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Early Review: Sweet Reckoning by Wendy Higgins

April 20th, 2014 @ 12:02 am
Posted by Bridget under Review Tags: Paranormal, Review, Sweet Evil Trilogy, Sweet Reckoning, Wendy Higgins, Young Adult

Sweet ReckoningTitle: Sweet Reckoning

Author: Wendy Higgins

Genre: YA Paranormal

Series: The Sweet Trilogy (Book #3)

Publication Date: April 29, 2014

Format: Paperback, 464 Pages

ISBN-10: 0062265970 (HarperTeen)

ISBN-13: 978-0062265975 (HarperTeen)

Reviewed by: Bridget

Synopsis:

It’s time.

Evil is running rampant and sweet Anna Whitt is its target. Nobody knows when or how the Dukes will strike, but Anna and her Nephilim allies will do anything necessary to rid the earth of the demons and their oppressive ways.

The stakes are higher than ever, and Anna is determined that the love she feels will be her strength, not a liability. But trying to protect the ones she loves while running for her life and battling demonic forces proves to be perilous—especially as faces are changing and trust is fleeting. When the Duke of Lust sends Anna’s great love, Kaidan Rowe, to work against her, Anna must decide how much she’s prepared to risk.

In the most sensual and fast-paced installment yet, Sweet Reckoning brings all the beloved Neph together one last time to fight for their freedom.

Quick & Dirty: This was a fantastic ending to an unbelievably good series. It is full of sexy romance, heart wrenching moments, and unforgettable characters. I would highly recommend this to anyone that is a fan of young adult paranormal books.

Opening Sentence: Not a soul in the Vegas cocktail lounge had any idea demons were in their midst.

Excerpt: No

The Review:

I want to start off by saying that this is the third and final book in the series. I am going to try to make it as spoiler free as possible, but I suggest that if you haven’t read the first two books (which you totally should because they are amazing) then you probably should skip this review.

The final showdown is about to begin and sweet Anna Whitt is going to be right in the middle of it. With a group of Nephilim allies, Anna plans to rid the earth of all the evil Dukes once and for all. But the Dukes know about the prophecy and they suspect that Anna is the Nephilim that will be their downfall, so they do everything in their power to try and stop her.

Anna goes on the run to protect those she loves and herself. But she’s not sure who she can trust and the danger just keeps escalating. In the prophecy it states that Anna must remain pure to will the sword of righteousness and this becomes extremely hard when the Duke of Lust sent his son Kaidan Rowe to seduce her. Anna will do anything to protect Kaidan and if his father finds out he failed in having his way with Anna, the consequences will be deadly. Anna will have to decide what and who she is willing to risk to bring down the Dukes.

I totally adored Anna from the very beginning and my love for her just grew more and more with each book. At first she is this very innocent and slightly naïve girl, but by the end of the series she becomes a force to be reckon with. She still has a heart made of gold and a very sweet personality, but she has grown a tough skin to help her cope with her situation. I really admired Anna’s inner strength and determination. She never gives up even when things look dire. Anna will forever be one of my favorite book characters and I am so glad I got to read her story.

Kaidan is seriously a sexy beast. I love his accent, his killer good looks, and just thinking about him makes my insides melt. I loved getting to see the more gentle side to Kai, because it just made him that much more irresistible. His love and devotion for Anna is beautiful and so heartwarming. The other thing I love about Kai is that he really isn’t perfect, because he is the son of lust he has been forced to do a lot of things that he really shouldn’t have. It has left scars that may never fully heal, but his broken side just makes him more endearing. Suffice to say, I am madly in love with Kai and he is one of my all time favorite book boyfriends.

Sweet Reckoning was an extraordinary ending to a spectacular series. It has killer romance, loveable characters, and great action. I will admit that the first half of the book was a little slower than I maybe would have liked, but the rest of it totally made up for it. There were a few plot twists that I wasn’t expecting, which really helped keep me interested through the whole book. I found that I couldn’t stop smiling while reading this book because there were just so many adorable moments. But there were also some heart wrenching moments that really made me sad, so there was a good balance. Higgins also does sexy times so well, giving you just enough, but not too much since this is a young adult series. The only way I can describe the ending is that it was total perfection. It had just enough info to leave me satisfied, but it also left a few things up to your imagination, which I really liked. This series is probably my all time favorite young adult paranormal series. I am so sad to see it end, but it will always be one that I will re-read many times in the future. If you haven’t read this series yet you honestly should, you will not regret it.

Notable Scene:

I kissed him one last time before rolling over and feeling his heat against my back as he reached around my waist and pulled me closer.

As I drifted to sleep, from a state of semi consciousness I heard him whisper, “You’re my dream. My only dream.”

The Sweet Trilogy:

1. Sweet Evil

2. Sweet Peril

3. Sweet Reckoning (April 29, 2014)

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FTC Advisory: HarperTeen provided me with a copy of Sweet Reckoning. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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Preview of New Releases for this Week

April 20th, 2014 @ 12:01 am
Posted by Bridget under New Releases Tags: Afterparty, Andrea Cremer, Anne Blankman, Annie Cardi, Brooklyn Skye, Chris Bohjalian, Claire LaZebnik, Clare Furniss, Daryl Gregory, Deceptions Princess, Dianne K. Salerni, Don't Call Me Baby, Esther M. Friesner, Expiration Day, Fragile Line, Golem in My Glovebox, Gwendolyn Heasley, How I Got Skinny Famous and Fell Madly In Love, Joshua McCune, Just One Night, Karina Halle, Ken Baker, Lauren Layne, Legal Briefs, Love in English, Mark Alpert, Meljean Brook, My Not So Super Sweet Life, N.M. Silber, Nicole Camden, P.J. Schnyder, Prisoner of Night and Fog, R.L. Naquin, Rachel Harris, Stacey Kade, Survive to Dawn, Talker 25, Teresa Mummert, The Chance You Won't Return, The Eighth Day, The Fetish Queen Reborn, The Furies, The Hunt, The Inventor's Secret, The Kraken King Part Two, The Last Best Kiss, The Light in the Ruins, The Year of the Rat, Torn from the Shadows, White Trash Love Song, William Campbell Powell, Yolanda Sfetsos

This is a slower week for book publications, but there are still some wonderful books coming out that I am really looking for ward to.

    

    

    

    

    

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Early Review: Thirty Sunsets by Christine Hurley Deriso

April 19th, 2014 @ 12:02 am
Posted by Kaitlin under Review Tags: Christine Hurley Deriso, Contemporary, Review, Thirty Sunsets, Young Adult

thirtysunsetsTitle: Thirty Sunsets

Author: Christine Hurley Deriso

Genre: YA Contemporary

Series: N/A

Publication Date: July 8, 2014

Format: Paperback, 240 Pages

ISBN-10: 073873991X (Flux)

ISBN-13: 978-0738739915 (Flux)

Reviewed by: Kaitlin

Synopsis:

To Forrest Shepherd, getting away to the family’s beach house with her parents and her brother, Brian, is the best part of every summer. Until this year, when her mother invites Brian’s obnoxious girlfriend, Olivia, to join them. Suddenly, Forrest’s relaxing vacation becomes a mission to verify the reality of Olivia’s rumored eating disorder. But the truth behind Olivia’s finicky eating isn’t at all what Forrest expected. And over the next thirty days, Forrest’s world is turned upside down as her family’s darkest secrets begin to come to light.

Quick & Dirty: Forrest was a funny and relatable character, and although quite a few “OMG”s were scattered throughout the chapters, this was a short, enjoyable read.

Opening Sentence: “Hey, Forrest.”

Excerpt: No

The Review:

Forrest is not popular. She’s been stamped as the official geek, and when summer starts, she’ll finally be able to escape to the families beach house with her brother and his new girlfriend. But family secrets and surprising revelations plague the trip, along with a mysterious guy that may or may not be a complete jerk.

This was an easy book to fall into. There isn’t much action, true, but Forrest is a great main character and has a relatable point of view. (Other than the frequent “OMG”s. Not a fan of the OMGs.) She knows her family has been hiding something from her, and her rocky relationship with her brother’s girlfriend isn’t helping to calm her down. Many times, Forrest has strange nightmares that show her that something is wrong, and I didn’t enjoy these much either. Her subconscious mind produced some weird things in order to get the point across, and they just weren’t really needed. But there were definitely some pros to this book as well! For example, I loved the title. The title was relevant to the boy she meets. I’ll leave it to you to decide if he’s trustworthy, because at first it seems like it could go either way. Scott is confident, witty, and knows how to charm a girl. At one point he makes a comment about this being the first sunset of the thirty they will spend with each other, and that’s the origin of the title. By the end, Scott’s true personality will come clear. I’m not saying if he’s kind or not either, read to find out!

Now I would like to explain my feelings about the pacing and the ending. The reason this book got three stars was not because I didn’t enjoy myself or because it was badly written. It got three instead of four because of the pacing and ending. For one, the pacing was up and down, sometimes too slow, sometimes too fast. There was no in between. It made it sometimes confusing and I’d need to go back and reread a page or so. For example, the scenes that did have some action or some revealed truth were pretty quick, and the beginning of the book a little slower. The other main thing I had a problem with was the ending chapter. The epilogue was adorable, so kudos for that, but the chapter before made me roll my eyes. All of the book led up to this, and instead of twenty extra pages discussing how everything is resolved, something sudden and unexpected happens. It makes the end of the book seemed rushed and annoyed me. I wanted at least a solid chapter where things could play out more realistically, but instead I got a few pages with no thought-provoking paragraphs or unique new ideas about life or anything deep at all, to round up the story.

Altogether, however, I am glad I read Thirty Sunsets. It’s a single book with no sequel and is great for someone wanting a contemporary to lie back and enjoy for a few days before diving into something action-packed or large. A book like this is cute and can hold your attention for as long as you need to read it. Have fun!

Note: contains sensitive subjects such as rape.

Notable Scene:

“I’m sure you have plenty of people to share sunsets with.” I venture cautiously.

“Maybe. But who do I want to share my sunsets with? That’s the qustion.”

Another trick question? I honestly don’t know. So I ask him.

“Who?”

He stops in his tracks, loosely takes my hands and looks into my eyes. “you.”

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FTC Advisory: Flux provided me with a copy of Thirty Sunsets. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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Review: Salt by Danielle Ellison

April 19th, 2014 @ 12:01 am
Posted by Kaitlin under Review Tags: Danielle Ellison, Fantasy, Review, Salt, Salt Series, Young Adult

saltTitle: Salt

Author: Danielle Ellison

Genre: YA Fantasy

Series: Salt (Book #1)

Publication Date: January 7, 2014

Format: eBook, 250 Pages

ISBN-10: 1622663489 (Entangled)

ISBN-13: 978-1622663484 (Entangled)

Reviewed by: Kaitlin

Synopsis:

Never leave home without salt.

Penelope is a witch, part of a secret society protecting humans from demon attacks. But when she was a child, a demon killed her parents—and stole her magic. Since then, she’s been pretending to be something she’s not, using her sister’s magic to hide her own loss, to prevent being sent away.

When she’s finally given the chance to join the elite demon-hunting force, Penelope thinks that will finally change. With her sister’s help, she can squeeze through the tests and get access to the information she needs to find “her” demon. To take back what was stolen.

Then she meets Carter. He’s cute, smart, and she can borrow his magic, too. He knows her secret—but he also has one of his own.

Suddenly, Penelope’s impossible quest becomes far more complicated. Because Carter’s not telling her everything, and it’s starting to seem like the demons have their own agenda…and they’re far too interested in her.

Quick & Dirty: Salt by Danielle Ellison is a very entertaining, engaging book with a cute romance.

Opening Sentence: Gran always told us to not leave home without salt in our pocket.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Penelope is a witch, one of the many that reside secretly in a world of Nons, people with no magic. But ever since she was small, she’s had no magic unless she can draw from her family, and only when they’re close by. A demon stole it when her parents were murdered. Penelope will need all the help she can get, be it from the mysterious Conner or her best friend and sister, to discover her heritage and get back her magic.

I liked Penelope, her snarky attitude and sass. Sometimes she whined, and it was in those times I wanted to take a break on the book, but most of the time she was relatable and funny. She is a great main character, with the right blend of intensity and strength. The point of view from which we listen to her reminds me in many ways of how the Percy Jackson series is written. There were no complicated paragraphs about the meaning of life, the writing style is simple and straightforward, not very unique.

Carter was an interesting love interest. At the beginning I was not a fan. He showed up very conveniently where and when Penelope needed him most, and was too sarcastic for my liking. I feel as if the author was going for a Will Herondale like character, confident, mysterious, funny. Sadly, I felt no attachment to Carter the first few times we met him and only really started to enjoy him towards the middle. As his sarcastic facade fades, we see more of the turmoil brimming within his mind. His attempts at humor were less frequent and more funny, and a more sensitive but still strong interior began to leak through. This gentle, funny Carter was a character I could identify with more than the one from before.

When Penelope and Carter admitted their feelings for one another, I immediately was floored by the amount of kissing. Kissing on the cheek, lips, forehead, between every sentence. Kissing, kissing, kissing. The whole passion thing soon became less sweet and more cheesy as the kisses increased, but luckily after a few chapters this died down and their romance became officially “cute” again.

Salt was full of action. It had a lot of fight scenes and lots of clues to the mystery of Pen’s magic. I liked following along with the characters as they discovered who they were and what happened in their families. I enjoyed Penelope and Vassago, a demon, most of all the characters, and the story flowed well without any boring parts. World-building was good, but could have been improved even more, but altogether Salt was a read that I don’t regret. I’d recommend this to any lovers of Percy Jackson or fans of the Shadowhunters from the Mortal Instruments/Infernal Devices series. Yes, it wasn’t perfect, but the story was enjoyable and I’m excited for a sequel. Hopefully some of you pick it up soon! (It’s extremely cheap at the moment. $3! Please keep in mind this is subject to change.)

Notable Scene:

Then his mouth is all I can think about and I lean into his kiss. My body is on fire as his warmth seeps through my clothes. He lowers me down on the bed, and we’re both way too big, legs hanging off and over each other, but I don’t even care. My heart is pounding. I’m kissing Carter.

Salt Series:

1. Salt

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FTC Advisory: Entangled: Teen provided me with a copy of Salt. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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Blog Tour: Resurrection by Amy Carol Reeves

April 18th, 2014 @ 12:01 am
Posted by Kristie under Blog Tour Tags: Amy Carol Reeves, Historical Fiction, Resurrection, Ripper Series, Young Adult

Amy Carol ReevesPlease welcome author Amy Carol Reeves to Dark Faerie Tales! She recently released the final book in the Ripper Trilogy, Resurrection, on April 8, 2014 from Flux Publishing. Want to know our thoughts on this series? Read Bridget’s reviews for Ripper and Renegade by clicking on their titles. The review for Resurrection will follow this post.

Author Bio:

Amy Carol Reeves has a PhD in nineteenth-century British literature. She lives in Columbia, South Carolina where she works as an Assistant Professor of English at Columbia College and writes young adult books. When not teaching, writing, or spending time with her family, she likes jogging with her Labrador retriever, Annie, and daydreaming about Bront? novel hunks. Resurrection is her third novel.

You can visit Cassie around the web here: Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook

Want to read more from Amy Carol Reeves?

Ripper Renegade Resurrection

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DFT: To start things off would you like to tell us about the Ripper series and what inspired you to write it?

Amy: I’ve always been fascinated with the Jack the Ripper story—specifically that it could happen during the seemingly well-behaved Victorian period. I got the idea to write a historical fiction book about it after going on Donald Rumbelow’s Jack the Ripper tour in London during graduate school.

DFT: I loved that Abbie was so independent and even though she could easily live a pampered life she decides instead to work at the hospital. Was it difficult to make Abbie a realistic character that was so different from the average rich girl in a time period where it was looked down upon for privileged women to work?

Amy: What helped me make her situation realistic was creating her unusual background in Ireland. Who knows? She might have turned out very differently if she had been raised by her Grandmother in Kensington. But I think the fact that her mother was independent and would naturally raise Abbie with her values, made her situation more believable. Furthermore, her mother had to make her living as a governess, so it wasn’t like Abbie was raised in a wealthy environment. It was quite a shock to her when after her mother’s death she was suddenly plunged into Lady Westfield’s world!

DFT: My favorite thing about the Ripper series is that it is set in London in the late 1800’s. This has always been one of my favorite settings for a book.  What is it about London that made you choose it as your setting?

Amy: London was the center of everything during the Victorian period. It had essentially replaced Paris at that point in history as a rising city. The Great Exhibition of 1851 was a big deal for the Victorians, showcasing for the world all of England’s treasures and achievements.  And yet, there was a “darker” side to Victorian London—I feel as if the display at the Great Exhibition of metal noses to mask the scarring of syphilis gestured to this.  During the Victorian period, there was a population explosion and rising poverty and prostitution particularly in East End London. Infant mortality and illness and were just a few of the problems plaguing this part of London.

DFT: I also really liked that you implemented historical facts into a work of fiction. Why did you decide to feature the famous story of Jack the Ripper in your book? And how difficult was it to combine the historical elements with the fictional elements?

Amy: Besides my own fascination with the Jack the Ripper story, it’s one of those topics that piques everyone’s interest. Like Sherlock Holmes and Dracula, the Jack the Ripper story is one piece of Victorian history/literature that most people are familiar with. Truthfully, it wasn’t that difficult to combine the historical facts surrounding the Jack the Ripper murders with my own fictional story. As much as possible, I tried to keep the timeline and facts surrounding the five canonical murders accurate and then I wrote my own story around it.

RipperRenegadeResurrection

DFT: William and Simon really couldn’t be more different, but Abbie cares deeply for both of them. What is it about each of them that she finds so appealing? Did you always envision them being such polar opposites?

Amy: Always. They were always supposed to be opposites. The love triangle is based on the love triangle between St. John Rivers, Rochester, and Jane in Jane Eyre. It’s one of my favorite love stories—where both men have different virtues (and flaws!) to offer her and yet she must choose. Simon is steady, rational, and disciplined, much more in control of his feelings than William. William is well…not in control of his emotions, but Abbie loves his raw honesty and his unpredictable personality.

DFT: What famous person do you picture when you think of Abbie? William? Simon?

Amy: Hmmm….that’s a difficult question. Truthfully, I could see Emma Watson as Abbie. I really struggle in my mind over who could play William and Simon in a movie version of Ripper.

DFT: Out of all the characters you created in the Ripper series, which one was your favorite? Which one was the most difficult to write?

Amy: Abbie is, of course, my favorite character. I like watching her develop from the stubborn girl trying to get her mother’s brooch back from the pickpocket in the opening scene of Ripper, to a more knowledgeable character facing the Ripper. In terms of the most difficult character to write, I had a hard time with the Ripper. He needed to be a dangerous murderer, and yet I wanted his character more complicated. I wanted the reader (and Abbie) to see how he became the murderer that he is in the trilogy. He has a long history, much of it interconnected with Abbie’s mother; this history is revealed in Resurrection and it deepens Abbie’s understanding of what drives him and why he is so obsessed with her.

DFT: If it’s possible without spoiling anything, what was your favorite scene to write in Resurrection?

Amy: I had many favorite scenes in this book, but I have to say, one of my favorite (and most difficult) scenes to write was Abbie’s final showdown with the Ripper. The previous books had been building up to this, so I wanted to write it well. Without giving away spoilers, I will say that I had tons of fun destroying Lady Westfield’ s lovely home during the scene.  :-)

DFT: This was the end of the Ripper series, so can you tell us about any other projects you may have in the works right now?

Amy: I’ll probably write another historical fiction. Right now, I’m doing a lot of research on different eras that I’m interested in. The reading and research is always fun!

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Resurrection

Available April 8, 2014 from Flux

About this Book:

When she catches Edmund Wyatt following her through the streets of London, Abbie Sharp learns that every British monarch for hundreds of years has known about—and financially supported—the Conclave. Furious that the monarchy would cooperate with such a nefarious group, Abbie refuses Wyatt’s request for help in catching the person who is blackmailing Queen Victoria with this secret information. But a far greater threat emerges when the Ripper, Max, returns and brings a string of new murders with him. Abbie must choose whether to help the Queen she now despises or stop Max from succeeding at his most diabolical plan yet—the creation of a whole new Conclave aimed at usurping the British throne.

Click HERE to read an excerpt

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