Friday, September 30, 2011

Tiger's Quest by Collen Houck

GoodReads Synopsis: Kelsey Hayes is no ordinary college freshman. In fact, the eighteen-year-old girl has just returned from India, where she risked her life—and her heart—to rescue a handsome Indian prince from a terrible curse. Back home in Oregon, Kelsey is determined to move on, despite the lingering feelings she has for the man she left behind. She meets Li, a completely average guy who offers the promise of an ordinary, curse-free life. But just when Kelsey is ready to move on, Ren reenters her life, on a quest to reclaim her heart. Danger threatens their newly rekindled love and to save him, Kelsey must journey with someone else—a man who wants her for himself.



Kathy’s Review: Ahhh, what a cliffhanger ending! But, before I get to the ending I’ll talk about the rest of the book. I enjoyed this one as much as the first. It felt like there was a lot less “data-dumping” than the first book, although there is still some. The story picks up right where the first book leaves off and I liked that the first part of the book was more normal. Kelsey is trying to live with her decision, but secretly hoping Ren will come after her. When the whole gang is all back together the adventure really begins. Kishan plays a much bigger role this time around. Here’s my thing with Kishan, I like him. He’s hot, charming and brave. What I don’t like is how he is constantly going after his brother’s girl. The storyline kind of reminds me too much of Vampire Diaries, without the vampires. I do like Kishan and I totally feel for him, but dude, go get your own girl. I just hope that Houck doesn’t drag out this little love-triangle for the rest of the series. The whole will-they-won’t-they will get a little old after awhile. I will say that I was pleased that Kelsey wasn’t wishy-washy, but with how the book ends I’m really curious to see what happens and who ends up with whom. Anyway, Ren is awesome. I totally love him and the ending really hurt my heart. I didn’t realize that the book had a sneak peak for book three until the next morning. I ran and grabbed my copy to read it and now I really can’t wait for November 1 when the next book comes out. This is a really fun series with a unique story and fun characters.


Bookworm Rating: 4



Genre: Fantasy
Publication Date: June 2011
One Word Review: Enjoyable
Author Website: http://www.colleenhouck.com/

Reading Order:

Book One: Tiger’s Curse

Book Two: Tiger’s Quest

Book Three: Tiger’s Voyage

Book Four: Tiger’s Destiny

Book Five: Tiger’s Dream

Friday, September 23, 2011

Legend of Shannonderry by Carol Warburton

GoodReads Synopsis: Gwyneth Beddows, a young woman of nineteenth-century England, has often felt lonely and unloved by her father, who believes the rumors that his pretty daughter might not actually be his child. The one place the young woman can find consolation is in the saddle of her spirited stallion. The magnificent horse shows promise as a racehorse and has drawn the attention of Irish horse master Cormac D'Arcy, who is visiting England on business. The handsome young man also brings a lifechanging message from Gwyneth's grandmother—a frail yet feisty Irish woman Gwyneth has never met. Events orchestrated by her father force Gwyneth to flee England, and with the help of D'Arcy, she arrives at Shannonderry, her maternal family's ancestral home, where Gwyneth learns of a legend that will have a profound impact on her life and the lives of those around her. Touched by the promise of destiny, Gwyneth seeks to save the family estate from certain ruin. But with fierce rivals on the scene and her embittered father in the periphery, Gwyneth faces grave danger that may place her far beyond the reach of D'Arcy's rescuing hand—and she must call on the strength of her heart if the historic legend of Shannonderry will ever be fulfilled.


Kathy’s Review: I really enjoyed this one. It was a fun escape. I liked Gwyneth, she had a lot of spunk. Cormac was also a great leading man, he supported Gwyneth, but was also a great protector. Their relationship was fun to watch evolve. The setting is fun, it makes me want to travel to Ireland. There is a bit of a mystery and some adventure. The ending was great. Overall, a fun story, great setting and a romantic love story.



Bookworm Rating: 4


Genre: Historical Fiction
Publication Date: September 2010
One Word Review: Enjoyable
Author Website: www.carolwarburton.com

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Everblue by Brenda Pandos

GoodReads Synopsis: Best friends share everything with each other. Or do they? Seventeen-year-old Ashlyn Frances Lanski is tired of her boring, single life. Spending time with her best friend Tatiana, dreaming about kissing Tatiana's twin brother Fin, and swimming competitively are her only sanctuary. The girls plan to leave their drab lakeside town far behind for college. But when Tatchi fails to return home after a family emergency, and no one knows where the family has gone, Ash chooses to do something drastic to find them. Ashlyn is about to discover what she thought to be true her whole life, wasn’t, and the truth, too fantastical to imagine. Secrets lurk beneath the deep blue waters of Lake Tahoe, secrets that will change Ashlyn's life forever.


Kathy’s Review: I really enjoyed this. It was a fun escape and a really fun mermaid story. I haven’t read too many mermaid books, but this one is probably my favorite. I really liked Fin, he was a fun character and the mer world he lives in was fun to read about. Ashlyn was also a good character. I also really liked the supporting characters, especially Fin’s sister Tatiana. I kind of hope the next book is from her perspective, she was feisty and with how this book ends it will be interesting to see what happens next. I thought this was a really fun read.


Bookworm Rating: 4


Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: July 2011
One Word Review: Fun
Author Website: www.brendapandos.blogspot.com

Reading Order:
Book One: Everblue
Book Two:
Book Three:

Entwined by Heather Dixon


GoodReads Synopsis: Azalea is trapped. Just when she should feel that everything is before her . . . beautiful gowns, dashing suitors, balls filled with dancing . . . it's taken away. All of it. The Keeper understands. He's trapped, too, held for centuries within the walls of the palace. And so he extends an invitation. Every night, Azalea and her eleven sisters may step through the enchanted passage in their room to dance in his silver forest. But there is a cost. The Keeper likes to keep things. Azalea may not realize how tangled she is in his web until it is too late.


Kathy’s Review: Don’t you just love this cover? I try not to judge a book by their cover, but it’s really hard not to. When I saw this book, I really wanted to jump into the picture and follow her to the castle. As much as I wanted to like this book, it ended up falling a little flat for me. It seemed long and very slow in parts. The story was interesting enough that I wanted to keep reading to see what would happen, but I didn’t feel sucked in. I liked our main character Azalea, she was sweet and really wanted to do what was right for her sisters. I found following 12 princesses to be a little confusing at times. I didn’t really care for Princess Bramble, she was too moody and kind of mean. The others sisters were okay. I actually kind of liked the King and felt bad for him. He was obviously heartbroken and was really trying to win the girls over. I had a hard time getting over the fact that the even though they were royalty they were practically poor. Not sure why or why they being poor would be good for the story, just didn’t make sense. The last few chapters were good though, I really enjoyed how everything worked out. It’s an interesting retelling of the Twelve Dancing Princesses and worth reading if you enjoy fairy tales.

Bookworm Rating: 3


Genre: Fairytale Retelling
Publication Date: March 2011
One Word Review: Alright
Author Website: www.heatherdixon.com


Similar Reads:
The Night Dance by Suzanne Weyn
Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George
Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Tiger's Curse by Colleen Houck

GoodReads Synopsis: The last thing teenager Kelsey Hayes thought she'd be doing over the summer was meeting Ren, a mysterious white tiger and cursed Indian prince! When she learns she alone can break the Tiger's curse, Kelsey's life is turned upside-down. The unlikely duo journeys halfway around the world to piece together an Indian prophecy, find a way to free the man trapped by a centuries-old spell, and discover the path to their true destiny.



Kathy’s Review: I actually really enjoyed this, for the most part. It took a little while to get into and to get accustomed to the cadence of the writing. There were a few cheesy things like when she’d referred to Ren as “mister” or “buster”, who talks like that? There was also a lot of Indian mythology and history, the author obviously did a lot of research. It was easy to get bogged down by the details. But, the story was quite original and I really liked Ren and his story. Kelsey was okay, I like her. The last third of the book she was a little negative and full of insecurities. I’m hoping as the story progresses that she will grow more confident and self-assured and not so worried about looks. The ended was kind of a cliff hanger, I’m actually glad things worked out as they did. If the story is going to go on for five books then it’s good to have a little spacing for our characters. I think it will be a fun series to get into.



Bookworm Rating: 4


Genre: YA Fantasy/Mythology
Publication Date: September 2009
One Word Review: Good
Author Website: www.colleenhouck.com


Reading Order:
Book One: Tiger’s Curse
Book Two: Tiger’s Quest
Book Three: Tiger’s Voyage
Book Four: Tiger’s Destiny
Book Five: Tiger’s Dream

The Sapphire Talisman by Brenda Pandos

GoodReads Synopsis: With the local vampire coven decimated, Julia and Nicholas try to begin a somewhat normal life together. Bound by secrecy from a shape shifter determined to see Julia’s world-saving prediction come to fruition, Julia isn’t allowed to tell Nicholas the leader survived, ransacking her happiness with guilt. When Alora returns, bent on revenge, the reunion forces Nicholas and Julia to choose what they are willing to live and die for.


Kathy’s Review: I enjoyed this one much more than the first. The relationship between Julia and Nicholas is a lot more believable, maybe because going into it their already in an established relationship. A love triangle does develop during the story, which ended up making Julia seem kind of fickle. But there is a fun twist in their relationship that keeps them apart and makes you wonder what their future will hold. There is a lot more action and a few new characters as well as some old favorites. I’m glad I decided to keep with the series, it’s a fun break.

I also really like how clean these books are, and especially that Julia makes a point of “waiting for marriage”, it’s refreshing to see a YA character have morals. While there is vampire violence the books are pretty clean.


Bookworm Rating: 4


Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: December 2010
One Word Review: Good
Author Website: www.brendapandos.blogspot.com

Reading Order:
Book One: The Emerald Talisman
Book Two: The Sapphire Talisman
Book Three: The Onyx Talisman

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Emerald Talisman by Brenda Pandos

GoodReads Synopsis: To be normal, sixteen-year-old Julia Parker would shed her empathic gift in a second. Life has been difficult since her mother's mysterious disappearance ten years earlier - an event she witnessed, but can't remember. Julia's situation becomes more complicated after a near death experience from a blood thirsty stalker. As high school students go missing it is clear there is a connection to her own experience--past and present. Someone has to stop the madness and a chance encounter with a creepy psychic foretells that only Julia is the key to stopping the madness, but it may require the life of the one she loves.


Kathy’s Review: I guess I enjoyed this one. I’m still wavering between my rating. I really wanted to like it, and for the most part I did. I guess the one thing that bothered me most was the relationship between Julia and Nicholas. It just wasn’t that believable for me. I just can’t believe Julie would be so into a guy that she only interacted with for about an hour. They kind of had a conversation and the rest of the book we hear about how much she wants to be with him and only him. Even with her special abilities it was hard to believe. But, if I overlook the “love-at-first-sight” angle, I did enjoy the story. I liked the different take on vampires and their origins. After reading reviews for the next two books I’m actually pretty curious to see what happens. I thought it was pretty well written, but felt the dialog at times was a little lacking. I guess any vampire book nowadays is really going to remind me of Twilight. If you like vampire stories then you will probably enjoy this one.


Bookworm Rating: 3.5


Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: March 2010
One Word Review: Good
Author Website: www.brendapandos.blogspot.com

Reading Order:
Book One: The Emerald Talisman
Book Two: The Sapphire Talisman
Book Three: The Onyx Talisman

Thursday, September 15, 2011

GoodReads Synopsis: When a shocking accident forces Tory to demonstrate her despised skill, the secret she’s fought so hard to hide is revealed for all to see. She is immediately exiled to Lackland Abbey, a reform school for young men and women in her position. There she will learn to suppress her deplorable talents and maybe, if she’s one of the lucky ones, be able to return to society. But Tory’s life is about to change forever. All that she’s ever known or considered important will be challenged. What lies ahead is only the beginning of a strange and wonderful journey into a world where destiny and magic come together, where true love and friendship find her, and where courage and strength of character are the only things that determine a young girl’s worth.


Kathy’s Review: This started out so good. I loved the beginning, poor Tory is shunned by her family when it is discovered she has magical abilities. As a last resort to cure her they send her away to a boarding school devoted to riding students of their magic. Tory is all for getting rid of her magic and as quickly as possible. Once there she meets others like herself and begins to see magic in a different light. She even discovers a secret group of students who actively use magic and actually like it. Unfortunately, the story loses its steam and Tory loses her voice once the whole time-travel aspect is introduced. The setting was already perfect, they already have a war coming for them, so there was really no need to add the time-travel element to the story. Personally, I think Putney should have written a trilogy that takes place in 1803, and then write a spin-off series with their descendants that takes place in 1940. That would have been better, in my opinion.


The 1803 characters didn’t act or talk like they were from 1803, the dialog and attitudes did not match with that time period. Their situation was too easily accepted from both the 1803 cast and the 1940 cast. Also, all the problems they faced were all easily overcome, except for maybe the slight headache and need for a nap. I also took a little offense when one character compared what they were doing to real soldiers. Certainly they were tired and drained from there weather manipulations and there was a certain amount of stress. But, nothing they did remotely compares to what real soldiers go through. Lastly, I thought the names “Irregulars” and “Weather Brigade” were too cheesy.


The majority of the book takes place in 1940, so I would not consider this a Regency story at all. I do think a younger audience would probably enjoy the story, especially going into it knowing it takes place during WWII and not Regency times.


Bookworm Rating: 2
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: March 2011
One Word Review: Disappointing
Author Website: www.mjputney.com

Reading Order:
Book One: Dark Mirror
Bonus Book: Fallen From Grace
Book Two: Dark Passage
Book Three: Dark Destiney

The Pharaoh's Daughter by N C Allen

GoodReads Synopsis: After her gripping escapade in India, former Pinkerton spy Isabelle Webb launches a new adventure as she pursues a steamship en route to Egypt carrying two young stowaways: her teenaged ward Sally Rhodes, and an unlucky girl named Alice Bilbey. Arrive in Suez, Isabelle and her companions recover the girls and unexpectedly encounter Isabelle’s own guardian from her youth, Genevieve Montgomery. Isabelle and her friends decide to join up with Genevieve upon discovering that she is funding an expedition to a burial site near Luxor with an entourage of Egyptology experts.


Unaware that Thaddeus Sparks, is also in Egypt as part of a jewel-hunting cadre, Isabelle’s group joins the expedition under ominous signs: A prophetic warning from a stranger, threats along the Nile River, and birthmarks that burn when the rare Jewel of Zeus is nearby. At the excavation site—a cave rumored to be the tomb of a pharaoh’s disgraced daughter—tension builds when several newcomers arrive. And as circumstances shift with the sands, Isabelle finds that some of the royal treasure in the ruthless Pharaoh’s desert was buried for lethal reasons.

Kathy’s Review: This story picks up right where we left of in book one; well I guess it’s a little later. It picks up when Isabelle reaches Egypt in search of the girls. Once reunited they join up on an expedition with Isabelle’s former guardian Genevieve. I enjoyed this installment, it reminded me a bit of the move The Mummy. I love the setting and imagining digging through old pyramids. Isabelle was her usual adventurous self. I really like her character and how she is independent and yet also really loyal to those around her. I did wish we had a little more James time; he seems to be a little out of the picture this time around. The book ends with quite the cliff hanger and I can’t wait to see what happens next! Hopefully we won’t have to wait too long for the third book to come out. This is a fun series, one I would recommend to anyone who enjoys History and Romance with a lot of Adventure!


Bookworm Rating: 4

Genre: Historical Fiction
Publication Date: January 2011
One Word Review: Fun
Author Website: www.ncallen.blogspot.com


Reading Order:
Book One: Legend of the Jewel
Book Two: Pharaoh’s Daughter
Book Three:

Friday, September 9, 2011

Torrent by Lisa T Bergren

GoodReads Synopsis: Gabi and Lia Betarrini have learned to control their time travel, and they return from medieval Italy to save their father from his tragic death in modern times. But love calls across the centuries, and the girls are determined to return forever—even though they know the Black Plague is advancing across Europe, claiming the lives of one-third of the population.

Kathy’s Review: Have I mentioned how much I love this series? It is so good. I can’t remember the last time I read a series where each book was equally awesome. I love all the characters in this book. Gabi is a great leading lady and you can see why everyone around her loves her as well. Marcello is dreamy and you can’t help but love him. Luca and Lia are also amazing and I hope that we get another trilogy with their story. There is once again a lot of adventure in this story, Bergren weaves the historical elements in so nicely that you hardly realize your learning something as you’re reading. While the story takes place in 1344 Italy, you don’t really feel like you’re reading a historical novel. Bergren really brings everything to life. The plot is great and executed well, you have to keep reading to find out what is going to happen and how Gabi is every going to get out of the trouble she finds herself in. There is even a bit of a love triangle in this one, which added a lot to the story.

The series is awesome and keeps you reading; you love the characters and setting and any series that is this good deserves five stars. My only complaint is that I wanted a tiny bit more at the end, and epilog or something. I wanted to know what happened with certain characters. I also wanted to see more of Lia and Luca in the story, they both were awesome in book two and I missed seeing them in this book. I really do hope that Bergren writes a series about them.

If you haven’t read these books…DO IT. It’s such a fun series that anyone would enjoy.


Bookworm Rating: 5


Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance
Publication Date: September 2011
One Word Review: Excellent
Author Website: www.lisatawnbergren.com


Reading Order:
Book One: Waterfall
Book Two: Cascade
Book Three: Torrent

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Mercenary's Marriage by Rachel Rossano

GoodReads Synopsis: Trained as a mercenary soldier, Darius Laris was a man of decisive action. He was also a man of compassion. Seeing a young slave woman about to become the spoils of war, he claimed her for his own. Marrying her before God and king, he made her a free and respectable soldier's wife. Brice Ashlyn was born a slave. Abused and beaten, she learned quickly to avoid being noticed and to stay away from men. When her master's walls fell to enemy forces, she ran, but not fast enough. In Darius' offer she found deliverance, but experience had taught her to fear power such as his. Could she trust in his protection, or had she traded one form of slavery for another?

Kathy’s Review: This was an okay read. I enjoyed the story and it kept me reading and wanting to know what was going to happen next. It lost a little of its steam towards the end and things wrapped up a little too quickly. Brice’s attitude towards Darius changed rather quickly, I think the book needed to be 200 pages longer to really develop the story and characters. Brice and Darius had barely spoken to each other and we’re to believe they fell in love? Like maybe, but certainly not love. I just didn’t feel a lot of chemistry between the two to justify her sudden change in attitude towards the end. There were also a lot of loose ends that needed tying up. But, it is only 100 pages and is a fun read if you’re looking for a quick escape.


Bookworm Rating: 3

Genre: Fantasy/Historical Fiction
Publication Date: May 2006
One Word Review: Good



Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Seeking Persephone by Sarah M Eden



GoodReads Synopsis: The Duke of Kielder has more influence than Parliament, higher social standing than the Royal Family. No gentleman dares face him on the dueling field, nor risks testing his infamous temper. But His Grace is in need of a wife. Combine his fearsome reputation with a terribly scarred countenance and finding a lady willing to accept his hand becomes all-but impossible. When the Duke manages to secure a bride through a bit of trickery and an obscene amount of money, he is certain his problems are behind him. Except his purchased bride proves to be nothing like he expected. What is a man like the Duke to do with a bride who is gentle, loving and absolutely impossible to live without?


Kathy’s Review: I really enjoyed this book! Sarah is one of my favorite authors and I had to buy Seeking Persephone as soon as it was released. I was not disappointed. The story was great, had a marriage-of-convenience storyline which I’m always a sucker for. It was a bit like Beauty and the Beast, but also the Greek myth of Persephone and Hedes was mixed in. I really liked our main characters Adam and Persephone. They don’t meet until the day of their wedding and they couldn’t be more opposite. Persephone really wants to get to know her husband and has hope that maybe one day theirs will be a love match. Adam has had it pretty rough and has put up some pretty thick walls around his heart. They have good interactions together and it was fun to watch their story unfold. I especially loved Adam’s best friend Harry. He is really light-hearted and totally loyal to Adam, even though Adam is kind of mean to him. I guess Harry can see through the mean and knows that deep down Adam is just a softy. I enjoyed the book so much I went and re-read Courting Miss Lancaster, which follows Harry and Persephone’s little sister Athena. Both are great regency read and I would recommend reading them both!

Bookworm Rating: 5

Genre: Regency
Publication Date: September 2011
One Word Review: Great
Author Website: www.sarahmeden.com

Reading Order:
Seeking Persephone
Courting Miss Lancaster
 
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