Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Quick Update

I thought I would pop on here and do a quick update for you.  For those of you who may not know, I am back in College.  I have decided to finally finish my degree at long last!  I have about 2 years left maybe a little longer.  I am an Education Major, I am thinking that I will end up teaching Communication Arts (English) in Middle or High School even though I enrolled as an elementary ed major.

What this means is that I won't be posting here regularly, although honestly, I haven't been doing that for a couple months anyway.  I have a handful of review books that I will be posting reviews and blog tours for, but other than that I won't be around much this semester.  I am taking a Children's Lit class that is Writing Intensive and has a LONG list of required reading so I won't have much time for extra reading.

I will be posting at least one review a week at least for the next couple weeks and I will try to do that anyway even if it's a review on one of the books I have read for class.  I just read Wonder and it was fantastic so I plan to do a review on that one for sure.

I hope that you are all doing well!!

XOXO, Shelly

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Review | "Father of Fear" by Ethan Cross

Father of Fear by Ethan Cross
Mystery/Thriller published August 19, 2014
The Story Plant
Author's website  |  Goodreads  |  Buy the Book on Amazon

Synopsis from Goodreads:

A father returns home to find that his family has been kidnapped and the only way to save their lives is for him to kill another innocent person…

So begins a journey that will force Special Agent Marcus Williams of the Shepherd Organization to question all that he believes, unearth his family's dark legacy, and sacrifice everything to save those he loves. In order to stop the serial murderer whom the media has dubbed the Coercion Killer, Williams must enlist the help of one of the world's most infamous and wanted men...the serial killer Francis Ackerman Jr.

Rippling with intensity, charged with tension, and brimming with a relentless spirit of humanity, FATHER OF FEAR is the latest evidence that Ethan Cross is one of the finest suspense novelists on the planet.
My Thoughts...
I said it in my review of the last book in this series and I will say it again....these really should be made into movies, they would be excellent!  This book was more of a psychological thriller than the last one, at least in my opinion.  Ethan Cross can definitely write crazy and it's so, so good.

In this installment we find Marcus and his crew in Kansas City trying to catch the Coercion Killer.  He is someone who kidnaps every family member but one and forces the remaining member of the family to kill someone he has chosen.  If they refuse he kills a member of the family until they complete the task, if they follow his orders he releases the family unharmed and virtually unaware of the situation.  Marcus enlists the help of his brother, who happens to be a wanted serial killer.  He's also the perfect person to help because of the way his mind works. Both Marcus and Francis are quite brilliant and they work well to kind of balance each other out.  Marcus the light half to Francis' dark.

Marcus is having his own problems, trouble sleeping, headaches, etc... He's kind of a loose cannon on the job, but Maggie helps keep him in check.  Despite his qualms he's also bonding with Francis as they work together.  Things go from bad to worse and Maggie is forced to work along side Francis, whom she despises.  It's a race to the finish to save someone they care about as well as the lives of countless others and they have to learn to trust people they wouldn't ordinarily trust in order to see it through.

This book is written in third person through the eyes of many different characters depending on what's happening at the current time.  It's fast paced and most of the chapters are short and succinct.  That combined with the quick pace makes for a very quick read if you have the time to sit for a couple hours.

This is a very dark read filled with lots of action, but a fair amount of gory imagery as well.  Not only from the serial killers view, but from Francis as well.  I have to admit that I loved Francis' character in this book.  He is clearly still a very unstable person, very prone to violent outbursts, still a killer no doubt about it, but he's changing.  He's a smart guy who knows that someone made him this way, and it's not necessarily who he wants to be anymore so he's trying very hard to change.  He reminds me of Dexter just a little bit.  He knows that what he is is wrong, but it's not entirely his fault that he's like this.

If you like a good thriller then I highly recommend this series.  You will be on the edge of your seat until the very last page.

XOXO, Shelly

*Disclaimer: I was provided with a copy of this book courtesy of the publisher in exchange for my honest review.*

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Review & Giveaway | "Taking It All" by Maya Banks

Taking It All by Maya banks
Adult Romance published August 5, 2014
Berkeley Trade
Author's website  |  Goodreads  |  Buy the Book on Amazon

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Chessy and Tate have been married for several years. In the beginning, their relationship was everything she wanted. Passionate. All consuming. She offered her submission freely and Tate cherished her gift with a tenderness that made her feel safe. Content. Wanted. And loved beyond all measure. But as the years have gone by, Tate has become more immersed in making his business the success it has become, and Chessy has taken a back seat to his business obligations. Growing unhappier with the status of their once blissful marriage, Chessy knows that something has to give. Or they stand to lose it all

Tate loves his wife. Has always loved her. Providing for her has always been his number one priority. But lately she’s seemed unhappy, and he’s worried. Worried enough that he arranges for a night together that he hopes will reignite the fire that once burned like an inferno between them.

But a business call at the wrong time threatens everything. Chessy’s safety, his concentration, his wife’s faith in him as her husband, a man sworn to love and protect her above all else. Gutted with the realization that he’s going to lose her—has already lost her—he readies for the fight of his life. Whatever it takes, he’ll get her back. And prove to her that nothing is more important than her love. And that if she’ll allow him to prove himself one more time, he’ll take it all. Everything. But he’ll give far more back. Himself. His undying love.
My Thoughts...
This was most definitely not my favorite book of this series.  In fact, it was my least favorite.  I gave it 3 stars on Goodreads, but I would say probably 3.5 and at least 1 full star was given because of how much I loved Jensen in this book.  He and Kylie play a significant part and that made me love the 2 of them even more.

I was a little hesitant about this book because I was worried how she would work it all out since Tate and Chessy have been married for 5 years.  I do think she set it up nicely in the first 2 books, but I do also think the set up was maybe a little misleading.  I was expecting the problems between them to be much bigger than what they really were.  Basically their only issue, at first, is neglect which because of her childhood, Chessy is use to.  He is spending all his time focusing on his business and not on her.  His intentions are truly good and in his defense, he doesn't really realize that it's gotten so bad.  They have their little blow up and then things are really going well when something happens that is just so bad that she is finally broken.  ** I will typically not post spoilers, but I think it's only fair to warn you that this "event" is quite graphic and I think that this book should come with some sort of disclaimer that warns readers that there is a violent BDSM scene that isn't exactly typical of even this genre. **

I will be the first to admit that this whole dominant/submissive thing is a mystery to me.  I don't understand it and honestly I don't care to.  It's not something I would ever be "in" to and because of that I don't particularly care to read much about it.  This book went way more into that world that I really cared to venture and when it all plays out it's clear why I don't care for it.  When it's all said and done I was a little disappointed that Chessy was still into it.  I realize that it's probably not something you get over, but sometimes you need to see when something isn't healthy for you and be done with it.

I did like how the book ended in most regards and especially liked the epilogue where we see how everyone is doing in the end.  I do think that Tate is a good man, he just needed to get his priorities straight.  I always liked Chessy and I love the relationship that she has with her friends.  Everyone should have people in their lives that they can depend on like that.  What I didn't like was the role that The House played in this book, I guess it's just not my thing!  There were a lot of sappy lines and I hated that he called her "my girl", there were times that an endearment like that fit, but most of the times it just sounded like he was talking to a child and it was annoying.  There was also a line in the book about him being a very private person and that just doesn't jive with someone who does what he does at "The House".

Overall, I enjoyed the series.  There were things I would change about it, but I did like the characters.  Keep reding for your chance to win your very own print copies of this entire series courtesy of the publisher!!
XOXO, Shelly

*Disclaimer: I was provided with a copy of this book courtesy of the publisher in exchange for my honest review.*

Here are the rules
1.  You must live in the US or Canada to enter (per the publishers request)
2.  You must be 18 to enter 
3.  You must contact me within 24 hours of being notified that you are the winner or I will choose another winner.

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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Blog Tour | "Ugly Love" by Colleen Hoover

Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover
New Adult Romance published August 5, 2014
Author's website  |  Goodreads  |  Buy the Book on Amazon

Synopsis from Goodreads

When Tate Collins meets airline pilot Miles Archer, she knows it isn’t love at first sight. They wouldn’t even go so far as to consider themselves friends. The only thing Tate and Miles have in common is an undeniable mutual attraction. Once their desires are out in the open, they realize they have the perfect set-up. He doesn’t want love, she doesn’t have time for love, so that just leaves the sex. Their arrangement could be surprisingly seamless, as long as Tate can stick to the only two rules Miles has for her.

Never ask about the past.
Don’t expect a future.

They think they can handle it, but realize almost immediately they can’t handle it at all.

Hearts get infiltrated.
Promises get broken.
Rules get shattered.
Love gets ugly.
My Thoughts...
First of all I have to say right now that I read this book originally nearly a month ago and I was just devastated.  I felt like my heart had been ripped out and stomped all over before it was put back together again.  There was definitely a lot, and I mean A LOT of ugly crying going on.  Then, I didn't immediately write my review, I read a couple more books, but couldn't get Miles out of my head (or heart) so I made the decision to sit on my thoughts somewhat and hold off writing the review.  I felt like I needed to re-read the book before posting my review so the emotion would be fresh again.  I don't know what I was thinking.... I just finished it, again, after reading it in just a couple hours and let me tell you this, there is NO less emotion the second time.  There was just as much, if not more ugly crying going on this time.  It was almost worst the second time since I knew where the story was ultimately heading.  So, if you aren't clear by now, this story will make you cry so get out your tissue box and clear your schedule because once you start reading this you aren't going to want to stop until you reach the end!

This story is told from 2 points of view and in 2 different points in time.  It starts in the present with Tate, she's moving in with her bother until she can get settled into school and a new job.  She meets Miles before she even steps foot into her brothers apartment and she's immediately drawn to him.  Miles, on the other hand, is kind of standoffish and really for quite some time never gives her any indication that he wants anything to do with her. Every other chapter is Mile's past, it starts right when he meets Rachel, just weeks before his 18th birthday. So the whole book is set up like this, with alternating chapters, going in a somewhat linear fashion.  Miles and Tate get closer, they decide to have a "no string, no questions" type of relationship.  This is all at Miles insistence, it's clear from the beginning that Tate wants more, hopes for more, even when for the most part, Miles gives her no reason to hope for anything more.  As their "relationship" progresses Miles' past is slowly revealed and it's done it a way where everything that happen in the present coincides with a big moment in his past.  Everything is intertwined in a way that his past is revealed to us just as it needs to be in order for us to understand why Miles is the way he is.  It's just perfect!

I adored Miles and there were times that I wanted to smack him upside the head, but I understand why he wanted to protect Tate from himself.  I also really liked Tate, I know that there are some out there that will say she was a pushover and she didn't stand up for herself.  I didn't see her that way at all.  I saw her as someone who was in love and was willing to do anything she could to be with him.  Even though he was pretty closed off most of the time, there were moments when she saw more and those moments were the ones she was clinging to.  I totally get that and I would have done the same in her position.

I loved, loved Cap.  His character made the story so much better.  He was the balance between Tate and Miles and I love that he was always there for Tate when she needed to vent.  He always listened and only gave advice when she asked for it even though he totally couldn't have gotten way more involved if he'd wanted to.

This book was, hands down, my favorite book so far this year and as much as I love Will Cooper, I think this is my favorite Colleen Hoover book as well.  I am so happy that I was able to be a part of this book tour.  If you only read one New Adult book this year, it needs to be this one.  You won't be disappointed. 

XOXO, Shelly

*Disclaimer: I was provided with a copy of this book courtesy of the publisher in exchange for my honest review.*