Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Shapeshifter's Secret by Heather Ostler

Cheyenne has an overprotective father who has been keeping her in the dark about who she really is and where she is from.  About the same time Caleb, a mysterious new student, starts at her high school, Cheyenne's dad, Lancer puts bars on her window.  Cheyenne has also been having a hard time controlling her anger and has a meltdown in front of her class.  After running out of school, she loses herself in a nearby park and faints.  Caleb is the last person she sees.  When she wakes up, Lancer, his best friend Liam, and Caleb sit her down and explain that she is a were-cat from the world of Ossai only reachable through hidden portals throughout our world.  Not only that but, Lancer is from a royal line of were-cats.  But their are many enemies who want Cheyenne dead as a way to gain ruling power in Ossai.  Because of this treat, Lancer has hidden Cheyenne in our world with only his trusted friends to help guard her.  But now that the evil Guild has found them, Lancer decides that it would be best to return to Ossai where the Soldier Union can help guard Cheyenne and she can study at a special school.  Cheyenne meets and begins to secretly date Terrance, a trusted captain in the Soldier Union.
The story is a great YA adventure and will be a great start to the series.  My only complaint was that the story didn't go the way I wanted to it to go in the romance department but I have hope for the future books.  Caleb and Cheyenne have chemistry and are meant to be.  For some reason, I never felt a connection to Terrance.  Terrance didn't feel genuine for me to the point that I kept thinking he would betray Cheyenne.  However, there is adventure and secrets that kept me reading.  I recommend this for a YA Paranormal and look forward to the upcoming books.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Taking Shots by Toni Aleo (Assassins 1)

There is something so sexy about a professional sports player.  Being a native Floridian, I am not a hockey fan. I know shameful, but that doesn't mean I can't enjoy a good romance.  Shea Adler is the captain of the fictional Nashville Assassins who is drawn to Elli Fisher, a photographer taking team shots.  The romance is slow building with real characters who I found to be easy identifable.  Shea is smoking hot and decisive about what he wants with the relationship.  There is nothing more sexy than a man who knows what he wants and goes after it.  Elli is shy and almost socially inept thanks to some horrific family relationships.  But I loved her, once all her secrets were revealed I wondered why she wasn't even more messed up.  Shea sees Elli as beautifully curvy and falls for her giving personality.  I loved that their relationship while having it's ups and downs didn't drag out the drama for the sake of story.  Some books seem to enjoy keeping the couple in constant turmoil and love that Shea and Elli developed a great healthy relationship.  I also loved that Shea saw through Elli's insecurities to love the real person underneath.  This is an excellent romance and I would recommend this everyone. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

On The Island by Tracy Garvis-Graves

A little bit of castaway blended with survivor, On The Island delivers adventure and sweet romance.  I shied away from this story at first because being a former teacher, the thought of a teacher in a romance with a much younger student is something that frankly turned me off.  However, the romance isn't immediate and builds slowly through extreme circumstances.  It truly isn't like the scandalous news stories.  The characters are real and although there is an age gap, Anna and TJ grow together over time.  Anna is at a completely different time in her life than TJ.  She has been with her boyfriend for years and takes this tutoring assignment for the summer as a way to distance herself from a man that just will not commit to her.  TJ has just survived cancer and is looking forward to actually getting on with living and being around his friends while not being sick.  After the place goes down, Anna and TJ struggle to survive through dehydration, storms, hunger, and loneliness.  Anna keeps a professional distance despite watching TJ growing into a man right before her eyes.  Their time on the island spans about three years.  The story continues as they struggle to adjust back into society and even their own families.  This story will grip you from the start and not let you go.  I laugh and cried right along with Anna and TJ.  This is one for my keeper shelf.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Barely Breathing (Breathe 2) by Rebecca Donovan

Barely Breathing is the follow up novel to Reason to Breathe.  After finishing the highly intense and emotional Reason to Breathe book, I was so glad there was going to be a follow up and was on pins and needles waiting for it.  Six months after surviving the horrible attempt on her life, Emma has recovered physically but contines to struggle emotionally.  Emma continues to shut things down and go through her life without really feeling.  Sara and Evan are still there for her and a big part of her recovery.  Evan is still the perfect supportive boyfriend who has helped her through her terrifying life.  Emma is living with Sara and Sara's Parents are her court appointed guardians now that everyone knows about the abuse she suffered at the hands of her aunt.  Her Aunt has been sent to prison for attempted murder and her Uncle has taken the younger kids with him to move to FL. 
Emma has decided early on that she needs to move into her Mom's house.  Her real Mom, Rachel, who left her with her abusive Aunt and Uncle because she was too distraught after Emma's father's death.  I think Emma is afraid to be a burden to Sara's parents.  She is having nightmares and knows she is messed up from it all.  She also trully wants to know her mother who seems to be more together.  Soon it is very evident that not only is her Mom still drinking but also dating around.  Her Mom begins a relationship with a much younger man named Jonathan.  Jonathan has survived abuse and has nightmares as well and bonds with Emma understanding her dark places more than Evan or Sara ever could.  Emma begins to rely on Jonathan in the middle of the night when she can't sleep.  I could see the train wreck coming with that one.  I loved Jonathan but his dark side can be scary and I could easily see him becomming an abuser.  Not to mention, Evan is so incredible that I want him and Emma to have their Happily Ever After.  Both of them deserve that. 
This book series is incredible.  Barely Breathing wasn't quite as emotional read as Reason to Breathe but still crawled under my skin to obsure my thinking throughout the day.  These characters become a part of you and draw you into their world and don't let go.  There will be one more book in this series and I can't wait to see what happens.  I want my HEA!!! :)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Born at Midnight by C. C. Hunter

The Shadow Falls series begins with Born at Midnight which follows Kylie Galen whose life is falling apart.  Her grandma just died, her parents are getting a divorce, and she gets arrested for being underage at party serving drugs and alcohol.  As a result of the arrest, her mom decides that to send her to a camp for troubled teens that her shrink recommended.  But as it turns out nothing is as it seems.  She finds out that she has special abilities and Shadow Falls is really a camp for Supernatural Teens.  Kylie is an anamoly, not fitting into any group at the camp.  She can talk to ghosts and has night visions of them.  She has to learn to deal with a witch and vampire for roommates and learning about other supernatural cultures. 
I am a sucker for supernatural schools and loved the story but sometimes Kylie seemed to all over the place emotionally.  But because of all the revelations in her life, I can understand it.  The only reason I gave this 4 instead of 5 stars was I really wish some of the mysteries could have been cleared up somewhat.  The quest to find out what Kylie is drags out along with the romance between her and Derek.  Lucas, who is much more sexy, is missing for much of the story so he really doesn't seem like he should be as big of a factor.  I will continue reading this series and encourage anyone who likes supernatural YA to do the same.