Thursday, January 29, 2015

[Review] - Burned (Fever #7) by Karen Marie Moning

Release Date:  January 20, 2015
Publisher:  Delacorte Press
Genre:  Urban Fantasy/Fae
Buy Links:  Amazon | B&N
Author Links: Goodreads | Website

It’s easy to walk away from lies. Power is another thing. MacKayla Lane would do anything to save the home she loves. A gifted sidhe-seer, she’s already fought and defeated the deadly Sinsar Dubh—an ancient book of terrible evil—yet its hold on her has never been stronger. When the wall that protected humans from the seductive, insatiable Fae was destroyed on Halloween, long-imprisoned immortals ravaged the planet. Now Dublin is a war zone with factions battling for control. As the city heats up and the ice left by the Hoar Frost King melts, tempers flare, passions run red-hot, and dangerous lines get crossed. Seelie and Unseelie vie for power against nine ancient immortals who have governed Dublin for millennia; a rival band of sidhe-seers invades the city, determined to claim it for their own; Mac’s former protégé and best friend, Dani “Mega” O’Malley, is now her fierce enemy; and even more urgent, Highland druid Christian MacKeltar has been captured by the Crimson Hag and is being driven deeper into Unseelie madness with each passing day. The only one Mac can depend on is the powerful, dangerous immortal Jericho Barrons, but even their fiery bond is tested by betrayal. It’s a world where staying alive is a constant struggle, the line between good and evil gets blurred, and every alliance comes at a price. In an epic battle against dark forces, Mac must decide who she can trust, and what her survival is ultimately worth.

Do you ever get that feeling in the pit of your stomach while reading a book?  That feeling of butterflies, and anxiety and hope and love all rolled into one?  That's what I feel every time I read a book by Karen Marie Moning.  I'm excited and anxious about what's going to happen next, and at the same time, I'm dreading coming to the end because I know I'll have to wait for another book.  I can admit that I am a Moning Fan Girl.  I could read about the Fever world for the rest of my life and still want more.  This book was fantastic, and I think it's a very important installment in the Fever series.  It might not be what we are used to, but it was needed.  So EFF the haters.  

While Iced was my least favorite book in this series, I can honestly say that Burned was one of my favorite.  There are so many review that aren't giving this book its due.  A lot of whining about how this story doesn't have the same feel as previous Fever books, or that Mac isn't the same, blah, blah, blah.  This is what I think...this book is the linchpin of the entire series.  This is the book with the events, problems and solutions that will ultimately hold the entire series together.  I think it also goes a step farther to show that MacKayla Lane is the character linchpin of the series.  Sure, she's always been a main character, but there are many notable characters in the Fever-verse.  Mac deals with insecurities and coming to terms with herself and her feelings in this book, and I think that it will become obvious by the end that the entire Fever world hinges on Mac's actions, or lack thereof.

 There is so much going on in this story and Moning weaves it all together masterfully.  Dani is a story in and of itself.  Mac and her inner struggles take center stage, as well as her feelings of trust and betrayal in regards to Barrons.  Barrons is doing what he does best - speaking with much action and very little words.  Ryodan takes center stage throughout much of this book, making him a major player moving forward.  The Kelters are a heavy presence in this book, as well as many Seelie and Unseelie characters.  The Sidhe-seers Jo and Kat, as well as one of the Nine, Lor, also have pivotal roles that move the plot forward.

Mac has a lot to deal with.  Ever since Cruce was entombed, she's had these nasty, stinky Unseelie flying around her.  She cannot figure out how to get rid of them.  She also has the wee teeny problem of the Sinsar-Dubh urging her to take actions that she is not ready to take.  Mac is at a crossroads in her life.  If she embraces the Sinsar-Dubh, she could lose herself to the Book.  She is terrified of being controlled by the Book, and is focusing on getting the Book out of her body.  She only begins to realize that it might not be possible.  She goes through a long list of insecurities, compounded by what she sees as a betrayal by Barrons.  Mac came to Ireland to find out what happened to her sister.  She accomplished that goal, and fought to save the world from Cruce.  Now that this is over, she's not quite sure where she belongs.  Her inaction, although frustrating at times, is based on good intentions.  But you know what they say about good intentions....

Barrons is, thank God, in this book a lot.  He still doesn't speak much, but when he does, it is with great purpose.  Barrons is a man of action, not of words.  He is the beast, the wild animal, always calculating.  Barrons never once tells Mac what he thinks she should do.  He urges her to do something, anything really, than to sit around inactive.  But he never tells her what actions she should take.  I think this is a smart move on his part.  Mac needs to understand herself on her own terms.  I think it is clear that Barrons loves Mac as much as a creature like himself can love anyone.  There are many actions throughout this book that point to his feelings for her.  There is a conversation between himself and Ryodan about rule breaking that is one of my favorite parts of this book.  Barrons knows what Mac is feeling and thinking, even if she doesn't.  He does something HUGE towards the end of this book that has Mac very upset, until she calms and thinks about his actions and realizes what her feelings were towards the fae that hurt her.  Barrons knew her inner feelings all along and how she held past events against him.  I love this basic component of their realtionship.  Barrons and Mac "get" each other on a basic, primitive level.  Barrons will do things that Mac hates if he thinks it will protect her.  

Dani, oh Dani.  You annoyed me so very much in Iced.  I want that smart talking, egotistical, goofy girl back.  Dani is missing for a good chunk of this book, and when she returns, she has transformed.  Moning makes good on her promise to age Dani, even if I'm not happy with the circumstances.  Dani's interactions with Ryodan are off-the-charts hot.  There are secrets about Dani that we didn't know about, and I suspect secrets that we still are not privvy to.  Ryodan is more than her protector.  He is more than just one of the Nine.  He is more than what Mac thinks he is.  Ryodan is just MORE.  He really comes into his own in this story, and I loved the interplay between him and Barrons.

Okay - this is too long as it is, so I'm going to stop.  I loved this freaking book.  I cannot wait until Book 8, Feverborn, is released.  KMM is shooting for a release this year, so my fingers are crossed.  If you are a fan of this series, read this book NOW.  Do not wait.  If you were disappointed by this book, then I would say to not give up on it.  This is the linchpin folks.  Mac will not remain the way she is in Burned.  I have all the faith in the world that she will come out of this funk.  Mac will be back and better than ever.  I am just as excited about that as I am to delve deeper into the minds of the Nine.  

If you are a fan of urban fantasy, this is an absolute, top must-read series.  I can't put into words how much I love the Fever world and KMM's writing.  If you are a fan of distant, alpha male creatures, Barrons is the apex predator.  He is by far my most favorite character in urban fantasy literature.  Mac is by far my favorite heroine, for her humanity and for her kick ass-ness.  If you are looking for an epic story, full of fae lore, twists and turns, misdirections and game changers, this is the series you must read.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

[Book Spotlight - Excerpt, Teasers and Giveaway] Sever by J.M. Miller

Title: Sever
Author: J.M. Miller
Genre: NA Romance Suspense
Release Date: January 26, 2015

One simple decision can end a future. 
One simple persuasion can sever a life. 

The moment Annisyn Kane slips her rake pick into the lock of a stranger's door, the straight life she's led the last few years is scratched out. In the past, the goal was never theft. It was to escape. From life. From death. To quiet the dreams that replayed an affliction she longed to forget. This night, though, was different. She was out of options.

The isolated house was supposed to be an easy target. In and out. No problems. But the simple job takes a twisted turn when Annisyn comes face to face with the only real love she ever had. 

Five years ago, she could have persuaded Damian Mead to stay. But she wasn't willing to be the end of his future, so she let him go. Before the emotions from their tangled past have a chance to spin between them, Annisyn discovers that their startling encounter is the least of the night's problems. There's someone else in the house who has issues with the past, and the only thing on his mind is revenge.

*recommended ages 17+ for mature content*

"You okay?" Damian shifted beside me, rubbing his arm against mine in the process. The binds at our elbows were now tied together and secured to the lowest wood railing of the stairs. 

I wiggled my arms, but there was very little room to move. Looking down at the material connecting our ankles, I wondered if there was another way to get free. "Aside from the headache, yeah. You?"

Damian didn't look at me. His eyes remained forward, staring blankly off toward the kitchen. We were farther from the light, but I could still see each of his features: the eyes that would look at me like I was the only other person alive, the thin nose that would brush my skin whenever he kissed the back of my neck, the plump lower lip that he'd sometimes bite when I dug my fingernails into his back. 

He nodded. "I'm fine. Now, are you gonna tell me what you're doing in my house?"

Great. There was no easy way to answer. It was probably best to just say it. "I broke in."

He exhaled a puff of air and shook his head. "Of course you did."

J.M. Miller currently consumes her coffee in Florida. When she isn't busy being distracted by social media sites, she writes Young Adult and New Adult romance novels that vary in genre from contemporary to paranormal, with a little mystery thrown in for fun. 
Aside from spending time with her family, she loves to travel and will jump at the chance to go anywhere, whenever life allows.

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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Early Review: Half the World (Shattered Sea #2) by Joe Abercrombie

Release Date: February 7, 2015
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Source: NetGalley
Author Links: Goodreads | Website

Sometimes a girl is touched by Mother War.
Thorn is such a girl. Desperate to avenge her dead father, she lives to fight. But she has been named a murderer by the very man who trained her to kill.
Sometimes a woman becomes a warrior.
She finds herself caught up in the schemes of Father Yarvi, Gettland’s deeply cunning minister. Crossing half the world to find allies against the ruthless High King, she learns harsh lessons of blood and deceit.
Sometimes a warrior becomes a weapon.
Beside her on the journey is Brand, a young warrior who hates to kill, a failure in his eyes and hers, but with one chance at redemption.
And weapons are made for one purpose.
Will Thorn forever be a pawn in the hands of the powerful, or can she carve her own path?

"I'm no warrior."
"Yes y'are."
"A warrior doesn't fear."
"A fool doesn't fear. A warrior stands in spite of his fear. You stood."
Brand plucked at his damp trousers. "I stood and pissed myself."
"You won't be the only one."
"The hero never pisses himself in the songs."
"Aye, well." Rulf gave his shoulder a parting squeeze, and stood.
"That's why those are songs, and this is life."

Yarvi & his crew are back, and just as awesome as ever.
Although, Half the World doesn't focus on Yarvi. Instead, while he's still a main character, the story isn't told from his point of view anymore. Having said that, Yarvi is pulling the strings of two new characters, Thorn and Brand.

Thorn is...well, she lives up to her prickly name. Brand, however, is more of a traditional hero. 
But the world Joe Abercrombie created doesn't really have truly traditional heroes, does it? 
That's the reason I love these books. The heroes are ugly, deformed, full of piss and vinegar, occasionally stupid, and always flawed. 
Beautifully flawed.

Just like the last book, the journey is hard and full of unexpected twists and turns. This time, it's Father Yarvi nudging people into place, like pieces on a giant chessboard. But even he can't foresee how and when everything will unfold. That doesn't stop him from trying, though.

By the end of this, I loved Brand and Thorn just as much as I (still) love Yarvi.
For those of you who enjoyed the breadcrumbs the last book dropped, you know, about whether or not this takes place in our distant future? Well, there are some pretty interesting descriptions that you'll want to read in this one!

I wasn't disappointed in the least by Half the World, and I think anyone who loved the first book will probably agree with me. This is a solid second installment and I'm looking forward to reading more about all of these characters.

Monday, January 26, 2015

[Coffee Shop Talks] Trends I'd Like to See More Of!

I would love to see more female authors writing science fiction novels with kickass heroines. I really enjoy reading about travels through space, descriptions of strange new planets, and battles with aliens.  I just can't ever seem to find enough books like this written by female authors. I would love it if more of my favorite writers would give science fiction a try.


Friday, January 23, 2015

New Cover Art - Tower of Thorns, Redzone, Wish Bound, & More!

It has been a while since I've posted New Cover Art for you. 
I'm making up for it with these AMAZING designs for some really great series. 
And to see more new covers, please visit our Cover Art board on Pinterest.

A Blackthorn & Grim Novel | Roc (Nov 3, 2015)

A House Immortal Novel | Roc (Sept1, 2015)

A Grimm Agency Novel | Ace (Aug 25, 2015)

A Remy Chandler Novel | Roc (Oct 6, 2015)

The Dred Chronicles | Ace (August 25, 2015)

Mutant Files | Ace (July 28, 2015)

A Gates of Thread & Stone Novel | March 10th 2015

Monday, January 19, 2015

[Book Spotlight] - Verum (The Nocte Trilogy #2) by Courtney Cole

"There's savagery here, there's grace. But above all, there's oblivion and no matter what I do, I will be sucked into it."

VERUM, the sequel to Courtney Cole's spellbindingly dark, heart wrenching new adult psychological suspense, NOCTE, is coming February 2, 2015.

Are you ready?


My name is Calla Price and I'm drowning.

My new world is a dark, dark ocean and I'm being pulled under by secrets.

Can I trust anyone? I don't know anymore.

The lies are spirals. They twist and turn, binding me with their thorns and serpentine tongues. And just when I think I have it figured out, everything is pulled out from under me.

I'm entangled in the darkness.

But the truth will set me free.

It's just ahead of me, so close I can touch it. But even though it shines and glimmers, it has glistening fangs and I know it will shred me.

Are you scared?

I am.

Pre-order your copy now, and get it the second it's live:
Amazon | iBooks | Kobo
Add it to your Goodreads list
Get NOCTE (Book 1) on
Amazon | iBooks | ?B&N | Kobo
Add it to your Goodreads list
Sign up for the NOCTE List and get exclusive series excerpts, teasers, and clues.

Review: Tangled (Tangled #1) by Emma Chase

Release Date: August 2, 2013
Publisher: Gallery Books
Source: Purchased
Author Links: Goodreads | Website | Twitter

Drew Evans is a winner. Handsome and arrogant, he makes multimillion dollar business deals and seduces New York’s most beautiful women with just a smile. He has loyal friends and an indulgent family. So why has he been shuttered in his apartment for seven days, miserable and depressed?

He’ll tell you he has the flu.
But we all know that’s not really true.
Katherine Brooks is brilliant, beautiful and ambitious. She refuses to let anything - or anyone - derail her path to success. When Kate is hired as the new associate at Drew’s father’s investment banking firm, every aspect of the dashing playboy’s life is thrown into a tailspin. The professional competition she brings is unnerving, his attraction to her is distracting, his failure to entice her into his bed is exasperating.

Then, just when Drew is on the cusp of having everything he wants, his overblown confidence threatens to ruin it all. Will he be able untangle his feelings of lust and tenderness, frustration and fulfillment? Will he rise to the most important challenge of his life?

Can Drew Evans win at love?

Tangled is not your mother’s romance novel. It is an outrageous, passionate, witty narrative about a man who knows a lot about women…just not as much as he thinks he knows. As he tells his story, Drew learns the one thing he never wanted in life, is the only thing he can’t live without.

I laughed, and laughed, and laughed, and then I laughed some more. Sooooo good!
I have to say that I understand why some people found this book (Drew's voice in particular) offensive, rude, and obnoxious. He's a self-centered man-whore, and his inner thoughts are not even slightly redeeming. We first meet him while he's getting a BJ from a random redhead in a bathroom, and his immediate thoughts are only how quickly he can extract himself from her, and move on to the next good time. 
Because why in the world would he have sex with the same woman twice?
Hang on. Did she just say she had a twin? 
Aaaaand we're back in business! 
Is Drew honest, or is he just a horrible person? 
Maybe a little bit of both.
Thing is, I married a guy who sounds just like Drew. 14 years later, I'm used to that particular brand of honesty, so it cracked me up on several different levels. 
However, if you don't like leading men who aren't PC, then you'll want to steer clear of this one, because this guy is guaranteed to offend you.
I get it, I do. It's just that my husband has used the excuse 'because I'm not a giant vagina' to get out of doing so many things with me, that I'm desensitized to it.
At any rate, I loved Drew and Kate's story, and I can see myself coming back and revisiting this book over and over again.

This a typical romance in that Drew is unbelievably sexy, unbelievably rich, and unbelievably skilled with women.
I should be annoyed with his lack of Real-World issues, but this was funny enough that I managed to over look his...lack of flaws, I guess? Tangled is one of those stories that I just chalked up to complete fantasy, and decided not to let my sensible side squish the fun.

Mild Spoilers Ahead: 

Here's what I thought the author did right:
First, when Drew realizes he's in love, he doesn't run off and deny it. 
It doesn't make sense when they have characters do that, you know? If you're in love, you act the fool. You do the whole embarrassing PDA stuff, you talk about them until your friends want to strangle you, and you otherwise just act all goofy and stupid.
You don't run off. Not even relationship-shy dudes.
I think that's something certain people tell themselves when their love interest runs for the hills.
Oh, they're just scared of their feelings!
Ehhh. I think they just don't like you.
Maybe I'm wrong. I'm not.
Second, it takes Kate a reasonable amount of convincing to take Drew back at the end.
I know that some of you are probably thinking she took him back too soon, but let's face it, she was crazy about him. If you already want to believe someone, then it doesn't usually take much for them to convince you of something. 
She hung in there longer than I would have...

I'm not sure how I missed out on this little gem, but I'm sure glad I found it.
If you haven't read this one yet, you need to check it out!