The King’s Spinster Bride

The King’s Spinster Bride  by  Ruby Dixon  description:

Sixteen years ago, Princess Halla of Yshrem saved the life of an eight-year-old barbarian boy and watched her kingdom fall to ruin, all on the same day. Now, she is a forgotten spinster in a quiet temple, living her days out in solitude. The last of her line, she exists in the hope that she has been forgotten, for to be remembered by the enemy is to be certain death.

One person has not forgotten her. Mathior, now twenty-four, is the fierce warrior king of the Cyclopae. Yshrem is in turmoil and his advisors have a suggestion – kill the last remaining member of the royal line, and there will be no rivals for the throne.

Mathior has a different idea. He’s loved Halla for sixteen long years, and it’s time he claimed her as his wife. But a barbarian’s wedding customs are unlike any other…

The King’s Spinster Bride  5 STARS

While I know this book was written in conjunction with other authors writing in the same “series” of sorts, I really hope Dixon chooses to write more in this world. As usual she creates such a detailed and interesting place that I want to be able to return again and again. It’s a fairly short story, but there’s a lot within and moves along at a good pace. Halla is a very regal woman, and definitely not some weeping wailing princess that needs some prince to save her. While she isn’t a warrior, she’s very dignified and meets life head on and whatever it has to throw at her. But as Halla is exactly from the sort of kingdom you’d imagine with castles and crowns, Mathior is from a barbaric tribe with customs they unwaveringly hold to and ultimately ends up bringing the two together. It was definitely an interesting wedding that had me blushing the whole time, and I’m not sure if she did write more how much it could vary due to their customs, but I’d love to see what Dixon could come up with.

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The Warlord of Mars

BOOK 1: A Princess of Mars  by  Edgar Rice Burroughs

BOOK 2: The Gods of Mars

The Warlord of Mars   description:

John Carter risks everything to rescue his wife, Princess Dejah Thoris, from the clutches of his evil adversaries, but he is always just one step behind! His battles cover the face of the red planet, as his quest carries him ultimately to the mysterious northern pole. Will this civilization, submerged in ice, prove fatal to our hero? This is the third of eleven in the popular ‘Martian’ series by Edgar Rice Burroughs.

BOOK 3: The Warlord of Mars  4 STARS

In a way, this completes the journey that began in the first book. He’s still searching for his wife, and now her father and grandfather. I love that we have gotten to see all of Mars, and the different races, and what their lives are like. What makes these books so great is that John Carter, is just himself. He’s the greatest swordsman of 2 worlds, he can defeat any foe, and has taken on armies. But he knows he’s not much beyond a fighting man. He has his smarts in coming up with rescue plans, but he’s not exactly made out to be the smartest man there ever was. He tends to just be lucky, and often shows himself as being a bit ditzy. Like not understanding why Dejah Thoris doesn’t recognize him when he’s in disguise, while at the same time completely accepting that no one else around her recognizes him either. He’s a fighting man, and he does whatever it takes to save the woman he loves, but he’s also someone who takes others advise, and seeks help from those willing to give it. It really makes him out to be more realistic than you expect, and a hero that you can’t help but root for time and again as he fights for all that is good and right in the world, and thus completely changes this world he’s fallen into forever.

Crystal Kingdom

BOOK 1: Frostfire  by  Amanda Hocking

BOOK 2: Ice Kissed

Crystal Kingdom   description:

The kingdom she loves has turned against her. Can she save it before it’s too late?

Bryn Aven—unjustly charged with murder and treason—is on the run. The one person who can help is her greatest enemy, the gorgeous and enigmatic Konstantin Black. Konstantin is her only ally against those who have taken over her kingdom and threaten to destroy everything she holds dear. But can she trust him?

As Bryn fights to clear her name, the Kanin rulers’ darkest secrets are coming to light…and now the entire troll world is on the brink of war. Will it tear Bryn from Ridley Dresden, the only guy she’s ever loved? And can she join forces with Finn Holms and the Trylle kingdom? Nothing is as it seems, but one thing is certain: an epic battle is under way—and when it’s over, nothing will ever be the same…

BOOK 3: Crystal Kingdom  4 STARS

Hocking definitely knows how to end a trilogy. I was very excited when we got to see the other tribes more. It’s the first time really going to the Omte tribe, and they’re definitely a different sort, but I was happy getting to see the Trylle and Vittra more, and knowing how the characters we came to know in the Trylle series are doing now. There was a fair amount of surprises, and it was interesting to see how they came to really knowing the truth of the plots that had been against the Kanin kingdom this whole time. The only thing that bothered me was Bryn. She’s intelligent and well trained in defending herself, and has now gone through so much, but obviously she was never really a soldier so I get her not exactly having been used to dealing with the things that were coming about in having to bring down Mina. Yet, even as no one would want war, and no one would want to hurt people who are simply being manipulated, I also think Bryn was just a bit too naive about a lot of things. As well as being very reactive, constantly trying to go on what would’ve amounted to suicide missions, which repeatedly led to Konstantine having to talk her down. That part got a bit old at times, but the rest of it was really well done. The war and dealing with those just trying to serve their kingdom, and those that are simply dealing with greed, and sadly the innocents who are caught in the crossfire. She didn’t wash over the bad side, and it made for a heart wrenching but realistic and worthy ending to the story.

Love in the Afternoon

BOOK 1: Mine Till Midnight  by  Lisa Kleypas

BOOK 2: Seduce Me at Sunrise

BOOK 3: Tempt Me at Twilight

BOOK 4: Married by Morning

Love in the Afternoon   description:

As a lover of animals and nature, Beatrix Hathaway has always been more comfortable outdoors than in the ballroom. Even though she participated in the London season in the past, the classic beauty and free-spirited Beatrix has never been swept away or seriously courted… and she has resigned herself to the fate of never finding love. Has the time come for the most unconventional of the Hathaway sisters to settle for an ordinary man—just to avoid spinsterhood?

Captain Christopher Phelan is a handsome, daring soldier who plans to marry Beatrix’s friend, the vivacious flirt Prudence Mercer, when he returns from fighting abroad. But, as he explains in his letters to Pru, life on the battlefield has darkened his soul—and it’s becoming clear that Christopher won’t come back as the same man. When Beatrix learns of Pru’s disappointment, she decides to help by concocting Pru’s letters to Christopher for her. Soon the correspondence between Beatrix and Christopher develops into something fulfilling and deep… and when Christopher comes home, he’s determined to claim the woman he loves. What began as Beatrix’s innocent deception has resulted in the agony of unfulfilled love—and a passion that can’t be denied.

BOOK 5: Love in the Afternoon   5 STARS

I have to say, my only complaint about the book is that it could’ve been named something like Amour/Amore in the Afternoon, or something to keep the double letter going like the other books. Other than that, this book is just as wonderful as the rest of the series and then some. Beatrix has always been my favorite. Her patience with people and their quirks, her understanding of relationships and seeing things in people no one else does, and of course her love of all animals that she wants to take in, make her such a fun character. It was wonderful to have a book all about her. While of course the rest of the Hathaways and their spouses do make appearances here or there, none of them are that big of a part of the book, other than being outsiders speculating on what is going on with their innocent Beatrix and that troubled Captain Phelan. Now Christopher was surprising choice for a suitor, and yet now it’s so obviously perfect. I’m also glad Kleypas didn’t brush over the struggles returning soldiers can have integrating back into society. As terrible as it is to have PTSD now, it’s worse to imagine it during a time when no one understood such, and it was taboo to even discuss the struggles one was going through. But I truly liked how the relationship began between the two, there’s something so romantic about writing letters, I wish people still did so. Yet, it was even more curious to see how Christopher viewed her when he got back not knowing that this was the actual woman whose letters he’d fallen in love with. Altogether it was a wonderful book, and I’m sad to see this series end.

Alien Former continued…

Book 1: Alien Former  by  Ashley L. Hunt

Alien Former Collection description:

Joanna Angeles is ready for anything. She has been dispatched to a frozen planet at the back end of nowhere, accompanied only by an advanced Artificial Intelligence known as Barbas. Her mission: to transform an unliveable frozen wasteland into a home for over a hundred-thousand colonists within ten years. Unbeknownst to her, the brutal glacier world is not as lifeless as she thought. When her planetfall is mistaken for the coming of a deity by a local ranger, Volistad, Joanna finds herself embroiled in an ancient war.

Can Joanna and Volistad find common ground, despite their vast differences?
Can they forge a connection to unite their two peoples? Or will the ice-bound world of Chalice claim them all?

Join Joanna & Bardas in their mission to survive to this exotic and new harsh planet…

alien-formerBOOK 1-5: Alien Former   4 STARS

So I bought the complete collection, which is supposed to be books 1-5, and as you can see I already read book 1 and wrote a review for it, but this collection just has it as one whole book, nothing separating out the different stories that can be bought, which makes me think it was previously just chopped up and never meant to really be 5 separate books. I hate it when authors do that, but since it is being sold all together for just 99cents, I’m not going to dock it for having done such. Just give you a heads up, you might as well just go for the complete collection.

Continuing from the first review I did of just book 1, this does continue to develop the characters very well. I feel like I finally got a good picture of Joanna, and really like her character and who she becomes. Understanding the gods that are trapped beneath the surface, and the history of what they were and how they came to be there, was actually a really interesting look at human nature, and a great sci-fi tell all around. Volistad and his people dealing with the upheaval of their beliefs was really well done, and helped show how hard people want to cling to their faith but also the power they may have built upon it. Honestly, even though it’s marked as sci-fi romance, the romance part doesn’t overshadow the plot, and anyone who likes alien adventures would enjoy this. My main problem with the book is it really needs better editing. I almost knocked it down to 3 STARS because of it, but the rest of it was so good I didn’t want to do such. But there are a lot of typos, as well as repetitiveness, which is  a pet peeve of mine. Like yes we get that Barbas’ presence feels like someone reading over your shoulder, and other such description that she got stuck on and felt the need to repeat over and over.

 

Barbarian’s Choice

Due to the number of books in this series I’m just going to add the link to the list of books I’ve reviewed by Ruby Dixon.

Barbarian’s Choice   description:

I might be the only unmated female in my tribe, but it doesn’t mean I’ve given my heart. I’m waiting. I want resonance, and I won’t settle for anything less.

But when an alien ship lands and a handsome stranger steps out, I know he’s the one. His name’s Mardok and he’s fascinatingly different – and distractingly appealing. But Mardok can’t stay on the ice planet, and he says he can take me with him.

Now, I must make a choice. Do I stay and lose my mate forever? Or do I follow him to the stars and leave behind everything I know?

barbarians-choiceBOOK 11: Barbarian’s Choice   5 STARS

All my questions were finally answered. How long have the Sa-Khui been there? How would their computer know English resembling anything we speak today? What is the spur for? And Dixon answered them all perfectly. As someone who majored in English and studied the way language evolves over time, I particularly liked that the new messakh that land aren’t speaking the same language, and what the Sa-Khui speak is called Old Sakh and is probably as understandable as Old English is to us. But mostly, I liked that with the arrival of a space ship that is more than capable of taking everyone away, we get to experience the dilemma of people who have never had a choice of being here, finally getting to decide if this is truly the place they want to call home. And I was on the edge of my seat wanting to know how it would all turn out. Of course I’ve always loved Farli, she’s always a delight, and now seeing her all grown up was so much fun. Especially considering this is the first view through an unmated female Sa-Khui, and it was kind of hilarious with her very straight forward approach to love when it comes to making the moves on Mardok.However, Mardok was really the interesting POV, with his interactions with his crew and the build up of whether they are there to truly help or will they end up betraying the tribe for their own gain? Altogether, this book might be the most satisfying of all the stories, in that instead of adding more questions, we finally get the full truth about these aliens, even if we are left with a cliffhanger that makes you really wonder how Dixon will handle the next book.

The Diary of an Immortal

The Diary of an Immortal  by  David J. Castello  description:

THE DIARY OF AN IMMORTAL (1945–1959) is the story of twenty-one-year-old U.S. Army combat medic Steven Ronson, a man who escapes the constant inundation and threat of death in World War Two after he discovers an immortality formula designed for Adolf Hitler during the liberation of the Dachau concentration camp in April of 1945.

Steven begins consuming the immortality formula and, after realizing that aging and death no longer control his life, travels to Manhattan to realize his childhood dream of becoming a jazz saxophonist on 52nd Street. The immortality formula gives him supernatural powers and fantastic musical abilities. His performance catches the attention of a disgraced British missionary and his adopted niece who knew the Buddhist monks in China that have guarded the original formula for thousands of years.

After a series of disturbing and prophetic visions, Steven accepts an invitation from the ex-missionary to journey to Xian. In a mountain monastery outside of the city, Steven discovers the incredible truth about the formula and the monks, and the interstellar origins of Jesus Christ and the human race. But time is running out−the German occultists who helped bring Hitler to power in the 1930s have selected another Aryan messiah, and this time he has the formula. Steven cannot allow the nightmare he experienced in Germany to happen again.

thediaryofanimmortal-frontcoverThe Diary of an Immortal   4 STARS

The book description I originally read didn’t mention “the interstellar origins of Jesus”, and so I was a little upset by that discovery. If someone messing with the truth of your religion bothers you, then I wouldn’t recommend this book. It was especially frustrating considering it had no purpose within the plot, when everything else is tied together so perfectly. However, before then it was a good book that I did enjoy, and after it was a challenge for me, but I decided I did want to see it through to the end for this review. Beyond that, I liked Castello’s approach to immortality, with it being basically a virus always at war with your mortal views on life and emotion. Changing how the person approaches everything around them now that life has no constraints on them. Plus, the way he used actual events in history, and built upon the cult following of the book The Coming Race during WWII by groups of Nazis, was truly fascinating. Not only are you entertained, but you learn a lot of about history, got to give Castello credit for that. Steven was also a very interesting character, and the way he viewed the world and the reason behind his choosing to be immortal and attempting to live that life all felt so real. More so, because he’s not the only immortal out there, and learning the truth about the pills, and seeing how it has affected others, was just so captivating. I loved the world, and the people, and his style of writing was very thorough so that you get the full view, but don’t feel like you’re bogged down in too much description or facts. Altogether, it was worth the read, even if I can’t get above my raising and hate the screwing with my beliefs bit.

Just a Kiss

BOOK 1: Falling Like Snowflakes  by Denise Hunter

BOOK 2: The Goodbye Bride

Just a Kiss   description:

Riley Callahan’s plans to reveal his secret feelings for his best friend are derailed when his life is drastically altered in Afghanistan.

Watching the love of his life fall for his brother was enough to send Riley straight to boot camp. But over a year later, he’s officially a marine, and Beau and Paige are no longer an item. When Riley’s tour in Afghanistan is up, he intends to confess his feelings to Paige and win his best friend’s heart once and for all.

But all that changes when an IED takes the life of a comrade and leaves Riley an amputee. Now he’s heading home, injured and troubled. His plans to win Paige are a distant dream. She deserves so much more than the man that’s left. All he can do now is put some healthy distance between them. But upon his return he discovers his family has arranged for him to stay with Paige.

Paige is a nurturer at heart and happy to take care of her best buddy. By all appearances Riley is adjusting miraculously well to his disability. But as the days pass, Paige begins to see that the smiles and laughter are just a mask for the pain he’s hiding. To make matters worse, her job is in serious jeopardy. The animal shelter that she’s poured her heart into has lost its funding, and she has three months to come up with the money needed to save it.

As the weeks wear on, Paige’s feelings for Riley begin to shift into uncharted territory. Why is she suddenly noticing his arm muscles and the way his lips curl at the corners? Will she be able to deny her feelings for another Callahan brother? And will Riley let his heart heal so he can let Paige in?

kissBOOK 3: Just a Kiss   4 STARS

This book was a lot more about the romance than the other 2 books. No woman on the run or woman with amnesia, just 2 people trying to figure out how to make the love thing work. Though, it always irritates me when people act like it’s crazy for best friends to fall in love, like you love spending all your time with the one person who understands you better than anyone else in the world, and yet you don’t think a relationship would work? Doesn’t make sense. Regardless of that, I think Hunter did a good job of capturing the struggles Riley was going through after not only losing his leg, but also seeing the horrors of war. His character really felt rounded out, and the journey was a good one that focused on a lot of different things a person like that may need to go through when they come home. However, Paige felt a bit repetitive at times, and the whole Darleen scene felt a little too contrived even for a romance novel. Paige did feel realistic, it’s just that I think Hunter could’ve found different ways of approaching her issues or have her deal with them, honestly there did feel like the book might have needed one more read through on the editing end. In the end, though, this book did a great job of rounding out the series, and I’d love to find more by her.

Lastly, and it’s not a knock against the book exactly, it did bother me that the fact that Riley came out of the military disabled, and yet none of his benefits were mentioned. Like getting disability or the GI Bill, which would’ve helped with some of the complaints he had when trying to readjust to the civilian life. Like needing money, and not having a degree. Then again, even some veterans don’t take advantage of these benefits, or even seem to realize they’re available, so I can’t completely fault Hunter for not mentioning these facts.

The Target

BOOK 1: The Innocent  by  David Baldacci

BOOK 2: The Hit

The Target  description:

The President knows it’s a perilous, high-risk assignment. If he gives the order, he has the opportunity to take down a global menace, once and for all. If the mission fails, he would face certain impeachment, and the threats against the nation would multiply. So the president turns to the one team that can pull off the impossible: Will Robie and his partner, Jessica Reel.

Together, Robie and Reel’s talents as assassins are unmatched. But there are some in power who don’t trust the pair. They doubt their willingness to follow orders. And they will do anything to see that the two assassins succeed, but that they do not survive.

As they prepare for their mission, Reel faces a personal crisis that could well lead old enemies right to her doorstep, resurrecting the ghosts of her earlier life and bringing stark danger to all those close to her. And all the while, Robie and Reel are stalked by a new adversary: an unknown and unlikely assassin, a woman who has trained her entire life to kill, and who has her own list of targets–a list that includes Will Robie and Jessica Reel.

targetBOOK 3: The Target  4 STARS

While this series is called the Will Robie series, it’s now being a bit taken over by Jessica Reel, but Chung-Cha ultimately stole the show. I understand somewhat why some people said there was too much going on in here, there really was 2 different stories going on. However, Baldacci does a great job of balancing both tales, and having them flow together so that neither end was left for too long so it kept the story moving along well and coherently. Also, it was great to get a better understanding of Reel, and really see her grow and change through this story. Just hoping they’ll do the same thing for Robie. But like I said, Chung-Cha just goes to show what a great writer Baladacci is. Someone so cold and uncaring, who kills people without a thought for a government she doesn’t even like should’ve came across as sadistic and evil as the tyranny that created her. Instead you spend the whole book hoping someone will save her from that life somehow. Although, the Nazis that pop up will feel your quota of pure evil enough for any book. As much as the spy work and intense situations that keep popping up through these stories help keep you turning pages, it was really the character growth and their own personal journy that made me love this book so much.

The Dark Hills Divide

The Dark Hills Divide  by  Patrick Carman   description:

The Dark Hills Divide introduces readers to Alexa Daley, who annually visits the town of Bridewell. Alexa is curious about what lies beyond the massive ramparts that surround the city and the walled roads that link Bridewell to nearby towns; soon after town leader Thomas Warvold passes away, Alexa finds herself outside the walls, acquires a stone with remarkable powers, and discovers that she’s meant to stop a potential war from occurring.

dark hillsBOOK 1: The Dark Hills Divide    4 STARS

I can’t help that sometimes I like these sort of books because it’s just all about the adventure. A simple and fun adventure of a girl who wants to know what’s beyond the walls, and is clever enough to figure out how to escape. My one problem with the book is that everyone talks about how much Warvold meant to everyone, and Alexa loved him and was close to him, and yet there was no real grieving from anyone. I understand that  might have been a bit too serious for this book and that’s why Carman moved on quickly from it, but it felt a bit unbelievable how quickly it all moved on. However, once you get on past that there’s a lot of fun for a young reader to find, and I liked seeing how Alexa grew and matured through the story in figuring out who to trust, and when to tell people about what was going on. There might have been a few things I found a bit of a stretch, but I feel it’s more because I’m an adult and this isn’t aimed at me. This is for kids, who just want to enjoy the tales of a girl who gains the ability to talk to animals and learns of dangers that are threatening everything she loves.