Review: Optical Delusions in Deadtown by Ann Charles

11830198Wow! What happened? I loved the first book so very much! This one? Meh…..

Again, I must stress, I don’t understand these stupid covers at all! I still look at them and think of something from “True Blood” or something along those lines….very different from what the books really are about….yes, there is a bit of paranormal in these novels….but they are only a tiny slice of plot…and even at that the main character is always questioning if it even exists….so readers should be warned, if they are looking for some bad arse kicking sexy momma going off killing vampires/werewolves/zombies well they really won’t find that here……just a mention of a ghost or two….

The first book centers around spunky and single Violet Parker and her attempts to support herself and her two children, whilst also trying to maintain her sanity as she deals with all sorts of trouble that only a spunky, single independent woman could get in to. It’s full of laughs and near misses and heart tugging moments that you have no chance of escaping without loving Violet and her children.

This book? We hardly have even a glimpse of her children. Much of the book is spent with Violet trying to win over Doc…or at least getting him into a bed…..whilst at the same time she is playing best mate to her friend that fancies herself in love with Doc as well. At no point does she come clean.

Her dedication to being independent and her children that I so admired in book one really seems to take a back burner in this installment. Yes, you can be single, have kids, and fancy a man….yes, you can even sleep with said man…..but I felt that the entire novel was more focused on that then even the mystery in this novel….

I almost felt like I was reading some Janet Evanovich novel….and not a very entertaining one at that….

again….such a let down after book number one….

sigh…..

Until next time…

Urania xx

Buy it now Optical Delusions in Deadtown by Ann Charles

Review: Worthy by Catherine Ryan Hyde

1427470530869Catherine Ryan Hyde is one of my most reliable authors. Without fail, her stories make you feel. Their characters are so real and appealing that you can’t help but root for them. Her newest book is no exception.

Worthy is his name, but that wasn’t always the case. Once upon a time, not so very long ago, he went by the name of T-Rex. I know, that’s not a very practical name for a dog. But there’s rationale behind it. Anyway, he once belonged to a woman who loved him very much. But there was a man, a not-so-very-nice man who didn’t want to compete with a dog. So he was dropped off, destined to freeze to death.

But a young man found him and saved him. Or did he actually save the young man? It seems as if they both needed each other at the same time. Through this one not-so-extraordinary dog, two people find each other again.

Never fear, this isn’t a love story. Not really, at least. It’s more than that. It’s the story of a tragic ending to what might have been. And it’s the story of friendship and connection many years later. It’s the story of people helping each other get over their fears and their weaknesses. And it’s not really so much about the dog. Worthy just becomes the key that unlocks the past for both the woman and the young man.

This is a story that’s both sweet and sad. Things don’t end perfectly and happily ever after, but life seldom does. It’s a story that will leave you satisfied, and your heart will be a bit fuller.

~Thalia

Buy It Now: Worthy

Review: Deacon by Kristen Ashley

01 a0 How does Kristen Ashley manage to write about the most sexy men on the planet?? They may not be perfect men, but they are perfect to the women that claim them. And Deacon is most definitely that man. He hasn’t made the best choices in his life, but when he meets Cassie, he realizes that he can’t keep doing what he’s doing if he wants a girl like her.

SYNOPSIS
Deacon has an ugly history, a history that broke him, leaving him a ghost of a man. Out of necessity, he left the normal world to descend into the criminal world and found he fit. So he stayed. Cold as ice and living off the grid, Deacon has no intention to connect, not with anyone.

Then he returns to some remote cabins in the Colorado Mountains and finds they have new owners. One of them is Cassidy Swallow, a young woman willing to work hard to live her quiet dream in a house by a river surrounded by aspen and pine.

Suddenly, Deacon finds he’s at war. Cassidy’s pull for him to connect is strong. He fights it, but he loses, always coming back for more. But when he does, he gives her nothing.

From the first time she sees him, Cassidy knows Deacon is dead inside. She knows he’s the kind of man who could destroy a woman. But one night when Deacon’s control slips, Cassidy takes a chance.

He might break her. He also might be her dream come true.

Cassie knows he’s dangerous. She knows she should stay away. But there’s this pull that can’t be explained, and all it takes is one little slip and she’ll be lost in him forever.

I loved Deacon’s mysterious side. He kept coming back year after year. He barely ever spoke to her, but that didn’t change the fact that they were drawn to each other.

This book was so hot. I mean, whoa. I was rereading and taking notes. Their connection was off the charts. One minute they were sweet, and the next there was no stopping them. The was Deacon spoke to Cassie was so sweet and saucy, I was swooning.

Another 5 star K.A. book. In all reality, you can’t go wrong with a K.A. book. She write about real women and real situations. No cookie cutter books. Perfection.

~Melpomene

Buy Deacon (The Unfinished Heroes Series Book 4)

Review: Time and Time Again by Ben Elton

time and timeOkay, I have to say that this book isn’t perfect. Heck I guess no book is. However, I feel like I must give this one 5 stars….even though any book with time travel makes for a book that might have a few logical issues. I mean the whole butterfly effect thing can drive you mental if you dwell on it too long….If you dare to add historical factors in it…well, I’m sure there will be people who nitpick all the way through it and tell you why x, y and z just isn’t possible…..

But I say screw all that….This book was a fantastic read for me because I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I continue to think about it now that I have finished the last sentence. I looked for ways to mention this book and the concept in my everyday conversation.

Finally….well….truth be told…it boggles my mind. I don’t mean that it’s hard to follow. I simply mean that the more I think about this book and the possibilities…well, the more I get drawn deep into my imagination. I can’t stop thinking of the ramifications of the concepts this book brings forth.

I’ve read a few time travel books and have always enjoyed them. *Most* of the ones I have read are people trying to change to revisit history for their own gains….In this, Elton has giving us a story of a hero that is trying to revisit history for the greater good of the entire planet.

Let’s face it…this is hard book to review….why? Because my mind won’t shut down. Even now I am still scrolling through the endless possibilities that lie within this novel. Imagining past worlds and future worlds and all of the players that are on the stage of making history….both minor and major players all have their parts….

So really, are people made by history? Or do people make history? Is history just a matter of being in the right place at the right time? If something happens and a key player is no longer there….well, does history still right itself and just call in another key player to take the place of the one who doesn’t show?

I won’t say more than that….you don’t need to know all the details….but you do need to read this book. There are some really interesting stuff that’s going on. I will say that the entire book grabs you from the start and it’s a steady stream of happy reading….but at the last 20% there are lots of twists and turns that I did not see coming and if the book can be called “fast paced”…well the last 20% was turbo speed paced!

Finally this book has loads of great quotes so I wish to leave you with a few…

What fun those long, semi-drunken Sunday afternoons had been. The debates always degenerated into loud, name-calling battles between the Marxists, who contended that much of history was inevitable, the result of preordained economic and material forces, and the romantics, who believed that history was made by individuals and that a single stomach ache or an undelivered love letter could have changed everything

‘Proof? What proof can I give beyond the fact that logic requires it?’ he said, his voice rising. ‘Time is time. It ticks aways from the beginning until the end.’

‘but it doesn’t, you damned fool!’ Newton exclaimed ‘Am I really the only person on earth to have grasped this fact? Time is not linear. It does not go along on a steady course like a road from London to York. It does not have a beginning and it does not have an end, nor is it the same to one person as it is to another, nor to two planets or a million starts. It is different in all circumstances. Because it is relative.’

Such is the terrible irony of bereavement, turning every familiar joy to misery. Each smile a twisting knife. Each thing of beauty an added burden of pain.

‘I really hope you didn’t get me here to suggest I take comfort in religion,’ he growled.
‘Not in the slightest,’ McCluskey replied. ‘I don’t think religion should be comfortable. That’s where it all went wrong for the Anglicans, trying to be comfortable. Deep down people want fire and brimstone. They want a violent vengeful God who tells them what to do and smites them if they don’t do it. That’s why the Prophet Mohammed’s doing so well these days. I’ve occasionally thought about switching myself. At least Allah’s got a bit of fire in his belly. But you see I could never give up the turps.’

Until next time…

Urania xx

Review copy provided by Netgalley for an honest review

Buy it now Time and Time Again by Ben Elton

Review: Don’t Look Back by Jennifer Armentrout

3123874I have to start off by saying how much I enjoyed this book. I expected it to be decent, good even. But it was much better than I had anticipated.

The story beings with Samantha surfacing from some type of traumatic event. She has no knowledge of what happened and no memory of the person she used to be. She does know, however, that she was likely the last person to see best friend Cassie, who is now missing. In addition to trying to regain her memory, Samantha starts to realize that she doesn’t like the person she used to be. She’s rich, popular, beautiful, has a handsome boyfriend, and is a typical mean girl. So in fact losing her memory gives her a second chance at life, at becoming the person she wants to be. But when her memories start to resurface, she realizes that something dangerous is lurking in the background.

This was an excellent story for me. I really liked Samantha, and her interactions with the other “mean girls” were entirely believable. There’s also a nice little thriller element to the story with a few surprises towards the end. A highly compelling story that was hard for me to put down!

~Thalia

Buy It Now: Don’t Look Back (A Novel)

Review: Breaking Butterflies by M. Anjelais

18523137Breaking Butterflies is one of those books that you can’t put down because you just know something big is going to happen. But in this case the “something big” keeps happening over and over.

Cadence and Sphinx have been connected since before they were born, the result of a lifelong friendship between their mothers. Everything was planned out from childhood. When they would marry, how many kids they would have, even what those kids would be named. But plans go awry when it becomes very clear that something is wrong with Cadence. His golden child persona that the rest of the world sees is covering up something very wrong with his soul, his conscience, his inner being. And Sphinx herself is the object of his desire, the object of his obsession.

This story was both good and bad for me. Good because it kept me intrigued and reading until the very end. The bad for me was the dislike that I increasingly felt for Sphinx as the story progressed. But still, that’s the sign of a well-written story, one that elicits emotion either good or bad. A good read with some interesting twists!

~Thalia

Buy It Now:Breaking Butterflies

Review: Enforce by Rachel Van Dyken

01enforce Another winner, from the Mafia Queen herself. This book had plenty of love, desperation, heartache and a fair amount of violence. Perfection.

Synopsis
There’s two sides to every story…
And ours? Isn’t pretty…
Then again, what’s pretty about the mafia?
Trace Rooks, that’s what.
But she only wants one of us, and I’ll kill him before I let him have her.
The only problem?
We’re cousins.
And she may just be our long lost enemy.
Whoever said college was hard, clearly didn’t attend Eagle Elite University.
Welcome to hell also known as the Mafia where blood is thicker than life, and to keep yours? Well, keep your friends close, and your enemies?
Even closer…

Remember how I was saying I loved the guy’s point of view?? Well, I swear Rachel read my mind and wrote this for me. Not really, but a girl can dream, right? This is considered book 1.5, so you’ll get to revisit many scenes from Elite, but from the male point of view instead. It’s not a retelling, but a reliving.

Trace Rooks has no idea who she really is. She’s sent to a school, far from home, and forced to deal with the Elite and all their rules. She never had any idea how much her life was going to change. No clue the feelings that were flying around her.

Nixon was in control of every aspect of his life, or so he thought. When he sets eyes on Trace, part of him fell. He was in no way able to control what those feelings would make him do. He’s the boss and he can’t fall for her. Doing that, would be the worst mistake he could make. But sometimes you can’t help who steals your heart.

She was my Juliet, the girl I wasn’t allowed to have.

And the one I wanted most.

Chase Winter, is the the cousin. The nobody. Low man on the totem pole. But when he sees Trace, he’s never been so happy to not be in control. He is perfect for her. He knows it and Nixon knows it. But finding a way to make Trace realize it, is a task that he is ready to do.

“When the time’s right, assign me to Trace-duty. I’ll do what you can’t…”

“And what’s that?”

“Protect you first…love her second.”

This book was written from all the Elite guy’s points of views. There was so much more to the story, that we had no idea. The background stories were something, I longed for, but my heart wasn’t. These boys had so much to deal with, that had nothing to do with school. I was shocked at saddened by quite a bit of it. But now I see and understand them a bit more.

I am totally excited for the next book, Ember. Who knew Mafia books would be this awesome. Well done, Rachel!!

~Melpomene

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Buy Enforce (Eagle Elite)

Get caught up first

Elite (Eagle Elite Book 1)
Elect (Eagle Elite Book 2)
Entice (Eagle Elite Book 3)
Elicit (Eagle Elite Book 4)
Bang Bang

Review: The Bridge from Me to You by Lisa Schroeder

the-bridge-from-me-to-you-by-lisa-schroederDisclaimer: I am not a romance/love story person. Most “mushy” stories leave me running away as fast as I can. But sometimes the romance is secondary to a bigger plot, as was the case with this newest book from Lisa Schroeder.

Meet Lauren. As the new girl in town, she’s the object of much speculation. We find out very early on that she’s come to live with her aunt and uncle, but the suspense builds until we find out exactly why. She struggles with the loss of her immediate family, her place in her new family, and how she fits in to this small, close-knit town. Her point of view is told in prose, for the most part, which lends a poetic quality to her story.

But hers isn’t the only perspective that we hear. There’s also Colby. In this small town that’s centered around football, he’s one of the team’s rising stars. He’s going places, just not the places he wants to. His family, and the entire town for that matter, have every expectation that he’ll go on to make it big in college football. His story is told in more traditional narrative form as he tries to find the strength to stand up for what he wants, both in love and out of life in general.

This was a good, engaging book that earned a solid four out of five stars for me. The alternating writing style works completely and adds credibility to the different stories being told. It’s a love story, no doubt, so don’t go into it thinking you’ll be getting some deep, mysterious, angst-filled young adult book. My only (slight) complaint would be that it really does paint a somewhat rosy picture of high school life and small town life in general. But in today’s world of harsh headlines, sometimes that’s just what you need in a good book.

~Thalia

Buy It Now: The Bridge From Me to You

Review and Giveaway: Living with Regret(Rain#3), by Lisa De Jong

01liv

“Sometimes true friends make the best true loves.”

I knew going into this book, that it was going to toy with my emotions, so I was sort of prepared. But yet, not really.

Synopsis
I had my whole life mapped out. Perfect guy. Perfect friends. Everything was exactly the way I wanted it.

That was until that night–the one I can’t remember. It’s all my fault, and now the memories are all I have left of him. Of us.

My guilt drowns me until Sam Shea steps back into my life and helps me to the surface. He slowly opens my heart and crawls deep inside before I even realize what’s happening. I know I don’t deserve him.

While I’m trying to get used to my new life, pieces of that night slowly start to come back to me. Lies and secrets shatter everything I thought I knew.

Maybe I’m not the only one living with regret.

Holy heartache!!! Rachel wakes up, in a hospital bed, with no memory of how she got there. She doesn’t remember the final 24 hours of her “perfect” life before it was turned upside down. The only people that seem to want to help her, without any hidden agendas, are her friends, Kate, who she met in college, and Sam, the next door neighbor. But since Kate’s hours away, Sam’s the only friend she’s got to rely on. They may have lost touch, in the past few years, but he was always there when she needed him. And she needs him now.

Sam hasn’t had the best life, but he always cared for Rachel. He would take away her pain and heartache, if he could. He wants to show her that because she’s a live, she needs to make the most of what she’s been given. She needs to learn to forgive herself and move on. But that is most definitely easier said than done.

Rachel has always cared for Sam, even when she was dating someone else. He was her best friend. But lines are beginning to blur and she’s not sure what to do about that. Little does she know that his feelings run a bit deeper than friendship. But he slowly begins to show her.

“Life doesn’t always give you a second chance, so when it does, seize it, If you don’t, you might always regret it.”

I loved Sam. He was the most caring, patient, swoon worthy guy I’ve read about, in a long time. Some of his lines were so sweet, they made me tear up. He knew the right things to say to Rachel, to help her on the path of forgiveness and discovery.

“There’s no need to run when everything you want is right in front of you.”

I was totally cheering for Sam, but I understood that Rachel needed space to get her head on straight. As she starts to slowly get snapshots from that night, you start to realize that things weren’t always so clear. Just when I thought I understood, some thing else would come out of left field and slam right into me. I wouldn’t call them twists, but more like pieces to a puzzle. You really don’t know what you’re looking at, til all the pieces are in place. But putting those pieces together creates more heartache than the poor girl was ready for.

Life changes quickly with the turn of a key. If it’s the right one, it can unlock something fantastic, but if it’s wrong, it stops you in your tracks.

After much heartache and lots of discovery, Rachel finds out the truth about herself and the many people around her. But most important, she learns that living with regret isn’t living at all.

When you’re lost, the only thing left is to be found.
You can be lost in sadness and found in happiness
Lost in regret but found in forgiveness.
the key to being found comes from within…
No one is going to hand it to you.
…Life isn’t meant to be that easy.

~Melpomene

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Read the first two books:
When It Rains (Rains Standalone Book 1)

Changing Forever (Rains Standalone Book 2)

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Review: Apolonia, by Jamie McGuire

01apolonia WHAT.A.RIDE. I was totally not expecting the amount of twists and turns that I experienced with this one. It’s not a surprise that I love Jamie McGuire. So when I received Apolonia, I stopped the book I was reading, and jumped right into this one.

Synopsis
Three years after Rory Riordan foiled her own murder, she still trusts no one. Not Dr. Z, the eccentric college professor who has taken her under his wing, not Benji, the endearing, attractive classmate who insists on following her around, and certainly not Cy, the beautifully dark and mysterious boy who sits on the first row in Dr. Z’s Astrobiology class and asks far too many questions.

When Rory witnesses Cy being abducted by soldiers in the middle of the night, she finds herself submersed in a world that holds even more secrets than she could imagine–even darker secrets than her own.

Rory has survived these past two years, but just barely. She keeps to herself and tries to stay away from everyone. But for some reason Benji won’t stay away. He is, in fact, just like and puppy, and follows her and tries to befriend her. But Rory wants none of that. But he will not be detoured from his goal.

As an assistant to Dr Z. Rory is quite upset to find that there will now be another assistant that she must work along side with. While she feels drawn to Cyrus, she doesn’t trust him.

Slowly, she lets Benji get close to her, and soon she finds herself totally taken with him. She will always be wary of getting close to people, since what happened two years ago. But loving someone is the last thing she wants to do, and yet somehow he sneaks his way in.

When Cy gets taken, she realizes that what she’s known about the Dr, is all wrong. He is dabbling in things that she never would have thought possible. Her world is about to turn upside down, and she has no control over it.

I really enjoyed the many twists and turns in this book. Just when I thought I knew what was happening, another shocker happened and I was completely caught off guard. But I loved every moment of it!

Well done, Jamie!!!

~Melpomene

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