Google+ Secret Book Lover: 2013

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Goodbye...

Yes, the title is correct. Guys, I'm shutting down the blog.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my posts over this past year. I had a great time writing for you and got to meet a bunch of great people. Sadly, that time has come to a close and this is going to be my last post.

Wishing you all the best,

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

The Cutting Room Floor - Book Blast!

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Today we're going to hear a bit about Dawn Klehr and her new book: The Cutting Room Floor! Make sure you enter the giveaway for the chance to win one of two $25 Amazon giftcards! :)

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PREMISE
Behind-the-scenes secrets could turn deadly for Desmond and Riley...

Life in the Heights has never been easy for seventeen-year-old Riley Frost, but when she's publicly dumped and outed at the same time, she becomes an immediate social outcast at her high school. So Riley swears off romance and throws herself into solving the shocking murder of her favorite teacher, Ms. Dunn.

Riley turns to her best friend, budding filmmaker Desmond Brandt, for help. What she doesn't know is that Dez has been secretly directing her life, blackmailing her friends, and hoping his manipulations will make her love him. When his schemes go too far, Dez's web of lies threatens to destroy both of their lives.

About the Author
Dawn Klehr began her career in TV and though she’s been on both sides of the camera, she prefers to lurk behind the lens. Mostly, she loves to get lost in stories –in film, the theatre  or on the page – and is a sucker for both the sinister and the sappy. She’s currently channelling her dark side as she works on her next book.

Dawn lives in the Twin Cities with her funny husband, adorable son, and naughty dog. The Cutting Room Floor is her début YA novel!
Here's where you can get it:

Giveaway!!!!
Don't worry, it's international! Just make sure you're over 13.  ;)


Sunday, 15 September 2013

Sisters In Love - Book Blast & Giveaway!

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Everyone, today we're going to take a look at Sisters In Love by Melissa Foster.


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PREMISE
Danica Snow has always been the smart, practical, and appropriate sister. As a therapist, she prides herself on making reasonable, conservative choices, even if a bit boring, and as part of the Big Sister Program, she has little time for anything more in her life.

Blake Carter is a player. He never gets bored of conquering women, and with his sexy good looks and successful lifestyle, he has no trouble finding willing participants. When his friend and business partner dies in a tragic accident, he suddenly, desperately, wants to change his ways. The problem is, he doesn’t know how to stop doing what he does best.

When Blake walks into Danica’s office, the attraction between them is white hot, but Danica isn't the type to give into the heat and risk her career. Danica’s desire sets her on a path of self-discovery, where she begins to question every decision she’s ever made. Just this once, Danica wants to indulge in the pleasures of life she’s been so willingly ignoring, but with her Little Sister in turmoil and her biological sister’s promiscuousness weighing heavily on her heart, she isn’t sure it’s the right time to set her desires free.

Sisters In Love is a light, uplifting work of women's fiction and will resonate with readers who enjoy emotional journeys of the heart with strong heroines and sexy, lovable heroes. Readers of books by Jane Porter and Beth Kendrick will enjoy Danica and Blake's story.

I have to say, this book looks like a really good romance novel. The kind you'd curl up with in the winter when you have a cold, you've made some hot chocolate and you're just looking for a good book to take your mind off everything.

About the author: Melissa Foster
Melissa Foster is the award-winning author of four International bestselling novels. Her books have been recommended by USA Today’s book blog, Hagerstown Magazine, The Patriot, and several other print venues. She is the founder of the Women’s Nest, a social and support community for women, the World Literary Café. When she’s not writing, Melissa helps authors navigate the publishing industry through her author training programs on  Fostering Success. Melissa is also a community builder for the Alliance for Independent Authors. She has been published in Calgary’s Child Magazine, the Huffington Post, and Women Business Owners magazine.
Melissa hosts an annual Aspiring Authors contest for children and has painted and donated several murals to The Hospital for Sick Children in Washington, DC. Melissa lives in Maryland with her family.
Visit Melissa on The Women’s NestFostering Success, or World Lit Cafe. Join Melissa and the YaYa Writer Girls at their annual in-person event. Melissa enjoys discussing her books with book clubs and reader groups, and welcomes an invitation to your event.
You can find Melissa at:

Get the book here:

GIVEAWAY!!!!
This giveaway is an amazing chance to name a character in one of Melissa Foster's future books! I wouldn't pass it up for the world.

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Monday, 2 September 2013

Indie Summer Tour - Snowed Under by Jen Greyson!



Hey guys! Welcome to my spot in the Indie Summer Tour! (Made possible by the folks 'round at Parajunkee.) I'm going to tell you a bit about Jen Greyson and her recently released novel called Snowed Under, before we get to the really great part: giveaways!!!


About the book:


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Cassidy has life all figured out. She’s one semester away from finishing her degree and then she’s off to save Mother Earth. But first, she has to stop the planet-murdering Whetman Logging.

Teague Whetman brought MIT home to the family logging business in Alaska. They’re high-tech artesian. But even his advanced technology can’t handle Cassidy’s handcuffs when she chains herself to the main saw.

When a late-Spring storm hammers the little town of Bear Ridge with eighty inches of snow, Teague and Cassidy must put aside their animosity to battle a power outage, grizzly bear, and their own attraction.
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This book is just out and I'll be the first to say that it looks amazing! I love books that deal with the theme of the environment, because it's such a relevant topic nowadays. (Also, a little romance can't hurt.) I'm going to grab this book as soon as I can!

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About the Author:

From the moment she decided on a degree in Equestrian Studies, Jen Greyson’s life has been one unscripted adventure after another. Leaving the cowboy state of Wyoming to train show horses in France, Switzerland, and Germany, she’s lived life without much of a plan, but always a book in her suitcase. Now a wife and mom to two young boys, she relies on her adventurous, passionate characters to be the risk-takers.

You can find her at:
https://www.facebook.com/thesurvivalmama
@jengreyson

The fabulous Jen Greyson also took the time to answer the question that's been on my mind from the start: 

Me: What city inspired your writing? 
Jen:
The most random things inspire a new story. For SNOWED UNDER (formerly WOOD) I caught a news article about a tiny Alaskan town (Point Hope, I think) that got hit by a late Spring storm and hammered with ridiculous snow totals–like 108″ in a day–and their shipment of heating oil got delayed. I started thinking about what kind of characters would meet under those circumstances . . . and then the least likely combination of characters that would meet under the same circumstances. Talk about obstacles ;)
After a bit of drifty daydreaming I came up with the unlikely pair that you meet in the book, a logger and a hippie–two people at extreme opposite ends of the spectrum. Aaannnnd Teague’s already made the shift from college to the business world, where Cassidy’s still starry-eyed and taking on the world…so their views on a lot of things are shaded from their perspectives and knowledge pools.
My writing mentor once told me that if you start with setting your characters organically grow from that and the two weave together better than if you start with characters and try to stuff them into a certain place. Now that I’ve been able to try that a few times, I’ve found it’s much easier to see the conflicts from the very beginning.
Plus, it makes my bucket list a pretty interesting mix :)

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GIVEAWAY!!!!!
Jen Grayson has been very good to us - there's a copy of Snowed Under up for grabs! Also, there's a KindleFire for some lucky person, so be sure to check that out as well!




 

Friday, 23 August 2013

It's A Sad, Sad Day


So, anyone who reads this blog understands that I am a Night Huntress fan - seriously, those books are great. Well, the author of the series, Jeaniene Frost, put up a post the other day that the series will be ending...with the next book.

The series was originally contracted for nine books, which was great for us readers, but we were told in 2011 that it would be cut down to eight. Now, in her latest post, Frost explains that there will be no more Cat and Bones books after Up From The Grave, which is due out next January. You can check that post out here, but the main reason seems to be that she had the series' storyline nicely finished up, and didn't want to write a filler book. 
Which, after my last review, I can understand.

So, while I am sad to see the series go, (I wasn't emotionally prepared for this!) I hope that this means that Up From The Grave will be more action-packed and, well, generally awesome than it would have been otherwise. Plus, there is always the chance that Ian will get a book! ;)

Monday, 19 August 2013

Biting "Really" Bad by Chloe Neill


Merit has been a vampire for only a short while, but she’s already seen a lifetime’s worth of trouble. She and her Master, centuries-old Ethan Sullivan, have risked their lives time and again to save the city they love. But not all of Chicago is loving them back.
Anti-vampire riots are erupting all over town, striking vampires where it hurts the most. A splinter group armed with Molotov cocktails and deep-seated hate is intent on clearing the fanged from the Windy City come hell or high water.
Merit and her allies rush to figure out who’s behind the attacks, who will be targeted next, and whether there’s any way to stop the wanton destruction. The battle for Chicago is just beginning, and Merit is running out of time...
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Guys, I'm really sorry. This book didn't really make me angry, it just made me sad (okay, it made me a little angry). I love Merit, you know I do. This is one of my all-time favourite series and I guess up until now I had this misguided notion that Chloe Neill could do no wrong. 
Well, I was wrong.
It started off okay, with all the usual snark and humour.  However, it took me forever to get into. There was just no action! Even when something was supposedly happening, no one did anything! There were these riots going on, and they were meant to be the main drama source for the book, but here's the thing: nobody cared. Everyone just sat around making jokes that weren't that funny and having endless meetings that yielded no results.
The lack of action was something that lasted throughout the entire thing. I don't even think there was a climax to this book. And while, yeah, there was a sex scene thrown in there for the hell of things, there was no overall breaking point where I went "Whoa, what's going to happen?". It was like a whole book made out of filler chapters. It was a filler book in the series.
Surprisingly though, that wasn't even the worst thing. Merit seriously let me down in this book. Despite being the heroine of the story, she wasn't very heroic. Remember guys, that she was named Sentinel in the very first book, because even though she was only a two-day old baby vamp, she nearly managed to catch Ethan, Master of the House. Well, in this book she manages to get taken down by a human (one lone human!) at least three times!!! I swear, every time I flip a page, Ethan is saving her from something. And you know, I wouldn't be so put out if this was consistent with her character, but up until now she's been taking down vampires, werewolves and - wait for it - freaking angels! 
Wait, there's more. I think Neill was trying to show everyone how bad-ass Ethan has gotten, ever since he came back to life. However, she's showing it by making him do stupid things. Now, Ethan prides himself on not being stupid, but he is constantly rushing off into battle when they have not one, but two teams of guards there (Grey House joined the fun), and his House is on two separate hit lists! Both the GP and the city want to annihilate the House, and he's leaving it practically every second page to go put himself in danger and save Merit's ass. Not cool, Ethan.
I could go on for a while, listing all the things that made this book "Bad", (OH, the puns, the puns) but I think that what I have here is enough to make my point: filler book. To be fair, there were some good things: the banter was great; Ethan and Merit were all lovey-dovey; and we got a great scene with Scott (Master of Grey House) and his human girlfriend Ava. (She had kids and they were adorable!) 
Having said all I needed to say, I know this: I still love the overall series, I still think Chloe Neill is a talented author, and though I wouldn't recommend Biting Bad, I will read the next book in this series (and hope that it's better than this.) For me, Biting Bad was:
 Two hats. It just didn't cut it for me.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Rave - Magic Rises by Ilona Andrews

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Atlanta is a city plagued by magical problems. Kate Daniels will fight to solve them—no matter the cost.
Mercenary Kate Daniels and her mate, Curran, the Beast Lord, are struggling to solve a heartbreaking crisis. Unable to control their beasts, many of the Pack’s shapeshifting children fail to survive to adulthood. While there is a medicine that can help, the secret to its making is closely guarded by the European packs, and there’s little available in Atlanta.
Kate can’t bear to watch innocents suffer, but the solution she and Curran have found threatens to be even more painful. The European shapeshifters who once outmaneuvered the Beast Lord have asked him to arbitrate a dispute—and they’ll pay him in medicine. With the young people’s survival and the Pack’s future at stake, Kate and Curran know they must accept the offer—but they have little doubt that they’re heading straight into a trap…
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If I had to describe Magic Rises in just one word, this would be it: action. From start to finish this book was a rollercoaster ride of action and adventure!
 It starts off when Kate and Curran get an invite to Europe (yep, road trip time!) where they have to play bodyguard duty to a shapeshifter princess called Desandra, whose big, bad daddy controls a highly sought after mountain pass. Upside: they get paid in panacea  - the medicine they desperately need to stop the Pack children from going loup and dying. Downside: it's an obvious trap and they'll be very far from home when it hits. 
So, from the very start we're on edge with planning, politics and emotional angst (sorry guys, no spoilers!). But when they land on the island, whoa do things get interesting! There are three other packs on the island, all of whom want to incite Kate, Curran & Co. into fighting and distrust so they can pick them off, one by one.
 This makes for a very tense book. Kate, Curran and the rest of the gang are facing an onslaught of insults and challenges, but they can't get angry of retaliate. Throw in some shocking twists and turns, mysterious murderers, romance, bodyguard duties, politics and angst and you have one hell of a book
I get the feeling that we also moved along (in the overall story arc) quite a bit with this book. Serious stuff comes up about Roland, Hugh and the rest of Evil Inc. It feels like we're getting closer and closer to that inevitable showdown, and based on this book, I'm not entirely sure that Kate is ready for it yet.
I have to say, this is probably the best book I've read all summer. A definite five out of five.
 Five hats! This book made my day. XD



Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Biting Bad Release Day!!!!

Okay, you guys are probably all aware by now that Chicagoland Vampires is one of my all-time favourite series. That's why I am so excited about this release! Chloe Neill is a machine - a book every six months! I am such a lucky reader, and I'm going to start reading right now! Here's the synopsis:

Merit has been a vampire for only a short while, but she’s already seen a lifetime’s worth of trouble. She and her Master, centuries-old Ethan Sullivan, have risked their lives time and again to save the city they love. But not all of Chicago is loving them back.
Anti-vampire riots are erupting all over town, striking vampires where it hurts the most. A splinter group armed with Molotov cocktails and deep-seated hate is intent on clearing the fanged from the Windy City come hell or high water.
Merit and her allies rush to figure out who’s behind the attacks, who will be targeted next, and whether there’s any way to stop the wanton destruction. The battle for Chicago is just beginning, and Merit is running out of time.
This actually looks amazing, so I'm going to go now and, well, read. 

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Magic Rises - It's Out!

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Woo! Magic Rises has hit the shelves! Are you ready for more Kate and Curran mayham? I know I am! Here's the blurb:

Atlanta is a city plagued by magical problems. Kate Daniels will fight to solve them—no matter the cost.
 
Mercenary Kate Daniels and her mate, Curran, the Beast Lord, are struggling to solve a heartbreaking crisis. Unable to control their beasts, many of the Pack’s shapeshifting children fail to survive to adulthood. While there is a medicine that can help, the secret to its making is closely guarded by the European packs, and there’s little available in Atlanta.
 
Kate can’t bear to watch innocents suffer, but the solution she and Curran have found threatens to be even more painful. The European shapeshifters who once outmaneuvered the Beast Lord have asked him to arbitrate a dispute—and they’ll pay him in medicine. With the young people’s survival and the Pack’s future at stake, Kate and Curran know they must accept the offer—but they have little doubt that they’re heading straight into a trap…
 Oooh, sounds promising. Well, I've got a plane to catch and a book to read! Yep - I'm coming home guys! XD

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Rave - Fifth Grave Past The Light by Darynda Jones.

Charley Davidson may not look like your everyday, run-of-the-mill grim reaper, but she has vowed to reap grimness wherever she goes despite this unfortunate fact. Sadly, she gets sidetracked when the sexy, sultry son of Satan, Reyes Farrow, moves in next door. Since he is her main suspect in an arson case, she has vowed to stay away from him until she can find out the truth. But when dead women start appearing in her apartment, one after another, each lost, confused, and terrified beyond reason, Charley has no choice but to ask for his help, especially when it becomes apparent that her own sister Gemma is the serial killer’s next target. With Reyes’s ability to observe incorporeally, surely he can find out who’s responsible. Even if he can’t, arsonist or not, he is the one man alive who could protect Gemma no matter who or what came at her. But he wants something in return. Charley. All of her, body and soul. And to keep her sister safe, it is a price she is willing to pay.

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Wow. I'm going to tell you guys straight up that this book was brilliant. It was a delicate balance of action, romance, and supernatural intrigue, doused in a healthy dose of Charley's special brand of comedy! 

The book starts off great and only gets better from there. Charley has an infestation of crazy dead ladies in her apartment, all featuring the same MO. Naturally, she wants them gone, so, using her usual crazy, hilarious methods she sets out to find the killer. Of course, things are never that simple: she also has a Super Sexy Son of Satan  (and various other calamities) to deal with along the way. 

It all makes for a very easy and entertaining read, and I think that these books get better and better as they go along. The plot in this book is a lot simpler than it was in Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet, but because of...certain things Charley finds out about herself, it feels like this book is building up to something BIG. And I seriously can't wait to find out more.

Reyes is a H-A-W-T as ever in this book, but he's also strangely sweet. I know, I was freaked out too. It seems he's super committed to Charley now, which is great, because he's slightly less mysterious and more willing to answer all her questions - which I was really excited about. Trouble is, she doesn't ask them, they usually end up having sex instead or something comes up. I get that Darynda wants to keep his secrets, well, secret for as long as possible, but I am thirsting for information here! XD

All in all, I love Charley's antics and this story gets:
 Four hats! Absolutely magical!

Friday, 12 July 2013

Fifth Grave Past The Light - It's Out!


Fifth Grave Past the Light by the fabulous Darynda Jones is out today!!! Here's the synopsis:

Charley Davidson may not look like your everyday, run-of-the-mill grim reaper, but she has vowed to reap grimness wherever she goes despite this unfortunate fact. Sadly, she gets sidetracked when the sexy, sultry son of Satan, Reyes Farrow, moves in next door. Since he is her main suspect in an arson case, she has vowed to stay away from him until she can find out the truth. But when dead women start appearing in her apartment, one after another, each lost, confused, and terrified beyond reason, Charley has no choice but to ask for his help, especially when it becomes apparent that her own sister Gemma is the serial killer’s next target...


Looks good, huh? Well, I can tell you right now that it isn't good - it's great! I've literally just finished it and I'll have the review up as soon as I find the motivation to type. :)

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Review - Divergent by Veronica Roth

Divergent (Divergent, #1)

In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself. 

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves… or it might destroy her...

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Wow. Just, wow. This book had been recommended to me a couple of months ago, and I only got around to reading it now. My only regret is this: I should have read it ages ago!

This is another YA dystopian novel, set in a world where society is divided into five Factions based on personality traits: Abnegation (the selfless), Erudite (the geeks), Candor (the honest), Amity (the peaceful) and Dauntless (the brave). On your sixteenth birthday you have to choose your Faction, which decides where you spend the rest of your life. 

Here is where Beatrice comes in. She has grown up in Abnegation, learning to be small, plain and unnoticeable. Abnegation is the type of Faction where selflessness is praised, vanity is scorned and you're not allowed to look in the mirror for more than a couple of seconds every three months - when you're getting your hair cut. Beatrice hates it there, so on the Choosing Day, she transfers to Dauntless.

Dauntless initiation is the hardest one around. Everyday life includes: jumping on/off buildings and moving trains, combat training, target practice, and mastering your fears. That's without taking the less...amicable members into account. Oh, and another thing? If you fail your initiation, you get kicked out and become Factionless, which roughly translates as homeless. 

So Beatrice changes her name to Tris and gets her head in the game. She makes some friends (and enemies) along the way, and she just happens to snag the hottest instructor in the series. *sigh*

Tris is a well-rounded character. She is flawed enough to make her three-dimensional, but not so much that you hate her guts. She is relatable and tells a great story, and it's very easy to get caught up in her life. Also, she just happens to be Divergent. I will explain:

Most of the "state exam" thingies and the "official stuff" are done on Simulators. That means that you get injected with this serum and your transported to a dream-like world. Then the people in the control room make up these scenarios (great for the fear mastering!) and measure your reactions. The thing is that, like in most dreams, you don't know you're dreaming....unless you're Divergent. Being Divergent means that you know you're in a Simulation and you can manipulate the scenarios - meaning you can control the "dream".

For some top secret reason, the government are all about eradicating the Divergent, which is dangerous for Tris, and interesting for us readers. 

Anyway, I loved this book. It was an effortless read, with just the right amounts of mystery, plot, comedy and romance. I connected with the characters and enjoyed the story - and I can't wait to read the sequel! I give it:

 Four hats! It was magical!


Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Goodbye Dublin, Hello Vancouver!


Hey guys! I'm off to Canada tomorrow (yay!) so there won't be many posts over the next three weeks...unless I can find some free internet. I know, I know - what will you do? It's okay guys, I'll be back before you know it, or, well, before August.

Monday, 1 July 2013

Rant - Of Triton by Anna Banks

In this sequel to OF POSEIDON, Emma has just learned that her mother is a long-lost Poseidon princess, and now struggles with an identity crisis: As a Half-Breed, she’s a freak in the human world and an abomination in the Syrena realm below. Syrena law states that all Half- Breeds should be put to death.

As if that’s not bad enough, her mother’s reappearance among the Syrena turns the two kingdoms—Poseidon and Triton—against one another. Which leaves Emma with a decision to make: Should she comply with Galen’s request to keep herself safe and just hope for the best? Or should she risk it all and reveal herself—and her Gift—to save a people she’s never known?

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This book let me down. Of Poseidon had it's issues, but overall it was a good YA novel. The sequel, however: ugghhh.

This book picks up immediately after Of Poseidon ends. Emma's mother has been found out and has, quite frankly, gone off the deep end. Is it possible for an author to write their own characters "out of character"? Because that's what it looked like to me. 

Emma's mother - long lost Princess Nalia - suffers a complete personality change. Gone is the somewhat oblivious, caring mother from the first book. She is now replaced with this bratty, selfish woman who puts her own needs before her daughter's, and damn the consequences. Maybe it's but me, but I thought that it's a parent's prerogative to put their child first. After all, they're the one's that had the child. Nalia made her choice when she ran away from her responsibilities and had a baby - mistake or no. 

Another things I just couldn't wrap my head around: Nalia's "mating circumstances". Nalia has been living on land for about twenty years now. She is forty years old, because on land, the mermaid people age faster. Now Grom, her One True Love, has been living in the water, so he hasn't aged much at all. Add to that the fact that he is Emma's boyfriend's brother and I get all sorts of disgusted and creeped out. Seriously, on top of everything else, we are now going to add pedophilia to the novel??? If my mother was dating my boyfriend's brother - no, wait, she wouldn't. Because it's weird and freaky!

Also, Emma. I liked her considerably less in this book. While I would be super supportive if she were to, I don't know, hold an Intervention for her mother, or excommunicate her, or even GET ANGRY - she doesn't. All we get is this inner monologue of brattiness and self-hatred. The only thing "bratty" about her is that she's not rejoicing to the heavens that Nalia and Grom have found each other, like everyone else is. And then she hates herself because she's "not being happy for her mother". Seriously. 

I guess I just felt very alone reading this book. It was very frustrating and I felt like screaming "Does nobody else find this weird!!!??"

I would give detailed synopsis, but the whole book is pretty much Nalia-related politics. There is some action and revolutionary overhauling, but the plot doesn't make much sense and the characters suck.

This book gets:
 One hat. Not even Galen's hotness could save this thing.


Am I right? Wrong? What did you think? Let me know. :)