Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge 2014: Sept part 3

Disclaimer: I received no compensation from Netgalley, the author or publisher for this honest review.

About the Book

"The year I turned sixteen, the media featured reports of a worldwide phenomenon – the emergence of Interspecies Telepaths, or ISTs." 

When Christa Wilder mind-bonds with Magnus, a wolf pup, on a camping trip in Sakima National Park, her life changes forever. As the bond between Christa and Magnus grows stronger, other ISTs befriend them, including teenage Romy and her mountain lion, and Karl, a famous wildlife artist, and his golden eagle.

But not everyone is happy that ISTs exist or that wolves have been successfully reintroduced to Sakima, especially when wolves begin killing livestock on nearby ranches. Suddenly, with the first wolf hunting season about to open just beyond the park's boundaries, Magnus's pack is placed in jeopardy.

Even inside the park there is danger because a lunatic is slaughtering animals while staying one step ahead of the authorities. Next on the hit list: a wolf.

And, unbeknown to Christa, her brother, Josh, who went missing on his fifth birthday, has reappeared, but what sort of man is he? Why is he keeping his identity a secret?

Soon Christa is forced to commit to a new life full of challenges, friendships, learning, love and loss. With her psychic grandmother and her best friend, Ava, Christa will explore her spiritual beliefs, discovering a deep connection with nature and Spirit. But, most importantly, Christa will discover the sheer joy of the Mind Bond.

Buy the Book

Here's what I'm giving it:

Rating: 1/DNF stars

Here's why:

I want to start off by mentioning the things that attracted me to this book. I'm a big fan of mental abilities, especially telepathy. The concept of an interspecies bond caught my eye. The fact that the bond wasn't with aliens but with animals here on earth was also a perk.

The descriptions of the surroundings, people and animals were top-notch and gave me a good grasp on what things/places/animals/people looked like which made it very distinct in my mind's eye.

The characters, except those who were supposed to be shallow, were well-rounded with both good and bad points being exposed as I read along.

However, these three things were not enough to keep me hooked. I got 40% of the way through and stopped reading. The main reason is the pacing was so slow. I don't always have to have things move at lightning speed but when it drags on and on, I tend to get bored or annoyed.

The second thing that kept knocking my interest away was deep/detailed discussions about spiritually. Again, information about other cultures, beliefs, spirituality and other topics related to a person's heritage don't bother me. But when it overloads my mind and/or bogs the story down for me, I lose interest.

Would I recommend this book? I'm on the fence, so I will leave it up to you to decide.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge 2014: Sept part 2

Disclaimer: I received no compensation from the author or publisher for this honest review.

About the Book

When the Sheikh comes to town… 

Sheikh Sayed of Zeena Sarha and his harem of beautiful women are staying at the exclusive, opulent Chatsfield Hotel, London, for the last stop on his worldwide tour before his wedding. But when his engagement is unceremoniously broken, Sayed sets his sights on his sexy chambermaid!

Liyah Amari only took the position as chambermaid to find the truth about her birth father. But her search ends in heartache, leaving Liyah vulnerable to this powerful Sheikh's desires. Now their one night of passion could result in a scandalous consequence for the proud Sheikh!

Welcome to The Chatsfield, London!

Buy the Book

Here's what I'm giving it:

Rating: 4.5 stars

Here's why:

This one I couldn't put down and read it in about 2 hours. I absolutely loved Liyah Amari. She was spunky, intelligent and didn't swoon often. She gave as good as she got while still showing her vulnerable side. I truly believed this character and was rooting for her to find the happiness that she sought and deserved.

Sheikh Sayed bin Falah was all prince - arrogant, in control and in some moments, a little too stuck in the past. However, the times when he seemed human and not some larger than life royalty were my favorite parts of the story.

I didn't give this one a full 5 stars because the way they fell in love so quickly (everything happened in like 2 weeks or less) made the story feel a little rushed. Also, some of the male reactions to Liyah's decisions grated me with their domineering and in one case very aggressive approach to handle the situation.

Would I recommend this one? Absolutely!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge 2014: Sept part 1

Disclaimer: I received no compensation from the author or publisher for this honest review.

About the Book

A haunting love story about desire, danger, and destiny. After Renee Winters discovers her parents lying dead in California's Redwood Forest in what appears to be a strange double murder, her grandfather sends her off to Gottfried Academy in Maine, a remote and mysterious high school dedicated to philosophy, "crude sciences," and Latin: the Language of the Dead. It's here she meets Dante, a dark and elusive student to whom she feels inexplicably drawn. As they get to know each other better, Dante can't seem to control his attraction either, and their desires gradually deepen into a complex and dangerous romance. Dangerous because Dante is hiding a frightening secret. A secret so terrible, it has him fearing for Renee's life. Dante's not the only one with secrets, though. Turns out Gottfried Academy has a few of its own… Like, how come students keep disappearing? Why are the prefect-like Monitors creeping around campus during the night? And what exactly are the Headmistress and Professors really up to? Renee is determined to find out why. Dead Beautiful is both a compelling romance and thought-provoking read, bringing shocking new meaning to life, death, love, and the nature of the soul. 

Buy the Book

Here's what I'm giving it:

Rating:  1 star/DNF

Here's why:

I want to start off by saying that I don't usually give a DNF (do not finish) tag to a novel. With that being said, I do want to point out why I took a chance on this novel.

1) The cover. There's something about people wearing cloaks that suggests mystery to me. And the fact that the girl is standing in an archway of some type piqued my curiosity as to why she was there.

2) The title. I thought that the book might be about some type of paranormal creature, more specifically vampires or zombies, and since I'm always on the lookout for new authors in that genre, I was intrigued.

Reading the blurb made me revise my opinion somewhat and I dove into the novel, ready to see where the author was going to go with the story.

That's when I ran into problems. The "mystery" about her parents' death didn't capture me the way I thought it would. Maybe it's because of the way the set of events leading up to the discovery of her parents felt disjointed and a tad bit unbelievable. I can understand her going into shock when she discovered the bodies but not the stuff that happened before that.

I didn't warm up to the main character, Renee, at all. She irked me from the moment I met her until the point where I stopped reading. Her attitude was grating and I felt, entirely ungrateful for someone of her age. I know she suffered a double loss. I know she was grieving, but at the age she is, she should have behaved better. I felt like I was watching a five-year-old throw a tantrum because they couldn't have their way.

The grandfather felt flat to me and beyond cold. I know that he hasn't had anything to do with her but his reactions toward her were beyond aloof.

I couldn't muster up the energy to care that she was leaving behind friends and having to move. That's when I stopped reading. When I'm that irritated with a character and the plot which didn't pull me in, I quit. I know, bad thing to do but I decided not to continue.

Would I recommend? No, but if it's your cup of tea, feel free to try it out.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Werelove series update: Character Journals

Back in May, I decided to do something a little different. Readers of my Werelove series have been patiently waiting for book #4 and because I was busy with another work-in-progress, I wanted to give them something to tide them over.

That is where the concept to do "journals" for my secondary characters in the series was born. I decided to start with Britta because she is without a doubt, forefront and center, when it comes to the Weres. And, as the only human (though there are others mentioned throughout the story) who is in the thick of things, I thought it would be fun to get inside her head to learn more about the humans on New Terra.

I don't have a definite number of journal entries planned but it has been fun starting them off with Britta receiving her journal/diary at the age of 7 and going forward.

The latest entries update bi-monthly on Mondays on tumblr. If you'd like to read them and/or follow me there, you can go here.

I've also started uploading them to Wattpad. The Wattpad uploads are bi-weekly and will upload on Wednesdays. If you'd like to read them and/or follow me there, you can go here.

I hope to bring the "journals" of other characters to readers in the near future.