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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Pinkindle Reads but no Reviews: January, 2012

I read a lot, but review less. Sometimes I just don't feel like writing something, or I just don't have much to say. Either way, it doesn't seem fair to leave these books out. So once or twice a month I'll present the books that I read, rated, but didn't review, and give a quick few sentences about what I thought of them.

Teaser Tuesday [4]

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday, January 30, 2012

[Review] Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Title: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
Author: Ransom Riggs
Pages: 352 (Hardcover)
Publisher: Quirk Publishing
Release Date: June 7, 2011

A mysterious island.

An abandoned orphanage.

A strange collection of very curious photographs.

It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.

A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.

I've been really excited to finally read Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children and it did not disappoint...for the most part. I was immediately drawn in by Jacob's grandfather's story of his childhood at a strange orphanage on a mysterious island. How much of those stories was actually true is something Jacob isn't sure about until his grandfather passes away and his last words send Jacob to the island where he grew up. Once there he begins to unearth the secrets of old orphanage and learns more about his grandfather than he's ever known.

Mixed into the story are eerie photographs of the peculiar children who resided at this orphanage. Many of them are just old photographs, but some are quite odd, and a few are down right creepy. There were a couple that honestly gave me bad dreams, but I am easy to spook. Unfortunately, about halfway through the book the photographs are very sparse and the story changes from one that was super intriguing to one that was a bit lackluster.

The mystery surrounding the orphanage and Jacob's grandfather's stories are all revealed by the halfway mark. After that we get to observe Jacob getting to know the peculiar children, which was interesting, but then the tone shifts. It goes from a creepy mystery to a monster hunt of sorts. I wasn't really interested in any of that, but it just kept going and going. Finally at the end we're left with this notion of "leapfrogging" through time and grand adventures, which grabbed my attention again, but by then it was too late since the novel was over.

This one started out so amazing, but then it just dropped off at the end. I'm a bit disappointed.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

In My Mailbox [10]

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren to show off our newest books: purchases, borrows, ARCs, galleys, etc.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

[Review] The Savage Blood (Savage, #2) by Tamara Rose Blodgett

Title: The Savage Blood
Series: Savage, #2
Author: Tamara Rose Blodgett
Pages: 266 (Paperback)
Publisher: Tamara Rose Blodgett
Release Date: November 22, 2011

Matthew and Bracus of the Band travel alongside eighteen-year old queen, Clara Williamson, as she journeys to the sea to unlock the puzzle of her lineage.

Trouble strikes when the fragment absorbs Prince Frederic and undertake plans that involve Clara and her home sphere in a dangerous scheme of coercion.

It isn't long before Clara discovers the Guardians terrible secret through horrible circumstances she must escape from.

Can Clara protect herself from her own destiny?

The Savage Blood starts out one year after the events of the previous book as Clara and Company make their way towards Cape Cod in search of Clara's birth mother. My first thought was "nooooo!!!" since I really wanted to know what the immediate effects of those ending events were. Unfortunately, we don't get filled in either. Clara has stepped up to her new position as Queen, but she's still her same nice, considerate self. However, she's still shaken from the abuse of Prince Frederic, and she goes through some obvious changes. But that's to be expected after the abuse she's experience, and all of the new situations she's been placed in. She also has to deal with all of the tension between the men while traveling away from her sphere. Tensions are high between Bracus and Matthew, Matthew and Charles, and between Charles and Clara. Everyone is on edge!

The action starts out almost immediately. We're thrust into the open plains of the Outside were the fragment roams. Even though the fragment is terrible, I was excited to learn more about them, and we definitely get plenty of new information on this wandering group. We also learn about yet another group of people, the Travelers. This is where the story picks up more of a Science Fiction feel. Who exactly are the Travelers and the fragment, or more pressing a question, WHEN are they from? There's a bit of talk about "folding" of time and space, but their origins are still a bit mysterious.

Clara does solve the mystery of her heritage once the group reaches Cape Cod. I really liked the insight into this new clan and Band. They're a bit different than the clan which Clara has been traveling with, and again there's that one male who does respect the females. Poor Clara just cannot catch a break from males trying to take advantage of her! Of course, not all of the males in Clara's life are bad. She still has the task of choosing which Band member she wants to be with, but in The Savage Blood the dynamics of the love-square change in a way I was not expecting. Plus there's still Charles, Clara's childhood friend and royal adviser. He's completely delusional in thinking that Clara will choose him, even though she's expressed to him multiple times that she only feels friendship for him. He's putting a strain on their relationship, and has become a complete "arrogant fool" as Matthew put it. I really could not stand him this time around. He went from a sweet guy that was I rooting for, to this selfish jackass.

One thing really bothered me in The Savage Blood: I had a hard time believing that the Band would be so careless about their protection of the females, especially after the battle in the last book. They always say how they'll always protect the women, and yet several times thoughout the book they let them go off on their own, which allowed them to become attacked and kidnapped. I could understand one moment of carelessness, but it happened far too often. Sure it resulted in a lot of action and conflict, but it was just bothersome and unbelievable.

Other than that, this was another solid, exciting installment of the Savage series. We got answers to several questions from the first book, but many more appeared. Plus we're left with a cliffhanger! What are the travelers up to? Will the spheres hold up against the attack? Who's going to kiss Clara next?! I'm looking forward to the next book.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

[Review] The Pearl Savage (Savage, #1) by Tamara Rose Blodgett

Title: The Pearl Savage
Series: Savage, #1
Author: Tamara Rose Blodgett
Pages: 272 (Kindle edition)
Publisher: Tamara Rose Blodgett
Release Date: June 14, 2011

Seventeen-year old princess, Clara Williamson, lives an old-fashioned existence in a biosphere of the future.

When her sadistic mother, Queen Ada, betroths her to an abusive prince of a neighboring sphere, Clara determines to escape Outside, where savages roam free.

Clara escapes tyranny only to discover the savages are not the only people who survived the cataclysmic events of one hundred forty years prior.

Once Outside, Clara finds herself trapped, unable to return to the abusive life of the sphere while facing certain danger Outside.

Can Clara find love and freedom with the peril that threatens to consume her?

The abundance of dome living within Dystopian novels is making me nervous. It really seems like a possibility. In The Pearl Savage something happens in 1890 that makes the Earth rather inhabitable. The young, healthy people were selected to live within the spheres, while the old and sick were left outside. 140 years later, time inside the spheres is frozen. The people still speak like they're in 1890, retained the mannerisms, as well as the fashion, but outside it's much different, much more savage. Clara, a princess in the sphere, dreams of exploring her wild surrounds, but of course that's not allowed.

I immediately felt terrible for Clara! She's such a nice, considerate, and helpful person. She cares about the people of her Kingdom and even works among them to do her part despite being royalty and against her mother's wishes. Her mother is a drunk, as well as physically and emotionally abusive. She even sells Clara's hand in marriage to get grapes for her precious wine! On top of that, Clara's betrothed, Frederic, is a total pig! He treats her like property and is also abusive! No wonder Clara wants out of the domes! The savages also want Clara out of the dome for their own reasons.

I really loved the contrast between life inside and outside. Outside women are few in number, so they're heavily protected and revered. This is so much different than how Clara is treated, and it in part motivates her kidnapping by the savages. The outsiders live in clans, governed by presidents and advisers, protected by the Band. While those inside the spheres still have royalty and guards, which involve alliances and trade. The spheres have no true weather and are often humid due to the steampower, while the outsiders get to enjoy direct sunlight and wind and rain. It was also interesting how both groups viewed their 1890 ancestors so differently. The outsiders view them as the "Evil Ones" who have condemned them to this harsh lifestyle, and the insiders see them as the "Guardians" who saved their lives.

We get to see all of these differences and more in detail thanks to the multiple POVs, and the fact that our main character spends time in and out of the protective spheres. It was also very interesting, and exciting, when the two groups collided Outside. There was a bit of a standoff between a group of guards from the spheres and the Band, and I had no idea how that was going to to turn out. There were some twist of events that I most definitely did not see coming. It'll be interesting to see the consequences of this collision.

The Pearl Savage has action, drama, romance, and corsets. It basically has a little bit of everything, but enough of what's important to make this an interesting and engaging read. I loved the minor supernatural twists near the end, and I can't wait to see how that plays out in the following book. There's also a love-square happening, which has strange dynamics, and I have no clue who Clara will choose!

Waiting on Wednesday [3]

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine. It's so we can show what pre-published books we're anticipating!

So what title am I featuring this week...

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Teaser Tuesday [3]

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

In My Mailbox [9]

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren to show off our newest books: purchases, borrows, ARCs, galleys, etc.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

[Review] The Gathering Storm (Katerina Alexandrovna, #1) by Robin Bridges

Title: The Gathering Storm
Series: Katerina Alexandrovna, #1
Author: Robin Bridges
Pages: 400 (Hardcover)
Publisher: Delacorte Press for Young Readers
Release Date: January 10, 2012

St. Petersburg, Russia, 1888. As she attends a whirl of glittering balls, royal debutante Katerina Alexandrovna, Duchess of Oldenburg, tries to hide a dark secret: she can raise the dead. No one knows. Not her family. Not the girls at her finishing school. Not the tsar or anyone in her aristocratic circle. Katerina considers her talent a curse, not a gift. But when she uses her special skill to protect a member of the Imperial Family, she finds herself caught in a web of intrigue.

An evil presence is growing within Europe's royal bloodlines—and those aligned with the darkness threaten to topple the tsar. Suddenly Katerina's strength as a necromancer attracts attention from unwelcome sources . . . including two young men—George Alexandrovich, the tsar's standoffish middle son, who needs Katerina's help to safeguard Russia, even if he's repelled by her secret, and the dashing Prince Danilo, heir to the throne of Montenegro, to whom Katerina feels inexplicably drawn.

The time has come for Katerina to embrace her power, but which side will she choose—and to whom will she give her heart?

The living dead in Imperial Russia...sounds awesome, right? Right! Royal balls, sophistication and glamor, and mythical creatures. "We live in the strangest of times. Russia was steeped in mysticism and the occult, and science was struggling against superstition to pull the country into the future." And Katerina is caught in the middle. She dreams of going to medical school, but she also has a strange "gift" that allows her to raise the dead. She's also been warned to protect her family from the "blood-drinkers."

But is that warning legitimate, since it came from a possibly senile princess? What is Katerina suppose to do since the vampire she's suppose to kill is the same prince who wants to marry her? Katerina is finding it hard to know what is true and who is safe to trust. There's a whole world of supernatural creatures that she has no clue about in addition to the ones she's familiar with. It seems like all of the supernatural creatures around St. Petersburg are in an uproar: increased ac by the wolf-folk, the return of the vampires, someone raising an undead army, and Katerina's caught in all of it.

Katerina is a great character; I really liked her. She's smart, ambitious, compassionate, with the added bonus of being a necromancer. She'd rather research diseases than become queen, which definitely sets her apart from the other girls of the time. One thing that I had trouble believing was that she wouldn't want to learn how to control her powers even after she accidentally brings back a fallen soldier. It takes her entirely too long to decide to figure things out so it doesn't happen again, but at least she was determined to help the poor man she resurrected and was genuinely concerned about his well being. There's so much power she's capable of harnessing, and I'm excited for her to do so in the future books.

I must admit that there were times I found myself rather confused about who's who. It was a bit hard to remember who was related to who, what their title was, what kind of supernatural being they were, what their agenda was, etc. But it wasn't so bad that it distracted me from the story. It was obvious that the author put a lot of time and effort into setting the stage for her debut novel, but it was a lot of information to try to keep straight.

Overall, The Gathering Storm is captivating and original. It held my interest from page one to the every last paragraph. I loved being sent back to a time where Russia was bathed in sparkles and the occult, and I'm excited to see where this series is going.

Waiting on Wednesday [2]

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine. It's so we can show what pre-published books we're anticipating!

So, what title am I featuring this week...

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Teaser Tuesday [2]

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday, January 16, 2012

[Review] Fury by Shirley Marr

Title: Fury
Author: Shirley Marr
Pages: 277 (Paperback)
Publisher: Black Dog Books
Release Date: May 1, 2010

Let me tell you my story.
Not just the facts I know you want to hear.
If I’m going to tell you my story,
I’m telling it my way.
Strap yourself in...

Eliza Boans has everything.
A big house.
A great education.
A bright future.

So why is she sitting in a police station confessing to murder?

Eliza Boans is horrible! She's mean, shallow, a complete snob, and a murderer. If she had been a side character in another novel, I would have flat-out hated her, but in Fury I'm drawn to her like a moth to a flame. That might seem hypocritical, but since she's the main character we get to see a surprising amount of depth in Eliza. For example, she has a strong sense of loyalty to her friends, even though they might not always feel the same way towards her. Her home life isn't exactly ideal, despite being filthy rich. Eliza may not be the most pleasant person, but I still felt sorry for her as she's being interrogated.

The story is told from two perspectives, both are Eliza's. One is the present, being her after the arrest. The second is her account of the events leading up to her arrest. I've always been a fan of these kind of flip-flop narratives in books as well as movies, so I definitely liked it. This writing style kept it so that we have no details of the murder until the very end. We don't know who's dead, who actually did it, or why, just that Eliza, Lexi, Marianne and Ella have all been brought in for questioning. The why gets answered first and it's a shock. It also clearly explains the title of the book. Once we get the why it's easy to guess the who, but not the details.

When Eliza finally finishes telling her tale, I was speechless. The book is amazing, seriously, check it out if you can.

"These girls are not faceless scum that can just be thrown away. They are my friends and they have blood running through their veins. Just like I have blood in my veins enough to love them."

Sunday, January 15, 2012

[Review] Unearthly (Unearthly, #1) by Cynthia Hand

Title: Unearthly
Series: Unearthly, #1
Author: Cynthia Hand
Pages: 435 (Hardcover)
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: January 4, 2011

In the beginning, there's a boy standing in the trees . . . .

Clara Gardner has recently learned that she's part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what that is, though, isn't easy.

Her visions of a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger lead her to a new school in a new town. When she meets Christian, who turns out to be the boy of her dreams (literally), everything seems to fall into place—and out of place at the same time. Because there's another guy, Tucker, who appeals to Clara's less angelic side.

As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she'd have to make—between honesty and deceit, love and duty, good and evil. When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny?

Finally an angel book that I really really enjoyed! It wasn't cheesy, and the religious aspect wasn't overdone, in fact it was barely mentioned, like angels are just another supernatural entity. Clara, our main character, is a quarter angel and she's just received her purpose...kind of. She gets visions of who she's suppose to be protecting, but no other details. Of course her purpose involves a beyond gorgeous teenage boy, but too bad he and Clara are in two completely different social circles. I actually really liked that despite being an angel, Clara isn't completely irresistible to humans. She has to struggle for his attention just like any other girl, except maybe his bitchy girlfriend.

Another thing I really liked about Unearthly is that Clara's mom is actually involved. There's no "wait, and where are the parents?" moments during this book. Clara's mom is present and involved with Clara's life and is trying to help her as much as possible in her own secretive way. They have a great relationship and are completely hilarious together in the beginning. Especially when they're trying to come up with worse names the mean kids can call her other than "Bozo." Their relationship isn't all sunshine and rainbows though; they have their fights, but Clara's mom is always there. I am very curious about what she's hiding though.

Now, back to the beyond gorgeous teenage boy. He's suppose to be all business for Clara, but of course she tries to mix in a little bit of pleasure. Is that such a good idea? I didn't think so, especially when there's a perfectly nice boy who's obviously genuinely interested in her. And she's obviously genuinely interested in him. Gotta love love triangles! Although we don't get to see much of her relationship developing with Christian (beyond gorgeous teenage boy), but it is there. We do get a whole lot of Clara and Tucker though. I loved how they did normal things, and just hung out, no pressure. It felt like they had a real connection, rather than the one with Christian, which is something else entirely.

I love Clara's friends! This doesn't seem to happen to often for me. I always tend to find at least one friend utterly irritating or flat, but not here. Wendy is a sweetheart and befriends Clara right away. Clara might not be able to be 100% honest with her, but I think they have a solid friendship. Plus she's party responsible for pushing Clara and Tucker together, so yay Wendy! Then there's Angela, whom I adore. She's quirky and smart, and a little mysterious. I definitely need to learn more about her! Clara has a brother who I felt was just kind of...there, until about 3/4 through the book when I went "huh, I wonder what's up with that?" Looking forward to finding out the answer to that, too.

The last 40ish pages, wow. Intense. I have no clue where this story is going, but I need to find out ASAP!

In My Mailbox [8]

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren to show off our newest books: purchases, borrows, ARCs, galleys, etc.

Friday, January 13, 2012

[Review] The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

Title: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight
Author: Jennifer E. Smith
Pages: 236 (Hardcover)
Publisher: Poppy
Release Date: January 2, 2012

Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?

Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan's life. She's stuck at JFK, late to her father's second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon to be step-mother that Hadley's never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport's cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he's British, and he's in seat 18C. Hadley's in 18A.

Twists of fate and quirks of timing play out in this thoughtful novel about family connections, second chances and first loves. Set over a 24-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver's story will make you believe that true love finds you when you're least expecting it.

The first, maybe, half of The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight reads like one of those movies where you just watch the main character in one location for almost the entire time, such as "Phonebooth" or "Castaway." This is good if you like things like that, like me. It's probably bad if you need changes in scenery to hold your attention. We follow Hadley around as she waits for her flight and as she's on board with the vague and mysterious, Oliver. I actually really really really liked Oliver. He's adorable and witty, and just super loveable. I was sad when he disappeared for a good chunk of this short book.

Wait, the love interest disappears? Yes, he does, and the story focuses more on Hadley and her dad's relationship. She's angry with him for leaving and marrying someone else, but as the longest day of her life progresses, they come back together. I'd say this book definitely contained two separate love stories, and both were very sweet. I just wanted more Oliver and his wacky anecdotes and made up facts!

I don't really have much to say about this one. It was short, quick, fun, cute and sweet. I normally prefer first person narratives, but I think the third person worked really well for this one. It had this observer quality to it which I really enjoyed, and I hope you do, too!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Thursday Theme [3]

When you add books to your to-read pile have you been noticing a theme?

Are you adding....
The same type of characters...Pirates, adopted, psychics?
The same plot devices...Road trips, triumphing over evil, time travel?
The same covers...Couples holding hands, girls in flowing dresses?

Whether this is intentional or not, I'm sure we've all got some trends happening on our book lists. Whatever it is, it's time to share! If you're not sure if you have any, take a look! I'm sure you'll find some. And feel free to do this on your own blog and leave me a link so I can check out your themes. :)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

[Review] The Future of Us by Jay Asher & Carolyn Mackler

Title: The Future of Us
Author: Jay Asher & Carolyn Mackler
Pages: 356 (Hardcover)
Publisher: Razorbill
Release Date: November 21, 2011

It's 1996, and Josh and Emma have been neighbors their whole lives. They've been best friends almost as long - at least, up until last November, when Josh did something that changed everything. Things have been weird between them ever since, but when Josh's family gets a free AOL CD in the mail,his mom makes him bring it over so that Emma can install it on her new computer. When they sign on, they're automatically logged onto their Facebook pages. But Facebook hasn't been invented yet. And they're looking at themselves fifteen years in the future.
By refreshing their pages, they learn that making different decisions now will affect the outcome of their lives later. And as they grapple with the ups and downs of what their futures hold, they're forced to confront what they're doing right - and wrong - in the present.

Oh, the 90s, how I miss thee! This book was such a fun trip into the past. It made me remember when we got our first computer and AOL in 1998; the beginning of my internet addiction. Back then I couldn't even begin to imagine Facebook and how much the internet changes our lives. But Emma and Josh get a peek at their lives 15 years into the future when Facebook magically appears after Emma sets up her e-mail account.

This was trippy! Emma and Josh not only see what they're doing and who they're with in the future, but they're directly altering what happens. Any decisions they make during the day are then reflected when they checked out their Facebook pages that night. Of course, what they see on their pages changes how they behave the next day, which in turn changes their futures again. It's a spiral that never ends. This poses the question: are our lives run by fate and destiny, or do we have the power to control our lives?

"One little ripple today could create a typhoon fifteen years from now."

The Future of Us was another book that I just could not put down. The 90s nostalgia made me smile until my cheeks hurt, but aside from that, the story was great. The sci-fi time travel aspect was mind boggling and awesome, and I even loved watching Emma and Josh's relationship change as they explored their possible futures together. Sure Emma seemed to only care about boys boys boys, and what college she should go to in order to meet the right boy, but she's not too different than many teenage girls. Josh is that best friend who wants more, and I adored him! I really wanted him to have his perfect future.

I'm just wonder what people will think 15 years from now while reading this? Probably the same thing Emma and Josh did: What's Facebook?! :P

[Review] Poison Study (Study, #1) by Maria V. Snyder

Title: Poison Study
Series: Study, #1
Author: Maria V. Snyder
Pages: 361 (Hardcover)
Publisher: Luna Books
Release Date: October 1, 2005

Choose: A quick death... Or slow poison...

About to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered an extraordinary reprieve. She'll eat the best meals, have rooms in the palace—and risk assassination by anyone trying to kill the Commander of Ixia.

And so Yelena chooses to become a food taster. But the chief of security, leaving nothing to chance, deliberately feeds her Butterfly's Dust—and only by appearing for her daily antidote will she delay an agonizing death from the poison.

As Yelena tries to escape her new dilemma, disasters keep mounting. Rebels plot to seize Ixia and Yelena develops magical powers she can't control. Her life is threatened again and choices must be made. But this time the outcomes aren't so clear...

Yelena is an ex-acrobat, convicted of murder, the Commanders new food taster, and possibly a strong magician. How's that for different? I absolutely loved the concept of Poison Study! A food taster, not some supernatural being, just someone meant to check for poisoned meals. Yelena is a strong character, and she's also smart. She thinks about her options and chooses the one that has the best chance of keeping her alive. And staying alive is hard when you're faced with possible poisoning at each meal, have the father of the man you killed seeking revenge, and have a powerful magician (or two) after you. She learns to identify poisons by smell and taste from Valek, and self-defense from the castle guards. The only thing she can't control is her emerging magic.

There's plenty of action with Yelena constantly being pursued or grabbed by someone who's after her, or simply doesn't like her. But there's also some deep emotional scenes mixed in. Yelena did not have a happy past and the events that led up to her committing murderer are sickening. She's fighting with some strong emotional demons throughout the book, and at times is haunted by the man she killed. There's also the blossoming romance between her and the man who poisons her daily and literally holds her life in his hands. I loved seeing their relationship change from hostile to passionate throughout the book.

I had a hard time placing this book on a timeline. It seemed to take place around the 16th century, maybe. This is obviously not set in modern times anyway, but there's random modern objects popping up: switchblades, trampolines, and cinnamon rolls. Whenever one of these "modern inventions" were mentioned I tried to place the story in time, since it's entirely possible that these things were invented long before we think they were, but couldn't do it. I told myself it's simply fantasy, so it's set in a fantasy location at a fantasy time, and there's nothing more to it. That still didn't stop me from getting distracted from time to time.

Poison Study is fun, exciting, unique, and completely attention grabbing. It's full of action, espionage, betrayal, and a bit of romance. It's historical with a modern twist. It's just great, and I definitely recommend it to fantasy fans and anyone looking for something a little bit different.

Waiting on Wednesday [1]

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine. It's so we can show what pre-published books we're anticipating!

So, what title am I featuring this week...

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Teaser Tuesday [1]

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

[Review] Halflings (Halflings, #1) by Heather Burch

Title: Halflings
Series: Halflings, #1
Author: Heather Burch
Pages: 288 (Kindle edition)
Publisher: Zondervan Publishing
Release Date: January 10, 2012
I received an ARC from NetGalley.

After being inexplicably targeted by an evil intent on harming her at any cost, seventeen-year-old Nikki finds herself under the watchful guardianship of three mysterious young men who call themselves halflings. Sworn to defend her, misfits Mace, Raven, and Vine battle to keep Nikki safe while hiding their deepest secret—and the wings that come with.

A growing attraction between Nikki and two of her protectors presents a whole other danger. While she risks a broken heart, Mace and Raven could lose everything, including their souls. As the mysteries behind the boys’ powers, as well as her role in a scientist’s dark plan, unfold, Nikki is faced with choices that will affect the future of an entire race of heavenly beings, as well as the precarious equilibrium of the earthly world.

Halflings started out fast! The conflict starts on page one, keeps going for awhile, but then slows way down. We first find Nikki being chased by hell hounds. Then a crazed man in an SUV tries to run her over. Why would someone be trying to kill a seemingly normal teenage girl? Mace is wondering this exact thing, since he and his brothers have been assigned to her. He's some type of guardian (half-)angel, and doesn't get why he's suppose to be keeping an eye on her. The second time he rescues her, their relationship seems to jump forward quite instantly. One moment she's ready to kick his ass, then the next moment she says she trusts him and they're hugging. Way too fast!

But let's talk about the characters for a moment. I liked Nikki for the most part; she's a relatively laid-back artist and a black belt, and rides a motorcycle. She basically does her own thing and has her own beliefs. Her best friend, Krissy, is one of the most annoying characters I've ever encountered. She never shuts up, she's shallow, and having the attention of boys is everything. I really didn't see how she and Nikki were friends. Thankfully she mostly disappears from the book near the middle. Mace...I'm still not sure about. He's a little broody and reckless, but dedicated. Raven, another shallow character, is an angel on the verge of heading to the dark-side. I was at least intrigued by him. Vine likes red licorice. We don't really get too much of him, but he randomly appears with surprising words of wisdom.

I was pretty into the story, wondering what the heck is going on, until Nikki confronts Mace about what he is. Did you know that the Holocaust was about exterminating all of the non-halflings? Yep, my interest was almost completely lost there. Sure, it's an interesting idea to take well known history and twisting it to fit the mythology of the story, but come on! The Holocaust, really?! Burch should have chosen something else to help explain halfling history....or not made all of "The Lost Boys" have blonde hair and blue eyes.

Anyway, back to the plot...Holy religious undertones, Batman! Omega Corporation...Genesis Project... scientific technology to take over the world which can only be stopped by angels...Not very subtle, but maybe it's not suppose to be? I'm not religious, and I have nothing against religion, but it was a bit silly and over-the-top.

Just like Nikki's feelings toward Mace, other plots points jump from one extreme to the other. First being Nikki all of a sudden mastering her powers as soon as she learns what she is. One second she has no clue, then in the blink of an eye she's helping the Lost Boys with their journey. Second, Raven and Nikki's relationship. Yes, a love triangle, but a seriously forced one. About half way through the book Raven is pining after Nikki, and Nikki randomly can't wait for Science class so she can be near him. What?! When did that happen!? They only interacted like once, and Nikki only showed interest in Mace! Whatever, maybe every story needs a love triangle for conflict.

I'm pretty sure my brain was on auto-pilot during the last third of the book. Nothing happening held my interest. I just couldn't invest myself in the story or the characters. It felt like it was a lot more than 288 pages. Final verdict: It wasn't for me.

In My Mailbox [7]

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren to show off our newest books: purchases, borrows, ARCs, galleys, etc.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

[Review] Under the Never Sky (Under the Never Sky, #1) by Veronica Rossi

Title: Under the Never Sky
Series: Under the Never Sky, #1
Author: Veronica Rossi
Pages: 400 (Kindle edition)
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: January 3, 2012
I received an ARC from NetGalley.

Aria is a teenager in the enclosed city of Reverie. Like all Dwellers, she spends her time with friends in virtual environments, called Realms, accessed through an eyepiece called a Smarteye. Aria enjoys the Realms and the easy life in Reverie. When she is forced out of the pod for a crime she did not commit, she believes her death is imminent. The outside world is known as The Death Shop, with danger in every direction.

As an Outsider, Perry has always known hunger, vicious predators, and violent energy storms from the swirling electrified atmosphere called the Aether. A bit of an outcast even among his hunting tribe, Perry withstands these daily tests with his exceptional abilities, as he is gifted with powerful senses that enable him to scent danger, food and even human emotions.

They come together reluctantly, for Aria must depend on Perry, whom she considers abarbarian, to help her get back to Reverie, while Perry needs Aria to help unravel the mystery of his beloved nephew’s abduction by the Dwellers. Together they embark on a journey challenged as much by their prejudices as by encounters with cannibals and wolves. But to their surprise, Aria and Perry forge an unlikely love - one that will forever change the fate of all who live UNDER THE NEVER SKY.

While living in a Pod and being allowed to go anywhere, do anything you'd like, and not get hurt or sick through virtual reality may seem ideal, it can really make a person go crazy. We see this in the opening chapters of Under the Never Sky where the son of the head of security breaks into an off limits area, starts a fire, and attacks the main character, Aria. Of course she gets rescued (or else there'd be no story), by an Outsider who just happened to have broken into the Pod at the same time. It's no surprise that Aria gets the blame, because why would the head of security punish his own psychotic son?!

Her punishment? Banishment from Reverie. She's dropped off on the outside, where she's sure she'll be met with sudden death. Aether storms have become a dominant part of the climate. They're some type of electrical storm which cause fires and mutations, bringing new diseases and death. Aria gets stuck out in one of these storms, but is, again, rescued by Perry. They end up becoming a team on their way back to Reverie. During the beginning of their journey Aria drove me nuts! She's been extremely sheltered and absolutely would not listen to what Perry told her to do even though their out in his world. "And she was a Mole who lived in fake worlds. What did she know about surviving out here?" He'd tell her something and she'd just argue with him and act like she knew more, when she knows nothing about life outside of Reverie. Perry even had to explain to her that she wasn't dying, she just started her period!

While I did feel bad that Aria was suddenly thrust into the "real" world, which she was taught was a savage place that would kill her in no time, I felt like her struggles were more to contrast life inside with life outside, rather than to further any type of character development. The characters actually felt like they were of second importance to the plot. We don't really learn anything about them that doesn't directly effect their quest. Perry wants to get his nephew back, great, so what? Aria wants to see her mom, but I have no clue how she actually feels about her mom. From the flashbacks we get, it seems like Aria and her mom don't really get along, like she almost resents her, and yet getting back to her is her ultimate goal. I just couldn't get invested in their lives, since I didn't know enough about them.

There is a slight supernatural component to this story which I thought was well done without being too fantasy-like. Some of the people left on the outside have heightened senses which allow them to read people and nature much better than normal. Since the storms destroy crops and kill animals, there's also a subpopulation of cannibals, which I found interesting. As a whole, I think the world building overshadowed any character development that was going on. I didn't care about the characters enough to care if they achieved what they're set out to do or not, but I was very impressed with the futuristic way of life within the pods. It seems like something that could happen in real life if technology keeps advancing as the natural world deteriorates. But things in Under the Never Sky aren't so bad that life is impossible. In fact, there's thriving tribes on the outside. So why weren't those inside attempting to expand, or at least help those outside? This was one thing that was overlooked which I'd have liked to learn more about. Maybe in the second book?

I really enjoyed this because the world Rossi created was unique and fascinating, even if I can't say the same for the characters. I did start liking them more towards end, which I take as a good sign for the next book.

Friday, January 6, 2012

[Review] But I Love Him by Amanda Grace

Title: But I Love Him
Author: Amanda Grace
Pages: 245 (Paperback)
Publisher: Flux
Release Date: May 8, 2011

Tonight was so much worse than anything before it. Tonight he didn't stop after the first slap.

At the beginning of senior year, Ann was a smiling, straight-A student and track star with friends and a future. Then she met a haunted young man named Connor. Only she can heal his emotional scars; only he could make her feel so loved — and needed. Ann can't recall the pivotal moment it all changed, when she surrendered everything to be with him, but by graduation, her life has become a dangerous high wire act. Just one mistake could trigger Connor's rage, a senseless storm of cruel words and violence damaging everything — and everyone — in its path.

This evocative slideshow of flashbacks reveals a heartbreaking story of love gone terribly wrong.

Wow. I read this through in one sitting; I just could not put it down. I'm not really sure where to start this review. I could start at the beginning, which is really the end, since the book starts off with the night everything went to hell. Everything in the apartment is smashed and broken, including Ann's wrist. Connor has disappeared in a fit of rage. It's obvious there's been a fight, but it's not clear how they got to that point. That's what the rest of the book is dedicated to. It goes backwards through their year together leading up to that night.

I think choosing to set up the story this way was a wise choice. It was much more interesting seeing how things got started, rather than the typical how things end up. We see things go from worse to better for Ann and Connor, but somehow their relationship seems to get even more unhealthy the further back we go. That's probably because we know how it ends up and can see the warning signs from the beginning. First impressions are not everything. Things started out innocent enough: picnics, bowling, board games. But way too fast they entered their own little world and became everything to each other and things just went downhill.

Occasionally, the past events are interrupted by that climatic night, and we see more of the aftermath of what he has done to her. Ann went from bubbly, and excited about life, to completely and utterly broken. It was so sad seeing how her life drastically changed because of one boy. It was even sadder how she judged Conner's mom for staying with his abusive dad, even though she was doing the exact same thing: thinking he'll change and she can fix him, and hoping next time will be different. Well, next time will be different; it'll be worse.

[Review] All These Things I've Done (Birthright, #1) by Gabrielle Zevin

Title: All These Things I've Done
Series: Birthright, #1
Author: Gabrielle Zevin
Pages: 354 (Hardcover)
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Release Date: September 6, 2011

In 2083, chocolate and coffee are illegal, paper is hard to find, water is carefully rationed, and New York City is rife with crime and poverty. And yet, for Anya Balanchine, the sixteen-year-old daughter of the city's most notorious (and dead) crime boss, life is fairly routine. It consists of going to school, taking care of her siblings and her dying grandmother, trying to avoid falling in love with the new assistant D.A.'s son, and avoiding her loser ex-boyfriend. That is until her ex is accidently poisoned by the chocolate her family manufactures and the police think she's to blame. Suddenly, Anya finds herself thrust unwillingly into the spotlight--at school, in the news, and most importantly, within her mafia family.

The world Zevin creates is a bit dark but entirely possible. Everyday things we take for granted, such as coffee, chocolate and paper, are illegal. Many other things are strictly rationed: water, candles, fruit. You even need government issued vouchers for ice cream! Not to mention, eight-year olds mug you at gunpoint. However, none of that really matters, and we don't get to see much of what is going on in this new government regime, because everything revolves around the main character.

Anya is 16, a good Catholic, and seriously full of angst! Within the first chapter she goes to a speakeasy (serving coffee), takes some chocolate from the family stash (which her bastard boyfriend swipes), covers her ex-boyfriend with piping hot lasagna, and steals a gun. Her family is also in the mafia, which is what the story mainly focuses on. Anya gets arrested for allegedly poisoning her ex-boyfriend with tainted chocolate. I actually was enjoying the story at that point even though crime dramas aren't my thing.

But as soon as things were getting really interesting and gritty at the juvenile detention center, she gets released and cleared of all charges. This was less than half way into the book, so I had no clue what to expect in the coming pages. I think continuing her accusations and trial would have made a great story, since we'd get more peeks into how the new legal system is, but nope. The plot jumped right back to the illegal chocolate which was losing it's novelty fast, especially when lines like "I must get to the bottom of this matter with the chocolate..." started popping up.

If the timeline had been condensed to just Anya's detainment and trial, this could have been a really great read. It would have given us more insight into how this new world is working, and all of the corruption caused by the chocolate black market. Instead it feels like we're getting a few, small, isolated plots: Anya falsely accused for attempted murder, then almost immediately released. Then it jumps into her secret romance, which a few pages later is no longer secret, and it's like the chocolate conspiracy never happened. Then her romance gets dropped because Grandma dies and Anya and her little sister are left in the care of their older brother Leo. Now this could have also been really interesting, since despite being 19, an accident left Leo with the intellect of an 8-year old, making their situation very sensitive.

Unfortunately, that gets set aside because now Anya is being told she must step up and head her mafia family and run the chocolate business! guessed it, that gets dropped and the focus goes back to Leo. Each event is completely separate from everything else, and when one new situation appears, it's like everything else never happened. That really frustrated me, but despite all of that, I was intrigued. I don't know if I care enough to continue the series though.

The shelving of this book is also bit misleading. Dystopian? Not so much, unless not getting your morning coffee equals the end of the world. You wouldn't call a book set during Prohibition Dystopian, and this is just like that. Mafia crime drama with chocolate on top? Definitely. Honestly, if the blurb had been the same but without the mentions of illegal coffee and chocolate, I wouldn't have bothered picking this one up.

Oh, and I don't care how illegal and hard to come by chocolate is; it is NOT going to make you show up at someone's door in the middle of the night, spazzing with withdrawals. Unless you're this guy (link to YouTube).

Thursday, January 5, 2012

[Review] Drink, Slay, Love by Sarah Beth Durst

Title: Drink, Slay, Love
Author: Sarah Beth Durst
Pages: 385 (Hardcover)
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Release Date: September 13, 2011

Pearl is a sixteen-year-old vampire... fond of blood, allergic to sunlight, and mostly evil... until the night a sparkly unicorn stabs her through the heart with his horn. Oops.

Her family thinks she was attacked by a vampire hunter (because, obviously, unicorns don't exist), and they're shocked she survived. They're even more shocked when Pearl discovers she can now withstand the sun. But they quickly find a way to make use of her new talent. The Vampire King of New England has chosen Pearl's family to host his feast. If Pearl enrolls in high school, she can make lots of human friends and lure them to the King's feast -- as the entrees.

The only problem? Pearl's starting to feel the twinges of a conscience. How can she serve up her new friends—especially the cute guy who makes her fangs ache—to be slaughtered? Then again, she's definitely dead if she lets down her family. What's a sunlight-loving vamp to do?

I can sum up this review in four words and some exclamation points: vampire slayer were-unicorn awesomeness!!! You need more information than that? Well, if you insist...

Meet Pearl: 16 years old, vampire, has a taste for mint chocolate chip ice cream, and doesn't believe in unicorns. At least until she gets staked by one in an alley. Somehow she makes it back home, where her highly eccentric family is waiting for her. Unfortunately, they don't believe Pearl's crazy unicorn story. Pearl returns to the scene of the crime, where she's then kidnapped (not by the unicorn), and soon discovers that she now has a reflection and can go out in full sunlight. She spends a whole day roaming the city and misses her lessons back at home. Then her parents bestow the worst punishment imaginable on poor Pearl...high school! Dun dun dun!!!

I really enjoyed Pearl's transformation from having a better-than-thou attitude towards humans, to actually befriending them and caring about their feelings. Zeke and Matt, wanna-be vampire hunters, are hilarious! I want to be friends with them! Evan is a sweetheart, if a little odd, and is so much better than Pearl's jerk of a boyfriend, Jadrien. Although I did like him, since how can you not like someone who says things like "I'll compare your eyes to stars, your lips to rubies, and your breath to industrial-strength air freshener."

I absolutely adored the author's writing style. It's easy and light. The dialogue is hilarious and there's plenty of quote-worthy material:

"I saw a My Little Pony refugee. Horselike. Kind of glowy. Big sharp horn. It looked as if it had jumped off a poster from the bedroom of an eight-year-old girl. It walked toward me. I mocked it. It stabbed me. Chalk this one up as my most embarrassing moment ever."

"The Titanic labeled 'unsinkable' is ironic. Your skirt is just short."

"In fact, the existence of said heart i s open for debate, given the whole no-pulse thing, which, by the way, I've never understood, because how does the lovely, delicious blood travel through our body if we don't have a pulse? Maybe I'll eat a scientist someday and ask him."

"It won't last forever. Nothing does. Not even Spam."

I had to stop jotting down specially selected quotes after about page 80 or else they'd take over this review, but I'm sure you get the point. This book was so much fun, so quirky, unique and just loveable! Easily one of my new favorites. I'm just sad it's not a series...

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

[Review] Lover Revealed (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #4) by J.R. Ward

Title: Lover Revealed
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood, #4
Author: J.R. Ward
Pages: 480 (Kindle edition)
Publisher: Onyx
Release Date: March 6, 2007

Butch O'Neal is a fighter by nature. A hard-living ex-homicide cop, he's the only human ever to be allowed in the inner circle of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. And he wants to go even deeper into the vampire world-to engage in the turf war with the lessers. His heart belongs to a female vampire, Marissa, an aristocratic beauty who's way out of his league. And if he can't have her, then at least he can fight side by side with the Brothers. But fate curses him with the very thing he wants. When Butch sacrifices himself to save a civilian vampire from the slayers, he falls prey to the darkest force in the war. Left for dead, he's found by a miracle, and the Brotherhood calls on Marissa to bring him back, though even her love may not be enough to save him.

I'm glad we're getting to know Butch, the only human with the BDB, this time around! I've loved his humor in the previous books and I was looking forward to more of him. But his book does not start out happy. He's questioning how he fits into the vampire world, since he isn't able to fight along side the brothers, but he also can't go back to his human life (he knows too many vampire secrets). In fact, the start of his story made me squirm and get a little queasy. Almost right off the bat, poor Butch is captured and tortured by the Omega! The Omega even leaves a small piece of himself within Butch, slowly poisoning him. This leaves Butch quarantined in the vampire clinic, not exactly an ideal situation to start a romance.

And of course the lady of his affection is Marissa, another outsider even though she is a vampire. I felt so sorry for her, since vampire high society wants nothing to do with the untouched, former shellan of the Blind King. She even believes Butch no longer wants her, but rushes to his hospital bed anyway. I absolutely love these two as a couple! He's so sarcastic and fun, while she's perfectly composed and proper. They definitely balance each other out and are exactly the what the other one needs. Both of them came so far in their lives by the end, and I was so happy for them.

While I loved Butch and Marissa's stories and how they were trying to find their niches within the Brotherhood's world, the subplots were lacking. Mr. O's plot in the last two books was fantastic, but now that he's gone Mr. X is back with a new recruit. It just wasn't interesting at all, even with the added prophecy. Even John's story was missing a spark, but I'm glad he's starting to feel more comfortable with himself and making friends, even though he's missing Tohr and Wellsie. Overall though, this was another excellent installment to the series.

One final note, I just loved this line: "Well, wasn't this a night for firsts. Sex. Arson. Pants." :)

Monday, January 2, 2012

[Review] Wondrous Strange (Wondrous Strange, #1) By Lesley Livingston

Title: Wondrous Strange
Series: Wondrous Strange, #1
Author: Lesley Livingston
Pages: 328 (Hardcover)
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: December 23, 2008

Since the dawn of time, the Faerie have taken...

For seventeen-year-old actress Kelley Winslow, faeries are just something from childhood stories. Then she meets Sonny Flannery, whose steel-gray eyes mask an equally steely determination to protect her.

Sonny guards the Samhain Gate, which connects the mortal realm with the Faerie's enchanted, dangerous Otherworld. Usually kept shut by order of icy King Auberon, the Gate stands open but once a year.

This year, as the time approaches when the Samhain Gate will swing wide and nightmarish Fae will fight their way into an unsuspecting human world, something different is happening . . . something wondrous and strange. And Kelley's eyes are opening not just to the Faerie that surround her but to the heritage that awaits her.

Now Kelley must navigate deadly Faerie treachery—and her growing feelings for Sonny—in this dazzling page-turner filled with luminous romance.

Kelley is a normal teen girl and aspiring actress. She final lands her big break as Titania in a production of A Midsummer's Night Dream. One evening, she heads off to Central Park to practice her lines, and has no idea how close she is to the real creatures of Shakespeare's work...

I absolutely loved this starting from the moment a Kelpie appears in Kelley's bathroom and runs itself a bath! Kelley saved the Fae horse from drowning and it unexpectedly followed her home. At least her high maintenance roommate handled it well:

"My eighty-dollar bar of hand-milled Japanese herbal complexion soap. From Japan. He ate it. He also ate your two-dollar bar of Irish Spring. I let him eat that one. Actually, I gave it to him to eat."

This book is so fun, and cute, and magical, and humorous! I love Kelley; she doesn't let anyone push her around, strives towards her dreams, and can throw a mean punch. Of course she has no idea that she's not much different than the character she's portraying in her first major role. Sonny, a mortal who guards the gates to the Otherworld, notices that there's something special about the seemingly human Kelley and follows her around. This gets him a fist in the face. Eventually Kelley learns the truth and needs Sonny's help to evade the magical creatures which are after her.

I also appreciated that romance wasn't immediate and in-your-face. There is no insta-love, cosmic connection, "we're meant to be together" nonsense. In fact, Kelley brushes off Sonny as a stalker and weirdo in the beginning (and of course punches him). Their romance doesn't even begin to develop until near the end, and it's very sweet. But almost as soon as it arises, their love must take the backseat to the action of the Wild Hunt.

A wonderful mix of mythology and Shakespeare, Wondrous Strange exceeded my expectations and stood out from other YA Urban Fantasy books. I most definitely recommend this one!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

[Review] Dragon Bound (Elder Races, #1) by Thea Harrison

Title: Dragon Bound
Series: Elder Races, #1
Author: Thea Harrison
Pages: 312 (Mass Market Paperback)
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Release Date: May 3, 2011

Half-human and half-Wyr, Pia Giovanni spent her life keeping a low profile among the Wyrkind and avoiding the continuing conflict between them and their Dark Fae enemies. But after being blackmailed into stealing a coin from the hoard of a dragon, Pia finds herself targeted by one of the most powerful—and passionate—of the Elder Races.

As the most feared and respected of the Wyrkind, Dragos Cuelebre cannot believe someone had the audacity to steal from him, much less succeed. And when he catches the thief, Dragos spares her life, claiming her as his own to further explore the desire they've ignited in each other.

Pia knows she must repay Dragos for her trespass, but refuses to become his slave—although she cannot deny wanting him, body and soul.

It all starts with the theft of a 1962 penny. Yes, a penny. That one cent causes a ton of trouble of Pia, as well as for its owner, Dragos. Pia runs, Dragos finds her, goblins find them, and hijinks ensue! Yep, pretty silly plot, but it took over 100 pages to catch my attention. Although at that point I still didn't have a good sense about who the characters were. Aside from her mysterious "what kind of supernatural creature are you" trait, I didn't really know what kind of person Pia was. She seemed like a hopeless romantic, and maybe standoffish, but other than that, nothing.

Dragos was arrogant, controlling and possessive, but that's to be expected from a many millennium old multi-billionaire dragon. He's also really hott! However...How can a being that has been around since the beginning of time not know what a Slurpee, Twizzlers, or Ziplock bags are? I know he really has no use for these seemingly random items, but come on! He's been in the human world for a long time. :P

This was a fun, light read but nothing about it really stood out to me. Except for the Sex & the City reference! It may have been accidental, but probably not, and I loved it! The story does pick up near the end and was very enjoyable. I'll definitely be checking out the rest of the series.

In My Mailbox [6]

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren to show off our newest books: purchases, borrows, ARCs, galleys, etc.