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Review: Unbound (The Guardian Legacies #1) by Emily Goodwin

Passionate couple

The world of ghosts and spirits is nothing new to Anora Benson; she’s spent her whole life trying to ignore them, trying to be normal. But when the Pricolici, a group of ancient bounty hunters, are sent after her, Anora realizes she is more than just a medium.

As a witch she has power, power she doesn’t know how to use, power that makes her vulnerable to the demons that desire her gifts. Anora is alone and scared, forced to face the darkness on her own.

Then she meets Ethan, a handsome and mysterious stranger who shows up in her life right along with the magic, and he seems to know quite a bit about her and the Coven she hails from. Will she risk everything by trusting him or risk fighting alone?

My Review

Unbound is an exciting new series by author Emily Goodwin. One of the things that really caught my attention about this book was the cover. It was eye catching and made me curious. Then, I read the synopsis and thought to myself, I need to check this book out and I’m happy that I did.

Right off the bat, I found myself really like Anora. I thought she was a great female lead. She was a pretty tough and I liked how even though she always knew she was different, she didn’t let it get her down; even when people called her a freak. Then when she starts realizing she has powers, I was entranced. I wanted to know why she suddenly had powers and what was going to happen to her. Ethan was such a wonderful addition to Unbound. He really intrigued me and made me want to read this story. I knew right away that there was more to him than meets the eye. He too was special and was willing to break all the rules for Anora.

My only compliant was the pacing. Pacing is such a critical part of a story for me. And unfortunately, Unbound is really slow in the beginning. It took me a while to really get into the story and connect with the characters. However, once I got passed the first few chapters, I felt like the story-line picked up and finally pulled me in.

Overall, I though Unbound was a pretty good read. It says that it’s YA, but I would say it’s more Mature YA, walking that fine line to NA. I loved the idea of the story and think this series has a lot of potential. Even though I did have some issues with the pacing, I still found this book to be enjoyable. As for the ending, this book doesn’t really end with a cliffhanger, but more of a resolved, yet to be continued ending. I am definitely curious about where the story will go next.

*I was provided an ARC copy of this book, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review*

Book Review – Where One Goes by B. N. Toler

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I get this feeling of insane excitement every time I pick up a contemporary romance that has a slightly different recipe. I read SO many contemporary romance books that it’s easy to get bored and burned out. I had read two sentences of the blurb for Where One Goes when I decided that this one was a must-read. The heroine sees GHOSTS! Exciting, right?!

What happens when the very thing ruining your life ends up saving it?

I was never one to believe in spirits—until six years ago, when a bone-chilling accident changed my life…forever.

My name is Charlotte, but most people call me Char…and I have a special gift.

I talk to the dead.

Make no mistake, I can’t summon them. I’m only able to see and speak to the spirits that linger when they’re unable to crossover. They’re somehow weighted to the world with unfinished affairs. And for the last six years, I’ve relentlessly used my gift to help their lost souls.

But it’s come at a price. My life is dark. Feeling despondent, I’ve begun to give up. And in helping the dead, I’ve realized I haven’t allowed myself to live. With no money, no place to go, and most importantly… no hope, I’ve decided there is only one option—to end it all.

But fate is a funny thing. One minute, I’m about to leap to my death, and the next, I’m saved by Ike McDermott. The strong, striking soldier stopped me from putting an end to my despair. He’s the kind of man that smiles and brightens an entire room.

Sweet and gentle.

He is my savior.

And he’s dead.

We’ve made an agreement. He’ll help me find a place to stay and a new job if I’ll help him with his unfinished business so that he may crossover.

Ike’s unfinished matter involves his twin brother, George. George has been falling apart since Ike’s death and Ike has not been able to compel himself to crossover in peace until he knows George will be okay.

When I agreed to help, little did I know that I’d fall in love with the charming folks of Bath County, and…Ike and George McDermott.

Now, as both brothers own equal parts of my heart, I am faced with a cruel and unfair predicament. In saving George, I must let go of Ike.

But how does one let go of half of their heart?

I’ll be honest here, the first chapter is a little scary. The B. N. Tolers talent as a writer really shines through in the first couple of chapter and the realness of the situation can be felt through every word of every page. The high emotion and intense scene setting combine to make an absolutely gripping start to this story. I couldn’t put it down.

Charlotte was a feisty heroine and her journey was a Helter Skelter of emotions. You can easily find laughter and tears within a couple of pages throughout this story. As for the two heroes, they were complete opposites in a perfect way. Ike is sweet, kind and genuinely good, while George is dark, broody and emotional. Although you know from the start that Charlotte can only ever end up with one, it doesn’t stop you from falling in love with both of them, which makes for a very bitter-sweet ending.

I absolutely devoured Where One Goes in a day, and felt completely satisfied by the resolution of each story arc. I adored all of the characters, including all of the amazing supporting characters who each had their own special moments. It is an emotional read but one that leaves a feeling of satisfaction rather than a feeling of being drained dry. It’s a story well worth checking out!

Book Review – Ghouls Rush In by H. P Mallory

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Do you believe in love after life?

Looking for a fresh start, Peyton Clark becomes the proud owner of a piece of New Orleans history: an Antebellum-era two-story house in the Garden District. It’s going to take time and a fat wallet to restore the fixer-upper to its former glory, but after her recent divorce, Peyton could use the distraction.

It’s not long before Peyton discovers she’s moved into the haunted home of a flirtatious paranormal prankster. She’s receiving kisses from unseen lips and caresses from a ghostly hand, and soon she begins to have vivid dreams, bringing her face-to-face with the incomparably handsome ghost of Drake Montague.

When Peyton grows closer to her general contractor, Ryan Kelly—who is as charming as he is alive—the chill in the air could only suggest Drake’s jealousy from beyond the grave. But even though she’s definitely attracted to and interested in Ryan, Peyton also can’t get Drake out of her dreams, or her heart, as she begins to uncover the frightening truth behind his death a century ago…

A few weeks ago I was on quite the roll with various kinds of UF/Paranormal/Straight up scary type books. This was one of those books. I have had it on my kindle for a while and had started but then got distracted by other things, but I came back and restarted it and finished it within a couple of nights! I have to put a disclaimer in here: I’m useless with anything remotely scary. I should not be allowed to read these books at night, I know this fact, yet I still do it!

Firstly the characters in this book. I loved Peyton; she was well measured parts of hilarious, flawed and endearing. I was pleased that she had a solid back story and a decent reason to be kicking around an old haunted house. I cracked up at her witty personality that was entertaining rather than snarky and I loved that she wasn’t perfect, that she could sometimes be a bit annoying or ridiculous… because aren’t we all…

Ryan also was a win of a character for me. I’m all about the strong tough men who can move mountains… (or in this case, remodel old houses) He came across as the perfect southern gentleman. He was really the most human aspect of the story; I really, really enjoyed his storyline. Drake (GHOST) was such a compelling character. He was almost larger than life, he had SO much personality…especially for someone who wasn’t even in solid human form. He actually did quite a good job of growing on me, at first I wasn’t sold on him at all (GHOST!) but by the end of the story I ended up having a bit of a soft spot for him!

As far as the storyline went I did enjoy it for the most part, I just got blindsided once or twice…. I have to admit when the first lot of ‘ghost bits’ crept in I wasn’t sure about the direction it was taking, it was a decent way into the book and I felt up until that point I’d been reading a cute southern paranormal romance. There had been nothing sinister going on and I honestly thought that when the paranormal parts finally started happening they would be light too. But they were not. Suddenly it felt like an episode of ‘Worlds Most Haunted.’

The second half of the book was more paranormal than paranormal romance. So on the plus side it was more consistent in style. I was being terrified and intrigued at the same time by ghosts! (Well terrified by one ghost and intrigued by the other) I felt that the story really had found it’s stride now that all of the character and background work had been completed. The pace definitely did pick up a lot. However I think from reading the blurb I did expect it to be a bit lighter than what it was…

It’s not long before Peyton discovers she’s moved into the haunted home of a flirtatious paranormal prankster. She’s receiving kisses from unseen lips and caresses from a ghostly hand, and soon she begins to have vivid dreams, bringing her face-to-face with the incomparably handsome ghost of Drake Montague.

I thought this was going to be a love triangle of sorts between girl, man and ghost but that’s not the entire sum of it. Don’t get me wrong there was nothing wrong with this story. I really did enjoy reading it, but I think the problem was the blurb and the story did not really match up? If it had been more reflective of the story I wouldn’t have expected a lighter paranormal romance read, so therefore I wouldn’t have been as stunned when the book took it’s very sudden detour into scary town.

All and all I am glad I went back into my folders and finished reading this book. I think I will definitely give the second book a try, I am super interested in seeing what twists Peyton, Ryan and Drake’s stories take next. I’ve promised myself that next time I will be much much braver, also I’ve promised myself I won’t read the next one at night like I did this one!

 photo credit: i k o via photopin ccphoto credit: Alyssa L. Miller via photopin cc

Book Review – Rock My World By Julie Shackman

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When girls at school were salivating over boy bands, I was planning to run away with Tom Petty or Lindsay Buckingham and have Stevie Nicks sing at our wedding reception (although seeing as she’s allegedly had relationships with both these guys, that could have been very awkward.) The pretty boys never did it for me. When the candy smiles and slick dance routines used to send my peers into a swooning mass of teenage hormones, I was day-dreaming about kohl-eyed Buckingham serenading me with his crying guitar. Oh enough of this mental gossip! I need to get on with my work… – Ruby Cameron

Rock Music, Ghosts, Romance, Mystery… When you mix these all together what do you get? One of the coolest takes on Contemporary Romance that I’ve read in a while!

There’s a ghost in my romance book! I’ve never come across such a thing before, but this book had me HOOKED from the get-go. Now there are a few things in this world I am terrified of, sharks and ghosts are probably my top two, so even though I knew this book had a ghostly aspect to it, the moment I actually came across said ghost I was straight on my phone texting my BBH proudly that I was in-fact reading about a ghost. Me: “OMG I’m reading about a ghost” BBH: “Oh geez I hope you don’t have nightmares” Pfffft. No nightmares around here thank you very much! This ghost was far too nice to have nightmares over him…

“And you’re not in the room here with me.” “Er well I am actually.” Oh come on. This guy is a total arse. “Prove it then!” I smirk. Oh how I wish I had kept my gobby mouth well and truly shut. No sooner had those words slipped from my tongue, than I recoil in shock at the vision in front of me. First there’s a shimmer like an intense heat on a summer’s day, before I’m confronted by the sight of the Jon Bon Jovi look-a-like again, all hair, denim and baseball boots. And this time he’s standing just a few feet in front of me, crackling a little like bad TV interference.

Ghost or not, anyone who sings beautiful renditions of Rock classics over breakfast is alright in my book. The ghost in question, Stevie Vee, was the lead singer of a rock band in the 80’s. In the present day he’s hanging out in/haunting our main character Ruby Cameron’s new house hoping for a bit of closure. Now Ruby is a quite a cool eccentric chick, she’s also a reporter for the local paper, recently separated from her rather dull boyfriend and soon to be lit a-fire by her new boss… So she has quite a bit going on to say the least…

There was a lot to keep me entertained; I wasn’t bored for a second.  There were no life shattering twists and turns, but I liked it that way. The story didn’t need to try and outwit. It was too busy making me fall in love with the very unlikely combo of ghosts and romance, which were so cleverly intertwined… Like, it was completely normal to be going to a masquerade ball with your (hot) boss and dealing with dating drama all while you have a ghost waiting for you at home to help him find peace.  Yep, totally normal. Also I have to mention that the flashbacks into Stevie’s life were well thought out and clear. Sometimes flicking back and forth in time/place can get confusing or slow the pace down. Neither of these things happened here. This book has been one of my favourite reads in this genre so far this year. If you’re like me and looking for something fun to read that’s a bit different from the norm you should give this a go.

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