Ice Kissed by Amanda Hocking

Title: Ice Kissed IceKissed
Series: Kanin Chronicles #2
Author: Amanda Hocking
ARC provided by Netgalley
published by St. Martin’s Press

Bryn Aven has always longed to be a part of the Kanin world.

Though she has no social status because she’s a half-breed, she refuses to give up on her dream of serving the kingdom she loves. It’s a dream that brings her to a whole new realm . . . the glittering palace of the Skojare.

The Skojare people need protection from the same brutal rival who’s been threatening the Kanin, and, being half Skojare herself, it’s a chance for Bryn to learn more about her heritage. Her boss Ridley Dresden is overseeing her mission and wants to help. He’s always been her most trusted friend—but as their undeniable attraction heats up, he becomes a distraction she can’t afford.

Brynn is about to discover that the Skojare world is full of secrets, and as she’s drawn in deeper and deeper, she doesn’t know who to trust. As she gets closer to Ridley, she realizes she may not even be able to trust her own heart.

BookwormReviewThis is one of those times when I had to read the second book first instead of Book 1. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get a copy of the first book, but when Netgalley had this, luckily, my request to read this was accepted.

The concept of trolls is kind of new to me. (Honestly, I don’t remember reading a novel that’s got trolls in it. Or Maybe I have totally forgotten. Sorry, my memories fail me today).

Bryn Aven is  a part troll. In the Storvatten kingdom, she’s referred to as a half Skojare. She’s a tracker who has no troll abilities, but that doesn’t stop her from wanting to be part of Kanin. The book starts with Bryn and Ridley reporting to the King about the possibility of Queen Linnea’s death, the recent escape of Konstantin Black and the involvement of Victor Dalig, the man who had tried to overthrow the Kanin King for as long as she remembers. A lot is Bryn’s mind, but what keeps her smiling is her friend Tilda’s upcoming wedding to Kaspar and the birth of their firstborn child.

Everything falls apart when Konstantin returns and one of her friends died. Everything Bryn previously believed seems to be untrue. And now it’s up to her to prove everyone that she isn’t the murderer they think she is.

Ice Kissed had me reading from sunset to sunrise! Bryn, Ridley, Konstantin and Kenet are such interesting characters. This world of trolls had me captivated. Amanda Hocking may just be my new favorite fantasy author!

Needless to say, I was hooked by the premise of this book as soon I first heard about the mystical realm that Amanda Hocking has created. That’s why I would love to read the first book in the series! And of course, I can’t wait to read what happens next to Bryn!

Check out Author Amanda Hocking on her website and her books on Amazon

Moonlands

moonlands

Moonlands
by Steven Savile

Ashley Hawthorne thinks of herself as the Cuckoo Girl. No matter where she is it feels like she doesn’t quite belong.

Everything changes when her eccentric aunt, Elspeth Grimm, leaves her the key to a safety deposit box in a bank that was destroyed during the Blitz. That box contains the first part of her true inheritance: an umbrella, a battered old notebook, a pair of aviator’s goggles and a locket. Each of these gifts is a unique part of who she really is.

Elspeth is a Grimm, a descendent of the brothers who purged this world of monsters by trapping them within the Concord. She is the Oracle. A keeper of all the knowledge we have amassed about the creatures of the Fae and other worlds. And someone intent on destroying the Concord has murdered her!

When Ashley looks through the goggles that night she sees curious creatures on the roof of the house across the street watching her. To the naked eye they look like crows but they are not. It is the first glimpse of the other place—the place where she will finally belong.
The journal is crammed full of things, but there’s no actual writing in it. Ash decides she’s going to use the book as a journal, and begins the first entry: My name is Ashley Hawthorne. The ink fades so she writes it again. My name is Ashley Hawthorne. Again the ink fades. She tries again and again until the ink scratches out an entirely different first line: That is not who you are!

Blackwater Blaze was on a hunt. With his powerful sense of scent, every mission set upon him is accomplished. But when he encountered the Juggler, he knew he was fooled. Not only was he witlessly led to the pungent odors of humanity, his pack was killed and was also unsuccessful in finding the girl that the Wolfen King had wanted.

Ashley Hawthorne, a simple girl with a simple boring life, always thought that she just wasn’t anything special. But her life changed when she received an inheritance from her aunt, Elspeth Grimm. A key to her past and future that lies in her present. The key to a box that held the most important things that defined her true identity, her true life, for what she really was.

I think I’ve just read my newest favorite fantasy tale this month. Moonlands by Steven Savile is an outstanding read full of colorful characters & magical euphemisms. It was interesting to note that what started out as intriguing, ended with an ear-splitting bang! The shocking twist and ending left me craving for so much more! I hope there’s a second up in the horizon!

By the way, it’s always been said not to judge a book by its cover. Seriously though, this new cover of Moonlands is what really attracted me most. There’s something about the girl (Ashley) that was indeed captivating and intriguing at the same time.


AUTHOR INFO

Steven Savile (born October 12, 1969, in Newcastle, England) is a British fantasy, horror and thriller writer, and editor living in Stockholm, Sweden. His published work includes novels and numerous short stories in magazines and anthologies.

website : http://www.stevensavile.com/
genre: Horror, Mystery & Thrillers, Science Fiction & Fantasy

Hourglass by Claudia Gray

Title: Hourglass
Series: Evernight #3
Author: Claudia Gray
Paperback, 339 pages
Published 2010 by HarperCollins

Bianca will risk everything to be with Lucas. After escaping from Evernight Academy, the vampire boarding school where they met, Bianca and Lucas take refuge with Black Cross, a fanatical group of vampire hunters. Bianca must hide her supernatural heritage or risk certain death at their hands. But when Black Cross captures her friend – the vampire Balthazar – hiding is no longer an option.
Soon, Bianca and Lucas are on the run again, pursued not only by Black Cross, but by the powerful leaders of Evernight. Yet no matter how far they travel, Bianca can’t escape her destiny.
Bianca has always believed their love could survive anything . . . but can it survive what’s to come?
Hourglass – the third (!) installment from the Evernight series.
1alineBreakI’ve just finished Hourglass and I must say, I was more than surprised and intrigued for the next book.  This time I did not research for this book because I really want to feel the thrill and suspense and Bianca’s overwhelming change and Lucas’ determination to stay human.
I enjoyed Evernight and Stargazer, but I think, Hourglass surpassed the first two books in the series by leaps and bounds. Claudia caught me offguard with a lot of surprises – Raquel a tomboy? Maxie the almost friendly ghost, Vic being cool about Evernight as a vampire school, Ranulf hobnobbing with Vic’s family and Balthazar in a Chinese community..
Well, those minute details are awesome but the center of the universe revolved around LUCAS and Lucas alone. Forget Bianca!
Lucas has sacrificed a lot for their relationship and in the end, was about to become a vampire – something he did not ever, ever wished to be, even if his one true love was “once” a vampire.
While I was reading the second to the last chapter of Hourglass, I really thought it would be the end of the series, but no, as usual, the ending is a cliffhanger! Another two thumbs up for Claudia Gray. Hourglass is a good read. Beats the hell out of Twilight saga (IMO). The Evernight series is somehow a better catch. Don’t throw tomatoes if you don’t agree. This is my blog anyway so I can say what I want, LOL.

Stargazer by Claudia Gray

Title: Stargazer
Series: Evernight #2
Author: Claudia Gray
Paperback, 329 pages
Published February 9th 2010 by HarperTeen

The vampire in me was closer to the surface . . .
Bianca, born to two vampires, has always been told her destiny is to become one. But she has fallen in love with Lucas, a vampire hunter who infiltrated Evernight Academy, the exclusive vampire boarding school she attends. Bianca will do anything to be with Lucas, even if it means lying to the powerful vampires of Evernight.Her deceit leads her to dig deep into the mysteries of the school, and Bianca discovers that even those she trusts the most have their own dark secrets. When a ghostly force begins attacking Evernight—and targeting Bianca—she learns a shocking truth about her past that will forever change her future.
1alineBreakLike Evernight, this second book, Stargazer is as exciting and cliffhanging as the first one. Although Lucas & Bianca spent most of the entire year with secret rendezvous, stolen moments & kisses, the fact that their love for each other never fade was really something to look forward to.
Well, it seemed that a major part of Bianca’s new life wasn’t what appeared to be . Mysteries still surround her as she also tried hard to hide her own secret. She soon met Balthazar’s sister, Charity who was  being chased by the Black Cross. Unfortunately for Balthazar & Bianca though, Charity was a pain in the ass.
Truth is, in this book, I think I like Balthazar better, at one point, I wanted him to be with Bianca. The “fight” between vampires and ghosts were new to me and Gray’s detailed story about them made me understand about wraiths and the undead. Let’s see what book 3 has to offer!

Stardust

Title: Stardust
Author: Neil Gaiman
Paperback, 250 pages

Summary from Goodreads:

Hopelessly crossed in love, a boy of half-fairy parentage leaves his mundane Victorian-English village on a quest for a fallen star in the magical realm. The star proves to be an attractive woman with a hot temper, who plunges with our hero into adventures featuring witches, the lion and the unicorn, plotting elf-lords, ships that sail the sky, magical transformations, curses whose effects rebound, binding conditions with hidden loopholes and all the rest. 

1alineBreakI haven’t seen the movie version of this book, but a colleague already told me to ignore the movie adaptation ; it does not do justice to this amazing book.

I can agree with her, because I really liked Stardust – the Book! This book is billed as a “fairy tale for adults”, and that is exactly what it is, executed in the most brilliant way possible. It is a true fairy tale for all adults who dreamed that fairy tales could be come true; but with a nice sexy and cynical twist for those same dreamy adults who know what the world is really like.

Sex is blended seamlessly into the story, although not in a pornographic way. Unlike traditional children’s fairy tales, where a quick kiss to wake a sleeping princess is about as racy as it gets—this story tells love and sex like it is. There are one night stands in the forest and beautiful maidens who use unsuspecting nerds to boost their egos.

Although the story has the requisite happy ending for the main characters, main and minor characters must make moral and lifestyle choices which mirror the lives of real people. People fall in and out of love; and question whether infatuation and sexual desire were real love in the first place. Characters are forced to choose between love, power, money, duty, and respectability—and they do not always make the choices one would like them to make. And those characters who make a mockery of love and choose lives without love only serve to emphasize the love between the one couple who finally gets it right. This adult fairy tale illustrates that although true love is difficult in the complexities of the adult world, it is not impossible. But real love is never for the weak of heart.

I love the blending of the characters where they will all eventually meet one way or another. I love the ending which really brought justice to Tristan & Yvaine’s happily ever after!

Careful What You Wish For

Title: Careful What You Wish For
Author: Lucy Finn
Paperback; 304 pages
Published June 2007

A sexy, whimsical debut featuring the hunky genie of one single mom’s dreams…Back in her tiny hometown with a new baby to care for, successful attorney Ravine Patton thought her life had gone up in smoke.
Then her Diaper Genie went haywire, and out popped a handsome pilot who’d been trapped inside. Gene-who, it turns out, is her genie-has granted her three wishes.
Lucky Ravine now has the gorgeous hunk scrubbing her entire house. But it isn’t long before she starts falling for Gene, which means big trouble.
Because once her third wish is fulfilled, he’ll vanish from her life forever. And Ravine realizes she’s going to have to be very careful about what she wishes for next.

colorfulborderI’d really wanna have my own Genie in a Bottle after reading this.

This is a story about a lawyer-mother with a baby; the father was missing in action or should I say, he preferred to be in the shadows. In her struggle with being a single mom, she’s having a hard time finding a  husband.  One day, she ends up with a genie and he grants her 3 wishes.

On her last wish, she has to chose between her mother’s life, or her love for the genie. She chooses her mother’s life,and loses the genie.

It would take her years before she could wish again. What’s wonderful with the story is, she would be able to settle to a happy marriage soon. But with whom?

This is a fun, light read and although the characters are kinda whimsical, you get a good feeling after realizing what you really wanted and wished for has been granted. I think Ravine really ought to have a chance to find true love, but from a genie in a bottle? Well, love does make the world go crazy and magical, doesn’t it? So why not… Just like what Genie said, wish for whatever your heart desires..

Definitely a feel-good story. Perfect for a cold winter night.

Coming Soon: The Reaper’s Daughter by KM Randall

The Reaper’s Daughter
Coming February 15, 2015

reaper

Preview:

I’ve always felt like an average girl . . . except for my strange relationship with death. You could say I like to court it. Whether I’m soaring through the air as a flyer for Specter University’s cheer squad, or speeding down the steepest mountain with only grace and balance keeping me from an icy end, I’ve always needed to feel a rush. But now Death is courting me―in more ways than one. First, there’s Rishi, a rogue death deity who has a penchant for annoying me nearly to my grave and whose intense gaze has the power to see right through me. Then there’s Hades, who I’d rather had stayed just a myth. Now that he knows I exist, he’s never going to leave me alone until he can do the same to me as he’s done to my mother.

Oh yeah, did I forget to mention her? I spent my whole life thinking she had died when I was a baby, but now I’ve found out she’s much more than dead. Fifty years ago, Hades banished my mother from the underworld and along with the Council of Death Deities, took away her ability to cross over souls―souls that have wandered lost through the world ever since. Now she wants me to clean up the mess. You may have​ heard of her before: they call her the Grim Reaper.

​You know what that makes me? The Reaper’s Daughter.