Thursday, October 11, 2012

Forbidden Forest by Tenaya Jayne (Book Review)

Book Description (

Born in shame. Cast from society. Shape Shifter/Elf hybrid, Forest must fight for any respect she can get. Targeted in her youth by a vampire noble who placed an illegal slave mark on her, she is forced to obey him, no matter what.

Slipping the grip of her master and abandoning the prejudice of Regia, her native world, Forest takes a job on Earth, guarding the portal, using her skills as a warrior to enforce Regia's laws. Now, called home for a black ops mission, Forest must put aside her own prejudice to transport the vampire prince, Syrus, through enemy territory in a time of war.

Prince Syrus, mage and master of the Blood Kata, wants Forest more than he's ever wanted anything. In spite of their mutual mistrust, their attraction cannot be denied. Through the danger of their mission, and the secrets they both keep, it doesn't matter what they feel. Forest is forbidden.

My Review:

   Tenaya Jayne created a magnificent and enchanting world in her paranormal romance novel Forbidden Forest. The novel revolves around Forest, a Halfling (half-elf/half-shifter); an outcast of her home world Regia because of her mixed parentage. Forest has been living on Earth working as a traffic controller for the portal between Earth and Regia. Until she is called to Regia for a top security mission; she is to protect a blind vampire prince, Syrus, while they travel to see a wizard that is believed to be able to restore the prince’s sight. There are no other creatures Forest hates more than vampires. Now she must travel, and protect one, without killing him herself. Throughout the journey Forest learns that Syrus is her destined life mate, the one person (creature?) she is to spend the rest of her life with, the only one that can see her true form. But Forest has a secret, a secret that makes her want to run away from Syrus, even though it will cause her pain. Syrus wants nothing more than to be able to see Forest with his own eyes. He has never met anyone else as infuriating as her, at the same time he has never wanted anyone more. Of course there is more but you have to read it! 

     What I love about this novel: I admire the way the main characters fought and overcame their “disadvantages”. Forest has worked to gain respect and rank in a society where people like her are considered basically worthless. Syrus has learned to not allow his sight impairment to cripple him. I think that the morale of the story is that, it doesn’t matter what disadvantage you have, you are strong enough to overcome it. All you have to do is work on it and not lose confidence in yourself, regardless of what people may or may not say.

      I really like that Jayne took time to not only create good characters but their world as well. It is detailed, creative and enchanting. The chemistry between Forest and Syrus is palpable and you can’t help but be pulled into every scene. The bantering and fighting between them gives the novel an interesting and funny twist. Jayne did a great job creating the characters, each character is well defined, each with his/her own qualities and flaws. I loved that Forest is a warrior, unlike most “heroines” who are embarrassingly in need of protection; As well as Syrus, a badass vampire (and insanely gorgeous) with a kind heart. She jumps from character to character giving the reader more insight on the plot, adding more questions; therefore enticing the reader into continuing to read. This I liked because a novel that has you asking questions and wanting answers, is a novel worth reading.

     What I didn't like so much: Like I mentioned, she switches from one character to another. Sometimes the switch is so subtle that you have to backtrack in order to know whose point of view you’re reading from. This doesn't happen often, but it does happen enough to be noticed. Also, although I love Syrus, and found his enthusiasm throughout the novel endearing, it was a little overwhelming at times. I was a little disappointed with the ending, but that’s because I wanted a happier ending. But it’s not an ending at all, so I guess that’s just me being greedy.

      Overall: I really, really, REALLY enjoyed this novel. It is funny, romantic, sexy and a little sadistic (some of the characters eekk) but it all comes together beautifully. I recommend this novel, mainly to adults, 17+ maybe, because it has mature content. This is a “read twice or more” novel. Read it! You’ll fall in love with Forest and Syrus too. 

**Note: I was given this novel in exchange of an honest review.**

Saturday, October 6, 2012

The Secret of Ella and Micha by Jessica Sorensen

Book Description

 October 2, 2012
Ella and Micha have been best friends since they were kids. But one tragic night shatters their friendship and their lives forever.

Ella used to be a rule-breaker with fiery attitude who wore her heart on her sleeve. But she left everything behind when she went to college and transformed into someone that follows the rules, keeps everything together, and hides all her problems. But now it's summer break and she has nowhere else to go but home.

Ella fears everything she worked so hard to bury might resurface, especially with Micha living right next door. If Micha tries to tempt the old her back, she knows that it will be hard to resist.

Micha is sexy, smart, confident, and can get under Ella’s skin like no one else can. He knows everything about her, including her darkest secrets. And he’s determined to bring his best friend, and the girl he loves back, no matter what it takes.

My Review:
     The Secret of Ella and Micha is an Adult Contemporary novel by Jessica Sorensen. The novel is about Ella Daniels, a young woman who disappears from the small town she grew up in an attempt to change who she is and who she might become. Leaving everything behind, including her real personality. Ella changes from a girl with a strong attitude to someone who is detached from the world, she pretends to be the total opposite of who she truly is. However, she has to return to her hometown for summer break and in doing so she must answer to those who she left behind.  Micha is Ella’s best friend, the one and only person Ella ever truly felt comfortable with and whom she shared all her secrets too (and he to her). However, the boundaries of their friendship were blurring just before she left. During her stay Ella must try to remain detached from everyone she ever knew and must not allow her feelings for Micha to resurface. Doing otherwise could jeopardize all she worked for. This novel is rated mature for sexual content.

Sorensen did an amazing job portraying a situation that a lot of people go through, young and old. This novel to me is about self-fulfillment, of finding yourself, accepting who you are and not allowing the environment in which you grew up in to define you.  It is about love (romantic, steamy love) and friendship. Ella is part of a broken family and through the novel she learns to cope and work on making it better. I like this novel because of its deeper meaning.  It tells that broken families are not just for the poor. I also love the relationship between Ella and Micha. Their friendship and, later, their love for each other, give the novel an added bonus. It has great character depth, every character was well portrayed. I

Overall, I truly enjoyed this novel. I really recommend it. It does have sexual scenes so it is not suitable for minors. However, if it were not because of this I would recommend it to everyone. It has a great message. Sorensen outdid herself with this novel. Her writing continues to get better with each novel she writes. If you want a good story get this book. You will not be disappointed. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Broken Aro by Jen Wylie

Book Description

 September 14, 2012
Open your eyes to darkness. What do you see? Does the darkness frighten you? Now imagine the darkness being the cargo hold of a slave ship. Your city has fallen. Your family is most likely dead. You don't know anyone around you, and some of them aren't even human. Giving up would be so easy to do, but not for Arowyn Mason. Not after being raised in a military family with seven brothers. Every great story should begin with a plan. Aro’s was to escape and to survive.

Escape comes, but at a price. As they reach the shore, Aro and the other survivors learn that freedom doesn’t mean safety. The slavers want their property back and will do anything to get it. The party uses every ounce of their brute strength, a hearty helping of cunning, and even ancient magics to keep themselves alive. Sickness, danger, and even love surprise them at every turn. Dealing with danger becomes their way of life, but none of them ever considered that nothing can be quite as dangerous as a prophecy. Running turns into another race altogether as her world falls to pieces again and again.

My Review:
Broken Aro by Jen Wiley is a Young Adult fiction novel about Arowyn Mason, a fifteen year old girl who loses her brothers, and only family, in an attempt at fleeing the city she grew up in when it is under attack. She finds herself shackled in a slave boat on the way to being sold. Here she meets Kendric, Kei, Bo, Avery and Cain, a group of military soldiers who served with her brothers and father. She also meets Prince, the outcast of the group. Together they form a plan to escape the slavers. However, things do not go as plan and find themselves in a land where Fey, Were, Dragos and humans live. Scavenging for food and trying to outrun the slavers, Aro faces the evil and emotionally scarring side of men. She learns trust, love and finds a new family among her companions. Just when life seems to make sense again, she learns of a prophecy that involves Kei, her best friend-who happens to be Fey. 

I do not want to include more spoilers since a short summary will not do this novel justice. This novel is like no other I have read. It was pleasantly surprising. It is worth every page. I was hooked from page 1 and was extremely disappointed when it ended-I didn’t want it to end.  Aro is a strong and brave girl. Her character is easy to like and you can’t help but feel her anguish. Wiley did an excellent job with each character, giving them life and a different personality. There is a bit of a romantic triangle between Aro, Kei and Prince, yet it is so subtle you wonder if it’s there at all (I am rooting for Prince btw).  Each character was unique, adding their own impact on the main character, Aro.

I do have to say that, for an imaginative reader, the emotions were so strong they were overwhelming at times. I would have liked a bit more “happy parts”. Although by the end of the novel, as the prophecy was explained, I understood why Aro had to be so…broken (thus the title).  Also, there were parts where the purpose, or objective, of the story wasn’t so clear, so they felt like fillers. However, these were minor and never compelled me to stop reading.

                Overall, I was extremely pleased with this novel. The novel was so enthralling that I basically stopped most of what I was doing just to continue reading. It was full of hope and love, it emphasized the meaning of family and its importance.  It was also sad, unpredictable and full of suspense. Compelling you to read every word, without skimming to the next paragraph (like I sometimes do when something just gets boring and I want to know what’s next). I strongly recommend this book; it is suitable for all ages. Parents: you do not have to worry about your child being corrupted here. Adults, you will not be disappointed!  Once again, I strongly recommend you to read this book!! It is excellently written, well-crafted and you will really, truly enjoy this novel.