Review: Starfall (Starstruck #4) by Brenda Hiatt

StarfallTitle: Starfall
Author: Brenda Hiatt
Series: Starstruck #4
Rating: 3.5 stars
Genres: Science Fiction Romance
Links:

Blurb:
The electrifying conclusion to the Starstruck series!

M, no longer a nerdy nobody, has finally been acclaimed Sovereign Emileia, ruler of the Martian colony Nuath. But at what cost? Without her soulmate Rigel, life seems pointless but she’s expected to shake off her heartbreak and assume her responsibilities. Reluctantly, M does what she must until an unexpected discovery restores a glimmer of hope for the future. Now she is determined to do whatever she can to salvage her longed-for happy ending—if it’s not already too late.

My Review:
This was a decent conclusion to the series, and a vast improvement on the last book, in my opinion.

I really felt for M in this book as the full extent of her leadership role hits home. Thrust headfirst into the manipulative political world on Mars, she must keep her wits about her if she is to correctly separate those who are trustworthy from those who are power-hungry and who seek to use her for their own end. It’s a tricky situation, especially for one so young. Betrayal abounds with heartbreaking consequences.

Separated from Rigel, she struggles to hold it all together. But M proves her resilience and demonstrates what a natural born leader she truly is.

The twist with Rigel was good and unexpected.

There is strength in numbers, and together, M and Rigel, are a force to be reckoned with.

One of the things I really liked about this series was how loyal both M and Rigel were to each other. M never wavered in her love of him, and though Sean was a genuine option, and he was more than happy to enter into a relationship with her, she stayed loyal to Rigel the entire time. Kudos to M.

I still felt so badly for Sean in this book. He definitely drew the shorter straw. The author attempted to give him his HEA at the end and I didn’t like it – it was rushed and an ill fit.

Now that I’ve completed the series, I can say that it was enjoyable, but it didn’t rock my world. If I was rating the entire series, I would rate it 3.5 stars. I can’t ever see myself re-reading it, which is something I always do with series I love. That said, it’s a well-written series that is suitable for tweens and up.

Review: Starbound (Starstruck #3) by Brenda Hiatt

StarboundTitle: Starbound
Author: Brenda Hiatt
Series: Starstruck #3
Rating: 3 stars
Genres: Science Fiction Romance
Links:

Blurb:
Being a Princess isn’t all it’s cracked up to be!
Between keeping high security secrets from everyone (including Rigel) and trying to keep Rigel and Sean from killing each other (with no help from Trina, of course!) M has more than enough on her plate already.
She knew that as newly discovered Princess of a secret Martian colony, she’d have to return there someday—but over spring break?? An emergency requires her immediate presence but not everyone is overjoyed to have their long-lost Princess back. Can she win her people over in time to save the colony from destruction? And what will she have to give up in return?

My Review:
I loved the imagination of the author in this installment of the series, and I really enjoyed the different settings, especially the fictional Martian colony in Ireland, the spaceship journey, and Mars itself.

I also enjoyed the few chapters we got from Sean’s POV. Poor Sean, he really has gotten a bum deal. He is so loyal and supportive to M even though she always makes it clear to him that she loves Rigel, and that that will never change. I felt for the guy. I would have liked some chapters from Rigel’s perspective, as he was getting a raw deal in this book too.

I was enjoying this book up to the 60% mark and then it slowed down and I started skimming. The political situation was way too drawn out and repetitive and there was very little on the romance plot. I hated that Rigel and M were either separated or forced to stay apart in this book.

It’s still well written, but it could have been shorter in my opinion.

When I finished the book, I was actually so frustrated with it that I wasn’t sure if I wanted to continue with the series. My finger hovered uncertainly over the one-click button. In the end, I went ahead and purchased the last book, as I hate not finishing the full story. I just hope the next book improves.

Review: Starcrossed (Starstruck #2) by Brenda Hiatt

Starcrossed brenda hiattTitle: Starcrossed
Author: Brenda Hiatt
Series: Starstruck #2
Rating: 4 stars
Genres: Science Fiction Romance
Links:

Blurb:
Marsha Truitt’s life has changed dramatically over the past few months. Instead of a nerdy nobody, she’s the newly discovered princess of a secret civilization. Even better, she’s dating the hottest guy in school, who just happens to be her literal soulmate. But when a new boy arrives at Jewel High, everything M thought she knew about herself and her future is turned on its head. Will the very destiny that lifted her from obscurity now tear her away from Rigel and their happy ever after?

My Review:
I thought this book was a vast improvement on the first book and I’m definitely hooked on this series now.

Starcrossed was fast-paced from the first page and the author packed more suspense and intrigue into this book. I really liked the introduction of the O’Gara family and love-love-love the Irish connection. The fact that the Martian language is essentially Irish/Gaelic made me laugh out loud, I really got a kick out of that. It enabled me to forgive the stereotypical description of Sean (copper-colored hair and freckles)

Ah, poor Sean. He’s very likeable and not in an enviable position at all. Even though I’m Team Rigel, I still really felt for Sean.

M has to face the realities of her new situation and she is forced to grow up fast. However, I was so frustrated with her in parts because of her failure to recognise the strong bargaining position she held and how she could have protected Rigel, and their relationship, from the get-go. I had to remind myself she was only 15, but when she was portrayed as having grasped the intricacies of Martian politics, I felt she could have realised the strength she possessed far earlier than she actually did.

The threat to Rigel’s life never felt like much of a threat to me and I would have liked those scenes to have been further developed.

The romance continues to be very sweet and Rigel and M are so adorable as a couple.

All in all, though, I really enjoyed the second installment and I’ve already started into the third book.

Review: Starstruck (Starstruck #1) by Brenda Hiatt

StarstruckTitle: Starstruck
Author: Brenda Hiatt
Series: Starstruck #1
Rating: 3.5 stars
Genres: Science Fiction Romance
Links:

Blurb:
Nerdy astronomy geek Marsha, M to her few friends, has never been anybody special. Orphaned as an infant and reluctantly raised by an overly-strict “aunt,” she’s not even sure who she is. M’s dream of someday escaping tiny Jewel, Indiana and making her mark in the world seems impossibly distant until hot new quarterback Rigel inexplicably befriends her. As Rigel turns his back on fawning cheerleaders to spend time with M, strange things start to happen: her acne clears up, her eyesight improves to the point she can ditch her thick glasses, and when they touch, sparks fly—literally! When M digs for a reason, she discovers deep secrets that will change her formerly humdrum life forever . . . and expose her to perils she never dreamed of. Yes, the middle of nowhere just got a lot more interesting!

My Review:
Marsha Truitt isn’t popular in school, but she’s used to it. Constantly taunted by cheerleader Trina, she does her best to ignore her with the support of her two best friends. M’s home life isn’t much better – her aunt and uncle were forced to take her in when her adopted parents died shortly after adopting her. Her aunt is a total tyrant and her uncle is usually tongue-tied around his domineering wife.

When hot newcomer Rigel starts to take notice of her, M’s life changes in ways she could never have imagined or predicted. She discovers her real identity and the path that lies in store for her.

While this was a decent read, I wasn’t blown away by it. The writing is very good and it’s clear than Brenda Hiatt is an experienced author. So, no issues with the writing style at all. However, I found it quite slow-paced in the first half and I kept waiting for something to happen to inject a much-needed spark. Though, to be fair, the plot more than made up for that in the second part of the book.

In the main, I liked M and we start to see a transformation in her as the story progresses (not just physical). But I was screaming at her to stand up to her aunt at certain junctures and I wish she had more backbone.

Rigel is a great male lead though I was unhappy with him in the latter stages of the book. While he implemented a selfless plan in order to protect M, I didn’t like that he had to partner with evil Trina to do it. Surely, he could have chosen a different girl!

The romance was sweet and clean, and there was a nice build up to it.

Overall, I found this to be a lot more juvenile than the YA books I usually read. Most of them are categorized as age15/16+ but this is suitable for younger teens.

I was in two minds as to whether I was going to continue the series, but the hinted-at Irish connection is what swayed my mind. Onto Starcrossed next.

Book Blitz: Sparked by Sheena Snow

Sparked banner
This is my stop during the book blitz for Sparked (Metal Bones #1) by Sheena Snow. This book blitz is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The book blitz runs from 16 till 22 December, you can view the complete blitz schedule on the website of Lola’s Blog Tours.

SparkedSparked (Metal Bones #1)
by Sheena Snow
Genre: Science Fiction
Age category: Young Adult
Release Date: 16 December, 2015

Blurb:
They weren’t supposed to have feelings.

Metal will Clash
In a not-too-distance future, robots composed of metal for bones, electric cords for veins, and synthetics for skin are now available. For purchase. Eighteen-year-old Vienna Avery’s home is going to change forever, now that her mom purchased an Italian Chef Robot to cook and reside in their house.

Secrets will Unfold
The government claimed robots were indifferent, unthinking pieces of metal and elastic—assistance for the help of humans. Vienna never believed much of what the government said. The pieces didn’t always fit. And now Vienna knows why, because she’s uncovered the government’s secret: that robots have emotions, sucking Vienna into the underground world of feeling, thinking, and sovereign robots.

Sparks will Fly
Alec Cypher is everything a robot is not supposed to be: deep, dark, and dangerously human. And for some reason, he wants to save Vienna from the government’s prying, vindictive eyes. Going forward, Vienna will have to learn to trust robots and battle the growing feelings she never thought possible . . . feelings for the green-eyed, soul-searching robot named Alec.

You can find Sparked on Goodreads

You can buy Sparked here:
Amazon

Excerpt:
fashion, the front angled longer, reaching past her shoulders, where mine was always in a ponytail.
I shook off my jacket and looked up into Mom’s bright, beaming face.
“I only went shopping,” I said, raising my eyebrows. “No need to look that—”
“You’ll never guess what I bought.” Mom practically sang the last word, cutting me off.
Head throbbing, I sucked in a deep breath and dropped my purse on the couch. “I have absolutely no idea.” I wondered how mom would react if she knew Mr. Romero had bought a robot.
“They’ve had nothing but good reviews.” Mom nodded, following behind me as I headed toward my room. “And you and your father are going to love him.”
I rubbed my temples. “I’m sure we will.” How could we not get excited about Mom’s latest painting gadget? “What does this one let you do?”
Paint with two brushes at the same time?
Mom darted in front of me, and spread her arms to block me from going any further.
“What’s going on?” I looked from side-to-side.
“I named him Robotatouille.” Mom nodded as if that solved everything.
“I’m sorry?” I shook my head. What in the heck was Mom talking about? “You named what Robot . . .” My breath caught in my throat. My stomach flipped. “You . . . you did what?” I repeated.
Mom’s eyes lit up and suddenly, it was like all the energy in my body had been stolen from me, sucked out, leaving me dry and empty.
“N-N-N-o,” I breathed.
Mom wouldn’t—
“Everyone’s getting one,” Mom said.
My legs shook.
“Did you know Mr. Romero just bought one yesterday?” Mom asked, face glowing while it felt like mine had lost all of its blood. “And you’re going to love him. Look.” Mom winked at me and stepped back to pull a sandy-blond brown-eyed twenty-something-year-old man from behind the kitchen wall.
I couldn’t breathe.
Air was trapped in my body, as I stood there, gaping, into this man-robot-thing’s eyes.
Brown eyes. Sandy-blond hair.
I jerked backward and stumbled into the coffee table.
The robot was right in front of me.
No.
Freaking.
Way.

Sheena SnowAbout the Author:
Sheena Snow, contrary to her name, lives in South Florida and has only seen snow once. But she would love for it to land on her eyelashes and sparkle in her hair. She loves painting, candle making, orchid shows, tattoo conventions, hockey games and library book sales! After college she landed a full time job but kept serving pizza on the weekends and writing stories about characters she wished really existed, characters who never gave up no matter the obstacles life threw at them. At the age of twenty-six, she sold her first book and bought her very first puppy, a wonderful Yorkie named Aladdin.

You can find and contact Sheena here:
Website
Facebook
Goodreads
Instagram

There is a tour wide giveaway for the book blitz of Sparked. These are the prizes you can win:
– a pair of steampunk earrings from the etsy shop RogueJewels (US Only)
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Review: Sea of Stars (Kricket #2) by Amy A. Bartol

Sea of StarsTitle: Sea of Stars
Author: Amy A. Bartol
Series: Kricket #2
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Science Fiction Romance
Links:

Blurb:
Eighteen-year-old Kricket Hollowell was looking for her place in the world when she discovered that the universe was bigger—and more dangerous—than she had ever dreamed. Now, whisked across space to the planet Ethar, Kricket learns that her genetic ability to see the future makes her a sought-after commodity…and the catalyst for war between her star-crossed parents’ clans. According to Alameedan prophecy, one house will rise to power and the other will be completely wiped out, and Kricket’s precognition is believed to be the weapon that will tip the scales.

A target of both the Rafe and the Alameeda houses, Kricket finds protection—and a home—in the arms of Trey, her Etharian bodyguard-turned-boyfriend. But her visions of what’s to come disturb her deeply, especially since she must discover whether the gift of foresight will allow her to rewrite the future, or if her fate is as immovable as the stars.

My Review:
Right, so there wasn’t a single page, nor a single word, that I did not love. This book seriously rocked. It is fast paced from the very start and it didn’t let up the whole way through. So much happened and it was full of plot twists and turns. I seriously loved it and devoured it in less than 24 hours. Thank God the next installment is out soon as I so need more.

Trey + Kricket = match made in heaven. I love them together and it got quite steamy in this book. Get it on!!

Kyon is a bit of a conundrum. Total douche, without a doubt, but he has his moments. Still, that ending killed me.

Can’t wait to see where Amy takes this next.

If you love fast-paced, imaginative sci-fi with tons of swoony romance then you need to check out this series.

Review: Under Different Stars (Kricket #1) by Amy A. Bartol

Under Different StarsTitle: Under Different Stars
Author: Amy A. Bartol
Series: Kricket #1
Rating: 4.5 stars
Genres: Science Fiction Romance
Links:

Blurb:
Kricket Hollowell is normally not one to wish upon stars; she believes they’re rarely in her favor. Well versed at dodging caseworkers from Chicago’s foster care system, the past few years on her own have made Kricket an expert at the art of survival and blending in. With her 18th birthday fast approaching, she dreams of the day when she can stop running and find what her heart needs most: a home.

Trey Allairis hates Earth and doubts that anyone from his world can thrive here. What he’s learning of Kricket and her existence away from her true home only confirms his theory. But, when he and Kricket lie together under the stars of Ethar, counting them all may be easier than letting her go.

Kyon Ensin’s secrets number the stars; he knows more about Kricket’s gifts than anyone and plans to possess her because of them. He also knows she’s more valuable than any fire in the night sky. He’ll move the heavens and align them all in order to make her his own.

When everything in their world can be broken, will Kricket rely upon love to save her under different stars?

My Review:
I’ve wanted to check out this series for ages and I’m so glad that I finally got around to reading it. I am totally hooked now!

The action started pretty much straight away which I loved – right into the thick of it. Awesome. Kricket is feisty and straight-talking and used to taking care of herself. While she has always suspected that she is different, she wasn’t aware of just how different she is.

Kidnapped by Trey and brought to her home planet Ethar, she sets out on a journey that will transform her life.

The world Amy has created is captivating and so imaginative, though I did feel that sometimes it was overly descriptive, and there were parts of the journey that I skimmed through. However, it’s my only complaint and it’s minor.

This book has everything that I love in a great YA sci-fi read – tons of action, plenty of intrigue, stunning world building, complex characters and lashings of scintillating romance. Yeah – I’m addicted.

A fantastic read. Highly recommended.

Saven Deception is almost here!

Facebook-Pre-order
It’s two weeks to the release of Saven Deception, Book 1 in my new young adult science fiction romance series, and I’m super excited to share it with you! This book is currently available to pre-order exclusively from Amazon. Full purchase links below. Today, I’m sharing an exclusive excerpt and some teaser images to whet your appetite. Enjoy 🙂

Saven Deception Teaser-Sadie

About the book:
Saven DeceptionSaven: Deception (The Saven series #1)
by Siobhan davis

Genre: Science Fiction Fantasy Romance
Age Category: Young Adult
Release Date: December 15, 2015

Book Description:
I’ve fallen hard for an alien, but he’s harboring secrets.
Massive secrets that threaten the very essence of humanity.
How can I give him my heart when his race plans on taking my future?

Sadie Owens has been slowly dying inside. Bit by bit, piece by piece, day by day. Trapped in a life she hates, she relies on only one person—herself.

Despised by her family and betrayed by an unscrupulous government, Sadie dreams of a different life. When she is chosen to participate in the government’s new social experiment, she is ecstatic at the prospect of spending six months in Thalassic City, the shiny new city under the sea.

Immediately drawn to Logan Chandler, Sadie is captivated by the beautiful boy with the ocean-blue eyes. Logan seems to embody everything that has been forbidden, but he isn’t all he appears to be.

Confused over Logan’s true intentions and concerned when best friend Jenna starts transforming in front of her eyes, Sadie partners with newcomer Jarod in a bid to uncover the government’s real agenda. The truth is more shocking than anything she could ever have imagined.

When Sadie finally understands why the Saven walk among us, will it be too late to save her heart and the human race?

Couple Teaser 2

Excerpt:
“Come, sit,” he says, his fingers curling gently around the tips of mine.
I plop down on the beanbag beside him and yelp.
“You are hurt.” He frowns. “Let me take a look.”
He scrunches the edge of my shirt, but I clamp down on his hand. There’s no way I’m admitting that it’s my butt that’s sore, and no way am I ready to let him inspect that part of my anatomy. Yet.
Get you, my inner devil teases.
“I’m fine.” I pin him with a “drop it” look.
“You are so stubborn.” Shaking his head, he unscrews the cap from his bottle.
“I’m stubborn?” I level an incredulous look his way. “Have you not looked in the mirror recently, dude?”
He laughs and the sound sends warmth flooding through me.
“You’ve a lovely laugh,” I blurt out. Ohmigod! I can’t believe I said something so cheesy.
“I do?” He looks amused.
“Yep.” I’m resorting to one-word replies now for fear of what else might inadvertently tumble out of my mouth.
He stares intently at me, his fiery eyes penetrating my soul. The cord buzzes with anticipation. I might’ve forgotten how to breathe again. “You are beautiful, through and through.”
With each passing second, my heart pounds faster and faster. He inclines toward me and I move closer. Butterflies are throwing a mad party in the pit of my stomach. Like magnets, we inch closer and closer still. As my pulse throbs, he zeroes in on my lips and his eyes linger there.
I’ve imagined this moment so many times without ever really believing I’d get to experience it. Now that I’m here, seconds away from my first real kiss, I’m terrified of the strength of my emotion. I never knew it could be like this. That I could feel such a strong connection to a boy; that my body could tremble with such intense desire. And our lips haven’t even met yet.
We are a hairsbreadth from one another. I bridge the final distance and close my eyes. His fingers brush my lips and I’m tingly all over. Reopening my eyes, I see the adoration glistening in his gaze. For me.
“Ala beatra.” The words roll seductively and respectfully off his tongue.
I’ve no idea what it means, or what language he’s speaking, but it sounds beautiful.
And like a form of worship.
Though it’s possible I’m deluding myself.
He closes his eyes and presses his mouth to mine. His touch is feather soft and it unravels me. I kiss him back equally gently and he moans softly. His lips exert more pressure as he draws me in flush with his solid chest. I’ve never felt this much emotion before. It’s almost too much, but at the same time, not enough.
Gaining in confidence, I encircle my arms around his neck and melt into him, savoring the feel of his body as it presses against mine. Angling his head, he extends the kiss, and it grows in intensity and fire. I’m matching him, kiss for kiss, and my need for him is reaching an all-time high. I can’t get enough of him. He is everywhere, and yet I need more.

BUY LINKS:
Amazon USA
Amazon UK
Amazon Canada
Amazon Australia
Available in all Amazon stores. Please check your local site if not listed above.

Logan teaser

Cover Reveal sign-ups open for Saven: Deception

I am so excited to announce that sign-ups are open for the cover reveal for Saven: Deception. Saven: Deception is the first book in my new Young Adult Science Fiction Romance series calles The Saven Series. The first book will be released on 15 December this year. The cover reveal for Saven: Deception will take place on October 14! You can sign-up here on the site of Lola’s Blog Tours. Below is some more information about the book, the blurb is coming soon I am working hard to finalize the blurb at the moment.

Coming SoonSaven: Deception (The Saven Series #1)
By Siobhan Davis
Genre: Science Fiction Romance
Age category: Young Adult
Release Date: December 15, 2015

Blurb:
Coming Soon

You can add Saven: Deception to your to-read list on Goodreads

Blog Tour: The Counting-Downers by A.J. Compton

Counting Downers BT BANNER
Today is my stop during the blog tour for The Counting-Downers by A.J. Compton! I am really excited to be part of this tour and will share my review with you. There’s also a tour wide giveaway!

Counting DownersTitle: The Counting-Downers
Author: A.J. Compton
Series: standalone
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Fantasy/ sci-fi Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
The stunningly poignant and life-affirming debut novel by A.J. Compton

Imagine if we could see how long everyone around us had left to live. But we weren’t allowed to know our own numbers…

Trying to make sense of life after the death of her beloved father, free spirit Matilda Evans meets Tristan Isaacs and discovers a marrow-deep connection with him.

No stranger to grief himself, lonely artist Tristan is in awe of Matilda’s fun and philosophical approach to life. With every second spent in her presence, he finds his views on life and loss changing, and begins to embrace the beauty of being alive.

As their friendship turns into something deeper, lessons are learned, memories are made, and legacies are created.

But with both of them knowing how long their soulmate has left in this lifetime, important questions have to be asked and tough decisions have to be made before time runs out.

The Counting-Downers is an inspiring story about life, loss, love, and making the most of every moment.

My Review:
This is an exceptional debut novel by a very talented author. I will even go as far as saying it is one of the best books I have ever read. It has touched me on a cellular level and I’m still trying to compose myself after finishing it. It’s both hugely entertaining and deeply profound. Wow.

The Counting-Downers is a thought-provoking book about life and death, love and loss, fear and bravery. Matilda lives in a world where everyone has a ticking clock over their head confirming when they will die. They don’t know how they will die and individuals aren’t aware or allowed to be told of their own date of demise. Imagine living with the very real shadow of death always hanging over you in such a transparent way? I absolutely loved this premise and the way the author dealt with it. People often flippantly throw out comments like ‘life is too short’ and ‘live life in the moment’ without properly thinking of the meaning behind the words. This book really raised a lot of inner questions and I’ve been in such a reflective/philosophical mood since I finished reading it.

The story is also a beautiful love story and it highlights the importance of family and friendship. Matilda meets Tristan the day of her father’s funeral and they form an instant connection. Unbeknownst to them, they both have the same date of death. That was never explained, but I took it to mean they were true soulmates who would not only share the joy of life together but die together. After their initial meeting, they don’t meet again for two years, but once they do they start spending a lot of time together and very soon realize that they are meant for each other. Their relationship is quite deep and spiritual at times, but also juvenile and funny at others. The dialogue between them is snappy and witty and there were plenty of LOL moments. Matilda is a real free spirit and she helps Tristian overcome the pain of his past. It was a joy to read and I really loved both characters.

The writing in this book is OUTSTANDING. It was so poetic, eloquent and downright beautiful. Award worthy in my opinion. I cannot believe how young this author is because she writes like a seasoned professional, and with such insight. If this is what she is bringing to the table as her debut novel then she is definitely an author to follow.

In a note at the back, A.J states how she wants every page to resonate with the reader. Well, she definitely achieved that in my case. Every word was imprinted on my heart and my mind. Here are a couple of quotes I liked:

“Love is giving someone the power to destroy you and trusting that they won’t.”

“Nobody sees me like you do, and without you, I’d be invisible. I exist because you see me.”

I am highly recommending this book. It is different, original, thought-provoking, and beautifully written. I hope it’s a huge success for the author because it’s an exceptional piece of writing.

AJ Compton Author PicAbout the Author:
A.J. Compton is a 23-year-old Londoner, professional dreamer, and full-time over-thinker. She is the author of The Counting-Downers and a dozen other unfinished manuscripts which will hopefully see the light of day soon.
A University of Cambridge graduate, A.J. is currently in a polygamous relationship with an embarrassing number of fictional book boyfriends.
Those two facts are not related. Honestly.
She loves people-watching and exploring her observations in her writing.
She really hates writing about herself in the third person.

Links:

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