July 31, 2015

Loved It: The Veil by Chloe Neill

Series: Devil's Isle 1
Format: eGalley
Release Date: August 5, 2015
Publisher: NAL Trade
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Genre: Urban Fantasy 

Seven years ago, the Veil that separates humanity from what lies beyond was torn apart, and New Orleans was engulfed in a supernatural war. Now, those with paranormal powers have been confined in a walled community that humans call the District. Those who live there call it Devil's Isle.

Claire Connolly is a good girl with a dangerous secret: she’s a Sensitive, a human endowed with magic that seeped through the Veil. Claire knows that revealing her skills would mean being confined to Devil’s Isle. Unfortunately, hiding her power has left her untrained and unfocused.

Liam Quinn knows from experience that magic makes monsters of the weak, and he has no time for a Sensitive with no control of her own strength. But when he sees Claire using her powers to save a human under attack—in full view of the French Quarter—Liam decides to bring her to Devil’s Isle and the teacher she needs, even though getting her out of his way isn’t the same as keeping her out of his head.

But when the Veil threatens to shatter completely, Claire and Liam must work together to stop it, or else New Orleans will burn.

July 30, 2015

Quick Hit: Gin Lovers- Dangerous Games by Jamie Brenner

Series: The Gin Lovers 5
Format: Paperback
Release Date: October 29, 2014
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Source: Author
Genre: Historical | Roaring Twenties

Set against the turbulent and glamorous backdrop of Prohibition and the rise of the jazz age, The Gin Lovers is a sensual and romantic story of how one high society woman’s passion and courage lead her to love.

When Charlotte discovers the shocking truth about her husband, she realizes the time to leave her marriage is now – or never. But even as she plots her next move, Jake seems to be losing faith that she will choose their love over the privilege afforded by her marriage. As everyone jockeys for power, an ambitious gossip columnist threatens to reveal Mae’s secret life, forcing her to make some big decisions about her future. As the stakes get higher all around, Charlotte realizes her only way out might be to destroy William – and the Delacorte name along with him.

July 29, 2015

Liked It: Dragon Fall by Katie MacAlister

Series: Black Dragons 1
Format: eGalley
Release Date: July 28, 2015
Publisher: Forever
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Genre: Paranormal Romance 


For Aoife Dakar, seeing is believing-and she's seen some extraordinary things. It's too bad no one else believes that she witnessed a supernatural murder at an outdoor fair. Returning to the scene for proof, Aoife encounters a wise-cracking demon dog-and a gloriously naked man who can shift into a dragon and kiss like a god. Now thrust into a fantastical world that's both exhilarating and terrifying, Aoife is about to learn just how hot a dragon's fire burns.


Kostya has no time for a human woman with endless questions, no matter how gorgeous or tempting she is. He must break the curse that has splintered the dragon clans before more of his kind die. But his powerful attraction to Aoife runs much deeper than the physical-and there may be more to her than even his sharp dragon eyes can see. To survive the coming battle for the fate of his race, he needs a mate of true heart and soul.

July 28, 2015

Loved It: Angel Lover by Tricia Skinner

Series: Angel Assassin 2
Format: eGalley
Release Date: June 30, 2015
Publisher: Entangled Select
Source: Author via NetGalley
Recommended by: Carmel of Rabid Reads
Genre: Paranormal Romance | Suspense

There’s no danger greater than falling for your enemy…

The Nephilim are bound. Their powers cursed. But half-angel Kasdeja will do anything to free them from Heaven's tyranny. When Kas is approached by a striking, mysterious woman, she tells him his greatest enemies hold the key to his freedom.

Mariel keeps herself shrouded in secrets, using them to hide her true self. For she is not just employed by the Renegades--enemy fallen angels—she is a double agent, working on the sly for Heaven. Her directive is to seduce the gorgeous Nephilim—despite her insecurity about such sensual acts.

For Mariel is playing a dangerous game, and falling for Kas could only cause trouble; her assignment isn't just seduction. It's destruction.

July 27, 2015

Needs Work: What We Knew by Barbara Stewart

Format: Hardcover | 256 pages
Release Date: July 14, 2015
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Source: Publisher
Genre: Young Adult | Mystery

When a local myth starts to seem like a dangerous reality, two girls are set on a path that could change their lives forever

"When I was little, I imagined a monster: Scaly hands. Pits for eyes..."
When Tracy and her best friend, Lisa, were kids, stories about a man—a creep who exposes himself to little girls—kept them out of the woods and in their own backyards. But Tracy and Lisa aren't so little anymore, and the man in the woods is nothing but a stupid legend. Right?

But someone is in the woods. Someone is watching. And he knows all their secrets, secrets they can't tell anyone—not even each other.

"Monsters don't exist."
Lisa's just being paranoid. At least that’s what Tracy thinks. But when a disturbing "gift" confirms her worst fears, it sets the girls on a dangerous journey that takes them beyond the edge of the woods. But reality is more terrifying than the most chilling myth, and what they find will test the bonds of friendship, loyalty, and love.

"Once upon a time, two girls were lost in the woods."
In Barbara's Stewart's What We Knew, Tracy and Lisa can't destroy the evil they'll face, but can they stop it from destroying each other?

Loved It: Spider's Trap by Jennifer Estep

Series: Elemental Assassin 13
Format: Paperback
Release Date: July 28, 2015
Publisher: Pocket Books
Source: Publisher 
Genre: Urban Fantasy

Keep your friends close but your enemies within stabbing distance.

One important lesson I’ve learned in the assassination business is that to be the best you have to roll with the punches. Now that I’m queen of Ashland’s underworld—by default, not by choice—a lot more punches are being thrown my way. But I suppose that’s the price of victory for taking down some of the underworld’s top dogs. Good thing I have my Ice and Stone magic to help me survive my volatile new position. Just when I think things are finally settling down, someone tries to murder me during a hush-hush underworld meeting. But the real surprise is how strangely familiar my shadowy assailant seems to be.

My job is to maintain order among killers, crooks, and thieves, and soon I’m embroiled in a bloody game where the ability to keep secrets could be the greatest superpower of all. My enemies have all sharpened their knives and laid their traps, waiting for me to fall. But this Spider weaves her own webs of death

"Because youre in my killing fields now, bitch." -Gin

July 25, 2015

Bought, Borrowed and Bagged [161]: Gone To The Wilderness

BB&B (Bought, Borrowed and Bagged) is a weekly meme, inspired my The Story Siren and Pop Culture Junkie, where we share with you the books that we have bought, borrowed or bagged (won or gifted) plus a recap of the previous week's reviews, upcoming reviews, on going events and book movie or television news. 

BB&B is an homage Barron's Books & Baubles from Karen Marie Moning's smash hit series, Fever. 

Wish me luck! I've never went camping my whole life because the wilderness scares me (snakes, spiders, the list goes on). Also I'm like the Princess and the Pea, I'm a sensitive sleeper, if there's such a thing, and if I can bring my bedroom I would. I'll settle for my pillow for now. See y'all Sunday night!

It's a new year and there's a new linky for my humble weekly recap meme. Whether you're a return participant or a new hopper, THANK YOU for joining, your participation is much appreciated. 

Also as this is a laid-back meme, please use your LABEL OR TAG LINKS and not your post links that way you don't have to update your linky every week. 

July 22, 2015

Disliked It: Love Lies Beneath by Ellen Hopkins

Series: Love Lies Beneath 1
Format: eGalley
Release Date: July 21, 2015
Publisher: Atria
Source: eGalley
Genre: Women's Literature

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Collateral comes a gripping novel about a woman caught in a love affair that could be her salvation...or her undoing.

Tara is gorgeous, affluent, and forty. She lives in an impeccably restored Russian Hill mansion in San Francisco. Once a widow, twice divorced, she’s a woman with a past she prefers keeping to herself.

Enter Cavin Lattimore. He’s handsome, kind, charming, and the surgeon assigned to Tara following a ski accident in Lake Tahoe. In the weeks it takes her to recover, Cavin sweeps her off her feet and their relationship blossoms into something Tara had never imagined possible. But then she begins to notice some strange things: a van parked outside her home at odd times, a break-in, threatening text messages and emails. She also starts to notice cracks in Cavin’s seemingly perfect personality, like the suppressed rage his conniving teenage son brings out in him, and the discovery that Cavin hired a detective to investigate her immediately after they met.

Now on crutches and housebound, Tara finds herself dependent on the new man in her life—perhaps too much so. She’s handling rocky relationships with her sister and best friend, who are envious of her glamour and freedom; her prickly brother-in-law, who is intimidated by her wealth and power; and her estranged mother. However perfect Tara’s life appears, things are beginning to get messy.

Writing in beautiful prose, Ellen Hopkins unveils a new style while evoking her signature poetic form that readers fell in love with in Collateral and Triangles.

I was very excited to read LOVE LIES BENEATH by Ellen Hopkins because it's her first adult novel, and it's written in prose. If you're familiar or have read EHopkins, you know that she tackles unpretty storylines, with unapologetic and messed up characters, and tells the story in such beautifully structured poetry. So it goes without saying that I was disappointed that this novel was a dud for me.

Let me start from the beginning. I had a good time getting to know Tara. She's not likable in the sense that you'd want to be friends with her. Tara might be gorgeous and rich, but she's a barracuda, a bitch, and some people might even call her the C-word. It's not warranted, Tara IS an abrasive character and one of the driving forces that will keep you reading is you want to know how she became like this. Tara might be easy to hate, but there's also something fascinating about her unapologetic brashness similar to all the Amy Dunnes populating this genre of late. 

Let me also insert here that EHopkins didn't deprive us of her poems all together, there were a few inserted in between chapters which were delighted me.

Things unravled for me in the second half and here are the reasons why:
  • The tepid romance. Tara's has admitted that she's never been in love and her marriages were similar to business partnerships with fringe benefits. And so when Dr. Cavin Lattimore came in her life, I expected this blazing, life-changing romance that will awaken Tara's softer side. The sex was hot, Cavin didn't run out of romantic gestures, but Tara came across unaffected. This romance didn't feel like a love connection to me, but another relationship destined to fail.

  • A quarter in, Tara started getting these threatening messages which popped here and there but there's no active follow through. The big reveal was also a let down and totally harmless. 

  • No noticeable character development. In the beginning, Tara was exciting and I love the dark shadows of her character. However all the changes and recent interactions in her life didn't change Tara, it didn't make her maternal, more loving, kinder, tolerant. NOTHING. Tara is still Tara and she slowly but surely bored me in the end.

Still, don't take my word for it. I'm just but one reader in a sea of many. So don't scratch this off your lists yet, I still recommend that you read LOVE LIES BENEATH if it's already in your TBR. 

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Thirsty Thursday & Hungry Hearts
hosted by Lexie of Unconventional Book Views

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July 21, 2015

Loved It: Even the Score by Kate Meader

Series: Tall, Dark, & Texan 1
Format: PDF
Release Date: July 21, 2015 
Publisher: Entangled Brazen
Source: Author
Genre: Contemporary Romance

He'll make her an offer she can't refuse...

Actress Tess McKenzie is performing in the Tenth Circle of Showbiz Hell-dinner theater. All she really wants is to start a theater of her own. Then Tess receives an offer she can't refuse. She'll get her funding...if she pretends to be the fiancée to her nemesis, Texan property tycoon Hunter Dade. If she's going to pull this off, she'll need all the luck she can get. Break a leg, indeed.

On the verge of a big business deal, Hunter needs to hire a fiancée. He hasn't quite forgiven Tess for ruining his wedding, but when their chemistry goes from combative to straight-up lust, the "no sex" clause in their mutually beneficial arrangement is tested. Which is a serious problem, because if Tess isn't careful, she'll go from breaking a leg to breaking her heart.

July 20, 2015

Shelley Liked It: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

Series: A Court of Roses and Thorns # 1
Format: Hardcover | 416 pages
Release Date: May 5, 2015
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children's
Source: Library
Genre: Young Adult | Fantasy | Romance

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she's been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.

A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES is Sarah J. Maas attempt at retelling Beauty and the Beast. Not sure what version she was trying for, Disney's or Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve's original story from 1740. The story features 19-year old Feyre who is the bread winner and hunter for a family that saw its fortunes dry up 8 years before. Feyre is the kind of character who when she agrees to do something, she tries hard to ensure that she gets it done. 

She promised her dying mother that she would take care of her family which includes a lame father, and two arrogant older sisters Elain & Nesta who don't lift a finger to help Feyre out but are quite happy spending Feyre's hard earned coin. Feyre is two separate characters. One is a brave hunter who takes on a wolf while hunting for food for the family, and later takes on a Queen for her lover and new family. The other is a meek, subservient tool for her father and sisters to use up until there's noting but frustration and anger behind. 

Which is probably a good thing that after killing said wolf, a rather unpleasant creature comes knocking on the families door demanding justice for the wolf's death. I know that a whole lot of readers have lost their panties over Tamlin, but I found Lucien and Rhysand just as interesting, and not because I like twisted triangles. I linked Lucien because he challenged and pushed Feyre and actually HELPED her at a key point in the story while Tamlin stood by like a mannequin. I mostly liked Rhys because he mostly doesn't change his stripes from the first time we meet him, until the final outcome.   

Rhys plot devices are rather interesting from the moment he shows up, and I'm not sure I want to know what happens next between him and Feyre now that a deal of sorts is in place. We shall see. Feyre is NOT Celaena so please try to cease comparing the two characters. She would lose every single time in a match up of skills, and badassery. Yes, even with what happens at the end! I hate to say this, but if this book was a standalone, I would have been perfectly happy at how the story ends. I would have been perfectly happy had Maas took a page out of Veronica Roth's playbook. Don't know what I mean? Read Allegiant.

Let me say this for the uninitiated....if you give someone a drug-like substance, and they can't remember what they did afterwards, then it's a form of mind rape. No matter how you try to cover it up, or sugar coat it because it was apparently "necessary." Yeah, no it wasn't. I have to say that the most entertaining point of A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES is when Feyre decides to take on the Queen of the Fairy's machinations for Tamlin. The Evil Queen really has her claws sunk into Tamlin and the rest of the Fairy. She wants humans to be under her thumb, and has been around since the last human/fairy war that left the world split in half. Feyre goes through a series of tests that she must pass, or die.

Sometimes it takes a while to write a review because my inner sarcasm becomes my outer sarcasm, and I can't help but stop and rewrite the entire thing for fear of offending anyone's sensibilities. I adore Sarah J Maas as a writer, and know that this series will do well. I know that people have already labeled Tamlin as their next book boyfriend. I give Sarah an A+ for her world building. Then again, I would have been shocked had it changed from her Throne of Glass series.

PS - Did anyone, anyone at all figure out the Queen's riddle from the moment she laid it out for Feyre? :::raises both hands::: 

So, will I abandon ship and take chances with the sharks, stay on the lifeboat for one more book, or wait out the repair crew hoping the ship doesn't sink? I think I'm staying in the life boat for now.  

Follow Me: Gizmo's Reviews Blog | Facebook | @GizmosReviews | Goodreads

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July 18, 2015

Bought, Borrwed and Bagged [160]: #Warcraft

BB&B (Bought, Borrowed and Bagged) is a weekly meme, inspired my The Story Siren and Pop Culture Junkie, where we share with you the books that we have bought, borrowed or bagged (won or gifted) plus a recap of the previous week's reviews, upcoming reviews, on going events and book movie or television news. 

BB&B is an homage Barron's Books & Baubles from Karen Marie Moning's smash hit series, Fever. 


from publishers & authors


Big & Small
Gamers, I know you know this! Who else is excited for WARCRAFT the movie (6.10.16)?! Full disclosure, I don't play WoW, my son did, but I always enjoyed the mini-movies built in the game, and read part of War of the Ancients.

I'm both excited and nervous for this movie. For the those of you who are unfamiliar, WARCRAFT is an epic game/story in the same vein as LOTR. The universe is HUGE and my expectations are HIGH. I hope this upcoming adaptation is nothing short of awesome!


It's a new year and there's a new linky for my humble weekly recap meme. Whether you're a return participant or a new hopper, THANK YOU for joining, your participation is much appreciated. 

Also as this is a laid-back meme, please use your LABEL OR TAG LINKS and not your post links that way you don't have to update your linky every week. 

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