Seeing is Believing – a funny romance with mystery

Seeing is BelievingSeeing is Believing by Erin McCarthy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Piper Tucker has lived in Cutterville, Ohio for most of her life and does not plan on leaving. She was dropped off at her father’s place when she was eight years old by her stepfather who did not treat her well and did not want her. It was the first time her biological father knew about her and she has been treated special ever since.

Brady Stritmeyer comes back to town after being away for twelve years. Brady just lost his job and decides he wants to come home for awhile to make some decisions. Piper has had a crush on Brady ever since she can remember but he was years older and left for school and until now never returned. Brady does remember Piper and how she would ask him to sketch pictures of her ghosts as she described them.

Piper has seen ghosts ever since she can remember and Rachel is a ghost that Piper has seen several times throughout her life, she died 150 years ago in an asylum after being accused of killing her fiancé.

Piper and Brady find an old newspaper clipping of the murder that Rachel committed and he finds out that he has the same name as the man Rachel killed. As they spend more time together and get to know each other it seems that Rachel disapproves and gets angry, she even hits Piper over the head with a candlestick. To find out more Piper and Brady dig deeper into the murder and find some interesting things that may shed new light on who killed the old Brady and why Rachel seems to be jealous of Piper and the current Brady.

Seeing is Believing is a wonderfully fun contemporary romance with a twist. I enjoyed the humor, the sweet romance and mystery of a century old murder. A recommend read for me.

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Another FANTASTIC installment for the Iron Fey Series

By: Julie Kagawa
Genre: Awesomeness (Although some people might call this YA fantasy)
Rating: PG-13 for some kick-ass kali
Spoilers: I’m gonna try not to
Coffee Beans: 5
Cover: Pretty good. Not particularly enjoying the half naked Ethan, since nowhere in the book does he show up that way (I’ve chosen a different cover to post for this review)
Instalove Factor: zilch
My Personal Recommendation: Please sir, can I have some more?
Opening Line: My name is Ethan Chase. And I doubt I’ll live to see my eighteenth birthday.
Favorite Line: So many
Disclaimer: I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for this honest review

Publisher’s Summary

Don’t look at Them. Never let Them know you can see Them.

That is Ethan Chase’s unbreakable rule. Until the fey he avoids at all costs–including his reputation–begin to disappear, and Ethan is attacked. Now he must change the rules to protect his family. To save a girl he never thought he’d dare to fall for.

Ethan thought he had protected himself from his older sister’s world–the land of Faery. His previous time in the Iron Realm left him with nothing but fear and disgust for the world Meghan Chase has made her home, a land of myth and talking cats, of magic and seductive enemies. But when destiny comes for Ethan, there is no escape from a danger long, long forgotten.

 

My Review

Awesomeness, awesomeness, followed by some brilliance and more awesomeness.
The end.
For realz, though. Julie became one of my favorite authors after reading The Immortal Rules. I own the Iron Fey series now, but haven’t read them yet, and when this book came up for grabs from NetGalley, I jumped all over it (and probably mauled a couple people in the process).
Oh, keep in mind that this review is based on only the Lost Prince and not the Iron Fey series (as I haven’t read those yet). So any spoilers as to the first series are completely unintentional.
This book picks up 15 years after Megan has left to become the Iron Queen in Nevernever. Ethan has been trying for that long to forget the Fey even exist and live a normal life. Sucks to be him, because that ain’t happening. The fey know he can see them so the follow and torment him where ever he goes and as a result he’s switching schools constantly and just started another one, midterm.
Enter school newspaper editor and resident cutie, Sally, and resident Halfbreed, Todd. Of course Ethan tries to keep himself away from those two, but it’s a losing battle. The Fey know he’s there and start to harass him. Maintaining as low of a profile as he can, he discovers that outcast fey and halfbreeds are disappearing from the real world, and no one knows why.
When mysterious and deadly Fey come after him and Sally, Ethan has no choice but to escape with her to the Nevernever. And so begins his journey.
This story really is kickass. Like I said, having not read Megan’s story, I really had no idea about the world or Ethan’s history. But that didn’t matter. This book was a standalone story and everything was explained to me outright or in context ad was easy to pick up on.
As always, Julie’s plots are detailed and sound, her world real, and I’m particularly in love with her dialogue and the fact that all her MCs know how to fight (which comes in handy in her books, obvs.). It always feels like I’m there with the characters and I want to hurry up and get to the end to know what happens, but then am always so sad when it’s over.
For sure pick up a copy and read it for yourself. If you’re a fan of awesome writing, good plots, engaging characters, and the Iron Fey/Julie Kagawa, this one will be another book added to your Favorites list.

Hearts of Darkness

Hearts of Darkness (Deadglass, #1)Hearts of Darkness by Kira Brady
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Title: Hearts of Darkness (Deadglass Series)
Author: Kira Brady
Publisher: Zebra (August 7, 2012)
ISBN-10: 1420124560
ISBN-13: 978-1420124569
Pages: 352

The Seattle Kayla Friday arrives in is a dark and dreary place, it looked like a war torn third world county, a far cry from the city she recently left. Most electrical devices do not work, people drive old diesel cars and street lights are mostly gas lanterns. This is the Seattle that has stolen everything from Kayla, her mother died violently years before, her father from heartbreak a year later and now her sister Desi has died. Kayla is on her way to the morgue to identify her sister as she notices strange things around her and finds trouble when a man named Hart approaches her and others try to kill him.

Souls are supposed to pass through Gates of death peacefully and move on to the other side; however those that refused or are forbidden swarmed around and caused problems. Kayla can see the Aether which are the waves that surrounded all matter. The Aether does not like the ghosts that do not pass through the gates; these beings are the cause of modern day problems for a city like Seattle.

In the recent weeks before her death Desi had become remote and non-communicative and although she was studying at the university, she was dating a mysterious man that Kayla did not know, named Norgard. Desi became very interested in Babylonian history and mythology and Kayla believed she was caught up in something violent and evil that got her killed.

Hart is a wolf shifter from the Kivati pack, but was run out of the pack because he was “moon marked” and not welcomed. It is said that Hart is not able to control the beast within and therefore he is not to be trusted during a full moon. He believes Kayla has information about a necklace he needs that gets him one step closer to freedom from Norgard. The necklace is believed to open the Gates of death and bring evil into the world and many want it for power.

Norgard is a powerful Drekar, dragons that feed on human souls, and although they are not the only ones that want the necklace Hart was making sure Norgard gets it first. The Kivati also want the necklace, they are a legendary species of shifters that have been around for years, Raven, Cougar, Coyote, Thunderbird and Wolf. They once protected the land and humankind and although they still do officially, they are too caught up in a war with the Drekar to help.

Hart tells Kayla that he will help if she gives him the necklace when they find it. With clues her sister left, they find the necklace at her mother’s grave and Kayla gives the necklace to Hart for safe keeping not knowing he will give it to Norgard, she feels betrayed and soon finds herself in trouble as Norgard believes she can fulfill a destiny and is kidnapped. When others find out Hart is free and what his last mission was to gain it they are angry and asks him to try to save her, and even though he believes he has no redeeming qualities, he does have a conscience and begins to think that although it may be a suicide mission he can rescue Kayla from Norgard.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, the world building and characters take you to an alternate Seattle that looks nothing like you would imagine. The ending is surprising and the fact that neither the Drekar nor the Kivati seem to be the good guys and we really do not know who to trust makes the story even more fun to read. Humans are unaware of “the others” that surround them every day until the fight to free a valued leader and find the necklace to keep the Gates closed bring it all to a head. Hart and Kayla learn to trust each other to help with the fight and become much more than they ever thought to each other. A riveting and engaging read that grabs you until the end.

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The Asylum Interviews: Bronx (The Asylum Tales, #0.5)The Asylum Interviews: Bronx by Jocelynn Drake
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A great start to a new series.

Gage owns a tattoo parlor called Asylum. He tries to live his quiet life flying under the radar because he has many things to hide, however nothing is ever simple in the world Gage lives in.

He meets Bronx, a troll with a mysterious past that is an excellent tattoo artist, as he comes to Gage’s rescue when a friend tries to distract him and gets into trouble.

As this short story unfolds, Gage and Bronx try to help Parker causing more trouble, the fix finds themselves in several predicaments.

A fun and compelling story and I am looking forward to meeting more characters that will surround the tattoo shop called Asylum.

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Lethal Rider

Lethal Rider (Lords of Deliverance, #3)Lethal Rider by Larissa Ione
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Lethal Rider is the third book in the Lords of Deliverance series, a wonderful and exciting series about the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. After the thrilling conclusion of Immortal Rider book we find Thanatos who has been paralyzed for eight months and Regan in hiding and about ready to give birth to a child that can either start or stop the Apocalypse.

Thanatos is being held against his will, he knows someone comes in to change the feeding tube and turn the TV on and he knows that Limos and Ares said it would only be a few more weeks and they will release him. What he does not know is why and he is getting angrier by the minute. When his sister and brother leave him, Thanatos realizes that he can move his fingers and toes, and he is not waiting around for anyone to inject him with another round of Hellhound saliva. Using all his willpower he gets up and is immediately drawn to both death and danger, he visits death first in Australia and realizes his brother Reseph/Pestilence is causing havoc all around the world. He then follows his danger feeling as it takes him to Regan, not knowing why he is being pulled toward her until he finds out about his child and that he needs to save and protect them both.

Regan is feeling very guilty and regrets her actions of forcing Thanatos. She gains comfort from the parchment of a tiny book penned by an angel. As she is waits for her baby to be born, thinking she is safe, vampires enter the compound to both kidnap and kill her, which is when Thanatos arrives and takes her back to his place to keep her safe with him until the child is born.

The world is in a panic as the Horseman’s brother Reseph/Pestilence is gaining power and causing destruction everywhere. The Horsemen are split when it comes to killing Reseph/Pestilence, Thanatos believes they can repair his Seal however others do not and want to kill him. As they wait for the baby, Regan and Thanatos spend time together, she rearranges his home as her OCD goes into overdrive, he finds himself dealing with both the Daywalker and Nightwalker vampires he surrounds himself with. He has brought all the Daywalker vampires of the world to live and work for him and there seems to be some traitors in the house.

As Thanatos and Regan fight danger from his vampires and the ever emerging Pestilence, other things are happening around the world that are affecting the turn of events. The angel’s Reaver, Harvester and Gethel have several conflicts, a connection between Thanatos and all vampires comes to light and the Aegis seem to be taking sides leaving those with close ties feeling helpless to stop the split.

The ride to the finish of this book is thrilling and full of twist and turns you will not expect. This is a wonderful book and the story leads well into the last book as we wait to see what will happen with Reaver, Harvester, Reseph/Pestilence and all those that visit again from the Demonica series that have a part in the continued story in this world.
ARC from NetGalley

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The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

Title: The Immortal Rules
Author:
Julie Kagawa
Genre:
YA Paranormal Dystopian
Rating:
PG (Awesome violence)
Coffee Beans:
5/5
Spoilers:
No major plot points
Favorite Line:
The air was thick with the smell of mold, dust and vegetation, and the house seemed to hold its breath as I stepped inside. (ebook, pg 33)
Disclaimer:
I received this book free from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for this unbiased review.

Publisher’s Summary: In a future world, vampires reign. Humans are blood cattle. And one girl will search for the key to save humanity.

Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a vampire city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten.

Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of them. The vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself is attacked—and given the ultimate choice. Die…or become one of the monsters.

Faced with her own mortality, Allie becomes what she despises most. To survive, she must learn the rules of being immortal, including the most important: go long enough without human blood, and you will go mad.

Then Allie is forced to flee into the unknown, outside her city walls. There she joins a ragged band of humans who are seeking a legend—a possible cure to the disease that killed off most of humankind and created the rabids, the mindless creatures who threaten humans and vampires alike.

But it isn’t easy to pass for human. Especially not around Zeke, who might see past the monster inside her. And Allie soon must decide what—and who—is worth dying for.

 My Review:

I hate reading a book like The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa.

Now I have to wait an entire YEAR (if I’m lucky) before the next installment comes out.
Seriously, books like this one—engaging and addicting and AMAZING from the very first word—are dangerous. Personal relationships are in danger of neglect. You’re brought to the cusp of wasting away from sleep deprivation and lack of food. Your social life suffers. You’re been called into the boss’ office a few too many  times because you’re reading when you should be working.

But it’s all worth it, isn’t it?

Julie, simply put, is one of the most talented writers I’ve read. This book is going on The List. They way she weaves together layers and layers of plot is just astounding. And the fact that she does it with such ease and skill—that on the surface it looks like nothing when in reality it’s a very precise story and snare she’s created—knocks my socks off.

The world in which Allies lives was set up so naturally and believably, I could envision what it looked like, and most importantly, what it was like to live there, by the end of page one. People, that’s hard to do, and impressive enough to make anyone stand in awe and drool at that kind of talent.

The characters in The Immortal Rules are deep and multifaceted. You know their motivations and their reactions even though they might only be a secondary character. Every single one of them has a separate and convicting drive to their actions and it’s plain what they are. The best character Kagawa’s created is her protagonist, Allison Sekemoto. A kickass Japanese girl with a hard attitude and mad katana skills.

One thing I was completely impressed with: This book is around 500 pages, and every single one of them is jam packed with tension and risk and action for Allie. The struggle to stay alive, to find food, to keep from becoming a snack for a vampire, rival gangs, the rabids. Then, as the story progresses, the balancing act Allie has to maintain of keeping people from figuring out who she really is and keeping herself from being killed by the people she’s with and a raider biker gang. There’s no time for Allie to breathe or relax, so why should there be for the reader?

It’s 100% AWE.SOME.

This book is the perfect blend between 28 Weeks Later, Last Man Standing, The Road, Resident Evil, and Daybreakers. Seriously, perfection between two covers (or in my case, perfection in Nook form).

It begs to be said again: Kagawa is one of the most skilled YA writers out there right now, expertly weaving a complex and layered story with ease. Grabbing her reader by the shirt and ripping them into the story yelling, “Sink or swim, baby!” and then throwing them into the melee.

But there were two things I didn’t care for in the story.

One: It ended. But, Julie has another series out for me to read until book two in the Blood of Eden series comes out (a New York Times bestselling series, the Iron Fey, which I have purchased on my Nook as of…now), so at least I can fill some time with more of her amazing writing.

Two: Sometimes I felt a little lost while reading, like I’d missed something that just happened. I think Kagawa was going for the whole “I’m not holding your hand to tell you Allie got a glass of water, I’m going to let you assume she got off the couch and walked into the kitchen to get that water” thing. Sometimes I felt too much was left out. But that was only towards the end and only a few times.

C’mon. I really had to dig to find that criticism. Give me a break.

Pick up a copy, read it, and decide for yourself. Seriously, I doubt you’ll regret doing so.

Happy Reading, my friends!