Review: King of Ash and Bone by Melissa Wright

King of Ash and BoneKing of Ash and Bone
(Shattered Realms, #1)
by Melissa Wright
YA Urban Fantasy, SciFi
February 2nd 2015

Summary

When flying monsters break through the veil into her world, Mackenzie Scott has nothing left to lose. Her brother has been taken, her future has vanished, and all that remains is a desperate need for revenge. After discovering the breach the creatures used as a gateway, Mackenzie devises a plan to stop them, whatever the cost.

When she finds an injured stranger in the street, he just might be the key she needs to succeed. What Mackenzie doesn’t know is that this stranger isn’t the helpless boy he appears to be. He’s one of the monsters. And he’s got plans of his own.

Thrown into a dying city in another realm, Mackenzie is powerless to get back. With the gateway closing, time is not on her side. But the stranger is, and if they can escape execution, this girl and her monster might be able to save both their worlds.

You can read a teaser here.

    


 My Review

I was extremely excited to begin reading King of Ash and Bone! For one thing, the cover really intrigued me because the guy has those markings and I wanted to know what they were. I knew from the first page that I wasn’t going to be disappointed and I wasn’t. It was intense, chaotic, crazy, and endearing from the first page on and I loved it!


Mackenzie pulled me in from the start. She is so scared and at the same time so determined and fierce. I really loved her and how even though she is in shock during parts of this story, she handles everything as best as she can. Her one goal is to save her brother and she will do anything to do that. She is obviously attracted to and interesting in Hunter, while at the same time a little bit in fear of him. He’s an anomaly in so many ways. Hunter sometimes acted like a human, but there was always something off with his phrasing and actions. I didn’t quite realize how other he was. I could see his dilemma in what he would do and what he could and wanted to do. I loved the interactions between Mackenzie and Hunter. I loved seeing them grow closer and the attraction build. I also could see a secondary romance possibility with Mackenzie’s brother and I’m curious to get to know him better and see if that goes anywhere. I liked that the author kept the main storyline front and center.


There are so many different facets of this series. Different characters and their plots. There was prophecy and ancient language and jargon that has played a role in Hunter’s life and that others are seeking to twist to their own desires. I wanted to know a lot more about the situation, about the prophecy, about Hunter and his land, about how to stop the king and save the humans, and now about what will happen in the other world. Hunter and Mackenzie have a huge uphill battle if they are to succeed.


If you enjoy urban fantasy and scifi stories with creative plots full of twists, friendship, a spark of romance, and a strong brother/sister relationship that will keep you on the edge of your seat and wanting more than I’d highly recommend King of Ash and Bone. I’m looking forward to reading more about these characters and their changing world.


Content: Some violence, but otherwise clean.

Source: I received a complimentary copy from the author, which did not affect my review in any way.

4 STARS


What do you think? Will you be reading this one if you haven’t already?

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Review: After the Silence by Rula Sinara

After the Silence
(From Kenya, With Love #2)
by Rula Sinara
Adult Contemporary Romance
Paperback, 368 pages
March 1st 2015 by Harlequin Heartwarming

Does following her passion mean losing her way?

Marine Ben Corallis is an expert at facing death, but nothing comes close to the terror that grounds him when his wife is killed in a car accident the day he returns from duty. He’s left to raise an infant, a toddler and a ten-year-old girl who hasn’t uttered a word since her mother’s death.

It’s hard not to care for the widowed marine with three young children. Yet he’s still grieving, too burdened with guilt to fall in love again. And Hope Alwanga’s future as a doctor awaits her on the other side of the world, in Nairobi. If two such opposites can’t agree on a common country, how can they ever create a safe place to call home?

  

About Book One in the Series
(Each can be read as a standalone.)

The Promise of Rain (Book 1)

The Promise of Rain
(From Kenya, With Love #1)
by Rula Sinara
Adult Contemporary Romance
Paperback, 384 pages
January 1st 2014 by Harlequin Heartwarming

He wants to take her child out of Africa…

The Busara elephant research and rescue camp on Kenya’s Serengeti is Anna Bekker’s life’s work. And it’s the last place she thought she’d run into Dr. Jackson Harper. As soon as he sets eyes on her four-year-old, Pippa, Anna knows he’ll never leave…without his daughter.

Furious doesn’t begin to describe how Jack feels. How could Anna keep this from him? He has to get his child back to the States. Yet as angry as he is with Anna, they still have a bond. But can it endure, despite the ocean–and the little girl–between them?


My Review

There was one thing that really stood out to me while reading After the Silence: the relationships weren’t rushed. There was no instant-love. There really wasn’t even an immediate attraction because both main characters aren’t even open to relationships. Then the attraction begins and grows as they get to know one another and as they work closely together in caring for these sweet children who have lost their mother. In the same way, Hope’s relationship with the children takes some time to develop, as it would normally under the circumstances. It felt authentic and I felt immersed in the story and the characters’ lives. 


I wanted to cry with sadness and joy when little Maddie starts to open up and when she struggles. Her journal entries added so much to this story and broke my heart. I wanted to shake Ben, and sometimes Hope, when they are so blind. I wanted to have a sit-down with Ben’s in-laws who seem to think that their grandchildren and Ben should go through the rest of their lives without someone to invite into their family. I wanted to swoon when Ben was so sweet (could have handled more swooning) or when Hope’s friend gets what she has hoped for. I felt for Ben’s friend when he tells Ben what is really going on and proud of Ben for being able to look at himself and see where he has failed. I wanted to yell at him when he considers leaving his kids even though at the same time I understood. Then I wanted to yell at Hope for not fighting harder. There were so many sweet moments where these characters came alive. I loved it when Hope, Ben, and the kids get Christmas trees and what ends up happening with all of them. I couldn’t help but smile when Hope gets surprised at the end. What a very fabulously sweet and wonderful ending it is.


After the Silence was a wonderful, heartfelt story. It was full of challenges, family, self-awakening, friendship, grief, and hope for a brighter future. I loved the romance and I loved these characters. If you enjoy sweet romance and this line of books then this is one you definitely don’t want to miss!


Content: Clean

Source: Received a complimentary review copy from the author, which did not affect my review in any way.

4.5 STARS


Rula Sinara

Rula Sinara lives in Virginia’s countryside with her husband, three boys and zany but endearing pets. When she’s not writing or doing mom stuff, she loves organic gardening, attracting wildlife to her yard (cool bugs included) or watching romantic movies. She also enjoys interviewing fellow authors and is a Special Contributor for USA Today’s Happy Ever After blog. Her door is always open at her website and blog.

Review: Solstice by Jane Read (Heather B. Moore)

SolsticeSolstice
by Jane Read AKA Heather B. Moore
YA Dystopian
ebook, 315 Pages

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Summary
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(This book is in a publishing contest sponsored by Macmillan. Help it get published by reading and rating the story at www.swoonreads.com/m/solstice.)

Four ways to get Banished from the last surviving city on earth are: 1. Cut out your emotion tracker, 2. Join a religious cult, 3. Create a rebellion against the Legislature, 4. Fall in love.Jezebel James does all four.

Jez is on the fast-track to becoming a brilliant scientist, with one goal—to save her city from total extinction. Her caretakers have entrusted her with a secret plan to stop the rain from flooding the rest of the earth and start civilization anew. But the more Jez learns about the price of a fresh beginning, the more she realizes that carrying out the plan will lead to few survivors, and among the dead will be those she cares about the most.


My Review

I really love this author, so I had high expectations going into reading Solstice. Immediately I was intrigued by the setting and the characters. Jez, the main heroine, was equally smart, brave, but also realistically scared. Reuben, Sol, and Chalice were all interesting characters and somewhat of counterparts to each other and Jez. The plot was fairly smooth and there was some intense moments. There was danger, deception, friendship, romance, and heartbreak.

What I felt was missing was an overall story arch. I didn’t feel or see the big picture for the series as I read this first book. I didn’t see how Jez’s and her friends’ roles influenced the overall situation and what difference they could make in their skewed society. I know it was there somewhere because of the hints here and there, but it wasn’t strong enough. The ending had a very interesting twist and I would expect the next book to explain a lot more and show a overall much bigger picture.

I did like that so much was unknown to the characters in some ways and that their was a lot of potential for them to begin putting all the puzzles together with pieces of information they gleamed here and there. There was some dramatic parts of the book, but I liked that the romance didn’t take over the story. It was sweet and intense in parts and made the story more interesting.

I’m curious to see what happens next in Jez’s journey and with her society and world. Hopefully the next book will give a lot more information and a bigger picture of where the story, and Jez’s part in it, will be going.

Content: Clean
Source: Received through eBooksforReview.com, which did not affect my review in any way.


 What do you think? Will you be adding this one to your tbr?

Review: Christmas, Actually by Anna Adams, Anna J. Stewart, & Melinda Curtis

This is a tour we’re organizing and I thought it would be good to post what I thought about this collection of novella’s…

Christmas, ActuallyChristmas, Actually
by Anna Adams, Anna J. Stewart, & Melinda Curtis
Clean Contemporary Romance, Christmas
Paperback & Ebook, 202 pages
November 1st 2014 by Harlequin Heartwarming

Discover the magic of Christmas Town, Maine!

Three lonely strangers come to Christmas Town, Maine, and find love with three Banning siblings in the town that celebrates the holidays by decorating its square with lights and ribbons and a holiday pageant on Christmas Eve. Tradition has it that a kiss beneath the mistletoe that night means marriage for the couple in the new year.

The Christmas Gift by Anna Adams:

Jack Banning promised to support the mother of his unborn child… But she doesn’t need money, she only needs him.

The Christmas Wish by Anna J. Stewart:

Callie Banning’s student has declared war on Christmas, so it’s up to her to help the little girl—and her widowed father—believe again.

The Christmas Date by Melinda Curtis:

Gina Vernay is about to meet her online mystery date…and she’s in for the surprise of a lifetime!