Magic Strikes

by Ilona Andrews, Renée Raudman (Narrator)
Audio EditionRead July 13, 2014

Original Release Date: February 20, 2009

Length: 310 pages

Official Description: (This is book #3 of the Kate Daniels series)

When magic strikes and Atlanta goes to pieces, it’s a job for Kate Daniels… 

Drafted into working for the Order of Merciful Aid, mercenary Kate Daniels has more paranormal problems than she knows what to do with these days. And in Atlanta, where magic comes and goes like the tide, that’s saying a lot.

But when Kate’s werewolf friend Derek is discovered nearly dead, she must confront her greatest challenge yet. As her investigation leads her to the Midnight Games—an invitation only, no holds barred, ultimate preternatural fighting tournament—she and Curran, the Lord of the Beasts, uncover a dark plot that may forever alter the face of Atlanta’s shapeshifting community…

My Take:

It has been quite some time since I read Magic Burns, I actually remember a good chunk of what happened. Unlike other books that I forget as soon as I put them down, the Kate Daniels series sticks with me. Why? The writing is great, the characters are flushed, flawed, and kick butt, even the weak ones. The world doesn’t revolve around romance, but around whatever is going on, there is actually a plot. I great plot, this one is all around the Midnight Games, a gladiator type of event, that is illegal. There is intrigue, mythology, old characters you love, new characters you’ll love and hate. It is just written fantastically. The one thing I don’t remember is Kate really giving us a glimpse of who she is. Why she really burns her bloody rags, why she’s hiding. Well, faithful newbs, like me, have no fear you’ll find out in this one, it’s awesome. Kate just becomes more and more awesome as the series progresses. This book is the best out of the three. There is just so much more action, death, bloody mayhem, witty banter and more Curran. Who goes a bit stalker in this one. There is so much awesome wrapped in these 310 pages that if I keep typing I’m going to reveal way too much, because so much happens in this book. It is well worth your time.

Previous Books in this series:

Quote:

“I gave him a smile. I was aiming for sweet, but he turned a shade paler and scooted a bit farther from me. Note to self: work more on sweet and less on psycho-killer.”

Up Next:

Relentless

by Cassia Leo
Kindle EditionRead July 11, 2014

Original Release Date: February 20, 2013

Length: 232 pages

Official Description: This is book #1 of Shattered Hearts series

Sometimes, letting someone into your heart is the bravest risk to take.

Claire Nixon is a twenty-year-old college dropout with a secret she’ll never tell. Then she meets sexy Adam Parker. Claire knows the flirting is harmless, but guys like Adam mean trouble. Then a seemingly innocent comment spurs a bet between them: if Adam can get Claire to reveal the secret that made her leave her college and her life behind, she has to re-enroll.

Claire’s sure she can win. She’s perfected the art of forgetting her past. But she isn’t prepared for Adam’s relentless pursuit, and she’s definitely not prepared when her first love, rock-star Chris Knight – and her heartbreaking secret ­- comes banging down her door.

The heart-stopping, addictive first book in bestselling author Cassia Leo’s new adult Shattered Heart series.

New Adult Contemporary Romance: Due to strong language, drug reference, and sexual content, this book is not intended for readers under the age of 18.

My Take:

I actually read this book over a week ago. I was sitting here staring at the cover thinking to myself, “What was this one about?” I read the description and I remembered. So, overall the book didn’t stick with me. It is your typical New Adult book, boy and girl are running away from their problems. They run into one another. They have secrets. They both think each of their secrets is life shattering, so terrible that it will make the other one run away in fear. So, they hold on to their secrets with dear life, while telling each other they are holding on to a shameful secret.They are early to mid-twenties, so I suppose they are easily spooked.

You know that old adage if you want someone to think about something tell them they aren’t allowed to think about it. YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY FORBIDDEN TO THINK ABOUT PINK ELEPHANTS! Then you think about pink elephants, mine are wearing tutus. So of course the secrets get reveled the past comes to bite you in the butt, and now there is a love triangle out of nowhere. The romance is kind of sweet, Claire kind of goes in to flashback mode alot, girl needs therapy. You would too if you were a small child left alone for two days with your dead mother. Adam try’s to woo Claire, but Adam is kind of the epitome of what Claire doesn’t want. They are sweet to an old lady which brings them close together. Blah it’s all mediocre, it’s alright, but nothing to write home about. I can’t think of anything else to say about this book. It has been a week nothing really sticks out as overly impressive, there are twists, most of which are predictable, but hey it’s a new adult book it’s mostly about the sappy romance and sexy times.

Quote:

“I guess that’s the way secrets are. They’re only heavy when you’re holding them. As soon as you let go, the significance of keeping those secrets hidden blows away and everything falls into place.”

Up Next:

 

Bared to You

by Sylvia Day
Kindle EditionRead July 8, 2014

Original Release Date: April 3, 2012

Length: 338 pages

Official Description:This is book #1 in the Crossfire series.

Our journey began in fire…

Gideon Cross came into my life like lightning in the darkness—beautiful and brilliant, jagged and white-hot. I was drawn to him as I’d never been to anything or anyone in my life. I craved his touch like a drug, even knowing it would weaken me. I was flawed and damaged, and he opened those cracks in me so easily…

Gideon knew. He had demons of his own. And we would become the mirrors that reflected each other’s most private wounds… and desires.

My Take:

I went in to this book with such low expectations, especially after the disappointing 50 (yeah I know you know how I loathe it) and Breathless books (yes I’ve only read one so far). Plus unlike Rush I was not the biggest fan of Ms Day, don’t get me wrong she’s alright but it wasn’t anything I was dying to rush out and buy. Of course the same people who loved the other two series which are just oh so terrible loved this one. I’ve heard so many “Oh she just copied EL James” comments. Well yeah maybe she was inspired by the crap and decided to write something worth reading. So we have to characters who so very obviously come from abusive backgrounds trying to heal one another. That seems to be the underlying gist, this is why these two seem to be drawn to each other. They are just oh so broken. Plus in this book Eva isn’t some helpless punk, she is a ‘socialite’ her step dad and mom have money, she is not scared of the world, just scared of the media. She’s experienced, but naive, as is Gideon. No woman wants to be treated like most men in books treat women, at least men in these type of books, but for some reason women, and men, flock to these broken alpha types. Ladies and gents going up to some stranger and saying I want to F you is more than likely going to get you slapped across the face, if you’re lucky, unless perhaps that person is super drunk, then hey you’re honest. Stalking someone is not healthy, obsession is not healthy, but it is entertaining. The self-esteem of our characters is low, but they aren’t so bad as other books. Really it was entertaining.

I loved that Eva is pretty much the one in charge of the relationship, she’s calling the shots, mostly, she’s taking the initiative, she is not some weak woman who is being dominated by a strong alpha male. At least not in this book. I was entertained, Ms Day has a larger vocabulary than Ms James, because reading several *inner goddess* type comments might have made me throw my Kindle across the room. I know this series is going to get darker, maybe sinister even in some ways, thanks guys for the spoilers. However, I’m hoping that this book doesn’t go he way of Fifty and just get worse as the series continues. I actually look forward to the next few books. Plus I do like the cover, even if it is a blatant rip off.

Other Books by Sylvia Day

Quote:

“I must’ve wished for you so hard and so often you had no choice but to come true.”

Up Next:

Q&A a Day for Kids: A Three-Year Journal


10492054_10204172409374486_3073386684672072743_n

by: Betsy Franco
Paperback Edition

Original Release Date: September 25, 2012

Length: 338 pages

Official Description:

A journal for parents and children ages roughly four to ten (although age range is flexible) to share the evolution of thoughts, feelings, and dreams over the years. Also great for kids who want to keep a time capsule of their own whimsical thoughts and serious ideas about the world.

Inspired by the previous bestselling Potter Style title, Q&A a Day, this journal is the perfect family keepsake. A question by children’s author Betsy Franco is featured for each day with only a few lines provided for a response, making this journal the ultimate no-fuss record keeper. Simply turn to today’s date and record your child’s answer. When you finish the year, move on to the next section. As the years go by you’ll notice how your child’s answers evolve, sometimes silly, sometimes precocious, but always interesting. The diary can be started on any day of the year and makes a terrific keepsake or gift for parents.

My Take:

My child is 9 years old, I realized this recently. He is 9. He is half way to adult hood. He was born yesterday, just yesterday it feels like. These 9 years have flown, the next 9 will be tomorrow and I want them to last a life time, because one day he’ll leave, grow up and start a family. I won’t see or talk to him everyday, so I want to hold on to memories.

This diary is something I saw originally on Pinterest and instantly bought it. It’s fantastic. We’ve only been doing it for a month, but my child insists that he will be exactly the same in 3 years. He enjoys answering the questions. Some are easier than others, some are silly, some show character. For example, “What snack does someone else have that you wish you did?” “If you could help kids in another country what would you do?” I’m paraphrasing from memory but these are questions that pinpoint what your kiddo is thinking in any given moment. Likes, dislikes, hopes, there are no wrong answers, there is only acceptance to his feelings. You come home from school or daycare or from a hard day of play and your child gets to express a part of himself. Answering a different question everyday for 3 years. A memento of his growth, something to hold on to. I’m feeling all sad because one day he’ll be an adult, and I know I’ll be grateful for this memento, plus his children will love seeing it one day.

Up Next:

 

Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy

by Karen Foxlee
Kindle EditionRead July 2, 2014

Original Release Date: January 28, 2014

Length: 242 pages

Official Description:

Unlikely heroine Ophelia Jane Worthington-Whittard doesn’t believe in anything that can’t be proven by science. She and her sister Alice are still grieving for their dead mother when their father takes a job in a strange museum in a city where it always snows. On her very first day in the museum Ophelia discovers a boy locked away in a long forgotten room. He is a prisoner of Her Majesty the Snow Queen. And he has been waiting for Ophelia’s help.

As Ophelia embarks on an incredible journey to rescue the boy everything that she believes will be tested. Along the way she learns more and more about the boy’s own remarkable journey to reach her and save the world.

A story within a story, this a modern day fairytale is about the power of friendship, courage and love, and never ever giving up.

My Take:

I’ve had this book sitting on my Kindle for a while now. I just got around to reading it, mostly I wanted to wait until my son got a chance to read it with me. He’s now 9 and fits right into the demographic of this book, plus I always think that if you’re going to read a kids book, you might as well have the perspective of a kid.

Ophelia Jane Worthington-Whittard has lived a difficult life, a mother who died of cancer, I’m assuming cancer from the description of her illness, and now Ophelia is living in a grieving home with a sister who’s turned inward and a father in denial. This is all over the head of the young one. The young one found it sad that Ophelia’s mother had died and that’s about it on that aspect, though in some ways (without spoiling it for you) there is a message that those you love always stay in your heart. Anyway Ophelia’s full name is used a lot, I mean a lot! It was quite annoying at first, but then became charming by the end of the book. Ophelia lives in a world of science and fact, her mother was a fiction writer but her dad studied history and fact, specifically he studies swords. The Worthington-Whittard family flew to London so her father could open a very important exhibition of swords. All the while Ophelia and Alice are left to their own ruminations. Upon exploring the museum Ophelia stumbles on the Marvelous Boy and adventure begins. Ophelia’s journey, is about believing in herself, defeating evil, connecting with her family, and listening to her heart. It’s a modern-day fairy tell. I could not imagine this in modern times, though they mention modern technology, it just felt very old world, or late 19th century at best. With the talk of wizards, snow queens and magic it was easier for my brain to picture this as olden times. The thought of puffers and what not gives it a modern edge. I liked the story, it’s sweet, it makes you smile to think of everything that Ophelia accomplishes. It’s easy to read, and there are a few pretty pictures between each of the sections.

Now what did the kid think? Well he was sucked in once we got to the hunt for the key and all of the adventure, he knew instantly who the bad guy was and he felt a connection to the boy. He was distraught at the difficult times that the boy faced and that he was taken from his mother. He did get quite emotional at the end of the story, but he has a tendency to over attach himself to fictional characters.  (Don’t get me started over the tears that The Giving Tree wrought as a younger child). He enjoyed the book, he saw it in the store the other day and told some random kids they needed to read it because “it’s cool dude!” (Dude is his new favorite word). So this has the seal of approval of a picky 9-year-old boy and his mother.

*I did receive this book for free for an honest review.

Up Next: