Review--Blood Bath & Beyond by Michelle Rowen

Sarah Dearly is adjusting to life as a fledgling vampire, satisfying her cravings at vampire-friendly blood banks. But when her fiancĂ© Thierry takes a job with the Ring—the secret council in charge of keeping vampires in line—Sarah’s about to get more than a taste of danger…

Being engaged to a centuries-old master vampire can be challenging—especially when he takes a job with the Ring. Thierry’s in for fifty years of nonstop travel and deadly risk. It’s enough to make any woman reconsider the wedding…any woman except Sarah, that is.

Traveling to Las Vegas for his first assignment, they encounter a child beauty pageant contestant from hell, as well as a vampire serial killer leaving victims drained of blood, potentially exposing the existence of vampires to the whole world. But when Thierry’s truly ancient history comes back to haunt him, and he’s accused of a crime he didn't commit, it’s up to Sarah to clear his name before their immortal lives come to an end.


Blood Bath & Beyond is Michelle Rowen's foray into the mystery world! I love a good paranormal mystery and Victoria Laurie's quote on the cover is what led me to try this one out. It was pretty good, but I guess what threw me off was that while this is a NEW series, it's a spinoff of Michelle's previous paranormal romance one that involved the characters. So I missed 5 books worth of info, but again, this is the first in this series.

Yeah, kind of confusing. But like I said, I basically just missed quite a lot of back story, but I tried to not let that bother me. So of course mentioning old friends and whatnot and the unsaid history there, leaves you wondering a bit, but overall, I didn't struggle too much.

Thierry is a 600 year-old vampire engaged to his fledging Sarah. He's been "offered" a new job he can't refuse to be apart of the Ring--basically the vampire justice system that keeps vamps in line. He must go to Vegas and basically tell a vampire child beauty contestant that she must stop entering pageants, because it is a risk to the vampire society which must be kept secret from humans. And Sarah agrees to come along.

Where the mystery lies is when Thierry's predecessor and old acquaintance is murdered. And the number one suspect is Thierry. The Ring sends in its enforcers to exact justice, but Sarah knows that Thierry would never hire a hunter to kill a vampire, no matter how much he may dislike said vampire. So she does a bit of investigating of her own.

I enjoyed this mystery quite a bit. I didn't foresee who our murderer is, because there's also a lot more going on. Such as another serial killer killing humans one a day for the past week, in a way that is very much like a vampire taking a bite out of their necks. Vegas is most definitely the city that never sleeps and it is quite dangerous at the current time apparently! No one is safe, neither humans or vampires and Sarah struggles to find the real killer so that Thierry is in the clear and they can move on to their happily ever after.

There's quite a bit of secrets going on in this one, and not just the aspects of the mystery. But with Thierry himself, although I was able to guess as his real motives and that proved correct. Thierry is a pretty mysterious vampire. I guess missing the first series left me to miss out on his character development but I could never seem to get a grasp of why he is the way he is. There were times I wondered if he really cared for Sarah like he claimed because he was just so darn secretive! It drove me nuts! And Sarah too for that matter.

But all answers come in the end. All around questions and mysteries are solved and new problems are set into place--very minor ones really, just to get the new mystery series going. It was definitely a fun, cozy mystery for sure. If you like Victoria Laurie and Juliet Blackwell kind of mysteries I definitely recommend this one, but that paranormal aspect kind of gets forgotten sometimes. Even though the characters are vampires, it feels almost normal! Not sure what that says about my own personality, but I look forward to more mysteries with Sarah!


Overall Rating 3.5/5 stars


 

ARC Review--Mortal Danger by Ann Aguirre

Revenge is a dish best served cold.

Edie Kramer has a score to settle with the beautiful people at Blackbriar Academy. Their cruelty drove her to the brink of despair, and four months ago, she couldn't imagine being strong enough to face her senior year. But thanks to a Faustian compact with the enigmatic Kian, she has the power to make the bullies pay. She's not supposed to think about Kian once the deal is done, but devastating pain burns behind his unearthly beauty, and he's impossible to forget.

In one short summer, her entire life changes, and she sweeps through Blackbriar, prepped to take the beautiful people down from the inside. A whisper here, a look there, and suddenly... bad things are happening. It's a heady rush, seeing her tormentors get what they deserve, but things that seem too good to be true usually are, and soon, the pranks and payback turns from delicious to deadly. Edie is alone in a world teeming with secrets and fiends lurking in the shadows. In this murky morass of devil's bargains, she isn't sure who—or what--she can trust. Not even her own mind...


I received this ARC from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review, I was in no way compensated for this review.


Ann Aguirre's Mortal Danger was quite the intense read! It was emotionally well driven and I was left just shocked at the end! Yes, there were tears throughout and other feelings going on, but by the end I was in love and was craving for more!

Edie is not your typical teen. She's the victim of severe bullying, her looks aren't considered pretty by any means and she's tired of it all. She plans to commit suicide in the beginning but is stopped right away by a guy named Kian. He offers her a deal that is too good to be true, "three magical wishes" that she can basically use to get revenge on the kids that made her life hell.

I was immediately reminded of the story of Faustus when I read the description, basically making a devil's bargain. For after Edie uses her three wishes, she will in turn have to grant three favors to the benefactors of her wishes. For Kian is merely an agent for a larger company. What that company is remains to be a mystery.

Edie wishes right away to be "beautiful", it aids in her plan to take down the crew of bullies who tormented her to the extreme. And she gets her wish with no strings attached--that we're aware of!--and quickly enacts her plan once the school year starts.

But as time moves on, Edie realizes that the bullies aren't all as vicious as she thought. Which this here confused me. That Edie could see the humanity of them, that they had feelings too. But yet, what they did to Edie was unbelievably cruel and evil. But yet, she starts to care about a few of them. She doesn't wish them complete ill, because really, really bad things start to happen and they happen to this crowd.

I was surprised by how much Kian was around for Edie. The description led me to believe that he would basically disappear on her until she asks for her next wish. But he ended up being quite a constant in her life. And I have to admit, I fell for him just as hard as Edie. He has his own broken past as well, and you really start to feel for the guy, but yet like Edie, you wonder how much you can trust him as well, because he is working for the bad guys.

And the bad guys are seriously bad.

This was such an intense read! Soooo much happened! Way more than I expected to see in the first book! So many shocks and twists and turns! It was amazing! And yet completely emotional at the same time! I'll admit, I teared up a bit at times. I wasn't expecting to be near balling, but I was! This book definitely struck a chord in me, because who at some point, hasn't experienced bullying of some kind? Granted, I never endured something as heinous as Edie did.

And the ending! Oh the ending! It was definitely another shocker! One that left me gasping! There's still quite a bit that we don't know about some of the odd going-ons in Boston but I am definitely looking forward to finding out! This is going to be one epic trilogy! I highly urge you all to read it! It's thrilling, intense, and as I said, emotional, but it combined these elements in such a way that you can help but eat up the pages and feel for Edie and all that she goes through! And her journey is only beginning! Next book, please!


Overall Rating 5/5 stars


Mortal Danger releases August 5, 2014



It's Monday! What are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. It's a fun meme where we gather to share what we've read last week and our reading plans for this week.


Just as I finish all my review books, I add a few more! And there's some pending requests on Netgalley still too! Fingers crossed!


Last Week I Read:

Black Dog by Caitlin Kittredge (ARC)--Review to come at a later date
Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick (ARC)--Review to come at a later date
The Fiery Heart by Richelle Mead (5 stars)
Wings by Elizabeth Richards (4 stars)


Currently Reading:

Blood Bath & Beyond by Michelle Rowen


What I Plan to Read this Week:

Visions by Kelley Armstrong
Silver Shadows by Richelle Mead--granted I have to wait until tomorrow when it arrives, but I will be reading it!


Other Posts of Interest:

 
 
 
And don't forget my 1600 followers is still ongoing this week! Check out the multitude of prizes to be won! And please remember the Book Depository giveaway is for INTERNATIONAL followers only.





Stacking the Shelves

This weekly meme is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

Stacking The Shelves is all about the books we are adding to our shelves each week, sharing with you our excitement for our newest titles and maybe have you discover a new book in the process!



I had a pretty decent week! Didn't add too much to the TBR mountain and didn't come out totally empty-handed, which all in all, makes for a pretty darn good week I'd say!


For review from the publishers, I received:

 Blood Games by Chloe Neill--a FINISHED copy!!
Visions by Kelley Armstrong

THANK YOU NAL TRADE & DUTTON!

These two definitely made my week!

I received from the author for review:

First & Forever by Alyssa Rose Ivy (ARC)

THANK YOU ALYSSA!!


Then I also bought, because I couldn't resist using the coupons B&N sent me:

The Glass Casket by McCormick Templeman--the hardcover that cost me $10 and change!
Silver by Rhiannon Held


And that was my week! What did you get?!




Top 5 Sundays

Top 5 Sundays is a weekly blog meme created by Larissa at Larissa and Friends' Bookish Life.

 Every Sunday I will post a TOP 5 list on the blog. It can be about anything and every week I'll have a new theme {You can vote on next week’s theme on my left sidebar!} and I will ad the Mr.Linky bellow the post so you can do a list with the theme and add you link to it.

Rules:
1 - Write a post listing your TOP 5 choices within the theme I chose (or was chosen on a poll) for the week.
2 - Mention this Blog on the post and link back to it.
3 - Feel free to use the Feature's image (there is a smaller size version of it bellow)
4 - After you've finished your post, add you link (of the post, not your blog's main page) to the Mr.Linky at the end of that week's post.
5 – If you don’t have a blog to post, just leave your list in the comments =)



This week's topic is: FAVORITE DISNEY MOVIES!! {Part 2}



*in no particular order

Oh I can do a total update since my last one! Which involved Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Beauty and the Beast, Peter Pan and The Little Mermaid! Time to find 5 different ones...maybe! ;)


TANGLED

Shockingly Tangled hadn't released when we first did this post! And it was still to tentatively be titled Rapunzel! Who'd thought! Definitely LOVE, LOVE this movie! Maximus was by far my fave character! Loved that horse!


FROZEN

Yeah, like this one wouldn't be on my list! I loved Olaf! And definitely gotta love the sisterly bond too!



PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: THE CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL

So it was one of the live action movies, but still Disney! I LOVE this first one the most out of the entire collection to date! Can't believe we still have to wait until 2017 for the next one! But yeah, I saw this one in theaters like 5 times! (Of course tickets were like $5 anyway at the time I'm sure!)


BRAVE

Another cute one! Sure I was bawling like a baby at the end, only saw it once, and need to see it again! But it was cute! I liked how we had a princess who was different and wasn't necessarily looking for love.



BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

So I lied. What can I say? I LOVE this movie! It was one of the first movies I can actually remember seeing in theaters and LOVED it! Belle was so me, because we both rocked the pony tail look and we had brown hair and yeah, we loved to read!



FOUR HOUSES RELEASE +CONTEST

A frightened girl.

An empty field.

Four houses.

Which house would you choose?


FOUR HOUSES is a dark short story told in an unusual format that leaves readers wondering how they'd react if found in the same situation as seventeen-year-old Maddy.








FOUR HOUSES IS OUT NOW!!! Buy a copy today from these retailers or enter for a chance to win a digital copy below!

Buy Links




  a Rafflecopter giveaway




 

Review--Wings by Elizabeth Richards

Following the enthralling cliff-hanger ending of Phoenix, Natalie finds herself separated from Ash and unexpectedly reunited with her parents, including the father she thought was dead. After her escape from prison, Natalie's mother joined the Sentry Rebellion and had Natalie brought to her in Gallium. Natalie's relieved to know her parents are okay, despite her shock at learning her father is alive and well, but she can only think of Ash. She hasn't heard a word of him since she and Elijah were brought to the underground headquarters of the Sentry Rebellion. But she knows he's out there. And she vows not to stop searching for him, even if her parents won't help.

Ash, meanwhile, finds himself back in Black City, which was abandoned after the fires he set ravaged the city weeks ago. Still on the run from the Sentry government and now aligned with Elijah's brothers, it's the perfect place to avoid detection. He worries for Natalie, but the beat of his heart tells him she's still alive somewhere. He won't stop searching until he finds her, even as the United Sentry States and the terrible reign of Purian Rose come crashing down around him.

A PULSE-RACING END TO AN EXCITING SERIES.


So I've finally read Elizabeth Richards' Wings, the conclusion to the Black City trilogy. I had read the first two installments in this series as ARCs, and then to top it off, I read this one over a month after its release. Naturally, my memory was off the fritz with trying to recall what had happened, besides the usual chaos. Add in a different trilogy with a similar setting and yeah, I struggled to get back into the groove of things, but as the pages kept turning, I gradually got into the story anew!

Basically, everything is in chaos in the United Sentry States. Purian Rose is still in power and causing mass destruction in a whole new way. Anyone not human, is a target and as to what he has planned for the country, we can only guess.

Natalie while happy to be with her parents, wants to find Ash and she's denied this at every turn. Until she finally rallies her friends and they go out to do just that. So in turn begins a whole new journey filled with danger and lots of action! Wings made for an incredible read! Add to that a new voice taking over a few chapters and we get some surprising insight. Granted, we have no clue what these past events have to do with the current ones. I really couldn't figure it out at all until it's said, but I blame that on it being over a year since I read Phoenix

I must say this is as "pulse-racing" as the cover jacket predicts! There is just so much action, so much that happens in this one, I was totally blown away! Revelations, deaths a plenty and other shocking twists made this a read to really keep you on your toes! And the ending was definitely the most pulse-racing of all! Just as you think you got things figured out, Elizabeth sends you in another direction to keep your heart racing!

There's definitely still moments of romance though! And despite my shoddy memory, I still totally melted at each and every one! Ash and Natalie are definitely one enjoyable couple! They've had their moments of doubts and struggles, but yet they still come to love one another through it all! 

The ending, the final ending I should say, definitely leaves you feeling content. There's a moment of peace and hope that I always love seeing with our characters. I always feel happy feeling like I know more of where they all stand and this one definitely gives out that feeling! I cannot wait to see what else Elizabeth will bring to us in the future, for I am definitely a fan for life!


Overall Rating 4/5 stars



Follow Friday

This is a weekly blog meme hosted by Parajunkee's View and Alison Can Read.


Here are the general rules to Follow Friday:
1. Follow the Follow My Book Blog Friday Hosts and any one else you want to follow on the list  
2. Follow our Featured Bloggers  
3. Put your Blog name & URL in the Linky thing.  
4. Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say hi in your comments  
5. Follow Follow Follow as many as you can  
6. If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the Love...and the followers 
7. If you want to show the link list, just follow the link below the entries and copy and paste it within your post!  
8. If your new to the follow Friday hop, comment and let me know, so I can stop by and check out your blog!

This week's question is: What is your favorite tv series that you can watch over and over again on Netflix?



MY ANSWER: Hmm...well I don't have Netflix, shocking I know! But there are quite a few shows I can never tire of it seems!

In no particular order, but arranged to look pretty ;) my picks are:



If for some reasons the pics aren't visible, the shows are: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Psych, The Big Bang Theory, and Supernatural (of course!)





Random Thursday

Did you know that October is "Black" month?!

Kidding, but what I mean is there are quite a few books coming out that month with the word "Black" in the title. (Initially when thinking of this post, I thought I had more titles, but apparently not!)

Check it out:

Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick
Black Spring by Christina Henry
Black Dog by Caitlin Kittredge

I might of also had Black Rook on the brain which is actually a recent release by Kelly Meade and a fantastic read! See my review here.







Review--The Fiery Heart by Richelle Mead

Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets - and human lives.

In The Indigo Spell, Sydney was torn between the Alchemist way of life and what her heart and gut were telling her to do. And in one breathtaking moment that Richelle Mead fans will never forget, she made a decision that shocked even her. . . .

But the struggle isn't over for Sydney. As she navigates the aftermath of her life-changing decision, she still finds herself pulled in too many directions at once. Her sister Zoe has arrived, and while Sydney longs to grow closer to her, there's still so much she must keep secret. Working with Marcus has changed the way she views the Alchemists, and Sydney must tread a careful path as she harnesses her profound magical ability to undermine the way of life she was raised to defend. Consumed by passion and vengeance, Sydney struggles to keep her secret life under wraps as the threat of exposure — and re-education — looms larger than ever.

Pulses will race throughout this smoldering fourth installment in the New York Times bestselling Bloodlines series, where no secret is safe.


Needless to say, I caved! I said I wouldn't read this until I had Silver Shadows in my hands, and I should have waited! Richelle Mead's The Fiery Heart was as awesome everyone's been saying it was since November! My resolve not to read this until Silver Shadows lasted up until a week before its release. I have to say though I am proud of myself for waiting this long!

After the OMG-ness of The Indigo Spell where Sydney finally admitted to her feelings for Adrian, we get to be right into a relationship of sorts between them. But naturally, they have to keep it a secret, since a relationship between a Moroi and an Alchemist is like the ultimate taboo, it would be bad enough if Sydney were just a human, but that's not the case, so their relationship is the ultimate secret throughout the book. 

It's even harder on Sydney keeping the relationship a secret--along with all the other things going on in her life; like training to harness her magical abilities and working on a way to counteract the Alchemist tattoo's powers like Marcus had been working on--when her sister Zoe is her new roommate. She's also hanging around Sydney and her friends more as her training to be a full-fledged Alchemist. She's a very ambitious sort and can be a rather pain at times. She's all about the Alchemist rules, basically, think of Sydney when we first met her and how annoying it was with her prejudice against Moroi and dhampirs.

And as the word has spread, we finally get Adrian's point of view in this book! And not just a chapter or two, but like half the book! Alternating between Adrian and Sydney's points of view, we get more insight to the character Adrian is and has become! I really felt for Adrian a lot, the struggles he goes through to be a better person for Sydney, all his doubts and pessimism. My heart ached for the guy more than once! He decides to work on his spirit abilities controlling him and try instead to control them through other means.

Our characters go through a lot of growth. Of course, over the entire course of this series to date and their original appearances in the Vampire Academy series, they have come a long way! The both of them!

Yes, we get to see old friends Rose and Dimitri again. Plus the usual Bloodlines crew! I love seeing these guys again and again! It's truly like visiting with old friends.

A lot of real life problems come up for the gang in this one. Struggles with love and romance are everywhere for all of them. We even have a new guy in the crew, Neil, he is another dhampir set to protect Jill.

The romance really heats up in this one too! OMG, the feels! I truly loved seeing Adrian and Sydney together! I loved getting both their perspectives and knowing how they felt for one another! It's truly amazing! I always envy the authors--granted female ones--who can write so beautifully from the male point of view. I feel like that would be super hard, but that's just from my writing standpoint. Needless to say Richelle does it well!

The ending, oh the ending killed me! I knew it was coming too. I was forewarned of course, but I couldn't stand it anymore! I wanted to be totally ready for when Silver Shadows arrived on my doorstep on Tuesday. And of course now, I felt myself screaming with a bit of agony at the ending! True, it wasn't totally unpredicted. We were given hints in the story itself as to what would happen, in a sense. But yeah, totally wish I had Silver Shadows at the ready, like I initially planned! You'll all be hearing a similar rant after I finish Silver Shadows and am dying for the final book too!

If you're at all a fan of Vampire Academy, you need to be reading the Bloodlines series! The Indigo Spell was the game changer for us fans and now The Fiery Heart is the one that really sets our hearts aflame--to be cliched! ;) --we pretty much know our breath will get caught when reading Silver Shadows and then there will be yet more agony and despair as we await the final installment, The Ruby Circle! I am so ready!


Overall Rating 5/5 stars



Waiting on Wednesday

I hate waiting...
Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly blog post by Jill over at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights releases we're eagerly awaiting.

As #1 New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong’s new Cainsville series continues, Olivia’s power to read omens leads to the discovery of a gruesome crime with troubling connections to her new hometown.

Omens, the first installment in Kelley Armstrong’s exciting new series, introduced Olivia Taylor-Jones, daughter of notorious serial killers, and Gabriel Walsh, the self-serving, morally ambiguous lawyer who became her unlikely ally. Together, they chased down a devious killer and partially cleared her parents of their horrifying crimes.

Their success, however, is short-lived. While Olivia takes refuge in the old, secluded town of Cainsville, Gabriel’s past mistakes have come to light, creating a rift between the pair just when she needs his help the most.

Olivia finds a dead woman in her car, dressed to look like her, but the body vanishes before anyone else sees it. Olivia’s convinced it’s another omen, a sign of impending danger. But then she learns that a troubled young woman went missing just days ago—the same woman Olivia found dead in her car. Someone has gone to great lengths to kill and leave this young woman as a warning. But why? And what role has her new home played in this disturbing murder?

Olivia’s effort to uncover the truth places her in the crosshairs of old and powerful forces, forces that have their own agenda, and closely guarded secrets they don’t want revealed.


I really enjoyed Kelley's new series Cainsville and sooooo cannot wait to see how this series will turn out! It's got just enough mystery and "oddness" to it to keep any paranormal fan intrigued!


TITLE: Visions
AUTHOR: Kelley Armstrong

PUBLISHER: Dutton
GENRE: Urban Fantasy
RELEASE DATE: August 19, 2014




2nd Annual Beat the Heat Readathon Sign Up Post

So I decided I would take part in the 2nd Annual Beat the Heat Readathon. It sounds fun and really why not?! You can set your own challenge and since it's three weeks I figure I can get a lot done too! Since I read a lot anyway! 

Though I have NO CLUE what books I'll be reading as it's way too soon to tell! But lets aim the goal at TEN books!

It may not seem like a whole lot, but it's three weeks and I can probably average 3 books a week, sometimes more, but it all depends on the length and enjoyment of book and you know whatever else life decides to throw my way! But the goal is TEN with hopes for more!

If you're interested in joining, see the rules below or read the post in its original format at Novel Heartbeat.

Ze Rules! 

  • The Beat the Heat Readathon runs from August 11th to September 1st. What does this readathon entail, you ask? Well, read as much or as little as you want – the main point is to READ! You set your own goal, and for three weeks you read as many books as you can/want to reach your goal! 
  • There will be mini-challenges throughout the Readathon for participants, along with a grand prize giveaway at the end! 
  • Sign up here at Novel Heartbeat or over at Phantasmic Reads. You may join whenever you like, but to be eligible for our grand prize giveaway, you must sign up by August 24th. 
  • To join, all you have to do is make a sign-up post – even if it’s just a “Let’s do this!” thing – and add your post URL to the linky below! You can put your goals and progress (will be required for the final giveaway) in your sign-up post, or you can make it separate. Totally up to you! (You are welcome to use the template we provide as well.) 
  • In order to enter for the grand prize, you must have a post to keep track of your progress so we can see that you participated.