Books, fantasy, funny, great reads, paranormal romance, Reviews, Romance

Some Girls Bite: A Chicagoland Vampire Novel by: Chloe Neill

So I don’t even know how I came across this book! But, I did so here you go.

Grad student Merit has her life pretty much where she wants it. She’s a geek and working on her dissertation in English Literature. Then one night she is attack and everything changes….

Merit is attacked and almost killed, a vampire Ethan saves her life by turning her into a vampire. Plot twist, humans know the vampires exist. The vampires run by select houses have come out of hiding and are living among the mortals. There are also other supernaturals in the story just for shits and giggles. Kidding, they are important too.

Now she must decide if she wants to be an outcast vampire, or pledge allegiance to Ethan and his house. The vampires are run by houses and Ethan is the master of his, one of the oldest houses. She must come to terms with the fact she can never have the future she planned and decide whether to accept her new life or become a rogue vampire cast aside. Also, she will need to help figure out why humans are being murdered just as she almost was.

Ok now that I got that out of the way. I can tell you my thoughts. This is actually a good story. It has a good bit of whity humor. I like Merit most of the time. I think sometimes she is whiny, but I got over it. Most of this story is leading up to what Merit will decide and how her future will be formed. Of course, her and Ethan have the hots for each other. I wouldn’t have expected anything else. I must inform you that this is not a “oh my gosh he saved my life, I love him” story. Thank you for that!!!!

Merit is strong willed and spunky and sometimes gets herself into trouble, but she is not in need of someone to save her. That is refreshing.

I did however think that the human murders seemed really important in the beginning then got pushed to the background, so that made the ending feel rushed.

THIS IS A SERIES!!!!! I will be reading the second book.

So go check it out and see how it all plays out.
Peace!

Les

Books, fantasy, funny, great reads, indie author, Out of the Box Blogs, paranormal romance, Romance, scifi, steampunk, Urban Fantasy

If I Can’t Judge A Book By Its Cover…

Jaws

 

So we have all heard the famous quote “Don’t judge a book by its cover” but seriously how else are you suppose to pick a new book? Now I know what you’re thinking: the blurb, a recommendation or even how many stars it has on goodreads..but let’s be honest here, what do you see first? What do we all add at the top of the post for that eye catching extra like? THE COVER! But unlike the awesome cover I’ve snatched to catch your attention (yes I know you might be thinking, that’s the movie poster. That’s how great the cover was, they used it as the movie poster as well. Score one for that cover artist) not all covers were created equal. So what is the biggest problems we run into with covers? Here are my cover grips. These are all very subjective so please take them that way:

  1. It doesn’t match. If you’re a book nerd like me then you’ve done it, you know bought that book at 2am that has the most amazing cover, and didn’t read the blurb. But that cover, ugh it’s everything you’ve dreamed about! You don’t even need a summary of the story, it is the summary people. And then you start reading..ummm wait what? Maybe I accidentally bought the wrong book??? It’s like a bait and switch, you have a story on the cover that you never see in the book. Some covers have gone so far for me as the have aliens, robots that are minor characters or even one showed a main character of a really cool Tim Burton fantasy kinda guy on it, the main character was a girl..I never found him in the book!
  2. The oversell. Now this is the cover that does have something to do with the story, it just ends up being way bigger than the book. You know the cover that makes you think, this book is going to be 5 stars, guaranteed..and it’s just not living up to its cover potential. There are some breathtaking covers out there, truly gorgeous, but I fear them the most because I want the books to be just as breathtaking. You never know until you read.
  3. The undersell. This one is the easiest and yet the worst at the same time. It’s the ones where the cover is just plain old bad, and yet the book is amazing. Think of all the books you’ve passed on that are gold, or that later someone has convinced you to read and then you loved it. Now here is the cringe moment, think of all the books you passed on that no one convinced you to read that might have been gold..I know I’m not sleeping tonight either. I’d love to say I never would be so shallow as to just make a decision based solely on looks but I’m going to fess up here, I have an author I have read for 8 years that I passed on the first time because of the cover. They are notorious for their bad covers now but back then they were newbies and it made a difference. Fortunately for me someone talked me into trying them (very fortunately for me, I absolutely love them) but I actually put their book down the first time. A lot of people say that covers don’t make as much of a difference now that most people have gone digital and download their books, but I say to them, how do you pick which books your going to read a blurb on? I still look at covers on Amazon or Goodreads. I just don’t buy that argument.

Okay let’s flip this coin. I hate bad covers, you guys got that point but I’m sure authors don’t like them either. So what makes covers so tricky? Well this is what I’ve learned over the years, but indies if there is something I’m missing, comment! Back to cover art, Why oh why is it so hard to match? Here’s what my forage and gathering skills have gleaned:

  1. If you are a published author you don’t get to decide. That’s right, if you get a publishing house, they ultimately pick the cover they think will make the most, and here is the shocking part…MONEY. I know, I know, sometimes you see those covers and think how is a half naked man going to sell more urban fantasy novels? Or, really another really hot goth looking chick/dude? That’s not what the main character even looks like. Well apparently here is the stitch, they don’t care. They are hoping you buy the book cause you’re a UF freak like me (I mean fan, yeah that was a typo) and they hope someone else buys it cause their is a chick on the cover with a flaming sword. As long as they sell books.
  2. For indie’s sometimes $$$ makes a difference. Okay so you have this vision, and it’s awesome, I mean you want what’s in your brain to become print on your cover. And it’s going to be epic. But let’s be honest here, you have to foot the bill for the book, and you don’t have big brother who, though they would basically be making your cover decisions for you, they would also be helping pay upfront fees. You just can’t afford the Lexus, so you have to buy the Kia, don’t get me wrong it’s great, just not exactly what you were picturing in your head.
  3. You get the picture. Sometimes you can get an amazing cover but the story just doesn’t connect. Hey this is why everything is so subjective, maybe it’s my problem. I recently read an authors blog that said, sometimes a bad review is just the reviewers problem. HEY! As a reviewer I didn’t love that but I’m glad the author posted it, because if I’m the only one complaining than it’s on me. Now if everyone is complaining…

 

My favorite cover is PB

the sad thing is that this is no longer the cover for this book but I have always loved it. What is your favorite cover? Let me know!

Books, fantasy, great reads, paranormal romance, Romance

Primal Bonds by Jennifer Ashley

The Blurb:  When half-Fae, half-Shifter Andrea Gray flees an abusive would-be mate, the only way she is allowed to relocate to the Austin Shiftertown is if a Shifter there claims her as mate.

Sean Morrissey, the Guardian of his clan and all of Shiftertown, is mateless, lonely, and has a tough job–to send the souls of deceased Shifters into the afterworld. He volunteers to claim her, sight unseen, but doesn’t realize that one look at the gray-eyed, dark-haired Andrea will stir the mating frenzy in him. Even though the mate-claim isn’t finalized, official, or yet blessed, Sean will do anything to get Andrea into his life and keep her there, forever.

My Thoughts: I enjoyed this book. Primal Bonds is Book 2 of the Shifters Unbound Series. It tells the story of Andrea and Sean. Sean is the Guardian of the Shifters and Andrea is a half Lupine-half Fae woman he is helping. To protect Andrea and allow her to leave the pack she is being treated unwell in, Sean’s pack allows her to come to their Shiftertown and he mate-claims her to protect her from others. As Guardian, Sean wields the Guardian Sword–when a Shifter dies, Sean uses the Sword on the Shifter which takes them into the next world. The sword is very important to this story as we learn the history of the sword and how that weaves into the story of Andrea and Sean. I really liked the character of Andrea–she is a strong female and a great heroine for Sean’s hero.

We also see further into the world of the Shifters. This aspect of the story is very interesting, albeit I hate how our government/human world treats the Shifters. Twenty years ago, our world put collars on the Shifters as a way to control them. Whenever a Shifter becomes aggressive, the collar gives out a shock to the Shifter in order to control their behavior. Our world also treats them terribly in that they are not allowed certain items that we take for granted. They can not have cell phones, those that do have computers are crappy computers, internet, etc. They must live in Shiftertowns. Some of the Shifters are working on being able to bypass the collars and this should be interesting in the future.

 

 

Books, great reads, Romance

Don’t Tempt Me by Lori Foster

The Blurb:  Jason Guthrie has no time for entanglements—between helping out his widowed brother and teenage nephew and getting his hometown back on its feet, his days are spoken for. But his nights are another story… And when his lovely new neighbor, Honor Brown, reluctantly accepts his help in remodeling her house, Jason finds himself wishing his handyman skills could knock down the defenses she keeps building around herself.

Martial arts teacher Sullivan Dean knows real danger when he sees it—even when it takes the form of the gorgeous blonde helping her friend move in across the street. After putting his wayward past behind him to focus on teaching control to troubled kids, Sullivan has learned to avoid party girls like Lexie Perkins. But Sullivan can’t seem to keep his hands off the real woman behind that flirty charm—or keep his heart from landing at her feet…

My Thoughts.  4.5 stars. I enjoyed this book a lot. Lori Foster is one of my favorite authors and I will read anything she writes.

This book tells the story of Jason and Honor. Honor has moved in next door to Jason to a fixer upper. She was dealt a rotten hand in early life but was fortunate to be raised by her grandfather whom she loves and who loves her. She works hard as a hairdresser and does alot to take care of her granfather who is living in a facility. Jason works hard at his business also and has his brother and nephew living with him. Jason feels an immediate connection with Honor but she is very independent, determined to do things on her own and has difficulty in opening up to people. Jason is determined to get her to open up to him.

This story is heartwarming in several ways. The characters are great “everyday people” with everyday problems whom you end up rooting for. My only critique would be I truly did not understand why Honor felt she needed to keep the secret about her grandfather throughout the story. However, a small point in an otherwise very nice story to read.  The story is well-written and the dialogue believable which is one of the things I enjoy most about Ms. Foster’s writing.

I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.