Sunday, 26 July 2015

Confessions of a Virgin Sex Columnist! by Kay Marie

My name is Skylar Quinn. I just moved to New York with my best friend Bridget, and I have a confession. Well, more than one. Okay, quite a few really. Fine, here goes!

Confession #1: I'm a sex columnist. Hold on, that's not really the confession. You see, I'm sort of a virgin ... sex columnist.

Confession #2: I'm kind of in love with Bridget's older brother, Oliver. No, I was. No, I am. Wait, was? Am? Crap.

Confession #3: I've been avoiding Oliver for four years. Or I was until today, because he just moved in. Yes, you read that correctly. He's my new roommate. So that night we've both been pretending never happened, well, we might not be able to keep it a secret any longer.

And trust me, this is only the beginning.

So this was a very generic chick lit type book. The heroine, Skylar, is very annoying about her virginity, - she makes this big deal out of still being a virgin when she's only 22 - she's also annoying about alluding to her and Oliver's past but never saying what happened (which turns out to be no big deal, by the way). I mean, I get that the author was trying to do with the "secret past" but Skylar mentioned it a lot and it really did start to drag.

The story was your basic girl likes boy, boy hurts girls feelings, girl avoids boy, girl can't avoid boy any more, girl denies feelings for boy, boy hints at feelings for girl, girl gets confused by feelings. I've read a few books like this and it sort of explains why I don't read a lot of chick lit books. I thought this one might be a bit different going by the title - I expected funny situations and maybe even for Skylar to not be afraid of her virginity.

If you like typical romance stories then you'll probably like this, for someone like me that was hoping for something a little different from the typical romance - I'd suggest you leave it alone.

Book Depository: Confessions of a Virgin Sex Columnist!
Amazon UK: Confessions of a Virgin Sex Columnist!

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Country vs Country - Guild Hunter

Danielle: I saw these covers and knew I had to comment on them. The UK covers are some of my favourite that I've ever seen. These covers alone make me want to read this series. I love everything about it. UK is a definite huge win for me here!
Julie-Anne: I think I saw these covers in Waterstones before and loved them, there's really no contest between UK and US here. I don't like the typeface on the US one and just what is the woman looking at so intensely? She looks kinda confused. UK for sure.

D: I don't love this UK cover as much as I did the first one, but I still love it a million times more than the US cover. I love the purple.
J: I agree that the purple isn't as good, it doesn't stand out as much as the first one but the cover is still very pretty. I really like the typeface for the UK books. The chick on the US one has some tight clothes on! I thought it was just her trousers but her top is very tight as well. They don't look comfortable, of course neither does the position she's crouched in atop what looks to be a very high perch. Again, UK for me.

D: Again, I love the colour of the the UK cover, even if I don't love the wings. The US cover is all right here. I don't love it, and I'm not sure it would draw me in. The UK would for sure.
J: Wow, that US one is bad! She looks too fake. The blue on the UK is still a bit washed out looking compared to the first book - that red really popped and, even though they're all similar in theme, I'm not liking the paler colours as much but I still prefer the UK one over the US.

D: Still finding no love for the US covers, but still loving the UK. The colours is really pretty, and these wings are really pretty too.
J: The wings on the UK are intriguing me, I need to see what these books are all about. The US cover is very cheesy and the typeface really comes across as 80s action movie. UK again, no question.

D: Getting back to loving the wings. I like that just the wings are purple, instead of the whole cover. I still love when the whole cover is coloured, but this is really pretty too. The US is nice, but a little too "fantasy" looking for me, and since I'm not a fantasy reader, I think I would likely pass by it in the store.
J: As much as this UK is another paler cover, I think the colour of the wings makes it pretty. The US covers seem to be getting worse. Obviously wings are a theme since they have them on both UK and US covers (of course, the titles should clue me in on that too). I agree about the fantasy look, the US covers are ones I would definitely look over in a book shop if not actively avoid. UK again.

D: The wings on the UK cover are so unique and interesting. I love them. The colour on the US is pretty, and the girl is pretty in a very Barbie-doll way, but still not a big draw for me. Definitely UK.
J: Oooh, I like the red wings on the UK cover, they really pop. And hey, tight clothes wearing chick is back! She still looks uncomfortable. Obviously going with UK again on this one.

D: More interesting and beautiful wings here again. I love that they seem to have spikes on them as well. The colour is gorgeous, the wings are gorgeous. Love it. The US is just very blah to me. Perhaps if I didn't see it next to the UK, I would have liked it. It still isn't enough to draw me in.
J: The US one looks really cartoony this time, what's up with that? And the UK cover is a little different from the others, there seems to be more body this time. And I agree that the wings are very pretty. Going to be UK again.

D: This is the US cover I like best in this series, though I still love the UK more. I am really fan of the wings on these covers, and this one is no exception. UK for me.
J: As annoying as I find cover changes, this new US cover is much nicer than the rest of the series. But ... I still prefer the UK cover.

Danielle: This is a series I have never read. The UK covers make me want to look them up and see if they're something I would be interested in. The US covers do not. At all. Based on the US covers, this is a series that I would have to have had highly recommended to me before I'd try them at all. The UK covers are amazing.
Julie-Anne: I've not read this series but I want to read it. Those UK covers are very intriguing and they definitely make me want to pick them up. UK covers are gorgeous and definitely a clear winner.

Thursday, 16 July 2015

The Stars Never Rise by Rachel Vincent

Sixteen-year-old Nina Kane should be worrying about her immortal soul, but she's too busy trying to actually survive. Her town's population has been decimated by soul-consuming demons, and souls are in short supply. Watching over her younger sister, Mellie, and scraping together food and money are all that matters. The two of them are a family. They gave up on their deadbeat mom a long time ago.

When Nina discovers that Mellie is keeping a secret that threatens their very existence, she'll do anything to protect her. Because in New Temperance, sins are prosecuted as crimes by the brutal Church and its army of black-robed exorcists. And Mellie's sin has put her in serious trouble.

To keep them both alive, Nina will need to trust Finn, a fugitive with deep green eyes who has already saved her life once and who might just be an exorcist. But what kind of exorcist wears a hoodie?

Wanted by the Church and hunted by dark forces, Nina knows she can't survive on her own. She needs Finn and his group of rogue friends just as much as they need her.

Loved, loved, LOVED this book. Great start to a (hopefully) new and long series from Rachel Vincent. Vincent created a .... I don't know if it falls under post apocalyptic or dystopian, I'm not good at differentiating between the two although I'm leaning more to post-apocalyptic for this one.

This world, to me, is scary ass because it's run purely by religion and it seems like everything is a sin and the punishments aren't small or insignificant. I mean, these church types burn people on TV for small misdeeds.

This is a world where demons consumed too many souls and now if you want to have a baby, there has to be a soul for it which means either a family member had to be willing to die for the baby or the baby dies. There's a list but I'm unclear about this list at this stage, you have to be lucky enough for a soul to be on the list when the baby is born or the baby dies. Basically, there are no free souls for people because of the demons, they possess people and they consume them slowly until they look like the demon they are inside. The church has exorcists to deal with them but then Nina meets a guy that says he's an exorcist but he certainly doesn't deal with demons the same way the church exorcists do. Nina starts to question everything and therefore must escape the town.

I really can't express my love for this book properly. I'm a huge fan of Rachel Vincent's writings and this new book is no different, I can't wait to read more from this world.

The Book Depository: The Stars Never Rise
Amazon UK: The Stars Never Rise

Dark Avenging Angel by Catherine Cavendish

Don't hurt Jane. You may live to regret it.

Bullied by her abusive father, Jane always felt different. Then the lonely child found a friend in a mysterious dark lady who offers her protection - a lady she calls her "angel". But that protection carries a terrible price, one to be paid with the souls of those Jane chooses to suffer a hideous and eternal fate.

When Jane refuses to name another victim, the angel reveals her most terrifying side. Payment must be made in full - one way or the other.

Release Date 4th August2015

I've never read anything from this author before but if this book is anything to go by, I'd definitely read more. This was quite dark and horrific.

Cavendish has made a really freaky world here with bad bad guys and a likeable (if also slightly pathetic) leading woman. I mean, I understand that she's been ridiculed by her father her whole life and pretty much walked over by most people because of that but, even knowing this back story, I found it hard to feel anything strong toward her.

It didn't put me off the story as a whole though, if I really didn't like her I would have DNF'd it fairly quickly. But I didn't and I'm glad I didn't because the story was unique and interesting.

Amazon UK: Dark Avenging Angel

Monday, 13 July 2015

Pre-order announcement - Driven by Kelley Armstrong

Subterranean Press have just announced a new Kelley Armstrong Otherworld book to be released in January 2016. It is available for pre-order through their wesbite.

The following description includes spoilers if you are not up to date with the current Otherworld backstory

Subterranean Press is pleased to present a long Otherworld novella by Kelley Armstrong, featuring a number of full-color illustrations by Xaviere Daumarie. The Trade Hardcover of Driven will feature a full-color dust jacket as well as four full-color interior illustrations. The Signed Limited Edition will have a completely different dust jacket, full-color endsheets, and two additional full-color illustrations not in the Trade. If you own a copy of the limited edition of Forsaken, please mention your number to match when checking out.

Cains are known for being big, brutish and not-too-bright. The mutt clan embodies all the supernatural world's worst stereotypes about werewolves. But not even the Cains deserve to be hunted down and skinned like animals.

When young Davis Cain comes to the Pack for help, Alpha Elena Michaels can't refuse him. It isn't about morality or justice. It's about not letting anyone think they can do this to werewolves and get away with it.

But Elena is also dealing with the Pack's homegrown monster — Malcolm Danvers, onetime enforcer, full-time psycho. Malcolm is now under Elena's control, as part of the most difficult decision she's had to make as leader. But if she has to let Malcolm in, she's going to make full use of him ... and the best person to catch monsters is one who knows exactly how they think.

As with all past Kelley releases from Subterranean Press, it is available in both Trade and Limited Edition - if you've ordered limited before, you can request the same number after ordering.

COVER REVEAL - Blackmailed by the Hero by Julie Particka

The lovely Ms Particka has another Gone Hollywood books coming out, the first book in the series was Tempting Her Fake Fiancé and this book follows Evan's sister (Vicky) and his best friend. We sort of, kind of, partially met Vicky in the first book.

(Please note that the tagline is NOT correct on this)

Release Date 11th August 2015

Other covers in the series:

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Country vs Country - Downside Ghosts

Julie-Anne: I kind of like both of these covers. The UK one seems to fit the title with the ghostly look of the smoke. Of course, for all I know the smoke is actually smoke - I've not read this series. The US one has a lot happening but I like the overall look (minus the one on her face). I think I prefer UK due to the simplicity, the US one has a lot to focus on.
Danielle: I also like both of these covers. The US does have a lot going on, I agree, but I am intrigued about the ink on her skin. I haven't read these books, so I don't know if there is something to that, or if it's just cover design. I like how it looks like maybe a soul is being released from her mouth on the UK cover. I also like the simplicity. I'm not a fan of faces on covers, so I'll choose UK here.

J: OK so unless she smokes out of her fingers, I'm guessing the smoke isn't actually smoke. I like the colours on the US one and there's not as much background mess. Her face doesn't bug me as much in this one but I'm still not keen on the whole full frontal thing. But saying that, I think I'll go for US.
D: I think it's kind of cool that it looks like her fingers are wisping away. Though I can't say I love the rest of the cover. The colours on the US cover are really pretty, and I like the stained glass in the background. No, I don't love the face shot, but I do still like that cover better. I choose US.

J: First sign of tattoos on the UK cover and still more of that smoke - I need to read these books just to see what the significance is. I really, really don't like the colour of the US one, although I still like the overall look. I'm going to go with UK since I really don't like the colour of the US.
D: I'm really not a fan of either cover. Neither do anything to draw me in, and make me want to read this series. I'm not really sure which to pick, as neither really have any redeeming qualities for me. I think I'll choose US again, facial shot be damned. Hee hee, I said damned. :D

J: I checked and checked this one before deciding that yes, it seems like the publisher was changing covers partway through the series. It's the same cover, just more in the background of the US and the positioning of the model. I'm going to go UK just because there is more blurring on the US model.
D: Hmm. In this case, it really has to come down to which has better detailing. I prefer the typeface on the UK, though I do like the little star detailing in the C's on the US. I do not like the yellow, and I don't think we needed the streetscape. I'll choose UK here as well.

J: The UK publishers are sticking with the different covers but they've moved away from using the same image as US. I like that the model on the US isn't full frontal anymore, hopefully it stays that way. I don't really like the expression on the UK model's face so I'm going to go for US.
D: Strange that they would have the same cover for just one book. I don't care for either of them, but I prefer the simplicity of the UK. I don't care for either facial expression, but I am glad that it isn't full frontal at least. I don't know which to pick! Eenie meenie miny mo ... UK.

Julie-Anne: As I've said, I haven't read this series. I liked the original UK covers and it will always bug me why publishers change them partway through a series. Do the people that make these decisions not have book collections of their own? Do they not realise the upset this can cause to bibliophiles? I may pick this series up, as I said up there ^^, the smoke thing intrigues me.
Danielle: I agree about the changing covers. So frustrating. I also dislike when books change from paperback to hardback. I understand it's better for the author, but I so dislike my covers changing partway through. I also have not read this series, and I'm honestly not sure the covers have done enough to convince me to give them a try. The ink and the smoke also intrigues me, but I just don't know how much.