Lanie's Book Thoughts

I'm not an official blogger, but I enjoy helping others find great books!  =)

Arc Review: Spelled by Betsy Schow

Spelled - Betsy Schow

Dorthea is a teenage princess who happens to be the great-great-oh so great descendant of Dorthy. Ya know, Dorthy from the original Wizard of Oz that we know, however it's a bit different in this story. This world revolves around the belief that the world is a storybook and the "Creators" are the authors of their fate. Everything has rules and procedures, princesses get their happy endings. Nothing bad is suppose to happen to said Princesses because that's not how the story works.

Things happen, wishes are made and POOF! All the rules go right out the window. What once was beautiful and good becomes warped. Dorthea's world is slowly corroding away right before her eyes and she's to blame. It's up to her, her furball companion and crazy haired friend to save the day but when you're being chased by crazy evil women and giants, things get difficult.

Obviously, I really got into this book since I gave it five stars. For me, this one is a total rereader because it's hilarious, adorable and uber creative. I love the spin on this story and the bits and pieces pulled from the Oz stories. I felt like there were a good bit of different influences from those original stories I could grab onto here without feeling like I'm reading a duplication of the original. Schow takes aspects and then turns them topsy turvy adding her own unique creations and language.

I honestly really liked all of the characters because they all had a sense of depth. I couldnt really pinpoint any particular character and say "oh, what a cookie cutter character". Dorthea at first acted like your spoiled teenager but eventually developed into someone that understood the sun didnt rise for her. She was funny and sympathetic, sometimes a bit of a tart but mostly she picked up on things quickly. I realllllly like Kato as well because he went from ice king to sweetheart in my opinion. He really made a good example out of "dont judge a book by it's cover".

I'd definitely say this is a great read for anyone wanting something fairy-talish and whimsical. I'm not really an Oz fan but this book really worked for me, if you're a hardcore Oz fan you'll either love this or not. I'm not sure there will be an inbetween for you because Dorthea has more oomph than Dorthy ever did. I'd say this would be good for probably 13+ and up, there's not really any sexual stuff going on or anything questionable.

ARC Review: Hidden Huntress

Hidden Huntress: Malediction Trilogy Book Two - Danielle L. Jensen

First, let me just say that this book is extremely different from the first, "Stolen Songbird". The pace of this book is much,much slower which can become kinda tiresome as you read. Where the first book was focused more on the action and escape from Trollus, this one focuses on the hunt of Anushka. Now here's the thing, while the book is much slower, we get so much character development and shifting of ideas it easily makes up for that lull in action.

The book is broken into two points of view, as the first one was as well, however this time Tristan takes center stage. Tristans portion of the book primarily focuses on his failures in Trollus, and of course he fixates on all the deaths he's caused. Ceciles POV focuses on the hunt of Anushka and the aftermath of her choices.

Cecile and Tristans relationship kinda takes a weird left turn in this book. Of course, their relationship in the other book was a bit stretched but this book really focused on that. Bottom line is they both love each other and are bound, BUT one of them may be willing to turn their back and walk away forever. I'll just tell ya though, the ending for these two in this book is satisfying. Kinda did a air punch over the excitement. ;)

I know a few other people mentioned the predictably of this book, and I believe it was written like that for a reason. This book seems to have been written to bridge the gap between the first book and the third, and believe me, you wanna hang around for the third. Some of what comes to pass in this book you could have already figured out in the first book which is okay because the point of this one was to show the emotional and characteristic change in all of the characters. You needed to see that snap back to reality and shift in perspectives to appreciate this storyline.

The other biggie in this book is the idea of friendship and love. It really shows the strength of friendship and how those people become our family. Through bad and good, real friends stick by you if you're willing to admit your mistakes and apologize, which this book really emphasizes. I thought that was a pretty fantastic message to throw in there specially since this is a YA book.

So to sum it up, I really like this book but there were things that I took issue with. Do I think it's as good as the first one? Not entirely, but that's because this book deals with the emotional side rather than romance an action based plot from the first. Like I said before, it's a bridge between the first book and the upcoming third. Was it predictable? Yup, but it's predictable for a reason. As a reader you can not appreciate who Anushka is and how that emotionally screws everyone up until you see the characters reactions. Do I love trolls? Duh. Will I read the next one? Without hesitation.


Reblogged from Kitty's Book Spot!:

***From S.M. Butler's Newletter - This is not my copyright - all rights are to the author/publisher.







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Maddie Benson has spent her entire life in Sugar Falls and has never ventured—nor wanted to venture—beyond her small town’s safe borders. But when her delivery job takes her to the doorstep of one very reclusive, former Navy SEAL, Sebastian McIntyre, her small town perceptions are challenged with every conversation they have. It’s not long before she’s losing herself—and her heart—to the mysterious man behind the door.


Bastian’s scars are deeper than the surface. They’re embedded into his soul, and he’s content to keep them buried. But the second Maddie ends up on his doorstep with her sparkling smile and her sunshine hair, his quiet new life shatters and she just might be able to excise the demons he’s tried hard to keep tucked away—if he lets her in.


When Bastian’s old life comes haunting them, he knows he should let her go. But the light she shines on his soul keeps the darkness within him at bay. Letting her go may take more strength than he has, and keeping her close could get her killed.

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Killing Honor is FREE!


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That's right, y'all! I'm giving away sexy, gorgeous Brody for the very first time EVER!!!

You can download Killing Honor for absolutely no cost to you! Exciting, right?

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ARC Review: Hold Me Like A Breath

Hold Me Like a Breath: Once Upon a Crime Family - Tiffany Schmidt

Penelope is a young naive girl that has severe health problems that act as chains keeping her locked up tight and away from everyone. No one is allowed to touch Penelope or speak with her about a future because she's so fragile. Being the daughter of a mafia leader should have a ton of perks but the only one she ever experiences is ordering things online.  


As the main character of this story, Penelope is very likable and easy to relate to, at least for me. I loved the fact she was just this sickly girl who could have fit into any family. She wasn't a rich tart or manipulating, she was just a normal teenager. Coming into this story I was kinda expecting Penelope to act like those "Mob Wives" chicks on television with all the attitude and flash, so this was an unexpected surprised.  Of course, I thought the health issues were horrible, however it adds a realistic note to this story.


The story itself is very well written and yet again I finished this book in less than two days. Going through the ringer with Penelope was hard because she not only dealt with serious health concerns, but also boy trouble,family issues and the desire to become something. All of which added a really great layer to this story which is essentially a bit of a love story with action.


The story goes through the motions of Penelope's life and how quickly everything can change because of one simple decision. There was some great character growth and exploration into the "what ifs" of the mafia world, and getting that rug pulled out from under you. 


The love interests in this book are all quite acceptable ;) You'll just have to read it to find out more about the men in Penelope's world and what happens with that.


Altogether this is a great story for both teens and adults. I see no reason why a fifteen or fifty year old wouldn't enjoy this. I'm already waiting for the next addition to this series! 

Review: Netherworld

Netherworld - K.N. Lee

Koa is a young woman that's a hybrid, meaning she can survive off of a mixture of blood and food. Koa struggles to be around people and keep her inner vampire in check, which makes kicking demon arse the perfect job for her. Did I mention she wields a sword? Yes, it's very cool. The fight scenes are pretty awesome. Besides her job, she enjoys spending time with her cursed mother (bummer right?), watching movies, and crushing on her angelic boss. Up until now Koa has been able to stay off the radar of many baddies but that's all changing now that she's the target of several demons attentions.

Halston is Koas boss, best friend, and protector. It's up to him to keep not only Koa safe and inline but also to protect all of his other agents and the innocent people of Earth. Halston is pretty angelic, in my opinion, even the way he looks pretty much pegs him as one, so it's not surprising Koa has a thing for the blue eyed blond.

I really enjoyed this story because I was constantly trying to figure out what was going to happen next, but was always surprised when things took a left turn. The book wasn't as predictable as I've come to expect from books geared towards teens, which was nice. It's just a cool story with evil vampires, good vampires, demons, rampaging angels with a cutesy light love story on the side.

I think this is great for older teens and adults who dig this sorta stuff. Koa is a likable heroine that you can easily cheer on and snicker at as the story progresses. There is swearing and such with battle scenes, but it's not bad at all or overdone. Typical teen stuff.

Review: Accepting the Bear

Accepting the Bear (Dásreach Council Novels Book 2) - Josette Reuel

Accepting the Bear is a fun second installment in this series about special individuals who protect the world through their spirit animals. This story follows Rogue and Malkum on their journey for the truth of why so many women have been killed and who's doing it. Along the way emotions start to bubble over as Rogue starts to realize she has it bad for her grumpy bear guardian. However, Malkum keeps a solid wall between them because he's not willing to let history repeat itself.

Rogue is a strong heroine that's desperate to live life to it's fullest. She's more than ready to settle down and have a family since she's nearly done with her college courses. Rogue doesn't take anything for granted because of past health issues. Even with her past health and man troubles, Rogue still has a positive outlook on life. She's funny and bubbly but level headed when it counts.

Malkum is sorta a snot when it comes down to it. He's too busy looking backwards to see what's coming towards him. He has a fixation on not accepting his bear or Rogue as anything permanent. Malkum is the type to intimidate you and probably ignore you completely. That doesn't delude his sexiness though, which is pretty much set on high.

I enjoyed the story as a whole, I thought Rogue was a great leading lady that was able to play tricks on others but protect them when she needed to. The mystery was intriguing and kept me guessing as the story progressed which was nice. There was quite a bit of action to boot, so it wasn't all kisses and Qs. Overall, I'd recommend this story to other PNR lovers who like more focus on plot.

You do need to read the first book in this series to understand this book, do not go out of order.

Review: The Vampires House of Pleasure Part 2

The Vampire's House of Pleasure: Part Two - Rose Wynters

When I first started with this series I figured it'd be a fun romp between the sheets type of storyline that continued on in each book. Let me tell you know, this is not the case, don't let the title fool you. This is a very well written story that covers a lot of unsavory things that happened in New Orleans back in the 1700s. 


At this point in the story Violet has finally discovered the master of the house is a vampire, which is terrifying to her. She's already dealing with being thrown back in time so running into a vampire getting some neck is pretty much the breaking point for her. This is where the story takes a turn, Violet runs through the streets in the middle of the night where a lot of horrible things happen. Violet tries to help someone out which turns out to be a huge mistake. I'm prewarning squeamish readers that very bad things are going to take place, your going to be disturbed and shocked. It'll make you cheer on Violet all the more. 


I totally applaud Wynters though, because she's made this historical paranormal romance true to the times it's supposed to take place in. She incorporates all these elements into a story that has substance and makes you want more. 


18+ This is geared for adults and covers many sensitive issues regarding race,rape and other. 

Review: Alpha's Heir

Alpha's Heir: A BBW Paranormal Romance (Bear Shifter Billionaire) - AJ Tipton

Alpha's Heir was a fun,action packed sexy short story which I really liked. Casey and Orson were both likable characters in their own unique way. 


Casey is a sweetheart that struggles with her weight but doesn't let that hold her back from going after a sexy guy like Orson. Orson is a sexy geeky billionaire just trying to do right by his family. 


The werebears in this story wanna shuck tradition and live their own lives. They're tired of being pushed around and expected to live by medieval rules because of those rules their werebear popular is nearly decimated. Unfortunately, the current Alpha isn't willing to change and values fear tactics over brains. 


This  is very quick paced because it is a short story but you still get that romance and hot bits you normally would, just compacted. I think other werebear fans would love this because it is a bit of a twist from other stories. I'll be reading the next installment soon! 

Arc Review: The Virgin Romance Novelist

The Virgin Romance Novelist - Meghan Quinn

The Virgin Romance Novelist was extremely funny and definitely a great new adult story. The basic story revolves around a twenty-three year old woman who has this desire to write a romance story but the only problem is she has no experience with men. She's also never read a contemporary romance or any romance for that matter written after the 80s. To her Fabio is still all the rage, she hasn't met any of todays romance heroes. Between her lack of experience and lack of modern romance understanding she's having a hard time trying to write this story.


This story follows Rosie on her adventure of trying to get laid while getting her chops busted by her best friends. It hilariously depicts learning how to use certain "items" for adults, trying to navigate the online dating world and meeting people in person. All of these things that most women have trouble doing but never admit to. 


I read this book cover to cover in the matter of three hours. I read it while I made dinner, I read it during dinner much to my families disdain and then read as I cleaned up. I wouldn't put it down because its that kinda story you get wrapped up in, it makes you smile, it makes you laugh. It's very feel good with a sweet an naive heroine that actually does have a backbone. 


I actually enjoyed every character in this book which was surprising because each person was so different. Rosie's best friends and roommates are Delaney and Henrey. Delaney is a total ball buster but she's got a good heart and watches out for Rosie. She is actually the motivating factor for Rosie to get out and experience the big "D" for herself. While Delaney is the teaser, Henry is Rosies support system. He listens, he laughs and acts as Rosies protector. He's also a total man-whore so he's the go to guy for learning the "How-to's" of sex.


In my opinion, every adult women should read this story especially those in their twenties because it talks about a lot of stuff you probably don't even know about. It digs into some sex issues both about yourself and other people that most people fail to mention to you. It's funny, it's a tad bit informative, eye-opening and simply hysterical. 


I'd recommend, most definitely. This is a "new adult" story so basically 18+ or college age readers. It's light, it's sweet, I'd love another book like this from the author. 


received this book in exchange for an honest review from the publisher. 

Review: Night's Blaze Part 1 by Donna Grant

Night's Blaze: Part 1: Part 1 (Dark Kings) - Donna Grant

I wouldn't say part one of this story is explosive because it focuses more on delving into the background of each character. I like the fact the author took the time to explain each characters connection to each other and what their prior history was. This really lays the foundation for the rest of the story, basically the next few parts.

I actually haven't read any of the prior books in this series, from the synopsis I assumed this was a standalone, specially since it was broken into four parts. I was really wrong. It's obvious that this story interconnects to the prior books and some of what's talked about I should already know. However, I was still able to follow what was going on due to the author explaining a lot of the back-story. So, if your gonna read this I would strongly advise making sure to read the previous books first. Don't be like me,lol.

I received this book from the publishers in exchange for an honest review.

Review: Chasing the Demon

Chasing The Demon (Gateway Book 2) - Louise G White

I liked this book but not as much as the first one. I really missed getting the book told from Carolyns point of view. While this book had some of her perspective I felt like too many other characters were talking and taking up time. I didn't like all of the extra characters. It was almost too much for me. At one point I just had to skip a few pages. I do understand though why there are added POVs, the author is trying to expand the story to tell both the good and bad guys sides. 


What I did like thought was getting Notes side of the story more and seeing his internal struggle. Does he really love Carolyn or should he just move on? Could he ever feel that bond with another woman or is Carolyn the only one for him. It was interesting to see the changes in him, he went from sideline watcher to guy willing to do whatever to save the women he loves. 


I also enjoyed seeing Carolyn overcome the huge obstacle that was blocking her way. She fights to keep her freedom and her mind. Instead of getting the violent irrational girl from before she's become more cunning an almost tactical in her decisions. 


Overall, I liked the story but I didn't love it like the first book. I just didn't feel that same need to know what was gonna happen as I did before. I am going to stick with this series though, I'm curious as to what will happen next. 

My Rating:3.5 stars

The Lament of Sky

The Lament of Sky - BB Wynter

Our main character Lilyth is suffering from amnesia, she simply can't remember who she was. She knows her name but can't recall anything more which prompts her on this journey. I'm sure Lilyth never imagined she would be on a journey that would hold such importance to not only her but the rest of the world as well. It's up to her to stop the evil guys from changing everything.


The Lament of Sky was a fascinating dark fantasy read. I enjoyed the fact this story really took me on a journey through not only the lives of our characters but through this world as well.


There was definitely a lot of time and thought spent on the wording an getting it right. I really felt like I was reading a traditional fantasy story, kinda like an old time one where you know the author toiled over it for awhile. None of the characters broke from their vernacular and suddenly started talking like a modern day person would,sometimes this does happen, which impressed me.


Overall, I enjoyed this book. The mix of characters together made for some interesting scenes and they meshed well. The story flowed naturally and I didn't get caught up in any silly unneeded scenes or get stuck with any language issues. It's a unique story that a fantasy lover would just eat up!


I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

Cold Moon Rising Review

Cold Moon Rising - Sarah Mäkelä

Kelly and Jacob are both college students who've become good friends and study buddies. It's no surprise that spending so much time together has brought up some lusty feelings, but while one is ready to embrace those feelings the other isn't. Is it any surprise that a rejection will push someone away? The real question is, will these two be able to stick together, or will evil scientists rip them apart before they can mend the fence. 


Cold Moon Rising is definitely a quick read that'll pull you in right away. I really got into Kelly and Jacobs story, I was really sad to see it end so quickly, and on a cliffhanger! I really,really,really need to know what happens to these two now. My curiosity and imagination are running wild with what will come next. 


I'd recommend to shifter lovers who just want something fun and quick. There isn't much thinking with this story so it's a nice ride of emotions. 

18+ there are sex scenes. 

I received this ecopy in exchange for an honest review from the author.

Review: The Beholder by Ivan Amberlake

The Beholder - Ivan Amberlake

The prologue really hooked me in the beginning of the story. I loved getting that big rush of action and supernatural elements right off the bat. You already get the sense that this book is going to be about good versus evil because of the characterization of those surrounded by the darkness and those surrounded by the light. I thought it happened to be a great hook and piqued my curiosity.  However, I was a bit disappointed that action didn't continue longer into the beginning of the story, it turned into a regular business day for our main character which is understandable but not very fun.


What really caught my attention about this book was that the Jasons' friends played a major role from beginning to end. I liked the fact that Jason had this support system from the very beginning and he didn't just pick people up as he went along. Most urban fantasies the characters just find tag along buddies and suddenly trust them, it lacks history.


As for the main character, I thought he was a pretty normal guy on the surface. Nothing about him seemed to extraordinary. His vivid dreams, out of body experiences and powers are what set him apart. Jason seems to be torn about his experiences though, on one hand he's terrified of everything that's happening to him but on the other he's determined to do whats right. I give the author points for making an MC that's more relate-able and believable to readers.


Jasons love interest in the book happens to be Emily who kinda reminds me of one of those Sailor Moon characters. She glows bright white and fights all the baddies off. I felt she was a bit wishy-washy at times which took away from her character. At one point she's tough but then she's not, an then she's back to being tough. I figured the author did this because he wanted to show Emily could rely on Jason to protect her since he was suppose to be their savoir.


The evil guys were all creepy and odd, pretty much psychos. None of them seemed to have anything relating to a conscious or any sort of humanity. They did as they pleased and really believed they were unstoppable. The all out war between light and dark was pretty intense and different from what I had expected.


The action,drama and relationship developments really added to this book. I felt this story was well written and executed,  more so than most other urban fantasies. The concept was pretty original and stood out against other books with supernatural elements. I'd recommend to others interested in this genre.

Peanut Goes To School: A Short Story of the Elder Races - Thea Harrison

Out of all the Elder Races novellas, I think this one is my favorite because it's in Peanuts point of view. It's just adorable and such a change of direction in this series. Peanut's growing up, and with growing up comes all the awkward school moments, first crushes and bullies. While he's still only a child his mind works partially like an adults does when it comes to reasoning things out but still some things not even this kiddo gets. 

I'd like to see more lil novellas in Peanuts POV because seeing Wyr as children makes you think more about the characters in her main series. It's also just a fun break from the seriousness an romance the other books carry. 

The Calling - Louise G.  White

Carolyn is this crazy, strong willed feral tendency leaning teenager with a big heart and a strong moral compass. I don't think it's possible to ask for a better leading lady for a young adult borderline new adult genre book. 

Normally, I tend to get annoyed with the heroines in teenager based stories but that never happened. I couldn't help but cheer for Carolyn as she faced each obstacle that was thrown at her. Some parts I was totally outraged and was like "do you not know who this girl is!?!?", and others I couldn't help but do a "awe moment".  Besides what I've already mentioned, I think I liked Carolyn so much because she realized she couldn't act like a spoiled brat and that raging at people wouldn't get her anywhere. Just like when she'd start to act bitchy she'd stop herself, or she'd at least acknowledge it and apologize for it. I thought this was a nice change. 

Carolyn's love interest in this book happens to be Note, whom I couldn't get enough of. I really wanted more from his perspective. He just totally intrigued me from the very beginning. He's a bit of the strong silent type with a playful charm. Note's also a bit different from your everyday guy in terms of what he his. 

Overall, I loved the different elements to this story. I thought the romance aspect was great, it didn't go to far, but it made sense with the plot. All of the characters were different, some were funny and left you wanting more, while others were a tad evil. The action and demons/otherworlders were very cool and definitely kept me reading.  

The only issue I had with this story was the very beginning because the first couple chapters completely confused me. However, it quickly became apparent what was going on when Carolyn realized what was happening to her. So, really it wasn't too big of a deal, because the rest of the story flowed so well. 

I'd definitely recommend this. I would say it's more for teens 16+ and adults. 
I received this book in exchange for an honest review from the author.