Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Prince of Wolves by Quinn Loftis

Prince of Wolves is about soulmates and fated love.  If you happen to be a hopeless romantic who loves the idea of finding your one and true mate, then this is the book for you.  This is actually a large ebook being 1000+ pages on Nook but I was so invested in the story and characters that I read it in a day and a half.  Jaque is a girl in a small town that is spying on the new foreign exchange student that is moving in across the street.  As soon as he arrives, Fane is immediately drawn to Jaque and can send thoughts to her.  Jaque actually thinks she is having a mental breakdown but soon recongnizes the mental voice as Fane's.  Fane is a foreign exchange student from Romania where he is next in line to be Alpha of the biggest pack of Grey werewolves in the world.  He is drawn inexplicably to the small town and finds Jaque his one true mate. 
Ms. Loftis has a great new voice in writing paranormal romance.  I loved the interaction between Jaque and her two BFF's, Sally and Jen.  The quips fly as well as the sarcastic wit.  I laughed outloud several times at Jen and Jaque's outrageous personalities.  I loved the fact that Jaque didn't swoon and just bend to the fate that was handed to her.  Jaque is a spitfire and enjoys putting Fane in his place.  Fane loves Jaque's spunk and the fact that she isn't afraid to speak her mind.  The chemistry is awesome. 
Fane was very careful when he choose his exhange town so that he wouldn't encroach on another pack's territory but apparently there is an unregistered grey pack in town.  Since the ratio of Alpha Females is 1 to 30, Lucas, the local Alpha is trying to claim Jaque for himself.  Lucas challenges Fane in a fight to the death.  The action is great and the emotional turmoil for Jaque is easily identifiable to the reader.  This book had the same feel of "Jessica guide to dating the dark side" being that Lucias and Fane are both princes from Romainia and come to find their soulmates.  But Prince of Wolves develops a quicker romantic tie between Fane and Jaque because they are able to share thoughts and are immediately attracted to each other.  I loved this book and consider it a great independent find.  I am hoping for a follow up that includes the bonding ceremony and Jaque's life in Romania. 

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Uprising by Shelly Crane

Uprising continues with Shelly and Merrick's love story that began in the apocolypic Collide.  The chemistry is explosive and draws the reader into the relationships that build among the rebels.  This book opens as the resistance has built an expanding underground bunker under a convenience store.  It is the perfect hideout outside of town and provides much needed shelter for the group.  Throughout the book, the group continues to grow in numbers as they seek out other Keepers and Specials who need shelter.  Sherry has taken a caregiver role by cooking and mothering the group.  Merrick and Jeff are looked to as the leaders and protectors of the ragtag family.
Relationships are what really make this book shine.  Sherry and Merrick continue their wonderful love affair and are the glue that binds the group together. Lines between Specials, Keepers, Lighters, Enforcers, and Regular People blend and flow naturally as wonderful new relationships blossom and grow.  This book will make the reader question the definitions that we put on people in our lives and how that affects your relationships.  The labels for people in our lives are nothing compared to love.  There are many suspenseful scene of action, resistance fighting and rescue also that round out this story.  Again, Ms. Crane delivers a great tale of love and relationships set in a world of paranormal creatures from another place.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Collide by Shelly Crane

Collide is one of those books that takes you on a wonderful journey.  There is so much to this book that I don't know how to do it justice.  Collide is a apocolyptic book that weaves a story that tests courage and family.  Sherry has always felt there was something more and someone watching over her.  When the Moon disappears from the night sky, strange things come to earth.  People start to disappear only to return later acting differently.  Danny, her little brother has had to move in and sleep on her couch since her hippie parents have packed up to stand with others to welcome the aliens to our planet.  Sherry also has to dodge her abusive, egotistical ex-boyfriend Matt.  Matt has been coming by drunk and pounding down her door until she is afraid to death of him.
Sherry's journey begins as a normal day when she is confronted by Matt on her way home in the parking lot of her apartment.  Except Matt says he isn't Matt but a Keeper and she and Danny need to come with him right away if they want to live.  Sherry thinks that not only is Matt abusive but he has gone crazy.  So Matt drugs her with a special drug that keeps her aware but unable to move or communicate.  Matt puts her in the car and then she hears him return with Danny.  Matt drives them to an underground bunker where she wakes to him in room without Danny.  Matt tells her that his name is really Merrick and he is a Keeper sent to watch over Danny because he is a Special and must be saved so that he can complete his a task for the good of the human race.  Sherry believes him because his mannerisms and eye color have changed.  None of Matt's swagger or cockiness are present in Merrick.  Together they convince Danny of Merrick's change.  Merrick also tells Sherry and Danny that Lighters have come to take over the earth and they are responsible for the disappearance of the moon.  However, Lighters are using complusion through the news to blame Keepers as a means to track down Specials and kill them.  If the Lighters manage to kill Specials, they will be able to take over the earth because society will no longer advance and they will be in control.  They will use fear to rule.
A ragtag bunch of Specials and Keepers soon assembles in the underground bunker.  Sherry notices that Merrick is very uncomfortable with her and misinterpets this as dislike.  Sherry and Merrick are drawn to each other but Keepers are only supposed to be here for a short period of time and are more pure than humans.  Merrick is sure that someone as good as Sherry couldn't love anyone like him who isn't even human.  Sherry doesn't care that Merrick isn't human but enjoys the way he is always there for her and knows everything about her.  Merrick and Sherry's love story is epic and draws the reader into the book.  Love manages to win even at the end of the world.
I highly recommend this for anyone who enjoys romance with dystopian or paranormal twists.  The Action is really good as the group has to run from Lighters and Markers.  Warning you will want to read the next book Uprising almost immediately.  I believe Ms. Crane is an author to watch and feel so "special" to have discovered her talent so early in what will surely be a long career.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Significance by Shelly Crane

Significance is the perfect paranormal romance.  The chemistry and descriptions are create a beautiful love story between Maggie and Caleb.  Maggie has been having a really sucky life.  Her mother abandoned her family but not before she took all their money with her.  Her Dad is practically catatonic and she had to start working to help pay for things around the house.  Her academic year is shot and she isn't sure she could get into a good college if she tried.  Maggie used to have friends but has pulled away from them because of her family troubles.  She has been hiding her life from everyone.  Her High School sweetheart Chad, breaks up with her three days after her Mom leaves with everything.  She is devastated and withdrawals from everything she has known. 
Significance begins at Maggie's graduation where she is sitting among her peers but still just going through the motions.  Kyle turns around and asks her to hang out and for some reason after turning him down several times over the past year, Maggie says Yes.  After graduation, Maggie's Dad behaves like a complete jerk and she ends up just escaping out of her house for a walk.  As she begins to walk around she is waiting to cross the road when she notices a cute tan guy with headphones in his ears.  She ends up saving him from being run over by jerking back from the curb at the last minute.  She feels attracted to him from the start but finds out he is Kyle's cousin Caleb who is actually in town celebrating Kyle's graduation.  They walk to Kyle's together.  Kyle isn't thrilled when he sees them together thinking Caleb is encroching his girl.  Just as Maggie goes to leave on her date with Kyle, she shakes Caleb's hand and then the magic starts.  She starts to change and she and Caleb imprint with each which means they are soulmates. 
Maggie finds herself the center of a large paranormal family with amazing abilities and the perfect guy in Caleb.  This book is pure magic and romance.  Many times I read a book and feel like the just as the couple gets together it ends and you miss all the good stuff.  Well, Significance is all "good stuff"!  Caleb is sweet, protective, and HOT!  I would bet Caleb could beat Edward and Jacob in a best boyfriend contest hands down.  Although they are dependent on each other, I feel this just adds to the mystical connection between them.  Maggie and Caleb compliment each other as so many of the significants do in the story.  Significance is not all romance but has some rival clans, a kidnapping and soulmate withdrawals that Maggie and Caleb must get through. 
I hope that more people will read this 5-star romance.  I would recommend this for YA Romance lovers who like paranormal.  I will definitely be picking up Ms. Crane's other books and cannot wait for Accordance to continue Maggie and Caleb's story.  For me this book was better than Twilight which I read over and over.  I am sure this is the first of many readings for signifance that are in my future!

Love Story by Jennifer Echols

Jennifer Echols is one of my favorite romance writers.  Love Story is a story of a girl and guy who in the past have both pined for each other but several incidents of life have gotten in the way.  Erin is somewhat of a Stable Heiress who has gone her own way and is trying to make it through college without any help from her estranged Grandmother.  Hunter is the stable boy who sets to inherit her birthrite because he wants to study business and Erin wants to be a writer.  Hunter shows up in Erin's creative writing class just as they are sharing a story about him the Stable Boy.  She is embarassed and doesn't know what to do.  Hunter and Erin then begin to trade story through class both writing memories or stories to get their point across.  Everyone around them can see the love they clearly have for each other.  The biggest question is whether life will continue keep them apart or if they will get over all the obstacles. 
This isn't my favorite from Echols but it is still a good read.  I was thrown because it starts by reading Erin's Stable boy story which is set in the Victorian age.  At first I thought there was a problem with my edition!  But if you hang on there really is a good reason that the papers are included in the book.  They are a metaphorical dialogue between Erin and Hunter.  Hunter is really good a pushing Erin's buttons to get her to react.  Erin often misconstues what he is saying.  Echols characters always wrap me up in their termoil and romance.  I can't really put my finger on why.  He guys are always sweet yet very attractive without being push overs.  I always know I am getting ready for an awesome romance if Jennifer Echols is on the cover!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Overprotected by Jennifer Laurens

Overprotected was a quick read about a rich New York Socialite, Ashlyn Adair who was kidnapped by her nanny at the age of 5.  As a result, Ashlyn's Dad is completely obsessed with her safety to the point of hiring bodyguards, security system, and screening her friends.  She is only allowed to have one friend that he approves of and cannot go out of the house without her bodyguard or her Dad with her.  At the beginning of the story she is creeped out by her bodyguard,Stuart who has fallen in love with her.  She gets her Dad to fire him.  Her Dad then finds Colin, an old family friend who teased Ashlyn mercilessly as a kid to take the job.  Colin moves in and Ashlyn at first hates him but is also fascinated by the man he has become.  I really enjoyed the chemistry between Ashlyn and Colin.  This is a very interesting read that played like a movie in my head.  Ashlyn's home is cold and very abnormal to the point of Daddy dearest.  The irony is that in the end Ashlyn is kidnapped and the only people who ever threatened her were people her father hired. 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

A Beautiful Dark by Jocelyn Davies

A Beautiful Dark drew me in with it's storyline right from the start.  The beginning was similar to other paranormal reads:  mysterious new guys, girl with tragedy.  Part of the fun was trying to piece together the way Skye, Devin, and Asher fit together.  About half way through the book, you begin to understand who and what Asher and Devin stand for.  I found this a really interesting take on this mythology.  The dilema Skye finds herself struggling with is what really what attracted me to the story.  "On one level, that was totally true.  I was torn, trying to choose between two things: Asher or Devin, The Order or the Rebellion, Self-preservation or heartbreak.  Control--or finally letting go"  This quote perfectly describes the conflict that Skye feels.  Most of time is trying to piece together who is good for Skye.  I found myself questioning things I always thought about light and dark.  In other words, this book made me think. 
The second half of the book is faster paced with more action and twists coming that I really didn't forsee.  The only reason I didn't give this a full 5 stars was because of the abrupt cliffhanger!  It is really a good one which can be frustrating for someone impatient for a nice ending like me.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Fate Fixed: An Erris Coven Novel by Bonnie Erinna Wheeler

Fate Fixed opens as Lexie is moving to a small town in Maine with her new blended family.  Lexie's real father died about a year ago in a car crash where she was driving.  Since then, she has been drowning in guilt and trying to break through her little sister's anger.  Her Mom, Ruby has remarried after falling in love with a Romanian immigrant through eHarmony.  Dragos has 3 sons: Maxim, Alix, and Nikolai.  The move is a big change and Lexie is trying to get used to her new brothers.  Lexie's family is at best creepy and unusual.  The mystery around her family continues to build until the action explodes.  Ms. Wheeler does an excellent job at building the mystery and creepiness of Maxim.  Alix is social and friendly building a comradere with Lexie.  Both brothers seem to be at times too posessive and attracted to Lexie.  Shortly after the move, Lexie's Mom begins to change and has mood swings that are unlike herself.  She turns off Lexie's phone and internet which further creates a isolated strangeness about her new family.
Torin is a mystery that I don't want to give too much away about because that is part of the fun. There are four fine cousins with Torin being one, Teagan, Cian, and Braden rounding out the group.  Braden has completed the change and is the "older brother" personality of the bunch.  Teagan is the ladies man, Cian the devoted boyfriend and Torin the brooding and tortured soul over what he will become.  When Lexie the girl of his dreams, turns up in Erris, he immediately knows she is his other half.  But before Lexie and Torin can get too comfortable, there are animals being slain and gruesome finds in the woods surrounding the town.  The cousins are trying to piece together the mysterious slayings before they get exposed or someone gets hurt.  Torin and Lexie must fight to put together the mystery before it rips them apart or kills those they love most.  This isn't your usual teen paranormal romance where everyone is "good" deep down.  In this world, monsters do exsist.

Reading the summary for Fate Fixed intriqued me so much that I downloaded it from smashwords for my Nook and began reading it almost immediately.  The story is told from different points of view- Mostly Lexie and Torin but also a mysterious wolf.  The story starts slow and really takes some time to build.  This is the first in a series so much of the first half is world and character building.  I'll admit that I am a romantic sucker for the whole fated love thing which is why I wanted to read this in the first place.  But Torin and Lexie seem to connect instantly but it didn't feel forced to me.  The connection and romance is beautifully written on a soul level.  It was like a beautiful symphony coloring the air.  What really makes this book unique is the action that starts about two-thirds and doesn't stop.  Secrets are exposed with some unique twists that I think will take most readers by surprise. I wouldn't recommend this book for younger teens as there are some mature graphic killings.  I fully enjoyed this and read it in about a day.  I love indie authors some of the best reads I have read lately have been indie.  The next book is coming out in Fall 2011 so hopefully it won't be a long wait!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sirensong by Jenna Black (Faeriewalker 3)

Sirensong begins a fitting ending for the Faeriewalker Series.  Dana has been invited to be presented in the Seelie Court to Queen Tatianna.  Of course this means leaving her safe house in Avalon and traveling through Faerie to the Sunne Palace.  Dana's Dad is convinced that they cannot refuse and must travel with Prince Henry's entourage back to the palace.  Dana convinces her Dad to allow her to bring her psuedo-boyfriend Ethan and her BFF Kimber along with her bodyguards Finn and Keane.  However, Ethan and Keane both have feelings for Dana and old gudges so the journey promises to be anything but boring.  Dana is holding secrets that not only unravel over the course of the journey but threaten her friendships. 
Through the journey to the palace,  the party is attacked by Bogles which most certainly would have to been sent on purpose.  Dana's horse is also bespelled to run off and without her secret spell and the help of the Erlking, she most likely be dead.  Once at the palace, Dana is framed by someone for an attempt on Tatianna'a Granddaughter.  After barely escaping the palace, Ethan, Dana, Kimber, and Keane are on the run literally through the dangerous forests of Faery.  The action is good and spiced with enough romance to make it fun. 
Dana's impossible situation with the Erlking does get resolved. But I don't want to give away how. I confess I secretly like Keane.  I don't know if it was the bad boy defiance thing or the fact that he could and would kick your A$$ but I always was rooting for him.  I finally came around to Ethan but Keane was always there.  Overall, I was really happy with the ending and really enjoyed this series.  I would recommend it for fans of faerie books.