Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Review : Cold Burn Of Magic by Jennifer Estep

Cold Burn of Magic (Black Blade #1)


I previously read and was a huge fan of Estep's YA - Mythos Academy Series. So I went into this book with high hopes and high expectations... and I must say I was not let down. The lead of the story, young heroine Lila Merriweather, is snarky, kick-butt, and fun. She's not all rough edges though. Lila was orphaned after her mother was murdered and she has a definite sentiment to her that makes her hardshell all the more appealing. Devon of course is my new book crush. He's so good, yet strong. There's no love triangle, he's not a jerk, he is just... amazing! I absolutely loved the attraction between him and Lila. I can't wait to see where their relationship goes from here! The other characters in the book were just as enjoyable and I loved how distinct each of their personalities were regardless of how few scenes they appeared. As if that wasn't enough to make me love it, there's also the amazing world creation in this book. I love the concept of magical families, feuds, and monsters lurking everywhere! There are so many unique and intricate details throughout the story that just amaze me. Something that seems to be a natural talent for Ms. Jennifer Estep. So far every book I have read of hers has been fabulous! She has become one of those authors that when I see her name on a book, I'm going to get it! This was such a quick, fun, action-packed read, and I am really looking forward to getting my hands on the next book.

* I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a honest review *

Monday, May 4, 2015

review : If I Fall, If I Die

If I Fall, If I Die
 When I saw this title, I was instantly intrigued. As someone who's life has been personally affected by anxiety, I knew I had to read this book! I was expecting the book to be solely about Diane's agoraphobia and it's effect on her and Will's lives. What I found was even better than what I expected! If I Fall, If I Die is a beautifully poignant story with intricately woven layers of a deeply resonating tale of fear, hope, loss, friendship, parenthood, and much more. I really enjoyed Will's inner voice and his slightly askew view of the world was delightfully witty and fun. I was surprised that I could totally relate with not only the mom and her fears for her child, but also with Will as he fought the inner battle of protecting his mother as well as breaking away from her overprotection. Another very enjoyable aspect of the book was the names that Will and/or his mother came up with for various things. I mean what mother doesn't think all of her child's creations are masterpieces? The backstory for how Will named his mom's anxiety stricken moments " The Black Lagoon " was priceless and very entertaining. Overall I would say this one is a winner! Although it deals with some dark issues and has some suspenseful moments it also has enough wit and humor to keep it from being a depressing read.                                                                                                                                                                         * I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review *

Friday, March 6, 2015

Review: Hearth Stone by Lois Greiman

Summary from Amazon: 

 With her chance at the US equestrian team shattered by an injury, Sydney Wellesley arrives at the Lazy Windmill ranch angry and heartbroken. But the rugged red bluffs and wild high plains of the Black Hills inspire her to purchase land where she can train her own Olympic hopefuls. Everything's going according to Sydney's new life plan--until her funding suddenly dries up. . .

Alone in the ramshackle house she had planned to raze, Sydney is ready to admit defeat and slink back to civilization--until she discovers an injured mustang. Seeing herself in the desperate wild mare, she feels compelled to save the animal at all costs, little knowing that the horse just might return the favor. For as Sydney's circle grows to include an autistic child, an earthy array of local characters, and hired help in the form of Hunter Redhawk, a man as indomitable as the land itself, she realizes that heroes are everywhere--and healing is the first step on the road to true happiness.

  

Wow, what a powerful story! I loved getting to imagine the beautiful countryside through Sydney's eyes. The scenery and cast of lovable characters immediately drew me in to this emotional and captivating story. But what really had me head over heels for this book was Sydney and Hunter's chemistry. Hunt as he's called by his friends is such a hoot! He had me giggling uncontrollably quite a few times throughout the book. He doesn't let Sydney get away with being snobby, distant, or cold and between him and the wild mustang she's fighting so hard to save, no wonder all her walls get broken down. I felt like they were the perfect match, not as in they suited each other but they challenged and supported each other. 
I loved when Sydney named the mustang. It was so perfect! I believe Sydney took one look at that horse and saw herself injured and hoping someone could still love her and that was that. No turning back until she knew she'd done everything she could. I admire that determination and bravery and it's one of the things that made me really like her despite her backtracking to old habits of throwing up her stoney walls.

I definitely am looking forward to more books in this series and can't wait to see where the story goes from here. 

** I received this book from the publisher in exchange for honest review **





  

Monday, February 16, 2015

Review: Sherwood's End by Diane J. Reed


Book description from Amazon: 

Sometimes a great love won’t let go…until you believe. 

The elite Pinnacle Boarding School for Girls is renowned for keeping away far more high school applicants from its hallowed halls than it lets in. But lately, someone has been lurking in the shadows, writing cryptic messages on mirrors, and putting people’s lives in peril. When Robin and Creek begin to suspect that this otherworldly guest may have a connection to a tragedy in Creek’s past—and isn’t about to go away anytime soon—they return to Robin’s Alma Mater to try and uncover the truth behind the mysterious spirit’s rage. What they discover is a love story for the ages that leaves them breathless and inspires healing and hope for all those who dare to believe in miracles. 

Due to mature themes, readership is advised for ages 17+.

My Review:

Sherwood's End is an amazing ending to the captivating Robbin' Hearts series. It's raw intense passion flowed straight from it's pages and into my heart. The storyline takes place in both the past and present, bringing to light both pain and love, while also answering some lingering questions. I was speechless at how Ms. Reed flawlessly wove together different aspects of the present with the past and tied them all together in such astonishing ways. Some elements were a bit chilling and you should keep in mind that this is a NA novel and may be more suitable for more mature audiences than the YA book one.

* small spolier alert*
I think one of my favorite things about the story was getting to find out about Creek's mom and dad and see where all that wild passion came from. It's remarkable how much Creek could be like a father he never met. Also Creek finally knowing about his past and getting to heal those wounds was so heart wrenchingly bittersweet.

This entire series is AMAZING and magical and if you haven't read it you are missing out!


Friday, February 6, 2015

Review: First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen


This book was such a wonderful treat! I absolutely loved Garden Spells and the Waverley's of course and was so excited to find out where they are a decade later.

First Frost is just as charming as the first book. I love how enchanting it feels to read one of Sarah's books! She expertly weaves magic into every aspect of her stories leaving you with this wonderful sense of a world with endless possibilities. It's hard to explain exactly what I mean, but to me it's like the story is about magic and this wonderful family, not about a family with magical abilities. It's not just their abilities that make them special. But this wonderful whimsy of what it means to be a Waverley.

I thought this was a very pleasant read with great timing and a little humor sprinkled throughout. I always feel a little nostalgic after reading one of Sarah's books. Hers are some of the only ones that I immediately know I will want to reread again one day. I highly recommend First Frost and although I also highly recommend Garden Spells, I do think it would work as a standalone. Even though in my personal opinion you'd be missing out if you skipped it. 

** I received a copy of this book from Netgalley for review purposes. **



Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Review: A Love Undone


Wow! I have never read an Amish novel before but was drawn to this one after reading the blurb and I am so thankful that I was. A Love Undone is a beautiful, deeply soul resonating story with tragedy, love, faith, laughter, and family, filling it's pages and my heart with a wide range of emotions. I cried and laughed and was even angry at times while reading and for me that's always the sign of a great book!

 The characters were all very well developed and so relatable, something I wasn't sure they'd be for me, with me not being Amish myself. I found Jolene to be very admirable with her strong faith, eagerness to do what she knows to be right, and pure strength she shows throughout the entire novel. I loved that the secondary characters all had distinct personalities and felt like real assets to the story as well. The conflicts brought a perfect sense of suspense and tension to the story that kept the pages flying by quickly as I hoped for a resolution to come for these characters who somehow had stolen my heart. 

 I am looking forward to reading more Amish novels. I just hope A Love Undone hasn't set the bar too high because it was the perfect read for me! 


**"I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. **
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