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)


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!

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!

Monday, 13 February 2017

Bite Me, Your Grace - Book Review by Voodoo Bride


Bite Me, Your Grace (Scandals with Bite #1)
by Brooklyn Ann


What is it about:
England's "vampire craze" causes much vexation for the Lord Vampire of London, Ian Ashton. To save his reputation, Ian enlists aspiring authoress Angelica Winthrop without realizing she has hidden plans of her own.

Angelica Winthrop's life goal is to ruin her reputation, avoid marriage, and become a gothic authoress like her idol, Mary Shelley. To find inspiration for her new story, she breaks into the home of Ian Ashton, Duke of Burnrath, not knowing she will be coming up against the Lord Vampire of London. Romance sparks and reputations are at stake. But who knows the real difference between fact and fiction?


What did Voodoo Bride think of it:
This was a nice read.

I especially enjoyed the first part of the story where Angelica and Ian meet and get to know each other. I liked the set up of the world and of the romance.

Then about halfway through a plot device that I very much dislike gets used: the couple stops communicating and the misinterpretations start. I managed to make my way through that part of the story to reach the happy ending, but I wish this plot device wasn't used so often in romance.

Overall this is a very entertaining read, and I might try more books in this series.

Why should you read it:
It's a fun Historical Vampire Romance read.


Buy from bookdepository

Friday, 10 February 2017

Can You Keep a Secret? - Book Review by Voodoo Bride


Can You Keep a Secret?
by Sophie Kinsella


What is it about:
Meet Emma Corrigan, a young woman with a huge heart, an irrepressible spirit, and a few little secrets: Secrets from her boyfriend: I've always thought Connor looks a bit like Ken. As in Barbie and Ken. Secrets from her mother: I lost my virginity in the spare bedroom with Danny Nussbaum while Mum and Dad were downstairs watching Ben-Hur. Secrets she wouldn't share with anyone in the world: I have no idea what NATO stands for. Or even what it is. Until she spills them all to a handsome stranger on a plane. At least, she thought he was a stranger...

Until Emma comes face-to-face with Jack Harper, the company's elusive CEO, a man who knows every single humiliating detail about her...


What did Voodoo Bride think of it:
After reading Wedding Night I was in the mood for more fluffy reads. Luckily I found Can You Keep a Secret? at the local second hand bookstore.

And this is yet another fun and fluffy read.

Emma and Jack seem to connect, even though Jack knows all her secrets. It was fun to read how Jack helps Emma to see that some secrets should be revealed to improve her life, while at other times he blunders by assuming he knows what Emma wants.

This is a feel good romance, so there are many events that are unlikely to turn out this well in real life, but as I'm reading these kind of books for the happy fluff I didn't mind. Instead I enjoyed the funny mishaps and miscommunications, trusting all would turn out well in the end.

All in all a very enjoyable read that will get a place among my other comfort reads and will be reread when I need something funny and fluffy. When I found this book at the secondhand store I found another Kinsella book as well, so I'll be reading that one soon as well.

Why should you read it:
It's a very entertaining, fluffy contemporary romance read.


Buy from bookdepository

Thursday, 9 February 2017

STARFALL Launch Blitz & Giveaway




Hi, booklovers!

I’m author Melissa Landers, and I’m so excited to launch STARFALL, the second and final book in my Starflight duology! This story picks up shortly after the first book ends, but now Cassia and Kane are the main characters, with Doran, Solara, and the rest of the Banshee crew pitching in to help take down an intergalactic mafia. (You know, just an ordinary day in space.) And while saying goodbye to characters is never easy, I think I gave the crew a proper sendoff with plenty of humor, heart, and action. I hope you love STARFALL as much as I do!

Haven’t read the first book? You’re in luck, because for a limited time, Starflight is on sale for 99 cents in all e-formats. Now you can binge read the entire duology in one sitting!

Praise for Starflight:

“Smart, action-packed and utterly addictive!” –New York Times bestselling author Amie Kaufman

“Starflight has the cinematic appeal, warp-speed action and unlikely heroes of Star Wars.” –Justine Magazine

“A lively tale of romance, space pirates, conspiracy, and made (as opposed to genetic) families.” –Booklist

“A great choice for fans of raw sci-fi action, reminiscent of the lawlessness presented in the television series Firefly.” –School Library Journal


If you love sci-fi adventure with a dash of romance, I hope you’ll pick up the Starflight duology today. Starflight and Starfall are both available in stores and online.


STARFLIGHT (book 1)

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2jmEOqA
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2kjs57n
Book Depository (free international shipping): http://bit.ly/1OoN2WD
Indie Bound: http://bit.ly/1IIMPx7

STARFALL (book 2)

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2jmNsW2
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2ddKuih
Book Depository: http://bit.ly/2k98EvN
Indie Bound: http://bit.ly/2dhMLry

To celebrate my book birthday, I’m offering one lucky winner a Starflight duology swag pack, complete with bookmarks and two signed mini posters! The giveaway is open internationally. Due to sweepstakes laws, entrants must be 18 years or older to participate.

Best of luck, and happy reading!

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Melissa Landers is a former teacher who left the classroom to pursue other worlds. A proud sci-fi geek, she isn’t afraid to wear her Princess Leia costume in public—just ask her husband and three kids. She lives outside Cincinnati in the small town of Loveland, “Sweetheart of Ohio.” For more information or just to say hello, visit www.melissa-landers.com.



Wednesday, 8 February 2017

I Kissed a Zombie, and I Liked It - Book Review


I Kissed a Zombie, and I Liked It
by Adam Selzer


What is it about:
Algonquin “Ali” Rhodes, the high school newspaper’s music critic, meets an intriguing singer, Doug, while reviewing a gig. He’s a weird-looking guy—goth, but he seems sincere about it, like maybe he was into it back before it was cool. She introduces herself after the set, asking if he lives in Cornersville, and he replies, in his slow, quiet murmur, “Well, I don’t really live there, exactly...”

When Ali and Doug start dating, Ali is falling so hard she doesn’t notice a few odd signs: he never changes clothes, his head is a funny shape, and he says practically nothing out loud. Finally Marie, the school paper’s fashion editor, points out the obvious: Doug isn’t just a really sincere goth. He’s a zombie. Horrified that her feelings could have allowed her to overlook such a flaw, Ali breaks up with Doug, but learns that zombies are awfully hard to get rid of—at the same time she learns that vampires, a group as tightly-knit as the mafia, don’t think much of music critics who make fun of vampires in reviews...


What did I think of it:
I'm usually not a fan of thinking zombies, but the title of this book was too good to not put it on my wishlist. I finally got my trotters on it when Melliane gifted it to me on my birthday.

And this is a cute and fun read.

There's instalove between Ali and Doug, but that didn't diminish my enjoyment. Ali is a snarky narrator and I very much enjoyed her view on everything that's happening. Her relationship with Doug takes a couple of turns I didn't see coming, and then there were the vampires spicing events up as well.

Doug as a thinking zombie works for this story, and I liked the background story Selzer came up with for zombies.

All in all this is a quick and fun read. I might have to investigate Selzer's other books.

Why should you read it:
It's a cute YA (thinking) Zombie read.


Buy from bookdepository

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Teaser Tuesdays - Bite Me, Your Grace


"But... you are a vampire," Angelica blurted out.
Good God, is this truly happening?

(page 83, Bite Me, Your Grace by Brooklyn Ann)

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!

Monday, 6 February 2017

The Infects - Book Review


The Infects
by Sean Beaudoin


What is it about:
Seventeen-year-old Nero is stuck in the wilderness with a bunch of other juvenile delinquents on an “Inward Trek.” As if that weren’t bad enough, his counselors have turned into flesh-eating maniacs overnight and are now chowing down on his fellow miscreants. As in any classic monster flick worth its salted popcorn, plentiful carnage sends survivors rabbiting into the woods while the mindless horde of “infects” shambles, moans, and drools behind. Of course, these kids have seen zombie movies. They generate “Zombie Rules” almost as quickly as cheeky remarks, but attitude alone can’t keep the biters back.

What did I think of it:
A very entertaining read.

There was less mayhem than I hoped for, but overall this is a cool read with lots of action. I really liked Nero and some of the other characters, although I would have liked to learn a bit more about both his younger sister and the girl he has a crush on.

That being said: once the zombies get going and the teens start running for their life I was focused on the action and didn't put the book down until I finished it.

Near the end the story derailed for me, taking a turn that didn't work for me, but that others might love. All in all an enjoyable read filled with action and some zombie mayhem.

Why should you read it:
It's a fun Zombie YA read.


Buy from bookdepository

Friday, 3 February 2017

The Accidental Werewolf - Book Review (repost)


The Accidental Werewolf (Accidentally Friends #1)
by Dakota Cassidy


What is it about:
When Marty Andrews gets bitten by a mangy mutt while walking her teacup poodle, her blond hair darkens, the hair on her legs starts growing at an alarming rate, and her mood swings put her dream job as a sales rep for Bobbie-Sue Cosmetics in serious jeopardy.

Then a drool-worthy man shows up at her door claiming that he accidentally bit Marty. And since he's a werewolf, she is now, too. Thinking Keegan Flaherty is clearly insane, Marty refuses to believe a word until a kidnapping makes her realize there's more at stake than just her highlights. And she must put her out-of-control life in the hands of the man who makes her blood run wild in more ways than one...


What did I think of it:
This is a nice read.

I did have some trouble with Marty at first. She can be quite irritating and it took me some time to get used to her. But once I got used to Marty and the way she narrates I actually started to enjoy her way of looking at things.

Both romance and story were nice, there were some surprises, but mostly it was easy to guess what was going on. It was the humor and snark that kept the story interesting.

So overall this was a nice and entertaining read. I might pick up other books by Cassidy when next I'm looking for something light and funny.

Why should you read it:
It's a snarky and funny Paranormal Romance.


Buy from bookdepository

Thursday, 2 February 2017

In McPig's TBR Pile - A Thousand Pieces of You

I decided to try something new:

Instead of looking at books I still want to get my trotters on, I'm going to post a book that's already in my TBR pile. This way I'm made aware of all the unread pearls I still have, and if you've read it, you can bug me to bump the book up on my TBR pile.


A Thousand Pieces of You (Firebird #1)
by Claudia Gray


Marguerite Caine's physicist parents are known for their groundbreaking achievements. Their most astonishing invention, called the Firebird, allows users to jump into multiple universes—and promises to revolutionize science forever. But then Marguerite's father is murdered, and the killer—her parent's handsome, enigmatic assistant Paul— escapes into another dimension before the law can touch him.

Marguerite refuses to let the man who destroyed her family go free. So she races after Paul through different universes, always leaping into another version of herself. But she also meets alternate versions of the people she knows—including Paul, whose life entangles with hers in increasingly familiar ways. Before long she begins to question Paul's guilt—as well as her own heart. And soon she discovers the truth behind her father's death is far more sinister than she expected.

A Thousand Pieces of You explores an amazingly intricate multi-universe where fate is unavoidable, the truth elusive, and love the greatest mystery of all.



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Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Plague Town - Book Review


Plague Town (Ashley Parker #1)
by Dana Fredsti


What is it about:
Ashley was just trying to get through a tough day when the world turned upside down.

A terrifying virus appears, quickly becoming a pandemic that leaves its victims, not dead, but far worse. Attacked by zombies, Ashley discovers that she is a 'Wild-Card' -- immune to the virus -- and she is recruited to fight back and try to control the outbreak.


What did I think of it:
This is a fun read with lots of zombie mayhem.

At times Ashley's sense of humor and her remarks grated on my nerves, but with all the zombies and other action I didn't grumble about her sense of humor too loudly. What bothered me more were the obvious stereotypes: pedantic lecturing vegan, hostile young woman should be a goth according to Ashley, stuff like that.

Grumbles about those things aside, this was a very enjoyable and fast read. There were some revelations that seemed obvious to me long before they were revealed, but that didn't diminish my enjoyment.

All in all a nice read if you're looking for snark and zombies. I might get my trotters on the next book some day.

Why should you read it:
It's an entertaining zombie read.


Buy from bookdepository