Monday, April 30, 2012

Still Missing

Still Missing by Chevy Stevens

Still Missing

On the day she was abducted, Annie O’Sullivan, a 32-year-old realtor, had three goals—sell a house, forget about a recent argument with her mother, and be on time for dinner with her ever-patient boyfriend. The open house is slow, but when her last visitor pulls up in a van as she's about to leave, Annie thinks it just might be her lucky day after all.

Reading Still Missing was like driving by a really bad car accident.  Even though it's horrible and you want to cover your eyes you can't help but stare. 

Annie O'Sullivan is a realtor that is abducted from an open house.  This book is her story as told during sessions with her psychiatrist after her escape.  She's drugged, thrown in the back of a van and driven to a remote cabin in the middle of who-knows-where.  Her abductor, whom she calls The Freak believes that he has saved her from her life.  He brings her to his home, which he has specially built just for her, complete with padlocks on the doors, drawers and even the refrigerator.  Her new life is a series of schedules.  Everything from eating, bathing, and even going to the bathroom are done only on his schedule.  For nearly a year Annie is held captive, rarely even getting to go outside.

This book is an outstanding debut novel.  It kept me riveted and on the edge of my seat.  As appalling as the story is, it is amazingly written.  I felt Annie's pain.  I felt her loathing of The Freak; I hated him for her.  And through all of the heartbreak I wanted to see Annie survive, not just her captivity, but the struggle after.  And quite frankly, the real horror begins when she gets home.

I gave Still Missing 5 stars and I look forward to seeing more of Chevy Stevens.

*I listened to the audiobook.

Lover Reborn

Lover Reborn by J.R. Ward

Lover Reborn (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #10)

Lover Reborn is Book #10 in the Black Dagger Brotherhood Series

Ever since the death of his shellan, Tohrment is a heartbroken shadow of the vampire leader he once was. Brought back to the Brotherhood by a self-serving fallen angel, he fights again with ruthless vengeance- and is unprepared for a new tragedy. Seeing his beloved in dreams—trapped in a cold, desolate netherworld—he turns to the angel to save his former mate, only to despair at the path he himself must take to set her free. As war with the lessers rages, and a new clan of vampires vies for the Blind King’s throne, Tohr struggles between an unforgettable past, and a future that he doesn’t know he can live with… but can’t seem to turn away from.

As a devoted follower of The Black Dagger Brotherhood series I anxiously awaited Lover Reborn's release.  Thankfully, J.R. Ward didn't disappoint with the 10th novel in this series.  I won't go into the background, but if you are a lover of vampire and paranormal romance and you haven't taken the time to read this series you should definitely put it at the top of your to-be-read list!  It is one of my very favorites.

Lover Reborn is Tohrment's story of saving himself and his beloved shellan, Wellsie, who was killed by the enemy.  Tohr realizes that Wellise hasn't moved on into the Fade like he thinks.  Instead she is stuck in a horrible place called the In Between.  She can't move on until he lets her go and learns to love again.  The problem is he doesn't WANT to love again!  This is where No'One enters the picture.  She is heartbroken watching Tohr and resolves to do whatever she can to help the warrior that helped her so long ago.  Unfortunately her disturbing past makes it difficult for her to trust. 

The journey these two take in helping to heal each other is beautiful.  Although I loved Wellise and it's heartbreaking to know Tohr must let her go, I was so happy that he gets someone to love again.  And No'One (or Autumn as she's known by the end of the book) has been through so much in her life.  It's wonderful to see her finally begin to put her past behind her and live again. 

We also got to see a lot of John Matthew and Xhex in this book.  Things are very stressed between these two and they spend much of the book apart.  The healing that goes on with Tohr and Autumn goes a long way towards strengthening the bond between John Matthew and Tohr and Autumn and Xhex.  This is good because they are going to need them to figure out where their future with each other lies.  John Matthew and Xhex are my favorite couple so I loved getting so much time with them!

I don't want to give away any of the story, but we get to see a lot of changes going on with the Quinn/Layla/Blay/Saxton drama!

All in all I really enjoyed this book and absolutely cannot wait until the next one comes out!  I love where Ward is taking this story and I know things are just going to get better.

Most definitely 5 stars!

Naked Werewolf Series by Maggie Harper

Book #1

How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf by Maggie Harper

How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf (Naked Werewolf, #1)
Even in Grundy, Alaska, it’s unusual to find a naked guy with a bear trap clamped to his ankle on your porch. But when said guy turns into a wolf, recent southern transplant Mo Wenstein has no difficulty identifying the problem. Her surly neighbor Cooper Graham—who has been openly critical of Mo’s ability to adapt to life in Alaska—has trouble of his own. Werewolf trouble. For Cooper, an Alpha in self-imposed exile from his dysfunctional pack, it’s love at first sniff when it comes to Mo. But Cooper has an even more pressing concern on his mind. Several people around Grundy have been the victims of wolf attacks, and since Cooper has no memory of what he gets up to while in werewolf form, he’s worried that he might be the violent canine in question. If a wolf cries wolf, it makes sense to listen, yet Mo is convinced that Cooper is not the culprit. Except if he’s not responsible, then who is? And when a werewolf falls head over haunches in love with you, what are you supposed to do anyway? The rules of dating just got a whole lot more complicated.


This book was laugh out loud funny!

Trying to make her own way in the world and escape from her nutty, organic only, always interfering, hippie parents, Mo Wenstein moves to the remote town of Grundy, Alaska.  She's prepared for being all alone and the new girl in town.  She's even prepared for the frozen Alaska winters.  What she's not prepared for is falling for the town werewolf!  Oh, the comedy and catastrophe that follow.  You can't help but love Mo, and although Cooper is very standoffish in the beginning you grow to love him as well.  This book is Stephanie Plum meets Sookie Stackhouse, and what could be better than that!

I gave How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf 4 stars, and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys werewolves and a good laugh!

*I listened to the audiobook of How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf.


Book #2

The Art of Seducing a Naked Werewolf by Maggie Harper

The Art of Seducing a Naked Werewolf (Naked Werewolf, #2)

Generations of werewolves have been secretly residing in a secluded valley a stone’s throw from Grundy, Alaska. So when a snooping Outsider comes to Grundy to investigate rumors of lycanthropic shenanigans in the area, the valley’s pack alpha, Maggie Graham, resolves to chase him away, even if doing so takes a quick bite on the butt. What a pity that researcher Nick Thatcher turns out to be so drool-worthy, and that his kisses make Maggie want to sit up and beg. Maggie just can’t seem to convince Nick to leave . . . and even worse, she can’t convince herself to stay away from him. Cross-species dating is problem enough for a harried alpha female, but on top of that, a rival group of werewolves is trying to move into the valley. With interpack war threatening, Maggie can’t afford to be distracted. Combining romance and a career can be tough for anyone; for a werewolf in love with a human, it may be disastrous.


I wasn't sure I would enjoy Book 2 as well as I did Book 1 because it wasn't focused on Mo and Cooper, but on Cooper's sister Maggie, but I did!  In fact, it was just as laugh out loud funny and I found I really liked Maggie. 

Maggie has taken over as Alpha of the pack, so she's expected to marry a nice werewolf and have lots of little pups.  That's always been her intention...until Nick Thatcher comes to town.  Nick immediately becomes a thorn in Maggie's paw.  Not only is he in town working on research to prove the existence of werewolves, but she's falling for the accident prone human and feels an overwhelming need to protect him.  And the more she tries to push Nick away so she can date a werewolf the more determined he is to seduce her...with pie.  Come on, who doesn't love pie!?

This was a very cute story and I look forward to Ms. Harper continuing this series!  I gave it 4 stars also.

*I listened to the audiobook of The Art of Seducing a Naked Werewolf.  

Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Night Circus

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

The Night Circus

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

Written in rich, seductive prose, this spell-casting novel is a feast for the senses and the heart.
I can honestly say that this was one of the most unique books I have ever read.  The story takes place over the course of over a decade, and you are taken back and forth on the timeline.  A lot of the time I stayed a bit disoriented, but though I didn't always know what year it was, it really didn't matter.  That wasn't important because I was so lost in the wonders of the circus and the competition between Celia and Marco.  I was immediately drawn into the wonderous storytelling, and I stayed captivated throughout with Morganstern's lovely and charming story.
I gave The Night Circus 4*. 
*I listened to the audio version of The Night Circus.

The Beginning...

I remember learning to read when I was in the 1st grade.  Even at such a young age I knew that I was being introduced to what would be a very important part of my life.  The older I got the more reading meant to me.  I would immerse myself in a story until it felt like I was really there.  I remember getting lost within the pages of Matilda, Sweet Valley High, and The Babysitter's Club.  Now, as an adult, reading is still my most cherished past time.  I love romance, history, sci-fi and fantasy.  I love chick-lit, paranormal, Christian, and thrillers.  I love them all!  I've created this blog to share my experiences within the pages of the books I read.  I hope everyone will enjoy my musings as much as I enjoy reading.
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