[Monthly] October ARCs

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kindly provided, in exchange for an honest review.

So much work to do this month! I am trying to bring my ratio up so I kind of have to burry my nose in these books.

1 . The Ninth Circle, Book One: Fire by C.A. Harland

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Tala Morgenstern lives for the hunt, embracing her heritage as a demon hunter. When her younger sister, Hartley, disappears while on the trail of her long-lost father, Tala must seek the help of her other sister Aiva, who has turned her back on the underworld of magic and hunting. Suspecting demonic involvement, Tala and Aiva race to find Hartley before she can be claimed by hell.

Their search takes them deeper into the bowels of Dublin’s criminal underground, where the gangs are led by demons, and the currency is souls. With each Circle of hell bringing new dangers, and new revelations about their own place in the demon hunting world, Tala and Aiva have to rely on each other if they are to stand a chance of fighting their way to the Ninth Circle, and the demon lord who is waiting for them.

2. Firelines by Cara Thurlbourn

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When your blood line awakens, how do you choose between family and freedom?

Émi’s father used to weave beautiful tales of life beyond the wall, but she never knew if they were true. Now, her father is gone and Émi has been banished to the Red Quarter, where she toils to support herself and her mother – obeying the rules, hiding secrets and suffering the cruelties of the council’s ruthless Cadets.

But when Émi turns seventeen, sparks fly – literally. Her blood line surges into life and she realises she has a talent for magick… a talent that could get her killed.

Émi makes her escape, beyond the wall and away from everything she’s ever known. In a world of watchers, elephant riders and sorcery, she must discover the truth about who she really is. But can the new Émi live up to her destiny?

3. Closer (Closer #1) by M.C. Vann

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When Alexandria Summers (Ally) bumps into Henry Pearce during the Sunny Valley Tulip Festival, she never thought she’d see him again in her hometown, the Windy City. Despite several warnings telling her to stay away, Ally finds herself falling deeper for this strange man. But little did she know, their fated encounter is just the beginning of a larger scheme.

This beautiful man was flawed.

He was real … real in a sense that he was human after all.

Fragile. Pitiful. Lonely.

Henry was all of these things — elements that I never could imagine him having.

The more I got to know Henry, the more I realized how much of a mystery he was.

A dark, but beautiful mystery.

*** Trigger Warning: Intended for audiences 18 and older. Contains situations some readers might find objectionable. Ends on a cliffhanger.

4. Ekata: Fall of Darkness (Ekata #1) by Dominique Law

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On Ekata, a utopian world where violence is unthinkable, Asher has been plagued with visions of death and darkness since childhood. On his eighteenth birthday he is confronted with a life-changing prophecy which tells of a threat not only to his world, but to Earth as well.

Alexis has always felt she doesn’t belong. When an extraordinary stranger appears on her doorstep, it raises more questions than answers. If everything she thought she knew about herself was a lie, who is the real Alexis? And how could she possibly be part of an ancient prophecy?

Through startling transformation and grief, the pair defy all expectations. But when everything changes, can Asher’s humanity survive? The fate of both worlds may depend upon it.

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Have you read any of these? Do you have any suggestions on how to improve in Netgalley?

Thank you for reading!

[ARCs of the month] netGalley ARCs

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I was through a really weird phase and I had stopped reading books so I found myself a bit behind schedule. I need to improve my netGaelly ratio even though I am always so close to 80%. I decided not request more books and just read the ones I was already approved to read. When I am done, I’ll request some more.

I even got my first invitation recently and I was really excited about it. I mean I bet many of you have already lots of invitations but still, the first time is always unforgettable, if you know what I mean! 😉

So take a look at the ARCs I have to read this month.

❣  The Thirteenth World (The Corridor #2) by A. N. Willis

I am currently reading this and I am thrilled because it was way better than what I expected.

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Time is running out for Stel Alaster. The Corridor, the only portal between First and Second Earth, is failing and the barriers between all twelve worlds are thinning. Using her unique ability to travel through the multiverse, Stel sets out to save the Corridor . . . and ends up discovering a mysterious new world.

In the sequel to The Corridor, will the thirteenth world hold the key to the Corridor’s secrets? Or will the portal implode and take every last universe down with it?

❣ The Knight’s Bride: Chivalry Lives in 6 Stories from the Middle Ages 

by Tracie Peterson, Yvonne Lehman, Jill Stengl, Pamela Griffin, Dianne Christner

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Take six romantic adventures back in time to the Middle Ages along with five authors including Tracie Peterson, who tell the stories of couples challenged by the injustices of their times. Some couples are pulled apart by wars and feuds, while others have their futures determined by their oppressors. Can a faith be found to keep hope alive and give joy in all circumstances?

❣ Dark Rising (The Archangel Prophecies #2) by Monica McGurk

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Can One Person Upend a Prophecy as Old as Time?

Hope Carmichael is on the run. The only question is, from whom?

The mark on her neck has branded her as part of an ancient prophecy, the Bearer of the Key. But the Fallen Angels have misunderstood and think Hope is their long-awaited way to regain Heaven by force. Now Hope is chasing down the artifact that could open Heaven’s Gates, while seeking to destroy it before the Fallen catch up with her. Will the Triad crime ring track Hope and exact their punishment before she gets the chance? Is the ragtag band of angels surrounding her now there to protect her, or imprison her? And will Michael, the Archangel sworn to defend Heaven at all costs, be forced to deny his love for Hope and take her life, instead, so that the artifact won’t fall into enemy hands?

The epic narrative introduced in Dark Hope continues in Dark Rising as Hope crisscrosses some of the most ancient sites in Europe and plumbs the depths of history in search of the truth about the Key, herself, and love. Exploring themes of identity, fate, jealousy, trust, and forgiveness, Dark Rising’s mythological scope and moral urgency deepen as we come to understand the choices and consequences faced by a young woman determined to follow her heart and chart her own destiny.

❣ Easy Silence by Beth Rinyu

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They say you never forget your first love. No matter how many more come along or how much time goes by, there will always be that one person who will be forever embedded deep inside your heart and soul. For me, that was Jaxson Callahan.
We were complete opposites. I was a senator’s daughter. My parents were always too busy keeping up appearances on the political scene to show me love, so instead they bought my affection.
He was the son of a woman who allowed men to use and abuse her as well as him, just for her next fix.
We became each other’s solace during that summer we met, creating a lifetime of memories in three short months. I provided him with a sense of hope that there was more than just the harsh reality of the life he had grown accustomed to, and he showed me a genuine love that I had been yearning for my entire life. We vowed to be together forever. I loved him and he loved me…. and nothing would keep us apart.
Nothing except the secrets that were hiding in that small seaside town.
Secrets that altered our destiny. We were never given any warning as we watched our future shake, crumble and disappear altogether, leaving us with nothing but memories of a bittersweet past.
Life can be beautiful.
Life can be kind.
And, life can be heartless…..because nothing about our situation was fair.

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Have you read any of them? Do you find them interesting? You know what to do, right?

[Review] Dark Hope by Monica McGurk

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For years, Hope Carmichael, survivor of a shocking child abduction, has lived a sheltered existence under the protection of her fanatically religious father. Now, liberated by her mother, Hope prepares to start life over as a normal kid in an Atlanta, Georgia, high school.

Normal, that is, until Hope meets Michael, a gorgeous emancipated teen with a mysterious past and a strong interest in Hope. Soon, Hope’s life is filled with questions. What’s behind the angry looks Hope gets from Lucas, leader of a gang of students? Who’s responsible for sending Hope strange valentines inscribed with Bible quotations? How does this relate to the sinister business of human trafficking that operates on the periphery of Hope’s suburban world? And is Michael really a protector, or something more sinister—and just why does he seem so familiar?

In an epic narrative that takes readers from the back streets of Atlanta to the height of Vegas penthouses and beyond, Dark Hope introduces The Archangel Prophecies, a saga of vast mythological scope and great moral urgency.

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3stars

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Arc kindly provided by the publisher, via netGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

The idea was unique and the book had a lot of potential. Not bad but not thrilling either.

Writing Style

Just like I’ve said before, not bad. The book begins with a prologue and a third person POV. Then there’s a transition to Hope’s mother’s POV described in third person and then we have Hope’s POV in first person. I would prefer if the book was completely in third person POV since the author wanted us to know about many character and not just one. The transition is confusing and tiring. Other than that I had no problem following the story and understanding. Feelings weren’t fully described but I was satisfied. Mona’s feelings were described better and she was easier to relate. Even though Hope was the main character I was puzzled because her thoughts were confusing me a lot.

Plot/World Building

Even though I was excited at the first half of the book, I was completely disappointed with the second half. I loved the way the author built the world and added so much mystery and excitement. Who was the person who saved Hope? What’s his connection with the male lead? What about that awesome tattoo in her neck? Why is her dad so overprotective and obsessed? So many questions and so many things to look for while reading. Suddenly, close to half of the book, all things were revealed and I was so so so turned off. I wanted more of the mystery and more action. Plus I didn’t really liked how the story evolved. Mona had just found her daughter and she lost her in days again. Then her father gets framed for kidnapping and Michael transforms into Hope’s father in most scene’s of the second half. Nooo, this is so weird. I wanted to have in mind the hot hero of the book and not an overweight, middle-aged man. It’s creepy.

Characters

Hope is the female lead character of the book. She is a 16-year-old girl who was through a kidnap, a weird mark on her neck and an overly protective and obsessed father. She was motherless most of the time and completely cut out of the world. That means no friends, no normal high-school days and no boyfriend. At the beginning she is so determined to change all that so she tries to go back to her mother and start a new life. I was so proud to read about her. She did good till she met Michael. That’s the end of my proud feelings because she suddenly turned to one of the classic weak characters that allow a guy to affect their whole lives. No more explanation needed.

Michael is an ancient archangel. Yes, he is THE Michael. I was so excited. He has the form of a teenager and he falls for our precious Hope. There’s a connection between them that Michael can’t explain so he tries to protect her. To be honest he was so charming and mature at first but I didn’t know he was an archangel. I just thought he was too mature to be a teen. When I found out his age I regretted feeling that way because there’s no way a creature with thousands of years experience to act that way. He was treating Hope badly and he practically forced her to do things that made her feel uncomfortable in order to ‘keep her safe’. He was rude and he was snapping at her all the time and then he was back at being kind and sweet. He confused me a lot and I didn’t feel like I could trust him. Maybe that was the point anyway because Hope didn’t really trust him as well. I don’t know, he was weird.

Overall

There were things I did enjoy and things I didn’t. I can’t say that the book was awful because it was not. The plot was cliche and overused but it had a lot of potential to make a difference even though it didn’t.

 abouttheauthor

[Monica McGurk]

Monica McGurk loves nothing better than to craft thought-provoking, multilayered stories, showcasing strong girls and women overcoming big challenges.

Already a fan favorite, she received the 2013 TwiFic Fandom Undiscovered Gem award for Morning Star, her alternate ending to the Twilight series, written before the release of Breaking Dawn.

Her first novel in The Archangel Prophecies trilogy, Dark Hope, was published in 2014. Dark Rising is the second novel in this series. The final installment, Dark Before Dawn, is expected in 2016.

[ARC of the month] netGalley arc presentation

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I am so excited because I have many ARCs to read this month and they will keep me busy. I have a difficulty reading books lately so knowing that I have to read the ARCs in order to review them will motivate me. I don’t know why I am not in the mood to read so much but I guess it’s because I am always on vacation and I have so many other things to do with my boyfriend and friends. I am so exhausted so when I finally have time to read I just can’t.

But enough of this, time for books!

1.

Remember by Shannon Dermott

Currently reading

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Death is a killer and not to those who’ve died but for those that survive. It’s also an opportunity to change.

I’ve resigned to my place in the shadows until the one person in the world that matters to me more than my own life is taken from me. Then I meet him.

He’s everything I’m not.

Tall, dark, face like an angel, mouth like a sinner and tattoos and piercings to rival that of rock gods, in one word, he’s cocky. And he comes with his own personal fan club, great. (as I secretly apply to be president, okay maybe not)

Only our every meeting is suspect. I’m left to wonder why he only ever turns up when my life is headed south, backwards or upside down. His explanations are shady, and his hot and cold give me whiplash. But his lips on mine burn and take me places I’ve never been.

If only I can trust him. If only he reveals what he is? Then hopefully we won’t end up on opposite sides of a frienemy line, and I’m forced to take him down. Worse case is that he’s already planned to take me out first and not on a date, but in a dead kind of way.

2.

Brown-Eyed Girl by Lisa Kleypas

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Avery Crosslin is a talented young fashion designer with a bright future ahead of her. But when the company goes into liquidation, Avery finds herself without a job and a boyfriend who decides to leave her.

When her father falls ill, Avery is by his side day and night. But one evening she notices a young man, Joe, in distress and offers to help. Their instant attraction to one another is magnetic but even though she is unexpectedly charmed by the good-looking stranger, Avery tells him that she has to leave. He asks for her name and number, but she lies and tells him she has a boyfriend. At this point in Avery’s life, the last thing she wants or needs is more complications.

The next day, as Avery returns to the hospital to thank the nurses for taking such good care of her father at the end of his life, one of them gives her an envelope from Joe. It is addressed to “Brown-Eyed Girl.”

Avery knows she wants to see Joe again but she faces a dilemma. When she learns that Joe is the man responsible for her father’s death she is troubled.

Is there any hope of a future for them both?

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[ARC presentation] netGalley ARCs of the month

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This month I only requested three books. My request was accepted by two publishers and the third is pending. Here are the two books.

1.

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[Lorali]

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Colourful, raw, brave, rich and fantastical – this mermaid tale is not for the faint-hearted.

Looking after a naked girl he found washed up under Hastings pier isn’t exactly how Rory had imagined spending his sixteenth birthday. But more surprising than finding her in the first place is discovering where she has come from.

Lorali is running not just from the sea, not just from her position as princess, but her entire destiny. Lorali has rejected life as a mermaid, and become human.

But along with Lorali’s arrival, and the freak weather suddenly battering the coast, more strange visitors begin appearing in Rory’s bemused Sussex town. With beautifully coiffed hair, sharp-collared shirts and a pirate ship shaped like a Tudor house, the Abelgare boys are a mystery all of their own. What are they really up to? Can Rory protect Lorali? And who from? And where does she really belong, anyway?

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[Laura Dockrill]

2.

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[Queen of Blood]

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For one hundred years, Seri’s people have lived under the thumb of the Blood, the cruel and mysterious rulers of Athon. Seri wants nothing more than to put food on the table and marry the hotheaded but handsome Rilen come spring. But when a noblewoman asks Seri to be her handmaiden, Rilen insists she move to the enemy’s castle . . . and spy on the newly arrived prince.

Prince Graeme has grown weary of his family’s curse. The Blood are powerful and immortal, but doomed to live in the shadows, flitting from lover to lover, always in search of the mythic Eterna—the one woman who will sate their hunger. Now his father has sent him to the outskirts of the empire to stamp out a rebellious Vidari faction. But when a wild and alluring Vidari girl shows up at court, he finds himself torn between following his father’s orders and following his heart . . .

A war is brewing between Athonite and Vidari, between Blood and man. As uprisings sweep through the land, Seri and Graeme find themselves at the center of a storm with only one choice: betray each other, or betray their people.

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[Jill Myles]

[Review] The Corridor by A. N. Willis

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[The Corridor]

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June 23, 2015

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4stars

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Arc kindly provided by the publisher, via netGalley, in exchange for an honest review .

The Corridor was an easy and enjoyable read. I can’t really say that I went wild while reading it but it was decent.
It started a bit boring but the plot was promising and intriguing. After reading 30% of the book it felt like things were getting better and faster.

A.N. Willis writting style is pleasant and not confusing. I had no trouble keeping up with the story and the trasition from Estele’s feelings to information and dialogue had a flow. I was inside her head and I was easily able to see her surroundings without getting lost. Reading in a different language than my own is not hard but simple and elegant writting style like the one in The Corridor make it easier for me. Gladly!

We were introduced to Estele, a girl with the ability to travel in parallel universes. This wasn’t normal and she was trying to hide it because it was dangerous. All she needed was to be normal and leave a quiet life. Estele is the kind of girl who would do anything for her family and the ones she loves. She didn’t know it but she was brave and determined and when her dad needed her in order to save their world, she was ready to sacrifice herself and reveal her powers.
I was really satisfied with Estele’s thoughts, feelings and reactions; they seemed realistic to me and that’s how normal people would have acted if they happened to be in her shoes.

I admit that her Chol, her love interest was kind of uninteresting and forgetabble and their romance was rushed and kind of awkward. I mean, yeah the attraction was there since the very beginning but escalated quickly, out of nowhere. They didn’t even met eachother more than, what? Five times?
That was my only objection. Other than that, Chol was pretty ok and I can say that if he had a bigger part in the book I would have liked him more.

The book had a lot of action and twists that I enjoyed and the romance was not the biggest part, thing that I appreciated. There were a couple of characters that I disliked and others that earned my trust with a bit more effort. Estele had to go through a lot in order to trust the right people and actually see what was in front of her. I enjoyed being in that journey with her, putting my faith in her to make things right.

The book ends with a cliffhanger and the second book has already my attention.
Hopefully we will get to see more of Cohl and his world and I can’t wait to find out about the new world that was promised to us.

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[A. N. Willis]

[Monthly] April’s ARC presentation

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[Downcast]

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What would you do when faced with an impossible truth? Written with heart and passion, Downcast by Cait Reynolds is ripe with twists you never saw coming and love that defies the odds in this intense new Paranormal Romance retelling one of mythology’s greatest love stories.

It’s the start of Stephanie Starr’s senior year of high school, but sadly, this is no life of the prom queen. Stuck at the bottom of the high school social totem pole, Stephanie is forced by her domineering mother to wear lumpy linen dresses and eat organic tofu for lunch in a world of mini-skirts and pizza.

What Stephanie doesn’t anticipate is gorgeous and cocky Haley Smith who breaks social convention and pursues her with a determination that is both terrifying and flattering. Afraid that Haley is simply trying to set her up for massive humiliation, Stephanie does her best to push him away. But the more attention he pays to her, the more she runs, and the more everyone else begins to notice.

Instead of a loving family to support her as the mean girls make their play, Stephanie’s mother begins to unravel mentally, her possessiveness of Stephanie spiraling to new and frightening extremes. Stephanie is forced to grow up, find herself, and learn the truth about her past in order to save her mother, her friends, and her town. When the truth is revealed, nothing can prepare her for the outrageous reality of her existence…and nothing can save her from her fate.

Except Haley.

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[Cait Reynolds]