My Book Rating System

My book rating system is based on 5 stars. The book must be rated at least 3 stars for a review.

3 Stars: Good story, good plot, good writing.

4 Stars: I was wowed, but something about the story fell short of perfection.

5 Stars: I was either drooling, on the edge of my seat, or falling in love.

If you would like me to review your book, please contact me at 00ibitz@charter.net.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Book Review: The Ice Goddess, by Hannelore Moore

The Ice Goddess
Hannelore Moore
Initial Thoughts: Epic Read!
My Rating: 4 Stars!
Summary:

In the bitter winter of 1752, Evangeline Grey is determined to return to London, claim her inheritance, and lead a solitary, uneventful existence. York holds too many sad memories for her now, and she's ready to leave it behind. When she finds out that her guardian has designs on her -- and her pending fortune -- Evangeline manages to escape, but her journey south is fraught with uncertainty and danger. Mourning the murder of her brother, still reeling from her aunt's recent death, and close to penniless until she finds her way back to London, she's never been more alone. And then, on a desolate Northern English moor, she meets a benevolent stranger who changes everything. Kendall Beaumont is a man running from a few demons of his own. On his way to his home in remote Almsborough, he stops to help the pretty, young runaway. The future seems fairly bleak for the both of them -- until he decides to make her an offer she can't refuse...

My Thoughts:
First and foremost, this is an epic, historical romance spanning many pages. So if you like to cozy down for a nice, long historical romance, this book is for you!

If there is one word to describe every character in this book, it's 'growth'.

The fate of Evangeline is typical for the time period, where women for the most part are considered property, except for the few lucky ones who meet a man of honor. Evangeline is serious and shy, and like the characters in the book, I found myself taking a while to warm up to her. But that's true in the real world; shy people are considered by the masses aloof, or uncaring, when in reality they're just, well, shy. They find it difficult to talk to people or show their feelings. That's our Evangeline! I did feel for her, and her plight in life, but I loved her spunk and her unwillingness to give up no matter what shit was hitting the proverbial fan.

Kendall is much more likeable as a character (not that I didn't like Evangaline!), but that is the contrast between the two. Kendall, despite his high position in society, is so down to earth that he gets along with all classes. His staff sticks with him even when he's low on money, a testament to his character. And while I do prefer my leading men in romance stories to be a little more in control, there's something about the broken Kendall that I ended enjoying his scenes immensely! He, em, 'grew' on me. :)

So, you're probably wondering how this story could possibly be so long? Well, there's another character, Emmett, whose story runs parallel to Evangeline's. Emmett, quite frankly, is a fop. And while he showed quite a bit of growth, in the end I still found him a tad selfish and immature. I much preferred Kendall. I also feel that this book would have been a great launch to tell Emmett's story in another book.

For me, the plot was solid, and I found no fault in the writing. It has all the elements of a historical romance that those readers are looking for. Highly recommended!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Book Review: The Guardian's Wildchild, by Feather Stone

The Guardian's Wildchild 
Feather Stone


Initial Thoughts: Slow Start
My Rating: 3.5 Stars

Summary:
Sidney Davenport is known as Wildchild to her Guardian mentor, Greystone. She rebels against rules. Wildchild is gifted in the paranormal, but carefully conceals her powers from the world. Even in the crises that threaten her life, she refuses to use her powers of telepathy, telekinesis, space/time travel. If her enemies discovered the truth of who she is, her Guardian people would be destroyed. She calls upon her spirit guides, Seamus and Celeste, to guide her through a mine field of the insane - Madame and Captain Butchart.

Sidney leaves her home on Hawk's Island to help the underground stop two people who are about to cause worldwide madness. Unskilled in esponage, she is arrested and sentanced to death. But, God help Sidney, she can't deny her attraction to the man who has orders to perform her execution - the tall, dark eyed Captain Waterhouse. He's meticulous, disciplined and lives by the strict rules expected of an officer of the American navy.

Captain Waterhouse is about to scrap his higher morals to bust out of his hell. When a female prisoner is delivered to his ship, he has no idea she is capable of turning his disciplined life into a storm of unimaginable experiences. His prisoner's enemies, he discovers, are also the ones who hold his life in the palm of their hands.

Through stunning imagery, an intricate and adventurous plot, and a strong cast of characters, Feather Stone gives readers a fast paced story woven with murder and magic.

My Thoughts:
OK, so this really did start off slow. I was intrigued by the description and thought it was a unique paranormal read, so was excited in picking it up.

There's a lot of intrigue, with military muckety-mucks who have personal agendas, blackmail, and of course the Guardians throw in that supernatural twist.

As far as the characters, I didn't care for Sidney all that much, to be honest. She's supposed to be carefree and wild, but to me her character was serious and philosophical. And when she giggles or whatever (she does a lot of giggling, which screams immature to me, not wild) it seems out of character for her. She is a good girl, always doing things for the higher good as is the Guardian way, so this whole description of being a wild child didn't ring true.

Loved Sam, however. He's a great tortured soul, and I loved watching  his development over the course of the story.

The plot was for the most part well-crafted, with a lot of moving pieces and players, but it did leave some confusion in parts, and a number of loose ends, in my opinion, at the end.

Oh, and the ending is quite good for me, one of those twisty ones where the story doesn't necessarily evolve the way you think it will.



Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Giveaway! Kiss Me Dead

Kiss Me Dead
Dale Ibitz


Summary:
One curse . . .
Christian, a nineteen-year-old reaper-human hybrid enslaved to the Other World to harvest souls, earns his freedom by making a bargain with the Goddess of Death. As part of the bargain, he’s been cursed with the kiss of death.

One kiss . . .

The only way Christian can break his curse is for an angel to kiss him. Willingly. He finds Brooke, a nineteen-year-old descendant of a Naphil whose destiny is to hunt rogue reapers, suffocating in a semi-agoraphobic cocoon since witnessing a reaper steal her brother’s soul.

Two destinies . . .

Christian has found the angel who can break his curse, and the seduction begins. To break her phobia’s hold, Brooke embraces her angelic role and makes it her mission to kill rogue reapers to avenge her brother’s murder. Christian can break his curse by kissing Brooke dead . . . but will she figure out his game and kill him first?



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Book Review: Jenny Pox, by J. L. Bryan

Jenny Pox
J. L. Bryan

Initial Thoughts: Ew and Ick and Good!
My Rating: 5 Stars!
Summary: 
Eighteen-year-old Jenny Morton has a horrific secret: her touch spreads a deadly supernatural plague, the "Jenny pox." She lives by a single rule: Never touch anyone. A lifetime of avoiding any physical contact with others has made her isolated and painfully lonely in her small rural town.

Then she meets the one boy she can touch. Jenny feels herself falling for Seth...but if she's going to be with him, Jenny must learn to use the deadly pox inside her to confront his ruthless and manipulative girlfriend Ashleigh, who secretly wields the most dangerous power of all.

* * *

Not recommended for readers under eighteen.

My Thoughts:
First, not sure why the warning label...I certainly think any kid 14 and older who loves horror can handle this book. 

So, let's get down to business. Characters. You have the good, the bad, and the ugly. Truly well developed characters. Ashleigh is so wickedly evil you just have to love that character. She's a brilliant master-mind and a master manipulator. Of course, she has a little help with her paranormal ability, but damn, the girl knows how to use it.

On the other hand, you have Jenny, who has done everything in her life to dial back her powers because, ya know, they're deadly. And she doesn't just pass on the plague...she is the plague. I mean, super gross! I have to give Seth kudos for over-looking that one kinda major gross thing. Ew and ick! It gave me chills just reading it. And that, my friends, makes the book yummy.

All the manipulating is so painfully well-written. There was a time or 2 I had to set the book aside, just to take a moment, because I could feel Jenny's pain and humiliation. Really good, my pretties.

All of the events in the book simmer gently, slowly boiling to a blow-out explosion in the end that I didn't see coming.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Book Review: Wicked Sense, by Fabio Bueno

Wicked Sense
Fabio Bueno

Initial Thoughts: Wicked good!

My Rating: 5 wicked stars!
Summary:
Witches inhabit our world, organized in covens and hiding behind a shroud of secrecy—the Veil.

Skye’s London coven sends her to Seattle’s Greenwood High to find the Singularity, an unusually gifted witch who may break the Veil and trigger a dangerous new era of witch-hunting. Things get complicated when Skye meets a charming new classmate, Drake. Skye’s job becomes even trickier when she clashes with Jane, an intimidating rival witch.

Drake falls for the mysterious Skye, but odd accidents, potion mix-ups, and the occasional brush with death kind of get in the way of romance. Once he discovers Skye is a witch, he goes to war for her, even though his only weapons are a nice set of abs and a sharp sense of humor.

Fighting off wicked Jane and the other dark forces hell-bent on seizing the Singularity's immense power, Skye and Drake will risk everything to save the covens.

Going on a date has never been harder.

My Thoughts:
First, loved the characters. The story is told in 2 points of view, Drake's and Skye's. Drake's chapters are especially good, and the voice is so strong, it's perfect the book opens in his POV because it immediately draws you in.  Loved, loved Fabio's writing style. I do like Skye as well, but Drake is 'the man'!

What is especially captivating is not only the characters, because even the minor characters are exceptionally drawn, is the interaction between them. And I don't mean just our 2 main squeezes, but their interactions with the other characters. I don't believe I have a single complaint! Woot!

I liked the plot, I likde the world-building, I liked the ebb and flow of the story. There are some red herrings about who the Singularity is. While you can kinda guess, you can't know for sure because there are a few options, so you have to read to the end to confirm your suspicions.

I'm not quite sure I dig the ending. The scheme they come up with in the end seems tetchy at best, and as I was reading it, I was thinking "This is never gonna fly". But maybe that's the point. It's not going to fly, and their innocent, naive plans in hiding you-know-who is perhaps the bridge to the next book. Which I will definitely read!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

New Release: Relinquish, by Amy Thompson

 New Release! Relinquish, by Amy Thompson

Purchase on Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/ofkj4fh





Regan has a life in Georgia. She is going to school, has managed to make some friends, and has even found a new love interest in Colter. So what happens when she can’t hide what she is anymore? When do all the lies become too much to handle? And how much longer can she hold onto her sanity—while Agro pushes her closer and closer to the edge of no return—her ascension to Elite?




Colter is beautifully oblivious. Wanting so much to believe that Regan is safe, and Agro has been halted, he ignores Finn’s constant skepticism at the risk of their friendship. Overlooking what is so clearly right in front of him, Colter passes off Regan’s outbursts of emotion on her recent trauma. Colter can feel Regan—his one exception to his retribution—slipping out of his arms, but fighting her to stay with him may not be an option.




Colter and Finn are now at odds, and there is a newly formed alliance between Kaiden and Exile Max. Will this group of Collectors be enough to fight off the new enemies and old threats that emerge in the battle for souls when Regan is broken, and their group is on the brink of self-destruction?

The lost will be found, the Collectors will be exiled, and the Elites will reign.



*Due to mature content and adult themes, Relinquish is recommended for 18+.

Purchase Links for Book #1 - Retribution

Start the series for just 99 Cents!

Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/m9cml6m

Barnes & Noble: http://tinyurl.com/ouve6qf

Smashwords: http://tinyurl.com/kfn58lm

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Book Review: Moon Child, by Tracy E. Banghart

Moon Child
Tracy E. Banghart


Initial Thoughts: Awesome!

My Rating: Easily 5 stars!
Summary:
Diana Calvert is so over high school. Who cares if Olivia hates her? And David needs to forget about having a crush on her STAT. Even Emma’s crazy fashion choices can’t keep Diana entertained. All she can hope for is a dance scholarship to a college as far away as possible from too-small, too-boring, too-nothing-ever-happens New Freedom, PA.

Then Diana meets Nicholas Woodhaven. He’s pale, angry…yet weirdly charming. The more time they spend together, the more she wonders who – or what – he really is. Because he isn’t anything like the other guys she knows. Not with the whole only-going-out-at-night thing. And living with his creepy aunt. And not going to school.

Just when Diana thinks she’s got Nicholas all figured out, people in her small, nothing-ever-happens town start dying. She has to wonder – can she trust him? And even more alarming – could she be next?

A murder mystery with a paranormal twist, Moon Child is best read under the covers with a flashlight...if you dare!

My thoughts:
Wow, I was blown away by this book. The characters real and very-well drawn, I could picture each and every one of them going through their lives. Emotions were spot on.

Diana is so easy to relate to. Small town girl who wants to get out of dodge before the I's are dotted on the words "eighteenth birthday". Nicholas is charming in his bad-boy mysterious ways, very swoon-worthy for the younger crowd.

Pacing and plotting are terrific. I read this book wondering the whole time who was behind the murders, what was up with Nicholas and crazy-as-a-coot grandmother, wanted to kick one or two people to the curb (especially nosy, over-bearing mamas. Grrr!), and just wanted to keep on reading!

If you think you know the answers to these questions, think again. You won't know until you read it.