite parts were seeing how seamlessly Quin fit in with Hawkin's bandmates. She just fit and his bands reactions to her were great. 

This book was steamy, sweet, and humorous. There was also an underlying story about wanting to belong and the true meaning of family. If you're looking for a hot summer read, look no further. Sweet Ache is for you.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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