Sunday, November 29, 2015

Spotlight & #Giveaway - The First Last Boy by Sonya Weiss!

The First Last Boy by Sonya Weiss
Release Date: October 20th 2015
Genre: Adult, Romance, Erotica


Sex was the plan. Falling in love wasn't.

Eighteen-year-old Montana "Tana" Shaw has a plan for her life and she follows it to the letter. That includes losing her virginity to her best friend, Ryan Collins before she leaves for college. He's wild, tattooed, and oh-so-tempting. She never meant to fall for him. But when Tana learns that Ryan's past is responsible for her family's heartache, she's not sure her heart or their relationship can survive.

Ryan Collins is the foster boy from the wrong side of the tracks. He's scarred, no good, and knows with a past like his that he shouldn't get involved with Tana even if the sparks are hot enough to drive him crazy. But when the past rears its ugly head, he'll become the guy he hates in order to save the girl he loves.

 photo addtogoodreadssmall_zpsa2a6cf28.png       photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpg      

Sonya Weiss is a freelance writer, ghostwriter and author. She's addicted to great books, good movies, and Italian chocolates.

She's passionate about causes that support abused animals and children. Her parents always supported her bringing stray animals home although the Great Dane rescue was a surprise.

Follow the The First Last Boy by Sonya Weiss Blog Tour 
and don't miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.

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Friday, November 27, 2015

Review: The Paladin Caper (Rogues of the Republic #3) by Patrick Weekes

Release Date: October 27, 2015
Publisher: 47North
Source: NetGalley
Author Links: Goodreads | Twitter
A thief’s good deeds are never done.
Loch and her crew are determined to stop the ancients from returning to reclaim the world they once ruled, but a kidnapped friend throws their plans awry. When a desperate rescue turns into a shocking reunion, the ancients return and seize power. Determined to stop them, Loch and the crew look for a way to close the gate to the ancients’ world, but this time, they find themselves up against an enemy that has insinuated itself into the highest ranks of the Republic. Cruel, cunning, and connected, the ancients target the crew’s families and histories, threatening to tear friendships apart.
If that weren’t bad enough, Loch must deal with her treacherous assassin sister, her turncoat ancient friend, and a daemon who has sworn to hunt her to the ends of the earth. In order to save the Republic and pull off her largest con ever, Loch will need her friends…and maybe her enemies too.

I'm not sure if this is the final book or not, but if it is, then Weekes did a good job of showing growth in all of the characters, tying up all the loose ends, and putting a bow on top of it all.
This sort of thing tends to make me happy.


No, really! I knew/believed/trusted that everything would end up the way it should...and the author delivered!
Especially the part about Gwalafalafel...Galf.....Gandolfwal...Gwenfalr...fuck it...
The Hammer!
Which looks like Mjolnir to me, because I'm a nerd.


If you're read the first two books, then you know what to expect from the plot.
Is that a good thing? I'm not sure. At some point I was just expecting everything I was reading to be an elaborate lie, you know? Took some of the original suspense out of it for me.
I never really felt any of the (main) characters were in real danger. Even when they appeared to be totally done for, I didn't really have the Gasp! reaction, because...?
Well, because that's just not how Weekes operates.
So this was me at the end of the book:


Am I saying that no one bit the BIG one? No.
Not everyone is getting out of this alive.


But I'm not giving you any hints, so there! *cackles*


What I'm trying to say is, this is an excellent addition (possibly ending?) to the Rogues of the Republic books. While I might not have been as surprised by the twists and turns, I still enjoyed them.
Does that make sense?
I'm just not someone that can't read or watch something if I already know how it's gong to end. Those of you who know me, know that I'm not one to get upset about (most) spoilers, and even ask for them sometimes.
I know, it's weird. What can I say?


Anyway, to me, Loch & her lovable gang of thieves are always worth reading about. And if this was it, then it was a damn fine trilogy. If not, then I'll be standing in line to read the next one!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Review: Feel the Burn by G.A. Aiken

Feel the Burn (Dragon Kin, #8)
Release Date: November 24, 2015
Publisher: Zebra
Source: NetGalley
Author Links: Goodreads | Website
War makes strange bedfellows.
I, Gaius Domitus, one-eyed rebel dragon king of the Provinces, know that better than most, since I have to fight off half my ungrateful family on a regular basis to keep law and order here in my lands. But I never expected to have to consort with a barbarian human woman.
Kachka is beautiful, if you like them fierce—and of course I do. But she keeps complaining about how spoiled and decadent I am, and how a feared Daughter of the Steppes has no time for foolish dragons. I think she likes my eye patch, though. It is quite dashing. With death always at our tails, we take our passion like we take our allies. As they say, love the barbarian you’re with…

Here's the thing: I don't like the Daughters of the Steppes.


All of the women and men in these books are annoying, brash, and selfish.
And I love them!
But for some reason, these Steppes just annoy the hell out of me. They come from a society that believes men are helpless, stupid, and too emotional to make their own decisions. Which, admittedly, sounds funny, right?!
And it is...for about 20 seconds. Until you realize that these women never really break their prejudice against men. So. Yeah, it's kinda the way I would feel about a male who thought the same thing about women. Unless he changed his tune, I wouldn't be rooting for him to 'get the girl' in the end.
I tolerated didn't mind the last book with Kachka's sister in it (she was a bit nicer), but this one just worked my nerves.


Feel the Burn's saving grace (for me) was that I'm so invested in finding out about this Final Battle between Annwyl and this cult, I can kind of tune out the voices of these ridiculous Steppes women. Sadly, that means the romance is purely background noise, at this point.
Fortunately, there's a lot of new information, and plenty of interesting characters show up to keep the story moving forward.
Abominations, FTW! <-- You gotta be a fan of the books to get that one.


Honestly, I don't know how many more of these books I want to read, so I'm kinda hoping that Aiken wraps this shit up sooner, rather than later.
But knowing me, I'll keep on reading these to the bitter end. Maybe the next book will have a better female lead?


Monday, November 23, 2015

[Coffee Shop Talks] Books I'm Grateful to Have Read!

There are sooooo many books that I'm grateful for, but I think the one that made the biggest impact was Laurell Hamilton's Guilty Pleasures. This was the beginning of my obsession with urban fantasy and I would lose hours of sleep trying to devour each Anita Blake novel as fast as I could. I'll admit that I slowly fell out of love with this series as time went on, but I'm still incredibly grateful that it led me to so many other amazing urban fantasy authors and series.
Which books are you grateful for?


Friday, November 20, 2015

Review: Half a War (Shattered Sea #3) by Joe Abercrombie

Release Date: July 16, 2015
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Source: Library
Author Links: Goodreads | Website | Twitter
Words are weapons
Princess Skara has seen all she loved made blood and ashes. She is left with only words. But the right words can be as deadly as any blade. She must conquer her fears and sharpen her wits to a lethal edge if she is to reclaim her birthright.
Only half a war is fought with swords
The deep-cunning Father Yarvi has walked a long road from crippled slave to king’s minister. He has made allies of old foes and stitched together an uneasy peace. But now the ruthless Grandmother Wexen has raised the greatest army since the elves made war on God, and put Bright Yilling at its head – a man who worships no god but Death.
Sometimes one must fight evil with evil
Some – like Thorn Bathu and the sword-bearer Raith – are born to fight, perhaps to die. Others – like Brand the smith and Koll the wood-carver – would rather stand in the light. But when Mother War spreads her iron wings, she may cast the whole Shattered Sea into darkness.

Oh! Oh! I'm all over the place with this ending! Just...

No spoilers, ok? This review is safe to read. By the way, that means that it took me forever to figure out how to write this without, you know, ruining everyone else's experience.

You're so welcome, random person!

Yarvi, amirite? That's who we all want to finish this journey out with! And while we do get to see how he plays the game, everything is not black and white.
Not that Yarvi was ever a good guy, but this time he might be crossing a few lines that come back to bite him in the ass. Hard.
Because Yarvi = Gray.  Um, dark gray.
Don't you worry, I still love you, little buddy!

Thorn & Brand are both big players in this one, but not as central to the plot as they were in the last book. Still. Stuff n Things happen, and it changes the course of this couple's lives.
I will say, Thorn remains the baddest badass that ever did badass stuff, and Brand is the coolest, sweetest husband ever written.

No! *voice breaks*

Anyway. Besides those guys, we get a new player, Princess Skara! And I loved her!
She has a bit of a moral compass, which is kinda odd, especially considering the company she keeps.
Plus she's really smart, and has quite the backbone, as well.
A triple threat, and they NEVER see her coming!

Raith is another new guy that I sorta fell in love with, but, like everyone else, he doesn't have it easy. In fact, he got the shit kicked out of him every time he turned around.
Come here, honey. I'll hold you...

So, does anyone get a Happily Ever After in this book?
Well, yes. But I ain't telling you who, and I ain't telling you how.
So, does anyone die in this book?
Well, yes, But I ain't...ok, I'll tell you. 

What does that have to do with anything, Anne?
Actually, nothing. But it was a cool whisper gif, so...whatcha gonna do? Besides, I promised to try not to spoil anything, and I'm honestly running out of things to say.
Ok, ok, ok. It was a great 3d book to a great trilogy, and I thought it ended the way it should have.
I'm definitely coming back for more of this Abercrombie guy's stuff!


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Review: A Darker Shade of Magic (A Darker Shade of Magic #1) by V.E. Schwab

Release Date: February 24, 2015
Publisher: Tor Books
Source: Library
Author Links: Goodreads | Website
Kell is one of the last Travelers—rare magicians who choose a parallel universe to visit.

Grey London is dirty, boring, lacks magic, ruled by mad King George. Red London is where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire. White London is ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne. People fight to control magic, and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. Once there was Black London—but no one speaks of that now.
Officially, Kell is the Red Traveler, personal ambassador and adopted Prince of Red London, carrying the monthly correspondences between royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell smuggles for those willing to pay for even a glimpse of a world they’ll never see. This dangerous hobby sets him up for accidental treason. Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs afoul of Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She robs him, saves him from a dangerous enemy, then forces him to another world for her 'proper adventure'.
But perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, Kell and Lila will first need to stay alive—trickier than they hoped.

There was just something about this one that kept it from totally rocking, and I can't quite put my finger on what it was. It was good, just not (for me) great.
Kinda dry maybe? Or I just didn't totally connect with the characters? Not sure.

But it's still one of those books that I'm glad I read, and I'm actually really looking forward to reading more about this world/worlds that Schwab created. 
And I seriously mean that! There's something cool about this setting and these characters that makes me want to see what's going to happen next. I kind of feel like maybe the first book was just a set-up, and now that the world building is done, this series (trilogy?) is gonna take off!

Because that happens, right? Book one is sorta dry and crunchy, and then book two rocks!
*nods head*
Yes. I'm feeling confident about that prediction for some reason. I loved Vicious, I loved the world that she created in this one...totally confident.

Anyway. My point is that I can see why so many of my friends loved this, and I don't want anyone to mistake a 3.5 rating as something bad.
I don't understand why anyone would think that to start with, but...there's always one.
*eyeballs crowd*
So the gist of the story is that this wizardish (Traveler) character named Kell is one of the 2 people alive who has the ability to move between worlds. Londons, to be exact. 
There are 4 different alternate worlds out there, and the only thing they have in common is that London is a city in each of them. 
Grey London = Us 
There's no magic left in our world.
Red London = Kell
His world has a perfect balance with magic, and it's a pretty nice place to live.
White London = Dangerous 
Their world has squeezed magic so hard that it's retreating from them. It's filled with desperate people willing to do bad shit for power.
Black London = Dead
Something happened and they were overtaken by evil magic, sealed off from the other worlds, and now exists only as a cautionary tale.
The point? Magic is real!

Without spoiling anything, he gets robbed by a scrappy thief from our Grey London, and the two form a strange friendship/partnership. It's sweet without being romantic...YET. And that's a real selling point for me. It's not that I don't lovelovelove romance in my books, but as I get older/more crotchety, I find myself seriously digging the Slow Burn storylines better than the instant attraction stuff. I get the appeal, but it just makes me scoff at this point in my life. When I read about a couple who seem to fly into each other's arms in a fit of passion, all while declaring their undying love for each other? Instead of oohing and cooing like a normal person...
This! This is what I see!

Ok, besides a non-awkward romance, this has a few other cool things going for it, as well.
1) Cool family dynamics! Kell's part of a magical Royal Family. Well, sorta, but not really. It's...complicated.

2) Delilah (possibly) has a secret origin! Is there more to her than meets the eye? *wink, wink*
 {insert spoilery inside joke here}
Still, even without anything extra, she's a tough little cookie.

3) The worlds themselves are just plain interesting. I think Schwab did a good job describing the different Londons, because all of them felt very real and well thought out. But I've always had a thing for alternate versions of our world stacked on top of each other, so this was right up my ally to begin with! And how cool would it be to have the ability to slide in and out of each of those?!

Ok, so even if it didn't really satisfy me as much as I had hoped, I'm all in for the next book!