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Posts tagged “Seriously Series Reading Challenge

Frodo’s Frisky Friday: The Wicked Merman by Kelly Apple

Frodo's Frisky Friday

The Wicked Merman

Summary From Goodreads

When her friend drags her off to the lake for some much needed R&R, Ari thought she’d be getting away from supernaturals for a few days. Sunning and swimming sound divine and it might help her shake off the funk of being parted from her beloved Guardian.

But when a girl who loves monsters ends up at a lake housing a merman, she’s going to end up doing a lot more than swimming.

Ari can’t resist trying to find the answer to the age-old question: How do mermen have sex?

This wicked merman is more than happy to give her some hands-on experience.

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It’s time for another edition of Frodo’s Hobbit Sized Reviews! Short and sweet just like 2nd breakfast!

I have come to the conclusion that the Monstrous Tales series is going to be exactly what most erotica enthusiasts are looking for, at least if they enjoy the fantasy variety. It is a solid dose of “monster” and human coupling, an underlying story of isolated creatures that are pretty lonely, and a small bit of “regular life” drama thrown in. If that is what you are after then you will be more than satisfied as this is some of the best writing I’ve come across in terms of the sex scenes. Kelly Apple is innovative, she answers questions that come across perverse minds like ours such as “how do mermen have sex?” while giving a bit of a reality check when it comes to the day-to-day lives of these creatures, it isn’t all fantastical in fantasy land.

If you follow the blog, and this feature in particular, then you know that I’ve featured three of the four tales in this series making it somewhat of a staple akin to Leigh Wilder and the writers at Luna Erotica. The difference between this series and some of Wilder’s similar work is the MC in Monstrous Tales, Ari, is someone I can barely tolerate, where even the frustrating ones in Wilder’s stories have some redeeming qualities. The sex scenes, monsters, and story around her is excellent, but she is whiny, self-centered, and quite frankly bitchy when she’s not screwing something. Even then she isn’t satisfied and wants her Guardian, which is fine to a point, but it is stressed too much for me.

I’m going to keep reading this series and trying to tune out the MC’s whiny tendencies and frustrating lack of compassion toward anyone but the Guardian. The rest of what is going on is definitely worth it, but if you are looking for a character you can get behind (pardon the pun) this is not it. I still recommend the series, but just keep it in mind. Thanks as always for reading and have a great (and maybe a bit naughty) weekend! ^.^

Goodreads 2014 Reading Challenge #72/365; 2014 Ebook Reading Challenge #25/75; Seriously Series Reading Challenge #24/75

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Mini Review Monday: Storm by Brigid Kemmerer

MiniReviewMonday

Storm

Summary From Goodreads

Earth, Fire, Air, Water – they have more power than you dream.

Ever since her ex-boyfriend spread those lies about her, Becca Chandler is suddenly getting all the guys—all the ones she doesn’t want. Then she saves Chris Merrick from a beating in the school parking lot. Chris is different. Way different: he can control water—just like his brothers can control fire, wind, and earth. They’re powerful. Dangerous. Marked for death.

And now that she knows the truth, so is Becca.

Secrets are hard to keep when your life’s at stake. When Hunter, the mysterious new kid around school, turns up with a talent for being in the wrong place at the right time, Becca thinks she can trust him. But then Hunter goes head-to-head with Chris, and Becca wonders who’s hiding the most dangerous truth of all.

The storm is coming . . .

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It’s time for another edition of Frodo’s Hobbit Sized Reviews on Mini Review Monday! Short and sweet just like 2nd breakfast!

Storm was everything I had hoped it would be and more! All sorts of cool elemental powers were on display, but they weren’t overpowering or superpowery (that’s totally a word now) which was great. It made the characters, even as awesome as they were, seem mostly normal, even openly mocking stuff like the X-Men when the MC, Becca, would expect too much of their abilities.

The biggest surprise for me with this book was that, with such a large cast, I really enjoyed all of them. Becca was funny and sweet, Chris was adorable (something I’m sure he’d love to hear), and the rest of the brothers each had a unique voice, which makes sense given the rest of the series, but something that you can’t really take for granted.

Storm was so good that I didn’t even mind the love triangle, and THAT is saying something! It was fast paced, the romance was so sweet no matter what the pairings were, and the cool displays of elemental awesome were as fabulous as you could hope for. I can’t wait to read the rest of the series and to see the world from the point of view of the other brothers, I know it is going to be a crazy ride. Thanks as always for reading! ^.^

Goodreads 2014 Reading Challenge #63/365; Mount TBR Challenge #45/200; 2014 TBR Pile #45/50; New Author Challenge #27/50; Seriously Series Reading Challenge #20/75

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January & February Wrap-up

January & February Wrap-up

Somehow it is already March! The first two months of the year went pretty quick, and while I’m not as ahead in my challenges as I’d like to be I’m at least on pace which is good. While I know a few people regularly check my widgets on the sidebar to keep up with my progress, I still figure a recap of how this year has gone so far wouldn’t be remiss. I’m going to go over challenges, my favorite books, my least favorites/biggest disappointments, and what I’m looking forward to in the coming months. Here we go! ^.^

Challenges

Goodreads 2014 Reading Challenge – The overall reading challenge I use to keep track of my progress, out of the 365 books I have for my goal this year (a book a day challenge in case you haven’t heard about it) I’ve read 62. I do count novellas in this, so it is a little padded, with 15 of them being of shorter length. I’m on pace, managing to stay a few books ahead, but I had hoped to have a bigger cushion at this point. Oh well, not a bad start!

 Mount TBR/2014 TBR Pile Challenges – The goals are different for these two (200 for Mount TBR, only 50 for 2014 TBR Pile) but I’m counting TBR books for both and am currently at 44 which is a ways ahead of even Mount TBR’s needed pace. I’ve done a pretty good job of trying to read TBR books for the majority of my reads, but since it is early in the year it has been easier since there just haven’t been that many books released in 2014 yet. As the year progresses this might be more difficult, but I’m thrilled with this progress! TBR book of note – Pivot Point by Kasie West

 New Author Challenge – This is one of my two new challenges this year and I’m having a blast with it! The biggest possible goal amount on this one is 50, and right now I’m at 26 which I’m pretty ecstatic about. I imagine this one will slow down if/when I work more on my next goal, but for now I’ve been experiencing plenty new authors and for the most part loving it! New Author book of note – Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

 Seriously Series Reading Challenge – I do want to start, continue, and finish more series this year and I set a goal of 75 books total (rather than a series amount) and am currently at 19. This does mean I’m ahead of where I need to be, but most of these came in January, so in March I’m going to try to read and complete at least 3-4 series to get back into it. SSR book of note – Three by Kristen Simmons

 2014 Ebook Reading Challenge – This is my other new challenge this year and what sparked the idea for my weekly Killing My Kindle feature that is on Thursdays. I set a reasonable goal of 75 eBooks and am currently at 22 which is a solid start, just a bit ahead of my progress on SSR. I’m using eBooks for two features that run almost every week so I have no doubt that I’ll surpass 75 here, though I’m not sure by how much. Ebook of note – Fosgate’s Game by David C. Cassidy

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Favorite Books

Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen – This was such a great read and the sequel, Lady Thief, was excellent as well. Love this Robin Hood retelling! ScarletUS.indd

The Unbound by Victoria Schwab – An excellent sequel to The Archived. The world is amazing, I love Schwab’s writing style, and the characters are excellent. Can’t wait for book three!

If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch – I knew the serious material in this one, but I didn’t expect to get as emotionally invested as I have. This book is amazing, touching, and so sweet. All the feels!

Most Disappointing Books

Vitro by Jessica Khoury – My only DNF so far this year and with the potential it had this sucked even more than usual. Ugh. Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge – A beautiful cover, a Beauty and the Beast retelling, and an awesome world, what could go wrong? Everything else apparently. The MC was whiny, the love triangle sucked, the book was jumbled and all over the place, and I skimmed the last 75 pages or so and found the ending to be exactly what I figured it would be. *groan*

Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut – I didn’t know you could make time travel, aliens, war, and a quirky MC boring. It didn’t seem possible, but Slaughterhouse-Five proved me wrong. What a drag to make it through this one, oh well.

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What’s Next?

More Series! – I plan to read at least a few series as I mentioned before including: Elemental by Brigid Kemmerer, The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer, Secrets of the Eternal Rose by Fiona Paul, The Heroes of Olympus, and Kane Chronicles.

Readathons! – Ides of March: Mar. 13-17th hosted by Kimberly at Caffeinated Book Reviewer, UKYA Day: April 19th a 24hr readathon hosted by Lucy at Project UKYA, and Dewey’s Readathon: April 26th hosted by Dewey!

Read All The Books! – Seriously, I just want to read as much as I possibly can, get ahead on my overall reading challenge, and somehow keep blogging every day. Let’s do this!


Killing My Kindle: Tommy Nightmare by J.L. Bryan

KillingMyKindle

Killing My Kindle

For 2014 I am tackling my Kindle app in an effort to make a dent in the large library of often forgotten eBooks. Every week I will talk about an eBook I read, be it good or bad, so that I can stay motivated and share some of it with you.

This week I took a stab at: Tommy Nightmare by J.L. Bryan

Released On: April 10th, 2011

Summary From Goodreads

While Fallen Oak recovers from the Jenny pox, someone new is hunting Jenny.

Like Jenny, Ashleigh Goodling belonged to a pair of opposites with powers that mirror each other.

Now Jenny and Seth must face the opposite of love…

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Earlier this year I read and really enjoyed Jenny Pox, the first book in this series, so I was pretty excited to see what Tommy Nightmare had in store. Tommy Nightmare introduces a pretty large group of new characters, a lot of them becoming close to being MCs, but there was still plenty of Jenny and Seth from the previous book. There’s also another returning member, but I won’t say anything about them for spoiler reasons.

I really liked what Bryan did with Tommy’s character for the most part. He’s a badass, doesn’t take anyone’s crap, and uses his power, fear, to his advantage whenever he sees fit. Sure, that doesn’t make him overly likable, though his backstory does elicit some sympathy, but it is a logical path for him to take. My complaints for him are twofold. One, I wanted more of him in this book, he really only had about a third or so at most, probably less, and his sense of humor and pretty freaky power potential wasn’t expanded on as much as I would have liked. Two, in the second half of the book he was being manipulated, and despite showing some resistance for all of one or two pages, he just let himself be a puppet. It was disappointing.

The rest of the book bounces around from the previous MCs, Jenny and Seth, to other new characters that have other (admittedly cool) powers, such as Esmeralda and Alexander. There is also a regular human that has her own arc, but it doesn’t really need more than that mention. While the multiple points of view do help to give a full scope of what is happening in the story, it did make for a bit of a jumbled feel and I would just be starting to enjoy one section when it would jump to a different one. A little irritating.

With all that said I did enjoy much of what I read and the displays of power were really incredible. The different romances that went on, despite my usual distaste for triangles and various couplings taking over the story, were plentiful but really well done. I liked the dynamics presented and thought that they added to the story where as others I have seen it might detract. My favorite element outside of the powers was definitely the flashbacks to ancient times. Ancient Sparta and Athens were mentioned a few times and it gave the story a realistic feel, plus I just love ancient history so the more of that the better.

Even though there were elements that I mentioned that disappointed me this likely would have been a 3/5 if it weren’t for the ending. Without spoiling anything I can say that Jenny does a 180 in a lot of ways, runs off without thinking, and changes her entire persona because of one incident. Everyone else stayed true to their story arc, but Jenny? Nope. So needless to say I was really disappointed.

There are good points here, potential for the rest of the series, and enough to get me to read book three in hopes that it improves back to the level of the first book, Jenny Pox. Overall it was a disappointment and a giant drop off, especially in terms of believability and consistency. The writing is still really solid in quality, but maybe Alexander Death will settle down on the POV jumps and get back to the roots of the series that made it start out so well. I am definitely intrigued by Alexander’s character, which made only a brief appearance in book two. Thanks as always for reading!

Goodreads 2014 Reading Challenge #48/365; Mount TBR Challenge #34/200; 2014 TBR Pile #34/50; Seriously Series Reading Challenge #19/75; 2014 Ebook Reading Challenge #17/75

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Mini Review Monday: Breaking Point by Kristen Simmons

MiniReviewMonday

Breaking Point

Summary From Goodreads

The second installment in Kristen Simmons’s fast-paced, gripping YA dystopian series.

After faking their deaths to escape from prison, Ember Miller and Chase Jennings have only one goal: to lay low until the Federal Bureau of Reformation forgets they ever existed.

Near-celebrities now for the increasingly sensationalized tales of their struggles with the government, Ember and Chase are recognized and taken in by the Resistance—an underground organization working to systematically take down the government. At headquarters, all eyes are on the sniper, an anonymous assassin taking out FBR soldiers one by one. Rumors are flying about the sniper’s true identity, and Ember and Chase welcome the diversion….

Until the government posts its most-wanted list, and their number one suspect is Ember herself.

Orders are shoot to kill, and soldiers are cleared to fire on suspicion alone. Suddenly Ember can’t even step onto the street without fear of being recognized, and “laying low” is a joke. Even members of the Resistance are starting to look at her sideways.

With Chase urging her to run, Ember must decide: Go into hiding…or fight back?

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It’s time for another edition of Frodo’s Hobbit Sized Reviews on Mini Review Monday! Short and sweet just like 2nd breakfast!

Breaking Point is a whirlwind of action. The book takes hold of you, thrusts you into the lives of Ember and Chase as they try to stay alive and find some source of hope, and refuses to let you go until you are just as much of an emotional wreck as the characters within.

Despite the supposed decision Ember must make that the summary for the book implies, it seems like she ended up doing a bit of both. At times her and Chase, as well as a few others (which changed throughout the book, though there was a core for a lot of it), were giving it everything they had to fight against their oppressors, but quickly resorting to hiding at others for fear of getting caught. With how fast the pace is in Breaking Point the true feelings of the characters gets a bit muddled, seemingly changing just as fast as their environment, and while it didn’t ruin the story it did make the book a bit disjointed at times.

Simmons does a lot of things well in the sequel to Article 5. She made me really feel the heartbreak and sense of loss and hopelessness that Ember and her friends often had. The relationship between Ember and Chase also was very well done, having rough patches and miscommunication just like real couples do, and never feeling forced or too perfect. Finally, no matter how many different areas the group was moving around in I could always get a clear idea of what they looked like, her descriptions were excellent and detailed, the imagery vivid and quite powerful.

Overall I felt that Breaking Point was an improvement over its predecessor. Ember is still a tad clingy when it comes to Chase, but she is starting to carve out her own identity, moving out of the “overly attached girlfriend” territory. The book was a bit jumpy at times, and I felt that a couple of scenes might have been rushed just a little, but for the most part the breakneck pace worked to the story’s advantage. Breaking Point will bring out the feels in bunches and it refuses to sugar coat any of them, which I loved. Thanks as always for reading! ^.^

Goodreads 2014 Reading Challenge #37/365; Mount TBR Challenge #28/200; 2014 TBR Pile #28/50; Seriously Series Reading Challenge #15/75

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Book of the Week: Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen

BookOfTheWeek

Book of the Week

Every Saturday I will talk about my favorite book that I read during the week, whether it be a review or a spotlight, or maybe having the author over to talk about it. Who doesn’t want more happy bookish goodness? ^.^

This week I’m gushing about: Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen

Released On: February 14th, 2012

Summary From GoodreadsScarletUS.indd

Many readers know the tale of Robin Hood, but they will be swept away by this new version full of action, secrets, and romance.

Posing as one of Robin Hood’s thieves to avoid the wrath of the evil Thief Taker Lord Gisbourne, Scarlet has kept her identity secret from all of Nottinghamshire. Only the Hood and his band know the truth: the agile thief posing as a whip of a boy is actually a fearless young woman with a secret past. Helping the people of Nottingham outwit the corrupt Sheriff of Nottingham could cost Scarlet her life as Gisbourne closes in.

It’s only her fierce loyalty to Robin—whose quick smiles and sharp temper have the rare power to unsettle her—that keeps Scarlet going and makes this fight worth dying for.

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First, allow me to give full credit to Christina from A Reader of Fictions for being the one who not only got me to buy this book, but hounded me until I felt that I HAD to read it immediately. Obviously with Scarlet being the book of the week this week I absolutely  loved it, but let me tell you why!

Scarlet is a freaking bad-ass! She operates much like a ninja, flitting from tree to tree, whipping her knives out whenever necessary with deadly accuracy, and staying in the shadows even better than the great Robin Hood. Oh, and she’s HILARIOUS! Witty retorts, great banter with the guys, and more than a few jabs at John Little, all which hit the mark. Her past haunts her, and she tries to keep a brave face on at all times, but once in a while her guard slips and I couldn’t help but want to give her a hug…which she’d probably give me a swift kick for. Loved her!

The rest of the characters are just as high of quality as Scarlet. Robin is pretty much what you would expect, though he has a slightly darker history, but he’s lovable, charming, and the hero everyone expects him to be. John Little is a tad more of a player than I remembered, but he plays the great friend/goofball role perfectly, and is quite funny in his own right. Much, the fourth and final part of the band, is the one you feel sympathetic for. He’s sweet, has had a rough time of things, and is somewhat simple, and you can’t help but like him. Really just a great group as a whole and wonderfully executed.

I Love Them All

The vividness of the world that Gaughen created shocked me. I could feel the wind blowing past Scarlet as she ran across the treetops, the dreary conditions that the commoners lived through as they struggled to survive, and the warmth of Tuck’s where the band gathers to regain their strength. From the dungeons, to the cave, and every marketplace that they visited in-between, all of it was clear in my mind, and I’m in awe of that.

It's so beautiful

As amazing as the characters and world is, the story is just as grand, and perhaps even more intricate. Somehow in less than 300 pages we learn about Scarlet’s dark history in great detail, plenty about Robin’s as well, and even John Little and Much each have their backstory, but it never felt forced or like a info dump, just beautifully woven in. There are numerous battles, daring escapes, betrayals, and romance, and it’s all blended in perfectly.

I have nothing bad to say about this book, nothing. The only thing I would note, and it worked for me, is that there is a way of speaking throughout Scarlet that took me a few pages to get used to, but once I did it enriched the whole thing even more. Again, thank you Christina for the recommendation, and for anyone reading this who hasn’t read Scarlet yet, do yourself a favor and buy it. Thanks as always for reading!

Goodreads 2014 Reading Challenge #30/365; Mount TBR Challenge #24/200; 2014 TBR Pile #24/50; New Author Challenge #11/50; Seriously Series Reading Challenge #13/75

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Frodo’s Frisky Friday: The Wicked Woods by Kelly Apple

Frodo's Frisky Friday

The Wicked Woods

Summary From Goodreads

Ari’s always had a thing for monsters. Big ones, small ones, and all the ones in between. They turn her on like no human can. She’d be an ordinary girl if not for that one little quirk.

Since monsters aren’t real, she’s resigned herself to loving them in her imagination.

But, as Ari is about to find out, monsters are real and now one of them has her in their grasp. Will reality be better than fantasy? Or will she walk away and lose her one chance at fulfilling her wildest dreams?

Warning: This book contains a girl who isn’t afraid of monsters and a monster who wouldn’t mind a special lady friend. You’ll never look at those all-night monster marathons on TV the same way again.

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It’s time for a special kind of review! I read The Wicked Woods as part of the Bout of Books 9.0 readathon and live tweeted my reactions as I went. I’ve done this kind of review format a couple times, but it’s pretty rare, so I hope you enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I hope you enjoyed that goofy style of review! If you did let me know and I can try to do this more in the future, and if you didn’t enjoy it that’s cool too since (for now) this is a pretty rare thing for me. Thanks as always for reading! ^.^

Goodreads 2014 Reading Challenge #15/365; Mount TBR Challenge #13/200; 2014 TBR Pile #13/50; Seriously Series Reading Challenge #6/75; 2014 Ebook Reading Challenge #5/75

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