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The Upside-Down Fish
The Upside-Down Fish
by Kate Louise
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $13.10
57 used & new from $8.08

5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended!, March 3, 2015
This review is from: The Upside-Down Fish (Hardcover)
The Upside-Down Fish is a beautiful story about a fish that is not like all the other fish. If you haven’t already guessed this fish is upside down and upset that no-one wants to take him home. It’s not until a little girl decides she wants to buy him because of him being upside that the little fish truly discovers what it’s like to find a home and really fit into the world.

This is a remarkable and touching story about being socially accepted and I love message behind it and how relatable people will find it.

Reading this with my 4 year old was really an enjoyable moment. I adore stories that teach her that not everyone is the same and she clearly understood this while reading it. I loved seeing the expressions on her face during the story. I could see the sadness on her face when the upside-down fish was upset and I could see the happiness on her face when we reached the end of the story, and I love how she questions things about the story. It’s simple, we both fell in love with The Upside-Down Fish. Not only is the story memorable but it has beautiful, bright and bold illustrations that complements the story perfectly.

In all, The Upside-Down Fish is a fantastic read to enjoy with little ones but it’s one adult can enjoy to! Highly recommended.

Cursed by Fire (Blood & Magic) (Volume 1)
Cursed by Fire (Blood & Magic) (Volume 1)
by Danielle Annett
Edition: Paperback
Price: $8.99
7 used & new from $8.99

5.0 out of 5 stars I'm looking forward to more!, March 3, 2015
Cursed by Fire is an awesome introduction to the Blood & Magic series…..
A few years ago there was the ‘Awakening’ in which supernatural beings came out of the closet, Humans are no longer the top of the food chain. Everything about the world has changed including who holds the power and how they are governed; Vampires and Shifters are rivals for that power and always seem to be teetering on the edge of war with Humans stuck right in the middle….. what the supernaturals don’t know is that the Humans are evolving too and some come with their own abilities that just might be able to help them fight back.
Aria Naveed is one such human, she uses her abilities to investigate crimes – a mercenary if you will. After a particularly bad case involving a child murder that weighs heavily on Aria, she is forced to reopen the case when some new information comes to light. With the reassignment comes a partner, none other than her friend and Shifter – James – and she finally feels they will be able to put this case to bed…… but what if it’s just the beginning? What if the childs death is part of a bigger issue? Can Aria find out before it becomes too late?
If that’s not enough, Aria has a stalker, a strange man that evokes something in her each time they collide, he can do things Aria has never seen….. but can she trust him? Why is he following her?..... all will be revealed
I thought Cursed by Fire was an awesome read and a great introduction to the series. Aria is a character that is very likable, she has lost everyone she cares about and only has a couple of people who she trusts and loves, she gives off a slightly lonely vibe but doesn’t let it get in the way of her work. I really liked her magical status (I don’t really want to spoil anything but the clue might be in the title) and how handy it is in dangerous situations but saying that, I thought she needed to master it more.
The story was great and what started out as one thing totally turned into something else but that isn’t unusual for a UF and one of the reasons I love this genre so much. We are introduced to a much different world; with supernaturals being outed, the power dynamic has shifted greatly and the supernaturals have more power than humans, when you have a scenario like this you know what’s going to happen….the underdog is going to rise up and cause hell. We get the stirrings of war and meet all involved but no clear ‘good guy’ just yet because we are just getting to know everyone. I always like the investigative scenario that Aria finds herself in and it unravels some pretty interesting stuff as well as jaw dropping discoveries that come from nowhere. There is a smidge of romance and love triangle but it’s only a smidge and doesn’t detract from the story. I would say that I preferred one to the other and maybe routing for him but the other is more intriguing and I’d be happy to see either develop into something.
I would say the book was very well written and had a Kate Daniels feel to it, which is so not a bad thing in my mind. With it being the first book, it is very much a getting to know you and the world you live in plot but it builds a very strong basis for the series to expand from and plenty of potential for where it could go. I can’t fault it in anyway and thoroughly enjoyed it and am looking forward to more.

What If
What If
by Rebecca Donovan
Edition: Paperback
Price: $11.71
64 used & new from $6.88

2.0 out of 5 stars Okay., March 3, 2015
This review is from: What If (Paperback)
Cal Logan hasn’t been able to get his mind off one of the girls he grew up with – Nicole Bentley. They used to be close but Nicole left him behind for a new set of friends. When Nicole enrols at Harvard and no-one sees or hears from her, Cal can’t get his mind off of her. But one night at a party, he meets a girl who looks exactly like Nicole except this girl doesn’t act like the Nicole he knew. Gone is the shy person and instead Nyelle is outgoing and strangely addictive. The more time that Cal spends with Nicole the more he’s determined to get the truth.

I wasn’t sure what to expect before heading into What If. I’ve only had one other experience with Rebecca Donovan as an author and I had major issues with it, so of course a part of me was hoping this time I would been blown away because I know so many people love her work. But unfortunately I was left disappointed.

What If is a mysterious story about four childhood friends who seem to lose touch of the years. During the story we have Cal telling the main part of the story but we also get flash backs from the other characters told from when their childhood days. I enjoyed how the story was told. Going back and forth from past to present but I struggled to connect to the childhood days. While I was reading the story was I was trying to think how these chapters fit into the story and even now I’m still impressed by how well these chapters were written and how it tells a past story.

The main issue for me were the characters. They were all so flat. As a main character Cal didn’t stand out. There was nothing about him that excited me and he doesn’t do anything daring. Overall he’s a very bland character. Then we have Nyelle who I just didn’t really like. Her character was weird and I didn’t get her reasoning’s for doing anything she did. She acted half-crazy most of the time and was really aloof.

I understand there is more going on in this story than what we’re first lead to believe and some of the issues are quite heavy, but I just don’t think the author took enough time to explore the issues. And eventually by the time I came to the end of the story and the big reveal happened, I had no excitement for it. I was actually pretty disappointed with it.

In all, What If just wasn’t for me but I know a lot of people love Rebecca Donovan’s work therefore I’d still urge you to read it and make up your own mind.

The Pledge (The Pledge Trilogy)
The Pledge (The Pledge Trilogy)
by Kimberly Derting
Edition: Paperback
Price: $9.18
56 used & new from $1.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Totally awesome!, March 3, 2015
Intriguing and suspenseful, The Pledge is a fantastic story woven behind a realistic fantasy/dystopia setting.

Charliana lives in a world that is divided by the language they speak and judged by status – the lower and higher class. If the lower class ever looks a member of the higher class in the eye while speaking their own language, the penalty for this is death. As Charliana and her family try to keep under the radar and work to the best of their ability to help her families restaurant stay afloat. But Charliana is hiding a secret. Somehow she can decipher any language or text from any other class, when she’s only supposed to know her own class’s language. If anyone finds out her secret, she knows she will be in danger. So when she meets the mysterious Max who talks in a language she’s never heard before, her secret is nearly revealed, but what Charliana doesn’t know is that there is something much bigger going on and she and her family are in more danger than ever.

Why ‘o’ why did I not read The Pledge sooner? I seem to be wishing this more and more lately while I’m trying to tackle some of my own books rather around my review books. I’ve had this book sitting on my shelf since it first released – I remember one of my friends gifting it to me and me being so excited to read it and here I am like 3 years later JUST reading it. If you haven’t already guessed, yes I loved it. It was amazing and that was totally unexpected because I’ve read both of the first books of Kimberly Derting’s other series and yeah they were okay, but nothing like The Pledge. Nothing! I guess this is third times the charm right?

As I mentioned before The Pledge is a very intriguing read. From the moment I started it I didn’t want to put it down. Charlie’s world is dark and brutal and I immediately felt sorry for her. She has this gift that she can’t share with anyone other than family and being able to hear every different language, she had to be careful every minute of the day in case she slipped up. There is a lot of mystery to the story and surrounding Charlie and her family. It was pretty easy to see why the Queen wanted Charlie but then trying to discover how Max fit in to the story and who some of the other characters were and their reasoning’s, weren’t so easy. The story is full of suspense and there are so many good qualities to the story that makes it a truly enjoyable read.

So in all The Pledge is a totally awesome read and you must read it.

Tormented by Darkness (Inherited Damnation Book 2)
Tormented by Darkness (Inherited Damnation Book 2)
Price: $2.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Solid 4 Stars!, March 3, 2015
Tormented by Darkness is the second book in the Inherited Damnation series….
This time around it is Rhiannon who gets a chance to break the curse that affects her and her siblings. Rhiannon has always lusted after the local detective Mick Farrell but he has a different woman every week – she would know because he comes to her for their flowers a lot – but when she receives his latest call for flowers, they’re not for any lady but for the funeral of his loved one. Mick is struggling with his grief and when Rhiannon delivers the last minute flowers he needed, she also brings a calming effect to him that he needs right now and knowing what the evening will be he asks her to stay for the service in a supportive way…. But when she’s still there in the morning, she finds that not only have her feelings for him burgeoned overnight but the need to kill him has also reared its head. Mick only wants casual and Rhiannon tells herself that that’s all it will be but Rhiannon’s goodness appeals to him, she makes him want things he doesn’t deserve.
After finding her mother’s writings in Mick’s possession and the spell to break her curse she needs Mick to go camping with her so that it can be completed on the sabot but will he help her once he finds out who she really is?
I really enjoyed this instalment of the Inherited Damnation series, it had a little bit of everything I love about Pnr.
We had met Rhiannon in book one and she came across as a good person who tried to triumph over her dark side and find out that that is exactly what she is about. She wants to see her evil father destroyed and the darkness banished from her soul but has pretty much lost hope until now when the spell she needs is uncovered. Mick is a detective and he struggles with a darker side too, with all of the evil he sees in the world, he finds it hard to see goodness and has the urge to dole out his own kind of justice. It’s a daily struggle for him and the only way he gets relief is through other emotions, any emotion except to love, he feels he is unworthy of being loved and loving in return…. But he doesn’t bank on Rhiannon. Even though they have always noticed each other, they never acted on it until they come together through the saddest of events. Both struggle with their emotions and think that it is merely casual but we all know how those type of assumptions work out don’t we? They certainly steamed up a good few pages with sexytime and I was routing for them to be together because it was plain to see how much they needed each other.
The storyline follows much the same formula as book one – man & woman meet, connect, find the spell, danger comes and then the judgement but whilst it follows the same pattern…. The getting there is different. This time the story seems more sombre because of Mick dealing with his grief, they both connect over losing someone and the only happiness they have at the moment is in each others arms. Both are battling demons and must overcome them if they expect things to go anywhere. There isn’t as much action in this as the previous book but to be honest, it didn’t really need it because of the tone of the book, although a certain someone does make an appearance to add the element of danger. I was satisfied with the ending but I would like to know how this is affecting the enemy too, what is each spell doing to him when the curses are broken? Is he threatening the others before their soul mate arrives? I know I will definitely be reading more to find out!

Sharing You: A Novel
Sharing You: A Novel
by Molly McAdams
Edition: Paperback
Price: $11.22
110 used & new from $0.51

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars 2.5 stars!, March 3, 2015
This review is from: Sharing You: A Novel (Paperback)
I haven’t read a Molly McAdam’s novel since the disastrous time I had with Taking Chances but I still wanted to give this author another try. So when the opportunity came to read Sharing You, I jumped at it, even though it did take me a little while to get to it.

I’m just going to say it, I didn’t hate Sharing You but I certainly didn’t love it either. I actually liked the characters but it was the plot of the story I had an issue with. I just don’t think it was very believable. It’s one of them that unless you’ve experienced something like it – insta-love, insta-attraction, fate, whatever you want to call it – first hand, you’re probably not going to believe the story. I’m not saying I don’t believe in fate but I am an unbeliever of insta-love especially from the first moment you meet someone because it’s something I’ve never experienced nor, do I know anyone who has experienced it for themselves. This is the story for Sharing You – two characters meeting and the first time is so intense that they know they’re meant for each other regardless of the obstacles in the way. I know the author has written this story about witnessing a couple go through the same thing and I applauded her, but I feel like she’s written a story not many people will relate to, therefore many people may not enjoy it.

Like I said before, I did actually like the characters despite the insta-love. Kamyrn and Brody have both have difficult lives and I could definitely sympathise with it. It’s one of the reasons I kept reading. I wanted to see how their relationship developed after their first meeting and more so how the story ends. The cheating part of the story didn’t really bother me. Brody was in an unhappy married were he was manipulated by his wife; I do wish he had the strength to do the right thing because of how unhappy he was.

In all, Sharing You wasn’t the best story I’ve read but it’s one I’m glad I’ve read and I still haven’t written Molly McAdam’s off completely yet, despite my issues with the story.

Breathe, Annie, Breathe
Breathe, Annie, Breathe
by Miranda Kenneally
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $13.36
78 used & new from $9.27

5.0 out of 5 stars My go-to author!, March 3, 2015
I adore this series and I’ve said before but with each book I believe Miranda Kenneally’s work gets better and better and Breathe, Annie, Breathe has to be my favourite to date!

This story follows Annie, a girl that is trying to escape her boyfriend’s death by running a marathon that Kyle was planning on racing in. In doing this race Annie hopes to leave the all the guilt behind and somehow find some peace, but when Annie hires a running coach to help her get into shape, she becomes even more guilty for her sudden feelings for Jeremiah who is slowly becoming her rock during training. Can Annie find the peace she needs but also find the strength to move on?

Breathe, Annie, Breathe is an adorable and cute read but it’s also one packed with emotions. Annie’s story is about loss, grief and finding the will to move on after a death, but it’s also a hopeful one in the sense that good things can come even at a difficult time.
There were plenty of times during this story that I was nearly in tears for Annie and the hard times she had to overcome, but she also made me respect her because of her strong willed mind and her determination to do the impossible and push her body to the maximum limits. I really connected with her as a character, like I end up doing with all of Miranda’s characters and that’s because she writes such relate able leads.

I really liked Jeremiah as well and how well he’s grown since Things I Can’t Forget. I bet you’re thinking what? Yep, he’s Matt’s little brother. And yes we do get to see how Kate and Matt are doing too.

In all, there are only a few go-to authors for me and Miranda Kenneally is definitely one of them. Bring on Jesse’s Girl.

Locked In Stone
Locked In Stone
by Tory Michaels
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.81
4 used & new from $13.81

4.0 out of 5 stars Definitely be looking out for more!, March 3, 2015
This review is from: Locked In Stone (Paperback)
Locked in Stone is a great paranormal romance and as the title would suggest…. Has Gargoyles!
As the synopsis tells us, Rose Johnson is forced to ask for protection from the Sentinels after the death of her adoptive mother and presuming that she is next. The Sentinels are more than happy to help when it is revealed that she is a Gargoyle and a special one at that. Rose has always been lead to believe that she is the last Gargoyle alive and that the Sentinels are the enemy but she needs their help in finding a stone that holds her adoptive mothers’ soul so that her secret remains intact. It doesn’t help that the first Sentinel she comes upon is the one who should have protected her real mother when she was a child.
Cal Levesque is a Sentinel who never forgave himself for the death of Rose’s family, he was meant to protect them and he is stunned to find Rose standing there when she had been presumed dead for years. She is no longer the young girl he used to know, she is now a woman who is more than capable of looking after herself but everything in him screams that she must be protected…. Not to mention the electric connection they seem to share. When they decide to help Rose with her mission he sees it as a chance to finally prove that he can do his job right…. But will history repeat itself? There are some shocks in store for them both as they try to triumph over evil.
I really enjoyed this story and thought it was a great start to the series and showed some good potential. Whilst Gargoyles seem to be becoming popular, I haven’t really read many stories with them in so that gives me a fresh and different read which is always welcome. I really liked the idea of the story, Gargoyles keep the veil between Earth and the Otherworld intact so that evil and its creatures can’t seep through. Whenever there is a break in the veil (a rift) it’s up to a special kind of Gargoyle to repair it and up to Sentinels to keep those ‘mothers’ safe from what comes through. Rose just happens to be one of those who can repair it but doesn’t know anything about it because of the circumstances of her upbringing and it’s through that, that she is led to believe she is the only one left. As soon as we meet Rose, we see that she is kick ass! She has a very streetwise way about her, a hardness that says she is a survivor and a free spirit that will bow to no-one – just the way I love my leading ladies to be. She has a great attitude also and shows very little vulnerability so when Cal comes along, she is a little swept away by the new feelings that he stirs. Cal is astounded to see Rose alive but he always remembered her and lived with the guilt of not saving her family so in the beginning we have to wonder if it is his sense of duty that makes him want to protect Rose… but at the chemistry between them heats up, it’s clear to see we have a love match going on. I was more than happy with this because they made a great pair and brought a sprinkle of romance to the story.
Obviously bad things will happen that will test them and showed us just how they all work together. We have enemies in the form of demons, witches, vampires, necromancers etc. and they all bring some sort of danger to our MCs. We see the rift happening and how they deal with it, see just how innate Rose’s power and instincts are. Cal also has a special gift that we see in action too which I thought was really intriguing and made me wonder just what the other Sentinels will be capable of doing. The whole idea of searching for her adoptive mothers’ soul stone is to keep Rose off everyone's radar but that sort of gets messed up quickly and gives the feeling that a countdown has begun with Rose now in the enemies sights. They have to battle for their lives numerous times bringing a lot of action to the story as Rose becomes reckless and Cal is burdened with guilt and opposing responsibilities forcing them to re-evaluate a lot of things. As we come to a shocking conclusion though, we will have learned a whole lot of secrets, truths and lies. The ending, even though tied up well and answering a lot of questions raised throughout has a small cliffhanger, nothing major but an awesome segway into the next book – which I will definitely be looking out for.

Dog with a Bone (Black Dog)
Dog with a Bone (Black Dog)
by Hailey Edwards
Edition: Paperback
Price: $7.27
14 used & new from $6.73

4.0 out of 5 stars A great introduction - 4.5 stars!, March 3, 2015
Dog with a Bone is the first book in the Black Dog series and what an opener it was !
We meet Thierry Thackerey in the thick of her qualifying exam to become a Marshall, failure is not an option for her considering the program is the only place that offered her sanctuary when her gift manifested. She has been trained by Shaw who is an incubus and let’s just say….. his lure isn’t the only thing that draws Thierry to him. He’s her friend and one of the only ones who’s immune to her gift making him perfect to train her. They share a mutual attraction but nothing can come of it whilst she is still his student but come graduation… he won’t be staying in the friend zone for much longer if Thierry has her way.
After successfully qualifying to become a Marshall, she is partnered with Shaw for a few weeks of on the job training but when they head out to their first assignment…. It turns out to be bigger than any of them ever expected.

I honestly loved this book, I loved everything about it. Thierry was the sort of heroine one could really route for and has all of the traits a good UF leading lady should have – awesome power, kick ass moves, sense of humour and of course a hot sidekick/partner. She is more than capable of doing her new job and you can tell that she is gutsy and willing to take a risk to do what’s right. I liked the love connection with Shaw, her power actually compliments his and they have a very easy going camaraderie going on where they are attune with how the other thinks, making them perfect partners to work together. Not only that but they have a forbidden love thing about them too with Shaw being her trainer and her being the student…. I love this type of love connection and with the way they know each other it just makes sense that they would seek each other for love. They give us a few hot moments throughout the book when they give out a ‘will they, won’t they’ vibe and I’m quite looking forward to seeing their relationship develop.
With this being the first in a series it is very much a getting to know you and your world book but unlike some, it isn’t overloaded with information and the story shines through. The job Thierry is aiming for as Marshall is to police the Fae of the world, humans are still in the dark about it and everyone wants it to stay that way so the Marshalls keep the peace. Thierry is a half breed so has her foot in both worlds and that gives her an edge in her job because she can view things from both points of view but her investigation does make you wonder who the bad guys really are – Fae or Human? I thought the investigative thread of the story was fab! I love anything like that and it is probably why I love UF like I do. This story kept me engrossed in the book, I wanted to know what was going on and the more into the story we got, the more we were introduced to different species and enveloped in the world. The plot definitely kept me on my toes with plenty of action and mystery, leading to secrets being revealed and I was kept guessing right up until the end about what had happened, so when you add to that great pacing, great characters and a sprinkle of love…. I’m well happy. I thought this was a great introduction to the series, it has tons of potential but I want a longer story next time and maybe more of Thierry’s background so that I can really get behind her.

Vision in Silver: A Novel of the Others
Vision in Silver: A Novel of the Others
by Anne Bishop
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $20.50
29 used & new from $14.05

5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous series - 4.5 stars!, March 3, 2015
Tension between the Others and the Humans reaches a new climax in the third book of the series because if you thought the last book had put an end to things….. you were wrong. After the Others freed the blood prophets from their confines, everything should have gone back to being normal but it didn’t. First off, the Cassandra sangue are not adjusting to life outside of the compound in which they were kept, some a hurting themselves, some are being hurt by others and their carers are at a loss as how to help them. With the Humans First & Last movement putting pressure on the Others to release the whereabouts of the girls because of their delicate states, it falls to Meg to show them how to live on the outside. Meg is still struggling with the need to cut and a new visitor to Lakeside sends her reeling with the need. This visitor is hiding secrets, secrets that not only put the humans around her at risk but also the Others when they lend support and protection and could be the catalyst for something else. The HFL are not backing down with their propaganda about the Others and will stop at nothing to portray them as savages but to what end? if it’s a war they want it looks like they may finally get their wishes.

Whilst not my favourite in the series Vision in Silver is still a compelling read.
I absolutely love this series and find the author has created a very rich world filled with a diverse cast of characters that pulls you in with every chapter. Meg’s character is just as prominent in this book, she is still struggling with the need to cut but is discovering new things about her sight that just might save her. I love how she affects everyone around her, her innocence plus the need to learn and understand seems to be having such a positive effect on the Others making them want to try too. I feel all of the Others in the courtyard have become more tolerant and willing to compromise because of Meg, it helps that her human learning experience is also teaching the Others about humans too. Now, one of the things that also draws me into this world is the relationship between Simon and Meg, it’s clear to the reader that they have some kind of feelings for each other but because both of them are not used to having those emotions or knowing what they are – they don’t understand them – and this gives it a really innocent feel. It has progressed at a snail’s pace but that’s ok, it leaves you hanging on for the moments they spend together and I love it when Simon gets growly when Meg’s in a situation he doesn’t like.
The storyline is a clear progression from the two previous books and you can really get a feel for where the series is headed… and that is to war. It seems that Humans have short memories and because of the punishment doled out to those associated with the drugs, the Humans First & Last movement have gained a great deal of followers and they aren’t afraid to show where their loyalties lie. There are talks of food shortages, taking land back from the Others, demanding to know where the Cassandra Sangue are and needless to say – the Others aren’t happy. They don’t understand how there can be food shortages or why anything should change, all they know is that the HFL are stirring up hatred towards them and that cannot be tolerated. The story really builds the basis for what seems like the inevitable, it shows us a lot of what is going on and by the end of the book we are aware of what lengths both sides will go to, the Humans do get brave indeed and it will have consequences for both sides. We also catch up with some of the Cassandra Sangue and see that it is a struggle for them to adjust, it’s really sad to think that they’ve lived their lives in seclusion and now can’t face the extra stimuli of the real world, so Meg tries to help with that and we get a lot of hope from one particular girl who wants to live.
As I said, whilst this book was great read, it lacked the intensity of the other books, but saying that – it also felt like the calm before the storm. I loved where the story went plot wise and also character wise and as always… I’m left wanting more from this fabulous series.

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