Christmas Awards 2011

Tuesday 23 September 2014

The Last Orphans

The Last Orphans by N.W. Harris

Publisher: Clean Teen Publishing

October 2014

ISBN: 978-1940534893

Pages: 222

Contemporary, Young Adult

Leeville & Atlanta, Georgia

 Shane Tucker is a normal sixteen-year-old until one horrifying day changes all that for him and every other kid in the world.

In just hours the entire adult population is gone leaving just their children behind to take care of themselves in the aftermath of a freak, horrific occurrence.  Now Shane is a newly made elder of his small town.  Shane finds himself in the role of caretaker for a large group of juvenile survivors.  One of which is Kelly Douglas who before now was an out-of-his league classmate.  Who before everything happened wouldn’t give Shane a second glance. 

All together the survivors begin a quest to find out just why the adult population was slaughtered.  What they didn’t expect was to find more horrifying then the deaths is that the annihilation of the adults was just the start of what is happening.  Shane and his friends think they are just the unlucky survivors left to deal with the new messed up planet.  Now they find out they are in actuality the next victims.  There is an unknown power that won’t stop until the entire human population is dead. 

This is a start of a series that if the rest is as good as this one will prove to be a phenomenal series.  The way the kids are forced to deal with what has happened and how they overcome every obstacle that is placed in their path makes for a powerful story that is one that readers won’t soon forget.  The action is non-stop and seeing how Shane and his group of friends stick together and work together to deal with the new reality of their life is engrossing and makes for a read that is very hard to put down.  It will also have readers eagerly awaiting the next book to come out to see just where this is headed.  It ends with a cliffhanger that works very well with the story overall.  This is series that is sure to prove a favorite among readers of all ages.

I give this one 5 red roses


Monday 22 September 2014

The Prince Who Loved Me

The Prince Who Loved Me by Karen Hawkins

Publisher: Pocket Books

September 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4516-8524-4

Pages: 355

Historical, Romance

A handsome prince who is also a rake and doesn’t believe in true love meets a lass that is stubborn and who won’t settle for less.

Prince Alexsey Romanovin enjoys a carefree life with flirting and more with any lady that crosses his path.  Then the interfering Grand Duchess Natasha decides it is time for Alexsey, her grandson, to wed.  Alexsey soon finds himself in Scotland determined to put an end to those plans.  Bronwyn Murdoch seems the perfect answer as she isn’t to the duchess’s taste at all as she is brainy, bookish and bespectacled.  

Bronwyn has little time for a handsome flirt when she is at the beck and call of her ambitious stepmother and her social butterfly stepsisters.  She is sure no spoiled arrogant prince would be seriously interested in a firm-minded female like herself.  Now she is determined to have some fun and turn the prince’s game around on him and show him that an ordinary woman can bring a prince to his knees.

This is a fun story that takes the fairy tale of Cinderella and turns it into a Scottish tale that has a lot of humor in it.  The characters are fun and interesting and keep the reader glued to the pages as they see just what will happen next and if Bronwyn will get a happily-ever-after.   This a great start to a new series that if the rest of the stories prove to be as original as this one it is going to be one series that will be a lot of fun and will pull at readers’ heartstrings.  Readers will also never look at Cinderella the same again after reading this one.  It will also have readers wondering just what fairy tale will be next that will get it own twist. 

I give this one 4-1/2 red roses


Saturday 20 September 2014

Mine to Have

Mine to Have by Cynthia Eden

Publisher: Cynthia Eden

September 2014

Pages: 346

Contemporary, Romantic Suspense

Miami, Florida

Elizabeth Ward is being held hostage in the backroom of a low end bar in Miami called The Blade when she first sees Saxon Black.  She isn’t sure if he is there to raise some hell or to save the day.  Though he seems to be her best chance at survival.  Suddenly she is away from the men with the guns and riding fast and hard on the back of Saxon’s motorcycle. 

For far too long Saxon has been working undercover.  When he first sees Elizabeth she has a gun to her head and he knows he will do anything to keep her safe.  He gets her away from her abductors but the threat is far from over.  There is a price on Elizabeth’s head and if he can’t keep her safe she will end up dead. 

Elizabeth and Saxon on suddenly on the run as their enemies close in on them.  The longer they are together the hotter the passion between them gets.  Saxon vows to let no harm to come to Elizabeth no matter what he has to do to keep her safe because he is falling for her fast.  He is determined to stop the killers on her trail and then he is determined to have her forever.

This is another chapter in a series that is proving to be addictive.  The series has a lot of action and suspense that keeps coming with every page that is turned.  Just when the reader thinks they have it figured out another twist it thrown at them to make them wonder just what is happening and where this one is going.  It is not a disappointment and makes for a book that is extremely hard to put down.  Readers will find that despite the size it proves to be a very fast read because they won’t want to put it down until they finish the whole story.  While each book can be read as a standalone it proves to be much better if the reader reads the whole series in order.  After this one readers will be hoping for another book in this series.  The characters are rich and complicated and make for a mesmerizing story that they won’t soon forget. This is one author that never disappoints her fans and readers. 

I give this one 5 red roses


Wednesday 17 September 2014


Sway by Kat Spears

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

September 2014

ISBN: 978-1-250-05143-1

Pages: 320

Contemporary, Young Adult

Each one bought their popularity and he now owned their secrets.  Now the question is will it cost him the one person he loves the most. 

Jesse Alderman is also known as Sway.  He is the one person that can get things people want for them.  He is also a high school senior that is emotionally detached.  He knows what he wants until he meets Bridget Smalley, the girl of his dreams.  Now he is out of his element and in uncharted territory. 

This is a modern day Cyrano de Bergerac that is told with unapologetic truth and biting humor.  It also proves to be a book that once the reader starts it they will have a hard time putting it down.  The high school world comes to life with every word that is read.  The characters and what they are dealing with in each of their lives and how those lives intersects in powerful ways that will prove to be a very hard book to forget long after the reader has finished reading it.  It is also interesting to see how Jesse starts out one way and how over the course of dealing with others his true self comes out.  The story is rich in detail and will pull at the reader’s emotions as they go through each part of Jesse’s life.  This is a book that will have readers wanting to read more by this author as she paints a picture that feels real with each word that is read.  This is one book that is worth reading and should be put on the keeper shelves of readers.  This is a story that will pull at reader’s emotions and will have them looking at the world around them a little bit differently.

I give this one 5 red roses


The Raven Boys

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Publisher: Scholastic

August 2013

ISBN: 978-0-545-42493-6

Pages: 408

Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult

Henrietta, Virginia

Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother every year on St. Mark’s Eve. Blue’s mother sees the soon-to-be dead as they walk past them.  Blue has never seen them until this year when she sees a boy emerge from the dark and speak to her.

A rich student at Aglionby, a private school, Gansey is that boy.  Blue has always stayed away from the Aglionby boys also known as Raven Boys as they can only mean trouble. 

For the first time ever she ignores her policy of staying away as Blue is drawn to Gansey in ways she can’t completely explain.  He is on a quest that has drawn three other Raven Boys into it.  Adam is a scholarship student that resents the privilege around him.  Ronan whose soul has emotions ranging from anger to despair.  And Noah the watcher who notices everything but says very little.

All her life as long as she can remember Blue was told that she would cause her true love to die.  She never thought it would be a problem as she doesn’t believe in true love.  Now her life is caught in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys.  Blue isn’t so sure of anything anymore.

This is a start to a series that with this story proves to be very intriguing.  While it starts a little slow the pace picks up and moves at a faster pace that pulls the reader into a world where the possibility of magic makes for a book that is very engrossing.  The characters prove to be complicated and fascinating as they each deal with their pasts that aren’t as simple as they would wish.  The emotional roller coaster that each character takes sucks in the reader as they get lost in each one’s struggle to overcome the obstacles that are in their way.   While it ends with a cliff hanger of sorts it proves to be a good way to end the book and will have readers wanting to read the next book to see what is going to happen next and just how it will all play out.

I give this one 4 red roses


Wednesday 10 September 2014

Shadow Falls: The Beginning

Shadow Falls: The Beginning By C.C. Hunter

2 Books in 1: Born at Midnight and Awake at Dawn

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

March 2013

ISBN: 978-1-250-03682-7

Pages: 398/383

Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult

Fallen, Texas

Kylie Galen finds herself at the wrong party with the wrong people and that one night changes her life forever.  Now her mother has sent her to Shadow Falls, a camp for troubled teens.  Kylie quickly realizes that this is one camp where the kids are far from ordinary.  They are supernatural and they are trying to harness their power, control their magic and still be able to function in the normal world.  Kylie may have never felt normal but she doesn’t belong with paranormal freaks either.  Or maybe she does.  They insist that Kylie is one of them.  She was brought there for a reason and now she has to figure out what that is. 

Kylie doesn’t think life can get any more complicated until Derek and Lucas enter her life.  Derek is half-fae and wants to be her boyfriend.  Lucas is a hot werewolf that Kylie shares a secret past with.  Derek and Lucas both have a strong hold on her heart and yet they couldn’t be more different.  Kylie struggles to figure out her new abilities and at the same time figure out her emotions.  Now she is finding out about the dark side of the supernatural world.  There is an evil enemy in the shadows that is threatening everything that means anything to Kylie and it is also bringing her closer to her destiny.

This is actually the first two books in the series in one book.  It also proves just how addictive this series is going to prove to be.  Once the reader enters this world they will find themselves extremely reluctant to leave it. The characters and story arc proves to be unique and very hard to put down once the reader starts.  Watching Kylie discover herself and her abilities proves to be interesting as she goes through the obstacles that help her grow and learn.  If the rest of the books in the series live up to the first two this is going to put on a lot of keeper shelves to be taken down again and again for many re-reads.  This is a series that pulls you in and doesn’t let you leave even after the very last page. 

I give this one 5 red roses


death and the girl he loves

death and the girl he loves by Darynda Jones

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

October 2013

ISBN:  978-0-312-62522-1

Pages: 255

Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult

Banger, Maine & Riley’s Switch, New Mexico

Most girls wouldn’t want the fate of the world resting on their shoulders and Lorelei McAlister is no different.  Unfortunately for her the fate of the world rests completely on her shoulders.  Lorelei has seen the horrors that lie beneath the everyday world.  Those horrors are also getting her friends killed.  To protect those she loves she agrees to leave the sanctity of her hometown and is sent to a world that is completely different.  Boarding school.  Though she is still being watched even in her new world. Someone knows who she is and just what she carries in her soul.  She is also seeing visions but that is nothing new for her.

Lorelei must now face the fact that no matter where she goes there are people that want her dead.  No matter how far she goes her friends and family will still be in danger.  Lucky for her those friends include the handsome Angel of Death and a fiercely protective half-angel.  Not to mention the ragtag group of loyal supporters that are more than willing to get a little dirty to fight pure evil.

This brings to an end a trilogy that is wonderfully written and will have readers hating to leave the world that has Lorelei McAlister and friends in it.  The action is explosive and will keep readers wondering what is going to happen next and where it will come from.  The characters are well written and readers will find them easy to relate to.  This one will also have readers wishing for more from this world but it is wrapped up very nicely and ties up all the loose ends.  It is also a trilogy that readers will want to re-read just to revisit the great characters that occupy this world.  This story will take readers on an emotional roller coaster that will leave them happy with the ending.

I give this one 4-1/2 red roses


Turned at Dark

Turned at Dark by C.C. Hunter
A Bonus Shadow Falls Short Story

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

March 2011

Pages: 51

Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult


Della Tsang is strong-willed and independent and she most certainly didn’t believe in ghosts.  At least she didn’t until she sees her dead cousin in a dark alley.  Della also didn’t believe in vampires until she became one.  Now she has to decide if she should follow her cousin and leave everything she knows or go to Shadow Falls a camp for special teens.

This is great short story that adds to the overall story plot of the Shadow Falls series.  It is short and sweet and gives readers some history on Della and helps readers understand her better.  It manages to cover a great deal of story in a very short amount of pages.  While it isn’t necessary to read to understand the world of Shadow Falls it helps readers to understand where Della is coming from and how her past shapes her life now.  It fits well with the other books. 

I give this one 4-1/2 red roses



Illusion by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

April 2014

ISBN: 978-1-250-00284-6

Pages: 448

Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult

New Orleans

Nick Gautier is finding that as tired as he is of his destiny that sometimes when you wish for something else you might get it and that life just might end up worse.  He doesn’t want to be destined to end the world as the son of a demon.  He is also tired of demons and other preternatural creatures that want him dead.  He is wishing for normal problems and to just be a normal teen.

Nick ends up getting sucked into an alternate reality where he finds that normality isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.  In the alternate reality his mother is married to his mentor and his best friend back home who is also an Atlantean god is in this reality a human geek.  Nick learns that no life is free of pain and that every person has their own place in the universe.  Even when you are the son of a hated demon.  More importantly he learns that the powers he thought were a curse aren’t and that the world needs a champion.  Especially when that champion is the last person the world’s enemies see coming to help the very people he is supposed to destroy.

Now as Nick works to restore his real world old enemies and new friends will square off for another battle that will either bring him back or end him forever. 

This is another book that takes the reader on a ride that will have them never seeing what is coming next.  It will also have readers eagerly counting down the days until the next book comes out.  This is proving to be one series that doesn’t get old and gets better with each new book that comes out.  Reading how Nick gets out of all the trouble he constantly gets into makes for a very fun series that will keep readers laughing at his antics.  It is also interesting to see how Nick’s early life it changing and evolving.  This one proves to be fun with all the characters being completely different in the alternate reality that has a great deal of humor and blindsides the readers with everything that comes at Nick. It is fun to see Nick approach all that comes at him with his usual humor and smart mouth.  This is proving to be a very entertaining series.

I give this one 4-1/2 red roses