Ever since she was 8 years old - Janie has found that she gets "sucked" into other people's dreams and she has no way of controlling it. Now at 17, she is completely fed up with dreams. She has been present for all sorts of sexual dreams, the falling dreams, the walking naked around school dream. And the worst part of it all, she is only there as an observer. Most of the time the dreamer doesn't even know that she is there. But if by chance the dreamer asks for her help, there is nothing she can do.
She has had no other choice but to come to terms with knowing that slumber parties, early morning school field trips, and even driving her car at night are NOT very good ideas. See if someone is to see Janie while in the grasp of a dream she'll seem to be in the midst of a seizure, unseeing with no feeling in her arms or legs.
When boy-next-door Cabel finds out about her "gift/curse", Janie finds someone that she can actually discuss her problem with. But Cabel is rumored to be a pothead and a dealer... and let's not even go into what he dreams about.
I really liked the way Wake is written. Ms. McMann uses these short, choppy sentences, almost like diary entries, for Janie's "awake" moments. But when she is in the grasp of a dream - the sentences get longer, more flowing and descriptive. It did take me a bit to get used to the present tense, 3rd person narration - but once you get over that you realize this style actually gives it that intense, fast-paced feel.
Janie, our unlikely heroine, was such a great character. Her mother is an alcoholic, her father is not in the picture, she lives on the bad side of town, and to top it off, she lives an isolated life because of the dreams. She struggles to work in an old-folks home in order to raise money for college. I truly felt her frustrations and her pain over her dysfunctional life... and her lack of sleep.
Janie and Cabel were so good together. Their love was so sweet and innocent. Each needed the other to balance them out. The ups and downs of their relationship were the heart of this story and what I couldn't get enough of. I can't wait to see what the next step will be.
Wake is the first book of a trilogy - it introduces you to Janie, her ability and gives you a glimpse of just how far she might be able to go someday if she were to control and use it - it is intriguing, exhilarating and addictive. I can't wait to get my hands on FADE.
When a mysterious man begins lurking around her yard, Kate—now alone—is forced to confront her home's dangerous past. Hers is not the only life that has crumbled under this roof. But the stranger who has returned to this house—once his own childhood home—is in search of something Kate may never fully understand. [via GoodReads]
This book drew me in from the start - with its creepy prologue. I love a mystery, but more than that, I love a good character driven novel and I definitely found that in Dream House. This is the sort of novel that slowly releases its secrets to you - keeping you at the edge of your seat and anxious to know what happened and why.
The main characters, Kate and Walker are both obsessed with this house. Kate - has always felt that she's been a disappointment to her family and feels that by immersing herself in fixing up her new home is a way to redeem herself in their eyes. Walker grew up in the same house before landing himself in jail for almost two decades. What was his purpose for returning?
There are various plot lines going on at once and they are all crucial to the outcome of this novel. The relationships Kate forges between Walker and Jay were really satisfying and essentially what I found the most interesting throughout the story. I love novels that blend past and present events and how it all comes together in the now and Ms. Laken definitely did this well.
For those of you looking for a ghost story - I think you will find one in Dream House, yet it's not a story about things that go bump in the night. This is a story of the ghosts of one's past, dealing with those ghosts and coming to terms with yourself, but most importantly it's about finding a place to call home.
I was very happy to have read Dream House and will definitely be on the lookout for any other titles from Valerie Laken.
But nothing at Ashecliffe Hospital is what it seems.And neither is Teddy Daniels.
Is he there to find a missing patient? Or has he been sent to look into rumors of Ashecliffe's radical approach to psychiatry? An approach that may include drug experimentation, hideous surgical trials, and lethal countermoves in the shadow war against Soviet brainwashing ...
The closer Teddy and Chuck get to the truth, the more elusive it becomes, and the more they begin to believe that they may never leave Shutter Island.
Because someone is trying to drive them insane ... [via GoodReads]
So, I made the error of reading this book late into the night and after reading most of it and wrapping it up around 2am, I found that I had no one to share the awesomeness that this book is at that time... which sucked majorly.
Shutter Island started a bit slow for me - I think most books start slow for me, I tend to drag around in those first introductory chapters, unless there is action, of course. But once Teddy and Chuck dock on Shutter Island and begin to learn of the missing patient I started getting into the story, I mean really into it. I had a hard time putting this book down after that. I was fascinated by the descriptions of mental healthcare in the 50's. The mystery of the missing patient, and the weird awkwardness of the doctors and orderlies had me on edge.
Now I know most of you have seen the previews for the movie and are thinking this is a horror/scary book. I did not find it to be scary as much as I found it to be creepy. The story had this dark feel to it - there is a hurricane and most of the story takes place under heavy rain and winds. Then the setting itself, the creepy hospital full of insane patients was no help either. Reading it makes you feel chaotic - it was very fitting.
As for the ending, woah, I did not see that one coming. When it was over, I literally had to sit there for a couple of minutes and just take it in, then rethink everything that happened... put all the pieces together... and then... wow, brilliant! There were so many twists and turns along the way that I just stumbled into that ending, blinded and pretty much blown away by it.
This is my first Lehane novel, and it will definitely not be my last.
If you are a fan of mystery/thrillers, I would recommend you get your hands on this book - it is nothing short of brilliant.
With no power, barely any food, the building's eminent collapse, no cell phone reception, water that keeps flooding in and the door being stuck shut, they are trapped. Emotions are high and fear and restlessness begins to set in while they wait in the hopes of being rescued. To distract them from their fears, hunger and discomforts, Uma suggests that they all tell a story, a story of "One Amazing Thing" that has happened to them. A story that they have never told anyone before. And thus begins our journey with these nine diverse individuals as they wait together for whatever is to come next.
Although this book is rather short - it definitely carries big heart. Ms. Divakaruni has a way with words. She brings these nine people together in a very tense situation and brings each character into focus, fleshing them out, giving them real life struggles and lessons. I will confess to being a little confused (at first) as to who was who - and I did have to do some flipping back and forth to make sure I had the correct person. But once I got passed that, these characters shone brightly. You will find it hard to not to relate to at lease one of these people, if not more than one. The pacing is rather fast. You jump from one story to the next with only a short chapter in between giving you an update as to what is happening in the current post-earthquake situation.
As you read these stories, you can't help but wonder what story you would tell - what is you're one amazing thing?
This is a modern adaptation of The Canterbury Tales that is well-crafted and quite frankly, a fascinating read.
This week will probably not be so good. This weekend is my son's 3rd birthday (eek!) and we're having a little birthday bash for him, so needless to say, I'm running around like a chicken without a head getting everything ready in time.
Look at all the fantastic books that are sitting on my countertop. I love getting so many books in one week... makes me so happy.
Pleasure of a Dark Prince - Kresley Cole [purchase]
To Sin With a Scoundrel - Cara Elliott [Hachette]
The Lumby Lines - Gail Fraser [FSB Associates]
Waking Up in the Land of Glitter - Kathy Cano-Murillo [Hachette]
True Love: Three Novels - Lurlene McDaniel [purchase]
Magic Under Glass - Jaclyn Dolamore [win from Liz at Cleverly Inked]
Deadly Little Lies - Laurie Faria Stolarz [purchase]
Heresy - S.J. Parris [Doubleday]
Here's what I plan on reading this week:
Last week I read the following:
The Cougar Club - Susan McBride [review/giveaway]
Have a Little Faith: The Story of a Last Request - Mitch Albom
Pleasure Unbound - Larissa Ione
Desire Unchained - Larissa Ione
Waiting for You - Susane Colasanti
Passion Unleashed - Larissa Ione
I reviewed the following:
- The Bride Collector - Ted Dekker [review]
- The Nightwalkers Series - Jacquelyn Frank [review]
- The Summer We Fell Apart - Robin Antalek [review]
- Lessons in French - Laura Kinsale [reivew]
With the same compassion and warmth that made Here If You Need Me a New York Times bestseller, Braestrup engages readers fully, regardless of their path in life. She tells us about teaching sex education for her daughter's eighth-grade class, and the welcome embrace extended toward her adopted nephew from Africa. She introduces the essential concept that charity--the key to all relationships--is a whole-hearted selfless emotion, which is but a hint of God's immense devotion. Kate Braestrup's very human outlook gives anyone seeking to understand human relationships a fresh perspective on what it is to love and be loved.
Ranging from American museums to the coast of Normandy, from the late nineteenth century to the late twentieth, from young love to last love, THE SWAN THIEVES is a story of obsession, the losses of history, and the power of art to preserve human hope.
It haunts me, all this crazy stuff. Every day of my life has been an event. I took lethal combinations of booze and drugs for thirty f**king years. I survived a direct hit by a plane, suicidal overdoses, STDs. I've been accused of attempted murder. Then I almost died while riding over a bump on a quad bike at f**king two miles per hour.
People ask me how come I'm still alive, and I don't know what to say. When I was growing up, if you'd have put me up against a wall with the other kids from my street and asked me which one of us was gonna make it to the age of sixty, which one of us would end up with five kids and four grandkids and houses in Buckinghamshire and Beverly Hills, I wouldn't have put money on me, no f**king way. But here I am: ready to tell my story, in my own words, for the first time.
A lot of it ain't gonna be pretty. I've done some bad things in my time. I've always been drawn to the dark side, me. But I ain't the devil. I'm just John Osbourne: a working-class kid from Aston, who quit his job in the factory and went looking for a good time."
Tim Farnsworth walks. He walks out of meetings and out of bed. He walks in sweltering heat and numbing cold. He will walk without stopping until he falls asleep, wherever he is. This curious affliction has baffled medical experts around the globe--and come perilously close to ruining what should be a happy life. Tim has a loving family, a successful law career and a beautiful suburban home, all of which he maintains spectacularly well until his feet start moving again.
What drives a man to stay in a marriage, in a job? What forces him away? Is love or conscience enough to overcome the darker, stronger urges of the natural world? THE UNNAMED is a deeply felt, luminous novel about modern life, ancient yearnings, and the power of human understanding.
GIVEAWAY: These are AUDIOBOOKS. I have 3 copies of each up for grabs - thanks to the lovely Anna at HBG.
Your comments will enter you in all giveaways unless otherwise specified. If you have a preference, also mention that in your comment.
Rules: This contest is open to U.S. & Canada residents only. No P.O. Boxes. Winners will be drawn Saturday, March 13.
She is, after all, Lady Callista Taillefaire, jilted three times in spite of her fortune and her father's best efforts to find her a husband. Now her greatest desire is to win the silver cup at the agricultural fair with her gigantic prize bull, Hubert. But when Callie's only old flame returns from his long and mysterious absence in France, her quiet spinster life turns upside down.
Dark-eyed, elegant and a magnet for trouble, Trevelyan d'Augustin has given Callie lessons in more than his language in the past. Her father put a harsh and humiliating end to any dreams of romance with a French émigré scoundrel, however, and Callie never thought to see him again. Swallowing his pride, Trev has finally come home to care for his failing mother, but his secrets and misdeeds follow him.
Callie soon remembers that nothing is ever peaceful with Trev around. The enormous Hubert vanishes into thin air, one of her former jilts comes back to woo her in a most determined manner--and her bull takes the town by storm! In the midst of these misadventures, Callie finds herself falling in love again with the worst possible man for her... [via GoodReads]
This was such a fun story. Ms. Kinsale is very talented when it comes to creating her characters and their witty dialogue. I thought Callie and Trev were amazing together - their chemistry, their conversations, the situations they can't help but find themselves in - it was pure joy to read. Some of the secondary characters were quite fun too, I especially enjoyed Trev's maman.
There really was never a dull moment for Callie and Trev. There were so many obstacles thrown in the way of their love - and on more than one occasion I questioned their "happily ever after." But needless to say, love conquers all, and I thought everything was wrapped up rather nicely.
I love a historical romance that takes place in the early 1800's - and even more so when it relates to country life. I loved all the descriptions of the village and the local villagers as well as what information we received of life after the Napoleonic Wars.
All in all, Lessons in French has everything a reader is looking for in a light-hearted historical romance. You will laugh, you will cry, you will sigh - you really can't ask for more.
This book provided for review by Sourcebooks.
When an errand boy discovers Burdell’s nearly decapitated body in the bedroom of his posh Bond Street home, there are no witnesses and virtually no clues. With the city up in arms over the vicious killing, District Attorney Abraham Oakey Hall immediately suspects Emma Cunningham, the striking young widow who has been living at 31 Bond Street with her two teenaged daughters, caring for Burdell’s home in exchange for a marriage proposal. But Burdell’s past is murky and his true intentions towards Emma Cunningham were questionable, leaving Emma with a plausible motive for murder. With the help of her defence attorney, Henry Clinton, Emma embarks on a legal drama to prove her innocence and spare herself from the gallows.
Set against the background of a bustling and corrupt New York City in 1857, 31 Bond Street is a fascinating archeological dig, taking the reader through the minutiae of a buried past, only to uncover circumstances that are shockingly contemporary: a sensationalist press, burgeoning new wealth, a booming real estate market, and race and gender conflicts. Ellen Horan’s gripping novel vividly exposes a small slice of lost history as it explores New York City on the eve of the Civil War.
Just returned from a doctor's appointment, Glynis has some news of her own: Shep can't go anywhere because she desperately needs his health insurance. But their policy only partially covers the staggering bills for her treatments, and Shep's nest egg for The Afterlife soon cracks under the strain.
Enriched with three medical subplots that also explore the human costs of American health care, So Much for That follows the profound transformation of a marriage, for which grave illness proves an unexpected opportunity for tenderness, renewed intimacy, and dry humor. In defiance of her dark subject matter, Shriver writes a page-turner that presses the question: How much is one life worth?
1945. Jacob Noah emerges from hiding to discover that his family has perished under the Nazis. Rebuilding his life, Noah becomes a shoemaker in the Dutch town of Assen. Over the years, he patiently expands his business and eventually becomes the city's most influential entrepreneur. Yet success cannot alleviate his loneliness and suffering nor the tragedy of history.
Nearly forty years later, this dispirited, loveless man veers off the road in a tragic accident. But instead of entering death's abyss, Noah finds himself on a journey through his soul. Guided by a peddler, he descends into the town's smoky center, a manmade hell reminiscent of Dante's Inferno. But it is not until he encounters a young man named Marcus Kolpa, a respected intellectual struggling with the implications of his Jewish identity and the shared history of his people, that Noah is able to truly understand the meaning of his own life and the tragedies he has experienced.
GIVEAWAY: I have 1 copy OF EACH BOOK up for grabs - thanks to the folks at Harper.
As always, leave a comment for one entry. If you'd like extra entries just say so in your comment or separate comments (extra entries for followers, Twitter, sidebars, Facebook, etc.) ; and for putting my spiffy little button on your blog. Make sure to leave an e-mail address, especially if you are leaving a comment under Anonymous.
Make sure to specify if you are only interested in certain books or if you are interested in all 4 by order in which you'd like to receive the most to the least.
Rules: This contest is open to U.S. & Canada residents only. Winners will be drawn Friday, March 12.
Kat just recently lost her job in Manhattan because her superiors have decided younger employees are the way to go and upon finding her much younger boyfriend having some cyber fun, she has decided he's got to go too. So she packs up and heads back home to St. Louis and her two BFF's.
Carla is the town's news anchorwoman... a celebrity of sorts. She's hot at 40, and she knows it, not to mention she's going out with the young Sportscaster at her station. But she suddenly finds herself in a déjà vu moment, when a younger woman is a threat to her job... just like she did once upon a time to her predecessor.
Then there's Elise - whose life seems to be the most stable. She's been married for years, her children are grown and gone from home and now she finds herself in a rut. Her marriage and sex life sucks and her husband is quite possibly cheating on her.
Their unofficial "Cougar Club" is what they'll need in order to see, get through and move forward from these not-so-great moments in life.
This was a fun and quick read that had it's funny and light moments but also had some moments that were thought-provoking. I love the idea of a cougar. Why? Well because I've never felt that age should define a person. Plus I give kudos to any woman who at 45 can still live and look like they are in their late 20's, early 30's. You go girlfriend!
Ms. McBride's writing is hip and fun. She really brought these woman to life - made you feel as if you could know someone like them in real life. The issues and struggles they face were realistic and most women over 30 can definitely relate. I truly enjoyed this story about friendship, love, and just life in general.
True friendship never dies, the only way to live is real, and you're never too old to follow your heart.
I think that is so true and certainly something every woman, no matter the age, should live by.
This was a wonderful treat to read and I definitely recommend it.
This book was provided for review by:
GIVEAWAY: The lovely Susan (in all her awesomeness) has graciously allowed me to host a giveaway for 1 signed copy of The Cougar Club. :D
Rules: This contest is open to U.S. residents only. Winners will be drawn Friday, March 5.
The characters Ms. Antalek riddles these pages with will become your friends. You will laugh and shed tears with them. Their stories will make you fall in love, they will cause you heart break, but mostly they will make you feel as if you are a part of this dysfunctional family.
This is an emotionally riveting book which covers a range of family issues — a wrecked marriage, substance abuse, sibling rivalries, adults coming to terms with their upbringing and how all these issues affect their relationships.
I picked this book up and devoured it within a couple of hours and was actually saddened that my time with it was over much too quickly. For fans of character driven novels, with loads of family drama, this is definitely one you won't want to miss out on.
This book was provided for review by:
- Mitzi H.
A BLACK TIE AFFAIR by Sherrill Bodine
- Karen H in NC
- Linda Henderson
DROOD by Dan Simmons
- Carol W.
- Amy J - Book Addict
BLACK HILLS by Dan Simmons
- Ryan G
- Rabid Fox
SLEEP NO MORE by Susan Crandall
SEDUCED BY A ROGUE by Amanda Scott
- Belinda M
- Virginia C
- Anna ♥
COUNTESS OF SCANDAL by Laurel McKee
- Scorpio M.
- Beth (BBRB)
- Simply Stacie
DARE TO SURRENDER by Lilli Feisty
- Sandy Jay
If you are still interested in more giveaways, check out my giveaways page [here]. More giveaways will be posted throughout the week - so stay tuned.
Isabella was the perfect match for Jacob. Where he is calm - she is explosive. I absolutely loved her character. She was downright funny at times and I definitely found myself laughing out loud more than once. I loved their interactions, dialogue and, of course, romantic interludes. I am a big fan of paranormal/soulmate romances, and this one fit the bill. Bella's encounters with the Demon kind was great because you go on the journey with her. Every new discovery is a thrill to her as well as to you as the reader. There was plenty of action (and I mean that in more than one way ::wink-wink::). With the threat of Necromancers and Jacob and Bella trying to save themselves and their friends, there was never a dull moment. I loved the introduction to most of the characters you will be encountering within the upcoming books (i.e. Gideon, Noah, Elijah, Magdalegna, etc.) I think out of all 5 books this was my favorite. Although one of the one's with the most action, it also was the one with the lightest feel to it.
Magdalegna is the Demon King's youngest sister. Although still considered young (only 250 years old), she has always had a thing for "older man" Gideon. But she has loved him from afar for near a decade - about 9 years ago, Gideon spurned her advances, insulting her terribly and landing him in isolation for the remainder of that time. But due to some unforeseen circumstances (Book 1), he is now back in Magdalegna's life and he will not stop himself from getting what he wants this time.
Sadly, I really didn't get Gideon. I don't mean the book - I mean the demon. He fell flat for me. I really liked Magdalegna - she had this elegant and diplomatic charm to her. She was fierce and protective and she definitely knew how to stand her ground. But Gideon was just too blah for me. I really didn't like that he treated her as a child (although he did get over that quickly enough) and also the fact that he has silver hair - I just couldn't get the picture of him as an old man out of my mind. This one did not have as much action as Jacob did, and it did have a lot of repetition in the beginning (to get you up to speed if you didn't read the first book in the series). I did enjoy that Bella and Jacob were once again in the mix of it all and I also enjoyed the introductions to a few new characters (i.e. Siena the Lycanthrope Queen and Damien the Vampire Prince). All in all, it was a bit mediocre for me, but not unbearable. I definitely am intrigued and really like the Nightwalker world Ms. Frank has created.
Siena, the Lycanthrope Queen, finds Elijah at the brink of death. She has done everything in her power since she's been on the throne to pacify the discord between her people and the demons. But the war between their kinds took a toll on their trust, and although they have been at peace, for a little shy of a decade, it is still something that is on shaky ground. When she comes across the man who lead the warriors that killed hundreds of her lycanthrope brethren, including her father, the former King, she can only think of helping him live. But Elijah quickly realizes that he needs more from Siena then just a nurse and what starts off as attraction soon burns into a passion with consequences that will affect both their people.
Ms. Frank definitely redeemed herself in my eyes with Elijah. I absolutely loved this "odd" pairing. And I don't mean odd because they are from different races, I found them odd since Elijah spent a lot of time killing Lycanthrope's thanks to the war Siena's father started. I enjoyed learning about the Lycanthrope's and their culture. It was a treat to read of Siena and Elijah falling in love. I was somewhat annoyed at how much they fought against their feelings for one another but once those bridges were crossed they made a great pair. The struggles that Siena faced when it came to sharing her throne and the fears of her people were a big part of the story but it only gave you a better feel for the Lycanthropes. As if this was not enough to keep you on edge, the story was also riddled with all sorts of bedlam - from Necromancers to traitorous demons.
A great addition to the series - with plenty of cameo's from the characters from previous books. I love that you get to see how things are going in those relationships and introductions to upcoming one's. The universe that Ms. Frank has created is full and rich with a lot of depth - making me devour these books in a couple of hours and crying out for the next one.
Syreena has lived under the heavy restrictions of the monks that she has lived with most of her life. As the heir to the Lyncathrope throne, unless her sister, Siena (the Lycanthrope Queen) has children, she is gifted with rare abilities and has been taught since a young age never to form attachments to others. But she can't help the connection she forges with Damian and the passion that ignites between them is impossible for either to resist. But their mating can lead to dangerous repercussions that not only threaten them, but all the Nightwalkers - with enemies that are much more stronger than any faced before.
I love that Ms. Frank has no boundaries when it comes to inter-racial relationships. A Vampire and a Lycanthrope - odd, but it totally worked. Damian is the (delicious) brooding vampire , but I loved that his feelings for Syreena literally brought him to his knees. That just kills me in a vamp. I think out of all the books in the series - their relationship was the most intense for me. They had these scenes that were violent and erotic, but sensual all in one. With so many obstacles in the way, there was many a heated debate between them, but the romance and the outstanding threat kept me on edge. Once again, I was not let down with this one, it is a good continuation in the series leaving plenty of different routes it can take from here. I am definitely intrigued and can honestly say that I am a devoted fan now.
Kestra is a successful mercenary who works for the highest bidder, but she is also a woman who has suffered terrible losses in her life. When she finds herself running from danger and lands in the arms of a powerful male, she can't help but wonder where she's seen him before.
I have to admit that this is the book that I looked forward to the most throughout this series. You meet Noah from the first book and you can't help but look forward to the day where you read his story... and I was not disappointed. This book had everything romance, mystery, suspense, it was sensual and erotic. It had the perfect blend of all these elements that made it such a fantastic read. Kestra's story was heartbreaking - the trauma and loss that she suffered brought tears to my eyes and I am so glad that she found her mate in Noah. Someone who could protect and treasure her, yet let her be the strong vibrant woman that she is. Obviously there was plenty of scuffle between them while they got the gist of their relationship... with a lot of tantrums, tears and walking-off moments, but nonetheless, this is what made them unique and endearing in my eyes.
Although there are still quite a few loose ends, especially when it comes to the bad guys who seem to be MIA throughout this story, but hopefully that will be remedied when Ms. Frank publishes the next book in the series. I'm not sure who that story will be about - but I can't wait to find out.
I love this new take on demons, on Nightwalkers in general, turning them into an ancient race of honorable, magical beings, who get their powers from the earth and protect humans. It is a bit reminiscent of Christine Feehan's Carpathian series, but since I am a big fan of that series too, this definitely was a big hit with me. I absolutely loved the characters, my favorites still being Jacob and Bella, and how, no matter what book you were reading, you still had a glimpse into the lives of each of the couples you read of earlier in the series. In these books you also get an introduction to The Shadowdwellers, Ms. Frank's breakout series (which I've already begun reading). All in all, as a series, I highly recommend them. They hold plenty of romance, action and suspense. And, if you're anything like me, you'll get your hands on all five books and read them back to back within a couple of days. Yes, I know, they were that addictive. Loved them and can't wait for the next in the series.