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July Mini Reviews

July 29, 2013

Here are some mini reviews of several books that I read in July – 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.  July has been a lacklustre reading month for me, we’re in the middle of some lovely weather here and my Google Nexus is impossible to read in the sun. So my reading time has been brief and my book choices poor! Badly written new adults novels – I curse you!!

Here are a few of my better choices.

Ink – Amanda Sun

Ink by Amanda Sun Series: Paper Gods #1
Genre: Young Adult
Links: Goodreads Amazon

On the heels of a family tragedy, the last thing Katie Greene wants to do is move halfway across the world. Stuck with her aunt in Shizuoka, Japan, Katie feels lost. Alone. She doesn’t know the language, she can barely hold a pair of chopsticks, and she can’t seem to get the hang of taking her shoes off whenever she enters a building.
Then there’s gorgeous but aloof Tomohiro, star of the school’s kendo team. How did he really get the scar on his arm? Katie isn’t prepared for the answer. But when she sees the things he draws start moving, there’s no denying the truth: Tomo has a connection to the ancient gods of Japan, and being near Katie is causing his abilities to spiral out of control. If the wrong people notice, they’ll both be targets.

Katie never wanted to move to Japan—now she may not make it out of the country alive.

From what I have seen on other blogs, Ink has received some mixed reviews but I enjoyed the story. I liked the characters, the writing style and the setting. The author has a real talent for invoking an atmosphere – I really felt like I was in Japan. My grade: 7/10

Leo – Mia Sheridan

Leo Series: Sign of Love #1
Genre: New Adult
Released: March 12th, 2013
Link: Goodreads Amazon

Evie and Leo met in foster care as children and formed a bond of friendship. As they grew, their bond turned to love, and they vowed to make a life together when they turned 18 and were no longer a part of the system.
When Leo unexpectedly gets adopted as a teen and he moves to another city, he promises Evie that he will contact her as soon as he gets there and come back for her in a few short years. She never hears from him again.

Now eight years later, in spite of the odds, Evie has made a life for herself. She has a job. She has friends. She’s content. Then a man shows up out of the blue, claiming that her long lost love, Leo, sent him to check up on her. The attraction between them is undeniable. But, should she trust this sexy stranger? Or is he keeping a secret about what his connection to Leo is really all about and why Leo disappeared all those years ago?

One of the better new adult stories that I read. An enjoyable, sweet, quick read. The heroine had saintly tendencies that were a touch unbelievable and she was a little too trusting in the hero – surely a internal warning siren was screaming at some point. Of course because it was NA, there was the inevitable who can make their character suffer the most competition. My grade: 7/10

Beautiful Trash – Mara Ryder

Beautiful Trash

Series: Scarlet Briar #1
Genre: New Adult
Released: July 4th, 2013
Goodreads Amazon

Scarlet Briar
The exclusive private community inhabited by actors, sports stars, senators and high society. The most recent additions being Cherie Boddington and her stripper mother—poor white trash gone to live in the house on the hill with multi-billionaire community owner Drew Briar.

With the Cruelest Intentions

Cherie thought since she’d lived in the gutter she knew how dangerous the world was and how to protect herself. She knew how to be hungry, how to do without, and how to scrape and claw for what she wanted. No one ever taught her how to handle excess—or the hedonist heir apparent who has nothing better to do than find her every limit and push her past them. Fearing she’d become like her mother, Cherie’s had little sexual experience aside from her mom’s pervert boyfriends trying to get into her pants, but while trying to hold her own in Scarlet Briar she’s launched on a journey of self-discovery, and the nature of pleasure and pain.

With the world at her fingertips while waiting for the glass house to shatter, Cherie embraces every new experience, every taste, and every touch only to learn not all that glitters is gold. Sometimes, it’s just Beautiful Trash.

I’m afraid Beautiful Trash was a DNF simply because I hated the characters 😦 My grade: DNF

Dirty Little Secret – Jennifer Echols

Dirty Little SecretSeries: Stand alone
Genre: Young Adult
Released: July 16th, 2013
Links: Goodreads Amazon

From the author of the “real page-turner” (Seventeen) Such a Rush comes an unforgettable new drama that follows friends-turned-lovers as they navigate the passions, heartbreaks, and intrigue of country music fame.

Bailey wasn’t always a wild child and the black sheep of her family. She used to play fiddle and tour the music circuit with her sister, Julie, who sang and played guitar. That ended when country music execs swooped in and signed Julie to a solo deal. Never mind that Julie and Bailey were a duet, or that Bailey was their songwriter. The music scouts wanted only Julie, and their parents were content to sit by and let her fulfill her dreams while Bailey’s were hushed away.

Bailey has tried to numb the pain and disappointment over what could have been. And as Julie’s debut album is set to hit the charts, her parents get fed up with Bailey’s antics and ship her off to granddad’s house in Nashville. Playing fiddle in washed-up tribute groups at the mall, Bailey meets Sam, a handsome and oh-so-persuasive guitarist with his own band. He knows Bailey’s fiddle playing is just the thing his band needs to break into the industry. But this life has broken Bailey’s heart once before. She isn’t sure she’s ready to let Sam take her there again…

I’m taking a break from Dirty Little Secret. I really enjoy Jennifer Echols writing style and her voice but the despair of the main character Bailey was destroying my beautiful summer buzz so I’m taking a rain check until the dark winter months. My grade: To be continued…

Fury’s Kiss – Karen Chance

fury's kiss cover Series: Dorina Basarab #3 
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Released: October 2nd, 2012
Links: Goodreads Amazon

Dorina Basarab is a dhampir—half-human, half-vampire. Subject to uncontrollable rages, most dhampirs live very short, very violent lives. But so far, Dory has managed to maintain her sanity by unleashing her anger on those demons and vampires who deserve killing…

Dory is used to fighting hard and nasty. So when she wakes up in a strange scientific lab with a strange man standing over her, her first instinct is to take his head off. Luckily, the man is actually the master vampire Louis-Cesare, so he’s not an easy kill.

It turns out that Dory had been working with a Vampire Senate task force on the smuggling of magical items and weaponry out of Faerie when she was captured and brought to the lab. But when Louis-Cesare rescues her, she has no memory of what happened to her.

To find out what was done to her—and who is behind it—Dory will have to face off with fallen angels, the maddest of mad scientists, and a new breed of vampires that are far worse than undead…

Reread. I’m a big fan of the Dorina Basarab series by Karen Chance. Dory is a great heroine and I adore the crazy world and memorable characters that Karen Chance has created. The action is non-stop in this series and Fury’s Kiss is pure entertainment. Not a fan of Louis-Cesare in the beginning but I’ve converted. Great entry. My grade: 8.5/10

4 Comments leave one →
  1. July 29, 2013 7:11 pm

    Ooh, yay, another positive review for Ink! Maybe there’s hope for me and that book after all. 🙂

    • July 29, 2013 11:33 pm

      I know! I keep seeing so many awful reviews for it, but I really like the synopsis…

  2. July 29, 2013 11:33 pm

    Sounds like Karen Chance wins this round! 🙂

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