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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Sizzling Sixteen (Stephanie Plum, #16) by Janet Evanovich



Summary:
Trenton, New Jersey, bounty hunter Stephanie Plum has inherited a “lucky” bottle from her Uncle Pip. Problem is, Uncle Pip didn’t specify if the bottle brought good luck or bad luck....

BAD LUCK:
Vinnie, of Vincent Plum Bail Bonds, has run up a gambling debt of $786,000 with mobster
Bobby Sunflower and is being held until the cash can be produced. Nobody else will pay to get Vinnie back, leaving it up to Stephanie, office manager Connie, and file clerk Lula to raise the money if they want to save their jobs.

GOOD LUCK:
Being in the business of tracking down people, Stephanie, Lula, and Connie have an advantage in finding Vinnie. If they can rescue him, it will buy them some time to raise the cash.

BAD LUCK:
Finding a safe place to hide Vinnie turns out to be harder than raising $786,000. Vinnie’s messing up local stoner Walter “Moon Man” Dunphy's vibe, running up pay-per-view porn charges in security expert Ranger’s apartment, and making Stephanie question genetics.

GOOD LUCK:
Between a bonds office yard sale that has the entire Burg turning out, Mooner’s Hobbit-Con charity event, and Uncle Pip’s mysterious bottle, they just might raise enough money to save Vinnie and the business from ruin.

BAD LUCK:
Saving Vincent Plum Bail Bonds means Stephanie can keep being a bounty hunter. In Trenton, this involves hunting down a man wanted for polygamy, a Turnpike toilet paper bandit, and a drug dealer with a pet alligator named Mr. Jingles.

GOOD LUCK:
The job of bounty hunter comes with perks in the guise of Trenton’s hottest cop, Joe Morelli, and the dark and dangerous, Ranger. With any luck at all, Uncle Pip’s lucky bottle will have Stephanie getting lucky---the only question is . . . with whom?

Sizzling Sixteen . . . so hot, the pages might spontaneously combust!

Summary taken from Goodreads.com
Length : 309 pages (hardcover edition)
Source : Toronto Public Library
Publication Date : January 1st 2010

I can't believe I'm already done book 16. Only 2 more books to read until I'm finally caught up with the series.

This one had all the things that I've come to love in a Stephanie Plum novel. It had the usual hilarity and adventure and some parts that were kind of gross. I mean come on Stephanie had to go recue Vinnie her pervert cousin from the Plum side of the family who um...did it with a duck at one point.

I have no idea how Janet is able to keep topping herself as the series goes on but boy am I glad she does. I love her style of writing. Stephanie is such a funny character I can't help but love her. She always manages to get herself into such mishief.

This time it was nice to see more of Connie. I really like her an I especially like her when she teams up with Stephanie and Lula, I mean come on according to the lore in the book Connie is the stink bomb making queen. Why Connie's stinkbomb making skills are important I cannot say. You'll just have to take my word for it.

I mean honestly who doesn't love a cozy Stephanie Plum book to curl up with to read. Especially when there is violence, sexual innuendo, and just plain old laugh out loud scenes with all your favourite characters from past books :) I can't wait to read books 17 and 18!! Hopefully I'll get them from the library this week.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Friday, March 30, 2012

In the Love Will Find a Way Challenge we're sharing our all-time favourite books. If you were stuck on an island, or in a cave, which books would you bring? We're not limiting you to bring a certain amount of books, so give us your best!


BookBox: embed book widget, share book list



BookBox: embed book widget, share book list




What are YOUR favourite reads?

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Dirty Little Secret #1



Dirty Little Secret is a weekly meme hosted by the lovely ladies at Under the Covers. Every Thursday they ask a question hoping to reveal other bloggers "dirty little secrets"
 

This week's question:
What book has been sitting in your TBR pile the longest and why haven't you picked it up yet? Or more importantly, will you ever read it now that its been sitting there for forever?
 
I have no idea what book has been on my tbr list the absolute longest but I do know that one that has been sitting on it for ages is:
 
When I first joined Goodreads this was the first paranormal series recommened to me that really caught my eye. I've heard really good things about it and I'm sad to say that I only recently picked up a copy of this a couple months ago when it was the Kindle Daily Deal. I'm hoping to start it in the next month or so. I really liked the author's first book in her Highlander series so I'm hoping this one is just as good.
 
Have YOU read this book? What did YOU think (NO SPOILERS). What book has been sitting on your tbr pile the longest? Go ahead and share your dirty little secret!

As Night Falls by S.M. Blooding Review Blog Tour Stop


Summary:
Earth 4112:
The President has started the New Order and with that, he’s destroying many sects that might oppose him or would blemish the perfect picture of tranquil life that he has created. Among those he’s trying to abolish are the vampires.
Raven Dubois refuses to allow himself or his Vampiric Nation to dissolve into myth. He’s trying to find a way to save his people. With sanctuaries disappearing continuously and his people dying in numbers, his only hope lies in the ancient texts of the Watchers.
Raised by the Watchers and by the President, Becca is torn by two mortal enemies. The Watchers have raised her to protect the very people the President is trying to destroy. She holds the key to the ancient texts that Raven so desperately needs. However, can she believe that the man so like a father to her is trying to murder innocent people?
Raven’s only hope for turning her already chaotic mind is to use her highly sensual nature and bind her to him using her heart instead of her mind.
Length: 260 pages
Source: Author
Publication Date: March 13th 2012

First off, doesn't the summary sound like an interesting political thriller? That was my first thought at least. However this is a very adult book. There is a very good reason as to why it's called Erotica. Now, I'm not much of an erotica reader so I thought I would give it a whirl with this book.

I was actually pleasantly surprised by this book. It wasn't as steamy as I thought it would be but it was still spicy. The very idea of vampires in a futuristic society is quiet intriguing and I think that the author started the book in the right direction since this is the first book in the series.

For me my favourite part was the world building and Raven the male protagonist. I thought that while the world building could have been slightly more detailed that the author did a good job. I did fin Raven particularly interesting despite the fact that I personally can't fathom his interest in Becca Rece (the female protagonist).

While the plot slowly (sometimes too slowly) unraveled itself I could not help but wonder at what attracted Raven to Becca. She was so naive and rude that I didn't like her at all. But they did have some spicy sexy times! Even though I didn't care for Becca too much in this book I do hope that she and raven will continue to be the focuses of the other books in the series. I may not like her but her and Raven do make a good team and towards the end I actually did start liking Becca more as she became stronger, and more willing to face facts about her past, present and future.

I would recommend this book to anyone who loves their books on the hotter side with a unique futuristic twist. I think that the author is on to something here and I really hope she continues the series soon so I can see where things are headed. I'm really glad I signed up for S.M. Blooding's blog tour for her book and that it was my first time hosting a blog tour!

To purchase the book from Amazon CLICK HERE
To visit the author's website CLICK HERE
To follow S.M. Blooding via Twitter CLICK HERE

SM Blooding is hosting a big giveaway on her blog to celebrate the release of As Night Falls. Everyone who enters has the chance to win a Kindle and e-Books. CLICK HERE


*I received a copy of this book for blog tour purposes in exchange for my free and honest review.
★ ★ ★

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Island of Wings by Karin Altenberg



Summary:
A portrait of a marriage, a meditation on faith, and a journey of conquest and self-discovery, Island of Wings is a passionate and atmospheric novel reminiscent of Wuthering Heights.

July, 1830. On the ten-hour sail west from the Hebrides to the islands of St. Kilda, everything lies ahead for Lizzie and Neil McKenzie. Neil is to become the minister to the small community of islanders, and Lizzie, his new wife, is pregnant with their first child. Neil's journey is evangelical: a testing and strengthening of his own faith against the old pagan ways of the St. Kildans, but it is also a passage to atonement. For Lizzie -- bright, beautiful, and devoted -- this is an adventure, a voyage into the unknown. She is sure only of her loyalty and love for her husband, but everything that happens from now on will challenge all her certainties.

As the two adjust to life on an exposed archipelago on the edge of civilization, where the natives live in squalor and subsist on a diet of seabirds, and babies perish mysteriously in their first week, their marriage -- and their sanity -- is threatened. Is Lizzie a willful temptress drawing him away from his faith? Is Neil's zealous Christianity unhinging into madness? And who, or what, is haunting the moors and cliff-tops?

Exquisitely written and profoundly moving, Island of Wings is more than just an account of a marriage in peril -- it is also a richly imagined novel about two people struggling to keep their love, and their family, alive in a place of terrible hardship and tumultuous beauty.
Summary taken from Goodreads.com
Length: 311 pages (e-copy)
Source: NetGalley ARC
Publication Date: March 28th 2011

I read this book for three challenges. My Around the World challenge which I can knock Scotland off my list because this book takes place on the the island of St. Kilda which is off the coast of Scotland. I also read this for my RCC Challenge, and the NetGalley 2012 Reading Challenge.

My first love is history, I had to sit through hours and hours of The History Channel, The Discovery Channel, National Geographic Channel etc. as a kid thanks to my dad so unlike a lot of other kids, I actually love history. This has translated into a great love for historical fiction and while you haven't seen me review a lot of these titles don't worry :) The reviews are coming I'm just trying to branch out an explore other genres.

I wasn't sure what to expect from this book. I was kind of hesitant to read it because I learned that the book wasn't originally published in English and sometimes when a novel gets translated things get lost...in translation. Sorry, I had to say it. Anyways, I was a little concerned but I quickly realized my fears were misplaced.

Karin Altenberg has written a beautiful novel that is based on a real man Neil McKenzie who really was a reverend on the Island of St. Kilda. I thought that Karin did a fantastic job for getting the tone of her novel perfect. In my opinion she did an excellent job of recreating life during that time. Most of all I love how you could sense that she wrote every word with conviction.

The author also has a gift at creating characters that actually evoke emotions. Lizzie, Neil's young wife was my favourite character. I hated how Neil treated her and made her feel weak and stupid. However I'm glad to see that she grew as a character throughout the whole novel. I felt so bad for her. She's thrust into a new life, on an isolate island where her husband is the only one that can speak English with her, she's also coming to terms with her impending motherhood and struggling to find the real Lizzie.

I personally HATED Neil. The way he treated Lizzie was abhorrent to me and the fact that he treated her so poorly to make up for his own mistakes sickened me. However, just because I hate Neil and wanted to strangle him at several points in the book I feel that Karin wrote him very realistically.  I did not agree with Neil much throughout the book if ever. I know that he went to St. Kilda with good intentions but I think he failed the islanders in a lot of ways. Most of all I hated how he looked down on them from his holier than thou pedestal that he placed himself on. It really irritated me but it worked for the novel as a whole.

I also enjoyed the setting. I felt as if I were actually in the places where scenes in the book took place. She was descriptive without overdoing it and that enabled her to write the scenes beautifully. It's wonderful to find an author who is skilled at making the reader feel as if they are present in the novel.

I think that this book was rich in history and though I didn't always see eye to eye with Neil I think that Karin Altenberg is extremely adept at creating characters, she makes them so realistic you can't help but admire her skill in writing. The novel as a whole is a great example of a debut author writing a fantastic piece of historical fiction.

I would have absolutely no problem recommending this book to anyone. I especially recommend it to lovers of historical fiction and those who may be new to the genre. It's great book and is now one of my new favourites. I can see myself reading this one again and again. I can't wait to read more by this new, talented author!

To purchase the book via Amazon CLICK HERE
To purchase the book via BookDepository CLICK HERE

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my free and honest review.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★



Waiting on Wednesday #5

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine and is where we can talk about books we are looking forward to being released!

Here are my picks for this week:
Summary:
Inhale. Exhale. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe . . .

The world is dead.
The survivors live under the protection of Breathe, the corporation that found a way to manufacture oxygen-rich air.

ALINA
has been stealing for a long time. She’s a little jittery, but not terrified. All she knows is that she’s never been caught before. If she’s careful, it’ll be easy. If she’s careful.

QUINN
should be worried about Alina and a bit afraid for himself, too, but even though this is dangerous, it’s also the most interesting thing to happen to him in ages. It isn’t every day that the girl of your dreams asks you to rescue her.

BEA
wants to tell him that none of this is fair; they’d planned a trip together, the two of them, and she’d hoped he’d discover her out here, not another girl.

And as they walk into the Outlands with two days’ worth of oxygen in their tanks, everything they believe will be shattered. Will they be able to make it back? Will they want to?
Summary taken from Goodreads.com
Length: 400 pages
Expected Publication Date: October 2nd 2012



Summary:
There’s none so blind as they that won’t see.

Seventeen-year-old Tricia Farni’s body floated to the surface of Alaska’s Birch River six months after the night she disappeared.
The night Roz Hart had a fight with her.
The night Roz can’t remember.
Roz, who struggles with macular degeneration, is used to assembling fragments to make sense of the world around her. But this time it’s her memory that needs piecing together—to clear her name . . . to find a murderer. This unflinchingly emotional novel is written in the powerful first-person voice of a legally blind teen who just wants to be like everyone else.

Debut novelist Laura Ellen's own experiences with macular degeneration add powerful authenticity to this suspenseful and emotional page-turner for teens.
Summary taken from Goodreads.com
Length: 356 pages
Expected Publication Date: October 23rd 2012
Both of these books look super intense and think I'll be pre-ordering both of them!
Now, what are YOU waiting for this Wednesday?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday #3


Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

This weeks Top Ten Tuesday post is about the Top Ten books that you'd play hooky with.
Here are the Top Ten Books I'd play hooky with:
My List is made up of books on my To Be Read list not books I have read.
Enchantments by Kathryn Harrison
I love history so I can definetly see myself playing hooky to cuddle up with this one.
The Last Romanov by Dora Levy Mossanen
I have a confession. I've been obsessed with the Romanovs since I saw the animate 1997 movie Anastasia.
The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden #1) by Julie Kagawa
Look at the cover. Need I say more?
Dark Kiss (Nightwatchers #1) by Michelle Rowan
I love the cover of this one and it looks so friggen good!
Cleopatra's Moon by Vicky Alvear Shecter
I also have an obsession with Egypt and Cleopatra :)
The Dragon's Harp (Era Of Dragons: The Lost Tales Of Gwenhwyfar)  by Rachael Pruitt
This one got such a high review from a friend of mine that I got in touch with the author who asked me to review it for her. It looks great!
Pure (Pure #1) by Julianna Baggot
This one's summary makes me want to start it ASAP!

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
I won this one a while back from a friend's blog and after all the rave reviews I think I have to read this one.

Unwind (Unwind #1) by Neal Shusterman
This one has some great reviews and it looks like a great read.
Looking for Alaska by John Green
Pragya this one is for you! My friend Pragya from Reviewing Shelf keeps telling me to read this one so I had to add it to my list!

So, which books would YOU play hooky with?

Leave me your links!

Monday, March 26, 2012

It's Monday! What are you reading? #6



It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a meme hosted by Book Journey and is a great way for others to find out what you are planning to read this week and, best of all, see what others are reading.


This week I'm reading:



Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
I'm continuing my re-read of this one and loving it!
As Night Falls by S.M. Blooding
I'm reading this for a book tour.

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
This is one of the Books of the Month in one of my Goodreads groups.

The Shapeshifter's Secret by Heather Ostler
For review from Netgalley
Just to be clear I'm hoping to start the last two this week. I'm already well into the first two. However these are books I plan on reading, that doesn't mean I will :)

Now what are YOU reading this week?


Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma


Summary:
She is pretty and talented - sweet sixteen and never been kissed. He is seventeen; gorgeous and on the brink of a bright future. And now they have fallen in love. But... they are brother and sister.

Seventeen-year-old Lochan and sixteen-year-old Maya have always felt more like friends than siblings. Together they have stepped in for their alcoholic, wayward mother to take care of their three younger siblings. As defacto parents to the little ones, Lochan and Maya have had to grow up fast. And the stress of their lives—and the way they understand each other so completely—has also also brought them closer than two siblings would ordinarily be. So close, in fact, that they have fallen in love. Their clandestine romance quickly blooms into deep, desperate love. They know their relationship is wrong and cannot possibly continue. And yet, they cannot stop what feels so incredibly right. As the novel careens toward an explosive and shocking finale, only one thing is certain: a love this devastating has no happy ending.
Summary taken from Goodreads.com
Length: 454 pages (hardcover edition)
Publication Date: May 1st 2010


Okay I finished this book over a week ago and I am just now getting to my review. The book was such an intense read I needed time to let my thoughts simmer before I attempted to write a coherent review on it. This is probably one of the most uncomfortable reviews I've had to write simply because of the subject matter. Also, let me just say that I in no way approve of incest.

This book is about incest.
Seriously.
Brother & Sister = Love right? Sure, that makes sense. But not this kind of love. Well it makes sense how they fell in love but because of societal views it is wrong that they did. This book does not glorify incest in anway. I had to put that in there to be clear. It is not like other books that have incest in them such as How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff or books written by V.C. Andrews which I see it being compared to a lot.

Tabitha wrote an incredible love story, one that despite the whole incest issue I found myself hoping that through it all they would find they're happy ending. I was surprised at how good the book was. The author wrote it in such an awesome way it was as if I was really there in the book watching the scenes play out.

The way the author created the characters was great. They were well written and well rounded. They didn't fall flat. I really liked Maya and Lochan. They were such strong kids. It's unfortunate that they're mother was such a complete *beep* throughout the whole book. She abandons her children and starts acting like she doesn't have 5 mouths to feed alone and depends on Maya and Lochan to raise their siblings that she and their father laid down and made. I hate REAL people like that so it only seems fitting that I wanted to bash their mother's face into a brick wall and make her take care of the kids she made. *takes a deep breath*

That's what I loved about this book. It made me laugh, cry and fill me with rage and at the end filled me with anguish. To me that is a sign of an excellent writer. For me if a writer can make me feel so strongly and in so many different ways the book is that much more special. Whether or not this book is controversial means no never mind to me. All I was looking for was a great read and that's exactly what I got. Suzuma wrote a great novel about a controversial issue but she made me love the characters and feel their sadness and angst. It's a powerful read and one that made me feel disturbed, but happy that I read it. I even had tears at the end it was so moving, but I don't want to spoil it for you so you'll have to read it yourself.

I would definetly 100% recommend this book to YA lovers especially those who like realistic YA novels but I have to say that you have to go into reading this with an open mind. I personally loved it an am looking forward to reading this author's other books. This book is definately in my top 75 books of all time which says something since I generally don't like realistic YA novels.

To purchase the book via Amazon CLICK HERE
To purchase the book via BookDepository CLICK HERE
To visit Tabitha's website CLICK HERE
To Follow Tabitha via Twitter CLICK HERE
To "Like" Tabitha on Facebook CLICK HERE

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Friday, March 23, 2012

RCC Challenge - Mysterious Meetup


In the Mysterious Meetup you can have that conversation with your favourite book character of all times. Who would you want to meet? What questions would you ask him or her? Share your Mysterious Meetup with us!

This challenge is actually a lot harder than I expected it to be. I've read so many books I think I shall give my top 3 favourite characters.


From J.K. Rowlings Harry Potter series I'd pick Harry Potter of course! I got the box set of the first 3 just after they released the set in the 90s for Christmas from my Uncle Pat and Harry quickly became one of my closest companions through childhood and even now when I re-read the series I am overcome with the same feelings of closeness.

For me, I think I would ask him if he misses Remus, and what he misses most about him.


My second favourite (right now) is Jamie Fraser from Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series. I'm re-reading the first novel right now so I can read the rest this year (hopefully). There's just something about Jamie that I love and adore and I think it's because in a lot of ways he reminds me of Mr. Turning The Pages. Both are really sweet, caring and loving but still have fiery tempers when something ticks them off.

I'd ask him what it's like being in love with a woman from the future who already has a husband. I would think that even though he loves her completely that it would bother him more.

My third favourite character is Cimorene from Paticia C. Wrede's Enchanted Forest Chronicles. I own the omnibus of this series and it has been read at least 20 times since I first read it when I was 11 years old. Cimorene, like Harry was another of my childhood companions. I love her spirit, she's smart, funny and spunky!

I would ask her weather she ever misses anything about her life before she went to live with the dragons, does she miss reading? Or does Kazul have a large library for her to read?


Who are YOUR favourite characters, and what would YOU ask them?



Thursday, March 22, 2012

In My Mailbox #1


In My Mailbox is a weekly meme from The Story Siren where you can share your new acquisitions. They can come from anywhere: through the mail, via the library, purchased from a store, or downloaded as ebooks.

I've finally bitten the bullet! I've decided to start doing this meme! I'm going to try and do this one every Thursday but that may change depending on my hauls.

Here's this week's NetGalley haul:

BookBox: embed book widget, share book list

Since my library is on strike and I cannot remember the books I've gotten from Kindle this week thats all for my post.

What was in YOUR mailbox this week?

Share your links below :)