Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Book Review: You Are Mine by Janeal Falor

You Are Mine (Mine #1) by Janeal Falor

You Are Mine is like nothing that I've really read before. It is different, daring, a bit hard to stomach at times, but definitely worth a read if you enjoy magic based stories. 4 Stars!

Quick Summary

Serena lives in a country were wizards not only rule, but women are considered their property. Women are to serve and bare children (preferably boys). If they fail to honor the men, they are punished or worse made to become a tarnished. Under the control of her evil father, Serena is offered for marriage to better his social standing. Through a series of events, Serena ends up engaged to Zane, a barbarian from another country. But he is unlike any male that Serena has met or belonged to before. He is more powerful than her father, but when she makes a mistake he doesn't punish her. As she discovers more and more freedom, the male society around her isn't pleased that she's pushing the lines of a woman's duty. And even more that her fiancé is letting her.


The World Building

The way this society treated women was angering, but I couldn't look away. At times, I was so incredibly mad at what was happening to the characters, especially if Zane was involved, that I wanted to throw my kindle across the room. As frustrated as I was, that in my opinion is a sign of good writing and world building. However, even though the women are oppressed many of them are still strong characters. And they dealt with society in the best way they knew, by obeying.


Serena is an awesome lead heroine. It was fabulous to see her learn, grow, and discover her new "freedom,' and how that shifted her thought process and actions. She still had moments where she acted as a possession, but began to more and more push her limits.

Zane and the Romance

I loved Zane. He is a strong, powerful wizard and considered a barbarian, yet still has a softer kinder side. Seeing him interact with Serena was the highlight of the book. She didn't know how to take his relaxed rules and gentle ways. This book was not overly romance focused, but still had moments that made my heart melt. I wanted more from Zane though. He had some really great moments, but at times I wanted to reach through the book and knock him. This is probably because the book is told from Serena's point of view, so I didn't get to delve into what Zane was thinking. And when he didn't say it, I wanted to drag it out of him.


The magic aspect is well developed. It wasn't all fluff and dragons though. Many of the wizards used it to hex others and beat each other in wizard duals. My only problem was more of a question -- I didn't understand why women have magical blood, but no actual magic. I kept waiting for that to be expanded on and explained.

Final Thoughts

I read this book in less than twelve hours (which is saying something for me), staying up to crazy hours of the night to get in another chapter. It draws you in and you have to know what is going to happen with the characters. Or see how Serena pushes the boundaries next. Or how Zane is going to react. There are some fantastic side characters that add a lot, and it was nice to see that not ever character in this society was cruel or oppressed. The last half of the book had some good twist and turns. I was already glued to the story, but I kept glancing at the % remaining wondering how everything was going to turn out in that remaining bit of time. It didn't disappoint.

Even though the next book focuses on Serena's sister, I hope we still get to see a lot of Zane and Serena. I enjoyed this novel a whole lot and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys YA and looking for something a little different.

*This copy was kindly provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Book Review: Smokin' Hot by Lynn LaFleur

Smokin' Hot by Lynn LaFleur
Expected publication: March 25th 2014
3 Stars
Singe featured the story of Stephen and Julia. Julia needed to escape her hometown, so she decided to move from California to a small town in Texas. And when she meets the sexy, volunteer firefighter and roofer, Stephen, she thinks that she may just give love a chance. Sparks fly quickly, till she discover that Stephen is a bit of adrenalin junkie. Julia isn't sure if her heart can handle that again, since the man she left in California was a daredevil too. But Stephen isn't anything like her ex- or so he wants to show her. Bikes, fires, fast cars, and salsa equals one fun ride.

Singe started kinda choppy and abrupt, but the flow smoothed out after about chapter. Stephen and Julia meet quickly and form a fast relationship, but they kinda have to since it's a novella. Their fast love didn't really bother me, and I enjoyed seeing them flirt back and forth. But it soon heated up even more, and had a lot of hot, steamy, singe worthy sex scenes. You may never look at Salsa the same again.

There was a lot of characters mentioned, and I'm not really sure how they added to the story. But, Dolly, (who Julia was staying with till she finds a place and owns the local bar) was a great, fun character. She added a lot to this short story.

4 Stars
Smolder is the story of Marcus and Rayna. Rayna walked out on Marcus and their marriage five years ago. Leaving town, she's only now returned because of her grandma's illness and a fire at her grandma's house. Marcus is not only works with the volunteer fire department, but he now works at the construction company that is fixing her grandma's home. Still angry and hurt at Rayna, Marcus doesn't know what to expect when his ex-wife shows back up in town. Rayna still wants to run, but the two cannot deny the heat and past emotions that swirl between them.

I enjoyed this story a bit more than Singe. It flowed well, I didn't feel overwhelm with the characters. And the best part about Marcus and Rayna was that they had history. Even though it was rocky, it was great to see the simmering passion between the two. The sex in Smolder was just as steamy as Singe, covering multiple chapters of moments. Also, Smolder had a draw of mystery, because the reason why Rayna left isn't mentioned till the end. I kept trying to figure it out through the whole book.

Smolder gave a better look into the fire department with the men answering a call. I enjoyed this even though it was short, and found it realistic.

3 Stars
Talia and Dylan both volunteer together at the local fire department. Talia has had a crush on Dylan since she started there, and even though Dylan realizes this (and has feelings for Talia) he refuses to act on them. Then a night of passion finally forces the two to confront their feelings. Dylan says they can never work, which leaves Talia to hatch a plan that proves that they can.

Spark finally delivers in full what the other two lacked. I loved seeing the whole fire department interact with each other for multiple chapters. This was what I was expecting more of when picking up a fireman book. I wanted to the relationships within the department, and Spark delivers with some of these moments. There is still a lot of characters running around and making appearances, that I wasn't sure how they exactly fit into the story. It didn't bother me as much though since it was at community gathering. More so though, it was great seeing appearance by Marcus and Rayna.

Spark has a nice build, but the so called spark between Talia and Dylan didn't flow as smooth as the previous two. Well the author still delivers a lot of steam, it didn't provide the same "punch" as the first novellas. Steam aside, Talia and Dylan have a great plot line and story. And Spark would be my second favorite in the book.

Overall, I enjoyed these short novellas. I wish I could have seen a bigger theme running through and interconnecting the three of them. However, the small nods here and there were nice. The sex as the title says was "SMOKIN HOT." The actually scenes though were long and drawn out over multiple chapters with a lot of explicitly. It was almost overdone, and I wish for a little less heat and little more build. The characters, especially Marcus, Stephen, Dolly, and Talia will when you over. If you love firefighters, give this book a chance.
*Thanks to NetGalley and Kensington Books for providing this copy in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Book Review: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Goodreads Summary:
Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan . . .

But for Cath, being a fan is her life — and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this?

Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?

And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

My thoughts:

Wish I could wrap up all these warm feeling from this read, and save them for a blue day. Warm fuzzy feelings and big smiles.

I loved everything about Fangirl from start to finish. I could quote and quote and quote all the hilarious (laugh out loud funny) moments or heart-jerking passages that I highlighted. But instead I'm just going to give you three reasons why you should pick this book up:

1. When you don't want the book to end. I know I've had moments when reading when I think: "how much longer will this book last?" Fangirl did the exact opposite of that. Instead of trying to figure out how many pages I had left to read, I kept wishing there was more. I loved the characters and their relationships, I could have read a whole series just about Cath's college life. I didn't want it to end.

2. You relate to the characters. Rowell does a great job of creating relatable characters that you can empathize with. Anger, love, happiness, betrayal, and fear are just some of the emotions I was experiencing, right along with Cath. I was so tied to this emotions through this story, that I had actual anger for Cath's twin sister, Wren.

3. Great, healthy relationships. I love a big, bad alpha as much as any wild at heart girl. But honestly, it was refreshing to see a normal college guy woo the heroine. He was an all around good (sometimes goofy) guy, who yes made mistakes, but wanted to generally be a better person. Not only was it realistic, but still totally swoon worthy. I think I melted in a puddle many times over at how sweet and patient Levi acted towards Cath.

Rainbow Rowell does an awesome job of capturing budding love. Not lust (but maybe a bit of desire mixed in), but pure I like your brain, your heart, your goals, and your face..love.

This book was laugh out loud funny! But it had a pretty series underlying theme running too. Loved Cath and her quirks, and could relate to her easily. This could easily be one of my favorite books read in 2014. It deserves way more than 5 stars. More like 6++

Now I must read all Rainbow Rowell books!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day (with grumpy cat)


Hello, lovely bookish people. Happy Valentine's Day!

I saw this on pinterest, and it made me laugh. Hope your Valentines is full of smiles and love.

(And a couple of swoon worthy book moments)


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Tablet App of the Week: Blogsy

Hey lovlies! The past few weeks have been wild. Hello 2014, right? Hope that you all had a great January, and wonderful start to Feburary. My calander board still needs to be changed. Anyways..
Tablet App of the Week is something that I've been wanting to do for a while now. I do most -- if not all -- my online work on my apple iPad. Love it! Even more so I love finding apps that help me get my goals accomplished, new games, and even apps that help me with blogging. So ever week or so, I'll be featuring one of the apps that make my life easier.

Blogsy is my favorite app to use when creating new blogpost. I've tried a few different "post makers" and this one has caused the least amount of headaches.

As you see in the picture above, it has a simple but efficient layout that makes managing your post easier. The top bar contains the basic things needed for formating your post while you write. Then when you're ready for a picture, you can easily drag and drop them into a post fro the bar on the right side. it is easy to drag and drop them into your post. And this can be done from any of the applications listed, including your own camera roll.

The only thing that I've noticed is that it doesn't allow picture to be side by side. However, you can override this by photo editing them together (like below), or by switching to html mode and adding a table. The html is a little confusing, but I can nagivate it pretty well with my limited knowledge.

My Current Reads:
Sometimes I have trouble getting the post to transfer over to blogger without messing up the layout. But this can usually be fixed with some small adjustments in my post. However, it can be a little annoying when you're in a hurry.

Other cool features include:

  • Being able to add a "jump" to your post.
  • Adding youtube videos to your post.
  • Conencting more than one blog.
  • Preplanning your post.
  • And being abel to pull up old post as templetes or to edit.
Overall, I just just enjoy using Blogsy. It is simple, effectient, and the designers tend to keep it updated. I think I paid about five bucks for the app, but in my book, it was worth it. It's not perfect, but it helped reduce a lot of stress that I was having on other systems and/or designing straight on the blogger platform (which presents its own challenges for tablets users).


If you have another app that you use for designing post, please let me know. I love trying it out new things. If you're curious about blogsy you can find more information on their website blogsyapp.com or the app store.