Monthly Archives: April 2013

Darkness, Kindled by: Samantha Young

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I just finished Darkness, Kindled by: Samantha Young and I am a bundle of emotion. This was an epic conclusion to the series. I could go on and on, but instead of doing that I will get right to the description and review:

Darkness, KindledAri Johnson wishes adjusting to living with her boyfriend was her only source of excitement and anxiety.
She wishes a lot of things.
But then wishing was what got her here in the first place.

Ari chose to be a Guild Hunter. She wanted to hunt dangerous Jinn and destroy them before they could harm innocent people. But now that Ari is a member of The Guild, she finds herself in the impossible position of hunting her ex-best friend – human-turned-dangerous sorcerer, Charlie Creagh. As Ari struggles to come to terms with her duty, an ancient Jinn and his companion want revenge on her for using the command of the Seal against them; the White King refuses to give up on his quest to resurrect Lilif, and Asmodeus isn’t done toying with her.

When Ari can take no more, rushing to the Sultan Azazil’s side to demand of him the favor he owes her, the events she sets in motion will not only alter everyone’s lives, it will kindle a darkness that will shake the realms to their very core.

So many emotions are coursing through me right now that I don’t really know where to start. This was 100% a bittersweet read to me. I absolutely could not wait to get my hands on it, but at the same time, I knew it was the last book in a series that I totally did not want to end. And what a finale it was!

This book was divided into three distinct parts. I’m assuming (though I don’t know for sure) that each of the sections were going to be the three books that this was originally supposed to be. Even though I would have liked more books, I think Ms. Young made a smart decision by combining everything in one book. The pacing in this book was perfect. There was never a dull moment, but at the same time, nothing felt rushed. Had this been broken into three books, I think there would have been some major pacing problems resulting from trying to stretch not enough information over too many pages.

What else can I say about this book? Ari is still a strong heroine. She has really come into her own and was very take-charge in this book. I like that. She doesn’t let other people push her around just because she hasn’t been in the Jinn world for as long. On the same note, her decisions are actually smart and make sense. So often I read about strong-willed heroines who don’t want to listen to anyone and who end up making things worse instead of better. that was not Ari at all. She took what she knew and made the best possible decisions she could for her circumstances.

Jai is still totally drool-worthy. He and Ari have their highs and lows, they both have strong personalities and want to be right, but at the end of the day, they love each other and their relationship feels real. It isn’t all rainbows and butterflies all the time; they butt heads but then they make up and move on. I love them together.

I think Trey and Glass is weird, but I think its because all we get to see of Glass is his stoic facade. We know he cares about Ari and Jai; we just don’t get to see it as much as, say, with Red, who is very outspoken.

This book did a great job of tying up loose ends, but at the same time, I would not say No to another Fire Spirits novel. This series is one of my faves and I am sad to see it end but love how it ended.

5/5 Stars

To learn more about the Fire Spirits series, go here.

To purchase Darkness, Kindled, go here.

If you liked my review, please go over to the sidebar and follow me on Twitter, Like my Facebook page, and/or follow my blog so you can keep up to date with all of my reviews!

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The Stillness of You by: Julie Bale

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*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

I heard about this book through the Read-to-Review program through the New Adult Book Club on Goodreads. After reading the blurb, I knew I wanted to read it and signed up to be one of the reviewers.

**New Adult featuring mature situations and sexual content – recommended for ages 18+**

Photo linked to Goodreads

Photo linked to Goodreads

Bad girl,Georgia King, is trying to survive after spiraling into a darkness that nearly took her life. With her college dreams on hold she’s trying to get healthy–trying to still the craziness inside her. She has no room for someone like Ben Lancaster and if he was smart he’d stay away. Because everyone knows Georgia is bad news–she ruins people–and if Ben isn’t careful, he’ll be next in line.

Ben Lancaster is a young, hot shot hockey player on his way to the top. Newly signed to the Philadelphia Flyers, he’s living the dream. The girls. The money. The fame. He thought he had everything he wanted until he met Georgia. Suddenly he wants more–he wants her. He’ll do whatever it takes to get her and Ben Lancaster always gets what he wants.

But the girl who’s different from anyone he’s ever known is hiding secrets. And as the dog days of summer pass, only time will tell if Georgia’s secrets can be healed. Or if her bruised soul is strong enough to resist Ben Lancaster…

“Ben Lancaster had just tattooed himself onto my soul and the thing about tattoos? They’re painful to remove.”–Georgia King.

This book was deep. It left me with a lot of conflicting emotions and I’m not really sure where to start.

*deep breath* Ok, let’s see…

The Good:

This book dealt with some heavy topics, and it did not try to pretty them up or lessen there reality. Georgia has some serious issues that she is still trying to figure out how to deal with her problems. It’s a slow process, but she is making progress and starting to find control. I appreciated that Ms. Bale did not just glance over the issue or make Georgia suddenly all better when Ben entered her life. That is not what would happen in real life, and this book strives to be realistic, at least in that aspect.

At the same time, Georgia does find Ben to be a calming presence which I believed. It does not seem unreasonable that Ben could help Georgia relax. It’s not the same as making her better, it’s just taking a little bit of the load off of her shoulders to make dealing a little easier.

I liked that, even though she wasn’t honest with Ben, Georgia was at least honest with herself. She was fully aware that she had problems and was trying to deal with them.

I liked Ben. I don’t know that I loved him. However, I do think he was exactly the type of person that Georgia’s character needed which in the grand scheme of the story world, is a much more important thing.

The Bad:

I didn’t like that it took so long for Georgia to tell Ben her secrets, and even that was only because she got to the point where she had to.

I hated Kendall. Georgia should just never talk to her or Travis again. Talk about toxic relationships.

Even though it was realistic, I didn’t really like the way that Matt treated Georgia at times. He just came across as a jerk.

I didn’t like that Ben seemed to have absolutely no problems. Maybe that’s why I didn’t totally fall for him? No one’s life is that ridiculously perfect without having a skeleton hidden somewhere. Maybe we’ll find out in the next book?

I wasn’t crazy about how Ben and Georgia’s relationship developed. They didn’t really talk a lot (at least not about important things) because Georgia was so withdrawn and scared of driving Ben away with the truth. They *cough’s delicately* found other ways to entertain themselves instead. Then they were confessing their love for each other, and I was like, “You don’t love each other! You don’t actually know each other!” so yeah, that kind of annoyed me.

I struggled a lot with what to rate this one. I finally settled on 4 stars because while there were some things that I really liked/appreciated, there were also some things that just kind of rubbed me the wrong way, keeping it from a full 5 stars.

To check it out for yourself, find it on Amazon here.

Happy Birthday, Abbi Glines!

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If you couldn’t tell by the title, today is the fabulous Abbi Glines‘ birthday! *throws confetti*

Image courtesy of AToMR Book Tours

Image courtesy of AToMR Book Tours

In honor of the event, I thought I would fangirl a little over the first books to make me fall in love with her writing: The Existence Trilogy. The books are Existence, Predestined, Leif (a companion novella) and Ceaseless. Oh and if you read all the way to the end, there just might be a giveaway!

Photo Linked to Goodreads

Photo Linked to Goodreads

Now back when I first got my Kindle, I was on this kick where I would only read PNR. Abbi Glines is known for her contemporary romances, but, at the time, I got bored whenever I read Contemporary. I did have some that I liked; it just definitely wasn’t my thing. Anyway, I was just discovering indie books and needless to say, I was hooked on them (I mean really, how can you not fall in love with inexpensive books?)

I came across Existence and after reading it, I was hooked. Here’s the blurb from Goodreads:

Existence by Abbi Glines

Photo Linked to Goodreads

What happens when you’re stalked by Death? You fall in love with him, of course.

Pagan Moore doesn’t cheat Death, but instead, falls in love with him.

Seventeen year old Pagan Moore has seen souls her entire life. Once she realized the strangers she often saw walking through walls were not visible to anyone else, she started ignoring them. If she didn’t let them know she could see them, then they left her alone. Until she stepped out of her car the first day of school and saw an incredibly sexy guy lounging on a picnic table, watching her with an amused smirk on his face. Problem is, she knows he’s dead.

Not only does he not go away when she ignores him, but he does something none of the others have ever done. He speaks. Pagan is fascinated by the soul. What she doesn’t realize is that her appointed time to die is drawing near and the wickedly beautiful soul she is falling in love with is not a soul at all.

He is Death and he’s about to break all the rules.

Intriguing, no?

Death AKA Dankmar AKA Dank Walker is the lead singer in a band, oh and he is death, but mostly he is hottt. He is also one of my personal favorite book boyfriends. Abbi Glines got the paranormal book boyfriend recipe perfect  with this one. He is the perfect mix of dark and brooding and loving and attentive. Plus, he sings. Did I mention he writes songs just for Pagan? And plays them just for her on his guitar? Can you say swoon?

Well just as Dank and Pagan think they have things figured out, more stuff hits the fan. I give you Predestined.

Predestined by Abbi Glines

Photo Linked to Goodreads

The high school quarterback and reigning heartthrob, Leif Montgomery, is missing. While the town is in a frenzy of worry, Pagan is a nervous wreck for other reasons. Apparently good ‘ol Leif isn’t your average teenage boy. He isn’t even human. According to Death, Leif doesn’t have a soul. The quarterback may have skipped town but he’s still showing up in Pagan’s dreams… uninvited. 

Dank has known from the beginning Leif wasn’t human. But he hadn’t worried about a simple soulless creature. Now, he realizes he made a grave mistake. Pagan’s soul has been marked since birth as a restitution, to a spirit so dark not even Death walks near it. Dank knows saving Pagan’s soul won’t be easy but Pagan is his. And he’s already proven he’ll defy Heaven to keep her. If Hell wants a piece of him too, then bring it on.

More Dank swoons and a kidnapping later, we think everything is good. Apparently not. Now Dank has to compete with Pagan’s soulmate to win their forever. Oh and she gets her memory of him erased. So unfair. Ceaseless:

Ceaseless by Abbi Glines

Photo Linked to Goodreads

When Pagan Moore proved worthy of Death’s devotion, he was given the gift of getting to keep her. 

But Dank was never promised that Pagan would keep him.

When a soul is created, so is its mate. In every lifetime those souls find each other. They complete the other’s destiny. It’s time for Pagan’s soul to choose if she truly wants an eternity at Death’s side or if she wants the mate created just for her. 

Dank didn’t think he had to worry about her choice. He knew where her heart belonged. Until he realized that every kiss, every touch, every moment of their time together would be washed from her memories. He would have to win her heart all over again and prove to her soul that he was where she belonged. 

If only her soul’s mate wasn’t right there standing in his way.

In between Predestined and Ceaseless we also have Leif, a companion novella told (unsurprisingly) from Leif’s POV. Maybe he isn’t such a terrible guy after all? I tend to think he is but you never know…

Leif by Abbi Glines

Photo Linked to Goodreads

LEIF is a novella from the Existence series. It is glimpses into Leif’s point-of-view during both Existence and Predestined. 

* Also, each digital copy of LEIF has a free download for Dank Walker (AKA Death) newest song – Closer.

I highly recommend these books. Here are the Amazon links: Ceaseless, Predestined, Leif, and Ceaseless.

After reading Existence, I read Abbi’s other works, and, of course, loved them. This is just what got me started.

Oh, I guess I also promised a giveaway didn’t I? The lovely folks at AToMR Book Tours put this birthday hop together for Ms. Glines. Their button is over on the sidebar. You can find the giveaway’s rafflecopter here, and a full list of the participating blogs can be found here. There are some free books and some great swag to be won, so make sure you go enter! And check out the other blogs participating to see who else is showing the Abbi Glines love.

Drew + Fable by: Monica Murphy

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Tonight I have a two-for-one review for you! I recently read One Week Girlfriend and Second Chance Boyfriend by the super talented Monica Murphy. I read One Week Girlfriend while I was at the beach and looking for something light, and then when I got home, I saw that Second Chance Boyfriend had been released, so I had to read it too!

*These are both New Adult Contemporary Romances recommended for readers 17+*

First we have One Week Girlfriend:

Photo Linked to Goodreads

Photo Linked to Goodreads

Here is the Goodreads description:

Temporary. That one single word best describes my life these last few years. I’m working at a temporary job until I can finally break free. I’m my little brother’s temporary mother since our mom doesn’t give a crap about either of us. And I’m that temporary girl all the guys want to get with because I give it up so easily. According to the rumors, at least.
But now I’m the temporary girlfriend of Drew Callahan, college football legend and all around golden guy. He’s beautiful, sweet—and he’s hiding way more secrets than I am. He’s brought me into this fake life where everyone seems to hate me. And everyone seems to want something from him. The only thing he seems to want though is…

Me.

I don’t know what to believe anymore. All I know is, I think Drew needs me. And I want to be there for him.

Forever.

I really enjoyed the story. Despite touching on some heavy subjects, overall I thought it was a light read, great for the beach!

Fable has a (mostly) undeserved reputation which leads Drew to her for help. He needs someone to bring as a buffer between him and his parents (stepmom) when he goes home for Thanksgiving break. He offers her enough money that she can’t turn him down even though it makes her feel dirty to accept money to pretend to date someone.

Ms. Murphy made a gutsy move with how she chose to shape these characters. Fable was the one that tried to take care of everyone and had the absentee parents. Drew was the one who… well, you’ll see. Anyway, it was definitely different, but I think it 100% paid off.

I guessed most of the major plot twists before they happened, but that did not make them any less dramatic. For a fairly short story, OWG was definitely full of emotion. My only two complaints were that 1) I wish it would have been longer so I could have gotten more details of their week and 2) that it pretty much ended on an evil cliffhanger.

4/5 Stars

Find it on Amazon here.

Ok. So if you haven’t read OWG. Stop here, go read it, and then come back.

Now for Second Chance Boyfriend:

Photo Linked to Goodreads

Photo Linked to Goodreads

Here is SCB’s Goodreads description:

Lost. That one single word best describes my life at this very moment. I lost the last games of the season and both my team and my coach blame me. I lost the last two months because I drowned in my own despair like a complete loser. And I lost the only girl who ever mattered because I was afraid being with me would destroy her.

But now I realize how truly lost I am without her. She has become my story…and even though she acts like she’s moved on, I know she still thinks about me just as much as I think about her. She’s beautiful, sweet—and so damn vulnerable, all I want to do is help her. Be there for her.

Love her…

If only I could convince Fable to give me a second chance. Then I wouldn’t feel so lost anymore, and neither would she. We could be found together.

Forever.

Second Chance Boyfriend picks up 2 months after the end of One Week Girlfriend. Fable is heartbroken from Drew’s disappearing act, and Drew thinks that there is no way that Fable will ever speak to him again. He thinks that she mush hate him for what he did.

The story opens with Fable getting approached by Colin. I got really worried for a minute thinking that this was going to be one of those sequels that has an awkward love-triangle thrown in for conflict. I needn’t have worried. Colin offers Fable a job at his fancy restaurant which she accepts because she will make way more money. This leads to her seeing Drew again when he goes to the restaurant with some of the other football players.

SCB was longer and a lot more emotional than OWG. Drew and Fable are forced to not just survive their demons but to finally confront them. I do not want to give away too much and ruin the story, but I will say that I liked that Drew and Fable are a team. They balance each other out and make each other stronger. They do have a few tiffs, but they are not the usual kind I’ve seen in books that are overly dramatic fights that lead to unnecessary breakups. Their arguments actually help them grow.

Overall, this book was a great follow-up to One Week Girlfriend.

5/5 Stars

Find SCB on Amazon.