Wednesday, 22 February 2017

More Than Exes - Book Review by Voodoo Bride

More Than Exes (Chasing the Dream 0.5)
by Elizabeth Briggs

What is it about:
He wants to win. She wants to win him back.

Keyboardist Kyle Cross may look like a bad boy with his tattoos and piercings, but he’s really the good guy who’s always stuck fixing his band’s problems and never gets the girl. His band is competing in a Battle of the Bands, but when their bassist doesn't show, Kyle must track her down with the help of the person he least expects: his ex-girlfriend Alexis Monroe.

Kyle hasn’t seen Alexis since she dumped him in high school, and she’s dropped her preppy image for fiery red hair and a bold new attitude to match. With only hours before his band goes on stage, Kyle has to be a little bad if he wants to win both the Battle and the girl he's never gotten over. But when their old problems resurface, the good guy might just get his heart broken all over again.

A stand-alone prequel novella that launches the Chasing The Dream series.

What did Voodoo Bride think of it:
I'm usually not into Contemporary Romance, because I often have a hard time to connect with the lead characters (some rare exceptions aside). I know this might sound weird, because I read a lot of UF and PNR. But for an alternative geek like me it's easier to connect with the leads in those books. They're often different from those around them, get judged by it, etc... While in Contemporary Romance the lead characters are often the kind of women I have nothing in common with. Women who know how to use make up, have a fabulous career, and look at me sideways because I dress alternative and wear combat boots. Well... that became more personal than intended when I started writing this.

Anyway: It was with some hesitation I picked this book up, but it was a novella I got for free, and I really enjoyed Briggs' YA book Future Shock.

And on the first page I was introduced to Kyle, an alternative guy who likes the same music I like. He's not even the bad boy who needs to be "fixed" by a pastel colored girl: he's a nice guy who got dumped for being alternative. Oh yes: I fell in love right way.

The whole story is told from his perspective, and I rooted for him from the start. I could totally understand why he is wary of his ex, even though she seemed to want him back. I enjoyed reading how they feel each other out after three years apart, and how Kyle struggles with his feelings.

This being a novella, the development of their relationship is quick, but still believable. The romance was both sweet and hot.

I also really loved some of the other characters and wanted to know even more about them. After finishing this novella I did some investigating and those characters have their own book! One is even about comics!

So you can bet I'm buying the first book in this series soon, because this is Contemporary Romance I can relate to.

Why should you read it:
It's a sweet Contemporary Romance read.

Buy from bookdepository

visit Briggs'website to see if it's still free

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Teaser Tuesdays - The Leopard King

Kneeling beside her, he stroked her head and whispered, "Come back now, Pru. It's been too long already."

(page 37, The Leopard King by Ann Aguirre)

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Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following: - Grab your current read - Open to a random page - Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!) - Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday, 20 February 2017

Struck - Book Review

Struck (Phoebe Meadows #1)
by Amanda Carlson

What is it about:
When Phoebe Meadows gets struck by a strange light in the stockroom of Macy’s, life as she knows it flies out the window. As if being hit by lightning isn’t bad enough, she’s accosted in the subway by a man with a missing hand, arrives home to find a raven on her kitchen counter, and her neighbor, Ingrid, shows up dressed like a gladiator hell-bent on protecting her.

Before Ingrid can shuttle her to safety, Phoebe is kidnapped and tossed into one of the Nine Worlds where she’s quickly forced to come to terms with what she is: A valkyrie. The only problem is, she has no idea what that means.

After a narrow escape, she finds an unlikely ally in Loki’s son, Fenrir. Together the valkyrie and the wolf must battle their way back to New York City and reach the valkyrie stronghold where Ingrid is waiting for her. But with danger and obstacles at every turn, she might not live long enough to learn the full truth about who and what she really is...

What did I think of it:
I really like Carlson's Jessica McClain series so I wanted to give this series a try as well.

Now I will confess that for some reason I assumed that this series was YA, so color me surprised when Phoebe turns out to be 24. Luckily this is mentioned very early on in the book so I could readjust my expectations quickly.

And soon I was engrossed in this story. I love the Norse mythology, so I very much enjoyed the world building and all the creatures and people Phoebe encounters. She is lucky enough to find an ally in Fenrir, because she's in big trouble.

There's a lot of action, with only a few moments of reprieve where Phoebe can recover from events and can try to discover what's happening. The only thing I can say against this book is that with all the action at times character building is overlooked. Phoebe and Fenrir get enough screen time to get a feel for the both of them, but one other character (who will play a bigger role in the next books I'm guessing) didn't feel real in how she reacted because there was almost no character building.

That aside I very much enjoyed this read. The book ends with lots of things unresolved, but not in a frustrating cliffhangery way. I will most certainly get my trotters on the next book. I will also have to pick up Pure Blooded one of these days.

Why should you read it:
It's a very entertaining Paranormal read.

Buy from bookdepository

Friday, 17 February 2017

Future Shock - Book Review

Future Shock (Future Shock #1)
by Elizabeth Briggs

What is it about:
What do you do when the future is too late, and the present is counting down to an inevitable moment?

Elena Martinez has street smarts, the ability for perfect recall, and a deadline: if she doesn’t find a job before she turns eighteen, she’ll be homeless. But then she gets an unexpected offer from Aether Corporation, the powerful Los Angeles tech giant. Along with four other recruits—Adam, Chris, Trent, and Zoe—Elena is being sent on a secret mission to bring back data from the future. All they have to do is get Aether the information they need, and the five of them will be set for life. It’s an offer Elena can’t refuse.

But something goes wrong when the time travelers arrive in the future. And they are forced to break the only rule they were given—not to look into their own fates. Now they have twenty-four hours to get back to the present and find a way to stop a seemingly inevitable future—and a murder—from happening. But changing the timeline has deadly consequences too. Who can Elena trust as she fights to save her life?

What did I think of it:
I have a weak spot for time travel stories, so I couldn't resist this book. Now I have to confess I also am very critical when reading time travel stories, so often time travel stories that seem cool before I start on them turn out to have faulty time travel theories, mistakes in time line changes, etc... You don't want to know how often I started on a time travel story to end up DNFing in annoyance. So I was prepared to get burned once gain.

This book turned out to be really cool though!

I liked Elena right way. She has had a difficult life, and it made her wary. She doesn't trust easily and for once I could really understand why she's not always communicating with those she has to work with. The other teens were interesting as well, even though they couldn't all get along all the time, I could find something to like in all of them.

The future she and the other teens travel to is intriguing and the time traveling felt like Briggs thought about it, I didn't feel like there were weird inconsistencies anyway. I liked how things fell together and how Briggs used some time travel theories.

The story was suspenseful and had me hooked from the start. Elena and the others manage to find trouble in the future and have some pretty narrow escapes while they try to figure out how to stop the past from happening. There were a few times I thought they made a very lucky escape, but I enjoyed the story too much to be annoyed.

The ending was satisfying and even though there's no cliffhanger I was hungry for more, so I immediately ordered the next book. Yup: I thought it was that cool! I also signed up for Briggs' newsletter and was rewarded for that by a free novella from a contemporary romance series, which we will definitely give a try as well.

Why should you read it:
It's a cool YA Time Travel read.

Buy from bookdepository

Thursday, 16 February 2017

In McPig's TBR Pile - Calico

This book has a really awkward size and that's why I keep putting off starting on it.

Calico (Children of the Shawnee)
by Allison Bruning

In the harsh northwestern frontier of Ohio and Kentucky, a prophecy has been told. A man whose heart appears pure shall deceive her. The power he holds over her will lead her to evil. She shall denounce the ways of Our Grandmother. Another man comes, whose pure heart beats for her alone, and who has a pure spirit devoted to the goddess, Our Grandmother. He shall defeat the evil and set her free.

Calico Marie Turner, a white woman raised by the Shawnee and destined to become a great medicine woman, must trust the one man who hates her the most. How can she trust Chief Little Owl Quick as the Wind to save her from his best friend and village shaman, Hunting Bear?

Buy from bookdepository

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Caraval - A Reluctant DNF

Caraval (Caraval #1)
by Stephanie Garber

What is it about:
Welcome, welcome to Caraval―Stephanie Garber’s sweeping tale of two sisters who escape their ruthless father when they enter the dangerous intrigue of a legendary game.

Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the far-away, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nevertheless becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever.

Why I reluctantly DNFed:
I first saw this book in Dutch in a local bookstore, as the Dutch translation was released before the original. The cover drew my attention and the back cover story was so cool, I immediately pre-ordered the English version.

As I was waiting for its release the early reviews came in and everyone was raving about it.

Then finally my copy arrived and I dove in.

And... I didn't like one of the main characters. Nope, not Tella (who I also don't like), but the guy who helps Scarlett on her quest to track Tella down.

I tried to ignore my dislike, because the real mystery hadn't even started yet and I was really curious about what would happen once Scarlett starts the game. I made it just a little over 100 pages in before I had to admit I wasn't going to like him, and that Scarlett was starting to grate on my nerves as well. It was here that I decided to put the book aside.

I'm pretty sure from other people's reviews that the story is very good, but with no connection to either Scarlett or her helper, I just can't be bothered. I might skim to see if some of my suspicions are right though.

Why should you read it:
The world building is cool and maybe you might like the characters where I could not.

Buy from bookdepository

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Teaser Tuesdays - Struck

This one starts out very cool. I hope it continues like this.

How could a horrid thing like that take orders from anyone? The beast should only have to bare its teeth, and the old woman should be screaming in fear.

(page 34, Struck by Amanda Carlson)

Buy from bookdepository


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following: - Grab your current read - Open to a random page - Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!) - Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!