ARR ~ “PODs” by Micehlle K. Pickett

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Title ~ “PODs”

Author ~ Michelle k. Pickett

Series~ PODs

Book # ~1

Format ~Paperback

Rating ~5 Stars

 

**DISCLAIMER** A copy was provided to me in return for an honest review

 

Short Recap ~ Seventeen-year-old Eva is a chosen one. Chosen to live, while others meet a swift and painful death from an incurable virus so lethal, a person is dead within days of symptoms emerging. In the POD system, a series of underground habitats built by the government, she waits with the other chosen for the deadly virus to claim those above. Separated from family and friends, it’s in the PODs she meets David. And while true love might not conquer all, it’s a balm for the broken soul.

After a year, scientists believe the population has died, and without living hosts, so has the virus. That’s the theory, anyway. But when the PODs are opened, survivors find the surface holds a vicious secret. The virus mutated, infecting those left top-side and creating… monsters.

Eva and David hide from the infected in the abandoned PODs. Together they try to build a life–a new beginning. But the infected follow and are relentless in their attacks. Leaving Eva and David to fight for survival, and pray for a cure. (recap courtesy of goodreads.com)

 

 

 

 

This is only one of a handful of novels in this genre (dystopian) that I have ever read, so I went into reading this basically blind and without any preconceived notions of what a novel in this genre is really about. I have read YA novels off and on for years. This novel was a wonderful surprise.

 

First off, I received a paperback from the author (thank you) and I was able to dive right in and fall into the world she created. I could picture myself living as the characters did, trying to make the most out of a bad situation, decorating the walls, etc. They tried to make it less of a tomb and a bunker and more of a real ‘home’ if you could call it that. After a year of what they had been told was the incubation and dying off process, I cannot imagine their terrifying surprise.

 

I felt for Eva and David as they emerged from their POD and had to make their way into the unknown. They hide and try to evade those they once knew, yet those people are no longer ‘human.’

 

Take one part “I AM LEGEND”, one part “OMEGA MAN”, stir in “YA Adult Romance” and bake for a year, you get “PODs”.

 

“PODs” is one novel that you will read and it will make you think twice about calling ‘preppers’ nuts, lol. It did scare me or should I say, it gave me pause as far as looking at the world at it is and how is might be on the near future. Michelle brings her own view of this not to distant future to life and keeps the reader going and pulling them further into her world.

 

I am excited to read the next one!!!
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ARR~ “Compliments of a Dying Man” by Amy Bol

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Title ~ “Compliments of a Dying Man”

Author ~ Amy Bol

Format ~ebook via pdf

Rating ~5 Stars

**DISCLAIMER** A copy was provided to me in return for an honest review

You would think that loving a dying person would be difficult. On the contrary, it was the easiest thing I’ve ever done; far easier than building the world’s largest awareness ribbon in his memory, or explaining to two little girls that their father was dying, and definitely easier than learning to accept that I would ever love another man after he was gone. Oh sure, there were tears. But, he made me laugh in a dreary hospital room. He made me laugh while his heart was being shocked on a table in the ER, while being tricked into eating (by me), and even now as I think about the memory of him which remains, I laugh. The man gave me no other option. He complemented our lives with laughter, and so does his memory. (recap courtesy of goodreads.com)

When this novella arrived in my inbox from Amy, I was hesitant to read it; I prefer happy stories, I like to laugh and smile, 14 pages in and I was almost in tears, yet, as I read Amy’s true story, I felt the love she had/has for her late husband and how strong she became as she faced her husband’s death and her love for her girls.

Amy puts herself out there and lets the reader judge her and see her at her most vulnerable and her most raw; you cannot help but to love her and see her strength. This is NOT a sad story, it is anything but, and you just have to get past the sorrow of what was a reality, and see how Amy and her girls came out on the other side of that grief and were stronger for what they went through.

On a very personal note; Amy and I met through a friend of her’s, they mentioned someone was looking for some promotion and a blog hop stop, I volunteered and Amy was kind enough to grant me an interview, which I hope you check out, (August 14th, 2013), since then, Amy has not been able to get rid of me, hehehehe. I consider her a great friend and by sharing this story with me and with others, she shows just how strong she is and how much she loved her husband.

Take a chance and pick this up, it’s a wonderful afternoon read and you will be more than happy you did. Just keep tissues near by, for the sad times and for the happy times that will have you laughing out loud.

ARR Book Review ~ “The Perfect Setup” by Douglas Wickard

Title: The Perfect Setup
Author: Douglas Wickard
Format: PDF
Stars : 5

****A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.****

Short Recap~

A moment of weakness…
an afternoon of passion…
a brutal murder hits close to home…
The explosive sequel to A PERFECT HUSBAND.

Sami’s back! And this time it’s personal!

The New York Times, Daily News and New York Post all hailed her a hero!

Samantha Saxton “owned the night,” they reported. She was the victor, the quiet champion, the anti-heroine single-handedly destroying the career of a lethal serial killer stalking the tri-state area of New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania for six unremitting years. The disappearance of six teenage girls and the horrific details of their deaths received national, frenzied attention and Sami Saxton became the unlikely poster woman in all the coverage.

Sami’s attempt to find a quieter, less hectic life by moving to the cabin her deceased father built years ago in the remote township of Montague, New Jersey didn’t turn out quite the way she expected.

Returning to the City, Sami purchases a spacious, fifth floor, open-airy, glass-walled condominium on the Upper West Side overlooking the Hudson River…another new start!

But, that night continues to haunt her…in her dreams and in her life. The nightmares persist, vivid, ongoing and relentless. Posttraumatic stress syndrome paralyzes her, keeping her prisoner in her newly renovated home. The anxiety and panic attacks intensify and not even prescription painkillers can relieve the anguish.

Then, the unthinkable occurs. A young, female model is found brutally murdered in a midtown hotel. And, Jerry Saxton, Sami’s ex-husband, is taken into custody for the heinous crime.

TRUST NO ONE! (Recap courtesy of goodreads.com)

Douglas reunites us with Sami; after her last ordeal in “A Perfect Husband” she is recovering. Douglas makes Sami very relatable and even in some ways a heroine who has her own daemons that are normal after surviving hell.

Warning to the reader, don’t be eating or drinking anything very heavy strong while reading; trust me on this.

Their were times where I wanted to hug Sami or hide, the fear and determination become real as the reader is pulled inside the world that Douglas masterfully creates and holds the reader in from the first page until the very last moment.

Unexpected twists, turns and will keep you reading “just one more chapter” and then leave you sleeping with the lights on and jumping at every little sound. If you live in the city, that doesn’t mean you are safe. Sami thought she was safe and well……

Douglas is as masterful in this as the last Sami novel and left me clutching onto something as the night got darker and the chance of danger got more real.

I will once again be waiting for Douglas to scare me again very soon. You can’t help but fall in love with Sami and with Douglas Wickard.

BLOG TOUR ~ Making Connections ~ “Enchanted” by Judith Leger

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WELCOME everyone to my hop on this wonderful Blog Hop Stop for Judith Leger and her amazing novella, “Enchanted”. I am going to change up the format for day’s book review, so please hang with me.

Short Recap ~ She knows how to unravel secrets, but getting to the bottom of this one might just kill her.

Magic is for fools, television news reporter Caitlyn believes. And she’s no fool. She’s determined to prove master illusionist Shay a fake. Somehow though, with Shay the lines between magic and reality blur. Perhaps it’s his charisma, or being in Ireland with him, but now she’s dreaming of a magical place. One that seems oddly familiar…

Shay hides a terrible secret. He’s to blame for Caitlyn’s separation from her family and the world she doesn’t remember. She must go home to the Sidhe, and to recover his honor, he must be the one to bring her. He’ll willingly lose everything he is to help her break the curse binding her. But time is of the essence–the old evil has surfaced. He must make Caitlyn believe in magic, and his love, before she becomes its prey. (courtesy of goodreads.com)

When I first dove into ‘Enchanted’ I was enchanted by the realism of the characters and how likeable they were. where fantasy and love and mystery combine to make this delightful tale. The very first few lines had my attention starting with, “Caitlyn. Two weeks until her birthday. Two weeks until her death.” I started reading this, two weeks before MY birthday, so imagine the irony. That little tidbit put me in Caitlyn’s shoes, unintentionally, yet, it made the story a bit more personal for me.

Judith has a special talent for engaging her reader in a world of fantasy that is still based in realism as her characters leap off the pages and into your heart and endear them to you. The world of magic graces the reader as you fall into the story. Judith loves to use curses in her writing and ‘Enchanted’ is no exception, once again she hits it out of the park with this novel.

As a reader, I believe in a certain level of ‘magic’; I know it exists to some extent, this novel brings that ‘magic’ and illusion to a new place.

 

Where to get this Novel??

Check out http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15738722-enchanted

Amazon Buy Link: http://www.amazon.com/Enchanted-ebook/dp/B0091USBUQ/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1373921356&sr=1-1&keywords=enchanted+judith

Barnes and Noble Buy Link: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/enchanted-judith-leger/1112177274?ean=9781616504014

ARR Book Review ~ “Branded” by Abi Ketner & Missy Kalicicki

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Title ~ “Branded”

Author ~ Abi Ketner & Missy Kalicicki

Series~ Sinners

Book # ~1

Format ~ebook via Kindle

Rating ~5 Stars

 

**DISCLAIMER** A copy was provided to me in return for an honest review

 

Short Recap ~ Fifty years ago the Commander came into power and murdered all who opposed him. In his warped mind, the seven deadly sins were the downfall of society. He created the Hole where sinners are branded according to their sins and might survive a few years. At best.
Now LUST wraps around my neck like blue fingers strangling me. I’ve been accused of a crime I didn’t commit and now the Hole is my new home.

Darkness. Death. Violence. Pain.

Now every day is a fight for survival. But I won’t die. I won’t let them win.

The Hole can’t keep me. The Hole can’t break me.
I am more than my brand. I’m a fighter.
My name is Lexi Hamilton, and this is my story. (courtesy of goodreads.com )

 

 

 

 

There are times when a book grabs you and you are compelled to NOT put it down. You carry it with you in almost a haze and then you realize, you are half way done and its been several hours since you started reading; ‘Branded’ is one of those novels. From the first lines I was sucked into this world of humiliation, fear, control, rules, Sinners, injustice and yes, even hope despite all that.

 

I was immediately captivated by Lexi, our heroine; a young woman who is thrust into the ‘Hole’ without every being judged or given a chance to defend herself; you fall in love with her and you struggle right along with her as she works in the hospital and fights not only to stay alive, but her feelings and in her search for hope and justice.

 

Lust – Blue

Gluttony – Orange

Greed – Yellow

Sloth – Black

Wrath – Red

Envy – Green

Pride – Purple

 

 

Those are the 7 ‘Sins’ and the colour brand you wear. Lexi wears her brand in this novel, with as much grace as she can despite her circumstances and the things she must endure. There is a light in her life though, her guard, Cole.

 

Lexi and Cole have a relationship unlike any other I have read; it’s not the intimacies (or lack thereof), it’s the way that they defy adversity and learn to trust each other that had me cheering for them until the final pages.

 

A warning though, keep tissues close by. I wish I had received that warning, so I am passing it along, HAVE TISSUES; you will thank me.

 

I have read few novels in this sorta genre – Dystopian, and I am still unfamiliar with it, yet, this novel compels me to not only want to read more in the series, but to also delve further into the realm of Dystopian Romance stories. You don’t get much more raw and show humanity in such a light as these two ladies merge the plot into an intricate rollercoaster, that had me guessing until the final chapters.

 

Not so much a happily ever after ending, but definitely a cliff hanger and a wonderful, well developed and compelling ending.  ‘Branded’ will be ‘branded’ in your mind and in your heart for days, it will stick with you and make you look at your world in a whole new light.

ARR ~ “Scorned” by Pamela Ann

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Title ~ “Scorned”

Author ~ Pamela Ann

Series~ Torn #4

Format ~ebook via PDF

Rating ~5 Stars

**DISCLAIMER** A copy was provided to me in return for an honest review and as part of a promo tour for ‘Scorned’

Short Recap ~Brody was determined to win her heart again.

Dimitris was hell-bent on getting her back.

Will she choose one or none?

Fiesty, vindictive and sharp-tongued, Lindsey Mason was always in love with her brother’s best friend, Brody. For years, she watched as he went through the women around her—but never her.

When Lindsey started dating another guy, Brody suddenly started to notice her. But Lindsey wouldn’t have it. She was determined to move past her unrequited love.

Her fate changed when she met the wealthy Greek actor, Dimitris Kosta. The playboy Greek McHottie was everything Lindsey wanted and hated. She was swept away in a whirlwind summer romance in the islands of Greece.

Could her damaged heart finally learn to trust again? (recap courtesy of goodreads.com)

When it’s 110 outside, I would not normally suggest anything hot, I am very much going to make an exception this time. This novel falls more into the ‘erotica’ category than ‘romance’ or even ‘steamy’ romance due to some of the scenes in the novel, but that is fine with me. With erotica novels sometimes that’s all that a reader sees, in ‘Scorned’ Pamela, finds the delicate balance behind erotic scenes that help to move the storyline along and ‘naughty scenes’ for ‘naughty scene’ sake.

The well developed characters lead such larger than life lives, yet the reader finds their faults and qualities comforting in some ways as you watch the battle between what Lindsey thinks she wants and what her heart and soul truly desire. Is it her long time love, Brody? or her ‘Husband’ Dimitri?!

I loved the complex interactions between the characters, especially ‘Dimi’ and Lindsey, I will say this, a few of their ‘naughty scenes’ had me reaching for a glass of ice water to cool myself off; the passion that they share is off the charts, the reader is drawn into their battles and their lovemaking, while at the same time, at a safe distance when things start flying, lol.

Well written plot twists and turns keep this novel from being all about the ‘sex’ and about the passion (or lack there of in some cases) to the emotions and hidden desires and feelings that the characters experience and their lives and how everything finds a natural balance.

If you are not a fan of a erotica, then I don’t suggest you try this series or novel on for size, however, if you love passion to the umpteenth degree and don’t mind headstrong and sometimes frustrating (in a good way) characters, dive into this series.

I am anxious to see what Pamela has in store for us next.

ARR~ Book Review “Malavita” by Dana Delamar

Title ~ “Malavita”
Author ~ Dana Delamar
Series~ Blood and Honor
Book # ~prequel
Format ~ebook via Nook
Rating ~5 Stars

**DISCLAIMER** A copy was provided to me in return for an honest review

Short Recap ~ A son determined to avenge his family. A daughter desperate for peace. Two fathers intent on destruction…

Enrico Lucchesi never wanted anything to do with the Mafia. But when his brothers were murdered, he accepted that he would someday be the next don. However, he doesn’t accept that he must marry the daughter of the man who killed them. Enrico will never trust an Andretti, never mind love one. The Andrettis are up to something with their so-called “truce”–and Enrico must avenge his siblings. But will his dark secret spell the end of his vengeance–and possibly the Lucchesis?

After Antonella Andretti’s father tries to destroy the Lucchesis, she persuades him that an alliance–achieved by her marriage to Enrico, the “golden boy” she’s loved from afar–would be in everyone’s best interests. As her wedding day approaches, people close to her father start dying, and her fiancé’s behavior is suspect. When she learns Enrico’s true feelings about her–and what her father’s actual plans are–will Antonella damn their families to eternal war, or will she broker a peace that might destroy her heart? {recap from goodreads.com}

As most people know, Dana and I are friends; as a friend Dana asked me to Beta read this prequel several months ago, and I had to sit on my review until she gave me the green light to share. Trust me, it was hard sitting on such a great novel.

Once again, Dana has drawn her reader into the world of the Mafia, this time, she transports her reader to the very beginning, when Enrico and Antonia meet and fall in love. In this much anticipated prequel, Dana does NOT let her reader down.

Watching how Toni and Rico go from basically being enemies to eventually falling in love, the reader understands more about Rico and why he does what he does in “Revenge” and “Retribution”, at the same time, you also want them fall in each other’s arms and ignore their families strife and just do what THEY think is best and stop playing around. The love scenes are as intense as the action scenes as they leave the reader on the edge of their seat and wanting more. Unlike in some novellas in this genre, the love scenes and action don’t feel forced or out of place, they are natural and realistic.

With a delicate undercurrent of what happens in the following novels, I was compelled to read late into the night finishing, ‘Malavita’.

Dana grabs her reader’s attention and doesn’t let go until the very last page; and even then, she leaves you wanting to read ‘Revenge” (if you haven’t already – shame shame shame on you… go READ it) and the follow up, “Retribution”.

Once again, Dana has captured my heart and attention with her larger than life Mafioso characters and brings them to a whole new level and depth in her much anticipated prequel.

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