#BookReview In Her Court by Tamsen Parker

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In Her Court by Tamsen Parker is a goofy, geeky read filled with

Tamsen Parker is not one to stick to the same plot over and over in every read, and that’s what makes this book so unique compared to the others. This time around, Tamsen has explored an F/F relation (or two females if you didn’t understand the acronym). Two girls at a camp fulfill a beautiful romance, in short.

These girls (Van and Willa) have character – one of them is getting a PhD, they are working at a tennis camp, and they aren’t your typical character without flaws and full of perfection. They seem realistic in the setting of this story! That’s a nice change from some of the F/F books I have read in the past – I like seeing characters who slowly build and get better throughout the story.

There is some R-rated language (a few F bombs) so if you don’t like any swears, beware! They aren’t dropped for no reason, they fit within the story, but know this book isn’t G rated. If you thought it was, you don’t know Tamsen’s writing very well…

Personal opinion: I felt like Nate and his character could have not been in the story and it would have moved just as well. Yes, he’s an introduction for both characters, but he didn’t seem wildly important – at least not to me. I would have liked to see a more interesting story line with him (a non romantic subplot, or something). I felt like there was more potential hiding in there. That being said, it wasn’t like he was supposed to be the main character of the story.

This wasn’t my favourite Tamsen Parker book (and by that I mean her super steamy romances), but it definitely ranks up in my favourite romances. I felt the introduction to the characters wasn’t the best (we found out a bit to much to fast, in my opinion) but it was still fitting and made the story work. That’s me being a picky Tamsen Parker/romance fan and nothing more. It doesn’t hurt the story, I just feel like it wasn’t Tamsen’s best out of all of her books (I remember a time when she only had three books out…just saying..now she’s all busy writing and forming a career ;D).

I found this was definitely a step out of Tamsen’s wild BDSM/crazy sexual books and more of a contemporary romance (as it says on Goodreads, which I noticed AFTER I read it – do your research first guys! Then you’ll know what you’re getting!). As a contemporary romance, it’s fantastic! It’s not the best romance in all of the world that I’ve ever read, but it’s a worthy read. A very worthy read indeed! There is still some steamy sexy scenes, just not as crazy wild as her other novels. But it’s still uber sexy and well written! And there is LOTS of it…Almost to much. At one point, there seems to be sex scenes in every single chapter!

Side Notes: I love geeky references and Star Wars, Wonder Woman, Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink, Sixteen Candles and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off was present in this novel. Bonus points for Tamsen!

Overall, this book was great – it just wasn’t my favourite Tamsen Parker book (but can they all really be my favourite? Let’s be honest). This book is still a worthy read and I would suggest it to those looking for some steamy romances, but definitely pick up Tamsen’s other books while you’re at it. These books show how she can not only write crazy steamy BDSM, but lovely contemporary romances and some not so safe for work styled novels.

Four out of five stars.

Thank you Tamsen Parker for being amazing (as always!) and sending me a copy of this book!!

 

Visit Tamsen parker at www.tamsenparker.com !!
Follow her on Twitter: @TamsenParker or Facebook! www.facebook.com/tamsenparker

 

This book was also part of Camp Firefly Falls! I haven’t read it yet, but if you’re interested in more check out http//campfireflyfalls.com for more info!

 

Check me out on Goodreads where I post up to date reviews as soon as they happen! Be the first in the know!! Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads

 

 

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#BookReview Once Upon a Vampire by Mari Mancusi

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To say I was a huge fan of the Blood Coven novels when I was younger would be an understatement. I remember going to high school sporting events and having to sit on a bus for hours to get to our location so we could compete – so of course I would brings books by authors such as Mari Mancusi, Zac Brewer, Ellen Schreiber, and other fantastic YA novelists. I was heartbroken when the series ended and I was hoping one day Mari might come back to it.

AND GUESS WHAT?! SHE DID!!

Once Upon a Vampire is more of an adult novel than YA (although, I’m sure YA fans could pick it up and not be totally disgusted with it. This book is a great continuation).

While it might not be a direct continuation with our former leads, this book environment wise is similar. Hannah and Logan follow a similar path to our former leading ladies and their respective fellows. Rayne is a big part of this story and Jareth also appears, but they aren’t our main leads – even if Rayne takes a bigger role than expected. Magnus is also referenced, but does not make an appearance.

I was definitely hooked to this book – my book cravings had been something easy to read, sexy with a dash of fantasy, and nothing mind blowing (like Game of Thrones), so this book fit the bill. It’s super easy to read, it’s easy to fall in love with these characters and the nostalgia is perfect for any previous YA reader who was as obsessed with Mari’s work as I was.

<spoiler>My “problems” with the novel – the conversation of blood mates was brought up twice, with two different reactions. One that the mate killed herself, the other that he didn’t have one…I’m slightly confused. Maybe I read it wrong, but it really threw the story off for me.</spoiler>

The romance was a beautiful line of this story, and I loved how Mari slowly introduced it. It wasn’t just sudden, and our character’s own pasts helped make the story a little more believable. It might not be a crazy realistic scenario (a 200 page story over a few days with vampires trying to kill someone. Please let me know if you’ve experienced this before so I can edit the review…) but it fit beautifully into the story. I really loved it.

I finished this book in about half an hour, I was that obsessed and couldn’t stop reading. I didn’t want to put it down, and I can’t wait for more books by Mari!! If there are more books in this series, I would be the happiest little reviewer in the world!! I would love to see more Sunny appear, since Rayne was visible in this story…But I’m not picky. Even just another book will fill my desires for more Blood Coven novels!

And we won’t have to wait to long…Dark and Stormy Vampire is next! And of course, as per usual, Mari leaves us off with a horrible cliff hanger! I swear Mari loves to torture us readers by leaving us with cliffhangers AND making us wait for more books…

Side Notes: Mari’s description of Logan is beautiful, but my recent obsession with Gilmore Girls can only see Logan Huntzberger. It oddly fits though…

Five out of five stars.

Thank you to Mari Mancusi and our epic Read and Review team for providing me a copy of this novel!! I can’t wait for the next one!!!

 

Check out Mari on Goodreads! Mari Mancusi on Goodreads

Or her website! Mari Mancusi’s Website

She can also be found on Twitter! @MariMancusi

Blood Covens also has it’s own website for your viewing pleasure!! Blood Covens Series by Mari Mancusi

Check me out on Goodreads where I post up to date reviews as soon as they happen! Be the first in the know!! Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads

Or follow me on Twitter! Briar’s Reviews on Twitter

 

#BookReview Rogue Desires by Tamsen Parker, Adriana Anders, Amy Jo Cousins and more!

Rogue Desire, an anthology of incredibly sexy stories, will play with your temptations.

This anthology holds stories from Adriana Anders, Tamsen Parker, Dakota Gray, Emma Barry, Jane Lee Blair, Ainsley Booth, Amy Jo Cousins and Stacy Agder.

If you’re looking for some sensual stories to fulfill your fantasies, this is the book for you. Especially if you want some quick, easy reads instead of a super long romance novel to fill up your time – you’ve found what you’re looking for!

I wouldn’t necessarily call it just contemporary romance – some of these stories are a bit more sexy than that name hints – but this still hits all the notes of a sexy, steamy romance.

For me, as a Tamsen Parker fangirl extraordinaire (can I get a button or something pronouncing my love for Tamsen’s writing? I feel like I’m apart of the fan club by now) I really love that her writing is growing yet again. I grew to love and feel for the characters in such a small set of chapters, and melt into a puddle reading the sexiness in that story. And I probably blushed a lot – that story was really steamy…

I will applaud this anthology as a whole though. Normally anthologies all have very similar stories or similar styles of writing – this one does not. Yes they are “similar” – you know, romance and sexiness all over – but they all have different themes and plot lines. Not just ‘hey you’re sexy, let’s get together” plot lines. Also, each writer is unique and completely different than the others. It’s not just carbon copies of the same type of author over and over writing a slightly different story. So, you will most likely find at least one story in this if you like romance – or hopefully more than one!

I kind of wish I could give each individual story star ratings, but they all rate between 4 and 5. Some of the stories weren’t necessarily my cup of tea, but they were all great reads – they kept me hooked and interested, I felt invested in the characters, and I enjoyed reading the stories. It didn’t feel like work or like I was forcing myself through the stories.

Reading some other reviews, I have seen that some people think these stories are “rushed” and yes, I might agree – but you need to remember these are short stories with little wiggle room for giant character development. Many of my favourite short stories seem “rushed” to me – The Veldt – but they still worked. If given the opportunity, I would love to see all authors expand on these stories, but to me they felt like they were just “rushed” enough – not so crazy fast it’s unbelievable, but not to slow to make it an entire novel.

Another great point about this book is the new authors you will be introduced to. While I’ve seen the names of some of these authors floating around Goodreads and Twitter, I never really looked into them – and now I know I should! Being able to see some of these authors write a full length novel instead of a tiny, itty, bitty story will be delightful!! So you may find your new must-read in this series!!!

My other thought from other reviews I peeked at after reading – “political” is a word used a lot, and it does seem fitting but I, for whatever reason, don’t like that word necessarily being put with this. Sexy politics seem so off…yet the politics behind each story made each a little bit better. It’s not like your following a sexy election from beginning to end, which is what that word leads me to believe when I see it pop up. So readers beware!

Overall, five out of five stars. It was sexy and a great read!

I received an uncorrected proof from Tamsen Parker for an honest review.35654211

Book Review: The Cartographer by Tamsen Parker

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If you’re looking for heat this summer don’t bother going outside, Tamsen Parker’s The Cartographer brings all the heat and so much more!

This book infuriates me. Why, you might ask? Because it’s the last (Yes! The last!!) book in the compass series. It’s such a wonderful arching storyline over these six books and it’s all done! The fantastic part that doesn’t infuriate me, is how beautiful this story was tied together.

I really appreciated this book being in Reyes’s point of view. Watching our other characters grow with Reyes in the background was wonderful, but having him tie this story together and finished it made it so much better. I wouldn’t have wanted any different!!

This book is a sexy ride – M/M, hard R if you catch my drift – with Allie being our protagonists love interest. He is an interesting character – definitely not Cris or India. I really enjoyed his character, but I would have seen him being more stubborn than he actually was. It was a nice change not having him stubborn, but if there’s anything “wrong” with this story, that would be my only negative point.

In this book you will find lots of kink and sexy times, but you will also finds lots of heart wrenching back story. What’s nice about these novels is it’s not just an erotic read without any thought behind it. Tamsen has been getting better and better with her writing abilities with each book she writes. Not only has she increased the sexiness of these books, the characters, back stories and plots have grown with her. It’s so wonderful watching her grow with each book and seeing the characters grow along with her.

You could definitely read this book as a standalone, but I would definitely suggest reading the rest of the books. This book won’t cause any confusion to those who don’t know India/Cris – you might not understand a few references here and there. But, it doesn’t take away from the story in any way. Also, readers who haven’t gone through the first five books might find they don’t connect to Reyes as much as they should. He’s a very lovable character, so reading the other books will make you appreciate him so much more than what’s just introduced in this story.

Tamsen’s writing style is very easy to read – she doesn’t use difficult language, but doesn’t make it so simple either. Her sentences and words flow smoothly and don’t seem choppy like some BDSM novels I have read in the past.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I think this is a great addition to any kinky readers library and is a must read!! If you want some sexiness in your life, pick up some Tamsen Parker books. She’s becoming such a fantastic author and is growing so much, it’s almost foolish to not pick up her books if you want some super sexy romance in your life!!

Five out of five stars.

#BookReview – Some Glow Brightly by John Palmer Gregg

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Some Glow Brightly by John Palmer Gregg

This novel was an interesting take on a very common YA trope – young narrator/lead has powers and only he can save the day (with the help of his companions of course).

We follow Red Snyder and his band of merry misfits in this YA novel. Red is special – he can see into the spiritual world – and after a tragic incident his powers are needed to help face the villain of our story.

I did enjoy this novel, despite the very common plot it was a well written universe that kept me interested. It didn’t blow my mind to rate it out of five, but it was a good read. I would definitely suggest YA readers who want something different/out of the norm to pick up this book. It’s well written, very descriptive and isn’t a romance based story. It has action, adventure and a bit of suspense/mystery in there as well.

If anything, I found that this story was a little slow for me. I like a fast paced story, and that dropped my rating down initially to a four. If it isn’t a fast moving story, it begins to bore me and makes it difficult to read. I did have to put this book down a few times for Facebook/Twitter breaks before I could go back just because it wasn’t super fast. But I was determined to finish it! This book was incredibly beautiful and John Palmer Gregg clearly put a lot of work into it!

I think John Palmer Gregg will developed into a great author – this book has so much potential and doesn’t fit the typical norm (despite the normal plot trope). The circus aspect of it intrigued me, and I would love to see this author expand into a more circus themed novel (not only the spirit world, although that plot line was en point as well). With all this potential, I definitely want to read more by John Palmer Gregg.

Overall, this book sat at a 3 by the end of the novel. It was fantastically written, but it was just to slow for me and the typical trope made me a little less interested. The spirit world and circus aspects deserve five stars though! Truly this was a beautiful book!! Keep writing John! I need more books by you in my hands ASAP!!

Three out of five stars.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

#BookReview Depraved Heart by Patricia Cornwell

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Depraved Heart by Patricia Cornwell was a solid, steady crime novel.

This is the 23rd book in this series, and of course it’s the first one I read. Believe me, that doesn’t help AT ALL. Not knowing a lot of the background about these characters and their situations didn’t help my understanding of the relationships between these characters when reading this book through. While it didn’t ruin the entire book for me, I think it somewhat ruined the experience. Why is the bad guy, well, the bad guy? Why do certain people not like each other? Patricia tries her very best to give as much background as possible in short bits, but it just wasn’t enough.

Besides that issue, this book was really good! I love a good crime thriller – like Kathy Reichs, Patricia Cornwell has her own style and it’s fantastic! It’s a splash of mystery, some R rated scenes, and some solid character development along the way.

This book seems like it spans a long time, but in reality I think it’s only a day or two. I don’t even think it goes into the night! So this entire plot involving a dead body and “finding” the killer happened in under 24 hours?! It might not be believable, but it somehow worked. I didn’t even notice it was only one day until I looked back over the story and some of the other reviews. I would like to see that expanded on – maybe make the books over a couple days, at the very least? But that’s just my opinion.

Overall, I liked this book. I definitely would like to start from the beginning and work through all 23+ books, but I doubt I’ll be able to find them all (or find the time. My goodness, summer is already over when I wrote this review?!). Gritty crime stories like these always make my days more interesting – some days I love an ooey, gooey, guilty pleasure romance and other days I want an R rated crime/thriller or horror to take up my time.

Three out of five stars.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

Check out Patricia Cornwell on Goodreads: Patricia Cornwell on Goodreads

Visit her website: PatriciaCornwell.com

Or give her a quick shout out on Twitter! @1pcornwell

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Did you enjoy this review? Check out another one you might enjoy!! Book Review: Confessions of an English Psychopath by Jack Strange

#BookReview Boy Robot by Simon Curtis

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Boy Robot by Simon Curtis

Boy Robot is a unique read by Simon Curtis that should be a must read for young readers everywhere.

I would like to start off by saying this is not my favourite book – but it is good. Recently I’ve been finding more and more books I’m reading are fantastic, but just not in my wheelhouse. I did enjoy this book and I think it’d be a fantastic addition to another Young Adult/Young Reader bookshelf (whether personal or in a school) but I personally won’t be grasping and holding it dear to my heart.

This book has lovable characters, easy to follow story lines, deeper meanings and themes (I love a good theme <3) and a unique plot. The characters actually grow throughout the story, which is also nice to see in a YA novel. I find too often characters don’t grow, but this book fit this fantastic writing device perfectly into the story. There are layers of real things that happen to real people – not just cookie cutter back stories.

I also like that this book includes some LGBTQ+ into it. I won’t spoil, but it truly made my heart feel warm knowing that FINALLY books are realizing everyone is not a heterosexual male or female. Normalizing reality is fantastic, and Simon Curtis is earning bonus points for that alone. There are some reviews that seem to point at transphobia in this book – I didn’t read it this way, but be wary. If you need trigger warnings, then maybe this book isn’t for you? There’s rape, transgender individuals and general topics that some people just aren’t okay with. I was on the edge about reading about the rape, etc, and I still kinda am (I’m wobbling on the fence of unsure) – but I don’t see this as Simon Curtis attacking anyone purposely. I think it’s a plot device (maybe not the best plot devices…but that’s for you to decide).

I did find this book way to long. Personally, I would rather a book be shorter and end perfectly with everything that needs to be there rather than longer, more substance but not worth it. There were some story lines that were dragged out WAY to long. Some of the scenes were exhausting to read because I knew the story would be fine without it being there. But some readers absolutely LOVE substance, so take that with a grain of salt. I prefer a book that gets to the point or only leaves what’s essential.

I’m pretty sure this book will be a series. The way it left off just seems like it will continue on, or at least I hope so for other readers sake.

Overall, this book kinda left me confused. While it was absolutely fantastic, I do agree with some readers that some of the back story was a little brutal to be put in a YA. That doesn’t mean this can’t be one of the first novels to start introducing deeper/rougher content into YA but I just don’t know where I want to stand on it…

Three out of five stars.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads

Book Review: NYV: Punk by K.D. McQuain

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NYV: Punk by KD McQuain

I’m not sure what I thought of this novel. It seemed awesome via the cover, the synopsis and what some of my reader friends said about the book but overall this book wasn’t a hit with me.

This novel follows Christian, our lead who goes off in search of a coming of age story for himself. This book twists into an interesting fantasy novel that not only follows Christian growing as a character but involves some vampires and fantasy all splashed into these fine pages of this book.

I found this book to be super slow at the start, which made me drift off as I read it. Eventually, near the very end of the book, it picked up and finally peaked my interests but it just didn’t hit well with me. I love a book that’s fast paced or hooks me instantly, not one that takes ages for me to finally feel like I want to read it (not that I have to).

The writing style is great, though. The descriptions (in general, characters, violence, sex, all of them really) were truly unbelievable. For someone’s first book, it’s really memorizing. You almost felt like you were in the story – and I applaud KD for that. To be able to write and describe so beautifully on your first novel? Bonus points for you sir!

I really enjoyed reading K.D’s take on this story. The language and style fits right with the tone of the novel. I thought this novel was going to be a Young Adult novel, but then it got quite explicit at some times… Perhaps a better rating for this novel is needed? I saw it in an indie book store floating in the YA section… Maybe not?

This book is a series, and I do think it’s a worthy read. I just wanted something a little more fast paced. I found it to be a unique take on vampires and I really hope more people pick up this author! There’s talent waiting, and imagine what this author can do once he starts writing more? This is only one of the first books for this guy! Talent normally goes up, and this book was definitely well written.

I would definitely want to read the second book if I can ever get my hands on it. While this book bored me at the beginning, I’m definitely hooked now. Fantastic read!

Four out of five stars – due to the slow start of the novel.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

#BookReview – Apocalypse the Memoir by CS Oliver

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Apocalypse the Memoir by C.S. Oliver

I am sad to say this book somehow got swept up into my house and disappeared for a while. I remember writing it down on my “to read” list and then being unable to find it. I went through all of my book shelves (there are many) and was annoyed and confused on where it could have gone. I gave up the search until I did a little spring cleaning and found it deep under a couch that didn’t seem like anything could have fit under it. Interestingly enough, I decided it was still in beautiful working condition and that my cats must have stolen it. So, many many reads later – here it is! My review of a book I’ve been dying to read for far to long.

This story centers around Indy, our 15 year old narrator who seems to be in a zombie apocalypse in Canada. It’s a humorous take on what seems to be a very common story now, but this book is unique. This book not only has crazy zombies, but a funny narrator, sassy side characters and an interesting back story.

This novel is brutal and definitely R-rated, but it’s fantastic in a sort of Deadpool way. While you’re cringing at the blood and gore, you’re laughing along with Indy’s thoughts and descriptions. The zombies aren’t exactly your typical slow moving, “let me eat your brains” zombies – they are nasty, predatory creatures that give you a movie-monster-esque vibe. I liked that aspect – slow moving zombies always seem kind of boring to me.

Bonus Points: Canadian cities (I’m a Canadian, what can I say?).

“Are hot dogs miracles?”

If that line doesn’t explain the whole book, I don’t know what does. Reading from the view of a 15 year old narrator, I can definitely say that thought is accurate. I am almost certain at that age that sort of thought would be randomly popping into my head.

This entire book seemed to be written with my sense of humour in mind. I don’t see all readers understanding it, but as I read along I couldn’t help but chuckle. I rarely find books funny, but I related with Indy, our main character, far to much. I really enjoyed her spunky thoughts and I wish more novels had narrators like her – different, odd and absolutely hilarious.

There were two “downfalls” to me for this book:

The biggest downfall of this book was that the conversations in this novel did not have quotation marks around them. That was probably the worst part of this novel – the story was fantastic, the humor was on point, but the lack of quotation marks threw me off a bit. To someone like me, it’s slightly annoying. To most readers? Probably not something that would turn them away from the book.

The second downfall or question I have – was this book all a metaphor? The first half of the book seems like an epic, film ready novel for a zombie dystopia/apocalypse. The second half seemed so interesting and more like a 1984 novel ready to be dissolved and taken apart in an English class. I loved seeing these two kind of smashed together into one book, but it gave me far to many questions. I want to march up to CS Oliver and ask so many questions… But maybe that’s a good thing.

Overall, this book is deemed worthy by me. I definitely want to read more by CS Oliver and I hope any more books created by CS are just as sassy and thrilling!

Four out of five stars.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

#BookReview SpaceMan by Tom Abrahams

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SpaceMan by Tom Abrahams

I’m not much of a space person – I wasn’t impressed with The Martian (film, not book. I will eventually get to the novel…), and I have never been super into the whole “space” thing (unless it’s Star Wars). But, I love reading books in different genres! I don’t like reading the same old read every single time. I like spicing it up to see what authors are doing and how genres are changing! So SpaceMan seemed like the right kind of fit for me. It looked different, space-y and had a cool cover (come on, admit it, we all judge books by it’s cover).

This novel is set in a post-apocalyptic time and our main character is on on the Space Station. You see both Clayton in space and his family down on Earth, which gives some interesting points of views from all angles. I’ll be the first to admit I know almost nothing about the Space Station, so I cannot tell you how accurate the accounts of it are – but they seemed uber cool!

This novel is a fast moving, easy read, action-adventure. I enjoyed that aspect of it, despite not totally loving this novel in general. It’s a great read for those interested in space, action and adventure and who want a novel that sounds like it knows what’s it’s talking about (not random made-up babble about space. Tom seems to have researched some of this!). It’s a refreshing, different type of space novel – people are comparing it to the Martian, and I would compare it to the hype of the Martian. It’s smart, funny and different. It’s not just a Star Wars/Trek spin-off, it’s got it’s own vibe.

There is a sequel to this novel, and while I might not be reading it I would absolutely suggest this novel to other people. It’s just not my thing. I do think this could have been one stellar novel if the entire story would have been concluded in this book. My rating might have been higher if that had happened. I really enjoyed this book, but I felt it was just to incomplete. I like when a series has a story “complete” at the end of each book, but the universe is continued in the next novel.

Three out of five stars.

I received this novel from Goodreads First Reads.