Urban Fantasy Review: The Beast by J.R. Ward

TThe Beasthe Beast by J.R. Ward

Published by: Penguin USA

Format: Paperback ARC

Genre: Urban Fantasy of the Vampire Persuasion

Order from: Amazon

Reviewed by: Guest Reviewer, Ellen(!)

What to expect: Rhage and Mary, Mary and Rhage! Book…whatever of The Black Dagger Brotherhood offers a new installment of two of my most favorite characters (MARY AND RHAGE) + vampires from the Old Country who wear leather, tote guns, and speak in slang, and a look at what’s ahead for the Brotherhood…think GRAND SCOPE!

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Quickie Review: Five Dates by Amy Jo Cousins

Five Dates by Amy Jo Cousins

Genre: m/m romance

Score: 9/10

Plot: Helping his sister Lucy raise her kid has put Devin’s love life on hold. When he loses a bet to her and the penalty is to go out on five dates with men she’s chosen from Guys4Guys.com, he thinks that’s bad enough. Finding out she used a thirteen-year-old picture of him to score a date with a young guy who looks like a rock star? Epically bad.

Jay thought he wanted to fall for an older man. But his last boyfriend left him feeling humiliated and determined to stick to guys his own age. When he realizes he’s been conned into a date with exactly the kind of man he’s sworn to avoid, he’s ready to walk away on the spot. Only Devin’s swift apologies convince Jay to accept dinner to make up for the deception.

Review: Five Dates is one of those books that’s just so much fun to read you’ll devour it in one sitting. It’s a light hearted comedy of errors wherein Devin loses a bet and his sister decides to make due on it by forcing him on five dates blind dates culled from a gay dating site. First up is the latino god, Jay. Devin knows Jay’s out of his league but he meets the younger man anyway. Devin and Jay’s attraction really sizzles and the rest of the story rests on the “will they? won’t they?” aspect of their relationship. They have fantastic chemistry, uber sexy scenes, and some pretty hilarious moments where Jay rescues Devin from disastrous dates.

You’ll enjoy: the humorous writing style and easy flowing conversation; the infrequent naughty scenes that will have you fanning yourself; self-deprecating hero, Devin, who just wants to live his life if his sister would let him; the funny and gorgeous love interest, Jay, who is fierce and loyal and exactly what you would want in boyfriend.

You might not enjoy: the buildup to their relationship happens in the blink of an eye and Jay seems to really get into playing “the other man” though a few days prior he couldn’t stand it; there isn’t enough naughty; all the problems they seem to have at the beginning are breezed by in favor of a quickie ending.

Final score: 9/10

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Let’s rant about NA!

Hi, guys! 2014 is coming to a fast and ignoble end and finally it happened. We’ve hit that point – you know that point. The one we hit where we’ve read so many books, this time of the New Adult variety, that quite a few commonalities have begun to surface and we just can’t take it anymore. We have to rant! Let’s just jump right into this shall we cause we can’t hold off and be nice any longer. BTW this is so NSFW or people under the age of 18 or anyone but us really cause we are all about to start swearing and talking about girl bits and it won’t be pretty.

You’ve been warned.

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It’s the weekend, I’m bored: what do I read?!

Hey hey! So it’s the weekend; you’re bored. What are you going to read?! Ellen and I plus the fantastic Rebecca from Crunchings and Munchings book blog are having a book pow-wow this weekend and in honor of all the fun books we’re going to be reading, I thought I’d pass along a list of the top books in YA and NA right now that you should have read and if you haven’t, stock up! They’re all less than $5! So get ’em, read ’em, and tell us what you think!

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Book recommendations from you and a giveaway!

Help! I’m leaving on a three week vacation and have absolutely nothing to read. Hard to conceive of but true. So here’s a fun way for me to get recs and a lucky winner to get a free book!

I totally heart books; how about you?

Here’s the deal:

You: leave the name and author of a great book you recently read. When I say great, I mean just that – I want something that wowed you; made you think about the characters long after it was over; made you wish that you knew the author so you could storm over to her home and then beg her to write a sequel.

Me: I’ll take your recs and get great reads for my trip *plus* I’ll gift one lucky reader a free e-copy of any book recommended (your choice!).

So start recommending away! Winner will be picked Tuesday around 9 pm.

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An open apology and BEA!

Yoohoo! Hello! Hello over there!! Can you see me? Hello? It’s me, Judith? You probably won’t recognize me and if you do, you’re all probably a wee bit pissed at me for, ya know, not blogging or reviewing or even maintaining the site really over the last few months. But don’t be. I’m here on my knees ready to grovel.

“Why’d you leave us, Judith?!” That’s the big question. Guys, I am so sorry but this dumb thing called “day-to-day life” just kept getting in the way. At first it was just asking me to make dinner and you know, clean for a bit (and by clean I totally mean put dishes in the dishwasher and nothing else). Then it started eating up my available time with homework assignments, girl scout troop meetings, working 8 hours a day, laundry…and we can’t forget that pesky husband and the never ending, extended houseguests.  It got so bad that at one point I actually considered stopping blogging altogether.

The sudden collective gasp  you guys just put out is enough to make me think, “whew!” I did the right thing by not dumping the blog.

So here’s the deal. I promise to get you guys some quality reviews over the next few weeks because me, Ellen, and Onni have been reading up a storm. I also promise not to go AWOL again.

Now, this brings me to the awesome photo montage portion of this post.

On May 28 and 29th, Ellen and I took NYC by storm (not a difficult feat considering we both live in NJ) and attended BEA 2014. It was our 3rd time and we had a blast.  We spent all of Thursday checking out the various authors and taking in the scene:

People lining up at 7:30 am to enter BEA at 9 am. Dedication!

People lining up at 7:30 am to enter BEA at 9 am. Dedication!

More line waiting at 7:30 am...

More line waiting at 7:30 am…

Waiting in line for books to be autographed

Look closely and you’ll see A.R. Kahler, author of the Immortal Circus, waiting in line too

The line up to get books signed

The lines to get books by famous authors signed

We learned that at least two of the five main cast members of How I Met Your Mother  + one member of The Office had written books!


Jason Segal speaking at the Children’s Books Author Breakfast

Neil Patrick Harris in booth signing. He is so skinny!

Neil Patrick Harris in booth signing. He is so skinny!

BJ Novak signing in booth

BJ Novak signing in booth

Some of our idols of childhood:

Garth Nix, author of Sabriel

Garth Nix, author of Sabriel

R.L. Stine

R.L. Stine

And we met up with some amazing bloggers and authors from all over:

Author Michelle Mankin, Blogger Kelly Moorehouse, and Author Anne Eliot (plus me hiding behind a book on the telephone screen)

Author Michelle Mankin, Blogger Kelly Moorhouse, and Author Anne Eliot (+ me on screen)

Author T.Torrest and Blogger Kelly Moorehouse

Author T.Torrest and Blogger Kelly Moorhouse

Blogger Rebecca Peters-Golden

Blogger Rebecca Peters-Golden

Author Anne Eliot and I Love YA Fiction's Ellen

Author Anne Eliot and I Love YA Fiction’s Ellen

And the best part?! We got our hands on some new books:

I Love YA Fiction's Judith holding an ARC of Anne Eliot's How I Fall

I Love YA Fiction’s Judith holding an ARC of Anne Eliot’s How I Fall

Look at all the books!

Look at all the books!


So long story short: we’re back! Reviews are back! Hope you are ready for us!

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Book Reveal: We Won’t Feel A Thing by J.C. Lillis

Today on ILYAF, we’re featuring an upcoming YA release by J.C. Lillis. Now, if you don’t know J.C. Lillis, let’s change that right now! Last year, she wrote and released an amazing YA love story about two nerd boys falling in love. It was an unusual pairing of comic books, YA, and gay fiction and it really struck a chord with us. It’s called How to Repair a Mechanical Heart and if it were ever in a cover art contest (is that a thing?!), she would totally win.  See why? Read More

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Tell Us YOUR Top reads of 2013!

Best Books 2013

Hello, folks. You know what? I’m a little bit sad these days because 2013 is slowly, inexorably coming to an end! Where did this year go, right?! Uhhh, how can it be December already? The only good thing about the end of the year is this: recapping all the amazing literature we’ve read over the last 12 months. We’ve read a lot and so have you and I think if we put two and two together, we’ll get a pretty exhaustive list of what we should be reading. Obviously though to do this, we need YOUR

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help to decide which books were the absolute

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best of the best, the creme de la creme of all the books you’ve plowed through. Below are three polls in the three main categories we review, YA, NA, and Romance. Take a few seconds to let us know what your fave in each category is. Help a fellow reader discover a fantastic read!

Top 3 winners in each category announced in two weeks and maybe a contest will be included…vote on!

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Francine Pascal’s Sweet Valley Saga: The Wakefield Legacy

Francine Pascal’s Sweet Valley Saga: The Wakefield Legacy, by Kate William

Publisher: Bantam Books, 1992

Format: Paper! (BTW – I swear I did not steal this from a library! I’m not sure where I actually purchased it but I’ve never been to the Maricopa County Library.) In honor of Father’s Day (which thank you Judith for making me do this, it’s the only reason I remembered this weekend is Father’s Day) I’m going old school and reviewing the Sweet Valley Saga book about the twins’ father’s ancestors. Who knew so much could happen in only 150 years!

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Giveaway: it’s Book Expo 2013, baby!

This giveaway might be kind of lame, and if it is, I am sorry but…let me preface this whole thing with this: last year Ellen and I had a blast at Book Expo 2012. If you haven’t heard of Book Expo, it’s basically this huge publishing/book professional event at the Javitz Center in NYC where authors, readers, bloggers, reviewers, publishers, etc all get together to love on books. We got a TON of ARCs, met a TON of amazing people, and generally enjoyed meeting a whole convention center full of kindred spirits. In a word, amazing. I can’t begin to describe how wide-eyed and overwhelmed I was by the number of free books all around me. Books everywhere! All for me! And you! Plus writers at every turn: Jillian Dodd! JL Armentrout!

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Ack! I may have fan girled more than once.

This year, we’re headed back on May 31st (and btw, welcome anyone who’ll be there to meet up with us! We’re lots of fun, honest, especially when we head out for drinks afterward.) One thing we do need to do though is clean out the bookshelves to make room for even more books. So I’m having a giveaway! 6 paperback ARCs from BEA 2012 are up for grabs and while they may be autographed in my name (hey-funny!), who cares! Free books! Free GREAT books! Enter now!

Here’s what’s up for grabs:

Insignia by SJ Kincaid

Entice by Jessica Shirvington

Elemental by Emily White

Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas

Sanctum by Sarah Fine

The Iron Witch by Karen Mahoney

If you win, you get all the books! A box full!

Who can win: anyone in the continental (48 contiguous) United States

How to enter: Rafflecopter entry below


a Rafflecopter giveaway

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