Regina's Reads

Reading is my hobby and my passion. I love to discuss, praise and disagree about books with other people. Basically, dissecting stories and discussing...more Reading is my hobby and my passion. I love to discuss, praise and disagree about books with other people. Basically, dissecting stories and discussing reactions to them is what I love. I read almost everything -- every genre and time period. I just love to read. I team blog with five other really fun women about a variety of genres, including urban fantasy, science fiction, young adult, post-apocalypse, romance and dystopia books at http://badassbookreviews.com/ Come chat with me on pinterest and twitter: http://pinterest.com/badassbookblog/b... http://twitter.com/badassbookblog I love chatting and discussing books and I read everything. I read: literary fiction, classics, urban fantasy, fantasy, science fiction, dystopian, post-apocalyptic/apocalyptic, psychological thrillers, non-fiction occasionally and some young adult books

Giveaway -- Skin Game by Jim Butcher

Badass Book Reviews is giving away a hard cover copy of Skin Game by Jim Butcher. Link is here. I hate to do it, but this giveaway is limited to US addresses.  Or you can enter here ....

 

Enter Giveaway for a Hard Cover Copy of Skin Game (Dresden Files #15) by Jim Butcher (warning, this is the copy that I read, but is still in great condition).  I hate to do it, but this giveaway is limited to US addresses.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Source: http://badassbookreviews.com/new-release-review-and-giveaway-skin-game-dresden-files-15-by-jim-butcher

Easily the Best Book I have Read This Year: Skin Game by Jim Butcher

Skin Game (Dresden Files) - Jim Butcher

Giveaway of this book here.

 

Skin Game is really good. I mean really good. Jim Butcher gets better with every book. It had a little hit of Murphy and a little but of Michael. This is one of the best books I have read this year. Skin Game is brilliant, it is amazing and so worth the long wait (18 months!). The main problem with reading Skin Game is the wait for the sequel (Peace Talks #16), which as of right now has an estimate of an August 2015 release. At this point, while Goodreads has August 2015 listed as the release date, late 2015 or early 2016 sounds more realistic given past release dates.

Harry Dresden returns in Skin Game. He is in the flesh, still has his silly musings but he is more confident and stronger. Skin Game brings back Michael, Molly, the Deanrians, Karen, and many others that I don't want to spoil for readers because the scene of their appearance is somewhat of a surprise. Butcher draws on Dresden's history and includes characters that mean a lot to Dresden and me as a reader. Every page was rewarding, reminiscent and new.

 

Not surprisingly, Skin Game involves moral questions. I say not surprisingly because readers should know that when the Denarians and Michael play a role in the book, Harry's moral compass is pushed and questioned. I love Michael and the balance he brings. But I wonder what his belief system means for the Dresden Files world? Butcher has said that the final 3 books in this series will be an apocalyptic trilogy, following 20-24 books (the number has varied). I think Michael, the angels, the swords will play a role in the end of this series. No matter what is mixed in to the Dresden files, there is good and bad fighting each other. What Butcher does so well though, is that he has plenty of gray areas and so many of his characters believe they are the moral authority but their actions are so hurtful. Murky moral areas make the best stories. But at the same time, when Michael is present I do feel some hinting at an ultimate good and powerful being by Butcher. Anyone else?

 

So if Michael and Karen are in the story, I know readers are wondering -- what happens with the swords? There are no spoilers in this review, but I will say the swords are back. The ultimate wielder is very unexpected (but Deathhollowish in resolution) and the result of the wieldings is surprising.

 

So Skin Game is number 15 in the Dresden Files. Think about that number 15. Every year to 18 months, Jim Butcher turns out a 400+ page novel on pretty much the same characters he has been writing about since 2000. Factor in that Butcher releases decent short stories every year in the Dresden world, writes a fantasy series (Codex Alera -6 books) and is starting a new series (The Cinder Spires -- August 2014) Sounds like a recipe for disaster or boredom. Except, that it isn't. Jim Butcher is somehow able to continuously write a book set in the same world, which advances the story line, progresses the characters, stays consistent with the world he constructed over a decade ago and is still brilliantly interesting. I need to say this at least once in this review: Jim Butcher you are amazing (and I think I love you?). How does an author do this? Thinking about series that have existed this length in time and in page count, there are few that maintain consistency, interest and growth.

 

Who would like this book? Harry Dresden fans will not be disappointed and should read this immediately. New readers who want to start the series (fans of fantasy books and urban fantasy books should read this series) should start at the beginningish, not here. Note: the television series will not prep readers for the series at all. There are very little consistent storyline cross overs. So don't skip just because you watched the mediocre one season only series. This is hard. But I will just say it and most of know it is true, books 1 and 2 are not great. I am not sure what happened, author growth? A better editor? But books 1 and 2 in the Dresden Files do not represent the series at all. There are references to the events in these books throughout the series, but they are not important to read for the story arc. I worry that when readers start 1 and 2, they may never come back. It is easy for someone to say, keep with it! It gets better! But it is harder for the reader to accept that the writing and story doesn't actually represent where the series goes. So this is what I recommend for readers who want to dive in to Harry Dresden: Start with Grave Peril #3. Books 3 and 4 represent a strong shift in how Butcher tells his stories. They stories are more complex, the overall story arc begins and there is character growth. Books 3 and 4 are decent; book 5 is where the brilliance begins and continues on for the next 10 books. Once you are hooked, you can go back and read 1 and 2; they are both shorter and quicker reads and if you are hooked, reading these won't discourage you. Or listen to 1 and 2 in audio just to get through them.

 

That brings me to my last point. Dresden Files make excellent re-reads. I typically re-read by listening to the audio. I love the narration; my co-blogger DG is not a fan of the audio version, but if you are tempted I say give it a try. I am guessing you will enjoy the listen.

 

Jim Butcher is easily in at the top of my favorite fun reading list. I plan to use this long wait for Peace Talks (Dresden Files #16) to read his Codex Alera series. What else can an addict do for comfort? (Suggestions welcome ....)

Source: http://badassbookreviews.com/new-release-review-and-giveaway-skin-game-dresden-files-15-by-jim-butcher

Sweet Steamy Romance: Live by Mary Ann Rivers

Live - Mary Ann Rivers

I am a fan of Mary Ann Rivers, we reviewed her novella The Story Guy.  So when I learned she had a new novel and a new series out I was thrilled.  Mary Ann Rivers writes witty, clever and sweet romances.   She captures real life so well and uniquely. Her new book did not disappoint me.  Live is different than romance books I have read recently, but very close to what Mary Ann Rivers did in The Story Guy.  For me, her writing style feels different because of the style of writing and the focus of the story. The style of writing is very full and detailed but that doesn’t alone describe what I mean.

“He would have like to play it cool, to lean back on the stoop and raise an eyebrow, cross his feet at the ankles.  Instead, he was grinning like a child, stumbling off the last step in his eagerness to get to her.”

The text is beautiful.  Every sentence is intentionally crafted.  Every sentence is emotional.  That is the other difference about Live for me, the story and the romance is centered on the emotional growth of the two main characters.

“He laughed, and the way she lit up made him realize that his laugh was giving her something she wanted.”

The story is told through alternating points of view between the main male and female characters.  First we have Destiny or Des.  She is without a job, her sister is ill, her last living parent recently passed away and she is trying to hold her siblings together.  Then we have Hefin.  He is temporarily working in the US, recovering from a failed marriage and planning to move back to Wales.  Both are hurting and trying to figure out their lives and how they fit into the world.  Neither is physically perfect, in fact Hefin is described as skinny.  I don’t think I have read a romance where the male character, while strong and attractive to the female love interest, is skinny.  These differences in description and the difficult point in their lives that we find these characters make this story unique.  So many times, the male romantic lead is over powering, dominant and wildly successful but that is not Hefin.  Hefin can’t carry Destiny off to a perfect life because he doesn’t have those resources.  Mary Ann Rivers gives her readers two characters that are unique to romance literature but realistic.

 

While I was reading this book, in my head I kept pronouncing the title is “Liiive” (lɪv) (like, “Live from New York!”) but at the end I realized it is “Live” (short vowel sound) (like, Live your life to the fullest).  This is significant, because how the name is pronounced is important to the novel.  The book is about living life, not holding yourself back because of fear or emotional pain.  It is about getting up when you have been knocked down, even when you don’t have anyone to help you get back up again.

I just started thinking about what would happen if I really started going after what I wanted instead of being afraid I didn’t want the right thing, or that I’d lose what it was I wanted or thought I wanted, or of messin’ up.

Live is beautifully written, well done and I just fell in love with the characters.  The story includes a beautifully done back story that really makes the characters feel like they belong in a community.

“She was accustomed to small houses, big families, front stoops, peering neighbors, and older brother and sister who took over conversations, took over everything, and a younger brother who lived in her shadow.”

I love romances that have the characters interacting in a larger world; it gives the story context and richness.  Live is like that.  Mary Ann Rivers wrote about people I know or people I can imagine living and working.

 

I agree with some reviewers that Live is wordy but personally I loved that. There are many thoughtful inner monologues.  Inner monologues are risky, depending on the author these can really fail — but in my opinion they did not fail in Live.  This is where the readers get to know Hefin and Destiny.  This is where we see their pain, their love — and how they grow as people.  Oh yeah, importantly Live is a very sweet romance with steamy sex scenes.

 

The author set the book up to be a series and the sequel centers on Destiny’s brother – I am looking forward to it.

Source: http://badassbookreviews.com/early-review-live-burnside-2-by-mary-ann-rivers

Dark Duets by Christopher Golden: A Horror Anthology

Dark Duets: All-New Tales of Horror and Dark Fantasy - Christopher Golden

Anthologies can be hit or miss for me. Often, they seem to be positioned as a way to introduce readers to series and authors. Now this is just my opinion, but too many times short stories aren’t as engaging and just don’t pull me in like a novel. The characters may not be as well introduced because they exist in a series or novel already. There are exceptions of course. For example, Alice Munro, Patricia Briggs and Jim Butcher write beautifully executed short stories. But honestly, too often there are so many authors in an anthology that I don’t care about with only one or two authors I do care about. Oh and many times, I feel forced to read the short story if it takes place between a series, because I worry that I will miss out on a crucial series development if I miss reading. What struck me about Dark Duets is that the stories can be read as standalones. But I should say upfront, I did not read all the stories. I read the stories by authors I love. The theme for each story in Dark Duets is that two or three authors team up to write a horror story collaboratively. Two out of the three I read were 5 star reads, the third below average. The beauty of the three stories I read is that no one author’s style shows through but it reads as the best of each author.

Dark Witness - 5 stars by Charlaine Harris and Rachel Caine
I feel like every time I read something new by Charlaine Harris I am hoping that what I used to love about her is evident in the text and there is none of what I came to strongly dislike toward the end of the Sookie series. Well BAM. I loved this story. This story is not obviously written by either Caine or Harris. I couldn’t recognize either authors’ style. It is spooky and well developed and it begins with a nightmare. There is a hint at the coming apocalypse and it is not romantic. The characters are there to allow the story to unfold, rather than the story being about the characters. This is just a darned good spooky tale.

T. Rhymer – 5 stars by Gregory Frost and Jonathan Maberry
So I read this story because I love Maberry’s Rot and Ruin series. I know nothing of Gregory Frost (but now I will seek out books by him). Again, this story is really good and very well done. Maberry’s writing style was not obvious in the story, the authors blended so well together. This story takes what we usually read about elves, the fae, and hell – - and turns it on its head. T. Rhymer is a character in the story and I would love to read more of him. There is non stop action and some interesting surprises. I could not put this one down.

Sisters Before Misters - 2.5 Stars by Sarah Rees Brennan, Cassandra Clare, and Holly Black
Love the title and I love the line-up of authors that contributed to this story. Ultimately, Sisters Before Misters was just okay. I didn’t think it was funny – -I saw what the authors were trying to do but for me it just didn’t work. I think it is worth reading if you have the anthology as it is a quick read. But if you are looking to read it because it is authored by Holly Black or Cassandra Clare, then you should know it doesn’t read like one of their novels.


To read more of this review or others like it check out Badass Book Reviews.

Source: http://badassbookreviews.com/double-feature-reviewanthology-maddness-dark-duets-by-christopher-golden-and-dangerous-women-by-george-r-r-martin

Dangerous Women by George R. R. Martin -- a fantastic anthology

Dangerous Women - Jim Butcher, George R.R. Martin, Gardner R. Dozois, Diana Gabaldon

Anthologies can be hit or miss for me. Often, they seem to be positioned as a way to introduce readers to series and authors. Now this is just my opinion, but too many times short stories aren’t as engaging and just don’t pull me in like a novel. The characters may not be as well introduced because they exist in a series or novel already. There are exceptions of course. For example, Alice Munro, Patricia Briggs and Jim Butcher write beautifully executed short stories. But honestly, too often there are so many authors in an anthology that I don’t care about with only one or two authors I do care about. Oh and many times, I feel forced to read the short story if it takes place between a series, because I worry that I will miss out on a crucial series development if I miss reading. What struck me about Dark Duets is that the stories can be read as standalones. But I should say upfront, I did not read all the stories. I read the stories by authors I love. The theme for each story in Dark Duets is that two or three authors team up to write a horror story collaboratively. Two out of the three I read were 5 star reads, the third below average. The beauty of the three stories I read is that no one author’s style shows through but it reads as the best of each author.

Dark Witness - 5 stars by Charlaine Harris and Rachel Caine
I feel like every time I read something new by Charlaine Harris I am hoping that what I used to love about her is evident in the text and there is none of what I came to strongly dislike toward the end of the Sookie series. Well BAM. I loved this story. This story is not obviously written by either Caine or Harris. I couldn’t recognize either authors’ style. It is spooky and well developed and it begins with a nightmare. There is a hint at the coming apocalypse and it is not romantic. The characters are there to allow the story to unfold, rather than the story being about the characters. This is just a darned good spooky tale.

T. Rhymer – 5 stars by Gregory Frost and Jonathan Maberry
So I read this story because I love Maberry’s Rot and Ruin series. I know nothing of Gregory Frost (but now I will seek out books by him). Again, this story is really good and very well done. Maberry’s writing style was not obvious in the story, the authors blended so well together. This story takes what we usually read about elves, the fae, and hell – - and turns it on its head. T. Rhymer is a character in the story and I would love to read more of him. There is non stop action and some interesting surprises. I could not put this one down.

Sisters Before Misters - 2.5 Stars by Sarah Rees Brennan, Cassandra Clare, and Holly Black
Love the title and I love the line-up of authors that contributed to this story. Ultimately, Sisters Before Misters was just okay. I didn’t think it was funny – -I saw what the authors were trying to do but for me it just didn’t work. I think it is worth reading if you have the anthology as it is a quick read. But if you are looking to read it because it is authored by Holly Black or Cassandra Clare, then you should know it doesn’t read like one of their novels.


To read more of this review or others like it check out Badass Book Reviews.

Source: http://badassbookreviews.com/double-feature-reviewanthology-maddness-dark-duets-by-christopher-golden-and-dangerous-women-by-george-r-r-martin

Initial Thoughts on a Beautiful romance!

Live - Mary Ann Rivers

full review to come soon. My initial thoughts are that I loved this book. It is a different kind of romance in the style of writing and the focus of the story is both the romance and the growth of the characters. I kept pronouncing the title is "Liiive" (lɪv) but at the end I realized it is "Live" (short vowel sound). Live is beautifully written, well done and I just fell in love with the characters. There is a beautifully done back story that really makes the characters feel like people I know. I agree with some reviewers that Live is wordy but personally I loved that. There are many thoughtful inner monologues and depending on the author these can really fail -- but in my opinion they did not fail in Live. Oh, and there is a sweet romance with steamy sex scenes. Yes these are my initial thoughts, more to come.

Offbeat Hero and Heroine in Romantic Suspense Novel: Off the Edge by Carolyn Crane (Associates #2)

Off the Edge - Carolyn Crane

Off the Edge is the second in the Associates, a romantic suspense series. While I am a fan of Suzanne Brockman’s Troubleshooter series, I tend not to be a fan generally of romantic suspense. For awhile, I thought I might be into romantic suspense but then I realized it was only the Troubleshooters that I loved. So Off the Edge is not in my typical genre. In many romantic suspense novels I tried, I just couldn’t buy into the caper or the suspense part and (I hesitate to say this) in the romantic suspense genre the characters seem to be less well developed – the stories focus more on an unbelievable action story and steam. Please forgive me if I am trampling all over your preferred genre and I admit I have only tried a few non-Troubleshooters romantic suspense books. (So if you have some romantic suspense you think I should try with fantastically developed characters ala Suzanne Brockmann, let me know!) But if an author gives me a meaty well-written character, that is not perfect nor a stereotype then I will likely enjoy the book — and that is what Off the Edge delivers. Add in to the truly beautiful writing,

“Maybe she could trust him. The idea of trusting him felt like a flower in her heart.”



“You saw a lot of this mix of color and concrete grubbiness in Bangkok. Decrepitude and wealth at vivid angles with each other, like shards from different mirrors.”



The setting is Bangkok and the story takes place almost entirely inside of a hotel where the heroine is living and has been living for several years. The heroine, Laney, is on the run from an abusive scary husband and lives in the hotel where she performs every night. She sings country style songs that she wrote herself and which have immense emotional meaning to her. The hero, Macmillan, is a linguist and words are his super power. He works for an agency and the skill he offers his employer, rooted in his linguist background, is his ability to recognize voice patterns and identify people by those patterns. Macmillan’s love for words and speech patterns first attracts him to Laney – he becomes interested in the songs she sings (which she wrote). Once the two meet, there is some cute word play, which was pretty unexpected.

“You bleeding?” “No,” he said. “I’ve shifted to the coagulation and infection stage. I’m running them concurrently.”



“Well, thank you, Professor Devilwell, PhD in asshole arrogance.”



And of course the sparks fly between the two. Macmillan is not the perfect spy-hero. When we meet him he is tired and over the course of the book he acknowledges that certain villains could take him because he is tired and has been physically beat up. But his focus is on speech and fighting the bad guys with his knowledge and that is where the battle for him takes place. It was fun to watch.

Laney is definitely not the perfect heroine (for me this is part of the appeal). She can’t fight and she repeatedly makes bad choices. But the choices make sense in the story itself and that is what I loved. She is caught in an impossible situation and she wants to believe that the people who are her friends really do care for her. Throughout the story, Macmillan questions Laney’s choices and makes fun of her attempts at hiding from her husband and I loved that!

“You don’t wait until it so obvious that a man in a cell in the basement of a tropical hotel has to point it out to you. No, you fly.”



“There’s no such thing as a Disney criminal, Laney.”



The author sets up a situation where yeah, Laney isn’t the perfect on the run heroine and then has the other characters call her out on it. Perfect. For me, Carolyn Crane deliberate wrote Laney’s choices as the critique of her choices was part of the story line. So for me that worked. I loved Laney and I got her.

In the end, Off the Edge is funny, sweet, steamy and enjoyable. It is a quick action packed read. Fans of Carolyn Crane will most certainly enjoy this book. Readers who enjoy characters who don’t fit stereotypical hero/heroine molds and like word play banter will enjoy Off the Edge.

To more of this review and others like it check out Badass Book Reviews

Source: http://badassbookreviews.com/early-review-off-the-edge-associates-2-by-carolyn-crane

Fun, Fast and Completely Unique: Fantasy and SF rolled into one - -Clean Sweep by Ilona Andrews

Clean Sweep - Ilona Andrews

There are many great authors writing in the urban fiction and fantasy realm. Great in terms of writing and world building and great in the way the authors interact with fans. But few can compare with the writing team that makes up Ilona Andrews. Ilona Andrews repeatedly publishes completely entertaining novels. I never hesitate to buy an Ilona Andrews book because I know that I will be happy with what I get. It doesn’t stop there, these authors continue to give their readers “snippets”, short stories and varying points of view from characters that don’t get their points of view told in the published books. And they do this for free — putting it on their blog and making these stories available. So always creating and always giving, Ilona Andrews wrote a serialized story and put this on their website for their readers to read — this is where Clean Sweep originated. I can’t keep up with a serial, my online time is sporadic because of a crazy work schedule and lots of kids — so I didn’t read it while it was free on their blog. I loved that it was there, but didn’t read it. I was thrilled when I found out the serialized story became a novel. Yes! In the transition of the serialized online story to novel, there was some editing and tweaking and incorporating artwork. Ilona Andrews had an artist bring the characters to picture. The pictures appear throughout the story and personally, I loved them. The pictures are beautiful, vivid and add a new element to the story that I wasn’t expecting.

 

So clearly, I jumped at the chance to read this story — urban (suburban?) sci-fi fantasy: aliens, other worlds, buildings that are sentient, witches, werewolves, vampires and our modern world (costco, barbecue and the like) — heck yeah! Something has to be said about series reading — it can be sticky starting a new fantasy based series. Some authors dump the world on readers at the beginning of the story and some authors don’t adequately explain the world. This is not an issue in Clean Sweep. The world building is sharply done but subtly fed to the readers. There is no confusion trying to figure things out but there is also no info dumping. The world is crystal sharp and so real. Another thing about series reading, often — too often — series just go on and on and rather than keeping the momentum and excitement the books decline in fun and quality. This is not an issue with any Ilona Andrews book; for example, the Kate Daniels series gets better with every single Kate Daniels story.

 

Clean Sweep is told from the point of view of Dina, an “inn keeper” who runs what appears to be a bed and breakfast to common civilians but really is an intergalactic way-station for travelers. The house and Dina have magic; magic that is fun to watch Dina use. But like many of Andrews’ books, there are limits to the magic and limits to the power. I love that. I love when things aren’t easy for the characters. Characters are at their best when they get roughed up by life and need to figure things out.

Clean Sweep introduces two male protagonists who both are romantically interested in Dina. But to be clear, this is not a romance and the main focus of the story is not romance; having written that, there is a dabbling of sexual tension, which is fun. There is a tiny mystery, action and funny encounters. Fans of Ilona Andrews will most definitely enjoy this book. Readers who haven’t yet tried Andrews and wonder what her books are like, well this book is a good place to start but ultimately you have to end up reading the Kate Daniels series. If you like strong heroines, a cross over of fantasy in the real world but done with a unique take, then you will like Clean Sweep. It is a light and fast read.

 

So what comes next? Ilona Andrews is releasing a sequel in early 2014. So far this book is not titled and does not have a solid release date — but I cannot wait.

 

To read more of this review and others like it check out Badass Book Reviews.

Source: http://badassbookreviews.com/review-clean-sweep-innkeep-chronicles-1-by-ilona-andrews

Emotionally Moving and Funny: Roomies by Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando

Roomies - Sara Zarr, Tara Altebrando

4.5 stars. I went into Roomies expecting a great read and I was not disappointed. Sara Zarr co-authors Roomies along with Tara Altebrando. Zarr is one of my most favorite authors. Her books are so genuine and real, it is as if she is providing the reader with a window into the characters' lives. The voice she gives her characters is just so tangible. Roomies is not a light and funny read. While it is young adult and is centered on the beginning of an exciting time for two young girls it deals with heavy topics: saying good-bye to parents, moving on, leaving friends, first sexual encounter, economic struggles and family tension.

 

Roomies is told through two alternating point of views: EB and Lauren. Each girl lives on the opposite coast from each other. EB lives in New Jersey and Lauren lives in San Francisco, both are headed to Berkeley in the fall and have been assigned as roommates. Their communications and relationship is told through email exchanges and sometimes text messages. Their daily lives is told through the first person point of view.

 

The last summer before college. Each girl struggles with her next step in life -- to be independent, to leave her parents' house and to never again be a child. Some of this can be heartbreaking, I could not help but see it through the eyes of the parents (my own daughter goes off to college in 4 years).

 

Friendships change, people move on, keep an open mind. These are the messages I took away from Roomies. So often we communicate mainly or maybe even only through electronic means -- either with family, friends nearby or people we never met. But so much cannot be conveyed through a text or an email, while sometimes people say so much more through email or text that they never would have said in real life. I liked how Roomies danced around this issue, because whatever our take -- do you mourn the loss of letters in the mail? -- text and email or electronic communications is how people communicate now.

 

Roomies is a book that made me remember and made me cry.

PM Your Friends on BookLikes - Personal Messages Are On

Reblogged from BookLikes:

 

Stay in touch with your friends, favorite authors and other bloggers on BookLikes. Now you can PM each other and send private notes.

 

All you have to do is to select your addressee, write message and send. It all can be done on Message Page where you can search through a list of your BookLikes friends - write username or blog title. To reset addressee click New Message and enter different username or blog name of your friend on BookLikes.

 

To go to PM Page, click envelope icon on the upper navigation bar. 

 

 

Each of you has three options from whom you would like to receive messages

   - from your followings only,

   - from your followers only,

   - from your followings and followers.

 

Personal Messages settings are available on PM Page where you can select the option that fits you, look through your messages history and create new ones. You can also manage your messages notification. 

 

More improvements and features for PMs are in progress. 

 

Tips

To gain new readers and followings write and update your blog and bookshelf regularly. Find new interesting blogs on Explore page, select your favorite literary genre and follow new book blogs. If you're an author stay in touch with your new readers, you can also set up giveaways and set up discussion rooms.

 

P.S. If you're an author on BookLikes and we didn't get in touch with you yet, let us know at contact@booklikes.com. We have some goodies for you :-)

New Release Review: The Devil's Reprise

Reblogged from AH@BadassBookReviews:
The Devil's Reprise - Karina Halle

Regina and I discuss this book on Badass Book Reviews.

 

It's 1975. Sex, drugs, rock and roll, and general debauchery follow Sage Knightly who is now on a solo tour in Europe. The Devil's Reprise picks up right where The Devil's Metal left off and it hits the ground running.

 

This is a fast paced book about life in the fast lane. All the blood, sweat, and tears that go into organizing and pulling off a rock and roll tour and the deals and sacrifices that must be made - all in a backdrop of the chaos that is the band on tour. In true Karina Halle fashion, nothing is as it seems - there is an element of the supernatural to this book, and whoa, is it ever creepy.

 

Sage Knightly is now on his own. He's managed to break off a deal he made earlier in his life but he is still in a self-destruct mode. He misses Dawn terribly, but can't reconcile the fact that he could love someone.

 

Meanwhile, Dawn is stateside and missing Sage. Things are looking up for Dawn. Her article on the band Hybrid was a resounding success and her career prospects are looking good. Her father has stopped drinking and her brother has been miraculously cured of his Tourette's. Dawn is invited back to chronicle Sage's first solo tour.

 

Strange things begin to happen and Dawn notices a few scary things. In Europe, even stranger and creepier things begin to happen. Now, I'm a real wimp when it comes to horror books. I do not intentionally pick them up, however, Ms. Halle has a way of writing horror that kept me turning the pages and reading on and on.

 

Oh, and let me just add - there are some very hot sexy scenes in this book.

 

I enjoyed this series immensely and I am sad that it's over. Luckily, there are more books by this author that I have yet to read. I'm looking forward to catching up on those. If you have not yet experienced the awesomeness of Karina Halle yet, the first book in her Experiment in Terror series Dark House is available for free on Kobo, Amazon, and Smashwords. Bet you can't just read one book!

 

Thank you to NetGalley and Diversion Books for a review copy of this book.

Source: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/755114914

You Need to Read Meg Maguire/Review of Driving Her Wild by Meg Maguire

Driving Her Wild - Meg  Maguire

Why aren't more readers chasing after Meg Maguire's (a/k/a Cara Mckenna) books? The books are funny, witty, sexy and real.  Her books make me feel happy and I have a hard time not gulping them down.  I feel as if Meg is writing for me.  As if we met, she asked what I wanted in a book and shook my list and made it better, added in things she knew I wanted or would love in a book. I do tend to prefer books written under her other pen name of Cara McKenna, but the Maguire books are fun as well.  This book is the third in the Wilinksi series.  The first book was okay -- it was fun, but just okay.  The second book hit it right for me and this book, the third -- improves on the first two. Readers need to read more of Meg Maguire/Cara Mckenna.

 

Romance novels aren't really my thing but then I do enjoy certain romance novels.  I am not looking for the perfect sweet romance or the unattainable Adonis of a man with wealth coming together for an explosion of passion, marriage and a baby.  I like romances that are real, have some struggle, some working out to do and involve real people who make real life type decisions.  Romance outside of the typical romance box -- that is what gets me. Some authors do this really well, Cara McKenna, Suzanne Brockmann, Megan Hart, Ellen O'Connell, Karina Halle, Jordan Castillo Price, Tiffanie DeBartolo, Diana Gabaldon.  Each of those authors write really different types of books, but they never fail to write intensely character driven novels; characters who make bad choices or who have less than perfect lives. This is what I want to read and more of it please.

 

Driving Her Wild centers on a female fighter, Steph, who is retiring and trying to move on to a more stable life. Steph grew up poor and working class.  Her brothers are working class, the men she fought on the circuit are working class and she wants to move on.  Steph is convinced that her failing in relationships has been to go for the type of men she grew up around and knows well -- working class guys, but the problem is those are the type of men she clicks with:

 

"I just can't resist a man with capable hands and steel-toed boots."

 

"Damn, she knew that sex, too.  Knew the exciting weight of a fun, fearless, sexy guy like Patrick tumbling across tangled covers with her.  She knew that sex, punctuated with smiles and swears and dares and laughter.  With playful, whapping pillows and the sort of deep resonant orgasms that only came when you felt free and happy with a guy, partners in that awesome silliness."

 

But Steph is convinced that if she is going to move on to stability in life and not struggle day to day, she needs to go for a white collar professional guy:

 

"I don't want to be poor."

 

Driving Her Wild is not a complex analysis of social economic structure but it is nice to see some struggles going on.  The guy that catches Steph's eye and heart is fighting his way out of debt.  Is it superficial for Steph to be so focused on money and social strata?  Driving Her Wild pokes at these issues in a way that I found really satisfying. But it is still a book written for escape and entertainment and the book will entertain. There is witty sexy banter that Maguire is so good at, there are sexy steamy scenes,

 

"She could hear his excitement in the pitch of his breath and the rumble of his low, soft moans.  Those sounds fit his body, that deep baritone echoing through his frame."

 

Meg Maguire needs more exposure; if you read this book, let me know what you think. And make sure your ebook is fully charged before you dive in, this is a book that you don't want to lose a charge during the middle of certain scenes -- frustrating! 

 

To read this review and more like it check out Badass Book Reviews.

 

Murder, Some Sex and Great Characters: Shattered Bond by Sophie Littlefield

Shattered Bond (Joe Bashir #2) - Sophie Littlefield

Joe Bashir is a new detective crime thriller series by one of my favorite authors. Had it not been for Sophie Littlefield authoring this series, I might not have picked it up -- detective mysteries are not my go-to genre. So glad I follow Sophie's books! This series is yes a detective series, but while the murder mysteries are complex and tight the true action is character driven.

 

The story in each novel centers on a police detective, Joe Bashir. Readers of Littlefield's other books know how Sophie carefully develops her characters, leading readers slowly and deeply into the characters' psyche. And this is what Littlefield does with Joe Bashir. Blood Bond introduces Joe Bashir to the readers, we meet his family and the tension that Joe maintains between maintaining his cultural identity v. feeling fully mainstreamed in US life. Shattered Bond continues that exploration of Joe's life and mixes in a romantic interest. But there are layers - Joe's parents, Joe's work colleagues, Joe's love interest and the targets and witnesses to the crime. Readers get to meet these characters and see the differences in Joe's interactions with all of them.

 

The mystery, which I guess I should discuss since this is a mystery novel -- is good and twisty. There is a killing of a young high school girl and the suspects are various parents, friends and an ex-boyfriend. Added in to the mix is that some of these girls are from extremely well off homes and several live surprisingly mysterious lives.

 

So who would like this series? Did you like Sophie Littlefield's Aftertime series? And did you like what she did with the characters and their interactions with each other? Then yeah, you would like this series. Readers who liked Cuckoo's Calling would like this book -- although Shattered Bond is shorter and less complex than Cuckoo's Calling. Are you a fan of Psycop, and you like how JCP develops her characters? Then you would enjoy this series.

How to Run with a Naked Werewolf: Sweet Romance, Sexual Tension and Laughs

How to Run with a Naked Werewolf  - Molly Harper

I think I say this every time I read a Molly Harper book. Molly Harper is an easy go-to read for me, one that I know will make me laugh, I know the path and trajectory of the novel and characters but it still keeps me smiling. How to Run with a Naked Werewolf is no exception. This is a quick, easy and fun read. There are no big surprises in storyline, just a good and slow building of sexual tension and romance, funny and sarcastic flirting, and the quirky atmosphere of a Molly Harper storyline.

“In my time with the valley pack, I’d met werehorses, were-bears, and even a tragically less cool wereskunk named Harold.”



“I shook off the Norman Bates flashbacks and told myself it was just like any of the other crappy indigent motels I’d stayed at in any number of cities, and I hadn’t been stabbed in the shower yet. There was that one time a crazy lady kicked down my door and accused me of sleeping with her husband, but it turned out she’d meant to break into the room across the hall.”



“I sprang up from the floor and jumped on her back to slow her down, but man, she was fast on those big plastic heels. “Get off me!” she shouted as I dragged her backwards. “No!” I said. “ Give us the ring.” OK, now I definitely felt like Gollum.”

Run with a Naked Werewolf deals with a heavier story line than many of Harper’s books. The heroine is on the run from an abusive ex-husband and she is dealing with the emotional trauma of having suffered for years with him. Harper deals with this topic fairly, but still manages to keep the story upbeat and funny.

“So, with the portable wireless hot spot I persuaded him to buy from the cellphone store, I was able to (a) help with Internet research and (b) avoid the Alaskan version of hipsters who frequented Internet cafes.”


If you haven’t listened to the audio book version of Molly Harper’s books, I would suggest to go out and start – start with this series in fact. Having listened to the majority of her books and read only a few, I think Harper’s books were meant to be performed. They are laugh out loud – ugly snorts – funny. The humor carries over in the books, but the delivery is just better when narrated. 

The first book in this series is the strongest, it is hard to top Mo and Coop’s story (and they appear briefly in this book). But How to Run is a decent book, good fun and a solid 3.5 stars.

Devil's Metal, Sex, Drugs, Heavy Metal and Demons

The Devil's Metal  - Karina Halle

Such a fun and engrossing book! Also freaky and scary, this book is pure entertainment. What is it about Karina Halle that everything she writes should be turned into a movie? Devil’s Metal needs to be a movie. It is the type of story which would be so fun to watch – with popcorn, chocolate and a margarita.

 

I have heard comparisons between Devil’s Metal and Almost Famous, and the similarities are definitely there. A journalist tours with a metal band in the 1970s, lots of sex, groupies, drugs and drama. Yeah, that is the fun stuff. But the similarities end there. Devil’s Metal is told from the first person point of view a young female college student wanna-be music reviewer, Dawn aka Rusty, who is desperate to write for CREAM magazine. The books starts with Dawn at home, before she is on tour. We see her with her family, her friend and we learn of her problems and her hopes. Basically good set-up stuff for the book is laid out for the readers.

 

Quickly into the story, Dawn is on tour with a heavy metal 1970s band that is on the verge of making it big and writing for CREAM. Dawn is not clear why she has been chosen for the gig of her dreams and neither is the band. Devil’s Metal is non-stop drama and escalation. Every scene pushes the storyline to further intensity. There is delicious sexual tension, name dropping of big time metal 1970s stars, party scenes, tension, philosophizing about music, and great discussions on freedom of sexual choices for women – all told in a sexy, fun and compelling way. I listened to the audio version of Devil’s Metal and could not turn it off. Karina Halle has created another great world with a great storyline.

 

Dark magic, demons, murder, cross country travels in a tour bus, rock star excess and sex – that is Devil’s Metal. Who would like this story? Fans of Karina Halle’s other stories would definitely enjoy Devil’s Metal. Fans of spooky tales told in the first person point of view and who are okay with scenes involving heavy drinking, sex and rock and roll will also like this book. Now I am off to read the sequel Devil’s Reprise.

Review of Horde (Razlorland Trilogy #3) by Ann Aguirre

Horde - Ann Aguirre

Horde is the ending of the Razorland trilogy. It is satisfying and it is a good ending. I have to say that the series started lukewarm for me; I was interested but not passionate about it. Elements about [book:Enclave|7137327] bothered me, which made me ambivalent about continuing. Something about the series made me want to keep going and I am glad that I did.

 

Horde is almost non stop action -- but told from Deuce's inner monologue. Readers familiar with Ann Aguirre's writing know that she tells her stories through inner monologues. In some of her series it works (and in others it does not) -- and it works in this series. It works here because Deuce is a good character and it is not unpleasant to be in her head. I do get tired of the inner monologue though, after awhile. I tend to prefer conversations and action to push the story ahead rather than thoughts and impressions from the main character. But still, it is well done in Horde.

 

This book is satisfying with some interesting developments. There are painful parts to this story; and readers have to say good-bye to some key characters. My one criticism of Horde the solving of problems through a last minute amazing coincidence. There are many just in the nick of times in Horde. One of the just in the nick of time storylines but also a wrap up and resolution of problems earlier in the series was really frustrating to me. I am not going to spoil it for readers but really?  

Killing off Stalker is how he is punished for his past crimes? And killing him off in defense of Teagan was just a bit much.  

(show spoiler)

It was just a little heavy handed. But in the end, it is still a very enjoyable story. I was reading it for entertainment and can let these issues go.

 

Aguirre does a great job at writing young love and its evolution in a relationship -- very sweet. I read this book for the characters and the action but was surprised to really enjoy where the romance Deuce was involved in went. I gotta say this is just a really nice story from start to finish. It is satisfying to see the characters change and evolve, difficult issues are finally dealt with in Horde and the ending is told in the manner of old style fantasy books.

 

Instead of reading the Razorland Trilogy I listened. The audio for this book and this series is really well done but it took me a few hours to get used to the narrator while listening to the first book. She is extremely young sounding, but then the protagonist for this series is young.

 

I have had problems with this series but I have also really enjoyed it. Hands down Horde is the best of the series. Storylines are wrapped up and there is good character development. If you have started this trilogy, then it is worth continuing.

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