Top Ten Tuesday – Still haven’t read..

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Top Ten Tuesday is brought to us by The Broke and the Bookish!

This week we are to choose the top ten books still on our TBR from before we started blogging.

This one’s not too bad since I only recently started blogging and since I’ve spent the summer seriously culling my TBR. I read about 15 from my TBR I think.


Touch the Dark (Cassie Palmer book 1) by Karen Chance

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Can you ever really trust a vampire?

Cassandra Palmer can see the future and communicate with spirits – talents that make her attractive to the dead and the undead. The ghosts of the dead aren’t usually dangerous; they just like to talk … a lot.

The undead are another matter.

Like any sensible girl, Cassie tries to avoid vampires. But when the bloodsucking mafioso she escaped three years ago finds Cassie again with vengeance on his mind, she’s forced to turn to the vampire Senate for protection.

The undead senators won’t help her for nothing, and Cassie finds herself working with one of their most powerful members, a dangerously seductive master vampire – and the price he demands may be more than Cassie is willing to pay …..

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The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

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Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl.

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

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Naked in Death by J.D. Robb

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In a world of danger and deception, she walks the line–between seductive passion and scandalous murder…Eve Dallas is a New York police lieutenant hunting for a ruthless killer. In over ten years on the force, she’s seen it all–and knows her survival depends on her instincts. And she’s going against every warning telling her not to get involved with Roarke, an Irish billionaire–and a suspect in Eve’s murder investigation. But passion and seduction have rules of their own, and it’s up to Eve to take a chance in the arms of a man she knows nothing about–except the addictive hunger of needing his touch

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Sealed with a Curse (A Weird Girls novel) by Cecy Robson

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Celia Wird and her three sisters are just like other twenty-something girls—with one tiny exception: They’re the products of a curse that backfired and gave each of them unique powers that make them, well, a little weird…

The Wird sisters are content to avoid the local vampires, werebeasts, and witches of the Lake Tahoe region—until one of them blows up a vampire in self-defense. Everyone knows vampires aren’t aggressive, and killing one is punishable by death. But soon more bloodlust-fueled attacks occur, and the community wonders if the vampires of Tahoe are plague-ridden.

Celia reluctantly agrees to help Misha, the handsome leader of an infected vampire family. But Aric, the head of the werewolf pack determined to destroy Misha’s family to keep the area safe, warns Celia to stay out of the fight. Caught between two hot alphas, Celia must find a way to please everyone, save everyone, and—oh, yeah—not lose her heart to the wrong guy or die a miserable death. Because now that the evil behind the plague knows who Celia is, he’s coming for her and her sisters.

This Wird girl has never had it so tough.

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Dreamer’s Pool by Juliet Marillier

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In exchange for help escaping her long and wrongful imprisonment, embittered magical healer Blackthorn has vowed to set aside her bid for vengeance against the man who destroyed all that she once held dear. Followed by a former prison mate, a silent hulk of a man named Grim, she travels north to Dalriada. There she’ll live on the fringe of a mysterious forest, duty bound for seven years to assist anyone who asks for her help.

Oran, crown prince of Dalriada, has waited anxiously for the arrival of his future bride, Lady Flidais. He knows her only from a portrait and sweetly poetic correspondence that have convinced him Flidais is his destined true love. But Oran discovers letters can lie. For although his intended exactly resembles her portrait, her brutality upon arrival proves she is nothing like the sensitive woman of the letters.

With the strategic marriage imminent, Oran sees no way out of his dilemma. Word has spread that Blackthorn possesses a remarkable gift for solving knotty problems, so the prince asks her for help. To save Oran from his treacherous nuptials, Blackthorn and Grim will need all their resources: courage, ingenuity, leaps of deduction, and more than a little magic.

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The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

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One Life to One Dawn.

In a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad’s dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph’s reign of terror once and for all.

Night after night, Shahrzad beguiles Khalid, weaving stories that enchant, ensuring her survival, though she knows each dawn could be her last. But something she never expected begins to happen: Khalid is nothing like what she’d imagined him to be. This monster is a boy with a tormented heart. Incredibly, Shahrzad finds herself falling in love. How is this possible? It’s an unforgivable betrayal. Still, Shahrzad has come to understand all is not as it seems in this palace of marble and stone. She resolves to uncover whatever secrets lurk and, despite her love, be ready to take Khalid’s life as retribution for the many lives he’s stolen. Can their love survive this world of stories and secrets?

Inspired by A Thousand and One NightsThe Wrath and the Dawn is a sumptuous and enthralling read from beginning to end

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The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

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Told in Kvothe’s own voice, this is the tale of the magically gifted young man who grows to be the most notorious wizard his world has ever seen.

The intimate narrative of his childhood in a troupe of traveling players, his years spent as a near-feral orphan in a crime-ridden city, his daringly brazen yet successful bid to enter a legendary school of magic, and his life as a fugitive after the murder of a king form a gripping coming-of-age story unrivaled in recent literature.

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The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook

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After the Iron Duke freed England from Horde control, he instantly became a national hero. Now Rhys Trahaearn has built a merchant empire on the power – and fear – of his name. And when a dead body is dropped from an airship onto his doorstep, bringing Detective Inspector Mina Wentworth into his dangerous world, he intends to make her his next possession.

But when Mina uncovers the victim’s identity, she stumbles upon a conspiracy that threatens the lives of everyone in England. To save them, Mina and Rhys must race across zombie-infested wastelands and treacherous oceans-and Mina discovers the danger is not only to her countrymen, as she finds herself tempted to give up everything to the Iron Duke

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These Vishous Masks by Tarun Shanker

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England, 1882. Evelyn is bored with society and its expectations. So when her beloved sister, Rose, mysteriously vanishes, she ignores her parents and travels to London to find her, accompanied by the dashing Mr. Kent. But they’re not the only ones looking for Rose. The reclusive, young gentleman Sebastian Braddock is also searching for her, claiming that both sisters have special healing powers. Evelyn is convinced that Sebastian must be mad, until she discovers that his strange tales of extraordinary people are true—and that her sister is in graver danger than she feared.

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Have any of you read any of these choices? Do you recommend I read them or cut them from the list?

 

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Top Ten Tuesday – Set in New Orleans

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Top Ten Tuesday is brought to us by The Broke and the Bookish!

This week we are to choose the top ten books in “x” setting (i.e. top ten books set near the beach, top ten book set in boarding school, top ten books set in England, etc)

I’m choosing top ten books set in New Orleans! Because… well why not?


Interview with a Vampire by Anne Rice

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I think we can all agree that Anne Rice started the Vampires in New Orleans craze so she certainly deserves to top the list.

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Dark Hunters series by Sherrilyn Kenyon

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I really like the earlier books in this series, and they all take place (more or less) in New Orleans. This might be one of the first series I ever read that is set in New Orleans, actually. Every time I read them it always made me hungry for beignets. Yumm!

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The Veil and The Sight by Chloe Neill

^Links go to my reviews of these two books^

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I just read these books last month and thought the New Orleans setting was really interesting. Its an alternate future New Orleans which is altered due to a supernatural war that took place there. The descriptions of New Orleans life is pretty rich and one of the best parts of the books

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Night Huntress series by Jeaniene Frost

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The Night Huntress series flits in and out of New Orleans a couple times throughout the course of the series. I cannot currently remember which exact books occur in New Orleans but I know its a few. I wouldn’t say its a major plot point or anything, but it does happen for interesting reasons!

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Kresley Coles’ Immortals after dark

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Many of Kresley Cole’s Immortals books take place in New Orleans. Its a really fun idea to imagine all kinds of supernatural communities residing there in secret. Valkyries, Lykae, Witches, Vampires, Whatever Loa is, Nymphs, Demons, etc.

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Deeper than Midnight by Lara Adrian

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Deeper than Midnight is one of my favorites from Lara Adrian’s Midnight Breed series, and part of the book takes place in New Orleans.

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The Sookie Stackhouse (originally The Southern Vampire Mysteries) by Charlaine Harris.

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This series takes place in Louisiana, and a couple books take place in New Orleans. If you haven’t read these books I recommend you do. If you’ve only watched True Blood, I highly recommend you do not judge the books on the show as they are not remotely alike. The show did not follow the books at all, especially after the first season. The first 7ish books are really good and then it goes down hill a bit.


Well I’m gonna call it quits there since a couple of mine are for whole series rather than single books. That counts as more than 10, in my book lol!

Top Ten Tuesday – Rewind!!

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Top Ten Tuesday is brought to us by The Broke and the Bookish!

This week we are going back to the archives and choosing a past TTT of our choice. So I shall choose…… Top Ten Fictional Crushes..or as I like to call them, my book boyfriends!

Oh, and this is fictional so its not creepy if some of them are from YA books, ok? I know I’m an adult now but I wasn’t always and some of these books were read when I was a young adult. So don’t judge!


Hunter from Sweep series

(YA Modern Day Fantasy)

Oh Hunter! My very first book boyfriend from when I was a young-un. I’ll never stop loving you! By the way, I know they are older but I seriously cannot recommend The Sweep series enough to you all. It’s a fantastic YA book series that is a great coming of age story about friends, love, family, finding yourself, and a little bit of magic. Probably my favorite series ever. I don’t mean its one of my favorites I ever read, I mean even to this day its probably my favorite series (I mean other than Harry Potter, obviously). I still re-read it every two years or so and even though I’m an adult now I continue to adore this series.

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Taver Merendsen from These Broken Stars

(Mature YA Space Opera Romantic Suspense)

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Ok this is my last YA choice, promise. And I’m pretty sure his character is 19 or 20 so its not creepy that I read this one when I was an adult. Its not creepy, dammit! Anyway I just think Tarver is a wonderful book boyfriend. In addition to being attractive and useful (trust me, usefulness is necessary considering the circumstances these characters find themselves in), he’s also funny. Its a win-win really. This is one of my favorite reads of 2015 and I highly recommend it. Its like Titanic in Space. And these authors are really cool. The second book in the series plays with gender roles in a really interesting way.

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Charles from Alpha and Omega series

(Adult Urban Fantasy Romance)

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I adore Charles from Patricia Briggs’ Alpha and Omega series. He is a very complex and well crafted character. He’s also tender, protective (not over protective, just the right amount of protective), and a badass fighter. I love that he never tries to keep Anna out of things “to protect her.” He and Anna are true partners, which I greatly appreciate. I’m getting sick of the “hide you in a tower for your own protection regardless of what you want” alpha male characters. Charles is really a breath of fresh air as a love interest.

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Harry Dresden from The Dresden Files

(Adult Urban Fantasy, not romance)

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Ok, I know a lot of people think Harry is chauvinistic, and perhaps I will concede that he is old fashioned and maybe chivalrous, but I love him. He is simply the kind of guy who loves women and thinks they should be treated well. I’m not sure why a lot of people complain that he is chauvinistic and sexist, though, because its not that he doesn’t respect women. In fact, many of the strongest (and sometimes scariest) characters in these books are women. His first choice for a partner is always Murphy, a female police person. So although  there is a group of Harry-haters out there I admit that I am pro-harry. I’d date him, he is simply a good person.

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Eric from Southern Vampire Mysteries

(Adult Southern Urban Fantasy Romance-ish)

Let me be very clear and say that I love Eric from the Southern Vampire Mysteries books. I thoroughly disapprove of the show True Blood. If you are going to make a show based on a fantastic book series, please actually follow the damn series. I mean you should follow it at least 85%. After season one, True Blood went completely off the rails and stopped even remotely following the books. And it was not a “for the better” choice. If you’ve only watched the show I highly suggest you read the first couple books and see what you’ve been missing. Which is a very hot Eric. Um, he is a former Viking. Need I say more?

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Valerius from Seize the Night, A Dark Hunter novel

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Oh Valerius, from back when Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunter novels were still good and worth reading….**dreamy sigh**. Prim and proper former Roman General meets outrageous, no holds-barred, definitely not proper, modern vampire slaying, sex store owning Tabitha. This is actually one of my favorite romances. I really miss Sherrilyn Kenyon’s earlier books such as this, I feel her series has gone so down hill lately. Valerius is one of my favorites. He was a Roman General, guys. What’s sexier than that?

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Bones from Night Huntress and Vlad from Night Prince

Jeaniene Frost writes some of my very favorite Urban Fantasy Romances, and has some of the very best heroes, in my opinion! Bones from Night Huntress and Vlad from Night Prince are among my favorite male leads. I especially appreciate how Frost keeps the drama and tension going through multiple books without resorting to love triangles! That’s right. These series each follow one hero and one heroine who are romantically involved. Frost is a talented writer of complex relationships and interesting male characters.

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Cadeon from Dark Desires after Dusk, an Immortals After Dark novel

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Ok, Ok so he really is a bit of a chauvinist, but who cares, I love him anyway! Cade has a sexy Sith Ifrican accent and appreciates his woman’s intelligence, so I’m able to forgive his chauvinistic tendencies. Best of all, he never once makes Holly feel bad for her extreme OCD tendencies, but rather goes out of his way to accommodate her needs. He also tries to educate himself so he can understand her when she wants to discuss scholarly topics (she’s a mathematics and technology wiz and he really, really is not). Is there anything more adorable and touching than a tough as nails warrior trying to learn about “cluster analysis and extremal combinatorics” just to please the love of his life? No, there is not. Cade has his flaws but I’m not sure I’ve ever read another male character who goes to quite so many lengths to meet his mate’s needs. Its sweet.

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Baojia from Blood and Sand (An Elemental World novel)

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I love Baojia. I really can’t even pinpoint why but I just love him so much. He’s really sweet and..and…look just trust me he’s great and you’ll love him too. Try the book, you’ll see what I mean.

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Judd, Kaleb, Vasic, and Aeden from Psy-Changeling.

You have to ignore the covers for some of these, they are not representative of the stories. This is a case of bad cover-fantastic book.

Look if you’ve read Nalini Singh’s Psy-Changeling books you will know exactly why I love these guys. If you haven’t read them yet, go read them now. Right now. Run, don’t walk. Read these books now, you’re already missing out!!! Judd is by far my most favorite of the bunch, possibly my most favorite book boyfriend ever. He is just delicious.

********Teeney, tiny character spoiler below, skip if you don’t want to know this fact about these characters*****

Ok, here comes the spoiler….turn back now if you don’t want to know….you sure?….positive?…ok here it is….

So all of these pay-characters are virgins, which in romance books is not the norm for the men. However, I find it to be a thoroughly refreshing change! I love Nalini Singh because she writes very diverse characters; multi-ethnicities and skin colors. She also has a slightly more liberated view of sex than most, where women are not always judged for having had sex before her HEA. I know, what a concept. A lot of Singh’s Psy-characters are virgins, but that includes women and men, and its because their race doesn’t have sex physically but rather goes through in vitro fertilization to procreate. This is a race that has stamped out love and affection and even physical contact. On the other hand, her Changeling-characters have sex often and easily, again, both women and men. In this race there is no judgement against either women or men for the number of sexual partners they have, its seen as simply a normal aspect of life. The human-characters vary in sexual opinion and experience.

Judd, Kaleb, Vasic, and Aeden are all virgins because they are Psy. And the characters are complex and beautifully written. And what a treat it is to read about men who are not “sex gods who’ve been with a million women before finding the one, right woman.” Ugh, I’m sick of this over-sexed alpha male character, which is why Nalini’s psy-men are a nice change of pace. They are still sexy as hell (Judd!!!!), but we also get tenderness and yearning and love. We do not have to suffer through men who use sex against the women in order to convince them they are “in love.”  Oh and these virgins set out to learn how to blow the minds of their ladies in bed because they love them. So don’t fear you’ll be getting lame sex scenes. Nalini would never let you down that way. The men do their research.

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Side Rant about Sarah J. Maas’ love interests….

I did like Chaol in the first Throne of Galss book but I think from now on I’ll go ahead and plan not to get too attached to any of Sarah J Maas’ love interests. She seems to enjoy ruining them for us later. I haven’t read ACOMF yet so no spoilers please, but I understand she does the same with Tamlin, which is probably why I’m putting off reading it so far. Why does she make us like a love interest only to ruin them and replace them in subsequent books? Why can’t authors manage to write multi-book series that feature steady couples? A talented author can write fantastic books that feature the same couple and still come up with drama and tension to keep the interest (without relying on love triangles or quadrangles or whatever angles)! Some authors who manage these are: Jeaniene Frost, C.L. Wilson, Elizabeth Vaughan, Veronica Rossi, Marie Rutkoski, Veronica Roth and Melissa Landers. Come on Sarah J. I’m sure you could do it if you tried.

Top 5 Wednesday – Changed Feelings

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Top 5 Wednesday time! This is a weekly book meme – the Goodreads group lives here – and this week’s topic is:

August 3rd: Books You Feel Differently About
— Talk about the books that you feel differently about after you’ve had time to think about them or re-read them. These are books that you gave a low rating, and then thought about it or re-read it and ended up loving. Or a book that you loved when you first read it, but after you’ve thought about it or you’ve gotten older, you see how many problems it had.


Kresley Cole’s Immortals After Dark Series (select titles)

A Hunger like No Other, Wicked Deeds on a Winter’s Night, Macrieve

I absolutely adore Kresley Cole’s PNR series, Immortals After Dark. She is a great writer, who has created a unique world and characters, and each book is infused with humor, action, and love/lust. But, when I re-read the series, I realized that there are a couple of titles in the series I really, really dislike. Kresley tends a bit too much towards the “alpha male” in my opinion, but three of her books (the lykae books) really go too far. The men in these three books, in particular, go far past “alpha male” and well into physical and sexual abuse, and it’s difficult for me to read. The worst part is that the female characters are utterly innocent and undeserving of these actions. I really cannot see why these three women even “fall in love” with the men after the way they are treated. For instance, in books like Rydstrom and Sabines, and even Thornos and Lanthe’s, you can see why the men act the way they do (it can be argued that the women mistreated them first and vengeance is understandable, even if its unpleasant). In books like Lothaire, well you accept his actions because he actually is supposed to be a villain, so its not really surprising or offensive. Shadows Claim is actually my favorite, because the Dacian actually treats Bettina well, and courts her. But these 3 books go too far, and I actually can’t believe I ever got into the series, considering the way Hunger Like No Other starts it off. Good thing I persevered past that one!

 

Sherrlilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunter Series

Dark Hunter series

So I started reading this series years ago and I loved it. I remember voraciously tearing through all of the books (I think there were 13 out then) and I liked each one. They are full of mythology, action, and tortured heroes. Some of the women are pretty badass, which I liked. But then, as the series continued past the long-awaited Acheron book, I started to get bored with the series. It seems that the author is only interested in having tortured heroes, and each book she tries to outdo herself in how awful and tortured each heroes’ past is. By the time you get to Acheron, half the book is very detailed imaginings of torture, rape, imprisonment, and more. Later, when you get to Styxx’ book, its even worse.  Recently the books have gotten even more off track and strange. One of the books has the male and female character’s consciousness swap bodies and then they have sex. Its very weird, because they are basically having sex with their own bodies. I don’t even know how to describe it, but I stopped reading after that book. I don’t buy her books anymore :(. Hopefully some day she’ll get back on track or try a new series or something. This series went stale long ago, around book 14.

 

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Sorcerer’s Stone

I cannot believe this, but the first time I tried to read this book, I HATED it. I think I was around 10 years old and I was a voracious reader. My aunt heard about this book and bought it for me, but I could never get past the first chapter (The Boy who Lived). If you remember, this chapter details Vernon Dursley’s day, starting with waking up, following him at work, and later going to sleep. I thought it was hopelessly dull and never got much past the first 2 or 3 pages. Then, after months of it sitting around my house, I heard they were making it into a movie so I forced myself to try reading it again. When I finally got past the first couple of pages I, of course, fell in love with the book and rushed to read the next 3 (Goblet of Fire had just came out). The rest, as they say, is history!

Katie Macalister’s Dark Ones and Dragons series

Dark Ones, Dragons

I read these books years and years ago. Katie Macalister is one of the first romance authors I started reading as a teen. Her books are sizzling and full of a LOT of humor and shenanigans. In the past few years I’ve refused to re-read them because I’m afraid if I do, I won’t like them anymore. I have really great memories of these books, but nowadays I prefer my books to be on the darker side (like J.R. Ward, Anne Bishop, etc) so I’m afraid these books will read too silly. I’d rather keep my fond memories than risk a re-read changing how I feel about them lol!

Daughters of the Moon

Daughters of the Moon

This was one of my most favorite young adult series when I was a tween, I absolutely adored these books. They are full of greek mythology and forbidden love (so even as a young teen, I guess I’ve always had a “type” lol). A couple months ago I decided to try re-reading them for the first time in well over a decade. This was a mistake. Upon re-reading the first 3 books, I cannot believe I used to like these. They are not especially well-written and a lot of what happens doesn’t even make sense. Its also about 15 year olds who apparently go to raves and nightclubs almost every night. Re-reading these totally ruined them for me, now I’m second guessing my taste-level as a young-un lol! Now I’m afraid to re-read other books and series from my youth, I don’t want to find out they were never any good!

Top Ten Tuesday – I’d buy if I could..

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Top Ten Tuesday is brought to us by The Broke and the Bookish!
This week’s topic is: Top Ten books I’d buy right now if handed a fully loaded gift card

Ok I’m going to have to tweak this a bit because I buy every book that I want to, money isn’t really an obstacle to my reading (HEY! I don’t drink, or smoke, or buy too many clothes, and you have to have at least ONE bad habit, right? RIGHT? Right!

Since I buy most books in ebook format (hey, I said I buy them all, not that I could afford to buy hardcovers!), this topic for me will be Hardcovers I would buy if money was no object. Either because the covers are so beautiful, or because I love the books so very much.


The Starbound Trilogy (New Adult)

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These pictures don’t really do the book covers justice, but I think this might be one of the most beautiful cover art I’ve ever seen on a book series. I own them in ebook (and love them!) but they are on my “to buy in hardback” list, for sure. These are sci-fi space opera romances (marketed as YA but they are pretty mature for YA, I’d class them as New Adult).

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The Illuminea Chronicles (New Adult)

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Illuminae was my favorite read of 2015, hands down. Utterly unique and well-crafted, I’ve never read anything quite like it before or since. I received it as an e-arc though, and apparently a lot of the final art and details within were not included in the e-arc so I missed some things from the story. I’ll definitely be picking up the hardcover version for a re-read before the sequel comes out in October!

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The Winners Trilogy (YA)

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Again, I just think these covers are sublime and would look pretty in hardcover on my shelves. I have cover art lust here. Bought in ebook but regretting that a bit, should have went hardcover!

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Lord of the Fading Lands series (Adult High-Fantasy-Romance)

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Not so much because of the covers this time (they are fine but nothing to gush over), this is just one of my all time favorite High-Fantasy series and I’d love to have it in hardback on my shelves. For my ogling pleasure.

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The White Rabbit Chronicles (Adulty- YA)

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Again I own these in ebook but I think the covers are divine and I’d love to have the hardcovers on my shelves. These are YA but written by an author who writes steamy adult romances. Her YA books are quite a bit steamier than most YA books, in my opinion. Really, really funny too. And pretty covers!!!!

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Night Prince (Adult Paranormal Romance)

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So this one is not because of the covers. I actually think they are a bit hokey. But I adore this series (fourth and final one comes out in february) and I’d like to have it on my shelves. I mean, they are about Vlad (yep, the Impaler) finding love. And he’s not a nice, sweet Vlad. No, he’s a pretty vicious, impaler-ey Vlad. People get all kinds of impaled during the course of this series. Thats what she said! hahahaha. But in all seriousness, if you haven’t read Jeaniene Frost’s Night Huntress and Night Prince series yet, what are you even doing with your life?

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The Hunger Games

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GASP! I know, I know! How can I NOT own these in physical copy? Because, obviously I am a loser! I own these in ebook but I’m really going to have to buy these in hardcover for my shelves. Its kind of sinful not to have them proudly displayed near the classics and harry potter. I’m sorry, I’ll try to do better, I swear!

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The Sevenwaters series

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One of my all time favorite (though heart-wrenching) romantic fantasy series, The Sevenwater series surely deserves to live on my selves in hardcover. My goodness can Juliet Marillier write a story! If you haven’t tried any of her books yet I highly, HIGHLY, recommend that you do. She is a top-notch story teller who effortless weaves history, magic, romance, and beautifully real characters into every story she writes. I’ve never been disappointed with Marillier book.

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The Elemental Mysteries (Adult Paranormal Suspense w slowburn Romance)

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Sigh, I just love Elizabeth Hunter’s books. All of them, really. But since Elemental Mysteries got me started on her as an author, I’d sure love to own this series in hardcover for my shelves. Unfortunately she only publishes in ebook and paperback (so far) so it is not meant to be. I’ll keep buying the ebooks for now! Oh, she is an indie, self-published author with impeccable editing in her books. I would never have guessed she is self-puiblished based on the stories which are expertly crafted, fantastically well researched, and complexly fashioned.

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Ok that will do for now, I’ll keep dreaming about getting to fill my shelves up, because hardcovers are just too expensive to buy….sigh!

July Wrap-Up

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Well this month I’ve read 46 books. It might be close to a record for even me. I’m a teacher-librarian so I’m off work for the summer and since I tore my ACL a couple months back, I still can’t really do anything active. Thus, I have been doing a lot of reading, and little else, this summer. Here’s my July rundown. I read way more books than I can actually keep up with reviews for, so heres a quick-list.


Bad Date

I don’t think I had any Bad First Book Dates this month, I liked mostly everything I read enough to at least finish it. YAY!

LongTermRelationship

They Who Fell by Kevin Kneupper
Post-Apocalyptic Science Fiction – Angels vs Humans – Free on Kindle Unlimited
This was an easy, quick read where Angels are scary and have fallen from heaven to take over the Earth and basically enslave humanity. Its interesting, but the characters are not developed in any meaningful way.

Moon Dance (Vampire for Hire #1) by J.R. Rain
Paranormal Mystery – Vampire Soccer Mom – Humor
This was also an easy and quick read that was moderately interesting. However, the characters are not developed in anyway. The “romance” is not developed at all, the author just basically has the characters meet once or twice and then tell each other they love one another. At the end they kiss once. I’m not exaggerating.

JustAFling

Firelight (The Darkest London #1) &  Moonglow (#2) by Kristen Callihan
Victorian Paranormal Romance & Mystery – Beauty & Beast retelling
Firelight was a Beauty and the Beast retelling and it was a really beautiful story. I actually loved Firelight, and raced to read the next two books in the series. They weren’t as impressive to me though. It could be the Victorian setting and time period though, which is not usually my preferred genre. The author’s writing skill is superb. Characters and plot are well-developed.

The Rock Kiss series by Nalini Singh (Addiction, Hard, Courtship, Redemption, Wedding)
Contemporary Romance Series
As a great fan of Singh’s PNRs, I thought I’d try her contemporary books. I’ve mixed feelings about them, though. The first book is Rock Addiction and was not to my taste at all. It is more erotica, than romance, and the sex was too frequent and silly for me to really get into the characters. It was good enough that I read the rest though, and they were much better. #1.5 is Rock Courtship and that was fantastic. #2 is Rock Hard and was my favorite, its very different from the first book (in a great way). #3 is Rock Redemption which I really liked as well. That one is a very slow-burn romance that starts as a friendship. #4 is Rock Wedding, which wasn’t much to my taste. Its a second chance romance, though, which is never my favorite. So I do recommend this series but I suggest you quickly read through the first book to get to the rest of the books which are much, much better.

The Veil by Chloe Neill – my review
Urban Fantasy – Link takes you to my review

Justice Calling (The Twenty-Sided Sorceress) by Annie Bellet
Paranormal & Urban Mystery with tiny bit of Romance – Free on Kindle Unlimited
This series comprises of shorter “novella-size” stories. It was really cute and a very easy, fun, and quick read. The main character is a geek extraordinaire, and the pop culture references are great fun. Her superpower is cool.

LongTermRelationship

Cambrio Springs Mysteries series by Elizabeth Hunter
Shifting Dreams (#1), Desert Bound (#2), Waking Hearts (#3)
Light Paranormal Mystery Romance 
I’ve been a fan of Elizabeth Hunter’s Elemental Mysteries for the past year or so, but had never read her other two series. I thought this one was regular contemporary but when I realized it was a small town paranormal mystery romance, I decided to give it a try and I really liked it. It was different and enjoyable. I’d consider these to be easy, light reads! Books 1 &3 are stronger than #2, in my opinion.

The Sylph Series by L.J. McDonald 
#1 The Battle Sylph (my review here), #2 The Shattered Sylph,  #3 The Queen of the Sylphs
Fantasy Romance – Free on KindleUnlimited
Although this series is not without its flaws, I admit I thoroughly enjoyed it! Its quite decent, especially considering it is free on KindleUnlimited. Not perfect, but more than enjoyable and surprisingly unique.

The Irin Chronicles by Elizabeth Hunter
#1 The Scribe, #2 The Singer, #3 The Secret, #4 The Staff & the Blade
Romantic Paranormal Urban Fantasy – First book only $0.99 on Kindle
I loved this series! I cannot believe I had The Scribe in my TBR pile for so many months without reading it! I should have trusted that Elizabeth Hunter would not disappoint. She doesn’t! This is a really well-crafted tale, her world-building is, as always, superb. The first book takes place largely in Turkey and is full of fantastic descriptions of the setting and people. This series features a unique set of people and villains, each with their own developed culture and history. Although I eventually got somewhat sick of the two main characters (the first 3 books follow 1 couple), the plot and other characters more than made up for it. Book #4 follows a new couple, so I really enjoyed that change of pace. **Highly recommend!**

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff (ARC) – click for my review

The Sight by Chloe Neill (ARC) – click for my review

Wild Embrace by Nalini Singh (ARC)my review

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, & Jack Thorne
-click for my review– click for my live tweet reading transcript – click for pics of release party

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Usually each month, whenever I get sick of trying new books and authors, or if Im in a reading rut, I’ll re-read a series or other books I’ve read before. This month I re-read…

Macrieve by Kresley Cole (I love Cole, but hate the Macrieve book)

Elizabeth Hunter’s Elemental Series – Paranormal Mystery & Slowburn Romance
A Hidden Fire
This Same Earth
The Force of Wind
A Fall of Water
Building from Ashes
Blood and Sand
Waterlocked
The Scarlet Deep
The Bronze Blade
Shadows and Gold
Imitation and Alchemy

Review – Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

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Well it has finally arrived! The next (and supposedly last, though we’ve heard that before) installment in the Harry Potter-verse cannon. And I went to Barnes and Noble’s midnight release party (of course!) to get it. And I’ve stayed up all night reading it! So here is my review. I’ve tried to keep it mostly spoiler-free but do briefly discuss some plot points and themes. Also don’t judge this review, I’m sleep deprived and it will not be my best work lol!

Check out my blog post on the midnight magic release party at barnes and noble

Check out my transcript of my live-tweet while reading The Cursed Child.


 

Ok, do we start with the Good, or the Not So Good?…

The Good

We are returning to the Potter-verse after 9 years! Woo Hoo! I religiously went to each midnight release party when books 5, 6, and 7 came out so I was happy to return to the world of Harry Potter!

We get to revisit most of our beloved characters, which is great fun. We get to see what they made of themselves as adults, and how their relationships have matured. We also get to revisit some characters you would not expect to meet up with, and see different sides of them.

We get to see a little bit of how the world has coped with the defeat of Voldemort, and how this has affected  (effected? Too tired to puzzle that out) the Wizarding world.

 

The Not so Good

This story just doesn’t capture the magic that the original books did. I’m not surprised or let down though, because how could anything hope to compare to the story that took the world by storm?

This is not written by J.K. Rowling and you can tell. The characters and situations do not read in the way we expect from a Rowling book. Most disappointingly, many of our favorite  characters appear to be completely different people. Of course they are 20 years older.

The fact that this is a script book means that we are given almost only dialogue. We do not get to experience the nuance of emotion the characters are feeling, we have to infer it from their dialogue. We also get almost no descriptions of scenery, which means the world is very lacking in detail. You will have to use a lot more imagination to paint your own picture of what the scenes and characters look like. There were times when I was confused as to what was happening, because there were no cues in the book, only dialogue. I knew what characters were saying, but not what they were doing.

Female characters are utterly unimportant in this story, in every way. Its all about various sons relationships with their fathers, and only their fathers. The women might as well not have existed.

Strange and confusing dream sequences.

The verdict? (The Review)

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is a fun and funny romp through several years and situations in the Potter-verse. Follow Harry and Albus, and Draco and Scorpius, as they try to navigate the post-Voldemort world while trying to establish relationships with each other. Fathers struggle to let go their pasts and accept their sons as they are, while sons of the famous and infamous alike struggle to find their footing and make their own identities in this world. While the dialogue-heavy script book lacks much of the detail, emotion, and magic that J.K. Rowling effortlessly captured in the original series, Cursed Child will still be a must-read for Potter fans everywhere, who have waited more anxiously for a return to this world than for their Hogwarts Letter all those years ago. For fans, this story will satisfy those who have missed these characters these past 9 years, and who wish to check in with them and see what they are up to. Those looking for a true “8th book” will be disappointed in this script book, but those looking for a simple continuation of the world will find enjoyment in what is offered herein.

Final thought: I enjoyed the ability to return to this world that so truly touched and shaped my life enough to overlook the weaker aspects of the script book!

Top 5 Wednesday – Unlikeable Characters

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Top 5 Wednesday time! This is a weekly book meme – the Goodreads group lives here – and this week’s topic is:

Most Unlikable Characters
— NOT VILLAINS! These are protagonists or side characters that are unlikable! (These should lean more towards characters who aren’t intentionally unlikeable. Not villains, or mean girl/guys, etc.


I’m going to only do YA characters here because I’m having trouble choosing characters from my adult books right now. There are simply too many of them. Since I’ve read far less YA books, its easier for me to choose among those characters…

Unlikeable YA Characters

Edward Cullen from Twilight – Ugh, I just will never get the attraction to Edward Cullen. He is a whiny, brooding, arrogant, condescending and controlling jerk. I don’t get the appeal, I really don’t. I would have chosen Jacob any day of the week.

America Singer from The Selection series – Grr. Makes me so mad, I really think she needs to be slapped. The entire series is literally this…

  • America sees the prince and thinks, “Oh I love him, he’s the one for me, there can be no other!”
  • Two seconds later America sees Aspen and thinks “Oh, its him I love, my one true love, and no other can compare!”
  • Six and a half seconds later and America sees the prince again and thinks “Be still my heart, I could love no one more than he!”

and et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. I think yo-yos get less back and forth than America. That series drove me crazy. And really, we all KNEW she was going to choose the damn prince because the series is obviously the author’s venue for playing out the “cinderella fantasy trope.” Lame.  I’m so sick of authors using love triangles as a lame device for heightening tension and drama. A truly talented author can keep that tension going even in a committed, long-term relationship. For an example, see Jeaniene Frost’s adult Night Huntress series.

Gale from Hunger Games – Do I even need to explain? Is there anyone on here who actually liked or rooted for Gale? I mean, seriously, the girl has just survived a literal hell in which she was forced to kill other children to save her own life, and Gale still thinks now is an appropriate time to pressure her about a relationship with him? A relationship, I might add, that she was never interested in, to begin with. How about being the friend she desperately needs, huh Gale? How about that? Ugh, Gale is such a giant baby. KAtniss and Peeta have a wee bit on their minds (the survival of them, their families, their district, and the fate of the country if it erupts into war) and Gale is crying about how Katniss only kisses him when she feels bad for him. Well Gale, maybe that is a good indicator that she doesn’t want a relationship with you, hmm? UGHGHGHGHGHGHGHG!

Ok, rant over.

Dorian from Throne of Glass – Oh I realize that I am probably a minority here because I know a lot of people are big, big fans of Dorian. Now that I think of it, it seems I just do not have a prince fetish, as princes in these YA stories keep kind of annoying me. Anyway, I could not stand Dorian from the beginning. He is arrogant (like Edward Cullen) and broody and whiney (like Gale), so just not my cup of tea. So for the first 3 books, Dorian is a big nuisance for me. I have to say, though, that in the last book he started to show promise as an interesting character.

Bella from Twilight – Ok I couldn’t really think of a 5th one so I decided to just go with Bella, thought its really almost too easy to choose her. What a punching bag she is throughout the story. So willing, nay EAGER, to sacrifice herself for literally everyone else. Even when her sacrifice is completely unnecessary, in every way. I consider Bella (and twilight) to be the single worst YA book for teaching young girls about healthy actions and relationships. I would be really concerned if I had a teenage girl who read this series, because everything Bella does, says, and stands for is kind of terrifying. I would not want young girls to emulate her. Don’t get me wrong, I actually like the books. I just think she is a horrible role model for young girls. Doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy the stories.