I read. I listen. I watch. I write.
Grey Eyes- Brandon Alston and Quinteria Ramey
Grey Eyes began with an interesting premise, but in the I found it all just too for a sustainable level of suspension of disbelief. The protagonist, Anastasia, vascilates too much between Darren and Tristan, so much so that I wanted to scream “JUST PICK ONE ALREADY! I DONT CARE WHO!” In the end, if I had to choose I’d go with Darren. The twist about Ana’s origins I found just entirely too much to maintain a sustainable level of suspension of disbelief. That being said I really loved the idea of plot and the characters, so I probably would read the sequel.
The Bitter Frost Series- Kailin Gow
Gow weaves an interesting and intricate tale of a paranormal world where Fae, Pixies and Werewolves abound. I devoured the first four books in the Bitter Frost series in a single night. Bitter Frost, Forever Frost, Silver Frost and Frost Kisses were that good. I felt compelled to know what happened next and entrenched myself in the story of Breena, Kian and Logan. My real disappointment however is that each book feels like a abbreviated read. The four books could have been combined into two without cutting any narrative. Additionally, I have to wait for the next book! I hate waiting, especially when I read all 4 others in so short a span of time.
Hex: A Witch and Angel Tale- Ramona Wray
First of all could a book have a more adorable cover? I sincerely doubt it. Second of all, Wray has proven herself a mistress of plot twists and has no qualms whatsoever about manipulating her reader’s emotions. Just when you think you have something figured out, you don’t. Just when you come to grips with one emotion, a new one comes barreling down your door. The characters are interesting though at times flat. We don’t explore the interior life of two main characters, nor do we ever really understand them. However, since this is actually the key to her clever plot twists, all is forgiven. It’s worth the read for fans of paranormal romance who would like a story to keep them guessing.
Bargains and Betrayals- Shannon Delany
I’m going to let you in on a little secret. I love the 13 to Life series, but at the end of Secrets and Shadows, I balled my tiny ineffectual fists, threw the book to the ground, and stomped my feet like two year old in the midst of a tantrum. Why, you ask? Well, because I found the ending to be only the most infuriating ending ever! Here’s the good news and the secret, the ending of Secrets and Shadows is worth it because it sets up Bargains and Betrayals brilliantly.
Bargains and Betrayals, in my opinion, is the best in the series so far. The plot moves quickly from danger to action and Jessie shines throughout. Bargains and Betrayals highlights her growth from the initial 13 to Life. The rest of the characters gain more depth as well, in part because of the new perspective provided by Alexi’s point of view. Additionally, the writing is not only fantastic but has moments of such great wit that I actually laughed out loud. (My favorite line hint: Love is like a lobotomy- read it to find out what I mean).
I don’t do plot summary (cause I HATE THAT!), so just trust me on this one—the characters, the plot, the writing will not disappoint. Bargains and Betrayals is worth a read and the wait since its due out this August.
Arc provided gratis
Falling Under- Gwen Hayes
I think I underestimated this paranormal romance when I picked it up. In fact, until about mid-way through I was convinced it was a completely different story than it was. While I’m sort of over the whole demon thing, Hayes does a fantastic job of making her story new by incorporating interesting and infrequently used mythology (nightmares). The story hints of the influence of Lewis Carroll as there is something distinctly “Alice” about Theia and Under. Certainly the plot between Theia and Haden is riveting enough to hold a readers attention on its own (hat tip for the name choice here being so close to Hades). Add to that the struggling dynamic between child and parent for a worthwhile read.
Hayes’ prose is at times brilliant and beautiful, often when you least expect it:
"I tumbled through the darkness, awakening in my own bed with a stranger’s heart beating in my chest."
Love Sucks!- Melissa Francis
In the sequel to Bite Me, AJ once again wows with her attitude and spunk. In addition to dealing with the awkward former romance with her now step-brother, AJ has attention from Lex, a smexy Brit. The tension in this triangle is palpable and at points steamy. There were several moments in the plot when I wanted to hit Ryan with a 2 by 4, and as a result I’m not sure I love the ending. Love Sucks! was short simple read perfect for sitting outside on a sunny day.
Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side-Beth Fantaskey
Bad boys seem to be my theme lately, and few do bad boys as well as Fantaskey. Between her Tristen in Jekel loves Hyde and Lucius in Jessica’s Guide, it’s safe to say she has the self-despising monster man down to a science. I found Jessica’s transformation to adulthood to be a wonderfully realistic process in such a paranormal book. She overcomes her doubts, opens her mind to possibilities she hadn’t imagined, embraces her past and faces her future unflinchingly, even when it requires self sacrifice.
Overall, it was a great read—which given’s the book success is unsurprising. What is surprising is that some reader’s haven’t recognized the same brilliance in Jekel Loves Hyde’s story. Rather than being the drastic departure from this book as some have suggested, I think Jekel Loves Hydeis a great second novel where Fantaskey stretches her art from vampire to a new breed of monster.
Infinite Days by Rebecca Maizel
This book was an addiction for me. I skipped meals, holing myself up with this book until I was done. Then, I read it again. I don’t know what I loved more the originiality of the plot, the ernestness of the characters or the thrill of danger lurking at the door. While romantic and paranormal, Maizel’s debut shines most for her heroine’s compelling desire to be human in every sense of the word. It is this heart-breaking, fragile humanity that may be her saving grace.
I can only compare this first book to how I felt when I read Twilight and the first Harry Potter. Maizel has the brilliant gift of creating characters you don’t just love despite their flaws, but characters whose story you NEED to hear creating a compulsion to listen and experience that story for yourself.
There is no doubt that I am buying a copy of this book for myself and copies to give to all my friends.
Soundtrack Song: “Halo” Haley James Scott