Book Review: A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

In this tale of passion and obsession, Diana Bishop, a young scholar and a descendant of witches, discovers a long-lost and enchanted alchemical manuscript, Ashmole 782, deep in Oxford’s Bodleian Library. Its reappearance summons a fantastical underworld, which she navigates with her leading man, vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont.

I believe this is one of the best books I’ve read in a really long time (and that’s saying a lot because I’ve read so many in the last few months). I have really been branching out and trying to read new genres and experience new things, as of late. You might say, this is not that different from what I’ve been reading but it is. I feel like, despite the fantastical elements of the book, I learned a lot. The main characters are scholars, academics. She’s a genius, and so is he.

I feel like the author didn’t throw the science in your face to the point where your eyes glaze over. I was extremely interested in the ‘science’ of being a paranormal creature. Someone actually studying their genealogy and how they came to be is so interesting to me. Often times,  when you are reading books that involve ‘creatures’ they are busy running or fighting or hiding or…sexing. Hardly ever do you come across a book where they are just ‘existing’. It’s superb to me.

discovery of witches

 

Another thing that really drew me in, as a woman, is that Diana is smart in her own right. She’s done the work to get to where she is and no one can take that away from her. I love that. LOVE THAT. I hate it when the mcm is super smart and rides in on his white horse and the mcf is just flimsy, debilitatingly terrified, one dimensional and couldn’t stack a set of bowls. I love that Diana studies, she ‘reads’, she’s intrigued and she is motivated. I also love the fact that when he shows her something, in his field, she does not understand she immediately asks why, how or says explain it to me. There’s no level of ‘pretend to understand’ or ‘bat the eyelashes’.

Don’t get me wrong. She still has that soft aspect about her. She cries, she feels, she ‘experiences’. She has so many layers and none of them take away from the fact that she’s smart. The way Harkness wrote her made me proud to be a woman. I don’t know if its because I also have designs to be a professor and feel like a kindred spirit to the scholar but I definitely found myself smiling the further into the book that I got.

I have already picked up the second book in the series. Like I said on a previous post, I liked this book so much that I didn’t really read any other books simultaneously. Don’t fear, I will stretch my time this go around but yes, I will be reading the second book. However, instead of writing a new review, I will probably come back and edit this one, at the bottom, and write a few thoughts. So stay tuned!

 

 

If you’ve read this book, liked it, disliked it, hated it or haven’t read it (or listened to it) yet but plan to…let me know in the comments! I’d love to hear your thoughts. If you have any book suggestions or any reviews you’d like to see here, let me know!

Good Readdance,
Jade

 

 

Link to Book

Book Review: Close Contact and Close Encounter by Katherine Allred

I don’t get it. I just don’t get it.

Close Contact, the second book in the sequel, (from the info I found) came out in 2010. I don’t get why there aren’t more books in the series. It legit makes me sad.

I lost sleep over these books.

So the first book I started at 11:30pm and I was so engrossed in it. I thought I’d only read a chapter or two but then as the night grew on, I just couldn’t put it down. A few hours, and a couple of bathroom trips, later I’d finished all 360 pages of the book. It was close to 4am and I had to wake up for work at 6:10am. I was exhausted but content.

I love the main character, I love the plot, I love the romance, the science fiction, the dragon birds, everything! When I turned the last page I knew that I had to find and request the next book in the series before I’d let myself go to sleep. I requested Close Contact through the library and then I realized, it might take days to come. I couldn’t wait that long! So I found it on Overdrive and borrowed it there.

I was so tired that after I got off work I fully intended to lay my head down for just a few hours and I ended up sleeping for 11 hours straight.
Luckily, I didn’t have to wait too long. The second book came on Monday. Immediately picked up where I left off in the Ebook. I loved it as well. It didn’t come as close as Close Encounter but I loved it.
I would definitely, definitely recommend reading these books. They are great, witty, funny, interesting and with a big sprinkle of romance!

Here are the covers!

 

close encounters

The Bureau of Alien Affairs needed a special GEP agent with empathic abilities to handle their most extraordinary assignments—and a rogue geneticist saw to it that Kiera fit their specifications. But she turned out stronger, faster, smarter, and more impervious to harm than anyone anticipated. A reluctant “superhero,” Kiera wishes she were normal, but it is not to be.

On Orpheus Two, the indigenous Buri race faces extinction, a prospect the powerful Dynatec corporation welcomes and, in fact, may be actively hastening. It is Kiera’s job to protect these beautiful, exotic aliens . . . and to discover what there is on Orpheus Two that Dynatec feels is worth killing for.

But the magnetic allure of Thor, the breathtaking Buri leader, is proving a dangerous distraction. And now, to save Thor’s people, Kiera will need a power she’s never before possessed—something hidden in the unexplored recesses of her heart.

 

Close contact

A Genetically Engineered Person and self-proclaimed “party girl,” Echo Adams loves her diplomatic job entertaining alien bigwigs for the Galactic Federation. But the Bureau of Alien Affairs has discovered she’s much more than she thinks-that a rogue scientist endowed her with skills and psi abilities dwarfing those of common GEPs. And suddenly Echo’s luxury life is over, replaced with a far more dangerous one: a special agent expected to not only chase bad guys, but eliminate them.

Echo’s hates being stuck on Madrea-a planet of technophobes off limits to Federation visitors-hunting for a stolen quartz crystal with a powerful alien lifeform embedded inside. She despises the Bureau’s restrictive rules-especially the one warning her away from the dangerously seductive Commander of the King’s Forces. And if she doesn’t learn how to use her alleged super-psi powers soon, her partying days-in fact all of her days-will be over for good.

Good Readdance,
Jade

Link to Book

Book Review: Copper Beach by Jayne Ann Krentz

Within the pages of very rare books some centuries old lie the secrets of the paranormal. Abby Radwell’s unusual psychic talent has made her an expert in such volumes—and sometimes taken her into dangerous territory. After a deadly incident in the private library of an obsessive collector, Abby receives a blackmail threat, and rumors swirl that an old alchemical text known as The Key has reappeared on the black market.

Convinced that she needs an investigator who can also play bodyguard, she hires Sam Coppersmith, a specialist in paranormal crystals and amber—“hot rocks.” Passion flares immediately between them, but neither entirely trusts the other. When it comes to dealing with a killer who has paranormal abilities, and a blackmailer who will stop at nothing to obtain an ancient alchemical code, no one is safe.

I’m actually quite happy I read this book. I bought it recently, during one of my happy excursions to the bookstore, and I don’t regret it. I didn’t know what it was about but I have several other books by JAK that I really enjoyed so…obviously I had to grab it.

Copper Beach

I’m happy because I am definitely a person who believes in the power of crystals and auras, etc. I just believe we can’t rule it out. Think of all the times you get bad vibes from someone you’ve never met. Think of the times where you knew not to do this thing or not the go down that alley. I believe it’s all intuition and and bad juju.

I’m a big fan of this novel, it had the right amount of romance and action. I love that this was a turn of the way romances are usually written. The girl falls hard for the guy and he has to some how learn that she’s the one for him before it’s too late. In this novel, she is the one who has to come to terms with their closeness, their intimacy and see if she can deal with her trust ‘issues’. I like that he is indeed powerful but so is she! Gone are the days of the damsel in distress. Now are the days of powerful lady in need of assistance, not you-take-over-and-I’ll-just-hid-and-cry. Yes, I did just put dashes in between, yes you get the point.

I love that our MC here is stubborn and refuses to give up. She has her life and she likes it how she likes it. I would recommend this book if you are a lover of crystals and their appeals. I would say read this if you are looking for something that won’t confuse you or leave you wondering. Although there is another book after this one (which I am actively trying to get), the end is nicely tied and nipped for you. I appreciate that in any good romance.

Thanks JAK!

If you’ve read this book, liked it, disliked it, hated it or haven’t read it (or listened to it) yet but plan to…let me know in the comments! I’d love to hear your thoughts. If you have any book suggestions or any reviews you’d like to see here, let me know!

Good Readance,
Jade

 

Link to Book

Book Review: Dare to Run by Jen McLaughlin

Lucas Donahue is not ashamed of his criminal past, but after a brief stint in prison, he’s ready to go legit and live a normal life. The problem is, no one leaves the gang without permission—even if he is one of the boss’s top men. Plus someone’s placed a hit on him. And then there’s that feisty little bartender who’s going to cause him even more trouble.
 
Heidi Greene knows to keep her distance from a ladies’ man like Lucas—even if she can’t keep her eyes off him. When he rescues her from an attack in the alley outside her bar, she’s forced to stay by his side for safety. But the longer she spends time with him, the greater her chances are for getting hurt in more ways than one.

I listened to this book! Yes! I have been trying to utilize my Overdrive account more. I don’t know if you guys have heard of it but it’s absolutely amazing! It’s an app that allows you to connect to your local library system. All you need is a valid library card and you can read books, and listen to audio books, for free! Ya’ll know that I love a good deal! Free is the best deal ever! Anyway, so I have been trying to discover new gems and I have. In Jen McLaughlin.

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I’ve very happy with the way this book turned out. I actually searched like crazy for info on the next book in the series because I really wanted to see where she was going to take the story line. Some crazy things happen and I wasn’t sure how she was going to turn it around. From my research, and no spoilers here, it works!!

So the thing that made me really love this book is that the main character male, Lucas, is a real badass. And I don’t mean just because he is tough, fierce and uses a gritty Boston accent. He is actually not a good guy. EEK!!

He’s on the bad side of the law, just recently released from jail after serving time doing as his family does. I love it. Usually you get this character who is the anti-hero with some saving attributes, and I guess he is to some extent, but there’s no real saving grace for this kid. He has killed, he deals with guns and he doesn’t take ish from anyone! The fact that Heidi, who has dealt with some evil characters in her own past, falls in love with this guy is amazing.

I’m definitely down happy that I listened to this one instead of reading it. I could really see the scenes in my head. So thanks, whoever told me that audio books are amazing, I’m sorry if i doubted you.

If you’ve read this book, liked it, disliked it, hated it or haven’t read it (or listened to it) yet but plan to…let me know in the comments! I’d love to hear your thoughts. If you have any book suggestions or any reviews you’d like to see here, let me know!

Good Readance,
Jade

 

Link to Book

 

 

Book Review: Dating the Undead by Juliet Lyon

V-Date.com. It’s the vampire dating site. And if you’re a mortal who’s getting a little too close to learning our secrets, I’m the guy who swoops in to make you forget. But don’t worry: I only bite sometimes.

I was great at my job until I met Silver—sarcastic, sexy, spunky Silver. I can’t bring myself to make her forget about our kind. About me. It’s all I can do not to throw her down on the kitchen counter and have my way with her, fangs and all.

She says she’s just looking for a good time, and I’m just the vampire to give it to her—over and over again. I went into this looking for a good tumble, but even I have to admit that things are changing between us. Good god, I want to hold her hand. In public.

So lately I’ve been getting more and more into audio books and I love it! Recently my sister and her friend went on a cruise. They flew down the day before they were supposed to leave and I drove down to meet them. The drive was almost five hours and I absolutely loved it. During this time I was still working at my old job and the long nights cleaning allowed me to plug into my head phones and listen for hours. This book was only about 9 hours of listening time.

dating the undead
I was pleasantly surprised that I loved this novel so much. There were two readers, which I didn’t know was a thing, and they both used accents that really fit their characters. I know I’m probably just behind on the times but I really enjoyed it.

The drama, the kissing, the tension. It was fantastic! I do think the synopsis is really weird. It’s not the one that I read when I first chose to read the book. It’s weird, right? Anyway, the book is based after vampires have integrated into society. Silver meets a hot vampire on New Years Eve and later decides to join a dating website that caters to the mix of the species. Love, murder and crazy dates fill the pages. I love it!

If you’ve read this book, liked it, disliked it, hated it or haven’t read it (or listened to it) yet but plan to…let me know in the comments! I’d love to hear your thoughts. If you have any book suggestions or any reviews you’d like to see here, let me know!

Good Readance,
Jade

 

Link to Book

Book Review: A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole

Between grad school and multiple jobs, Naledi Smith doesn’t have time for fairy tales…or patience for the constant e-mails claiming she’s betrothed to an African prince. Sure. Right. Delete! As a former foster kid, she’s learned that the only things she can depend on are herself and the scientific method, and a silly e-mail won’t convince her otherwise.

Prince Thabiso is the sole heir to the throne of Thesolo, shouldering the hopes of his parents and his people. At the top of their list? His marriage. Ever dutiful, he tracks down his missing betrothed. When Naledi mistakes the prince for a pauper, Thabiso can’t resist the chance to experience life—and love—without the burden of his crown.

The chemistry between them is instant and irresistible, and flirty friendship quickly evolves into passionate nights. But when the truth is revealed, can a princess in theory become a princess ever after?

 

Heya!

Here is another book written by a black author! I absolutely loved it! I have always been a big fan of the Disney princess stories being modernized and re-written. Although the Cinderella story is age old, I really love to see the way new writers can add plot twists and small but impactful changes to create a beautiful narrative. Yes, Cole, Yes! This story is based on an African History and the author really shined a beautiful light on the culture. The way family came together and the people gathered around in support really made you wish this was a place you could go with people from the story you could meet. The story has funny moments and sad parts and all make you proud.  There are big twists and turns that flow with the story line and don’t cause friction with the riches to rags and back to riches ideal.

 

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The main character is so relatable, honest and everything we want to portray. She’s a black woman who is smart, beautiful and she has a great sense of responsibility and self awareness. Thabiso, the prince, is handsome and hilarious in his own royal right. He really cracked me up with his inability to do normal every day activities on his own and his lack of knowledge about American diction. Cole really did a great job bringing these characters to life without making them over the top or extra. I can’t wait to read more books by her!

If you’ve read this book, liked it, disliked it, hated it or haven’t read it yet but plan to…let me know in the comments! I’d love to hear your thoughts. If you have any book suggestions or any reviews you’d like to see here, let me know!

Good Readance,
Jade

#BlackAuthorsUnite!

Link to Book

Book Review: You Will Pay by Lisa Jackson

It starts as a prank—a way to blow off steam after a long summer at Camp Horseshoe. Among the teen counselors, tensions and hormones are running high. No wonder the others agree when Jo-Beth Chancellor suggests they scare Monica O’Neal a little . . . or a lot. Monica has it coming, and no one will really get hurt. What could go wrong?
Everything. That summer, two young girls went missing.
Each one knows something about that terrible night. Each promised not to tell. And as they reunite, a new horror unfolds. First come texts containing a personal memento and a simple, terrifying message: YOU WILL PAY. Then, the murders begin.
It started years ago. But it will end here—as a web of lust, greed, and betrayal is untangled to reveal a killer waiting to enact the perfect revenge.

 

This was another one of those books that I read fairly quickly. I had forgotten how much I liked to read books by Lisa Jackson.  She writes mystery with just a hint of romance. In this book, you follow a sort of contorted ‘who done it’. You get the comparison of the characters when they were young and impressionable and them as adults when they have had a chance to put the past behind them. There are a few twists and turns in the story that were pretty exciting and unexpected.

lisa jackson

I will say this book is longer than I expected it to be. I think it could have been shorter and we still would’ve gotten the same level of character development. Some parts did drag on just a bit. This may just be me though, with my attention span and the fact that I have so many books to read so I really have to be very invested in every chapter.

I would recommend this book if you are looking for a quick mystery read. If you’ve read this book, liked it, disliked it, hated it or haven’t read it yet but plan to…let me know in the comments! I’d love to hear your thoughts. If you have any book suggestions or any reviews you’d like to see here, let me know!

 

 

Good Readance,

Jade

Book Review: The Hypnotist’s Love Story by Liane Moriarty

Ellen O’Farrell is a professional hypnotherapist who works out of the eccentric beachfront home she inherited from her grandparents. It’s a nice life, except for her tumultuous relationship history. She’s stoic about it, but at this point, Ellen wouldn’t mind a lasting one. When she meets Patrick, she’s optimistic. He’s attractive, single, employed, and best of all, he seems to like her back. Then comes that dreaded moment: He thinks they should have a talk.

Braced for the worst, Ellen is pleasantly surprised. It turns out that Patrick’s ex-girlfriend is stalking him. Ellen thinks, Actually, that’s kind of interesting. She’s dating someone worth stalking. She’s intrigued by the woman’s motives. In fact, she’d even love to meet her.

Ellen doesn’t know it, but she already has.

Alright, I admit it took me a really long time to read this book. Almost a month. Just as I was cracking the book open my college courses started. Always the one with her head in the clouds, I thought No, I won’t have any issue reading for entertainment while also trying to read class assignments. I was wrong. The Philosopher’s Way and Plato soon took over all of my free time. The only time I could find for personal reading was before work, during my lunch break and just before my eyes shut at night. That basically means I only read ten to fifteen pages at a time. My usual average is around fifty to ninety so this just makes me look sad. I didn’t want to stop though and took the book everywhere with me; to the doctors office, to work and to stand in line at Walmart.

Anyway, I really liked the book. Often times I caught myself wanting to tweet the author and say “Oh my god! They could totally be best friends!”. I loved the fact that you go back and forth between point of views. I didn’t like this sort of writing when I was younger but as I get older and hone my own writing style I appreciate the craftsmanship. The personality differences between Ellen and Saskia are so vast and you really get to see that. This way, you get the stalkers thoughts first hand and maybe, you don’t totally hate her.

the hypnotists love story

I would definitely recommend this book! If you are looking for an easy read that doesn’t have too many twists and turns this is for you! One part of the book I thought, there’s totally going to be some crazy plot twist that will have me on the edge of my seat and things turned out differently. No worries though, I did like the way the book ended. It was a pleasant story.

If you’ve read this book, if you liked it, disliked it, hated it or haven’t read it but plan to…let me know in the comments! I’d love to hear your thoughts. If you have any book suggestions for me to read or any reviews you’d like to see here, let me know!

Happy Readance,
Jade

Link to Book

Book Review: His Lover’s Little Secret by Andrea Laurence

Hi! So I am actually glad that I dug into my boxes of books. I just recently moved into my new apartment and I brought maybe ten boxes of books with me. I have been collecting books ever since I was a young child. Yes, I say collecting because at first I would just buy books I couldn’t find in the libraries and then I realized…with the amount of books I have I could start my own library. That’s what I plan to do. I plan to start a library and have the ability to say I’ve read each and every one of them.

Oh yeah, so I dug into my boxes and found a few random gems. His Lover’s Little Secret was one of those gems. I read it while I was at work because it was on of the slowest days possible and the book isn’t a hard read nor is it very long. The characters written in the novel are so deep and complex. You wouldn’t think so if you were to judge it by the fact that it’s a Harlequin but it’s true. Gavin is definitely one of my favorite antagonist ever. He’s strong, matter of fact, put together but not necessarily controlling. Yes, as a CEO he spends a great deal bossing and giving orders but he’s such a sweetheart you forgive him. His true and honest love for his son is every girls true dream in a father for their child.

hisloverslittlesecret

When I read the back of the novel again, I was taken aback for a minute. The story plot is not uncommon and I half expected it to be one of those that irritate every nerve. I hate it when girls call a guy a deadbeat or not a good father but didn’t even tell him that he had a child. It really grinds my gears because they then spend the entire book making demands and statements like “you don’t deserve”, “prove to me…” and “he’s MY child”. It makes me want to reach into the pages, grab the woman by the neck and shake. Knock some sense into them and say “HE COULD’VE BEEN THERE FROM THE BEGINNING HAD YOU ONLY TOLD HIM!” Luckily, I didn’t have to do that this time. Of course, she spent the first few days trying to convince him she was right in not telling him but she redeemed herself by allowing him to be involved.

Andrea Laurence did a great job of bringing it full circle and making them very well rounded. I’M even in love with little Jared! Thanks!! Read to find out if this duo can get it together and how they survive a kidnapping! Love it!

Jade