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

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Book Review: The Prophecy of Arcadia, by M.H. Soars

The Prophecy of Arcadia
M.H. Soars

Initial Thoughts: Great ensemble characters. Loved 'em all.

My Rating: 4.5 Stars!
Being a teenager is tough, especially when you have to pretend to be something you’re not, and you’re in love with someone you shouldn’t. 115 years ago, a small planet called Arcadia was invaded by a vicious alien race and nearly destroyed. Cut off from their resources, the Arcadians turned to Earth for help. A group of Arcadian explorers discovered a Prophecy that claimed their salvation lay in the hands of two children from Earth. To ensure their safety, the Arcadian Council sent their most gifted youngsters to Earth to act as protectors. Samantha is one of them.

To succeed in her mission she must learn to control her Arcadian powers and keep her true identity from her best friend, and the girl she swore to protect, Alexia. But Samantha will soon realize that nothing is as it seems. Someone is trying to prevent the Prophecy from taking place and the prophecy boy hasn't been found yet. There is also a new drug circulating at school that is turning students into freakishly strong menaces.

To make matters worse, distractions keep getting in her way. Such as her love/hate relationship with her “cousin” Matthew. Or her confused feelings toward popular and mysterious Julian. She wants nothing more than to be free to live her life. But the survival of Arcadia depends on her and her friends. Free will is not an option.

My Thoughts:
This is definitely a YA read with all the angst and drama attached to it. What is simply great about this, though, is that the author so effectively captured the emotions rioting through the characters. It has a very real feel to it, even though there are aliens jazzing up the drama-works. Basically, these guys are going through alien puberty, trying to manage their developing powers while dealing with raging hormones. Fun stuff. heh heh

Told in 3 POVs,which I adored, you get an in-depth view to what is driving the characters. It's funny, because the summary focuses mainly on Samantha, and I would have said that Alexia is the main character in this story. 

The POVs are from Alexia, Samantha, and Matt. But there are other "cousins" in this ensemble cast that simply can't be ignored. I'm almost hoping to see some other POVs in future books, cuz I would most definitely want to get into the heads of some of them.

Some of the plot twists were evident, but I don't think red herrings were the author's intent. Some of the characters you really didn't know whether they turn out friend or foe. The author draws mysterious characters with such finesse, you kinda want to get in the story and break the code yourself. If you're drawn to those bad-boy types. Which I am. 

So, what brings the rating down a 1/2 star, is some plot points that didn't make sense. Maybe it was addressed in the story and I missed it, but for one, if these 'cousins' are supposed to be protecting Alexia,why did they send Alexia to live so far away from all of the cousins? Since she only lived with her cousins during the summer, who was protecting her when they were separated during the school year? Why did Mel take so long in Arcadia for training when others only went for a few days, and why was she so angry when she returned?

Maybe these are minor complaints, but I think are worth mentioning. Really, those are not enough to ever stop reading the series, or to stop me from recommending this book (which I have)!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Friday Funnies!

Yay! It's Friday! So sit back and relax with a grin.

These are from a book called “Disorder in the Courts” and are things people actually said in court, word for word, taken down and published by court reporters that had the torment of staying calm while the exchanges were taking place.

ATTORNEY: What was the first thing your husband said to you that morning? 
WITNESS: He said, 'Where am I, Cathy?' 
ATTORNEY: And why did that upset you? 
WITNESS: My name is Susan! 

 ATTORNEY: What gear were you in at the moment of the impact? 
WITNESS: Gucci sweats and Reeboks. 

ATTORNEY: Are you sexually active? 
WITNESS: No, I just lie there. 

ATTORNEY: What is your date of birth?
WITNESS: July 18th. 
ATTORNEY: What year? 
WITNESS: Every year. 

ATTORNEY: How old is your son, the one living with you? 
WITNESS: Thirty-eight or thirty-five, I can't remember which. 
ATTORNEY: How long has he lived with you? 
WITNESS: Forty-five years. 

ATTORNEY: This myasthenia gravis, does it affect your memory at all? 
TTORNEY: And in what ways does it affect your memory? 
WITNESS: I forget.. 
ATTORNEY: You forget? Can you give us an example of something you forgot? ___________________________________________ 

ATTORNEY: Now doctor, isn't it true that when a person dies in his sleep, he doesn't know about it until the next morning? 
WITNESS: Did you actually pass the bar exam? 

ATTORNEY: The youngest son, the 20-year-old, how old is he? 
WITNESS: He's 20, much like your IQ.

ATTORNEY: Were you present when your picture was taken? 
WITNESS: Are you shitting me?

ATTORNEY: So the date of conception (of the baby) was August 8th? 
ATTORNEY: And what were you doing at that time? 
WITNESS: Getting laid 

ATTORNEY: She had three children , right? 
ATTORNEY: How many were boys? 
ATTORNEY: Were there any girls? 
WITNESS: Your Honor, I think I need a different attorney. Can I get a new attorney? ____________________________________________ 

ATTORNEY: How was your first marriage terminated? 
WITNESS: By death.. 
ATTORNEY: And by whose death was it terminated? 
WITNESS: Take a guess. 

ATTORNEY: Can you describe the individual? 
WITNESS: He was about medium height and had a beard 
ATTORNEY: Was this a male or a female? 
WITNESS: Unless the Circus was in town I'm going with male. _____________________________________ 

ATTORNEY: Is your appearance here this morning pursuant to a deposition notice which I sent to your attorney? 
WITNESS: No, this is how I dress when I go to work. ______________________________________ 

ATTORNEY: Doctor , how many of your autopsies have you performed on dead people?
 WITNESS: All of them. The live ones put up too much of a fight. _________________________________________ 

ATTORNEY: ALL your responses MUST be oral, OK? What school did you go to? 
WITNESS: Oral...

ATTORNEY: Do you recall the time that you examined the body? 
WITNESS: The autopsy started around 8:30 PM 
ATTORNEY: And Mr. Denton was dead at the time? 
WITNESS: If not, he was by the time I finished.

ATTORNEY: Are you qualified to give a urine sample? 
WITNESS: Are you qualified to ask that question? 

ATTORNEY: Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse? 
ATTORNEY: Did you check for blood pressure? 
ATTORNEY: Did you check for breathing? 
ATTORNEY: So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy? WITNESS: No. 
ATTORNEY: How can you be so sure, Doctor? 
WITNESS: Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar. 
ATTORNEY: I see, but could the patient have still been alive, nevertheless? 
WITNESS: Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and practicing law.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Book Review: Hyde, by Lauren Stewart

Lauren Stewart

Initial Thoughts: Intriguing!

My Rating: 5 Stars
This novel is intended for adults only. It includes lots of cursing, descriptive sex, biting sarcasm, and dark themes.

Honesty is impossible when you don't know the truth to begin with.

Mitchell Turner is everything women want most in a man--he's charismatic, successful, and undeniably gorgeous. But he's not a man--he's a monster. By venting his rage 24/7, Mitch keeps people out of the danger zone that surrounds him. But, after the most incredible night of his life, he realizes that might not be possible. Except the woman he wakes up with claims she doesn't remember any of it. And that kind of thing can make a guy insecure.

Eden Colfax is kind, loyal, honest to a fault, and cavity-inducing sweet. To rid herself of the monsters that haunted her broken childhood, Eden doesn't lie, doesn't curse, and definitely never wakes up naked in strangers' beds...until the day she does. Then the flashbacks start--places she's never been, people she's never met, blood she's never spilled. And the only person with any answers is a man she never wants to see again.

What they don't know is that someone is manipulating them, determined to find out exactly what they're capable of. And when the truth leaves them nothing to hold onto, they will be forced into a partnership neither expected. Or wanted.

But in life, who you trust is as important as who you are. And when you can't even trust yourself, sometimes the only person you can rely on is the last person on earth you should be falling for.

My Thoughts:
OK, first I really dug this concept of Jekyll and Hyde in the modern world. From the very first chapter, I loved the writing style, and I loved the characters. It was impossibly sexy and funny at the same time, and I was hooked.

There's mystery and suspense woven in with this incredibly sexy story. You can't help but root for Mitchell, he's so alarmingly bad but in a good way, that you pretty much want to take him to bed. :)

While Eden is, as the author says, cavity-inducing sweet, I don't want to kill her (which I normally would, because really, no one's *that* good, and if they are, well, they're boring). I think it's because of this darker side that comes out that has me rooting for her.

Damn, but you root for them both! You want to strangle a few other characters in the novel, and I was pretty glad to see one particular bitch bite it in the end.

The ending has you craving more. Read on!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Book Review: Rua, by Miranda Kavi

Miranda Kavi

Initial Thoughts: Moved too fast
My Rating: 3 Stars
A girl with an unknown destiny.

A boy from a hidden world.

When Celeste starts at a new school in a small, Kansas town, she hears whispering voices, has vivid nightmares, and swarms of blackbirds follow her every move. She is oddly drawn to aloof Rylan, the other new student who has his own secrets. The exact moment she turns seventeen, she wakes to a bedroom full of strange creatures, purple light emanating from her hands, and Rylan breaking in through her bedroom window. He knows what she is . . . Intriguing and deeply romantic, RUA is page-turning YA novel with a supernatural twist.

My Thoughts:
Love the cover. Ain't it beautiful?

So, I was all down for a fae read, cuz I like me some fae. This one was okay for me. The plot seemed to move at a frenzied pace, not giving me time to savor the essence of the story. I didn't get enough to time to feel it.

The book is filled with stereotypes, so the character development is probably about the same as you've read in a hundred other stories. There's really nothing new here, complete with bad boy slipping in through heroine's bedroom window every night and staying till morning while she sleeps. Does *that* sound familiar? Yup, been there, read that.

With that being said, I did like Rylan. He was by far the best character in the book.

I was at times confused with what was going on. That might have to do with the pacing, which as I mentioned went at lightning speed. I would have liked to have spent more time with the world-building.

Book Review: Desire Untamed, by Pamela Palmer

Desire Untamed
Pamela Palmer
Initial Thoughts: Hot and steamy!
My Rating: 4 Stars
They are called Feral Warriors—an elite band of immortals who can change shape at will. Sworn to rid the world of evil, consumed by sorcery and seduction, their wild natures are primed for release . . .

Kara MacAllister's quiet small-town life is transformed forever the night a powerful stranger rips her from her home, claiming she is the chosen one—the key to his survival.

Spiriting her away into the rain-soaked night, Lyon reveals a truth Kara can barely credit. She's immortal, and the only one who can save his race. And deep within her, he arouses a fierce, primal hunger beyond anything she's ever imagined.

But only when their lives are threatened by an ancient evil will Kara and Lyon realize they have found a love they would risk their immortal souls to claim . . . and a powerful desire that could never, ever be tamed.

And he begins to wonder if the woman who's stolen his heart is destined to be his salvation...or his doom.

My Thoughts:
Okay, usually not a fan of shifters, but I enjoyed this read very much. I think because the story had more to do with plot and character development than focusing on the actual shifting. The steam factor is pretty high; sure to make your hair frizz.

I liked Kara, and I loved Lyon. There are some minor characters I loved as well. I felt their journeys were real and believable. Lyon puts the good of the clan above his own desires ... well, *most* of the time. He slipped a time or two with Kara (wink wink). The man just couldn't help himself!

Parts of it were a little too predictable. Knew who the bad peeps were, figured out *how* the bad peeps were manipulating everyone. I would have preferred a few more red herrings to keep me guessing at what would happen. Some of the sacrifices in the end did take me a little by surprise, so that's good.

Were there parts of the story that were a little weird? Yeah. Parts of the story that were a little awkward? Yeah. Still enjoyable, especially if you want a little steam in your day (or night).

Monday, September 1, 2014

Book Review: Yakimali's Gift, by Linda Covella

Yakimali's Gift
Linda Covella

Initial Thoughts: Entrancing historical romance!
My Rating: 5 Stars!
It’s 1775 in Mexico, New Spain, and 15-year-old Fernanda Marquina, half Pima Indian and half Spanish, can’t seem to live up to her mother’s expectations or fit into the limited female roles of her culture. While she tends her garden, matches wits with buyers and sellers at the weekly market, and avoids Mama’s lectures and the demands of Nicolas, the handsome soldier pursuing her, Fernanda grabs any opportunity to ride the horses she loves, racing across the desert, dreaming of adventure in faraway lands.

But when a tragic accident presents her with the adventure she longed for, it’s at a greater cost than she could have ever imagined. With her family, Fernanda joins Juan Bautista de Anza’s historic colonization expedition to California.

On the arduous four-month journey, Fernanda makes friends with Feliciana, the young widow Fernanda can entrust with her deepest thoughts; Gloria, who becomes the sister Fernanda always wished for; and Gloria’s handsome brother Miguel, gentle one moment, angry the next and, like Fernanda, a mestizo–half Indian and half Spanish. As Fernanda penetrates Miguel’s layers of hidden feelings, she’s torn between him and Nicolas, who has joined the journey in the ranks of Anza’s soldiers and whose plans include marrying Fernanda when they reach California.

But propelling Fernanda along the journey is her search for Mama’s Pima Indian past, a past Mama refused to talk about, a past with secrets that Fernanda is determined to learn. The truths she discovers will change the way she sees her ancestry, her family, and herself.

My Thoughts:
What a ride! This is a YA historical romance with the unique setting of Mexico, California, Spaniards, and Indians. It's an interesting tale of the trek from Mexico to colonize California, and this novel depicts the very real hardships endured during the expedition.

And sprinkled throughout this subtle history lesson, are very real characters whom it would be difficult not to believe were actually part of the expedition. You immediately feel a connection to Fernanda, her inability to accept the stifling constraints of her time (marriage, children, and inferior heritage), and her longing for freedom and adventure and romance. You feel her struggle between wanting to do what's right to please her mother, and longing for something more. And then there's her struggle between a safe marriage, and adventuring into the unknown.

All of the characters are so well drawn and believable. Though Nicolas is more than nice to Fernanda, there's always that hint of superiority and, um, *maleness* which was common for the time when men were truly the boss and law. I loved Miguel, his anger and mystery and the many layers of his character.

The plot moved well, a very visual read and beautiful descriptions that allowed me to picture the scenery. I was rooting for the romantic pair, and was not disappointed in the end!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Book Review: Zeus, Inc., by Robin Burks

Zeus, Inc.
Robin Burks

Initial Thoughts: Interesting concept
My Rating: 3 Stars

50 years ago, Zeus, Inc., and its CEO, the mysterious Joseph Brentwood, saved the world from a major energy crisis by discovering a new unlimited energy resource. Now, in 2069, Mr. Brentwood has gone missing and private eye Alex Grosjean has been hired to find him by his daughter (and Alex's best friend), Aleisha.

My Thoughts:
OK, where to start with this one. Let's do characters.

Alex, our main squeeze, is I think about 40 years old or so. She was an OK character, not necessarily someone I was necessarily rooting for, which can be problematic for a main squeeze. She's impatient with her mom, and come to find out they have issues from their past, but we never really learn why. She seems prone to anger, and getting angry at times when I was like, really? That just pissed you off? So despite being 40 or so, she's a bit immature.

Could care less about Mr. Brentwood, and nothing in the novel drew me to Aleisha either. 

Now Pip, I liked. He's tall, dark, mysterious, my kind of guy. He's strong, he cares, he's Alex's knight in shining armor, though I don't think she appreciated him as much as she should. Now *that's* a point against Alex! Take the beefcake, adore the beefcake, love the beefcake.

The plot is slow, and quite often repetitive. Many times Alex's internalization interrupts the flow of the story. Often times, I think it was supposed to be witty, but for me typically fell flat. I really got into the story when the greek mythology became strongly evident. Loved the way it was inter-woven in the story, with a surprising take. However, I didn't quite believe the ending, when Alex was supposed to be smarter than the Greed gods and take over and save the day. Didn't buy it, and then didn't really see her come up with any plan other than what the gods had originally planned on doing. So yeah, call me perplexed.

Over all, this story was a little flat with enough interesting parts for me to keep reading to the end.