Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Hellboy in Hell, Vol. 1: The Descent (Hellboy in Hell #1-5) by Mike Mignola

Hell yeah, this book is the compilation of "Hellboy in Hell" issues 1-5 and Mike Mignola is back to drawing Hellboy (just an FYI if you don't know Mike Mignola is the creator of Hellboy). Anyway, this collection takes place after "The Storm and the Fury" and Hellboy having sacrificed himself is now in HELL.

The artwork is to die for, the story is captivating and you just keep going "what's next?". I got an ARC copy from Netgalley, but I will definitly be buying me a physical copy of this book. 

Rating 5 out of 5

Carrot by Vanita Oelschlager

If you're an adult you'll probably find some flaws with the rhyming sequence, but, this book is not for adults. This book is for young children learning how to read, the sentences are simple and the rhyming is engaging for children.

The story is about an orange cat named Carrot and her life in the city. The book follows Carrot as through a day in her kitty adventures, yes, the life of a kitty can be very demanding.

The book is short, I recommend for children from ages 3 to 8. The pictures are very pretty and appealing, it's a good for parent to read to their children or vice-versa.

Ms. Oelschlager's books are very good for children, they will definitely get the little ones interested in reading.

Rating 4 out of 5

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Knees: The Mixed-Up World of a Boy With Dyslexia by Vanita Oelschlager

This is a good book for parents and children dealing with dyslexia.

Dyslexia is a  developmental reading disorder and it is characterized by having difficulty with reading and writing.

The book is told from the point of young boy, Louis, who is dealing with dyslexia and how he feels. During the book he feels down because he struggles with school, his mother is encouraging, but he says "that's a mom's job", his dad give him very sound advice "We're all good at something. You just have to find it.". So Louis goes off on a quest to find what he is good.

I recommend this book for parents trying to explain to young children what dyslexia is. The book is short and it's a good introductory read. 

If you want more information, you can visit National Center for Learning Disabilities. Many children sometimes feel that dyslexia means they're dumb or something; there is nothing wrong with having dyslexia, it can be overcome, many people with dyslexia go on to do great things. So, lets get informed and read@book or two or a million, together we can help make learning fun for anyone with learning disabilities.

Rating 5 out of 5

Monday, April 28, 2014

The Professional by Kresley Cole

Its an entertaining read, it covers all the bases; girl like boy, boy has [a ton] issues; criminals; a palace; and a lot of drama. 

Natalie Porter is on a quest to find her biological parents and in the middle of her quest enters tall, dark and handsome Aleksei "The Siberian" Sevastyan. The attraction is mutual, but he's a Mafiya enforcer and his boss is her daddy. 

Their first encounter is way crazy and things heat up with them real quickly. Sevastyan immediately whisk her of to Russia to meet the long lost father; and well, things get hectic fast and soon Sevastyan is protescting Natalie, dodging bullets and kicking ass. 

When the enemy gets to close for comfort Sevastyan takes Natalie to Paris and their romance keeps getting weirder or hotter, depends on your point of view.

For its genre this book is okay, but I needed more resolution, I mean come on, most of the book Sevastyan is a jerk to Natalie and she just takes it.

Sevastyan has way too many issues to ever be a truly likable character and don't even get me started on Natalie's friend. If I told one of my friends I'm a foreign country with a hit-man they'd freak, not be like "is he hot?", normal people would not take to cool to all of a sudden being involved with the mob.

I also didn't like the end of the book, in like 4 pages Sevastyan finally redeems himself, no, I need a few more pages. I hope the next book in the series answers/fills-in the extra stuff I wanted to know/read. Again, still an entertaining read, I'm just neurotic and tend to over analyze books I get too into.

Rating 3.5 out of 5

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Ivy in Bloom: The Poetry of Spring from Great Poets and Writers from the Past by Vanita Oelschlager, Kristin Blackwood (Illustrator)

This is an illustrated children's poetry book. I recommend this book for children between 4 - 6, the first half of the book has simple small sentences that are easy for young children barely learning to read, while the second half has extended lines. The lines from the illustrated portion of the book are taken from famous poems, in the second half of the book, larger segments of the poem shown and then at the end there is a line about the author and when he or she lived.

I thought this was a nice book about the changing of the seasons, its engaging and captivating for young readers barely branching away from mom/dad reads to them to them reading to mom/dad.

This book is good, for its target audience it delivers; so if you've got a young one that's just getting the hang of reading, you might wanna go check this one out at the library.

Rating 4 out of 5

Friday, April 25, 2014

Never Been Kissed by Molly O'Keefe

The story is about Ashley Montgomery and Brody Baxter.

Ashley is the daughter of a politician, her family is akin to the Kennedy's, that's how big deal her family is. Except, as opposed to being a total B-ea-tch like her mother, Ashley is really nice and kind, she loves helping the less fortunate and all that.

Brody is a former Marine who now works private security detail for politicians, he has a lot of issues and quite personally I hated this characters personality. He's a douche to his adoptive father and a super prick to his baby brother, who has a terrible case of hero worship.

At the beginning of the story, Brody is working a detail for some sleazy politician (jerk is cheating on his wife) and he is recruited to save Ashley after she's been kidnapped by Somali pirates. Brody brings Ashley home, she's injured and in need of a place to lay low, so where better to bring her than his hometown of Bishop, Arkansas. Ashley has loved Brody forever and Brody has feelings for her but he has some serious inferiority issues, so he keeps pushing Ashley away.

Although the main characters in the story are Brody and Ashley, Brody's brother Sean a bar owner and his romance with Cora a restaurant owner makes an appearance as a secondary story. In my opinion Sean and Cora was way better than Brody and Ashley; Sean was funny, he was kind and his hate-love thing with Cora was sweet, it made me think of elementary school when if he was mean to you it meant he like you.

The book scored low with me because I honestly did not like Brody, he was such a jerk to everyone. He had all these people that loved him and he just pushed everyone away, plus he always tried to make it seem like because Ashley was rich he couldn't be with her. Ashley was such a non-selfish very optimistic character and though she got her happy ending with the guy she loved I still couldn't bring myself to like Brody.

Rating 3 out of 5

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Dressed In White by Jessica Gibson

This book would make such a great chick-flick, the story was great and so dramatic, the ups, the downs, the twist and turns were crazy.

The book is told from the point of Lorelei Peters, who has been with Dillon Brockwell for almost 4 years. The story begins with Dillon proposing to Lorelei [about time really, almost 4 years], however, their moment of happiness is short lived, very short lived, when someone from Dillon's past makes a surprise appearance after having left almost 5 years ago. Just when everything seems like a happily ever after things get spun for a crazy loop.

Lorelei, I absolutely adored, she deals extremely well with everything that gets sprung on her. She really loves Dillon and despite the craziness, her love for Dillon really shines through in the book and I'm glad she can make it to her forever.

Dillon, Dillon, Dillon, he is a sweet guy, but he can be real dum-dum. He really loves Lorelei, of that there is no doubt in the story, but he's a guy so he's bound to make a mistake or two.

The story is well written, its engaging and you spend all of your time rooting for the happy ending. I had never read anything written by Ms. Gibson, but after reading "Dressed In White" I will definitely be getting me more of Ms. Gibson's books. 

Rating 4 out of 5

Dreary & Naughty Friday the 13th of February by John LaFleur & Shawn Dubin

This is a really short cute story about a boy, Dreary and a girl Naughty. Dreary is a skeleton and Naughty is like a devil or sorts.

The story takes place on the day before Valentine's Day, which happens to be Friday the 13, so Dreary and Naughty are in school. Naughty get a lot of Valentine's day cards, Dreary not so much.

Well Naughty gets so caught up in reading all those cards, that she forgets she needs a gift for her date with Dreary the next day.

The story sends the message, that we should be more invested in our friends than on our own vanity. I liked the story, its like a teach your kids a lesson a la Tim Burton style, no fairies or princesses. The rhyming of the story is a little of kilter, but I think that really makes it work. I honestly can't wait to read more of the adventures of Dreary and Naughty.

Rating 4 out of 5

Monday, April 21, 2014

My Amazing Dinosaur (Tib & Tumtum, #2) by Flora Grimaldi (story), Bannister (illustrations)

This book is designed for parents to read to their children or better yet for children to read to their parents. The story is sweet, short and has many important lessons. 

The main character is Tib, a super cute and smart little boy whose best friend is a red DINOSAUR (arrrr) named Tumtum. The other children in the village are very mean to Tib because he has a big red birthmark on his face and he's besties with a dinosaur, but Tib is better than that and doesn't let the haters get him down.

In this book Tib sets out to show his village that people (or dinosaurs) shouldn't be judged by their appearance.

Tib has such a great sense of humor and a bit of a wicked streak in him, not to mention he is about as honest as they come ("Aw, stop crying! That was a pretty bad idea, anyway."), little man can be brutal, LOL (yes, I was LOL'ing as I read). 

In this book, the village also sets out to learn about schools, because all children need to go to school and be taught by grown ups.

The story is sweet it's creative and it is hilarious.

Rating 4.5 out of 5

The Night Wanderer (A Graphic Novel) by Drew Hayden Taylor; adapted by Alison Kooistra; illustrated by Mike Wyatt

Pierre L'Errant, once known as Owl, is a native who centuries ago left his home in search of something new. Pierre traveled to Europe with a group of French traders, but upon arrival, he realized these people did not see him as a person, but as entertainment. Pierre eventually becomes ill and is on the verge of death, when a vampire turns him. Centuries later, Pierre is coming home, to cleanse his soul and say goodbye.

Tiffany is a modern day native with a lot of issues following her parents separation. So, basically, she's a troubled teenager. She has a few run-ins with Pierre who is renting a room from Tiffany's family; in those run-ins, Pierre imparts on her that running from home is never good and that parents only nag because they care.

Pierre is supposed to be the main character of the story but it seems more time is spent on Tiffany and her teenage angst. The illustrations are really good, but the story focusing too much on Tiffany kind of killed it for me.

Rating 3 out of 5

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Sealed With A Kiss by Rachael Lucas

This story was cute, its a story about a girl trying to find herself. Kate broke up with her boyfriend on the day of her friend's wedding and she's really not upset, she's known that they've only stayed together because it was comfortable. Granted the guy is a total douche, I mean breaking up at a wedding, can he be any lamer.

Well following her post break-up, Kate realizes she's been living temp job to temp job and so in the spur of the moment she takes a job in Auchenmore which is apparently an island near Ireland. Well, there she ends up falling for her boss Roderick [aka. Roddy]. Roddy is a total idiot when it comes to relationships, he has feelings for Kate, but never really makes a move and so when Kate has a little fun with another guy, Roddy becomes all withdrawn from her [no she's not easy or anything, she's been single for a month or so and Roddy and her no where near involved]. 

Roddy's ex-girl comes back in town and she is a b**** with a capital B. Eventually, after many months and a lot of eco bonding, Roddy and Kate come together.

The story was cute but the reason it was not great was that we don't get to really read any real courting between Roddy and Kate, the resolution of their story is basically non-existent. The story started out so good and it had so much potential, but I felt that towards the end the author was like "they get together ok, there". Also, Roddy felt very distant for a lead character, I felt that he wasn't really invested in the almost non-existent relationship.

Rating 3.5 out of 5

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Something Good by Darlene Deluca

This was such a good story, its so emotionally packed.

The story focuses on Mandi Evans; Mandi used to be a really smart student headed for basically any college of her choice until she gets pregnant and her life takes a complete detour. At 25, Mandi has faced immense tragedy, has become very withdrawn and is now working two jobs and taking online classes. She feels that she doesn't deserve anything better in life. 

Lane Whitmore is an urban planner looking to submit a proposal that will improve the rundown part of town Mandi calls home. He meets Mandi at the diner she works at and what starts of as just a little fun turns into something more. Lane and Mandi bond at a deeper level.

Granted their relationship ends when Mandi makes a decision to help out a couple, but Lane being an idiot assumes the worst of her and just like that their relationship comes to an end.

Over the months Lane realizes his mistake and tries to make amends, while at first it seems too late, Lane and Mandi eventually work their way back to each other and create a friendship that strengthens their bond and love.

Ms. Deluca wrote an incredible story, the characters are so complex and well developed. As you read, you feel so much for Mandi and her struggles. she is such a good person and all of her struggles help make her the captivating character she is. Lane is good guy, granted he does make a mistake or two, but he tries to so hard to fix things. I loved the story and I'm glad that the second time around Mandi and Lane build their relationship from a friendship.

Rating 5 out of 5

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Ruined (Ethan Frost #1) by Tracy Wolff

WTH / WTF / WOW !!! This story was good, it was engaging and captivating, it kept you flipping the page.

The story follows Chloe Girard and Ethan Frost; the book is told from Chloe's perspective. Chloe is a 20 year-old pre-law college student who gets a summer internship at Frost Industries. On her first day she gets into an argument with a good looking, anal-retentive, smoothie barista. 

Ethan is the 26 year-old visionary CEO of Frost Industries and also an anal-retentive smoothie afficionado. Ethan is very impressed with the girl who fights him over a smoothie and from there decides to pursue like there is no tomorrow.

Ethan and Chloe start a relationship, even though Chloe is very tentative and very scarred from earlier traumas [when you read, you will be like WHAT!].

The ending of the book tells us there will be a part 2 and OMG is that ending crazy. I'm almost upset with Ms. Wolff for making us wait till July for the sequel. She gets us hooked with this book, gives so much of Chloe's story and not enough of Ethan's, then she goes and gives us the craziest cliffhanger ever.

This was a good story and I cannot wait for book 2.

Rating 4 out of 5

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Seducing Mr. Right (Unlikely Love #1) by Rebecca Rose

This is the romance of Gunnery Sergeant Jake Sanders and Sophie Agnes.

Jake is a war vet, he suffered injuries in Afghanistan and is dealing with PTSD. Jake returns injured from Afghanistan only to find that while he was gone his girlfriend (serious skank) cheated on him with her boss and even got engaged, add that to the trauma of everything he went through and he's barely holding on working at his brother's bar and grill. Since his return he's avoided any and all relationships with the opposite gender (aside from his mother); he doesn't want a girlfriend, he doesn't need one.

Sophie is a very talented ex-ballerina, she gave up dancing because she lost her passion for it and has now taken a job as accountant as the bar and grill where Jake works. Her first day is so funny, she walks in to her office, and Jake is passed out on the couch in nothing but his boxers. They immediately hit it off and she helps him nurse his hangover.

Jake and Sophie develop a friendship and eventually a physical relationship, but Jake freaks out when he begins to feel like he's gotten too involved and breaks it off. During their time apart they both try to work on themselves and deal with their issues.

What I didn't like about the book is that Sophie has major issues with her mom which according to the book she works on, except we see (read) none of this, so I felt it detracted from the character. Then we have the whole Jake and Sophie making up, WTH, he needed to grovel make it up to her after the way he broke up with her and then their subsequent conversations, plus they never even have a real first date. The characters stories needed a little bit more work and their romance needed more work, it felt more physical than anything.

Rating 3.5 out of 5

Sex Criminals Volume 1 by Matt Fraction & Chip Zdarsky

This was a super-hilarious graphic novel, I'ma say right now this novel is just for adults because it is a bit graphic (they actually start the book off with sex in the bathroom). 

The story is about Suzie and Jon, however, the story is mainly told from Suzie's point of view and she is really the main character of the story. The story begins with Suzie telling the story of how her father died and later discovering that when she has an orgasm she can actually freeze time. For a long time Suzie believes that she is the only one with that ability. At a party she meets Jon an actor/secretary (yeah, he's that confident, he actually calls himself a secretary not an assitant); Suzie and Jon hit it off and well they have sex and in the process discover that holy shit they can both stop time.

Suzie and Jon get to know each other and eventually well come on you can stop time, what are you gonna do? Yeah, they turn to crime (its for a good cause at least for Suzie, she wants to save her local library) and in the process learn about the Sex-Time Police (I know right, it's such a funny name). The novel ends with a cliff hanger and the book is titled "Volume 1" so we will get to see more of the Sex-Time Police (god, that sounds like perfect name for a Comedy Central show).

I really like this book its so crazy funny it becomes a must read, the characters have interesting back stories and they are engaging. Plus the jokes / puns are just so in your face. I've a lot of graphic novels; yes, aside from my love for romance novels I'm also a super comic book geek, and though I like my super-heroes being able to fly and punch a hole through a wall, I have to say sex-time stop is super power I've never thought about, but it would be interesting.

Rating 5 out of 5

Monday, April 7, 2014

BILLIONAIRE by Juliette Jones

WOW! This book is muy caliente. I was contacted by the author via Goodreads and she asked if I'd be interested in reviewing this book and I'm so glad I said yes.

For its genre this book is very well written, you get dark, gritty drama [we all secretly love, but hate to admit] that added many layers to the characters.

The story is about Alexander and Lila; I loved Alexander, in many books, the guy is very hot and cold and usually doesn't get with the program until the very end. Alexander is very affectionate, very OCD about taking care of Lila and making her life as easy as possible, he's so in love with her, he doesn't want anything or anyone to hurt her. Lila is kind, has a lot of issues and childhood traumas just like Alexander, but what I liked about her is that she's smart and determined. Lila overcame a horrendous childhood and got through school with flying colors.

Alexander and Lila meet at a job interview and theirs is like a full blown attraction / love at first sight, whirlwind romance. Again, for its genre this book delivers on the action and some of those scenes are like super crazy.

What I didn't like about the book is that we are also introduced to Alexander's brother Jake; now don't get me wrong Jake seemed like a great character, but the author slightly mentions some of his issues and you're like elaborate, elaborate, elaborate [yeah, the snippets of his story we do get are that good].

Ms. Jones is releasing a part 2 to BILLIONAIRE and I have to say I can't wait to read how Alexander and Lila continue their molten lava hot romance. I'm also kinda hoping that later on we'll see a book for Jake as well.

Ms. Jones did a great job with this book, so go and get yourself a copy, and enjoy ;)

Rating 4 out of 5

Friday, April 4, 2014

Beautiful Surrender (Surrender #3) by Priscilla West

OH MY GOD, OH MY GOD, did not see this coming. This is the final installment in the Surrender series and is by far the best.

There is drama, there is action and there is a psychotic of the meds ex.

Vincent has been away a lot for work so there a strain in the relationship, then a misunderstanding occurs and the relationship seems to be at a breaking point; and just as things are beginning to look up it might be too late. We also have a hugely unexpected surprise that makes can make or break the relationship.

The only reason this book lost points with me was because the ending was like a quick run through list. Maybe instead of being set a couple months in the future, it could have been a year. Other than the ending this book was good and a great ending to a series.

Rating 4 out of 5

Secret Surrender (Surrender #2) by Priscilla West

Vincent and Kristen's story continues; Kristen meets one of Vincents' ex and jelousey flies; then again Vincent was kind of a jerk. They make up and things are good, if a little strained, what with Kristen secretly dating a client. Book 2 is still good and if you've read book 1, you gotta read book 2.

You will enjoy, so go ahead and get a copy.

Rating 3.5 out of 5

Tuesday, April 1, 2014


I'm not sure how rednecks speak, but damn if Ms. Brookes didn't make the characters accents hilarious. This story is no love at first sight thing; its an I've known you and hated you for years but somewhere along the line I think I fell for you.

The story follows Randi Lynn Brown, she dreams of leaving her small town of Possum Hollow, Alabama and making it big in New York as model; and Skeeter Cooper, your apparent run of the mill redneck [again still not sure what a real redneck is], he dream of nothing but fishing and womanizing [or he used to until he decides to admit there's only 1 woman he wants to be diddlin (super funny word the author uses a lot)].

When Randi Lynn gets an interview with an agency in New York, she needs a ride and well Skeeter just happens to have a tournament up that way. Sparks set a blazing fire, but Skeeter want Randi Lynn to have her shot at her dream, so he goes back to Possum Hollow [do towns named like that really exist] alone and a little depressed.

Randi Lynn stays in New York happy (or so she says) that her dream of modeling has come true. As the days go by she is missing Skeeter more and more. Well she decides to cast her line one last time and reel herself a redneck.

The story is lighthearted and funny as hell, the characters are entertaining and I'm already feeling a sequel, which I will definitely buy. You will definitely have fun reading this book I know I did.

Rating 4 out of 5

The Burning (Maeve Kerrigan #1) by Jane Casey

The story is about a detective; Maeve Kerrigan is a hard working, very serious, very tough detective. Maeve is investigating the murders committed by a sociopath the media has dubbed "The Burning Man" [that's a give to how he kills his victims]; there have been 4 murders and now a 5th victim has appeared. Except, here's the kicker Maeve isn't so sure The Burning Man is guilty of the 5th; now she has to find The Burning Man as well as this mysterious new killer.

This book is the first in a series revolving around Maeve as the main character. The author did a great job with the development of the character and I can totally see Maeve carrying a series.

What I didn't like was there were way too many twists in the book; everything about the book makes it seem like The Burning Man is the main target, but by the end his capture isn't as dramatic as I think it should have been. I also didn't like that in the end they give you some news reports on people who were directly/indirectly involved with the hunt for The Burning Man and the new killer. One of the news reports talks about a girl we encounter at the beginning of the book. I did not like her 2 year sentence for the stabbing she committed in assumed self-defense [read the book, this will totally make sense]; that right there lost this book 1/2 a star.

Would I recommend this book, you bet. This book made me think of Maeve as like a Carmen San Diego [as in "Where in the world is Carmen San Diego?"] type of detective.

Rating 3.5 out 5

Forbidden Surrender (Surrender #1) by Priscilla West

This is a fun, crazy story; this romance is about Kristen and Vincent. Kristen works for a financial company and her company is trying to snag Vincent [aka. Mr. Super Good looking Rich CEO] as a client. The meeting goes absolutely terrible, but when Kristen trips and ends up "accidentally" feeling up Vincent [Mr. Also has a Nipple Ring], sparks sorta fly. Kristen is dealing with some yet unknown issues [read book 2], so she's hesitant to give into Vincent's pursuit, but they eventually sort of start dating.

It's a light, easy read, the characters are enjoyable and likeable; which is a huge plus. Because normally guys are such jerks [and not likeable jerks, just jerks] in these books, but Vincent gives of a chill laid back attitude and Kristen is not easily pushed over, Vincent has to do some work.

Rating 3.5 out of 5