Book Blogger Hop #2 (1/28/2014)

The Book Blogger Hop is hosted on the site Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer.
Its purpose it to give bloggers a chance to follow other blogs, learn about new blogs,
befriend other bloggers, and receive new followers to their own blog.

Each week bloggers answer a different question. This week's question: Do you think you will ever read every book in your TBR stack?

No, I have 262 books on my Want to Read Shelf on Goodreads and I have downloaded countless Freebies on Amazon. I also tend to add things to be TBR shelf and periodically take them off and of course I'm constantly adding things to by TBR shelf too.

What about you? How is your TBR stack - accomplishable, manageable, or out of control?

Running on Empty

Running on Empty
Author: Colette Ballard
Publication Date: May 6, 2014
Source: NetGalley
Summary from Goodreads: What does it feel like when you die—in those final moments? Do you feel the physical pain, or just the pain of your regrets? What does it feel like when you realize you can’t answer these questions because you’re not the victim?
You’re the killer.
River Daniels lives an ordinary life as a high school junior growing up in the confines of rural Texas until her boyfriend’s brutal attack leaves her both a murderer and a fugitive. When River’s closest girlfriends come to her aid, they make a hasty decision to not only help her, but leave their own troubled lives behind and join in her escape. The girls manage to elude police for months, but with every near-miss, River’s life spirals further out of control, until she finally hits rock bottom. Realizing she must stop endangering her friends and find evidence proving she acted in self-defense, the girls decide to make a risky move. River must face her ugly past and the one person she was protecting the night her world caved in, the guy she has loved for as long as she can remember. 

Rating: 4 Stars

Review: I loved this book. It starts out pretty intense and it’s a mix of a little action, suspense and romance.

I liked River right from the start, I think that any young woman who has had a bad boyfriend (or had a friend with a bad boyfriend) can relate and understand River’s unintelligent decisions with Logan. She was a bit inconsistent at times, but I was willing to overlook that since she is 17 and going through an emotional roller coaster. River has three amazing friends! I loved them and think that everyone deserves such wonderful people in their lives.

The plot was entertaining and moved at a quick pace. It got pretty intense and before I knew it, it was 1am and I had to force myself to put the book down. While I was on the edge of my seat, I also felt like things were a bit too lucky (again, easy to overlook and just enjoy the story).

The romance was sweet, it was never perfect which is why I liked it.

The writing was fabulous! I went through so many emotions with the characters that I truly felt connected to them.

I received a copy of this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Stacking the Shelves #1 (Jan 26)

Stacking theShelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves. 
It is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

So, here is what is on my To Be Read Shelf:

From NetGalley

The Opposite of MaybeLove Letters to the Dead

Blur (Night Roamers, #1)How To Be A Perfect GirlHopeless (Hopeless, #1)
Dissever (Unbinding Fate, #1)Selling Scarlett (Love Inc., #1)

Sun and Moon

Sun and Moon
Author: Elizabeth Paradise
Publication Date: December 8, 2013
Source: NetGalley
Summary: Imagine having your world turned upside down. You realize that nothing is what it seems.
Emily and Ashe were born without magic in a land that ranks you on how powerful your talents are. Suddenly the source of that magic is destroyed. Emily and Ashe are forced to fight their way through obstacle after obstacle to find the truth about who they are, and how they can save the lives of people in not only their own world, but other dying worlds. (Source of Summary and Book Cover: Goodreads)

Rating: 2 Stars

Review: The concept and the summary of Sun and Moon drew my attention right away. It sounded like such a unique book and I was excited to dive into reading. However, it feels like it’s an early draft in desperate need of editing.

Generally, I am not one to complain about typos and formatting issues, however there were several poorly written sentences that I had to re-read several times, and still was unable to understand them. There were also several spots where a sentence would be chopped and a new paragraph would begin.

The plot of the book felt choppy. It felt to me like the author wrote an outline, crammed all the pieces into a first draft and only went over it a few times. The transitions were poor from one scene to the next. It also felt like the book started out on one path and then suddenly shifted in a new direction.

The characters were so-so. The book was so rushed that there was little time for character development. Emily seems ok, and I’m sure I would like her if I was able to get to know her. The other characters felt a bit flat to me.

Overall, I think the book has the potential to be good, but it is in some desperate need of editing and fleshing out.

I received a copy of this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Book Blogger Hop #1 (1/23/2014)

The Book Blogger Hop is hosted on the site Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer.
Its purpose it to give bloggers a chance to follow other blogs, learn about new blogs,
befriend other bloggers, and receive new followers to their own blog.

Each week bloggers answer a different question. This week's question: Do you blog for a living or for fun?
I blog for fun! I don't make money off of my blog and I don't ever intend to, but sometimes I receive free books in exchange for an honest review which is a nice way to feed my reading habit/hobby.

What about you? Do you blog for a living or for fun? Let me know in the comments!

Brianna's Bewitching

Brianna's Bewitching

Author: Selene Grace Silver
Author Website/Blog:
Publication Date: March 10, 2013
Source: Author, in exchange for an honest review
Summary: It’s 1977 and Brianna Marston is a feminist finishing up her final university courses. She’s a little bit wild, but isn’t that what being young and free is all about? It’s a new age for women and she intends to reap the benefits that new status provides her. She’s focused on developing a rewarding career and finding an adventurous lover. She’s also a witch-in-training. Her inherited powers are growing faster than her skill though. She’s not sure if one of her reality shifting spells is the reason she’s become the love interest of one LAPD officer.
Jack Ross never does anything without a well-thought out plan. On track to make detective within the year, he’s lined up a perfect woman to be his wife and raise their children. She’s thoughtful, gracious, and lovely to look at, and best of all, she’s not one of those radical bra burning feminists. She desires a traditional life as a wife and mother. If he doesn’t exactly love her yet, he’s sure that he will once they marry. He’s never been in love and it seems to him that it’s as easy to love one attractive woman as another. Then one unruly, mouthy blonde lands in his arms, disrupting all his carefully-laid plans. (Source of Summary and Book Cover: Goodreads)

Rating: 2 stars

Review: This is quick, sensual read.

While I enjoyed the book, I was never enthralled with it and it felt a little flat to me. We learn more about the characters in the synopsis than in the book. They felt a little rigid to me, like they were too stuck in their stereotypes. Brianna is a young witch, and yet there is very little in the novel about her craft, besides stating that she is one and that she cast a spell that shifted reality.

There was very little plot to the story – basically it’s a quick (insta-love) romance and the focus is on their sexual relationship. The erotic scenes were well written, and clearly there is some great sexual chemistry between the characters, however there was very little development in other areas of their relationship.

It was an OK story, but it didn’t feel complete to me, especially with the somewhat abrupt ending. There is definitely more to come in a second book.


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The Unitentional Virgin

Unintentional Virgin
Author: AJ Bennett
Publication Date: September 19, 2013
Source: NetGalley
Summary: Karma Points is cursed. Cursed with a stupid name and the inability to lose her virginity. She's on a mission to lose her virginity before she turns twenty if it's the last thing she does.
One night, her good friend Eva brings her to an underground club where Karma meets a tattooed bouncer. He’s far from the clean-cut type she normally falls for, which makes her think this finally might be the night she crosses the threshold of womanhood.
Excited, she goes home with the bouncer named Jax and as always, her dreams crash down once again. Jax cannot believe she is willing to give away her virginity to a stranger she met at a club. As the only son with five sisters and a widowed mom, he can't morally go through with it, even though he's never been more tempted in his life.
Unwilling to let her walk away he strikes a deal. Karma has to spend three weeks dating him and then decide if she wants to have sex or walk away. (Source of Summary and Book Cover: Goodreads)

Rating: 4 Stars

Review: This book was an entertaining and quick read for me. Reading the blurb, this book is exactly what you expect: a fun fictional romance with a dash of coming-of-age.

I loved Karma as the lead character. She may have a wealthy father, but she does not come across as spoiled (besides not having a job and living at home, but these aspects are easily overlooked). I think that there are plenty of young women who can relate to Karma and her extreme decision. Jax is swoon-worthy, and has so many great qualities about him. Karma’s parents are interesting, and I felt like the relationship with her dad was a bit unrealistic, but again, this was easily overlooked for the overall entertainment of the book.

I wasn’t sure what to expect with the three weeks of dating, I was really surprised by the way it turned out. The three weeks were a lot of fun to read about and the dates definitely moved the book along at a great pace. I’m never a fan of insta-love, and I was happy to see that while there was insta-attraction and lust, the romance developed throughout the book. There were a lot of funny parts and quite a few situations that you know people actually experience. There were also some serious parts and some lessons to be learned, but the book never felt preachy and I doubt the author intended to teach anything (I assume the author intended to write a fun book – and mission accomplished).

I have to say, I wasn’t surprised by Karma’s actions towards the end of the book, I felt like they were something a 20 year old girl would really do. I was happy with the ending and it felt like something that might actually happen.

Oath of Servitude

Oath of Servitude (The Punishment Sequence # 1)
Author: CE Wilson
Author Website/Blog:
Publication Date: September 2012
Summary: This is the story of Teague and Cailin, two teenagers who have been brought together by fate. Teague, a human, struggles to come to terms with the consequences of a recent accident that has destroyed the happy life that he had once enjoyed. Cailin, a pixi, is trying to stay true to herself while fighting against forces beyond her control that have exiled her from her home into this strange world of humans. She fears the darkness. He cannot escape it. But when the two of them are thrown together, they begin to discover the light inside of themselves. (Source of Summary and Book Cover: Goodreads)
Source: Author, in exchange for an honest review

Rating: 3.5 Stars 
Review: I really enjoyed this book. I've never read a book about pixies and was excited to give this book a try. 
The first few pages were a bit slow but things picked up pretty quickly. The book moves at an excellent pace, however it ended somewhat abruptly. 
I liked the main characters. Cailin was likable; she was somewhat immature at first but grew throughout the book. I wasn't quite sure how I felt about Teague, but once Teague and Cailin were spending time together, he grew on me. They both surprised me with their interactions and the way they treated each other, but I was happy that the relationship felt real. Owen is a bit of a mystery, there is still a lot that is unknown about him. The secondary characters were ok as well; however it was a bit difficult to remember who was who and what was what at first. 
The world building in the book was so-so, I don't have a great grasp on where pixies live or how they live, but I think that is because Cailin is living with humans. I also don't feel like I have a strong understanding of the life of a pixie in Cailin's clan; she is being punished but it's unclear what she did that warranted such an extreme punishment, it's also unclear what "the darkness" is that they all seem to fear. 
One of the biggest parts of this story is the fragile situation of Cailin's family and something that happened in the past, we never really get answers about this, which was frustrating. As I previously stated, the book ends quite abruptly, and I felt there was very little closure. The story did not feel finished to me. 
Overall, this is a good story that I am sure will continue into the second book. I enjoyed reading the story and hope to read the next book in order to find out what happens with Cailin and her friends and family. 
I received a copy of this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review.

A Tale of Red Riding: Rise Of The Werewolf Huntress

A Tale of Red Riding: Rise Of The Werewolf Huntress
Author: Neo Edmund
Publication Date: October 7, 2013
Summary: Action... Adventure... Magic... Mystery... A hint of Romance… The power to rule the night... What more could a girl ask for! Red Riding is an action-packed paranormal novel with an exciting twist on the classic fairytale. Red Riding Hood will not only have to face dangerous wolves; she will have to face the wolf within herself. Gifted and cursed with the ability to transform into a powerful werewolf, she will rise to become a legendary warrior known as The Alpha Hunter… She will join forces with bad-boy, Wolfgang Helheim, and a circle of her best friends who have mystical powers of their own. Together they will wage a supernatural war to protect Wayward from malevolent werewolves, witches and many other dangerous creatures, all the while resisting the temptation of stumbling down a path of darkness. Only through this can Red hope to save Wayward and the world from falling under the control of those who seek to bring chaos, thrust the world into eternal night, and allow malevolent werewolves to overrun the Earth. (Source of Summary and Book Cover: Goodreads)
Source: Author, in exchange for an honest review

Rating: 3 Stars 
Review: At first this book felt like a fairy tale re telling, but shortly after Red arrived in Wayward the book became an original and exciting tale. The story of the alpha huntress is completely unique. I'm intrigued by the magic and the connection to Wolfgang. I wish we had time to uncover all of the half-truths that Red was told. 
There was a lot of action, twists and turns, and the plot moved at a good pace.
The one thing that bothered me was the fact that Red and her friends have such detailed memories from when they were two and three years old - I just didn't buy it. 
However, I enjoyed their friendship and the adventure they shared. There is definitely potential for some romance, and I’d be interested to see where things go, because it definitely feels like there is a second book coming. 
I received a copy of this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Waiting on Wednesday #1: Braedric's Bane

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted here, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

Braedric's Bane

Title: Braedric's Bane (The Golden Key Chronicles #4)
Author: A. J. Nuest
Publication Date: February 13, 2014

Summary: Not Yet Available

About the Series: The key would unlock his future and the safety of his kingdom, but he never imagined the sorceress would unlock his heart…

Antiques restorer, Rowena Lindstrom, finds herself the owner of an ancestral armoire containing a hidden key and a magic mirror leading to another realm!

But the handsome warrior prince waiting on the other side is truly the final straw. This must be an elaborate joke, right? As she struggles to discover the truth, Rowena learns Prince Caedmon Austiere needs the key to save his kingdom. In the end, she cannot deny him anything. Including her heart. (Source: Goodreads)

Check out my reviews of the other books in this series:
Rowena's Key  Candra's Freedom  Caedmon's Curse: (The Golde...
Rowena's Key
Candra's Freedom
Caedmon's Curse


What I Didn't Say

What I Didn't Say
Author: Keary Taylor

Author Website/Blog:

Publication Date: April 30, 2012

Summary: Getting drunk homecoming night your senior year is never a good idea, but Jake Hayes never expected it all to end with a car crash and a t-post embedded in his throat. His biggest regret about it all? What he never said to Samantha Shay. He's been in love with her for years and never had the guts to tell her. Now it's too late. Because after that night, Jake will never be able to talk again. When Jake returns to his small island home, population 5,000, he'll have to learn how to deal with being mute. He also finds that his family isn't limited to his six brothers and sisters, that sometimes an entire island is watching out for you. And when he gets the chance to spend more time with Samantha, she'll help him learn that not being able to talk isn't the worst thing that could ever happen to you. Maybe, if she'll let him, Jake will finally tell her what he didn't say before, even if he can't actually say it. (Source of Summary and Book Cover: Goodreads)

Source: Purchased

Rating: 3.5 Stars
Review: I enjoyed this book and think that its intended audience will truly love it.
The book is told through Jake’s perspective, but this book is not just about Jake, it’s also about Sam and it’s also about love and overcoming seemingly impossible challenges.  It was captivating, it was emotional,  it was hopeful, and it was heartwarming. All around, a good story.
The book is told through Jake’s perspective, but this book is not just about Jake, it’s also about Sam and it’s also about love and overcoming seemingly impossible challenges.  It was captivating, it was emotional,  it was hopeful, and it was heartwarming. All around, a good story. 
I liked Jake, and enjoyed reading from his perspective. I also liked Sam, and enjoyed how her character developed through the book. Despite their situations, Jake and Sam have a pretty “normal” teen relationship, they have fights/disagreements, they misunderstand each other, and they are stubborn. I was happy to see these elements in their relationship, because I think it’s important for teens to see and learn that no relationship is perfect. 
I highly recommend that you read the author’s note at the end. 
All that being said there were a few things along the way that irked me, without spoiling anything, there were a few inconsistencies and a few too perfect resolutions to problems. I was also a bit confused with how the book’s summary makes it sound like it’s Jake’s story, and the book is told from Jake’s perspective, but Sam’s story kind of took the lead for a while. The thing that has really gotten under my skin is the intended lesson about drinking/drugs and driving; I’m just not sure it was fully developed, and as a teacher, I don’t think a school would actually handle the way Jake’s school did.
Dates Read: January 12 - 13, 2014

The Steele Wolf

The Steele Wolf (Iron Butterfly, #2)
Author: Chanda Hahn

Author Website/Blog:

Summary: After finally settling into her new life at the Citadel, Thalia is reunited with her father, who is disturbed at the changes within her. Risking banishment, Thalia must work to prove to her clan and herself that she is still capable of leading them. The problem is, her memories haven’t returned, and she cannot shake the feeling that she doesn’t belong.

Thalia discovers that betrayal runs deep within her clan, just as she sets out to join Joss and Kael in doing the one thing she fears most: track the Septori to save Joss’ kidnapped sister. Along the way, she must confront her own fears on a journey of self-discovery that will take her deep into the stronghold of Denai; as they travel to the ancient floating city of Skyfell. (Source of Summary and Book Cover:

Source: Purchased

Rating: 4 Stars
Review: I liked this book much better than the first! It only took me a few hours to read it. 
There was a lot of improvement in the writing, character development and plot line in this book. The primary characters were much more consistent and even the secondary characters felt well developed. 
There was quite a bit of action in this book, which kept it moving and interesting. The love triangle was super annoying and I just wanted to throttle Thalia and scream at her to make the right choice. 
Some of my questions were answered and a few were added to the pile. The book doesn’t feel complete with the way it ended, which is frustrating, especially since the third book is not out yet.
I’m glad that I decided to continue the series and I am looking forward to the third book.
Date Read: January 12, 2014

The Iron Butterfly

The Iron Butterfly (Iron Butterfly, #1)
Author: Chanda Hahn
Author Website/Blog:
Publication Date: February 20, 2012
Summary: Imprisoned, starved and left with no memories, Thalia awakens to find herself at the mercy of an evil cult known as the Septori. Their leader has chosen Thalia as the test subject for a torture device of untold power, designed to change and twist her into something that is neither human nor Denai.
Escaping, Thalia finds an unwilling warrior to protect her and an unlikely Denai to befriend her. After finding a home at the Citadel as a servant, Thalia’s worst nightmare comes to life and she begins to show signs of power. Scared and unable to control her gifts, she tries to hide her past to fit in among the Denai. But the Septori want their latest test subject back and will stop at nothing to retrieve her, dead or alive. (Source of Summary and Book Cover: Goodreads)
Source: Purchased

Rating: 3 Stars

Review: I liked this book and I really feel like it has the potential to be one of those really, really good books. But I had a lot of issues while reading it.

The book gets into the story right away, which was great. It was a little dark and intimidating at first, and I was concerned that maybe the book wouldn’t be a good fit for me. But it’s only dark for a little while.

The book is told from Thalia’s perspective and since she has no memories, a lot of things are left unexplained. I had so many questions while reading and so few of them were answered. One of the most frustrating pieces for me is the fact that Thalia is captured and tortured by the Raven and Septori and there is very little explanation of why. Also the title of the book is “Iron Butterfly” implying that the iron butterfly is important and the thing comes up maybe twice and there is very little detail about the thing.

I’m not sure how I feel about Thalia, she is somewhat inconsistent. Sometimes she is strong, sometimes she is weak, sometimes she is a brat, sometimes she is likable. Joss seemed pretty consistent and likable. Kael was even more inconsistent and unpredictable than Thalia, in a very frustrating way.

The ending was weird to me – it just didn’t jive with what I thought I knew. For all my belly-aching, the book actually wasn’t bad, it held my interest and I really do want the answers to all my questions. All that being said, I liked the book enough to pick up the second book in the series. I am keeping my fingers crossed that my questions will be answered.
Dates Read: January 10 - 12, 2014

A Tale of Two Kingdoms

A Tale of Two Kingdoms (Knights of Black Swan, #6)
Author: Victoria Danann

Author Website/Blog:

Publication Date: January 6, 2014

Summary: Duff Torquil is heir to Scotia, the kingdom of Fae, who have been at war with the Elves for two thousand years. Fae and Elves are both species who have evolved to respond to one fated lover with whom they will mate for life. Duff Torquil’s predestined mate is perfect for him in every way: beautiful, smart, polished, strong willed and a talented psychic who works for The Order of the Black Swan. The only problem is that she’s Aelsong Hawking, the only daughter of the royal house of Elves. (Source of Summary and Book Cover: Goodreads)

Source: Purchased

Rating: 4 Stars
Review: First of all, I love that the author included a “previously on Black Swan” introduction in the book to make sure readers remembered all the little moments that predicted that the story of Duffy and Song would eventually have to be in the lime light. It was a nice refresher that helped set the scene for the book.
One of my favorite things about this series is that while each book picks up where the last book left off, and all the characters are there, each book is unique and has its own mini-focus. It’s unlike any other series I’ve read. 
This book is definitely a romance. The story reminded me a bit of Romeo and Juliet (star crossed lovers whose families hate each other, and are torn apart). However, Ms. Danann’s story was WAY more interesting to me than Shakespeare’s. It wasn’t overly mushy; it was a well-balanced and enjoyable romance story.  There were a few unexpected twists, and a few action packed scenes, that kept the plot moving at a good pace. I also love the characters. The females are all strong in their own ways and the males are all swoon-worthy in their own ways. 
This book is a fabulous edition to the series and the developments in this book make it seem likely that the next two installments will be just as wonderful.
Dates Read: January 8 - 10, 2014

Gathering Storm

Gathering Storm (Order of the Black Swan, #5)
Author: Victoria Danann

Author Website/Blog:

Publication Date: September 19, 2013

Summary: The fifth installment in the Black Swan serial saga. READING IN ORDER STRONGLY RECOMMENDED. That’s why we have a try-before-you-buy-program. The first book in the saga, My Familiar Stranger, is PermaFREE everywhere.

THE NEWSLETTER: Z Team, a.k.a Zed Company, is transferred to Jefferson Unit, which is being temporarily retired as an active hunter facility and converted to a research / training institution. Sol takes his first vacation – ever – leaving Glen in charge with Storm supervising. Rosie is proving to be an extraordinary little girl and Deliverance is in BIG trouble with her mother.

THE SURPRISES: Storm is really not himself. Former members of B Team must reunite to preserve his image and reputation. No one could have prepared for the surprises Rosie delivers, least of all Glen.

THE ADVENTURE: The Ralengclan send a second wave assassination team to Jefferson Unit at the worst possible time, when it’s been left defended by only Z Team, Glen, Elora, Sir Fennimore, and the trainees. (Source of Summary and Book Cover: Goodreads)

Source: Purchased

Rating: 5 Stars
Review: Another great book! I read it in less than 24 hours.
First of all, I LOVE Victoria’s writing. Her style is so unlike anything else I have read. She writes scenes in a way that make you feel what the characters are feeling. She is clever and quick-witted. 
There was lots of intense drama, I couldn’t believe some of the situations that my favorite characters found themselves in. Storm’s situation made me a bit sad. I loved getting to know Rosie and I am looking forward to more of her. There were also enough funny one-liners to keep things light – I literally laughed out loud several times. 
This book is a bit different from the others, there is a little less romance, but there is definitely something big simmering for future books. There is also lots of action, which I kept my heart racing.
I also loved the travels between dimensions in this book, I felt like it tied things back to the first book a little – like a reminder of how it all began.
Dates Read: September 21 - 22, 2013


Moonlight (Order of the  Black Swan, #4)
Author: Victoria Danann

Author Website/Blog:

Publication Date: May 22, 2013


The story continues to touch on the lives of former B Team members and their families while new characters and situations are introduced.

THE NEWSLETTER: Ram and Elora move into temporary quarters at Jefferson Unit to protect mother and baby. Storm gives a surprising answer when he’s tapped by Sol to replace him as Jefferson Unit Sovereign. Litha solicits her father to help Black Swan.

THE SURPRISE: B Team learns the shocking truth about the origin of the vampire virus. Monq races to develop a defense system to repel invasion by Stagsnare terrorists and assassins.

THE ADVENTURE: Desperation drives Stalkson Grey to embark on an adventure beyond his wildest dreams in a bid to save the Elk Mountain werewolves from extinction.

THE ROMANCE: In the process of migrating the Elk Mountain werewolves to a new home, Grey learns that true love can find you in the strangest places, even when you’re far, far from home. (Source of Summary and Book Cover: Goodreads)

Source: Purchased

Rating: 5 Stars
Review: Wow! I LOVED this one from start to finish. It might even be my favorite in the series so far!
Moonlight reminded me of a cross between Little Red Riding Hood and Beauty and the Beast, but of course it was so much better. Stalkson Grey and Luna are perfect! The romance was HOT in this one (with all the characters). 
I never felt like there was a lull and the shifts between which characters we were following felt natural. 
I am really happy with the development of all my favorite characters and was happy to see where they all are in their personal lives. Litha surprised me at the end but it brought a smile to my face. 
Needless to say, I am looking forward to book 5!
Dates Read: June 3 - 10, 2013

A Summoner's Tale: The Vampire's Confessor

A Summoner's Tale: The Vampire's Confessor (Order of the Black Swan, #3)
Author: Victoria Danann

Author Website/Blog:

Publication Date: February 14, 2013

Summary: A secret society, a witch, a psychic, vampires, modern day knights, heroes, elves, fae, assassins from another dimension, and fairytales come together where emotions intersect. Two souls, joined by a mystical bond, separated by distance, must simultaneously struggle through pain and darkness in an ultimate confrontation with character and an ultimate struggle for life proving that true love waits patiently through lifetimes and finds courage to survive. Even in the strangest places. Even when you're least expecting it. Even when you're far, far from home. (Source of Summary and Book Cover: Goodreads)

Source: Purchased

Rating: 4 Stars
Review: I think it’s interesting that each book in this series picks up where the previous book left off, yet each book is so unique. Victoria Dannann’s writing style has developed and I love how she seems to focus on one (or two) characters in each book, while still driving all of the characters forward.
I LOVED learning a Baka and he is now my favorite male character. I didn’t quite understand Heaven’s character at first, but grew to accept her. This book held my focus and kept me guessing – I really enjoyed it.
Dates Read: February 23 - March 3, 2013

The Witch's Dream

The Witch's Dream (Order of the Black Swan, #2)
Author: Victoria Danann

Author Website/Blog:

Publication Date: October 4, 2012

Summary: Quintessential Black Swan knight, Engel Storm, was left behind when Elora Laiken chose his best friend. Now his heart is bruised and battered and he’s had it with love. But a transplanted witch who happens to be the world’s best tracker plans to do everything in her considerable power to change his mind.

The Witch’s Dream begins with B Team on temporary assignment to Black Swan headquarters in Edinburgh where they are supposed to fill in for stretched-thin resources and assist with a werewolf issue. They’ve been given permission to stop on the way to celebrate a special handfasting in an Irish castle.

When they reach Edinburgh, the afterglow of an elftale wedding quickly becomes all business. A missing person report turns into a demon abduction. A simple werewolf sanction becomes a diplomatic issue requiring the one thing Elora is no longer willing to give - finesse. (Source of Summary and Book Cover: Goodreads).

Source: Purchased

Rating: 5 Stars
Review: Elora is an AMAZING character! I love that she has become such a strong female and it seems like she has really grown into her new world.
This book had some great character development; we learn more about the personal lives of all the main characters and really get to understand them. 
That being said, I felt a little let down that there was less action and suspense in this book. There was a lot more romance and it almost felt like this book is setting us up for something big in the next book. I am keeping my fingers crossed that the next book will be as action packed as the first.
Dates Read: October 12 - 17, 2012

My Familiar Stranger

My Familiar Stranger (Order of the Black Swan, #1)
Author: Victoria Danann

Author Website/Blog:

Publication Date: April 21, 2012

Summary: A secret society, modern day knights, an accidental pilgrim from an alternate dimension, and a vampire like no other come together where chance intersects romance for a once-in-a-lifetime adventure, proving that true love can find you when you're least expecting it, in the strangest places, even when you're far, far from home.

Minutes ahead of inevitable assassination, Elora Laiken is forcibly transported to an alternate dimension similar, but not identical, to her own. She is stranded. Alone. Far from home. A stranger in a "strangish" land.

Of course a girl could suffer worse problems than having gorgeous suitors. Perhaps more importantly, in the midst of an epidemic of vampire related abductions, can she stay alive long enough to choose between an honor debt, true love, or the breathlessness of single-minded passion?

My Familiar Stranger is a full length, stand-alone, Paranormal Romance novel that also sets up the foundation for the Black Swan series. It is loved by fans of adult paranormal romance, fantasy romance, chick lit, and urban fantasy. (Source of Summary and Book Cover: Goodreads)

Source: Purchased

Rating: 5 Stars
Review: WOW! You have to read this!I absolutely devoured this book and loved every second of it! I literally stayed up until 4:30am to finish it. 
I picked this book up thinking that it was another teen vampire romance… but I was so wrong. First of all this is definitely a book for young adults… I’d say 18+. 
Things that I loved about this book: There is a little touch of science fiction with the travel between dimensions and parallel universes which is unlike anything else I have read. The paranormal aspect of the book fit well and was never overpowering. There is plenty of action, which kept me on the edge of my seat at some points. I am not into mushy romance novels, and while there is definitely some romance, the love triangle was excellently executed! The feelings develop at a reasonable pace and I felt myself going through a dramatic array of emotions as Elora worked through her feelings: happy, irritated, angry, sad, ecstatic, confused, ect.
This book can easily stand on its own and the reader is left with a sense of closure, but the author tactfully left a few loose ends that could easily develop into a series, which left me excited for more: a perfect balance if you ask me!
Dates Read: July 5 - 6 2012

The Offering

The Offering (The Pledge, #3)
Author: Kimberly Derting

Author Website/Blog:

Publication Date: December 31, 2013

Summary: True love—and world war—is at stake in the conclusion to The Pledge trilogy, a dark and romantic blend of dystopia and fantasy.
Charlie, otherwise known as Queen Charlaina of Ludania, has become comfortable as a leader and a ruler. She’s done admirable work to restore Ludania’s broken communications systems with other Queendoms, and she’s mastered the art of ignoring Sabara, the evil former queen whose Essence is alive within Charlie. Or so she thinks.

When the negotiation of a peace agreement with the Queendom of Astonia goes awry, Charlie receives a brutal message that threatens Ludania, and it seems her only option is to sacrifice herself in exchange for Ludanian freedom.

But things aren’t always as they seem. Charlie is walking into a trap—one set by Sabara, who is determined to reclaim the Queendoms at any cost.
(Source of Summary and Book Cover: Goodreads)

Source: Purchased

Rating: 3.5 Stars
Review: The book started out strong, then it dragged for a while, then around the 75% mark, it got good again.
At this point, I don't really know where I stand on the romance. It just didn't feel real or strong to me. I feel like I've been up and down throughout the series in terms of the romance.
While the middle chunk of the book dragged and the POV changes felt jerky to me, I did enjoy following Sage. I almost wish there was a bit more of her, I feel like Sage has her own story to tell (perhaps a spin-off? Please?!).
Now the action was good. Around the 80% mark I reached that gotta-read-because-my-heart-is-racing feeling that I love. 
In terms of being the final book in the series, it feels complete, like Charlie's story has been told. The epilogue felt like a big-fancy-author-bow to tie things off, but I'm OK with it.

Dates Read: January 5 – 8, 2014

The Essence

The Essence (The Pledge, #2)
Author: Kimberly Derting

Author Website/Blog:

Publication Date: January 1, 2013

Summary: At the luminous conclusion of The Pledge, Charlaina defeated the tyrant Sabara and took her place as Queen of Ludania. But Charlie knows that Sabara has not disappeared: The evil queen’s Essence is fused to Charlie’s psyche, ready to arise at the first sign of weakness.

Charlie is not weak, but she’s being pushed to the brink. In addition to suppressing the ever-present influence of Sabara, she’s busy being queen—and battling a growing resistance determined to return Ludania to its discriminatory caste system. Charlie wants to be the same girl Max loves, who Brook trusts, but she’s Your Majesty now, and she feels torn in two.

As Charlie journeys to an annual summit to meet with leaders of nearby Queendoms—an event where her ability to understand all languages will be the utmost asset—she is faced with the ultimate betrayal. And the only person she can turn to for help is the evil soul residing within (Source of Summary and Book Cover: Goodreads)

Source: Purchased

Rating: 4 Stars
Review: While this book was really good, it doesn't compare to the first book in the series. The first book was fast paced where this one is much slower. The first book had an intense romance that I easily got caught up in, but there was something funky going on with this book- I won't say because I don't want to spoil it.
That being said, I enjoyed the book and it's twists, turns, and clever droppings for future plot lines. 
I loved the first book and feel dedicated to Charlie, and so I'm looking forward to reading the next installment.

Dates Read: January 3 – 4, 2013

The Pledge

The Pledge (The Pledge, #1)
Author: Kimberly Derting

Author Website/Blog:

Publication Date: November 15, 2011

Summary from Goodreads: In the violent country of Ludania, the classes are strictly divided by the language they speak. The smallest transgression, like looking a member of a higher class in the eye while they are speaking their native tongue, results in immediate execution. Seventeen-year-old Charlaina has always been able to understand the languages of all classes, and she's spent her life trying to hide her secret. The only place she can really be free is the drug-fueled underground clubs where people go to shake off the oppressive rules of the world they live in. It's there that she meets a beautiful and mysterious boy named Max who speaks a language she's never heard before . . . and her secret is almost exposed.

Charlie is intensely attracted to Max, even though she can't be sure where his real loyalties lie. As the emergency drills give way to real crisis and the violence escalates, it becomes clear that Charlie is the key to something much bigger: her country's only chance for freedom from the terrible power of a deadly regime. (Source of Summary and Book Cover: Goodreads)

Source: Purchased

Rating: 4 Stars

Review: This book was great! I couldn’t put it down. I was curious about what Charlaina’s secret meant and I was dying to know if her secret was going to be exposed. Her attraction to Max is perfect and did not overpower the story line, which I really liked.

This book is definitely not your average paranormal book, it is unique and I loved it. The ending was a intense, but I was a little disappointed with how easy it ended.
I like that the book has a complete finish, with a slight hint that the story could continue. The book could easily stand on its own or belong to series. I am eager to read more about Charlaina and intend on reading the next book in the series when it's out.

Dates Read: February 2012
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