Saturday, November 29, 2014

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers (His Fair Assassin Book 1)

Synopsis via

Why be the sheep, when you can be the wolf?

Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others.

Ismae’s most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart.

     Miss LaFevers describes His Fair Assassin series as her "YA books about assassin nuns in medieval France". And if that doesn't pull you in, it is full of intrigue, murder, and self discovery. Don't let the "YA" scare you away. It is strong on plot, character development, and plenty to keep you intellectually engrossed.
     When I read the synopsis, I didn't realize it was set in medieval times. I was actually expecting a fantasy setting. But I was so engrossed in the story that I didn't realize it wasn't what I expected until I was halfway through the book.
     Ismae is a young girl dealt a very difficult life. But with the kindness of one person, her whole life is turned around. No, she is not placed into a life of luxury, but she is taught that she is not worthless and she has much to offer the right people. In this case "assassin nuns" (it sounds so funny and weird to call nuns assassins). She is taken in by nuns who serve the God of Death-St. Mortain. They teach her that she has gifts bestowed upon her by St. Mortain; her gift is a very rare gift.
     She is thrust into a world of politics, subterfuge, and betrayal. It is here that she learns who and what she truly is.
     I had difficulty putting this book down. I have to admit, I got annoyed whenever something interrupted my reading: the dogs going in and out, my son wanting to show me something, my husband wanting to tell me about his day, and the worst one: having to go to work! So, when you start reading this book, make sure you are left alone or seclude yourself. You will find yourself engrossed in medieval France with assassin nuns!

I received this book free in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Miss LaFevers and Houghton Mifflin Books for this opportunity.

Happy Reading!!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Curse Defiers (Curse Keepers #3) by Denise Grover Swank

The Curse Defiers

Synopsis via Goodreads:

For centuries the gods have waited—for the betrayal that will release them, for the traitors who will defend them, for the warrior who will challenge them. Now at long last the gate between the human and spirit worlds is open, and with it, an army of vengeful demons poised to swarm the earth. Only the Curse Keepers, Ellie Lancaster and Collin Dailey, can stop it…if they can break free from a tangled web of treachery, jealousy, and lies.

Torn between two men—her heart belongs to David, yet her soul is bound to Collin’s—Ellie no longer knows who she can trust. Demons slipping through the gate are leaving a trail of bodies in their wake, each death a chilling reminder of the power of the ancient spirits to bring humanity to its knees. Faced with an unimaginable future, Ellie realizes the time has come to turn her back on prophecy and choose her own destiny—even if it means defying the gods themselves.

Miss Swank has hit a home run yet again with the third book in the Curse Keepers Trilogy! It was so easy to get right back into the story. It was as if I had just finished The Curse Breakers. Ellie's story is more compelling than ever. The relationship between Ellie, Collin, and David is more convoluted then ever. Miss Swank is a master at weaving together all the intricate details and emotions that make this story such a resounding success.
It is very easy to fall into Ellie's character and "feel" all of her fears, frustrations, concerns, guilt, and love that are continuously flowing in and out of the complex character. Yet at the same time it is also easy to step back and watch the whole picture unfold before you.
For me, reading The Curse Defiers was interesting and intellectually challenging. Yes, I know that sounds funny, but it is true. Trying to figure out who is going after Ellie, who is telling the truth, and who is lying is quite a work out for the brain. While this is not considered a mystery book, Miss Swank has added that element to the plot. She will dangle a piece of evidence here, another piece there and the next thing you know you will be making predictions and guessing about which way Ellie will go, not to mention WHO will Ellie choose? Is Collin her true soul mate or is David the love of her life (and how long will she be alive)?

The Curse Defiers is a wonderful book. I loved every minute of reading. It has a perfect mixture of action vs. chill time.This is definitely a MUST READ BOOK especially if you have read the first 2 books. If you haven't, you need to get out and get all three and plan on staying in for the weekend!

Happy Reading.

P.S. Thank you for your patience waiting for me to post this review. Things at home and work have been a bit challenging lately.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Tree of Water by Elizabeth Haydon BLOG TOUR

The Tree of Water

WELCOME TO THE TREE OF WATER BLOG TOUR! Follow the tour Nov. 17-21 using #TheTreeofWaterTour

Read to the bottom for a chance to win a copy!

Tree of Water by Elizabeth Haydon

Synopsis via Macmillan Publisher's:

The epic voyages continue in The Tree of Water, the fourth adventure in bestselling author Elizabeth Haydon’s acclaimed fantasy series for young readers, The Lost Journals of Ven Polypheme.
As Royal Reporter of the land of Serendair, it is the duty of young Charles Magnus "Ven" Polypheme to travel the world and seek out magic hiding in plain sight. But Ven needs to escape the clutches of the nefarious Thief Queen, ruler of the Gated City, whose minions are hunting for him. His friend, the merrow Amariel, has the perfect solution to his dilemma: Ven and Char will join her to explore the world beneath the sea.
As they journey through the sea, Ven finds himself surrounded by wonders greater than he could have ever imagined. But the beauty of the ocean is more than matched by the dangers lurking within its depths, and Ven and his friends soon realize that in order to save thousands of innocent lives, they may have to sacrifice their own. For everything in the ocean needs to eat…

This book was my introduction to Miss Haydon and her delightful world of Ven and his adventures. I was concerned that I would get lost in the backstory since I had not read the three previous books in the series. I am happy to say that I had no difficulties with understanding the story. Miss Haydon has done an excellent job of penning the fourth adventure in a series that incorporates points from past adventures yet can stand alone and engross the reader.

This adventure finds Ven and Char swimming through the sea with Ven's merrow friend, Amerial.
Miss Haydon's vivid description of the underwater marvel takes the reader to a whole new world. Ven, Char, and Amerial find themselves in one scrape after another. Their adventures unfold under the water, not above.

Each character is well developed and they evolve before the reader's eyes. The depth that Miss Haydon goes into each character draws the reader into the story. As each scrape, every danger, and all the arguments unfold, that is when the reader is introduced to the characters' evolutions.

The adventures the reader is drawn into are creative, edge-of-your-seat exciting, and magical. As an adult I was once again reminded of how magical the world around me could be. Ven's world is close enough to mine to be familiar yet different enough to be exciting and new.

I had a difficult time putting this book down. My son finished reading the story in 2 days. I enjoyed reading about Ven's latest adventure so much that I am excited to read his other adventures. And as a bonus, this is a series that my son and I can bond over.

Win your own copy of Tree of Water: (Limited to US and Canadian readers, including young readers)
1) reply to this post telling me what kind of adventure you would like to have if you would like to share your adventure. It can be real or use your imagination.
 2) if you would prefer not too share please e-mail me at for a chance to win.

 I will pick one lucky reader at random on Nov.22

Let's see what Miss Haydon has to say: (If you would like to read more of the interview with Miss Haydon, please e-mail me at

Interview with Elizabeth Haydon, 
documentarian, archanologist and translator of Ven’s 
journals, including The Tree of Water
Little is known for sure about reclusive documentarian and archanologist Elizabeth
She is an expert in dead languages and holds advanced degrees in Nain Studies from
Arcana College and Lirin History from the University of Rigamarole. Her fluency in those
languages [Nain and Lirin] has led some to speculate that she may be descended of one
of those races herself. It should be noted that no one knows this for sure.
Being an archanologist, she is also an expert in ancient magic because, well, that’s what
an archanologist is.

What do you hope readers take away from this book?
I hope, in general, that it will open their eyes to the wonder of the sea, which
takes up the majority of our planet, but we really don’t know that much about it
down deep. There is a great deal of magic in the sea, and I hope that if and when
people become aware of it, they will help take care of it and not throw garbage
and other bad stuff into it. I have a serious dislike for garbage-throwing.
Probably the most useful secret I learned that I hope will be of use to readers is
about thrum. Thrum is the way the creatures and plants that live in the ocean
communicate with each other through vibration and thought. As Ven and his
friends learn, this can be a problem if you think about something you don’t want
anyone to know about when you are standing in a sunshadow, because
everyone gets to see a picture of what’s on your mind. Imagine how embarrassing that could be.

Bad Boy Christmas Box Set by Cheyenne McCray

book cover of 

Bad Boy Christmas

This set contains four short holiday stories that will make your bells jingle.
Intended for ages 18 and older.

Stranger in My Stocking
Alyson Charmaine is stuck in a posh hotel when a blizzard hits New York City. When she spots a delicious specimen of a man, her mind goes into overdrive, thinking of all the things she'd like to do with him that would put her on Santa's naughty list. Too bad he's a stranger. 

Greg Ellington wishes he'd had the chance to meet the sexy blonde in the hotel's lounge, but she disappeared before he gets the chance. But when he goes up to his hotel room, his wish comes true, all giftwrapped just for him.  

Fireman Beneath the Mistletoe
Kate Reynolds is a fashion designer whose sexy designs have been selected for a holiday fashion show. The show is being held at an exclusive ladies' club where erotic things are rumored to go on behind closed doors. 

Nick Hall is fresh off fighting a fire for the FDNY, but finds something waiting for him at his off hours side job at TLC. The sexy Kate Reynolds is hotter than anything he's fought in a long time, hot enough to melt the snow outside, and sweet enough to kiss beneath the mistletoe.

Seal Giftwrapped with a Bow
Janie Taylor has proven herself time after time to be of value to Brick's team but the mountain of a man refuses to let her join in on a private op that takes them to the jungle of South America. 

Navy SEAL Brick Sanders's nephew has been kidnapped, and Brick intends to get the boy home in time for Christmas. It's a personal op and he doesn't want Janie getting hurt. If his team refuses to let him go this op alone, the least he can do is protect Janie. His nephew isn't the only one he wants to get back to New York City before Christmas. 

Visitor Under My Holiday Tree
Dayanara Acosta can't believe she burned up her kitchen - while looking at men's profiles on a dating site, no less. It's a wonder the whole apartment complex didn't burn down. So many treasures had been lost in the kitchen fire that it was heartbreaking. 

When Ramón Salvador's brother told him about Daya, Ramón couldn't believe she would be the one to heal his heartbreak over the woman he'd lost so long ago. 

Ramón agrees to deliver a special basket from the Angels of Mercy to Daya on Christmas Eve, and finds her to be everything his brother had promised and more. Daya can't believe the way this visitor makes her feel - or how her body responds to him as he takes her beneath the Christmas tree. 

Miss McCray is known for writing stories that are SO HOT, that you need water next to you in case your book catches fire. Well, she has delivered again!
While each story is different, they all include a hot, musclebound, intelligent hunk of man and a hot, sexy, intelligent woman who knows what she wants.
I enjoyed that each story was shorter than a full length novel. It gave me the chance to break up my reading into smaller time allotments. But even though each story was short didn't mean it was short on story development. Quite the contrary. I thought that because she had to put so much into a smaller space, she cranked up the character development, the story line, as well as the heat!
Do you like a book with a heat factor so high, you want to grab your husband's/wife's/significant other's/partner's hand and drag them to the bedroom? Well these 4 stories will definitely take care of that!
This set is also a great idea for a stocking stuffer!!

Happy Reading!!