Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday (13)

Happy Tuesday! Today I've decided to participate in Top Ten Tuesday, formerly hosted by Jamie at The Broke and the Bookish, now hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl.

Today's topic is: 

Best Character Names

Zahra from The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury

Casimir from Ruined by Amy Tintera

Solara from Starflight by Melissa Landers

Aileana from The Falconer trilogy by Elizabeth May

Crowe from Devils & Thieves by Jennifer Rush

Aelyx from Alienated by Melissa Landers

Arin from The Winner's Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski

Perry (Peregrine) from the Under the Never Sky trilogy by Veronica Rossi

Aric from Endless Knight by Kresley Cole

Jessamin from Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White

There are so many more names that I can list! These are just the first that come to mind. There's something in a name, that's for sure. Fun fact: two of these names are ones that I'm considering naming my hypothetical potential future children!

Monday, May 21, 2018

Review: Going Rogue by Chantal Fernando

Going Rogue by Chantal Fernando
Book Three of the Cursed Ravens series
Publisher: Pocket Star (Gallery)
Publication Date: August 6, 2018
Rating: 4 stars
Source: eARC from Edelweiss

Summary (from Goodreads):

Love blossoms in the most unexpected of places in this sweet and steamy Cursed Ravens Motorcyle Club title featuring a hunky bad boy and a charming nurse.

The men might tease Rogue and call him pretty behind his back, but no one is going to say that to his face. As the vice president of the Cursed Ravens—and with an unpredictable and unruly temper—respect is given to him at any cost.

But Rogue reins himself in when visits his mother in a local nursing home. Overwhelmed with guilt that he can’t take care of her himself, he can barely handle watching her fade away with dementia. And he knows the staff is exceptional—especially the sweet and beautiful caregiver who pays extra attention to his mom.

It isn’t easy working at a nursing home, but Zoe enjoys spending time with her favorite patient Anne. She knows Anne has a son who dutifully visits her, but when Zoe sees the tall, muscled, handsome stranger, she can tell he’s trouble—beautiful trouble. She knows he’s a Cursed Raven and she knows better than to admit she’s attracted to him. There’s no way her brother will let her hang out with a rival MC member. But as Zoe and Rogue start to get closer, they realize one way or another, they’ll have to fight to stay in each other’s lives. 

What I Liked:

I read books one and two last week, both of which have not been published, and I had been wondering how long it would be before the third book (Going Rogue) would appear on Edelweiss, as its predecessors had. Lo and behold, not two days later, this book showed up on the site, and I downloaded it immediately. I'm jumping the gun here, in posting the review for an August '18 publication in May, but I couldn't wait. I really enjoyed the first two books in this series, and I'm happy to say that I liked Going Rogue

Rogue is the VP of the Cursed Ravens club - he's the backbone of the club, and the one who shoulders much of the responsibility. He always seems to have a lot going on, from helping his club brothers with their new babies, to taking the lead on club deals, to watching his mother wither way in an old-age home, suffering from dementia. It's there that he meets Zoe, the nurse who takes care of his mother. Zoe always knew Mrs. Kennedy had a son, but she never knew he was a tall, darkly handsome, very muscular man with wicked charm and quiet, lethal power. It's lust at first sight, but both of them will quickly start to realize how far they'll go for the other.

I adored Rogue in the first two books, and could not wait for him to get his own book. It's unfortunate that this book is written exclusively from Zoe's first-person POV, but Rogue is still so present and so swoony - it didn't matter that his POV wasn't featured. He dominates the book from start to finish. Rogue is deadly and precise when he needs to be - as the VP of the MC, he has to be. But he's also thoughtful, sweet, and considerate. He's good with babies (none are his own - they're  his "nephews"), and he's a sweetheart of a boyfriend. And he can sing and play the guitar! Throw in the muscles and pretty face, and you've got the full package. (That too. *nudge nudge*)

Zoe is the perfect complement. She is sweet and gentle, which is great for her profession. She has a kind heart and a lot of patience. Mrs. Kennedy (Rogue's mother) likes her a lot, because she is so kind and considerate. But Zoe isn't a passive person; she knows her mind and she's very sassy too. She isn't as aggressive as previous heroines (I don't say "aggressive" in a negative way, mind you), but she isn't passive either. She fits Rogue very well.

The two of them together are fiery hot but also richly sweet. They are a great pair. They have instant chemistry, but they also mesh together well in terms of personalities. Both of them are very selfless and giving.

In terms of the romance, as always, the pair have hot chemistry and this leads to very sexy sexy-times. I only wish there were more sexy times on page! Rogue is super yummy, a "good" type of alpha male. Zoe is sweet and assertive too, and that dynamic works for the pair. 

There are a lot of cameos from the MC members, such as Ace, Knuckles, Shack, and the president. Erin and Celina are very present as well, and there is some surprises along the way involving some of the ladies and gentlemen of the club. I love how the author kept us readers in the loop with the rest of the club. The whole gang is so fun and get along so well.

I have to mention the strong sisterhood that emerges, in this book. Erin and Celina are cousins and always had each other's back, in the previous books. Zoe and her older sister Vanessa are an even stronger pair. But the four ladies together are unstoppable and unshakable. I love how quickly they all become friends and how well they get along and support each other.

The same can be said about the men in the MC. Ace, Knuckles, Rogue, Shack, and Prez have a close bond - especially Ace, Knuckles, and Rogue. They support each other and keep the brotherhood close. Loyalty is everything to these men, and it really shows, in the story. The MC aspect of the story (and series) is alive and well in this book.

The ending is such a wonderful HEA! We get a peek into everyone's future, in the epilogue. But I especially loved Rogue and Zoe's ending. Theirs was hard-fought and almost had a tiny bit of bittersweet something to it, but they worked through their issues. I love how communication is a big part of the resolution, and how quickly the couple works through their problems. This is so important to see, in romances. Anyway, the ending was really satisfying. I'm sad that the series is over (at least I think it is), but I loved the ending.

What I Did Not Like:

I guess there could always be more sex (ha!), and I'm also sad that the series is over. Could Vanessa get her own book, maybe? She is HILARIOUS. I relate to her - I'm not as dramatic as she is (she is awesome, "dramatic" isn't a bad thing), but I'm probably as sassy and exuberant, so I think we'd get along.

Would I Recommend It:

I highly recommend this particular book (it's so sexy and sweet!), but also the entire series. There are so many great aspects of the series. Yes, it's a motorcycle club romance and those always have the rough-and-tumble appeal. But there is also a strong brotherhood, a growing sisterhood, slow-burn sexy romances, tough heroines, swoony heroes... I really enjoyed this series.


4 stars. I'm so sad that the series is over. Part of me is hoping that Vanessa gets her own book. Given that the epilogue of this book goes somewhat ahead into the future, I'm not sure her book would be a thing, but maybe a novella? It would be nice. I adore Vanessa!

Was this review helpful? Please let me know in the comments section!

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Science in Fiction (#40): Unbreakable by Elizabeth Norris

Welcome to this month's Science in Fiction feature! Science in Fiction is a meme I created to showcase the wonderful aspects of science in Young Adult fiction novels. For more information and previous feature, check out the "Science in Fiction" tag!

This month, I'm featuring Unbreakable by Elizabeth Norris!

I read Unraveling years ago, but only very recently read Unbreakable. It's the sequel and conclusion to this science fiction duology, an "older" one in YA. This series is filled with action, tension, and high stakes. I loved the pacing of this novel, and coupled with an intense plot, the story was unbeatable. It's a story dealing with parallel universes and exceptional abilities (in one character's case, anyway). 

So today, I'm going to talk about parallel universes!

I may have talked about this before. It's a strange topic in science because it's not proven - so it's not really science. But just because something isn't known doesn't mean it doesn't exist. I can't provide any facts for you today, but I think it would be interesting to consider the possibility of parallel universes.

I recently read an article, published on May 9th, 2018, about parallel universes. The article, which can be read on Space.com, breaks down five different types of multiverses, which I thought was neat.

1. Infinite universes: space-time is flat and infinite, and many universes exist.

2. Bubble universes: each universe is in a bubble, and it grows within its own bubble. This means that other universes could have completely different laws of physics, which is really, really cool.

3. Daughter universes: think of it this way: for every outcome that a decision could have (at least two outcomes), there is a universe. This is similar to the idea brought about in Dissonance by Erica O'Rourke. That was an excellent book, by the way!

4. Mathematical universes: basically, structural mathematics could vary depending on the universe, and things could be very different without human understanding. This one is kind of vague and doesn't really make sense to me, but I'm sure scientists know what they're talking about.

5. Parallel universes: space-time is flat, the number of particle configurations is limited, and particles repeat themselves in terms of arrangements. This lends itself to the idea that there are many parallel universes, many universes just like ours but slightly different in some way.

Personally, I like the idea of the daughter universes. It is the whole premise behind Dissonance, one of my favorite YA science fiction books. What you could travel to a universe where you could see how things turned out if you made a different decision? That would be neat. And scary too. The parallel universe theory doesn't have a lot of support or science behind it, but it is something cool to think about. For now, we can enjoy the science fiction created from it!

- The Chronicles of Narnia
- Men Like Gods
- "Back to the Future"
- His Dark Materials
- "Stranger Things"
- Dissonance 

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Stacking the Shelves (#282)

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews, in which bloggers share the books and swag they've received in the past week!

So, what did I get in the week of Sunday, May 13th to Saturday, May `9th?

(all links to Goodreads are provided!)

In the mail:

Phew! That was a lot. All of them were unsolicited except Zodiac, which I received via trade. I just love that original cover. Thank you, Mia, and all the publishers! (Penguin Random House, Berkley, Harper, HMH Teen, and Simon & Schuster)

From Edelweiss:


I downloaded Ace of Hearts on a whim and really enjoyed the book! Then I downloaded Knuckle Down and liked it though not as much as the first book. And then Going Rogue appeared on Edelweiss later this week! I love the timing. I'm reading it soon!

Reviews from this week:

(Click on the covers to go to my reviews!)

Favorite Instagram post from this week:

None this week!

It rained and rained and rained this week! The weather has really brought morale down and I'm over it. Isn't it amazing how weather can affect your moods?

Friday, May 18, 2018

My Favorite Books that were Recommended to Me

Happy Friday, bibliovores! Today is another day in which I didn't feel like writing/posting a review, but did feel like posting something... so I'm doing another favorites post! You can check out my my favorite YA books with "blood" in the title HERE, favorite YA books that need a sequel HERE, favorite YA books with hate-to-love romance HERE, favorite books with the word "shadow" in the title HERE, favorite adult books (alphabet style) HERE, favorite Jane-Austen-Inspired YA books HERE, favorite YA foreign editions posts HERE, favorite YA books (alphabet style) HERE, favorite YA books with one-word titles HERE, favorite swoons from YA books HERE.

Here are some of my favorite books that were recommended to me! 

Fated (Servants of Fate, #3)

The whole series was recommended to me by the wonderful Pili, but I especially loved Fated!

Time Served (Time Served #1)

One of my favorite adult romance books of all time recommended by Dear Author!

Beauty and the Barbarian (Highland Force, #3)

I read this one quite recently and loved it. Thanks, Renee!

Quite possibly my favorite Tessa Bailey book of all time. It's an old one, recommended by Jessirae!

The Naming (Pellinor, #1)  The Riddle (The Books of Pellinor, #2)
The Crow (The Books of Pellinor, #3)  The Singing (The Books of Pellinor, #4)

I read these books a long time ago, when I was a young teen. I enjoyed them then, but I have a feeling I would enjoy them even more since time has passed. They were my sister's favorite books back in the day (and still are). Thanks for the rec, Lily!

Sanctum (Guards of the Shadowlands, #1)

I remember seeing Ashley pick up this book and love it. She has good taste!

The Deal (Off-Campus, #1)

A looooot of people recommended this book to me, but I remember Nereyda pushing it hard!

Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days, #1)

Pili (who is spot-on with her recs for me) recommended the whole series, which I enjoyed, but I particularly loved book one! The conclusion was also really good. =)

I'm a firm believer in giving credit where credit is due, and these wonderful people deserve a shout-out for recommending books that I ended up loving (and honestly, just recommending books in general). There are many more that I am not thinking of, and these are just a few of my favorites. As always, if you have any recommendations for me, please tell me! =)

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Swoon Thursday (#277): Ace of Hearts by Chantal Fernando

- From the book you’re currently reading, or one you just finished, tell us what made you SWOON. What got your heart pounding, your skin tingling, and your stomach fluttering

- Try to make the swoon excerpt 140 characters (or less), if you are going to tweet about it. Use the hashtag #YABOUND when tweeting

This week, my swoon is from Ace of Hearts by Chantal Fernando!

He gently pushes me back into my room and closes the door behind us, this time pressing the lock.

"Is that what this is? Connection?" he asks me, sounding doubtful.

Before I can reply though, he lowers his head, cupping my cheeks in his warm, rough palms, and kisses me. Gentle at first, soft and sweet. Unsure. All that soon changes as we melt into the kiss, his lips becoming demanding, greedy. His tongue slips inside my mouth, and his hands move from my face to my waist, pulling me closer. I moan as he dips me back, my back arching, like in a romantic movie. His thumbs caress my hips, and I'm lost in the sensations. I've never been kissed like this in my life, and I have to wonder if I hadn't met him, if I ever would.

- eARC, 30%

Website | Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Ace of Hearts review | Knuckle Down review

I loved this book! I also read the sequel, Knuckle Down, which wasn't as good but it was still not bad. I just downloaded book three, Going Rogue, from Edelweiss, and I cannot wait to start it. This series is going well for me so far - I highly recommend it!

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Waiting on Wednesday (#281): The Wren Hunt by Mary Watson

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

This week, I'm featuring:

The Wren Hunt by Mary Watson
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Publication Date: November 6, 2018

Summary (from Goodreads):

Every Christmas, Wren is chased through the woods near her isolated village by her family's enemies—the Judges—and there’s nothing that she can do to stop it. Once her people, the Augurs, controlled a powerful magic. But now that power lies with the Judges, who are set on destroying her kind for good. 

In a desperate bid to save her family, Wren takes a dangerous undercover assignment—as an intern to an influential Judge named Cassa Harkness. Cassa has spent her life researching a transformative spell, which could bring the war between the factions to its absolute end. Caught in a web of deceit, Wren must decide whether or not to gamble on the spell and seal the Augurs’ fate.

This sounds so trippy! I've browsed through some reviews on Goodreads and it seems like this book is really intriguing and twisted. And there's a star-crossed lovers romance. I can't wait!