Blog Tour: Adventures Abroad by Jen McConnel

Adventures Abroad Banner
I am excited to be part of the blog tour for the Adventures Abroad series by Jen McConnel. I’ll share the blurbs and buy links for each book and there’s an excerpt from the first book in the series. There’s a tour wide giveaway at the bottom of the post!

Adventures Abroad Series Synopsis:

Four countries.
Three girls.
Three loves.
One adventure abroad they’ll never forget.

WhatHappensinLondonWhat Happens in London (Adventures Abroad #1)
by Jen McConnel

Blurb:
Sarah landed in London, just hoping to leave her home behind and escape her family. But she didn’t plan on falling headfirst into Carson’s arms.

Get ready for a summer of self-discovery and romance in the first of the New Adult novella series, Adventures Abroad!

Praise for What Happens in London:

“Travel through London with Sarah, you’ll squee, laugh and swoon at her adventures, I know I did!”- Lisa Burstein, author of Sneaking Candy

Buy links:

Excerpt:
“I wish Carson could see me,” the words slipped out, but then I flushed.
Joelle cocked an eyebrow. “Who’s Carson?”
I shrugged, my face hot. “Just a guy I met here in London.”
I waited for Joelle to tell me I was being stupid, but she just looked thoughtful. “Want him to come with us tonight?”
I shook my head hurriedly. “No, he’s at work.”
“He won’t work all night, will he?”
I hesitated. “True. Do you think the other girls would mind?”
Joelle grinned. “We can always ask them.”
Before I could stop her, she’d called out, “Ladies, any objections to Sarah bringing a man?”
I tried to shush her, but she was laughing. Rachel looked up from curling her eyelashes. “Sure,” she said with a smile, “ask him if he has any friends!”
Oh God, this was getting out of control. “I don’t really know—”
“Do you have his number?”
Mutely, I shook my head. Joelle eyed me critically.
“But you said he has to work. Do you know where he works?”
“The bookstore in Piccadilly Circus,” I answered automatically, and Rachel grinned in triumph.
“Oh, ladies,” she said loudly, “who wants to hit the books before we go out?”
I gave up trying to talk them out of it once we were on the Underground, but when we got to Piccadilly Circus, I tried one more time.
“What if he’s busy?”
Rachel gave me a playful shove. “The least you can do is ask.”
We headed to the bookstore, but when I tried to linger on the sidewalk, Joelle grabbed my arm and led me forward. “Don’t chicken out now!”
The girls were giggling as we entered the store, and I realized that the customers were staring at us with interest. Horrified, I suddenly remembered that we were all dressed for the club. No wonder everyone was staring; I didn’t think halter tops and glitter were customary bookstore apparel.
Feeling naked, I crossed my arms as my eyes darted around the cash registers, searching for Carson, just as a familiar voice called my name. I swiveled around to find him standing behind us, carrying a pile of books.
His eyes traveled up and down my body, and I felt my skin heating up. Casually, Carson set his books down on the counter and stepped forward.
“To what do I owe this pleasure?” His eyes were dancing, and suddenly, I didn’t feel so self-conscious.
“My friends and I are going out tonight,” I began. I coughed, clearing my throat. “They wanted me to ask you, um, if you wanted to come along.”
“And bring your friends!” Rachel added loudly.
Carson glanced at her with a grin and then brought his eyes back to me. “Sounds like a good idea.” He took a step closer and whispered in my ear, “If I weren’t at work right now, I wouldn’t be able to keep my hands off you.”

WhatHappensinParis_FinalCoveWhat Happens in Paris (Adventures Abroad #2)
by Jen McConnel

Blurb:
Camie can’t figure out what she wants, from college or life…until she meets Hunter. But will the magic of a romantic night in Paris last till the morning?

Fall in love with the second novella in the New Adult series, Adventures Abroad!

Buy links:

WhatHappensInBerlinWhat Happens in Berlin (Adventures Abroad #3)
by Jen McConnel

Blurb:
Interrupting a summer of fun, Joelle takes a detour to Berlin for her older brother’s wedding. Spending time with her family is enough to make anyone go a little crazy. She’s ready to lose it…until she meets Vi, a girl ready to turn her world upside down.

Follow her journey in the third installment of the New Adult series, Adventures Abroad!

Buy links:

WhatHappensAbroadWhat Happens Abroad (Adventures Abroad #4)
by Jen McConnel

Blurb:
After a summer of fun, Camie, Joelle, and Sarah are ready to reunite in Italy for one last adventure, but heartbreak waits in the shadows of the cobblestone streets. Can Florence cast its spell and turn lost love into a final fling?

Catch up with the girls in this final installment of the New Adult series about love, escape, and true friendship.

Buy links:

Jen McConnelJen McConnel Bio:
A Michigander by birth, Jen McConnel now makes her home in the beautiful state of North Carolina. She writes NA, including the recently released Adventures Abroad series (Bloomsbury Spark), the award winning YA novel Beautiful Curse, and various other works. When she isn’t writing, she can be found on her yoga mat or wandering off on another adventure. Once upon a time, she was a middle school teacher, a librarian, and a bookseller, but those are stories for another time. Visit www.JenMcConnel.com to learn more!

Links:

For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:
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Trailer Reveal: Every Last Breath by Jennifer Armentrout

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I am so excited to share the trailer for Every Last Breath by Jennifer Armentrout with you today!

Every Last BreathEvery Last Breath (Dark Element #3)
by Jennifer Armentrout

Blurb:
Some loves will last ‘til your dying breath

Every choice has consequences—but seventeen-year-old Layla faces tougher choices than most. Light or darkness. Wickedly sexy demon prince Roth, or Zayne, the gorgeous, protective Warden she never thought could be hers. Hardest of all, Layla has to decide which side of herself to trust.

Layla has a new problem, too. A Lilin—the deadliest of demons—has been unleashed, wreaking havoc on those around her…including her best friend. To keep Sam from a fate much, much worse than death, Layla must strike a deal with the enemy while saving her city—and her race—from destruction.

Torn between two worlds and two different boys, Layla has no certainties, least of all survival, especially when an old bargain comes back to haunt them all. But sometimes, when secrets are everywhere and the truth seems unknowable, you have to listen to your heart, pick a side—and then fight like hell…

“Armentrout is a major talent…I just can’t stop reading!”
–New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter

“Armentrout works her magic with swoon-worthy guys and a twist you never see coming.”
–#1 New York Times bestselling author Abbi Glines on White Hot Kiss

View the trailer here:

Pre-order Every Last Breath here:

The Dark Elements series
Haven’t start this amazing series yet? Get your copies of the earlier books here:

Bitter Sweet Love

White Hot Kiss

STone Cold Touch

JLA_Author-photoAbout Jennifer L. Armentrout:
# 1 New York Times and # 1 International Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing, she spends her time reading, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki.

Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV. Her young adult romantic suspense novel DON’T LOOK BACK was a 2014 nominated Best in Young Adult Fiction by YALSA.

She also writes Adult and New Adult contemporary and paranormal romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

Links:

win every last prize
Enter the giveaway to win an INCREDIBLE Dark Elements prize pack including a VISA GIFT CARD! Register your pre-order of Jennifer L. Armentrout’s EVERY LAST BREATH now to enter PLUS help unlock MORE prizes! Read all the details and how to enter the giveaway here

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Book Blitz: 3volve by Josefiena Guteirrez

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This is my stop during the book blitz for 3volve by Josefina Gutierrez. This book blitz is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The book blitz runs from 6 till 12 July, you can view the complete blitz schedule on the website of Lola’s Blog Tours.
This blitz features 3volve and another book by this author: The Shadow of Loss. Both books can be read as standalones although the characters from The Shadow of Loss make a small cameo appearance in 3volve. I share two excerpts with you today, one for each book.

3volve cover3volve
By Josefina Gutierrez
Genre: Realistic Fiction, Contemporary Romance, Multicultural
Age category: New Adult
Release Date: July 14, 2015

Blurb:
From author Josefina Gutierrez, of “The Shadow of Loss”, comes a new New-Adult contemporary love story.
I thought my life began when I graduated high school and moved far, far away—okay three hours away. But I was wrong. My life didn’t start until it almost ended.
I’m Cristal Escobedo, twenty-two years old and a former wild child who favors tequila far too much. But that all changed when life happened, and I ended up being responsible for my younger brothers. To top it all off, I think I’m falling in love with my best friend—dammit.
This is my not-so-happy story of how I grew up and got my shit together. My story isn’t filled with a bunch of pretty analogies or hyperboles. The people are real, the hurt is deep, and the love is complicated. People are flawed in the ways that matter; it’s what makes us human.

You can find 3volve on Goodreads

You can buy 3volve here:
Amazon

Excerpt:
I’ve never claimed to have it all together. I never knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. I was roaming through life high and excited for the unexpected. I love my family, my parents, my brothers, my friends, but their love was never enough to save me from myself. My self-destructive way, how I always kept ruining the best things I didn’t know I even had.
My story isn’t filled with morality. It doesn’t have some intriguing message about love, and life. Shit, it’s a mess. I’m a mess. I’m not here to tell you what should be important—we all have different values. I’m not here to tell you about responsibility. Hell, if you finish reading my story and gain insight, then more power to you!
I thought my life began when I graduated high school and moved far, far away—okay three hours away. But I was wrong. My life didn’t start until it almost ended.
I’m Cristal Escobedo a twenty-two year old, former wild child, and this is my not-so-happy story of how I grew up and got my shit together. It isn’t filled with a bunch of pretty analogies or hyperboles. The people are real, the hurt runs deep, and the love is complicated. People are flawed in the ways that matter; it’s what makes us human. If you want a sugarcoated story, look to someone other than me.

The Shadow of LossThe Shadows of Loss
By Josefina Gutierrez
Genre: Realistic Fiction, Multicultural, Romance
Age category: Young Adult

Blurb:
Evelyn Gonzalez keeps losing people, which is always hard, but has she lost something much more? Has she lost her soul? Evelyn has a nervous breakdown and is institutionalized, after months of sorrow and pain she is thrust back into the world. The world of teenage angst and Calculus. Can she trust people again? Especially after hurtful assumptions and judgments made her miss her junior year of high school. Evelyn is just trying to heal what she lost and graduate from high school.

You can find Shadow of Loss on Goodreads

You can buy Shadow of Loss here:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Kobo

excerpt
“I sense you have lost something precious, yourself.”
“That doesn’t make any sense. How can I lose myself, I’m right here,” I point to myself for the desired effect.
“One can lose thyself, and have their shell remain. It is what we call Susto.”
“What is Susto?”
“You have lost your soul mijita,” she leans forward and grabs my hands.
I can’t control my laughter, but seeing the look of horror on her face calms me right down. “You’re actually serious? My soul? Lost?”
“It is a very serious matter. If left for too long, you may never be complete. You will remain in limbo. You must let me help you.”
“I don’t believe in any of this.”
“You pull at your left sleeve, sí. You suffered an accident, a trauma?” she grabs my arm.
“My sister told you,” I pull back, “It doesn’t prove anything.”
“Aye no. Your sister didn’t tell me anything. I know.”
“How?”
“When you come in to buy the locket. I saw you are lost. That’s why I asked your sister to allow you to work here. I help.”

Author Photo JosefinaAbout the Author:
Josefina Gutierrez is a Young Adult eBook author, who resides in San Antonio. Josefina writes Young Adult Multicultural, Sci-Fi, and Fantasy literature in her free time when she’s not embarking on adventures with her son and gnomes Fitzgerald and Bartholomew. Her current projects in the works are a Fantasy dystopian series, a Mystery-Thriller eBook, and New-Adult Contemporary Romance.

You can find and contact Josefina here:
Website
Facebook
Goodreads
Pinterest

There is a tour wide giveaway for the book blitz of 3volve. These are the prizes you can win:
– 2 amazon gift cards of 20$
– A designed box including: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan, a signed paperback of The shadow of Loss by Josefina Gutierrez, 2 Bookmarks, Silk decorative flowers, Photo frame and a Notebook Potpourri bag (US Only) – see picture, books not show

Designed Box

Enter the giveaway for a chance to win:
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Lola's Blog Tours

Review: Queen of Blood by Jill Myles

Queen of bloodTitle: Queen of Blood
Author: Jill Myles
Series: standalone
Rating: 4.5 stars
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Links:

Blurb:
For one hundred years, Seri’s people have lived under the thumb of the Blood, the cruel and mysterious rulers of Athon. Seri wants nothing more than to put food on the table and marry the hotheaded but handsome Rilen come spring. But when a noblewoman asks Seri to be her handmaiden, Rilen insists she move to the enemy’s castle . . . and spy on the newly arrived prince.

Prince Graeme has grown weary of his family’s curse. The Blood are powerful and immortal, but doomed to live in the shadows, flitting from lover to lover, always in search of the mythic Eterna—the one woman who will sate their hunger. Now his father has sent him to the outskirts of the empire to stamp out a rebellious Vidari faction. But when a wild and alluring Vidari girl shows up at court, he finds himself torn between following his father’s orders and following his heart . . .

A war is brewing between Athonite and Vidari, between Blood and man. As uprisings sweep through the land, Seri and Graeme find themselves at the center of a storm with only one choice: betray each other, or betray their people.

My Review:
This was a really great book and I read it cover to cover in less than 24 hours.

Seri is a Vidari girl struggling to look after her blind sister and ill father. Rilen is a local boy she has grown up with, and her future husband to be. Rilen is chomping at the bit for rebellion against the ruling Athonites and he gets actively involved when the Athonite Prince Graeme arrives on Vidari lands to occupy the newly renovated Castle. Rilen was poisoned by hatred and it blinds him to everything else, including love.

Graeme is one of the Blood and he has lived a long life. Essentially he’s a vampire, though it’s never mentioned as such. However, he doesn’t eat, drinks blood, can’t go out in the sun etc. I don’t read vampire books much anymore as they have been done to death in my opinion, but this book is clever. I never actually felt like it was a vampire book because of the way it was written.

Seri and the Prince’s paths cross and intertwine when she is revealed to be his Eterna. Both resist the Goddesses’ will at first but as the story progresses they being to fall in love with each other.

Rilen manipulates Seri into helping the rebel cause and in the end he would betray her rather than give up the fight. I was so glad with the choices Seri made towards the end, and it shows good character development and maturity. I know it can’t have been easy.

I totally love Prince Graeme. While he appeared sullen at the start, as he opened up to Seri and the reader, we discover what a great guy he is. Refusing to be bound by legacy and history, he forges his own path and goes out of his way to be fair, to do the right thing.

It’s obvious that Jill Myles is an experienced author as the writing is accomplished. While I felt the pace was a little slow in the early chapters, it flowed smoothly after that. There aren’t any huge plot surprises in the story, nothing I was like ‘ah, I wasn’t expecting that’ but nevertheless it was a fantastic read all the same.

I look forward to reading more from this author in the future.

Actual Rating: 4.5 stars.

I received an ARC of this book via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

Review: Goddess (Starcrossed #3) by Josephine Angelini

GoddessTitle: Goddess
Author: Josephine Angelini
Series: (Starcrossed #3)
Rating: 4 stars
Genres: Paranormal Romance/ Mythology
Links:

Blurb:
After accidentally unleashing the gods from their captivity on Olympus, Helen must find a way to re-imprison them without starting a devastating war. But the gods are angry, and their thirst for blood already has a body count.

To make matters worse, the Oracle reveals that a diabolical Tyrant is lurking among them, which drives a wedge between the once-solid group of friends. As the gods use the Scions against one another, Lucas’s life hangs in the balance. Still unsure whether she loves him or Orion, Helen is forced to make a terrifying decision, for war is coming to her shores.

In Josephine Angelini’s compelling conclusion to the masterfully woven Starcrossed trilogy, a goddess must rise above it all to change a destiny that’s been written in the stars. With worlds built just as fast as they crumble, love and war collide in an all-out battle that will leave no question unanswered and no heart untouched.

My Review:
nother compelling read from Josephine Angelini and a fitting end to the series.

A destructive war is looming large as the Gods start to take vengeance on the world. Helen’s powers are off the charts as she appears to have assimilated some of her blood brothers gifts. Her friends start to fear her and betrayal is never far away.

The biggest threat for the Scions is the identity of the Tyrant and Helen, Hector, Lucas and Cassandra have to fight to protect Orion who is the easiest one to point the finger at.

Helen continues to love Lucas with every part of her being but is confused over her growing feelings for Orion. I found this really hard to swallow and was glad when she finally acknowledged her feelings at about the half-way point.

I wanted to reach into the pages of the book and grab Claire by the scruff of her neck to shake some sense into her. I don’t understand how she could become so distrustful of her best friend. Be afraid at the demonstration of her considerable power? Yes, believable. Betray her so completely? Less believable. And poor Matt. My heart bled for him. So tragic.

I swooned at the part where Lucas and Helen visited EveryLand together but wish the author could have at least allowed them to kiss. Come on, epic love between them and in a make-believe world of her choosing, where she also gets to pick the rules? She could have made it work. My skin was literally itching for more romance.

The battle scenes at the end were fantastic. Love the bit with the Kracken! And finally Lucas and Helen get their happy ever after and nasty Daphne got what she deserved. I just wish it hadn’t been left until the very end to be resolved.

There were parts of this book that dragged in a way the first two books didn’t but I still really enjoyed it and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this series.

Review: Dreamless (Starcrossed #2) by Josephine Angelini

DreamlessTitle: Dreamless
Author: Josephine Angelini
Series: Starcrossed #2
Rating: 4 stars
Genres: Paranormal Romance/ Mythology
Links:

Blurb:
Can true love be forgotten?

As the only scion who can descend into the Underworld, Helen Hamilton has been given a nearly impossible task. By night she wanders through Hades, trying to stop the endless cycle of revenge that has cursed her family. By day she struggles to overcome the fatigue that is rapidly eroding her sanity. Without Lucas by her side, Helen is not sure she has the strength to go on.

Just as Helen is pushed to her breaking point, a mysterious new Scion comes to her rescue. Funny and brave, Orion shields her from the dangers of the Underworld. But time is running out. A ruthless foe plots against them, and the Furies’ cry for blood is growing louder.

As the ancient Greek world collides with the mortal one, Helen’s sheltered life on Nantucket descends into chaos. But the hardest task of all will be forgetting Lucas Delos.

Josephine Angelini’s compelling saga becomes ever more intricate and spellbinding as an unforgettable love triangle emerges and the eternal cycle of revenge intensifies. Eagerly awaited, this sequel to the internationally bestselling Starcrossed delivers a gritty, action-packed love story that exceeds all expectations.

My Review:
Helen is forced to grow up really quickly in Dreamless as the consequences of her role become clearer. As one of the rare Descenders, she is tasked with travelling to the Underworld every night to try to locate the Furies and stop the terrible hold they have on the demi-gods.

Her wayward mother is back in her life though she keeps a low profile and I was naturally suspicious of what she was up to. Daphne tells Helen about her true parentage and it almost tears her apart. Forced to keep her distance from her true love Lucas she wanders aimlessly through her days and nights. His loss threatens to claim her sanity and it was heart-breaking to watch this tragedy unfold.

Her errant mother arranges for Orion to find Helen in the Underworld just as she despairs of ever making progress. Together they start to figure out things but then Helen’s health takes a turn for the worst and Lucas is forced into action.

The explosive scenes at the end, when they are confronted by Ares, were brilliant and nail-biting. Helen’s powers are really starting to come into their own now and her lack of physical ability / combat skills are becoming less of an issue.

In the main I really enjoyed this book but there were a couple of issues with the plot that stopped me rating it 5 Stars. Firstly, the whole Ajax situation was totally shady and how Lucas could buy it, as a gifted Falsefinder, was hard to believe. If my true love was taken away from me I would be trying to prove the veracity of the facts to make sure I’d been told the truth. That neither of them even thought to investigate grated on me a little.

Also, Daphne appears out of nowhere after years on the run and despite the fact that everyone distrusts her there is no concern over where she is or what she is up to. She was trusted far too readily by everyone, including Helen.

Then the author throws it out there that Helen’s lack of dreaming = dying, but then it’s resolved and forgotten about. It never felt like there was any real threat to her life, she barely passed any comment on it herself, and my view is that this should have been removed from the story or fleshed out more.

But the biggest issue I had was the introduction of Orion and how quickly Helen fell for him. I’m sorry – she has this EPIC love for Lucas and then Orion shows up and two minutes later she thinks she’s in love with him? No, not buying it. If he had used his gift to make her fall in love with him that would have been believable but he’s too honorable to take advantage of her, or any girl, in that way. And it’s not that Orion isn’t likable or lovable, it’s how both Helen and Lucas reacted to him that wasn’t realistic.

Despite these issues, I still enjoyed the book. It’s well written and a decent sized book which I love. I’m looking forward to the conclusion and I hope that Helen ends up with Lucas because I think I’ll cry if she doesn’t. ( V. mature 42-year-old speaking!)

Review: Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles #2) by Marissa Meyer

ScarletTitle:  Scarlet
Author:  Marissa Meyer
Series: The Lunar Chronicles
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Genres: Young Adult Science Fiction Fantasy
Links:

Blurb:

Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison–even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner

My Review:

Talk about blowing it out of the water! Wow! What an amazing follow up to Cinder.

I enjoyed this book much more than the first one – the writing was vastly superior and it was action-packed and fast-paced from start to finish. I struggled to put it down.

When we rejoin Cinder she is incarcerated and awaiting her extradition to Luna. With the aid of handsome fellow prisoner, Captain (ahem!) Carswell Thorne, she manages to escape and sets out on the adventure of a lifetime. I really felt for Cinder as she grappled to come to terms with her new elevated status as Princess and Most Wanted Fugitive.

Kai has been left shell-shocked and confused by the revelations about Cinder, and he is also struggling to deal with Queen Levana’s demands and juggle the new world of global politics. His feelings for Cinder are pitted against his loyalty to this people and he really is in a difficult predicament.

Levana is a despicable character – nasty to the core. Ugh. Skin crawling.

I loved the addition of Scarlet and Wolf in this installment. Scarlet is in a tailspin over her grandmother’s sudden disappearance and she ends up joining forces with Wolf to try and locate her before it’s too late. I was initially conflicted over Wolf’s true motivations and I kept changing my mind. This part of the plot was expertly crafted and full of suspense and intrigue. I loved it! The burgeoning romance between Scarlet and Wolf was really sweet.

The only teeny tiny thing I didn’t like was the lack of romance. I kept hoping that Kai and Cinder would be reunited, but it never happened. Usually, I don’t like stories without a strong romance thread, but I’m happy to eat my words in relation to this book.

All in all, an amazing read and I look forward to reading more in the series.

Actual Rating: 4.5 stars

Sidenote: I bought a paperback of Cinder in my local bookstore for €8.40, however, I went to Kindle for Scarlet and was SHOCKED at the price. £9.14 which translates to over €12 for an ebook. That makes no sense at all. Ebooks cost very little to produce when compared with a paperback or hardback. I almost didn’t download it, but I was desperate to know where the story was going so I swallowed the bitter lump in my throat and purchased it. This type of corporate greed makes my blood boil, especially when it’s already a massive bestselling series and the publishers are making a fortune. Half the target market are teenagers so it really sickens me that they are being exploited in this way. Anyway, I just had to get that off my chest. I’m seeing it more and more and it disgusts me. BTW, this is in no way a criticism of Marissa because she has no control over pricing. I just hate blatant corporate greed. (Stepping off my soapbox now)

Review: Starcrossed (Starcrossed #1) by Josephine Angelini

StarcrossedTitle: Starcrossed
Author: Josephine Angelini
Series: Starcrossed #1
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Paranormal Romance/ Mythology
Links:

Blurb:
How do you defy destiny?

Helen Hamilton has spent her entire sixteen years trying to hide how different she is—no easy task on an island as small and sheltered as Nantucket. And it’s getting harder. Nightmares of a desperate desert journey have Helen waking parched, only to find her sheets damaged by dirt and dust. At school she’s haunted by hallucinations of three women weeping tears of blood . . . and when Helen first crosses paths with Lucas Delos, she has no way of knowing they’re destined to play the leading roles in a tragedy the Fates insist on repeating throughout history.

As Helen unlocks the secrets of her ancestry, she realizes that some myths are more than just legend. But even demigod powers might not be enough to defy the forces that are both drawing her and Lucas together—and trying to tear them apart.

My Review:
Boy did this book suck me right in from the get-go. I totally loved it and it’s a fantastic start to a great series.

Helen is a shy, naive, inherently good sixteen-year-old girl, brought up by her single Dad on the island of Nantucket. She is really close to her best friend Claire and has been friends with Zach and Matt since they were little kids. Embarrassed by her height and stunning beauty, Helen can often be found slouching around the corridors of her high school, trying her best to disappear into the shadows. Life is fairly mundane until the Delos family arrive on the Island. Cue a lot of chaos and mayhem.

The mysterious newcomers are as drawn to Helen as she is to them; however, good girl Helen can’t understand the murderous rage she feels when she first sets eyes on hottie Lucas.

The newcomers are no ordinary humans either and gradually they introduce Helen to her true ancestry and she becomes part of their family.

There were shades of Twilight about this book in my opinion though it’s a different story and setting. I loved the strength of the familial bonds and how important family and friendship are to all the characters in this book.

As quickly as Helen and Lucas were at odds with one another, they do a full 360, and the deep bond they share is laced with centuries of history. I loved how they were with one another and the developing romance is really sweet.

The author has created her own unique take on the ‘Ancient Gods’ theme and it was fascinating and engaging. I can’t wait to see how it progresses over the course of the series.

There was some great dialog in this book and some very funny moments. I loved everything about it and can’t fault the writing, pace, plot, world-building or characterisation.

A really promising start and a must read for fans of fantasy stories involving Gods.

Review: Cress (The Lunar Chronicles #3) by Marissa Meyer

CressTitle: Cress
Author: Marissa Meyer
Series: The Lunar Chronicles
Rating: 5 Stars
Genres: Young Adult Science Fiction Fantasy
Links:

Blurb:

In this third book in the Lunar Chronicles, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army.

Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl imprisoned on a satellite since childhood who’s only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.

When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.

My Review:

Cresstastic.

Totally amaze-balls. Seriously freaking loved it. Actually, I think I want to marry this book.

Every book in this series gets better and better and I’m salivating at what Marissa has in store for us with the fourth book. Roll on December.

This book was action packed from the first-minute and it never let up the whole way through. I loved the addition of sweet Cress and her crush on Thorne was adorable. Thorne comes into his own in this book and we start to understand who he really is. Thorne tries to convince everyone of his brilliance and he’s full of bravado and swagger. But it’s all a front.

Cress hero-worships him and it’s through this developing relationship that we see Thornes vulnerabilities and self-esteem issues. Cress only wants to see the good in him and this actually forces Thorne to be honest with himself. He doesn’t believe he has any redeemable qualities but through his protective care of Cress, we come to realize that that isn’t the case at all. He is humbled in her presence.

Character development is really strong in this book and Marissa is very talented at creating likable though flawed characters who progress as the plot moves along. I loved all the different perspectives and I never once felt conflicted over the voice – it was always clear who was narrating. (Unlike, say, Allegiant where I often had to check if it was Four or Tris speaking.)

There was a good twist with the doctor that I didn’t see coming. Me likey.

Poor Cinder – she was really struggling with her heir-apparent responsibilities. What an impossible situation for a sixteen-year-old to find herself in.

The last quarter of the book galloped along and I swooned at the ending with Cinder and Kai finally indulging in some lip-locking. About bleeding time!

I stayed up half the night reading it because I literally could not put it down, despite the head nodding and eye flickering.

Totally epic read and I can’t wait for the next book.

Sidenote: I’ve received a recommendation to read Fairest but for some reason there is no Kindle edition on Amazon.co.uk. I went onto Amazon.com to see if I could download it from there – then I saw the price – $9.99 for an e-Novella. You have got to be kidding me. I’m not going to get on the soapbox again but let’s just say that I will not be reading Fairest now. I’m not that desperate to read about Queen Levana that I’d pay that extortionate price.

Promotion: True Calling and Beyond Reach Discounted

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TWO DIFFERENT WORLDS. ONE SHARED DREAM.

If you loved Matched, The Selection and/or The 100, then you will love my True Calling Series. True Calling, ( True Calling #1) and Beyond Reach, (True Calling #2) are currently discounted to 99c for a limited period only. Grab a copy while they are cheap!

True Calling Blurb:

Planet Novo, nestled in space twelve hundred miles above the surface of the Earth, is the new home of 17-year-old Cadet Ariana Skyee. Confused by the government-sanctioned memory erase and distressed at her impending forced marriage and motherhood, Ariana’s plans for the future are thrown into complete disarray.

As the traumatic events within her family life enfold, Ariana grows increasingly alarmed at the authorities’ apparent pre-occupation with her and feels progressively more isolated and alone.

Her growing feelings for fellow Cadet Cal Remus intensify as the recently announced pageant, ‘The Calling’, gets underway. Struggling to comprehend the continuous, inexplicable dreams of the mysterious Zane, discovering the past helps shape her future, with devastating personal consequences.

True Calling Purchase Links:

Beyond Reach Blurb:

SOME SECRETS ARE WORTH FIGHTING FOR

Back on Earth, Ariana is caught in a dangerous crossfire between clandestine rebel organization Clementia and the power-hungry government. Refusing to divulge the location of the secret information entrusted to her by her late father, she desperately tries to bargain for her Mom, Lily, and Cal’s rescue. She’s fighting a losing battle, and the clock is ticking.

Presented with evidence of her fiancé Cal’s apparent betrayal, she loyally defends him despite her concerns. With her emotions in turmoil, matters become even more complicated as she grows closer to her ex-boyfriend Zane.

When the stakes are raised, a succession of shocking revelations rocks her world, setting her on a path that will not only change her destiny but the fate of humanity.

Confronted by a memory so abhorrent comes a truth she would do anything to forget.

But some things just can’t be undone.

Beyond Reach Purchase Links: