Saturday, May 31, 2014

Review: The Gifted Realms Series by Jillian Neal

The Gifted Realm Series 
by Jillian Neal 

Book One: Within the Realm
Book Two: Lessons Learned
Book Three:
Every Action
Category: New Adult
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal        
Publisher: Realm Press     
Edition: Ebook
Source: I received ebook copies of the books in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads Synopsis: The Gifted walk among us. They are unseen, but in plain sight. The Earth’s energies are as visible to them as the tangible world is to us and they can harness and bend these forces to their will. Atop the Pentagon resides the government of the Gifted Realm.

Rainer Lawson is set to join the ranks of Elite Officers in the Gifted Police force. With his fellow officers, they will work together, using their abilities, to try and end the most sinister criminal organization in existence. His parents fought and died to re-establish the Realm, and he won’t allow them to have sacrificed in vain.

The will to protect those he loves has always driven Rainer, but his desperation to protect Emily, the love of his life, consumes him. While passions ignite and vengeance is sought, Rainer may discover that all of his money, fame, and power, could cost him the only thing that has ever truly mattered.

Goodreads Synopsis: One breathtakingly hot, passion-filled, night ignites a fire in his soul. Everything in his world should be nothing short of perfection…but he is Rainer Lawson.

His wild evening with Emily is the Realm’s front-page story. Could he have lost the respect of the man that has been like a father to him? Could his family’s hard-earned fortune really dissolve before his very eyes?

Evil rapidly cinches its chokehold, and everything his father fought and died for threatens to implode. Rainer attempts to protect those that he loves and satisfy the fiery passions between he and Emily, but everything in his world is spinning wildly out of control. His desire to prove himself could very well be his undoing.

Sometimes the best of intentions are not enough, but perhaps it is the trials by fire that make the man. Steel sharpens steel, and passion burns white hot in “Lessons Learned.”

Goodreads Synopsis:
“Mr. Lawson…” the man drawled. His French accent did nothing to cover his sinister tone. “Saw the little show your fiancĂ©e put on for you last night at the Tower. She's quite a handful isn't she?”
“I don't know who the hell you think you are, but if you get anywhere near her, I'll kill you.”
“Well then, Mr. Lawson, you better hope you find her before I do.”

If Emily’s father doesn’t win the vicious race for Crown Governor, the Realm falls to the savage clutches of Wretchkinsides. Evil chokes ice cold, but the hot, kindled burn between Rainer and Emily keeps them ablaze.

A whirlwind trip culminates from DC, to Paris, Boston, to Seattle. The race is on and the stakes are far too high. Ultimately the entire Gifted world awaits their fate.

Everything that tries to rip them apart, everything that keeps them tightly bound, and everything involved in the ultimate betrayal, teaches Rainer that not Every Action is an option.

Review: What do you know? Another paranormal, and a series at that. While I really did enjoy this series very much, I think that after reading an awesome one like this, I'll give paranormal a break for a bit, and end on this good note. I have definitely been shown that it is something that I can enjoy, but I don't want to beat myself down with it. So, thanks to Jillian Neal I will be ending my paranormal binge on a very good note. 

From the very beginning I was drawn into the story of these characters. It was fun to see such a large, loving family in the midst of a paranormal story. That is not something I have seen much in the books I have read lately. The Haydenshires are a wonderful family with many, many children, though. Mr. Haydenshire is involved in politics, and throughout the series is trying to rise through the ranks, something that does make things for the family a little more complicated. When you had a ton of teenagers and young adults around, it does make it difficult to keep your name completely clean in the media. I loved how close they all were, and that the relationship between Rainer and Emily built from Rainer being taken in by their family once his own parents were killed. 

Another thing I really enjoyed in this series was the world building. I liked how the gifted realm was right along side all of the other humans, and most of them were not aware of it. They even have their own university clothes to a regular one, but no the ungifted are not accepted into the university. I love how Neal blends it all together, and it seemed incredibly realistic to me. 

The thing I believe I enjoyed the most about this series was that the series was not ALL about the paranormal aspect and gifted abilities. Sure, they were there, but it was not the only focus. I have read some paranormal where it seems like that is all that is being written about, and I do  not like that at all. This book focuses much more on the relationships (romantic and family) and the other complications and lessons that can happen to anyone in life. That made the series and characters much more relate able for me, which was something that I enjoyed very much. I would certainly suggest this series to other paranormal fans.

Rating: 4.0 / 5.0 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Perfectly Messy by Lizzy Charles Blog Tour

Perfectly Messy
Release Date: May 2014

Popularity isn't everything it's cracked up to be. Justin Marshall knows this better than most. For the captain of the basketball team, small business owner, and son of Minnesota's next governor, life can get pretty overwhelming. But Justin can handle anything as long as he has Lucy, the girl who fell for the man he’s trying to be.

But for Justin and Lucy, finding time together proves challenging. Stolen kisses and whispered promises just aren't enough. That is, until scandalous photos of the couple are leaked to a press intent on creating a juicy scandal during Justin's dad's gubernatorial campaign. And when Lucy becomes fair play for the tabloids and gossip pages, Justin does the only thing he can to protect her: he breaks her heart.

For Lucy, junior year is everything she hoped it would be: new friends, second chances, and a boyfriend she can’t stop kissing. That is, until the boy she’s pretty sure she loves chooses the life his family wants for him, over her.

Now it’s up to Lucy to teach him what it really means to have everything. Because for Justin, being who everyone needs him to be just might cost him the one person he can’t live without.

Buy Links: 

Promo Post:  
Top Five Kissing Scenes
Hi everyone! I'm so excited to be on the blog today to celebrate the release of my second novel, Perfectly Messy!
LCharles_M9B_PerfectlyMessy_eCover_1800x2700 (1)
One of my favorite parts about writing young adult romance is when I finally get the chance to write the big kissing scene. You know, that one kiss that makes everything feel right in the world? Yeah. That one.
Well, whenever I’m about to write that scene, I do some research. I make sure I watch at least one of the following scenes to get my heart in the right place before I make my main characters lip lock.
Here are my top five favorite kissing scenes!

5.- Romeo and Juliet, the Leonardo DeCaprio and Claire Danes Kiss. It’s so sweet. So filled with life and energy. That kiss makes me feel like anything is possible!
RomeoJul Gif
4.- The Pride and Prejudice hand kiss. It’s amazing how such a small gesture can signify so much. I never want to forget as a writer how important a kiss to the hand can really be. That look in Mr. Darcy’s eye … Oh man. Every girl deserves a man to look at her that way!
PridePrej Gif
3.- The kiss at the end of Pitch Perfect. I love this kiss. It’s sweet, funny, and full of “I’m sorry, you were right. I was an idiot.” Pretty much an essential type of kiss to have in a YA romance book.
Pitch Perfect Kiss gif
2.- When Katniss finally listens to her heart in Catching Fire. She goes all out and kisses Peeta like the boy deserves! I love this kiss. It’s powerful. It’s filled with hunger for love and time. It’s fantastic!
PeetaKat Kiss
1.- The Intense Notebook Kiss. Oh man. This kiss always makes my heart kick into gear. This is the kiss that inspired the big kiss in Perfectly Messy. I’m certain you’ll be able to figure out what kiss I’m talking about (there are many!) once you’ve read the story. Notebook Gif
Thanks so much for having me on the blog!
Interested in Lizzy Charles' novels Effortless With You and Perfectly Messy? They are available on Amazon, Nook, iBooks, and most ebook readers. Prefer a book you can actually hold in your hand and smell? Both novels are available in print via Amazon and available to order through many local bookstores if you ask. :) 

lizzycharles1Lizzy Charles lives in the Twin Cities and is a graduate of the University of Minnesota. When she isn’t raising her three children or caring for premature and sick babies as a neonatal intensive care nurse, she’s seeking refuge with her laptop, sparkling water, and dark chocolate. She married her high school sweetheart, a swoon-worthy musician, so it’s no surprise she’s fallen in love with writing contemporary YA romance novels. Twitter: @LizzyCharles_ Facebook: Lizzy Charles Fan Page Website:  


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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Top Ten Books On My Summer TBR

It's Top Ten Tuesday time! I am linking up for the meme over at The Broke and the Bookish again this week. This week's prompt was fun, as it was a freebie! We were allowed to pick any topic that we wanted to do. With eight teaching days left for me of the school year (eight too many still), summer has definitely been on my mind. I thought that it would be fun to share the top ten books on my summer TBR list. Now, I've added one hundred and fifty books to a summer TBR list on Goodreads, but these are the ten I am going to make sure I ABSOLUTELY get to this summer. Without further ado, here are the Top Ten Books On My Summer TBR.

1. My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick
- If I am being honest, I have had this book for a LONG time. A few months before I started my book blog (when I was still in a book reading rut), I went into B&N for the first time in quite some time. I saw this book and liked the synopsis, so I picked it up way back before reading so many awesome reviews on it. It's been sitting on my nightstand forever, and I know summer is going to be the perfect time to finally read it.

2. The Selection by Kiera Cass - Okay, so this one is kind of cheating. I actually plan to read the whole Selection series this summer. I have had the first one for a couple months now, but have not read it yet. I bought a signed copy of The One the day it released, but then it took me until last weekend to finally find The Elite somewhere other than B&N (I'm not always thrilled with their prices). I will finally get to the series this summer!

3. Open Road Summer by Emery Lord - Honestly, I don't know a whole lot about this book beside it being a contemporary and having the word "summer" in the title. Another honest fact? That is really all the information I need in order to know I need to pick up and read this book come summer time.

4. The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han - Yup, I'm cheating with another series. I feel like, since this is a freebie prompt, that it's perfectly okay that I'm doing this. After all, it's perfectly okay for it to be more than ten books! I have heard wonderful things about this series, and it seems like the perfect summer read. I cannot wait to buy my copies so I can get to reading.

5. To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han - Yup, another Jenny Han book. I actually have this one sitting on my bookshelf already. I had heard such great things about it even before it came out that I picked up right when I saw it at Half Price Books. It seems like a great summer read, and I am sure I will enjoy this contemp. 

6. Of Poseidon by Anna Banks - What do you know, another series! I have yet to read anything that has mermaids in it, and I have heard such wonderful things about this series. I do believe that the series is complete too, which is always nice. I tend to have a problem with starting a series when all of the books aren't out yet - I hate having to wait to find out what happens.

7. Matched by Ally Condie - This is another series that I have had sitting on my bookshelf for a couple months now. The WHOLE series, yet I have not read them yet. I do think that it is something I will really like, despite reading mixed reviews about it, so I look forward to finally picking this series up as well.

8. Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson - Once again, it's a contemporary and it has the word "summer" in the title. It also has a very nice cover with very pretty, summery colors on it. What more could I want in a summer read?

9. Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour - I am in LOVE with this cover. I have had my eye on this book for a long time just because of the cover (I told you, I really do judge books by their covers some times). I could not tell you the synopsis at the moment, but I am very much aware that I want to own it soon!


10. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins - That's right, I have not read this book/series, and I know that soon I will be the only one that has not. I have heard such good things, so I know that I finally need to do something about this. I really want THIS cover, though. I like it so much better than the other one.

What books do you plan to read this summer? Let me know in the comments. :]

Black Abaddon by Sasha Hibbs Blog Tour + Review

Black Abaddon (The Vulcan Legacies)
Release Date: 02/20/14
Evernight Teen

 Ally Watson struggles to live with the choices she made, the worst of which resulted in her soul mate's death. Michael’s sacrifice to save the girl he loved may have reversed the Apocalypse, but not the permanent damage inflicted by living with his loss.

Ally begins a journey where she soon discovers that death is not always the end, but sometimes the very beginning. With old friends, she journeys to the Nosferatu Nation where she meets with new alliances willing to help her in her quest to defeat the Devourer. At every turn, Ally unearths secrets that threaten to destroy those she loves.

The second installment of The Vulcan Legacies series will put Ally to the ultimate test, forcing her to face her fears and the true destiny she will fulfill as Azrael, the Seraph of Death.


Review:  What do you know, another paranormal! Honestly, I never saw myself reading this many of them as it has never been a genre I have particularly enjoyed. Still, I have been thrilled with most of the one I have read so far, and the Vulcan Legacies series is no different. I had not read anything by Hibbs, including the first book in this series, so I had to pick that one up first. I got through it quickly, and then was eager to move onto Black Abaddon, which was even better, in my opinion. I have something with series, I usually prefer the second book over the first. I guess I just like already knowing the characters and just getting to continue with their story instead of all of the character background. 

I thought that there were plenty of twists and turns in the first book, but it was nothing compared to this second one. Every time I thought I had something figured out, it all changed on me once again. While the beginning was a little slow for me, it did pick up quickly and then I did not want to put it down. Each chapter left me with more questions than answers, and while sometimes it was a little frustrating, I still enjoyed it very much. 

The characters are just as wonderful as they were in the first book. Of course, Ally begins the novel by dealing with the loss and guilt of Michael at the end of the first book. As the Angel of Death and having failed her test, she believes that she has failed everyone and that Michael died for nothing. It is something that she has to deal with and work through as there is still a lot of danger for her to face no matter how much guilt and sadness she feels. 

This was a series that stayed very consistent to me, and that is something that I look for in a series. I always fear that an author will suddenly bring in new things in order to fill the pages, but Hibbs did not do anything like that. Her writing was just as wonderful as it was in the first book, if not more so. The ending of the book was such an amazing cliffhanger, leaving me eagerly waiting for the next book. I certainly recommend this book to any paranormal fan.

Rating: 4.0/5.0

By age 5, Sasha Hibbs' favorite movie was Gone With the Wind. By age 12, she completed her 7th grade book report on the sequel, Scarlett. By 18, she met and married her very own Mr. Rhett Butler and as it turns out, she never had to worry about going back to Tara to win the love of her life back. Fortunately, he stuck with her.  

With a love of all things paranormal, the ambiance of the South with its gigantic antebellum mansions and canopies of Spanish moss, and a love for her husband’s rich storytelling of blacksmiths and the mythology surrounding their origins, it wasn’t long until the world of her debut novel, Black Amaranth, was born.

When not working her day job as a nurse, you can find Sasha dreaming of her next beach trip, reading the latest YA novel, and drinking more white chocolate mocha than she should.  

Sasha lives in mountainous West Virginia with her husband, Tim, and their two daughters, Aeliza and Ava. She is currently hard at work on book two in The Vulcan Legacies series.

Author Links:


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