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Currently Browsing: guest review
Aug
2

Review: Forever Doon by Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon

Review: Forever Doon by Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon Please help TWITA welcome guest reviewer, Kymbo. An avid reader, Kymbo is also the teenaged daughter of our own Ang. Forever Doon Author: Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon Reviewer: Kymbo Rating: C What I’m Talking About: I’ve read the Doon series from beginning to end. Not being one for fairytales with the whole princess and prince thing, I was surprised at how much I thoroughly enjoyed the first two titles in the series. After the first two though, I started having some fairly major issues with the novels. I felt as though the target age for the series changed to a younger audience, as if series was being dragged on, like the authors lost their focus and were unclear where it was going, and like the classification of the novels changed. Forever Doon, like the three before, was a multiple point of view book. Although there is nothing wrong with that, there is a point when it isn’t needed. Forever Doon was told from four different points of view. It was clear why it was told from three of the four, but the fourth viewpoint seemed excessive, to the say the least, and completely unnecessary. Two of the characters were with each other throughout the entire novel, and having both points of view was just each story being retold, most of the time word for word. The fourth viewpoint did not add any extra insight or necessary details through the whole novel all it did was up the word count, and I firmly believe if it doesn’t add to the story it should be left out. Maturity was another topic I often found myself thinking about as I read this book. The main characters are all said to be high school graduates and well above 14, yet I often felt as though they were acting like they were middle-schoolers. Not only was the language used, such as “skellies,” immature and childish, the way character on character conflict was solved was immature. Many times the characters would simply yell at each other instead of actually figuring out the problem, and then it would magically disappear like it never happened. It was almost as though a few of the characters were developing, but not in a way that fit the story. I expected them to mature as they faced various conflicts and it felt like the opposite was happening. I was hoping that because the series was originally planned for four...
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Jul
27

Review: Shades of Doon by Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon

Review: Shades of Doon by Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon Please help TWITA welcome guest reviewer, Kymbo. An avid reader, Kymbo is also the teenaged daughter of our own Ang. Shades of Doon Author: Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon Reviewer: Kymbo Rating: B- What I’m Talking About: After reading the first two books in this series, I was beyond excited to receive Shades of Doon as an ARC in the mail. However, I am sad to say I was disappointed as I started reading the book and even had to put it down for a while before picking it up again. Shades of Doon picks up beautifully from where the second one, Destined For Doon, leaves off; however, as the book goes on it feels as though the authors weren’t sure where they were going with it. I often found myself thinking that I was simply re-reading the second book. I also found myself annoyed with the turn the book took in its age range. I felt like it went from a Teen/ YA book to something intended for pre-teens. Maybe the authors did that intentionally to expand the group of readers for the series, but I found it annoying and even frustrating. The book is marked as young adult, and at times I would agree, but at others I felt more like I was reading a book meant for preteens. The character’s voices changed so much, the language used became immature in places and topics it would dive into and then quickly avoid was annoying, and left a variety of issues unresolved. This felt out of character based on the previous two novels. Regardless of why this happened, I’m sad to say by the end of this novel, I was not excited for the fourth and final in the series. My Rating:  B- Liked It, but I had a few small issues ~Kymbo~ About the Book: After cheating death, Veronica Welling is determined to savor every moment in her idyllic kingdom with both her true love and best friend by her side at last. At the same time, Mackenna Reid is enthusiastically building her new life and a theater with her prince. But just as their dreams of happiness are within reach, the world Vee and Kenna have chosen is ripped away, leaving them to face their most horrific challenge yet—their old lives. Thrust out of Doon, the best friends are confronted with tormentors from their past and no way to return to their adopted land. When the MacCrae brothers...
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Jul
27

Review: Destined for Doon by Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon

Review: Destined for Doon by Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon Please help TWITA welcome guest reviewer, Kymbo. An avid reader, Kymbo is also the teenaged daughter of our own Ang. Destined for Doon Author: Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon Guest Reviewer: Kymbo Rating: B What I’m Talking About: The first in this series, Doon, changed my perspective on fairytale/princess books altogether. I loved every minute of it. I am happy to say I was not disappointed at all with this sequel. Destined for Doon is anything but your basic fairytale. There is no damsel in distress who needs rescuing , no prince who comes to save her, nor a song after every major scene. Instead, this book is full of humor, musical references, heartbreaking teen romance, unbreakable friendship, and an evil witch that must be stopped. Although Destined for Doon was a strong sequel, I would not say it was without its imperfections. Between the two authors and the switching back and forth of perspectives after every chapter, I would say there were times where I felt as though the writing style simply didn’t work. There were moments where it would have flowed better to stick with once voice over another. Despite a few flaws, Destined for Doon was good considering it was a sequel, and although it wasn’t perfect I would still recommend it to fellow readers, especially considering it has stuck with me nearly two years after reading it. So go visit the world of Doon; you won’t be disappointed. My Rating:  B, Liked It ~Kymba~ About the Book: The second book in the popular new Doon YA series that takes on a classic story, Brigadoon, and spins it in a new way to give readers a fresh, modern experience. In this sequel to Doon, Kenna Reid realizes she made a horrible mistake-choosing to follow her dreams of Broadway instead of staying in the enchanted land of Doon. Worse, she’s received proof she and Duncan are meant to be, along with torturous visions of the prince she left behind. So when Duncan shows up and informs Kenna that Doon needs her, she doesn’t need to think twice. But even if Kenna can save the enchanted kingdom, her happily ever after may still be in peril. The Doon novels are a part of Blink, HarperCollins Christian Publishing’s new YA imprint that delivers empowering and heartening literature while maintaining a tradition of imaginative and impactful storytelling. Release Date: September 2, 2014 Publisher: Blink Series: Doon #2 Genre: Young Adult...
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Aug
7

Review: Biting Bad by Chloe Neill

Review: Biting Bad by Chloe Neill Biting Bad Author: Chloe Neill Reviewer: Guest Review: Wendy Rating: A-, 4 Stars What I’m Talking About: I wish I could say that I loved everything about this book, and – don’t get me wrong,  parts of it were great – but overall it felt… unfinished. The good stuff first: Merit and Ethan continue to be a fantastic couple. They’re funny and they’re sexy, and they’re two of the least broody vampires I’ve ever had the pleasure to enjoy on paper. I love their relationship. He’s kind of stuffy and uptight (because… you know… he’s 400 years old), and she’s just one of the girls. She loves pizza and chocolate and homemade pasta, and she can’t believe she has a boyfriend for Valentine’s Day. I will read these books as long as the author continues to write them, just because I love Ethan and Merit as a couple. About the rest of the book, though… it felt as though the author had a big book that she was planning to write, and instead, she kind of tapered off about halfway through the story. As usual, Cadogan House, with Merit as Sentinel, has a mystery to solve! Ethan, Merit and the gang are trying to track down the powers-to-be behind anti-vampire riots and attacks that are occurring all over the city. *Rut ro!* Cadogan House continues to come under attack from the GP. Unfortunately, this time the attack is physical instead of political. There’s also a new prophecy from Mallory, a new job for Mallory, a new serum which may or may not allow vampires to become human and a potential murder charge against Ethan yet none of these developments are really resolved before the end of the book. The mystery is kind of solved when someone runs into the house crying and says “I know who did it!”. It was pretty anti-climactic. I’m ready for a big commitment from this author. I’d like to see her blow up her format and really go deep into world-building and big, sweeping, dramatic events. She’s set it all up for us, now I would just love to see her really commit and tell us the big story you can see lurking around the corner! 4 stars: Enjoyed – recommend (A-) About the Book: Merit has been a vampire for only a short while, but she’s already seen a lifetime’s worth of trouble. She and her Master, centuries-old Ethan Sullivan, have risked their lives...
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May
10

Guest Review: Down London Road by Samantha Young

Guest Review: Down London Road by Samantha Young Today we welcome back Nena from The Good, The Bad and The Ugly review blog. She brings you today’s Guest Review of…    Down London Road Author: Samantha Young  Release Date: May 7, 2013 Publisher: NAL Trade On Dublin Street #2 ISBN: #978-0451419712 Genre: Contemporary Romance Format(s): Paperback (384 pgs), e-book Book Source: Publisher/ NetGalley About the book:       It has always been up to Johanna to care for her family, particularly her younger brother, Cole. With an absent father and a useless mother, she’s been making decisions based on what’s best for Cole for as long as she can remember. She even determines what men to date by how much they can provide for her brother and her, not on whatever sparks may—or may not—fly.       But with Cameron MacCabe, the attraction is undeniable. The sexy new bartender at work gives her butterflies every time she looks at him. And for once, Jo is tempted to put her needs first. Cam is just as obsessed with getting to know Jo, but her walls are too solid to let him get close enough to even try.       Then Cam moves into the flat below Jo’s, and their blistering connection becomes impossible to ignore. Especially since Cam is determined to uncover all of Jo’s secrets even if it means taking apart her defenses piece by piece. What Nema is talking about:       Samantha Young delivers a great stand -alone romance novel that is part of the On Dublin Street Series. Even though this book was a spin off her best-selling novel On Dublin Street, this novel stands on its own and will appeal to all Young’s fans and new readers.       The Good: As a fan of On Dublin Street, I had great expectations for this book. Even though I loved the first book and I would have loved a sequel for it, I was very pleased with a spin-off of a minor character in book one. I didn’t know what to expect but I was pleasantly surprised when a character that I had no connection to, developed into a strong character with an interesting story to tell. Down London Road is a well written, character-driven novel. The romance is central to the plot but you are in for an emotional struggle. I even shed a tear or two.       The Bad: The plot is not complex but...
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Feb
4

Guest Review: House Rules by Chloe Neill

Guest Review: House Rules by Chloe Neill Please welcome Wendy, who brings you today’s Guest Review of…  House Rules Author: Chloe Neill Release Date: Feb. 5, 2013 Publisher: NAL Chicagoland Vampires #7 ISBN: #978-0451237101 Genre: Urban Fantasy Format(s): Paperback (352 pgs), e-book Book Source: Publisher About the book: In a city full of vampires, trouble never sleeps. At the tender age of twenty-seven, Merit became a sword-wielding vampire. Since then, she’s become the protector of her House, watched Chicago nearly burn to the ground, and seen her Master fall and rise. Now she’ll see her mettle—and her metal—tested like never before. It started with two . . . Two rogues vanishing without a trace. Someone is targeting Chicago’s vampires, and anyone could be next. With their house in peril, Merit and her Master, the centuries-old Ethan Sullivan, must race to stop the disappearances. But as they untangle a web of secret alliances and ancient evils, they realize their foe is more familiar, and more powerful, than they could have ever imagined. What Wendy is talking about: As usual, there’s a lot on our girl Merit’s plate. We have a vampire serial killer on the loose at the same time Cadogan House prepares for the dissolution of its relationship with the Greenwich Presidium. Ethan’s ex-girlfriend and Master vampire, Lacey, is in town, stirring up trouble between Merit and Ethan. Oh, and it’s time for Merit decide whether or not to commit to the Red Guard. I LOVE the direction that Merit and Ethan’s romance takes… They’re becoming a solid couple, able to handle issues, even big ones, without freaking out and breaking up. I like for my UF books to have a strong female protagonist and a male partner who believes in her and backs her up, no matter what and this is finally what we’re getting from this series. Interestingly enough, much like its Master and Sentinel, Cadogan House seems to have found its footing. The GP presents a major challenge to the House, using trickery to lure away their Fairy Security and to attempt to pull their assets (including the actual house ) right out from under them. Ethan leads them as a team to work together to save their collective asses. (And besides, who wants to see poor, homeless vampires? It takes away a little of the mystique and glamour.) This is the first of these books in a long time that I enjoyed from beginning to end. I feel like the series has...
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Dec
18

Guest Review: On Dublin Street by Samantha Young

Guest Review: On Dublin Street by Samantha Young       Today I would like to introduce to you one of my good friends, Nena. Recently, Nena started her own book blog, the good, the bad and the ugly, and I adore her quick and easy format for reviewing books. Please help me welcome Nena to That’s What I’m Talking About!       Hello readers! I’m very excited to stop by That’s What I’m Talking About and introduce myself and my book review blog.       First off, I have to tell you a little about myself, my favorite pastime is to get myself lost in a good story. Recommendations are a must for me as a reader, because I don’t ever read book blurbs or synopses. I like to immerse myself into a story without any preconceived ideas, expectations or knowledge.       Over the summer I was given a book recommendation by a friend that knows what I like so I went ahead and bought it without thinking twice (buy-it-with-one-click compulsion, anyone?)       To say the least, I loved the book and when I went to search for more information about the author, I discovered the world of indie books. I had stayed away from self-published titles for a good reason but after reading that book, I knew there had to be more diamonds in the rough and I embarked myself on a quest to find them!       Goodreads is a great place to go and find treasures, but along with the gems I found, I came across a lot of not-so-precious rocks. The star rating proved to be flawed, and it quickly became meaningless to me. If I was going to read a book I wanted to know what were its strengths, what things could be improved, and ultimately I wanted to have a final statement of the book as a whole, so, the good, the bad and the ugly book review blog was born. The good, the bad and the ugly blog has a simple format, and today I would like to share with you one of the best books I read this past summer.       On Dublin Street by Samantha Young was self-published on August 31, 2012, and it quickly made its way to the top on Amazon’s best selling romance books, climbing ahead the Fifty Shades of Grey books which held the three top spots all summer. On Dublin Street surprised the publishing industry keeping the number one spot...
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Oct
30

Guest Review: Rescue My Heart by Jill Shalvis

Guest Review: Rescue My Heart by Jill Shalvis Today I have the pleasure of welcoming Ms. Liza Lou from Blogging by Liza. She brings you today’s Guest Review of…  Rescue My Heart Author: Jill Shalvis  Release Date: Nov. 6, 2012 Publisher: Berkley Animal Magnetism #3 ISBN: #978-0425255810 Genre: Contemporary Format(s): Paperback (304 pgs), e-book Book Source: Publisher/NetGalley About the book: She never wants a hero… After a tragic stint in the National Guards, Adam Connelly returns to Idaho and to Belle Haven, the animal shelter he owns with his brothers. All Adam wants is to be alone. Then he opens the door to the past—the woman whose heart he once broke. Still gorgeous, still tough-as-nails, but this time, unusually vulnerable. Holly learned the hard way to never depend on a man for anything. Now, of all men, Adam is the last one she wants to see, and the only one she needs. Her father has gone missing in the Bitterroot Mountains and she could use someone with tracking skills to help find him. For Holly and Adam, each with their ghosts, a trek this desperate, this unpredictable, and this intimate, will have its share of risks—including opening their hearts one more time. What Liza is talking about: I’m a huge Jill Shalvis fan! She has been an auto-buy author of mine for years and I couldn’t wait to read Rescue My Heart. I loved Rescue My Heart so much. It seems like I’d been waiting for Adam’s story forever, and can only say it was totally worth the wait. We’d seen Adam and Holly interact a bit in other books from the series and I always wondered if they didn’t have some sort of history. There was an amazing tension between them and I couldn’t wait to see what happened if they could spend more time together. Holly is worried because her father has gone missing and she needs someone to help her track him down. Adam is her first choice for guides, as he has the best tracking skills of anyone she knows. Adam is more than willing to go look for Holly’s father, but he doesn’t want her to come with him. All these years later, Adam is just as attracted to Holly as when they were teens. He is in a bit of a bad place still following his last tour in Afghanistan. He is still having some issues with PTSD and really just wants to be left alone. Holly is determined to go with...
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Sep
7

Review: Showtime by Chloe Kayne

Review: Showtime by Chloe Kayne Joining VampBard for her review today, is her daughter, DramaTeen (DT…although she won’t qualify for long…).  DT is an undergraduate student of psychology, ultimately pursuing a doctoral degree in psychiatry.  She likes to read for fun, but doesn’t often get the opportunity.   Showtime Author: Chloe Kayne Release Date: Sept. 14, 2012 (expected) Publisher: self-published Marvelle Circus #1 ISBN: 9781300109 Genre: YA Historical Romance/Suspense Format(s): according to the author’s website, the book will be available in hardcover, paperback & ebook Book Source: Author About the book: The grandeur of the traveling circus is at its peak in the early 1920s when sixteen-year-old Laila Vilonia is searching for an escape from her bleak future. Behind the gates of the legendary Marvelle Circus, she is thrust into a mysterious world she never knew existed—a paradise populated with outcasts. It’s in this glamorous new home that Laila sparks a controversial romance with notorious sideshow performer, “The Disappearing Man,” and learns just how dangerous her new life can be. Touring the picturesque eastern coast of America, Laila’s immersed in friendship, vaudeville, festivals, sequins, and serial killers. But behind the curtain, a sadistic plan is brewing that will crack the very foundation upon which she’s become so dependent. What VampBard’s talking about: VB:  As I was reading Showtime, by Chloe Kayne, I did like her use of language.  The vocabulary was great for me – fed my linguistic side.  The plot moved, and kept the reader interested in the story by providing the perfect amount of detail to propel the reader through the story.  Until the end.   DT:  I did like the vocabulary, but at times it was awkward.  Sometimes she chose a big, impressive word when another, simpler word, would have worked.  It was kind-of like an SAT study guide.  I thought the story was really mysterious, so you’d want to keep reading to find out what happened.  Ms. Kayne had GREAT timing for revealing facts!  Additionally, Showtime kind of felt like a modernized period piece to me.  There’s pros and cons to that.  It was relatable, but if you’re searching for a good historical, this probably isn’t for you. VB:  Showtime, to be followed by a sequel entitled Spotlight, was pretty awesome, albeit light in the romance department for my tastes, for ninety percent of the title.  However, the ending totally ruined the story for me, leaving me wondering whether said ending went with this book or another.  Oh, and I wondered...
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Aug
29

Review: Blackstone’s Bride by Kate Moore

Review: Blackstone’s Bride by Kate Moore Please welcome Ang, who brings you today’s Guest Review of…  Blackstone’s Bride Author: Kate Moore Release Date: Aug. 7, 2012 Publisher: Berkley ISBN: #9780425250884 Genre: Historical Romance Format(s): Paperback (304 pgs), e-book Book Source: Publisher About the book: When the scandalous Lord Blackstone returns to London, fashionable ladies cast inviting glances his way and his friends celebrate his infamous exploits. No one guesses that the lurid tales of his harem and the famous painting of his voluptuous mistress are a cover for an honorable promise and a secret mission to stop a deadly foreign agent. Only one woman remains unmoved by Blackstone’s seductive ways. Banking heiress Violet Hammersley believes she has firm control over her passions and her life. That is, until her brother goes missing with a report vital to the British government–and the government puts Blackstone on the case. Now, if Violet wants to find her brother, she must work closely with the man who once broke her heart–without succumbing to the powerful impulse to fall for him again… What Ang is talking about: Violet is the heiress to a banking fortune who’s brother, Frank, has gone missing, and Blackstone has been hired by the government to find out why and where he went. He does this while posing as Violet’s fiancé, all of which is complicated by their past relationship and the way things dissolved between them. The tension between Violet and Blackstone is written extremely well, and the changes that take place in the relationship are written with a subtle hand, making it fun to read and experience with them. A large part of the novel is spent clue-searching by Violet and Blackstone and trying to figure out who is the actual bad guy. However, because Violet is still very young in many ways, her impulsiveness and inability to see past the obvious, coupled with her outright cold treatment of Blackstone often left me wondering if she was going to blow her cover.  Blackstone, on the other hand, with his life experience is all nobility and heart disguised as a rake who continually fights an internal battle between playing the role he has been given and giving into his heart. Both parts are well written and kept me page turning. I did struggle, however, with the stiffness of the characters through the first 2/3 of the book. Even once they kiss each other, the battle and tension don’t subside any and it wasn’t until the couple decide to address their baggage and actually speak about the past...
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