Monday, June 29, 2015

Unclaimed by Laurie Wetzel

Abandoned by her birth parents and ignored by her adoptive family, Maddy Page believes she is unlovable. She only allows herself to dream of falling in love. That changes when she meets MJ; handsome and kind, MJ penetrates Maddy's defenses. Maddy soon finds herself confiding in MJ like she has with no one else, revealing secrets even her closest friends don't know. He makes her feel safe--a feeling she's never experienced except in her dreams.

When Maddy witnesses MJ disappear and reappear in thin air, she realizes she might have been wrong about him. He could be dangerous--maybe even a killer. Determined to uncover the truth of who--or what--MJ is, Maddy ignores her instinct to run. But she soon realizes that getting close to MJ could cost more than a broken heart--it could cost Maddy her soul.

Book picture and description from

My Review

   I know this may come as a shock but this review is for a book that I actually purchased.  I know the other reviews here have been for books I was given to review.  It may seem that I only read these free books but the truth is that I read a ton of books that I purchase myself but because they are mostly mass market books I haven't bothered to review them.  I have decided to add reviews for all of the books that I read, partly in hopes that I can share other wonderful books with you but also because I am finding that I have read so many books I don't always remember the particulars of those books unless they are exceptional and I would like to be able to look back at what I have read and remember more than I would on my own.
   I actually bought this book because I signed up to read the second book in this series and found that there was just too much I was missing to really lose myself in the story.  This first book was a fun read.  The story isn't too unique. There are several books, especially lately, that fall in to the paranormal romance genre. Vampire, werewolves, angles.  There is only so much an author can do to make the story unique when writing in this genre. That being said I have to admit that I am a sucker for these stories and even though this story isn't unique it is still a great read.
   I loved most of the characters.  They were very relatable.  My favorite is definitely MJ.  What girl isn't a sucker for an amazing guy?  Especially one that always knows the right things to say and continually saves the love of his life.  Despite liking the characters I did have a bit of a hard time dealing with Maddy.  She is always down on herself and always thinks the worst.  I understand teen angst, I really do, but hers was a bit over the top. She finds a great guy...she hates on herself, she finds out she is special...she hates on herself, etc.  The only time she isn't hating on herself is when she is physically touching MJ because he has the power to fill her with peace, but the second he lets go the self hate begins again.  While I get the need for it as part of the plot (don't want to give away too much) but I just wish that Maddy wasn't so negative.  Maybe once I read book two I will understand a little better and it won't bug me as much.
   The author does a great job with building the mystery around Maddy.  She has several protectors that keep an eye on her and try to hide her from both Heaven and Hell.  Both sides would love to control her powers.  What are you supposed to do when both sides will do her harm?  I love that the side that is supposed to be inherently good isn't able to be trusted.  After all Lucifer began in Heaven only to fall because of his desires.  What is to stop others from following in his footsteps?  Luckily Maddy is unknowingly surrounded by beings trying to protect her, even if they aren't traditionally the 'good guys'.   The problem is that there are always questions surrounding the motives of these protectors.  Hopefully they are just wanting to be there for Maddy and hopefully the second book will answers these and many other questions.
My Rating

   I would have rated this a 5 if not for Maddy's over-the-top self hatred.

Parents Guide:  There is a small bit of swearing but nothing bad.  The book does have some disturbing scenes related to the demon that is after Maddy.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

A Million Miles Away by Lara Avery

Perfect for fans of Nicholas Sparks, this breathtaking story of love and loss is guaranteed to break your heart and sweep you off your feet.

When high school senior Kelsey's identical twin sister, Michelle, dies in a car crash, Kelsey is left without her other half. The only person who doesn't know about the tragedy is Michelle's boyfriend, Peter, recently deployed to Afghanistan. But when Kelsey finally connects with Peter online, she can't bear to tell him the truth. Active duty has taken its toll, and Peter, thinking that Kelsey is Michelle, says that seeing her is the one thing keeping him alive. Caught up in the moment, Kelsey has no choice: She lets Peter believe that she is her sister.

As Kelsey keeps up the act, she crosses the line from pretend to real. Soon, Kelsey can't deny that she's falling, hard, for the one boy she shouldn't want.

Picture and  description from

My Review
I received this book in exchange for an honest review.
  I wasn't sure what to think when I began reading this book.  I thought the description sounded very intriguing but I really have a hard time with lying.  I don't like liars and so I really wasn't sure how I would respond to this book.  That being said I tried to go in to the book without any biases. 
  Right from the beginning I fell in love with the characters in this book.  It starts by showing the dynamics between twin sisters, Kelsey and Michelle.  While they may be eerily identical they could not be more different in every other way.  Kelsey is popular, a phenomenal dancer and in to all things social.  Michelle is an artist, in to the environment and not in to the social scene at all.  The two sisters definitely have a love-hate (mostly hate) relationship.  Then suddenly Michelle is gone and Kelsey's whole world is turned upside down.
   The author nails Kelsey's grief spot on.  You can feel her horror, guilt and sorrow at loosing half of herself and her identity.  Most of us have lost someone in our own lives but I cannot imagine how it would feel to lose a twin.  The ties between twins are so much most entwined than those of us that are not twins can only imagine.  The author does such a good job at portraying Kelsey's grief that I actually felt my heart breaking in some points in the book.  Be forewarned will need tissues while reading this book!
    After losing her sister Kelsey makes a huge mistake.  When she connects with Michelle's boyfriend, who is a soldier serving in Afghanistan, she decides to pretend to be Michelle.  Why would she do this?  Her reason is noble.  Peter is struggling as a new soldier in a war zone.  We have all heard of the horrors and stress that our soldiers face while in Afghanistan.  While Kelsey is talking to Peter on Skype she sees he is haunted, and when he tells her that she (Michelle) is the only thing that keeps him going Kelsey can't bring herself to tell him that Michelle is dead.  I would probably have done the same thing.  Our soldiers need something to hope for to keep them going and Peter needed Michelle.  That being said, Kelsey takes it a bit too far when for months she keeps up the lie.  She even travels over seas to join him on leave and never tells him the truth.  Kelsey comes to realize that she needs Peter as much as he needs her.
   So what happens when Peter finally finds out the truth?  You will have to read the book to find out! I hope you will love it as much as I did!

 My Rating

I'm Back!

So I took a long break from blogging.  That doesn't mean that I stopped reading (heaven forbid!) but just that life got in the way.  With kids and work and a hubby, all of which I love, life is a bit crazy and some things get pushed to the side.  Now that school is out for the summer I am hoping that I can get back in to the swing of blogging.  I really do love books and I love sharing my thoughts on them. In real life I am pretty shy and don't talk to a ton of people so even if no one reads this blog it is cathartic for me.  I have always been better at expressing myself in writing than in every day conversation.  Hopefully someone out there in the ether of the internet will gain something from my blogging and find at least a few new books or authors to fall in love with.