Review: Sweet Revenge by Zöe Archer

image“Oh, aye,” he said, bitter. “I’m a goddamn hero.” “I never said that.” Her mouth curved into a soft, bittersweet smile. “But maybe someday you’ll become one.”

Jack Dalton has a gun held to his head. On the other end of the gun is Eva Warrick. She and her companions are part of a private organization called Nemesis Unlimited. Nemesis’ mission is to help those in the lower social classes. Their current client is a merchant’s daughter. She was seduced and abandoned by Lord Rockley. Eva and her fellow agents believe that Rockley is also involved in some illegal activities. They want to expose him and thus bring retribution for the merchant’s daughter.

Jack just wants to kill Rockley. Jack’s sister was a prostitute. Rockley had rough sex with her and caused her death. He escaped prison to kill Rockley. Eva threatens to bring him back to prison if he doesn’t help her.Jack is the only person who left Rockley’s employ and is still alive. They need him to track Rockley’s activities as well as his business associates. Jack has no choice but to help Eva and her partners.

Jack and Eva are immediately attracted to each other when they first meet. The romance slowly develops as they work together. They learn of each other’s past. Jack’s is painful, of course, as he is riddled with guilt over his sister’s deaths.

This an exciting and entertaining, action-packed first book in the series with a kick-ass heroine. The tv shows Leverage and Burn Notice inspired Zoë Archer to create this series. I eagerly look forward to the next book. Hopefully, Simon will be the hero.

~Thalia

Buy It Now Sweet Revenge: A Nemesis Unlimited Novel

Review: Tell the Wolves I’m Home (Revisited) by Carol Rifka Burnt

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“I thought how that was wrong and terrible and beautiful all at the same time.”
― Carol Rifka Brunt, Tell the Wolves I’m Home

This quote is exactly how I felt about this book. There is no doubt that this will go down as an all time favorite of mine. What a powerful read for me. I want to go out and buy multiply copies and give it to all the people I love. I want to hand out copies to complete strangers. I want just one person to read it and then turn to me and say, “I understand what this book means to you, I feel it too.”

I usually start a book and it’s easy enough for me to tell if I am going to like it or not. I can tolerate an okay story if the writing is “quote worthy.” It’s no secret to anyone that knows me that I can get lost in words if the author writes them in a lyrical way. This book was no exception. I fell in love from the start. This book sang to me! As I read along I loved the writing I was witnessing. Yes, I was not just reading words on a page….I was feeling as if I was present in Brunt’s imagined world. However, at the same time, I thought, this is a really a pretty cool book and I’m really enjoying it, but there’s no way I will be able to review it. The story was too hard to put into words. Many times, as a book goes along I lose some of my passion for it. As I went further along in this book, I was surprised to find that my love for the book was not easing off. In fact, my love for it was growing in leaps and bounds. My despair at trying to figure out how to start a review also changed. Now the story wasn’t too hard to put into words, it was simply too big! How could I encompass all the emotions that this book evoked from me and put it into mere words?

“Proof that there are worlds and worlds and worlds on top of worlds, if you want them to be there.”
― Carol Rifka Brunt, Tell the Wolves I’m Home

Brunt has masterfully given us so many stories on top of stories here. Is this a story about the ignorance of AIDS in the 80’s and the assumptions people made born out of that ignorance? Is this a story of family rivalry? Or of family love? Is it a story about the bond between sisters? Is it a coming of age story of a single young girl? Or is it the story of two lonely people that find a way to hold on to one another to overcome life’s grief? Is it about courage? Or sorrow? Loneliness? Acceptance? Regret? Acceptance?

“She was wired into my heart. Twisted and kinked and threaded right through.”
― Carol Rifka Brunt, Tell the Wolves I’m Home

Brunt has somehow taken these separate amazing stories and twisted and kinked and threaded them right through the reader’s very heart and made them into one…..how does one do that? How is it possible for this to be a debut novel? Surely there must have been bit of magic involved!

What strikes me most about this book is just how well Brunt was able to capture what being a teenager was like for me. I felt as if I had traveled in some time machine….that I was transported back to my own life as a teenager….forced to re-live all those thoughts and fears I had. I remember all those same feelings that June and Greta were feeling. The self-doubt. The selfishness of not being able to see the world beyond how it affects me. Ultimately this was June’s story and we only had her viewpoint to follow. This story could have read so differently if it had been Toby or Greta’s voice that we heard. Some parts of me wish it had been the type of book that was told from multiple viewpoints. That feeling came from my own personal greed. I was so able to climb inside the character of June. I wish I had been allowed to also climb further inside the characters of Greta and Toby as well. How different my life might had been had I been privy to their thoughts and insights at the time…it really is something when an author is able to transport you to another place and time….to make you feel as if you are no longer a reader, but instead, you are present, living this story, just as if it were your own…..

Please don’t let all the hype and the great reviews of this book deter you from giving it a chance. Sometimes you run across a book that not only lives up to all the hype….to a book that truly deserves all the hype….sometimes you also run across that a book totally and completely captivates you and takes you by surprise…..

This is that book! Read it! I dare you to!

~Urania

Buy It Now Tell the Wolves I’m Home

What Makes a Good Book Good

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I’ve been thinking about what makes a good book GOOD. I know, I know – developed characters, an even and forward-moving plot, a genre I like, good writing…. But there’s something else that’s not so objective.

I need the characters to be relatable. The plot has to be somewhat realistic (that’s over a 5 on the realism scale -yeah i made that up- where 1 is unrealistic and 10 is nonfiction). The book has to evoke emotions – make me laugh and cry. There have to be enough details that I can see what the characters see, but not so much detail that it bogs down the plot. Dialogue has to be natural, not contrived.

But you know what it really is? The book has to make me want to invest in it. I’ve got to be drawn in and live the story I’m reading. I want that book to speak to me!

Since having a kindle and putting quite a few free-or-on-sale books on there, I’ve experienced some books that just aren’t good. I’m either bored with the characters or driven crazy with unnecessary details. Sometimes the plot seems to be going absolutely nowhere– because it isn’t. And sometimes the characters are so contrived, I find my eyebrows raised… page after page after page. Why do I put myself through it?!

The most recent failure was Coffee Beans and Blue Jeans. Or Blue Jeans and Coffee Beans. I struggled to 20% and just couldn’t go any further. If you’ve read it and enjoyed it, please let me know what its redeeming qualities are. Maybe it deserves a second chance. Or maybe it doesn’t!

I have 700 books on my kindle, all unread and waiting for me. I’d like to find one that moves me rather than struggle through one that frustrates me.

So…. Hello, “Geoducks Are for Lovers.” I’ll let you know how it is in a future review. If I finish it. 😉

-Calliope

Buy Some Now <a href="http://Kindle eBooks

Review: Dance of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin

20130728-200959.jpgThis was a hard review to write. Why? First, I didn’t want to include any spoilers for the first book just in case there were readers waiting for this book to be released before starting it. Second, I didn’t want to include spoilers for this book. So, here I go.

I read this book without re-reading Masque of the Red Death first. Bethany Griffin’s evocative writing quickly drew me back to the plight of Araby and her friends. The book picks up almost immediately where Masque left off.

Araby has her father’s journal. Through it, we discover what happened between Prospero and her father. I was entranced while reading the book and kept flipping the pages to find out what was going to happen next.
The only problem I had was the drawn out love triangle. Maybe because I have never cared for love triangles. I wanted to yell at Araby to pick! Who she finally chose was the right fit for her.

As for Araby herself, I liked her growth in this book. Early in the book she talks about being hurt and how she doesn’t need Elliott’s syringe to help her survive the pain. This is much different from the Araby we met in book 1.
I am glad to have met Araby and her world. I’m sad to leave it after two books instead the promised series but very happy that Ms. Griffin didn’t drag the story out.

ARC provided by publisher via Edelweiss.

~Thalia

Buy It Now Dance of the Red Death (Masque of the Red Death)

Buy Book 1 Masque of the Red Death

Review: Thief, by Tarryn Fisher

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OK. I really wanted to like this book. I really truly did. But sadly, I didn’t. This was the last in the trilogy and I had high hopes of angst and emotion. But all I got was frustration and anger.

The first book, The Opportunist, had me in knots. I was a wreck!! The angst almost got the better of me. The lies put me over the edge. It was CRAZY!!

The second book, Dirty Red, filled me with hate. Red was so mean, I wanted to reach in and smack her. She was a HORRIBLE mother. I mean horrible. I had to take breaks after reading what she was doing and how she didn’t even care. It made me sick. But I liked the book, even though it ended on a semi cliffy. I was shocked!

This book made me mad, just plain mad. I don’t like reading books with this theme. the “I love her, even though she’s married, and I will do everything I can to show her I still want her.” And let’s not forget the “I’m married, but he’s not here right now…” See where this is going?? I’m not even gonna right more. There is nothing I agree with in here.

OK, if you can handle that, then this book is for you. So disappointed.

~Melpomene

Buy it now Thief (Love Me With Lies #3)

Review: Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock

12985143 Hemlock is a supernatural YA book featuring werewolves…and I freaking loved it.  I really thought that was just a tired genre for me – and for many others – but Kathleen Peacock managed to pick and choose the best parts of this category.

Lupine syndrome is on the rise in the country and a few months ago Mac’s best friend Amy was killed by a white werewolf. Nothing has been the same for her or for her best friends Jason and Kyle since then.  When it seems that danger is back in the town of Hemlock Mac isn’t sure who to trust when it seems that betrayal is everywhere.

I’ve read a few other reviews that talked about a love triangle and how typical it is to have in a supernatural YA book. However during the reading of the book I wasn’t really feeling a triangle vibe.  More like an I hate Jason and he needs to get over himself vibe but that could just be me.

What I liked about this book so much was the mystery combined with the plot twist that came with every turn. That made it much more than the typical YA supernatural book.  Mac’s dead best friend Amy visits her in her dreams and I loved those chapters and the interactions between the two.

Mac is also not a damsel in distress that seems to appear in so many YA books. I appreciated how resourceful she was and while she did make a few bad decisions they weren’t the kind that made me scream in frustration and want to throw my kindle across my room – um, not that I’ve done that before with a book or anything.

This book is suspenseful, plot driven and funny.  It’s full of danger and love. I would highly recommend to anyone who loves YA books and specifically anyone who has ever remotely liked a supernatural book, this one is excellently done.

5 stars.

~Clio

Buy it Now Hemlock

Review (Another Look): The Story Guy by Mary Ann Rivers

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Clio wrote a great review of this novella on July 16… So this will be brief.

Mary Ann Rivers writes so the reader is in the story with the characters. I felt part of the book – and I think that’s one sign of successful writing.

For one, I thought I would be freaked out reading about a librarian meeting a stranger in the park every Wednesday for a make-out session. But I wasn’t. Mary Ann Rivers wrote in the apprehension as well as the excitement (and the relief when the Wednesday guy turned out to be nice and normal), and I felt it right along with Carrie.

In this age of the Internet and texting, sometimes it’s easier to show our real selves to a stranger instead of a friend. That’s what Carrie and Brian did. They spilled their guts in instant messages, and got to know each other better than if they had gone on a month’s worth of coffee dates. Awesomely, I got to know Carrie and Brian, too, and I got to see how perfect they were for each other.

You know the feeling you get when you first start dating someone? Like there’s no one else to think about? Like no one else in the world exists? Rivers did an amazing job using the precise words and manner to give me that novel feeling of beautiful isolation. Brian and Carrie were in their own little world, until they were ready to face the world together.

Rivers has a talent for immersing the reader in her story. I look forward to more by her.

Netgalley provided me with this book in exchange for an honest review.

–Calliope

Buy It Now The Story Guy (Novella)