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August Mini Reviews

September 23, 2012

Here are some mini reviews of several books that I read in August. I either didn’t have the time or interest in writing a longer review. Mini as in, did I enjoy the story or not. I hate reviews that give away too many plot details but even so, these reviews are really brief. 🙂

The Shape of Desire – Sharon Shinn

Series: Shifting Circle #1
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Published: April 2012
Links: Amazon   Book Depository


For fifteen years Maria Devane has been desperately, passionately in love with Dante Romano. But despite loving him with all of her heart and soul, Maria knows that Dante can never give all of himself back-at least not all the time.

Every month, Dante shifts shape, becoming a wild animal. During those times, he wanders far and wide, leaving Maria alone. He can’t choose when he shifts, the transition is often abrupt and, as he gets older, the time he spends in human form is gradually decreasing. But Maria, who loves him without hesitation, wouldn’t trade their unusual relationship for anything.

Since the beginning, she has kept his secret, knowing that their love is worth the danger. But when a string of brutal attacks occur in local parks during the times when Dante is in animal form, Maria is forced to consider whether the lies she’s been telling about her life have turned into lies she’s telling herself…

The story of a girl in love with a shape-shifter for 15 years who is only human a few days a month. The Shape of Desire lacked a spark. It wasn’t badly written but the excitement was missing,  a little boring to be honest. My Rating: 4.5/10


Mina Wentworth and the Invisible City– Meljean Brook

Series: Iron Seas #1.5
Genre: Steampunk
Published: August 2012
Links: Amazon  


Eight months after The Iron Duke, can their marriage survive a new danger?

After Mina is called in to investigate the murder of an aristocratic bounder, her husband Rhys—known to the world as the Iron Duke—must overcome his fear for his new bride before his need to protect her tears them apart. But when she invites him to join her at the murder scene, a search for a mysterious killing machine puts her in more danger than ever before…a danger that leads straight back to Rhys.

Novella follow on to the Iron Duke. Good story but I wouldn’t recommend trying this one until you’ve read The Iron Duke. It’s  an  epilogue story really. Oh and the summary is misleading – I hate that. My Rating: 7.5/10


Such a Rush – Jennifer Echols

Genre: Contemporary Young Adult
Published: July 2012
Links: Amazon   Book Depository


A sexy and poignant romantic tale of a young daredevil pilot caught between two brothers.

 When I was fourteen, I made a decision. If I was doomed to live in a trailer park next to an airport, I could complain about the smell of the jet fuel like my mom, I could drink myself to death over the noise like everybody else, or I could learn to fly.

Heaven Beach, South Carolina, is anything but, if you live at the low-rent end of town. All her life, Leah Jones has been the grown-up in her family, while her mother moves from boyfriend to boyfriend, letting any available money slip out of her hands. At school, they may diss Leah as trash, but she’s the one who negotiates with the landlord when the rent’s not paid. At fourteen, she’s the one who gets a job at the nearby airstrip.

But there’s one way Leah can escape reality. Saving every penny she can, she begs quiet Mr. Hall, who runs an aerial banner-advertising business at the airstrip and also offers flight lessons, to take her up just once. Leaving the trailer park far beneath her and swooping out over the sea is a rush greater than anything she’s ever experienced, and when Mr. Hall offers to give her cut-rate flight lessons, she feels ready to touch the sky.

By the time she’s a high school senior, Leah has become a good enough pilot that Mr. Hall offers her a job flying a banner plane. It seems like a dream come true . . . but turns out to be just as fleeting as any dream. Mr. Hall dies suddenly, leaving everything he owned in the hands of his teenage sons: golden boy Alec and adrenaline junkie Grayson. And they’re determined to keep the banner planes flying.

Though Leah has crushed on Grayson for years, she’s leery of getting involved in what now seems like a doomed business—until Grayson betrays her by digging up her most damning secret. Holding it over her head, he forces her to fly for secret reasons of his own, reasons involving Alec. Now Leah finds herself drawn into a battle between brothers—and the consequences could be deadly.

I thought the first half of the story was excellent, with great characters and an interesting premise but towards the end, the story became predictable and lost the magic. I hated the fake girlfriend plot but I adored the flying scenes, they were incredible. My Rating: 7.5/10


Hearts of Darkness – Kira Brady

Series: Deadglass #1
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Published: August 2012
Links: Amazon   Book Depository


In the first of a dazzling new romantic trilogy, one woman’s courageous search plunges her into a millennia-old supernatural war—and an irresistible passion…

Nurse Kayla Friday has dedicated her life to science and reason. But for her, Seattle is a place of eerie loss and fragmented, frightening memories. And now the only clue to her sister’s murder reveals a secret battle between two ancient mythologies…and puts Kayla in the sights of lethally-sexy werewolf mercenary Hart. He’ll do whatever it takes to obtain the key to the Gate of the Land of the Dead and free what’s left of his soul. But seducing the determined Kayla is putting them at the mercy of powerful desires neither can control. And as the clock ticks down to hellish catastrophe, the untested bond between Kayla and Hart may lead to the ultimate sacrifice.

There was too much happening in this story, I started skipping and not with excitement. The characters were not particularly appealing and the numerous plots became over whelming. My Rating: 5.5/10


Glow – Amy Kathleen Ryan

Series: Sky Chasers #1
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Published: September 2011
Links: Amazon   Book Depository


What if you were bound for a new world, about to pledge your life to someone you’d been promised to since birth, and one unexpected violent attack made survival—not love—the issue?

Out in the murky nebula lurks an unseen enemy: the New Horizon. On its way to populate a distant planet in the wake of Earth’s collapse, the ship’s crew has been unable to conceive a generation to continue its mission. They need young girls desperately, or their zealous leader’s efforts will fail. Onboard their sister ship, the Empyrean, the unsuspecting families don’t know an attack is being mounted that could claim the most important among them…

Fifteen-year-old Waverly is part of the first generation to be successfully conceived in deep space; she was born on the Empyrean, and the large farming vessel is all she knows. Her concerns are those of any teenager—until Kieran Alden proposes to her. The handsome captain-to-be has everything Waverly could ever want in a husband, and with the pressure to start having children, everyone is sure he’s the best choice. Except for Waverly, who wants more from life than marriage—and is secretly intrigued by the shy, darkly brilliant Seth.

But when the Empyrean faces sudden attack by their assumed allies, they quickly find out that the enemies aren’t all from the outside.

I found this book really difficult to read, I just couldn’t get into the story. The characters and plot didn’t appeal to me. My Rating: DNF


On the Island – Tracey Garvis-Graves

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published: October 2011
Links: Amazon   Book Depository


When thirty-year-old English teacher Anna Emerson is offered a job tutoring T.J. Callahan at his family’s summer rental in the Maldives, she accepts without hesitation; a working vacation on a tropical island trumps the library any day. T.J. Callahan has no desire to leave town, not that anyone asked him. He’s almost seventeen and if having cancer wasn’t bad enough, now he has to spend his first summer in remission with his family – and a stack of overdue assignments – instead of his friends.

Anna and T.J. are en route to join T.J.’s family in the Maldives when the pilot of their seaplane suffers a fatal heart attack and crash-lands in the Indian Ocean. Adrift in shark-infested waters, their life jackets keep them afloat until they make it to the shore of an uninhabited island.

Now Anna and T.J. just want to survive and they must work together to obtain water, food, fire, and shelter. Their basic needs might be met but as the days turn to weeks, and then months, the castaways encounter plenty of other obstacles, including violent tropical storms, the many dangers lurking in the sea, and the possibility that T.J.’s cancer could return. As T.J. celebrates yet another birthday on the island, Anna begins to wonder if the biggest challenge of all might be living with a boy who is gradually becoming a man.

I read On the Island in one sitting. The story was crazy and slightly ludicrous and I felt the characters were under-developed but none the less an enjoyable read. Just don’t think about it too much, go with the flow. My Rating: 6.5/10

5 Comments leave one →
  1. September 23, 2012 10:36 pm

    Nice mini reviews, I did read On An Island and did enjoy it.

  2. September 23, 2012 11:19 pm

    DNF for Glow!? Lol. No, I haven’t read it; it sounds complicated. There’s a lot of books set on a spaceship lately…

  3. September 23, 2012 11:22 pm

    Hey, that’s a great idea! Mini-reviews… I just might do something like it. LOL. 🙂 thanks for stopping by.

  4. September 24, 2012 11:39 pm

    Yeah, I’m loving these mini reviews. If i had enough time to read this many books, I’d probably do the same thing.

  5. October 10, 2012 3:03 am

    Glow turned out to be a lot different to what I thought. It was a lot darker that I expected and personally I’m not that big of a fan on dark stories. I ended up hating the characters and the choices they made, and when you don’t like the at least one of the characters how are you supposed to enjoy the book?!

    I love science fiction books set in space so when I read the summary of it I thought it would be an awesome book. Alas I was so disappointed to find it was nothing like I expected 😦

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