Monday, May 28, 2012

Review for Gabriel's Rapture

Gabriel's Rapture (Gabriel's Inferno, #2 )

Title: Gabriel's Rapture
Author: Sylvain Reynard
Publishing Date: May 22, 2012
Source: Publisher
Summary (from Goodreads):

Professor Gabriel Emerson has embarked on a passionate, yet clandestine affair with his former student, Julia Mitchell.

Sequestered on a romantic holiday in Italy, he tutors her in the sensual delights of the body and the rapture of sex. But when they return, their happiness is threatened by conspiring students, academic politics, and a jealous ex-lover.

When Gabriel is confronted by the university administration, will he be forced to share Dante’s fate? Or will he fight to keep Julia, his Beatrice, forever?


I cannot describe the ear deafening girlish squeal that rang through my house when I opened my email eight days ago. Could it be…? Was it really…? Oh my Gawd! An ARC of Gabriel’s Rapture was there waiting for me…and had been for two days! Two days, people! This is why you should check your email every. Single. Day.

I was just getting ready to devour it when life called and I was pulled away and forced back into reality for a bit. But finally – finally! – I was able to return and when I did I could not put this one down. My reader and I became BFF’s over the last two days. I stayed awake until my eyes had tears in them and were burning from staring at my reader for so long. Children were ignored, hubby was neglected, housework forgotten. No one existed except Gabriel Emerson.

The ride Reynard creates in his second book was once again a hit. I love that it starts right back up in Italy where Inferno left us. Now, while we don’t really learn anything new about our two lovers in this one, we do see a tremendous change in our Professor Emerson. The selfish, greedy man we met not too long ago is transformed in this book into something softer and gentler. The journey that’s full of twists and turns and misunderstandings that make you want to pull your hair out and cry, turn our damaged Emerson… good. Whole. He finds his humanity and in doing so discovers he wants things with his Beatrice that he banished wanting long ago.

Julia has also changed. She no longer is the prudish, judgmental woman I wanted to slap so many times in Inferno. By loving Gabriel she’s opened herself up to the possibility that not everything about a person’s past is dirty and sinful and she can have intimacy with someone without it being cruel. My heart ached right along with hers during the second half of this book. Even though you know there’s something she’s missing, and it’s right there, right there in front of her if only she would open her eyes makes the entire thing so bloody frustrating.

When she runs out into the rain to email Gabriel and finds him right outside her building my inner cheerleader was screaming at the top of her lungs. Finally they were going to sort this mess out! But Julia is cautious and still hurt; she doesn’t understand what Gabriel has really done. I had to clutch my reader to keep from throwing it out of frustration at these two in that moment. I’m glad all wasn’t forgiven and forgotten with a snap of her fingers, though. I loved that she decided they needed to get to know one another again and take it slow.

However, there’s slow and then there is the torture that Julia endured from Gabriel. Very clever, Professor. 
Withholding the sex just makes you all the more attractive and irresistible. I’m not sure how Julia stopped herself from screaming YES to his condition right then and there. C’mon, girl!

The only thing I didn’t understand was why, WHY, didn’t Gabriel resend that text to Julia?! Okay, I get that if he did then there would be no story blah, blah, blah. I get that, I really do. But when an error like that occurs you fix it ASAP. No one would have been none the wiser to it. Ahh authors and their clever ways of creating a plot.

Finally, my favourite quote from the book: “O gods of women whose fathers wish to castrate their boyfriend in the lobby of the Four Seasons, please don’t let him be carrying anything sharp. I still giggle every time I think of it.

I think it goes without saying from my gushing that I loved this book. I loved the highs and lows and, as much as I wanted to scream, I even loved the misunderstandings that made the book. And I especially love the cover. Have you seen the cover? Of course you have, but take another look. Beautiful, isn’t it?

I look forward to seeing what Reynard comes up with next.

***I received an ARC from the publisher (thank you, thank you, thank you!!) in exchange for an honest review.


Friday, May 25, 2012

Review for The Sand Bar

Title: The Sand Bar
Author: Rebecca Bryan
Publication Date: March 25, 2012
Source: Author
Summary (from Goodreads):

With nothing to show for the last eight years but a dusty diploma, a failed marriage, a lot of emotional baggage—Gucci, thank you—and a really great collection of designer shoes, Marlo Leavitt has come home again.

With her marriage annulled and her emotions in tatters, Marlo returns to her hometown of St. Anthony, Idaho, to care for her sick father and get back on her feet. She runs into Brandon, the boyfriend whose heart she broke before she left town, and finds him unhappy in his marriage and his life. Marlo fears she has not only ruined her own chance for happiness, but that of a man she once loved. When she meets an old woman who offers her a chance to make things right by going back in time, Marlo feels she has nothing to lose. She accepts the elixir and soon finds herself not in the past, but two years in the future, married to Brandon and living the life she had always dreaded: stuck in a tiny town with a toddler she doesn’t know or love.

Things get more complicated when she begins to suspect that Brandon had a part in his first wife’s mysterious death. With the help of handsome Luke Dawson, an old classmate and now a police officer, Marlo must solve the mystery of what really happened the night she took the elixir, and fix her broken relationships before she can return to the present and truly have a second chance at happiness.


I was first intrigued by this story when I read the summary. Most time travelling books send you back to the past. The Sand Bar thrusts you into what could be Marlo’s future. I love that idea since it’s so rarely done in the books that I’ve read. Who wouldn’t want a glimpse at their future?

Marlo is a newly single twenty-something woman returning home to help care for her father after annulling her marriage. Her first day back in town starts off with a bang – in all the wrong was. First being pulled over for speeding by a former boyfriend, then getting trampled on at a parade, her sister was a snarky wench to her for no apparent reason, her tires end up slashed on her car, an awkward run in with another former boyfriend and then a meddling old lady makes her appearance and BAM! Marlo wakes up in her first glimpse of the future.

Now why she just didn’t stay in that future is beyond me! C’mon, Marlo, look who you woke up next to! Silly woman.

But no, she isn’t happy and insists the old lady made a mistake and suddenly finds herself in her second glimpse of the future…and that’s when everything get so much more complicated than she ever thought possible.

I loved this book. I loved how much detail went into the story and how it made you feel like you were right there experiencing everything with Marlo. I loved the little twists and turns that she found herself in and how by being thrust into the unexpected she found who she truly was as a person.

I also loved the characters that Bryan created. Well, most of them, anyway. Luke won my heart right from the start. I wasn’t sure what to think of Brandon in the beginning, but the more I read the more I thought he was a total ass - until the ending and then my opinion of him completely changed. Kale…was definitely a surprise considering he wasn’t a major part of the story. And I really could have done without Amanda but every story needs a bitch to hate.

But the thing I loved the most? The thing that made me sit back and go, “Whoa! What the hell just happened?” was the ending. Now, I don’t want to say anything that’s going to give away the story, but I was all set for a predictable plot, but Bryan completely surprised me with the way she took the story. I thought Marlo would see what the future could be, go back to the present day and fix everything and everyone would walk away with their happily ever after. Um, not quite. It was unexpected and sad and heartbreaking and just… Yeah. You really need to get yourself a copy of this book before I ruin it for you with my gushing. Seriously, thisclose to spilling my guts and going on and on and on.

Now, the only complaint I have with the story is the part where Luke and Brandon get into a little bit of a scuffle. Luke just leaves Marlo alone with Brandon after Brandon attacks him. I thought it was irresponsible of him, especially as a cop, to leave a woman alone with a man who was angry and violent. Luke didn’t even ask Marlo if she was okay or felt threatened. If he had and she told him to go that would have been a little different. I just thought as a cop his senses should have been a little better.

Oh, and Brandon leaving the baby to go out and look for Marlo. What the hell, man? You don’t leave a kid in the house alone to drive around looking for your wife! “I locked the door.” Dude! No, just no!
Other than those two little things bugging me, I thought The Sand Bar was a fabulous read and I will definitely be on the lookout for more work by Rebecca Bryan.

**I received a free copy of The Sand Bar from the author in exchange of an honest review.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Review for The Last Keeper

The Last Keeper

Title: The Last Keeper
Author: Michelle Birbeck
Publication Date: May 3, 2012
Source: Publishing House
Summary (from Goodreads):

Fifteen hundred years ago, Serenity Cardea took the life of the only vampire she ever regretted killing—Henry, her sister’s husband. With her sister brutally murdered, Serenity had little choice but to grant Henry the only request he had: death. Centuries later, Serenity is no closer to discovering who betrayed them or instigated the massacre of her brothers and sisters.

The vampires want dominance—over their food, the other races . . . the world. To get it, they’ve systematically hunted down and slaughtered the only ones standing in their way. The Keepers.

As a Keeper, Serenity is tasked with protecting the delicate balance between the creatures of the world: Vampire, Witch, Were, and Human. Her kind exists to ensure that no single race sways the balance, dooming the world to destruction.

They're on the brink of extinction, with no sign of return. Now only two remain, and Serenity’s last brother is facing death, leaving her standing alone against a never-ending tide of vampires, all wanting one thing: power.

Then she meets Ray Synclair, a history professor in training with a passion for centuries past, and the harsh reality of her limited time comes crashing down on her. He is her weakness. His mortality is the countdown on Serenity’s life, and with each passing second, it comes closer to the end, for both of them.

She must uncover the secrets of her people’s past and find out who betrayed them—and who is still doing so—before it’s too late.

Serenity’s days are numbered, and Ray will be drawn into a world of myth and legend, where just being alive is enough to get him hunted down.

Because the only way to kill a Keeper is to kill their partner . . .

The first thing that caught my attention was the cover for this book. It’s so simple, yet the woman is so captivating and mysterious. You know the saying “you can’t judge a book by its cover”? Well, I do. I’m a cover whore. C’mon. The cover and title are the first things that you see. It has to be eye catching to make you want to take a closer look. So I took a closer look and after reading the summary I knew I had to be part of this book tour.

I’ve never read a story with such a unique plot idea when it came to the Keepers. From the very first paragraph I was pulled in and couldn’t wait to find out more about these supernatural beings and their lives. I also loved that it was set in the mid-1900s. I was expecting something recent, something of this decade, so it surprised me with the historical timeline.

The twists and turns in this book are what makes it an interesting read. Some things were easy to figure out – like who betrayed Serenity’s family – but just when you think it’s going to end up another predictable storyline something is thrown at you that you didn’t see coming.

I enjoyed how all the characters had a fairly major role in the book, even the minor ones. Birbeck created the story in a way that included everyone, and there wasn’t a character that was there just “because.” Everyone had a purpose.

Serenity is a strong, feisty female lead character. She grew on me very quickly and my heart broke right along with hers for every hardship she had to overcome. She’s exactly the strong willed, independent character I like to read about.

Birbeck again surprised me with the character of Ray. I loved how she described the connection a Keeper has with their partner, how closely their lives are intertwined. Because of a childhood accident, Ray was as weak as Serenity was strong and I loved how they balanced each other out.

The only complaint I have with the story was the showdown at the end with Serenity and The Seats. I didn’t feel like what Serenity did towards Elena was really all the….powerful. Yes, everyone knows she is able to kill a vampire at the drop of a hat without breaking a sweat or a nail, and for that they should fear her. But I just didn’t feel like she lived up to all that talk in the end. I would have liked to see a little more reason for The Seats to fear her; a little more rage on her part when Elena attacked Lizzy would have done it. I don’t want to give away the ending, but I just feel like Serenity could have done so much more damage than what she did.

Other than that I thoroughly enjoyed The Last Keeper, and will be on the lookout for more of Birbeck's work.

Don't forget to check out Michelle's guest post

**I received an eBook copy of The Last Keeper from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

You can purchase The Last Keeper at TWCS Publishing House
Tour schedule for The Last Keeper

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Review for Accidental Fate

Accidental Fate

Title: Accidental Fate
Author: M.A. Stacie
Publication Date: November 1, 2011
Source: Bought
Summary (from Goodreads):

When Leo Sommers opens the door to his record store, the last thing he expects to find is a screaming baby -- a baby that turns out to be his. Flung into parenthood, he struggles to care for the one week old. Unable to contact the baby's mother, he battles the incessantly crying baby alone. Until he literally crashes into his savior.

Erin Miles gets out of her car to trade insurance details with the man who has rear-ended her car, she receives more than she expected. Instantly, she's drawn to the tattooed, exhausted man holding the squalling bundle. She sees how much Leo loves his son and offers help. Erin's patient and gentle caring for Leo and Joe soon develops into something far more than either of them had expected.

Caught up in a whirlwind romance, they are on the cusp of exploring their new relationship, when reality hits them in the face.


My complaint with this story? It was too damn short! I didn’t realize it was a novella (I know, I know) until I got it. But still I loved it!

Leo is young, single (tattooed!) and suddenly finds himself with a baby that was dropped off on his doorstep with a note and a hundred bucks to welcome him into fatherhood. Erin is the woman he rear ends in a parking lot, who quietens baby Joe and later follows him home and, well, never leaves. Okay, she leaves, but she’s never gone long.

I really liked for a change that the attention was focused on a single father rather than the overplayed single mother routine. There are so few stories that have the father as the one who is dealing with everything alone that it’s a very nice change of pace when a little gem like this comes along. And I really, really loved that it was Erin who came along and saved Leo and not the other way around.

My only problem with the story was the character of Carlie – Joe’s bio mom and the bitch who dropped him off without so much as a fleeting thought. I understand why she was introduced in the story, but honestly, I don’t think the character had any real meaning. She wasn’t necessary. It was just a look at a woman who didn’t care. We didn’t need to see that. We already got that she didn’t care when she dumped her child like yesterday’s trash.

Leo’s reaction to her showing up bugged me as well. He was so much more patient and almost understanding towards Carlie that it drove me nuts. I wanted to scream at him for basically telling her she would always have a place in Joe’s life because that’s pretty much what his actions were saying when he told her he’d always keep her informed of what was going on. No. No. No. NO. This bitch didn’t want her child. You know what you do when that happens? When she makes it perfectly clear that she doesn’t want anything to do with the little person she gave birth to, you take her to court, you have her parental rights taken away and you rid the innocent baby of the witch. Yes, that’s what you do.

Aside from that, I thought the story was lovely. Maybe a little rushed with the romantic side of things, but hey, it’s a novella apparently. 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...