Tuesday, March 21, 2017

New Release Review ~ Finding Our Forever ~ Brenda Novak #2017NewRelease

Finding Our Forever (Silver Springs, #1)Finding Our Forever by Brenda Novak
Silver Springs #1
Release Date: March 21, 2017
Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Source: I received an eARC from the author. This did not affect my rating and I voluntarily provided a review.
Rating: 3.5 Bookworms
Challenges: #2017NewRelease

The search for her birth mother brought Cora Kelly to the New Horizons Boys Ranch. Getting a job there was easy enough, but confiding in Aiyana, the ranch's owner, that she's really her daughter? Cora's not sure she can do that, not unless she's confident the news will be welcomed. And once she gets to know Elijah Turner, Aiyana's adopted son and ranch manager, that decision becomes even more difficult.

Although Elijah can't deny his deep attraction to Cora, he's always struggled with trust. Anyone with his past would, and there's something about the ranch's newest employee that isn't exactly as it seems. But if the feelings she awakes in his guarded heart are any indication, she might be just what he's long been waiting for.

The premise of Finding Our Forever really appealed to me - I mean, finally finding your birth mother only to fall for her adopted son? Good stuff, right? And for the most part, it was.

Cora has always felt not quite whole having been adopted and not knowing anything about her birth mother. She's finally found her - she founded and runs a school for troubled teen boys - and she's accepted a job working as an art teacher. This will, hopefully, enable Cora to get to know her birth mother and then she can decide whether or not to tell her who she is. But she didn't count on Eli.

Elijah "Eli" Turner is the adopted son of Aiyana - a boy rescued from a terribly abusive home. He's become an incredible man, working at the school, giving to the boys there...but he doesn't trust easily. There's something about Cora, though. He's enamored.

And then there's Aiyana - this compassionate, giving woman who works tirelessly to help these boys who wouldn't have a chance otherwise. Why would she have given up her own child?

I really enjoyed my introduction to this new series and the characters of Silver Springs. The romance between Cora and Eli was heartwarming to watch develop even if I was upset with Cora for keeping her secret. I did feel the story could've had more depth if Eli's story had been explored a little more. For someone who claimed he wasn't to be trusted with Cora's heart, he certainly showed no real signs of not wanting it. I suppose when it's the one there's no stopping the heart, but still...

I also felt the reveal was a little easy and therefore anticlimactic. The emotion I was expecting would be there wasn't. But overall, the story was pleasant and compelling. I look forward to spending more time in Silver Springs, getting acquainted with the town and its inhabitants.

Monday, March 20, 2017

New Release Review ~ Anarchy Missing ~ JA Huss (@JAHuss) #2017NewRelease

Anarchy Missing (SuperAlpha, #2)Anarchy Missing by JA Huss
SuperAlpha #2
Release Date: March 14, 2017
Genre: Adult, Superhero/SuperVillain Romance
Source: I received an eARC from the author. This did not affect my rating and I voluntarily provided a review.
Rating: 4.5 Bookworms
Challenges: #2017NewRelease

Everyone wants justice.
That's what Assistant DA, Lulu Lightly, tells me.
"Cathedral City needs you to set things right," she says. "To rid this place of corruption once and for all."
I'd like to rid Lulu Lightly of her clothes. And maybe her moral superiority. But mostly her clothes.
"I want you to fight the good fight with me," she says.
Hell, yeah. I'm always up for a fight.
"We should stand up and be the voice of the people," she says.
Sur, I hear voices. Sometimes I even listen to them.
"Figure out what's good for the City and put it first," she says.
Oh, honey...what's good for the City is bad for the people. Trust me, I know. I'm Case Reider - insane Alpha, nerfarious inventor, and I understand this town better than anyone.
Cathedral City needs me all right. Just not the way you think.
I'm not the justice you're looking for, Lulu Lightly.
I'm still the same villain you left behind.
Only now... there's something very, very wrong with me.

It's been awhile since I visited Cathedral City with its mountains and spires and corruption and... superheroes. Or are they supervillains? Whichever category they fall into, Huss had me falling for this next Alpha almost immediately - despite his valid concerns about his sanity.

Reading Anarchy Missing is akin to watching a Marvel movie - riveting and exciting from the get-go. I was immersed in this world from page one where we're able to see how our Alphas attain their uniqueness, watch them acquire their girl, and deal with a crisis... all they while planning for the thing that they're really intent on accomplishing. In Anarchy Missing we meet Lulu (I LOVE her name!!), someone Case was involved with years ago. She comes back to town with a purpose - that being Lady Justice. I adored Lulu. She's intelligent and strong, and even though she wants to serve up justice, she's not so hellbent on it that she can't look deeper - consider all sides. Case is this super-talented high-tech designer/developer. He's the same loyal guy we met in Anarchy Found, yet different. He still has strong feelings for Lulu but believes he isn't good for her - especially since he keeps having this feeling...that something is wrong with him. And there just might be.

All the Alphas are very present in this installment - banding together to figure out what the latest evil invading their city is. They can't be villains, can they?!? Molly and Sheila are also present which makes the story that much more gripping because the entire cast is well-developed - even AI Sheila - and that development along with the dynamics between them all gives the story more depth.

This world Huss has created with all its unique high-tech gadgetry and medicine, its evil villains and superheroes who might be supervillains is so entertaining and fascinating. Huss is still in the building phase and I'm hopefuly we get another Alpha book this year so we can get a better idea of where the Alphas are leading Cathedral City. Plus, I want to see Thomas get his girl. *wink*

Only Huss could take me out of my comfort zone genre-wise and make me grateful for the experience. I haven't gotten my paperback yet (book buying ban) but I'm hoping it has all the hand-drawn art to complete the comic book feel. The art was a real bonus in the first installment so I hope it's carried throughout. As for the story, there are questions, of course, but I know in the end all will be answered. And so I'll anxiously await my next trip to Cathedral City.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Review ~ Rises the Night ~ Colleen Gleason #TakeControlTBR #ShelfLove

Rises The Night (The Gardella Vampire Hunters, #2)Rises the Night by Colleen Gleason
Gardella Vampire Hunters #2
Release Date: June 5, 2007
Genre: Adult, Paranormal Romance
Source: Purchased on Kindle
Rating: 4.5 Bookworms
Challenges: #ShelfLove, #TakeControl, #TravelingtotheTerminus

The saga of Victoria Gardella continues as the glorious nineteenth-century city of Rome gives rise to a new threat from the immortal undead...

Lady Victoria Gardella Grantworth de Lacy has been a vampire slayer for just over a year, balancing her life as a peer of Soceity with the dangerous role that takes her out on moonlit streets, stake in hand. She has learned brutal and heartbreaking lessons about the sacrifices that must be made in order to save humanity from the evil that secretly preys upon it, but she has not wavered in her vow to fight on.

Now, in Italy, a powerful vampire is amassing the power to control the souls of the dead. As Victoria races across Europe to stop what could be the most deadly army the Gardellas have ever faced, her unlikely companion is Sebastian Vioget--a man as tempting as he is untrustworthy.

But when Victoria discovers she has been betrayed by one of her most trusted allies, the truth will challenge all her powers as a Venator...and as a woman.

I was an instant fan of this series following the stellar first installment. Vampire hunters in Regency-era England? Yes, please. Rises the Night picks up almost a year after the end of book 1 - that heartbreaking ending. Rises the Night is every bit as exciting and fascinating, with intrigue, a new evil on the rise, and questionable loyalties.

This installment finds Victoria investigating and attempting to locate a new threat to humanity. No one has heard from Max in almost a year so Victoria relies on aid from Sebastian despite not knowing for certain if he's trustworthy.

There is danger almost at every turn - the introduction of new characters for whom it was thrilling to try to determine their allegiance, and the simmering sexual tension between Victoria and Sebastian hit the boiling point. There were also more than a few surprises, some of which left me bereft. Actually, I'm still feeling that way and am quite certain that I'll continue this series soon as I'm more that eager to know what is lying in wait for our heroine next.

As long as I'm rambling, I appreciated the change in locale for this installment. Rome and Venice allowed Victoria even more freedom as a woman and I also liked the description of the cities. Victoria also learns more about the Venators, which provided a little more history about the venerable group of hunters she's a part of. I also liked the lore used regarding this newest evil.

Overall, I'm simply enthralled. I'm anxious to learn, experience, immerse myself even more in this series!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Beyond the Books ~ Ten Things You Always Wanted to Know About Me...

Welcome to Bookworm Brandee Beyond the Books. This post was inspired by Lexxie @Unconventional BookviewsUp Close and (Un)conventional, who was inspired by Cuddlebuggery. It's meant to be a way for y'all to get to know me better on a personal level ~ Beyond the Books. ;)

...and were too afraid to ask. ;)

  • I have a degree in English Literature...and in Economics. I'd planned on going to law school but changed my mind. 
  • I'm an accomplished procrastinator. I come from a long line of procrastinators and I've ensured my legacy having progeny who also procrastinate exceedingly well.
  • I'm particular about my pens. Since I hand write my reviews as well as discussion posts, it's of special importance I have my favorite pens on hand. My favorite brand? Uniball Signo. I have them in every color.
  • Before I got married, I'd never:
    • owned a CD
    • owned a computer
    • traveled much outside the state of Texas
  • I became a coffee addict at the ripe old age of 40! I started drinking coffee in my hot chocolate, then moved to flavored creamer. Now I drink it black.
  • I'm originally from Texas (I've lived in Colorado for 18 years). I grew up with grandparents who farmed and spent a great deal of time around mud, animals, gardens, and snakes. And yet, I'd never owned a pair of cowboy boots until two years ago.
  • My grandma, mom, and I are all spaced 20 years apart, meaning my grandma is 86, my mom is 66, and I'll be 46 next month. I, however, broke the streak!
  • In my family, I've managed to get the 1/4 genetic possibilities (using simple Punnet squares)
    • green eyes - everyone else has blue or brown
    • poor eyesight - I was legally blind before I had Lasik
    • low blood pressure - they worry because it's so low
    • O Negative blood type
    • although not genetic, I'm the oddball liberal in a family full of conservatives
  • I talk to my cats...and myself. A lot. Especially myself. My kids laugh at me but, as I've told them repeatedly, sometimes I'm the only one who listens to me!
  • At one time I kept my hardback books pristine, never wanting to crease the spine, damage the dust jacket, fold a page... Now I've decided that having sticky tabs, notes in the margins, and *gasp* dog-eared pages is my way of showing my love for the book.
There you have it! Ten things you've always wanted to know...okay, maybe you didn't really know you wanted to know these things about me. But now you do. Thanks for listening reading!

Monday, March 13, 2017

Review ~ Ten Reasons to Stay ~ Sabrina Jeffries #BloggerShame #COYER #ShelfLove

Ten Reasons to Stay (School For Heiresses, #2.5)Ten Reasons to Stay by Sabrina Jeffries
Release Date: May 6, 2013
Genre: Adult, Historical Romance
Source: I received an eARC from the publisher via Netgalley. This in no way affected my rating and I voluntarily provided a review.
Rating: 3.5 Bookworms
Challenges: #BloggerShame, #COYER, #ReadAlltheBooks, #ShelfLove, #TakeControlTBR

In "Ten Reasons to Stay," previously published in the anthology The School for Heiresses, lessons go far beyond etiquette and needlepoint. Eliza Crenshawe's lesson is to look before she leaps. But when she discovers that her new guardian plans to marry her off without so much as a Season, she forgets all that. She flees--on a horse she unwittingly steals (oops!)--from Colin Hunt, a newly minted earl who wants nothing more than for her to go home...or stay forever.

What a delightful read this was! I'm a sucker for both a feisty historical heroine and a broody hero - Ten Reasons to Stay delivered both! Even though things moved at lightning speed, I still fell for both Eliza and Colin.

These two meet under conspicuous circumstances. Eliza was intending to borrow a horse when Colin catches her. He was confounded by her appearance - she was dressed as a man - and even more so when she refused to tell him anything regarding who she was or her reasons for needing his horse. Oh but he has his ways of getting information.

Both Eliza and Colin have suffered losses. Colin has come to England from India, where he grew up. He's looking for peace. Eliza's looking for escape. But they might need one another to find what they're looking for.

I would have liked more time with these two. Time for me to get better acquainted with them and for them to become better acquainted with each other. But I did like them both. They're very spirited and fell hard and fast. The reason behind Eliza's escape attempt was solved a bit too easily for my tastes but this is a novella. And despite wanting more, I still had a good time with the story. Jeffries deftly creates engaging characters I adore spending time with as well as watching them get themselves out of situations...and always to find their HEA.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

My TBR List ~ March ~ And the Winner is...


My To-Be Read List is a meme hosted by Michelle @Because Reading. I think it's a fabulous idea because it gets y'all in the game and it helps me knock off some of the many, many books on my TBR list. You're more than welcome to join in the fun! I've included the basic rules below but you can click on the graphic above to hop over to Michelle's site where you can find all the details. 

Here's how it works:
On the first Saturday of each month, I will make a post with three books from my TBR List (these books can be already on your ereader or bookshelf OR books you might want to purchase) and add your link on the linky that will be provided on Michelle's post. Y'ALL will help me choose which book I will read next. The following Saturday, I will announce which book won. Then the last Saturday of the month, I'll post my review.

Fun, right?!?


The votes are in, and the winner is.......

Crash into You (Pushing the Limits, #3)Crash into You
Pushing the Limits #3

The girl with straight A's and the perfect life--that's who people expect Rachel Young to be. So the private school junior keeps secrets from her wealthy family...and she's just added two more to the list. One involves racing strangers down dark country roads in her Mustang GT. The other? Seventeen-year-old Isaiah Walker - a guy she has no business even talking to. But after the foster kid with the tattoos and intense gray eyes comes to her rescue, she can't get him out of her mind.

The last thing Isaiah needs is to get tangled up with a rich girl who wants to slum it on the south side for kicks. But when their shared love of street racing puts their lives in jeopardy, Isaiah and Rachel will have six weeks to come up with a way out. Six weeks to discover just how far they'll go to save each other.

Thanks for voting and check back on March 25th for my review!

Friday, March 10, 2017

Review ~ The Wright Brother ~ Marie Hall #COYER #ShelfLove

The Wright BrotherThe Wright Brother by Marie Hall
Release Date: September 19, 2014
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Source: Gifted
Rating: 4 Bookworms
Challenges: #COYER, #ShelfLove

From the moment I opened my eyes I could only see the world in shades of gray. There was no noise, no sound, nothing. Deaf and colorblind, I was a loner. My world was bleak, silent and empty, until her. Until I met my neighbor, Elisa Jane Adrian. I want her. I need her. The fractured part of me feels whole when she's around. Like the world isn't so dark, isn't so blea, and so still. I know it's impossible, but when I look at Elisa I swear I can see color, can hear the gentle inhalations of her breath. I know she feels it too, this magic, this desperate desire...

I first saw him when I was three. Julian Wright was different than any other guy I'd ever known. He sees the world in a way I know I never will. But he intrigues me. The way he looks at me with his sea green eyes, how he hypnotizes me with his smile.

It's dangerous these feelings I have for him. Reckless and stupid. I'm so much older than him, I know better. And I'll fight these desires, no one will ever know how I feel. I'll even pretend to myself that I'm not as hooked on him as he is on me.

I'll move away to Ireland, I'll forget him, but that's the thing about the Wrights, they have a way of getting under your skin, into your soul, and no matter the time or distance, once a Wright sets their eyes on you, there's no going back...ever.

Whoa! Elisa and Julian's story kept me tied in knots. But y'all know I'm a believer in things working out the way they're meant to - just like Elisa's mom - so despite having my doubts at several points, I was ecstatic at where Elisa and Julian ended up.

Elisa and Julian have known each other almost their whole lives. Well, at least Julian's since he's 2 years and 5 months younger than Elisa. Julian, one of a set of triplets, is different though. He's deaf. And colorblind. But that doesn't keep he and Elisa from being close. They develop their own way of communicating and are together a lot. An event takes Julian and his family away for awhile but the return and it's then Elisa begins to question her feelings for Julian. She can't feel an attraction to him, can she? He's younger. And - well his brothers, at least, are like her brothers. Thus begins the back and forth, push and pull relationship between them.

Elisa, although I liked her and understood her reservations about Julian, she made me want to smack her on the back of her head. She was so clueless sometimes, not taking into consideration Julian's feelings or how her action would affect him. Julian I loved. He's broody, artistic, but considerate and romantic. And no matter what he held out hope for he and Elisa.

The journey for these two was rocky and full of angst. Thee were missteps on both sides but usually Elisa's. But I enjoyed witnessing them grow and mature - and realize what they had together was special and worth fighting for.

Thanks to Berls for this special read! I'm sorry it took me so long but it was worth the wait. :)

On a side note - as I typed the synopsis I realized it made it seem like maybe part of this story is from Julian's POV. It's not but his feelings are clear. :)

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

#ShelfLove Discussion ~ Books Languishing the Longest...

This quarter's #ShelfLove discussion is about books that have been languishing on my shelves the longest. Honestly, I have so many choices! But I decided to pick one from my physical shelf, and two from my virtual shelves - one from my nook and one from my kindle.

The Good German: A Novel
The Good German by Joseph Kanon has been on my physical shelf FOREVER. I can't explain why. I've had this book since 2001 and I was so excited to receive a copy from the publisher. I ran a book club at the time and somehow got a copy - the publisher hoping I'd pick it for book club, I'm sure. Anyway, it's still sitting on my TBR shelf.

A Hidden Fire (Elemental Mysteries, #1)
A Hidden Fire by Elizabeth Hunter has been on my Nook since 2012. I heard about The First Ever Indie Convention, hosted by authors including Colleen Hoover and Jillian Dodd, held in Chicago back in 2012. I couldn't attend but decided to read a book from each of the authors attending. I *know* I'm going to love this but for some reason, this is one I've never gotten around to reading. :(

Overwhelm Me (Callahan, #1)Overwhelm Me by A.C. Marchman has been on my Kindle since 2013. Heck, I *bought* my Kindle in order to read this book and several others that I'd found were only available on Kindle. And again, I cannot tell you why I haven't gotten around to reading it, but I haven't. It's another one I'm certain I'm going to love but... *sigh* I'll get around to reading it eventually.

So what about y'all? Are there books you've had lying around FOREVER?? Why is it you haven't read it/them yet?? Is it just a matter of time?!? Or you just not interested anymore?? Why have you let them languish?