Bookcase of the Week [11]

There's something about a room that is taken over by books that just calls to me. It makes my heart pitter patter.



Wake by Lisa McMann

Most people enjoy falling asleep and dreaming. But that is not the case for Janie. On the other hand, for Janie, dreams are the things of nightmares.

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.


Dream House by Valerie Laken

When Kate and Stuart Kinzler buy a run-down, historic house in Ann Arbor, Michigan, they're looking for a decent remodeling investment and a little space in which to rekindle their troubled marriage. Instead they discover that their home was the scene of a terrible crime many years ago—a revelation that tips the balance of their precarious union.

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.

This book was provided for review by:


Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane

U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels has come to Shutter Island, home of Ashecliffe Hospital for the Criminally Insane. Along with his partner, Chuck Aule, he sets out to find an escaped patient.

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.


One Amazing Thing by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

Nine strangers are all that remain in the passport and visa office when an earthquake rips through their unnamed American city. Lilly - a punky teenager with an unexpected gift. Mr. and Mrs. Pritchett - an upper-class Caucasian couple whose relationship is disintegrating. Tariq - a young Muslim-American man struggling with the fallout of 9/11. Uma - a graduate student haunted by a question about love. Cameron - an African-American ex-soldier searching for redemption. Jiang - a Chinese grandmother with a secret past. And Mr. Mangolam and Malathi - two visa office workers on the verge of an adulterous affair.

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.


Manic Monday Recaps (Week 2/22/10)

I don't know about you guys, but I have been having some really good reading weeks. I've been reading 6-7 books a week (which is great - because it rarely happens). I've come to realize that if I start more than one book at a time, I read more. So, thus why I'm having these great reading weeks.

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]
How to Never Look Fat Again - Charla Krupp [Hachette]

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]


Giveaway: Audiobooks

Kate Braestrup has been married and widowed, betrayed and betrothed, her personal spirituality constantly evolving along the way. How do God and love figure in our everyday lives and bonds with others? In MARRIAGE, AND OTHER ACTS OF CHARITY, she tackles these big questions with stories from her own relationships--romantic and familial, platonic and professional--much as Anne Lamott weaves her spirituality through her tales of parenthood.

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.

Psychiatrist Andrew Marlowe has a perfectly ordered life--solitary, perhaps, but full of devotion to his profession and the painting hobby he loves. This order is destroyed when renowned painter Robert Oliver attacks a canvas in the National Gallery of Art and becomes his patient. In response, Marlowe finds himself going beyond his own legal and ethical boundaries to understand the secret that torments this genius, a journey that will lead him into the lives of the women closest to Robert Oliver and toward a tragedy at the heart of French Impressionism.

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.

"They've said some crazy things about me over the years. I mean, okay: 'He bit the head off a bat.' Yes. 'He bit the head off a dove.' Yes. But then you hear things like, 'Ozzy went to the show last night, but he wouldn't perform until he'd killed fifteen puppies . . .' Now me, kill fifteen puppies? I love puppies. I've got eighteen of the f**king things at home. I've killed a few cows in my time, mind you. And the chickens. I shot the chickens in my house that night.

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."

Joshua Ferris' debut novel Then We Came to the End was both heralded by critics and a New York Times bestseller, and marked the arrival of a startlingly talented young writer. With THE UNNAMED, Ferris imagines the collision between one man's free will and the forces of nature that are bigger than any of us.

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.

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, my spiffy All About {n} button, etc.) Make sure to leave an e-mail address, especially if you are leaving a comment under Anonymous.

Rules: This contest is open to U.S. & Canada residents only. No P.O. Boxes. Winners will be drawn Saturday, March 13.



Lessons in French by Laura Kinsale

"It was quite settled by now. She was born to be a spinster. The gentlemen would have to declare their undying devotion to other ladies. Callie would be too much occupied with developing a delicate constitution and a dependable recipe for tapioca-jelly."

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.

Giveaway: 31 Bond Street; So Much for That; Hush; In a Dark Wood

The sensational murder of Dr. Harvey Burdell in his lower Manhattan townhouse was the biggest news story in the United States before the Civil War; “Who killed Dr. Burdell?” was the question that gripped the nation. Deftly interweaving fiction and fact, 31 Bond Street is a clever historical narrative that blends romance, politics, greed and sexual intrigue in a suspenseful drama.

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.

Shep Knacker has long saved for "The Afterlife": an idyllic retreat to the Third World where his nest egg can last forever. Traffic jams on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway will be replaced with "talking, thinking, seeing, and being"—and enough sleep. When he sells his home repair business for a cool million dollars, his dream finally seems within reach. Yet Glynis, his wife of twenty-six years, has concocted endless excuses why it's never the right time to go. Weary of working as a peon for the jerk who bought his company, Shep announces he's leaving for a Tanzanian island, with or without her.

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?

When Lake Warren learns that her husband Jack is suing for full custody of their two kids, four months after their separation, she's pretty certain that things can't get any worse. The upside is that she's working with the Advanced Fertility Center as a marketing consultant, alongside the attractive, flirtatious Dr. Keaton. But when, the morning after their one-night stand, she finds Keaton with his throat slashed, Lake learns that things can indeed become worse - they can become deadly. So not to jeopardise her case for custody, Lake is forced to lie to the police. Having just been intimate with a man who has been murdered, and wanting to protect herself from being charged with the crime, she begins her own investigation. But when the police start looking at her closely, people at the clinic start treating her with hostility, and strange and dangerous clues begin dropping-quite literally-on her doorstep, Lake realises that she is dangerously close to dark truths about Keaton and the clinic. But can Lake stop what she's started before it's too late?

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.


The Cougar Club by Susan McBride

Three best friends Kat, Carla and Elise are back together in the same town after many years apart. They are now in their mid-40's and are each at a turning point in life:

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.

I loved the Club's motto:
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

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.

Rules: This contest is open to U.S. residents only. Winners will be drawn Friday, March 5.


The Summer We Fell Apart by Robin Antalek

The children of a once-brilliant playwright and a struggling actress, the four Haas siblings grew up in chaos—raised in an environment composed of neglect and glamour in equal measure. When their father dies, they must depend on their intense but fragile bond to remember what it means to be family despite years of anger and hurt. These brothers and sisters are painfully human, sometimes selfish, and almost always making the wrong decisions, but their endearing struggles provide laughter through tears—something anyone who's ever had a sibling can relate to. [via GoodReads]

I enjoyed the way this story was told - five characters (four siblings and their mother) and their five points of view. It almost gave it a feel as if they were five loosely related stories - but in the end I think the stories were so well-blended and ran so fluidly from one to the next that I couldn't classify it as a compilation of short stories.

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:


Giveaway Results: Yes, I'm making a lot of people happy

Once again, I am all backed up on my giveaway results. I get so swamped between work, the kids and just all other sorts of stuff going on that I forget. So sorry my lovelies. Here are the winners for all my expired giveaways:

RION by Susan Kearney
- Mitzi H.
- CherylS22
- cynthiagarrido2004
- overflowingbookshelf
- karenk

A BLACK TIE AFFAIR by Sherrill Bodine
- Sarah
- Karen H in NC
- elaing8
- ~*Ruby*~
- Linda Henderson

DROOD by Dan Simmons
- Carol W.
- Amy J - Book Addict
- Erin
- InABox
- tokemise

BLACK HILLS by Dan Simmons
- Ryan G
- Marjorie
- Natasha
- dor
- Rabid Fox

SLEEP NO MORE by Susan Crandall
- LuAnn
- tweetybrd22
- xxsquigglesxx
- Tena
- holdenj

SEDUCED BY A ROGUE by Amanda Scott
- Belinda M
- Jane
- Virginia C
- etirv
- Anna ♥

- Scorpio M.
- Beth (BBRB)
- Haleyknitz
- Simply Stacie
- Sarah

- Sandy Jay
- scottsgal
- renee
- Kelly
- justpeachy36

Way to go you guys! Winners were chosen using I will be sending out a ton of e-mails within the next couple of minutes, so look out for it. You have until Friday to get back to me, if I haven't heard from you by then, a new winner will be chosen.

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.

The Nightwalkers Series by Jacquelyn Frank

Jacob is the first in The Nightwalkers Series. He's an elder, over 600 years old, and the Enforcer of his demon brethren. He is the only one who can uphold justice when a demon is overtaken by the madness. A madness that will lead them down a path that can eventually harm the human that they become obsessed with. For humans are forbidden to demons - punishable by the Enforcer himself. Jacob has never succumbed to the madness himself - but when a tiny, spitfire by the name of Isabella literally falls into his arms he had no idea his whole world was about to change - and that he would be the one that would be breaking the rules.

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.

Gideon the Ancient is the oldest male Demon in existence. He is revered by their kind which at times makes him come off as arrogant and domineering. He is a demon of the body and can appear anywhere as a hologram (think Star Trek) that he is needed - which comes in quite handy since he is also the proverbial "medicine man" for his kind.

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.

Elijah - the Demon King's Warrior Captain is a force to be reckoned with. He is a master of every weapon and a fierce protector of his people. He has never lost a fight, but when he is ambushed and left for dead by Necromancer's - he is discovered by the one woman who just might finish the job.

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.

Damien is the Vampire Prince. Vampires on a whole are quite fickle in nature - they never find pleasure in one thing for too long. Damien, being the oldest and strongest of his kind, has lived such a life, but has grown tired of it and devotes his energies to protecting his people. The war between Necromancers and Nightwalkers has escalated, and when Syreena, a Lycanthrope Princess, is kidnapped, Damien boldly follows to rescue her.

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.

Last (for now), but definitely not least, in the series is Noah. The Demon King has no intentions in claiming a mate, for his only goal is to protect his kind from their human and Nightwalker enemies. But for the past six months this has become more and more difficult for him. Not only have most of his friends found their significant others, but he has been having vivid dreams of a woman that has him on the brink of madness. When he finally gets the courage to go out of his way and find this mysterious woman, knowing that she is his mate, it is only to watch her die. He risks everything (from relationships to his life) on a daring experiment to go back in time and save her. But even saving her may not be enough, because now he has to find a way to win the heart of a woman so scarred she may not be able to love.

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.

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