Babylon Steel by Gaie Sebold

Whew, it’s been a while since I posted a review here. Heck, I’m not even sure I remember how to write one! However, I do know that I have to let y’all know about this fabulous book, Babylons Steel by Gaie Sebold. I happened upon it while looking at a foursquare at B&N one afternoon and while I hadn’t heard anything about it (and still haven’t)(What’s wrong with people? Go! Talk about this book!) the cover drew me in and I had to pick it up and once I read the first page I bought it.
This book is a fantasy with a very different type of heroine, a brothel owner and former mercenary whose past is intentionally mysterious to those around her for protection, theirs and hers, because she carries a secret that she has run from for a very long time. The worlds and characters are interesting and keep your attention as three different story-lines converge into one. Through it all Babylon holds steady as a character you’d like to have on your side.
The book begins with Babylon being hired to find a missing diplomats daughter, but as with all story’s that start simply it soon changes as another plot-line emerges, one in which young prostitutes are murdered. Add in alternating chapters featuring Babylon as a young girl known as Ebi who was abandoned at birth, raised as a house slave, became a wanderer and then “Chosen” to be trained as a priestess… well, it may sound complicated, but everything is woven together beautifully. I am happy to say that there will be a sequel, according to the author’s website, tentatively titled Hunter’s Moon.

I hope y’all enjoy this book as much as I did!

You can find more about this book and it’s author from the authors website : http://www.gaiesebold.com

 

Disclaimer: I was in no way compensated for this review. This review was written and the book read by a copy of the book I purchased myself. Happy Reading!

Alien in the Family is the latest (third) installment in the Alien (I call them the  Kitty Katt books) series by the fun and fabulous Gini Koch. In Alien in the Family Kitty and Jeff are trying to finalize wedding plans when they learn of an Amazon Alien invasion and that Jeff? Well, Jeff is in line to the throne on Alpha Centauri and there a planetary emissary being sent to test Kitty for her appropriateness as a mate for Jeff. Add in a few political machinations, bombs and Las Vegas and well, Kitty has a lot of stress to deal with.

If I had to rename this book, I think I would title it ‘Kitty’s Heart’, because in the book we delve deeper into Kitty’s relationships with those around her. Specifically Jeff, Chuckie and Reader. While the intergalactic shenanigans, smoking hot love scenes and violence are in full force, there was a scene that stripped away all of Kitty’s humor and almost tore my heart out. I will say kudos to the author for bringing me to tears in one chapter and laughter in another. Kitty also has to deal with her feelings of her impending marriage, her uncertainties and how she draws those close to her to help her realize that she did, indeed, follow her heart.

Of course we as a reader are happy to see old familiar characters we adore to interact with Kitty along with a few new characters who I, for one, hope to see in the other Kitty books. But, the big question, do I recommend this book? Yes, yes, YES! While this book does focus on more personal relationships there is plenty of fighting, snark, irreverent humor and good guys winning to please anyone. I know I closed the last page with a smile on my face. And no, no spoilers from me-go buy the book!

This review was provided by an ARC supplied by the author/publisher.

You can read more about Gini Koch and the Alien books at: http://www.ginikoch.com

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness is one of the most enthralling books I have read in a long time. It has history, mystery, romance and a paranormal element that is somehow new and fresher than most books published today. I could not put this book down and lost sleep because of it!

Historian Dr. Diana Bishop has spent her life rejecting the legacy of her family. Her family of witches. While she has inherited ability, she has refused to let it run her life, in fact, refusing to use it unless circumstances demand it. However, her life is about to change one day when she requests a historic manuscript from the Bodleian Library in Oxford. The manuscript has been missing for centuries and is be-spelled. And Diana is the only person who has been able to find and open the book. Not wanting anything to do with the book and the spells contained within it’s pages, she returns the book to the check-out desk and refuses to think about.

What begins next is a sequence of events that opens new doors to Diana, doors to her past, her heart and her future. She comes face to face with secrets of her parents, and secrets locked away within herself. Diana also comes to love someone whom she is forbidden to love and what happens after that sets her, and his, path.

This book is a sweeping love story filled with magic; a love story that is captivating and  entrances your own heart. As the last pages turn, you are left to wonder and in that lies even more magic and perhaps more of a story to tell?

I obtained a copy of this book from the library. I was in no way gifted or paid for this review.

More info can be found on this book at http://www.deborahharkness.com

Kitty Katt is BACK! Alien Tango is the second installment in the ‘Alien’ series by Gini Koch. (If you haven’t read Touched by Alien, do so now.) Kitty finally earns her wings after becoming head of the Alpha Centauri’s Airborne Division, but she doesn’t have much time to celebrate before she is embroiled in yet another attack, this time a home grown terrorist group has targeted the AC’s (Alpha Centaurians) and her boyfriend Jeff is one of those targeted. Add in meeting Jeff’s Dad, who isn’t so bad, and his Mother, who is, and Kitty’s plate is rather full. I have to say, I wish I was Kitty. She kicks butt and protects those she loves. She’s smart and intuitive and Rocks-literally! She stares down bombers, can fly a jet and knows how to use a Glock. All things I wouldn’t mind knowing how to do. Plus, she has Jeff and is surrounded by other gorgeous AC’s. Did I mention I wish I was Kitty? *g*

However, Kitty does have blinders on considering some of the men in her life. She’s not sure if Jeff will ever want to make a commitment, her best friend is hiding something from her and her parents are acting weird. Well, weirder than usual. Never fear, Kitty has it all under control. Sort of.

I could not put this book down.No spoilers from me. I can say the cover contains several clues and is awesome in it’s own right.  I do have to give a small warning, Jeff and Kitty really smoke up some of the pages! The book was action packed from start to finish and I absolutely loved the end and can’t wait for the next book, Alien in the Famiy due out in April.

 

More information on this author and her books can be found at: www.ginikoch.com/bookstore.htm

This review was written with no compensation given nor asked for. This book was obtained as a gift- from my husband who purchased it.

Just wanted to let y’all know that I have been extremely busy and will do my best to post a review or two soon. Sorry!

B.

Wicked Appetite by Janet Evanovich is a spin-off series featuring Diesel from the ‘In-Between’ Stephanie Plum books. This new series may feature Deisel, but it also contains many new characters and even a revisit from Carl the Monkey,  who also appeared in a couple of the ‘In-Between’ books.

Lizzy Tucker, a pastry chef never knew how much of a turn her life would take when scary Gerwulf Grimoire touched and burned her hand outside the bakery where she works creating fabulous cupcakes. She is disturbed by the man’s actions, but vows to set it out of mind. Easier said than done as Diesel, just Diesel-no last name, soon appears and tells her about the “Unmentionables”, those with unusual talents, and that he is one-and so is she. Diesel needs Lizzy’s help finding the Seven Stones of Power, each one representing the Seven Deadly Sins; and he needs her help to find them before Gerwulf does. All while Lizzy fights her attraction to Diesel and her uncommon power and susceptibility to the stones.

Add in a mysterious cat, Carl the Monkey and Lizzy’s co-workers, one of whom thinks she has special powers (with hilarious results) and this book is a madcap rush to find  the stones filled with humorous dialogue and sparks (some literal, some figurative) from the characters. The dialogue is fun, the location interesting and the story brings a fresh new breath to Evanovich’s writing of late. While this reader was tiring of the Stephanie Plum books, Wicked Appetite is an enjoyable new series to begin again with the author. Hold onto your seats, it’s going to be a bumpy ride to find the Stones. Just ask Carl the Monkey!

More can be found on Janet Evanovich and her books at her website http://www.evanovich.com

This book was written with no compensation given, nor asked for. It was written after obtaining the book from the local Library System.

The Oracle of Dating by Allison Van Diepen is a delightful look at love in the teen world and how an enterprising teen comes up with a way to not only help others, but herself as well.

Kayla is a normal teenage girl trying to survive high school, a dead-end job and her mother’s remarriage. She is also trying to get her website The Oracle of Dating more exposure so she can do what she wants to do; help other people with their relationships. Although she can give dating advice, Kayla seems a bit unsure of herself in her own life. The boy in her Art class, Jared, is definitely testing her no dating during High School rule. But, she’s not sure if he’s interested. Finally ready to put it on the line and admit her interest in him, she’s too late, he’s moved on and she’s secretly heartbroken. She then also deals with a friend when a piece of her advice backfires and she loses her faith in her own advice abilities. But no one is willing to let her wallow in her guilt and close up shop with The Oracle and things with Jared may not be what they seem. Kayla has to deal with all of it without letting her friends know what’s bothering her. What follows is a closer look at relationships and how a little introspective can be a good thing. And Jared? He has a few tricks up his sleeve.

I’ll admit when I first looked at The Oracle of Dating I was thinking it would be a fun, light YA. I was shocked and surprised to find that the book didn’t just skim the surface of teen lives, but dived deeper into the psyche of teen relationships. There was still plenty of humor and some sweet moments. And I can’t help but wonder if Evgeney will finally find a girl in the next book? *G*

More info can be found on this book and author at: http://www.AllisonVanDiepen.com , more can be found on The Oracle at: http://www.OracleOfDating.com

This review was written using a copy of the book provided by my local library. No compensation was received for this review.

Wanna Get Lucky? by Deborah Coonts is a fun , humorous and quirky look at backstage Vegas. Ever wonder who takes care of the High Rollers in Vegas? That’s Lucky O’Toole’s job. She makes sure her Casino keeps it’s patrons comfortable and out of trouble. So when one of the part-time cocktail waitresses falls out of a Casino helicopter Lucky decides to investigate to find out who exactly was responsible and to clean up the mess threatening her boss, The Big Boss.

Not only does she have that mystery to solve, but Lucky also must decide if she’s ready to leave friendship behind with her Best Friend Teddie and move things to a new level, or if she should take the flirting of Dane , the new hire in Security seriously, or as seriously as she can when she doesn’t trust the man any farther than she can throw him. Add in helping her frumpy assistant with a makeover, taking on a blackmailer, an Anaconda and dealing with her Mother and Lucky’s life is full of drama.

As a character Lucky is immediately identifiable as a strong, smart and capable woman. She’s also more soft-hearted than she might seem and has a sense of justice that while not black and white, can certainly see the many and varied colors of gray. Her love life, or rather lack of love life suddenly surges and she’s left to make hard choices. Add in secrets from her past and Lucky is pulled in many different directions yet handles it all with wit, sarcasm and dedication to her friends, The Big Boss and even to her Best Friend. Who, have I mentioned is H-O-T and yet can walk in heels better than Lucky (and mI)?

As a reader there aren’t many books that have me staying up late, going without precious sleep, to finish them. But, this books was fabulous and so much fun to read. I thoroughly enjoyed it and cracked up laughing several times reading it. I may have also blushed quite a few times, too! Finding out that here will be more books featuring this character seriously made me smile. Thank you Ms. Coonts for a terrific read. Can’t wait until the next Lucky O’Toole book is on the shelves!
More can be found about this author and her books at: http://www.deborahcoonts.com

This review was written without any compensation using a copy of the book borrowed from my local library. Can I just say that Libraries are an invaluable resource for bibliophiles like me? *g*

Cynthia Eden’s Deadly Days of Summer. Join Cynthia Eden at her blog for a non-stop summer party. When: Jun1-August 1, 2010. What: Great guest authors, fabulous prizes, & a fun time. Where: www.cynthiaeden.com/blog. This summer will be long, hot & deadly.
Deadly Fear Share I’ll Be Slaying You

Out of Eden by Beth Ciotta is a fun and delightful romp through Paradise. With romance, the mob and a woman determined to shake things up nothing will be same in Eden, Indiana. Add in a hunky sheriff, a stray dog and mischief galore and the small town doesn’t know what hit it.

Kylie McGraw is having a bad Birthday. She’s thirty-two and her dream has been placed out of sight yet again. Determined to shake up her life she decides to let loose and starts with her wardrobe, the shoe store she manages for her family and her hair. Not everything turns out the way she expects when she’s caught on a ladder wearing boxers under her skirt by the new sheriff, Jack Reynolds, her childhood crush and brothers best friend. She’s met with resistance at every turn in trying to change the rut she’s in, but finds a new friend in Travis who agrees to help her renovate her store. Unfortunately Travis has secrets of his own and they may endanger not only him, by Kylie and the hot new romance she’s having with Jack. With new hair, new shoes and a new outlook on life Kylie is refusing to back down from anyone, even Jack as she attempts to breathe a little fresh air into her store and Eden.

I smiled a lot while reading this book. Readers can relate to Kylie as she attempts to break out of her good girl mold, though those around her wish she’d stop her full steam ahead route to change. The romance between Kylie and Jack is based on a past history to be overcome and sizzling chemistry. The added mystery and secondary characters bring forth the town and its inhabitants, some of whom are hilarious in their dating advice for Kylie and some who aren’t really even from the town, yet become interwoven within the entire story bringing even more life to it’s pages. All in all a very good read. I’m already looking forward to the next book! (Due out September 2010, Into the Wild, featuring Kylie’s brother Spenser McGraw.)

*This review was written based upon a copy from my local library. No compensation was received for this review.

To find more information on this author and her books: http://www.bethciotta.com or her blog at http://www.bethciotta.blogspot.com

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