Saturday, July 28, 2012

Review: Butterface by Gwen Hayes

Author: Gwen Hayes
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Release Date: April 21st 2010
Author Website 
Available for Order: Amazon

Beth isn't pretty. Born with hemifacial microsamia, she's supposed to feel lucky that it wasn't worse, that the surgeries made her almost normal, and that the scars are mostly not noticeable. Nobody told her how to hide the scars on the inside though.

Lucas O'Leary, Lucky, doesn't even notice Beth's face. He's finding out that underneath her granite hard shell, she's really a sweet girl. He enjoys spending time with her and is beginning to realize he might want to be more than just her friend.

But Lucky has a secret--if he doesn't bring Beth to the "dog dinner" party his roommates are having, he's off the team. The soccer scholarship is paying his college tuition--he HAS to stay on the team. But if Beth ever finds out she's his entry in the contest for ugliest date, he stands to lose even more.

My Take:

Always sticking to the shadows and hiding her face, Beth has always felt that even though she was lucky, having scars didn't really feel lucky it made her feel like she wasn't normal. Even when a guy shows an interest and gets to know her, its hard for Beth to let anyone really in. Lucas 'Lucky' O'Leary was as beth would put it a soccer god, he had everything going for him. Good looks, talent on the field and was able to gain a scholarship so being on the team was something he needed.

As time passes though the friendship blossoms into something more, even Lucky can't believe his luck when getting to know her. Its when his teammates want her to come to the "dog dinner" and putting more pressure for Lucky to show up with the ugliest date. He knows it wrong and demeaning, but because Beth has never been, and she wants to see if what she heard was true that the soccer team had a bet going on. It's the moment when she knows what kind of party that maybe she isn't quite as lucky as all would think she is, even though we know Lucky's thoughts leading up to the party its hard not to like the fact that he let her drag him to the party.

Life goes on though for both Beth and Lucky and even though as I was going form one page to another, wishing it not to end I knew that something was still unfinished. I was so happy with the ending though, finally realizing his biggest lost in life was losing Beth to the antics of his own teammates. This was a beautiful story about seeing the beauty that is inside a person and with a little luck anything is possible.

5/5 stars

Friday, July 27, 2012

Review: Lacrimosa by Christine Fonseca

Lacrimosa (Requiem #1)
Author: Christine Fonseca
Publisher: Compass Press
Release Date: March 21st 2012
Author Website 
Available for Order: Amazon
|Barnes and Noble
Source: ARR

It's been three thousand years since the fall of Azzaziel and the rebirth of evil; three thousand years since the Sentinal Order, an elite group of warrior angels, returned to Celestium. Their job-rid Earth of the dark creatures, the UnHoly. And with luck, end Azza's rule. As if casting out demons isn't hard enough, five-hundred-year-old Nesy has to masquerade as a teenage girl to do it. Nesy is the best of the Sentinals. She never makes mistakes, never hesitates, never gets emotionally involved. Until she meets Aydan. He is evil incarnate; a fallen angel that feeds off the souls of others. Everything Nesy is supposed to hate. But she can't, because he's also the love of her former life as a human girl-a life that ended too soon, tying her to emotions she was never supposed to feel. Now Nesy must choose between doing her duty-damning Aydan to the fiery depths of hell-or saving him, and condemning herself. And her choice may cost her, and Celestium, far more than anyone realizes. How much will she sacrifice for love?

My Take:

What happens when your put on assignment to take out the one you loved so long ago, for Nesy the choice she makes could put those she cares about in danger. Who ever said sending those you love to the after life could be any walk in the park never really thought the task through, sending a Unholy has never been this tough. Aydan gave up what he was along time ago and turned his back on those he served for the love he thought would last forever, until that love was taken from him. He has been an Unholy, once tasked to take down serving Azra, he is now the monster all sentinals want to take out. The one he thought he lost forever, lives inside the one who is sworn to take him out, and he is willing to sacrifice himself and allow the one he loves end him. Of course Azra, his boss, has a few tricks up his sleeves.

Knowing what she must do, Nesy has only 3 days to end Aydan and protect the world from his evil, but what happens when your task is shadowed by the love you felt so long ago. Even with help along the way, Aydan is still the love of her life, and she must make the hardest decision. Aydan has had centuries to think of his consequences and his actions and even though he was once an warrior destined for greatness his time as an Unholy has pushed everyone he ever cared about, the moment Nesy came back he knew what he was and accepted his fate. The decision to end a life who has taken so many souls may seem easy because of what he or she had done, but what if they showed mercy, would you be able to end the life of the one you love.

The story of Lacrimosa is about sacrifice and how much of your self your willing to lay on the table. Being able to see through both eyes, you the reader was able to see that love was the biggest sacrifice and how much that love can impact all around you. Christine was able to lead us to the forbidden that was an angel in love with a human and turn it around to the angel falling right back in love the good that surrounded the evil. Aydan had me at times going wow he really is seeing the world differently and fighting his nature, while Nesy just fought for what she believed has changed that love really can change ones way of life. The future of course is unknown and with an ending like this I hope Aydan will be able to see the good in him and see that his future is what he shapes it.

 5/5 stars

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Review: Obumbrate by Alivia Anders

Obumbrate (Illumine #2)
Author: Alivia Anders
Publisher: CreateSpace
Release Date: July 7th 2012
Author Website 
Available for Order: Amazon
|Barnes and Noble
Source: ARR

Essallie Hanley just wishes her life could go back to normal. But what's normal when you carry the burden of knowing you're a half-angel created for war, that the only person who can help you is a demon still waiting to kill you, and that your only chance for salvation lied in a boy who died in front of you?
If Essallie had turned her back on everything she'd learned, she could have made the most of her fractured life. That is, until Kayden told her that she's a ticking time-bomb; that at any given moment her blood could betray her, her veins burning her alive from the inside out until nothing but ash remains.

Desperate to find answers, and possibly find her only chance for survival, Essallie heads back for New York City, back to the place where it all began. With every answer comes a price, and with every price the risks and rewards become greater. But when Essallie soon finds herself the target of an unknown hunter determined to kill her, she's at wits' end. That is, until a fellow Nephilim named Ari steps in. But is Ari a piece of the puzzle to her salvation, or the promise of her demise?

My Take:

 Ever felt that life couldn't get any more complicated, for Essallie Hanley being told she is a weapon and can be used that can put one big strain on life. Just days after the attack her ex had orchestrated, getting back to normal can take some time. Esepcially when you lose someone you felt a deep connection with. Not wanting to do anything with being a Nephilim and pushing away those who helped along the way, Essallie just wants the school year to end and go back home. But when the queen wants something she usually gets it, this time she is after the one Essallie can't give her, thats her power. So when attacked Essallie ventures into the last place she wants to go, Charon. Since the place gave her insight before, maybe the same person can give more of an idea of how much time she actually has.

Meeting Ari was a plus because another Nephiim couldn't get worst right. Its until he starts to question why she can't fight for herself. Essallie can see that he cares for her, but at the end of the day her time is running out and starting something is just not possible. Unless Kayden of course shows up with nothing more than a what stare. The problem with Kayden is that he just used her for his benefit and he pushes her buttons. With the three of them, figuring out a plan to see why the queen wants Essallie isn't as easy as any plan would go. One thing for sure Essallie puts her feelings aside and does the one thing she knows to do, question everything there is to be questioned.

While reading this I saw that Essallie was really trying hard to push those close to her, and in doing so she prevented any feelings to get in the way of her actions. Of course realizing Kayden used her really help with being on Team Kayden and of course later on he than changed my mind. Kayden is like that always changing my mind at every turn. Meeting Ari at first I was cautious and as the pages were turned I realized wow he actually cares and she doesn't yet see that he can actually see her. Add in a clock and you have the making of an intense ride. The one thing though to put some tears in my eyes was finding out who her watcher was, it hit me like an arrow to the heart. Of course her journey continues later this year, its just the wait is going to be tough. I want to know more of the queen, and who Essallie picks. Anders draws you in and leaves you wanting more and thats when you wish Christmas came faster.

5/5 stars

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Review: Amarok by Angela J. Townsend

Author: Angela J. Townsend
Spencer Hill Press
Release Date: November 20th 2012
Author Website 
Available for Order: Amazon|Barnes and Noble
Source: Borrowed Arc 

Life has been hell for seventeen-year-old Emma since she moved from sunny California to a remote Alaskan town. Rejected by her father and living with the guilt of causing her mother's death, she makes a desperate dash for freedom from her abusive stepfather. But when her car skids off the icy road, her escape only leads to further captivity in a world beyond her imagining.

Dragged across the tundra by a crazed mountain man and his enormous black wolf, she finds that her gentle touch and kind heart earn her the wolf's friendship, and she names him Amarok, not knowing he was once a young man. When a vicious madman--trapped in bear form by an ancient Shaman--attacks the travelers and injures Amarok, Emma must find the strength to confront her fears and free the wolf she's come to love. But there's a catch--she must face down the evil shaman, a powerful Siberian mammoth hunter from the ice age, and he has no intention of giving up his power to her.

My Take:

Ever feel responsible for something you love dearly, and have it taken away forever. For Emma losing her mother was just the start of it, she had to now deal with her step-father swinging punches every so often, life isn't all that great, for Emma its hell. Of course leaving isn't always so easy, his keys are there its just getting out of the house undetected. Once outside and on the rode everything seems on course unless of course your driving down a icy paved rode. The next Emma knows is she is hoisted outside of the car and put on the shoulders of a man that smells like last years socks. You life is just not getting any easier escaping one prick only to be captured by another, it must be thursday. What Emma doesn't know is that her captive has a wolf who seems to understand her, she even gives him a name Amarok, who turns out a young man trapped inside. 

Amarok loves his new name and of course knows she will soon turn out like the others that his master takes. His thoughts are his own, he can think freely, he just wishes for an escape and soon. This girl is different though he feels he needs to protect her from his master, even if it means going up against the Shaman who trapped him so long ago. Emma can see that the wolf is mistreated and always seems to run when she shows even a little kindness. Its until Emma realizes that the wolf is a young man who she has grown to love and even though it can never be possible a man in a wolf's body, Emma puts everything aside and ventures to end his capture. But going against a Shaman with so much power isn't going to easy. When is anything in life easy, Emma of course has to find out if she can and sees if she has the power in herself to move forward in life.

This was a beautiful story, even had me in tears and yelling for Emma to continue. Being inside both Emma's and Amarok head was awesome because you needed to feel those feelings that had build for each of them. Angela took me Alaska and left me wanting more after the last word. Emma's courage really shined through and you saw her grow up in this. You also saw that she was willing to put herself and help the one she loves. Even when it seemed that like time was against them. This is such an amazing story, I feel in love with both POV and even felt an attachment to both the wolf and the young man. 

5/5 Stars

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