My Heart Beats For Books

An avid reader who loves to gush about books and other bookish things.

Review: Sin by Sharron Riddle

Sin - Sharron Riddle

Sin is an explosion of paranormal lore packed into one action filled book. The stories focus was mainly on the Fae/Fey, but there was a bit of Mythology, and Wraiths, Dragons, Priestesses, Druids, Elves, and oh, can’t forget, Zombies. Yes, all that and a little bit of a love triangle too. We also had some of the most blatantly arrogant people I’ve ever come across, which surprisingly I ended up liking a lot. Go figure. Then we have Sin, our heroine, she was a bit rough around the edges, which made her interesting and a good protagonist that carried the story well. I didn’t take well to her anger and immaturity, even though it was clear that she did suffer a terrible experience and as it turns out her anger had a lot to do with what she is. But I thought she was a little too angsty.


What else did we get? Oh yeah, this story was go, go, go, from the get go. Pun intended. The meat of the story took only two days, the entire story would have been two days, if there wasn’t such an unexpected twist at the end. Time Travel, yes I forgot time travel. Those two days that the story took place over were so long, with a lot of added info that made the plot get a little lost. Although, there was so much happening that I didn’t even realize that I was still on the first day of the story until it was pointed out. The action and Sin’s adventures were certainly attention grabbing.


As they say in many book reviews, there was so much happening that I don’t want to give it all away. Overall, I liked this book, it’s always interesting to see different takes on popular paranormal and fantasy lore’s and Sin gave me a boatload of that. There were too many editing issue to ignore, but I was already enjoying the story so I tried not pay much attention to that, a lot of missing prepositions for one. Maybe it was a formatting issue? Sin was a spur of moment read, surprise surprise I was drawn in by that cover. I thought it was very striking and attention grabbing, which was also true for the story inside the cover.

Review: Bleed by Dax Varley

BLEED - Dax Varley

The story follows several different POV’s. We have five protagonists whose lives have lead them to converge on the same school, a school that’s been recently experiencing a bout of suicides and have taken on the moniker of Suicide High. After working their way into forming a group, they eventually figured out they’re dealing with a Demon that’s been terrorizing civilization for centuries and it’s always been their job to send it back to hell.


After a little prologue peek into the story, we start out following Miranda on her first day at a new school after relocating from a very small town, where her father was disgraced. Miranda was nervous, not just because she’s the new girl, but also because of her affliction as a Stigmata. The meaning of a Stigmata was re-imagined for the plot of this story, so I won’t go into what that actually is, just that it means that Miranda bleeds from holes in her palms when she comes in contact with overwhelming, I’m gonna say, situations, it varies. Right away Miranda meets Jake and then later received a threatening letter that would make me march immediately to the administrative office to turn it in. Well, that didn’t happen, so the story continues.


Then we have Jake, the confused Psychic and Miranda’s love interest. He was the level headed task master of the group. At first I couldn’t understand Jake’s psychic abilities, he seemed confused too, when it was explained it did actually makes sense and is sort of a new way to see psychic abilities. He basically has Deja Vu Psychic abilities. Very surprised the others weren’t more frustrated with him for not just being a plain old psychic. 


Sam’s the Sin Eater and all around flirt and funny one in the group. The first time I heard of a Sin Eater was from a TV show, so that wasn’t new to me, but it was to the group. It caused a lot of problems for Sam, it cramped his style majorly, especially his flirting.


Healer, nerd and the one with the saddest past of the group. Topher was reluctant to join the group, but with everyone needing constant healing and his need to help, he kept getting pulled back in.


Last but not least, we have Xyan, snarky and full of attitude, and even more reluctant to be a part of the group. Xyan was the Linguist or the Speaker of Tongues, no specific title was given for her ability. She can speak any language, but probably wishes English would be there when she needs it most.


I really like this ensemble, there were a few other secondary characters that these characters were able to play off of really well. A parent or two made appearances, but since approximately 85% of the story took place in the school, those characters were teachers and students, obviously the demon would have to be one of those. I think the author did a good job throwing me off the scent of the culprit, when I thought of who that might be, it seemed too obvious, and decided to just be surprised. I was surprised and not surprised, meaning that the twist and turns got me all turned around and made me not so sure, but my original guess was correct. The romance wasn’t all-consuming, but I thought Miranda’s and Jakes romance was very sweet and tender.


The creepy and grossed parts were when the guys had their confrontations with the demon, he terrorized them and tried to take them down one by one, and even if it was creeptastic and gross, it brought the horror and action to the story. The negative thing about this story was the naiveté of the characters. I tried to understand that they were new to this and didn’t know better. A good example that did have me scratching my head was when the guys thought that they might have found the culprit, they had him arrested and thought, good, job done. I was yelling at them, don’t be foolish, it’s a freaking demon your dealing with, you need to banish it, that means killing it. Other than that I really liked these guys and the story as a whole. I felt that the characters and more about the demon aspect could have been delved into more, but it’s a Stand-Alone and with that, it was still a really fulfilling story, and I’m left with wanting more.

Review: Broken (LOST #1) by Cynthia Eden

Broken (Last Option Search Team) - Cynthia Eden

Broken was great, I can tell I’m going to love following these damaged, but heroic characters of the Last Option Search Team. This first book follows Ex-Seal and Lost founder Gabe Spencer’s and Eve Gray’s story. I loved them both.


Eve didn’t know who she is or was and is searching for her identity both real and metaphorically. Eve was found badly wounded and suffering from amnesia and decided to seek out the Lost team to help put the pieces of who she really is together.


Gabe, well I didn’t feel Gabe was searching for anything a that moment he met Eve, I think Eve was a surprise for him. I get the feeling he was just wallowing in his pain and not actively living, he had his own horrific past to contend with and I can see that’s why he might have come across as so detached at first. But as his interactions with Eve became more frequent I can see him showing more emotions, especially when it came to his protectiveness of her.


As for the suspenseful parts of this story, I will say Ms. Eden was definitely trying to mess with my head. I was going back on forth on who I think the serial killer and all around psycho was. Oh, it’s him, no, maybe it’s him, okay, okay, it’s definitely him. Alright fine, I give up, who the heck is it? Well all I can say is I was right it was one of my choices, I knew it! What a sneaky little minx you are Ms. Eden. Also I did get that feeling of anger (in an entertaining what the heck is wrong with people kind of way) I always get when I read books about psychotic people, the things that they have going on in their head makes me so puzzled. Crazy psychos! That’s probably an oxymoron.


One of the things I loved and was also surprised about with this book was how honest both Eve and Gabe was about their feelings for the other, right from the beginning, especially on Eve’s part. Really, they were so amazingly honest with each other, no secrets. Refreshing. Broken was a wonderful start to what I can see will be an explosively fantastic series.

Audiobook Review: Kissing in America by Margo Rabb

Kissing in America - Margo Rabb

Kissing In America was the sad but ultimately sweet story of Eva, a young lady who lost her father two years earlier. Still dealing with his loss, Eva has become obsessed with Romance novels. She deals with her grief by comparing real life situations with the characters in her books. Eva and her mother aren’t coping well with the loss of their loved one, understandably. While Eva’s mother deals with the loss of her husband by denying he ever existed and being excessively overprotected of her daughter, Eva tries to hang on to her memories of him by secreting away his belongings, no matter how innocuous they maybe, old receipts for example. Since her mother threw away most of her father’s things this is how Eva has to hold on the the things she can.


I felt really bad for Eva, she lost her father and in a sense her mother too. Eva’s mother basically became a cold, distant shell of the mother she once knew, who sometimes acted as if her husband just got up and left them. I really wish she would have snapped out it and saw that her daughter needed her mother. We did learn that this is the typical way her mother grieves, which I thought was very unfortunate for both her and Eva. Her entire grieving process seems to be stuck on feeling abandoned.


Eva has always had a long standing crush on a guy named Will, but he had a supermodelesque girlfriend which Eva thinks means no chance for anything with him. However, she soon becomes his tutor, then a friend and confidant.. When Will and his girlfriend broke up she finally has a chance with him, and Will also seems interested too when he kisses her. But Eva’s chance was cut short rather quickly when Will moved to California. Eva had this obsessive need to continue what they started and thought she just has to see him in person and concocted an insane plan to travel cross country to see him. She came to the conclusion she was in love with him and became even more obsessed to see him. This obsession caused her to make some unwise decisions such as disappointing her best friend Annie and lying to everyone involved.


During that road trip Eva learned valuable lessons and had to face up to her mistakes, she learned to not make rash decisions, and to do things for yourself not for a guy, especially when it comes to travelling a long distance an deceiving and using others to do so. Along the way we got to meet some interesting and quirky characters. And learned more about Eva’s mothers past and other interesting stories. Eva also had her showdown with her mother during her road trip, I thought finally, now maybe her mother would wake up and they can start working on their relationship.


I liked Eva, even with her naivete and obsessiveness she did have a great sense of humor. She would have these weird but kinda funny asides where she makes her life sounds like a romance novel when she romanticizes her situation in her version of a romance novelish voice. I thought it was really cute and totally weird at the same time. I could have easily seen Eva as a typical young girl whose completely guy crazy and not sympathize with her, but I didn’t, I was able to see the pain Eva was trying to out run. Eva was very close with her father and losing him so suddenly was traumatic. Perhaps she was trying to forget just like her mother but in a different way. Eva eventually learned that focusing all her attention on a boy was not going to help her cope with the fear and confusion that she was dealing with after losing her father.


Audiobook Review
This being an audiobook played a huge part in how much I liked the story. It made me love it that much more. I really liked the voice of the narrator. I thought she was spot on with Eva’s voice and did a great job with all the other voices too.


I thought Kissing In American was a nice story about how life throws major curveballs at you when you least expect it and it’s how you handle it that makes you stronger in the end. And that although love brings heartache with it it also brings strength.

Review: Every Last Breath (The Dark Elements #3) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Every Last Breath - Jennifer L. Armentrout

Yep, that’s what I call a finale. Every Last Breath was amazing. Already one of my favorite series but now it’s certainly solidified a space in my wonderfully happy sappy book heart. There was so much taking place in this final book. Much more action than the first two, a lot of answers were also given, plus we learned more about the Wardens existence and about Layla’s as well.


Ah Roth, he’s still as hot as hell, (pun intended this time) and as cheeky as ever. Zayne is still his sweet self. I can’t forget Stacey and Sam this time around. I thought Stacey was the bestest gal pal a girl can have. And Sam always had me being all curious about how his he able to carry around so much, some might say useless, but I say fascinating knowledge of the most random of things in his head. I wish I thought to know those things, I should start learning weird factoids and call me self ‘fact girl’. And love Cayman, needed more Cayman scenes.


So Layla learned that she will have to be the one to ultimately go up against the Lillin and that not all will make it through. I got teary eyed a few times throughout the book, there were some very sad moments. But of course I had the grinning from ear to ear and the die laughing moments too.


Layla has grown so much in spirit and spunk since the first book but I wish that she would’ve just believed in herself much sooner. One of the things that surprised me very much was that Layla made her choice so early on in the book than I would have expected. But I realized it was a smart decision to have that happen, because we were not just given an action packed, amazeballs finale but we had a romantic story also. A love story to calm the masses and make the world sparkle like sparkly supernatural creatures.


This was one of those hard to write reviews, it’s hard keeping things light trying not to give too much away. I just want to go spill the beans crazy in this review. I just sooo love love this series and so happy to have such a perfect ending to it. Please Ms. Armentrout, can I have some more?

Review: Stone Cold Touch (The Dark Elements #2) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Stone Cold Touch - Jennifer L. Armentrout

Stone Cold Touch is a re-read for review and refresher to move on to Every Last Breath.


When I first found out about White Hot Kiss I didn’t hesitate to pre-order it and I read it within a week of it’s arrival and I was not disappointed. I instantly fell in love with the cast of characters in The Dark Elements series. Especially with Layla and Roth, and I’m so ecstatic to have them in my life again.


Roth was his usual heart-meltingly charming, tongue in cheek self. And Layla was back with her spunky dry twisted way of describing the sitch. I love that about her, that made me bond with her right away because I tend to use made up words and phrases to show how dire a situation is too. I totally get her, it is very necessary sometimes to add flourish to your words you know. Okay, I won’t forget Zayne, I like Zayne buuut, Roth stole my heart, sorry Zayne. Zayne is really sweet and protective, and any girl would lose their skinny jeans for a hot second with him.


I loved this installment of the series, lot’s going on in there, we see Layla’s distress with Roth’s untimely return to hell when he sacrificed himself for her by taking Zayne’s place. Also Roth surprise return, him pushing her away but not staying away himself and pushing her buttons to no end. Layla was also trying to figure out who or what’s messing with her school this time around. And a chance at having a once impossible dream come true with Zayne. Layla still dealing with her Warden clan not accepting her and being suspicious of her. Even with all this, Layla was still her funny and positive self, she didn’t let her situation break her spirit. This is one of the things I like about JLA’s characters, they always have that strength in adversity thing going on, even if they don’t start out with it, they always end up there in the end. But Layla always came across as very strong willed from the git go and I can see her getting even more so as the story develops.


Roth was…Roth, provokingly amusing as always, constantly teasing or pushing Layla into imagining punching him in the family jewels. A flirt, he is such a charmer, so deceptive is the prince of hell with his charm, better the charming side I say. And lest not forget hot as hell, no pun intended. *swoon* He continues to ruffle Stony’s patience, and hatred for him. (Shaking head from left to right, smiling). Still protecting Layla and keeping secrets from her. *sigh* By the way, I would reeeally love to have, even just one of his familiars. Maybe Bambi, or even Bluebell or Flower. Man talk about how badass that would be.


Well it’s obvious how much Zayne loves Layla, but I don’t like how over protective he is and how he’s in denial or maybe he knows but don’t want to admit it to her how his father feels about her. He also seem to have accepted her for who or what she is, more than even she does herself, so that’s good.


I liked how the story is progressing and seeing Layla gets more kickass everyday, Roth more good, even though he would deny it, and seeing how Zayne is a positive influence in Layla’s life, especially when she needs it most. ♥


Overall, I really enjoyed Stone Cold Touch, I knew I would from the first page because it never seems to fail that I will find myself grinning ear to ear on page one if not page two of a JLA book. How does she do it?