Verb Vixen

I read. I listen. I watch. I write.
Tuesday, August 28

Two and Twenty Dark Tales

Two and Twenty Dark Tales- Edited by Georgia McBride and Michelle Zink

Two and Twenty Dark Tales: Dark Retellings of Mother Goose Rhymes

I was raised on nursery rhymes so when I saw that there was an anthology of stories based on Mother Goose I practically lost my mind. Not only does Two and Twenty Dark Tales have a great premise, there are so many amazing contributing writers who’s work I already love—-Gretchen McNeil, Lisa Mantchev, Karen Mahoney to name a few. The anthology is full of creepy unsettling stories, dark imaginings and disturbing endings. You will never look at nursery rhymes the same way again after reading this, nor should you want to. There’s something particularly Grimm (pun intended) about this collection; it’s closer to what original fairy tales and nursery rhymes were intended to do—-to warn and ward the dark things in the world. It is an anthology I cannot wait to have on my shelves!

Overall: A+

Two and Twenty Dark Tales is due out from Month9Books on October 16th. Pre-order your copy here.

e-galley provided gratis via Netgalley

Tags:   #i read #books #anthology #short stories #mother goose #nursery rhymes #two and twenty dark tales #netgalley #ya lit #young adult #fiction

3 notes
Tuesday, June 12

Time Is Running Out

Timepiece (Hourglass #2)- Myra McEntire

Timepiece (Hourglass, #2)

Timepiece picks up shortly after Hourglass left off and with an equally stunning cover.  I liked Hourglass, but I LOVED Timepiece. Kaleb’s voice as well as his romantic storyline were much more appealing to me than Emerson’s. His point of view was engaging and his character possesses true emotional depth. It’s hard to not love him for all he’s been through. The Chronos and Jack Landers dual villainies is sinister and gripping, more threatening than Hourglass’s storyline. Serious threats to time and the main characters leave you wanting book 3 immediately! Lastly, I love that pieces of the story are intersecting and coming together. Fans of Hourglass will totally eat this story up while newcomers or those on the fence will be swayed by Kaleb’s charisma.

Overall: A-

Hourglass is out now from Egmont USA. Get your copy here.

This egalley was provided gratis by Egmont USA via Netgalley.

Tags:   #i read #books #ya #ya lit #young adult #young adult books #hourglass #timepiece #myra mcentire #egmont usa #netgalley

Wednesday, April 11

Dark Frost

Dark Frost (Mythos Academy Series)- Jennifer Estep

Dark Frost (Mythos Academy, #3)

The third book in the Mythos Academy series, Dark Frost, only adds fuel to the fire of my obsession with this series. I’m OBSESSED, I tell you! The combination of duty and sacrifice, of humility and bravery, of friendship and love. Dear god, I will never get enough of Mythos.

Dark Frost, even more so than Touch of Frost or Kiss of Frost, advances the series plot significantly; it felt like there was more action too which of course I loved! We finally have name and face to put to Loki’s champion; I found there to be something Voldemort-esque in Loki himself this time around as well. All in all, the villains of this series are shaping up to be quite malicious. As if the story itself wasn’t awesome enough, Gwen is all that is good in a hero. She and Logan are a perfect match, though sometimes I want to reach into the book and shake them silly. Every character, even supporting ones, takes you through a myriad of emotions and I was stunned at the accuracy. Every time I found myself thinking: that’s probably how I would feel or that’s understandable. All in all, Mythos Academy is shaping up to be one of my favorite series and I CAN.NOT wait for the next book. 

Also, if there is any way for me to get a Fenrir wolf pup, please let me know cause I need one. Like yesterday.

Overall: A

Dark Frost is due out May 29th from Kensington Publishers. You can pre-order your copy here. Get your copies of Touch of Frost and Kiss of Frost at a steal with the 4 for 3 deal on Amazon!

eArc provided by Kensington Publishers via Netgally. Thank you!

Tags:   #i read #young adult #ya #young adult fiction #ya lit #books #jennifer estep #mythos academy #dark frost #touch of frost #kiss of frost #kensington publishers #netgalley

Tuesday, November 8

Blind Dates and Other Disasters

 Blind Dates and Other Disasters- Ally Blake/ Fiona Harper/ Barbara Hannay

Blind Dates & Other Disasters

The book contains three separate contemporary romance tales.  Based on the title and cover, I was expecting some funny reads.  What we got instead were standard romance reads.

The first story by Ally Blake focuses on how we get in our own way. Holly and Jacob’s passion is evident on every page and they have the sort of antagonistic chemistry that makes you smile. A-

The second tale by Fiona Harper got off to a rocky start for me.  I disliked the first guy so much that I couldn’t get past that.  I could never root for him or be on his team.  The plot goes into some deep and difficult scenarios and was less of the light read I was expecting.  B

The last story in the book is outback girl come to the big city.  It’s cute and cheesy but also full of cliche. I’m not sure that it added anything new to the genre but it was a classic romance read. B

Overall: B

You can order a copy here.

eGalley provided gratis by Harlequin UK via NetGalley

Tags:   #barbara hannay, #harlequin uk, #romance, #blind dates and other disasters #ally blake #fiona harper #i read #books #netgalley

3 notes
Thursday, October 13

Let Them Eat Cake

The Sweetest Thing- Christina Mandelski

The Sweetest Thing

The Sweetest Thing lives up to its title as a cute, contemporary YA. While Sheridan starts as whiny and self-absorbed, she grows to see it and change it.  As a reader we also understand her motivations every step of the way, making her sympathetic and almost like an underdog at points.  I loved the cake decorating focus! It was better than an episode of Cake Boss; though I’m not going to lie, this book will bring out your sweet tooth cravings. Cooking itself pervades the book, and the food television plot adds poses an interesting dilemma. While the cover may seem all delicious but not nutritious, the book gets to the heart of what is important—family, friends, love, embracing change, and living up to the potential of your life despite your fears.

Overall: A-

The book is out now from Egmont USA! You can order your copy here!

eGalley provided gratis by Egmont via NetGalley

Tags:   #young adult, #books, #ya lit, #the sweetest thing, #egmont usa, #i read #ya #young adult fiction #netgalley #the sweetest thing #christina mandelski

6 notes
Tuesday, October 11

More on men in kilts

Heart of the Druid Laird- Barbara Longley

Heart of the Druid Laird

What is there not to like about this book? Hot druid magical men with accents everywhere, the dual U.S. and Scottish locales, strong leading ladies, bad faeries and just enough of the paranormal to keep it interesting. Heart of the Druid Laird was a gluttonous read. I wasn’t wild about the reincarnation aspect, but it does drive most of the plot.  Things start getting very interesting as we delve more into the past. There’s this scene in a cabin that, well, just wait till you read it. My lasting impression was that Heart of the Druid Laird was a strong read which will delight fans of romance, paranormal, or boys with brogues.

Overall: A-

You can get your copy here.

eGalley provided gratis by Carina Press via Netgalley.

Tags:   #carina press, #i read #books #romance #paranormal #netgalley #barbara longley #heart of the druid laird

24 notes
Thursday, October 6

We don’t use the word rogue enough

Her Kilt-Clad Rogue- Julie Moffett

Her Kilt-Clad Rogue

Her Kilt-Clad Rogue brings the word rogue back in vogue. I love Julie Moffett’s spy series so I figured I’d take a stab at her historical romance as well. I was not disappointed.  I love the Scottish highland setting and the dislike of the English is historically accurate. It’s a hint of Jane-Eyre and Wuthering Heights with 3 parts of smoldering sex appeal. So many juicy questions to tackle: Did the brooding Connor kill his wife? Can Genevieve forgive him enough to thaw the walls around her heart? There’s a twist you don’t see coming too. My only complaint is that it is too short. Fans of historical romance will enjoy this one for sure.

Overall: A-

The book is out now and is a STEAL at only $3.19 for Kindle.

Tags:   #i read, #her kilt-clad rogue, #julie moffett, #books #romance #historical romance #carina press #netgalley

3 notes
Tuesday, September 27

Some Things are Better Left to the Imagination

The Mephisto Covenant- Trinity Fagan

The Mephisto Covenant (The Mephisto Covenant, #1)

The Mephisto Covenant is a testament to the fact that just because I’ve read a lot of books doesn’t mean I always know whats coming.I definitely didn’t expect or foresee the full on sex scene. Nope, that was a surprise, and one that you rarely see in YA. I wish I had a warning that it was in there; I’d have felt more prepared for it. The story is okay. It’s in the familiar vein of angels and demons but I like the focus on redemption. The characters are endearing, particularly Ajax who struggles to not muck everything up in the sweetest way. The cover is gorgeous and maybe one of my favorites from this year.

Overall: B

The Mephisto Covenant is due out today! Get your copy here.

e-Galley provided gratis by Egmont books via Netgalley.

Tags:   #ya, #young adult, #i read #young adult fiction #ya lit #mephisto covenant #trinity fagan #egmont usa #netgalley

1 note
Friday, September 2

Juliet Spell or You had me at Shakespeare

The Juliet Spell- Douglas Rees

The Juliet Spell

Juliet Spell was in short: delightful! Just as with any Shakespeare related story all I can say was, You had me at Shakespeare.  The plot was cleverly done, and I loved that it wasn’t a glorification of the bard but a portrayal through another’s eyes of a very human Shakespeare.  But lest you be confused, this book isn’t really about Shakespeare, it’s about everything from theatre to language to science to friendship and of course the play Romeo and Juliet. The contemporary YA plot is classic but Rees stays true to the tragic end of the Romeo and Juliet that is central to the story.  I am not a fan of the Epilogue which I think ruins the emotional blow Rees successfully pulls off at the end of the novel proper. In the end what matters is this: it was a sweet read, a smart read, full of quotes from Shakespeare, plays with language, and two main characters to fall in love with it (Miranda and Edmund).

Overall: A-

P.S. I want this dress on the cover.

The Juliet Spell is due out September 27th from Harlequin Teen. You can pre-order your copy here.

eGalley provided gratis by Harlequin Teen via Netgalley

Tags:   #books #contemporary #douglas rees #harlequin teen #historical #i read #netgalley #romance #shakespeare #the juliet spell #theatre #ya #ya lit #young adult #young adult fiction #harlequin teen

22 notes
Thursday, September 1

Tris and Izzie

Tris and Izzie - Mette Ivie Harrison

Tris and Izzie

Clearly my inner medievalist was ESTATIC when I saw this book because Tris and Izzie is based on the German fairy tale of Tristan and Isolde. Someday maybe I will tell you why I believe them to be the greatest pair of lovers of all time. Today is not aht day however.  I wanted to like this book; I wanted to love this book in fact. But I didn’t. Not even a little, not even at all.  Contrary to the title and the description, precious little of the book is based on the actual story.  I’m sorry but using their names and a minor detail here and there does not mean you were based on that story.  Izzie, our main character lacks self-awareness to the point of stupidity and is borderline annoying throughout the entire novel.  Perhaps my biggest pet peeve of the whole reading experience was that it was in past tense narration. WHY? I think that had the book stood on its own, with a different title and no relation to the fairy tale that I might have given it more leeway. 

Overall: C

I will say this if you’re at all familiar with the original or even if you’re not this is a great cover. 

Overall: B

You can pre-order a copy here.

eGalley provided gratis by Egmont Publishers via Netgalley

Tags:   #books #contemporary #egmont #i read #mette ivie harrison #myths #netgalley #romance #tris and izzie #ya #ya lit #young adult #young adult fiction #egmont

2 notes
Monday, August 29

Hackers, Spies, and Mysteries, Oh My!

No One To Trust (Lexi Carmichael Mystery #2) - Julia Moffett


No One To Trust was my break from YA book. Sometimes you need something a bit different, and this book totally satisfied that need.  The second book in the series, No One To Trust features a nerdy girl, hot guys with accents, and a great thriller plot with hints of romance. Basically mystery meets romance, what’s there not to like? Lexi Carmichael might as well be the modern day Nancy Drew only with more hacking and technology skills. It’s a perfect beach read for anyone looking for an interesting mystery, a good contemporary romance, or those who like spies or nerds. It can be read stand alone though I suggest picking up the first book No One Lives Twice. This is definitely a series I will live vicariously through I will continue to follow. 

Overall: A-

No One To Trust is out now and is a steal at only $4 for the Kindle edition.  Get a copy here.

eGalley provided gratis by Carina Press via Netgalley

Tags:   #i read, #mysteries, #romance, #thriller, #no one lives twice, #books, #carina press #lexi carmichael #no one to trust #julie moffett #netgalley

Wednesday, July 27

Winter is Coming

The Iron Knight-Julie Kagawa

Winter is coming.  This is the only time I’ll ever be excited about that phrase.

The first thing that struck me as I began reading The Iron Knight was how much I missed Meghan Chase’s voice. It didn’t take long however before I loved Ash’s narration just as much.  The best part is that the story endeared both Ash and Puck to me. We learn more about their past, their current tension, and the future of their friendship. There were interesting plot twists, fun friendly banter, and an eclectic group of characters.  I love where Kagawa went with the concept of memory tied to existence and all the “what ifs” of humanity for Ash. I don’t think there could have been a better ending to the Iron Fey than The Iron Knight. I highly recommend it to fans of the fey and male protagonists alike.

Overall: A

The Iron Knight is due out October 25th.  You can pre-order your copy here.

Follow Julie Kagawa on Twitter @JKagawa or at her website here.

This eGalley was provided gratis by Harlequin Teen via NetGalley.

Tags:   #ya, #young adult fiction, #ya lit, #the iron knight, #the iron queen, #the iron king, #i read #young adult #the iron fey #julie kagawa #the iron daughter #harlequin teen #netgalley

Monday, July 25

The Last Archangel

The Last Archangel- Michael D. Young

The Last Archangel began with a rocky start.  I despise withering women, and Eden definitely falls into that category. There is a counterbalance to Eden in Judy, who is an absolute spitfire but we have to wait a bit before we are introduced to her. What somewhat redeemed this book was the focus on Xandir who is actually an extremely interesting and complicated character.  His snark was the highlight of the novel. I found that the Eden and Xandir plot lines were too distant from each other for much of book then suddenly they converge (unsuccessfully in my opinion) at the end. Speaking of the end, Xandir’s “rebirth” was bizarre to me.  The Serche portion of the book drags on with the fighting, keys and gates blending together.  I wish there had been more exploration of Xandir’s back story, the Atlantis references, and the hierarchy of angels which is alluded to but not explored. In short, there were kernels of inspiration left unsowed.  That being said, there is something smart in the story which if developed correctly in the sequel would improve the series immensely.

Overall: B

This eGalley was provided free by Cedar Fort Press via Netgalley

Tags:   #i read, #fiction, #michael d young, #angels, #the last archangel #cedar fort press #netgalley

2 notes
Sunday, December 5

Warning: this is a post about werewolves

Once in a Full Moon- Ellen Schreiber

I’m not really a werewolf YA paranormal romance girl.  I mean there are exceptions- 13 to Life, Sisters Red, and Shiver, but other than that I’m sort of indifferent about the whole werewolf trend.  Once in a Full Moon was a werewolf story I can get behind.  In under 200 pages, Schreiber transforms herself into one of the best of the bunch in werewolves far exceeding her original series Vampire Kisses.  Rather than a pure paranormal romance, the book provokes thought on friendship, class division, societal expectations, and the importance of charity and service.  Ultimately, it’s short, sweet and packs a thoughtful punch.

Overall: A

Advanced Readers Copy provided free by NetGalley

Tags:   #ellen schreiber, #young adult fiction, #paranormal romance, #once in a full moon #netgalley #i read #ya lit #werewolves