My picks for November

Here are the books I’m looking forward to in November. Which books are you looking forward to?

Crash

 

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Mr. President

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Swear

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Sun is Also A Star

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
imageScythe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Small Great Things

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

imageArchangel’s Heart

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My Blood Approves series by Amanda Hocking

I’m going to do something different this time and review an entire series, well the 4 books in the My Blood Approves series.

When I heard that Swear, the fifth and final book in the series would be coming out in November after a 5 year wait, I decided to preorder it.  Seeing it has been years since I read the series I figured a re-read was in order.  I plowed through My Blood Approves and noticed that it was similar in places to Twilight. I don’t know which book came out first or if they both came out at the same time but there were similarities between the two.

First, the editing was horrible. An example from Flutter “Grabbing him by the arm, I drug him upstairs.” Drug him upstairs?  I’m sure that dragged would be the appropriate word to use, not drug.  There are plenty more through all the books.

The story itself had some good points but there are things that I question, like the whole “Are you trying to get Alice Killed?” part.  First of all, how did Jack, Peter, Ezra and Mae know about Alice?  What marked her out for Peter alone?  Why was she drawn to him and not Jack?  There are some gaping holes here and questions that never got answered…. plus the whole “You’re going to get her killed” ever other page got annoying….. and guess what….. Peter didn’t killed her,even though she was meant for him and Jack went and ruined it all….. oh the drama.  Also the whole “She’s human and fragile” again like Bella, she must be protected at all cost and she is special….. Alice’s blood is special for some reason. Something else never answered.

As Fate rolls around it’s Milo who gets turned, not Alice.  She moans and groans about it. More Peter and Jack drama at every turn. Woe is me theme running in here, throw in some bits about Jane and there is book two.

Flutter and it’s finally Alice’s turn to …. well, turn. She was turned at the very end of Fate but she is fully turned at the start of this book. Things get more strained as Ezra and Alice go to Finland to save Peter from a mob of rogue Lycans. To say that Jack is upset is an understatement and displays more jealousy.  Milo has a boyfriend that is human, Bobby. He  is remarkably used to vampires and has almost died a few times at their hands and oddly  he doesn’t run screaming for the hills.  Jane features more in here as the victim of horrible vampires and due to her nature, blames Alice for it all.  When Mae turned Daisy it reminded me of Interview with a Vampire with turning a child into vampire and the horrors to go with it.

Onto Wisdom and it’s all about finding Jane’s killer and dealing with Mae and Daisy….. blah, blah, blah.

Now, I know that when these books were written back in 2010/2011  and Amanda was a new writer. These were her first books and while you could tell that she was inexperienced that there was some good in the story lines, just not fully fleshed out.  Editing was an issue and some plot holes that were never filled in or explained.  She has gone on to write more books, I haven’t read any others but I assume that she has grown in her skills.  I wonder why, with more books under her belt, she never went back to touch this series up?

I think that when I first read these I was please with them and enjoyed them, but after going back and reading them for a second time years later I feel differently.   There is waaaayyy too much drama in some of them.  Are they all bad, no, but they aren’t all that great either. In some aspects each book got a small bit stronger with characters and plot development.  Not everything is explained so you still have to guess at some of it but they did get a bit better

I decided to read Swear when it comes out, if nothing else but to see how the series ends.

2.5 stars for the series so far.

Crash

 

The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan

imageRebecca Porter was never one for fairy tales. Her twin sister, Lacey, has always been the romantic who fantasized about glamour and royalty, fame and fortune. Yet it’s Bex who seeks adventure at Oxford and finds herself living down the hall from Prince Nicholas, Britain’s future king. And when Bex can’t resist falling for Nick, it propels her into a world she did not expect to inhabit.

Dating Nick immerses Bex in ritzy society, dazzling ski trips, and dinners at Kensington Palace with him and his charming, troublesome brother, Freddie. But the relationship also comes with unimaginable baggage: hysterical tabloids, Nick’s far more suitable ex-girlfriends, and a royal family whose private life is far more tragic than anyone on the outside knows. The pressures are almost too much to bear, as Bex struggles to reconcile the man she loves with the monarch he’s fated to become.

Now, on the eve of the wedding of the century, Bex is faced with whether everything she’s sacrificed for love–her career, her home, her family, maybe even herself – will have been for nothing.

Ok, we all know who this story is about.  The names have changes and some of the circumstances as well but we all know it’s a spin on Kate and William.

The fact that Bex is American puts a bigger spin on this story. Sure there are a lot of books out there with an American gal who accidentally runs into a prince somewhere in the world and it becomes a whirl wind romance that the prince’s father can’t stop, because it’s always the father that puts up a stink.

What I liked about this book was the way it was written, strong characters, a strong background of the places and for the fun of it, a quasi love triangle between the two princes and Bex.  I thought it would be a nice light, but long read.  Something fun that I would be able to put down and pick up later on.  Instead I found myself sitting on the couch, guzzling coffee and flew through this book in a day!  So much for a light read.  I will hold my hands up and say that I enjoyed this one much more than I thought I would and probably more that what most will.

I was surprised to read that this is a fan fic book written by two Americans.  As far as fan pic goes this is miles better than the most famous fan fic of all, 50 Shades.  Being an American living in England I found this book a good read.  Having had watch Kate and Wills story play out here on the news and in the rags and then to watch their wedding, it was all a bit romantic.  Who doesn’t like a romance like this once in a while?  It was a guilty pleasure book, one that will make some peoples eyes roll at the cheesy thought of it.  Trust me though, the writing is good enough to grab you and the pages fly by.  I dare you to not read it in one sitting, go ahead and prove me wrong.

4/5 stars

Crash

Buy:Amazon

Buy:Amazon UK

A world Without You by Beth Revis

imageSeventeen-year-old Bo has always had delusions that he can travel through time. When he was ten, Bo claimed to have witnessed the Titanic hit an iceberg, and at fifteen, he found himself on a Civil War battlefield, horrified by the bodies surrounding him. So when his worried parents send him to a school for troubled youth, Bo assumes he knows the truth: that he’s actually attending Berkshire Academy, a school for kids who, like Bo, have “superpowers.”

At Berkshire, Bo falls in love with Sofía, a quiet girl with a tragic past and the superpower of invisibility. Soíia helps Bo open up in a way he never has before. In turn, Bo provides comfort to Sofía, who lost her mother and two sisters at a very young age.

But even the strength of their love isn’t enough to help Sofia escape her deep depression. After she commits suicide, Bo is convinced that she’s not actually dead. He believes that she’s stuck somewhere in time—that he somehow left her in the past, and that now it’s his job to save her. And as Bo becomes more and more determined to save Sofía, he must decide whether to face his demons head-on or succumb to a psychosis that will let him be with the girl he loves.

 

When I started this I thought, ‘ Here we go, a quasi X-Men wannabe’.  But I was so wrong.  Bo thinks he is in a school for kids who have powers.  He thinks he can travel through time, Sofia can turn invisible, Harold can see and hear ghosts, Gwen can control fire and Ryan can control objects and other peoples minds. Even the therapist in charge of their unit can heal himself.  Bo truly believes this.  When Sofia comes to him asking him to take her away from Berkshire, from the present and take her to the past, Bo agrees and takes her back to the time of the Salem Witch Trials.  As the school morns her death, Bo knows it’s all a show to hide the real truth, that she is back in time and only he can save her.  When some people from a government body comes to investigate Sofia’s death, things start to fall apart for Bo, and for Ryan who doesn’t want to leave Berkshire, and what he thinks is real isn’t.

This story deals with mental health issues.  The slow shattering of what Bo believes to be real makes for strange reading.  You can see that he catches glimpse of the true reality, Sofia committed suicide, there are no powers and that all the kids that are there are suffering from various mental illnesses.  But it gets mixed up in his version of reality and gets to the point that he doesn’t honestly know what is real and what isn’t.

I did find it interesting but in places it got very repetitive, especially Bo talking about how the various threads of the time tapestry feel to him. It was interesting to see him fighting what was going on around him.  I know nothing of suffering from a mental illness but it seems to be a somewhat glimpse of what might just go on in the head of a person who can’t tell for sure what is going on around them.

I did like the alternating chapters that focus on Phoebe, Bo’s sister. It didn’t contribute much to his story but it did tell of how she felt with him in a private school, the pressures on her to be ‘the good one’ and how Bo’s health affected the family as a whole.

I will admit that when I bought this book, I just glanced at the blurb and liked the bits that did catch my eye, it wasn’t what I expected it to be.  I have to say that because of my not really paying attention to what it was about it turned out to be a surprise for me.  While some parts were a bit repetitive as I had said above but the last few chapters are truly scary, your heart is in your throat and that made up for the parts that were so-so.  Is this a book that is a true portrayal of someone that suffers with the delusions that Bo suffers from, I can’t tell you, but it was a worthy read none the less.

3.5 stars

Crash

Buy:Amazon

Buy:Amazon UK

Going Hard by Kelsey Browning

imageSlick sports agent Griffin Steele is living the highlife in Los Angeles, far from the shadow of the North Carolina mountains where he grew up. But when his hometown falls on hard times and needs his help, Grif reluctantly agrees to commute between coasts. He never expects the lush scenery, in the form of pretty tomboy Carlie Beth Parrish, to be such a temptation.

After an impetuous one-night stand with Grif Steele fifteen years ago, hardworking blacksmith Carlie Beth has tried to make a living and raise her daughter in the hometown she loves. Then, too-sexy-for-his-Rolex Grif blows back into town like the perfect storm, making Carlie feel less like a thirty-something mom and more like an infatuated teenager.

When a stalker targets Carlie Beth, Grif can’t help but step in to protect her. But once he discovers the fourteen-year-old secret she’s been keeping from him, will he embrace the truth or will he turn his back on Steele Ridge and Carlie Beth forever? 

 

Carlie Beth impressed me with her feisty attitude and her fierce devotion to he daughter. 15 years after Grif left for LA she has carved out a life for herself and Aubry in Steele Ridge. When Grif arrives back home all the old feelings come to surface again.

Grif is grudgingly back in his hometown, he really doesn’t want to be there but when he sees Carlie again it’s hard for him to let go of what happened all those years ago.

I loved the chemistry between them, Carlie tries to deny it but she doesn’t want to get hurt again, and who can blame her? Grif is also trying to get past an incident that happened back in LA  and isn’t very trusting at this point either.

Aubry is a teenager who doesn’t miss a thing when it comes to her mother. She is witty, sharp, and a determined young lady who has the best qualities of both her parents. When she shows up Grif at a corn hole game he can’t help but like her attitude that reminds him of her mother.

There are a few twists in this book about things going on in town and with Grif and Carlie Beth. The interaction between them and Aubry is realistic and fun to read.  It’s got a bit of everything in here, romance, mystery, and wonderful characters.

This is a collaboration series between Kelsey, Adrienne Giordano, and Tracy Devlyn each writing a book. Going Hard is the first in the series. There was a prequel novella that was available through the writers newsletters. You don’t have to have read it to know what happens in this book.

ARC provided by author in exchange for a fair and honest review

4/5 stars

Crash

Buy:Amazon

Buy: Amazon UK

 

 

 

The Bachelor Auction by Rachel Van Dyken

imageCinderella never had to deal with this crap.

Jane isn’t entirely sure that Cinderella got such a raw deal. Sure, she had a rough start, but didn’t she eventually land a prince and a happily-ever-after? Meanwhile, Jane is busy waiting on her demanding, entitled sisters, running her cleaning business, and . . . yep, not a prince in sight. Until a party and a broken shoe incident leave Jane wondering if princes—or at least, a certain deliciously hunky billionaire—maybe do exist.

Except Brock Wellington isn’t anyone’s dream guy. Hell, a prince would never agree to be auctioned off in marriage to the highest bidder. Or act like an arrogant jerk—even if it was just a façade. Now, as Brock is waiting for the auction chopping block, he figures it’s karmic retribution that he’s tempted by a sexy, sassy woman he can’t have. But while they can’t have a fairy-tale ending, maybe they can indulge in a little bit of fantasy . .

 

A modern twist on Cinderella.  I have to admit that Brock was too much of a ‘yes’ man who didn’t take matters into his own hands and go against his grandfather, just like Jane annoyed me that she let her sisters walk all over her in every way possible. He carries around a lot of guilt for something that was way beyond his control and can’t say no to anything his grandfather demand of him. Jane tried her best to respect her father’s dying wish to keep the family together.  Both get used as doormats in their own ways. Neither seemed to be able to take control of their lives and it made them seem weak.  As we get their backstories I understood why they way they were, it didn’t make them any stronger to start with.  As they get to know each other the find strength in each other, try and wipe away the ghosts of their pasts and to find some kind of happiness.

I have to say that Brock’s twin brothers, Brent and Bentley stole the show for me!  The attitude, the sense of humour and just downright naughtiness really brightened up the story line for me.  In her own funny way Rachel made this a funny light take on an old familiar story that everyone knows.  Instead of bitter step sisters and a step mother, we have two nasty and selfish sisters.  The old crone of a step mother is Brock’s randy, party going grandfather, who is another character and a half!   The prince is full of doubt and Cinderella is a maid.  It’s a fluffy, light, easy read that is fun. This is the first in a series.

ARC provided by Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

3.5 stars

Crash

Buy: Amazon

Buy:Amazon UK

 

Q&A with Misty Evans

I have been thinking about doing Q&A’s with authors and approached Misty Evans about taking part and she graciously agreed.

 

Crash: Misty can I say how thrilled I am that you have agreed to take part in my first author Q&A! The first books of yours I read were the Kali Sweet books and I have been hooked ever since.  I am secretly holding out that one day you will write more to that series lol. Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to take part in this Q&A.

ME: Chris! Thank you for inviting me. I’m excited to be here and hang out with one of my favorite readers! It’s an honor to be the first to do an interview on your blog.

And yes, I’m working on another Kali Sweet book! Romantic Suspense is my bread and butter, and with two kids in college, I have to work in the genre that pays the bills. Urban fantasy has been on the downhill for a few years now, so Kali doesn’t get as much time as I’d like during my normal workweeks. I miss her! She’s such a kick-ass character.

Crash: I Miss Kali as well and am glad she will make a comeback!  

Crash: How long have you been a writer?

ME: I’ve been writing since 4th grade when I won 2nd place in a school contest with an essay about my dad. It was published in the local paper and I’ve been writing off and on ever since. LOL. When I graduated from college, I entered the business world and spent 10 years there before having twins and becoming a stay-at-home mom. Then the writing bug hit again. ☺

Crash: What made you become a writer?

ME: 9/11. I’d always dreamed of being an author and suddenly realized tomorrow wasn’t a given. If I was going to do it, I had to set real goals and carve out time to take writing classes, plot stories, and put my fingers on the keyboard.

Crash: You have written in a few different genres, which is your favorite?

ME: I get that question a lot, and I have to say, I love them all. I wouldn’t write in a genre I didn’t love with all my heart. Each one has its good points and allows me to use my very active imagination. Take Kali Sweet, for instance. I get to channel my inner demon in order to writer her. It’s better than therapy!

Crash: In your Shadow Force International and Southern California series there seems to be a lot of research done on your part. Just how much time do you spend researching and how do you find out most of your information?

ME: Research is half the fun with any of my books, but the RS books definitely require a lot. I easily spend an hour or more everyday when working on those books, researching everything from gang tattoos to how to make a car bomb. I’m blessed to have real world contacts too – people who’ve been in the world of law enforcement and spies. ER nurses who can advise me about gunshot wounds, etc. Readers are savvy these days from shows like CSI and NCIS so it’s important that my facts are accurate as well as dramatic.

Crash: Again with regards to the series in Q4, do you base some of these stories on real life events?

ME: Ideas for plots are everywhere, and fact is often stranger than fiction, as the saying goes. I don’t listen to the news or read newspapers, but on occasion when researching, I stumble across an idea or character that spawns an entire story

Crash: What kind of books do you read?

ME: Everything! Fiction and nonfiction both. My TBR pile on my ereader and my bedside table grows all the time.

Crash: What gives you joy in your everyday life?

ME: Family, friends, coffee and yoga. ☺ I’m a registered yoga teacher and have many interests outside of writing. Some days, it’s crazy-making, juggling my schedule, but bottom line, I love everything I do and all the people I meet, online and in-person.

Crash: Misty it was wonderful to learn more about you.  Thank you for your time and I look forward to your next book, I think that will be in November is that correct?

ME: Yes! The next SCVC Taskforce series novel, Deadly Attraction, releases November 7th. This one features Mitch Holden and Dr. Emma Collins, a forensic psychiatrist who needs protection when a criminal she testified against escapes prison and comes after her.

Thank you for having me today, Chris! Always fun to chat with you, and I appreciate your support of my books. Take care and happy reading!