All tagged Harlequin

Early Review: Within Reach by Sarah Mayberry

Within Reach by Sarah Mayberry

What happens when the center of your universe dies?

Scientists  determine the location of black holes by watching the behavior of the  matter that surround them. They’re impossible to see on their own as  they suck down all light or any probes that might trace their  perimeters.

Billy  is at the center of Sarah Mayberry’s Within Reach, her death the black hole. She is the  impetus for the plot, the invisible force that sets events in motion,  but the book isn’t about her. Instead, Within Reach chronicles the lives  of those most affected by her absence: her husband Michael, her  children Eva and Charlie, and her best friend Angie.

Prior  to Billy’s death Angie and Michael were never particularly close. They  related to each other through Billy rather than any special personal  connection. In the wake of her death they pull together, sharing the  devastation of losing the most important person in either of their  worlds.

That’s why when Michael needs a kickstart, Angie is the one to  give it to him.

You  think this half life is doing any of you any good? When was the last  time you left the house to do anything other than drop Eva at school or  go to the supermarket? When was the last time you did something because  you wanted to rather than because you had to?

{Review} Shadow Bound by Rachel Vincent


Note: I have made every attempt to write this review free from spoilage about the first book in the series. 

It was with both trepidation and excitement that I cracked open* Shadow Bound, the second book in Rachel Vincent’s Unbound urban fantasy series.

Excitement because I adored Blood Bound, the first book in the series.

Trepidation because, well, I adored Blood Bound, the first book in the series. 

You know how it goes: When a series starts out strong, it sets the bar high. This was doubly the case with Shadow Bound because the main characters in the second book differ from those in the first. I loved Liv and Cam in Blood Bound, their story was incredibly compelling, and Kori (one of Shadow Bound’s main characters) did not impress me in the first novel. She was and unlikeable. 

However, I enjoyed Shadow Bound even more than the first book in the compelling and creative Unbound series.

Taking place in world in which some humans are (un)lucky enough to possess highly-valued abilities and mob-like syndicates rule, Shadow Bound finds Kori Daniels, a shadow walker (basically, she can transport herself and people she’s touching via darkness), suffering the consequences of her role in the events of Blood Bound. Jake Tower, leader of one of the major synidcates, has deprived Kori of the darkness she craves and subjected her to terrible torture (it’s quite painful to read, even though nothing is described in detail—it’s just so harrowing).

I love to buy books. Ebooks, paper books, whatever. I simply love to own books. It’s probably a disease of some sort.

Sure, I use my library, especially my library’s ebook collection (more on that in a minute), since it always nice to visit my library without the hassle of, you know, leaving the house. But, ultimately, I feel good about buying books, because I know that it supports the people who create the books I love—authors, yes, but also the editors and book designers and everyone else who’s involved in the creation and curation* of what’s on our shelves, virtual or physical. 

However, as much as I love buying books, I hate feeling manipulated. 

And with the combination of publishers—particularly Penguin—simultaneously raising their ebook prices while yanking their titles from libraries’ ebook collections, that’s exactly how I feel. 

IceBound by Julie RoweUnfair Game?

Let me tell you a little story about my recent attempt to read one of Penguin’s new releases, Patricia Briggs’ Fair Game

I’ve been hit or miss with the Alpha & Omega spinoff series of the Mercy Thompson series. I liked the first book just fine and was rather “meh” on the second. So, while the books in the main series are auto-buys for me, because they’re guaranteed good reads, I’m not as confident in the Alpha & Omega series. 

But, since there’s not going to be a new Mercy book until 2013 (sob!), I decided that I’d been missing the Mercyverse way too much and would revist this parallel series in the same world. Since it was a hardback release, I knew it would be a perfect Kindle book. (I have tendinitis in my right hand so hardbacks, are murder on my hands—I’d quit reading any new releases unless they were in paperback before my husband bought me my Kindle three years ago. Additionally, our house is super-tiny—around 800 square feet—so I can’t bring paper books that aren’t part of my “permanent collection” into the house.)

Logging onto Amazon, I discovered that the book was priced at $12.99. Given that this series is iffy for me, and that it was fewer than 300 pages, I balked at that price point. Momentarily forgetting that Penguin had abandoned libraries’ ebook collections, I logged onto Multnomah County Library’s website to put a hold on the ebook. 

Oh, right… Penguin doesn’t want libraries to lend ebooks


I recently texted my friend,

“I’m in love with a fictional character.”


 He responded,

“Matthew Crawley?”


I said,

“Please. Is there a Downton Abbey of Doom?? I think not.”


“WTF are you talking about?!”


This is what happens after you read Shannon Stacey’s Kowalski Family series.

First comes love,

Then comes mass texts to friends,

Then comes the delusional break from reality in a Kowalski carriage!

It’s awesome, even as it ruins other fictional men for you.