E. M. Tippetts

Review: Castles on the Sand by E. M. Tippetts


Title: Castles on the Sand (Shattered Castles #1)
Author: E. M. Tippetts
Date of publication: 17 Aug 2012
Genre: Young Adult, Coming of age

Author's links:
Website / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads

My rating: 3 stars

Goodreads Blurb

If there’s one thing Madison Lukas understands, it’s pain. The pain she feels when her mother ignores her completely. The pain her best friend endures as her parents starve her as punishment. The pain of a dangerous boy whose mother has to be carried away by law enforcement on a regular basis.

She gets it. She feels the pain of others as if it were her own.

But when a mysterious man claiming to be her long lost brother appears with promises of relieving her suffering, trusting him could reveal more truths than Madison is ready for. Because the truth can hurt, too.

My Review

I was given a copy of this book by the author in exchange of an honest review.

Castles on the Sand was a nice quick read which I couldn't put down and finished in just one day. It is young adult novel about growing up to be your own person despite all the obstacles the heroine, Madison, faced. 

The story started slow for me and I didn't really like Madison at the beginning but as the story went on I came to understand her better and started to appreciate her character more. She is faced with a number of issues every teenager faces (acceptance in the family and school, first crush, having a BFF, etc.) and then some more. She experiences some serious family drama, her relationships with her friends - boyfriends, best girl friend, school friends and enemies - put her character to the test and force her to make some very important decisions about herself. I liked the way the author presented her attempts to understand herself and those around her and ultimately to find her place in the world. 

Her relationships with the other characters were well developed and very convincing, though at times I was really angry with the way Madison let everyone treat her, at least, at the beginning. 

In the course of the story we saw how she got the strength to stand up for herself mainly with the help of the love and support of the people loving her (her brother, Carson and Alex). 

What bothered me most in this book was the strong religious message (Mormon). It found it really off putting how tightly the Mormon beliefs were interwoven in this book. I am a religious person myself, but would prefer the fiction I read not to try to impose its religious messages so strongly. 

Still, I would definitely recommend this book to fans of YA fiction who enjoyed well told realistic story with complex characters.


Teaser Tuesday 18


Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Here are the rules:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• Be careful not the include spoilers!
• Share the title & author so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers.

I have modified them slightly for my Teasers. It will not be two sentences from a random page but two, usually more, sentences from the pages I have read so far that have struck me as most interesting, original or that I just happen to like a lot.

My teaser this week comes from Charade by Nyrae Dawn. It is a heart-breaking NA love story which I haven't finished yet but I like it very much so far. It is the first book in the Games series and I plan to continue right away with book 2, Façade which I got as an ARC from NetGalley.

"Locking the door behind me, I fall against it. I don't feel like Cinderella. More like  Dorothy of Oz. I have no idea what's going on here."

Nineteen-year-old Cheyenne tries to portray the perfect life to mask the memories of her past. Walking in on her boyfriend with another woman her freshman year in college threatens that picture of perfection.

Twenty-one-year-old Colt never wanted college and never expected to amount to anything, but when his mom's dying wish is for him to get his degree, he has no choice but to pretend it's what he wants too.

Cheyenne needs a fake boyfriend to get back at her ex and Colt needs cash to take care of his mom, so they strike a deal that helps them both. But what if Cheyenne’s past isn’t what she thought? Soon they’re trading one charade for another—losing themselves in each other to forget about their pain. The more they play their game, the more it becomes the only thing they have that feels real.

Both Cheyenne and Colt know life is never easy, but neither of them expect the tragedy that threatens to end their charade and rip them apart forever.


New Releases 29 July 4 August


Here are the new releases this week. This might be the last post in the current format. I am thinking of changing this to a monthly page on the top bar of the blog. I will be able to add titles as the month goes by if I learn of new books coming out. 

The new titles this week are all second books in series that I have read and reviewed. We start with Blood Warrior by Lindsey Piper which is the second book in the Dragon King series. I loved book 1, Caged Warrior (my review), and I am excited to learn more about the world of the Dragon Kings.

The second title is Near and Far by  Nicole Williams. Lost and Found was a NA cowboy romance which was a nice surprise and I enjoyed it a lot (my review). Can't wait to see how the story of Rowen and Jess continues (I wouldn't mind seeing more of Garth Black, as well). 

The final title coming out this week was a welcome surprise since it is coming out early. This is the sequel to Jessica Sorensen's The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden. After the terrible cliffhanger at the end of book 1, I hope The Redemption of Callie and Kayden finally brings a much deserved happy end to those two. 

30 July

Paranormal Romance Urban Fantasy
30 July

30 July

The Remedption of Callie and Kayden    (The Coincidence #2)
New Adult Romance

Domestic violence

Review: Breathing series by Rebecca Donovan


After finishing the final book in the Breathing series by Rebecca Donovan, Out of Breath, I think it is high time that I review the series. I decided to do a joint review of the three books but first you can check the Goodreads blurbs of each book. 

Goodreads blurb

"No one tried to get involved with me, and I kept to myself. This was the place where everything was supposed to be safe and easy. How could Evan Mathews unravel my constant universe in just one day?"

In the affluent town of Weslyn, Connecticut, where most people worry about what to be seen in and who to be seen with, Emma Thomas would rather not be seen at all. She’s more concerned with feigning perfection—pulling down her sleeves to conceal the bruises, not wanting anyone to know how far from perfect her life truly is. Without expecting it, she finds love. It challenges her to recognize her own worth―at the risk of revealing the terrible secret she’s desperate to hide.

One girl’s story of life-changing love, unspeakable cruelty, and her precarious grasp of hope: Reason to Breathe is the first installment of the acclaimed Breathing Series.

Goodreads Blurb

Emma’s struggle with an abusive home life came to a heart pounding conclusion in the final chapters of Reason to Breathe. Now everyone in Weslyn knows Emma’s secret, but Carol can’t hurt Emma anymore. Some are still haunted by the horror of that night, and some must face the repercussions of their choices. Fans of Rebecca Donovan’s debut novel will discover there’s still much to learn about Emma’s life.

Goodreads Blurb

Emma leaves Weslyn and everyone in it behind to attend Stanford University, just as she always intended. A shell of her former self, she is not the same girl. She is broken, and the only way that she’ll be whole again is through forgiveness. Emma must find a way to forgive herself and recognize her own worth before she can receive the love she deserves. This final installment will have readers holding their breath until the very last page.

Author: Rebecca Donovan 
Genre: Young to New AdultRomance
Author's links:
Website / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads

My rating for the complete series: 4 stars

My Review

I have to start by saying that I really liked the first two books and it has been an excruciatingly long wait for the third one which came out on 2 July 2013. Based on Reason to Breathe and Barely Breathing I had very high hopes and expectations of Out of Breath and it I can say that it fulfilled them to a large extend. 

This series tells the story of Emma's struggle to survive through an unspeakable abuse in the form of domestic violence. Book 1 is a very emotional, somewhat dark and deeply moving story of the journey from merely surviving to trying to live an almost normal life. It is very well written, well paced story of finding a way to deal with the worst possible form of domestic violence.

The story was told from Emma's POV and she had a strong voice even when she is lost. She started on her journey of standing up for herself with the help of her best friend, Sarah and a new boy who came to her school, Evan.

I loved how Emma interacted with the others, and her gradual opening up to the world sounded authentic and convincing. Her relationship with Evan also grew slowly and there was no instalove, something which I highly appreciate.

The book ended with a terrible cliffhanger but I was lucky enough to be able to start Barely Breathing right away so I continued following Emma and Evan's story. Even after escaping the torture in the hands of her aunt, Emma's suffering didn't end. The physical violence was replaced by emotional one on the part of her mother.

On the whole, Barely Breathing provided further development of the main characters (Emma, Evan, Sarah) and new ones were introduced - Emma's mother and Jonathan. He is a very controversial character, yet I sympathized with him. I don't really like the way he was introduced into Emma's life, but his role was important and well placed.

There was some going back and forth in the action in this book. Some things seemed repetitive, especially in the relationship between Emma and her mother.

I have just two words for the ending - heart-breaking! Having to wait more than 6 months to read the next book, was just as painful.

The story in Out of Breath continues two year after the end of Barely Breathing. Neither Emma, nor Evan, had really moved on, despite their efforts to convince themselves and the people around them of the opposite. It is time to come clean and accept the consequences.

I think this book was a fitting ending to the story of Emma and Evan. It was very emotional, filled with angst and pain, but also with forgiveness and acceptance.

Still, I feel that this book wasn't as good as the first two. I like how things turned out in the end both for Emma and for Evan but the journey to get there was too slow and winding at times. I felt overwhelmed with all the new people of Emma's life. There seemed to be too many of them and they all felt the need the take care of her in one way or another. She appeared too weak, lost, unable to cope on her own and I hated that.

I didn't like the way Emma's relationship with Cole was handled. The purely sexual nature of it didn't fit Emma at all. The way he left her life was just too convenient for the plot development but totally unrealistic.

The first half of the book was stronger than the second. I found the final 1/3 of the story most annoying since Emma was going in circles in her thoughts and was really unable to make a decision and carry it through. It took far too long for her to clear completely things with Evan and to accept her actions in the past.

Another major complain I have with this book is the way the dual POV was done. I liked that we were given glimpses of both Emma's and Evan's thoughts but I feel their sections in the storytelling should have been better incorporated. I found myself going back a few times just to make sure whose POV I was reading. 

I like the ending a lot. I concluded the series beautiful bringing the story full circle. The process of redemption was complete and the door to the future was opened. I still would have liked there to have been an epilogue, showing Emma and Evan more settled, but I am happy as it is.

On a final note, I am really excited that Jonathan will be getting his story told in a separate series of books.


Teaser Tuesday 17


Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Here are the rules:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• Be careful not the include spoilers!
• Share the title & author so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers.

I have modified them slightly for my Teasers. It will not be two sentences from a random page but two, usually more, sentences from the pages I have read so far that have struck me as most interesting, original or that I just happen to like a lot.

My teaser this week comes from a novella, which I typically don't read I find it difficult to connect with the characters in short books. This is The Story Guy by Marie Ann Rivers. It was just released and received some glowing reviews on a couple of book blogs I follow, so I decided to give it a try. I am still half-way through it and it is going well.

" I am sensible, but I've had a couple of story guys and I'm just saying, it's nice to have those, here and there, both for the way they make everything glittery for a while and to make you appreciate the one you end up making a story with."

I will meet you on Wednesdays at noon in Celebration Park. Kissing only.

Carrie West is happy with her life . . . isn’t she? But when she sees this provocative online ad, the thirtysomething librarian can’t help but be tempted. After all, the photo of the anonymous poster is far too attractive to ignore. And when Wednesday finally arrives, it brings a first kiss that’s hotter than any she’s ever imagined. Brian Newburgh is an attorney, but there’s more to his life . . . that he won't share with Carrie. Determined to have more than just Wednesdays, Carrie embarks on a quest to learn Brian’s story, certain that he will be worth the cost. But is she ready to gamble her heart on a man who just might be The One . . . even though she has no idea how their love story will end?


15 Day Book Blogger Challenge - Day 15


This is the final day of the 15 Day Book Blogger Challenge hosted by Good Books and Good Wine. It was my first challenge and I have to say taking part in it was great fun.

Today we share our book blogging mentors. 

I don't really have blogging mentors, just book blogs which I really like and follow. I try to incorporate some of the things I admire in them in my blog with varying success.

My favourite book blogs are not really personal blogs, they are maintained by more than one person but I like the style of their reviews and their overall look/form.

Smexy Books has a special place in my heart. The girls over there mentioned/recommended my review of Neanderthal Seeks Human (I had just started blogging) and I have been their fan ever since. I like their reviews and features. They focus mainly on romance and erotica and I regularly pick new titles based on their recommendations.

Fiction Vixen is a similar multi-author book blog which I read regularly. It is a great place to read reviews and find new books. Recently they teamed up with the girls from Smexy Books and I am looking forward to that collaborations.

The third similar blog that like and follow to is Dear Author. It is offers a wealth of info on romance books and I really like the style of the reviews published there. They post daily deals which are much appreciated. I also enjoy their feature First page where authors submit anonymously the first page of their work for comments. I don't participate in the discussion as I don't feel confident enough to give advice but I follow all the comments.

This is the top 3 of my favourite book blogs. I follow a number of personal blogs and they all have different features that I really like. There are too many to mention, but I would like to thank them all for being my inspiration to start my own blog. I am especially indebted to my Goodreads friends - Katy and Mitch at A Girl, a Boy and a Blog, Lex at Fastidious Reader, Ornella at Unraveling Words, Zemira at YA Fanatic, Tatiana at The Readventurer, Emily at The Book Geek and Jennifer at Feminist Fairy Tale Reviews, reading their reviews and later their personal blogs led to creation of this blog.


Review: Surviving Raine by Shay Savage


Title: Surviving Raine (Surviving Raine #1)
Author: Shay Savage
Date of publication: 19 May 2013
Genre: Romance, Adventure, Male POV

Author's links:
Website / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads

My rating: 4 stars

Goodreads Blurb

As the captain of a schooner catering to the elite on the Caribbean Seas, Sebastian Stark does his best to avoid any human encounters. Interacting with people isn’t his thing, and he prefers the company of a bottle of vodka, a shot glass, and maybe a whore. There’s no doubt he’s hiding from a checkered past, but he does well keeping everything to himself…

…until the night his schooner capsizes, and he’s stuck on a life raft with one of the passengers.

Raine’s young, she’s cute, and Bastian would probably be into her if he wasn’t suffering from alcohol withdrawal. As the days pass, DTs, starvation, and dehydration become the norm. Even the most closed person starts to open up when he thinks he’s going to die, but when she realizes their traumatic pasts are connected, it’s no longer the elements that have Bastian concerned.

He has no idea how he’s going to Survive Raine.

My Review

I came across this book after a recommendation in GR groups (This seems to happen often to me, I found Neanderthal Seeks Human this way and I loved it. I am really happy that the same happened with Surviving Raine.) I was hesitant to pick this book initially. We have just the Hero and Heroine, first on a raft, then on a island, for most part of the book and I wasn't sure how the author will manage to keep things interesting. Believe me, Ms Savage did a great job of keeping the interest in the story of Sebastian and Raine.

I loved the way this book was written. It had some action/adventure, some painful past invading the present, and lots of sexy time.

The story is told from Bastian's POV and we get a foul-mouthed jerk starved for love and affection who becomes overprotective and possessive Alpha for the right woman. Sebastian is a well developed character and despite his flaws and weaknesses I ended up loving him. We see Raine only from his POV and this definitely serves to her disadvantage. She is given a number of positive qualities - innocence, courage, reliability, the strength to forgive, yet her personality does not really stand out. She appeared somewhat bland and passive in her relationship with Sebastian.

I found the first 2/3 of the book really strong both in terms of character development and the unfolding of the story. There was a whole bunch of practical details concerning the survival at sea and on a desert island which I found rather enjoyable. They gave an additional dimension to the story and tied nicely with the general idea of survival.. Bastian is an expert in survival - on the streets, in the fights, in the ocean, on the island.

I liked the way the romance between Bastian and Raine developed. It started with lust on his part and just curiosity on hers, and gradually developed into something more.

This book was going for 5 stars but the final part took my rating one star down. Sebastian and Raine had the same discussions over and over again - his insecurities and self-depreciation and her assurance and unconditional love and devotion. There was no real moving forward in the relationship. I also did not like how overprotective and possessive Sebastian became. There was a particular incident on the island which I feel was not handled the right way, his reaction to it in particular was totally unacceptable.

The final part of the book, especially after the rescue is my least favourite. I did not like the way both Sebastian and Raine acted. It seemed to me that they used (public!) sex to reassure each other of their feelings. They acted like different people from the ones I came to care about in the book so far.

The ending is great, though. It is not a cliffhanger but it does leave you craving the next book which sadly for us will be released some time next year.

Despite the some weaknesses, I really enjoyed this book. It is one of my favourite reads of this year so far. I liked the author's style and the whole mix of adventure and romance so much that I decided to check her other works as well. So, up on my TBR list is Otherwise Alone (Evan Arden Trilogy, #1) and Otherwise Occupied (Evan Arden Trilogy, #1).


15 Day Book Blogger Challenge - Day 14


14. Tell us your deal breakers!

I interpret this in two ways - general themes/characteristics of book that will stop me from picking up the particular book, and on the other hand - things in a book I am already reading which will make me put it in the DNF pile.

So, here we go with the deal breakers stopping me to pick a book. I generally read all genres, but still there are certain things which I avoid. Stories about vampires and werewolves are not my cup of tea, even though I sometimes I read paranormal romances. Out of contemporary fiction I shy away from erotica and BDSM in particular, stories of CEOs and billionaires meeting innocent (virgin) and naive girl also put me off.

Now, about books that I have already started - I dislike love triangles and cheating, especially when the author condones it is a big no-no for me. I am not a fan of stories with secret (hidden) baby and I really hate it when the characters love each other but keep dating other people because they don't think the other person loves them or they see themselves unworthy of this love. I don't enjoy such stories, but more often than not, I finish the book, just to see the ending.

The real deal breakers that make a book DNF for me have to be flat and unrealistic characters that get on my nerves and unjustified plot developments that come out of the blue. If the story is engaging enough I may skim through to the end, but generally I give up if I can't connect with the characters. Time is too precious to waste it on bad books when there are some many good/wonderful/amazing ones waiting for me to read them.

There was an interesting iconographic recently on Goodreads on the Psychology of Abandonment (why reader do not finish some books). Are some of your deal breaker mentioned there?


15 Day Book Blogger Challenege - Day 13


The challenge set by Good Books & Good Wine continues with task 13:

Describe one underappreciated book EVERYONE should read. 

This is a tough one, I have read some books that I feel are underappreciated, yet I don't think everyone should read them. I would rather recommend different books to different people depending on their tastes.

One book which I think is definitely not appreciated enough is Pieces of Us by Margie Gelbwasser. It is YA novel that every adult/parent should read. It is not a light read, it is very raw and painful, but it is very well written with strong, complex characters and it sends a powerful message against abuse/bullying or any form of violence. 

On a lighter note, I would like to make another recommendation. This is one is for the lovers of contemporary romance with a quirky sense of humour - Neanderthal Seeks Human: A Smart Romance by Penny Reid (my review). I am not sure it can be classified as underrated but it is a debut novel for Ms Reid and a very successful one, so I am spreading the word: if you are in the mood for a fun romance, I strongly suggest to try this one.


15 Day Book Blogger Challenge - Day 11


I am joining Day 11 of the 15 Day Book Blogger Challenge set by Good Books Good Wine and today's topic is: Show off 5 of your best blog posts!

I have been blogging about books for almost 6 months now and I don't have that many post as compared to some more established and long standing blogger, but I do have my favourites. 

1. My review of Neanderthal Seeks Human by Penny Reid - It was one of the first reviews that I published on the blog and since then I have improved the posting format of my reviews but still I love this one for a number of reasons. I really enjoyed the book and was happy to review it. It turned out my review was the first one in the blogosphere, so I am proud of that. What's more, Penny Reid commented on it, she was the first author to do this, so it made me extremely happy.

2. My review of The Davina Code by Janet Elizabeth Henderson - I love this post for very much the same reasons as the first one. I came across this book by chance (it was recommended in GR group I follow, then I requested a copy to review from another GR group) and really enjoyed it. It was a discovery of a new favourite author :)

3. Teaser Tuesday 01 - I like the Teaser Tuesday meme and I participate regularly in it. It is great fun and a way to make friends with other bloggers and to discover new books. I have changed the posting format over time but my favourite post is the very fist one I did. It was dedicated to a quote about Barrons from Faefever by Karen Marie Moning. This was my introduction into the genre of urban fantasy and the Fever series quickly became a favourite of mine. 

5. Teaser Tuesday 14 - This is one of my latest teasers. It is from Left Drowing by Jessica Park. I loved the book (my review) and I like the new format of the teaser posts I started using. I published both covers US and UK because I love the UK one and the US is the one published on GR.

5. Monthly Blog Recap for June - This is a feature which I started recently. I have done only two monthly blog recaps (April and June, I missed May) but I think they are shaping rather nicely. Most bloggers do weekly wrap-ups but I don't post that much and decided to do it on a monthly basis. I am still working on the posting format but I am happy with the way the June recap looks. I am thinking of including Best reads and Greatest disappointment of the month in the recaps but still haven't not decided how to do it. 


Caisey Quinn

Review: Girl with Guitar by Caisey Quinn


Title: Girl with Guitar
Author: Caisey Quinn
Date of publication: 22 May 2013
Genre: New Adult

Author's links:

My rating: 3 stars

Goodreads Blurb 

After Kylie’s dad dies in a freak accident, he leaves her with nothing other than her crazy step-mother, Darla, and the ability to play guitar. When Darla kicks Kylie out and she loses her job all in the same day, she hops a bus to Nashville determined to make her late father’s dreams come true. Waitressing and saving her pennies to record a demo, her big break comes when she’s asked to join a tour going down the tubes with once platinum album-selling country music superstar Trace Corbin. But touring with Trace is hardly a dream come true since he’s pretty much drinking his career down the drain. If Kylie can’t pull Trace out of his rut, he’ll pull her and her dreams down with him

My Review

I won a copy of this book in a giveaway and as a lover of stories about musicians I was very excited to read it. It was a quick light read perfect for a day at the beach.

It is a story about Kylie, a young girl dreaming to make it big on the country music scene, meeting Trace, country music star on a downward spiral of drinking to escape his problems. It is a rather cliché love story about an innocent girl taming/saving a bad boy musician. Very much as expected with the development of the story it turns out that she is not so sweet and naive and he is not the bad boy everybody thinks he is. 

What made this book work for me was the cute way it was written. It is told from Kylie's POV and she is a fun, upbeat character, full of determination and cute sense of humour. She was both innocent and naive and at the same time strong enough to make it on her own. 

I liked Trace as well. He had his bad moments but ultimately he was just a good guy struggling both with his past and his present under the spotlight. 

There was some going back and forth in the relationship between Kylie and Trace in the second half of the book which I didn't like very much. Some of the things they did were completely illogical for me. Trace brought Mia (another musician he was previously involved with) to Kylie's birthday party, treating her as his date and later he told Kylie that he just wanted to introduce Mia to her. Kylie also acted rather stupid when earlier the same morning Tracewanted to get back together with her but she just rejected him for no reason at all.

I liked the way the book was written, the inclusion of song lyrics was nice. It is a good début novel for Caisey Quinn. The story of Kylie and Trace continues in the next book in the series, Girl on Tour, which will be released on 27 August. 


15 Day Book Blogger Challenge - Day 10


Here I go again, taking part in Day 10 of the 15 Day Book Blogger Challenge set by Good Books Good Wine. Due to lack of enough time I participate only on some of the days of this challenge (Day 5, Day 8). Today's question is: How do you choose what to read next? 

As most of my fellow book bloggers I have a huge TBR list that keeps getting bigger and bigger so I am never short of future reads. I also regularly stalk AMZ and other retailers for sales and free books to add to my collection. With so many books to read I decide which will be next mostly depending on my mood - sometimes I want to read YA, other times I prefer NA/Adult books, sometimes I like to stay in the here and now of contemporary novels, other times I prefer to lose myself in the world of fantasy and science fiction. 

Having this in mind, new books in much loved series generally take precedence. I put other books on hold when a long and eagerly awaited sequel is released. That said, lately I am getting tired of authors' splitting one story in multiple books, so I either wait for the whole series to be released, or I am sad to say, I just give up on certain series/authors. 

If you feel like commenting, just do it and I will get back to you :)


Review: Caged Warrior (Dragon Kings #1) by Lindsey Piper


Title: Caged Warrior (Dragon Kings #1)
Author: Lindsey Piper
Date of publication: 25 June 2013
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy

Author's links:

My rating: 3 stars

I received an ARC of this book from Gallery, Threshold, Pocket Books via NetGalley.

Goodreads Blurb

The first installment in this fierce and sensual new paranormal romance series features demonic gladiators, ruthless mafia villains, and a proud race on the brink of extinction.

Ten years ago, Audrey MacLaren chose to marry her human lover, making her an exile from the Dragon Kings, an ancient race of demons once worshiped as earthly gods. Audrey and her husband managed to conceive, and their son is the first natural-born Dragon King in a generation—which makes him irresistible to the sadistic scientist whose mafia-funded technology allows demon procreation. In the year since her husband was murdered, Audrey and her little boy have endured hideous experiments.

Shackled with a collar and bound for life, Leto Garnis is a Cage warrior. Only through combat can Dragon Kings earn the privilege of conceiving children. Leto uses his superhuman speed and reflexes to secure the right for his two sisters to start families. After torture reveals Audrey’s astonishing pyrokenesis, she is sent to fight in the Cages. If she survives a year, she will be reunited with her son. Leto is charged with her training. Initially, he has no sympathy for her plight. But if natural conception is possible, what has he been fighting for? As enemies, sparring partners, lovers, and eventual allies, Leto and Audrey learn that in a violent underground world, love is the only prize worth winning.

My Review

Paranormal romance is not a typical genre for me and the only urban fantasy series I have read (I still haven't finished it) is the Karen Marie Moning Fever series, so Caged Warrior was a rather impulsive choice but I have no regrets reading it.

I enjoyed the book a lot. There is more to the tory than just paranormal romance. It creates a curious post-apocalyptic world where supernatural creatures (Dragon kings) are forced by human crime cartels to fight like gladiators while at the same time they are trying to save their race from extinction. 

The story followed the main characters, Leto and Nynn, on a journey of self-discovery that ultimately led them to coming together and fighting for their freedom. I very much liked that the focus in the book was on the characters' growth and their interactions with each other. 

I felt that both Leto and Nyn were very well developed as characters, they were complex and flawed but capable of change and I liked them both equally (which I have to admit rarely happens for me, generally I like either the Hero or the Heroine more). I rather enjoyed the inner turmoil they both had to undergo and I find it very engagingly represented. This for me was the biggest strength of the book.

The plot was rather engaging and there were a number of twists in it, which kept me on the edge, quickly flipping the pages over. I couldn't believe a number of things that happened to Nynn, some were scary, others downright revolting, yet they were well justified within the development of the book and fitted the plot. 

The main weakness for me was the writing style itself. There were times that I had to reread some sentences and whole paragraphs in order to understand them. At other times clipped, one-word sentences were used which didn't fit the story or the characters. 

I think the book would have also benefited from some more detailed world building. The readers were given just glimpses of the world of inhabited by Dragon kings and humans and the sections on the dealings in the Dragon world were rather sketchy. I hope that with the development of the series the paranormal element will be further developed. 

Overall I think this is a good start to a new NPR series and I am already eagerly waiting for the next book, Blood Warrior which is to be released on July 30.

Caisey Quinn

Teaser Tuesday 16


Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Here are the rules:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• Be careful not the include spoilers!
• Share the title & author so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers.

I have modified them slightly for my Teasers. It will not be two sentences from a random page but two, usually more, sentences from the pages I have read so far that have struck me as most interesting, original or that I just happen to like a lot.

This weeks teaser is from Girl with Guitar by Causey Quinn which I read over just one day last week (my review on GR). I won this book in a giveaway I entered and was excited to read it. It was a cute romantic read about an innocent girl determined to follow her dreams and bad boy country music star. It is a debut novel for Ms Quinn and it will be followed by a sequel later continuing the story of Kylie and Trace later this year.

"Makes no difference," she snapped. "But I can tell you this much. Your ass better show in Baton Rouge because one of us actually wants to be here. And I'll be damned if someone like you is going to piss all over my dream before I've even had a chance to live it."

Girl with Guitar by Caisey Quinn

After Kylie’s dad dies in a freak accident, he leaves her with nothing other than her crazy step-mother, Darla, and the ability to play guitar. When Darla kicks Kylie out and she loses her job all in the same day, she hops a bus to Nashville determined to make her late father’s dreams come true. Waitressing and saving her pennies to record a demo, her big break comes when she’s asked to join a tour going down the tubes with once platinum album-selling country music superstar Trace Corbin. But touring with Trace is hardly a dream come true since he’s pretty much drinking his career down the drain. If Kylie can’t pull Trace out of his rut, he’ll pull her and her dreams down with him.


15 Day Book Blogger Challenge - Day 8


I love this challenge (it is hosted by Good Books Good Wine) but I cannot join in on all days, so after my participation on Day 5 with a tear jerker recommendation, here I am again on Day 8 with a short list of the things I like in blogs: 

  • Stylish design - the appearance of a blog is the first thing that I notice, much the same as with the covers of books;
  • Regular features/memes - I love these. Due to lack of time I participate on only one - Teaser Tuesday - an it is great fun;
  • Giveaways and contests - who doesn't love winning!;
  • Information on book deals and sales - An opportunity to get a good book at a bargain price is always welcomed;
  • Detailed reviews - I do love me a good book review, nothing helps me better to decide if I want to try a new book or not;
  • Author's interviews - I always enjoy getting to know my favourite authors just little bit better;
  • Characters' interviews - Some blogs do interviews with favourite book characters and they can be great fun, adding new insights into our beloved Heroes and Heroines;
  • Book excerpts and additional chapters/bonus scene - I always enjoy reading more and more and more from a favourite book;
  • Book recommendations - no need to explain this one;
  • Book lists - best reads, biggest disappointments, Top ten for the beach and the likes.
I managed to come up with only 10 bullets but I believe they pretty much cover everything I love in blogs. Feel free to comment on any point from my least and I will make sure to reply and check your blog.


New Releases 15-21 July


Here are the new releases that I am looking forward to this week. We start with two books on Monday. First is Necessary Sacrifices which is the sequel of The Torturer's Daughter (my review). I read and reviewed book 1 in the series as Read It and Reap topic of the GR group Shut Up and Read. It is YA dystopia and I enjoyed it so now I am curious how things will continue in book 2.

The other new release on Monday, 15 July is Frigid by J. Lynn. This was a pleasant surprise since the book was initially scheduled to be released on July 30. J. Lynn is the pseudonym of Jennifer Armentrout under which she publishes her New Adult / Adult works. I have read and enjoyed Tempting the Best Man and Tempting the Player (my review), as well as Wait for You, so I expect Frigid to be just as fun. 

The third book release for this week is Left Drowning by Jessica Park. I was lucky enough to receive an ARC copy of this book and absolutely loved it. It is one of the best reads for me this year so far so I strongly recommend it. 


15 July

Necessary Sacrifices (The Torturer’s Daughter #2)

Zoe Cannon

YA Dystopia

15 July


J. Lynn

New Adult Romance

16 July

Left Drowning

Jessica Park

YA/NA, Romance


15 Day Book Blogger Challenge | Day 5


So, I saw this challenge on The Feminist Fairy Tale Reviews and decided to join in. It is a 15 day book blogger challenge started by Good Books Good Wine where bloggers have post about a specific topic/question for the day. Today is day 5 and the task is to recommend a tear jerker, so here we go:

The book that made me cry my eyes out all through reading it and I mean not just shedding a tear or two a couple of times, but really crying big fat ugly tears the whole time I was reading it is Where She Went by Gayle Forman. It is the sequel to If I Stay and even though the first dealt with some tragic events - death, waking up after being in coma, for the second book telling the story of the aftermath of these events, was much more emotional. In Where She Went Ms Forman created a haunting tale of loss, fate and second chances. She achieved something rarely done well in novels, a female writer creating a strong, authentic male voice. I have three words to say about Adam - I Love Adam!

If you are a looking for a contemporary story of love and redemption, and if you are ready to have your heart shred to pieces on the road to a happily ever after, I strongly recommend that you read the story of Mia and Adam in If I Stay and Where She Went by Gayle Forman. Btw, If I Stay is currently in the process of being made into a movie which I am really excited about. 

It's been three years since the devastating accident . . . three years since Mia walked out of Adam's life forever.

Now living on opposite coasts, Mia is Juilliard's rising star and Adam is LA tabloid fodder, thanks to his new rock star status and celebrity girlfriend. When Adam gets stuck in New York by himself, chance brings the couple together again, for one last night. As they explore the city that has become Mia's home, Adam and Mia revisit the past and open their hearts to the future-and each other.

Told from Adam's point of view in the spare, lyrical prose that defined If I Stay, Where She Went explores the devastation of grief, the promise of new hope, and the flame of rekindled romance.

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