23 July 2017

Stacking the Shelves #18

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews and co-hosted by Reading Reality. It’s all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves; may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course eBooks.

After my big spend on physical books last week, I’ve kept my purchases this week to eBooks and library loans. I’m not going to add a synopsis for each book, but all book title links will take you to Goodreads.

This is what I added to my Kindle this week:

Forbidden (Arotas Trilogy #1) by Amy Miles:  I’m always on the lookout for a vampire romance, hopefully this one doesn’t disappoint.

Roseline Enescue didn't ask to become an immortal, to have all of the guests at her wedding slaughtered, or be forced into marriage with a man whose lust for blood would one day ignite the vampire legend.

Fractured Love: A Standalone Off-Limits Romance (Off-Limits Romance #3) by Ella James: I can’t go wrong with Ella James. 

I was sixteen when he came to our house. Landon Jones, a boy with nothing, from nowhere. He had cinnamon hair and grey eyes—light blue, just like mine. When we went out as a family with my foster brother, people asked if Landon was my twin. He wasn’t. That year, we found out how much he wasn’t. When my parents caught us, they threw Landon out like trash.

Now I’m twenty-seven, a soon-to-be surgeon, like my mom and dad. I know residency is going to kick my ass, but I had no idea that it would rip my heart out, too. Not until I see him—Dr. Jones.

Beautiful Mistake by Vi Keeland: This book had me sold at “Well, hello Professor West, I'm your new teaching assistant.”

Ebooks that I borrowed from the library:

The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens: A book club read for the month of August, I’m really looking forward to it.

College student Joe Talbert has the modest goal of completing a writing assignment for an English class. His task is to interview a stranger and write a brief biography of the person. With deadlines looming, Joe heads to a nearby nursing home to find a willing subject. There he meets Carl Iverson, and soon nothing in Joe's life is ever the same.

Carl is a dying Vietnam veteran--and a convicted murderer. With only a few months to live, he has been medically paroled to a nursing home, after spending thirty years in prison for the crimes of rape and murder.

Summer Unscripted by Jen Klein: I enjoyed Shuffle, Repeat (my review) immensely, hopefully I will like this one as well.

A summer romance about missed connections and how not to miss out on the love of your life.

Audiobooks that I borrowed from the library:

The Heiress of Winterwood (Whispers on the Moors #1) by Sarah E. Ladd: I’m currently listening to and enjoying, Historical Christian Romance.

Darbury, England, 1814

Amelia Barrett, heiress to an ancestral estate nestled in the English moors, defies family expectations and promises to raise her dying friend’s infant baby. She'll risk everything to keep her word—even to the point of proposing to the child’s father, Graham, a sea captain she’s never met.

Tragedy strikes when the child vanishes with little more than a sketchy ransom note hinting to her whereabouts. Fear for the child’s safety drives Amelia and Graham to test the boundaries of their love for this infant.

Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica: A chance encounter sparks an unrelenting web of lies in this stunning psychological thriller.

I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone has added to their shelves this week and if you’ve read any of the books I have listed, please let me know what you thought of them. Have a wonderful week and thank you for visiting. -J

Review: Pleasure Unbound by Larissa Ione

Pleasure Unbound by Larissa Ione
Cassandra Campbell (Narrator)
(Demonica #1)
Published February 1st, 2011 by Grand Central Publishing
My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

In a place where ecstasy can cost you your life . . .

She's a demon-slayer who hungers for sensual pleasure-but fears it will always be denied her. Until Tayla Mancuso lands in a hospital run by demons in disguise, and the head doctor, Eidolon, makes her body burn with unslakable desire. But to prove her ultimate loyalty to her peers, she must betray the surgeon who saved her life.

Two lovers will dare to risk all.

Eidolon cannot resist this fiery, dangerous woman who fills him with both rage and passion. Not only is she his avowed enemy, but she could very well be the hunter who has been preying upon his people. Torn between his need for the truth and his quest to find his perfect mate before a horrific transformation claims him forever, Eidolon will dare the unthinkable-and let Tayla possess him, body and soul . . .

My thoughts…

Tayla is a demon-slayer, having witnessed her own mother’s murder at the hands of a demon. Tayla has made it her mission to get rid of as many demons as possible. But as luck would have it, she is injured in a demon fight and ends up in a hospital, a demon hospital.

“So,uh, where am I, exactly ? And what do you plan on doing with me ?""You're at Underworld General Hospital. As you can probably guess, we specialize in nonhuman medical care. Our location is secret, so don't ask.""UGH ? Your hospital is called 'ugh' ? Oh, that's precious.”
― Larissa Ione, Pleasure Unbound

Eidolon is the head doctor of Underground General Hospital, a demon himself. He is fair in his treatment of demons, vampires, werewolves and any other number of species, including Tayla the demon-slayer brought into the hospital barely alive. Eidolon finds himself drawn to her, just as he’s about to go through a transformation that will make him a dangerous Seminus demon, a sex demon that requires sex often to survive.

“I'll bet you could make a woman throw out all her toys”― Larissa Ione, Pleasure Unbound

The story was different, different from other paranormal demon books that I’ve read in the past. I didn’t practically care for Tayla, she was quick to judge and annoying throughout the book. I also had problem with Eidolon climbing into the hospital bed with Tayla and having sex with her while she was having a sex hallucination (brought on by Eidolon’s brother), it felt like he took advantage of her because she wasn’t very lucid about what was really going on.

“She'd had sex with a demon. Tayla swallowed bile and tried to keep her stomach from heaving. She needed to shower. And douche.”
― Larissa Ione, Pleasure Unbound

“Hellboy?”“What?”“Touch me. Make me forget all this.”He was on her in an instant, took her down to the floor before she could blink.”
― Larissa Ione, Pleasure Unbound

It was an okay book, there was a lot going on and the story was never boring, at times it was funny. This is one series that I probably will continue with, but not until I finish Larissa Ione vampire series.

Happy Reading -J
19 July 2017

Review: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
Will Patton (Narrator)
(The Raven Cycle #1)
Audiobook, Unabridged,
Published September 18th, 2012 by Scholastic Audio
My rating: 2 out of 5 stars

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue never sees them--until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks to her.

His name is Gansey, a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can't entirely explain. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul whose emotions range from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She doesn't believe in true love, and never thought this would be a problem. But as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she's not so sure anymore. 

My thoughts… 

This book just wasn’t for me. I listened to it on audiobook and I was ready to give it up at Chapter 12, it was so boring. The first third of the book was introducing the characters and pretty much their daily routine, not much of a plot. It wasn't until Blue meet up with the Raven Boys did the plot start and the story really began.

In the synopsis, your lead to believe that there will be a romance between Blue and Gansey, that is not the case. The story basically revolves around Gansey’s obsession with finding the ley line to wake up a Welsh king, to grant the one who wakes him a wish.

“The way Gansey saw it was this: if you had a special knack for finding things, it meant you owed the world to look.”
― Maggie Stiefvater, The Raven Boys

At the moment, I'm not rushing out to read more of this series, but I won't say that I'll never return to it, I just have other books I rather read instead.

Happy Reading -J
16 July 2017

Review: Bound by Night by Larissa Ione

Bound by Night by Larissa Ione
Amy Landon (Narrator)
(MoonBound Clan Vampires #1)
Published March 31st, 2014 by Tantor Audio
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Nicole Martin was only eight years old when the vampire slaves rose up in rebellion and killed her family. Now she devotes her life to finding a vaccine against vampirism, hoping to wipe out her memories-along with every bloodsucker on the planet. But there's one thing she cannot destroy: her searing, undeniable attraction for the one man she should hate and fear the most. A member of the renegade vampire MoonBound Clan, Riker is haunted by demons of his own. When he recognizes Nicole and remembers how her family enslaved his loved ones, his heart burns for vengeance. But when he kidnaps Nicole and holds her in a secret lair, his mortal enemy becomes his sole obsession, his greatest temptation, and, perhaps, his only salvation-a hot-blooded lover who could heal him with her touch . . . or bury him forever. 

My thoughts…

This was my first Larissa Ione book. Bound by Night is a vampire paranormal romance, but it was so much different from the usual vampire romances.

In this book humans have figured out the knowledge to enslave vampires to use as servants and study them at the Daedalus Corporation. There are also renegade vampires that will do everything they can to stop the torturous research that the Daedalus Corp is submitting on the captive vampires.

Nicole is the Daedalus heiress and recently appointed CEO of the corporation. She has dedicated her life to researching vampire physiology and is an expert in the field, using what she has discovered to cure human diseases. While living in London her half-brother, Chuck, has been running Daedalus in her place until the Board of Directors felt it was time for her to take over.

When Nicole was a child her household vampires rebelled against their human masters and killed her family in a massacre attack. Nicole was left severely injured and still suffers from the after-effects of that terrible night. After watching another vampire, Riker, brutally kill (so she thinks) her cherished vampire nanny, Terese, who she loved dearly, and by witnessing the attack on her family she has become frightened of vampires and lost love she had for them.

Riker belongs to the MoonBound Clan of vampires. He is ruthless and angry and blames Nicole and her family for the death of his pregnant mate, Terese. When Nicole's brother captures a female vampire, who is very important to the clan, Nicole is kidnapped by the MoonBound Clan, Riker and Myne.

“Funny how Boris wasn’t the monster who came alive in her scariest night terrors. No, the title of Nightmare King belonged to the male looming like a death sentence in front of her, a gorgeous sandy-haired vampire in worn, bloodstained jeans and a loaded weapons harness beneath a long leather coat. A male named Riker who, twenty years ago, had killed Terese. His own mate.”
― Larissa Ione, Bound by Night

Nicole is to be held for trade for the female vampire. Chuck doesn’t want to make the trade, he wants Nicole out of the way so he can be in control of Daedalus once again because Nicole wasn’t aware that Chuck was secretly experimenting on vampires and keeping the research and lab hidden from her.

As Riker and Nicole are forced to spend time together they get to know each other, and begin sharing things about themselves. Eventually they develop an attraction to each other and the chemistry it hot. Riker has a difficult time with his feelings towards Nicole, he is not only betraying the vampire race, but also the memory of Terese.

“Nothing to finish? You wondered why sex with a vampire was such a big deal. I’m going to show you.” He moved toward her, slowly, like a cat sneaking up on a bird. “Stamina.” He stepped closer. “Multiple orgasms.” Closer, and her mouth went dry. “Flexibility.” Closer. Her skin flushed hot. “Strength.” Closer. Her stomach did a flip-flop. “The ability to sense heat so we know what parts of the body are the most sensitive at the right time.” Closer. A throbbing ache started low in her pelvis. “The ability to hear the slightest change in the tempo of your pulse so we know exactly how every stroke, kiss, and lick affects you.” Oh. Dear. Lord.”
― Larissa Ione, Bound by Night

I did enjoy Bound by Night, but, I'm rating it with 4 stars because I was so frustrated with Riker, he knew Nicole was the one for him, but he kept blaming Nicole for something that wasn't her fault. Riker did and said some very hurtful and hateful words to Nicole and I think she gave into his forgiveness way to easily. I’m looking forward to reading the second book in the series, Chained by Night.

Happy Reading -J
15 July 2017

Stacking the Shelves #17

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews and co-hosted by Reading Reality. It’s all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves; may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course eBooks. 

This week I celebrated my birthday and I treated myself to some of the books that I’ve had on my Amazon Wishlist. My husband thought it was great that I was buying my own gifts, although he did spoil me with a new laptop. I’m not going to add a synopsis for each book, but all book title links will take you to Goodreads.

Ignite Me (Shatter Me #3) by Tahereh Mafi

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

Wired (Buchanan-Renard #13) by Julie Garwood

And what I added to my Kindle:

Before I Ever Met You by Karina Halle 

It's You (It's You #1) by Katy Regnery

I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone has added to their shelves this week and if you’ve read any of the books I have listed, please let me know what you thought of them. Have a wonderful weekend and thank you for visiting. -J

12 July 2017

Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Cinder by Marissa Meyer
(The Lunar Chronicles #1)
Hardcover, First Edition, 390 pages
Published January 3rd, 2012 by Feiwel and Friends
My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Sixteen-year-old Cinder is considered a technological mistake by most of society and a burden by her stepmother. Being cyborg does have its benefits, though: Cinder's brain interference has given her an uncanny ability to fix things (robots, hovers, her own malfunctioning parts), making her the best mechanic in New Beijing. This reputation brings Prince Kai himself to her weekly market booth, needing her to repair a broken android before the annual ball. He jokingly calls it "a matter of national security," but Cinder suspects it's more serious than he's letting on.

Although eager to impress the prince, Cinder's intentions are derailed when her younger stepsister, and only human friend, is infected with the fatal plague that's been devastating Earth for a decade. Blaming Cinder for her daughter's illness, Cinder's stepmother volunteers her body for plague research, an "honor" that no one has survived.

But it doesn't take long for the scientists to discover something unusual about their new guinea pig. Something others would kill for. 


Why did it take me so long to read this book?! Probably because it is sci-fi/dystopian story, two of my least favorite genres. I’m pleasantly surprised that I really enjoyed Cinder (the book and character).

“Even in the Future the Story Begins with Once Upon a Time.”
― Marissa Meyer, Cinder

Cinder takes place in the future, post-World War 4 in New Beijing and Cinder is a mechanic and a cyborg. Prince Kai seeks Cinder's assistance in fixing his android, and that is where it all begins, eventually leading up to a Happily Ever After… you must continue with the series to get there.

“Kai cleared his throat. Stood straighter. "I assume you are going to the ball?""I-I don't know. I mean, no. No, I'm sorry, I'm not going to the ball."Kai drew back, confused. "Oh well... but... maybe you would change your mind? Because I am, you know.""The prince.""Not bragging," he said quickly. "Just a fact.”
― Marissa Meyer, Cinder

Cinder lives with her stepmother, and two stepsisters, the only one who appreciates and cares for Cinder is her stepsister, Peony. A plague known as Letumosis is spreading throughout Beijing, those infected are sent to quarantines, Peony gets infected with the incurable disease and Cinder is saddened. Although, Cinder’s stepmother blames Cinder for Peony’s illness, she volunteers Cinder for plague research. Once at the research facility and testing begins, Cinder discovers new things about herself that she wasn’t aware of.

The Emperor is also infected with Letumois and later dies. Prince Kai is left with ruling the country and dealing with the one person who may have a cure for the Plague, the evil Lunar Queen, Levana.

“The queen's eyes smouldered. "I know my own kind when I see them, and right now there is one in these city walls." She pointed a finger toward the balcony."I want her found and brought to me.""Right," said Kai,"that'll be no problem in a city of two and a half million people. Let me just go dig out my special Lunar detector, and I'll get right on that.”
― Marissa Meyer, Cinder

Finally, a fairytale retelling that I absolutely enjoyed reading. Marissa Meyer has created an incredibly entertaining version of the future, a futuristic world that is very interesting and believable. I especially liked that Cinder was portrayed with having more human qualities, her cyborg parts had some awesome features also.

Happy Reading -J
11 July 2017

Review: Once and for All by Sarah Dessen

Once and for All by Sarah Dessen
Hardcover, 358 pages
Published June 6th, 2017 by Viking Books for Young Readers
My rating: 2 out of 5 stars

Louna, daughter of famed wedding planner Natalie Barrett, has seen every sort of wedding: on the beach, at historic mansions, in fancy hotels and clubs. Perhaps that's why she's cynical about happily-ever-after endings, especially since her own first love ended tragically. When Louna meets charming, happy-go-lucky serial dater Ambrose, she holds him at arm's length. But Ambrose isn't about to be discouraged, now that he's met the one girl he really wants.

Sarah Dessen’s many, many fans will adore her latest, a richly satisfying, enormously entertaining story that has everything—humor, romance, and an ending both happy and imperfect, just like life itself.

My thoughts…

Being the daughter of a popular wedding planner, Louna has practically seen every type of wedding but she still has a cynical attitude towards true love and doesn’t believe it lasts forever. After having her first love ended tragically she has guarded her heart and doesn’t want to experience that hurt feeling ever again.

The novel jumps back and forth between the past and present, where in the past Louna is falling in love for the first time with Ethan and the present where Louna trying to make the decision if she can open herself up once again to that kind of love, or at least try.

When Louna’s mother hires Ambrose to work alongside Louna, she is not very happy working with the serial dater who is a total flirt. She makes the decision to keep her distance and does not encourage any kind of relationship. Ambrose, a typical playboy who juggles numerous girls at a time, has other plans, he wants to break down Louna’s walls.

Overall, I didn’t care for this story, it took me over a week to read it, which was very surprising. I just couldn’t get the connection between Louna and Ambrose. She was very judgmental and she wasn’t very nice to him throughout the book, I wasn’t sure why he even liked her. Also, I would have liked to read less about wedding planning, Louna’s everyday activities, her dating other men and more about a romance between the two characters actually being together as a couple.

I’m a bit disappointed, but, this is the second book I’ve read by Sarah Dessen, I’m not ready to give up on her just yet since I did enjoy Just Listen (my review of Just Listen).

Happy Reading -J