Phoenix Angel – A. Gerry and C. Hall

My Review – Phoenix Angel was given to me to read for my review and let me just start by
saying how amazed I am that two people could teamwork it though an entire book
together successfully. Not to mention that they are sisters! I can get along
with anyone in just about any situation, but there is no way that I would be
able to sit and write a novel with someone without that person mysteriously
disappearing. That goes double where a sibling is involved (not that I don’t
love my sister dearly). Gerry and Hall pulled it off beautifully!

Phoenix
Angel had my full attention within the first 50 pages. After that I couldn’t put
down. When I had about 70 pages to go, I wished that I had the next novel lined
up and ready because I knew it was going to kill me to wait for it. And it still
might!

Maggie is a beautiful high school girl scorned by a football
player. Since the experience she’s become closed off and nasty to her fellow
classmates, especially if they’re in a certain popular crowd. Her best friend,
however, is the other side of the coin. Loved by all and on every school
planning board, Lily, always has a sunny disposition and is always smiling. Lily
more or less keeps Maggie (and her mouth) in check. Friends since they were
babies, they have a deep, sisterly bond.

There’s a new guy in school with
calendar-guy good looks and is easily the best player on the football team. Kyle
has instant fame. The guys all worship him and the girls are falling at his
feet. However, he has eyes only for quick-tempered Maggie – and she hates him.
In fact, the first time their eyes meet, Maggie becomes violently ill. Lily
thinks that Maggie should give Kyle a chance and Kyle is ever trying to prove to
Maggie that he’s not the typical jock, even saving her from sexual harassment
from the other players and rescuing her from an attack at work. She’s constantly
fighting off his attempts, but he’s relentless. SPOILER ALERT – It all leads up
to the best first kiss I’ve ever read!

Soon after meeting, Maggie, Lily,
and Kyle all develop strange new “talents”. They believe these talents to be the
reason behind a violent attack by large-poison-fanged -telepathic wolves. The
trio resolve to develop their talents to better defend themselves against any
future attacks. Something is obviously after Maggie, and that something is
willing to kill Lily and Kyle to get her.

Soon another new guy shows up
in town and it’s quickly clear that he’s part of whatever is happening with
Maggie, Lily, and Kyle. Friend or foe, Carter joins the trio and discovers that
he has powers as well. Together they fend off a double attack led by a man in
white and a man in black that seem to know them all, but by different names from
a different time. The attack leaves hundreds dead and one of them behind while
the others escape.

The book ends as the perfect set up for a great
series. Maggie, Lily, Kyle, and Carter are part of an ancient battle between
good and evil. We don’t know yet who is on what side. And although I have my
suspicions, I have a feeling that Gerry and Hall have a twist. I can’t wait to
get my hands on the next book!

 

Review by Crystal

Also posted at TheCoverContessa.com, goodreads.com, and amazon.com

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Halflings – Heather Burch

My Review – While I love a good vampire read, the theme is starting to get a little
redundant, so I was very excited when Brooke (thecovercontessa.com) handed me a
copy of Halflings and asked for my unbiased review.

Half angels, a battle
between Heaven and Hell, and invisible realms? Sounds awesome – and it is! I
loved the book (and immediately devoured the 2nd book – Guardian). Action packed
right from the beginning, a love triangle that will bring you to tears, first
kisses to make you melt, and some good ol’ good vs. evil… It’s a hard to put
down.

So here it is: Nikki Youngblood is not your typical 17 year-old.
She’s a motorcycle riding, martial arts competing, daughter of antique weapons
dealers. She can hold her own. Unless of course hellhounds are chasing her
through the woods. In that event, a trio of super hot half-angel boys are just
what a girl needs. Something big is happening, something that she can’t explain,
and she doesn’t know what she has to do with any of it, yet she seems to be
right in the middle of it. Soon it seems that evil is chasing her and Mace,
Raven, and Vine are always there in her hour of need.

She finds love and
safety in Mace’s arms, who risks being sentenced to eternal hell for loving a
mortal. Knowing this, Nikki tries to distance herself from Mace. Raven takes the
opportunity to appeal to Nikki’s darker, more adventurous side. WIth Raven she
feels free and somehow more in control of what’s happening around her. Nikki
finds herself in love with two very different half angles, both of who will
literally burn in hell for being with her. In an effort to save them, Nikki
turns to the only other place she can go – her mysterious godfather, Damon
Vessler.

Damon offers Nikki an escape from the events unfolding around
her, but clearly her halflings do not trust him. There’s something not quite
right about him and the way he looks at Nikki. WiIl and the halflings try to
convince Nikki to leave Damon’s home and to stay with them. Both claim that only
they can protect her from the evil that is after her. Nikki finds that she has
to make a very important decision: Go back to Will and the halflings, fight
whatever is after her, and risk Mace and Raven’s souls, or stay with Damon, who
offers her a safe place to hide, but who she doesn’t trust?

 

Review by Crystal

Also posted at TheCoverContessa.com, goodreads.com, and amazon.com


Ask the Passengers – A. S. King

My Review – I feel like our country is at a great turning point in human rights, with more and more states getting on board and granting same sex marriage rights. This is wonderful for our gay friends and family members, but it can also add additional pressures for gay teenagers to “come out” sooner than they feel ready to. A.S. King takes you into the mind of a teenage girl who is struggling with holding her secret and her best friend’s in a small Pennsylvania town, where breaking the mold is among the worst of sins.  Soon Astrid finds that she cannot keep her worlds from colliding, and she grapples with keeping her feelings hidden while she tries to figure them out herself.  She confesses her thoughts and sends love (and sometimes a philosophical question or two) to the passengers in the airplanes that fly over her picnic table as she lays on it in her backyard, changing the course of a life or two in the process. A beautiful story of family and friendship, the pressures of being gay in a society that does not yet wholly embrace it, and the amazing power of love. Such a great account of the internal battles that a gay teen deals with day to day.

Crystal

Also posted at TheCoverContessa.com, goodreads.com, and amazon.com


Guardian of Time – Vol. 2 of The Shardwell Series – A. Gerry and C. Hall

Guardian of Time

My Review – I was given the first book, Phoenix Angel, to review and I loved it. I was so
excited to be given the second book, The Guardian, for my review as well – which I loved even more than the first one! When does that ever happen?

In Phoenix Angel, we learn that our main characters aren’t who we think they are… twice. In the Guardian, we meet Maggie and Lily again, but this time as Princess Margariete and Esilwen in a different realm, or shard. We learn the backstory of these two characters and the roll they play in the good vs. evil battle that they’re thrust into in the first book. The Guardian really explained a lot of the things that Phoenix Angel more or less just touched on and several
times I had a little “aha moment”. This book kept me on a constant cliffhanger with sometimes jaw dropping twists. The battles, the creatures, the magic, the mystery, the love and the heartbreak, the sacrifices and revelations…. it just kept going and kept getting better. I don’t want to write too much because I don’t want to spoil it for anyone!

I’m a big fan of fantasy books and Gerry and Hall do an amazing job of painting the image of this other shard and the lands within it. I was very impressed. I’m really looking forward to the
third book and hoping they whisk us away to another shard again.

Review by Crystal

Also posted at TheCoverContessa.com, goodreads.com, and amazon.com


Cursed – Jennifer Armentrout

My Review – Jennifer is a great story teller and her witty personality comes through in her writing, giving the characters in her book an extra endearing quality. Ember is no exception!

Ember’s little sister has an amazing gift – she can bring the dead back to life. This has been more inconvenient (and a little bit freaky) than anything else, until the day that Ember’s family is involved in a terrible car accident. Her father dies at the scene and her mother is severely mentally scarred, leaving Ember as the sole caretaker for her little sister. But that’s not all – Ember died at the scene too, but little Olivia brought her back with her gift. Now Ember is cursed; Every living thing that she touches, dies.

One day Ember and her remaining family members are kidnapped. Ember wakes up in a mansion full of other people with varying gifts like Olivia’s that claim to want to help her and her sister and their mother. While five year old Olivia adapts quite well in her new home full of other people like her, Ember is having a hard time accepting that these people are who they say they are. Her cell phone is taken, her best friend’s memory is wiped – Ember is effectively cut off from her former life. She is pretty certain that these people not only really just want Olivia, but that they caused the car accident that killed her and her father and still want her dead and she’s hell-bent on proving it.

Oh but there is a catch and his name is Hayden. Hayden is one of the teenagers that live in the house, and considers his adoptive father to be a hero and not the monster that Ember is certain that he is. Hayden attempts to teach her to control her “gift/curse”, and they find that Hayden is the only living thing that can touch Ember, but only briefly. His ability to absorb others’ gifts enables him to keep her touch of death at bay, but only for a brief second before his desire to draw more her ability kills him. In short – she is his kryptonite. So naturally they fall for each other and have this achingly passionate need to touch, but they can’t. It will break your heart.

Ember continues to investigate as much as she can into her family’s accident and to convince Hayden that his family is behind the attempts on her life and the cruel and disgusting scenes created in her school locker. An opportunity arises that enables Ember to get the proof that she needs to convince Hayden that she is right about his father – which he may never forgive her for. Ember winds up finding that nothing is what she thought it was and she may have walked right into a trap.

This is a stand alone book, but I really hope Jennifer decides to continue the story!

Review by Crystal

Also posted at TheCoverContessa.com, goodreads.com, and amazon.com