Reviews


REVIEW BY The Romance Reviews   

Poison Princess

by Kresley Cole
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"Review from Bridget"

POISON PRINCESS is one of those books that makes the YA genre such a fascinating one for readers of all ages. With Apocalyptic terrors, human and supernatural evil, emotional depth and nuanced characters, Krelsey Cole has crafted a series that will be remembered. Though I had some serious issues with one part of this story, this is a stunningly inventive new series with an epic scope and full of well-drawn, complicated characters who will keep readers eagerly coming back for more.

On the surface, Evie Greene's life is a picture-perfect fairytale. She lives in an enormous, elegant southern plantation mansion, has a couture wardrobe, a gaggle of devoted friends with whom to start her junior year, and is dating the captain of the school football team. But Evie's perfect smile hides a world of secrets that are darker than anyone could imagine: Evie spent her summer vacation in an institution after her mother discovered the notebook in which Evie records the visions of the coming Apocalypse that plague her dreams and her days. Though her Grandmother has been locked away in an institution for years due to similar visions, Evie had never believed in any of the stories she was told as a child—or her Grandmother's claims that she possessed powers. That is, until Evie realized she could manipulate living things, making crops bend to her will and ivy grow on command.

The first day of school has hardly begun before Evie is confronted with another challenge, in the form of a group of Cajun students who have recently been admitted to the school; or, more specifically, a tall, angry Cajun boy named Jackson Deveaux, with a flask and bandages over the wealth of scars covering his hands. Jackson knows about nightmares of all kinds, and seems fascinatED with Evie's notebook and with her visions, but makes it furiously clear that he wants nothing to do with someone like her—even if he can't seem to stay away from her.

It would all be just another teen drama…until Evie's visions start coming true. And following the stunning events of the Apocalypse, Evie will learn the real reason for her power, and the destiny that she has been called to fulfill, with none other than Jackson Deveaux at her side. As he and Evie journey across a devastated wasteland in search of the cause of her visions, they encounter others like her, people with powers who have been called to stand in the ultimate fight against good and evil.

This is a dark, intense and at times genuinely unsettling story that demands attention. Though a little slow to start due to the pre-Flash setup scenes, once Evie's quest begins, this book as a fascinating adventure. Kresley Cole's gift for world-building and atmosphere are fully evident, and the contrasts between Evie's charmed life before The Flash and the nightmare world that follows are hauntingly detailed. The premise of the Tarot cards is original and well-developed, and I'm genuinely interested to see how the series develops from here now that all the rules of the post-Apocalypse world have been established.

When we first meet Evie, she still has quite the journey to make to fulfill her destiny. To say she is a ‘normal teen' discounts a lot of her potential, but she does have quite a personal journey to make in order to become a real heroine. As she grew stronger and more accepting of her calling, I liked her more and more, but I wish her emotional and self-confidence could have grown as strong as the rest of her powers.

Without aspiring towards any claims of ‘adulthood', it's safe to say that I read this book as someone older than Evie. In that position, I found Jackson's behavior troubling. I have to admit that there was a part of me that could appreciate his Alpha behavior when it forced Evie to grow in response, but when I remembered the age and the power dynamic between them, it made a little more wary of their relationship. I found Jackson a fascinating, nuanced character and the flashes of insight that he allowed to show made me much more sympathetic to him; however, the fact remains that I found his demeanor and his attitude, especially when it was directed towards Evie, and the theme of violence towards women over the course of the book, unsettling.

Nevertheless, this is a fascinating story with the power to frighten, intrigue and captivate readers. The darkness and the evil surrounding Evie and her cohorts is very real and the stakes are enormously high, which kept my attention riveted. Despite my issues with Jackson and his behavior toward Evie, I do want to read more of this series, and see how Kresley Cole continues building the world of the Arcana and how this wonderfully original world develops.


REVIEW BY The Romance Reviews   

The Color of Grace

by Linda Kage
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"Review from I ♥ Bookie Nookie"

Why do parents live to ruin your life? As a teenager, we have all been convinced as some point that this is their sole purpose for living.

Good girl Grace Indigo, a nerdy, sixteen-year-old, is suddenly uprooted from her life in the middle of her high school career when her mother remarries after being a single parent for thirteen years. Grace is not happy about leaving her friends to attend a rival school, but she is excited about the prospect of having a real live father for the first time in her life. Losing her father as a small child and never having a father figure, she is unclear about the role this new man will play. Aside from the typical trials and tribulations of being a teenager, she is also dealing with the normal anxiety of being the "new girl" at school. Compounding the situation, the relationship between Grace and her mother seems to be disintegrating on a daily basis as they each try to find their place in their new home and cope with the changing family dynamics.

As a former member of the "nerd herd," Grace is not delusional; she knows she will eventually team up with other fellow nerds. So, imagine her surprise when she finds herself smack-dab in the middle of the cool kids, but she's not complaining because some of these kids are a lot deeper than they appear and some are just as superficial as you might expect. In an effort to play it cool, she disses "Mr. Popular" and accidentally starts dating his best friend which lands her in a game of tug-of-war with the boys...SO NOT COOL!

THE COLOR OF GRACE deals with a lot of tough issues teens are faced with—rumors, peer pressure, drinking and sex, just to name a few. Without giving anything away, there is another tough issue that is thrown into the mix of the new family dynamics that makes for a lot of drama in this great read. Pick up THE COLOR OF GRACE if you are looking for a heartfelt story with a strong heroine that you would like your teenaged daughter to idolize - a good story for you or your teenager.


REVIEW BY The Romance Reviews   

Gossamer

by Renita Pizzitola
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"Review from preppea"

GOSSAMER delivers the perfect combination of romance and paranormal to a fantastic new series about the Fae. Renita Pizzitola accomplishes what few authors can in the first of a paranormal series: she creates a new world for the reader without the reader ever feeling like they're getting an encyclopedia description of the new mythical world.

Part of what made this book so great was the way the story begins as a normal young adult romance with Kyla seeing Grant for the first time – their connection is immediate, physical, and rocks Kyla's world. The reader is able to get swept up in Kyla and Grant's undeniable attraction for each other before delving into the paranormal aspects of the story. As far as Kyla knows, she is just the average human teenager, but from the moment she meets Grant, things start to happen that open her eyes to what sets her apart.

Kyla soon discovers that not only is she half faery, she's also in grave danger and must travel to the faery realm if she wants to find safety. Grant has been sent to help her, but he has secrets of his own that complicate their blooming romance.

The author seamlessly creates a beautiful, three-dimensional faery world and characters in both realms that are lovable and charming. The reader is torn right alongside Kylie as she fights to make decisions that will drastically alter the direction of her life. I'm excited to see how the Gossamer series continues and what will happen not only with Kyla, but a lot of the minor characters that stole a place in my heart as well!

I would definitely recommend GOSSAMER to anyone looking for a brand new young adult paranormal series to get wrapped up in!


REVIEW BY The Romance Reviews   

Sock it to Me, Santa!

by Madison Parker
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"Review from Valentina Heart"

This way too short story was more than a pleasant surprise with adorable characters, solid story and absolute cuteness just bursting at the seams.

It must have been a trick of faith that Ryan gets stuck with making a Christmas gift for the flamboyant and openly gay classmate Jamie in a school project. It's definitely not his first choice, not that Ryan has anything against Jamie. He just doesn't want to be the center of attention the same as Jamie by simple association. Still, with all the stuff Jamie puts up with at school, he does deserve something special…

And so it goes into the embarrassing, funny as well as adorable while Ryan tries to make that perfect gift at his mother's craft workshop and still stay anonymous while slowly realizing his continuing guilt for hiding his friendship with Jamie has little to do with his morals, but rather with who he is.

SOCK IT TO ME, SANTA! was one of those stories that have all the potential for making you feel good. It brings back memories of those high school crushes and awkward situations all of us had found ourselves in at one point or another, but the author pulled it off so well it is likely you will read through every single moment and desperately want more. The same as I did.

This wonderful story deserves all the attention it can get and Madison Parker is an author you have to add to your to-read list. It's mandatory.


REVIEW BY The Romance Reviews   

Obsidian

by Jennifer L. Armentrout
- rating

"Review from Bridget"

I love when books take me by surprise. Aliens are not my standard fare, but I was thrilled to find that OBSIDIAN surpassed all my expectations and delivered a story with adventure and passion and intrigue that drew me in and kept me hooked until the very end.

Following the death of her father, Katy Swartz and her mother have moved to the wilds of West Virginia hoping to start a new life. But while her mom has her work to distract her, Katy is stuck in her new house, with nothing but her book review blog to keep her mind off her dad and her nerves over starting the school year as a stranger in such a small town. Nothing, that is, until her mother suggests she go over and introduce herself to their new neighbors.

Because it turns out that Katy is living next to the most impossibly good-looking guy she's ever seen. Unfortunately, Daemon also happens to be the rudest person she's ever met. From their first introduction, he is downright hostile, sending her away furious and humiliated. It is only after meeting Daemon's twin sister, Dee, that Katy agrees to have anything to do with him, because where Daemon is cold and almost vicious in his apparent dislike of her, Dee is warm and bubbly and clearly in need of a friend. But no matter how hard she tries, Katy can't seem to avoiding being drawn to something in Daemon's gaze in those few moments when he lets his guard down and shows he might actually be worth getting to know much better….

But with every passing day, things around their small town just keep getting stranger. Unexplained disappearances, Mothman sightings, and a large group that seem to hate Katy on sight for her friendship with Dee, including Daemon's off-again-on-again girlfriend; Dee and Daemon themselves certainly have a number of quirks that Katy can't rationally explain. It is only after Daemon saves her life one terrifying night that Katy finally learns that none of the oddities around her can be explained by anything in this world. Or galaxy. Because Daemon, and a number of the other locals, are aliens known as the People of Light, whose home planet was destroyed. And with her newfound knowledge comes the very real danger that Katy could become the target of Daemon's enemies, who lurk in the darkness around them. Now, Katy is not only supposed to learn her way through the confusions of high school—she might just have to save her world while she's at it.

As Katy herself notes, "aliens…don't really do it for me and a lot of readers." While I was intrigued by the concept of this book, I have to admit that I went in with a bit of trepidation. However, once I got into the plot, I found myself really reluctant to put the book down, and am really rather anxious for the next installment in the series. Jennifer Armentrout takes the story of the ‘lonely new girl who meets a tall, dark, paranormal stranger' and makes it into something that feels fresh and new and surprisingly gripping.

Katy is not your stereotypical bookish sort of girl. She is sarcastic and determined and holds her own against anyone and everyone, which I really respected. Daemon is so strong and so overpowering at times, it takes one gutsy, tough lady to go toe-to-toe with him, and Kat never shrinks into his shadow. That alone endeared her to me, but her caustic observations and sense of humor had me snickering out loud, as well.

Daemon is a perfect force of nature. It's nearly impossible while reading not to want to understand what makes him tick, even when his behavior is so repellant. Though it took a little longer for me to see past his perfect looks and arrogant attitude to the complex character beneath, but to be honest, it was refreshing to have a hero who kept his girl—and this reader—on her toes. Ultimately, there is no doubt where his heart lies, but I have a sense there is a lot more about Daemon that we have yet to learn.

The tension between two such fiery characters is absolutely sizzling. Despite the young adult nature of the book, there is no shying away from the fact that Kat and Daemon have a connection that is complicated, passionate, and as hot as a star. I appreciated that Kat's other relationships, with Dee as well as her classmates, didn't suffer as a result of her involvement with Daemon. She has a chance to really establish herself as the heroine of her story on her own terms, and to try and save the day on her own. What the full results of her final confrontation with the alien foe will be has yet to be revealed, but I have no doubt that things are only going to get more interesting for Kat—and for Daemon—from here on out.

This book was a wonderful surprise—a dynamic story with intense, three-dimensional characters and a vividly imagined paranormal world in which they existed. After a bit of a shaky start, I was fully engaged in Kat's adventures and her growing relationship with her wonderfully enigmatic neighbor. I can only hope that this series keeps its momentum, as I am now completely hooked and eager to see what comes next!


REVIEW BY The Romance Reviews   

Foreshadow

by Brea Essex
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"Review from Katie Cody"

Sometimes the one you've been looking for is the one that annoys you the most.

FORESHADOW is a beautiful story that will have you on the edge of your seats. Filled with lots of action and some sweet romance this story is great for lovers of paranormal romance. The plot was well developed and kept me anticipating what would happen to the characters next.

The characters themselves had great depth and were very interesting. I really liked Logan as a character because at first he seems like just an annoyance and a little mysterious, but as the story progresses we get to see so much more about him and realize right along with Raena just how wonderful he really is.

Raena is a sweet character who I can really identify with. She doesn't have the greatest of luck at the beginning of the story, considering she finds out that her boyfriend wants to kill her, but through her hardships, she grows more and learns that there is more to people than whats on the surface.

For a thrilling romantic adventure check out FORESHADOW by Brea Essex!


REVIEW BY The Romance Reviews   

Dark Frost

by Jennifer Estep
- rating

"Review from Bridget"

Once again, Jennifer Estep has delivered with a powerful, dark and dangerous installment in the Mythos Academy series. All the promises and warnings of the past have come to this—a showdown with an immortal enemy that will leave no one unscarred—and will have you turning pages furiously until the very last scene.

Life for the Gypsy girl, Gwen Frost, has never been easy—when you have the power to touch an object and instantly know its history and feel the emotions tied to it, the simplest of action can often carry most dire consequences. As a student at Mythos Academy, the school for the children of ancient warrior races sworn to protect the mortal realm from Loki, the chances of a normal, boring day are rare indeed.

As Nike's Champion, Gwen has been charged with locating the Helheim Dagger, the final item needed by Loki's followers to free him and unleash the Chaos Wars on earth. The Dagger was hidden by Gwen's mother, from whom Gwen inherited her Champion status—and who was murdered by Reapers before she could tell Gwen all her secrets. Though her magic, and her vengeful, talking sword, Vic, are formidable weapons, the Reapers are also hot on the trail of the dagger, and Gwen is starting to realize that she might be in over her head—and the consequences of failure are cataclysmic.

In the hopes of finishing a last-minute assignment before Winter Break ends, Gwen Frost and her friends, Daphne, Carson and Logan are touring the Crius Coliseum, taking in the display of mythical weapons and history assembled from the holdings at Mythos Academy. The day turns into a nightmare when a group of Reapers charge the building, killing students and smashing artifacts without any remorse, presumably in hopes of finding the Dagger. Gwen and her friends make a stand, driving the Reapers away, but no one is foolish enough to believe they won't be back, for the dagger, and for revenge against Gwen.

On top of that, she finds herself dealing with the fallout from the calamitous Winter Festival—not only the captured Reaper on whom Gwen must use her touch magic to try and find answers about the Reapers' secrets, but also the Fenrir wolf that Gwen saved during that hellish week, who has decided to move in with Gwen in her tiny dorm room (much to the consternation of her cantankerous sword, Vic). Not to mention the growing tension between Gwen and Logan, the strong and gorgeous Spartan who has never failed Gwen, and who she would give anything to be with. But Logan has secrets of his own, and Gwen knows that a single touch will show her all the things he is keeping from her, all the things that are keeping them apart.

Because we perceive the world of this book through Gwen's eyes, it's not always easy to see the events of the book in an objective way. Though she is convinced her Grandmother and her friends have more power and strength than she, it is impossible not to realize how brave Gwen is, and how her determination to prove herself worthy of being Nike's champion drives her to lengths few others are willing to go. Gwen's major disadvantage is that she has been sheltered from the world of the gods and Chaos War, so she is always learning as she goes, always enduring a trial by fire. And that means she is going to make mistakes—sometimes, deadly ones. But Gwen's real heroism lies in her ability to get up and try and fight, and love, again, and I adore that about her.

Thankfully, we begin to learn more about Logan's secrets and the real reasons for his fear of Gwen's magic. His scars run deep, his fears are very well founded, and his ability to face them for Gwen made me love him all the more. While every scene with Logan is memorable, there were a few here that were absolutely unforgettable. Perhaps more than anyone else in this book, Logan is willing to take the biggest risks, to brave his biggest fears—and he does it all for love of Gwen. His courage and his heart made all the darkest of the Chaos Wars ease for a little while, and I can't wait to see how their relationship develops from here.

I love the fact that Jennifer Estep isn't afraid to put her characters through very real Hell. Despite the fact that there were about a hundred pages left in the book, I was genuinely concerned for Gwen's fate during a crucial scene, and had to grapple with having all my expectations shattered numerous times over the course of the plot. And while I wasn't always pleased with the way things went for Gwen and the population of Mythos Academy, there was never a time when I doubted her or any of her friends. The world of the book, the stakes of the Chaos War and the danger of Loki's return felt much more real when that danger is allowed to touch the characters, and they feel the subsequent pain and doubt that suffering brings.

I wish there hadn't been quite as much repetition of plot points, or explanations of the events of the past books in the series, as it did slow down the plot, but when the action commences and secrets are revealed, I couldn't get enough. The mysteries aren't difficult to solve and I was able to guess the villain of this story pretty quickly, but that didn't spoil much of my enjoyment of the story, or my love for the complexities of Gwen, her family, and her fellow Mythos students. This is not a book (or a series) with easy answers or cheap rewards, but that makes it a much more fulfilling read, and I am fascinated to see how Gwen, Logan and the population of Mythos Academy will handle all the events of this book as the series continues!


REVIEW BY The Romance Reviews   

Surviving Elite High

by John H. Ames
- rating

"Review from DH Starr"

SURVIVING ELITE HIGH by John H. Ames, is a GLBTQ young adult novel following, ironically enough, John Henry Ames as he experiences his life as a gay teen in a high school. To add a layer to his difference, he is also poor amongst a sea of wealthy, over-privileged children. Luckily he was blessed, as any healthy high school homosexual should, with two wonderful friends: Madison and Kitty.

This story touches a tender spot in my heart as I read. John is a pure soul, his emotions worn on his sleeve. A number of circumstances occur, almost simultaneously, which set the story in motion. We meet two bullies, Jacob and Matthew, within the first two pages of the story. We then meet Nick, the star quarterback who becomes John's tutee and guardian. Through much soul searching by our two main characters, the love interest of the story, we the reader are able to watch how young men, on the brink of manhood, handle their stresses and find their identity.

While the premise of the book was wonderful, there were a few things that distracted from my enjoyment. First, there were a number of convenient twists, which solved some of the problems a bit too easily. The author also stated some of the emotions and thoughts rather than showing them through description and actions. There were also a few instances where the character point of view became a bit cloudy.

In speaking with Mr. Ames, we learned that both of our debut novels were about GLBT young adult issues. It's natural for a debut novel to reflect the raw emotion all authors wish to transmit on the page, but also the beginning stages of honing one's craft. This story, in its pure and straightforward manner, is a journey of emotion, growth, and most certainly love. I look forward to reading more from this wonderful author.


REVIEW BY The Romance Reviews   

From Fame to Shame

by Veronica Blade
- rating

"Review from I ♥ Bookie Nookie"

There is nothing shameful about Veronica Blade's FROM FAME TO SHAME. This feel-good romance had me rooting for the heroine all the way to the very end!

When Maddie's starlet twin sister Jackie calls her up on the edge of a nervous breakdown and begs her to save her from insanity, Maddie drops everything to rescue her. When Maddie shows up to whisk her sister away, she learns that Jackie intends for them to switch places for a while so she can get her head straight, but Maddie is a self-proclaimed "country girl" and wants no part of the glitzy and glamorous lifestyle Jackie lives. With the help of Jackie's trusty assistant, Stella, Maddie is transformed into her bad-girl twin overnight. There is just one problem: Jackie's hunky, movie star ex, Dallas, who live right next door! Distancing herself from the man proves to be a lot more difficult than she expected - he seems to be around every corner she turns and appears to have his sights set on Maddie.

This quick read, FROM FAME TO SHAME, was funny and sweet and sometimes made me cringe a little when Maddie found herself in awkward situations while impersonating her "bad-girl" twin. Though I really enjoyed the book, I found that I wanted to know more about Jackie. I really hope the author has a follow-up book in mind so we can get a taste of this bad-girl in Hollywood.

If you are looking for a fun quickie, this one should do the trick for you!


REVIEW BY The Romance Reviews   

Catching Fire

by Suzanne Collins
- rating

"Review from Ashia"

CATCHING FIRE is the second book in The Hunger Games trilogy, and the story picked up about six months after the first book ended. Unexpected twists and turns make this book as exciting and engrossing as the first.

Katniss Everdeen prepares for the Victory Tour with her co-winner, Peeta Mellark. A visit from President Snow makes her aware of her precarious situation with the Capitol, owing to her unintentional defiance at the end of book 1, and she and Peeta have to continue their staged romance in order to stay alive. Unintentionally as well, she became the symbol of hope for the oppressed people of Panem, and her face the rallying point for the rebels. Just as she decided to stay and fight, she and Peeta were thrown back to the Games once again, not as mentors as originally thought, but as tributes, and this time, there will be only one victor...

The adventure continues, and Katniss thought she could rest and go back to the way life was before. Yet, in the deepest part of her, she must've known there is no going back. Events are on the move, and she is carried along with them, whether she liked it or not. Her life and those of her family and friends are in jeopardy, yet through it all, through the tightrope that she balances, she never lost her humanity, her compassion and her sense of justice. Here, she made a stand to continue the fight against oppression, and a Katniss with all the fire and fury of her rage is a sight to behold. There are also touching and memorable moments here, such as the visit to District 11 and the people's three-fingered salute to Katniss, the private times with Peeta on the train and on the beach, and, of course, as always, the interview wherein Peeta dropped a bomb once again and when all the victors held hands in defiance of the Capitol.

Where Peeta made an impression in The Hunger Games, here, he totally claimed a spot in my heart. Though seemingly helpless, a tribute, a pawn of the Capitol, yet he proved once again the power of his words, his strategy and his wit -- all done to protect Katniss. Never had I seen someone love another so totally, even when he knew that Katniss might never feel the same way for him. I am rooting for Peeta all the way!

In CATCHING FIRE, we can see more clearly Peeta's role in the story. He's mature beyond his age, able to see things that people don't normally see. Like his determination not to be a piece in the Games and that though he is under the Capitol's rule, he determined to do things on his own terms, fighting within the confines under which he is held. Where Katniss is rage and fire, he is cool and calm, and both together make a formidable team.

Like I said before, Gale is not bad. He's Katniss's best friend, after all, and they have shared a lot together. Because of this closeness, they have developed a rapport such that sometimes, they don't even need to speak for one to know what the other is thinking. Gale takes care of Katniss's family as his own. I can definitely empathize with Katniss for having the dilemma of choosing between two fine young men. Not that she chose, for...well, to reveal the reason would be to give a spoiler.

Because the tributes were reaped from the existing pool of victors, we meet the victors from the other districts in previous games, and I have to say, the atmosphere of the games is different. Here are adults who have previously won and who know what they're doing. The tension racheted up, and the intensity of the games was increased. The stakes are even higher now for Katniss, because these are people who know what they're doing and who would fight to stay alive, as opposed to the children tributes in the first book. Added to which, Katniss has a new goal: to save Peeta at all costs.

CATCHING FIRE is just as exciting as the first book, though here we see events moving forward, such as signs of uprising from the rebels, and we know Katniss's world will never be the same again. A point of disappointment is the lack of Katniss's scenes with Prim. It would've been good to know more about Prim, to see the sisters becoming even closer after all that Katniss went through, yet it seemed that after Prim served her purpose in the first book, she is set aside until further use is made of her. A scene or two showing Katniss and Prim's further bonding would have solidified the premise upon which The Hunger Games stood, because after all, the reason Katniss was even in the Games was primarily to save her sister.


REVIEW BY The Romance Reviews   

Mockingjay

by Suzanne Collins
- rating

"Review from Ashia"

Ironic. That's the one word that came to mind as I finished reading MOCKINGJAY. Unfortunately, to explain further would be a spoiler, so that's as far as I'm going to say.

The rebellion is in full swing, and Katniss has become the face of the rebellion. District 13 is using video clips of the Mockingjay (Katniss) to undermine the Capitol and to inflame the rebellion in other districts. Katniss allowed herself to become a tool, in exchange for some things, like the safety of Peeta and the other victors who were the Capitol's prisoners, and the privilege to kill President Snow. Yet, when they finally rescued Peeta from the Capitol, he is much changed, brainwashed to become the Capitol's tool and he doesn't recognize Katniss anymore and even wants to kill her...

MOCKINGJAY, as the third book in the trilogy, is a natural progression of the events in the first two books. Surprising twists and turns continue to keep the readers enthralled, especially toward the end. Here, the tension ramped up, not only in terms of the fate of Panem, but in a personal way especially for Katniss, as Peeta's condition hangs in the balance. Should Peeta be killed as an act of mercy? Or is there still hope for him?

Though I would've loved to see the same old Peeta doing his level best to protect Katniss, this reversal is a master stroke on the part of the author. Suzanne Collins sure knows how to keep readers riveted to the pages. In the first two books, Peeta has burrowed his way into our hearts and to see him like this creates angst and conflict and yes, hope, that he would get better one day, that he and Katniss would have their HEA. (Yes, speaking purely as a romance novel junkie.)

Loose ends are also wrapped up and answers are given to questions raised in the previous books. Yet, even here in these final moments, maybe especially because these are the final moments, the characters continued to evolve and change, and as the chaos and confusion in the world served to hone Katniss, Peeta and Gale even further, several inevitable truths are revealed and can be clearly seen:

In a war, no one wins. Justice and peace and freedom come at a cost. War changes everyone.

Something Gale said seemed to portray Katniss as cold and self-serving. Yet, in the entire trilogy, even in MOCKINGJAY, she was the one who didn't lose her core of humanity and her compassion. Though she realized things needed to be done, yet she didn't condone the cold-bloodedness of some of the methods employed. She saw clearly that the war served no one, most especially the innocents, who are merely victims of the ones in power. She saw people at their very basic level, not as rebels or those siding with the Capitol, but as people--men and women whose loved ones wait for their return alive.

The book ended on a somber (and fitting) note. It is without doubt that such an experience would change everyone, especially one as Katniss, who lost so much since she joined the Games as a tribute. Yet, there's also a note of hope, symbolized by the dandelion in the spring. That in the bleakest of situations, there is always hope.

I don't much like to read about war, but I have to admit that Suzanne Collins did a masterful job of writing this book. Though I didn't like much of what happened here, I have to admit that some things like the rebellion are inevitable, and the author also knew how to manipulate things to create the most impact in the readers. So, superb writing, surprising twists and turns with a last, unsuspecting bomb toward the end. If you haven't yet read this trilogy, pick up The Hunger Games now. It's worth a read.

REVIEW BY The Romance Reviews   

Fallenwood

by Leslie D. Soule
- rating

"Review from Renee Rearden"

Some days feel longer than others, and the monotony of such an existence can drive a person into a rut. Twenty-three year old Ashley Kensington finds herself in just such a position when she realizes her life is going nowhere. She has an uninspiring job at a hardware store and takes classes at the local college. Unfortunately, grief over her stepfather's death five years ago has left her numb and unable to find closure.

When Ashley is pushed to accept her stepfather's death and move on, she escapes into the woods and finds herself in another land. Magic abounds in this new world. Kingdoms are at war over the power to wield magic and rule. Ash finds herself in the middle of this deadly upheaval and discovers she has an important role to play in the outcome of the upcoming battle.

I loved the blurb, fully expecting to encounter fantastical elements. FALLENWOOD delivered with sorcerers, talking dragons, and a speaking cat—all very cool. The theme behind this novel is a common but noble one: Find one's place in life and make a difference in the world—whichever world you're in.

Though the story theme was clear, many other things weren't. When I began reading FALLENWOOD, I knew Ashley was 23 years old. After several chapters and her reactions to various situations, I had to go back to the beginning to check her age. The dialogue and maturity level felt like that of a young teenager instead of an adult.

The story also jumped to different characters' points of view. This writing practice isn't usually a problem. In FALLENWOOD, however, the choice to give some characters a chapter/point of view made the story jarring and difficult to follow. By that, I mean some of the chapters were unnecessary and added nothing to the storyline, and others ended abruptly with no explanation.

As for the romance subplot, this could have been better fleshed out for me. Ashley and Prince Edward's relationship seemed to be two-dimensional and somewhat convenient. Ashley fell for the prince based on true love at first sight. Prince Edward realized Ashley was the gal for him after the circumstances with his first love aren't what he expected. And the final love realization moment came out of nowhere.

I really wanted to like FALLENWOOD. The confusing points of view, two-dimensional characters, and abrupt, unexplained ending left me frustrated and disappointed as a reader. Others may not be bothered by the same issues I had, and I hope they're not. As I said in the beginning, Leslie Soule has created a clear theme in FALLENWOOD, delivered by fantastical creatures. Who can resist that?


REVIEW BY The Romance Reviews   

Touch of Frost

by Jennifer Estep
- rating

"Review from Bridget"

Jennifer Estep has been one of my Authors To Watch for some time now—her writing is sharp and wonderfully detailed, and I always am able to sympathize with her characters, even in all their snarky, cynical glory. Hence, it is my very great pleasure to announce that her debut into the young adult genre is a fast-paced, thoughtful and absorbing story, with a wonderfully detailed world that I didn't want to leave until the final page was turned.

Six months ago, Gwen Frost's life was turned upside down. Following her mother's tragic death, Gwen's Grandmother made the decision to transfer Gwen out of her old high school and enroll her in Mythos Academy. Now she spends her days surrounded by the children of myths—Spartans, Valkyries and Amazons—learning how to do battle against the coming Chaos Wars, when Loki will return in his attempt to overthrow the gods.

But Gwen is the only gypsy at the school, and while her ability to absorb the emotions and history of anything she touches has proved useful in the past, it is nothing compared to the powers of her fellow students. Thus, Gwen is nearly invisible at school—except for Logan Quinn, the most deadly and most attractive student at Mythos.

But she has little time to question his sudden attentions when one of the most popular girls at school is murdered in the library while Gwen is working there. And though Gwen never liked Jasmine while she was alive, she cannot turn her back after feeling the emotions she suffered. But with traitors inside Mythos and Loki's forces gaining strength, Gwen is going to need to find some help and find it fast—because she might very well be the killer's next target…

Gwen is a terrifically atypical heroine. Like many young adult novels, she's an outsider, new to the school and to her own powers. Unlike so many other characters, though, Gwen isn't ‘cool'. Her powers aren't all that spectacular, especially compared to those of the other students at Mythos. Still agonizing over the loss of her mother, Gwen is snarky and unimpressed by the majesty of Mythos Academy, not to mention the myths and legends that she is being told to accept as fact. For her, happiness is her comic books and the sweet treats her Grandmother bakes, not preparing for the coming Chaos War and defending mortals from the wrath of ancient gods. I liked that she was at once very vulnerable and a determined survivor. Even if her gifts are not as flashy as those of her fellow students, her heart is true and her resolve to discover the truth behind her classmate's murder is unshakeable.

Logan is one of those incredible characters who manages to fill up a scene even when he doesn't say a word. I wish we had seen a bit more of him, not only because I found him a complete and total heart-throb, but because there is obviously a great deal more going on under his unflappable exterior than he is willing to show, and an enormous amount of potential for him to become a truly complex and fascinating character. He and Gwen are certainly an interesting pair, and while there were a few moments when I was worried that she was affording him a little too much praise and power in their budding relationship, it seems as if Mr. Quinn is as wary of Gwen's powers as she is of his. The prospect of the secrets he is desperate to protect has me quite intrigued.

While I was able to figure out the mystery fairly early and had little trouble guessing how the plot was going to play out, I still enjoyed watching everything unfold. Gwen's terrifically snarky observations and her unflinching honesty made her an excellent narrator and I was more than happy to follow wherever her story led. I have to admit that it was nice to read a story about a character who wasn't inexplicably perfect, or excessively gifted. In fact, Gwen begins the story as perhaps the weakest student in terms of her magical abilities, and her schoolwork isn't faring that much better. Thus, it's that much more significant and exciting when she begins to get her bearings and take charge of the events that are swirling around Mythos Academy.

And speaking of Mythos, I thought the amount of imagination that went into creating the world of this book was phenomenal. The blending of myths and legends that really haven't been touched in other paranormal books to date is done very well, and the ominous atmosphere of the school, with its ever-watchful gargoyles and looming statues, is detailed to shiver-inducing satisfaction. While I can understand Gwen's reluctance to dive into the privilege and pomp of Mythos, I'd love a chance to ramble around the library where she works and have the chance to see the incredible artifacts that are stored there.

Most series openers feel slow to start as readers are introduced to the world of the book and its inhabitants. This book grabs you from page one and whisks you along for a fast-paced and fascinating read. There is a great deal of promise in this series and I have a feeling that the next book in the series is going to be even better.


REVIEW BY The Romance Reviews   

Kiss of Frost

by Jennifer Estep
- rating

"Review from Bridget"

It isn't often that a second book in a series has the same drive and energy as the first, but KISS OF FROST is a rare exception—in fact, it might even be better. With characters so real they get under your skin and stay in your memories and a plot that has moments of real emotional power, this is a series that is not to be missed.

On one hand, life has definitely improved for Gwen Frost, Gypsy, empath, and second-year student at Mythos Academy, since we last saw her. She has a best friend in Daphne, a Valkyrie with a passion for pink, and since being named the Champion of the Goddess Nike, she has begun training with Logan Quinn, the enigmatic Spartan who has already saved her live (twice) and thoroughly captured her heart.

But at the same time, Gwen is struggling to master the skills of a warrior—skills her classmates have honed from birth—at a desperate pace, knowing that it is only a matter of time until the Reapers that want her dead return. And though Logan has admitted that he cares for her, he refuses to trust her with his secrets, sure that whatever it is he is hiding will change Gwen's perception of him irrevocably. Not to mention that he's still dating someone who isn't Gwen, and no matter where she turns, Gwen seems to see them together.

As the semester draws to a close, the only thing on any Mythos student's mind is the Winter Carnival, to be held at a ski lodge in the mountains near the school. Though the proposed keg parties and mayhem of the weekend is hardly Gwen's idea of a good time, she agrees to go, if only to take her mind off Logan and to find some peace from the constant threat of Reaper attacks.

It seems at first that her plan is working—a heartbreakingly handsome student from New York seems fascinated with Gwen, and his attention promises to make the weekend quite memorable. That is, until Gwen realizes there is no escaping a Reaper hell-bent on revenge, or the Fenrir wolf, the Reaper's huge and supposedly vicious animal servant who watches her from the woods. And when her enemy is finally revealed, Gwen realizes that no amount of training can protect her, and no lessons will ever prepare her for the true evil that is mounting against the forces at Mythos.

I love Gwen and her development through this series. She is strong, determined, and genuine in everything she does, and a charmingly snarky narrator. Like the best of heroines, she never allows her man to fight her battles for her, and always finds a way to overcome the obstacles in her path, not with outside assistances or sheer luck, but through her own concentration and powers (and the aide of Vic, her beautifully curmudgeonly talking sword). No longer a complete loner, Gwen's friendship with Daphne is as firm and true as it might be unlikely—they are the ultimate Odd Couple, and all better for it. Her growing camaraderie with her Spartan trainers Oliver and Kenzie was also genuinely surprising, and I'm really eager to see how their story will be developed.

And then, as always, there is Logan. While I would have liked to have seen more of his everyday interactions with Gwen or more details about their morning training, there is no doubt that some of the most emotional moments in the book come when these two are together. Because Gwen cannot touch anything without feeling the emotions or memories embedded in them, people included, her interactions with Logan are that much more tense—and intense—as she battles the desire to know him better and the fear of how that knowledge will affect their future. We are indeed learning some fascinating details about Logan's history and I have no doubt that while he and Gwen will have a lot of work ahead of them, this is a relationship that will be worth the work and the wait.

While I wasn't too surprised by the eventual villain or their motivation, the aftermath of Gwen's mountaintop adventures left me stunned. Not only is there some sinister foreshadowing of the coming Chaos War, but the revelations about Gwen and her family are unforgettably intense. I was enormously proud of how Gwen dealt with the burden of her gifts and her duty, as it was just further proof that she is more than worthy of both of them. This is a series that doesn't pull punches, and isn't afraid to deal in the world of gray that exists between right and wrong, or between the definition of hero and villain. There are no easy answers for Gwen, but she is more than strong enough to handle the tough choices and the heartache that come with being a teenager and a Champion.

As before, the world-building element in this book are wonderful, complete with atmospheric settings, eerily fascinating statues that watch from the shadows, and detailed stories of Loki and the gods and goddess that the students of Mythos serve. Even more compelling, however, are the fascinating and complex characters that inhabit this world. This was a terrific addition to a series that is fast becoming something of an addiction for me, and I'm eagerly waiting for the next installment.


REVIEW BY The Romance Reviews   

The Hunger Games

by Suzanne Collins
- rating

"Review from Ashia"

THE HUNGER GAMES is my first post-apocalyptic, dystopian novel, and I was blown away. The pages literally flew as I devoured the book. Suzanne Collins has a way with words that kept me engrossed as I raced to the finish line. One other thing I have to say for this book is that it's very thought-provoking.

In the world that Katniss Everdeen lived in, the Capitol is the center of Panem, and it controls the twelve districts. Previously, there were thirteen, but in the failed revolution that happened long ago, District 13 was obliterated to teach the people a lesson. As a constant reminder to the people (and to oppress them so that they won't revolt), the Hunger Games were set up, wherein each district has to send in one boy and one girl, called the tributes, to the Capitol in a fight to the death.

When Katniss's younger sister was chosen to be the girl tribute, Katniss volunteered to go in her stead, and that is the start of a chain of events that would change Katniss and her world forever.

The story is, first of all, about a horror so deep and violence so extreme this book should probably be classified R18. That innocent children should be forced to kill other children is a terror unimaginable and rents the very fabric of society as we know it. It is this very backdrop that presents a huge impact to the reader, especially when we are reading about the Games. Yet, the tone in which the narrator--Katniss--tells it (the existence of the Hunger Games and the way it has become integrated into their society for so many years) is so matter-of-fact and dispassionate that the horror is somewhat blunted and allows her to sweep us into her story and see that even in the ugliness of the system in Panem, something beautiful still exists.

Katniss Everdeen, sixteen, is a hunter. She's smart, strong and resourceful, and she comes across as cold, calculating and determined in her plans to stay alive. Well, really, who wouldn't? The Games is a throwback to the survival of the fittest, as well as the most cunning. Yet, despite that, she's likeable, mainly because in all that she's seen and done, she never lost that core of humanity that made her human. It is there in her actions -- when she volunteered for her sister out of love, the way she made Rue (a tribute from District 11) her ally and when she honored Rue's death (not really a spoiler), the feeling she got after she inadvertently made her first kill, her merciful act for her fellow tribute.

She's also a fighter. Before, she merely endured, because she needed to keep her family (her mother and her sister) alive. But in the Games, she saw the horrible reality of how the Capitol oppressed them, and she started fighting, against the Capitol, against the Games, in whatever small way she could, because she is more than just merely a piece in the Games.

As much a coming-of-age story, when the protagonist started fighting against the system and searching for who she really is, who she wanted to be, THE HUNGER GAMES is also about making choices. Do you accept the lot the Capitol has for you? Or do you make your own way to keep your humanity intact, to fight for what you know is right?

Peeta is the boy tribute from Katniss's district, and he has loved Katniss from the time they were five. Not that he ever told her. No, he saved it to make the most dramatic impact possible--and all done in a bid to keep her safe. I've read a lot of romances in which the heroes are all very protective of their women, but Peeta moved me in a way they didn't. This seemingly helpless boy who had no power whatsoever to even keep himself alive in the Games, in him we see his determination and the way he used whatever skill and wits he possessed in his arsenal to keep the girl he loved safe, even to the point of sacrificing himself. It is also Peeta who opened Katniss's eyes to the fact that if he has to die in the Games, he wants to do it on his own terms, not the Capitol's.

However, Katniss has a best friend, Gale, who is Peeta's rival for her affections. Gale is her best friend, their friendship built over the years as they hunted together in the woods in order to provide for their families. There's nothing wrong with Gale, in fact, to hear Katniss tells it, Gale is very attractive and much sought after by the girls in District 12, and he has the advantage of friendship with Katniss, but...I'm betting on Peeta.

The worldbuilding is top notch and believable. We can see how different the Capitol is from that of District 12, even in the way that people behave and talk. It is so easy to imagine we are there, seeing and experiencing all these oddities through Katniss's eyes. The games and Katniss's fight to survive are also clearly depicted, eliciting suspense in how Katniss would win the Games and how her relationship with Peeta would progress.

There's some romance, yes, but not as much as you'd expect in romance novels. At times, I find myself grasping for more, but the story's so gripping I let myself be distracted. There is also some humor here, all the more unexpected because they're mostly found in Katniss's narrative, yet a welcome break from the darkness and the suspense. The plot is tightly-paced, and the excitement begins from the first chapter and didn't let up...even at the end. The book ends with a cliffhanger that makes me reach immediately for book 2, Catching Fire. Fortunately, I can dive right into the book.

Though classified as YA, I believe this is a book even adults would find fascinating and compelling. This is a must-read, so what are you waiting for? Go get a copy!

REVIEW BY The Romance Reviews   

I Call Death Dad

by TA Chase
- rating

"Review from Dee"

Being a teenager is hard enough…but what do you do when your dad is Death?

Growing up with just his mother, Kyle only sees his dad once each summer, on his birthday. As his sixteenth birthday and summer vacation approaches, he, like most teens plans to spend time with his friends. Until he finds out that he has to spend the summer with his father. Not only does he have to spend summer with the father he barely knows, but he soon finds out that his father is Death. The result is a summer that he won't ever forget.

I've read books by TA Chase in the past, so when I saw this one pop up, I was intrigued. The title of the book caught my attention and I eagerly picked it up. The writing was well-done and I enjoyed reading it. However, if you are looking for a romance, then this isn't really the book for you and for that I had to get rid of a star. This is more of a coming of age novel that I would recommend teens should read, and aside from one small scene at the end, there is no romance through the book, but there is some teenage sexual tension that was entertaining to read about.

TA Chase did a good job telling the story of Kyle, who finds out on his 16th birthday that his dad, Dexter, is also Death and responsible for keeping away the Grim Reapers (the bad guys) from the world. I loved how Norse mythology (Odin) was worked into the story and would love to see another book to tell more about Kyle's experiences training with his father and the other people who work with him. The way the mythology was worked into the story made me want to go and read some more books featuring the Norse mythology, however, it seems that the majority of books out there that utilize a mythology base feature the Greeks and not any of the other various cultures out there, so it is something that I will be keeping an eye out for in the future.

Overall, I recommend this book for people who are looking for an adventure/coming of age type book and will continue to read more by this author in the future.


REVIEW BY The Romance Reviews   

The Dark Rising

by Lacey Weatherford
- rating

"Review from Belinda Boring"

You would think that I would have nothing more to say on the topic seeing my pre-gush summed it up so eloquently. I read, I swooned, I swooned even HARDER, I lost my mind and then I pledged my eternal love to Vance all over again! No matter how many times I read this book, just the mere mention of it reduces me to tingles. It has nothing to do with watching its creation from the inside. It has EVERYTHING to do with the emotions it pulls out of you as the reader, and the rollercoaster ride you go on as you experience a read that doesn't come along every day. There is an amazing read... and then there is a phenomonal read... and then there is The Dark Rising. EPIC in all it's glory!

One thing that has always struck me as I've read this series, and been fortunate to get insights into the characters is just how fearless the author is. It's nice to play it safe, give the reader a little danger but keep the beloved characters in a good place and in one piece. One thing the author has always said is "What if?" What if the worst happened? What if Vance and Portia are tested in such a way they may never survive it? Does it make you want to cry just thinking about it? I know I did going into The Dark Rising. I wanted to reach in and wrap them both in cotton wool balls until all their hurts were better and it was rainbows and puppy dogs and everything cutesy. I have NEVER been so glad to be wrong! From the opening page, you can feel the tension, you can feel this sense of "something big" and when it explodes... HOLD ON TIGHT! This book drags you by the heart strings to the very end and just when you think WOOOOHOOO ... you get left with an ending that will have you hunting the author done for the next installment.

Portia and Vance are amazing. I absolutely LOVE the development of Portia. She's come along way from the 16 year old teenager that was given the "Surprise you're a witch!" She is the epitome of loyalty and everything you want in the person you love. I love that she fights for her relationship with Vance, that even as her world crumbles, she doesn't whimper and cower - she stands up and does all that she can. She risks everything and nothing is ever enough! She's part of why the romance in this book steals your heart.

Hahahaha Vance. What more can I say about him? I know everyone loves a bad boy and I'm definitely an addict but when you turn a bad boy evil - it's a constant swoon! There were scenes in this book so seductive, so intense that I literally stopped breathing and my body broke out in tingles. I love the possessiveness about him, the way he can't get enough of Portia and I'm telling you - you NEED to experience one of his kisses. They are SEARING! I can't wait to see where Vance goes next because he secured his place at the top of my Lust List!

I think you all get the idea and I'm hoping your next stop is to go grab yourself a copy of the book. This is a guaranteed AMAZING read! The entire series is incredible and this is by far my FAVORITE of the four books released. If you love epic love stories, fights between good and evil... if you love danger, magic and an emotional read from beginning to end.... if you love bad boys gone wild, heroines who fight with everything they have... THIS is the book for you. Happy reading!

REVIEW BY The Romance Reviews   

The Unfinished Song-Initiate

by Tara Maya
- rating

"Review from Nikki Prince"

This Young Adult Romance was filled with many twists some expected and some not so expected, but no less pleasant.

In a fantasy realm so vivid that you can see the world Tara Maya has made right along with the characters coming to screaming life before you. It took a bit for me to warm to it, the beginning did drag a bit, but once I held on and dug in my heels a bit deeper, I was pleasantly surprised.

The world was intricately woven of what reminded me of Native folklore with Fae Lore. I absolutely loved the feeling that was invoked by this imagery. The story is filled with all the folklore of the fae intertwined with the human world. Only some can see the fae. The hero and heroine happen to be two who can.

Dindi is the heroine, a young girl of the Rainbow Labyrinth Tribe who just wishes to become a Tavaedi of her clan. If she fails at becoming a Tavaedi, she can never dance again. Her connection to the fae helps with the perception that she is strange because of all the issues that arise from the every day life chores that get messed up because she is off dancing with the fae instead of doing them. She is always doing everything wrong and basically discounted when it comes to being able to accomplish anything. Kavio is the hero of the story that gets exiled and has to leave his clan because he was accused of a crime he didn't commit. He makes the choice that he will leave and become better than who he was.

I liked Dindi and Kavio because they are the underdog in this story but you get to see them perform acts of kindness, courage, decency, compassion and most of all young love and needs. Now I am hoping that in the sequel Kavio and Dindi will form a better relationship and fall in love. This book showed that there was interest, when they first meet.

The story ends on a cliffhanger. I cannot wait to see what happens in the next.

I have to admit that it was hard for me to read this at first, because of my age and it being a YA romance. The only other issue I had is the terminology. I feel that if there had been some sort of glossary with an explanation of the terms it would have been an easier read.

I give this story 4 stars for originality, sweetness, depth and young love.


REVIEW BY The Romance Reviews   

Beautifully Broken

by Sherry Soule
- rating

"Review from Neis"

Sherry Soule is not scared to jump right into the action!

When we first meet Shiloh, she is in a face off with a shadow man. He is determined to steal her soul but she manages to escape, with the help of powers she has yet to discover. Shiloh is a heritage witch, a witch born into a long line of witches. She has the ability to see shadow creatures and is coming into her magick. Because her family has turned away from their heritage, she is left on her own to learn how to use and harness her powers. She is being haunted by a wraith, who only has ominous warning for her, and she can see shades, the demons that live in the shadows. Will she be able to decipher the warning in time to break the curse on the town?

When she takes an internship as an architect assistant, she meets Evans. He is not only one of the top architects around but he is also a paranormal investigator. He begins helping her train, teaching her spells and how to control her power. He also helps her research the curse and together they hope to defeat the shadow man that is stealing away the teenagers in town.

Trent Donovan is the new bad boy in town. He is tall, dark, and mysterious. He lives in a gothic mansion that his family abandoned years ago. The mansion is rumored to be hunted and cursed. It's also the same mansion that Shiloh is working to help restore. While Shiloh feels an instant attraction to him, it's not always clear that Trent feels the same way. There is something about Trent that makes me suspicious that there is more to him than we are seeing, something dark, maybe even evil.

BEAUTIFULLY BROKEN is an intriguing book with a great twist on the popular paranormal theme. Sherry Soule has wonderful way of describing the scene in full detail allowing you to fall into the story effortlessly. I often read what my teen is reading, and I think she will really love this one. Shiloh's internal dialog kept me laughing out loud and I'm sure it's something my teen will be able to relate to. I look forward to the second book of this series. I can't wait to see if, and how, Shiloh fulfills her destiny.


REVIEW BY The Romance Reviews   

"Review from Sooz"

Bad days – we all have them. But how bad can they get? In HOLLY MOLLY, Molly Rey, an uber responsible teenager finds out. Actually, it's a couple of really bad days, and boy, are they doozies!

At seventeen, Molly holds down two jobs, keeps tabs on her widower dad and doesn't do the whole rebellious thing. Then, one evening, while her Dad is at the Lodge, she gives up her virginity to her best friend Chad. It was a sweet and wonderful moment in her life and she hoped to cherish the memory for the rest of her life. That lasted a whole day.

Molly spots Chad the next day with the girlfriend he supposedly broke up with. Molly sees red and takes a two by four to his prized car. (Don't we all wish that we'd done that at some point in our lives?) The cops get called and Molly is arrested. No one wants to press charges, so Molly gets sprung, but the arrest is on her record until the red tape can be cleared.

If that weren't bad enough, the next day, the space heater she kept in her room catches on fire and Molly and her Dad, Keith, are forced to move in next door. Of course, that neighbor would be Chad and his family.

Keith takes matters into his own hands and packs Molly off to his sister Bea. Molly is happy for a fresh start and remembers the good times she had at her aunt's little house. Mostly, she remembers Cole, a serious, kind of stuck in a rut, 21 year old who finds himself attracted to the young Miss Molly.

There are plenty of HEA in this book and it is quite sweet. It isn't labeled a young adult novel, but it reads like it. I enjoyed Molly's handling of adversity and her budding relationship with Cole. Aunt Bea was lots of fun to read about and I wish she had a bigger role, and Skits the dog did steal a few scenes too!

All in all, it is a sweet, happy read (once Molly has totally mucked up her life, that is....) and I recommend it as novel to curl up to and enjoy.


A Drop of Night
Modern-day teenagers meet a palace of terrors locked up since the French Revolution in this haunting, genre-bending thriller from Stefan Bachmann, the internationally bestselling author of The Peculiar and The Whatnot. A Drop of Night will thrill fans of Neal Shusterman and Jessica Khoury.

Seventeen-year-old Anouk has finally caught the break she's been looking for―she's been selected out of hundreds of other candidates to fly to France and help with the excavation of a vast, underground palace buried a hundred feet below the suburbs of Paris. Built in the 1780's to hide an aristocratic family and a mad duke during the French Revolution, the palace has lain hidden and forgotten ever since. Anouk, along with several other gifted teenagers, will be the first to set foot in it in over two centuries.

Or so she thought.

But nothing is as it seems, and the teens―bitter, iron-hearted Anouk, gentle Will, bubbly Lilly, and crazy Jules―soon find themselves trapped in a game far more sinister, and dangerous, than they could possibly have imagined.

Life in the Lucky Zone
Seventeen-year-old Lindsey Taylor lives a charmed life—always the lead in school plays, possessor of a healthy entourage and a hot boyfriend. But then she gets dumped and screws up her audition for the spring play. The Theater teacher picks Trey Berger, a gamer who irritates her by simply opening his mouth, to run lines with her. Could things get any worse?

Trey can barely tolerate Lindsey. It’s bad enough their best friends are dating and he has to see Lindsey outside of school. Rehearse together? Trey would rather chill with his live-in grandmother who has Dementia.

As the semester continues, Trey discovers there’s more to Lindsey than the persona she puts on for everyone else’s benefit. And that Lindsey might be someone he could care about. A lot.

While Lindsey tries to change her luck and heal from the breakup, Trey slowly becomes her best friend. He makes her laugh and holds her when she cries. Could he possibly become something more?

The Perilous Journey of the Not-So-Innocuous Girl
Lady Marguerite lives a life most 17th-century French girls can only dream of: money, designer dresses, suitors, and a secure future. Except she can’t quite commit to a life of dull luxury and she suspects she may be falling for her best friend Claude, a common smithy in the family's steam forge. When Claude leaves for New France in search of a better life, Marguerite decides to follow him and test her suspicions of love—only the trip proves to be more harrowing than she anticipated. Love, adventure, and restitution await her if she can survive the voyage.

Based on the true story of The Daughters of the King, Louis the XIV’s social program to settle the wilds of Canada with women of noble birth, Marguerite’s steampunk adventure follows in the footsteps of nearly one thousand brave women and girls who were rewarded handsomely for trekking across the pirate infested Atlantic to a strange land.

"The writing is solid and the world-building – that clever combination of historical detail and Ms. Statham’s imagination – is excellent."~ The Australia Times Books

Soulmated
Two souls. One Fate. The power of choice.

All eighteen-year-old Liam Whelan—an Irish royal empath—wants to do is stop the frustrating search for the elusive girl destined to be his soulmate. The rare union will cement his family's standing in empath politics and give the couple legendary powers, painting a bullseye on Liam's back—and hers.

All Indian-American Laxshmi Kapadia wants is to free herself from her traditional mother's ultimatum: graduate from high school early and go to medical school, or have her marriage arranged. Neither allow her to pursue her dreams of a career in dancing or of falling in love.

When Liam moves in next door to Laxshmi, he’s immediately drawn to the purity of her emotions, and she sees in this charming Irish boy a future with the freedom to follow her heart. But Liam's father will never consent if she's not The One. And Laxshmi's mom won't even let her talk to their handsome new neighbor. But hiding their relationship can’t keep them from becoming targets of a dark and ancient group determined to destroy the soulmated.

What will these two risk to choose their own fate?

Starr Lost, Book Two of the Starr Fall Series
A Starr falls, and a family is found.

On the run from the Organization, Starr and Christian find safety on the Qualla Boundary with their friends, Ben and Coda, but Starr needs answers. She owes her dear dead friends, Sami and Jody, that much. She forms a team of her own to fight the general and his recruits.

Di, a mutual friend and anti-everything is a no-brainer, plus her Taser will come in handy. Frank, Starr’s BFF, will put his life on the line for her. Ben and Coda, not to be outdone by Starr’s friends, also swear their allegiance. Christian’s the only hold out. He knows what the Organization is capable of. He has the beaten body to prove it, but when Starr wants something, she gets it.

Now that the team’s together, everything should be perfect. Trouble is Starr loves Christian but so does Di. And Frank, well, he’s never been very good at hiding his love for Starr. Will his four-year long crush on her threaten the safety of the team?

Life becomes tense on the Qualla Boundary, sparks fly, and the Organization is about to smash in their door.

Coming Up for Air
Swim. Eat. Shower. School. Snack. Swim. Swim. Swim. Dinner. Homework. Bed. Repeat.

All of Maggie's focus and free time is spent swimming. She's not only striving to earn scholarships―she's training to qualify for the Olympics. It helps that her best friend, Levi, is also on the team, and cheers her on. But Levi's already earned an Olympic tryout, so Maggie feels even more pressure to succeed. And it's not until Maggie's away on a college visit that she realizes how much of the "typical" high school experience she's missed by being in the pool.

No one to shy away from a challenge, Maggie decides to squeeze the most out of her senior year. First up? Making out with a guy. And Levi could be the perfect candidate. After all, they already spend a lot of time together. But as Maggie slowly starts to uncover new feelings for Levi, how much is she willing to sacrifice in the water to win at love?

Rite of Rejection
Straight-laced, sixteen-year-old Rebecca can’t wait for her Acceptance. A fancy ball, eligible bachelors, and her debut as an official member of society. Instead, the Machine rejects Rebecca. Labeled as a future criminal, she’s shipped off to a life sentence in a lawless penal colony.

A life behind barbed wire fences with the world’s most dangerous people terrifies Rebecca. She reluctantly joins a band of misfit teens in a risky escape plan, complete with an accidental fiancé she’s almost certain she can learn to love.

But freedom comes with a price. To escape a doomed future and prove her innocence Rebecca must embrace the criminal within.

By Your Side
An irresistible story from Kasie West that explores the timeless question What do you do when you fall for the person you least expect?

When Autumn Collins finds herself accidentally locked in the library for an entire weekend, she doesn’t think things could get any worse. But that’s before she realizes that Dax Miller is locked in with her. Autumn doesn’t know much about Dax except that he’s trouble. Between the rumors about the fight he was in (and that brief stint in juvie that followed it) and his reputation as a loner, he’s not exactly the ideal person to be stuck with. Still, she just keeps reminding herself that it is only a matter of time before Jeff, her almost-boyfriend, realizes he left her in the library and comes to rescue her.

Only he doesn’t come. No one does.

Instead it becomes clear that Autumn is going to have to spend the next couple of days living off vending-machine food and making conversation with a boy who clearly wants nothing to do with her. Except there is more to Dax than meets the eye. As he and Autumn at first grudgingly, and then not so grudgingly, open up to each other, Autumn is struck by their surprising connection. But can their feelings for each other survive once the weekend is over and Autumn’s old life, and old love interest, threaten to pull her from Dax’s side?

Rise
The people of Nelebek live in fear of persecution from the evil Morlet, who reigns with a dark and destructive magic. The kingdom’s only hope lies with the Order of the Krigers—twelve warriors with mysterious powers linked to magical weapons.

For over a century, Morlet has been annihilating the Order, picking them off one by one. Eleven Krigers have been hunted down, tortured, and imprisoned in his dungeon. Now, only one remains.

Sixteen-year-old Kaia survives by keeping her head down and minding her own business. But when she finds herself in the middle of a public execution where the mysterious Morlet is in attendance, an odd compulsion she can’t resist comes over her.

Kaia looks into Morlet’s eyes.

Soon, an ancient power awakens and Kaia can no more blend into the scenery. Will she heed the call of the Krigers or will Morlet’s dark magic destroy the last of the Order?

Fans of GRACELING and THE GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS will enjoy RISE, book one in the RISE OF THE KRIGERS series from international bestselling author Jennifer Anne Davis.

Norma Jean's School of Witchery, Book One: Jewel
A presidential election. A witch with a target on her back and a magical arrow. A shadowy government agency made up of witches with unusual abilities. A game called Witch Pong. The Mighty Thor?

See how it all comes together in a school you will never forget.

Divine Fall
After tragedy tears Jamie Brandt's life apart, her only goal is to finish high school so she can leave her small hometown behind. In the meantime, riding her horse is her main source of solace, until a mysterious stable hand shows up at the barn. There's something not quite right about the handsome new employee, and the more Jamie sees of him, the more determined she becomes to figure out what he's hiding.

Dothan Reed came to historic Huntsville, Maryland, for one reason--revenge. But his plan can't move forward until he finds the missing piece he needs to enhance his powers. As the only surviving Nephilim, Dothan is not only weaker than full-blooded angels; his forbidden lineage makes him an outcast in both worlds. When he discovers Jamie is the key to locating an ancient weapon, he's forced to interact with a vulnerable human girl--a task that becomes more appealing with each encounter.

Jamie soon learns Dothan isn't the only one with a dark secret. Each new revelation further threatens her safety, and Dothan's betrayal shatters her heart. Forgiving him seems impossible, but the thought of turning her back on him is equally painful.

As their connection deepens, Dothan will have to make his own difficult choice: continue on his path of vengeance, or protect the girl he loves. And when Dothan's actions thrust Jamie into an unforeseen danger, he must seek the help of his enemy...or risk losing her forever.

Josie's Coat
A woman with shoulder bones as sharp as an eagle’s talons—bones almost protruding from her skin—opens her mouth as wide as it’ll go, impossibly wide, consuming the pill that takes both of her arms to cradle. The nourishment makes her thin stomach pop out like she’s pregnant with a child so large it’ll burst through her stomach. She swallows slowly and licks her lips. Her eyes search around hungrily for more.

That dream again.

Josie is skilled at her job as an “unfortunate” who inhabits the bodies of her clients to perform their work while they sleep, but her coworkers’ cruel jealousy over her success leads to her enslavement and the loss of her dream-worker status. A YA sci-fi reimagining of the tale of Jacob’s favorite son Joseph, his dreams, and his famous coat.

A novelette by the author of The Never Veil Series and Fall Far from the Tree.

Refuge for Masterminds: A Stranje House Novel
It’s 1814. Napoleon has escaped his imprisonment on Elba. Britain is at war on four fronts. And at Stranje House, a School for Unusual Girls, five young ladies are secretly being trained for a world of spies, diplomacy, and war….

Napoleon’s invasion of England is underway and someone at Stranje House is sneaking information to his spies. Lady Jane Moore is determined to find out who it is. If anyone can discover the traitor, it is Jane—for, according to headmistress Emma Stranje, Lady Jane is a mastermind.

Jane doesn’t consider herself a mastermind. It’s just that she tends to grasp the facts of a situation quickly, and by so doing, she’s able to devise and implement a sensible course of action. Is Jane enough of a mastermind to save the brash young American inventor Alexander Sinclair, her friends at Stranje House, and possibly England itself?

Fans of genre-blending, romance, and action will love this Regency-era alternate history novel filled with spunky heroines, handsome young lords, and dastardly villains—the third in the Stranje House series. Don’t miss the first two books: A School for Unusual Girls and Exile for Dreamers.

Our Dark Duet
The sequel—and conclusion—to Victoria Schwab’s instant #1 New York Times bestseller, This Savage Song.

Kate Harker is a girl who isn’t afraid of the dark. She’s a girl who hunts monsters. And she’s good at it. August Flynn is a monster who can never be human. No matter how much he once yearned for it. He has a part to play. And he will play it, no matter the cost.

Nearly six months after Kate and August were first thrown together, the war between the monsters and the humans is a terrifying reality. In Verity, August has become the leader he never wished to be, and in Prosperity, Kate has become the ruthless hunter she knew she could be. When a new monster emerges from the shadows—one who feeds on chaos and brings out its victim’s inner demons—it lures Kate home, where she finds more than she bargained for. She’ll face a monster she thought she killed, a boy she thought she knew, and a demon all her own.

A gorgeously written dark fantasy from New York Times-bestselling author Victoria Schwab, and one to hand to fans of Holly Black, Laini Taylor, and Maggie Stiefvater.

An Enchantment of Ravens
A skilled painter must stand up to the ancient power of the faerie courts—even as she falls in love with a faerie prince—in this gorgeous debut novel.

Isobel is a prodigy portrait artist with a dangerous set of clients: the sinister fair folk, immortal creatures who cannot bake bread, weave cloth, or put a pen to paper without crumbling to dust. They crave human Craft with a terrible thirst, and Isobel’s paintings are highly prized. But when she receives her first royal patron—Rook, the autumn prince—she makes a terrible mistake. She paints mortal sorrow in his eyes—a weakness that could cost him his life.

Furious and devastated, Rook spirits her away to the autumnlands to stand trial for her crime. Waylaid by the Wild Hunt’s ghostly hounds, the tainted influence of the Alder King, and hideous monsters risen from barrow mounds, Isobel and Rook depend on one another for survival. Their alliance blossoms into trust, then love—and that love violates the fair folks’ ruthless laws. Now both of their lives are forfeit, unless Isobel can use her skill as an artist to fight the fairy courts. Because secretly, her Craft represents a threat the fair folk have never faced in all the millennia of their unchanging lives: for the first time, her portraits have the power to make them feel.

More Than We Can Tell
Rev works hard to keep the demons of the time before his adoption at bay ... until a letter from his father after his 18th birthday brings the trauma of his childhood hurtling back.

Emma escapes real life by perfecting the online game she built from scratch. Coding is way easier than facing her parents' nasty relationship or the growing distance with her best friend ... But when an online troll's harassment starts to escalate, she fears for her safety.

When Rev and Emma meet, they're buckling under the weight of their secrets. Though both of them find it hard to put their problems into words, they connect instantly and deeply. Rev and Emma's problems might be worlds apart, but they promise to help each other no matter what.

But promises are made to be tested and some things hurt more than we can tell.

Wintersong
Dark, romantic and unforgettable, this riveting debut for fans of Labyrinth and Naomi Novik tells the fantastical story of a young woman's journey towards love and acceptance

Deep in his terrifying realm underground, the cold and forbidding Goblin King casts a dark shadow over nineteen-year-old Liesl. Her grandmother had always warned her to follow the old laws, for every year on the longest night of winter the Goblin King will emerge into the waking world in search of his eternal bride. Sensible and plain, Liesl knows it's her duty to keep her beautiful sister safe from harm, but she wishes only to indulge in her wild, captivating music, composed and played in secret in the Goblin King's honor.

When her beautiful sister Käthe is stolen by the Goblin King, Liesl knows she must set aside her childish fantasies to journey to the Underground and save her. Drawn despite herself to the strange, beautiful world she finds--and the mysterious man who rules it--she finds herself facing an impossible choice. With time and the old laws working against her, Liesl must discover who she truly is before her fate is sealed.

Set at the turn of the 19th century, when young upstart composers like Beethoven were forever altering the sound of music, S. Jae-Jones' richly imagined debut spins a spellbinding tale of music, love, sisterhood, and a young woman's search for self-actualization.

The Distance from A to Z
This full-length novel by debut author Natalie Blitt is a pitch-perfect blend of Stephanie Perkins and Miranda Kenneally that proves the age-old adage: opposites attract.

Seventeen-year-old Abby has only one goal for her summer: to make sure she is fluent in French—well, that, and to get as far away from baseball and her Cubs-obsessed family as possible. A summer of culture and language, with no sports in sight.

That turns out to be impossible, though, because her French partner is the exact kind of boy she was hoping to avoid. Eight weeks. 120 hours of class. 80 hours of conversation practice with someone who seems to wear baseball caps and jerseys every day.

But Zeke in French is a different person than Zeke in English. And Abby can’t help but fall for him, hard. As Abby begins to suspect that Zeke is hiding something, she has to decide if bridging the gap between who she is and who he is is worth the risk.

The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back
Everyone knows how those fairy tales go. The princess gets beautiful, nabs her prince and leaves her evil stepsisters in the dust.

But what happens when you're the ugly stepsister and your obnoxiously perfect--pretty, smart, and, worst of all, nice--stepsister is dating the charming, devastatingly handsome guy you've had a thing for since you were nine?

Quirky, artistic and snarky Mattie Lowe does not lead a charmed life. Her mother is constantly belittling her online. The school mean girl has made it her mission to torment Mattie. But worst of all? Her stepsister is the most popular girl in school and is dating Mattie's secret crush, Jake Kingston.

Tired of being left out and done with waiting for her own fairy godmother to show up, Mattie decides to change her life. She'll start by running for senior class president against Jake.

Ella can keep her Prince Annoying. Mattie's going to rule the school.

And no one, not even a cute and suddenly flirty Jake, is going to stop her.

This is a new release of an edition originally published by Fire & Ice Books with additional bonus content.

Starr Gone
A Starr gone. A team betrayed.

You never know who your true friends are until a gun’s pointed at you. One will take a bullet, and the other will pull the trigger. Starr learned that lesson the hard way.

The perfect smile. A killer attitude. General Treadwell wanted nothing more than to turn Starr Bishop into the ideal assassin, but she’s far more valuable as Jessica Chamberlain, granddaughter and heir to Chamberlain Chocolates. Luckily, he’s found two enthusiastic replacements. They lack Starr’s intelligence, but no matter, they possess their own weapons of persuasion along with a flair for the dramatic, and that’s never a bad thing.

Di, along with Christian, Frank, Ben and Coda, are determined to keep Starr safe, but the depths of betrayal crack the very foundation of the team. When Starr becomes a pawn in a game of power, money, and manipulation, Di channels her WWSD (What Would Starr Do) to rally the team. She owes her best friend that much. No... More.

Soul Slam, Soul Warriors Book 1
An ancient Egyptian amulet.
A pharaoh’s soul inside demanding she obey.
A double cross that ends with a curse.

On her first heist to steal an ancient Egyptian amulet, sixteen-year-old Olivia inadvertently receives the soul of King Tut…and the deadly curse that comes with it. And Olivia’s not alone at the museum.

A member of a secret society, Xander believes it’s his place to inherit King Tut’s soul and justly rule. He knows nothing about the society’s evil plan to control the world or the curse. Now, he must deal with the female thief who stole the amulet.

When the two teens find themselves up against the secret society, they reluctantly join forces and must figure out how to end the curse before it turns deadly. On the run and unable to touch because of the curse, Olivia and Xander develop a connection during their quest.

As the mystery surrounding the amulet unfolds, Olivia and Xander fall for each other. But is love enough to save them and the world from destruction?

“If you are a fan of Rick Riordan books about a quest with love and history thrown in…this is for you!” – Hooked In A Book Review

Other books in series: Tut’s Trumpet, Peace Piper, Cleo’s Curse

The Starlight Chronicles Boxed Set
Lark Singer is seventeen years old and already on the way to a brilliant music career. But as she and her band, Starlight, gear up for a competition, life seems to be throwing her a few curve balls. The mysteries of her past seem to be unraveling, and she’s no longer certain she wants to know those answers or how knowing about her past will affect her difficult relationship with her mother. And when her best friend, Bean, changes things between them, all her plans for a musical future are placed in jeopardy. How can she balance her complicated personal life to keep her musical goals on track?

BOX SET CONTAINS ALL THREE BOOKS IN THE STARLIGHT SERIES:
Gideon Lee
Lark Singer
Starlight

A Distant Voice
In life you don't find your voice. It finds you.

Violet Hayes knows how to survive the year living with her grandmother in the small town of Wandorah, Tennessee.

* Make Rose happy
* Don't sing or play guitar
* Avoid Sally Shaw
* Ignore Carter Jenkins

It seems simple enough, right? Wrong.

* How do you keep a depressed sister happy?
* How do you deny yourself your dream?
* How do you avoid a friendship?
* And how do you ignore a boy when he's everywhere you turn?

Violet's to-do list just became a whole lot harder.

Crooked Kingdom
The highly anticipated sequel to the thrilling #1 New York Times-bestselling Six of Crows.

Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn't think they'd survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they're right back to fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and badly weakened by the kidnapping of a valuable team member, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz's cunning and test the team's fragile loyalties. A war will be waged on the city's dark and twisting streets?a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of the Grisha world.

The Impossible Vastness of Us
"I know how to watch my back. I'm the only one that ever has."

India Maxwell hasn't just moved across the country—she's plummeted to the bottom rung of the social ladder. It's taken years to cover the mess of her home life with a veneer of popularity. Now she's living in one of Boston's wealthiest neighborhoods with her mom's fiancé and his daughter, Eloise. Thanks to her soon-to-be stepsister's clique of friends, including Eloise's gorgeous, arrogant boyfriend, Finn, India feels like the one thing she hoped never to be seen as again: trash.

But India's not alone in struggling to control the secrets of her past. Eloise and Finn, the school's golden couple, aren't all they seem to be. In fact, everyone's life is infinitely more complex than it first appears. And as India grows closer to Finn and befriends Eloise, threatening the facades that hold them together, what's left are truths that are brutal, beautiful and big enough to change them forever…

From New York Times bestselling author Samantha Young comes a story of friendship, identity and acceptance that will break your heart—and make it whole again.

Flipping the Scales
Meredith and Marina’s lives have been flipped upside down.

When the translucent skirt that straight-A-student Meredith finds hidden on the beach gets wet, it transforms her legs into a mermaid tail. Despite the evidence in front of her, she insists that becoming a mythical creature isn’t scientifically possible.

Marina is allowed to experience one day per moon cycle among the humans. After hiding her tail on the beach that morning, she takes her first timid steps on land. When she returns at sunset to find it missing, she is left stranded and alone.

For the first time in her life, Meredith doesn’t have all the answers. As she searches for a way to return to normal before the next full moon, she makes waves among the school of mermaids. Meanwhile, Marina uncovers information about her past, and for the first time in her life, she must stand on her own two feet and take the lead on her own adventure.

As Meredith senses her human side slipping away, a forbidden way to change back entices her. But it comes with a consequence: Marina wouldn’t be able to return to the ocean.

Alex, Approximately
In this delightfully charming teen spin on You’ve Got Mail, the one guy Bailey Rydell can’t stand is actually the boy of her dreams—she just doesn’t know it yet.

Classic movie buff Bailey “Mink” Rydell has spent half of her junior year falling for a sensitive film geek she only knows online as “Alex.” Two coasts separate them until she moves in with her dad, who lives in the same California surfing town as her online crush.

Faced with doubts (what if he’s a creep—or worse?), Bailey doesn’t tell Alex she’s moved to his hometown. Or that she’s landed a job at the local tourist trap, the oddball Cavern Palace Museum. Or that she’s being tormented daily by Porter Roth, a smart-alecky yet irritatingly hot museum security guard. But when Porter and Bailey are locked in the museum overnight, Bailey is forced to choose whether she should cling to a dreamy fantasy in Alex or take a risk on an imperfect reality with Porter. The choice is both simpler and more complicated than she realizes, because Porter Roth is hiding a secret of his own: Porter is Alex. Approximately.

Timepiece: A Steampunk Time-Travel Adventure
You only THINK you know what happened at Waterloo

The real story involved more monsters. And a lot more time travel

It’s 1815, and Wellington’s badly-outnumbered army stares across the field of Waterloo at Napoleon’s forces. Desperate to hold until reinforcements arrive, Wellington calls upon a race of monsters created by a mad Genevese scientist 25 years before.

It’s 1815, and a discontented young lady sitting in a rose garden receives a mysterious gift: a pocket watch that, when opened, displays scenes from all eras of history. Past…and future.

It’s 1885, and a small band of resistance fighters are resorting to increasingly extreme methods in their efforts to overthrow a steampunk Empire whose clockwork gears are slick with its subjects’ blood.

Are these events connected?

Oh, come now. That would be telling.

Displaced
Chevelle Donahue thought going into work would be just like any other boring day at the mall. Sure, there was her annoying co-worker Wicken Sanders, and a promotional visit from teen heartthrob Timber Hudson, to watch and keep her entertained. But who was she kidding? Working retail was lame no matter what happened.

A terrorist attack changes everything - an attack from aliens of all things. The patrons are given two options: comply or else. Complying means giving in to a new set of rules and changing her entire life. "Or else" means she has no chance of going home again.

She must figure out the truth behind why the aliens are holding everyone hostage. In doing so, she risks her chance at freedom - but by the time she learns what's really happening, she might not want it.

Kisses On A Paper Airplane
Drama student Hannah Evans isn't kissing any frogs on her path to find Prince Charming. She's determined to share the perfect first kiss -- with the perfect boy -- in the perfect place -- or she's not kissing at all.

When Hannah meets a cute ginger-haired boy in first class lounge in the London airport, she knows he's 'The One.'

Pop star Theo Callahan is on the road to get as far away as possible from his back-stabbing best friend, and his supermodel girlfriend who broke his heart. Until one shy smile from Hannah has him rethinking all of his travel plans.

Theo is smitten, but he's worried she's just a groupie in search of the ultimate selfie. Can Theo learn to trust Hannah in time to share one perfect first kiss, or will Hannah be forced to kiss a frog?

Soul Kiss
Melissa Torani thinks of herself as an average seventeen-year-old — certainly not the smartest nor the most popular girl in her school. So she has no clue that her crush on the super cute but nerdy new guy Daniel Florez will soon result in their sharing a deep soul kiss — a kiss that will change her life forever. Suddenly, she's plunged into a world of FBI agents, gangster thugs, and Cuban exiles. And what's up with her brain? How come she's so much smarter than she used to be?
Just one kiss from Daniel turns Melissa's world into something from the Sci-Fi Channel -- have Daniel’s brain cells been leaking into her? How's that possible? And yet she’s reading faster than she ever has before, scoring higher on school tests, and even helping her parents understand what’s wrong with her brother, the Big Mistake.
Melissa's wry, funny attitude about growing up, falling in love and getting away from her parents will make you want to be her new best friend. Fans of Richelle Mead and Stephenie Meyer will fall in love with Melissa and Daniel as they depend on their brains and their deep emotional connection to survive-- and maybe even graduate from high school along the way.

A School For Unusual Girls
"...kept me reading until late into the night...completely original - and totally engrossing - world, full of smart girls, handsome boys, and sinister mysteries."
- Meg Cabot, #1 NYT Bestselling Author

"...enticing from the first sentence...gender stereotypes are turned upside down..."
- New York Times Book Review

"Spellbinding! ...a beautifully written tale of adventure, intrigue, and romance...a true page-turner!"
- Rachel Hawthorne, NYT Bestselling Author

A School for Unusual Girls is the first captivating installment in the Stranje House series for young adults by award-winning author Kathleen Baldwin.

It’s 1814. Napoleon is exiled on Elba. Europe is in shambles. Britain is at war on four fronts. And Stranje House, a School for Unusual Girls, has become one of Regency England’s dark little secrets. The daughters of the beau monde who don’t fit high society’s constrictive mold are banished to Stranje House to be reformed into marriageable young ladies. Or so their parents think. In truth, Headmistress Emma Stranje, the original unusual girl, has plans for the young ladies—plans that entangle the girls in the dangerous world of spies, diplomacy, and war.

After accidentally setting her father’s stables on fire while performing a scientific experiment, Miss Georgiana Fitzwilliam is sent to Stranje House. But Georgie has no intention of being turned into a simpering, pudding-headed, marriageable miss. She plans to escape as soon as possible—until she meets Lord Sebastian Wyatt. Thrust together in a desperate mission to invent a new invisible ink for the English war effort, Georgie and Sebastian must find a way to work together without losing their heads—or their hearts…

Starfall
When Princess Cassia Rose fled her home world of Eturia to escape an arranged marriage, she had no idea her sudden departure would spark a war. Now after two years hiding as a ship hand, she is finally returning to her beloved home but not in the way she imagined. Shackled by bounty hunters, she is violently dragged back to account for her crimes. Her only solace is that the Banshee crew managed to evade capture, including Kane Arric, her best friend...with occasional benefits.

Meanwhile, Kane and the rest of the crew of the Banshee plan a desperate rescue mission. But when they arrive on Eturia, Cassia isn't exactly in need of heroics--she's claimed her birthright as Eturia's queen, but has inherited a war-torn planet simmering with rebellion. Cassia must make alliances, and Kane, the bastard son of a merchant, isn't a choice that will earn her any friends. Kane knows he will never find someone to replace Cassia--and is certain she returns his feelings--but how can he throw away his own promising future waiting on a queen?

When the outer realm is threatened by the dangerous Zhang mafia, Cassia, Kane and the rest of the Banshee crew uncover a horrifying conspiracy that endangers the entire universe. In the face of unspeakable evil, Cassia must confront her own family's complicated legacy on Eturia and decide once and for all who her real family is.

Four Times Broken
Tracey Warren has her last year of high school mapped out--stay focused, graduate in a few months, and get the hell out of Bennington, Virginia. Everything is working out in her favor. Life has finally started to level out, until a car accident sends her plans spiraling out of her control.

Her pedestrian reality crashes around her after an innocuous encounter with a diabolically handsome stranger. Nathan Newcomb has her head and her world altering minute by minute. Soon, she discovers the only cure for the uneasy feelings and abrasive pain is Nathan himself. A man whose very existence balances between violent chaos and rigidly controlled dangers.

Nathan knows the life of a woman mated to a Burdened Sephlem is destined for peril beyond a human’s reckoning, that he’ll be required to literally hand over his heart to her. But Tracey calls to his desire to experience love in spite of the hazards. And Nathan’s impossibly potent magnetism draws Tracey into a bonding that will put her in mortal danger again and again.

Once the pair becomes one, the threat escalates and nowhere is safe. There are enemies that lurk behind every corner. But the greatest danger may be in the bloodlines that course through Nathan’s veins.

Can their love survive or will their burdened souls surrender and fade away?

That Night
It can take a whole day to figure out what happened…that night.

On what was to be just another Monday morning at school, Luke’s girlfriend Jessica is nowhere to be found. Names like ‘psycho lover’ follow Luke to his locker, even from his best friend. Luke soon learns Jessica tried to kill herself at a party from the previous Saturday night, and she’s blaming him. With posts on FaceBook feeding the rumors of what happened that night, the school has to investigate.

Torn between worry, guilt, loyalty, priorities, and an urgency to clear his name and protect hers, he has to find her—he loves her no matter what. The teacher in the middle of the investigation is also the same one to provide academic and character references for Luke’s college applications due by the end of the week. Luke knows he’s not to blame, but with no contact from Jessica and everyone blaming him for what happened, he’s at risk of losing everything—Jessica and his dreams of being a mechanic—all because of what happened that night.