Thursday 31 January 2013

Distraction by Tess Oliver (Years from Home #1)

Genres: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Paranormal, Romance
Publication Date: January 21st 2013
POV: Alternating - First-person, Past tense
My Rating: 4 out of 5


As false accusations of witchcraft consume Salem Village, eighteen-year-old Poppy Seabrooke, a true witch, is content to stay away from the hysteria and more importantly from the relentless advances of Angus Wolfe, a powerful warlock masquerading as Salem’s pastor. When Poppy uses her magic to help a young boy, she is arrested. Angus is the only person who can help her, but, in return, she must promise her hand in marriage. In desperation, Poppy’s grandmother sends her two hundred years into the future to hide. Poppy finds herself years from home in the middle of a strange place called Montana where rooms light up without candles or sorcery, steam puffing dragons roar across fields on tracks, and cows sprout horns as long as tree trunks. And while Poppy hides from the man who turns her heart cold as ice, she discovers the man who can set it on fire.

Cade Tanner has always lived fast and hard, and he prefers it that way. The last thing he needs is a girl to distract him from running the cattle ranch his father left him. But Poppy, the sweetly innocent beauty with the soft smile and dark eyes, who seemingly fell from the sky, is tough to ignore. But Cade soon finds that falling for Poppy comes with a dangerous price.


An ending like this had, has a way of instantly connecting you with the characters, making you feel what they feel, even more so than a happy ending. I still prefer happy endings, but this is only book one, so there is time for that later. I think I actually enjoyed this more than Camille! Making it now my favourite Tess Oliver book.

I can tell Tess Oliver likes her men a little bit naughty, a little bit cocky, but with a heart of gold. Cade and Nathaniel are very similar in that sense. And I cannot blame her for that. They are amazing characters. I think I might prefer Distraction over Camille because Cade is just amazing. He really broke my heart in the end.

"Cade grabbed my hand and pressed it against his chest. "You are right here forever, and no magic tricks or sorcery can pry you from my heart.""

I always enjoy a good time travel story, seeing someone try to find their way in a new time, as an outsider. Its like us, the readers, looking into their world of magic from the outside, and it helps us relate to the character because we are outsiders too. And I especially enjoyed the fact that Poppy time traveled and is still in our past. I thought she would time travel to our present day, but she ended up in the old west and that just made the story more interesting. Seeing two different historical time periods in the same book.

Angus is a truly menacing villain and I was dreading his reappearance for the whole book. Just waiting for him to arrive and ruin everything for Poppy (love her name btw!) and Cade. This book was so sweet and romantic and I can only imagine what will happen in book 2! Its going to be awesome because Poppy will be fighting for Cade, and Cade is gonna do something awesome like overcome magic for her!

I have a few more books by Tess Oliver on my Kindle and I will have to move them up my TBR. I already loved her Camille series but I always feel like I need to read at least two stories from an author to really confirm my sentiments. Now I know for sure she is awesome. Thank you so much Tess for this book, which she gifted to me!

“You were meant for me, Poppy. I can feel it in my fingertips when I touch you.”

Thursday 24 January 2013

The Dream Thief by Shana Abé (Drakon #2)

Genres: Adult, Historical Fiction, Fantasy/Paranormal, Romance
Publication Date: September 26th 2006
POV: Alternating - Third-person, Past tense
Smut-O-Meter: 5 out of 10
My Rating: 5 out of 5


In the remote hills of northern England lives a powerful clan with a centuries-old secret. They are the drákon, shape-shifters who possess the ability to Turn—changing from human to smoke to dragon. And from the very stones of the earth, they hear hypnotic songs of beauty and wonder. But there is one stone they fear.

Buried deep within the bowels of the Carpathian Mountains lies the legendary dreaming diamond known as Draumr, the only gem with the power to enslave the drákon. Since childhood, Lady Amalia Langford, daughter of the clan's Alpha, has heard its haunting ballad but kept it secret, along with another rare Gift...Lia can hear the future, much in the way she hears the call of Draumr. And in that future, she realizes that the diamond—along with the fate of the drákon—rests in the hands of a human man, one who straddles two worlds.

Ruthlessly clever, Zane has risen through London's criminal underworld to become its ruler. Once a street urchin saved by Lia's mother, Zane is also privy to the secrets of the clan—and is the only human they trust to bring them Draumr. But he does nothing selflessly.

Zane's hunt for the gem takes him to Hungary, where he is shocked to encounter a bold, beautiful young noblewoman: Lia. She has broken every rule of the drákon to join him, driven by the urgent song ofDraumr—and her visions of Zane. In one future, he is her ally. In another, her overlord. In both, he is her lover. Now, to protect her tribe, Lia must tie her fate to Zane's, to the one man capable of stealing her future—and destroying her heart.


This is such an amazing series. Such a great concept, crossing historical romance with dragons. And I love the men in it so far! I loved Zane even more than Kip, but they were both so naughty yet still dignified. Zane isn't even Drakon but there was still something about him that was just magnificent and Alpha. I am slightly in awe of him. I really can't blame Lia for being in love with him most of her life. For making a move on a man in his mid-thirties when she was only 14. I am sure she couldn't have helped herself. But the way she was dedicated to him was inspiring. She knew him her whole life, him being a friend of her mother, and she knew what he was. A criminal, a thief, a liar. But she loved him. She knew his future (or a possible future), and the terrible things he was capable of, yet still she loved him.
The story in this was much grander than The Smoke Thief, which was about a jewel theft in London. In The Dream Thief, Lia and Zane go to Hungary to track down a legendary diamond that can control the Drakon. There is much at stake. There are powerful new enemies, and powerful new allies, and you don't always know which is which. There is sacrifice and love, and a possible dark future. The sense of desperation between Lia and Zane, caused by her dreams, was nearly intoxicating. The scene where they made love just after Zane had found out the power of the diamond, was heartbreaking and beautiful. The writing is breathtaking and hypnotizing. Nearly every word is worth remembering and making note of. Its like a song.

I cant stop thinking about this series, and I have to order Queen of Dragons from my library right away. It is about a character we met in this book. She was only 11, but Zane was only 13 in The Smoke Thief, so I'm sure several years will have passed. I am extremely excited to hear her story. The rest of the series has lower ratings than the first 2 books, but I hope I will love it anyway.

“Something inside his chest unlocked--wildly, slowly, a peculiar sort of melting. He was lost. He was the thorn and the thistle, blown upon her breeze. He felt, strangely enough, staring into her yes, like he was going to weep.”

Friday 18 January 2013

Fever by Lauren DeStefano (The Chemical Garden #2)

Genres: Young Adult, Sci-fi, Dystopian, Post-Apocalyptic, Romance
My Rating: 3 out of 5


Rhine and Gabriel have escaped the mansion, but danger is never far behind.

Running away brings Rhine and Gabriel right into a trap, in the form of a twisted carnival whose ringmistress keeps watch over a menagerie of girls. Just as Rhine uncovers what plans await her, her fortune turns again. With Gabriel at her side, Rhine travels through an environment as grim as the one she left a year ago - surroundings that mirror her own feelings of fear and hopelessness.

The two are determined to get to Manhattan, to relative safety with Rhine’s twin brother, Rowan. But the road there is long and perilous - and in a world where young women only live to age twenty and young men die at twenty-five, time is precious. Worse still, they can’t seem to elude Rhine’s father-in-law, Vaughn, who is determined to bring Rhine back to the any means necessary.

In the sequel to Lauren DeStefano’s harrowing Wither, Rhine must decide if freedom is worth the price - now that she has more to lose than ever.


Although not a lot happened in this book, I enjoyed it more than Wither. After Rhine and Gabriel escape they travel from place to place, looking for Rhine's brother and never staying anywhere long. Nothing of much significance happened until the end. But I enjoyed it more than Wither anyway because I found Wither really disturbing. I hated the idea of the Brides and being forced into that life is as bad as prostitution. I am glad that it wasn't covered much in this book.

I also enjoyed it because there was so much more Gabriel and so much less Linden. Despite the dark subject matter, the romance in this book is really sweet and innocent, like in Matched or Origin. Actually, its more like Origin because they are both very heavy, but still sweet with the romance. They both even discuss scientific experimentation on humans. Rhine and Gabriel spent a lot of time together and went through a lot together, and they are good for each other. But I am really disappointed in how Rhine reacted in the end. She seemed to give up too easily, and is still more worried about her brother than anything (and why did she not throw that ring away at the first opportunity?). But I think that Gabriel knows her, and knows what she will do next and will be able to find her.

Linden is revolting. They tried to make him seem all sympathetic at the end in the hospital. "Poor naive Linden. Mistreated and manipulated by his father." But all I have to do is remember Cecily. He impregnated a 13 year-old! Enough said. He's sick.

I am really hoping for a HEA in Sever. They don't even have to solve all their problems. I just want them to find safety somewhere. Even if Rowan ends up to be crazy. Even if there's no cure and we know Rhine will die in a few years. I just want her to be free until then.

Sunday 13 January 2013

The Smoke Thief by Shana Abé (Drakon #1)

Genres: Adult, Historical Fiction, Fantasy/Paranormal, Romance
Publication Date: September 27th 2005
POV: Alternating - Third-person, Past tense
Smut-O-Meter: 5 out of 10
My Rating: 4 out of 5


For centuries they’ve lived in secret among northern England’s green and misted hills. Creatures of extraordinary beauty, power, and sensuality, they possess the ability to shape-shift from human to dragon and back again. Now their secret—and their survival—is threatened by a temptation that will break every boundary.

Dubbed the Smoke Thief, a daring jewel thief is confounding the London police. His wealthy victims claim the master burglar can walk through walls and vanish into thin air. But Christoff, the charismatic Marquess of Langford, knows the truth: the thief is no ordinary human but a "runner" who's fled Darkfrith without permission. As Alpha leader of the drákon, it's Kit's duty to capture the fugitive before the secrets of the tribe are revealed to mortals. But not even Kit suspects that the Smoke Thief could be a woman.

Clarissa Rue Hawthorne knew her dangerous exploits would attract the attention of the drákon. But she didn't expect Christoff himself to come to London, dangling the tribe's most valuable jewel—the Langford Diamond—as bait. For as long as she could remember, Rue had lived the life of a halfling—half drákon, half mortal—and an outcast in both worlds. She'd always loved the handsome and willful Kit from the only place it was safe: from afar. But now she was no longer the shy, timid girl she'd once been. She was the first woman capable of making the Turn in four generations. So why did she still feel the same dizzying sense of vulnerability whenever he was near?

From the moment he saw her, Kit knew that the alluring and powerful beauty was every bit his Alpha equal and destined to be his bride. And by the harsh laws of the drákon, Rue knew that she was the property of the marquess. But they will risk banishment and worse for a chance at something greater. For now Rue is his prisoner, the diamond has disappeared, and she's made the kind of dangerous proposition a man like Kit cannot resist.


I love the combination of genres in this. It would at first seem like a Georgian historical romance, set in 1751 London. But it was also a cat-and-mouse story of a jewel thief. But then, on top of all of that, there are dragons! Yep, you heard me.

Clarissa grew up in a secret tribe of shapeshifting dragons that is disguised as a village and a large manor house, where the Alpha dragon and his family live. From a young age, Clarissa has been in love with the Alpha's beautiful son Cristoff, 4 years older than her, and far above her in status. But when Clarissa is 17, she discovers she can shift. A terrifying reality, or a dream come true? Female who canshift are rare, so she will be forced to marry Cristoff. It may sound like a dream come true. But more than wanting to marry him, she wants him to love her. So she runs. She runs away to London and becomes the Smoke Thief. Nine years later, Cristoff is now Alpha and still unmarried. He comes to London to stop the Smoke Thief before their kind are exposed. But he had no idea what kind of fight he was getting into with Miss Clarissa Rue, The Smoke Thief.
I really loved Cristoff, aka Kip. He was swaggering, arrogant, loyal, bold, determined, and passionate; about being Alpha, about his people, and about his Rue-flower. He was so yummy and the relationship between him and Rue was so unusual. She was bitter about him trying to force her back to the tribe, and he was bitter about the fact that she ran from him 9 years earlier. But it didnt stop them from falling for each other, again, in Rue's case. And the first time they had sex was unbelievable! It was unbelievable that he would attempt it, and unbelievable that she would let him! The arrogant, bold, determination, and passion in him all came into play in that scene. And the bold and daring in Rue that allows her to be the Smoke Thief, also allowed her to have sex with the man of her dreams on the floor of an office during a high society party, with someone else in the room, without being caught.

Rue and Kip were a well matched pair, as rivals, as a couple, as partners in crime, as everything in life, they were amazing together. Their constant bickering, as well as their mutual respect and admiration. And I love the history and magic, and mystery behind the drakon. The way the book ended, with hints of what is to come. I cannot wait to read The Dream Thief!

"In the year 1751, for the first time in centuries, two Alpha hearts united. The power of their union shivered the very web of the drakon. Souls trembled on invisible strings. Fates shifted. And ancient ties, long forgotten, thrilled to life."

Monday 7 January 2013

Born of Fire by Sherrilyn Kenyon (The League #2)

Genres: Adult, Sci-fi, Romance
Publication Date: November 3rd 2009
POV: Alternating - Third-person, Past tense
Smut-O-Meter: 5 out of 10
My Rating: 5 out of 5


In a universe where assassins make the law, everyone lives in fear - except for Syn. Born of an illicit scandal that once rocked a dynasty, he always knew how to survive on the bloodthirsty streets. But that was then, and the future is now...

He takes no prisoners.

Syn was raised as a tech-thief until his livelihood uncovered a truth that could end his life. He tried to destroy the evidence, and has been on the run ever since. Now trained as an assassin, he allows no one to threaten him. Ever. He is the darkness that swallows his enemies whole.

She offers no escape.

Shahara Dagan is the best bounty hunter in the universe. When Syn comes back on the radar, she’s the only one who can bring him to justice. There’s only one problem: Syn is a close family friend who’s helped out the Dagans countless times. But if she saves him, both of their lives will be on the line. Is Syn’s protection worth the risk? The only hope Shahara has is to find the evidence he buried long ago. Now it’s kill or be killed - and they, the predators, have just become the hunted...


This was just as good as Born of Night. It had everything the first did. Not nearly as much time was spent in space or in fighters, but way more time was spent in fire-fights, so they were equally action packed. And I love Vik!

In Born of Night I remember Syn saying that he had had a horrible childhood, but that Nykyrian's had been worse. We knew that Syn was the son of a horrible criminal, and we knew that his wife had left him when she found out, but we didn't know much else. Now that I know Syn's life in greater detail, if it wasn't as bad as Nykyrian's, it was certainly close. I felt a great deal of sympathy for Syn and wanted his happiness so badly!

But I still like Nykyrian a smidgen more. I don't know if that is because Nykyrian came first and its lost its novelty, or because Syn never seemed quite as downtrodden. Nykyrian was extremely melancholy and never smiled or laughed until he met Kiara. Syn was always laughing and cracking jokes and being sarcastic. It was his way of coping, but it also made him seem like he didn't need saving as much as Nykyrian did. After being in his mind I know that's not true, but it still seemed that way sometimes.

I can't wait to read Born of Ice, which is featuring characters I don't recognize. I think it would be better if the characters were always introduced in the book before. I was hoping the next one would be about Nero. He is described as gorgeous and wounded, which is the perfect combo for a lead in this series. But Born of Ice still sounds awesome and like it will be set a lot in space. I love space.

"Thank you, Shay." 
"For what?" 
"For looking into the eyes of nothing and seeing a man you could love."

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