Thursday, November 12, 2015

ARC Review: Touching Fate (The Fated #1) by Brenda Drake

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: October 12, 2015
Publisher: Entangled: Crave
236 Pages

One touch is all it takes...

Aster Layne believes in physics, not psychics. A tarot card reading on the Ocean City Boardwalk should have been a ridiculous, just-for-fun thing. It wasn't. Aster discovers she has a very unscientific gift-with a simple touch of the cards, she can change a person's fate.

Reese Van Buren is cursed. Like the kind of old-school, centuries-old curse that runs in royal families. Every firstborn son is doomed to die on his eighteenth birthday-and Reese's is coming up fast. Bummer. He tries to distract himself from his inevitable death...only to find the one person who can save him.

Aster doesn't know that the hot Dutch guy she's just met needs her help-or that he's about to die.
But worst of all...she doesn't know that her new gift comes with dark, dark consequences that can harm everyone she loves.

Because it seemed he held the algorithmic key to solving the encrypted code locking her heart.
There are two different kinds of people: those who believe in fate and those who don't. Aster Layne falls into the later category. She knows her role in life, she has her routine with her friends and family, and most importantly, she doesn't believe in magic. 
Reese Van Bruen not only believes in magic, but is also cursed by it. And not just a tiny curse, one that will kill him on his 18th birthday. Reigned to his fate, he's chosen to live out life the way that he wants to: traveling and having fun. He doesn't buy into the family belief that there's someone out there who holds the cure. That is until he meets Aster and discovers that she's a fate changer. Unfortunately Aster doesn't know this and Reese decides to "help" Aster discover her gift in order to save his life. What Reese doesn't know is that if Aster changes his fate, someone else's will also be changed.

Boy meets girl. Boy wants girl to save his life. Boy falls in love with girl. Pretty sure that you can see where this is going. 

I enjoyed this one. It was definitely a new topic for me to read about. The whole idea of fate changing is an interesting new side of magic and the author mixes it with elements that we are already familiar with, mostly tarot cards. I also liked how the author portrayed Aster's confusion about her growing power and the difference between right and wrong. Playing with people's lives is not something that should be taken lightly and when Aster realizes what her fate changing can do, she begins to question the morality of what she's doing. 

Magic, sexy European accents, fun locales...this was a good start to a series that I will hopefully be continuing. 
I received an e-copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

ARC Review: After Tonight (Flirting with Trouble #1) by Annie Kelly

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: November 17, 2015
Publisher: InterMix

The first edgy, sexy novel in the Flirting With Trouble contemporary romance series.

She may be the teacher...

All Hyacinth "Cyn" Hendricks ever wanted to do was make a difference in the world. But when she joins the faculty of a Baltimore reform school, she discovers that she’s bitten off more than she can chew. Because the last thing she expects when she meets her newest student is to see the guy she met—and made out with—at a bar last week.

But he’s the one giving her a lesson...

To Cyn, Smith Asher is an enigma. The 20-year old doesn’t look like a high schooler and he certainly didn’t act like one the other night. Despite the smoldering chemistry between them, she knows she has to squash this dangerous infatuation before it gets them both in serious trouble. But her desire for Smith—and his lust for her—quickly grows too hot to ignore. And Cyn soon learns that there is one thing worse than teaching someone you’ve seen nearly naked...

Teaching someone you want to see nearly naked again.

Hyacinth Hendricks is trying to finish up her student teaching assignment so that she can graduate. She's worked hard to be where she is and between working and taking care of her father, she doesn't really ever allow herself to let loose. When her friends take her out to an exclusive club - one that specializes in fantasies- Hyacinth decides to let go. It's here she meets Smith Asher, the first guy who has ever made her want to feel again. And while her night doesn't go the way she intends it to, it still awoke something inside her. Something that she decides she wants to pursue, that is until Monday morning when she sees Smith in her English class - as a student. 

My first impression was that this would be your classic teacher/student affair type book. And I wasn't completely wrong. Hyacinth knows that what happened between the two of them can't ever happen again and she's determined to keep the line clear between them. But Smith doesn't seem to want to stick to her rules. He's demanding, and very forward with his intentions. Almost to the point where it seemed a little like harassment to me. She kept telling him no and asking him to stop and he would disregard her and continue his behavior. Another thing with Smith was that his behavior was very up and down. After reading the entire story, I see why the author portrayed him the way she did, but while reading it, it was hard to like the guy.

Then there was the chemistry. Besides sexual I didn't really feel it. There wasn't a spark aside from the initial first impression. Most of their interactions were him flirting with her in the classroom and on top of that, they were only together for maybe 1/3 of the book. Most of it focused on Hyacinth's day to day activities. I really liked the premise and I see potential in the authors writing, but this couple didn't really do it for me. I have a feeling I know what couple the next book will focus on and I am very interested in how they connect. While this book wasn't for me, it did spark my interest in the rest and I look forward to seeing what the author can do next. 

I received an e-copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

ARC Review: One King's Way (On Dublin Street #6.5) by Samantha Young

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: November 3, 3015
Publisher: InterMix
158 Pages

The New York Times bestselling author of On Dublin Street returns to the bar where it all began with Braden and Joss for a white-hot new novella full of passion and drama.
When he’s not working at the club, Craig Lanaghan looks out for his mother and little sisters. So when it comes to women, all he wants is a good time. But once Rain Alexander walks into his life, there’s no denying that this woman could be worth much more than a one-night stand….

Rain’s lifelong regret is having left her sister Darcy alone years ago with a guardian who turned out to be abusive. So when Darcy’s boyfriend publicly humiliates her in a cruel way, Rain’s overprotective instincts kick in and she follows him to Club 39—where she meets a guy who just might be her perfect match.

The chemistry between Rain and Craig is explosive, but Rain is out for revenge, and refuses to be sidetracked by flirtation. As things between them heat up, she’ll have to make a heartbreaking choice between giving in to the man of her dreams or putting her sister’s happiness first….

Another dose of hot, sexy Scottish men? Sign me up!

Samantha Young captures the feelings of love and first relationships perfectly set against the beautiful landscape of Scotland. This was a series that grew in love for me throughout each book and when it ended, I was sad to see it come to a close. But Young keeps surprising us with these little novellas, allowing us to see our favorite characters one more time while also falling in love with new ones. 
One King's Way takes us back to the beginning. Joss and Braden aren't married with kids, they are just dating here and she's still working at the bar. Working with Craig Lanaghan, resident flirt and most known for kissing Joss in front of Braden to make him jealous. Craig is your classic one night stand kind of guy. He doesn't want commitment. He likes his freestyle life - flirting with customers every night for great tips comes naturally to him. But when a girl dressed like she walked right out of the 1940's shows up at the bar, he reevaluates everything he's ever stood for.  
Rain Alexander is out for one thing - revenge. Revenge for her sister who was wronged by a man. Her plan: get close to this guy and destroy him from the inside. Step one in that plan is to hang out at the bar he normally frequents hoping to spot him. Craig was not part of that plan. But the more time she spends with him, the more she wants to let him in but can't seem to find a way to do that.
This is the case of realist vs romantic. Rain wants a love that consumes not only her but the guy as well. She wants forever. Craig can't fathom forever, but is willing to work towards it. And he's on a mission to prove to Rain that he can be there for her through it all. I really liked the character of Craig. He was a good guy. He cared for his family and his friends and knew what he wanted out of life. When something came along that made him question what he knew, he took it in stride and learned from it. Rain, on the other hand, was a little more complicated. She has a past and has been hurt and then seeing her sister get hurt just has her running from every man she sees. I liked her okay but I didn't love her. I didn't like how she was so quick to dismiss Craig's feelings. She wanted him to show her that she was important to him, but when a life altering decision needs to be made, she makes it without him. She wanted the fairy tale, but didn't want to work for it.
This series is like candy to me. I hope that these little novella's keep happening because I just want to continue seeing this group of people grow and experience new things. 

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

Monday, November 2, 2015

Book Review: The Iron Warrior (The Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten #3) by Julie Kagawa

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: October 27, 2015
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
384 Pages

The Iron Prince—my nephew—betrayed us all.

He killed me.

Then, I woke up.

Waking after a month on the brink of death, Ethan Chase is stunned to learn that the Veil that conceals the fey from human sight was temporarily torn away. Although humankind's glimpse of the world of Faery lasted just a brief moment, the human world has been cast into chaos, and the emotion and glamour produced by fear and wonder has renewed the tremendous power of the Forgotten Queen. Now, she is at the forefront of an uprising against the courts of Summer and Winter—a reckoning that will have cataclysmic effects on the Nevernever.

Leading the Lady's Forgotten Army is Keirran himself: Ethan's nephew, and the traitor son of the Iron Queen, Meghan Chase.To stop Keirran, Ethan must disobey his sister once again as he and his girlfriend, Kenzie, search for answers long forgotten. In the face of unprecedented evil and unfathomable power, Ethan's enemies must become his allies, and the world of the fey will be changed forevermore.
It's no secret now that I absolutely LOVE Julie Kagawa and will read anything that this woman writes. Add that to the fact that I have been waiting for what feels like forever for this book and I think it's safe to say that I was super excited to finally have it in my hands.

The Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten series focuses on the relationship between Ethan Chase and his nephew, Prince Keirran and centers around a prophecy that was revealed at the end of the Iron Fey series. Here we find Ethan frantically navigating the in Between on a quest to get Keirran back his soul and stop the impending war between the Courts of Nevernever and the Forgotten Queen.
Blinded by what he thinks is right, Keirran is leading the Forgotten Army straight into battle against the courts, including his mother. He's brash, but driven. He has all of the elements of a leader but it's his direction that's a little skewed. Ethan knows his nephew and he refuses to believe that this is what has become of Keirran. It isn't until Keirran attempts to kill Ethan again that Ethan finally realizes that Keirran must be stopped. Unwilling to kill his own nephew, Ethan sets out on a quest to find the only thing that can return Keirran to his former self - an amulet containing the essence of his soul.
I've loved Keirran since the first time he appeared in print. So I was right there along side Ethan the entire way as he fought to restore Keirrans soul. This doesn't mean that I didn't want to drop kick his fairy ass all the way through Nevernever. I could not believe how he was acting and it made it hard to love him. But I do love my damaged boys.

What I love about reading work from Kagawa is how alive her writing is. I'm normally not a huge fan of books relating to the fey but this has hands down become one of my favorite series. And that's all due in part to this world and these characters that just demand attention. These magical places feel so real that I want to travel there myself. I want to see through the glamour of the fey and feel the sun in the Summer court and the snow in the Winter court. I want my own Razor sitting on my shoulder. Truthfully, I just want more of this world and am sad that it came to a close. However, if Kagawa ever decides that she wants to reopen this world, I will be there in a heartbeat!

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