Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Teaser Tuesday (283)


Welcome to Teaser Tuesday, the weekly Meme that wants you to add books to your TBR, or just share what you are currently reading. It is very easy to play along:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! Everyone loves Teaser Tuesday.


35673296

Fender (Kindle 32%)
    - Brent Jones

Brennan returned to the present again, fixated on the notion that California was somehow a beacon of hope. But he couldn't help but wonder what exactly he expected to find out there. A new beginning, all nicely gift wrapped? 

Monday, September 25, 2017

Savoring the Seasons (Chilton Crosse #4)

33844558Julia Bentley spent her fortieth birthday doing what she always does, baking treats for the customers in her Cotswold bakery and taking care of her elderly father. She doesn’t realize how stagnant her life has become until a younger man, Tristan Hannigan, moves to the village and shows interest in her. As Julia becomes closer to Tristan, he begins to season her mundane days and to challenge how she views the world.

The relationship is threatened when Julia’s doubts and insecurities overwhelm her, and the secret she’s afraid to reveal creates a wedge between them. Will Julia choose the easy route, slipping back into her daily routine and living without love? Or will she find the courage to follow her heart and accept the love she deserves?

*May Contain Spoilers*

Traci Borum has brought readers another love story from Chilton Crosse with her fourth book in the series, Savoring the Seasons. With this installment, Julia, the town baker, is given a second chance at life and a new chance at real love, if she decides to take it. 

Julia Rose has helped her father run the bakery in Chilton Crosse for nearly her entire life. She did move to London once, attend school, and try marriage on for a bit, but it didn't seem to fit her. The bakery, however, does fit her and her routine of caring for her father. Julia's a woman in her forties who has accepted her life as it is. Nothing bad, but nothing overly delightful. Some may call it a rut. But when Tristan comes to town, a man eleven years her junior at twenty-nine, Julia starts to wonder if a little change could do her some good. 

As a character, Julia is sweet, incredibly caring, thoughtful, yet insecure and scared of claiming her identity. At times, it seems she can get caught up in what other people think about her so that she ends up being afraid to be herself. I think a lot of readers, myself included, can relate to that sometimes. These personality traits will initially connect Julia with readers, but her daunting secret that threatens her new relationship will bring readers closer to her emotionally. As a middle-aged woman, Julia has had some reproductive problems in the past and she's unable to have children. This frightens her in regard to her younger love interest, creating a serious insecurity that she'll have to share and move past if she wants to claim her happily ever after. With the combination of her personality, her fears, and, above all, her hopes, I think readers will definitely connect with Julia and care about her story as Borum shares the classic story of letting go of fear and making room for love -- and life -- to grow. 

The main plot of this book follows Julia and Tristan's love story. While being romantic, and emotionally complex, the book also shares the story of a community who comes together to celebrate one of their own. As a side plot, the bakery that Julia and her father own is coming up on its fortieth anniversary and a certain townsperson wants to throw an elaborate celebration. This celebration works to remove Julia from her comfort zone and get her more involved in the community, which (as it turns out) is exactly what she needed. 

The books of the Chilton Crosse series are always easy to read, heartwarming novels about love and family and community. Savoring the Seasons is no different. It's a perfect book to take your time with and enjoy the little truths about life and love that Borum explores. 

Rating: 3.5/5 Cups

Read the reviews of previous books in the Chilton Crosse series: 

22383955     23339574     25745080

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

What's Next, Wednesday (73)


  •  To play along share a book you've been looking forward to reading, whether it's new or has been on your reading list for a while.

35673296

I'm looking forward to... 

Fender by Brent Jones. After the death of his wife and daughter, Brennan is taken on a cross-country road trip by his two best friends in hopes that they'll save him from his grief. I feel like this is going to be quite an emotional book, and I usually stay away from those. However, this story seems like one I may regret if I pass it up. 

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Teaser Tuesday (282)


Welcome to Teaser Tuesday, the weekly Meme that wants you to add books to your TBR, or just share what you are currently reading. It is very easy to play along:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! Everyone loves Teaser Tuesday.


33844558

Savoring the Seasons (Kindle 25%)
     - Traci Borum

"I wanted to quit so many times, but I always thought of my brother. He wouldn't want me to quit. So I pushed through the pain, and I did it for him. He's the reason I can walk again." 

Friday, September 15, 2017

The Hunted (Crystal Coast #2)

35195775A new queen rises…

When Stevie vanquished her family’s greatest threat, she thought they’d be safe. Unaware of the evil surrounding her, she trains with her coven and prepares to inherit her mother’s role as queen and protector of the amulet.

Chaplain Benjamin Parris, descendant of the notorious reverend behind the Salem Witch Trails, plots to resume his family’s mission and rid the world of witches. He joins forces with Susan Moore, who’s sought revenge against the coven for years, and together, they formulate a plan to destroy Stevie’s family.

Left weakened after the theft of their protective amulet, the coven confronts the unthinkable as a modern day witch hunt unfolds around them. And this time, Stevie might not be able to save the people she loves.


*May Contain Spoilers*

The Hunted by Chrissy Lessey, the second book in The Crystal Coast series, brings the villains back to Beaufort, NC with more power than the coven can handle. As the first book ended with the seeming defeat of Vanessa, this book picks up with her survival and Susan's unrelenting determination to see the coven decimated.

In this book, the main characters who share the narrator position all experience a change. Stevie, the daughter of the Beaufort Coven's Queen, is still trying to navigate her newly exposed powers. Within this installment readers see Stevie trying to keep the secret of being a witch while raising her autistic son, Charlie, whose powers were also revealed in the first book. However, with the new threat of Susan escaping from the mental health institution (though this is unknown to the coven members for most of the book) Stevie must focus on protecting her son while preparing to take a leadership role in the coven. With this new status, Stevie feels uncertainty in herself and in her powers, appealing to the emotional side of readers and building on the connection made in the first book.

Though Susan's character doesn't change much in this book -- she's evil and expressly focused on destroying the coven -- readers do see just what she's capable of when she has her magic back. Readers will undoubtedly dislike, perhaps even hate, her while learning more about how far she'll go to get her revenge.

The biggest character evolution comes with Vanessa Moore. Though she tried to destroy the coven in the first book, her perception of right and wrong is shifting. Vanessa is finally seeing just how evil her mother is. More importantly, Vanessa is learning that her mother does not care about her -- or anyone for that matter -- if they don't help her cause. As a reader, Vanessa's villain status is wearing off and it causes a change in perception. Vanessa becomes a character that could end up being the key to defeating Susan. The way that her character is written shows her changing emotions and viewpoint on the battle between Susan and the coven, making her a more likeable character. I think the little girl who would do anything to gain her mother's approval will soon be history, leaving the coven with a secret weapon and an important ally in the next book.

The plot of this book focuses on Susan's escape from the mental institution, her retrieval of the amulet, and the fear this incites within the coven. The amulet allows Susan to be all powerful, and the Queen of the coven (Patricia) wants to run like her ancestors have done. Yet, unfortunate events leave the coven broken and Stevie focused on fighting back by the end of the book. This leaves readers with the sense that even though the coven were the ones being hunted in this book, the third installment will be a battle to the bitter end.

Rating: 3.5/5 Cups

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

What's Next, Wednesday (72)


  •  To play along share a book you've been looking forward to reading, whether it's new or has been on your reading list for a while.

33844558

I'm looking forward to...

Savoring the Seasons by Traci Borum. This is the fourth book in the Chilton Crosse series, which I have enjoyed in the past. This book focuses on Julia, a baker in town, who realizes that her life has become a bit stagnant. When Tristan starts spicing things up, Julia will have to decide between her routine life or sharing her secret and opening up. 

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Teaser Tuesday (281)


Welcome to Teaser Tuesday, the weekly Meme that wants you to add books to your TBR, or just share what you are currently reading. It is very easy to play along:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! Everyone loves Teaser Tuesday.


35195775

The Hunted (Kindle 62%)
    - Chrissy Lessey

She blinked back frustrated tears and thought of the queens who had come before her, those fierce hidden warriors who'd kept the amulet secure across the millennia. A lump grew in her throat. She'd failed them and her loyal coven. 

Friday, September 8, 2017

Molten Dusk (The Norse Chronicles #3)

35966043While recovering from a devastating betrayal, Solina becomes increasingly drawn to Thorin as he helps her hunt down Skoll, the mythical wolf who vowed to kill her. If she can find and destroy the beast, she’ll bring a swift and brutal end to her enemies’ schemes. But nothing ever goes as planned in Solina’s strange new world.

During her search for Skoll, Solina uncovers a plot to unleash a battalion of legendary soldiers and launch an apocalyptic war. Before she and her allies can locate the fabled army, several ghosts from her past return to haunt her. Solina must fight for life and the fate of the world, or her hopes for love and a peaceful future will go up in flames.

*May Contain Spoilers*

Molten Dusk by Karissa Laurel has arrived and it does not disappoint fans of The Norse Chronicles series. All of our favorite characters are back and ready for the showdown between the evil Helen Locke and Skoll who want to recreate Ragnarok and Solina, Thorin, and Baldur who want the world as we know it to continue. 

Solina, the incarnation of the Norse sun goddess, is even more stubborn in this installment and her personality adds both humor and lightness to an otherwise dark storyline. As Solina and the son of Thor prepare for the final battle, they must overcome various obstacles that threaten to give Helen the upper hand. But the stakes from the previous books are raised as Thorin and Solina move closer emotionally, and physically, as many readers undoubtedly wanted and expected. With that much more to lose, they are both extremely motivated to defeat Helen and her army of stone golems. It's entertaining and interesting to see how the tough and sharp-tongued Solina begins to let her feelings for Thorin show as the danger threatening her life accumulates. 

As this is probably the final book in The Norse Chronicles, not that I would mind another one, the character development is a little static. For the most part, all of the main characters have reached their peak and are prepared and fully represented. The main thing that is different is that Solina really seems to embrace her powers in this book. It's obvious that she understands them more and she doesn't hesitate to use them. As for the supporting characters, there is more about Skyla's heritage that gets revealed, further expanding a side plot introduced in book two. Also, since readers learned that loveable Val was actually out for revenge in book two, readers get even more closure with that facet of the story... and it's a little sad. 

Another interesting part of the book involves betrayal from the Valkyries. Solina and Thorin have thought that there was a traitor in the midst of the women warriors for a while, and they turn out to be right. This brings Solina's vision from earlier in the series to fruition. My favorite part of the book also included Solina's vision as she finds a woman who can help her make sense of them. Laurel really dives into this ability and it's fascinating, creative, and adds to the fantasy of the book. 

Throughout the series, the main story line involves Helen Locke wanting the wolf, Skoll, to kill Solina so that Ragnorak can be repeated on Earth. Readers obviously don't want this to happen as we've grown to connect with Solina, Thorin, and Baldur over the course of the series. Yet, it's nice that the hunting is coming to a close. Though there are still a few traps that Solina falls into, the final battle is here with Molten Dusk and as I'm pretty picky about climactic endings... I think readers will feel satisfied at the balance Laurel strikes in the final chapters. 

Rating: 4/5 Cups

Read the reviews of books one and two:

25327426     29749337

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

What's Next, Wednesday (71)


  •  To play along share a book you've been looking forward to reading, whether it's new or has been on your reading list for a while.


35195775

I'm looking forward to...

The Hunted by Chrissy Lessey. As the sequel to The Coven, this book promises more magic and more thrill. I'm really excited to start this one. I always feel lucky when I get to read the sequel so close to finishing the first book in a series. I feel like now that I have a foundation for the characters, I'll like this book even more than the first. 

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Teaser Tuesday (280)


Welcome to Teaser Tuesday, the weekly Meme that wants you to add books to your TBR, or just share what you are currently reading. It is very easy to play along:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! Everyone loves Teaser Tuesday.


35966043

Molten Dusk (Kindle 73%)
    - Karissa Laurel

Logically, a night of solid rest would hasten my recuperation, but Val's ghost haunted the quiet moments, and I feared facing his memory more than facing the wolf. 

Friday, September 1, 2017

Dark Designs

35005387Twins Ivy and Violet Grant are opposites. Ivy, a hot-tempered redhead, couldn’t wait to get off the farm and see the world. Violet, a quiet brunette, was content to stay home and help their grandmother with the family business. The one thing they have in common is their magic.

Charlie Logan’s sinister obsession with Ivy Grant has ruled his life. When he discovers a book of dark magic during a burglary, he decides to return to Oak Hill and use his newfound power to gain control over Ivy.

Ivy and Violet, with help from their grandmother, need to practice their magic to overcome the evil seeping into their lives. A battle is coming, and Ivy’s life is not the only one at stake.

*May Contain Spoilers*

Dark Designs by Stefanie Spangler sets two sisters against a demented man who tries to use dark magic to satisfy his sick obsession. Pitting good against evil, this novel offers a family of witches a chance to save one of their own, assisted by a few open-minded members of the small town police force. 

Violet and Ivy are the main characters of this book -- twin sisters who seem more different than alike. Violet has always been an outdoorsy, homey, girl who enjoys life on her grandparent's farm. Ivy, however, isn't really sure where she fits in. After her recent college graduation, she's feeling a little lost, feeling outside of both city and farm life. The main connection that readers will have with these girls rests on the inappropriate incident Ivy had as a young girl. Though nothing happened, the character of Charlie Logan is represented as both demented and perverted. If it hadn't been for Ivy's grandfather, who knows what Charlie would have done to Ivy. With this emotional connection, the book flashes forward to the girls as young adults and recent college grads. However, Charlie has never forgotten Ivy or his feelings for her, and after stumbling upon a book of dark magic -- he now has the means to force her to be his. This set-up aligns the reader with Ivy from the beginning giving them a reason to root for not only her success, but her survival. 

I think the main connection that readers will have with Violet is her blossoming relationship with a police officer, Kevin. This relationship dynamic adds another layer to the story line as Violet and Kevin move toward being a couple. Their relationship also adds a little thrill and nervous energy to the plot as Violet is uncertain how Kevin will react when he finds out that she's a witch. With these details surrounding the two characters, readers will be intrigued and interested in how their relationship plays out after Charlie returns, searching for Ivy. 

The plot of the book focuses on Charlie's devious plans for Ivy. Though they are never revealed, they are undoubtedly sinister and it's up to Ivy, Violet, and their grandmother to stop him. Especially when Charlie accidentally (or intentionally) calls some sort of demon to live in his body and finish his plans. Though there are several dynamics and mysteries brought up in the book, the plot moves pretty quickly. However, not all the mysteries are solved, leading me to believe that there could be a sequel soon to follow. The book overall is very enjoyable with a few close calls and a pretty climactic ending, though the build-up was a little more than necessary compared to the short battle at the end. Regardless, I do think readers will enjoy this paranormal fantasy, even though I felt like the magic of the main characters is a bit downplayed. Still, I am very interested in the mystery surrounding the twins' parents and would be excited to read more about that if there is a sequel. 

Rating: 3.5/5 Cups