Friday, August 15, 2014

Series Review: In the Company of Killers by J.A. Redmerski

I enjoyed J.A. Redmerski’s Edge of Never series, and her book Song of the Fireflies has stayed with me since I read the last page.  When I saw Christy talking about the In the Company of Killers series, I thought… wait… how have I not read these yet? And so I did.  And those books blew my mind!!  It is a great talent when an author can write such intriguing yet incredibly different types of works.  I have to say this is my absolute favorite series of hers to date.   I look forward to reading all of her past and future work. 

  "Despite my growing fear, I still want to be right where I am,
 trapped in the merciless arms of a killer."

Killing Sarai tells the story of a young girl growing up in a compound in Mexico where she has been held captive for the last nine years of her life by a ruthless drug lord.  The things she has seen and what she’s endured are shocking and horrific.  But Sarai won’t ever give up on the idea of escape and the freedom she craves.  When a merciless and intimidating assassin arrives at the compound on business, Sarai sees her chance… and takes it. 

Goodbye, frying pan.  Hello, fire.  Sarai may be free from her captor, but she’s now at the mercy of her savior: an assassin whose young life rivals that of Sarai’s.  He’s cold, brutal, and forbidding – but the more they learn about one another, the closer they become.  Victor becomes her one chance at survival, and – even more surprising to him – he’s determined to keep her alive. 

Oh. My. Stars.  What is this book I could not put down??!!!  It is so intense and absolutely thrilling.  Victor.  Victor, Victor, Victor… I love him.  He scares the stuffin’ outta me, but I love him.  He recognizes something in Sarai that she doesn’t even realize about herself.  The attraction that grows between the two of them is slow and powerful – it’s addictive.  Victor soon realizes that keeping Sarai alive will be his most difficult assignment yet.  If you think you know J.A. Redmerski’s writing… think again. An absolutely brilliant first installment to this electrifying series. 

Amazon | B&N
"I love to see her in white.  It makes her appear angelic to me. 
 An angel who carries death in her pocket."

Trying to live a life left behind years ago, Sarai struggles to find herself and forget the assassin who helped her escape her own personal nightmare and showed her a new and secret world.   She decides she can’t pretend to be that girl that disappeared all those years ago.  Not while there’s a score to settle.  There’s only one thing Sarai wants more than to be reunited with Victor… and that’s revenge. 

This is a very different book from the first installment, with a change in pace and an entirely new feel… but it works.  I love the collaboration of various characters, the new levels reached in Sarai and Victor’s relationship, and the training that goes into reinventing herself and reviving Izabel.   I have to say one of my favorite components of the story is more insight into Fredrik.  I don’t want to say too much about him here since he is the star of the next book, but the anticipation that this sequel builds for the third installment is perfect.  A great and unique follow-up in the series! 

Amazon | B&N
 "Though I learned the hard way that love is cruel and dangerous 
and more fiendish than a man like me could ever be."

Oh, Fredrik.  My dear, dark, damaged Fredrik.  You might just be more broken and frightening than Victor. 

Unlike Victor, Fredrik is not an assassin – he is a specialist.  His sadistic methods are unsurpassed in retrieving and uncovering all the secrets of those unfortunate enough to be questioned by him.  Getting to know Fredrik on a deeper level is bittersweet.  His childhood is absolutely gruesome and heart-wrenching. What molded him into the man he is today is, at times, difficult to read about.  The one bright light in his life was his love, Seraphina… but as we learned in the previous books, that did not end well.  Fredrik hasn’t given up finding her though; and while he continues to aid Victor and Izabel in their line of work, he has the biggest secret of all:  the woman locked away in his basement.  She’s the key to finding Seraphina, and he won’t give up until he does. 

This book has some amazing twists and turns that I’m not going to even touch on because you need to discover that for yourself.  I loved seeing Victor and Izabel again and especially seeing the friendship between Izabel and Fredrik – it’s one of my favorite aspects and one of the most poignant moments in the story for me.  I hurt so much for Fredrik.  He has been through so much and he deserves happiness, but at the same time I wasn’t sure if Fredrik would know what do with happiness.  Yep, he’s that dark.  This story consumed me – it gave me hope, and it snatched it away.  I loved Fredrik, and I rooted for him and then railed at him.  Emotional rollercoaster, people!  I don’t want to reveal too much… but if you like your books with happy, hand-holding, riding-off-into-the-sunset, wrapped-in-a-giant-red-bow endings – this is not your book.  But it should be.  I loved it.  I don’t always want fluffy, melt-me-in-a-ray-of-sunshine conclusions. This book is dark, gritty, and perfect.  Just like Fredrik.

Series Rating:  


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Mini-Review and Giveaway: Night of Cake & Puppets by Laini Taylor

Title: Night of Cake & Puppets
(Daughter of Smoke & Bone #1.5)
Author: Laini Taylor
Publisher: Little, Brown
Published: November 26, 2013
Purchase:  Amazon | B&N

In Night of Cake & Puppets, Taylor brings to life a night only hinted at in the Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy—the magical first date of fan-favorites Zuzana and Mik. Told in alternating perspectives, it’s the perfect love story for fans of the series and new readers alike. Petite though she may be, Zuzana is not known for timidity. Her best friend, Karou, calls her “rabid fairy,” her “voodoo eyes” are said to freeze blood, and even her older brother fears her wrath. But when it comes to the simple matter of talking to Mik, or “Violin Boy,” her courage deserts her. Now, enough is enough. Zuzana is determined to meet him, and she has a fistful of magic and a plan. It’s a wonderfully elaborate treasure hunt of a plan that will take Mik all over Prague on a cold winter’s night before finally leading him to the treasure: herself! Violin Boy’s not going to know what hit him.


Once upon a time there were two secondary characters who stole my heart.  These two characters had a first date and did not take me.  I wanted to know everything. Every single detail.  What he said.  What she said.  Their innermost thoughts and all their feelings.  Then Laini Taylor blessed us with this perfect novella, and now I know all the magical things and can live happily ever after.  The end. 

“Life doesn’t need magic to be magical. 
(But a little bit sure doesn't hurt.)” 

I’m giving away a copy of this brilliant and fun little novella.  This short story can be read at any time after book one.  Just fill out the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win! 

  My Rating: 
Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #1) Days of Blood & Starlight (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #2) Dreams of Gods & Monsters (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #3)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Steals & Deals


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(Not final cover)
Pre-order for only $3.82 at

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday (46): The Queen of Zombie Hearts (White Rabbit Chronicles #3) by Gena Showalter


Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine,
that showcases our most anticipated upcoming releases.

Our pick:

Title: The Queen of Zombie Hearts
(White Rabbit Chronicles #3)
Author: Gena Showalter
Publisher: Harlequin Teen  
Expected Release: September 30, 2014
Pre-order:  Amazon | B&N

From Goodreads: 

I have a plan.

We'll either destroy them for good, or they'll destroy us.

Either way, only one of us is walking away.

Alice 'Ali' Bell thinks the worst is behind her. She's ready to take the next step with boyfriend Cole Holland, the leader of the zombie slayers; until Anima Industries, the agency controlling the zombies, launches a sneak attack, killing four of her friends. It's then she realizes that humans can be more dangerous than monsters; and the worst has only begun.

As the surviving slayers prepare for war, Ali discovers she, too, can control the zombies and she isn't the girl she thought she was. She's connected to the woman responsible for killing and turning Cole's mother. How can their relationship endure? As secrets come to light, and more slayers are taken or killed, Ali will fight harder than ever to bring down Anima even sacrificing her own life for those she loves.


"We're all mad here."

We must get back to this series and caught up in time for this release.  These covers make us swoon!

Alice in Zombieland (The White Rabbit Chronicles, #1) Through the Zombie Glass (White Rabbit Chronicles, #2) The Queen of Zombie Hearts (The White Rabbit Chronicles, #3)
What book are you waiting to get your hands on?

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Teaser Tuesday (49): The Aftermath by Jen Alexander


Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.
Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

This week’s Teasers come from the following book:

Title: The Aftermath
Author: Jen Alexander
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Expected Pub: August 26, 2014
Source:  Publisher
Pre-order: Amazon  |  B&N

Sometimes, I dream that I'm someone else.

A girl with dark hair who doesn't worry about hunger

or thirst or running from flesh-eaters.

In her world, those sorts of things don't exist.

Since the spring of 2036, when the world changed forever, Claudia and a small clan of survivors have roamed the streets of a very altered Nashville: polluted and desolate, except for the ever-present threat of cannibal Hoarders. Together they must undergo punishing tests of endurance and psychological challenge sometimes with devastating consequences all just to live another day.

With food and water in dwindling supply, and with danger lurking around every corner, no one can be trusted. And as her world starts to make less and less sense, Claudia begins to realize something terrifying: she is just a pawn in some sort of game, and all of her actions are being controlled from afar by a mysterious gamer. So when she meets a maddening and fascinating outsider named Declan, who claims to be a game moderator, she must decide whether to join him in exchange for protection and access to the border.

If they play the game right, they are each other's best hope for survival and a life beyond the only world Claudia's ever known: the terrifying live-action game known as The Aftermath.


My Teaser: 

"Everything feels different now that I'm aware a stranger is in my head, responsible for my forgetfulness and the inconsistency between my thoughts and movements and words.  I want time to absorb this revelation, to try and figure out why I can think for myself but not even lift my own hand if I wish to."
                                                                                            - Kindle Loc 14%

This book is definitely a different kind of read for me.  It's getting really intense, and I can't wait to see what happens next!

I'd love to know what your Teaser is!


Monday, August 11, 2014

Review: Opposition (Lux #5) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Title: Opposition (Lux #5)
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Published: August 5, 2014
Purchase: Amazon  |  B&N

From Goodreads:

Katy knows the world changed the night the Luxen came.

She can't believe Daemon welcomed his race or stood by as his kind threatened to obliterate every last human and hybrid on Earth. But the lines between good and bad have blurred, and love has become an emotion that could destroy her—could destroy them all.

Daemon will do anything to save those he loves, even if it means betrayal.

They must team with an unlikely enemy if there is any chance of surviving the invasion. But when it quickly becomes impossible to tell friend from foe, and the world is crumbling around them, they may lose everything— even what they cherish most—to ensure the survival of their friends…and mankind.

War has come to Earth. And no matter the outcome, the future will never be the same for those left standing.



Goodbyes do indeed stink.  However, this last installment of the Lux series most definitely did not.  Packed with action, Opposition ties up several loose ends and gives fans a thrilling, fun, and sweet finale.  A conclusion that is full of sexy, steamy times.  That’s right, our favorite little blogger Katy is all grown up now, and she and Daemon get their cuddling on.  A lot.  Highly enjoyable – but parents, be aware this puts Opposition at the highest end of the YA spectrum.  I have really enjoyed this series and while it took me some time to warm up to everyone’s favorite arrogant alien, I can honestly say I’ve come to love Daemon Black.  He had his work cut out for him, and it wasn’t easy… but he prevailed and won my heart. It’s no surprise that he and Katy top many lists for favorite fictional couples. 

“Daemon kissed like he was staking a claim, 
but he already had me – all of me. 
My heart. My soul. My whole being.” 

Katy has always been a favorite of mine – she’s easy to love, and her infatuation with books, reading, and blogging makes her a fictional sister.  The secondary characters of the Lux series are always fun to read about; and I was especially happy when a certain character made a cameo because, though I was expecting it, I loved seeing him again.  That’s all I’ll say on that.  

A fast but steady pace and writing that I’ve grown fond of make this a winner in my book.  Ms. Armentrout does a great job writing the interactions between the characters – this lady knows how to dish out some sarcasm and humor.  I hope readers will be pleased with the outcome -- I certainly was, and I look forward to visiting these beloved Luxen again in future re-reads. 

“I fell in love all over again.” 

Beginnings: Obsidian & Onyx (Lux, #1-2)Consequences: Opal & Origin (Lux, #3-4)  Opposition (Lux, #5)

Friday, August 8, 2014

Review: Sinner (The Wolves of Mercy Falls #4) by Maggie Stiefvater

Title: Sinner
(The Wolves of Mercy Falls #4)
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Published: July 1, 2014
Source:  Publisher
Purchase: Amazon  |  B&N

Sinner follows Cole St. Clair, a pivotal character from the #1 New York Times bestselling Shiver Trilogy. Everybody thinks they know Cole's story. Stardom. Addiction. Downfall. Disappearance. But only a few people know Cole's darkest secret -- his ability to shift into a wolf. One of these people is Isabel. At one point, they may have even loved each other. But that feels like a lifetime ago. Now Cole is back. Back in the spotlight. Back in the danger zone. Back in Isabel's life. Can this sinner be saved? 


It’s been several years since I closed Forever, the final installment in the Wolves of Mercy Falls series.  I adore that series and something I find very interesting is that, in talking with fellow readers – whether they were a fan of the books or not – we all agree on this: we can’t get enough of Cole and Isabel.

“Most sinners do not linger in our memory like you…” 

I was extremely excited to hear that they would be getting their very own book in the companion novel Sinner.  With alternating POVs, both Cole and Isabel shine, proving why so many readers fell in love with them.  Their relationship is hot and cold, yes and no, push and pull; and it is SO much fun to read about.   Both are arrogant, sarcastic, and teeming with issues – which offers up glorious repartee.  As funny as they can be at times, though, my heart hurts for these two.

“I knew just how it felt when your worst fear 
was that you would be yourself.” 

They need understanding and unconditional love.  Who better to seek it from than each other?  Wonderful secondary characters and a couple of lovely cameos from old friends make this a delightful read.  Stiefvater’s writing is stunning as usual, and she absolutely nails the banter between these engaging characters.  A must-read for Cole St. Clair and Isabel Culpepper fans!

“‘It sure is ugly.’ 
‘Ugly never hurt a thing.’ 
I scoffed. ‘Oh, ugly has hurt some things. 
 It’s just that pretty hurts more.’ 

Thank you to the publisher for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #1) Linger (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #2) Forever (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #3)