March 31, 2013

Winner: Twice Tempted/Irregulars

Thanks for the birthday wishes, guys!

The winner of the giveaway is Marie (writing as aweinthebooks). Congratulations!

I'll see you tomorrow when we're back to our not-so-regular blogging schedule.

March 26, 2013

A Paranormal Giveaway to Get Us Through a Hiatus

The blog is going on hiatus until next week, because I'm spending Easter at my parents'. I have a bunch of half-written reviews and post, but I didn't have time to finish them, so instead (and because Thursday is my Birthday and I'm feeling extra lazy) I'm going to add a bit of filler content and do a giveaway.

One of the things I plan to do this weekend is read Jeaniene Frost's Twice Tempted, the second Vlad book, so I'm going to give away one copy of the book. If you haven't read the series, then you can pick the first book, Once Burned.

For those who don't like vampires, the third choice is one of my favorite books of 2012, Irregulars. It's a fantastic M/M anthology that I recommend to everyone.

That's it! Leave a message telling me your choice, and you're in. This giveaway is open Internationally, but only if you accept a Kindle copy (I'm using an Amazon GC, so that's why it has to be Amazon). If you're in the US, I can send you the paperback of Frost's book, but Irregulars is only available on Kindle. 

I will announce the winner on Sunday, so you have until then to comment.

In the meantime, here's a picture of my evil cat:

Brie's Evil Cat

March 21, 2013

Today Is Our 2nd Blogoversary, So You Guys Better Send Me Some Cake!

Image source: jnyemb

Reading is such an intimate, personal experience that when we meet people who share that passion with us, there’s an almost instant connection. So even though we haven't met in person, our virtual interactions feel a lot like a long-time friendship. You have been welcoming, supportive and kind. And every day I feel at home, happy and grateful.

Thank you. 

March 19, 2013

Review: Wait for You by J. Lynn, aka, Dammit, Authors, Stop Using Rape as Convenient Plot Devices and Write Something New!

Wait for You by J. Lynn
Warning: there will be spoilers.

When New Adult started generating buzz, I was equal parts confused and hopeful. The first few books I read convinced me of the potential of a category that I’m still trying to figure out where it belongs. I have talked about the subject before, so I won’t repeat it here, but I’ll say that while most have a dismissive and cynic reaction to these books, I’ve championed and tried to explain that no, NA is not a bunch of steamy YA’s.

However, the truth is that the more I read, the more disillusioned I become. The success of a few bred many similar stories that tried to reproduce key elements of the original, but with a complete disregard of the quality and care that made those first books so successful. The result is a bunch of novels that offer nothing new and that use serious topics as convenient sources of angst. Instead of true storytelling and concern for the craft and the readers, these books feel like an exercise in marketing and fan-service. Wait for You is a perfect example of this.

March 14, 2013

Review: The Chocolate Thief by Laura Florand

The Chocolate Thief by Laura Florand
Laura Florand is one of those authors whose books I really want to like, but never seem to work for me. Yet I keep buying them and giving her second and third chances. I can see why people like her books, but I’m never fully engaged. The problem is that she has great ideas and a lot of potential, but the execution is not quite there.

The Chocolate Thief is the story of Cade Corey. She’s the heiress of a Hershey's-like chocolate corporation, and she’s very passionate about it. However, as successful as her brand is, no one could ever accuse it of being sophisticated, and Cade dreams with changing that. In order to do so, she travels to Paris to hire Sylvain Marquis, the most famous chocolatier in France and probably even the world. Her plan is to offer him a ton of money to make his name and creations part of the Corey brand. Needless to say, he feels insulted. But she won’t take no for an answer as she will prove over and over again.

March 12, 2013

Review: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Source: a review copy was provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

Ever since I finished Attachments, I've been thinking about the reason why it made such a lasting impression. There is a lot about it that’s unique and special, but as a whole, it’s nothing but a simple story of love and friendship. Now that I've read Eleanor and Park, I think that the reason why Ms. Rowell’s stories resonate with me is because she writes about people we know and can identify with. Her books walk the fine line between deep emotion and downright cheesiness, but the one thing they always maintain is their honesty. The emotions her stories elicit come from the true connection that develops organically between the reader and the characters, and never feel forced or fabricated. Her stories are certainly emotional, but they are never emotionally manipulative.

Because sometimes clich├ęs are the best way to describe something, I will say that Eleanor and Park is a story about two outsiders who find a place to belong when they meet each other. And yes, it sounds like every other story out there, especially if said story happens to be a YA novel, but that doesn’t make it less true.

March 7, 2013

Good Love Stories, Bad Romances and Power: Unsticky by Sarra Manning

This card goes well with bad romances

If you were to ask me to give a broad definition of Romance, I would say that it’s a genre that mainly focuses on the love story or the development of the romantic relationship and has a happy ending; an ending that, in this particular case, always involves the characters romantically attached ending up living happily together. 

But what happens when a story has all the necessary ingredients, yet everything about them is slightly off? Is it still a Romance? Are we allowed to feel happy when two characters fall in love end up together regardless of how twisted their relationship is? Can an ending that makes us uncomfortable still be happy? And is it OK to like it? 

In Sarra Manning’s Unsticky, our heroine and narrator, Grace, is a 23-year-old woman drowning in debts and slightly adrift. Sounds familiar? If you ever went to college and/or left home at some point, you probably can sympathize. But of course there’s also the unhappy childhood causing emotional problems and negatively impacting her life. So she’s a college dropout, has a crappy job with an abusive boss and shops. A lot. By her own admission, shopping is the one thing that makes her feel like she’s worth something, a feeling that soon gets replaced by the terrible sense of not being able to afford what she’s buying, which does nothing but restart the vicious cycle. 

March 4, 2013

Review: Captive Prince (Volumes One & Two) by S.U. Pacat

Captive Prince: Volume One by S.U. Pacat
This series was featured in Ruthie Knox’s What to Read Wednesday weekly blog post. I was very intrigued, so I bought the first book, read a couple of chapters and went and bought the second book, because that small sample was enough to convince me of its quality. The books ended up being so good, that I’m tempted to just review them in one line saying go read this now. 

Before I get to the review, you should know is that this is a work in progress. The third and final book won’t be out until next year, and the second book ends on a cliffhanger. Not only that, but these books tell one story and pretty much read like one long book. I think the only reason why they have been divided into three volumes is because Captive Prince originated as a free online serial. So the books must be read in order, otherwise it will be like randomly opening a book in the middle and starting there.
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FTC Disclaimer

The books reviewed here were purchased by us. If the book was provided by the author or publisher for review, it will be noted on the post. We do not get any type of monetary compensation from publishers or authors.