1. Nyssa Glass and the House of Mirrors by H. L. Burke ***** – The opening to Nyssa Glass and the House of Mirrors was amazing. We meet Nyssa Glass a reformed thief working as a mechanic of sorts when a mysterious man shows us demanding she performs one last heist and he won’t turn over evidence on an unsolved crime involving her. When she refuses things get ugly very quickly and Nyssa is now running for her life. This opening was just so action packed I wondering where Burke could keep the pace up even in such a short novel.
2. Of Poseidon by Anna Banks ***** – The opening chapters to this novel were divine, we are introduced to Emma our protagonist staying with her best friend Chloe in Florida before heading back to school. It is here she meet Galan by accident, Galen is a Syrena or mermaid/merman and he believes that Emma is one of them she just doesn’t know it. Galen gets the first glimpse he is right when Emma takes on a shark and wins using some very unconventional methods. From the offset I loved both Emma and Galan as characters but it is a slightly depressing start to a series.
3. BoliviaKnight by Felicia Bridges DNF – The opening to BoliviaKnight was good we meet Peter a young boy living in Santa Cruz who overheard a possible murder taking place, he seeks advice from his father on what he should and faith plays a big part in it. The International Mission Force website that is mentioned allows people to connect online with other missionaries so I have a feeling faith and religion are going to play a massive part in this novel which I wasn’t thrilled about. As I haven’t read the first book in this series I was going into it a little blind and the opening to this novel was good but it didn’t draw me in as much as I was expecting it to. We also meet Esperanza who seems to be a slave or servant for Gerardo in order to pay for her mother’s medicine and these two stories lines intertwine. After Peter and his father report the supposed shooting they are confronted by the gang who committed the crime and this scene was just totally unbelievable. If you were confronted by a deadly gang in real life very few people would actually stand up to or threaten them as it would be the same as signed your own death warrant so this scene was just unrealistic for me. Also the ideas of faith and the divergence from faith are big theme that I just didn’t like.
4. Schooled for Murder by Cindy Muir ** – The opening to Schooled for Murder was great we are introduced to our protagonist Laurel who is your average soccer mom who has a degree in journalism she hasn’t used for years. She is just going about her normal life when she gets the news that the school superintendent has been murdered and almost immediately her investigative brain kicks in and she wants to know more about what happened. As Laurel learns a tiny bit more about the murder the more intrigued she seems to be and I can already tell that she isn’t going to put it down until she knows every single detail about Byron Butler’s death.
5. Lycans: Scent of a Beta by Andrew Burns ***** – This is a collection of 3 short stories; Scent of a Beta 1, 2 & 3. The first story in this collection was surprisingly good. We meet Zane who is a Beta Wolf Shifter and is a member of the Summer pack who comes across a stranded motorist who also happened to be a shifter but not one Zane recognizes. Despite having no obligation to a different pack member Zane helps him in return for his name – which is Evan. Zane saves Evan’s life and is repaid in a sexual way and my god does Burns write an amazing male on male sex scene.
6. Emerge: The Edge by Melissa A. Craven ***** – The opening to Emerge: The Edge was great we once again get to read more about Aiden and Allie, after reading the first book I was super excited to read more from these characters and this world. We meet Aiden after a car accident and heading back to school, Aiden feels isolated by the power he holds as he is possible the most powerful immortal in centuries. And then we have Allie who is travelling with her parents in New Zealand and because she moves around a lot she has very few friends and feels very similar to Aiden.
7. Dragon’s First Christmas by Emily Martha Sorensen ***** – The opening chapter to Dragon’s First Christmas was great, we see Virgil lighting Rose and Henry’s Christmas tree on fire. Virgil is Deinonychus antirrhopus baby dragon who hatched out of an egg at a museum who now lives with Henry and Rose. Despite this being a very short story I found myself really enjoying the story. Rose and Henry are struggle to cope with raising a baby dragon for the sake of science but after the burning of the Christmas tree both parents begin to fear for their health and safety but they do love him very much.
8. Alien Tentacle Chronciles Deep Space by River Style **** – The opening to this book bundle was amazing we meet Aja who is an earthling working as an engineer of some sort on ships in space, on one of her missions they come across an alien who helps them in return they take the alien back to their ship. The alien is called four circles and speaks in sign rather than in words which I found to be a really interesting concept. Four is integrated into the human ship and “he” and Aja eventually learns to communicate effectively. We see a bond from between the inter-species pair when Four’s people leave him behind and Aja cries for his loss. While the story was good I did find the sex scene to be quite strange and you really have to wrap your head around a lot of things to fully appreciate the scene fully.
9. The Carnival Keepers by Amber Gulley – DNF – It’s 1879, and James – a time-wasting escapist – is trying to win a bet. His challenges include buying a lighthouse, hosting a séance, and spending the night with his father’s prize-winning stallion in a notoriously haunted attic. But the Carnival is in town for the All Hallows’ Eve celebrations, and the London fog has other ideas for James. Something vicious is waiting in the shadows, ready to lead him towards a destiny he could never have imagined.
10. Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland ***** – The opening of Our Chemical Hearts was amazing, we are introduced to Henry who is your average highschool senior film buff who is just going about his normal day fantasizing about what it would be like to fall in love when he sees Grace. Grace is everything a young woman shouldn’t be she dresses in men’s clothes, look grunge like and walks with a cane and Henry thinks he would never fall in love with a girl like this but from that first moment he can’t stop thinking about her. I love the fact that Henry drops a lot of HP references and thinking of the pairing he likens himself and Grace to made me laugh so hard I was crying. I also really enjoyed the fact they are quite awkward with each other in person but they talk a lot easier online which is the case for a lot of teens.
11. A Death’s Awakening by C. E. Wilson ***** – The opening to A Death’s Awakening was amazing, we are introduced to Hadley who is followed by Death wherever she goes. One day she meets Hunter – he is death personified – and I really like the fact her was a little person it made the encounter they had in the tree a lot more funny than it should have been. Although when Hadley and Hunter meet again he is far taller than when we initially meet him.
12. Ink by Amanda Sun ***** – The opening to Ink was great we meet Katie who is living in Japan with a friend of her family after the death of her mother. It is on a normal school day that she overhears a breakup between Yuu and Myu and she notices something strange, Yuu’s drawings move like they are alive. Now this was an unique concept I hadn’t seen before and I was really intrigued, I liked Katie as a character because she is very lively but also very self-conscious because she doesn’t speak the language very well and is still trying to integrate herself to Japanese society.
13. Provocative by Lisa Renee Jones ***** – The opening to Provocative was amazing, we are introduced to Nick and Faith at a charity event. Nick is there to prove Faith killed his father and possibly her own mother but he finds himself intrigued and aroused by Faith and starts to pursue her for a totally different reason than when he arrived. I also really like the dual perspectives in this novel as it provides vital insight into each characters thoughts and emotions.
14. Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh ***** – After reading The wrath & the dawn and The rose & the dagger I was extremely excited to see what Renee Ahdieh had in store for us next with this retelling of The Ballad of Mulan. The opening of Flame in the Mist was amazing, we see a traditional ritual called seppuku which is meant to provide an honorable death for disgraced samurai where a young boy watches his father’s death and is intrigued by a young girl passing. Then we suddenly jump to ten years later where we meet Mariko who is travelling to meet the second son of the Emperor; her future husband. One thing that is key in this novel is a decent understanding of Eastern culture and traditions at the time this novel is supposed to be set. On her way to meet the Emperor she is attacked and left for dead but rather than go home she transforms herself in order to find out who ordered the attack and keep her family’s honor safe.
15. The White Aura by Felicia Tatum ***** – The opening to The White Aura was great, we are following Scott and Olivia. Olivia keeps having vivid and sometimes steamy dreams about a mysterious man she has never met. We learn that Scott is a very powerful sorcerer and Olivia is his heart mate but because of a powerful curse he can’t meet her before her 18th birthday or she will die, we also see he uses his ability of dream walking in order to invade her dreams. I loved the dual perspectives in the novel as well learn more about the characters individually rather than as a couple which is a common trope in YA novels.
16. Rewind by Keisha E. Pearson ***** – The opening chapter to Rewind was good we meet Angelique Collins an famous actress who has split from her famous football star husband Duncan 5 years ago and is trying to move on with her life as she heads for a vacation and its at the airport she runs into several people she knew in her younger years. I found the writing style in this novel simple and very easy to read which made the pages fly by so fast.
17. Alan Rickman: A Legendary Actor by Philippe Gairaud *** – As a non-fiction review this is will slightly different to my average review. I picked this book up purely because I love Alan Rickman and wanted to know more about the man behind the legend that was Severus Snape. This book very short but I loved it nonetheless. We get some background on Alan which I enjoyed especially since he started as an Art Major while performing in amateur theater where he met his wife Rima Horton for the first time.
18. Black Dawn by Mallory McCartney **** – The prologue to Black Dawn was amazing we meet Emory Fae during a power outage when as strange man she seems to know enters her apartment and attacks her. We also met Brokk who is a solider of the Black Dawn group who are in the middle of a war. We then change perspective to that of Memphis who is the Commander of the Black Dawn group, I love novel with dual or multiple perspectives because we see the novel from various viewpoints and it gives us a more rounded opinion on the story. The Black Dawn Rebellion seem to be fighting against the reign of a man called Adair. We learn that Emory is a key figure in this rebellion but years ago Brokk and Memphis wiped her memory and left her on Earth away from their world to protect her from Adair and now they are going to use her as the face of the rebellion in order to reclaim their world.
19. Escorted by Claire Kent ***** – The opening to Escorted was great we meet Lori was is a famous romance novelist who is still a virgin and decides to hire a escort named Ander to take care of her problem. When they meet properly for the first time the character’s reactions are perfect; Lori is tense and extremely anxious about is going to happen as a virgin would be while Ander is completely at ease and does everything he can to help Lori relax. The first sex scene we see isn’t a full scene as it is in most erotic fiction but rather Ander talks and guides Lori through her first experience of oral sex and orgasm.
20. Alpha by Jasminda Wilder ***** – The opening to Alpha was beautiful we meet Kyrie St. Claire who has just been let go from her job and the sexually harassed by her ex-boss, she is also behind on every bill possible including her rent and her very ill mother’s hospital bills when she receives a mysterious check in the mail for $10,000. She doesn’t know who sent it the only clues are the P.O. address and company name VR Inc both of which are dead ends. Over the next few month Kyrie receives more checks each with a note spelling “you belong to me” – she is worried about this statement but considering she owes more than she could ever hope to repay she just goes with it. A year after the checks first started arriving a man called Harris turns up on her doorstep to collect her on behalf of his employer who has been sending her the checks.
21. The Black Room: Door One by Jasinda Wilder & Jade London *** – The opening to the Black Room: Door One was great we meet an unnamed female protagonist who wakes up with no idea who is she. The room where she is lying is pitch black except for a single candle, as she explores so comes across nothing note worthy except a single black door.
22. Rock Hard by Lucia Jordan **** – The opening to Rock Hard was great we meet Dallas who is returning home to Texas from Italy. As she arrives at her father’s home she is getting by the sight of two old friends: Cole Smith and Zane Blake and her brother Peyton. We learn that Cole, Zane and Dallas have a lot of history together and both young men appreciate the fine young woman Dallas has turned into.
23. Naughty by Lucia Jordan *** – This is the second short story I have read by Lucia Jordan, we meet Lexie and Alex at a wedding rehearsal which is more of a college reunion. Lexie is the best friend of the bride and Alex is the best man, and clear both characters are extremely attracted to one another but Lexie refused to go for coffee with Alex when he asks because she feels he is a bit of a player. She also finds his admission that he has liked her for years slightly insincere.
24. The Black Room: Door Three by Jasinda Wilder **** – After reading The Black Room: Door One I was intrigued to read more in this series and while I’d recommend reading them in order each can be read as a stand alone. We rejoin our unnamed woman who we learn is called Hannah Tavistock with a man called Conrad who purchased her as they make a horseback journey through the wilderness. As they take refuge in a cave they are joined by a second man Charlie Markham who takes an unhealthy interest in Hannah but Conrad refuses to sell her again.
25. Preacher’s Son: Unbound by Jasinda Wilder **** – The opening to Preacher’s Son was great, we meet Shea and Timothy also known as Tre. Shea had left her rich husband Dan for a quiet life in Mississippi, while Tre is a preacher’s son, he is also very innocent but the attraction between the pair can be seen from the second they lay eyes on one another.
26. Dec the Holls by Jasinda Wilder ***** – The opening to Dec the Holls was great as it gives off a realistic but optimistic version of the Christmas spirit. We meet Holly and Declan Montrose who is her boss at Montrose Logistics. Neither of them have got the Christmas holidays off to a good start Holly’s car has broken down in below freezing weather, dislocated her fingers and embarrassed herself in front of her boss in than a few hours. While Dec is spending Christmas alone after his girlfriend ran off with her ex-best friend. On the way to drop Holly home they make a pit stop at a diner where Holly realises she fancies her boss and he does enjoy teasing her about her blushing.
27. Delilah’s Diary #1: A Sexy Journey by Jasinda Wilder **** – The opening of Delilah’s diary was hilariously funny while being heart breaking at what was happening but I could stop laughing because it is exactly what I would have done in the same situation. She finds out that her husband Harry has been cheating on her with numerous women for the entirety of their marriage including with her own sister. In retaliation Delilah empties their bank account of $20,000 and buys a one way ticket to Chicago.
28. Black Dawn by William Blackwell ***** – The prologue to Black Dawn was amazing it had a massive fantasy element and reminds me of the way the Greek Gods interact in the Percy Jackson series but with a much darker undertone. I really liked Kalfu and his mischievous and slightly devious nature and hope we see more of him later on in the novel. In the first chapter of the novel we meet Saul in his black hole a life on Prince Edward Island (which is a regular setting for some for Blackwell’s novels). He is an alcoholic with a lot debt and numerous regrets but still doesn’t seem to give a damn about his current life. We learn that Saul has a girlfriend Joella whom he had meet during a holiday in the Dominican Republic, his true love and he can’t even hold on to that.
29. Let me touch by Lucia Jordan **** – The opening to Let me touch was amazing we meet Chardonnay as she is preparing to go on a blind date with a guy named Stevan. When Chardonnay arrives at the bar where Stevan its waiting she sees two guys holding white roses but is instantly drawn to the handsome and mysterious Stevan. Stevan turns out to be quite the gentleman with a great sense of humor and he lulls Chardonnay into actually enjoying their date. I also like Cecily as a character because her personality is the direct opposite to Chardonnay making them a great pairing for friends.
30. Get Naked by Lucia Jordan *** – The opening to Get Naked was great we meet Carrie and Gabriel who are both working at the same software company of which Gabriel owns 80%, Carrie is working on some software Gabriel knows is going to fail again whereas Carrie disagrees. The pair make a bet where if the software fails Carrie has to be Gabriel’s submissive for a week.
31. Battle Royale by Koushun Takami **** – In the near future, there is a group of countries ruled by an unseen dictator called The Greater Republic of East Asia. Many things such as rock music and even certain imported shoes are banned and can only be bought through the black market. Every two years the “government” holds a competion simply called The Program. Every school in the country is entered in a lottery to compete on the Program. The winner will never have to pay for anything for the rest of his life.If the player lose the competion…he dies! The program is a battle to the death that pits friend against friend and classmate against classmate. The students are supplied with food,water, a map, a watch, and a randomly selected weapon.
32. A thousand nights by E K Johnston **** – The opening to A Thousand Nights was amazing we see our protagonist sacrifice herself to the King Lo-Melkhiin who has murdered 300 wives in order to protect her older, more beautiful sister from becoming his next victim was which heart breaking all in the first 20 pages. We also see a malevolent force or being behind the scenes that doesn’t want war or suffering it just takes what it wants, this can vary from a skill to a person.
33. The Guardian’s Balance by Scott Schroeder **** – The opening to the Guardian’s Balance was good we meet Kain who is a Hunter of the Order were which basically means he is a highly trained killer. A hunters job is to hunt and destroy all manner of fantastical creature for example mermaids, fae and creatures known as Lich. Kain recently had a run in with a Lich leaving him not only with scars but some supernatural abilities he keeps hidden. When Kain meets the Huntsmaster Erik by personal invitation he knows something serious is happening. He is told of mysterious things happening in the New World and that a sin-eater was sent out as a scout and return catatonic and near insane which is why Kain is being sent out to investigate further.This opening chapter was really difficult for me to read and confusing as well. It reads more like a second book in a series would read. We are introduced to the Order, mystical beings like Lich and are given little or no description of them or what they are capable of, it is like the author expects us to know these things. Another issue I had was we are given no background on the society all we know is that the story is set in 1591 AD and little else making us the reader work extremely hard to understand what should be basic information.
34. The Princess, The Pea & The Night of Passion by Rosetta Bloom **** – The opening to The Princess, The Pea & The Night of Passion was great we meet Prince Richard who is seeking out Lionel`s daughter so he can cure his randiness he is stuck in the castle due to a storm when Adara Tafweek; a princess from another kingdom arrives to seek shelter from the downpour. We learn that Adara has fled from her home after being arranged to marry an old Sultan with several other wives and she is looking for someone who loves and wants her alone.
35. Pierced by Sydney Landon ***** – The opening to Pierced was great we meet Lucian looking for a date to avoid Monique Chandler an ex-conquest who has her eyes set on Lucian again. Lucian`s best friend Aidan suggests hiring a date to keep Monique off his back to which he agrees. We then change perspective to that of Lia who I assume is going to be the female lead in this story. Lia very early on in the story is extremely well developed we learn she is in her final year at university and does the escorting for tuition money although she doesn’t do the sexual side. This could be because she suffered years of sexual abuse at the hands of step father Jim and he neglectful mother ignored her pleas for help but she has good friends like Rose to support her.
36. Champion by Marie Lu **** – After waiting to read Champion for so long, because I was putting it off because of the mixed reviews about this conclusion but I am very glad I did read it because I wasn’t disappointed, Champion is everything a dystopian finale should be—full of heart-pounding danger, complicated emotions and impossible decisions for the characters we’ve grown to love. When we begin Champion, we find Day and June a bit out of their element. They’ve given their support to Anden as the new Elector to the Republic, and it has changed their lives dramatically. Day is a celebrity, no longer cowering in the shadows with the Patriots, but living in comfort and trying to keep a low profile with his brother Eden, all while nursing a dark secret. June is the Princeps-Elect, no longer patrolling the streets as part of the Republic’s military forces, but spending her days trailing Anden and attending Senate meetings full of political bickering.
37. Buying the Virgin 1-5 by Simone Leigh ***** – The first book The Virgin: Auctioned was amazing, we meet Charlotte who is auctioning her virginity and her body for one week to the highest bidder in order to put herself through college after the collapse of her marriage. Her new Master tells her she can make even more money by allowing him to share her with others during their week which is eventually agrees to. I thought this was a great opening scene to the story and a great opening to the series. James her Master does agree to share her but on their first night together its just them as he takes her virginity and introduced her to the wonders and pleasures of sex. James isn’t cruel or rough with Charlotte in fact he does everything and anything he can to help with her nerves and he even tells her what he is doing so nothing surprises her.
38. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J K Rowling ***** – The opening to this book was amazing as we rejoin Harry at the Dursley’s waiting patiently to return to Hogwarts once more. I love Harry as a character and re-reading his adventures as an adult give me so much more joy than as a child as we can understand the more subtle messages interwoven throughout the novel. I have to say even though I was less than 10% into the re-read one of my favorite scenes in this book that makes me laugh out loud was when Harry blows up Marge – this happens to be my favorite scene in the movie as well. I also liked the awkward scenes between Harry and Fudge as this is the first book that will highlight Fudge’s decline and steep descent into denial later on in the series.