Gilded Cage (Dark Gifts, #1) by Vic James


30337432Blurb:
 Not all are free. Not all are equal. Not all will be saved.

Our world belongs to the Equals — aristocrats with magical gifts — and all commoners must serve them for ten years. But behind the gates of England’s grandest estate lies a power that could break the world.

A girl thirsts for love and knowledge.

Abi is a servant to England’s most powerful family, but her spirit is free. So when she falls for one of the noble-born sons, Abi faces a terrible choice. Uncovering the family’s secrets might win her liberty, but will her heart pay the price?

A boy dreams of revolution.

Abi’s brother, Luke, is enslaved in a brutal factory town. Far from his family and cruelly oppressed, he makes friends whose ideals could cost him everything. Now Luke has discovered there may be a power even greater than magic: revolution.

And an aristocrat will remake the world with his dark gifts.

He is a shadow in the glittering world of the Equals, with mysterious powers no one else understands. But will he liberate—or destroy?

Pre order Releases February 14, 2017

Favorite quote: 

Trust was what made everything possible.  Trust lent you someone else’s eyes, someones else’s strong arms or quick brain.  Made you bigger that just yourself.  Trust was how the club worked.  How this whole crazy dream of abolition could work, if people could just come together and hold their nerve.  Not even the Equals-not even their Skill-would be more powerful than that.  

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4 stars

Wow!

This book took me a while to finish because it had so many great aspects to it and I wanted to savor them all.  Slavery, oppression, rebellion.  All wonderful obstacles to read about in a book.  This is totally my taste.  And I was surprised that the author is a woman, since, the name is a bit masculine.  But whatev’s, I usually read books written by woman.

This concept of slavery in this book is different than other books with this underlying theme.  Instead of being forever indentured, it is a finite amount of time you are required to serve.  Almost like a draft for the military if you will.  And you get to choose when you serve it, nothing like a little leeway for your slave days to feel a bit more in your control eh?

This author didn’t skip on the descriptions in this book.  We see the slums they live in as well as the extravagant estates the Equals live on in contrast.  We hear the screams of the slaves that can’t take the abuse they receive and we feel the uncontrollable loss of hope most of the people have when justice is constantly favoring the powerful.

My favorite character was by far Luke.  He was young and naive at first. But we get to see his transformation from boy to man as his story unfolds.  It’s subtle enough that you almost miss it.  How his family becomes less about blood and more about the people he surrounds himself with.  His character grows the most in this book I think.

I’d say that the second best characters were the entire Jardine family at Kyneston.  Some good, some bad, some you couldn’t really tell, but all highly entertaining in their own way.  I can’t wait to read the next one. Which means a whole lot of waiting on my end.

Poo!

I received this ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest/unbiased opinion.

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Agent I1: Tristan (The D.I.R.E. Agency #1) by Joni Hahn


20307976Blurb: 
He’s an agent for hire.

She’s a small town sweetheart.

What could they possibly have in common… except danger?

Raised in the art of warfare, Former Navy SEAL Tristan Jacobs has always been a force to reckon with. Now that D.I.R.E. has successfully implemented his scientific enhancements, he’s a walking weapon. Unstoppable, as long as he stays focused.

When ex-BUD/S teammate Aidan Monroe interrupts his long-awaited sabbatical to call in a favor, Tristan reluctantly fills the simple request: take out his sister’s fiancé.

One problem: Rachel Monroe – smokin’ hot, kind-hearted, and in desperate need of a protector. After a night of mind-blowing passion, Tristan’s afraid unstoppable is just a memory. Knowing Aidan’s temper, Tristan could be, too.

Rachel Monroe had a plan to help her mother. Her brother ruined everything when his gorgeous, super-agent friend teleported her to his island getaway – and his bed. She’s drawn to him despite the fact he’s a professional agent, much like the people suspected of killing her father.

Now, his enemies have come to her small town, looking for vengeance. Have they found more than they bargained for? Or, does the past have its own retribution in mind?

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Favorite Quotes: 

Rachel smiled as love struck her like a placid wave, washing over her, soothing her with the comfort of its truth.

“Don’t you get it? Ensuring you’re safe is worth more to me than my life ever will. I don’t have anything outside of D.I.R.E. If I die, I want to die for something I believe in and, take my word for it, there isn’t much out there. But you, Rachel, you’re worth dying for.”

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4 Stars

This book is perma free!  It is a pretty steamy read with sci-fi aspects and lots of action. A trifecta of awesomeness for my tastes.

The brothers best friend romance’s are some of my favorite ones to read.  I loved how strong willed and fiesty Rachel was.  But she was also very self-sacrificing for her family and very inquisitive. An all around three dimentional character.  The best kind!

And Tristan was the tall loner that never had as much to lose as Rachel with regards to a friendships and love.  Her brother being the closest thing to family in his lonely life.  And he has one of the coolest powers ever!  What I felt was different about this book is usually the romance is the subplot but in this one the sci-fi seemed to be the subplot and it read differently because of it.  In a real good way.  It was very underplayed and his powers were very much made an extension of his other qualities, such as his SEAL training.

They were total opposites and boy did they attract!  Their chemistry was very steamy and they had a hard time attempting to resist, which I thought was awesome.  The back and forth banter between them was like foreplay.  Great romance, opening the door for the supporting character’s books of their own.  I love these kinds of series.

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Golden Son (Red Rising #2) by Pierce Brown


21425079Blurb: 
As a Red, Darrow grew up working the mines deep beneath the surface of Mars, enduring backbreaking labor while dreaming of the better future he was building for his descendants. But the Society he faithfully served was built on lies. Darrow’s kind have been betrayed and denied by their elitist masters, the Golds—and their only path to liberation is revolution. And so Darrow sacrifices himself in the name of the greater good for which Eo, his true love and inspiration, laid down her own life. He becomes a Gold, infiltrating their privileged realm so that he can destroy it from within.

A lamb among wolves in a cruel world, Darrow finds friendship, respect, and even love—but also the wrath of powerful rivals. To wage and win the war that will change humankind’s destiny, Darrow must confront the treachery arrayed against him, overcome his all-too-human desire for retribution—and strive not for violent revolt but a hopeful rebirth. Though the road ahead is fraught with danger and deceit, Darrow must choose to follow Eo’s principles of love and justice to free his people.

He must live for more.

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Favorite Quotes:

I’ve seen her hanged a thousand times now as her martyrdom spreads across the worlds, city by city. Yet each time, it strikes me like a physical blow, nerve endings shivering in my chest, heart beating fast, neck tight just under the jaw. How cruel a life, that the sight of my dead wife means hope.

 Part of me wishes I would remember only Eo. That my mind belonged to her, so I could be like one of those knights of legend. A man so in love with one lost that he closes his heart to all others. But I am not that legend. In so many ways, I’m still a boy, lost and afraid, seeking warmth and love. When I feel dirt, I honor Eo. And when I see fire, I remember the warmth and flicker of the flames across Mustang’s skin as we lay in our chamber of ice and snow.

A dread creature stitched from shadow and muscle and armor. Flowing, not running. Perverse. Like looking at a blade or a weapon made flesh. This is a creature that dogs would flee. That cats would hiss at. One that should never exist on any level above the first tier of hell.

She is different from her people. And when she tries to do as they do, it cracks her heart to the core. Looking at her, I know I was wrong. She is not a distraction. She does not compromise my mission. She is the point of it all. Yet I cannot kiss her. Not now when I must break her heart to break this empire. It would not be fair. I’ve fallen in love with her, but she’s fallen for my lies.

It is a humbling thing knowing someone cannot live without you, knowing that though they’ve betrayed you, they wish for nothing but absolution. And as he clenches my back, I wrap my arms around his armor and try not to cry myself. Even the cruel feel pain. And even the cruel can change. I hope this changes him. He could do so much, if only he would learn.

Friendships take minutes to make, moments to break, years to repair. 

These Peerless thump their chests in salute to me. The monsters. They go with the wind, chasing power. But they don’t realize power doesn’t shift. Power is resolute. It is the mountain, not the wind. To shift so easily is to lose trust. And trust is what has kept me alive. Trust in my friends, and their trust in me.

If I can protect this city of Agea, if I can show them that there is a better breed of man, then just maybe I’ll win Agea’s heart. Capture it. Protect it. Be loved by those in it as I’m loved by my army. But first I must crack her open.

Some men have threads of life so strong that they fray and snap those around them. Enough friends have paid for my war. This one’s on me.

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5 stars

The political intrigue, outer space, the murder, the gore, the dystopian setting. I love this book. Its better than the first one. There is so much violence that is tempered with introspection.I can’t tell you how well written this book is.  I loved the first one immensely and never thought for a moment that the second could be so much better. I love being wrong!

There was depth in the first book.  The characters were well rounded and intense,  but in this one they go deeper.  We learn who is really with Darrow and how he navigates the fine line between successfully creating dissent among the political leaders and failure causing a civil uprising.

He is like an M&M.   A tough hard outer shell protecting the soft vulnerable inside. And I think he is delicious.   I love him for his faithfulness to his dead wife.  He is constantly weighing and measuring himself, trying to make sure his choices are what Eo truly stood for.  It was quite a beautiful  read.

There was nothing that was left out in this book.  The action scenes were spectacularly detailed.  The intrigue was substantial and I could piece together the different factions that were involved.  The love story was epic.  EPIC I tell you.  There wasn’t a lot of romance to speak of.  I know it sounds confusing but you must understand this is during a time of reform and the people are capable of great love but unable to express it and become involved till their nation is at rest. That’s the caliber of characters I was reading.  So brave of them to put aside their petty self interests for the great of their world, don’t ya think?

I can;t say enough about this book.  If you haven’t read it and are a fan of Sci-fi/Dystopian, this is the book for you!  If you can’t afford it, hit me up and I’ll see if it lets me loan it to you.  Everyone should read this series!!!  Can’t wait to get my greedy little hands on the next one!

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Unthinkable by Nina Croft

Blurb:
31838433.jpgJake Callahan, leader of the Tribe, has always believed he’s one of the good guys. Now, hunted by the government he used to work for, he’s taking a crash course in being bad. What he desperately needs is a bargaining tool, and that’s unfortunate for Christa Winters, daughter of Jake’s former boss.

Christa is a scientist, a total geek, and a good girl with a secret hankering for bad boys. Which turns out to be embarrassingly inconvenient when she’s kidnapped by a stunningly gorgeous—but obviously bad-to-the-bone—man intent on using her against the father she loves. A man with a seemingly uncanny ability to know exactly when she’s thinking about kissing him—which is most of the time.

But people are dying, and it becomes clear that the stakes are much higher than Jake ever imagined. Someone is out to obliterate the Tribe and everyone associated with it, including Christa. Only by working together to uncover the secrets behind the past, can they ever hope to have a future.

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My Review:
4 stars — I received a free copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased review/opinion.

You know, it’s actually been a while since I read a good paranormal romance/urban fantasy.  I don’t actually read a lot in this genre, but for me what makes this more urban fantasy in my head is the greater action sequences, and the sort of government/military aspect of the characters.  I don’t think that’s actually correct, but just shows where my head is at.  Regardless, those were the elements I really enjoyed about this book.  It had some great sassy characters, an intriguing paranormal aspect that looks to be setting up for a great new series (I can’t help but wonder if the next books will be about Christa and Jake, or other characters in the Tribe), and a good deal of suspense, mystery, and action.

I enjoyed being in both Christa and Jake’s heads…and I enjoyed watching Jake read Christa’s mind.  Christa was such a delight — innocent and sweet, but with a side of sassy and strong…and quite frankly her head was hilarious.  And Jake was the typical broody alpha-ish male who takes a lot on his shoulders, but is taken down by sweet little Christa.  They had great chemistry, and I thoroughly enjoyed the steamy scenes.

We had some fantastic secondary characters, especially in the Tribe members.  I can see this setting up to be a series where we get to see each Tribe members story, and I can’t wait.  There’s so many I’m curious about.

And the paranormal type aspect kept me engaged…I was definitely curious to find out what the mystery would be, and I received enough answers to leave me satisfied, but with enough still unanswered to make me want to come back for more.

Strangely enough I think I have a few Nina Croft books, but this might be the first I’ve actually read..no wait, I’ve read a short story by her in an anthology, and now that I vaguely recall, I wonder if it was about one of the Tribe.  I think I need to go reread it.  She’s very engaging, I will be looking forward to reading more of her in the future.

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Ten Lives by Christian Terry

ten livesBlurb: After agreeing to hunt down an ancient relic on an alien world, Mike Wesley may have gotten more than he bargained for: the mark of the hero which gives him the ability to respawn after death, ten times.

Now, between the deadly booby traps and the cute, cuddly murderous cat creatures that inhabit the world of Kelenia, he’ll need each one of his new lives if he wants to make it back to Atlanta in one piece.

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Favorite Quote:

“The portal is near a vast underground river that can be accessed through man-sized holes in your thoroughfares,” Ariel said with a flourish. “You’re talking about the sewer, aren’t you?”  “I do not know this word: sewer.”  “Does it stink down by this river?”  “There is the smell of putrescence, yes.”  “You live in the sewer.” 

3.5 stars

This book had some subtle humor in it.  I’m not sure if I am the target audience for this book.  It seemed to be a play on video games.  I don’t really play those that much but I understand the concept.

The story was easy to follow and predictable, a fact which I suspect was the authors intention.  I mean, it follows a game story line pretty good.  And I started to see how it could be a game itself.  Like when they were trapped in that room with the walls closing in, totally a problem solving part of the game.  The characters were something I could see in a game world too, the lovable but clumsy sidekick , the mentor and the love interest. Mike, the MC, was a pretty straightforward guy.  Hard worker, didn’t like drama, and in the habit of helping those in need.

One thing that I really didn’t like was the fact that Louis’ name kept getting changed to Lou or Piggy.  It was done so often that it really stuck out to me.  If you are going to have a nickname, only use the given name in moments of depth that you want to stand out to the reader. Otherwise, the switching of the names becomes tiresome to me and holds no meaning.  Three different names is too much.

I did love the cat though, wish we could have saw more of him. Also, I didn’t understand why Ariel’s daughter hated Mike.  And when he asked, they told him it was complicated and suddenly Mike understood, but I didn’t.  I have been known to be a bit of a dense reader though so maybe that went over my head.

All in all not bad for a debut novel.

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Mercury Striking (The Scorpius Syndrome #1) by Rebecca Zanetti

mercury strikingBlurb: With nothing but rumors to lead her, Lynn Harmony has trekked across a nightmare landscape to find one man—a mysterious, damaged legend who protects the weak and leads the strong. He’s more than muscle and firepower—and in post-plague L.A., he’s her only hope. As the one woman who could cure the disease, Lynn is the single most volatile—and vulnerable—creature in this new and ruthless world. But face to face with Jax Mercury…

Danger has never looked quite so delicious…

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5 stars

Hot damn! This guy is an alpha and he is totally unapologetic about it.  I kinda like it.  How he just tells you what he is doing and knows its not right but he does it anyway.  Why? Cause its a new world and shit needs to get done.  In most books with alpha’s I tend to gloss over their domineering, possessive and sexist attitudes  because the story usually has a great ending.

But in this story the behavior is explained in a way that almost makes you think, oh yeah, I see why he needs to act that way.  And the next thing you know, you are on board with his alpha traits.  Wait? What happened?

And Lynne is a bad ass in her own right.  She is dangerously smart, knows how to shoot a gun if needed and had nothing to lose, making her doubly dangerous.   But when she sees how Mercury has his compound organized with everyone working together, it gives her a bit of hope.  And she can’t help but fall for the closed off yet sweet when-no-one-is-looking asshole.

Favorite Quotes

A friend is one who has the same enemies as you have. —Abraham Lincoln

“You go from calling her a dangerous carrier to asking if she’s good to look at?” “Yeah,” Tace drawled. “There’s something sexy about a woman so dangerous she can kill you by biting your finger. Is our great hope pleasing to the eye?”

“How do you know so much?” “Books.” He idly played with her hair. “The judge who gave me the choice of military or prison kept in touch, and he loved philosophy and literature. He would send me books all over the world. At first I read just because I owed him. Then I read because I grew. Finally, I read because the words began to make sense.”

Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. —Helen Keller

 Jax studied his group of closest confidants, his mind settling. He had an excellent doctor who might be turning into a Ripper, a former LAPD officer who couldn’t shoot worth shit and wanted to gossip more than fight, and a former special-ops killing machine with an agenda he wouldn’t share. Not to mention a woman in the other room who’d stolen his heart and wore a bull’s-eye on hers. “Do you ever just stop and wonder how the hell you ended up here?” he asked. “All the time,” Tace and Raze said in unison, while Sami just nodded.
Go read this.

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Out of This World by Patricia Eimer

Blurb:
30819179.jpgEngaged to a murderous, intergalactic warlord, Capridocian Princess Corripraxis is running for her life and crash lands on Earth, where large creatures moo at her, threatening to expose her as an alien. If she can just get some help—in the form of the very attractive Earth male who just pulled up in a tow truck—she can hunker down in the Martian colony until she figures out her next move, right?

One hunky Marine. One sexy alien. One deranged intergalactic warlord. What could go wrong?

At the scene of an accident, a sexy woman asks ex-Marine Mattias Cadiz to take her to Roswell NM. He really should be getting on with living a nice, sane—quiet—life, because the very pretty Corri is probably on her way to the annual Convention with the other alien-crazy wackos. Still, no way he can refuse such a gorgeous, if confused, violet-eyed beauty.

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My Review:
2.5 stars — I received a free copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased review/opinion.

This book was not a match for me, and to be honest I should have just DNF’d it.  But I always feel like I should give books I get for free a bigger shot somehow, and so I pushed forward.  I don’t know that I can articulate my expectations from the blurb, but it just did not match up with those expectations in the end.  I expected a rom-com I guess, and theoretically that’s what I got, but the problem was that the humour didn’t work for me.  I even tried explaining the book to my husband, and apparently I did a piss poor job b/c he said the book sounded awful.  *sigh*  But trying to explain to my husband that while the humour didn’t work for me, it might for others was like…I don’t know.  Something impossible.  Brain’s not working right now.

So one of my biggest problems is that I couldn’t suspend my disbelief.  Right from the first page I was questioning things: if they have tentacles, how are they punching in numbers?  Wouldn’t they have a different interface?  And the next few examples might be minorly spoilery, so be warned.  How does she eat metal in her cloaked body?  Or is it just an illusion, and her teeth are just really strong?  If she eats metal, then what happens when she consumes human food?  Wouldn’t her digestive system work differently then?  If she watches TV from Earth, then why wouldn’t she know water is blue and earth is brown?  Also, how is she reading books from Earth if there has been no contact?

Honestly, it felt like the author just decided to think up the wackiest characteristics for her aliens without giving them any sense of realism and believability.  Which is probably ok for some people, but I’m not that person apparently.  Heck, I wasn’t even happy that Mattias sometimes had a limp, other times had a prosthetic and yet we never seem him taking care of his fake limb or anything.  *sigh*  I’m too much of a details girl.

So even ignoring all of that, I didn’t even really like either of the main characters.  I didn’t swoon over Mattias, and I didn’t really feel connected to Corri at all.  I was probably more interested in Brandt and Daria.  Or even Flo and Bub.

For me it was just a book trying a bit too hard to be funny without hitting its mark in my opinion.  And in the end I didn’t really get anything else from it either — romance, action, suspense…drama.  It just fell flat for me.

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Remember Jamie Baker by Kelly Oram

Blurb:
30334744Remember Jamie Baker is the explosive and long awaited conclusion to the Jamie Baker trilogy. With all the action of the best superhero science fiction and epic romance as only bestselling teen romance author Kelly Oram can write, this book will have you laughing, swooning, and wanting to save the world!

Plagued by memory loss, Jamie Baker searches high and low for the answers to who she is, where she comes from, and why she’s able to do things other humans can’t. A not-so-simple task when she’s hiding from the people responsible for her amnesia—an evil scientific research company that wants to capture her at any cost.

When Jamie’s quest for the truth reveals a devastating betrayal from the one person she thought she could trust, she’s forced to team up with a secret military organization in order to ensure her safety and stop Visticorp’s horrific human experimenting once and for all.

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My Review:
4.5 stars — SO WORTH THE WAIT!!!  OK, so technically I didn’t wait as long as some fans, b/c I put off reading book 2 when I first got it because I knew the conclusion didn’t have a release day yet (or heck, was even written).  But even if I had been waiting those few years, it would have been worth it.  I LOVED Being Jamie Baker (4.5 star rounded up to 5), and then was majorly conflicted and a bit let down by More Than Jamie Baker (3.5 star rounded down to 3), so I was uncertain how the series would end.  BUT OMG.  Well, as you can see, I loved it.  Like seriously, everything I loved about this series was just there and present, and all the things that detracted from it for me were mitigated and reasonable.

I felt like in book 2 there was so much Teddy and, well, I hated him, so that really worried me coming into this book.  Especially b/c Jamie was so oblivious to him.  But none of my worries were founded in this book.  Teddy was still there, but in a much more behind the scenes capacity that made me so relieved.  And Jamie still felt compassion towards him, which given who Jamie is – it makes sense.  But she wasn’t blinded to all his faults.  THANK THE BABY JESUS.  So while he still causes all kinds of grief, it all worked much better in the book for me.  Seriously, you cannot know how relieved I am.

The memory loss thing was intriguing.  I didn’t expect it to take over so much of the plot, but I guess that’s because I didn’t really think about what all it would mean for Jamie.  But it was well done.  Occasionally I had moments where my interest waned, but that could be because I’ve had too much life stuff going on at the time I was reading this, and so I couldn’t just read and devour like I normally would.

Ryan Miller was everything we love about Ryan Miller and more.  If you thought you were in love with him before, prepare to fall in love even more.  He is such a funny character, b/c he is so sweet and positive and thoughtful, but he’s also this arrogant and kind of cocky guy…but somehow it’s endearing.

The chemistry was through the roof.  OMG.  Superkisses.  I forgot how much I love superkisses.

The side characters were AMAZING!!!  I LOVED all of them, from the Major, to the new Aces, to Abiodun, but especially Tyson!!!  They added so much and I just adored the scenes where they were all bantering back and forth.  What a great military family.

And the ending was perfection.  From the edge of your seat climax, to the more epilogue-esque conclusion.  I wasn’t quite sure how it was going to go, and though I would have been satisfied with any number of ways, Ms. Oram wrote it perfectly and beyond my expectations as usual.  Seriously.  I want to read it again, and probably will when I have time to soak it all in with no distractions.

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SuperNova by Liz Long

Blurb:
29473487The streets of Arcania are overrun with crime, deteriorating as a madman named Fortune makes himself at home. He shows no mercy, striking down anyone in his path – including Nova Benson’s little sister. Devastated, Nova vows to seek justice for her family, but aside from her freak strength and impenetrable skin, how is she supposed to stop a monster like Fortune?

Cole Warner wants to help people. Entrusted to keep his family’s secret, he’s also frustrated at having to hide his gift. He knows he could do more to help in the fight against Fortune. If he could convince his sister Penelope to join him, they might even have a chance at beating him. When Cole meets Nova, he realizes his whole world is about to change. And he’s going to welcome it with open arms.

Falling for each other wasn’t part of the plan.

Then again, neither was becoming a superhero.

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My Review:
3 stars — I received a free copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased review/opinion.

Honestly, I could even go lower to 2.5 stars with this book, but I’m trying to shake off the negativity.  This book just wasn’t a match for me, and practically right from the start.  I can honestly say that I didn’t feel any emotion at Starling’s death (the little sister from the blurb, not a spoiler).  And right there that’s not a great sign.  I mean, if I’m not tapping into an author’s writing enough to feel emotion from a murder of a loved one, then it’s probably not a good match.  But I hate DNFing ARCs without giving it a fair shake, so I kept going.  And quite frankly it didn’t pick up for me until around the time Cole appeared in the story and we got his POV.  And not because he was necessarily book boyfriend material for me personally, but I thought he was a sweet and genuine person, and there was a bit more intriguing stuff coming into play with more gifted individuals.

So, basically, Nova was a dud for me.  On the surface we’re told she’s going through a lot, and sometimes I definitely felt her despair, but just not as I’d hoped I would I guess.  I didn’t really appreciate her habit of talking to herself, but that’s a Lenore taste thing, not necessarily a bad thing in general.  And on a side note, her friendship with Amber confused me.  I know she supposedly wasn’t as close to her but still liked her and whatnot, but she could be a bit superior in her own head with so much of the high school stuff.

My biggest problem with this story is that it constantly had me furrowing my brow in confusion and disbelief.  I do NOT understand the choices that the characters made.  I was constantly thinking “Seriously?  No one’s going to call the police, you’re just going to leave?”  “Seriously?  They have a major encounter with the bad guy, and they just easily run away and then it’s like a date and they don’t even really look at the news or anything to find out what happened?”  Sorry, I’m trying to be somewhat vague so as not to give spoilers, but the sequence of events in the plot just baffled me.

And the PARENTS!!!  Yet another story where they exist on the peripheral and just do not come into play basically ever.  Her father is a freaking lawyer, and she never updates him on her activities, or asks him how things are going on his end?  Cole and Pen’s father seems to be in the know on all things gifted, but we NEVER meet him?  I mean, I sort of get it, but it was too frustrating to me.

And crap, I’ve started getting ranty, so I’m going to stop.  Because that’s so unfair.  Basically this one just didn’t have enough good stuff sucking me in to want to continue with the series.  It was definitely not a match to my reading personality.  I will say that I’m glad I continued on and didn’t DNF b/c we did get some good stuff (particularly in Cole’s POV), and I enjoyed the sweet romance, even if it was a bit slow for my taste.  I just wish that someone was there to answer all my questions.  😛

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More Than Jamie Baker by Kelly Oram

Synopsis:
18690119Jamie Baker, the only girl in the world with superpowers, has now accepted who she is and learned to control her power. Not to mention she has the best boyfriend on the planet. Life is finally looking good. But the day she witnesses an accident and decides not to save the guy out of fear of being exposed, she realizes that simply being Jamie Baker isn’t enough.

After seeing Jamie so wrecked with guilt, the ever-helpful Ryan Miller decides it’s time to make all of his fantasies about turning his girlfriend into an honest-to-goodness superhero become a reality.

Of course, coming up with a decent Super Name and fending off all of Ryan’s attempts to get her into spandex aren’t the only problems Jamie faces. The more her alter ego starts to make headlines, the harder it becomes for Jamie to hide her extracurricular activities from her best friend, the government, radical scientists, and the mysterious new guy who is determined to steal her from her boyfriend.

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My Review:
3.5 stars — Oooooo, majorly conflicted!!!  (also, spoilers for book one if you haven’t read it)

OK, so part of my problem is that I kind of got a bit spoiled on parts of this book, just from being in Ms. Oram’s fan club on Facebook and seeing parts of discussions go by no matter how much I tried to avoid them like the plague.  I can honestly say I don’t know how my thoughts on different parts would have played out if I’d been able to read this book organically without seeing any discussion about it.  So if you haven’t read this book yet, TRY WITH EVERYTHING IN YOU to do a better job of avoiding reading anything about it, b/c apparently people don’t realize what is a spoiler (even just small things).  So there’s a part of me that’s disappointed in that, though there’s a tiny other part of me that thinks I may have noticed things happening and figured things out early on even without the spoiler.  And yes, I get that I’m being extremely vague, but I’m trying to avoid what was done to me, you know??  (perhaps I’ll add a spoiler section to my Goodreads review so I can discuss it)

OK, so I loved having Ryan and Jamie back.  I was super surprised that this book was a bit after the end of BJB.  For some reason I guess I just expected it to pick right up where the first book left off, not be a year later(ish).  But it was nice to see Ryan and Jamie fully entrenched in their relationship and enjoying each other.  I loved their banter and sweet moments, but occasionally I felt like something was missing between the two of them…but I can’t pinpoint it, so maybe it was just that I love them so much I always want more.

I am still conflicted about the Mike/Becky subplot.  There are parts of me that enjoyed the uniqueness of how it was dealt (what story actually bothers to pay any attention to the rapist?), but it’s just inherently uncomfortable then and I’m honestly not sure how forgiving a person I am personally.  I was also still kind of blown away that Jamie kept it from Ryan, no matter how she rationalized it.

And while I enjoyed Jamie’s conflict over the accident situation, I sometimes felt like it was drawn out longer than I was expecting…or maybe not drawn out so much as revisited too often.

I loved seeing her become Chelsea’s Angel, though I was disappointed that her disguise wasn’t very disguising.  But her heroics were so very Jamie-like, she really embraced that role.

Having seen teasers for the 3rd book, and having left reading this book so late, I wasn’t at all surprised or taken aback by the epilogue to this book…so I guess it didn’t bother me as much as it seems to have with other people.  I could totally see it happening in that way.

My basic problem with this book all centers around one element.  And unfortunately it’s a major element.  So I’m unsure how I’m going to enjoy the next book since that element still exists.  It’s having me waffling between rounding down or up on this one, and I honestly didn’t expect that since I loved BJB so much.  So like I said, very conflicted.  It had a lot of great elements, but that one could just overshadow all the good ones.  😦

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