Monday, June 30, 2014

The Darkest Whisper by Gena Showalter


He is the keeper of Doubt and his entire world’s about to be rocked.

Bound by the demon of Doubt, Sabin unintentionally destroys even the most confident of lovers. So the immortal warrior spends his time on the battlefield instead of the bedroom, victory his only concern…until he meets Gwendolyn the Timid. One taste of the beautiful redhead, and he craves more.

Gwen, an immortal herself, always thought she’d fall for a kind human who wouldn’t rouse her darker side. But when Sabin frees her from prison, battling their enemies for the claim to Pandora’s box turns out to be nothing compared to the battle Sabin and Gwen will wage against love…


The Darkest Whisper by Gena Showalter
5 out of 5 

So, I'll admit that I wasn't really excited about reading Sabin/Doubts book... It just seemed that he was a giant ass in the other books, which didn't make me want to rush and read his book.  And as much as I am surprised, I loved this book!  I can now even say that Sabin isn't as much of an ass as I thought.  Yes, he is an ass, but not as big a one as I had first thought.

What a descriptive name:  Gwendolyn the Timid.  Not a great nickname or title.  It doesn't strike fear or inspire people.  If anything, it creates an image of someone whimpering and hiding in a corner.  So for me, it is kind of a giggle moment that someone timid like Gwen is at the beginning should end up with such a bad-ass warrior like Sabin.  

Now, the rule here at Place of Reads is that I try not to give out spoilers... But, Oh My Goodness!  Galen is.... OMGoodness!  Was NOT expecting that!  OMGoodness!

I have discovered through Gwen and her sisters that I love harpies.  Smart-mouthed, bad-assed, glowing creatures that I absolutely adore! 

I really liked the mythology of the harpies. From origins to their own curse, it definitely makes them so much more than what Greek mythology made them.  

The hunters were already bad news before this book, but discovering what they are doing to the supernatural women is monstrous... I can't believe what they are doing, and I think they deserve everything the Lords throw at them.  

So, I think the hunter's academy is a scary prospect.  Imagine the fall out of that occurrence.  Even though the Lords know about it now, the repercussions of the school will be felt for a while.  

Poor Paris & Reyes.  Paris for mourning his loss of Sienna... & Reyes for the guilt he feels over Paris saving him.  Shesh!  When will all of this get fixed for them?  I can't take much more of their guilt & sadness.

I loved the hinting of another of my favorite series - Kresley Cole's Immortals After Dark.  Gosh, I'd love a crossover between them... It would be full of all sorts of hotness and awesomeness!!!!

Overall, this is a pretty good book, and I am definitely already reading the next book!  I highly recommend it!
Happy Reading!


Thursday, June 26, 2014

The Darkest Pleasure by Gena Showalter


Reyes is a man possessed. Bound by the demon of pain, he is forbidden to know pleasure. Yet he craves a mortal woman, Danika Ford, more than breath and will do anything to claim her--even defy the gods.Danika is on the run. For months she's eluded the Lords of the Underworld, immortal warriors who won't rest until she and her family have been destroyed. But her dreams are haunted by Reyes, the warrior whose searing touch she can't forget. Yet a future together could mean death to all they both hold dear..


The Darkest Pleasure by Gena Showalter
5 out of 5

If you aren't reading this series y'all, you better fix that mistake!  This delicious series is a must on your get-to-it-quick TBR list!

So, I'll be honest, I wasn't looking forward to reading Reyes's book.  He seems so tormented, and since he and Danika already had such a rocky start, I wasn't sure how well it would turn out.  Now, I regret that I was even hesitant to read this book, because it was awesome!

Can I just say that Ms. Showalter is one creative author!  I love how she has Hope as a demon.  Something so happy, light, and "hopeful" (for lack of a better word) being considered "evil" is hard to believe.  But the way Ms. Showalter described him, I can so see it.  

Reyes has dealt with and dealt out a lot of pain.  But no matter his attitude you still want him to have a happily-ever-after. 

Danika really grows as a character, even since the first book.  And I love when it happens and when the author makes it happen well.  She goes from a sheltered and gentle girl to a strong and wise woman.  

Cronus is such an ass!  But he seems to crave what it eans to be human.  Which could make things interesting.  

What a twist with who is running the Hunters!  I loved that!

It took several books, but (FINALLY) Aeron is finally back to being himself... Though you have to wonder how long it will be before the stress of what happened finally breaks him. 

I liked Ms. Showalters take on the All Seeing Eye... I had kinda expected a crystal ball or a mirror.  But what it actually turns out to be is so much better.  

Poor, poor Paris!  So close to a form of freedom, but he had to make that DAMNED sacrifice!  I wanted to yell, cry, and throw my book across the room!  Not fair!  But I'm sure Ms. Showalter will fix this... I hope that she will fix this... PLEASE FIX THIS!

I think it was amazing how Reyes wanted nothing but gentle kindness with Danika, but Danika proved to him that she could take anything he has to give.  

I think that my favorite stuff was how Reyes "rescued" Danika (with her help, of course).  And can I just say I appreciated that just because he was being transported by the portal/Eye, it wasn't a painless trip... Actually, it was kind of funny to just read what happened.   

Overall, this is a delicious book.  But be warned, there is mutilation involved with Pain.  Don't let that put you off because this book is a must read!

Happy Reading!


Monday, June 23, 2014

The Darkest Kiss by Gena Showalter


She has tempted many men...but never found her equal. Until now.
Though she has lived for centuries, Anya, goddess of Anarchy, has never known pleasure. Until Lucien, the incarnation of death--a warrior eternally doomed to take souls to the hereafter. He draws her like no other. And Anya will risk anything to have him.

But when the merciless Lord of the Underworld is ordered by the gods to claim Anya herself, their uncontrollable attraction becomes an anguished pursuit. Now they must defeat the unconquerable forces that control them, before their thirst for one another demands a sacrifice of love beyond imagining...


The Darkest Kiss by Gena Showalter
5 out of 5

I give Lucien (Death) props... I didn't have to wait long for the hotness to start!  

Wow!  Understanding the reason that Lucien has scars is heart breaking.  And I want nothing more than for someone to just hug and hold him.  

OMGoodness!  The side story with Paris and Sienna was awesome and heartbreaking!  I had so much hope for them together.  Ms. Showalter, I expect some wonderful story later on for Paris!  

I love Anya as a character.  So much of her personality and emotions were things I could relate to.  She is strong, brave, and a bit crazy.  I loved her determination and her snarkiness!

Lucien is one sexy demon-possessed man.  What he did to save Anya was hot!  What insecurities he struggled with were relatable.  And how he was smart enough to get Anya back was awesome.  

Aeron getting loose was scary.  You know that it is bad news for Dnaika and Reyes.  And after the fight between him and Reyes, you hope that he is defeated quickly.  

Cronos is one nasty bastard, and I hope he gets what is coming to him.

I don't know if I like Will or not, but I'm interested to see how things work out for him.  

Overall, this is a great book!  I highly recommend it!
Happy Reading!


Friday, June 20, 2014

Wolf's Bane by Ash Krafton


When life gives you lemons, all you can do is try to avoid paper cuts.
Since becoming oracle to the demivampire two years ago, advice columnist Sophie has battled werewolves and survived a vampire attack (or two). However, not only was she powerless to save her lover Marek when he slipped to the brink of evolution, she also witnessed his transformation into a falcon, the symbol of Horus United.
Sophie’s quest to save Marek is further complicated when rock star Dierk Adeluf – who also happens to be the king of the Werekind – invites her backstage after a concert. Just when it seems she will find respite from heartache, Sophie is bitten by a werewolf and Dierk decides she is destined to be his queen.
Sophie is caught between the demivamps she loves and the Were who commands her to love him. Throw in his jealous wanna-be girlfriend and an ambush by witches, and there you have the big mess that Sophie calls her life. And, hello? Her soul mate is still a bird.
She’s supposed to be the girl with all the answers, but Sophie needs more than a little advice--she needs divine intervention.

Wolf's Bane by Ash Krafton
5+ out of 5

So let me tell you how much I LOVE this book, and this series!  I've been hooked since the beginning, and I can't help but love everything about it.  And this book was soo good, that I was sneaking it into work and other places where e-readers were banned... I couldn't help it!  A book this good is worth the consequences of getting caught!  Which I did... Several times... And it was SO worth it!

BEST HAPPY ENDING EVER!  That is what this book has.  I didn't see it coming, and it had me jumping up and down, wanting to text friends about how happy I was with just happened in the book (at which point some of my friends kindly tried to remind me that it was just a book.  I'm going to have to teach them that they aren't just books :-) ).  

So, about the rest of the book... 

The prologue just broke my heart for Sophie.  I think she is seeking help for an impossible situation in the wrong place.  Instead of accepting and mourning the loss of Marek, she is in denial... Which is one of the worst stages of grief in my opinion.  But even with all the denial and grief, I still have hope.   Because the Sophia is hope.  Period.  

But on the subject of grief, this book covers the gamut, and I approve.  Ms. Krafton hits the nail on the head about grief, and as the reader I can very much relate to Sophie's grief in the loss of Marek.  I think the grief is worse for her because the lost the person in only a part.  I relate this best in how I've lost my dad that I knew to a stroke.  He is still alive, but he isn't the man I knew and loved before the stroke... He is missing.  And that is what it is like for Sophie.  Marek is still alive, but is a gyrfalcon... And for her the grief is even worse because of the looking for a cure, the hope of a cure.  


Can I just say that the concert/festival sounded really cool.  I mean, I knew no good could come from it, but still... I wish I could have been there... 

What is up with Rodrian?  I mean, does he have a crush on Sophie?  Is he hoping to be the man in Sophie's heart, in place of Marek?  I kind of felt sad for him, and didn't know whether to cheer him on, or want to boo him out of the book.  

A soul-bond with a Were when you are the Sophia for the DV sounds like it would potentially be an epic disaster.  And really most of the book keeps pointint that out.  What else, its sad that Sophie can't give Dierk a chance because of Marek!  I kind of liked Dierk (I'm a Were fan, so shoot me :-P)....  

Okay, the idea of the Leni sounds kind of cool.  Except I didn't like not getting all the information up front.  I felt that the Weres were sort of treating Sophie like she was some idiot, not giving her all the information upfront and honest like.  

Yay!  Finally, we get to look at the Were culture through a Were... Everything we've gotten in the other books has been colored by DV prejudices.  Now that we have a clean slate and have gotten to learn about them, I'd like to see more Were stories!  

Oh, the frustration!  To think the whole time about becoming a Were, and then suddenly there is a BIG twist that happens, and it is NOT what you were expecting, and WOW!  Again, loved that I was still able to be surprised.  

I loved getting to see Shiloh, Dahlia, Toby, and Fraidy.  Characters that I have loved from the other books, it was great to see how they have progressed, grown, and are still characters that I love.  

Overally, this is a great book, an awesome series, and if you haven't read it yet, you must!  I highly recommend it!

Happy Reading!


Thursday, June 19, 2014

If Angels Burn by Lynn Viehl


Dr. Alexandra Keller is Chicago's most brilliant reconstructive surgeon.

Michael Cyprien is New Orleans's most reclusive millionaire--and in desperate need of Dr. Keller's skills.

Beneath the foundation of a mansion in the heart of the Garden District, Alexandra will perform an illegal surgery. Her patient's disfigurement is beyond medical repair. But his body's ability to recuperate from his wounds borders on the miraculous.

Alexandra knows Michael Cyprien is no ordinary patient. Intrigued by how his remarkable physiology might benefit medical science, she is even more compelled by his presence--and the mystery surrounding him and his associates, a cadre of immortals who call themselves the Darkyn.


If Angels Burn by Lynn Viehl
2 out of 5

Okay, so it takes several chapters (8 chapters to be exact) to actually find out what a Darkyn is.  And it is a little cliche when you find out.  I was really hoping for something cooler... Not vampire.  

The post-surgery sequence is a bit too much like a bad LSD trip.  Not really fun, understanding what was going on was pointless... And what the point of the bad trip is to show that they shared blood.... Sigh!

Gosh, I hated all the parts with Alex's brother, John.  He is a giant downer in the book.  I honestly started to skip a lot of the parts with him.  Wasn't worth my time or energy.  

There is too much double crossing, multiple identies, and secrets in this book.  Ugh!

There are too many loopholes that are trying to be tied up in this book!

Overall, a bit of a confusing book.  What is said in one chapter seems to change in the next.  Hints , clue or obvious statements that should happen don't... Almost as if the author is trying to throw twists into the story.  Not a series that I'm willing to continue , and I question reading anything else by this author.  
Happy Reading!


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Release Day Celebration! Wolf's Bane by Ash Krafton

So, 3 years ago, I was introduced to the amazing world of the Demimonde.  And since then, I've been hooked!  I'm so glad to announce that the 3rd book in this series, Wolf's Bane is now out!

For reviews on the first 2 books, please click on the titles:  Bleeding Hearts and Blood Rush.

The review for this book will be coming out later this week, but here is a preview:

So let me tell you how much I LOVE this book, and this series!  I've been hooked since the beginning, and I can't help but love everything about it.  And this book was soo good, that I was sneaking it into work and other places where e-readers were banned... I couldn't help it!  A book this good is worth the consequences of getting caught!  


When life gives you lemons, all you can do is try to avoid paper cuts.
Since becoming oracle to the demivampire two years ago, advice columnist Sophie has battled werewolves and survived a vampire attack (or two). However, not only was she powerless to save her lover Marek when he slipped to the brink of evolution, she also witnessed his transformation into a falcon, the symbol of Horus United.
Sophie’s quest to save Marek is further complicated when rock star Dierk Adeluf – who also happens to be the king of the Werekind – invites her backstage after a concert. Just when it seems she will find respite from heartache, Sophie is bitten by a werewolf and Dierk decides she is destined to be his queen.
Sophie is caught between the demivamps she loves and the Were who commands her to love him. Throw in his jealous wanna-be girlfriend and an ambush by witches, and there you have the big mess that Sophie calls her life. And, hello? Her soul mate is still a bird.
She’s supposed to be the girl with all the answers, but Sophie needs more than a little advice--she needs divine intervention.

Goodreads page:

Also, the first book BLEEDING HEARTS is available for Kindle and Nook readers for only 1.99. You may encourage your readers to start at the beginning with this great sale price.

BH Links:

Rafflecopter code:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


The man sitting across from me absolutely hated himself.
I didn’t need to unzip my barriers to make that assessment. The way his shoulders crept up his neck, the curve of his back that left his face parallel to his thighs, the way he avoided looking at me or anyone else—body language said it all. And when he did finally raise his too-heavy head to look at me, his eyes were stony and hollow, too dead to even care what anyone saw in them.
He wore his self-loathing the way I wished I wore Jimmy Choos—right out there for the whole world to see. Difference was, he didn’t care who looked.
I glanced at the demivamp who hovered behind him like a first-year teacher. She toyed with the end of her braid and looked ready to throw herself onto him if need be. Maybe he was a flight risk. Maybe he was a danger to himself.
Maybe he was a danger to me. In that case, the other DV wasn’t necessary. I didn’t worry so much about myself anymore. I’d learned a thing or two about staying alive.
Not to mention, I had an entire courtroom full of DV that perched on the semi-circles of benches, elbow to elbow, each waiting their turn with the Sophia. I knew full well every single one of them would fling themselves between me and whatever peril might arise here.
I was well-guarded. Perks of being a national treasure.
I flicked my gaze up to the DV who stood behind my client, dismissing her. Once she took her place in the audience, I sank into my Sophia sight. Finding my center and called up my barriers, peeling away the outermost layer and expanding it until it encompassed us both in an invisible but completely sound-proof bubble.
A nifty little trick I’d learned since Dorcas removed the last remaining obstacles between me and my power. She hadn’t been much of a dresser and had a weird thing for vampires, not to mention acting like the scariest damned thing I’d ever seen, but I had to hand it to her. She’d done me a solid.
When the barrier went up around us, there was a little ear-pop of sensation. He seemed to notice me then. His eyes took up a pale light, gleaming like the teeth he hid behind the disdainful curl of his lips. His power seethed out like the odor of a hot dumpster—the feel of it decayed and ugly and absolutely desperate.
I smiled, grim and hard. This guy might be the farthest gone DV I’d ever met. He was going to be a challenge.
I decided to start the same way I always did, knowing this one might not end the same way. “What’s your name?”
He stared me down for several moments. “You want my current name or the one that’s waiting for me?”
Obviously, he was referring to the name change that happened when a DV Fell. Vampires never kept their DV names. All part of the whole born-again (dead-again?) persona of a newly-minted vamp.
“You have one name,” I said, my voice like tungsten. “And you’re going to keep it.”
“Like you can stop me.”
I smiled again, glad I had chosen to wear lip gloss because my mouth was so dry, my lips would have split without it. “I can. And I will.”
“Look, lady.” He leaned forward, elbows on his knees. The pale light in his dark eyes looked like an early hard frost on a green lawn. Untimely end of a sweet season. “I know who you are, and I know what you do. Sometimes, you just gotta let nature take its course.”
“This isn’t nature. This is self-punishment.”
He smiled, open-mouthed to show all his teeth. Sharp, elongated, a mouth full of knives. A vamp’s mouth. “And I earned every single minute of it.”
Okay. Tough guy. Proud of the shitty things he’s done. That was part of the thrill of being so close to Falling. Kind of like passing over the event horizon into a black hole, when one part of you accelerates faster than the rest. His soul was a ragged plastic bag caught on a tree branch, waiting for the last big wind to come along.
His heart had already flown loose. In his heart, he was a vampire.
Well, his body was still here, and his soul was still here, and I was still here. He was in for a surprise.
I surveyed his power, using Sophia-sight to visualize it. It was dark, like cooling lava, black and cracked and sullen red showing through the seams. The black crust was his resignation. He’d stopped fighting. Well, maybe he just needed the right sparring partner.
How did you get rid of hard, black cooling lava? Why, you heat it up, of course. Nothing got a man hotter than his temper.
Well, that wasn’t exactly true. There were other things, but that wasn’t my brand of therapy.
I pushed through his brittle ugly shell into the lava beneath, then through the lava to his inner core. It was tiny, but it was cool, and green, and still had the essence of who he used to be. His feelings were still packed away inside and I latched onto it, expanded it, examined it. Family. He had kids. A job. He’d been a lawyer, and a good one. He was proud of what he’d done—in the beginning.
Ah. That’s where it started to turn. I sifted along the line of those memories and found the point when he started fighting for the bad guys.
“A dirty lawyer?” I snorted and rolled my eyes. “There’s a shock. Your parents must be so proud.”
He growled and dug his fingers into his thighs. “Shut up.”
“No wonder you turned into this.” I waved my fingers at him as if I were calling out a Coach bag knock-off at a street vendor. “I thought you were going to say you ate babies or something but a corrupt lawyer? That’s sick.”
Rage filled him like a burning warehouse, the fury consuming his power. If it weren’t for my personal shields, I’d have been incinerated. The fire of his anger melted the hard shell of his former apathy and he’d become a miniature sun of murderous intent.
He wanted to end me, wanted nothing more than to get his hands on me.
I beat him to it.
Like the flick of a mental finger, I opened the door in my mind where all the bad stuff went. It was like a vacuum in there and once it was open, it just sucked at his power, the ugly, the hate and the agony he’d surrounded himself with and I pulled.
It hurt. It hurt me, it was like sandpaper on the eyes and it hurt him. He howled as I ripped away all the fury of his self-loathing and hate.
Normally, I did this in steps, gently, kind of a leeching away. Not this guy. I had to over-power him because at this stage, he could just grow it all back. Vampires were infinite wells of hate and evil and this guy was so damned close.
His howl became a roar and he made a lunge for me. I slid a ramrod of my shields at him and held him at a mental arm’s length. He struggled to reach me, his clawed hands inches from my eyes and if he got to me, if he reached me, he’d tear my throat out.
No, he wouldn’t. I was stronger than that. I bit down on my lips and tasted the tang of blood and continued to strip his agony away.
This little man wasn’t big enough to break me. I continued to pull away the damage of his soul, and sent a simultaneous stream of the Sophia into him, a cool mist against the acrid hate. His soul had been dried and withered and it soaked up the Sophia’s healing rain, swelling and anchoring itself once more.
The fight was going out of him. He dropped his hands, fighting to breathe. Part of my brain screamed to stop, this was too much, too fast. But a part of my heart was intent on pushing the limits, almost wishing to break because maybe then—just maybe—I’d break past whatever unknown obstacle had been holding me back. Desperation drove me just as surely as it had driven him.
So I was relentless. I continued the pull and the push and I found myself standing over his slumped body. He’d slid down in his chair, head dropped against the back of the cushion, his eyes darkening into a deep green, like spring grass. And I didn’t stop.
I didn’t stop until he’d fallen to his knees before me, forehead pressed to my feet, crying and repeating words I couldn’t hear because the Sophia was too much in control. My ears didn’t work right when she was filling my head. I kind of got used to it.
When it was all gone, all the damage and the negativity and the self-hate, the Sophia pulled itself back, sealing the drain. Sound returned, and I could hear his labored breathing, his murmured chanting. My insides still felt raw. That would take a day or two to settle down.
I was aware the outer barrier was still up and I dispelled it. Another ear-pop and we were both submerged in a cacophony of applause and happy shouting. Several people rushed forward to embrace him, hugs for him, awkward hugs for me. I backed away from the jostling and let his family and friends bear him back to the seats. He beamed at me, incredulous joy and gratitude on his face.
And it didn’t touch me at all.
I only had two thoughts. The first was: I had just gotten inside him, battled his demons, saved his soul, but I never learned his name. Maybe it was better that way. There were so many DV. I couldn’t remember all their names and keep my sanity.
The second was: it hadn’t been enough. He was, by far, the worst I’d encountered and it still wasn’t enough. There had been no revelation, clue, no hint how to fix the one problem I needed to fix.
I’d come no closer to solving Marek’s problem.
A terrible panic tried to grip me but I squashed it down. I swallowed hard and pinched myself and turned to the crowd. The entire group fell silent, hanging on my words.
“Another,” I called. “Please. I need another.”
And I continued to heal, and I continued to need, and I continued to fight the growing fear that in the end, I might save a million DV and still stand to lose the one I truly loved.
Another stepped forward, and after him another, and it was pushing dawn before I realized none of it had given me what I needed to save Marek.
I stared bleakly at the sea of hopeful faces. So many saves, so many solutions, all of it dwarfed in the shadow of my heart’s crushing failure. All my exhaustion, all my despair, all of the raw edges inside me, seething with the scalds of so much negative energy, and all I could think was that I had to do this all again for the next envoy in three days’ time.
Einstein’s Definition of Insanity Sophie, that’s me.

Author Bio:

Ash Krafton is a writer of all things spec fic. She believes spectacular endings make the best beginnings... Why not? One billion black holes can't be wrong.

Her urban fantasy series The Books of the Demimonde is available through Pink Narcissus Press ( It includes the titles BLEEDING HEARTS, BLOOD RUSH, and the upcoming WOLF'S BANE, expected June 2014.

Her urban fantasy novelette STRANGER AT THE HELL GATE is with the Black Rose line of The Wild Rose Press ( WORDS THAT BIND is her first full-length paranormal romance and will be available through TWRP Faery Rose line.

In addition to novel-length fiction, Ash enjoys writing poetry and short fiction, some of which earned awards and distinction in several national competitions. One of her poems was selected as a Pushcart prize nominee. She's a member of Pennwriters, RWA, Pikes Peak Writers, SFPA, and the Maryland Writers Association. She also contributes to Query Tracker's blog at

Ash resides with her family in a rural town in the heart of the Pennsylvania anthracite coal region. She'll never leave, either, because coal is just another example of a spectacular ending waiting for a brilliant beginning. (It's kinda fitting.)

And because, like a black hole, once you're in... can never get out. 

Want an autograph for your ebook? Just CLICK HERE to go to Authorgraph!

Happy Reading!


Monday, June 16, 2014

The Darkest Night by Gena Showalter


His powers - Inhuman...

His passion - Beyond immortal...

All her life, Ashlyn Darrow has been tormented by voices from the past. To end the nightmare, she has come to Budapest seeking help from men rumored to have supernatural abilities, not knowing she'll be swept into the arms of Maddox, their most dangerous member -- a man trapped in a hell of his own.

Neither can resist the instant hunger than calms their torments... and ignites an irresistible passion. But every heated touch and burning kiss will edge them closer to destruction -- and a soul-shattering test of love...
Though they carry an eternal curse, the Lords of the Underworld are irresistibly seductive -- and unimaginably powerful...


The Darkest Night by Gena Showalter
5 out of 5

First off, I LOVE Gena Showalter's books... I've been addicted to them since the first time I read Ecstasy in Darkness. Now with that being said, I LOVED this book!  Definitely a new favorite of mine!

Ashlyn is such a strong character... Then again, she kinda had to be.  Being isolated due to her gift, and having no family to care and love her, she had to be strong.  Otherwise, she would have stopped living.  But she is more than just strong of spirit.  She is strong in how she loves, how she lives, and in how she determines what will happen in her life.  I like that about her.  

Maddox is a man burdened with guilt, regret, and violence.  But with the "gift" that Ashlyn, some of that changes.  Yes, he still struggles with all those things, but he doesn't let those things control him.  

I like the idea that the demon mark is a butterfly.  Not something I would normally think of as demonic.  But, maybe you need something beautiful to give hope for something that is both dark and dangerous.  

Now, I will say that there are some confusing things.  We start out with Pain, Violence, Death, Promiscuity, Disease, and Wrath.  Yet half way through the book, we discover that there are also Doubt, Misery, Destruction, Lies, Secrets, and Defeat.  That are a lot of demons to keep track of, especially when they keep switching between their names and their demon's names.

The idea of the institute and the hunters definitely add something.  An organization that feels like they are helping save the world against evil is not unusual.  The fact that the organization has started to loose its moral compass isn't unusual either, but the idea that this is an ancient one that has turned scientific is.  They still seek to rid the world of evil, but testing and experimenting is something new, fun, and exciting.  

I love the use of Greek mythos.  Stories that I grew up reading have now become so much better when Ms. Showalter writes it out.  

I love how this story feels like a very adult Beauty and the Beast.  I love that story, so I kinda automatically love this one.  

The search for Pandora's box seems to be what will drive this series (besides the hot sex).  I'm looking forward to seeing that storyline to the end.

Overall, this is a great story.  I'm looking forward to reading the rest in this series!  I highly recommend it.
Happy Reading!


Thursday, June 12, 2014

A Witch's Handbook of Kisses & Curses by Molly Harper


Nola Leary would have been content to stay in Kilcairy, Ireland, healing villagers at her family’s clinic with a mix of magic and modern medicine. But a series of ill-timed omens and a deathbed promise to her grandmother have sent her on a quest to Half-Moon Hollow, Kentucky, to secure her family’s magical potency for the next generation. Her supernatural task? To unearth four artifacts hidden by her grandfather before a rival magical family beats her to it.

Complication One: Her grandfather was Mr. Wainwright and the artifacts are lost somewhere in what is now Jane Jameson's book shop. 

Complication Two: her new neighbor, Jed Trudeau, who keeps turning up half naked at the strangest times, a distraction Nola doesn't need. And teaming up with a real-life Adonis is as dangerous as it sounds, especially when he’s got the face of an angel and the abs of a washboard—can Nola complete her mission before falling completely under his spell?


A Witch's Handbook of Kisses & Curses by Molly Harper
5 out of 5

The first sentence mad em laugh out loud!  It was hilarious!  And my co-workers didn't seem to appreciate it or its humor like I did, but their opinion really doesn't count, now does it :-P

The way Nola described Mama Ginger's Precious Moments collection was too funny for words.  I never thought of them as porcelain machete-welding creatures... But now I think I agree.

The seance was a bit interesting.  Between Andrea, Nola, and Jane, I couldn't help but giggle at the use of the die and the Ouija board.  Never would have thought of that, but it is pretty ingenious.  

Jed... The Greek-statue-come-to-life... What a great character!  He is a mystery & sweet tea with a slice of pecan pie kind of character... So just plain yummy!  And his "curse" was so interesting, so unique.  I don't think that I have ever read of a curse that was like that... So very cool.

What a twist about Nola's mother!  Didn't see that one coming.  I love it when an author can surprise me!

Overall, this is a great little book!  I highly recommend it, even if you haven't read the other books!
Happy Reading!


Monday, June 9, 2014

Divergent by Veronica Roth


In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue--Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is--she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are--and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, Tris also learns that her secret might help her save the ones she loves . . . or it might destroy her.


Divergent by Veronica Roth
5+ out of 5

So, my friend Kelly insisted for a while that I need to read this book.... Actually, she insisted everyone to read this book.  And for a while I didn't listen.  Then my wonderful boyfriend got me the book, and I am now officially like my friend Kelly.  You really need to read this book.  

I find the idea of the different factions to be interesting.  To completely devote your life to one thing, one limiting thing, would be so hard.  Unfortunately, I think I'd be the one who would be one of the factionless.  

So, there were a lot of things that I found interesting and/or surprising.  

  1. Like how Tris had never had a hamburger before!  OMGoodness, I love hamburgers!  I can't imagine growing up without ever having eaten one before.  I would never consider a a hamburger a luxury or an extravagance.  
  2. I found it iteresting that Tobias is also divergant, but his level is a lower degree of divergent.  I definitely wasn't expecting that there are varying degrees of it.  
  3. The biggest surprise came when it was revealed that Tris' mom was orginally dautless.  But the bigger mystery is what she wants Tris and her brother Caleb to do.  And then we find out that she is divergent as well.  Which makes me wonder if being divergent is genetic?
Divergent... It is something dangerous in this society, something free, something different.  But we really don't understand what it really means to be divergent or what it means for that society.  What we do know is that divergent means death.

For being Tobias from Abnegation was kind of expected.  But the fact that he ends up caring for Tris was not.  He is everythig that Tris needs, which helps balance out everything about Tris.  

I didn't trust the Erudites from the get go.  I knew that they were hiding something.  And I don't like people hiding things... It puts me on edge.  

Poor Al!  He struggled from the beginning with being Dauntless the way Eric thinks it should be.  But the fact that he helps Peter to do that horrible thing, and then commits suicide causes mixed feelings.  Either way, I agree with Tris that becoming factionless is better than being dead.  

I could not stand Peter!  He is a horrible little maggot.... and I kind of hoped that something horrible would happen to him. 

The loss of Tris' mom, dad, and will are just the sound bells of all the losses that anyone feel s when they are at war.  But that doesn't make it easier.  I find it incredibly brave and selfless that Tris was able to continue.  

Overall, this is an amazing book!  I love it!  And I can't wait to read the rest of the series!
Happy Reading!