Saturday, December 4, 2010

Christmas book reviews at a glance

Secret Santa Secret Santa by Sabrina James

Noelle, a hopeless romantic, just knows that her gifts have to be from her senior crush! And geeky Froggy thinks the game is the perfect way to get super-popular Celia to fall for him...except she thinks his gifts are from Jake, the school's resident bad boy, and starts to crush on him! Romantic mishaps abound, but all is revealed the night of the Winter Dance, where there's more than one surprise waiting under the mistletoe!

Summary from

Released: October 2007

256 pages (paperback)

Really quick: Secret Santa was sweet, funny, and satisfying.
There were a lot of characters, I had to keep referring to the diagram on the back of my book to tell who was who in the school-wide secret Santa game. Once I could keep all of the characters straight, they were well-developed and likable.  Secret Santa was a tale of mistaken identity, and crushing on the wrong person, only to find the right one was there with you all along. Predictable, and slightly cheesy, but a great holiday read if you want the happy endings.  My second favorite holiday read (Let it Snow is my first).

Cover 8/10           Plot 9/10         Characters 9/10         Ending 9/10          Overall approval 10/10

Grade 90% A-

Mistletoe by Hailey Abbott, Melissa de la Cruz, Aimee Friedman, and Nina Malkin


Glittering white snowflakes. The handsome blond ski instructor. The sparkle on a cashmere skirt. Hot cocoa and kisses in front of a crackling fire. The holiday season is the ESSENCE of magic...and romance. Four of today's bestselling teen authors -- Melissa de la Cruz (THE AU PAIRS), Aimee Friedman (SOUTH BEACH), Hailey Abbott (SUMMER BOYS), and Nina Malkin (6X) -- bring us delectable tales of love and lust and holiday cheers (and tears) in this one-of-a-kind collection that teens will devour faster than a plate of Christmas cookies.

Summary from

Released: October 2006

240 pages (paperback)

A collection of unrelated Christmas tales that left me dissatisfied.  After reading Secret Santa, and Dashing Through the Mall, I was looking for “Christmas cheer”.  Mistletoe as a collection was more about scandal than the “feel good romance” I was looking for.  The first story by Aimee Friedman was an exception.  Melissa de la Cruz’s retelling of the Gift of the Magi was also enjoyable-good writing, likeable characters who experience growth, even in such a short story.  I guess I was just soured on the collection in the middle of the book.  Just because I didn’t enjoy it overall doesn’t mean it’s not worth a try though.  I’d really recommend it to those who are already familiar with each of the authors.

Cover 6/10       Plots  7/10       Characters 7/10        Endings    7/10      Overall approval    6/10

Grade 66% D

Dashing Through the Mall by Sherryl Woods, Darlene Gardner, Holly Jacobs


Santa, Baby by Sherryl Woods When Amy Riley's son disappears in the mall, Santa--who is actually police officer Nick DiCaprio--comes to the rescue. Whoever said the Big Red Guy wasn't sexy?
Assignment Humbug by Darlene Gardner Retail manager Joy O'Connell is fraying at the edges when rheumatologist Ed Hall and his three child-terrors enter her store. Between shopping hell and bah humbug, can Ed uncover the true Joy of the season?
Deck the Halls by Holly Jacobs TV reporter Merry Deluca's "'tis the season to be greedy" story is about to get complicated--her new cameraman is recently ex-fiancé Patrick MacFarland! And he's got a whole new angle for her story....

Summary from

Released: November 2006

320 pages (paperback)

I think I picked this up for a quarter at my local library and I am glad I did!  Dashing through the Mall was a collection of chick-lit stories all taking place at the same mall on Christmas Eve in Raleigh, North Carolina.  While the stories shared the same setting, they were independent of one another.  The characters and romances were developed as well as they could be when the stories take place in one day.  It’s a little far-fetched to see the characters kissing by the end of the day, but the stories were all light and happy.  They put me in the mood to play Christmas music, and even to spend time at the mall.  I especially loved Assignment Humbug because the three teenage boys were hilarious, and I loved Joy and Ed’s witty banter.

Cover 8/10        Plots 8/10      Characters  8/10    Endings 8/10      Overall approval  8/10

Grade 80% B-

All of the above were reviewed for the Holiday Reading Challenge hosted by All About {n}

Monday, November 22, 2010

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme started by The Story Siren. It gives people a chance to share what they got in the mail, in a shopping bag, from the library, or from a friend. You can get more information, or share your posts here.

It was a really good week for me this week. My small smiling box arrived on Monday, and I’ve already enjoyed half of my new books. So, here’s what I bought:

Forgive my Fins by Tera Lynn ChildsForgive my Fins

About a mermaid who’s half human, and chooses a mate based on the first person she kisses. Too bad she’s taken by surprise and kissed by her archenemy!

I Now Pronounce You Someone Else by Erin McCahan

I Now Pronounce You Someone Else

The Christopher KillerChristopher Killer

A forensic mystery involving a serial killer.

The Karma Club by Jessica BrodyThe Karma ClubFor anyone who’s been dumped and was waiting for the guy to get just what he deserved…

Bloodthirsty by Flynn Meaney Bloodthirsty

The Secondhand Charm by Julie Berry (Author of The Amaranth Enchantment)Secondhand Charm

The Healer’s Apprentice by Melanie DickersonHealer's ApprenticeA retelling of sleeping beauty set in the middle ages.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Review of Let it Snow

by Maureen Johnson, John Green, and Lauren Myracle

Let it Snow

Sparkling white snowdrifts, beautiful presents wrapped in ribbons, and multicolored lights glittering in the night through the falling snow. A Christmas Eve snowstorm transforms one small town into a romantic haven, the kind you see only in movies. Well, kinda. After all, a cold and wet hike from a stranded train through the middle of nowhere would not normally end with a delicious kiss from a charming stranger. And no one would think that a trip to the Waffle House through four feet of snow would lead to love with an old friend. Or that the way back to true love begins with a painfully early morning shift at Starbucks. Thanks to three of today's bestselling teen authors John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle the magic of the holidays shines on these hilarious and charming interconnected tales of love, romance, and breathtaking kisses.

Summary from

Let it Snow was a re-read for me, for the Holiday Reading Challenge at All About {n}. I originally read it last fall, and can attest that it doesn’t have to be Christmas to enjoy it. I read Let it Snow expecting it to be like other compilation books (Prom Nights from Hell, Vacations from Hell, etc.). I was pleasantly surprised when I moved on to the second story and realized that the setting and characters overlapped. Stuart from the first story was being talked about in the second story. Elements like Waffle House, cheerleaders, and a Christmas Eve blizzard were constant throughout. Each author had their own voice which worked when they transitioned to a new, yet related, group of characters.

I liked the first story Jubilee Express the best, by far. It was light, the characters were easy to relate to, and some of the plot elements were downright hilarious. I liked that through the linked stories I could still hear more about Jubilee and Stuart (even though their story was technically finished). The other two stories were enjoyable too, and led to a neat resolution.

Let is Snow is a great read for a snowy day, or a clear one when you need a good laugh.

Cover 7/10 It seems a bit plain for the wonderful book contained inside

Characters 10/10

Plot 9/10

Ending 9/10

Overall Enjoyment 9/10

88% B+

Rating: PG, light swearing

2010 Holiday Reading Challenge

Coming from a person that has already been listening to Christmas music, I was very excited to hear about the Holiday Reading Challenge.  You can find more information, and sign-up at Holiday Reading Challenge at All About {n}.

Here are the rules:

1- The challenge will start Monday, November 15 and will end Friday, December 31.

2- You can read anywhere from 1 to 5 books for the challenge.

3- And now, here's the clincher... they must be holiday related books. That's right, the holiday doesn't really matter, but it would be more "jolly" if your choices were Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, etc.

4- The size of the book does not matter, nor does the genre. It is also okay for the book to overlap with other challenges. The only thing I ask is that they are not children's books. YA is okay. And so are re-reads.

5- To sign up - leave a link back to your challenge post. There will also be a post for review links as well as one for challenge wrap-ups.

6- And.... there will be goodies. That's right, we'll call them presents. At the end of every week that the challenge is running I will choose one winner from the review links. Meaning the more books you read, review and link up, the more chances you have at winning a "present".


I’ve been counting the days until I could start reading for this.  So far, my book reading plans include:

1. Let it Snow by Maureen Johnson, John Green, and Lauren Myracle

2. Home for Christmas by Anita Stansfield

3. Christmas by the Book by Beverly King

4. Ex-Mas by Kate Brian


All About {n}

Friday, November 5, 2010

What Made Your Day Today? (1)

I was checking out a newer blog,, and really liked Amber’s segment, What Made Your Day Today.  I like that it’s simple, positive, and just what the title says.  So, for me:


My two year old now recognizes and gets excited about the color pink!  (Living in rural Alaska, I like seeing anything that girlyifies her.)

Saturday, October 30, 2010

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox explores the contents of my mailbox on a weekly basis. Of course I only mention the really cool things, like books! I got this from The Story Siren's blog. If you would like to participate and have your own “In My Mailbox” post, you can find more information here.

This week I got Nightshade by Andrea Cramer in my mailbox. It was an exciting day for me :)


Calla Tor has always known her destiny: After graduating from the Mountain School, she'll be the mate of sexy alpha wolf Ren Laroche and fight with him, side by side, ruling their pack and guarding sacred sites for the Keepers. But when she violates her masters' laws by saving a beautiful human boy out for a hike, Calla begins to question her fate, her existence, and the very essence of the world she has known. By following her heart, she might lose everything--including her own life. Is forbidden love worth the ultimate sacrifice?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Review of Matched by Ally Condie

matched Basic Info

Release date: November 30, 2010

Pages: 366 (hardcover)

Genre: dystopian, young adult

Debut Author Challenge

Summary from

In the Society, Officials decide. Who you love. Where you work. When you die.

Cassia has always trusted their choices. It’s barely any price to pay for a long life, the perfect job, the ideal mate. So when her best friend appears on the Matching screen, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is the one . . . until she sees another face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black. Now Cassia is faced with impossible choices: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path no one else has ever dared follow—between perfection and passion.

Matched is a story for right now and storytelling with the resonance of a classic.


Matched reminded me, nostalgically, of The Giver by Lois Lowry.  We have a society where everything is dictated to its participants through ceremonies as they come of age.  These decisions are supposed to be for the benefit of society.  The characters don’t question it, but as readers we do, because we are used to making the decisions that they can’t. 

Enter our heroine, Cassia, she’s followed the rules all of her life, and now something occurs that makes her question the officials, Society, everything she’s ever known.  After being “matched” with her best friend, Xander, a very rare occurance (usually the matches come from different cities and providences), Cassia finds her data card also has the picture of Ky, another friend.  Even once the “mistake” is explained away, Cassia can’t stop thinking about whether it was truly a mistake, and what it would be like to make that decision herself.

Matched was an intriguing read that made me appreciate my freedom to choose.  I enjoyed the world that Ally Condie built: the technology, the Society, and the creeping feeling that something sinister is lurking behind all of that organized perfection.  I can’t wait to see how this series unfolds.  I am starting to realize though, that dystopian literature does not equal happily ever after (case in point: Hunger Games series and the Uglies series).


Cover: 10/10 Love the dress, love the imagery of being trapped, and I love that the cover related to the story

Plot: 9/10

Characters: 9/10 I’m still getting to know them, but they did have some unexpected depth

Ending: 8/10

Mom approval: 10/10

Romance-okay, it’s not on my rating list, but still, 7/10, I wasn’t really feeling it here.  The characters were compelling, the relationship was developing, but I didn’t see it getting to the point of love yet (even though I was told that they were in love).  Judge for yourself though, I’ll be waiting to see in the next books if I feel better about it.

Overall: 88%  B+

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Review of Firelight by Sophie Jordan

Firelight (Firelight, #1)

336 pages

Released: September 7, 2010 (Hardcover)

Debut Author Challenge

With her rare ability to breathe fire, Jacinda is special even among the draki—the descendants of dragons who can shift between human and dragon forms. But when Jacinda’s rebelliousness leads her family to flee into the human world, she struggles to adapt, even as her draki spirit fades. The one thing that revives it is Will, whose family hunts her kind. Jacinda can’t resist getting closer to him, even though she knows she’s risking not only her life but the draki’s most closely guarded secret.

Summary from

Rating: 86%  B

Cover: 10/10 Love it!

Plot: 8/10

Characters: 7/10

Ending: 8/10

Mom-Approval Rating: 10/10 (no swearing, no sex, no complaints there)

I have always been intrigued by stories of dragons.  Usually, because they involved princesses too.  I was very curious about Firelight when I learned that Jacinda is a draki-pretty much a shapeshifter who can turn human or dragon.  I was impressed with the society that Sophie Jordan created: the powers and limitations that draki would face.

Firelight was a quick read, and one that drew me in.  I felt like the characters lacked development though.  Jacinda was “rebellious” and Will was mysterious, but I did not feel like I really got to know them.  I didn’t feel like they got to know each other either.  I read a review of Firelight by Sarah-GreenBeanTeenQueen right before my copy arrived.  She’d commented how Will and Jace didn’t seem to fall in love, but into lust.  I hoped it wouldn’t be like that, but she was right.  There was plenty of making out, but no real conversations.  Yes, they were inexplicably drawn to one another, which I see in a lot of paranormal books, but when do they actually get to know each other on a deeper level?

Besides the romance aspect that I was disappointed in, I am still interested in what happens next.  The fantasy elements were good, and there are still predictions I have about the series that I want to see if they’ll come true. 

Friday, September 10, 2010

Review of Paranormalcy by Kiersten White


Released: August 30, 2010

Debut Author

Pages: 352 (hardcover)

Rating: 98%  A+

Characters: 10/10

Cover: 10/10

Plot: 10/10

Ending: 9/10

Mom-Approval: 10/10 (All of the “swearing” was done through the word bleep in a cleverly explained way.  I was amused!)


Weird as it is working for the International Paranormal Containment Agency, Evie's always thought of herself as normal. Sure, her best friend is a mermaid, her ex-boyfriend is a faerie, she’s falling for a shape-shifter, and she’s the only person who can see through paranormals' glamours, but still. Normal.

Only now paranormals are dying, and Evie's dreams are filled with haunting voices and mysterious prophecies. She soon realizes that there may be a link between her abilities and the sudden rash of deaths. Not only that, but she may very well be at the center of a dark faerie prophecy promising destruction to all paranormal creatures.

So much for normal.

Summary from

Okay, now I can gush.  I loved Paranormalcy.  Evie was such a lovable character.  She bags and tags paranormals, yet does it with a PINK taser, which she’s named Tasey.  She’s kind-hearted, curious, totally girly, yet strong.  Paranormalcy itself was a great read, lots of mystery, and a very sweet romance.  I need to go reread the kissing scenes right now ;)

There were so many things to learn about Evie’s world: about IPCA, the fairies, werewolves, and other paranormal creatures, and than you throw in a mysterious being that is killing off paranormals.  Loved it, loved it, loved it.

I also loved Lend (our shape shifting love interest).  None of this brooding mean guy who truly likes the heroine underneath his tough exterior.  He was funny, shy, sweet, everything I would’ve wanted in a boyfriend at sixteen.  Sigh…

The ending was a little cliché-things always come to a climax at high school dances!  I’m surprised that I escaped all of mine unscathed ;)  Most of the loose ends are tied up, but the ending still whets our appetite for the next installment, and I for one, cannot wait!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Review of Halo by Alexandra Adornetto


Release date: August 31, 2010

496 pages (Hardcover)

Rating: 93% A-

Cover 10/10

Plot 8/10

Characters 8/10

Ending 8/10

Mom Approval Rating 9/10 (Some swearing-less than 5, and sensuality)

Disclosure: ARC from Good Golly Miss Holly’s ARC tour

Nothing much happens in the sleepy town of Venus Cove. But everything changes when three angels are sent from heaven to protect the town against the gathering forces of darkness: Gabriel, the warrior; Ivy, the healer; and Bethany, a teenage girl who is the least experienced of the trio. They work hard to conceal their true identity and, most of all, their wings.

But the mission is threatened when the youngest angel, Bethany, is sent to high school and falls in love with the handsome school captain, Xavier Woods. Will she defy the laws of Heaven by loving him? Things come to a head when the angels realize they are not the only supernatural power in Venus Cove. There′s a new kid in town and he′s charming, seductive and deadly. Worst of all, he′s after Beth.

Summary from

Alexandra Adornetto is an Australian author, and this is her first US release. Halo is the first in her trilogy to be followed by Hades in 2011 and Heaven in 2012.

Halo was a great read. I first excited because it was my first ARC tour. I started reading when I was supposed to be going to sleep and quickly found myself saying, “just one more chapter.” Venus Cove was a wonderful small town where you really wanted to live and help make a difference. The characters in the story were real. I found Bethany to be one of the strangest characters of all. She’s the youngest in our trio of angels. Gabriel and Ivy act just as you would expect angels to, but Bethany is different. It might be because she is young, or maybe her personality, but she is like Pandora with her curiosity. This gets her into trouble, often. It also makes her seem more human and easier to relate to as a reader. She may be naive, but she’s impulsive, and very loving.

Most of the story follows her relationship with Xavier. It was well developed. I was only bothered when she started talking about sex (are teen angels really supposed to be thinking like that?).

The good vs. evil conflict was also intriguing (enter Jake Thorn here). Jake moves into town and all of the good that Ivy and Gabe have been doing seems to go downhill. Eventually, they suspect Jake, but as angels, they can’t act on suspicion. That actually works pretty well for a plot device, because when things do come to a head they do it in a big way.

I’d recommend this book to fans of paranormal romance. I can’t wait to see how Hades and Heaven add to this promising new series.

Monday, July 5, 2010

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? (1)

This meme is hosted by Shelia at Book JourneyMondayMeme



Read this past week:

Blood Feud

                 Killer Squad

Blood Feud by Alyxandra Drake          The Squad: Killer Spirit by Jennifer Barnes

(Drake Chronicles #2)                         (The Squad #2)

Only the Good Spy Young                Model Spy

Only the Good Spy Young                  Model Spy by Shannon Greenland

(Gallagher Girls #4)                            (The Specialists #1)

Wide Awake Princess 

The Wide-Awake Princess by E.D. Baker

Currently Reading:

Down to the Wire                 Titan's Curse

Down to the Wire by                        The Titan’s Curse by Rick Riordan

Shannon Greenland (Specialists #2)  (Percy Jackson #3)



Forbidden Sea             Grimm Legacy

Forbidden Sea by Sheila Neilson    The Grimm Legacy

                                                      by Polly Shulman


What are YOU reading this week?

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner by Stephenie Meyer

Bree Tanner

Pages: 178

Release date: June 5, 2010 (Hardcover)

Also available to read online thru July 5th

Fans of The Twilight Saga will be enthralled by this riveting story of Bree Tanner, a character first introduced in Eclipse, and the darker side of the newborn vampire world she inhabits.

In another irresistible combination of danger, mystery, and romance, Stephenie Meyer tells the devastating story of Bree and the newborn army as they prepare to close in on Bella Swan and the Cullens, following their encounter to its unforgettable conclusion.

Bree Tanner can barely remember life before she had uncannily powerful senses, superhuman reflexes and unstoppable physical strength. Life before she had a relentless thirst for blood... life before she became a vampire.

All Bree knows is that living with her fellow newborns has few certainties and even fewer rules: watch your back, don't draw attention to yourself and, above all, make it home by sunrise or die. What she doesn't know: her time as an immortal is quickly running out.

Then Bree finds an unexpected friend in Diego, a newborn just as curious as Bree about their mysterious creator, whom they know only as "her". As they come to realize that the newborns are pawns in a game larger than anything they could have imagined, Bree and Diego must choose sides and decide whom to trus. But when everything you know about vampires is based on a lie, how do you find the truth?

Summary from

I can't believe there are so many heartfelt reviews for this book (and negative ones)! For me, it was like stepping back into the Twilight series. The writing stayed true to the series. Although I think it's funny that Meyer's writing exercises on different character's perspectives can result in 180 page books, I was impressed and satisfied.

We see Bree in the end of Eclipse during the fight scene. We know that she surrenders, that she still wishes she could drink Bella, but she is willing to join the Cullens. We also know, sadly, that the Volturi don't give her a chance.

Obviously, in getting a book from Bree's perspective we get to know her, like her, and respect her. I had to keep reminding myself that she was going to die at the end regardless. Even knowing that, her journey there was worth the read. I also look forward to seeing another character, Fred, hopefully pop up in more of Meyer's books.

If you're a fan of the series, I think you'll be pleased. If not, just borrow the book from someone else, or read all of the negative reviews and call it a day :)

Cover 10/10 I actually got the symbolism this time!

Characters 9/10

Ending 10/10

Plot 9/10 Slow at the beginning, but so worth it

Mom Approval Rating 8/10 Light language, vampire induced violence that didn't bother me but was "graphic" to my husband.

Total 46/50 92% A-

Monday, June 7, 2010

Cinderella Society by Kay Cassidy

Cinderella Society When the Prom Queen becomes your fairy godmother…

Sixteen year old outsider, Jess Parker, gets the chance of a lifetime: an invitation to join a secret society of popular girls dedicated to defeating the mean girls of the world. The Cinderella Society guides all new recruits through its top secret ultimate life makeover. It’s all part of preparing them to face down the Wickeds and win. Determined not to let the Cindys down, Jess dives in with a passion. Finally, a chance to belong and show the world what she’s made of.

… be careful what you wish for.

Jess’s transformation wins her the heart of her dream crush and a shot at uber-popularity. Until the Wickeds–led by Jess’s arch enemy–begin targeting innocent girls in their war against the Cindys, and Jess discovers the real force behind her exclusive society. It’s a high stakes battle of good Vs. evil, and the Cindys in power need Jess on special assignment. When the mission threatens to destroy her dream life come true, Jess is forced to choose between living a fairy tale and honoring the Sisterhood… and herself.

What’s a girl to do when the glass slipper fits, but she doesn’t want to wear it anymore?

Summary from

Okay, I’m a sucker for any book with the word princess in the title, and The Cinderella Society certainly got my attention.  Jess Parker might be on the varsity cheerleading squad, but she’s not popular like you would expect.  She’s moved around many times, always the new girl, always a cheerleader, but never really fitting in.  Life seems to be the same in her new town, but now she’s also being targeted by Lexi, whose spot she got on the cheerleading squad.  Jess is trying to stay under the radar, yet still hoping to fit in when she receives a mysterious invite to join the Cinderella Society.

The Cinderella Society and Elizabeth Eulberg’s Lonely Heart’s Club are two groups I wish I’d had in high school or college!  The Cinderella Society is filled with girls brimming with confidence and potential.  Jess doesn’t see how she fits in with their ranks, yet is excited about the promised makeover.  While the Cinderella Society has some romance, it’s really a story about fitting in, finding yourself, and being true to yourself.  It was an empowering read.  I’m excited to see what Jess and the Cindys will be up to next.

Cover 8/10

Plot 9/10

Characters 8/10

Ending 8/10

Mom Approval 10/10 I can’t recall anything I wouldn’t want a young teen reading :)

Total 43/50, a solid 86%

Friday, May 28, 2010

Body Finder Contest Winner!

Body Finder. Sorry this post is two days too late.  We moved and had a lot of trouble getting our internet back up…


Without further ado, and with the help of the random number generator (at, the winner is:

Janie Magelky!

Thanks to those who entered, and have a good day :)

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Review of My Double Life by Janette Rallison

My Double Life Her whole life, Alexia Garcia has been told that she looks just like pop star Kari Kingsley, and one day when Alexia’s photo filters through the Internet, she’s offered a job to be Kari’s double. This would seem like the opportunity of a lifetime, but Alexia’s mother has always warned her against celebrities.

Rebelliously, Alexia flies off to L.A. and gets immersed in a celebrity life. Not only does she have to get used to getting anything she wants, she romances the hottest lead singer on the charts, and finds out that her own father is a singing legend. Through it all, Alexia must stay true to herself, which is hard to do when you are pretending to be somebody else!

Summary from

Released May 12, 2010 (Hardcover)

272 Pages

I absolutely loved My Double Life.  It was a witty foray into fame, fortune, family, and living our dreams vicariously.  Seriously, even if you haven’t wanted to run off to Hollywood to be a famous singer or actor/actress, who hasn’t wanted to date one?

Alexia has grown up all her life without a dad, or even his name.  Her mom has struggled to provide for her and her Grandma (Abuela).  So, Alexia’s grown up with second-hand everything, resenting that a little, but still loving and respecting her mother.  After a vicious student's prank (involving the posting of Alexia’s picture online) Alexia is contacted by Kari Kingsley’s manager to act as a double for her at small events.  Alexia’s mom turns it down flat, and Alexia is tempted by the money and living with the fame, but is willing to stand by her mom’s decision.  Until she realizes in a sudden burst of clarity who her father is.  She takes the job with the provision that she’ll be able to meet him once and jets off to Hollywood.

There she works non-stop learning how to be Kari Kingsley, then working as Kari.  In the process she meets hunky teen rock-star, Grant Delray.  Grant is now one of my new book crushes.  Unlike, say, Edward Cullen, he’s a real guy (okay, he’s still fictional, and a rock-star, but he feels like a normal guy).  He might be a famous singer, but he helps a damsel in distress, he does fundraisers for sick kids, and actually cares about them, he listens to what Alexia says, and then plans the perfect first date for her.  Maybe he doesn’t actually exist out in the real world, but reading about Grant, I want him to.

The characters in My Double Life were perfect.  I wish I could know them.  Even Kari, who is a bit of a brat, you can’t help but like when seeing her through Alexia’s eyes.  Alexia herself is strong, smart, funny, and caring.  She and Kari both have tempers, but it was great watching Alexia grow as she tried to make herself a better person so she wouldn’t ruin Kari’s reputation.

Oh, I loved this book!  I’d recommend it immediately to fans of Janette Rallison’s other books, to those who love romantic comedies, or anyone looking for a fun, quick, happy read.

Cover 9/10

Characters 10/10

Plot 10/10

Ending 10/10 I could see potential for a sequel (oh please, oh please, oh please) but it can stand just as it is too.

Mom Approval Rating 10/10 No swearing, sex, or violence.  There is only the concept of Alexia being the illegitimate daughter of a celebrity.

Total 49/50  A+

Monday, May 10, 2010

Review of Mistwood by Leah Cypress

MistwoodThe Shifter is an immortal creature bound by an ancient spell to protect the kings of Samorna. When the realm is peaceful, she retreats to the Mistwood.

But when she is needed she always comes.

Isabel remembers nothing. Nothing before the prince rode into her forest to take her back to the castle. Nothing about who she is supposed to be, or the powers she is supposed to have.

Prince Rokan needs Isabel to be his Shifter. He needs her ability to shift to animal form, to wind, to mist. He needs her lethal speed and superhuman strength. And he needs her loyalty--because without it, she may be his greatest threat.
Isabel knows that her prince is lying to her, but she can't help wanting to protect him from the dangers and intrigues of the court . . . until a deadly truth shatters the bond between them.
Now Isabel faces a choice that threatens her loyalty, her heart . . . and everything she thought she knew.

Summary from

Mistwood was an intriguing fantasy read. Isabel, is the Shifter, a mystical creature bound to protect the royal family. Beyond that, Isabel isn’t even sure what it means to be the Shifter. She can’t remember what happened the last time she was at the castle, or exactly why she left. She learns all of the myths regarding the Shifter, yet has trouble reconciling them with herself. Little by little, Isabel uncovers her memories and her past.

To me, Mistwood was two parts: court intrigue and self-discovery. I really enjoyed watching Isabel find herself, and bluff her way through encounters as if she already knew. She was strong, clever, and sometimes scary. The road to self-discovery is a gradual one, but the plot twists were worth waiting for and really "wowed" me.

My only disappointment in the story was a lack of romance. There was a hint of something for the future, but I understand that it would be hard to have Isabel fall in love when she didn’t really know herself. I think I’ve just come to expect romance in most of my YA books, so I felt let down when it wasn’t there. There does seem to be a possibility of a sequel, yet the ending was also conclusive enough that Mistwood could stand alone.

Cover 7/10

Characters 9/10

Plot 9/10

Ending 7/10

Mom Approval Factor 10/10

Overall 42/50 84% B

Sunday, May 9, 2010

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox explores the contents of my mailbox on a weekly basis. Of course I only mention the really cool things, like books! I got this from The Story Siren's blog. If you would like to participate and have your own “In My Mailbox” post, you can find more information here.

PartyParty by Tom Leveen

It's saturday night in Santa Barbara and school is done for the year. Everyone is headed to the same party. Or at least it seems that way. The place is packed. The beer is flowing. Simple, right? But for 11 different people the motives are way more complicated. As each character takes a turn and tells his or her story, the eleven individuals intersect, and reconnect, collide, and combine in ways that none of them ever saw coming.

Summary from





Spells Spells by Aprilynne Pike

Six months have passed since Laurel saved the gateway to the faerie realm of Avalon. Now she must spend her summer there, honing her skills as a Fall faerie. But her human family and friends are still in mortal danger--and the gateway to Avalon is more compromised than ever.

When it comes time to protect those she loves, will she depend on David, her human boyfriend, for help? Or will she turn to Tamani, the electrifying faerie with whom her connection is undeniable?

Summary from

(Sequel to Wings)


So, what did you get this week?

Friday, April 30, 2010

The Body Finder Giveaway!!!

Body Finder. Okay, this is my first giveaway. I happened to buy an extra copy of The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting-I was on vacation when my copy was shipped to me, yet I just could not wait to read it. So, you readers, are benefiting from my impulsiveness. If you haven’t read the Body Finder yet, it was amazing, so fill out the form for your chance to win.

Here’s the summary from

Violet Ambrose is grappling with two major issues: Jay Heaton and her morbid secret ability. While the sixteen-year-old is confused by her new feelings for her best friend since childhood, she is more disturbed by her “power” to sense dead bodies—or at least those that have been murdered. Since she was a little girl, she has felt the echoes the dead leave behind in the world . . . and the imprints that attach to their killers.

Violet has never considered her strange talent to be a gift; it mostly just led her to find dead birds her cat had tired of playing with. But now that a serial killer has begun terrorizing her small town, and the echoes of the local girls he’s claimed haunt her daily, she realizes she might be the only person who can stop him.

Despite his fierce protectiveness over her, Jay reluctantly agrees to help Violet on her quest to find the murderer—and Violet is unnerved to find herself hoping that Jay’s intentions are much more than friendly. But even as she’s falling intensely in love, Violet is getting closer and closer to discovering a killer . . . and becoming his prey herself.

The winner will be chosen and contacted by email on May 26th (the contest was extended from its original date of May 12th). Winners must be U.S. residents. I would like it if you were a follower of my blog, but that’s not required. Good luck!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken

Brightly WovenStars: 4 1/2  

Published: March 23, 2010 (Hardcover)

Pages: 368

Part of the 2010 Debut Author Challenge

Sydelle Mirabil is living proof that, with a single drop of rain, a life can be changed forever. Tucked away in the farthest reaches of the kingdom, her dusty village has suffered under the weight of a strangely persistent drought. That is, of course, until a wizard wanders into town and brings the rain with him.

In return for this gift, Wayland North is offered any reward he desires—and no one is more surprised than Sydelle when, without any explanation, he chooses her. Taken from her home, Sydelle hardly needs encouragement to find reasons to dislike North. He drinks too much and bathes too little, and if that isn’t enough to drive her to madness, North rarely even uses the magic he takes such pride in possessing. Yet, it’s not long before she realizes there’s something strange about the wizard, who is as fiercely protective of her as he is secretive about a curse that turns his limbs a sinister shade of black and leaves him breathless with agony. Unfortunately, there is never a chance for her to seek answers.

Along with the strangely powerful quakes and storms that trace their path across the kingdom, other wizards begin to take an inexplicable interest in her as well, resulting in a series of deadly duels. Against a backdrop of war and uncertainty, Sydelle is faced with the growing awareness that these events aren’t as random as she had believed—that no curse, not even that of Wayland North, is quite as terrible as the one she herself may carry.

Summary from

Brightly Woven was one of those books that it was very hard for me to put down.  (But I have a daughter who’s nearly two, so reading it straight thru was not an option.) 

I loved the characters: Sydelle was strong and fiery, yet still female.  North was cocky, yet witty and sensitive.  I was afraid when I opened the book and saw the map in the front.  It’s not that I’m against geography, but usually where there is a map, there is a lot of traveling in the book.  Brightly Woven was a book where most of the story took place along the road, yet I felt like there was enough action and development that I did not sigh in frustration.

The magic in the story was well explored, and I enjoyed the new world that Alexandra Bracken brought us into.  The ending of the story was ambiguous enough that a sequel may be in the works, yet one is not completely necessary.  I can’t wait to see what Alexandra writes next.

For another, more in depth review, Sarah at GreenBeanTeenQueen just reviewed this as well.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Review of Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins

Hex Hall

Rating: 3 1/2 stars

Released: March 2, 2010 (Hardcover)

Pages: 336

Three years ago, Sophie Mercer discovered that she was a witch. It's gotten her into a few scrapes. Her non-gifted mother has been as supportive as possible, consulting Sophie's estranged father--an elusive European warlock--only when necessary. But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it's her dad who decides her punishment: exile to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, faeries, and shapeshifters.

By the end of her first day among fellow freak-teens, Sophie has quite a scorecard: three powerful enemies who look like supermodels, a futile crush on a gorgeous warlock, a creepy tagalong ghost, and a new roommate who happens to be the most hated person and only vampire on campus. Worse, Sophie soon learns that a mysterious predator has been attacking students, and her only friend is the number-one suspect.

As a series of blood-curdling mysteries starts to converge, Sophie prepares for the biggest threat of all: an ancient secret society determined to destroy all Prodigium, especially her.

Overall, Hex Hall was a likable read.  With so much paranormal literature these days, I think I’m a harder critic of it.  So, Hex Hall I liked, but did not love.  It was a debut novel for Rachel Hawkins, and one thing that I can say for her is that she writes great twists.  I did not see them coming and was very impressed by that.  There were some big cliff-hangers at the end, so do expect to read the rest of the series to feel closure about Sophie’s life.

I like the cover, I like the other cover better though:

Hex Hall 2

It’s more eye-grabbing.  The tagline is a bit lame, but this is the cover for the paperback which should be out now (released April 1).

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting

Body Finder.

Stars: 5

Pages: 336

Released: March 16, 2010 (Hardcover)

Violet Ambrose is grappling with two major issues: Jay Heaton and her morbid secret ability. While the sixteen-year-old is confused by her new feelings for her best friend since childhood, she is more disturbed by her “power” to sense dead bodies—or at least those that have been murdered. Since she was a little girl, she has felt the echoes the dead leave behind in the world . . . and the imprints that attach to their killers.

Violet has never considered her strange talent to be a gift; it mostly just led her to find dead birds her cat had tired of playing with. But now that a serial killer has begun terrorizing her small town, and the echoes of the local girls he’s claimed haunt her daily, she realizes she might be the only person who can stop him.

Despite his fierce protectiveness over her, Jay reluctantly agrees to help Violet on her quest to find the murderer—and Violet is unnerved to find herself hoping that Jay’s intentions are much more than friendly. But even as she’s falling intensely in love, Violet is getting closer and closer to discovering a killer . . . and becoming his prey herself.

Summary from

I’ve been waiting to read this book ever since Sarah Maclean, author of The Season, read an advanced copy of it last year. She’d said that it was a book so good that it made her miss her subway stop, and that it had a really yummy romance. Ever since, I’ve been in anticipation of this book coming out-and I was not disappointed!

The Body Finder combines a serial killer, the paranormal, and a great teen romance. I was really impressed with the romance. Violet and Jay have been best friends since first grade. Over the summer, Jay seems to have changed, Violet’s noticed, as have all of the other girls at the school. Now she’s dealing with her new feelings for him, and his new fan club encroaching on their friendship. After all the paranormal romances where the best friend gets the shaft, I was excited to see a best friend who actually gets the girl.

The mystery was also great. There were wonderful twists and turns, and I really loved the point of view. Most of the story is from Violet’s point of view, yet every few chapters you get the serial killers point of view. It was intriguing and creepy all at the same time!

So, yes, I highly recommend this book to readers of paranormal romance, and those who love mysteries. It is that good!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

In My Mailbox

I've been out of town, and was really upset when I realized I would be missing my books being shipped from I know, it's a little pathetic, but as you'll see, I just couldn't wait to read The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting!

Here are the other books I got:

Saturday, March 13, 2010

A Match Made in High School by Kristen Walker

Match Made in High School

When the principal announces that every senior must participate in a mandatory year-long Marriage Education program, Fiona Sheehan believes that her life can’t get any worse. Then she marries her “husband”: Jerky jock Todd, whose cheerleader girlfriend, Amanda, has had it in for Fiona since day one of second grade. Even worse? Amanda is paired with Fiona’s long-term crush, Gabe. At least Fiona is doing better than her best friend, Marcie, who is paired up with the very quiet, very mysterious Johnny Mercer. Pranks, fights, misunderstandings, and reconciliations ensue in an almost Shakespearean comedy of errors about mistaken first impressions, convoluted coupling, and hidden crushes.

Summary from

I am sorry to say that I didn’t like this book.  It has an average rating of 4.08 currently on (of 180 reviewers), and I think of it as a 2.5.

I have to say, that I did like the premise of the story.  I did like the wit and sarcasm.  I liked some things about the main character Fiona: she was strong.  She was not popular, yet she didn’t feel sorry for herself, or try to fit in.  She did not apologize to anyone for being different, but stood her ground.  I did not like that she was so aggressive.  I would not have been her friend in high school, but I would still have respected her for her independence. 

That being said, my main problem with the story was language and innuendo.  I can stand a little swearing in YA literature, but when it starts appearing every few pages I get out my white-out (only on my own personal copies, of course).  A Match Made in High School had language and sexual innuendo probably averaging one item per page.  I know that swearing is out there, and for some people “a normal part of high school”, but I hated that the language was used in such a way to make it seem sassy and cool.  After reading this story I found myself wanting to flick off my husband in response to something he said because Fiona made it seem playful and feisty.  But if you really think about what that gesture is saying, there’s nothing funny about it. 

Besides that, the story was promising, but did not live up to the expectations all of the high reviews had given me.

Stars: 2 1/2

Pages: 277 (paperback)

Released: February 4, 2010

Debut Author

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Wish by Alexandra Bullen


For broken-hearted Olivia Larsen, nothing can change the fact that her twin sister, Violet, is gone... until a mysterious, beautiful gown arrives on her doorstep. The dress doesn't just look magical; it is magical. It has the power to grant her one wish, and the only thing Olivia wants is her sister back.

With Violet again by her side, both girls get a second chance at life. And as the sisters soon discover, they have two more dresses-and two more wishes left. But magic can't solve everything, and Olivia is forced to confront her ghosts to learn how to laugh, love, and live again.

In a breathtaking debut from Alexandra Bullen, Wish asks the question: If you could have anything, what would you wish for?

Summary from

After finishing Wish last night, and thinking about it today, I feel there’s not much I can say. Usually with a book I give three stars it is because I liked it, yet still had to trudge through it. Wish was short enough, and flowed well enough that I did not in fact feel like putting it down. When I finished all I thought was, “well, that’s nice.” No sense of satisfaction, no eagerness for more, just finished.

Wish was a story about family, moving on after losing a loved one, and magic. I felt the loss, but did not get into the romance and the magic. Parts of the reality of the story were unbelievable to me. I guess the one word to describe Wish was okay. Worth my library read, but not one I’d tell all my friends about.

3 Stars

256 pages (hardcover)

Released: January 1, 2010

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Violet Eyes by Debbie Viguie

Violet Eyes

When a storm brings the dashing Prince Richard to her family's farm, Violet falls in love at first sight. Richard also gives Violet his heart, but he knows his marriage is destined to be an affair of state, not of passion. For the king and queen have devised a contest to determine who will win their son's hand in marriage.

To be reunited with her prince, Violet must compete against princesses from across the land. It will take all of her wits - and a little help from an unexpected source - if Violet is to demonstrate the depth of her character and become Richard's bride.

Summary from

One of the best books in the "Once Upon a Time" series, in my opinion. It's the retelling of The Princess and the Pea. When, farm girl, Violet, saves the prince of her country, they fall in love. But he is on his way home to witness his parent's contest for his hand in marriage. Princesses have gathered from all over the world to pass six tests and be eligible for his hand. When Violet learns that she might actually be a princess, she goes to the castle to compete as well.

This has always been a fairytale that I've wanted to rewrite just because there had to be more to the story than finding a pea under 20 mattresses. Debbie Viguie did a good job at writing that story.

There wasn't a lot of depth to the romance, but I did feel like we got to know and admire Violet.  I recommend it to others who love fairytales, and people who enjoy a good, fast, light-hearted read.

4 1/2 stars

256 pages (paperback)

Released: February 23, 2010

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles

Perfect Chemistry A fresh, urban twist on the classic tale of star-crossed lovers.
When Brittany Ellis walks into chemistry class on the first day of senior year, she has no clue that her carefully created “perfect” life is about to unravel before her eyes. She’s forced to be lab partners with Alex Fuentes, a gang member from the other side of town, and he is about to threaten everything she's worked so hard for—her flawless reputation, her relationship with her boyfriend, and the secret that her home life is anything but perfect. Alex is a bad boy and he knows it. So when he makes a bet with his friends to lure Brittany into his life, he thinks nothing of it. But soon Alex realizes Brittany is a real person with real problems, and suddenly the bet he made in arrogance turns into something much more. In a passionate story about looking beneath the surface, Simone Elkeles breaks through the stereotypes and barriers that threaten to keep Brittany and Alex apart.

Description from


Perfect Chemistry was like an urban Romeo and Juliet.  Luckily, no double suicide though!  Alex and Brittany go to high school in the suburbs of Chicago.  Their town is very split (north and south-side) to such an extreme that sparks fly when a chemistry teacher assigns yearlong lab partners alphabetically.  Brittany Ellis and Alex Fuentes think they have nothing in common, yet they grow closer together as they realize that they’re both not who they pretend to be.  Reputations are everything to them, whether it’s pretending to be the perfect blonde cheerleader, or the tough gang member, they both have secrets to keep.

I really enjoyed the characters and their depth.  I also enjoyed how Simone Elkeles could get us inside a gang to realize that good and bad is not as black and white as it seems.  In Alex’s world it’s not good or bad, it’s survival.  I didn’t enjoy all of the swearing, or the sex.  If it had been my personal copy, I would’ve had my white-out in hand. 

3 1/2 stars

357 pages (paperback)

Published: January 1, 2008

Heart’s Blood by Juliet Marillier

Hearts BloodAnluan has been crippled since childhood, part of a curse that has besieged his family and his home of Whistling Tor. But when the young scribe Caitrin is retained to sort through family documents, she brings about unexpected changes in the household, casting a hopeful light against the despairing shadows.

But to truly free Anluan’s burdened soul, Caitrin must unravel the web of sorcery woven by his ancestors before it claims his life—and their love…

Description from

Overall, a fun read.  It was an interesting mingling of fantasy and gothic romance.  Running away from her past, Caitrin finds herself at Whistling Tor.  She is delighted to find work as a scribe, even when the townspeople warn her about the strange going-ons at the manor.  Four generations ago, the chieftain of the manor, after disputing with his neighbors, decided to raise his own unstoppable army.  He doesn’t know what went wrong with the spell, but “the Host” which he called forth aren’t as biddable as he’d planned.  When he, and later his descendents, leave the grounds, the Host go into a violent frenzy, killing friends and enemies alike.

Caitrin enters the scene, and changes the way that everyone views the Host.  She sees good and hope where everyone else has just seen despondency.

My only disappointment in the story was how Caitrin and Anluan’s romance developed.  It developed very slowly, where both characters aren’t confident that the other feels the same way.  When they finally did acknowledge it, they skipped kissing and went straight to making love.  Where’s the progression?  And why couldn’t they be married first?

Besides that, it was a very beautiful, and suspenseful read.  Juliet Marillier is the author of several fantasy books including the Sevenwaters and Bridei series.  She also wrote YA books, Wildwood Dancing and Cybele’s Secret.

4 Stars

560 pages (Hardcover)

Released: October 2, 2009

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Captivate by Carrie Jones


Zara and her friends knew they hadn't solved the pixie problem for good. Far from it. The king's needs grow deeper every day he's stuck in captivity, while his control over his people gets weaker. It's made him vulnerable. And now there's a new king in town.

A turf war is imminent, since the new pixie king, Astley, is moving in quickly. Nick nearly killed him in the woods on day one, but Zara came to his rescue. Astley swears that he and Zara are destined to be together, that he's one of the good guys. Nick isn't buying it, though Zara isn't as sure -- despite herself, she wants to trust the new king. But it's a lot more than her relationship with Nick that is at stake. It's her life -- and his.

In this sequel to Need (2008), Zara is still struggling with a “Pixie Problem”.  She’s the type of girl who writes letters for Amnesty International, and has trouble knowing whether she’s doing the right thing fighting and imprisoning pixies.  When Astley comes along, saying that not ALL pixies are evil, she wants to trust and believe him, especially if it will protect her friends and family.  I liked Nick, but I like how there was new male competition without Zara ever waffling in her love for Nick.  They weren’t jealous and doubting each other.  It makes me really want to see what will happen in the next book.  And there will be another one!

Intriguing cover, captivating story, interesting paranormal twists.  I’m even more hooked on this series than I was when I read Need!

Stars: 4 1/2

Pages: 273

Hardcover release: January 5, 2010

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey

Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side

The undead can really screw up your senior year ...
Marrying a vampire definitely doesn’t fit into Jessica Packwood’s senior year “get-a-life” plan. But then a bizarre (and incredibly hot) new exchange student named Lucius Vladescu shows up, claiming that Jessica is a Romanian vampire princess by birth—and he’s her long-lost fiancé. Armed with newfound confidence and a copy of Growing Up Undead: A Teen Vampire’s Guide to Dating, Health, and Emotions, Jessica makes a dramatic transition from average American teenager to glam European vampire princess. But when a devious cheerleader sets her sights on Lucius, Jess finds herself fighting to win back her wayward prince, stop a global vampire war—and save Lucius’s soul from eternal destruction.

(Summary from

To start with, I was intrigued by the cover.  The title made me think that the book would be a lighthearted romantic book.  While it was romantic, it was a darker read, to which the title didn’t seem to fit with me. 

Moving on though, the story itself was intriguing.  Jessica is a very logical girl, a mathlete, whose adoptive mother studies myths and other cultures.  Seventeen years ago she and her husband had been observing a sub-culture in Romania when a couple asked them to adopt their baby daughter before they were killed.  So, Antanasia becomes Jessica, and grows up an American teenager in rural Pennsylvania.  At first when Lucius tells that he is a vampire, and he is her vampire princess, she rejects it and clings to her logic.  Eventually he breaks through her defenses and rational barrier.  I enjoyed seeing Jessica’s growth as she came to know her destiny.  The vampire guide to growing up undead was hilarious: reminding me of other “growing up” books that your parents might foist on you or even read with you as a teenager (shudder!).

Rating: 3.5 stars

Pages: 351 (hardcover)

Published: February 1, 2009

Hearts at Stake by Alexandra Harvey

Hearts at Stake

It was vampire week for me, between Hearts at Stake and Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side (which I’ll post next)!  So, let’s get on with it:

On Solange’s sixteenth birthday, she is going to wake up dead. As if that’s not bad enough, she also has to outwit her seven overprotective older brothers, avoid the politics involved with being the only daughter born to an ancient vampire dynasty, and elude Kieran Black—agent of an anti-vampire league who is searching for his father’s killer and is intent on staking Solange and her entire family.

Luckily she has her own secret weapon—her human best friend Lucy—who is willing to defend Solange’s right to a normal life, whether she’s being smothered by her well-intentioned brothers or abducted by a power-hungry queen. Two unlikely alliances are formed in a race to save Solange’s eternal life—Lucy and Solange’s brother Nicholas, and Solange and Kieran Black—in a dual romance that is guaranteed to jump start any romance-lover’s heart.


I wasn’t too excited about another vampire story.  I always expect them to pale in comparison to the Twilight series.  In this case, I was impressed.  Alexandra Harvey creates a new vampire world with an evil queen, another vampire creating his own undead army that he can’t completely control, and a group of humans sworn to destroying all vampires.  With so many new elements to our world I was really impressed that Alexandra Harvey kept the pace of the novel running smoothly.  The information that we needed was sprinkled in lightly along with the rest of the story instead of pausing it.

I loved the characters, and the dual romances.  I especially loved Lucy and Nicholas and their chemistry.  As this is the first of the Drake Chronicles, the story came to a good resting point, and the romances were just blossoming.  I can’t wait for them to continue to grow, and am glad that Harvey is taking her time instead of rushing the characters into love so fast that she has nothing to do but make them doubt it in the next book to keep us reading.

A good, fast read.

Rating: 4 1/2 Stars

Pages: 256

Published: December 22, 2009

Teaser quote: “What are you doing?”

“I have no idea,” he admitted.  His lips hovered barely a breath away from mine.

“I thought you were mad a tem.” I really wanted to lean forward, just ever so slightly.

“I am.”

“You’re also trying to use your vamp mojo on me.”