Monday, September 30, 2013

Review: Blood Vine by Amber Belldene

Title: Blood Vine
Author: Amber Belldene
Series: Blood Vine #1
Publication: January 8th 2013 by Omnific Publishing
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Format: Paperback
Cover Rating: 5/5 (so pretty!)
Overall Rating: 5/5

Review copy provided by author in exchange for an honest review.

   
In Blood Vine, bites are an inconvenient bliss, exiled vampires are wasting away, and the fate of their kind depends on the perfect PR campaign.

When public relations pro Zoey Porter arrives at an enchanting California winery, she discovers her sexy new client is the almost one-night stand she can’t forget. After her husband’s suicide, Zoey has vowed never to risk her heart again. But can she walk away from the intriguing winemaker a second time?

Driven from Croatia by his ancient foes, vampire Andre Maras has finally made a blood-like wine to cure his fellow refugees. Now he needs Zoey’s PR expertise to reach them. After his wife’s death, Andre has a vow of his own—never to risk another painful blood bond. And one taste of the tempting Zoey would bind him to her eternally.

His secrets stall her PR plans. Her jealousy is stoked by the blissed-out beauties leaving his bedroom. At every turn, he utterly fails to resist her. When she discovers he is a vampire, will she be lost to the golden-eyed Hunters, or lose herself to the emptiness in her heart, before she can help him save his kind?


~My Thoughts:

I received this book a while back for review from the author and though it took me quite some time to actually get to it (you know, so many books, so little time...) —and trust me, I wish I had read it sooner now — I finally read it! I just want to thank to author again for being so nice to send the paperback version to me. This book was quite a ride for me and I really feel like I found a new favorite series to add to my shelves! <3

31-year-old Zoey Porter who works as a PR person. Every since her husband died, she puts up a wall trying to keep people, especially men, at a distance. She doesn't even let her boss, Ethan, who she's sleeping with, get close to her. When her firm sends her to the winery of a new client, Andre, she's startled to find out he's the one she had an almost one-night stand with him over a year ago. Surprisingly, Andre ignites feelings within her she thought died along with her husband. But Andre isn't an ordinary man and has secrets... Secrets that will change everything for Zoey and that will drag her into a world of blood, passion and possibly love.

Age-old Andre Maras is a vampire who has been driving from his homeland in Croatia a long time ago and suffers from the wasting disease but thinks to have finally found a cure in the wine he makes. He wants to not only cure himself but also his fellow refugees. When Zoey arrives at his estate to help them with the PR of the wine, he has to control his urges to bite her in fear of blood bonding with her. The one thing he vowed to never do again is bond with someone after the dead of his wife. But the thing about Zoey is, he can't stay away from her. 

Zoey was an engaging main character to read about. I liked her from the start and all her reactions to Andre, also when she found out what he is was nicely done by the author. I also loved how she made friends with the women in Andre's household. I liked that she opened up a little to them too and not only Andre. 
I must admit though as a character on his own Andre wasn't my favorite character from everyone in the book but it wasn't like I disliked him or anything. I did love him and Zoey together. They had so much chemistry and some very passionate romantic scenes. Gotta love that! And, damn, I loved the ending! 

I haven't been this excited about a vampire book in quite a while, obviously. Lately all vampire books I read were mediocre to say the least. But Blood Vine? It was amazing! I was really surprised by how good it was and how fascinated I was by the story. Amber Belldene did such a great job making the book so interesting to read, not only about the vampires but also about all the other characters and the winery too. Blood Vine is definitely different compared to other vampire books. It's such an original story and it does not only feature Zoey and Andre. And though I love reading about both of them, I am also so intrigued and excited to learn more about the other characters like Andre's sons, Kos and Bel. I admit I was the tiniest but obsessed with them. *fans herself* I also loved Pedro (he's a riot!) and Lucas (who's Ethan's brother) so so so much. I can't even start to explain how much I hope they're going to end up together. With some unexpected events their whole relationship has become very intriguing.
Ethan is a whole different story. He's what we would call the bad guy in the book. And being a vampire hunter he has his own twisted reasons for wanted Andre, his sons and his whole household dead. Basically, he's a bastard. But damn it if I don't love reading about bad guys. I wonder what he's going to be up to next and how it will continue all!

There were a lot of facts about how a winery works that I never knew before. I loved the aspects about it and how it all fits together with vampires and what they discovered about that wine. Obviously the author knew a lot about stuff like this and did good research and that's what every author should do.
Amber Belldene's writing was flawless. Yes, it was. I have no negatives to say It was fast-paced, always entertaining and I loved the multiple points of view so we could learn more about the others too. Much love for that!


An imaginative, romantic and absorbing read, Blood Vine by Amber Belldene had me quickly hooked with its intriguing story about vampires and vine yards. In short; I loved it. I was captivated by the story and the characters the autor created. It was one of the best books I have read so far this year and can't wait to get my hands on the second book because I just need more. I would highly recommend Blood Vine to everyone!






About the author:
Amber Belldene grew up on the Florida panhandle, swimming with alligators, climbing oak trees and diving for scallops…when she could pull herself away from a book. As a child, she hid her Nancy Drew novels inside the church bulletin and read mysteries during sermons—an irony that is not lost on her when she preaches these days.

Amber is an Episcopal Priest and student of religion. She believes stories are the best way to explore human truths. Some people think it is strange for a minister to write romance, but it is perfectly natural to her, because the human desire for love is at the heart of every romance novel and God made people with that desire. She lives with her husband and two children in San Francisco.
Find Amber also on:

Purchase Blood Vine on:
All Romance | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Fishpond


Best of the Bunch ~ September 2013

Best of the Bunch is a monthly meme hosted by Always Lost in Stories on the last day of every month. The aim of this meme is to share the best book that we have read in that month and give it our Best of the Bunch award.




September Reads:

Life of Forever (The Dreams Trilogy #3) by Beth Bares ~ 4 Stars ~ My Review
Magic Graves (Night Huntrss #4.5 - Kate Daniels #0.5) by Jeaniene Frost and Ilona Andrews ~ 4 Stars


Saving Raphael Santiago (The Bane Chronicles #6) by Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan ~ 5 Stars ~ My (mini) Review
Tears of Tess (Tears of Tess #1) by Pepper Winters ~ 5 Stars ~ My Review
Twisted Lines (Blurred Lines #6) by Breena Wilde ~ 3 Stars


Trust in Me (Wait for You #1.5) by J. Lynn ~ 4 Stars ~ My Review
East of the Sun and West of the Moon by Peter Christen Asbjørnsen ~ 5 Stars 
Blood Vine (Blood Vine #1) by Amber Belldene ~ 5 Stars ~ My Review




And the Best of the Bunch winner of September 2013 is...




Blood Vine (Blood Vine #1) by Amber Belldene
Paperback, 290 pages
Published January 8th 2013 by Omnific Publishing
In Blood Vine, bites are an inconvenient bliss, exiled vampires are wasting away, and the fate of their kind depends on the perfect PR campaign.

When public relations pro Zoey Porter arrives at an enchanting California winery, she discovers her sexy new client is the almost one-night stand she can’t forget. After her husband’s suicide, Zoey has vowed never to risk her heart again. But can she walk away from the intriguing winemaker a second time?

Driven from Croatia by his ancient foes, vampire Andre Maras has finally made a blood-like wine to cure his fellow refugees. Now he needs Zoey’s PR expertise to reach them. After his wife’s death, Andre has a vow of his own—never to risk another painful blood bond. And one taste of the tempting Zoey would bind him to her eternally.

His secrets stall her PR plans. Her jealousy is stoked by the blissed-out beauties leaving his bedroom. At every turn, he utterly fails to resist her. When she discovers he is a vampire, will she be lost to the golden-eyed Hunters, or lose herself to the emptiness in her heart, before she can help him save his kind?



Wow, I can't believe September is already over! Time does fly...
Blood Vine was without a doubt the best book I have read in September. I hadn't expected it to be this good so I was pleasantly surprised. =D


Honorable mentions go to:

Anubis Speaks! by Vicky Alvear Shecter
It was such a great and interesting non-fiction booka bout ancient Egypt. The history nerd inside me devoured this book!

Saving Raphael Santiago by Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan
These short stories featuring Magnus Bane are ALWAYS awesome. This one was, too.

Tears of Tess by Pepper Winters
This one was my second favorite book from September. If it wasn't for Blood Vine this would be the winner of this month. A dark but amazing story!




What was the best book you read this month?
Leave me links to your Best of the Bunch post if you participate in it.


Saturday, September 28, 2013

Stacking The Shelves #39

Stacking The Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga @ Tynga's Reviews, where you can showcase the books and goodies you bought, borrowed, won, downloaded, received, etc...




~For Review:
Darkest Fear (Birthright #1) by Cate Tiernan
This cover really stood out to me and I love the sound of it. I love shifters!
Thanks to Simon Pulse!
Edelweiss | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository

~For Review:
Pawn (The Blackcoat Rebellion #1) by Aimee Carter
I never read anything by Aimee Carter yet but when I saw this on NetGalley I couldn't resist!
Thanks to Harlequin Teen!
NetGalley | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository


~For Review:
Sea of Shadows (Age of Legends #1) by Kelley Armstrong
OMG! I still can't believe I got this. I loooove Kelley Armstrong and can't wait to dive into this new series!
Thanks to HarperCollins!
Edelweiss | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository

~For Review:
The Waking Dreamer (The Waking Dreamer #1) by J.E. Alexander
Been seeing this around on Goodreads and ended up on getting it on Netgalley. LOVE the cover!
Thanks to Mechanical Owl Media!
NetGalley | Amazon | B&N


~For Review:
Waterfell (The Aquarathi #1) by Amalie Howard
I've been hearing a lot about this on Goodreads so when I saw it on Netgalley I grabbed it too. Also a lovely cover!
Thanks to Harlequin Teen!
NetGalley | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | Kobo





What books did you all receive?
Leave me links to your hauls!


Friday, September 27, 2013

ARC Review: Trust in Me by J. Lynn

Title: Trust in Me
Author: J. Lynn
Series: Wait for You #1.5
Publication:  October 22nd 2013 by William Morrow Impulse
Genre: New Adult
Format: e-arc from Edelweiss
Cover Rating: 5/5
Overall Rating: 4/5

Review copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review.

   

It’s Wait for You as you’ve never seen it. Trust in Me lets you in on Cam’s side of the #1 New York Times Bestselling story.

Cameron Hamilton is used to getting what he wants, especially when it comes to women. But when Avery Morgansten comes crashing into his life – literally – he finally meets the one person who can resist his soulful baby blues. But Cam’s not ready to give up. He can’t get the feisty and intriguing girl out of his head.

Avery has secrets, secrets that keep her from admitting the feelings Cam knows she has for him. Will persistence (and some delicious homemade cookies) help him break down her barriers and gain her trust? Or will he be shut out of Avery's life, losing his first real shot at the kind of love that lasts forever?


~My Thoughts:

First of all, I would give this book 4.5 stars if I could because I liked it a bit more than Wait for You. 
Second, I never read a book that followed the same story but in a different point of view so this is is a first for me.
So, receiving this book for review from Edelweiss had me squealing a little bit. Okay, it had me squealing a lot. I was so glad that I got it, that I dove into it pretty much right away. And I regret nothing! 

Trust in Me gives us a chance to get inside of Cam's head. *swoons*. I loved to read about what he was thinking and trust me, it was a whole lot. Cam is a lot to handle even when I was just reading about him. But anyway... with reading Wait for You not too long ago the story was still fresh in my head but still there were some things that even when it was the same scenes as in Wait for You, I didn't expect. I was surprised by some of Cam's reactions and thoughts to both Avery and other things. I definitely saw a new side of him. He's even more amazing than I initially thought. At first with Wait for You when he kept asking Avery out I thought it was more playfulness on his side but I've learned that soon the playfulness, although not totally has faded away, he was more serious about her than I thought. We not only learn more about himself and what he really thoughts about everything going down with every but we also see a lot more about Jase and Ollie. I would lie if maybe learning more about Cam's friends wasn't a little bit favorite aspects of this book. It made me so excited for the upcoming books that will feature them. 
Also... Teresa and Jase? SUPER CUTE! 

The scenes that were new in this book were my favorites because I kept learning new things about Cam, his world, his friend, everything. Those were probably the things that kept me going. Though I must admit that I book like this that's being retold isn't my favorite in the whole wide world of books but it was nice to have been inside Cam's head. Were it any other less interesting (and hot) character than him or any other authors than Jennifer, I probably would've rated it less stars. But the thing with Jennifer is, she keeps you entertained, even with a book where the story is so familiar it was rocking. The woman just keeps going and going, writing awesome books, doesn't she? Gotta love her!


So in short, Trust in Me was a really great book. I loved being in Cam's head and seeing the whole story in his eyes. I was entertained the whole time and am now even more excited for the upcoming books in this series. I can't wait to find out more about these characters I know and love! Another awesome book by J. Lynn and I'm sure there's more to come.




Favorite Quotes:
Ollie had trashed our Xbox the weekend before, during a brutal showdown of Call of Duty.
Holy shit, Strawberry Shortcake just ran me over.
She swayed a little at the loss of support, and I almost reached for her again, but I valued my balls. One day I'd like to have a kid or some shit, and I had a feeling if I touched her again, that would not be in my future.
Avery was such a mystery to me; a paradox of innocence and allure—a mystery I was determined to solve.


About The Author:
J. Lynn, also known as Jennifer L. Armentrout, is a # 1 New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author. She 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 Russel 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.
She also writes adult and New Adult romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.
Find her also on:

Purchase Trust in Me on:


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Review: Wait for You by J. Lynn

Title: Wait for You
Author: J. Lynn
Series: Wait for You #1
Publication: February 26th 2013
Genre: New Adult
Format: e-book, 332 pages
Cover Rating: 5/5
Overall Rating: 4/5

   
Some things are worth waiting for…

Traveling thousands of miles from home to enter college is the only way nineteen-year-old Avery Morgansten can escape what happened at the Halloween party five years ago—an event that forever changed her life. All she needs to do is make it to her classes on time, make sure the bracelet on her left wrist stays in place, not draw any attention to herself, and maybe—please God—make a few friends, because surely that would be a nice change of pace. The one thing she didn’t need and never planned on was capturing the attention of the one guy who could shatter the precarious future she’s building for herself.

Some things are worth experiencing…

Cameron Hamilton is six feet and three inches of swoon-worthy hotness, complete with a pair of striking blue eyes and a remarkable ability to make her want things she believed were irrevocably stolen from her. She knows she needs to stay away from him, but Cam is freaking everywhere, with his charm, his witty banter, and that damn dimple that’s just so… so lickable. Getting involved with him is dangerous, but when ignoring the simmering tension that sparks whenever they are around each other becomes impossible, he brings out a side of her she never knew existed.

Some things should never be kept quiet…

But when Avery starts receiving threatening emails and phone calls forcing her to face a past she wants silenced, she’s has no other choice but to acknowledge that someone is refusing to allow her to let go of that night when everything changed. When the devastating truth comes out, will she resurface this time with one less scar? And can Cam be there to help her or will he be dragged down with her?

And some things are worth fighting for…


~My Thoughts:

So, first of all I need to say that I love all books by this author, except maybe for Frigid. I wasn't too thrilled about that one. And that was my first new adult book I read by her. But I must say that Wait For You is a 1000 times better. Already the first chapter in it was way better than the whole book of Frigid. With that said, I must als admit that Wait For You wasn't flawless at all but it was definitely not a disappointment.

In Wait For You we meet a nineteen-year-old Avery who has moved across the country to attend collage and to get away from her home and everything that happened there five years ago. It's there that she meets Cam, who happens to live not only in her apartment building, but also right next to her, with his roommate and pet turtle, Raphael. It's not long before something beautiful grows between the two...
But Avery can't seem to let go of her past and soon it starts to stand in the way between her and Cam. Will she be able to trust in him or will she run away from him?

Wait For You isn't the best new aduly book I have ever read but it was pretty damn great and I read in like a day. 
J. Lynn's writing always manages to entertain me from start to end and her stories never get boring.
However... I had come across some negative points. First and the most important one being Avery and my dislike of her. She frustrated me most of the time. The way she would refust to trust Cam while he had told her his big secret and that had been hard for him, too. Besides, I just didn't like Avery all that much as a person. Even when we finally find out what happened to her, which was drawn out for too long. 
My second negative point is all the typos and errors in the writing. There were quite a lot of them and I know for a fact that it has also been bothering other people too. I just would expect better from an author like J. Lynn.
But all bitching and complaining aside, I really liked this book. Not the author's best book, but not her worst either and definitely a favorite of mine.

Let's talk about Cam (finally). I. Love. Him. So. Much. From his blue eyes, to his one dimple, to the way he always cooks Avery eggs on Sunday, to his overall amazingness. I she my favorite book guy from Jennifer's books? No. But, damn it, if I wasn't swooning everytime he appeared in the story. And how cute was Raphael?! Turtles and eggs definitely have a new more awesome meaning to me now (and I so want a turtle also!). 
As for the other characters, there were a bunch that I loved. Like Avery's freinds, Brittany and Jacob. Especially Jacob was a hoot!
I also really liked Cam's roommate and family. Cam's parents were awesome and I love how kind they were to Avery. Cam's sister was great, too. I wonder what it is with that family and being awesome...
Anyway, even though I'm not Avery's biggest fan, the other characters definitely made up for it.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed Wait For You by J. Lynn. It was an entertaining new adult books that I absolutely enjoyed even with the flaws it had. I would definitely recommend it.





Favorite Quotes:
"I'm beginning to think cookies is a code word for something else."
"Maybe it is." He tugged on my bag again as he took a confident step back, forcing me down another step. "And just think about it. If cookie was a code word, whatever it symbolizes, it's been in your mouth, sweetheart."
"As long as the sun’s shining, shit can’t be that bad."
People got out of the way for Cam. He was like a hot Moses, parting a sea of drunk college students.


About The Author:
J. Lynn, also known as Jennifer L. Armentrout, is a # 1 New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author. She 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 Russel 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.
She also writes adult and New Adult romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.
Find her also on:

Purchase Wait for You on:


Throwback Thursday #6

Throwback Thursday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by me and Christina @ Booksane where we feature books that we've read in the past but are still crazy about. It could be a book you read as a child and still remember and love or maybe just a book that you haven't read in a long time and want to show your love for.
Each week we'll be featuring a new random question to answer!



My Throwback pick of the week:


Once Dead, Twice Shy (Madison Avery Trilogy #1) by Kim Harrison
Hardcover, 232 pages
Published May 26th 2009 by HarperCollin
5 stars!


My name is Madison Avery, and I'm here to tell you that there's more out there than you can see, hear, or touch. Because I'm there. Seeing it. Touching it. Living it.

Madison's prom was killer—literally. For some reason she's been targeted by a dark reaper—yeah, that kind of reaper—intent on getting rid of her, body and soul. But before the reaper could finish the job, Madison was able to snag his strange, glowing amulet and get away.

Now she's stuck on Earth—dead but not gone. Somehow the amulet gives her the illusion of a body, allowing her to toe the line between life and death. She still doesn't know why the dark reaper is after her, but she's not about to just sit around and let fate take its course.

With a little ingenuity, some light-bending, and the help of a light reaper (one of the good guys! Maybe . . . ), her cute crush, and oh yeah, her guardian angel, Madison's ready to take control of her own destiny once and for all, before it takes control of her.

Well, if she believed in that stuff.





I read this book way back before or when I just joined goodreads. I can't really remember... but it's been a while back. I first read Kim Harrison's short story about Madison Avery in Prom Nights From Hell and I was just blown away by that story. You don't have to read the story in Prom Nights From Hell to be able to read the full books but I do recommend it to people because it's just so damn awesome. Now for Once Dead Twice Shy. Loved it. It's one of my favorite books ever even though it's a little bit about angels and reapers and I'm a little weird with those books. I don't easily like them but this was such a hot for me (as were the other books).
If you haven't read them yet I would recommend you do it very soon!




Quote from Once Dead, Twice Shy:
"Breaking rules isn't bad when what you're doing is more important than the rule itself."

I didn't really remember any quotes but I found this one on Goodreads. :)




Question of this week:

If you were given a free airline ticket with a destination of your own choice, where would you go? And what book would you take with you?


The first place that comes to mind is Ireland, I'd love to go there someday and I would take with me... Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning (or really, any of the Fever books) because the series is set there. I might have to go look for my own Barrons Books and Baubles...




How about you?
Answer in the comment section!

--

If you'd like to participate in Throwback Thursday you can add your post to the linky below. Feel free to add a favorite quote of the book you're spotlighting as well in your post. :)






♥ Holly's Boys ♥

Highly recommended story to check out!