The Taking (The Taking, #1)
Exp. Pub.: April 29, 2014 (TOMORROW!!!)
A flash of white light . . . and then . . . nothing.
When sixteen-year-old Kyra Agnew wakes up behind a Dumpster at the Gas ’n’ Sip, she has no memory of how she got there. With a terrible headache and a major case of déjà vu, she heads home only to discover that five years have passed . . . yet she hasn’t aged a day.
Everything else about Kyra’s old life is different. Her parents are divorced, her boyfriend, Austin, is in college and dating her best friend, and her dad has changed from an uptight neat-freak to a drunken conspiracy theorist who blames her five-year disappearance on little green men.
Confused and lost, Kyra isn’t sure how to move forward unless she uncovers the truth. With Austin gone, she turns to Tyler, Austin’s annoying kid brother, who is now seventeen and who she has a sudden undeniable attraction to. As Tyler and Kyra retrace her steps from the fateful night of her disappearance, they discover strange phenomena that no one can explain, and they begin to wonder if Kyra’s father is not as crazy as he seems. There are others like her who have been taken . . . and returned. Kyra races to find an explanation and reclaim the life she once had, but what if the life she wants back is not her own?
Do you heart that? It's the theme song to the X-Files. And you might think twice about capturing fireflies from now on.
Before We Fall (Beautifully Broken, #3)
Pub.: December 3, 2013
Sometimes, one dark moment is all it takes to turn your world black...
For 24-year old Dominic Kinkaide, that moment took place on the night of his high school graduation. One dark incident changed him forever. He's a hardened actor now, famous in the eyes of the world, but tortured in his own. He doesn't care about much of anything, except for losing himself in the roles that he plays.
23-year old Jacey Vincent doesn't realize how much her father's indifference has affected her. She is proof that sometimes it isn't one specific moment that wrecks a person, but rather it's an absence of moments. She's like a bird with a broken wing-strong yet fragile, as she tries to float through life, finding acceptance in the arms of random guys, one after the other... to fill the void that her father left in her.
Until she meets Dominic.
After jaded Dominic and strong-willed Jacey are thrown together, his secret and her issues create a dark and damaged energy that will soon turn their attraction to each other into an explosive storm.
Even though when the clouds have cleared and the dust has settled, both of them are almost obliterated... they've learned a priceless lesson.
Sometimes, before we fall... we fly.
Dominic is simply spending time away from Hollywood by staying at his brother's house in Chicago, but the house is always abuzz with people and parties because his two brothers are in a rock group. Jacey is simply just trying to survive her poor excuse for a life, working parties like those at the Kincaide's because it pays well for a part-time job while she goes to school. The two meeting was just chance, but when Dominic goes to give her a ride home one night, the police find a stash of pot inside his vehicle. Neither will admit it's theirs, so both get arrested and sentenced to three months community service. A beautiful start to any relationship, eh?
Needless to say, neither believe the other at first and their relationship is rocky even though there's an attraction on both sides. But both believe their damaged and can only accept the other in a certain way. Jacey can only do with guys who are good-souled and can go all in, but that's the exact opposite of what Dominic can give. The guy even refuses to have sex with any woman after the death of his high school sweet heart six years ago. Yeah, he's that messed up in the head. So what's a couple already in a love-hate relationship to do?
Wow. So Dominic is definitely a tortured soul, but I couldn't help but think if his stubborn ass would've just talked to someone about it, all the secrets wouldn't have weighed so heavily on his soul. And he's sort of responsible for making it worse than it needed to be by keeping to himself and shutting people out of his life. With Jacey, I sort of get where she's coming from, but we're not really given all the deats on her past because she got therapy and doesn't think too much about it. Her past simply guides her life on which type of people are okay to let into her life. But unfortunately, it doesn't keep her from going back and forth with Dominic - who most definitely doesn't fit under the acceptable column - making herself a combination of titillated and miserable. And having her family members constantly tell her she's in a bad way when she's hardly not, isn't helping her self-esteem any. Hell, she was so worried about being better for them she hardly took the time to see what was best for her.
Before We Fall will definitely drive you nuts with all the back and forth that barely has any give. You kinda wish they'd just shove themselves off and be done with it already, but you can't help but hope these two wrongs will in some way combine to make a very damaged right.
Side Effects May Vary
Pub.: March 18, 2014
What if you’d been living your life as if you were dying—only to find out that you had your whole future ahead of you?
When sixteen-year-old Alice is diagnosed with leukemia, her prognosis is grim. To maximize the time she does have, she vows to spend her final months righting wrongs—however she sees fit. She convinces her friend Harvey, whom she knows has always had feelings for her, to help her with a crazy bucket list that’s as much about revenge (humiliating her ex-boyfriend and getting back at her arch nemesis) as it is about hope (doing something unexpectedly kind for a stranger and reliving some childhood memories). But just when Alice’s scores are settled, she goes into remission.
Now Alice is forced to face the consequences of all that she’s said and done, as well as her true feelings for Harvey. But has she done irreparable damage to the people around her, and to the one person who matters most?
Julie Murphy’s Side Effects May Vary is a fearless and moving tour de force about love, life, and facing your own mortality.
This girl's got one hell of an atonement issue now.
Well, I can honestly say I'm glad I'm neither a friend or foe of Alice's, because everyone seems to get treated like crap alike. One year ago Alice began having dizzy spells. A month later she found out why. Leukemia. And even with treatment, her outlook wasn't promising. She'd come to terms that she was on death's doorstep, so she decided to make a lasting impression on her way out. You see, Alice is one of those people who always have to have the last word. She enlists her on again - off again friend Harvey to help her get back against her ex-boyfriend and nemesis. I'll admit the two never did anything one wouldn't expect high school kids to do. He cheated, and she was simply her competition in ballet and typical queen bee ruling the school. The sad part? Alice was better off without the two in her life as she spent her remaining year at home. But being the bratty, teenage girl that she was, she just couldn't help herself. Unfortunately for Alice, once her revenge was done, her body went into remission and she was forced to return and accept the wrath they were willing to throw back at her now she wasn't terminal anymore.
Oh, Harvey, how I love thee. You deserved so much better. By far the sweetest guy ever, he'd always put up with Alice's dominant type A personality and suffered painful whiplash from her undecided interest in him. She'd given in to him when she was sick, but she only found the courage to because she knew she wouldn't be around to actually deal with the fallout of letting him love her. Once in remission, she pulls the breaks so fast Harvey is thrown from the car without protection. She does everything she can to alienate and hurt him, just like she did with everyone else. And you just wanna smack the crap out of her, because she's one of those girls who ruins guys for other girls, leaving them so damaged they're hardly functional anymore.
I'm sorry, but her illness was no excuse to kick the bitch-o-meter up to full blast. Yeah, people screwed you over. It's high school. People are shits and that happens. Karma will always find a way to get back at them for you, so be the bigger person and move on with your life (or I guess death in this case), knowing the ones doing it are far more screwed in the head than you are and will probably be miserable their entire lives. Side Effects May Vary was well-written and kept my attention enough to read it in one sitting. The MC will annoy you to death, but it's definitely worth the read.
The Forever Song (Blood of Eden #3)
Exp. Pub.: April 15, 2014 TODAY!!!
VENGEANCE WILL BE HERS
Allison Sekemoto once struggled with the question: human or monster?
With the death of her love, Zeke, she has her answer.
Allie will embrace her cold vampire side to hunt down and end Sarren, the psychopathic vampire who murdered Zeke. But the trail is bloody and long, and Sarren has left many surprises for Allie and her companions—her creator, Kanin, and her blood brother, Jackal. The trail is leading straight to the one place they must protect at any cost—the last vampire-free zone on Earth, Eden. And Sarren has one final, brutal shock in store for Allie.
In a ruined world where no life is sacred and former allies can turn on you in one heartbeat, Allie will face her darkest days. And if she succeeds, triumph is short-lived in the face of surviving forever alone.
Allie, Jackal and Kanin have united once more to chase down Sarren, who before torturing and killing Zeke, learned of Eden's location. Now he's set his course to let loose a virus that will eradicate vampires and humans alike. A good half of the novel is them on the road chasing down Sarren, with a few stops along the way to deal with the traps left behind - one of which is completely devastating for Allie to deal with. But seriously? She should've seen that one coming. This is Sarren, after all.
Eden is in far better shape than expected, but many lives were lost when a barge filled with spastic, twitching vampires is let loose on the population. The people flee, leaving Sarren and his misfits free reign of the island at night, but return during daylight hours to dig up as many as possible to kill off. But there's still way too many to deal with by the time Allie and company show up, and now they've been infected by Sarren's virus, making them even harder to deal with. And now that the outbreak is beginning, things look bleak in righting Sarren's wrong.
Overall I loved the series, but I preferred the other two to this one. It may be the tone of the novel, as Allie's miserable and suffering with the loss of her lover, and she's allowed the monster inside her to overtake her actions. Jackal's still a pain in the ass but continues to steal the spotlight for me. Kanin's all business and constantly annoyed by his bickering children, and Sarren's so screwed in the head even his marbles have lost their marbles - which he proves over and over again leaving messed up messages as the trio struggles to catch up. Still a good conclusion to the series though.
Going Rogue (Also Known As, #2)
Pub.: January 14, 2014
Being permanently based in a local New York City high school as an undercover operative has its moments, good and bad, for 16-year-old safecracker Maggie Silver.
Pros: More quality time with her former mark-turned-boyfriend Jesse Oliver and insanely cool best friend, Roux.
Getting to spend quality time with her semi-retired and international spy honorary uncle, Angelo.
Cons: High school and the accompanying cliques, bad lunches, and frustratingly simple locker combinations.
But when Maggie's parents are falsely accused of stealing priceless gold coins, Maggie uses her safecracking skills to try and clear their names.
Too bad it only serves to put her and everyone she loves in danger. Maggie and her "new team" flee to Paris where they must come up with a plan to defeat their former allies.
I'm a huge fan of Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway, so I'm willing to try her other books. Going Rogue, like Also Known As, was a cute novel perfect for young teenage girls. After completing her last mission, Maggie has settled down into normal life awaiting her next assignment that requires her stellar safecracking skills. But what she gets instead is the knowledge that her organization, The Collective, wants her and her family out over the last debacle. Her parents have been accused of stealing rare gold coins by the very man they know must have them for himself. But now that her parents have been compromised, Maggie and Angelo must work privately to clear their names. Tension rises not only at home, but between Maggie and her civilian boyfriend and best friend, who know what she is and become bitter when she shuts them down as well. But Maggie can't help but be the spy that she is, and if risking the stability of her relationships will keep everyone safe, she take the continuous hits they feel the need to dish out. Unfortunately, nothing goes as planned and stealing back the coins has everyone fleeing the country for their very lives, even the civilians. Will Maggie and Angelo be able to stabilize the situation before losing someone they love, or will The Collective succeed at bringing them down on a permanent basis?
ARC provided by Walker Childrens for honest review.
It's not too often I dub something best of anything, but I sometimes find it shocking that some novels out there bring in a ton of ratings while others, which are far better, seem lost in the great shuffle. The Fractured Light series seems to fall under that category, so all I can do is shout WAKE UP PEEPS and READ 'EM ALREADY! This series follows a teenage girl who can harness light, who instead of being a docile pushover like the rest of her fellow Auras, and after spending her life on the run, is sick and tired of the Vykens chasing her down to absorb her light, ultimately killing her like they did her parents. Fractured Light offers up a different kind of paranormal story with a strong-minded, determined girl, and a sweet love in the making with her new guardian Christian.
Llona is determined to end the fight with the Vykens once and for all. All she needs is to find and destroy the Shadow—the ultimate source of dark power. But when she makes a startling discovery about someone she loves, Llona has to fight the toughest battle yet in this exciting conclusion to the Fractured Light series.
Only a few months have passed since Llona's Aunt Sophie was abducted by a man who fooled them all, and the tragedy (which I'll leave blank for this review). Llona's doing her best to move forward. Liam, her friend and mentor, who's also half Vyken, has been keeping her busy by having her focus on her training, including learning how to use her light source to make herself invisible. Super cool, by the way.
A deadly shadow has been set free and is now under the control of Lucent Academy's worst enemy. And the only way to defeat it? A single Aura must sacrifice her light - and her life - to bring it down, and Llona already has a pretty good idea who'll have to do that when the time comes. Knowing how much danger the Academy is now vulnerable to, Llona desperately tries to convince her fellow classmates to ignore what they've always been taught and learn to harness their light as a weapon to save their very lives. A swarm of Vykens are lurking nearby, werewolves are trying to help guard the school, and three witches of enormous power, who were responsible for releasing the shadow in the first place, have relocated themselves to the edge of the property. Oh, and there's this whole Christian nightmare and her best friend being lured to the dark side by her Fury father. Yep, just another lovely day in paradise.
Fractured Truth is a Go! Go! Go! novel that starts off with a bang and never lets up! Poor Llona has so many freakin' issues spinning her in circles it's a wonder she can see straight. There's plenty of action, betrayal and heartache to go around. Prepare your lips - you're going to be chewing on them until the very end.
ARC provided by Cedar Fort for honest review.
Just for the Crazy Dream Peeps (US only) - One lucky winner will receive
SIGNED COPIES of ALL THREE books in the Fractured Light series!
Tour Giveaway (INT) - Enter to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card and
one of three copies of Fractured Light!
Then head here to be entered for another $25 Gift Card (INT) to either Amazon or the Book Depository
Yay! Today's the Day! All the blood, sweat and tears are finally paying off! Okay, I only cried, but Megan does all three, so that counts, right? Pick up your copy today at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Kobo is still pending as I'm having trouble getting the system to actually publish the thing. Paperbacks will be available through Amazon in just a few days.
Happy Reading! Though it's not really a happy story, is it? Gah!
Megan Whitaker desperately wants to forget what the Malone brothers have done to her over the past two years – the haunting images and sensations still plaguing her thoughts and dreams – but she can’t. Charles may be dead, but Zander isn’t. I’ll find you and bring you back to me. She wants to believe she’s safe with Nick in their secluded new home, but it doesn’t keep her from looking over her shoulder, jumping over unexpected sounds, carrying a concealed weapon or even preparing for the worst. Because she fears the time is near.
Nick Ellis has seen a change in his long, lost love. Battered emotionally and physically, Megan spends her days at self-defense classes and researching things that’ll never allow her to let go of the past. And he feels guilty even wanting her to, because he knows that heathen will return, it’s only a matter of time. And when he does, Nick knows he will do everything possible to save her, even if it means taking another shot to the heart.
But for Megan, there is no escaping the world of sex trafficking, nor the band of men who continually aid one another to keep it thriving. And as her nightmarish world encroaches on reality, Megan soon realizes there are far worse evils to fear than the sadistic man who haunts her dreams.
New Adult Romantic Suspense / Dark Realistic Fiction Recommended for 17+ for mature and disturbing situations, language and sexual content.