Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Avoiding Alpha by Aileen Erin [Review by Sharon]

Author:  Aileen Erin
Series: Alpha Girl
Number: 2
Number of pages: 145
Publisher: Ink Monster, LLC
Date published: 13 May 2014
Buy on: AmazonAmazon UK
Rating: 3 stars

"Seventeen-year-old Tessa McCaide has come a long way since her abrupt entrance into the world of werewolves, but she still has just as far to go before she’s comfortable with turning full wolf. In the meantime, she’s avoiding the topic of shifting to four legs any way she can. Thankfully her mate, Dastien Laurent, is quite the distraction.

When she finds her best friend, Meredith, getting sick in the bathroom, Tessa knows something’s majorly wrong. Meredith was cursed years ago, and the dark magic kept her wolf dormant—only now the wolf is awake, and that same spell is killing her.

Tessa has no intention of sitting around while Meredith wastes away. Even if it means playing with magic she doesn’t understand, she’ll do anything to save Meredith’s life. Including bargaining with the local coven of witches and its crazed leader, whose only goal is getting Tessa to join the witchy ranks.

Can Tessa save her friend without losing herself?

***A 52K Word Novella***"


I'm going to keep this short. For lack of a better term I think of calling this series a guilty pleasure of mine. Only, I don't feel guilty and it is not a pleasure of mine if life had taught me anything about pleasure. 

I have never before in my life encountered a book (let alone a series of books) that frustrated me and made me laugh in equal degree.

The Alpha Girl series has the very dubious pleasure of being my first. 

Becoming Alpha was a frustrating book with a borderline TSTL heroine, who was really annoying the hell out of me- only I enjoyed making fun of her. So, I kept her. As for the rest of her gang, well, I liked Meredith and I could care less for the rest of them. Really.

I hoped that this book will finally help me reach a desicion. Do I love this series or hate it? Do I want to keep in reading or should I just quit? 

It is with sadness I'm admiting I'm still on the fence here.

On the one hand- Tessa is still borderline TSTL, Dastien still proves some creeper signs, Tessa is still special for no apparent reason (IMO), this book contained lots of religion (which is something that kind of annoyes me), Meredith was sleeping most of the book so I didn't get to enjoy her company, and the rest of the gang is just plain boring without much of character development. Oh, and the whole witches story line, what the hell?! [too weird, I didn't understand where did it come from] 

To make things worse, I felt like half the book was beating around the bush and that it could be shorter (by half). Which coming from someone like me says something- Need I remind you? As long as a book is well written and well developed I don't care how long it is (especially if most of it is justified)

Well, here we were going in circles, it was annoying, Especially with the fact that things were resolved SO VERY EASILY in the end. 

On the other hand- Dastien is really cute. Tessa is building a good relationship with Datien most of the time, which makes me really happy considerig how many books showes aweful (stalkery, too dependant) relationship between to teens in love. Yes, sometimes Dastien border on creeper, but guess what? Tessa at least tells him that he is a creeper on those times and she doesn't accept that. Also, they try to build an equal relationship where they relay on one another and respect each other (yes, sometimes they mess up but they try. I think they deserve lots of points for trying). Meredith and Donovan are really cute together and I want to see more of them [Actually, I have this great idea, how about we ditch Dastien, Tessa and the gang in favot of Meredith and Donovan???]. Last but not least, while Tessa keeps on annoying me greatly I have to admit she's evolving, she's coming to terms with herself and the wolf thingie. She is doing some development- and it gives me hope that in the next book she won't be so annoying. 

So yeah, while I can't reccomand it whole heartedly. I still find it better than Twilight & Co. 

A review copy was provided by Ink Monster through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

This review is also on LeafMarksGoodReadsBookLikes

Monday, September 28, 2015

Becoming Alpha by Aileen Erin [review by Sharon]

Author: Aileen Erin
Series: Alpha Girl
Number in series: 1
Publication date: 17 December 2013
Publisher: Ink Monster LLC
Number of pages: 406
Buy on: Amazon, Amazon UK, B&N, Kobo
Rating: 3 stars

"Tessa McCaide has a unique talent for getting into trouble. Then again, it isn’t easy for a girl with visions to ignore what she sees. Luckily Tessa and her family are leaving California and moving halfway across the country, giving her the perfect opportunity to leave her reputation as “Freaky Tessa” behind. 

But Tessa doesn’t realize that kissing the wrong guy in her new Texas town could land her in far more trouble than she ever imagined. Like being forced to attend St. Ailbe’s Academy, a secret boarding school for werewolves. 

Even if the wrong guy did accidentally turn her into one of “them” and doom her to attending the weirdest high school ever, Tessa can’t help her growing attraction to the mysterious Dastien Laurent.

When vampires attack St. Alibe’s and her visions pinpoint an enemy in their midst, Tessa realizes that boy drama and her newfound canine tendencies might just be the least of her problems"


This book came out more than 3 months ago. And only now do I write my review as I had trouble writing it before. 

When thinking of this book I cannot avoid the feeling of Twilight. Once again we have an insta-love that is quite not…well…clear?

I really couldn't comprehend what Tessa found in Dastien or what he found in her for that matter. 

Also, Tessa is this annoying character. I mean, her parents love her, her older brother adores her, she has this rare gift that could be really useful, and it seems like her destiny holds greatness. 

Guess what she does folks?

Yep, she cries, she complains and she shows no signs for greatness (though once in awhile she shows signs of something that might one day after lots and lots of training become quite…good?)

Here comes the important question: why did I give it a 3 stars rating? WHY?! This book in many ways is just like any other books in the genre that is out there and we've been through before. Like Twilight.

Truth be told, I'm still trying to figure it out myself. You see, unlike Twilight I actually had fun reading this book. 

Bella Swan was so dull, so boring and so very stupid. Her story was boring, her guy was way too much 'perfect' I wanted to kick his ass to the medieval times. 

But Tessa? Maybe someone hit me on the head, I don’t know. But while Tessa is an annoying character, she is also really fun to laugh at.

She'll go and say how she's not stupid then will go and do something totally stupid, and before I realized what was happening my whole interaction with her became one when she did or said something and I commented on it in the most sarcastic way possible and I had fun. 

Furthermore, Tessa's world has potential. Yes, I admit that more often than not it was a soap-opera (reminding me of the days me granny forced me to sit with her and watch "the Bold and the Beautiful", augh) but it had potential. 

I want to see how the witches' folklore here will evolve; I liked the fact that vampires were ugly and quite stupid. I liked the talk about the weres and their abilities and I'd like more explanation on that part. 

Also, while some of the side characters weren't that needed. Some of them, like Mer, were totally awesome. 

I'm a complete Meredith fan! I really like the girl and I really want to see what will happen to her next, who will she mate with (please let it be that totally swoony guy!) will her problem be solved?

The next book is going to be about her problem and I really want to read it. Furthermore, I'd like to see Tessa grow into herself. While she was quite annoying at first, little by little she grew balls. And she has potential to become total kick-ass!

So, while this book is non favorite of mine, it still has some good side to it. And I'd take it to Twilight any day. 

A review copy was kindly provided by the publisher through NetGalley. Thank you

This review is also on: GoodReadsBookLikes

Girl from Above: Escape by Pippa Dacosta

Name: Girl From Above: Escape
Author: Pippa Dacosta
Series: The 1000 Revolution
Publisher: Self Published by Pippa Dacosta
Publication Date: June 19, 2015
Number of Pages: 192
Rating: 5 awesome stars!

"There’s no quicker way to get yourself killed than trusting someone in the black." ~ Caleb. 

Caleb Shepperd knows Fran has her own motives for helping him escape prison, but he’s not about to let a little thing like past betrayal stand in the way of his next paycheck. Until he’s forced to meet with the sexy and psychotic pirate, Adelina Cande. They’ve met before. When he seduced her, cleared out her credit account, and left her for dead in the black. 

Caleb figures Adelina holds a grudge when she plants a bomb on his ship and demands he steal a fleet freighter for her, that is, if he ever wants to fly again. Get him drunk enough and he’ll try anything once, but this time, he has to balance his own greed, with the needs of a vengeful pirate and the scheming of his dubious second-in-command, Fran. What could possibly go wrong?

In the heart of Chitec headquarters, the synth known as #1001 enlists an eager young technician to aid in her escape. But it’s not freedom she wants. It’s revenge. The memories of a life that don’t belong to her demand she finishes what she started. She believes she killed Caleb, now she's targeting Chitec CEO Chen Hung, and not even the hopeful technician can dissuade her. 

Synthetics don't make mistakes. 

She thought she knew the truth. 

She was wrong. 


The fast paced sexy sci-fi series continues in Girl From Above 2: Escape. Reviewers call the 1000 Revolution Series an exciting mix of Firefly, Ex_Machina, and Blade Runner. WARNING: Adult content. 18+ only.


You thought you had it all or at least some of it figured out by the end of the first book, right?  (I know at least I thought that...)

Think again. 

Twists, turns, revelations, characters interactions, the stakes are higher than before and they have NO INTENTION of slowing the ascend. There is a new sweet character that I find myself liking a lot. 

I love 1001, I love Caleb's complexity and I want to know more, read more. 

Really, my head just went Ka-boom, exploded, gone forever. 

The only thing I'd really want a hint about (as I am a romance reader) is a hint about the romance and about Caleb's feelings and heart. He is complex and unreliable. He is an ass but he is not as bad as he thinks. Just like how 1001 is not as simple as she thinks. She is human and complex and wow. 

many thanks to the ever wonderful Pippa Dacosta for providing me with a review copy in exchange for an honest review

Saturday, September 26, 2015

And We Stay by Jenny Hubbard (review by Sharon)

Author: Jenny Hubbard
Number of Pages: 240 pages
Date published: 28 January 2014
Publisher: Random House Delacrote Press
Buy on: AmazonAmazon UKBarnes & NobleBook Depository
Rating: 2 stars

""In And We Stay, Jenny Hubbard treats tragedy and new beginnings with a skilled, delicate hand.  Her otherworldly verse and prose form a flowing monument to all the great storytellers of the past." --John Corey Whaley, author of the Michael L. Printz and William C. Morris award winner, Where Things Come Back

When high school senior Paul Wagoner walks into his school library with a stolen gun, he threatens his girlfriend Emily Beam, then takes his own life. In the wake of the tragedy, an angry and guilt-ridden Emily is shipped off to boarding school in Amherst, Massachusetts, where she encounters a ghostly presence who shares her name. The spirit of Emily Dickinson and two quirky girls offer helping hands, but it is up to Emily to heal her own damaged self.

This inventive story, told in verse and in prose, paints the aftermath of tragedy as a landscape where there is good behind the bad, hope inside the despair, and springtime under the snow"


Do you love poetry? If so, you might want to give this book a chance. 

But for those of you who don't like poetry or don't feel anything particular towards it, well, you might want to hear me out. 

(Those who love are welcome to join as well, of course)

When I started this book I was awed at the beauty of the writing. But as the story progressed I found myself thinking that I might give this book 5 stars despite not liking it at all because the writing was very beautiful. 

I sobered up.

I do not like poetry in general. Maybe I do not possess the gentle soul required. Yes, I read poetry every once in a while. Yes, sometimes a poem, a paragraph or a phrase cut through me in a violent way- just like the waves that crush on the beach. Sometimes I listen to a song and something touches me so deeply I'm rendered speechless.

But more often than not I simply go on with my life. 

I appreciate poems, I appreciate anyone who write poems. Poems can be short or long or come in so many different ways, sizes and shapes just like people do. And you need to convey something, a short message in them. This, IMO, makes it all the more difficult. In a novel you have time to build you message, a poem requires a much more direct approach.

I like that.

The problem starts, once again in my humble opinion (I am no expert nor do I intend to be), when you try to write things in such a unique and beautiful way that the message eventually is 'lost in translation'. [this, I think, can be told on most versions of art]
Perhaps my figure of speech is no adequate, but I feel this is the best way to convey it. While we might all read something in the same language the way we understand it is different. And I'd like to think of that as another sort of translation. 

Now, back to the book.

And We Stay is a book about a girl (aka Emily) who deals with a trauma; her boyfriend killed himself in front of her eyes. The reasons remain to be explored as the book progresses. I am happy to divulge that as you continue reading you realize there is nothing simple here, like most stories, there was more than one right choice. 

We meet Emily as she starts her life in a new school, and soon she deals with her grief, her blame and her trauma through poetry and two nice girls she befriends. Emily learns how to move on. 

What is the problem then?

The writing, the very thing that I thought will make me give this book 5 stars ended up the reason why I'm giving it less. And why I DNFed the book (I did skim through, so I know it all, but still…)

The writing is so beautiful, so poetic you might want to claim this whole book is just one huge poem. 

But sometimes beauty is empty. 

Maybe that's a cruel thing to say, but I find it to be true. While beauty may come in many variations, something remain empty no matter how beautiful they are. 

You see, Emily's story was the kind that might have broken my heart. I might have cried. But I didn't. no sting to the eyes….I felt only some vague notion of pity once in a while. And even that faded as the book progressed. 

The book was written so beautifully so lyrically, that the feelings; the pain, the hope, the cries. And ultimately everything (I dare say even the characterization) have been sacrificed in the name of the beautiful prose.

I don't need my characters to be likeable. Or sympathetic. I don’t need the story to be gut wrenching. But when I feel empty most of the time and confused the rest of the time because the sentence is written so damn beautifully that I can't comprehend what the fuck the writer wanted to say I feel that something is very very wrong here. [Forgive my language and yes, pun intended in case that was a pun]. 

In the end, I think it's a question of taste, if you like a beautiful prose you might like this book.

a review copy was kindly provided by the publisher through netgalley in exchange for an honest review 

this review is also on GoodReadsLeafMarksBookLikes

I can't. I just can't. 

Since I read half, I will still review it. But I can't keep on reading so I dnf this.

I complained about the book the other day and my friend asked me why do I keep on reading, my answer was because I got an arc. 

The thing is that I don't want to pick it up. So I think I just shouldn't. 


Friday, September 25, 2015

No Ifs, Ands, or Bears About It by Celia Kyle (review by Sharon)

Author: Celia Kyle
Date published: 5th January 2014
Publisher: Summerhouse Publishing
Series: Grayslake book 1
Pages: 204 pages.
Rating: 3 stars!
Buy on: Barnes & Noble, Kobo,  Amazon UKAmazon

"The first day of Mia’s new life in Grayslake, Georgia is not going as planned. The house her grandfather left her looks ready to crumble, boxes cover every inch of the floor and—oh—there’s a bear cub in her pantry. It gets worse when the cub’s uncle comes by and busts out his fur and claws while on her front porch. Then it gets loads better because suddenly there’s a hot hunk of badge-wearing werebear on her lawn ready to rescue her. Yum. Of course, he has to ruin things by trying to take the cub out of her hands. Ha! The cub is hers… No ifs, ands, or bears about it. 

Werebear Ty can’t seem to get the curvaceous, delectable Mia to understand that, even if she is one-quarter werebear, she isn’t keeping the cub. Ty is the Grayslake Itan, the clan’s leader, and the little werebear is going home with him… Unless it isn’t. It’s her smile. If she’d stop smiling and being gorgeous, his inner-bear would support him and Ty would get his way. But the beast wants to make their woman happy, so it’s perfectly content to let her do as she pleases. Then things change. Threats arise, danger comes close, and Ty demands she return to his den. No ifs, ands, or mates about that."


I read this book less than two weeks ago. And though I remember it was a little funny, full of action in the last 30%. 

I keep remembering just one thing in particular- Instant Love. 

I think I'm onto something here. You see the best way to claim instant love as a justified something is by using were-something and claiming a mating bond. 
It happens a lot if you think of it, the only thing is that unlike in here it is not that obvious. 

How was it so obvious? Well, the author herself kind of pointed it out for me. 

I'll elaborate. In most books we have the instant attraction when the 'animal' side identify it's mate. And we break on an adventure with the Weres both denying the connection. They grow close and realize they actually fit each other- gee, didn't see that coming from start. 

But here, we have the whole 'I want her but bears don't mate for life' and 'she's so damn sexy, she's mine so any of you bros stop looking at her' and 'I really like you, you are soo hot' from his side.

And we have 'wow, a man like that is a rare species' and 'he can't possibly be interested in me' and 'this is all chemistry and nothing real' from her. 

But guess what? That doesn't stop them from making out like two heated teens. That doesn't stop her from thinking of his clan as her family though it has been only 5 days since she met everyone. And that certainly doesn't stop them from fulfilling the bond after they had a fight about the fact that she feel like they don't really know each other (they don't BTW). Guess what? They still don’t know each other. Beside multiple orgasms and the fact that they decided to raise a boy together. BUT WHO CARES?! They are true mates, after all 

Ok, that was harsh. Really harsh, and I'm sorry for being bitchy but that was kind of annoying. Now let's go to the good stuff, shall we? *wicked grin*

I am not familiar with werebears and their whole hierarchy, so I can't tell you if it's right or not. Still. The author has written a lot of shifters books, and she did get the werewolves here right. SO, I guess she has done this part well. 

The writing is good and really funny, Mia hardly curses, and her substitute for cursing is damn funny 'crap on a cracker' and 'for frog's sake'. Yeah, she wishes well to a lot of frogs. 

The attraction is well and apparent and the sex is OK. What I really loved? The little boy and how he awakened a parental instinct within Ty and Mia. It was cute. Yep I'm a sucker for those- when there is a big sister/brother that love their siblings deeply or some little child in need that's treated with love by the MC I turn to mush.

I have to admit there's another reason why I like this book- it's part of a series, and Ty has some really delicious brother. Two of them are named: Isaac and Keen. And I can't wait for their stories. Because Keen is super smart and Isaac is really, really kind and nice (he's a doctor) and I think his story might be just a little like 'beauty and the beast', and how do I love those!

All in all, a nice read.

A review copy was provided by Summerhouse Publishing through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

This review also appears on: LeafMarksBookLikes, GoodReads, Amazon, Amazon UK

Monday, September 21, 2015

TAG by Shari J Ryan on a special sale right now!

Author: Shari J. Ryan
264 Pages
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Published by Booktrope Editions
Published: November 7, 2014

What if your family had a big secret . . . a life changing secret. My dad, the bigwig CIA agent, was always on the run, whether he was being chased or doing the chasing. I missed him. Then my mom passed away, and my sister was murdered. I turned my solitude to strength because the alternative was too bleak.

But my luck seemed to turn: I met Tango. And while I want him more than I’ve ever wanted anything in my twenty-two years, danger lurks around every corner and I simply can’t take the chance of it finding me. But his tattoos, his smell, his darkness, and his body— that marine has taken over my every thought. But, what if he too isn’t what I think? A ticking time bomb isn’t going to leave me much time to waver. Even the bravest person can be in need of a miracle.

Before she was gone, my mom warned me to know everyone and trust no one. But what was I supposed to do when I found out I am the one not to be trusted? Turns out, I was always the bait in this conspiracy.

In author Shari J. Ryan’s New Adult novel, TAG, the canyons hold secrets, the waterfalls provide safety, and romance has a pesky way of showing up when you are sweaty and dirty and least expect it.

Sale from September 20-23rd
Regular Price: $3.99
Sales Price: $0.99


Buy Links:
Barnes & Noble:

I've been seated among the dozens of other passengers for the past two hours, watching the gate times change a number of times before I see the plane actually arrive. Just as I'm powering my phone down, preparing to board, an awful stench burns my nose from a few inches away. A middle-aged man with greasy black hair and a thick lip-covering mustache who smells exactly like the inside of a port-a-potty has found a reason to sit directly beside me in a row of empty seats. When my eyes unfortunately meet his, he takes the opportunity to speak to me. "Heading to Boston?" he asks. I raise my eyebrows and force a tightlipped smile. I simply follow that with a nod and give him a no shit look. "I heard winter's coming early this year," he continues.
"Cool," I mumble with a sigh. I pull a magazine out of my bag and open it in front of my face, hoping to block my vision of the man's blackened-stained grin. But it's only seconds before I'm taken back when his finger sweeps down the bare skin of my collarbone.
"What does that mean?" he asks, pointing to my tattoo.
With a smooth motion, I lay my magazine down onto my lap and place my hand over his, giving him the false notion that I'm a gentle person. I take the opportunity to offer him a slight smile before I twist his forefinger backwards as far as it will go before the expectant snap. "I'm sorry," I say sweetly. "Did I tell you it was okay to touch me?" I pull down a little harder, and he smiles in response to the pain. But as I hold my hand there, I see the smile begin to fade.
"It's a free country, chicky," he sputters as his tongue knocks around between his bare gums.
"Why would you think it's okay to touch me?" I ask again, keeping my voice calm, yet stern. He licks his lips and looks me up and down, responding with only a look. "Do you go around touching girls half your age because you feel it's okay?"
He clears his throat and looks around to see who's watching or listening, but I don't move my eyes from his. "Why not?" he says, shrugging his bony shoulders. "Besides, you're definitely asking for it."
He thinks I'm asking for it? I'm wearing a fucking scoop neck, black long sleeve shirt, jeans, and combat boots. "The only reason it's okay, is because no one has ever probably told you no. But it occurs to me that after I snap your finger off your hand, you won't be able to touch people inappropriately anymore, will you?"
He hoots with laughter, dragging in attention he probably shouldn't want. "You think you could break my finger, little chicklette?"
I pull his finger a little further, and his smile grows. "Ow, stop. You're hurting me," he puckers his lips and winks at me.
"Oh, look, it's your right hand. You a righty?" I turn his hand over and see deep callouses bubbling on his palm. "Yes, you are. So, if I rip this thing off, you wouldn't miss it, right?" I turn his hand back over and glare into his beady eyes. He's questioning my words. He's unsure of my capabilities. And that's fine. "Sound okay to you? Or are you going to leave and stop touching people?" His smile fades and his eyes widen. I release his hand and offer him a smart-ass smile. "Oh, and the tattoo means death. It's a Maori Warrior symbol. They used to eat their enemies once they slaughtered them. Cool, huh?"
I see his Adam's apple struggle to move. He lifts his bag from the ground and nearly trips over his own feet, darting away.
I reopen my magazine to the page I was reading and refocus my attention on an article as I hear a soft chuckle coming from the other side of me. I turn to see who was enjoying the free entertainment and I'm faced with a man who looks to be either a wrestler or in the military--black shaven hair, stiff jaw and bulging muscles on every inch of his arms. His eyes are currently focused on a book, and I suppose he could have been laughing at that, rather than me. But as I question it, his large shamrock green eyes lift and look right at me. A slight grin tugs on the corner of his lips, and he winks so quickly I'm questioning whether it was me who might have blinked. Before I can react, he stands up and walks away.
I swallow hard and refocus my attention on the magazine once more. Stupid attractive man causing a moment of feebleness. I didn't react, though. He winked at me. I think. And I didn't make a snide comment or scowl. Weakness.
I let out a few short breaths, regaining my composure. He's gone. It's fine.

If you’ve already read TAG, make sure you check out You’re It!

Barnes & Noble:

Author Bio:
Shari J. Ryan is an Amazon Top 100 Bestselling author, a Barnes & Noble Top 10 Bestselling author, and an iBookstore #1 Bestselling author. She hails from Central Massachusetts where she lives with her husband and two lively little boys. Shari has always had an active imagination and enjoys losing herself in the fictional worlds she creates.

When Shari isn’t writing, she can usually be found cleaning toys up off the floor.

To learn more, visit her at,

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