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July 31, 2011

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox is a weekly bookish meme hosted @ The Story Siren


(Thanks to Nevera de Libros!)

Sea by Heidi R. Kling

You don't know how happy I was to receive this book! I won swag (the shoe and some stickers) last year and since then I wanted to read it :D

For my Kindle:

The Hunger GamesCatching Fire (The Second Book of the Hunger Games)Mockingjay (The Final Book of The Hunger Games)

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins


To Scotland, With LoveTo Catch a Highlander

To Scotland, With Love (MacLean Curse #2) by Karen Hawkins
To Catch a Highlander (MacLean Curse #3) by Karen Hawkins

I just read the first one of these series and liked it, so why not?

Simon and Schuster Galley Glab / NetGalley:

Drink, Slay, LoveIn Total Surrender

Drink, Slay, Love by Margaret K. McElderry
In Total Surrender by Anne Mallory
Until There Was You by Kristan Higgins (no cover yet)

I just love NetGalley! And S+S Galley Grab too, except that I can read their galleys on my Kindle.

What did you get this week? Please leave your links in the comments :)

July 30, 2011

Book Review: Flying Blind by Deborah Cooke

Author: Deborah Cooke
Series: The Dragon Diaries #1
Release Date: June 7th, 2011
Publisher: New American Library
Age: Young Adult
The next generation of shape-shifting dragons from the popular author of the Dragonfire novels.

Zoë Sorensson is perfectly normal, except she's been told she's destined for great things. Zoë's the one female dragon shapeshifter of her kind. But Zoë is at the bottom of the class when it comes to being Pyr and her powers are AWOL, so she's sent to a Pyr boot camp.

Zoë quickly realizes that she has to master her powers yesterday, because the Pyr are in danger and boot camp is a trap. The Mages want to eliminate all shifters and the Pyr are next in line-unless Zoë and her friends can work together and save their own kind.
You probably know I love dragons, so when I discovered this book I thought it was perfect for me.

It's the first time I read a book from this author, and I understand she has already written books about the previous generation of these characters. But you don't need to read the previous series to read this one.

Flying Blind is about Zoe, the only female shape shifter dragon. She has a responsibility greater that everyone else. She's supposed to have special powers that will help the Pyr, but she can't even shift into a dragon!

Zoe is young and very immature. She feels like a failure because her powers are missing, but when she accidentally shifts in front of another girl while fighting, instead of being punished by her parents, she's sent to boot camp. It's the best thing it could happen to her, because not only she'll see Nick, the boy she's crazy for, but also her friends.

The plot of Flying Blind was interesting. Zoe is positive her powers are going to appear as soon as she starts boot camp, and she's pretty sure Nick will fall in love with her. Obviously things doesn't happen that way, and when she and her friends are trapped in the woods and starts to fight, she's the only one who have the powers to help them.

I was interested in the shape shifting and the powers of the dragons, but I didn't enjoy too much the characters. As I said before, Zoe was very immature and I didn't liked how her "friends" treated her. She had too much pressure of herself, and they always asked her to do things she couldn't do. Also, they are supposed to know each other since babies, but when a mage comes and puts a spell on them, they not only hated her and tried to hurt her, but actually were very mean to her.

Sometimes it was a unrealistic, as for example when Zoe instantly developed her powers. Or when the hot, older and good-mage guy finds her interesting, specially after she's described to be as a 12 years old girl. I think in the next books, when Zoe is older and more sure of herself, this little details will work better.

But I have to admit that what I liked more was the turns in the plot. When I thought everything was going to be simple, the author actually managed to change something and made the story better.

Overall, Flying Blind it an interesting debut from this author into Young Adult books. It has fantasy, romance, action and awesome dragons. Although it wasn't for me, I think some of you might enjoy it.

July 29, 2011

Book Review: The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson

Author: Maureen Johnson
Series: Little Blue Envelope #2
Release Date: April 26th, 2011
Publisher: Harper Collins
Age: Young Adult
Ginny Blackstone thought that the biggest adventure of her life was behind her. She spent last summer traveling around Europe, following the tasks her aunt Peg laid out in a series of letters before she died. When someone stole Ginny's backpack—and the last little blue envelope inside—she resigned herself to never knowing how it was supposed to end.
Months later, a mysterious boy contacts Ginny from London, saying he's found her bag. Finally, Ginny can finish what she started. But instead of ending her journey, the last letter starts a new adventure—one filled with old friends, new loves, and once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Ginny finds she must hold on to her wits . . . and her heart. This time, there are no instructions.
The Last Little Blue Envelope is the sequel of 13 Little Blue Envelopes. If you read it, you most remember, Ginny's last envelope was stolen and she had to end her journey her own way. It has been a year and suddenly, she receives an email from a guy who found her backpack (and her letters) and knows she still has one left to read.

I think I liked this book more than the previous. 13 Little Blue Envelopes was good, but I thought Ginny was kind of boring. Instead, now Ginny is older, wiser and more adventurous. She knows this may be her last chance to have an adventure, so she decides to go back to London and retrieve her letter.

Of course, she also wants to see Keith, the hot actor Ginny met last year. They have been talking via internet, but lately Keith has been busy...and she really misses him.

Maureen Johnson manages to create a realistic story of a girl looking for her path. Not everything works out as Ginny's plans when she arrived at London, Keith may have a new girlfriend and Oliver, the guy with her letters, wants to steal from her.

I;m glad not everything was perfect for Ginny, because thanks to that she had so many different opportunities. And I really  liked the changes of the characters, in a year people can change so much without even noticing it.

I liked Ginny much more in this book. Keith was the same, kind of immature, but he shows his other face. He can be actually very mean, and I can't believe Ginny's feelings didn't evaporate right after she saw him again.

Oliver was supposed to be the bad guy, but it's so easy to like him. He wants Ginny and him to finish her last task, which will meant that she probably will gain lots of money. He wants money, but it's obvious his reason is more than greed. He was reserved and mysterious, but also sweet. I couldn't stand reading Keith being mean with him, I just wanted to scream to Ginny to do something.

Overall, The Last Little Blue Envelopewas very enjoyable. I was glad I read about Ginny again and see that she have been maturing and really looking for her path. As I said before, I liked better this one that 13 Little Blue Envelopes, so if you already read that one, I recommend you to read more of Ginny's adventure.

More about this book at www.maureenjohnsonbooks.comGoodreadsAmazon, The Book Depository.

July 28, 2011

Book Review: By His Majesty's Grace by Jennifer Blake

Author: Jennifer Blake
Series: The Three Graces
Release Date: July 26th, 2011
Publisher: Mira
Age: Adult
The Three Graces of Graydon are well–born sisters bearing an ominous curse: any man betrothed to them without love is doomed to die.
Much to her chagrin, Lady Isabel Milton has been given to Earl Rand Braesford—a reward from the Tudor king for his loyalty to the throne. The lusty nobleman quickly claims his husbandly rights, an experience Isabel scarcely hoped to enjoy so much. But youth and strength may not save Braesford from his bride's infamous curse…
Accused of a heinous crime with implications that reach all the way to King Henry himself, Braesford is imprisoned in the Tower, and Isabel is offered her salvation—but for a price. She has the power to seal his fate, have him sent to the executioner and be freed from her marriage bonds. Yet the more Isabel learns of Rand, the less convinced she is of his guilt, and she commits to discover the truth about the enigmatic husband she never expected to love.
Lady Isabel Milton and her sisters are cursed with the curse of the Three Graces of Graydon, which says that any man betrothed to them without love is doomed to die. It's the perfect curse for someone who doesn't want to marry, like Isabel. After seeing the brutal marriage of her mother, it's her wish to remain alone.

But it's impossible to refuse the King when he orders her to marry Sir Randall Braesford, as a gift to him for his services.

I really liked Isabel. Even when she's being controlled by her stepbrother and the King, she wants very much to be independent and free. She has a liberal mind and a strong attitude, but she knows when or where she can't win.

But my favorite was Rand. Sexy and very strong, he has a sweet heart and respect for women like no other character in this book. He's delicate with Isabel, and he only wants to be accepted by her.

It's my first book from this author, but I'm really glad I read it. Also it's my first medieval romance and I wasn't sure I was going to feel comfortable with it, but the author manages to make you feel like if you are at that time, with a little bit of historical background and details of the life at that age, without making it boring.

The romance between Rand and Isabel was sweet. Isabel doesn't want a husband but Rand actually wants to have Isabel as his wife. He can't wait to have their wedding night, but then it's interrupted because Rand is being charged with the murder of a child. It's really the curse, or maybe one of Rand's enemies?

The plot has the perfect balance between romance, adventure and action. Rand is being accused for something he didn't do, but why? Could it be the King, Rand's stepbrother or Isabel's stepbrother? While Isabel and Rand are trying to discover who is behind this plot, they start to share more time together and get to know each other. Their romance scenes where very hot and also romantic, Rand is sweet but also desires her very much, while Isabel is more sensual. She doesn't only finds pleasure with him, but affection and maybe love.

Overall, I loved By His Majesty's Grace. It's the first book of The Three Graces series, and I can't wait to read Lady Isabel sister's stories, Cate and Marguerite.

July 27, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday # 57 - The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

My picks: The Scorpio Races

Summary from Goodreads:
It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line.
Some riders live.
Others die.
At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them.
Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn't given her much of a chance. So she enters the competition — the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen.
Maggie Stiefvater
October 6th 2011

I love this cover. And I like that the character Sean is nineteen.

July 26, 2011

Book Review: The Taming of the Rake by Kasey Michaels

The Taming of the Rake by Kasey Michaels
Author: Kasey Michaels
Series: Blackhorn Brothers #1
Release Date: July 26th, 2011
Publisher: Harlequin
Age: Adult
Charming, wealthy and wickedly handsome, Oliver “Beau” Blackthorn has it all…except revenge on the enemy he can’t forget. Now the opportunity for retribution has fallen into his hands. But his success hinges on Lady Chelsea Mills-Beckman—the one woman with the power to distract him from his quest.
Desperate to escape her family’s control, Lady Chelsea seizes the chance to run off with the notorious eldest Blackthorn brother, knowing she’s only a pawn in his game. But as Beau draws her deep into a world of intrigue, danger and explosive passion, does she dare hope he’ll choose love over vengeance?
The Taming of the Rake is the first book of the series, where you will be introduced to the three bastards sons of the Marquess of Blackthorn. Their name, given by their mother (who is an actress), are Oliver Le Beau Blackthorn (Beau), Don John Blackthorn (Black Jack) and Robin Goodfellow Blackthorn (Puck). They have been educated and have a lot of money, but they are still bastards and the society doesn't accept them. 

Beau is the oldest son and realized a long time ago he was never going to be accepted in London's society. He's a good man, at least most of the time. He hates Thomas Mills-Beckman, the oldest son of the Mills-Beckman family. So it isn't exactly bad when Lady Chelsea Mills-Beckman, his youngest sister and soon to be married, finds him and asks him to elope with her. It would be the perfect revenge, taking the Earl's sister. Also, Lady Chelsea has grown up to be a beautiful woman. So, the plan is to reach Gretna Green before Thomas, Madelyn (Chelsea's older sister) and Reverend Flotley (her future husband) and get married. She will be compromised by that moment (and probably pregnant), and her family won't be able to take her again.

I fell in love with Beau. He was such a good man, really. Of course he was a little naughty (ok, a lot) but I understood his motives. He was brave and intelligent, and wasn't the usual alpha male who wanted to command.

Chelsea was always fun. I was always laughing with the things she said and liked that she wasn't as innocent as Beau thought. She was intelligent and was always making plans for them to escape her brother, and really enjoyed being with Beau. It's obvious they were perfect for each other.

Overall, I really liked The Taming of the Rake. It was realistic and fun, and I would love to read the next one. I imagine it would focused on one of the Blackhorn Brothers, I can't wait to see who (Jack or Puck) is going to be the next one who finds love, and how their mother is going to react!

July 25, 2011

Book Review: Between Here and Forever by Elizabeth Scott

Author: Elizabeth Scott
Release Date: May 24, 2011
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Age: Young Adult
Abby accepted that she can’t measure up to her beautiful, magnetic sister Tess a long time ago, and knows exactly what she is: Second best. Invisible.

Until the accident.

Now Tess is in a coma, and Abby’s life is on hold. It may have been hard living with Tess, but it's nothing compared to living without her.

She's got a plan to bring Tess back though, involving the gorgeous and mysterious Eli, but then Abby learns something about Tess, something that was always there, but that she’d never seen.

Abby is about to find out that truth isn't always what you think it is, and that life holds more than she ever thought it could...
Abby is 17 years old, and her sister Tess is in coma. She has been since New Year's Day when she had an accident.

Tess was always perfect. She's even perfect now, beautiful. Abby is nothing like her, and she's tired of being compared to her. She wants her to wake up, but not because she miss her, but because if she doesn't, Abby will be forced to stay on her shadow.

When Abby met a gorgeous boy who works at the hospital, she thinks he will be able to wake Tess. She always liked boys as him, handsome and beautiful. Of course, Abby doesn't know that Tess had a lot of secrets...

Abby is very insecure. She always felt she was on her sister's shadow, and she doesn't think she can be more than her, so when she met Eli she's sure he's going to fall for Tess. I'm not really sure why Abby felt that way. It was obvious Tess wasn't perfect...actually she was very mean, dramatic and kind of spoiled; but their parents never did anything for Abby to think that way.

Eli is an excellent character, and I was really surprised by him. He's more than beautiful, and not only physically. But he's very shy. Obviously his life isn't as great as Abby thinks, and I was glad he wasn't perfect.

Abby and Eli are a sweet couple. Abby is very immature sometimes, and Eli is trying really hard to be with her; and I was glad when they were finally together. I'm sure they can help each other.

I can't tell you about Tess and her secrets, but even in coma, she was an intense character. She was very mean in the past but I still felt sad for her and her life, which she apparently never enjoyed.

Overall, Between Here and Forever is a heartwarming story about love for the others and for yourself. It's the first book from Elizabeth Scott I read, but it will not be the last.