The Winner’s Crime (Winner’s Trilogy #2) by Marie Rutkoski

 

The Herrani believed that a god ruled not just one thing, but a whole domain of associated ideas, actions, objects. The god of stars was the god of stars, yes, but also of accidents, beauty, and disasters. The god of souls … Kestrel’s throat closed as she remembered Arin invoking that god, who ruled love. My soul is yours, he had said. You know that it is. His expression had been so open, so true. Frightened, even, of what he was saying. And she had been frightened, too, by how he had spoken what she felt. It frightened her still. The coin. Kestrel forced her attention again to the coin.

Kestrel is forced to keep her love a secret in order to protect the one she loves… but the more she lies to keep him safe, the closer she is to losing him

Kestrel didn’t miss his message. She wasn’t blind to the way he had indicated that their conversation could be overheard, nor was she deaf to his coded invitation that they could speak more freely in his guest suite. But she struggled against the pain in her throat, and said only, “Your ride here was hard?” “Yes.” “And the snow. It’s falling already?” “Yes, my lady.” “The mountain pass will close.” “Yes,” Tensen said gently, and he saw too much. Kestrel could tell that he heard that horrible note in her voice, and that he recognized it as the sound of someone fighting tears. “As expected,” he added. But she hadn’t expected this: this stupid hope, this punishing one, for who would long to see someone who was already lost? What good would it have done? None. Apparently Arin knew this, too. He knew it better than she, or his hope would have been equal to hers, and would have driven him here. Kestrel drew herself up straight. “You can find your rooms by yourself, Minister Tensen. I have more important matters to attend to.” She strode from the hall. The veined marble floor was icy beneath her feet: a frozen lake with fractures she did not care to see. She walked, she did not care. She did not.

The chances she takes to insure Arin’s safety are becoming more and more dangerous.

The chances he takes to understand Kestrel’s choices are pushing them farther and farther apart.

Chances are taken, lives are lost, and choices are made… and they don’t always turn out for the best.

I give this book 4 out of 5 stars. I really love the way the author is able to draw me into this series, she created this new world and I love that I’m able to picture it so clearly. I have to say that the first book in this series was great and this installation kept me guessing as to what would happen next. I was definitely in a lot of inner turmoil throughout this book as well. Basically Kestrel’s lies and Arin insecurities were KILLING me! I mean I understood where they were coming from but, because I knew everything that had happened I was tortured by their actions (because they didn’t know what I did). Don’t think you will get any closure at all by the end of this book, because if you read the first book you know that this author likes to end on a CLIFFHANGER and this book is no different.

The Truth About Him by M. O’Keefe

AVAILABLE 11/24/15!!!!!
Annie McKay came to slowly. Aware in pieces of her surroundings. The pebbled linoleum of the trailer floor dug into her cheek. Her ankle was twisted, wedged against something hard. The hot copper smell of blood made her stomach roll and she gagged. “Annie, I’m sorry.” That voice … oh God. It was Hoyt. Her husband. Standing over her.

Just when Annie thought she was safe to move on with her life… HE returns to smash it to pieces

If hope was hard for me, faith was impossible. Growing up Dylan Daniels among the thieves and killers and rabid animals disguised as humans that were my family, faith didn’t stand a chance. But goddammit—I was trying. I clutched hope and faith in my scarred hands. Hands far too used to shoving those things away.

Dylan must overcome his own demons in order to save Annie from hers…

I gave this book 4.4 stars out of 5. I have to say that I actually really liked Dylan and didn’t think that he was as bad as he swore he was. I think that he just didn’t see himself as worthy of Annie, which is funny because she didn’t think she was good enough for him either. I loved his struggle with what he thought was true and what she saw in him, and how at times he wanted so much to be the man she saw and held himself from it. I also liked how Annie continued to grow in this book. Plenty happened where she could have just folded into herself and there were times when she almost did. Luckily the people who are now in her life helped her through her crisis and showed her not only who she could be, but who she had already become. I really liked this series in that the characters were realistic  and they evolved as the story progressed. I was sad when the book ended, but I did get the closure that I needed (the end of the first book was a MAJOR cliffhanger and I almost died when I had to wait for the next one!)

Check out my review on the first book in the series!

Everything I Left Unsaid

The Winner’s Curse (Winner’s Trilogy #1) by Marie Rutkoski

 

Kestrel drew in a shaky breath. Her bones felt watery. What had she done? Jess slipped a supporting hand under her elbow. “You are sick.” “And rather light of purse, I’d say.” The pointy-chinned woman snickered. “Looks like someone’s suffering the Winner’s Curse.” Kestrel turned to her. “What do you mean?” “You don’t come to auctions often, do you? The Winner’s Curse is when you come out on top of the bid, but only by paying a steep price.”

Kestrel has just won at auction, what she doesn’t know is that her prize may cause her more trouble than it’s worth…

There was a rustle and the auctioneer returned. The slave walked behind. He lifted his gaze to meet Kestrel’s. His eyes were a clear, cool gray. They startled her. Yet she should have expected to see this color in a Herrani, and Kestrel thought it must be the livid bruise on his cheek that made the expression in his eyes so uncanny. Still, she grew uncomfortable under his gaze. Then his lashes fell. He looked at the ground, letting long hair obscure his face. One side was still swollen from the fight, or beating.

 

I give this book 4.2 out of 5 stars. I really liked this book because not only was it really interesting, but it was also pretty unpredictable. My favorite character was definitely Kestrel because she fought for what she believed in, wasn’t afraid to make sacrifices and she is wicked smart.  The setting that the author created was very vivid and she was really able to make me connect with the characters. When someone would insult Kestrel or Arin I would get angry or when something crazy happened I would freak out(read: start screaming at characters). I love the relationship between the characters and found myself depressed at times when they would do something that would end up pulling them apart. I really enjoyed this book and even though it is YA, it was still relate able to me (probably because she wasn’t just an angst-y high schooler).  I must worn you that this is the first book in a trilogy, so read at your own risk!

The Girl from Above:Betrayal (The 1000 Revolution #1) by Pippa DaCosta

betrayal GFA 

I made it eighty-three steps before the alarms sounded. The chase begins. If I could get outside, I’d lose them in the busy streets. I broke into a jog. The green exit sign glowed ahead, so close. Ten strides, nine, eight—Agony ripped through my limbs and tore my control from me. No! I crumpled in a heap, robbed of all sensation. Perhaps that was a good thing, not to feel. From my perspective, from where I lay, the EXIT glowed green in my upturned palm. It had seemed so close, but now, as the hammering of boots echoed down the hallway, that unassuming sign mocked me. A synth? Escape? it said. Synths don’t escape. They don’t think outside their orders. Grossman must have thought the same, right before I’d killed her with her own pen.

All #1001 knows is that she is different from the 1000 other synths that were made… she has no boundaries

When she stows away on a ship, she starts to find herself

I used to believe stars were wishes, that if we reached them, our dreams would come true. But the stars will always be out of reach, and no amount of dreaming will capture them. I wish … I wish we had more time. I wish we had forever. I wish you loved me. Don’t let me go.

When #1001 starts to have strange dreams, the ship’s dynamics start to slowly change.

I give this book 2.6 out of 5 stars. I really like the idea for this book and were it seems to want to go, but from just installation of the series I felt that I was left wanting. While I like #1001 as a character I didn’t connect to her on the level I had hoped. On the other hand I really liked Caleb, in that he was so secretive it kept me interested to know what he was hiding. I also liked a lot of the dynamics between the different characters even some events were a bit predictable. I do look forward to reading the other books in this series as I feel the author is one that will get better the more she writes. Even within the book the longer I held on, the more the book started to be able to draw me in. And as she left me on a CLIFFHANGER I feel that the next book will hopefully be able to suck me in from the beginning!

Dead of Winter (The Arcana Chronicles #3) by Kresley Cole

Two armed sentries passed us. Each wore a hooded camo poncho and carried a rifle. They nodded politely. Under my breath, I said, “Arcana don’t freak them out? Gabriel’s wings alone should throw them.” “At first, yeah. But they look to J.D. to see how to act. They hero-worship ‘the hunter.’ ” Charismatic Jack could be so compelling when he wanted to. “He uses our help to maintain order,” Selena said. “The Azey might have the twins, but J.D.’ s got three Arcana himself—a psychic, an exquisite bow-goddess, and an illusionist.”

Evie has return to Jack and the others from Death’s castle and she’s changed, they don’t know if for the better.

“Don’t let any humans know what we’re planning.” “Understood.” I furtively kicked Selena’s boot; she straightened and said, “Oh. Thanks, Gabe. I won’t forget this.” “It will be my pleasure, Selena. I look forward to it.” His eyes widened. “I mean, not that I am pleased about the occasion.” Selena let him off the hook. “I look forward to kicking serial killer ass.” He grinned. “Precisely.”

The action doesn’t stop just because Evie was gone… Jack and the rest of her alliance has tracked down the Lovers and hope to end the sadistic twins reign of terror.

When things get out of control and someone ends up in enemy clutches the two main men in Evie’s life must set aside their differences in order to save them.

I gave this book a 4.6 out of 5 stars. Ms. Cole doesn’t fail to provide the action in this latest addition to the Poison Princess series. As always she sucks you into the world after the Flash and you are forced (you have no choice, you have been sucked in after all) to follow Evie’s adventures in this post-apocalyptic tale. So, I still like Evie but Aric is my favorite. I have to say that I pretty much liked Aric from the beginning (not always sure why) but after learning more about him and his past, I love him all the more. I love his struggles and his attitude for the most part, though he is a bit too bossy for my taste (but he’s also from another time period and place so I forgive him, mostly). I have to warn you there is a MAJOR CLIFFHANGER at the end of this book, and the next book has yet to be released… so READ AT YOUR OWN RISK.

Everything I Left Unsaid by M O’Keefe

AVAILABLE 10/13/15!
Everyone minds their own here. They all keep to themselves. That’s what Kevin, the park manager, had said when I put down my cash for the trailer. It’s safe and it’s quiet and we don’t truck with no nonsense. Safe, quiet, and no nonsense made this little scrap of swamp a perfect place to end my week of helter-skelter traveling.

Annie is running

She’s finally escaped her own little piece of Hell and she’s finally getting a taste of true freedom

Then she answers the phone…

Make no mistake, Dylan Daniels was the beast. He was the bad guy in the stories. Some other asshole could be the hero, save the day and get the girl. Alone and gruesome, he’d stay up on his mountain with his money and his work, as far from people as he could get because that was how he liked it. It was better. For everyone. But every once in a while he got to worrying about the monsters that lived off the mountain and he called to check up on Ben.

Dylan isn’t looking for anything or anyone new, then he calls

And Annie picks up the phone

One phone call can change everything

I give this book 4.5 out of 5 stars. I have to say that I really liked the difference of the setting in this story. While it was pretty weird, I thought it was interesting how the main characters pretty much communicated solely by cell phone. What made this book so different is that these characters started to fall for one another all while never having set eyes on the other. They literally fell for the others personality and how they made each other feel. It was an interesting concept, I kinda thought he was a serial killer or something for a while but he won me over. This was a relatively fast read though there were a few times where the storyline did lag for the most part I had to know what was going to happen next. I think that my favorite character was Annie, even though she did frustrate me at times. I liked that she was sarcastic, funny, and eventually she grew a backbone. I liked that while her past did have a major impact on her life, she was still able to work at finding herself. I was really proud of her for her growth and while I didn’t agree with some of her decisions in the end they were what helped her to be herself and put her past behind her. This is definitely NOT a standalone and it DOES end on a CLIFFHANGER so while you should read it be warned…

Faking it (Losing it #2) by Cora Carmack

faking-it

Now, I just had to figure out what to tell my parents about my suddenly absent library-going-nice-guy-boyfriend. I’d just have to tell them he had to work or go to class or heal the sick or something. I scanned the room for an open table. They’d probably see right through the lie and know there was no nice guy, but there was no way around it. Damn. The coffee shop was packed, and there weren’t any open tables. There was a four top with only one guy sitting at it, and it looked like he was almost done. He had short, brown curls that had been tamed into something neat and clean. He was gorgeous, in that all-American model kind of way. He wore a sweater and scarf and had a book sitting on his table. Newsflash! This was the kind of guy libraries should use in advertising if they wanted more people to read.

 Max has never been able to show her parents the real her

Cade is working to get over the one who got away

“Golden Boy nickname aside, I’m not a saint, Max.” His body was stiff next to mine. I rubbed at my eyes, and slowly the world started to resurface. I was in my bed. In my apartment. Light filtered in through the window, and Cade was sitting on my bed, fully clothed, staring at the wall like it was Hitler. Oh holy Hell, I was dreaming. I’d just put the moves on him in my sleep! I covered my mouth with my hand and racked my brain to try to remember if I’d said anything that would give me away. When the shock wore off, I let my hand drop to my chest, where my fingertips touched bare skin. I looked down and had to resist the urge to scream. I WAS NAKED.

When deceptions begin to go to far, feeling get involved

As they fight their inner demons as well as the odds

One word would describe Max and Cade’s relationship… COMPLICATED

I gave this book 4.3 out of 5 stars. I have to say in this book my favorite character would have to be Cade, which is funny because I tend to always love the bad boy (Max and I have that in common). However Cade was able to swoop in and steal my heart (swoon), the thing I think that gets me the most about him is the way he almost always understands Max and what she’s not saying. I spent a greater part of this book jealous the he wasn’t real/mine. The coolest thing about this book in my opinion is the fact that the storyline wasn’t a typical romance storyline. The guy was the one who was seen as the ‘Golden Boy’ and the girl was the one who was edgy and mysterious. For me Max projected the girl that all girls want to be, strong and fearless, but on the inside she was just as scared and uncertain of herself as the rest of us if not more. As she began to trust and rely on Cade more she was able to face her inner turmoil and strive to be who she always wanted to be. This is the second book in the Losing It series and does have some ties to the first book but you won’t be lost if you start with this book.

Endless Knight (The Arcana Chronicles #2) by Kresley Cole

 

“He had four girls chained in there, experimenting on them. One hadn’t survived it. I freed the others.” I turned to Matthew. “Will they be safe tonight?” “The girls are fleeing Requiem. Two will live. Third wouldn’t in any scenario.” My heart sank. Selena said, “So you made the Alchemist pay.” Seriously? “I didn’t want to hurt him, never wanted to kill anyone. Part of me refused to believe that only one of us was getting out of here alive. Not until he told me to dig my new collar out of those remains and put it around my neck!” “Duuude,” Finn murmured, the word imbued with sympathy. “Looks like the Alchemist dicked with the wrong chick.” I didn’t deny that, because, well, he had.

Evie has now come to terms with her new powers and she’s determined to not only use them, but to use them for good

The others aren’t so sure that’s possible, especially as all the alliances in the past have failed.

“Should’ve said good-bye. Arcana and non-Arcana mix poorly.” Matthew sighed. “Dee-vee-oh stares at you when you don’t see. Hunter. Watching. You’re the angel atop the Christmas tree that he can never reach. Gift beneath that he can’t unwrap.”

Evie and Jackson never seem to be able to be truly together, something’s always working to separate them.

And things get even crazier when Death comes into the picture.

I gave this book a 3.8 out of 5 stars. I have to say that I am liking Evie more and more as she discovers who she is and makes decisions on who she wants to be. She is no longer the helpless girl she was in The Poison Princess, she’s now more of an empress (heh heh). She does still have her inner struggles with who she used to be and not letting that overtake who she is now, but she’s working to handle that. She does get kidnapped by Death in this book, which I think is exciting because I really like him (Yes, he’s threatened her and whatnot, but I still like him). After you read this book you might as well 😉 , he’s still a controlling guy so he does make some mistakes which don’t endear him to Evie but what controlling guy doesn’t do stupid things? I did feel that this book was more of a connector in the series in that it furthers Evie and Jack’s relationship but it also introduces another major character who brings all new conflicts into Evie’s life. You do learn a lot more about Death and why he is the way he is, and of course the evil past empress had a hand in what he became (and how he treats Evie). Remember that this is the second installation of a series in which only the first three books are out and Ms. Cole does love to end on a cliffhanger :/ . This could end up being a long series (her website says minimum five books) and her other series Immortals After Dark has over 11 books in the series (but that series has different couples in each story, so it doesn’t suck as much to have to wait…).

A Hunger Like No Other (Immortals After Dark #1) by Kresley Cole

 

He stands chained against a rock, pinned at two places on each limb and once around his neck. Before him—an opening into hell that spews fire. Here he waits and suffers, offered to a column of fire that may weaken but is never-ending—never-ending, just like his life. His existence is to burn to death repeatedly, only to have his dogged immortality revive him again. Detailed fantasies of retribution have gotten him this far; nursing the rage in his heart is all he has. Until her. Over the centuries, he has sometimes heard uncanny new things in the streets above, occasionally smelled Paris changing seasons. But now he has scented her, his mate, the one woman made for him alone. The one woman he’d searched for without cease for a thousand years—up until the day of his capture.

Lachlain is a lykae (think werewolf) and he has been imprisoned in his own personal hell for decades… By vampires.

The human males she passed turned their heads slowly to regard her, frowns in place, sensing something, but unsure. Probably some genetic memory from long ago that signaled her as their wildest fantasy or their darkest nightmare. Emma was neither. She was a co-ed—a recent Tulane grad—alone in Paris and hungry. Weary from another failed search for blood, she sank onto a rustic bench beneath a chestnut tree, eyes riveted to a waitress drawing espresso at a café. If only blood poured so easily, Emma thought. Yes, if it came warm and rich from a bottomless tap, then her stomach wouldn’t be clenched in hunger at the mere idea. Starving in Paris. And friendless. Was there ever such a predicament? Couples strolling hand in hand along the gravel walk seemed to mock her loneliness. Was it just her, or did lovers look more adoringly at each other in this city? Especially in the springtime. Die, bastards. She sighed. It wasn’t their fault that they were bastards who should die.

Emmaline (Emma) is a very rare bird, even in the world of the supernatural. She is half Valkyrie and half vampire.

When Lachlain finds that a vampire is the mate he’s yearned for, he must make a choice.

I gave this book a 3.8 out of 5 stars. While it is very fast paced and interesting I felt that there was something missing at the end. This is the first book in a series, but the series is set up where each book tells about a different couple while still being interconnected. I hope that as the series continues, not only will I meet new characters but I will also get a bit more about the old ones as well. At first I didn’t really have a favorite character but as the characters grew my favorite became clear. Emma became my favorite character, I didn’t like her in the beginning because she was kind of depressing. She saw herself as weak and didn’t see herself as attractive, and it really annoyed me (she was a bit pathetic, but she would have times of inner strength which gave me hope). Luckily as she was forced out of her comfort zone she learned to believe in herself and began to unlock her true badass potential. Lachlain was another story, he was always strong but in my opinion he doesn’t really think before he acts most of the time (and it gets him in trouble, mostly with Emma). I mean yes, he was tortured for decades and that probably (definitely) had something to do with it too, but some of the stuff he did should have gotten him his ass kicked. I’ll just say that kidnapping Emma in the beginning worked for him in some ways but it really did burn him too. I love the way the Kresley was able to create this new world with some crazy characters and keep the reader interested and in the know (lots of explanations were needed but she wove them into the story). Anyway like I said, this is the first of a series but you do get some closure on Emma and Lachlain, which is good because I think there are like 12 books in the series so far.

The Kricket Series (As a Whole) by Amy A Bartol

IMG_5396    

“I think finding Prince Charming is your wish.  Mine is still Northwestern University,” I reply, picking up my backpack and throwing it over my shoulder.  “Just think how happy my mom would be if I told her I was marrying you. She’d flip out, seriously,” he says half-jokingly. “Enrique, that’s a really tempting offer, but since I’m only seventeen, I’m gonna keep my options open,” I reply, putting my hat on and trying to sweep my mass of blond hair beneath it.

Kricket doesn’t live in a fairytale and she is well aware of it. She just wants to make to eighteen so that she can be legally responsible for herself.

 

“The priestess, born of two worlds and of two houses, has returned to Ethar as prophesied.  Kricket Valke, the stolen daughter of our order, is a hostage in the House of Rafe”

Kricket is forced into a world that she knows nothing about, with prophesies that she is a part of but that she has never known.

 

His lips should be cold, I think, a mirror of his ice-blue stare. I try to turn my head and escape the curves of his mouth.  My lips skim lightly over the stone rigidness of his jaw, tasting the saltiness of the sea air that settles there. His lips hunt mine, finding them again – claiming ownership by covering them once more.

Kricket has to learn what she has to do to survive, (as she always has), but this time the rules are different.  On a different world she not only has to survive, she has to learn the customs and the politics so that she can make it through another day.

 

I must admit when I finished the last book, I felt duped. I was not expecting it to end the way that it did and I felt that it was all wrong (of course it was after midnight, so we’ll put some of that on tiredness).  When I woke up the next morning and thought about the ending and the other possible outcomes, I calmed down a bit. I’ll be the first to admit that I want a HEA and after all the things that Kricket goes through in this book I thought that she deserved one as well. In retrospect I realized that she got one.

I give this series 4.3 of 5 stars. I did enjoy this book and once I got over how I envisioned it ending and the actual ending, I appreciated it more. Kricket is a strong young woman who comes into her own and realizes that the only person she can really depend on 100% of the time, is herself.  She is crafty and strong and has to use those qualities often to survive. She discovers a lot about herself and people in general, what can be endured and where loyalties lie. The people that she should be able to count on all let her down, and even the people that she adopts as her own have a tendency to either have ulterior motives or decide that there are other things that are more important to them then she is…

Amy Bartol is a talented writer with a vivid imagination. She has the great ability to bring you into her stories, with the imagery that allows you to picture her alternate worlds. She gives enough detail that you can merge into the world of the characters, without being too wordy.

I was reluctant to start this series because I have been burn by Ms Bartol before. I started her Premonition Series and I don’t know that it was ever finished. I am notorious for not starting a series unless I know that it is finished, partially because of this series. I am however glad that I took a chance and read this series.

-Suih Patton

 

Yay! Another Review from my sometimes reviewer!

Also look at my review for just the first book: Under Different Stars

-Fe