Nov
13

Title: Witches of the East (The Beauchamp Family #1)
Author: Melissa de la Cruz
Published: June, 2011 by Little, Brown Book
Pages: 273
My Rating: ★★★★☆ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

Freya, Ingrid and Joanna Beauchamp love their sleepy life in the East Hamptons. A new engagement, promotion at work, a happy home – its all going perfectly. And, to top it off, no one’s come close to discovering the secret of what they can really do in hundreds of years. But throw a few accidental love potions in the mix the Beauchamp girls are going to need more than a broomstick to clean up this mess…

Final Thoughts: This review is arriving a bit late to the party – I finished the book in early August just so I could watch the TV series without the risk of spoilers. Now season one of the series has ended in Australia and I still have yet to write about the book itself. Witches of the East (or Witches of East End depending on the edition), would you believe it or not, was the first book I’ve read about witches – WHAT?! – but I think it was an excellent intro to the genre. Part of my liking it had to do with the fact that the main characters are not teenagers, nor are they whiny or self-obsessed. Rather they are a mother and two daughters, each with secure jobs, stable friendships, and positive attitudes, and who’re in complete knowledge and command of their supernatural powers.

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Aug
05

Title: Landline
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Published: July, 2014 by Orion
Pages: 310
My Rating: ★★★★★ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

Georgie McCool knows her marriage is in trouble. That it’s been in trouble for a long time. She still loves her husband, Neal, and Neal still loves her, deeply — but that almost seems besides the point now.

Maybe that was always besides the point.

Two days before they’re supposed to visit Neal’s family in Omaha for Christmas, Georgie tells Neal that she can’t go. She’s a TV writer, and something’s come up on her show; she has to stay in Los Angeles. She knows that Neal will be upset with her — Neal is always a little upset with Georgie — but she doesn’t expect to him to pack up the kids and go home without her.

When her husband and the kids leave for the airport, Georgie wonders if she’s finally done it. If she’s ruined everything.

That night, Georgie discovers a way to communicate with Neal in the past. It’s not time travel, not exactly, but she feels like she’s been given an opportunity to fix her marriage before it starts . . .

Is that what she’s supposed to do?

Or would Georgie and Neal be better off if their marriage never happened?

Final Thoughts:
I stopped mid-way through another book when this one arrived. It was calling to me. Rainbow Rowell and her magic phone…I couldn’t put it off. Her books warm me up in a way that not many others do. I just find myself immersed in the characters, really caring about their struggles, bursting out in fits of laughter at the wit, tearing up—all of it. The fact that the characters here were in their late thirties played no bearing on how well I could relate to them. No matter what age bracket, all of Rainbow’s characters have managed to strike a chord with me.

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Jun
14

Title: Hair Of The Dog
Author: Ashlyn Kane & Morgan James
Published: January, 2012 by Dreamspinner Press
Thanks: Dreamspinner Press via NetGalley
Pages: 250
My Rating: ★★★☆☆ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

It’s nine o’clock the morning after his father’s funeral, and Ezra Jones already knows it’s going to be a bad day. He wakes up hungover, sore, and covered in blood. Then it gets worse: the handsome and compelling Callum Dawson shows up on his doorstep claiming Ezra’s been turned into a werewolf. Ezra wants to be skeptical, but the evidence is hard to ignore.

Ezra doesn’t have a lot of time to get used to the rules Alpha Callum imposes—or the way his body responds to Callum’s dominance—as he’s busily working for the CDC to help uncover the origins of a lycan epidemic. When the sexual tension finally breaks, Ezra barely has time to enjoy it, because a new danger threatens. Someone wants Ezra for their own unscrupulous purposes and will do anything to get him.

Final Thoughts:
I raced through this one, picking it up whenever I had a spare ten or fifteen minutes—I just really got into it. It’s been a while since I’ve read a predominantly werewolf-focussed book, so that could have been part of it too. Being co-authored, I expected glaringly obvious breaks whenever the point of views shifted, but thankfully, the writing flowed together seamlessly. I did have a problem with the ease by which Ezra came to accept everything lycan. It was the sort of thing that took you out of the story, because any sane person would have been far more sceptical. Beyond a gash, there was no proof, at least nothing that the human mind wouldn’t have been able to come up with an alternate explanation for. Aside from that (and a few other things), I found the book enjoyable, and relatively easy to get into—it fits well as a solid 3-star read.

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Mar
23

Title: Galley Proof
Author: Eric Arvin
Published: January, 2012 by Dreamspinner Press
Thanks: Dreamspinner Press via NetGalley
Pages: 195
My Rating: ★★★½☆ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

Fiction writer Logan Brandish is perfectly happy in his peaceful small-town routine with his best friend, his cat, and his boyfriend—until he meets the editor of his next book, the handsome Brock Kimble, and the lazy quiet of everyday living goes flying out the window. Faced with real passion for the first time, Logan becomes restless and agitated, and soon his life and his new manuscript—a work in progress he’d always thought would be completed—are in a shambles.

But as Logan is learning, you can’t always get what you want… at least not right away. To take his mind off the mess, he takes a trip, but even the beautiful Italian, um, scenery can’t keep his thoughts from his erstwhile editor for long. Logan just might have to admit there are some things you can’t run from.

Final Thoughts:
Short, but a lot of fun. I kept finding myself running back to my kindle whenever I had a spare bit of time after work—but even so, it only took me a day or so to get through. A book about a writer struggling to write because he’s caught up in his hot editor’s orbit—yeah, that was definitely fun. It wasn’t incredibly moving, and didn’t rock me with a slew of action, but I still enjoyed it immensely. Lately I’ve been reeled in with a few exciting blurbs that were accompanied by less than stellar insides, so I was glad that this one held my interest the way it did.

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Feb
13

Title: Zero At The Bone
Author: Jane Seville
Published: April, 2009 by Dreamspinner Press
Pages: 308
My Rating: ★★★★☆ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

After witnessing a mob hit, surgeon Jack Francisco is put into protective custody to keep him safe until he can testify. A hitman known only as D is blackmailed into killing Jack, but when he tracks him down, his weary conscience won’t allow him to murder an innocent man. Finding in each other an unlikely ally, Jack and D are soon on the run from shadowy enemies.

Forced to work together to survive, the two men forge a bond that ripens into unexpected passion. Jack sees the wounded soul beneath D’s cold, detached exterior, and D finds in Jack the person who can help him reclaim the man he once was. As the day of Jack’s testimony approaches, he and D find themselves not only fighting for their lives… but also fighting for their future. A future together.

Final Thoughts:
A hitman falling for his target—it doesn’t sound too original, but it ended up being a completely addictive read. Alternating POVs, we get to see inside the closed off mind of a killer as he tries to come to grips with his warring emotions, as well as the mind of the target—a surgeon-turned-highly sought after witness. It’s a very long book, or at least it felt like it. It wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, spreading things out, giving them time to build, while still packing in oodles of plot. Once this thriller infused the romance, it became very hard to put down—I stayed up well past 4am on this one.

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Jan
26

Title: Ink
Author: Isabelle Rowan
Published: December, 2011 by Dreamspinner Press
Thanks: Dreamspinner Press via NetGalley
Pages: 225
My Rating: ★★★½☆ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

Roman centurion Dominic drew his last human breath during the time of Hadrian. In the centuries since, he’s seen much of the world change around him, but the vampire finds himself held captive in Melbourne, Australia, by his fascination with young, passionate, fun-loving, and alive tattoo artist Michael Chapman. Unable to resist the lure of Michael’s beauty, Dominic finds himself entering the parlor to get a tattoo he knows will fade.

The attraction he feels only grows, and despite Dominic’s extreme reluctance to get involved with a human, he and Michael form a bond—a connection that all too soon attracts the attention of a dark specter from Dominic’s bloody past. Soon, a dangerous game of cat and mouse threatens not only the budding romance, but also their humanity.

Final Thoughts:
This one left me feeling a little mixed as to whether I liked it or not. There were moments where I couldn’t get enough of Michael and Dominic’s growing relationship, and other times when I wished something would hurry up and happen. I enjoyed the first half a lot more than the second half of the book. The introduction of Dominic’s psycho ex, and maker, took the book off course, becoming more focussed on the past than on the interesting changes going on in the present. The Australian setting was a welcome change, providing enough of a description without becoming lost in the words.

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Jan
07

Title: Witch Hunt (Witch Hunt #1)
Author: Nick Chivers
Published: October, 2011 by Dreamspinner Press
Thanks: Dreamspinner Press via NetGalley
Pages: 200
My Rating: ★★☆☆☆ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

Mike thought he could escape his past. He renounced his crown as High Mage of The Council, had the Bands of Binding placed on him, and tried to start over as a normal human.

It didn’t work. And now a part of that past wants him dead, and Mike is running for his life.

With his best friend, Andrew, and Andrew’s soulbound partner along for the ride, Mike can’t help but feel lonely until he meets Rick, an all-around gorgeous man who might just be the wrong guy—again—especially since Mike can’t shake an ex-lover who’s hoping for a second chance. It’s a lot to deal with as demonic forces pursue him from Mongolia to Brazil, but Mike has to make it to the safety of The Council if he doesn’t want to be the prize trophy at the end of this witch hunt.

Final Thoughts:
I wanted to like this one, but I just couldn’t get into it. I persevered through it all and made it to the end though. I suppose it follows the title, with the three witches constantly on the run from whoever is chasing them, but personally, I don’t think adventure books are my thing. I did enjoy some of the scenes in the beginning as we were introduced to the boys and their magical heritage, but the second half was a mess with way too many supernatural abilities brought in, sudden (and unbelievable) love proclamations and resolutions that came too easily.

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