The Whimsical Mama

<3 Such is the life of a stay at home mommy and Army wife (:

*ARC Review* The Ring & the Crown by Melissa de la Cruz March 31, 2014

***I was granted permission to read this by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to Disney Hyperion!***

Rating:4 stars
Pub date:1 April 2014
Publisher:Disney Hyperion
Genre:Young Adult Fiction, Romance, Historical Fiction, Fantasy
Format:ARC provided by the publisher
Status:Book one of The Ring and the Crown series

Summary:

Princess Marie-Victoria, heir to the Lily Throne, and Aelwyn Myrddn, bastard daughter of the Mage of England, grew up together. But who will rule, and who will serve?


Quiet and gentle, Marie has never lived up to the ambitions of her mother, Queen Eleanor the Second, Supreme Ruler of the Franco-British Empire. With the help of her Head Merlin, Emrys, Eleanor has maintained her stranglehold on the world’s only source of magic. She rules the most powerful empire the world has ever seen.


But even with the aid of Emrys’ magic, Eleanor’s extended lifespan is nearing its end. The princess must marry and produce an heir or the Empire will be vulnerable to its greatest enemy, Prussia. The two kingdoms must unite to end the war, and the only solution is a match between Marie and Prince Leopold VII, heir to the Prussian throne. But Marie has always loved Gill, her childhood friend and soldier of the Queen’s Guard.


Together, Marie and Aelwyn, a powerful magician in her own right, come up with a plan. Aelwyn will take on Marie’s face, allowing the princess to escape with Gill and live the quiet life she’s always wanted. And Aelwyn will get what she’s always dreamed of–the chance to rule. But the court intrigue and hunger for power in Lenoran England run deeper than anyone could imagine. In the end, there is only rule that matters in Eleanor’s court: trust no one.

My thoughts:

 While I as eagerly awaiting news of Melissa de la Cruz’s spin off from Blue Bloods, she first announced another new series – The Ring and the Crown. When I first saw the title, I thought it as the new Blue Bloods until I read the rest of the announcement. An alternate history with magic?! Count me in! I as so excited. I finally got up the guts to email a request about an ARC. I was so excited, I didn’t know how I would deal with a rejection. The wait for April would be a long and excruciating one. Thank my lucky stars, Disney Hyperion granted me an ARC. That was a glorious mail day! I tried to put it off until a bit closer to pub date to read it, but I just couldn’t wait anymore.


Once again, Melissa does a great job of drawing you in at once with interesting characters who aren’t all that they seem. She also does a great job of creating an alternate reality of London and New York. New York doesn’t feature much, but you do get a small taste. It’s set in what would be late Victorian/early Edwardian time for us, but being an alternate history, there are different rulers due to different outcomes.


The turning point to alter reality from our own occurred during the 100 years war between England and France. France never succeeded driving out the English – thanks to more powerful magic on the English side. Joan of Arc (Jeanne of Arkk) was still burned at the stake for witchcraft (only it was true this time) and Charles VII was never crowned King of France. As a result echoing through the ages: the British Empire comes to existence but it never crumbles. War of Independence? Nope. A minor uprising that is squashed. The United States of America is part of the America Provinces.


As a huge history nerd, I was very excited to see how Melissa was going to spin this alternate reality and I think she killed it. I often think of different history scenarios and wonder how things would be different if the outcome had been reversed. Pulling in Merlin and Avalon was perfection. I love myths involving Merlin, Avalon, Arthur, Camelot, etc.


I don’t know if it was an intentional homage or not, but I really felt a Prince and the Pauper pull between the two leading ladies – Princess Marie-Victoria and acolyte Aelwyn. Both long for lives that differ from their own. Who can’t relate to that? As a teenager, I often thought of what it would be like to be a princess. Not in an obsessive, I WANT to be a princess, just pondering how life would be different. Now, as an adult, I thank my stars that I am who I am. I like not having my every move watched and scrutinised. I definitely enjoy not having my every move as a mother watched and rumours flying if I’m pregnant again or not. Poor Princess Catherine!


I also loved the addition of the American Ronan. She has very heavy obligations thrust on her young shoulders and she has to decide how she wants her future to go.  That is the main theme of the book – do what is expected and accept responsibility for decisions/actions, discover yourself and be true to that self. These three lovely ladies as well as Isabelle of Orleans (descendant of the fallen French family) struggle to do just that.


Along the road of self discovery, the ladies are joined by the charming Prince Wolf (I call dibs NOW). I fell in love with Wolf in his first scene and he grows immensely from there. And what story wouldn’t be complete without a few villains? I’ll remain mum on their identities because there’s a scene at the end that is a doozie!


Melissa does a great job with character growth and world development once again. (Honestly, I’m NOT surprised.) She does a fantastic job of taking a simplistic style and making it so fabulous that you’re swamped with imagery without being up to your eyeballs in page long descriptions. I’ve seen a few complaints about straying from historical accuracies, but let’s be honest for a minute. It’s an ALTERNATE history therefore the world will be different. I’m a big history purist in historical fiction novels. Since this is an alternate history, Melissa gets some room to work with in it. It doesn’t have to be 100% accurate because it’s her alternate history. I really enjoyed The Ring and the Crown and can’t wait for more. As usual with Melissa’s writing, I was addicted from the beginning. Melissa’s writing is just a drug to me and I can never get enough! I highly recommend The Ring and the Crown to historical fiction and fantasy readers. Even if those aren’t your usual cups of tea, I still suggest you give it a shot! You never know when you’ll stumble across a new series you’ll enjoy! And the best news of all?! It comes out TOMORROW! 

About the author

Melissa de la Cruz is the New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of many critically acclaimed and award-winning novels for teens including The Au Pairs series, the Blue Bloods series, the Ashleys series, the Angels on Sunset Boulevard series and the semi-autobiographical novel Fresh off the Boat.


Her books for adults include the novel Cat’s Meow, the anthology Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys and the tongue-in-chic handbooks How to Become Famous in Two Weeks or Less and The Fashionista Files: Adventures in Four-inch heels and Faux-Pas.


She has worked as a fashion and beauty editor and has written for many publications including The New York Times, Marie Claire, Harper’s Bazaar, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Allure, The San Francisco Chronicle, McSweeney’s, Teen Vogue, CosmoGirl! and Seventeen. She has also appeared as an expert on fashion, trends and fame for CNN, E! and FoxNews.


Melissa grew up in Manila and moved to San Francisco with her family, where she graduated high school salutatorian from The Convent of the Sacred Heart. She majored in art history and English at Columbia University (and minored in nightclubs and shopping!).


She now divides her time between New York and Los Angeles, where she lives in the Hollywood Hills with her husband and daughter.

 

*Review* Cress by Marissa Meyer March 30, 2014



Rating: 4 stars
Pub Date: 4 February 2014
Publisher: Macmillan, Feiwel & Friends
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Dystopian, Fairy Tale Retelling
Format: hardcover, signed, personal copy
Status: Book three of The Lunar Chronicles series


Summary:
In this third book in the Lunar Chronicles, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army.


Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl imprisoned on a satellite since childhood who’s only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.

When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.

My Thoughts:
After much lusting over Cress, I finally got my hands on a copy. I was supposed to be a part of an ARC tour, but the ARC was lost in the mail mid-tour. Very devastating and disappointing! My wonderful hubby and incredible BFF Mary (Mary Had A Little Book Blog) concocted a surprise for a fourth wedding anniversary gift. I love Marissa Meyer. She did a signing in Texas. Mary lives in Texas. I got signed books for my present! I did have to wait til I got to hang out with Mary when she came in to visit family and go on her epic book events tour, but it was worth the wait. Plus I got to see my Mary! (:

I absolutely love the retelling/remaining Marissa has done. I love the Disney princess movies, as does my toddler daughter, but I adore that Marissa is taking these timeless classics and turning them into pretty kickass heroines. As a mama, I want heroines my kiddos can look up to and Marissa has delivered on that three times now.

Of the heroines so far, Rapunzel is probably my least favourite in origin. Cress, however, is perfect. She’s more than slightly off her rocker, but 1.) that’s to be expected after essentially growing up in solitary confinement and 2.) it adds depth to her character and gives her tons of room to grow. I loved seeing her relationship develop with Thorne after being a bit obsessed with him. It was nice to see a portrayal of how a one sided infatuation can develop into a budding friendship.
I was very happy to see everyone back from Scarlet. Cinder seems to be adjusting slowly to the idea of her identity and is striving to learn all she can about her gifts. Scarlet is still spunky as ever and I can’t wait to see how things go between her and Princess Winter. After seeing the vicious side of Wolf, it was a great relief to see a tenderness fully develop between him and Scarlet. I love how devoted he is to her and how determined he is to save her. Queen Levana is as wickedly evil as ever and I get a sick enjoyment out of her wickedness. Haha. And Emperor Kai. Oh, I love Kai. The events that transpire at the end had me in a fit of giggles. I really, really, REALLY hope things work out for him and Cinder. REALLY.

What kept this from being a 5 star review is jumping around from the points of view. It’s a necessary evil for the story, and Marissa does a great job, but it just felt a bi disruptive to me this time around. I’m not sure why. Probably because I have two toddlers running around who live to keep mama on her toes.

Cress definitely moves the action and story along as well as sets up for the series finale, Winter. It’s going to suck waiting for a year, but I’m sure Marissa will make it worth it! From the teasers she’s been putting up on Twitter, it definitely feels like it will be! Weaving together four fairy tales is a Herculean task, but Marissa Meyer is making it look easy. I highly recommend Cress and the rest of The Lunar Chronicles without a single bit of hesitation.

About the author:
I live in Tacoma, Washington, with my fiancé and our two cats. In addition to my slight obsession with books and writing, I’m big on road-tripping, wine-tasting, and hunting for antiques. I’m represented by Jill Grinberg.

 

Please Be Kind, Rewind: 23-29 March 2014 March 29, 2014

Can I just say that I am really not a fan of the new update to the WordPress document formatting? I really liked being able to work in Word, Works, Open Office, etc. and paste straight in the post in the format I want. Not cool. Hubby was away at a military class this week and the kiddos took turns being piddly. Bug got shots and Punk’s allergies waged an open revolution against him. It’s been a rough week. But I still got some blog work and reading done!

Completed:

Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein 4 1/2 stars

Frozen (ARC, personal copy, audiobook)by Melissa de la Cruz and Michael Johnston 3 3/4 stars.

Currently Reading:

The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson

The Everything Mother Goose Book by June Rifkin (yes, we’re still working on it!)

Harry Potter and the Philospher’s Stone by JK Rowling

Read to the Kiddos:

Sesame Street: Elmo Look and Find by Publications International

The Story of Thomas Jefferson by Patricia A Pingry

If You Give A Moose A Muffin by Laura Joffe Numeroff

Thomas and the Treasure by Wilbert Awdry

How Do Dinosaurs Love Their Dogs by Jane Yolen

Digger the Dinosaur by Rebecca Kai Dotlich


New to my shelf:

Asylum by Madeleine Roux (from my sis-in-law)

From the library:

Pete the Cat : Big Easter Adventure by Eric Litwin & James Dean (audiobook)

Frozen by Melissa de la Cruz & Michael Johnston (audiobook)

Witches of East End by Melissa de la Cruz (audiobook)

Splintered by AG Howard (audiobook)

The Great Discover (Thomas the Train) by Rev W Awdry (audiobook)

 

*Cover Reveal & Giveaway* Forever Layla by Melissa Turner Lee March 27, 2014

Filed under: Books,Cover reveal,Giveaway — Maura @ 12:01 am
Tags: , , , ,
Forever Layla ebooksm
Forever Layla
by: Melissa Turner Lee
Coming: 27 May 2014
Publisher: AltWit Press
Summary:

What if the woman you envied most is the person you are destined to become?

In 1994, high school senior David Foster was the lackey and soundboard geek for his best friend’s grunge band. During spring break, the band lands a dream gig playing at a motel in Myrtle Beach, SC. David expected all the girls to ogle the guys on stage, but when a beautiful blond “Bond Girl” approaches him and calls him by name, he’s shocked to find out she knows more about him than a stranger should.

She even knows about his notebooks and his visions of time travel.
What she thought was a quick time-travel-sightseeing trip takes a surprising turn when she meets the young adult version of the man she’d heard stories about as a child. His fairy-tale romance with the woman he’d loved, Layla, inspired her to accept nothing less than a love just as strong…but hopefully not as tragic. When she won’t tell the younger version of him her name, he calls her Layla–and the world as she knows it changes forever.
Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000026_00030]
About the author:
melissaturnerlee
Melissa Turner Lee holds a BA in Communications with a concentration in Journalism from the University of South Carolina. She has studied fiction writing since 2008, attending various writing conferences and workshops, along with guidance from professional writing coaches. She resides in Spartanburg, SC with her husband and 3 sons.
A GIVEAWAY!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

*Cover Reveal* My Not So Super Sweet Life by Rachel Harris March 26, 2014

Today, I’m super excited to be a part of Rachel’s cover reveal for My Not So Super Sweet Life. I wish I could say I’ve been a fan of Rachel’s from Day One, but alas, I have not. I have, however, been a fan of hers since the middle of last year! I love Rachel, and I absolutely adore Cat, Alessandra, Lucas, and Austin. I can’t wait to see how things turn out in book three! Now…. without further ado… the COVER! (:

not so super sweet - harris - final copy2

My Not So Super Sweet Life (My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century #3)
by: Rachel Harris
Coming: 21 April 2014
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Summary:

Cat Crawford just wants to be normal—or at least as normal as a daughter of Hollywood royalty can be. And it looks like fate is granting her wish: she’s got an amazing boyfriend, Lucas; her fabulous cousin, Alessandra, living with her; and her dad planning his second marriage to a great future stepmom. That is, until her prodigal mother reveals on national television that she has something important to tell her daughter…causing a media frenzy.

 

Lucas Capelli knows his fate is to be with Cat, and he’s worked hard to win her over once and for all. Unfortunately, Lucas has his own issues to deal with, including a scandal that could take him away from the first place he’s truly belonged.
As secrets are revealed, rumors explode, and the world watches, Cat and Lucas discover it’s not fate they have to fight if they want to stay together…this time, it’s their own insecurities.
Well, and the stalkerazzi.
Isn’t it just a beautiful cover?! I love her dress. It’s gorgeous. I’ve reviewed both My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century and A Tale of Two Centuries. I enjoyed both of them and I’m sure I will enjoy My Not So Super Sweet Life. I’m done waiting! I need it NOW!
A teaser:
My-Not-So-Super-Sweet-Life-Teaser-Paint
About the author:
author pic
(Isn’t she BEAUTIFUL?!)
Rachel Harris writes humorous love stories about sassy girls-next-door and the hot guys that make them swoon. Emotion, vibrant settings, and strong families are a staple in each of her books…and kissing. Lots of kissing.
A Cajun cowgirl now living in Houston, she firmly believes life’s problems can be solved with a hot, sugar-coated beignet or a thick slice of king cake, and that screaming at strangers for cheap, plastic beads is acceptable behavior in certain situations. She homeschools her two beautiful girls and watches way too much Food Network with her amazing husband.
An admitted Diet Mountain Dew addict, she gets through each day by laughing at herself, hugging her kids, and losing herself in story. She writes young adult, new adult, and adult romances, and LOVES talking with readers!
Cover reveal brought to you by:
You want another teaser? Oh, alright, here you go! (:
Lucas Tourney
 

Waiting on Wednesday #23: Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman

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Waiting on Wednesday” is a weekly event hosted by Jill at the Breaking The Spine. It showcases upcoming releases we’re anticipating!

 

 

My pick of the week is:

Prisoner of Night and Fog

 

By: Anne Blankman

 

Coming: 22 April 2014

 

Publisher: HarperCollins, Balzer+Bray

 

Summary:

 

In 1930s Munich, danger lurks behind dark corners, and secrets are buried deep within the city. But Gretchen Müller, who grew up in the National Socialist Party under the wing of her “uncle” Dolf, has been shielded from that side of society ever since her father traded his life for Dolf’s, and Gretchen is his favorite, his pet.


Uncle Dolf is none other than Adolf Hitler.


And Gretchen follows his every command.


Until she meets a fearless and handsome young Jewish reporter named Daniel Cohen. Gretchen should despise Daniel, yet she can’t stop herself from listening to his story: that her father, the adored Nazi martyr, was actually murdered by an unknown comrade. She also can’t help the fierce attraction brewing between them, despite everything she’s been taught to believe about Jews.


As Gretchen investigates the very people she’s always considered friends, she must decide where her loyalties lie. Will she choose the safety of her former life as a Nazi darling, or will she dare to dig up the truth—even if it could get her and Daniel killed?


From debut author Anne Blankman comes this harrowing and evocative story about an ordinary girl faced with the extraordinary decision to give up everything she’s ever believed . . . and to trust her own heart instead.

 

Why I’m excited:

The first time I saw the cover of Prisoner of Night and Fog, I knew that I wanted to see what it was all about. The title and the striking cover intrigued me. When I read the summary, I immediately put it on my TBR. I requested it on Edelweiss and I waited. When I received auto approval from HarperCollins, I was ecstatic. This was one of the first eARCs I downloaded. I decided to wait a bit closer to publication to read it. It was a long wait. The mood struck to finally read The Book Thief when it came time for the DVD to come out. It put me in a mood to devour all the World War II novels I had. I wanted to save this for last so it would be a bit closer to pub date, but I couldn’t wait any longer after I finished The Book Thief. The inner circle of Hitler? I thought it would be fascinating to see inside the mind of a madman.

Why I need you to be excited:

A fascinating point of view for pre-World War II Germany, a forbidden romance, questioning everything you’ve ever believed? What’s not to be desired?! It’s a fantastic ride and completely intriguing. It’s an unexpected view into pre-war Germany as Hitler starts to grasp for power.

 

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday #32: Bookish Bucket List March 25, 2014

b301e-toptentuesday

Each week, the girls over at The Broke and the Bookish think up a fun theme for the week and participating bloggers around the net join in. The theme for this week is:

Top Ten Things on My Bookish Bucket List

I had a list compiled a few weeks ago and it somehow disappeared. I suspect munchkin obsession with the trashcan and mischief was involved.

I want to meet JK Rowling. Seriously. This has been on my bucket list since I first read Sorcerer’s Stone. She is the reason I love reading and why I one day would love to be a published author.

I want to meet Philippa Gregory. She’s one of my favourite authors and I love her work. (:

I want to go to TLA with my best friend, Mary. Mary is part of the reason I started blogging and I would love to go to TLA with her.

I want to go to ALA Midwinter (goal is Atlanta). Mary and I currently have a plan hatching to make this happen!

I want to meet Melissa de la Cruz. She’s an incredible writer and I would love to meet her in person!

I’ve always wanted to go to a movie premiere, but my ultimate desire is to go to a book to big screen premiere! My last goal was Deathly Hallows in the UK. Sadly, that didn’t happen. Marriage and a kiddo knocked that one out!

I really want to meet Eoin Colfer. He’s one of my favourite middle grade authors and I love his Artemis Fowl series.

I would love to hit 500 Twitter followers.

I would love to hit 10,000 page views.

I want to publish a novel. I have a book that is in it’s millionth draft, and I would love to see it bound and sitting pretty on my shelf. (:

Tell me, what’s on your bookish bucket list? I would love to know and stop by your blog to see!

 

*Launch Party* The Shadow Prince by Stacey O’Neale

Filed under: Books — Maura @ 12:01 am
Tags: , ,

Available for FREE on Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Also available in PRINT from Amazon

The Shadow PrinceEvery sacrifice has consequences.

Sixteen-year-old Rowan has spent most of his life living among the mortals—learning to control the element of fire, impatiently awaiting the day his vengeful mother, Queen Prisma, will abdicate her throne. When he finally returns to Avalon for his coronation, his mother insists he must first prove his loyalty to the court by completing a secret mission:

Kill Kalin, the half-human, half-elemental daughter of the air court king.

Willing to do anything to remove his mother from power, he agrees to sacrifice the halfling. He returns to the mortal world with his best friend, Marcus, determined to kill the princess. But as he devises a plan, he starts to question whether or not he’s capable of completing such a heinous task. And what price he will pay if he refuses?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Photoshoot-21Stacey O’Neale lives in Annapolis, Maryland. When she’s not writing, she spends her time fangirling over books, blogging, watching fantasy television shows, cheering for the Baltimore Ravens, and hanging out with her husband and daughter.

Her career in publishing started as a blogger-turned-publicist for two successful small publishers. Stacey writes young adult paranormal romance and adult science fiction romance. Her books always include swoon-worthy heroes, snarky heroines, and lots of kissing.

Stacey loves hearing from readers. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and GoodReads. You can also visit her blog at http://staceyoneale.com/.

 

*Review* Defiance by CJ Redwine March 24, 2014

Rating: 4 stars
Pub date:
28 August 2012
Publisher:
HarperCollins, Balzer+Bray
Genre:
Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy, Romance, Dystopian
Format:
paperback, personal copy, signed
Status:
Book one of the Defiance trilogy

 

Summary:

 

Within the walls of Baalboden, beneath the shadow of the city’s brutal leader, Rachel Adams has a secret. While other girls sew dresses, host dinner parties, and obey their male Protectors, Rachel knows how to survive in the wilderness and deftly wield a sword. When her father, Jared, fails to return from a courier mission and is declared dead, the Commander assigns Rachel a new Protector, her father’s apprentice, Logan–the same boy Rachel declared her love for two years ago, and the same boy who handed her heart right back to her. Left with nothing but fierce belief in her father’s survival, Rachel decides to escape and find him herself. But treason against the Commander carries a heavy price, and what awaits her in the Wasteland could destroy her.

 

At nineteen, Logan McEntire is many things. Orphan. Outcast. Inventor. As apprentice to the city’s top courier, Logan is focused on learning his trade so he can escape the tyranny of Baalboden. But his plan never included being responsible for his mentor’s impulsive daughter. Logan is determined to protect her, but when his escape plan goes wrong and Rachel pays the price, he realizes he has more at stake than disappointing Jared.

As Rachel and Logan battle their way through the Wasteland, stalked by a monster that can’t be killed and an army of assassins out for blood, they discover romance, heartbreak, and a truth that will incite a war decades in the making.

 

My thoughts:

 

I’ve been mulling around how to write this review for a while. Even now as I’m writing, I’m not sure where to go with it. From the cover, it looks like it would be historical fiction/fantasy. You start reading and you would think steampunk learning technology. It’s such a thrilling mix and the mix actually turns out to be dystopian and fantasy. That’s right. You read it correctly. How awesome is that mix?!

 

I was so excited to read Defiance. I’m a bit upset with myself for how I did read it. I charged through it before I met CJ back in January. I think by rushing through it, it lost a bit on me and it reflected in my rating. This is fully capable of five stars and it may change with a future re-read.

 

CJ did a fantastic job in her world building. The danger and intrigue kept me pulled in the whole time. In a futuristic, war destroyed, tyrannical ruled United States, things are not even remotely recognisable. Female freedoms have been stripped. Their situation very much brings to mind the Taliban treatment of women and just like our leading lady, Rachel, it left me bristling at the injustice the entire time. As much as I love history and culture, I would NOT do well in a culture that demands females to essentially be seen and not heard. Nope. Nope. Nope.

 

Again, there has been an exception to my multi point of view hating rule. Meeting Rachel step for step is the incredible Logan. They do so well together and CJ does such a great job with their development. The story flows easily back and forth between them. Their stories are woven together and have their own separate threads. They are very similar but also very distinct in their personalities. Along their journey is a splash of romance. Not enough to make it a complete romance, but enough to make things interesting. It will be nice to see where their relationship goes in Deception and Deliverance.

 

I think with this mix of genres, Defiance is a good pick for fans of fantasy, post-apocalyptic, or dystopian novels. It may even intrigue romance lovers, but since it’s not overwrought with romance, it may not satisfy them. It is not a quick read, but it is a good read. It’s a story that commands to be told, but not a story that demands to be devoured in one setting.

 

I’m looking forward to continuing with this series and I do recommend you check it out. Deception is out now and Deliverance comes out in August and is the conclusion to this trilogy.

 

About the author

 

C.J. Redwine loves fairy tales, Harry Potter, and any movie starring Johnny Depp. She is the author of the Defiance trilogy, a post-apocalyptic fantasy from Balzer + Bray. C.J. lives in Nashville with her husband and children. If the novel writing gig ever falls through, she’ll join the Avengers and wear a cape to work every day. To learn more about C.J., visit her website at www.cjredwine.com

 

 

 

 

 

*Review* A Tale of Two Centuries by Rachel Harris March 23, 2014

Rating: 4 stars
Pub date:
6 August2013
Publisher:
Entangled Teen
Genre:
Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary, Romance, Historical Fiction
Format:
ebook, won in giveaway
Status:
Book two My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century companion series

Summary:

Alessandra D’Angeli is in need of an adventure. Tired of her sixteenth-century life in Italy and homesick for her time-traveling cousin, Cat, who visited her for a magical week and dazzled her with tales of the future, Alessandra is lost. Until the stars hear her plea.

One mystical spell later, Alessandra appears on Cat’s Beverly Hills doorstep five hundred years in the future. Surrounded by confusing gadgets, scary transportation, and scandalous clothing, Less is hesitant to live the life of a twenty-first century teen…until she meets the infuriating—and infuriatingly handsome—surfer Austin Michaels. Austin challenges everything she believes in…and introduces her to a world filled with possibility.


With the clock ticking, Less knows she must live every moment of her modern life while she still can. But how will she return to the drab life of her past when the future is what holds everything she’s come to love?

My thoughts:

I’ve been dying to get my hands on this ever since I finished My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century in the fall. My library didn’t have a copy and we’ve been on a tight budget, so I’ve been waiting impatiently. The book gods then smiled down on me and I won an e-book copy. YAY! Commence reading, flailing, and fangirling!

I love Rachel. She’s such a sweetheart and an incredible writer. She’s firmly on my read everything she ever writes list. For reals.

Rachel does a fantastic job with characters. She creates such believable and loveable characters. I haven’t had trouble relating to a single character yet!

After the spunky Cat returns from Italy, she leaves behind her 16th century ancestor, Alessandra in a world she feels even more disconnected from. She’s everything her time calls for – polite, demure, proper, etc. She’s also everything her time isn’t ready for in a young woman – equality driven, passionate, and outspoken (even if only in her mind). She wants more than her time can offer – a loveless marriage. She misses her cousin and wants more adventure in her life.

As luck would have it, once again, fate intervenes in the Angeli family, and Alessandra is thrust into the 21st century. Talk about a culture shock! Alessandra is at an utter loss and it’s hysterical watching prim and proper Alessandra navigate our world that is chock full of impropriety.

Alessandra has two wonderful people to come to her rescue. Dear cousin Cat schools her on the 21st century world at home and yummy Austin makes it a challenge to bring her out of her shell.

First impressions prove to be wrong between Alessandra and Austin and it was fun to read their banter and watch their relationship blossom. Things also blossom between heartbroken Cat and new guy Lucas. I can’t wait to see how things continue to develop in My Not So Super Sweet Life!

Alessandra gets her wish to act on stage and she does a fantastic job at it. She gets the star role of Juliet in an acting showcase. Time is running out, but she asks for more time so she can have her chance to shine on stage. After she completes her stellar performance, she realises she doesn’t want to go back to a joyless boring life. Alessandra is faced with a choice. Leave her 16th century family behind or leave Cat, Austin, and the 21st century behind. Whichever she chooses, she will never see the other again.

The ending is superb. I really don’t know how Rachel continues to deliver so completely time and time again. I’ve never been a big romance/contemporary reader, but if it comes from Rachel, I’ll read it AND recommend it like crazy! I really can’t wait to get my hands on the third companion of this series, My Not So Super Sweet Life! I need it NOW!

About the author

Author of fun & flirty romance about sassy girls-next-door and the hot guys that make them swoon. Vibrant settings and strong families are a staple of all my books…and kissing. Lots of kissing.


I homeschool my two beautiful girls and watch countless hours of reality television with my amazing husband. I write YA, NA, and Adult romance and LOVE talking with readers!

 

 
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