Thursday, January 31, 2013

Review-Giveaway: The Woman from Paris by Santa Montefiore

I want to thank Tribute Blog Tours for allowing me to review and giveaway a copy of The Woman from Paris during the Fiery Hot Reads for Icy Cold Nights event. The tale shares a forbidden romance with characters that will keep you entertained on a cold winter's night as the author sweeps you up and takes you on this family's emotional journey. 

Cambria Hebert

The Woman From Paris
by Santa Montefiore
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication date: February 5, 2013
Genre: Woman's Lit
Purchase*: Barnes and Noble/Amazon/Book Depository

They had built their lives in this grand old house, its walls encompassing their family and their secrets. Nestled in the sweeping hills they have always known, the house is part of their history, their heritage. But these four walls also hold a secret. When Lord Frampton dies in a skiing accident, a beautiful young woman named Phaedra appears at his funeral—claiming to be the lord’s illegitimate daughter. In his will, Lord Frampton has left the priceless Frampton suite of sapphires to this interloper, confirming her claim and outraging his three adult sons and widow. Eventually, however, Phaedra’s sweet nature thaws the frosty relationships. She becomes the daughter that Antoinette Frampton never had and a wise and compassionate granddaughter to the formidable Dowager Lady Frampton. But an attraction grows between Phaedra and the eldest son, David. It seems an impossible love—blocked by their blood connection and by the fury of one family member who is determined to expose Phaedra as a fraud.
It isn’t often that I read about a modern day family of aristocrats and was both drawn to the cover of The Woman from Paris and the synopsis. I was eager to unveil the families secrets nestled in their Hampshire home. Montefiore with her pen painted an almost lyrical image of the countryside, home and characters that resided within its walls. She tells a tale of forbidden love, jealousy and secrets. She delivers a powerful message about love and family. The author held me captive and stole my heart.

The tale begins on the morning of Lord Frampton’s funeral and even the weather reflects the mourning within the Frampton home. At the funeral David, the eldest son meets the gaze of a beautiful young woman whose name we later learn is Phaedra.  He is immediately drawn to her and contemplates such a thing as love at first sight. He wonders how she knows his father. At the wake, the shocking true is revealed; Phaedra is the illegitimate daughter of Lord Frampton, a secret he has kept from his family for almost eighteen months. When it is discovered that the late Lord changed his will and bequeathed a priceless suite of Frampton sapphires to her all hell breaks loose. Phaedra quickly wins some of the family over, while others plot to undercover her as a fraud. The tale that unfolds was beautiful, gut-wrenching and powerful. I laughed and cried as I immersed myself in this tale.

Each of the characters was well fleshed out and I loved getting to know them. Phaedra is very likeable and you cannot help but fall for her. Antoinette is hurt and confused by her late husband’s secrets and I so admired her and how she handled the rest of the characters. I absolutely adored the Dowager Margret Frampton. She seemed like the nightmare mother-in-law but turned out to be my favorite character. David was a sweetheart and tried so hard to please despite his feelings for Phaedra. I actually came to have feelings for all of the characters and just want to blather on about them, but I will let you experience them all for yourself.

Montefiore weaved a tale that felt genuine and I became swept up in the secrets, the arguments, the pain and the joy. For a time I became a Frampton and I love when an author takes me right into the story. I was so impressed with the author's writing style, and while I was a little unsure of the perspective she used, it all worked out once I adjusted. The twists and turns kept me turning the pages as I prayed things would work out in the end. I truly felt each characters emotions and even when I hated their behavior I understood them. As I closed the last page my heart lifted and I immediately wanted to share this.

If you love character driven novels based on the intricate makings of a family set against a poetic backdrop and encased in beautiful prose then The Woman From Paris is a must read.

I want to thank Tribute Books, Simon and Schuster and the author for providing this ARC in exchange for my unbiased review.

Four and half cups of Vienna coffee out of five
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Open to US residents 
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Today's Stops on the Fiery Hot Reads for Ice Cold Nights Hop
Check out these awesome posts and giveaways! Each day different blogs will be participating so be sure to check in daily for your chance to win and discover new Fiery hot reads!

Fiery Hot Reads
Heidi@Rainy Day Ramblings: Marissa Meyer: Scarlet
Ali@My Guilty Obsession:Nicole Reed: Ruining Me and Ruining You
Pragya@The Reviewing Shelf:Tolulope Popoola: Nothing Comes Close

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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Review: Dream Eyes by Jayne Ann Krentz

Dream Eyes
by Jayne Anne Krentz
Series: Dark Legacy Trilogy #2
Publisher: Penguin
Publication date: January 8, 2013
Genre: Adult Paranormal Romantic Suspense
Purchase: Barnes and Noble/Amazon/Book Depository

The death of her friend and mentor, Evelyn Ballinger, brings psychic counselor Gwen Frazier back to the small town of Wilby, Oregon, and brings back memories she would rather forget. Two years earlier, a killer stalked the members of one of Ballinger's research studies including Gwen. And though she survived while two others didn't, Gwen knows that Ballinger's death is related.  Sent by a friend to help Gwen, psychic investigator Judson Coppersmith arrives in Wilby barely in control of his own talent and his own life, haunted by urgent dreams. His attraction to Gwen is primal, but there are secrets he must keep to protect himself from surrendering to her completely, even as their investigation draws them into dreamscapes, into decades of deception, and into the paranormal fires of a desire too strong to resist. . . .
If you have been following my blog, you know I adore Jayne Ann Krentz and all of her pseudonyms. She is an auto-buy for me and I was delighted to begin  Dream Eyes the second book in the Dark Legacy series. This series has so many elements I love in a paranormal romance. Krentz blends mystery, paranormal elements and an over-all plot into her tales. She then mixes in smexy flawed heroes and feisty, confident heroines. While the tales all share a common link; in this case the Coppersmith family, each can be read as a standalone.

The tale begins when we meet, Gwen Frazier, a psychic talent who can read dreamscapes and see ghosts. She has just arrived at the home of her dear friend, Evelyn Ballinger in Wilby, Oregon.  Gwen hasn’t been back since a series of deaths that ended with a serial killer committing suicide.  She discovers her friend dead and her senses tell her it was murder, just like before. Judson Coopersmith is sent by his brother to help his fiancés best friend. Together they must unravel the mystery and stop a dangerous killer and maybe surrender to the intense attraction they feel for each other.  The tale that unfolds was suspenseful, romantic and completely captured my attention.

Ooo I am just going to say it; I loved Judson. He is dark, smexy, protective and damaged. A recent near death encounter on his last job has left him with horrible nightmares and a nagging feeling that he missed an important clue. He has always been a loner, preferring to work cases on his own, and Gwen changes thing. Gwen is very confident and secure but has given up on relationships, since most men cannot handle the effects of sleeping with her and her gift. Suspects and other characters added to the tale. I loved Ballinger’s cat and the funny moments he created. Nick, Gwen’s brother was hilarious and snarky, I hope we see more of him.

The world building for this suspenseful mystery was very tight and I loved how Krentz tied all the pieces together. The interaction between Gwen and Judson made the tale all the more enjoyable; they worked as a couple both on the job and off.  I am still anxious to learn more about the properties and powers of the Coppersmith crystals and look forward to the next book. I loved that Krentz tied in Jones and Jones to this tale, since I look at these novels as a continuation of the Arcane Society tales.

I highly recommend Dream Eyes and the Dark Legacy trilogy to fans of romantic suspense. Krentz weaves a delightful tale with paranormal elements. I cannot wait for the next book.

Four and half hazelnut coffees out of five
Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer Kimba The Caffeinated Book Reviewer Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer
Today's Stops on the Fiery Hot Reads for Ice Cold Nights Hop
Check out these awesome posts and giveaways! Each day different blogs will be participating so be sure to check in daily for your chance to win and discover new Fiery hot reads!

Heidi@Rainy Day Ramblings: Miranda Kenneally: Catching Jordan & Stealing Parker
Maja@The Nocturnal Library: Stacia Kane: Sacrificial Magic
Jess@The DMS Files: Wendelin Van Draanen: Flipped
Jenny@Supernatural Snark: Wendy Higgins: Sweet Evil

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Take Control of Your TBR Pile Read-a-Thon March 15th to 18th

Take Control Read-a-thon

To help those who are taking part in the month long Take Control of Your TBR Pile Challenge (you can still sign up) and anyone else who wants to catch up on some of those reads collecting dust I will be hosting a read-a-thon. Anyone can join in! The only requirement is that the books read must have been published before March 2013. Each day there will be fun challenges and prizes to help motivate you. You can link up using your blog, Goodreads,
Facebook, or Tumblr account..or anywhere you can post your goals and results. This way we can cheer you on! 

On twitter use hashtag #TakeControlRAT to share your progress and follow others, also look for challenge updates.

If you are interesting in hosting a challenge please contact me at this email.

Grab the button and invite others to join in!

Link up and prepare to have some fun!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Release Day Review: The Prey by Andrew Fukuda

The Prey
by Andrew Fukuda
Series: The Hunt #2
Publisher: St. Martin Press
Publication date: January 29, 2013
Genre: YA Dystopian
Purchase: Barnes and Noble/Amazon/Book Depository

For Gene and the remaining humans—or hepers—death is just a heartbeat away. On the run and hunted by society, they must find a way to survive in The Vast... and avoid the hungry predators tracking them in the dark. But they’re not the only things following Gene. He’s haunted by the girl he left behind and his burgeoning feelings for Sissy, the human girl at his side.When they discover a refuge of exiled humans living high in the mountains, Gene and his friends think they’re finally safe. Led by a group of intensely secretive elders, the civilisation begins to raise more questions than answers. A strict code of behaviour is the rule, harsh punishments are meted out, young men are nowhere to be found—and Gene begins to wonder if the world they’ve entered is just as evil as the one they left behind. As life at the refuge grows more perilous, he and Sissy only grow closer. In an increasingly violent world, all they have is each other... if they can only stay alive.
*Scratches wrist* I absolutely loved The Hunt book one in this trilogy and was excited to begin The Prey. My plan was to read a few chapters and then continue with another ARC I was reading. Not! Fukuda plunges us right back into the tale and the pacing and world building held me captive and I literally consumed this in a few hours. This is such a terrifying and original tale. Fukuda is brilliant and I can barely wait for the final book.

The tale begins exactly where the Hunt ended and we are on the river with Gene, Sissy and the other hepers. They travel in search of the “Land of Milk and Honey” that the scientist; Gene’s father described to them. These six become a family and look out for each other. They find clues left for them by the scientists, and make their way into the mountains where they discover a utopia of sorts, led by a group of elders. Together Gene and Sissy try to discover more about Gene’s father and the “origin” everyone is so insistent they have. They quickly discover all is not what it seems and the tale that unfolds is absolutely riveting.

We really get to know Gene and the other six in this tale now that they are away from the Hunters. Sissy is strong, firm in her conviction and mother to the other boys from the Dome. I loved her leave no man behind philosophy. Each of the six draws on and uses lessons that were taught to them by Gene’s father, “the scientist”. Gene struggles to come to terms with his father’s abandonment and his loss of Ashley Lynn. Fukuda really captured Gene's struggle to acclimate to both the verbal and emotional expressions of the others. For years he learned to show no emotions and a few times he expressed himself by scratching his wrists. At times he struggled with their noise levels and sought solitude. The Elders and townsfolk were fascinating right down to their laws. Some of the character's had a creepy robotic feel to them and it was fascinating getting to the underbelly of this community and its inhabitants. There is love, loss and sacrifice and Fukuda makes us feel all of it through these fleshed out characters.

I love world-building and my only complaint for book one was that I wanted to know more of how and why. Fukuda satisfied my quench in this middle book as he deliciously delivers the how and why and it felt genuine and downright creepy. We are provided clues as to direction this tale will take, and a horrifying glimpse of the dangers we will face as they journey on their quest.  The tale flowed wonderfully with twists and turns that kept me from setting the book down. Sissy and Gene are very important to this tale, and I found their relationship to be sweet and endearing. We learn what the “origin” is and I cannot wait to see how he ties everything together in the final book.  The tale leaves us on edge with another tremendous cliffhanger and startling revelation. I screamed and shouted why and then squealed with delightful in anticipation of the outcome. Thankfully the final book will be released in Sept of 2013 and I have every confidence that it will be epic.   

I want to thank St. Martin for sending me a finished copy in exchange for my unbiased review.

Five cups of Colombian roasted coffee out of five

Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer Kimba The Caffeinated Book Reviewer Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer

Today's Stops on the Fiery Hot Reads for Ice Cold Nights Hop 

Check out these awesome posts and giveaways! Each day different blogs will be participating so be sure to check in daily for your chance to win and discover new Fiery hot reads!
Heidi@Rainy Day Ramblings: Cambria Hebert: Heven and Hell Series
Celine@Nyx Book Reviews: Marissa Meyer: Cinder
Steph@The Readingista:Ellen Mesiter: Farewell, Dorothy Parker

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Monday, January 28, 2013

Review:The Harvesting by Melanie Karsak (giveaway)

Today I am excited to share my review of The Harvesting by Melanie Karsak and a giveaway as part of the BB Blog Tour team. Enjoy!

The Harvesting
by Melanie Karsak
Series:  Harvesting: Volume 1
Publication date: September 18, 2012
Genre: Horror
Purchase: Barnes and Noble/Amazon

It's all fun and games until someone ends up undead.  Though Layla reluctantly returns home to rural Hamletville after a desperate call from her psychic grandmother, she could never have anticipated the horror of what Grandma Petrovich has foreseen. The residents of Hamletville will need Layla's help if they are to survive the zombie apocalypse that's upon them. But that is not the only problem. With mankind silenced, it soon becomes apparent that we were never alone. As the beings living on the fringe seek to reclaim power, Layla must find a way to protect the ones she loves or all humanity may be lost.
When I finished this book I just sat back with my mouth hanging open and basked in its glow. Labeled as horror or zombie book, The Harvesting is so much more. Karsak has blended lore, paranormal creatures and fantasy into this post-apocalyptic zombie infested world. The tale is gripping and I became completely enthralled.  This may very well be one of my top ten reads for 2013 and I cannot wait for the next book.

Layla is living successful in New York and from the onset we realize she is kick-ass. When she gets a weird phone call from her psychic grandmother telling her to return to Hamletville, she reluctantly drops everything and returns. Upon arrival she discovers a chain link fence around the remote property and the windows are all boarded up. Her grandmother hands her a massive shopping list from food to holy water. Despite her requests for answers she obeys and gathers the items from the towns’ merchants. A mass epidemic of the flu is spreading across the country and as Layla and her grandmother watch events unfold on television her grandmother tells her it is the harvesting and she must be prepared to help the town. The tale that unfolds is riveting with twists and turns that kept me spellbound.

I completely adored Layla, she is bright, compassionate and a born leader. This totally kick-ass protagonist is more gifted then she realizes and I loved watching her figure things out. I have decided that if there is ever a zombie outbreak I want to be in this small town when it happens. The townsfolk really rallied together and while I did not get to know a lot of them individually the author gave me a lasting impression of them. Ian and his brother Jamie play a significant role in the tale and are both vying for Layla. While there is a romance and it felt genuine it took a backseat to the kick-ass action. The strangers that appear and offer them refuge blew my mind, as clues from the book revealed to me who they were and had me wrenching my hands and shouting don’t go!

The world-building was epic and brilliant and so absolutely original I am still squealing in delight over it. This is the kind of tale that has twists that will blow your mind! It is tightly woven and very apparent from the onset that the author knows exactly how this tale unfolds. The details and battle scenes were well done and engaging.  Did I mention Zombies?!? While we are immersed in this end of the world zombie outbreak, the author is slowly laying out events that foreshadow and prepare us for things to come. The tale seems to wrap up and I begin wondering about book two, when another chapter appears with characters I do not recognize and suddenly I am very aware of the title and its’ meaning.  Eep, it literally blew my mind and has me in awe of this author and drooling for the next installment.

If you love zombies, post–apocalyptic novels, lore and supernatural elements then you really must need to read The Harvesting. Melanie Karsak has woven the beginnings of a tale that will draw you in and I cannot wait to see what the next book delivers.

I want to thank the author and BB Book Tours for providing this ARC in exchange for my unbiased review.

Four and half cups of Kona coffee out of five
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 Win a t-shirt( back shown, cover on front),  signed copy of The Harvesting, 
5 bookmarks, I bumper sticker
Just enter the US only rafflecopter below:

I gotta tell you, I am a little jelly ..I would love to win this prize package..good luck!

Today's Fiery Hot Reads for Ice Cold Nights   

Check out these awesome posts and giveaways! Each day different blogs will be participating so be sure to check in daily for your chance to win and discover new Fiery hot reads! 
Heidi@Rainy Day Ramblings: Laura Lam: Pantomime 
Barbara@Basia's Book Shelf: Sarah MacLean: One Good Earl
Deserves a Lover
Candace@Candace's Book Blog:Kerry Schafer: Between
Jenn@The Starry Eyed Revue: Lauren Morrill: Meant To Be

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Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Sunday Post #40 ~sharing blog news and book haul

The Sunday Post ~ 40th Edition
The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~ It's a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead. 
What a crazy week with blogger drama and personal drama. I spent the weekend with my nose in a book and it felt good. Today I am off to a birthday party. I hope you all have a lovely week, be good to one another, hug those you love and be grateful for each and every day! 

Last week on the blog we brought you 

This week on the blog look for
  • The Harvesting by Melanie Karsack (review-giveaway)
  • The Prey by Andrew Fukuda (release day review)
  • Dream Eyes by Jayne Anne Krentz (review)
  • The Woman From Paris by Santa Montefiore (review-giveaway)
  • The Scent of Darkness by Margot Berwin (review)
  • Breaking Point by Kristen Simmons ( early review) 
  • Sign-ups for the Take Control of Your TBR Pile Read-a-thon 
Around the Blogosphere 
    Fiery Hot Reads
  • This week begins the Fiery Hot Reads for Icy Cold Nights, stop by the blog daily for a list of participating blogs and be sure and enter all the giveaways. It's not to late to add your blog! This event runs through March 1, 2013.
New arrivals to the Caffeinated Cafe
Books for Review: 

Love is Blind by Elizabeth Cole
courtesy of SkySpark Books

Weather Witch by Shannon Delany
thanks to St. Martin Publishing

Gifted or Won: 

Wraith gifted by author Angel Lawson 

A Penny Saved A Murder Earned
gifted by author S.G. Lee

Purchased or Downloaded: 


PEACE, LOVE and Books! 

That's my news, link up and share yours. 

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