Monday, 31 October 2011

Review: Incubus by Carol Goodman

Fairwick Chronicles #1
Carol Goodman
Ebury Press
Publication date: 1st Oct 2011
Guest review by Pauline

Dr. Callie McFay travels to the small college town of Fairwick in New York State for a job interview. Despite it being her second choice she finds herself talked into accepting a job offer from the Folklore Department to teach a class on demons and vampires. She also finds herself drawn to an old house in the woods where Gothic novelist Dahlia LaMotte used to live and buys it on a whim, despite the seeming reluctance of the estate agent to sell it to her.

But on the night of her job interview, she had a very vivid erotic dream about a man made out of shadows and moonlight, and this dream becomes a regular occurrence when she moves into her new home. Callie starts to feel like a heroine in one of the gothic novels she teaches as slowly it dawns on her that things at the college – and in her home – are not what they seem. She learns that her house is supposed to be haunted by LaMotte’s former lover and her new – and rather strange – colleagues tell her an unfamiliar fairy tale about an incubus-demon with a human past who was enchanted by a fairy queen...

Callie McFay is a best selling author who, despite a life plan of living in New York with her long term boyfriend, decides to accept a teaching position at Fairwick College, a small town outside New York.  Callie's parents, who had been archaeologists with an interest in ancient Celtic customs, had been killed in a plane crash when Callie was a teenager, and she had lived with her distant and yet dutiful grandmother.  While living with her grandmother, Callie experiences dreams where a shadowy man would appear at the foot of her bed and when she awoke the room would smell of honeysuckle and salt.

When she moves to Fairwick, Callie lodges at a guest house run by a friend of the College Dean, but is quickly drawn to an adjacent Victorian house, Honeysuckle House which appears to be unoccupied.  Callie eventually buys the house and in her first night there encounters her shadowy man from her teenage dreams who "delights" Callie in ways she can barely comprehend.  Callie is consumed by this figure and her devotion signals the end of her previous life and love in New York.  As the story unfolds Callie is taken to a whole new world and understanding of the world around her.

I was really surprised by how captivating this book was. The story itself was gripping  in parts with the developing storyline well thought out and the characters all very well developed.  The descriptive text helped the reader appreciate the every detail of the surroundings in Fairwick and the people were so well articulated that I could almost picture them - even when the storyline went a bit Harry Potter momentarily! The layers of the story are unfolded to reveal the history of the House which Callie buys and the complex, inter-connected web that is her life and the people from her past and her present.

I would recommend the book as one which will absorb and compel you to finish it.  Although the ending was not an entire surprise I was so exhausted that I didn't mind one bit!

Guest reviewer Pauline lives in Glasgow with her husband and two sons.  As a typical busy working mum she don't get much time to be a serious reader, and therefore hasn't a preferred genre, but instead uses reading as a way to unwind before bedtime.  However having reached the ripe old age of Forty she was keen to try new types of books and was more than happy to provide some guest reviews for My keeper shelf.

Pauline and Lesley actually work together and are often found mid afternoon raiding the chocolate machine at work, having cups of tea and swearing loudly in a random manner.  

It's Halloween what are you reading?

Happy Halloween everybody!

It's Monday what are you reading is hosted by Sheila @ Book Journey
I finished

Amplified by Tara Kelly,
As I Wake by Elizabeth Scott,
Jumping Off Swings by Jo Knowles,
My Beating Teenage Heart by C.K. Kelly Martin, 
Spider's Revenge by Jennifer Estep
On The Jellicoe Road and Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta

Days later I still can't stop thinking about On The Jellicoe Road I think it will be up there as one of my favourite books of the year it was so amazing and to think it sat on my shelf for months before I actually picked it up. If you haven't read it, honestly ask Santa to bring it this year you will not regret it.
I'm currently reading
Every You, Every Me by David Levithan

I don't know exactly what I'm going to read next, I need something scary maybe Anna Dressed in Blood? who knows, I have no book plans this week I'm just going to go with the flow this week and chillax... 

Hope everyone is having a fab Halloween.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

In my mailbox #29 and October RAK roundup

In my mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren

I bought

Amplified by Tara Kelly
(I just finished it like 5 minutes ago it's brilliant)
Jumping off Swings by Jo Knowles
(I think I will start this in 5 minutes!)

For review
Fins are Forever by Tera Lynn Childs
Arcadia Awakens by Kai Meyer
(I'm really looking forward to Arcadia Awakens it sounds pretty good)

I'm still trying not to buy lots of new books and concentrate on reading what is already on my shelf. It worked out pretty well this week as I managed to read 4 books that had been on my shelf for a while so I've got tonnes of reviews to now catch up on.

 I sent out a few RAK's in October
A Long Long Sleep to Misty @ Bookaholics cos she's lovely
Touch of Frost and If I Stay to Carina @ Fictional Distraction cos she's lovely too

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer and Drink Slay Love for C.J Duggan cos she's the funniest most awesome Australian I know and her blog makes me laugh out loud and she loves Fleetwood Mac just like me and quotes Karate Kid perfectly. (phew, loads of reasons there)

I received
From the lovely Misty @ Bookaholics
I've had this on my wish list for ages so I was beyond excited to finally get my hands on it. Thanks again Misty you are awesome.
Have a great week everyone.

Saturday, 29 October 2011

On my wishlist

On my wishlist is hosted by Book Chick City

Is anyone else addicted to those Goodreads "Can't wait to read in 2012" lists? I seriously am, which means my own personal "I want to buy in 2012" list keeps getting bigger and bigger. I noticed two books yesterday that really caught my eye. (titles are linked to Goodreads)

Shadow Bound
Unbound # 2
Rachel Vincent
Publication date: 1st June 2012

If you live in the dark long enough, you begin to forget the light…

KORI DANIELS is a shadow-walker, able to travel instantly from one shadow to another. After weeks of confinement for betraying her boss, she’s ready to break free of the Tower syndicate for good. But Jake Tower has one final job for Kori, one chance to secure freedom for herself and her sister, Kenley, even if that means taking it from someone else…

The job? Recruit Ian Holt—or kill him.

Ian’s ability to manipulate the dark has drawn interest from every syndicate in the world, most notably an invitation from Jake Tower. Though he has no interest in organized crime, Ian accepts the invite, because he’s on a mission of his own. Ian has come to kill Tower’s top Binder: Kori’s little sister.

Amid the tangle of lies, an unexpected thread of truth connecting Ian and Kori comes to light. But with opposing goals, they’ll have to choose between love and liberty….

I loved Blood Bound so when I saw Rachel Vincent's cover reveal on Facebook I headed straight to Goodreads to add it to my "I want to buy list" and I like the little purple bit on the cover too.

Angel's Flight
Nalini Singh
Berkley Sensation
Publication date: 28th Feb 2012

In Angel’s Wolf a vampire becomes fascinated with the seductive angel who rules Louisiana. But all is not what it appears to be in her court.

In Angels’ Judgment a hunter must track one of her own gone bad, while surviving the deadly tests placed in her way by the archangels themselves. Unexpected backup comes from a stranger who might just be the most lethal threat of all...


In Angels' Pawn a vampire hunter faces off against two rival factions and the angel manipulating them both, and a vampire whose help is not entirely selfless...


In Angels’ Dance an angel trapped in the mountain stronghold of the Refuge finds herself under siege by a warrior angel from a martial court.

When I first saw this I got a bit confused, is it new stuff or not??? I think it is but I might wait for some reviews to come in from bloggers who's opinions I trust before committing to buying it. I do think the cover is pretty gorgeous though, love the purple wings and dress. Nalini's Guild Hunter covers are always way better than her psy/changeling series although I actually love reading (and re-reading) the psy/changeling series more.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Review: The Lighter Side of Life and Death by c.k. kelly martin

The Lighter Side of Life and Death
c.k. kelly martin
Random House Books for Young Readers
Publication date: 25th May 2010
My rating: 4 out of 5

Sixteen-year-old Mason Rice is having the night of his life. He's just delivered an incredible performance in the school play, basked in celebratory afterglow vibes at the party of the year, and lost his virginity to one of his best friends—the gorgeous but previously unobtainable Kat Medina. His dreams are coming true, and the future looks golden.
Unfortunately, Kat sees things very differently. Crossing the friendship line was a big mistake, and all she wants is to forget it and move on, even if that means forgetting Mason altogether. What's a guy to do? Well, if you're Mason, you hang your hopes on the first attractive twenty-three-year-old you cross paths with. At first Mason wonders if he's imagining the chemistry . . . until Colette invites him over to her apartment. Suddenly Mason's living in a whole new world.

I wasn't entirely sure what to expect when I started reading The Lighter Side of Life and Death, from the blurb is sounds like a sixteen year old boys dream scenario of having an affair with an older woman (cougar alert) which in a way it was, but the way it was written by c.k. kelly martin just made the story so much more and it didn't feel particularly sordid or distasteful at any point.

Sixteen year old Mason has a "perfect" one night stand with his best friend Kat who he has secretly been in love with for years. Next day it's actually Kat who wants to forget it all happened leaving Mason completely confused and results both in their friendship ending and major awkwardness at the school lunch table. Twenty three year old Colette enters the picture, she is a friend of a friend of Mason's soon to be step mother and they sort of slowly end up in a relationship.

What I like the most about this book was that the author is never overtly judgemental, either about Colette or Kat and doesn't portray Mason as the gullible victim in the situation. It would be easy to be outraged at Colette who at 23 and who has a "sort of" boyfriend on the scene already ends up in a sexual relationship with a 16 year old man-boy. Colette does have doubts and she does know that their relationship would be frowned upon which is why it's all very secretive. It's very awkward when Mason doesn't want to ride his bike over to Colette's house as he doesn't want to highlight his age even more to Colette in fear that she will end it all. It's also very awkward when they are holding hands in the street and bump into someone Mason knows. There is none of the woo hoo I'm having it off with an older woman type behaviour that I probably expected from a teenage boy, Mason is actually quite mature about it all.

Ultimately, although the story didn't seem sordid, I couldn't quite figure out why a 23 year old woman would want to spend any time with a 16 year old boy never mind have a relationship with one, I mean Mason was nice but ultimately he is 16.

I didn't sympathise much with Kat either, she runs hot and cold with Mason and despite my head saying she would be a better girlfriend for Mason as she's his age, I wasn't entirely convinced about her. I think this might be down to the fact she is absent from most of the story.

The part that surprised me the most was Mason's fathers very understanding acceptance of his relationship with Colette. Even knowing that the relationship was ending he took it all a little too well for my liking. I would have grounded him and took his bike off him and his PlayStation! I know for a fact as a parent I would not have been so understanding and there would have been a lot of shouting.

c.k. kelly martin (why the absence of capital's in the name? I dunno) is obviously an amazing writer. Mason was a fantastically realistic character and martin seems to really get into the inner working of a teenage boy's head and get it down on paper beautifully. I have a few c.k. kelly martin books to now catch up on.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

My book boyfriend #24

My book boyfriend is hosted by the very divine Missie at The Unread Reader

Ladies! I have a very very yummy Spartan on offer as this week's book boyfriend from Jennifer Estep's Kiss of Frost the first book in her new Mythos Academy series.

He's a young warrior, he attends Mythos Academy (which is a school for young Spartan, Viking, Amazonian and Valkyrie warriors-in-training) he's a bit of a ladies man but he has a very endearing protective streak especially for our heroine Gwen Frost. To Gwen he is Logan "freaking" Quinn, and I loved him to bits.

"Everything about Logan screamed bad boy, from his thick, silky, ink-black hair to his intense ice blue eyes to the black leather jacket that highlighted his broad shoulders. Oh yeah, he was sexy, in a rough, rumpled, I-just-climbed-out-of-some-girl's-bed kind of way. Apparently, Logan lived up to the hype and was well on his way to sleeping with most, if not all, of the hottest girls at Mythos. Supposedly, he signed the mattresses of the girls that he scored with just to keep track of all of them."

"Logan smiled and stepped back casually, elegantly twirling the staff in his hand like it was a cheerleader's baton instead of a deadly weapon. Of course, he would love gym class. Beating up people was something he seemed to excel at. Especially if you believed all the crazy rumors about Logan and how wild, violent, and crazy he and the rest of his Spartan friends were.

And he looked good doing it, Logan wore a T-shirt with the sleeves cut off, exposing the muscles in his arms. The deep blue colour of the shirt also brightened his icy eyes, amking them seem they were almost glowing in his face, even all the way over here on the opposite side of the gym. Logan raised up the end of his T-shirt to wipe the sweat off his face, exposing his flat, muscled stomach.

For a moment I stopped, completely mesmerized. Just ... wow. All that and washboard abs, too. Ones that put Samson Sorensen's to shame. I wondered if all the other Spartans at Mythos were as dangerous and sexy as Logan was of if he'd just been blessed with all the bad boy charm-"

"Logan looked absolutely gorgeous in his black tuxedo, although he'd already undone his tie, as if it was chocking him. The jacket stretched over his shoulders, highlighting just how totally muscled they were. His black hair glistened underneath the silver and golden glows from the twinkling lights, and his eyes glittered like ice in his face. I stood there breathless.

Logan glared at me for another second before doing a visible double take. His eyes slid down the front of my dress, lingering on the punch stains that dotted the long skirt. My cheeks started to burn."

I don't know how long we danced before he cleared his throat.
"You look beautiful tonight, Gwen," Logan said.
He wasn't flirting with me or talking about sex like he usually did, but, for once, I almost believed him. It was like... I could almost feel him telling the truth, even though I wasn't touching his bare skin. Or maybe that was just because I was lying to myself, trying to convince myself that this dance, this moment, meant as much to him as it did to me.

In selecting the quotes this week I had to reign myself in, there are so many amazing swoon worthy Logan "freaking" Quinn quotes I could have went on forever. If you haven't read Touch of Frost yet you really need to buy it sharpish as it's an absolute gem of a book.

Thanks to the very square jawed Brian Shimansky for being Logan for me this week, he's almost too good looking isn't he?

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Mini reviews: Heist Society and Uncommon Criminals by Ally Carter

Heist Society
(Heist Society #1)
Ally Carter
My rating: 4 out of 5

Heist Society is chock-a-block full of mystery, suspense, adventure and snarky humour. It has a clever, clever intricate plot, so intricate in fact that I actually "lost the plot" a few times trying to figure it all out. (clearly I'm not smart enough to plan a heist, oh well, that particular career path is so obviously closed to me *sighs*).

I loved Kat she's super smart, always seems ten steps ahead and is very determined. Born into a life of crime (although it's nice crime though- it doesn't seem too evil when reading it) she wants out to lead a normal life but finds herself pulled back in to help the ones she loves.

The team surrounding her absolutely sparkled too but a special paragraph has to be devoted to W.W. Hale the Fifth. Swooooooon city. He's gorgeous, super rich and has his own butler, what's not to like? The subtle romance between Hale and Kate left me desperate for more, they are very good friends but there's that little hint that they both want more. So do I.

I was absolutely hooked, great start to a series.

(Heist Society #2)
Ally Carter
My rating 4 out of 5

Kat has now gained the reputation as the genius teenage thief that pulled off the Henley job but with her ever present moral compass she is working alone stealing priceless items and returning them to their rightful owners.

Kat is asked to steal the infamously cursed Cleopatra diamond and return it to it's real owner despite being warned off taking the job by various family members. I loved all of the twists and turns in Uncommon Criminals, the hilarious heist names and I will probably find myself getting Paraguay mixed up with Uruguay for the rest of my life.

One little thing, I usually love the sloooooow burn in romance but I found the whole Kat and Hale will they/won't they agonizingly unresolved in Uncommon Criminals. It was torture. And not in a good way.

This is though, definitely a series I want to continue reading, but more Hale time would be much appreciated in the next installment. The romantic in me wants them to end up together and soon.

Monday, 24 October 2011

It's Monday what are you reading?

It's Monday! What are you reading? is hosted by Sheila over at book journey

I'm currently reading
Spider's Revenge by Jennifer Estep
I have a huge fan girly love for every single thing Jennifer Estep has written. I may have mentioned this on numerous occasions I know. But anyway, I love the Elemental Assassin series and have been waiting with bated breath for the final showdown between our heroine Gin and the evil Mab Monroe. Needless to say I am loving every minute of this.

I finished

You Are Here by Jennifer E. Smith
The Lighter Side of Life and One Lonely Degree by c.k. kelly martin
Starstruck by Cyn Balog
(all of which have been on shelf for ages)
Uncommon Criminals by Ally Carter

Next up ( I think)

My beating teenage heart carrying on my c.k. kelly martin fest!
As I wake by Elizabeth Scott
(I bought this weeks ago and STILL haven't read it)

I need to read some of the books I have on my shelf, I have soooo many good books sitting there waiting to be read and then I can swop them for other books. That's the plan anyway.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

In my mailbox #28

In my mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren.

I didn't really buy/swop or receive very many books this week as I'm making a conscious effort to try and read some of the books that have been sitting on my TBR shelf for ages and NOT buy anything new. Surprisingly I managed to stay away from Amazon and The Book Depository for most of the week, which for a book buying fiend like myself is actually a minor miracle. So I only bought one book and got a loan of one other how good is that? I was very pleased with my own magnificent will power.

On kindle I bought

Angels of Darkness by Ilona Andrews/Nalini Singh/Meljean Brook
(I couldn't help myself I love all 3 of these authors
 it would be a CRIME AGAINST BOOKS if I hadn't bought it.)

On loan
Uncommon Criminals by Ally Carter
 From a kind pal on UK Swop Shop on Goodreads.

That's it. Honestly it is.

Now I'm going to live vicariously through everyone else's IMM posts, probably cry a bit and then write an enormous "I want to buy this" list in time for next week. No I will not, I will remain strong and be only mildly green with envy (in a supportive way of course) of every one's new books.

Have a great Sunday everyone.

On my wish list

On my wish list is hosted by Book Chick City

Social Suicide
Gemma Halliday
Deadly Cool #2
Expected publication: 2012

Twittercide [twit-er-sahyd]: the killing of one human being by another while the victim is in the act of tweeting.

Call me crazy, but I figured writing for the Herbert Hoover High Homepage would be a pretty sweet gig. Pad the resume for college applications, get a first look at the gossip column, spend some time ogling the paper's brooding bad-boy editor, Chase Erikson. But on my first big story, things went...a little south. What should have been a normal interview with Sydney Sanders turned into me discovering the Homecoming Queen-hopeful dead in her pool. Electrocuted while Tweeting. Now, in addition to developing a reputation as HHH's resident body finder, I'm stuck trying to prove that Sydney's death wasn't suicide.
I'm starting to long for the days when my biggest worry was whether the cafeteria was serving pizza sticks or Tuesday Tacos...

I just finished and loved Deadly Cool which had a little sneak preview of the next installment Social Suicide which sounds equally hilarious- Twittercide honestly I love it.

What's on your wishlist this week?

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Review: The Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon

The Carrier of the Mark
Leigh Fallon
Harper Teen
Publication date: 4th October 2011
My rating: 3 out of 5

Their love was meant to be.
When Megan Rosenberg moves to Ireland, everything in her life seems to fall into place. After growing up in America, she's surprised to find herself feeling at home in her new school. She connects with a group of friends, and she is instantly drawn to darkly handsome Adam DeRís.
But Megan is about to discover that her feelings for Adam are tied to a fate that was sealed long ago—and that the passion and power that brought them together could be their ultimate destruction.

I thought The Carrier of the Mark was okish, it was very readable, and kept my attention but just didn't really wow me. I'm not sure if I have just over loaded on those kind of "we are fated to be together" type love stories in recent months, but I found their instant love a bit rushed, and lacking in swoon worthy chemistry. I didn't really fall in love with Adam or Megan as characters, I usually drool over the male lead and cheer for the female lead but I didn't feel strongly about either of them really.

On the positive side I did enjoy the Irish setting which was pleasantly different, I also enjoyed the mythology and interesting superpowers the DeRis family have, I thought there was loads of potential there for the other members of the family to get their own books. Would I go out an buy them? Hmmmm that would be a maybe, I want more romance and chemistry in the next book.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

My book boyfriend # 23

My book boyfriend is hosted by the awesome Missie @ The Unread Reader
After devouring Deadly Cool by Gemma Halliday at the weekend I decided Chase Erikson the gorgeous brooding bad boy would be my book boyfriend this week.

Some Chase facts
He's the editor of the school newspaper.
He wears black from head to toe.
This includes black guyliner *sniggers*
He has broad shoulders, dark eyes and a square jaw. *le swoon*
He helps Hartley in her Nancy Drew type escapades to track the killer and saves her life *double le swoon*

I cleared my throat. "We were wondering if you might have seen anything in the neighbourhood while you were taking pictures yesterday."
"What kind of anything" He crossed his arms over his chest. His very broad chest. He could easily have been on the football team, though I had the feeling from the antiestablishment black and the rebellious guyliner that he wasn't the team spirit type. He seemed more the playing-depressing-music-in-his-parent's-basement type.
"Anything .... suspicious? Anyone going in or out of the house down the street?" I clarified.
"You mean other than you two?"
"We didn't killer her!" I said quickly.
He narrowed his eyes. "You sure?"
I threw my hands up. "Yes I'm sure. Do i look like a killer?"
He let his gaze roll over my body, taking me in from head to toe in a slow assessment that ended in a smirk of approval. I wasn't sure if I should feel flattered or violated.
"That was a rhetorical question" I mumbled my cheeks heating.

Chase was framed in the doorway. His broad shoulders filled the entryway almost as tightly as anyone on the HHH football team's would. He was tall, but not in a gangly way, and he had muscles pumped up in all the right places. He was wearing a pair of jeans and was once again doing the black T-shirt thing. He had on a pair of black Docs, a black leather cuff on his right wrist, and his black hair was spiked up from his head in a mussed kind of way. Not crusty straight, but more bedroom tousled.                                        
Not that I had any firsthand knowledge of what bedroom tousled might look like, but I imagined that was it.               
Um, wow. Chase was actually kinda hot.

I held my breath. Could it be that I was witnessing Chase undressing?
Okay, I guess I was listening more than witnessing, but it still felt a little wrong.
And a little exciting at the same time.
Bad Hartley. God, I was not interested in seeing Chase naked. I didn't care what sort of six-pack he hiding under his black T-shirts, even though I was pretty sure it was tight and hot by the way said shirts clung to him.
Oh God I did want to see him undress.

I love that last scene Hartley is hiding under Chase's bed (at this point she is hiding in his bedroom under his Star Wars covered bed after searching through his stuff for evidence) but her single minded pursuit of the killer is way layed by watching Chase strip off and finding out he goes commando:)

Thanks to Marlon Teixeira for being a perfect Chase. Marlon appears to be having a serious wardrobe malfunction in that last picture, hehe.