Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

Review of Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

Published: August 31, 2010

5 out of 5 smirks

Synopsis: “Evie’s always thought of herself as a normal teenager, even though she works for the International Paranormal Containment Agency, her ex-boyfriend is a faerie, she’s falling for a shape-shifter, and she’s the only person who can see through paranormals’ glamours.

But Evie’s about to realize that she may very well be at the center of a dark faerie prophecy promising destruction to all paranormal creatures.

So much for normal.”

Paranormalcy is a fantastically entertaining book. I was swept away with laughter while reading this amazing book. Paranormalcy is an addicting, fun, uncanny, story that just proves the grass is always greener on the other side. Like I am doing with a lot of the books I give 5 smirks to, I will just make a list of everything I loved about this story.

Things I Loved about Paranormalcy by Kiersten White:

Evie’s bubbly personality

Lish, Evie’s best friend who happens to be a mermaid

Lend, water boy

The cover art is magnificent

Freaky fairies

Online shopping

Lockers, proms, gossip

Vampires and other mythical creatures

Sighs (you will understand once you read the book)

Witty, snarky characters

And normalcy

Paranormalcy by Kiersten White is a sexy, entertaining, witty book that draws you in right from the very first page. I love to laugh and there was no shortage of laughter while reading this book. Evie is a very loveable, relatable character who just wants her life to be normal; instead she is more paranormal than she originally thinks. Lend is a shy guy who draws you in with his every changing moods. And the whole IPCA is just such an insane mess that you do not want to miss. 5 smirks was given to Paranormalcy because it is a book that is worth reading over and over again. It’s a book I want on my book shelf and after you read it, I’m sure you’ll want it too.

Monday, August 30, 2010

The Seductive One by Susan Mallery

Review of The Seductive One by Susan Mallery

Published: August 1, 2006

5 out of 5 smirks

Synopsis: “Of all the Marcelli sisters, the only one who dreams of running the family's winery is Brenna -- and she's about to get her chance. But taking the helm at Marcelli Winery is tougher than she bargained for -- especially when she butts heads with her grandfather, whose Old World ways dictate that a male should inherit the business. In need of some fast capital in order to prove her grandfather wrong, Brenna turns to Nic Giovanni, her family's nemesis. . . . Years ago, she ended her secret relationship with Nic, choosing loyalty to her family over the hot passion they shared. But now he's back in her life, he's loaned her a million dollars, and their feelings for each other are stronger than ever. Brenna must find out for herself: Is Nic the love of her life? Or the schemer who could topple the Marcelli dynasty -- and break her heart?”

The Seductive One by Susan Mallery continues on with the Marcelli Sisters focusing on Brenna and her past love Nic. Brenna and Nic are from two feuding families and have a very Romeo and Juliet love story happening for them. I personally find The Marcelli Sisters Series one that is very addicting, fun, snarky, loveable, and beautiful.

Things I Loved About The Seductive One by Susan Mallery:

Chemistry between Brenna and Nic

Joe’s protectiveness over Brenna

Nic’s inability to really get the whole picture even though in his heart he gets it

Brenna and Grandpa Lorenzo’s arguing over every little detail

Brenna’s knowledge and ability to go on and on about wine

Nic and his very, very bad boy good looks (and motorcycle)

Brenna and Nic’s betraying past and forgiving present

Brenna’s ability to give her heart without thinking about the consequences

Brenna’s determination to get on with her life

Grandpa Lorenzo’s scheme

And the whole Marcelli Clan coming together to get over past feuds and make Brenna happy

The Seductive One by Susan Mallery is a book that can make even the most stubborn readers laugh and share in the joy this story brings. The Marcelli Sisters Series is one I would highly recommend to anyone who enjoys being able to experience big family and big loves in huge doses. I gave The Seductive One by Susan Mallery 5 smirks because when I was reading it, I smiled and laughed along with the characters and that is something I never take for granted.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Dead Beautiful by Yvonne Woon

Review of Dead Beautiful by Yvonne Woon

To Be Released: September 21, 2010

5 out of 5 smirks

Synopsis: “After Renee Winters discovers her parents lying dead in California’s Redwood Forest in what appears to be a strange double murder, her grandfather sends her off to Gottfried Academy in Maine, a remote and mysterious high school dedicated to philosophy, “crude sciences,” and Latin: the Language of the Dead. It’s here she meets Dante, a dark and elusive student to whom she feels inexplicably drawn. As they get to know each other better, Dante can’t seem to control his attraction either, and their desires gradually deepen into a complex and dangerous romance. Dangerous because Dante is hiding a frightening secret. A secret so terrible, it has him fearing for Renee’s life.

Dante’s not the only one with secrets, though. Turns out Gottfried Academy has a few of its own… Like, how come students keep disappearing? Why are the prefect-like Monitors creeping around campus during the night? And what exactly are the Headmistress and Professors really up to? Renee is determined to find out why.”

Dead Beautiful by Yvonne Woon is a tragically, lively, stunning love story about finding out where your soul truly lies. I gave Dead Beautiful 5 smirks because it is a book that I did not want to put down and also a book very much worth re-reading over and over again. I do not want to give too much away in this review so I will just say the things that made this story one that I will never forget.

Things About Dead Beautiful by Yvonne Woon that Were Truly Remarkable:

First off this is Yvonne Woon’s first book and she nailed it (aka did a fantastic job drawing readers in)

The characters were all so different that they fit perfectly with each other

The descriptive, vivid, life like quality of the words flowing off the pages makes any reader bound to the story and its beauty

The mystery of where the story is going is unlike any other book

The cover art which is gorgeous, has a luring edge to it

The story just sweeps readers away with the mystery, deception, love, lust, and finding your true identity

Dead Beautiful by Yvonne Woon is special, life altering, mysterious, charming story with characters you cannot help but fall in love with. Reading Dead Beautiful by Yvonne Woon was like stepping into a forest and not knowing where you are going, with excitement with each step you take (or rather with every page you turn).

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Always The Baker Never The Bride by Sandra D. Bricker

Review of Always The Baker Never The Bride by Sandra D. Bricker

To Be Released: September 1, 2010

5 out of 5 smirks

Synopsis: “Thirty-six-year-old Emma Rae Travis has been baking specialty cakes and melt-in-your-mouth pastries at The Backstreet Bakery in historic Roswell, just outside of Atlanta, for the last six years. But here's the rub about her job as a baker ... Emma is diabetic. When she tastes her creations, it can only be in the most minute portions. Emma is considered an artisan for the stunning crème brulee wedding cake that won her the Passionate Palette Award last year, but she's never even had one full slice of it.

When Jackson Drake hears about this local baker who has won a prestigious award for her wedding cake artistry, he tells his assistant to be sure and includes her in the pastry tastings scheduled at his new wedding destination hotel the following week. And for Jackson, that particular day has started out badly with two workmen trapped in a broken elevator and a delivery of several dozen 300-thread-count bed linens in the wrong size abandoned in the lobby. But when the arrogant baker he met a week prior in Roswell stumbles into the dining room with a platter of pastries and a bucketful of orders, he knows for certain: It's going to be a really rotten day.

Can these two ill-suited players master the high-wire act and make a go of their new business venture? Or will they take each other crashing downward, without a net? And will the surprise wedding at The Tanglewood be theirs?”

Always The Baker Never The Bride by Sandra D. Bricker was a compelling love story about being true to who you are and accepting challenges that life always seems to deal out. This book was very different from other romance stories I have read in the past, which is why I loved it. I gave Always The Baker Never The Bride by Sandra D. Bricker 5 smirks because I could not stop reading it until there was nothing left for me to read.

Jackson and Emma Rae are two characters who make a laugh out loud hilarious couple. I just love how Jackson and Emma Rae are individually before they become a couple and how they are together, they really bring out each other’s good sides and bad sides all the time. I also really enjoyed how the “dating” aspect of this book resembles and opens up insight into reality dating. “After Care” makes soooo much more sense now, and I just want to thank Sandra D. Bricker for finally naming something I could never understand.

Always The Baker Never The Bride by Sandra D. Bricker is a wonderful, romantic, hard working story that convinces even the most cynical readers (*cough, cough* me) that love is out there waiting. I would also like to mention how creative this title is, I mean really it is very catchy. Another thing worth mentioning is how great this book was with so many different characters’ personalities. These personalities were so polar opposite of each other, a reader wouldn’t think they could all get along, but Sandra D. Bricker makes it happen in the most unusual, surprising way.

Always The Baker Never The Bride by Sandra D. Bricker is a must read, simple as that.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Firelight by Sophie Jordan

Review of Firelight by Sophie Jordan

To Be Released: September 7, 2010

5 out of 5 smirks

Synopsis: “Marked as special at an early age, Jacinda knows her every move is watched. But she longs for freedom to make her own choices. When she breaks the most sacred tenet among her kind, she nearly pays with her life. Until a beautiful stranger saves her. A stranger who was sent to hunt those like her. For Jacinda is a draki—a descendant of dragons whose greatest defense is her secret ability to shift into human form.

Forced to flee into the mortal world with her family, Jacinda struggles to adapt to her new surroundings. The only bright light is Will. Gorgeous, elusive Will who stirs her inner draki to life. Although she is irresistibly drawn to him, Jacinda knows Will's dark secret: He and his family are hunters. She should avoid him at all costs. But her inner draki is slowly slipping away—if it dies she will be left as a human forever. She'll do anything to prevent that. Even if it means getting closer to her most dangerous enemy.”

Firelight is a beautifully written story about a girl, Jacinda, who struggles to fit into human existence after being ripped away from everything she knows as home. I cannot even begin to describe how this story captures you and makes you feel invested in the characters themselves. I would normally love to gush paragraph after paragraph about how truly wonderful this book is, but I would much prefer doing a list of what I loved about the book.

Things I loved about Firelight by Sophie Jordan:

The mythical creature of choice Draki or Dragon

A weird love triangle

Stereotypically portrayed cheerleaders

Amazing descriptions of Draki in true form

Talented Draki

Jacinda in general

Jacinda’s ignorance of High School and who not to piss off

Will, a gorgeous Hunter who doesn’t want to hunt

A connection between Will and Jacinda that screams off the pages

And Breath taking Cover Art

I gave 5 smirks to Firelight because as a reader you are instantly draw into the cover and once you start reading you are drawn into the words and how they effortlessly flow off the pages and paint a stunning story for you to read. I am also really impressed and frustrated that Sophie Jordan Like Suzanne Collins has a knack for leaving readers in the middle of a scene. The cliff-hanger was something that I did not expect from this book but I was proven otherwise. I can’t wait until the next installment, which is a long time from now in my eyes. Firelight by Sophie Jordan is a book that needs to be on your bookshelves, it is one of the greats and you will not regret purchasing it.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Sins of the Soul by Eve Silver

Review of Sins of the Soul by Eve Silver

To Be Released: September 1, 2010

5 out of 5 smirks

Synopsis: “Alastor Krayl’s world shattered when he learned that his father was the Underworld god of chaos and evil. All that saved him from self-destruction were his newfound brothers and the bond they shared as soul reapers. So when one of his brothers is murdered, vengeance becomes Alastor’s obsession. And the enigmatic Naphré Kurata, a witness—or is she the killer?—has the answers he seeks.

A reluctant Underworld enforcer, Naphré trusts no one, especially not a seductive soul reaper who makes her burn with lust. Torn between duty and desire, she fights to keep her secrets safe from Alastor, even as she longs to surrender.”

I really enjoyed Sins of the Soul, the second book in a series, the first being Sins of the Heart. Sins of the Soul was a very enthralling read as far as how we as readers get to continue to unravel the mysteries of these whacky soul reapers. I love how Eve Silver writes not just in the point of view of the main characters of this book but also from main characters from Sins of the Heart. As readers we get a continued storyline and different perspectives on each mystery of each character.

What I really loved about Sins of the Soul was Naphre and Alastor and their whole dynamic. It was interesting to see these two characters fall for each other because they act the same. They are the same yet they are different but in such subtle ways that it is almost impossible to see. I thought the continued story which started out with Sins of the Heart then onto Sins of the Soul (this book) was a really great transition. We get to experience a different soul reaper brother in this book as well as another Otherkin who is in almost the same position as Roxy.

I am really looking forward to buying Sins of the Heart as well as Sins of the Soul when they come out. I am also really hoping to read the next installment of this series when it becomes available because, what can I say? This series is deeply seductive, mysterious, enthralling, and incredibly addicting.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Control by Kayla Perrin

Review of Control by Kayla Perrin

To Be Released: September 1, 2010

4 out of 5 smirks

Synopsis: “Their romance was a modern-day fairy tale: handsome older millionaire falls hard for struggling young waitress. Robert swept Elsie off her feet – and into his bed -- put a huge diamond on her finger and spirited her away in his private jet destined for happily-ever-after.

Eight years later, Elsie Kolstadt realizes the clock has finally struck midnight. The five-star restaurants, exclusive address and exotic vacations can no longer make up for Robert's obsessive desire to control everything about their life together. From her hair color to her music playlists, Robert has things just the way he wants them. No matter what.

But's Robert's ultimate, unforgivable manipulation that finally shocks Elsie into action. Though divorce would strip her of everything, she can't live under Robert's roof any longer. Making her decision easier is Dion Carter, a high-school football coach with a heart of gold and a body of sculpted steel. Suddenly Elsie is deep in a steamy affair that could cost her everything – because Robert will stop at nothing to keep Elsie under his thumb.”

Control was a really peculiar book. I felt as though a story about control has been done so many times that this book couldn’t possibly show me a different side, I was wrong. Control showed a side of the controlee and how in this case she did not know she was being controlled until way later in her marriage. Elise is a character who had all this promise when she was younger, so much so she attracted the attention of Robert, an older rich man who opened up her world to an endless supply of anything and everything she could have ever wanted.

Elise was taken away from a living she wasn’t really satisfied with and catapulted into this life of rich opportunity when she married Robert. Until one day she started realizing she wasn’t really living her life, but one her husband thought she should live. Control really allowed readers to see a struggle of a woman who finally figures out her life and what she wants from it. Control shows Elise taking control of her life and finally finding her soul mate.

I gave this book 4 smirks because two of the characters were so genuine (Elise and Dion) I couldn’t help but think they were based on real people. I also loved that this book gives readers hope. Hope to fight another day for a life they may want, hope to stand up for themselves, and hope to finally find that person who completes you. Kayla Perrin really brings to light a struggle for control of the life you want to live and how no matter what you should always fight for it.