Tuesday, August 11, 2015

SOUL OF SMOKE by Caitlyn McFarland

On a hike deep in the Rocky Mountains, Kai Monahan watches as a dozen dragons—actual freaking dragons—battle beneath a fat white moon. When one crashes nearly dead at her feet and transforms into a man, Kai does the only thing a decent person could: she grabs the nearest sword and saves his life.

As the dragon/man, Rhys, recovers from the attack, a chance brush of skin against skin binds him inextricably to Kai. Becoming heartsworn to a human—especially such a compelling one—is the last thing Rhys wants. But with an ancient enemy gathering to pit dragons against humanity and his strength nearly depleted, Kai has just become the one thing Rhys needs. A complete bond will give him the strength to fight; a denied bond means certain death.

Kai is terrified at the thought of allowing any dragon into her mind…or her heart. Accepting the heartswearing and staying with the dragons means sacrificing everything, and Kai must decide if her freedom is worth risking Rhys's life—a life more crucial to the fate of humanity than she could possibly know.
 


I really enjoyed this book and had a hard time putting it down. I even had to resist the urge to read it during church. LOL
Kai is independant, strong and driven. She knows the outdoors and how to survive. The book starts out with Kai and her roommates hiking a mountain when they find an injured woman. Kai stays with the woman while the roommates go for help. When the woman awakes, she becomes hysterical about helping her brother. 
What Kai doesn't know is that the person she is helping, and the brother, are not from Kai's world, kind of. 

Enter dragons! I loved the way Caitlyn wrote the dragons; the descriptions, the personalities, the countries they came from. It was awesome. 
Caitlyn's writing kept me intrigued and in the story. The romance, the fighting, the story, the twists and turns, all of it kept me reading. I can't wait to read the next book. 

I would recommend this book to older teen readers and up. While there is no graphic scenes, it does have a lot of sexual tension, but it's clean. Kai likes "hell" and uses it quite a bit. 

Ratings:
V: fighting among dragons
L: Some
S: No, but lots of tension

5 Stars


I received this read for an honest review.







Monday, July 20, 2015

FIRES OF INVENTION by J. Scott Savage

Trenton Colman is a creative thirteen-year-old boy with a knack for all things mechanical. But his talents are viewed with suspicion in Cove, a steam-powered city built inside a mountain. In Cove, creativity is a crime and “invention” is a curse word.

Kallista Babbage is a repair technician and daughter of the notorious Leo Babbage, whose father died in an explosion—an event the leaders of Cove point to as an example of the danger of creativity.

Working together, Trenton and Kallista learn that Leo Babbage was developing a secret project before he perished. Following clues he left behind, they begin to assemble a strange machine that is unlikely anything they’ve ever seen before. They soon discover that what they are building may threaten every truth their city is founded on—and quite possibly their very lives.


Ok. I already love Savage's storytelling so I may be biased...BUT this was another great read from this awesomesauce author.
I loved the world, the creativity and inventions but "creativity" is a naughty word and inventing is against the law. The world is totally opposite of SKY JUMPERS by Peggy Eddleman, where inventing is honored and if you can't invent, you're an outcast.
Good word-building, deep characterization, and great villains, as well as twists and turns and... can't tell ya. You'll have to read it to find out!

Good, clean book, perfect for a summer read! I'm going to buy one for my son.

V: a couple of scenes, not graphic
L: no
S: no. Well, maybe cheek kiss

4 STARS

Thanks netgalley for the read!

Monday, July 6, 2015

LORD FENTON'S FOLLY by Josi S. Killpack

Lord Fenton is a gambler, a dandy, and a flirt—and he must marry or else he will be disinherited, stripped of his wealth and his position. He chooses Alice Stanbridge for two simple reasons: he once knew her as a young girl, and she is the least objectionable option available to him.

However, Alice has harbored feelings for Fenton since their first meeting ten years ago, and she believes his proposal is real. When she discovers it is not, she is embarrassed and hurt. However, a match with the most-eligible bachelor in London would secure not only her future but that of her family as well.

Determined to protect herself from making a fool of herself a second time, Alice matches Lord Fenton wit for wit and insult for insult as they move toward a marriage of convenience that is anything but a happy union. Only when faced with family secrets that have shaped Fenton’s life does he let down his guard enough to find room in his heart for Alice. But can Alice risk her heart a second time?


Ah! Regency Romance! And just in time to read this book on the beach. 
I've enjoyed Josi Killpack's books in the past and this one does not disappoint. Lord Fenton needs to marry or be disinherited. Alice has had a crush on him since they were young, so she's ecstatic when he asks her to be his wife. Until she finds out it is a marriage of convenience.

A good, clean book full of wit, humor, twists and romance.


Thanks netgalley for the read!!


Monday, June 22, 2015

RISING STRONG by Brene Brown

The physics of vulnerability is simple: If we are brave enough often enough, we will fall. The author of the #1 New York Times bestsellersDaring Greatly and The Gifts of Imperfection tells us what it takes to get back up, and how owning our stories of disappointment, failure, and heartbreak gives us the power to write a daring new ending. Struggle, BrenĂ© Brown writes, can be our greatest call to courage, and rising strong our clearest path to deeper meaning, wisdom, and hope.


When I read a self-help book, I realize not all of it will apply to me or I will take what I need at that moment. This book is no different BUT I took a lot of notes. It was intriguing and interesting. The book is full of stories to help the reader see the point Brene is trying to make. 
I used some of her ideas the next day and honestly felt better about my day and communication with the people around me. I grew up in a home that did not deal with emotions nor did we talk about hard things at all. Now I'm married, I need to be able to understand my emotions that I tend to keep buried and "safe" and I need to communicate better with my husband and children. I would recommend this book just for the help of thinking in a different way. 

4 1/2 STARS

Thanks netgalley for the read!!

Monday, June 8, 2015

THE THING ABOUT JELLYFISH by Ali Benjamin

After her best friend dies in a drowning accident, Suzy is convinced that the true cause of the tragedy was a rare jellyfish sting. Retreating into a silent world of imagination, she crafts a plan to prove her theory--even if it means traveling the globe, alone. Suzy's achingly heartfelt journey explores life, death, the astonishing wonder of the universe...and the potential for love and hope right next door.

I loved reading this book! Different chapters, different point of view, science, jellyfish, middle school ugliness, friends, lack of friends, unexpected friends, and trying to find peace with death, all wrapped up in an intriguing and moving story.

A good, clean read for any age, especially sixth grade and up. (A gay brother but it's very subtle.)

V: No
L: No
S: No

4 STARS
(4 stars because I skimmed a lot of the facts about jellyfish, but I know other readers will love it!).

Thanks, Netgalley for the read!!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

A TImeless Romance Anthology: California Dreamin' Collection

Amazon #1 Bestselling series in *New Release* for Clean Romance ~ Know why it's #1? Because every single story is awesome. Seriously. I loved every story. 
These novellas come out just in time for summer reading. 

Six brand new contemporary romance novellas with bestselling and award winning authors.

In the sweet novella TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE by Heather B. Moore, Gwen uses her wedding photography business to keep her life simple and focus on something other than her own broken heart. When Jack, a guy too handsome for his own good, helps her clean up after a photoshoot, then asks her out, she doesn’t know if she can handle dating again. But Jack’s charm wins her over, and she agrees to meet him for dinner. The more she gets to know Jack, the more she likes him, but everything about him seems too good to be true. 

GONE FISHING, a charming novella by Kaylee Baldwin, follows Claire as she tries to convince her dad to leave his start-up company as a boat guide and come back home to Colorado. He’s the only one who can defend Claire against her domineering mother. But when she arrives at the San Diego harbor, she’s met with more than one surprise. First, that her dad is truly living his dream and has never been happier, and second, she’s unexpectedly attracted to his business partner, Miguel.

In THE PIER CHANGES EVERYTHING, an enchanting novella by Annette Lyon, Alexandria has one last task to perform for her late husband, who died much too young: scatter his ashes in the Pacific Ocean. She goes to the Santa Monica Pier to do just that, but her plans get sidetracked after meeting Michael and feeling an immediate connection to him. They grab lunch, and the more time they spend together, the more they discover that they have in common—including past romantic hardships. As the day wears on, Alexandria begins learn that her heart just might be able to find love again.

In Jennifer Moore’s captivating novella A HERO’S SONG, AnneMarie’s career as a romance novelist is skyrocketing and her agent books her on a late night talk show. The host gets her to admit that she was in love once, with a guitar player. Moments after her segment, Lance Holden appears on the same stage, to perform his newest song. Is it a terrible coincidence? AnneMarie hasn’t seen Lance ever since he broke her heart ten years ago, and she has refused to think about him again. Their lives are worlds apart, but as Lance tries to reconcile with AnneMarie, she finds herself taking a second chance. 

In STAY WITH ME, an endearing novella by Shannon Guymon, Jolie moves to L.A. to take on a nanny position for the summer, since apparently having a degree in art doesn’t translate to getting a job as a graphic designer. When Fitz, the family’s chauffeur, picks her up at the airport, she wonders if every man in LA is model-gorgeous. When Jolie meets her two charges, she finds them adorable and needy. But it’s harder to hold onto her job than she thought with a hostile Mrs. James and her spoiled brother. Fitz becomes both the silver lining of her job and the man who just might convince her to stay in L.A.

In the delightful novella, A PLACE TO CALL HOME, by Sarah M. Eden, Ada is the best realtor around. The best. She prides herself in matching each client with the house that will fit all of their needs. She hasn’t failed yet. So when Craig hires her to find him the perfect condo for him and his son, Ada is up for the challenge. What she may not be prepared for is her unforeseen attraction to Craig, her immediate attachment to his nine-year-old son, and her heart telling her that it’s okay to take another chance.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

THE FIRE SERMON by Francesca Haig

When Zach and I were born our parents must have counted and recounted: limbs, fingers, toes. We were perfect. They would have been disbelieving: nobody dodged the split between Alpha and Omega.
Nobody.

They were born together and they will die together.

One strong Alpha twin and one mutated Omega; the only thing they share is the moment of their death.

The Omegas live in segregation, cast out by their families as soon as their mutation becomes clear. Forced to live apart, they are ruthlessly oppressed by their Alpha counterparts.

The Alphas are the elite. Once their weaker twin has been cast aside, they're free to live in privilege and safety, their Omega twin far from their thoughts.

Cass and Zach are both perfect on the outside: no missing limbs, no visible Omega mutation. But Cass has a secret: one that Zach will stop at nothing to expose.

The potential to change the world lies in both their hands. One will have to defeat the other to see their vision of the future come to pass, but if they're not careful both will die in the struggle for power.


After a catastrophic blast to the Earth, all pregnancies resulted in twins; boy and girl, Alpha and Omega, one strong, one weak, one born perfect the other with a weakness or deformity. The Alphas run the government, which is a bloody mess. The Omegas have been banned from society and live in the outskirts and are treated as parasites. And here is an interesting twist: if one twin is sick or dies, the same thing happens to the other twin. So the Alphas can't get rid of the Omegas. 
A few of the Omegas are seers, which no one trusts, and that is the case with the main character, Cass. She believes the two worlds can live together in peace. But what can she do about it?
The world building was well done as were the characters. Sometimes Cass came off as a bit "poor me! I'm nothing" person and I wanted to see more of her taking charge. There were a few good twists and I only guessed one of them, well, part of one. :) 
I found myself thinking about the story and then telling my own boy/girl twins about the plot. 
This was a good, clean, intriguing story!

Thanks to netgalley for the read