Book review: Nemesis by Anna Banks

Book review: Nemesis by Anna Banks

nemesis

**I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review**

4 ½ stars

Being an undercover princess on the run from your family can be difficult – but being all those things PLUS being beautiful and having a major secret practically makes you a target for bad things happening.  Sepora is the last known Forger – her body creates and expels spectorium, a priceless liquid that can be made into materials for building, used in creating power, as well as a number of other things that make life run more smoothly.  But she’s tired of Forging for her father, the King of Serubel, who keeps her locked away from everyone so they don’t know she is the source of the precious substance.  And when she threatens to stop Forging for him, he locks her away in the dungeon – but her mother takes pity on her and assists her in escaping, while faking her death.  She doesn’t care where she’s able to run to, as long as it away from her power hungry father.  So she runs…

Being a prince not ready for his time to rule, but forced to be prepared upon his father’s untimely death from a mystery disease that kills with utter swiftness and is making its way through the kingdom of Theoria – hitting both old and young, male and female alike.  For Tarik, the now King of Theoria, his main concern is finding a cure for what is now called the Quiet Plague, and when Sepora ends up captured, sold into his harem, and demands to speak with him – from the moment he meets her realizes she is special in some way.  While he doesn’t realize her to be the presumed dead Princess of Serbel, he also knows that there is something about her – from the way she speaks to him, to the way she treats others.  That is partly due to the fact that Tarik is a Lingot, meaning her can distinguish a truth from a lie, and while Sepora learns how to speak with the intent of truth-telling, Tarik knows that while she is very special, she’s had a hard yet pampered path.  Throughout their trials together, the two begin to feel things for each other – but the fact that Tarik must marry a royal, but will love her is not something Sepora is willing to live with.  And while it’s found out that spectorium is at least a temporary fix for those with the Quiet Plague, never fully trusting Tarik and his intent leads Sepora on an emotional journey – one that could end up leading her right back into danger.  But it’s not a clear matter of right or wrong for Sepora, but rather of what is right for HER – meaning she makes a promise that no one will use her for her Forging powers, unless she deems them worth of such a gift (as she’s been used for it by her father for so long who does not use it for good most of the time).

While I’m not usually into more “historical” pieces (the whole story had a pharaoh mixed with the Middle Ages type feel), I loved everything about who Sepora was and the courage she had to find and make a new life for herself.  She was tough, intelligent, but still full of grace and clever words – enough so to make her way from runaway young lady, to captive, to the King’s harem, to the King’s Advisor’s attendant.  And Tarik, while smart, strong, and handsome, he still knows nothing when it comes to matters of the heart – but he wants to do right by his kingdom and its people, even if that means marrying a women he does not love – when the one he eventually does is in front of his face.  I thought the story was brilliantly written in a split POV between Sepora and Tarik, and their perspectives were important to the entire book.  I know Ms. Banks must have some amazing words up her sleeve to try to outdo the first part of Sepora and Tarik’s story, but I will try to keep my hopes low so she can blow me away once again!

Release Day Celebration: Consumed (Barren 2) by Elizabeth Miceli with Giveaway

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Welcome to the Release Day Celebration for

Consumed (Barren 2)
by Elizabeth Miceli

presented by Swoon Romance!

Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

 

Happy Book Birthday, Elizabeth!

 

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Stacey Lorenzo has finished treatment, but is still devastated by her past as she enters college. With drugs and alcohol so readily available, so much freedom, and barely any supervision, Stacey falls back into old habits. Soon it’s a daily dose of partying, self-medicating, and having sex with lots of different guys. As her relationship with Eli destructs, she falls for Jesse, who just so happens to be a drug dealer. Every time she starts to fall back into the memories of her past, Jesse makes it easy to snort away the pain.

But she snorts too much one night; it forces her to question the man she loves and acknowledge her mental and emotional instability. In the second installment of The Barren Series, Stacey must overcome her addiction and make peace with her past if she is ever to be truly happy again.

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Consumed (Barren 2) by Elizabeth Miceli
Publication Date: August 31, 2016
Publisher: Swoon Romance

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*** PUBLISHER’S ALERT: MATURE CONTENT WARNING ***

Recommended for ages 16+. Includes scenes that depict drug use, teen sex, and sexual assault.

This book contains mature content and depiction of a seventeen-year-old girl’s rape at the hands of another student. It is a chilling first person point of view account of something that occurs across the country at parties just like the one depicted in this story, and we wanted the fictional account to feel raw and as devastating. We also understand that these scenes may be difficult and uncomfortable for some. We recommend this novel for readers ages sixteen and older.

“I cried, praying for him to finish. I closed my eyes and tried to envision myself somewhere else… somewhere where I was happy. I thought of my family all piled around our tree on Christmas morning. I thought of singing with my band. I thought of Caitlin and me baking cookies and watching movies together. But after just a few seconds of pretending, Mike would hit me or thrust deeper, and I would be back in reality. I was being raped. I was all alone. I was a damsel in distress. And there was no one there to save me.”

Seventeen-year-old Stacey Lorenzo’s poor self-esteem has always consumed her. When significant weight loss leaves her still feeling powerless and with an eating disorder, she turns to partying to cope. Things go from bad ot worse when she is raped, a crushing blow to her psyche from which she may not recover. Stacey drugs, cuts, and hooks up with countless guys in an attempt to dull the pain. But if Stacey doesn’t find a way to face her demons and overcome her fears, she might find herself in a hole so dark, even love won’t be able to pull her out.

Barren is written by debut author Elizabeth Miceli. It is a devastating and dark account of one girl’s plummet to the very bottom of the human experience and the horrific and petrifying road to recovery and self-worth.

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Elizabeth Miceli

 

Elizabeth hails from the smallest state with the biggest heart. She started off at The University of Akron and then transferred to the University of Rhode Island. She is a majoring in Human Development and Family Studies and minoring in Psychology. Although she loves writing- she also has a passion for helping others which is why she is studying to become a sex therapist/couples counselor. Elizabeth loves spending time with her family and friends, singing, eating everything Italian, and baking cookies. She is “in love with love” which is probably why the driving force in almost everything she writes is romance. When she’s not getting lost in her characters she can be found waiting for her prince charming in her North Kingstown, Rhode Island home.

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Book review: White Raven (The Raven Series Book 1) by J.L. Weil

white raven

White Raven (The Raven Series Book 1) by J.L. Weil

**I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review**

5 stars

When 17 year old Piper losses her mother to a horrible tragedy, her elusive grandmother, whom she’s never met, requests the summer with her and her little brother TJ on an island off the New England coast.  But when Piper and TJ arrive, they never could have prepared themselves for the huge and elaborate home that their grandmother lives in.  With Piper’s standoffish attitude and feelings for her grandmother, she keeps to herself and tries not to enjoy the lavish lifestyle, still in mourning over the loss of her mother and best-friend.  While in her shell of solitude, Piper wanders around the coastal town and meets Zoe, who is bubbly and outgoing.  She invites Piper to a bonfire, where she proceeds to meet Zoe’s three brothers, Zack – Zoe’s twin brother, Zander – the oldest Hunter sibling, and Zane – dark, brooding, and a complete jerk toward Piper.  But of course Piper feels a strange pull toward Zane and his obnoxious attitude, even though she knows she shouldn’t want to be talk to him…or see him…or dream of him.

When Piper starts feeling like she is being watched and Zane keeps popping in out of nowhere to intervene when she faces anything/one threatening, she begins to look for answers as to why people call her grandmother The White Raven, why Zane keeps calling her Princess, and why he and others have seemingly “invisible” tattoos that she can see, but others can’t…and why everyone keeps referring to her as a “Raven”.  With the on again, off again sparks she feels from Zane, when the eldest Hunter, Zander asks her out, she gladly accepts – he is literally just the tall, dark, and handsome to give her a little fun, but then Zane shows up and puts Piper’s life into a real tail spin.  And when he delivers the news that his father is THE Grim Reaper – that he is the son of death – and Piper is from the long line of powerful reapers known as banshee or a White Raven.  Zane tells her that she has the power to take a soul with one touch.  As her fascination with Zane grows, so does the danger she is in, as well as the information that she finally learns about her heritage – that her grandmother has an enormous amount of power, her mother didn’t want the reaper life for her (which is why she left Raven Hallow when she was pregnant with Piper), and that Piper is now next in line to be THE White Raven, “Queen” of all the reapers.  And not only that, but Piper also finds out that she is betrothed to Zander to unite the two most powerful families…falling for Zane shouldn’t have been a part of the deal.  But with danger waiting around every corner, Zane Hunter’s lips looking more kissable by the minute, and  her impending marriage to the other Hunter brother – Piper’s life is about to get more complicated than she could ever imagine.

Let me start of by saying I. LOVED. THIS. BOOK!!  I thought that Piper’s character was well developed, she knew how to stand on her own two feet, but was still willing to trust and rely on others.  She was strong, funny, and even without knowing it, completely kickass!  Which leads me to Zane…hmm, how to describe him with his hard abs, kissable lips, and dark hair (ha!) – Piper gives us some pretty good imagery throughout as she falls hopelessly in love with him.  I thought that their banter was amazing, and even though their journey is far from over, it’s apparent that they are a team, bound by their souls in an amazing ride of love, life, death and all those things encompass.  Great series so far – can’t wait to see more butt kicking and lip locking for Piper and Zane!

Release Day Celebration: Into The Light by Caroline T. Patti with Giveaway

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Welcome to the Release Day Celebration for

Into The Light (Into The Dark #2)
by Caroline T. Patti

presented by Month9Books!

Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

 

Happy Book Birthday, Caroline!

 

Into the Light Cover

 

Mercy’s family is back together and the threat of danger appears to have passed. But any relief she feels is short lived as she is ripped from her body and thrown in jail. Gage and Nathaniel’s plans to break Mercy out won’t exactly be easy. Stuffed full of a chemical binding agent, Mercy is trapped inside the body of a convict without the ability to breach and set herself free. Unfortunately for Mercy, being trapped in jail becomes the least of her problems when she meets her evil twin, Justice.

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Into the Light (Into the Dark #2)
by Caroline T. Patti
Publication Date: August 23, 2016
Publisher: Month9Books

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A girl’s sweet sixteen party is supposed to be among the most memorable events of her life. But on the night of hers, Mercy Clare wakes in the waiting room of a hospital with no memory of how she got there. To make matters worse, she’s wearing something she’d never be caught dead in: her best friend Lyla’s clothes.

Mercy’s nightmare is just beginning. The doctor arrives to tell her that it’s she who lies in the hospital bed waiting to die. A trip to the bathroom confirms Mercy’s fears, as Lyla’s face stares back at her and Lyla’s curvy figure pokes through her tight clothes.

But finding out what’s really going on won’t be easy. Because if Mercy wants her body back, it might just cost her Lyla’s life.

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Caroline T Patti is the author of The World Spins Madly On and Too Late To Apologize. When she’s not writing, she’s a school librarian, mother of two, wife, avid reader and Green Bay Packer fan. You can chat with her on Twitter: carolinetpatti or find her on Facebook: Author Caroline T Patti.

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Gifted Thief by Helen Harper

gifted thief

Gifted Thief by Helen Harper

**I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review**

5 stars

Born in Faerie as the girl with no name, she is an enigma and an orphan; made to feel like she was little more than servant, when in reality she’s the illegitimate child of a powerful fae leader who died when she was a child.  Left to be raised by fae who despise her very being, when she decides that she’s finally had enough and she runs away, the first person she runs into is Andy “Taylor” – a professional thief by trade.  When asked her name, she thinks of the one thing she wants to have – despite being a fae – and names herself Integrity.  Fast forward 16 years, and Integrity is part of Taylor’s crew – stealing from those more fortunate, quite often the Fae, for their own survival.  Along with three others in Taylor’s crew – all Clan-less Fae – they have run a successful theft ring, until one day when the item they are in search of isn’t where it’s supposed to be.  Of course that doesn’t stop Integrity from taking a “pretty looking” letter opener from one of the desks within the building they break into.  She thinks nothing of it – it’s just a pretty memento from her final job with her beloved team.  But when they arrive back at Taylor’s and inform him the item they were there to steel – a gem called the Lia Saifir – was missing, Taylor confesses that he needed the money from his share of the sale of the gem to pay off a bookie.  But not just any bookie – his debt was sold to a mysterious financier.  With Taylor’s existence hanging in the balance, it’s a bad time to tell him about the letter opener that turns out to be an enchanted “dagger” with a genie named Bob residing inside – one that Integrity can’t get rid of, even though she tries, until she makes her three wishes (which she vows to never do as she knows the repercussions of genie wishes).

While Integrity wants out of the business, her love and devotion to Taylor and the team drives her to settle his debt – once again – as her constant repayment for the life he helped her have since leaving Faerie.  But it proves a bit more difficult than she’d dealt with in the past – seeing as the creditor turns out to be a Fae from Integrity’s past – the son of one of the power families in Faerie, Byron Moncrieff.  All he wants is for Integrity to come back to Faerie with him to complete a ritual to repair the magic in Faerie.  Along with her trusty “letter opener” genie Bob at her side, she reluctantly agrees and heads back to the place she tried so hard to escape and forget.   But Byron isn’t the indignant prick of a Fae that she remembers from her youth…he’s an attractive, successful, and surprisingly kind gentleman that wants to help her along her path back during her brief time in Faerie.  So when someone wants her dead – and will use any means necessary to complete the task, Integrity turns once again to her team, and reluctantly Byron and his clan to figure out who it is that wants her out of the way and why.  But sometimes, as Integrity finds out, it might be better to not know – lives will be lost and futures forever changed by the Gifted Thief name Integrity.

I simply loved this story!  I thought Integrity was funny, witty, and had amazing self preservation skills – that are a must when dealing with the snooty Fae.  Her relationships are a source of strength for her – she knows that even though her bio-Fae family may have discarded her, but they never would – and she is better for it.  With the arrival of Byron and is betrayal and eventual protection of her, I loved the interaction between the two.  Kissing one minute, bickering the next – all the makings of a great relationship, if only they could see past each other and their pasts to make their futures worth it.  I was a bit let down with the seemingly sudden ending, but I cannot WAIT to see what else is in store for Integrity – Faerie is definitely not done with her yet, and her past is still so up in the air.  So in Integrity style “What’d the beaver say to the tree?”… “It’s been nice gnawing you!”So corny and endearing, how could you not fall completely for this series???

Rite of Revelation (Acceptance Book 2) by Sarah Negovetich

 Rite of Revelation (Acceptance Book 2) by Sarah Negovetich

rite of revelation

**I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review**

4 stars

When Rebecca and Daniel decided to come forward with the truth about the Acceptance ceremony and how the Cardinal only uses it weed out those that don’t fit mold of the perfect citizens – to try and create a perfect society – they never foresaw the lack of change.  But they did expect for the Cardinal to want to punish them for their disobedience.  For Rebecca, that meant a “public” apology via a new video saying that she way wrong – while Daniel was severely beaten and used as leverage to force Rebecca to read the prepared speech.  But Eric the prisoner turned guard that Rebecca had convinced herself she could be happy with as long as she was free during the beginning of their time together in the PIT – back before he betrayed her and her friends escape attempt that ended up leaving one of them dead – comes in to Rebecca and Daniel’s rescue.  The three are able to escape the PIT, along with Eric’s sister Elizabeth, Daniel’s sister Patrice, Constance, and her husband Thomas.  The road to freedom isn’t an easy one for the group – especially as the Cardinal has it bad for punishing Rebecca for her stunt while in the PIT.

When everything they have ever been taught comes into question and they end up meeting up with actual settlers that have been able to live outside the Territories for years without the Cardinal’s “protection”, the group is in awe.  They begin to cultivate new friendships and start feeling like they belong somewhere.  However, when a member of their village becomes deathly ill, Rebecca sees it as her penance for so many people dying in the PIT after her escape to get the medication needed to help – even if it means she has to personally go back to the Territories to find it.  While no one thinks it safe for her to go herself, she makes sure that no stone is unturned while searching for the rare medication – even heading to a neighboring village with whom they have unresolved issues with to find it.  With much toil and pain, while they finally do find the medication, it ends up all for not as their friend was too far gone in her sickness and her illness ends up claiming her life.  And not only is the village faced with the loss of a cherished member, it is also discovered that the Cardinal has started sending out troops out to look for Rebecca specifically.  With all her guilt still brewing over those that have fallen due to helping her, Rebecca is first in line to run a rescue attempt when the same neighboring village with whom they are at turmoil with is attacked.  Life for Rebecca was never meant to be so difficult, but she is always first in line to help a fellow person in need.

I am still amazed at how strong Rebecca stays throughout her journey.  Even when life gives her lemons, she picks them up and throws them right back at it!  She is loyal, caring, genuine, and never backs down from a fight over those she cares about.  I just loved the first book, and this one certainly lived up to my expectations for the second book in the series.  Ms. Negovetich does a great job of showing that no matter the conditions, family isn’t where you live, or even the conditions in which you live, but HOW you live with those that you love and care about – something Rebecca is an expert at.  I am really looking forward to finding out more about the Cardinal and just who he is, and why he is the way he is…hopefully that will come in the next book (hint, hint)!

Revenge by Sonya Weiss

Revenge by Sonya Weiss

revenge

**I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review**

3 ½ stars!

For almost 18 year Juliet, every day is a struggle to keep a powerful secret hidden – one that her father paid for with his life, and one that keeps her little sister Maisy hidden away for her safety.  But when you got to school with the boy whose father killed your own and just so happens to of course be the King of the Supernatural race, and the secret you are keeping is so big it could chance not just your life, but all those of your “alien” Supernatural race, you tend to keep a low profile.

However, when one day said boy (and future King himself) and Probation officer Riley West saves Juliet’s life – in front of their whole class no less – against a vile enemy of the Supernatural’s know as the Tazavorn species, Juliet knows that things are about to change and fast.  Especially as the Tazavorns aren’t supposed to be on earth as one bite infects a person turning them into a crazy lizard like creature that’s only goal is to kill.  With the Supernatural’s very existence hinging on her secrets, and her recent “draft” into their army with Riley as her teacher, Juliet knows that her troubles are far from gone.  She also knows that the only way to keep Maisy and the other half-breeds safe from the King’s edict to have them all killed to just keeps things status quo is to go along and learn all she can about the enemies within the Supernatural’s own army.  But when things start going wrong and even more Tazaavorns start publicly attacking humans and Supernaturnals alike, that means that it’s up to her and Riley to get to the bottom of the attacks, as well as finding out who is ordering them.  With Juliet falling for Riley, will her heart withstand the answers they are trying to figure out, or will her secret destroy them all?

While with was another “Romeo and Juliet” spin-off type story, I really thought that the alien take was a new and very creative spin on a traditional story.  Some of the “selflessness” on Juliet’s part didn’t flow as well as it could have – while she did have the DNA to fix the Supernatural’s problems, it felt like she had a superhero complex, not just a serious bone to pick with the leaders.  Riley maintained is broody sullenness throughout the story – which was appropriate for his character, even if he did end up with a soft spot for Juliet.  I am certainly looking forward to the next book and seeing what is in store for both Juliet and her Romeo…errr, I mean Riley 🙂

Nexis (A Tricksters Novel) by A.L. Davroe

Nexis (A Tricksters Novel) by A.L. Davroe

nexis

**I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review**

4 stars

For Ellani Drexel, one of the last remaining Naturals, or natural born people who has not had genetic modifications, living in the lustrous city of Evanescense just got more difficult – through her father, a brilliant mind and creator of the virtual-reality game called Nexis, she is now an Aristocracy.  Being a natural Aristocracy has its fair share of difficulty, but when her and her father are in an accident that leaves her father dead and her disfigured, Ella figures she has nothing left to live for.  Especially when she ends up basically trapped in her own home, with everyone thing she perished in the accident as well.  Ella’s only “escape” is when she begins to play the game her father created, Nexis, where she can be anyone or anything she wants to be – which includes being whole again, if even for the duration of the “game”.

When Ella befriends a young man, Guster, within Nexis – she begins to hope for a “normal” life, even if it is within a game.  Guster introduces her to several others that have the “Trickster” marks – a spider, fox, coyote, crow, and rabbit.  Together they will be able to accomplish the unthinkable – entering the Anansi Chamber…no one knows the significance, only that the Oracle has deemed them as worthy to enter and crack the code to the Nexis world.  But it comes with a price, one that may be too much for Ella to pay – even if it is only a virtual game, the consequences of the Tricksters actions may be more then they can pay in their real lives.  Can Ella’s coding skills really get them past, or make them suffer?

I thoroughly enjoyed this story.  While it was broken into several “mini-chapters” while Ella goes between the game of Nexis and real-time, in Evanescense, it was great how Ms. Devroe was able to make the reader connect with both sides of Ella’s life.  Ella becomes so engrossed in the game, that it almost becomes real to her – first loves, good friends, and a rebel with a good cause.  But it really spoke to me on an acceptance level – Ella’s life in the real world is not her own…being disfigured makes her ability to open up while in Nexis a true gift for not only her, but her fellow Tricksters.  While she is sad, lonely, and moping around while in her real life, she always has something to look forward to when she enters Nexis – her friends and Guster, who show her what acceptance really looks like…something she has yearned for her whole life.  I think she makes tremendous progress throughout the story, but will rise and be someone the world can look up to in the next book.

Tarnished by Kate Jarvik Birch

Tarnished by Kate Jarvik Birch **I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review** 4 stars! When 16 year old “Domestic companion” Ella, a genetically modified and glorified Pet, is separated from her … Continue reading

Deviation (The Imitation Series, Book 2) by Heather Hildenbrand

Deviation (The Imitation Series, Book 2) by Heather Hildenbrand

deviation

**I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review**

3 ½ stars!

Being two people in one body is difficult – which is the case for Ven, or Raven Rogen as she is known in the real world. But she isn’t Raven; she is Ven, a genetically created clone of the real Raven. And she is living with the enemy, Titus Rogen, her “father” and the brilliant mind behind RogenCorp. They create the clones for anyone who is willing to pay the exorbitant price tag. But he has too many secrets and too many people in high places in his pocket – or if they’ve overstayed their usefulness, a clone of them that is willing to blindly obey Titus’s every order. So when Ven, along with her bodyguard and secret love Linc vow to free all the clones and expose Titus for the fraud and liar that he is, Ven could lose or gain everything she’s been trying to save is she doesn’t stay a step ahead of Titus.

I absolutely love the concept that there is a clone “war of sorts occurring – not that I’d want to live through that – it’s just a great base for a scandalous story. The idea that one person could end up in control of everyone and everything is frightening and vaccinating at the same time. With such a cliff hanger ending, I’m definitely anxious to see what becomes of Ven and the clones!