Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I'd Slay a Lion to Get Early

Top Ten original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. It is now hosted by That Artsy Reader.  For past topics and future topic schedule, click here.

This week is what top ten books you'd slay a lion to get early.
In no particular order. 

1. A Sorrow Fierce and Falling (Kingdom on Fire #3) by Jessica Cluess
This has to be one of the best book series I have ever read. It is not only fantastically written but it has such an amazing set of characters, the plot is on point, and the covers entice any reader to pick up this series immediately. 

2. City of Ghosts (City of Ghosts #1) by Victoria Schwab
This has to be one of the most highly anticipated books this year. The synopsis is already enough to make me want to pick it up and read it immediately but add in a cover that literally gives you chills and makes you want to dive into this story and know more about its characters. 

                        3. From Here to You (Crash and Burn #1) by Jamie McGuire
Another Jamie McGuire book? Sign me up! Having read, and loved, Beautiful Bastard (and the rest of the books in the series) I can say wholeheartedly that I am a fan of McGuire's work. I can not wait to read this book, and series.

                                   4. The Healer by Donna Freitas
A heartfelt contemporary book centring around a girl with the powers to heal and a boy 

                               5. The Simple Wild by K. A. Tucker
Definitely, definitely, definitely excited to read this! 

                                      6. Every Breath by Nicholas Sparks
Having never previously read a Nicholas Sparks book before (yes, never), I am excited to dive into this one, hopefully after reading Message in a Bottle

                                     7. The Good Luck Charm by Helena Hunting
Helena Hunting's Pucked was absolutely hilarious, steamy, and an absolute favourite of mine. When Hunting announced that she will be writing another book, I couldn't be more ecstatic. So excited to pick this one up. 

                                 8.  The Disasters by M. K. England
The Breakfast Club meets Guardians of the Galaxy. Enough said. 

                                     9. One Small Thing by Erin Watt
Erin Watt have hit the ground running. From the major hype surrounding the hit of the Paper Princess series, as well as the successful When It's Real. With that being said, this book in particular has gotten my attention. With it's simple but sophisticated cover and intriguing plot it definitely promises to capture my attention from the very beginning to the very end of this book. 


                                  10.  The Darkest Star (Origin #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Another author I am a fan of has to be Jennifer L. Armentrout. Armentrout knows how to write books that anyone in  almost any age group can enjoy reading. Fitting in more than one genre with compelling writing, interesting characters, hilarious moments, and awesome moments, Armentrout's books are a definite must read for everyone. 

What books are you highly anticipating the release of? And which one would you slay a lion to get early? 😊
~ Aimie

Monday, April 30, 2018

Review | Suitors and Sabotage by Cindy Anstey

Suitors and Sabotage
by Cindy Anstey 
Published by Swoon Reads on April 17th, 2018
Genres: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Mystery, Romance
Pages: 336
Format: ARC 
Source: Provided by Raincoast Books in exchange for honest review

Summary from Goodreads: 
Shy aspiring artist Imogene Chively has just had a successful Season in London, complete with a suitor of her father's approval. Imogene is ambivalent about the young gentleman until he comes to visit her at the Chively estate with his younger brother in tow. When her interest is piqued, however, it is for the wrong brother.

Charming Ben Steeple has a secret: despite being an architectural apprentice, he has no drawing aptitude. When Imogene offers to teach him, Ben is soon smitten by the young lady he considers his brother's intended.

But hiding their true feelings becomes the least of their problems when, after a series of "accidents," it becomes apparent that someone means Ben harm. And as their affection for each other grows—despite their efforts to remain just friends—so does the danger. . .

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Suitors and Sabotage is Cindy Anstey's third novel. It centres around Imogene, who is getting prepared for her possible engagement to one Ernest Steeple, and Benjamin, who happens to be Ernest's brother. However, both Imogene and Benjamin hit it off while Imogene's best friend, Emily, believes herself to be in love with Benjamin. It's a bit like Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream

I liked Suitors and Sabotage but just not as much as I thought I would. I enjoyed reading Imogene's interactions with Ben, and vice versa, as well as witnessing the attraction between the two begin to flourish. They were able to talk to one another easily and though they knew that they shouldn't be thinking or feeling the way they o about each other, they found themselves unable to really fight off their growing attraction and sparking chemistry. I also enjoyed reading about Ernest and Benjamin's strong and stable sibling relationship, especially considering how close they are, as well as Emily and Imogene's friendship, who are more like sisters than best friends, who tell each other everything and always offer their support. 

In the end, it was an okay book to read. Not what I typically imagined this book would be like but nonetheless enjoyable to read. 


About The Author:

Cindy Anstey spends her time writing and adventuring around the world. She has lived on three continents, had a monkey in her backyard and a scorpion under her sink, dwelt among castles and canals, enjoyed the jazz of Beale St and attempted to speak French. Cindy loves history, mystery and... a chocolate Labrador called Chester. Love, Lies and Spies is her debut novel. She currently resides in Nova Scotia, Canada. 

Friday, April 27, 2018

Review | Seeing Red by Sandra Brown

Seeing Red
by Sandra Brown
Published by Grand Central Publishing on February 6th, 2018
Genres: Romance, Suspense, Mystery, Thriller, Fiction
Pages: 432
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought at Indigo

Summary from Goodreads: 
Kerra Bailey is a TV journalist hot on the trail of a story guaranteed to skyrocket her career to new heights. Twenty-five years ago, Major Franklin Trapper became a national icon when he was photographed leading a handful of survivors to safety after the bombing of a Dallas hotel. For years, he gave frequent speeches and interviews but then suddenly dropped out of the public eye, shunning all media. Now Kerra is willing to use any means necessary to get an exclusive with the Major--even if she has to secure an introduction from his estranged son, former ATF agent John Trapper. 

Still seething over his break with both the ATF and his father, Trapper wants no association with the bombing or the Major. Yet Kerra's hints that there's more to the story rouse Trapper's interest despite himself. And when the interview goes catastrophically awry--with unknown assailants targeting not only the Major, but also Kerra--Trapper realizes he needs her under wraps if he's going to track down the gunmen . . . and finally discover who was responsible for the Dallas bombing.

Kerra is wary of a man so charming one moment and dangerous the next, and she knows Trapper is withholding evidence from his ATF investigation into the bombing. But having no one else to trust and enemies lurking closer than they know, Kerra and Trapper join forces to expose a sinuous network of lies and conspiracy--and uncover who would want a national hero dead.

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Having never read any of Sandra Brown's books prior to this one, I didn't really know what to expect when diving into this book. Admittedly, I eyed this book for a while before I decided to take the plunge and read it. Having read from the romantic suspense genre. I am glad I ended up giving this book, and Sandra Brown, a chance because I can 100% say that this has become one of my favourite books. 

Seeing Red begins right off the bat, leaving me sitting on the edge of my seat wanting to know what happens next. It is filled with numerous conspiracies, suspense, danger, mystery, sizzling chemistry, and a seemingly endless suspect list. 

Kerra Bailey contacts John Trapper in hopes of getting in touch with his father, The Major became the hero who led survivors out of The Pegasus Hotel bombing in 1992. For John Trapper, this signalled the end of his happy life, and view of family, when his father latched onto the celebrity status he received from his heroic actions.  His obsession with the bombing investigation and whether it was ever truly solved has costed Trapper his job at the ATF as well as his relationship with his father. So when Kerra shows up asking him to help her get in contact with his father, he has no desire to participate in her quest for an interview.

Kerra Bailey has been wanting to get in contact with The Major not only because of professional career as a journalist but also due to a more personal reason. She will see to it that she gets that interview with or without Trapper's help. But denying her attraction to Trapper might prove to be harder than getting that interview. 

However, when Kerra's interview with The Major doesn't go as planned, Kerra and Trapper are through into a storm of epic proportion. They try to get to the bottom of things all the while trying to stay alive in the process. 

The romance between Kerra and John was spectacular to read! Brown definitely knows how to write some hot and steamy scenes. Though I sort of predicted what would happen, I still immensely enjoyed this book. Sandra Brown did an amazing job keeping me on my toes and entertained with those twists and turns. There were some I was floored by, seriously. Brown's characters and writing hook you into the story and make you want to keep reading until you know how it all ends. I was hooked on this book from the very beginning to the very end. 

I can not wait to read Sandra Brown's other books. I highly, highly, recommend Seeing Red to any and all romantic suspense readers. This is not one to be missed. 



About The Author:

Sandra Brown is the author of more than sixty New York Times bestsellers, including STING (2016), FRICTION (2015), MEAN STREAK (2014), DEADLINE (2013), & LOW PRESSURE (2012), LETHAL (2011).

Brown began her writing career in 1981 and since then has published over seventy novels, bringing the number of copies of her books in print worldwide to upwards of eighty million. Her work has been translated into over thirty languages.

In 2009 Brown detoured from romantic suspense to write, Rainwater, a much acclaimed, powerfully moving historical fiction story about honor and sacrifice during the Great Depression.

Brown was given an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Texas Christian University. She was named Thriller Master for 2008, the top award given by the International Thriller Writer’s Association. Other awards and commendations include the 2007 Texas Medal of Arts Award for Literature and the Romance Writers of America’s Lifetime Achievement Award. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Waiting on Wednesday {27}

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, Hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that I'm eagerly anticipating. 

The Summer Wives
Beatriz Williams
Publication Date:
July 10th, 2018
                                 William Morrow

Summary from Goodreads:
New York Times bestselling author Beatriz Williams brings us the blockbuster novel of the season—a spellbinding novel of romance, murder, class, power, and dark secrets set in the 1950s and ’60s among the rarified world of a resort island in the Long Island Sound . . .

In the summer of 1951, Miranda Schuyler arrives on elite, secretive Winthrop Island in Long Island Sound as a naive eighteen year old, still reeling from the loss of her father in the Second World War. Although a graduate of the exclusive Foxcroft Academy in Virginia, Miranda has always lived on the margins of high society. When her beautiful mother marries Hugh Fisher, whose summer house on Winthrop overlooks the famous lighthouse, Miranda is catapulted into a heady new world of pedigrees and cocktails, status and swimming pools. Isobel Fisher, Miranda’s new stepsister—all long legs and world-weary bravado, engaged to a wealthy Island scion—is eager to draw Miranda into the arcane customs of Winthrop society.

But beneath the Island’s patrician surface, there are really two clans--the summer families with their steadfast ways and quiet obsessions, and the working class of Portuguese fishermen and domestic workers who earn their living on the water and in the laundries of the summer houses. Uneasy among Isobel’s privileged friends, Miranda finds herself drawn to Joseph helps his father in the lobster boat, but in the autumn he returns to Brown University, where he’s determined to make something of himself. Since childhood, Joseph has enjoyed an intense, complex friendship with Isobel Fisher, and has a catastrophe that will shatter Winthrop’s hard-won tranquility and banish Miranda from the Island for nearly two decades.

Now, in the summer of 1969, Miranda returns at last, as a renowned Shakespearean actress hiding a terrible heartbreak. On its surface, the Island remains the same--determined to keep the outside world from its shores, fiercely loyal to those who belong. But the formerly powerful Fisher family is a shadow of itself, and Joseph Vargas has recently escaped the prison where he was incarcerated for the murder of Miranda’s stepfather eighteen years earlier. What’s more, Miranda herself is no longer a naive teenager, and she begins a fierce, inexorable quest for justice to the man she once loved . . . even if it means uncovering every last one of the secrets that bind together the families of Winthrop Island.

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Friday, February 2, 2018

Review | Zenith by Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings

by Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings 
Published by Harlequin Teen on January 16th, 2018
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Fantasy 
Pages: 512
Format: ARC
Source: Kindly provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review

Summary from Goodreads: 
Most know Androma Racella as the Bloody Baroness, a powerful mercenary whose reign of terror stretches across the Mirabel Galaxy. To those aboard her glass starship, Marauder, however, she's just Andi, their friend and fearless leader.

But when a routine mission goes awry, the Marauder's all-girl crew is tested as they find themselves in a treacherous situation and at the mercy of a sadistic bounty hunter from Andi's past.

Meanwhile, across the galaxy, a ruthless ruler waits in the shadows of the planet Xen Ptera, biding her time to exact revenge for the destruction of her people. The pieces of her deadly plan are about to fall into place, unleashing a plot that will tear Mirabel in two.

Andi and her crew embark on a dangerous, soul-testing journey that could restore order to their shipor just as easily start a war that will devour worlds. As the Marauder hurtles toward the unknown, and Mirabel hangs in the balance, the only certainty is that in a galaxy run on lies and illusion, no one can be trusted.

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It was extremely difficult to finish this book but here I am writing this review feeling almost at a complete loss on how to even begin. I guess I'll start off by saying that this wasn't necessarily a bad book to read, but it did lack some of the depth I needed in order to really get into a book. 

Zenith centres around a young woman named Androma, otherwise known as Andi and/or the Bloody Baroness, and her crew of girls aboard the Marauder spaceship. Pretty early on in the story, she is captured by someone from her past who gives her the option to go to prison or help rescue the prince.

It was a generally okay book to read. It didn't stand out compared to other sci-fi, fantasy, books but it wasn't dull in comparison either. It was like any other typical YA book in this particular sub-genre. It, at times, desperately tries to stand out and feel more but in the end it just fell in comparison to other well known books. 

Most of it felt rather unoriginal, the work was filled with massive amounts of information (at times it felt like too much to even handle). From characters with blue scaly skin, to random planet names, to escape pods that don't function when necessary (isn't that the function of an escape pod?), this story never lacks telling you the most useless information or the most bizarre nonsense. It feels as if Alsberg and Cummings are trying way too hard to write a typical sci-fi fantasy adventure that feels both whimsical and adventurous but still find a way to somehow make it original. It tries to be everything it really isn't, it's like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. 

Everything is rather underwhelming. The writing and dialogue was weird. The romance, like the rest of this story, was pretty bland. I couldn't stand Andi or Dex. Andi was a contradiction wrapped in a riddle, waiting to be solved. She is supposed to be this cold-blooded killer that enjoys brutally killing people but then we see Alsberg and Cummings contradict that when she begins to feel a sense of guilt over the people she supposedly murdered. All of the characters were immature and annoying. None of them were even interesting or at least intriguing in the slightest. 

Impenetrable shield on the Marauder spacecraft but that doesn't stop one of the best crew from being captured and taken over so easily in, seriously, like a chapter. I still don't understand the purpose of naming off all of these random things (like the shield) if it's not going to come in handy. Another thing I didn't understand was why (and how) this spacecraft only had a crew of four people. I mean it's common sense to know that a spacecraft, especially with the way the Marauder was described, would definitely need way more than four people in the entirety of its crew. 

The ending was so abrupt that, for a few minutes, I flipped back and forth believing that either I accidentally skipped a few pages, possibly didn't see the rest of the ending (grabbing two pages instead of one), or maybe there were pages missing. I have read webcomics posted online that are better than what was written and executed here in this story (i.e. Helios:Femina and Empyrea). 

Nonetheless, if you like unoriginal books with a not so thought-out world then this would be the perfect book for you. 


About The Author:

Sasha Alsberg is the #1 New York Times Bestselling coauthor of Zenith, the first book in The Androma Saga. When Sasha is not writing or obsessing over Scotland she is making YouTube videos on her channel, Abookutopia, and studying history at university. She lives in Massachusetts with her two dogs.

Lindsay Cummings is the #1 NYT Bestselling co-author of Zenith: The Androma Saga. She is also the 24-year-old author of The Murder Complex duopoly and The Balance Keepers trilogy for HarperCollins. She lives in North Texas, where she writes full time. Lindsay is represented by Pete Knapp at Park Literary & Media. Find out more about Lindsay and her books, and get writing/publishing advice on her website.  

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