Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Kulti by Mariana Zapata

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Elements of Chemistry: Attraction by Penny Reid

Publication Date: April 9th, 2015 

Elements of Chemistry, part 1
One week.
Private beach.
Invisible girl.
Jerk-faced bully.
What’s the worst that could happen?
Kaitlyn Parker has no problem being the invisible girl, which is why she finds herself hiding in various cabinets and closets all over her college campus. Despite her best efforts, she can’t escape the notice of Martin Sandeke—bad boy, jerkface bully, and the universe’s hottest, wealthiest, and most unobtainable bachelor—who also happens to be Kaitlyn’s chemistry lab partner.
Kaitlyn might be the only girl who isn’t interested in exploiting his stunning rower’s build, chiseled features, and family's billionaire fortune. Kaitlyn wants Martin for his brain, specifically to tabulate findings of trace elements in surface water.
When Kaitlyn saves Martin from a nefarious plot, Martin uses the opportunity to push Kaitlyn out of her comfort zone: spring break, one week, house parties, bathing suits, and suntan lotion. Can she overcome her aversion to being noticed? Will he be able grow beyond his self-centered nature? Or, despite their obvious chemistry, will Martin be the one to drive Kaitlyn into the science cabinet of obscurity for good?

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Elements of Chemistry is Penny's New Adult series/serial (I'd call it a series since they are basically full length novels) and Attraction is part 1.  I have to say from the looks of things, we've got another success on our hands, chickens! 

Here are some thing's I liked about Kaitlyn -> she's a great example of a young woman embracing her sexuality. I don't mean sexual preference, I mean she is aware she has a libido and doesn't attach a stigma to it. Yes. Thank you. Moving on. I also like her somewhat robotic personality. I'm not sure if this is intentional, but it's hilarious and whenever emotions get high she's like "Does not compute! Does not compute! Malfunction! Malfunction!" and shenanigans ensue. I don't think it's for any other reason then she idolizes her very powerful mother (who IS Hilary Clinton. This is who I picture and hear) and she herself has an extremely analytical mind. This makes her general bewilderment with Martin fantastic. He doesn't fit her mold because one would think that being the son of a genius means he would also be detached and analytical...kind of like her. But he's not. Martin is passionate and he sparks hers and it just befuddles the hell out of her. 

BUT...and there is a but because I wouldn't be me if there wasn't...

Kaitlyn is very familiar...she reminds me A LOT of Janie. They have different quirks, but I get the same vibe. It's almost as if we are reading about her life in college which is totally ok because Janie made me fall in love with Penny. It's still too early to tell though if this is going to be a hinderance or not because I don't want to compare the two the entire time. Penny's books and characters are slow builds (I love this) so even though it's part 1 and it's quite a chunk of the story at 45k, I have it on good authority that the other parts are longer. This signals to me that we will have more character development so fingers crossed I'll start to see Kaitlyn and not mini-Janie. 

Now I am totally on the fence with Martin. I think Martin is on the fence with Martin. It's like he's read his own bio and that's as much as he knows about himself. I get it, he's young and in college. I've come to find out that your twenties are devoted to figuring out who you are and even then, it's like screw it, I still don't know. But I think Martin is known for his family and his "name" rather than who he is as a person. It's obvious he's attracted to Kaitlyn because that kind of superficial pandering doesn't even register for her, but beyond knowing that he's physically attracted to her and that he knows she doesn't have ulterior motives where his family is concerned, I don't think he knows what he wants from her. So it leaves me a little on the fence on whether or not I want to trust him with my feelings (can I just say that in any other context I would sound like a lunatic but because I'm talking to fellow book nerds, I know you get it? Ugh normal people!). Also, there is SO MUCH unknown about him. Martin is still too much of a mystery to form any kind of opinion yet, but I will tell you that I am intrigued! 

Writing/dialogue/blah, blah blah...come on. It's a Penny Reid. You know you're getting quality. I love that she's trying NA. I think it's important to challenge yourself as a writer by exploring different genres. It keeps you sharp! 

OH and yeah...there's a cliffhanger. And it's a doozy. I was warned and I still growled like a wild animal. Luckily I get ARCs so I don't have to wait toooooooooo long (and Penny, girl, if you want to send that a little earlier I'd be MUCH OBLIGED). On the bright side the release dates are pretty close! Sometimes it pays to be titillated! Awesome start to the series, I'm excited to see what happens next! Also I super love rowing and was daydreaming about broad shoulders for AT LEAST a full day after I finished so that's also something to look forward to :) 

OH! Connection! Sorry, you would think that since I'm typing this it would prevent me from rambling because editing and such, but nope! I just realized how TRUE the title is! This whole first part is about attraction! Kaitlyn and Martin's initial attraction to each other! Granted I'm probably reading way too much into this, but it totally makes sense! Gah! Penny, you genius (even if unintentional)! 

Monday, March 2, 2015

Jinxed by Donna Augustine!!

Karma, it’s what they call me and the very essence of who I am. When I died young, I was recruited by the agency that keeps the Universe running smoothly. As someone with a human past, most of my coworkers consider me inferior.

But not everyone. Something evil has been stalking me for centuries. It’s been biding its time, waiting for the moment when it will strike and it needs me to to do it.

Its methods of recruitment are tearing apart every aspect of my life. I’m slowly losing myself, both mentally and physically. I don’t know who I can count on but I'm finding out how much I'm willing to sacrifice to save the ones I care about.

5 Stars!!

Ok so here's the thing...it's taken me a little bit to write this review for no other reason than I have to digest Donna's books. I know that sounds weird and well...biologically impossible, but trust me it's necessary. Her world-building is some of the best in the Urban Fantasy biz and it can be very involved which is a good thing! Seriously, nothing DNFs a book quicker for me than lazy world building. 

That being said, I had to sit with what happened in book 2 because Jinxed is VERY different than Karma and I was seriously surprised and am even more excited for the possibilities of this series than ever before. I've read everything (I think? I'm pretty sure!) of Donna's and this might be one of the darkest books she's written. The entire tone of the book is self-reflective and almost...constrictive.  I don't know how else to put it other than that because you see, Karma is paralyzed by decisions and lack of decisions she makes/can't make/refuses to make in this sequel and it reads so well that we feel the same paralyzing anxiety/fear. Not only is it beyond amazing to go through this journey with Karma (if a little frustrating because if she would just TALK TO FATE GRRRR), but it also showcases the developing talent of the author. 

I have a feeling Karma is going to tick a lot of people off, but to be honest who the hell wants to read about a heroine who gets everything right and is totally awesome ALL THE TIME. It's boring...I may have been royally pissed off at her, but I knew she would learn something from her mistakes and people, I'm sorry, but that's called CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT (I may or may not be a little passionate about this lol.) 

Another thing, which to be completely frank, might be a hit or miss with a lot of readers is the amount of info that is given in this installment. In my opinion, it was a natural progression for this series...in book 1 we have Camilla getting used to her role as Karma, now in Jinxed we have Karma assuming her role and dealing with the emotional aspects of what that means while also discovering the truth of the world she's now a part of. 

With Donna's signature fantastic dialogue, spicy scenes between Fate and Karma (thanks in part to a cheeky Cupid) and a host of wonderful secondary characters, Jinxed is a perfect addition to the Karma series! I can't wait to read the next one! (Donna...that was direct to you! *wink*) 

Monday, February 9, 2015

Blog Tour + Review! Hooker and the Hermit!!

  The Hooker and the Hermit by L.H. Cosway, Penny Reid 
Publication Date: February 5, 2015 
Tour: The Hooker and the Hermit by L.H. Cosway and Penny Reid
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1zy7yva
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1vqnYaW
B&N: http://bit.ly/1Kodkm6
Kobo: http://bit.ly/16sEwUi
iBooks: Coming soon!
Smashwords: http://bit.ly/1BZ5w8n

 New York’s Finest February 14, 2015 LADIES AND GENTS! I have an announcement!You know that guy I featured on my blog a few months ago? The really, really hot Irish rugby player who plays the position of ‘hooker’ in the RLI (Rugby League International)? The one with the questionable fashion choices leading me to ask whether he was the lovechild of a leprechaun and a hobbit? The one with the anger management issues and the body of a gladiator and the face of a movie star? Ronan Fitzpatrick? Yeah, that guy.Well, I have a confession to make…

 THE HERMIT Annie Catrel, social media expert extraordinaire at Davidson & Croft Media and clandestine celebrity blogger, can make anyone shine in the court of public opinion. She is the Socialmedialite, anonymous creator of New York’s Finest and the internet’s darling. Virtual reality is Annie’s forte, but actual reality? Not so much.

 THE HOOKER Ronan Fitzpatrick, aka the best hooker the world of rugby has seen in decades, despises the media—social or otherwise. The press has spun a web of lies depicting him as rugby’s wild and reckless bad boy. Suspended from his team, Ronan has come to Manhattan to escape the drama, lay low, fly under the radar. Only, Ronan isn’t easy to overlook, and he can’t escape the notice of the Socialmedialite…

 THE PLAN When Ronan is sent to Davidson & Croft Media to reshape his public image, he never expects to cross paths with shy but beautiful Annie, nor does he expect his fierce attraction to her. He couldn’t be happier when her boss suggests pairing them together. What lengths will Annie take to keep her virtual identity concealed? And what happens when the hooker discovers who the hermit really is? The Hooker and the Hermit is a collaboration between authors L.H. Cosway and Penny Reid, is a full length 100k word novel, and is a standalone.

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My Review!
3.5 Stars
Sooooo yeah. I'm a little crushed that I have to give this book 3.5 stars considering it was written by two of my favorite authors and honestly that may be the problem right there. A collaboration sounds wonderful in theory right? Two talented people coming together to share ideas and create art, but I think one of the issues I had was the writing styles were so different that when we had changing POVs it jarred me quite a bit. Normally would be fine, right? It's a change in POV, we don't want them to sound the same, but it was more than the voice. It was pacing and that's where the issues came for me. Ronan at one point was ready to give up his career (half way through the novel) for someone he's gone out with maybe twice? He was constantly on fast-forward. They flirt, sure, but they haven't seriously dated...not to mention they haven't sealed the deal so to speak. Everything was resolved so easily, as well. The issues with his past, his sexual preferences, their relationship...everything with Ronan was easy and the problem I have with it was that it was made out to be a much bigger deal than it ultimately was. I will say this for Ronan, he was very well developed and his issues were clear, concise, and well maintained throughout the novel. Which brings me to Annie. 
Oh, Annie. How I wanted to love you! Here's my problem: she has social anxiety, abandonment issues, issues with the paparazzi, trust issues, she's shy, claustrophobic, has to deal with the over-protective/possessive mother of the boyfriend, the online persona that interacts with the boyfriend and...I'm sure I'm forgetting something here. I'm not saying have your heroine be one dimensional because she would read incredibly flat. The issue with all Annie's...well...issues...was that it was kind of unbelievable. If, indeed, she had all of these things happening at once, she'd be a hermit. Hence the title and she wasn't (at least not in the literal sense. She hid within herself). In fact, she was remarkably well-adjusted. I suffered from an anxiety disorder for most of my life, and in no way am I saying everyone is the same, but if you are going to make someone shy to the point she's a shut in AND claustrophobic then she should be having panic attacks up the yin yang when dealing with the paps. When they land in Dublin and are bombarded this would have been a perfect opportunity to showcase the anxieties we hear about throughout the novel, but she rolled with the punches. Also, she's shy but deals with celebrities on the daily? Girl, that should make dealing good 'ol regular people a breeze. I just think that too much was going on with this one character and because of that, it left her underdeveloped. It made her hard to connect with and in the end, it makes her role in the story unbelievable. I will say this for Annie, I love the way she steps up to the plate in the end. I am a sucker for girls taking the bull by the horns and fight for their men!
I would have also LOVED to see some actual hooking...rugby style that is! If you're going to title the novel with a sports term in it, please have enough of the sport in it to make it worth the title. I was really looking forward to learning about rugby. Rugby players are big and sexy! At least give me a game where he kicks ass and follows it up with some hot make out sesh in the locker room! SPORTS ROMANCE FTW! Anyways, it's what I thought I was getting and although we did get a paragraph of a pick-up game, I would have loved to have seen more. But it's author's prerogative! At this point I feel the title was more metaphorical than literal.
This seems like a lot of negative am I right? Should I tell you what I enjoyed? Let's go! There's a lot of heart and humor in this one and those are my two favorite H's. Ronan was also very sexy, I loved the dirty talk! In addition, Annie's bafflement at Ronan's sexiness was very cute and I would like to think that if any of us came into contact with such crazy hotness we would have reacted similarly. I also loved their banter. It was very cute. Probably my favorite thing about this book is this line...
"I would rather crash and burn in the flames of courage than sit in the comfortable, lonely shadows of air-conditioned cowardice for another second."
Can I just tell you what a sucker punch of a line that is? Whatever issues I may have with this book that line right there kick's their ass. I mean, shit, what the eff?! So many people can string words together, but to be able to string THOSE words together in that ORDER...that would be talent, my friends. Lawd. That's tattoo worthy stuff right there! 
Final thoughts! Would I recommend this? Yep! Are you surprised? Why?! 3-3.5 stars are not bad reviews people! My issues were with the characters, not the authors and just because I didn't gel with the characters doesn't mean I couldn't see why other people would! There's many things to love in this one and I hope we have a sequel for Lucy! 
Happy reading! 
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About L.H. Cosway


L.H. Cosway has a BA in English Literature and Greek and Roman Civilisation, and an MA in Postcolonial Literature. She lives in Dublin city. Her inspiration to write comes from music. Her favourite things in life include writing stories, vintage clothing, dark cabaret music, food, musical comedy, and of course, books. She thinks that imperfect people are the most interesting kind. They tell the best stories.

about penny reid


SEX! It all started with sex, between my parents. Personally I don’t like thinking about it, but whatever works for you is a-ok with me. No judgment. The sex happened in California and much of my life also occurred in that state until I moved from the land of nuts (almonds), wine, silicon… boobs, and heavy traffic to the southeast US. Like most writers I like to write, but let’s get back to sex. Eventually I married and gave birth to 2 small people-children (boy-6, girl-4 as of this writing). By day I’m a biomedical researcher with focus on rare diseases. By night I’m a knitter, sewer, lino block carver, fabric printer, soap maker, and general crafter. By the wee hours of the morning or when I’m intoxicated I love to listen to the voices in my head and let them tell me stories. I hope you enjoy their stories.

Friday, February 6, 2015

**Mini-Review** The Reclamation by Lauren Rowe