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Thursday, January 30, 2014

February 2014 Goals

After my successful challenge of January I'm heading to February's goals!

Deeper ★★★★★ 
By Robin York
WOW! I've been waiting FOREVER for this one. Robin York aka Ruthie Knox is probably one of my favorite writers so for me every new release by her is a MUST and also an ASAP read :) It talks about a subject that (sadly) have been dominating our world - revenge porn. 

Happily Ever After (Night Huntress World #1.5) ★★★★★ 
By Jeaniene Frost
Since the 7th and last book in the Night Huntress series is out (for the past 2 days! YAY!) I have a few short novellas in the series I want to read before "Up from the Grave", I want to remind myself of past events and also have a nice closer, though Jeaniene said she will be writing at least one book in the Night Huntress World (side) series. This has been one of my favorite PNR series. I LOVE vampires PNR though I know it's sometimes considered Urban Fantasy, whatever works for you - It's great, it's funny and fun. All characters are great so all is left to do is delve into the last one and shed the tears for losing such a great series (yeah, I know Jeaniene said it's "time" for her to finish her tale of cat and bones and I do appreciate it, doesn't mean I won't miss it..)

All the Pretty Lies ★★★★
By M. Leighton
A new New Adult series, was recommended to me by a friend. 

Hopeless (Hopeless #1) ★★★★★ 
Losing Hope (Hopeless #2) ★★★★★ 
By Colleen Hoover
Yeah, I know, I had my problems with the Slammed series, but I want to give this one a go since I got good recommendations about it as well so I gotta check it out for myself. No real harm even if I don't like it, right? and I might do! so I'm all for second chances :)

by Christina Lee
The second book in the series, first one, and also Christina debut novel - All of You - took my breath and heart away.. Will be released on the 18th of February - which means as soon as it's out it will be mine, MINE!  

By Kresley Cole
First book (actually a novella) in the Immortals After Dark series, after reading Lords of the Underworld makes sense reading this one as well :) I have all of next month planned to (almost) finishing the series. This one is a PNR and as I've read it has a lot of different kinds of paranormal creatures (not just vamps, weres etc). 

Looking again at my list I see most books here are New Adult, except for a dab of PNR. well, I can always add a little MM by SE Jakes :)

January 2014 Recap

It's been less then a year since I started monitoring what I read and organizing my books and writing reviews. Can't believe how I enjoy doing that for myself, and how fun it is to re-read a review I wrote about a book reminding myself how I felt about it. Too bad the first couple of reviews I did aren't as good as the ones I'm writing now. I guess it takes time to build a format that "works" thinking about what to write what, what not to write and how to express what I felt about the book - good and bad. 

As 2013 was ending and I was thinking about organizing my "to read" list I saw that I have about 140 books which to me was a HUGE number. I never used to think "that far" at what I wanted to read, when I finished something I would look for something else but with these sites you get recommendations for so many books it's hard to follow! and it's fun this way! I have so many things I look forward to! 

So I started by organizing the books I have to read by month and genre. trying to put a variety of genres but not mixing too many confusing things together (like few PNR series in one month). Also don't want to have an "over dose" of anything so variety is good, yeah :) (unless I'm consuming a whole series.. in that case I'll handle the "over dose" :)).

Last month have been the first trial, I wrote "January 2014 Goal" post and added there my goal and as I read them I added for each it's individual review. 

Revisiting this post I though it would be nice to do a recap of January and what my favorite book and author, discovery but also my least favorite book..  here goes!

Author of the Month: (Celtic Moon) Jan DeLima
This is Jan's debut novel and I must say I'm impressed!!! WOW! amazing PNR book. Has everything I enjoy reading in a PNR - a well written world, not too confusing with too many details and characters as it sometimes happens, a well explained world and rules, great heroes, I loved that both of them aren't kids or teenagers but grown-ups. They actually know each other, they both fucked-up their relationship and now they are building it together again. It was original - never read a PNR with a son involved, and a teenager - the son of the main characters. I loved how the story concluded, left me with a taste for more but without a cliff hanger (I hate when they do that! brrrrr). Great writing. All in all a highly recommended book and a surely interesting world and series to get sucked into :) 
Favorite Book of the MonthDon't Make Me Beautiful by Elle Casey
This is the first I read by Elle Casey, I got a great recommendation for her books and this one specifically. The subject of this book isn't easy to read - a woman who has been locked up and tortured mind and body for 3 years until, by chance, her neighbor rescued her). What I loved about this book that it wasn't focused on all the wrongs - all the terrible things that happened to Nicole but about the healing process and how with the help of Brian, his family and friends Nicole learned to put the past behind her and built herself a future she can live in, really live in, see that she deserves to have a happy life. I recommend this book to right about anyone, in my eyes it shows that with the right help we can overcome so much, it remind us how important is to listen to our hearts and what we desire and not to forget to whoever we are, we deserve to be happy. 

Disappointment of the Month: Point of Retreat by Colleen Hoover
I feel SO bad listing a book in this section but I really feel like I should.. if you've read a few of my reviews I guess you know I don't appreciate Young Adult novels and the reason for it is I can't stand the immaturity of the characters.. This book and well, the whole Slammed series has been HIGHLY recommended and I since I thought it's a New Adult series I had high hopes. This first book was good, I really enjoyed it, but this one and the one after was a disappointment due to the characters' behavior. There was nothing "wrong" with the book, it's just exactly what I'm NOT into. So though for me it has been a disappointment I see how someone liking YA novels will love it! - The writing is good and fluent, you want to follow the characters and can really feel them and what they are dealing with. 

Discovery of the Month: Hell or High Water Series by SE Jakes
I've been looking for good MM Romance books, this is a new genre for me, and I'm really liking it, it's different in ways I really enjoy while having the elements I enjoy in "regular" romance novels. It's funny that actually before 2013 I rarely read Romance novels unless they were part of a paranormal world so actually the contemporary romance genre is also quite new hehe. This series reminds me of Cut & Run THE series that introduced me to the MM Romance genre. I LOVE Ty and Zane so meeting Tom and Prophet was exactly what I was missing lately. I love the writing, the action, the characters and how they struggle with who they are and how to lower their guard for each other. I love that it's slow burn until we get to the HEA (though it did annoy me in some parts) for me it feels much more realistic. Looking forward to the next ones in the series! (and the ones outside it..).

So that's my January Recap. 
Hope you enjoyed :)
I'll be adding my February challenge soon! 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Long Time Gone (Hell or High Water #2) by SE Jakes

This is the second book of the Hell or High Water series though I have NO idea why it's called that way :) I breezed this one in two days and really enjoyed the ride though I must say that the both of them annoyed me WAY too many times with not being able to actually talk to each other - not about their feelings for each other GOD FORBID - but about what happened to them, their past.. Really enjoyed the ending and how it put everything together.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Catch a Ghost (Hell or High Water #1) by SE Jakes

This is my first book by SE Jakes, got my recommendation to her books through a "Cut & Run" forum. I liked the book quite a lot, but I'm giving it 4 stars for the same reason I gave the first book in the PNR series Midnight Breed 4 starts - it's not that the story, character and writing wasn't "good enough" it's just that it was too similar to something else I've read.. In the Midnight Breed series I meant resembling the Black Dagger Brotherhood and in this case - too similar to Cut & Run series by Abigail Roux.

Yeah, I got the recommendation from people who enjoy Ty and Zane so it's not surprise they love this one as well. and as I said, it's good, the characters are interesting and secretive enough to keep us on our toes BUT there are too many similarities even in the characters themselves - Ty to Prophet and Zane to Tom. There were also similarities in the plot, not in what happened in the book, but the way they came to together and what made them come together.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Celtic Moon (Celtic Wolves #1) [Dylan & Sophie] by Jan DeLima

There are NO words. Really. NO WORDS. This is one of the best PNR I have ever read. Especially for being the first in a series where a new world is introduced. My "go to" PNR are ones with Vampires, somehow it also means that in the "endless battle between Weres and Vamps" I will always choose the night walkers.. I don't know if it's because of that, but I was never interested in shifters and were wolves in the past, not as the main paranormal theme but this one came HIGHLY recommended so I did my "due" and added it to my never ending list to read, I must say, with all the PNR series I have on my list I found it hard to find the right time to read this one. For me reading too many PNR series in a row (without other elements or genres) can be a little confusing.. Especially when there are elements that are very similar in those series. So happy I delve into it now before the next one in line (Immortals After Dark btw..) This one is different. SO different. 

Saturday, January 25, 2014

This Girl (Slammed #3) by Colleen Hoover

This is the third and last book in the Slammed series. As the previous one it is in Will's point of view, but it's actually a back and forth between past and present. Present being him and Layken in their Honeymoon and past when he tells what happens in the first book from his point of view, including things we were not aware of (conversations he has with Julia and his friendship with Gavin). It was nice getting to hear things from his perspective understanding why he acted the way he did, though it's mostly obvious the dilemma he was facing and why he was rejecting Layken.  

about the last 10% of the book refers to the present and what happens after the Honeymoon when they return home. Also there is a small Epilogue referring to the near future (which I would have missed since after the last chapter there is "The End" then page after that there is the sneaky Epilogue :P)

Friday, January 24, 2014

Point of Retreat (Slammed #2) by Colleen Hoover

For me, especially after the previous book, this was a total disappointment. Remember I wrote I get angry whenever High School is mentioned? well, it's not ABOUT High School it's about been in that stupid age and acting like a freaking teenager. I'll give part on one of the book (first 60%) less than 3 stars, luckily the second part (last 40%) made up for it. I'll read the next one because I'm anal this way :P But actually I would recommend the first book to right about anyone but this one? only to Young Adults (=teenagers) or people who are really into reading YA books. 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Slammed (Slammed #1) by Colleen Hoover

I feel like I'm the "last person alive" to read this book hehe

Seems like it's one of those must-read books not only because it's good but because of the story behind it. As I've heard Colleen wrote this book for her mother and also gave it to a few friends to read. Everyone applauded and told her she should self publish. Well, she did, and then a known blogger read it and recommended it and it went viral - so many people bought it and read it it just became a sensation. That's pretty amazing for the first book she ever published (though she has published more since) and especially since it wasn't something she thought to publish (as I've heard anyway :])

Though I'm a little far behind I grabbed this one and read it in two days, mainly one day - first day I was tired so I just read the first 8% then yesterday I read the rest in one gulp! As you can guess I REALLY loved it though in the beginning I had my doubts about it (Just hearing the word "high school" made me cringe). 

Friday, January 17, 2014

Don't Make Me Beautiful by Elle Casey

This is one of the hardest topics to read in my opinion. Bad things happen to people all the time but this one is more then the story and rehabilitation of a woman who went through a lot, it's a story about a woman who gave up, didn't see there is ANY light at the end of the tunnel. 'Learnt helplessness' is the worst any of us can EVER get. 

Nicole has been locked up in her boyfriend's John house for about 3 years. In these years he has mistreated her, mentally and physically abused her until the point her face was deformed and her spirit was totally and absolutely broken. She waits for him to return from work knowing that there's a good possibility she'll do something "wrong" and get beaten for it, she knows she can't hide or run from him so she takes it day by day waiting for the day he will finally kill her. Until Brian's son mistakenly throws a baseball through her window and shatters it.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The Darkest Craving (Lords of the Underworld #10) [Kane & Josephina] by Gena Showalter

I can't believe I'm "here", finally finished all 10 books published in the series (including 3 short novellas). It certainly been a hell of a ride, a ride I loved, I admit I'm a bit overdosed with the Lords at the moment but I'm also really happy I was recommended to read this excellent series! 
I admit my "go to" Paranormal Romance includes Vampires as the main, well, paranormal :) this one has probably been the first long series that has nothing to do with vampires (besides the fact that William screwed a few of those ;))

Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Darkest Seduction (Lords of the Underworld #9) [Paris & Seinna] by Gena Showalter

ho, wow, firstly this book felt like a total compensation for the last one I hated :D 
Secondly this book was totally and absolutely a PLEASURE to read.
while the other one took me a week of struggle this one took me two days. first day I only stopped because I had to go out with a friend (don't you hate it when real life interrupts your fictional one? ;)) and the second day I literally did nothing but read and since this is the longest book in the series (little more than 500 pages) it means I did absolutely NOTHING but read. 

This being said I can go on and talk about the book :)

Thursday, January 9, 2014

The Darkest Surrender (Lords of the Underworld #8) [Strider & Kaia] by Gena Showalter

This one was a torture.. most of 435 pages of torture.. probably except for the side POVs which I'll get to later on. 

That being said, if you read my previous reviews of the series then you know I LOVE it and gave most of them 5 stars reviews. I"m really bummed that I didn't like this one, but I guess it was pretty clear I wouldn't like it because of my obvious dislike for Strider. though sometimes we have a character who is simply "misunderstood" and you end up cheering for the last character you thought you'll cheer. well, wasn't like that for me on this one..

I'm sorry but most of the review is going to be a slaughter house for the book and it's characters.. I still love the setting, the Lords and the writing itself so I'll try to sweeten up the pill with a few favorite quotes in the end

Friday, January 3, 2014

Unwrapping Holly by Lisa Renee Jones

This is my second Novella by Lisa, the first one being "Play with Me" from the "Heating up the Holidays" bundle. I'm really happy I picked this one up, it came in the right place after reading so much PNR and I absolutely need a Cole myself :)

Holly is a new acclaimed writer, but after her first successful book she finds herself in a writing block, which is bad since she has a deadline to meet.  She decides to move back home nearing the holidays to be with her family and stay at her grandmother's house there she hopes she won't have any distractions and finally sit down and write. 

But sometimes a distraction is exactly what one needs.. 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

January 2014 Goals

I'm trying a new thing here :)
setting a yearly goal is nice, but since I've started organizing my books for the following months I thought I could see if I manage what I planned for myself.
As I started building the list, I started organizing it in a way I'll have different kinds of books each month so I won't get an "overdose" of this genre or the other, but having long series to "catch up on" makes it harder.. So I did my best to organize all my reading list and now it's time to see if I'll meet the goal I'm setting for the following month :)

Here goes! 

Unwrapping Holly ★★★★★ 
By Jones, Lisa Renee
After reading a short novella in "Heating up the Holidays" by Lisa Renee I decided to try more of her books. This is a new novella published last month. 

The Darkest Surrender (Lords of the Underworld #8) ★★★
The Darkest Seduction (Lords of the Underworld #9) ★★★★★ 
The Darkest Craving (Lords of the Underworld #10) ★★★★★ 
By Showalter, Gena
3 last books in the series. Last month I've been consumed by this series. I'm really enjoying it though I think I need a little break till I return to these three.

Don't Make Me Beautiful ★★★★★ 
By Casey, Elle
A recommendation from a friend. I'm really looking forward to this one. the first I'm reading by this author.

Slammed (Slammed #1) ★★★★★ 
By Hoover, Colleen
oh! how many recommendation I got for these ones! or anything by Colleen. Gotta grab them as soon as possible!

Celtic Moon (Celtic Wolves #1) ★★★★★ 
By DeLima, Jan
A new PNR series. After indulging myself in the LotU I'm ready for something "low commitment" as this one. Again came with a HUGE recommendation. 

Two more books I didn't plan on getting to read this month but did:
By SE Jakes
Got recommendation for these on the GR Cut & Run forum and gave it a go :) trying read more MM Romance, a rather new genre I'm into and really liked everything I've read so far.

Happy Reading! :)