Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Release Day: Taste of Darkness + 2013 Wrap Up!

Happy New Year's Eve to you all! Today also happens to be the release day for Taste of Darkness by Maria V. Snyder, the third and final installment to her Healer series. I think it's pretty ridiculous to release a book on this day, since many bookstores won't even be open today or tomorrow, but hey, can't refute the publisher. It's like they just wanted to squeeze it into 2013. I know many bookstores have already put Taste of Darkness on their shelves, and has had early releases in different countries. I haven't seen it around at my local B&N though, so I'll just have to check back later. I haven't touched any of the Healer books for a while, so I need to do some rereading of the first two books before I get around to this one. 

Taste of Darkness (Healer, #3)Goodreads Synopsis:

She's fought death and won. But how can she fight her fears?

Avry knows hardship and trouble. She fought the plague and survived. She took on King Tohon and defeated him. But now her heart-mate, Kerrick, is missing, and Avry fears he's gone forever.

But there's a more immediate threat. The Skeleton King plots to claim the Fifteen Realms for his own. With armies in disarray and the dead not staying down, Avry's healing powers are needed now more than ever.Torn between love and loyalty, Avry must choose her path carefully. For the future of her world depends on her decision.

And with the release of Taste of Darkness, 2013 has ended. This year has been pretty long in retrospective, but I can still recall when I wrote my New Year's post at the beginning of the year. Let's get some stats for the year, eh?

Total Posts: 162
Total Reviews: 60
Total Author Interviews: 5
Total Blog Tours: 9
Books Read (Goodreads Challenge): 115 -- Goal for this year was 100.
The number of books we read is probably quite a bit higher, but we didn't count many rereads towards our goal.

Not bad, but we can do better I think. We really had a slump towards the end of the year with the start of the new school year, but the beginning of the year started off really well. I have a few blogging goals for 2014, that I will share as part of my 2014 New Year's Resolution tomorrow.

 Happy New Years Eve!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas! 10 Books We Are Looking Foward to in 2014:

Merry Christmas, or whatever holiday it is you celebrate this winter! Today has been pretty awesome for me, after finding out that I won a huge prize basket from Avon for the Molly McAdams Pranktascular Giveaway! Unfortunately it doesn't seem I'm getting the package until 2014, but it is a great surprise Christmas gift :)

As promised, here are TEN books of MANY that I am looking forward to next year. In our last post yesterday, we listed ten of our favorite books that we read in 2013. 

In no particular order, here are 10 books I am looking forward too. 

Burned (Dani O'Malley, #2; Fever, #7) 1. Burned by Karen Marie Moning

Burned got pushed back what, like three times? It was supposed to be out in 2013 but then it was pushed back to April 2014, and now pushed back AGAIN to June 2014. This Dani O'Malley book just needs to come out already! I need to know what KMM has planned, with the ending to Iced, and I'm ecstatic to see Mac/Barrons again!

2. Opposition by Jennifer L. Armentrout

With Opposition, JLA will have completed her second series. I am in love with the way she ended her first, Covenant, so I'm sure the last Lux book will end with a BANG. So far, Daemon is my favorite JLA boy (who may be topped by Roth, we'll see) and I cannot get enough of him. Can't wait for this book next August!

Into the Still Blue (Under the Never Sky, #3)3. Into the Still Blue by Veronica Rossi

I wasn't the biggest fan of Under the Never Sky, but I adored Through the Ever Night. Into the Still Blue is going to make or break this series for me. I'm worried to read it but I'm so glad it's release is so close, January 28th. Will Aria and Perry finally reach the Still Blue?

White Hot Kiss (The Dark Elements, #1)4. White Hot Kiss by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Bitter Sweet Love was amazing. And it was only a novella. I can't express how excited I am for Jen's new series--a new original topic on...Gargoyles. She comes up with the wackiest but most intriguing plots and I know I will NOT be disappointed! And apparently, Jen's hottest boys will be unveiled with White Hot Kiss~!

Sweet Reckoning (The Sweet Trilogy, #3)5. Sweet Reckoning by Wendy Higgins

Yet another series coming to an end. Kaidan and Anna's story has been a wild ride, and I am eager to see how Wendy Higgins plans on concluding her heart-pounding story of the Nephilim. Somehow, I think this one will finally have a happily-ever-after!

The Warrior (Dante Walker, #3)6. The Warrior by Victoria Scott

The Liberator impressed me so much, and I hope Victoria Scott keeps up with her rocking action that I love. This is also the end another trilogy, the final battle between the Liberators and the Collectors. Now, I am expecting a fight since this is titled the warrior, and I'm eager to see who will emerge as victorious.

The One (The Selection, #3)7. The One by Kiera Cass

The Selection is not my favorite of series, and I really just want to know what America plans on doing about the Maxon and Aspen situation. It is titled "The One", which worries me. I am a Maxon girl, and I really hope America chooses him, but the way this series seems to be going, I have a feeling she might choose neither--or rather, choose "herself".

Silver Shadows (Bloodlines, #5)8. Silver Shadows by Richelle Mead

I wasn't that surprised by the ending to TFH and I didn't feel the drive to read Silver Shadows immediately. Despite that, I love Sydrian and everything Richelle writes, so of course Bloodlines 5 is going to make this list.

9. The Forever Song by Julie Kagawa

There really should be a cover coming out soon for this, which I will post here, especially since The Forever Song is released in Spring 2013. The Eternity Cure's ending freaked me out a lot, and I can only wonder what torment my poor Zeke is going through right now. I'm not sure how JK plans on ending this, because I feel like there are just too many questions that need to be answered in one book. Hopefully everything will end well. 

10. Throne of Glass #3 -- Untitled

I really wish a title would come out for this. Crown of Midnight raised my expectations for this series to a ridiculous level, and I could not handle the bomb Sarah J. Maas dropped at the end. There is not a cover to go along with it as well, so I'll keep myself updated as news comes out!


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

It's Already Christmas Eve? Our Top Reads of 2013

Dani and I apologize for our lack of posts this month. It's been a hectic December, especially for Dani, and before I even realized it, December 1st had become December 24th. 

And well, Happy Christmas Eve I suppose! So to do something special for the wrap up of this year, I'm going to share a few of our favorite reads this year, in no particular order (it'd take me too long to make an order, and I'd also feel bad doing it. Sometimes books are just unrankable!). Not all of these books were published in 2013, but are books Dani and I read this year. 

On that note, we also thoroughly completed our first Goodreads reading challenge in October, which we set to be 100 books in 2013. 100 seemed like a lot when I first typed that number in, but now I realize I'm reading a lot more than I think :). We'll have to raise the bar a little next year to make a real "challenge".

Without further adieu, here are some of our favorites from this year in no particular order: 

The Book ThiefThe Book Thief by Markus Zusak

This was published quite a while ago, but is definitely one of the most memorable reads of this year. I am still constantly reprimanding myself for not picking up this tale of a young German girl living in Nazi Germany and WWII earlier. This is simply one of those books everyone needs to read at least once. 

Sentinel (Covenant, #5)Sentinel by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Sentinel was by far the best series ending I read this year. It is a sad thing to see the Covenant series go, but I couldn't be happier with how Jen concluded Alex's story. It made me wail in despair and shout for joy with every other chapter, and this series will forever remain one of my favorites.

Origin (Lux, #4)Origin by Jennifer L. Armentrout

On the topic of JLA, the 4th installment to the Lux series is equally amazing as everything she's written this year. This story is getting better and better, and I'm dying from the suspense Jen has built up! This was a heartbreaking yet exhilarating story Katy and Daemon that tops all others, and I can't wait to see what Jen is plotting next for them.

Sweet Peril (The Sweet Trilogy, #2)Sweet Peril by Wendy Higgins

I read this book so quickly, and I distinctly remember staying up late into the night to finish the second Sweet book. I liked Sweet Evil, and I LOVED Sweet Peril. I think everything about Sweet Peril is upped to  different level, especially oh my sweet, seductive goodness Kaidan...

Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass, #2)Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

I never reviewed Crown of Midnight, and I think I need to sometime soon. After I finished the book though, my mind was in a state of nervous shock and I didn't think my review was going to come out too pretty, hence why it has slipped my mind until now. I didn't think Crown of Midnight was going to be this amazing from Throne of Glass, but Sarah J. Maas? Holy cow. This book is mindblowing, and I sob in despair every day I remember that I must wait a full year for the sequel. 

The Fault in Our StarsThe Fault in Our Stars by John Green

This. Book. TFIOS made me cry the most out of every single book I've read this year, and now thinking about it, is probably the book I cried over the most ever. I only cry over good "tragic" books, not dumb overly-sentimental stuff too. I am still obsessed with this realistic masterpiece, and will be for a very long time, or at least until after the movie. 

Through the Ever Night (Under the Never Sky, #2)Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi

Now, I never would've been in love with Veronica Rossi if Under the Never Sky was a standalone. Through the Ever Night changed all of my perceptions about her writing style and this series, and this was one of the most exciting books I've read this year. It's full of the pounding action I adore, not to mention the breathtaking romance that Rossi has polished so well. 

The Crimson Crown (Seven Realms, #4)The Crimson Crown by Cinda Williams Chima

I read the entire Seven Realms series in four days this year. Four days, four books. Homework? Hah, whoops. The ultimate book in the series was definitely my favorite of them all, where Chima takes fantasy and magic to their finest. This book really might be more tweenish, but I've got to feed my inner child sometimes too. Raisa and Han have an unforgettable romance, and an equally epic adventure. 

The Summer I Became a NerdThe Summer I Became a Nerd by Leah Rae Miller

This is one of Dani's faves of this year! It's one of those books that I could read over and over again and never get tired of it. A good friend of mine recommended it to me and I was immediately sucked in by the intriguing title and the cover. Okay, am I the only one who is obsessed with the cover girl's super cute shoes? And her endless tan legs? Can I please have her entire outfit? Leah Rae Miller has a casual, banter-filled writing style wired for teens, and it all comes across as absolutely fantastic!

Champion (Legend, #3)Champion by Marie Lu

I understand that a lot of people won't be that happy with the ending of Legend, but above all, I really loved it. It wasn't a perfect ending but it was the one that made the most realistic sense to me. Legend is not a supernatural book, so I really appreciated that Marie Lu didn't twist this into a perfect ending just to make reader's happy, probably one of the reasons it's a fave. I can understand and agree with the way she took this series. There is a phenomenal  balance of bitter and sweet, and Marie Lu, with as much masterful storytelling as ever, delivers the final clincher of Day and June with complete grace. 

That's all for today! Any of these your 2013 favorites too? Tomorrow, we will also have our Christmas post of the books we are most looking forward to getting our hands on in 2014! Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Book Trailer: Silver Shadows by Richelle Mead

Silver Shadows (Bloodlines, #5)This was a surprise! I go on Facebook, and my Christmas present is already there waiting for me. I just couldn't wait until December 25th to actually open it though. Besides the six Fiery Heart book trailers, Penguin has also released a BONUS trailer for the next Bloodlines installment: Silver Shadows!

 VIEW AT YOUR OWN RISK! This is a SPOILERIFIC trailer for The Fiery Heart, and please only watch it if you've finished TFH! Again, this is for Silver Shadows, not The Fiery Heart. Don't ruin things for yourselves!

If you have not read The Fiery Heart, please do not read the paragraph of my reaction to the trailer after the video frame as well--this will include my personal opinions and more SPOILERS. The best idea is to just skip the rest of this post if you are sensitive to those.

So I LOVED this trailer ok? The TFH trailers had bad acting, cheesiness, anticlimactic-ness (not a word I know), but this one was actually really good in comparison. The dramatic music worked--it was needed after the ending of TFH. Daisy's acting is actually quite good in this one too, and it's having me pumped pumped pumped for next July when Silver Shadows is released. In actuality, the trailer didn't give me too much on what SS was about, but it was more of a statement of what happened at the end of TFH. So excited though, and super happy that this came out today!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Review: The Liberator by Victoria Scott

The Liberator (Dante Walker, #2)The Liberator by Victoria Scott
Steph's Rating: 5 stars
Dani's Rating: 5 stars
Overall: 5 stars

Format: Paperback
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Publication Date: August 27th, 2013
Pages: 331

Goodreads Synopsis:
Bad boy, meet bad girl.

Dante has a shiny new cuff wrapped around his ankle, and he doesn't like that mess one bit. His new accessory comes straight from Big Guy himself and marks the former demon as a liberator. Despite his gritty past and bad boy ways, Dante Walker has been granted a second chance.

When Dante is given his first mission as a liberator to save the soul of seventeen-year-old Aspen, he knows he’s got this. But Aspen reminds him of the rebellious life he used to live and is making it difficult to resist sinful temptations. Though Dante is committed to living clean for his girlfriend Charlie, this dude’s been a playboy for far too long…and old demons die hard.

With Charlie becoming the girl she was never able to be pre-makeover and Aspen showing him how delicious it feels to embrace his inner beast, Dante will have to go somewhere he never thought he’d return to in order to accomplish the impossible: save the girl he’s been assigned to, and keep the girl he loves.

Steph's Review:  

I didn't love The Collector, bet yes I LOVE The Liberator with something fierce. I was a little hesitant at first to purchase and read this book lest I be slightly disappointed yet again, but I can't be happier with my decision now. Victoria Scott has improved so much with this book, not only on her writing style but also pacing, plot development, and characters. While I felt bored in some parts of The Collector, and felt like some scenes didn't need to be in the book, everything in The Liberator was p-e-r-f-e-c-t. Waiting for The Warrior (book 3) is going to be long and arduous.

As a new Liberator, Big Guy up there has given Dante his first task to prove himself worthy of the title. Forcing Dante to leave Charlie when things finally seem to be settling down to a point, Dante must track down 17-year old Aspen and liberate her soul. Seems easy enough to Dante, who's betting on his wit and charm to complete the mission. Once he sees the life Aspen leads though, he is reminded too much of the life he once had and hasn't really let go of. The partying. The binge drinking. The rebelling. Temptation for Dante is around ever corner and he is struggling to put himself in line, much less liberate Aspen who reminds himself so much of how he once was. It doesn't help that back at home, Charlie seems to be changing into a new girl--and not for the better.

The Liberator, as I see it, is the HUGE game changer of the series. We learn why Charlie's soul has such an important role, and later, how much Aspen's will too. We learn the dynamics of Heaven and Hell...with a detour to Hell itself included ;). This installment is fast paced with action every which way--and I can't say it enough that the amount of action written into a book is huge factor in my ratings, along with character development.

And in that department, Victoria Scott does not disappoint. I wasn't too impressed with Dante in The Collector--he was just that generic hot bad boy (it sounds like an oxymoron, but there are many hot boys out there, just saying). But Dante 2.0? Victoria Scott just starts peeling and revealing Dante's intricate layers, and he turns out to be a really deep character as he struggles to call himself a Collector, or a Liberator.

I thought Aspen was going to turn out being a slightly more feminine version of Dante, and at first she seemed though by the end of the story she seemed so different from him. Aspen has her own set of nightmares to deal with, and her rebellious nature seems right when it's revealed what happened to her. I wouldn't believe it if Aspen could have stayed a good-girl. It also helps that Aspen can fight like a pro. Not joking, I'm pretty sure she could take out Dante (hah!). I'm pretty sure she is my favorite character in the book, no offense to Dante or anything *ahem*.

Then comes Charlie...*taps finger on table*. I just never really liked Charlie from the start. She was a bit too innocent, and I didn't think she fit that well with Dante. I suppose I liked her more by the end of The Liberator, but I wasn't too happy with her for at least the first half of the book. Even though, a well-done to Victoria Scott for her awesome characters!

Now there was this one part that humored me a lot in this book, and that is Liberator School. No that's not really what it's called but that was it's purpose. Watching Mr. Bad Boy Dante in this school was rather...hilarious...but much needed. I think time under Kraven (Mr. White Wings) puts a lot into Dante's change as a character (heh heh :D).

I was overjoyed with The Liberator and really, the amping up of the series. Can't wait to see how Victoria Scott concludes with The Warrior. If anything, if you haven't started the series, read The Collector so you can enjoy The Liberator!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Review: The Fiery Heart by Richelle Mead

The Fiery Heart (Bloodlines, #4)The Fiery Heart by Richelle Mead
Steph's Rating: 4 stars
Overall: 4 stars

Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Razorbill
Publication Date: November 19th, 2013
Pages: 438

Goodreads Synopsis:

In The Indigo Spell, Sydney was torn between the Alchemist way of life and what her heart and gut were telling her to do. And in one breathtaking moment that Richelle Mead fans will never forget, she made a decision that shocked even her. . . .

But the struggle isn't over for Sydney. As she navigates the aftermath of her life-changing decision, she still finds herself pulled in too many directions at once. Her sister Zoe has arrived, and while Sydney longs to grow closer to her, there's still so much she must keep secret. Working with Marcus has changed the way she views the Alchemists, and Sydney must tread a careful path as she harnesses her profound magical ability to undermine the way of life she was raised to defend. Consumed by passion and vengeance, Sydney struggles to keep her secret life under wraps as the threat of exposure—and re-education—looms larger than ever.

Pulses will race throughout this thrilling fourth installment in the New York Times bestselling Bloodlines series, where no secret is safe.

Steph's Review:

Don't get me wrong, I loved The Fiery Heart. But this is the one time in a Richelle Mead book that I felt like something was...lacking, hence the 4 and not usual 5 I usually give her books. There was lots of cleverness in the writing, and hell yeah lots of romance (OMG Sydrian <3), but I felt like there was a very important element missing: and that is action.

In the aftermath of Sydney's decision to remain in Palm Springs with the mindset of changing the Alchemists--from the inside--, trouble still doesn't seem to end for her. Her younger sister and future Alchemist galore Zoe is in town to "help Sydney with her Alchemist duties". Obviously, this puts a lovely dent in her relationship with Adrian, as well as all of the other Moroi and dhampirs that Sydney have come to like. It also doesn't help that Sydney has her witchcraft, something she must hide on top of everything else. Newly broken free of the Alchemist tattoo compulsion, she also must face the challenge of discovering exactly how the indigo spell works, in order to topple the Alchemists. 

If anything, I hate Zoe, and trust me, you will too. The stupid wench just can't get over herself and wants to be the perfect little Alchemist--all to get more parental attention compared to "ideal Sydney (hah!)". Even though she's family to Sydney, she really doesn't act like it. And she's a pawn to her father, and doesn't even realize it. It seems that intelligence doesn't necessarily run in families, because Zoe was so naive in comparison to Sydney. All she does is stir up trouble and get in the way of everything that fans hope for. RM created a wonderful character for us to hate on :)

When Richelle Mead said TFH was going to be a pretty dark book, she wasn't kidding. Adrian and Sydney spend the length of this book discovering who they are and what they actually care about, and most definitely go through difficult times, especially Adrian. He's combating his alcoholism but at the same time the darkness that comes with the use of spirit--which is something he also feels addicted to. In his darkest moments of relapse though, Sydney has to be there to pull him back from the edges of madness. But this is what makes their relationship strong.

So onward to the Sydrian moments. TFH is hot, yet heartfelt. More so than Shadow Kiss of Vampire Academy, and I think Sydney and Adrian may be my favorite couple over Rose and Dimitri. It has to do with the dual POV's (which RM executed wonderfully), and that we can see into both of the protagonist's minds and feel how much they need each other. You can tell how much Adrian and Sydney have to support each other to make their relationship work. We get double the feels, fyi. 

Everything was perfect, except the action. While TFH is NOT a filler book, it just wasn't as exciting as the other installments. There is a lot of character development during this book that I'm sure is a necessary preamble for the events in Silver Shadows, but that takes away from action. Sydney and Adrian spend all their time in this book being molded into their new selves, and also finding out the mystery of the tattoos, that we don't see a lot of incidents or whatnot.

I was so happy that we got to see the old character in this book; I missed their input. They don't get as much of a cameo as I expected, but there was this awesome scene with Abe. I love the guy, and not just because he's hilarious. He actually gives some good advice to Sydney instead of threatening her for once, and Abe is a much deeper character than his flippant yet mobster portrayal from before.

RM also apologized for the ending. Yes, this is the huge game changer in the series, but I actually wasn't that surprised by it like how I was in the ending of Shadow Kiss. I suppose if you read into the situation, it's pretty easy to tell what is going to happen and it doesn't hurt as much when it does. I'm not trying to kill myself over this cliffy, and its more of an annoyance than anything because we have another half year to wait. With everything that's been happening at Palm Springs, I thought the way it ended was bound to happen at some point and it was just more of a matter of just when. 

Since TFH was a calm before the storm type of book, I know that Silver Shadows will be packed with the action I love. I know that Adrian is really going to bloom in the next book too. I can't wait for the sequel! 


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (14): Into the Still Blue by Veronica Rossi

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly bookish event hosted by Breaking the SpineThis is a meme that many book blogs participate in to goggle over highly anticipated upcoming releases and fabulous covers and authors!

Today's WOW is Into the Sill Blue by Veronica Rossi, the final installment to the Under the Never Sky Trilogy. I remember when I first read Under the Never Sky's first few chapters, I wasn't impressed. But I made myself keep reading and found myself in love with the series after whipping through the rest of book 1. I practically tore Through the Ever Night apart within a few hours. And now, it is time for me to say goodbye with Into the Sill Blue. 

Goodreads Synopsis
Into the Still Blue (Under the Never Sky, #3)

Their love and their leadership have been tested. Now it's time for Perry and Aria to unite the Dwellers and the Outsiders in one last desperate attempt to bring balance to their world.

The race to the Still Blue has reached a stalemate. Aria and Perry are determined to find this last safe-haven from the Aether storms before Sable and Hess do-and they are just as determined to stay together.

Meanwhile, time is running out to rescue Cinder, who was abducted by Hess and Sable for his unique abilities. And when Roar returns to camp, he is so furious with Perry that he won't even look at him, and Perry begins to feel like they have already lost.

Out of options, Perry and Aria assemble a team to mount an impossible rescue mission-because Cinder isn't just the key to unlocking the Still Blue and their only hope for survival, he's also their friend. And in a dying world, the bonds between people are what matter most.

In this final book in her stunning Under the Never Sky trilogy, Veronica Rossi raises the stakes to their absolute limit and brings her epic love story to an unforgettable close.

Even months and months later, I'm still carrying around the shock of the events in Through the Ever Night. I truly hope Into the Still Blue will conclude this series beautifully. I don't want it to start out meh, get awesome, and end meh again. It has my attention. It needs to keep it. 

I'm not too worried about Aria and Perry actually. I'm sure they'll end up together. The tragic part is my handsome Roar. It is imperative to me that Veronica Rossi lets things end on a happy note for him, with all the torment she decided to put him through during the last book. I will NOT be amused if she doesn't, because Roar is my favorite :)

During the cover reveal of Into the Still Blue a while ago, Shelf-Life of EW also released the first THREE chapters of it. Link below! I loved these chapters, and as long as the book keeps it up, I know Into the Still Blue will be magnificent. This is out January 28th, 2014, so only a few more months to go!

Read the First Three Chapters of Into the Still Blue here: http://shelf-life.ew.com/2013/06/20/veronica-rossi-into-the-still-blue-cover-exclusive/


Monday, December 2, 2013

Review: Bitter Sweet Love by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Bitter Sweet Love (The Dark Elements, #0.5)Bitter Sweet Love by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Steph's Rating: 5 stars
Overall Rating: 5 stars

Format: ebook
Publication Date: December 1st, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Pages: 105

Goodreads Synopsis:
Dez wasn't just Jasmine's crush. A gargoyle Warden like Jas, he helped her come to terms with her destiny—fending off demons and maintaining balance between good and evil. He was her everything...right until the moment he disappeared without a trace. It didn't help that Jas's father had just announced that she and Dez would one day be mated. Hard not to take that personally.

And now he's back, three years older, ten times hotter, ready to pick up exactly where they left off. But Jas isn't taking that risk again. Dez has seven days to meet all her conditions and earn back her trust. Seven days filled with terrifying danger and sweet temptation. Seven days to win her heart—or shatter it all over again...

Steph's Thoughts: 

Really, Jen is just the master at writing novellas and short books. All her prequels and all her novellas are as compelling as her full length novels, and she does not disappoint. They are just a little sample of all the things she's best at: nerve-rocking action, mind-blowing romance, and cunning humor, all strewn together at just the right pitches. 

Just days after Jasmine's mating announcement with Dez, he disappears without a word, text, call--or a goodbye. She loved him for basically forever, and her future seemed so sparkling clear until it all shattered into tiny bits and pieces. But after three years with zero contact, Dez is back at the northern Warden clan so much different, yet so alike to the old Dez, ready to proceed with the mating ceremony three years off schedule. But Jas doesn't plan on letting him off the hook so easily--he has seven days to complete an array of seemingly impossible conditions to win back her hand.

At first, I didn't really get how this prequel was going to tie-in with White Hot Kiss, which centers around Layla, Zayne, and Roth and not Dez and Jas. The first half focuses solely on a brief introduction to the Dark Elements world of terrifying demons and mystical gargoyles, and of course, the tumultuous love affair between Jas and Dez. Don't get me wrong, their story is awesome. It's like a crash course of JLA style romance. Later in the book though, I realized how this was going to set up for Layla's story. I am also assuming that this is set several years prior to the start of White Hot Kiss, since Jas does mention at some point that Layla in BSL looked to be only around 13 years old. 

Let's talk boys. Jen said Roth and Zayne were her hottest two boys, and also threw in that our Daemon Black was based of Roth. Now, in BSL we catch a glimpse or two of Roth and Zayne, and yes they were hot hot hot. But it was only a few fleeting glances at them. Then there's Dez, and just saying. If Dez somehow didn't make Jen's "top boys" list, then I have no idea what to expect when she reveals the true colors of Zayne and Roth. Dez, that boy is swoony from the tips of his auburn waves down to the edges of his toes. From what I'm reading so far...Zayne may be like an Aiden (but better--if possible?) and Roth might be like a Seth or Daemon. Or a mash up of both of them (or again, even better!) This is getting me really excited. A bit too excited. *Hyperventilates*

Bitter Sweet Love isn't just some romantic escapade either. We get some up close scenes of how exactly a Warden fights in there true form of granite-solid skin and sweeping black wings. We catch glimpses of the nasty discrimination against the Wardens--who have newly revealed themselves to the human eye. We also get a run in with a...pukwudgie...named Herbert... (don't ask me! Oh, and happy teaser). 

Dez shot me a look. “We can’t just let it go.”
                The pukwudgie glanced at Dez and stuck out its tongue, making a very human raspberry sound.
                I laughed. “Oh, I like this little guy. If we can’t let him go, can I keep him?”
                “Uh, no.”
                “I shall name him Herbert,” I announced, ignoring Dez. “Do you like the name, little puke-wedgie?”
--pg. 69, Bitter Sweet Love (ebook edition)

Honestly, only Jen can come up with stuff that like. It's what magic is made out of. 

If you are planning to read Dark Elements, which should be everyone I say, Bitter Sweet Love is a must read. Jas and Dez WILL be showing up again throughout the series, so it's good to know their story as well. This is fully entertaining, and won't leave you bored for a moment! Can't wait for White Hot Kiss next February!


Sunday, December 1, 2013

Release Day: Bitter Sweet Love by Jennifer L. Armentrout

JLA fans rejoice! We can now fully celebrate the start of her new Dark Elements series, beginning today with the prequel Bitter Sweet Love. This is a 100-page short story on events that take place before White Hot Kiss (which will be out in February 2014). While this part isn't related to Bitter Sweet Love, but to WHK, our Daemon Black was actually BASED off of Roth--WHK was written before Obsidian! JLA wasn't joking when she said Zayne and Roth top any book boy she's ever written.

Bitter Sweet Love (The Dark Elements, #0.5)Synopsis:

In a sizzling prequel novella to her new series THE DARK ELEMENTS, #1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout draws readers into the extraordinary, irresistible world of Wardens and demons.

Dez wasn't just Jasmine's crush. A gargoyle Warden like Jas, he helped her come to terms with her destiny—fending off demons and maintaining balance between good and evil. He was her everything...right until the moment he disappeared without a trace. It didn't help that Jas's father had just announced that she and Dez would one day be mated. Hard not to take that personally.

And now he's back, three years older, ten times hotter, ready to pick up exactly where they left off. But Jas isn't taking that risk again. Dez has seven days to meet all her conditions and earn back her trust. Seven days filled with terrifying danger and sweet temptation. Seven days to win her heart—or shatter it all over again...

This is currently only available as an ebook.

About the Author:

# 1 NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki.

Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV.

She also writes adult and New Adult romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

Ahh I'm so excited to read this! Probably will write a small review, seeing as the first book isn't out for a few months.

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