Saturday, 16 March 2013

Touch by Melissa Haag

Title: Touch
Author: Melissa Haag
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Fantasy, Magic
Source: ARC
Pages: 322 pages
Rating: 4 stars

Available at:

Blurb: (via Goodreads)

A touch. That’s all it takes for Tessa to know her future with a boy. Her mom tells her she needs to choose her best option before she turns seventeen. Problem is, she sees all her ‘options’ dying before they turn thirty. That may have worked for the last fourteen generations of women in her family tree, but she can’t choose and condemn someone to an early grave.

An unfortunate incident at school starts a chain of events that reveals a centuries old chaos demon and a chance to remove her 'gift' forever.

My Review:

If you have read my earlier reviews, you are aware of my praise of Melissa Haag's work. After reading her first book, Hope(less) [a MUST READ!] Melissa gave me a second book of hers, Touch, in exchange for another honest review. I don't have a lot to say about this book, so I am going to keep it short and sweet and get straight to the point.    

The book was, essentially, about the love story. It was the central focus and on that level, it was pretty good. You fall in love with the story, and Morik, despite what he is to the rest of the world. Melissa invokes a sense of loneliness in him that you can FEEL through her righting and makes your heart ache for him. 

If I'm going to be honest though, Touch wasn't as good as Hope(less). I feel like there wasn't a huge conflict. There were a few things a found lacking. There was an antagonist, another demon, but he wasn't introduced until late and I felt that his efforts to get what he wanted were slack and not very motivated. We only saw a few instances of him and it seemed that he would show up in bursts. He came, did something the main characters didn't appreciate, then disappeared for a bit. He never did any MAJOR damage... with one exception, but the fallout was a little predictable. If there was a major conflict, it was Tessa's mind and her family getting in the way of what her heart wanted. That was the biggest conflict we saw in the beginning before our antagonist came along. 

Now! Don't let thing discourage you! It was still an amazing book. The interactions between the main character and the people around her were excellently written and incredibly realistic. Character development was excellent, as per usual in Melissa Haag's work, and even minor characters had huge personalities. I think the character development here was even more outstanding than in Hope(less). I fell in love with the whole tattoo aspect that you will discover when you read the novel. That may have something to do with the fact that I am a huge tattoo lover, but the meaning behind it and the way it is brought on was so cool and interesting to read about!

Overall, it was a really good book. If you want to read a fantasy romance, this is the book for you. I don't think there is a sequel... But if I'm wrong I'm sure that Melissa will correct me! I'd give this book 4 stars

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Blade Song by JC Daniels

Title: Blade Song
Author: JC Daniels
Series: Colbana Files
Genre: Adult, Fantasy, Magic, Romance, Shifters
Source: Kindle
Pages: 261
Rating: 4.5 stars

Available at:

Blurb: (via Goodreads)
Kit Colbana—half breed, assassin, thief, jack of all trades—has a new job: track down the missing ward of one of the local alpha shapeshifters. It should be a piece of cake.

So why is she so nervous? It probably has something to do with the insanity that happens when you deal with shifters—especially sexy ones who come bearing promises of easy jobs and easier money.

Or maybe it’s all the other missing kids that Kit discovers while working the case, or the way her gut keeps screaming she’s gotten in over her head. Or maybe it’s because if she fails—she’s dead.

If she can stay just one step ahead, she should be okay. Maybe she’ll even live long to collect her fee…

My Review:
I love novels with a strong, sarcastic female lead. Throw in a tragic background, a sexy love interest and some serious skills with a sword and I am in love. The first book of this series is Blade Song.

Character development- If I hated this book for every other reason, it could never be for character development. Each character has so much depth. We don’t just get back-story, we get emotions and feelings and thoughts. I loved Kit in every sense. She was tortured, she was scared, but she had courage and she was headstrong. And to top it off, she has a soft spot for kids. Now, Damon, he made everything so much more interesting. It was a little obvious that he would become the love interest, but y’all know that I like my romances to happen slow and steadily, and J.C. Daniels did NOT disappoint me

Plot- Now as far as plot goes, the way it played out I did not expect. In detective-like plot lines, usually the detective (Kit) figures out some clues along the way, right? Now so much here. Literally NO progress was made for a long time. Then… a bunch of progress is made at once. Oddly, I really liked this about the book. It was odd and unique and something that I don’t see very often. In its stead, Daniels filled this length of time with enough sexual tension to cut with a knife and introducing new characters. I think it was a well played move.

For once, I don’t have much to complain about. There were lots of tiny things here and there, but they were more based on preference than anything else. And I wish I got to see more of some characters, but I’m sure that’s what the second novel is for. I will be reading that tonight and reviewing it sometime this week. I do have a lot of reviews to catch up on though :p

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Frost Burned by Patricia Briggs

Title: Frost Burned
Author: Patricia Briggs
Series: Mercy Thompson #7
Genre: Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Werewolves, Magic
Source: Kindle 
Pages: 342 pages
Rating: 5 stars

Available at:

Blurb: (via Goodreads)
Mercy Thompson’s life has undergone a seismic change. Becoming the mate of Adam Hauptman—the charismatic Alpha of the local werewolf pack—has made her a stepmother to his daughter Jesse, a relationship that brings moments of blissful normalcy to Mercy’s life. But on the edges of humanity, what passes for a minor mishap on an ordinary day can turn into so much more…

After an accident in bumper-to-bumper traffic, Mercy and Jesse can’t reach Adam—or anyone else in the pack for that matter. They’ve all been abducted.

Through their mating bond, all Mercy knows is that Adam is angry and in pain. With the werewolves fighting a political battle to gain acceptance from the public, Mercy fears Adam’s disappearance may be related—and that he and the pack are in serious danger. Outclassed and on her own, Mercy may be forced to seek assistance from any ally she can get, no matter how unlikely.

My Review:

For those who have read the Kate Daniel Series, the Elemental Assassin series, The Walker Papers series, or the Kitty Norville series, this is another series that you will love. Especially for those werewolf lovers! Patricia Briggs is one of the few authors that consistency writes great books that satisfy that inner junky while always keeping you wanting more.

As stated above, this is the Seventh instalment of the Mercy Thompson series. If you haven't read the fist six, I suggest that you don't read this... it may give things away.

As always, we will start with the characters. Being the seventh book, all the main characters have been well established already. Yet somehow, Briggs manages to bring new depth to all of these characters and her ability to do so astounds me. Ben especially, I found, to be so much more matured and well liked in this novel. I must admit, I miss his potty mouth, but his growing fondness for pack and  his warming up to the new Alpha's mate, Mercy (our main character) warms me up a little. Especially for such a hard man... werewolf... whatever. Hell, even KYLE gets more awesome.. and I didn't think that was possible. The only think I didn't  like was that absence of Coyote. After seeing so much of him in the previous novel, I was looking forward to seeing more of him in this instalment as well. He was in it, do't get me wrong, but to such a minor degree it was almost unnecessary to have mentioned him at all. That and the fact that a character that I was fond of died in the book, those were my only complaints.

Plot- What I love about Brigg's books is that she has a way of cooking up a plot, and leaving hints here and there without making the ending obvious. I can honestly say, I did not expect the ending at all. In fact, a lot surprised me in this book. Adam gains unsuspecting allies, Mercy makes new friends, and for once, Mercy doesn't do ALL the saving... a majority of it, but not all. The final scene though, brava! I loved it. Didnt see it coming, but very well thought out and written.

I think the only other complaint I had is that [warning, slight spoiler here] Jessie mentions Mercy and her dad having a baby at the beginning of the book... it was said in such a way that I assumed she would be pregnant by the end of the book when Adam was home safe and the newest Big Bad had been defeated. I was extremely disappointed she wasn't... that would have been a really nice touch.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Hope(less) by Melissa Haag

Title: Hope(less)
Author: Melissa Haag
Series: Judgement of Six #1
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Werewolves, Fantasy
Source: ARC
Pages: 285
Rating: 5 stars

Available at:

Blurb: (via Goodreads)

Gabby's brain is like a human fish finder. It comes in handy when she wants to avoid people. Mostly men. They seem to like her a bit too much. It's lonely being different, but she's adapted to it. Really. She just wishes she knew why she is different, though.

In her search for answers, she discovers a hidden community of werewolves. She immerses herself in their culture, learning about their world until she meets Clay. He's unkempt, prone to mood swings, intense without saying a word, and he thinks Gabby is his.

It's going to take every trick she knows to convince Clay to go away, and every bit of willpower not to fall for him when she discovers the man beneath the rough exterior.

Delve into a riveting world of werewolves and young women with unexplained abilities, in Hope(less).

Judgement has begun...

My Review:
This morning, after having to drag my butt out of bed with only 3.5 hours of sleep behind me, I fully intended to put reading off until tomorrow. Then, I looked at my email. An author, Melissa Haag, had read my reviews on Amazon and tracked them down to this very blog. She LIKED my reviews. That was news to me! For all I know, my best friend could be the only one who has read this thing! I could care less. I write this blog because I love books, and its mostly for myself, but to actually hear that someone out there liked my honesty? Well, it flattered me to put it mildly. *insert picture of me dancing like a crazy person*- jk, I always dance like a crazy person. :)

Now, in exchange for a free copy of her novel, I am to give Melissa Haag's book an honest review. And anyone who reads my reviews knows that I am nothing but brutally honest. Melissa told me that she had read in one of my previous posts on my blog where I had mentioned that there weren't any REALLY good werewolf books anymore, most aren't even decent. She wanted the change to prove me wrong. And it is to my GREAT pleasure to say that not only did she prove me wrong, she blew me out of the water. And I'm not just saying that because I received this book for free. I don't tell people what they want to hear, I tell them how it is... my family and friends know that this has been a long standing problem of mine :p

Lets start with the top 4 things I loved: character development, good pace, uniqueness, and most importantly, a slow and subtle romance.

Character development- All of Haag's characters are so well rounded. Especially the main characters, as it should be, with a slight exception Rachel, the best friend. I would have liked more back story on her, but I'm not going to complain with what I did get. All of the characters reactions made sense and were very realistic. Once in a while something (a term or a situation) would pop up that you wouldn't understand right away, but what you didn't understand was explained almost immediately... this is what good writing looks like people, if you ever had any doubts, look here.

Uniqueness- This is what drew me in. Right of the bat, the first chapter, I read about something that I had never encountered in another book. A girl who essentially has a 'human' (and I do use this word lightly) radar, a mile radius around her. It's a bit more complicated than that, but I will let you discover that for yourself. To find material that I haven't read before is so rare that I have to take a moment and appreciate it when it happens. This was such a case.

Good pace- Now, I say this with a grain of salt. If I could only voice one complaint, it was that the beginning of the novel was NOT well paced. There were time loops everywhere. And event would happen then it would be 2 weeks later, the a couple months later, then some more weeks, then BAM, two years later. After finishing the novel, I can understand why Haag did this. She needed a lot of time to pass in a very short amount of space. However, I would have loved to see the development between Sam and Gabby. I would have liked to see the first instance where a guy came on too strongly with her (a constant problem for Gabby... for reasons you shall figure out when you read this book!), I would have liked to see the steps she took to be who she was when we had that huge 2 year time jump. Now saying that, this was the only instance where I disapproved of her time jumps. A lot of authors make the mistake of NOT taking leaps in time so the whole novel plays out in the matters of days or weeks... thats usually so much more unrealistic. The majority of the novel was set at a constant, and APPROPRIATE pace... and that did wonders for the story itself. Figuring out that timing shows how natural of a writer Melissa Haag is.

LAST, but no least, a slow and steady romance- this is the biggest problem with werewolf novels now a days. With very few exceptions, BAM the love interests are thrown together and with little to no restraint or conflict, they become infatuated with each other. Haag did NOT make this mistake. Gabby and Clay's romance develops slowly and naturally. Shifts in their relationship are so subtle, I had to stop and think, 'Whoa, when did this happen?!' And I mean that in the best possible way. I think this may have been the best timed, and played out relationship that I have ever read without driving the reader nuts. 

If I have one last complaint, it would be that Gabby's 'radar ability' was kind of ignored in the middle of the novel. It wasn't talked about much and was only brought up when it was convent for that moment. At the beginning of the novel, Gabby uses it all of the time. That shift was weird for me and I didn't like it much, but Haag rectified herself and brought it back with a very interesting explanation behind this mysterious power at the end, so, I guess I can deal.

I know this was a HUGE review, but I just had so much to say. I just want to leave on one good note before I leave you to go by this fabulous book. [WARNING... spoiler alert!] Clay, the main character, never speaks... literally, you get like no dialogue from him for the LONGEST time... but when he finally did speak.. my god, my heart did flips. To play that suspense out so well... I must simply applaud you Melissa! A 5 stars for me, and that is not something I give lightly!

READ this book people...I am not playing with you. It was fantastic

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Big Bad Bite by Jessie Lane

Title: Big Bad Bite
Author: Jessie Lane
Series: Big Bad Bite Series #1
Genre: Adult, Romance, Fantasy, Werewolves
Source: Kindle
Pages: 350 pages
Rating: 3 stars

Available at:

Blurb: (via Goodreads)
  What would it be like to live in a world where you are considered abnormal to those who are above the norm?

Jenna O’ Conner has been taught her whole life to hide from everyone. Never to let anyone to close enough to know that she would prefer a shotgun for her birthday over of a bouquet of roses. She’s been smothered by her over protective family so that no one learns what she truly is. Which is not human. Nor, is she considered the norm for the supernatural Other community that is benevolent enough to share this world with the humans.

In a desperate attempt to live her own life away from the small town she was raised in, Jenna obtains her dream job as the newest member on the Wilmington Police Department’s SWAT Team. What she didn’t predict was that she would run into trouble her first day on the job, in the form of a deadly, mouthwatering man named Adam McPhee. Who is also not human, but more like a wolf walking around in human skin. He’s determined to figure out exactly what Jenna is, which unbeknownst to him, could very well put her life in danger. He’s also determined to have her all to himself. 

As if that wasn’t enough for Jenna to deal with, bad news blows into town. A group of extremist Shifters who think humans are cattle and factions of Others worldwide should stay within their own species - never to intermingle. Chaos ensues. Jenna has to find a way to shut them down, but in the process of trying to do that, discovers things about herself that even she never thought was possible. 

Who said the wolf was what you had to worry about?
Welcome to the real world.

My Review:
Finally, FINALLY, a decent werewolf book.

I picked up this book from 'my recommendation' from my amazon account. I read the book description and I simply thought, why not? Now over the past month, I have been giving shifter/ werewolf books chance after chance and honestly, everything I read felt done before... Now, before I get into my review, I would like to note that this was also the case with this book. The story, like most stories now a days, HAVE been done over and over. The difference with this book was that the author kept my attention long enough to finish her take on an old tale.

Character development- My favourite section to pick apart. Honestly, Jessie Lane didn't do a bad job of it. I loved the main character, I loved all the supporting characters. I did feel that we didn't really get to see the full extent of who the supporting characters were because the story was largely focused on the main character and her love interest, however, I discovered that the sequel to Big Bad Bite will be written in one of said supporting characters points of view. This trend will probably be carried on through the series. So although I don't particularly like when the author does this, it does solve the problem of trying to develop a whole range of characters in one book and saves me from having to complain about it.

Plot- I felt that the Plot was the only thing that lacked. There is this Big Bad in the story, as there is with all stories, but the author was so focused on trying to write the romance that she kind of let the antagonist slip away. Sure, you see glimpses of it, but it was definitely not everything it could have been, especially for a 350 page book. The only other complaint I think I have was that the author made a big deal of a couple of things that kind of fizzled out. (this is the main reason for the mediocre rating may I note). First, the author makes a big deal of Jenna being the only girl on the SWAT team, but there are only two SWAT scenes in the entire book. The second, is the fact that she has been held a secret her whole entire life because she is an 'abnormally' (a fact I eventually understood, but could have been explained better) and then when the truth comes out to a shit ton of people, nothing happens. It almost seems as though it was all for not. She could have played that better.

Overall, I think that the strongest point that basically carried this story through was Jenna's personality. Her ignorance of the new world that she has been thrusted into gives cause for constant enjoyment and Jenna was a hilarious character and I enjoyed every time when sound came out of her mouth. She was sarcastic, and rude, and a demanding presence that made me want to read more. Adding to that, what little I got to see with Jenna's Mama, one scene in particular, was probably by far the best scene in the book. I see were Jenna gets her attitude from! Not a bad book, and probably one of the better books that has revolved around a werewolf that I have read in a long while.