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LoonyAlana

Crazy Bibliophile and Book Pimp (Not So Anonymous)

I am a mother of two boys and avid reader; I practically live and breathe books. If I could sustain my life on just reading, I would live forever. I'm weird, and proud of it. I have traveled to many places: Mexico, St. Marteen, Prague, England, Cozumel, and Canada to name a few. Many moons ago I co-hosted "Welcome to Insanity" radio show on a micro radio station in TX- but our show was played via streaming internet in coffee houses in Amsterdam. I have a BA in theater. I used to be "the finder of lost things" but I think my last child robbed me of my gift. Now I just have a large collection of useless information... it goes with my growing mountain of "to be read" books

Currently reading

The Hooker and the Hermit
Penny Reid, Luci Cosway
The Suicide Princess
Anthony Bryan
Rise of the Magi (Lila Gray, #3)
Jocelyn Adams
Caged (Holloway Pack, #3)
J.A. Belfield
Where I End and You Begin - Andra Brynn Officially, 4 ½♥'s

Dark, not quite what I expected. New adult.

More to come.

I received a free eBook from the author via Making Connections in exchange for a review.
Lick - Kylie Scott A nice, fluffy book that was exactly what the doctor ordered. Not great literature, but very rock-n-roll romance entertaining. It was almost refreshing that the girl wasn't a straight up virgin.
Tears of Tess - Pepper Winters *Gapes like a fish*
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*Opens mouth... takes in breath as if to speak.*
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*I couldn't be more flabbergasted... even if I were just randomly face slapped by a fish, that would not hold a candle to my current flummoxed state.*
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If ALL of South Park is shocked... that says something right there.

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Can you get Stockholm Syndrome from a book? I think I did.

It was dark. I cried, cried UGLY. Gave me a huge book hangover. But by the end, this was me:
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...More to come

I received a free eBook in exchange for a review as part of a blog tour.

Losing Virginity - Ava  Michaels ...Review to come when I have more time, but I can give a few sneak peeks:

1. Sexual anticipation during this read made my toes curl. It was heady.
2. Olivia was awkward. Not cute awkward, silly, and/or funny. Just a straight-up mess at times that made my eyes roll
3. I LOATHE the Epilogue. Absolutely hate it and feel it would have been MUCH stronger overall had it never existed.

...More to come (Final review closer to tour date)

I received an ARC eBook in exchange for an unbiased review as part of a blog tour
Immortal in Death (In Death 03) - J D Robb I have to admit, I ended up grabbing this one from Audible as soon as I finished Glory in Death (luckily I still had a credit or two so no money needed to change hands.) I've gone from 0 to 60 (an addicted) in no time flat!

I love that we see more Mavis in this book, she is a really fun character! And Peabody! Although, I will admit I'm not 100% happy with the Peabody voice... but other than that I am adoring the narrator. I don't think I could 'read' this series at this point, now that I've been spoiled by Susan (the narrator).

Now, I'm not usually a big fan of mystery - and especially 'police' type stories... but this series (for me) has the right influx of hot, steamy bedroom action and the futuristic setting (future but not too 'out there') creates this perfect addictive mix. AND- I'm not the type to read the last page of the book (in case I don't make it to the end) ... but boy, oh boy, do I get a kick out of figuring out the 'bad guy' in these books! AND I can actually figure it out! It's not so easy to guess that I'm mad, but not so obvious that I still question if I've fingered the right person. I especially had a gut feeling in this book, and went back and forth second guessing my prediction. (P.S. I was RIGHT! Should not have second guessed myself!)

Now, I pretty much only say nice things about the book, so why not a 5♥, you might ask... Well, this series is SOLID and does make me happy, and I'm addicted, and I like the narrator and the characters... but... It's not heart-stopping, *Squee*, fan-girl-freak-out amazing. If you are at all interested in this series, I'd recommend checking out a sample from Audible. I just love it and will most definitely continue this series... (although the length of the series is absolutely daunting!)
Glory in Death - J.D. Robb I really enjoy the narrator, the characters, and I like that I can guess the bad guy before it's revealed. I've become addicted to the audio books in this series, in short order.
The Sun Dwellers - David Estes This is, hands down, my favorite book of this series (that I've read thus far.) It was just so WOW. The right amount of angst and self-doubt to make the teenage mission so believable. There were brief moments of hormone driven passion, but there is only so much time for that when you're in the middle of a war and a soldier fighting for everything.

The sweet, sweet innocence juxtaposed with sharp pointy weapons. One minute, it's all daggers and bows, arrows and a gun... the next it's the naive worry of holding hands while you're sweating. There are moments, where the reality crashes around them, revealing with stark naked cruelty the extent of what they have signed up for. Everything is in the balance, resting on the shoulders of these young adults. No pressure, indeed.

It's really odd, but I swear the further they journey into the Sun realm (the 'brightest' of all the realms) the darker the story seems to get. I've so eager to see where it further leads... I cannot gush enough. Really, this book raises the entire series to a 5 star series for me!

I received a free eBook in exchange for an unbiased review. I have received no compensation for my thoughts.
Chimes at Midnight - Seanan McGuire Love. Absolute LOVE for this series. It's got fae, coffee, magic, pixies, and even royalty (well, fae royalty.) I love Toby's snark and sass, and how she's growing and starting to NOT feel like an island. She is loved, and has a huge support system and is finally accepting and acting on that fact.

More to come when I'm not still feeling under the weather.
On the Island  - Tracey Garvis-Graves loved it
A Little Night Magic - Lucy March Story: 3♥'s
Performance: 5♥'s (Amanda Ronconi- or however her name is spelled just rocks)
Overall Rating: 4♥'s

It was relatively cute and fluffy, but many humor moments fell a little flat for me. The narrator absolutely was a great choice, as she raised the rating with her performance. Passes the time, and nice for an easy no-deep-thinking required fun read. Not heavy on the heat factor.
Rock the Heart (Black Falcon, #1) - Michelle A. Valentine I'm totally in the minority here. I look at the sea of reviews, and I am practically an island on this book. The beginning, I was there. My heart was aching. I wanted to root for the couple.

Then, I listened to more (it was the audiobook version.) *Sigh* The beginning was the highlight, it only went downhill from there. Let me first start this autopsy by naming the subject, Lanie- from this point on in the review she will be named Doormat. She's supposed to be this eager marketing intern trying to get her foot in the door to land her dream job. Now, I always thought of a marketing rep to essentially be a salesperson for the masses. In theory, if you are to 'land that dream marketing job' you should be a good salesperson. Doormat even thought it herself. I'm sorry, but Doormat was not a salesperson. She had no backbone, she was so naive that her ears much have been constantly wet behind them, and she was an absolute doormat. I guessing you can tell how much I 'like' her.

Now, enter broody, bipolar rock star. He was her first everything, and she broke his heart in high school. There's some more standard rock star background... blah blah blah. OK, so she broke his heart- in high school. I've heard of people finding 'the one' all the way back in high school, but it's far from the norm. So he's a grade-A prime horse's ass trying to scoop out her heart at the beginning. Not swoony. Not attractive. I don't care how talented and rockin' and rich you are, he went above and beyond to be a cold hearted snake. Then, true to form for the whole book, he flip-flops back and forth. Hot then cold - Don't run away from me but stay here while I take off and don't tell anyone where I am - Double standards out the wazoo - No. Just. No. I didn't see anything to swoon over. He was running when he should have been talking, seducing when he should be laying it out with an honest conversation, just plain being a dick about the way he does anything... and I'm supposed to swoon when he does a few sappy songs? I'm not even attracted to the guy. He's an ass. Not an alpha character that pisses me off but makes me melt... no, he just gives off douchebag vibes, has a double standard for Doormat and just - ugggg! He's an asshat. A douchecanoe of the highest order that needs to be made to sing soprano with a swift kick in the nads.

What did he see in Doormat? I think a peek into his head could have really, really helped this book. We have no idea why he's all contractions all the time. I am just SO PISSED at the characters and the story. Finishing the book, and ESPECIALLY finding out everything behind all the brouhaha, I was in a bad mood and muttering, "Bullshit" every few minutes. I wanted it to end, just to put me out of my misery. I'm on the fence as to continuing the series at all. Is it just this story, these characters, that I am loathing? I sure don't know. Many have read a loved it, but not this island. My island far, far away from that drama llama couple... but I didn't hate Riff, so maybe there is a chance for trying out another book.

I wish I could blame it all on the narrator, but she wasn't bad. Not great, but not bad. Instead of a book hangover, I got book rage. I need a glass of wine just to get my mood out of that Doormat funk. Maybe even a shot of tequila.
Falling Into You - Jasinda Wilder HOT HOT HOT

YA into ADULT

***More thoughts to come***
Lunacy (Ragnarok Legacy, #1) - R.A. Sears I have to admit, I was on the fence. It was a sharp pointy fence, too. The best way I can think of it is 'before' and 'after'. There is a significant event, a climax of sorts, about halfway through the book that is the pivotal moment. I really want to give a spoiler-free review, so I'm trying to not give away anything...

'Before'
I. Loved. This. Adored. I was smitten and happy as a clam. Kacea is snarky and funky and a touch geeky. She was a rebellious teen that chose to blaze her own path; she was SO my kind of gal! I enjoyed hearing her thoughts and really it was almost like watching a movie or TV show in book form (in a good way). Like Friday Night Lights meets Supernatural or maybe even Being Human. There were awkward moments, it was almost cute. But then running amok through all that happiness, the 'Moment'.

*Sigh*

'After'
I have to be honest here... I didn't 'get' it. There was this major reveal of sorts at the end (pretty much cliffhanger city- bring a parachute) and I just don't understand. I got lost somewhere along the way. The 'Moment' went so long unexplained, and I swear it seemed like body snatchers were involved. Like, the movie Inception. Is it a dream within a dream? This book warped my noodle but in a frustrating way. Looking at the reviews from other readers, they must have 'got' it. They had to. Maybe I'm just missing something.

Beyond Kacea, there are several other characters that are an absolute treat. While Jynxx does have the panty-dropping rocker next door skillz, Conner really intrigues me. I almost wondered if the romance was going to swing his was a few times. We seem to get a larger peek into Connor that I wish we saw in Jynxx. My mistrust of actions in the 'After' portion of the book made me question motivations and wonder. Additionally, there were so many side characters (of varying degrees of importance) that it was difficult at times to keep everything straight (well, 'pack' and especially 'clan' doesn't sound small, does it?)

This was a really, really hard book to rate. I had to weigh everything, and I think the tipping point was the vivid, unapologetic descriptions won me over. Chunks were flying, gore got in hair, leather sofas had to be wiped down... it was messy and real. I liked that; so much so, that it can overcome my frustration with 'missing' what the story is trying to tell me. Maybe I can ponder it out, maybe not; either way I am totally down with checking out more in this series. It is rather original, I have to give it props. I would recommend it... but if you read it and 'get' it- PLEASE clue me in!

I received a free eBook in exchange for an unbiased review as part of a Nevermore PR blog tour.
Midnight Blue-Light Special - Seanan McGuire mice photo: mice mice.jpg

I SO dig Verity and have even fallen for Sara as well... And the Aeslin Mice- Hail! The Aeslin Mice are the bomb, and my fervent wish (should I ever run across a genie or something) is that I want a colony of Aeslin mice. I'm used to little sleep, and can totally accommodate them as my house is often containing cheese and cake, although closet space may be harder to come by. Just putting it out there now to the universe, you never know.

Once again we find Verity Price, dancing her way through Manhattan rooftops trying to balance living her dream with honoring the family profession. Being a member of the Price family means she is family and friends with 'people' that the average regular citizen of NY would view as a monster, or 'Cryptid' in Verity's world. As if that wasn't interesting enough, the 'Covenant' (a group of heavily armed self-righteous soldiers that believe they were assigned by God to rid the world of these 'monsters') has any living member of the Price family marked as traitors to the human race.

Now a threat looms over ALL of New York City, and especially, the Cryptid community of Manhattan. This installment doesn't disappoint with Verity's boldness and leaps straight into trouble, but this time forces the entire community to become involved. We even get a portion of the novel through Sara's eyes, rather that Verity's for a time. It really allowed me to further understand the Cuckoo mind and appreciate Sara so much more. (I also feel I should apologize now, I listened to the audiobook so 'hearing' a name, or word, doesn't always give me the correct spelling.)

I sucked this down so fast, my ears actually hurt from the earphones being in so long. I must have listened to this (10+ hour book) in two days or so. After listening to the first book, and already having this in my library I couldn't wait to start. Everything I loved about the first book, and added even more rapturous (for me) scenes with the Mice, and the addition of *gasp* moments- I was in a very happy place listening to this.

To anyone that likes Urban Fantasy (with a little romance) and some strangely amusing humor, I say, "Hail!" Y'all really need to check this out, I don't think you'll regret it. Relatively light, but lots of action, and Mice. =)

"Save some carnage for the rest of us."
Reaper - L.S. Murphy The ending hit me like a tons of bricks.

I got misty, and my chest was tight, eyes even brimming with tears...
More to come...

I receive a free eBook from J. Taylor Publishing via the Making Connections Blog Tours in exchange for an unbiased review.
Discount Armageddon - Seanan McGuire Once again, Seanan McGuire has solidified her spot among my favorite authors. Her writing is just GOLD I tell you!

I want to be a ballroom dancer, and a cryptozoologist, and the mice- I want my own mice! Hail! Well, I have two mice... but they sure don't observe a religious calendar and perform Bacchanal style feast rituals. Can they be taught that, do you think?

SO glad I had Midnight Blue-Light Special already in my library! I'd *squee* but I try NOT to *squee* on principle alone... maybe I'll just do a tango?