Tuesday, December 4, 2012

[Book Review] Breathless by Sophie Jordan

Summary (from Goodreads): 
Sophie Jordan's breathtaking digital original novella set in the world of Firelight.
For Az, it's supposed to be a fun summer vacation with her family. Nothing complicated. Just a quick trip to test the waters as she prepares for a year on her own. That all changes when she rescues a drowning girl and meets Tate—the most gorgeous human boy she's ever seen. Tate throws her heart, her plans, and her life into upheaval, but the closer she gets to him, the harder it is to hide the secret of what she is. With no hope for a future together, the last thing that can ever happen . . . is love.
This stand-alone digital original is perfect for those new to the Firelight series as well as veteran fans.

As a huge fan of the Firelight trilogy, there was no doubt in my mind that no matter who the main character was, if there was going to be a novella, spinoff, etc. I would be reading it. Lucky for me, I happen to really like Az’s character and now because of this novella, I now absolutely love the character. 

Here’s to hoping great reviews help Sophie Jordan to consider writing another Firelight novella. 

Plot: Darn you, Sophie Jordan for making it hard on fans to figure out when your novella is supposed to take place according to the Firelight timeline. I had fun trying to guess but gave up. With that being said, there was never a scene in the novella that I felt was unnecessary. With it being a short story, there really wasn‘t time for that and I loved it. Right away there’s action going on that leads to the main plot.  

Characters: I really felt like this story allowed readers to get to know Az and her family life a lot more. Of course, we’re introduced to the character in Firelight, but it’s a different take now that it’s from her point of view. 

Relationships: I feel like there’s a bigger story there with Az’s family and also with Tate and his family. I’d love to see it develop in the future. 

Romance: I loved the kidding around between Az and Tate. It reminded me a lot of Jacinda & Will from Firelight, but of course with there own take on it. I really, really, REALLY, hope Sophie Jordan considers writing more to this world. There were characters introduced (such as Anna & Troy) that I’d love to read more about.

Writing: Having read all three of the books in the Firelight trilogy, I safely say I am in love with Sophie Jordan’s writing. She has a way of (for lack of better words) not beating around the bush. She gets to the point right away and makes sure that not a single scene is placed in her writing in vain. Plus, she’s freaking Sophie Jordan.. enough said.

So, now reading over my review, I realized this just comes off as a huge plead with Sophie to ask her to write another novella. Just when I thought I was ready to let go of the series, she has to go and write a novella. I think she likes messing with her readers’ emotions. So, Mrs. Jordan, what do you say? Make your fans happy and write another story in the draki universe? Pretty please...

5 out of 5 stars for Breathless by Sophie Jordan

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

[Book Review] Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

Summary (on Goodreads):




Romance was not part of Nora Grey's plan. She's never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how hard her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her. Not until Patch comes along. With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Patch draws Nora to him against her better judgment.

The last couple of angels books that I’ve read didn’t quite seem as good I’d hoped they would be. I had high hopes for them that they did not meet. With that in mind, I didn’t have much hope in yet another fallen angel book. But I was completely wrong to think in that manner. Not only did Hush, Hush surpass all of the other angel books, but it also made it to my top 10 favorite book list. I’ve read close to 40 (36 to be exact) books/short stories this year and this one surely makes it to the top 3. 

Why? I feel like every single one of the factors below are what all together made me love the book so much. Characters made the relationships better. Relationships made the romance better. The romance made the plot better. Lastly, the plot made the writing better. 

Characters: I felt like the characters were very alive. A lot of times, I’ll read a book and feel no attachment to the characters what so ever. One way that let me know I was really liking (or hating) the characters was when I found myself arguing with the decisions they would make. That’s when I know the author has written realistic characters. 

Relationships: I really enjoyed Vee and Nora’s friendship. They bickered from time to time, but were there for each other when it counted just like real friends. They didn’t approve of the other’s boyfriend (or boy-friend) and weren’t afraid to vocalize it to each other.  One relationship that I would love to see more in the continuing books of the series is Nora and her mother. I felt like there was so much potential for a great mother-daughter relationship, but didn’t understand why it wasn’t there.  

Romance: I thoroughly loved the romance between Nora and Patch. Their relationship begins with bantering, secrecy, and all the good stuff a YA supernatural reader loves to read. Everyone from Nora’s best friend to the school counselor are counting against the pair coming together, but even then that doesn’t stop the readers from wanting them to be together.    

Plot: Right from the start, it caught my attention. I didn’t have to wait 50 (or on some occasions more) pages for the good stuff to happen. And the good stuff kept on coming. There was no boring gap (and for a big book at 300++ pages, that’s rare) in the middle.  

Writing: I have to admit, I was too caught up in the plot and what was going on to really pay attention to any special things to point out in the writing. I loved the book. I think that should say enough.

5 out of 5 stars for Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick.

Last Friday, I had to the wonderful opportunity of meeting Becca Fitzpatrick. One of the things that I took from this event was how funny she was. While most authors shy away from admitting    that some of their characters are based on people they know in real life, she was completely open about it. She even admitted that some characters/scenes had to do with old crushes. Drew Doyon, the model for the covers aka Patch was also there too. When my iPod decided to start acting up when it came time to take my picture with him, he offered to take the picture with his phone and post it on Twitter. That was super sweet of him!   

Monday, September 24, 2012

[Book Review] Holding Out For A Hero by Stacey Joy Netzel

Summary (from Amazon):
Kelsie Newman meets the man of her dreams at the beginning of a really, really bad day, so excuse her for not recognizing him. Good thing she's a smart girl and a quick learner. When he rescues her from her Good Samaritan act gone bad later that same day, she doesn't make the same mistake twice.

If you’ve been following my last couple of book reviews, you know that I’m trying to reach the highest number in my “books read in 2012” list, but with school, that’s proven to be kind of difficult. So, if I find a short story that looks like it’s good and won’t take up much of my time, I’ll download it.

Plot: Words cannot express how much I loved this story. I felt like this was just the read I needed for my current mood. Similar to the main character, I tend to be negative about every little thing I see, but luckily that is all changed halfway through the short story. Kelsie, the main character, begins to see things differently and not taking even the smallest things for granted. I read this at the beginning of the week, on a Monday to be exact. So, I feel like this is the positive attitude for the next following week and hopefully for more time after that.   

Characters:I’ve gotten to that point in writing where I don’t expect to grow too attached to characters. A lot of the books that I’ve started (and never finished) have caused me to do that. But being that this was a one sitting book, I felt a better connection to the characters. I even found myself relating to Kelsie on more than one occasion. How the heck the author managed to do that in such a short passage, amazes me.

Romance: Sometimes second chances make for a better introduction. I love how the author shows that you don’t always make the first impression, but that doesn’t mean that it’s over.

Creative way of writing: Like I said before, the author has an amazing way of making the audience (or at least me) relate to the characters. She also did a wonderful job of putting a lot of themes in her story to hopefully improve someone’s way of looking at life. It almost feels like I was reading a feel good inspirational story, if truth be told.

Blogger’s Note: This is free on Amazon right now. I don’t know how long this will last so check it out!

5 out of 5 stars to Holding Out For A Hero by Stacey Joy Netzel

Saturday, September 22, 2012

[Book Review] Heat Wave by Richard Castle

Summary (from Amazon):
A New York real estate tycoon plunges to his death on a Manhattan sidewalk. A trophy wife with a past survives a narrow escape from a brazen attack. Mobsters and moguls with no shortage of reasons to kill trot out their alibis. And then, in the suffocating grip of a record heat wave, comes another shocking murder and a sharp turn in a tense journey into the dirty little secrets of the wealthy. Secrets that prove to be fatal. Secrets that lay hidden in the dark until one NYPD detective shines a light. Mystery sensation Richard Castle, blockbuster author of the wildly best-selling Derrick Storm novels, introduces his newest character, NYPD Homicide Detective Nikki Heat. Tough, sexy, professional, Nikki Heat carries a passion for justice as she leads one of New York City's top homicide squads. She's hit with an unexpected challenge when the commissioner assigns superstar magazine journalist Jameson Rook to ride along with her to research an article on New York's Finest. Pulitzer Prize-winning Rook is as much a handful as he is handsome. His wise-cracking and meddling aren't her only problems. As she works to unravel the secrets of the murdered real estate tycoon, she must also confront the spark between them. The one called heat.

I should start by saying that even if you’re not a fan of Castle, the television series, you can still pick up “Richard Castle’s” books and find them interesting. There might be a few insiders, such as the end acknowledgements that non fans would not completely get grasp of, but seemingly, that’s not important. However, being that I am a fan of the tv series, I was a bit disappointed, but I’m hoping the other books that follow in this series make up for it.

Plot: It very well felt like an episode of Castle. And if you’re unfamiliar with Castle, think any other murder investigation show. Someone is killed. Detectives go to investigate and solve the murder. Except one detective isn’t going in alone considering she has a reporter following her around for research. Together they work to solve the murder.

Characters: Similar to episodes of Castle, and again I kind of feel like I have to compare it to the show since these books are supposed to be written by a fiction character on Castle, we find out about the characters as the story progressives. Each character sort of has a backstory. Some backstories are revealed more than others. I really hope that these backstories are presented in the future books. It should definitely add more plot to the books if that’s the case.

Relationships: I think one thing that I like more in the books than I do on the show is the playfulness and sarcasm of the detectives with each other. While Castle, the show, has great writing, I personally favored the way these characters were constant at each other’s throats with snarky comments.

Romance: One of the things I really loved about the romance aspect in Heat Wave is that the author, Richard Castle, makes it seem like Nikki Heat is the one in major heat for Jameson Rook. That seems like something Richard Castle, the character in the TV series, would do. Anyone who watches the show knows that Rick is always the one who is pursuing Kate with his flirty comments. Oh, and I could totally see Kate confronting him on making the character based on her all hot for the character that is based on him. Well, maybe in the earlier seasons which is when the book was written.

Writing: One thing that I liked is that the author jumps from scene to scene. I’m not really a huge fan of two page color descriptions and in Heat Wave, I don’t have to worry about that at all. This book is very fast paced and almost passes you by.

3 out of 5 stars to Heat Wave by Richard Castle

Thursday, September 20, 2012

[TV Thursday] What shows are you looking forward to this 2012-2013 season?

Well, it’s finally that time again. Our shows are coming back. While some networks (looks at CW with mad killer eyes) won’t be starting their shows up again until October, most will be back later this month. If you’re anything like me, I don’t like waiting. I don’t want promo pictures. I don’t want trailers. I don’t want one minute sneak peeks. I want the real thing. I want my shows back.  


My TV Schedule:
Once Upon A Time – Wasn’t expecting that ending they gave us for the season one finale so I’m looking forward to the next season and looking forward to the direction they will be taking the main characters now that they know the big secret.
Bones – I watched the premiere on Monday like everyone else. There were definitely the twists that I wasn’t expecting that I’m hoping lead to backstabbing and drama. (I love drama)
How I Met Your Mother – Robin. Barney. Wedding. Hello! I want to see how they get to that point. It shall be an interesting season, hopefully.
Castle* - “All I want is you.” I just… I’m waiting for Monday to be here already. I can’t wait to see Castle and Beckett interact as a secret couple.
Nikita* - I just really know what Alex’s answer is to Sean’s date question. Oh, and I want to see them go on the date.
The Vampire Diaries* - There are so many things that the finale left open, so many cliffhanger. Elena as a vampire. Klaus + Tyler = Klyer? This has to be one of the best shows on air right now. Definitely has something for everyone to enjoy.
Switched At Birth – While I am about an episode behind, I have to say that the back end of episodes almost feels like a different show. And not in a bad way. The writers have done a great job of keeping things fresh. I may not agree with everything they are making the characters do, but I can recognize good writing when I see it. 
Glee – Just when I was ready to give up on this show for the 3 time, it has to go and have an AMAZING season 4 premiere. Similar to Switch At Birth, Glee feels like a new show. Half of the show is in high school, the other half in a college? Yeah, I’ll sign up for it.
New Pilots that I am more than likely going to give a shot:
Beauty and the Beast* - Although I wasn’t a fan of her character on Smallville, I love Kristin Kreuk’s work. So, I’ll definitely be tuning in.
Emily Owens – Justin Hartley, please have some shirtless scenes. That is all.
Arrow – Partly giving this a shot because of my love for Smallville’s GA. Otherwise, I would be looking the other way.
Revolution* - Dang it! I missed the premiere! Let’s blame school again.
Nashville - I’m a sucker for musical shows… sometimes.
666 Park Avenue – Looks like an odd collaboration of cast, but that’s exactly what’s pulling me in.

“*” means I am on the edge of my seat waiting for them to be back.


So, what’s your TV schedule look like? What shows are you guys looking forward to? Comment below. If there’s a show out there that you’re absoulutely in love with, here’s your chance to try to make a new fan of the show.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

[Book Review] Cat Calls Cynthia Leitich Smith (free Kindle book)

If you’re looking for a free, quick read that will entertain you for a half hour (depending on how fast you read), this is one to read. I myself was looking for a read that wouldn’t take a lot of time and was another book I could add to my list (50 books in one year). With school, I don’t have as much time to read as I did before, but I always want to use my mind in that area. So, it really worked out for me.

Though I cannot go into detail about characters, plot, romance, and the normal stuff I would mention because this story runs very briefly, I can say that I did enjoy what the story had to bring. Over the last couple of weeks (ok, maybe months), I’ve learned I love short stories for the very reason that they have everything a big, lengthy novel has, but in a minimal size.

One of the things I liked about this story was that it felt like the main character’s (Tiffany) journey was just beginning. Which could mean that this could be a prequel of some sort. I’m not exactly sure if that’s what the author has in mind or if these books have already been published. However, while I like that the ending opens up opportunity for future stories for Tiffany, it also stands as a standalone beautifully. In this story there’s a beginning, middle, and end. There are several unanswered questions left, but that’s where the reader’s imagination comes in.

So, if you have a Kindle (or like myself, a Kindle app), my advice is go download this short story. You won’t regret it. It’s free, what else could you possibly want?  

Last minute blogger’s note: I just looked at the story description and I guess there are more books to this series. Not quite sure, but I guess I’ll do some research.

4 out of 5 stars for Cat Calls by Cynthia Leitich Smith

Monday, August 20, 2012

[Guest Blogger Book Review] Undead by Kirsty McKay

Summary (from Amazon):
Out of sight, out of their minds: It's a school-trip splatter fest and completely not cool when the other kids in her class go all braindead on new girl Bobby.
The day of the ski trip, when the bus comes to a stop at a roadside restaurant, everyone gets off and heads in for lunch. Everyone, that is, except Bobby, the new girl, who stays behind with rebel-without-a-clue Smitty.
Then hours pass. Snow piles up. Sun goes down. Bobby and Smitty start to flirt. Start to stress. Till finally they see the other kids stumbling back.
But they've changed. And not in a good way. Straight up, they're zombies. So the wheels on the bus better go round and round freakin' fast, because that's the only thing keeping Bobby and Smitty from becoming their classmates' next meal. It's kill or be killed in these hunger games, heads are gonna roll, and homework is most definitely gonna be late.
Combining the chill of THE SHINING, the thrill ride of SPEED, the humor of SHAUN OF THE DEAD, and the angst of THE BREAKFAST CLUB, Kirsty McKay's UNDEAD is a bloody mad mash-up, a school-trip splatter-fest, a funny, gory, frighteningly good debut!

I received this book as a gift from my good friend Rebeca Valdez, an amazing girl who loves to read and is also a writer. Rebeca or “Becky” knows that I am not a reader, in fact I started reading this year when I bought “The Hunger Games” and I started to get into those types of books. Becky went to a book fair and she was given this book, I believe they are called ARC? Anyway… Becky knows I love Zombies and that is why she gave me this book.
The plot of this book is really good it hooked me from the first chapter! I had a really busy month when I started reading it, if not I would have kept on reading it and not set it down until I was done with it! The book is not lacking anything, there are no plot holes and the whole book is easy to read. One of my favorite things about this book is that we know how the outbreak started and what caused it. A lot of zombies shows and or movies I have seen left me wanting more, asking a lot of questions but this book does not let down!
I love how the author describes every character. The book has the heroine Roberta or “Bobby”, a love interest who is also kind of the rebel without a cause Smitty, the snobby cheerleader Alice or “malice” and the nerdy albino Pete. There are some other minor characters but even their characters or roles are important and add a lot to the book.
I am not into romance that much but I enjoyed the way Smitty flirts with Bobby and how Bobby is conflicted with the situation ( I mean they are in the middle of a zombie apocalype after all…). The Author does a good job at leting the reader know that Smitty does care for Bobby event though he can be a jackass from time to time. The romance is not overwhelming but it is there and it is enjoyable.
I give it a 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Blogger's Note: USA release date is September 1, 2012.
Special thanks to Adrian C. for doing this wonderful review!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

[Book Review] Remember by Karen Kingsbury with Gary Smalley

Summary (from Amazon):
Convinced she could make it on her own, Ashley Baxter has kept the most important people in her life at a distance—her family, the man who loves her, and the God she is sure can never forgive her. Now, just as she begins to open her heart, the events of September 11 rip into Ashley’s world and she is led to heartbreaking and hope-filled decisions that will forever change her life. This story vividly illustrates that we must value others more than ourselves, and it drives home one of Gary Smalley’s key messages: Honor one another. Remember is second in the five-book Redemption series by Gary Smalley and Karen Kingsbury that centers around the Baxter family. As readers follow the hopes and struggles of the family, they will explore key relationship themes as well as the larger theme of redemption, both in characters’ spiritual lives and in their relationships. Each book includes study questions for individual and small-group use as well as a "teaser" chapter of the next book in the series.

I’ll start with saying I was right with my guess that Ashley was the main character on the book. I’m guessing there being a guy on the cover of Return, that it’s Luke’s book. As for Rejoice, it sounds like it could possibly be Brooke’s story and Reunion Erin’s.

Redemption – Kari
Remember – Ashley
Return – Luke
Rejoice – Brooke
Reunion – Erin

And with that being said, or written, I’ll get to the review over with.

I was super excited that Ashley was the main character of this book. There were a lot of questions about her past in Redemption that I felt needed to be answered. Now it’s the same with Luke, Brooke, and Erin, but I’m hoping all my questions will be answered by the series end.

Plot: I read on the back that it had to do with 9/11. So I waiting and waiting as I got closer to that happening. A friend had already told me that none of the Baxter kids died, but that it did affect their family. Boy, was she right.

I have to say that the plot was a little bit weaker than the first book, but was still good. Actually it makes up for it in romance.

Characters: I’m not going to lie; I fell in love with Landon Blake. He’s probably my favorite character in this book. He was sweet and caring. He was there for Ashley and Cole. As for another main male character, Luke, I found myself becoming frustrated with him. I won’t spoil what exactly lead me to become frustrated with him, but I have to say he makes some really dumb decisions in this book. I can only hope they’re fixed, in the third book.

Relationships: I think the most important relationship in these books is the relationship of the Baxter family. The series starts off with basically with two of the kids being in their own direction. The circumstances of the book cause most of the children to come together, but one does fall away from the family. Still, I love how most of the family came together when something tragic happened.

Romance: Landon and Ashley! Kari and Ryan! Umm, yeah. I can officially say that I love how Karen Kingsbury writes romance. It’s not the lets-make-out-in-every-scene type of romance that I’m used to reading in YA series, but the romance is still there. It’s definitely gentle and not in your face, which is perfect.

4 out of 5 stars to Remember by Karen Kingsbury with Gary Smalley

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

[Book Review] Bewitching the werewolf by Caroline Hanson

Summary (from Amazon):
When witch for hire, Megan Stephens, is assigned to help the local werewolf pack leader find a mate, she thinks the job will be easy. Get in, get him up and get gone. But when she meets Zack Connor, she realizes her future might have a lot more dog jokes in it than she ever imagined.

I wanted something quick, fast, and romantic to read. Bewitching the Werewolf is just that. It was a book that I can read in one sitting which is what I wanted.

The title in itself was enough to drag me in. It’s unique and catchy.

Plot: Although the plot isn’t exactly anything new (girl sent to find mate for guy, girl has the hots for guy), the whole witch and werewolf thing made it different. I wish this was a longer piece. It would have been to explore these two worlds more.

Romance: Both main characters had a strong personality that it made the story funny. I absolutely love it when a story has banter! So better than “oh I like him, but he’s the popular guy and I’m the quiet girl” type of stories.

And with that, short fast review for a short fast story. It’s free on Amazon so get it while you can!

4 stars for Bewitching the Werewolf by Caroline Hanson.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

[Book Review] Sleeping With Paris by Juliette Sobanet

Summary (on Goodreads):
Charlotte Summers is a sassy, young French teacher who is two days away from moving to Paris with the love of her life and from fulfilling her dream of studying at the prestigious Sorbonne University in France. But when she discovers her fiancé’s online dating profile and has a little chat with the busty red-head he’s been sleeping with on the side, she gives up on committed relationships altogether and decides to navigate Paris on her own.
Determined to stop other women from finding themselves in her shoes, Charlotte creates an anonymous blog on how to date like a man in the City of Love—that is, how to jump from bed to bed without ever falling in love. But, with a slew of Parisian men beating down her door, a hot new neighbor who feeds her chocolate in bed, and an appearance by her sleazy ex-fiancé, she isn’t so sure she can keep her promise to remain commitment-free.
And, when Charlotte agrees to write an article for a popular women’s magazine about her Parisian dating adventures—or disasters, rather—will she risk losing the one man who’s swept her off her feet and her dream job in one fell swoop?

Normally, I like to have print copies of the books I’m reading. I like to be able to hold the book while I read it. But in the last year I’ve made lots of online writer friends who only have e-books published. So I  got over my selfish ways, downloaded Kindle for my laptop (and iPod) and got a bunch of e-books. Sleeping With Paris was one of the first ones. Still, it took me months to finally sit down and decide to look at a book on my iPod. I went straight for Sleeping With Paris.

Plot: The main idea of the story is what drew me in. A women about to leave to Paris with her fiancé finds out he’s cheating. Here comes something I haven’t really read about before. She creates a blog teaching women who to date like men. For the most part, I could see where the story was going. I noticed that with most contemporary books that I’ve read. However, Sleeping With Paris did take a few unexpected turns that I didn’t see coming.

Characters: Along with the unexpected turns came some unusual characters. I typically stay in the YA genre. Along with a different genre comes different characters. These aren’t teenager guys who want the school hottie to look at them. They’re grown woman who make it seem like they don’t want to fall in love. Take Charlotte, the main character for example; she found out the man she loved was cheating on her. Therefore she loses her trust in men. Lexi, a friend she makes in Paris, just wants to jump every guy’s bones. Then there’s Fiona, another friend the main character makes who is more on the calmer side. Any scene with these three girls together is pretty funny, in my opinion.

Relationships: Any why I like Charlotte, Lexi, and Fiona scenes so much? Because I really like the friendship that girls had with each other. Three completely different girls who bring out the best (and worse) in each other.  

Romance: There’s more than one romance in this book. There’s one relationship that I knew I was game on for since the beginning (actually when the male character was introduced) and there’s another romance that was dragged out a little more. Both romances kept me reading for more. I’m just hoping that “Kissed In Paris” (the companion novel following SWP) tells the story of the other pairing.

Creative Way of Writing: I absolutely loved the blog entries at the end of the chapters. That has to be one of my favorite things about Juliette Sobanet’s writing. I really liked the format that it brought to the book. Also since the book is set mostly in Paris, there’s a lot of French being spoken. The author doesn’t just assume that I know French nor does she flat out say what the character has just said, but creatively works it into the next sentence. Sly, but wise.

I really enjoyed Sleeping with Paris and can’t wait until I have time to pick up Sleeping With Paris.

5 out of 5 stars for Sleeping With Paris by Juliette Sobanet.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

[Book Review] Just For Fins by Tera Lynn Childs

Summary (on Goodreads):
When Lily Sanderson decided to remain Crown Princess Waterlily of the mermaid kingdom Thalassinia, she knew she couldn’t just coast along in the current. But since she’s spent the last couple of years on land—with gorgeous human Quince by her side—Lily’s not sure she has the fins to lead a kingdom. Even her maddeningly pretentious cousin Dosinia seems to know more about ruling than she does.
But Lily has to dive in deep to keep her promise to Tellin, her mer bond in name only, whose kingdom is suffering in the changing ocean climate. Lily knows this is a seven seas–sized problem: from sea animals dying to oil spills and threats to humans. They’ll need to create some serious waves to make the mer community aware and get it to join together to make things right. Even if that means facing one of the iciest queens in the mer kingdoms.
Just when Lily thinks her double life on land and sea can’t get any more complicated, an ancient mer law might separate Lily and Quince after all. It feels as if the pair is up against a solid tsunami wave!
In this third installment in the series that began with Forgive My Fins and Fins Are Forever, Lily will have to find a way to balance safety and justice for the mer people as well as for the humans she loves.

Warning: Spoilers if you haven’t read the first two books (Forgive My Fins & Fins Are Forever).

I was so excited to hear that Tera was writing another Fins book. When I was done with the second book, Fins Are Forever, I felt that it had a happy ending, but I didn’t feel like Quince and Lily’s story was quite over yet. So, I was ready for this book months before it even came out.

Plot: I felt that the end of Fins Are Forever really set up this book. Lily wants to help Tellin, but it isn’t as easy as she thinks it will be. On land, she must deal with the consequences of bonding only by name yet being in love with a human. With these two main problems to start with, more open up. I enjoy a book with problems. Twisted, aren’t I? But it’s true. I can’t read a book that’s just “I love you. Blah. Blah. Blah.” I want there to be conflict. I want to fall in love with the characters because of the way they handled the conflict.    

Characters: I was so surprised at how much Dosinia matured in this book. In Fins Are Forever we pretty much saw every bratty side of her there was to see. But in Just For Fins she really steps it up. Tera Lynn Childs also does the same thing with characters that we liked all along also. Like Lily for example; She was ready to give up her throne, but last minute decided to bond with Tellin to help his kingdom. In book three, that’s only the beginning of her problems and I really like how she handles herself as a leader.  There’s a lot of other characters that do a complete 180, but that’s later on in the book. So, I guess you’ll just have to read it!

Relationships: I also really like how the team on land (such as Lily, Quince, Doe, Brody, Aunt Rachel, Shannen, and even Prithi in its own little way) work together to help Lily become a better princess. Right from the start they are there for her when she needs them.

Romance: As much as I love Quince and Lily’s relationship, I was kind of hoping for a little bit of a love triangle in the book between Quince/Lily/Tellin. But last Friday at one of her signing Tera mentioned “there isn’t a love triangle.” Nonetheless, I went in knowing there wasn’t going to be a triangle. Now after reading the book, I’m glad there wasn’t a triangle. It wasn’t needed at all. Lily and Quince’s relationship remains solid, but that doesn’t mean that a few problems won’t be thrown their way.

Creative way of writing: Once again, Tera Lynn Childs proves that she is a great writer. These past couple of weeks, I’ve read not one, not two, but three of her books (Sweet Shadows, Oh. My. Gods., & Just For Fins) and I am willing to read more. (Yes, I like her way of writing that much). I ususally can’t read books from the same author back to back and have to read some in between, but I don’t have that problem with TLC. She has a way of telling the story that leaves you happy, but also wanting to read more of her stuff.

Overall, the book was really good. I expected more twist regarding some of the issues in the water, but the outcome was very satisfying. I wonder if there will be a book four to this series. There’s some things that are left open ended that I would like to see the results. I’ll be waiting for the announcement anxiously!

5 out of 5 stars for Just For Fins by Tera Lynn Childs.  

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

[Book Review] Redemption by Karen Kingsbury (with Gary Smalley)

Summary (from Goodreads):
When Kari Baxter Jacobs finds out that her husband is involved in an adulterous relationship and
wants a divorce, she decides she will love him and remain faithful to her marriage at all costs. This book shows how God can redeem seemingly hopeless relationships, and it illustrates one of Gary Smalley's key messages: Love is a decision.

I had this series lent out to me by a friend. So, this isn’t my normal paranormal YA type of book that I usually read, but I’m glad I got the chance to read them (or at this point since I’ve only read one, it). It lets me know that there’s yet another genre (Contemporary adult Christian fiction) out there that I enjoy reading. With that being said, here’s the review.

The book starts off with a man, Tim Jacobs having an affair with one of his students. His wife, Kari Baxter-Jacobs was completely unaware of this affair until she gets a mysterious call. Kari and Tim go on and on. He wants a divorce. She won’t give it to him. That’s just the beginning.

Characters: I really like the characters that were introduced in this book. Each one of the Baxter children had their own backstory, but at the same time, the authors didn’t give too much away. They must have known that they were writing a series and that each of the books that followed would follow each of the five Baxter children. There were also some characters that I started off hating, but by the end, they redeemed themselves. I really liked how the authors managed to do that. I’m usually the type of reader that if I didn’t like the character at the beginning, I won’t like them in the end. Just a last note to the characters; my favorite character is Ryan. I think that if this series were ever brought to the big screen someone really hot would have to play him. I mean, it’d only be doing the character justice.

Relationships:  There’s a lot of relationships in the book. A big part is the family’s relationship. Growing up in a house of seven, I can only imagine the kind of arguments and bickering that goes on. That doesn’t seem to change as the Baxter children grow up to adults. But as always, with age comes arguments. Some that seem unable to mend. But I’m pretty sure with four books to follow, these relationships will get fixed.

Romance: I really liked how the writers threw in the flashbacks to help show the readers what kind of romance Kari had with both men (love triangle!). It made me fall in love with one of the guys and wish the other one would just get out of the picture.  

Plot: I think if a book frustrates you, its proof it’s a really good book. For me my frustration was with Kari. I couldn’t understand why she would want to stay with a man who cheated on her and obviously wanted nothing to do with her. But I’ve never been married nor cheated on. Maybe it’s one of those “have to be there” situations. There was some backstory that I didn’t seem coming, but most of the shock came towards the end (those who have read it know what I’m talking about).

Creative way of writing:  I’ve never read any of Karen Kingsbury’s or Gary Smalley’s books before. So, I can’t what came from what author. But I can say that their collaboration was very well put together. Most of the time I even forgot that this was written by two people.  One thing that really stood out to me was the boldness of letter whenever God was speaking to the characters. It reminded me of the red letters in the Bible when Jesus speaks. The writer’s wrote in a way that kept Kari as the main character, but yet gave insight as to what a lot of the other characters were thinking and feeling.

Overall, I’m glad I was introduced to this series. I definitely wouldn’t have given it a second look if it had seen it at a bookstore, but maybe I’ll reconsider reading more from this genre now that I know I like it.

I want to take a shot to see if I can guess correct who will be the main character in the remaining books.
Redemption – Kari – well duh!
Remember – Ashley
Return – Luke
Rejoice – Brooke
Reunion – Erin
We’ll see if I’m correct or not as soon as I read them.

5 out of 5 stars for Redemption by Karen Kingsbury and Gary Smalley.

Monday, July 2, 2012

[Book Giveaway] Signed ARC copy of Hidden by Sophie Jordan

Hey guys! I have an advanced reader’s copy of Sophie Jordan’s Firelight series conclusion novel, Hidden! Since sending you guys on a scavenger hunt throughout my blog didn't work...Here's the new way to enter the contest. 

**Comment below what you're favorite thing about dragons is.
**US only.
**Please be a fan of the series. This is the conclusion; A LOT of readers would kill to get their hands on this. Let’s play nice.

Contest ends Wednesday at Midnight. Random winner will selected and announced next Thursday (7/12). If the winner does not contact me within 24 hours either on twitter, email, or here, I will chose another winner. So, be sure to check back!

Email: Rebeca_Valdez92@hotmail.com
Follow me on Twitter @RebecaValdez

So that makes two winners who lost out on getting this amazing arc. Tired of tracking people down. So, here's the deal. First person to email me (my email is above) their address gets the arc. If I email you back, congrats. If I don't, just assume that someone else has gotten it. I'll mail it Monday or Tuesday. Congrats to whoever gets it!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

[Book Review] Oh. My. Gods. by Tera Lynn Childs

Summary (from Goodreads):
When Phoebe?s mom returns from Greece with a new husband and plans to move to an island in the Aegean Sea, Phoebe?s well-plotted senior year becomes ancient history. Now, instead of enjoying a triumphant track season and planning for college with her best friends, Phoebe is trying to keep her head above water at the überexclusive Academy. If it isn?t hard enough being the new kid in school, Phoebe?s classmates are all descendents of the Greek gods! When you?re running against teammates with superpowers, dealing with a stepsister from Hades, and nursing a crush on a boy who is quite literally a god, the drama takes on mythic proportions!

Just to continue this basically-all-my-last-couple-of-blogs-posts-have-been-about-Tera-Lynn-Childs thing I have going on, I decided it was time to read one of the two series of hers that I have left to read. (The other one would be her City Chicks series that I’m pretty sure I’m going to end up buying sooner or later. Actually I have one on my laptop on Kindle, but I’m very much a I-have-to-have-it-in-my-hands kind of reader.) However, I wanted a different way of reading this book. So, my sister and I took turns reading it out loud to each other. Sounds strange, right?
Whether it was on the car ride to church or just taking any minute we could at home, we were hooked. My sister has always been a fan of mythology and because of Tera Lynn Childs, I’m learning to become one myself. One thing that differs this book from the rest of her other mythology ones is that it focuses on more than one God. In her other series, she has one main focused God/Goddess and then gives tidbits on other ones. But here since there are many descendants of different God/Goddess, she gives her readers a little taste of several.  I really liked that (but also like when she focuses on one) and felt it fit perfectly with her plot.

As for the actual plot, I thought it was really good. Girl is happy with life. Girl’s mother remarries. Girl has to move across the world and go to a new school. Girl’s new school is nothing but descendants of Greek Gods. Girl meets a boy, but things aren’t always what they seem. That’s just the beginning, but if I give any more details, they might be considered spoilers.

Relationship: I really liked Phoebe’s relationship with her two best friends at home and the two friends she meets in Greece. Both sets of relationships prove to be strong, but that doesn’t mean they are not flawed. The same thing goes with the relationship Phoebe has with her mother. But in reverse, we see a lot more of the flawed and how getting a stepfather really caused a drift between the two of them. There are mentions of her having a strong relationship with her mother, but you only see it lightly. Hopefully in the second  book (which I will be reading in the future just not right away since a friend lent me a few books) there will be more of their relationship.

Romance:  Well it’s definitely not the typical girl meets boy and likes him but he has a girlfriend relationship. It’s more than just that. There’s a lot of banter going on between the two of them and I love love love banter. Regarding the romance, there are also a few twists that took place that I really did not see happening. So, that was fun (and kind of heartbreaking) to read.

I’m looking forward to reading book two. Who knows maybe TLC will come out with a book three!

5 out of 5 stars for Oh. My. Gods. By Tera Lynn Childs.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

[Book Giveaway] Signed ARC copy of Sweet Shadows by Tera Lynn Childs

Summary (from Goodreds):
Three teenage descendants of Medusa, now united, must claim their heritage to fight the monsters escaped from the abyss.
Gretchen may have known she was a descendant of Medusa long before her sisters--after all, she's spent her life fighting the monsters that escape the abyss--but that doesn't mean it will be easy to teach the other girls the ropes.
Greer has pressing social commitments on her plate and precious little time to train in her newfound powers. But that wretched second sight won't leave her alone, and her fabled heritage seems to be creeping into her fashionable life.
Grace has worries closer to home--like why her brother, Thane, has disappeared. He's hiding something. Could it possibly be related to the secret heritage the triplets share?

I have never done a giveaway before so let’s make this a little fun. For a chance to win this contest, create your own monster in the comments below.
Get creative.
Get crazy.
Get monstrous.

**This giveaway is open only to US & ends Friday (6/29/12) at Midnight
**Please leave your email in the comments so that I don't have to worry about locating the winner. 
**Winner will be picked at random. So if you're afraid you're not 'creative' enough, stop being a chicken.  

And… GO!

Oh and if you're thinking about just waiting til it come out... don't. Read my review -- http://rebecarambles.blogspot.com/2012/06/book-review-sweet-shadows-by-tera-lynn.html



Thank you to everyone who took part in the giveaway. More giveaways coming soon!

Friday, June 15, 2012

[Book Review] Sweet Shadows by Tera Lynn Childs

Summary (from Goodreads):
Three teenage descendants of Medusa, now united, must claim their heritage to fight the monsters escaped from the abyss.
Gretchen may have known she was a descendant of Medusa long before her sisters--after all, she's spent her life fighting the monsters that escape the abyss--but that doesn't mean it will be easy to teach the other girls the ropes.
Greer has pressing social commitments on her plate and precious little time to train in her newfound powers. But that wretched second sight won't leave her alone, and her fabled heritage seems to be creeping into her fashionable life.
Grace has worries closer to home--like why her brother, Thane, has disappeared. He's hiding something. Could it possibly be related to the secret heritage the triplets share?

I planned on reading this book in less than week, but like many things in life, some plans are changed. As I was approaching the end of the book, my father suddenly passed away. Between funeral arrangements, family, and just plain grieving, I wasn’t ready to pick up any books. But today I sat (more like laid) down and finished the last one hundred pages of this book.

I was fortunate enough to have snagged an uncorrected proof a few weeks ago. However I must admit, I had Sweet Venom on my bookshelf, unread. But I quickly fixed that problem. I’m glad I read it the way I did. I’m not a fan of waiting when given a cliffhanger. Sweet Venom leaves off in a cliffhanger. So, I was happy I had Sweet Shadows just feet away waiting for me to read it.

Warning: Sweet Shadows leaves off in a similar cliffhanger as its sequel. You have been warned.

One thing that I said in my Sweet Venom review that I would like to see more was the romance. And Tera Lynn Childs brought it on for Sweet Shadows. (And if you’ve been reading her tweets like I have, you know she’s bringing it a lot more in SV3!) Each girl has their love interest. And while some romances might come to a tragic end, some blossom. I’ll leave you guessing until you read it.

Along with the romance in the story, the relationship between the three sisters also grows. What I really like about this is that not only are the girls getting closer, but they’re also arguing with each other. Having a sister myself, I know there has to be some arguments to make the relationship seem real.

As for the actual plots and twists of the novel… I LOVE THEM! TLC does a really good job of keeping things a secret when it comes to her writing. There is one specific thing (I don’t want to put spoilers) that happens towards the end of the book that I never would have seen coming. As for the mystery, I am very curious what is going on with Thane, Grace’s brother. I have my speculations, but just in case I am completely wrong I will not make a fool of myself.

Really glad that I got into this fun, mythological series. Be sure to be on the lookout. Giveaway of this yet to be released book coming soon!

5 out of 5 for Sweet Shadows by Tera Lynn Childs.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

[Book Review] Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins

Summary (from Goodreads):
What if there were teens whose lives depended on being bad influences?
This is the reality for sons and daughters of fallen angels in Sweet Evil.
Tenderhearted Southern girl, Anna Whitt, was born with the sixth sense to see and feel emotions of other people. She’s aware of a struggle within herself, an inexplicable pull toward danger, but it isn’t until she turns sixteen and meets the alluring Kaidan Rowe that she discovers her terrifying heritage, and her will-power is put to the test. He’s the boy your daddy warned you about. If only someone had warned Anna.
Forced to face her destiny, will Anna embrace her halo or her horns?

This wasn’t the easiest book to read, in my opinion. But while there was a lot of things that I did not care for about the book, there was a lot of things that I did.

My sister took a three month course with our pastor about angels and all the information Wendy Higgins gave was accurate. Most of the times, authors don’t do all their research, but it seems Higgins really did. Also following the lines of being accurate, I felt the author did a great job of making it about demons and Neph, but not dissing God. As a Christian girl, I don’t like reading books that are solely out there to put down God. Also at the same time it wasn’t overly religious that can cause the book to be boring.

I felt the plot was a little weak a majority of the book. The whole idea of a daughter of a fallen one and a guardian angel is very intriguing, don’t get me wrong. I just felt like there needed to be more twist then there actually were.

As for the main character, Anna, I liked her a lot, but I felt like she was really just another teenage girl. Aside from her being half good, half evil, there was nothing that really made her special. She didn’t have a goal in life before finding out who she was. Hopefully that’ll change in the upcoming sequels. It took me a while to fall in love with Kaidan, but eventually I did start to feel bad for him and was rooting for him and Anna. Then there’s Kopano which in a way could make a love triangle, but for right now, Anna only has eyes for Kaidan. I hope Wendy Higgins touches on the whole triangle thing. Those are always fun.  

Now I have an ARC version and after confirming this with Wendy Higgins, I’ve learn that there is a different between the ARC version and the printed copy. So, this could or could not apply. The ending felt very closing almost as if it was a standalone. While there was some unanswered questions, I felt like the author could have left  it for the audience to fill in.

But since this isn’t a standalone and there is another book coming possibly next year… I’m looking forward to where the author takes the characters.

3 out of 5 stars for Sweet Wicked by Wendy Higgins.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

[Book Review] Sweet Venom by Tera Lynn Childs

Summary (from Amazon):
Grace just moved to San Francisco and is excited to start over at a new school. The change is full of fresh possibilities, but it’s also a tiny bit scary. It gets scarier when a minotaur walks in the door. And even more shocking when a girl who looks just like her shows up to fight the monster.
Gretchen is tired of monsters pulling her out into the wee hours, especially on a school night, but what can she do? Sending the minotaur back to his bleak home is just another notch on her combat belt. She never expected to run into this girl who could be her double, though.
Greer has her life pretty well put together, thank you very much. But that all tilts sideways when two girls who look eerily like her appear on her doorstep and claim they’re triplets, supernatural descendants of some hideous creature from Greek myth, destined to spend their lives hunting monsters.
These three teenage descendants of Medusa, the once-beautiful Gorgon maligned in myth, must reunite and embrace their fates in this unique paranormal world where monsters lurk in plain sight.

First off I want to say Tera Lynn Childs is an awesome human being. She’s sweet to all of her fans and just all around a funny woman. The first time I met her was just after Sweet Venom came out. The next time I saw her I had a few of her other books for her to sign. She asked me if I had read her book yet. Sadly my answer was no. This last time that I saw her at TLA, I had read some of her books, but still hadn’t gotten around to read Sweet Venom. Having told her yet another time that I hadn’t read her book just completely embarrassed me. So, I made it my goal to read her book and the Sweet Shadows arc I had gotten at TLA. One half of that goal was met this week.

I regret not reading this book sooner. I loved everything about it from characters, storyline, romance, voice. It all fit in perfectly.

Characters: Each of Tera Lynn Childs main characters has things about them that make them different. Gretchen, my favorite is the tom boy, I-am-going-to-finish-you-off-before-you-even-get-a-chance-to-touch-me has known about her destiny the longest and has the most experience with monster hunting. Grace is the second main character introduced. She knows she’s adopted, but that’s all she really knows. Little did she know that a move to San Francisco would completely change her world. Greer has no idea what’s going on when she is approached by her sisters. Three sisters. Three different personalities.

The storyline for this book was really great. I’m the type of girl that likes to try and predict what’s going to happen next. I couldn’t do that for this book. Instead I just sat back and enjoyed the journey the author put her characters in.

Although I would have loved to see more romance in the book, I can put it aside since I know this is only the first book in a trilogy. So, I know there’s bound to be more romance coming in the books that follow. Each of the three girls has their love interest. And although some boys are more likeable than others (at this point), I’m sure she’ll give us more scenes of the boys we haven’t really heard much of in this book.

I really admire how Tera Lynn Childs goes back and forth from character point of view. Every book that I read that has the character flip flop only does it better. Meaning I think Tera Lynn Childs has mastered it. It’s very clear which point of view the reader is reading from chapter after chapter. These girls are so different not only in attitude, but also in the voice Tera Lynn Child gives them.

Be on the lookout for my Sweet Shadows (sequel to this book) arc review. I know I’m looking forward to reading it.

5 out of 5 stars to Sweet Venom by Tera Lynn Childs.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

[Book Review] The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner by Stephanie Meyers

Summary (from Amazon): Fans of The Twilight Saga will be enthralled by this riveting story of Bree Tanner, a character first introduced in Eclipse, and the darker side of the newborn vampire world she inhabits. In another irresistible combination of danger, mystery, and romance, Stephenie Meyer tells the devastating story of Bree and the newborn army as they prepare to close in on Bella Swan and the Cullens, following their encounter to its unforgettable conclusion.

As a fan that has read all four of the Twilight books and loved them, I was really disappointed with this short novella. I got this book because I actually liked Bree in the movies. One of the reasons being, she was on two episodes of my favorite show Smallville and I kinda liked seeing how the actress grew up. With that being said, I felt more attached to the Bree in the movie than I did in this 178 page book.

Why? I’m not completely sure, but I’ve pinpointed some possible reasons that together could be the overall reason for not enjoying the book as much as I hoped I would.

Maybe it had to do with the fact that the main character, Bree never really showed that she was worthy of being a main character. She was just another average girl that could was turned into a vampire making her an average vampire.

The same thing could be said about Bella, but what makes this book different from the four other Twilight books is the romance. Stephanie Meyers tried to give some romance in this short novella, but I just wasn’t feeling it. Diego pretty much forces himself on Bree and the only time she really admits to having feelings for him is when something bad has happened (I’m trying my best not to give spoilers, but if you’ve seen Eclipse, you know the newborns fate).

With that being said, I did enjoy the last 40ish pages or so. I finally felt like Bree was becoming the character I was hoping she was from the very beginning. If the rest of the novella had been like this, I might have enjoyed it more.  

Now before I make this review longer than the actual book, I’m signing off. As always thanks for reading!

2 out of 5 to The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner by Stephanie Meyers.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

[TV Tuesday] Review for Castle Season Four Finale "Always"

My morning has been full of Castle. Whether it be watching clips from last night’s “Always” episode or watching old interviews of the cast on Youtube, I haven’t been able to focus on anything else.

Last night’s season finale was one of the best episodes to date if you ask me. I say this for so many reasons: secrets being revealed, re-declaration of feelings, graduations, KISSING!

The episodes pretty much begins with Captain Montgomery’s house getting robbed. They quickly realize that it wasn’t just a random robbery and that the man was after his files…which take them back to Beckett’s shooting from the season 3 finale…which takes Kate back to searching for answers about her mother’s murder. If you, like me, watch every episode, you know that Castle made a deal with some people that would keep Beckett alive, but in return she had to keep away from the case. Well, that secret definitely comes out. Although, Castle tells Beckett that he kept this lead from her because he loves her and doesn’t want to see her get hurt, she’s still upset with him.

Beckett, Ryan, and Esposito continue this secret investigation from Captain Gates, but Ryan soon begins to worry if they’re in over their heads. Kate and Esposito follow a huge lead, the biggest yet, that ends with Kate going face to face with her shooter. But this is a fight that she doesn’t win. He ends up pushing her off the edge of the building and leaves her hanging for her life. Just when it all seems over, Kate hears Castle’s voice calling out to her. Only to find out it’s Ryan, Gates, and a team there to help her. Castle was never even there.

He was, however, at his daughter’s Alexis’s graduation.

The fallout of Esposito and Beckett keeping this investigation a secret, it surprising. Everyone expected them to be suspended. But what came as a shocker to me, was Beckett resigning.

After the fight, the graduation, the resigning, Kate shows up at Castle door and kisses him. He pulls away, but after Kate basically tells him that she just wants him, they start to kiss heavily against the door.

But just because Beckett is willing to let go of the murder case, doesn’t mean the people behind it are ready to let her go. The end scene shows the shooter in search for that information and saying “I’m going to put Kate Beckett in the ground once and for all.”

How the heck do the writers expect us to wait until September for new episodes? They’re trying to kill us, I tell you. There are so many things that I look forward to come season 5.

Firstly, I want to see Kate and Richard acting like a couple… but maybe keeping their relationship a secret from their family and friends until they can’t hold back anymore? I don’t know. Doing that could add more humor to the show, not that it needs it. Sneaking around. Trying not to be caught, but their friends and family knowing anyway but not telling them because they like seeing them all jumpy.

Secondly, what the heck is up with Kate quitting? I know she’s somehow going to have to find her way back to getting her job, but how and at what price?

Thirdly, Esposito and Ryan. Esposito wasn’t happy at all when Ryan told Captain Gates what they were doing. How is this going to affect their relationship?

Fourthly, Alexis graduating. I’ve always liked the Alexis character. She’s unique and that’s something I like. I wonder if the writers are planning on giving her another love interest. Maybe her college professor?

Lastly, Kate’s mother’s murder. Will we finally get the answers we’re looking for or will the writers leave us guessing.

So, here’s to a summer of waiting. I’ve already started to prepare myself for this by ordering the three Nikki Heat books online. I’ve been wanting to do it for a while and I finally did. Maybe reading these three books will help keep me sane until season 5. Or maybe they’ll leave me wanting more.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

[Book Review] Shape of Desire by Sharon Shinn

Summary (from Goodreads): For fifteen years Maria Devane has been desperately, passionately in love with Dante Romano. But despite loving him with all of her heart and soul, Maria knows that Dante can never give all of himself back-at least not all the time.
Every month, Dante shifts shape, becoming a wild animal. During those times, he wanders far and wide, leaving Maria alone. He can't choose when he shifts, the transition is often abrupt and, as he gets older, the time he spends in human form is gradually decreasing. But Maria, who loves him without hesitation, wouldn't trade their unusual relationship for anything.
Since the beginning, she has kept his secret, knowing that their love is worth the danger. But when a string of brutal attacks occur in local parks during the times when Dante is in animal form, Maria is forced to consider whether the lies she's been telling about her life have turned into lies she's telling herself...

I got the book nearly two months ago. Sadly that’s about how long it took me to finish it. I’d read 50 pages in time and then set it down for a couple of days and do it again. A couple of nights ago, I picked it up again and was able to finish it. With that being said, I obviously felt that the book had a slow beginning. I had read the back of the book when I first got it and kept waiting for that specific event to happen. I was left waiting until pretty much page 150.

First 150 pages: slow beginning, but still ok. What really kept me reading it was the romance between Dante and Maria. However twisted and maybe distant it may seem. Maria loved Dante unconditionally and Dante loved Maria so much that he didn’t want her to know a lot about this other monstrous side of himself. I really liked a lot of the characters too. Most of the characters that were introduced had an important role in Maria’s life whether it be work, family, or Dante’s family. I really loved how each relationship meant something to her no matter how small.

Second half of the book: really interesting. I sat down and read it until I finished. Really loved all the twists the writer put in the books. While I did predict some of the results, there were still a lot that surprised me.  

I will spoil this, the book has a very... what’s a good word for it…. Closing? Satifsying? Proper? Yeah I think I’ll go with closing. The book has a very closing ending. So, I’m very curious as to how this story will continue and where the writer will go with it.

3 out of 5 stars for Shape of Desire by Sharon Shinn.