Friday, December 12, 2014

Duty- Rachel Rossano

My Rating: 4 Stars

Description: Duty to King

Tomas Dyrease, the newly made Earl of Irvaine and the village of Wisenvale, owes his good fortune to his king and the recent civil war. When his benefactor demands Tomas marry the cousin of a noble, he obeys. However, no one warned him that she wasn’t a typical noblewoman.

Duty to Others

Brielle Solarius struggles to keep her village from starvation under the new Lord Wisten, her cousin. The men rode off to war and never returned. The remaining women and children face a dire winter if they do not find a solution soon. When she learns her cousin sold her into marriage to save his life, she isn’t surprised. However, she is taken aback by Lord Irvaine’s unpolished ways. Was this man a noble or a foot soldier?

Duty to Each Other

Bound by the words of their vows, they face a rough future. They must forge a marriage while battling betrayal, accusations of treason, and villains from the past. Survival depends on their precarious trust in each other. Failure could mean death.


My Thoughts: This is story which seems like history, but really takes place in a world of the author's own imagination. As such, she was able to create her own history while still using the cultural mores of our own world. I really liked how Rossano brought her world to life with intrigue and infighting amongst noble Lords.

There were times when I thought the hero and heroine were a little too perfect. Tomas seemed to fall in love with Brielle before he even met her just because they were married and he wanted to be in love with his wife. While Brielle managed to trust him almost as soon as she met him, even through she had no proof he was telling her the truth.

Still, beyond their perfection, the romance between Brielle and Tomas was amazing. There was kissing, but it was clean, and Tomas was utterly devoted to her. I fully intend to read more by Rossano soon.

I received this book through I'm a Reader, Not a Writer's Books for Review in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Destined for Doon- Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon

My Rating: 4 Stars

Description: The second book in the popular new Doon YA series that takes on a classic story, Brigadoon, and spins it in a new way to give readers a fresh, modern experience.

In this sequel to Doon, Kenna Reid realizes she made a horrible mistake-choosing to follow her dreams of Broadway instead of staying in the enchanted land of Doon. Worse, she's received proof she and Duncan are meant to be, along with torturous visions of the prince she left behind. So when Duncan shows up and informs Kenna that Doon needs her, she doesn't need to think twice. But even if Kenna can save the enchanted kingdom, her happily ever after may still be in peril.

My Thoughts: Having read the first book, Doon, I already knew what Corp and Langdon's writing style was like. However, I must say that the overall progression of the plot was far better in this book than the first. My main problem with Doon had been the almost dreamlike quality, where everything in Doon was perfect (from hot knights to pizza dates). Destined for Doon did not have the same issue. In this book, there were still hot knights and pizza, but now the heroines are fighting for their happily ever afters after discovering that the lives they had chosen were not as perfect as they had seemed.

Vee struggles with knowing what to do as Queen as well as how to be Queen when all Jamie wants to do is take charge. Kenna has come to realize that her acting dreams is not the same without those that she loves to be there for her. While there was no actual villain in this story, Vee and Kenna's internal struggles were enough to add tension to the otherwise straightforward plot.

Might I add that I was totally right about liking Duncan better as the main hero? He rocks.

I received this book from BookLook in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Golden Daughter- Anne Elisabeth Stengl

My Rating: 5 Stars

Description: BEYOND THE REALM OF DREAMS IS A WORLD SHE NEVER IMAGINED

Masayi Sairu was raised to be dainty, delicate, demure . . . and deadly. She is one of the emperor’s Golden Daughters, as much a legend as she is a commodity. One day, Sairu will be contracted in marriage to a patron, whom she will secretly guard for the rest of her life.

But when she learns that a sacred Dream Walker of the temple seeks the protection of a Golden Daughter, Sairu forgoes marriage in favor of this role. Her skills are stretched to the limit, for assassins hunt in the shadows, and phantoms haunt in dreams. With only a mysterious Faerie cat and a handsome slave—possessed of his own strange abilities—to help her, can Sairu shield her new mistress from evils she can neither see nor touch?

For the Dragon is building an army of fire. And soon the heavens will burn.


My Thoughts: This my favorite Goldstone Wood novel since Starflower. I might even like it a bit more than Starflower, which I wasn't sure was possible. Golden Daughter takes us to another country in the history of this world, one with customs far different than the other countries seen so far. The culture Anne Elisabeth constructed was so intricate and detailed, making it seem like someplace that might have once been real (and this comes from a Cultural Anthropologist).

The character I didn't like was Lady Hariawan. Everyone else, including the villains, were so much fun to read about. Sunan (who I only recently discovered was Captain Sunan from Goddess Tithe) was probably my favorite, besides Sir Eanrin. As with Heartless, Eanrin spent most of the novel in cat form, which I must admit I found hilarious.

I can not wait to read what comes next in the series. Surely it will be just as delightful as this.

I received an ARC of Golden Daughter in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Destiny Defined- J. A. Marx

My Rating: 2.5 Stars

Description: Trapped on a mysterious island, eighteen-year-old Riki finds refuge with four strangers. Isaac, the rugged EMT, insists no one else is around, but Riki cannot ignore her fear that someone is stalking her. Unless she finds a power truly great enough to overthrow Darkness, Riki will choose death over returning to captivity.

Lord Vétis, high priest of a cultic underground, will stop at nothing to reclaim the chosen one, but he must do so before her introduction to the real world ruins her royal destiny. Using black magic, he manipulates Riki and her self-assigned bodyguards, triggering a battle that consumes the entire island. The underground will never allow Riki to live out her dreams of a normal life...something she has never known.


My Thoughts: I wish I could say that I loved this book, but it was really just okay. I found the characters hard to relate to and oddly confusing. Many of their conversations came across as theology dialogues rather than actual conversations and their internal monologues often repeated themselves.

While I enjoyed the subject matter and found some parts interesting, their was just not enough to keep me engaged in the story. Though I do see where others could truly enjoy this book, so I suggest reading some other reviews too.

I received this book through Litfuse in exchange for an honest review.


Friday, November 14, 2014

The King's Scroll by Jaye Knight Cover Reveal- Giveaway!

About the Book
Following the harrowing events that brought them to Landale Forest, Jace and Kyrin have settled comfortably into their new lives and the mission of protecting those under the emperor’s persecution. The fast approach of winter brings with it the anticipation of a quiet few months ahead. That is until the arrival of four mysterious, dragon-riding cretes who seek aid in a mission of great importance—not only to their own people, but to all followers of Elôm.

Hidden in the vast mining valley north of Valcré, a faithful crete has spent years sharing his knowledge with the destitute miners and their families and is known to possess what may be Arcacia’s last surviving copies of the King’s Scrolls—the Word of Elôm. Joining the cretes, those in Landale must find the crete teacher and bring him to safety, but it is a race against time. Should Daican’s men find him first, execution and the destruction of the Scrolls is certain.

When disaster strikes, all seems lost. Could Elôm have a plan even in the enemy’s triumph?


About the Author
Jaye L. Knight is a homeschool graduated indie author with a passion for writing Christian fantasy
and clean new adult fiction. Armed with an active imagination and love for adventure, Jaye weaves stories of truth, faith, and courage with the message that even in the deepest darkness, God’s love shines as a light to offer hope. She has been penning stories since the age of eight and resides in the Northwoods of Wisconsin.

You can connect with Jaye on her website, blog, Facebook, Google+, and Twitter.


Giveaway
To celebrate her revealing of the cover, Jaye is giving away one of her handcrafted quill pen necklaces and a $5 Amazon gift card! Enter for a chance to win using the form below! U.S. entries only please.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Excerpt

The other younger crete took a swig of his coffee and set his eyes past her. Kyrin peeked over her shoulder at Kaden who, of course, was staring at the dragon. The female creature stared back in mutual interest.

“Go ahead,” the crete said suddenly. “You can touch her. She loves attention, and she’ll only attack if I tell her to.” A sly glint sparkled in his spring-green eyes.

Besides Jace, Kyrin had never seen anyone with such bright and colorful eyes as these cretes.

Kaden looked at him, his brows rising. “You can do that?”

The crete nodded. “Dragons are highly intelligent. You can teach them almost any command. Storm here is young, but she learns fast.”

Kyrin smiled at the delight in her brother’s eyes as he stepped closer to the dragon and ran his hand over her bluish-gray neck scales. A grin split his face.

“She’s so smooth. Kyrin, come and feel it.”

Kyrin stepped to his side and laid her hand on the dragon. The scales were indeed very smooth, reminding her of the polished marble stair-railings in Auréa Palace, but they weren’t cold. Warmth radiated through them. The dragon, still watching them, let out a little rumble, almost like a giant cat’s purr.

“I told you she liked attention,” the crete said, grinning.

Kyrin chuckled and glanced at Jace to see if he wanted to touch the dragon, but he made no move to come closer. This certainly had more to do with the crete than the dragon. He was very fond of any type of animal. She faced the crete again.

“So they can breathe fire?”

“For short bursts, but that’s usually all it takes to deter any threat.”

“That’s incredible,” Kaden breathed.

While he continued admiring Storm, Kyrin observed the dragon’s rider. He appeared to be in his early to mid-twenties—about ten years younger than Captain Darq—though his exact age was impossible to guess. Cretes were said to mature faster than humans, so he could be anywhere from seventeen to twenty-five. He too wore a sleeveless jerkin. Brown tattoos, a little darker than his skin, marked both shoulders. Darq and the other cretes had them as well, but Kyrin hadn’t taken a good look at them until now. This man’s were a complicated pattern of spirals and dots, but the shape of a fox stood out in the center of his right shoulder.

Though she tried to be discreet, he must have caught her studying him and suddenly extended his hand to her. “I’m Talas, by the way. Talas Folkan of the Fox Clan.”

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Shelfie

This post is long overdue, I know. About a week ago, Hannah tagged me in her Shelfie post. So take a look at my Shelfies and tell me what you recognize! Click on the images to see them larger.

These are my newest books


This one is actually two rows deep!

Same with this one.



There is one person I would like to tag in this and that is my sister, Salyna at Kissed Books!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Playing by Heart- Anne Mateer

My Rating: 4 Stars

Description: Lula Bowman has finally achieved her dream: a teaching position and a scholarship to continue her college education in mathematics. But when she receives a shocking telephone call from her sister, Jewel, everything she's worked for begins to crumble.

After the sudden death of Jewel's husband, Jewel needs Lula's help. With a heavy heart, Lula returns to her Oklahoma hometown to do right by her sister. But the only teaching job available in Dunn is combination music instructor/basketball coach. Neither subject belongs anywhere near the halls of academia, according to Lula!

Lula commits to covering the job for the rest of the school year, determined to do well and prove herself to the town. Reluctantly, she turns to the boys' coach, Chet, to learn the game of basketball. Chet is handsome and single, but Lula has no plans to fall for a local boy. She's returning to college as soon as she gets Jewel back on her feet.

However, the more time she spends in Dunn, the more Lula realizes God is working on her heart--and her future is beginning to look a lot different than she'd expected.


My Thoughts: Playing by Heart was a very well written book. Everything from the time period, down to posters and girl basketball rules, has been brought in to make this time period come to life. And Lula's struggle with doing what she knows is right rather than what others told her to do was one I could easily relate to. As was Chet's feelings of inadequacy.

My only issue was the sudden way in which the story ended. While I really liked how Mateer drew out the details of the world at large and let us get a true view of the characters' lives and struggles, I thought that they were rather simply tied up at the end. Personally, I would have loved a second book, showing how their relationship played out through the war.

After reading Playing by Heart, I will definitely be looking out for another of Mateer's books. Hopefully the rest are just as delightful a read.

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.