Saturday, February 27, 2016

[Giveaway & Blog Hop] Leap Into Books

A special thanks to Bookhounds for hosting this giveaway. Honestly, it's almost 11 p.m. on a Saturday night and I just finished a 16 hour work day. Since I forgot to pick out some books to feature, I'm going to keep it simple this time and just offer a nice $10 ebook giveaway.  No muss, no fuss.


Rules: This giveaway is open internationally to anyone who is able to receive their prize as an Amazon gift. I hope you can find your next favorite on this one!

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See the rest of the hop

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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

[Review & Giveaway] Obsidian



by Kimberly Loth

Publish date: February 17, 2016
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 3/5

Goodreads summary

Aspen -- a skydiving, rock-climbing, bear-cuddling -- adrenaline junkie, finds herself in real danger when she unwittingly ensnares the heart of Obsidian, the dragon king.

My thoughts

As you can see, there's not much of a summary to go on for this one. Hopefully I can help fill in the blanks so you can decide for yourself. 

Obsidian is a quick read at around 200 pages but it's compelling enough to make you want to read straight through. 

Our MC is Aspen, which is a name a really love here. It shows her outdoorsy nature. Aspen loves taking pictures of dragon, even though most people think they eat humans. Then, we have Obsidian, the newly-minted dragon king who must spend ten years in his human form before he can take his place as ruler. Aspen meets Obsidian in dragon form and she's in absolute awe. However, the human version, Sid, isn't one she cares for

The majority of Obsidian is spent looking at both sides of this love story.  Sid spends his time trying to win Aspens affections, while she spends her time actively avoiding him. In between, we meet a lot of other dragons and we learn more about the dragon way of life.

The reason I only gave it 3 stars was the lack of character development. There's a lot of telling instead of showing going on. Aspen keeps saying how she's so awesome, she's such a daredevil and an adrenaline junkie, she does things no one else would dare to do. First, she never does any of these things, the most dangerous thing she does is talk to a dragon. Secondly, you're not as cool as you think you are if you keep having to tell everyone about it. It's like those hipster kids who go around telling everyone they're totally not mainstream and they think so differently than everyone else

The romance also needed a lot of work. They fell in love pretty quickly but it didn't really develop. It just kind of happened between one page and the next. Actually, it was a bit nonchalant for Obsidian. All of a sudden he decided he's in love.

One last thing I want to mention is that cover. It's fantastic and I love it. 

** I was provided a copy of this book in return for an honest review

Get it here: Amazon | Google Play | iTunes | Kobo

Get a preview


About Kimberly Loth

Kimberly Loth can’t decide where she wants to settle down. She’s lived in Michigan, Illinois, Missouri, Utah, California, Oregon, and South Carolina. She finally decided
to make the leap and leave the U.S. behind for a few years. Currently, she lives in
Cairo, Egypt with her husband and two kids.

She is a high school math teacher by day (please don’t hold that against her) and YA author by night. She loves romantic movies, chocolate, roses, and crazy adventures. Kissed is her first novel.

Author links
Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook 


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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

[Review] The V Girl

The V Girl

by Mya Robarts

Publish date: June 20, 2014
Genre: Dytopia, romance, NA
Rating: 4/5

Goodreads summary

In post-apocalyptic North America, rape and sexual slavery are legal. Lila Velez, desperately wants to lose her virginity before the troops visit her town and can take it away by force. She makes plans to seduce her only friend, Rey, the most attractive man in her town. Lila does not love him but he is the only man who has shown her true affection, an affection she is willing to take as a substitute of love.

Lila’s coping mechanism to her mother’s rape and kidnapping is her secret. A secret that will bring her closer to Aleksey, a foreign, broody man. Lila does not trust him because his links to the troops and his rough, yet irresistible appearance. Aleksey offers Lila an alternative to her plans, a possibility that terrifies her…and tempts her in spite of herself. 

All the while Lila will have to find a way to live in the constant company of death, slavery, starvation, sexual abuse and the danger of losing the people she loves the most.

**Contains mature content recommended for readers 18+

My thoughts

At first, I was very cautious to try out The V Girl. It sat on my TBR shelf for months as I went back and forth on whether to read it or not. I didn't know how much violence there was, or what kind of violence, and it made me hesitant. The blurb isn't very clear as to how explicit the book is, or if it's more along the lines of bdsm/erotica.

In the end, I took a chance, figuring that I could just set it aside if it made me too uncomfortable. After I closed the final chapter, I took a few moments to gather my thoughts and feelings. This book is very different that what I normally read and the conclusion I came to boils down to one word: thought-provoking. 

Not only does The V Girl  have the typical elements of a traditional novel - there's a story line, character building, world building, romance - but it also takes a look serious subjects and makes the reader think about them. What happens to society when rape is legal and everyone has been affected by it in one way or another?

There's a scene in the book where our MC, Lila, talks about how it's best to dress so as not to attract the attention of men. This really got me thinking about how relevant this is to society today. Girl are sent home from school because their outfits are a distraction to their male counterparts. Instead of teaching boys to respect a woman's body and that no really does mean no, we're putting the blame solely on girls dressing too provocatively. It's the old ignorant argument of "she deserves it if she dresses like that."

It also takes a look at the line between consensual and non-consensual. Is it really consensual if your only other option is to be raped in front of an audience? What do you do when the world is so messed up, it's almost beyond repair? These are the kinds of deep thoughts I had while reading The V Girl

But on top of all that, The V Girl is the story of one girl's survival and journey to love in this dark and sinister world.  It's exceptionally written; all of Lila's thoughts and fears became mine as I was reading. I was rooting for her and Aleksey the whole time as they fought to find a solution.  

Lastly, for those who might be uncomfortable with this topic, while there are instances of rape in this book, they are not explicitly graphic.

** I was provided a copy of this book through NetGalley in return for an honest review

Get it here

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

[Review] Gifted Thief

Gifted Thief (Highland Magic #1)

by Helen Harper

Publish date: January 29, 2015
Genre: New Adult, Paranormal, Fantasy
Rating: 4/5

Goodreads summary

Orphan. Runaway. Thief.

Since the moment I was ripped from my mother's womb, I've been an outcast amongst my own kind. The Sidhe might possess magical Gifts, unbelievable wealth and unfathomable power but I don't want a thing to do with them. I ran away from their lands in the Highlands of Scotland when I was eleven years old and I've never looked back. I don't need a Clan. I've got my own family of highly skilled thieves who mean more to me than any Sidhe ever could.

Unfortunately for me, the playboy heir to the Moncrieffe Clan has something I desperately need. To get it back, I'm going to have to plunge myself back into that world, no matter what the consequences may be. I suppose it's just as well I have sense of humour. I think I'm going to need it.

My thoughts

Not too long ago, I stumbled upon Helen Harper's Blood Destiny series and absolutely fell in love with it. I became a fan of Ms. Harper from that moment on. Needless to say, I jumped at the chance to get a copy of Gifted Thief and I was not disappointed. 

Gifted Thief is the story of Integrity, an outcast is the harsh world of the Sidhe. The story starts off with her 11-year-old self running away from her miserable life as a servant. Soon, she meets Taylor, who becomes a parent figure, and over the next few years she finds a family of misfits and thieves to call her own. 

I really loved Integrity because she's independent, smart, sassy and will do anything within her power to keep her family together. She was always an outcast with her own people, but I love the fact that she still managed to find a family of her own.  She doesn't take an shit, but she's willing to step up to her responsibilities as the last surviving member of the Adair clan.  And she does it with mouthy sarcasm the entire way. My kind of girl. *swoons*

Our other main character, Byron, is very interesting. He seems to be one of the few Sidhe who actually cares what happens to Integrity, for no other reason than he's just a good person, errr, fae. There's definitely a connection between the two, and I think it will develop into more later on, but in Gifted Thief the story does not revolve around the romance (thank the stars). The story focuses on Integrity and her growth as a member of Sidhe society.  

There's only one thing I thought could be improved. I would like to have seen more explanation to the world Integrity lived in. I was very confused as to the divide between Scotland and the rest of the world, or at least I think that's how it worked. I'm not really sure. All I know is that it's there and it's almost impenetrable

**Recommended for older teens and up as there are a few raunchy bits. 

** I was provided a copy of this book through Netgalley in return for an honest review

Get it here

Friday, February 5, 2016

[Giveaway & Blog Hop] Favorites Giveaway Hop

First, thanks to StuckInBooks for hosting the Favorites Giveaway Hop. Obviously, this hop is about our favorite books, but I just have way too many. So, I narrowed it down to the last six months or so. 

1. Heart of Ice by K.M. Shea
Rakel, a princess by birth, has spent most of her life exiled on a barren mountain, despised because of her powerful snow magic. Though she longs to be accepted, she hides in her ice-castle and lives with the fear that her brother—the King—will one day order her execution.

Her empty life changes forever when an army of magic users—led by the enigmatic Colonel Farrin Graydim—invade her home country and plan to enslave its citizens. Swallowing her fear, Rakel joins forces with her jailers and uses her magic to save the people who scorned her.

If Rakel cannot defend her homeland, the country will be lost.

2. Demon Princess by Kassandra Lynn (Review)
With her father gone and her brother missing, Demon Princess Adriana has to assume the throne, temporarily becoming the Demon King. The procession is underway, and the princess is nervous yet determined … until the unthinkable happens and she is summoned! Somehow, Aldric, a mage-in-training has summoned the princess into the human kingdom. Now trapped, Adriana must hide her identity and escape before she loses her life in the hands of her mortal enemies.

3. Poison by Chan Lan
Since the night her mother was murdered, sixteen-year-old Rory Gray has known one truth: There are no good Seeders.

In post-apocalyptic Australia, the scientists known as Seeders have built a Citadel surrounded by food-producing regions and populated with refugees from the wars and famine. To maintain their control, the Seeders poisoned the land and outlawed the saving of seeds.

It’s been six years since Rory graced the Seeders’ circus stage as the Wind Dancer and still the scars on her body haven’t healed. Even worse are the scars on her heart, left by a Seeder boy who promised to protect her.

Now the Seeders are withholding supplies from Rory’s region for perceived disobedience. Utilising the Wanderer knowledge she received from her mother, Rory must journey to the Citadel through uninhabitable terrain to plead for mercy.

However, the Citadel isn’t as Rory remembered. The chief plant geneticist is dying and rumours fly that the store of viable seed is dwindling. The Seeders are desperate to find a seed bank they believe Rory can locate, and they will stop at nothing to get it.

To defy the Seeders means death. But Rory has been close to death before--this time she’s learned the value of poison.

Recommended for fans of The Hunger Games, strong protagonists, circuses and nature!

4. Air Awakens by Elise Kova
A library apprentice, a sorcerer prince, and an unbreakable magic bond...

The Solaris Empire is one conquest away from uniting the continent, and the rare elemental magic sleeping in seventeen-year-old library apprentice Vhalla Yarl could shift the tides of war.

Vhalla has always been taught to fear the Tower of Sorcerers, a mysterious magic society, and has been happy in her quiet world of books. But after she unknowingly saves the life of one of the most powerful sorcerers of them all—the Crown Prince Aldrik—she finds herself enticed into his world. Now she must decide her future: Embrace her sorcery and leave the life she’s known, or eradicate her magic and remain as she’s always been. And with powerful forces lurking in the shadows, Vhalla’s indecision could cost her more than she ever imagined.

5. The Last Necromancer by C.J. Archer (Review)
Victorian London: For five years, Charlotte (Charlie) Holloway has lived as a boy in the slums. But when one theft too many gets her arrested, her only means of escape lies with a dead man. Charlie hasn't raised a spirit since she first discovered she could do so five years ago. That time, her father banished her. This time, she brings even more trouble upon herself.

People are now hunting Charlie all over London, but only one man succeeds in capturing her.

Lincoln Fitzroy is the mysterious head of a secret organization on the trail of a madman who needs a necromancer to control his newly "made" creatures. There was only one known necromancer in the world - Charlotte - but now there appears to be two. Lincoln captures the willful Charlie in the hopes the boy will lead him to Charlotte. But what happens when he discovers the boy is in fact the young woman he's been searching for all along? And will she agree to work for the man who held her against her will, and for an organization she doesn't trust?

Because Lincoln and his ministry might be just as dangerous as the madman they're hunting.


Rules: This giveaway is open internationally to anyone who is able to receive their prize as an Amazon gift. I hope you can find your next favorite on this one!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

See the rest of the hop 

Monday, February 1, 2016

Chapter Break Bookish Bingo: January 2016

Hosted by Chapter Break, here's a recap of the rules: Share your bingo card at the end of each month and list the of books you used to fill in each of the squares. Link up your post and we’ll plug the winner for each month’s bingo card. For funsies, we’ll also do a quarterly raffle for all participants.

My card

So here's what I read this month. I got 13 squares this time. 
1. Dead body - The V Girl
2. Werewolf - Burned by Magic
3. Set in a city - Thief of Lies
4. Artist/poet/writer - Curse of the Sphinx
5. Fae/fairy - Gifted Thief 
6. Freebie! - Woot!
7. Jock - Curse of the Spinx
8. Aliens - Under Different Stars
9. Demons - The Demon Princess
10. Friends to lovers - The Institute
11. Popular tourist location - Thief of Lies
12. Playboy - Henchgirl
13. Fairy tale retelling - Heart of Ice

This is a great start to the year. Let's hope I can keep it going!