Book Reviews

The Alamo Bride (Daughters of the Mayflower #7) by Kathleen Y’Barbo

the alamo brideTitle: The Alamo Bride (Daughters of the Mayflower #7)
Author: Kathleen Y’Barbo
Rating: ★★★★

I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

A Series for Lovers of History, Adventure, Romance, and Ancestry

Will Ellis Lose All at the Alamo?
Ellis Dumont finds a man in New Orleans Grey unconscious on Dumont property in 1836. As his fevers rage, the man mutters strange things about treasures and war. Either Claiborne Gentry has lost his mind or he’s a spy for the American president—or worse, for the Mexican enemy that threatens their very lives. With the men of her family away, Ellis must stand courageous and decide who she can trust. Will she put her selfish wants ahead of the future of the republic or travel with Clay to Mission San Jose to help end the war?

Join the adventure as the Daughters of the Mayflower series continues with The Alamo Bride by Kathleen Y’Barbo.

More in the Daughters of the Mayflower series:
The Mayflower Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse – set 1620 Atlantic Ocean (February 2018)
The Pirate Bride by Kathleen Y’Barbo – set 1725 New Orleans (April 2018)
The Captured Bride by Michelle Griep – set 1760 during the French and Indian War (June 2018)
The Patriot Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse – set 1774 Philadelphia (August 2018)​
The Cumberland Bride by Shannon McNear – set 1794 on the Wilderness Road (October 2018)
The Liberty Bride by MaryLu Tyndall – set 1814 Baltimore (December 2018)
The Alamo Bride by Kathleen Y’Barbo – set 1836 Texas (February 2019)

This reminded me of Pearl Harbor because you had a girl who was a healer and a guy who was in the military (insert googly eyes here). This is probably one of my favorites in the series so far. Ellis was very humble and kind. Clay was very protective. But, probably my favorite character in both protagonists is that they were fiercely loyal. My dream was to marry a Southern gentleman adorned in a military uniform, so this was exactly the kind of book I wanted.

He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust

-Psalm 91:4

Having never read a novel set during the Alamo (which I previously had no interest in), this historical story caught my attention. The novel was well-written, descriptive, and intriguing.

Book Reviews

Outrun the Wind by Elizabeth Tammi

Outrun the Wind

Title: Outrun the Wind
Author: Elizabeth Tammi
Rating: ★★★

I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Huntresses of Artemis must obey two rules: never disobey the goddess, and never fall in love. After being rescued from a harrowing life as an Oracle of Delphi, Kahina is glad to be a part of the Hunt; living among a group of female warriors gives her a chance to reclaim her strength, even while her prophetic powers linger. But when a routine mission goes awry, Kahina breaks the first rule in order to save the legendary huntress Atalanta.

To earn back Artemis’s favor, Kahina must complete a dangerous task in the kingdom of Arkadia— where the king’s daughter is revealed to be none other than Atalanta. Still reeling from her disastrous quest and her father’s insistence on marriage, Atalanta isn’t sure what to make of Kahina. As her connection to Atalanta deepens, Kahina finds herself in danger of breaking Artemis’ second rule.

She helps Atalanta devise a dangerous game to avoid marriage, and word spreads throughout Greece, attracting suitors willing to tempt fate to go up against Atalanta in a race for her hand. But when the men responsible for both the girls’ dark pasts arrive, the game turns deadly.

Robin Hood meets Wonder Woman. The story starts out with a bang. Artemis is mad and sends one of her monsters to destroy a kingdom, however, when one of her own huntresses gets in the way, new hope arises out of a country almost forgotten. Atalanta is your typical teenager in some ways: a little cocky, ignorant to her own faults, and insecure at the same time. But, also a monster butt-kicking legend…at least to those who don’t know the truth.

The trees tremble, and it is not from the wind.

I clench my fists so my fingers don’t follow the trees’ example, and reach behind my back, pulling out an arrow and nocking it in a motion so practiced that I don’t need to take my eyes off of the treeline. Sunlight glimmers like a jewel through the shifting leaves.

“It’s here,” Meleager says, his voice solid and unafraid.

As we all know, fame can blind us. People who once were nothing to us suddenly gain interest. And in the limelight of being accepted by those we have always wished, we don’t always see the truth behind the sudden attention. This is exactly what happens to Atalanta.

The story came in hot, but then the middle took a complete 180. All of the action I was relishing turned into love. And while love it nice to have around, it is also nice to have action during the same time, and that didn’t happen for me. There was some disconnect. Almost like an aside from the action. Not only that, but, like always, the author always makes the characters pick the person I don’t want them to. Why can’t they ever pick the super nice ones (Wahh!)?!

crying

If not for the little love aside, I really enjoyed the novel. The action scenes were great and there is so much potential for either a series or other novels based in the same universe.

It’s impossible for us both, I realize. She can’t outrace the world. I can’t stay, and I can’t bear to leave her. We can’t outrun the wind.

Book Reviews

Consumed (Firefighters, #1) by J.R. Ward

ConsumedTitle: Consumed (Firefighters, #1)
Author: J.R. Ward
Rating: ★★★★★

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the popular Black Dagger Brotherhood series comes a brand-new novel about arson investigator, Ann Ashburn, who is consumed by her troubled past, her family’s scorched legacy, and her current case: chasing a deadly killer.

Anne Ashburn is a woman consumed…

By her bitter family legacy, by her scorched career as a firefighter, by her obsession with department bad-boy Danny McGuire, and by a new case that pits her against a fiery killer.

Strong-willed Anne was fearless and loved the thrill of fighting fires, pushing herself to be the best. But when one risky decision at a warehouse fire changes her life forever, Anne must reinvent not only her job, but her whole self.

Shattered and demoralized, Anne finds her new career as an arson investigator a pale substitute for the adrenaline-fueled life she left behind. She doesn’t believe she will ever feel that same all-consuming passion for her job again–until she encounters a string of suspicious fires setting her beloved city ablaze.

Danny McGuire is a premiere fireman, best in the county, but in the midst of a personal meltdown. Danny is taking risks like never before and seems to have a death wish until he teams up with Anne to find the fire starter. But Danny may be more than a distraction, and as Anne narrows in on her target, the arsonist begins to target her.

From the creator of the bestselling Black Dagger Brotherhood, get ready for a new band of brothers. And a firestorm . . .

I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This story comes in hot! I was literally thinking, “Dang! All of this action and I’m not even a quarter of the way through yet!” I was a little skeptical because I thought the story may be a little cliche, but it definitely exceeded my expectations.

What I loved about this novel was that the relationships were realistic…it didn’t have the fairytale ending where there isn’t a fight and things turn out happily ever after. There were real issues and real people going through the struggles that both you and I go through in our normal lives. 

What surprised me probably the most was that I didn’t expect the ending! And it leads us to anticipate the next installment of the series. 

Despite the characters’ imperfections, I loved them and found them interesting. But most importantly, wanting to know more. Considering one of our main characters is female, this surprised me. 

I’m more than ready for the next novel in this series! Let me at it!

Book Reviews

Fire & Heist by Sarah Beth Durst

Fire and Heist

Title: Fire & Heist
Author: Sarah Beth Durst
Rating: ★★★★

I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

In Sky Hawkins’s family, leading your first heist is a major milestone–even more so than learning to talk, walk, or do long division. It’s a chance to gain power and acceptance within your family, and within society. But stealing your first treasure can be complicated, especially when you’re a wyvern–a human capable of turning into a dragon.

Embarking on a life of crime is never easy, and Sky discovers secrets about her mother, who recently went missing, the real reason her boyfriend broke up with her, and a valuable jewel that could restore her family’s wealth and rank in their community.

With a handpicked crew by her side, Sky knows she has everything she needs to complete her first heist, and get her boyfriend and mother back in the process. But then she uncovers a dark truth about were-dragon society–a truth more valuable and dangerous than gold or jewels could ever be.

This was my first heist novel and it did not disappoint! What was really cool about this novel was that it was set in modern times. A modern time where were-dragons exist. WHAT?! Sky, our protagonist, and her family embark on heists in order to keep rank within the were-dragon community and make a living for themselves. However, Sky’s mom goes missing on a heist of her own. The failure of the heist brought the were-dragon world down on Sky and her family, hoping to make no mistake and create their own demise. But are things as they really seem? Where is Sky’s mom? And how can Sky and her family earn their rank back?

I am Sky Hawkins, and I’m a were-dragon. I’ve been called stuck-up both in the tabloids and in the hallways of P. Murphy Hugh, a poor little rich girl who surrounds herself with false friends and shallow dreams. Arrogant. Conceited. Egotistical. Haughty. Self-absorbed. All the synonyms, I’d heard them. But they were wrong.

It’s not arrogant to know who you are.

It’s powerful.

And I am powerful.

Sky is a likeable protagonist, while immature and egotistical at times, she is also level-headed. The writing was easy to follow and not overly descriptive. Durst made it easy to imagine every scene and every setting. The novel was action-packed and the characters were well-developed. While only a standalone (such a relief lately), a part of me wishes it were a duology.

My friends and my family are my treasure.

They are my gold.

Fire and Heist is the perfect standalone if you like adventure, suspense, and a hint of love.

Book Reviews

Analiese Rising by Brenda Drake

Analiese Rising

Title: Analiese Rising
Author: Brenda Drake
Rating: ★★★

I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Half-Blood meets Antigoddess in a thrilling, romantic new series from New York Times bestselling author Brenda Drake.

When a stranger gives Analiese Jordan a list of names before he dies, the last thing she expects to see is her own on it. Not. Cool. Her search for answers leads to the man’s grandson, Marek, who has dangerous secrets of his own. Both are determined to unlock the mystery of the list.

But the truth is deadly. Analiese is a descendant of the God of Death, known as a Riser, with the power to raise the dead and control them. Finding out she has hidden powers? Cool. Finding out she turns corpses into killers? No, thank you.

Now the trail plants her and Marek in the middle of a war between gods who apparently want to raise an army of the Risen, and Analiese must figure out how to save the world—from herself.

This is a love story centered around mythology. And it all started when Analiese was a good samaritan and helped an elderly man with a task she promised him during his last breaths. The man was carrying a bag to his grandson that Analiese was now tasked with doing. After opening the bag to figure out the old man’s grandson’s address, she finds what looks to be a hit list. After a closer look, she realizes that her name is also on this list. 

Initially, I was really excited for this novel. For me, there was not enough focus on the plot and too much focus on the romantic element. There was so much potential, but I don’t feel like the novel was executed to its full extent! I found it hard to connect to the characters. 

The reason I was most disappointed was because there was a lost opportunity with the clues Analiese and Marek were left to figure out. It would’ve made the book if the audience was able to see examples in the novel and try to figure it out themselves. I remember Chasing Vermeer did that when it came out during my dreaded middle school days. That would’ve been an awesome incorporation!

There was a lot of potential, but this novel just fell short for me.

Expected publication date is January 8, 2019.

Book Reviews

An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen

An Anonymous Girl

Title: An Anonymous Girl
Author: Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen
Rating: ★★★★★

I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Seeking women ages 18–32 to participate in a study on ethics and morality. Generous compensation. Anonymity guaranteed. 

When Jessica Farris signs up for a psychology study conducted by the mysterious Dr. Shields, she thinks all she’ll have to do is answer a few questions, collect her money, and leave. But as the questions grow more and more intense and invasive and the sessions become outings where Jess is told what to wear and how to act, she begins to feel as though Dr. Shields may know what she’s thinking…and what she’s hiding. As Jess’s paranoia grows, it becomes clear that she can no longer trust what in her life is real, and what is one of Dr. Shields’ manipulative experiments. Caught in a web of deceit and jealousy, Jess quickly learns that some obsessions can be deadly.

Jessica Farris is a twenty-eight year old makeup artist. At her last appointment of the day (two valley-girl college girls), Jessica stumbles upon an opportunity to make some extra money. She overhears one of the girls talking about a study on morality and ethics. Also overhearing that her client will not be attending after a long night out, she feigns being one of the college girls. With her disabled sister on her mind, she welcomes the opportunity.

However, things go bad quickly when more is slowly asked of her. But with that comes more money to support her sister and family.

Unfortunately, I have yet to read The Wife Between Us. So, I had no idea what to expect coming into this novel, but of course, I was pleasantly surprised. My only complaint was that there was so much deceit (which always makes for a good story). Not one character could be trusted, so you never knew what to expect yet, or what was the “true” story at any given time.

Could you tell a lie without feeling guilt?

An Anonymous Girl is thought-provoking, suspenseful, and gripping. This novel will challenge your morality and ethics!

The expected publication date is January 8, 2019.

Book Reviews

Manga Classics: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Title: Manga Classics: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Author: Stacy King
Rating: ★★

I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Chafed by the “sivilized” restrictions of his foster home, and weary of his drunkard father’s brutality, 14 year-old Huck Finn fakes his own death and sets off on a raft down the Mississippi River. He is soon joined by Jim, an escaped slave. Together, they experience a series of rollicking adventures that have amused readers, young and old, for over a century. Their peaceful existence ends abruptly, however, with the appearance of the King and the Duke, an incorrigible pair of con artists who take over the raft. After many difficulties, Huck and Jim escape their tormentors, and with the help of an imaginative rescue by Huck’s old friend Tom Sawyer, Jim gains his freedom.

Manga Classics breathes new life into this American Classic with a faithful adaptation (complete with original text)of Mark Twain’s masterpiece Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

I think what I struggled with a lot was the dialect. Whenever Jim spoke, I understood what he was saying less than half of the time. Plus, bad grammar is a pet peeve of mine. 

The story seemed a bit detached from the reader. One chapter, one thing was happening and then the next, a completely different thing. It seemed like it was an accumulation of a lot of different stories, almost like a novella. Granted, I have not read the novel prior, so maybe it would make a little more sense had I read it.

Also, the characters seemed entirely childish and unrelatable. I couldn’t connect with any of them and some things were completely unnecessary or lacked all common sense (which should be taught at schools today because most people seem to be lacking it).

I don’t think this manga was for me, unfortunately. But I can definitely see how many others would enjoy this, especially if it was true to the novel.