Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Librarian by Logan Belle

Inspired by the story of the iconic Bettie Page, Logan Belle’s sizzling erotic novel explores the transformation of Regina Finch from shy librarian to the object of one powerful man’s all-consuming desire.

Regina Finch, brilliant and bookish, has worked her way up to her dream job as a librarian at the Main Branch of the New York Public Library. But her discovery of the sordid sexual adventures of a rakish, young billionaire among the hallowed halls and sacred stacks of the library unleashes a confusing blend of repulsion and desire that threatens to consume her. It is only through her introduction to the work of Bettie Page—the world’s most popular ingenue-turned-fetish-model—and Page’s own sexual awakening that Regina can hope to discover her sexual prowess and seduce the man she loves.

Initial Thoughts:
I was given an ARC of this novel through NetGalley. Also, a book about a librarian? Sold.

The Pros:
I absolutely adored that Regina was a librarian. People see librarians as grandmother type figures that are uptight and stuffy. This book blew that stereotype out of the water.

The reverence that the author paid the New York Public Library was amazing. I felt like I was right there in the library with Regina and Sebastian. 

The author touched on the all too real subject of our nation's libraries closing. This is a SERIOUS issue and more attention needs to be paid to it.

I loved the character of Carly. In the beginning of the book I didn't care for her much, but as the book goes on and her relationship with Regina grows, I also grew to love her.

The relationship between Regina and Sebastian was not your typical BDSM relationship that you see in many novels these days. The padlock Tiffany necklace instead of a collar was a nice touch.

The Cons:
While I feel like Regina's character was well developed, I thought Sebastian's was underdeveloped. 

The ending felt cut off and short. It left a lot of questions unanswered.

I didn't like the name Regina. Maybe because I had a nun in school named Sister Regina. Who knows.

The Wrap Up: 4/5
This was not your typical romance novel and I loved it. I will definitely be checking out other books by this author.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Chasing Shadows by S.H. Kolee (Shadow Series #2)

Warning: Spoilers for Seeing Shadows, Book #1 of the Shadow Series, are contained in the description below. Chasing Shadows is a direct continuation of Seeing Shadows.

Caitlin Kile is on the run. Her life was shattered in one terrifying night, and now every decision she makes is a decision between life and death.

The only thing she knows for sure is that she's tired of being scared. She's no longer a victim of shadows; she's their executioner.

But who can she trust? And who can she save? Everybody Caitlin has ever loved is at risk and she'll do anything to protect them, even if it means her own death.

Initial Thoughts:
I was given a free copy of Chasing Shadows by the author for review. You can find my review of Seeing Shadows (Book #1 of the Shadow Series) here. The ending of the first had a big cliffhanger and I couldn't wait to find out what happened in book two.

The Pros:
Talk about suspense! I finished this book in a night because I couldn't stop reading until I knew what happened.

Caitlin is not one of the typical "too stupid to live" heroines. She is determined to do all that she can to keep herself and her loved ones safe. 

Once again, I enjoyed the not so typical paranormal storyline. Vampires and werewolves bore the crap out of me lately.

The twist ending. I was speechless. It totally came out of left field for me!

The Cons:
I didn't like the possessive, angry side of Simon. Not attractive.

I would have liked to see more from the supporting characters like Sarah.

I was confused at the end. I am guessing that my questions will be answered in the third book, like my questions from book 1 were answered in this book.

The Wrap Up: 4/5
A great follow-up to the first book. I can't wait for the third!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Lucky Break by Kelley Vittolo

She’ll gamble her heart on the best friend she left behind… One lucky break is all struggling actress Sidney Williams needs. But when living the LA life becomes too much, she heads back to the small town of Shamrock Falls for the vacation she needs to get her life on track—and immediately runs into Kade Mitchell, her former best friend and the boy next door she’s always regretted leaving behind. Kade, the new owner of Lucky’s—once the most popular bar in Shamrock Falls—is determined to bring the place back to its former glory, and seeing Sidney again is a distraction he doesn’t need. Sure, the chemistry between them is explosive, but Kade can’t let himself fall into a fling with his best friend—not when he knows she’s soon heading back to the glitter of Tinseltown. Now, with the possibility of her first major acting role looming, Sidney must decide if her lucky break is in Hollywood or right where she left it—in Shamrock Falls.

Initial Thoughts:
I was given a free copy of this book from Entangled Publishing through NetGalley. I'm a sucker for hometown stories like this one.

The Pros:
Kade. Oh Kade. So, so sweet. I just wanted to hug that boy. And maybe more... :)

I liked that she wasn't too broken up about her LA boyfriend dumping her. He seemed like a total tool.

Having a support system in place when you return home like Sidney does with Rowan and eventually Kade is invaluable. 

Sidney doesn't look poorly upon her hometown even though she has been exposed to the bright lights of LA. 

It seems like in a lot of books that I read that as soon as someone "makes it big", they think less of their hometown. This book was thankfully not like that.

I loved the flashbacks to their childhood. It really brought together the picture of who these three people were then and now.

The Cons:
It was a bit too simplistic for my tastes, but it had a good story line.

I wish it was a bit longer. I could have used a little more Kade!

I think having Aunt Mae play a larger part in the story would have provided some much needed comic relief.

The nickname "Peaches" made me gag.

The Wrap Up: 3.5/4
A decent, quick romance read. I enjoyed it, but it wasn't something that I couldn't wait to tell my friends about.

Buy a copy of Lucky Break by Kelley Vittolo on Amazon.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

On the Island by Tracey Garvis Graves

When thirty-year-old English teacher Anna Emerson is offered a job tutoring T.J. Callahan at his family's summer rental in the Maldives, she accepts without hesitation; a working vacation on a tropical island trumps the library any day. T.J. Callahan has no desire to leave town, not that anyone asked him. He's almost seventeen and if having cancer wasn't bad enough, now he has to spend his first summer in remission with his family - and a stack of overdue assignments - instead of his friends. Anna and T.J. are en route to join T.J.'s family in the Maldives when the pilot of their seaplane suffers a fatal heart attack and crash-lands in the Indian Ocean. Adrift in shark-infested waters, their life jackets keep them afloat until they make it to the shore of an uninhabited island. Now Anna and T.J. just want to survive and they must work together to obtain water, food, fire, and shelter. Their basic needs might be met but as the days turn to weeks, and then months, the castaways encounter plenty of other obstacles, including violent tropical storms, the many dangers lurking in the sea, and the possibility that T.J.'s cancer could return. As T.J. celebrates yet another birthday on the island, Anna begins to wonder if the biggest challenge of all might be living with a boy who is gradually becoming a man.

Initial Thoughts:

There was so much buzz around this book I just had to read it.

The Pros:

This book was like Castaway with a dash of Mrs. Robinson. In the best possible way.

The description of the island and the characters was flawless. I felt like I was there with Anna and TJ on the island. Also, I think that the author did a phenomenal job of writing about events that really would happen if you were a castaway. Sharks, storms, chickens, you name it, she thought of it.

The growing romance between TJ and Anna was natural, not awkward in any way, shape, or form. It was a beautiful love story. It wasn't creepy, just sweet.

The idea that the cancer could come back at any time haunted me throughout the book. At every page turn, I was like "omg. is the cancer back?".

This book is a self-pub but I found no mistakes and the writing was phenomenal.

The Cons:

I'm not a huge fan of dual first person narratives.

The Wrap Up: 5/5

One of the best books I've ever read. Seriously.

Favorite Quote:
"'What's it like being with her? Is it true what they say about older chicks?'
'She's not that much older.'
'Uh, okay. So anyway, how is it?'
'It's incredible.'
'What's she do?'
'She does everything, Ben.'"

Get your copy of On the Island on Amazon.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

In Your Dreams by Amy Martin

Sixteen-year-old Zara "Zip" McKee lives for three things: basketball, books, and bailing out of tiny Titusville, Illinois, where the junior high and high school are in the same building and everyone's known everyone else since birth. But when Kieran Lanier moves to town and passes out on her desk on his first day at school, Zip's life gets complicated in a way she never dreamed. Kieran has narcolepsy, and although he sometimes struggles to stay awake, he has no trouble capturing Zip's heart and trusting her with his most guarded secret--he sees bits and pieces of the future in his dreams. But just when Zip thinks that maybe she can handle having a boyfriend who sees things before they happen, her budding relationship with Kieran gets a jolt when Kieran's parents reveal that his sleeping disorder is not what it seems and may be putting them in harm's way. And when Zip begins to have unsettling dreams, she must decide if she can live with knowing the future in advance when she's afraid of what might happen.

Initial Thoughts:
I was given a free copy of In Your Dreams by the author to review.

The Pros:
I really thought there was going to be some sort of paranormal twist. I kept waiting for it to pop up, especially with Kieran's condition. But it never happened. And I loved that. It seems all YA books these days have to throw some paranormal action in it, even if it makes no sense.

I liked the mystery/crime component to the novel. Not everyone is who they appear to be.

Kieran and Zip's relationship was every bit of what I remember being like at 17. The realism was a great touch.

I liked how quirky Zip's mom was. Definitely not your typical mom.

The Cons:
I felt like Zip's friends should have been more well defined. We didn't find much out about them, nor were they mentioned in the book very many times. So few, that I struggle to remember their names and I just finished the book last night.

I'm a visual reader. I like to make pictures in my head of how everything looks. Given the descriptions of the characters in the books, I had a hard time visualizing them in my head. A little more detail on looks/personalities would have been good.

I liked an atypical heroine, but it felt like Zip could have cared less how she looked. For some reason, that bothered me. Talking about sweaty gym shorts, etc. kind of turned me off.

I'm not sure how I felt about the narcolepsy. It was a little odd.

The Wrap Up: 4/5
A really decent YA novel that is going to be a series. If you're sick of the vampire/werewolf/etc. theme in today's YA novels, this book is for you.

Favorite Quote:
"I can live without the dreams. The best one already came true anyway."

Get your copy of In Your Dreams on Amazon.