December 31, 2011

Romance Review: Forever and a Day

Forever and a Day
Rumor #1
Deliah Marvelle
Genre: Historical Romance
Rating: 4

This book was well written, well played out, and I believe will be well loved by romance fans of all kinds. I'm sure there are many amnesia themed romances out there, but this was my first one and I really enjoyed it. I felt like this book really stood out from the masses of historical romance out there in that the characters were wonderfully developed and the circumstances keeping our heroine and hero apart were more realistically observed. There was no magic solution. Society doesn't just look the other way like they do in most historical romances. Georgia actually has to work and make sacrifices in order to be with the man she loves.

I loved the incorporation of classic literature. It completely endeared the hero to me that he woke up from his accident thinking he was Robinson Crusoe. I respected the hero. Once he got his memories back, he didn't have a miraculous change of character. He was the same basic person who happened to learn some lessons about life and love. He didn't delude himself that he could make the ton accept lower class Georgia. He didn't say "Oh, what the hell!" in the name of love. He unselfishly considers the ramifications it would have on Georgia's happiness and well being. This wonderful fact gave Georgia the opportunity to be one of the strongest heroines I have ever read. I was so proud of her by the end. She never swooned and got her way. Everything she got, she had to bust her butt for.

Aside from the main characters, the supporting characters were also well written and well loved. From the hilariously creepy neighbor suffering from a bought of unrequited love, to Georiga's rough and tumble son-in-law, I found myself loving every character in this book.

My only complaint is that the ending was rushed. The majority of the book was fleshed out perfectly, engaging readers in the lives and circumstances of the characters. Georgia's plan to inflitrate the ton was such a fun idea. I really thought it could have been its own book, but wouldn't have minded Marvale making her book a bit longer to incorporate more of how Georgia and Roderick deceive the ton together. I felt cheated out of that part of the book.

Recommendation: Get cozy, make your favorite beverage, and get ready for a romance read that will take you across the emotional spectrum and leave you cheering for a strong heroine. No wilting violets here!

December 30, 2011

Book Review: Demons Like It Hot


Demons Like It Hot
Sidney Ayers
Demons Unleashed #2
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Rating: 2

There's something wrong when your final thoughts about a book are, "Thank God it's over!" I wasn't sure if I would make it through this mess of a book, but I am very proud to say I stuck with it all the way to the craptastic end. 

The author's bio at the back of the book says Ayers likes to infuse her stories with humor... If this is Ms. Ayers' idea of humor, then I am sad to say it never matured past middle school. Completely horrible and unnecessary instances of phrases like, "See ya, wouldn't wanna be ya," clutter the story with juvenile interruptions that both distracted me and lessened any chance of me actually liking the book each time one popped up. Just so you know, they pop up a lot.

The main characters are flat and boring. Serah, the heroine, is a pretty two dimensional character with a bratty streak. Every time she had one of her abrupt and uncalled for outbursts, I honestly wondered if the author was channeling a teenager rather than a grown woman. Our hero Mathias is little more than a walking, talking slab of beef cake. Literally no personality. Supporting characters are what made this bearable, though still not good enough..

Reading this book made me feel like Ayers read a lot of romance novels and decided to take a crack at it by combining all the most cliche aspects of romance writing into one massive muscle rippling fest. And I don't mean that in a good way. Mathias' personality has such a low pulse that the author tries to make up for it by making his muscles ripple and his eyes burn with desire every other sentence. The man can't breathe without a pec or a bicep popping suggestively.

Recommendation  Don't waste your time with this one unless you want a good example of what not to do when writing a paranormal romance. :

November 29, 2011

Book Review: A Midsummer Night's Sin

A Midsummer Night's Sin
Kasey Michaels
Blackthorn Brothers #2
Genre: Historical Romance
Rating: 3

Puck is quite literally a sexy bastard. Women want to bed him and men want to be him. However, after returning to London after a long stay in Paris, Puck finds the English are a bit more concerned with his bastard status than his Parisian fanbase.

Regina is the daughter of a status seeking merchant who intends to profit off of marrying her to a title. Only seen as a commodity by her father and left to fend for herself by her alcoholic mother, Regina just wants to have a little fun before she is sold off to the highest bidder.

This was a very quick and entertaining read. Puck was charming and completely lovable living up to his namesake nicely. His interactions with Regina were fun, but I felt she gave into him a bit easily. I was also irritated that she seemed to obey whatever he said without much of a fight. I like my heroines to be a bit spunky and not so easily attained, but I guess if my dad were about to sell me off like a horse I would run off with Puck in an instant too!

The two meet at a masquerade ball which was a bit cliche and common in these types of stories, however there was an interesting plot twist. Regina's cousin Miranda is kidnapped at the ball and she must find her with the help of Puck before Miranda is sold off into the sex slave trade. Pretty different for a historical romance, but still very predictable. If you don't catch on to who is behind it all almost immediately I will be surprised.

Recommended to romance and historical romance lovers. Fairly typical, but with a delightfully fun hero. Let's just say Puck will make you love life!

November 28, 2011

Book Review: Pride & Passion

Pride & Passion
Charlotte Featherstone
Brethren Guardians #2
Genre: Historical Romance
Rating: 4

Most Beautiful Cover 2011

I have been eagerly anticipating Pride & Passion ever since I finished its predicessor Seduction & Scandal this summer. The characters are endearing and the plot promises to always offer Masonic excitment. Charlotte Featherstone has quickly become one of my top authors to watch! Her smooth and scintilating way with words is sure to captivate and please readers of romance.

The Duke of Delicousness does not dissapoint! Adrian is absolutely wonderful and his back story connection with Lucy was so sweet and heart wrenching. This book focuses more on the romance between our hero and heroine more than the developing series plotline. I actually felt it was a bit lacking in that part. I got the sense that this was really a book written to bridge the series plot over to the next book. Not much happens here in the way of Masonic doings, but the romance between Sussex and Lucy makes up for it. I was actually pretty greatful to just sink into the romance and take a break from all the running around and investigating.

Pride & Passion leaves us with a cliffhanger that will leave fans of the series dying to get their hand son the next book. Temptation & Twilight which will be Elizabeth and Iian's story! I love me some highland rake and will finally get the chance to indulge when the next book comes out in July 2012

November 20, 2011

Book Review: Henry VIII: Wolfman

Henry VIII: Wolfman
A.E. Moorat
Genre: Mash Up, Horror, Dark Humor
Rating: 2.5

Henry VIII is at the height of his reign and he's hungry like the wolf...

King Henry VIII is infamous for his ability to go through wives like dirty underwear with his fickle attentions and desire for a male heir. This book tells a tale untold until now.Henry's Europe is characterized as a land balancing precariously between human and demon kind. The Vatican acknowledges the existence of demons and even promotes their existence because, "..frightened people are more likely to attend church." Seriously, that's what they're going with. The Protektorate is an organization overseen by the Vatican that attempts to keep the demons in check to an extent, but in all honesty is pretty useless.  Henry contracts lycanthropy and spends most of the book loping through England at night tearing into peasants with his great big teeth and hiding random body parts in his closet.

The title says it all, really I think readers will find an enormous lack of direction and misplaced humor. There are definitely some funny parts, but there are fairly few truly laughable moments. It is easy to see where the author tries to get a twisted laugh out of his reader and fails completely leading to much head shaking and exasperated sighing. I am a huge fan of dark humor, horror, and novel ideas. However in this case I just didn't like it. I think it is mostly because I have been incredibly spoiled by Christopher Moore and his fantastic books that mix dark humor, horror, and quirkiness superbly while still offering the reader an emotionally charged plot. His stories make you question just how fucked up your sense of humor actually is one minute and then show you that no matter how dark it gets, there is always heart at the center of it. I guess what I'm trying to say is there is a method to Mr. Moore's madness, whereas Henry VIII: Wolfman is just mad.

The pages of this book are soaked with blood and guts. I can get into that for zombies and the like, but when it comes to cracking jokes during the graphic slaughtering of children, I tend to be revolted. At one point, wolfman Henry digs up the grave of a recently deceased child, pulls of its head and limbs, and buries his snout in the gaping neck hole to feast. This is all after sinking his teeth into the ample breasts of the dead child's mother and ripping them off of her while she screams in agony. I am in no way debating morals here, I have read and enjoyed many a blood fest with novels like Z.A. Recht's Plague of the Dead and darkly humorous tales like Christopher Moore's A Dirty Job. If you can write your gore and humor with a satisfying storyline I commend you, it just doesn't happen here.

I won't lie though, the reading experience wasn't entirely unenjoyable. The text is well written and for all its sillyness keeps your reading at a brisk pace. I was brought to tears laughing at two different parts because of how absolutely ridiculous they were. That was honestly the thing that kept me reading, the twisted desire to see what crazy thing the author would come up with next. After all my criticisms for this book I did have the pleasure of reading the best irreverent death scene ever. I almost feel like bearing with the rest of the book is worth it just to read the death by fat ass scene. Don't have a cushion to smother your poor suffering patient with? Have the fattest man in the room sit on his face. Genius. I honestly mean that.

So Wicked reader, are you confused? Are you wondering right now "Did she like it or not?" The only answer I can give you is this. I didn't enjoy the story so much as I enjoyed the way it fucked with my head. I'm giving it 2.5 stars because of the butt death scene and because this book made me really think about what I liked in a book and how far someone can mess with historical accuracy before I stop taking it seriously.  And that brings me to my final advice about this book. Don't take it seriously, enjoy the insane, twisted ride it takes you on. If you are not into the darker side of fiction, this is probably not the book for you. However if you enjoy a good mind fuck now and then, I suggest you give Henry VIII: Wolfman a read. And then tell me what you thought because I am dying to discuss this book with someone.

November 18, 2011

Book Review: Tattoo

Tattoo
Kirsten Imani Kasai
Ice Song #2
Genre: Dark Fantasy
Rating 4

I need to clear something up in response to all the negative reviews.

This is not a book you can read without having read the first one! The world is intricate and fantastic just like any other deep fantasy book. The Ice Song books are also very dark and at times strange, but no less beautiful for these elements' existence. If that is not something you are into, and you are not a fan of deep fantasy then you probably won't like this book. So before you make a harsh 2 star or lower judgment on it, I suggest you take the time to read book 1, it is only fair to this amazing author's hard work.

With that out of the way,Tattoo is a beautiful follow up book. The characters and the morbidly beautiful world are just as wonderful and developed as you remember them. My only complaint is that the plot wasn't as well fleshed out as Ice Song. I felt like book one had a solid plot. We knew what the objective was and we were emotionally invested in the outcome. In book two, it is less clear what exactly is the objective. Soryk wants his own life free from his primary Sorykah who just wants to live a quiet life with her children.

Readers get a better understanding of some of the supporting characters like Sidra the Lovely and Dunya the dog-faced girl. We also get lessons in some of the more concrete mythology of the world. I found these aspects very enjoyable and a nice distraction from the uncertainty of the major plot line.

Overall, it is worth a read for those who have read the first book. Laying the groundwork for other prospective installments, Tattoo will continue your journey through this vividly strange world.

October 31, 2011

Book Review: All About Seduction

All About Seduction
Katy Madison
Historical Romance
Rating: 3

Caroline Broadhurst is a loyal wife and has been since the day she married her MUCH older husband at 14. Now that she is 28 and he is nearing his end, Mr. Broadhurst desperately wants and heir. After years of being unable to conceive not only with Caroline, but also with his two previous wives, he has a proposal for his dutiful wife. Become impregnated by a well standing gentleman or lose everything that should be rightfully hers once he dies.

This isn't a new concept to period romances, however Katy Madison writes her interpretation with great style and emotion. I enjoyed the characters and the overall read of the book, but I just couldn't get past all the unconsensual fooling around Caroline is forced to do. I understand that it is part of the plot and that she has to endure a certain amount of it to be convincing to her husband, but Caroline spends more time being fondled by these disgusting brutes than she does romancing with our hero Jack Applegate. Honestly, the romance doesn't even really get going until the last third of the book! For this reason, I didn't enjoy it as much as I thought I would.

There is a lot to like about All About Seduction. It was a fast paced read, with great detail of the time period and well thought out characters. Caroline is not your average wealthy lady, she actually cares about the people who work the cotton mill that makes her and her husband rich. She advocates for the workers and even does her best to keep young children from participating in the difficult and dangerous labor. I really enjoyed this about her character.

I believe most readers will enjoy this book, but may be caught off guard by the indecency that Caroline is forced to endure. There really wasn't enough romantic development between the Jack and Caroline for my taste, but there you have it. This book is an enjoyable read with a sweet ending, but leaves something to be desired in the way of romance.

October 30, 2011

Book Review: The Demon Lover

The Demon Lover
Juliet Dark
Fairwick Chronicles #1
Urban Fantasy
Expected Publication Date: December 27th, 2011
Rating 5

 In honor of all things magical and creepy, enchanting and frightening this Halloween, I bring to you a book that has it all. I first read this book in July thanks to the wonderful people at Random House Publishing and Netgalley providing me with an arc. My feelings towards this book have remained the same since reading it months ago; amazing!

Callie McFay has taken a job teaching at Fairwick College that she wasn’t sure she wanted in the first place, and has bought an old Victorian house that her instincts are screaming for her to stay away from. Something has drawn her to become a part of the community that is not what it appears to be at first glance. Just when she feels she is settling in, Callie is visited by a demon lover that is determined to suck the life out of her. Night after night, the insatiable demon brings her to new heights of pleasure and ever closer to death. As time goes on, Callie becomes less and less sure she minds. 

There is really only one word that describes The Demon Lover accurately and that is lush. This book is filled with deliciously ripe detail that echoes my fondest memories of classic gothic literature while utilizing the trend of today’s popular adult paranormal fiction. The academic atmosphere of Fairwick College and Callie’s scholarly analysis of her situation are engrossing and give this novel the intelligent edge that a great deal of today’s paranormal fiction is missing. Juliet Dark’s attention to detail is truly what makes this story so breathtakingly beautiful and heart wrenchingly real. 

The writing style and Callie’s character can be a bit frustrating, at times. She is constantly changing her opinion on her present situation and for the first half of the book she is in denial, coming up with a logical explanation for everything that happens to her. This frustrated me to no end until I hit a moment of clarity the same moment Callie did in the story. The writing style and content are meant to be confusing and frustrating at points to reflect Callie’s state of mind as it has been altered through her interactions with the incubus. Once I realized this I was completely enthralled.  It was like a slap in the face and I had to admit to myself that the demon lover had hypnotized not just Callie, but me as well.

It is difficult to describe the romance of this book. Callie falls in love with many things through the course of its pages. She begins to feel at home in Fairwick and finds a mish mashed sort of family in the people that she interacts with on a daily basis. The magic and mystery of the town beckon to her deeply buried roots until she finds a piece of herself she didn’t know she had to begin with. Finally there is the incubus. I easily felt the same indecision towards him as Callie did. At first she thinks him a dream, but as he becomes more and more real to her, she can no longer deny his appeal. I will not spoil any of this story for you all, but eventually you will have to ask yourself, just as Callie does, “Is it possible that he could truly love her and become flesh?” 

It was pointed out to me about half-way through this book that it was the same book as Incubus by Carol Goodman published by Ebury Press on July 21st, 2011. The only real reason I could come up with in my research for why two different publishers would publish the same book, under different titles, and authors six months apart from each other would be to maximize marketing. Incubus was published in the UK and therefore the publishers probably felt that particular title and its cover art would appeal to the European audience whereas the U.S. requires a bit more of a sexualized title and mysterious author pseudonym. Whatever the reason, it was a bit confusing, but did not divert from the overall appeal of the book itself. These days, it has become excruciatingly popular for authors to end their books on a huge cliff-hanger, forcing you to read the next just to find out what happened, even if you didn’t really like it that much. The Demon Lover wraps up its loose ends nicely and all major plot points are developed so that the reader is satisfied. This book doesn’t need any cliffhangers to get its hooks in you; it’s just that good.  I look forward to a sequel, which is all but promised by the subtext of the Incubus version declaring it as Fairwick Chronicles #1. Juliet Dark, and by extension Carol Goodman, has a new loyal fan in this Wickedly Bookish reader.

October 27, 2011

Thursday's Dirty Little Secret

 It's time again for us bloggers to reveal or dirty little secrets! DLS is a weekly meme hosted by the lovely ladies of Under the Covers This week's question is:

"If you could shape shift into anything, what would it be?"

This is a hard one, because I don't want to be cliche and say wolf, but they are so awesome! I think what I would really want though is to be able to shift into other people like Mystique or Georgina Kincaid. I think this stems mostly from my not being comfortable with my own body, but also because I wouldn't have to dye my hair all the freaking time!I could easily have pink hair if I wanted to without all the hassle and that would be awesome. Oh yeah and I could be a crazy cool assassin/infiltrator

October 24, 2011

Book Review: Sundial

Sundial
C.F. Fruzzetti and M.I. Pearsall
Sundial #1
Genre: Young Adult, Supernatural
Rating: 4

Whitney Forbes is your average 15 year old girl about to turn 16. She goes to high school, has awesome friends, and is being pursued by IT boy Reid Wallace. While she enjoys her adolescence to the fullest, there is one thing that lingers at the edge of her happiness giving it a bittersweet taste. When Whitney turns 21, the CIA will own her and force her to work for them as a remote viewer, a psychic who uncovers the secrets of hostile nations.

There are just so many wonderful things about Sundial I hardly know where to begin. First off, it is very well written making it a smooth enjoyable read. The authors obviously put a lot of thought into how Whitney and the other psychic's abilities would work and how the American government would be able to put them to use. The Clarion program fits seamlessly into what the average American perceives the CIA to be and doesn't feel made up or forced. On top of being totally awesome, the psychics of this book also have food allergies as part of their genetic makeup. In Sundial, people who have a food allergy are more evolved and develop psychic abilities. The science is actually pretty well developed and explained throughout the book. What a neat way to highlight a condition that has become more pronounced throughout the years!

I think my favorite part of the world the authors have placed their heroine in is the unique use of Kung Fu in Whitney and Reid's training. I haven't seen this in any of the YA books I have read recently and felt it was both appropriate and really neat to learn about. It was a treat to see such clashing cultures twine together to make such capable people.

The characters in Sundial are strongly constructed and very likable. Whitney is really like no other YA heroine you will read about. She knows exactly what she wants from life before the CIA gets their hands on her and she is determined to have no less. She is confident, capable, and far from the often self-destructive example we see in today's YA books. If you are a parent, and want a good read for your teen where the heroine isn't completely self-centered, whiny, and out-of-control, I would highly recommend Sundial. Don't get me wrong, I love YA fiction so much, and enjoy the racier books immensely,, but I am also an adult and understand how to separate fiction from fact. Let's be honest here, a good majority of YA fiction features teen girls ready to give up their lives, futures, and even families to be with some hot, sparkly, Emo vamp. While this is all fine well and good in a fictional world, it sends a bad message to impressionable teens who have yet to figure out what a real, healthy relationship entails. Sure, we all have to make sacrifices for the ones we love at one point or another, and it is pretty romantic to think someone loves you so much they would sacrifice everything for little old you. However, when you love someone, you don't expect them to give up everything they love and value just so they can be yours. This is where Sundial gets it right. Whitney and Reid's relationship revolves around their mutual attraction for each other of course, but also contains a respect and intelligence that teen relationships often lack. The authors offer a healthy and realistic example of what teens should expect out dating. 

As for pacing, the book begins out slow and doesn't quite get to the action until the last third,, however once I got to the action, I understood exactly why. The authors are setting up Whitney's world and getting the reader familiar with the characters, how they think, and the way the interact with each other. This is the first book in a series, and like any other first, needs to take the time to set up the world and its characters.My only real complaint about this book was that things seem almost too easy and what I mean by this is that Whitney and Reid seem to always have the answers. Things almost always go without a hitch and that irked me a bit. I understand these people are psychics and can see what is going to happen and all, but everything can't go perfectly all the time. At some point, something has to go wrong. Obviously this wasn't a big enough problem to keep me from enjoying Sundial, but I do look forward to things not always falling perfectly together in book two.

I was approached by the authors to read and review Sundial. I am so grateful that I got the opportunity to be a reviewer for such a neat book. The authors had this to say about their debut novel, "We have tried to show girls in a positive and capable light and to give a boost to kids who feel socially isolated because of a food allergy through an exciting mainstream adventure." Well, with that being said, Fruzzetti and Pearsall succeed in this endeavor brilliantly. I recommend Sundial to all of you YA lovers and to teens looking for something that has both supernatural excitement and substance.

Don't miss the new book trailer here!
For more information please visit The Official Sundial Website

October 23, 2011

WW Read-a-Thon Final Wrap Up

WWRATThis Read-a-Thon has been seriously amazing and I am pretty happy with the progress I made. I got to meet some amazing bloggers and wonderfully wicked readers! Here is how I did!
  • Total Pages Read: 856
  • Books completed: 2.25
  • Tweets: 100+
  • Challenges entered: 4
  • Partial Completes: 30% of A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore
I think I did pretty well for my first Read-a-Thon! My goal was 3 books, and I came fairly close so I am happy. Hopefully I can find some other great RATs to participate in soon. 

    October 22, 2011

    WW Read-a-Thon Saturday Wrap Up

    Today was a great day for reading and I actually finished one of my challenge books! 1 Down 2 to go! here are my accomplishments for the day:
    • Completed Archangel's Consort by Nalini Singh 352 pages
    • Participated in the Guess the Character Challenge
    • Participated in the Let's Talk Horror Challenge
    • Read 40% of Dreaming of Beauty by Kristen White 138 pages
    Totals
    • Pages: 540
    • 1.25 books completed
    • 3 challenges entered
    • Countless tweets lol
    Books Completed So Far:


     

    October 21, 2011

    WW Read-a-Thon Friday Wrap Up

    I think it's about time for me to wrap it up for the day. I have to work early tomorrow morning so I need to get my booty into bed! I still plan to read, but I figured I would post about what I have accomplished today as of 10:00p.m. PST.
    • Finished reading Sundial by C.F. Fruzzetti (begun before RAT) 50 pages
    • Began Archangel's Consort by Nalini Singh
    • Reached page 140 of 352 of Archangel's Consort
    • Entered Title Sentence Challenge
    Totals:
    • 190 pages
    • .25 books completed
    • 1 challenge entered
    I did ok today, but I also had a busy day on the side. my hubby and I went to the pumpkin patch, got lost in the corn maze, and got us some sweet pumpkins! I also had to go get my group's tickets for Thunder From Down Under today! Woot woot! It's going to be amazing! Anyways, hope all my wicked readers had a great day! Don't forget you can find my twitter updates here @WickedlyBookish and if you are participating please use the hashtag #WWReadathon while tweeting! 

    WW Read-a-Thon: Title Challenge!

    The Wonderfully Wicked Read-a-Thon also has some cool challenges to participate in. This one in particular is a neat idea! You need to put together a sentence only using the titles of books. You cannot add or subtract words from a title to fit, they all just need to fit together to form a complete sentence. This challenge is hosted over at Lovely Lit Here's my entry:

     A clash of kings claimed the darkest pleasure one grave at a time.





    Wonderfully Wicked Read-a-Thon!

    Today is the day! The first day of the Wonderfully Wicked Read-a-Thon! If you would like to join in, sign ups will still be open until midnight on Saturday. There will be challenges and prizes to win so come join us! I'm going to be starting out this event by finishing up Sundial by C.F. Fruzzetti. My reading list for after that looks like this, but could change depending on my mood. Click on the links to see the book's Goodreads page!\\

    Wonderfully Wicked Reading List
    Dreaming of Beauty by Kristen White
    Voyager (Outlander #3)  by Diana Gabaldon
    Archangel's Consort (Guild Hunter #3) by Nalini Singh
    Shadowfever (Fever #5) by Karen Marie Monning
    A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore

    And there you have it! I don't think I will get through them all, but I would like to complete 3 at least. I'll be doing a wrap up post at the end of each day and posting my progress on twitter using the hash tag #WWReadathon

    October 17, 2011

    I'm Baaaack!

    For those of you who have noticed my absence lately, I apologize.Things have been a little crazy around Chez Wicked and I've had a difficult time getting things together to continue posting. I will spare you all the details as I'm sure you've heard it all, but, let me assure you, I have something fun planned for this weekend.

    I will be participating in the normal memes this week and offering up a couple of new reviews, however the 21st - 23rd are really what I'm excited about!. 


    Yes that's right! Wickedly Bookish will be participating in the Wonderfully Wicked Read-a-Thon! Being this blog's first Read-a-Thon, it may not be quite as fancy as people are used to, but it will be fun and that's what is important! This Read-a-Thon is being hosted over at My Shelf Confessions so if you are interested in participating, whether you have a blog or not, head on over and sign up!  

    What is a read-a-thon you ask? Well my wicked readers it is a space of time, in this case 3 days, in which we put aside all other distractions and read as much as possible to achieve our reading goals and/or challenges. The year is coming to a close and it's time to really push to achieve those goals we set at the beginning of the year. Of course we can't just sit and read for 72 hours straight, all of us have responsibilities to take care of. The point here is to minimize distractions where we can to optimize our reading potential! The guilty parties in my house tend to be video games, school, and my hubby. 

    My goal this year was to read 100 books and I am at 82! Only 18 more books to go! I'm hoping to get a couple of those completed for the read-a-thon. I will be updating frequently throughout each day on my progress and hope that you will all cheer me on and share your own progress as well!

    October 1, 2011

    Book Review; Highland Hero

    Highland Hero
    Amanda Scott
    Scottish Knights #2
    Historical Romance, Highlander Romance
    Rating 4

    Sir Ivor Mackintosh, known as Hawk, is summoned by His Grace the King of Scotts to secretly escort his son Jamie  to safety from the greedy Duke of Albany. Little does he know that Jamie's nursemaid is actually the young prince's cousin Marsi, a ward of the crown fleeing from the prospect of a forced marriage.

    I really enjoyed reading this book. I have been looking for a long time for a series that gave me a similar feeling to the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon, and Highland Hero fit the bill. Now I'm not saying this is anywhere near as epic as Outlander however, it was very fun and had a similar adventurous feel to it. The author really did her homework when she put this book together. The settings and cultural feel authentic; readers who appreciate history will be sucked right in. It does drag on a bit towards the middle while they are making their way to Saint Andrews, but picks up again right in time for the closing chapters. The only real complaint I have is that the constant use of Scottish Colloquialism is very distracting and slows down the pace at times giving the speech an unnatural feel for American readers. I can't imagine what it must have been like to write "I ken fine!" and "In troth!" a few hundred times while putting this book together.

    I would recommend this for Highlander Romance fans, history lovers, and anyone who wants a romantic adventure. The characters are very lovable especially young Jamie and scrappy Marsi. Ivor kind of fell flat for me as a hero, but then again I also like my love scenes a bit juicier than the ones provided in this book.

    September 30, 2011

    Book Review: One Grave at a Time

    One Grave at a Time
    Jeaniene Frost
    Night Huntress #6
    Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
    Rating: 3

    Cat and Bones are back for another round of supernatural smackdown, this time with the crazy ghost of Heinrich Krammer, a former witch hunter who becomes corporeal on Halloween night and burns innocent women to death.  Many of our favorite characters return to help out like my favorite Ian along with Spade and Denise and Cat's mom. Mencheres and Kira do not make an appearance sadly.

    What was my main issue with this book you may ask? Bones is too perfect. He is so perfect in fact, he is beginning to sparkle. Yes ladies, I said it. Blasphemy it may be, but read this excerpt and tell me you don't see it.

    "I stared at my husband's profile noting how his sculpted cheekbones, curving dark brows, and exquisite crystal skin only highlighted the ruthlessness of his expression.

     Ok, so we all know that Bones is gorgeous and ruthless and blah, blah, blah. There are about 20 occurrences of these types of lines throughout the book. It's getting little ridiculous. We get already! Bones has no flaws, is absolutely perfect in every way and is so hot you could cook breakfast on his abbs. Now that we have that covered, can we get to some actual important plot in the next book please?

    The one good thing this book does is introduce a new character. Tyler the flamboyant medium is amazingly hilarious. He has the best lines in the book hands down. Without him, this would have been a complete waste of time for me.

    It is becoming increasingly apparent to me that this series is starting to take a nose dive. It started out amazing at first, but after book three, things got a little dicey.This is not quiet the weakest book in the series as it is still entertaining, however it is completely lacking in that original Cat and Bones magic that we all love so much. Is it because now that they are finally together, things have settled down with their relationship? I couldn't quite put my finger on it, but something is definitely missing. In my honest opinion, it is about time Ms. Frost puts Cat and Bones' series to rest and focuses her energies on the Night Huntress World books and Vlad's new series that begins with Once Burned. I think we could all use some fresher blood.

    September 29, 2011

    Thursday's Dirty Little Secret


    Dirty Little Secret is a weekly meme hosted by the lovely ladies over at Under the Covers. This week's question is...
    "Who is your author crush? And if you were to write a fan letter to them, what would you say?
     
    Dear J.R. Ward,
    I am writing this letter to you now to let you know I have the deepest love and respect for your writing. My favorite series of all time is your Black Dagger Brotherhood series. Now that you know I love you so much, I was hoping you would do me a favor. Please make me the leading lady for Xcor's book! I haven't been able to stop thinking about him since I finished Lover Unleashed and I think we would be perfect together. I have already gotten the ok from my hubby to get down and dirty with this fictional character who I wish wasn't so fictional so please go ahead and write those amazing steamy scenes you are so good at, featuring Xcor and I. You could even make the tension that much better by writing me in as Wrath's long lost daughter that he never knew about after getting a human girl pregnant. I mean , what's one more obscure relative? Everyone seems to be part of his family line in some way or another these days. Anyway, take care, I love you, adore that new dark red silk robe you've been wearing to bed these days.

    Sincerely,

    Jess, Xcor's Shellan

    September 28, 2011

    Waiting On Wednesday

    Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted over at Breaking the Spine where we book bloggers discuss upcoming releases we are dying to get our hands on! This week's WoW pick is...

    Tales of alpha angels...from four alpha authors. 

    They soar through the night, unearthly creatures of legends and lore. Four masters of urban fantasy and paranormal romance explore the rapture of the heavens above, and the darkness below in four all-new stories of angels and guardians, and good and evil.

     I think this looks great! I haven't read anything from the two authors at the bottom so it would be nice to get an idea of their work. I really want to read the Guild Hunter story  about Noel the angel that is badly hurt in Archangel's Kiss.

    Well that's it! Thanks guys! Leave your WoW in the comment box below!

    September 26, 2011

    Book Review: The Gladiator's Master

    The Gladiator's Master
    By Fae Sutherland & Marguerite Labbe
    M/M Romance, Historical Romance
    Rating: 3

    A sexy gladiator and his master getting sweaty? Yes please! The cover is gorgeous and so are the men, so you'd think this book would have blown my mind. Unfortunately not so much.

    This book was just ok for me. Usually my next phrase would be, "and here's why..." However, in this case I have to say I couldn't quite put my finger on why this wasn't a great read for me. The premise was fairly new to me and the characters were likable enough. The story is truly heartfelt and the love between Cealius and Gaidres is both fiery and sweet. There is just something here that is missing for me, some essential spark that isn't tangible, the story either has it or it doesn't. I found myself becoming easily distracted and taking frequent breaks to read something else. I have to give the authors props for writing such hot and steamy sex scenes, but even these fell flat for me at times.

    Lot's of people who have reviewed this book seem to love it, so I feel kind of weird saying it was just ok, but there you have it

    September 22, 2011

    Thursday's Dirty Little Secret

    It's that time of the week again! You know you've been waiting for it! 
    Dirty Little Secret is a weekly meme hosted by the lovely ladies over at Under the Covers where we answer a prompted question divulging our deepest darkest book obsessions! This week's question is:

    "If you could have wings, what would they look like?" 
     
     This is a great question! I would love to have black wings tipped with a deep plum purple and sparked with silver on the underside.

    What do you ladies want your wings to look like? 


    September 21, 2011

    Waiting On Wednesday

    Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted over at Breaking The Spine where we share the books we are impatiently waiting for. This week's WoW pick is...

    Clockwork Prince
    Cassandra Clare
    The Infernal Devices #2
    Release Date: December 6th, 2011

    In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray has at last found safety with the Shadowhunters. But that safety proves fleeting when rogue forces in the Clave plot to see her protector, Charlotte, replaced as head of the Institute. If Charlotte loses her position, Tessa will be out on the street—and easy prey for the mysterious Magister, who wants to use Tessa’s powers for his own dark ends.

    With the help of the handsome, self-destructive Will and the fiercely devoted Jem, Tessa discovers that the Magister’s war on the Shadowhunters is deeply personal. He blames them for a long-ago tragedy that shattered his life. To unravel the secrets of the past, the trio journeys from mist-shrouded Yorkshire to a manor house that holds untold horrors, from the slums of London to an enchanted ballroom where Tessa discovers that the truth of her parentage is more sinister than she had imagined. When they encounter a clockwork demon bearing a warning for Will, they realize that the Magister himself knows their every move—and that one of their own has betrayed them.
    Tessa finds her heart drawn more and more to Jem, though her longing for Will, despite his dark moods, continues to unsettle her. But something is changing in Will—the wall he has built around himself is crumbling. Could finding the Magister free Will from his secrets and give Tessa the answers about who she is and what she was born to do?
    As their dangerous search for the Magister and the truth leads the friends into peril, Tessa learns that when love and lies are mixed, they can corrupt even the purest heart.

    September 20, 2011

    Teaser Tuesday

    Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Miz B over at Should Be Reading where we share a teaser from our current reads! To participate just:
    • Grab your current read
    • Open to a random page
    • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
    • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
    • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
     The above directions were copied from the host's blog. So here we go! This week's teaser is:

    A Clash of Kings
    A Song of Ice and Fire #1
    By George R.R. Martin

    "He spurred his horse back into motion, trotting over and around a scatter or corpses. Downriver, the Blackwater was jammed with the hulks of burning galleys." 

    So ominous!  This book has been really great so far! The characters are just amazing, you can't help but want to find out what lies in store for them. Well that's it! Post your own teaser on your blog or if you don't have your own blog, post your teaser in the comments section! Either way leave a comment so we can all enjoy your teaser!

    September 18, 2011

    Thrift Store Treasures: Savy Book Buying for the Page Addicted

    This week's featured titles were all bought by me at my local Goodwill for under $15! I get such a high finding quality books for so little money, especially with how expensive bound and ebooks are getting these days! Here is this week's haul!

    Can you believe the deal I got? I'm telling you guys, check out the local thrift stores each week for new inventory! It has really paid off for me. I mean, come on! I got the original hardback edition of Shadowfever for $5.99! That's a great deal when it is $26.00 retail.

    September 16, 2011

    Book Review: Unclaimed

    Unclaimed
    Courtney Milan
    Turner #2
    Historical Romance, Harlequin
    Rating: 4

    Sir Mark Turner is the very picture of respectability. He's the most eligible bachelor in London and a celebrity for writing his practical guide to chastity. Behind all the fame and fortune, Sir Mark longs to be seen as the man that he is, imperfect just like everyone else. When he meets fiery Jessica Farleigh, he gets just that; Jessica despises him for his fame and Mark is determined to make her like him. Behind her beautiful facade, Jessica has a secret, she is actually a courtesan tasked with seducing the virginal Sir Mark and ruining his reputation, but will she find love instead?

    Unclaimed is an absolutely delightful twist on the tale of seduction in the 1800s. This time, the man is the virginal, innocent one and the woman is set on bedding him. This was very well written with a unique take on regency style historical romance. You will get your silk and scandal style romance fix with a few surprises. First off, there is so much depth behind both Mark and Jessica's tales. They have each suffered society's demands in their own ways and have survived their dark pasts.

    All Jessica knows how to do is survive, but Mark shows her something completely different and it frightens her. I have to say I liked Jessica a lot. Have you ever noticed that the majority of characters named Jessica in literature and film are all either stupid, bitchy, slutty, or a combination of the three? I was so happy when I picked this book up and found a Jessica who is intelligent, courageous, and loyal. Yay! I finally have a literary Jessica I can look up to!

    In summation, the passion between Mark and Jessica made chills run down my spine throughout most of the book and that's saying a lot as they don't actually do anything but kiss for 3/4 of the book! Their chemistry is smoldering and their shared painful pasts will make your heartache. A wonderful tale for any romance lover.

    September 15, 2011

    Thursday's Dirty Little Secret

    Dirty Little Secret is a weekly meme hosted by the lovely ladies of Under The Covers where we bloggers divulge our secrets by answering their question! This week's question is:

    An evil fairy sneaks into your bedroom one night when the full moon is out and magicks you to wake up in the world you would like to live in the least. Where do you wake up?
     
    I recently read and reviewed Plague of the Dead by Z.A. Recht. I had a fun time enjoying the zombie killing goodness, but I would never want to wake up in a world overrun by zombies. I don't know if I would have what it take to survive that. I think I'll stick to playing Dead Island on my Xbox to satisfy my zombie smashing lust. 

    September 14, 2011

    Waiting On Wednesday

    Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted over at Breaking the Spine where we bloggers discuss which upcoming releases we just can't wait to get our hands one! This week's WoW pick is:

    Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness.
    Elisa is the chosen one.
    But she is also the younger of two princesses. The one who has never done anything remarkable, and can’t see how she ever will.
    Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king—a king whose country is in turmoil. A king who needs her to be the chosen one, not a failure of a princess.
    And he’s not the only one who seeks her. Savage enemies, seething with dark magic, are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could be his people’s savior, and he looks at her in a way that no man has ever looked at her before. Soon it is not just her life, but her very heart that is at stake.
    Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn’t die young.
    Most of the chosen do. 

    Yes, it's another YA book this week, but this one looks pretty interesting and has received some great reviews. I'm always up for reading a great YA story and this one reminds me of some of my favorites for example: A Great and Terrible Beauty the first book in the Gemma Doyle series by Libba Bray. I loved that series so much! I'm interested to see if this book is a winner. The Girl of Fire and Thorns releases 9/20/11.

    September 12, 2011

    Book Review: Plauge of the Dead: The Morningstar Strain

    Plague of the Dead: The Morningstar Strain
    Z.A. Recht
    Morningstar Saga #1
    Genre: Horror, Apocalyptic Fiction
    Creature Feature: ZOMBIES!
    Rating:3

    Plague of the Dead is not my usual fanfare here at Wickedly Bookish, however it is in one of my favorite genres; books about the apocalypse! No, no one likes to think about the end of the world, but you've got to admit there is just something about a good dystopian plot where we truly can blame the government for all our problems.

    Yes, this is a book about zombies overrunning the planet. Basically, the American military is experimenting with viruses in Africa for possible future biological warfare. They call it, the Morningstar Strain, and what do you know, some of it just happens to get out and infect the general population. Nice job guys. Countries from all over the world pitch in their soldiers to help evacuate uninfected civilians and barricade the "carriers" inside the continent.   Of course, we all know this can't possibly work, but it's a neat idea. Recht puts an interesting spin on the zombie apocalypse making this a thought provoking read. Is this something that could happen in the foreseeable future?

    I really liked the author's explanation for slow and fast zombies. Fast zombies are called "sprinters" and are living carriers of the virus that have been taken over by its parasitic nature. Slow zombies or "shamblers" are reanimated carriers whose bodies are bogged down by the effects of rigor mortis. Cool huh? There are some pretty neat concepts in this book and calling the virus Morningstar was just ingenious because it really does just pulverize everything in its path.The virus is a blood-borne disease and therefore can infect everyone if they get bitten or scratched making the story that much more tragic. Many characters almost get away and then are infected at the last possible moment. I have to admit, there were times I got paranoid over how easy this virus would be to spread around the U.S.  Many coughing strangers incited me to consider the merits of my household items as zombie bashing weapons.

    Plague of the Dead is well written and fun to read, however the emotional side of the story fell flat for me about a third of the way in. Most of the characters are in the military and therefore are being addressed by their last names. That would have been fine if half their names didn't sound the same and start with similar letters. I found myself flipping pages back to figure out who the hell just ate it and if I should care. "Was it the guy I was starting to like? Nope, never mind, nobody important to the story." Of course I was sad when people got infected and either killed themselves or succumbed to the virus, but really many of the characters lacked depth for me. Almost all of the lower ranked soldier characters were the generic smart-ass sarcastic, foul mouthed soldier which is important to have a similar character to lighten the mood, however it just gets annoying after the second guy. It was almost like the author said, "Hey, people will like this character so much, that when I kill him off, I should have a handful of characters to replace him!."

    I guess my point here is, I enjoyed this book and all its zombie methodology, however I felt like the heart of the story was missing. The characters basically just bounce around from place to place avoiding zombies. They don't seem to have much direction until near the end and the characters are so emotionally detached from the reader that it is hard to feel much. Of course you will want them to survive, but your heart won't pound in anticipation of their fate.

    September 8, 2011

    Thursday's Dirty Little Secret


    Dirty Little Secret is a weekly meme hosted by the lovely ladies of Under The Covers where we answer a new question and divulge or darkest dirtiest secrets. This week's question is:

    Complete the following sentences with fictional character names:

    I would have a one night stand with...
    I would marry....
    I would like to be sandwiched between....
    I would turn bi for...
     
     This is a great one!
    I would have a one night stand with Ranger from the Stephanie Plum series.
    I would marry Illium from the Guild Hunter series.
    I would like to be sandwiched between Qhuinn and Blaylock form BDB! They would go bi for me for one night right?
    I would turn bi for Georgina Kincaid, our favorite succubus!

    And there you have it Wicked Readers! Now you know! I'd love to hear your answers too so head on over to the above link and link up!

    September 7, 2011

    Waiting On Wednesday

    Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill over at Breaking The Spine where we discuss the upcoming releases that we are just dying for! This week at Wickedly Bookish, I am absolutely dying to read:

    Destined
    P.C. Cast & Kirsten Cast
    House of Night Series #9
    Release Date: October 25, 2011 

    In Destined, the forces of Light and Dark collide as their epic struggle focuses on Tulsa's House of Night. Zoey is home where she belongs, safe with her Guardian Warrior, Stark, by her side and preparing to face off against Neferet. Kalona has released his hold on Rephaim, and, through Nyx's gift of a human form, he and Stevie Rae are finally able to be together if Rephaim can truly walk the path of the Goddess and stay free of his father's shadow.

    But is Zoey really safe? Does she truly know those who are closest to her? And will love win when it is tested by the very soul of Darkness? Find out what s destined in the next thrilling chapter of the House of Night series.


    I have been following this series since the beginning. The first four books were amazing, but from there on the books have taken a dive. The two most recent ones Burned and Awakened were better and renewed my interest in the series, but I'm not going to get my hopes up. Then why, you may ask, are you dying for it's release? Well Wicked Readers, I just can't give up on this series. I keep hoping that we will get back to that awesomeness of the first four. I keep hoping that my faith will be rewarded and that this series will go back to its roots and not prove to be the money siphoning franchise it is turning out to be. Sometimes I wonder... Did they authors plan for it to be drawn out unecessarily with filler book after filler book? Or did they start out with the hope of people liking it, and then when they did, they decided, "Hey let's get all the money we can out of this one?" I really just want to see what happens to my favorite characters and find out what they heck they are doing with Heath's storyline!