Monday, March 28, 2011

Review: The Restorer by Amanda Stevens

The Restorer (Graveyard Queen)Title: The Restorer (Graveyard Queen #1)
Author: Amanda Stevens
Release Date: April 19, 2011
Paperback: 384 pages
Reading Level: Adult
My Copy: Net Galley
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 wicked hearts

Blurb (from

My name is Amelia Gray. I’m a cemetery restorer who sees ghosts. In order to protect myself from the parasitic nature of the dead, I’ve always held fast to the rules passed down from my father. But now a haunted police detective has entered my world and everything is changing, including the rules that have always kept me safe.

It started with the discovery of a young woman’s brutalized body in an old Charleston graveyard I’ve been hired to restore. The clues to the killer—and to his other victims— lie in the headstone symbolism that only I can interpret. Devlin needs my help, but his ghosts shadow his every move, feeding off his warmth, sustaining their presence with his energy. To warn him would be to invite them into my life. I’ve vowed to keep my distance, but the pull of his magnetism grows ever stronger even as the symbols lead me closer to the killer and to the gossamer veil that separates this world from the next.

My quick wicked thoughts...In one word...spooky!  This book was a surprisingly haunted tale that kept me up late at night!

Why I was tempted to read this...I liked the blurb and thought I would give it a shot.

Cover thoughts...Spooky, just like the book!

Romance meter...There is some definite attraction between Amelia and Devlin but it was on the side of everything that was happening around them.  It was enough to keep you interested and wondering but didn't overpower the story and make the book about relationships and sex.

Characters and plot...Amelia learned from a young age that she could see ghosts and her father told her the rules associated with that to keep her safe...

Never acknowledge the dead
Never stray far from hallowed ground
Never associate with those who are haunted
Never, ever tempt fate

My father's rules. I've never broken them...until now

When she meets Devlin he is followed around by two ghosts and she know she should avoid him like the plague but feels so drawn to him that she has trouble following that rule.  When bodies start turning up in a graveyard that she is restoring, they are thrown together trying to piece together motives and suspects.  This book is spooky, the eerie ghosts popping up and then things they do keeps the hair on the back of your neck standing at attention.  I have found very few books that actually spook me but this was one of them.  The characters are well written and engaging and I found myself immersed in this book and I didn't want to quit reading.  If you are a fan of spooky stories, pick this book up!

The left wide open for the next book.  There are a lot of loose strings that I want to know what is going on with...but I guess I will have to wait until I get the next book! Here is the timeline:

The Graveyard Queen Series:
Prequel: The Abandoned (April 2011)
Book I: The Restorer (May 2011)
Book II: The Kingdom (November 2011)
Book III: The Prophet (May 2012)

Friday, March 25, 2011

Review: Mercy by Rebecca Lim

Mercy. Rebecca Lim

Title: Mercy
Author: Rebecca Lim
Release Date: April 2011
Paperback: 288 pages
Reading Level: YA
My Copy: NetGalley
My Rating: 4 out of 5 wicked hearts
Blurb (from

Mercy 'wakes' on a school bus bound for Paradise, a small town where everyone knows everyone else's business...or thinks they do. But Mercy has a secret life. She is an angel, doomed to return repeatedly to Earth, taking on a new 'persona' each time she does, in an effort to resolve a cataclysmic rift between heavenly beings. The first of a new series sees Mercy meeting Ryan, an eighteen-year-old whose sister was kidnapped two years ago and is presumed dead. When another girl is also kidnapped, Mercy knows she has to act quickly and use extraordinary powers to rescue her, even if it means exposing her true identity. 

My quick wicked thoughts...An interesting read that pretty much keeps you in the dark the whole book...slow to start but hard to put down at the end.

Why I was tempted to read this...I thought the blurb about it sounded good and was something a little different

Cover thoughts...It is pretty good...sorta bland.

Romance meter...Eh...not so much romance as build up for possibly the next book, but anything could happen in the next books, so who knows!

Characters and plot...Mercy has gone from body to body for longer than she can remember and only has brief memories of prior bodies.  The blurb says she is an angel but that information was never fully disclosed in the book, so I am hoping to learn more about that in the following book.  This book started out slow for me and I had a hard time staying with it...but I am glad I did because the ending was good and had lots of action.  You get involved in the storyline and are rooting for Mercy and Ryan to figure out who kidnapped his sister.  Mercy and Ryan grow closer but just as they get to a point where the romance would come in....bam..end of book LOL  Surprisingly, this didn't bother me (and I am a huge romance buff) because the plot was twisted enough to keep me interested.

The ending...Cliffhanger...but once you start the book and see the way things play out...that wouldn't exactly be a surprise for you.  Exile is the 2nd book in the series with a release date of June 9, 2011.  It is already on my TBR list!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Review: Die for Me by Amy Plum

Die for Me
Title: Die for Me
Author: Amy Plum
Release Date: May 1, 2011
Hardcover: 352 pages
Reading Level: YA
My Copy: NetGalley
My rating: 4.5 out of 5 wicked hearts

Blurb from

In the City of Lights, two star-crossed lovers battle a fate that is destined to tear them apart again and again for eternity.

When Kate Mercier's parents die in a tragic car accident, she leaves her life--and memories--behind to live with her grandparents in Paris. For Kate, the only way to survive her pain is escaping into the world of books and Parisian art. Until she meets Vincent.

Mysterious, charming, and devastatingly handsome, Vincent threatens to melt the ice around Kate's guarded heart with just his smile. As she begins to fall in love with Vincent, Kate discovers that he's a revenant--an undead being whose fate forces him to sacrifice himself over and over again to save the lives of others. Vincent and those like him are bound in a centuries-old war against a group of evil revenants who exist only to murder and betray. Kate soon realizes that if she follows her heart, she may never be safe again.

In this incandescent debut, newcomer Amy Plum has created a powerful paranormal mythology with immortal revenants. The Paris setting comes enchantingly alive as a relentless struggle between good and evil takes place in its streets. Rich with romance, atmosphere, and thrills, Die for Me will leave readers breathlessly awaiting its sequel. 

My quick wicked thoughts...I DEVOURED this book, the romance and action kept me enthralled until the end.

Why I was tempted to read this...I read the blurb and thought it was a book I would enjoy and I was right on this one!

Cover thoughts...There have been two covers floating around, and the one posted on my review is my favorite...dark and romantic with amazing colors.

Romance meter...the romance was definitely there and picked up quickly only to break your heart near the middle of the book....but no worries my fellow romance lovers, everyone comes to their senses and things get to be as they should be.

Characters and plot...Kate is a totally likable character and her sister plays a major role in the book also...and while she is more shallow than Kate, you know she has a good heart.  Paris is everything I wanted it to be in this book, having never had the opportunity to my head it is quaint and romantic with a little bit of danger on the side.  Vincent, the love interest, is of course to die for in the looks department...but had a unique ability in being a revenant.  The idea of people out there trying to save humans because they are compelled to do so is a unique one and I really enjoyed delving into that world.  The author covers a lot of issues involved in that "profession" to make it seem logical.  I had a hard time putting this book down, it was just what I was looking for this week!

The ending...It wrapped up nicely with a few loose strings that will make you desire to read the next in the series...just no major cliffhanger that makes you want to beat your head against the wall...thank goodness ha ha.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Review: Starcrossed ARC by Josephine Angelini


Title: Starcrossed
Author: Josephine Angelini
Hardcover: 496 pages
Reading Level: YA
My Copy: NetGalley
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 wicked hearts

Blurb (from

How do you defy destiny?
Helen Hamilton has spent her entire sixteen years trying to hide how different she is—no easy task on an island as small and sheltered as Nantucket. And it's getting harder. Nightmares of a desperate desert journey have Helen waking parched, only to find her sheets damaged by dirt and dust. At school she's haunted by hallucinations of three women weeping tears of blood . . . and when Helen first crosses paths with Lucas Delos, she has no way of knowing they're destined to play the leading roles in a tragedy the Fates insist on repeating throughout history.
As Helen unlocks the secrets of her ancestry, she realizes that some myths are more than just legend. But even demigod powers might not be enough to defy the forces that are both drawing her and Lucas together—and trying to tear them apart. 

 My quick wicked thoughts...Beautifully written, magical, mythology-packed, forbidden romance!

Why I was tempted to read this...The cover really caught my eye and the premise sounded great.

Cover thoughts...Amazing...I didn't actually see this scene in the book but it captures the mythological element of the book.

Romance meter...Forbidden and then determined...and then forbidden even more! There was a lot of spark between Helen and Lucas.

Characters and plot...Helen grows as a character as she learns more about her heritage and discovers her powers.  Her sidekick, Claire, is just and awesome best friend, I really enjoyed their interaction.  Lucas is of course swoon-worthy but a good guy that is incredibly likeable.  All the characters mesh thru the twists and turns of the plot and keeps the book interesting.  Loved the Greek mythology.

Can't wait for the 2nd in the series!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

REVIEW: Betrayal (Haunting Emma #2) by Lee Nichols

Betrayal (Haunting Emma)

Title: Betrayal
Author: Lee Nichols
Paperback: 288 pages
Reading Level: YA
My Copy: Book it Forward Tours
My rating: 4 out of 5 wicked hearts

Blurb (from

Emma Vaile is the most powerful ghostkeeper in centuries. Which is great when she's battling the wraith-master Neos, but terrible when she's flirting with fellow ghostkeeper (and soul mate) Bennett. When ghostkeepers fall in love, the weaker one loses all power, and that's not something Bennett can handle. Heartbroken and alone, Emma tries to lose herself in school with fellow ghostkeeper, Natalie. When a new team of ghostkeepers arrive-one a snarky teen
boy, the other a British scholar-Emma finds solace in training for the battle against Neos. But as the team grows stronger, they are threatened by an unknown force. One they thought was good.
As chilling and page-turning as Deception, this sequel will grab readers and hold them to the last page. No one is safe from suspicion as Emma closes in on the traitor.

My quick wicked thoughts...A worthy follow up to Deception that will keep you looking forward to #3, Surrender out in December 2011.

Why I was tempted to read this...I absolutely loved Deception, there was no question I would read it!

Cover thoughts...Nothing totally wowing, but along the same line as Deception.

Romance meter...Sadly, not as intense as Deception. Bennett and Emma realize they can't be together so there was a lot of time apart...but to spice things up...enter Lukas.

Characters and plot...Emma really grows as a character in this novel once she is separated from Bennett.  Emma is really kick-butt in the book and has you rooting for her.  The characters all develop well and keep you entertained. I did like this book slightly less than the first one because of the decrease in romance, but it was still a page-turner.

The ending...just like the last book....cliffhanger! Grr...come on Surrender!
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