September 25, 2012
They’re everywhere, hiding in plain sight. Chances are, you’ve interacted with one or two of them in your lifetime without even realizing it…
Demon hunter Evelyn Brighton saves unsuspecting humans from the malevolent creatures masquerading around them every day. Working under the Lebriga Corporation’s direction, she never fails to bring her A-game with her keen skill, fiercely independent spirit, and the best weapon in her arsenal: the Divinity blade.
Evelyn’s world is turned on its ear, however, when she is ordered to train cocky new recruit Daniel Summers. They both feel an instinctive pull drawing them to one another, the ancient spells tattooed into their skin illuminating whenever the two hunters come into contact. But with evil looming over the city of Los Angeles, Evelyn and Daniel’s mutual competitiveness and sense of duty to Lebriga and all humankind forces them to hold back their desires. Will their restraint be enough to keep them focused and save southern California, or will the dark forces prevail?
Set in modern-day Los Angeles, Divinity is an action-filled, fast-paced marriage of urban fantasy and paranormal romance. Edgy, witty, and sexy, it will bind you in its spell.
Adrenaline junkies, are you ready for this?! Divinity was a high-octane, fast-paced adventure of epic proportions! Sure, the premise was a bit familiar, but it was the type of familiar you never really get tired of.
Set in the modern world, but also sneaking in bits of old lore and legend, Divinity pairs together Hunters (demon slayers) and Handlers (demonologists). Their objective is to work as a unit to fight the forces of evil, and luckily for us, Leever didn’t hold back when it came down to the gory details of what it means to go up against the bad guys. I loved the action scenes. They were vivid and I could actually “see” them happening in my mind.
Since Divinity is set in the present timeline, there were a few things that threw me off. Evelyn, the heroine, works for a secret Corporation that I desperately wanted to know more about. The corporation’s infrastructure largely remained a mystery to me throughout the story, and I had some difficulties accepting some of the decisions they made. Also, I often found myself wondering how the world around the ciaos was reacting. When you have demons taking over a large part of L.A., someone’s bound to notice, even if they are only regular humans.
I have to admit that I was a bit disappointed with the romance in the story. I wasn’t completely sold on it. I’ve never been a fan of romances that develop from instant physical attraction only, and that’s the type of relationship Evelyn and Daniel seemed to have. And since Evelyn was more than a century older than Daniel, it didn’t really seem believable that she’d suddenly feel this undeniable pull towards him without them really getting to know each other. Yes, she did have a conversation with her friend which showed her opening up like she never had before, but I would have like to see her have meaningful conversations with Daniel instead. And since the novel was only about 190 pages, I definitely thought there was room to develop a more authentic relationship between Daniel and Evelyn.
But I don’t think the romance issue I had will bother UF readers as much as it did me. Plus, Divinity featured a fun cast of characters, each with their own personality traits and stories to tell. At times, I did feel overwhelmed with the amount of secondary characters there were, but I also found myself really wanting to know their individual stories.
Divinity was a fun, quick read, and I’m looking forward to reconnecting with the characters in next book in this series, Entity.
Thanks to Omnific Publishing, I have one paperback copy of Divinity to giveaway. Open to U.S. mailing addresses only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
For more chances to win, check out the Divinity Blog Tour:
September 17: The Unread Reader
September 18: Rainy Day Ramblings
September 19: The Nocturnal Library
September 20: Book and Things
September 21: Candace’s Book Blog
September 24: Tina’s Book Reviews
September 25: Supernatural Snark and Geeky Blogger’s Book Blog
September 26: Bewitched Bookworms
September 27: The Unread Reader
September 28: Happily Ever After Reads
Big Sky Mountain
Swoon-Worthy Cowboys #2
Linda Lael Miller
Harlequin HQN, 384 pages
July 31st 2012
Amazon | Goodreads
With his rugged good looks, vast wealth and family name, hell-raiser Hutch Carmody is still the golden boy of Parable, Montana. But he’s done some growing up-making peace with his illegitimate half brother and inheriting half of Whisper Creek Ranch, which should have been all his. These days, Hutch knows there are some things money can’t buy: like the heart of loving, ladylike divorcé e Kendra Shepherd.
Kendra’s quiet mansion reminds her of what she wants most-a devoted husband and the pitter-patter of little feet. She can’t get Hutch Carmody out of her mind. But a rough-and-tumble cowboy like Hutch, coming home for family dinner? Seems crazy! Then again, crazier dreams have become reality under the vast Montana sky.
I didn’t discover Linda Lael Miller for myself until last year when I read her Creed Cowyboys series. And her stubborn but well mannered cowboys made me an instant fan of her work.
Big Sky Mountain is the second book in her newest series, Swoon-Worthy Cowboys, and after checking it out, I can say her Western Romances about country living, kind hearted folks, and the good ol’ days are sweet and offer a nice change of pace for me when I’ve been reading too many contemporary and paranormal romances. But I do think that her stories tend to be too much on the cookie cutter side.
Much like it’s predecessor, Big Sky Country, the first book in the Swoon-Worthy Cowboys series, Big Sky Mountain tells the tale of a hot headed cowboy and the woman he means to make his wife. Along the way, they will adopt a couple of stray pets and maybe even some stray kids, then manage to cure their stubbornness with some kisses and a much talked about showdown.
It’s a nice little formula, but if you read the books back to back, as I have done, you might find yourself a bit bored. And even though all the characters were nice enough, I did find myself rolling my eyes in annoyance a few times at them because I didn’t feel like they were entirely believable, especially because Miller tends to make their pets a big part of them. I’m not saying this is a bad thing. I’ve got a dog whom I adore, but I’m not one to get excited about reading that the heroine took her dog for a walk and had a poop bag at the ready.
Still, I think the conflict Hutch and Kendra faced as a couple was a bit more complicated than the one between the couple in the first book, so it was more interesting to discover what the solution would be. And Miller once again built a strong foundation for her series by linking the secondary characters to the main but leaving room for them to have their own coming tale.
Big Sky Mountain was, like all of the books I’ve read by Miller, a heart-warming story with a good old fashion Happily Ever After, even if the the style was a bit too repetitive for my taste.
“I don’t know if I can handle it,” she confessed, very softly. “Seeing Hutch again right away, I mean. I was counting on having some time to adjust to being back—”
Joslyn reached out, took her hand. Squeezed. “You can handle it,” she said with quiet certainty. “Trust yourself, Kendra. Nothing is going to happen between you and Hutch unless you want it to.”
“That’s just the trouble,” Kendra reflected miserably, careful to keep her voice down so Madison wouldn’t overhear. “Wanting a man—wanting Hutch—and knowing better the whole time—well, you know—”
“I do know,” Joslyn said, smiling.
“I have a daughter now,” Kendra reminded her friend. “I want Madison to grow up in Parable, go to the same schools from kindergarten through high school. I want to give her security, a real sense of community, the whole works.
Thanks to BookTrib, I have a new paperback of Big Sky Mountain to giveaway. Open to US/Canada mailing addresses only.
- If you’d like to enter this giveaway, just say ENTER ME in the comments. No need to retype your email address.
- US/Canada mailing addresses only.
- Retweet for an extra entry! Include RT link a separate comment.
- Ends 09/01 at 11:59 pm CST.
- Winners will be selected using random.org.
For more excerpt and more chances to win, follow the rest of the tour here: BookTrib Blog Tour: NYT Bestselling Author Linda Lael Miller’s BIG SKY MOUNTAIN.
Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
July 24th 2012
Type: eBook, ISBN: 978-1-61921-262-6
Genre: Paranormal, Red Hots!!!, Shape-shifters
Buy: Amazon | Goodreads
When a lonely woman has lost all trust, it takes an otherworldly creature to restore her faith in mankind.
River is still recovering from the attack by an ex-boyfriend a year ago that left him dead, and her grievously injured. Damaged emotionally and physically, she is continually tormented by her attacker’s brother, who blames her for it all. Worse than his blame, though, is her own—River believes she was at fault for letting the attack happen.
Fen can sense River’s emotional pain like a beacon in the night. A selkie, he is compelled to help her on her path to healing, both emotionally and physically. Leading her on a journey to claim her own strength, he also helps her draw closer to Leo, the paramedic who saved her life that dark day…and who has never forgotten her.
Product Warnings: This book features an abused woman, a man who wants desperately to help, and a sexy selkie who knows just how to heal what ails them all.
Tradermare here with a guest review. Many thanks to Missie for inviting me to post here! I got hooked on Denise Townsend’s sexy selkies when I read Ocean’s Touch back in the spring, and I was thrilled to receive an ARC for her second release, Ocean’s Surrender.
Ocean’s Surrender is a lovely adult paranormal fairy tale, with a supernatural seal shapeshifter instead of a white knight in shining armor coming to the rescue. This is a feel-good, romantic story of how a young woman comes back to life with the help of the people around her and a little special magic from a prince of the sea.
The place is Eastport, Maine and at the center of the story is River. She’s suffering the after-effects of an abduction and harboring guilt over the manner in which she was freed from her attacker, not to mention dealing with continued aggression from her attacker’s brother. Her emotional wounds are serious and complicated by a past full of responsibility brought about by her family situation. And River isn’t the only one in pain. Her brother Jason also carries an emotional burden from the events of the previous year, too.
All of that emotional pain acts like a beacon calling to the magical selkie, Fen. He’s an empath, drawn to the troubled heroine by the intense quality of her pain. He is compelled to help her “for to do otherwise would be like leaving a wounded animal bleeding in the forest.” Here’s how Fen describes her emotional state:
“Loneliness vied with guilt, which was currently slap-fighting anger, which had sadness in a rough headlock.”
Fen knows he faces the difficult task of convincing River to trust him, as well as getting her to trust Leo, the paramedic in love with her. River has feelings for Leo too, but the scars from her trauma leave her unable to open herself to that relationship. It’s not going to be easy, but in one of the loveliest scenes in the book, Fen uses both his animal and human forms to break through River’s considerable barriers so the healing can begin. Even then, these four characters face additional challenges on the road to recovery.
No offense to the incredibly sexy selkie, Fen, but the real star for me in this book was Jason. His interactions with Fen, River and Leo are so touching and heartwarming. In many respects, he is responsible for River’s healing just as much as Fen.
I loved the characters in this story and my only comment is that the majority of the book is so emotionally charged, the erotic scenes in this book seem mechanical rather than sensually romantic in contrast. I think I would have liked this book just as much without them, although I do love that sex was part of the healing process for River.
Ocean’s Surrender pulled me in during the first chapter, held my interest throughout, and left me with a smile on my face. It’s a perfect summer read, whether you are at the beach or only get to experience the sand and surf vicariously through the pages of this book. Ocean’s Surrender will take you there, and if you are like me, you’ll be wishing for your own sexy selkie.
3.5 out of 5 stars
Many thanks to Tradermare for her wonderful guest review today!
Pushing the Limits
Harlequin Teen, 384 pages
July 31st 2012
Amazon | Goodreads
So wrong for each other…and yet so right.
No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with “freaky” scars on her arms. Even Echo can’t remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal. But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo’s world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common. And with the secrets they both keep, being together is pretty much impossible.Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can push the limits and what she’ll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again.
I’ve tried avoiding reading reviews of Pushing the Limits because I really wanted to make sure my thoughts about it were completely my own. But reviews of this book have been hard to avoid. They’re everywhere! The good news is, from the few reviews I’ve skimmed through, I seem to (more or less) feel the same about this book as a lot of my reading buddies.
Still, I haven’t really been able to think of what to say about Pushing the Limits, which has been a bit baffling for me since I finished the book back in June.
I do know I liked it. But I can’t really decide if I liked it because it reminded me of Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles, which I loved, or because it was a romance about a couple who found their way to each other against the odds.
Either way, Pushing the Limits is an engaging, emotional, and intense story. It mixes gritty and raw emotions with a bit of hope and happiness as the main couple, Noah and Echo, try to figure their shit out – which is not an easy task considering that they both have their share of secrets and scars.
Still, even though I enjoyed Pushing the Limits, I can’t praise it as highly as other readers, mostly because I felt that some part of the interactions between characters felt artificial and some of the conflicts seemed a bit too contrived.
I understand the notion to make sure it’s clear that Noah and Echo haven’t had it easy. Aside from having been essentially abandoned, both of them also have to face situations that most teens their age don’t have to worry about. Noah tries to prepare himself for responsibilities he isn’t really ready for while Echo tries to remember a past her mind can’t handle. That in itself should be enough to tell a great story. But things are never that simple. They also have to deal with dysfunctional families, deaths, opposing social cliques, ex-boyfriends and ex-best friends, and, of course, misunderstandings due to a lack of communication. My preference has always been to not have so much going on because it’s overwhelming and always makes me feel forced sympathy for the characters. The whole time while reading, I kept thinking to myself, enough already! But it’s a personal preference and other readers might really enjoy as much as possible crammed in.
Though, I could have done without the extra melodrama, the underlining story resonated with the optimist in me. My heart raced for Noah and Echo as I waited for their love to solidify. It came slowly, but the build up was great because it took into consideration the healing and mistake mending they had to do as individuals first.
If you love romance, you’ll enjoy this opposites attract love story. I know I did. And, make sure to check out the Pushing the Limits read-along! The prizes for it are fantastic!
A Bad Day for Voodoo
June 5th 2012
Amazon | Goodreads
When your best friend is just a tiny bit psychotic, you should never actually believe him when he says, “Trust me. This is gonna be awesome.”
Of course, you probably wouldn’t believe a voodoo doll could work either. Or that it could cause someone’s leg to blow clean off with one quick prick. But I’ve seen it. It can happen.
And when there’s suddenly a doll of YOU floating around out there—a doll that could be snatched by a Rottweiler and torn to shreds, or a gang of thugs ready to torch it, or any random family of cannibals (really, do you need the danger here spelled out for you?)—well, you know that’s just gonna be a really bad day …
Note to self: Never play with voodoo dolls. Yup, I’ve learned my lesson, thanks to Tyler and the bad juju mess he finds himself in simply by having an idiot for a best friend. All I can say now is, thank goodness all my friends are (for the most part) sane.
I’ve never been a fan of stories in which the narrator speaks directly to the reader. That’s always been a little uncomfortable for me, especially when the narrator is a 16 year old boy who assumes I’m reading his story as a substitute for Shakespeare in hopes that I’ll be able to write a decent book report from his misfortunes. But hanging out with Tyler and co. through their ordeal was too fun to be bothered by the narrative style.
As you’ve probably guessed, A Bad Day for Voodoo is a light, clever, and humors story about a boy who hasn’t had the best luck since failing a History quiz he studied really hard for. Life heads towards a downward spiral for Tyler from there. And though there was an abundance of chaotic and sometimes a little horrifying scenes playing out in the story, Tyler always remained comical in some way, which quickly endured him to me.
Sure, some parts of the story dragged on for longer than necessary and most of the characters were a bit too spoofy for my taste. Still, I really enjoyed the satire and sarcasms used; it made the reading fast and flow-y. A Bad Day for Voodoo may not be the type of story you take seriously, and that’s okay because it’s not meant be one, but it’s still a great read.
Read for The All Male Review Challenge