Between the Duke and the Deep Blue Sea by Sophia Nash

Author: Sophia Nash
Pages: 384
Genre: Historical Romance
Source: Amazon Vine Program
Six Regency heroes--One royal hangover.

An infamous night has been lost to memory. The scandalous Dukes of the Royal Entourage must make amends. The first step is a heroic rescue.

One of England's most disreputable peers, Alexander Barclay, Duke of Kress, has stumbled upon a perfect opportunity for redemption. Having been exiled to Cornwall by the Prince Regent himself, Barclay discovers lovely Roxanne Vanderhaven clinging to the edge of a cliff, stranded there by her murderous blackguard of a husband . . . just waiting to be rescued.

Back on solid ground, Roxanne is desperate for a new life-- once she's retaliated for her husband's despicable actions. Surprisingly, she finds herself drawn to her unlikely champion, certainly the last man in England she could count on. Yet, the infamous Duke of Kress isn't quite the scoundrel he seems . . . [via GoodReads]
Alexander Barclay, the ninth Duke of Kress, has no recollection of what went on last night.  After waking up with a splitting headache and coming to the conclusion that all the other Dukes he partied with the night before are in the same predicament that he is, he knows that nothing good must have happened the night before.  When their night of debauchery is described in full detail in the paper, he comes to learn that not only has he lost his fortune in a bet that he doesn't even remember, but he has made Prinny very upset.

Now banished to the country, Prinny has ordered that Alex get two things accomplished, first restore his ancestral home/castle back to its former glory and secondly, that he find himself a bride.  No easy feat since, firstly, he's broke and, secondly, he has no interest in settling down.     

This was so fun!!  Very refreshing and entertaining - full of moments that caused me to laugh out of loud... which is no easy task.  I found Alex, Roxanne, Alex's great-aunt and all the other Dukes to be an uproariously funny bunch.   The situations were fun, the characters were quirky and the dialogue was delightful.  Ms. Nash's start to her "Royal Entourage" series is a hit.   I've read that the movie "The Hangover" was an inspiration for this series and I can definitely appreciate a story line like that.   I cannot wait to see what she has in store for the remaining Dukes.  Sheer pleasure to read!

My Rating:


Bookcase of the Week - Starring... Emilie of Emilie's Book World


On this week's Bookcase of the Week it is with great pleasure that I bring you Emilie of Emilie's Book World's book shelves.  I recently discovered Emilie's blog and since her reading tastes are very similar to mine, I've found myself coming by on a regular basis to read her honest reviews.  Emilie was one of the first to respond when I first sent the call out for Bookcase of the Week participants.  Here's what she sent us:

I’m still in university, and so my space for bookshelves is quite limited. I live in a house with two roommates and I got lucky and ended up with the biggest room, so I have a relatively big bookshelf all things considered. Most of the books I have here are books I’ve bought or received in the last three years, and I have at least as many back at my parents’ house as I do here. It’s kind of crazy. But here is my bookshelf as a whole:

This bookshelf, like those of many other bloggers, is from IKEA and unfortunately has recently been discontinued. That means I’ll have to find other shelves in the future. What I liked most about this one is that I can arrange the shelves however I want, which makes it really easy when it comes to shelving books of different heights.

I don’t have any really fancy system as to how I organize my books, I just alphabetize them by author and in order of publication for books that are by the same author. And of course I like to keep my series together and in order. While it’s nothing very fancy, I can get really annoyed when my books are out of order, for the most part it’s probably just a question of esthetics.

Most of the books I have here are in English, but I do also read in French (it’s actually my first language though I’ve been going to school in English for over 10 years). So I have some French books thrown into the mix as you can see below. The majority of my French books are actually back at my parents’ house since before moving away, I used to read more in French than in English. Interesting bit of information about French books that some of you may not know: on English books the writing on the spine goes from top to bottom, but on French books it actually goes from bottom to top. I don’t really know why but it’s something I’ve noticed over the years and can sometimes make it harder to read the titles.

Off to the very right of my bookshelf if where I keep my books for school (on the top shelf) and where I have a shelf devoted to the books I’ve received for review that either haven’t been read yet or that I’ve read but haven’t yet shelved with the rest of my other books.

And finally on my nightstand is where I keep the books that I am currently in the process of reading. That is when I am not carrying them around in my bag on the off chance I could sneak in a few pages between classes and work.

So those are my bookshelves. I still have some space on them, but I have a feeling the few empty shelves are going to get filled up a lot quicker than I would like to think. Once those are filled up, I’m not so sure what I’m going to do. There’s only so much space in room that isn’t filled up with other furniture!

Thank you Nelly for having me here to share my bookshelves! I always love looking at how other people organize their books, so being able to also share mine is just awesome.

Thank you Emilie!!  I myself am quite nosey and love seeing how everyone organizes their books.  I especially like to see what they own, what their TBR piles look like, etc.  Yes, I know I'm nosey, I'm honest about it.  Thank you so much for playing along and sending us your pictures as well as sharing a little bit about your reading habits. 

For those of you who haven't passed on through to Emilie's yet, please visit her here (tell her I say HI!).  If you'd like to participate in the Bookcase of the Week, please feel free to send me an e-mail so we can chat.

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Tempest by Julie Cross

Title: Tempest
Author: Julie Cross
Pages: 334
Genre: YA/ Sci-Fi
Source: Purchased
The year is 2009. Nineteen-year-old Jackson Meyer is a normal guy… he’s in college, has a girlfriend… and he can travel back through time. But it’s not like the movies – nothing changes in the present after his jumps, there’s no space-time continuum issues or broken flux capacitors – it’s just harmless fun.

That is… until the day strangers burst in on Jackson and his girlfriend, Holly, and during a struggle with Jackson, Holly is fatally shot. In his panic, Jackson jumps back two years to 2007, but this is not like his previous time jumps. Now he’s stuck in 2007 and can’t get back to the future.

Desperate to somehow return to 2009 to save Holly but unable to return to his rightful year, Jackson settles into 2007 and learns what he can about his abilities.  But it’s not long before the people who shot Holly in 2009 come looking for Jackson in the past, and these “Enemies of Time” will stop at nothing to recruit this powerful young time-traveler. Recruit… or kill him.

Piecing together the clues about his father, the Enemies of Time, and himself, Jackson must decide how far he’s willing to go to save Holly… and possibly the entire world. [via GoodReads]
Although I had a slow start with the first chapters, I found Tempest to be quite the page-turner.   I'm not sure about you, but I always tend to get slightly confused when reading a time travel story.  And, thus was the case with this one... But let me assure you, I was easily able to figure it out and get my years straight.  Once I had that going, it was very easy to understand and enjoy.  

Ms. Cross has written an intriguing and action-filled story that kept me on the edge of my seat.   When Jackson gets stuck two years in the past - leaving the present year at a moment that is crucial to his relationship with his girlfriend Holly, not only will it be hard to trust anyone in the current year, but he'll have to start from scratch befriending Holly and hoping that he can find a way to get back into her heart.

Jackson is a very likeable and wonderful narrator.  He's just as confused as you, the reader, are.  He doesn't know how he time travels, much less how to maneuver around time.  He doesn't know if he's a good guy or a freak of nature, whether his father is the business man he claims to be or someone with an ulterior motive, whether it's a good idea to contact Holly throughout time or just leave her be...  needless to say, I found myself captivated by Jackson's dilemma.   

Action, romance and suspense are the leading factors in this tale... and it's the first of a series.  I cannot wait to see what happens next!  

My Rating:

Manic Monday Recaps [Week 2/27/12]

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Happy Monday friends!  I hope you all the weekend.  I spent the days being lazy.  It was the best.  I read, I napped, I hung out with my family, I caught up on some of my programs... it was awesome!  I need to be lazy more often.

Here's what I plan on reading this week:

Here's what I read last week:
- Cordina's Royal Family: Bennett & Camilla by Nora Roberts
- The Gilly Salt Sisters by Tiffany Baker
- A Beautiful Evil by Kelly Keaton

I reviewed the following:
- Secrets of an Accidental Duchess by Jennifer Haymore [review]
- Once Upon a Wicked Night by Jennifer Haymore [review]

Have a great week friends. Happy Reading!


GIVEAWAY: Cleaning House Book Giveaway

It's a giveaway yo!!

I'm cleaning house - my bookshelves are once again overflowing and I have tons of books to giveaway.  I promise that they aren't all ARC's, actually most of these guys haven't even been touched.  So for those of you interested in providing a happy home for them please feel free to leave a comment below.

GIVEAWAY RULES:  Quite frankly, there are none.  Just make sure to leave a comment for your entry - specifically with an e-mail or some other method that I can communicate with the winner.  If you'd like extra entries just say so in your comment (preferrably one comment) - As always, y'all get extra entries for being an uber cool follower, Twitter, sidebars, All About {n} button, Facebook, etc. Stalkers are always welcome. 

This contest is open internationally.  Winner (maybe even more than one!) will be chosen on March 16.


Secrets of an Accidental Duchess / Once Upon a Wicked Night by Jennifer Haymore

Title: Secrets of an Accidental Duchess
Author: Jennifer Haymore
Pages: 284
Genre: Historical Romance
Source: NetGalley
With her pale hair and slim figure, Olivia Donovan looks as fragile as fine china, and has been treated as such by her sisters ever since a childhood bout with malaria. But beneath her delicate facade, Olivia guards a bold, independent spirit and the kind of passionate desires proper young ladies must never confess...

It was a reckless wager, and one Max couldn't resist: seduce the alluring Olivia or forfeit part of his fortune. Yet the wild, soon-to-be Duke never imagined he'd fall in love with this innocent beauty. Nor could he have guessed that a dangerously unpredictable rival would set out to destroy them both. Now, Max must beat a madman at his own twisted game-or forever lose the only woman to have ever won his heart. [via GoodReads]
Olivia Donovan has been brought up sheltered and protected by her family. While living on a small island in the West Indies she contracted Malaria as a child and has since been plagued by a recurrence of the fevers. Now at twenty-one, she knows that no man would fall for a frail woman and has therefore resigned herself to the fact that she will be the “spinster aunt”. But when Max Buchanan promises a no-strings attached romance, becoming the “disgraced spinster aunt” might not be so bad after all.

As with all of Ms. Haymore’s novels (and yes, I’ve read them all) you cannot go wrong with her books. Her heroines are always brave and witty and her leading men are dark and swoon-worthy. I especially loved Olivia - she was such a carefree young woman. I liked that she didn’t overdo or dwell on things. She saw a hurdle and she pretty much just jumped over it. She was never frail or timid in my eyes (nor Max’s for that matter). Max was all that I look for in a leading man. I loved how he is portrayed as dark, big and brawny compared to the petite Olivia. But don’t let the cover or its short synopsis fool you. Aside from the sweet romance you’ll find there’s a lot going on in this novel. I could not sit still with everything that was going on – from the worry of Olivia’s illness, the wager on her seduction, several kidnappings, sultry love scenes and one of the vilest villains I’ve read in a long time. Needless to say, I devoured this one quite rapidly.

All in all, Secrets of an Accidental Duchess is a wonderful addition to the series. I loved how we get to see more about the lives of Serena and Jonathan (Confessions of an Improper Bride) as well as foresee who the next characters in the upcoming book will be (Pleasures of a Tempted Lady – releasing August 2012). I personally cannot wait. Ms. Haymore has proven herself once again and has earned the honor of being a permanent staple in my Historical Romance shelf.

My Rating:

Title: Once Upon a Wicked Night
Author: Jennifer Haymore
Pages: 55
Genre: Historical Romance
Source: NetGalley
All of London looks forward to the Dowager Duchess of Clayworth’s annual ball. For no matter how hard the serious society matron strives to host an elegant event, scandal always ensues…

Seven years ago it was a young Serena Donovan and Jonathan Dane who shocked the ton when they were discovered in a most compromising position. Tonight they return for the first time as the Earl and Countess of Stratford. And while Serena hopes for a quiet evening to introduce her younger sister Olivia to society, Jonathan’s only desire is to pick up where he and Serena left off…

Though innocent Olivia secretly longs for the kind of passion her sister shares with her husband, none of the men she’s met spark a fire inside her heart—least of all the notorious Marquis of Fenwicke. When his request for a waltz turns into something sinister, Olivia must use her wit and wiles to evade a powerful peer who vows if can’t have her, no man shall... [via GoodReads]

Once Upon a Wicked Night is a short novella that takes place right after Confessions of an Improper Bride and gives you insight into the first chapters of Secrets of an Accidental Duchess. In it you first meet Olivia as she is introduced to society by her older sister and brother-in-law, the Earl and Countess of Stratford.  It has been seven years since Jonathan and Serena were discovered in a compromising situation and Jonathan is convinced that they should start up right where they left off (wink-wink).  Olivia on the other hand is impressed when she meets Marquis of Fenwicke, but when a waltz and an accidental moment where they are alone turns into something sinister it'll be up to her quick thinking to get herself out of a perilous situation - making an enemy in the process.

This was such a quick read and fans of the series will enjoy this short glimpse into the lives of Jonathan and Serena and be enchanted by their first introduction of Olivia.  Although it's not necessary to read, I do recommend it as it gives some explanation as to the first chapters of Secrets of an Accidental Duchess.  Lovely and captivating and short enough that you won't want to miss it.

My Rating:


So Many Books, So Little Time [21]

Here are some of the books that I discovered throughout the week scheduled for release that I cannot wait to get my hands on. I will pay, beg and possibly steal (mwahahaha), just to get a chance at reading one of them.

The Story of Us
by Deb Caletti
Releases on 4/24/12

Cricket’s on a self-imposed break from her longtime boyfriend—but she’s picked a bad week to sort out her love life. For one thing, her mother’s romance is taking center stage: After jilting two previous fiancés, her mom is finally marrying Dan Jax, whom Cricket loves. But as wedding attendees arrive for a week of festivities at a guesthouse whose hippie owners have a sweet, sexy son—Ash—complications arise:

Cricket’s future stepsisters make it clear they’re not happy about the marriage. An old friend decides this is the week to declare his love for Cricket. Grandpa chooses to reveal a big secret at a family gathering. Dan’s ex-wife shows up. And even the dogs—Cricket’s old, ill Jupiter and Dan’s young, lively Cruiser—seem to be declaring war.

While Cricket fears that Dan is in danger of becoming ditched husband-to-be number three, she’s also alarmed by her own desires. Because even though her boyfriend looms large in her mind, Ash is right in front of her....

Sweet Evil
by Wendy Higgins
Releases 5/01/12
What if there were teens whose lives literally depended on being bad influences? This is life for sons and daughters of fallen angels in Sweet Evil.

Tenderhearted Southern girl, Anna Whitt, was born with the sixth sense to see and feel emotions of other people. She’s aware of a struggle within herself, an inexplicable pull toward danger, but it isn’t until she turns sixteen and meets the alluring Kaidan Rowe that she discovers her terrifying heritage, and her will-power is put to the test. He’s the boy your daddy warned you about. If only someone had warned Anna.

A cross-country trip forces Anna to face the reality that hope and love are not options for her kind. Forced to face her destiny, will Anna embrace her halo or her horns?
First Comes Love
by Kate Kacvinsky
Releases on 5/08/12

Like his name, Gray is dark and stormy. Dylan, a girl always searching for what's next, seemingly unable to settle down, is the exact opposite: full of light and life. On the outside, they seem like an unlikely couple. But looks can be deceiving and besides, opposites attract. What starts as friendship, turns into admiration, respect and caring, until finally these two lone souls find they are truly in love with each other. But staying in love is not as easy as falling in love. If Dylan and Gray want their love to last, they're going to have to work at it. And learn that sometimes love means having to say you're sorry.
by Charlaine Harris
Releases on 5/17/12

With Felipe de Castro, the Vampire King of Louisiana (and Arkansas and Nevada), in town, it’s the worst possible time for a body to show up in Eric Northman’s front yard—especially the body of a woman whose blood he just drank.

Now, it’s up to Sookie and Bill, the official Area Five investigator, to solve the murder. Sookie thinks that, at least this time, the dead girl’s fate has nothing to do with her. But she is wrong. She has an enemy, one far more devious than she would ever suspect, who’s out to make Sookie’s world come crashing down.

Of Poseidon
by Anna Banks
Releases on 5/22/12

Emma and her friend Chloe are spending vacation in Florida. When Emma (literally) runs into a hot guy named Galen on the beach, little does she know he’s a prince of the Syrena. Galen and Emma both feel something strange – is it attraction? – and Galen suspects that Emma might well be the girl he’s heard of – a human who can communicate with fish.

What follows is a deadly scene with a shark in which Galen witnesses Emma’s gifts. He must know more about her, and follows her back to New Jersey, and high school, to find out for sure if she’s the key to saving his kingdom. Soon, Emma can’t deny her feelings for him, but can’t explain them, either – and both she and Galen must learn more about where she comes from and what her powers are before they can trust one another and their feelings.
The Girl in the Clockwork Collar
by Kady Cross
Releases on 5/22/12

In New York City, 1897, life has never been more thrilling - or dangerous.

Sixteen-year-old Finley Jayne and her "straynge band of mysfits" have journeyed from London to America to rescue their friend Jasper, hauled off by bounty hunters. But Jasper is in the clutches of a devious former friend demanding a trade-the dangerous device Jasper stole from him...for the life of the girl Jasper loves.

One false move from Jasper and the strange clockwork collar around Mei's neck tightens. And tightens.
These are just some of the one's that I'm looking forward to. Which books are you dying to get your hands on?


Manic Monday Recaps... on Tuesday (Week 2/20/12)

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Happy Tuesday friends!  I took the long weekend off and spent it at Legoland with the kids.  We had a fabulous time.  Hopefully, I'll find the time to upload some pictures to share with you all. 

Here's what I plan on reading this week:

Here's what I read last week:
- On the Day I Died by Candace Fleming
- Between the Duke and the Deep Blue Sea by Sophia Nash
I reviewed the following:
- Ripple by Mandy Hubbard [review]
- Dead to You by Lisa McMann [review]
- Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs [review]
- Graveminder by Melissa Marr [review]
- A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness [review]
Have a great week friends. Happy Reading!


A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

Title:  A Discovery of Witches
Author: Deborah Harkness
Pages: 579
Genre: Adult Fiction / Paranormal
Source: Purchased
A richly inventive novel about a centuries-old vampire, a spellbound witch, and the mysterious manuscript that draws them together. 

Deep in the stacks of Oxford's Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries-and she is the only creature who can break its spell. 

Debut novelist Deborah Harkness has crafted a mesmerizing and addictive read, equal parts history and magic, romance and suspense. Diana is a bold heroine who meets her equal in vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont, and gradually warms up to him as their alliance deepens into an intimacy that violates age-old taboos. This smart, sophisticated story harks back to the novels of Anne Rice, but it is as contemporary and sensual as the "Twilight" series-with an extra serving of historical realism. [via GoodReads]
While studying at the Bodlein Library in Oxford, Diana Bishop calls up the manuscript Ashmole 782.  Little did she know how something as simple as that would change her life.  She was born a witch but she refuses to have anything to do with magic.  Suddenly Diana finds herself in the sights of witches, daemons, and even vampires.  Or, should I say, one swoon-worthy vampire.  When she finds herself being chased and even threatened by those who believe she knows the secrets of Ashmole 782, she'll find herself even more threatened by one vampire who may want more from her than just the contents of the manuscript.

While the book itself is rather long (over 500 pages), the story felt anything but that.  I was intrigued by its characters, the witches, vampires, daemons, the mystery of Ashmole 782, and especially, the romance between Matthew and Diana. 

As a fan of paranormal romance, I think A Discovery of Witches is one of the best.  Diana is a strong, independent character and you can't help but love reading about how her perfect life gets turned upside down.  There was so much depth and individuality to all the characters that you meet that you instantly feel connected to many of them.  In spite of the paranormal aspects, they were very believable.  

While I did have some trouble half way through the story, I thought the research aspects were just a little overdone and wordy, I still found it to be a beautifully written novel delving into both history and the supernatural. I can see where some have compared it to an adult Twilight - but I also found it like Diana Gabaldon's epic Outlander.  In the end, I'd say it has a lot of both of these and fans of these types of novels will devour this one.  Masterfully told - I cannot wait for the next installment in the trilogy.

My Rating:


Graveminder by Melissa Marr

Title:  Graveminder
Author: Melissa Marr
Pages: 324
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Source: Purchased
Melissa Marr is known to young adult readers as the author of the popular faery series Wicked Lovely. Her debut leap into adult fiction lands her in the small community of Claysville, a town where the dead walk free unless their graves are not properly tended. Into this eerie maelstrom, Rebekkah Barrow descends as she returns to a place that she once believed she knew. Kelley Armstrong justly described Graveminder as "a deliciously creepy tale that is as skillfully wrought as it is spellbindingly imagined." A new genre author to watch. [via GoodReads]
In 1712, Abigail Barrows unknowingly opens a gateway into the land of the dead.  With no other choice, she unwittingly signs a contract with Death in order to bring the deceased back to where they belong.  Abigail was the first Graveminder who ensured the dead were taken care of, and if they should rise, it was her responsibility to escort them back to the land of the dead.
The Undertaker helps the Graveminder to bring the dead back while protecting her at all times. Through the years, the position of Graveminder and/or Undertaker has been passed down to someone in either the Barrows or Montgomerry families. 

Due to their important positions as Graveminder and Undertaker, the townspeople of Claysville have also agreed to the contract with Death. Because of this, they have been granted longevity and near perfect health. Since the contract was agreed so many years ago, no one is quite sure what it says, but they do know that anyone who is born in Claysville can leave, but they will always return.  And should they die outside the town they will rise from the dead.

Rebekkah Barrow has just become the newest Graveminder after the passing of her beloved grandmother Maylene.  She has recently returned to Claysville after being away for some time and has just reunited with her long lost love, Byron Montgomerry - whom surprisingly has just acquired the position of Undertaker. When one of the dead begins to wreak havoc in the town, it will be up to them to save not only themselves, but the townspeople.

This is Ms. Marr's attempt at adult fiction - or urban fantasy as I like to call it.  I found it a little disconcerting that it is a third person narrative - and, to make it worse, there were varying points of view chapters too.  Once I got over the confusion though, I did not have a hard time grasping who was who and what was what.  

For some reason, I had trouble liking most of the characters in this novel.  I especially did not see eye to eye with Rebekkah - she fit in more in one of Ms. Marr's young adult novels than she did in this one.  Byron was okay - yet forgettable.  Although he was more likeable then Rebekkah, he was still nothing to write home about.  

I found the story very predictable.  While I enjoyed the parts that took place in the land of the dead - these areas were much more vivid and the characters were superbly interesting, yet these good moments were not enough to overlook the others that weren't so good.  The "rising dead" had a zombie feel to them - they rose from their graves and bit people - yet they specifically note that they are not zombies.  Since I was always a step ahead of the characters and the mystery the story felt long and uninteresting.  

The best part of all, it (so far) seems to be a stand-alone.  We don't get many of these lately - so that gives it extra kudos in my book. All in all, I found this one to be more on the weird side than anything else.  It was okay - but not something I'd recommend (at least, not in the foreseeable future).  

My Rating:


Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Title: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
Author: Ransom Riggs
Pages: 352
Genre: YA/ Fantasy
Source:  Purchased
A mysterious island.

An abandoned orphanage.

A strange collection of very curious photographs.

It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.

A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows. [via GoodReads]
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children was peculiar... to say the least.

Young Jacob knows there is some truth to his grandfather's tales of growing up in an orphanage where children with certain abilities could grow up safe from harm - when on the day of his grandfather's murder Jacob sees a monster standing over his grandfather's lifeless body.  Could the stories of these children with certain pecularities be real?  Jacob never thought so.  He was always thrilled to hear his grandfather's tales but never thought they were anything other than stories told with plenty of exageration and enough flare to peek the interest of a child. Obviously no one believes, his version of his grandfather's death but with the help of his therapist, he is able to convince his parents that a trip to the island that housed his grandfather's orphanage, the infamous Miss Peregrine and children with super powers might be the only way to preserve his sanity.

Jacob was a wonderful protagonist.  He was such an insightful and depth-full young man.  The mystery surrounding his grandfather's death, the orphanage and its inhabitants really made for a fascinating, odd, and sometimes creepy story.  My only concern was that Jacob had the voice of an adult and not so much that of a teenager.  I also felt that the author was a bit wordy in his descriptions.

But I must confess, my favorite part of all were the creepy, vintage photographs scattered throughout the story.

From what I read, these are authentic and unaltered photographs that blend seamlessly with the narrative to create an exciting and refreshingly unique fantasy.

All in all, I was captivated by the first chapters of this story.  It had a very strong start, a not-so-great middle, and then the storyline grabs hold of you and spits you out at the end looking forward to more.  So beware the slow start, but try to persevere, as I promise the climax will be an explosive one.  Eerily fantastic!
My Rating:


Dead to You by Lisa McMann

Title: Dead to You
Author: Lisa McMann
Pages:  243
Genre:  YA/ Teen
Source: Amazon Vine Program
Ethan was abducted from his front yard when he was just seven years old. Now, at sixteen, he has returned to his family. It's a miracle... at first. Then the tensions start to build. His reintroduction to his old life isn't going smoothly, and his family is tearing apart all over again. If only Ethan could remember something, anything, about his life before, he'd be able to put the pieces back together. But there's something that's keeping his memory blocked. Something unspeakable... [via GoodReads]
Nine years ago, seven year-old Ethan was abducted while playing in his front yard and he has finally been reunited with his family.  While the family tries to make everything as "normal" as possible for Ethan, the fact that he's been gone for nine years makes it hard on everyone.  Not to mention Ethan's memory loss of anything prior to his abduction doesn't really help either.

I found it hard to really like anyone in this story.  Ethan has not had an easy time growing up.  He lived with his abductor for some years, and then she just ups and drops him off at a childrens' home which he eventually runs away from and ends up living in the streets.  I get that life hasn't been peachy for him, but he just ends up being too rough and sarcastic for me to actually like.  His parents, although they may be trying hard to have him fit in, didn't try hard enough for me and his younger brother, Blake, feels that Ethan isn't even the real Ethan but an imposter trying to impersonate him.  If anything, my favorite of the characters was Ethan's six year-old sister Grace, whom he calls the "replacement child" since she was born a year after his abduction.

The mystery of Ethan made it a quick read.  The chapters flew by as the intrigue of whether or not Ethan was... well Ethan, made for a fast paced read.  But the ending killed it for me.  I hate shocker endings that leave you with more questions than answers and, sadly, Dead to You has one of those frustrating endings that I just could not overlook.  I felt as if my book were missing a couple of chapters at the end. 

I'm not sure if Ms. McMann will be writing a sequel to Dead to You and, if she does, I can't honestly say if I'd even bother to read it.  While I would like to know more about Ethan and what happens after Dead to You's shocking ending, I can't say I liked him enough to really want to know more.

My Rating:

Wishing you a...


Ripple by Mandy Hubbard

Title: Ripple
Author: Mandy Hubbard
Pages:  260
Genre:  YA/ Paranormal
Source: Purchased
Lexi is cursed with a dark secret. The water calls to her, draws her in, forces her to sing her deadly song to unsuspecting victims. If she succumbs, she kills. If she doesn't, the pain is unbearable. To keep herself and those she cares about safe, she shuts herself off, refusing to make friends or fall in love-again. Because the last time she fell in love with a boy, he ended up dead.

Then Lexi finds herself torn. Against her better judgement, she's opening up again, falling in love with someone new when she knows she shouldn't. But when she's offered the chance to finally live a normal life, she learns that the price she must pay to be free or her curse is giving him up. [via GoodReads]
Lexi is cursed to kill anyone near her when she's swimming in her true form as a siren.  Oh yea, did you think this was a mermaid book too?  Nope, and I promise you'll figure that out a few pages into the book so I'm not giving anything away.  After accidentally killing her first love, Lexi refuses to swim in the ocean, instead she's exiled herself to swim every night in a tiny lake far away from home and from anyone finding her - causing their accidental murder.  Not only has she exiled herself to swim so far from home but she has also alienated herself from her friends and even her grandmother. 

As an outcast, she's found a daily routine - she goes to school, spends the day ignoring her old friends or being ignored or mocked by them, after school she goes home to her grandmother, then when everyone is asleep, she makes her way to her lake where she either swims the night away, or not, and instead wakes up the next morning suffering the consequences.  Everything is uneventful, until the day that Cole makes ripples in her life with promises of renewed friendships and love.  But how can someone cursed find happiness?

Ripple was not what I expected it to be... and that's a good thing.  Ms. Hubbard's tale was much darker than I thought it would be.  As crazy as it may sound, Lexi was a relateable character (you know, aside from the whole siren thing).  Her struggles and turmoils were believable and her need to just be normal was strongly felt.  

Cole comes across as a sweet young man - one, with no ulterior motive in befriending Lexi other than to be nice.  I wish we would've gotten to know him a little better.  He didn't feel as fleshed out as Lexi did... nor, for that matter, did any other character in the novel.  I wish I would've fallen for him as I do for other characters but, nonetheless, their love story was a sweet one.   

I'm really enjoying these different sides of paranormal - for sirens aren't part of the normal stories I tend to read about. All in all, a simple and quick read, with some suspense and a light romance.

My Rating:

Manic Monday Recaps (Week 2/13/12)

[via WeHeartIt]

Happy Monday friends!  I hope you all had a lovely weekend. I sure did.  Although it was super nippy this weekend here in Florida (somewhere in the 40's), we spent our Saturday night out in an open-air stadium watching Monster Jam (you know, those famous monster trucks crashing and jumping over much smaller vehicles) - with my family.  Needless to say, my four year old son LOVED it!   Aside from that, not much excitement on my end.

Here's what I plan on reading this week:

Here's what I read last week:
- Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel
- Apocalypse Scenario #683: The Box by Mira Grant
- Dreamless by Josephine Angelini
- Deadline by Mira Grant
- Tempest by Julie Cross

I reviewed the following:
- A Rogue by Any Other Name by Sarah MacLean [review
- Goddess Interrupted by Aimee Carter [review]
- The Girl in the Steel Corset / The Strange Case of Finley Jayne [review]
- Fever: 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson [review]
- Dreamland by Alyson Noel [review]

Have a great week friends. Happy Reading!
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