Sunday, December 31, 2017

Favourite books in 2017

2017 was very good year in books for me. I've read over 190 book, some amazing, some just OK. These eleven are my favourites. I'm not including re-read here, just books I've read this year for the first time. :)

They made me think and feel, smile and cry, they stuck with me since reading and change me in a way.


I love books with magic, but good ones are hard to find (Harry Potter set the bar quite high). I've read three amazing book with really interesting magical systems, all very different but equally amazing.






I like romance as part of the story not the whole story, however these two book were very pleasant surprises. Both made me smile and feel things and were just amazing



Next one was a total surprise. I haven't read many books in this kind of genre (virtual reality/dystopia/games kind of genre :) there is probably better word for it.:) )It's a bit similar to Ready Player One in the sense, that there is virtual game, that a lot of people is playing, but that is where the similarities end. It's such an amazing story, with interesting setting and great characters. 

Night Shift is one of the most unique book I've ever read, it such amazing story, about mannequins that come to like (little bit like Night at the Museum), magic, history... I loved it. :)


I've read a lot high-fantasy books, but these two are something special. The Hundredth Queen with its uniqueness, amazing world, and kick-ass lead character and Twenty- Four Potential Children of Prophecy with humour.



Broken Skies was such a perfect mix of all elements I love in a story: aliens, sci-fi, dystopia and romance. :)


The last one, was the biggest surprise. I was expecting something totally different and was blown away. The Murder Complex is such an amazing book.





Happy reading,
Anie

Hardened Hearts

Rating: 💚 💚 💚 💚 
Authors: Gwendolyn Kiste, Tom Deady, Meg Elison, John Boden, Somer Canon, Calvin Demmer, Theresa Braun, J.L. Knight, Madhvi Ramani, Scott Hallam, Robert Dean, Leo X. Robertson, Jennifer Williams, Laura Blackwell, Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi, Sarah L. Johnson
Title: Hardened Hearts
Genre: short stories
Published: December 4th 2017 by Unnerving
Number of pages: 260
Goodreads: Hardened Hearts
Amazon: Hardened Hearts(affiliate link)

Received from Author in exchange for honest review

It was the year of many changes and trying new things. Venturing in new worlds, so for the last day of the year it's quite fitting to talk about book, that is very different than books I usually love and I would never reach for in the past.

Hardened Hearths is collection of short stories, all talking about love. But not in the way we are use to (at least me). These are not happy ending, romance stories. Each story is very different, but has the same elements to it. These are stories of love, that is real, not perfect, at times heartbreaking and weird. With so many stories, that cover different aspects of love, you are bound to find some that touch you. Even though genres vary, from horror, to fiction and all in between, there is element "real-ness" to all. 

The stories that stood out and touch me are: 

It Break My Hearth to Watch You Rot by Somer Canon. It talk about watching someone you love, forgetting you, forgetting yourself and watching him slowly die, whilst you stand by, helplessly. 

The Pink Ballon by Tom Deady. It talks about  the most horrible thing than can happen to you, death of a child and the guilt that you cannot live with.

Heirloom by Theresa Braun. This is one really amazing story, that has Stephan King vibe to it. It really spooky story that I was pulled in totally and wanted to read more of. 

It's that kind of book, that could be great for anyone, because there are so many different parts. I would love to see some of there stories blown up to full size novels. :)

Happy reading,

Anie

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Apprehension by Sylvie Parizeau

Rating: 💚 💚 💚 💚 💚
Author: Sylvie Parizeau
Title: Apprehension
Series: Incendescent #2
Genre: romance
Published: November 22nd 2016
Goodreads: Apprehension
Amazon: Apprehension: Volume 2 (Incandescent Series)(Affiliate link)

Recieved from Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for honest review

Incandescent series continues with Zac, ultimate bad boy. He is daredevil, always up for a challenge, never settling in one place for too long. He meets Magali in coffee shop and is instantly taken by her, so he decides to impress her by pulling a stunt. It backfires stunningly. :)

It's a good thing too, because it makes him rethink his life and find a home in the process. When they meet again, he is determined to earn her love.

Magali thinks about him all the time. She feels guilty about that night and thinks she will never see him again. She is finishing college, to be midwife. When she start working in a hospital she stumbles on him.

I usually don't like romance that much, but this series is special. I loved all three book, that are out so far. My favourite being the third one. :) The is just something so positive in these stories, ultimate feel good books. :)

Happy reading,

Anie

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Looking for Dei by David A. Wilson

Rating: 💚 💚 💚 💚
Author: David A. Wilson
Title: Looking for Dei
Published: March 23rd 2018 by Seeker Press (expected)
Genre: ya, high-fantasy, magic
Goodreads: Looking for Dei

Received from NetGalley in exchange for honest review

Story is set in high-fantasy world, full of magic. Magic is a gift from Dei (their deity). Every few years they test young people with special weapon in announcement ceremony, to see if they have any gifts.

Those with gifts are celebrated, but her little town didn't have any gifted for very long time. Nara discovers the reason, and is determined to fix it, causing more trouble for her and her friend, than she could ever imagine. 

Nara has a secret, she has a gift, but not just one. She is always holding back, so there she isn't even sure what she is capable

Announcement ceremony goes horribly wrong and before she knows it, she, her best friend and Bylo are on the run. 

I love the world Author created and the magical system in it, is really interesting and unique. The idea behind the story is great and interesting. What I didn't love is the writing style, it didn't give me depth I wanted (for the characters and story) and it dragged at times. 

Regardless, I enjoyed it and would love to see what Nara will do next. :)

Happy reading,
Anie


Monday, December 25, 2017

Favourite romance books

I mostly read sci-fi or fantasy, so romance books are very rarely on my TBR. I love it, when story has romance it, but not when romance is the whole story. 

Next five books are total contradiction to that. :) I loved reading them, and the stories stayed with me for a long time. Going in with low expectation, I was blown away.


Pen & Xander is one of those stories that you have to read, because the story is as good as is important to read in this time.





Exposure is one of the most positive books I've ever read, ultimate feel good story, that I just want to read over and over again. :)




The Boy I hate I read very fast and couldn't put down. Just the kind of story I like. :)



Right Text. Wrong Number. is such a sweet story, that keeps you glued to the book from first till the last page. 




Happy reading,

Anie

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Rating: 💚 💚 💚 💚 💚
Author: Jane Austen
Title: Pride and Prejudice
Genre: romance
Number of pages: 405
Published: 1813
Goodreads: Pride and Prejudice
Amazon:Pride and Prejudice (affiliate link)

I re-read Pride and Prejudice at least once a year. It's one of the best books I've ever read. I love the way characters say thing, even insults sound beautiful (Especially if you hear them with heavy English accent in your head :)). The language of the story is so beautiful and flows effortlessly. 

Not only a fantastic romance, but detailed description of the time in history. Elizabeth is one of the strongest female characters. Ahead of her time in some ways I admire her strength not to take the easy route and to listen to her heart. She is witty, smart and quick to judge (especially Darcy :)), however she can admit her wrongs too. 

Once I start reading, I can't put it down. From the first page on I was pulled in family dynamic, social interaction, lovely romance that is based on mutual respect and admiration (later on :) ) and friendships. 

And there is Darcy, seeming arrogant and proud, but with good hearth underneath and lots of redeeming qualities. I love the dynamic between them. :) They are equal to each other and complete each other perfectly.

One of the best books and perfect winter reading. :)

Happy reading,

Anie

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Favourites: Magical systems

I love fantasy and my favourite fantasy books are the ones with any kinds of magic, especially if magical system surrounding it is interesting and well developed. Here are some of my favourite magical systems in books :) 

1. Harry Potter

This wouldn't be a good list without Harry Potter in it. This series made me fall in love with magic, I love reading the books (I re-read them at least once a year) and all 7 are truly magical. :)

In Harry Potter people with magic live along side Muggles (non magical people), but in secret. They are born with magic, but have to go to school (I wish I could go to Hogwarts too :)) to learn to use it. The is ministry of magic, whole bunch of magical disciplines and a lot interesting magical creatures. Simply perfect. :)



2. Poison study
In the land of Ixia, where Yelena (main characters) live, magic is forbidden. In the this fantasy world, there are still many people with magical abilities, most live in other lands.

Magic is like a blanket all over the world. People with magical abilities can access that blanket and pull form it. If the magician is untrained or just power hungry, he can pull too much, thus collapsing the whole system. What people can do with it, is different form person to person. I love the simplicity and beauty of it. 



3. The Black Mage series


Another amazing series (that I have yet to finish). In fantasy world setting, people before the age of 17, have to ether chose a trade or enrol in trial year in one of three school, to become a soldier, knight or mage. 

That one year is incredibly demanding, only the best ones can follow trough and the best of the best get chosen for apprenticeship. I love that magic is something you have to study and work many years for, it's not just give and it's a privilege



4. A Darker Shade of Magic

Truly amazing and captivating book with very interesting magical system. There are multiple Londons and only Antary, magicians with special and very rare ability can travel between them. There is different concentration of magic, from so high that it destroyed the world (black London) to so little it's barely there (grey). 






5. The Name of the Wind
Another amazing book. Story is set in fantasy world with very interesting magic. There is legendary school for magic, in order to enter it, you have to pay a lot of money, or be so amazing, that you get sponsored. Told by Kvothe in retrospect, you can see how demanding and hard it is to study magic, especially for non rich people. 









Happy reading,

Anie

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

The Darkest Hour by S. M. Soto

Rating: 💚 💚
Author: S. M. Soto
Title: The Darkest Hour
Series: The San Diegan Series #1
Number of pages: 340
Published: October 17th by Solstice Publishing
Genre: romance
Goodreads: The Darkest Hour
Amazon:The Darkest Hour: A San Diegan Novel (Affiliate link)

Received from Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for honest review

Aliza lost entire family in horrible car accident. 3 years later she is still not even close to being OK. When she gets fired, she decides to move to the beach. Maybe to have a new start. But feeling like that don't just go away so fast. She meets Chase but is reluctant to let herself feel anything.

I couldn't get into book, it didn't grab me or pulled me in. I didn't care for any of the characters... There was to much angst for me like it, I think. Maybe it would be good fit, for someone who likes in depth emotional journey within the story.

Happy reading,

Anie

Monday, December 18, 2017

From Geek to Greek Billionaire by Gloria Silk || Book Blitz

Author: Gloria Silk
Title: From Geek to Greek Billionaire
Published: December 12th 2017
Genre: na, romance
Goodreads: From Geek to Greek Billionare
Amazon: From Geek to Greek Billionaire: Did he deserve her second chance? Was he ready to love?(affiliate link)

Synopsis:

Olivia Moore has landed her dream job—to renovate a very special beach house for her best friend, Maria. The last thing Olivia needs is to bump into her teen crush, the geeky yet sexy Alexander Anderson. She fell in love with him so hard and completely and he broke her heart. Now he’s her best friend’s brother-in-law.

Despite his devastating mistake a decade earlier the shy, enigmatic bachelor now asks Olivia to help him with a special makeover and an infusion of confidence to woo a particular, special woman (unaware that she’s the one he’s after) she wants nothing to do with him. After all, despite her generous nature to help, she cannot risk getting closer to him. Her life has no room for romance or distractions. Still coming to terms with her secret past she fears that Alexander may discover it. She wants an uncomplicated life focusing on what she loves–redesigning homes–with no risk of being hurt.and , pain free and not risking being hurt.

This bestselling 40,000 word novel is an expanded and enhanced version of the novella first published as part of the amazing Billionaires on the Beach Anthology: which raised 100% of the proceeds for breast cancer in summer of 2017.

“…Ms. Silk’s uplifting stories pull you in and make you fall in love…” Elizabeth Lennox, Bestselling Romance Author

Excerpt:

Was Alexander dreaming? Was Olivia Moore kissing him? He refused to wake up, ever! As he was about to deepen the kiss Olivia moved away with an expression that told him she had acted on impulse and regretted it.
“The problem with you seems that you’re too modest. You should stop hiding the real you and transfer that confidence,” she nodded towards the podium, “into your personal, romantic life.” She said it in a breathy way as if she was trying to compose herself and was determined to sound professional. But she could not hide the flush of pleasure she had obviously shared during the too-short few seconds of their kiss.
He was growing wings of hope. Maybe she felt more for him than merely as a Samaritan for a doofus client.
“The food’s good, you want to stay awhile?” Perhaps he could muster up some courage to dance with her. She would do it in the name of her ‘responsibility’ to help him.
She nodded. A few minutes later she said, “You obviously have quite a lot of public speaking experience and a huge following.” Her eyes sparkled with respect. “I had no idea you’ve traveled so extensively. I’m beginning to wonder if you really need my help, and if you really are that shy in your personal life.”
Suddenly all he wanted was to tell her the truth about everything. This was his perfect opportunity. About why he was in town, why he had wanted her ‘help’ and about the non-existent Jessica.
The woman I want to woo is you! All I want is you, Olivia, just the way you are. Perfect.
But his throat closed up and he shook inside. Misunderstanding his reaction, the sensitive Olivia touched his hand again and said, “Don’t worry, I’m here. You’ll do just fine tomorrow. Just take some of the energy and drive you had up there,” Olivia pointed to the podium, “and you’ll sweep Jessica off her feet.”
Was that fleeting jealousy he saw within her expressive eyes, or was it his wishful thinking?
As they enjoyed the delicious menu, the pleasure of having her in his arms as they danced was marred by his cowardice. He was not only frustrated with himself but the heat and the rightness of being together fanned his hunger for her and impatience with himself. He wanted to kiss Olivia and hold her so tightly instead of merely dancing with her. He wanted to explore every curve and crevice of her gorgeous body, and quench the desire within him.
What would it take to grow a backbone? Why could he face an army of opposition and controversy in his business, and clam up in front of the soft, generous Olivia?
And what if he was misreading her emotions? Be positive, damn it.
What if by some miracle his purging admission was met by her reciprocating his feelings? What if she also felt their physical attraction and emotional synchronicity? All his brothers had found their own true love; what if Olivia was his one and only?
But he was not the purging type. Despite having meant every word about being fortunate in his family life, he now felt even more trapped within his lie. Olivia was a genuine person who deserved the truth.
What could he do now and not risk losing Olivia again?
(Copyright Gloria Silk 2017)


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Friday, December 15, 2017

CrossTown by Loren W. Cooper

Rating: 💚 💚 💚 
Author: Loren W. Cooper
Title: CrossTown
Genre: fantasy, sci-fi
Published: November 14th 2017 by Red Hen Books
Number of pages: 340 
Goodreads: CrossTown
Amazon: Crosstown(Affiliate link)

Received from Bewitching Book Tours in exchange for honest review

Synopsis

CrossTown is the crossroads of possibility.
  
Zethus is a sorcerer―a self-described spiritual thug for hire. He makes his living in CrossTown, a place where the manyworld hypothesis of modern physics manifests itself, where possibilities and probabilities overlap.

Caught up in a web of intrigue as he investigates the death of his master, Corvinus, and pursued by agents that want to erase all knowledge of Corvinus’ work, Zethus discovers that the key to his master’s murder lies in the last project he had pursued before his death. The roots of this project lie deep in the past, at the origin of CrossTown’s fractured reality.

Once he understands the stakes, Zethus must make the dangerous journey to the cradle of history. The price he must pay to find the answers he seeks will threaten everything he holds dear―including his own humanity.

“Beware the road outside your front door, for it is all at once old friend and passing stranger.” –CrossTown

“A sorcerer explores the frontier of theoretical physics.” Publisher’s Weekly

 Excerpt:

Roads and streets run like veins and arteries through the beating heart of CrossTown.  Each runs through all manner of distant and not-so-distant possibilities. 
            There's a theory in modern physics that posits a universe for every decision we make.  Each time we choose, right or left, high or low, vanilla or chocolate, we split into separate universes.  A vanilla me here, a chocolate me there, a rocky road with pistachio me somewhere else, and some poor lactose intolerant me further down the line.  The dominant me is my subjective reality.  In CrossTown, the probable mes collapse into the dominant wave, but all those wandering Ways continually wash other alternate lives, lives meant to be lived in CrossTown, up on its jagged shores.
The names of roads are choices; the turning and branching of roads are choices; roads are physical manifestations of their builders’ decisions…
            Everywhere, every place and every time where man or something like him has lived, roads run into one another, branch, disappear here and reappear over there as if they were quantum tunneling.  They run, meet, part, cross again, and form a bewildering Mandelbrot set of linked probabilities.
            Beware the road outside your front door, for it is both old friend and passing stranger.
            All those choices, all hooked together, comprise a vast sea of possibility.  A knowledgeable traveler can ride the currents in that sea to unimagined destinations…
            CrossTown is the crossroads of probability.
  
Review:

First half of the book was really hard to get into, there was a lot of going on, with little explaining, so I wasn't sure at times, was was happening. However after that, the story get really interesting. You just HAVE to know what happens. It reminded in a way on classic sci-fi books (like Philip K. Dick or Issac Asimov books).

The book has really interesting magical system, that is mixture of sci-fi, futuristic technology and supernatural creatures. CrossTown is a place where multiple universes meet and if you can chose where to go, what to see, if you know how to pick a way there.

Somehow it works brilliantly. :) 

Happy reading,
Anie

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Skin Deep

Rating: 💚 💚 💚 💚 
Author: Cassie Leigh
Title: Skin Deep
Series: Ink & Brazen Women #1
Number of pages: 197
Published: September 26th 2017 by Sassy Typewriter Press
Genre: contemporary, romance
Goodreads: Skin Deep
Amazon: Skin Deep (Ink & Brazen Women)(Affiliate link)

Received from Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for honest review

Skin Deep is such a lovely story, quick pick-me-up read.

Gigi comes from rich family, her father is a lawyer and mother is stay at home wife, she also has a brother that moved away. She dreads weakly dinners with her family, they (especially father) are not supportive and very controlling of her. She caught father cheating on her mother multiple times. And because of that she doesn't date, she only sleeps with guy, one night and that is it.

She had to quit her job, because she was harassed and is looking for a new one. Her friend recommend her step-brother's tattoo shop. It's not something her parents would approve of and at the same time everything she loves: business and art.

She is perfect for the job and is very good at it. Co- owner ( and her friends step brother) catches her eye from the start, but he is off limits. As she gets to know him she realizes, that she can't have for just one night, she wants more.

It's such a lovely story.

Happy reading,

Anie

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Date with the Dead

Rating: 💚 💚 💚 💚 💚
Author: Chris Myers
Title: Date with the Dead
Series: Ripsters #1 
Number of pages: 313 
Genre: paranormal, ghosts, urban fantasy, ya
Goodreads: Date with the Dead
Amazon:Date with the Dead (Ripsters Book 1) (Affiliate link)

Received from NetGalley

I LOOOVE this book. Such a fun and quick read. I just flew through the pages and couldn't put it down.

Jolie has a very hard life. She lives with her mother. They moved from New Orleans after Katrina, to her aunts place in Plymouth, MA. Aunt died in sea previously and left them the house. There are bills and mortgage payments due and they are about to lose the house, but Jolie has a plan.

She has a special gift that runs in the family, she can talk to ghosts. (Her mom can channel dead, so they speak through her). There is one ghost Drew, that doesn't cross over, she is always with her and is her best friends. She wishes he was alive, so they could be together.

In New Orleans she was a part of ghost hunting group so she decides to open one her, to help ghost cross over and earn a bit of money.

In the night of her first job she meets Reese, that wanted to do job himself. She convinces him, that they should work together. He has the equipment, she can see ghosts, perfect match. Later on Brit joins them, she is one of the most popular girls in school and has a ghost following her, that she can't shake. She also has a gift, similar to Jolie's.

The form a group, Ripsters, and have to join all their skills to get rid of especially violent ghost, girls life is dependent on it.

I love the story, is captivating from the first page, a lot happens, many twist and turns. My second favourite thing are characters, each is unique in their own way and I love reading about them. My favourite being Drew, I wish he could come back to life. He is funny, at times annoying to Jolie, however he is also very protective and cares for her a lot. My least favourite is definitely Hayden, there is just something about him, that annoys me very much.

I can't wait to read the next one!

Highly recommend it!

Happy Reading,

Anie

Dating the Prince by Alina Snow

Rating 💚💚💚 Author Alina Snow Title Dating the Prince Series What If Series #1 Number of pages 326 Genre romance, na Cover 💛💛💛...