Category Archives: Book/Movie Review

Crawling out of the pit of despair. A review of NIGHTINGALE by @JocelynAdams

Nightingale by Jocelyn Adams (Ebook) I am a pretty big Jocelyn Adams fan, and while this is not my favorite book by her, I think it will stand out as an ambitious, thought-provoking effort to those who enjoy deep themes and slow-36359941burn romance.

Micah is a rich former playboy who has been brutally disfigured after being held captive by a Columbian drug lord. Darcy is an ambitious reporter who nails the interview of a lifetime when Micah finally agrees to reveal what happened, and how he and a small group of captives escaped. She finds herself falling for Micah over the week-long interview, and ends up questioning which is more important to her… printing a story that rockets her to fame, or protecting the secrets of a man who used the horror of an unthinkable experience to refocus and devote his resources to saving people’s lives.

I really liked how Darcy didn’t take the easy way out and sleep with him right off the bat to get him to talk. I enjoyed watching them get to know each other, and how their very different lives had so many similarities that I could actually believe they would fall for each other despite the class lines.

There’s not really anything to complain about here. If you enjoy a more realistic romance, where people take the time to fall in love before falling into the sheets, this book should be a winner for you.

There’s one of these Raffle-Copter things associated with this book’s release. Here it is if you are the contest-type. $25 Gift Card up for grabs.

Rafflecopter linky-thing

Catch you later!

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Gearing up for a Hot Pursuit – A review of Julie Ann Walker’s latest Black Knights book

Hot Pursuit by Julie Ann Walker (Ebook) This book is part of the Black Knights series, where a team of ex-military guys are undercover in a motorcycle shop, and actually working for the president as independent contractors. The 31676242books are all self-contained, but interwoven with the same characters. Each book centers on not only a special op, but on the romance between one of the operatives, and a girl we’ve either seen in other books, or one that just pops up. For several books, we’ve been watching Ex-UK special OPS Christian Watson spar against Emily, the office manager. (Kind of annoyingly so, IMO) Hot Pursuit is their story.

I had a little trouble with this one, because while Christian has been a favorite character of mine through these books, Emily has always annoyed me. While I knew this matching was inevitable, I guess I hoped he’d find someone else. By the end, I must admit, I’d grown a little fonder of Emily, but I’m wondering if the story being about her is what stopped me from getting completely engrossed.

Also, this special Ops part of the story fell very flat for me. While most of the books made sense, I felt like this one was forced. I completely understand the story, what happened and why (I don’t want to spoil it) but for the first time in a Walker novel, I found myself rolling my eyes at the action-part of the novel. I guess I just didn’t buy the bad guys or their reasons for doing what they did. I suppose when you’re writing a series that is as long as The Black Knights you’re going to throw a ground ball once in a while. I just wish it wasn’t in Christian’s story.

Then again, I’d have to admit that my bar was set pretty high where Christian is concerned, so that might have a lot to do with it as well. We still see the great writing, wonderful flow and super-readability that I expect from Walker. I’m looking forward to the main plotline picking up again in the next book to re-hook me with Black-Knight goodness.

An interesting look into the future. A review of 1984 by George Orwell

1984 by George Orwell (Audiobook) I’m not much for classics, because they tend to drag on and not get to the point (in my opinion). Love or hate them, you have to admit that the style of writing has changed drastically throughout the years. 264196Anyway… when my 16 year old son was assigned 1984 as required summer reading, I decided to give it a try so we could discuss it. Overall, I was not as bored with 1984 as I have been with other classics. It was very interesting; being that this was published in 1949, what George Orwell thought the world would be like 35 years into his future. What is chilling about this novel is that although 1984 did not look much like his future, there is an awful lot going on 264196today that could easily lead to a future like this. True, that I don’t think society could ever be as broken down as depicted in this novel, but there are tiny changes in the current world political climate that if not curbed, could lead in this direction. Overall, the book was quite interesting, but I do admit there were several places where I thought “get on with it” and I skipped big hunks of pages and poor Winston was still thinking about the exact same thing. This book could easily have been a novella and it would have had the same emotional impact. (In my personal opinion, I know others may like this type of writing)

I can’t get enough of those Merrick Brothers. A review of Spirit by @BrigidKemmerer

Spirit by Brigid Kemmerer (Audiobook) This is book three of the Elemental Series, a story about a family of brothers with the powers of the 13494365elements, and the people who keep coming to try to kill them. Hunter is introduced in book one as one of the people coming to kill the brothers, so I was a bit surprised to see him in his own book, but the author makes it work, and delivers a well-rounded, deep character that you could understand— even if you want to smack him upside the head for being stupid and annoying most of the time.

The real shining star in this book is Michael, the oldest brother, who is struggling to raise his three high-school aged brothers on his own (while people are always trying to kill them). Now he’s faced with another troubled teenage boy who Michael wants to help, but he needs to be wary of, because this dude was trying to kill them all in the first book. Checking ahead, Michael gets his own book in book five, so I’m suddenly very interested in getting there, but cautious, because the book’s name is “Sacrifice”. Nooooo! Anyway, the next book is about the third younger brother, and I’m totally looking forward to it.

OOO! OOO! I wanna play with the sticky Goo! A Review of Nyxia by Scott Reintgen @scott_thought

Nyxia by Scott Reintgen (Ebook)

Omigosh! This book was such a great surprise! This was like The Hunger Games in outer space… A group of low-income teenagers are recruited for a job on another planet. The voyage will take a long time, and they will be trained along the way. They and their family are 27426044going to get paid a TON of money for these kids working this job. But there is a catch… they will be trained during the flight to the other planet. Each day they will receive a score. There are twelve kids, but only ten get the job. The lowest two go home. (I may have gotten the numbers wrong in that synopsis, but that’s the jist of it.)

Holy cow did I enjoy this book! I loved the diverse characters, and how they interacted, and how each on was a distinct person. I was rooting for some, and booing at others, and who I was rooting for changed throughout the book. Also, every time I thought I know what was going on… BAM! Plot twist! And I mean multiple plot twists. Even when I was nearing the end, BOOM! There’s another, just in case you were getting comfy near the very end of the book.

Whew! Now, this is most definitely a book one. You do not get a complete story here, but enough of the story to make me happy. There is definitely more adventure to be had, and I am first in line to see what happens after they all XXXX on the XXXX! I mean seriously, what is XXXX going to do to XXXXX when she finds out XXXXX. Arghhhhh! So good! And easy five stars from me.


 

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The best first chapter I’ve ever read. Oh, well.

Forsaken Skies by D. Nolan Clarke (Ebook) DNF I have to say that I was super disappointed in this book. It started out with one of the best first chapters that I have ever read. There is a space ship throttling toward a civilian institution and no one can hail the pilot. Another ship appears that seems to be chasing him. We see the second pilot trying to get the first pilot to give up, and we also see the space-equivalent to an air-traffic controller trying to get the other ships out of the way to reduce the body count if there is a crash.

Well, (minor spoiler) the first ship gets through and the second ship keeps chasing. They we find out the backstory on these two ships’ pilots, and the controller. I was TOTALLY engaged.

From this point on, though, the book fell flat for me. I wanted that same excitement and adventure I found in the beginning. That brilliant pacing, however, did not return. Despite the coming together of a great rag-tag crew, I had to abandon this book after reading about 350 pages, and realizing I had another 300 pages to go. Ummm, no.

Despite being uber interested in the storyline, the pacing didn’t interest me. HOWEVER if you are in to a long, detailed slow-paced space epic, this might totally be the book for you. I did enjoy what was going on… It just did not move fast enough for me.

I challenge you, though, to go to your bookseller and get a sample of this book to absorb the epic-ness of that first chapter. It was enough to keep me reading for an additional 300 pages even after it slowed down considerably. I just wish the rest of it kept pace. (sad face)

Sorry, I can’t get enough of Navy Seals. A review of Fuel for Fire by Juliann Walker

Fuel for Fire by Julianne Walker (Ebook) When a CIA agent’s cover gets blown on a covert operation, her friends (and ex-Navy SEALs) the Black Nights 30166742come to her rescue, but getting her out of England in one piece is going to be harder than they expected.

This book is great fun. There is enough action and adventure to keep thrill junkies like me interested, and enough heat between the CIA agent and one of the SEALs to keep romance readers screaming for more.

So far, I think this is probably my favorite of the Black Nights series from Julieann Walker.

Ummm, why am I holding a gun? A review of Project Pandora by @AdenPolydoros

Project Pandora by Aden Polydoros (Ebook) Wow- what an opening chapter! This book immediately drew me in. 31450642Our main characters are all about 17 years old. They are normal kids attending school, but every once in a while a phone rings, someone speaks some keywords, and these kids are hypnotized into triggering skills they don’t know they had, and they are forced to assassinate people. Once the job is done, they forget and return to their everyday lives. Such a creepy premise!

As we move on, one of the characters starts to lose his programming, and begins to remember his other life when he shouldn’t remember.

I loved this book all the way through, with a slight falling at the end. This is obviously a book one. However, we aren’t given closure to any part of the story in this first installment. I feel like with just an extra chapter the characters could have come full circle and completed something, even if it was an emotional part of the journey.

31450642One character was left up in the air as to their survival. I think this might be the missing element that left me feeling unsatisfied…Not hanging like a cliffhanger, this is different. I think if maybe we either saw that character’s funeral, or experienced their emotions once they woke up… Yeah, I think that is the problem for me… If that one character got closure (and sorry, I felt like there was not closure) I think this book would have rocked it until the end.

So, all this to say, this was a super fun, exciting read. I would suggest, however, waiting until the next book comes out and counting on reading both books back to back if you don’t want to be frustrated with a too-open ending. Otherwise, this feels like you are reading the first half of a book, and then being forced to wait before you can read the second half… if that makes sense. But that is NOT enough reason to miss out on this one. I really enjoyed it a lot and will be looking for the next book.

Four stars, subtracting one only for the almost-an-ending [She twiddles her thumbs, wondering when she can get a copy of the next book]

When a book surprises the heck out of you… A review of The Shadow Queen by CJ Redwine

The Shadow Queen by CJ Redwine (Audiobook) This is a very loose Snow White Retelling, where not only is the evil queen a witch, but Snow white is also a kick-ass witch. The Shadow Queen (Ravenspire, #1)There are no dwarves in this book, but the huntsman is a dragon. Pretty cool stuff!

I enjoyed this book so much more than I expected. I sort of avoided it for a while because I hadn’t been in the mood for a retelling, but this was so different that it just barely fits into the retelling category. For me, the ending was slightly ruined because I knew it was a snow white retelling, and when I connected the dots to the handsome prince character, I kinda knew what would happen, and rather than being upset at the end, I just sat back and waited for the storybook ending.

HOWEVER this in no way muddied my enjoyment for this novel. I’m glad this was a standalone, because always having to get the next book is a little annoying, but also, I would love to read another book in this series. (sigh).

Anyway, I will definitely be looking to more CJ Redwine book in the future.

Everyone jump on the Thrill Ride! A review of Thrill Ride by Julieann Walker

Thrill Ride by Julianne Walker (Audiobook) Oddly enough, I really enjoyed the character of OZZIE in this book. He was so much more fun as a side character here than he was in his own book, Wild Ride.

33640890Anyway, this is a story about an ex Navy SEAL now top-secret operator with the Black Knights, who has gone rogue, accused of killing several men. One of his teammates risks her life to search the jungle for him, hoping to bring him back to clear his name. Unbeknownst to her, the CIA placed a tracker on her, and she has led the CIA straight to him.

This is another great action adventure romance from Walker. I love how she lets us get to know the side characters as well as the mains. This makes it all the more thrilling when we get to experience books revolving around the characters that were once sides. (If that makes sense)

I give this one two enthusiastic thumbs up. (And five stars to go along with it)