09 October 2012

ARC Review: Sylvia Day - Reflected In You

Paperback, 432 pages
Published October 2nd 2012 by Penguin Group (USA)
ISBN 0425263916 (ISBN13: 9780425263914)
Language: English
Title: Reflected in You (Crossfire, #2)
Trilogy: Crossfire #2
Characters: Gideon Cross, Eva Tramell
Genre: Erotic Romance
Review copy received from publisher

Summary (Goodreads)
Gideon Cross. As beautiful and flawless on the outside as he was damaged and tormented on the inside. He was a bright, scorching flame that singed me with the darkest of pleasures. I couldn't stay away. I didn't want to. He was my addiction... my every desire... mine.

My past was as violent as his, and I was just as broken. We’d never work. It was too hard, too painful... except when it was perfect. Those moments when the driving hunger and desperate love were the most exquisite insanity. We were bound by our need. And our passion would take us beyond our limits to the sweetest, sharpest edge of obsession...

Review:

I am one of the readers that hasn’t jumped onto the “Fifty Shades” bandwagon for various reason and backs away when a book is pitched as the next Fifty. However, that all was ignored when I read Bared To You and utterly fell in love with Gideon and Eva. The emotional rawness between them struck a chord with me and I couldn’t wait for the sequel, Reflected In You. The need to know how these star-crossed lovers would get to their happy ever after was as visceral as breathing. So the moment my review copy became available I started reading and couldn’t stop until the final page was read.

Reflected In You begins where Bared To You ended and it quickly drew me in to the lives and love of Gideon and Eva. Gideon is still master of his world and Eva is included in that. He is still gorgeous, his sexual prowess are still off-the-chart intense, he is still emotionally twisted but he also tries very hard to make the love work between him and Eva. Eva is aware of her strengths and flaws, she wants to do things in her own way and this clashes with Gideon’s need to control. Her insecurities play a big part in this story and will be recognizable for many readers. She is vibrant, fun but also just as emotionally twisted as Gideon.

All these insecurities were magnified by the feelings Gideon and Eva were battling with. Because their love is as dark as it is intense as it is passionate and it is imbued with a raw hunger that is undeniable. I can’t even begin to phantom how Sylvia Day found the words to relay the depth and intensity of the romance to the reader, the fact is, she did! The effect of her writing skill made me get that feeling if Gideon and Eva can work through their issues it will be an everlasting love. Or if they don’t, it will be a catastrophe of the heart and soul, devastating two people. To match the emotions there is the physical fire between this couple. The stamina of Gideon and Eva is mind-boggling but scorching to read! All they feel is poured in to the moments when they have wild ‘I can’t get enough of you’ sex. The steam almost rose from the pages, either that or my glasses fogged over! The eroticism, Sylvia Day imbues in to Reflected In You matches the rawness of the love between Gideon and Eva. It is an addictive combination I couldn’t get enough of.

The romance also contained almost insurmountable problems for the main pair to overcome. The words “trust me” and “wait” frustrated me as much as it did Eva. Trust is very hard for Eva and her reactions to what she witnesses is easy to understand. The actions of Gideon cause for major suspicion and riddle the plot with many questions. The plot development is tautly written but gave very little information up to a point I was a very frustrated reader. It was the kind of frustration where I wanted to get to know how it all connected, which wasn’t bad, but the need to know why and how drove me insane at some points. The first person narration contributed to that as well. I loved seeing it all from Eva’s point of view and through lots of dialogues I got a connection with Gideon as well. But Gideon was keeping secrets, many secrets. And it took a long while for me to understand him. I will say that the effect from the plot is definitely in the tail and the impact it had was one sweet ride and connected everything for me. The romance, the angst, the individual actions, it suddenly all made sense to me and I felt a new degree of investment for the cast of characters in the Crossfire trilogy.

Gideon and Eva is whom it all revolves around but there is an equally well-defined supporting cast. Cary, who is also twisted up inside, is one I adore. His humor and friendship with Eva enriches the story in a unique way. Mark, Steven and Shawna add depth to Eva’s work and social life. Victor, Monica and Stanton are family for Eva to fall back on and the love between them is evident. They are all engaging characters the reader gets to care about.

There is nothing in, Reflected In You, that was less than stellar. It takes a gifted author whom portrays flawed by fantastic characters and a gripping storyline for me to read the entire book in one sitting. I just couldn’t let go of Gideon and Eva, they resonated with me, up to a point where I ignored the outside world in favor of the story told.

Reflected In You feels like a written vortex where the characters suck you in with their romantic ups and downs and will not let you go until the last page. The emotional and sexual hunger Gideon and Eva have for each other borders on an addiction but it is just as addictive to read!! January 2013 can’t come soon enough!

5 stars

Quote Gideon: Cursing under his breath, he cupped my face with cool hands. “I go out of my way to make sure you don’t have any reason to feel jealous, but when you do get possessive, I like it. I want you to fight for me. I want you to care that much. I want you crazy about me. But possessiveness without trust is hell. If you don’t trust me, we’ve got nothing.” 
Quote Gideon: “Doctor.” Gideon set on ankle on the opposite knee and settled back, creating a picture of unyielding decisiveness. “The only way I’m keeping my hands off her is if I’m dead. Find another way to fix us.” 
Quote Gideon: ”What you and I have together shouldn’t be draining us like this. It should be the one rock-solid thing we both can count on.” 
Quote Eva: His kisses were gifts. He kissed with everything he had, with powers and passion and hunger and love. He held nothing back, giving everything, exposing everything. 
Quote Gideon: “I’d rather argue with you, Angel, than laugh with anyone else.” 

Sylvia Day on the www:
website | Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter | Preorder @ BookDepo

08 October 2012

Belated winners; Blogfest


Due to the flu I didn't have much energy to pick winners. So my apologies for that. I picked the winning comments via random.org.

  20$ GC Abby September 29, 2012 7:25 PM

  Book of Choice Tina B September 30, 2012 5:00 AM

  Handcrafted, silver bookmarker Judith September 29, 2012 3:26 PM

  Handcrafted, silver bookmarker amandawk September 29, 2012 8:10 AM

The winners will be contacted as soon as possible. Enjoy your prizes!!!

06 October 2012

Up Close & Personal interview with Aaron by J.P. Barnaby

When I was contacted by J.P. Barnaby if I wanted to do an interview with Aaron I took this rare oppertunity with both hands. His story is so gripping, so rife with emotional turmoil and inner strength that I wanted some one on one time with Aaron.

But then the flu wreaked havoc in my body and was unable to think straight and asked J.P. Barnaby to ask him questions instead. Thankfully she did!!

An Interview with Aaron Downing 

Aaron sits quietly on the couch near a window where rain gently spatters against the glass. He watches the rain with a fascination I don’t think I’ve ever seen on his gentle face. His blue eyes turned to me as I approached with his mother, and he took a series of slow deep breaths. Chest rising and falling with practiced determination, he smiled a little distantly as I sat down on the couch opposite and took out my notebook and pen.

JP Barnaby: Hi, Aaron.

Aaron: Hello.

JP: You know you don’t have to do this, we can do something else for the tour.

Aaron: No, He said it would be good for me to help support the book. It was a really big step for me, I need to, how did he put it, ‘keep my momentum’.

JP: Okay. Then, why don’t we go ahead and get started. Do you want your mom to stay?

Aaron: She can, if she wants.

JP: Aaron, let’s start with why you chose me to tell your story to. Why did you come to me that night and whisper to me about your monsters in the dark?

Aaron: Because I knew that you would understand. Everyone has their own monsters, and I could see that you and I have a lot in common. I figured if anyone could do justice to my nightmares, it would be you. I could see in your heart that you could make me better, and I needed that so badly. I know you lost a lot of sleep because of me, and I’m sorry about that.

JP: That’s okay, sweetheart. It wasn’t a complaint. Tell me about Spencer.

Aaron: Spencer saved my life. My parents were at their limit. I was at my limit. If Spencer hadn’t come along when he did, I could have ended up in an institution and I wouldn’t have survived that. While I hadn’t had the courage to kill myself at home with my parents, I could have found it if I were sent away from them.

JP: Have you heard anything from Juliette’s family since they moved after the attack?

Aaron: No. I heard that her brother Ben moved away because he couldn’t handle her death, but I haven’t heard from her parents or anything. Maybe talking to me is a reminder that I’m alive and Juliette isn’t.

JP: If you could say anything to them right now, what would you tell them?

Aaron: (sigh) I’d tell them that I’m sorry I was so gullible and tried to help that van driver. I wouldn’t tell them that maybe it’s a mercy that she died because then she wouldn’t have to live with it. Actually, I’m not sure I’d want to talk to them at all. I don’t think I’d say anything they’d want to hear. Nothing is going to bring Juliette back. I miss her every single day. I think that she would have liked Spencer, and she would have been happy we found each other. But I… No… I don’t have anything to say to them.

JP: For those who have never had one, can you tell me what you experience during a flashback?

Aaron: It’s like… almost like having a dream you can’t wait up from, only you’re awake. You can’t control what’s happening. You can’t wake up. You just keep seeing it in your head like a distorted movie. Usually it jumps around, flashes like some kind of psychodrama thriller. When it’s over, it feels like it happened all over again, like I’ll never escape it.

JP: Have you been back to the garage just to—
Aaron: No. I can’t imagine myself ever going back there for any reason. Ever.

JP: Let’s go with something a little lighter. How’s school? Aaron: School is great. The app is up on the freeware sites and has almost a million downloads. Dr. Mayer said that he wants us to help out on the IT part of the college website and reprogram some of the areas that student before us screwed up. He said it’s harder to rewrite someone else’s code, and wants to give us the opportunity to practice and give us some hands-on experience.

JP: I think that’s enough for today, Aaron. Is there anything else you want to say?

Aaron: I want to say thank you. You helped me not be so scared all the time, and you helped me find Spencer. If there’s anyone who is reading this interview, someone who has gone through something horrible in their life, please know that it gets better. Eventually, with treatment and support of those who love you, the nightmares will come less often, the memories will start to fade into white noise, and you’ll be able to live again. It may not be the same life you had, but it will be a life you can shape into something new. Don’t ever give up.

JP: You’re welcome, honey, and I think that’s a great message that people need to hear.
Thank you for talking to me.

GOODREADS GIVEAWAY: Three signed copies of Aaron are up for grabs – make sure to enter the Goodreads giveaway by October 15th. (Giveaway open to US residents only.)

If you’re outside of the US and would like a signed bookmark from Aaron, please request one from http://www.jpbarnaby.com/#bookmarks

Want to see the rest of the stops on the tour? Click here

LEONTINE'S BOOK REALM GIVEAWAY: Open to all. One copy of AARON, e-book format of your choice via Dreamspinner Press. Giveaway ends on October 12th and winner will be announced on October 13th.

About J. P. Barnaby:

As a bisexual woman, J.P. is a proud member of the GLBT community both online and in her small town on the outskirts of Chicago. A member of Mensa, she is described as brilliant but troubled, sweet but introverted, and talented but deviant. She spends her days writing software and her nights writing erotica, which is, of course, far more interesting. The spare time that she carves out between her career and her novels is spent reading about the concept of love, which, like some of her characters, she has never quite figured out for herself.

Website: http://www.jpbarnaby.com
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/JPBarnaby
Facebook: http://www.Facebook.com/JPBarnaby

02 October 2012

ARC Review: Kresley Cole - Poison Princess

Format: Hardcover, 384 pages
Published October 2nd 2012 by Simon & Schuster Books for YA
ISBN 1442436646 (ISBN13: 9781442436640)
Language: English
Title: Poison Princess
Series: The Arcana Chronicles #1
Genre: Young Adult
ARC provided by author for review.

Summary (Goodreads)
#1 New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole introduces The Arcana Chronicles, post-apocalyptic tales filled with riveting action, the dark mysticism of Tarot cards, and breathtaking romance.

She could save the world—or destroy it.
Sixteen year old Evangeline “Evie” Greene leads a charmed life, until she begins experiencing horrifying hallucinations. When an apocalyptic event decimates her Louisiana hometown, Evie realizes her hallucinations were actually visions of the future—and they’re still happening. Fighting for her life and desperate for answers, she must turn to her wrong-side-of-the-bayou classmate: Jack Deveaux.

But she can’t do either alone.
With his mile-long rap sheet, wicked grin, and bad attitude, Jack is like no boy Evie has ever known. Even though he once scorned her and everything she represented, he agrees to protect Evie on her quest. She knows she can’t totally depend on Jack. If he ever cast that wicked grin her way, could she possibly resist him?

Who can Evie trust?
As Jack and Evie race to find the source of her visions, they meet others who have gotten the same call. An ancient prophesy is being played out, and Evie is not the only one with special powers. A group of twenty-two teens has been chosen to reenact the ultimate battle between good and evil. But it’s not always clear who is on which side….

Review: 
As a woman who dabbles with Tarot cards on occasion I was instantly intrigued by the blurb of Poison Princess. As an avid reader of the Immortal After Dark series I already knew I love Kresley Cole’s imagination, but would she be able to deliver in the Young Adult genre? Well, that question was answered in the first chapter because the premise was instantly raising a multitude in questions and spine-chilling tension. The scene was set with an invitation by Arthur for Evie to come into his home for some food. After the flash, food was scarce and all he wanted was Evie’s story. And what a story it was.

Via the first person narrative Evie came to life in the most intimate of ways. Her every thought, feeling and inner dialogues portrayed a young woman who was confused but wanted answers. I was irrevocable drawn into Evie’s world. The mystery of her nightmares created a fantastic tension and evoked an ominous feeling about what was to happen. In the beginning Evie tried desperately to hold on to a sense of normalcy. I got a glimpse of what her life was before her nightmares. Classes, boyfriend, conversations with friends, partying but underneath it all there was that warning which lied within her nightmares. The nightmares are violent and dark giving me the shivers as Evie experiences them.

The days leading up to the Flash was riddled with questions and warnings which made rhyme nor reason for Evie. I was absolutely riveted to the pages with all this hair raising tension of what was to come and the questions I wanted to have answered, just like Evie. Jackson, was another mystery I wanted to unravel. His Cajun good looks, his chip on his shoulder, mannerism and his accent, it all completed a picture of a young man who knew life could be rough. After the Flash he could be overbearing, wanting things his way but he also wanted to protect and keep Evie safe. There is so much more to Jackson than meets the eye.

Kresley Cole gave the cast of characters tremendous depth, are well-defined and just leap of the pages. The rich, imaginative descriptions created a setting with a grim atmosphere and I could feel the desperation radiating from the characters who survived the Flash. I could sense the fear and the determination from Jackson and Evie, who travel together to find Evie’s grandmother. The dangers emanating from various sources was spine-chilling and made my heart beat faster during various scenes. I couldn’t get enough of the stage set by Kresley Cole and the characters who had to deal with this new world and its dangers.

The fantasy element of the Arcana is masterly done. From the get-go, Kresley Cole gradually introduces the reader in to the what the Arcana entails. Enough is explained to understand and yet at the same time there is so much mystery surrounding it, I kept hungering for more information. Throughout Poison Princess a steady supporting cast was introduced. Selena, Matthew, Finneas, I have a feeling they are here to stay and while some hold my favor over others they add interesting possibilities!

Evie’s interaction with Jackson sizzled and there’s definitely an inexplicable push-pull there between like and dislike. The attraction brims with a sensual tension and there is a promise for deeper feelings but I feel the romance is merely beginning at the end of Poison Princess. The gripping story instantly hooked me with the back and forth in timeline. It might take some readers getting used to but after a while it creates a layered storytelling that appeals to the imagination. The road trip lost somewhat in tension in the middle but picked up after a few chapters. The ending was mind blowing good and it will make one scream for more!!! It showed the incredible development Evie already went through in Poison Princess and it boggled my mind where she is going to. I’m very eager to find out!

Kresley Cole gave us another memorable cast of characters, living in a richly envisioned post-apocalyptic world with one of the most engaging heroine´s I´ve met in 2012. Evie will take the reader on an unforgettable journey!

4.5 stars

Quote Jackson-Evie:
“I asked you a question. Why you want to switch?” “Fine. Because when you drove by us Monday, you were leering at me like a registered SO.” “A blonde pulls up her skirt and bends over for me? I’m goan to pay attention.” My eyes darted. Had anyone heard that? Under my breath, I snapped, “I was not bending over for you!” “You been leering at me just as much, girl.
.
Kresley Cole on the www:
website | Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter | Buy @ BookDepo