Sunday 28 April 2013

Suddenly Royal Review

Samantha Rousseau is used to getting her hands dirty. Working toward a master’s degree in wildlife biology while helping take care of her sick father, she has no time for celebrity gossip, designer clothes, or lazy vacations. So when a duchess from the small country of Lilaria invites her to dinner, Samantha assumes it’s to discuss a donation for the program. The truth will change the course of her life in ways she never dreamed.

Alex D’Lynsal is trying to keep his name clean. As crown prince of Lilaria, he’s had his share of scandalous headlines, but the latest pictures have sent him packing to America and forced him to swear off women—especially women in the public eye. That is, until he meets Samantha Rousseau. She’s stubborn, feisty, and incredibly sexy. Not to mention heiress to an estate in his country, which makes her everyone’s front-page news.

While Sam tries to navigate the new world of politics and wealth, she will also have to dodge her growing feelings for Alex. Giving in to them means more than just falling in love; it would mean accepting the weight of an entire country on her shoulders.

Raise your right hand if you loved The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot?  Now raise your hand if you’d like to read a New Adult contemporary book along similar lines? *Puts hand up enthusiastically*.  That’s what you get when you read Suddenly Royal by Nichole Chase.  I will admit to LOVING stories involving a prince and I will also admit that I was feeling a little bereft after finishing The Elite by Kiera Cass recently, so Suddenly Royal looked PERFECT for me and I’m pleased to say that it was. 

Suddenly Royal tells the story of Sam who is a wildlife biologist at the local university and in her spare time; she takes care of her sick father.  One day, some European royals come to town and Sam finds out that she is a descendant from a long lost ROYAL family and they have come to welcome her home.  What’s that you say? Unimaginable wealth, royal lineage, property and a title back in Lilaria? ‘WHEN CAN WE LEAVE?’ would be my comment.  Now add on to that the mutual attraction between Sam and the utterly gorgeous Crown Prince and Jesus, why isn’t this girl leaving on the next available flight?!  I guess it has come as a huge shock to her – there’s her father to think of as well as the degree she’s been working toward for years – BUT STILL!!!!  Thankfully, Sam decides to take a chance on a new life but will she take a chance with her heart?  Is she fit to be queen some day?

Oh my goodness, I did love this book and much more than I thought I would.  Yes, it had the usual albeit occasional grammar mistakes (which I could have fixed in a heartbeat and this is why I need to be a copy editor) but the story is strong enough for you to look past that and just enjoy it. I actually stayed in bed until 1pm today as I could not stop reading!

What I liked about Suddenly Royal is that it’s unlike any other New Adult book I’ve read in that Sam is thrust into this new life and is struggling to deal with it – this could apply to leaving home and going to college or just adapting to life as an adult and by the way, the object of her affection just happens to be a prince.  I liked that Sam wasn’t weak, she was loyal to her friends and family and she wasn’t afraid to speak up when it was needed.  I did like the fact that she spoke her mind and was able to put certain people in their place when the situation arose (the sign of a queen, perhaps?)

I need to talk about the romance between Sam and Alex AKA Prince Yummy LOL.  They had great chemistry, hot banter and for those of you that don’t like love triangles or instalove, there was NONE of that here.  Instant attraction yes but love took its time to blossom.  Alex was definitely swoonworthy, so polite and charming with undertones of naughtiness but what I loved most about their relationship was that they made each other feel like normal human beings and that was very sweet to see.  Don’t get me wrong though, their relationship wasn’t all smooth sailing and Sam resisted for as long as she could – I mean, she was just so overwhelmed with everything and going out with the prince comes with certain paparazzi annoyances, that is to say even more attention than she was already receiving and there are certain pressures associated with dating the prince which you'll see when you read.

I have to give a little shout out to some of the secondary characters, namely Sam’s best friend and roommate Jess *high fives for coming up with the name Prince Yummy* and also Chadwick, Sam’s assistant come butler come surrogate father who was an amazing guy and friend to Sam.

Suddenly Royal was a totally fun read and I couldn’t stop smiling throughout.  I would LOVE to see this book written from Alex’s point of view and I’ve even come up with a title for it – Suddenly Smitten.  I live in hope but in the mean time, I’m dying for a sequel!! 

Suddenly Royal was published in April, 2013.  To find out more about Nichole Chase and her books, please click here to visit her website.

Letterbox Love (#50)

As always, Letterbox Love is a weekly feature that I'm hosting on the blog and basically, the idea came out of a discussion with other UK book bloggers about the need to do a weekly meme with more of a British feel to it. Therefore, Letterbox Love was born and the logo was lovingly designed by Dark Readers. Letterbox Love is a way for us to share the books that come through our letterbox, galleys and e books (through our electronic letterbox) and any other bookish goodies that we want to tell you about. Letterbox Love is intended to showcase upcoming books and build up some excitement for them as well as let you know what is available out there. It is not about competing with other bloggers or boasting of any kind (c'mon, we're British and we don't do drama!)

Review Books

House of Secrets by Chris Columbus and Ned Vizzini
This is the UK hardback edition and it has BLUE edged pages which is pretty cool.  I'll be honest and say that the only reason I wanted to read it is because Chris Columbus is involved and besides that, it sounds as much fun as The Goonies :)

Life After Theft by Aprilynne Pike
Apparently, this is a retelling of The Scarlet Pimpernel and is written from a male perspective, which immediately grabs my interest.  It's a ghost story and I think it sounds really interesting. 
The Originals by Cat Patrick
I've been dying to read this for some time now and it's finally here! This is about three sisters who thought they were identical triplets, but they're actually clones, hiding from a government agency.  When one of them falls in love, she realises that she's different to her sisters after all.  CAN'T WAIT TO READ THIS!
The Elite by Kiera Cass (UK Paperback)
I've already read, loved and reviewed this! Check out my review which I posted this month. Just want to quickly say that I love the fact that the UK has the same pretty covers as the US but I hate the font with a passion.
Shadow and Bone/Siege and Storm (UK Paperback)
Okay, so this might get confusing but hear me out.  Shadow and Bone was originally published in the UK as The Gathering Dark and had a completely different cover.  THEN the movie rights sold and if it's going to be a huge movie, which it totally deserves to be because the story is AWESOME, then to avoid confusion, the UK publishers have decided to change the cover and title to match the US copy.  Make sense? So, Shadow and Bone has been reissued in paperback and now that the sequel Siege and Storm is out, that's included so you're getting two books for one in this new copy!  I can't wait to read the sequel!

Because of Low by Abbi Glines
While It Lasts by Abbi Glines
Just For Now by Abbi Glines

Abbi Glines recently came to the UK and I could not find anyone to swap my shift with me at the hospital so sadly, I missed out on meeting her.  Because S&S has a super publicist extraordinaire, she got these SIGNED for me and I love her for it!  I've only read one of her books so far but I liked it and I definitely want to read more. 

Thank You Publishers!!!

Books Bought

The Rules by Stacey Kade
This book sounds AWESOME and right up my street - the protagonist is a young girl created from human AND extraterrestial DNA!  The plot reminds me of an elaborate episode of Roswell High which FYI was one of my favourite shows when it was on TV.  I can't wait to read this!


Suddenly Royal by Nichole Chase (Bought)
I don't know why but books about Prince's really set my heart alight.  I love the fact that this is a New Adult story and I can't wait to dive in!

I think I've done really well this week with NOT buying books, probably spurred on by the holiday I've just booked and the need to save money!  I wouldn't have bought any ebooks at all but Suddenly Royal was on offer and I'd had my eye on it so it had to be bought.  I think you'll agree that it's been a good week for books and I hope you've received some good books too.  As always, please share your links below and I'd be interested to know what you think of these posts - do you like them? Do you want them to continue?  Thanks for commenting :)

Thursday 25 April 2013

The Elite Review

Thirty-five girls came to the palace to compete in the Selection. All but six have been sent home. And only one will get to marry Prince Maxon and be crowned princess of Illea.

America still isn’t sure where her heart lies. When she’s with Maxon, she’s swept up in their new and breathless romance, and can’t dream of being with anyone else. But whenever she sees Aspen standing guard around the palace, and is overcome with memories of the life they planned to share. With the group narrowed down to the Elite, the other girls are even more determined to win Maxon over—and time is running out for America to decide.

Just when America is sure she’s made her choice, a devastating loss makes her question everything again. And while she’s struggling to imagine her future, the violent rebels that are determined to overthrow the monarchy are growing stronger and their plans could destroy her chance at any kind of happy ending.

I absolutely LOVED The Selection and have spent the last four weeks of my life checking Netgalley on a daily basis for its sequel, The Elite.  I’ve been ridiculously excited to read it and I’ve even re-read The Selection recently in anticipation of The Elite and if you know me, you know that re-reads are RARE.   I squealed when I finally got the book and took it to bed with me that evening to read.  I would have read it in one sitting if I didn’t have to get up at 5 30am for work (sometimes life just gets in the way).  As it is, I read it in less than 24 hours and I enjoyed every last bit of it.  It goes without saying at this point that if you have not read The Selection (review here) then please don’t go any further as you will encounter spoilers.

At the end of The Selection, the candidates were whittled down to just six girls, who became the elite (hence the title of this book).  It’s no surprise to learn that America is one of those girls as Maxon had already promised her that she would be.  He knows that she comes from a poor background and being there helps her family BUT that’s not the only reason she’s still there.  I believe Maxon has already made his choice in America but he’s waiting to see if she will choose him too.  Let’s not forget that her ex boyfriend is a guard at the palace and he wants her back.  Torn between those two, I don’t envy her having to make a decision!  But it’s not just about the romance, the rebel attacks are increasing in force and frequency with no explanation as to why until America stumbles across the biggest clue yet.

In a lot of ways, reading The Elite was like being on a rollercoaster ride through America’s emotions.  I knew when things were going brilliantly at the beginning of the book that it all had to go tits up pretty soon *le sigh*.  The change in America is subtle yet starkly obvious at the same time.  I’ve never seen her so unsure about EVERYTHING – how she feels, what she’s doing there, how other’s feel about her.  She’s no longer the strong, confident girl she was in the first book and it shows.  The pressure is definitely getting to her but not necessarily the pressure of winning the selection, but the pressure of choosing between Aspen and Maxon. 

I have to say that I’m not surprised that America is feeling a little insecure about the attention Maxon is giving the other candidates – I always thought that this is why I could never take part in anything like The Bachelor because that kind of thing would eat me alive.  Although it might seem from the outset that Maxon is being a bit of a shit given that he’s made promises to America, let’s not forget that she is undecided about him and he has to hedge his bets here. 

Aspen is still a guard at the palace, most often posted right outside America’s door.  He is America’s safe haven and she talks to him with honesty, like talking to a best friend and I guess that’s what America needs right now.  It’s nice that he can be there for her but at the same time, it must be killing him inside and should she really be discussing things with him?  Probably not but she needs a friend and he is offering that to her, above everything else. 

In The Elite, there are plenty of revelations along the way about the rebels, the King and even Maxon who’s hiding some secrets of his own.  We finally find out Marlee’s secret (her best friend in The Selection) which has shocking consequences and definitely rocks America’s world, but not in a good way. 

The ending kind of snuck up on me and the only problem now is waiting another year for the third book *sobs*.  I really hope that Kiera releases some more novella’s in the mean time, at least to keep us going!  I love this series with a passion and I do think that the decision America has to make just got so much harder. Let’s just say that in The Elite, America is blowing it.  BIG STYLE.  She’s got one chance to get this right – for Aspen, for Maxon, for the country and for herself.  BRING ON THE NEXT BOOK! 

The Elite was published on 23rd April, 2013.  To find out more about Kiera Cass and her books, please click here to visit her website.

Wednesday 24 April 2013

Waiting on Wednesday

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, originally started by Jill at Breaking the Spine , that highlights upcoming book releases everyone is waiting on...hence the title. This week's pick is The Sound by Sarah Alderson. Here's the synopsis:

When aspiring music journalist Ren Kingston takes a job nannying for a wealthy family on the exclusive island of Nantucket, playground for Boston's elite, she's hoping for a low-key summer reading books and blogging about bands. Boys are firmly off the agenda.

What she doesn't count on is falling in with a bunch of party-loving private school kids who are hiding some dark secrets, falling (possibly) in love with the local bad boy, and falling out with a dangerous serial killer...

I'm a huge fan of Sarah Alderson and am very excited to read her new stand-alone novel.  I love the cover and the synopsis and that's all I can say really.  Bring it on! 

The Sound is published on 1st August, 2013.   

Monday 22 April 2013

Throne of Glass Review

When magic has gone from the world, and a vicious king rules from his throne of glass, an assassin comes to the castle. She does not come to kill, but to win her freedom. If she can defeat twenty-three killers, thieves, and warriors in a competition to find the greatest assassin in the land, she will become the King’s Champion and be released from prison. 

Her name is Celaena Sardothien.

The Crown Prince will provoke her. The Captain of the Guard will protect her.
And a princess from a foreign land will become the one thing Celaena never thought she’d have again: a friend.

But something evil dwells in the castle–and it’s there to kill. When her competitors start dying, horribly, one by one, Celaena’s fight for freedom becomes a fight for survival–and a desperate quest to root out the source of evil before it destroys her world.

I’d like to start this review by congratulating Bloomsbury UK on such a kick ass cover and one that in my humble opinion, far exceeds the US cover (if only they could have made it hardback!!!!) I’m now thinking there should be a special UK hardback edition, yes?  I really don’t know where to start other than saying that I thought Throne of Glass was EXCELLENT – the characterisation, the character arcs, the plot, even the bloody book cover is SPOT ON and this has definitely become one of my favourite YA novels of all time. 

In case you haven’t figured it out yet, Throne of Glass is a YA fantasy novel told from the eyes of a teenage girl called Celaena but she’s no ordinary teenage girl.  She’s one of the fiercest assassins in the land with a reputation to match but she’s currently locked up as a slave in the deadly salt mines. One day, the prince makes her an offer she can’t refuse – to act as his champion in a contest to find a royal assassin.  If she wins, she serves the kingdom for three years and then, she’s free to go.  But it’s not that simple, especially when other contestants start dying in mysterious circumstances.  Throw in a couple of suitors by way of the Captain of the Guard and the prince himself, as well as a sprinkle of magic and you’ve got a hell of a story on your hands.

This book was epic and I’m very proud to say that I did not need the pronunciation guide on Sarah’s website.  With regards to the love interests, it was very difficult to decide which team to be on.  Before you get your panties in a twist, there isn’t a love triangle as such but the prince and the Captain of the Guard cannot help but feel attracted to the beautiful assassin.  She unwittingly captures both of their attentions and each of them has something to offer.  Prince Dorian has a charm about him, a confidence in a way although he gives himself away with his occasional blushes which are ADORABLE by the way.  And then we’ve got Chaol (the Captain of the Guard) who falls for her against his better judgement although really, I’m not sure either of them realise that.  I love the fact that we can see it in the words unspoken.  Prince Dorian is more unguarded with his feelings, more boyish whereas Chaol is cautious as ever as experience has taught him to be.

There weren’t a lot of secondary characters that really stood out for me besides Nehemia and really, I’m just glad that Celenea found an ally in her. 

I’m not going to say very much about the plot but trust me when I tell you that you have to discover it yourself and what you find, will surprise you.  Can I just say as well that it's fantastic to have such a strong, female character and I enjoyed every second of her story.

Throne of Glass was an impressive debut that far exceeded my expectations. I loved everything about the book and I can’t wait to dive back into this world when the sequel Crown of Midnight is published this year. 

Throne of Glass was published on 2nd August, 2012 in the UK and 7th August, 2012 in the US.  To find out more about Sarah and her books, please click here to visit her website.   It’s also worth checking out the book’s facebook page as there is exclusive content and competitions on there.  And as if that wasn’t enough, there are FOUR (yes, four, count them) novella’s available exclusively as ebooks to keep you entertained either before or after reading Throne of Glass.

Sunday 21 April 2013

Letterbox Love (#49)

 As always, Letterbox Love is a weekly feature that I'm hosting on the blog and basically, the idea came out of a discussion with other UK book bloggers about the need to do a weekly meme with more of a British feel to it. Therefore, Letterbox Love was born and the logo was lovingly designed by Dark Readers. Letterbox Love is a way for us to share the books that come through our letterbox, galleys and e books (through our electronic letterbox) and any other bookish goodies that we want to tell you about. Letterbox Love is intended to showcase upcoming books and build up some excitement for them as well as let you know what is available out there. It is not about competing with other bloggers or boasting of any kind (c'mon, we're British and we don't do drama!)

Review Books

All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill
You know I love time travel novels, right?  I just know I'm going to love this book and this is my next read after Soulmates.  

Soulmates by Holly Bourne
I am SO EXCITED to read this book that I'm making it my next read.  I won't lie, it reminds me of one of my favourite movies, The Adjustment Bureau but that's okay with me. 

Where You Are (Between the Lines #2) by Tammara Webber
I admit, I haven't read Between the Lines yet but I did love Tammara's other book, Easy.  I'm looking forward to discovering her new story. 

Inferno by Sherrilyn Kenyon (Unsolicited)
 I have never read any of the books from this series, I'm afraid so this will probably go to my local library.

Diary of a Crush by Sarra Manning (Unsolicited)
I really must read a Sarra Manning book and this looks like a great place to start.  A love story and some of it takes place in Paris? Yes please.  This looks like a cute, quick read.

The Rising by Kelley Armstrong (Unsolicited) 
This is another series I haven't read yet but I'm definitely curious about it!

If I Should Die by Amy Plum (Unsolicited)
I can't believe I haven't started this series yet as the covers are so, so pretty.  One day, I promise you I will read these books!

 Thank You Publishers!!!

Books Bought

Apparently, I have not bought any physical books this week which is probably a miracle!


Recalled (Death Escorts) by Cambria Hebert (Bought)
I have to say that this sounds A LOT like Inbetween by Tara Fuller (a book btw that I LOVED) and I'm curious to see if it is

Everything Changes by Shey Stahl (Bought)
I like the sound of this book about an AMA Supercross Racer and the girl he falls in love with.   It makes a change from rock stars and MMA fighters ;)

The Fighter's Block by Hadley Quinn (Bought)
This book had a lot of potential but I really didn't like the 'victim mode' the main character portrayed throughout.  AND, I ended up fancying one of the side characters more than the main guy LOL.  I'm still trying to figure out my thoughts about this one.

Vain by Fisher Amelie (Bought)
I believe this book is about a girl who becomes a complete bitch but I'm sure there is more to it and to her than that.

Give Me Love by Kate McCarthy (Bought)
I like the fact that this is a New Adult book by an Australian writer and that immediately hooks my interest.   It's also got some humour in it and a few five star reviews to boot.

Damaged by H.M. Ward (Bought)
I love the idea that a girl gets hot and heavy with a guy only to find him at the front of the class the next morning as the new teacher.  AWKWARD.  That kind of synopsis has me hooked from the get go and I'm eager to find out more.  Just for the record, I *WILL* be picturing that guy, the teacher from Pretty Little Liars when reading ;)  

Christmas Kisses by H.M. Ward (Bought)
This is on sale for a limited time and I thought I would get it now and read it when the festive season sneaks up on us once again.

The Love Game by Emma Hart (Bought)
I LOVED this book, especially when I found out that it was written by a British writer.  It's a New Adult story and one that will keep you thoroughly entertained as both boy and girl try to outplay each other.  Review coming soon.

Never Forget by Emma Hart (Bought)
After reading The Love Game, I went looking for other books by Emma Hart and found this one.  This is New Adult and set in Devon/London.  I'm definitely curious to read this kind of story that's set in the UK.
Love and Truth by Kathryn Vance-Perez (Free)
I liked the idea that this was about a normal girl who joins a foreign exchange program after her parents announce their divorce and ends up living in Japan with a host family.  I have experienced something similar when I was an Au Pair in America and I'm curious to see what the story is all about. 

Deep Blue Secret by Christie Anderson (Free)
I like the idea that this book is set in California, around the beach.  There's a lot of mystery and I'm not sure but there might be a paranormal aspect to the story, too.  I'm definitely intrigued and it was free, so worth taking the risk to find out.

Your Guardian Angel by Skyla Madi (Free)
If you thought this was just an average angel book, you'd be wrong.  It's about a girl who becomes a vampire against her will and is taken under the wings of a guardian angel.  Already I'm intrigued as you don't often find a book with both of these supernatural creatures present. 

The Beast Within by Jonathan Yanez (Free)
Besides the fact that it shares the title with one of my WIP's, this book looks interesting if the reviews on Amazon are anything to go by.  It's always worth taking a chance on a book, especially when it's free and all you've got to lose is your time.

I got some great review books this week which I can't wait to get started on and whilst I bought a few ebooks, I didn't buy any physical books which is probably some kind of miracle!  I'm actually trying NOT to buy books at the moment but I don't think that will last.  As I said, I'm just about to start Soulmates and then All Our Yesterdays.  What are you reading?  I hope you had a great week for books and as always, please share your links below.

Thursday 18 April 2013

Divergent Book Three Title Announced

We don't have a cover yet but at least we can finally stop guessing the title...

Roll on October when this is released!!

I've had to take the video off because it is auto playing whenever my blog is open and that's really annoying so here's a picture instead...


Wednesday 17 April 2013

Waiting on Wednesday

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, originally started by Jill at Breaking the Spine , that highlights upcoming book releases everyone is waiting on...hence the title. This week's pick is Infinityglass by Myra McEntire.  Here's the synopsis:

The stakes have risen even higher in this third book in the Hourglass series.

The Hourglass is a secret organization focused on the study of manipulating time, and its members — many of them teenagers -­have uncanny abilities to make time work for them in mysterious ways. Inherent in these powers is a responsibility to take great care, because altering one small moment can have devastating consequences for the past, present, and future. But some time trav­elers are not exactly honorable, and sometimes unsavory deals must be struck to maintain order.

With the Infinityglass (central to understanding and harnessing the time gene) at large, the hunt is on to find it before someone else does.

But the Hourglass has an advantage. Lily, who has the ability to locate anything lost, has determined that the Infinityglass isn't an object. It's a person. And the Hourglass must find him or her first. But where do you start searching for the very key to time when every second could be the last

I will admit three things to you.  Firstly, I love the covers for this book series.  Secondly, I am desperately behind in this series simply because I want to go back and re-read the first book before reading the sequel so I can stay on track with what's going on and haven't found the time to do that yet!  And last but not least, if there was some way I could adopt Myra into my family, I totally would.  I am pre-ordering this as I write (which is actually weeks before this post goes live) and I definitely want this book on my shelves!

Infinityglass is published on 9th July, 2013. 

Monday 15 April 2013

The Month of Men Blog Tour: Jennifer Echols

You may have heard of the awesome Month of Men Blog Tour, an awesome UK virtual event featuring some AMAZING authors.  I am ecstatic to welcome one of my favourite contemporary authors to the blog today and that is Jennifer Echols.  I've read just about all of her books, she is my "Go To" girl when I need a YA contemporary romance novel and I've even been quoted on a couple of them now, too.

I don't know whether you can see my quote on the back cover of the US hardback of Such a Rush but it says:

"The Nora Roberts of the YA Fiction World" - Narratively Speaking

And I really do mean that, too!  I've been waiting SO LONG to finally say that Jennifer is being published in the UK and it's about time!  I'm just hoping that one day, we can bring her over here for a book signing! *pokes Simon & Schuster*. Going Too Far (review here) and Forget You (review here) are two of my favourite Jennifer Echols books and they will be published soon by Simon & Schuster UK.  Trust me when I tell you that you should read them and have a look at the sparkly, new UK covers:

Anyway, as part of The Month of Men Blog Tour, Jennifer kindly agreed to talk about how she got the idea for Going Too Far and how it became the book we know and love. Take it away, Jennifer...

From Idea to Publication

The very first inkling I had about Going Too Far was at my first Romance Writers of America convention. I had just sold my first novel, Major Crush, a couple of weeks before, and I had just met my critique partner in person for the first time about an hour before. We were walking through the crowded, noisy conference center, and for some reason she was telling me about a guy she went to college with who had a cool name, John After. It was so cool that the professor said his name like it was one word, Johnafter. I said, "John After! What a cool name for a character!" She said, "What? John After? No, John Actor." I said, "Oh. John After makes a better name for a character." And that's how John was born.

After Major Crush, I was supposed to write another YA novel for my editor. My favorite TV shows at the time were Cops, a reality show that followed the police on their beat, and Reno 911!, a comedy that made fun of Cops. I decided to write a romantic comedy about two teens who have to do a ride-along in the back of a cop car, either because they're doing a report for school, or because they've gotten in trouble and the police are trying to scare them straight. But as I thought about this scenario, I decided that a more interesting relationship would be between one teen in trouble and the cop. Once I did some research and found out that there are a few districts in the United States that hire 19-year-old cops, I knew that was my story.

This book went very fast—about three months—and I loved writing it. I prefer to write without an outline, knowing there will be a romance and a happy ending but otherwise not being too sure where I'm going. Without planning, I set the book in a town a little like a suburb of Birmingham (in the US—ours is named after yours!) where I lived for a while, and a little like the tiny town where I grew up. Birmingham has only a million people in the metropolitan area and isn't very urban, so this may be a bit hard to believe, but when I was a teenager I longed to get out of my town and thought that if I could just make it to Birmingham, I could be that whole person I wanted to be, surrounded by culture and the arts and open-minded intellectuals. I gave that attitude to the heroine, Meg. I also gave her a very good reason for feeling that way.

Then I had to give Johnafter a very good reason to stay stuck in the small town, so that he and Meg would be torn apart. I was tortured by this for about half the book—my agony probably comes across in the pages—but I knew I would figure it out. I had started writing the book with what's now Chapter 4 and trusted that it would all come together eventually. Sure enough, as soon as I had Johnafter's motivation, I was able to write the rest.

Of course, if you've read the book, you know that it's not the romantic comedy I originally intended. My editor had said I could write anything I wanted for my second book, so I thought this dark romantic drama was okay. I turned it in. She wasn't able to accept it, and I had to go back and write another romantic comedy for my contract. It's called The Boys Next Door, which nowadays you can find published in the same book with its sequel, Endless Summer. It was a couple of years before we found a publisher for Going Too Far, and another couple of years before the novel actually came out. Frustrating as that was, there's a certain satisfaction that comes with feeling you've done a good job, whether anybody else appreciates it or not. This time I had definitely written the type of book I wanted to read. And because I was confident and patient, eventually this book would be published and would open the door to a whole new subgenre for me. So there's certainly something to be said, at least sometimes, for writing without an outline.

Thank you Jennifer!  The UK editions of Going Too Far and Forget You are both published on 11th April, 2013.  To find out more about Jennifer and her books, please click here to visit her website.  As for the rest of the blog tour, you can check out all the news and posts you missed by visiting the Facebook page here

Sunday 14 April 2013

Letterbox Love (#48)

As always, Letterbox Love is a weekly feature that I'm hosting on the blog and basically, the idea came out of a discussion with other UK book bloggers about the need to do a weekly meme with more of a British feel to it. Therefore, Letterbox Love was born and the logo was lovingly designed by Dark Readers. Letterbox Love is a way for us to share the books that come through our letterbox, galleys and e books (through our electronic letterbox) and any other bookish goodies that we want to tell you about. Letterbox Love is intended to showcase upcoming books and build up some excitement for them as well as let you know what is available out there. It is not about competing with other bloggers or boasting of any kind (c'mon, we're British and we don't do drama!)

Review Books

Angelfall by Susan EE (unsolicited)
I've only just heard about this book which started off being published by Amazon publishing and has now been picked up by a traditional publisher.  Let me tell you that the photograph does not do this book justice, it's absolutely beautiful and I'm excited to read it, especially with all the buzz it's gotten (that I'm just finding out about)

Thank You Publishers!!!

Books Bought

Apollyon by Jennifer L. Armentrout
This is one of my favourite book series from one of my favourite authors so naturally, I had to have this for my collection even though I read an Arc a few months ago.  Look out for my review soon. 
The Collector by Victoria Scott
This is another book I received an Arc for but I wanted a finished copy for my shelves. 


Saving Mars by Cidney Swanson (Bought)
I've seen nothing but five star reviews for this little book and I have to admit that I'm curious.  At 77p, it's worth the risk. 
Defying Mars by Cidney Swanson (Free)
The second book in this series is free and if I'm honest, spurred me on to buying the first one.  

The Space Between (The Book of Phoenix) by Kristie Cook (Bought)
A New Adult PARANORMAL with a bad boy? YES PLEASE.

Fight or Flight by Jamie Canosa (Free)
I'm not yet sure if this is YA or NA but I'm thinking the latter simply because of the cover and the title.  Again, I've seen nothing but five star reviews for this and it was free!
After Eden by Helen Douglas (Netgalley - For Review) 
This book sounds right up my street and I think it's either to do with space travel or time travel.  I LOVE the cover and I can't wait to read it.

House of Secrets by Christopher Columbus (Netgalley - For Review)
I like the sound of the story and I LOVE books about books but if I'm being completely honest, it's probably the fact that this is written by Christopher Columbus that has me interested the most.

I think you'll all agree that I've been really good with ebooks this week and long shall that continue!  I'm sure you're not that surprised to know that devoured The Elite in less than 24 hours and I'm really excited to read Angelfall.  I've finished reading my two little spicy alien books (LOL) and I'm almost done reading The Essence by Kimberly Derting.  I'm torn over what to start next simply because I'm surrounded by way too much awesome!!  As always, I hope you had a great week for books and please let me know what you're reading and enjoying as well as leaving your links below.

Thursday 11 April 2013

Defiance Review

Within the walls of Baalboden, beneath the shadow of the city's brutal leader, Rachel Adams has a secret. While other girls sew dresses and obey their male Protectors, Rachel knows how to survive in the wilderness and deftly wield a sword. When her father, Jared, fails to return from a courier mission and is declared dead, the Commander assigns Rachel a new Protector, her father's apprentice, Logan--the same boy Rachel declared her love for two years ago, and the same one who handed her heart right back to her. Left with nothing but a fierce belief in her father's survival, Rachel decides to escape and find him herself. But treason against the Commander carries a heavy price, and what awaits her in the Wasteland could destroy her.

At nineteen, Logan McEntire is many things. Orphan. Outcast. Inventor. As apprentice to the city's top courier, Logan is focused on learning his trade so he can escape the tyranny of Baalboden. But his plan never included being responsible for his mentor's impulsive daughter. Logan is determined to protect her, but when his escape plan goes wrong and Rachel pays the price, he realizes he has more at stake than disappointing Jared.

As Rachel and Logan battle their way through the Wasteland, stalked by a monster that can't be killed and an army of assassins out for blood, they discover romance, heartbreak, and a truth that will incite a war decades in the making.

I had been lusting after Defiance for some time before its publication, not only because of the beautiful cover (Strong heroines for the win!) but also because I was intrigued by the summary and if I’m honest, the book had been hyped up a bit across the pond.  Thankfully, it was published in the UK and last year, I took a copy of the book on a cruise with me.  If you’ve ever been on a cruise, you’ll know that there is never a dull moment and ALWAYS something going on but you know what? When I picked up Defiance, all the activities went right out of the window as I couldn’t stop reading this book.

I LOVED the originality of some of the main ideas in the book, the mysteries presented to the reader and also the strong, protective vibes coming from Logan for Rachel.  Their relationship was enthralling and romantic from the start, made better by the history between them and the promise Logan made to her father.  I thought the world building was excellent and I may sound like a broken record here but it really did play out like a movie in my mind.

Whilst I thoroughly enjoyed the book, it wasn’t perfect and I did find a little bit of repetition that irked me.  If I’m honest, I also wanted Rachel to be stronger than she was, to not need a protector and I suppose in some ways she strived for that too.

What I like most about Defiance is that it reads like a standalone while at the same time, leaving a window of opportunity open for a sequel and guess what?!  THERE IS A SEQUEL, coming this year entitled Deception.  I pray to the Cover Gods that they DO NOT CHANGE the covers mid series as they are too awesome to be messed with.

Defiance is an impressive debut fantasy novel and the start of a thrilling new series.  If you like Game of Thrones, Throne of Glass, and Falling Kingdoms, then you are sure to like this one.

Defiance was published on 28th August, 2012 in the US and 6th September, 2012 in the UK.  To find out more about C.J. Redwine and her books, please click here to visit her website.

Wednesday 10 April 2013

Waiting on Wednesday

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, originally started by Jill at Breaking the Spine , that highlights upcoming book releases everyone is waiting on...hence the title. This week's pick is Teardrop by Lauren Kate.  Here's the synopsis:

Never, ever cry. . . . Eureka Boudreaux's mother drilled that rule into her daughter years ago. But now her mother is gone, and everywhere Eureka goes he is there: Ander, the tall, pale blond boy who seems to know things he shouldn't, who tells Eureka she is in grave danger, who comes closer to making her cry than anyone has before.

But Ander doesn't know Eureka's darkest secret: ever since her mother drowned in a freak accident, Eureka wishes she were dead, too. She has little left that she cares about, just her oldest friend, Brooks, and a strange inheritance—a locket, a letter, a mysterious stone, and an ancient book no one understands. The book contains a haunting tale about a girl who got her heart broken and cried an entire continent into the sea. Eureka is about to discover that the ancient tale is more than a story, that Ander might be telling the truth . . . and that her life has far darker undercurrents than she ever imagined. From Lauren Kate comes an epic saga of heart-stopping romance, devastating secrets, and dark magic . . . a world where everything you love can be washed away.

Okay, so I'm not being mean when I say this but doesn't the cover look like an advert for a new Britney Spears perfume?  See what I'm saying?  I'm not saying it isn't beautiful but that was the first thing that came into my mind.  I'm always interested to see what Lauren Kate comes up with next as I did like the Fallen books (especially the last one which made me cry).  I like the sound of this one and I will definitely be adding it to the wishlist. 

Teardrop is published in the US/UK on 24th October, 2013. 

Sunday 7 April 2013

The Collector Review

He makes good girls...bad.

Dante Walker is flippin’ awesome, and he knows it. His good looks, killer charm, and stellar confidence have made him one of hell’s best—a soul collector. His job is simple: weed through humanity and label those round rears with a big red good or bad stamp. Old Saint Nick gets the good guys, and he gets the fun ones. Bag-and-tag.

Sealing souls is nothing personal. Dante’s an equal-opportunity collector and doesn't want it any other way. But he’ll have to adjust, because Boss Man has given him a new assignment:

Collect Charlie Cooper’s soul within ten days.

Dante doesn't know why Boss Man wants Charlie, nor does he care. This assignment means only one thing to him, and that’s a permanent ticket out of hell. But after Dante meets the quirky Nerd Alert chick he’s come to collect, he realizes this assignment will test his abilities as a collector…and uncover emotions deeply buried.

I have to be honest and tell you that when I first heard about The Collector, I was scared to read it because the plot sounded just like Personal Demons by Lisa Desrochers (which by the way, is one of my favourite books).  I mean, a hot, arrogant soul collector from hell who is the best at what he does is sent on an assignment to collect a good girl’s soul (and she just happens to have some sort of significance) and guess what?!  The more time Dante spends with Charlie, the more he starts to care for her.  Yeah, that sounds like Personal Demons all right but you know what?  Time and time again I think of something that Maggie Stiefvater (author of Shiver and The Scorpio Races) once said - that just because two people have the same idea, it doesn’t mean that it’s the same book and it’s all down to the execution of it.  She’s a wise woman is Maggie. I am pleased to tell you that The Collector IS a different book to Personal Demons and definitely just as enjoyable if you give it a chance.

Now it’s time for confession number two.  When I first started reading the book, I HATED Dante.  I thought he was an arrogant, selfish jerk and the way he talked? Who talks like that?!  I almost stopped reading as I thought this was not the book for me.  And then something magical happened.  Slowly but surely, as I got to know him better through his interactions with Charlie and Grams, I saw that beneath the shiny exterior, he’s actually a somewhat decent guy and I actually grew to like him.  I have the utmost respect and appreciation for books that can make me change my mind and that my friends, is purely down to the talent of the writer.

Dante is the main protagonist in the book but most of the focus is on Charlie, a sixteen year old girl who lives with her Grams.  At first, I thought she sounded a lot younger than her character but I’m going to put that down to the fact that she’s led a somewhat sheltered life and never goes out to parties or socialises with “the cool kids”.   She’s not the prettiest of girls on the outside but she has an inner beauty that makes her a really decent person and she has two loyal best friends in the form of Annabelle and Blue, the latter being a boy who secretly holds a candle for Charlie.    I liked the fact that Blue was the only one who saw the inner beauty Charlie had and as she became more beautiful on the outside, it sort of didn’t matter as much to Dante at that point as he’d already fallen for her.  They seemed like such an unlikely partnership in the beginning and you’ll just have to read the book to find out if they can make it work.

I will say that there is one particular question (not the one above) that isn’t answered fully at the end of the book, an unresolved plot point if you will and this niggled me a little BUT it paves the way quite nicely for a sequel. I really enjoyed the book, it was fun and laugh out loud funny at times but there were also heartfelt moments that will touch even the coldest soul.  A fantastic debut from Victoria Scott, my pre-ordered copy should be arriving any day now and all I have to leave you with is...POW ;)

The Collector was published on 25th March, 2013.  To find out more about Victoria Scott and her books, please click here to visit her website.

Letterbox Love (#47)

As always, Letterbox Love is a weekly feature that I'm hosting on the blog and basically, the idea came out of a discussion with other UK book bloggers about the need to do a weekly meme with more of a British feel to it. Therefore, Letterbox Love was born and the logo was lovingly designed by Dark Readers. Letterbox Love is a way for us to share the books that come through our letterbox, galleys and e books (through our electronic letterbox) and any other bookish goodies that we want to tell you about. Letterbox Love is intended to showcase upcoming books and build up some excitement for them as well as let you know what is available out there. It is not about competing with other bloggers or boasting of any kind (c'mon, we're British and we don't do drama!)

I have to apologize profusely for missing last week's Letterbox Love but I've been having a hard time at work recently and this is the first weekend in a month that I've actually had off (I've had to work both days of the last three weekends running).  Nursing is a tough job and is not always conducive with blogging.  Anyway, so this week's post includes last week's book mail which is why it may seem like I've received a lot of books.

Review Books

Irresistible by Liz Bankes
 This is a New Adult book from a British author and so naturally, it's on the list to read.  I'm interested to see how this compares to the other NA books I've been reading recently.
Lover At Last by J.R. Ward (Unsolicited)
Now, this is a series that I actually want to read but I am flabbergasted to have been sent a hardback of the ELEVENTH book in the series when I haven't read the rest and I've never been offered them for review.  I don't understand it. 

 Shipwrecked by Siobhan Curham (Unsolicited)
I do like the sound of this book - a group of teenagers en route to a cruise ship get hit by a freak storm and are stranded on a desert island.  This sounds like a Summer book to me and I might just wait until the weather is warmer to read it.

Neptune's Tears by Susan Waggoner
 Set in a futuristic London and is billed as a story about two star crossed lovers.  SOLD.  I just hope it lives up to my expectations!

Beautiful Bastard by Christine Lauren
I'm cheating with this one because I've already read and reviewed it here but they were nice enough to let me have a copy anyway! I'm glad to see that it's being published in the UK and I'm definitely looking forward to the sequel! If you're interested, you can find my review in the master reviews list or under the adult titles.

Acid by Emma Pass
This is a YA futuristic thriller about a girl who is the only female inmate in a violent high security prison (until she gets broken out and given a new identity).   I think it sounds really interesting and has movie blockbuster written all over it.

Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols
I am a HUGE fan of Jennifer Echols and so when I was offered the chance to read and review her latest YA offering, I jumped at the chance.  I love the cover and I love the fact that this will be another hardback copy when it's published.   

Walking Disaster by Jamie McGuire
I probably don't need to tell you how much I love this series since I've read and reviewed both Beautiful Disaster and Walking Disaster now.  This is the UK paperback and I am ecstatic at the thought of getting the chance to meet Jamie when she comes to the UK in June!  I can't wait for more books from her. 

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
This has been receiving a lot of attention stateside and I'm definitely intrigued.  At first, I wasn't sure whether it was about actual waves (like tsunami's) or what but having looked inside the paperback, I think it's about an alien invasion.  THAT has me interested for sure.  

Mila 2.0 by Debra Driza
This is the UK paperback (I received a paper manuscript a little while ago but this will be easier to read). I'm actually a little scared to read this since it sounds similar to an idea I have in my head for a story but it might just be different enough!  It does sound good!

Thank You Publishers!!!

Books Bought

Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers
I loved Grave Mercy and so naturally, I ordered the sequel which I'm looking forward to reading when I'm feeling in the need of a historical novel.

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
I have the first book (which I haven't read yet) and I wanted the sequel in hardback to match so I ordered it.  Marissa was recently in the UK and sadly, I could not make the book signing but I sent Cinder to my good friend and fellow blogger Laura who got it signed for me (sadly, Scarlett did not arrive in time for this). 


Close Liaisons by Anna Zaires (Bought)
This is a really interesting book and I'm not sure whether to classify it as New Adult (as the main protagonist is in college) or adult or erotica.  I just don't know about labels anymore *shrug*.  Anyway, I think the premise is incredibly interesting and whilst it's not perfect and there are things that could have been done better, I can't seem to tear myself away and I've even bought the second book (which I'm currently reading).  This is a fresh take on the controlling alpha male...who just so happens to be an all powerful alien. 

Close Obsession by Anna Zaires (Bought)
This is the sequel to the above and I'm almost done reading it.  I have no idea if there will be a third book but I wouldn't be surprised.  

One Week Girlfriend by Monica Murphy (Bought)
This is a New Adult contemporary about a girl who agrees to be a guy's fake girlfriend, presumably for a week but I guess they develop feelings somewhere along the way.  At least, that's what I think it's about and whilst it's not a new idea, I'm still interested in reading it.

Flat-Out Matt by Jessica Park (Bought)
This is a companion novel to Flat-Out Love and whilst I haven't read that one yet, I've been hearing very good things about them both. 

Suicide Note by Teresa Mummert (Bought) I'm intrigued by this one and when the price dropped recently on Amazon, I jumped on it.  

Plastic Hearts by Lisa De Jong, Jennifer Roberts-Hall (Bought)
I don't know a lot about what this story is about but it's got five star reviews and was a recommendation from a friend.    Again, the price dropped recently so I bought it.

Picture Perfect by Alessandra Thomas (Bought)
I want to go on record and say that I LOVE the sound of this book.  I always love it when the main protagonist isn't skinny and beautiful but more of a normal girl.  I think I'm going to love this one and let's hope I'm right!

The Mighty Storm by Samantha Towle (Bought)
I bought this on recommendation from one of my good friends Emma and whilst it's not exactly an original idea, I still think it will be entertaining and if Emma loves it, I know I will.

Music of the Heart by Katie Ashley (Bought)
Ever since I read The Proposition, I've been a huge fan of Katie Ashley and mark my words, she is an author to watch.  I see big things in her future, it just takes a little time for others to recognise that ;)  Anyway, so I read this in one sitting the other night and it was fantastic.  Again, not an original idea as such but entertaining nonetheless.

A Tangle of Magicks, A Reckless Magick, A Most ImproperMagick by Stephanie Burgis (Bought)
Whilst these books are MG, they were on offer and I recently read a heartfelt blog post from Stephanie which kinda made me want to buy her books.  

Whisper Cape by Susan Griscom and Regan Walsh (Bought)
I've seen lots of great reviews for this book and I'm intrigued as it sounds so mysterious.
Savor by Megan Duncan (Free)
Besides the fact that it was free, I really liked the idea of a fresh take on a vampire story and THAT'S the real reason I downloaded this from Amazon.  I think it sounds interesting and every now and then, I do get a hampering to read a vampire novel.

Ethereal by Addison Moore (Free)
Apparently, this self published book has been optioned for film by 20th Century Fox with the view to turning it into a television show.  That alone has me intrigued enough to read it and right now, you can download the first book in the series for free.

Never Have I Ever (Free)
A New Adult contemporary with a hint of BDSM I believe.  The reason why I downloaded it though is the sheer amount of five star reviews on Amazon which immediately piques my interest.  I want to know if it's really that good and I will let you know when I read it!

The Millionaire Tempted Fate (Free)
This is a short novella that sounds really cute and it was free so why not?!

Awakened by Brenda K. Davies (Free)
This New Adult novel is apparently not your average vampire book and I want to know why!

Summer's Journey: Volume One - Losing Control by Summer Daniels (Free)
This is only 6.000 words and an introduction to the series. I'm not sure why I downloaded this other than the fact it was free and I was intrigued by the review left on Amazon.

Unexpected by Faith Sullivan (Free)
Another New Adult contemporary book that was free and so I thought I would give it a go as I've got nothing to lose but my time. 

Some Quite Place by Kelsey Sutton (Netgalley - For Review)
I think this book has quite an original premise and the cover is gorgeous.  I'm very intrigued to see what this one is all about.

True by Erin McCarthy (Netgalley - For Review)
This is a New Adult contemporary novel about the good girl and the bad boy and whilst it's not an original trope, I still want to read it. 

As you can see, it has been an AWESOME couple of weeks for books and I hardly know where to start!  I just wish someone would pay me to sit at home and read and review books all day.  I'm anxiously waiting for The Elite by Keira Cass (which doesn't publish until 23rd April) and have done a re-read of The Selection as well as The Pledge by Kimberly Derting.  Besides the alien erotica book I'm currently reading, I'm also reading The Essence (sequel to The Pledge) right now.  What are you guys reading?  As always, please leave your links to your own Letterbox Love posts below and happy reading :)

Thursday 4 April 2013

The Valentine's Arrangement Review

Tattoo artist Ronnie Clark is counting the days until Valentine's Day is over. Ronnie doesn't do romance. She doesn't do flowers or dates, and she sure as hell doesn't do love--not anymore. After her fiance cheated on her while deployed, she has vowed never to fall in love again, especially with a soldier.

Sergeant First Class Kale Emerson is home on his mid-tour leave from Iraq, but he can't wait to return to finish leading his soldiers on their mission. He's got no time for a relationship...but casual sex, that's a different story. And when he meets Ronnie, a snarky, gorgeous, take-no-prisoners kind of woman, a fast fling is all he can think about. But when Kale realizes he's met his match with a bombshell woman who is hell bent against love, will just sex be enough? And will winning her over both body and soul be the toughest battle he ever fought?

I loved the sound of The Valentine’s Arrangement by Kelsie Leverich and just before I start, let me point out that this is an adult contemporary romance/erotica/fantasy (you should know by now that all adult romances are referred to as fantasy novels in my opinion) and as such, there are scenes of hot, sexual content and this review may contain the odd swear word or reference to said hot, sexual content.  If that’s not for you then by all means, check out another one of my reviews but if you’re still with me, then let’s get on with it.

It was the main character in this book that appealed to me the most - Ronnie is a tough talking, sexy tattoo artist who got fucked over by her soldier boyfriend and then love and everything that goes with it got thrown out of the window.   She is no hearts and flowers girl, that’s for sure.  Ronnie just so happens to live in a military town and has been put off soldiers FOR LIFE so the last thing she needs is to be attracted to one, but in walks Kale Emerson and he wants a tattoo.  In the meantime, Ronnie is fighting the sexual chemistry between them and they end up making an arrangement – no strings, just sex.  After all, neither of them wants commitment or a relationship and Kale’s being deployed in eight days but a lot can happen in eight days.  Will it be broken hearts all round or can Ronnie deal with her issues and give Kale a chance to prove that he’s one of the good guys?

I’m going to get right down to it and say that whilst I did enjoy the story, I got a little pissed off with Ronnie’s attitude at times as she often came across as rude and abrasive although I expect this was just the hurt talking.  Unfortunately, there were some issues with the editing, and one particular intimate scene that was littered with spelling and grammar mistakes.  It definitely detracted from the moment and as soon as her “PUBLIC bone” was mentioned, I lost it.

In conclusion, I enjoyed the book but it was a shame about the editing.  I’d definitely be willing to read more from this author though.

The Valentine’s Arrangement was published on 31st January, 2013.  To find out more about Kelsie Leverich and her books, please click here to visit her website.

Wednesday 3 April 2013

Waiting on Wednesday

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, originally started by Jill at Breaking the Spine , that highlights upcoming book releases everyone is waiting on...hence the title. This week's pick is The Elite by Kiera Cass.  Here's the synopsis:

Thirty-five girls came to the palace to compete in the Selection. All but six have been sent home. And only one will get to marry Prince Maxon and be crowned princess of Illea.

America still isn’t sure where her heart lies. When she’s with Maxon, she’s swept up in their new and breathless romance, and can’t dream of being with anyone else. But whenever she sees Aspen standing guard around the palace, she is overcome with memories of the life they planned to share. With the group narrowed down to the Elite, the other girls are even more determined to win Maxon over—and time is running out for America to decide.

Just when America is sure she’s made her choice, a devastating loss makes her question everything again. And while she’s struggling to imagine her future, the violent rebels that are determined to overthrow the monarchy are growing stronger and their plans could destroy her chance at any kind of happy ending.

So, the only reason I haven't featured this book before now is quite simply because I THOUGHT I ALREADY HAD.  I am desperate with a capital D to read this book because I loved The Selection like woah.  Enough to re-read it recently in anticipation for The Elite I've been checking Netgalley EVERY DAY to see if it's up there but alas, it is not as of yet.  I pre-ordered the book a million years ago and so it's not about getting a free book (it never is), I just want to read it NOW.  23rd April cannot come soon enough!  

The Elite is published on 23rd April, 2013.

Monday 1 April 2013

Mystic City Review

For fans of Matched, The Hunger Games, X-Men, and Blade Runner comes a tale of a magical city divided, a political rebellion ignited, and a love that was meant to last forever.

Aria Rose, youngest scion of one of Mystic City's two ruling rival families, finds herself betrothed to Thomas Foster, the son of her parents' sworn enemies. The union of the two will end the generations-long political feud—and unite all those living in the Aeries, the privileged upper reaches of the city, against the banished mystics who dwell below in the Depths. But Aria doesn't remember falling in love with Thomas; in fact, she wakes one day with huge gaps in her memory. And she can't conceive why her parents would have agreed to unite with the Fosters in the first place.

Only when Aria meets Hunter, a gorgeous rebel mystic from the Depths, does she start to have glimmers of recollection—and to understand that he holds the key to unlocking her past.

The choices she makes can save or doom the city—including herself.

Mystic City was billed as a Romeo and Juliet style of story and the fact that it was written by a guy intrigued me the most.  That being said, I had a little trouble forgetting this fact at first, especially as the main protagonist was female but once I detached a little and got into the story, I started to enjoy it.   

I actually read this book a while ago now but I didn’t write my review as I had read Black City by Elizabeth Richards at the same time and I thought in some ways, that the stories were similar – a crumbling infrastructure, political goings on and forbidden romance – see, what I mean?  Thankfully though, these two stories couldn’t have been executed more differently which goes to prove that having a similar story idea really does mean nothing in the end. 

I really enjoyed unraveling the mystery behind Aria’s memory loss and indeed, the story itself but if I’m honest, I’m not sure I was overly convinced with the love story between Aria and Hunter.  I’m trying to keep an open mind though. 

Mystic City is a gripping read, I thought the writing was very good and I enjoyed the world building tremendously.  I liked the idea of a futuristic New York City and the idea behind mystics with everything ultimately being wrapped up in politics.  I really did enjoy the book, I’m looking forward to reading the sequel (but 2014 is too far away!) and I believe the story would work well as a movie.  I’m definitely excited by the possibility of that.

Mystic City was published on 9th October, 2012 in the US and 11th October, 2012 in the UK.  The sequel, entitled Renegade Heart will be published in 2014. To find out more about Theo and his books, please click here to visit his website.