Sawyer by Lori Foster

Publisher: Harlequin Special Edition (July 1, 2007)
Kindle:  224 pages / 254  KB
Rating: of 5 stars

Sawyer Hudson, the only doctor in Buckhorn County, took it upon himself to rescue the beautiful but enigmatic woman who came literally crashing into his life. Though he knew he should keep things platonic and professional, around her his body had other ideas. And his heart was no more cooperative.

Honey Malone was on the run, fleeing a dangerous predator, when she lost control of her car, drove into a lake–and found herself up to her neck in breathtaking men. After the brothers nursed her through her injuries, she tried to leave, but she hadn’t bargained on their stubborn protectiveness. Or the passionate bond that tied her to Sawyer.

Review:

A pretty quick read, I had high hopes for “Sawyer”. The premise seemed interesting and full of potential. Foster created a diverse cast of enthralling male leads for her series. The focus of this one is, obviously, Sawyer. Honey, on the other hand, is not nearly intriguing. Sure, she has that whole mysterious-woman-on-the-run thing going on for her. But it’s not nearly enough. Her refusal to confide in Sawyer and his brothers makes sense, but it goes on for so long I’m left feeling irritated with her.

The one scene where she finally got on my nerves so much that I had to put the book down and take a break from it all was when she tried to “keep them safe by keeping them in the dark”. To achieve that goal she attempted to “borrow” (read: steal) Sawyer’s car to get away. Then, in the midst of all Sawyer’s anger, their inexplicable attraction erupts and they’re making out. This entire scene felt ridiculous and forced. I can see how perhaps it was headed here.

Sure the story has potential. The pacing of the story moves at a brisk pace, which helped to keep my attention on the book. But the characters/ situations weren’t developed enough for me. If you’re looking for just a quick romance and easy read, then this book and the others in the series should be a good fit.


“Waiting” on Wednesday: You Are My Only

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted at Breaking the Spine. The purpose is to spotlight upcoming releases that we are excited for.

You Are My Only by Beth Kephart

Hardcover: 256 pages
Publication date: October 25, 2011
Publisher: EgmontUSA

Emmy Rane is married at nineteen, a mother by twenty. Trapped in a life with a husband she no longer loves, Baby is her only joy. Then one sunny day in September, Emmy takes a few fateful steps away from her baby and returns to find her missing. All that is left behind is a yellow sock.

Fourteen years later, Sophie, a homeschooled, reclusive teenage girl is forced to move frequently and abruptly from place to place, perpetually running from what her mother calls the “No Good.” One afternoon, Sophie breaks the rules, ventures out, and meets Joey and his two aunts. It is this loving family that gives Sophie the courage to look into her past. What she discovers changes her world forever. . . .

Not really my norm. Which is nice. There’s a certain mystery to this that I can’t wait to see unravel. I’m excited to see where Kephart takes this.

Add on Goodreads.


“Waiting” on Wednesday: Eve

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted at Breaking the Spine. The purpose is to spotlight upcoming releases that we are excited for.

Eve by Anna Carey

Hardcover: 336 pages
Publication date: October 4, 2011
Publisher: HarperCollins

Where do you go when nowhere is safe?

Sixteen years after a deadly virus wiped out most of Earth’s population, the world is a perilous place. Eighteen-year-old Eve has never been beyond the heavily guarded perimeter of her school, where she and two hundred other orphaned girls have been promised a future as the teachers and artists of the New America. But the night before graduation, Eve learns the shocking truth about her school’s real purpose—and the horrifying fate that awaits her.

Fleeing the only home she’s ever known, Eve sets off on a long, treacherous journey, searching for a place she can survive. Along the way she encounters Arden, her former rival from school, and Caleb, a rough, rebellious boy living in the wild. Separated from men her whole life, Eve has been taught to fear them, but Caleb slowly wins her trust . . . and her heart. He promises to protect her, but when soldiers begin hunting them, Eve must choose between true love and her life.

In this epic new series, Anna Carey imagines a future that is both beautiful and terrifying. Readers will revel in Eve’s timeless story of forbidden love and extraordinary adventure.

Kind of scary to think about some deadly virus decimating most of the population, but Carey has an idea here that sounds fascinating. I can only hope the book will end up being as interesting as the summary.

Add on Goodreads.


Fantasy Lover by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperback (February 18, 2002)
Kindle: 352 pages / 415 KB
Rating: of 5 stars

Dear Reader,

Being trapped in a bedroom with a woman is a grand thing. Being trapped in hundreds of bedrooms over two thousand years isn’t. And being cursed into a book as a love-slave for eternity can ruin even a Spartan warrior’s day.

As a love-slave, I know everything about women. How to touch them, how to savor them, and most of all, how to pleasure them. But when I was summoned to fulfill Grace Alexander’s sexual fantasies, I found the first woman in history who saw me as a man with a tormented past. She alone bothered to take me out of the bedroom and onto the world. She taught me to love again.

But I was not born to love. I was cursed to walk eternity alone. As a general, I had long ago accepted my sentence. Yet now I have found Grace–the one thing my wounded heart cannot survive without. Sure, love can heal all wounds, but can it break a two-thousand-year-old curse?

Julian of Macedon

Review:

An oldie but a goodie? Maybe so. After a recommendation from a customer, I gave this book a chance. Not really knowing what to expect (sometimes I like to just jump into books without looking too far into the premise), I took the plunge into Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark-Hunter series with this book.

Though a bit scandalized by the content (which, I suppose, should have been expected since the main character did summon a “love-slave” from a book), the story played a lot with Gods, Goddesses and paranormal mysticism. The concepts Kenyon came up with were interesting enough to keep me reading.

One thing that did confuse me was where the “Dark-Hunter” part was supposed to come into play. It was only with a bit of research and the start of the next book that I realized that “Fantasy Lover” was more of a prequel of sorts.

The characterizations of the Gods and Goddesses that showed up felt fitting and appropriate. Or at least, Kenyon made it feel appropriate. I enjoyed how she portrayed them and her other characters.

Definitely a recommendation for those in the mood for a steamy romance, and enjoy that bit of paranormal.


Mephisto’s Covenant by Trinity Faegen

Publisher: Egmont USA (April 26, 2011)
Kindle: 448 pages / 5 KB
Source: Netgalley
Rating: of 5 stars

Sasha is desperate to find out who murdered her father. When getting the answer means pledging her soul to Eryx, she unlocks a secret that puts her in grave danger—she is an Anabo, a daughter of Eve, and Eryx’s biggest threat.

A son of Hell, immortal, and bound to Earth forever, Jax looks for redemption in the Mephisto Covenant—God’s promise he will find peace in the love of an Anabo. After a thousand years, he’s finally found the girl he’s been searching for: Sasha.

With the threat of Eryx always looming, Jax knows he has to keep Sasha safe and win her over.  But can he? Will Sasha love him and give up her mortal life?

It’s an interesting premise that Faegen has created. The idea that a child of Hell could be redeemed by one known as Anabo, it’s unique.

The characters brought on a mixed reaction. Sasha is a character I didn’t fully like or understand. We start the story with her relentless pursuit of the truth behind her father’s death. So relentless in fact that is borders being obsessive to a dangerous degree. Sasha comes off as a super good person that anyone would be friends with when given the appropriate opportunity. (Which makes sense since she is an Anabo.) For anyone thrust into the situation Sasha found herself in, I’m sure we’d all like to go back to our days of ignorance. Sasha’s initial reaction makes sense, even as it irked me.

Jax is refreshing as a male protagonist. I’m so used to those heros who always felt the need to push away their love interests. It was good to see Jax pursue Sasha. Even as he’s trying to stay away from Sasha at her request, he does things for her that would have swept any girl off her feet.

The romantic tension between Sasha and Jax was obvious and enjoyable. Even as Sasha wanted to stay away from Jax, she couldn’t help but want to be with him at the same time.

A good read, with an intriguing idea. It’s a book to check out if the summary interested you even the slightest bit. With the struggle against Eryx not over, it’s a good thing Mephisto’s Covenant is only the first of six books. Mephisto’s Covenant comes out September 27, 2011 from Egmont USA.


“Waiting” on Wednesday: A Beautiful Dark

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted at Breaking the Spine. The purpose is to spotlight upcoming releases that we are excited for.

A Beautiful Dark by Jocelyn Davies

Hardcover: 400 pages
Publication date: September 27, 2011
Publisher: HarperCollins

On the night of Skye’s seventeenth birthday, she meets two enigmatic strangers. Complete opposites—like fire and ice—Asher is dark and wild, while Devin is fair and aloof. Their sudden appearance sends Skye’s life into a tailspin. She has no idea what they want, or why they seem to follow her every move—only that their presence coincides with a flurry of strange events. Soon she begins to doubt not just the identity of the two boys, but also the truth about her own past.

In the dead of a bitingly cold Colorado winter, Skye finds herself coming to terms with the impossible secret that threatens to shatter her world. Torn between Asher, who she can’t help falling for, and Devin, who she can’t stay away from, the consequences of Skye’s choice will reach further than the three of them could ever imagine.

I’ve seen the title and cover around, and I can’t help but be intrigued. Normally I’m very put off by triangles, so I hope this is done well enough to get past that distaste. September is (hopefully) going to be a good month for books.


Wild Magic, by Tamora Pierce

Publisher: Simon Pulse (December 8, 2009)
Kindle: 208 pages / 404 KB
Rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Since I’m working on a YA story myself, I get to revisit favorite YA authors that I used to read back in the day–all in the name of research! I was visiting a friend and while admiring her bookshelf I saw that she had a large collection of Tamora Pierce novels. I had enjoyed some of her novels as a young tween but seem to have missed a good deal of them. I had never read the Immortals series before, so I picked up the first one and just started reading.The first book of the Immortals series is called Wild Magic, and it was pretty good. Tamora Pierce is probably one of the best YA fantasy authors, and I think her world building skills are very good. All of the novels, including Wild Magic, that I have so far encountered are set in a fictional country called Tortall. They have some of the same characters that drift in and out of the plot, and I have to say that I really like this style. Many authors get a bad case of Sequel-itis, and tend to milk characters and plot lines for all they can, and then some. I like Pierce’s style because she uses her world but brings in new stories and characters and keeps everything fresh.This story centers around a simple country girl named Daine. Her journey begins when she is hired by the royal horsemistress to bring a herd of ponies to the training ground for the Queen’s Riders. Daine has an affinity for horses–a natural way with animals that leaves her new boss impressed and more than a little curious. It seems to be more than a knack, Daine actually has a magical gift that allows her to communicate with animals. It is a very valuable trait to Onua, her boss, when bringing the ponies back to the training grounds, but her gift also becomes instrumental in the battling of creatures who have escaped imprisonment in the realm of the immortals: Harpie-like vultures, ogres, and beastly creatures called “spidrens” are just a few of the enemies facing Daine and her companions.

The story has excellent pacing; it doesn’t waste a page getting into the action, and draws the reader right through to the final page. If I were to criticise one thing about the story I would say that Daine is a *teensy* bit of a cliche–she has a serious case of haunted/orphan/chosen one syndrome that I think has become all too common with fantasy novels. However, these sorts of things often come with the territory, and it really did not stop me from thoroughly enjoying the story. Pierce is really good with ensemble casts of characters; while the story focuses on Daine, she spins a web of friends around her with such finesse that you end up caring deeply about all of them by the end–from your friendly neighborhood shapeshifting mage to Daine’s own trusty steed, Cloud.

Reading this book has inspired me to plow through the rest of Pierce’s works, so expect more awesome Tortall-ian reviews coming your way!

“Waiting” on Wednesday: Cold Kiss

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted at Breaking the Spine. The purpose is to spotlight upcoming releases that we are excited for.

Cold Kiss by Amy Garvey

Hardcover: 304 pages
Publication date: September 20, 2011
Publisher: HarperCollins

It was a beautiful, warm summer day, the day Danny died.

Suddenly Wren was alone and shattered. In a heartbroken fury, armed with dark incantations and a secret power, Wren decides that what she wants—what she must do—is to bring Danny back.

But the Danny who returns is just a shell of the boy Wren fell in love with. His touch is icy; his skin, smooth and stiff as marble; his chest, cruelly silent when Wren rests her head against it.

Wren must keep Danny a secret, hiding him away, visiting him at night, while her life slowly unravels around her. Then Gabriel DeMarnes transfers to her school, and Wren realizes that somehow, inexplicably, he can sense the powers that lie within her—and that he knows what she has done. And now Gabriel wants to help make things right.

But Wren alone has to undo what she has wrought—even if it means breaking her heart all over again.

The last time I read anything to do with necromancy and bringing the dead back to life was last year with Kelley Armstrong’s Darkest Powers trilogy. This, however, is quite a different tale. I’m very interested to see where Garvey takes it.


How to Flirt With a Naked Werewolf by Molly Harper

Publisher: Pocket (February 22, 2011)
Kindle: 384 pages / 629 KB
Rating: of 5 stars

Even in Grundy, Alaska, it’s unusual to find a naked guy with a bear trap clamped to his ankle on your porch. But when said guy turns into a wolf, recent southern transplant Mo Wenstein has no difficulty identifying the problem. Her surly neighbor Cooper Graham—who has been openly critical of Mo’s ability to adapt to life in Alaska—has trouble of his own. Werewolf trouble.

For Cooper, an Alpha in self-imposed exile from his dysfunctional pack, it’s love at first sniff when it comes to Mo. But Cooper has an even more pressing concern on his mind. Several people around Grundy have been the victims of wolf attacks, and since Cooper has no memory of what he gets up to while in werewolf form, he’s worried that he might be the violent canine in question.

If a wolf cries wolf, it makes sense to listen, yet Mo is convinced that Cooper is not the culprit. Except if he’s not responsible, then who is? And when a werewolf falls head over haunches in love with you, what are you supposed to do anyway? The rules of dating just got a whole lot more complicated. . . .

Review:

An entertaining read, this was my first time reading anything by Molly Harper. Of all the places to move to just to get some distance from your parent, to go from southern USA to Alaska seems extreme. But as Mo elaborates on how her hippie parents are like, Alaska might not be far enough.

Mo is an interesting character who I’d probably get along with. She’s a good person, just looking for the place where she belongs after her tumultuous childhood. New to the small town of Grundy, Alaska, Mo is a novelty that has most bachelors flirting with her as she quickly finds a place for herself in their community.

The only one really against Mo’s move to Grundy is the perpetually grumpy Cooper. (As well as Lynette, who’s dislike comes from the men’s attention on Mo.) Consistently at odds with one another, Mo and Cooper can’t deny the latent attraction at work as well.

The book starts off pretty slowly. But when we finally get to the scene described in the summary, where Mo finds a naked man stuck in a bear trap, the story just takes off.

A quick, fun read, this book isn’t one to pass up.


Abandon by Meg Cabot

Publisher: Point (April 26, 2011)
Kindle: 320 pages / 360 KB
Rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Though she tries returning to the life she knew before the accident, Pierce can’t help but feel at once a part of this world, and apart from it. Yet she’s never alone . . . because someone is always watching her. Escape from the realm of the dead is impossible when someone there wants you back.

But now she’s moved to a new town. Maybe at her new school, she can start fresh. Maybe she can stop feeling so afraid.

Only she can’t. Because even here, he finds her. That’s how desperately he wants her back. She knows he’s no guardian angel, and his dark world isn’t exactly heaven, yet she can’t stay away . . . especially since he always appears when she least expects it, but exactly when she needs him most.

But if she lets herself fall any further, she may just find herself back in the one place she most fears: the Underworld.

Review:

This was such a great read. However towards the beginning it did require a bit of a push to get into the story. Cabot jumped around in time so much that I nearly got fed up. But I knew it’d make more sense if I just powered through. Luckily my faith was rewarded.

Even when Pierce was so angry with the situation at hand and didn’t like John all that much, I couldn’t help but root for them to be together. There was this pull that Cabot made apparent and irresistible. The plot twists and increasing mysteries only help to keep me drawn in and reading to the end.

What makes this better is that “Abandon” is just the first book. There will be more to expand on the characters and answer the questions left unanswered. This is a great start. Cabot worked magic on this, and I’m excited to see where she takes it. Another book I’d recommend to anyone who’s interested in either YA fantasy books or vague interpretations of Greek mythology.