Search results: "dark debt" (page 1 of 2)

BLOG TOUR + REVIEW + GIVEAWAY + INTERVIEW – Dark Debt (Chicagoland Vampires #11) by Chloe Neill

Here is my review for this wonderful story...it might be the best in the series, yet!  Be sure to also check out my interview with Chloe Neill and the two giveaways below!

BLOG TOUR + REVIEW + GIVEAWAY + INTERVIEW – Dark Debt (Chicagoland Vampires #11) by Chloe NeillDark Debt (Chicagoland Vampires #11)
by Chloe Neill
Add to: Goodreads

Review:
“If you touch her again, come near her again, I will tear you apart with my own bare hands, Master or not.”

There are so many things I love about this series. So many things I hold back after finishing a book because, really, how many times can you repeat all the same things you love about a consistently excellent series? I always do a mini-review, letting people know the main reasons I loved the story, and I hardly put all I truly feel into the review. Well, 7 mini-reviews later and I think it’s time I finally let all these built up emotions out-this book was excellent and people deserve to hear about it.

Ethan sighed. “It has nothing to do with pretty.”
“Not according to your brain,” I agreed. “But once again-”
Ethan held up a hand. “No need to repeat the point.”
“When I’m four hundred, do I get to date a twenty-five-year old?”
Ethan narrowed his gaze. “If you date anyone other than me at any point in your hopefully long and fruitful life, there will be trouble for both of us.”

I keep saying that these stories continue to get better, and it’s true, mostly, but there is something refreshing about a more sinister plot. Like, it’s known that when you pick up a Chicagoland Vampires book that there will be a mystery to solve, Ethan and Merit will have to conquer a new threat to their relationship, and there will be lots of love and snark exchanged between them. It’s a fact. It’s an inevitability. And I always get so excited to pick up the next new story. But this time there was something new. Sure, there’s always something new-But not like this.

Never has there been something that made me feel so icky about what could happen to Merit-or Ethan, for that matter. But when the return of an old figure from Ethan’s dark past reemerges, things begin to get….foggy. Merit’s defenses are down, Ethan isn’t (and can’t be) quick to save Merit, and no one can understand why, or how, this person is getting past their wards on the house. How does one protect another person’s mind? Is there even a way? And what happens when Ethan isn’t there to break the trance, and the next time he’s too late? What then?

There was nothing equivocal in his gaze, in the steadiness of his green eyes. “He was my nightmare, Merit. You are my miracle. He will not touch you again. Yes?”

Ethan, as always, was beyond words. He is so loyal to Merit and would do anything to keep her safe. And when Merit has a close run-in with this dangerous and mysterious enemy, it guts him that she recoils from his touch. She becomes withdrawn and so unlike herself, leaving everyone scrambling to keep the wards in place…even when there isn’t a break-anywhere in sight. It makes him moody, protective, possessive, and more than a little bit nervous (Waaaaiiittt, yeah, my bad he’s always like that-but, hey, it was a little more intense this time). Ethan likes to be in control, to be the alpha, to know he’s keeping the love of his life (and his house) safe. So, when bad things begin to surround his house, he’s more than unsettled.

“I like to think I’m more than the sum of my training.”
“You are,” Luc said. “There’s at least some hot beef or deep dish in there.”
“I am also more than Chicago foodstuffs.”
Ethan grinned at Luc. “Pumas? Diet Coke? Smart-assery?”
Luc snapped his fingers, pointed at Ethan. “Yes. And, like, three percent medieval literature.”
“You’re both hilarious. Really and truly. Comedy geniuses.”

And Merit. I adore this girl. She’s snarky, she’s funny, and she always has the best comebacks-I could be best friends with her. And, to top it all off, she can take care of herself. It’s not often you find a female lead with all the bells and whistles. But in this story, Merit feels violated, like she can’t defend herself even in her own home, in her own apartments, and with the man she loves sleeping right beside her. It’s a new kind of challenge for her and she spends the book doing everything she can to defend herself with no way of knowing what will work and when he’ll strike next….and what he’ll do to destroy the forever relationship she and Ethan have worked so hard to build.

Which was why Ethan returned to the apartments to find Mallory and me lying on the bed, television on, pooched stomachs taking a much needed breather.
“Oh, this is quite a sight,” Ethan said with obvious amusement, then spied the empty box of Mallocakes. “A vampire and sorceress done in by chocolate snack cakes.”
“Mallocake ‘splosion,” Mallory said weakly. “Pew, pew, pew.
“I think there’s one left.” I moved just enough to skim fingers against the box, tip it up. “Yep. One. You can have it.”
“Wait,” Mallory said, and put a hand on my arm while she deliberated, as if there was a chance she might be able to squeeze in one more. “No.” She waved me off. “I can’t. Go ahead.”
“This scenario isn’t really selling the Mallocake concept to me,” Ethan said.
“We’re having girl time.”
“Not the girl time I prefer to imagine, but so be it.”
“Perv,” Mallory said with a grin, rolling off the bed and trundling toward the door. “I’m going to roll myself downstairs.”
“Take care,” Ethan said. “And thank you for the ward.”
She burped indelicately.
“And that’s our powerful sorceress,” Ethan said, locking the door behind her.

I think the reason I liked this story so much was because of how it all progressed. There was a lot more action and it mixed really well with the banter and strategizing. I am so picky when it comes to this and I couldn’t have been happier with how it was all handled. There wasn’t a moment when I was bored or rushing to get past anything-every moment was important and every moment mattered. It was fast-paced and the love scenes were electric. Every minute was a rush as we tried to catch whoever was behind the sinister threats and when they were trying to defend the house. And, as always, the humor helped get us through every single moment.

I looked up at him. “Are you wooing me?”
“I’ve been wooing you since the moment our eyes locked on the first floor of this house.”
I gave him a flat look. “No, that’s when you accused me of being spoiled.”
“Details,” he said lightly, mouth drawn into a crooked grin.

So, I know that I gush a lot about these characters, but they are very dear to me and I am fully invested in whatever may happen to them. I want nothing more than for the prophecy to come about and for happy things to occur regularly for Ethan and Merit. Their love is tangible and it leaps off every page-every look, every touch, every embrace-they were made for each other. I cannot wait to see where the rest of the stories go, because this series has my heart. If you haven’t tried, you need to go and start these books now. You won’t regret it!

 

*************************************************************

 Interview:

Very rarely do we get the opportunity as readers to get inside the mind of our favorite authors, but Chloe Neill has offered to answer a few questions for the blog tour! Take a peek at what she had to say:

 

1. Just as your books inspired other authors to write, what authors inspired you to write?

When I started writing, I’d been reading a lot of Rachel Caine, Kim Harrison, Charlaine Harris, and Stephanie Laurens, among others. I really loved reading stories in series, because you got to know the characters, the setting, and the little inside jokes and references that really made the book feel like a comfortable place to rest.

2. Is there a certain type of scene that’s harder for you to write than others? Love? Action? Emotional upset?

Action scenes are definitely the hardest for me to write, so the last scene I usually write in the book is an action scene that I’ve put off. 🙂 It’s difficult for me to imagine a three-dimensional fight, and then translate that into words for the two-dimensional page.  Banter is the easiest thing–I can write characters chatting all day long. But it doesn’t make for a very interesting scene.

3. Which of your Chicagoland Vampire characters would you most like to spend extended amounts of time with?

Probably Merit. I think we’d get along very well.  Or Damien, because I think he has a lot of interesting stories to tell. 🙂

4. If you could cast Ethan and Merit in a Hollywood adaption of your books, who would you choose to play their
characters?

David Beckham isn’t an actor, but he’ll always be Ethan for me. I don’t really have a specific girl in mind who epitomizes Merit, so I’m certainly open to suggestions!

Thanks for having me today!

 

dd_tour

 

I am so honored here today to be able to represent one of the most hilarious, sexy, and addictive series I’ve ever read. Not often do I, or we as a blog, stick with such long series. But since the beginning, Ethan and Merit have stolen my heart and and I am so happy I came across this wonderfully delicious series. If you have never read these stories, that’s a shame. But if you’re even a little bit curious, pick up the first book in the series, Some Girls Bite, and I swear you’ll be enthralled from page one. Thanks so much, Courtney Neill!

 

Dark Debt will be available on March 3rd.

Preorder Here on any of these sites!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Powells | Books-A-Million | Audible |Kobo | Indiebound

 

Giveaways:

Us Star-Crossed Ladies are ecstatic to have a special little giveaway of our own, courtesy of Chloe Neill! Hurry and ENTER TO WIN!

Packet includes:

    • Cadogan House cotton tote bag
    • Cadogan House keychain
    • An autographed international Chicagoland Vampires or Dark Elite novel
    • Swag, including Chicagoland Vampires bookmarks and pens, and Cadogan House lanyards

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 The fun doesn’t stop here. Want more chances to win? You can also enter the Dark Debt Grand Prize Giveaway, which runs February 23 through March 6 on Chloe’s web site.

What is the Grand Prize Giveaway prize?

      • An engraved Cadogan House medal necklace
      • A Kindle Paperwhite
      • Cadogan House cotton tote bag
      • Cadogan House keychian
      • Chicagoland Vampires bookmarks, pens, and lanyard

 

And here is a full list of all the other blogs participating on the tour:

Week One

Monday, February 23 – Finding Sanity in Our Crazy Life | Lore Lush Books
Tuesday, February 24 – Star Crossed Book Blog | Little Miss Book Addict’s House of Books
Wednesday, February 25 – Once Upon a Twilight | Krista’s Dust Jacket
Thursday, February 26 – Goldilox and the Three Weres | Angel’s Guilty Pleasures
Friday, February 27 – Feeling Fictional | Rabid Reads

Week Two

Monday, March 2 – Booklovers for Life | Bad Bird Reads
Tuesday, March 3 (Release Day) – Saucy Wenches Book Club | Nomi’s Paranormal Palace | Fangs, Wands & Fairy Dust | Vampire Book Club
Wednesday, March 4 – Ceres Book World | Book Infatuation Reviews 
Thursday, March 5 – Consummate Reader
Friday, March 6 – Little Read Riding Hood | Three Chicks After Dark

2015 Favorites from a Series

2015 Favorite Series.13 We are ecstatic that we get to share our lists of favorite books in a series with you! Below you will find our fabulous list that includes all of our favorite series that we read in 2015!  Even though we read them in 2015, they could have been released in a previous year.  Click our reviews to learn more about each book, or click on the cover to purchase a copy.  We hope you find some new books to add to your to-read list.
Enjoy!
♥ The Star-Crossed Ladies  

Group Favorite Series (2+ of us ♥ed)



Jen (new) & Chelsea (re-read)

the hunger games suzanne collins
Jen’s Review
Chelsea’s Review
catching fire suzanne collins
Jen’s Review
Chelsea’s Review
mockingjay suzanne collins
Jen’s Review
Chelsea’s Review

✩✮✩✮✩

Chelsea & Anna

i hunt killers barry lyga
Chelsea’s Review
Anna’s Review
game hunt killers barry lyga
Chelsea’s Review
Anna’s Review
blood of my blood barry lyga
Chelsea’s Review
Anna’s Review

✩✮✩✮✩

a drink before war dennis lehane
Chelsea’s Review
Anna’s Review
dennis lehane darkness, take my hand
Chelsea’s Review
Anna’s Review
dennis lehane sacred
Chelsea’s Review
Anna’s Review
dennis lehane gone baby gone
Chelsea’s Review
prayers for rain dennis lehane
Chelsea’s Review
 

✩✮✩✮✩

pines blake crouch
Chelsea’s Review
Anna’s Review
wayward blake crouch
Chelsea’s Review
Anna’s Review
the last town blake crouch
Chelsea’s Review
Anna’s Review

 

✩✮✩✮✩✮✩✮✩✮

Jen’s Favorite Series:
sins & needles karina halle
Jen’s Review
karina halle shooting scars
Jen’s Review
Bold Tricks Karina Halle Arttists Trilogy
Jen’s Review

✩✮✩✮✩

The Immortal Rules Julie Kagawa
Jen’s Review
the eternity cure julie kagawa
Jen’s Review
the forever song julie kagawa
Jen’s Review

✩✮✩✮✩

Broken Skies theresa kay
Jen’s Review
fractured suns theresa kay
Jen’s Review
 

✩✮✩✮✩

the return jennifer armentrout
Jen’s Review
   

✩✮✩✮✩✮✩✮✩✮

Chelsea’s Favorite Series:
dairy queen catherine gilbert murdock
Chelsea’s Review
the off season catherin gilbert murdock front and center catherin gilbert murdock

✩✮✩✮✩

dorothy must die danielle paige
Chelsea’s Review
the wicked will rise danielle paige
Chelsea’s Review
 

✩✮✩✮✩

an ember in the ashes sabaa tahir
Chelsea’s Review
   

✩✮✩✮✩

scarlet a.c. gaughen
Chelsea’s Review
Lady Thief by A.C. Gaughen
Chelsea’s Review
lion heart a.c. gaughen
Chelsea’s Review

✩✮✩✮✩

unwind neal shusterman
Chelsea’s Review
unwholly neal shusterman
Chelsea’s Review
unsouled neal shusterman
undivided neal shusterman
Chelsea’s Review
   

✩✮✩✮✩

white cat holy black
Chelsea’s Review
Red Glove holly black
Chelsea’s Review
Black Heart holly black
Chelsea’s Review

✩✮✩✮✩

wild things chloe neill
Chelsea’s Review
blood games chloe neill
Chelsea’s Review
dark debt chloe neill
Chelsea’s Review

✩✮✩✮✩

brandon sanderson steelheart
Chelsea’s Review
firefight brandon sanderson
Chelsea’s Review
 

✩✮✩✮✩

the wrath & the dawn renee ahdieh
Chelsea’s Review
   

✩✮✩✮✩

angelfall susan ee
Chelsea’s Review
world after susan ee
Chelsea’s Review
end of days susan ee
Chelsea’s Review

 

✩✮✩✮✩

this is not a test courtney summers
Chelsea’s Review
please remain calm courtney summers
Chelsea’s Review
 

✩✮✩✮✩✮✩✮✩✮

Anna’s Favorite Series
prince of thorns mark lawrence
Anna’s Review
king of thorns mark lawrence
Anna’s Review
emperor of thorns mark lawrence
Anna’s Review

✩✮✩✮✩

finnikin of the rock melina marchetta
Anna’s Review
froi of the exiles melina marchetta
Anna’s Review
quintana of charyn melina marchetta
Anna’s Review

✩✮✩✮✩

injustice gods among us
Anna’s Review
injustice gods among us tom taylor  

✩✮✩✮✩

deadly class reagan youth
Anna’s Review
Deadly Class, Vol. 2 Kids of the Black Hole by Remender Craig loughridge Deadly Class, Vol. 3 The Snake Pit by Rick Remender

✩✮✩✮✩

joe abercrombie the blade itself
Anna’s Review
   
A Darker Shade final for Irene
Anna’s Review
   

 

✩✮✩✮✩

We hope you enjoyed our favorite series that we read in 2015 and that you found some fabulous new books to read!
If you want to check out more of our favorite books click to find out about our:
2015 Favorite Singles ✩✮✩ 2014 Favorites from a Series ✩✮✩ 2014 Favorite Singles.

Save

Save

FRIDAY STARS–Your Weekly Must Knows 02/27/15

 

Friday Stars

Click book covers for ordering.

Giveaways

We’re having a special little giveaway of our own, courtesy of Chloe Neill!  Enter to win a Cadogan House cotton tote bag, Cadogan House keychain, An autographed international Chicagoland Vampires or Dark Elite novel, Swag, including Chicagoland Vampires bookmarks and pens, and Cadogan House lanyards! Click Here

✩✮✩✮✩


Enter to win $20 Amazon Gift Card (INT) or Paperback Out of the Green: Tales from Fairyland, Paperback Sucker Literary Volume III by Kacey Vanderkarr (US only) Click Here

 

 

 

✩✮✩✮✩✮✩✮✩✮

Just Finished and Loved

Dark Debt (Chicagoland Vampires #11) by Chloe Neill – 5 Stars! This book was excellent and people deserve to hear about it. In the 1st book, Some Girls Bite – Sure, the life of a graduate student wasn’t exactly glamorous, but it was Merit’s. She was doing fine until a rogue vampire attacked her. But he only got a sip before he was scared away by another bloodsucker and this one decided the best way to save her life was to make her the walking undead.  Turns out her savior was the master vampire of Cadogan House. Now she’s traded sweating over her thesis for learning to fit in at a Hyde Park mansion full of vamps loyal to Ethan Lord o the Manor Sullivan. Of course, as a tall, green-eyed, four-hundred- year-old vampire, he has centuries’ worth of charm, but unfortunately he expects her gratitude? and servitude. But an inconvenient sunlight allergy and Ethan’s attitude are the least of her concerns. Someone’s still out to get her. Her initiation into Chicago’s nightlife may be the first skirmish in a war and there will be blood. Chelsea’s Review

✩✮✩✮✩

Just One Night (Sex, Love & Stiletto #3) by Lauren Layne – 5 Stars! This was an adorable friendship to lovers story. And when you became entangled in the heart of it all, it took an amazing turn into something that was raw and emotional. Definitely a must read!  Riley McKenna knows sex—good sex, bad sex, kinky sex. Her articles in Stiletto magazine are the publication’s most scandalous—and the most read. But when Stiletto’s fiftieth anniversary issue requires her column to get a lot more personal, Riley is forced to confront a long-hidden secret: Her own sexual experience is limited to one awkward college encounter. Now Riley is about to call in the favor of a lifetime from the one man who’s always held her heart. Jen’s Review


✩✮✩✮✩

Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers – 5 Stars! Venomous, tortuous, and pulse-pounding, this subtle book sneaks up on you and sinks it’s claws into your soul.  Climbing to the top of the social ladder is hard–falling from it is even harder.  Regina Afton used to be a member of theFearsome Fivesome, an all-girl clique both feared and revered by the students at Hallowell High… until vicious rumors about her and her best friend’s boyfriend start going around.  Now Regina’s been “frozen out” and her ex-best friends are out for revenge.  If Regina was guilty, it would be one thing, but the rumors are far from the terrifying truth and the bullying is getting more intense by the day.  She takes solace in the company of Michael Hayden, a misfit with a tragic past who she herself used to bully.  Friendship doesn’t come easily for these onetime enemies, and as Regina works hard to make amends for her past, she realizes Michael could be more than just a friend… if threats from the Fearsome Foursome don’t break them both first. Chelsea’s Review

✩✮✩✮✩

Please Remain Calm (This is Not a Test #2) by Courtney Summers – 5 Stars! It was very raw and heartbreaking, causing me to cry more than once-and this novella was, like, only 100 pages. I was shocked. Sequel to This Is Not a Testwhere it’s the end of the world. Six students have taken cover in Cortege High but shelter is little comfort when the dead outside won’t stop pounding on the doors. One bite is all it takes to kill a person and bring them back as a monstrous version of their former self. To Sloane Price, that doesn’t sound so bad. Six months ago, herworld collapsed and since then, she’s failed to find a reason to keep going. Now seems like the perfect time to give up. As Sloane eagerly waits for the barricades to fall, she’s forced to witness the apocalypse through the eyes of five people who actually want to live. But as the days crawl by, the motivations for survival change in startling ways and soon the group’s fate is determined less and less by what’s happening outside and more and more by the unpredictable and violent bids for life—and death—inside. When everything is gone, what do you hold on to?Chelsea’s Review

✩✮✩✮✩

King of Thorns #2 & Emperor of Thorns #3 by Mark Lawrence5 Stars!  The ending was epic and satisfying and above that, surprised me. Hours after finishing it, I find myself both happy and disturbed, truly amazed.  In Prince of Thorns #1: When he was nine, he watched as his mother and brother were killed before him. At thirteen, he led a band of bloodthirsty thugs. By fifteen, he intends to be king… It’s time for Prince Honorous Jorg Ancrath to return to the castle he turned his back on, to take what’s rightfully his. Since the day he hung pinned on the thorns of a briar patch and watched Count Renar’s men slaughter his mother and young brother, Jorg has been driven to vent his rage. Life and death are no more than a game to him—and he has nothing left to lose. But treachery awaits him in his father’s castle. Treachery and dark magic. No matter how fierce his will, can one young man conquer enemies with power beyond his imagining? Anna’s Review #2 &  #3

 ✩✮✩✮✩✮✩✮✩✮
Reading Next

Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta – We’re all reading this next week and can’t wait to start!
“What do you want from me?” he asks. What I want from every person in my life, I want to tell him. More.  Abandoned by her mother on Jellicoe Road when she was eleven, Taylor Markham, now seventeen, is finally being confronted with her past. But as the reluctant leader of her boarding school dorm, there isn’t a lot of time for introspection. And while Hannah, the closest adult Taylor has to family, has disappeared, Jonah Griggs is back in town, moody stares and all.
In this absorbing story by Melina Marchetta, nothing is as it seems and every clue leads to more questions as Taylor tries to work out the connection between her mother dumping her, Hannah finding her then and her sudden departure now, a mysterious stranger who once whispered something in her ear, a boy in her dreams, five kids who lived on Jellicoe Road eighteen years ago, and the maddening and magnetic Jonah Griggs, who knows her better than she thinks he does. If Taylor can put together the pieces of her past, she might just be able to change her future.

 ✩✮✩✮✩✮✩✮✩✮

Upcoming Releases

The Trouble with Love (Sex, Love, & Stiletto Series #4) by Lauren Layne –  (Releases 3/03) As Stiletto magazine’s authority on all things breakup-and-heartache, Emma Sinclair writes from personal experience. Five years ago, Emma was Charlotte, North Carolina’s darling debutante and a blushing bride-to-be. Now she’s the ice queen of the Manhattan dating scene. Emma left her sultry Southern drawl behind, but not even her closest friends know that with it she left her heart. Now Emma’s latest article forces her to face her demons—namely, the devilishly sexy guy who ditched her at the altar.  After giving up everything for a pro-soccer career, Alex Cassidy watches his dreams crumble as a knee injury sidelines him for good. Now he’s hanging up his cleats and giving journalism a shot. It’s just a coincidence that he happens to pick a job in the same field, and the same city, as his former fiancée . . . right? But when Emma moves in next door, it’s no accident. It’s research. And Alex can’t help wondering what might have been. Unlike the innocent girl he remembers, this Emma is chic, sophisticated, and assertive—and she wants absolutely nothing to do with him. The trouble is, Alex has never wanted her more.

✩✮✩✮✩

The Winner’s Crime (The Winner’s Trilogy #2) by Marie Rutkoski(Releases 3/03) In The Winner’s Curse #1 Winning what you want may cost you everything you love.  They were never meant to be together. As a general’s daughter, seventeen-year-old Kestrel enjoys an extravagant and privileged life. Arin has nothing but the clothes on his back. Then Kestrel makes an impulsive decision that binds Arin to her. Though they try to fight it, they can’t help but fall in love. In order to be together, they must betray their people . . . but to be loyal to their country, they must betray each other.  Set in a new world, The Winner’s Curse is a story of rebellion, duels, ballroom dances, wicked rumors, dirty secrets, and games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart.

✩✮✩✮✩

Dark Debt (Chicagoland Vampires #11) by Chloe Neill (Releases 3/03) This book was excellent and people deserve to hear about it. In the 1st book, Some Girls Bite, Sure, the life of a graduate student wasn’t exactly glamorous, but it was Merit’s. She was doing fine until a rogue vampire attacked her. But he only got a sip before he was scared away by another bloodsucker and this one decided the best way to save her life was to make her the walking undead.  Turns out her savior was the master vampire of Cadogan House. Now she’s traded sweating over her thesis for learning to fit in at a Hyde Park mansion full of vamps loyal to Ethan Lord o the Manor Sullivan. Of course, as a tall, green-eyed, four-hundred- year-old vampire, he has centuries’ worth of charm, but unfortunately he expects her gratitude? and servitude. But an inconvenient sunlight allergy and Ethan’s attitude are the least of her concerns. Someone’s still out to get her. Her initiation into Chicago’s nightlife may be the first skirmish in a war and there will be blood.

 

BOOK REVIEW: Everless (Everless #1) by Sara Holland

BOOK REVIEW: Everless (Everless #1)  by Sara HollandEverless (Everless #1)
by Sara Holland
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

In the land of Sempera, time is extracted from blood and used as payment. Jules Ember and her father were once servants at Everless, the wealthy Gerling family’s estate, but were cast out after of a fateful accident a decade ago. Now, Jules’s father is reaching his last hour, and she will do anything to save him. Desperate to earn time, she arrives at the palace as it prepares for a royal wedding, ready to begin her search into childhood secrets that she once believed to be no more than myths. As she uncovers lost truths, Jules spirals deeper into a past she hardly recognizes, and faces an ancient and dangerous foe who threatens her future and the future of time itself.

What. A. WONDERFUL surprise. I absolutely adored this masterpiece of a novel. When I try to think of what book I want to read next, a weekly occurrence, I immediately think back to this story time after time after time. I read this the first week it came out, yet I’ve been backlogged horribly on time with which to write a review it so rightfully deserves (I was sick, then husband, then daughter-then fast forward and daughter gets it again and BLAH just TOO MUCH)…so I waited. And I waited. And I waited. And do you know when I have finally found the time? While getting my hair done lol. 

Yep. I’m processing right now and I’m just tap tap tappin’ away on the keys. So. ANYWAY. I am so happy I can finally express my thoughts on this beauty-and the amazing characters this author brought into existence.

I think when trying to find a YA fantasy, there are few and far between that really reach into my soul and make me pine for more, wish that, even though terrible things are happening repeatedly, there was more we could read, that the story wouldn’t end. Those books are a dime a dozen…but this story was one of them.

With its lush visuals and deeply flawed, intricately layered characters, I was a goner from the moment I met every single one of them. Vivid storytelling led to endless possibilities, causing me to guess every theory in the book-until I realized I had no way to truly guess what was happening and I just needed to chill out and enjoy the ride.

A strange feeling flowers in me, like I’m standing at the edge of a cliff, looking out to the green-and-blue sea, which I’ve only ever seen drawn in books, its waves sloshing and beautiful and endless—and from this height, deadly.

Jules hates the Gerlings…chased from the castle when she was younger and still ‘in hiding’, she wants nothing to do with the royals that caused her and her father such pain and worry. She can stop time, but doesn’t know why. Blood is the price for security, its value only worth something so long as you’re not paying with your whole life. When backed into a corner with house payments, Jules finds that her father has been paying with his blood to keep them afloat-but she sees that he’s withering away with each pull, years dwindling away into oblivion.

She decides it’s time to take action, and when news gets out that Prince Roan has chosen a bride, help is required to prepare for the big day and it’s the talk of the town-those hired get a hefty amount of money, enough that it would get Jules and her father out of debt. Jules’s father begs her not to go, for that would mean facing the Gerlings once again and maybe being found out after all these years-But we all know what Jules decides to do, don’t we? The next morning she’s off before her father has risen, hoping to be chosen so she can pay off their debts and perhaps find the mystery as to why her father said to NEVER go near the Queen. What is he hiding? And why can’t she be near the Queen?

Lying feels like trying to hold an eel in my stomach: the truth wants to wriggle its way out.
I’m used to the feeling by now.

I’ll admit that I was all in for the romance. I mean, who would I be if not myself? I need a ship, and my ship was a lovely ship. My ship has/had promise. My boy was just…oh my gosh…ahhhh I need it. I just need it. And I need him. I love him. Adore him. I would do anything for him. But…unfortunately, I don’t think I should be saying any names. It’s a mystery until the end, I tell you, and it was a wonderful journey indeed.

Have I grown distracted, my head turned by Ina’s beautiful gowns, Caro’s friendly gossip, Roan’s smiles that seem just for me, and forgotten the promise I made by the lakeshore after View Spoiler »?

I’ll admit I guessed mostly who she might possibly be with or end up with or pine for or what have you (how many different ways can I say I think I know who she will end up with, in the end?), but I second guessed myself on EVERYTHING. And here I am, I find, trying to fangirl about a boy that I can’t say the name of and not able to tell anything that happens or why I like said person. I can’t really say her past or why she likes who she likes or who she stops liking or ends up liking or who she continues to like (holy hell this is confusing lol)….so I feel as though my normal review format is screwed and I’m just left a rambling mess. It sucks. I want to talk about my guy, dang it!!!!

And then all those characters. All these dark corners and twists and turns we go through. The stories and myths and childhood memories-it all builds up into this beautiful story, this seamless weaving of epicness, gripping you more and more with each passing page. I was sucked in until I was drowning, until I couldn’t breathe….and I STILL wasn’t prepared for the inevitably devastating (and STILL devastating) turn of events. I had my suspicions, but I tell ya, this author? She is the definition of epic. No holds barred, she goes all in. No tiptoeing around, she slits your throat and is in your face.

She wins. You lose. That’s all. This story is beyond your imagination. It’s new, imaginative-it seeps elegance out of every pore (eew). When I say this, I mean it-This book is the underbelly of the tainted royalty game. Who can you trust? Who SHOULD you trust? Is everything as it seems? And, almost always, the answer is no. Keep your head high and eyes forward, because you might just miss something. You might think you know where its going, but I can assure you, even if you’re partially right…you’re not even close. And if you are?? You’re a wizard, my friend, because this author is a wonderful, tricky mistress….and I adore her.

Liam doesn’t react for a moment. Then, to my shock, he grins, a wide, earnest smile breaking across his face like sun through storm clouds. It only lasts a moment, but smiling, he looks like Roan. No—he looks like someone all his own.

Sigh. I’ll shut up. But I just…I loved this book. I really loved it. And its been a month, so it’s so hard to write a nice review that’s worthy of such a strong book and a strong set of characters. It’s like…I don’t know. I am so frustrated because I’m reading all these amazing books that mean the world to me, but then I can’t put down my thoughts the next day like I used to…BEFORE. Lol. I love my daughter but UGHHH she puts a damper on mama’s reviewing skills. I like to think I can post a review about a book I’ve read now more than a month ago, but even I find it difficult these days. I’m reading so much faster than I can put out quality reviews and…it breaks my heart.

Oh well. I will continue to try and catch up on past reviews-even if they review is a shadow of what it could have been. I needed this on hardback after reading the ebook-so I got it (that and cruel prince). And if that’s not saying enough, I don’t know what will.

View all my reviews

BOOK REVIEW – Crossing Hearts (Cross Creek #1) by Kimberly Kincaid

BOOK REVIEW - Crossing Hearts (Cross Creek #1) by Kimberly Kincaid

I signed up for the Cross Creek Series Tour because not only did Kimberly Kincaid's books sound amazing, but she’ll be attending RT this year. After reading the first book in this series, I’m not only super excited to meet her in person, but I can’t wait to read the next two standalone books in this series! So check out my review below, see what the other books are about and enter a fabulous giveaway! Enjoy!!

BOOK REVIEW – Crossing Hearts (Cross Creek #1) by Kimberly KincaidCrossing Hearts (Cross Creek #1)
by Kimberly Kincaid
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Hunter Cross has no regrets. Having left his football prospects behind the day he graduated high school, he’s happy to carry out his legacy on his family’s farm in the foothills of the Shenandoah. But when a shoulder injury puts him face-to-face with the high school sweetheart who abandoned town—and him—twelve years ago, Hunter’s simple life gets a lot more complicated.

Emerson Montgomery has secrets. Refusing to divulge why she left her job as a hotshot physical therapist for a pro football team, she struggles to readjust to life in the hometown she left behind. The more time she spends with Hunter, the more Emerson finds herself wanting to trust him with the diagnosis of MS that has turned her world upside down.

But revealing secrets comes with a price. Can Hunter and Emerson rekindle their past love? Or will the realities of the present—and the trust that goes with them—burn that bridge for good?

Review:

Crossing Hearts was sweet, sensual and such a fabulous second chance romance.  The way the story evolved reminded me of honey slowly pouring out of a jar. It was beautifully slow and mesmerizing.  While Emerson and Hunter met again, right from the start, we got little pieces of their past here and there.  And we didn’t fully learn all there was about Emerson and Hunter until further into the story. As someone who is more of a fast paced kinda girl, I found myself loving every single second of it!  So if you adore small town stories, sexy cowboys and strong females then definitely give this one a try!

He’d forgotten her once. He could damn well stick to forgetting her again.

Emerson and Hunter dated in high school, and they were so serious that Hunter even proposed to her.  She not only turned him down, but left the state for college, leaving him with his heart completely shattered.  Twelve years later, Emerson left her high profile career, her NFL boyfriend and was back in their tiny town as a physical therapist.  And Hunter was about to be her very first client!

“I’m even wondering what if right now. Like what if”— he paused, but just long enough to fully face her on the bench, letting his opposite hand trail up the outside of her arm—“ you let me get closer to you.”

While they tried their hardest to have a professional relationship, over time chemistry started to appear.  Not only was their friendship still there, but their past was definitely not buried.  Their old emotions were just begging to be released.  It slowly started to come out in their physical therapy sessions, their little town’s festival and it got to the point that there was no way they could ignore it any longer.  The sexual tension between the two of them was so hot. And when they finally caved, ohhh the sex scenes were even hotter!

“Hunter,”she whispered, her breath hot on his hand, and just like that, he was done waiting. He’d wanted his mouth on hers for twelve goddamn years. He might be light-years away from playing it safe right now, but he didn’t even want to wait another twelve seconds.
He just wanted her.

I found myself easily obsessed with Hunter.  He was strong, caring, determined, a hard worker and such a good guy.  As someone who usually prefers the bad boys, I was shocked how hard I fell for him.  His feelings were so real, and I loved watching him struggle between caring for Emerson yet being guarded because of their past.  And while I liked Emerson, it took me a little bit longer to warm up to her.  You see, she could be so stubborn at times.  She didn’t want anyone to know her medical condition, let alone help her in any way. But over time, Hunter started to wiggle his way into her heart, and I found myself caring for Emerson too.  I so wanted them to make it this time around, and I found myself rooting for their HEA!

“Don’t worry. I’ve got you, Em. I won’t let go.”
As he settled against the bedsheets with her nestled in close, Emerson realized that when she was in Hunter’s arms, she didn’t just feel normal.
For the first time she could remember, she felt whole.

In Crossing Hearts, you definitely feel all of the small town charm.  And on top of that, I loved Hunter’s family!  His dad and two brothers worked with him on their farm, and I adored how true their family dynamics felt.  Yeah they had some problems, and I can’t wait to see how it plays out in the future books, but I loved learning about all of them.  And I loved even more how Emerson fit so effortlessly in with Hunter’s family. Scenes that just involved them eating dinner together, always felt like so much more.

“I don’t think I realized it until now, but what I’ve been waiting for is you. It’s always been you. And this time, I’m not letting you slip away.” – Hunter

Crossing Hearts had a ton of character and soul.  I absolutely adored this book, and I’m so excited to read the rest of Kimberly Kincaid’s books.  The next two books in this series are Hunter’s brothers stories, and I can’t wait to dive into them!

*ARC kindly provided by Inkslinger in exchange for an honest review*

 

Additional Standalone Books In The Series:

   

Cocky farmer Eli Cross plays twice as hard as he works. When his latest stunt drums up a heap of negative PR for the family farm, he grudgingly agrees to play host to an ambitious New York City photographer. Her feature on Cross Creek could be just the ticket to show the country what the Cross brothers do best…which is more problem than solution for Eli.

Scarlett Edwards-Stewart has photographed everything from end zones to war zones. She’s confident she can ace this one little story to help her best friend’s failing magazine. At least, she would be if her super-sexy host wasn’t so tight lipped. But the more Scarlett works with Eli, the more she discovers that he’s not who he seems. Can his secret bring them closer together? Or will it be the very thing that tears them apart?

 

AMAZON

  

For Owen Cross, the only thing that matters more than family is farming. As the oldest Cross brother, the land is his legacy, and he’ll do whatever it takes to make Cross Creek a success—including hiring local widow Cate McAllister to manage the bookkeeping tasks that are growing in his office like weeds. Cate’s as pragmatic as she is pretty, and she rattles his hard-fought composure at every turn.

Cate had known a lot of things about her husband before he died three years ago in a car accident, but how much debt he’d gotten them into wasn’t one of them. She needs her job at Cross Creek, even if her boss is both gruff and gorgeous. But Owen’s a family man, through and through, and the last thing Cate is interested in is anything—or anyone—with strings attached.

As Owen and Cate join forces to right the farm, they discover there’s more to the other than the surfaces shows, and that passion can be found in unexpected places. Can Cate heal from the loss of one family to gain the love of her life? Or will the past prove too much for the promise of the future?

 

Amazon * Barnes and Noble * iBooks * Kobo

    

Excerpt for Crossing Promises:
Cate dragged a hand through her hair, her gaze moving over the boxes in disbelief. “Let me see if I’ve got this right. You don’t do any of your bookkeeping online. At all?”

“We do. Just not a lot of it,” he amended. The Cross men lived to work the land, not the ledgers. Sure, their current system was a little time consuming, but it wasn’t totally ineffective. Cross Creek had been running on it for decades. “We have software right here on the computer.” He paused to pull up the program they used for much of their bookkeeping before adding, “It’s just that none of us are great at using it.”

“So I see,” Cate said after a quick perusal over his shoulder.

Irritation splashed through Owen’s chest. “Our books aren’t that bad.”

The parting of her lips said she was primed and ready to take him to the mat on that count, and damn it, he really didn’t have time to argue with her. “Look, I know it’s going to take some work to get things running smoothly in here.”

“It’s going to take a lot more than that,” she murmured with a shake of her head, and just like that, Owen’s patience redlined.

“Can you do it, or should I find someone else?”

Once again, his words came out gruffer than planned. But before he could even think of cooking up an apology, Cate’s arms had snapped across the front of her sweater dress to form a don’t-mess-with-me knot that was far, far more of a turn-on than it had a right to be.

“That’s what you hired me for, isn’t it? To manage your books effectively?”

“Yes,” Owen answered carefully, still caught between the desire to be annoyed, the desire to apologize, and, well, just plain desire.

“Well, then. Since I have my work cut out for me with a chainsaw, I suppose I should get to it,” Cate said.

After a quick internal debate, Owen nodded. Brash or not, he needed her. More than he cared to admit. “Okay, then.”

She answered by way of pushing up her sleeves and sliding an elastic from her wrist to secure her hair in a knot at the crown of her head. Even with the more casual edge, the powder-blue dress still hugged her curves, her calves flexing and releasing as she moved from one stack of boxes to the next in her heels, and he cleared his throat.

“Just so you know, we’re pretty casual around here. You don’t have to look nice.”

Cate’s cheeks flushed a shade of pink that, while highly pretty, didn’t bode well for him in the mending-fences department. “Good to know,” she said, and holy hell, why did his mouth refuse to cooperate with his brain around this woman?

“Not that you don’t look, uh. Fine like that. All I meant was, you don’t have to get dressed up. Jeans are okay.”

She stared down at the toes of her shiny black shoes, but only for a split second before meeting his stare with her own. “Got it, Casanova. Is that all?”

For just a heartbeat, Owen was tempted to say no, to dig deep into his Neanderthal brain for the right words to tell her she actually looked fucking beautiful. To surrender to the hot demands coming from both his chest and his cock, and cross the room to impulsively kiss her sexy, sassy mouth.

But this was Cate McAllister. His buddy Brian’s widow. He shouldn’t think she was pretty. He shouldn’t wonder if the skin on her shoulders bore the same provocative dusting of freckles as the neck she’d just put on display. And he damn sure shouldn’t be turned on like floodlights at the fire in her eyes that he’d never quite seen before, but seemed to somehow fit her perfectly.

So, he simply said, “Yes. That’s all,” and walked out of the room.

 

Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Cross Creek Series Tour:

About Kimberly Kincaid:

Kimberly Kincaid writes contemporary romance that splits the difference between sexy and sweet. When she’s not sitting cross-legged in an ancient desk chair known as “The Pleather Bomber”, she can be found practicing obscene amounts of yoga, whipping up anything from enchiladas to éclairs in her kitchen, or curled up with her nose in a book. Kimberly is a USA Today best-selling author and a 2015 RWA RITA® finalist who lives (and writes!) by the mantra that food is love. Kimberly resides in Virginia with her wildly patient husband and their three daughters.        

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Pinterest * Instagram

 

 

« Older posts

© 2018

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑

%d bloggers like this: